previous next
[1024a] [1] Again, since a quantity has a beginning, middle and end, those to which position makes no difference we describe as "all," and those to which position makes a difference we describe as "whole," and those to which both descriptions can be applied, as both "all" and "whole."These are all things whose nature remains the same in transposition, but whose shape does not; e.g. wax or a coat. They are described as both "whole" and "all"; for they have both characteristics. Water, however, and all liquids, and number, are described as "all"; we do not speak of a "whole number" or "whole water" except by an extension of meaning. Things are described as "all" in the plural qua differentiated which are described as "all" in the singular qua one; all this number, all these units.

We do not describe any chance quantity as "mutilated"; it must have parts, and must be a whole. The number 2 is not mutilated if one of its 1's is taken away—because the part lost by mutilation is never equal to the remainder—nor in general is any number mutilated; because the essence must persist. If a cup is mutilated, it must still be a cup; but the number is no longer the same.Moreover, not even all things which have dissimilar parts are mutilated; for a number has in a sense dissimilar as well as similar parts—e.g. 2, 3. But in general of things whose position makes no difference, e.g. water or fire, none is mutilated;— [20] to be mutilated, things must be such as have their position according to their essence.Further, they must be continuous; for a musical scale is composed of dissimilar parts, and has position; but it does not become mutilated. Moreover, even things which are wholes are not mutilated by the removal of any of their parts; the parts removed must be neither proper to their essence nor in any chance location. E.g., a cup is not mutilated if a hole is made in it, but only if the handle or some projection is broken;and a man is not mutilated if he loses flesh or his spleen, but if he loses some extremity; and not every extremity, but only such as cannot grow again when completely removed. Hence bald people are not mutilated.

The term "genus" <or "race"> is used: (a) When there is a continuous generation of things of the same type; e.g., "as long as the human race exists" means "as long as the generation of human beings is continuous." (b) Of anything from which things derive their being as the prime mover of them into being. Thus some are called Hellenes by race, and others Ionians, because some have Hellen and others Ion as their first ancestor.(Races are called after the male ancestor rather than after the material.1 Some derive their race from the female as well; e.g. "the descendants of Pyrrha2.")

1 Aristotle regards the mother as providing the material, and the father the formal element of the child. Cf. Aristot. Met. 1.6.8, Aristot. Met. 8.4.5.

2 Wife of Deucalion, the Greek Noah.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (1924)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (1):
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (2):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: