[1039a] [1] but "such and-such." Otherwise amongst many other awkward consequences we have the "third man."1

Again, it is clear in this way too. Substance can not consist of substances actually present in it; for that which is actually two can never be actually one, whereas if it is potentially two it can be one. E.g., the double consists of two halvesâ€”that is, potentially; for the actualization separates the halves.Thus if substance is one, it cannot consist of substances present in it even in this sense, as Democritus rightly observes; he says that it is impossible for two to come from one, or one from two, because he identifies substance with the atoms.2Clearly then the same will also hold good in the case of number (assuming that number is a composition of units, as it is said to be by some); because either 2 is not 1, or there is not actually a unit in it.

The consequence involves a difficulty; for if no substance can consist of universals, because they mean "of such a kind," and not a particular thing; and if no substance can be actually composed of substances, every substance will be incomposite, and so there will be no formula of any substance.But in point of fact it is universally held, and has been previously stated,3 [20] that substance is the only or chief subject of definition; but on this showing there is no definition even of substance. Then there can be no definition of anything; or rather in a sense there can, and in a sense cannot. What this means will be clearer from what follows later.4

From these same considerations it is clear also what consequence follows for those who maintain that the Forms are substances and separable, and who at the same time make the species consist of the genus and the differentiae. If there are Forms, and if "animal" is present in the man and the horse, it is either numerically one and the same with them, or not.(In formula they are clearly one; for in each case the speaker will enunciate the same formula.) If, then, there is in some sense an Absolute Man, who is an individual and exists separately, then the constituents, e.g. "animal" and "two-footed," must have an individual meaning and be separable and substances. Hence there must be an Absolute Animal too.

(i) Then if the "animal" which is in the horse and the man is one and the same, as you are one and the same with yourself,

1 See note on Aristot. Met. 1.9.3.

2 Cf. Aristot. De Caelo 303a 6, Aristot. De Gen. et Corr. 325a 35.

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.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

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

hide References (5 total)