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[1051b] [1] but also (in the strictest sense1) to denote truth and falsity. This depends, in the case of the objects, upon their being united or divided; so that he who thinks that what is divided is divided, or that what is united is united, is right; while he whose thought is contrary to the real condition of the objects is in error. Then when do what we call truth and falsity exist or not exist? We must consider what we mean by these terms.

It is not because we are right in thinking that you are white that you are white; it is because you are white that we are right in saying so. Now if whereas some things are always united and cannot be divided, and others are always divided and cannot be united, others again admit of both contrary states, then "to be" is to be united, i.e. a unity; and "not to be" is to be not united, but a plurality.Therefore as regards the class of things which admit of both contrary states, the same opinion or the same statement comes to be false and true, and it is possible at one time to be right and at another wrong; but as regards things which cannot be otherwise the same opinion is not sometimes true and sometimes false, but the same opinions are always true or always false.

But with regard to incomposite things, what is being or not-being, and truths or falsity? Such a thing is not composite, so as to be when it is united and not to be when it is divided, [20] like the proposition that "the wood is white," or "the diagonal is incommensurable"; nor will truth and falsity apply in the same way to these cases as to the previous ones.In point of fact, just as truth is not the same in these cases, so neither is being. Truth and falsity are as follows: contact2 and assertion are truth (for assertion is not the same as affirmation), and ignorance is non-contact. I say ignorance, because it is impossible to be deceived with respect to what a thing is, except accidentally3;and the same applies to incomposite substances, for it is impossible to be deceived about them. And they all exist actually, not potentially; otherwise they would be generated and destroyed; but as it is, Being itself is not generated (nor destroyed); if it were, it would be generated out of something. With respect, then, to all things which are essences and actual, there is no question of being mistaken, but only of thinking or not thinking them.Inquiry as to what they are takes the form of inquiring whether they are of such-and-such a nature or not.

As for being in the sense of truth, and not-being in the sense of falsity, a unity is true if the terms are combined, and if they are not combined it is false. Again, if the unity exists, it exists in a particular way, and if it does not exist in that way, it does not exist at all.

1 This appears to contradict Aristot. Met. 6.4.3. But it is just possible to interpret κυριώτατα(with Jaeger) as "in the commonest sense."

2 i.e. direct and accurate apprehension.

3 i.e. we cannot be mistaken with regard to a simple term X. We either apprehend it or not. Mistake arises when we either predicate something wrongly of X, or analyze X wrongly.

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