and if inaddible, in which of the two
ways which we have distinguished.Aristot. Met. 13.6.2,
3. For it is possible either (a) that any one unit is
inaddible to any other, or (b) that the units in the Ideal 2 are
inaddible to those in the Ideal 3, and thus that the units in each
Ideal number are inaddible to those in the other Ideal
numbers. Now if all units are addible and do not
differ in kind, we get one type of number only, the mathematical, and
the Ideas cannot be the numbers thus produced;for how can we regard the Idea of Man
or Animal, or any other Form, as a number? There is one Idea of each
kind of thing: e.g. one of Humanity and another one of Animality; but
the numbers which are similar and do not differ in kind are infinitely
many, so that this is no more the Idea of Man than any other 3 is. But
if the Ideas are not numbers, they cannot exist at all;for from what principles can
the Ideas be derived? Number is derived from Unity and the
indeterminate dyad, and the principles and elements are said to be the
principles and elements of number, and the Ideas cannot be placed
either as prior or as posterior to numbers.Since the only principles which Plato recognizes
are Unity and the Dyad, which are numerical (Aristotle insists
on regarding them as a kind of 1 and 2), and therefore clearly
principles of number; and the Ideas can only be derived from
these principles if they (the Ideas) are (a) numbers (which has
been proved impossible) or (b) prior or posterior to numbers
(i.e., causes or effects of numbers, which they cannot be if
they are composed of a different kind of units); then the Ideas
are not derived from any principle at all, and therefore do not
exist. But if the units are inaddible in the
sense that any one unit is inaddible to any other, the number so
composed can be neither mathematical number (since mathematical number
consists of units which do not differ,and the facts demonstrated of it fit in with this
character) nor Ideal number. For on this view 2 will not be the first
number generated from Unity and the indeterminate dyad, and then the
other numbers in succession, as theyThe Platonists. say 2, 3, because the
units in the primary 2 are generated at the same time,This was the orthodox Platonist
view of the generation of ideal numbers; or at least Aristotle
is intending to describe the orthodox view. Plato should not
have regarded the Ideal numbers as composed of units at all, and
there is no real reason to suppose that he did (see
Introduction). But Aristotle infers from the fact that the Ideal
2 is the first number generated (and then the other Ideal
numbers in the natural order) that the units of the Ideal 2 are
generated simultaneously, and then goes on to show that this is
incompatible with the theory of inaddible units. whether,
as the originator of the theory held, from unequalsi.e., the Great-and-Small,
which Aristotle wrongly understands as two unequal things. It is
practically certain that Plato used the term (as he did that of
"Indeterminate Dyad") to describe indeterminate quantity. See
Introduction.(coming into being when these were
equalized), or otherwiseâ€” since if we regard the one unit as prior to
the other,This is a necessary
implication of the theory of inaddible units (cf. Aristot. Met. 13.6.1, 2). it will be prior
also to the 2 which is composed of them; because whenever one thing is
prior and another posterior, their compound will be prior to the
latter and posterior to the former.So the order of generation will be: (i) Unity
(ungenerated); (2) first unit in 2; (3) second unit in 2; and
the Ideal 2 will come between (2) and (3).
Further, since the Ideal 1 is first, and then comes a particular 1
which is first of the other 1's but second after the Ideal 1, and then
a third 1 which is nextafter the second
but third after the first 1, it follows that the units will be prior
to the numbers after which they are called; e.g., there will be a
third unit in 2 before 3 exists, and a fourth and fifth in 3 before
these numbers exist.This is a
corollary to the previous argument, and depends upon an
identification of "ones" (including the Ideal One or Unity) with
units. It is true that nobody has represented
the units of numbers as inaddible in this way; but according to the
principles held by these thinkers even this view is quite reasonable,