and the line scans in the first half
with nine syllables, and in the second with eight.i.e., a dactylic hexameter
whose sixth foot is always a spondee or trochee has nine
syllables in the first three feet and eight in the last three.
For τὸ δεξιόν meaning "the
first part" of a metrical system see Bassett,Journal of
Classical Philology 11.458-460. And they point out that the
interval from α to ω in the alphabet is equal to that from
the lowest note of a flute to the highest, whose number is equal to
that of the whole system of the universe.Alexander suggests that the number 24 may have
been made up of the 12 signs of the zodiac, the 8 spheres (fixed
stars, five planets, sun and moon) and 4 elements. We
must realize that no one would find any difficulty either in
discovering or in stating such correspondences as these in the realm
of eternal things, since they occur even among perishable
things. As for the celebrated characteristics of
number, and their contraries, and in general the mathematical
properties, in the sense that some describe them and make them out to
be causes of the natural world, it would seem that if we examine them
along these lines, they disappear; for not one of them is a cause in
any of the senses which we distinguished with until respect to the
first Principles.Cf. Aristot. Met. 1.3.1, Aristot.
Met. 5.1, 2.
There is a sense,
however, in which these thinkers make it clear that goodness is
predicable of numbers, and that the odd, the straight, the
equal-by-equal,i.e.,
square. and the powersProbably their "power" of being represented as
regular figures; e.g. the triangularity of 3 or 6. of
certain numbers, belong to the series of the Beautiful.Cf. Aristot. Met.
1.5.6. For the seasons are connected with a
certain kind of numberi.e.,
4.; and the other examples which they adduce from mathematical
theorems all have the same force.Hence they would seem to be mere coincidences,
for they are accidental; but all the examples are appropriate to each
other, and they are one by analogy. For there is analogy between all
the categories of Being—as "straight" is in
length,so is "level"
in breadth, perhaps "odd" in number, and "white" in color. Again, it is not the Ideal numbers that are the causes of harmonic
relations, etc. (for Ideal numbers, even when they are equal, differ
in kind, since their units also differ in kind)Aristotle has argued (Aristot. Met.
13.6-8.) that if the Ideal numbers differ in kind,
their units must differ in kind. Hence even equal numbers, being
composed of different units, must be different in kind. In point
of fact, since each ideal number is unique, no two of them could
be equal.; so on this ground at least we need not posit
Forms. Such, then, are the consequences of the
theory, and even more might be adduced. But the mere fact that the
Platonists find so much trouble with regard to the generation of Ideal
numbers, and can in no way build up a system, would seem to be a proof
that the objects of mathematics are not separable from sensible
things, as some maintain, and that the first principles are not those
which these thinkers assume.