Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Works by Aristotle
Pages of Categories

Previous | Next


'below'; and this is so, because nothing is farther from the

extremities of the universe than the region at the centre. Indeed,

it seems that in defining contraries of every kind men have recourse

to a spatial metaphor, for they say that those things are contraries

which, within the same class, are separated by the greatest possible


Quantity does not, it appears, admit of variation of degree. One

thing cannot be two cubits long in a greater degree than another.

Similarly with regard to number: what is 'three' is not more truly

three than what is 'five' is five; nor is one set of three more

truly three than another set. Again, one period of time is not said to

be more truly time than another. Nor is there any other kind of

quantity, of all that have been mentioned, with regard to which

variation of degree can be predicated. The category of quantity,

therefore, does not admit of variation of degree.

The most distinctive mark of quantity is that equality and

inequality are predicated of it. Each of the aforesaid quantities is

said to be equal or unequal. For instance, one solid is said to be

equal or unequal to another; number, too, and time can have these

terms applied to them, indeed can all those kinds of quantity that

have been mentioned.

That which is not a quantity can by no means, it would seem, be

termed equal or unequal to anything else. One particular disposition

or one particular quality, such as whiteness, is by no means

compared with another in terms of equality and inequality but rather

in terms of similarity. Thus it is the distinctive mark of quantity

that it can be called equal and unequal.


Previous | Next
Site Search