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It may be questioned whether it is true that no substance is

relative, as seems to be the case, or whether exception is to be

made in the case of certain secondary substances. With regard to

primary substances, it is quite true that there is no such

possibility, for neither wholes nor parts of primary substances are

relative. The individual man or ox is not defined with reference to

something external. Similarly with the parts: a particular hand or

head is not defined as a particular hand or head of a particular

person, but as the hand or head of a particular person. It is true

also, for the most part at least, in the case of secondary substances;

the species 'man' and the species 'ox' are not defined with

reference to anything outside themselves. Wood, again, is only

relative in so far as it is some one's property, not in so far as it

is wood. It is plain, then, that in the cases mentioned substance is

not relative. But with regard to some secondary substances there is

a difference of opinion; thus, such terms as 'head' and 'hand' are

defined with reference to that of which the things indicated are a

part, and so it comes about that these appear to have a relative

character. Indeed, if our definition of that which is relative was

complete, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to prove that no

substance is relative. If, however, our definition was not complete,

if those things only are properly called relative in the case of which

relation to an external object is a necessary condition of

existence, perhaps some explanation of the dilemma may be found.

The former definition does indeed apply to all relatives, but the

fact that a thing is explained with reference to something else does

not make it essentially relative.

From this it is plain that, if a man definitely apprehends a

relative thing, he will also definitely apprehend that to which it

is relative. Indeed this is self-evident: for if a man knows that some

particular thing is relative, assuming that we call that a relative in

the case of which relation to something is a necessary condition of

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