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Metaphysics   


apart from its species (any more than for the species of the genus) to
be predicated of its proper differentiae; so that if unity or being is
a genus, no differentia will either have being or be one. But if unity
and being are not genera, neither will they be principles, if the
genera are the principles. Again, the intermediate kinds, in whose
nature the differentiae are included, will on this theory be genera,
down to the indivisible species; but as it is, some are thought to
be genera and others are not thought to be so. Besides this, the
differentiae are principles even more than the genera; and if these
also are principles, there comes to be practically an infinite
number of principles, especially if we suppose the highest genus to be
a principle.-But again, if unity is more of the nature of a principle,
and the indivisible is one, and everything indivisible is so either in
quantity or in species, and that which is so in species is the
prior, and genera are divisible into species for man is not the
genus of individual men), that which is predicated directly of the
individuals will have more unity.-Further, in the case of things in
which the distinction of prior and posterior is present, that which is
predicable of these things cannot be something apart from them (e.g.
if two is the first of numbers, there will not be a Number apart
from the kinds of numbers; and similarly there will not be a Figure
apart from the kinds of figures; and if the genera of these things
do not exist apart from the species, the genera of other things will
scarcely do so; for genera of these things are thought to exist if any
do). But among the individuals one is not prior and another posterior.
Further, where one thing is better and another worse, the better is
always prior; so that of these also no genus can exist. From these
considerations, then, the species predicated of individuals seem to be
principles rather than the genera. But again, it is not easy to say in
what sense these are to be taken as principles. For the principle or
cause must exist alongside of the things of which it is the principle,
and must be capable of existing in separation from them; but for
what reason should we suppose any such thing to exist alongside of the
individual, except that it is predicated universally and of all? But
if this is the reason, the things that are more universal must be
supposed to be more of the nature of principles; so that the highest
genera would be the principles.
4

(8) There is a difficulty connected with these, the hardest of all
and the most necessary to examine, and of this the discussion now
awaits us. If, on the one hand, there is nothing apart from individual
things, and the individuals are infinite in number, how then is it
possible to get knowledge of the infinite individuals? For all
things that we come to know, we come to know in so far as they have
some unity and identity, and in so far as some attribute belongs to
them universally.
But if this is necessary, and there must be something apart from
the individuals, it will be necessary that the genera exist apart from
the individuals, either the lowest or the highest genera; but we found
by discussion just now that this is impossible.
Further, if we admit in the fullest sense that something exists
apart from the concrete thing, whenever something is predicated of the
matter, must there, if there is something apart, be something apart
from each set of individuals, or from some and not from others, or
from none? (A) If there is nothing apart from individuals, there
will be no object of thought, but all things will be objects of sense,
and there will not be knowledge of anything, unless we say that
sensation is knowledge. Further, nothing will be eternal or unmovable;
for all perceptible things perish and are in movement. But if there is
nothing eternal, neither can there be a process of coming to be; for
there must be something that comes to be, i.e. from which something
comes to be, and the ultimate term in this series cannot have come
to be, since the series has a limit and since nothing can come to be

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