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Metaphysics   


differentiae. Again (4) in definitions the first constituent
element, which is included in the 'what', is the genus, whose
differentiae the qualities are said to be 'Genus' then is used in
all these ways, (1) in reference to continuous generation of the
same kind, (2) in reference to the first mover which is of the same
kind as the things it moves, (3) as matter; for that to which the
differentia or quality belongs is the substratum, which we call
matter.
Those things are said to be 'other in genus' whose proximate
substratum is different, and which are not analysed the one into the
other nor both into the same thing (e.g. form and matter are different
in genus); and things which belong to different categories of being
(for some of the things that are said to 'be' signify essence,
others a quality, others the other categories we have before
distinguished); these also are not analysed either into one another or
into some one thing.
29

'The false' means (1) that which is false as a thing, and that (a)
because it is not put together or cannot be put together, e.g. 'that
the diagonal of a square is commensurate with the side' or 'that you
are sitting'; for one of these is false always, and the other
sometimes; it is in these two senses that they are non-existent. (b)
There are things which exist, but whose nature it is to appear
either not to be such as they are or to be things that do not exist,
e.g. a sketch or a dream; for these are something, but are not the
things the appearance of which they produce in us. We call things
false in this way, then,-either because they themselves do not
exist, or because the appearance which results from them is that of
something that does not exist.
(2) A false account is the account of non-existent objects, in
so far as it is false. Hence every account is false when applied to
something other than that of which it is true; e.g. the account of a
circle is false when applied to a triangle. In a sense there is one
account of each thing, i.e. the account of its essence, but in a sense
there are many, since the thing itself and the thing itself with an
attribute are in a sense the same, e.g. Socrates and musical
Socrates (a false account is not the account of anything, except in
a qualified sense). Hence Antisthenes was too simple-minded when he
claimed that nothing could be described except by the account proper
to it,-one predicate to one subject; from which the conclusion used to
be drawn that there could be no contradiction, and almost that there
could be no error. But it is possible to describe each thing not
only by the account of itself, but also by that of something else.
This may be done altogether falsely indeed, but there is also a way in
which it may be done truly; e.g. eight may be described as a double
number by the use of the definition of two.

These things, then, are called false in these senses, but (3) a
false man is one who is ready at and fond of such accounts, not for
any other reason but for their own sake, and one who is good at
impressing such accounts on other people, just as we say things are
which produce a false appearance. This is why the proof in the Hippias
that the same man is false and true is misleading. For it assumes that
he is false who can deceive (i.e. the man who knows and is wise);
and further that he who is willingly bad is better. This is a false
result of induction-for a man who limps willingly is better than one
who does so unwillingly-by 'limping' Plato means 'mimicking a limp',
for if the man were lame willingly, he would presumably be worse in
this case as in the corresponding case of moral character.
30

'Accident' means (1) that which attaches to something and can be
truly asserted, but neither of necessity nor usually, e.g. if some one

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