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On The Heavens   

case, and equally on the view that no such entity has a separate

existence. For in every case in which the essence is in matter it is a

fact of observation that the particulars of like form are several or

infinite in number. Hence there either are, or may be, more heavens

than one. On these grounds, then, it might be inferred either that

there are or that there might be several heavens. We must, however,

return and ask how much of this argument is correct and how much not.

Now it is quite right to say that the formula of the shape apart

from the matter must be different from that of the shape in the

matter, and we may allow this to be true. We are not, however,

therefore compelled to assert a plurality of worlds. Such a

plurality is in fact impossible if this world contains the entirety of

matter, as in fact it does. But perhaps our contention can be made

clearer in this way. Suppose 'aquilinity' to be curvature in the

nose or flesh, and flesh to be the matter of aquilinity. Suppose

further, that all flesh came together into a single whole of flesh

endowed with this aquiline quality. Then neither would there be, nor

could there arise, any other thing that was aquiline. Similarly,

suppose flesh and bones to be the matter of man, and suppose a man

to be created of all flesh and all bones in indissoluble union. The

possibility of another man would be removed. Whatever case you took it

would be the same. The general rule is this: a thing whose essence

resides in a substratum of matter can never come into being in the

absence of all matter. Now the universe is certainly a particular

and a material thing: if however, it is composed not of a part but

of the whole of matter, then though the being of 'universe' and of

'this universe' are still distinct, yet there is no other universe,

and no possibility of others being made, because all the matter is

already included in this. It remains, then, only to prove that it is

composed of all natural perceptible body.

First, however, we must explain what we mean by 'heaven' and in

how many senses we use the word, in order to make clearer the object

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