And in general the arguments for the Forms destroy the things for whose existence those who maintain the Forms are more anxious than for the existence of the Ideas; for it follows that not the dyad but number is first, i. e. that the relative is prior to the absolute,—besides all the other points on which certain people by following out the opinions held about the Ideas have come into conflict with the principles of the theory.
Further, according to the assumption on which our belief in the Ideas rests, there will be Forms not only of substances but also of many other things (for the concept is single not only in the case of substances but also in the other cases, and there are sciences not only of substance but also of other things, and a thousand other such conclusions also follow). But according to the necessities of the case and the opinions held about the Forms, if they can be shared there must be Ideas of substances only. For they are not shared incidentally, but a thing must share in its Form as in something not predicated of a subject (e. g. if a thing shares in 'double itself', it shares also in 'eternal', but incidentally; for 'eternal' happens to be predicable of the 'double'). Therefore the Forms will be substance; and the same terms indicate substance in this and in the ideal world (or what will be the meaning of saying that there is something apart from the particulars—the one over many?). And if the Ideas and the particulars that share them have the same Form, there will be something common to these; for why should '2' be one and the same in the perishable 2's or in those which are many but eternal, and not the same in the '2 itself' as in the particular 2? But if they have not the same Form, they must have only the name in common, and it is as if one were to call both Callias and a wooden image a 'man', without observing any community between them.
- Sc. the 'indefinite 2' which Plato held to be one of the first principles of number.
- i. e. number, which is relative, is prior to the indefinite 2, which Plato held to be an absolute first principle.
- This seems to be an enthymeme, the conclusion to be supplied being that the Forms, since they are substances, must be of substances.
- With 990a34-991b8 cf. m. 1078b32-1079b3.