all things. And if it is not the business of the philosopher, to whom else will it belong to inquire what is true and what is untrue about them?
In general, do all substances fall under one science or under more than one? If the latter, to what sort of substance is the present science to be assigned? On the other hand, it is not reasonable that one science should deal with all. For then there would be one demonstrative science dealing with all attributes. For every demonstrative science investigates with regard to some subject its essential attributes, starting from the common beliefs. Therefore to investigate the essential attributes of one subject, starting from one set of beliefs, is the business of one science. For the subject belongs to one science, and the premises belong to one, whether to the same or to another; so that the attributes also are investigated either by these sciences or by one derived from them.
Further, does our investigation deal with substances alone or also with their attributes? I mean for instance, if the solid is a substance and so are lines and planes, is it the business of the same science to know these and to know the attributes of each of these classes (the attributes which the mathematical sciences prove), or of a different science? If of the same, the science of substance also must be a demonstrative science; but it is thought that there is no demonstration of the essence of things. And if of another, what will be the science that investigates the attributes of substance? This is a very difficult question.
Further, must we say that sensible substances alone exist, or that there are others besides these? And are substances of one kind or are there several kinds of substances, as those say who assert the existence both of the Forms and of the intermediates with which they say the mathematical sciences deal?—In what sense we say the Forms are causes and substances in themselves has been explained in our first remarks
- With 996b26-997a15 cf. 995b7-10. For the answer cf. γ. 3.
- Cf. 996b28.
- 997a24: No really good sense can be made of the passage. With 997a15-25 cf. 995b10-13. For the answer cf. γ. 1004a2-9, e. 1.
- With 997a25-34 cf. 995b18-20. For the answer cf, γ. 1004b5-26.
- Cf. note on a. 990b 9.