Page:Metaphysics by Aristotle Ross 1908 (deannotated).djvu/65

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998b
B. BOOK III

should be a genus of things; for the differentiae of any genus must each of them both have being and be one, but it is not possible for the genus to be predicated of the differentiae taken apart from the species (any more than for the species of the genus to be predicated of the proper differentiae of the genus); so that if unity or being is a genus, no differentia will either be one or have being. But if unity and being are not genera, neither will they be principles, if the genera are the principles.—Again, the intermediate classes, whose concepts include the differentiae, will on this theory be genera, down to the individuals; 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 prior to the divisible, 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 in the indivisible species one member is not prior and another posterior. Further, where one 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; and for what reason should we suppose