Page:Metaphysics by Aristotle Ross 1908 (deannotated).djvu/67

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999b
B. BOOK III

must also be a limit; for no movement is infinite, but every movement has an end, and that which is incapable of completing its coming to be cannot be in process of coming to be; and that which has completed its coming to be must be as soon as it has come to be.[1]—Further, since the matter exists,[2] because it is ungenerated, it is a fortiori reasonable that the substance or essence, that which the matter is at any time coming to be, should exist; for if neither essence nor matter is, nothing will be at all. And since this is impossible there must be something besides the concrete thing, viz. the shape or form.—But again (2) if we are to suppose this, it is hard to say in which cases we are to suppose it and in which not. For evidently it is not possible to suppose it in all cases; we could not suppose that there is a house besides the particular houses.—Besides this, will the substance of all the individuals, e.g. of all men, be one? This is paradoxical, for all the things whose substance is on this view one are not one. But are they many and different? This also is unreasonable.—At the same time, how does the matter become each of the individuals, and how is the concrete thing these two elements?[3]

Again, one might ask the following question also about the first principles. If they are one in kind only, nothing will be numerically one, not even unity-itself and being-itself. And how will it be possible to know, if there is not to be something common to a whole set of individuals? But if there is a common element which is numerically one, and each of the principles is one, and the principles are not as in the case of perceptible things different for different things (e.g. since this particular syllable is the same in kind whenever it occurs, the elements of it are also the same in kind; only in kind, for these also, like the syllable, are numerically different in different contexts),—if the principles of things are not one in this sense, but are numerically one, there will be nothing else besides the elements; for there is no difference of meaning between

  1. Sc. and thus there is a limit to its coming to be.
  2. Sc. before the concrete thing.
  3. With 999a24-b24 cf. 995b31-36. For the answer cf. z. 6, λ. 6-10, m 10.