Page:Metaphysics by Aristotle Ross 1908 (deannotated).djvu/79

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1004a
Γ. BOOK IV

we named above, the other and the dissimilar and the unequal, and everything else which is derived either from these or from plurality and unity, must fall within the province of the science above-named.—And contrariety is one of these concepts, for contrariety is a kind of difference, and difference is a kind of otherness. Therefore, since there are many senses in which a thing is said to be one, these terms also will have many senses, but yet it belongs to one science to consider them all; for a term belongs to different sciences not if it has different senses, but if its definitions neither are identical nor can be referred to one central meaning. And since all things are referred to that which is primary, as for instance all things which are one are referred to the primary one, we must say that this holds good also of the same and the other and of contraries in general; so that after distinguishing the various senses of each, we must then explain by reference to what is primary in each term, saying how they are related to it; some in the sense that they possess it, others in the sense that they produce it, and others in other such ways.

It is evident then[1] that it belongs to one science to be able to give an account of these concepts as well as of substance. This was one of the questions in our book of problems.

And it is the function of the philosopher to be able to investigate all things. For if it is not the function of the philosopher, who is it who will inquire whether Socrates and Socrates seated are the same thing, or whether one thing has one contrary, or what contrariety is, or how many meanings it has? And similarly with all other such questions. Since, then, these are essential modifications of unity qua unity and of being qua being, not qua numbers or lines or fire, it is clear that it belongs to this science to investigate both the essence of these concepts and their properties. And those who study these properties err not by leaving the sphere of philosophy,[2] but by forgetting that substance, of which they have no correct idea, is prior to these other things. For number qua

  1. i. e. b. 995b20-27.
  2. Sc. which they do not do.