Page:Metaphysics by Aristotle Ross 1908 (deannotated).djvu/85

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1006b
Γ. BOOK IV

beginning,[1] that the name has a meaning and has one meaning; it is impossible, then, that 'being a man' should mean precisely 'not being a man', if 'man' is not only predicable of one subject but also has one meaning (for we do not identify 'having one meaning' with 'being predicable of one subject', since on that assumption even 'musical' and 'white' and 'man' would have had one meaning, so that all things would have been one; for they would all have had the same meaning).

And it will not be possible for the same thing to be and not to be, except in virtue of an ambiguity, just as one whom we call 'man', others might call 'not-man'; but the point in question is not this, whether the same thing can at the same time be and not be a man in name, but whether it can in fact. Now if 'man' and 'not-man' mean nothing different, obviously 'not being a man' will mean nothing different from 'being a man'; so that 'being a man' will be 'not being a man'; for they will be one. For being one means this—what we find in the case of 'raiment' and 'dress'—viz. that the definitory formula is one. And if 'being a man' and 'not being a man' are to be one, they must mean one thing. But it was shown earlier that they mean different things. Therefore, if it is true to say of anything that it is a man, it must be a two-footed animal; for this was what 'man' meant; and if this is necessary, it is impossible that the same thing should not be a two-footed animal; for this is what 'being necessary' means—that it is impossible for the thing not to be. It is, then, impossible that it should be at the same time true to say the same thing is a man and is not a man.

The same account holds good with regard to 'not being man', for 'being man' and 'being not-man' mean different things, since even 'being white' and 'being man' are different; for the former terms are much more opposed, so that they must a fortiori mean different things. And if any one says that 'white' means one and the same thing as 'man', again we shall say the same as what was said before, that it would follow that all things are one, and not only opposites. But if this is impossible, then what has been said will follow, if our opponent answers our question.

  1. a31.