Sacred Texts
Classics
Index
Previous
Next

#### Section 13

13. We turn to ask why Quantity is not included among the
primary genera, and Quality also.

Quantity is not among the primaries, because these are
permanently
associated with Being. Motion is bound up with Actual Being
[Being-in-Act], since it is its life; with Motion, Stability too
gained its foothold in Reality; with these are associated Difference
and Identity, so that they also are seen in conjunction with Being.
But number [the basis of Quantity] is a posterior. It is
posterior not
only with regard to these genera but also within itself; in
number the
posterior is divided from the prior; this is a sequence in which the
posteriors are latent in the priors [and do not appear
simultaneously]. Number therefore cannot be included among
the primary
genera; whether it constitutes a genus at all remains to be examined.

Magnitude [extended quantity] is in a still higher degree
posterior and composite, for it contains within itself number, line
and surface. Now if continuous magnitude derives its quantity from
number, and number is not a genus, how can magnitude hold
that status?
Besides, magnitudes, like numbers, admit of priority and
posteriority.

If, then, Quantity be constituted by a common element in both
number and magnitude, we must ascertain the nature of this common
element, and consider it, once discovered, as a posterior genus, not
as one of the Primaries: thus failing of primary status, it must be
related, directly or indirectly, to one of the Primaries.

We may take it as clear that it is the nature of Quantity to
indicate a certain quantum, and to measure the quantum of the
particular; Quantity is moreover, in a sense, itself a
quantum. But if
the quantum is the common element in number and magnitude, either we
have number as a primary with magnitude derived from it, or else
number must consist of a blending of Motion and Stability, while
magnitude will be a form of Motion or will originate in
Motion, Motion
going forth to infinity and Stability creating the unit by checking
that advance.

But the problem of the origin of number and magnitude, or rather
of how they subsist and are conceived, must be held over. It may,
thus, be found that number is among the primary genera, while
magnitude is posterior and composite; or that number belongs to the
genus Stability, while magnitude must be consigned to Motion. But we
propose to discuss all this at a later stage.

Next: Section 14