You are on page 1of 15
The Category of Quantity ‘The frst genus Aristotle considers is that of substance. Im- diately after, he begins his treatment of the category of quantity. 230 LAVAL mEéOLOGIQUE BT PHTLOSOPHIQUE ‘St. Albert the Great tells us why the treatment of quantity comes ‘immediately after that of substance and before the treatment of the other accidents.” che accidents, he tel juantity and quality are predicated of substance absolutely. ‘quantity pre- cedes quality beomuse without quantity, a substan ‘considered as eceptive of qualitative forms, at of the third and fourth of quality, e., the passive qualities (such as eolor) and figure m2 Therefore, becouse quantity is in substance prior to quantity ant be teated befor ll the other predieamental ‘mum carecony oF quanrerr 231 15 tAnd he begins his treatment of quality by a definition also : By ‘quality’ T mean that in virtue of which people are said to be Yet Arstotle doesnot bxin to eonsider quantity by giving dtnition "Therefore, not having a defini ‘might be revealed in some way, It of things posterior to it 7. ‘What St, Albert says here first only tends to deepen the mys- “tery, | If the only possible definition af quantity (the measure of subs- tance) does not have a single meaning, how can quantity be # genus? yr analogously. genus is predicated of its 5 neither equivocally nor analogously. ‘That quantity i not predicated equivocally of the continuous “hid'diserete is evident, for we predieate quantity of the two beceuse of Reema already evident from the fast that neither the continuous Giserete is ealled “quantity” with reference to the other in ‘way that one would be considered as having the nature of ity more than the other. Tet us summarize the problem as it now stands. Quantity is fet this genus does not have one definition. Why should this be so? iow can there be a univocal namo without oneness in definition ? 1. Once we realize the kind of genua quantity is, we can see why wuld be 20, For there could bo no essential definition of quan [r. dua, Ds Prasdeamant, enc TT, hI we can easily seo that our knowledge of itis 20 potential and vague, ‘the gemus so common, that we cannot provide & suitable definition, Avistll, therefore, males the genus known by ils infeviors, continuous and disorete quantity ‘hich include these species are 1+ ‘The ultimate ‘among these genera is the eategory of substance. Hence, we can see that the category of substance is made manifest or defined by its in- feriors. The same thing holds true of quantity. means thet by’ which each js fist Imown, and the measure of eaoh i unit in length, im breadth, in