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Section 9

9. So much for one of the genera- the "Substance," so called, of the Sensible realm.

But what are we to posit as its species? how divide this genus?

The genus as a whole must be identified with body. Bodies may be divided into the characteristically material and the organic: the material bodies comprise fire, earth, water, air; the organic the bodies of plants and animals, these in turn admitting of formal differentiation.

The next step is to find the species of earth and of the other elements, and in the case of organic bodies to distinguish plants according to their forms, and the bodies of animals either by their habitations- on the earth, in the earth, and similarly for the other elements- or else as light, heavy and intermediate. Some bodies, we shall observe, stand in the middle of the universe, others circumscribe it from above, others occupy the middle sphere: in each case we shall find bodies different in shape, so that the bodies of the living beings of the heavens may be differentiated from those of the other elements.

Once we have classified bodies into the four species, we are ready to combine them on a different principle, at the same time intermingling their differences of place, form and constitution; the resultant combinations will be known as fiery or earthy on the basis of the excess or predominance of some one element.

The distinction between First and Second Substances, between Fire and a given example of fire, entails a difference of a peculiar kind- the difference between universal and particular. This however is not a difference characteristic of Substance; there is also in Quality the distinction between whiteness and the white object, between grammar and some particular grammar.

The question may here be asked: "What deficiency has grammar compared with a particular grammar, and science as a whole in comparison with a science?" Grammar is certainly not posterior to the particular grammar: on the contrary, the grammar as in you depends upon the prior existence of grammar as such: the grammar as in you becomes a particular by the fact of being in you; it is otherwise identical with grammar the universal.

Turn to the case of Socrates: it is not Socrates who bestows manhood upon what previously was not Man, but Man upon Socrates; the individual man exists by participation in the universal.

Besides, Socrates is merely a particular instance of Man; this particularity can have no effect whatever in adding to his essential manhood.

We may be told that Man [the universal] is Form alone, Socrates Form in Matter. But on this very ground Socrates will be less fully Man than the universal; for the Reason-Principle will be less effectual in Matter. If, on the contrary, Man is not determined by Form alone, but presupposes Matter, what deficiency has Man in comparison with the material manifestation of Man, or the Reason-Principle in isolation as compared with its embodiment in a unit of Matter?

Besides, the more general is by nature prior; hence, the Form-Idea is prior to the individual: but what is prior by nature is prior unconditionally. How then can the Form take a lower rank? The individual, it is true, is prior in the sense of being more readily accessible to our cognisance; this fact, however, entails no objective difference.

Moreover, such a difference, if established, would be incompatible with a single Reason-Principle of Substance; First and Second Substance could not have the same Principle, nor be brought under a single genus.

Next: Section 10