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Section 12

12. We may be told that unity and monad have no real existence, that the only unity is some definite object that is one thing, so that all comes to an attitude of the mind towards things considered singly.

But, to begin with, why at this should not the affirmation of Being pass equally as an attitude of mind so that Being too must disappear? No doubt Being strikes and stings and gives the impression of reality; but we find ourselves just as vividly struck and impressed in the presence of unity. Besides, is this attitude, this concept itself, a unity or a manifold? When we deny the unity of an object, clearly the unity mentioned is not supplied by the object, since we are saying it has none; the unity therefore is within ourselves, something latent in our minds independently of any concrete one thing.

[An objector speaks-] "But the unity we thus possess comes by our acceptance of a certain idea or impression from things external; it is a notion derived from an object. Those that take the notion of numbers and of unity to be but one species of the notions held to be inherent in the mind must allow to numbers and to unity the reality they ascribe to any of the others, and upon occasion they must be met; but no such real existence can be posited when the concept is taken to be an attitude or notion rising in us as a by-product of the objects; this happens when we say "This," "What," and still more obviously in the affirmations "Crowd," "Festival," "Army," "Multiplicity." As multiplicity is nothing apart from certain constituent items and the festival nothing apart from the people gathered happily at the rites, so when we affirm unity we are not thinking of some Oneness self-standing, unrelated. And there are many other such cases; for instance "on the right," "Above" and their opposites; what is there of reality about this "On-the-right-ness" but the fact that two different positions are occupied? So with "Above": "Above" and "Below" are a mere matter of position and have no significance outside of this sphere.

Now in answer to this series of objections our first remark is that there does exist an actuality implicit in each one of the relations cited; though this is not the same for all or the same for correlatives or the same for every reference to unity.

But these objections must be taken singly.

Next: Section 13