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Section 29

29. Qualities must be for this school distinct from Substrates. This in fact they acknowledge by counting them as the second category. If then they form a distinct category, they must be simplex; that is to say they are not composite; that is to say that as qualities, pure and simple, they are devoid of Matter: hence they are bodiless and active, since Matter is their substrate- a relation of passivity.

If however they hold Qualities to be composite, that is a strange classification which first contrasts simple and composite qualities, then proceeds to include them in one genus, and finally includes one of the two species [simple] in the other [composite]; it is like dividing knowledge into two species, the first comprising grammatical knowledge, the second made up of grammatical and other knowledge.

Again, if they identify Qualities with qualifications of Matter, then in the first place even their Seminal Principles [Logoi] will be material and will not have to reside in Matter to produce a composite, but prior to the composite thus produced they will themselves be composed of Matter and Form: in other words, they will not be Forms or Principles. Further, if they maintain that the Seminal Principles are nothing but Matter in a certain state, they evidently identify Qualities with States, and should accordingly classify them in their fourth genus. If this is a state of some peculiar kind, what precisely is its differentia? Clearly the state by its association with Matter receives an accession of Reality: yet if that means that when divorced from Matter it is not a Reality, how can State be treated as a single genus or species? Certainly one genus cannot embrace the Existent and the Non-existent.

And what is this state implanted in Matter? It is either real, or unreal: if real, absolutely bodiless: if unreal, it is introduced to no purpose; Matter is all there is; Quality therefore is nothing. The same is true of State, for that is even more unreal; the alleged Fourth Category more so.

Matter then is the sole Reality. But how do we come to know this? Certainly not from Matter itself. How, then? From Intellect? But Intellect is merely a state of Matter, and even the "state" is an empty qualification. We are left after all with Matter alone competent to make these assertions, to fathom these problems. And if its assertions were intelligent, we must wonder how it thinks and performs the functions of Soul without possessing either Intellect or Soul. If, then, it were to make foolish assertions, affirming itself to be what it is not and cannot be, to what should we ascribe this folly? Doubtless to Matter, if it was in truth Matter that spoke. But Matter does not speak; anyone who says that it does proclaims the predominance of Matter in himself; he may have a soul, but he is utterly devoid of Intellect, and lives in ignorance of himself and of the faculty alone capable of uttering the truth in these things.

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