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Section 30

30. With regard to States:

It may seem strange that States should be set up as a third class- or whatever class it is- since all States are referable to Matter. We shall be told that there is a difference among States, and that a State as in Matter has definite characteristics distinguishing it from all other States and further that, whereas Qualities are States of Matter, States properly so-called belong to Qualities. But if Qualities are nothing but States of Matter, States [in the strict sense of the term] are ultimately reducible to Matter, and under Matter they must be classed.

Further, how can States constitute a single genus, when there is such manifold diversity among them? How can we group together three yards long" and "white"- Quantity and Quality respectively? Or again Time and Place? How can "yesterday," "last year," "in the Lyceum," "in the Academy," be States at all? How can Time be in any sense a State? Neither is Time a State nor the events in Time, neither the objects in Space nor Space itself.

And how can Action be a State? One acting is not in a state of being but in a state of Action, or rather in Action simply: no state is involved. Similarly, what is predicated of the patient is not a state of being but a state of Passion, or strictly, Passion unqualified by state.

But it would seem that State was the right category at least for cases of Situation and Possession: yet Possession does not imply possession of some particular state, but is Possession absolute.

As for the Relative State, if the theory does not include it in the same genus as the other States, another question arises: we must enquire whether any actuality is attributed to this particular type of relation, for to many types actuality is denied.

It is, moreover, absurd that an entity which depends upon the prior existence of other entities should be classed in the same genus with those priors: one and two must, clearly, exist, before half and double can.

The various speculations on the subject of the Existents and the principles of the Existents, whether they have entailed an infinite or a finite number, bodily or bodiless, or even supposed the Composite to be the Authentic Existent, may well be considered separately with the help of the criticisms made by the ancients upon them.