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Section 12

12. Enough upon that side of the question. But how does the perfection [goodness] of numbers, lifeless things, depend upon their particular unity? Just as all other inanimates find their perfection in their unity.

If it should be objected that numbers are simply non-existent, we should point out that our discussion is concerned [not with units as such, but] with beings considered from the aspect of their unity.

We may again be asked how the point- supposing its independent existence granted- participates in perfection. If the point is chosen as an inanimate object, the question applies to all such objects: but perfection does exist in such things, for example in a circle: the perfection of the circle will be perfection for the point; it will aspire to this perfection and strive to attain it, as far as it can, through the circle.

But how are the five genera to be regarded? Do they form particulars by being broken up into parts? No; the genus exists as a whole in each of the things whose genus it is.

But how, at that, can it remain a unity? The unity of a genus must be considered as a whole-in-many.

Does it exist then only in the things participating in it? No; it has an independent existence of its own as well. But this will, no doubt, become clearer as we proceed.

Next: Section 13