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Section 2

2. Our first observations must be directed to what passes in the Sensible realm for Substance. It is, we shall agree, only by analogy that the nature manifested in bodies is designated as Substance, and by no means because such terms as Substance or Being tally with the notion of bodies in flux; the proper term would be Becoming.

But Becoming is not a uniform nature; bodies comprise under the single head simples and composites, together with accidentals or consequents, these last themselves capable of separate classification.

Alternatively, Becoming may be divided into Matter and the Form imposed upon Matter. These may be regarded each as a separate genus, or else both may be brought under a single category and receive alike the name of Substance.

But what, we may ask, have Matter and Form in common? In what sense can Matter be conceived as a genus, and what will be its species? What is the differentia of Matter? In which genus, Matter or Form, are we to rank the composite of both? It may be this very composite which constitutes the Substance manifested in bodies, neither of the components by itself answering to the conception of Body: how, then, can we rank them in one and the same genus as the composite? How can the elements of a thing be brought within the same genus as the thing itself? Yet if we begin with bodies, our first-principles will be compounds.

Why not resort to analogy? Admitted that the classification of the Sensible cannot proceed along the identical lines marked out for the Intellectual: is there any reason why we should not for Intellectual-Being substitute Matter, and for Intellectual Motion substitute Sensible Form, which is in a sense the life and consummation of Matter? The inertia of Matter would correspond with Stability, while the Identity and Difference of the Intellectual would find their counterparts in the similarity and diversity which obtain in the Sensible realm.

But, in the first place, Matter does not possess or acquire Form as its life or its Act; Form enters it from without, and remains foreign to its nature. Secondly, Form in the Intellectual is an Act and a motion; in the Sensible Motion is different from Form and accidental to it: Form in relation to Matter approximates rather to Stability than to Motion; for by determining Matter's indetermination it confers upon it a sort of repose.

In the higher realm Identity and Difference presuppose a unity at once identical and different: a thing in the lower is different only by participation in Difference and in relation to some other thing; Identity and Difference are here predicated of the particular, which is not, as in that realm, a posterior.

As for Stability, how can it belong to Matter, which is distorted into every variety of mass, receiving its forms from without, and even with the aid of these forms incapable of offspring.

This mode of division must accordingly be abandoned.

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