Aristotle - index for METAPHYSICA Book 1 Part 9

Critique of Platonic forms

Paragraph 1 Let us leave the Pythagoreans for the present;
Paragraph 2 Further, of the ways in which we prove that the Forms exist, none is convincing;
Paragraph 3 And in general the arguments for the Forms destroy the things for whose existence we are more zealous than for the existence of the Ideas;
Paragraph 4 Further, according to the assumption on which our belief in the Ideas rests, there will be Forms not only of substances but also of many other things (for the concept is single not only in the case of substances but also in the other cases, and there are sciences not only of substance but also of other things, and a thousand other such difficulties confront them).
Paragraph 5 Above all one might discuss the question what on earth the Forms contribute to sensible things, either to those that are eternal or to those that come into being and cease to be.
Paragraph 6 But, further, all other things cannot come from the Forms in any of the usual senses of 'from'.
Paragraph 7 Again, it would seem impossible that the substance and that of which it is the substance should exist apart;
Paragraph 8 Again, if the Forms are numbers, how can they be causes?
Paragraph 9 Again, from many numbers one number is produced, but how can one Form come from many Forms?
Paragraph 10 Further, they must set up a second kind of number (with which arithmetic deals), and all the objects which are called 'intermediate' by some thinkers;
Paragraph 11 Further, the units must each come from a prior but this is impossible.
Paragraph 12 Further, why is a number, when taken all together, one?
Paragraph 13 Again, besides what has been said, if the units are diverse the Platonists should have spoken like those who say there are four, or two, elements;
Paragraph 14 When we wish to reduce substances to their principles, we state that lines come from the short and long (i.e. from a kind of small and great), and the plane from the broad and narrow, and body from the deep and shallow.
Paragraph 15 In general, though philosophy seeks the cause of perceptible things, we have given this up (for we say nothing of the cause from which change takes its start), but while we fancy we are stating the substance of perceptible things, we assert the existence of a second class of substances, while our account of the way in which they are the substances of perceptible things is empty talk;
Paragraph 16 Nor have the Forms any connexion with what we see to be the cause in the case of the arts, that for whose sake both all mind and the whole of nature are operative,-with this cause which we assert to be one of the first principles;
Paragraph 17 And what is thought to be easy - to show that all things are one - is not done;
Paragraph 18 Nor can it be explained either how the lines and planes and solids that come after the numbers exist or can exist, or what significance they have;
Paragraph 19 In general, if we search for the elements of existing things without distinguishing the many senses in which things are said to exist, we cannot find them, especially if the search for the elements of which things are made is conducted in this manner.
Paragraph 20 And how could we learn the elements of all things?
Paragraph 21 Again, how is one to come to know what all things are made of, and how is this to be made evident?
Paragraph 22 Further, how could we know the objects of sense without having the sense in question?

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