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Aristotle METAPHYSICA Book 5 Part 28

Race and genus

1. The term 'race' or 'genus' is used: -

2. (1) if generation of things which have the same form is continuous, e.g. 'while the race of men lasts' means 'while the generation of them goes on continuously'.

3. (2) It is used with reference to that which first brought things into existence; for it is thus that some are called Hellenes by race and others Ionians, because the former proceed from Hellen and the latter from Ion as their first begetter. And the word is used in reference to the begetter more than to the matter, though people also get a race-name from the female, e.g. 'the descendants of Pyrrha'.

4. (3) There is genus in the sense in which 'plane' is the genus of plane figures and 'solid' of solids; for each of the figures is in the one case a plane of such and such a kind, and in the other a solid of such and such a kind; and this is what underlies the differentiae.

5. Again (4) in definitions the first constituent element, which is included in the 'what', is the genus, whose differentiae the qualities are said to be 'Genus' then is used in all these ways, (1) in reference to continuous generation of the same kind, (2) in reference to the first mover which is of the same kind as the things it moves, (3) as matter; for that to which the differentia or quality belongs is the substratum, which we call matter.

6. Those things are said to be 'other in genus' whose proximate substratum is different, and which are not analysed the one into the other nor both into the same thing (e.g. form and matter are different in genus); and things which belong to different categories of being (for some of the things that are said to 'be' signify essence, others a quality, others the other categories we have before distinguished); these also are not analysed either into one another or into some one thing.


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