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Section 11

11. Passing to Quantity and the quantum, we have to consider the view which identifies them with number and magnitude on the ground that everything quantitative is numbered among Sensible things or rated by the extension of its substrate: we are here, of course, discussing not Quantity in isolation, but that which causes a piece of wood to be three yards long and gives the five in "five horses,"

Now we have often maintained that number and magnitude are to be regarded as the only true quantities, and that Space and Time have no right to be conceived as quantitative: Time as the measure of Motion should be assigned to Relation, while Space, being that which circumscribes Body, is also a relative and falls under the same category; though continuous, it is, like Motion, not included in Quantity.

On the other hand, why do we not find in the category of Quantity "great" and "small"? It is some kind of Quantity which gives greatness to the great; greatness is not a relative, though greater and smaller are relatives, since these, like doubleness, imply an external correlative.

What is it, then, which makes a mountain small and a grain of millet large? Surely, in the first place, "small" is equivalent to "smaller." It is admitted that the term is applied only to things of the same kind, and from this admission we may infer that the mountain is "smaller" rather than "small," and that the grain of millet is not large in any absolute sense but large for a grain of millet. In other words, since the comparison is between things of the same kind, the natural predicate would be a comparative.

Again, why is not beauty classed as a relative? Beauty, unlike greatness, we regard as absolute and as a quality; "more beautiful" is the relative. Yet even the term "beautiful" may be attached to something which in a given relation may appear ugly: the beauty of man, for example, is ugliness when compared with that of the gods; "the most beautiful of monkeys," we may quote, "is ugly in comparison with any other type." Nonetheless, a thing is beautiful in itself; as related to something else it is either more or less beautiful.

Similarly, an object is great in itself, and its greatness is due, not to any external, but to its own participation in the Absolute Great.

Are we actually to eliminate the beautiful on the pretext that there is a more beautiful? No more then must we eliminate the great because of the greater: the greater can obviously have no existence whatever apart from the great, just as the more beautiful can have no existence without the beautiful.

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