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Section 12

12. It follows that we must allow contrariety to Quantity: whenever we speak of great and small, our notions acknowledge this contrariety by evolving opposite images, as also when we refer to many and few; indeed, "few" and "many" call for similar treatment to "small" and "great."

"Many," predicated of the inhabitants of a house, does duty for "more": "few" people are said to be in the theatre instead of "less."

"Many," again, necessarily involves a large numerical plurality. This plurality can scarcely be a relative; it is simply an expansion of number, its contrary being a contraction.

The same applies to the continuous [magnitude], the notion of which entails prolongation to a distant point.

Quantity, then, appears whenever there is a progression from the unit or the point: if either progression comes to a rapid halt, we have respectively "few" and "small"; if it goes forward and does not quickly cease, "many" and "great."

What, we may be asked, is the limit of this progression? What, we retort, is the limit of beauty, or of heat? Whatever limit you impose, there is always a "hotter"; yet "hotter" is accounted a relative, "hot" a pure quality.

In sum, just as there is a Reason-Principle of Beauty, so there must be a Reason-Principle of greatness, participation in which makes a thing great, as the Principle of beauty makes it beautiful.

To judge from these instances, there is contrariety in Quantity. Place we may neglect as not strictly coming under the category of Quantity; if it were admitted, "above" could only be a contrary if there were something in the universe which was "below": as referring to the partial, the terms "above" and "below" are used in a purely relative sense, and must go with "right" and "left" into the category of Relation.

Syllable and discourse are only indirectly quantities or substrates of Quantity; it is voice that is quantitative: but voice is a kind of Motion; it must accordingly in any case [quantity or no quantity] be referred to Motion, as must activity also.

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