Maria Varlamova. The One and the Same as the Properties of Being in Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Vol. 1. No. 2. 2016

Publication Details

The One and the Same as the Properties of Being in Aristotle’s Metaphysics
Title in the language of publication: Единое и тождественное как свойства сущего в «Метафизике» Аристотеля
Maria Varlamova
PhD in Philosophy, Research Fellow at the Research and Education Center for Religion, Philosophy, and Culture Studies at St. Petersburg State University of Aerospace Instrumentation.
Address: 67A Bolshaya Morskaia str., Saint-Petersburg, 190000, Russia.
P. 305–328.
Language: Russian
Document type: Research Article
Acknowledgments:  The present study is a part of the project No. 16-03-00047, “The followers of John Duns Scotus in the XIVth–XVIth centuries Scholasticism: Problems of Epistemology and Metaphysics”, implemented with a financial support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research.


The article addresses the issue of the one/multiple and identical/different in Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Unity and sameness are the two most significant properties of beings, which in Aristotle’s view should be considered in the first philosophy along with being as such and substance. In the introduction the role of the same as a kind of being in Plato’s dialectics is demonstrated. Then the article explicates different contexts of discussing unity and sameness in Aristotle’s treatises such as Metaphysics, Topics and On categories. Several aspects are underlined, necessary to understand the role of these properties of being in Aristotelian science. Firstly, the one and the same are considered together with their opposites, the multiple and the different, the same and the different being reduced to the one and the multiple. Secondly, much like being itself, they are predicated in many ways, but always related to one thing, which is substance. Essence or quiddity expressed in a definition is a principle of a being and the basis of predication of its properties: something that has an essence is one and the same. Both the same and the different reduce to the one and the multiple; however, if unity accompanies a being, is interconvertible with it and is said about the being absolutely, without relation to multiplicity, then the same and the different are related opposites: sameness is predicated about many beings, different in some aspect, and sameness as commonality in some respect is necessary for stating difference. In the final part of the paper the issue of the unity of essence as an object of definition and knowledge and as a substrate one in number is addressed within the problem of one and identical.


Aristotle, sameness, one, many, distinction, being, essence, metaphysics.


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© Maria Varlamova, 2016

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