Problem of Ontological Difference [355-357]

time. Ἐπεὶ δ᾿ ἀριθμὸς ὁ χρόνος, τὸ μὲν νῦν καὶ τὸ πρότερον καὶ ὅσα τοιαῦτα οὕτως ἐν χρόνῳ ὡς ἐν ἀριθμῷ μονὰς καὶ τὸ περιττὸν καὶ ἄρτιον (τὰ μὲν γὰρ τοῦ ἀριθμοῦ τι, τὰ δὲ τοῦ χρόνου τί ἐστιν)· τὰ δὲ πράγματα ὡς ἐν ἀριθμῷ τῷ χρόνῳ ἐστίν. εἰ δὲ τοῦτο, περιέχεται ὑπὸ χρόνου ὥσπερ (καὶ τὰ ἐν ἀριθμῷ ὑπ᾿ ἀριθμοῦ) καὶ τὰ ἐν τόπῳ ὑπὸ τόπου.38 The nows are indeed in a certain sense themselves in time, so far as they constitute time. But motion and the moving thing are in time, not in the sense that they belong to time itself, but in the way in which what is counted is in number. The even and odd are in the numbers themselves, but what is counted is also, in a certain way, in the numbers that do the counting. As the counted is in number, so motion is in time. That which is in time, the moving thing, περιέχεται ὑπ᾿ ἀριθμοῦ,39 is embraced by the counting number. Time does not itself belong to motion but embraces it. The intratemporality of a being means its being embraced by time (now) as number (counted). The factor of the περιέχεσθαι, being embraced, stresses that time does not itself belong among the beings which are in time. So far as we measure a being, either in motion or at rest, by time, we come back from the time that embraces and measures the moving thing to that which is to be measured. If we remain with the image of embrace, time is that which is further outside, as compared with movements and with all beings that move or are at rest. It embraces or holds around the moving and resting things. We may designate it by an expression whose beauty may be contested: time has the character of a holdaround, since it holds beings—moving and resting—around. In a suitable sense we can call time, as this holder-around, a "container," provided we do not take "container" in the literal sense of a receptacle like a glass or a box but retain simply the formal element of holding-around.

Given that time embraces beings, it is required that it should somehow be before beings, before things moving and at rest, encompassing them. Kant calls time the "wherein of an order." It is an embracing horizon within which things given can be ordered with respect to their succession.

Due to its transitionary character, says Aristotle, time always measures only the moving thing or else the moving thing in its limiting case, the thing at rest. Μετρήσει δ᾿ ὁ χρόνος τὸ κινούμενον καὶ τὸ ἠρεμοῦν, ᾗ τὸ μὲν

38. Physica, 5, 221a 13-18. [Cf.: "Now taking time as a number scale (a) the 'now' and the 'before' and suchlike exist in time as the monad and the odd and even exist in number (for these latter pertain to number just in the same way in which the former pertain to time); but (b) events have their places in time in a sense analogous to that in which any numbered group of things exist in number (i.e., in such and such a definite number). and such things as these are embraced in number (i.e., in time) as things that have locality are embraced in their places." Wicksteed and Cornford, pp. 401-403.]

39. Ibid.