I'm having a difficult time understanding this passage:
Last paragraph in part III of book 1,
Further, the state is by nature clearly prior to the family and to the individual, since the whole is of necessity prior to the part; for example, if the whole body be destroyed, there will be no foot or hand, except in an equivocal sense, as we might speak of a stone hand; for when destroyed the hand will be no better than that. But things are defined by their working and power; and we ought not to say that they are the same when they no longer have their proper quality, but only that they have the same name. The proof that the state is a creation of nature and prior to the individual is that the individual, when isolated, is not self-sufficing; and therefore he is like a part in relation to the whole.
Forgive me, but is Aristotle suggesting that the compound exists before the individual element? Maybe it is his wording that is throwing me off. What does he mean by "prior" in this passage?