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PARMENIDES by Plato, Part 03


Impossible.
But then, that which contains must be other than that which is contained? for the same whole cannot do and suffer both at once; and if so, one will be no longer one, but two?

True.
Then one cannot be anywhere, either in itself or in another?
No.
Further consider, whether that which is of such a nature can have either rest or motion.

Why not?
Why, because the one, if it were moved, would be either moved in place or changed in nature; for these are the only kinds of motion.

Yes.
And the one, when it changes and ceases to be itself, cannot be any longer one.

It cannot.
It cannot therefore experience the sort of motion which is change of nature?

Clearly not.
Then can the motion of the one be in place?
Perhaps.
But if the one moved in place, must it not either move round and round in the same place, or from one place to another?

It must.
And that which moves in a circle must rest upon a centre; and that which goes round upon a centre must have parts which are different from the centre; but that which has no centre and no parts cannot possibly be carried round upon a centre?

Impossible.
But perhaps the motion of the one consists in change of place?
Perhaps so, if it moves at all.
And have we not already shown that it cannot be in anything?
Yes.
Then its coming into being in anything is still more impossible; is it not?

I do not see why.
Why, because anything which comes into being in anything, can neither as yet be in that other thing while still coming into being, nor be altogether out of it, if already coming into being in it.

Certainly not.
And therefore whatever comes into being in another must have parts, and then one part may be in, and another part out of that other; but that which has no parts can never be at one and the same time neither wholly within nor wholly without anything.

True.
And is there not a still greater impossibility in that which has no parts, and is not a whole, coming into being anywhere, since it cannot come into being either as a part or as a whole?

Clearly.
Then it does not change place by revolving in the same spot, not by going somewhere and coming into being in something; nor again, by change in itself?

Very true.
Then in respect of any kind of motion the one is immoveable?
Immoveable.
But neither can the one be in anything, as we affirm.
Yes, we said so.
Then it is never in the same?
Why not?
Because if it were in the same it would be in something.
Certainly.
And we said that it could not be in itself, and could not be in other?

True.
Then one is never in the same place?
It would seem not.
But that which is never in the same place is never quiet or at rest?
Never.
One then, as would seem, is neither rest nor in motion?
It certainly appears so.
Neither will it be the same with itself or other; nor again, other than itself or other.

How is that?
If other than itself it would be other than one, and would not be one.

True.
And if the same with other, it would be that other, and not itself; so that upon this supposition too, it would not have the nature of one, but would be other than one?

It would.
Then it will not be the same with other, or other than itself?
It will not.
Neither will it be other than other, while it remains one; for not one, but only other, can be other than other, and nothing else.

True.
Then not by virtue of being one will it be other?
Certainly not.
But if not by virtue of being one, not by virtue of itself; and if not by virtue of itself, not itself, and itself not being other at all, will not be other than anything?

Right.
Neither will one be the same with itself.
How not?
Surely the nature of the one is not the nature of the same.
Why not?
It is not when anything becomes the same with anything that it becomes one.

What of that?
Anything which becomes the same with the many, necessarily becomes many and not one.

True.
But, if there were no difference between the one and the same, when a thing became the same, it would always become one; and when it became one, the same?

Certainly.
And, therefore, if one be the same with itself, it is not one with itself, and will therefore be one and also not one.

Surely that is impossible.
And therefore the one can neither be other than other, nor the same with itself.

Impossible.
And thus the one can neither be the same, nor other, either in relation to itself or other?

No.
Neither will the one be like anything or unlike itself or other.
Why not?
Because likeness is sameness of affections.
Yes.
And sameness has been shown to be of a nature distinct from oneness?
That has been shown.
But if the one had any other affection than that of being one, it would be affected in such a way as to be more than one; which is impossible.

True.
Then the one can never be so affected as to be the same either with another or with itself?

Clearly not.
Then it cannot be like another, or like itself?
No.
Nor can it be affected so as to be other, for then it would be affected in such a way as to be more than one.

It would.
That which is affected otherwise than itself or another, will be unlike itself or another, for sameness of affections is likeness.

True.
But the one, as appears, never being affected otherwise, is never unlike itself or other?

Never.
Then the one will never be either like or unlike itself or other?
Plainly not.
Again, being of this nature, it can neither be equal nor unequal either to itself or to other.

How is that?
Why, because the one if equal must be of the same measures as that to which it is equal.

 

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