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PARMENIDES by Plato, Part 11


True.
Secondly, the others differ from it, or it could not be described as different from the others?

Certainly.
Difference, then, belongs to it as well as knowledge; for in speaking of the one as different from the others, we do not speak of a difference in the others, but in the one.

Clearly so.
Moreover, the one that is not is something and partakes of relation to "that," and "this," and "these," and the like, and is an attribute of "this"; for the one, or the others than the one, could not have been spoken of, nor could any attribute or relative of the one that is not have been or been spoken of, nor could it have been said to be anything, if it did not partake of "some," or of the other relations just now mentioned.

True.
Being, then, cannot be ascribed to the one, since it is not; but the one that is not may or rather must participate in many things, if it and nothing else is not; if, however, neither the one nor the one that is not is supposed not to be, and we are speaking of something of a different nature, we can predicate nothing of it. But supposing that the one that is not and nothing else is not, then it must participate in the predicate "that," and in many others.

Certainly.
And it will have unlikeness in relation to the others, for the others being different from the one will be of a different kind.

Certainly.
And are not things of a different kind also other in kind?
Of course.
And are not things other in kind unlike?
They are unlike.
And if they are unlike the one, that which they are unlike will clearly be unlike them?

Clearly so.
Then the one will have unlikeness in respect of which the others are unlike it?

That would seem to be true.
And if unlikeness to other things is attributed to it, it must have likeness to itself.

How so?
If the one have unlikeness to one, something else must be meant; nor will the hypothesis relate to one; but it will relate to something other than one?

Quite so.
But that cannot be.
No.
Then the one must have likeness to itself?
It must.
Again, it is not equal to the others; for if it were equal, then it would at once be and be like them in virtue of the equality; but if one has no being, then it can neither be nor be like?

It cannot.
But since it is not equal to the others, neither can the others be equal to it?

Certainly not.
And things that are not equal are unequal?
True.
And they are unequal to an unequal?
Of course.
Then the one partakes of inequality, and in respect of this the others are unequal to it?

Very true.
And inequality implies greatness and smallness?
Yes.
Then the one, if of such a nature, has greatness and smallness?
That appears to be true.
And greatness and smallness always stand apart?
True.
Then there is always something between them?
There is.
And can you think of anything else which is between them other than equality?

No, it is equality which lies between them.
Then that which has greatness and smallness also has equality, which lies between them?

That is clear.
Then the one, which is not, partakes, as would appear, of greatness and smallness and equality?

Clearly.
Further, it must surely in a sort partake of being?
How so?
It must be so, for if not, then we should not speak the truth in saying that the one is not. But if we speak the truth, clearly we must say what is. Am I not right?

Yes.
And since we affirm that we speak truly, we must also affirm that we say what is?

Certainly.
Then, as would appear, the one, when it is not, is; for if it were not to be when it is not, but were to relinquish something of being, so as to become not-being, it would at once be.

Quite true.
Then the one which is not, if it is to maintain itself, must have the being of not-being as the bond of not-being, just as being must have as a bond the not-being of not-being in order to perfect its own being; for the truest assertion of the being of being and of the not-being of not being is when being partakes of the being of being, and not of the being of not-being-that is, the perfection of being; and when not-being does not partake of the not-being of not-being but of the being of not-being-that is the perfection of not-being.

Most true.
Since then what is partakes of not-being, and what is not of being, must not the one also partake of being in order not to be?

Certainly.
Then the one, if it is not, clearly has being?
Clearly.
And has not-being also, if it is not?
Of course.
But can anything which is in a certain state not be in that state without changing?

Impossible.
Then everything which is and is not in a certain state, implies change?

Certainly.
And change is motion-we may say that?
Yes, motion.
And the one has been proved both to be and not to be?
Yes.
And therefore is and is not in the same state?
Yes.
Thus the one that is not has been shown to have motion also, because it changes from being to not-being?

That appears to be true.
But surely if it is nowhere among what is, as is the fact, since it is not, it cannot change from one place to another?

Impossible.
Then it cannot move by changing place?
No.
Nor can it turn on the same spot, for it nowhere touches the same, for the same is, and that which is not cannot be reckoned among things that are?

It cannot.
Then the one, if it is not, cannot turn in that in which it is not?
No.
Neither can the one, whether it is or is not, be altered into other than itself, for if it altered and became different from itself, then we could not be still speaking of the one, but of something else?

True.
But if the one neither suffers alteration, nor turns round in the same place, nor changes place, can it still be capable of motion?

Impossible.
Now that which is unmoved must surely be at rest, and that which is at rest must stand still?

Certainly.
Then the one that is not, stands still, and is also in motion?
That seems to be true.
But if it be in motion it must necessarily undergo alteration, for anything which is moved, in so far as it is moved, is no longer in the same state, but in another?

 

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