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[989b] [1] but especially since (a) it follows that things must have existed previously in an unmixed state; (b) it is contrary to nature for anything to mix with anything ; (c) moreover affections and attributes would then be separable from their substances (because what is mixed can also be separated). At the same time, if one were to follow his doctrine carefully and interpret its meaning, perhaps it would be seen to be more up-to-date;because when nothing was yet differentiated, obviously nothing could be truly predicated of that substance—e.g. that it was white or black or buff or any other color. It must necessarily have been colorless, since otherwise it would have had one of these colors.Similarly by the same argument it had no taste or any other such attribute; for it cannot have had any quality or magnitude or individuality. Otherwise some particular form would have belonged to it; but this is impossible on the assumption that everything was mixed together, for then the form would have been already differentiated, whereas he says that everything was mixed together except Mind, which alone was pure and unmixed.1It follows from this that he recognizes as principles the One (which is simple and unmixed) and the Other, which is such as we suppose the Indeterminate to be before it is determined and partakes of some form. Thus his account is neither correct nor clear, [20] but his meaning approximates to more recent theories and what is now more obviously true.

However, these thinkers are really concerned only with the theories of generation and destruction and motion (for in general it is only with reference to this aspect of reality that they look for their principles and causes).Those, however, who make their study cover the whole of reality, and who distinguish between sensible and non-sensible objects, clearly give their attention to both kinds; hence in their case we may consider at greater length what contributions, valuable or otherwise, they make to the inquiry which is now before us.

The so-called Pythagoreans employ abstruser principles and elements than the physicists. The reason is that they did not draw them from the sensible world; for mathematical objects, apart from those which are connected with astronomy, are devoid of motion.Nevertheless all their discussions and investigations are concerned with the physical world. They account for the generation of the sensible universe,

1 Anaxagoras. Fr. 12 (Diels).

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