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[1011b] [1] But perhaps it is for this reason that those who argue not from a sense of difficulty but for argument's sake are compelled to say that the appearance is not true in itself, but true to the percipient;and, as we have said before, are compelled also to make everything relative and dependent upon opinion and sensation, so that nothing has happened or will happen unless someone has first formed an opinion about it; otherwise clearly all things would not be relative to opinion.

Further, if a thing is one, it is relative to one thing or to something determinate. And if the same thing is both a half and an equal, yet the equal is not relative to the double.If to the thinking subject "man" and the object of thought are the same, "man" will be not the thinking subject but the object of thought; and if each thing is to be regarded as relative to the thinking subject, the thinking subject will be relative to an infinity of specifically different things.

That the most certain of all beliefs is that opposite statements are not both true at the same time, and what follows for those who maintain that they are true, and why these thinkers maintain this, may be regarded as adequately stated. And since the contradiction of a statement cannot be true at the same time of the same thing, it is obvious that contraries cannot apply at the same time to the same thing.For in each pair of contraries one is a privation no less than it is a contrary—a privation of substance. And privation is the negation of a predicate [20] to some defined genus. Therefore if it is impossible at the same time to affirm and deny a thing truly, it is also impossible for contraries to apply to a thing at the same time; either both must apply in a modified sense, or one in a modified sense and the other absolutely.

Nor indeed can there be any intermediate between contrary statements, but of one thing we must either assert or deny one thing, whatever it may be. This will be plain if we first define truth and falsehood. To say that what is is not, or that what is not is, is false; but to say that what is is, and what is not is not, is true; and therefore also he who says that a thing is or is not will say either what is true or what is false.But neither what is nor what is not is said not to be or to be. Further, an intermediate between contraries will be intermediate either as grey is between black and white, or as "neither man nor horse" is between man and horse. If in the latter sense, it cannot change (for change is from not-good to good, or from good to not-good);but in fact it is clearly always changing; for change can only be into the opposite and the intermediate. And if it is a true intermediate, in this case too there would be a kind of change into white not from not-white; but in fact this is not seen.1

1 It is not qua grey (i.e. intermediate between white and black) that grey changes to white, but qua not-white (i.e. containing a certain proportion of black).

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