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[49d] in an unbroken circle the gift of birth. Accordingly, since no one of these ever remains identical in appearance, which of them shall a man definitely affirm to be any one particular element and no other without incurring ridicule? None such exists. On the contrary, by far the safest plan in treating of these elements is to proceed thus: Whatsoever object we perceive to be constantly changing from one state to another, like fire, that object, be it fire, we must never describe as “this” but as “suchlike,” nor should we ever call water “this” but “suchlike” nor should we describe any other element, as though it possessed stability,

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    • James Adam, The Republic of Plato, 4.434D
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