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[255a] when we say “the same” or “other”?

Theaetetus
Perhaps.

Stranger
But certainly motion and rest are neither other nor the same.

Theaetetus
How so?

Stranger
Whatever term we apply to rest and motion in common cannot be either of those two.

Theaetetus
Why not?

Stranger
Because motion would be at rest and rest would be in motion; in respect of both, for whichever of the two became “other” would force the other to change its nature into that of its opposite, since [255b] it would participate in its opposite.

Theaetetus
Exactly so.

Stranger
Both certainly partake of the same and the other.1

Theaetetus
Yes.

Stranger
Then we must not say that motion, or rest either, is the same or other.

Theaetetus
No.

Stranger
But should we conceive of “being” and “the same” as one?

Theaetetus
Perhaps.

Stranger
But if “being” and “the same” have no difference of meaning, then when we go on and say that both rest and motion are, we shall be saying that they are both the same, [255c] since they are.

Theaetetus
But surely that is impossible.

Stranger
Then it is impossible for being and the same to be one.

Theaetetus
Pretty nearly.

Stranger
So we shall consider “the same” a fourth class in addition to the other three?

Theaetetus
Certainly.

Stranger
Then shall we call “the other” a fifth class? Or must we conceive of this and “being” as two names for one class?

Theaetetus
May be.

Stranger
But I fancy you admit that among the entities some are always conceived as absolute, and some as relative.

Theaetetus
Of course. [255d]

Stranger
And other is always relative to other, is it not?

Theaetetus
Yes.

Stranger
It would not be so, if being and the other were not utterly different. If the other, like being, partook of both absolute and relative existence, there would be also among the others that exist another not in relation to any other; but as it is, we find that whatever is other is just what it is through compulsion of some other.

Theaetetus
The facts are as you say.

Stranger
Then we must place the nature of “the other” as a fifth [255e] among the classes in which we select our examples.

Theaetetus
Yes.

Stranger
And we shall say that it permeates them all; for each of them is other than the rest, not by reason of its own nature, but because it partakes of the idea of the other.

Theaetetus
Exactly.

Stranger
Let us now state our conclusions, taking up the five classes one at a time.

Theaetetus
How?

Stranger
Take motion first; we say that it is entirely other than rest, do we not?

Theaetetus
We do.

Stranger
Then it is not rest.

Theaetetus
Not at all.


1 i.e., sameness and difference can he predicated of both.

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