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[7]

The Pythagoreans1 seem to give a more probable doctrine on the subject of the Good when they place Unity in their column of goods; and indeed Speusippus2 appears to have followed them. But this subject must be left for another discussion.

1 This parenthetical note might come better after 6.4 (Burnet, Cl. Rev. 3:198). The Pythagoreans, instead of (like Plato) saying the Good was one, more wisely said the One was good (or akin to the Good). Some of them (Aristot. Met. 986a 22) taught that there were ten pairs of opposing principles, which they ranged in two columns—limit and the unlimited, odd and even, unity and plurality, right and left, male and female, resting and moving, straight and crooked, light and darkness, good and bad, square and oblong. They also held (Aristot. Met. 1072b 32) that good and beauty were not original, but appeared in the course of the evolution of the world; hence perhaps the late position of good in the list of opposites. The phrase ‘column of goods’ (cf. Aristot. Met. 1093b 12 ‘column of the beautiful’) is inexact, as good was only one of the things in the column—unless it means the column to which good things among others belong; but doubtless all the positive principles were regarded as akin.

2 Speusippus was Plato's nephew, and succeeded him as head of the Academy.

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