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[1063b] [1] For to the diseased, since they are not in the same physical condition as when they were well, sensible qualities do not appear to be the same; although this does not mean that the sensible things themselves partake of any change, but that they cause different, and not the same, sensations in the diseased. Doubtless the same must be true if the change which we have referred to takes place in us.If, however, we do not change but remain always the same, there must be something permanent.

As for those who raise the aforesaid difficulties on dialectical grounds,1 it is not easy to find a solution which will convince them unless they grant some assumption for which they no longer require an explanation; for every argument and proof is possible only in this way. If they grant no assumption, they destroy discussion and reasoning in general.Thus there is no arguing with people of this kind; but in the case of those who are perplexed by the traditional difficulties it is easy to meet and refute the causes of their perplexity. This is evident from what has been already said.

Thus from these considerations it is obvious that opposite statements cannot be true of the same thing at one time; nor can contrary statements, since every contrariety involves privation. This is clear if we reduce the formulae of contraries to their first principles.2

Similarly no middle term can be predicated of one and the same thing [20] of which one of the contraries is predicated.3 If, when the subject is white, we say that it is neither white nor black, we shall be in error; for it follows that it is and is not white, because the first of the two terms in the complex statement will be true of the subject, and this is the contradictory of white.

Thus we cannot be right in holding the views either of Heraclitus4 or of Anaxagoras.5 If we could, it would follow that contraries are predicable of the same subject; for when he6 says that in everything there is a part of everything, he means that nothing is sweet any more than it is bitter, and similarly with any of the other pairs of contraries; that is, if everything is present in everything not merely potentially but actually and in differentiation.

Similarly all statements cannot be false, nor all true. Among many other difficulties which might be adduced as involved by this supposition there is the objection that if all statements were false, not even this proposition itself would be true; while if they were all true it would not be false to say that they are all false.

Every science inquires for certain principles and causes with respect to every knowable thing which comes within its scope7;

1 With this section cf. Aristot. Met. 4.5.3, 4, Aristot. Met. 4.6.1-3.

2 Cf. Aristot. Met. 4.6.10, 11.

3 Cf. Aristot. Met. 4.7 where, however, the point which is proved is that there can be no intermediate between contradictories.

4 Cf. Aristot. Met. 11.5.8

5 Cf. Aristot. Met. 4.7.8-8.5

6 Anaxagoras. What he really meant was that even the sweetest things contain some bitter particles. Cf. Anaxagoras Fr. 11 (Diels); Burnet, E.G.P. 129.

7 This chapter corresponds to Aristot. Met. 6.1; cf. also Aristot. Met. 4.3.1-6 and ch. 4 above. It also answers the problem stated in ch. 1.2.

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