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Section 25

25. The nature of integration and disintegrations calls for scrutiny. Are they different from the motions above mentioned, from coming-to-be and passing-away, from growth and decay, from change of place and from alteration? or must they be referred to these? or, again, must some of these be regarded as types of integration and disintegration?

If integration implies that one element proceeds towards another, implies in short an approach, and disintegration, on the other hand, a retreat into the background, such motions may be termed local; we have clearly a case of two things moving in the direction of unity, or else making away from each other.

If however the things achieve a sort of fusion, mixture, blending, and if a unity comes into being, not when the process of combination is already complete, but in the very act of combining, to which of our specified motions shall we refer this type? There will certainly be locomotion at first, but it will be succeeded by something different; just as in growth locomotion is found at the outset, though later it is supplanted by quantitative motion. The present case is similar: locomotion leads the way, but integration or disintegration does not inevitably follow; integration takes place only when the impinging elements become intertwined, disintegration only when they are rent asunder by the contact.

On the other hand, it often happens that locomotion follows disintegration, or else occurs simultaneously, though the experience of the disintegrated is not conceived in terms of locomotion: so too in integration a distinct experience, a distinct unification, accompanies the locomotion and remains separate from it.

Are we then to posit a new species for these two motions, adding to them, perhaps, alteration? A thing is altered by becoming dense- in other words, by integration; it is altered again by being rarefied- that is, by disintegration. When wine and water are mixed, something is produced different from either of the pre-existing elements: thus, integration takes place, resulting in alteration.

But perhaps we should recall a previous distinction, and while holding that integrations and disintegrations precede alterations, should maintain that alterations are nonetheless distinct from either; that, further, not every alteration is of this type [presupposing, that is to say, integration or disintegration], and, in particular, rarefication and condensation are not identical with disintegration and integration, nor in any sense derived from them: to suppose that they were would involve the admission of a vacuum.

Again, can we use integration and disintegration to explain blackness and whiteness? But to doubt the independent existence of these qualities means that, beginning with colours, we may end by annihilating almost all qualities, or rather all without exception; for if we identify every alteration, or qualitative change, with integration and disintegration, we allow nothing whatever to come into existence; the same elements persist, nearer or farther apart.

Finally, how is it possible to class learning and being taught as integrations?

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