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Fragments that Remain of the Lost Writings of Proclus, by Thomas Taylor, [1825], at

p. 47

Argument the Eighth.

Every thing which is corrupted, is corrupted by the incursion of something foreign to its nature, and is corrupted into something foreign to itself; but there is nothing external or foreign to the universe, since it comprehends in itself all things, being a whole of wholes, and perfect from things of a perfect nature. Neither, therefore, will there be any thing foreign to the universe, nor can it be corrupted into any thing foreign, or be generated by a nature foreign to itself. Hence it is incorruptible, and, in consequence of this, it is likewise unbegotten. For every thing which is generated, is generated from something which, prior to what is generated, was foreign to it; so that there will be something which is foreign to the universe. But this will be external to that which is generated. Hence, there will be something external to the universe, which is foreign to the universe before it was generated. But if this be the case, there will be something contrary to the universe from which it was generated. Contraries, however, are produced from each other, and change into each other; and these being two, there are two paths between them, as is demonstrated through many arguments in the Phædo, in which it is

p. 48

shewn, that of contraries the one yields to the other, and that nature is not idle. It is evident, therefore, indeed, that what has an orderly arrangement is opposed to that which is disorderly and without arrangement. But if these are opposed as habit and privation, and there is a mutation from privation to habit, much more is there a mutation from habit to privation; for the former is much more impossible than the latter, because certain privations cannot be changed into habits. * If, therefore, that which is more impossible to be generated was generated, in a much greater degree will that be which is more possible; and that which has an orderly arrangement will be changed into that which is without arrangement, and this will be conformable to nature and the will of divinity: for he who produces that which is more impossible, will much more produce that which is more possible. But if these are contraries, according to the law of contraries, the universe will be changed into the contrary of that from which it was generated. It has been demonstrated, however, that the universe is incorruptible. It will

p. 49

not, therefore, be changed into any thing contrary; so that neither was it generated [in time], and therefore is perpetual. For it is not possible, when there are two contraries, that there should be a path from the former of the two to the latter, and yet not from the latter to the former. Nor is it possible in privation and habit, that there should be a path from privation to habit, but not from habit to privation. For in certain things, there is not a path from privation to habit. There is, however, a mutation of contraries into each other, as Socrates says in the Phædo. So that either the universe is not incorruptible, or it is in a much greater degree unbegotten than incorruptible, whether that which is without arrangement is contrary to that which has arrangement, or whether that which is without arrangement is the privation of that which is arranged.


48:* The original here is erroneous, for it is διοτι στερησις εστιν, αι δε στερησεις εις εξιν αμεταϐλητοι. Instead of whirl i, it is requisite to read διοτι τινες στερησεις εις εξιν εισιν αμεταϐλητοι. Conformably to this, the version of Mahotius has, "quiæ nonnullæ sunt privationes, quæ in habitum sunt immutabiles."

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