Sacred Texts  Classics  Plato


by Plato

370 BC

translated by Benjamin Jowett

New York, C. Scribner's Sons, [1871]

 rehearses a dialogue which is supposed to have been narrated in his
 presence by Antiphon, the half-brother of Adeimantus and Glaucon, to
 certain Clazomenians.
   We had come from our home at Clazomenae to Athens, and met
 Adeimantus and Glaucon in the Agora. Welcome, Cephalus, said
 Adeimantus, taking me by the hand; is there anything which we can do
 for you in Athens?
   Yes; that is why I am here; I wish to ask a favour of you.
   What may that be? he said.
   I want you to tell me the name of your half brother, which I have
 forgotten; he was a mere child when I last came hither from
 Clazomenae, but that was a long time ago; his father's name, if I
 remember rightly, was Pyrilampes?
   Yes, he said, and the name of our brother, Antiphon; but why do
 you ask?
   Let me introduce some countrymen of mine, I said; they are lovers of
 philosophy, and have heard that Antiphon was intimate with a certain
 Pythodorus, a friend of Zeno, and remembers a conversation which
 took place between Socrates, Zeno, and Parmenides many years ago,
 Pythodorus having often recited it to him.
   Quite true.
   And could we hear it? I asked.
   Nothing easier, he replied; when he was a youth he made a careful
 study of the piece; at present his thoughts run in another
 direction; like his grandfather Antiphon he is devoted to horses. But,
 if that is what you want, let us go and look for him; he dwells at
 Melita, which is quite near, and he has only just left us to go home.
   Accordingly we went to look for him; he was at home, and in the
 act of giving a bridle to a smith to be fitted. When he had done
 with the smith, his brothers told him the purpose of our visit; and he
 saluted me as an acquaintance whom he remembered from my former visit,
 and we asked him to repeat the dialogue. At first he was not very
 willing, and complained of the trouble, but at length he consented. He
 told us that Pythodorus had described to him the appearance of
 Parmenides and Zeno; they came to Athens, as he said, at the great
 Panathenaea; the former was, at the time of his visit, about 65
 years old, very white with age, but well favoured. Zeno was nearly
 40 years of age, tall and fair to look upon; in the days of his
 youth he was reported to have been beloved by Parmenides. He said that
 they lodged with Pythodorus in the Ceramicus, outside the wall,
 whither Socrates, then a very young man, came to see them, and many
 others with him; they wanted to hear the writings of Zeno, which had
 been brought to Athens for the first time on the occasion of their
 visit. These Zeno himself read to them in the absence of Parmenides,
 and had very nearly finished when Pythodorus entered, and with him
 Parmenides and Aristoteles who was afterwards one of the Thirty, and
 heard the little that remained of the dialogue. Pythodorus had heard
 Zeno repeat them before.
   When the recitation was completed, Socrates requested that the first
 thesis of the first argument might be read over again, and this having
 been done, he said: What is your meaning, Zeno? Do you maintain that
 if being is many, it must be both like and unlike, and that this is
 impossible, for neither can the like be unlike, nor the unlike like-is
 that your position?
   Just so, said Zeno.
   And if the unlike cannot be like, or the like unlike, then according
 to you, being could not be many; for this would involve an
 impossibility. In all that you say have you any other purpose except
 to disprove the being of the many? and is not each division of your
 treatise intended to furnish a separate proof of this, there being
 in all as many proofs of the not-being of the many as you have
 composed arguments? Is that your meaning, or have I misunderstood you?
   No, said Zeno; you have correctly understood my general purpose.
   I see, Parmenides, said Socrates, that Zeno would like to be not
 only one with you in friendship but your second self in his writings
 too; he puts what you say in another way, and would fain make
 believe that he is telling us something which is new. For you, in your
 poems, say The All is one, and of this you adduce excellent proofs;
 and he on the other hand says There is no many; and on behalf of
 this he offers overwhelming evidence. You affirm unity, he denies
 plurality. And so you deceive the world into believing that you are
 saying different things when really you are saying much the same. This
 is a strain of art beyond the reach of most of us.
   Yes, Socrates, said Zeno. But although you are as keen as a
 Spartan hound in pursuing the track, you do not fully apprehend the
 true motive of the composition, which is not really such an artificial
 work as you imagine; for what you speak of was an accident; there
 was no pretence of a great purpose; nor any serious intention of
 deceiving the world. The truth is, that these writings of mine were
 meant to protect the arguments of Parmenides against those who make
 fun of him and seek to show the many ridiculous and contradictory
 results which they suppose to follow from the affirmation of the
 one. My answer is addressed to the partisans of the many, whose attack
 I return with interest by retorting upon them that their hypothesis of
 the being of many, if carried out, appears to be still more ridiculous
 than the hypothesis of the being of one. Zeal for my master led me
 to write the book in the days of my youth, but some one stole the
 copy; and therefore I had no choice whether it should be published
 or not; the motive, however, of writing, was not the ambition of an
 elder man, but the pugnacity of a young one. This you do not seem to
 see, Socrates; though in other respects, as I was saying, your
 notion is a very just one.
   I understand, said Socrates, and quite accept your account. But tell
 me, Zeno, do you not further think that there is an idea of likeness
 in itself, and another idea of unlikeness, which is the opposite of
 likeness, and that in these two, you and I and all other things to
 which we apply the term many, participate-things which participate
 in likeness become in that degree and manner like; and so far as
 they participate in unlikeness become in that degree unlike, or both
 like and unlike in the degree in which they participate in both? And
 may not all things partake of both opposites, and be both like and
 unlike, by reason of this participation?-Where is the wonder? Now if a
 person could prove the absolute like to become unlike, or the absolute
 unlike to become like, that, in my opinion, would indeed be a
 wonder; but there is nothing extraordinary, Zeno, in showing that
 the things which only partake of likeness and unlikeness experience
 both. Nor, again, if a person were to show that all is one by
 partaking of one, and at the same time many by partaking of many,
 would that be very astonishing. But if he were to show me that the
 absolute one was many, or the absolute many one, I should be truly
 amazed. And so of all the rest: I should be surprised to hear that the
 natures or ideas themselves had these opposite qualities; but not if a
 person wanted to prove of me that I was many and also one. When he
 wanted to show that I was many he would say that I have a right and
 a left side, and a front and a back, and an upper and a lower half,
 for I cannot deny that I partake of multitude; when, on the other
 hand, he wants to prove that I am one, he will say, that we who are
 here assembled are seven, and that I am one and partake of the one. In
 both instances he proves his case. So again, if a person shows that
 such things as wood, stones, and the like, being many are also one, we
 admit that he shows the coexistence the one and many, but he does
 not show that the many are one or the one many; he is uttering not a
 paradox but a truism. If however, as I just now suggested, some one
 were to abstract simple notions of like, unlike, one, many, rest,
 motion, and similar ideas, and then to show that these admit of
 admixture and separation in themselves, I should be very much
 astonished. This part of the argument appears to be treated by you,
 Zeno, in a very spirited manner; but, as I was saying, I should be far
 more amazed if any one found in the ideas themselves which are
 apprehended by reason, the same puzzle and entanglement which you have
 shown to exist in visible objects.
   While Socrates was speaking, Pythodorus thought that Parmenides
 and Zeno were not altogether pleased at the successive steps of the
 argument; but still they gave the closest attention and often looked
 at one another, and smiled as if in admiration of him. When he had
 finished, Parmenides expressed their feelings in the following words:-
   Socrates, he said, I admire the bent of your mind towards
 philosophy; tell me now, was this your own distinction between ideas
 in themselves and the things which partake of them? and do you think
 that there is an idea of likeness apart from the likeness which we
 possess, and of the one and many, and of the other things which Zeno
   I think that there are such ideas, said Socrates.
   Parmenides proceeded: And would you also make absolute ideas of
 the just and the beautiful and the good, and of all that class?
   Yes, he said, I should.
   And would you make an idea of man apart from us and from all other
 human creatures, or of fire and water?
   I am often undecided, Parmenides, as to whether I ought to include
 them or not.
   And would you feel equally undecided, Socrates, about things of
 which the mention may provoke a smile?-I mean such things as hair,
 mud, dirt, or anything else which is vile and paltry; would you
 suppose that each of these has an idea distinct from the actual
 objects with which we come into contact, or not?
   Certainly not, said Socrates; visible things like these are such
 as they appear to us, and I am afraid that there would be an absurdity
 in assuming any idea of them, although I sometimes get disturbed,
 and begin to think that there is nothing without an idea; but then
 again, when I have taken up this position, I run away, because I am
 afraid that I may fall into a bottomless pit of nonsense, and
 perish; and so I return to the ideas of which I was just now speaking,
 and occupy myself with them.
   Yes, Socrates, said Parmenides; that is because you are still young;
 the time will come, if I am not mistaken, when philosophy will have
 a firmer grasp of you, and then you will not despise even the
 meanest things; at your age, you are too much disposed to regard
 opinions of men. But I should like to know whether you mean that there
 are certain ideas of which all other things partake, and from which
 they derive their names; that similars, for example, become similar,
 because they partake of similarity; and great things become great,
 because they partake of greatness; and that just and beautiful
 things become just and beautiful, because they partake of justice
 and beauty?
   Yes, certainly, said Socrates that is my meaning.
   Then each individual partakes either of the whole of the idea or
 else of a part of the idea? Can there be any other mode of
   There cannot be, he said.
   Then do you think that the whole idea is one, and yet, being one, is
 in each one of the many?
   Why not, Parmenides? said Socrates.
   Because one and the same thing will exist as a whole at the same
 time in many separate individuals, and will therefore be in a state of
 separation from itself.
   Nay, but the idea may be like the day which is one and the same in
 many places at once, and yet continuous with itself; in this way
 each idea may be one; and the same in all at the same time.
   I like your way, Socrates, of making one in many places at once. You
 mean to say, that if I were to spread out a sail and cover a number of
 men, there would be one whole including many-is not that your meaning?
   I think so.
   And would you say that the whole sail includes each man, or a part
 of it only, and different parts different men?
   The latter.
   Then, Socrates, the ideas themselves will be divisible, and things
 which participate in them will have a part of them only and not the
 whole idea existing in each of them?
   That seems to follow.
   Then would you like to say, Socrates, that the one idea is really
 divisible and yet remains one?
   Certainly not, he said.
   Suppose that you divide absolute greatness, and that of the many
 great things, each one is great in virtue of a portion of greatness
 less than absolute greatness-is that conceivable?
   Or will each equal thing, if possessing some small portion of
 equality less than absolute equality, be equal to some other thing
 by virtue of that portion only?
   Or suppose one of us to have a portion of smallness; this is but a
 part of the small, and therefore the absolutely small is greater; if
 the absolutely small be greater, that to which the part of the small
 is added will be smaller and not greater than before.
   How absurd!
   Then in what way, Socrates, will all things participate in the
 ideas, if they are unable to participate in them either as parts or
   Indeed, he said, you have asked a question which is not easily
   Well, said Parmenides, and what do you say of another question?
   What question?
   I imagine that the way in which you are led to assume one idea of
 each kind is as follows: -You see a number of great objects, and
 when you look at them there seems to you to be one and the same idea
 (or nature) in them all; hence you conceive of greatness as one.
   Very true, said Socrates.
   And if you go on and allow your mind in like manner to embrace in
 one view the idea of greatness and of great things which are not the
 idea, and -to compare them, will not another greatness arise, which
 will appear to be the source of all these?
   It would seem so.
   Then another idea of greatness now comes into view over and above
 absolute greatness, and the individuals which partake of it; and
 then another, over and above all these, by virtue of which they will
 all be great, and so each idea instead of being one will be infinitely
   But may not the ideas, asked Socrates, be thoughts only, and have no
 proper existence except in our minds, Parmenides? For in that case
 each idea may still be one, and not experience this infinite
   And can there be individual thoughts which are thoughts of nothing?
   Impossible, he said.
   The thought must be of something?
   Of something which is or which is not?
   Of something which is.
   Must it not be of a single something, which the thought recognizes
 as attaching to all, being a single form or nature?
   And will not the something which is apprehended as one and the
 same in all, be an idea?
   From that, again, there is no escape.
   Then, said Parmenides, if you say that everything else
 participates in the ideas, must you not say either that everything
 is made up of thoughts, and that all things think; or that they are
 thoughts but have no thought?
   The latter view, Parmenides, is no more rational than the previous
 one. In my opinion, the ideas are, as it were, patterns fixed in
 nature, and other things are like them, and resemblances of
 them-what is meant by the participation of other things in the
 ideas, is really assimilation to them.
   But if, said he, the individual is like the idea, must not the
 idea also be like the individual, in so far as the individual is a
 resemblance of the idea? That which is like, cannot be conceived of as
 other than the like of like.
   And when two things are alike, must they not partake of the same
   They must.
   And will not that of which the two partake, and which makes them
 alike, be the idea itself?
   Then the idea cannot be like the individual, or the individual
 like the idea; for if they are alike, some further idea of likeness
 will always be coming to light, and if that be like anything else,
 another; and new ideas will be always arising, if the idea resembles
 that which partakes of it?
   Quite true.
   The theory, then that other things participate in the ideas by
 resemblance, has to be given up, and some other mode of
 participation devised?
   It would seem so.
   Do you see then, Socrates, how great is the difficulty of
 affirming the ideas to be absolute?
   Yes, indeed.
   And, further, let me say that as yet you only understand a small
 part of the difficulty which is involved if you make of each thing a
 single idea, parting it off from other things.
   What difficulty? he said.
   There are many, but the greatest of all is this:-If an opponent
 argues that these ideas, being such as we say they ought to be, must
 remain unknown, no one can prove to him that he is wrong, unless he
 who denies their existence be a man of great ability and knowledge,
 and is willing to follow a long and laborious demonstration; he will
 remain unconvinced, and still insist that they cannot be known.
   What do you mean, Parmenides? said Socrates.
   In the first place, I think, Socrates, that you, or any one who
 maintains the existence of absolute essences, will admit that they
 cannot exist in us.
   No, said Socrates; for then they would be no longer absolute.
   True, he said; and therefore when ideas are what they are in
 relation to one another, their essence is determined by a relation
 among themselves, and has nothing to do with the resemblances, or
 whatever they are to be termed, which are in our sphere, and from
 which we receive this or that name when we partake of them. And the
 things which are within our sphere and have the same names with
 them, are likewise only relative to one another, and not to the
 ideas which have the same names with them, but belong to themselves
 and not to them.
   What do you mean? said Socrates.
   I may illustrate my meaning in this way, said Parmenides:-A master
 has a slave; now there is nothing absolute in the relation between
 them, which is simply a relation of one man to another. But there is
 also an idea of mastership in the abstract, which is relative to the
 idea of slavery in the abstract. These natures have nothing to do with
 us, nor we with them; they are concerned with themselves only, and
 we with ourselves. Do you see my meaning?
   Yes, said Socrates, I quite see your meaning.
   And will not knowledge-I mean absolute knowledge-answer to
 absolute truth?
   And each kind of absolute knowledge will answer to each kind of
 absolute being?
   But the knowledge which we have, will answer to the truth which we
 have; and again, each kind of knowledge which we have, will be a
 knowledge of each kind of being which we have?
   But the ideas themselves, as you admit, we have not, and cannot
   No, we cannot.
   And the absolute natures or kinds are known severally by the
 absolute idea of knowledge?
   And we have not got the idea of knowledge?
   Then none of the ideas are known to us, because we have no share
 in absolute knowledge?
   I suppose not.
   Then the nature of the beautiful in itself, and of the good in
 itself, and all other ideas which we suppose to exist absolutely,
 are unknown to us?
   It would seem so.
   I think that there is a stranger consequence still.
   What is it?
   Would you, or would you not say, that absolute knowledge, if there
 is such a thing, must be a far more exact knowledge than our
 knowledge; and the same of beauty and of the rest?
   And if there be such a thing as participation in absolute knowledge,
 no one is more likely than God to have this most exact knowledge?
   But then, will God, having absolute knowledge, have a knowledge of
 human things?
   Why not?
   Because, Socrates, said Parmenides, we have admitted that the
 ideas are not valid in relation to human things; nor human things in
 relation to them; the relations of either are limited to their
 respective spheres.
   Yes, that has been admitted.
   And if God has this perfect authority, and perfect knowledge, his
 authority cannot rule us, nor his knowledge know us, or any human
 thing; just as our authority does not extend to the gods, nor our
 knowledge know anything which is divine, so by parity of reason
 they, being gods, are not our masters, neither do they know the things
 of men.
   Yet, surely, said Socrates, to deprive God of knowledge is
   These, Socrates, said Parmenides, are a few, and only a few of the
 difficulties in which we are involved if ideas really are and we
 determine each one of them to be an absolute unity. He who hears
 what may be said against them will deny the very existence of them-and
 even if they do exist, he will say that they must of necessity be
 unknown to man; and he will seem to have reason on his side, and as we
 were remarking just now, will be very difficult to convince; a man
 must be gifted with very considerable ability before he can learn that
 everything has a class and an absolute essence; and still more
 remarkable will he be who discovers all these things for himself,
 and having thoroughly investigated them is able to teach them to
   I agree with you, Parmenides, said Socrates; and what you say is
 very much to my mind.
   And yet, Socrates, said Parmenides, if a man, fixing his attention
 on these and the like difficulties, does away with ideas of things and
 will not admit that every individual thing has its own determinate
 idea which is always one and the same, he will have nothing on which
 his mind can rest; and so he will utterly destroy the power of
 reasoning, as you seem to me to have particularly noted.
   Very true, he said.
   But, then, what is to become of philosophy? Whither shall we turn,
 if the ideas are unknown?
   I certainly do not see my way at present.
   Yes, said Parmenides; and I think that this arises, Socrates, out of
 your attempting to define the beautiful, the just, the good, and the
 ideas generally, without sufficient previous training. I noticed
 your deficiency, when I heard you talking here with your friend
 Aristoteles, the day before yesterday. The impulse that carries you
 towards philosophy is assuredly noble and divine; but there is an
 art which is called by the vulgar idle talking, and which is of
 imagined to be useless; in that you must train and exercise
 yourself, now that you are young, or truth will elude your grasp.
   And what is the nature of this exercise, Parmenides, which you would
   That which you heard Zeno practising; at the same time, I give you
 credit for saying to him that you did not care to examine the
 perplexity in reference to visible things, or to consider the question
 that way; but only in reference to objects of thought, and to what may
 be called ideas.
   Why, yes, he said, there appears to me to be no difficulty in
 showing by this method that visible things are like and unlike and may
 experience anything.
   Quite true, said Parmenides; but I think that you should go a step
 further, and consider not only the consequences which flow from a
 given hypothesis, but also the consequences which flow from denying
 the hypothesis; and that will be still better training for you.
   What do you mean? he said.
   I mean, for example, that in the case of this very hypothesis of
 Zeno's about the many, you should inquire not only what will be the
 consequences to the many in relation to themselves and to the one, and
 to the one in relation to itself and the many, on the hypothesis of
 the being of the many, but also what will be the consequences to the
 one and the many in their relation to themselves and to each other, on
 the opposite hypothesis. Or, again, if likeness is or is not, what
 will be the consequences in either of these cases to the subjects of
 the hypothesis, and to other things, in relation both to themselves
 and to one another, and so of unlikeness; and the same holds good of
 motion and rest, of generation and destruction, and even of being
 and not-being. In a word, when you suppose anything to be or not to
 be, or to be in any way affected, you must look at the consequences in
 relation to the thing itself, and to any other things which you
 choose-to each of them singly, to more than one, and to all; and so of
 other things, you must look at them in relation to themselves and to
 anything else which you suppose either to be or not to be, if you
 would train yourself perfectly and see the real truth.
   That, Parmenides, is a tremendous business of which you speak, and I
 do not quite understand you; will you take some hypothesis and go
 through the steps?-then I shall apprehend you better.
   That, Socrates, is a serious task to impose on a man of my years.
   Then will you, Zeno? said Socrates.
   Zeno answered with a smile:-Let us make our petition to Parmenides
 himself, who is quite right in saying that you are hardly aware of the
 extent of the task which you are imposing on him; and if there were
 more of us I should not ask him, for these are not subjects which
 any one, especially at his age, can well speak of before a large
 audience; most people are not aware that this round-about progress
 through all things is the only way in which the mind can attain
 truth and wisdom. And therefore, Parmenides, I join in the request
 of Socrates, that I may hear the process again which I have not
 heard for a long time.
   When Zeno had thus spoken, Pythodorus, according to Antiphon's
 report of him, said, that he himself and Aristoteles and the whole
 company entreated Parmenides to give an example of the process. I
 cannot refuse, said Parmenides; and yet I feel rather like Ibycus,
 who, when in his old age, against his will, he fell in love,
 compared himself to an old racehorse, who was about to run in a
 chariot race, shaking with fear at the course he knew so well-this was
 his simile of himself. And I also experience a trembling when I
 remember through what an ocean of words I have to wade at my time of
 life. But I must indulge you, as Zeno says that I ought, and we are
 alone. Where shall I begin? And what shall be our first hypothesis, if
 I am to attempt this laborious pastime? Shall I begin with myself, and
 take my own hypothesis the one? and consider the consequences which
 follow on the supposition either of the being or of the not being of
   By all means, said Zeno.
   And who will answer me? he said. Shall I propose the youngest? He
 will not make difficulties and will be the most likely to say what
 he thinks; and his answers will give me time to breathe.
   I am the one whom you mean, Parmenides, said Aristoteles; for I am
 the youngest and at your service. Ask, and I will answer.
   Parmenides proceeded: If one is, he said, the one cannot be many?
   Then the one cannot have parts, and cannot be a whole?
   Why not?
   Because every part is part of a whole; is it not?
   And what is a whole? would not that of which no part is wanting be a
   Then, in either case, the one would be made up of parts; both as
 being a whole, and also as having parts?
   To be sure.
   And in either case, the one would be many, and not one?
   But, surely, it ought to be one and not many?
   It ought.
   Then, if the one is to remain one, it will not be a whole, and
 will not have parts?
   But if it has no parts, it will have neither beginning, middle,
 nor end; for these would of course be parts of it.
   But then, again, a beginning and an end are the limits of
   Then the one, having neither beginning nor end, is unlimited?
   Yes, unlimited.
   And therefore formless; for it cannot partake either of round or
   But why?
   Why, because the round is that of which all the extreme points are
 equidistant from the centre?
   And the straight is that of which the centre intercepts the view
 of the extremes?
   Then the one would have parts and would be many, if it partook
 either of a straight or of a circular form?
   But having no parts, it will be neither straight nor round?
   And, being of such a nature, it cannot be in any place, for it
 cannot be either in another or in itself.
   How so?
   Because if it were in another, it would be encircled by that in
 which it was, and would touch it at many places and with many parts;
 but that which is one and indivisible, and does not partake of a
 circular nature, cannot be touched all round in many places.
   Certainly not.
   But if, on the other hand, one were in itself, it would also be
 contained by nothing else but itself; that is to say, if it were
 really in itself; for nothing can be in anything which does not
 contain it.
   But then, that which contains must be other than that which is
 contained? for the same whole cannot do and suffer both at once; and
 if so, one will be no longer one, but two?
   Then one cannot be anywhere, either in itself or in another?
   Further consider, whether that which is of such a nature can have
 either rest or motion.
   Why not?
   Why, because the one, if it were moved, would be either moved in
 place or changed in nature; for these are the only kinds of motion.
   And the one, when it changes and ceases to be itself, cannot be
 any longer one.
   It cannot.
   It cannot therefore experience the sort of motion which is change of
   Clearly not.
   Then can the motion of the one be in place?
   But if the one moved in place, must it not either move round and
 round in the same place, or from one place to another?
   It must.
   And that which moves in a circle must rest upon a centre; and that
 which goes round upon a centre must have parts which are different
 from the centre; but that which has no centre and no parts cannot
 possibly be carried round upon a centre?
   But perhaps the motion of the one consists in change of place?
   Perhaps so, if it moves at all.
   And have we not already shown that it cannot be in anything?
   Then its coming into being in anything is still more impossible;
 is it not?
   I do not see why.
   Why, because anything which comes into being in anything, can
 neither as yet be in that other thing while still coming into being,
 nor be altogether out of it, if already coming into being in it.
   Certainly not.
   And therefore whatever comes into being in another must have
 parts, and then one part may be in, and another part out of that
 other; but that which has no parts can never be at one and the same
 time neither wholly within nor wholly without anything.
   And is there not a still greater impossibility in that which has
 no parts, and is not a whole, coming into being anywhere, since it
 cannot come into being either as a part or as a whole?
   Then it does not change place by revolving in the same spot, not
 by going somewhere and coming into being in something; nor again, by
 change in itself?
   Very true.
   Then in respect of any kind of motion the one is immoveable?
   But neither can the one be in anything, as we affirm.
   Yes, we said so.
   Then it is never in the same?
   Why not?
   Because if it were in the same it would be in something.
   And we said that it could not be in itself, and could not be in
   Then one is never in the same place?
   It would seem not.
   But that which is never in the same place is never quiet or at rest?
   One then, as would seem, is neither rest nor in motion?
   It certainly appears so.
   Neither will it be the same with itself or other; nor again, other
 than itself or other.
   How is that?
   If other than itself it would be other than one, and would not be
   And if the same with other, it would be that other, and not
 itself; so that upon this supposition too, it would not have the
 nature of one, but would be other than one?
   It would.
   Then it will not be the same with other, or other than itself?
   It will not.
   Neither will it be other than other, while it remains one; for not
 one, but only other, can be other than other, and nothing else.
   Then not by virtue of being one will it be other?
   Certainly not.
   But if not by virtue of being one, not by virtue of itself; and if
 not by virtue of itself, not itself, and itself not being other at
 all, will not be other than anything?
   Neither will one be the same with itself.
   How not?
   Surely the nature of the one is not the nature of the same.
   Why not?
   It is not when anything becomes the same with anything that it
 becomes one.
   What of that?
   Anything which becomes the same with the many, necessarily becomes
 many and not one.
   But, if there were no difference between the one and the same,
 when a thing became the same, it would always become one; and when
 it became one, the same?
   And, therefore, if one be the same with itself, it is not one with
 itself, and will therefore be one and also not one.
   Surely that is impossible.
   And therefore the one can neither be other than other, nor the
 same with itself.
   And thus the one can neither be the same, nor other, either in
 relation to itself or other?
   Neither will the one be like anything or unlike itself or other.
   Why not?
   Because likeness is sameness of affections.
   And sameness has been shown to be of a nature distinct from oneness?
   That has been shown.
   But if the one had any other affection than that of being one, it
 would be affected in such a way as to be more than one; which is
   Then the one can never be so affected as to be the same either
 with another or with itself?
   Clearly not.
   Then it cannot be like another, or like itself?
   Nor can it be affected so as to be other, for then it would be
 affected in such a way as to be more than one.
   It would.
   That which is affected otherwise than itself or another, will be
 unlike itself or another, for sameness of affections is likeness.
   But the one, as appears, never being affected otherwise, is never
 unlike itself or other?
   Then the one will never be either like or unlike itself or other?
   Plainly not.
   Again, being of this nature, it can neither be equal nor unequal
 either to itself or to other.
   How is that?
   Why, because the one if equal must be of the same measures as that
 to which it is equal.
   And if greater or less than things which are commensurable with
 it, the one will have more measures than that which is less, and fewer
 than that which is greater?
   And so of things which are not commensurate with it, the one will
 have greater measures than that which is less and smaller than that
 which is greater.
   But how can that which does not partake of sameness, have either the
 same measures or have anything else the same?
   And not having the same measures, the one cannot be equal either
 with itself or with another?
   It appears so.
   But again, whether it have fewer or more measures, it will have as
 many parts as it has measures; and thus again the one will be no
 longer one but will have as many parts as measures.
   And if it were of one measure, it would be equal to that measure;
 yet it has been shown to be incapable of equality.
   It has.
   Then it will neither partake of one measure, nor of many, nor of
 few, nor of the same at all, nor be equal to itself or another; nor be
 greater or less than itself, or other?
   Well, and do we suppose that one can be older, or younger than
 anything, or of the same age with it?
   Why not?
   Why, because that which is of the same age with itself or other,
 must partake of equality or likeness of time; and we said that the one
 did not partake either of equality or of likeness?
   We did say so.
   And we also said, that it did not partake of inequality or
   Very true.
   How then can one, being of this nature, be either older or younger
 than anything, or have the same age with it?
   In no way.
   Then one cannot be older or younger, or of the same age, either with
 itself or with another?
   Clearly not.
   Then the one, being of this nature, cannot be in time at all; for
 must not that which is in time, be always growing older than itself?
   And that which is older, must always be older than something which
 is younger?
   Then, that which becomes older than itself, also becomes at the same
 time younger than itself, if it is to have something to become older
   What do you mean?
   I mean this:-A thing does not need to become different from
 another thing which is already different; it is different, and if
 its different has become, it has become different; if its different
 will be, it will be different; but of that which is becoming
 different, there cannot have been, or be about to be, or yet be, a
 different-the only different possible is one which is becoming.
   That is inevitable.
   But, surely, the elder is a difference relative to the younger,
 and to nothing else.
   Then that which becomes older than itself must also, at the same
 time, become younger than itself?
   But again, it is true that it cannot become for a longer or for a
 shorter time than itself, but it must become, and be, and have become,
 and be about to be, for the same time with itself?
   That again is inevitable.
   Then things which are in time, and partake of time, must in every
 case, I suppose, be of the same age with themselves; and must also
 become at once older and younger than themselves?
   But the one did not partake of those affections?
   Not at all.
   Then it does not partake of time, and is not in any time?
   So the argument shows.
   Well, but do not the expressions "was," and "has become," and "was
 becoming," signify a participation of past time?
   And do not "will be," "will become," "will have become," signify a
 participation of future time?
   And "is," or "becomes," signifies a participation of present time?
   And if the one is absolutely without participation in time, it never
 had become, or was becoming, or was at any time, or is now become or
 is becoming, or is, or will become, or will have become, or will be,
   Most true.
   But are there any modes of partaking of being other than these?
   There are none.
   Then the one cannot possibly partake of being?
   That is the inference.
   Then the one is not at all?
   Clearly not.
   Then the one does not exist in such way as to be one; for if it were
 and partook of being, it would already be; but if the argument is to
 be trusted, the one neither is nor is one?
   But that which is not admits of no attribute or relation?
   Of course not.
   Then there is no name, nor expression, nor perception, nor
 opinion, nor knowledge of it?
   Clearly not.
   Then it is neither named, nor expressed, nor opined, nor known,
 nor does anything that is perceive it.
   So we must infer.
   But can all this be true about the one?
   I think not.
   Suppose, now, that we return once more to the original hypothesis;
 let us see whether, on a further review, any new aspect of the
 question appears.
   I shall be very happy to do so.
   We say that we have to work out together all the consequences,
 whatever they may be, which follow, if the one is?
   Then we will begin at the beginning:-If one is, can one be, and
 not partake of being?
   Then the one will have being, but its being will not be the same
 with the one; for if the same, it would not be the being of the one;
 nor would the one have participated in being, for the proposition that
 one is would have been identical with the proposition that one is one;
 but our hypothesis is not if one is one, what will follow, but if
 one is:-am I not right?
   Quite right.
   We mean to say, that being has not the same significance as one?
   Of course.
   And when we put them together shortly, and say "One is," that is
 equivalent to saying, "partakes of being"?
   Quite true.
   Once more then let us ask, if one is what will follow. Does not this
 hypothesis necessarily imply that one is of such a nature as to have
   How so?
   In this way:-If being is predicated of the one, if the one is, and
 one of being, if being is one; and if being and one are not the
 same; and since the one, which we have assumed, is, must not the
 whole, if it is one, itself be, and have for its parts, one and being?
   And is each of these parts-one and being to be simply called a part,
 or must the word "part" be relative to the word "whole"?
   The latter.
   Then that which is one is both a whole and has a part?
   Again, of the parts of the one, if it is-I mean being and one-does
 either fail to imply the other? is the one wanting to being, or
 being to the one?
   Thus, each of the parts also has in turn both one and being, and
 is at the least made up of two parts; and the same principle goes on
 for ever, and every part whatever has always these two parts; for
 being always involves one, and one being; so that one is always
 disappearing, and becoming two.
   And so the one, if it is, must be infinite in multiplicity?
   Let us take another direction.
   What direction?
   We say that the one partakes of being and therefore it is?
   And in this way, the one, if it has being, has turned out to be
   But now, let us abstract the one which, as we say, partakes of
 being, and try to imagine it apart from that of which, as we say, it
 partakes-will this abstract one be one only or many?
   One, I think.
   Let us see:-Must not the being of one be other than one? for the one
 is not being, but, considered as one, only partook of being?
   If being and the one be two different things, it is not because
 the one is one that it is other than being; nor because being is being
 that it is other than the one; but they differ from one another in
 virtue of otherness and difference.
   So that the other is not the same either with the one or with being?
   Certainly not.
   And therefore whether we take being and the other, or being and
 the one, or the one and the other, in every such case we take two
 things, which may be rightly called both.
   How so.
   In this way-you may speak of being?
   And also of one?
   Then now we have spoken of either of them?
   Well, and when I speak of being and one, I speak of them both?
   And if I speak of being and the other, or of the one and the
 other-in any such case do I not speak of both?
   And must not that which is correctly called both, be also two?
   And of two things how can either by any possibility not be one?
   It cannot.
   Then, if the individuals of the pair are together two, they must
 be severally one?
   And if each of them is one, then by the addition of any one to any
 pair, the whole becomes three?
   And three are odd, and two are even?
   Of course.
   And if there are two there must also be twice, and if there are
 three there must be thrice; that is, if twice one makes two, and
 thrice one three?
   There are two, and twice, and therefore there must be twice two; and
 there are three, and there is thrice, and therefore there must be
 thrice three?
   Of course.
   If there are three and twice, there is twice three; and if there are
 two and thrice, there is thrice two?
   Here, then, we have even taken even times, and odd taken odd
 times, and even taken odd times, and odd taken even times.
   And if this is so, does any number remain which has no necessity
 to be?
   None whatever.
   Then if one is, number must also be?
   It must.
   But if there is number, there must also be many, and infinite
 multiplicity of being; for number is infinite in multiplicity, and
 partakes also of being: am I not right?
   And if all number participates in being, every part of number will
 also participate?
   Then being is distributed over the whole multitude of things, and
 nothing that is, however small or however great, is devoid of it? And,
 indeed, the very supposition of this is absurd, for how can that which
 is, be devoid of being?
   In no way.
   And it is divided into the greatest and into the smallest, and
 into being of all sizes, and is broken up more than all things; the
 divisions of it have no limit.
   Then it has the greatest number of parts?
   Yes, the greatest number.
   Is there any of these which is a part of being, and yet no part?
   But if it is at all and so long as it is, it must be one, and cannot
 be none?
   Then the one attaches to every single part of being, and does not
 fail in any part, whether great or small, or whatever may be the
 size of it?
   But reflect:-an one in its entirety, be in many places at the same
   No; I see the impossibility of that.
   And if not in its entirety, then it is divided; for it cannot be
 present with all the parts of being, unless divided.
   And that which has parts will be as many as the parts are?
   Then we were wrong in saying just now, that being was distributed
 into the greatest number of parts. For it is not distributed into
 parts more than the one, into parts equal to the one; the one is never
 wanting to being, or being to the one, but being two they are co-equal
 and coextensive.
   Certainly that is true.
   The one itself, then, having been broken up into parts by being,
 is many and infinite?
   Then not only the one which has being is many, but the one itself
 distributed by being, must also be many?
   Further, inasmuch as the parts are parts of a whole, the one, as a
 whole, will be limited; for are not the parts contained the whole?
   And that which contains, is a limit?
   Of course.
   Then the one if it has being is one and many, whole and parts,
 having limits and yet unlimited in number?
   And because having limits, also having extremes?
   And if a whole, having beginning and middle and end. For can
 anything be a whole without these three? And if any one of them is
 wanting to anything, will that any longer be a whole?
   Then the one, as appears, will have beginning, middle, and end.
   It will.
   But, again, the middle will be equidistant from the extremes; or
 it would not be in the middle?
   Then the one will partake of figure, either rectilinear or round, or
 a union of the two?
   And if this is the case, it will be both in itself and in another
   Every part is in the whole, and none is outside the whole.
   And all the parts are contained by the whole?
   And the one is all its parts, and neither more nor less than all?
   And the one is the whole?
   Of course.
   But if all the parts are in the whole, and the one is all of them
 and the whole, and they are all contained by the whole, the one will
 be contained by the one; and thus the one will be in itself.
   That is true.
   But then, again, the whole is not in the parts-neither in all the
 parts, nor in some one of them. For if it is in all, it must be in
 one; for if there were any one in which it was not, it could not be in
 all the parts; for the part in which it is wanting is one of all,
 and if the whole is not in this, how can it be in them all?
   It cannot.
   Nor can the whole be in some of the parts; for if the whole were
 in some of the parts, the greater would be in the less, which is
   Yes, impossible.
   But if the whole is neither in one, nor in more than one, nor in all
 of the parts, it must be in something else, or cease to be anywhere at
   If it were nowhere, it would be nothing; but being a whole, and
 not being in itself, it must be in another.
   Very true.
   The one then, regarded as a whole, is in another, but regarded as
 being all its parts, is in itself; and therefore the one must be
 itself in itself and also in another.
   The one then, being of this nature, is of necessity both at rest and
 in motion?
   The one is at rest since it is in itself, for being in one, and
 not passing out of this, it is in the same, which is itself.
   And that which is ever in the same, must be ever at rest?
   Well, and must not that, on the contrary, which is ever in other,
 never be in the same; and if never in the same, never at rest, and
 if not at rest, in motion?
   Then the one being always itself in itself and other, must always be
 both at rest and in motion?
   And must be the same with itself, and other than itself; and also
 the same with the others, and other than the others; this follows from
 its previous affections.
   How so?
   Every thing in relation to every other thing, is either the same
 or other; or if neither the same nor other, then in the relation of
 a part to a whole, or of a whole to a part.
   And is the one a part of itself?
   Certainly not.
   Since it is not a part in relation to itself it cannot be related to
 itself as whole to part?
   It cannot.
   But is the one other than one?
   And therefore not other than itself?
   Certainly not.
   If then it be neither other, nor a whole, nor a part in relation
 to itself, must it not be the same with itself?
   But then, again, a thing which is in another place from "itself," if
 this "itself" remains in the same place with itself, must be other
 than "itself," for it will be in another place?
   Then the one has been shown to be at once in itself and in another?
   Thus, then, as appears, the one will be other than itself?
   Well, then, if anything be other than anything, will it not be other
 than that which is other?
   And will not all things that are not one, be other than the one, and
 the one other than the not-one?
   Of course.
   Then the one will be other than the others?
   But, consider:-Are not the absolute same, and the absolute other,
 opposites to one another?
   Of course.
   Then will the same ever be in the other, or the other in the same?
   They will not.
   If then the other is never in the same, there is nothing in which
 the other is during any space of time; for during that space of
 time, however small, the other would be in the game. Is not that true?
  And since the other-is never in the same, it can never be in anything
 that is.
   Then the other will never be either in the not one, or in the one?
   Certainly not.
   Then not by reason of otherness is the one other than the not-one,
 or the not-one other than the one.
   Nor by reason of themselves will they be other than one another,
 if not partaking of the other.
   How can they be?
   But if they are not other, either by reason of themselves or of
 the other, will they not altogether escape being other than one
   They will.
   Again, the not-one cannot partake of the one; otherwise it would not
 have been not-one, but would have been in some way one.
   Nor can the not-one be number; for having number, it would not
 have been not-one at all.
   It would not.
   Again, is the not-one part of the one; or rather, would it not in
 that case partake of the one?
   It would.
   If then, in every point of view, the one and the not-one are
 distinct, then neither is the one part or whole of the not-one, nor is
 the not-one part or whole of the one?
   But we said that things which are neither parts nor wholes of one
 another, nor other than one another, will be the same with one
 another: -so we said?
   Then shall we say that the one, being in this relation to the
 not-one, is the same with it?
   Let us say so.
   Then it is the same with itself and the others, and also other
 than itself and the others.
   That appears to be the inference. And it will also be like and
 unlike itself and the others?
   Since the one was shown to be other than the others, the others will
 also be other than the one.
   And the one is other than the others in the same degree that the
 others are other than it, and neither more nor less?
   And if neither more nor less, then in a like degree?
   In virtue of the affection by which the one is other than others and
 others in like manner other than it, the one will be affected like the
 others and the others like the one.
   How do you mean?
   I may take as an illustration the case of names: You give a name
 to a thing?
   And you may say the name once or oftener?
   And when you say it once, you mention that of which it is the
 name? and when more than once, is it something else which you mention?
 or must it always be the same thing of which you speak, whether you
 utter the name once or more than once?
   Of course it is the same.
   And is not "other" a name given to a thing?
   Whenever, then, you use the word "other," whether once or oftener,
 you name that of which it is the name, and to no other do you give the
   Then when we say that the others are other than the one, and the one
 other than the others, in repeating the word "other" we speak of
 that nature to which the name is applied, and of no other?
   Quite true.
   Then the one which is other than others, and the other which is
 other than the one, in that the word "other" is applied to both,
 will be in the same condition; and that which is in the same condition
 is like?
   Then in virtue of the affection by which the one is other than the
 others, every thing will be like every thing, for every thing is other
 than every thing.
   Again, the like is opposed to the unlike?
   And the other to the same?
   True again.
   And the one was also shown to be the same with the others?
   And to be, the same with the others is the opposite of being other
 than the others?
   And in that it was other it was shown to be like?
   But in that it was the same it will be unlike by virtue of the
 opposite affection to that which made it and this was the affection of
   The same then will make it unlike; otherwise it will not be the
 opposite of the other.
   Then the one will be both like and unlike the others; like in so far
 as it is other, and unlike in so far as it is the same.
   Yes, that argument may be used.
   And there is another argument.
   In so far as it is affected in the same way it is not affected
 otherwise, and not being affected otherwise is not unlike, and not
 being unlike, is like; but in so far as it is affected by other it
 is otherwise, and being otherwise affected is unlike.
   Then because the one is the same with the others and other than
 the others, on either of these two grounds, or on both of them, it
 will be both like and unlike the others?
   And in the same way as being other than itself, and the same with
 itself on either of these two grounds and on both of them, it will
 be like and unlike itself.
   Of course.
   Again, how far can the one touch or not touch itself and
   I am considering.
   The one was shown to be in itself which was a whole?
   And also in other things?
   In so far as it is in other things it would touch other things,
 but in so far as it is in itself it would be debarred from touching
 them, and would touch itself only.
   Then the inference is that it would touch both?
   It would.
   But what do you say to a new point of view? Must not that which is
 to touch another be next to that which it is to touch, and occupy
 the place nearest to that in which what it touches is situated?
   Then the one, if it is to touch itself, ought to be situated next to
 itself, and occupy the place next to that in which itself is?
   It ought.
   And that would require that the one should be two, and be in two
 places at once, and this, while it is one, will never happen.
   Then the one cannot touch itself any more than it can be two?
   It cannot.
   Neither can it touch others.
   Why not?
   The reason is, that whatever is to touch another must be in
 separation from, and next to, that which it is to touch, and no
 third thing can be between them.
   Two things, then, at the least ate necessary to make contact
   They are.
   And if to the two a third be added in due order, the number of terms
 will be three, and the contacts two?
   And every additional term makes one additional contact, whence it
 follows that the contacts are one less in number than the terms; the
 first two terms exceeded the number of contacts by one, and the
 whole number of terms exceeds the whole number of contacts by one in
 like manner; and for every one which is afterwards added to the number
 of terms, one contact is added to the contacts.
   Whatever is the whole number of things, the contacts will be
 always one less.
   But if there be only one, and not two, there will be no contact?
   How can there be?
   And do we not say that the others being other than the one are not
 one and have no part in the one?
   Then they have no number, if they have no one in them?
   Of course not.
   Then the others are neither one nor two, nor are they called by
 the name of any number?
   One, then, alone is one, and two do not exist?
   Clearly not.
   And if there are not two, there is no contact?
   There is not.
   Then neither does the one touch the others, nor the others the
 one, if there is no contact?
   Certainly not.
   For all which reasons the one touches and does not touch itself
 and the others?
   Further-is the one equal and unequal to itself and others?
   How do you mean?
   If the one were greater or less than the others, or the others
 greater or less than the one, they would not be greater or less than
 each other in virtue of their being the one and the others; but, if in
 addition to their being what they are they had equality, they would be
 equal to one another, or if the one had smallness and the others
 greatness, or the one had greatness and the others smallness-whichever
 kind had greatness would be greater, and whichever had smallness would
 be smaller?
   Then there are two such ideas as greatness and smallness; for if
 they were not they could not be opposed to each other and be present
 in that which is.
   How could they?
   If, then, smallness is present in the one it will be present
 either in the whole or in a part of the whole?
   Suppose the first; it will be either co-equal and co-extensive
 with the whole one, or will contain the one?
   If it be co-extensive with the one it will be coequal with the
 one, or if containing the one it will be greater than the one?
   Of course.
   But can smallness be equal to anything or greater than anything, and
 have the functions of greatness and equality and not its own
   Then smallness cannot be in the whole of one, but, if at all, in a
 part only?
   And surely not in all of a part, for then the difficulty of the
 whole will recur; it will be equal to or greater than any part in
 which it is.
   Then smallness will not be in anything, whether in a whole or in a
 part; nor will there be anything small but actual smallness.
   Neither will greatness be in the one, for if greatness be in
 anything there will be something greater other and besides greatness
 itself, namely, that in which greatness is; and this too when the
 small itself is not there, which the one, if it is great, must exceed;
 this, however, is impossible, seeing that smallness is wholly absent.
   But absolute greatness is only greater than absolute smallness,
 and smallness is only smaller than absolute greatness.
   Very true.
   Then other things not greater or less than the one, if they have
 neither greatness nor smallness; nor have greatness or smallness any
 power of exceeding or being exceeded in relation to the one, but
 only in relation to one another; nor will the one be greater or less
 than them or others, if it has neither greatness nor smallness.
   Clearly not.
   Then if the one is neither greater nor less than the others, it
 cannot either exceed or be exceeded by them?
   Certainly not.
   And that which neither exceeds nor is exceeded, must be on an
 equality; and being on an equality, must be equal.
   Of course.
   And this will be true also of the relation of the one to itself;
 having neither greatness nor smallness in itself, it will neither
 exceed nor be exceeded by itself, but will be on an equality with
 and equal to itself.
   Then the one will be equal to both itself and the others?
   Clearly so.
   And yet the one, being itself in itself, will also surround and be
 without itself; and, as containing itself, will be greater than
 itself; and, as contained in itself, will be less; and will thus be
 greater and less than itself.
   It will.
   Now there cannot possibly be anything which is not included in the
 one and the others?
   Of course not.
   But, surely, that which is must always be somewhere?
   But that which is in anything will be less, and that in which it
 is will be greater; in no other way can one thing be in another.
   And since there is nothing other or besides the one and the
 others, and they must be in something, must they not be in one
 another, the one in the others and the others in the one, if they
 are to be anywhere?
   That is clear.
   But inasmuch as the one is in the others, the others will be greater
 than the one, because they contain the one, which will be less than
 the others, because it is contained in them; and inasmuch as the
 others are in the one, the one on the same principle will be greater
 than the others, and the others less than the one.
   The one, then, will be equal to and greater and less than itself and
 the others?
   And if it be greater and less and equal, it will be of equal and
 more and less measures or divisions than itself and the others, and if
 of measures, also of parts?
   Of course.
   And if of equal and more and less measures or divisions, it will
 be in number more or less than itself and the others, and likewise
 equal in number to itself and to the others?
   How is that?
   It will be of more measures than those things which it exceeds,
 and of as many parts as measures; and so with that to which it is
 equal, and that than which it is less.
   And being greater and less than itself, and equal to itself, it will
 be of equal measures with itself and of more and fewer measures than
 itself; and if of measures then also of parts?
   It will.
   And being of equal parts with itself, it will be numerically equal
 to itself; and being of more parts, more, and being of less, less than
   And the same will hold of its relation to other things; inasmuch
 as it is greater than them, it will be more in number than them; and
 inasmuch as it is smaller, it will be less in number; and inasmuch
 as it is equal in size to other things, it will be equal to them in
   Once more then, as would appear, the one will be in number both
 equal to and more and less than both itself and all other things.
   It will.
   Does the one also partake of time? And is it and does it become
 older and younger than itself and others, and again, neither younger
 nor older than itself and others, by virtue of participation in time?
   How do you mean?
   If one is, being must be predicated of it?
   But to be (einai) is only participation of being in present time,
 and to have been is the participation of being at a past time, and
 to be about to be is the participation of being at a future time?
   Very true.
   Then the one, since it partakes of being, partakes of time?
   And is not time always moving forward?
   Then the one is always becoming older than itself, since it moves
 forward in time?
   And do you remember that the older becomes older than that which
 becomes younger?
   I remember.
   Then since the one becomes older than itself, it becomes younger
 at the same time?
   Thus, then, the one becomes older as well as younger than itself?
   And it is older (is it not?) when in becoming, it gets to the
 point of time. between "was" and "will be," which is "now": for surely
 in going from the past to the future, it cannot skip the present?
   And when it arrives at the present it stops from becoming older, and
 no longer becomes, but is older, for if it went on it would never be
 reached by the present, for it is the nature of that which goes on, to
 touch both the present and the future, letting go the present and
 seizing the future, while in process of becoming between them.
   But that which is becoming cannot skip the present; when it
 reaches the present it ceases to become, and is then whatever it may
 happen to be becoming.
   And so the one, when in becoming older it reaches the present,
 ceases to become, and is then older.
   And it is older than that than which it was becoming older, and it
 was becoming older than itself.
   And that which is older is older than that which is younger?
   Then the one is younger than itself, when in becoming older it
 reaches the present?
   But the present is always present with the one during all its being;
 for whenever it is it is always now.
   Then the one always both is and becomes older and younger than
   And is it or does it become a longer time than itself or an equal
 time with itself?
   An equal time.
   But if it becomes or is for an equal time with itself, it is of
 the same age with itself?
   Of course.
   And that which is of the same age, is neither older nor younger?
   The one, then, becoming and being the same time with itself, neither
 is nor becomes older or younger than itself?
   I should say not.
   And what are its relations to other things? Is it or does it
 become older or younger than they?
   I cannot tell you.
   You can at least tell me that others than the one are more than
 the one-other would have been one, but the others have multitude,
 and are more than one?
   They will have multitude.
   And a multitude implies a number larger than one?
   Of course.
   And shall we say that the lesser or the greater is the first to come
 or to have come into existence?
   The lesser.
   Then the least is the first? And that is the one?
   Then the one of all things that have number is the first to come
 into being; but all other things have also number, being plural and
 not singular.
   They have.
   And since it came into being first it must be supposed to have
 come into being prior to the others, and the others later; and the
 things which came into being later, are younger than that which
 preceded them? And so the other things will be younger than the one,
 and the one older than other things?
   What would you say of another question? Can the one have come into
 being contrary to its own nature, or is that impossible?
   And yet, surely, the one was shown to have parts; and if parts, then
 a beginning, middle and end?
   And a beginning, both of the one itself and of all other things,
 comes into being first of all; and after the beginning, the others
 follow, until you reach the end?
   And all these others we shall affirm to be parts of the whole and of
 the one, which, as soon as the end is reached, has become whole and
   Yes; that is what we shall say.
   But the end comes last, and the one is of such a nature as to come
 into being with the last; and, since the one cannot come into being
 except in accordance with its own nature, its nature will require that
 it should come into being after the others, simultaneously with the
   Then the one is younger than the others and the others older than
 the one.
   That also is clear in my judgment.
   Well, and must not a beginning or any other part of the one or of
 anything, if it be a part and not parts, being a part, be also of
 necessity one?
   And will not the one come into being together with each
 part-together with the first part when that comes into being, and
 together with the second part and with all the rest, and will not be
 wanting to any part, which is added to any other part until it has
 reached the last and become one whole; it will be wanting neither to
 the middle, nor to the first, nor to the last, nor to any of them,
 while the process of becoming is going on?
   Then the one is of the same age with all the others, so that if
 the one itself does not contradict its own nature, it will be
 neither prior nor posterior to the others, but simultaneous; and
 according to this argument the one will be neither older nor younger
 than the others, nor the others than the one, but according to the
 previous argument the one will be older and younger than the others
 and the others than the one.
   After this manner then the one is and has become. But as to its
 becoming older and younger than the others, and the others than the
 one, and neither older. nor younger, what shall we say? Shall we say
 as of being so also of becoming, or otherwise?
   I cannot answer.
   But I can venture to say, that even if one thing were older or
 younger than another, it could not become older or younger in a
 greater degree than it was at first; for equals added to unequals,
 whether to periods of time or to anything else, leave the difference
 between them the same as at first.
   Of course. Then that which is, cannot become older or younger than
 that which is, since the difference of age is always the same; the one
 is and has become older and the other younger; but they are no
 longer becoming so.
   And the one which is does not therefore become either older or
 younger than the others which are
   But consider whether they may not become older and younger in
 another way.
   In what way?
   Just as the one was proven to be older than the others and the
 others than the one.
   And what of that?
   If the one is older than the others, has come into being a longer
 time than the others.
   But consider again; if we add equal time to a greater and a less
 time, will the greater differ from the less time by an equal or by a
 smaller portion than before?
   By a smaller portion.
   Then the difference between the age of the one and the age of the
 others will not be afterwards so great as at first, but if an equal
 time be added to both of them they will differ less and less in age?
   And that which differs in age from some other less than formerly,
 from being older will become younger in relation to that other than
 which it was older?
   Yes, younger.
   And if the one becomes younger the others aforesaid will become
 older than they were before, in relation to the one.
   Then that which had become younger becomes older relatively to
 that which previously had become and was older; it never really is
 older, but is always becoming, for the one is always growing on the
 side of youth and the other on the side of age. And in like manner the
 older is always in process of becoming younger than the younger; for
 as they are always going in opposite directions they become in ways
 the opposite to one another, the younger older than the older and
 the older younger than the younger. They cannot, however have
 become; for if they had already become they would be and not merely
 become. But that is impossible; for they are always becoming both
 older and younger than one another: the one becomes younger than the
 others because it was seen to be older and prior, and the others
 become older than the one because they came into being later; and in
 the same way the others are in the same relation to the one, because
 they were seen to be older, and prior to the one.
   That is clear.
   Inasmuch then, one thing does not become older or younger than
 another, in that they always differ from each other by an equal
 number, the one cannot become older or younger than the others, nor
 the other than the one; but inasmuch as that which came into being
 earlier and that which came into being later must continually differ
 from each other by a different portion-in this point of view the
 others must become older and younger than the one, and the one than
 the others.
   For all these reasons, then, the one is and becomes older and
 younger than itself and the others, and neither is nor becomes older
 or younger than itself or the others.
   But since the one partakes of time, and partakes of becoming older
 and younger, must it not also partake of the past, the present, and
 the future?
   Of course it must.
   Then the one was and is and will be, and was becoming and is
 becoming and will become?
   And there is and was and will be something which is in relation to
 it and belongs to it?
   And since we have at this moment opinion and knowledge and
 perception of the one, there is opinion and knowledge and perception
 of it?
   Quite right.
   Then there is name and expression for it, and it is named and
 expressed, and everything of this kind which appertains to other:
 things appertains to the one.
   Certainly, that is true.
   Yet once more and for the third time, let us consider: If the one is
 both one and many, as we have described, and is, neither one nor many,
 and participates in time, must it not, in as far as it is one, at
 times partake of being, and in as far as it is not one, at times not
 partake of being?
   But can it partake of being when not partaking of being, or not
 partake of being when partaking of being?
   Then the one partakes and does not partake of being at different
 times, for that is the only way in which it can partake and not
 partake of the same.
   And is there not also a time at which it assumes being and
 relinquishes being-for how can it have and not have the same thing
 unless it receives and also gives it up at; some time?
   And the assuming of being is what you would call becoming?
   I should.
   And the relinquishing of being you would call destruction?
   I should.
   The one then, as would appear, becomes and is destroyed by taking
 and giving up being.
   And being one and many and in process of becoming and being
 destroyed, when it becomes one it ceases to be many, and when many, it
 ceases to be one?
   And as it becomes one and many, must it not inevitably experience
 separation and aggregation?
   And whenever it becomes like and unlike it must be assimilated and
   And when it becomes greater or less or equal it must grow or
 diminish or be equalized?
   And when being in motion it rests, and when being at rest it changes
 to motion, it can surely be in no time at all?
   How can it?
   But that a thing which is previously at rest should be afterwards in
 motion, or previously in motion and afterwards at rest, without
 experiencing change, is impossible.
   And surely there cannot be a time in which a thing can be at once
 neither in motion nor at rest?
   There cannot.
   But neither can it change without changing.
   When then does it change; for it cannot change either when at
 rest, or when in motion, or when in time?
   It cannot.
   And does this strange thing in which it is at the time of changing
 really exist?
   What thing?
   The moment. For the moment seems to imply a something out of which
 change takes place into either of two states; for the change is not
 from the state of rest as such, nor, from the state of motion as such;
 but there is this curious nature, which we call the moment lying
 between rest and motion, not being in any time; and into this and
 out of this what is in motion changes into rest, and what is at rest
 into motion.
   So it appears.
   And the one then, since it is at rest and also in motion, will
 change to either, for only in this way can it be in both. And in
 changing it changes in a moment, and when it is changing it will be in
 no time, and will not then be either in motion or at rest.
   It will not.
   And it will be in the same case in relation to the other changes,
 when it passes from being into cessation of being, or from not-being
 into becoming-then it passes between certain states of motion and
 rest, and, neither is nor is not, nor becomes nor is destroyed.
   Very true.
   And on the same principle, in the passage from one to many and
 from many to one, the one is neither one nor many, neither separated
 nor aggregated; and in the passage from like to unlike, and from
 unlike to like, it is neither like nor unlike, neither in a state of
 assimilation nor of dissimilation; and in the passage from small to
 great and equal and back again, it will be neither small nor great,
 nor equal, nor in a state of increase, or diminution, or equalization.
   All these, then, are the affections of the one, if the one has
   Of course.
   But if one is, what will happen to the others -is not that also to
 be considered?
   Let us show then, if one is, what will be the affections of the
 others than the one.
   Let us do so.
   Inasmuch as there are things other than the one, the others are
 not the one; for if they were they could not be other than the one.
 Very true.
   Very true.
   Nor are the others altogether without the one, but in a certain
 way they participate in the one.
   In what way?
   Because the others are other than the one inasmuch as they have
 parts; for if they had no parts they would be simply one.
   And parts, as we affirm, have relation to a whole?
   So we say.
   And a whole must necessarily be one made up of many; and the parts
 will be parts of the one, for each of the parts is not a part of many,
 but of a whole.
   How do you mean?
   If anything were a part of many, being itself one of them, it will
 surely be a part of itself, which is impossible, and it will be a part
 of each one of the other parts, if of all; for if not a part of some
 one, it will be a part of all the others but this one, and thus will
 not be a part of each one; and if not a part of each, one it will
 not be a part of anyone of the many; and not being a part of any
 one, it cannot be a part or anything else of all those things of
 none of which it is anything.
   Clearly not.
   Then the part is not a part of the many, nor of all, but is of a
 certain single form, which we call a whole, being one perfect unity
 framed out of all-of this the part will be a part.
   If, then, the others have parts, they will participate in the
 whole and in the one.
   Then the others than the one must be one perfect whole, having
   And the same argument holds of each part, for the part must
 participate in the one; for if each of the parts is a part, this
 means, I suppose, that it is one separate from the rest and
 self-related; otherwise it is not each.
   But when we speak of the part participating in the one, it must
 clearly be other than one; for if not, it would merely have
 participated, but would have been one; whereas only the itself can
 be one.
   Very true.
   Both the whole and the part must participate in the one; for the
 whole will be one whole, of which the parts will be parts; and each
 part will be one part of the whole which is the whole of the part.
   And will not the things which participate in the one, be other
 than it?
   Of course.
   And the things which are other than the one will be many; for if the
 things which are other than the one were neither one nor more than
 one, they would be nothing.
   But, seeing that the things which participate in the one as a
 part, and in the one as a whole, are more than one, must not those
 very things which participate in the one be infinite in number?
   How so?
   Let us look at the matter thus:-Is it not a fact that in partaking
 of the one they are not one, and do not partake of the one at the very
 time. when they are partaking of it?
   They do so then as multitudes in which the one is not present?
   Very true.
   And if we were to abstract from them in idea the very smallest
 fraction, must not that least fraction, if it does not partake of
 the one, be a multitude and not one?
   It must.
   And if we continue to look at the other side of their nature,
 regarded simply, and in itself, will not they, as far as we see
 them, be unlimited in number?
   And yet, when each several part becomes a part, then the parts
 have a limit in relation to the whole and to each other, and the whole
 in relation to the parts.
   Just so.
   The result to the others than the one is that of themselves and
 the one appears to create a new element in them which gives to them
 limitation in relation to one another; whereas in their own nature
 they have no limit.
   That is clear.
   Then the others than the one, both as whole and parts, are infinite,
 and also partake of limit.
   Then they are both like and unlike one another and themselves.
   How is that?
   Inasmuch as they are unlimited in their own nature, they are all
 affected in the same way.
   And inasmuch as they all partake of limit, they are all affected
 in the same way.
   Of course.
   But inasmuch as their state is both limited and unlimited, they
 are affected in opposite ways.
   And opposites are the most unlike of things.
   Considered, then, in regard to either one of their affections,
 they will be like themselves and one another; considered in
 reference to both of them together, most opposed and most unlike.
   That appears to be true.
   Then the others are both like and unlike themselves and one another?
   And they are the same and also different from one another, and in
 motion and at rest, and experience every sort of opposite affection,
 as may be proved without difficulty of them, since they have been
 shown to have experienced the affections aforesaid?
   Suppose, now, that we leave the further discussion of these
 matters as evident, and consider again upon the hypothesis that the
 one is, whether opposite of all this is or is not equally true of
 the others.
   By all means.
   Then let us begin again, and ask, If one is, what must be the
 affections of the others?
   Let us ask that question.
   Must not the one be distinct from the others, and the others from
 the one?
   Why so?
   Why, because there is nothing else beside them which is distinct
 from both of them; for the expression "one and the others" includes
 all things.
   Yes, all things.
   Then we cannot suppose that there is anything different from them in
 which both the one and the others might exist?
   There is nothing.
   Then the one and the others are never in the same?
   Then they are separated from each other?
   And we surely cannot say that what is truly one has parts?
   Then the one will not be in the others as a whole, nor as part, if
 it be separated from the others, and has no parts?
   Then there is no way in which the others can partake of the one,
 if they do not partake either in whole or in part?
   It would seem not.
   Then there is no way in which the others are one, or have in
 themselves any unity?
   There is not.
   Nor are the others many; for if they were many, each part of them
 would be a part of the whole; but now the others, not partaking in any
 way of the one, are neither one nor many, nor whole, nor part.
   Then the others neither are nor contain two or three, if entirely
 deprived of the one?
   Then the others are neither like nor unlike the one, nor is likeness
 and unlikeness in them; for if they were like and unlike, or had in
 them likeness and unlikeness, they would have two natures in them
 opposite to one another.
   That is clear.
   But for that which partakes of nothing to partake of two things
 was held by us to be impossible?
   Then the others are neither like nor unlike nor both, for if they
 were like or unlike they would partake of one of those two natures,
 which would be one thing, and if they were both they would partake
 of opposites which would be two things, and this has been shown to
 be impossible.
   Therefore they are neither the same, nor other, nor in motion, nor
 at rest, nor in a state of becoming, nor of being destroyed, nor
 greater, nor less, nor equal, nor have they experienced anything
 else of the sort; for, if they are capable of experiencing any such
 affection, they will participate in one and two and three, and odd and
 even, and in these, as has been proved, they do not participate,
 seeing that they are altogether and in every way devoid of the one.
   Very true.
   Therefore if one is, the one is all things, and also nothing, both
 in relation to itself and to other things.
   Well, and ought we not to consider next what will be the consequence
 if the one is not?
   Yes; we ought.
   What is the meaning of the hypothesis-If the one is not; is there
 any difference between this and the hypothesis-If the not one is not?
   There is a difference, certainly.
   Is there a difference only, or rather are not the two expressions-if
 the one is not, and if the not one is not, entirely opposed?
   They are entirely opposed.
   And suppose a person to say:-If greatness is not, if smallness is
 not, or anything of that sort, does he not mean, whenever he uses such
 an expression, that "what is not" is other than other things?
   To be sure.
   And so when he says "If one is not" he clearly means, that what
 "is not" is other than all others; we know what he means-do we not?
   Yes, we do.
   When he says "one," he says something which is known; and secondly
 something which is other than all other things; it makes no difference
 whether he predicate of one being or not being, for that which is said
 "not to be" is known to be something all the same, and is
 distinguished from other things.
   Then I will begin again, and ask: If one is not, what are the
 consequences? In the first place, as would appear, there is a
 knowledge of it, or the very meaning of the words, "if one is not,"
 would not be known.
   Secondly, the others differ from it, or it could not be described as
 different from the others?
   Difference, then, belongs to it as well as knowledge; for in
 speaking of the one as different from the others, we do not speak of a
 difference in the others, but in the one.
   Clearly so.
   Moreover, the one that is not is something and partakes of
 relation to "that," and "this," and "these," and the like, and is an
 attribute of "this"; for the one, or the others than the one, could
 not have been spoken of, nor could any attribute or relative of the
 one that is not have been or been spoken of, nor could it have been
 said to be anything, if it did not partake of "some," or of the
 other relations just now mentioned.
   Being, then, cannot be ascribed to the one, since it is not; but the
 one that is not may or rather must participate in many things, if it
 and nothing else is not; if, however, neither the one nor the one that
 is not is supposed not to be, and we are speaking of something of a
 different nature, we can predicate nothing of it. But supposing that
 the one that is not and nothing else is not, then it must
 participate in the predicate "that," and in many others.
   And it will have unlikeness in relation to the others, for the
 others being different from the one will be of a different kind.
   And are not things of a different kind also other in kind?
   Of course.
   And are not things other in kind unlike?
   They are unlike.
   And if they are unlike the one, that which they are unlike will
 clearly be unlike them?
   Clearly so.
   Then the one will have unlikeness in respect of which the others are
 unlike it?
   That would seem to be true.
   And if unlikeness to other things is attributed to it, it must
 have likeness to itself.
   How so?
   If the one have unlikeness to one, something else must be meant; nor
 will the hypothesis relate to one; but it will relate to something
 other than one?
   Quite so.
   But that cannot be.
   Then the one must have likeness to itself?
   It must.
   Again, it is not equal to the others; for if it were equal, then
 it would at once be and be like them in virtue of the equality; but if
 one has no being, then it can neither be nor be like?
   It cannot.
   But since it is not equal to the others, neither can the others be
 equal to it?
   Certainly not.
   And things that are not equal are unequal?
   And they are unequal to an unequal?
   Of course.
   Then the one partakes of inequality, and in respect of this the
 others are unequal to it?
   Very true.
   And inequality implies greatness and smallness?
   Then the one, if of such a nature, has greatness and smallness?
   That appears to be true.
   And greatness and smallness always stand apart?
   Then there is always something between them?
   There is.
   And can you think of anything else which is between them other
 than equality?
   No, it is equality which lies between them.
   Then that which has greatness and smallness also has equality, which
 lies between them?
   That is clear.
   Then the one, which is not, partakes, as would appear, of
 greatness and smallness and equality?
   Further, it must surely in a sort partake of being?
   How so?
   It must be so, for if not, then we should not speak the truth in
 saying that the one is not. But if we speak the truth, clearly we must
 say what is. Am I not right?
   And since we affirm that we speak truly, we must also affirm that we
 say what is?
   Then, as would appear, the one, when it is not, is; for if it were
 not to be when it is not, but were to relinquish something of being,
 so as to become not-being, it would at once be.
   Quite true.
   Then the one which is not, if it is to maintain itself, must have
 the being of not-being as the bond of not-being, just as being must
 have as a bond the not-being of not-being in order to perfect its
 own being; for the truest assertion of the being of being and of the
 not-being of not being is when being partakes of the being of being,
 and not of the being of not-being-that is, the perfection of being;
 and when not-being does not partake of the not-being of not-being
 but of the being of not-being-that is the perfection of not-being.
   Most true.
   Since then what is partakes of not-being, and what is not of
 being, must not the one also partake of being in order not to be?
   Then the one, if it is not, clearly has being?
   And has not-being also, if it is not?
   Of course.
   But can anything which is in a certain state not be in that state
 without changing?
   Then everything which is and is not in a certain state, implies
   And change is motion-we may say that?
   Yes, motion.
   And the one has been proved both to be and not to be?
   And therefore is and is not in the same state?
   Thus the one that is not has been shown to have motion also, because
 it changes from being to not-being?
   That appears to be true.
   But surely if it is nowhere among what is, as is the fact, since
 it is not, it cannot change from one place to another?
   Then it cannot move by changing place?
   Nor can it turn on the same spot, for it nowhere touches the same,
 for the same is, and that which is not cannot be reckoned among things
 that are?
   It cannot.
   Then the one, if it is not, cannot turn in that in which it is not?
   Neither can the one, whether it is or is not, be altered into
 other than itself, for if it altered and became different from itself,
 then we could not be still speaking of the one, but of something else?
   But if the one neither suffers alteration, nor turns round in the
 same place, nor changes place, can it still be capable of motion?
   Now that which is unmoved must surely be at rest, and that which
 is at rest must stand still?
   Then the one that is not, stands still, and is also in motion?
   That seems to be true.
   But if it be in motion it must necessarily undergo alteration, for
 anything which is moved, in so far as it is moved, is no longer in the
 same state, but in another?
   Then the one, being moved, is altered?
   And, further, if not moved in any way, it will not be altered in any
   Then, in so far as the one that is not is moved, it is altered,
 but in so far as it is not moved, it is not altered?
   Then the one that is not is altered and is not altered?
   That is clear.
   And must not that which is altered become other than it previously
 was, and lose its former state and be destroyed; but that which is not
 altered can neither come into being nor be destroyed?
   Very true.
   And the one that is not, being altered, becomes and is destroyed;
 and not being altered, neither becomes nor is destroyed; and so the
 one that is not becomes and is destroyed, and neither becomes nor is
   And now, let us go back once more to the beginning, and see
 whether these or some other consequences will follow.
   Let us do as you say.
   If one is not, we ask what will happen in respect of one? That is
 the question.
   Do not the words "is not" signify absence of being in that to
 which we apply them?
   Just so.
   And when we say that a thing is not, do we mean that it is not in
 one way but is in another? or do we mean, absolutely, that what is not
 has in no sort or way or kind participation of being?
   Quite absolutely.
   Then, that which is not cannot be, or in any way participate in
   It cannot.
   And did we not mean by becoming, and being destroyed, the assumption
 of being and the loss of being?
   Nothing else.
   And can that which has no participation in being, either assume or
 lose being?
   The one then, since it in no way is, cannot have or lose or assume
 being in any way?
   Then the one that is not, since it in no way partakes of being,
 neither nor becomes?
   Then it is not altered at all; for if it were it would become and be
   But if it be not altered it cannot be moved?
   Certainly not.
   Nor can we say that it stands, if it is nowhere; for that which
 stands must always be in one and the same spot?
   Of course.
   Then we must say that the one which is not never stands still and
 never moves?
   Nor is there any existing thing which can be attributed to it; for
 if there had been, it would partake of being?
   That is clear.
   And therefore neither smallness, nor greatness, nor equality, can be
 attributed to it?
   Nor yet likeness nor difference, either in relation to itself or
 to others?
   Clearly not.
   Well, and if nothing should be attributed to it, can other things be
 attributed to it?
   Certainly not.
   And therefore other things can neither be like or unlike, the
 same, or different in relation to it?
   They cannot.
   Nor can what is not, be anything, or be this thing, or be related to
 or the attribute of this or that or other, or be past, present, or
 future. Nor can knowledge, or opinion, or perception, or expression,
 or name, or any other thing that is, have any concern with it?
   Then the one that is not has no condition of any kind?
   Such appears to be the conclusion.
   Yet once more; if one is not, what becomes of the others? Let us
 determine that.
   Yes; let us determine that.
   The others must surely be; for if they, like the one, were not, we
 could not be now speaking of them.
   But to speak of the others implies difference-the terms "other"
 and "different" are synonymous?
   Other means other than other, and different, different from the
   Then, if there are to be others, there is something than which
 they will be other?
   And what can that be?-for if the one is not, they will not be
 other than the one.
   They will not.
   Then they will be other than each other; for the only remaining
 alternative is that they are other than nothing.
   And they are each other than one another, as being plural and not
 singular; for if one is not, they cannot be singular but every
 particle of them is infinite in number; and even if a person takes
 that which appears to be the smallest fraction, this, which seemed
 one, in a moment evanesces into many, as in a dream, and from being
 the smallest becomes very great, in comparison with the fractions into
 which it is split up?
   Very true.
   And in such particles the others will be other than one another,
 if others are, and the one is not?
   And will there not be many particles, each appearing to be one,
 but not being one, if one is not?
   And it would seem that number can be predicated of them if each of
 them appears to be one, though it is really many?
   It can.
   And there will seem to be odd and even among them, which will also
 have no reality, if one is not?
   And there will appear to be a least among them; and even this will
 seem large and manifold in comparison with the many small fractions
 which are contained in it?
   And each particle will be imagined to be equal to the many and
 little; for it could not have appeared to pass from the greater to the
 less without having appeared to arrive at the middle; and thus would
 arise the appearance of equality.
   And having neither beginning, middle, nor end, each separate
 particle yet appears to have a limit in relation to itself and other.
   How so?
   Because, when a person conceives of any one of these as such,
 prior to the beginning another beginning appears, and there is another
 end, remaining after the end, and in the middle truer middles within
 but smaller, because no unity can be conceived of any of them, since
 the one is not.
   Very true.
   And so all being, whatever we think of, must be broken up into
 fractions, for a particle will have to be conceived of without unity?
   And such being when seen indistinctly and at a distance, appears
 to be one; but when seen near and with keen intellect, every single
 thing appears to be infinite, since it is deprived of the one, which
 is not?
   Nothing more certain.
   Then each of the others must appear to be infinite and finite, and
 one and many, if others than the one exist and not the one.
   They must.
   Then will they not appear to be like and unlike?
   In what way?
   Just as in a picture things appear to be all one to a person
 standing at a distance, and to be in the same state and alike?
   But when you approach them, they appear to be many and different;
 and because of the appearance of the difference, different in kind
 from, and unlike, themselves?
   And so must the particles appear to be like and unlike themselves
 and each other.
   And must they not be the same and yet different from one another,
 and in contact with themselves, although they are separated, and
 having every sort of motion, and every sort of rest, and becoming
 and being destroyed, and in neither state, and the like, all which
 things may be easily enumerated, if the one is not and the many are?
   Most true.
   Once more, let us go back to the beginning, and ask if the one is
 not, and the others of the one are, what will follow.
   Let us ask that question.
   In the first place, the others will not be one?
   Nor will they be many; for if they were many one would be
 contained in them. But if no one of them is one, all of them are
 nought, and therefore they will not be many.
   If there be no one in the others, the others are neither many nor
   They are not.
   Nor do they appear either as one or many.
   Why not?
   Because the others have no sort or manner or way of communion with
 any sort of not-being, nor can anything which is not, be connected
 with any of the others; for that which is not has no parts.
   Nor is there an opinion or any appearance of not-being in connection
 with the others, nor is not-being ever in any way attributed to the
   Then if one is not, the others neither are, nor any of the others
 either as one or many; for you cannot conceive the many without the
   You cannot.
   Then if one is not, there is no conception of can be conceived to be
 either one or many?
   It would seem not.
   Nor as like or unlike?
   Nor as the same or different, nor in contact or separation, nor in
 any of those states which we enumerated as appearing to be;-the others
 neither are nor appear to be any of these, if one is not?
   Then may we not sum up the argument in a word and say truly: If
 one is not, then nothing is?
   Let thus much be said; and further let us affirm what seems to be
 the truth, that, whether one is or is not, one and the others in
 relation to themselves and one another, all of them, in every way, are
 and are not, and appear to be and appear not to be.
   Most true.
                           -THE END-