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Section 7

7. Empedokles in identifying his "elements" with Matter is refuted by their decay.

Anaxagoras, in identifying his "primal-combination" with Matter- to which he allots no mere aptness to any and every nature or quality but the effective possession of all- withdraws in this way the very Intellectual-Principle he had introduced; for this Mind is not to him the bestower of shape, of Forming Idea; and it is co-aeval with Matter, not its prior. But this simultaneous existence is impossible: for if the combination derives Being by participation, Being is the prior; if both are Authentic Existents, then an additional Principle, a third, is imperative [a ground of unification]. And if this Creator, Mind, must pre-exist, why need Matter contain the Forming-Ideas parcel-wise for the Mind, with unending labour, to assort and allot? Surely the undetermined could be brought to quality and pattern in the one comprehensive act?

As for the notion that all is in all, this clearly is impossible.

Those who make the base to be "the infinite" must define the term.

If this "infinite" means "of endless extension" there is no infinite among beings; there is neither an infinity-in-itself [Infinity Abstract] nor an infinity as an attribute to some body; for in the first case every part of that infinity would be infinite and in the second an object in which the infinity was present as an attribute could not be infinite apart from that attribute, could not be simplex, could not therefore be Matter.

Atoms again cannot meet the need of a base.

There are no atoms; all body is divisible endlessly: besides neither the continuity nor the ductility of corporeal things is explicable apart from Mind, or apart from the Soul which cannot be made up of atoms; and, again, out of atoms creation could produce nothing but atoms: a creative power could produce nothing from a material devoid of continuity. Any number of reasons might be brought, and have been brought, against this hypothesis and it need detain us no longer.

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