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On Generation and corruption   

clearly out of a One that this came-to-be Water, and that Fire,

various portions of it being separated off by certain characteristic

differences or qualities-as indeed he calls the sun 'white and hot',

and the earth 'heavy and hard'. If, therefore, these characteristic

differences be taken away (for they can be taken away, since they

came-to-be), it will clearly be inevitable for Earth to come to-be out

of Water and Water out of Earth, and for each of the other elements to

undergo a similar transformation-not only then, but also now-if, and

because, they change their qualities. And, to judge by what he says,

the qualities are such that they can be 'attached' to things and can

again be 'separated' from them, especially since Strife and Love are

still fighting with one another for the mastery. It was owing to

this same conflict that the elements were generated from a One at

the former period. I say 'generated', for presumably Fire, Earth,

and Water had no distinctive existence at all while merged in one.

There is another obscurity in the theory Empedocles. Are we to

regard the One as his 'original real'? Or is it the Many-i.e. Fire and

Earth, and the bodies co-ordinate with these? For the One is an

'element' in so far as it underlies the process as matter-as that

out of which Earth and Fire come-to-be through a change of qualities

due to 'the motion'. On the other hand, in so far as the One results

from composition (by a consilience of the Many), whereas they result

from disintegration the Many are more 'elementary' than the One, and

prior to it in their nature.


We have therefore to discuss the whole subject of 'unqualified'

coming-to-be and passingaway; we have to inquire whether these changes

do or do not occur and, if they occur, to explain the precise

conditions of their occurrence. We must also discuss the remaining

forms of change, viz. growth and 'alteration'. For though, no doubt,

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