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On Generation and corruption   


latter only of 'dissociation'. No: the cause in question is the

essential nature of each thing-not merely to quote his words) 'a

mingling and a divorce of what has been mingled'. And chance, not

proportion, 'is the name given to these occurrences': for things can

be 'mingled' fortuitously.

The cause, therefore, of the coming-to-be of the things which owe

their existence to nature is that they are in such-and-such a

determinate condition: and it is this which constitutes, the

'nature' of each thing-a 'nature' about which he says nothing. What he

says, therefore, is no explanation of 'nature'. Moreover, it is this

which is both 'the excellence' of each thing and its 'good': whereas

he assigns the whole credit to the 'mingling'. (And yet the 'elements'

at all events are 'dissociated' not by Strife, but by Love: since

the 'elements' are by nature prior to the Deity, and they too are

Deities.)

Again, his account of motion is vague. For it is not an adequate

explanation to say that 'Love and Strife set things moving, unless the

very nature of Love is a movement of this kind and the very nature

of Strife a movement of that kind. He ought, then, either to have

defined or to have postulated these characteristic movements, or to

have demonstrated them-whether strictly or laxly or in some other

fashion. Moreover, since (a) the 'simple' bodies appear to move

'naturally' as well as by compulsion, i.e. in a manner contrary to

nature (fire, e.g. appears to move upwards without compulsion,

though it appears to move by compulsion downwards); and since (b) what

is 'natural' is contrary to that which is due to compulsion, and

movement by compulsion actually occurs; it follows that 'natural

movement' can also occur in fact. Is this, then, the movement that

Love sets going? No: for, on the contrary, the 'natural movement'

moves Earth downwards and resembles 'dissociation', and Strife

rather than Love is its cause-so that in general, too, Love rather

than Strife would seem to be contrary to nature. And unless Love or

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