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Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus


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Author Topic: Fragments of the Lost Writings of Proclus  (Read 1550 times)
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« on: February 06, 2009, 01:16:56 pm »

though the more attenuated are divided by the more sharp in one way, as in the arts by saws, augers, and gimlets; and the more gross in another way, by trampling and compression."

In the next place, Aristotle says, "But neither in those things which are dissolved, is the omission of triangles reasonable. This, however, takes place in the mutation of the elements into each other, because they consist of triangles unequal in multitude."

The philosopher Proclus here observes, "that in the dissolution of water into air, when fire resolves it, two parts of air are generated, and one part of fire. But when, on the contrary, water is generated from air, three parts of air being resolved, the four triangles which are mingled together from the same cause, viz. from condensation, together with two parts of air, make one part of water." He adds, "But it is not at all wonderful, that they should be moved in a certain form; for it must be granted, that in all mutations there is something without form, to a certain extent; but being vanquished by some form, they pass into the nature of that which vanquishes. For we also acknowledge, that, in the mutation of the elements with which we are conversant, certain half-generated parts frequently remain."

Aristotle adduces, as a fourth absurdity, "that

p. 15

this hypothesis makes the generation of body simply, but not of some particular body. But if body is generated upon body, it was before shewn that there must necessarily be a separate vacuum, which the authors of this hypothesis do not admit. For if body is generated, it is generated from that which is incorporeal. It is necessary, therefore, that there should be some void place the recipient of the generated body. Hence, if they say that body is generated from planes, it will not be generated from body; for a plane has length and breadth alone." To this, however, Proclus replies, "that natural planes are not without depth; for if body distends the whiteness which falls upon it, it will much more distend the planes which contain it. But if the planes have depth, the generation of fire will no longer be from that which is incorporeal; but the more composite will be generated from a more simple body."

In the next place Aristotle observes, "that those who attribute a figure to each of the elements, and by this distinguish the essences of them, necessarily make them to be indivisibles. For a pyramid or a sphere being in a certain respect divided, that which remains will not be a sphere or a pyramid. Hence, either a part of fire is not fire, but there will be something prior to an element, because every body is either an element

p. 16

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