Page:Aristotelous peri psuxes.djvu/310

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300 NOTES. [BK. III.

CHAPTER III.

Note 1, p. 142. Thus, then the ancients affirm, &c.] Parmenides, Anaxagoras, Empedocles and Democritus, are cited by Aristotle[1] as maintaining the doctrine alluded to in the text; but as Homer[2] can hardly be said in the passage quoted to have adopted it, there is probably an error in the reference. The arguments of these writers, in support of the doctrine, are derived from the uncertain and varying nature of sentient impressions which, as they depend upon individual organisms, cannot, for the attainment of truth, be brought under any absolute law. Thus, they held that it belongs not to the many nor even the few to judge of truth, since the selfsame fluid, when tasted, seems to some to be sweet, to others bitter; so that if all were sick or mad, and two or three only well or sane, then these and not the others would seem to be in that state. Many things, besides, appear to have for many animals opposite qualities from what they have for us; and even for the same individual, similar substances do not always produce the same sensation. So that it is uncertain which of these are true or false, since these are neither more nor less true than

  1. Metaphysica, III. 4. 8. 9.
  2. Odyss. XVIII. 135.