Page:Early Greek philosophy by John Burnet, 3rd edition, 1920.djvu/190

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176
EARLY GREEK PHILOSOPHY

The thing that can be thought and that for the sake of which the thought exists is the same;[1] 35for you cannot find thought without something that is, as to which it is uttered.[2] And there is not, and never shall be, anything besides what is, since fate has chained it so as to be whole and immovable. Wherefore all these things are but names which mortals have given, believing them to be true—40coming into being and passing away, being and not being, change of place and alteration of bright colour. R. P. 119.

Since, then, it has a furthest limit, it is complete on every side, like the mass of a rounded sphere, equally poised from the centre in every direction; 45for it cannot be greater or smaller in one place than in another. For there is no nothing that could keep it from reaching out equally, nor can aught that is be more here and less there than what is, since it is all inviolable. For the point from which it is equal in every direction tends equally to the limits. R. P. 121.


The Way of Belief

50Here shall I close my trustworthy speech and thought about the truth. Henceforward learn the beliefs of mortals, giving ear to the deceptive ordering of my words.

Mortals have made up their minds to name two forms, one of which they should not name, and that is where they go astray from the truth. 55They have distinguished them as opposite in form, and have assigned to them marks distinct from one another. To the one they allot the fire of heaven, gentle, very light, in every direction the same as itself, but not the same as the other. The other is just the opposite to it, dark night, a compact and heavy body. 60Of these I tell thee the whole arrangement as it seems likely; for so no thought of mortals will ever outstrip thee. R. P. 121.

(9)

Now that all things have been named light and night, and the names which belong to the power of each have been assigned
  1. For the construction of ἔστι νοεῖν, see above, p. 173, n. 2.
  2. As Diels rightly points out, the Ionic φατίζειν is equivalent to ὀνομάζειν. The meaning, I think, is this. We may name things as we choose, but there can be no thought corresponding to a name that is not the name of something real.