Page:Metaphysics by Aristotle Ross 1908 (deannotated).djvu/50

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all. For the earliest philosophy is, on all subjects, like one who lisps, since in its beginnings it is but a child. For even Empedocles says[1] bone exists by virtue of the ratio in it. Now this is the essence and the substance of the thing. But it is similarly necessary that the ratio should be the substance of flesh and of everything else, or of none; therefore it is on account of this that flesh and bone and everything else will exist, and not on account of the matter, which he names,—fire and earth and water and air. But while he would necessarily have agreed if another had said this, he has not said it clearly.

On such questions our views have been expressed before; but let us return to enumerate the difficulties that might be raised on these same points; for perhaps we may get some help towards our later difficulties.

  1. Diels, Vorsokratiker, ed. 2, fr. 96 and p. 166. 4.