Page:Metaphysics by Aristotle Ross 1908 (deannotated).djvu/69

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1000a
B. BOOK III

things excepting God proceed from strife. At least he says:—

  From which grew all that was and is and will be hereafter—
  Trees, and men and women, and beasts and birds
  And water-nourished fish, and long-aged gods.[1]

The implication is evident even apart from these words; for if strife had not been present in things, all things would have been one, as he says—'when they have come together, strife stands outermost'[2] Hence it also follows on his theory that God most blessed is less wise than all others; for he does not know all the elements; for he has in him no strife, and knowledge is of the like by the like. 'For by earth,' he says,

                                      we see earth, by water water,
              By ether godlike ether, by fire wasting fire,
              Love by love, and strife by gloomy strife.[3]

But—and this is the point we started from—this at least is evident, that on his theory it follows that strife is as much the cause of existence as of destruction. And similarly friendship is not specially the cause of existence; for in collecting things into the One it destroys all other things.—And at the same time Empedocles mentions no cause of the change itself, except that things are so by nature.

        But when strife waxed great in the limbs,
        And sprang to honour as the time was fulfilled
        Which is fixed for them in turn by a mighty oath.[4]

This implies that change was necessary; but he shows no cause of the necessity. But yet so far at least he alone speaks consistently; for he does not make some things perishable and others imperishable, but makes all perishable except the elements.[5] The difficulty we are speaking of now is, why some things are perishable and others are not, if they consist of the same principles.

Let this suffice as proof of the fact that the principles cannot be the same. But if there are different principles, one difficulty is whether these themselves will be imperishable or perishable. For if they are perishable evidently these also must consist of

  1. Fr. 21 Diels, Vorsokratiker.
  2. Fr. 36 Diels, ib.
  3. Fr. 109 Diels, ib.
  4. Fr. 30 Diels, ib.
  5. But cf. Diels, ib. p. 161, § 52.