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Aristotle - index for METAPHYSICA Book 1 Part 5

Pythagoreans, Parmenides, Melissus and Xenophanes

  
Paragraph 1 Contemporaneously with these philosophers and before them, the so-called Pythagoreans, who were the first to take up mathematics, not only advanced this study, but also having been brought up in it they thought its principles were the principles of all things.
Paragraph 2 But the object of our review is that we may learn from these philosophers also what they suppose to be the principles and how these fall under the causes we have named.
Paragraph 3 Other members of this same school say there are ten principles, which they arrange in two columns of cognates - limit and unlimited, odd and even, one and plurality, right and left, male and female, resting and moving, straight and curved, light and darkness, good and bad, square and oblong.
Paragraph 4 From both these schools, then, we can learn this much, that the contraries are the principles of things;
Paragraph 5 From these facts we may sufficiently perceive the meaning of the ancients who said the elements of nature were more than one;
Paragraph 6 From what has been said, then, and from the wise men who have now sat in council with us, we have got thus much - on the one hand from the earliest philosophers, who regard the first principle as corporeal (for water and fire and such things are bodies), and of whom some suppose that there is one corporeal principle, others that there are more than one, but both put these under the head of matter;
Paragraph 7 Down to the Italian school, then, and apart from it, philosophers have treated these subjects rather obscurely, except that, as we said, they have in fact used two kinds of cause, and one of these - the source of movement - some treat as one and others as two.


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