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difference in the others, but in the one.
Moreover, the one that is not is something and partakes of
relation to "that," and "this," and "these," and the like, and is an
attribute of "this"; for the one, or the others than the one, could
not have been spoken of, nor could any attribute or relative of the
one that is not have been or been spoken of, nor could it have been
said to be anything, if it did not partake of "some," or of the
other relations just now mentioned.
Being, then, cannot be ascribed to the one, since it is not; but the
one that is not may or rather must participate in many things, if it
and nothing else is not; if, however, neither the one nor the one that
is not is supposed not to be, and we are speaking of something of a
different nature, we can predicate nothing of it. But supposing that
the one that is not and nothing else is not, then it must
participate in the predicate "that," and in many others.
And it will have unlikeness in relation to the others, for the
others being different from the one will be of a different kind.
And are not things of a different kind also other in kind?
And are not things other in kind unlike?
They are unlike.
And if they are unlike the one, that which they are unlike will
clearly be unlike them?
Then the one will have unlikeness in respect of which the others are
That would seem to be true.
And if unlikeness to other things is attributed to it, it must
have likeness to itself.
If the one have unlikeness to one, something else must be meant; nor
will the hypothesis relate to one; but it will relate to something
other than one?
But that cannot be.
Then the one must have likeness to itself?
Again, it is not equal to the others; for if it were equal, then
it would at once be and be like them in virtue of the equality; but if
one has no being, then it can neither be nor be like?
But since it is not equal to the others, neither can the others be
equal to it?
And things that are not equal are unequal?
And they are unequal to an unequal?
Then the one partakes of inequality, and in respect of this the
others are unequal to it?
And inequality implies greatness and smallness?
Then the one, if of such a nature, has greatness and smallness?
That appears to be true.
And greatness and smallness always stand apart?
Then there is always something between them?
And can you think of anything else which is between them other
No, it is equality which lies between them.
Then that which has greatness and smallness also has equality, which
lies between them?
That is clear.
Then the one, which is not, partakes, as would appear, of
greatness and smallness and equality?
Further, it must surely in a sort partake of being?
It must be so, for if not, then we should not speak the truth in
saying that the one is not. But if we speak the truth, clearly we must
say what is. Am I not right?
And since we affirm that we speak truly, we must also affirm that we
say what is?
Then, as would appear, the one, when it is not, is; for if it were
not to be when it is not, but were to relinquish something of being,
so as to become not-being, it would at once be.
Then the one which is not, if it is to maintain itself, must have
the being of not-being as the bond of not-being, just as being must
have as a bond the not-being of not-being in order to perfect its
own being; for the truest assertion of the being of being and of the
not-being of not being is when being partakes of the being of being,
and not of the being of not-being-that is, the perfection of being;
and when not-being does not partake of the not-being of not-being
but of the being of not-being-that is the perfection of not-being.
Since then what is partakes of not-being, and what is not of
being, must not the one also partake of being in order not to be?
Then the one, if it is not, clearly has being?