On The Soul
be, there is not only the true or false assertion that Cleon is
white but also the true or false assertion that he was or will he
white. In each and every case that which unifies is mind.
Since the word 'simple' has two senses, i.e. may mean either (a)
'not capable of being divided' or (b) 'not actually divided', there is
nothing to prevent mind from knowing what is undivided, e.g. when it
apprehends a length (which is actually undivided) and that in an
undivided time; for the time is divided or undivided in the same
manner as the line. It is not possible, then, to tell what part of the
line it was apprehending in each half of the time: the object has no
actual parts until it has been divided: if in thought you think each
half separately, then by the same act you divide the time also, the
half-lines becoming as it were new wholes of length. But if you
think it as a whole consisting of these two possible parts, then
also you think it in a time which corresponds to both parts
together. (But what is not quantitatively but qualitatively simple
is thought in a simple time and by a simple act of the soul.)
But that which mind thinks and the time in which it thinks are in
this case divisible only incidentally and not as such. For in them too
there is something indivisible (though, it may be, not isolable) which
gives unity to the time and the whole of length; and this is found
equally in every continuum whether temporal or spatial.
Points and similar instances of things that divide, themselves being
indivisible, are realized in consciousness in the same manner as
A similar account may be given of all other cases, e.g. how evil
or black is cognized; they are cognized, in a sense, by means of their
contraries. That which cognizes must have an element of potentiality
in its being, and one of the contraries must be in it. But if there is
anything that has no contrary, then it knows itself and is actually
and possesses independent existence.
Assertion is the saying of something concerning something, e.g.