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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.

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