consequences to the many in relation to themselves and to the one, and
to the one in relation to itself and the many, on the hypothesis of
the being of the many, but also what will be the consequences to the
one and the many in their relation to themselves and to each other, on
the opposite hypothesis. Or, again, if likeness is or is not, what
will be the consequences in either of these cases to the subjects of
the hypothesis, and to other things, in relation both to themselves
and to one another, and so of unlikeness; and the same holds good of
motion and rest, of generation and destruction, and even of being
and not-being. In a word, when you suppose anything to be or not to
be, or to be in any way affected, you must look at the consequences in
relation to the thing itself, and to any other things which you
choose-to each of them singly, to more than one, and to all; and so of
other things, you must look at them in relation to themselves and to
anything else which you suppose either to be or not to be, if you
would train yourself perfectly and see the real truth.
That, Parmenides, is a tremendous business of which you speak, and I
do not quite understand you; will you take some hypothesis and go
through the steps?-then I shall apprehend you better.
That, Socrates, is a serious task to impose on a man of my years.
Then will you, Zeno? said Socrates.
Zeno answered with a smile:-Let us make our petition to Parmenides
himself, who is quite right in saying that you are hardly aware of the
extent of the task which you are imposing on him; and if there were
more of us I should not ask him, for these are not subjects which
any one, especially at his age, can well speak of before a large
audience; most people are not aware that this round-about progress
through all things is the only way in which the mind can attain
truth and wisdom. And therefore, Parmenides, I join in the request
of Socrates, that I may hear the process again which I have not
heard for a long time.
When Zeno had thus spoken, Pythodorus, according to Antiphon's