Tuesday, 31 May 2011

On largeness and smallness

Not entirely true.
It seems to me that not only is largeness itself never willing to be large and small at the same time, but also that the largeness in us never admits the small, nor is it willing to be overtopped. Rather, one of the two things must happen: either it must retreat and get out of the way, when its opposite, the small, advances towards it; or else, upon that opposite's advance, it must perish. But what it is not willing to do is to abide and admit smallness, and thus be other than what it was. Thus I, having admitted and abided smallness, am still what I am, this same individual, only small; whereas the large in us, while being large, can't endure to be small. And similarly, the small that's in us is not willing ever to come to be, or to be, large. Nor will any other of the opposites, while still being what it was, at the same time come to be, and be, its own opposite. If that befalls it, either it goes away or it perishes.

-Plato, Phaedo, p. 102d

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