« Prev Ecphantus; His Scepticism; Tenet of Infinity. Next »

Chapter XIII.—Ecphantus; His Scepticism; Tenet of Infinity.

One Ecphantus, a native of Syracuse, affirmed that it is not possible to attain a true knowledge of things. He defines, however, as he thinks, primary bodies to be indivisible,103103    Some confusion has crept into the text. The first clause of the second sentence belongs probably to the first. The sense would then run thus: “Ecphantus affirmed the impossibility of dogmatic truth, for that every one was permitted to frame definitions as he thought proper.” and that there are three variations of these, viz., bulk, figure, capacity, from which are generated the objects of sense. But that there is a determinable multitude of these, and that this is infinite.104104    Or, “that there is, according to this, a multitude of defined existences, and that such is infinite.” And that bodies are moved neither by weight nor by impact, but by divine power, which he calls mind and soul; and that of this the world is a representation; wherefore also it has been made in the form of a sphere by divine power.105105    Or, “a single power.” And that the earth in the middle of the cosmical system is moved round its own centre towards the east.106106    [So far anticipating modern science.]


« Prev Ecphantus; His Scepticism; Tenet of Infinity. Next »





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |