Translated by Stephen MacKenna and B. S. Page.
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4. The present existence of the Ideal-Forms has been demonstrated elsewhere: we take up our argument from that point.
If, then, there is more than one of such forming Ideas, there must of necessity be some character common to all and equally some peculiar character in each keeping them distinct.
This peculiar characteristic, this distinguishing difference, is the individual shape. But if shape, then there is the shaped, that in which the difference is lodged.
There is, therefore, a Matter accepting the shape, a permanent substratum.
Further, admitting that there is an Intelligible Realm beyond, of which this world is an image, then, since this world-compound is based on Matter, there must be Matter there also.
And how can you predicate an ordered system without thinking of form, and how think of form apart from the notion of something in which the form is lodged?
No doubt that Realm is, in the strict fact, utterly without parts, but in some sense there is part there too. And in so far as these parts are really separate from each other, any such division and difference can be no other than a condition of Matter, of a something divided and differentiated: in so far as that realm, though without parts, yet consists of a variety of entities, these diverse entities, residing in a unity of which they are variations, reside in a Matter; for this unity, since it is also a diversity, must be conceived of as varied and multiform; it must have been shapeless before it took the form in which variation occurs. For if we abstract from the Intellectual-Principle the variety and the particular shapes, the Reason-Principles and the Thoughts, what precedes these was something shapeless and undetermined, nothing of what is actually present there.
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