Early Greek Philosophy & Other Essays Collected Works, Volume Two

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 76

appearance of the world at the one time is quite different
from that at the other time, then that is no deception, nothing merely
apparent, but the effect of eternal motion. The real "Existent" is
moved sometimes thus, sometimes thus: together, asunder, upwards,
downwards, into one another, pell-mell.


With this conception we have already taken a step into the realm
of the doctrine of _Anaxagoras._ By him both objections against
Parmenides are raised in full strength; that of the mobile Thinking
and that of the Whence? of "Appearance"; but in the chief proposition
Parmenides has subjugated him as well as all the younger philosophers
and nature-explorers. They all deny the possibility of Becoming and
Passing, as the mind of the people conceives them and as Anaximander
and Heraclitus had assumed with greater circumspection and yet still
heedlessly. Such a mythological Originating out of the Nothing, such
a Disappearing into the Nothing, such an arbitrary Changing of the
Nothing into the Something, such a random exchanging, putting on and
putting off of the qualities was henceforth considered senseless; but
so was, and for the same reasons, an originating of the Many out of the
One, of the manifold qualities out of the one primal-quality, in short
the derivation of the world out of a primary substance, as argued by
Thales and Heraclitus. Rather was now the real problem advanced of
applying the doctrine of increate imperishable "Being" to this existing
world, without taking one's refuge in the theory of appearance and
deception. But if the empiric world is not to be Appearance, if the
things are not to be derived out of Nothing and just as little out of
the one Something, then these things must contain in themselves a real
"Being," their matter and content must be unconditionally real, and
all change can refer only to the form, _i.e.,_ to the position, order,
grouping, mixing, separation of these eternally co-existing Essentials.
It is just as in a game of dice; they are ever the same dice; but
falling sometimes thus, sometimes thus, they mean to us something
different. All older theories had gone back to a primal element, as
womb and cause of Becoming, be this water, air, fire or the Indefinite
of Anaximander. Against that Anaxagoras now asserts that out of the
Equal the Unequal could never come forth, and that out of the one
"Existent" the change could never be explained. Whether now one were
to imagine that assumed matter to be rarefied or condensed, one would
never succeed by such a condensation or rarefaction in explaining the
problem one would like to explain: the plurality

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