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231a24~261. /51/ IT c REPLY TO THE QUESTION tl o it t\ Here one must first give the sense of the question. since it itself is included among allthepoirits. o IT IT For the opposite is Aristotle in Physics 6 [1. then that point is between the first point and itself. If there is some point in the middle. This is evident. a line is composed of points. then a point is immediately adjacent to a point. Question 9 Is a line composed of points? For the affirmatiIJe: A point is immediately adjacent to a point. which is this: Are some parts of a line indivisible? And if the question is understood in this way. therefore. which I will skip over for the sake of brevity. and the diagonal would be commensurable with the side: the consequence is evident. . Proof 1 This is proved as follows: If some parts of a line were indivisible.FIRST QUODLIBET would be the case if there were a plenum. since one can draw perpendicular lines from each point on the one ir tIa 01 ~. since from any point on the diagonal one can draw a line perpendicular to the~side. The antecedent is proved by taking the whole multitude of points that" belong* to' a" given' line' and then arguing as follows: Between the first point of this line and any other point there is either (1)some point in the middle or (ii) no point in th-~-~iddk-:n-the~e is no point in the middle. REPLY TO THE MAIN ARGUMENT The reply to the main argument is evident. The consequence is obvious. si tl a tl f. I reply that no part of a line is indivisible and also that no partof any continuous thing whatsoever is indivisible. then the side of a square would be equal to the diagonal.-. And this is how one must reply to all similar objections.

as is evident to the senses. . lines with an equal number If points are equal in length. But because the diagonal is longer han the side. then there would be no heoretical barrier to someone's actually drawing all the lines in question." And each such line is drawn through some Joint on the diagonal.QUESTION 9 47 :ide to each point on the opposite side-indeed." Proof 2 \gain. Reply to the Objection. obliquely). Ockham is assuming that if lines are composed of points. But since these lines are drawn from immediately adjacent Joints on the one side to immediately adjacent points on the other side. these lines would rot be uniformly distant from one another in their entirety. And so the argument does not establish that there are as nany points on the side as there are on the diagonal. and in this way the trgument would establish its conclusion. And. then the length of a line is function of the number of points constituting the line. Therefore. as a result. there will necessarily be six points on each of the sides. if. if there are six points on the iiagonal. then t follows that if the diagonal keeps getting longer while the length of the wo sides remains always the same. To the contrary. And here an example s given: If one stick is placed upon another obliquely. this would be the case de acto on the posited hypothesis. Thus. the ines are uniformly distant from one another. from each point on the diagonal there is a ine that is perpendicular to the side. The gist of this last remark seems to be that if points were distinct entities in their wn right and thus (on Ockham's reckoning) finite in number. and another line would touch another point. the first stick touches nore of the second stick than it would if it were placed upon it at right angles n the manner of a cross. then the length of the diagonal can be ncreased in such a way that one line drawn from the one side to the other vill obliquely touch two points on the diagonal. and it therefore touches at least two points mthediagonal. Therefore. a line drawn through the diagonal from the one side to the ither side touches two points on the diagonal (to be sure. otherwise. You might object as follows: If [such] a line drawn from the ide met the diagonal at right angles. and each of these lines will touch some point in the diagonal. 51. from each point on the one side one can draw a perpendicular line to I point on the opposite side. two lines irawn from two immediately adjacent points on the side 1521 will touch two mmediately adjacent points on the diagonal. An Objection. because the diagonal is longer han the side. and a second line will touch 50. This is how it is in the :ase under discussion. each of the lines drawn from the one side to the other side alls obliquely on the diagonal. then it would touch only one point on he diagonal.

The term 'naturally' (naturaliter) here connotes that no special action on God's part is involved. as is manifestly obvious to the senses. on the line that touches the diagonal at right angles and obliquelylt is always the same point [that touches]-and so the example is irrelevant. And the parts that come together and touch when the stick touches obliquely are different from the parts that come together and touch when the stick touches at right angles. For from each point on the larger circle a straight line can be drawn through the smaller circle to the common center of both! 54! (indeed. such a line is straight on the posited hypothesis). touch many points on the diagonal obliquely and that (ii) some of these points are higher and some lower. The example concerning the stick (or any other body that touches some other body either at right angles or obliquely) is irrelevant. however. if we fix the length of the two sides between which the lines are being drawn while allowing the other two sides to become longer (so that the diagonal also becomes longer). that a line drawn from the side to the diagonal will not be a straight line. That is.FIRST QUODLIBET three points on a longer diagonal. then the lines in question will fall on the diagonal at increasingly oblique angles. in six [different] positions along with those points-which is impossible. then many parts of the top stick touch many parts of the bottom stick that they were not previously touching. and these lines do not 52. then there would be equally many points in a smaller circle and a larger circle. say. . For from the fact that (i) this point will. if the original objection is correct. according to you. and a third line will touch four points on a I longer] diagonal-and so ultimately some point on a line drawn through still the diagonal will touch the diagonal over the length of a foot or a house or a mile. Second. in its entirety. In the Case under discussion. Proof 3 Again.S2/53/ From this it follows.P For from the fact that that point touches. it follows that at one and the same time it is. For when one stick falls obliquely on another stick. Thus. it follows that some point on the line that touches the diagonal will be in different places and positions at the same time naturally. first. six points on the diagonal. And so it is not surprising that more parts touch when the stick touches obliquely than' when it touches at right angles. since on that line the point which touches the diagonal moves higher and lower. 53. in support of the principal claim I argue that if some parts of a line were indivisible. it follows that these lines will coincide with progressively greater numbers of points on the diagonal. it follows that the point that touches them moves higher and lower.