Chapter 10. EUCLIDES

[106] Euclides was a native of Megara on the Isthmus, or according to some of Gela, as Alexander states in his Successions of Philosophers. He applied himself to the writings of Parmenides, and his followers were called Megarians after him, then Eristics, and at a later date Dialecticians, that name having first been given to them by Dionysius of Chalcedon because they put their arguments into the form of question and answer. Hermodorus tells us that, after the death of Socrates, Plato and the rest of the philosophers came to him, being alarmed at the cruelty of the tyrants. He held the supreme good to be really one, though called by many names, sometimes wisdom, sometimes God, and again Mind, and so forth. But all that is contradictory of the good he used to reject, declaring that it had no existence.

[107] When he impugned a demonstration, it was not the premisses but the conclusion that he attacked. He rejected the argument from analogy, declaring that it must be taken either from similars or from dissimilars. If it were drawn from similars, it is with these and not with their analogies that their arguments should deal; if from dissimilars, it is gratuitous to set them side by side. Hence Timon says of him, with a side hit at the other Socratics as well:

But I care not for these babblers, nor for anyone besides, not for Phaedo whoever he be, nor wrangling Euclides, who inspired the Megarians with a frenzied love of controversy.


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