No. 3.—Antithesis of Syracuse.
LITTLE HAS SURVIVED of the works of most of the important Sicilian philosophers of pre-Alexandrian times. Like most of his countrymen, Antithesis is known mostly from isolated notices and quotations in the works of better-known philosophers. The most important of these fragments are reproduced here, showing that Antithesis seems to have been especially interested in the philosophy of mathematics.
For Antithesis saith that the one is not the many, and the many is not the one. And of this he claims to have the strongest proof, although he does not produce it.
Antithesis in his book of Divisions says that the many may in fact be the few and the few the many, but the one cannot be the few, nor can the few be the one, without contradiction.
But against this Antithesis saith that the one beareth no resemblance to the few at all; for the idea (eidos) of fewness is subsumed in the idea of multiplicity.
Mesohippus, on seeing his rival Antithesis in the marketplace discoursing with a disciple, said that the students of Antithesis were one and not many, upon which Antithesis hit him with [the rest is missing].
And as an authority we may cite Antithesis of Syracuse, who commonly said that the universe was one and not many, but one day, having drunk a quantity of the best Falernian, proclaimed to his disciples, “Alas, now I see with my own eyes that the universe is many and not one.”