Tuesday, July 29, 2008

AS TO WHETHER THE CENTRAL LINE OF THE IMAGE CAN BE INTERSECTED, OR NOT, WITHIN THE OPENING.

It is impossible that the line should intersect itself; that is, that its right should cross over to its left side, and so, its left side become its right side. Because such an intersection demands two lines, one from each side; for there can be no motion from right to left or from left to right in itself without such extension and thickness as admit of such motion. And if there is extension it is no longer a line but a surface, and we are investigating the properties of a line, and not of a surface. And as the line, having no centre of thickness cannot be divided, we must conclude that the line can have no sides to intersect each other. This is proved by the movement of the line a f to a b and of the line e b to e f, which are the sides of the surface a f e b. But if you move the line a b and the line e f, with the frontends a e, to the spot c, you will have moved the opposite ends f b towards each other at the point d. And from the two lines you will have drawn the straight line c d which cuts the middle of the intersection of these two lines at the point n without any intersection. For, you imagine these two lines as having breadth, it is evident that by this motion the first will entirely cover the other--being equal with it--without any intersection, in the position c d. And this is sufficient to prove our proposition.

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