= Note by Elpenor
Soc. And if he similarly asked what colour is, and you answered whiteness, and the questioner rejoined, Would you say that whiteness is colour or a colour? you would reply, A colour, because there are other colours as well.
Men. I should.
Soc. And if he had said, Tell me what they are? - you would have told him of other colours which are colours just as much as whiteness. Men. Yes.
Soc. And suppose that he were to pursue the matter in my way, he would say: Ever and anon we are landed in particulars, but this is not what I want; tell me then, since you call them by a common name, and say that they are all figures, even when opposed to one another, what is that common nature which you designate as figure - which contains straight as well as round, and is no more one than the other - that would be your mode of speaking?
Soc. And in speaking thus, you do not mean to say that the round is round any more than straight, or the straight any more straight than round?
Men. Certainly not.
Soc. You only assert that the round figure is not more a figure than the straight, or the straight than the round?
Men. Very true.
Soc. To what then do we give the name of figure? Try and answer. Suppose that when a person asked you this question either about figure or colour, you were to reply, Man, I do not understand what you want, or know what you are saying; he would look rather astonished and say: Do you not understand that I am looking for the "simile in multis"? And then he might put the question in another form: Mono, he might say, what is that "simile in multis" which you call figure, and which includes not only round and straight figures, but all? Could you not answer that question, Meno? I wish that you would try; the attempt will be good practice with a view to the answer about virtue. Men. I would rather that you should answer, Socrates.
Soc. Shall I indulge you?
Men. By all means.
Soc. And then you will tell me about virtue?
Men. I will.
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