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Plato : THEAETETUS

Persons of the dialogue: Socrates - Theodorus - Theaetetus - Euclid - Terpsion
Translated by Benjamin Jowett - 42 Pages (Part 1) - Greek fonts
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THEAETETUS part 1 of 2

Part 2

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This Part: 42 Pages


Part 1 Page 40

Soc. But, O my friend, when he draws the other into upper air, and gets him out of his pleas and rejoinders into the contemplation of justice and injustice in their own nature and in their difference from one another and from all other things; or from the commonplaces about the happiness of a king or of a rich man to the consideration of government, and of human happiness and misery in general - what they are, and how a man is to attain the one and avoid the other - when that narrow, keen, little legal mind is called to account about all this, he gives the philosopher his revenge; for dizzied by the height at which he is hanging, whence he looks down into space, which is a strange experience to him, he being dismayed, and lost, and stammering broken words, is laughed at, not by Thracian handmaidens or any other uneducated persons, for they have no eye for the situation, but by every man who has not been brought up a slave. Such are the two characters, Theodorus: the one of the freeman, who has becomes trained in liberty and leisure, whom you call the philosopher - him we cannot blame because he appears simple and of no account when he has to perform some menial task, such as packing up bed - clothes, or flavouring a sauce or fawning speech; the other character is that of the man who is able to do all this kind of service smartly and neatly, but knows not how to wear his cloak like a gentleman; still less with the music of discourse can he hymn the true life aright which is lived by immortals or men blessed of heaven.

Theod. If you could only persuade everybody, Socrates, as you do me, of the truth of your words, there would be more peace and fewer evils among men.

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