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Excellently put, and we must assent to your argument.Athenian
Further, let us question and answer ourselves thus:—Supposing that the Whole of things were to unite and stand still,—as most of these thinkers1 venture to maintain,—which of the motions mentioned would necessarily arise in it first? That motion, of course, which is self-moving; for it will never be shifted beforehand by another thing, [895b] since no shifting force exists in things beforehand. Therefore we shall assert that inasmuch as the self-moving motion is the starting-point of all motions and the first to arise in things at rest and to exist in things in motion, it is of necessity the most ancient and potent change of all, while the motion which is altered by another thing and itself moves others comes second.Clinias
Now that we have come to this point in our discourse, [895c] here is a question we may answer.Clinias
What is it?Athenian
If we should see that this motion had arisen in a thing of earth or water or fire, whether separate or in combination, what condition should we say exists in such a thing?Clinias
What you ask me is, whether we are to speak of a thing as “alive” when it moves itself?Athenian
It is alive, to be sure.Athenian
Well then, when we see soul in things, must we not equally agree that they are alive?Clinias
We must. [895d] Athenian
Now stop a moment, in Heaven's name! Would you not desire to observe three points about every object?Clinias
What do you mean?Athenian
One point is the substance, one the definition of the substance, and one the name;2 and, moreover, about everything that exists there are two questions to be asked.Clinias
At one time each of us, propounding the name by itself, demands the definition; at another, propounding the definition by itself, he demands the name.Clinias
Is it something of this kind we mean now to convey?Athenian
Of what kind? [895e] Clinias
We have instances of a thing divisible into two halves, both in arithmetic and elsewhere; in arithmetic the name of this is “the even,” and the definition is “a number divisible into two equal parts.”Athenian
Yes, that is what I mean. So in either case it is the same object, is it not, which we describe, whether, when asked for the definition, we reply by giving the name, or, when asked for the name, we give the definition,—describing one and the same object by the name “even,” and by the definition “a number divisible into two halves”?Clinias
What is the definition of that object which has for its name “soul”?
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