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What you have said seems very reasonable; but we should be glad to hear a still clearer statement respecting the difference between injury and injustice, and how the distinction between the voluntary and the involuntary applies in these cases.Athenian
I must endeavor to do as you bid me, and explain the matter. [863b] No doubt in conversing with one another you say and hear said at least thus much about the soul, that one element in its nature (be it affection or part) is “passion,” which is an inbred quality of a contentious and pugnacious kind, and one that overturns many things by its irrational force.Clinias
Moreover, we distinguish “pleasure” from passion, and we assert that its mastering power is of an opposite kind, since it effects all that its intention desires by a mixture of persuasion and deceit.Clinias
Exactly. [863c] Athenian
Nor would it be untrue to say that the third cause of sins is ignorance.2 This cause, however, the lawgiver would do well to subdivide into two, counting ignorance in its simple form to be the cause of minor sins, and in its double form—where the folly is due to the man being gripped not by ignorance only, but also by a conceit of wisdom,3 as though he had full knowledge of things he knows nothing at all about,—counting this to be the cause of great and brutal sins when it is joined with strength and might, [863d] but the cause of childish and senile sins when it is joined with weakness; and these last he will count as sins and he will ordain laws, as for sinners, but laws that will be, above all others, of the most mild and merciful kind.Clinias
That is reasonable.Athenian
And pretty well everyone speaks of one man being “superior,” another “inferior,” to pleasure or to passion; and they are so.Clinias
But we have never heard it said that one man is “superior,” another “inferior,” to ignorance.4 [863e] Clinias
And we assert that all these things urge each man often to go counter to the actual bent of his own inclination.Clinias
Now I will define for you, clearly and without complication, my notion of justice and injustice. The domination of passion and fear and pleasure and pain and envies and desires in the soul, whether they do any injury or not, I term generally “injustice”; but the belief in the highest good—
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