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1 It is familiar Socratic doctrine that the only witness needed in argument is the admission of your opponent. Cf. Gorgias 472 A-B.
2 τὰ κελευόμενα ποιεῖν is a term of praise for obedience to lawful authority, and of disdain for a people or state that takes orders from another. Cleitophon does not apprehend the argument and, thinking only of the last clause, reaffirms the definition in the form “it is just to do what rulers bid.” Polemarchus retorts: “And (I was right), for he (also) . . .”
3 Socrates always allows his interlocutors to amend their statements. Cf. Gorgias 491 B, 499 B, Protagoras 349 C, Xenophon Memorabilia iv. 2. 18.
4 Thrasymachus rejects the aid of an interpretation which Socrates would apply not only to the politician's miscalculation but to his total misapprehension of his true ideal interests. He resorts to the subtlety that the ruler qua ruler is infallible, which Socrates meets by the fair retort that the ruler qua ruler, the artist qua artist has no “sinister” or selfish interest but cares only for the work. If we are to substitute an abstraction or an ideal for the concrete man we must do so consistently. Cf. modern debates about the “economic man.”
5 For the idea cf. Rousseau's Emile, i.: “On me dira . . . que les fautes sont du medecin, mais que la medicine en elle-meme est infaillible. A al bonne heure; mais qu'elle vienne donc sans le medecin.” Lucian, De Parasito 54, parodies this reasoning.
6 For the invidious associations of ἀκριβολογία(1) in money dealings, (2) in argument, cf. Aristotle Met. 995 a 11, Cratylus 415 A, Lysias vii. 12, Antiphon B 3, Demosthenes. xxiii. 148, Timon in Diogenes Laertius ii. 19.
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