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[346a] For tell me this: we ordinarily say, do we not, that each of the arts is different from others because its power or function is different? And, my dear fellow, in order that we may reach some result, don't answer counter to your real belief.1” “Well, yes,” he said, “that is what renders it different.” And does not each art also yield us benefit2 that is peculiar to itself and not general,3 as for example medicine health, the pilot's art safety at sea, and the other arts similarly?” “Assuredly.” “And does not the wage-earner's art yield wage? For that is its function. [346b] Would you identify medicine and the pilot's art? Or if you please to discriminate 'precisely' as you proposed, none the more if a pilot regains his health because a sea voyage is good for him, no whit the more, I say, for this reason do you call his art medicine, do you?” “Of course not,” he said. “Neither, I take it, do you call wage-earning medicine if a man earning wages is in health.” “ Surely not.” [346c] “But what of this? Do you call medicine wage-earning, if a man when giving treatment earns wages?” “No,” he said. “And did we not agree that the benefit derived from each art is peculiar to it?” “So be it,” he said. “Any common or general benefit that all craftsmen receive, then, they obviously derive from their common use of some further identical thing.” “It seems so,” he said. “And we say that the benefit of earning wages accrues to the craftsmen from their further exercise of the wage-earning art.” He assented reluctantly. “Then the benefit, [346d] the receiving of wages does not accrue to each from his own art. But if we are to consider it 'precisely' medicine produces health but the fee-earning art the pay, and architecture a house but the fee-earning art accompanying it the fee, and so with all the others, each performs its own task and benefits that over which it is set, but unless pay is added to it is there any benefit which the craftsman receives from the craft?” “Apparently not,” he said. “Does he then bestow no benefit either [346e] when he works for nothing?” “I'll say he does.” “Then, Thrasymachus, is not this immediately apparent, that no art or office provides what is beneficial for itself—but as we said long ago it provides and enjoins what is beneficial to its subject, considering the advantage of that, the weaker, and not the advantage the stronger? That was why, friend Thrasymachus, I was just now saying that no one of his own will chooses to hold rule and office and take other people's troubles4 in hand to straighten them out, but everybody expects pay for that,

1 Cf. Gorgias 495 A. But elsewhere Socrates admits that the “argument” may be discussed regardless of the belief of the respondent (349 A). Cf. Thompson on Meno 83 D, Campbell on Soph. 246 D.

2 As each art has a specific function, so it renders a specific service and aims at a specific good. This idea and the examples of the physician and the pilot are commonplaces in Plato and Aristotle.

3 Hence, as argued below, from this abstract point of view wage-earning, which is common to many arts, cannot be the specific service of any of them, but must pertain to the special art μισθωτική. This refinement is justified by Thrasymachus' original abstraction of the infallible craftsman as such. It also has this much moral truth, that the good workman, as Ruskin says, rarely thinks first of his pay, and that the knack of getting well paid does not always go with the ability to do the work well. See Aristolte on χρηματιστική, Politics i. 3 (1253 b 14).

4 κακά=troubles, “miseres”, 517 D. For the thought cf. 343 E, 345 E, Xen. Mem. 2.1.8, Hdt. 1.97.

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