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[349a] that we were assigning to the just, since you don't shrink from putting it in the category of virtue and wisdom.” “You are a most veritable prophet,” he replied. “Well,” said I, “I mustn't flinch from following out the logic of the inquiry, so long as I conceive you to be saying what you think.1 For now, Thrasymachus, I absolutely believe that you are not 'mocking' us but telling us your real opinions about the truth.2” “What difference does it make to you,” he said, “whether I believe it or not?” “Why don't you test the argument?” [349b] “No difference,” said I, “but here is something I want you to tell me in addition to what you have said. Do you think the just man would want to overreach3 or exceed another just man?” “By no means,” he said; “otherwise he would not be the delightful simpleton that he is.” “And would he exceed or overreach or go beyond the just action?” “Not that either,” he replied. “But how would he treat the unjust man—would he deem it proper and just to outdo, overreach, or go beyond him or would he not?” “He would,” he said, “but he wouldn't be able to.” “That is not my question,” I said, [349c] “but whether it is not the fact that the just man does not claim and wish to outdo the just man but only the unjust?” “That is the case,” he replied. “How about the unjust then? Does he claim to overreach and outdo the just man and the just action?” “Of course,” he said, “since he claims to overreach and get the better of everything.” “Then the unjust man will overreach and outdo also both the unjust man and the unjust action, and all his endeavor will be to get the most in everything for himself.” “That is so.”

“Let us put it in this way,” I said; “the just man does not seek to take advantage of his like but of his unlike, but the unjust man [349d] of both.” “Admirably put,” he said. “But the unjust man is intelligent and good and the just man neither.” “That, too, is right,” he said. “Is it not also true,” I said, “that the unjust man is like the intelligent and good and the just man is not?” “Of course,” he said, “being such he will be like to such and the other not.” “Excellent. Then each is such4 as that to which he is like.” “What else do you suppose?” he said. “Very well, Thrasymachus, [349e] but do you recognize that one man is a musician5 and another unmusical?” “I do.” “Which is the intelligent and which the unintelligent?” “The musician, I presume, is the intelligent and the unmusical the unintelligent.” “And is he not good in the things in which he is intelligent6 and bad in the things in which he is unintelligent?” “Yes.” “And the same of the physician?” “The same.” “Do you think then, my friend, that any musician in the tuning of a lyre would want to overreach7 another musician in the tightening and relaxing of the strings or would claim and think fit to exceed or outdo him?” “I do not.” “But would the the unmusical man?” “Of necessity,” he said. “And how about the medical man?

1 Cf. on 346 A.

2 περὶ τῆς ἀληθείας suggests the dogmatic titles of sophistic and pre-Socratic books. Cf. Antiphon, p. 553 Diels, Campbell on Theaetetus 161 C, and Aristotle Met. passim.

3 In pursuance of the analogy between the virtues and the arts the moral idea πλεονεξία(overreaching, getting more than your share; see on 359 C) is generalized to include doing more than or differently from. English can hardly reproduce this. Jowett's Shakespearian quotation (King JohnIV. ii. 28), “When workmen strive to do better than well,/ They do confound their skill in covetousness,” though apt, only illustrates the thought in part.

4 The assumption that a thing is what it is like is put as an inference from Thrasymachus's ready admission that the unjust man is wise and good and is like the wise and good. Jevons says in “Substitution of Similars”; “Whatever is true of a thing is true of its like.” But practical logic requires the qualification “in respect of their likness.” Socrates, however, argues that since the good man is like the good craftsman in not overreaching, and the good craftsman is good, therefore the just man is good. The conclusion is sound, and the analogy may have a basis of psychological truth; but the argument is a verbal fallacy.

5 Cf. 608 E, Gorgias 463 E, Protagoras 332 A, 358 D, Phaedo 103 C, Soph. 226 B, Philebus 34 E, Meno 75 D, 88 A, Alc. I. 128 B, Cratylus 385 B. The formula, which is merely used to obtain formal recognition of a term or idea required in the argument, readily lends itself to modern parody. Socrates seems to have gone far afield. Thrasymachus answers quite confidently,ἔγωγε, but in δήπου there is a hint of bewilderment as to the object of it all.

6 Familiar Socratic doctrine. Cf. Laches 194 D, Lysis 210 D, Gorgias 504 D.

7 πλεονεκτεῖν is here a virtual synonym of πλέον ἔχειν. The two terms help the double meaning. Cf. Laws 691 Aπλεονεκτεῖν τῶν νόμων.

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