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[353c] if they lacked their own proper excellence and had in its stead the defect?” “How could they?” he said; “for I presume you meant blindness instead of vision.” “Whatever,” said I, “the excellence may be. For I have not yet come1 to that question, but am only asking whether whatever operates will not do its own work well by its own virtue and badly by its own defect.” “That much,” he said, “you may affirm to be true.” “Then the ears, too, if deprived of their own virtue will do their work ill?” “Assuredly.” “And do we then apply

1 Platonic dialectic asks and affirms only so much as is needed for the present purpose.

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