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[602a] but the user will have true knowledge.” “Certainly.” “And will the imitator from experience or use have knowledge whether the things he portrays are or are not beautiful and right, or will he, from compulsory association with the man who knows and taking orders from him for the right making of them, have right opinion1?” “Neither.” “Then the imitator will neither know nor opine rightly concerning the beauty or the badness of his imitations.” “It seems not.” “Most charming,2 then, would be the state of mind of the poetical imitator in respect of true wisdom about his creations.” “Not at all.” [602b] “Yet still he will none the less3 imitate, though in every case he does not know in what way the thing is bad or good. But, as it seems, the thing he will imitate will be the thing that appears beautiful to the ignorant multitude.” “Why, what else?” “On this, then, as it seems, we are fairly agreed, that the imitator knows nothing worth mentioning of the things he imitates, but that imitation is a form of play,4 not to be taken seriously,5 and that those who attempt tragic poetry, whether in iambics or heroic verse,6 are all altogether imitators.” “By all means.” [602c]

“In heaven's name, then, this business of imitation is concerned with the third remove from truth, is it not?” “Yes.” “And now again, to what element7 in man is its function and potency related?” “Of what are you speaking?” “Of this: The same magnitude, I presume, viewed from near and from far8 does not appear equal.” “Why, no.” “And the same things appear bent and straight9 to those who view them in water and out, or concave and convex, owing to similar errors of vision about colors, and there is [602d] obviously every confusion of this sort in our souls. And so scene-painting in its exploitation10 of this weakness of our nature falls nothing short of witchcraft,11 and so do jugglery and many other such contrivances.” “True.” “And have not measuring and numbering and weighing12 proved to be most gracious aids to prevent the domination in our soul of the apparently13 greater or less or more or heavier, and to give the control to that which has reckoned14 and numbered or even weighed?” [602e] “Certainly.” “But this surely would be the function15 of the part of the soul that reasons and calculates.16” “Why, yes, of that.” “And often when this has measured17 and declares that certain things are larger or that some are smaller than the others or equal, there is at the same time an appearance of the contrary.” “Yes.” “And did we not say18 that it is impossible for the same thing at one time to hold contradictory opinions about the same thing?”

1 This does not contradict book V. 477-478. For right opinion and knowledge cf. 430 B and What Plato Said, p. 517, on Meno 98 A-B.

2 χαρίεις is ironical like χαριέντως in 426 A and καλόν in Theaet. 183 A, but Glaucon in his answer takes it seriously.

3 Note the accumulation of particles in the Greek. Similarly in 619 B, Phaedo 59 D, 61 E, 62 B, 64 A, Parmen. 127 D, Demosth. xxiii. 101, De cor. 282, Pind.Pyth. iv. 64 A, Isoc.Peace 1, Aristot.De gen. et corr. 332 a 3, Iliad vii. 360.

4 Cf. on 536 C, p. 214, note b.

5 Cf. 608 A.

6 For ἐν ἔπεσι cf. 607 A, 379 A, Meno 95 D.

7 The antithesis of περί and πρός marks the transition.

8 Cf. Protag. 356 A, 523 C.

9 Cf. Tennyson (The Higher Pantheism) “For all we have power to see is a straight staff bent in a pool.” For the illusions of sense, and measurement as a means of correcting them Cf. Phileb. 41 E-42 A f., 55 E, Protag. 356 C-D, Euthyphro 7 C.

10 ἐπιθεμένη helps to personify σκιαγραφία. Cf. Gorg. 464 C.

11 Adam's “leaves no magic art untried” is misleading. ἀπολείπειν is here used as in 504 C. For the idiomatic οὐδὲν ἀπολείπει see p. 200, note b, on 533 A.

12 Cf. Xen.Mem. i. 1. 9.

13 Cf. Protag. 356 D τοῦ φαινομένου δύναμις

14 λογισάμενον: Cf. Laws 644 D, Crito 46 B.

15 Cf. Vol. I. p. 36, note a. Of course some of the modern connotations of “function” are unknown to Plato.

16 For λογιστικοῦ cf. on 439 D.

17 See p. 448, note c, and my Platonism and the History of Science, p. 176.

18 436 B, Vol. I. p. 383.

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