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[597b] “No, we must not.” “Shall we, then, use these very examples in our quest for the true nature of this imitator?” “If you please,” he said. “We get, then, these three couches, one, that in nature1 which, I take it, we would say that God produces,2 or who else?” “No one, I think.” “And then there was one which the carpenter made.” “Yes,” he said. “And one which the painter. Is not that so?” “So be it.” “The painter, then, the cabinet-maker, and God, there are these three presiding over three kinds of couches.” “Yes,three.”

1 Cf. 597 C, 598 A, 501 Bφύσει, Phaedo 103 B, Parmen. 132 D.

2 Proclus says that this is not seriously meant (apudBeckmann, Num Plato artifactorum Ideas statuerit, p. 12). Cf. Zeller, Phil. d. Gr. ii. 1, p. 666, who interprets the passage correctly; A. E. Taylor, in Mind, xii. p. 5 “Plato's meaning has been supposed to be adequately indicted by such half-jocular instances as that of the idea of a bed or table in RepublicX.,” etc.

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