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[601d] that the same holds true of everything?” “What do you mean?” “That there are some three arts concerned with everything, the user's art,1 the maker's, and the imitator's.” “Yes.” “Now do not the excellence, the beauty, the rightness2 of every implement, living thing, and action refer solely to the use3 for which each is made or by nature adapted?” “That is so.” “It quite necessarily follows, then, that the user of anything is the one who knows most of it by experience, and that he reports to the maker the good or bad effects in use of the thing he uses.

1 For the idea that the user knows best see Cratyl. 390 B, Euthydem. 289 B, Phaedr. 274 E. Zeller, Aristotle(Eng.) ii. p. 247, attributes this “pertinent observation” to Aristotle. Cf. Aristot.Pol. 1277 b 30αὐλητὴς χρώμενος. See 1282 a 21, 1289 a 17. Coleridge, Table Talk: “In general those who do things for others know more about them than those for whom they are done. A groom knows more about horses than his master.” But Hazlitt disagrees with Plato's view.

2 So in Laws 669 A-B, Plato says that the competent judge of a work of art must know three things, first, what it is, second, that it is true and right, and third, that it is good.

3 For the reference of beauty to use see Hipp. Maj. 295 C ff.

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