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2 Or possibly “determine this at present.” The prohibition which it would beg the question to place here is made explicit in Laws 660 E. Cf. Laws 899 D, and 364 B.
4 Cf. Aristotle Poetics 1449 b 27.
5 All art is essentially imitation for Plato and Aristotle. But imitation means for them not only the portrayal or description of visible and tangible things, but more especially the expression of a mood or feeling, hence the (to a modern) paradox that music is the most imitative of the arts. But Plato here complicates the matter further by sometimes using imitation in the narrower sense of dramatic dialogue as opposed to narration. An attentive reader will easily observe these distinctions. Aristotle's Poetics makes much use of the ideas and the terminology of the following pages.
6 Socratic urbanity professes that the speaker, not the hearer, is at fault. Cf. Protagoras 340 E, Philebus 23 D.
7 Plato and Aristotle often contrast the universal and the particular as whole and part. Cf. Unity of Plato's Thought, p. 52. Though a good style is concrete, it is a mark of linguistic helplessness not to be able to state an idea in general terms. Cf. Locke, Human Understanding, ii. 10. 27: “This man is hindered in his discourse for want of words to communicate his complex ideas, which he is therefore forced to make known by an enumeration of the simple ones that compose them.”
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