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[444a] that presides over such conduct; and believing and naming the unjust action to be that which ever tends to overthrow this spiritual constitution, and brutish ignorance, to be the opinion1 that in turn presides2 over this.” “What you say is entirely true, Socrates.” “Well,” said I, “if we should affirm that we had found the just man and state and what justice really is3 in them, I think we should not be much mistaken.” “No indeed, we should not,” he said. “Shall we affirm it, then?” “Let us so affirm.”

“So be it, then,” said I; “next after this, I take it, we must consider injustice.” “Obviously.” [444b] “Must not this be a kind of civil war4 of these three principles, their meddlesomeness5 and interference with one another's functions, and the revolt of one part against the whole of the soul that it may hold therein a rule which does not belong to it, since its nature is such that it befits it to serve as a slave to the ruling principle? Something of this sort, I fancy, is what we shall say, and that the confusion of these principles and their straying from their proper course is injustice and licentiousness and cowardice and brutish ignorance and, in general,6 all turpitude.” “Precisely this,” [444c] he replied. “Then,” said I, “to act unjustly and be unjust and in turn to act justly the meaning of all these terms becomes at once plain and clear, since injustice and justice are so.” “How so?” “Because,” said I, “these are in the soul what7 the healthful and the diseaseful are in the body; there is no difference.” “In what respect?” he said. “Healthful things surely engender health8 and diseaseful disease.” “Yes.” “Then does not doing just acts engender justice [444d] and unjust injustice?” “Of necessity.” “But to produce health is to establish the elements in a body in the natural relation of dominating and being dominated9 by one another, while to cause disease is to bring it about that one rules or is ruled by the other contrary to nature.” “Yes, that is so.” “And is it not likewise the production of justice in the soul to establish its principles in the natural relation of controlling and being controlled by one another, while injustice is to cause the one to rule or be ruled by the other contrary to nature?” “Exactly so,” he said. “Virtue, then, as it seems, would be a kind of health10 [444e] and beauty and good condition of the soul, and vice would be disease,11 ugliness, and weakness.” “It is so.” “Then is it not also true that beautiful and honorable pursuits tend to the winning of virtue and the ugly to vice?” “Of necessity.”

“And now at last, it seems, it remains for us to consider whether it is profitable to do justice

1 ἐπιστήμην . . . δόχαν: a hint of a fundamental distinction, not explicitly mentioned before in the Republic. Cf. Meno 97 B ff. and Unity of Plato's Thought, pp. 47-49. It is used here rhetorically to exalt justice and disparage injustice.ἀμαθία is a very strong word, possibly used here already in the special Platonic sense: the ignorance that mistakes itself for knowledge. Cf. Sophist.

2 ἐπιστατοῦσαν: Isocrates would have used a synonym instead of repeating the word.

3 Cf. 337 B.

4 στάσιν: cf. 440 E. It is defined in Sophist 228 B. Aristotle would again regard this as mere metaphor.

5 πολυπραγμοσύνην:434 B and Isocrates viii. 59.

6 συλλήβδην: summing up, as in Phaedo 69 B.

7 ὡς ἐκεῖνα: a proportion is thus usually stated in an ancoluthic apposition.

8 The common-sense point of view, “fit fabricando faber.” Cf. Aristotle Eth. Nic. 1103 a 32. In Gorgias 460 B, Socrates argues the paradox that he who knows justice does it. Cf. Unity of Plato's Thought, p. 11, n. 42.

9 Cf. the generalization of ἔρως to include medicine and music in Symposium 186-187, and Timaeus 82 A, Laws 906 C, Unity of Plato's Thought, n. 500.

10 The identification of virtue with spiritual health really, as Plato says (445 A), answers the main question of the Republic. It is not explicitly used as one of the three final arguments in the ninth book, but is implied in 591 B. It is found “already” in Crito 47 D-E. Cf. Gorgias 479 B

11 κακία . . . αἶσχος:Sophist 228 E distinguishes two forms of κακία: νόσος or moral evil, and ignorance or αἰσχος. Cf. Gorgias 477 B.

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