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[438e] but things of a certain kind are of things of a kind. And I don't at all mean1 that they are of the same kind as the things of which they are, so that we are to suppose that the science of health and disease is a healthy and diseased science and that of evil and good, evil and good. I only mean that as science became the science not of just the thing2 of which science is but of some particular kind of thing, namely, of health and disease, the result3 was that it itself became some kind of science and this caused it to be no longer called simply science but with the addition of the particular kind, medical science.” “I understand,” he said, “and agree that it is so.” “To return to thirst, then,” said I,

1 Cf. Cratylus 393 B, Phaedo 81 D, and for the thought Aristotle Met. 1030 b 2 ff. The “added determinants” need not be the same. The study of useful things is not necessarily a useful study, as opponents of the Classics argue. In Gorgias 476 B this principle is violated by the wilful fallacy that if to do justice is fine, so must it be to suffer justice, but the motive for this is explained in Laws 859-860.

2 αὐτοῦ οὗπερ ἐπιστήμη ἐστίν is here a mere periphrasis for μαθήματος, αὐτοῦ expressing the idea abstract, mere, absolute, or per se, but ὅπερ or ἥπερ ἐστίν is often a synonym of αὐτός or αὐτή in the sense of abstract, absolute, or ideal. Cf. Thompson on Meno 71 B, Sophist 255 Dτοῦτο ὅπερ ἐστὶν εἶναι.

3 δή marks the application of this digression on relativity, for δῖψος is itself a relative term and is what it is in relation to something else, namely drink.

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