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[439b] yearns for this and its impulse is towards this.” “Obviously.” “Then if anything draws it back1 when thirsty it must be something different in it from that which thirsts and drives it like a beast2 to drink. For it cannot be, we say, that the same thing with the same part of itself at the same time acts in opposite ways about the same thing.” “We must admit that it does not.” “So I fancy it is not well said of the archer3 that his hands at the same time thrust away the bow and draw it nigh, but we should rather say that there is one hand that puts it away and another that draws it to.”

1 Cf. on 437 C, Aristotle, De anima 433 b 8, Laws 644 E, 604 B, Phaedrus 238 C. The practical moral truth of this is independent of our metaphysical psychology. Plato means that the something which made King David refuse the draught purchased by the blood of his soldiers and Sir Philip Sidney pass the cup to a wounded comrade is somehow different than the animal instinct which it overpowers. Cf. Aristotle Eth. Nic. 1102 b 24, Laws 863 E.

2 Cf. 589, Epistle 335 B. Cf. Descartes, Les Passions de l'âme, article xlvii: “En quoi consistent les combats qu'on a coutume d'imaginer entre la partie inférieure et la supérieure de l'âme.” He says in effect that the soul is a unit and the “lower soul” is the body. Cf. ibid. lxviii, where he rejects the “concupiscible” and the “irascible.”

3 Cf. Unity of Plato's Thought, p. 68: “Plato . . . delights to prick the bubbles of imagery, rhetoric, and antithesis blown by his predecessors. Heraclitus means well when he says that the one is united by disunion (Symposium 187 A) or that the hands at once draw and repel the bow. But the epigram vanishes under logical analysis.” For the conceit cf. Samuel Butler's lines: “He that will win his dame must do/ As love does when he bends his bow,/ With one hand thrust his lady from/ And with the other pull her home.”

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