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[475a] you do not allege and there is nothing you shrink from saying to justify you in not rejecting any who are in the bloom of their prime.” “If it is your pleasure,” he said, “to take me as your example of this trait in lovers, I admit it for the sake of the argument.” “Again,” said I, “do you not observe the same thing in the lovers of wine?1 They welcome every wine on any pretext.” “They do, indeed.” And so I take it you have observed that men who are covetous of honor,2 if they can't get themselves elected generals, are captains of a company.3 And if they can't be honored [475b] by great men and dignitaries, are satisfied with honor from little men and nobodies. But honor they desire and must have.” “Yes, indeed.” “Admit, then, or reject my proposition. When we say a man is keen about something, shall we say that he has an appetite for the whole class or that he desires only a part and a part not?” “The whole,” he said. “Then the lover of wisdom, too, we shall affirm, desires all wisdom, not a part and a part not.” [475c] “Certainly.” “The student, then, who is finical4 about his studies, especially when he is young and cannot yet know by reason what is useful and what is not, we shall say is not a lover of learning or a lover of wisdom, just as we say that one who is dainty about his food is not really hungry, has not an appetite for food, and is not a lover of food, but a poor feeder.” “We shall rightly say so.” “But the one who feels no distaste in sampling every study, and who attacks his task of learning gladly and cannot get enough of it, him we shall justly pronounce the lover of wisdom, the philosopher, shall we not?” To which Glaucon replied,5 [475d] “You will then be giving the name to a numerous and strange band, for all the lovers of spectacles6 are what they are, I fancy, by virtue of their delight in learning something. And those who always want to hear some new thing7 are a very queer lot to be reckoned among philosophers. You couldn't induce them to attend a serious debate or any such entertainment,8 but as if they had farmed out their ears to listen to every chorus in the land, they run about to all the Dionysiac festivals,9 never missing one, either in the towns or in the country-villages. Are we to designate all these, then, and similar folk [475e] and all the practitioners of the minor arts as philosophers?” “Not at all,” I said; “but they do bear a certain likeness10 to philosophers.”

“Whom do you mean, then, by the true philosophers?” “Those for whom the truth is the spectacle of which they are enamored,11” said I. “Right again,12” said he; “but in what sense do you mean it?” “It would be by no means easy to explain it to another,” I said, “but I think that you will grant me this.” “What?” “That since the fair and honorable is the opposite of the base and ugly, they are two.”

1 Cf. Aristotle Eth. i. 8. 10ἑκάστῳ δ᾽ ἐστὶν ἡδὺ πρὸς λέγεται φιλοτοιοῦτος. Cf. the old Latin hexameters—“si bene quid memini causae suant quinque bibendi:/ Hospitis adventus, praesens sitis atque futura,/ Aut vini bonitas, aut quaelibet altera causa.”

2 Cf. Theophrastus, Char. 21 (Loeb)μικροφιλοτιμίας, petty pride.

3 τριττυαρχοῦσι, “command the soldiers of a trittys” or third of one of the ten tribes.

4 δυσχεραίνοντα, squeamish, particular, “choicy.” Cf. 391 E, 426 D, and Pope, Essay on Criticism, 288—“Those heads, as stomachs, are not sure the best,/ Which nauseate all, and nothing can digest.”

5 Plato as usual anticipates objections and misunderstandings. Cf. e.g. on 487 B.

6 Cf. the argument in the first sentence of Aristotle's Metaphysics that men's pleasure in sense-perception is a form of their love of knowledge.

7 φιλήκοοι: the word, like curiosity in Ruskin's interpretation, may have a higher and lower meaning. It is used half technically of intellectual interests generally. Cf. Euthydemus 304 B. The abstract φιληκοΐα became a virtual synonym of culture and reading.

8 Cf. on 498 A, and in Parmenides 126 E, Antiphon, who studied Eleatic dialectic in his youth, but now gives his time to horses. The word διατριβή has a long history in philosophy and literature, starting from such passages as Charmides 153 A and Lysis 204 A.

9 In addition to the presentation of new plays at the city Dionysia, there were performances at the Peiraeus and in the demes.

10 Cf. Theaetetus 201 B 3, Sophist 240 Bοὐδαμῶς ἀληθινόν γε, ἀλλ᾽ ἐοικὸς μέν.

11 Cf. Aristotle Eth. 1098 a 32θεατὴς γὰρ τἀληθοῦς.

12 Cf. 449 C.

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