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[454b] “Absolutely,” said I; “at any rate I am afraid that we are unawares1 slipping into contentiousness.” “In what way?” “The principle that natures not the same ought not to share in the same pursuits we are following up most manfully and eristically2 in the literal and verbal sense but we did not delay to consider at all what particular kind of diversity and identity3 of nature we had in mind and with reference to what we were trying to define it when we assigned different pursuits to different natures and the same to the same.” “No, we didn't consider that,” he said.

1 ἄκοντες is almost “unconscious.” Cf. Philebus 14 C.

2 Greek style often couples thus two adverbs, the second defining more specifically the first, and, as here and often in Plato and Aristophanes, with humorous or paradoxical effect. Cf. Aristophanes Knights 800εὖ καὶ μιαρῶς. So Shakespeare “well and chirurgeonly.”

3 Cf. Sophist 256 A-B for the relativity of “same” and “other.”Politicus 292 C describes in different language the correct method.

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