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1 A further thought is developed here, suggested in 479 A, B. Just as the many particular horses, trees, or tables shift and change, and are and are not in comparision with the unchanging multitude of each, so the many opinions of the multitude about justice and the good and the beautiful and other moral conceptions change, and both are and are not in comparison with the unalterable ideas of justice and beauty, which the philosopher more nearly apprehends. Thus, for the purposes of this contrast, notions, opinions, and what English usage would call ideas, fall into the same class as material objects. Cf. Euthyphro 6 D, Phaedo 78 D, Parmenides 131 D, Gorgias 488 Dτὰ τῶν πολλῶν ἄρα νόμιμα, Laws 715 Bτὰ τούτων δίκαια, 860 Cτοῖς μὲν τοίνυν πολλοῖς etc., 962 Dτὰ τῶν πόλεων(of states)νόμιμα. The practical truth of this distinction is unaffected by our metaphysics. Plato is speaking of what he elsewhere calls the εἴδωλα of justice, beauty and the like. Cf. 517 D, 532 D, Theaetetus 150 B, and “The Idea of Good in Plato's Republic,”University of Chicago Studies in Classical Philology, i. p. 238.
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