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[489d] But far the greatest and chief disparagement of philosophy is brought upon it by the pretenders1 to that way of life, those whom you had in mind when you affirmed that the accuser of philosophy says that the majority of her followers2 are rascals and the better sort useless, while I admitted3 that what you said was true. Is not that so?” “Yes.”

“Have we not, then, explained the cause of the uselessness of the better sort?” “We have.” “Shall we next set forth the inevitableness of the degeneracy of the majority, and try to show if we can that philosophy

1 Cf. Theaet. 173 C, why speak of unworthy philosophers? and 495 C ff.

2 Possibly “wooers.” Cf. 347 C, 521 B. Plato frequently employs the language of physical love in speaking of philosophy. Cf. 495-496, 490 B, Theaet. 148 E ff., Pheado 66 E, Meno 60 B, Phaedr. 266 B, etc.

3 Cf. Theaet. 169 D.

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