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[505b] just as no possession either is of any avail1 without the possession of the good. Or do you think there is any profit2 in possessing everything except that which is good, or in understanding all things else apart from the good while understanding and knowing nothing that is fair and good3?” “No, by Zeus, I do not,” he said.

“But, furthermore, you know this too, that the multitude believe pleasure4 to be the good, and the finer5 spirits intelligence or knowledge.6” “Certainly.” “And you are also aware, my friend, that those who hold this latter view are not able to point out what knowledge7 it is but are finally compelled to say that it is the knowledge of the good.” “Most absurdly,” he said. “Is it not absurd,”

1 For the idiom οὐδὲν ὄφελος Cf. Euthyph. 4 E, Lysis 208 E, 365 B, Charm. 155 E, etc.

2 Cf. 427 A, Phaedr. 275 C, Cratyl. 387 A, Euthyd. 288 E, Laws 751 B, 944 C, etc.

3 καλὸν δὲ καὶ ἀγαθόν suggests but does not mean καλοκἀγαθόν in its half-technical sense. The two words fill out the rhythm with Platonic fulness and are virtual synonyms. Cf. Phileb. 65 A and Symp. 210-211 where because of the subject the καλόν is substituted for the ἀγαθόν.

4 So Polus and Callicles in the Gorgias and later the Epicureans and Cyrenaics. Cf. also What Plato Said, p. 131; Eurip.Hippol. 382οἱ δ᾽ ἡδονὴν προθέντες ἀντὶ τοῦ καλοῦ, and on 329 A-B. There is no contradiction here with the Philebus. Plato does not himself say that either pleasure or knowledge is the good.

5 κομψοτέροις is very slightly if at all ironical here. Cf. the American “sophisticated” in recent use. See too Theaet. 156 A, Aristot.Eth. Nic 1905 a 18οἱ χαρίεντες.

6 Plato does not distinguish synonyms in the style of Prodicus (Cf. Protag. 337 A ff.) and Aristotle (Cf. Eth. Nic. 1140-1141) when the distinction is irrelevant to his purpose.

7 Cf. Euthyd. 281 D, Theaet. 288 D f., Laws 961 E περὶ τί νοῦς. See Unity of Plato's Thought, n. 650. The demand for specification is frequent in the dialogues. Cf. Euthyph. 13 D, Laches 192 E, Gorg. 451 A, Charm. 165 C-E, Alc. I. 124 E ff.

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