previous next
[507c] while the ideas can be thought but not seen.” “By all means.” “With which of the parts of ourselves, with which of our faculties, then, do we see visible things?” “With sight,” he said. “And do we not,” I said, “hear audibles with hearing, and perceive all sensibles with the other senses?” “Surely.” “Have you ever observed,” said I, “how much the greatest expenditure the creator1 of the senses has lavished on the faculty of seeing and being seen?2 “Why, no, I have not,” he said. “Well, look at it thus. Do hearing and voice stand in need of another medium3 so that the one may hear and the other be heard,

1 Creator,δημιουργός, God, the gods, and nature, are all virtual synonyms in such passages.

2 Cf. Phaedr. 259 D, Tim. 45 B.

3 This is literature, not science. Plato knew that sound required a medium, Tim. 67 B. But the statement here is true enough to illustrate the thought.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Notes (James Adam)
load focus Greek (1903)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: