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[508d] they are directed upon objects illumined by the sun, they see clearly, and vision appears to reside in these same eyes.” “Certainly.” “Apply this comparison to the soul also in this way. When it is firmly fixed on the domain where truth and reality shine resplendent1 it apprehends and knows them and appears to possess reason; but when it inclines to that region which is mingled with darkness, the world of becoming and passing away, it opines only and its edge is blunted, and it shifts its opinions hither and thither, and again seems as if it lacked reason.”

1 Plato's rhetoric is not to be pressed. Truth, being the good, are virtual synonyms. Still, for Plato's ethical and political philosophy the light that makes things intelligible is the idea of good, i.e. the “sanction,” and not, as some commentators insist, the truth.

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