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[511d] their senses, yet because they do not go back to the beginning in the study of them but start from assumptions you do not think they possess true intelligence1 about them although2 the things themselves are intelligibles when apprehended in conjunction with a first principle. And I think you call the mental habit of geometers and their like mind or understanding3 and not reason because you regard understanding as something intermediate between opinion and reason.” “Your interpretation is quite sufficient,” I said; “and now, answering to4 these four sections, assume these four affections occurring in the soul: intellection or reason for the highest,

1 νοῦν οὐκ ἴσχειν is perhaps intentionally ambiguous. Colloquially the phrase means “have not sense.” for its higher meaning Cf. Meno 99 C, Laws 962 A.

2 Unnecessary difficulties have been raised about καίτοι and μετά here. Wilamowitz, Platon, ii. p. 345 mistakenly resorts to emendation. the meaning is plain. Mathematical ideas are ideas or concepts like other ideas; but the mathematician does not deal with them quiet as the dialectician deals with ideas and therefore does not possess νοῦς or reason in the highest sense.

3 Here the word διάνοια is given a technical meaning as a faculty inferior to νοῦς, but, as Plato says, the terminology does not matter. The question has been much and often idly discussed.

4 For ἐπί Cf. Polit. 280 A, Gorg. 463 B.

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