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1 Plato's aim is the opposite of that of the modern theorists who say that teaching should deal integrally with the total experience and not with the artificial division of abstraction.
2 The final use of διά became more frequent in later Greek. Cf. Aristot.Met. 982 b 20, Eth. Nic. 1110 a 4.Gen. an. 717 a 6, Poetics 1450 b 3, 1451 b 37. Cf. Lysis 218 B, Epin. 975 A, Olympiodorus, Life of Plato,Teubner vi. 191, ibid. p. 218, and schol.passim,Apsines, Spengel i. 361, line 18.
3 Plato merely means that this is the psychological origin of our attempt to form abstract and general ideas. My suggestion that this passage is the probable source of the notion which still infests the history of philosophy, that the great-and-the-small was a metaphysical entity or principle in Plato's later philosophy, to be identified with indeterminate dyad, has been disregarded. Cf. Unity of Plato's Thought, 84. But it is the only plausible explanation that has ever been proposed of the attribution of that “clotted nonsense” to Plato himself. For it is fallacious to identify μᾶλλον καὶ ἦττον in Philebus 24 C, 25 C, 21 E, and elsewhere with the μέγα καὶ σμικρόν. But there is no limit to the misapprehension of texts by hasty or fanciful readers in any age.
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