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[534d] he will arrive at the house of Hades and fall asleep for ever?1” “Yes, by Zeus,” said he, “all this I will stoutly affirm.” “But, surely,” said I, “if you should ever nurture in fact your children2 whom you are now nurturing and educating in word,3 you would not suffer them, I presume, to hold rule in the state, and determine the greatest matters, being themselves as irrational4 as the lines so called in geometry.” “Why, no,” he said. “Then you will provide by law that they shall give special heed to the discipline that will enable them to ask and answer5 questions in the most scientific manner?”

1 For Platonic intellectualism the life of the ordinary man is something between sleep and waking. Cf. Apol. 31 A. Note the touch of humor in τελέως ἐπικαταδαρθάνειν. Cf. Bridges, Psychology, p. 382: “There is really no clear-cut distinction between what is usually called sleeping and waking. In sleep we are less awake than in the waking hours, and in waking life we are less asleep than in sleep.”

2 Plato likes to affirm his ideal only of the philosophic rulers.

3 Cf. 376 D, 369 C, 472 E, Critias 106 A.

4 A slight touch of humor. Cf. the schoolgirl who said, “These equations are inconsiderate and will not be solved.”

5 A frequent periphrasis for dialectics. Cf.τὸ ἐρωτώμενον ἀποκρίνεσθαιGorg. 461 E, Charm. 166 D, Prot. 338 D, Alc. I. 106 B.

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