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[538c] more than before1 and would henceforth live by their rule, associating with them openly, while for that former father and his adoptive kin he would not care at all, unless he was naturally of a very good disposition.” “All that you say,” he replied, “would be likely to happen.2 But what is the pertinency of this comparison to the novices of dialectic3?” “It is this. We have, I take it, certain convictions4 from childhood about the just and the honorable, in which, in obedience and honor to them, we have been bred as children under their parents.”

1 διαφερόντως πρότερον: Cf. Phaedo 85 B.

2 οἷά περ ἂν γένοιτο is the phrase Aristotle uses to distinguish the truth of poetry from the facts of history.

3 That is the meaning. Lit. “those who lay hold on discourse.”

4 Plato's warning apples to our day no less than to his own. Like the proponents of ethical nihilism in Plato's Athens, much of our present-day literature and teaching questions all standards of morality and aesthetics, and confuses justice and injustice, beauty and ugliness. Cf. also on 537 D, p. 220, note a.

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