previous next
[585a] they truly think themselves to be, and really are, in a state of pain, but, when they move from pain to the middle and neutral state, they intensely believe that they are approaching fulfillment and pleasure, and just as if, in ignorance of white, they were comparing grey with black,1 so, being inexperienced in true pleasure, they are deceived by viewing painlessness in its relation to pain?” “No, by Zeus,” he said, “it would not surprise me, but far rather if it were not so.” “In this way, then, consider it.2 Are not hunger and thirst and similar states inanitions or emptinesses3 [585b] of the bodily habit?” “Surely.” “And is not ignorance and folly in turn a kind of emptiness of the habit of the soul?” “It is indeed.” “And he who partakes of nourishment4 and he who gets, wisdom fills the void and is filled?” “Of course.” “And which is the truer filling and fulfillment, that of the less or of the more real being?” “Evidently that of the more real.” “And which of the two groups or kinds do you think has a greater part in pure essence, the class of foods, drinks, and relishes and nourishment generally, or the kind of true opinion,5 [585c] knowledge and reason,6 and, in sum, all the things that are more excellent7? Form your judgement thus. Which do you think more truly is, that which clings to what is ever like itself and immortal and to the truth, and that which is itself of such a nature and is born in a thing of that nature, or that which clings to what is mortal and never the same and is itself such and is born in such a thing?” “That which cleaves to what is ever the same far surpasses,” he said. “Does the essence of that which never abides the same partake of real essence any more than of knowledge?” “By no means.” “Or of truth and reality?” “Not of that, either.” “And if a thing has less of truth has it not also less of real essence or existence?” “Necessarily.” “And is it not generally true [585d] that the kinds concerned with the service of the body partake less of truth and reality than those that serve the soul?” “Much less.” “And do you not think that the same holds of the body itself in comparison with the soul?” “I do.” “Then is not that which is fulfilled of what more truly is, and which itself more truly is, more truly filled and satisfied than that which being itself less real is filled with more unreal things?” “Of course.” “If, then, to be filled with what befits nature is pleasure, then that which is more really filled with real things [585e] would more really and truly cause us to enjoy a true pleasure, while that which partakes of the less truly existent would be less truly and surely filled and would partake of a less trustworthy and less true pleasure.” “Most inevitably,” he said. “Then those who have no experience

1 Cf. Aristot.Met. 1011 b 30-31 and Eth. Nic. 1154 a 30διὰ τὸ παρὰ τὸ ἐναντίον φαίνεσθαι.

2 The argument from the parallel of body and mind here belongs to what we have called confirmation. Cf. What Plato Said, p. 528, on Phaedo 78 B, The figurative use of repletion and nutrition is not to be pressed in proof of contradictions with the Philebus or Gorgias. Cf. Matthew v. 6 “Hunger and thirst after righteousness.”

3 For κενώσεις Cf. Phileb. 35 B, 42 C-D, Tim. 65 A.

4 For the figure of nourishment of the soul Cf. Protag. 313 D, Phaedr. 248 B, and Soph. 223 E.

5 Cf. What Plato Said, p. 517, on Meno 98 A-B.

6 Different kinds of intelligence are treated as synonyms because for the present purpose their distinctions are irrelevant. Cf. 511 A, C, and Dδιάνοια. Cf. Unity of Plato's Thought, p. 43 and p. 47, n. 339. Plato does not distinguish synonyms nor virtual synonyms for their own sake as Prodicus did. Cf. Protag. 358 A-B.

7 Cf. Symp. 209 Aφρόνησίν τε καὶ τὴν ἄλλην ἀρετήν

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Notes (James Adam)
load focus Greek (1903)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1154 AD (1)
1011 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: