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[587a] so far as such a thing is possible,1 the truest.” “Precisely so.” “And so when one of the other two gets the mastery the result for it is that it does not find its own proper pleasure and constrains the others to pursue an alien pleasure and not the true.” “That is so,” he said. “And would not that which is furthest removed from philosophy and reason be most likely to produce this effect2?” “Quite so,” he said. “And is not that furthest removed from reason which is furthest from law and order?” “Obviously.” “And was it not made plain that the furthest removed are the erotic and tyrannical appetites?” “Quite so.”

1 For εἰς τὸ δυνατόν cf. 500 D, 381 C, Laws 795 D, 830 B, 862 B, 900 C.

2 What follows (587 B-588 A) is not to be taken too seriously. It illustrates the method of procedure by minute links, the satisfaction of Plato's feelings by confirmations and analogies, and his willingness to play with mathematical symbolism. Cf. 546 B f. and William Temple, Plato and Christianity, p. 55: “Finally the whole thing is a satire on the humbug of mystical number, but I need not add that the German commentators are seriously exercised. . . . “ See however A. G. Laird in Class. Phil. xi. (1916) pp. 465-468.

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