previous next

[264a]

Stranger
Now when this arises in the soul silently by way of thought, can you give it any other name than opinion?

Theaetetus
Certainly not.

Stranger
And when such a condition is brought about in anyone, not independently, but through sensation, can it properly be called anything but seeming, or fancy?

Theaetetus
No.

Stranger
Then since speech, as we found, is true and false, and we saw that thought is conversation of the soul with itself, and opinion is the final result of thought, [264b] and what we mean when we say “it seems” is a mixture of sensation and opinion, it is inevitable that, since these are all akin to speech, some of them must sometimes be false.

Theaetetus
Certainly.

Stranger
Do you see, then, that false opinion and false discourse were found sooner than we expected when we feared a few moments ago that in looking for them we were undertaking an endless task?

Theaetetus
Yes, I see.

Stranger
Then let us not be discouraged about the rest of our search, either; [264c] for now that these points are settled, we have only to revert to our previous divisions into classes.

Theaetetus
What divisions?

Stranger
We made two classes of image-making, the likeness-making and the fantastic.1

Theaetetus
Yes.

Stranger
And we said that we did not know to which of the two the sophist should be assigned.

Theaetetus
You are right.

Stranger
And in the midst of our perplexity about that, we were overwhelmed by a still greater dizziness when the doctrine appeared which challenges everybody and asserts that neither likeness nor image [264d] nor appearance exists at all, because falsehood never exists anywhere in any way.

Theaetetus
True.

Stranger
But now, since the existence of false speech and false opinion has been proved, it is possible for imitations of realities to exist and for an art of deception to arise from this condition of mind.

Theaetetus
Yes, it is possible.

Stranger
And we decided some time ago that the sophist was in one of those two divisions of the image-making class.

Theaetetus
Yes.

Stranger
Then let us try again; let us divide in two [264e] the class we have taken up for discussion, and proceed always by way of the right-hand part of the thing divided, clinging close to the company to which the sophist belongs, until, having stripped him of all common properties and left him only his own peculiar nature, we shall show him plainly first


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 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 References (1 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: