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[266a]

Stranger
You divided all productive art widthwise, as it were, before; now divide it lengthwise.

Theaetetus
Assume that it is done.

Stranger
In that way we now get four parts in all; two belong to us and are human, and two belong to the gods and are divine.

Theaetetus
Yes.

Stranger
And again, when the section is made the other way, one part of each half has to do with the making of real things, and the two remaining parts may very well be called image-making; and so productive art is again divided into two parts. [266b]

Theaetetus
Tell me again how each part is distinguished.

Stranger
We know that we and all the other animals, and fire, water, and their kindred elements, out of which natural objects are formed, are one and all the very offspring and creations of God, do we not?

Theaetetus
Yes.

Stranger
And corresponding to each and all of these there are images, not the things themselves, which are also made by superhuman skill.

Theaetetus
What are they?

Stranger
The appearances in dreams, and those that arise by day and are said to be spontaneous—a shadow when [266c] a dark object interrupts the firelight, or when twofold light, from the objects themselves and from outside, meets on smooth and bright surfaces and causes upon our senses an effect the reverse of our ordinary sight, thus producing an image.1

Theaetetus
Yes, these are two works of divine creation, the thing itself and the corresponding image in each case.

Stranger
And how about our own art? Shall we not say that we make a house by the art of building, and by the art of painting make another house, a sort of man-made dream produced for those who are awake? [266d]

Theaetetus
Certainly.

Stranger
And in the same way, we say, all the other works of our creative activity also are twofold and go in pairs—the thing itself, produced by the art that creates real things, and the image, produced by the image-making art.

Theaetetus
I understand better now; and I agree that there are two kinds of production, each of them twofold—the divine and the human by one method of bisection, and by the other real things and the product that consists of a sort of likenesses.

Stranger
We must remember that there were to be two parts of the image-making class, the likeness-making and the fantastic, [266e] if we should find that falsehood really existed and was in the class of real being.

Theaetetus
Yes, there were.

Stranger
But we found that falsehood does exist, and therefore we shall now, without any doubts, number the kinds of image-making art as two, shall we not?

Theaetetus
Yes.


1 This was the current explanation of reflection. Mirrors and smooth objects were supposed to contain a luminous principle which met on the smooth surface with the light coming from the object reflected. So in the act of vision the fire within the eye united with the external fire (Plat. Tim. 46a). The words τῆς ἔμπροσθεν . . . ἐναντίαν αἴσθησιν refer to the transposition of right and left in the reflection (cf. Plat. Theaet. 193c).

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