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[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

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

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?

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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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • James Adam, The Republic of Plato, 7.532B
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (1):
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (2):
    • Plato, Theaetetus, 193c
    • Plato, Timaeus, 46a
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