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[21a] we can no longer regard it as our true good.

Protarchus
No, of course not.

Socrates
Shall we then undertake to test them through you?

Protarchus
By all means.

Socrates
Then answer.

Protarchus
Ask.

Socrates
Would you, Protarchus, be willing to live your whole life in the enjoyment of the greatest pleasures?

Protarchus
Of course I should.

Socrates
Would you think you needed anything further, if you were in complete possession of that enjoyment?

Protarchus
Certainly not.

Socrates
But consider whether you would not have some need of wisdom and intelligence and [21b] power of calculating your wants and the like.

Protarchus
Why should I? If I have enjoyment, I have everything.

Socrates
Then living thus you would enjoy the greatest pleasures all your life?

Protarchus
Yes; why not?

Socrates
But if you did not possess mind or memory or knowledge or true opinion, in the first place, you would not know whether you were enjoying your pleasures or not. That must be true, since you are utterly devoid of intellect, must it not?

Protarchus
Yes, it must. [21c]

Socrates
And likewise, if you had no memory you could not even remember that you ever did enjoy pleasure, and no recollection whatever of present pleasure could remain with you; if you had no true opinion you could not think you were enjoying pleasure at the time when you were enjoying it, and if you were without power of calculation you would not be able to calculate that you would enjoy it in the future; your life would not be that of a man, but of a mollusc or some other shell-fish like the oyster. [21d] Is that true, or can we imagine any other result?

Protarchus
We certainly cannot.

Socrates
And can we choose such a life?

Protarchus
This argument, Socrates, has made me utterly speechless for the present.

Socrates
Well, let us not give in yet. Let us take up the life of mind and scrutinize that in turn.

Protarchus
What sort of life do you mean?

Socrates
I ask whether anyone would be willing to live possessing wisdom and mind and knowledge and perfect memory of all things, [21e] but having no share, great or small, in pleasure, or in pain, for that matter, but being utterly unaffected by everything of that sort.

Protarchus
Neither of the two lives can ever appear desirable to me, Socrates, or, I think, to anyone else.


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