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[375a]

Socrates
Well now, would you choose to possess a horse of such spirit that you would ride him badly voluntarily, or involuntarily?

Hippias
Voluntarily.

Socrates
Then that spirit is better.

Hippias
Yes.

Socrates
Then with the horse of better spirit one would do voluntarily the bad acts of that spirit, but with the one of worse spirit involuntarily?

Hippias
Certainly.

Socrates
And is not that true of a dog, and all other animals?

Hippias
Yes.

Socrates
Well now, then, in the case of an archer is it better to possess the mind which voluntarily misses the mark, [375b] or that which does so involuntarily?

Hippias
That which does so voluntarily.

Socrates
Then that is the better mind for the purpose of archery?

Hippias
Yes.

Socrates
Is, then, the mind also which errs involuntarily worse than that which errs voluntarily?

Hippias
Yes, in the case of archery.

Socrates
And how is it in the art of medicine? Is not the mind which does harm to the patients' bodies voluntarily the more scientific?

Hippias
Yes.

Socrates
In this art, then, this mind is better than the other.

Hippias
It is better.

Socrates
Well now, the more musical, whether with lyre or with flute, [375c] and in everything else that concerns all the other arts and sciences—is not that mind better which voluntarily does bad and disgraceful things and commits errors, whereas that which does so involuntarily is worse?

Hippias
Apparently.

Socrates
And surely we should prefer to possess slaves of such minds that they voluntarily commit errors and do mischief, rather than such as do so involuntarily; we should think them better fitted for their duties.

Hippias
Yes.

Socrates
Well now, should we not wish to possess our own mind in the best possible condition?

Hippias
Yes. [375d]

Socrates
Will it, then, be better if it does evil and errs voluntarily, or involuntarily?

Hippias
But it would be a terrible thing, Socrates, if those who do wrong voluntarily are to be better than those who do so involuntarily.

Socrates
But surely they appear, at least, to be so, from what has been said.

Hippias
Not to me.

Socrates
I thought, Hippias, they appeared to be so to you also. But now once more answer me: Is not justice either a sort of power or knowledge, or both? Or must not justice inevitably be one or other of these [375e]

Hippias
Yes.

Socrates
Then injustice is a power of the soul, the more powerful soul is the more just, is it not? For we found, my friend, that such a soul was better.

Hippias
Yes, we did.

Socrates
And what if it be knowledge? Is not the wiser soul more just, and the more ignorant more unjust?

Hippias
Yes.

Socrates
And what if it be both? Is not the soul which has both, power and knowledge, more just, and the more ignorant more unjust? Is that not inevitably the case?

Hippias
It appears to be.

Socrates
This more powerful and wiser soul, then, was found to be better and to have more power to do both good and disgraceful acts in every kind of action was it not?


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