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Soc. “How can it be that all these things are beautiful when they are entirely dissimilar?”

“Why, they are beautiful and fine,”1 answered Critobulus, “if they are well made for the respective functions for which we obtain them, or if they are naturally well constituted to serve our needs.”

1 Critobulus, of course, gets into trouble by his poor definition of beauty. In the Greek the ensuing discussion is made plausible by the fact that throughout both disputants use only one word, καλός, which means not only “beautiful” or handsome but also “glorious, noble, excellent, fine;” and though starting with the first meaning it soon shifts to the last. The translator is compelled to use different terms for this in the two parts of the argument.

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