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ὅταν οἱ μὲν -- τοῖς δέ (i.e. τοῖς ἀρχομένοις). These two clauses depend, not on ὡμολογῆσθαι, but on ποιεῖν: it is just to do τὰ ἀξύμφορα τοῖς ἄρχουσιν as often as the rulers unwillingly prescribe what is evil for themselves and so long as Thrasymachus says it is just for subjects to do what the rulers have prescribed. Desire for brevity and balance leads Plato to put both clauses under the government of ὅταν, although ‘since’ rather than ‘whenever’ is the more appropriate conjunction for introducing the second: for Thrasymachus does not sometimes but always assert that it is just to obey the rulers. The suggested reading φῄς for φῇς would require us to take τοῖς δέ κτλ. as an independent sentence, and leave μὲν in οἱ μέν without a corresponding δέ. αὐτό is ‘the matter,’ ‘the case before us’: cf. IV 428 A (αὐτῷ), VII 518 B (αὐτῶν), 524 E (αὐτῷ), Theaet. 172 E al. The text has been needlessly suspected by Madvig and other critics. οὑτωσί: not ‘in that case’ (Campbell), but (with Jowett) simply ‘thus,’ as explained in δίκαιον—λέγεις: cf. Ap. 26 E οὑτωσί σοι δοκῶ; οὐδένα νομίζω θεὸν εἶναι; ναὶ μὰ Δία κτλ. The interlude is intended to mark that the first stage has been reached in the refutation of Thrasymachus.
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