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ὡς οὐ δέοι depends on the idea of thinking involved in ἀτιμάζομεν. Richards suggested δέον, “sine causa,” as Hartman observes.

εἰκόνας γραμμάτων. The reference to letters throughout this part of the Republic is only by way of illustration, and we must beware of reading more into Plato's words than they are capable of meaning in the context where they occur. No doubt it is true, as Dr Jackson remarks, that “this passage makes us acquainted with the relation of copy and model which is to become important later,” but Bosanquet goes too far when he asserts that “the expression ‘images of letters’ points forward to the classification of grades of knowledge, at the end of Book VI, the allegory of the cave at the beginning of Book VII, and the argument of Book X.”

αὐτά is emphatic: ‘the letters themselves’ as opposed to their εἰκόνες. There is of course no allusion to ‘Ideas’ of letters.

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