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σὺ δέ γε is of course ironical, as σκώπτεις shews. Müller in his translation (p. 53) strangely misses this point. 487E - 489C Imagine a ship, in which the sailors struggle with one another to gain possession of the helm, although they have never learnt the art of steering, and actually deny that steering can be taught at all. They overpower the master of the vessel by opiates or strong drink, and sail merrily away to shipwreck. It never occurs to them that in order to steer a ship, it is necessary to learn how. The true pilot is to them a star-gazer, an idle babbler, altogether useless. Our simile explains itself. What wonder that the philosopher is useless in a city? But the fault lies with those who make no use of him. It is not his part to sue for employment: those who need his services ought to appeal to him.
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