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καὶ μάλα. See cr. n. The words ἄξιον τὸ διανόημα are not strictly suitable to οὐ γελοῖον, and although διανόημα is of course a Platonic word, it is questionable whether Plato could have used it in this way. Perhaps we owe the comment to a gratified monk, who may have applied the observation to systematic theology. The comment is at all events a just one. Cf. 496 A note Plato's remark is best illustrated by the case of the exact sciences; and in a certain sense it may be said that he wished to make Politics into an exact science.

μέντοι κτλ.: lit. ‘but that which you call the greatest study, and that which you call its subject whatever it be—do you suppose any one would let you off without asking what they are?’ Richards finds a difficulty, but there is none, if only we take τι not as interrogative, but as the indefinite relative. For εἶναι omitted see Schanz Nov. Comm. Pl. p. 33. The μέγιστον μάθημα is Dialectic; and its subject the Idea of Good, though of course the latter can itself be called the μέγιστον μάθημα, as in 505 A. For ἐρωτᾷ Richards neatly conjectures ἐρωτᾷς, but the text (‘You may ask it yourself if you like’) is better. See next note.

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