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νομίζοιεν κτλ. νόμος, not φύσις, is the watchword of ἀπαιδευσία.

σκευαστῶν is said by J. and C. to be “diminutive images of ordinary artificial objects,” but the word does not convey this meaning. For the purposes of this simile σκευαστά are reckoned as less real than φυτευτά: see on ὅρα τοίνυν κτλ. 514 B and φαντάσματα θεῖα 532 C. Plato takes no account of the fact that the prisoners also see shadows of themselves (515 A).

λύσιν κτλ. According to 532 B (where see note), λύσιντῶν ἄλλων εἴδωλα (516 A) symbolizes Plato's προπαιδεία or inferior νοητόν.

εἰ φύσει τοιάδε κτλ. φύσει has been variously interpreted as follows. (1) ‘φύσει est revera’ (Ast, Stallbaum): (2) ‘si res et natura ferret,’ ‘in the course of nature’ (Schneider, J. and C., D. and V.): (3) ‘φύσει, no one knows how’ (Nettleship Lect. and Rem. II p. 260). None of these explanations is either linguistically easy or altogether suitable in point of meaning. It should be remembered that the condition of the prisoners, shut out as they are from light and truth amid the darkness of the Cave, is ‘unnatural’ (παρὰ φύσιν) in the Platonic sense of the word (see IV 443 B note). Their release is therefore a return to their true nature, and may for this reason be described as ‘natural.’ This, I think, is what Plato means to suggest by φύσει. It is true, as we are presently told (515 E βίᾳ), that force has to be employed in order to drag the prisoners on high; but their deliverance is none the less ‘natural’ in Plato's way of thinking. Schleiermacher and Herwerden wish to read οἵα τις ἂν εἴη φύσει, εἰ τοιάδε κτλ. The fact that εἰ was omitted by A^{1}, and is absent from five other MSS, may appear to favour this conjecture. We might suppose that εἰ fell out by ὁμοιοτέλευτον after φύσει, disappeared altogether from several MSS, and was wrongly replaced in A. (The evidence of Π is unfortunately wanting here.) But on this view it is difficult to see what φύσει adds to οἵα τις ἂν εἴη, and for this and other reasons I prefer the solution which I have given.

τὸ φῶς is the light of the fire (514 B): contrast αὐτὸ τὸ φῶς 515 D.

ἀναβλέπειν . ἀνα- is appropriate, for the fire is ἄνωθεν (514 B). Education always points upward in Plato (514 A note).

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