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φύσει belongs to ἀγόντων (Schneider) rather than to εἶναι (Stallbaum and others), as is clear from the antithesis χρῆσθαι δ᾽ οὐδεὶς αὐτῷ ὀρθῶς (explained in 525 C).

τό γ᾽ ἐμοὶ δοκοῦν. Cf. 517 B note Plato is careful to eschew the appearance of dogmatism, even where his convictions are most profound.

523A - 524C I distinguish (says Socrates) between two classes of perceptions, those which stimulate the intellect, and those which do not. To the former belong all such sense-presentations as are selfcontradictory. We have here, for example, three fingers. Sight tells us that each is a finger. So far there is no contradiction and the intellect is not roused. But it is otherwise with size and smallness, thickness and thinness, and the like. The perception which reports that suchand-such a thing is hard frequently tells us that it is also soft, and the same, mutatis mutandis, may be said of all perceptions which deal with relative qualities of this kind. In such cases the soul is perplexed, and appeals to the intellect for help. The intellect, promptly respond- ing, apprehends ‘great’ and ‘small’ (for example) as distinct and separate from one another, unlike the senses, by which they were seen together and in confusion. It is thus that we are first led to ask ‘What is the great?’ ‘What is the small?’

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