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παραγγέλλει κτλ.: ‘intimates to the soul that the same thing is both hard and soft when it perceives it to be so.’ With παραγγέλλει (needlessly suspected by Stephanus) cf. Tim. 70 B τοῦ λόγου παραγγείλαντος ὥς τις ἄδικος περὶ αὐτὰ γίγνεται πρᾶξις. The English translators, together with Schneider, appear to take ὡς with αἰσθανομένη (“that it feels the same thing to be both hard and soft” D. and V.). But such a construction is difficult (cf. Kühner Gr. Gr. II p. 652) and the meaning scarcely satisfactory. It should be remembered that touch does not always report that an object is both hard and soft, but only when it feels the object hard in relation to one thing and soft in relation to another, and similarly in other cases. This limitation is expressed by αἰσθανομένη (as well as by <*>ν τοῖς τοιούτοις), and explains its emphatic position. I have sometimes thought that <οὕτως> should be added after αἰσθανομένη, but the object can be supplied from ὡςμαλακόν. Prantl understands the construction in somewhat the same way as I do.

ἀπορεῖν. The word is Socratic: see on 515 D. It is worthy of note that Plato, like Socrates, makes intellectual ἀπορία the beginning of Education. See App. II.

αὕτη αἵσθησις means ‘this present sensation,’ not the sense of touch in general, and similarly with τοῦ κούφου κτλ., which J. and C. erroneously understand as a special sense, apparently ‘the same which modern philosophers call the sense of resistance.’ But Plato nowhere recognises any such sense, and if he did, he would call it τοῦ κούφου καὶ βαρέος, and not τοῦ κούφου καὶ τοῦ βαρέος. The parallel in τί ποτε σημαίνειλέγει shews that Plato means: ‘what do the sensation of light and the sensation of heavy mean by light and heavy, if they indicate, the one that the heavy is light and the other that the light is heavy?’ The last clause contains an elegant chiasmus. Schneider understands αὕτη αἴσθησις as αἴσθησις τοῦ σκληροῦ, but it is better taken as deictic: cf. 516 B, 523 C. Otherwise his view agrees with mine.

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