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[689b] for the part of the soul that feels pain and pleasure corresponds to the mass of the populace in the State.1 So whenever this part opposes what are by nature the ruling principles—knowledge, opinion, or reason,—this condition I call folly, whether it be in a State, when the masses disobey the rulers and the laws, or in an individual, when the noble elements of reason existing in the soul produce no good effect, but quite the contrary.

1 In this comparison between the Soul and the State both are regarded as consisting of two parts or elements, the ruling and the ruled, of which the former is the noblest, but the latter the “greatest” in bulk and extent. The ruling element in the Soul is Reason (νοῦς, λόγος), and in the State it is Law (νόμος) and its exponents: the subject element in the Soul consists of sensations, emotions and desires, which (both in hulk and in irrationality) correspond to the mass of the “volgus” in the State. Plato's usual division of the Soul is into three parts—reason (νοῦς), passion (θυμός), and desire (ἐπιθυμία): cp. Plat. Rep. 435ff.

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    • Plato, Republic, 435a
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