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[437a] to suffer, be,1 or do opposites.” “They will not me, I am sure,” said he. “All the same, said I, “that we may not be forced to examine at tedious length the entire list of such contentions2 and convince ourselves that they are false, let us proceed on the hypothesis3 that this is so, with the understanding that, if it ever appear otherwise, everything that results from the assumption shall be invalidated.” “That is what we must do,” he said.

1 εἴη, the reading of most Mss., should stand. It covers the case of contradictory predicates, especially of relation, that do not readily fall under the dichotomy ποιεῖν πάσχειν. So Phaedo 97 C εἶναι ἄλλο ὁτιοῦν πάσχειν ποιεῖν.

2 ἀμφισβητήσεις is slightly contemptuous. Cf. Aristotle , ἐνοχλήσεις, and Theaetetus 158 Cτό γε ἀμφισβητῆσαι οὐ χαλεπόν.

3 It is almost a Platonic method thus to emphasize the dependence of one conclusion on another already accepted. Cf. Unity of Plato's Thought, n. 471, Politicus 284 D, Phaedo 77 A, 92 D, Timaeus 51 D, Parmenides 149 A. It may be used to cut short discussion (Unity of Plato's Thought, n. 471) or divert it into another channel. Here, however, he is aware, as Aristotle is, that the maximum of contradiction can be proved only controversially against an adversary who says something. (cf. my De Platonis Idearum Doctrina, pp. 7-9, Aristotle Met. 1012 b 1-10); and so, having sufficiently guarded his meaning, he dismisses the subject with the ironical observation that, if the maxim is ever proved false, he will give up all that he bases on the hypothesis of its truth. Cf. Sophist 247 E.

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