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μᾶλλον δέ: introduces a comparison equally true, but more to the point of the argument (cf. 449 a), by the completion of the proportions already worked out, and by their extension to the whole system of ideas thus far developed.—It might seem strange that sophistic is paired with nomothetic, and not with philosophy. Philosophy, however, is the science of principles in general, while in this dialogue only ethical and political principles are discussed. These latter, however, the law-giver must make use of, —i.e. must be a philosopher, as is proved in the much more comprehensive and thorough discussion in the Republic.

ὅπερ λέγω: refers, as it always does, to a previous statement; here to 464 c, where the close relationship of the τέχναι, which have to do with the same object (body and soul) was spoken of. This idea is here expressed by the words ἅτε δ᾽ ἔγγυς ὄντων, which recall at once the expression above, ἅτε περὶ τὸ αὐτὸ οὖσαι. The subject of διέστηκεν is not expressed, but is a general one, to be taken out of the preceding proportions, which embrace all τέχναι and ἐμπειρίαι, and the same subject must be thought of with ὄντων. On account of the position of ἅτε ἔγγυς ὄντων the δέ is drawn away from the second member of the contrast, φύρονται.—

φύσει: means the essential peculiarity, actual nature, of the ideas. Instead of these, however, with φύρονται we have the persons introduced who employ and practise the τέχναι and ἐμπειρίαι, and who from ignorance of their true nature bring them into activity at the same time, and thus mix together matters which, properly considered, are quite distinct.

ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ: probably denotes the soul as the place of action, and περὶ ταὐτά the moral questions treated, both of which are reckoned together above (464 c) in the expression περὶ τὸ αὐτό. Socrates restricts himself to the two ἐμπειρίαι to which ῥητορική belongs, inasmuch as the object of the whole investigation is only an exact understanding of the nature of rhetoric. This passage is referred to below, in 520 a.—Plato can explain more accurately the relation of sophistic and rhetoric to each other, because he was the first to explain the difference scientifically, whereas Gorgias, though he was unwilling to be reckoned among the sophists, could give no reason therefor.

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  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Plato, Gorgias, 449a
    • Plato, Gorgias, 464c
    • Plato, Gorgias, 520a
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