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καλὰ -- πράγματα . πράγματα is a sufficiently general term to include all the φαινόμενα πολλά which are specified in 476 A. The persons in question may be willing to assert that a σῶμα, a πρᾶξις, τὸ δίκαιον, τὸ ἀγαθόν etc. are καλά. But they refuse to go beyond isolated observations of this sort and admit that Beauty itself exists αὐτὸ καθ᾽ αὑτὸ μεθ᾽ αὑτοῦ μονοειδὲς ἀεὶ ὄν (Symp. 211 B); and hence their notions of beauty are uncoordinated, inconsistent, unstable.

ἄν τις ἡγῆται κτλ. Cf. Symp. 210 A.

ἐάν τε ἐν ὕπνῳ κτλ. It is the pre-existence of the soul which qualifies her by nature to distinguish between the Idea or Original, and the phenomenon or copy. But as we lost at birth our ante-natal knowledge of the Idea, we cannot distinguish between Ideas and phenomena until we recover that knowledge. To effect this recovery is the aim of education. The uneducated wander in a sort of dreamland, taking shadows for realities, the copy for the Original. Cf. Phaed. 74 A—76 D, Men. 81 A ff., Symp. 209 E—212 A.

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hide References (5 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (5):
    • Plato, Phaedo, 74a
    • Plato, Symposium, 209e
    • Plato, Symposium, 210a
    • Plato, Symposium, 211b
    • Plato, Meno, 81a
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