[289a] to turn the rocks into gold would our knowledge be of any worth. For unless we know how to use the gold, we found no advantage in it. Do you not remember? I asked.Certainly I do, he said.Nor, it seems, do we get any advantage from all other knowledge, whether of money-making or medicine or any other that knows how to make things, without knowing how to use the thing made. Is it not so?He agreed.Nor again, if there is a knowledge [289b] enabling one to make men immortal, does this, if we lack the knowledge how to use immortality, seem to bring any advantage either, if we are to infer anything from our previous admissions.On all these points we agreed.Then the sort of knowledge we require, fair youth, I said, is that in which there happens to be a union of making and knowing how to use the thing made.Apparently, he said.So we ought, it seems, to aim at something far other than being lyre-makers [289c] or possessing that kind of knowledge. For in this case the art that makes and the art that uses are quite distinct, dealing in separation with the same thing; since there is a wide difference between the art of making lyres and that of harp-playing. Is it not so?He agreed.Nor again, obviously, do we require an art of flute-making; for this is another of the same kind.He assented.Now in good earnest, I asked, if we were to learn the art of speech-making, can that be the art we should acquire if we would be happy?I for one think not, said Cleinias, interposing. [289d] On what proof do you rely? I asked.I see, he said, certain speech-writers who do not know how to use the special arguments composed by themselves, just as lyre-makers in regard to their lyres: in the former case also there are other persons able to use what the makers produced, while being themselves unable to make the written speech. Hence it is clear that in speech likewise there are two distinct arts, one of making and one of using.I think you give sufficient proof, I said, that this art of the speech-writers cannot be that whose acquisition would make one happy. And yet I fancied that somewhere about this point would appear the knowledge which we have been seeking all this while. [289e] For not only do these speech-writers themselves, when I am in their company, impress me as prodigiously clever, Cleinias, but their art itself seems so exalted as to be almost inspired. However, this is not surprising; for it is a part of the sorcerer's art,
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.