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[533d] in the barbaric slough1 of the Orphic myth, dialectic gently draws it forth and leads it up, employing as helpers and co-operators in this conversion the studies and sciences which we enumerated, which we called sciences often from habit,2 though they really need some other designation, connoting more clearness than opinion and more obscurity than science. ‘Understanding,’3 I believe, was the term we employed. But I presume we shall not dispute about the name4

1 Orphism pictured the impious souls as buried in mud in the world below; cf. 363 D. Again we should not press Plato's rhetoric and imagery either as sentimental Platonists or hostile critics. See Newman, Introd. Aristot.Pol. p. 463, n. 3.

2 All writers and philosophers are compelled to “speak with the vulgar.” Cf. e.g. Meyerson, De l'explication dans les sciences, i. p. 329: “Tout en sachant que la couleur n'est pas réellement une qualité de l'object, à se servir cependant, dans la vie de tous les jours, d'une locution qui l'affirme.”

3 Cf. on 511 D, pp. 116-117, note c.

4 This unwillingness to dispute about names when they do not concern the argument is characteristic of Plato. Cf. What Plato Said, p. 516 on Meno 78 B-C for numerous instances. Stallbaum refers to Max. Tyr.Diss. xxvii. p. 40ἐγὼ γάρ τοι τά τε ἄλλα, καὶ ἐν τῇ τῶν ὀνομάτων ἐλευθερίᾳ πείθομαι Πλάτωνι.

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