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[247c] to confess that they have no existence or to assert that they are all bodies.

It is clear, Theaetetus, that our men have grown better; for the aboriginal sons of the dragon's teeth1 among them would not shrink from any such utterance; they would maintain that nothing which they cannot squeeze with their hands has any existence at all.

That is pretty nearly what they believe.

Then let us question them further; for if they are willing to admit that any existence, no matter how small, is incorporeal,

1 This refers to the story of Cadmus, who killed a dragon and then sowed its teeth, from which sprang fierce warriors to be his companions. Born of the dragon's teeth and of earth, they would naturally be of the earth, earthy.

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