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You are right, and we agree with what you say.Athenian
Further, we agreed long ago that if men are capable of ruling themselves, they are good, but if incapable, bad.Clinias
Let us, then, re-state more clearly [644c] what we meant by this. With your permission, I will make use of an illustration in the hope of explaining the matter.Clinias
May we assume that each of us by himself is a single unit?Clinias
And that each possesses within himself two antagonistic and foolish counsellors, whom we call by the names of pleasure and pain?Clinias
That is so.Athenian
And that, besides these two, each man possesses opinions about the future, which go by the general name of “expectations”; and of these, that which precedes pain bears the special name of “fear,” and that which precedes pleasure the special name of “confidence”; [644d] and in addition to all these there is “calculation,” pronouncing which of them is good, which bad; and “calculation,” when it has become the public decree of the State, is named “law.”Clinias
I have some difficulty in keeping pace with you: assume, however, that I do so, and proceed.Megillus
I am in exactly the same predicament.Athenian
Let us conceive of the matter in this way. Let us suppose that each of us living creatures is an ingenious puppet of the gods, whether contrived by way of a toy of theirs or for some serious purpose—for as to that we know nothing; [644e] but this we do know, that these inward affections of ours, like sinews or cords, drag us along and, being opposed to each other, pull one against the other to opposite actions; and herein lies the dividing line between goodness and badness. For, as our argument declares, there is one of these pulling forces which every man should always follow and nohow leave hold of, counteracting thereby the pull of the other sinews:
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