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That is a strong statement!Athenian
What I state is this,—that in children the first childish sensations are pleasure and pain, and that it is in these first that goodness and badness come to the soul; but as to wisdom and settled true opinions, a man is lucky if they come to him even in old age and; he that is possessed of these blessings, and all that they comprise, [653b] is indeed a perfect man. I term, then, the goodness that first comes to children “education.” When pleasure and love, and pain and hatred, spring up rightly in the souls of those who are unable as yet to grasp a rational account; and when, after grasping the rational account, they consent thereunto that they have been rightly trained in fitting practices:—this consent, viewed as a whole, is goodness, while the part of it that is rightly trained in respect of pleasures and pains, so as to hate what ought to be hated, right from the beginning [653c] up to the very end, and to love what ought to be loved, if you were to mark this part off in your definition and call it “education,” you would be giving it, in my opinion, its right name.Clinias
You are quite right, Stranger, as it seems to us, both in what you said before and in what you say now about education.Athenian
Very good. Now these forms of child-training, which consist in right discipline in pleasures and pains, grow slack and weakened to a great extent [653d] in the course of men's lives; so the gods, in pity for the human race thus born to misery, have ordained the feasts of thanksgiving as periods of respite from their troubles; and they have granted them as companions in their feasts the Muses and Apollo the master of music, and Dionysus, that they may at least set right again their modes of discipline by associating in their feasts with gods. We must consider, then, whether the account that is harped on nowadays is true to nature? What it says is that, almost without exception, every young creature is able of keeping either its body or its tongue quiet, [653e] and is always striving to move and to cry, leaping and skipping and delighting in dances and games, and uttering, also, noises of every description. Now, whereas all other creatures are devoid of any perception of the various kinds of order and disorder in movement (which we term rhythm and harmony), to men the very gods, who were given, as we said, to be our fellows in the dance, have granted the pleasurable perception of rhythm and harmony, whereby they cause us to move
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