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[510c] said I,” for you will better understand after this preamble. For I think you are aware that students of geometry and reckoning and such subjects first postulate the odd and the even and the various figures and three kinds of angles and other things akin to these in each branch of science, regard them as known, and, treating them as absolute assumptions, do not deign to render any further account of them1 to themselves or others, taking it for granted that they are obvious to everybody. They take their start

1 100 b 2-3οὐ δεῖ γὰρ ἐν ταῖς ἐπιστημονικαῖς ἀρχαῖς ἐπιζητεῖσθαι τὸ διὰ τί, exactly expresses Plato's thought and the truth, though Aristotle may have meant it mainly for the principle of non-contradiction and other first principles of logic. Cf. the mediaeval “contra principium negantem non est disputandum.” A teacher of geometry will refuse to discuss the psychology of the idea of space, a teacher of chemistry will not permit the class to ask whether matter is “real.”

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