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[94a] no soul will have any wickedness at all, if the soul is a harmony; for if a harmony is entirely harmony, it could have no part in discord.”

“Certainly not.”

“Then the soul, being entirely soul, could have no part in wickedness.”

“How could it, if what we have said is right?”

“According to this argument, then, if all souls are by nature equally souls, all souls of all living creatures will be equally good.”

“So it seems, Socrates,” said he. [94b] “And,” said Socrates, “do you think that this is true and that our reasoning would have come to this end, if the theory that the soul is a harmony were correct?”

“Not in the least,” he replied.

“Well,” said Socrates, “of all the parts that make up a man, do you think any is ruler except the soul, especially if it be a wise one?”

“No, I do not.”

“Does it yield to the feelings of the body or oppose them? I mean, when the body is hot and thirsty, does not the soul oppose it and draw it away from drinking, and from eating when it is hungry, and do we not see the soul opposing the body [94c] in countless other ways?”


“Did we not agree in our previous discussion that it could never, if it be a harmony, give forth a sound at variance with the tensions and relaxations and vibrations and other conditions of the elements which compose it, but that it would follow them and never lead them?”

“Yes,” he replied, “we did, of course.”

“Well then, do we not now find that the soul acts in exactly the opposite way, leading those elements of which it is said to consist and opposing them [94d] in almost everything through all our life, and tyrannizing over them in every way, sometimes inflicting harsh and painful punishments (those of gymnastics and medicine), and sometimes milder ones, sometimes threatening and sometimes admonishing, in short, speaking to the desires and passions and fears as if it were distinct from them and they from it, as Homer has shown in the Odyssey when he says of Odysseus:“He smote his breast, and thus he chid his heart:
“Endure it, heart, you have born worse than this.”
Hom. Od 20.17-18 [94e] Do you suppose that, when he wrote those words, he thought of the soul as a harmony which would be led by the conditions of the body, and not rather as something fitted to lead and rule them, and itself a far more divine thing than a harmony?”

“By Zeus, Socrates, the latter, I think.”

“Then, my good friend, it will never do for us to say that the soul is a harmony; for we should, it seems,

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