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[417a] such as συμφέροντα (advantageous), λυσιτελοῦντα (profitable), ὠφέλιμα (useful), κερδαλέα (gainful), and their opposites.

You might by this time be able to find the meaning of συμφέροντα by yourself in the light of the previous explanations, for it appears to be own brother to ἐπιστήμη. It means nothing else but the motion (φορά) of the soul in company with the world, and naturally things which are done by such a power are called συμφέροντα and σύμφορα because they are carried round with (συμπεριφέρεσθαι) the world. But κερδαλέον is from κέρδος (gain). [417b] If you restore nu in the word κέρδος in place of the delta, the meaning is plain; it signifies good, but in another way. Because it passes through and is mingled (κεράννυται) with all things, he who named it gave it this name which indicates that function; but he inserted a delta instead of nu and said κέρδος.

And what is λυσιτελοῦν?

I do not think, Hermogenes, the name-giver gives the meaning to λυσιτελοῦν which it has in the language of tradesfolk, when profit sets free (ἀπολύει) the sum invested, [417c] but he means that because it is the swiftest thing in the world it does not allow things to remain at rest and does not allow the motion to come to any end (τέλος) of movement or to stop or pause, but always, if any end of the motion is attempted, it sets it free, making it unceasing and immortal. It is in this sense, I think, that the good is dubbed λυσιτελοῦν, for it frees (λύει) the end (τέλος) of the motion. But the word ὠφέλιμον is a foreign one, which Homer often uses in the verbal form ὀφέλλειν. This is a synonym of “increase” and “create.” [417d]

What shall be our explanations of the opposites of these?

Those of them that are mere negatives, need, I think, no discussion.

Which are those?

Disadvantageous, useless, unprofitable, and ungainful.


But βλαβερόν (harmful) and ζημιῶδες (hurtful) do need it.


And βλαβερόν means that which harms (βλάπτον) the flow (ῥοῦν); [417e] but βλάπτον means “wishing to fasten” (ἅπτειν), and ἅπτειν is the same thing as δεῖν (bind), which the name-giver constantly finds fault with. Now τὸ βουλόμενον ἅπτειν ῥοῦν (that which wishes to fasten the flow) would most correctly be called βουλαπτεροῦν, but is called βλαβερόν merely, as I think, to make it prettier.

Elaborate names these are, Socrates, that result from your method. Just now,

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