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[257b]

Stranger
Then here is a point to consider.

Theaetetus
What is it?

Stranger
When we say not-being, we speak, I think, not of something that is the opposite of being, but only of something different.

Theaetetus
What do you mean?

Stranger
For instance, when we speak of a thing as not great, do we seem to you to mean by the expression what is small any more than what is of middle size?

Theaetetus
No, of course not.

Stranger
Then when we are told that the negative signifies the opposite, we shall not admit it; we shall admit only that the particle “not”1 indicates something different


1 The two particles οὐ and μή in Greek.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • R. G. Bury, The Symposium of Plato, 201E
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