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[270a] effectiveness in all directions seem somehow to come from such pursuits. This was in Pericles added to his great natural abilities; for it was, I think, his falling in with Anaxagoras, who was just such a man, that filled him with high thoughts and taught him the nature of mind and of lack of mind, subjects about which Anaxagoras used chiefly to discourse, and from these speculations he drew and applied to the art of speaking what is of use to it.

Phaedrus
What do you mean by that? [270b]

Socrates
The method of the art of healing is much the same as that of rhetoric.

Phaedrus
How so?

Socrates
In both cases you must analyze a nature, in one that of the body and in the other that of the soul, if you are to proceed in a scientific manner, not merely by practice and routine, to impart health and strength to the body by prescribing medicine and diet, or by proper discourses and training to give to the soul the desired belief and virtue.

Phaedrus
That, Socrates, is probably true. [270c]

Socrates
Now do you think one can acquire any appreciable knowledge of the nature of the soul without knowing the nature of the whole man?

Phaedrus
If Hippocrates the Asclepiad is to be trusted, one cannot know the nature of the body, either, except in that way.

Socrates
He is right, my friend; however, we ought not to be content with the authority of Hippocrates, but to see also if our reason agrees with him on examination.

Phaedrus
I assent.

Socrates
Then see what [270d] Hippocrates and true reason say about nature. In considering the nature of anything, must we not consider first, whether that in respect to which we wish to be learned ourselves and to make others learned is simple or multiform, and then, if it is simple, enquire what power of acting it possesses, or of being acted upon, and by what, and if it has many forms, number them, and then see in the case of each form, as we did in the case of the simple nature, what its action is and how it is acted upon and by what?

Phaedrus
Very likely, Socrates.

Socrates
At any rate, any other mode of procedure would be [270e] like the progress of a blind man. Yet surely he who pursues any study scientifically ought not to be comparable to a blind or a deaf man, but evidently the man whose rhetorical teaching is a real art will explain accurately the nature of that to which his words are to be addressed, and that is the soul, is it not?

Phaedrus
Of course.


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