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[427d]

“At last, then, son of Ariston,” said I, “your city1 may be considered as established. The next thing is to procure a sufficient light somewhere and to look yourself,2 and call in the aid of your brother and of Polemarchus and the rest, if we may in any wise discover where justice and injustice3 should be in it, wherein they differ from one another and which of the two he must have who is to be happy, alike4 whether his condition is known or not known to all gods and men.” “Nonsense,” said Glaucon, “you5 promised that you would carry on the search yourself,

1 Not the ἀναγκαιοτάτη πόλις of 369 E, nor the φλεγμαίνουσα πόλις of 372 E, but the purified city of 399 E has now been established and described. The search for justice that follows formulates for the first time the doctrine of the four cardinal virtues and defines each provisionally and sufficiently for the present purpose, and solves the problems dramatically presented in the minor dialogues, Charmides, Laches, etc. Cf. Unity of Plato's Thought, pp. 15-18, nn. 81-102, and the introduction to the second volume of this translation.

2 αὐτός τε καί: cf. 398 A.

3 See on 369 A. Matter-of-fact critics may object that there is no injustice in the perfectly good state. But we know the bad best by the canon of the good. Cf. on 409 A-B. The knowledge of opposites is the same. Injustice can be defined only in relation to its opposite (444 A-B), and in the final argument the most unjust man and state are set up as the extreme antitypes of the ideal (571-580). By the perfect state Plato does not mean a state in which no individual retains any human imperfections. It is idle then to speak of “difficulties” or “contradictions” or changes of plan in the composition of the Republic.

4 For ἐάν τε . . . ἐάν τε cf. 367 E.

5 Cf. 331 E. Emphatic as in 449 D-450 A, Phaedo 95 A, and Alc. I. 135 D.

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