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[430e] be very wrong1 of me not to desire it,” said I. “Go on with the inquiry then,” he said. “I must go on,” I replied, “and viewed from here it bears more likeness to a kind of concord and harmony than the other virtues did.” “How so?” “Soberness is a kind of beautiful order2 and a continence of certain pleasures and appetites, as they say, using the phrase ‘master of himself’ I know not how; and there are other similar expressions that as it were point us to the same trail. Is that not so?” “Most certainly.” “Now the phrase ‘master of himself’ is an absurdity, is it not? For he who is master of himself would also be subject to himself,

1 εἰ μὴ ἀδικῶ is idiomatic, “I ought to.” Cf. 608 D, 612, Menexenus 236 B.

2 Cf. Gorgias 506 E ff.σωφροσύνη and σωφρονεῖν sometimes mean etymologically of sound mind or level head, with or without ethical suggestion, according to the standpoint of the spaeker. Cf. Protagoras 333 B-C. Its two chief meanings in Greek usage are given in 389 D-E: subordination to due authority, and control of appetite, both raised to higher significance in Plato's definition. As in the case of bravery, Plato distinguishes the temperamental, the bourgeois, the disciplined, and the philosophical virtue. But he affects to feel something paradoxical in the very idea of self-control, as perhaps there is. Cf. Laws 626 E ff., 863 D, A.J.P. vol. xiii. pp. 361 f., Unity of Plato's Thought, nn. 77 and 78.

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  • Commentary references to this page (3):
    • R. G. Bury, The Symposium of Plato, 187B
    • R. G. Bury, The Symposium of Plato, 206C
    • J. Adam, A. M. Adam, Commentary on Plato, Protagoras, CHAPTER XXXVIII
  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • Raphael Kühner, Bernhard Gerth, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache, KG 3.2.4
    • William Watson Goodwin, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses of the Greek Verb, Chapter V
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (2):
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (3):
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