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[509a] it is right to deem light and vision sunlike, but never to think that they are the sun, so here it is right to consider these two their counterparts, as being like the good or boniform,1 but to think that either of them is the good2 is not right. Still higher honor belongs to the possession and habit3 of the good.” “An inconceivable beauty you speak of,” he said, “if it is the source of knowledge and truth, and yet itself surpasses them in beauty. For you surely4 cannot mean that it is pleasure.” “Hush,” said I, “but examine

1 ἀγαθοειδῆ occurs only here in classical Greek literature. Plato quite probably coined it for his purpose.

2 There is no article in the Greek. Plato is not scrupulous to distinguish good and the good here. cf. on 505 C, p. 89, note f.

3 ἕξις is not yet in Plato quite the technical Aristotelian “habit.” However Protag. 344 C approaches it. Cf. also Phileb. 11 D, 41 C, Ritter-Preller, p. 285. Plato used many words in periphrasis with the genitive, e.g.ἕξιςLaws 625 C,γένεσιςLaws 691 B, Tim. 73 B, 76 E,μοῖραPhaedr. 255 B, 274 E, Menex. 249 B,φύσιςPhaedo 109 E, Symp. 186 B, Laws 729 C, 845 D, 944 D, etc. He may have chosen ἕξις here to suggest the ethical aspect of the good as a habit or possession of the soul. The introduction of ἡδονή below supports this view. Some interpreters think it=τὸ ἀγαθὸν ὡς ἔχει, which is possible but rather pointless.

4 For οὐ γὰρ δήπου Cf. Apol. 20 C, Gorg. 455 A, Euthyph. 13 A.

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