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[531c] Their method exactly corresponds to that of the astronomer; for the numbers they seek are those found in these heard concords, but they do not ascend1 to generalized problems and the consideration which numbers are inherently concordant and which not and why in each case.” “A superhuman task,” he said. “Say, rather, useful,2 said I, for the investigation of the beautiful and the good,3 but if otherwise pursued, useless.” “That is likely,” he said.

“And what is more,” I said, I take it that if the investigation4

1 Cf. Friedländer, Platon, p. 108, n. 1.

2 Cf. Tim. 47 C-D. Plato always keeps to his point—cf. 349 B-C, 564 A-B—or returns to it after a digression. Cf. on 572 B, p. 339, note e.

3 Cf. on 505 B, p. 88, note a.

4 μέθοδος, like πραγματείαν in D, is used almost in the later technical sense of “treatise” or “branch of study.” Cf. on 528 D, p. 178, note a.

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