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[889e] based on untrue assumptions is due, not to nature, but to art.

Clinias
What do you mean?

Athenian
The first statement, my dear sir, which these people make about the gods is that they exist by art and not by nature,—by certain legal conventions1 which differ from place to place, according as each tribe agreed when forming their laws. They assert, moreover, that there is one class of things beautiful by nature, and another class beautiful by convention2; while as to things just, they do not exist at all by nature, but men are constantly in dispute about them and continually altering them, and whatever alteration they make at any time

1 A view ascribed to Critias.

2 Cp. Aristot. Nic. Eth. 1094 b 14 ff.

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  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, 1094b
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