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1 This antithesis between “Nature” (φύσις) and “Convention” (νόμος) was a familiar one in ethical and political discussion from the time of the Sophists. The supremacy of “Nature,” as an ethical principle, was maintained (it is said) by Hippias and Prodicus; that of “Convention,” by Protagoras and Gorgias: Plato goes behind both to the higher principle of Reason (νοῦς), cp. Introduction. p. xiv.
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