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Of these alternatives the first is to me quite intolerable—namely, not to assert what I hold to be the truth,—for that would be neither a lawful thing to do nor a pious. But as to the question how such acts are two-fold,—if the difference does not lie in that between the voluntary and the involuntary, then we must try to explain it by means of some other distinction.1Clinias
Well, certainly, Stranger, about this matter there is no other plan we can possibly adopt.
1 The proper distinction to be drawn (as Ath. proceeds to argue) is not that between voluntary and involuntary acts of injustice (since there are no such voluntary acts), but that between “injuries” (βλάβαι, “acts causing loss”) and “acts of injustice.” Injustice is really a quality of the agent rather than of the act, and (like all vice) is a form of un-reason: as the slave of un-reason, the unjust man is never a free agent. Hence the task of the lawgiver is two fold, (1) to make good the “injuries,” and (2) to cure the agent of his “injustice” by restoring the power of reason (“moral sense”) in his soul.
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