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[525e] that experts in this study, if anyone attempts to cut up the ‘one’ in argument, laugh at him and refuse to allow it; but if you mince it up,1 they multiply, always on guard lest the one should appear to be not one but a multiplicity of parts.2” “Most true,” he replied.

1 Cf. Meno 79 Cκατακερματίζῃς, Aristot.Met. 1041 a 19ἀδιαίρετον πρὸς αὑτὸ ἕκαστον: τοῦτο δ᾽ ἦν τὸ ἑνὶ εἶναι, Met. 1052 b a ff., 15 ff. and 1053 a 1τὴν γὰρ μονάδα τιθέασι πάντῃ ἀδιαίρετον. κερματίζειν is also the word used of breaking money into small change.

2 Numbers are the aptest illustration of the principle of the Philebus and the Parmenides that thought has to postulate unities which sensation (sense perception) and also dialectics are constantly disintegrating into pluralities. Cf. my Ideas of Good in Plato's Republic, p. 222. Stenzel, Dialektik, p. 32, says this dismisses the problem of the one and the many “das ihn (Plato) später so lebhaft beschäftigen sollte.” But that is refuted by Parmen. 159 Cοὐδὲ μὴν μόριά γε ἔχειν φαμὲν τὸ ὡς ἀληθῶς ἕν. The “problem” was always in Plato's mind. He played with it when it suited his purpose and dismissed it when he wished to go on to something else. Cf. on 525 A, Phaedr. 266 B, Meno 12 C, Laws 964 A, Soph. 251.

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