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[414b] be most proper to designate these as guardians in the full sense of the word, watchers against foemen without and friends within, so that the latter shall not wish and the former shall not be able to work harm, but to name those youths whom we were calling guardians just now, helpers and aids for the decrees of the rulers?” “I think so,” he replied.

“How, then,” said I, “might we contrive1 one of those opportune falsehoods2 of which we were just now3 speaking,

1 The concept μηχανή or ingenious device employed by a superior intelligence to circumvent necessity or play providence with the vulgar holds a prominent place in Plato's physics, and is for Rousseau-minded readers one of the dangerous features of his political and educational philosophy. Cf. 415 C, Laws 664 A, 752 C, 769 E, 798 B, 640 B.

2 Cf. 389 B.

3 389 B f.

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