below, is a question which may be argued in this manner: The ancient
doctrine of which I have been speaking affirms that they go from
this into the other world, and return hither, and are born from the
dead. Now if this be true, and the living come from the dead, then our
souls must be in the other world, for if not, how could they be born
again? And this would be conclusive, if there were any real evidence
that the living are only born from the dead; but if there is no
evidence of this, then other arguments will have to be adduced.
That is very true, replied Cebes.
Then let us consider this question, not in relation to man only, but
in relation to animals generally, and to plants, and to everything
of which there is generation, and the proof will be easier. Are not
all things which have opposites generated out of their opposites? I
mean such things as good and evil, just and unjust-and there are
innumerable other opposites which are generated out of opposites.
And I want to show that this holds universally of all opposites; I
mean to say, for example, that anything which becomes greater must
become greater after being less.
And that which becomes less must have been once greater and then
And the weaker is generated from the stronger, and the swifter
from the slower.
And the worse is from the better, and the more just is from the more
And is this true of all opposites? and are we convinced that all
of them are generated out of opposites?
And in this universal opposition of all things, are there not also