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phaedo   


Yes, indeed, there are-endless, replied Simmias.

And this sort of thing, he said, is recollection, and is most

commonly a process of recovering that which has been forgotten through

time and inattention.

Very true, he said.

Well; and may you not also from seeing the picture of a horse or a

lyre remember a man? and from the picture of Simmias, you may be led

to remember Cebes?

True.

Or you may also be led to the recollection of Simmias himself?

True, he said.

And in all these cases, the recollection may be derived from

things either like or unlike?

That is true.

And when the recollection is derived from like things, then there is

sure to be another question, which is, whether the likeness of that

which is recollected is in any way defective or not.

Very true, he said.

And shall we proceed a step further, and affirm that there is such a

thing as equality, not of wood with wood, or of stone with stone,

but that, over and above this, there is equality in the abstract?

Shall we affirm this?

Affirm, yes, and swear to it, replied Simmias, with all the

confidence in life.

And do we know the nature of this abstract essence?

To be sure, he said.

And whence did we obtain this knowledge? Did we not see equalities

of material things, such as pieces of wood and stones, and gather from

them the idea of an equality which is different from them?-you will

admit that? Or look at the matter again in this way: Do not the same

pieces of wood or stone appear at one time equal, and at another

time unequal?

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