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phaedo   


concluded that I was wholly incapable of these inquiries, as I will

satisfactorily prove to you. For I was fascinated by them to such a

degree that my eyes grew blind to things that I had seemed to

myself, and also to others, to know quite well; and I forgot what I

had before thought to be self-evident, that the growth of man is the

result of eating and drinking; for when by the digestion of food flesh

is added to flesh and bone to bone, and whenever there is an

aggregation of congenial elements, the lesser bulk becomes larger

and the small man greater. Was not that a reasonable notion?

Yes, said Cebes, I think so.

Well; but let me tell you something more. There was a time when I

thought that I understood the meaning of greater and less pretty well;

and when I saw a great man standing by a little one I fancied that one

was taller than the other by a head; or one horse would appear to be

greater than another horse: and still more clearly did I seem to

perceive that ten is two more than eight, and that two cubits are more

than one, because two is twice one.

And what is now your notion of such matters? said Cebes.

I should be far enough from imagining, he replied, that I knew the

cause of any of them, indeed I should, for I cannot satisfy myself

that when one is added to one, the one to which the addition is made

becomes two, or that the two units added together make two by reason

of the addition. For I cannot understand how, when separated from

the other, each of them was one and not two, and now, when they are

brought together, the mere juxtaposition of them can be the cause of

their becoming two: nor can I understand how the division of one is

the way to make two; for then a different cause would produce the same

effect-as in the former instance the addition and juxtaposition of one

to one was the cause of two, in this the separation and subtraction of

one from the other would be the cause. Nor am I any longer satisfied

that I understand the reason why one or anything else either is

generated or destroyed or is at all, but I have in my mind some

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