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phaedo   


And if Phaedo exceeds him in size, that is not because Phaedo is

Phaedo, but because Phaedo has greatness relatively to Simmias, who is

comparatively smaller?

That is true.

And therefore Simmias is said to be great, and is also said to be

small, because he is in a mean between them, exceeding the smallness

of the one by his greatness, and allowing the greatness of the other

to exceed his smallness. He added, laughing, I am speaking like a

book, but I believe that what I am now saying is true.

Simmias assented to this.

The reason why I say this is that I want you to agree with me in

thinking, not only that absolute greatness will never be great and

also small, but that greatness in us or in the concrete will never

admit the small or admit of being exceeded: instead of this, one of

two things will happen-either the greater will fly or retire before

the opposite, which is the less, or at the advance of the less will

cease to exist; but will not, if allowing or admitting smallness, be

changed by that; even as I, having received and admitted smallness

when compared with Simmias, remain just as I was, and am the same

small person. And as the idea of greatness cannot condescend ever to

be or become small, in like manner the smallness in us cannot be or

become great; nor can any other opposite which remains the same ever

be or become its own opposite, but either passes away or perishes in

the change.

That, replied Cebes, is quite my notion.

One of the company, though I do not exactly remember which of

them, on hearing this, said: By Heaven, is not this the direct

contrary of what was admitted before-that out of the greater came

the less and out of the less the greater, and that opposites are

simply generated from opposites; whereas now this seems to be

utterly denied.

Socrates inclined his head to the speaker and listened. I like

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