your courage, he said, in reminding us of this. But you do not observe
that there is a difference in the two cases. For then we were speaking
of opposites in the concrete, and now of the essential opposite which,
as is affirmed, neither in us nor in nature can ever be at variance
with itself: then, my friend, we were speaking of things in which
opposites are inherent and which are called after them, but now
about the opposites which are inherent in them and which give their
name to them; these essential opposites will never, as we maintain,
admit of generation into or out of one another. At the same time,
turning to Cebes, he said: Were you at all disconcerted, Cebes, at our
That was not my feeling, said Cebes; and yet I cannot deny that I am
apt to be disconcerted.
Then we are agreed after all, said Socrates, that the opposite
will never in any case be opposed to itself?
To that we are quite agreed, he replied.
Yet once more let me ask you to consider the question from another
point of view, and see whether you agree with me: There is a thing
which you term heat, and another thing which you term cold?
But are they the same as fire and snow?
Most assuredly not.
Heat is not the same as fire, nor is cold the same as snow?
And yet you will surely admit that when snow, as before said, is
under the influence of heat, they will not remain snow and heat; but
at the advance of the heat the snow will either retire or perish?
Very true, he replied.
And the fire too at the advance of the cold will either retire or
perish; and when the fire is under the influence of the cold, they
will not remain, as before, fire and cold.
That is true, he said.