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things seem good to the city at one time, and at another time the

reverse of good?

Phaedr. That is true.

Soc. Have we not heard of the Eleatic Palamedes (Zeno), who has an

art of speaking by which he makes the same things appear to his

hearers like and unlike, one and many, at rest and in motion?

Phaedr. Very true.

Soc. The art of disputation, then, is not confined to the courts and

the assembly, but is one and the same in every use of language; this

is the art, if there be such an art, which is able to find a

likeness of everything to which a likeness can be found, and draws

into the light of day the likenesses and disguises which are used by


Phaedr. How do you mean?

Soc. Let me put the matter thus: When will there be more chance of

deception-when the difference is large or small?

Phaedr. When the difference is small.

Soc. And you will be less likely to be discovered in passing by

degrees into the other extreme than when you go all at once?

Phaedr. Of course.

Soc. He, then, who would. deceive others, and not be deceived,

must exactly know the real likenesses and differences of things?

Phaedr. He must.

Soc. And if he is ignorant of the true nature of any subject, how

can he detect the greater or less degree of likeness in other things

to that of which by the hypothesis he is ignorant?

Phaedr. He cannot.

Soc. And when men are deceived and their notions are at variance

with realities, it is clear that the error slips in through


Phaedr. Yes, that is the way.

Soc. Then he who would be a master of the art must understand the

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