republic (books 6 - 10)
necessary, having never himself seen, and having no power of
explaining to others, the nature of either, or the difference be-
tween them, which is immense. By heaven, would not such
a one be a rare educator?
Indeed, he would.
And in what way does he who thinks that wisdom is the dis-
cernment of the tempers and tastes of the motley multitude,
whether in painting or in music, or, finally, in politics, differ
from him whom I have been describing? For when a man
consorts with the many, and exhibits to them his poem or other
work of art or the service which he has done the State, making
them his judges when he is not obliged, the so-called necessity
of Diomede will oblige him to produce whatever they praise.
And yet the reasons are utterly ludicrous which they give in
confirmation of their own notions about the honorable and
good. Did you ever hear any of them which were not?
No, nor am I likely to hear.
You recognize the truth of what I have been saying? Then
let me ask you to consider further whether the world will ever
be induced to believe in the existence of absolute beauty rather
than of the many beautiful, or of the absolute in each kind
rather than of the many in each kind?
Then the world cannot possibly be a philosopher?
And therefore philosophers must inevitably fall under the
censure of the world?
And of individuals who consort with the mob and seek to
That is evident.
Then, do you see any way in which the philosopher can be
preserved in his calling to the end?--and remember what we
were saying of him, that he was to have quickness and memory
and courage and magnificence--these were admitted by us to
be the true philosopher's gifts.
Will not such an one from his early childhood be in all things
first among us all, especially if his bodily endowments are like
his mental ones?
Certainly, he said.
And his friends and fellow-citizens will want to use him as
he gets older for their own purposes?
Falling at his feet, they will make requests to him and do
him honor and flatter him, because they want to get into their