republic (books 6 - 10)
becomes convex, owing to the illusion about colors to which
the sight is liable. Thus every sort of confusion is revealed
within us; and this is that weakness of the human mind on
which the art of conjuring and of deceiving by light and
shadow and other ingenious devices imposes, having an effect
upon us like magic.
And the arts of measuring and numbering and weighing
come to the rescue of the human understanding--there is the
beauty of them--and the apparent greater or less, or more or
heavier, no longer have the mastery over us, but give way be-
fore calculation and measure and weight?
And this, surely, must be the work of the calculating and
rational principle in the soul?
To be sure.
And when this principle measures and certifies that some
things are equal, or that some are greater or less than others,
there occurs an apparent contradiction?
But were we not saying that such a contradiction is impos-
sible--the same faculty cannot have contrary opinions at the
same time about the same thing?
Then that part of the soul which has an opinion contrary to
measure is not the same with that which has an opinion in ac-
cordance with measure?
And the better part of the soul is likely to be that which
trusts to measure and calculation?
And that which is opposed to them is one of the inferior
principles of the soul?
This was the conclusion at which I was seeking to arrive
when I said that painting or drawing, and imitation in general,
when doing their own proper work, are far removed from truth,
and the companions and friends and associates of a principle
within us which is equally removed from reason, and that they
have no true or healthy aim.
The imitative art is an inferior who marries an inferior, and
has inferior offspring.