be a species. To separate off at once the subject of
a most excellent plan, if only the separation be rightly
made; and you
were under the impression that you were right, because you saw that
you would come to man; and this led you to hasten the steps. But you
should not chip off too small a piece, my friend; the safer way is
to cut through the middle; which is also the more likely way of
finding classes. Attention to this principle makes all the
difference in a process of enquiry.
Y. Soc. What do you mean, Stranger?
Str. I will endeavour to speak more plainly out of love to
parts, Socrates; and, although I cannot at present entirely explain
myself, I will try, as we proceed, to make my meaning a little
Y. Soc. What was the error of which, as you say, we were guilty in
our recent division?
Str. The error was just as if some one who wanted to divide the
human race, were to divide them after the fashion which prevails in
this part of the world; here they cut off the Hellenes as
and all the other species of mankind, which are innumerable, and
have no ties or common language, they include under the
single name of
"barbarians," and because they have one name they are supposed to be
of one species also. Or suppose that in dividing numbers you were to
cut off ten thousand from all the rest, and make of it one species,
comprehending the first under another separate name, you might say
that here too was a single class, because you had given it a single
name. Whereas you would make a much better and more equal and
logical classification of numbers, if you divided them into odd and
even; or of the human species, if you divided them into male and
female; and only separated off Lydians or Phrygians, or any other
tribe, and arrayed them against the rest of the world, when you
could no longer make a division into parts which were also classes.
Y. Soc. Very true; but I wish that this distinction between a part
and a class could still be made somewhat plainer.
Str. O Socrates, best of men, you are imposing upon me a very
difficult task. We have already digressed further from our original
intention than we ought, and you would have us wander still further
away. But we must now return to our subject; and hereafter,
is a leisure hour, we will follow up the other track; at the
I wish you to guard against imagining that you ever heard me declare-
Y. Soc. What?
Str. That a class and a part are distinct.
Y. Soc. What did I hear, then?
Str. That a class is necessarily a part, but there is no similar
necessity that a part should be a dass; that is the view which I
should always wish you to attribute to me, Socrates.
Y. Soc. So be it.
Str. There is another thing which I should like to know.
Y. Soc. What is it?
Str. The point at which we digressed; for, if I am not
exact place was at the question, Where you would divide the
of herds. To this you appeared rather too ready to answer that them
were two species of animals; man being one, and all brutes making up
Y. Soc. True.
Str. I thought that in taking away a part you imagined that the