Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Works by Plato
Pages of statesman

Previous | Next


Y. Soc. Then we had better do so.
Str. We must carve them like a victim into members or limbs, since
we cannot bisect them. For we certainly should divide everything
into as few parts as possible.
Y. Soc. What is to be done in this case?
Str. What we did in the example of weaving-all those arts which
furnish the tools were regarded by us as co-operative.
Y. Soc. Yes.
Str. So now, and with still more reason, all arts which make any
implement in a State, whether great or small, may be
regarded by us as
co-operative, for without them neither State nor Statesmanship would
be possible; and yet we are not inclined to say that any of them is
a product of the kingly art.
Y. Soc. No, indeed.
Str. The task of separating this class from others is not an easy
one; for there is plausibility in saying that anything in
the world is
the instrument of doing something. But there is another dass of
possessions in, a city, of which I have a word to say.
Y. Soc. What class do you mean?
Str. A class which may be described as not having this power; that
is to say, not like an instrument, framed for production,
but designed
for the preservation of that which is produced.
Y. Soc. To what do you refer?
Str. To the class of vessels, as they are comprehensively termed,
which are constructed for the preservation of things moist
and dry, of
things prepared in the fire or out of the fire; this is a very large
class, and has, if I am not mistaken, literally nothing to
do with the
royal art of which we are in search.
Y. Soc. Certainly not.
Str. There is also a third class of possessions to be noted,
different from these and very extensive, moving or resting on land
or water, honourable and also dishonourable. The whole of this class
has one name, because it is intended to be sat upon, being always a
seat for something.
Y. Soc. What is it?
Str. A vehicle, which is certainly not the work of the Statesman,
but of the carpenter, potter, and coppersmith.
Y. Soc. I understand.
Str. And is there not a fourth class which is again different, and
in which most of the things formerly mentioned are contained-every
kind of dress, most sorts of arms, walls and enclosures, whether of
earth or stone, and ten thousand other thing? all of which being
made for the sake of defence, may be truly called defences, and are
for the most part to be regarded as the work of the builder or of
the weaver, rather than of the Statesman.
Y. Soc. Certainly.
Str. Shall we add a fifth class, of ornamentation and drawing, and
of the imitations produced, by drawing and music, which are designed
for amusement only, and may be fairly comprehended under one name?
Y. Soc. What is it?
Str. Plaything is the name.
Y. Soc. Certainly.
Str. That one name may be fitly predicated of all of them, for
none of these things have a serious purpose-amusement is their sole
Y. Soc. That again I understand.
Str. Then there is a class which provides materials for all these,
out of which and in which the arts already mentioned fabricate their
works;-this manifold class, I say, which is the creation and

Previous | Next
Site Search