Plato, Republic

LCL 237: 60-61

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Πάνυ μὲν οὖν, ἔφη.

Οἴει γάρ με ἐξ ἐπιβουλῆς ἐν τοῖς λόγοις κακουργοῦντά σε ἐρέσθαι ὡς ἠρόμην;

Εὖ μὲν οὖν οἶδα, ἔφη. καὶ οὐδέν γέ σοι πλέον ἔσται· bοὔτε γὰρ ἄν με λάθοις κακουργῶν, οὔτε μὴ λαθὼν βιάσασθαι τῷ λόγῳ δύναιο. Οὐδέ γ’ ἂν ἐπιχειρήσαιμι, ἦν δ’ ἐγώ, ὦ μακάριε. ἀλλ’ ἵνα μὴ αὖθις ἡμῖν τοιοῦτον ἐγγένηται, διόρισαι ποτέρως λέγεις τὸν ἄρχοντά τε καὶ τὸν κρείττονα, τὸν ὡς ἔπος εἰπεῖν ἢ τὸν ἀκριβεῖ λόγῳ, ὃ νυνδὴ ἔλεγες, | οὗ τὸ συμφέρον κρείττονος ὄντος δίκαιον ἔσται τῷ ἥττονι ποιεῖν.

Τὸν τῷ ἀκριβεστάτῳ, ἔφη, λόγῳ ἄρχοντα ὄντα. πρὸς ταῦτα κακούργει καὶ συκοφάντει, εἴ τι δύνασαι— οὐδέν σου παρίεμαι—ἀλλ’ οὐ μὴ οἷός τ’ ᾖς.

cΟἴει γὰρ ἄν με, εἶπον, οὕτω μανῆναι ὥστε ξυρεῖν ἐπιχειρεῖν λέοντα καὶ συκοφαντεῖν Θρασύμαχον;

Νῦν γοῦν, ἔφη, ἐπεχείρησας, οὐδὲν ὢν καὶ ταῦτα. |

Ἅδην, ἦν δ’ ἐγώ, τῶν τοιούτων. ἀλλ’ εἰπέ μοι· ὁ τῷ ἀκριβεῖ λόγῳ ἰατρός, ὃν ἄρτι ἔλεγες, πότερον χρηματιστής ἐστιν ἢ τῶν καμνόντων θεραπευτής; καὶ λέγε τὸν τῷ ὄντι ἰατρὸν ὄντα.

Τῶν καμνόντων, ἔφη, θεραπευτής.

Τί δὲ κυβερνήτης; ὁ ὀρθῶς κυβερνήτης ναυτῶν ἄρχων ἐστὶν ἢ ναύτης; |


Book I

“Does that mean you think I asked my questions with the deliberate intention of using unfair arguments against you?”

“I’m perfectly sure of it,” he said. “And you won’t get any further, for you don’t fool me with your evil ways, nor, failing that, could you use argument to take me by force.”

“I wouldn’t even dream of trying, my dear fellow,” I said. “But to avoid us getting into this sort of situation again, clarify either in general terms or by strict reasoning, as you were saying just now, what you mean by both the ruler and the stronger, in whose interest, as the stronger, it will be just for the weaker to act.”

“I mean the ruler in the strictest sense,” he replied. “Try out your evil tricks and fraudulent arguments on that, if you can; I’m not asking to be excused. But there’s really no chance of your succeeding.”

“What, do you imagine,” I said, “that I would be so mad as to attempt to shave a lion46 and defraud Thrasymachus?”

“Well you did try just now,” he said, “though you were no good even then.”

“Enough of that sort of talk,” I said. “But tell me: this doctor by strict definition whom you’ve just been talking about, is he a man of business or a carer of the sick? Mind you talk about the man who really is a doctor.”

“He’s a carer of the sick,” he replied.

“And what of the ship’s captain? Is the proper ship’s captain one who commands sailors, or just a sailor?”

“One who commands sailors.”

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.plato_philosopher-republic.2013