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unscientific conciliation of man and woman, which is termed ‘procuration,' midwives, being a respectable body, shun match-making, fearing lest by this they should incur the other charge. For it is only to genuine midwives, I suppose,
Ι that the art of correct match-making belongs.
Theae. Apparently so.
So. Thus highly important is the function of midwives; but less so than my procedure. For, it does not happen to women at one time to bear idols, at another true children, so that it shall not be easy to distinguish them. Had they been liable to this, the greatest and noblest task for midwives would have been to decide between the true child and the untrue.
Do you not think so?
[The parable of the application of the obstetric art to the labours of the 7
intellect is carried on and concluded.]
So. But my art of midwifery, though it has in other respects the same conditions as theirs, differs in these points, that I attend men, not women, and that I inspect the labour of their souls, not of their bodies. The most important skill in our art is, the being able to test in every way whether the young man's mind is bringing forth an idol and an unreality, or a genuine and true progeny. For to me as well as to the midwives belongs the following condition. I am incapable of producing wisdom, and the reproach which many ere now have cast on me, that, while I question others, I myself give no answer about anything, because I have no wisdom in me, is a just reproach. The reason of it is this : the god compels me to act the midwife, but hindered me from engendering. I then am not indeed perfectly wise myself, nor have I brought to birth any discovery of that K. P.
kind, as the outcome of my own soul. But of those who resort to me, some indeed appear in the outset utterly ignorant, but all, as the intercourse proceeds, and the god gives opportunity, make wonderful progress, in their own opinion and in that of others. And it is evident that they do so not by any learning they have gained from me, but because they have of themselves discovered many excellent things, which they retain. Of that midwifery however I and the god are authors. The proof is this. Many persons ere now, not knowing that fact, and imputing all to themselves while they despised me, quitted me earlier than they ought, either of their own will or by the persuasion of others'. After this, they baulked all subsequent conceptions by evil intercourse, and lost by ill nurture the offspring which I had helped them to, valuing unrealities and idols more than truths; and ended by seeming to themselves, as to everybody else, mere Llockheads. One of these, though there are many more, is Aristeides son of Lysimachus. When these truants come back and pray for admission to my society, and move heaven and earth to gain it, with some of them my familiar genius forbids me to consort, with others it allows me: and these
7 1 ή αυτοί ή υπάλλων πεισθέντες. The translation follows this
conjecture; Mss. omit the second 77, by the absence of which aŭtol becomes void of sense and propriety. Is it not possible that Plato wrote και η αυτοι εαυτούς (μέν) αίτιασάμενοι εμού δε καταφρονήσαντες ή υπ' allwY TELO O évtes K.T.N. Many ere now, being ignorant of this, and either imputing all to themselves, while they contemned me, or persuaded by others &c. &c.'? This would give a still better sense than the adopted reading, viz. Many forsook the teaching of Socrates: all did so in ignorance of his divinely given power (Toûto dyvono avtes); but some through self-conceit (ñ aŭtol &autovs altlao áuevol), some through yielding to persuasion (ñ únämlwv TTELO ÉVTES).
Also the passage would be more perspicuous if &autous uèy were written.
2 'Aploteións, a descendant of the great Aristeides.
latter improve again. And this affection also they that associate with me have in common with women in labour : they feel throes and are full of worry day and night much more than the women. And my art has the power to excite and allay that throe. So much then for them. And sometimes, Theaetetus, when any do not seem to me to be pregnant, perceiving that they do not need me, I very kindly make a match for them, and, with the blessing of heaven, I guess very aptly by whose conversation they will profit. Many I have made over to Prodicus“, many to other wise and inspired men. I have spoken at this length to you because I suspect, in conformity with your own opinion, that you are suffering throes from some inward conception, Deal with me then as the son of a midwife, and a practitioner myself, and try to answer my questions as well as you are able. And if, on examining anything you say, I consider it an idol and not a true progeny, and so remove it quietly and put it away, don't be angry as women at their first lying in are about their infants. For many, my good friend, have felt towards me so that they are actually ready to bite me when I take from them any cherished trifle : and they imagine I am not acting kindly; so little are they aware that no god is unkind to men, and that I do nothing of this sort from ill will. But my sense of duty will in no wise allow me to accept falsehood and stifle truth.
[Theaetetus, again exhorted by Socrates, takes courage, and suggests as a 8 the measure of all things.' He goes on to argue that this implies 'what appears to each is true to each ;' and after illustrating by an example he farther proceeds to connect this view with that of Heracleitus and his school (to whom he adds Homer) respecting a perpetual motion or flux of all things—másta pei. This doctrine does not suffer a fixed term of being to be given to anything, such as 'one,' some,' 'of some quality,' 'great,' 'small,' 'heavy,' 'light,' &c. Nothing 'is' any of these, but by motion and commixture all things “become' this or that. There is no 'being,' only 'coming to be.']
defining term for knowledge aitonois, perception (sensation, sensuous perception). Socrates at once identifies this definition with the famous doctrine of Protagoras, πάντων χρημάτων μέτρον άνθρωπος, man is
3 Έξέδωκα Προδίκω. 'Εκδιδόναι (θυγατέρα) means to give a daughter in marriage.' Prodicus of Ceos was a famous Sophist, learned in history, mythology, and legend.
So now again, returning to the point, Theaetetus, endeavour to say what knowledge is: and never reply that you are unable: for if the god please and you play the man, you will be able.
Theae. Well, Socrates, when you thus exhort, I must own it were disgraceful not to use one's utmost endeavour to state what suggests itself to the mind. It seems to me then that he who knows anything perceives what he knows; and, in my present view, knowledge is nothing else than PERCEPTION
So. Well and nobly said, my boy. It is quite proper to speak with such open frankness. But now let us examine the doctrine in common, to see whether it is a genuine product or a wind-egg. Knowledge, you say, is
So. I really think you have given an account of knowledge which is not insignificant, being one which Protagoras
But he has said the same thing in a different way. He says, I fancy, that 'mano is the measure of all
1 Aloe nous. Sensation ; perception; or rather, sensuous perception,' which must be understood when either of the two former terms is used in this translation.
? "AvOpwnov, i.e. the human mind; the mind of each percipient.
things;' cf things existing, that they do exist; of non-existing things, that they do not exist. Have you perhaps read this ?
Theae. Yes, I have read it often.
So. He speaks then to this effect, that such as things appear to me, they severally are to me; and such as they appear to you, they severally are to you. The term 'man' includes
So. Yes; and it is probable that a wise man is not talking nonsense: so let us follow his track. Does it not sometimes happen that, when the same wind is blowing, one of us is cold, the other not; and one is slightly cold, the other exceedingly?
Theae. No doubt.
So. Shall we then in that case say the wind in itself is cold or not cold; or shall we assent to Protagoras that to one who feels it cold it is cold, to one who does not feel it, not?
Theae. The latter, I should say.
So. Appearance then and perception concur in things warm and the like generally. For such as each perceives them, they probably are to each.
So. Perception then is always of that which 'is'; and it is unerring, since it is knowledge.
3 In itself. Codd. have d'eautó, which Prof. Campbell supports by examples. Bekker reads d' &autų. But éd' ¿autoll is most usual in this sense.