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And though he can be scarcely said to have mixed much in the affairs of men, for, as his biographer tells us, 'he lived for thirty years in a single room,' yet he is far from being ignorant of the world. No one can read his writings without acquiring an insight into life. He loves to touch with the spear of logic the follies and self− deceptions of mankind, and make them appear in their natural form, stripped of the disguises of language and custom. He will not allow men to defend themselves by an appeal to one−sided or abstract principles.

THEAETETUS: How? STRANGER: Open force may be called fighting, and secret force may have the general name of hunting? THEAETETUS: Yes. STRANGER: And there is no reason why the art of hunting should not be further divided. THEAETETUS: How would you make the division? STRANGER: Into the hunting of living and of lifeless prey. THEAETETUS: Yes, if both kinds exist. STRANGER: Of course they exist; but the hunting after lifeless things having no special name, except some sorts of diving, and other small matters, may be omitted; the hunting after living things may be called animal hunting.

STRANGER: But as time goes on, and their hearers advance in years, and come into closer contact with realities, and have learnt by sad experience to see and feel the truth of things, are not the greater part of them compelled to change many opinions which they formerly entertained, so that the great appears small to them, and the easy difficult, and all their dreamy speculations are overturned by the facts of life? SOPHIST 48 Sophist THEAETETUS: That is my view, as far as I can judge, although, at my age, I may be one of those who see things at a distance only.

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