Companion : Well, what else should law be, Socrates, but things loyally accepted ?
Socrates : And so speech, you think, is the things that are spoken, or sight the things seen, or hearing the things heard ? Or is speech [313c] something distinct from the things spoken, sight something distinct from the things seen, and hearing something distinct from the things heard ; and so law is something distinct from things loyally accepted ? Is this so, or what is your view ?
Companion : I find it now to be something distinct.
Socrates : Then law is not things loyally accepted.
Companion : I think not.
Socrates : Now what can law be ? Let us consider it in this way. Suppose someone had asked us about what was stated just now : [314a] Since you say it is by sight that things seen are seen, what is this sight whereby they are seen ? Our answer to him would have been : That sensation which shows objects by means of the eyes. And if he had asked us again : Well then, since it is by hearing that things heard are heard, what is hearing ? Our answer to him would have been : That sensation which shows us sounds by means of the ears. In the same way then, suppose he should also ask us : Since it is by law that loyally accepted things are so accepted, what is this law whereby they are so accepted ? [314b] Is it some sensation or showing, as when things learnt are learnt by knowledge showing them, or some discovery, as when things discovered are discovered — for instance, the causes of health and sickness by medicine, or the designs of the gods, as the prophets say, by prophecy ; for art is surely our discovery of things, is it not ?
Companion : Certainly.
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