12 λ? θε ς πλάττων ἀ ὁ ὸ but god

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12λλ θες πλάττων᾽ ὁ” “But God molded you.” (415a) 13πάντες ο ν τπόλει δελφοίἱ ἐ” “All of those in the city are siblings.” (415a)Salazar 7
to objects and things, can be translated as “well-made.” That is, it functions and exists as the bestthat thing can possibly be. For example, Miss P. is a beagle who won the Westminster Dog Show,which sets a standard for breeds which the dog of that particular breed must meet in order to win the competition. Miss P is a perfect beagle, not a perfect dog, because she walks with a beagle gait, holds her tail up in a way that a beagle should, and has ears and a snout in perfect beagle proportion to the rest of her body. She is, then, a “well-made” beagle. My dog, Minerva, who is also a beagle, does not meet the same standards of “beagleness” and, according to this standard, is not a “well-made” beagle. The ψε δοςis well-made if it meets the standard of “lie” in the same way. Only with respect to humans is γεννα ονtranslated as “Noble.” A human is considerednoble, in this sense, not because he or she is a member of the noble and powerful class, but because he or she meets the standard of “humanness” in the same way that Miss P. meets the standard of “beagleness.” Likewise, the Noble Lie is noble and well-made insofar as it corresponds most closely to good “lie-ness”, which Socrates has told us has a medicinal function.ψε δος” is most often translated as “Lie” or “Falsehood.” Desmond Lee has us translatethe phrase as “Magnificent Myth.”14Since a “ψε δος” is a thing rather than a person, a better translation for this phrase would be a “Well-made Lie.” To be a useful and good lie—to meet the standard of “lie-ness”—means not only to be able to be believed, but also, to have a positive medicinal effect for both the liar and the person lied to. The Noble Lie, then, must reach these standards of “lie-ness” in order to qualify as a γενναον ψεδος, much in the same way that Miss P. meets the standard of “beagleness.” Socrates qualifies this type of lie as “one single, grand lie which will believed by everybody—including the rulers, ideally, but failing that the rest of the 14Desmond Lee. "Introduction." Republic, by Plato, trans. Desmond Lee. (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1987). This translation is useful in that it sheds light upon the mythical dimension of “ψεδος,” however, I find this translation lacking because, had Plato intended to mean “myth” he would have used the word “μύθος.” I will speak later of my reluctance to translate it simply as “myth” although I do not discount its mythic quality.

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