“Well,” said he, “insofar as I am able to follow, I agree with you about the others.”

“And do you describe someone who acquires an account of the being of each thing as dialectical? And would you not say that someone who cannot do so, insofar as he is unable to give an account, either to himself or to anyone else, lacks intelligence about the thing to that extent?”

“How could I say otherwise?” he replied.

“Does not the same also apply to the good? If someone is not able to separate the form of the good by argument – setting it apart from everything else, going through all the refutations like a warrior, eager to practise refutation based upon being rather than opinion, and coming through all this with his argument still standing – you will say, will you not, that someone who cannot do this does not know the good itself, nor any other good either? And if he does, somehow, get hold of some image of the good, he does so by opinion and not by knowledge? He is dreaming and sleeping this life away, and before he ever wakes up here, he arrives finally in Hades and sleeps on forever. Is this not what you would say?”

“Yes, by Zeus,” said he. “I’d say all that, very much so.”

Plato, Republic VII, 534b-d, Translation: David Horan