(colours, sounds etc.) and perceptions would then occur at different points of the body. What then do we truly 'perceive'? What do we take immediately into View', into presence? The crucial passage runs as follows (184 d 1 ff.):

δεινὸν γάρ που, ὦ παῖ, εἰ πολλαί τινες ἐν ἡμῖν ὥσπερ ἐν δουρείοις ἵπποις αἰσθήσεις ἐγκάθηνται, ἀλλὰ μὴ εἰς μίαν τινὰ ἰδέαν, εἴτε ψυχὴν εἴτε ὅτι δεῖ καλεῖν, πάντα ταῦτα συντείνει, ᾗ διὰ τούτων οἷον ὀργάνων αἰσθανόμεθα ὅσα αἰσθητά.

'It would be strange, my boy, if so many perceptual objects [such as show themselves, (φαντασίαι and αἰσθήσεις) should be dispersed at different places within us, like the warriors in the belly of a wooden horse, and that they should not all converge and meet [assembled and braced] in something like an idea, i.e. in some single sighted nature, the 'soul' , or whatever it is to be called.'

This situation would be δεινόν, strange and disturbing. Why so? What is supposedly perceived by the eyes, ears, and so forth, would not be perceivable by the human being at all; he would have to betake himself sometimes to this place, sometimes to that place of the body, indeed he would have to be at several places at once. That would be possible only if he, the human being, could thereby stay the same as he who sees, hears etc. But the assumption is that the eye is what sees, that the ear is what hears. Perceiving is dispersed over different parts of the body, and the presence of these parts in the same body, even if we assume nerves, does nothing to remove this dispersion; on the contrary, the body upholds this dispersion. Here seeing occurs, there hearing, there tasting; but who is it that sees and hears? On the assumption that the eye performs the perception (correspondingly with the other senses), the situation becomes very odd: nobody would be able to see and hear and smell. It would not be possible for someone to simultaneously hear and see something, to have both perceptions at once. The whole essence of man would be, in respect of perception and perceivability, broken up and fractured. The essence of man would be quite impossible. It is therefore evident that the assumption cannot be maintained.

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