common not only to colour and sound, but to colour, taste, sound, smell and touch. When salty things, smooth things, rough things etc. are perceived, they are perceived as existing; each is the same as itself and different to the others. This common character applies to everything we perceive, to everything perceptible in its diversity.

Colour, sound, taste etc. are all existing, each identical with itself and different from one another. Do we hear this being-different, do we see it with our eyes? Do we hear or see their existing? Of course we do not. So in any case one thing is undeniable, namely that we cannot immediately discover the appropriate organ, and yet, just as in other cases of perception, we must be able to indicate one. Assuming one could inquire into whether colour and sound are salty, it would immediately be clear which organ would decide this: the salty is perceived through the tongue. But are we clear about the organ through which we perceive 'being' or 'being non-identical'? Here we are at a loss; we are unable to discover an organ through which existing, being-different etc. are perceivable. The only thing we can no longer deny is that these latter are perceivable, that we are able to perceive 'being', 'difference', 'sameness' etc. After all the foregoing considerations it is also clear that we perceive these through something; it is just that we do not know what this is, and we are not, without further ado, able to discover it. So the same question arises, this time more pointedly (185 c 4-8):

Καλῶς λέγεις. ἡ δὲ δὴ διὰ τίνος δύναμις τό τ᾽ ἐπὶ πᾶσι κοινὸν καὶ τὸ ἐπὶ τούτοις δηλοῖ σοι, ᾧ τὸ ‘ἔστιν’ ἐπονομάζεις καὶ τὸ ‘οὐκ ἔστι’ καὶ ἃ νυνδὴ ἠρωτῶμεν π ερὶ αὐτῶν; τούτοις πᾶσι ποῖα ἀποδώσεις ὄργανα δι᾽ ὧν αἰσθάνεται ἡμῶν τὸ αἰσθανόμενον ἕκαστα;

This passage does not tell us anything new, yet for what follows, and for the whole, it is crucial to understand its methodological intention. Schleiermacher translates:

'Very good. By what means is the faculty exerted which reveals to you what is common to all these things, and which allows you to ascribe being or nonbeing to them, and those other attributes of which we were speaking?'

Since the received way of rendering this text shows that the inner unfolding of the problem has not been understood, we are forced to alter it; or better, we do not need to change the text, but only to remove a misleading way of writing. The sentence, presented in the form of a question, begins with Καλῶς λέγεις. ἡ δὲ δὴ διὰ τίνος δύναμις . . . and ends with περι

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