Plato's Republic

of production and producers must be differentiated and clarified. If we call every pro-ducer a δημιουργός, then one who mirrors is a particular type of δημιουργός. Therefore Socrates continues: τῶν τοιούτων γὰρ οἶμαι δημιουργῶν καὶ ὁ ζωγράφος ἐστίν. "For I believe that the painter too belongs to that kind of pro-ducing," which is to say the mirroring kind. The artist lets beings become present, but as φαινόμενα, "showing themselves by appearing through something else." οὐκ ἀληθῆ οἶμαι αὐτὸν ποιεῖν ἃ ποιεῖ, "he does not bring forward what he produces as unconcealed." He does not produce the εἶδος. καίτοι τρόπῳ γέ τινι καὶ ὁ ζωγράφος κλίνην ποιεῖ. "All the same, the painter too produces [a] bedframe"—τρόπῳ τινι, "in a certain way." τρόπος here means the kind of presence of the ὄν (the ἰδέα); hence it means that in which and through which ὄν as ἰδέα produces itself and brings itself into presence. The τρόπος is in one case the mirror, in another the painted surface, in another the wood, in all of which the table comes to presence.

We are quick on the uptake, so we say that some of them produce "apparent" things, others "real" things. But the question is: what does "real" in this case mean? And is the table manufactured by the carpenter the "real" table according to the Greeks; is it in being? To ask it another way: when the carpenter manufactures this or that table, any given table, does he thereby produce the table that is in being; or is manufacturing a kind of bringing forward that will never be able to produce the table "itself"? But we have already heard that there is also something which he does not pro-duce, something which he, as framemaker, with the means available to him, cannot pro-duce: οὐ τὸ εἶδος (τὴν ἰδέαν) ποιεῖ, [182] "but he does not produce the pure outward appearance (of something like a bedframe) in itself." He presupposes it as already granted to him and thereby brought forth unto and produced for him.

Now, what is the εἶδος itself? What is it in relation to the individual bedframe that the framemaker produces? τὸ εἶδος ... ὃ δή φαμεν εἶναι ὃ ἔστι κλίνη, "the outward appearance, of which we say that it is what the bedframe is," and thereby what it is as such: the ὃ ἔστι, quid est, quidditas, whatness. It is obviously that which is essential in