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The Unity of the Virtues in the "Protagoras" Author(s): Gregory Vlastos Source: The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 25, No.

3 (Mar., 1972), pp. 415-458 Published by: Philosophy Education Society Inc. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20126056 . Accessed: 30/09/2011 12:03
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in this paper will be to tackle a problem in the one posed by the whose is long overdue?the solution Protagoras fact that in stating and defending his doctrine of "the unity of the * seem virtues" Socrates at formulae which employs hopelessly common sense and with odds both with the procedural assump The proportions are tions of his own dialectic. of this problem in standard discussions of our passage. Some scholars as though they were blissfully unaware act of its difficulties. The text gets washed out of their bland para in the Platonic grit one who has not worked the views; phrases of Socrates' through obscured original with after reading stubborn them what attention is the problem to its wording would not know I am talking about or even

|YJ[y main


* at some and



valuable I am

criticisms indebted and

which me have to improve this essay helped to Professor Glenn Morrow and Charles Kahn, graduate students in the Princeton

Program which when in the

to Terry Irwin of Classical 1 The Socratic Protagoras the debate form of

Paul Woodruff,

(1) Justice and Piety (330B6-331E6); (2) Wisdom and Temperance (332A4-333B6); (3) Temperance and Justice (333B8-334C6); (4) Courage and Wisdom (349D2-350C5).
the [I capitalize terms functions names as the of the virtues name for have terminal and of an "Virtue" eidos proper argument I shall on its

Philosophy. doctrine as one of the two is presented between options to choose is required in 329C-330B6, and then again, resumes after break, in 349B1-D1. The defense is presented for the unity of four pairs of virtues: separate arguments

wherever or idea.]

each I by


these have for of the con


to say of the nothing and is left incomplete. able to comment only be

(3) which occasion

(1) and a part of the one for (2).
not will argument cerned here (I have will where [All I have the references as occasion "Socratic listed to germane a sketch offered to work Paradox" in

is sabotaged to analyze the of analysis with which


In the case of the one for (4) I shall be
section; the matters of the rest be I shall


it in Vlastos,

the through is defended books and

to modern

Nor 1956, xxxii-xxxv). to this argument (351ff), sequel 1969 (for this see Vlastos, [B]). are by articles author and of year below.]


the Bibliography

416 that there Socratic always scholars ing,

is a problem.2 When the perplexities which bedevil the are recognized the acknowledgement formulae is not 3 followed by a resolute effort to untie the knots : one finds

or hint from the task by implying, themselves excusing that Socrates could not really have meant the outrageous
is a good 257] example. of Socrates' 349B1-D1) and Thesis" the "Similarity to Protagoras; put questions and first (247) the to the innocuous

2 some

A. E. Taylor formulations





same in whatever relation of exactly and life it is displayed" to the unproblematic then I formula which (248) be calling shall the "Biconditionality in Shorey Thesis." better Nothing 125 and 129, with all three Theses in the form [1933, notes]: appear only of non-committal to other Of Shorey's references questions. dialogues only to Laches the one 198A is at all helpful; have Laches 199c-E would been more to the point, neither this nor any of the others though really explains in the Prt. passage, to the formulae whose elects apparent perversity Shorey ignore. represents if "identify" to allusion there One of them would have surfaced Socrates were the as "proceed[ing] to identify not being used with deplorable of Courage definition by Nicias "identified" is not with Wisdom courage, where Shorey too, with wisdom," as shown looseness, by the in the Laches (194E-195A): a species but with of it p. 129, on

I shall be calling in the form of reported only is reduced stand without argument of goodness be "the principle will

(329C6-330B6 the "Unity

views?those Thesis"?are Socrates' thesis own that


to be dreaded a and of things X with ; to identify dared) (knowledge X with of Y is a far cry from Y. of [The abbreviations species identifying are those I shall be using the titles of Platonic works this paper throughout in use in the Liddell and Scott in any case, Lexicon; Greek-English they are self-explanatory.] 3 I might the rare exceptions mention Sa van Gallop [1961], Among

analysis ments ing

and Crombie

[1962, 233-235].

I have

found Gallop's
of many closest


argument 12, (see notes true meaning the . . . the various ing given that in so

(1) particularly 31, and 84 below). of the "Unity of

in spite helpful, comes Crombie the Virtues": are them can

to explain

I dare and

say leave

thing, that if Crombie it at sense, he would

virtue-expressions far as any one of sense is some there had not been

so closely in mean interrelated be properly of predicated all the others to say "there text until the same be also. may is some sense" he found


in which content

as holding have Socrates that "wisdom represented are the same and without that the (234), temperance thing" indicating are sense sentence these the same obvious of this and the (that virtue) sense names of the the unavoidable this obvious of (that implication are five constitute which would virtues Socrates synonyms) propositions not have prove none same been the first fact to in (as he of Socrates' virtue or repudiate not: does and as would will to prove synonyms). not have be made that dreamed clear I trust to trying this essay, are the virtues in of

required that case,

but had the Platonic that, probed his results would have been much

the In

as mine.

arguments purport are that their names





and he put them up only to test Protagoras things he says?that to diagnose in the expose the sophist's perversities powerlessness These used in their and fallacies defense.4 Socratic theses in such a role I trust, would that to cast Socrates agree scholars, ?allowing desperate it if we could in effect, to fight sophistry be no There would expedient.5 him, understand the Socratic a sophistry?is to of resorting in a way which formulae I believe we can, and my with need of the under sentences implica in

features. purges them of their offensive task will be to show how. A spin-off first and major taking will be a new account of the two notorious our

is just," "Piety is pious"?with passage?"Justice of "self-predication" in Plato. tions for the vexed problem I A careful with


4 Socrates form that Paul

of the issue to be posing and of its subsequent (329C2-330B6) Protagoras after a break when the debate resumes (349A8-C5) reading
and concedes that 19-20, 26-28, [1964, notes] out an indefensible thesis staked ("an exaggerated as strict but [19]), virtues], unity identity" implies




Friedl?nder to have


of unity [of the to is indulging "a peculiarly iridescent hard in so doing Socrates irony, are deliberately and that his arguments fallacious: the one for (19), grasp" is an "artificially of Piety and Justice constructed the unity of non piece an for the unity of Wisdom sense" the one and Temperance (20), employs on an is a "conscious that the part of Socrates?or inference deception deliberately argument more view complex n. 117] too [1903, the thinks (20). (Shorey to "trip A fallacious, designed up" Protagoras.) is taken by R. E. Allen He says that 82, 93-99]. [1970, a studied on the question whether "the Protagoras maintains ambiguity" or one in that they "are one in definition, the virtues introduce each other not cannot "it does choose between the alternatives" and be detached"; exercise in logic for the reader" of the first alternative that the point is polemical: are all names to admit hat the virtues lead Protagoras . . . to defend that thesis (94) and proceeds synonyms" and some of them blatantly each of which "is fallacious, and in order to show that fallacious" this the fact (94)?all up to claims to teach virtue, does not know what to think

He appears (99). Socrates "attempts for the same thing, with arguments scandalously

he "although Protagoras, virtue is" (95). 5 It is widely assumed or polemical), the Platonic propositions sophistical with what philosophic which arguments. we learn life and he

for good that, Socrates does not does himself

I reject this in the Platonic about his

of his own purposes (pedagogical not scruple to assert categorically to defend and them believe by it to be inconsistent assumption, holding Socrates' I count conception it a merit of of the the


about corpus character.

will show that


Socrates three distinct formulae, employs only answers at all closely to the term "Unity of has been commonly the Virtues" which used in the scholarly as a label for the position Socrates in literature which upholds two formulae, The other the debate. distinguishable perfectly I shall call the "Unity" Thesis),6 from the first I shall (which the first of which

and "Biconditionality" I shall dis call the "Similarity" Theses. cuss the three Theses seriatim. But let me emphasize from the start that they are not treated in the text as logically disjoint in the elucidation of a single tenets, but as successive moments is how Protagoras himself doctrine. understands That them. At no point does he try to drive a wedge them or play between off He accepts another.7 against of a theory which he rejects expressions 1. The Unity The


them as complementary as a whole. and combats

Thesis as it is first




8 whether

or not

all "names


not it does that I shall be presenting to Socrates require interpretation He does resort to a single But none argument. sophistical slip into fallacies. are deliberate. of them 6 in keeping is some awkwardness There of the Virtues" as the "Unity for the whole label doctrine is so common traditional in the scholarly (this to drop be confusing that it would it now) and using literature the "Unity Thesis" unable to designate the first of its three major I have been articulations. But cer to hit on a happier label for the first Thesis; most "Synonymy" I shall for the reason not do, tainly will explain. 7 in view Which is particularly of his strenuous (and per striking to the vagueness of the Simi understandable) (331B8-E4) objection fectly on this score, he never while the Biconditionality faults Thesis larity Thesis, on first it firmly and unequivocally etc. (contrast rejecting hearing ou?anco? uoi ... in 329E5 with the more in 329D8, in hesitant, 'Eks?vc?? (paivexai to the Similarity Thesis). response 8 I omit in 329C5-D1, the first part of the question "whether Virtue is are parts on that and Piety and Justice, of it," because one, Temperance, there are between and Protagoras: that the several is no difference Socrates is standard of Virtue Socratic doctrine (it is unequivocally "parts" in Meno it is implicitly and strongly and 78D8-79E2), emphasized at D4-8 the question the in the next is not whether paragraph:

point virtues affirmed

reaffirmed various

of virtue, of "parts" kind but what virtues are, or are not, "parts" There the parts of a face, or like the parts of a bar of gold? they are?like which is just one passage in the whole lend of the Platonic corpus might view to the notion holds the color that Socrates self-refuting) (virtually the argument of virtue: that each of the virtues but the whole, is not a part,




" of the same (thing) which is one (thing) (ov?jiaxa too a?xou ?v?? the issue is formally ovxo?) . Later on, when Socrates restated, asks: "Do these five names to one thing (?rci ?vi 7rp?yuax? apply 10 essence eaxiv) ?9 Or is there, for each of these names a separate
underlying each (f[ sK?aiop xcov ovou?xcov xo?xcov urcOKeixai xi? ??io?

power (Tipayiia?xov?auxoC) thing having 1X the first, Socrates takes the ?uvajiiv ?Kaaxov) ?" Protagoras second option. This is most One would surprising. certainly to join Protagoras Socrates have expected in maintaining that or "essence." each of the five names applies to a distinct "thing" For to claim that all five "are names of" the same thing would be normally synonymy understood
in La. the 197E


its own



as claiming of the five virtues: that by
ff. will

[i] the identity is how the claim But
which, Platonic

(An of analysis in my

this argument

[ii] the is still being to make of either
I believe, resolves Studies [Princeton below, pp. could 430-432) be read




forthcoming (to be

University 9 ?referring to mean

Press]). Given the

expression either (a) 'Do all 'Do all to (a)

of ovoua ambiguity or descriptive names




or to the same apply referringly thing?', to the same apply descriptively thing?' one to a single restricts nominatum. to (b) Agreeing Agreeing are several does that the possibility there nominata not, open leaving (in one for each of the five virtues) each of which is named fact, five: by all five names. I take the wording to be as between inconclusive two the as will and opt for be seen, has the sterling merit (b) which, readings, of saving the hypothesis that there are five virtues. 10 So Jowett for ??io?, whose and Guthrie sense literal is "private" of koivo?, "common"). antonym (??io? 11 is the standard I cut off the last clause of the question in 349B1-6, "no one of which as another," is such at that point over because it spills into the Similarity (b) five in the text where This is one of several the rhetoric points displays are variant two Theses that the same of the assumption expressions doctrine: Socrates from without to the other the one passes explanation a within he does the same in B6-C5. here; period again 12 single For as strict in n. 4 above. [i] :Friedl?nder ("unity quoter identity"), et passim] as 139 Socrates "the Gigon [1946, represents demonstrating of the virtues." as con Socrates identity [1961, 88-89] represents Gallop to refute cerned denial of the of the virtues, and Protagoras' "identity" faults Socrates' at 330-331 it "does not because argument purport seriously to prove the identity of Justice and Holiness, but only their homogeneity," this argument with the one and Wisdom, about contrasting Temperance "which its failings, to prove cf. the And does, whatever purport identity." from Shorey in n. 2 above sub fin. For from quotation [ii] see the citation Allen in n. 4 above. Thesis. the


these claims would


short of preposterous. be nothing Of their Socrates What be no question. says of "identity" recurs self it is a single ?5?a, which in the Euthyphro?that Piety "in" every pious act (5D1-2) and can be used as a identically to which we can tell whether "standard" (rcapa?eiyua) by looking there could a given act is or is not pious would say, mutatis (6E3-6)?he How then four virtues. of every one of the other mutandis, let alone uphold, the notion that each is could he possibly tolerate, con Could one think of him, for instance, identical with each? were to give him of the definiens that if Euthyphro ceding a "standard" to judge he could use that as by which Courage, whether or was not, of his father was, prosecution Euthyphro's As for claiming that the names of the five virtues were all pious? can be that would synonyms, imply that any of those five words 13 a transparent in any sentence context) (in freely interchanged its sense or truth. without "Courage" changing Try substituting for "Piety"

is that eidos 6D), in virtue of which all actions are

"Piety pious"






is that (Euthphr. part

of Justice 12E). which has to do with service to the

"Piety gods"

of (2) ,14 would (1) and make nonsense falsify are synonyms the definiens of either would if two words Again do for the other. like "Courage" and Could one say this of words The substitutions
"Temperance"?or even of words that were more closely related


the mind


the Greeks,







expressions not required 14 Note tence in

in opaque contexts?contexts introduced substitutability by . . ."?is like "X thought that (or believed, said, etc.) obviously are synonyms. that the five words by the view sen results that both would be prohibitive The for Socrates. the one in (2) is his; is Euthyphro's, it has but Socrates' (1)

seems to me said you have admirable," ("What 12E9). explicit approval It should be obvious that there would be many other sentences, explicating, or commenting of individual the intensions where substitution on, virtues, of the name for that of another of one virtue or would falsehood yield nonsense.



as that of the definiens Socrates of "Piety" accepting or vice versa? We know that he would not. Consider "Justice," what happens in the Euthyphro. The search for the definition of until Euthyphro Piety gets nowhere that Piety is a "part" of Justice,15 order to reach its definition he must of Justice to be.16 at long last to see is brought and therewith to see that in find out which This

special "part" has Soc Piety happens project, which no rates' sense would unmistakable make if the approval,17 of Piety were definiens the same as that of Justice. then How could Socrates have wished "Piety" are synonyms? The Similarity The question of the rest Thesis now and is whether like Virtue.18 or not To each of the virtues is like to sponsor the thesis that "Justice" and


uses a say this Socrates of expressions. I list them in the order of their appearance variety in the text, using B and A as stand-ins for names of virtues or for each

[2] 15 only

B and A "do not differ at all
size" B (329D1-2). is "such as" A (eaxiv to sxepov

(o???v ?icup?pei) . . . except in
oiov to 6T6pov, 330A8-B1).19


"statues The

had progress of Daedalus"

been that

made?Euthyphro's kept running away,

had attempts 11C-D?until

produced Socrates

took the lead in the search by introducing 16
17 part This question is clear is so put at from 12E3-4: Socrates 12E1-2. of Justice The is Piety," latter would

this line of thought at 11E4 ff.
would tell Socrates "which to understand "adequately" to Virtue no role in (as the in

if Euthyphro be able

(?Kavco?) what Piety is. 18
the "whole" and point?the of which each of But

of each of the virtues similarity the virtues is a "part")?plays below?the be included used

argument. 329D6-8 of the

it is explicit in [1] 349C2-3?and had best as well. the most 331B6-7. far

of gold" "parts in generalized It recurs from

analogy statements at 330B3-7,

other 19 This



is by 331A2-3,

frequently It is to be




which is expendable: it is dropped in subsequent quotation uses), is only verbally from distinguishable B is A-ish ?v ttjv ?iKaioaovrjV ?aiov [8] ((painv e?va?, 331B2-3), since to affirm the direct and full negation of not-[7]. [8] is used [7] and in the premise-set from which the proposition [8] occur [1], expressed by

? is "such as to be an ,4-ish [thing]" (erjTiv ?ai?TT|C o?ov e?va? O?KCtiov [rcpayua] 331A7-8; I put in brackets the part of the


[3] [4]

The "power" (?uvapi?)20 of B is "such as" that of A (330B1). to A (349C3). B is "similar" (?|ioiov)
B is "either the same thing as A or as similar to A as it could



(??toi Ta?rc?v y3 ecjTiv 8iKai?Tr|c ?ai?TrjTt il ?ti
331B4-5).21 the same as A" (ax?5?v Tt Ta?rc?v), 333B5-6).

?uoi?toitov, B is "almost

The fluidity of the phraseology for the right words and hasn't

22 suggests

that Socrates found them.

quite trouble merely verbal. The best he offers by way of specifying how or in what to be similar the virtues are supposed respect(s) is an analogy : they are not related to one another as are the parts of the face but as "the parts of [a bar of] gold, which do not differ are we to make from one another except in size" (329D) ,23 What of this? To take the analogy


is hunting is the

at face-value

we would


to take


the proposition is deduced also [5] expressed (presumably to this part of the thesis allusion in the there is no further as should from be clear in any case, the text and, from ensuing argument) on the transla to be offered of the argument the analysis below. A comment to introduce to tco?o?: used This the answer tion of o?o?: is the pronoun [2], [4], [3], though is Achilles??He sort of man "What (71010c) use an to forget The it poets injury." as an omen," a star sent by Zeus (o?ov) "like" to earth ill. 4, 75) : she descended star. 20 The is the to introduce with virtue the is so Athena (i.e. sort of man similies: flashed speed that from of) not (o?o?) as "Such Olympus a falling itself, Prauss

of a particular (?uvaur?) "power" a dispositional quality manifesting of rjuxppoauvn "The remarks, [1966] 'dynamis' " or ?ixaiov but fjGKppove?v e?vai (But [76]. he spins out of this consequences far-reaching conceived as for his conclusion that "unlike to an cludes "relationship too, for that matter) (and Plato's ontology in the persons have that dynamis who only is subject to attribute. To say this is not, or Plato the Aristotelian notion of pre-analytical erties. 21 And cf. Socrates' a slight resemblance only ouxH?v ti 22 23 ontology individuals of

virtue As him

in action. itself or ?iKaioauvn I cannot fact; follow I see etc.," no

is nothing in the

justification pre dynamis In Socrates'

'attribute', 'quality', substance" (loc. underlying

cit.). of Temperance the dynamis exists to it as related and are logically to Socrates to impute of course,

the but only substances," "underlying are distinguished from their prop who at between the suggestion and Justice that Piety" "there (oxrce is

"astonishment" [Guthrie]

exeiv rjuiKpov ?XXi\Xoiq, in recall its like I cannot No explanation I surmise is offered

331E6). Socratic any of Plato's in for "differences

refer to differences that these afiiKpOTUTi]." of as bigger than Piety, be thought Justice may species: a "part" of Justice this sort of difference 11E-12E), though (Euthphr. no role in its reasoning. in our passages mentioned and plays

dialogues. size Kai jiey?Oei of genus and the latter is since is not

him to mean that


are alike in respect of ail their the virtues are qualitatively undifferentiated dispositions, qualities?that they at [1] above. which appears to be the very thing he says himself claim If he did, his present Could Socrates that? really mean as would have been his would be as inept and self-defeating if that one, that all their names name the same thing, previous are all synonymous. To to say that had been meant they out those very marks be to wipe the virtues would homogenize which make up their distinctive as actions particular between himself must be fully aware of those differences on them to vindicate individual virtues. be counting He must Consider his definition of for diverse virtues. diverse definitions 24 or dared." of what is to be dreaded "knowledge Courage: he go about showing that this is not also the defini How would classify Socrates tion of, say, Justice, or, again, of Temperance, except by pointing we think of an action as brave we do so to the fact that whenever
because, and in so far as, we see it as endurance of danger or

and enable us to physiognomies instances of this or that virtue.

affliction, while is due him we us

if we had would



to another person what it as giving of it as just, and if it had thought

as evidencing to keep his appetites the agent's power struck have called it "temperate?" the curb of reason we would under Note that one and the same act could very well display all three of a particular act should allow calling these features: any theory and "just" and "temperate";25 but this would not gainsay it is expressing these three virtues that in manifesting a fact which we would different moral dispositions, recognizably "brave" the fact
24 of La. Santas' felicitous (449) 194E-195A, tt|V tcov ?eivo&v rendering there forward but that it is Kai &appa?,??)V put ?7iiaTf|UT|V, by Nicias; as Nicias to say, that it derives to Socrates is made indeed, (and acceptable . . .," 194C) often heard from Socrates: "I have is made certain you say by it as a premise in a demonstrative the fact that Socrates himself employs one meets in the scholarly The allegation Prt. 360D. argument, frequently definition that no acceptable of a virtue in the reached is ever literature, is false. Socratic dialogues, 25 own to say would be that Socrates' One might theory tempted must But is action all five virtues. this that every virtuous display require never in the dialogues, it is not said and doctrine that by Socrates' implied a man who has five dis all the virtues: any virtue implies having having not be exercis tinct dispositions be concurrently need which exercised may one. on which he exercises ing all five on each occasion



to grant as readily as would anyone else. What expect Socrates sense then could we make of his claim that Courage and Justice as alike as are two bits of a gold bar? are and Temperance 3. The Biconditionality Now Socrates
Which of that these

Thesis Instead that of another paradox

we now

in for a surprise. gives us a proposition are

is crystal-clear:

parts if a man

some men two things is the case: That of one partake of virtue, others Or is it the case of some other part? all? of necessity have has one he will them (329E2-4).



that of Socrates, is simply that the five virtues latter option, those who coextensive classes: instantiate any one of one of them. must instantiate We can put this into every them, symbolic

(Cx ?-? Jx <- Px <-+ Tx <->Wx).



that may call for comment is the only thing in this formula answers to the "of necessity" This in the operator. From what we is not expendable rhetoric: Socratic phrase, which we can be certain that the claim know of Socrates' moral theory is far stronger than mere de facto coextensive he is now making ness.

for instance to be that all brave men Suppose happened can be certain that Socrates and all poor men brave. We poor as he links Courage to link Courage with poverty would not want His theory does not provide with for a con the other virtues.26 con definitional poverty and any virtue?no two virtues, is between since Socrates here, any are species virtues of that all of the moral claims ("parts") to be tem That claim implies that it is impossible Wisdom.27 or brave, or just, or pious, one is wise unless to begin perate, ceptual nection link between as there with.
26 Wisdom 27 of] 20.

So Wisdom

is a necessary


for possessing

any of




of Courage


for that

the all


of Courage were


("knowledge"). As Aristotle put ((ppovfiasic


it, "Socrates thought <x)?TO e?vai rcaaa?

the virtues

T?? ?peT?c)

," E. N.

[kinds 1144B19

the other


and in the same strong and it is also sufficient, virtues; that he can prove on logical is convinced Socrates sense, and is wise will have to be temperate, that a man who grounds in our passage becomes So stated, the doctrine per brave, etc.28 as a cardinal lucid in itself, and it is instantly recognizable fectly for Socratic and tenet, integral sufficient condition with Socrates' in intellectual of moral better them to the theory of all moral that Wisdom is the necessary 29 is more, virtue and, what his that to engage conviction dis to be

coherent fellows cernment make one way in life.

personal to advance their calculated argument to improve them morally, truth is ipso facto men. The Biconditionality Thesis would

of his role of enunciating the rationale of this conception It would he is so sure that the usual explain why of different inculcation the ad hoc, piecemeal, virtues, approach, them would be futile, and that to make men moral one must make can have no other virtue, and for without Wisdom wise, they with Wisdom Here the same they are bound to have then we have three theses. Socratic doctrine. But every virtue. All three purport while the first to express are so


that we are hard put to see how Socrates would want puzzling to affirm what they seem to affirm, the third is a transparently
clear expression of a well-known Socratic doctrine.30 This con


trast might lead one to go in either of two directions. them the first two theses, writing it to discredit

One might off as con


of what Socrates was after. and inconsequential expressions an Introduction to this is the way I took them when writing fifteen But there is another way whose years ago.31 dialogue fused
28 in the The of Knowledge the dialogue, the section one link for the on virtuous one "Virtue not any for action the is demonstrated "power" of knowl

sufficiency argument ff. which see a very

final 352A 29 For



e.g. limited

is Knowledge"

in Gulley role virtues of

[1968,3083 ff.].
Wisdom Though as the

: it does

conceptual one two of them another the fact that any ?i.e. only necessarily imply condition. and sufficient because each has inWisdom its own necessary 31 I remarked, "This the Biconditionality Thesis, [1956, Quoting liv.]. two to ignore the other and proceeded is all about," the argument is what in I was is a sense in which There of the doctrine. formulations justified taking this line. For the one who juncture?with substantive is exclusively under issue concerned?as debate, the I was at that Biconditionality


spell out the strategic two of the other four



did not occur to me at the time. is to scan the This viability for a clue to a different understanding of the first two third thesis sense of each of them. which will make is the way This good to use the unproblematic to go now. I want I want thesis to show worked that with out for each a wholly its guidance of the perplexing acceptable ones. sense can be

II the Unity that


Reinterpreting I shall argue

Thesis is true, then

the following
L32 Virtue,

if the Biconditionality Thesis will have to be true, proposition
Wisdom, if B one of B), Temperance, is a stand-in of the cognate Courage, for one of adjectives,

predicable: and A for predicated

are inter Justice, Piety the foregoing substantives then B is A (i.e. A is

that the surface-grammar of 'B is A' is disregarded and provided to apply not to the abstract entity named by "jB" A is understood To explain by example: but to each of its instances.33 Pick one of the virtues,
is "what the other the


is all as it and the that

about"; unsuccessful to assist logical

one one form

the Biconditionality
afford the has to

Thesis dismiss which

argument two Theses

can, therefore, formulations of debate

contending interest of obviously extreme ment he

to clarify do nothing views. However, its own. From right of

in assessing the of

the merit n.

issue, of the

in protesting that all of Socrates' taking was analyzing?argument no having realize that

89, [1962, standpoint Gallop remark But he went of mine. theses (1) formal if

great 2] was to the other

Thesis?for Similarity) seem to He did not taken at

at face-value, and faulting the argu for the the (i.e. "Homogeneity" on the other two Theses. bearing other Theses were meant to be


of their assertion the effect as would be so catastrophic face-value, to trivialize the question of the relevance of the proofs offered for them: on no or offered could their relevant have irrelevant, behalf, argument their fortunes. improved logical 32 so links as will "L" for "link," be seen, this proposition because, as to make them in fact the three variant the three Theses expres together same are of the meant substantive which sions doctrine they evidently to be in the text. 33 This reading in Section III below. be explained. of "B the "B will be discussed is A" sentence-form further so read, will be called "Pauline predication,"

is A,"

as will

THE UNITY OF THE VIRTUES I shall be arguing Thesis, be true:
Justice Justice Justice is wise, is temperate, is courageous,


427 will

that each of the following

Justice Justice Justice

is pious, is just, is virtuous,

not of the its predicate-term to anyone in the subject-position, but noun, Justice, (or is just, e.g. provided that "Justice who is (which) anything) to assert that whoever is understood is just wise" (or whatever) are read in this way When the sentences the truth of is wise. provided abstract each is understood Thesis, directly from the Biconditionality to demonstrate after the (in the paragraph proceed as I shall next) ; the sixth will also follow from the same Thesis, sentences will and the fifth will be a tautology. Those explain; as I shall remain true when their predicate-term
Justice Justice Justice

to assert

the first

four will


is put
is Piety, is Justice, is Virtue,

in substantival


Justice Justice Justice

isWisdom, is Temperance, is Courage,

a convertible provided we read each of them as as the conjunction read "Justice is Wisdom"
(Justice is wise) & (Wisdom is just),34









is Wisdom"





shown by the way he uses

(A) "Wisdom

is Courage"

in 350C and


in 361B. If "Wisdom is Knowledge On is (A): [=Wisdom]" "Courage were in 350C read as non-convertible if it were under (i.e. Courage" being of Wisdom, to predicate but not the converse), stood it would not "Courage" in 349D6-8 of Protagoras' claim be the contradictory that some courageous men are unwise to express This reformulated claim, ("most ignorant"). the men been (1) To Since to deny hut deny is not wise. Courage what this proposition is wise. Courage instead Socrates must assert is precisely that relation who between have Courage the virtues, Courage but lack Wisdom and Wisdom, (cf. n. 60 rather below), than would between have

(2) he uses

(3) Wisdom

is Courage
not as the only conjunction

be taking (3) to mean (1), he must Wisdom is courageous, (4) also He must thus be reading (2). (3)



as before.35 in the same way reading both conjuncts to That Socrates himself would wish us to give this reading is a ques sentences like "Justice is wise" and "Justice isWisdom" later on (Section HI below). For the tion I shall face squarely I shall assume in the present that he does: present everything on this assumption. be conditionalized What is not is the fact that he does use sentences with this gram in question structure. matical Here are the main examples: section will
Justice Justice Piety'is Piety Virtue is just,86 is pious,37 pious,38 is just,39 is noble,40 Wisdom Justice is Courage,41 is Wisdom, is Wisdom, is Wisdom.42

Temperance Courage

seem peculiar at first blush. sentences may or Greek. too frequent in either English It is Admittedly, nonetheless with good usage in both languages. We fully in line like "Justice and "Ignorance is impartial" is bliss" say things or stilted to contrived without strain, with no sense of resorting The syntax of these it is not grammar; proceed "B is A" the same would to use without sentence-form be true apologies in L, reserving in Greek. I shall, substitution-instances comment therefore, of the

for the following



is courageous)

and (Courage is wise).

for this conclusion. to What he was (B) we get confirmation "trying in this debate, he now tells Protagoras, show" is . . . that all the about, [i.e. all the things things they had been talking are Knowledge, five virtues] both Justice and Temperance and Courage

[are Knowledge]
In now The 350C says shift he had said he he had tried


explanation "Wisdom would

had he that "Wisdom What is Courage." proved to prove is that "Courage is Knowledge [=Wisdom]." to "Courage made is Courage" from "Wisdom isWisdom," without or argument, would be perfectly if Socrates is taking explicable

to be convertible, is Courage" for in that case the two sentences be interchangeable. 35 as Pauline All the numbered I.e., (cf. n. 33 above). predications are in the preceding note sentences likewise Pauline predications. 36 330C. 37 331B. 38 330D. 39 330D. 40 341E. 41 350C (cf. n. 34 above). 42 from in n. 34 above. Cf. the citation 361B1-2




time we shall have a better sense of their scope Section, by which our passage. in the claim I have My task now is to substantiate made that L, with the proposed follows from the Bicondi reading, that if a given person, to Ar, happens of the five virtues, he will "of necessity" have all five. any So suppose N is just. It will at once follow (and necessarily) N will be wise. that If so, his Justice would have to be wise scatter-brained, whimsical, be flawed by any defect in measured the high up against that the case, N's wisdom from the mere necessity) tionality Thesis. That Thesis How assures soP us


It could not be dim-witted, Justice.43 or rote-ridden Justice: it could not

fault it when that would rationality standard of Socratic wisdom; for were could not be inferred

(and inferred with fact that he is just, as the assures us that Thesis Biconditionality So AT,s Justice must it can. be wise: if we accept the Bicondi

this follows necessarily. And since what is true tionality Thesis, of Vs Justice will also be true of M's and O's and of any other to pick, it will follow by existential person's we happen generaliza tion that Justice is wise.44 the same reasoning we may deduce By from the Biconditionality Thesis that Justice is not only wise, but also temperate, and pious,45 and we may then similarly brave, deduce from the same two predicable, be true for any predicate-term and therefore that all five virtues premise that the 'B is A" sentence-form are inter in L will

distinct of whether the virtues, regardless or substantival is put in adjectival The form. Thesis will also assure us that "Justice is virtuous" Biconditionality are true, since we learn from that thesis and "Justice is Virtue" that anyone who is just is bound to have all the virtues and that whoever since is virtuous all these As for "Justice to be, among other just.46 things, is just" and "Justice is Justice," no proof is needed, are used to express in this context sentences is the is bound (or whatever) is just is just. What has

43 I.e., predication 44 45 46 it would the virtues,

that whoever



of in

Justice "N's


instances is wise."




a Pauline

is nested Pauline Pauline Since


predication. predications. to be virtuous given at all one would have Thesis, at least that one one virtue, would whence have all



the Biconditionality Justice.



been proved for Justice may be proved for each of the other virtues and for Virtue by obvious extension of by the identical reasoning, that reasoning. So L has been secured. sense of ask: How will L help us make may that the names of all the virtues are names of the Socrates' saying same thing? To do the job we It would not, taken just by itself. But now must a further fact which has long been known linked up with our passage in the Protagoras. This is that all through and classical the archaic the periods to perform two radically "name" (ovoua) was expected linguistic functions: that of the proper name: this is the first, of course, use of ?vopa ; but the primary, and always original, secondly that of the common name, that is to say of the qualifying predicate or descriptive sense of ovoua many Of this dual expression. could be given, but one should suffice, for this gives us examples we need to crack our present all the information The puzzle. comes from the Phaedo?written later than the Prota example take into account been but has never to be sure, but entirely suitable for the purpose goras, and inherited, long-established, usage.47 ing on the clever In the passage of cases in which speaks
not but Form, only also the Form itself else has [say, F],


of illustrat


in that



something but always

G] [say, its character

is always which

entitled is not F]

to when

its own with it [G]


name, that exists

[G is always


47 "name" Thus names

in documenting is no difficulty to designate expressions, predicative in B 9,1 that Parmenides it is clear a predicative since function, serving There Tire' universe; and and

the no thinks he

antiquity than less of "fire" the





ones. referring as and "night" "naming of their "not-being," place" these and have


of mortals contents

everything putative "becoming"

so classifying i.e., 'night'," not in B 8, 40-41, that and only even like but phrases "perishing," color" with count respect 180 as names: he to Being The and (reading use of Scott,

"being," "changing that says ovouaaxai

"interchanging been posited see Mourelatos defense specifying" cites II. 8, [1970, refer 184] 48 We to G

bright as names

for whose "stating, Lexicon

is as old 449, "they on name can make qua

[1970, as Homer. named as

ff.]). Liddell

for "naming" Greek English gifts." by qua Cf.

glorious (?vopa?ov) "abbreviated description." sense of the phraseology best character, rather than

Mourelatos here Form to


"G" taking transcendent

In his example
Don't name with you and Three?


G and F are respectively
think by the that name may [Three] of the Odd,


and Odd:
called Odd] both its own by identical is not

always though




Three And Three. I have

"Odd." to both names senses
a proper

is odd, since Here

of these

every trio is rightly called "named") (hence, it is also rightly called "Three," it is entitled names: "Three" names Three, and "Odd" also "names" In " is evidently used in the two different 'Three' names Three" the "name" is
" expression. In 'Odd' names Three"


the these


is a descriptive Plato does not identify predicate.49 as different senses of "name" and "naming." two functions he between notices the difference of a sentence like "Theaetetus ?vopa, the second a pr\\ia. This the subjectand the sits," calling is in the Sophist structure of a sen


predicate-terms an first word

of the syntactical But even there he does not go so far a predicative as to say that the pf?|ia is itself an ovo|ia discharging To take note of the distinc function.50 instead of a nominative tion between two different and predicative referring expressions ovojia, pfjpa, instead of saying words, he that resorts the to same

where his analysis (261Dff.) tence had advanced in depth.

the (hence of a Form).

it exists" which would be puzzling if asserted "when expression not affect the general But that a given this does eidos point or transcendent) to its own will be entitled both "name" (immanent always of any eidos which is truly predicable of it. and to the "name" 49 it is predicated of is not, what the singular strictly Though speaking, of that term: term Threeness, the instances "Three but be is odd" should as in is cold" Snow 50 a Pauline the passage, (cf. Phdo would predication where the n. 33 above), is so much point not be "cold" would (cf. but of its as in the other thus of (cf. in the RC, clearer: predicated

construed examples "Snow Form, n. 83). duces the eue which


103C-D), be absurd), I do


I italicize



?vo|xa-pfj|ia of combination ?Xkf(koiq


distinction names

one that combination?the acceptable produces implies ovoua of meaningless involve both instead sentences, always strings?will of names: and still be a combination this shows that ?vopa and is pfjpa in a broader includes and in a narrower used both sense, which being pfljia, sense which with contrasts pfjua.

auvapu?xxei that the

as much: think he he intro implies to investigate that he wants by saying . . . ?7UfJKe\|/G)ue0a . . . (rcepi xcov ovou?xcov eue eue x? p?v ?G?X-ei, x? ?? pf|, 261D2-6), pf|,



Still less ?voua, can be used in each of these distinct ways. word, then could we expect that he should be making this point in the in Phaedo, though he does realize here that "Odd" names Three a different way from that in which names Three: for he "Three" 51 of the latter as calling Three "by its own name" in contra speaks distinction while does than to the is. "Three" catch his "Three" "Odd" is not Three's "own name," former; on this. What But he does not focus attention eye is the fact that in calling Three "Odd" no less we are not that Three and Odd are implying

On this he is most He makes the point emphatic. six times over in the course of 21 lines of text. the same token By he might have added that "Odd" and "Three" are not synonyms: the fact that both may "name" the same thing, does not imply that identical.
they are.

With established

this that

in mind

let us return

to the Protagoras.








we may convert

now this

avail ourselves sentence
is named and

of the descriptive

use of "naming"


"Wisdom," "Temperance," "Courage,"

Justice "Piety,"

[descriptively] "Virtue."


to the other
is Justice,53




we may


Justice is named [referringly] "Justice."

We would

can now

see that Socrates

is in a position

to hold

that all six

of these


have had

To explain himself he thing. apply to say that the first five of these "names" apply to

to the same

52 above). 53


predications predication.

(like the one in "Three is odd": cf. n. 49

Pauline Pauline




quite differently
the sixth as


the first five as descriptive
This, of course, Socrates


does not explain what he is say. in no way precludes his doing it. To use a rule of language doing of the rule is an all too common without the least awareness to of linguistic So we have no reason behavior.54 phenomenon does not But in "name" in the deny that Socrates could be using the ambiguity it in speaking absence of any allusion to the ambiguity, exploiting
of both "Justice" and "Wisdom," "Temperance," etc. as "names"

the fact that a man

of Justice. identifying

Once we Justice





of Socrates' the question thereby etc., or of taking Temperance,
etc. to be synonyms,



does not with



do not

any of its attributes to be synonyms. vertible attributes Can we get textual confirmation tion? At first this looks Socrates

identify the thing we are talking about nor do we take the names of its con for the proposed interpreta a hopeless undertaking,

'sight, tactics are so unsystematic that not once debating 55 in the course of the four arguments he vindicates which his by as even mention does he so much the formula of the doctrine In none of those arguments does he allude to his Unity Thesis. because claim of all the virtues "are names of the same that the names or "apply to one thing." see neither hide nor hair of We thing" or the conclusions this phraseology in the demonstrands of these we do get in the sequel several closely However, arguments. sentences. The most where of the dialogue, that


related clusion prove

striking of these occurs at the con Socrates says that he had tried to


. . ". of a language has [1965, 8] every Chomsky speaker a generative internalized and that expresses his knowl grammar to say that he is aware This is not of the rules of the edge of his language. aware or even that he can become ..." grammar (If "a generative of them. "a set of rules is obscure, of grammar" be substituted for may grammar" I have italicized the most If it seems it.) part of the statement. striking on first hearing, on this: let one incredible A normal reflect four-year-old to use knows how indefinite the definite and article (ask him, correctly "A dog and a edit are fighting. think to win?," and Who do you is going on his answering, or ^The "The dog" but it will be you can count cat"); aware he can be made of the rule of language which years before prescribes the behavior 55 Cf. he n. exhibits. 1 above.

AU [the virtues] are Wisdom,




spells out as
isWisdom, is Wisdom, is Wisdom.56

Temperance Courage


sentences mode

are of


no more




the material
Justice Temperance Courage

is named

[descriptively] is named [descriptively] is named [descriptively]

"Wisdom," "Wisdom," "Wisdom."


the grammatical
is Courage"


of "Courage




is a material-mode




is named




if indirect, confirmation of being the case, it yields valuable, the present On its terms we can explain perfectly interpretation. the otherwise fact that Socrates, after using the formulae puzzling so of the Unity Thesis and repetitiously in the course of fulsomely in 349B1-C5,57 the issue of the debate should then be restating the proposition content to formulate he thinks he has proved in the as argument ensuing
Wisdom is Courage,



as he would Thesis,
is named






to the diction

of the Unity

and is named "Wisdom,"



56 "Wisdom" the


the for




in n.* 34 above. is clearly "Wisdom" above, at meant

which "Knowledge" same as is expressed thing by 57 were The formulae quoted

I am now substituting to express here precisely in our passage. elsewhere the start of I, 1.

or as






are names





follows the latter pair of sentences On the proposed interpretation so directly well is Courage," from "Wisdom that Socrates might 58 in this tense, rapid, feel no need to spell out the consequence also makes The compressed interpretation argument.59 highly sense of the fact that he should that say he has proved good has in fact proved is Courage," when what his argument "Wisdom are biconditionally that Wisdom and Courage is (at most) related, which had denied He is evidently (349D5-8). taking Protagoras a consequence to be so transparent of the "Wisdom is Courage" Thesis that he does not feel called upon to explain Biconditionality
the reason for the consequence.60



the second

of the Unity
argument, and Wisdom


square with









It would
one" were


all too obviously,
to assert that

if "Temperance

and Wisdom
and Wisdom



can be what is meant on the first, general grounds: argued highly to prove these (or any ground that Socrates could not have wished as has been he other) virtues identical, because, already explained, identical virtues. two But that this is not on distinct
our passage a too often cannot remind ourselves that is not a contest, like the Philebus, and but whose tempo leisurely investigation, are determined Time of a live debate. and again tactics by the exigencies in his argument to be so obviously which he takes Socrates steps skips over no correct in challenging them. that Protagoras would have interest 59 would to allude to the We for his failure get the same explanation are names of all the virtues at the formula that the names of the same thing conclusion of the Socrates is correct, that the sentences logy dialogue. would If the proposed explanation no point in dragging things at 361 Al-2 are fully translatable see of out this by the formula showing 58 We

he uses into phraseo as explained of that formula, text above. in my 60 a proposition as he about thinks, Having persons?that proved, men are wise and wise brave?he it forthwith translates brave men into a sees the two as so closely the corresponding He virtues. about proposition are wise, to argue that since brave that he feels no need connected persons Courage brave. must He would be wise, no and doubt since have wise done persons so in are brave, Wisdom a more leisurely must context. be

could on the not have accepted for both; definiens secondly, to explain, I now wish that ground, which of the argument this proposition by which the same

the more

shows that what is simply and the argument proves are coextensive and Wisdom that Temperance classes (as is solely are that the Biconditionality Thesis)?not by required they identical virtues is required in our passage (which by nothing in the whole of the nor, for that matter, by a single statement Platonic meaning premises
2 3

logical is derived

specific structure

corpus). wblich

The the

from which

propositions term "opposite" the conclusion is deduced: crucial


follows carries

from in

the the

1 Wisdom

Temperance To one thing

are opposites.61 Folly are and Folly opposites.62 there is only one opposite.63


"opposite" means in set theory: plement" S and S are mutually universe is being inspecting ises whose used of discourse.64 to mean the derivation deduction

in this


is what

is called


for set S, its complement, S, is such that of their and jointly exclusive exhaustive That this is precisely what "opposite" can be established in this argument by

quence If.

the meaning
of Those who act

of 2?the only one of those three prem us a context from which we can deter gives as the conse 2 is presented of the term.



temperately,65 to this to Folly,



not Wisdom


opposite of

cuppoamm] 62
63 many?"

?" (332A4-5).



"Hence "We

is the opposite Folly have that to one agreed (332C8-9).

(332E4-5). Temperance?" one opposite, there is only a contrary of it, C,



S is the contradictory of is true, but need "ScC" "SqC" 65 I get t from 332A6-8, men are acting When correctly to be acting or you temperately, text, now and generally accepted Hence "correctly it is not and an


S?not not and the be

just true.


usefully, opposite?



then in




(following by Burnet

Stallbaum's the Oxford

Text). I contract epexegetic:

is made separate premise it into line with the next in a formal argument.

to "correctly," since is only usefully" "usefully" for no use of it as a independent qualification in the sequel. I streamline to bring the syntax and get the uniformity of style one needs premise

5 Those who do not act correctly act foolishly,66




in conjunction,
do not act

67 imply
temperately act foolishly,




in turn
who do not
















This is straight 332B2-3). 7up?TTOuai, 67 I get 6 from 5 9 Those who do







\ir\ ?pGco?



do not act correctly, The conjunction of 5 and 9 implies got 9 from Jf by contraposition. having 6 by the transitivity of class-inclusion. 68 By contraposition. 69 . . and are not in so acting ". [i.e. acting foolishly] behaving n. 23, I overlooked In Vlastos, the possi 1956, xxix, (B2-3). temperately" 2 by the above which of deriving involves valid inferences sequence bility us to fault the reasoning in thte text, except and does not require all the way on expository to fill I had for leaving in with lacunae which i.e., grounds, no obligation to is under since Socrates blemish, 6, 7, and 9 (not a serious so long as the interlocutor to tag in his reasoning fill in all the steps is ready to charge with the ones Socrates The led me oversight gives). along a formal with which he had been Socrates (the one with traditionally fallacy opposite mistake a way to "in which is the temperately" to contradictory, which from is the contrary in the first he certainly makes cf. notes 76, 79, and argument: from 80 below, and A. M. Adam and cf. e.g. J. Adam [1893, 135-136]) as David I gladly' out: which be freed, Savan he may [1964, 23] has pointed charged: sliding from "not i.e., of temperately," to agree with him on unable this point, though error in this segment The is thereby rehabilitated. to have for Socrates' of the argument accounts claim (which outrageous are coextensive) demonstrated and Temperance is accounted that Wisdom no reason has for by the material of premises falsehood J/. and 8, for which Savan's correction accept of 2 that the derivation been not have Savan and which should pace granted: Protagoras given known would views which is nothing in Protagoras' there (24-25) require a view can act "correctly" to his own advan to deny him that a man (with of "acting has not been this sense excluded) by behaving tage: correctly" a tyrant to keep feast in a drunken in order (e.g. by joining intemperately to deny act foolishly that a man the tyrant's or, conversely, favor) may by the man in the example if, to maintain (as would behaving temperately to the the invitation he declined his feast, thereby temperate regimen,

in conjunction with not act temperately

What 7 and 8 tell us


is that the class of the foolish and the class of the temperate exhaust the universe of discourse: those who do act foolishly do not act temperately (8) and those who do not act do act temperately This makes it crystal-clear that (7). foolishly are each other's all 2 can mean is that Temperance and Folly in 1 could only be used "opposite" as in 2, these two premises assure us that are both and Temperance of Folly. complements 3 then spells out the notion in the definition of implied And since sense above,

complements. with the same Wisdom Premise
the Hence same


from which
S, then S Wisdom

it follows
and are S' are coextensive


if S and S' have
classes. prop classes?a



osition junction


can be expressed

in the

formal mode





is named








one and the same virtue does and the question of their constituting not arise. be said to be "one" in the perfectly in They may
nocuous persons sense and the of being class one of wise class, persons i.e. that are one the and class the of temperate same class.70



the Similarity


that the virtues are very similar,71 Socrates does not Insisting kind of What say how, in what respects, they are so very similar. have struck him could he have had in view which would similarity as far-reaching to be analogizable to that of bits of gold, enough as to blot out the distinctive not so unqualified of the qualities yet them to the homogenized several virtues, reducing uniformity

incurring fortunes). to Jf. and 70 same," which virtues. 71 above.

with wrath, tyrant's Savan's (24-25) argument to 8 fails to reckon with this In


this sense Temperance of the same class i.e., is a far cry from saying Cf. especially the

own to his disastrous consequences that Protagoras is really committed rather obvious line of objection. even be said to be "the and Wisdom could of whom has and Wisdom and both are virtues? the same under 1.2

each persons, that Temperance used in





which is the unhappy, and


analogy? Guessing less enterprise if we

of the suggestion surely unwanted, to an answer would be a hope way is associat did not know how closely Socrates one's with introduced of the the biconditionality the latter (329E2-4) the gold-bar evi analogy, but

of the virtues ing the similarity He classes of their instances. immediately dently not one he to bring has been

Similarity. concurrence, the Similarity Protagoras

to clarify further the of Unity and language expounding And we know with that Protagoras, Socrates' tacit in the thinks Thesis: that as implied by of the Biconditionality Thesis we hear we see this at 349D2-8, where the falsehood of of the the former of latter this in the same case of in the case.72

after he had thrown out up a new doctrine,

Courage use We may, heuristic therefore, make between the two theses, asking ourselves:

say shows

the falsehood

logical relation sort of similarity What answer would To this a plausible sug imply biconditionality? itself: the sort that follows directly from L above, which is gests as was explained, not only implied by the Biconditionality Thesis, if each virtue has the implies it, as should be obvious: of all the rest, then to have one virtue is to have all the qualities rest as well; thus to be just one will have to be also wise, tem but also
perate, etc., since Justice is wise, temperate, etc. In telling us

that each of the virtues is wise and temperate and brave and pious and just, L as good as tells us of a five-point between similarity them: each is like the rest in all five of these respects.73 This as to prompt could have struck Socrates as so pervasive similarity him to analogize it to the similarity of the parts of a gold each of its parts has all of the qualities characteristic 72
that many most



of gold

"And this is how you will

know that I speak the truth [in saying
: you will virtues] most intemperate, assumes that the find and false

from all these' other 'is very different Courage men are most most who unjust, impious, but exceptionally brave." One who ignorant, that 73 And, q implies to recall p. the

hood of p implies the falsehood of q is implying
assumes that the

(by modus

tollens) that he

of [3] under 1.2 above, P tells us also language will between the dynameis of the hold similarity corresponding and Temperance?the the dynameis of Justice active virtues. Thus disposi to behave both be dispositions to behave and temperately?will tions justly as well, each of the two virtues and piously since is wise bravely, wisely, and pious. and brave



so each of the and so forth), ductile, malleable, (each is yellow, of virtue (each is wise, virtues has all of the qualities characteristic of the if this is the point and so forth).74 And temperate, we purge it (and therewith Thesis the Similarity itself) analogy, that the virtues the suggestion of its most obnoxious feature: as characteristics be as destitute of individuating would qualitative now be totally irrelevant are bits of a gold bar. This suggestion of be left in full possession The virtues would and unwanted. their distinctive though dispositional strikingly physiognomies, and massively in which ways So far, then, it fare when similar, since (on Socrates' each would be virtuous in all of the to be virtuous. it is possible theory) How does works well. interpretation

the proposed the text? checked further against luck to find one of Socrates' In this case we have the good in terms four arguments quite explicitly stating its demonstrand to prove what Thesis: Socrates has undertaken of the Similarity is in argument (1)
that Justice as Justice is such (331B6).75 as [i.e. similar to] Piety and Piety and Piety


that So here we can dispense with the indirect lines of reasoning were required to show that the interpretation of the Unity Thesis agrees with the textual data. Here checking interpretation All we have to do is to see how the text will be easy. of Justice the similarity and Piety. goes about proving proposed showing of the respects
74 i.e. he of not uses the

against Socrates If the

is correct, his proof should in consist interpretation Justice and Piety are like each other in some or all that which follow from the fact that the different

to the parts of a face, each of which has By contrast which Plato must common) (an expression ?uvapiv in 349C5, it in 330A4, and then again having repeated

l?ictv find the

(private, very apt: adjective the tem

in phrases like ??io? oua?a
eye is to see of Wisdom and "power" only is not

[349A4], ??icp 7rp?ypaxi [349C4]):
that?not only to see to act wisely and hear but, and given says that same refutand

the "power"

while smell, to act P, that this

perately 75 and courageously At the conclusion he would formulation himself say he would

and of "most

and piously. justly the argument Socrates , i.e., of all" (p?X,icrca) The the of virtue

is what be the

this would

satisfactory. at 330E3-331A4, at 330B3-7 where and again more form by saying that no "part" general

find most

implied thing was in a is expressed as" any other.

is "such


IN THE PROTAGORAS (proposition two L). And

441 so it

can be predicated his thesis

of each other Socrates

To prove 1


premises: (330D8-9).

Justice is just (330C4-5) and Piety
Justice is pious and Piety is just

is pious


by 1 and 2? Not by inferring them from the L above: from which I deduced that Thesis, Biconditionality would have been arguing in a circle, since Protagoras rejects finds an Socrates pari passu with Similarity. Biconditionality How
other way to the above premises?a very easy one, as he thinks.

does he come


1 he gets by arguing If Justice were not just, in effect: no one would want to say that Justice it would be unjust;76 is so it has to be just.77 Ditto for Piety being pious. the unjust; By same reasoning he justifies Premise 2: Justice must be pious, for to it would have to be impious,78 and who would want otherwise The fallacy in say that? For the same reason Piety must be just. in both this reasoning, the same one cases, need not detain as a slide from "is not F" us. It has long been recognized to "is the contradictory
76 or This is implied

of F"

79?and we





where the question is posed: Is Justice on Protagoras the assumption the that foisting and A. M. Adam J. Adam who catch the same disjunction where it is more and also at 330D5-6 in 331A8-B1, (see their fallacy explicit, comments ad loc.) fail to notice that Socrates has slipped into it already here it his derivation at 330C4-5: without 1 of the first in Premise conjunct and out of line with be arbitrary his derivation of the second above would "just thereby unjust," is exhaustive. conjunct 77 in the same I am blowing of "Justice note premise. up the argument is just" (which in 330C7) in this way, for the whole force of the as self-evident, is taken but is not on some such course of reason

at 330C4-5,

deduction inferred: exhaustive

the apa


ing, though only the first step (the initial posing of what

looks like an

are for the first the third and disjunct) disjunction) (opting the elimination the text; of the second is left implicit. disjunct explicit 78 331A8-9. 79 error: that there Moreau contends is no substantial [1939, 43] ... au terme du contraire si cette substitution [a?iKOV, ?voaiov] ne se justifie elle terme n?gatif prj ocriov] pas vi formae, ??Kaiov, [utj en ce qui concerne de la discus est pas moins n'en la mati?re justifi?e et qui est non tout objet d'estimation morale sion ; juste susceptible . . . est n?cessairement injuste. and at present both in antiquity is surely wrong. The general This opinion or act must be either would that every moral just or unjust, pious deny

80 sages might when that Plato could easily have even have fallen into it himself

or this to Socrates, imputed in this early phase of his career on points of logic which he

he might still have been wobbly are the only thing In any case, the premises firms up later on.81 sort of similarity what that concern us now, for they show?exactly for saying that Socrates had in view, and give us textual authority it is the sort I have hypothesized. By making of his demonstration Socrates the premises are proved to be similar virtues and Piety in two crucial respects: similar interested in pursuing If he were each the matter the four propositions tells us that Justice when shown

to be

is both

just and pious.82 he could further,



spontaneous ment." We consideration "unjust"? Must we be

or cowardly, an act of or intemperate. Consider temperate to a friend, "an act assess of moral generosity susceptible would call it "just" is not in conferred (the benefit hardly to it?he of his right has no such Must we then call it right). as a brave act (no confrontation of danger). It is not classifiable

it could then say that it is cowardly? If the agent is an atheist not on Socrates' it then be impious? own moral Would To be sure, pious. it would Moreau be true. But be a flagrant says would theory what petitio is now in defending) to use that theory Socrates (which engaged principii as a premise in its own defense. 80 on his same is palmed The off by Euthydemus interlocutor fallacy in Euthd. if they are not wise, 276B2 must ("and they not be ignorant?") from evidence of Socrates' But is not good this without anyone. protest unawareness Far more of relevant are not done for the fallacy, are Prt. for 360B2-3, (Ka?xx) must that and asks a hand in this taking if they fear and [their be base they not (a?axpa) "noble" and "base" constitute the he is not "and confidence Socrates which if he persons believes that exchange. con their (nothing exhaustive

fidence] had been possibilities

noble the must fear

to establish Diotima

201E-202A: Smp. beautiful (icaX?v) Thereupon mediates" mediate adduced of the Diotima between between as parallels at as

and feel); may "whatever is not

be ugly ," and he "Certainly!" replies, (a?axp?v) are to instruct Socrates that there "inter proceeds as e.g., "true and a?axp?v, KaX?v is inter opinion" and Platonic (Other passages "knowledge" "ignorance." note on 331A are probably not examples in the Adams' they that such are not didactic clear need contraries examples.) not be by contradictories, in Diotima

81 fallacy; Such

rate, any the insight with

which preceding 82 pious"

is communicated



tionality If Justice be pious; and two respects: then whoever is just would is pious, be just. There is no allusion if Piety is just, then whoever is pious would text. with to this connected in the But biconditionality, closely point had been denied (325D-E), vehemently by Protagoras similarity by Socrates

in Sph. 257B. is reasserted and note, are just and in that, in "Justice and Piety if the predications Crucial are Pauline in Section III below), the bicondi be argued (as will their in these follow from and Piety would of Justice similarity

is also wise,

IN THE PROTAGORAS of the reasoning
In that case

443 that each
his result

to establish
temperate, and

by iteration

would the that

have virtues each

coincided means with is


with my for him, each which and pious

hypothesis i.e. that follows and

of what each

the similarity of the five-point has from the fact and temperate


immediately wise and

courageous.84 to think be reasonable is conducting that Socrates a bearing on have of similarity lines which would along as well, the materials he could him with which offering of biconditionality under circum corollary* proof appropriate It would Socrates would in detail have done so in a less

(329E5-6). the vindication biconditionality a construct stances. 83 polemical, 84 analysis they may two: tion (1) that

It is reasonable to assume that more context. systematic, Though of the

are many differences there and Gallop's [1961], argument seem to be at first sight, and none He sees the


they are not nearly are worth arguing

the above as great as over except

in the assump of the Socratic argument fallacy big the demonstrand and 2 jointly imply is such as Justice D and Piety is such as (o?ov) Justice (I retain Piety to avoid etc. rather than his, translations, reference-marks, my burdening I consider with which the discussion inessential). Gallop complications 1 and 2 to concede entitled would have been Premises that Protagoras thinks Premises 1 yet deny D: even if he each need I cannot he him non has other not follow in view. and that Justice agrees [Protagoras] in both in certain (viz. being respects that they are homogeneous (90). agree criteria him because I do not know what Socrates hasn't and we stated his, are also going if we Holiness just of and resemble holy) he

for that failure. However, to assume we will of explaining the burden the sense have sequitur, I have in statements like the one is being used in which "homogeneous" in which For is a sense of "homogeneous" the there from Gallop. quoted inference if Justice from and Premises 1 and 2 to D wrould and follow with then are both just Piety two in those respects. of pious, (If it be they analytic are certainty:

"homogeneity" in faulting agree a to charge him with can

homogeneous sense strained is not


"similarity," tice and Piety The that reason he

the answer "homogeneous," term: he with the operates no one could find fault with in which are

certainly that is a this objected would be that, after all, this still vaguer language that if both the claim two can of Jus be he

does not homogeneity and conversely?then, of Justice is shared that every quality ?i.e., by Piety case why in that But of course, fallacious. the inference is grotesquely D to mean, it inference? is what is supposed with the If that bother becomes virtually self-refuting.

in those then they are similar just and pious so objectionable inference that finds Gallop sense some of "homogeneity"?how is invoking strong to mean If Socrates is to be understood complete say. why

respects.) only strong

444 I have


now done what to do in this Section.85 I undertook I have derived a proposition, Thesis the Biconditionality L, to an interpretation of both the Unity has shown the way which Theses that rids each of their unacceptable and the Similarity All three theses turn out to be complementary features. expres From sions saying clearly names of the same basic claim which may be put most clearly by less entails having that having every virtue, any virtue that what names each but still understandably, by saying all alike. all, and that they are all cogeners,

sec the preceding the assumption that all substitution-instances tion, of justifying are meant of the "B is A" formula in our passage in L occurring to be read in a special way: their predicate-term is asserted not of I may now tackle the task, deferred from of that but of the concrete instances subject, As I explained the whole of the argument of the abstract. above, was conditionalized on that assumption. It is section preceding now time to ask if the assumption is warranted. In a sentence their abstract like "Justice of Justice sentence seems to be asserted is pious" the predicate certainly of nothing else. Why should we not take the reason to think at f ace- value ? Is there good that and than thatP There is, but to be: it is as as

other is saying anything Socrates as it has sometimes as obvious not We

been thought to begin with, that Socrates thinks of "Justice" know, and that he does not think of universals the name of a universal

nor yet as ontological persons, dependencies the actions, decisions, dispositions, practices
Another (a more minor on

of persons, such as or policies of this or
which I disagree with






is his claim

(92) that the fallacy by which

1 and 2 are

on he derived it in the face of (a fallacy acknowledges, insisting denial that it exists) A. E. Taylor's is unimportant because "Socrates perverse to avoid amended 1 and 2, thinks have his argument it": could Gallop, derived from as have been such could "inoffensive" that premises, o?ov will e?vai not KaA-?v do. The fallacious is KaX?v could be asserted suggested substitute and of Piety. Justice this Surely but is inoffensive enough, premise from it. from 1 or 2 be inferred Thus " not it would is pious is Ka>,?v follow, latter premise, that "Justice is pious." I above. of Section of both

only by "Justice except

could "reasoning and "Whatever

of the illicit conversion by 85 Cf. the terminal paragraph




that person.86 This being the case, is just or unjust, pious or impious,
sheer nonsense: these are moral

to say of any universal that it be brave or cowardly would
predicates, and for that reason

as of a of a logical entity, like a universal, they are as impredicable to say mathematical like a number or a geometrical figure: entity, that Justice is pious would be as absurd as to say that the number is pious. Could this, then, be what Socrates eight or a hexagon is doing here? gross an error? could we convict him of so grounds We have his sentence, "Justice is pious." But this is not unambiguous for it is not an unambiguous evidence, sentence. It is the sort of sentence which could be used, absurdly, On what

to predicate "is pious" of the universal, Justice. But it could also to predicate be used, "is pious" of the instances of impeccably, To be sure, to use it in the latter way one would that universal. have to disregard its surface grammar which is the same as that of "Abraham is what That we is pious." But do as a matter is there any difficulty of course in reading about that? the examples

out in Section II above?"Justice is impartial," "Ignorance our linguistic is bliss": intuition "is im assigns unhesitatingly to those who are just, not to the abstraction, and Justice, partial" are ignorant, to those who not to the abstraction, "is bliss"
Ignorance. Or consider the following sentence from a contem

I tossed

porary writing

writer, stilted

whom Iris Murdoch, or artificial English:
kind in courage concentration . . ,87 loving a of (that which






would is


a man calm,



selfishly intelligent,






is the natural reading of that sentence?the that only way even occurred to any of us encountering it in its own on the author's our mind with of instead context, thought, as a specimen it out of context, of philosophical inspecting have the reading that ascribes Clearly, to the abstraction, etc., not calm," the "best adjectives, of kind

grammar? "steadfast,

as the to think of Justice that if we were Note we would not be thinking of it as a universal, person, of the universal in the life of that person. instantiation 87 57. 1970,


disposition as but

of a





if any, who have that kind of but to those persons, courage," that is clearly what we would understand Iris Murdoch courage; to be saying: that those who have the best kind of courage, they are "steadfast, in their calm, temperate, intelligent, loving" take St. Paul's, Or, finally, long and "Charity suffereth We may be certain that everyone who has ever read or heard that sentence before philosophical got hold of grammarians to be predicating it has taken it, as a matter of course, long courage. is kind." suffering It would be

and have


of those who


the virtue

of charity.

to construe to the apostle taken satanic perversity to an abstract entity. those moral imputing properties not be difficult to find sentences Now it would of the same
whose sense does conform to their surface grammar:

Justice Justice Justice

is a universal is definable is a moral


In all of them assigns
the same

correct construction is the one that the obviously to the term in the subject position the predicate in exactly
way as does "Abraham is pious": "is a universal" is not

being predicated to say that if Socrates itself. (where alternative Let us call "B" names reading,
is impartial is steadfast

of the


is just, this reading a property) required

of Justice (we would he is a universal), but of the sentence-form Predication." "Ordinary sentences like

not want of Justice "B is A" The


Justice Courage

Charity is kind, we may call, after the Pauline "Pauline predication." paradigm, look at the Socratic So when we is pious," "Justice sentence, we have to decide or Pauline, is Ordinary, is whether what it 88


1 owe



and much

in Plato, presented predication who Peterson Sandra Wallace, use of "Pauline However, my It does her paper so for reasons whose been (which I have

on self to a paper else (cf. n. 96 below) to my seminar (fall of 1965) by Professor was a graduate at Princeton. then student from publication hers. of

differs predication" substantially the await had best explanation on her for years). urging



the question is put that way I doubt if any When predication.89 one would for the latter. But how would we in opting hesitate it be by arguing that to read it the Would justify that choice? as an Ordinary would other way, absurdity? predication, produce to affirm not want That Socrates would be too easy. That would an absurdity we may see that reading of to predicate But would Socrates' closer But can we be sure that he would all agree. I would find it absurd it as an absurdity? or geometrical of numbers moral figures. properties a Pythagorean? then should not.90 Why Probably of what than does not, be makes sense, and what to a Pythagorean's? That sort of question is to say, if it is evidence?that by empirical of philosophy. And by on the history of books wrote much Bertrand Russell


to mine

can only be decided being raised and answered by historians I do not mean that people who write philosophy. of his?half other histories To do this of it out of his in the way own

of philosophy?is of philosophy. Russell, who was have conceded would undoubtedly in his when

the other half out of head, as a historian not to qualify a clear-headed and honest man, that he did not

except qualify, The Philosophy of Leibniz. briefly, youth, If history is this: is an empirical disci The crux of the matter so is the history of philosophy. And no one can practice the pline, even the most to submit method unless he is willing empirical own or those of others?to presumptions?his deeply entrenched of factual data. the arbitrament he wrote We have the con Certainly. not come to us as an isolated text, text. "Justice is pious" does I comes in a longish, like a Heraclitean fragment. argumentative, it is joined by inferential links to dozens of other where passage, is if "Justice is pious" is being used So if our question sentences. have such data here?
of argument conditionalized (1) in II.2 above had been analysis sentence the other three / that this in Premises (and hypothesis are Pauline sen 2 of this the opening and (cf. predications argument) I have now reached the point where I can argue tence in n. 82 above). for that hypothesis. 90 cited the passages I say See [1962, e.g. 302-303], by Guthrie and it is hard to know the evidence is second-hand because "probably" if, as Alexander (Met. 38, 10 ff.), reports they made exactly what they meant The the "the defining property of justice and found this to exist in 89

Do we


reciprocity numbers."

absurdly, Pauline one, as an we Ordinary look may predication, for the answer or not

non-absurdly, to our as intuition? a

which what work of what teams and 2 our

would we want

have used it, while only inform us how we would to its own to know is how?Socrates used it?but How to do? does that sentence behave there? What

inferential The


is it made

us with a clear picture discussion foregoing presents Socrates does with in our passage: "Justice is pious" he 1 it up with the three other sentences Premises that make up of them substitution-instances of establish of Justice the Similarity sort of similarity, which

of Argument (1)?all "B is A" sentence-form?to

the and Piety, this, I argued, being it follows follows directly from the fact that, given those premises, and is just and pious is just and pious, that Justice and Piety two virtues each other in these two hence that the resemble 91 Thesis that the Similarity Now I noted at one point respects. to imply Biconditionality. So here we have a condi is supposed tion which must be satisfied by our reading of the statements that Call it Justice is just and pious and that Piety is just and pious. on those state C." Let us try out both readings "Conditions Read as Pauline and see what happens. ments, they predications For so read, "Justice is just and meet Condition C to perfection. instantiates that anyone who Justice will pious" implies directly and exactly the same is true for the Pauline be just and pious; reading of "Piety is pious we read those statements can get out has of "Justice those certain have that and just." as Ordinary Suppose, that alternatively, Then all we predications.

Justice, versal has instances Justice, not follow

is just and pious" is that the universal, two properties. And from the fact that a uni to the effect that its nothing follows properties properties. Thus from the fact that the it does

those each

is incorporeal, is invariant, entity, of those human instantiate it is beings who an abstract is incorporeal. So if "Justice is invariant, entity, of our "B is A" is pious" and the other three substitution-instances make the premises of Argument sentence form which (1) are as Pauline of connection

is an abstract


Condition predications, Thesis the Similarity

C is satisfied: with the








If on which works like a dream, is counting, Socrates at all. are read as Ordinary it does not work predications they for the claim that the Pauline evidence This is good empirical one in is the right reading?the of "Justice is pious" reading which Socrates meant his sentence to be understood. of the same sort for the Pauline evidence Additional reading can be of the "B is A" sentence-form substitution-instances of Argu Thus consider out of our passage. the conclusion got I trust it is obvious ment "Wisdom is Courage." (4): by this So it has to be time that the "is" here cannot mean identity. as it is probably is convertible, And if the predication predicative. meant is that Wisdom to be,92 what Socrates thinks he has proved of are inter-predicable?that and Wisdom is courageous and Courage That What kind of predication would that be? is wise. Courage to imply follows from the fact that it is meant it has to be Pauline of Wisdom and Courage, that is to say, that the biconditionality C has to be satisfied here as before. There can be no Condition doubt about satisfied: Courage" Courage
again we

to be expect that condition is that his conclusion He takes it for granted "Wisdom 93 of Protagoras' claim that has proved the contradictory are not biconditionally So here and Wisdom related: the fact that Socrates does
can argue as before, appealing exactly to the same

reasoning, is predicated


need not be repeated: of Wisdom" and "Wisdom

are Ordinary Predications, they that his conclusion confidence implies and Wisdom. If, on the other Courage fully, they sustain that conclusion understand why Socrates does not they do.94
92 93 ditionality responds Wisdom. 94 "Courage Predications rates N. See 34 above.

"Courage is predicated of Courage" do nothing to sustain Socrates' of biconditionality are Pauline, they and so immediately that we can the hand, trouble to spell out the fact that

If the sentences

in n. 72 above. statement quoted Protagoras' of the other and four between any Courage to establish the biconditionality by undertaking (and logically independent) and Wisdom of Wisdom derived by considering that "Wisdom the

He of


bicon Socrates and


Courage for as which

Supplementary is predicated may this be to have

reason of

Courage" from premises The

reading Pauline Soc

purports of antecedent

proved conclusion

is Courage."



450 I could
instances of

the "B

to show
is A"


all of

the other
our passage

are meant


to be read as Pauline purpose. particularly, just," and There as is

Predications.95 one pair of at the

But of

this would that essay: this


not be to my interests me "Justice is

I stated


came into my These in argument "Piety is pious." before the last. But I did not single them out the paragraph there for special attention. to bring I wanted them up in the same way are brought as two of in which up in the text: they sentences, that inference all four of which Justice and must mesh are similar in to implement the because Justice


Piety is just and pious is just and pious. and Piety By observing we have the best chance them in their own linguistic environment to see two complementary things about them, neither of which has ever been noticed in print: We can see, first, how similar in form are the so from sentences with in Premise those anybody, who has
also most


1, whose in Premise

scandalizing the eye of anyone
the wisest (350C2-4V are

syntax has been thought so far 2, whose syntax, does not even seem to have caught ever published on this topic.96 If we
and being most confident are bravest are most implying would get con that


which fident those of

should and who

out it as a Pauline of Wisdom" predication. it as an Ordinary to mean "Justice s predication, a non sequitur: we would from the premise "All who produce courageous," not F have G" it does follow have that "the property F property property are just are thus if "All who it would not has itself the property G"; persons" that "Justice follow is a person." 95 "Virtue to be Pauline Thus is noble" and is noble" have "Courage "Courage If, however, is predicated we read predications; are which virtuous to mesh in extensional and in with form) "All the the other have are they brave premises to be noble." that xxxii. of in the translated I did argument into (all of "All the

be understood probably bravest (cf. Vlastos, 1956, are brave, are wise which

to mean xxxii-xxxiii


the wisest notes), we what


is precisely if we read

are noble"

explanation transformation what Wisdom restated 'named' has 1 above?that

so much (without of importance) on been the said "Wisdom Temperance the canonical and are form

as noticing in 1956, conclusion Temperance coextensive of

I was

the latter without a syntactical making on if one reflects Again, (2) could will in Section II, that only mean see that if it were

Argument are one"

and in


[predicatively] 96 It was above).

[predicatively] 'Wisdom'," first called

sc. that "Wisdom the Unity is Theory, " and is 'named' 'Temperance' "Temperance the predications could only be Pauline. attention in Sandra Wallace's paper (n. 88

to my




have to say that in all going by surface grammar we would a property four sentences and of a property, is being predicated we would then be bound to say that the absurdity perpetrated by no less by "Justice is pious." is just" is perpetrated No "Justice
one has ever turned a hair over "Justice is pious"?obviously

has been reading it as a Pauline everyone predication. when we then read "Justice is just" differently? Why Secondly, see the four sentences working we observe that their together, because demands that their true syntax should be the same cooperation to be Pauline if they are to ?that all four have predications, a conclusion which satisfies conditions C, that is to say, produce if they are to empower us to infer from the premise-set the sort of Justice and Piety which between their bicon implies similarity ditionality.

We Justice the



the best

of evidence?empirical
such vehemence in our


is just and that Piety is pious he did not mean a that Justice is a just eidos and Piety absurdity is such that one, but the analytic truth that the eidos, Justice, pious are just, and the eidos, Piety, all of its instances is such that all It follows that neither of its instances are pious. sentence implies 97 there is no reason to that Justice or Piety are self-predicative: to have that implication, think that they were meant and there is text that to assert

seems to have entered Platonic "self-pr?dication" exegesis There "O is self-predicable" is used to mean "O s F," paper. "F" the character of a Form, "O" is the name to that corresponding to "Justice"), Form and "e" is the Peano for class (as e.g. "just" symbol use This of had been inherited membership). "self-predication by The term via my where 1954 illustrated of inter itself" alia "predicated by on a confusion a it as turning between explained the assertion of an identity" and from Bertrand [1937, predication 355]) Russell the meaning of "predicable" in the expression (where "predicates are predicable was which of themselves" in terms elucidated of explicitly the Peano e [1903, 78 ff.]. scholar who in used Every "self-predication" in discussions of the Third Man and allied in Plato print Argument topics to this usage the next adhered to my decade, However, during knowledge. in 1965, we find term to make G. E. L. Owen the it cover stretching " as 'man "truistic sentences such and is man' 'a man is a man' [1965, 134 and that is "implied" Aristotelian ff.) saying self-predication by Ka6' a?x? in Post. An. the where in blank (as 83A18, predication "? ?Gii would or by the proper name be filled ?vBpamoC, by ? avopamoc of a man," not come within would of implying 'Man e man'). miles (which Since to license is no patent there office are terms of art, scholars scholarly and A. E. Taylor (who "Whiteness is white" had


reason to think that they were cogent some importance. Let me explain why: not.

This is a finding of

IV If Plato are had committed he himself have then For to the thesis that all Forms

self-predicative, of his Theory. coherence have Form


shattered the Form

to be plural, and the Form of Motion in the system is required to be unitary no long and complicated chain would be immediate: consequence to detect it. One of those of reasoning would have been needed two Forms in Platonic figures prominently of Motion is mentioned in the Parmenides Great Kinds for unrestricted for someone discussions:

the irreparably of Plurality would while mobile, every The and immobile.


Form and taken

is one of the Five

declared discover would tion.

long To result. the horrendous to have declared have sufficed Thus

(129E1, 136B5), in the Sophist. If Plato had it could hardly have self-predication on Plurality or Motion to try it out and block for that restricted Rest,
Have we

consequence self-predica self-predication
then any


in the case of Unity,
been mandatory and


good unrestricted 1954


to believe

that Plato

in self-predication? that Plato I emphasized I of his Theory listed it nonetheless among the general assumptions I said, it "is certainly because, implied by various things he said references and believed" included "Justice is just" and (336) ;my in the Protagoras." "Piety is pious"

himself really committed on the Third Man In my paper such a thing. had never asserted


term to change in this way. of a technical there the sense But liberty a term is danger of failure in communication which if that very application was use of the to be a normal to exclude introduced is subsequently assumed identical only linguistic expression. as defined above. 98 Cf. Vlastos, 75-76. 1969, 99 The only other references (a) (b) in Phd. phrase itself"; Beauty statement Socrates' have present o??vTtep turned in t? white, them, 7iap?v, the In this paper "self-predication" will be used


I gave were "if anything 217D7-E1 have become

else that Whiteness XeuKct?.)

is beautiful, when a man's as " that (tots

besides hairs is

in Ly. "they white ^sdkou


which ?y?vovTO

through 7capoua?a



of those two sen My present paper refutes that construction so far from being tences. is correct, If my present argument "the star instance of self-predication" they had been taken to are not an instance of self be by others beside myself,100 they at all. At this point a new and exciting predication possibility a not the same be true in all cases where Might illicit assertion would result from taking at face value logically a Platonic the look of self-predication? text that wears The only to answer this question would be to go through each of the way to learn each in its own context texts in question, investigating our intuition?what from in all probability from the context?not opens up:

My in

view the

Symposium Not construction. is much the


as I shall the context below: unchanged, explain us assure the data which the gives self-predicative so in the case of (b). in the Lysis the context Though on the sense to provide for a reasoned the basis too meager decision to rcap?v : cf. crucial [i.e. phrase, o??vrcep ol?vrcep ^euKOTn? of (a) remains

in D5-6], in the Republic there is a parallel which X81)kott|to? 7capo6ar|? us with the required data: does provide linguistic sort of thing if we discover what But Justice eau 8iKaiocj?vr| ), is(o??v to differ in no way from the just man will we it, but to be in require as Justice ? is (toio?tov such e?va? olov every way 8iKaiorj?vr| ecjt?v) to approximate Or shall we be content if he were and it most closely have I have clearly I have think o?ov a greater underscored the that "is" of share the of two it than do the of rest? (472B7-C2) I take it to be translator (every would that anyone be made). Now if or XeuK?Tnc X&vk?v I would thus emend occurrences because "is," cases in both imagine could

consulted a case

not identity, so taken has for

of predication, I cannot it, and "has" this the sense, same

oiKaiOCT?vn. in the Lysis must [?cjTiv] on Ly. 217D7-E1 my gloss

translating ?cjT?v here has also have


o??vrcep sense.

in my 1954 paper (loc. cit.), are "such the white hairs as" or "of the same as" (o??vrcep) quality the same quality that Whiteness Whiteness; has, they have to "is." the last word In neither from "has" the does passage by changing it is. Hence have the quality which should that the Form require reasoning on grounds it into the text is gratuitous; it should of be rejected reading n. in Vlastos, add Ross 337, 1954, 33, given sees who in those "the crudest form" the sentences in which 88]), occurs to in Plato; them also Hackforth cites 22, n. 1] who [1945, a sense as "existents of Forms illustrate in such that each Plato's thinking the itself the has illusion the character that the that it is." of ascription and interests reference The latter should help to Plato was made self-predication were primarily philosophical, training then Professor of Ancient Laurence subsequent to my economy. references

methodological 100 To [1951, mistake Form dispel

whose only by scholars rather than philological: in Cambridge, Philosophy 1954 papers would be

Hackforth, was a classicist. References to be worth too numerous compiling.



it is being used to say. With that has gone on all the wrangling over self-predication one would have the last two decades, during would have been carried out that such an investigation thought If it has, I do not know of it. We have had long before this time. of them valuable, and opinions scattered observations, many by of the lin the gallon. But a systematic, exhaustive, scrutiny to data which would guistic give us a firm basis for an answer has yet to appear in print. its appearance, my question Pending a forecast on the basis of my own, still let me venture personal of the texts. This is that many of the sentences incomplete, study in the past which have been taken as instances of self-predication will turn out to have been include blatant all the cases absurdity. in which But will this group will predications; the self-predicative reading will yield there will be some for which the self Pauline

reading predicative no obvious ineptitude

survive, and these will be sentences where will result?where be the sense would so by modern ancient standards, by tolerably extremely plausible ones. of each?the sort of example Let me offer an example can be


are so







as Plato of Animal In the Timaeus speaks of the Form ? ecjTiv ? ov :101 a phrase which, translated could mean literally, 102 And since he also is [i.e. really "that which is] Animal."
101 102 F "prima

39E7-8. As A. facie R. out has Lacey pointed three meanings: have could [1959, 51], the phrase ? sgtiv

(i) (ii) (iii)
That the R.

That F which is [i.e., which really is, which is real]. That thing which F is [i.e. that thing with which



That thing which
(the augments sense not be could ouk in

is [an] F

[or 'which really is F']."

the phrase is clear ou t? e??o? ?ti psvTOi apTt s^eye? Tiote?, ? 8f| . . . OukoOv K?ivnv ?XX? e? pf| ? ?rjTiv Tiv?; cpapev K?ivn, ti ToiouTov ov 08 o? ; Here oi)K av t? ov Tiois?, ?XX? o?ov t? ov, Tcolei, sense stands ? ecru kX?vu is clearly for the (iii) unambiguously precluded: contrast to an instance of the Form, in explicit Plato which Form designates " " of the citation the second half there And (note ti?. especially by kX?vt\ to ?v) that in ? ?cmv of the participle, shows the verb the neuter form from 597A4-5, ? scjti e?va? is being used as a one-place (the copula first part of "incomplete" the citation, not as a (in its "complete" sense), predicate Hence here in the also sense). (and, therefore, from which the second to be would is inferred)

are mine). brackets square occurrences in some of (iii)

speaks of it as "the perfect

(tco rcavTe^ei ?opop),103 we



all the

evidence thinking linguistic as a the Form of ?coov is ?coov.104 Could that be meant can assure that the ourselves We statement? self-predicative answer has to be "No" without to bank on our intuition having say that




that he would

or to indulge our charitable inclinations towards Plato, our desire can argue for a fool of himself. to save him from making We to have the "No" as follows: He would nothing absolutely so thinking it would advance of the Form of Animal: gain by none of Forms; he postulates for which the existence of the stated purposes on the contrary, defeat disastrously the chief it would an eternal, which is to provide the Creator with among them, as for Plato thinks of all living immutable,105 model; things

and if the Form of Animal were [an] animal the result moving, a contradiction?that cannot move which would be by hypothesis moves. be such an obvious one that And the contradiction would he could hardly miss it.

have the

no sense, to be translated either to exist would make because (which is being which ? ?cm KXivn also instance, contrasted, ti?, with ka,?vt| or else to should translate: be, to be real. So we exists) really the Form, which Were that he does not make you not saying just now ... we So since he does not make that say Bed is, but a bed? [really] which is like [really] the real [1957, passages is, he one, 260] does but takes where not make is not "o he real. to mean the sense. "what W. is identical that R. this Mills with x," sense, it is obvious is the ?cm" thinks the real one, but something which


Cherniss several

citing without translates

explaining "o ?cm

to be this has why X X" "that which "that after which X

in fact implied since " 'to name something act of the of predicating in 1958). this implication an He would

really is" really

is," but argues is the nominatum of Plato's (cf. his on

[1957, 146] is that (iii) of "X" and

is one (a Form)' of something" attribute is, of

of the descriptions continued discussion

and the latter point, course, perfectly right follow 'F' ") were if "is F" (and "is named certainly an Ordinary it would Pauline. For an extended if it were not, predication; in which the Form of F is the "real" F, or that of the sense interpretation see Vlastos 2 ff.; but 11 ff. and which for Plato is "really 1966, F, 1965, a systematic of neither of the meaning undertakes paper investigation to in its various and there does not seem ? ?rjTi occurrences, phrase An be in the literature. exhaustive of this would any study topic welcome. 103 31B; Top T8?.8G) ?cocp, 39E. 104 : one of K?,?vat auTai these Cf. R. 597B5, y?yvovTat TptTTa? tivs? is the Form of Bed. three "beds" 105 28E, KGiT? Ta?T? Kai dbaotUTC?? ?xov. 28A, ?ei Korea Ta?T? ov. Plato's be



reasons for saying that when But we have as good contextual as he refers to the Form of Beauty in the Symposium (211C-D) ? 8GTi K?k?v, he does mean to predicate "is beautiful" of the Form of Beauty.106 There the context makes it clear that this is what to say?what he wants he has to say, to implement the theory of were not itself Beauty, 108 and flawlessly beautiful eternally, absolutely, universally, for which the Platonic lover longs, the substantive doctrine object eros would of Platonic to rest on since it is visibly made collapse, 109 the theses that what is loved is the beautiful and that Beauty itself is more than is any of its instances.110 To read lovable as a Pauline is beautiful" would be to turn "Beauty predication love he is expounding.107 If the Form, the for that redirection of inconsequence eros prescribes, of sensuality, which Platonic desire, while the thesis that Beauty itself is the supremely beautiful thing to epitomize in existence is meant the liberating, life energizing, that mutation of that doctrine. wisdom To paraphrase self out of "Beauty is beautiful" would be not to translate predication as through an the vision which may be glimpsed but to obliterate transforming
iridescent 106 crystal in that sentence.111

it into

a truism

of utter

cited only objects

at the close I pointed this out the self-predicative in n. 43 above: a nuisance for Plato in epistemological in other contexts where kind of value, and of the 107 Cf. IOLP above. 108 211A1-5. Smp. 109 204D3-5. Smp. 110 211D-E. Smp. 111 In a fuller treatment to venture a


the two papers of the second of "the F is F" would be reading have but would contexts, great as assume "Forms their other role, Plato claimed for them" (18-19),.


of value



point "the

self-predicationists" be better may though hardly adequate, difference between his of interpretation is F" in Plato and the one I have defended the e.g. "is" in "is F" in "Beauty for the identity, to express is beautiful." and identity. Here

long-overdue by R.

topic response E. Allen

I would to the







[1960, than nothing: the sentence-form, in this paper to "is" must

delightful 147 ff.].

on onslaught The following, crux The of the "the Form Allen could be of F takes true

is this: this

I fail the

see how

above: the doctrine given of necessary consequence and that nothing is loveworthy unless it is beautiful; (supremely) loveworthy or "Beauty the identity, "the beautiful is the beautiful," is Beauty," could not begin to capture this doctrine. Nor sense could be the intended identity of "justice in the Prt., is just" and "Piety is pious" for that would the spoil : If Premise 1 asserted are that Justice and Piety (cf. II, 2 above) argument beautiful is a clear


not express predication, that Beauty is (supremely) the doctrine that Beauty is

THE UNITY OF THE VIRTUES Some a writer readers could are bound used it mean,




sistently, making such radically different in different But warning, things places. of such behavior: there is a simple explanation Plato was himself unaware of the ambiguity. sentences may That ambiguous be of is a commonplace ambiguity one modern to borrow How of us, of many linguistics. to the three-way would Chomsky's examples, twig simpler of "I had a book stolen" to use the if we happened ambiguity 112 This might the retort that such things hap phrase? provoke but hardly to a writer pen to ordinary folk in unreflective contexts, used without of their of exquisitively sensitive would have ambiguity success of with of his the reflection prose been in contexts of the can venture. where the detection moment the for to counter common of the with fate things This utmost Are we awareness

to ask at this point if so fastidious ? 8gti F, so incon the same phrase, or even without the slightest apology

philosophical that not even which

language-users, words without be much concerns

genius is to know that


escape how to do certain one is doing them?

would which

too general. It would at issue, beg the question the ability of the uncommonly talented precisely more definite to rise above common limitations. and Something concrete I am ready to produce is needed to convince the sceptic. evidence of that

use of the "B is A" sort. In a study of Plato's I believe in the Sophist,11* I have shown that he sentence-form, uses the important "Motion is resting," substitution-instance, no awareness with that its evident falsehood when read as a Pauline when can be matched by predication read as an Ordinary predication.
how conclusion? and is both could this truism "Justice be

its no

less evident


self-identical, required is self-identical in that


with spliced is self-identical that similar on of Justice in this

Premise and



to yield the and "Piety are way similar which with It was


cannot just" we just and pious

infer (or

and Piety some other and

could be plausibly

thought to imply the biconditionality
contribution 1954

of the two virtues).
other points to the debate.

other difference of my in spite However, I consider it a most Allen's valuable paper, a splendid the imputation protest against to Plato which to be which I was sponsoring in my had been blandly accepted by many still widely accepted today. 112 21. 1965, 113 Chomsky, To appear in my book forthcoming

(unrestricted) self-predication on the Third and Man, paper others beside and appears myself



8 above).

From our passage in the Protagoras we

may learn one more

anyone tempted preternatural Great stylist though should take to heart: linguistic clairvoyance a composition is whose he was, Plato could still produce thought can be taken from the so muddy. The measure of its unclarity that have been put on it over the years variety of interpretations skilled and erudite In the light of the preceding scholars. by one need a second look at Socrates' discussion discourse only take source of the unclarity to see where the main The speaker lies. thing has theses to straighten out to the point of seeing which his interconnections failed for himself exactly intuition how the meaning they sustain him of his those they three logical If have.

on which

to credit Plato with


he had

to the he is imputing spelled out the sort of similarity as I did on his behalf above, he could hardly have resorted virtues so vague as to say in one place to phraseology that they (331B) are "either the same thing or as similar as two things could pos

"that they are nearly the same" (338B) sibly be" and in another their similarity and explained analogy which by the gold-bar almost forces on the reader the very thing which Socrates does not mean: Nor yet in the case of the Unity blank homogeneity. to say that the names he have been content of all Thesis would at least the virtues are names of the same thing, without offering that modicum which names exorcises of the of explanation we get in the passage in the Phaedo the linguistic that all of them are proper absurdity same thing. To this extent what I have offered in

to be, not a reproduction of its writer's is, and is meant of it. My argument but a clarification has been that thought, as Pauline is just" and "Justice used "Justice is pious" Plato that he knew he did.114 Had he come to know predications?not this paper this, I dare of the Unity of his own of Socrates' doctrine say that not only his exposition of the Virtues, but the whole subsequent development would have been different. philosophy, Princeton University.

114 reached by

This even

the Sophist.

was to be not of the "B is A" sentence-form disambiguation at this high-point of Plato's achievement represented logical not even reached It was cf. TLPA above. by Aristotle:

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