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archive.Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2009 with funding from Ontario Council of University Libraries http://www.org/details/platotaylOOtayl .

Philosophies Ancient and Modern PLATO .

RELIGIONS: ANCIENT
Vnimm. Th* Raligioni of Ancient

AND MODERN
of
(hi
,

Animism. Bj Edward Olodd, author of The Story of Creation. PantheimL By Jauu Allansom Picton, author of The Religion

Cllina. By Professor GiLKS, LL. D. Professoi of Ohineae in the Univenity of Cambridge. Th« HAligion Of Ancient Greece. By Jan> Harrison, Lecturer at| Newnham Oollege, Oambridge, author of Frolegomena to Study of OreeJa
Beligion.
(

Illam. By the

Rt Hon. Ambkr Ali Sted, of the Judicial Ck>minittee of His) M»imtf» Prlry Council, author of The Spirit of Islam and Ethics of Islam. lU|dC and FetisMsm. By Dr. A. C. Haddon, F.R.S., Lecturer on
Ethnology at Cambridge University.
F.R.8.

The Religion of Ancient Egypt. By Professor W. M. Flindsrb
late

Petrib.

The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria. By Thkophilos G. Pinohu, \
ofthe
British

Museum.

Ear^ Buddhism. By
The Royal Asiatic

Professor

Rhys Davids, LL.D.,

late Secretary of/
f

iSociety.

Hlndnlsm. By

Scandinavian Religion.

Dr. L. D. Barnktt, of the Department of OrienUl Printed! 1 Books and MSB., British Museum. By William a. CaAiois, Joint Editor of th(
Oitford Enalish Dictionary.

Celtic Religion. By Professor Anwtl, Professor of Welsh at University Oollege, Aberystwyth. The Kythology of Ancient Britain and Ireland. By Charlbs Sqdirb, author of The Mythology of the British Islands. Jndaism. By Israel Abrahams, Lecturer in Talmudic Literature in Cambridge University, author of Jewish Life in the MidcUe Ages. The Religion of Ancient Rome. By Cyril Bailey, M.A. Shinto, The Ancient Religion of Japan. By W. G. Aston, C. M. G. The Religion of Ancient Mexico and Pern. By Lewis Spknce, M.A. Early Christianity. By a. B. Black, Professor at M'Gill University. The Psychological Origin and Nature of Religion. By Professoi V J. H. Leubat The Religion of Ancient Palestine, By Stanley a. Coob.

PHILOSOPHIES
Early Greek Philosophy.
Greece,

f

By

A. W. Benn, author of The Phiioeophy oj

RatUmalism in

the Nineteenth Century.

ttoicism.

Professor St. George Stock, author of D9dvetiv$ U>9ic, of Flato, etc. By Professor A. B. Taylor, St. Andrews University, author of Plato. Th€ Problem of Conduct.

By

editor of the

Apdogy

i

I

'

Scholasticism.

By Father Rickaby,

S. J.

Hobbes.
Locke.

By Professor A. B. Taylor. By Professor Alexander, of Owens Oollege. ApoUoComte and M"l By T. WerrrABBR, author of The NeoplatonisU
nius of Tyana and other Essays.

Herbert Spencer.

By W. H. Hudsob, author
Whittaker.

of

An

IrUroduction «o|

Spencer's Philosophy. Schopenhauer. By T.

By Professor Campbell Fraser, D.C.L., LL.D. Swedenborg. By Dr. Bewall . Ludovioi. HietJMChe His Life and Works. By Akthohy M. Bergson. By Joseph Bolomow. Rationalism. By J. M. Robbrtsom.
Berkeley.
:

J

PLATO
aV

ErTAYLOR

LONDON

CONSTABLE ^ COMPANY Ltd
10

ORANGE STREET LEICESTER
1914

S^^UARB

e

My object has been to sit as loose as possible to all the tradi- tional expositions of Platonism. The it list of works useful to the student.FOREWORD Ths following sketch makes no claim to be considered as a complete account of the philo- sophy of Plato. though comprises a few of those which I merely have myself give found useful or important. many cases followed my and have therefore in own judgment on disputit able points without attempting to support by the detailed reasoning which would be indispensable in a work of larger scope. controversial discussion. and others only treated with the utmost attainable brevity. as far as possiblo. I have also thought all it necessary to avoid. will my reader the opportunity to form his own judgment by comparing my interpretations with those of V . Many topics of importance have been omitted altogether. and to give in broad outline the personal philosopher's thought which I impression of the have derived from repeated study of the Platonic text.

PLATO others. A. I hope.E. Those who are most competent to con- demn the numerous defects of my little book will. T. be also most indulgent in their verdict on an attempt to compress into so small a compass influential of an account of the most original and all philosophies. VI .

.... and 34 UL Tbb Soul of Max — Pstcholoot..149 vfl ..... LiFi AVD Writings ... OOSMOLOOT . #> 137 SlLICT BiBLIOORAFDT .CONTENTS I. Ethics. .. Politics 73 !.. ObJBCTS v 1 IL KVOWLEOOB AHD ITS .

.

i^. earliest in date is that of the African rhetorician and romance-writer who belongs to the middle and later half of the second century A. though much of its material is taken from earlier and better sources. the sixth century after earliest extant bio- Thus the .D. from a time not long before the middle of the third century A. a compilation which dates. There is a longer biography in the scrap-book commonly known as the Lives of tfie PhUoaophera by Diogenes of Laerte. between historical fact and romantic the Of to us Lives of Plato which have * come down from ancient times.PLATO CHAPTER LIFE 1 AND WRITINGS life The in traditional story of the it of Plato is one which * is unusually difficult to distinguish fiction..D. the Apuleius. in its present form. 'lives' belong to the latest age The remaining Christ and of Neo-Platonism. later.

be no more than an artistic His contemporary Xenophon literary fiction. however. mem- From Aristotle we further learn that Plato. Plato himself has recorded only two facts about his in the Apology. In the Phaedo he adds that he was absent from the famous death-scene in the prison.accredited the results we obtain are singularly meagre. merely mentions him once in passing as a ber of the inner Socratic circle. owing to an illness. and must be taken to represent the Platonic legend as it was current in a most uncritical age. When we try to get behind this legend to its basis in fact. 2 . impaired by his Aristotle. a statement which may. as a young man. well. Socrates. whose credibility is. a pupil of and a well-known writer on music. that own life.PLATO graphy of the philosopher comes to us from a time four hundred years after his death. the trial he was present in court at of his master Socrates. He tells us. apparently before his intimacy with had been a pupil Cratylus. however. and that he was one of the friends who offered to be surety for the payment of any fine which might be imposed on the old philosopher. of the Heraclitean philosopher A few anecdotes of an unfavourable kind are related by Diogenes of Laerte on the authority of Aristoxenus of Messene.

The dates of Plato's and death are.. The way which Xenophon. moreover. taken together with the promi- nence given in the Platonic dialogues to Charmides and Qritias as friends of Socrates. in the his one solitary statement. and died in in 846. fixed for us by the unimpeachable authority of the Alexandrian chronologists. purport- 3 . according to was a near relative which has to be borne in mind in reading severe strictures upon Athenian democracy.C. a ' leader of the oligarchy of the up by the Spartans in Athens at the close of the Pelo- ponnesian war. confirms the later tradition. a further source of ' which Plato himself of the two oligarchs. couples Thirty. and his anxiety to deny them all philosophical originality. B.' a fact his in- formation.LIFE AND WRTTTNOS onmiBtakablo persoDal animus against Socrates and birth Plato.one. We may thus take as certain that Plato was born in the year 427 early in the great Peloponnesian war. at the age of eighty. indeed. There remains. whose testimony has been preit enred by Diogenes. if its authenticity could be r^arded as established. would be of the very highest valua Among the writings ascribed to Plato and preserred in our ancient manuscripts there is a collection of thirteen letters.' set name of Plato with that of Charmides. which.

C. We further know from Diogenes of Laerte that cer- had been included in the earlier edition of Plato by the famous scholar Aristophanes.. As to the history of this collection of letters. not of itself proof of their genuineness. since the edition of Thrasyllus contained works which we can spurious.PLATO icg to be written by the philosopher himself. of his political 7*elations with the court of Syracuse. genuine. and. of which ostensibly contain a good deal of autobiographical detail. is the scholar Thrasyllus in his complete edition of the works of Plato. but we are not told which or present collection how many of our Aristophanes recognised. In particular the seventh the longest and most important of the group. presently to be narrated. . the century when they were included by This. When we examine 4 the extant letters . who was hbrarian of the great museum tain 'letters' of Alexandria towards the end of the second century B. absolutely confirms the later story.D. such as the Theages now show to be and Frastae. all that we know first for certain is that they were in existence and were iji regarded as Platonic early A. professes to contain the philosopher's vindication of his life own if long abstention from taking of his part in the public life country. some letter. however.

and notably the seventh. the only letter of real importance. Lysis).LTFF ANP WT^TTTVOR themAelvos. are in no rence. to allude to character- amoe some of them appear istic doctrines of the Neo-Pythagoreanism which first arose about the beginning of the century before Christ. in that Grote has stood alone. would explain a in Plato's later certain increase of pessimism writings on political philosophy. Pliaedo. It is another question whether some at least of the collection. among recent scholars maintaining the genuineness of the whole sot of thirteen letters admitted into the collection of Thrasyllus. therefore. as On the one side. It is not surprising. suspicious that the letter appears to quote directly from at least four Platonic dialogues (the Apology. it contains nothing which might not have been put together with the help of the 5 . and that. apart from the account of Plato's relations with Syracuse. and that their occurwe shall see directly. and the problem must be said to be one upon which competent scholars are not as yet agreed. may not be tho work of Plato. wo seem iod all to tho conclusion that they can hardly be genuine works of Plato. it 18 On the other. Republic. or almost alone. it may be urged that the incidents related in the seventh letter way incredible.

omitting is was what evidently myth or Plato.PLATO dialogues. forgery. the great political theorist. the side.' and the former the leader among its more violent spirits. And yfe must remember that the desire to exhibit Plato. it is at least shall hardly a an early forgery. and Perictione. the last king of Athens. according to another account. as current early in the Christian era. actually at state after his work on the attempt to construct a own heart. and we be wrong in treating the narrative as being. based tradition.C On the mother's side he was closely related to Critias and Char* mides. if been a sufficient the style of the composition shows that. in Aegina. to a divine first ancestor. Still. the son of Ariston mere improving anecdote. 6 . who was himself sprung from Poseidon. his origin god Poseidon. in the year 427 B. . was no less On the father's illustrious. would at any time have motive for the fabrication. too. was born either in /I Athens or. since Ariston was a descendant of Codrus. the family going back through Dropides. upon a trustworthy sources to narit Having premised of our information. at any rate. members of the oligarchy of the Thirty. much as to the we may now proceed this rate in outline the biography of Plato. a relative of the great lawgiver Solon.

however. and had even composed a tragedy Socrates.LIFE Even this AND WRITINGS exalted origin. since that Solon the lawgiver was really a middle-class merchant But the connection with Solon of itself shows that the family was one of the highest distinction as families went in the Athens of Iho late fifth century. probable by the philosopher's own utter- and he is also himself the authority for the descent of Critias from Dropides. assertions about the The further it eminent descent of Dropides seems clear are hardly worthy of credit. (The relationship between Plato and the family of Critias and Charmides is. and thtre is no reason why some of the epigrams ascribed to him in the Greek Anthology should 7 not be genuine. influence of But when he came under the sophy and burned all himself entirely to philohis poems. as we have said. he devoted for public performance.) As a lad. the future philo- sopher was ambitious of poetical fame. Speusippus. and Plato's own nephew. (That so great an imaginative writer as Plato should have begun his literary career as a poet is likely enough. was not thought enough for the philosopher by his admirers. is cited as an authority for the belief that the real father of Perictiono's son was the god Apollo. but the story of the burnt tragedy . made ances.

for the ' its career by the condemnation Cicero.) The first and Socrates took place when Plato was twenty years old. who is the earliest authority apart story of the travels. afterwards to Italy and Sicily.PLATO looks like a fabrication based upon the severe condemnation of poetry in general and the drama in particular in the Republic . Plato got his introduction to philosophy not from Socrates. After the death of the spent of Plato retired from Athens and in foreign travel. The seventh letter speaks merely of a voyage to Italy and Sicily undertaken apparently in con' ' sequence of the writer's disgust with the proceedings of the restored Athenian democracy. The later Platonic legend professes to know more. letters/ According to this story Plato withdrew from 8 . falls in 399 ac. according to Aristotle's statement. nor must we for- get that. from the makes Plato go first to Egypt. some years The accounts the extent of these travels become more and more exaggerated as the narrators are increasingly removed in date from the actual events. which had inaugurated of Socrates. but from association between Plato Cratylus. since the death__pf Socrates msist^r. and relates an entire romance on the subject of Plato's adventures. and their con- nection lasted eight years.

after twelve years of continuous travel. (The tale ran that he further purposed to visit the Persian Magi. where he learned the wisdom of the school priests.TIFF AND WRITIXncj Atbeas on luo aeaiu his friend oi Socrates. Ho then Tiaited Gyrene. by a singular coincidence. his danger Plato was. and Italy. the people had passed a resolution that the first Athenian who should land on the island should be put to death. where he asso- ciated with the members of the Pythagorean who had survived the forcible dissolution of the political power of the sect. Here he visited the court of the vigorous ruler of Syracuse. and resided for a while at the neighbouring city of Megara with and fellow-disciple Eucleides. though some know that Plato had met with Magians and learned their doctrines in Phcenicia. and so displeased that arbitrary monarch by his freedoms of speech that he caused him to be kidnapped by a Spartan ambassador who put him up for sale in the slave-market of Aegina. to enjoy the society of the mathe- matician Theodonis. where..) From letter. have arrived at the age of forty. brings Plato to Sicily. but that this scheme writers professed to failed. Dionysius i. saved from by a man of Gyrene. Italy the legend is said. however. Egypt. who ransomed 9 . where he to on the authority of the seventh i.e.

it impossible to say with certainty. is The story of the kidnapping. told with a good deal of discrepancy in the details many features of it are highly singnlar. when the gradual intermingling of East and West in great cities like Alexandria had given rise to the fancy that Greek science and philosophy had been originally borrowed from Oriental theosophy. (How much different truth there are may is be in this story. the details of differently given by the narrators. PLATO him and which sent him home to Athens. a notion invented by Alex- andrian Neo-Pythagoreans and eagerly accepted by Jews and Christians.. Even the alleged resi- dence in Megara and the voyage to Cyrene. may be no more than inventions based on the the dialogue Theaetetvbs is facts that dedicated to Plato's 10 . in particular. to both Cicero and it appears entirely unknown it and the there is writer of the seventh 'letter/ Hence every ground to regard as pure romance. The same must be said of the story of the twelve years' unbroken travel. and the association of Plato with Oriental priests and magicians. whom it enabled to represent the Greek sages as mere pilferers from the Hebrew scriptures. Stories of this kind were widely circulated from the beginning of the first century before Christ onward.

but can hardly be said to show more knowledge than an Athenian might have acquired at home by reading Herodotus and conversing with traders from the Nile Delta. XI . from about 387 in Athens as the recognised head of a permanent seat of learning.' LIFE AND WRITINGS friend V r* ' !cs of 1 mathc! permmcLe. On the other hand. established. by a visit to the home of Pythagoreanism. as the tradition dating at least from the seventh ' letter MMTts. and with the Pythagorean and that the first is dialogue in which this influence particularly is the Gqrgias. is the story of the visit to Italy and Sicily conwell firmed by the fact that Plato's works.) We have to think of Plato. the work in which. show considerable familiarity both with Pythago rean and OQihic noticeable is science theological ideas.. Megara and that tho Cyrcnian Theodoras is ono of its dramatis So again the frequent allusions in the dialogues to Egypt and Egyptian customs may bo due to reminiscences of actual travel in Egypt.C. as is known. as now first generally recognised. the Cheek cities of Sicily and Southern Italy. as definitely B. Plato speaks for the time in the tone of the head of a philoIt is thus probable that sophical school or sect. then. Plato's final settlement at Athens as a philo- sophical teacher was actually preceded.

markedly different. call it in our modern The home of this institution was in the north-western suburb of Athens known as the Academy. on the other hand. and was not any superficial education 12 to in . which was per- haps (the words of the legend as preserved by Diogenes are obscure. requisite for such a task must first be obtained by a thorough mastery of the principles of science ^ be derived from and philosophy. the rhetorician and publicist had already gathered round him a of similar group of students. was not contem- first institution of the kind rival. rPlato.PLATO a university. Their educational fact. Isocrates desired.) purchased for him by his foreign friends. successful orators and politicians. and foremost. in first both authors bear traces of the rivalry between them. From ' this circumstance the philosophical school founded by Plato came It to be known the in later days as the Academy/ . to turn out accomplished and capable men of action. in consequence of the presence there of a shrine of the local hero Academus. Plato's porary and Isocrates. Here Plato possessed a small property. was convinced that though the trained intelligence ought to direct the course of public the equipment life in a well-ordered society. as we might terminology. and the writings aims were.

in well- known passages. describes tho pupils of Isocrates as 'smatterers' Isocrates. while Plato. unfortunately. first found in the works of a mediaeval Byzantine. in theory at least. the eminent sophists of the Last half of tho * ' fifth century. indicate that the author of tho Re- public carried practice. The great sophist of the past had usually been a distinguished foreigner whose task of making his pupils 'good men. able to manage their own private affairs and the affairs of the . was that their teaching was tinuous. depreciates those of Plato as unpractical theorists. it must be rememby which the education given by both Plato and Isocrates differed from that afforded by The outward bered. and 'pretenders to philosophy. Of the precise nature of tho little teaching in Plato's Academy. more conand that it was.' is.' on his side. is known. story that inscription the door of tho * The Academy bore the Let none unversed in geometry come under this roof.* Thus. indeed. but its spirit is thoroughly Platonic. but the reports of his later tradition. gratuitous. peculiarity.LIFE AND WRITINGS 'general culture. theories of education and made the thorough and systematic study of exact mathematical science the foundation of all further philosophic instruction. such into as they are.

and he had also been a professional educator. It is in virtue of this permanent and organised pursuit of intellectual studies. rather than thorough.PLATO nation well. moreover. Plato and Isocrates. and this absence of professionalism ' ' from their teaching. and where he could remain long studies of his master. in which the education of the pupil could after his be steadily carried on for a protracted period. at least. that we may call Plato and Isocrates the joint what we now understand by university education. The remark I have just made about the absence of professionalism from creators of the idea of ' ' 14 . and therefore inevitably exposed to the temptation to make his instruction attractive and popular. and were hence free from the necessity to make their teaching popular in the it is bad add sense of the term. though only fair to that neither had any objection to the occasional reception of presents from friends or pupils. on the other hand. not dependent for subsistence upon payments by their pupils. time of pupilage proper was over. were the heads of permanent schools.' had to be accomplished in the course of a flying visit of a few weeks or months. and that Isocrates. required a fee from foreign students. as an associate in the They were. depending upon his professional fees for his livelihood.

I hope. as related in the 'letters/ and. when Plato was a man for of sixty and had presided over the Academy twenty years. leaving his kingdom to his son Dionysius il.C. Dionysius L of Sjrracuse died.. the brother-in-law of Dionysius i. when the knowledge of sound prin»5 . Plato himself had written in his Republic that truly good government will only be possible when a king becomes a philosopher. mostly in the bands of Dion. explain Uiat pernstent objection to the sophists' practice of demanding a fee for their courses which Grote found so unreasonable on the part of Plato and Aristotla Plato's long life of quiet absorption in his self- chosen task as a director of scientific studies and a writer on philosophy. ie. apparently without any other authority than the Dion. ' letters. or a philosopher a king.LIFE AND WRITINGS Uieir sobema of instruction will. and an old friend and admirer of Plato. at the time. a weak but impressionable youth. The actual direction of affairs was.' in Plutarch's life of In the year 367 B. was destined to be once at least disastrously interrupted The details of his abortive attempt to put his theories of govern- ment into practice at Syracuse in the histories of Greece. must be sought Here it must suffice to recapitulate the leading facts.

and employ the unlimited power at his command far ? to convert Syracuse into something not removed from the ideal state of Plato's dream To us. the universal belief of Hellas was that a not very dissimilar task had actually been achieved by Lycurgus for Sparta. become the promised philosopher-king. It was the first principle of his political system that nothing but the most thorough training of intelligence in the ideas and methods of science will ever fit a man for the work of enough.PLATO ciples of govorninent and the power to embody them in fact are united in to the same person. Dion seems have thought that the circum- stances at Syracuse offered a favourable oppor- tunity for the realisation of this ideal. such a project seems chimerical Professor Bury has properly reminded us. Plato was accordingly invited to Syracuse to undertake the education of the young His reception was. but. at first. i6 Accord- . ing. under the instructions of the great master. most promisprince. as governing mankind with true insight. but the thoroughness with which he set about accomplishing his work foredoomed it to failure. and there was no a priori reason for doubting that what Lycurgus had done for Sparta could be done for Syracuse by Plato. Why should not Dionysius.

and speedily pressed return to Athens. apparently in the hope of reconcihng Dion result. the rapid development of Dionysius into a reckless tyrant. and began to revolt against Tol of his preceptors. soon grew weary of liB i: prehminary '^ ' drill. but was speedily overthrown :i by the half-brother of Dionysius. : 16 expedition of Dion which led to the downfall flight of Dionysius. AND WRITINGS upon beginning by putting his mirly ho insisted pupil through a thorough course of geometry. for permission to philosopher recognised that his scheme had ailed. A year or two later he paid another visit to Syracuse. Dionysiaa. the assassination of and Dion set by CallippuB. his turn who then himself up as tyrant. have much to do with the relatively disillusioned and pessimistic tone :ie of Plato's political utterances in Theaetetus and Politicua as contrasted with B 17 . naturally enough. another pupil of Plato. not to the bio»f Plato. 1 An opportunity for banishing Dion. but without of The sequel the story. nd the discredit which subsequent events cast upon the members of the Academy. failure not unlikely that the s of the Syracusan enterprise. It is clongs to the history of Sicily. and Dionysius.Li r 1. and though Dionyto .Id lO : have liked keep Plato with him.

and the late Neo-Platonic traditions which make him into a celibate ascetic. \yhich was possibly not circulated until after his death. as the same name had been borne by one of his half-brothers. except that he diei —legend is says at a wedding-feast —in the year 347-6. failed at Syracuse might In his latest work.PLATO the serenity and hopeful spirit of the greater part of the Republic. even in his old ago. are equally worthless. at the age of eighty-one. Plato seems to have clung to the belief that the experiment which had be successful elsewhere. provides for a 'child Adeimantus. a nephew of Plato. The headship of the years to Academy passed i8 first for a few Speusippus. The scurrilous gossip collected by writers like Athenaeus.' who was probably a relative. Nothing further is known which throws any light on the question whether Plato was ever married or left any descendants. Nothing is recorded of the life of Plato after his last return from Syracuse. and . he still insists that chance for the establishment of a really sound form of government lies in the association of a young and high-spirited prince with a wise lawgiver. and is likely enough be genuine. His will. Yet. which to preserved by Diogenes. the the one Laws.

J On his return in 35 he broke away from the Academy. the thought of the later philosopher on iltimate iBaues of speculation ri all the is little more than the echo of the larger utterance of his master. until member from about 367-6 (343-336 B.) as 346. then Thrown Prince of Macedonia. Aristotle of Stageira. in with a pugnacious determination to find him in the wrong on every possible occasion. took an independent course. 19 Of the direct and enor- . and its new school with himself as The formal reverence which Aristotle organised a in his writings for his predecessor head. For ten or eleven years after the death of the master. of whose school he had been a B. expresses was combined Yet. The one man of real genius among the disciples. spite of the carping and unpleasantly self-satisfied tone of most of the Aristotelian criticism of Plato. i n it is perhaps as much by inspiring loc trine of Aristotle as by his own utterances that Plato has continued to our cise own day to exer- an influence in every department of philois sophic thought.C. being for part of the period employed tut^r to the future Alexander the Great.LIFE AND WPTTTVQS then to Xenocratcs of Chalceiiuii.c. he was absent from Athens. which not less potent for being most often unsuspected. another of the master's immediate pupils.

in course of time. would furnish a powerful incentive to the unscrupulous to pro- duce alleged copies of works by famous authors. have come down to us absolutely entire and complete. of Pergamus. works incorrectly ascribed to Plato. thence copies. follow that everything which our extant manuscripts of Plato contain must necessarily be Platonic. we have reason to believe. or deliberately forged in his name.PLATO mously important influence of Platonism on the development of Christian theology this is perhaps hardly the place to speak. would naturally find great library at Alexandria. As it happens. to and make their great collections of books as complete as possible. to be imposed upon the Alexandrian librarians. This is. The works of Plato. first the Academy Indeed. side by side in with genuine writings derived directly from the original manuscripts preserved at at Athens. we do not know either how long the original manuscripts of Plato continued to 20 . and to acquire a standing in the library. for It would be quite easy. as Grote has argued. to be explained by the manuscripts were carefully the Platonic fact that the original preserved in Academy . no doubt. however. It their way into the does not. the very anxiety their imitators the kings of the Ptolemies.

five tri- and adds that the grouping was not carried out *for the rest' Unfortunately.' had been thus divided by Aristophanes into logies.' or groups of four. together with a collection of ' letters. and does not rest upon direct ancient testimony). he does not jU us the titles of the 'rest. Plato in that library that in the The is first trace which has been preeerred of the existence of an edition of the statement of Diogenes of the scholar Aristophanes Byzantium made an arrangement together in ' of the works of Plato.). who the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius {i. nor what works of Plato were originally included Alexandrian library.d. on the analogy of the 21 . in which certain of the dialogues were grouped trilogies/ or sets of three. much later date. Diogenes gives the names of fourteen dialogues. after the fashion of the tragic dramas of the fifth century.' so that wo have no right to assert that everything now included in our manuscripts was recognised as Platonic at Alexandria in the time of Aristophanes.e. made a ' new classification of the Platonic dialogues into tetralogies. which. the very statement that they were kept in the Academy is an infer- ence from the probabilities of the case. in the early part of the first century a. the lived in At a grammarian Thrasyllus.LIFK AiND WKITINGS •xiat undisperaed (indeed.

Of works im- properly ascribed to Plato he reckoned ten. the other hand. including. and that the Alexandrian librarians themselves cannot have been misled or imposed upon. five thirtyletters. the scepticism of those critics of On German the last half of the nineteenth century. has proved itself more untenable. in the The extreme view that nothing contained canon of Thrasyllus vitiated is spurious has found no im- portant defender except Grote. but there has been during the last sixty years a No good deal of discussion as included by Thrasyllus to whether safely all that was may be accepted. 22 . five of which are still extant. the Laws) which are specifically named even as Plato's by Aristotle.g.PLATO old tragic tetralogy of three tragedies followed by a satyric play. Our surest guide in the matter.e. works (e.' dialogues with a collection of thirteen the same as those we now possess. who rejected as spurious many of the most im- portant dialogues. in some instances. whose reasoning is by the double assumption that every- thing accepted as genuine by Thrasyllus must have been guaranteed by the Alexandrian library. * contained nine of these tetralogies. one now supposes that anything which was rejected by Thrasyllus is a genuine work of Plato. The Platonic canon of Thrasyllus i.

with the doubtful excepwhich is not alluded to by him in a way in which. there is tion of the Pcvrmenides. and an increasingly totelian text has careful study of tho Aris- now enabled us Aristotle in though 8ome of the chief dialogues are never actually cited by express words. he never makes use of any works except those of Plato.LIFE AND WRITINGS is wherever obtainable. none of them. There is thus at present a general agreement among scholars that no considerable work in the canon of Thrasyllus is spurious. from tho philosophical point of view. A more important question than that of the genuinoiess or spuriousness of the few minor dialogues about which it is still permiK. the evidence of Aristotle. insignificant. The few dialogues of his list which are either certainly or poflBibly spurious are difference all of them. Until some conclusion has been posed. so far as we can discern. Now it so happens that the only positive piece of 23 . and no is made to our conception of Flatonism by our judgment upon them. it established as to the order in which Plato's principal works wore comis impossible to form any intelligible theory of the development of Plato's thought. to say that.siblo to doubt is presented by the problem of the order of composition of the leading dialogues.

in the main. later than the dialogue But the results which can be won by little considerations of this kind carry us only a way. and the Plmedo from the MenOy must. and educational theories of R^ublic And further. and. as the Republic appears to do from the Fhaedo. had his own theory of the order of the dialogues. be quoted. since it ing the political ii. and for a similar reason recapitulates in its open- the TiTTiaetua must be later than the earlier books of the Republic. is the statement of Aristotle the Heptiblic. that the Laws was a later work than to The dialogues themselves enable us this to supplement statement Sophistea Thus the and Politicua are expressly reprea slight extent. a dialogue which quotes from another.' PLATO information on this point which has to us come down from antiquity. sented as continuations of the conversation contained in the Theaetetus. of course. students of Plato were until forty years ago about as devoid of the means of forming a correct conception of the develop- ment of Plato's thought sis students of Kant would have been of the means of writing the history of Kantianism. and later must therefore be than that dialogue.-v. if the works of come down to us entirely undated. founded upon some fanciful principle of arrange24 Kant had Each scholar .

Tho step towards the detinite solution of the problem by rational methods was taken Politicus. a growing comsensus cinong scholars as to the relative order of succes- 2S . . as ascertained by minute linguistic statistics. there is. in spite of some indiin Isocrates to Plato. by W. on i'iato's linguistic grounds. At the same much has been thrown on the subject by the careful investigation of the more numerous in half- concealed Isocrates. as well as on he strength of ancient tradition. light detail.LIFE AND WRITINGS iii^ iit iui which no convincing grounds could be iirst given. and idual points of disagreement. Lutosadditional work on Tfie Origin and Growth of time. Professor Campbell resem- proposed to treat the amount of stylistic blance between a given dialogue and the Laws. polemical references Plato to The result s that while we are still by no means able to ammge the works of Plato in an absolutely certain serial order. fact by Professor Lewis Campbell in 1867 in his edition of the Sophistea and Starting that the from the universally recognised Laws must. Tho method of investi- gation thus pointed out has been since followed by a number of other scholars. and notably. and with the greatest wealth of lawski in his Plato'e Logic. be regarded as lates t oompoaJtion. as a criterion of relative date.

There as already said. » u The most almost reason. and probably Cratylus. the reader may be referred to the recent work of Hans Raeder. (2) his career as president of the A group of great dialogues in which Plato's literary power is at its height. Euthydemua. and metaphysical conceptions. Platon'a PhiloI shall aophische Entvnckelung.' been called par excellence such as the Apology. Plato's genuine writings into four dialogues. of the For a full account methods just referred to and the results to which they lead.PLATO Bion of the principal dialogues. the predominant preoccupation with questions of ethics. These are: (1) Early marked by the freshness of the dramatic portraiture. Laches. and the absence of the great characteristic Platonic psychological. Euthyphro. Cha/rmides. when Plato was beginning Academy.' To group belong the dialogues which have often Socratic. content myself here with a statement of what appear to be the main results. the latter being is certainly the last of the series. ' particularly of the this famous theory of * Ideas. epistemological. and which are all marked by 26 . to regard the Oorgias as probably composed soon after 387. Crito. important members of the group are the Protagoras and Gorgias. fall on examination main classes.

the processes of logical division and definition. great Theaetetua.TFK AND WUTTTNOS m liriu lo the ceuirai position given me 'theory of Ideas/ with scientific ita corollary. in its turn. to be later than the RepuMie. Sopkiatea. the doctrine that knowledge is reQpllection. the problem of the categories. conclu- sively as I think. BT^itWiVjP^^:^^!'" Of these the Phaedrua has been shown. pretty certainly later than the other two. which. by Lutoslawski. in which the primary objects of consideration are logical questions. last Parmenidea. (3) A fp-nn p nf dialog^ ps of a 'dialectical' kind. dialogues. Pha/vlc. The group two are. by Raeder.C. The Meno apit pears to fiimish the connecting link between this group and the preceding. Since the Phaedrua appears to allude to the Panegyricus of Isocrates.T. The are undoubtedly later than the others. on independent is grounds. An external link is provided between the dialogues exceptional of this group by the prominence given in them Eleatic eoDsistA all to the doctrines of the great philosopher of four Parmenides.. and. which ' was published in 380 B. They 27 . the ' second period of at Plato's activity as a writer must have extended lead down to that year. PoUticua. the nature of true and of false predication. the other members of are the SymffmMm. the meaning of negation.

(4) Three important works remain which form. Actual dates can hardly be determined in connection with these two last groups. in which the aged philosopher. continuations of the conversation in the Theaetetus. begun than and are shown to be later the Farmenides both by linguistic evidence and by the presence in the Sophistes of an explicit allusion to the arguments of the Parmenides.' but for average >urth-century <3hreeks. though it also contains what looks like a distinct reference to that dialogue. Wo can only say that the seven works mentioned must have been written between 380 (the earliest possible date for the Phaed/rm) and 28 . Whether the Tlieaetetus is also later than the Parmenides is still an open question.thaxonatruction of such a '"^>^* second-best' form of society Vs< as might be actually X [racticable not for * philosophers. a group by themselves and must life : be referred to the latest years of Plato's Philebus. the the exposition of its Platonic Timaeus (with fragmentary con- tinuation. without abandoning the ideals of the that is of high metaphysical ^Republic. and the Laws. undertakes . but including a great -4eal and ethical importance.PLATO in form. the Critias). linguistically. the maturest ethics. concerned in the main with cosmology and physics.

It is true that the dramatic element becomes leas prominent as we pass from tho works to the later. and the on the form of the Platonic difficulties which that form In creates for the interpreter of Plato's thought.^^ druQJlti&^th^y ^^» 0^6 <^d All SidXoyoi. with Lutosthat the bitter expressions of the TkeadeluB about the helplessness of tho philosopher in practical affairs contain a personal allusion to tho failure of Plato's own intervention all at Syracuse. no set speech. and.LIFE AND WRITINGS 347-G. but the inference This chapter is far certain. which in point of fact. It is tempt- ing to go a step further. in which case the Theaetetus and the following dialogues must be from later than 367-6. This is true even of the Apology. that tho diflerence of tone between the third f^'oups of dialogues and second fall makes it almost certain that at least the earhest works of the third group some years lawski. 29 . but a scries of colloquies of Socrates with his accuser and his judges. couver^ sations. the philosophical. and say. is. later than the Phaed/rua. the function of the minor our earlier personages becomes less and less important. the year of Plato's death. form. may conveniently end with some brief obeervations writings. In the dialogues of last two groups.woikjs of Plato are al^.

as though Plato felt that he was passing in these works definitely beyond the bounds of the Socratic influence. and his place a 'stranger from Athens.' other than Plato himself. that in general the position of chief is assigned to Socrates. speaker too. more and more.PLATO They tend. until in the Timaeus the conversation becomes a mere prelude to the delivery of a consecutive and unbroken cosmological discourse. though in three of the later dialogues (the Sophistes. to serve as mere instruments for giving the chief speaker his cue. while in the Laws he disappears altogether (probably because the scene of the dialogue is laid in Crete. is taken by who is palpably no Plato's reasons for choosing the djaLague as the most appropriate vehicle ofghilosophical thought are not hard to discover. and Timaeua) he recedes into the background. We note. Politicus. Most of the Socratic men 30 expressed . vLtt was the natural mode of expres- sion for a philosophic in movement which * * originated of the searching and incisive conversation Socrates. and in the Laws the two minor characters have little more to do than to receive the instructions of their com- panion with appropriate expressions of agreement. where the introduction of the home-keeping son of Sophroniscus would have been incongruous).

it is necessary always remember that the personages of one of Plato's and all characters Protagoras or Gorgias. had a poor opinion of written books as provocave of thought. adherents and its opponents. is not the historical Professor of that name. but a fictitious personage created by 31 . gives play to the dramatic gifts of portrayal of character and humorous satire in which Plato takes rank with the greatest comic and tragic masters. between independent seekers The dialogue form recommended literary self to him as thM^arest approximation .' the dialogue. we would avoid serious to errors. PlatJS(^ he himself tells us. hilosophical dialogues are one ' ' ' Platonic dialogue. to the actual contact of mind with mind its it enabled him to examine a doctrine suoeeesiyely from the points of view of the quest for truth. and thus to ensure thoroughness in And finally. Plato's choice of the dialogue as his mode of expression has created If a source of fallacy for his interpreters. in comparison with the actual iace-to-face discussion of problems and examina- tion of difficulties for truth. MoreoTor.' in in a play.LIFE AND WRITINGS their ideas in the guise of Socratic dialogue. ?1 ito and tlio may not have been the originator of practice. At the same time. more than any other form full of composition.

I 1 LATO Plato as a roprosentative of views and tendencies which he wishes to criticise. ' In particular. his opinions are often those of the historical Plato. though the fact is commonly forgotten. he has no exercising it. And same thing is true. or that where Socrates declares himself baffled by a pro' ' blem. and. the historical Socrates. Socrates a grave mistake of interpretation to assume that a proposition put forward by ' must neces- sarily represent the views of his creator. the the Platonic neither. picture others which can be we can often find in the known or suspected to belong to the writer's contemporaries. Mingled with traits drawn from the actual persons whose names these characters bear. but the hero of the Platonic is drama.' * Socrates ' in Plato is some of the older and more uncritical expositors used to assume. of the protagonist of the drama. as any attentive reading of the Protagoras will objection to show. but he distinct is still it is from them both. Plato must always have been equally at a loss. nor. * Plato shares to the is full that gift of Attic irony' which so characteristic of the great Athenian tragedians. the largely modelled Plato. as is too often historical \ taken for granted to-day. as ' Socrates. at the 32 . The hero's character on that of the actual Socrates. on occasion.

have to observe much the smzlb conditions and practise much the same precautions ms are required for similar interpretation of a great dramatist or novelist. 33 .LIFE AND WAITINGS expense of his principal personage. who are deprived of the oral instructions dispensed to the students of the Academy. ing which of the views In determinare of his hero put forward as his own. we.

in each a acof In famous passage is. ing to the Thedetetus and Republic. tiye^sense. or distress we feel more precisely in the mental when confronted by conflicting apparently equally well this perceptions. state which the soul 34 so to say. in some degree. neither to the is mind that wholly wise. the love--oi wisdom. the passionate striving after truth and light which is. It belongs. nor to that which \ merely and complacently stupid.CHAPTER KNOWLEDGE AND II ITS OBJECTS The word 'philosophy/ which to us has como to mean no more than a body of theories and inquiries. has for Plato a more living^and subjecPhilosophy is. in travail . philosophy begins in wonder. partly confused soul towards a complete vision in and perplexed. the dower of every human soul. which its preAccord- sent doubts and diflSculties may vanish. the Symposium is tells us. credited. distress. as its name declares. It is the aspiration of the partly illuminated.

as the midwife of the spirit Uis task is not to think for their other men.' His theory dominated by the thought that ' the mind itself inevitably it imitates the character ' of the things habitually contemplates. his relation to his disciples. its own thoughts narrowly ' This is conception of philosophy and function far from being Philo/i intellectualist' in a ' bad sense. process is Yet the starting-point of the whole an intellectual emotion. is likened to the pains is of child-birth. in Plato's eyes. and the philosopher in presented.' aophy for is. in cannot be followed persistently without resulting a transfiguration of our whole character.KNOWLEDGE ANRITS OBJECTS with a half-formed idea. of for life. a passion trutL for insight into Tho upward pilgrimage 3S of ' . a way a discipline I character it is no less than understanding. piurpose and rational which the philosopher's contemplation reveals as omnipresent in the world of genuine knowledge. is But his conviction that there a deep truth enshrined in the crude saying of the old physiologists that ' like is is of education known by like. order. but to help them to bring to the birth. is its ultimate effect to reproduce in the individual Boul those very features of law. is Just because the aspiration after wisdom the fundait mental expression of the mind's true nature.

Insight and enlightenment are the first requisites for sound morality. and. indeed. In action as well as in speculation. 36 . convictions which have been won by free intellectual inquiry and can be justified at the. with a partial reservation in favour of his revered predecessor Parmenides.e. bar of reason. as for Bunyan. The theory of knowledge is thus the very * * ' centre of Plato^s philosophy.e.' i. He takes his stand that as a upon the fundamental assumption there \ absol- really is such a thing as ' science. body of knowable truth which he sets before is valid always and utely and for every thinking mind.PLATO the soul begins for Plato not. with ' conviction of sin/ but with that humiliating sense of ignorance which Socrates aimed at pro- ducing in those who submitted to his cross- questioning. to the objects of our scientific Plato may. in spite of Kant's hasty inclusion of him among the dog'critical' be truly said to be a great \ philosopher.' i. no less than for science. therefore. what distinguishes the 'philosopher' from other men is the fact that where they have mere 'opinions' he has knowledge. The problem is to himself in his metaphysics ' find the answer to the question How is science possible ? ' * What is the general character which must be ascribed knowledge?' matists.

v. in which the various members i are connected by a bond of logical necessity — in a inxy 1 word. not too ia much to say that Plato's fundamental that of problem essentially identical with Kant in the Critique of Plato's solution of it Pwre Reason. of what nature are the objects cognised by 37 . he finds his respects from Kant's. some of which are for regarding dictory of others. point of departure in the broad contrast between the world of everyday unsystematised experience/ ' and that of to the science.KNOWLEDGE AN^. and can them by appeals to Science. and for every one. is them as true. that of' opinion \ and that of 'science'? In more modem lan-^ guage. he can give no satisfactory grounds often be persuaded out of irrational emotion. it is Indeed. always. a body of reasoned deductions from principles. valid absolutely. though differs strikingly in some Like Kant. a body of consistent and fixed convictions. on the other hand.ITS OBJECTS the earliest critical philosopher of Europe. What then is the relation between these apparently so diverse worlds.] "y a system of truths. his so-called made up of what Plato calls often actually contra- 'opinions/ a multitude of conflicting and changing belief. The world as is it appears everyday unscientific disorder is man a scene of strange experience and confusion.

he further learned that without universal truths there can 38 . taken one from Heracliteanism.') From whose methods.' i. Locke's doctrine that is all our certain know- ledge of 'nature' Socrates. From Heracliteanism Plato had learned that all the kinds of things which our senses perceive are ^ * in flux. 'barely particular. the doctrine was a logical consequence from two premises. but a logical doctrine of the import of universal propositions. neither 'dogmatic' metaphysics nor poetical imagery.e.PJiATO the universal propositions of science. though used by himself only in the discussion of 'matters of conduct/ were really of universal application. according to its author's intention. are constantly undergoing all sorts of incalculable changes. as pr im 9 ^•'^y ^ ^T^^^^ry^ofj^I^"'"^'^"- by the succinct account of its meaning and its logical connection with previous Greek thought given by Aristotle in his Mctawell brought out physics. the other from Socrates. and consequently that no universal truths can be formulated about them. 1 According to Aristotle. and are how conis they related to the particular percepts of Plato's answer to this question is sense? ^ tained in his famous 'Theory of Ideas/ which thus. (Cf. The real character of this central Platonic ^^ doctrine.

these unchanging entities. cannot be the indefinitely variable things of the sensible physical world. in which the doctrino of Ideas is most prominent. we find this account. since there &uch a thing as science. Hence. When we turn to the great dialogues. There is therefore a supra- physical world of entities. eternal and immutable. . Timacm. so far as it goes. such as the Phaedo. called by Plato is/ which are the objects with which the ^ ^ definitions nrnnro are concerned. from which they get their various * This relation Plato calls participation in he Ideas. fully borne out. a phrase to which Aristotle objects that it is no more than a misleading imaginative metaphor. and about which she undertakes to proTO universally valid conclusions. Such is the preliminary ' account ' which Aristotle prefixes to his smashing attack on the Platonic metaphysics.' KNOWLEDGE AND 1^3 ITS OBJECTS is DO science. In the TimaeuMt in the only passage where Plato ever 39 . Repuhlic. PUto inferred that the objects whicli science defines. ^^'A it is '.es. and universal truths of exact science The relation between this world logical concepts ible and the world ofeveryis experience that the things of the sensible world are approximate and imperfect Vp^ corresponding conceptual class- resemblances of the entities nair.

' which. opinion scientific and objects of which we can have is it knowledge. of we speak of as just or beautiful. again. we find that . But science . there need be no objects except those of the physical and sensible world if science is other than true opinion. of which the corresponding There are a countless term can be predicated. assuredly deals with something more than true opinion things which cannot be perceived by the senses. host of beings things which whom we call men or oxen.'^ no more than true opinion. jt rests on rational grounds So Ideas' therefor e exist.': PLATO directly raises the question whether the is * Ideas actually exist or not. in the three dialogues alike. their existence said to be a necessary implication distinction between If science is ' of the ' reality of the true opinion and * science.' we should say. as Plato puts or. Hi but only conceived by thought it is eternally and immutably valid. but the humanity we predicate of one man is identical with the humxinity we predicate of any other the justice or beauty in virtue of which we call 40 . ' there is a standing contrast between the unity of * the ' Idea and the multiplicity of the things it. and logical j)roof. as participate ' in the * Idea. there must be a corresponding difference between objects of which we can only have true .

ABC. Thus tides. which geoiii — the visible diagram t-* *"J:e to uis stand for a ^ -lo^ in studying never really ' ii |<crties which close we attribute ta the triangle ' iQ . Socrates.* is humanity. th^pure logical concept) j for instance.our definition the conduct scrutiny.' what we should now 41 call the signi- fication' or 'intension' of a class-name. larity. we praise as just may. which at the first blush appear equal. of justice. they are not 'themselves.' man is is in itself. but^eauty never besrins nor i ceases. the conduct of an Aris- 'partake' of humanity. triangu- justice 'What in itself. never fully embodied in any sensible example two things. is but simply ib eternally And. ' who is beautiful may become itself may in' cease. to participato Beauty. once more. on turn out to be only imperfectly just.' 'what justice always something other than any one just deed. on closer comparison will be found to be only approximately so . in Platonic language. as dis- . KNOWLEDGE AND always one and the same.: . man or any one Considerations like these show us clearly what is ' the entity to which Plato gives the It is name ' of an Idea. of triangularity. a thing or unbeautiful. itself. person ITS OBJECTS or beautiful is difTerent persons or things just Again.

classes with only one member are just so as common in logic as classes with many. as the existence of significant singular terms shows us. the Idea or con- cept of the physical universe itself as a whole By Jhi^i'Dldeasj then. form the contents of an ideally perfect and which form the content of our_^ existing science in so far as it is completely and rigidly 'scientific/ the system of universal meanings. jut this restriction of the range ' ' of Ideas to c lasses of many things with a com- mon jlass-concept is not really in volYfid-m the general theory of the nature of the Idea. usijBg_thej>xpression One over the^any as a syno nym_for the Platoni c Idea. Consequently he some- times says that there exists an Idea for every group of the many things which 'have a common name.' PLATO tingiiished of of The oxtension the name is what Plato means when ho speaks the *many things which partake of the one from its 'oxtonsion.' and we find Aristotle. Before we go further. viz. (the so-called avro^mov). and is ' we find Plato in the TiTnaeua explicitly recognising one such concept or Idea which partaken of by only one sensible thing. since.' Idea or class-concept. it may be as well to call 42 . Plato fixed means the system of terms or concepts of and determinate intension which would scienqe.

the simply moan shape^' lifeffl?/ ^"^ if nothing more. I is not at all a doctrine of' Idealism the modern sense of the word. who taught that objects • of thought have no subsistence outside the think- ing mind/ that tance of any form of 'conceptual realism ' we come within measurable dismodem Idealism. and states fr<. ' He calls the concepts of science Ideas ' simply because they constitute the forms or types in accordance with which the universe of things words iSea.n ] knowin g l mmS . We merely miss his meaning ' we allow the Berkeleyan notion of an idea ' as a state of mind to affect our interpretation of him.' Hence ' is ' a much ' better and less ambiguous name than Idealism for the type of 43 . in a passage of the Parmenides.Tn only put forward there to be promptly rejected. about which __ only with the Nco-Platonists.* and therefore is a thought/ is only made once in Plato's writings. but objects dis tin< i iiH]ppQjident is of iteejf. (1) Plato'a theory of * ITS OBJECTS and has often attention to one or two points in regard to which his doctrine is capable of being Ideas/ as the tnie objects of knowledge. e25o9. is * constructed . Pla to the * With I jgftf* ' are not f * ' of the .' KNOWLEDGE AND actually been misunderstood. The suggestion which only ' that ' an * Idea ' is something is exists in a soul.

but this much.' and not. at least. and has found notable support in less. (2) It follows also at once that. may have whatever been Plato's precise conception of God. PLATO doctrine of which Plato is the most illustrious exponent.. when Plato speaks is of personal gods or a personal God. as the Alexandrian Jewish philosopher Philo. ence to His thought about them. God appears in the language of the dialogues as altogether secondary in his system it is the Ideas. creative conceptions of God. modern times. at least. since the * Ideas * I are not processes of thought but of objects of[ thought. or how he is merely accom- modating himself to the current phraseology of his time . but is.' God is spoken of in connection with the &s in the Timaevs.' the Ideas ' are always referred to as objects existing independently of God and known by Him. he using the language of far exact philosophy. a contemporary of Christ. where he * is imaginatively portrayed as shaping the physical universe on the model of the * Ideas. as in so ' many modem 44 . never as owing their existIn fact. we must not conceive ' them is as the * thoughts of the divine mind. is clear. ' When Ideas. It is not easy to tell how far. none the thoroughly un-Platonic. This interpretation of Plato as old.

whereas his language. the ens realia- As we it is shall see further in ' just because GckI and the soul are not for Plato entia reaHeaima that he has to employ imaginative myths when ho would speak of them. side by side with the language 4S . so we understand the relation which they all denote. when he deals with the Ideas/ ' is as devoid of mythical traits M the multiplication table.KVOWLFnOE AND mmunk chApter. (3) In speaking of the relation between the or members of the extension of a class-name and the intension common or to class-concept 'Idea' which corresponds them. vjixi. >viiich are. the things have ' Thus it is said (Phuedo) that communion with (Kotptovel) the ' Idea. that the various things 'partake of the Idea. Plato employs not only the expression. but a number of equivalent phrases. for Plato. This form of expression naturally meets us in the semi-mythical but it is found also more particularly cosmogony of the Timaeus. Yet another way of expressing the same relation is to say that the things are imita' tions ' (jufAijfuiTa) or ' copies ' of Ideas. or that the Idea 'is present to' (irdpeaTt) them. ITS OBJECTS the next ' B^sujuiB. regarded by Aristotle as specially characteristic of him. and long as it is explicitly declared that it does not matter which of these expressions we use.

* 'ABG is. viz. exact logic treats this relation (denoted in the 4< . of course. whereas modern belongs.' it is * participation of things in the Ideas may not be explained more ' ' exactly by the view that they are likenesses of them. All these different meta- phors are intended to express one and the same that which subsists between of such propositions ia the as subject and predicate 'Socrates is relation. a it triangle. Hence it is clear that there is no ground for the recent inter- pretation which distinguishes between an earlier version of Platonism. and in the Parmenides. The same metaphor is. where a number of expressly asked whether the difficulties are being raised about the nature of 'participation. that a man.' the between the individual member of a class and the class to which pecuharity of Plato*s view is The that. as has well been shown by Professor Shorey.' PLATO about participation in the Republic ' ' . implied in all passages which dwell upon the imperfect and merely approximate character of the embodi- ment of Ideas in sensible things. In fact. ' and a ' later version in which they merely resemble them. the whole conception of a marked difference between an earher and a later Platonic metaphysic has no tenable foundation. according to which things 'participate* in Ideas. relation.

humanity and 'triangularity* are things which exist apart from and outside of all actually existing men or triangles. and are called It is uy their names.) ' or resemble them. there can be no intelligible connection between the sup- posed world of Ideas and the world of concrete realities. how can know- 47 . it be their inmost and again. on the 'transcendent* character of the This character is expressed in Plato by the things which ! bis reiterated assertion that the Ideas are some- hing 'separate from' participate in ' * (x(li>pi-s.r:i. as iiiouiiLiiig to the assertion that. Plato treats as a relation boclass- ween the ludividual and the intension of the (' name Socrates ia • a man's 'Socrates pofisesses humanity/ or humanity is found in Socrates *).gr. (4) From the time of Aristotle to the present day the point which has given est criticism of Plato rise to the sharp- v has always been his in- 1 sistence Ideas. ITS OBJECTS a relation betweon e) as he individual and the eoeieneion of the class a man = ' ' Socrates it is one member of group TTi^n*). how can ' reality or ' substance . If the Idea is ' outside or ' ' apart from all sensible things. and objects that. if this is so.' ' KNOWLEDGE AND symbolism of Peano by Socrates is :ie . incisive attacks upon the Platonic doctrine * He treats Plato's e. totle's upon this point that Aris- most .

If we consider the passages. too explicit to permit of any such interpretation. I think. plainest declarations. we shall find that his 48 illus- .' but merely that one attribute should be predi cable of felt many subjects. both explain its true meaning and throw some probable source of the Platonic theory which Aristotle's analysis leaves only imperfectly indi- cated. to uniYfirsaLpredicates. from the in Fhaedo onwards. is disciple. The difficulty has been so strongly by modern interpreters that many in the face of Plato's it of them have endeavoured.' a fellaciousjattribution of Stubatantive existen ce.4ind condenses his objection to it in the is statement that what science requires not that there should be 'Ideas. light More on a careful consideration will. and thus to bring Plato's theory of predication into accord with that of his great however. strongly on which Plato insists * most its the 'transcendent' and separate' character of the Idea and the imperfection of sensible embodiment.PLATO ledge of Ideas and their relations contribute in any way world ? to our scientific knowledge of the real Aristotle thus leads the way in regarding Plato's doctrine as a 'reification of concepts. Plato's language. to explain away. or a One is which something over and above the Many. as Aristotle was well aware.

. vNOWLEDGE AND aliona are ITS OBJECTS < drawn from two spheres. a thing without parts or . or tru e objects of bis He may line represent a point by a visible . as Plato ^f f h imself reminds u s ^ifa fi m the BeptJdic. a by a stroke drawn with chalk reasoning. order. And when we remember the characteristics of the morally importance attached by Plato to measure. a conceptual limit to which experience only presents imperfect approximation. magnitude the visible stroke is never devoid of roadth or absolutely straight. the true point. the visible dJA grAmft nf mathematician are only aids to the imaging tion They are not themselves the reasoning. the visible dot not. but these dots and strokes are not really the points and lines about which he is and have is not really the properties which he ascribes to the point and the line like (e. to we may see reason to reduce the two cases ona U i« pp marily from math e matics that i I Platp has derived his conception of scien ce and its r^^nnopts and their relation to the world e-\ 0. thoso of It is primarily in ithcmatics and of ethics.g. and so on)^ r^l objects of ^ The mathematical study arfl a system of pure logical concepts wh ich can be thought D 49 . 1/ Now. dot. and proportion as good. mathematics and in ethics that the Idoa most obviously appears as an Ideal.

and only true science. much it contains of pure mathematics. to mathematical study. . That Plato's doctrine of knowledge should thus ^ reflection upon the ^^Mponcepts and methods of pure mathematics is have arisen primarily from J n accord not only with the special prominence iven both in the dialogues and.y^ . so far as earn. a consistent work- ing out of the thought expressed by Kant in his saying that every study contains only so of science as . A true ' science . Kant and his followers to For Plato the great Kantian pure d priori natural science exist. but also with the historical fact that pure mathematics was in Plato's tim e the only scienti fic study in which certain and well-established results had been attained . ' problem *How possible ? ' is does not Natural science. represented to sense or imag^ination. ^ These same considerations also explain answer given by Plato to the question scientific why ' the How is from truth possible ? ' difters so greatly the answer given by the same problem.* in the sense of proved universal laws of physical process. in the oral teaching of the we can Academy. had for him no 50 being. In Plato's v/ theory of Ideas we have a conception of science which rests upon the view that mathematics is the one.PLATO with exa ct precision but cjaiUloLifiL-adfiquaifily .

sions Any conclu- we may form as to its structure and history must be put forward. been known still to Plato. not as proved results of 51 . which possessed neither tlie applianocB requisite for precise determination of physical magnitudes nor the mathematical methods necessary for the establishment of ^*enenJ laws on the basis of individual observa>ns.' in justification of the Tiew that our results are only strictly proved. cannot be completely analysed into aj combinations of logical concepts. and the necessity of admitting be influenced by the presence of conditions neglected in that the course of any actual physical process may which are our formulation of 'general laws of sequence. just because it For him the actual physical world.d.KNOWLEDGE AND of physical nature ' ITS OBJECTS could. is incapable of being an object of science proper. but involves factor of irrational sensible fact. But even had the physics of the twentieth century the a. not exist in the fourth century RC. of course. so long as we confine ourselves within the domains of pure conceptual mathematics. He would have merely approximate character of cal actual physi- measurements. it is pretty clear that title he would have refused to bestow of actual called attention to the all of science upon our knowledge nature. and therefore rigidly scientific.

' It is this assumption denying by anticipation when he says in the Republic that the diagrams which Plato is really of the geometers are mere aids 52 to the imagination. to put the matter quite plainly. of the extent of our of sensible things. and confines more than ' ' knowledge within the limits of 'possible experience. (Compare once more Locke's doctrine knowledge of real existence ' and the position * of those ' eminent logicians who hold that induction from observed facts are is unable to lead to results which probable. but involve an element of ' tional sensuous intuition.' PLATO scionco. holds is ' that ' all true science transcendent with objects which of any possible ' lie entirely and deals beyond the range ' 'experience' of sense. ] but as. is a * probable account. That Kant does not come to the saitie conclusion seems to be due to his assumption that the. Where m| f^X^i^--^' b^ias. .) Hence while Kant denounces all transcendent employment of the fundamental concepts of science. sciences of Arithmetic and Geometry deal irra- with objects which are not analysable into purely logical concepts.' Plato. largely mythical. like the narrative of Timaeus. at best.sci^nnpi^ in his opimon. .* The physical world must thus the proper object of its 'opinion/ and any account of I j development be. leaves off.

Ho takes '^ U and b^^ins by dividing it into an upper and a lower segment. a diagra diagram. the upper segment representing knowledge or science. once more divided into an up{)er and a lower part. Plato is In this passage concerned to distinguish four grades of cognition. line. \lt exactly defmcd lopcal concep ts. is a world of v^ is l ^ona U) the rest^ Further light this thrown upon the internal structure of system by a famous passage at the end of the sixth book of the RepMic.KNOWLEDGE AND ITS OBJECTS and not theniBelves the objects of geometrical reasoning. in the same ratio in which the whole line was divided. which. and again in the Timaeus that space is apprehended not by aeuae but by a kind of ' bastard thought. taken along with the exposition of far it in the following book. in point of fact.' Each segment is then. what is the general char^ j acter of the system of Platoni c Ideas.uijKjiiKjv form of 'opinion' and of knowledge a vertical 53 I- .' We have seen. and to provide each with its appropriate class of objects.. We thus get an inferior and a . what is. in turn. then. He illustrates his meaning by l/v J" . the lower 'opinion. the tru e object of 'scientific knowledge. single is by the the most important text for whole of Plato's epistemology.

in the same all. It is the state of mind in and the imagery of dreams are not as yet distinguished from the solid physical realities of which they are the which reflections in water images. has learned to dis- mere shadows and thus to make a distinction between the truth. The lowest type * of cognition of the inferior form of ' opinion. and has not yet learned to know the shadow from the substance.' Plato calls elKoaia. Such a man.values of the two kinds of presentation. guess-work. so long as as equally true with any other.' with a punning * allusion to the elKove^: or images ' which are its appropriate objects. in each case. the state of mind of the man who.PLATO respectively. A more developed and truer form of cognition is represented by tt/o-t*?. though as tinguish physical things from their or reflections or dream-images. the mental condition of the savage or child at the mercy of ' primitive credulity. while still recognising the existence of nothing but the sensible.' it who lasts. yet not possessed of proved and universal scientific truth. accepts every presentation. has already a fair stock of tolerably system- atised and trustworthy convictions about 54 the . standing in respect of its truth and certainty to the higher. belief. relation in which 'opinion* as a whole stands to knowledge. the inferior.

of for ' opinion ' are realities %s mere images of the higher realities with which they are con- But he finds two defects in the procedure the if ordinary mathematics: aids.' ve.' these studies have for their object concepts of a purely rational kind. science is Plato's name it ' for this inferior grade of Zidvoia. which cerned. Being science. and hence Plato observes that they use diagrams and models. . and the knowledge experience. which we may loosely render 'understanding/ and is declared to be the arts. and.KNOWLEDGE AND Plato holds that this is ITS OBJECTS empirical course of things. to Thus iriaris corresponds exactly what we should call sensible experience. tho highest degree of truth which can be attained in the study of the actual physical world. based on induction from such further step is A taken towards he ideal of genuine knowledge when we pass from ihe higher form of 'opinion' to the lower form of science. knowledge supplied by geometry and the kindred mathematics as usually studied. of a host of notions which he has not defined and postulates which he has not proved Hence Plato maintains that there must be a still more perfect realisation of the 55 ideal of knowledge. mathematician employs sensible even he uses them only he also makes use as aids to his imagination. as we haye seen.

proceeding throughout to * from forms sensible. ' which is unhypothetical principle then from the cognition of this will first he once more descend by a its regular gradation to the knowledge of con- sequences.' as a process of analysis followed by one of synthesis. but he ultimate.' PLATO which lectic/ is given by a science called by for its objects ' ' which has him diaIdeas or Forms ' * themselves. theses. the dialectitian is to compare the principles assumed as ultimate by the various branches of mathematics. and through them their consequences. The two- procedure of fold: * dialectic.' will not regard them as as literally ' He will treat them first hypo- bases or starting-points from which he principle may • ascend to a supreme . from his axiom. own supreme and self-evident^ Only when this has been done shall we . and as a result of the comparison to arrive at some first still more ultimate which he is selfis principle of a logical character evidently true.' forms without the aid of anything is. The dialectician will start in his turn with the axioms and indefinables of the ordinary mathematician. is aid of any sensuous representations whatever. and studies them without the he describes it. to Having done this. That it seems. then deduce the supposed ultimates of the ordinary ' mathematician.

dreamed of the of all ieduction pure science frou> a the ultimate principle. known truth to a systematic body true and deductions from ultimate premiaeB. and require for their statement no primary notions except those of foiDQjJJogic^ Could he have met with such a Arithmetik of Professor work as the Formuladire of Professor Peano. or the Qrtundgeaetze der Fre^e. For one thing. But there are also very important differences between the 'dialectic' of i'lato the 'logistic' of our contemporary philosophical mathematicians. the logic. he would plainly have felt that his con- ception of dialectic was there very largely justi• ' fied and and realised. while development of exact logic has definitely shown that the principles 111*1 of logic themselves form a body its of of uially independent postulates.KNOWLEDGE AND the reduction of of logical ITS OBJECTS liaTo realised the ideal of scientific investigation. Plato. single like Leibniz after him. number wLich the old traditional S7 with three . It is clear from this that Plato's conception is losely akin to the ideal of the growing school of iliathematicians who maintain is that the whole of pure mathematical science a body of deducall ons from a few ultimate premises which are of a purely logical kind.

the cause of vitality. is meaning in this famous passage far from easy to grasp with precision. the 'good' at once the source of knowledge to the and illumination ^ knowing mind. and the its is source of reality and being to the objects of . it is hard to say with what degree of accuracy. as he himself seems to admit. but the transcendent source Plato's of both. in the world of concepts.. the character of tells the supreme principle \is ' itself. but his general sense may is perhaps be divined by a comparison with well- known passages of other dialogues. in Plato's opinion. seriously underestimated. After re- counting his yjuthful dissatisfaction with the 58 . Now.' which to the world of concepts what its offspring ' the the It sun is to the sensible world. And all the time. as the source of heat. the source of the light by which the itself eye else beholds both the sun it is and everything also. He * the good ' or the ' Idea of the good. to trace the mental biography of Socrates. still A more important difference appears is when we us that it is (ask what. so the good ' is not itself Being or Truth. is growth and \ So. PLATO laws of thought. There a famous page of the Phaedo which professed. just as the sun ' not itself light or growth. the is sun has a double function. knowledge. in sensible world.

and he eagerly procured the book of Anaxagoras in the hope that he would find here a theory of the universe in which every detail would be justified by a proof that it was better for things to be as the writer said than to be in any other way. only appealing to Mind as the universal cause when he was loss for some more specific mechanical explanathen tion of a fact.KNOWLEDGE AND phjTsicists ITS OBJECTS early is mutually conflicting theories of yarious about the universe. disgusted to find that Anaxagoras most part accounted for existing facts by hypoat a theses of mechanical causation. 59 . however. This criticism of Anaxagoras. iiade the opportunity for drawing an the impora . but for the was. its existing arrangements must be those which are best. did not live up to his On own reading the work he principles. without which the cause would not be a cause/ The true cause of every arrangement in nature that ' j | IS it JB best that things should be so' . tant distinction between true cause of thing and subordinate accessory conditions. in is which Aristotle emphatically concurs. Socrates that to say that made of ho hailed with rapture the saying of it is Anaxagoras Mind ^t^jgt^ i« th<^ fiftUfffi rjpj look to rtractew ia that if tito is miymai This he tiie mean mind responsible for universe.

precisely tains. which hampers or frustrates the execution of rational purpose. an irreducible element of universe. desired that His who. (And hence. to be good means to be good for some for end or purpose. we may say that the recognition of the good. by the way. an factor. on Plato's evil principles.' as the supreme source from which the Ideas derive their being. The true reason is or cause of the existence of the universe of the God. as the in the physical because that universe con- system of pure concepts does not. to be the expression of a rational Evil. as for the Greek mind in general. work too should be as good as possible. on the other hand.PLATO the alleged mechanical ' causes ' of the men of science are merely accessory conditions in the absence of which the efficacy of the true cause I would be destroyed. there is. is aim or interest. the accessory conditions are provided by the character of the disorderly material out of which the universe is moulded by God. ^ We find this distinction carefully observed in the half-mythical cosmo- gony of goodness Plato's own Timaeua. would ' ' appear to mean that the whole body of true 60 .) irrational and incalculable all this ' Putting together. is pre- cisely that which disorderly. being good Himself. Thus we see that for Plato.

In the great series of dialectical dialogues.' as ' may be seen both from the reappearance of the in familiar theory the Timaetis and from the nanifesU y 6ona fide ignorance of Aristotle as to any dfncrence a later in principle between an it earlier and Plfl^^yiinnn. to bring about in the philosopher's inner life.u supposed. to deal with further questions of logic and epistemol (\ This does not mean. that he has abandoned or come to make serious modifications in his doctrine of Ideas. leads while in its up to others. according to Plato. forward. which we may safely follow the all but unanimous opinion of the latest scholars posterior to the in regarding as Phaedo-RepvMic group. to turn. or logically lead up.KNOWLEDGE AND scientifio ITS OBJECTS concepts forms an is organic unity in which oach member connected with the rest teleolo^cally by the fact that some it. as has sometimes Ijl. The objective unity of is the system of scientific concepts thus the coimterpart of the unity of aim and purpose which it is the mission of philosophy. of them point it. What means is is simply that the whole theory of knowledge not exhausted . Plato in the main turns away from his original problem of the relation between the individual thing and the intension of the class to which we refer it.

in the list being. among other things. the creator of logic. the aid of bodily instruments. All these. the first attempt to construct a table of the categories. we find him including likeness.PLATO for Plato by any single doctrine. purely intellectual relation. completeness. priori forms of with which mind organises the material of its experience. in accord h. rather than any other one man. difference. ugliness. among other contributions to logical theory. with the . object is where his primarily to argue that the categories are not products of sense-perception.e. but are * perceived directly by the soul herself without i. as we should say. It is precisely in this group of dialogues that we find Plato anticipating the achievement of Aristotle in the creation of a scientific logical terminology to a degree which entitles him fairly to be called. goodness. cannot be cognised by the activity of any special sense. just because they can be preall dicated of subjects of kinds. number. unhkeness. as his immediate purpose demands greater or In the Theaetetus. he contends. sameness. Theaetetus. beauty. and Sophistes we meet. In the Parmenides. or leading ' scientific conceptions required for the ordering of Plato's list varies slightly according less experience.' are. The same dialogue provides 62 us. badness.

to the process of exhaustive logical division of a class into sub-classes by successive acts of dichotomy definition.). difference. Still AS a means towards exact is more interesting. rest (or changelessness). 63 . as a contribution to the theory of knowledge. •change' (Kimjan. motion (or change. quality' ('7ro«<m79 = what-likein orean/ in the sense of a bodily instrument 'criterion. its KCvrjai*. JofiftL motioiH or change of {<l>opd). as well as in the introduction to the Philebtis. the main problem with which both the TkeaeUtua and Sophistea are really concerned.).' ' of difibrence. In the Sophistes. and with a searching and acute inquiry into the nature of definition. perceives 'by herself* ' and that which she is in abeyance. And that dialogue and continuation the Politicus are notable for the prominence given in them.. Among the nees). sameness.KNOWLEDGE AND important distinction position cjiialitj ITS OBJECTS two kinds of between alteration. where the particular distinction between that which the soul perceives through the body. and or ^change of (aXXoiWi?). ' ita contributions to terminology * we note new words perception. and the conditions under which definition is possible. the list of is chief kinds ' or classes given in a briefer form as being.' the specifically logical sense afterwards to be made classic by Aristotle.

e.PLATO for Plato by any single doctrine. in the list being. cannot be cognised by the activity of any special sense.' are. beauty. difference. object are is where his primarily to argue that the categories not products of sense-perception. we find him including likeness. badness. as we should say. with the . Theaetetus. completeness. but are herself without i. us. among other things. All these. as his immediate purpose demands greater or In the Theaetetu8. sameness. number. the first attempt to construct a table of the categories. just because they can be preall dicated of subjects of kinds. among other contributions to logical theory. rather than any other one man. It is precisely in this group of dialogues that we find Plato anticipating the achievement of Aristotle in the creation of a scientific logical terminology to a degree which entitles him fairly to be called. purely intellectual k priori forms of relation. ugliness. The same dialogue provides 07. and Sophistes we meet. the creator of logic. he contends. perceived 'directly by the soul the aid of bodily instruments. In the Parmenides. unhkeness. goodness. in accord with which mind organises the material of its experience. or leading ' scientific conceptions required for the ordering of Plato's list varies slightly according less experience.

KNOWLEDGE AND
important
'('hf\ngo*

ITS

OBJECTS
two
kinds
of

distinction
(/r«'i^<r 49),

between
alteration,

local

motion, or change of
or _chan(^o of

position

{<l>opd),

and

equality (aXXo<W«9), and with a searching and

acute inquiry into the nature of definition, and
le

conditions under which definition
its

is possible.

Lmong
the
*

contributions to terminology
'quality'
(7ro40Ti;9

we note

new words
i),

= what-likein

organ/ in the sense of a bodily instrument
'

perception,

criterion,*

'

difference,*

the

jifically logical
lie

sense afterwards to be

made

by

Aristotle..

In the SophisteSf where the

icular distinction

between that which the soul
in abeyance, the
is

'perceives

through the body, and that which she
is list

perceives* by herself*
chief kinds
'

of

or classes

given in a briefer form

being, sameness, difference, rest (or changeless"ness),

motion (or change,
its

Klv7jai<;).

And

that

dialogue and

continuation the Politicus are

notable for the prominence given in them, as well
as in the introduction to the PhUebus, to

the

process of exhaustive logical division of a class
into sub-classes

by successive

acts of

dichotomy
Still

as a

means towards exact
is

definition.

more

interesting, as

a contribution to the theory of

knowledge,

the main problem with which both

the Thtaetetus and Sophislfji are renlly concerned.

PLATO
We
are thus

prepared

for

the purely

logical

inquiry into the nature of error which meets us
in the Sophistea.

Plato there finally solves the
distinction

puzzle by calling attention to the

between

absolute

and

relative

denial.

The

'sophistic' view that to

think what

is false is

impossible had arisen from the argument that

thinking what

is

false
'

not/ but to think
since

means thinking 'what is what is not is impossible,
'

mere non-entity cannot even be the object of any thought. Plato's reply is that when I think 'A is not B' I do not mean to assert that A
is

nothing at

all,
'

but merely that
is not,'

it is

something

which a denial can be said to involve thinking of what is not,' is simply that which is 'different from* something else, and hence significant denials, both true and false, can be made about any
other than
;

B

what

in the sense in

*

subject.

In Platonic language, the chief
'

kinds,*

or categories,
other,

have communion with one anor can be predicated of one another, and
*
'

thus

significant

non-identical

predication,

as

demanded by science, is logically unobjectionable. The familiarity of this result does not in the least
detract from
its

importance in the history of
see

thought, as

we may

by

reflecting that
is

the
the

fundamental problem of Kant's chief work

KNOWLEDGE AND
Rame

ITS

OBJECTS
the
universal

M

Plato's,
'

vii.

to justify

synthetic

propositions of pure science.

In the account given by Aristotle in his Meta-

ph y8ic8 of

Plato's doctrinn of
is

'

Ideas/

we

are told

much
le

that

not explicitly laid

dialogues,

down anywhere in and suspicion has accordingly been

upon the tnistworthiq^s^f Aristotle's representations. Such suspicioiv^^ q\'er, se ems to be excluded when we remember thai Aristotle's old fellow-pupil Xenocrates was expounding Platonism
cast

Athens during the whole period of Aristotle's a teacher, and that polemical misrepresentation of Plato's views would, in such circumstances, have been suicidal According to
at
activity as
Aristotle,

who appears
Plato's
'

to

be basing his stateoral teaching,

ments upon

more advanced

the doctrine of Ideas ' was presented in a quasi-

mathematical form, the 'Ideas' being actually
i>oken of as
*

numbers,' though Plato was careful

to distinguish these

integers

numbers from th^ ordinary in counting. Each idea we use which

was further held to be composed of two factors, he 'One,' which was also identified with the Good,' and an element of indetermination and
plurality called the 'Indeterminate Duality/ or

the Great-and-SmalL' In virtue of the participa'

'

:on' of sensible things in the 'Ideas/ these two

67

(To illustrate crudely what Suppose.' PLATO elements. or circles. specific class-concept on the 68 other. Thus it would seem that. or object of thought. a rational mortal being. we have Tnan defined The class so defined on the one hand. by the way. the all concepts or definables of science presuppose two primarily indefinable notions. different squares. must not be confused cardinal number). is and so of each whereas there only one * * Idea kind . it is equated . Aristotle adds that Plato regarded the objects of the ordinary mathematical studies as forming a class ' intermediate * between the supreme Ideas * or 'Numbers 'and physical things. in the last resort. plainly meant. are thus ultimately the constituents of the universe. definable concept can be exhibited as arising by a special mode of combination of these two is com- ponents. from the notion of the integer with the notion of 1). one term. they resemble the Ideas/ and differ from physical things. ordinary as is. the determinate aggregate corresponding to a . again. They resemble physical things in so far as there are many ' of them (many forth). in being eternally immutable. the One and the Great-and-Small.. e. that of Unity (which must be carefully distinguished.g. and that of Every Multitude (which. consider the character of an definition.

as expounded by writers Frege. ceases to be the puzzle that Aristotle to the found it. mind that some- thing like the reduction of pure mathematics to exact logic effected by those writers was avowedly the goal at which Plato was aiming in his 'dialectic' The nearest approximation ascribed to to the conceptions Plato by Aristotle which can be traced in the dialogues must be sought in the 69 .' t^SuW uiLUuiL AND ITS OBJECTS by the definition with the common part of a plurality (in this case two) of other aggregates." logical concepts of * ' * * in fact. and Russell. we readily see why Plato should have called them numbers.' and since the one ' ' and 'many' of which they are combinations are not the whole number 1 and the series of whole numbers/ but the simpler and prior * * ' a term and terms (in the plural). The whole doctrine. and bear in Peano. a perfectly specific combination of tho one and the many.) tion are Since the objects of defini- thus always combinations of the one and the many. when we bring the study of it some acquaintance with modem philosophy of like number. The defined class is thus at once one and many. or rather. we also see why he distinguished those primary 'ideal' numbers from the members of the series of ordinary integers.

Timaeua and. quantitative and determination (3) the mixture of the k precisely determined magnitudes and . * such as a melody. closer A by are' (1) correspondence is presented that : the are Philebus. of the souls of human beings. in the PhilehuSf to be identified with purposive intelligence. Into the discussion of the diflficulties which have been the raised as to the significance of this classification it is impossible to enter in a work like present. the * Same. and the 'Other. But it should be noted that.' which symbolises the eternally identical.e. degree. PLATO Dr.. in summed which up under i. *all things four categories is the | indeterminate.' which stands for still indeterminate mutability and variability. at a later stage. or an organism (4) the cause \ of the mixture. sage of the Timaetis just referred of the world 70 . as in the pasto.' .e. everything that capable of indefinite variation in (2) number.' from the examples given of the four Plato is thinking in the Fhilebtbs. self- out of a combination of two ultimate elements. quantities.' and. i. as has been specially shown by Henry Jackson. ' the 'limit.' i. in the Philebua.' which appears. quantity numerical two. to judge 'classes. In the Timaeus what specially concerns us is the descrip' tion of the formation of the soul of the universe.e.

in if we ' identify the mixture ' with the measured magnitudes of the sensible world. the indeterminate and the limit will be found to occupy towards those magnitudes exactly the position ascribed by Aristotle to the 'One' and ' ' ' the 'Duality' in reference to the 'Ideas. they are which results ' from them what ' the One and ' ' the Duality are to the pure logical concept. fftct. ' Ideas to the system of scientific concepts. but not identical with. then.' KNOWLKDGE AND concepta ITS OBJECTS of everyday 'things' rather than of that of pure Hence it ia probably a mistake to identify any of the four classes with the One and the 'Indeterminate Duahty/ or to ask in which class we are to look for the Ideaa' We ' ' ' ' should rather expect to find in his classes factors which are analogous to. while the 'Same' Other in the composition of the soul are not ' be identified with the 'One' and the 'Duality. in * So and to the Timaeus.' again. To sum seems to up. those of which the Ideas' are composed. Plato's doctrine of 'Ideas' culminate in the thought that the whole existing universe forms a system exhibiting that 71 . and * which hold towards 'sensible things' the same relation as that held ' ' by the components of the And.' they have clearly the same functions to that particular 'mixture' .

* it is only approximate it is .' PLATO character of precise and determinate order and law of which we find the ideal type in the inter- connected science. the to law. we must remember.* copies of the Ideas of science. so far as ' is exact and complete. ' conformity is is never complete in the sensible world . And here. ' always a tran- scendent ideal. 72 . Absolute and exact 'conformity to law ' is to be found only in the ideal constructions Or. * concepts of a perfected deductive When * he says that sensible things are which are the true objects what he means is that they exhibit everywhere what we now speak of as conformity But for Plato. so far as such uniformity is actually in it * verifiable experience. in other words. there an element in all actual sensible experience which defies precise measurement and '\ calculation. again. his conclusion does not seem to be very different from that of the profoundest modem reflection upon science and her methods. * of a pure conceptual science.

THE SOUL OP MAN~P8TCH0L0ay. best approached ethics And this conception is. the mind is just a 'knowing and perceiving subject/ and nothing mental more. From this it follows at ' ' * once that there ' is and only one.« means that the one and only function of life is cognition. as we can reconstruct it by comparison of the works of Plato and Xenophon and the notices which have come down men. AND POLITICS To understand Plato's scheme of moral and political philosophy. it is necessary first of all to be acquainted with his general conception of the nature of the soul. by starting from the simple and psychology of Socrates. The ethical and psychological doctrine of Socrates. virtue or excellence possible 73 .CHAPTER III ETHICS. again. one.' that ' to us of the views of the other 'Socratic may be virtu e is summed up in know ledge/ the one proposition Primarily this pro- position It may be said to be a psychological ono.

The earliest group of the dialogues we have seen. clung to the simple psychology of the master. and that wrong action isconsequently^ always involuntary. in the main concerned with the peculiarly Socratic problem of arriving at definitions received moral 'virtues.' one and only of one defect or mal-performance . and or 'vice. intellectual error. viz.' of the commonly The course of the investigation. It is interesting to trace the is which Plato gradually led to replace the Socratic conception is of the soul by a view which more complex and are. tljat^no jaan_^n^ know what is good for hina without doing it. are all connected with the discovery that mental in reality a life is much more complex way in thing than Socrates had supposed. like Antisthenes the Cynic. that the virtues ' are wrongdoing is s iinply-Q^re^^ef judgment. the teristic adequate performance of its charac- function of knowing. proceeds as follows. as does more justice to the facts of moral experience.PLATO to mind. It is proposed to determine the of a exact meaning of some currently used name 74 . Hence we can ' immediately deduce really one. in most cases. function. that jail all the familiar paradoxes of all the Socratic morality . The ethical advances made by Plato upon Socrates and those Socratics who.

upon his attention being •"ailed by Socrates to the difference between the ho proceeds to pro- enumeration of the members of a class and the definition of the class-concept. Then. In the purely Socratic type of dialogue.' by the reflections that to it are shown to be defective there are cases in which would not be unjust withhold repayment of a deposit.' or doing crood to one's friends and harm to one's enemies. as control' identified 'self- when in or 'temperance' is identified the Charmidea with self-knowledge. Usually the respondent of the dialogue begins by falling into the mistake of propounding an enumeration of different instances of the virtue in question. pound one or more popular kind. or true courage. as e. such as ^in * self-control the Charmidea) or 'courage' (in the Ixichea). and thus shown to be if insufficient.g. 75 . Socrates usually next leads up to a definition in is which the virtue under examination with some form of knowledge. I the Republic. definitions of a loose and These definitions are tested by comparison with some example of the virtue in question to which they will manifestly not apply. in Book ' i.' THE SOUL OF MAN virtue or moral excellence. where the tentative definitions ' of 'justice as ' paying what one owes. and that a virtu- ous man as such will never willingly do harm to any one.

76 . it is particular form of knowledge corresponds to the particular virtue in question. so that the identification of virtue with knowledge leads to an to inability distinguish any one special moral excellence from virtue in general. Zac^.PLATO in the is not jorroidable. Laches.jithJuiQwledggLof whatiajtnrl what On closer examination.' and hence qualities. howfound that we are unable to say what ever. but easy to read between the lines that the true source of the diffi- culty has been the one-sided Socratic reduction of all mental activity to cognition.) is apply to courage in particular as distinguished from other morally excellent result in The formal such dialogues thus the merely negative one that we have learned our gravest import with which own ignorance about matters of the we believed ourselves it is to be perfectly acquainted.' pointed out that a formidable thing simply means a future or |mpending_eyil. It is this over-simplification of the psychological facts which has made it impossible to distinguish one form of moral excellence from another. (Thus in the ' when courage has been is defined as knowit is ledg e of what and is not formidable. so that the definition really ' amounts to the statement that courage is is knowledge of what fails to and what is not really evil.

Socrates feels a doubt. r^^ards the opinion of any one citizen as to the morality of a proposed course of action as being equally valuable with that of any other. the literary masterpiece of Plato's/'''''^ earliest period.thjl :50DL of Nowhere psjtituAogj is man the defect of the Socratic moral clearlj brought out than in the more ^ ProiagoroB. in a high degree.g. Here the original question pro- pounded is whether moral virtue can be taught by a master to a pupil. justice. Protagoras strongly advo- cating the popular view that there are a variety and that the same man may possess one of them. due to tho careful that persons yho a^e piost about the education of their children inake no attempt to provide them with expert instruction in 'virtue. and that the public assembly. which in general refnaes to take the advice of a layman against that of a specialist in any branch of knowledge. rotagoraa I is. as becomes a professional teacher it morals. e. and yet be sadly deficient in of entirely distinct types of virtue. 77 . quite sure that facts can . the original question by an apparent irrelevance. replaced by the problem whether virtue is one or many. as of course should be Dossible if virtue is simply a form of knowledge.' as in other accomplish- ments. In the course of the discussion which is. follows.

champions the doctrine that there is only one kind of virtue. Socrates. who had been is sure that is it virtue can be taught like any science or art. Protagoras. and is painful consequences our vice always miscalculation. by treating virtue as simply identical with knowledge. to interpreters who have irony. by expounding the ism. has made it * impossible to frame as any single conception of Socrates. Socrates. virtue' a whole.PLATO another. and arises from miscomputation of the relative amounts of pleasure and pain to which a given act will lead. courage. equally sure that it a paradox to identify with knowledge. now familiar doctrine of egoistic is Hedonthe of Virtue the right estimation of pleasurable actions . is knowledge and nothing The apparently lame conclusion of the dialogue has caused much embarrassment But the is clear.g. is it found to be maintaining else. at the end of the discussion the two parties have changed places. who was inclined to deny that its teachability. Thus. e. which is knowledge. as Plato is careful to point out. has equally failed to make any 78 . failed to sympathise with Plato's dramatic real point which Plato is anxious to make If Protagoras. by treating each moral excellence as altogether different in kind from every other. for his part.

' In that case. have been necessary to proceed to the question. in worked out in the Republic. correct about a subject may be held by persons who have no real insight into the reasoned grounds for their opinions. Meno were not arbitrarily cut short at the point where this suggestion has been reached. and are thus not possessed If the discussion in the of knowledge. professional scientific instruction. we need not be surprised that what virtue we find in the world is not the result of since. though ' knowledge can only be obtained by opinions * proof. in IB what way a 'correct opinion. TTere. it would.THE SOUL OF MAN 'I'scriminAtion > possible between the different irU26&' We ard taken a step further towards a more adequate moral psychology in the dialogue Meno. of course. ere is avowedly no such thing as a recognised science of good action with a body of professional teachers of its principles. again. rtue met by the can be the same thing are we old question how if as knowledge.' which |v not knomladge^ aboftt the morally good and bad can be produced in the souL this question is given The full answer to v by the theory of education^V and that theory. The answer ' is sug- gested that scientific possibly virtue depends not upon knowledge but on correct opinion. 79 .

a unity. It indeed. chief made up of among . and mythically covery imposing allegory of the Phaed/ru8. which is ex- pounded most fully in the Repichlic set forth in the and Timaeus. depends ' on the psychological distinction ' between the parts. it.PLATO its turn. which Plato reckons the emotions of righteous indignation and scorn of what is base hence the general name for this elerftent is with him. but is a unity ^ within which we can distinguish a plurality of different functions.\ may be briefly is condensed into the phrase that the soul unit^ nor a neither a mere undifferentiated plurality of independent mere is. Plato's great psychological dis. and the disconnected activities. but both a One and a as Many. and not. i^ * parts ' or * kinds. or. of the soul. as Plato them.' or it congeries of distinct activities. the * appetitive part*. kind was frequently content to group the second and third * parts ' together. the Later Platonism of a popular 'spiritad' part. Theaetetus puts a sort of 'Trojan horse. the calculative or rational part]^ii part feel the appetitive cravings con- with which we nected with the satisfaction of our organic bodily needs. in opposition to the 80 .3a part the higher and nobler enfotions.' * kinds' there are three: la more naively calls Of such parts or part with which we * ' reason.

e. as a people. pre-eminent in Thus the Greeks. The distinction thus obtained then confirmed by appeal to our experience of the broad differences in character between races and social classes. are and devoted to science the . sufficient to establish the distinction between the * reasons or reflects crave. northern barbarians are distinguished by their unreflecting impetuous daring. as we from the sense of indignation with ourarises selves which when we have stooped appetite which to the gratification of an reason conis demns. the The existence of these distinct ele- ments in mental life is primarily proved in the RepMie hy appeal to the facts of individual psychology. conflict is Our common experience is. the Phoenicians and Egyptians by F skill in and devotion to com- 8i . its may be enlisted on the struggle with appetite. * under the common name of the irrational ' part of the soul.' ' and the part wherewith we ' * The is further recognition of the spirited element then based upon the consideration that the higher emotions side of reason in see. a simplification for in which Plato himself prepares the way Timaeue. of the between rational judgment as to what taken in conjunction with part of the soul which good and appetite the Jaw of Contradiction..' THE SOUL OF MAN rational element.g.

and for his Philosophy of History.' being mortal. 'spirit' and 'appetite. tho other two. — tho organised ministering to the appe- So again.PLATO merce tites. In the Timaeiis the same psychological distinction reappears in a more accentuated form as the basis of what we might ' call a simple Psycho-physics. there are three main distinguishable classes: the devotees of knowledge. being immortal and having seat in the brain. whence do these differences in racial and class character spring. again. in any society. if not from a corresponding difference in the mental constitution of individuals. Now. as we shall see. of merchandise . the industrial class. be said to be the connecting thread by which the vast range of inquiries taken up in the Re- public are held together in an artistic unity. and located tively. of fundamental importance not only tion. It may. according as one or other of the three ' kinds ' is predominant ? The result thus obtained becomes. in the thorax and abdomen respec- In the Pha£drii8 we find the same ideas 82 . for Plato's theory of educa- but for his classification and estimate of the different forms of political and social organisation. the wise counsellors. the its * rational ' soul. The three distinct 'parts* are there described as three ' : souls one. or. of prowess. the daring soldiers. in fact.

receives a distinct place the scheme. the one nobler the other baser (appetite). r —. in fact. Neither 'conation' nor 'feeling/ in our modern sense.* will with characteristic ' 'desires. must. As Plato himself ' in the Republic. Plato . It will be noticed that Plato's psychological psychology has analysis thus corresponds to none of those with which modem made us in familiar. Before we proceed to examine the ethical and political scheme based by Plato upon it is this analysis of the human mind.' ' each part' there is a >rresppnding >ures. regarded as features of each of the three 'parts of the soul. in iit Plato's scheme. desirable to say some- thing in general about his conception of the destiny and dignity of the soul. In particular. Both puts are. As 83 is well known. Hence ' it has been correctly said that Plato's ' parts of the soul represent rather three different levels of • mental development than three different ' aspects or ' features ' of the individual psychical process. be identified with choice.' and pains of of ii its own. and thus be assigned to the reasoning faculty or function. he soul as a human charioteer (reason) borne by H pair of horses. for 'life.' it.THE SOUL OF MAN s^-mbolicAlly expressed by the representation of (spirit).

and that the question whether it is ultimately one or many might receive but a hint dropped a different answer if we could contemplate it apart from the effects of its connection with the body. 84 . said.* ^ by the way that our tripartite analysis of the soul may only hold good of it in its incarnate state.PLATO repeatedly insists both upon the immortality and There is. indeed. the pre-existonce of the individual soul. arguments for immortality and pre- existence are set forth principally in the Meno. In the Timaeus. is The source is of the difficulty partly to bo found in the fact that Plato's language on these matters almost always tinged with a greater or smaller admixture of imaginative myth. j ( Phaedo and Meno we hear merely of the prcexistence and deathlessness of the soul without ' ' further qualification. as we have already 'rationar soul is the explicitly distinguished as im- mortal from its mortal concomitants. a difficulty as to whether it is to the whole tripartite soul or only to its rational part that he means to ascribe these characteristics. In the Republic a formal * proof is offered for the immortality of the is soul. which are it represented as being added expressly to adapt to its conjunction Plato's with a mortal body. partly perhaps in a modifiIn the cation of his views with advancing age.

sleeping and waking.111 and give birth ' to each other.THE SOUL OF MAN Ptuiedo. A modem physicist might. by which life gives place to death . The argument all thus. is treated by Plato as an precisely the doom which. life. like many the deductions of Herbert Spencer. but on grounds of analogy it is reasonable to postulate the existence of a corresponding reverse process by which the dead return again to life. tho ' procoonon of the universe in general al. the process of dying. . or. it is urged that ar a:. the ultimate fate of the universe must be the entire cessation of t life. The best-known of the arguments for immortality are those of the Phoitdo. and from our point exposed to the objection that the alleged reversibility of all natural processes is in conflict with the second law of Thormo-dynamics. turns on processes in nature are the assumption that marked by of view is cyclical rhythm. In the see in ise of the opposites ' death and we experience only one half of the cycle. that 'opposites' . declare that the life. In fact» unless there exists such a reverse process. (1) which may be summarised as follows: On the analogy of our experience of various rhythuiical prooesses. in fact. RepubUc. Itimate extinction of absurdity. and Timaeua. suoh as thoae of expansion and contraction. in virtue 85 . as Plato puts it.

lays stress (2) is A second analogy on which Plato that between the soul which knows is and the objects of "True" knowledge. natural that while the body like the rest of the is changing physical world. material.PLATO of the dissipation of energy. the soul invisible. life. visible. possibility This doctrine. pre-existence. accepted. the opposite ' • 86 . thus what would be called in the later technical language of Aristotle an essential attri- bute of souL Consequently death. incapable of dissipation into locally separate constituents. the soul to the eternal as to so far akin be imperishable. Like the concepts which science contemplates. argument of the Phaedo an ontological The Life * soul ' is itself life the very principle of and produces is everywhere where it is present. to be explained immediately. composed then gredients. is whereas the body of separable into infer. is The crowning one. according to which scientific knowledge is really a process of 'recollection* of truths with which the mind was already familiar in a previous state if of existence. he anticipates for the universe. proves and thus continued after establishes at least the of existence (4) of the dis- embodied soul death. definite consequences are (3) More drawn from t^e famous Platonic doctrine. It is is. immaterial. perishable.

other causes.THE SOUL OF MAN of is life. etc. that there no such thing as a dead all after we have by no means proved that the soul or It is is still exists anything at the death of the body. deathless. it must always be this specific evil if must die of wickedness. the soul its . This argument runs as follows.. 87 . can never be truly predicated of that which life itself. can only bring about death indirectly by first leading to some specific disease of our organism. therefore. destructible at the immediate cause of ' ' destruction it dies of anything. is The soul. flaw in this ontological argument is fairly We may is readily rejoin that.gr. in proving soul. therefore not surprising that the RepvMic. soul is is Now all. Nothing that is can be destroyed except by its own proper and specific Thus. the specific ' evil if ' of the wickedness. and consequently. such as the uuwhole- someness of our food. The patent. e. specific to the animal organism. should present a new argument of a moral kind intended to make the indestructibUity of soul more certain. the principle of A ' dead soul would ' be a contradiction in terms.. while allu ding in passing to the 'other' argu- ments for immortality. the human body can only // 'evil* i perish from diseases. and it is is an easy inference that what can survive death absolutely indestructible.

88 . And. intensify (Plato is. of course. In the Pha£d(ru8 as the argument by immortality. that ' soul^isjthe source of process in the universe. less regress. movement he as we have seen. thinking of that conjunction of mental energy with moral perversity which we are accustomed to associate with such names as those of the If the specific ' Borgias or of Napoleon. to when conjoined with great mental it. if soul movement would ultimately since this disappear from the universe. all soul. ' of thus incapable of destroying we for may safely infer that it is secure against all dis- solution. to escape from an end- we are obliged to hold that movement ultimate initiated from without has always self.originated or cation from without. infers that soul. Hence. imperishable. is previously presented the condensed into the general contention All all movement and movement whatever received by communi. is either self.originated its source in a prior or spontaneous movement. it often appears.PLATO But experience shows that wickedness is far from diminishing the soul's vitality. capacity. is the ultimate source of movement.) the soul is evil it. on the contrary. unthinkable for Plato. Plioedo. Now that which has the power of is spontaneous movement could cease to be. universal cessation of And is.

She must 89 . only sorves to recall to he mind by suggestion ideal concepts derived irom a non-empirical illustrates source. Socrates this position by appropriate questions to an uneducated and thus eliciting from him a correct perception of mathematical truths in which he has never been instructed ScientiHc truth is thus shown acter. mathematical Since seoBe-experience never presents more than an imperfect approximation to the relations cognised in scientific knowledge. The premise upon which > it is based is the epiatemological doctrine that scientific knowledge reoollection of what we have previously known. again in the Phaedo. that to say. sccatific. at best. it follows that the souroe of such knowledge is not sense-e xperience. In the Meno putting slave. is rbis conviction itself CO! lion of derived from Plato's con' the ' tranaoeiident is character of purely truth. and apparently with a direct refoenoo (o that dialogue. to be of a non-empirical d priori char- and the interpretation given by Plato to this fact is that what we commonly call the learning' of a science is simply a process in which the soul 'recollects' truths of which she was already in unconscious possession. Sense-experience.THE SOUL OF MAN The argument i for pre-existenoe is put before iu the Meno.

and have been acquainted with these pure d priori truths.PLATO then. in the train of the great procession of the gods. as a turning round of the eye of * the soul to behold the light.' and in the Theaetetus to liken the function of the philosophic teacher to that of the midwife. The as yet un- embodied soul is pictured in the Phaed/nis under the figure of a charioteer borne on a car drawn by two winged steeds (spirit and appetite). and the half-mythical cosmo- ly gony of the TiTnaeuSfthesQ convictions as to immortality and pre-existence are made the basis for an imaginative picture of the fortunes and destiny of the soul. Republic. Fhaed/ms. before her incarnation in the body. It is this same conviction of scientific of the non-empirical char- acter truth which leads Plato to describe the process of education in the Republic in opposition to views which place the essence of education in the communication of information from without. Phaedo. in which the details are borrowed partly from Pyth agorean astronoiny^ partly from the Pythagorean and Orphic religious mythology^ the main purpose of the whole being to impress the imagination with a sense of the eternal signifi- cance of right moral choice. it is argued. In the great myths of the Gorgias. have been in existence. 90 .

necessary before the soul can first become station fully 'winged' and return to her the heavens. the choice of a second bodily The is soul which has thrice in succession life.THE SOUL OF MAN whose goal. that place above the heavens where the eternal bodiless Ideas in all their purity. trol may be contemplated The soul which fails to con' iu coursers sinks to earth." an? becomes incarnate recollections in a mortal body. composed of ten bodily the period of after with one thousand year's retribution is each in life. 91 In the Republic Plato . loses its winf^s.' Its influence of beauty. that ended. thereafter dismissed to live unencumwith bered by the body in spiritual converse heavenly things. and. Love of beauty rightly cultivated all high and the ' wings ' of the soul thus b^^ life is to sprout once more. forgetit ting the 'Imperial palace whence came. however. when life. chosen the worthiest that of the lover of wisdom. be awakened by the which is capable of presentation through the the senses. For others. as ia ' they move round ibu vault of ' heaven. a pilgrimage of ten lives thousand years. the only *Idea* may. medium of develops into love of wisdom and of sacred things . there follows a period of retribution for the good and is evil deeds done in the body. After one earthly over.

some returning from rewards last incar- heaven life. is set For each * life it down what is its outward destinies and cir- cumstances are to virtue to be. but on the character of the soul. each for himself. God is clear thereof —words which in a later age were adopted human freedom According as a battle-cry by the partisans of against the Stoic predestinationism. not on a fate. and man shall have more or it according as of a * he honours or contemns The choice new 'life' is left free to is the individual soul. The assembled in souls. accompany For virtue depends less of it it. are mustered before the thrones of the Fates and bidden to choose.PLATO professes to describe by the mouth of a witness brought back from the world of the dead what happens at one of the times of incarnation succeeding upon the close of a period of retribution. but not what degree of it. to the tastes souls. the responsibility with the chooser. and to the and dispositions of the individual degree of wisdom they have 92 . for the good deeds of their nate others ascending from a purgatorial prison-house of the evil (both here and in the Phaedo Plato provides for the unending punishment only of one or two hopelessly bad malefactors on a colossal scale). a life from a number of lives ' which are placed before them.

% soul which dwelt an animal its body may become that of a human being at next birth. and each assigned to its special star. and this. In this process a soul which has in- habited a in that of or. where the more crude pictures of hell and purgatory have been dis- carded. 93 . where it may learn those Jajw e f the -aniieraal order of things in bedience to which our happiness stands. once made. those who have lived worse as women.THE SOUL OF MAN derived from philosophy or from oxperionco. is irro- Tocable. bosom of Earth and of tho planets. into the cast. At the like appointed time the various souls are seeds. but also in the less mythical Timaeus. In the Timaeua the souls of those who are hereafter to be (jod at the first bom as men are fashioned by is making of the world. and are brought forth thence as men literally sprung from the soil' After death. they make their choice. The Orphic fancy hi^'hly of transmigration meets us again not only in the Phaedo. vice human body may come to be incarnate to itself. Thus Plato offers us a curious kind of evolutionary theory d rebours. or as nferior animals of different kinds according to tho degree of their shortcomings. those who have lived best in the body are reincarnated as men. some animal of qualities akin last in vena.

all that we commonly i.e. when he would speak of these matters at 94 .' and for this reason falls outside the scope of science rightly so-called. Plato's own stories of the fortunes of the soul are to be estimated primarily as an imagi- native expression of a djep conviction of the supreme importance of right conduct and good living . with the transcendent concepts of pure deductive science . in Platonic philosoj^hy the said to have myths can. According to Plato himself. a falsehood or lies 'fiction. as opposed to that of unchanging 'being. hardly be entirely concerned Plato's opinion.PLATO It is not easy to decide how far any details of these rayths are to be taken as seriously meant. also.' of largely incalcul- able change and variation. incidentally. call the world of experience and 'actual fact' belongs for the realm of ' him to becoming. any direct knowledge significance. they enable him to indi- {'Cate his opinions on the astronomical structure of 'the world. is For the For. strictly and its value it simply in the moral effect of the emotions arouses upon character. the myth speaking. and to show by an example what might if it be made it of the popular mythology were overhauled and remodelled with a view to ing enlist- on the side of a sound morality.' is. Hence. Judged from this point of view.

Since the soul itself contains a nonfactor. notion. To return to the subject of the Platoni^ thftory of ethics and politics. rational as well as a rational complete moral excellence must consist in the mainten- anc€ of the proper relation between the two. upon which the salvation of a community depends. fittor should govern and the inferior obey. . he can only do so by means of a 'likely story/ which makes no claim to set forth scientific truth. itself' It is bnly in this relation that the inferior makes the most' of its powers and enjoys the highest 95 . e can now see how Plato's more developed psychology enables him to escape the most obyious difficulties created by the W Socratic identification of virtue with intellect ual insight. The in common since the is days of Neo- Platonism. just as the right relan between classes. comprehension. is entirely foreign to precisely when he is dealing with what he regards as the ultimate realities that his language is most 'scientific' and least mythical. and Uie attainment of the proper development of But the proper relation between the two is that the higher and worthier element should rule and the inferior obey. is that the worthier and each.THE SOUL OF MAN all. that the myth the appropriate form which It to symbolise truths too sublime for is rational Plato.

as the chief Against the Cynic he urges that the definition good as * insight is ' is circular. Hence Plato most finds himself in opposition at once to the one-sided .nrH onprAmA ](^vr |j fA dictated by ratipad-maiglit. ideal is w hose and all. what of the their character. that none of us would ' ' . a life of varied and intense desires passions. with complete satisfaction for them Plato contends that such an ideal Js^^esscaitiaily self-contradictorv. The moral with ft ideal i s thus a nf condition in which tho passions and emotions are / in fLnr. and to Hedonism which regards the no matter good of man. and is. when pressed to say what the object of such insight.PLATO good possible to dAVftlnpfifl it. gratification of desires as they arise. intellectualism of the Cynics. seriously choose as the best life one of purely intellectual insight unaccompanied by any form Against the Hedonist of gratified feeling. since. you are driven to reply that it is insight into the good and further. the intensity of satisfaction very largely upon the intensity of the preceding sense of want and dissatisfaction. 96 . the 1 faithful ry ^ continuers of the Socratic tradition which identifies virtue with the fashionable mere intellectual insight. garity To say nothing of the vuland unworthiness of some very intense depends there- satisfactions.

in our enoee of bodily pleasure. really wish^ In the Republic. and are thus not mingled with the element of mere relief from pain. A principal in- gredient. to A gruai cAtuut. (Compare Shelley's well-known line about the 'unrest which miscall delight') men And. since our appetites grow on. than any other man to gratify wkhout is scruple.' do not depend on a previous painful sense of want. for instance. Just because pleases. and more Plato works out this line of thought into a distinction between two kinds of pleasure. They are wholly leasurable. less ' while their gratifications are at the same time becoming life and less satisfactory. the pure' * and the mixed.THE SOUL OF MAN lore. illusory . and there is no element of illusion I about the experience of them. Prominent among ' Pure pleasures are those which J G 97 . Hence the is of the tyra^Llwho by his position bettor his enabled passions happiest.' he always 'does what he he never succeeds in doing what he fully in the Philehus. to live for the Hedonist's by what they feed end m eans to cultivate passions which are con- stantly becoming more and more imperative. is most intense ox perithe sense of relief from preceding bodily distress. so far from being the really the most wretched of exist- enges^.

Plato's for psychology further makes it possible him to do justice to the consideration that a moral virt ue cert ain degree of may be attained by the man who has merely ICDxrecL^piniflgQa. without philosophic insight. the life of the ' wisdom. colour. the aesthetic plea- sures derived from the co ntemplation of beauty of form.' In the last resort.^^ rather than by their quantity. derive most of their intensity from the contrast with the previous painful tension of unsatisfied appetite.' PLATO hem are. and the pleasures which * attend the acquisijyionj)^ knowledge. of purely physical pleasures. ' . indeed. is preferable to that of the man who lives for the satisfaction of ambition or appetite. pleasures are to be estimated _by_tlieir_. q8 . those of j the sense of smell of others. sure s of appetite are ' impure or ' The pleamixed they * .' because richer in 'pure' and undeceptive pleasure. On this ground" lover of Plato maintains that even from the point of view of pleasurableness itself. and tone. and their apparent delightfulness is thus chiefly an jjji usion. insight and virtue cannot be separated. Hence for the man who desires true happiness a small quantity of ' pure pleasure is amount of ' more valuable than a very large mixed pleasure in other words.

. But ue who possesses this insfgiii bimsel/ may emit V \ ploy to provide training and discipline for the and appetites of others who do not . Hence.aselves possess it.e. and to whom morality comes. f . . in the Republic^ Plato is able to v recc^iso a higher and a lower stage of moral oxCfiUfince. in into the whom laws of right living rests upon personal insight ' good* The inferior level of excellenco 99 .THF SOUL OF MAN Bince Lho 'oxcollonce' of a soul lucaiis its ado- quato realisation of its functions and capabilities. obedience to tho The hig her constituted by the virtue of the genuine philosopher. and this is only possible in a life in is which the action of the irrational elements rational insight into the ' prescribed by into tho place good/ i... themselves acquainted by philosophy with the true nature of society and the human soul. The lower stage *cit i ' is what he calls the (. therefore. of human nature in the scheme of things. ci accord with the laws of rig^ht living as laid down b y wise rulers. as a body of right^pinions as v o what is good or bad. is and the rational ends of action. .. a ') moral state of a lo^al in >^ . accepted on autEority vj"*^ ions ' * apart from personal insight into the grounds foiCA^' ^ them.

Virtue. the seductive but dangerous ecclesiastical con- cv ception of a distinction between life which suffice for the ordinary and the higher qualifications of the select few who aspire to ' perfection. primacy for the practical inasmuch as it 100 .* precisely because it has own characteristic its is function to discharge.' its In this scheme Socraticism has preserved essential spirit by the sacrifice of its letter. since each factor in the soul has its own its specific ' excellence. Yet insight retains life. and to be produced in them by a in moral education begun their earliest years. proceeds in order through the whole sphere of science.* and more distantly the virtues of humanity. all citizens of Plato's ideal com- munity.is no longer a mere unity.* cation Thus Plato's scheme of moral eduAristotelian distinction {rjOiKoX anticipates the between 'virtues of character' aperai) and excellences of * intellect. which aims at the formation of char acter by discipline of the passions and emotions. the superior is to be attained only by the chosen few outcome of an intellectual training which supervenes on the preliminary discipline of as the final the irrational nature. and culminates in the 'dialectic' which reveals the true character of *good./ <? is PLATO demanded of is .

' perhaps be ' healthy-minded- a word which has unfortunate associations for the American branch at least of the English- speaking community. form a plurality of excellences corresponding to the plurality of functions in the soul. the nearest rendering would ncss.THE SOUL OF MAN the philosopher's insight into the true nature of man and lines the true end of lifo which prescribes the \ along which the subordinate 'parts' of the soul are to be allowed to develop.' self-control. beauty. Etymologically. The uses of the word in for Greek which aoral literature it indicate that the quality stood to Plato's contemporaries was that gracefulness. This untranslatable term has ' been variously * rendered in English * by temperance. The conse- quence Tirtue. sense of form and lOI . but a plurality which is made into a 8ip|<j[le harmonious system by the presence of a guiding prin ciple. ' is that with Plato the leading types of the quadrilateral of the sinco familiar ' cardinal virtues. The leading forms ustice.* equivalents which are all objectionable from the implication of painful self-restraint which they carry with them. Plato to be roughly represented by the names j wisdom^ courag e (literally last a9Bp€la\ Bophrosyne.' continence. of virtue are assumed by manliness.

' ' — chivalry. Wisdom is i s__specifically ' proper discharge of function in the part with [whlcFwe fear or reason'.' * is the opposite of v^pi^i.. to \ j be ashamed o f-^e things a man ought to fear or to feel shame for. . when wisdom prescribes the end and rule of life when the emotions of righteous indignation.n ordered and disciplined condition of the appetites. PLATO proportion which solence.* characteristic excellences of the three I of these virtues are identified by Plato with the ' parts ' functions of the soul. honour. are enlisted in the support of wisdom and its law. our readiest way understand sophrosyne I think.' to In fact. 'Nothing overmuch. to conceive of the inward and ethical counterpart of the its temper and manner which we know in minor Three or outward manifestations as 'good form. and no others sophrosyrieTs'a. 'inis absence of moral good taste/ and inculcated by the traditional precept of Delphi. loyalty. and the appetites I02 . courage ' the right and perfect c ondition of 'spirit whicb^has been trai ned. is. A man does his work in_the world which is to live-r-well. only (when there is a due and proper subordination bet ween the^ifferent elements in his character. For complete virtue there must be perfect harmony in the execution of function by the various parts of the soul.

In this way Plato in the Republic lays down the loading principles of that conception of the moral life which we. when the development of each part * controlled by the maintenance of tho proper subordination of lower to higher. have beon schooled by habit into willing obediJustice. simply the individual man * To the distinctions between the parts ' of the soul correspond the distinctions between tho three classes into which a -ilN community naturally / ^he statesm en.THE SOUL OF MAN ence. writ For the State large. rather unjustly.::-r->. then. the same in the is State. The first of these classeB serres the community by its wisdom. or ' community polity ' of citizens. as in the lesser internal of man. when we speak ' of a 'just' man as equivalent to a precisely in the man/ must consist maintenance of this harmony and righteous will due subordination between the various functions of the soul. the artisans and r--~. the virtue which common all language recognises as somehow embracing the rest. have come in to connect common It is speech with the name of his disciple Aristotle. the second by its 103 .e. th e soldiers. * A man ' be 'just/ when each part ' of the soul does its own business ' and does not usurp functions wbTcB belong to another • * part/ is i.

PLATO
prowess and trained strength, the third by making
provision for the satisfaction of the bodily needs.

And

the

State

is

a

well-ordered

governed State when
loyally

its institutions

and justly and laws are

framed by the wisdom of the statesman, supported
against the

enemy from without and
soldier,

sedition

from within by the valour of the

loyally accepted

and obeyed by the
is

industrial

population.
individual,

Justice, in the

community

as in the
its

means that each organ
'

to 'do

own
with

business

;

there

is

to

be a proper sub-division

of function, each social class contenting itself
efficient

performance

of

its

own

special

part in maintaining the existence of the com-

munity, and none usurping a part which

it is

not

fitted to execute. The conception of public duty which we sometimes express by saying that individuals and classes ought to regard their powers and possessions as held in trustf for the

community has never received a more thoroughgoing
exposition

than

in

the

social

system

advocated as ideal in the Republic of Plato.

The Republic begins as an inquiry into what we should now term an ethical rather than a
political question, the question,

What

is

justice

?

/

jut

for^ Plato, as for
is

there

no

real

Greek jhought in^neral^ distinction between the sp heres of^
104

THE
is,

SOnr, OF
^^ ^^'Q

MAV
\

ethics ar>^ I^iitiP*

wouia soo what justice

and what

ia its

connection with the admitted
'

end of human action, happiness, or living woU/ we must not be content to study justice and its
workings as they reveal themselves on a small
scale i9 the life of a single individual,

who may

very possibly be out of tune with the general
organisation of his place and time ;
miraftjvea

we must asl^. what would human life like in a titution s, customs, educommunity in which ins

^

,

with a vi^ y

ti^

^^

r^on^plflf^

embodiment qf

tt>Q

,^

an d how would such a community corapare,in respect of satisfactoriness of lifo, with the communities known to us from experience and history. Thus the Plato nic Socratesj n
principle of justice,

order to vindicate the position that justice
itself,

is in

apart from any ulterior consequences, a better
life

thing than injustice, and the

of the just

man
Ind
^
,

a better

life

than that of the unjust man, however

lucky or successful he

may

bo, finds

him ^olf
if 1

JO
As
at

consider the cl!aracteristi r« nf ^tm
is

Pal

Ktafn

usual with Plato, the starting-point for the
is

great ideal construction
first like

sought in what looks

a very simple and prosaic fact of

experience.

The first requisite of a decently ordered community is found in the economic
105

PLATO
^ principle
mands
calling,

of the division of labour

.

nUtility de-

that each

man

shall

havo his own special

and that

his abilities shall not be frittered
to

away by compelling him
indifferently
this

do several things
is

rather than one thing well./ It

economic

maxim

of

'

one man, one

trade,'

which we subsequently discover
basis of a philosophy of education.

to contain the

fundamental principle of moral conduct and the

The

first

sign

of

its

extended significance

is its

application to

the problem of national defence.

War

is

an

in-

evitable feature of national growth, and for the

successful conduct of

war

it is

not enoug h to

rely,

as the Greeks of the fifth century

had done every-

where except in Sparta,.^ the amateur__valQiir.
of the ordinary citizecLJ^e
I

must have an army
also professional
,

which consists of citizens who are
soldiers, trained naentally

i

and
to

m orally

as well as

physi cally, with a view

military efficiency.

ThuslPlato begins his organisation of society by
distinguishing two classes in his

community
At a

:

the

ordinary industrial, and the trained defender or

'guardian' of national safety.
'

later stage
'

the correspondence between the parts

of the soul

and the classes of the community is made complete by a further selection from the J>guardi^^'.
of a smaller

group of specially able persons who
io6

as well as agri. educational system will be to preserve a balance between the two by a training which shall harden its recipients against the solicitations of pain and pleasure. to be It is IVi no clasy ^f fl^YM Manufactures. ohildrMi w^^ f^KSlwt. are to f t a^ be in thA li^n ^ftfif^ i^qn.^tL^^^ culture.THE SOUL OF MAN are to form the class of statesuiou. and the object of the members of a lower class to a higher. while imparting to them a spirit of open- 107 . when found in combination. . community cognised in Greece as worthy of a freeman.systematic educational preparation for their future duties. from the yery first.Ty(lJt^jj nHwUfc) ola^ birth. while care is taken to prevent the degenera- ion of the scheme into a hard-and-fast system of castes by freq liiiuu mi^v^ nsand^ia^and the degrading of Luc a lower class. (It should bo noted that Plato has already silently indicated a marked innovation on implied that there the is established custom.^ardi&u are to be set apart and subjected to a ' . The qualities specially desirable in a 'guardian' will be courage and gentleness. c*v»-a> super '^^^0 characteris tics recpisite for a '. as well as by the promotion of the deserving and capable Thus there is to be throughout the State a carrUre ouverU aux talents. the only industrial pursuit generally rej .

PLATO raindedness and lovo of cultivation. But he proposes to reform both these departments. Against the current view that gymnastic provides training for the body. as the two branches of a gentleman's education. of moral levity And in His State that is is to unite in an ideal Greek character all best both in Sparta and Athens. canlnaker^tecords' or perform special io8 but . together witETthe art of singing and accompanying oneself on the lyre).aud_ the Athenian besetting fault instability. or perhaps we should rather say.. The object of^mnastic is to and efficient soldiers. he insists that the ultimate object of both is to train the mind. the rudiments ot literature.e.irtau the flexibi]fity~and of the Athenian^^ interest ia things of the mind * while avoiding the Spartan's tendency to intellectual narrowness and boorishness. to tlic Plato wishes combine the strength aod hardness of cliaractcr with Sp. He finds the material for the double moral education he desires in the current Hellenic conception of 'gymnastics' and 'music' (i. just as some intel- modern thinkers have dreamed * ' ' of a union of ' Hebraic moral earnestness and Hellenic lectual cultivation in a single type.' . in Dorian character and Ionian intellect. in fact. music for the mind. not specialised athletes make brave who feats.

the tradition. £ut Plato. was more repelled than attracted by the moral tone of the national sacred literature. In ' music his reforms are of a more ' f&r-reaching character. iit: e the physical traming of his 'guardians' is to be throughout adapted to the production of all-round military efficiency of mind and body. We cannot IB ft expect a high standard of conduct is community which accustomed to believe immoral stones about the beings whom it worships and reveres. On the literary side. amount of an we must also add an acquaintance with the chief productions of the great national dramatists.jmmu^. sources of generally venerated To estimate the Athenian's literary culture. the musical' education of the Athenian gentleman consisted first and foremost in acquaintance with the poems of Homer and Hesiod. great repositories of accepted religious and with some of the compositions of the gnomic and lyric poets which were to the Greek what such Biblo works as the 'wisdom ethical precept literature' of the are to ourselves. Accordingly Plato lays down ^o canons to be observed in 109 all tales told to the . like many thinkers before him. and accordingly proposes to subject it to drastic revision.

the great heroes of old must never be represented as indulging in unseemly passions or mercenary calculations of self-interest. Partly this sentence is based upon the conviction that an impressionable spectator tends to become assimilated is in his character to that which for his enacted before own him amusement. part on the stage his life has of life efficiently. ciuniot lie.' making his citizens He would not have them brilliantly drama in superficial. nor must the unseen world be painted in the horrific colours of popular ghost-lore. beingjgjgd. in fact. the greater part of the poetical mythology is at once con- V f demned. Plato. _caiinot be the author of evil. Further. God On the strength of these two principles. and that only when been given to the learning of of devotion to the * dreads the effect versatile. at echoing ideas or no . fares even Plato would.PLATO ng about gods or heroes. Partly. But if epic poetry is to be thus thoroughly overhauled. the drama worse. with his deep-rooted convic- tion that a man can only play one it. God. and hence a large part of the current drama is to be rejected as imitative of things and persons which are merely vulgar and base. prohibit tragedy and comedy altogether. unless we and ^ mean to train our pupils to be cowards afraid of death. quick at posing.

except the Dorian and Phrygian. but it is an economy life ' human of the truth to represent him as intending his ' censure to only upon bad realistic art. ' He boheniianism* and the 'artistic temperament' For similar reasons he would expel from education. toprohibit imaginative literature and art as such. and our current ideas of conduct. The attack upon art is renewed with even more bitterness in the last book of the RepvMic. literature is an exaggeration and perversion even of them. He copies vulgar everyis a mere caricaturist day experience. as tending to excite unwholeeome moods of all feeling. The poet. OF MAN come from has a horror of counterfeiting emotions which do not the depths of their nature. means^j^gainst his own inclinations.) Plato's language shows that his judgment has been largely inspired by hostility to 'realistic' tendencies in the letters and art of his time. which goes so far as to demand the absolute suppression of poetry. and he does not even copy it without distortion. 'The underlying thought is thus that coarse and ' ' ' ' imperfect as are our of common ' everyday notions and character. fall He seriousl y ' ^ III . we are there told. which is itself a mere inaccurate copy of the true types or Ideas of things.THE SOUI. the current 'modes' or 'scales' of music.

PLATO
There
is

no more pathetic example of the irony of

human

history than this spectacle of the greatest ^^

literary genius of Greece, in his zeal for truth

and
all

t

clearness

oT

vision,

proposing

to

sacrifice

which has made Greece most precious
world.

to

the

The
for
t

early education thus planned by Plato for

his statesmen

and

soldiers is intended to provide

them up
will

to the

age of incipient manhood.
it is

be noted that

primarily^ altogethei; a

iscipline for

character and^.tastej
at,

Jhe

strictly

intellectual education supervenes

a later stage,

and

is,

for the

most
all,

part, confined to the

most
are

select class of

the exceptional few
to serve the

who

judged competent
rulers.
)

community as its upon any account of it, Plato has first to explain and defend three paradoxical features by which the organisation of the
Before he enters
projected
state
is

to

be marked.
is

(1)

In the

'guardian classes' there

to be

no such thing

as private property or a private family.
'
'

The

guardians are to receive from the community at

large the

means

of their support, but are to be

brbidden to amass private possessions of any kind*
Indeed, they are not so

much

as to have private

houses, but are apparently to live in a kind of

perpetual garrison.

The

object of this provision^

112

THE SOUL OF MAN
<^

simplj

interests

to prevent the growth of privato on the part of the 'guardian/ which

might

conflict with entire devotion to the public

welfare,

and we may conjecture that

it

was sug-

gested in part by the painfully familiar fact that

even the Spartan, the most public-spirited of
Greeks, usually showed himself shamelessly venal

when placed
chance to
reposed
Plato's

in positions which gave
his private

him

the
trust

make

market of tho
object

in

him.

A

similar

underlies

daring attempt to abolish

the private

family.

A private

family he regards as a stand-

ing temptation to disloyalty on the part of tho

public servant to the public interest.
R. L. Nettleship has put
it,

As the

late

Plato's objections to

the family are explained by the associations of

such words as nepotism.'
'

We may add

that he

is

alive to the truth expressed

by the epigram that
Moreover,

un ph^
it

de famille

est

capable de tout.

with a splendid reliance on science, Plato thought
possible

by

scientific prevision

to control the

propagation of the

human

species so as to pro'

duce the best
J>f> i-Arrnrrl

ofi&pring.

Hen'

niardiansaro
as a J^ubHc

tho procreatiou of

cL.^u:\..i

pr

ot as a private privily.

Marriages are

when the sagacious statesmen to whom the charge of them is committed, think
o take place

PLATO
desirable,

and between

such

couples

as

they

judge

best.

And

Plato strongly maintains that
of individual
is

in thus eliminating all elements

caprice from the union of the

sexes he

not

destroying but increasing the sanctity of marriage,

service.
systiftm

by converting In the same
no parents are

it

into

an act

of public

spirit

he

forbids the whole

nf *hnmfl fidnr.ation/
to

Among
their

his

'

guar-

dians,'

know

own

children.

All children are to be brought
birth,

up together from

and

to

regard one another as one great

family of which the whole elder generation are
to

be accounted the parents.

In this way he

thinks, by abolishing family selfishness,

he

will

best promote the single-hearted devotion to the

public welfare at which he aims.

The State
in
it
*

will

be truly one/ because every
' '

man

will call

mine just what every other
'

citizen calls

mine.'

These

communistic

proposals

were

already
'

subjected to the unfavourable criticism of com-

mon

sense'

by

Aristotle,

and most modern

students of Plato have hastened to echo Aristotle's objections.

unfairness of

Yet we are perhaps inclined to judgment by the fact that the
life

conditions of family
different
is

among

ourselves are so
It

from those which Plato has in view.
114

natural to us to

think of the family, when

and to point to the fact that experience shows the moral effects of ovon an unsatisfactory home to be better than those of an ' institution for the rearing of children. In the Athens of Plato. call which demands what we should now the complete enfranchisement . As Athenian society stood^ Plato was pro bably not^ £ar wron g in his estimate o f the moral all effects of family life. What kind of women £ar this state of things produced. and his proposals have fipt thFmerit of a s to reoogiuse ahd^ remedy"one^6r The by gravest faults of the existing social order strikes at the very root of (2) Plato the evi) his second proposal. But ' must be remembered that the basis of the modem Christian family is the existence of free cultivated and educated womanhood. and how first they were fitted to be entrusted with the formation of a child's character in the and most impressionable years of its life. we can learn from the picture of the Athenian women drawn by Aristophanes. their pretended champion. the girls married young.i^ of preparatory schools of public spirit nursery of selfishness.THE SOUL OF MAN wisely admiiuBtered. they the interests of wore apparently almost entirely uneducated. and were absolutely excluded from life all outside their husband's door. rather as the i>i< i.

sexes as he observes.' or the gratification of her ambitions. disqualification for any form of public proposing fact of Plato's object in thus to ignore sex as a fundamental of human nature is not by any means that many modern feminist champions. bodily as well as mental. size. and are to be employed indifferently with class. is. is. whom. anxious to enlarge society. burdens which he in his opinion. the exten* ' sion of woman's 'rights.PLATO hi woman. and these services he proit poses to recover. \ It may strike us as odd that Plato should not have specific assigned woman some ^ sphere of social service. the difference between is ^e mainly_ one ^strength and u6 ^ . He seems have been misled in the matter by the undue importance he attaches to the analogy to be in drawn from the lower animals. / ' men in all the functions of a ruling those of active military service not excepted. but should have preferred the paradoxical plan of introducing her as a rival of man in every sphere. Among same the 'guardians' women are to receive the training. It is is the sphe re of duties and . as men. so long as life. There in fact. even that of to war. women are excluded from active citizen services ^ voluntarily foregoing the which half of its ought to receive from the female members. to be no sex service.

> factor in- This uuderestimatioti of sex as a ioreo is. and in the life it is New Testa- the more excusable in him. thing would hold good in the human Plato probably seriously underestimates the influ- ence of sex upon human psychical development in genera]. owing to the communistic character of economic objections which we Plato's society.g. have not to be considered by him. the same species. We must note. a fault which Plato all shares not only with Greek philosophy. however. just as in his proposal to suppress romantic personal Ioto between man and woman of in he imdetwtiinateB Amntion as a ci* div spiriLuai the significance iig sexuiU il. in the work of a Govern- mental Department. but with the moralists of the Old and ments. since that he know by experience romantic The homely ' love hardly existed except in the form of pas- sionate friendship between youths. * ings Xenophon is the only Socratic man whoso writshow any appreciation of love between man and woman as we understand it.THE SOUL OF MAN and leads to no thorough -going differentiation of In assuming that functions other than those immediately concerned in reproduction. that feel to-day against the presence of women as rivals with men. e. and also that the inevitable exclusion of 117 . the loo.

easily by the discipline of From Spartan for his * practice. nstructed on lines already familiar to contem- porary students of the Greek city-state. ?j^' ^*^ ii8 .\m the matter of marriage and procreation. The mmon ishoice education of the sexes. were realised already in Sparta. or of the speculations of the 'sophists. and the control of indiyidual by regard part for the needs of the commimity c. Up to this point.' * he contemplates Other ideas the air ' which he adopts were already in in consequence either of the special social necessities of the fourth century.. too. The abolition of sjavery.PLATO women from many careers by the physical restric- and nursing of away with in his scheme by the Abolition of the private home^ and the transference of the duties of motherhood to tions connected with the bearing children would be largely done the officials of the State nurseries.' professional The substitution of the trained for solj^ier the amateur citizen warrior has been noted as a characteristic of the Greek military history of the period following on the close of the Peloponnesian war. Plato may life have derived the ideal of th e garrison guardians. with all its communistic elements. at least in bodily complishments. Plato's ideal community may to be said. silently presu^poge^^]^.

and amounts iLu ir. to rescue the new of from the ethical individualism out which they had sprung. (3) The third of Plato's fundamental proposals. in say that Plato's object in inof the current is ' corporating so much radical pro- gram ideas ' in his social scheme. fact. feels as which he himself of all.THE SOUL OF MAN been already vigorously advocated by more than one well-known ' sophist ' on grounds which the conaervative Aristotle finds himself forced to consider very seriously . and to employ them 03 instruments for the intensifying and ennoblement of the old conception of duty to the as the supreme law of life which had city ' been the foundation of the morality of historical CIreece. We might.imphant t he in a transfigured of scientific form. free lov^. but by the burlesques of Aristophanes. )ir. lii the greatest paradox limits of to definitely (If' tak^ us beyond the reassertion. to have been quite familiar to the Athenian mind at the end of the fifth and opening of the fourth century. the ideals of complete com- munism. and emancipation of women are proved. and Socrates had urged upon 1*19 . not only by the tragedies of Euripides. of the Socratic c<Mioeption k^f^yj^ ijre as true fo undation of moral ^political righteousn ess. ck political thought.

he had called. They ^to receive a thorough training in 120 the existing branches of exact science. reappears in the demand that the Society State shall be governed by 'jphilosophers. \are The selected few.' never be well ordered until kings become or philosophers kings.l^Q di^ftCrt'if>" ^^ pnblifi lifft employment in The great curse of his to own ship. by familiar appeals to experience such as those preserved to is us fit by to Xenophon. is be found in the existing divorce between science and statesman- a divorce which does science than to no less injury to government. . Plato thinks. will be those who are distinguished alike by special all intellectual T^pacity and peculiar moral nobility. This thought of Socrates. passed through the mind will of Plato. class. the principle that no man administer in p ractice affairs which he do es not understand. passing from Arithmetic. who are to be the future rulers of the community. in effect. philosophers In other words. the highest intellect and the profoundest science are to find their proper i^. Accordingly he 4 I proposes that a second selection shall be made the from the ranks of the 'guardian' close of the first education. at and on the verge of [manhood. for govern- ment by experts in statesmanship.PLATO the Athenian democracy. time.

to theoretical Astronomy and Harmony. . allots ten years of life. to be interrupted it he is to be forced. set to the is the period of intellectual to be taken horn his studies and It is hard work of governing men. that he spend the speculative remainder of his days in purely contempUtion of the 'Good/ and 121 its o&pring. to be dismissed to only at fifty.' THE SOUL OF MAN through plane and solid Geometry. from twenty to is.' speculative progress is At this point his . as Plato puts in one of his most famous apologues. a mere prelude to the strain which is to follow. From thirty to thirty-five the statesman is to be occupied with the crowning study of Dialectic itself. For trainiug Plato thirty. fundamental 'sdenoes' and the this logical inter- oonneotion upon which the unity of the diiferent depends. All that ' is learned in these years ' however. after fifteen years of active public is service. to descend again into the 'cave of error and confusion from which science has gradually delivered him. attention being throughout •|)ecially direoted to the recognition uf the principles. In other words. arrived maturity. the lover of at wisdom. and to impart the results of his enlightenment to those who are still bound and in darkness. by which he is finally prepared for the supreme vision of the *Good.

as ence. We do Plato the gravest of wrongs if we forget that the Republic is no mere politics is collection of theoretical discussions about govern\ ment. management of is most strikingly at variance with the views of his great disciple Aristotle.PLATO the system of the ideal norms and concepts of I science. It is pretty safe to assume that he would have dissented vigorously from the estimate of Aristotle. quite explicit on the point that the philosopher. but a serious project of 122 . It is in this insistence upon the conjunction of the highest speculation with the practical affairs that Plato . I In Plato's ideal community there was to b® no group of mere ab stract thinkers devoted solely to the pursuit of the theoretic ' ' life. and apparently of Hegel. as the king of current from being the true and ideal ruler aecund'wm artem. is we know him as far in everyday experifrom being what a philosopher might and ought to be. who seem is to regard the mere student of metaphysics as the highest type of since he human being. He has for ' nothing of the active affairs tical activity ' spirit of intellectual disdain which led Aristotle to ' to it God. and to banish ' deny pracfrom the Hfe of the ideally god-like man. and no mere exercise in the creation of j an impossible Utopia.

by their position in the social system.lorming the world/ Platonic conception of a Q The <^ community ruled A ^ '. with --. like Shelloy. be saved from most of the temp- which have proved fatal to Catholic ecclesiasticism.' of getting their work for society well don^ has often been compared with the theoretical constiPlato's rulers VJtuiion of the Catholic Church.' THE SOUL OF MAN practical t. partly by the frank recognition of normally to science as the foundation -stone. V \^y iiion with a great philosophy of human nature. -. and divested. of any private ties which might lead to personal interests other than the one intexesk ^ )y^ J' . in which life is absolutely swayed by devotion to ideal of public p[ood . an enlightened and of the 123 .worldliness ' and the life ecclesiastical conception of the . partly by the provision that every 'guardian' *^^y^ti is fihildrM^ foy the ^^ty— a ' reflation which spiritual would make the growth of other. however. Plato follows up his picture of the ideal State. almost impossible partly also by the prohibi- tion to possess private property which excludes clerical order anything like the formation of a with material interests of those of the ' its own opposed to lay ' State. tations would. reform put forward by an Athenian a 'passion set on firo.

in the case in which there is only one such pre-eminently best man in the ide al whole society.' is ' S imilarly the type of man who it its the product of this society and gives peculiar tone. These are so arranged as to form a cessive degenerations series of suc- from the ideal type. a ' monarchy. by a sketch of a number of inferior communities and correspond- ing inferior individual characters in which various degrees of divergence^romjbhe ideal are^exhibited. and the conseand moral At the head of the scale stands the ideal Community which we have described.PLATO type of man in whom this principle finds its fullest expression. Carlyle's mvourite conception 124 . the philosopher. may be called not only the 'philosopher.' but also. caused by increasing departure from the principle of the due subordination of the lower to the higher alike in the community and in the individual souL At each fresh stage in the descent an increasingly unworthy class in the state or element in the soul usurps the predominant position. and contrast. as we have seen. and which faiay be called indifferently an 'aristocracy' or 'rule of the best. until the series closes with the mastery of state and of soul by all real political their absolutely worst elements.' or. quent subversion of life. the^kijPI^LQT. 'togl^-Qia»-*/ (OiiQ DQ^-y compare.

later our guardians. "^ actoal which an element of imperfection in the must inevitably lead to degeneration. and rieheB will will. be the neglect of education. will fall of The will first symptom of decline First. but thay will not j piderstood.*) king by God's grace as the 'man who ^p the actual world.' t IKAI ** Wvv^vc^ .HE SOUL OF MAN ot the can. gratify their growing avarice at first quietly and bj will stealth. and There hfl organised rather for war than peace. and with the advent of this inferior generation to power the society will begin. still will be outward loyalty to the laws and instituroAlly tions of a better aye. the culture of the mind be neglected for that of the body.' who however. v' Soone r or fallible. in respect for the old traditions. the desire to amass personal grow up among the 'guardians. this ideal. skill. The particular cause of decline in national and thr : there is individual character is found by Plato in ignor- ance of the^laws of here^ty. come to have the preference over Our State will be ruled by soldiers. The ruling spirit of such a State be personal ambition and love of distinction. calls it on which grounds Plato a 'timocracy.' being after alL will beget children out of due season. military prowess and will wisdom. however. Physical force.

but consumed by ambition for personal distinction to which he lays claim primarily on the ground of his merits as a soldier and sportsman. and to BO come be put down by the unwise as a spirit. man A man's worth is measured by his and there are thus always two the rich and the poor.PLATO The details of the description show that the instance of such a second-best society which he has in mind ' is ' contemporary Sparta. to be found in oligarchy. In an oligarchy. a constitution based upon is property quahfications. often found in the aspiring son of an excellent father who. the parties in the State haves and the have-nots.' In an oligarchy we property. living under tion. In mature age he will be liable. the timocratic ' also its characteristic prois man/ He life. is creature of poor A further decline i.e.fond of money. wealth treated as the chief good and poverty as disqualifying a for public life. Such a character is to grow over. — * ' ' 126 . obedient to law and the magistrates. an imperfect constitu- has avoided seeking public distinctions. for want of a sound rational estimate of the various goods. is Such in as is the timocratic State duct. a man whom rul- chivalrous high spirit no longer takes the second place in the control of but becomes the ing passion.

actuality. He s the man who makes it his highest good to command the things which money can buy. in being drones in the national hive. in \ve The is oligarchical man. though concealed. of the soul the man in whom mand lesires. 127 His . mind we ask what communities Plato has it would be most is natural to suppose that he thinking of great commercial cities like * Corinth. the 'timocracy'. only the law permitting complete alienation of patri- monies in is needed to make the possibility into an If in this description.THE SOUL OF MAN what was absent from the timocracy/ a class penons who haye been permitted to alienate their property and become paupers. ' of ' wealth. Plato contends. bility of The possi- this development for is already contained n the greed wealth which in was present. and a corresponding class of the rich' (millionniros wo should now call them). 1 is given oyer to the lower though those desires are as yet gratified a cold-blooded and calculating way. the Venice of ancient Hellas. and the money which can buy them.' common the com- every society but predominant in such a one as have described. are spiritually alike rendering no real public senrice in return for their position in the State. who have acquired the alienated find. And both in classes.

_ He can never * forget that was not a tjnrant or an oligarchy.ji^ took the life o f Socrates^^and it may be also that ' * judgment more than he knew. honesty he values ' in general it is the best policy/ but his real opinion of betrayed when he profit gets the chance to e. Plato thinks this type of character very timocratic ' common in the sons of men whose schemes have and and landed their authors in poverty obscurity. and full work hard and deny himself the his profit. are always bittfiiLto it the last degree. is synonymous with his kinship with Critias 128 . be it remembered. in order to be sure of getting Education he naturally as despises. indul- gence of his appetites.PLATO maxim to is to make a profit out of everything. he always speaks of democracy (which to the Greek ear.rinmphanj.g. demncrftcy^ J. * ' and all its works. as a fraudulent trustee.' but the restored and t. and Charmides biassed his At any rate. make a dishonest with impunity. One remove further from the ideal government by the best stands the democracy of which Plato's own Athens furnishes him with the Plato's judgments on democracy spiritual type. though most illummating. We might liken him to the first generation of an American millionaire ambitious failed ' family.

as he likes . but may please himself about it He may conceivably get to into trouble with the law •}ath and be sentenced it is or banishment. he can safe as still ' community to walk the streets as ' though he were a spirit invisible to the first officers of justice. neither wisdom nor prowess nor even a ' stake in the country all ' is required of the ruler. in his Jacobinism. he may obey the laws if he would rather break them. He is under no legal or moral obligation to serve the public. or non-propertied to much as Dr. he says. but as no one's busi- ness in so free and independent a enforce the laws.THE SOUL OF MAN ' croTonunoDt lasses') by tlie poor. Every true democrat is allowed to do pretty much . w ith a dash of all of them in it. the principle^ 129 . Nietzsche's epigram- matic description of flock modem democracy. is not so much a constiition as an emporium of constitutions. he is free to do it. of negation of pri nci plo/ tho constitution under wkich no qualific ation of any ^ind. I In a word. if he likes. Johnson was accustomed ' speak of Whiggery. but under which men are free fit man is held about as as to and one discharge any public equal. or Burke. The democracy. It is the evil days. and function any other. *one Plato's and no shepherd/ exactly reproduces verdict on the democracy of the ancient world.

however. He makes no selection between different impulses 130 . lit by an this is ^outward sign ot and why the nature. The historical transition from the oligarchy of wealth to such democracy. and needs but some their slight external occasion to reveal their strength to own them and to set them on deposing The democratic man. ' may often find in the son of a money-loving father who has been initiated by companions into the pleasures of profligacy and has learned to rebel against the paternal parsimony. Plato thinks. class of dispossessed it becomes daily more numerous. and thus compelling the speculative financier to do business at his own risk. might be prevented cal State if the oUgarchi- were wise enough * to check the growth ' of the discontented class of have-nots by abolish- ing legal remedies for breach of contract. ancient democracy is the use of the lot in appoint- of the * fittest to govern.PLATO of democracy is ' that there should be no selection. Consequently. since it would be opposed the to their own ambition the to accumulate wealth at their neighbours' expense. are careful not to take this step. The oligarchical rulers. resembles t he democratic Sta te in ha ving no fixec of subordination of lower to higher within him.' whom we masters. tor all are equally ing public officials.

e. course. weak^ we must rehistory. at another fit may ous life. for a while. remains a lower depth. he is for gratifying each and every it mood ' as it arises. is . but only so long as the mood and its novelty amuses him. ^ very thing by turns and nothing long. take a for athleticism and the strenuthe lasts He may even.' the unfettered arbitrary rule of a single despot.' At one Tme he 18 a profligate or voluptuary. member To take life that it it is satire. Hjrranny. the versatility living embodiment of that shallow for his which Plato dreaded guardians.' a conis summate poseur diversified to whom Of life one long and stage-play. in this lowest depth of still social chaos. Even ever. play philoeophor. wehavepassed beyond ]^ mArn absence of any principle of the choice fittest to rule to of the unfit-^ an ac tual choice of the . and for so long as persists. and not sober as an uncoloured account of Athenian like taking Burke's an ti -Jacobinical would be tirades as a faithful picture of France under the of eighteenth- Directory. in fact. howIn there i. He * is. or Berkeley's caricatures in Alciphron as a true picture of the aims entury Deism.THE SOUL OF MAN U> action. while Plato's description hits off many of the besetting of the Athenian character.

that of the elder Dionysius in Sicily. the proletariat against the well-to-do champion of the bourgeois. perhaps. relying ruffians on the physical force of picked bands of who come the best nearest to himself in criminality.') In tracing the way in which such a tyranny cracy. The details of his imaginary narrative are drawn from recollections of actual Greek history. like Rome. The organisation of a tyranny is a sort of ' infernal parody of that of a true aristocracy. the examples prominent in his mind being manifestly the career of Pisistratus at Athens and. as an extreme demagogue. that unrestrained democracy has a natural tendency to generate lawless military despotism. villain of The worst and most dangerous the community bears sway. may arise from a previous demo- Plato is guided by the thought which has been frequently expressed in later times.' as the Middle Ages believed that the organisation of Hell was an infernal parody of the angelic hier- archy of Heaven. and are and most law-abiding citizens massacred or exiled or frightened into submission. (Compare Shelley's picture of Anarchy enthroned in the palaces of England as 'God and King and Law. When once he has begun to shed innocent blood in his career as demagogue. his 132 . Caesar in The tyrant ' ' begins.PLATO test.

of whose and precautions against treachery even on from the actual history of Dionysius terrors the part of his own family so many stories are related by later writers. apparently one of prosperity and unis limited power. secretly one of utter suspicious- v^ ness. his partisans for is an armed bodyguard.. he is forced to depend but life whom sy he cannot though His whole henceforward.) Thus experience con- firms the verdict of philosophy that the tyrant's life ' is really the most miserable of all ' The tyrannical man is. and emancipated on whom t rust. and misery. helplessness. to dis- trust the advice of those who are left. or He must either be destroyed make himself master of the lives and So he appeals to liberties of his fellow-citizens. himself.THE SOUL OF MAN Uio is sealed. The rest of the story is a tale of steady moral is deterioration. (This part of the picture shows signs of being specially drawn i. By d^prees the tyrant driven to kill or banish the best of the citizens. and thus declares open war on the constitution. from the history of (this point clearly taken Pisistratus). in similar fashion. the man all in whom the 'democratic' gratification of impulses as they arise has given place to the complete domination of the soul by some one base 133 . to surround hipiself with fnrAiyn BiftpAnarJAa slaves.

And.' but the not seen at its worst and wretchedest unless external circumstances enable the criminal to become an actual tyrant and be remembered that it is to obtain the full. is a constant prey to remorse. to be followed in turn. unless jjon. by worse terror and in all re- morse. we seeonce jnore supreme direclife the selection of the le ast fit.^ grows stronger and more he is hurried on from sin to continu aUy^freah ^nd worse sm. and the pangs of guilty ^conscience. as in the tyrannically governed city. PLATO and criminal man's whole lust to the indulgence of life is sacrificed. th e worst and vilest element m character. is What the misery of such a l/^ we may understand when we reflect that it is one of continual remorse and growing slavery. Virtutem videt intaheacitque relicta.is science wholly dead. _A11 that is best in such a man must be in revolt against the life he is leading. and the symptoms of this revolt are hard to suppress. opportunity to execute his criminal will to the It will for such tyrants ' that Plato reserves the Hell of his eschatological 134 . . in his calmer moods. Hence. to have the tion of conduct. Such men are found the ranks of the * societies among type is criminal classes. since appetite becomes the criminal satisfy as it ever harder to insistent. he self-disgust.' . which the In such a man.

Plato returns to the tions. he still holds that the ideally best form of ^ovem^ ment is who can that of the w ise philosophic monarch. independently of prescription tba y^inrRt th ^t "f ^ who knows no law but intermediate his owa two But between the extremes are two types of government: govern- ment by the many.barbaric outlying districts in Plato's own and tho immedi- ately preceding age. problem of tho classification of constituand presents a scheme which recognises a allowed them. afford to dispense with a formal code of written and unchanging law because his insight makes him competent for the public good tho 'tyrant' caprice. Once more. select few. and government by the And each of these forms 135 may exist with . In a later dialogue. to deal with every situation as the .THE SOUL OF MAN myths. of course. The nearest approach for in the career actual Qrcok history affords us to the Platonic 'tyrant' must rather be looked of tho despots of some who ruled in half. the Politicu8. wo must not take the idealised picture for an historical estimate of the character of the actual 'tyrants' of tho monarchical age of Groece. such as Archelaus of Macedon or the half-mad Alexander of Pherse. rather higher value in existing 'democracies' than the RepMic As in the Reptiblic. occasion requires.

abolition of the private family. Plato's final judgment is that. and the rule of philosophers. in the absence of the philosopher-king. especially as communscheme of ism is declared in the Laws be the ideally better way. must not be taken itself to as a renunciation of his ideals. the Laws. and hence his abandonment of the the better where there not. I do not speak. and the general political the Republic reiterated in the Timaeus. democracy is the inferior form of govern- ment where of there is a fixed fundamental law. emancipation of women. .PLATO or without fixed laws. so that we get four inter- mediate types in all :_arisificxacy-{in the sense of government by the few under a fundamental law of the constitution *) democracy w ith such * . a law: democracy without law: oligarchy (arbitrary government by the few). but is Of the provisions work on political science. Plato's latest demands for communism of goods. for whose living wisdom law is an imj^^^^*^^^ ^l^h"^^'tute. since his avowed object there is merely to provide a system which might be immediately workable for very average Greek settlers.

cannot bo the object of exact ourselves. as it stands. and what Plato regards as at least a probable account of non-mythical fact begins. not only a cosmology. in form. in dealing ' we must content with the physical world. seen. The Timaeus is. and it is not surprising that there should in the have been even Academy For itself consider- able variety of opinion as to Plato's real views about the physical world. with probable opinions.' Thus the cosmology of the Tirruieua is formally announced as being largely commingled with myth. my own part. without entering far into the interminable dispute as to what he means. but a cosmogony. 137 . and it is not always easy to say where conscious myth leaves off. 1 deem it most desirable here to state what Plato says.CHAPTER COSMOLOGY I IV MAY conclude this sketch by an exceedingly principles brief r^swmd of one or two of the main of Plato's cosmology as given in the Timaeus. Plato holds that actual sensible fact. As we have science.

just as its model the living organism with a soul * ' intelligible animal. a and a body of its own.' It i. imity of this model Plato deduces the unity of the copy.' or its logical ' Idea of animal.' embracing within itself all minor forms of animal life. he desired to communicate his own perfection to something outside himself. the physical universe. Hence he .e. not only it is the visible world one and not many. now proceeds the formation of both soul and body of the great 138 . for some- thing which sant change. a single animal. From the as far as such a thing was possible. it is subject to inces- had therefore a beginning and a This cause appears in the Timaeus as a personified deity. * becomes. the Demiurgus or world-maker. but professes to of its the story formation. The sensible world. cause.PLATO It not merely describes the structure of the tell physical universe. The reason for the making of the world is to bo sought in the goodness of its maker being good himself. is not eternal. fashioned the changing world of sense on the model of the unchanging world of eternal Ideas.' is * plurality of But Plato goes still further. according it is to the narrative.' compreall hends in extension Plato the varied 'types' to describe of animal species. and therefore pronounces against the doctrine of worlds.

what tho Demiurgus docs is to combine and by definite law elements which are presupposed as already in existence. The 'soul' of the world is con- structed from three elements. cube. as wo should now them. icosahedron. Sameness. He makes a remark- able attempt to lay tho foundations of a purely mathematical physics by reducing the differences between the 'elements' to differences in their geometrical structure. apprehension of the intermediate ' 'opinions' about the incalculably varying world of existing class of ' fact. air.COSMOLOGY world -anim&l. Here we from tho seem to have a reference. in mythical form. octahedron. In both oases. and an entity which is described as produced by first a preliminary union of the two. of the four elementary to correspond respectively to substances are made four regular geometrical solids: tho tetrahedron. Otherness. objects. a creation out of nothing. the formation in fixed proportions is not i. call The molecules. to the three levels of cognition known to us Republic : apprehension of the immutable Ideas. The body of the composed of the traditional four elements of Empedocles fire. first The all sides of the three of these solids can be constructed 139 . water. earth but mathematical is imiverse ' ' — — Plato is not content to accept these elements as ultimate and unanalysable.

soul constructed long before the destined its incarnation in a is human body. The mathematical analysis of matter into geoits metrical form reaches furthest point where Plato explicitly identifies the 'matrix. air. with space. The once formed. we human date of soul.PLATO by putting together right-angled triangles in which the hypotenuse is double of the shorter side. just as in his doctrine of reminiscence * ' he has anticipated of 'innate the same ideas. Plato asserts that the soul of the world was fashioned by the Demiurgus before as. for the construction of the square face of the cube Plato employs four isosceles right-angled triangles. This difference in the character of the triangles elementary from which the regular solids are built up is employed to explain what fire. just find the a later stage of the narrative. Plato regards as the fact that water are convertible into one another but not into earth. at body. then figuratively spoken of intended to various as being difiused throughout space in accordance ^nth a mathematical series which express the relative is distances of the 140 . thus antici' pating the physical theory of Descartes.' philosopher's conception By way of marking the superiority of soul over its body.' or 'substrate of physical change.

regular measured begins to be. are then fashioned and added to the immortal soul by the itsell lesser deities. also into being of the orderly system of the heavenly bodies. of which we have already spoken in dealing with Plato's psychology. taken as the oeotre of the whole system. With the bringing duration. time. this brief From cosmogony body. Into the details of Plato's astro- nomical system and the question of its relation to ^rthagorean science we cannot enter in sketch.COSMOLOGY hMYenly bodies firom the earth. in the construction of the soul of the * the two inferior mortal ' souls. On which great the arise many when we attempt to interpret Plato's cosmogonic myth I can only say one or two There has been a good deal of discussion words. proper the TimaetLS proceeds to consider the formatioa of the human soul and The 'immortal* souls of future human beings are fashioned by the Demiurgus himself from the same material as had previously been employed world . as to whether the Demiurgus 141 is to be thought of . themselves the earliest of things created after the world-soul The very interesting details of Plato's sense-physiology and psycho-physics we must exceedingly difficult questions once more perforce pass over.

' Perhaps the true possess. a false reading for the V07JT0V of other MSS. (In the one sentence.) The natural that the inference from Plato's well-known view of soul as the origin of activity of all movement would be is the Demiurgus an imaginative renit dering of the great thought of Anaxagoras. can hardly be said to exist for any classical fact. where is according to some MSS. in it. onwards. due probably to mis- understanding of the construction. has no term by which to express And again. Greek thinker . the 'good' figures so manifestly in the as Timaeua the model contemplated by the divine artist in constructing his work. the very language. personal is to To ask commit an From the time pupil. the the word of the dialogue. the identification iroiTjTov is pretty clearly made. The sharp distinction which we ourselves to possess.PLATO as a personal deity or as a purely imaginative personification of 'the good.. Plato's immediate has been a hotly disputed ques142 . it of Xenocrates. ' whether that mind anachronism. or fancy answer is that he is neither the one nor the other. that is mind that has set is all ' things in order. between the personal and the impersonal. that we it cannot without confusion of thought identify at the same time with the last artificer.

The former which Plato is interpretation. on the whole. or to ascribe a bc^nning aoooont ia whether his only meant as a device for presenting a logical analysis of the physical world into its constituent factors under the guise of an imaginative fiction. who were anxious in Plato the Aristotelian doctrine of the eternity of the universe. and was also defended by Plutarch in his very sensible essay on The Formation of the Plato*8 Timaeus. The latter view was definitely to find accepted as correct by the whole Neo-Platonic school. Plato does not conceive of the world as having a beginning * in time.' since he expressly conceives of time as 143 . favour and has perhaps. was. according to fectly serious in ascribing a per- beginning to the uni- verse. that of Aristotle.COSMOLOGY tioD whether Plato meant seriously to the physical universe. come conclusion for himself by an independent is study of the Platonic express but I cannot forbear to that Plutarch right my own conviction in maintaining that the theory of the eternity of the world can only be read into Plato by a violent and unnatural exegena which strains the sense of the most obvious exprenions in the interest of a foregone conclusion. At the same time. to a World-SovZ in left to The reader must be text. however. found most with modem expositors.

the ruins of a world that had gone before.' according to his narrative. Adam. like some in consequence closer less.' seems to me. as to the late Dr. the materials of which the Demiurgus fashions his 'world' would be. which is said to have had a beginning.PLATO regular and measured duration. One comparatively minor 144 question of astronomy . If this is so.' and not the elements. to speak roughly. and becomes and verges ' other thinkers before him. * What came before the ordered world. was a things in which there was nothing but confused and lawless motion. or their constituent triangles. and as therefore coeval with the existence of the regularly moving state of heavenly bodies. and that what we have in the Timaeus is a picture of such a period of reconstruction following on one of previous dissolution. with the A comparison of the Timaeua myth in the Politicua with its alternate cycles in one of which God directs the course of it is left the universe. and we should at once understand the universe to be of decay why it is the 'world. to suggest the conclusion that Plato. believed the history of made up of alternate periods and reconstruction. while in the other to itself more and more lawand closer upon dissolution into chaos until its maker once more takes the helm.

the opposite sense to the daily revolution. besides of ing the earth in the centre the universe. Does Plato Timaeus so ? far anticipate Copernicus as to allow. which carries that is its compass. be ruined wo supposed the central earth stationary. since Plato's claim to be reckoned it ' concerns Coperni- among the cans before Copernicus in the ' of antiquity. if This analysis would. and a motion of revolution peculiar to each planet.COSMOLOGY deaerres a word of special notice. It is univerlocat- sally recognised that the Timaeus. to Day and night are due round with it all an actual diurnal revolution contained in of the outermost heavenly vault. The apparent paths cular of the sun and planets are cir- then resolved each into a combination of two hcton: an axial rotation of each in the plane of the equator. Plato employs an ambiguous and poetical word of K I4S . in a way which implies the immobility of the central earth. to be anything but It happens. that in speaking of the position of the earth in the solar system. however. the • year ' of the planet in question. of a daily revolution of the earth The facts are these. and has a longer period. viz. of course. and the paths of the sun and planets. which takes place in in the plane of the ecliptic. explains the alternation of day and night. like the Pythagoreans.

however. but which has also the acquired signification of confined ment words in a narrow space around a thing. that some of Plato's followers had already misinterpreted the text of the Timaeua in the sense which Aristotle puts on It it.' as a proof that some thinkers had denied the immobility of the earth. Hence Grote has maintained that the Timaeus expressly recognises the diurnal rotation of the earth upon its axis. seems so improbable. or possibly. that in his extreme old age Plato did modify his astronomical views 146 . 'earth. however. which is roUed round about the axis that stretches from end to end of the all. and that Plato has simply overlooked the ' ' * inconsistency between such a rotation of the earth and the is rest of his astronomy. naming the Timaeua as their source. that much easier to suppose that Aristotle has been misled by Plato's employment of a rare and am- biguous word.' Now Aristotle quotes these very words. moveHis may be rendered in English in a way which preserves the ambiguity of the original text thus. and adding the interpretation and moves after the words is rolled. So very glaring an it oversight. as was held by August Boeckh.PLATO which the literal signification is to be 'packed' or 'squeezed' against something. our foster-mother. seems certain.

it is interesting to see that Plato's thought on these matters was progressive even in his later years. the data do not permit still us to decide. or identified it with the sun. or as one of rotation about an axis. as one of revolution round a centre. a position which should have been secured body. whether he thought with the Pythagoreans that the centre in question is a body invisible to us. cellently with a passage of the This accords ex- Laws in which Plato denies that the paths of the planets arc really composite. This.' for a 'better and he gives as his authority for the statement the unimpeachable testimony of Theophrastus. in spite of the contrary.COSMOLOGY in a way which implies recognition of the Plutarch tells earth's mobility. and declares that each of them appearances to has. of a single simple and uniform motion. in the former case. and. In any case. as the later Pythagoreans did. us twice over that Plato 'in old age' regretted having placed the earth in the centre of the universe. the saccessor of Aristotle. implies that one to of the two motions ascribed to each planet in the Timaeua must be this an appearance due earth. the real motion of the Whether Plato conceived of motion of the earth. course. and it is in- U7 . who had himself been a pupil of Plato.

curvilinear motion com- If he in some sort anticipates Copernicus.PLATO structive to observe that. like other astronomers of antiquity. he only reached the truth about the earth's mobility by ignoring the all still more fundais mental truth that posite. 148 . he has no presage of the infinitely profounder thought of Galileo and Newton.

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PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE CARDS OR SUPS FROM THIS POC UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO LIBR/ 395 T23 cop .2 Taylor^ Alfred Edward Plato .

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