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A

JOURNAL

OF POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY

May
155 177 195

& Sept. 1986 Volume 14 Numbers 2 & 3

Joseph

Cropsey

The Dramatic End

of

Plato's Socrates
and

Charles Griswold, Jr.
Thomas J. Lewis

Philosophy, Education,
Refutative Rhetoric
as

Courage in Plato's Laches

True Rhetoric in the Gorgias

211 265

Thomas F.

Curley

III

How to Read the Consolation of Philosophy The Armed Founder Machiavelli
and versus

Joseph Masciulli

the Catonic Hero:

Rousseau

on

Popular

Leadership

281 299

William Mathie
Peter

Reason

and

Rhetoric in Hobbes's Leviathan
the Savoyard Vicar: the Profession

Emberley

Rousseau
of

versus

Faith Considered

331

Mackubin Thomas

Owens, Jr.
353 Peter Simpson

Alexander Hamilton Autonomous

on

Natural Rights

and

Prudence

Morality

and

the Idea of the Noble

Review Essays
371

Ernest L. Fortin

Faith

and

Reason in
of a

Contemporary

Perspective

Apropos

Recent Book

389 415

Joseph J. Carpino Nino Langiulli

On Eco's The Name of the Rose
Affirmative Action, Liberalism,
and

Teleology:

on

Nicholas Capaldi's Out of Order

431

Robert R. Sullivan

The Most Recent

Thinking

of

Jurgen Habermas

Book Reviews
441 Will

Morrisey

Jerusalem

versus

Athens

by

Paul

Eidelberg
edited

448

How Does the Constitution Secure Rights?

by

Robert A. Goldwin & William A. Schambra

Short Notices
455 456
Will

Morrisey

Freedom of Expression

by Francis Canavan by

Joan Stambaugh

Philosophical Apprenticeships

Hans-Georg

Gadamer

interpretation
Volume 14

JL

numbers 2 &

3

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Copyright

1986

Interpretation

The Dramatic End
Joseph Cropsey

of

Plato's Socrates

University

of Chicago

How does the

structure of a philosophic exposition contribute to the

of a philosophic argument? context

I

shall

try

to say something about the the context

question

meaning in a
the

that is special and limited but not trivial
corpus.

of a segment of

Platonic

The dialogues to
and

which

I

want

to draw

attention are

those

be

tween the

Theaetetus I
mean

the

Phaedo;

and

before

doing

plain what particular

by

"between."

That

explanation

anything else, I must ex will serve to introduce the

meaning

of structure

that will appear in the rest of this paper. The dia
would

logues

"between"

the Theaetetus and the Phaedo that Plato
wrote

be, by

one conventional order

reckoning, the
the dialogues
a

ones

in that

order.

Of course, the

in

which

were written remains

largely

conjectural,

and whatever

depends

on

firm determination into

of that order

is equally in doubt. There is, however,

another

order

which a number of

the

dialogues, especially
may be

those "between the The

aetetus and

the

Phaedo,"

can

be

placed with much greater called

certainty, namely,

a

dramatic

order.

If the

order of composition
which

the poietic order of the

dialogues,
called

the order

in

the conversations are depicted as occurring may be
poietic order one might

the dramatic order.

Of the

author's

intellectual development; the dramatic

order reveals

say that it reveals the his intention. I am

going to suppose not only that Plato's intention is more distinctly inferrable from the dramatic order in which he placed his inventions than any poietic order is

inferrable from any
portant

evidence

that survives, but also that his intention is more im

to

our comprehension of

his thought than is his development
point

as a thinker.

I

concede with regard

to the latter

that significant truths about an author's

intention may lie concealed within his development; after all, his development is the growth or decline of his intention; yet even if only to follow the course with to mean dra the less speculative premise, I shall throughout consider
"structure"

matic order.

The Theaetetus is
more

a

Socratic dialogue that is The dialogue

recounted

others,

some number of years after

the words

by one man to one or being reported are repre
Socrates'

sented as
must go

having

been

spoken.

ends with

saying that he

to the

stoa of meet

the

king

in

order

to answer to Meletus's

indictment, but

that he expects to
sation.

the company

again

By
of

ending the Theaetetus
and

with

in the morning to continue the conver this brief passage, Plato indicates that the
at

trilogy Euthyphro,
cluding

Theaetetus, Sophist

Statesman is

least

a quartet

that includes the

the dialogue that takes place at the porch of the king. The same con
that the quartet occurs within weeks or months of

passage makes plain

Prepared for

delivery

at the

1979 Annual

Meeting of the

American Political Science Association.

156

Interpretation
Socrates'

the end of

life. (Also indicated is the
quartet

need to

interpret the Euthyphro
means

as

a component of on

the

into

which

Plato

cast

it. This

that the

argument

the civil and theoretical implications of piety toward gods and fathers
articulated with the arguments presented

should

be

It follows from the
trial of
other

connection of

in the neighboring dialogues.) Theaetetus, Sophist and Statesman with the

Socrates that that group of dialogues is linked in dramatic time with the famous trilogy of Apology of Socrates, Crito, and Phaedo. In crowding
a

these seven works upon each other
as a unity of some kind, Plato's Socrates.

in time, Plato signifies his conception of them unity that it is convenient to call the dramatic end of
"structure"

Of
ute

course one wonders

how the

supposition of and

this
of

could contrib

to the interpretation of the texts
conjecture

the disclosure

Plato's thought. An
end

easy

is that Plato has devised
Phaedo:

Socrates'

an account of

his indict

defense, Apology, Crito,
ment,

condemnation and execution and

that transcends the

limits

of

the

an enhanced version of

the trial

of

Socrates. This

speculation assumes that

the quartet should be drawn towards the

trilogy for in

terpretation, that the center of gravity of the seven dialogues is the judgment of Socrates in a sense that is dominated by his civic indictment even though it tran
scends

his

public accusation and

his

own

defense. I

shall

try

to show, in the bulk
needs to

of what

follows,

that

useful

though this conjecture may

be, it

be

stated

differently. When the
still

seven

dialogues

are examined

concretely,

they

point to a

larger

structure of contain

cause

it does

Platonic dialogues, a larger structure that interests us be a judgment of Socrates, but on so broad a plan as to leave

the trial as such shrunken
viewed.

by

the expansion of the horizon within which it is

Specifically,

the reader of the first

trilogy

will

be

aware that the

three dia
of of

logues are, in different ways, penetrated by the presence of two famous rivals Socrates, Protagoras and Parmenides. Protagoras is important to the argument
the

Theaetetus,

so

important that Socrates impersonates him in
Protagoras'

a

long

speech

in

which

Socrates does justice to
with such success an active

views on

perception,

motion and

knowledge
ration.

that Theodorus expresses

his

enthusiastic admi

Theodorus,

if

sometimes reluctant

Protagorean though apparently also appears to be Protagorean,
perhaps

with reservations.

His

although
not

because Protagoreanism is
and

very docile a bad preparation for Socratism. (Of

interlocutor, is himself a pupil is Theaetetus, who to the argument of Socrates,

Simmias
we

turn to the

spirit

Kebes, the Pythagoreans, similar things will be said below when Phaedo.) As one might say, the Theaetetus is suffused with the of Protagoras; but it is not for that reason an un-Socratic dialogue, rather if

anything the reverse: Eucleides reports that he wrote this conversation down and that in the course of doing so, he would consult Socrates whenever he needed

help
the

place

in clearing up a doubtful point. This consultation would have to have taken in the short and presumably preoccupied period between the indictment and
of

execution

Socrates.

Besides embodying the

active

collaboration

of

The Dramatic End of
Socrates in its raphy to its
A
of

Plato'

s

Socrates
the

157 Theaetetus
contains an

written

preservation,

autobiog

Socrates,
another

what one might call

his

obstetric

autobiography,

with a view

content and also

in

order

to distinguish it from the autobiography in the

Phaedo

superficially un-Socratic dialogue. has been made of the Protagoreanism of the Theaetetus; but there is a dialogue called Protagoras, in which the thought of Protagoras is obviously prominent. Do the Protagoreanisms of Theaetetus and Protagoras harmonize?
point

Why
and of

are

two

Protagorean dialogues
the Theaetetus

necessary?

Whatever the
gravitate

answers to these

questions

may be,

and

Protagoras

toward one another,

the Protagoras

becomes

attached a

to the basic structure of the septet

by

a

line

filiation. In the Statesman
on

same

way,

line

of attachment

develops between the Sophist
on

and

the one hand and the Parmenides

the other,

for Parmenides

is

as

tagoras
a

actively present in the latter dialogues through the Eleatic Stranger as Pro is in the Theaetetus. The recurrence of themes in the Platonic dialogues is
would

familiar fact that

lead to the

attachment of the

Meno to

our

growing

structure

Phaedo.
matic,

by the link of the doctrine of anamnesis, employed prominently in the Many other examples could be given. If carefully pursued, the dra
and personal

thematic,

ligatures

would

include

some

large part,

perhaps

all,

of

the Platonic corpus.
not come so

I have
rather

far in

order

to suggest that there is a Platonic cosmos, but

to speculate on what guided

Plato in the

construction of

it.
of

Raising
not

the

question

is

meant

to

set aside

the routine reply that the
real one not

cosmos was governed

by

the shape of the

shaping because that is

the Platonic true

but because it is

not what

the already discerned structure indicates most point

edly, namely, that
and must
rizon

a great weight of non-Socratic thought presses on

Socratism

be

reckoned with.

The

presence of non-Socratic

thought defines the ho

in

which

the transpolitical or philosophic critique and apology of
which not

Socrates
sur

may be found. The cosmos to prising degree the theoretical,
the

the Platonic cosmos corresponds is to a

the natural cosmos.

Taking advantage of the body of the argument to
be
wise

privilege claimed

by introductions,

I

will

introduce it
would
non-

come with an as yet unsupported assertion:

not

to

assume

that Plato

fashioned his

world and populated

it

with

Socratics merely to
while

mirror

the intellectual milieu that

Socrates inhabited and,

for Socrates to deflate every living and dead pretender to understanding beginning with Homer. It cannot be denied that Socrates is shown slaying his thousands; but his antagonists often have little
sketching that world, to set the scene
enough

to

say for
put

themselves and are not of great stature.

Plato does

cause

his

Socrates to

the armies of the fee-takers to the sword, but he also shows him at
without a proclamation

times occupying their towers

to announce the appropria
armed with

tion. Most surprising, Socrates occasionally goes
weapons whom

into direst battle

borrowed from

unidentified armories

that

belong

to other champions

Plato's

contemporaries could and

did

name and who are recognized even

by

us.

I have in mind, to

give one

striking example, the doctrine

of

invisible

and

158

Interpretation
intelligibles

most real

by

which and

by

which alone

the

phenomenal world

is to

be
to

understood.

This
of

was Pythagorean tradition

be thought invention from the

by

us as
when

Socratic idealism. It is
Parmenides
asks

Parmenides (130b),
own apart

likely time, recalling that, in the Socrates whether the ideas are his

Socrates'

by

though

worth

and whether

he

thinks that there

concrete things that participate
response appears sets

unity and plurality in these ideas in themselves, Soc
and
second

is likeness

rates says

yes, but his

directed to the

question, the

first

going

unanswered.

When Aristotle

of thought about

causes, he

sketches

out, in Metaphysics 1, to give the history a picture of Greek intellectual life that the Platonic dialogues. In

should remind the reader of the mosaic panorama of

history, Plato looms large, as Socrates does in Plato's. Aristotle says that Plato was a Heracleitian both early and later in life, for he saw the world of
Aristotle's
phenomena as always could construct

in flux (Metaphysics
out
of

987a34).

Is it

not

Plato-Socrates
a view of

Pythagorean idealism

surprising that one and Heracleitian
greatest
with
pre-

flux? In brief, there is depictor
and of

Plato

and
and

Socrates,
Socrates

and are

Aristotle is the

it, according

to
as

which

Plato

intimately

bound in

must

be discussed

belonging

to the milieu of that host we call
Plato-Socrates'

Socratic. In that view, the
sever

recognition of

preeminence

does

not

their historical connection with their predecessors, nor
predecessors.

does it

entail their

freedom from debt to those
a

The Platonic
with

corpus seems at

first like

depiction

of

the

same pre-Socratic

landscape,

Socrates included in

it, but
whose as per

in a completely different perspective from Aristotle's. Those thinkers thought Aristotle diligently distills and criticizes appear, when they exist
sonae of

Plato's dialogues, like

mere

foils for the virtuosity
a giant

of

Socrates. Plato's

perspective seems to make cence

Socrates

even as

among the dim or semidim. Aristotle saw Plato, who was
perspective was not

among mediocrities and a lumines Did Plato not see Socrates on a human scale
called

divine in his

own

lifetime? I believe
and

that Plato's
show

this. But

if it

was

less detached than Aristotle's, thus clear-sighted, why was it given the

I

shall

try

to

appearance

by

its

author of no

being
no

the apotheosis of

Socrates,

the perfect philosopher with no

debts,

peers,

errors, the

man who cannot even proclaim

his ignorance

without

adding luster to the testimonials of his wisdom? What was the unprecedented achievement of Socrates that justified so extraordinary a portrayal? The closing
words of

the Phaedo do not constitute an adequate answer. What to move toward
an

follows here is
of a

an attempt

explanation, through the

interpretation

few

el

ements of

the Theaetetus and the Phaedo.
perhaps

My

general

intention is to

argue that

the Platonic corpus contains

that one
the

of

the

instruments
those

of

the appraisal of Socrates; and simply is appraisal is the depiction of Socrates as a man in
whom

company
whom or

of all

with

it is
he learn.

useful

to compare

him,
from

whom whom

he

taught, learned

he

could not

teach,

whom

refused to

teach,

and

he

conceivably The Theaetetus is recounted in Megara (whither Plato is
death
of

even refused to

said

to

have

gone af

ter the

Socrates). In the

recounted

dialogue proper, Socrates is engaged

Socrates begins his interrogation of Theaetetus poses by enumerating. in the form with Theaetetus to be studying and arithmetic of a question. and a teacher of whom Theaetetus. (3i8e) he derides the vulgar sophists who force rather their pupils back to the distinct conventional arts than teaching them. it may be understood that he would look as pointedly at Theodorus. astronomy. which the youth confirms. There least one more youth in order for Theaetetus to have been "in the wise middle. Socrates turns this answer back because it gives examples instead curriculum of the b). What might be called the routine position of Socrates. namely. This becomes the for a lengthy statement by himself. as he himself effective as possible in domestic and civic affairs so that they may be as in the city both in action and in speech. har mony. Now arises the chief question of the dialogue: is knowledge? Theaetetus the arts. Plato himself studied in the known that tradition. the interloc have been at as the youth comes utor of middle of a one of the others must the Statesman. Socrates does. resemblance to be referred. and sophists. that the intel ligible is a unity to which the multiplicity must Protagoras's apparent reason offer an assortment. d). the subjects that he sup Theodorus: geometry. It is worth no dialectic pedagogy differs from the one set Socrates claims to be able to elicit all knowledge from . and knowledge what and wisdom are the same. able for he appears as a barren god. adduces a where a one is This is the same itself it is. many thing objection with which Socrates confutes Meno's definition of virtue [Meno 72a. answers by referring to Theo shoemak- dorus 's of saying wanted." but no other youth is named or other identified. It be in the group is Young Socrates. the true and exposing the fruit and. His self-description is a curious mixture of depreciation and pretension. to the Protagoras. fostering ticing forth in the Meno. Theaetetus is introduced into the dialogue group of young men who are approaching. who is a geometer. Protagoras is said to look at Hippias while speaking. they he purveys wisdom Theaetetus encourages admits to a concern over the and go meaning of knowledge Socrates him to take heart forward. good counsel asks whether whether the increase of knowledge is the same as increase of wisdom. bears an unexpected for disapproving of the ordinary itself in its unity. incapable he has within. Theaetetus is described resembles as Young Socrates respects about him of course resembling Socrates in appearance. like a god in his offspring. in name. be called his obstetric autobiography because he discloses in the course of it that he is a midwife of thoughts. what adding also the productive arts such as ing. about offering to put his own peculiar occa a statement that might powers at sion Theaetetus's disposal during the Socrates investigation. of generating a thought but that to deliver a man of those distinguishing false the pregnancies isue in progeny from those that have that this characterization of his where spurious beneficence. ("music" cites (145c. he is someone with According in Cyrene.The Dramatic End of Plato's Socrates in conversation with 159 an associate of Theodorus. in the Protagoras. In pursuing the interrogation of Theaetetus. This list is the same being substituted for "harmony") as the list of arts that Protagoras re when. Plato maintains silence in all the conjectured third youth.

with Stimulated knowledge by Socrates. out of which knowledge is sure") it grows. be shown an application of what we call the Pythagorean theorem. i. it is necessary to inquire into the path by which Plato brings the Theaetetus to the conclusion it reaches. Socrates im of mediately identifies this as Protagorean. he induces the boy to discover. In this sense. to discover in himself. Particular . "the problem of succeeded no defining er is an ele error" the discourse that survives to the end of the which arises out of of empiricism-relativism. namely. hotness and other qualities of perceived appear raises the things ance of he perceives. Whether the practical circumstances surrounding Socrates' end and the willfulness of the men who brought it about have anything to do Plato's intention in closing the Theaetetus with aporia would require a separate investigation. in the next dialogue. and needs part. survives the dialogue. earthly kind and de of pends on perception rather of than on immortality the soul or on the availability ideas as objects visible in a realm above. Theaetetus replaces his first suggested definition of with which is that knowledge is and as of all perception. the things that are that to they are and of the things that are not that not. the Theaetetus ends inconclusively. no judgment about a thing can By the end of the dia or logue. This is the more in need of consider ation because the Theaetetus begins the Socrates argues the sequence that ends soul in the Phaedo. refutation in the dialogue the original premise. For the present.. if what every man per be wrong. Socrates does not repeat the success where the Meno. If the Meno tends to ar right method all normal men can gue that through the application of the to possess all knowledge. This problem. but the memory in portant question is of the ordinary. question what of In any case. which perception (or "man is the mea is surprising in the highest degree. where memory plays indeed an im by appropriate questioning: immortality of the soul. another. the Theaetetus can be said to show that the quest for knowledge even about knowledge itself staggers through an arduous process of trial and error and reaches the edifying conclusion that will make failure in the investigation to avoid Theaetetus what gentler with others and better able believing with that he knows onstrated he does not know. ceives is true for him the there is no truth beyond the truth of perception.160 all men Interpretation everyone knows everything by virtue of the only to be reminded. for the is knowledge is not answered. the on place where immortality of the partly the premise of anamnesis. and which they will not because. How important this wisdom might be is dem in the immediately subsequent conversation of Socrates Euthy phro. There is a tacit with drawal from that doctrine in the Theaetetus. interlocutors have ror than ment of in defining better in accounting for knowledge.e. or how things appear. aporetically. Socrates (152c) be what will prove to one of the most difficult points that he and Theae tetus will have to contend able to settle: with throughout the What is and error? The issue arises dialogue. In an unobtrusive remark. Protagoras that runs "Man is the measure tantamount to the formula of things." they are Socrates interprets this mean that each man is the judge and of the coldness. there is no way to go beyond the things to their being be in truth.

that in reflecting dialogue may be said to affirm formally. the surmise Let hold in abeyance that the aporia of the Theaetetus might be . Obviously.. then the judgment that the be modified: in be aporia would embedded have to ac the genuine resolution of the issues would in the tion or structure of the discourse as a whole. some part of what in the negations. it does indicate that the definition is to be expected to lie in some realm of being that is not out of touch with perception or appearance. of three major ten tative definitions be of knowledge. in above as which the participants fail to find the meaning by trial and error tient labor in vain proceeding throughout in act what obstetrician and his pa the seemingly teaching to bring forth. the statements of objections that effectually a nega not eliminate the affirmations which are cast out of the discourse. However far this is from realm of experience one might say. defining can knowl edge. I note. It would be presenting knowledge and therewith learning as well as as teaching in a purely terrestrial medium. us cannot be false (152c). on what an by I doubt it will have escaped notice of that this dialogue. all of them overthrown when shown by Socrates survives to be untenable. one might have to include the undisposed of issues raised by refuted positions. the dialogue inevitably has also the appearance of being an enactment of knowledge which fails in its efforts to articulate knowledge or to define it in "structure" words. and tive that eliminates permanently some factor of the argument contradicted should whole. "it seems so") when Socrates argues provisionally. within the linked to perception and ratiocination.The Dramatic End of Plato's Socrates importance unresolved 161 argument survives unrefuted or should be attached to whatever in the through to the end because. perception One is always of what exists and. and the contradicting arguments which refuted proposals are eliminated. Form) as the paradigm of of knowledge. Because the definition of error and the definition of knowledge are mutually dependent. If the dialogue were thus to present its teaching error. it would be offering rious alternative to the mortal soul and ideas as vorjrd that are remembered by an im that are drawn out of latency through a method of interrogation. The dialogue has the efforts appearance of being it in an enactment of error which fails in its to articulate error or to define words. duced into the argument but has not been eliminated from it by The Theaetetus especially calls for the consideration of some such hypothesis be cause the dialogue consists overwhelmingly of trial and error. that with only won is to any extent supported by Plato's causing Theaetetus to (or. If the Theaetetus doctrine were designed to present its own action or a se (i. is itself as a be counted as Collecting those negatives permanently belongs to the fullscale interpretation affirmed in the discourse of the di alogue and not aporetic to the present paper. qua knowledge. however. in an argument that ends formally in apo ria.e. der if this speculation "it reply on behalf of the Protagorean view. was work as a whole ends described in act. It is possible that must sought in such a case. one must ask whether the work has in fact no affirmative conclusion or whether perhaps the conclusion consists somehow of whatever has been intro refutation.

" One can only say about perception that it occurs. This paltry is fol lowed in be by the astonishing remark of weight because we are and awake Socrates (i58d) that the previous point gains for equal periods of time. and rest with fire. On says. It is offers surprising that there is this position. Theae unno tetus. ticed and without explanation. "kineticism" is the notion that per ception. For the present. that in some tinct way the Protagorean or materialist-kineticist ascription of special tance to impor motion and sons at its force. and that heat and provi caused by motion. and let us return to the progress of perception the argument. the source and support of other nonbeing things. the order of the terms and then proceeds to the identification of "perception mount is knowledge" as Protagorean and as tanta measure. all the philosophers except Parmenides he (I52d). a very important part will ultimately be by heat or fire in unretracted thought as brought out by the end of the Phaedo. Socrates elaborates in considerable detail (156a- "Protagorean" 157c) the percipi doctrine that all perception is born of the motion of the endlessly moving ent and object of perception." to "man is the to By this understanding. Protagoras. Socrates one and a self-same of things: now asserts itself" falseness in ap doctrine is the this that view that "nothing is thing ever from movement and the mixing nothing that is. the Protagorean view that man's percep retains heat tions are the measure of the being of things is also permitted to remain alive in . in those states that can Apparently in order to refute the kineticism of to attack the infallibility of perception by referring to and illusion. delivering defense to which we will turn. it is perceived be by the one perceiving it. and Empedocles but everything proceeds is. Socrates. the frivolity of this and other arguments speak soon in the vicinity is implied by Socrates a when he begins to indis (166a) in the name of Protagoras. sophism Theaetetus allows that the thing is asleep too hard to prove. as well as the loftiest poets Protagoras. Epicharmus no mention of will attempt in comedy and Homer in tragedy. However sional this played advocacy might prove to Socrates' be. arguing called that we have "perceptions" surely be them false. that for rea present at least equally unclear. and second. Heracleitus. Socrates moves the state of dreaming. proposes that knowledge reverses is (i5ie). and with it so much of the Protagorean doctrine of multiplicity in the all as must accompany it. Socrates pursues the theme of would dreams in his further prove refutation of of Protagoras. this. and what. with which Pythagoras. each thing is as.162 resolved Interpretation in the retained elements of the argument and in the action or Form of the dialogue as a whole. two points seem to emerge: first. ing concur. asking Theaetetus how he not that the two were dreaming their actual conversation. I take it the use of that when an assertion regarded as is refuted by feeble or false contentions. that and motion does go being and life. and error or prehension becomes impossible. Socrates in support of he eventually to weaken. it may having survived the refutation. but is always becom of the two kinds of poetry. Attached to this motion. as was said. In any case. the vital concomitant of cannot be "wrong. is dissolution. insanity.

and body with a view improving farmers are the ones who treat sick its percep plants. namely. The wise man bad things appear and are to us. and which is mildly by Socrates. To see how far this insight constitutes a refutation of Protagoras. a doctrine that can appar ently be harmful effects. replacing bad . says The required change with a condition that is not good to one that is better. He goes on. He reminds himself that there are those who teach the opposite. for nothing is said about the wisdom own arguments of concealing it. The first illustration is the sick the physician." his thinking: to is from make a man wiser is impossible. however. who concealed their and parently Homer." not more The Socratic "Protagoras" now makes a remarkable observation: physicians are those who correct the condition of the tions or sensations. re which sisted happens by the way to be delivered He enlarges on by Theodorus. dissimulation. Plato causes Socrates to deliver a remarkable speech in which he impersonates Protagoras rebuking Socrates for the levity of his disputa tion to that point and then going on to present Protagoras's understanding with "Protagoras" unimpaired seriousness. i8od). The condition physician will bring in him to a in which food will taste and be sweet.The Dramatic End of Plato's Socrates some small 163 degree. distinguish ing the ancients. to refute radi published without Socrates' cal kineticism by showing the impossibility of of saying anything about all things are always moving concludes not and changing. very the moderns. To the sick on a change man. in a literal sense "idiotically". kineticism from the many with poetry (ap who blurt out their wisdom so that the belief that some cobblers will abandon the commonsense things are in mo tion and other things are at rest. in who suggests that those sectarians perhaps speak the theme of differently in private and public. of The sick man is not ignorant nor is the that healthy man wise because the unwisdom or wisdom of their opinions. the correction of the sick man is not a matter of rectifying "Protagoras. that all is one and at rest. Physicians do this (Adyotc). food tastes and is bitter. drugs. There is be made very energetic denunciation of the Heracleitians or "Ephesians" (i79e- 180c). Beginning 166a. is. "Protagoras" teachers of wisdom argues (oocpiorfjg) a with arguments or words that it is not a matter of truly but rather of making a man who thinks (do^aom) falsely think bad condition (i^ig) of the soul so that the man remedying will experience perceptions {(bavrdouara) that are better. but the when this flatly does not mean that there is no such thing as wisdom wise man. is precisely he who can so deal with us that he can cause good things instead to appear man and and to be. that the is. Whether this has anything to do with and positions is exceedingly hard to judge. we must return to an earlier point in the at dialogue. becoming of motion rather than of anything if being. associated He only the critique Protagorean doctrine of "man the man theory but the measure" by rejecting that formula except if the be sensible rejection or (cbgoviuog) (i83b. asseverates "know" ing and is unique and will perceive and his belief that every human be idiosyncratically. It should mean been a said is intended to emphatically clear that nothing that has that Plato's Socrates is a crypto-kineticist. but to "true.c).

but it seems as if one . One might say that he has no need of that hy pothesis. which would seem to him demented. His is that the ordinary his average perceptions. terrestrial. His thought reflects energetically on ex perience. cit Wise and good orators make noted the good rather than the word wicked seem "good" just to the ies.164 Interpretation in them with perceptions good. but spising mere opinion. by belief in any force or criterion higher than gods or eternal ideas. and natural. The reply is to the effect that the being or nonbeing of gods is excluded from Protagoras's speech and writing. (i62d) Socrates have presents a for him might given to Socrates' reply that Protagoras or someone speaking injection of the gods into the discussion. In an earlier passage. What has difference between emerged wisdom is this: in the first place. Wisdom. to be So also is possession of abundance of wealth Protagoras sees no reason of apologetic about man with his own fee-taking. and the and soul itself has no pronounced primacy. There is such a thing as and the a wise man. Socrates' reasserted themselves in one shape or another down to numerous as refutations of mits while them and of their implications are uneven in their gravity. Socratic philosophy strives to reconcile in fact his philosophy reconciles them. While the wise man's far exceeds the vulgar understanding. and his doctrine.c) referred to earlier. but it remains on the level of its own objects: transcending and even de to amalgamate. It is to be that in each case. There are good any conditions. but his of a curious to the perceptions or sensations of plants are indicative dency with other or toward materialism in his belief in motion as primary. he ad impersonating judgment on Protagoras. the measure of his perceptions of the world might be it if his wisdom qualifies him Socrates' as the cpgdvipiog of wisdom remark (i83b. the for not expression denoting XQr)OTog the perception of the which better condition "useful" is dyaddg but some form of of has Socrates' an overtone of impersonation Pro tagoras continues with interesting assertions that we can omit from the present on discussion. Nothing further from his depreciation of thought can be imagined than its Socrates' life and body in favor of death and soul. "Pro tagoras" speaks of soul and references e^igor habitual condition (i67bi). the two have something in as tinged with stand those "Protagoras" common. No standard higher or more enduring than may prove to man and his experience comes to sight. To determine precisely the details of his Protagoras would be a considerable task. needful. terms. it does not hypothesize any entity that opinion the prephilosophic conclusions from experience cannot encompass. man could sees the good under the beneficial. "Man is the able measure" perception" "knowledge is so be unten propositions. as in the Phaedo. a tendency which would He appears at first to alienate from which strong ten harmonize each Good. Protagoras insists and the absence of it. and health is moral standpoint would useful as readily a paradigm of them. perceptions that be called natural if nat ural means perceptible primary and unmodified either experience. he differs from ordinary people. though on the plane of the empirical. but they have deep a foundation that they have our own time. nor of ideas either. Truth. healthy and true perceptions {alodrjoeig) in the (167c).

The simplicity of this pattern is disturbed by demonstrations in various places that the true king. Protagoras as teaches that what seems good to the city is so for as long the opinion holds.) What Socrates heard is that elements or components of ourselves and of all composites are not or the primary subject to reason addresses to being explained or accounted for by reason. the true rhetor. wise man is a healer or improver Socrates world of as seriously with Protagoreanism on the issue of with his Protagoras seems to replace "truer" "better. If all the world were Protagorean. relation which is foreshadowed in the last lines the present dialogue. if there are things that are unknowable by virtue of being in tractable to reason (whatever that might mean). page 162 above. While the empiricism. the next and on dialogue. a I believe there is might another conflict between Soc might rates and serve Protagoras. 177a). Theaetetus opinion recalls with (201c. and their underlying premise of universal motion. (A dream one seems to anonymous source. un Socrates first that part of Theaetetus's formula that introduces the knowable. then about such things there could be at best only true opinion. in exchange for what Theaetetus heard someone say. just this as each man is the measure for himself. Protagoras's wise man is capable of be wisdom recommends of value. might not make it impossible to name or and obstruct the rule a sign of discuss anything. coming rich. How one could know that the opinion about . offering people say. Is the ment? between Socrates The and Protagoras one of unrelieved disagree Probably not. affairs of and if Xenophon is to be believed of the true proprietor of an estate (and the true teacher generals) is the philosopher. as a thing The wisdom of itself to the many. and apparent atheism of Protagoras. Clearly. Socrates dream for another. they do help to democratize the polis the wiser sort. disagreement that effectually be called practical. this doctrine must put it into the mind of every city and every man that he or it knows (176d.The Dramatic End of might Plato' s Socrates 165 say that Socratism clashes the practicality of wisdom. After heard extensive efforts at someone defining knowledge. How too obvi this point bears on the argument of the ous Euthyphro. That is. and for the present purpose only a few points need be mentioned. or at least to Socrates brought him of of very different compensation. Whatever one might superimpose on way of distinctions between the wise and the others. speech emanating from an have something in common with a rumor Cf. those course a that his who can pay." of bodily or psychic conditions. beginning with politics and including acquisition and other Socrates' business. that to keep them apart as as most other differences. materialism. argument of the Theaetetus is mucn too complex to be summarized. How it bears on the Apology of Socrates Athens itself is if any thing more obvious. is to say. d) having reason. on dreams. the hope of persuading anyone of the impor by tance of knowing that or what he does not know must inevitably decline. and that replies curi say that knowledge is true not subject together the things that are to reason are not knowable. One thinks of teaching the natural impulse of the philosopher to recoil from the practice. something that he thought he heard some ously.

the things we see and hear stand high in the order of reaches knowability (206a. Socrates has come round again to perception plus tion. Once that impression in terms of all singularity has occurred. the intelligible to and eternal archetypes. and that possession of reason in the first two is incompatible with the third Theaetetus Theaetetus will until not enter involves tautology (209c): the peculiar snubnosedness of into combination with my (true) opinion that that is it has already been distinguished in my mind from all other that I have ever seen snubnosednesses on and this by its having been impressed my memory in the first place in its difference from with all the other characteristics of others. the conclusion that the syllable. the paradigm of a composite. Socrates introduces his familiar while theory vable states. also from unintelligibility by the intelligibility of the letters. true senses opin ion plus reason would not be a tenable definition of knowledge. will remind me and cause me to have right opinion of you. of which the the musical notes are illustrations. not by explana 204a) is saved tion but by perception. Socrates turns composite things the discussion to the question whether the primary elements of things are unintel ligible enter. and similarly Theaetetus.. Socrates proceeds not by reason supporting or refuting the but rather by showing that any of the three to be the definition of no matter which definition prevailed. At any rate. of ideas. He does this by showing that the error. now There seems to be some sense in which knowledge is per ception and perception knowledge. and in the course of that tion exalting the soul over the body life (59b). a dialogue that Socrates demonstrating the demonstra immortality the soul during his last hours. b). of which we retain our revi- impressions as we pass through our disembodied toward incarnated Contributory the effect his showing the immortality of the soul is an argument to that things are brought into being by their contraries. even idea" garded as "some one indivisible (205c) and (205d. In order to accomplish maintaining that death is preferable to his purpose. i.166 Interpretation not them is true is the Euthyphro clear." Socrates if re 203c.e. seeing you. are if anything more up of intelligible than the composites made them: the things of perception. meeting with you again tomorrow. those par ticles known to us in the only way in which they can be known. rendering an account things in terms of all of their elementary parts. as pleasure fol- . to true opinion to form knowledge means one question "what is reason of three things: the verbal reflection of of of thoughts in speech. or are more or less intelligible than the into which they He of concludes that the letters the alphabet and primary irreducible things {jtgcjra). Socrates turns for son us?" (2o6d) be to the of Without the formality added that which is to intended to signify it down that rea he lays asking Theaetetus. He seems to have rediscovered memory quickened by a renewed percep Protagoras's empiricism and terrestrialized shows collection. In brief. We turn next to of the Phaedo. "one idea. explaining something in terms the characteristic that distinguishes it from everything claim of else. but that the argument is and drifting toward the problems of piety the gods seems likely.

(59b). Socrates a tion of the soul death is anything but the separa from the body. death who was present. Socrates refers to "some ancient account effect that the souls go from here to the infernal region and return and are born from the dead. for if it were known that death consists of such a separation. to Echecrates. Without hesitation Simmias replies that it is noth asks whether ing but that. of a variety of philosophic persuasions. Whether there" how this Plato's absence is to be connected with Phaedo's remark. Also present at the of Socrates was a sizable Athenians and others. sick" It is made explicit or that Plato was not there: "Plato was. like to begin of by in discourse Socrates asking why Simmias and Kebes are made the part during most of the dialogue. As the thought the of Protagoras ways moves in the Theae only illustrate tetus. and whether he had not admitted ponderable variations of the orthodox idealism is always associated with related his name. common would fear that the soul disintegrates being from the body. that "all who were thought Socrates had thing wonderfully clear. must remain more or less conjectural (102a). Kebes upon attaches to the question to which sees Simmias has given an affirmative answer. So also were Simmias and Kebes. how might our souls not exist there? The support for the affirmative is to be found in the doctrine is born of pain and of the generation of all things from opposites. two Thebans who are de made the scribed who by said Socrates as pupils of Philolaos (6 id). I believe that an indi cation of the answer is to be found in the Simmias following places rather early in the conversation. at 64c. Simmias Next. I mention of rates' think. And if this is so. the Megarans of the recounting of the Theae tetus. the reader has been made to wonder how far Socrates himself be lieved the soul to be immortal. He like some assurance when soul exists and has any power and intelligence {(pgdvnoig) that we the man to the remem has died. it would be known also that the soul is capable of and has an independent existence. By the time the dialogue has its course. Eucleides and Terpsion. Simmias Kebes are the principal interlocutors of the Phaedo. The conversation who is by Phaedo. together with Socrates. As pleasure everything that becomes becomes from the opposite of what it . were there. and their reservations and doubts. to what extent he considered the soul to be inde pendent of the body. a point which Socrates in fact 70a. Philolaos is the Pythagorean esoteric is to have sold the written report of the and tenets of Pythagorean- ism to Plato himself. if the living are born again from the dead. in that I can here I ners with great should incompleteness. This is begging of the question that forms the context of the ex change. as well as their unquestioning concurrences. First. he asks.The Dramatic End of Plato's Socrates lows run 167 pain and life itself is consequent upon death. group a Phliasian remembered as a Pythagorean and who shows a sympathetic in of terest in Socrates. are instruments that Plato uses in giving the argument much of its shape. that the at wishes to separated nothing hear dispelled the arguable here. so that of Pythagoras affects Phaedo. after Soc account of the ideas as causes.

equally well to accept the theory of genera least if Aristotle is to be believed when he as is to the Pythagoreans the belief that "contraries are the first principles of things" (Metaphysics 986b3). as if it were self-evident. Of course. and that. Socrates refers without explanation. to a man's knowledge of things as gained through seeing. it must that of anamnesis. as Theodorus was a deviating Protagorean. and Kebes furnishes can answer well-put questions about it with notable econ Human beings anything. which would thagorean have put those conceptions. ultimate Socrates' description of gives a clue that gains quiescence in plausibility by their conduct in the exchanges just summarized. All of this said without intending to minimize the weight of the objections that of Simmias and Kebes will oppose to the doctrine the eternal vitality of the soul as distinguished from its capacity to survive the body for a limited time. whole Socrates' and doctrine im upon the completion of the statement of those objections. make objections to It is well worth noticing. Socrates declares that if there opposite were not a universal between states. declaring that it seems to of him that it is altogether exactly thus. as an additional various impressions that it would have lived on somewhere. the proof of this position. The same indoctrination would prepare tion of opposites cribes opposites. the party is disconcerted an unassailable by the inroads that have been made on what was thought to be position. which they would not be able to do if the knowledge were not within them.168 turns Interpretation so also dying follows living. although he is not generally a passive interlocutor. Kebes is persuaded. made Returning rators of to the question why Simmias and Kebes are the chief collabo Socrates in this them as pupils of dialogue. of though. Perhaps Simmias and Kebes are imperfect Pythagore ans. In order to rein force from anamnesis. living arises out of being dead just as this argument reciprocation with another. Phaedo breaks into the account . Simmias like to be reminded of omy. to such an extent that doubts in his about reason own charac- itself arise. Beginning at 88b. As one might say. Strengthening into. and Socrates unusually strong ment. Philolaos. that Simmias mortality. or other perception (73c). hearing. Kebes accepts this astonishing mixture of an old story and a flimsy analogy with out a murmur. Their easy ac in the most problematic assertions apparently comports with their Py training. thought to be pe culiarly Socratic. It is on not possible now to try to clarify these relations of detachment Kebes the part of certain members of philo sophic sects when they contemplate their orthodoxies. well within the range of the familiar or the authoritative. Plato could not find them at more agreeable interlocutors with Socrates on questions of immortality by and the migration of souls than Pythagoreans. the universe would collapse makes an into ubiqui state tous death. I think that which means Pythagoreans. if the soul carries forth into life before birth. The aporia of the Theaetetus seems to dis argument Kebes' solve in the tacit acceptance of the spurned Protagorean suggestion. Kebes a agrees and confirms all of the foregoing re by introducing proof. ceived favorite Socratic doctrine. and that re turn to life and the birth of the living from the dead and the existence of the souls the dead are the reality (72d).

Anaxagoras. led him into confusion and ally to forget even what common Then he discovered Anaxagoras. as if any such could explain why (that is.The Dramatic End of Plato's Socrates ter with certain remarks to Echecrates. which doing so by concrete refer ence to the dialogues. cause of sense discouragement. water and many other foolish things as causes. i. . to vitiate his doctrine with matter. that to another feature pay Plato's critical method of order to constructing the argument to which seems with regard one must some attention in interpret the texts. we must fol an argument that not develops the after Kebes has shown a need that the body only Socrates declares that this is tantamount to preexists but is altogether imperishable (95b a thorough et seq. The lesson is caution. Phaedo concludes his ex own and resumes change with what might Echecrates called the report of the argument proper. we congeniality of the one doctrine to the seem merely to be rediscovering the judg although ments of Aristotle Plato's provenience.e. and drew misplaced between misanthropy and misology: both arise out of trust too readily given. Socrates now gives a remarkable ac count of his intellectual how his experiences as a seeker after knowledge about causes. . Socrates last almost makes powerful representations which presents with reverse. a demand for investigation of the cause of generation and corruption.). What this speech that Plato puts in the mouth of Socrates betokens for Plato's ily matter for be understanding of philosophic sectarianism is necessar speculation. however. for a proof haps low soul even seems at to In order to observe this. necessary for the and others ignore the good. dictum that mind whose is the arranger and everything delighted him. Great was his disappointment when went on to introduce air. not dogmatic skepticism. of a given passage Those who find the location in a text significant as a whole will wish to know that the Phaedo equal parts. certainly the utmost tentativeness. 169 relates Phaedo how Socrates caressed him. followed by repeated disenchantment until a parallel eventually hatred of all men or of all reason ensues. aether. in mixing conditions matter with mind. Thus the study of generation and tion is really the study of good. At any rate. lost sight of the distinction between cause and the operation of a cause. here at 9od. apparently on istic principles. of Aristotle does only on occasion. I think one might plausibly conclude importance to the chief point of the Phaedo section. If one were to wonder why this crucial serve as work was named after a character who did nothing in the dialogue but addressee of the admonitions that Plato attached much just related. causing him eventu had plainly if insufficiently taught him. There is. It weighty issues. ending the Phaedo section. section divides the dialogue into very nearly elaboration Let it be of supposed a that Plato has injected Pythagoreanism into the some Socratism in way that indicates on other. corrup Anaxagoras with a view to what good) anything came into being He or happened. he himself or per unobtrusively qualifies. He to the good: mind causes reasoned that mind does all that it does with a view the generation and corruption of each thing in order to procure what is best for it. material He relates explorations into natural philosophy. By these tedious evolutions.

and the good. the thing itself. in themselves. Socrates same name says. because . and to prove to grants that the soul is Astonishingly. Now he will hypothesize the the existence of the beautiful in itself. I hope to be immortal. Socrates this "the safest said I can give" to the question "what is the cause?" (It must be immediately that a few pages only safe but stupid. an unnamed interlocutor notices that beauty's being the cause of beauty means that eration guishes like is caused by like. He adopts each time some explanation (Xoyog) as a hypothesis that he judges to be the strongest. Sometimes. the latter ety. describes his gins second or post-Anaxagorean voyage in search of the He be by stating his method of inquiry. So we must not jump to conclusions about his naivete. it may as also always and be called odd. Now Socrates shows how a man can one man but smaller than another: he can participate in cause the great and the small. Now Socrates cause.) Socrates praises the clarity of the re sults of his method.170 Interpretation than any other power to more powerful keep the whole together. if fire can approaches snow. neither tolerate to contrary. and he posits as true whatever agrees with it and rejects as untrue whatever does not (iooa). as Now three would will oppose anything Even just three contains the strenuously eternally Odd itself do. A beautiful thing is made calls by that "thing beautiful by beauty itself. When the opposite approaches its oppo of them must either withdraw or be destroyed. Kebes We present the existence of the things themselves without a question. Briefly. be larger than as was said above. eldog) deserves the forever called ever. three may always be three. by answer it is itself" its "participation" in the beautiful. the soul." able to demonstrate cause. snow are not Heat and coldness are what and coldness and cold. which contradicts the earlier doctrine that gen is by opposite of opposite. is of subordinate to theory what of cause and the demon the immortality thing is. "not only the idea itself and (aim which. but also while not being that idea. but although The Odd. neither the great nor the small. in which each or rather is made to be. and Echecrates breaks into Phaedo's report to join in the later. might notice at this point that the doctrine of the ideas. coldness and snow. Socrates easily distin are generated "things" from "things in as themselves:" the former through opposition. one or the other must withdraw or destroyed. themselves have its surrogates which behave like them but differ from be Thus. at least in the stration of context. Phaedo replies. it participates. For example. can admit or participate opposite without one of being destroyed. fire and His point is that the things in them. with the remark that everyone there thought Socrates had clarified everything amazingly. Socrates will call this account not praise. as pleasure out of pain. always whensoever it exists something form" has that it is not (i03e). but in its site. has just been said are repelled or destroyed by heat and contrari cold or Socrates takes the heat next important step but hot by distinguishing they are fire. "If you grant me this and concur in the you being of these things. which can simultaneously him or be present in him. and the great and all others. The importance this for the life Now of the soul will appear soon.

by Beauty itself. while the soul is characterized as the carrier or surrogate of Life. but it is an active one. it and death are opposites when that must flee one another or be de must Thus it follows that thus its survival and cannot of death descends is proved. or is there a Death Itself. and the body The reason that the soul must flee death given when stay to be destroyed by its opposite. capable of approaching and. Socrates says how far one can go in translating anything into the privation of nothing its oppo- . At any rate. One thought that the question was precisely the deathless is necessarily also whether seems indestructible. and it cannot exist once it no longer lives. Socrates (iosb. Is death the surrogate of a larger Idea. it of begging the question. it have been asserted as well at the beginning the argument as at its end. what causes that safe but stupid answer that it is something to be hot. is thus: if the deathless is also indestructible. but rather out of our present work a if you ask what causes more sophisticated reply. for nothing in the argument proper visibly addresses this issue. But does formula mean. as the demonstration is left by Socrates. does it Is not for that reason cease to be discussable that death is or cease to be a source of anxiety? or The di alogue never suggests not discussable that it is not a source of anxiety to man and perhaps even. Socrates has "If you ask prepared a position that goes made so beyond his now first says you argument that something beautiful is me. in ways that I and of which status of privations cannot take cold up here the I will give heatless about or unhot and only the hot is a single example.The Dramatic End of Plato's Socrates idea of odd. the is called called coldless or uncold. and the body to be sick. say Sickness but All this comes to an immediate head in a brief passage in which Socrates will not fever" shows that the soul is to Life as fire is to Heat. if rarely. it and must be in life and there is no way to think of it without implying its life is thus its existence? This latter of proof of formulation will certainly a remind of a particu lar kind of the existence of God: if there is no being such that existence its essence. Soul is not Life itself but Life's and surrogate. withdrawing. that it is fire. death acts for itself. as snow is by heat. then there is cessity of its existence. The demonstration What now to take the form "if something is of deathless. 171 Obviously. its vitality is must the same as or is the sign this its insusceptibility to destruction. a nonentity. At 106a. life is of the thing's es sence. stroyed. I will not give Heat. upon the body." live must be. what must live must be alive as long as it exists. or must the formula mean. I (in Greek. is puzzling also in that. the soul cannot be destroyed death approaches it (106b). the privation of life? What is the ontic status of privations? Are they nothing? If death is ontically nothing. plicit way to discuss it without acknowledging the ne In either case. the soul flee. has something of the appearance destructible? is of existence. The is not an explicit theme. the Idea of Death? The demonstration of the soul's imperishability death simply a negative. something like "fieriness"). as Is the immortal die soul in answered with the assertion that what cannot conclusion could cannot pass out That this is interesting to gods as to men is made ex of (io6d).c). presumably but only for a while. to Socrates.

affection. bad. as will appear. Blinding to this. he die (6 id). ence. from the Socrates' In ties what direction does the Platonic Socrates seem to withdraw from the rigidi of the ideas and even perhaps of the superiority of death to life? I can give one only one suggestion. Socrates desires to de pict its fate after its emancipation from the body. it nothing to it but the homogeneity of its own equilibrium or equipoise (looggosria). we will probably be poor readers of Plato's Socratic dialogues. put on the ground and sat wife came a thus until the time came for him to and when his to bid her seventy-year-old arms. I suspect. On this I shall have to difficulty nothing say now. urging him to use any small life and this after the colossal efforts of Socrates on behalf of death. Crito to prolong death to the very last moment.172 site. our his body and contradictions of natural Socrates selves completely in accord with his own orthodoxy. and stated needs conditionally. I wonder whether Socrates doesn't like him for his unshakeable adherence common healthy hu manity. Having shown that the soul is imperishable as well as immortal. There is a special of (adrd rd rfjg ^cofjg eldog) that it is can death and life" "deathless" reason for raising the question through the particular conjunction of the examples of heat and cold alongside life and death. manifold abstractions was not him because. description that unobtrusively becomes a de Socrates presents it as something of which he was a by someone unnamed. Crito is Socrates' that arises out of the place of Crito in the which world of Socrates' interlocutor in a famous dialogue in Crito tries to persuade Socrates to save himself from death. but espe cially by the second branch of it. A question opened up by this inference. and he cannot feel anything but unashamed grief Socrates does from not spurn the loss of one he loves. the absolutely living negatives. husband last farewell. she was carrying babe in However this may be. I think it is fair to infer Pythagore- foregoing that Plato presents Socratism as both affected with anism and as being developed by Socrates in ways that differ from the simple or thodoxies of Socratic idealism. To begin with. I find some imponderable his feet support for this speculation in two facts included by the Plato in the Phaedo: Socrates' when bonds were removed from his legs by a jailers. One inclines spontaneously to say in spite of. and Socrates says of "the very idea (106c). This requires him to give a de scription of the nether scription of persuaded earth regions. the argument of the dialogue is not yet over. is how far the conjectured attributes of Socratism belong to thought and how much to Plato's. Interpretation and cold can If heat be named by some process of reciprocating privation of life be similarly named? After all. but I mean to suggest that one should perhaps say because of Crito's imperviousness to the radical depreci ation of body and and life. Socrates shows him a marked and touching sense. the whole world. if the support is round and is in the heaven middle of and heaven. In the present resists means dialogue. is called in Greek as in English the deathless. for experience. and to be long as possible. Socrates. his to the simple dictate of natural experi avoided as over all Nothing can make Crito see death as anything but fearful. .

than the equilibration of spherical earth cause of that must hang not without support good in the heavens. speaking warms one up and the heat counteracts the poison. to be sick or is not the presence in excess. Crito replies that the man in charge of the poison was trying to admonish Socrates to talk less because attention. it is of a dented sages and whose interior is hollowed and channelled with an body whose surface is in intricacy of pas myth of a system of arteries and veins. if any. the his reminder to Crito to pay the debt pain- to Aesculapius. What he admits as cause is matter. when not only his members but himself died. and he asks him what it is.e. body of by the bottomlessness Greek term.The Dramatic End of Plato's Socrates The of earth 173 does not fall because it is in As for the a place and condition of perfect opposition forces. fieriness. the just rather accommodation of departed souls. like death itself. i. at least in be men. namely. as he says. through his limbs until it reaches his heart. it of Sickness in Itself but of rather of fever. The cause. it would that intricate contraption be straining credulity to maintain that the of fluids in motion is the good. he says. earth itself.) How far the life problematic. in that which heat and cold are in a state of equilib without rium or such as rest. he gives as an illustration of the improved conception the statement that what causes the body . to an(l tach to the fact that the Greek word for soul is ^XV for cooling \\>v%u>. I wish to sug that gest life itself is any portrayed as some condition of a man or rather of his body. air. The bulk Socrates' the earth describes the fluids pitted surface and earth. an equilibrium and that can can be upset by things some introduced from drugs. Can one be certain that Socrates' last words. when Socrates is transcending the safe but stupid dictum that the cause of heat in something is The Hot. is One would like to know what significance. muddy fluxions comes an equipoise. were not a mark of gratitude to the great druggist for a . primarily water. who professed his dissatisfaction with Anaxagoras as a doctor of causes. is that the fluids have. the if the good or implicated in the I good of There is to draw one last conjunction of notions in the Phaedo to which should like Early in the conversation. understood through the Phaedo as equilibrium of a mechanical thermal equilibrium. be affected. indeed of animal or its body. of heat to In the last sentences the dialogue. and out of this melange of rush of fluids from fiery. (63d) Socrates notices that Crito has been trying to say something. c). Later (105b. a microcosm of the fluid the at world. reciprocating no "basis" fluids. Socrates. like and thus of rest. The subversion of body sim has drifted toward ple mechanism of cause of hypothesis and body as cause. flux and aether that lie in and over the that circulate through the great passages and oscillation within the It is a scene of endless of the brought on. There is a side to side. appears to have lapsed into Anaxagorean- ism or some form of a Heracleitianism of at the last moment. The is tantamount to the world order is certainly man. by an activity of the mind such as speech. or triple (It is not clear whether of man can Socrates in fact required the double dose. nothing on or with which to stand. in the or step. the effect the poison on Socrates is described as a growing coldness beginning in his feet and rising.

I have tried to parts of Plato's and Socrates. pedants. On the have elevated Protagoreanism which moved the Pythagoreans were only too by frantically reminding it aware. to He seems have taken Pythagoreanism it for prudent men. after all. of to philosophy's political pretensions. as the deradicalization of extremes of spiritualism. and professions. and keep an open mind on the question whether Plato kept was led to that he had done so. in all Socratism cautious appears as a turning its point in Greek and thus thought. conclude Socrates an I have tried to mind. How many dramatic meetings in which those actors are brought together should lead him to discussions those outcome of the reader perceives the many The Socratic dialogues of Plato's premises. thinkers. straint of After he had done his work. the stage was set for the seriousness and re Aristotle. or that he believed that alone among men Socrates had no origins to speak of. to other restraint. and metaphys ical dogmatism. cultism. I do not find that Plato blinded himself any more than Aristotle would do to the ligatures that bound Socrates to the thought of his predecessors. That the achievement of Socrates was a historical achieve to be some part of ment seems of the burden of Plato's Socratic corpus. mountebanks. Plato portray a large variety of philosophic schools. with its cultic and other extremes and a domesti cated ward pears This domestication included drastic reformulation. How an enormous question much that achievement was in fact Plato's is that must remain present to the mind of anyone who hopes to understand Plato. he ap heaven. of soul and hand. There is reason to think that the history of philosophy in the modern age has been a record of the radicalization or intensification of the primary con ceptions. but come we are tempted to reverse the process and to derive the out examine some of from some prejudgment of work Plato's as premises. ment of was. To understand Plato is to grasp the outcome of the for talk.174 Interpretation less death through cooling numbness rather than for release from life as if it were a disease? What the text does seem to make clear is that the intention of Plato cannot be discerned unless his Socrates is seen in his depth. incompatible with his famous irony. from Plato's perspective. of have Socrates seems to among the schools and professions of the Greeks like a judge in the midst poets and of enthusiasts. What that entitles Socrates to the was encomium of Phaedo just at the end of the dialogue whom Socrates the best and wisest and most man of that time of those about him had experience? Perhaps the answer lies in this: that he achieved the decisive translation of Greek philosophy onto the plane of sobriety. human types. Nor does it appear that the doctrines for which Socrates is most famous were held by him as dogma or without regard to their value as exoteric. free from the bonds of an exoteric dogmatism that is. connivers. accomplished through a careful sifting of the best resources available. open presupposing I have done so for the sake was little of as possible about what his judgment understanding Plato's true judg what Socrates I and therefore. others. a course opposite to that which came to a climactic point with the . climbers.

If this observation dicate that the decline of society is compatible tions of man's theoretical existence. One 175 were with to prove correct. it would in the most contradictory evolu must be singularly devoted to truth. . to be cheered by this discovery.The Dramatic End of Plato's Socrates philosophizing of Socrates.

.

Indeed. The translation is W. 1984). interesting enough dition to to focus a large section philosophy of courage. Stephanus included to the Laches. paper 3590-3606). is whether all courage requires philosophical courage is to be beneficial. 16. In this I shall focus on Plato's view of the second of the issues just ad- Drafts of this paper were presented at Prince George's College. Kaufmann's. the pursuit of philosophy might nevertheless require another sort of courage regardless of the political conse quences? case Having the courage "for might convicti an attack on one's be a in point. 1982). he is to be congratulated. in ad second passages of other dialogues. p. 1. p. . as Socrates suggests at Laches 194a. that is. 3rd ed. under such and by contrast. University A very popular error: having the courage of one's convictions. Jr. when I refer in this essay to Socrates. Sprague's translation Unless the Laches (Indianapolis: page numbers University Press. At first glance. Howard and Courage in Plato's Laches Griswold. 1973). 23 see vols. (Princeton: Princeton R. the If a to this question seems contingent upon risks punishment historical circumstances. liberal democracy. Virginia (Feb. for one. (Munich: Musarion. Laches. Maryland (Feb. 29. 19. on his courage. I am grateful to Professors Edward Regis and David Roochnik for their helpful criticisms of an early draft of this essay. Gesam. have used emendations.Philosophy. the uncompromising manner in Socrates his punish A Bertrand Russell.. to both of these as cases of the courage might the philosopher. However difficult it may be to defend. Except where noted. in fact. 1968). Werke. thought this attempt of a dialogue on it (the Laches). Nicias I am ad verting to these characters as Plato portrays them.g. Thus a species of the philosopher's courage to say what courage be required itself is. position on this last issue is fairly clear: courage must be combined with knowledge if it is to be beneficial (e. So too. of vol. and Malboro College. The first concerns the philosophical attempt to say what courage is. the Plato. finally. The issue concerns the question as answer to whether the pursuit of philosophy requires courage. his Nietzsche. 318. Vermont (April 4. Charles L. I. I Bobbs-Merrill. 1984). Meno 88b. perhaps. Mary Washington College. Socrates by persevering in philosophizing. students of the Apology which and Phaedo met sometimes wax poetic about ment. be the We courage required to sustain one's con might refer viction that it is of worth philosophizing. Education. knowledge if Socrates' The third issue. three issues immediately. 1920-29). wifh slight directly in the text or advert otherwise noted. rather it is a matter of having I When arise the courage for an attack on one's convictions! !! Nietzsche1 we consider the relation between philosophy and courage. has relatively little to fear from a modern courage does not seem to be a prerequisite of philoso Yet might not phizing tolerant conditions. Prot.

would seem to be a harmonized. it is a logical place to begin an investigation into the nature of philosophical courage. . a claim Socrates does not dispute. is the ability of the "already in sense. We might then charac terize the relationship between first two issues a as among yov) of other things. noting that the all the plausible than the view that issues (par worth view that all sorts of courage require philosophy is from any initially less the philosopher requires courage to phi to be the losophize. These two strata of meaning throw a considerable amount of light on each other. but for the ticularly It is of just adumbrated. seem widespread and in little need of the phi men and women knowledge. For example. as we shall see. courage seems furthest removed connection with have performed. Since the Laches is the only Platonic dialogue in which courage is a major theme. help. is. The Laches is. though I must necessarily say something since all philosopher" the other two issues three are interrelated. This is a point to I shall subsequently return. The ability of human beings to if in an inarticulate way.178 Interpretation about umbrated. For in prerequisite of our courage might ease philosopher to seem to which ability to give a Xdyog of courage. very courageous acts. know. then deeds and words are not but not the words "participate" in courage "participate" in courage at all. If philoso phy itself requires a courage. and the definition of courage was the first of our issues. is also connected to the effort to define courage (our first is sue). often Indeed. Socrates points that if we cannot say what courage is even though we are ourselves coura while cannot our geous. Of virtues. the deed (egof giving this Xdyog requires courage. an effort to give Xdyog of what courage follows." indeed. the deeds (193c). as already noted. namely the necessity for philosophical knowledge in every sort of real courage. our first two issues in that. Laches believes that he knows say it is (i94a-b). Our third issue. stand to each other as word to deed. it seems. some The very accessibility of the philosopher's task considerably. Thus the definition courage. However. I would prefer reasons to concentrate on the matter of the philosopher's cour other two age. deeds (and in particular the need for a "har between the two levels) is itself a prominent and explicit theme in the Laches. if something like "courage of the exists. and the philosopher's courage. Nicias' one of definitions in the Laches (which Nicias says he has heard from Socrates) is form of that courage is a kind of wisom (i94d). Not just the ability to act courageously. discussion of the the definition of courage) is unavoidable. the relationship between words and mony" As it turns out. it would presumably be covered by the definition of courage as such. are connected seems Moreover. even that event. what good or noble would be a prerequisite of his ability to say what virtue is. but also to recognize instances of courage. the effort to define courage philo our sophically to require the courage to philosophize. then our second and third issues are also connected. Unphilosophical losopher's help. and I shall therefore discuss the issue in terms of this dialogue. Thus what Only he the effort to say what courage what courage is seems to require such out is.

a clever enchanter sophist" "courageous" and sorcerer and (203d7-8). desire.g. see my "The Myth of Sisyphus: a Re Philosophy in Context 7 (1978).. A prime question for the interpreter of Plato. In the Symposium. but because sumes wisdom is good at in itself least to for its that wisdom is possessable. . the way in which philosophy is practiced in the dialogues makes it look simply negative and even skeptical. Love or desire (egwg) the Socrates' away from the lack by attaining what he wants. or. They some emorfjun themselves not examples a of might be taken as expressing the hope that philosophy is de fensible enterprise. Education. "philosophy" namely compels wisdom wisdom. simply. e. desire in the face of nonexistent Philosophy the becomes power a meditation on the agony of desired decision. The recent history of pivotal role of (resoluteness) in Heidegger's Courage plays a promi Sisyphus. that is. Socrates "egwg' concludes his encomium by saying that now as before he of courage" praises virtues power and (2i2b7-8). In my opinion. Quixotic enterprise. the de in Plato's dialogues is not an unambig For example. of philosophy. or rather. concerns wisdom the "justification" of not this erosophy. of philosopher. Sein a und as well as in Camus' The Myth of 2. moreover. pp. Before and Courage in Plato's Laches would 179 of edu delving into the Laches I like to consider why the issues cation and the philosopher's courage are worthy of reflection. The numerous myths and prise images to the degree of effect that philosophy is a beneficial enter are yielding tmoxr\\ir). 45-59.3 Sein und Zeit is conception. not the lack itself. then it "virtue" would seem that the strength and perseverance it supplies. discussion of the issue in the context of Camus. In necessarily brief terms. this point may be stated as follows. or the celebration of to create or will what we practitioner. 3. Socrates also says that egwg is (203d5) as well as being a "philosopher through all of life. Socrates courageous egyov does not link any act) the other the to egwg. more just the subjective preference of its The abounds with proponents of "ontological" these conceptions. or "Entschlossenheit" philosophy reductions. It would be reduced to the decision of desire." just because and has the desire And this as for it. deed. (203b-204b). As the is the love of one of the four Platonic virtues. that is. philosophy actually conveyed some extent. scription of uous one. if not for the move him to philosopher as show such. pp. must that the love of is "good. but hope is not an argument." Plato. 297ff. For Zeit (Tubingen: Niemeyer. If one were to emphasize this line of of thought to the exclusion of others in the philosopher's egwg is just the "courage. 1972). See. If we accept what "philosopher" loves Symposium speech the teaching of he lacks. Plato someone possessor. to the fulfill a self-conscious choice and resolution to paradigms. to the point that the refutation of ar guments is substituted for sound arguments which establish positive results. They the are inti im mately word connected with several general philosophical questions of utmost portance.Philosophy. implies. the a But then philosophy would ultimately become a Sisyphean. "Egwg is the (work.2 a good example of such a nent role in Nietzsche's writings.

I examine the (New Haven: Yale "classical" a disastrous consequence to be avoided by love (Nihilism.4 This is the and sort of thesis Plato presents in dialogues Phaedrus. and no natural harmony between is thought of as the multiplicity of parts. albeit restricted. I92b9-ci) than to wisdom (with which definition has to do. This conception of courage and of its relationship to philosophy is tied to a larger picture of man and world. The nominal connection between the controlling theme of education and the subsidiary theme of courage consists in the thesis that the purpose of education is to put virtue in the soul. not just in that it is an effort to importantly in that the philosopher is above all concerned self-knowledge. To an exercise pate.1 While the Laches does the ways not offer point comparably discussion. In general terms. with but more (Phaedrus 26ia8.180 Interpretation Despite the important differences among the thought of Nietzsche. Republic. The "Whole" Whole (or cosmos). The Platonic in the counter to this view requires a very complex thesis about the connection between egwg and reason. and Camus. and so by re Phaedrus' formulation 1986). becomes and at the conclusion of the Laches the theme of education once again explicit. ." "measure" sense of and cosmos such as a in itself the and for us. efforts to presuppositions of The Laches' define courage are undertaken in the more restricted not context of a discussion of education." finally about of the the "harmony. no man and eternity. coming together and dissolving through history in unanalyzable ways and for unknowa ble ends. the philosopher's effort to understand is essentially and ipyxaywyia in pedagogy teach others. position and an argument For an extended criticism of "existentialist" in favor Rosen of the "Pla position see S. I94d4~5). since no soul. comprehensive Philebus. 1969). courage a virtue. the defended in the just mentioned dialogues. it does in I shall specify us to a connection which are between philosophy and courage. it is safe to say that in their writings courage occupies a very impor Laches' tant place and that its meaning is much closer to endurance (with which first definition has to do." partially accessible object of notion of education. being While there to are contextual reasons for the selection of courage rather and than one of the other virtues (in particular. Rosen's Nihilism (New Haven: Yale "courage" Heideggerean/Nietzschean restoring wisdom as a University Press. educating courage is finally the tions about the 4. The issue of courage does explicitly arise until the dialogue is half over. under these conditions becomes the second "Courage" Nicias' ability to create choices and to hold to them in the face of an unfriendly universe. 271010). soul and reality. argues that leads to "nihilism. the questions previously discussed in this paper about the nature of this courage are also ques possibility of education the in Socrates' peculiar sense. storing the by now 5. connection between education and courage. and "goodness" "intelligibility. are presumed Laches Nicias are generals and suggests a antici know what courage is). p. Heidegger. tonic' himself with The issue of the philosopher's and same as that of philosophical education. from the standpoint of the "existentialist" thinkers just mentioned there exists no "wisdom" in the Platonic sense. of this thesis in Self-knowledge in Plato's Phaedrus University Press. 221 and context). I shall argue that the Laches deeper.

Nicias" The Laches may take place before or after the "Peace of (421 ). and then forgets the answers too. by his father. teachers. select prominent people of great reputation who seem to possess a is eminently the useful. pp. a remark Laches. in effect) are ill thought themselves to be incapable of defining the very art virtue on which most the success of their note that even depends. but his not engage philosophical discussions with each other. Yet their knowledge of ignorance seems wholly unsuited to providing a not basis ers just for educating their again the children themselves. dialogue. Lysimachus and and Thucydides. namely and courage. Lysimachus that had a single difference Socrates' with father (i8oe). Aristides Two parents. section I discuss the connection education and the philoso courage. In the and Courage in Plato's Laches I shall -181 next section of this paper discuss the problem of education as of it is and formulated in the Laches. The case is the reverse for Socrates. He and Melesias will listen to the conversation and then do whatever with Laches. both the selection of the advis the selection of the subject area Indeed. Meno we 94a). in any suggests that they did father was a distinguished man. Lysimachus and Melesias have this in favor: they know that they are ignorant and incapable of either learning and teaching. II Plato volves.7 Socrates appears to in the vicinity by chance 6. Nicias. see R. deftly sketches the topic of education. Lysimachus as advisors Melesias of selected prominent propriate generals. to educate their children. again in terms of the Laches.Philosophy. The dramatic date military not of the somewhere between 424 and 418. In in the final pher's section III. Education. as virtue did not pass on to Lysimachus (I79d. so far know. would make the utility of science and the reputations of the historical Laches and Nicias especially visible. the Peloponnesian war can be far from everyone's mind. two drama is revealing. trying that to find teachers for their children. It is of the ut as importance to Lysimachus Melesias did often not select Socrates an educator or advisor." "Plato's 7. father well. 95-96. The parents' choice of advisors and subject area quality to it: rfyvn which ors and out.6 As it turns out. are as well as the problems it in Melesias. I turn to the definitions between courage. Lysi cf. For further discussion the dramatic date. generals show (military science. but for choosing and the teach for their Here children as well as the kinds of subjects the children should learn. which Classical says Philology 63 he never (1968). in of either case. their and Socrates recommend. . since he possesses a character not equalled. when They recognize they themselves are not qualified That they cannot be educated to do so becomes obvious Lysimachus unself-consciously confesses that he is not suited to philosophical discussion: for he often forgets the questions he intended to ask. along any other arguments that are brought up in the conversation (i89c-d). though Lysimachus had Socrates' heard about Socrates be from the children and had known (180c). by means of the drama of the dialogue. Hoerber. G. They take the finding the ap generals to a display of armor fighting put on by has a common-sense in the task Stesilaus. Laches and Nicias.

The the impasse Socrates or puzzle (dnogCa) 8 At the concerns end of the ability of nonexperts prevails upon (among Socrates whom classifies Laches. and no attention is given to educating First we must discover them. for Socrates will claim of that he has no knowledge these matters. Laches points out that Socrates distinguished himself in battle at Delium (181b). disagree a nonexpert technique is or is not a good thing for the boys to learn. since the technique he is demonstrating made a fool out of (183d. They to de length their reasons for their views. be present in the Republic . reputation among nonexperts for being an expert Stesilaus does not demonstrate his art in Sparta where he experts. the as two experts in warfare who are present. Yet any such procedure for discovering . The inclusion of Socrates as an expert in the matter of education and nique of particular the matter of educating by Stesilaus' means of tech has have a certain irony to it. when the experts disagree. that we must also in (xexvtxdg. however. Nicias' in persuading Socrates to try to educate son Aristides left his company too soon and At Laches 20od we learn that Socrates has re said to Niceratus. and for Laches deeds spends speak louder than in words. Moreover. forward. let the disagreement be decided by majority vote. The initial been Socrates has accepted as an expert by both Laches and Nicias. 151a says that Lysimachus' failed to bear educate good thoughts (also Theages 130a). ances are Stesilaus is allegedly an expert. For one thing. Until this is done. And as a matter of fact who the educators are. Stesilaus' as points would be surrounded by to real one is not necessarily an expert. namely Laches and whether each cite at some Nicias. But it turns out that appear deceiving. so at Theae. They have all just watched demonstration of his fancy techniques. Lysimachus Aristides.184a). Socrates his time conversing with youths ( 1 80c) and has already advised Nicias on a suitable music teacher for his son (Damon). the experts seems vitiated at the outset. settle the At this Lysimachus invites Socrates to issue by. Socrates wastes no time in showing why this procedure is unacceptable. only knowledge of his recommended point ignorance them. given what But his analogy to has already transpired. i85ai) in the matter at vestigate whether anyone present is an expert hand. fused to (327C2). one the parents used Socrates clearly has in mind here some procedure quite different from the in selecting Laches and Nicias. i8ia3). casting the deciding vote (i84d).182 Interpretation Lysimachus' Melesias' Further problems arise with and Stesilaus' program for educat ing fighting him in their sons. To make matters worse. How is cide between them? answer seems obvious enough: consult a third expert. 183b). the ex perts to nonexperts another expert. an actual combat situation Simply (and because Laches one has the out. the and if none is an expert we should find someone who the actual educating of the children cannot go boys have exactly one line in the dialogue (which they pronounce in unison. though. rather gymnastics since sult the experts than take a vote. (184c) seems question-begging it merely indicates that we should con He adds. Niceratus is.8 is. In any event. Socrates son to come and see him the next to discuss the education of Evidently he day succeeded Aristides.

Philosophy, Education,
himself)
qualified

and

Courage in Plato's Laches

183

to pick out the experts. For to do so: only experts

precisely by being nonexperts they are not have the knowledge to distinguish charlatans up
with a version of

from

experts.

We thus

seem

to end

Meno's

paradox

(Meno

8od): if

you are a

nonexpert,

you will never

chanced upon an expert you would not you are

find the true expert, and even if you know that he possesses the knowledge have
no need of

looking for.

If

you are an expert you either

finding

true

experts or you

disagree
blind

with other experts about who a species of

the true experts are. The
who

Laches begins to look like know they
refer

comedy,

a

are

leading

the blind

who

do in

not

story about the blind know they are blind. I

shall

to this situation as the

"dutogia

education."

of

The ditogta is, differ
to make an
an education.

ently put, to determine how those
An
assumption

who are

need of education are

educated choice about who will give

them or their children
suggestion

Socrates'

underlying

that

they look

to the

ex

perts rather than

take a vote

is that there is

a xsxvn of education

comparable,

say, to the
the

art of gymnastics. and

However,

this assumption is nowhere
casts

justified in
as

Laches,
is

indeed the dialogue gradually
straits without

doubt

on

it (below). The

sumption

nevertheless a commonsensical

one,

and parents might well think parents

themselves

in desperate

it. Perhaps this is why
As
so often

(including
like

Melesias

and
who

Socrates
ever,

Lysimachus) did claimed not to be
is
made

not send

their children to study

with a man

an expert.

by starting ually showing that they are not. In the Laches, true an art but the artless practice of Socratic dialogue.
progress

with assumptions thought

in Plato's dialogues, how to be true, and grad
turns
out

education

to be not

The interlocutors
xtxvn of

of the

Laches begin
"education"

by by

assuming

not

just that there is in
armor.

a

education, but that the

xtxvn concerns the art of

fighting
have be

That

is, they
take

are

which

implicitly defining Socrates immediately
they

means of an example of

it,

a mis

focuses

on.

The

parents

not yet

thought

through what the experts

are

seeking

are supposed to
not suffer

experts

in. The

choice of what sort of experts we want
gia which

infects the

choice

as

to what

we want experts

may among experts of a given sort. Indeed, the decision to be experts in is not itself a decision which can be
the question. The decision

from

quite

the

same dico-

made

by

an expert without
were.

begging

is

a metatechnical

one,

as

it

It

requires

reflection, in

a general philosophical

sense,

on what

education
well as on

is for,

and therefore reflection on the value of

the nature of the persons to

be

educated.

understanding things as Somehow nonexperts must

orient themselves

before consulting the

experts.

Socrates

proceeds

by

pointing out,

once again

selves, the difference between
the doctor not
eral

means and ends

by analogy with the arts them implicit in them. Just as we go to
sake of xtxvn

for the

sake of the medicine

but for the
sake of

health,
for

and

in

gen

just

as we consult an expert not

for the

his

but for the

sake of

the

r^vry's

ends, so
end

now we are

considering the

art of education
men

a certain end

(i85c-e). This
ment

is the

care of the soul of

young

(185c).

is very

controversial.

Even though

no one present

Now, this state objects to it, the fact is

184

Interpretation
it
or subject

that many people either reject

it to

such varied

interpretations as to

empty it
that the

of

definite

significance.

Not surprisingly, the
soul,
a pervasive theme at 1

effort to
and

defend the

view

purpose of education

is

cultivation of the

to specify the mean
corpus.

ing

of

"education

soul,"

of

the
of the

is

in the Platonic

The introduction

"soul"

85e2

means

automatically that techniques
are

for caring for the body, including be considered only as means to a further discussion. One
would expect

Stesilaus'

technique of fighting in armor, are to

end.

Hence they
who

dropped from the

Socrates to
are to

go on

to say that it

define

what

is

meant

by

soul

if we

determine

is

qualified to care

is necessary to for it.

He does

not

do

so and

that fact severely limits the scope of the Laches. More
of virtue

over, there is

no

definition

in the Laches. These limitations

are almost

inevitable
wine

given as

the level of the interlocutors. One should not begin pottery on a

jar,

Socrates

means/ends argument

In any event, is that the interlocutors are freed from
says

(187b;

cf.

190c).

an

upshot of

the

having
focus

to concern the

themselves
educator
"how"

explicitly is to put into

with xtxvn.

Instead,

the argument
not

will

on what

a soul to make

it educated,

how he is to

educate

it. The

question will,

however,
issue

receive an answer

in terms

of the egyov of the

dialogue.
Socrates
strategies education: returns to the
of

finding
of

an

expert,

and suggests two

further
if not, knows

for

deciding

whether

any

those present is an expert in the matter of

first

see whether anyone present

has had

successful

teachers,
are,

or

see what their products

(egya)

are

(185c). In this case, the

products

presum

ably, students (186b). Both strategies are question-begging.
"good"

For if

one

what a

student or

teacher

is,

one would

Moreover, Socrates explicitly
present subject.

claims

already be expert in the field. that he has not had any teachers on the

We

are not told whether or not made anyone

dents

or whether

he has

he has had any outstanding stu better (cf. Apol. 3ib-c, 33a). Surely the
the present one
make

reader

is

meant to ask whether or not conversations such as

Laches
not

and

Nicias better. Socrates
art of education

also claims

in

no uncertain and

terms that he has

discovered the decide

himself (18605)
dead
end:

tent to

which of

the claimants to expertise
reached a

We seem, then, to have
expert

thus that he is not compe is speaking the truth (i86e). for how is Socrates to ascertain the
when

competence of putative experts

(Laches

and

Nicias)

he knows he is

not an

himself?
to
me

It

seems

that

Socrates'

abrupt redirection of the argument at i89ei

is

a

response to

this dnogia.

Socrates suddenly inform
us who

says that

instead

of us

teachers

and students

there is another

looking

at our

path which will

point"

among those pres from the beginning. It had already nearly been established that education is undertaken "for the sake of the souls of young (185c). Socrates now argues, again by analogy with the art of medicine, that the specific way in which education cares for souls is by in putting them (i89e-i90b). How does this about virtue inquiry us to
ent)
and which

(that is,

bring

to the "same

which will

the true experts are

begins

somewhat more

men"

"virtue"

(a) bring

the same

Philosophy, Education,
point as the

and

Courage in Plato's Laches
and

185
"more nearly
the

previously from the beginning"?
The
answer

projected

inquiry?

(b) how does it

start

to

(a) lies in

the epyov of the dialogue. In the
and

Laches,

inquiry

itself demonstrates that Nicias
lished in
and a

Laches

are not

in fact
of

competent to educate

the young, contrary to their own initial evaluations

themselves. This is estab

the results that Laches beg Nicias voluntarily disqualify themselves as educators. The deed of at words to tempting to define courage has spoken louder than words (e.g.
not

way that does

the question;

so clear are

Laches'

,

the effect that the the "same

definition is
about the

not

difficult;
of

i9oe).

We have thus been brought to
and

point"

competency

Nicias

Laches;

we

are not the experts. accordance with

One

might

say that the test of
offered at
as

competency has

know that they proceeded in
criterion of

the

criterion

Socrates

185c, namely the

the

"err/ov"

quality issue

of one's

now

interpreted
in the

"philosophizing"

rather

than

with

reference

to one's students. We are also

closer

(b)

to the the

beginning
or

(dgxrj). The
"fundament"

of virtue

is

closer

to the

dgxrj

"ground"

sense of

which constitutes

the true
and

beginning

point.

This

dgxrj

of education

is the

soul

(see i85e, 190b),
virtue, that
would

thus education is for the sake of the soul. In
we are more
Laches'

talking

about

is,
we

the soul's excellence,

nearly

at the
are.

dgxrj

than we

be if

discussed

Nicias'

who

and expert

teachers
were

Paradoxically,
him to
agree to

up looking like the dialogue Lysimachus overcomes
ends visit

Socrates

they

seeking, and at the end of the

Socrates'

protests and presses about

his house the length

next

day

for further discussion be

educating the children.
and

Immediately
at some

before the
about

abrupt shift

in the discussion Nicias
to
examined
and can

Laches

speak

their

willingness
Socrates'

by

Socrates. Nicias has
that anyone who

had

previous experience with

words,

testify

converses with

Socrates life his

will

be

compelled to answer questions about

his

present

and past manner of

(187c- 188a). words.

Laches has had

Socrates'

experience with
when a man

deeds in

war

but

not

Unlike Nicias, Laches insists that

be in deed worthy of his words, else a Dorian harmony discusses virtue between deeds and words is lacking and the man is not truly musical. principle is not just that deeds and words should be harmonized, but that deeds
he
must
Laches'

speak and

louder than

words.

In the Laches, Nicias

courage.9

Laches the priority of deeds, as is evident It is obvious that neither Laches nor Nicias
For further discussion
101 ; and
of the characters of the

for the priority of words, from their respective definitions of
stands exhibits

the desired harLaches,''

9.
100-

Laches

pp.

185-225;

andS.

M. Blitz, "An Introduction to the Reading of Umphrey, "On the Theme of Plato's

Laches,"

R. Hoerber, "Plato's pp. Interpretation 5 (1975), Plato's Interpretation 6 (1977), pp. 1-6.
see
Laches,"

I add that Laches does most of the swearing in the dialogue gods once), while Nicias does none of it (Socrates swears
Hera). but
Laches'

egcog is strong but relatively

(swearing by Zeus four times and by the by Zeus, and Lysimachus once by inarticulate, while Xdyog is relatively complex
once
Nicias'

not animated

by

the

desire for truth.
faults. It is "not
at 185c

Nicias'

attitude

towards Socratic

dialogue is it
as

revealing.

He

claims

to be acquainted
of one's

with

its inevitable turn to self-knowledge,
unusual and not

and regards

"not

a

bad thing to

unpleasant"

be

reminded"

for him to be

questioned

by

Socrates (i88a-b). Yet
as well as

he is

his

comments at

the end of

typically Socratic turn of the discussion. This, by the dialogue, suggest that he does not take seriously enough the
surprised

the

186

Interpretation
words and

mony between
about

deeds in this

matter of courage.
can

Laches has

a

partially
remarks

true opinion about what courage is and

identify

true

courage

(as his

Socrates show)
cannot

as well as

the sham (as his
as we also

remarks about

but he
and

say

what

it is. Laches,
of

know,

served

Stesilaus show); honorably in battle
more articulate

died

a soldier's

death (in 418,

at

Mantinaea). Nicias is far
expedition

than

Laches, but in the deed
the advice of

battle (in the led the

to Syracuse of 415) he

relied on

seers and so

expedition seers as relied

to disaster. As if to
who

drive
in

home the point, Plato has Nicias defend the

those
on

have the knowl
ungrounded

necessary to deeds; he too is not
edge

courage

(i95e).10

Nicias

words

"musical."

At least initially, Socrates looks

more

like Laches

like Nicias, for he distinguishes himself in battle but claims to know only his own ignorance. Indeed, in the Laches Socrates offers no definition of his
than
own.

This

seems

odd

at

first glance,

Nicias'

since

bent towards

Xdyog

and

knowledge

seems closer

to philosophy than does

Laches'

bent towards deeds.

Socrates,
clearly).

moreover, does not insist that his interlocutors prove themselves in
will

deeds before he

speak

with

them (as the Charmides shows especially
Laches'

Yet there is something
Nicias'

sound about

position and

something

un

sound about

position,
exhibits a out

a point which will

help

us

to understand the sense

in

which

Socrates

harmony

of words and

deeds.
clear

Whatever may turn words nor deeds can
Laches'

to be the case with

Socrates, it is
each
other.

that neither

stand

independently
mut

of

Correspondingly,
definition

Nicias'

and of courage.

definitions

be

combined to yield an adequate

Let

us

turn now to these

definitions.

Ill
The Laches
None
the these
contains

four

main

definitions

of

courage, two

of which are com

pelled to undergo several modifications
of

before

definitions is

decisively

refuted;

being passed over for instead, each is shown
possibility
that

the next.
not

to be

whole of

definition

of courage.

This leaves

open the

they may be
in the

parts

the

definition,

though this

possibility is
the wrong

never made explicit

Laches. The first definition
courageous man
not even account

(19004-6) is

of

in

a specific

situation,

not courage

logical form. Laches defines the itself. The definition would from Delium
which

for the

courage of
said

Socrates'

retreat

Laches

praised.

However, nothing is

to

disprove

Laches'

contention that the man
exhibit

working of Socratic questioning and so is not truly in anogCa. Nicias fails to praises in word. Correspondingly, Laches twice accuses Nicias of

in deed

what

he

"adorning"

himself

with words

(196b,
cian

197c).
a

in

law

Aexonian"

Nicias is speaking like a d97d6-8; cf. the sarcasm at 200C2), like a rhetori (196b). Laches certainly does not want to run the risk of speaking like a "typical (197C8-9) himself.
court
an account of

"sophist"

10.
reminds

For

these events see

Thucydides, Books VI

and

VII. At Laches

199a

Laches

and

Nicias that the general

Socrates

should command the seer, not vice versa.

Philosophy, Education, behaving
required.
Laches'

and

Courage in Plato's Laches

187

to know why

in the way described could in fact be courageous. We learn instead that he is courageous a more philosophical grasp of courage as such is
second

definition
what

of courage

is "endurance
soul"

soul,"

of

the

which

is rap
to

idly

modified

into "wise

endurance of the

(i92c-d). Laches is

unable

specify satisfactorily
Laches
contradicts

he

means

by

"wisdom."

Having

a conception of wisdom as an

tmoxfjun

or xtxvn of

uncritically accepted how to do X successfully,

himself

by

successfully
nate all risk risk seem

master a situation

admitting enduring in knowing how to is not courageous. For such a man would elimi
that a man

to himself. Laches also admits that those who endure in
since

facing

great

foolish, they lack the knowledge to minimize the risk. But fool ishness is something bad and courage something good. Even though knowledge was included in the definition of courage precisely to ensure that courage not be
seems

come

foolish endurance, that is, something bad, the very inclusion of knowledge to make courage risk free and so not courageous. The root of this dilemma
equation of
reject.

is the

knowledge

with xtxvn

(art,

skill),

an equation which we must

therefore
gous

The

"knowledge"

a
"knowledge"

truly
point

courageous man possesses

is

not analo

to the technical

a physician

has,
a

or to that which an expert

in

archery has (see necessity
xtxvn),
of

1926-1930).

This

is

of capital

importance. I
other than

note

that the
or

"endurance"

"wisdom"

and

(in

sense

bnoxfjpir)

as well as risk

to oneself as components of courage is not

questioned."

It is in

at

this point that Socrates invokes philosophical courage; we must stand fast

our search

for

the

definition,

and endure

else we will not

have harmonized

our words and

deeds.
proposed

The third definition is kind
geous, it is
that he is

by Nicias,

and

it

picks

of wisdom courage requires. clear

It is first formulated

as

up on the issue of the "if a good man is coura
man, not the qual

wise"

(i94d4~5;
the

note that again the
error

ity, is defined,
war and

a mistake which parallels

in

Laches'

first definition). The
and

definition then becomes "courage is knowledge in every
element
other

of the

fearful

the hopeful in
on

situation"

(i94ei

i-i95ai).

The insistence

knowledge

as a

key
of

in

courage means courageous

that,

contrary to popular opinion, animals and
avoids the pit of

children are

rash, not

(i97a-b). Nicias successfully

fall

identifying

wisdom with

instrumental xtxvr\; it is, rather, knowledge life is
worth

what

is

good and evil

for

a man and so of when

living

and when not value with

(I95c-d). That

is, if there is
coward.

to be courage, life

cannot

be the highest

out qualification.

On the contrary, the

person who

highest

value

is the

The knowledge
which

of when

holds life to simply be the life is worth living and
claims

when not

is,

of

course, the knowledge

Socrates

is the

most

impor
worst,
not

tant for a too

man

to possess.

Again,

the third definition
other elements

of

the Laches

is,

at

narrow since

it does

not

include

I have mentioned; but it is
Laches,"

Cf. G. Santas, "Socrates at Work on Virtue and Knowledge in Plato's Metaphsics 22 (1969), p. 439: "Not everything in the answers [to the "what is
11.

Review of

courage'

question] is

188

Interpretation
merit.

completely without fearful and hopeful. When
pushed

Courage is, among Nicias

other

things, knowledge

of the

by Socrates,
is

agrees that what and

is fearful is bad,
directed to the
are

and what

is hopeful is good,
knowledge
present,
this as
cludes

and that while good and

fear

hope

are

future,

the

of what

bad is knowledge
must

of

things as

and

future. His definition
second

thus

be

corrected of

in the past, they and restated (I refer to

Nicias'

definition,

that

is,

the fourth

the dialogue): courage
together"

in

knowledge

of

"practically
This

all goods and evils put

(19905^3;
knowl
courage,

cf.

Charm.

I74a-c).

almost amounts
such.12

to saying that courage is the
such

edge of what

is

good and evil as

If

knowledge is

part of

then even the most ordinary sorts of courage require philosophical knowledge.

The last definition is

not modified or refuted on

its

own grounds at all.

Rather,
"part"

it is

shown

to

contradict a

separately

agreed

to premise

the courage
of the

is

a of vir re

of virtue.

For

we now seem to
contradiction

have is

supplied a

definition

"whole"

tue.

Indeed,
the

the

generated

only because Socrates quickly
with

"practically"

"all"

places

qualification
Nicias'

(19906)

the

unconditional

(i99d5-6)

and gets wisdom

ambiguous assent

to the question suggesting that

having
holy.13

such

is
not

a

sufficient

condition

for

being

temperate, just

and of

Socrates does

himself

answer

the question, and the truth or

falsity

this last definition

is

not examined

further.
referred

On the
a

surface the

Laches

ends

indnogCa. It is therefore
the point

to at times as

dialogue

whose outcome of courage and

is

"negative,"

having

been to

refute various

definitions
not experts of

in the

matter.

correspondingly to show that Nicias and Laches are To take that position is, however, to overlook the role
supplies us with a splendid

the reader as a partner

in the dialogue. The Laches
is true
of all

example of

something
read on at

which

the

be

understood as pedagogical texts aimed

towards the reader

dialogues; namely that they must by Plato, and so that
of the oral

they

must

be

least two levels. The first level is that

dialogue

which

alogue

fiction) taking place between the characters. The second is the di taking place between Plato and reader by means of the written text. Thus Plato, like Socrates, may well (for pedagogical reasons) intentionally withhold
dialogues,
so as to

is (in the

the solutions to dnogiai posed in the

force his (Plato's) inter

locutor (the reader) to find the answer for himself. To introduce considerations of this sort is to invite a discussion of irony, Platonic rhetoric, and a host of other
considerations.

ever, it

can

Without going into this controversial matter any further, how fairly easily be seen that the Laches does supply the key to theCOTOand

gia about

courage,
"Ideas"

in

a sense to

the

deeper cbiogia

about

education.14

12.

The

comes close

Nicias'

13.
Socrates"

actually mentioned in the Laches, but the passage under examination of evil (consider Rep. 4756-4763). especially if there is an assenting phrase is (literally translated): "You seem to me to be saying something, (19962).
are not

to

doing

"Idea"

so

assuming a number of important exegetical principles, the detailed justifica may be found in the introduction to my Self-knowledge in Plato's Phaedrus; in the In troduction to S. Rosen's Plato's Symposium (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968); the Intro14.
am of course

I

tion

for

which

1987). along with definition. the courage to keep searching for (in this particular case) a definition of cour age. is Can the the philosopher as knowledge in fact available to the philosopher? in fact get anywhere in his philosophizing? If not.' and when I do not pretend that such a definition solves all problems. as well as the solution to the cuiogia of education. For the philosopher cannot undertake his quest unless order he is animated by the hope un not to for wisdom and the fear of ignorance. goods and evils endurance accompanied by knowledge (which is hoped for and feared. But it is never de fined for us explicitly." Art: Essays in Honor of Nicomachean Ethics Book III. and so that life is search the highest value without qualification. the "deed" Laches it considered as an effort to say what courage formulating this kind of a Xdyog of the philosopher's courage. a However. This definition an endurance of by together elements of the four at would be something xtxvrj) of like the following: 'courage is the soul. Commentaires du Socratic Menonde Platon (Paris: J. 15. that on is. ful and evils put Nicias' two definitions (courage is courage part of kind of knowledge of the fear hopeful in all situations. We says. Klein's A Commentary on Plato's Meno (Chapel Hill: University Platonic as and of North Carolina Press. the soul). in a situation containing not a risk to oneself. supplies us with a basis for But. the of the "unexamined life is self. living" As Socrates says in the Apology. Dialogues. Vrin. Douglass Boiling (New York: Haven Press. For an extended discussion of irony see in Literature my "Irony and Aesthetic Language in Plato's Murray Krieger. anymore than the above mentioned definition of the whole of courage was made explicit. that is to say. . The formulation of the nature the philosopher's courage is to that extent quite Lachean. evil in the sense of knowledge and of when life is worth by living knowledge of good and not. is mentioned once in the Laches explicitly (19431-5). must hold our ground and endure in the for courage. and the Introduction to R. And in eagerly he must derstand that ignorance is evil and self-knowledge good. of course. ed. An the adequate and Courage in Plato's Laches of 189 the reasons for but still rough definition courage. Socrates We cannot one's help but to think in the face of of of first two definitions and endurance of of courage (holding ground the enemy. is also the knowledge of of all goods and together) must also be the nature the philosopher's courage. Education. The philosopher's courage. quite close But in IS general it is a fairly good definition.Philosophy. We have seen that the two are closely connected. I said at beginning of duction to J. is in fact to Aristotle's. In sum. not worth (38a). that we may use The very formulation of the point at 194a suggests the definitions of courage as elements in the definition of the it took to Laches' philosophical courage generate search the definitions themselves. we want to know next. 1965). can be arrived at tempted definitions offered gathering in the Laches. is. IV In the final philosopher's section of this paper I would like to return to the meaning of the courage. Brague's Le Restant: Supplement aux 1978). vi-vii.

themselves become educators We by educating them by learning to ask the right questions. braver (dvdgixwxegoi). so to speak. Consequently. the solution is that one should become a philoso with re And this is himself of course what Socrates is bent of the on bringing as about. Similarly. grounds for formulating our own definition of both courage in gen of the philosopher's courage in particular. We know that something about courage. and the many Platonic dialogues the Laches does that the deed of learning speaks louder than the skep so tic's words to the effect that we know for example. be done one engaging in the kind of dialogue the Laches thereby receives is not. good explanations of this abil ity to get anywhere in a conversation are not not attempt Laches does seem it. the Laches shows us the solution to thednogia of education. pher. by experiencing the search for it. that others are better. We have seen that the Laches points a solution of of education through its deeds. until we recall the "cutogia of edu Still further. Socrates refutes Meno's pardox with a demonstration of the deed of somebody learning something. know our way about the issue of education. The deed of the Laches philoso teaches among other things that there is phizing. Of course. both spect to The deed Laches. At the end of this dialogic experience we know our way about the issue of courage. not with a theoretical attack on the para dox. but to harmony between ob- of foundational thednogia nature of deeds. The answer to these questions are to us on withheld from the Xdyog of the Laches. and less if we think it necessary to look for or search out that which we do not know (86b6-c2). words and we recall. learning. as are once again given make progress. Now Laches. And this is to exhibits.190 Interpretation his "courage" this essay. however. is the proponent the of not just a deeds. I said. For the dialogue does in fact are Points about the nature of definition is the par tial falsehood are given and of We eral definitions. and thus progress in cation" This may seem an insignificant fact discussed above. much more than this is gained. comes down to mere endurance in the face of an unin telligible universe. And if we are willing to reflect on what we we will also have done during the pro cess. learning is impossible. But like designed to show us easy to formulate in detail. None of this is something that could be proven to a skeptic prior to his undergoing it. and so forth. in the Meno Socrates says that although he is not sure that should be called "recollection. Indeed. and so that the philosopher's proclamation of one's is not a matter of foolish endurance or of defiant desires in the face of an absurd world. The solution to the problem of nonexperts selecting experts in the matter of education nonexperts must educate ourselves is that the selves. This . the level of the egyov. And for the reader. is the "proof" that education courage in this philosophical sense is possible." learning deed" idle" he is be prepared to do battle "in word and for the proposition that we shall "better. realizing that some definitions will not do. but established. education in an art by The education comparable to medicine or carpentry. and others.

through the search for the own educators. Had this could not been admitted." the noble and the base and on opinions about what as well as on an immense stock of information which every human being possesses by virtue of being nity. ed. In spite of the fact that we learn right from the quality of courage itself. Socrates thus exhibits a harmony between word in courage effort to explain Socrates' erotic dialectic limit must consider a number myself metaphilosophical questions.11 The progress of the dialogue depends very heavily on a variety opinions. D. the no between in favor knowledge have been drawn. 209. Symp." represents the level of the masses need of education. his words participate in the philosopher's suggested. Education. His deeds too. For still another explanation.16 As it turns out. how are we to and yet tion? Socrates knows only his that ignorance the word carry is able to both inquire proceed.Philosophy. someone who But how. particularly constitutes opinions about "knowledge. It is assumed that these arts are kinds constitute knowledge. p. Yet of these judgments about value are offered." in Platonic Investigations. 257a. more examples of the reliance on opinion they do could be no knowledge. 2i9d5 is Socrates ex "courageous")." phy. more has not reached the is for which we are seeking is We thereby become in large part our specifically. can the search be conducted by end of the search? That is. He knows how to "techne" This knowl sense) his is what art" Socrates (using in an equivocal "erotic the or "knowledge matters" of erotic ability to ask questions which arouse and this. Also. Any of complex courage. and does make a bet showing than Nicias at the conclusion of the composition by attacking Nicias with some p. pp. then. Similarly the arts which are called upon repeatedly in the second half of the dialogue are the foun dations for of Socrates' analogical reasoning. It is guide egwg. participated (Phr. Socrates refutes the first definition by citing counterexamples of behavior opined to second definition leads to a contradiction because Socrates cites six examples be courageous. as Laches (though only at Symp. see Blitz. Since Socrates can do plicitly called and deed. "An "Plato's Metaphiloso17. For example. O'Meara (Washington: Catholic is based "seems" University to of America Press. repeatedly adduced as a means of deciding whether or not a given definition is adequate. let us grant that philosophical conversation not an own art. servation rather and Courage in Plato's Laches name the 191 after helps to explain Plato's decision to dialogue Laches than Nicias. 18. fj-jd-e)." success. on such a conversa and show others edge they too are calls ignorant. start that we are to define not the courageous man or act but rather the single instances of courage are Laches' .18 They in- Hoerber explains Plato's choice of title as follows: "Plato in doubt named the treatise after Laches because Laches ter Laches. but there is no attempt to prove that Many 16. selection of courage as a theme Stesilaus' Even the on what be the case to "every one" (I90d) in the light of demonstration. The metaphilosophical questions are explored at greater length in my "Plato's Introduction. the modification of pends on agreement with the opinion a resident of a civilized commu second Laches' definition explicitly de thing" that courage is "a fine and noble not and ignorance "harmful connection arguments injurious" and courage and (i92c-d). the gained education of the soul educator. I must here to making of some suggestions about these questions with reference to the Laches. 1985). mentioned. 104. 1-33.

the egyov of courage is visible part through our actions and in part through our opinions. Vlastos. too verbal. 27-70. among other things. but the philosophical logos is difficult. Plato's talk "recollection" must be grounded in some about (dvduvnoig) is may not meant to explain just this phe nomenon. so sense of "Form" far as (in the or "Idea") of courage. Laches is not altogether wrong in suggesting that Nicias speaks like a sophist. Of course. and generalship (I98d-e). however." see pp. The requisite knowledge is thus that of goods and evils to be feared and hoped for. the people at holding the opinions part of in question know this. or and holiness. his answers are too discursive. The knowledge of goods and evils lying in the future requires knowledge of practically all goods and evils as such. Socratic dialogue Studies in Ancient with the notion of "anamnesis" I know. . and this it. The Laches does not refer to "already dvduvnoig Laches' . "sidoc" Yet there is "Idea" talk in the Laches or. by means of a series of examples produced by Laches ( 1 95b) Nicias does so by getting agree would expect ment to the opinion that in some cases it is better to be dead than alive (I95c-d). may have ing about. "pre-judice. never "forgotten" Socrates of actions that meet the specifications of the courage (i92e. Laches complains that although he knows what courage is he does not know how to ar ticulate it adequately.193c). in some what courage is. in any of the other dialogues about an For an interesting attempt to connect G. but no proof for it is offered. Socrates makes his final point to the effect that having such wisdom entitles one to temper fighting men such as Nicias and ance. denies that Laches does know. the word/deed distinction may imply that the same doctrine. How ever. Having arrived at this result on the basis of (undemonstrated) opinions and analogies. "The Socratic Elenchus. Oxford Philosophy 1 (1983).192 Interpretation of dicate that the dialectic Opinion is kind the Laches is thoroughly or embedded in dd^a." definition but specify which are not Nicias is compelled to what popularly thought to exhibit he intends in his first definition by "wis . the merely an opinion. no 19. and so in the perceptions and judgments about the nature and knowing" worth of things and deeds. The nature of courage. namely. that is. farming. Without the grounding egyov. The opinions truth if they are to be more than mere dogma. by contrast. justice. dom. One Laches to readily assent to some such proposition.19 is the basis of the soul's abil ity in to articulate something true about That is. the groundedness of some opinions in truth. point Xdyog would be The which I am of making is implicit at the crucial juncture in the Laches in the issue the philosopher's courage is made explicit (194a). in this context. Nicias is led to modify his definition by means of reflection on the examples of medicine. superiority of Laches to Nicias lies in just that fact. this is why. principle that deeds speak seriousness of louder than words and deeds are the necessary basis for the lowing present the corresponding words could be given. But dialectic which we consists know" least in "reminding" ourselves of the truth and speak in an opinionated way. the fol interpretation. (failed to "recollect") what he is talk Nicias. the basis of opinions. then the "education" But if the discussion prog we have been dis cussing would not amount to much. is partially to the soul in a prediscursive way." a of "already "mere" It seems clear that with out shared opinions resses on the discussion could not progress. that death is not the summum malum and that loss of liberty is more fearful than death. in effect. The way.

recollec "revelation" tion (Meno 97e-98a). that and Courage in Plato's Laches 193 is. Recollection does truth unambiguous furnish a complete of in its clarity recalling to able and meaning. Education. One put. Socrates terminates dialogue Socrates state observing that they are nevertheless friends. Plato not wants to say. unsuc cessful. on the surface. deeds in par by the "priority" to Xdyog . has some sense of what courage really is. Laches associates with truth (i83di-4). Socratic dialectic is his bring experience about through the powerful readers. In the Laches his usual view that if we know something we must be able to it (19006). a view implies a complicated view of man's place fundamentally I am and opposed to the now "existentialist" view adumbrated at the start of this paper. as well as the related notion of educa we it do not know it. 1982). our gradual process of refining tying down insights is. what we want indication of the answer. makes sense semantic only on the assumption that what is being searched for is not a definition but the thing itself.20 the Socratic dialecti has is thus in part nonpropositional or requires insight. In of men and so receive an education in philosophical courage. although Thus the search for a definition of courage not is. and The experience of sharpening this one's insights has his no substitute. discursively searching The whole Socratic search for wisdom. und die Formen des . Wieland in his Platon Wissens (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht.Philosophy. but until we and the same time it is true that do know The think we know have subjected ourselves to questioning. For in tion. as someone whose talk is clever but not founded on sound insight. The corresponding notion of recollection in the cosmos. suggesting ticular that Plato's opposing view is implied of egyov by the Laches. Simply not It may be that at we cannot talk without in some sense we knowing what we to say. he it to them in the work dergoing deeds un way that invites them to articulate of philosophizing they discourse about their insights into the it for themselves. Even Nicias. 20. in It the lat ter's greater verbal sophistication. our in might ask why. no one concludes that courage does in fact exist. The partial failures of the give us an definitions in the Laches sights are unclear. A very strong version of this view is argued by W. Plato performs a similar operation on He does not tell shows readers the a solution to the problems of education and courage. while in the Lysis two young people are unable to the define friendship. as I have been suggesting. and so do most of us. means of questioning. though. Similarly. if this is true. it is not simply true that if we repeats by cannot state we are some sense we must already know what for in order to search for it. The which intuitive. But. and this spite of is why he is in the final cian analysis closer to Laches than "knowledge" Nicias. Socrates holds to a philosophical version of the same point. speech is required at all.

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3 . See Quimby's "The Growth of Plato's Perception of Philosophy and Rhetoric. if he in the Gorgias is to denounce itor to and refute the false rhetoric which serves as a compet philosophy. 374. because Socrates is mainly concerned to define and to condemn false rhetoric. the differences between these two dialogues have led to deal of per plexity rhetoric Plato's view of rhetoric. p. in the Gorgias is denounced in satirical. Ibid. 361. the two there appears to be one important of rhetoric as complementary. presents pects the two dialogues as expressions of different. 71-79. Lewis McMaster as True Rhetoric in the Gorgias University Plato gias and explores the subject of rhetoric in a number of dialogues. are willing to Gorgias' go on the offensive to impugn Socrates' character. Phaedrus is drawn to no evidence I. In contrast. Plato's understanding of rhetoric. fact that does not fit the view of rhetoric forms In the Phaedrus Socrates' is successful. there is convinced that Gorgias. and refutative language. Plato offers a constructive and affirmative judgment of rhet about oric. Polus and Callicles. be it constructive or refutative. Ibid. and Kaufer's "The Influence of Plato's Developing Psychology on his Views of Quarterly Journal of Speech. that Plato did not mean by "rhetoric" in the Gorgias he He as by of "rhetoric" in the Phaedrus. because Socrates is at engaged in defining self true in demonstrating least one of its practical applications the persuasion of a young man such as Phaedrus to commit him to philosophy. Black's interpretation work Rhetoric. in the Phaedrus. of or Callicles have been Quarterly Journal by Socrates. is appropriate particular circumstances. whereas. However. As Edwin Black observes. 7 (1974). and that the Phaedrus rhetoric and is constructive. in the Gorgias Socrates is confronted with three interlocu tors defending art. but a great the Gor the Phaedrus contain the most extensive examinations of rhetoric. accounted for by the different dramatic and In the Phaedrus Socrates is alone with one able inquisitive young man. He argues that the Gorgias is refutative. Edwin Black. 44 (1958). art. philosophy. whereas. contentious. in the Gorgias. "Plato's View Rhetoric. of and Gorgias' challenges the propriety of the defenders Thus. but complementary. How ever. and two of these. ." of Speech. Socrates' task his way of life. served as a basis for further Rhetoric.. meant or ".1 Black his notes the usual two responses to these differences: That Plato changed mind about rhetoric between the time he wrote the Gorgias and the what Phaedrus.Refutative Rhetoric Thomas J. Polus. . p. who is readily attracted by an alluring image of phi losophy. 63-78."1 But Black rejects both responses. 2. .3 I agree that the two different forms of rhetoric can be circumstances. In both dialogues to the Socrates' rhetoric." 64(1978)." of the use of rhetoric in the Phaedrus and the Gorgias has by Rollen Quimby and David Kaufer. 361-74. .

not portray Socrates as them. which provides a transition be tween the phon and the opening pleasantries surrounding the arrival of Socrates and Chaere initial conversation between Socrates and Gorgias. I this fact is not itself evidence of the failure of his refutative rhetoric. There is brief exchange between Polus Chaerephon. Charles Kauffman's in the Gorgias assessment of the extent of the failure that Socrates' of rhetoric appears to undermine Black's view complementary. Indeed. Thus. Argument in the Gorgias" (1979). in in public the Gorgias Plato portrays him as more hold his To own debate. it is difficult to how unsuccessful refutative rhetoric can be the complement of constructive rhetoric. by its impact Phaedrus. because he is both the Gorgias the interlocutor But the dra If the primary audience for refutative rhetoric is this group of young men. and that this discrediting is the initial step by Gorgias' in attracting the audience to philosophy. In the Socrates' of rhetoric and the audience. his Socrates' refutative rhetoric illustrates his prowess in a public forum. persuade Polus. rather.196 At best Interpretation each has been overpowered and silenced but Socrates' not persuaded. The dialogue begins with the arrival of Socrates and Chaerephon in the interCharles Kauffman. and to explicate the way of Gorgias' appreciate the intent the force Socrates' Socrates covers up his rhetoric by presenting himself as someone who speaks only the truth regardless of the consequences. conclusion failure to persuade his interlocutors appears to lead to the that Plato and is depicting the unsuccessful use of refutative rhetoric in the see Gorgias. Philosophy and Rhetoric 12 . THE PRIMARY AUDIENCE IN THE GORGIAS The Gorgias rates urges a consists of three conversations and an exhortation in which Soc also Callicles to abandon rhetoric and to take and up philosophy.4 Socrates' use of refutative and constructive rhetoric are persuade Socrates does fail to suggest that his interlocutors in the Gorgias. "Enactment 114-29as 4. he portrays Socrates as manipulating Gor Callicles in order to persuade a very different audience the Gorgias' It is not evidence of failure because I believe Plato does attempting to gias. to articulate the shaming tactics Socrates to discredit art in front of this audience. matic structure of Socrates' is more complex. however. In ad dition. for despite than able to disclaimers. then it may be sufficient for Socrates to only silence his interlocutors in order to persuade this audience. and essary to uses refutative rhetoric it is nec his identify primary audience. of and group young men who have assembled for Phaedrus it is appropriate to judge the success on display of words. his of refutative rhetoric does serve as a complement of the constructive form true rhetoric in the Phaedrus. I ric suggest that eyes in the rheto silencing his interlocutors Socrates discredits of the primary audience.

Callicles since suggests that Socrates ask Gorgias himself. not in Gorgias (448a-c). Callicles then invites Socrates Chaerephon to and where come to will his home. Citations from the Gorgias are from the translation by W. but rather that Socrates moment. claims that since he is friend Gorgias he arrange another display his either now or expresses surprise: later.Refutative Rhetoric lude between public Gorgias' as True Rhetoric in the Gorgias of 197 his formal demonstration will his art and the second part of audience. and these first part of the Gorgias conversations take place before provides good evidence that the wants the audience is not incidental. Dodds. Chaerephon does Chaerephon. is pleased Gorgias has just said he is open to all questions. Gorgias asks for an explanation from Socrates for this Some There has been disagreement about the location of the conversation. "What. allows this evaluation stand by blaming Chaerephon for his late He Chaerephon a accepts of his culpa can bility cles and offers a remedy.6 that he has arrived they say you should take part in late. Woodhead in The Collected Dia eds. and Callicles informs him late for of Gorgias' Gorgias' warfare" Socrates that he has missed a feast words by being display. Socrates to have his concerns raised with forward in his not place: "Splendid! Gorgias. . where a spe Gorgias is staying cial on this visit to Athens. 1959). Socrates does not comment on Calli to cles' depiction speech as a feast. the text see E. and to get proceedings at the appropriate Socrates' it he injects him Socrates has allows of into the " Callicles come as acknowledges arrival with the comment that (447a). 6. but he arrival. Chaerephon? Is Socrates whichever responds: and best suits Socrates. R. and Chaerephon. they be treated to display of rhetoric by Gorgias (447b). Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns (Princeton. Callicles' commentators have For interpreted the text to indicate that the eral agreement conversations take place at home. but he gently demurs. Chaerephon insists mit that Socrates is interested. Socrates does and not com himself either way. Socrates thanks Callicles for this asks whether offer. Socrates. current agreement on a for the summary of this controversy and the basis Plato's Gorgias (Oxford. He wants a public conversation. and would Gorgias. P. There is now gen that this view was mistaken and that the conversations are at some public place. but he presses Chaerephon (447c). Polus. He exhibition. states that the answers are conclu- unsatisfactory 5. place of rudely injects himself into the conversation. Clearly Callicles "This is the very reason why Chaerephon have different views of Socrates' interest in Gorgias' feast of words. D. 1961). Chaerephon here" (447b). But the sec take It is replaced by the con versations that make the same audience. When Chaerephon finally who does manage three questions along the lines suggested answers by Socrates.l88logues of Plato. Calli anxious to hear we are Gorgias" (447b). Callicles is surprised that Socrates would be interested. instead be willing to converse with them about providing the nature of his of an art just what it is that he teaches (447c). The presence of ence self up the Gorgias.5 the audi to be present. display where Gorgias' ond part of any demonstration does he take questions not from the place. ask him" know what to say and relies on Socrates to formulate the question (447d).

he has not. p. There seems to have been no impediment to Socrates loitering. impressive to risk being self-defeat- Commentators have generally not remarked on the problematic nature of Socrates' late arrival. He may simply wish bask in public acclaim. Gorgias and says it is the art of rhet (449a). and the conversation made of between Socrates Gorgias is appears underway. Second.7 ing alone or insisting that the obliging Chaerephon quit chosen to come surprise Gorgias' We may that clude that Socrates has expression late. just imagine that associate with I inquire. presence of the audience that has just feasted on and Gorgias' Notice that Callicles invites Socrates Gorgias Callicles' Chaerephon to raises a at home. which is entirely consistent with Callicles' of at Chaerephon 's Gorgias' presumption Socrates indicates would be anxious to hear exhibition. 140. However. about right and wrong alone. and relatively by possibility of a conversation in it is with that possibility in mind private exhibition question that that Callicles invites Socrates to ask question Gorgias. to come late says that Socrates wants a conversation about what Socrates this explic itly (447c). Socrates to have come to Gorgias for his own reasons. facilitate his purpose. of a second exhibition at home. if we On what subjects shall we be able to advise the city. Socrates Callicles' the stead of an exhibition at home. instead. Choosing art. He then briefly summarizes what covered and says that go at about because he is not yet clear about the art of rhetoric they have they will way of the matter in more detail (455a. it is discussion at a question about The possibility of an exhibition or a Callicles' home is not raised again. for perhaps some of those present are anxious to become your disciples there are some. it is 'War. Socrates has come the feeble excuse that Chaerephon detained him real by insisting that they stay in either com con the market. I know. noted by Arlene W. but Socrates suggests that he also wishes to recruit disciples or students. What shall we gain. for example. Then he suggests a thinking his relationship to Gorgias and the audience. Gorgias. or the subjects mentioned by Socrates? (455cd) can.c). come at the instiga late tion or with insistence of his companion Chaerephon. What is to be meet this beginning? First. but he does not say is that he wants the conversation to be in the words. Socrates initially manner questions Gorgias about the art of rhetoric in a polite and inoffensive have to (4493-4553)." . Saxonhouse in her recent article "An Unspoken Theme in Plato's Gorgias: Interpretation. But the Socrates has Chaerephon Gorgias is not whether Callicles' Gorgias will discuss his art with them in lieu his art. Gorgias to wants to be questioned in order to display by ability. 11 (1983). imagine that my interest is on your behalf. Interpretation clarifies art Socrates what his Polus' criticism of answers and invites Gorgias to tell them oric his is and what it should be called. quite a number in fact when you? who would be bashful perhaps about questioning you. And so. they just too are asking. Socrates flatters Gorgias as suggesting that his exhibition has been so 7. if Gorgias is willing to employ Socrates offers to serve as an agent who Gorgias' him. And so.198 sion.

Refutative Rhetoric
ing.

as

True Rhetoric in the Gorgias
so grand

199

According

to

embarrassed

to question

Socrates, Gorgias appears him, and thus they
advantages of
as a substitute

fully

appreciating the

that these young men are be denied the opportunity of may with him. Gorgias accepts this associating

method of self
Gorgias'

display

for direct

questions

from the

audience.8

audience

is

portrayed as

young

and ambitious.

These young
what

men are

interested in

prominent public

positions,

and

Gorgias

responds

by holding
they

out

the achievements of Themistocles and Pericles as examples of
pire

can as

to

if they

master

his

art

(455c). To be

sensitive to the potential persuasive

Socrates'

ness of

refutative

rhetoric,

we must

be

aware that the
honour"

for seeking
the

public office was cpiXoxiuia,

"love

of

primary motive the desire for recog
matters.9

nition as a man who
city"

a man must art provides

directs the city on the most important To "advise be able to prevail in a public forum, and Gorgias claims that Gorgias
produces agreement on a number of as
of

his

the means to speak and to prevail.

Socrates'

conversation with

pects of rhetoric:

the scope of rhetoric is to persuade the soul

the listener the ba the

(453);
sis of

there

are

two

forms

of

persuasion, one that produces

conviction on

knowledge,
practiced
numbers

and another that produces conviction without

knowledge;

latter is

in

courts of

law

and assemblies

because the
use of

combination of

large

and shortness of suggests
of

time precludes the
extent

the

former (454e, it is
not an art

455a).

Socrates
the truth

that to the

that rhetoric does not require a knowl
other arts and perhaps

edge of

its

subject

it is inferior to

at all

(459bcd). He

also suggests that since

Gorgias teaches his

pupils

how to

convince others about what either

is just

and unjust and noble and and

base,

a student must

have knowledge in rhetoric, Otherwise
when

of

the just and unjust
must

the noble and

base before his in
to have

struction
matters.

or

Gorgias

begin

by instructing his
from Gorgias be

students about such

one who

learns

rhetoric

would appear

knowledge
not

he does not,
allows

and would appear to

a good man although

he is

(459de). Gorgias
agrees with

that he does instruct his

students

in this

manner and

he

Socrates that the true

rhetorician must also

be just (460c). But that, if a student of to be blamed for
concludes that

then Socrates reminds Gorgias that he previously allowed
rhetoric were

to

misuse

he had taught the

skill

his skill, the teacher of rhetoric was only for good use (457bc). Socrates

not

Gor

gias seems to be saying that by his very nature the rhetorician must be just and do just actions, but also to be saying that the rhetorician may misuse his skill. Since there seems to be an inconsistency here Socrates suggests it will require a long discussion to determine the truth of the matter (46iab). Polus sees the inconsis

tency

that arises

from

Gorgias'

admission

that knowledge
contends

is

a

necessary

condi

tion for

becoming

a student of rhetoric.

He

that Gorgias was simply
the silent dramatic

8.

Socrates'

role as an

interviewer
noted

of

Gorgias before

a composite audience of

audience and ample

9.

by Steven Rendall, "Dialogue, Philosophy, and Rhetoric: The Ex of Plato's Philosophy and Rhetoric, io (1977), 105-79K. J. Dover, Greek Popular Morality in the Time of Plato and Aristotle (Oxford, 1974),
the
reader

is

Gorgias,"

226-34.

200

Interpretation
say otherwise,
and

ashamed to
Gorgias'

that Socrates is tasteless to have taken advantage

of

sense of shame

(46icd). his
conversation with

Socrates displays

a somewhat skeptical tone throughout gentle and
an

Gorgias, but his irony is
spirit of camaraderie. overall

he

adopts a

tone of

puzzlement and even a
Socrates'

There is

underlying mockery in
and

words, but

he

speaks

politely to

Gorgias,

Gorgias

maintains

the gracious and
who

dignified

pose

befitting

a man of

his age, experience,

and

reputation,

has

given yet another

impressive

performance.

The dramatic setting provides the part in the conversation is dependent
rangement and

reason on

for

Socrates'

Socrates'

politeness. sufferance.

Gorgias'

Both

by

prior ar

by

virtue of

his impressive

performance

the audience

belongs to

Gorgias. He is free to decline further
someone else.
Gorgias'

questions or

to simply invite questions from to the audience he needs

Thus, if Socrates is

not

to

lose

access

auspices. If Gorgias is treated too roughly he may simply call it a day, Polus has already provided an adequate excuse by explaining that Gorgias has had a long day and is tired (448a). After a fairly lengthy conversation with

and

Gorgias, but

still with no answer

to the

inquiry

in sight, Socrates is

raises the possi

bility
more;

of

ending their discussion.

Gorgias'

response

revealing.

He

says

he is

willing to go on but that do (458b).
Gorgias'

he is

concerned that a

the audience may not
and

wish

to hear

they have already heard
concern

long demonstration

may have

other

things to to

for the

audience seems

exaggerated; he

appears

be

looking
of

for

a graceful

way to end the
audience

discussion, but he does
eager

not succeed.

Chaerephon indicates that the

is

to hear more (458c). The word
enthusiasm.

ing

Gorgias'

agreement to continue

indicates his waning
I personally
concern

"It

would

be disgraceful it

of me

to refuse,

when

volunteered to meet

any

question makes

that might be
possible

put"

(458d).

Gorgias'

for his

public reputation

for Socrates to

oblige

him to

continue.10

Socrates has first
au

his way in front of audience and then by appealing to that dience he has made it difficult for Gorgias to dismiss him.
wheedled
Socrates'

Gorgias'

effort

to gain access to

Gorgias'

audience

has

a clear parallel

in the
of

10.

For

Gorgias'

a similar conclusion about

character,
1-22.
Gorgias'

see

Adele Spitzer, "The Self-reference
contends that

Gorgias,"

the
about

Philosophy
how he
appears of

and

Rhetoric, 8 (1975),
is
at

She

to others

the core of

character, and
Gorgias'

overweening concern that his gentleness is only a
Gorgias'

char offending his audience (7-9). Kauffman recognizes this aspect of acter but he contends that it does not encompass later comments at 497 and 506 where Gorgias urges that the conversation be pressed on to a conclusion. to Kauffman these pas result of

his fear

According

sages provide evidence that

(458), even if Kauffman claims, and what he says appears to indicate a different aspect of his character. However, the truth-seeking Gorgias can be reconciled with Spitzer's position if, as I have argued, Gorgias is not only expert at knowing what pleases an audience, but also if he has a sufficient degree of self-control to put this knowledge to use
as earlier claimed

Gorgias is interested in the truth

he had

the pursuit of truth reflects

badly on his reputation.

Gorgias does

speak as

by

always

appearing

as

pleasing

as possible.

Unlike Polus

and

make matters worse

by appearing to be a poor loser. Furthermore,
what

Callicles he has the good sense not to he is sensitive to the audience's de
can extricate

sire

to hear and so he gives them

they

want, especially if he

from

directly

Socrates'

himself,

as

he does,

suffering

cross-examination.

Refutative Rhetoric
first
part of

as

True Rhetoric in the Gorgias

201

the Phaedrus
as the

speech,
play.

just
a

(227-2300). Phaedrus has been impressed audience in the Gorgias has been impressed by

by

Lysias'

Gorgias'

dis

Socrates Phaedrus would normally welcome his But because Phaedrus wishes to practice the speech and then use it to
of

As

friend

company.

own rhetorical

ability, he does

ter Socrates notices that
and surmises what

entirely welcome Phaedrus is hiding a copy of the
give

not

Socrates'

display his presence. Only af
his
cloak

speech under

tion.

Phaedrus is up to does Phaedrus Socrates accosts Phaedrus, insists on hearing he
suggests
a quiet spot.

up his intended
speech,
and

decep
insure

Lysias'

to

an uninterrupted conversation

they leave

the

city

and walk

along the

river to

The importance Socrates

attaches to

influencing

Phaedrus is

soon made clear

by

Socrates'

the area

unfamiliarity with the terrain. He describes himself as a stranger to and refers to Phaedrus as his guide (23od). Phaedrus responds that
oddest of men

Socrates is the
and

because he

so seldom sets
Lysias'

foot

outside

the walls,
could

Socrates jokes that
all

with speeches such as

for bait Phaedrus

lead him

around of

Attica

or anywhere else

(230c).

Knowing

what

Socrates

really thinks

Lysias'

speech we

effect of the speech on

his friend,

Attica. Nonetheless,

Phaedrus'

given

may conclude that in order to counter the Socrates might be willing to be dragged around interest in rhetoric, his friendship for Soc

rates, and the absence of any complicating third party, it is relatively easy for Phaedrus' Socrates to capture attention; whereas in the Gorgias Socrates cannot

lead the
ence, he

audience must

away physically. If he is to counter do so in the presence of, indeed, with the

Gorgias'

effect on participation

the

audi

of, the

de

fenders

of rhetoric.

PORTRAYING RHETORIC AS INDECENT
Gorgias'

To

counter

the effect

of

display

Socrates

manipulates the conversa

tion to associate

Gorgias'

rhetoric with shamelessness or

indecency. There

are

two stages to this manipulation.

to enter the conversation on

First, Socrates induces Polus and then Callicles rhetoric. Second, he provokes behalf of
Gorgias'

Callicles to say things, which appear to violate the city's sense of decency. As this process of manipulation unfolds a further complication about the audi
ence arises. signed to

I

suggest

that what Socrates says to
assembled audience

each of

the

interlocutors is de

influence the

the primary
a

audience.

However,
Polus

throughout the
and

conversation with

Gorgias there is Socrates is in
and

secondary
are

audience of

Callicles,

and what

is

said

by

part calculated

to draw Polus into

the

conversation.

Similarly, Gorgias
than

Callicles

the secondary audience

during
trated

the conversation with Polus. But
rather

to Callicles

by

what

it is clear that Socrates is playing mainly for it is Callicles who is so astonished and frus Gorgias, he hears that he thrusts himself into the conversation brushing

Polus

aside.

202
The

Interpretation
process of

drawing

Polus into the

conversation overlaps somewhat with of the

Socrates'

effort to establish

himself in front
to enter

Polus displayed his
nature of

eagerness

primary audience. Earlier the conversation. But the unsatisfactory
the conversa that

his
a

responses moved

Gorgias to intervene. Now, however, Gorgias is
to welcome the chance to
pass

way tion to Polus. The
claims

looking

for

out and appears

sequence of events

is important. It is

at 457e
not

Gorgias

that he teaches rhetoric only for good use and so he is

to be

blamed if

it is

misused

by

a student.

Socrates

suggests

somewhere;
what

at

the very least it
said.

will require a

inconsistency lengthy cross-examination to clarify
launch into the
cross-examination.

that there may be an

Gorgias has

But Socrates does

not

Instead, he
mary
and

suggests

that Gorgias may not

want

to continue, prompting the pri
press

audience as well as
Gorgias'

Chaerephon

and

Callicles to for it

for

a

continuation,
oth

erwise
on

eliciting (458e).

agreement

to go on

would

be disgraceful to do
afford to press

Only

after

he has

this agreement can

Socrates

hard

the

inconsistency, giving Gorgias
replaced

a good reason to withdraw

but

now without

the freedom to close the conversation down.

Although Gorgias is
rates continues

by

Polus

Socrates'

as

main

interlocutor, Soc
he
can say.

to treat

Gorgias'

presence as a constraint on what

He

invites Polus to
give

question

him
of

about rhetoric

but indicates that he is hesitant to
Gorgias'

frank

answers

for fear

permission to proceed

offending Gorgias, and he waits to obtain (463). Only then does Socrates present his analysis

of

rhetoric as part of a general

typology

of

flattery. Rhetoric, he says, is the false

form

of justice and

just

as medicine

is impersonated

by cooking,

gymnastic

by beau-

tification,
Polus'

legislation

reluctant admission use to

by sophistry (463-466). Finally Socrates obtains that the knack or technique of rhetoric can be of no
oneself and one's

doing

any man except to accuse in order to expose one's

friends

and relatives of

wrong

wickedness and ensure punishment.

Also, if it

were right

to harm enemies, rhetoric could be used to protect one's enemies from

being

punished

for their

wickedness

(48o-48ib).
ask

These
rious or

assertions provoke

Callicles to
Callicles'

Chaerephon

whether

Socrates is

se

simply hear

joking

(481b).

question expresses the same mixture of

in his initial question about whether Socrates really demonstration (447b). As before, Chaerephon responds that Socrates is quite serious and he invites Callicles to confirm this by asking Socrates (481b). Socrates responds to question with a long speech
surprise and skepticism as wished to
Gorgias'
Callicles'

(4810-4820) affirming his radical assertions about rhetoric. This is too much for Callicles; he has run out of patience with Socrates, Gorgias, and Polus. Jokes
and spoofs are one

ther

Gorgias
the

nor

thing, but if Socrates persists in spouting nonsense and nei Polus can expose it for what it is, then he, Callicles, will. Here,
Socrates'

as at

Socrates

beginning of the dialogue, Chaerephon takes initially took advantage of Chaerephon's apparently
for arriving late, but
now

words

literally.

guileless nature to
and

make excuses

Chaerephon's trusting

literal

accep-

Refutative Rhetoric
tance
vokes
Socrates'

as

True Rhetoric in the Gorgias

203
and pro

of

assertions about rhetoric set

further irritates Callicles

him to

things straight.

Callicles
because he
contends
Socrates'

agrees with

Polus that Gorgias became

entangled

in inconsistencies

he really believed. However, Callicles that Polus has fallen into the same trap. He was obliged to agree with ludicrous assertions about rhetoric only because he agreed to the prem
was ashamed to assert what suffer

ise that it is better to
not

injustice than to do it;
be
ensnared

and

he

agreed with this premise

because he believed it but because he
cannot courage to admit the consequences

was

ashamed to

deny

it (348de).

Callicles boasts that he
has the
taken the

Socrates in this way because he of his assertions. Callicles has finally

by

bait; he has been
he thinks

goaded

to say what

without

into the conversation, and he has been induced concern for public decency. The stage is set for the
Socrates'

association of rhetoric with shamelessness.

Callicles
or radical.

rightly understands
then

assertions about rhetoric to
of us mortals must

be

extreme upside

If true, ".

surely the life

be turned
what we

down

and

apparently

we are everywhere

doing

the opposite of

should"

(481c).
suffer

Socrates'

view of rhetoric rests on

the radical notion that

it is better

to

wrong than to

do it. Callicles feels
extreme assertion:

obliged to match

Socrates'

radical as

sertion with an

equally
is to live
them,

Anyone

who

aright should suffer

his

appetites to grow to the greatest extent

and not check

and through courage and

intelligence

should

be

competent to

minister to them at their greatest and to
(492)."

satisfy every

appetite with what

it

craves

Any

opposition

to this way of

living

on

the basis of justice

or shamefulness

is,

according to Callicles, simply
and to conceal their own
of

an attempt

by the

inferior to

constrain the superior not accuse

inferiority

(492bc). Callicles does

Socrates

having

to

invoke

a sense of shame

to hide his inferiority. On the contrary, he

says that

or natural

Socrates is potentially a superior man who has been blinded to the right form of human life by his preoccupation with philosophy (484cd). If
would

Socrates
Socrates
spected
1 1

only
study

abandon

philosophy he
rhetoric

would see

the truth of

Callicles'

words, and he

would allow and

his

superior nature to

develop

fully. Indeed, if only
a useful and re
without

would

employ

he

could

become

member of

the

community.

Whereas, Callicles contends,

a

.

The

views expressed

by

Callicles
and

lic

(336b- 354a).

Both Callicles

are closely related to those of Thrasymachus in the Repub Thrasymachus are frustrated and angered by what Socrates has

obliged

his

previous

interlocutors to
are

agree

to,

and

both thrust themselves into the Socrates to
assert the

conversation to set

matters straight. and tyranny.

consciously In the Gorgias these views in

Both

provoked
serve

by

benefits

of radical

hedonism

to associate rhetoric with political
Thrasymachus'

indecency for the be
Glaucon,
it.
set out pres respond to

nefit of the audience, whereas
Thrasymachus'

in the Republic

speech serves

to draw out

who restates

position

praise of

the unjust life and
which

insists

that

Socrates

Socrates triggers the
the basic
ent

reckless eloquence of

Thrasymachus,

in turn

provokes

Glaucon to
no

position examined

throughout the night

by

Socrates. But because there is

Glaucon

in the Gorgias there is

no scope

for

a sustained examination of rhetoric.

204

Interpretation
of rhetoric

knowledge At the

Socrates

can

be

of use

to no one.
court on

He

can not even protect
charges

himself from those
core of

who would

drag

him into is the
can

false

(486bc).
satisfac

Callicles'

assertion

premise that pleasure

is the

tion of appetites and that no distinctions
good and pleasures

be drawn between
this premise

pleasures

that are

that are

evil.

Callicles

affirms

by

allowing that

he is thinking of appetites such as hunger and thirst and the pleasure that results from eating and drinking, and by analogy he extends this meaning to all other ap
petites

(494bc). Socrates

urges

Callicles to hold to this
will

position and not shame aside

to falter

through shame. He adds that he too

have to throw

(494c).

Socrates then

asks whether someone

which never ceases and can

suffering from an appetite such as an itch be scratched forever can be said to be happy. The

possibility of one such appetite as the basis of happiness is diminished as absurd by Callicles. However, having equated all appetites, Callicles is obliged to affirm
that
such a man would

be

happy

(494d). Socrates

presses

Callicles

still

further:

socrates
question

If it

was

only his head that he
what you will

wanted

to scratch

or can

I

push the

further? Think is

answer,

Callicles,

if

anyone should ask all the

questions that catamite

naturally follow. And
not that

as a climax of all such cases, the

life

of a

such people are

shocking and shameful and miserable? Will you dare to say that happy, if they have what they desire in abundance?
Are
you not

callicles

ashamed,

Socrates,

to

drag

our

discussion into

such

topics?
socrates

Is it I

who

cally that pleasure,
guish

whatever

do this, my noble friend, or the man who says so unequivo its nature, is the key to happiness, and does not distin

between

pleasures good and evil?

But enlighten
or

me

further

as to whether you

say

that the pleasant and the good are
not good.

identical,

that there

are some pleasures which are

callicles
same.

To

avoid

inconsistency if I

say they

are

different,

I

assert

they

are the

socrates

Then

you ruin your earlier

statement,
speak

Callicles,

and you can no your opinions

longer

properly investigate the truth
495a)-

with me,

if you

contrary to

(494e,

Although Callicles is

pressed to affirm

his

position that all pleasures are the

same, he does so without conviction and only to avoid
repelled and

by

his

sense of shame

like any decent person into indecency. Callicles knows that he has been trapped Gorgias and Polus managed to avoid the trap; they chose
public purposes the small price of

inconsistency. Callicles is from affirming the consequence of his assertion, he rebukes Socrates for dragging a polite conversation

by Socrates. decency at what

Both

is for

logical inconsistency. Callicles, on the other distanced himself from Gorgias and Polus with the claim that he could not hand, be shamed into inconsistency. Further, he claimed that not to be bound shame

by

was

the

mark of

the superior man

the

man who understood

that the morality the

that gave rise to

feelings

of shame was

simply

an

instrument

of

inferior

man.

Protagoras himself the back for successfully of managing this problem for so many years. like any decent and conventional Athenian for seeming to ap a way of life. The aspiring can seldom afford Callicles' to make such views public whatever his private views. argues that view of natural justice. he is more easily refuted than had he advanced the more moderate argu 12. Both analyt a man and and ically toric. for a foreign teacher to take care to appear acceptable also pats to the community on he visits is explained in the Protagoras (316C-317C). premise In each case the defense of rhetoric to require a that is shameful or and each indecent. Both unaware Gorgias that and Polus instinctively decency and seemed to be largely they had undercut the type of rhetoric not chagrin. In the Euthydemus Plato lampoons the "wordy Euthydemus and his brother Dionysodorus in much the same manner as Aristophanes characterizes warfar . otherwise it will not serve their purposes. he finds him polite and decent behav indirectly attacking Gorgias by associating iour with a sheep morality. However. But success respectability. used by a public impotent many man like Callicles. determined indecency. leading to the dramatic de mouth order to allow feat of Callicles. the all conventional false morality. Only can a If rhetoric must honour him for his services. He does not explore how the shaming tactics used on Gorgias and Polus are preliminary to the more ruthless use of these tactics on Callicles. he is being ashamed.' ments suggested Callicles' by in Klosko. al though self initially by criticizing Socrates. George Klosko. Callicles now finds that his the rash claims about of the life of the supe rior man have led him to affirm happiness the life of a catamite.Refutative Rhetoric as True Rhetoric in the Gorgias morality is a 205 a protective According device For home to Callicles.13 dramatically Socrates has stripped off the respectable face of rhe Greece and Rome. chose a premise that offends the morality of the community. The need 13. having staked out this ground in order to Gorgias Gorgias' Callicles best Socrates. of to chain the whom energy of the superior man. is offered a choice between rhetoric and decency. life They for able and ambitious men to take in order to gain access to public office public requires and public acclaim must (455d). Further. community entrust its decisions to is to be the route chosen by ambitious young men and their families it appear respectable. one then publicly embrace the community's norms whatever they may be. Socrates describes as "in love with the the demos" because his need to pander to a it.12 Gorgias' they had intended to defend. Klosko stops with the logical defeat of Callicles. But frustration have driven him to sides with air these views. because of his claim of being above also ashamed of conventional morality. description of the demos as the politician of a sheep morality is anger and very imprudent statement. "The Refutation of Callicles in Plato's hedonism is far more extreme than is necessary to support his (1984). Callicles' Gorgias. Thus. However. Callicles. He is humiliated. 126-39. second. is goaded into Socrates' choosing to dissuade route Forcing audience this choice is a central part of attempt see rhetoric as a from following in Gorgias. To this point the conversations with the three defenders is of rhetoric shown display a common element. xxxi. I concur with Klosko that Plato puts these extreme arguments into Socrates to deal effectively with hedonism. To his to be beaten by Socrates. He is dou bly ashamed: prove of such First.

Then Socrates in court would be to tell the truth and as a result But he insists that he use of would rather meet anything might happen to him. for if you do not . and 5i9d). (521). 483c. Then you invite me. 489c. like doctor. when he eventually admits that claims At first Socrates ignores the there may that he is not at fault. or doing the Athenians. my noble friend. socrates Then distinguish for battle with me what kind for the city to make you recommend to me. Polus he is Callicles he has associated rheto norms of political shameless decency.206 Interpretation offered Socrates has through ric with an analysis of rhetoric and as indecent pandering. 494d. for the assertion that philos- in the Clouds. a mob orator charges. Socrates labels Cal curtly interrupts Callicles. and his questioning ideas that violate the of Gorgias. The conversation has been long and very difficult for Callicles. but in so doing he has provoked the allegations that (461c. that of possible. Having licles' pressed Callicles to reiterate advice with goes on would the "most offensive his initial position. 5i9d). 3o6d~307e). that he speaks unfairly or deceptively. them as good as to serve and minister to their pleasure? Tell me the as you spoke your mind truth. first. for it is to only fair that. and that if brought to court his trial would be like that of a doctor prosecuted by a pastry cook before a jury of children (52ie. He believe the tale he contends that it demon strates the correctness of his decision to reject rhetoric. However. he is obliged to speak like this be something to them. he by the ideas or be the conversation with serve haviour of others (494c. 494c. 489c. And so speak up frankly truly and bravely to me at you should continue say now. if you prefer the most offensive term. 4836. Socrates claims to and an exhortation. 494c. 494e). But advice and urges him to specify role in the city and what need he will have for of care a rhetoric. ." to summarize the dire consequences that Callicles had previously said dramatically rejects rhetoric and claims that he is well aware that this leaves him helpless in defending himself in a court of law. his death than save his life through the concludes with a tale about the afterlife and flattering rhetoric (522d). He has lost wishing to restate all enthusiasm for it. The final part of Callicles (521-522) these charges the concluding exhortation (523-527) to meet as by presenting Socrates as respectable and pious. 489b. and that he harangues like (482c. what you think. and he gives no sign of the reasons he had originally given Socrates persists. The Euthydemus when also exhibits the contempt and disgust of re Athenians for sophistry its practitioners fail to exercise the prudence of Protagoras (Euthydemus 304d~305b. 522a). and term. callicles I say then. to serve and minister. and philosophy a respectable alternative to rhetoric. The tale also provides a with basis for equating philosophy Socrates spectable as a sophist piety and justice. he Socrates' in urging Socrates to Callicles' abandon evokes earlier philosophy for rhetoric. He claims that all he could do befall him. to play the flatterer? socrates callicles Yes. Callicles.

Callicles rhetoric emphasized the great abandon philosophy for rhetoric difference between philosophy and Socrates' in order to show how misguided was preoccupation with phi and rhet losophy. over forum. illustrate the power offered two examples to of rhetoric (456b-c). he recalled the many times he had employed rhetoric to convince patients to submit to the medical treatment prescribed cians. 3. He has man who speaks these techniques to portray himself as a the truth and es chews such techniques. In the Gorgias.14 of his But the anomaly pointed out by Callicles is now compounded. SOCRATES' REPUTATION FOR SPEAKING THE TRUTH When that accused by Callicles he of he condemns. although perhaps misleading. First. Socrates does nothing to close this gap between philosophy oric. and responds employing the very techniques of mob oratory by depicting himself and philosophy as pi his courageous devotion to philosophy it for pandering rhetoric even at the cost life. Socrates portrays rhetoric as Callicles' indecent. Socrates has wrapped himself in the cloak of public morality by using to good ous and with emphasizes the claim that he will not abandon effect used the manipulative techniques of persuasion in the sphere of opinion. Socrates' If refutative rhetoric is to be understood as part of true as rhetoric. for the claim that philosophy 527c)- is the way to happiness in this life that and the life hereafter (526c. you follow him at your peril. Rhetoric I. de cent. Socrates respectable. Socrates his choice with no explicit reference Achilles. chooses with Therefore.Refutative Rhetoric ophy provides as True Rhetoric in the Gorgias 207 and the only true qualification for public life (527d). whereas in the Apology (28cd) he does invoke the example of Achilles. clear. instead. Gorgias considered the situation of an orator con tending in with a doctor before an audience. Socrates' Gorgias' admirers is only Polus art are Callicles wrapped in a veneer of respectability. Gorgias is really Gorgias and his fundamentally disreputable. inference that philosophy as the antithesis of rhetoric must be respectable. or indeed. and at one with the community's sense of justice. and cites 1358b- decision to kill Hector makes as a powerful example. and then embellishes the easy. by their physi In his second example. The initial Socrates' part of conversa tion with Gorgias in the provides a Early conversation way to Gorgias approach this issue. he uses it to advantage. The remarks on second example is the one of any interest to audi- 14. Gorgias held that the the master of orator would al other art or craft Gorgias' ways prevail over the a public doctor. . to 1359a. use of manipulative speech to establish a reputation a speaker of truth requires further analysis. Aristotle the rhetorical force of being seen to choose the honourable as opposed Achilles' to the expedient. a man who philosophy and chooses the welfare of message to his fellow citizens and he finds favor the Gods. philos allows claim that there is virtually nothing in common between ophy and rhetoric. In his original recommendation Socrates (484c -486e).

treatment. Socrates does not mention the fact of rhetoric are in the service of knowledge knowledge The of the body." basis not of be" knowledge of "what but of "what seems to to say? or "appears to even though it "is not. and The rhetorician assumed not to have the knowledge of the phy of medical sician. But for this very reason the example is worth examining. and therefore some the areas of unlikely. but because of the patient's lack knowledge the the need physician is not capable of implanting is the required conviction. for the rhetorician. the knowledge of present the treatment to make it appear to satisfy these desires. like the patient. they are interested in Gorgias' to a successful public career. minimizes the distasteful aspects of the treatment and the convales cence. therefore he cannot speak the truth in the sphere confined to knowl The rhetorician. and holds out the expectation what of the best possible. addition In to the knowledge how to of the patient's hopes. The physician's conviction that the treat ment should be administered rests on his knowledge qua physician. the rhetorician must also know how to secure and maintain a repu tation as a person who can can be trusted to give concerned and helpful advice that be relied upon. is rhetorician must is" the realm of opinion or ig his norance. The rhetorician needs the reputation of being a man who can and decep- be trusted. thus. tites or prognosis. edge. but the pa tient does not share rather this knowledge so he must be convinced on the basis than knowledge. he may appeal to the patient's vanity by emphasiz improvement to be expected in his appearance. The physician of opin "truth" ion or belief is able to speak of the within the scope of his art. for as Socrates has just indicated art as a means (455c-d). and throughout the dialogue he castigates art as pandering to the ignorance of an that in first example the techniques Gorgias' ignorance prevailing over knowledge by audience. to the patient's particular appe ing the great desires. In short. and In addition the rhetorician can go and pander beyond diagnosis. where In Gorgias' another example of the constructive conviction Socrates' rhetoric implants the necessary to lead Phaedrus to philosophy and to a healthier soul. For example. and the implant conviction on the be. and desires.208 Interpretation ence. Socrates characterizes the second use of rhetoric as ignorance prevailing Gorgias' over knowledge (459b). recovery. the and rhetorician's persuasiveness is based on set ting the prescribed treatment within the context of what the patient would like to avoid and/or obtain. aspirations. then showing the patient how the treatment would sat isfy and his desires. first example of the power of rhetoric the knowledge of the physi the patient cian cannot be used for the welfare of his patient unless is convinced that he should undergo the treatment." What then is the rhetorician Presumably he emphasizes of the seriousness of the patient's condition and the bleakness the prognosis if left untreated. or to his desire for and wealth secure honour by showing how his successful treatment will enhance his ability to both. use of the techniques of rhetoric to implant the conviction necessary to improve the body appears to be rhetoric found in the Phaedrus. a man who would not manipulate others through distortion .

treatment. Socrates does The characters. the time taking care to polish his reputation as an honest and trustworthy person who would not deceive.Refutative Rhetoric tion. Because the dent on effectiveness of the persuasion of the patient least in part depen in to having he a reputation as a man who would not resort rhetorician must attempt to the use of the tech conviction niques of others persuasion. and second. of men's souls or object this art is the improvement medicine as the object of art of rhetoric the art of uses is the improvement of their bodies. Callicles sees technique and repeatedly accuses Socrates cusation deal Socrates' of persuasive ac of engaging in mob oratory. If the Socrates' commitment to a true rhetoric is analogous to medicine. astuteness aggressiveness this defensive rhetoric necessary. otherwise persuasive effort may be undermined . suggests that ticed (517a) he he claims that to practice but according to Socrates it is seldom prac he may be the sole practitioner (52ide). just al Now. both a practitioner of an art based on Thus. But or at he also claims to this true rhetoric precludes the use of. In each assumed Gorgias' example the role of rhetorician and physician are by a different in the person. edge as True Rhetoric in the Gorgias the power of rhetoric 209 service of Thus. then patients like citi doctor he too is faced submit with the problem of convincing Gorgias' his (fellow zens) to ness to to the necessary treatment. the maintenance of the rhetorician's public reputation. 503a). in the Gorgias. he makes undertakes the the task of defending his for for honest and Socrates' and plain speech regardless of consequences. but to improve them (502e. example of the use of rhetoric to Socrates' In of order to apply one Gorgias' manner speaking. the techniques of the flattering false rhetoric. the to implant the that would not attempt to do what he in fact does do. the doctor can function as knowledge. The true words. Let us suppose that the two roles are as the "art" by implanting sumed one person who conviction has mastered both the art of medicine and of realm of opinion. The true art of rhetoric is the basis and of statemanship. not to gratify men. Gorgias' example of in the knowl indicates two somewhat different tasks for rhetoric: first. detail must be modified without changing the essential proper ties of the example. this true rhetoric is comparable to doing battle " possible with the Athenians like a doctor to make them as good as that a commitment (521a). Accordingly. presence and his attractive the audience requisite dergo the which manipulates difficulty of convincing these young men to un the need for refutative rhetoric: a rhetoric thus. Also. However. is at the persuasion of the patient. silences then and increases the Socrates' manipulation of Callicles goes beyond the immediate a good purpose of weaning the This au dience away from Gorgias. his fate hands of a jury of children prosecuted by a pastry cook. his three interlocutors. forces Socrates to defend his reputation Callicles' reputation. thus. He must appear be other than he is in order to be an effective servant of knowledge. the the knowledge of. and as a practitioner of the in his patients to ensure technique of implanting the necessary conviction all they benefit from his knowledge. despite his low that there is of condemnation of rhetoric a true art of rhetoric analogous to the art of medicine.

210 Interpretation Socrates' by Callicles' exposure of techniques of persuasion. he claims Socrates is using the very techniques of persuasion that he eschew. However. the constructive rhetoric which of from the false Phaedrus The rhetoric of Gorgias. to associate the and rhetoric of reject with the shameless statements of Callicles then to piously this pandering rhetoric. Plato leaves us to draw our own conclusion about the tacle on the audience. impact of this spec . rhetoric and constructive rhetoric are refutative rhetoric of The complementry parts of true the Gorgias serves to dissuade the audience whereas. and Callicles. Callicles Socrates also provides manages the raw material for Socrates defense Gorgias of his reputation. The desire for whom Socrates' honour has to Gorgias. and who would the philosopher as a man of gladly face death Socrates' rather than stoop to the deceptive techniques no false rhetoric. his interlocutors to polish as someone who has no use for ground of public morality noble By rejecting rhetoric Socrates claims the regardless of devotion to the commonweal in the warm embrace of civic the personal costs. But due to they hope to learn the art of prevail intervention they are treated to the spectacle of the defenders the art shamed into silence by what they are pressed to say. but Socrates transforms this determination into by associating it with ful hedonism. He wraps himself virtue. he will do the thing come what may. distinction between rhetoric and philosophy. and Socrates finally does move to meet the charge of being a tor. to mob ora To polish his reputation as a man who speaks Callicles' Socrates portrays embellishes only the truth no matter what. but there is audience basis for inference. Polus. high and he continues to manipulate rhetoric. discredits Gorgias' Callicles' shame and silenced. Callicles mounts a deter reck rhetoric. Although Callicles is eventually humiliated and then art notices that lessness. refutative rhetoric on the public There is drawn the direct evidence of the effect of a audience. audience Socrates uses refutative rhetoric to dissuade the from his following reputation Gorgias. from of ing in public debate. CONCLUSION Refutative rhetoric. like Achilles. the creates an alluring image draws Phaedrus towards philosophy. heavy reliance on refutative rhetoric the sustained defense of false rhetoric in the Gorgias is necessary because of mounted by Gorgias. Socrates then Gorgias' uses his denunciation through to its of conclusion. demonstration and Socrates to press mined arrives in the Gorgias' middle of and finds a way to insert presence himself between Gorgias defense his audience.

Curley III I. author of a short and scope What. Curley and was a tween poetry and at III (B. for centuries one of the most widely books in the West.1 ac manifesto. Thomas F. Ph. the two dominant tendencies twenti the century philosophy. be and there will never day drive me from the truth of this opinion. Amherst 1976. Mellon Fellow and the age of thirty-one. Ayer. I. thus I times lapses into clumsiness. educated people have heard reasons of Most. hac nullo existimaverim modo ut for- tuita temeritate tarn scio nee umquam certa moveantur. (Then she said. very few than like it. 6. for instance. all. which might by haphazard.How to Read the Consolation of Philosophy Thomas F. Minds such as Descartes and Kant have so altered the cast of west Boethius' In the first ern thinking that it is all but impossible. fuerit dies depellat (Bk. inquam. was cut short by his death in October. philosophy. cessible philosophic of the at A. credis ei regimen temerariis agi fortuitisque casibus putas an ullum inesse rationis? Atqui. my own and are meant vance for their literalness which at merely as trots for the Latin. What is more. College 1984. but seem to not it. His exploration of the relationship be of which this paper is a part.D.J.A. "But in reckless rather a way would I think that such regular phaenomena are moved I know that the creator god presides over his handiwork. to take Boethius of seriously eth as a philosopher. Princeton 1981) taught Classics at Hamilton at Johns Hopkins University. 3-4). A. INTRODUCTORY Boethius' read and revered Consolation of Philosophy. Truth. place we are separated by a centuries-long tradition of philoso from the intellectual context which gave rise to synthesis of Plato phy and Aristotle. J. 1946). in to the Boethian and make the following exchange between the very beginning of the work: mundum character Boethius Dame Philosophy Turn ilia: Huncine..")2 Because Ayer dismisses metaphysical questions and answers as not only wrong but nonsensical. 2 . But the for the work's neglect are more significant our common twentieth-century amnesia toward what one might term "the tradi tion". are in radical dis agreement with most would basic assumptions. the comparable popularly text. some have read it. New York: Dover. is now little more than a historical curiosity. Language. All translations are Logic (1936. at least at first glance. Ayer. he could continue reading only on the assumption that he was perusing a text indicative of the philosophical errors of the past. "Do you think that this world is driven by reckless and it?" haphazard chance or no do you believe there to be any rational direction to And I said. 1. inquit. verum open suo conditorem praesidere qui me ab sententiae veritate deum pr. apologize in ad . and continental phenomenology. the analytic school in England and schools of existentialism and Boethius' America.

1946). Thus there Boethius' exist significant intellectual differences to account for our neglect text and our failure to appreciate it. Usener. our categories tend to keep as strictly apart. for example) and to the wit and style of (Kierkegaard's and Nietzsche's. 4). We obstacle to understanding intentions philosophical presuppositions with those of the twen philosophers' prose (that pay lip service to the clarity of certain of David Hume and A.* In this monograph the author dismisses the Con Usener and the solatio as an unoriginal compilation of grants as Boethius' own an metra. The Consolatio. pr. many found impossible to ascribe to the author of the . it is necessary that there should also be a perfect example of that genus. Ayer. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte Roms in ostgothischer Zeit.212 Interpretation what would Likewise. that other equally important factors come into play. Ill. is as great an is the incompatibility of his tieth century. if the perfect is removed. but in fact we believe that philo others' thing. We simply do not philosophy as poetry. which he rates Aristotelian and Neoplatonic sources. Consolatio.) In Sartre's case as well further reading could only proceed on the assumption that proficient he was engaged in the merely academic exercise of becoming in the history of of philosophy. tum quolibet genere imperfectum quid esse videatur. obviously determined by the twin tendencies of Sartre. The fragment itself explicitly ascribes to Boethius theological treatises long as however. 1877. Anecdoton Holderi. Hermann. example of a given (Thus it happens that. however. which is pre text. 4. for instance). 4.3 the following si argument which existence is treated as a predicate like any other and derivable from the in essence of the good: Quo fit ut. is also an intricately crafted work of literature: a dramatic dialogue between two fictional prose. P. I suspect. V Existentialisme est un humanisme (Paris: Nagel. for it is impossible to imagine whence that which is considered might come. his sociated with name which. io. J. Modern research into the Consolatio may be dated from the publication in 1877 of Hermann Usener's Anecdoton Holderi. The fragment here analysed is claimed by the author to belong to a lost historical work by Cassiodorus. both intellectual and aesthetic. poetic invention quite another. etenim perfectione sublata unde quidem potest illud imperfec fingi (Bk. pr. in addition to being a work of philosophy. Bonn. ish pastiche of philosophical arguments approach was On the one hand. introduction (up through Bk. in eo perfectum quod quoque aliquid esse necesse perhibetur exstiterit ne sit. if there should be seen to be any imperfect imperfect genus.. II. 38) very low. characters composed in alternating we Boethius' verse and This blending of poetry and philosophy. in who in an accessible manifesto of his own make existentialism as the conviction that existence precedes essence. Usener's 3. or poetry as philosophy. to exist. otherwise he sees the text as an amateur better expressed elsewhere. J. defines of Sartre. cisely the response demanded by This distance from the work. clarifies the na sophic exposition one is know how to read Boethius' ture and limitations of Boethian scholarship in the last century.

the conclusion that the debate over question. have brought it is now clear the analysis the influences Boethius to the extraordinary. "On the Composition of Classical Philology. Socrates. 513-21. to the work in its essential eclecticism which embraces and transcends the responses to adversity of such exemplars as Ovid. 1955. "Storia interiore et storia cosmica nella Consolatio Harvard Theological Review. Alfonsi has traced personal and the relationship between the the universal as dramatized in the dia logue between Boethius Payne has attempted and Dame Philosophy. 32. 7. . and most recently... liloquia. Gruber. Berlin.. Cologne.7 point where that his command of his sources was at If Boethius was a mere compiler. 1904." Harvard Studies in Un- 192 1. 55~85- 1981. Anna. so re moved small from group of both philosophically and aesthetically. Stellung der Consolatio Philosophiae Kolner Romantische Arbeiten. nonetheless it has become his material into a complex pattern of his then us increasingly clear own contrivance. deep lack of sympathy with philosophic and poetic One might characterize twentieth-century scholarship of on the Consolatio as and constituting two possible responses to Usener's thesis: the defense illustration of integrity and originality the work or increasingly sophisticated investiga tion of the sources exploited by Boethius in the composition of his text. F. 1978. Seneca. 6. Cicero. tersuchungen zur Boethius' Philosophiae.6 On the other hand scholars such as of Courcelle. Klingner. Anne. E. pp." 3. if not quoting. J... L.8 to read the work as an More recently still. Sequel to Augustine's Dialogues and So- Courcelle." . 15. Chaucer chapter 3: Menippean Satire. The first and reasoned re such scholars as camp is led by E. F.9 Consolatio Rand. Berlin. the literature that and he has shaped philosophy of the past.5 in 1904 produced a thorough His lead was followed by Boethius' Reichenberger. buttal of Usener's point of Klingner and who view. such blindness to the nineteenth of Philosophy -213 scholarship: analysis and "Quellenforschung".S. literarischen 1954. Rand.S. 3. Anne example of Menippean Satire. only be on the nature and merits of the text can Boethius' explained on the basis of a stance. Reichenberger. what are the dynamics of this curious work. Walter de Gruyter. "The Consolation of Philosophy Menippean Satire. E. and Augustine. Kommentar zu Boethius De Consolatione Philosophiae. Thus the in the result of the last century's researches into the Consolatio is. Alfonsi. F. Convivium. N. on was Silk. De Boethii Consolatione Philosophiae. 8. 1-28. as often ori of world of scholarship. pp. Gruber. I9~39boeziana. . Madison. Paris. pp. while Anna Crabbe has sought the key St. Silk. La Consolation de Philosophie dans la tradition litteraire: Antecedants et posterite de Boece. Boethius' ginality was a false It has turned out that in almost every line both the prose and verse sections Boethius can be detected echoing." Crabbe. and Payne. K. L. he least a compiler of the first rank. . K. K. And in recent years a scholars have begun to address this issue. sources who made considerable progress work and towards demon strating the very complex structure of the methods by which he made his his own. The question becomes. P.How to Read the Consolation century German other. N. "Boethius' Consolatio Philosophiae as a pp. as University of Wisconsin Press. 1967. 1939. 9. 5.

endeavor to thius has molded his Platonic. Menippean response Dame Philosophy. Boethius and dialogue in antiquity. however. have pointed out. in the De Consolatione in Boethius: His Life. II. prose 6. Gruber. quoniam vero quis sit rerum finis ignoras. 242-43 of this paper. pp. has little if anything to do with the Boethean text. is so eclectic. Finally. which is a per fectly reasonable endeavor. At the her examination of the patient. Basil Blackwell. readers Because the Consolatio. to fill that gap. 237-74. 10. For a more detailed cri tique of Payne's conclusions see pp. especially in a sixth century context. First of all. and Influ Margeret Gibson. she summarizes his illness under three points: Nam esse quoniam tui oblivione confunderis. Neoplatonic Second. since the Consolatio is an example of Satire. As first step Boethius' is the diagnosis end of which Dame Philosophy performs the way to in Book I. treatise. ence. et exsulem te et exspoliatum propriis bonis doluisti. most importantly Plato and to uncover the dynamics of interaction between the character and that curious genre. I will. Philosophiae" . Thought.10 account both literary This aspects of paper as the work and seeks to demonstrate how they inform shall each other. it is necessary to clarify the structure and drift of its philosophi I shall not be concerned to label the provenance of this or that argu ment. Boethius despair over his fall from fortune and Dame endeav Philosophy on ors to restore her pupil to a state of cure insight and calm. Payne attempts to read the Consolatio as an example of Menippean Satire. since the work is a philo cal content. I at point and organize eclecticism as my starting my argument the text's diversity. Aristotelian. Oxford. it is incumbent on me at least to hazard a form of to the question why Boethius chose to write a philosophic dialogue in the very artificial alternating verse and prose. Boethius chose to cast his work in the form of a dialogue. but her characterization of what constitutes Menippean Satire. nequam homines atque nefarios potentes felicesque arbitraris. 1981. To do so I shall have both to the tradition of philosophic Augustine. a task largely completed by other more competent make clear and scholars. is intended. quoniam vero quibus gubernaculis mundus "Literary Design ed. since the structure into which Boe materials. the implications glance at of this choice on the philosophical content must be gauged before a full under standing of the work can be achieved. most notably. take this very around three aspects of sophical many least in part. THE PHILOSOPHICAL CONTENT is smitten with The Consolation of Philosophy is essentially a dramatized therapy.214 The Interpretation problem with this trend of criticism Boethius' is that its manifold practitioners have either limited themselves to one aspect of text or have become ten What has dentious in championing an idiosyncratic approach to the been most lacking is a comprehensive approach which takes into the philosophic and work.

pr.) This passage is clearly second meant to be programmatic concerned with for the structure of Boethius' Books 1 1 Boethius' through V. 7. free will. extra petitis intra vos positam felicitatem? Error vos inscialiquid tiaque confundit. in these final two books the as tionship between these two entities is depicted in all its complexity. 19-19). 4. has fortunarum vices aestimas sine rectore fluitare: magnae non ad modo. and pleasure cannot embody the highest good. 22-23). The the human self and of God and things has been established in Books II III. and since you do know the purpose of happy. tibi te tu 0 mortales. to you within yourselves. "Nothing. 6. The book is loosening attachment to the gifts of fortune and. . Estne ipso pretiosius? Nihil. of self. determinism. Books IV nature of V seek as it were as identity of God." than yourself? you will able to you say. First by kind negativa" of "via demonstrates that wealth.) Thus Book II in its long discussion of the various gifts of sense of fortune is in fact bonum" an at tempt to restore to Boethius a seeks to make clear "telos" strong a identity. then in a fame. I shall briefly demonstrate the essence of the greatest happiness. be in possession of that which neither you would wish to lose nor fortune be remove. 16-20. I.How to Read the Consolation regatur oblitus morbum of Philosophy -215 es. judge not and since you things. 24-29. Is there anything more precious to you o mortals. 8." Likewise. Igitur tui compos fueris. scholars have pointed 11. As many See Book II. to the rise and fall of fortune is occasioned by his lack of a vulnerability self: sense of Quid igitur. verum ad interitum quoque causae (Bk. Book III which to Boethius the existence of the "summum which is the of all things. 21-23. Ostendam breviter tibi fortuna summae cardinem si felicitatis. 6. 24-29. and of the But the might situation is far more complex than these preliminary observations out. and happiness. Dame Philosophy elucidates and the good. pr. you that these changes of of are in flux and without any direction: great causes only illness but of death well. ways of Finally. inquies. as Dame Philosophy repeatedly points out. of the "summum bonum". why do you seek outside yourselves the happiness which is placed Error and ignorance are confusing you. the mode or style of argu- indicate. that worthless and evil have complained not that you are in exile and dispossessed of your own goods. possidebis quod nee amittere umquam velis nee possit auferre (Bk. dence. logue ranges over such topics as theodicy. (Thus. II. have forgotten fortune as you think men are powerful and by what means the universe is governed. pr. pr. the and more positive manner. 5. Thus if you should be in possession of yourself. 4. to justify the the goal of all rela God to man. pr. 4. pr. you (For since you have been confused by forgetfulness of your self. pr. power. Thus the most the dia and provi rather readily apparent structure of the Consolatio is the straightforward succession of three arguments calculated to address Boethius' the three as pects of illness as diagnosed in the first book: ignorance relationship between the two.

12 The question then arises. the ways of the world are viewed as they appear to the eyes of the answer One unregenerate human soul. which articulates the text tuna". Finally. 36ft. strated with great rigor rise in Book IV. Augustinian (Bk. under its aspect of "fatum". makes the following observation: cogno- quod cognoscitur non secundum sui vim sed secundum scentium potius comprehenditur facultatem (Bk. and according to three "providentia". Intellegentiae vero 12. pr. the cosmological. which contains one indirect allusion to the City of God (Bk. in addition to what one might term the structure of the work. The Aristotelian debate about section ends with an allusion to relation of Aristotle's definition will of chance. Aristotelian (Bk. Philosophy's) argument Cynic (Bk.. Thus. . literal to which the sections for these sections. not pr.216 Interpretation in the Consolatio changes as ame mentation Philosophy procedes in her exposi tion. figuram in subiecta materia constitutam. prs. imaginatio vero solam sine mate iudicat figuram. 5).9-Bk. F Anne Payne's summary is names a good example of such analysis: The I give the four II-Bk.) She then Sensus ria according to its own power but accord goes on to enumerate the four "faculties" principal of knowledge: . 4. also see Gruber. pr. IV.e. fate's determination of events is demon and detail.i). op. The Platonic section begins with a paraphrase of Plato's Timaeus. the way is opened up towards a clearer vision and the universal order. aspects of cosmological order: "for Finally to call the there is a third set of structures at work in the "epistemological" and which is the most text. 25). Platonic (Bk. in her attempt to explain Dame Philosophy Omne .4). pr. The de the foreknowledge and free in the final section of the Con a solation. Boethius' V. that is. is bate always associated with Augustine. "fatum". how is this philosophic eclecticism rendered coherent? is that the Consolation may be seen as a succession of three in creasingly lofty and comprehensive disquisitions on the order of the universe. the discussion seeks to and rational point of view and to adumbrate "providentia" beyond the merely human stans" God's own perspective on the universe. op. in Book V. V.6-Bk. 2-6) are not intended to indicate sections of m. 69-70. cit. pp. ratio vero hanc quoque transcendit speciemque ipsam singularibus inest universali consideratione perpendit. m. IV. cit. and two proses of the discussion on evil contain a paraphrase of the Gorgias. there is a second structural device.9). In Books I and 1 1. that sonal by which the text is organized according to the per dilemma of Boethius. pp. under the aspect of of "fortuna" In Book III. that which is the viewpoint of the "personal" "nunc of eternity. V. V. The analogies between Lucian and the first section have already been discussed. Ill. Ill. (Everything which is known is understood ing to the capability of those knowing it. At prose 4 in Book V.. quae celsior ocu- Payne. pr. but rather techniques and points of view allude. that is. tural systems. that which I choose important of all three struc divine providence. and sources her (i.

V. for it transcends the ambit of the uni verse and with the pure vision of the mind contemplates that simple idea itself. "contracta in rugam veste". the imagination judges of the mere form without matter. (The senses judge of form embodied in underlying matter. Whereas Boethius' episte hierarchy. ammovit pectori meo leniter (Bk. is very rare in the "sensus" Consolatio and is appropriate In Book II Dame mological only at this preliminary stage of Philosophy begins to employ the next faculty in her the imagination. 1 . she lightly a touched merely silent but mute and my breast with her hand and with a eyes which were quite incapable her of portion of garment drawn into fold she dried my overflowing with tears. the in the first book attention was fo cused on particulars of immediate situation. of (Prematurely shakes. reacting to the universe by Philosophy terms Boethius' means of his he senses. in the second book a Philosophy which can of leads her pupil towards a consideration of with fortune in general. 2.) The realistic detail of the phrase. m. 1).) white hair covers my head and the loosened skin my weakened body indicates that he is mired in the material world. 2. Boethius writing an elegiac lament in dwelt upon: which Intempestivi funduntur vertice cani cutis et tremit effeto corpore (Bk. 28-30). manum et oculosque meos fletibus undantes contracta in rugam veste siccavit I. of Philosophy 4. all by touch: Cumque me non modo taciturn .) . tu Vellem tecum Fortunae pr. was not (When she perceived that I speech. I. 5-7). As token of this first sensual stage of perception mainly Dame adapts herself to Boethius' capacities and responds to of his condition in which can comprehend. Thus she diagnoses initial silence and causes him to recognize her for what she is. upon reflection clear that these four categories have provided a structural scheme work parallel The fact that the the physical work opens with details of decay laxa are to the two already described. reason transcends even this latter form and by a univer sal meditation weighs of the idea itself which is present in individual things. There fore consider whether her claim is just. (I would like to discuss a few matters with you in the words of Fortuna herself. II. those touch. But the eye intellection exists on an even higher plane. ipsius igitur an ius postulet animadverte (Bk. most step this strategy and be taken only occurs in the aid of imagination. pr. sed elinguem prorsus mutumque . namely. The striking example prose 2 where Philosophy verbis puts on the mask of "For tuna" interrogates Boethius autem pauca on his claim to the gifts of fortune: agitare. vidisset. -217 supergressa namque universitatis ambitum ipsam illam simplicem formam pura mentis acie contuetur (Bk. 1 1 - 12).How to Read the Consolation Ius exsistit.) end of Although this the hierarchy of knowledge it becomes for the his is articulated only towards the very text. pr.

in II. are also reflected on in a critical and fashion parallel to poetry found in Books I pr. during her speech in the persona of Fortuna. Therefore.14 of reason employed a in this section. they the criticisms of 13. she alludes to Philosophy various works of the imagination regem such as legend. 6. the theater. so that I do not think that hereafter I shall be unequal to the more blows not which you said were slightly bitter. pr. ("O greatest comfort of afflicted your proposition or I said. an object of fear to Cyrus and then an object of pity.. quam tu me vel sententiarum pondere vel canendi etiam iucunditate refovisti. handed over to the flames of the pyre. the powerful man. tears over the misfortunes of the Persian else king. This recourse to the imagination is further underscored when. minds. pr.. incorporated into not a rational explanation of Furthermore. and so on. tragedy. 30-38. non perhorresco. 7. 2). The imagery of metrum are Book III and the arguments drawn from the the universal Gorgias in Book IV scheme of things. 5. to effect her own purposes. In this section and Boethius' borrowings from Plato Platonic are particularly frequent 9 of particularly appropriate. lassorum solamen animorum. II. 14. 1. "how you have restored me. 3ff. sed audiendi avidus vehementer efflagito (Bk. as fortune. inquam. (Were you unaware of 2. whom has it. See Book III. in fact I am strongly desirous of hearing them. to be only are the instruments way.") throughout Books III and to elucidate and The harsher to remedies of strict reason are employed IV demonstrate the existence of the "summum bonum" its rela tion to the universe in general and to man in particular. adeo ut iam me posthac imparem fortunae ictibus modo non esse non arbitrer! Itaque remedia quae paulo acriora esse dicebas pr.13 "imaginatio" "ratio" towards understanding the vanity of human At the signalled beginning of Book III the transition from by the following statement by the character Boethius: summum to is O. who. 1 1 of the 13) Croesus. only do I not fear them. 3ff. iff." II. pr. didn't you learn that "two jars. de exegov idwv in Iovis limene iacere didicisti? (Bk. the famous man. . that Paulus he himself had captured? perous does the shouting of tragedy bewail but fortune overturning pros kindgoms with a sudden blow? As a student. 12.218 In fact Interpretation is here using one of the imagination's greatest achievements. fortune. regna vertentem? Nonne 5vo Jtidovg. those remedies. paulo ante and epic: Nesciebas Croesum miserandum rogi Lydorum Cyro formidabilem mox diende praeterit Tragoedia- flammis deflet traditum misso caelitus imbre defensum? Num te Paulum Persi regis a se capti calamitatibus pias impendisse lacrimas? Quid rum clamor aliud adulescentulus nisi indiscreto ictu fortunam felicia xov uev eva xaxwv xov pr. king when Lydians. the What goods" one of evils and the other of stand in Jove's threshold?) urges And throughout the book situation of the rich means Philosophy constantly Boethius to imagine the man. whether by the weight of the delight of of your singing. See Book II. was saved by a miraculous shower of rain? shed pious And it has not escaped your notice.

"imaginatio". his a soul. the fourth can only be hinted The at by the highest means at hand. to effect a conversion. (Unless you wish to pretend otherwise. has access to the first three modes of knowledge. Dame Philosophy strictly rational now seeks to communi to Boethius some indication of how the universe appears to the eyes of The exposition remains rational in form. The human being. 6. necessitas pr. a these personal and cos epistemological struc mological sets of categories are set in relief by four-fold ture: "sensus". and "intellegentia". and the Alpha-Omega of Second. indicta probitatis. since you act under the gaze of a judge who discerns things. there is a religious. The the next to reason. in whereas modern analysis proceeds on the assumption that the higher faculties of Boethius' imagination fore her and reason are explicable in terms of unconscious of drives and there "epiphaenomena" reducible to the rank of soul and at "sensus". and the content also falls into the three-fold division of fortuna". and ing. "imaginatio". V. almost the tical.) Thus the philosophical content of the Consolatio is three different but parallel sets of categories. "fatum". 48). cum ante oculos agitis iudicis cuncta cernentis (Bk. and "ratio". si dissimulare non vultis. which lines of breaks forth. That of the is. problems and dilemmas than set of one level are resolved by a level rather by descending backwards to proceeding upward to lower level. tone to Philosophy's speech. it is in fact soul sis. the rational. and that of the human as rational animal. last to the ultimate reality. psychoanaly Whereas in the contemporary analyst's office the patient does all the talk prison cell Dame Philosophy is the principal interlocutor. as a human. First of all organized according to Philosophy's exposition is structured to correspond to points Boethius' particular situation: she "telos" first restores his sense of self. the same cosmos is portrayed un "sensus" der three different lights: that human being as possessor of and "imaginatio". in final the Magna vobis est. The work is entitled a of "Conso of the lation". "ratio". that is. and that of God as of the universe. common purpose of all three sets of categories is to cure Boethius. for instance. to the "intellegentia". Book V constitutes an attempt to explain to the highest faculty of human understanding (ratio) the nature and scope of divine understanding (intellegentia). Dame Philosophy Boethius' effects cure of by leading points him upward from the senses. and finally demonstrates the relationship between the individual human reality the universe. cate eternity. but because a reality mys beyond the humanly work: is being described. God. or turning about.How to Read the Consolation of Philosophy -219 Finally. of namely. imagination. This proce "intellegentia" dure is clearly Boethius has just formulated his most forth in the crucial step from "ratio" to inability to maintain the seemingly contradictory . immediate all-encompassing knower Finally. then to the end or of things. We have been led through the various stages of human knowledge: "sensus". "providentia". a great necessity of acting virtuously has been all pronounced to you. "therapy" a But it is us very different kind therapy from that most familiar to in the twentieth century.

) It is precisely in this harmony of all aspects of the cosmos: of the human and the divine. that the central point of the Consolatio as a work of philosophy lies. inferior vero ad superiorem nullo modo consurgit. nonetheless level is encompassed and per fected within wider scope of the higher: Superior comprehendendi vis amplectitur inferiorem. a nonetheless the lower is never completely jetti higher. hierarchy it is is that. faculties. of the the lower and intermediate levels "providentia". (The cause of this cannot reach the simplicity of divine obscurity is the fact that the impulse of the human power to reason foreknowledge. although Philosophy on a strict protocol the relation of lower to rather higher. comprehendit 4. This harmony is of a not achieved through the blurring of distinctions. in hierarchical of this articulation of the various aspects of the universe. but the lower can in no way higher. but in the same manner in which it comprehends the form itself. contemplate universal as categories. of change and or der. of becoming and being. it insists consists. nor does reason grasp the if looking down from above. Philosophy flux of has double task: to make manifest the divine in the the world and to validate human striving striking the which within the order thus re Thus double task is indicated at by certain verbal echoes in the text. V. formam ipsam. in- For instance. pr. sed eo modo pr. be reached Philosophy responds by stat ing that a higher vantage point must before this contradiction can be resolved: Cuius caliginis causa est quod humanae ratiocinationis motus ad divinae praescientiae simplicitatem non potest relinquetur ambigui ammoveri. order embraced and validated within the context of the Thus apparent vealed. species Neque enim sensus aliquid extra materiam valet vel universales imaginatio contuetur vel ratio capit simplicem formam. V. of the temporal and the eternal. For sense perception is good for nothing apart from matter. What is more. insignificant in the light "intel legentia" or Rather. in fact. it is important conflicts of one to note that although level by appealing to the next are not rendered Philosophy resolves faculty up in the hierarchy.220 Interpretation "providentia" propositions of and human free will. which was incapable of being known to any of the other pure does the imagination form. throughout the work condition of Philosophy Boethius' is careful to accommodate her mode of discourse to the on soul. both perceives the form and also discerns everything which lies below. absolutely nothing unclear. 4. but "intellegentia". sed intellegentia (Bk. quae nulli alii nota esse poterat. quasi desuper quo spectans concepta forma quae subsunt etiam cuncta diiudicat. nihil prorsus (Bk. in interlocutors have been .) Nonetheless. the end of the first book. quae si ullo modo cogitari quest. The particular beauty soned. 31-32) (The higher rise nor faculty towards the of understanding embraces the lower. 2). if this latter could in any way be would remain conceived. the whole process surpasses is based the assumption that although a given level that lower that below the it.

prayers on lift up your mind towards proper hopes. pre- Aversamini igitur vitia. the concerns of the microcosm. they be ineffectual. too. that of "sensus". man can only be seen as when in harmony with laws of the macrocosm. cast out to make nor your joys. "ratio". placed in God. as long as they correct. 44-47). with clear vision and (If you. intemerata mortalibus arbitrii libertas nee iniquae leges . the means by which the cosmos "personal" governed. cast out fear. man and cosmos are the possible epistemological rela and understood. of the and as such of things. pr. . solutis omni necessitate voluntatibus praemia poenasque proponunt. human free rewards and punishment will remains inviolate nor for wills freed from all necessity. quae cum rectae sunt inefficaces esse non possunt. that this central message of the and the work. Philosophy her "alumnus" straightforward moral counsel: Tu quoque si vis claro lumine cernere verum. the context of divine manet insists of order: cum ita sint. seen as the and "intellegentia". ces volite virtutes. humiles in excelsa porrigite (Bk.) one might well point out By way of summary. is turned on its sentences of head in the final "providentia" Philosophy's disquisition where she on the on the harmony validity of divine human and striving Quae within human free will. the universe. is clearly epistemological and harmony of the first two structures. "fatum". and can "cosmic" thus be properly labeled the third structure. . the may be termed the The and second structure views world under three aspects: "fortuna". are do laws unfairly propose Nor are hopes and cannot prayers. tions between defined. Therefore avoid vices. I. tramite recto carpere callem: gaudia pelle. ad rectas spes animum sublevate.) This sion. sunt Nee frustra in deo positae spes precesque. 6. in vain. (Since this is the case. stoical appropriate to warning against the power of the passions to cloud intellectual vi Boethius at this stage of dismay and self-pity. 20-28). may be For the "imaginatio". V. distinguished. m. ex tend humble high. pelle timorem spemque nee fugato adsit dolor (Bk. the reflected essential harmony between the microcosm macrocosm. cultivate virtues. rance: of The first is based and of Boethius' on three points of igno is "telos" self. . put hope to flight. is in the relation among the three parallel structures of the work's philo structure sophical content. the personal and the cosmic. desire to discern the truth the straight path.How to Read the Consolation troduced and the nature of gives of Philosophy 221 Boethius' illness has been diagnosed. The "providentia". 7. let sorrow way along be present.

. op. because question at another point he gestures towards his surroundings with the rhetorical Haecine in (Bk. This as we and setting. and death. with its associations of solitude. unheard and without defense. in text. pr. 3) (Is this the library which you yourself chose as your most fixed on abode hold. with im pending his doom. scattered hints within the text. pr. qua mecum saepe residens pr. O teacher of all into the loneliness of my exile?). 3. And our ancient testimonia corroborate these hints when within the text: it seems a that Boethius fell from Theodoric's favor he defended fellow senator. I. 3) virtues. lost and out of touch with 15. I. in human and which you often used to sit with me and discourse the in my house knowledge of things and divine?). First all. Because Boethius Et quid. est bibliotheca. I. is clearly meant to make identification the character Boe thius all the more easy. under sentence of alone. the case of the most obvious model for Boethius' are. or some place where Boethius is being held under house arrest.222 Interpretation III. 36). 4. at the end of states because his "defense" before Philosophy. as if before a court (Bk. THE DIALOGUE FORM But this philosophical content is couched in the form of of a dialogue. Plato's Phaedo. the setting. in exile. It renders real self and purpose. de humanarum divinarumque rerum scientia disserebas? 4. cit. in the form of a very deducible from certain peculiar kind dialogue. quam certissimam tibi sedem nostris in laribus ipsa delegeras. descended from on high to enter (And why. but we are never told for how long or where Boethius has been imprisoned. he Nunc quingentis fere passuum milibus procul muti atque indefensi ob studium propensius in senatum morti proscriptionique miles damnamur (Bk.15 who was being prosecuted for treason. inquam. vagueness of nor when he expected to die. him an everyman. I said. was soon ac Albinus. See Gruber. I behalf am condemned to death and proscription on account of my too great zeal on of the senate. at some distance from Ravenna. infer that the setting is a prison cell. exile. 8-13. cused of ad. o omnium magistra virtutum.. delapsa venisti? (Bk. of never and what though is more. tried and convicted in absentia. 4). pr. have you. pp.). tu in has supero cardine at one point says to Philosophy exsilii nostri solitudines. Theodoric's capital in we Italy. and executed in 524 Thus the reader is aware that Boethius is in prison. for instance. Boethius himself the same crime. is clearly in dicated. (Now about fifty away. alienation. I.

makes for certain striking person: effects. the very mention of the "character is Boethius in the text? Our the author of the sources and the manuscript tradition assure us that Consolatio is indeed the historical Anicius Manlius Severinus the Roman senatorial aristocracy. 17. Not only does learned. before his early And because the text is such long project death. cit. See Gruber. who maestos cogor modos (Bk. i. Thus the work opens with an elegiac poem spoken Carmina qui quondam studio florente inire peregi. op.. which seems to represent as far as he progressed in his life the text. in my youthful zeal composed verses. While pursuing a political career as a high official under Boethius. Boethius the narrator of his encounter with Dame Philosophy and Boethius the character within that narration constitute two further personae of the author. Aristotle's textbook on translated introduction to Organon. am now forced tearfully to begin sad lamentations. Thus the first work to the question of Boethius' wrongly term "The presence in the is that he is the author. not only with the Neoplatonism of late antiq Plato and Aristotle as well. See Gruber. He must therefore have this time. (I. who was adopted by the Symmachi and grew up giving every evidence of extraordinary literary and intellectual ability. heu. and harmonizing to the Consolatio there remain extant a music. producing a commentaries on the two systems of thought. a phenomenon rare in an age when all stands as a Europe enters lonely last citadel definitively into what answer but disappeared. for an indication Boethius' of breadth of learning. pp.) The reader naturally assumes that the speaker voice contrasts the first prose section one its unhappy discovers that the narrator- present with a pleasant voice is the author. he vres of conceived the enormous project of translating the respective oeu Plato and Aristotle. as narrator and as character. I. heir of ancient by birth. m. flebilis. In fact. op.16 Thus "Boethius" is the author of a highly on wrought object.'7 and education to the twin tradition philosophy and But Boethius the author is not the only Boethius present in the text. say based the fact of the text. 1-2). literature. combining all manner of one can discourse in the alternating something about the been extraordinarily quaintance with author verse and prose of Menippean Satire. This double in the first aspect of Boethius within the text. breeding. the author of the Greco-Roman tradition before we rightly or Dark Ages". 24-40. he also displays uity but with knowledge of Greek in the West had Boethius western Greek philosophy. In addition them. and a few theological treatises. . but at the beginning of pronouncing the poem was be ing quoted by the voice of 1-8. an orphaned member of Theodoric. He married the daughter of his adoptive father and had two sons by her. the whole work: 16. especially for Latin he exhibit a an ac command of all possible prose styles and meters.. pp.How to Read the Consolation of Philosophy Boethius" 223 raises the question: where Now. especially since the past. cit.

a history which has brought him to the upon point of despair expressed in the opening of elegy. we realize that the character Boethius also will transform passage has a future ahead of him. 5) as mere barking: .224 Interpretation mecum Haec dum signarem . pr. which may well have been the source of this motif in the Consolatio. she saw . illustrative Boethius the narrator. The distance to be traveled in the is emphasized from the former narrator to the latter throughout the first to book. taken together express the within the text. has a long way to go before at taining the firm calm of the Finally. 1-7. tacitus pr. 4 & m. reputarem querimoniamque lacrimabilem stili officio (Bk. which hearing the narrative voice at the beginning the prose section. 5. the first couplet of the metrum and the first clause of the prose section. . I. whereby the character Boethius merely transcribes the words of others is strongly contrasted with the more active response demanded of Boe thius cure partner pr. I. 7) vidit nostro assistentes toro fletibusque meis verba dictan- (Bk. ubi continuato dolore delatravi all (Bk. by Boethius' Dame Philosophy. pr.) These two passages. 1-3). 2.) the poetic Muses standing by my bed and dictating words to my This passivity. Ecce mihi lacerae dictant scribenda Camenae (Bk. Second. i). the emphasis within a the text upon writing as opposed to speech serves double purpose. over with myself and (While I silently thought these things inscribed my tearful lament by means of a stylus .) Quaeubi tes poeticas Musas 1. After routing the elegiac Muses. what 1 . 3). I. is reminis cent of the theme and Plato's Phaedrus. (Behold the mourning Muses dictate I am to write. (When I had barked that with uninterrupted self-pity . This transition from of the development Boethius the dynamics character of poetry to spoken dialogue. . her first action is to blindness and dumbness. First of all. Thus the describes the character's elegy as a "querimoniam lac and appeal rimabilem". Haec pr. thus enabling him to become an active which will constitute written in the dialogue his therapy (see Bk. I. I. a development the character into the condition narrator. of the relationship between Boethius the character one and On the hand the description of the interaction be tween the elegiac Muses and the character expresses despair: both the course which character and the narrator his passivity at this stage of depict the Muses as dictating a dis Boethius merely copies down: m. ipse i.) Clearly the distraught and preoccupied character narrator. the character Boethius complexity of the Boethian presence has a past. 1) . . pr. parallel to into Boethius the narrator. & 3. likewise the narrator dismisses the character's defense God (Bk. I. (When tears .

of and as fashioned by the poet Boethius. In other words. who had spent much of his life among evolution of books. truth. complex presence of To sum up the Boethius in the Consolatio. eternity. can . oculis ardentibus et ultra communem hominum aevi plena valentiam perspicacibus. Boethius prose or must undergo therapy of philosophy before he handle narrative imagistic poetry in other than self-destructive ways Thus the dialogue in the Consolatio must be viewed as taking Dame Philosophy. But these two forms the narrator and foreshadows the figure the of Boethius the author. and piece of of appearance. the author of the text is obviously of poet. the motif of written dialogue which also hints at the further evolution of poetry ver Boethius into the author the poem is the Consolatio. I. What then are we other participant in the dialogue. frequent . dignified aspect. Thus in addition to underscoring the Boethius the sus spoken of character into Boethius the narrator. (There pr. I. not suffering humanity. as reported place between the character Boethius and by the narrator Boe to make of the thius. although she was of such an age that in appeared standing above credited of our life span. the voice the mouth being. no way could it be and inexaustible strength. the former element The fairly . quamvis ita foret ut nullo modo nostrae crederetur aetatis 1. Dame Philosophy? She is. "stili Bk. writing and its products (e.How to Read the Consolation But it is important to spoken of Philosophy dichotomy 225 between written verse and note that in this prose. subject to the vicissitudes of time That Dame Philosophy is the spokeswoman for eternity is clear the fact that she guides the character Boethius towards an aware from only the deceptions ness of being in the midst of becoming but also from the description of her ap pearance in Book I: mihi supra verticem visa est mulier reverendi admodum Astitisse vultus. 3) reminds the reader that what he has Boethius' officio" before him is a written text. 4. one might say that the author of the text assumes the persona of the narrator in order to por tray the story of the character. The character is pictured at the a beginning of the text as indulging in poetry. in contrast with the character Boethius.g. mention of at I. surely draws an "library" attention to the fact that the text before us is a veritable anthology have of all available forms of discourse and philosophic argu ments. In particular the character mention of a li li brary brary. colore vivido atque inexhausti vigoris. i i & "bibliotheca" is not simply negated in the face of the latter. with my head a woman of a most with a glowing complexion eyes shining and piercing beyond the usual power of men. is defined as: Philosophy is . pr.) That Dame and old where "aeternitas" both young ("colore vivido atque inexhausti vigoris") ("aevi plena") foreshadows her own disquisition on eternity in Book V. for the text poetry are very different and much of the dynamics of the Consolatio has to do with the process whereby Boethius the character develops to the point where he is identical with Boethius itself constitutes a poem. at Bk. could composed. (Bk. pr. 1). a which only an author. first and of all.

the Aristotelian dialogues portrayed same interpersonal dialogue procedure. but it is always portrayed from the outside. the as inside as a kind of interaction with one's self. Plotinus' the author is both speaker and audience. V. and Enneads. (3pa6uxQov 6^tjteqov EJta'i^aoa. . 6. 4). denials. xai cpdoxouoa xai or) eite xai 6e 6pioaaa. as which far as we know. when the Consolatio is the last example.oy. pr. and by and large the ancient tradition followed the But in late antiquity there appear certain intrapersonal dialogue. the aurov ov 6e ti. he is in some point in the Aoyov 6v autr) itoog. ctXXov arjxo fj&r| ou6e epeovjj. A link between these first tentative full-blown accomplishment ventures into the dramatization of thought and its in Boethius is to be found in Augustine's Soliloquia. This assertion tradition of philosophic dialogue great is explicitly of which made in the text. aurr) (pa. However. (189c. Dame Philosophy's ous youth and age of all time. And when it comes to a decision. is engaged making rushing to it quickly. But do you think?) accomplished What Boethius has to by introducing is thought. never from I74d-i75b) or when meditating his fellow soldiers take bets outside the house Agathon (Symposium standing. the character Boethius is in conversa tion with way talking to himself. with thought. wot' to EycoyE to cpfj xai \ir\ &iarar|. that is. makes it evident that. as a withdrawal of the person from interaction with others.. clearly indicates that represents not she embodies eternity's comprehension But Dame Philosophy only eternity but never also a certain aspect of the character Boethius.ovaa. not to another nor claims and in nothing other than talking with itself.o ti f\ biakeyBoftai. At one Thaeatetus Socrates describes the process of thinking as follows: Philosophy. whether slowly or and no of longer differs with itself. (As a discussion I'm sure which soul maintains with itself concerning to me whatever when it is consid ering. I must seem a fool. (the completely that simultaneous and perfect possession of life without beginning or end. 66|av xavxr]v Ttf>E(Xv auTfjg. it is thinking. simultane is. aurnv f| tyvxi] yap 6iE^EQxeTaL um ^EQ1 wv av oxojttj. ou ^ievtoi jiqoc. but the in antiquity. totjto IvSaX^ETai 6iavooufievr] oux aM. we call this thought as discourse and and judgment as a what audibly. which often read like a man think ing aloud. The as when signs of a preoccupation with phenomenon exists of in Plato. Socrates stands on how long he will remain lost in thought (Symposium 220cd). asking and answering questions. in later where works. el&cag.226 Interpretation vitae interminabilis tota simul et perfecta possessio (Bk. but silently to oneself. (be. such Marcus Aurelius' Meditations ("ra elg tavxdv"). ye ur) 001 ajrocpaivoum. one sees the roots of a systematic portrayal of interior dialogue. and is in agreement its judgment. the persona of Philosophy is dramatize this interior dialogue Both the Platonic and. but it seems that the soul. 6o^a^eiv XeyEiv xdkib xai ttjv 56|av Xoyov lor|UEvov.).190a). a state where all time is contemporaneous. aKka oiyf\ node. otav Eauxrjv EQCotcbaa xai eite aJtoxQivofiEvn. So that I define the process statement pronounced.

the centuries-long tradition of thought of which Boethius is the losophy our in the the dialogue avail herself of Not only does Dame Phi every conceivable kind of philosophic argument: Stoic. sceptrum vero sinistra gestabat (Bk. in legebatur intextum in utrasque litteras in scalarum modum gradus quidam insigniti videbantur. But the hands of certain violent individuals had rent this garment and Finally. Dame trays a critical Philosophy's of how her garments were torn be understanding the ing quite Cuius in Boethius' accord with own and history life-long task of reconciling the two Aristotle: cum of ancient philosophy. on the upper border "0" to be read inwoven. and Augustinian. but role as also first encounter with her in Book I clearly indicates her image of the philosophic tradition: Vestes erant tenuissimis filis subtili artificio indissolubili materia perfectae. esset. 'TI" caligo quaedam neglectae vetustatis obduxerat. ait mihi subito. just Boethius is the remarkably learned man he to was. she carried they had taken away those portions that each was able to. books in her right hand. and in her left she held a scepter. Platonic. op. for possible influence of this text on the Consolatio..How to Read the Consolation where of Philosophy 227 the author recounts to his dialogue is in with a personified "Ratio". Eandem tamen vestem violentorum quorundam sciderant manus et particulas quas quisque potuit abstulerant. I. Plato (Socrates' and/or Plato's) hereditatem deinceps Epicureum ire vulgus ac Stoicum certerique pro sua quisque parte raptum molirentur meque reclamantem renitentemque velut in partem praedae traherent. ac per multos sedulo quaerenti memetip- sum ac bonum meum. (Her clothes were made. by which there was a means of as from the lower to the higher letter. 3-6). sive ego ipse. I. dies see the opening passage the work: "Volventi mihi multa ac varia mecum quidve mali evitandum diu. nescio. or eternity and aspect of Boethius. i . cit.18 Now if Dame what aspect Philosophy Since the some she? author as way an aspect of Boethius himself. by subtle craft. vestem quam meis texueram manibus disciderunt pr18. quibus ab inferiore ad superius elementum esset ascensus.) explanation of Furthermore. intrinsecus. Aristotelian. speciem. quidem eius Et dextra libellos. "0" quarum fumosas imagines solet. icon. quas. veluti uti post eadem prodente cognovi. pr. sive alius quis " extrinsecus. and as I later learned from her lips. and "Ratio". I. he does so by recording a dialogue between himself as the tradition of Greco-Roman philosophy. when he portrays himself and talking whole himself. who is explic itly stated be both is a divine figure and an aspect of Augustine himself. she had woven them with hands. 3. is course of image. sive quia. representing end point. !) "Augustinus" For the relation of the two interlocutors. of the own finest threads of an indissoluble her own mate rial. Thus Dame Philosophy. was On the lower hem a Greek "IT'. voice of he had learned and appropriated also an it. as is often the case with images a smudged with smoke. 1). suis manibus ipsa texuerat. A certain duskiness of long neglect had darkened their appearance. supremo vero Harum in atque extremo margine Graecum. nam hoc ipsum est quod magnopere scire molior See Silk. and certain embroidered steps were to be seen between the two letters in the cent manner of a ladder. an understand foun- tainheads of the tradition. (Solilo- . of abreptisque ab ea panniculis totam me sibi cessisse credentes abiere (Bk.

V. Socrates is consistently portrayed as insisting that talk with his fellow human of his philosophical life (Phaedrus 23ode). should human intercourse. an tradition. history of his progress in the therapy of philos From 19.) Thus the figure she of Philosophy. 16. from the outside. answers character says 20. and who might preserve his What is more. when they away believing in fact they had only snatched tatters from and went that I had it. nothing after metrum 3 of by Dame Philosophy's uncooperative interlocutor's lines in keep the discussion go . Book V (Bk. 40e-4ic). pr. the character Boethius again falls all but completely silent. Now how does this peculiar kind of dialogue play itself out and how does it was inform the ter philosophic content of the work? silent until Boethius falls after Philosophy After the opening elegy the charac loosens his tongue by her touch. which That Boethius. and a representation of the whole philosophic pects allows refraction of the interlocutors into several as the interior dialogue which would appear as for a complex dramatic portrayal of is thought. Comparison condemned with the Phaedo will make this point quite clear. beginning to end Boethius the character remains the spokesman for beings is the focus perhaps a What is more. be so cut off as to take refuge in of the dramatization of thought. 8. endeavored. 4. he even goes so far as to speculate that happy after-life would consist of the opportunity Boethius the silence to spend eternity in conversation with the likes of Homer and Hesiod (Apology 4. 25. 39). or the garden. perfunctory pr. maintaining both God's providence and hu free will. each and when for his part. 6. Except for short. Although with by his the city. they tore the ment which yielded I had woven with my own hands to them the whole garment. and others. Socrates is portrayed as engaging in conversation as family has to and write friends he prepares to drink the hemlock. His is drawn attention to order to strategy of herself supplying her ing (Bk. distant and opaque as the figure as of the abstracted Socrates. this solitude in prison and in the face of someone death is merely who had digested and a concrete image Boethius' of essential solitude as and could manipulate the twin tradition of all ancient philosophy poetry at a time when Western Europe had but forgotten the tradition and plunging into the simplifications of popularized Christianity. V. be it the agora. a phenomenon which. is perhaps the most poignant aspect the Conso latio. 6. is also multifaceted: is the voice of aspect of Boethius.19 In contrast. to steal as his (Socrates' Plato's inheritance they were dragging gar away if I were booty I shouted and struggled against them. in Book V. philosophy. for there is no one present to whom he can talk memory. pr. heir to the gregarious tradition of ancient context of was almost always pursued in the the academy. while Philosophy delivers her disquisition on eternity which constitutes the end of the But these two discourses and their subsequent silences are very different expressing the paradox of man work.20 from one another and the process whereby the character Boethius progresses from the former to the later is the ophy. 37. 19). the porch. like eternity.228 Interpretation and or and (When thereafter the Epicurean own me Stoic crowd. Boethius own swan song. pr. This the figure of Boethius.

cum cum audiuntur oblectant. But you see of father-in-law. O nurse of all the virtues. and children) con whatever the situation is. II. oblitaque rhetoricae ac musicae melle dulcedinis turn tantum itaque pr. "Those the indeed splendid and covered as as they are are with honey of rhetorical and poetic sweetness they delight an long as they being and heard. auribus insonare desierint insitus animum maeror praegravat (Bk. Boethius continues to insist on. pr. namque manentibus. say is true. Sed hoc est quod recolentem vehemen- tius coquit. tinue to (And I said. In response to Philosophy's prosopopoeia of "Fortuna". in which she challenges Boethius' claim to the gifts of fortune. aliquantum si te nondum totius tuae sortis piget (Bk. inquit. he replies: Et haereant.") prosperity. arguments are (And then I said. but in when the case of the wretched the sensation of misfortune lies deeper. for in every adversity tune is to have been happy. precor. sed miseris malorum altior sensus est. how much has disappeared of my honors. o virtutum omnium nutrix. "We have made a little progress. you (And then I said.") Although he has made some progress: Et ilia: Promovimus. wife. nam infitiari pos sum prosperitatis meae velocissimum cursum. the plight of man in an apparently unjust universe. Sed quantum ornamentis nostris "anchors" decesserit vides (Bk. I shall stay afloat. pr. despite his misery. Thereafter. but he Turn ego: responds with Philosophy a list of the variety of good fortune Boethius has en the following reformulation of his sense of suffering: commemoras. 4. 4. thus. 3. as if in a court of law. "I pray that they (the hold.") This elicits from joyed. still enjoys. if you are no longer completely dissatisfied with your lot. 2). He bemoans his fall from fortune in the opening elegy and presents his case before Philosophy and God. II. character still Philosophy take his immediate pain seri . in prose 4 and metrum 5 of the first book.How to Read the Consolation of Philosophy 229 suffering humanity. "What swift course of when my I look back.") insists that Boethius the ously. nor can I deny the But it is just this very fact which troubles me even more of fortune the most unhappy kind of misfor This in turn moves Philosophy to catalogue the benefits of fortune to which which Boe thius. II. II. 1-2). to focus attention on. ii)she (And said. throughout the therapy which Philos ophy applies. pr. inquam. 4. innate sadness weighs down their mind. nee Vera. in omni adversitate fortunae infelicissimum est genus infortunii fuisse felicem (Bk. inquam. inquam. the character Boethius replies: Turn ego: Speciosa haec quidem ista sunt. for as long as they remain. these arguments cease to ring in their ears. 10). illis enatabimus. utcumque se res habeant.

not only does virtue go without re wards. sed quorum atrox scelerataque mens 4. after admitting the validity of Philosophy's arguments. quod solum quanta aliud maius adiungitur. evil men naturally unhappy. by which good men are proven to be naturally happy. i. bonum" After of Philosophy and stresses fortune has demonstrated the relationship between the false goods in Books II and III. nonetheless maintains a hu man. (Bk. inquam. yourself minimum nobis ambitionem mortalium rerum fuisse dominatam. evils are able to exist at all or to go unpunished. But in addition to this there is something for. quo ne virtus tacita consenesceret (Then I said. but it is even cast at the feet of the wicked and trod upon and it suffers the pun ishments due to crimes. but all the same he still con the focus Philosophy's the apparent contradictions of hu Thus at the opening of Book IV. solved: Sed ea ipsa est vel maxima nostri causa maeroris quod. down to earth. be worthy of great wonder. the sonal character Philosophy objects has made clear the vanity of Boethius that he sought office not for per glory but in ego: order to exercise virtue: Turn Scis. IV. which fact alone you yourself judge to even greater. while evil rules and flourishes. verum etiam scelera- pedibus subiecta calcatur et in locum facinorum supplicia luit (Bk. passed over in silence. nam dignum sit ammiratione profecto consideras. nee injuria dici video vitiosos. (But that is precisely the greatest cause of my grief. vel esse omnino mala possint vel impunita praetereant.230 Interpretation after Likewise. rather in the governance of affairs the occasion virtue might not grow old. bonorum pernicie saevit. "I though admit and I do not consider that it is said wrongly that the vicious. the character the true "summum his private Boethius tinues to suffering less attention on and less. that. I). pr. cum rerum bonus rector existat. id ipsum eis licere noluissem (Bk I V pr (Then I said. thus acknowledging.) of noble To which Philosophy replies with that this desire is the last weakness minds. the validity of certain human aspirations. At huic imperante florenteque torum 3-4)- nequitia virtus non solum praemiis caret. pr. Turn ego: Fateor. worldly glory. reservation. II.) on This insistence human condition seriously elicits from derived from the Gorgias. while granting Philosophy's points. inquam. al they keep the appearance of their human body. attitude towards the issue: taking a paradox of the Philosophy the Platonic arguments. although there exists a good lord over things. tametsi humani corporis speciem servent. he claims that the problem of theodicy remains un man condition. little hold my sed materiam gerendis rebus optavimus. later in Book II. ipsa 7. are nonetheless transformed . "You know that ambition for the things I sought of this world had very whereby over me. And Boethius the character. in beluas tamen animorum qualitate mutari.D.

pr. who is there to whom these arguments would seem not only worthy of belief but even of hearing?") Soon thereafter Boethius the shines on good and character asks what the decisive question.") Turn possibility of accom ego: Cum tuas. situation unless some cause distinguishes this from pure chance?") question leads Philosophy and into a discussion of providence. But I would prefer that it not be rage allowed them that their fierce and criminal for the destruction of the good. fortuitis ("I casibus differre videatur? (Bk. cito careant patrandi sceleris possibilitate vehementer exopto 4. for what might hope for or seek to avoid. in Book V. Since he of ten apportions pleasant things for the good and bitter for the bad.How to Read the Consolation into beasts with respect to the of Philosophy intention 23 1 quality of their minds. but also bestows is appre hardship hended. malis aspera contraque quid est quod a bonis dura tribuat. I said. they soon lack this misfortune. But be less bewildered. deprived plishing evil. 33) ("Therefore there is anyone no reason to hope for or to seek to avoid anything. the character recon human aspect of work's central problem. 6). quis ille est cui non credenda modo sed saltern audienda videantur? (Bk. "When I consider your truly said. malis optata concedat. but if I revert to the judgment of mankind. rationes considero. 5. how to divine providence and human free will: Igitur nee sperandi aliquid nee deprecandi ulla ratio est. This vine of on the good and their what heart's desire to the bad.") Accedo. fortune. pr. quid enim vel speret quisque vel etiam deprecetur quando optanda omnia series indeflexa conectit? (Bk. Qui cum saepe bonis iucunda. 5-6) would domly. nihil dici verius puto. 4. V. if the sun a cosmos ruled bad alike. IV. deserti sed uti hoc infortunio (Bk. nisi causa deprehenditur. inquam. pr. I think that nothing is more (Then I said. I V. first in Boethius cile restates the prose (3) the and then in verse (3). Finally. fate. inquam. if I believed that everything was mixed together ran now the idea of a controlling god increases my bewilderment. at si ad hominum iudicia revertar. human free will which will occupy the remaining the text and which represents the height of human understanding of the uni verse. of the ("I agree". is the difference between by God and a chaotic universe: Minus meum etenim mirarer si misceri omnia fortuitis casibus crederem. "but I strongly wish that. 26) reasoning. di pages predestination. when an unchangeable order binds all objects of hope together?") In the verse section he goes a step further and views the problem as one of epistemology: . 3. IV. Nunc stuporem deus rector exaggerat. pr.

21 articulation of the on problem elicits the best Philosophy has to offer. 6-10) and are (Or is there other. Boethius the character falls into a Upon receiving the such state of speechlessness. her disquisition eternity and its relationship to temporality. that which he before perceiving the cosmos correctly. namely metrum 6 of Book I and Book V. The first re mark by the character must resolve Boethius neatly expresses his "problem". healing ignoble touch of Philosophy To which he im Philos mediately recognizes her and expresses surprize that such an august personage should condescend to inhabit lowly and environs. and goodness with the reality of human ignorance. his inability to reconcile the and suffering diagnosis: the things. is unable to per ceive the subtle interweaving 3 of things by the flame of its buried vision?) Taken together. by listing many examples of martyrs to philosophy. the two verse sections are composed in the Dimeter Acatalectic). In both passages the character Boethius first explains and verse 5 of his dilemma in prose and then again same meter in (Anapestic fact. m. As Dame Philosophy will sum it up after performing her character Boethius suffers from ignorance of self. Likewise. that her dev otees have always been subject to unjust suspicion and punishment.232 An Interpretation discordia veris nulla est semperque sibi certa cohaerent. a performance the narrator Boethius char acterized as "barking". truth. metrum reality of being. less this formulation in Book V is than intellectually sophisticated and motivated by self-pity in the by an honest bewilderment at man's episte mological position universe. Whereas his formulation of the problem in But while which was personal and naive. The purpose of this parallelism is to demonstrate that from beginning in to end the contrast character Boethius continues to focus on the hu man point of view to Philosophy's tendency to view the issues at hand from the viewpoint of eternity. no contradiction between truths the they firmly of connected one with the while the mind. a particularly striking coincidence. this final ends. prose and verse 3 of Book V parallel prose 4 Book I. ophy responds. 21. each constitute both composed in glycenics. namely. 4 of following these respective metra. a response on Philosophy's part to Boethius' dilemma and are . buried in imperceptive limbs the body. with which the work Let us now consider more closely by precisely what thius stages the character Boe so develops from the naive self-centeredness of Book I to the intellectually phisticated and phy appears emotionally balanced maturity of Book V When Dame Philoso and scatters the elegiac Muses. change and Boethius does Book I remaining the spokesman for humanity develop. In for verse since 3 in Book V is the first time Boethius the character has spoken in verse verse section 5 in Book I. of the end of and of the means the poems by which the cosmos is governed. sed mens caecis obruta membris nequit oppressi luminis igne (Bk. What is more. 3. verse. rerum tenues noscere nexus? V.

2). 5. As Philosophy puts it: II. "if you are no longer completely dissat isfied with your lot. in fact I am eager to hear them and earnestly expresses beg for them. aliquantum si te nondum totius tuae sortis piget (Bk. pr. the following terchange takes place between the two interlocutors: . perhorresco.") judges that slightly patient: Shortly plied thereafter she stronger remedies may now be ap to her recuperating quoniam rationum Sed iam in te pr.How to Read the Consolation of Philosophy 233 on At this preliminary stage of his therapy Philosophy insists dies before proceeding to harsher medicines: Sed quoniam plurimus tibi affectuum using mild reme tumultus incubuit diversumque te dolor ira contingunt. 1. by means of a gentle touch. and grief pull you in different directions. II. I. 1 1- 12). I think that I may now use stronger ones. Therefore let for a while. so that of those faculties. 5. inquit. ("We have progress. not (Therefore those of remedies which you said were a little harsher. Ill. anger. receptive power of stronger medicine." made some she said. Promovimus.) to undergo the Thus for the first time he explicitly stages of his readiness harsher his therapy. only am I not afraid them. 4. ut quae in tumorem perturbationibus influentibus induruerunt ad acrioris vim medicaminis recipiendam tactu blandiore mollescant (Bk. in your present state of mind stronger remedies are not us make use of milder ones yet appropriate for you. paulo validioribus utendum puto (Bk. which have hardened into a tumor under the soften so as to influence become disturbing to the passions. Boethius states: they can neither really benefit nor harm Boethius in his essence. Itaque remedia quae paulo acriora esse dicebas non modo non pr. uti nunc mentis es. (But since the good effects of my reasoning are penetrating into you. pr. nondum te validiora remedia Itaque lenioribus paulisper utemur. might. maeror distrahunt.) The effect of these mild remedies of towards general poetry and rhetoric is to encourage Boethius suf to take his first step health fering 11).) reviewed all And when Philosophy has the gifts of fortune and demonstrated that at the opening of Book III. sed audiendi avidus vehementer efflagito (Bk. mearum fomenta descendunt. 1). in which she will clarify the difference between the false goods of for tune and the true good. (But since a great crowd of passions has settled upon you and pain. When Philosophy has definitively demonstrated the inadequacies of all for in tune's gifts and is about to delineate the form of the true good. Fortune has in by admitting that despite his immediate been kind to him.

inquit. the Consolatio portrays that of one who has twice forgotten of a neophyte not but the re-education of a lapsed philosopher. Boethius' increasing insight and self-con reasons fidence are expressed in the following passage. assentior. and second time. he has reached a as his ability to level of the education see into the nature of self-awareness where the truth. since for a second time you remind those a then she for things. that accurately describe his condition is. 12. inquit." she said." be very I means. and proclaimed when Philosophy has explained the nature of that it is to be sought within and not without. "I me of licet iam prospiciam." said. nee ordo est deinceps quae sit vera monstrare. if seen into it. the next step is to demonstrate what true happiness see. inquam. memoriam corporea contagione. inquam. planius tamen ex te audire 12." not know. 1-3). agreement with am in strong Plato. Memini." "And indeed I do I said. pr.234 Interpretation mendacis Hactenus formam felicitatis ostendisse suffecerit. confessed "by which the universe "I remember. Boethius again states that he can anticipate Philosophy's line vehementer of reasoning: Turn ego: Platoni. the memory of which I first lost through contact with the body." "What. although I already foresee the answer. Even more importantly. nor power to nor kingship. "that I nonetheless my ignorance.") Here. Ill. inquam. because I was overwhelmed with the weight of Then you consider the points you you remember what you grief. 9. nee umquam rationibus accedam breviter exponam dubitandum putabo. ilia. 1-3). inquam. primum quod mole pressus amisi. 4). "that sufficiency nor cannot appertain to wealth. "If long said. ne illud quidem longius aberit quin recorderis quod te ait nescire confessus es. sed quid afferas. Ill." have clearly is. me fuisse confessum. nee opibus sufficientiam nee regnis potentiam nee reverentiam dignitatibus nee celebritatem gloria laetitiam voluptatibus posse contingere. too. I desire to hear it more clearly from your lips. sed ex te apertius cognoscere (Bk. quibusque in hoc . Mundum. desidero (Bk. Quid? inquam. where for the first time he for himself without the aid of Dame Philosophy: dubitandum putabas.") crack. An etiam causas cur id ita sit deprehen- disti? Tenui malim quidem veluti rimula mihi videor intueri. pr." I said. (Then I said. you ("Let the preceding suffice to show the form of false happiness. but he the tutelage dawning ability to dis Philosophy to attain full in the true good sight. Atqui video. inscitiam meam Quibus. Later in Book III. before "The recently have already conceded. Ill. nor honor to office. he can the character Boethius expresses things. pr. gubernaculis mundus regatur. but. causes glory to fame. case?" if through Here for the first cern time the character still needs Boethius expresses a of for himself. nam me horum iam secundo commemoras. hunc deo quidem regi paulo ante minime Ne nunc arbitror. dehinc cum maeroris Turn ilia: Si priora. (Bk." joy to "But have as you also grasped a slender the "I think that I catch a glimpse why this is the but I prefer learn would to more clearly from you. it should confessed you did not is controlled. quam si perspicaciter intueris. dudum concessa respicias. pleasure.

inquam. (Bk. quibus maxime Ne id. tor to question her reasoning and to suggest that her argument might be circular: when Finally. providentia quaestionem pluribus aliis implicitam dixisti re enim an esse aliquid omnino et quidnam esse casum arbitrere. inquam. Philosophy Ludisne. debitum reveharis aperire. paulisper aversa tibi qua patriam tramite Haec autem etsi perutilia cognitu tamen a propositi nostri sunt. to turn the direction of her towards treating and of explaining Then I said. 1. qua egrediaris me inextricabilem labyrinthum nunc vero quo rationibus texens. IV. "nor shall I ever think that it can be doubted. He longer sophisticated re remains a spokesman for the human point of view. pointed As I have already states out. weaving pr. with but what you said about the question of providence wonder whether you being up many others. promissionis absoluere viamque Turn ilia: Festino. "by an inextricable labyrinth with your arguments. prop Boethius the character is by now an active enough interlocu erly speaking. verendumque est ne deviis fatigatus vereare. 2-5." 235 she said." "Nor do I think I. progressively pr.) makes the bold assertion that evil does not. & Bk.3). the character Boethius in Books IV more and more more and V re the central question of the Consolatio in sophisticated terms and thus elicits sponses from Philosophy (see Bk. 30) you playing with I said. ad emetiendum rectum iter ea sufficere non possis. inquam. spoken and was about other matters. exist. and now you exit where you en tered. esse sed quod tu experior. tuaque prorsus auctoritate ego: Recta quidem. prorsus nam quietis mihi loco fuerit delector Simul. Ill. inquit. For I Then think chance exists at all and what sort of of thing it up she said. V. speech indubitata fide constiterit. quae nunc quidem introeas. (She had nihil de sequentibus ambigatur pr. Thus to the opening of Book V he is ir confident enought of his abilities insist that is fraught she with discuss the question of chance despite her relevant claim that the question difficulty and is somewhat to the progress of his therapy: orationisque cursum ad alia quaedam Dixerat Turn tractanda atque expedienda vertebat. and I shall briefly lay before reasoning by which I came to this opinion. . 1. an mirabilem quendam divinae ("Are simplicitatis orbem complicas? me. or are you winding some marvelous circle of divine simplicity?") Thus he is by the end of Book 1 1 1 the character Boethius has reached the point where beginning to see things for himself and to take a more active role in the dia with logue Philosophy. "Your before is." of Philosophy now. V. agnoscere. "you were of the opinion that in no way could it be doubted that so said you the this world is ruled by God. but he is no plagued with blindness and dumbness. dudum de Quaero exhortatio dignissima. i-7). so that now you enter where you exited. introieris egrediare. cum omne disputationis tuae latus (Bk. "I am in a hurry to my promise and to open the way by which you might return to your pay the debt fatherland." 12. I now experience in fact." exhortation is proper and most worthy tied your authority. pr.3-m.How to Read the Consolation ("Recently. he taking place can now manipulate and and determine the direction at of the discourse between him Philosophy.

For a discussion of the question about the work's ending see Gruber. What is more. it is in fact the only pos to the work." at which I said. so. to know." by I side-tracks.22 and have led some to suspect that the of of the development Boethius the character is correct. 22. cit. Philosophy's specific capabilities at transformations calculated to correspond Boethius' any given stage of his therapy. And what the voice says represents the successful completion of the work's cen tral project. does she undergo an analogous as transformation from "Icon" Furthermore. does Dame Philosophy the voice of being. Likewise. and an im Likewise. has nonetheless transformation from a passive and prostrate victim of fortune to an active and vigorous partner in the quest for the solution to the central human di lemma: how to harmonize The Boethius' being and becoming.236 Interpretation although useful These matters. too. the only time he speaks in Boethius also approaches the status all verse after verse of 5 of Book I.) the function of Thus we see that the character Boethius. conviction. in the construction of the elaborate poem which the Consolatio. So by the end of the work the character Boethius. the character the author Boethius who can manipulate kinds of discourse.. "for it most with those things in delight. I to shall demonstrate. are nonetheless somewhat removed from the you not would path of our undertaking and it is to be feared. the ending is conclusion sible satisfying longer problematic. 414-15. which had been con character and recounted the human Boethius the by Boethius the narrator. by assuming determin ing the course of the dialogue. Boethius himself. Boethius the author has portrayed the no evolution of the character Boethius into the narrator Boethius and has of hinted at the further development Boethius the at narrator into Boethius the author of the text. sections of character silence in the last Book V and the fact that of the author Boethius has not framed his vision of Philosophy with a description her departure have troubled many readers work is But if my analysis unfinished. under three guises: age of and character. by his restatement of the problem in epistemological terms in verse 3 of Book V. to harmonize just being as and becoming. too. instead of merely reacting to the initiatives of Dame Philosophy. refracted We have seen that Boethius' presence in the text is into three appear facets: author. while undergone a remaining the voice of the human condition. just as the character his dialogue with Boethius "Sybil" transformation in the course of Philos to are ophy. is now seen to be one of the voices of Boethius the author. Thus the voice of trasted with Philosophy voice of the end of the work. an aspect of the whole tradition undergoes a of ancient philosophy. fatigued journey. narrator. is approaching the status of Boethius the narrator. lest. however. both is the text of prose and verse. . so. pp. be up to completing the right be like a rest to become acquainted since "Have no fears all. op. for human hopes determinism of and prayers are validated within a universe under the strict God. every let there be side of your argument no has been constructed with the strongest doubt about what follows.

by means of a gentle touch. ut quae Itaque lenioribus in tumorem perturbationibus influentibus (Bk. and finally towards "intellegentia" My claim is that Dame Philosophy adapts herself to to each stage of this progress and thereby presents a of appearance Boethius the character at each of the four levels knowledge. might. The transition from imagination to 23. powers of speech and sight (see Bk. portrayed as mired a Thus in Book I. which allows being to perceive the general form apart 28). induruerunt ad acrioris vim medicaminis recipiendam tactu blandiore mollescant I. the senses. Philosophy. pr. the only means of to understand. in order to restore his pr.How to Read the Consolation The ter most efficient of Philosophy 237 of way of making clear the evolution Philosophy's charac is by reference to the epistemological structure of the work. so that those of faculties. Thus Philosophy her persona of icon and puts on that of Muse. realm of where the character Boethius is in the the senses. In the Consolatio Philosophy's assumption of role hints at what is made explicit in the and of last prose section (#8) of Book II. namely. whereby the text to follows the progress of Boethius from "sensus" to "imaginatio". .) Here "tactu stage of blandiore" Boethius' obviously therapy is one where refers to the gentle touch of verse. different "ratio". 5. the human begins to exercise faculty of imagi from its puts off nation. 2. in therapy prosopopopoeia of and the analo- Socrates' Perhaps this procedure was suggested by Fortune's the laws in the Crito of (50a ff. herself of the senses. 2. where Philosophy. she again 7). 12). employs one of imagination's ful instruments. when properly understood. in this also case the sense of touch. course of her speech herself. 4. in her tempt to reconcile Boethius to his lot. have hardened into a tumor under the soften so as influence disturbing passions. us make use of milder remedies (Therefore let which for a while. the imagery forth her nature as it will unfold itself in the the dialogue. In both case of the case the powers personified defend their prerogatives in a kind "apologia". to become receptive to the power of stronger medicine.). with a the elegiac Muses to rout and is avails faced Furthermore. which at this of the principal means of care. that Fortune. namely. of Philosophy she lead Boethius from an exclu sive preoccupation with his personal situation and to instill in him his an understand ing of the nature fortune in general. This transformation is strikingly at most power signaled in the second prose section of Book II.23 And in the playing the role of Fortuna alludes to various products of the Fortuna as Philosophy by imagination such as history. towards reaching Philosophy has recourse to the sense of hearing as a means Boethius in his present condition: paulisper utemur. seeks to In the second book. the theater. V. is not in itself an evil but a great teacher. and epic reason (see Bk. order reacting to make to the blows of fortune in merely uses personal way. Boethius' pr. in he is an prepared herself apparent to Boethius. Her first appearance is that of whose person and raiment shadow course of icon. I. tragedy. when she has put dumb and blind Boethius. pr. In addition to sight and touch. specific embodiment in matter (see Bk. II. 11 -13).

IV. the appropriately hu to another.g.. Thus "ratio". 1-3). . discussion. focus in turn leads to the human free main- felt contradiction between the two concepts. But the its dimensions from time and space.g. she emphasizes the affective power of poetry to change moods and dis positions which was needed of pure philosophy. IV. Bk. I myself brought it That is. Ill. 1. IV.. Boethius describes himself as en chanted by the charms of Philosophy's poetic remedies" discourse. 58". habitum vel exspectavi vel. quod est verius. by my conveyance.) The image of wings and the insistent travel motif characterizes reason as a spe cifically human realm of mode of with knowledge. Bk. By redirecting the conversation and by articulating the paradox of . must be forever in man mode of motion.. with all disturbance removed. In her Philosophy charac nature of poetry and the function it has served in a philosophic ther . condition of your mind was expecting this or. (Bk. pr. the realm of not being work and eternal rest. This second problem and its solution will constitute the conclusion of the in the half of of Book V. i.) 1. shall attach wings (And I to your mind by means of which it will be able to lift itself on your high.238 Interpretation gous transformation of Philosophy from Muse "Magistra" to is clearly also marked at the opening of Book III (see pr. of to involve him in the process of reasoning (e. 2. meis etiam vehiculis revertaris (Bk. 3). phy will play the role of a delivers lectures in which she sets pr. but response ready for the "somewhat harsher terizes the apy: of pure reason. eumque tuae mentis pr. The purpose and effect of this process are concisely represented at the opening of Book of the soul: IV. along my path. so that. 7). Since the human of being is born into the becoming. to render Boethius receptive to the stronger medicine Thus throughout Books III. where Philosophy in borrows Plato's image of the wings Pennas depulsa etiam tuae menti quibus se sospes altum tollere possit adfigam. knowing must move one point ultimate goal of this movement is the a "homeland". pr. what is truer. and initiates new avenues pr. and the "magistra" opening sections instructing her 7ff. character changes the course of the which At the dialogue beginning by focusing Book V Boethius the on the question of chance. Ill. sometimes she questions her pupil 3. divine providence and will. mea semita. as we have already pointed out. ipsa perfeci . Ill. (And I about. of Book V Philoso "alumnus" Sometimes she forth doctrines in a straightforward format so (e. Boethius himself comments on the argumentation.). sets forth arguments of his own.9). & Bk. IV. you might and safely turn back towards homeland under my guidance. At times. 6. ut perturbatione in patriam meo ductu. though it is way towards the truth. & Bk. as pr. is the truth itself.

eratic Thus. intellectual infancy to adulthood. Upon recognizing (Bk. V. no longer sees her merely from What is more. it merely transcends it (see Bk. 24-39). but ways of Philosophy dazzling and begins to says speak as a prophet more ess. sition where roles without which pupil would never to a po he is to receive her divine teachings. 3. I. II. Boethius adresses poeia of trix" her but as "virtutum omnium nu- (Bk. Throughout her the disquisition and on the four modes knowledge. capabilities of Philosophy nor adapts herself to the Boethius and interprets being to him in terms he is prepared to understand. 4. of difference between "aeternitas" analogous distinction between "providentia" "perpetuitas". nonethe most less her important role in the dialogue is to constitute the second voice mediator which makes the interior dialogue of thought possible and to serve as between the whereby character Boethius and the realm of being. hi figure. although at first sight Dame Philosophy might seem an unchanging. is represented by of and thus by implication in the of the role of the a sudden change verse section nature of the a dia very logue. that is. own private nurse Thus Philosophy is now Boethius' characterized not as as a the excellencies of the human of soul. Philosophy as she speaks as an oracle hu man audience. Boethius. To effect of final step into the realm of the eternal Dame Philosophy undergoes her final metamorphosis: she takes "magistra" and assumes the persona of Sybil. but being itself. an appropriate appearance for the mouthpiece of eternity. not . 1). pr. This address represents a force nourishing all development in Boethius' understanding his interlocutor: he his own personal point of view. Muse. Boethius little than a per functory of "yes" or on "no". This Hermes-like role. Philosophy and Magistra. able Likewise. the mouthpiece of change of divine This character Philosophy's role. In the first half active part Book V (through once 3) Boethius takes in the discussion. a power neither merely human realms. in the "praevidentia". he aptly describes Philosophy. rather her Sybil is is the have not the negation she culmination of progressed her former roles. After Philosophy's prosopo Thus in Book II. as 4. his transition from "Fortuna" Philosophy is that power which oversees his growth. But herself says concerning the four modes of as knowledge. Thus the "ratio" of conveyed Boethius to the frontier they this are incapable bearing off him into the the mask of wisdom. 2). of the higher does not invalidate the lower. realm of eternal his "patria". that is. pr. as his nurse. Philosophy Icon.How to Read the Consolation taining seemingly contradictory command of of Philosophy up the of 239 propositions Boethius both displays his full ultimate the faculty. propounding the God to man. bound "wings" faculty as it is by have of of reason and shows limitations of that the human dimensions time and space. fully divine which acts as intermediary between the two The epithets with which underscore Boethius the character from time to time addresses his interlocutor that Philosophy's function refers to as her for the first time Boethius her as "nutricem intermediary. pr. and on the two revealing divine truth to subsumes and a forms necessity. as nurse of all the virtues. meam" is.

although firmly within tradition of ancient philosophic to a degree which no previous Boethius' use of the genre is attained. This ladder is the dialogue of humanity to the heights of di by means of discourses drawn from the to correspond to whole tradition of Greco-Roman at Boethius' antiquity all calculated stage of receptivity of any given rung. internalized This practitioner of the genre had interiority reflects the alienation of Boethius the author. she further provides the means. passim) aspects some fashion on the way to wisdom. dialogue but it tion available to him. Here Philosophy's expressed: she function as guide or not interme the diary itself. Philosophy is. that 24. where the figures embroidered on her garments The pi (the practical) and the theta (the theoretic) connected by described. To summarize. Every human being. in "veri IV. he addresses pr. the three-fold persona of Boethius in the text: as author. in other words. is a as "summum lassorum solamen ani- morum" (Bk. accuracy the complexity of human he or she pronounces the word "I".240 Interpretation as excellence itself.24 fortune. Ill. phi losophy to is not wisdom when but the Dame Book III. "I bought the paper this morning". the dynamics of him to achieve a great deal more than a simple por and complex intellectual alienation. that as the greatest comfort of Philosophy or as a curative means figure whose monic" "hermeneutic". the narrator the of (Theaetetus 150b ff. First of image of the all. "I" is involved in just this three-fold problem of tence. to the higher realm from the lower. IV. What is more. as narra tor. to be the guide weary souls. . maieutic is. one could say that. also identifies of that character with the speaker of the sentence. they constitute a subtle individual human being's epistemological condition. As mouthpiece of eternity and aspect of Boe thius himself she embraces "ra Oewgexixd" ngaxxixd" of the human condition and "rd of affording access itself which conveys Boethius from the depths vinity divine wisdom. the significance of the dialogue form the Conso latio. 2). is clearly is the way towards the light was also signaled at light This "hermeneutic" aspect of Philosophy the very begin were ning of the text. For instance. master of the tradition at a time also enables with when the tradition was in danger of being forgotten. dialogue. as guide most to the true light. the who bought the paper within the story of that Both the identity. enamored pursuit of character claims much as in Plato. addresses that is. interaction allow this interior trait of him to dramatize the only interac himself. pr. therefore. Thus function is essentially "de of the soul from one state to an the first prose section of Book luminis" other. 2). and as character. the ladder. Finally. a psychopomp. a series of steps constituting a means of ascent from the former to the latter are clear images of Philosophy's role in the text. 1. in the sen first of all refers to the character But the with "I" sentence. i. but as the nourisher of excellencies. is.) and the Socrates cast the philosopher not as the wise man but as in demonic (Symposium. Boethius the At the opening of that he is cured of his addiction wisdom. mirrors with remarkable whenever self-identity. Boethius that Philosophy as praevia (Bk.

in In a certain sense both stand outside the text: Boethius as fashioner all of transcends stories. developed to the becoming both narrator and author. the embarrassing experi ence of being caught unawares talking to ourselves. rather than to another. is the dramatization of the process of thought. Philosophy phy. and which had never been done quite so systematically before him. Both have a philosophy history: the as the can be associated with Boethius as narrator narrator has his as character in the story he narra- tells. of What Boethius has accomplished in the Consolatio is the depiction of the process text in integrating he. This embarrass is significant. either silently in the examples of either sidered somehow ment most strange. Philosophy as the image of eternity which Dame Second. lan also guage. The impulse to do so and the so are embarrassment at being observed to only proceed both instructive. rather drama whereby the three aspects interact. as drama and within one's self. to think implies the staging of thought can points of view. On the of a one hand. "I" is three-faceted. eternity Philoso for both are in a in an position to comprehend the sequence of time and the expanse of space stantaneous and all-inclusive grasp.How to Read the Consolation story. which is always subject and never ob ject. As the voice of phy obviously to Boethius as the author of the text. is in some way unusual or sign either of a great mind or of the failure to interact satis it is the "unnatural". Thus what Boethius has accomplished by in Thus to talk to oneself. Likewise both tell a story: the . factorily with our fellow humans. their rise has hers history of the various schools of ancient philoso and fall. for clearly our human ability to think has as its basis our characteristically human means of communicating with each other. But it is im simply he carefully collapses the three aspects articulates the to note that Boethius never into an undifferentiated whole. is to be con praetematurally wise or a fool. Socrates in the Symposium. to be observed doing so. On the hand. Philosophy as the representative of the the story and whole tradition of ancient of the story. of which determines what stories the narrator "I" will tell and in what manner. activity of different aloud or through the give other take of different voices. Socrates' such as cess of human thinking. tells the story was capable of composes a which stage where portant he how he. the striking thing about introduction of Philosophy as the second interlocutor in the dialogue is its accuracy as a depiction of the pro Likewise Dame Philosophy. depending And so on what aspect of the self the voice is felt to correspond to. Beyond the importance remarks Boethius' fluence. and their interaction. We have all had. as character. with of any Platonic in in the Theaetetus concerning thought as an in terior dialogue. of Philosophy 241 "I" Finally of the use of the word "I" suggests that elusive which is beyond "I" the the character and the narrator. it is Boethius' with corresponds Dame Philosophy. Now if the human voice. do or nearly had. The for a human being. As author he narrator. it is in order natural to expect that the second which we contrive to talk with ourselves. would also be three- faceted. cluding the necessary second voice in any interior dialogue. as these three aspects of "ego".

you unaware of that most ancient law of your home his city. according to which it is declared illegal is protected to exile whoever prefers to establish residence there.25 human discourse of and By now I am a better position to specify the terms and my disagreement. apart from whatever dogmatic bi of Boethius may hold. as Phi kind of very early in the work. likewise ceases to deserve to do so. Boethius by the end of the work has evolved to the point where erly disposed for entrance into the in his city. losophy states is a special which is a matter of internal disposi tion not external necessity: An ignoras illam tuae non esse quisquis civitatis antiquissimam legem qua sanctum est ei ius exsulare in ea sedem fundare maluerit? Nam qui vallo eius ac munimine continetur. that the dialogue will continue. Menippean Satire. evil. with a ases every stage of their conversation. merely for reasons of tention. partly because recognition that he no Boethius ever reach his "home".242 Interpretation tor recounts the progress of the character. Boethius' "patria" discussed. should ever For whoever by its moat and walls.) the Thus. in my introduction I portrayed as pursuing the Consolatio general education. there is indeed a clear and ordered sequence of subjects I have demonstrated in my remarks on the philosophical content. But whoever stops wanting live there. asks questions role as representative of See footnote 10. but final an (p. Philosophy as necessary for interior dialogue. First of all. 5. Anne Payne for I felt to be in characterization of the Consolatio as a text signaling the absolute understanding. as that second voice Finally. foresight Philosophy) discusses (for and freewill). On the her tendentious relativity Chaucer of all other of the dialogue form of the work. nullus metus est ne exsul esse mereatur. by means taken great pains to depict the existential knowledge.e. he is in fact prop Third. that there swers man will be insights. pr. 5). the fact that Boethius the character the human condition insistently 25. she describes the final effect of the work as follows: There is tune. he has. and conditions human thought what hand. should now be reading with greater at certain fascination. At one point in her study. clearly converses with corresponding to the progress an aspect of Boethius himself. chance. residence in which or exile from homeland. there is no to fear that he deserve to be an exile. I criticized F. no inevitable sequence in the subjects she (i. of of Philosophy unfolds the whole content Greco-Roman Boethius the speculation in a sequential order character. self to She him throughout the text her his capacities at whom Thus Sartre. happiness. if I have rightly character understood the dynamics of the dialogue. as Second. the goal promised a number of "home" he keeps asking questions. For. . 1. providence and fate. partly because for lives in time. at quisquis inhabitare earn velle desierit (Are pariter desinit etiam mereri (Bk. nor does is the times. corresponds to and adapts Boe thius the character. in fact. 59).

to trace how one human being. Menippus who produced a was fol body of Cynic dis in the Menippean form ioo. him is nonetheless nostalgic rare exceptions for the home in the realm of eternal. though similar to certain strains within the Boethius' stance. might. the him ready to enter. exhibits an awareness. rare for a philosopher. The genre was taken over into Latin by Marcus Terentius Varro (bc i 16-27). a pupil of the paradox that. Not dialogue philosophical content structured according to three different but analo gous sets of categories. the great truth itself is always treated as a mystery. and reality" Although Plato various Boethius might "cannot bear very fashion literary objects in or are portrayed aspects of the human being's progress. approach being. a had enjoyed a long and various alternating medley history before Boethius chose to Menippus of verse and appropri it for his The Syrian of own purposes. however. that is.How to Read the Consolation does not prevent of Philosophy 243 sophisticated nature of his final questions proves him from entering the city. lack thereof. is a great simplifi Plato. must not be. around bc functioned: they may have been from previous literature. declarative sentence. a Greek-speak He used ing flourished in the first half verse and prose of the third century bc. IV. though completely realized. the form alternating to write essays expressive of a Cynic's serio comic attitude towards the world and mankind. from human be ings. it would be false to deny as characteristically human. unchanging being. by his use of the dialogue form. cation of the claim that home for As man is in time and that there are no final an swers. which. Meleager. Boethius. in the drama of his own thought. form of Menippean Satire. It is unclear. that there is proceeds. Finally. the text has of also in the highly prose. who wrote no books of Menip- . Boethius is accutely sensitive to lives in the "metaxy". THE MENIPPEAN-SATIRE FORM But this only is the highly wrought text has been elaborated in yet another fashion. and then cut off by this awareness. because it cannot be portrayed directly. With tradition takes both sides of this paradox seriously achieves a with the result that at relativism its best Platonism and delicate balance of emphasis between the uncertainty Boethius' of our human condition and the instinct for being. although man and utter Consolatio. in the realm be a part of tween pure another platonic being nonbeing. refusal to depict true being in a straightforward and simplistic Thus never manner does not imply the denial of being as real. it merely which represents a pro found much which respect for the givens of the human condition. informed all other no such thing as a simple. indeed. towards being. which. exactly original how the verse sections in his works compositions or lowed course by merely quotations his fellow Gadarean. genre seems who to have originated with Gadara. not only is the work couched in the form been cast of a between two artificial which ate multifaceted interlocutors.

in cal the Menippean Satire of form. Ecole Franchise de Rome. the it actually advances the argument (e.27 question medium then arises.g. Martianus Capella verse and prose throughout the beginning to end of the Consolatio and he endows verse with functions throughout the points made metra of progress of the work. during and this period. Satires Commentaire). instead the baroque complexity of composition characteristic of much the literature produced in the Latin West c. their use of verse appears merely decora tive and at times gratuitous. why did Boethius choose this strangely artificial form as for his Consolatiol observation The first to be made about of Boethius' use of Menippean Satire is text. many important At times it serves to illustrate . furthermore. sometimes (e.26 600 fragments are extant and in which he mocked human In the first century ad Varro's lead was taken up by Petronius in the Apocolocyntosis Likewise.g. but one careful must to specify correctly the characteristics of that genre as it was practiced in late antiquity. in the second in the Satyricon and by "Seneca" . Lucian of Samosate wrote a ippean influence is strong and in which as character. sometimes of Book V). sometimes prayer the more vivid images of poetry (e. . In contrast. the same in the first book his collection of Fulgentius (467-532 ad) does allegorical interpretations of classi the time Boethius inherited the myths. Traduction 1972. tire format be This is my central disagreement with Payne's approach: to take seriously the Menippean Sa of the Consolatio is an important task for contemporary Boethian scholarship. the systematic pervasiveness Fulgentius. Palais Farnese.244 pean Interpretation which some satires. No longer the genre used to poke an aspect of fun the pretensions and vanities of mankind. J. Varro's Menippean fragments is: Cebe. 425) casts his highly elaborate allegory. employ the form only intermittently. Boethius the character between strenuous dialec of tical workouts 26. Rome. century ad. (e. although Lucian shares not choose series of dialogues in himself which the Men "Menippus" sometimes appears Menippus' seriocomic stance. its istically it is of tone to undergone a radical transformation.g. De Nuptiis Mercurii et Philologiae. he does to which to employ the format of alternating given verse and prose Menippus had his name. Finally. metrum 6 Book IV). The form then seems not reappears seems to have attracted practitioners for almost three centu character ries. of foibles.. the effect of the verse sec- The most recent edition of et Meippees (Edition. metrum it serves to refresh 5 of Book I & metrum IX of Book III).g.. Mitologiarum Libri Tres. Boethius alternates verse and prose from rough and Both his alternating contemporaries. But. P. metrum 3 it is reserved for purposes less appropriately treated in . in the prose sections with Book II). Varron. namely. Thus Martianus Capella (fl. is and when cynic it in the fifth have at and early sixth centuries ad. 27. prose. Thus by genre it had on long lost its associations with the mocking tones of the Cynics and had taken ies the status of a genre appropriate for the explication of the technical lofty myster The and expressive of literary mastery of its practitioners.

in Before proceeding I should forestall a possible confusion of terms. Republic X 607b: "naXaia rig dia<j>oga <j>iXooo(t>ia re xai . A Boethius' tension between philosophy and of their throughout of teraction is accurate. as a "pharmakon". prose and I do not mean to suggest relationship between poetry and phi that Boethius has cast his philosophy in his poetic aspirations in verse. following analysis concentrates on the functions of the metra.29 in the fourth century bc Plato could refer to as a "certain ancient dis between philosophy and poetry. on first reading. and as late as Boethius. In both encountered which these respective stark settings of in many ways to that of the similes in the Il devices interject aspects of reality not to be main action. Verse in the Consolatio functions 28. which present Boethius highly artificial form of Menippean Satire in poetry is to compose his Consolatio. Thus.ev Philology. the the Consolatio appears more integrated than in other stands.g. as a potent sub- I have treated this Literature. most articulately in certain Pla tonic passages.How to Read the Consolation tions of Philosophy 245 in the Consolatio is works analogous iad. which pute". or literary. which is as good a definition as any. citadel to the sea. but if my understanding feud is a draw. On the other hand. and of the workaday world of humans at their domestic Likewise in the Consolatio. metrum 6 of Book II. the entire plot of is restricted to the bleak plane running from the Trojan chores. As early as Xenophanes. if not verse.. metrum 12 of Book III. the ally present images of natural phenomena. the outcome the text. The verse and prose sec specific mode of although the equally poetic. The most common expression of this and launched by philosophical critics against poetry false. For example both Parmenides Empedocles chose to couch their thoughts in the heroic hexameters of Homer and Hesiod." question in somewhat greater of detail in "The Consolation of Philosophy 1984. that is. of metra Menippean Satire format comparable works. in the the In the Iliad. the similes afford glimpses of the natural world of plants and animals. philosophy itself felt tension was the repeated attack as fictitious the strong pull of poetry. Lucretius followed in Latin chose the the example by Empedocles. Thus. Fall 29. what end could not But the question still does Menippean Satire have?28 allow Boethius to achieve. both terrestrial celestial. existed which otherwise he There even throughout Greco-Roman antiquity an inveterate feud. But when I speak of the losophy tions are in the Consolatio. poetry is accused of beguiling the mind with dangerously deceptive fabrications. 3 & 7 of Book IV). and sometimes refer to the characters of history and myth (e. in fact. the philosophy is not to be found in any one discourse but in the arrangement of the work as a whole. as a Work of in The American Journal p. much the same arguments could be applied to the variety of discourse to be found in the prose sections as well. Menip pean Satire is often defined as a potpourri of verse and prose. much of what we term ancient philosophy was and composed as poetry. Plato set wrote philosophical closet and dramas. verse sections continu and all of which takes place Boethius' within prison cell.

Thus the first four lines Trista v. I. any remedies. materiae scripto conveniente suae." in La 30. 56: Flebilis ut noster status est. 4). 8 & ii). I. least on one level. Thus the whole work can of be read. 4. Derrida's treatment of the theme Dissemination. Meanwhile lated to further the The first Philosophy will wield verse in a variety shall of ways. pp. its effects can be harmful or how it is used and by whom.31 his fall from for firmly the tradition of Latin Dame Philosophy her then appears and scatters the elegiac own Muses. has lores Sed abite scenicas meretriculas ad hunc aegrum permisit accedere. Musis curandum sanandumque relinquite ("Who.") Thus verse is not viewed as on beneficial. you as an ass to the lyre?") "pharmakon" I of course owe the concept of poetry as a in Plato's Phaedrus in "La Pharmacie de Platon. verum dulcibus insuper meisque eum alerent venenis? potius. 19-20: Me sola Musa levat loca iussa petentem. 1. use made by Philosophy of verse is what I term "the affec Early in Book I. Not only specific well-known passages of echo many of the topoi conventional to the genre Boethius also echoes Latin Elegy. But off with you. all calcu Boethius' progress of therapy. comes nostrae perstitit ilia fugae. especially from Ovid's Tristia." illabuntur tuo an ovog Xvgacf! (Bk. atque animo things. or are these she said. Paris. after giving Philosophy asks Boethius: Sentisne. I. haec ("Do you perceive the stoical advice to resist fortune (Bk. ita fiebile carmen. The Consolatio tune in a poem opens with within Boethius the character bewailing elegy. in addition. inquit. "and have they penetrated your mind. "has allowed these theatrical bawds to approach this patient? Not not only do they tend him with sweet poisons. removes verse from After expressing his inabil ity to perceive the hand of God in human affairs in the fifth metrum of Book I character will not speak Boethius the in verse again until the third metrum of Book V. Sirenes usque in exitium dulces. to J. pr.30 Who applies applied are essential factors contribut at ing is to its eventual good or bad effect. p. in fact. she said. 1)." (Bk. while lines 5 & 6 clearly quoque allude to Tristia iv. depending Boethius' essentially pernicious. I. 1972.246 stance of Interpretation mysterious. are the meter and 31. m. du Seuil. 1 . quae do- eius non modo nullis remediis foverent. they feed him on you Sirens sweet even unto death. . the pharmakon and how it is which can either cure or kill. And the first book of the Consolatio may be read as an account of how hands and appropriates it for her own Philosophy uses. and leave him to be cared for and cured by my Muses. 108-33. almost magical. Editions . inquit. but she immediately substitutes Muses in their stead: Quis. as the history of the right and wrong uses this pharmakon which verse. properties.

II. with the shadows false affections removed. choose to call a second.How to Read the Consolation The implication is that in his the of Philosophy 247 of present condition Boethius is incapable lyre hints at receiving healing truth of philosophy and the mention of the the instrument necessary change of heart. I. 3-4). m. sed adhuc contumacis his therapy poetry is the Et ilia: Ita est. 21). be able to recognize the splendor of the true light. nam quae pr. Ill. hanc pr. verse. that passage which In Book III. Even Boethius himself viate of complains of deeply rooted sorrow (Bk. qui tempus ab aevo ire iubes (O stabilisque manens das cuncta moveri . all things to ) in the entire This is the only verse section Consolatio to be the composed in dactylic in the text pre- hexameters. when the apply those measures which penetrate verse comes deeply. indicates its which fact taken together with poem's central position status as the acme of verse's career in the work. . Philosophy had hinted the power of verse to reveal.") into play. enable who order time to proceed move from eternity. et earn mentium constat esse naturam ut quotiens abiecerint perturbationum caligo verum mediocribus veras. II. (And she said. This ability of verse to illumine is prayer to God as ruler of the cosmos: O qui perpetua mundum ratione caelique effectively in the gubernas. Accordingly it . at I its power Already most in Book I. 3. you who govern the cosmos with constant reason. I certain comforts shall preparatory to the cure of your persistent pain. in the recently central cited. so that. to shed light on real exercised ity. imagination. 2). while remaining stationary. 9. most 3. inquit. terrarum sator. dimotis fallacium affectionum splendorem verae lucis possis agnoscere (Bk. inability of verse and rhetoric to alle Philosophy insists that at this stage tui remedia. 1-3). ex quibus orta ilium intuitum. for these measures are not cures for your illness. and who. namely. Ac cordingly. 6. they For are merely time is right.) This affective use of poetry will prevail throughout Book Boethius' II. falsis opinionibus confundit ut induantur. (Bk. of minds (But since it is not yet put on time for stronger remedies and the nature opinions as often as is so consti tuted that they false they divest while themselves of true ones and which clouds from these false opinions there arises a shall attempt fog of disturbing passions a the ca pacity for true insight. "So it is. loftier use of to illuminate. in profundum sese penetrent cum tempestivum fuerit ammovebo (Bk. Philosophy describes her use of verse as calculated to which will be able to effect the Boethius' respond to emotional state: Sed quoniam firmioribus remediis nondum tempus est. haec adversum curationem he can expect: enim nondum morbi quaedam doloris fomenta sunt. paulisper lenibus tenebris fomentis attenuare temptabo. begetter of earth and heaven. later in Book I. in the course of when which Philosophy appeals principally to the ultimate pr. I treatments you might of moderate for little to disperse this of fog with mild strength.

leader. principium. this the does indicate the decreasing from its employ un importance of verse as is it therapy of philosophy advances. Metamorpho ses. I. pr. tu requies tranquilla piis. Book I began in verse. quicquid praecipuum trahit perdit cum videt 12. end.32 But because Orpheus am sure gest was a stock I that this description of a poet's failure to regain his wife is meant to sug the ultimate inability poem of verse to grasp and keep whatever truths it might convey. in Books IV and V. with long lecture "providentia" these words Quodi te musici carminis oblectamenta delectant. loses whatever excellence he bore. for he who is overcome and when bends his sight towards the Tartarean cave. . iv. inferos (Bk. Seneca. hexameter poem ex and end of all moving things: . Philosophy explicitly describes She prefaces a verse's dimin on ished role at this stage of philosophic therapy. (For you are the cloudless sky. path. Therefore. closes with prose. 6. nor insignificant that. designed to demonstrate the placed a harmony being nature and pressing the becoming. Ill. But soon conveyor. is that the soul's voyage towards celestial truth it should not look back on terrestrial realities: Vos haec fabula quicumque mentem nam qui respicit in superum diem ducere quaeritis. the goal is to perceive you. vector. . semita.) type of the poet in much Latin literature. all in the same being. tu namque serenum. derived in large measure from Plato's philosophical content of Timaeus. IV. . middle. Georgics. though not a definitive dismissal of verse der Philosophy. whereas verse will appear and ended less frequently.248 sents a which Interpretation cosmology. 9. to be found in the text the poem itself. 52-58). your mind (This tale concerns you who seek to lead to the daylight above. For Orpheus as the type of the poet see Virgil. At the very heart of of a philosophical treatise. Hercules Furens 569-91. hanc oportet paulisper differas voluptatem dum nexas sibi ordine contexo rationes (Bk. peaceful rest for the good. dux. Boethius has of God as beginning. The of stated significance of legend. Ovid. x. terminus idem (Bk. in of terms of the whole the second half the text will be ex pressed.) of thereafter the status of verse as an instrument philosophy begins the to decline. 1-77. m. 26-28). Book V opens and Furthermore. beginning. 453-527. he sees the world below. Book III ends with a poem pheus describing on the descent into Hades of Or in order to rescue Eurydice. Accordingly. 6). m. te cernere finis. 32. Tartareum in specus victus lumina flexerit.

rerum tenues noscere nexus? V. dulcedinem. longer restored by which you might all the more firmly struggle onward. Since the fifth in verse. 3. comprime fluctus et quo caelum regis stabiles immensum m. and with the same turn such changes? you control Ruler. versat Fortuna vices? Rapidos. lubrica . V. it towards philosophy curing ignorance. For why does slippery fortune rushing waves. I. foedere terras (Bk. But this is not the last in Book I Boethius the just about word on verse in the Consolatio. and concludes the same lecture with the following remarks Sed video te iam dudum et pondere quaestionis oneratum et rationis prolixitate aliquam carminis exspectare ulteriora centendas fatigatum firmior in (But I see (Bk. sed mens caecis obruta membris nequit oppressi luminis igne (Bk. verse metrum character has not once spoken Then suddenly. you must 249 defer this pleasure of musical song please for a little. fix matter as and stabilize the earth. accipe igitur haustum quo refectus that for some time now. complained: with which works comes to an end. quiet the bond by which the great puts heavens. you look forward to some poetic sweetness. it only now hand in hand serves as a rest stop on the arduous way towards truth.) In Book V he the follows: Quaenam discors foedera causa resolvit? veris statuit rerum Quis tanta deus bella duobus ut quae carptim singula constent eadem nolint mixta iugari? veris An nulla est discordia semperque sibi certa cohaerent. as his last words in the text at all. Nam cur tantas .How to Read the Consolation (But if the delights while of Philosophy you. receive therefore a draught. m. 1-10) . 57). burdened by the weight of the question and fatigued by the extent of our reasoning. who govern all fuse to contain as ruler within the deserved fixed purpose. firma (You rector. it is only human affairs which you re measure. he breaks into on 3) be fore on Philosophy and launches into her disquisition "providentia" the four modes of knowledge. it is merely restorative. m. the eternity perpetuity. longer works it had been in with Books I-III. (Bk. I weave together lines of reasoning connected one with the other in strict order.). 25-29 & 46-48). In Book I Boethius had Omnia certo fine gubernans hominum solos respuis actus merito rector cohibere modo.) as Verse is no characterized as affective or no illuminating. on and "praevidentia". 6. IV. things with 5.

vehicle But for meter losophy stration. the variety of prose As Dame Philosophy the opening of Book II: rhetoricae suadela non Adsit igitur nostra dulcedinis. it sings measures now soft. buried in unable by the fire of its buried vision to discern the subtle final Boethius the interweaving things. only when it does not abandon our handmaid in our household. of that least as Boethius handles it. so that the same propositions. in verse one fills more or less impor his and tant functions.) note It is important to couched that these words of character are in the same meter as the last verse he spoke in Book I (Anapestic Dime ter Acatalectic) and tion as the former being less verse section poses essentially the same ques is the relationship between the realm of unchanging but that it does so in the unpredictably various world of humanity and that this what latter personal and emotional terms and with greater self-consciousness and episte mological sophistication. laris nostri vernacula nunc leviores nunc graviores modos succinat I. thus demonstrating correctly acquired ability to manipulate the "pharmakon" of verse Throughout its it career in the Consolatio. 8). depending Boethius the newly beneficially. but the mind. grave in its music. when taken one by one. Philosophy whole work opened with Boethius' in Book V may be seen in the first metrum illustrates her definition of chance in elegiac couplets. verse. is judged according to the criteria puts at of philosophy. too. are valid. has transformed the Boethius' is the only thing the two poems have in common. is more than a simple A parallel to the character where book. 33. is the first metrum of the final use of verse Boethius' book composed in that same meter. character speaks last time.) In this regard its ancient feud the canon of Boethius may be seen as coming down on the side of philosophy in with poetry. as well as styles. for the value of the latter is strictly determined by the former. Phi self-pity into an instrument of philosophic demon .250 Interpretation undone (What discordant cause has contention the bonds of things? What god has established such between two truths. now precepts and while. which ad along the straight path. II.33 on the stage therapy involved. But the situation is considerably more complex than at this. as token of his successful cure and new maturity. so. is of firmly cohere one with the other. In the first book Dame verse "pharmakon" Philosophy the hands much as a mother would take a potentially dangerous Boethius' object from her infant child. hac (Bk. which. I interpret this development from Boethius' as the last stage of verse's career removed throughout the of Consolatio. for Menippean Satire. quae turn tantum recta calle procedit cum instituta deserit cumque musica pr. power of (Therefore let there be vances as a sweetness' present rhetorical persuasion. Just as the lament in elegiac couplets. Philosophy of then proceeds to make use of that same course of verse "pharmakon" as one means among many in the therapy. Thus. In the end. should refuse to be joined together? Or in fact is there no discord and among truths imperceptive they always limbs.

philosophic dialogue (Bk. thinking of 35. a Boethius the author presents to the reader as an obviously implications. I. Philosophy's first appearance is described according to the Muses recalls the conventions of ancient vision literature and her rout of the allegorical methods of a Prudentius. m. Quod liquet. employ on ing the many topoi traditional to Roman forensic oratory. 6. The evo oracular. allegorical 5) are just some of work. rravXav exemplified by the following " passage 8' in the Phaedrus (245c5-246ai): akkov "tpvxfi to yag c\eixivnxov adavamv e%ei rd akko xivovv xai xivovuevov. I. Boethius the au thor is consciously playing the whole gamut of ancient wants literary genres and he to be aware of the fact. by Boethius in the composition of the Con solatio see Reichenberger. 7 n). xivijoetug. both passages are alike in exemplifying a highly wrought philosophic prose. visionary literature (Bk. Thus Boethius the character bewails his fall from fortune in the tones traditional to Latin elegy. am the kind of diction naoa addvamg. pr. when presenting the case a for his despondency form and Boethius the character speaks as if before jury. 2). Cynic-Stoic diatribe (Bk. of In this regard as well and poetry to the demands on a philosophy doing Boethius is clearly subjecting he implicitly ranks poetry level lower than fiction philosophy. 6). I. At the very core of the work. i literature (Bk. Boethius does not manipulates various really get to the heart of the matter. at the hexameter hymn to God wrought 34. I. which displays its artificiality openly. pr. But again. est haec enim nobis naturam divinam Aeternitas igitur ralium clarius interminabilis vitae tota simul et perfecta possessio. For I a thorough analysis of the genres exploited op. Although the Gorgianic features rhythmic and are more marked in Plato. rravXav uoi)g 2-5: "Deum igitur aeternitas aetemum esse cunctorum ratione degentium pariter commune Compare Book V. prose reminiscent of certain such passages another in Plato. ex collatione tempoprocedit.. i). I. iudicium est. forensic oratory (Bk. pr. in the further has object. pr. in so which we have traced in other contexts. 2ff. 3-34. Elegiac 1-6).). 3). pr. to what end? which One answer. pr. is that forms of discourse according to a canon of propri ety of form to content.34 Thus the texture the many genres included in this extraordinarily eclectic of the composition is one of great variety and one almost proudly.How to Read the Consolation alternation of verse and of Philosophy 251 prose. didactic verse (Bk. exact middle of the central Book III (metrum 9). Moreover this correspondence of ganized to message is or according to the character same hierarchical structure which informs the philo sophical content and shapes with the progress of the dialogue. 5). it constitutes a veritable encyclopedia of available . I. . I. pp. . I. and so medium throughout the work. of discourse. his reader That is. m. cit. m. pr. Thus the work opens the Boethius indulging in the lachrymose on strains of couched closes with almost Dame Philosophy's disquisition discourse to "ratio" "providentia" elegy and in a lofty. I. igitur consideremus. Nam quicquid vivit in tempore id praesens a praeteritis in futura . that is. 4. But the fact that the Consolatio itself crafted which as a text is essentially a poem. forms verse (Bk. Quid sit scientiamque patefecit.35 lution from "sensus" one mode of "imaginatio" follows the same progress from to to and finally towards "intellegentia". prayer (Bk. I. and expository prose (Bk.

pulchrum pulcherrimus ipse (Bk. 30). orderly which is Latin for "cos mos". pr. 6. to from eternity. and it is necessary that. who order all temporality motion.) circle of the uni it beholds the eye simple form with pure mental To God's the universe does not appear as a history. V. that is. always that is rightly held to be eternal. Ill. that is. for transcending the vision. that and is. as a wrought object capable of being immediately completely perceived: vitae plenitudinem Quod igitur interminabilis cui neque totam pariter comprehendit ac possidet. it is present to itself and holds as present the whole infinity of moving time. id aeternum esse iure perhibetur mobilis idque necesse est et sui compos praesens sibi semper assistere et infinitatem temporis habere praesentem (Bk. ordering the to complete a per fect whole. yourself most beautiful wielding beautiful shaping it according to a like image. eye of intellect exists on a higher plane. iubens perfectum absoluere partes 9. possessed of itself. pr. 6. V. . futuri quicquam absit nee praeteriti fluxerit. 4. pr.252 Dame out Interpretation addresses a prayer Philosophy poem to the fashioner of the universe. but as a poem. highest and while things with whom no external causes remaining stationary endow forced to fashion this work of incon stant matter but the innate idea exemplar on of the good lacking all envy. causae quern non externae pepulerunt materiae fingere insita fluitantis epus verum summi forma boni livore carens. qui tempus ab aevo ire iubes stabilisque manens das cuncta moveri. 1-9). (O you who govern the world with constant proceed reason. Through this God is depicted the as crafting the "mundus". V. mundum mente gerens similique perfectasque in imagine formans m. terrarum caelique sator. progenitor of earth and heaven. supergressa namque universitatis ambitum Intellegentiae ipsam illam (But the verse simplicem formam pura mentis acie contuetur (Bk. universe as an structured whole: O qui perpetua mundum ratione gubernas. as a sequence of events.) Finally. the Consolatio closes with a vision of God as eternally fashioning and eternally contemplating his Manet etiam spectator creation: cunctorum praescius desuper deus visionisque eius praesens semper aeternitas cum nostrorum actuum malis supplicia futura 45).) Then in Book V it becomes verse an act of clear that not only is God's creation generation of the uni "poiesis". tu ducis cuncta superno ab exemplo. 8) (Therefore that which beginning or end. qualitate concurrit bonis praemia dispensans (Bk. and equally grasps and possesses the whole fullness of life without from which no future thing is absent nor has the past flowed by. his perspective on his is that of an observer viewing a work of art: vero celsior oculus exsistit. perfect parts You a bring forth all world things from the and high.

that philosophy's proper medium A. the can view purpose of which is to guide the reader wards a perspective where he the world as God does. and arguments. and of the format of Menippean Satire we can at last draw some firm conclusions as to how one might best approach the text. ditions present of have put it. Thus. Ayer for instance. how one should read the Consolatio. is the appreciation of the "supreme as which is the cosmos. for not constituting the human fiction which might adequately reflect God's supreme fiction. the statement Boethius the character concludes the opening elegy with . dispensing within as eternity it does of his vision is in for accord with the evils and punishments future quality of our rewards for good actions. so Thus just God fashions the author universe and contemplates his work of art. Likewise. and capable of reflecting on itself as an universe. Menippean Satire allows Boethius to compose gation of the highest and most a kind of metapoem. the We have Sartre seen how the dialogue form of of the work allows Boethius to portray as the development might of Boethius the character into Boethius the narrator. the many tones of which interact so as to produce a pattern mirroring the complexity of the cosmos. as a poem. of the dialogue form. or. the goal of philosophy. too does to Boethius the fashion a text. Although verse throughout the work has been criticized and subjected to the purification of philosophy. In the end. which. such as straightforward philosophical essay treatise. J. are understood when read most literally when and as di rectly expressive of the author's intention. that is. but as the dangerous human capacity for not living up to its potential. dialogue allows Boethius to portray the existential con human knowledge. is fiction" always a means and never an end. for instance. The implication unlike this strategy is that. Therefore the must critique and subordination of verse not as to philosophy within the text casti- be understood.) Because the text God is portrayed as a poet and his creation as a poem. V. clear On the one hand it is or that we cannot treat the text as a which. Boethius does not believe is a succession of simple declarative sentences voices and but a highly wrought text. the dismissal of an inferior technique. propo sitions. a poem freed from the conventional constraints of traditional literary genres. the Consolatio as a poem assumes great significance. Menippean Satire allows Boethius to himself as a poet as opposed to a dogmatic philosopher. the best elements of definitions. CONCLUSION On the strength of the preceding analyses of the philosophical content. to God's poem. that is. in other words.How to Read the Consolation (There also remains as spectator present of Philosophy God who 253 foreknows all things and the ac from above constantly tions. able to subordinate those genres to the demands of analogue philosophy. in the Platonic tradition.

254
Quid

Interpretation
me

felicem totiens

iactastis,
ille

amici? gradu

Qui cecidit,

stabili non erat

(Bk. I,
of

m.

1

,

21-22).

(Why, my friends, did you
that he
was not

so often

boast

my

prosperity?

He,

who

has

fallen,
least

proves

in

a secure

position.)
not as

we are not meant

to assume that he speaks for Boethius the author, at

these
when

words stand

in their immediate
metrum of

in the final

have already seen, Likewise, Book I Dame Philosophy advises Boethius to cast
context. as we

out all
phy's

hopes

and

fears,

this exhortation cannot
never mind as

be simply

accepted as

Philoso

last

words on

the subject,

the

opinion of

the author, for the

same character of

in the last
hand to be

sentences of the

text

will

eloquently defend the validity
to

human hope (Bk. V, On the
other

pr.

5,

44-48).

subject

the text to a
at

structuralist analysis or

decon

struction would

inappropriate,
or

least

at

this stage of our understanding, for

both these
the text

methods arrogate

to their practitioners a privileged position vis-a-vis
conscious

and of

downplay

ignore the

craftsmanship,

and

thereby

the in

tention,

the author. In the case of the Consolatio the

foregoing

pages will

have

given us good reason

to suppose that whatever strategies we may tease out of the

text were

deliberately

inserted

by

the author as elements in a larger construction.
we understand

Thus,
would

until we are confident

that

the intended
of

interaction

of ele

ments within

the text and the intended implications

the text as a whole, it
"difference"

be

rash and wrongheaded

to reduce the Consolatio to a set of structural

categories or

to a representation seeking to conceal or
attentive reader will notice that the

display

its

For example, the
makes reference

text

on several occasions

to the theme: "To every
heaven"

thing
m.

there

is

a season and a

time to
m. 1).

every But to latch

purpose under
on

(e.g. Bk. I,

to this motif as one element

1, 11; Bk. I, m. 6; Bk. Ill, in an underlying structure or
time this

as evi

dence
tivus"

betraying an anxiety
failure to
theme

about the existence of an appropriate

would con "tempes-

stitute a

appreciate

both the few

generic status of the text
Boethius'

being

one of the

elements which
literature36

Consolatio

shares

with

more conventional examples of consolation

and the signifi

cance of

this motif

within

the larger

dialectic

of

time and eternity, order and
approach might

chaos.

I

am not

claiming that

a structuralist or

deconstructionist

not uncover some

fascinating
us

material; I
that
we are

am

saying that the his
work.

elaborate

intricacy of

the text should

indicate to

up

against a master of construction and

instill in both the

us a

healthy humility

with regard to

How, then,

should one read

the

Consolatio! I
that of a poet

would respond

that it

requires

mind of a philosopher and

fully to appreciate the dynamics

and significance of reacts

the work. When confronted with the world the philosopher

by

giving

an account.

"ratio",
36.

and

the Greek archetype,
example,

The English word, "account", its Latin forerunner, all denote a rational explanation and
"logos"

See, for

Seneca, Cosolatio

ad

Helviam Matrem 1,
solacia

2:

"Dolori tuo, dum
et

recens nam

saeviret, sciebam occurrendum non esse, ne
morbis quoque nihil est perniciosius quam

ilium ipsa

irritarent

accenderent;

in

immature

medicina."

How to Read the Consolation
further

of

Philosophy

255

Thus the properly philosophic mode of illumine reality by coming up, as it were, with a formula corresponding to the interaction of the elements of reality. On the other hand, the
connote mathematical proportion. attempts to

discourse

poet responds

to experience

by telling a story.
both

This

poetic response shares certain

features

nance of certain

reality and the conso English words, such as "to and "to tally", "to and "to count", suggests that in some ways the poetic story is a kind of philosophic account. But always present and operative in the telling of a story is the mode, "it is as if"; in other words, the poet's story, although meant to reflect reality, is al
tell"

with

the philosophic:

attempt to represent

recoun

consciously fabricated fiction. Thus the "ancient between philosophy and poetry is feud. The philosopher and poet, like Cain and Abel, like Eteocles and
ways a
disagreement"

a

family

Polynei-

ces,

desire the

same

end, to

represent what

is, but

their respective means, the ac

count and

the story, although

they display
whole,37

a common concern

for the orderly
the phi to

arrangement of parts within a

appear

to be

irreconcilable, for
story likeness
ceases

losopher's if
read as a

account cannot tolerate

fiction

and the poet's

function

formula. As is true

of all

family feuds,

the very

of the com

batants

renders

the conflict all the more vehement.
achievement and

Therefore the Boethian demands
Boethius'

the response which that achievement

are

bold

ones

indeed, for they
poetry.

constitute various at

nothing less than the
within pr.

recon

ciliation of

philosophy and elegy at Bk. I, m. Fortuna
at

The

"stories"

the text (e.g.
pro

i and

his defense

Bk. I,

4; Philosophy's

sopopoeia of

Bk. II,
3,
and

pr. 2 and

her retelling
7)

of ancient

legends

at

Bk.
to a
of

Ill,

m.

12, Bk.

IV,

m.

Bk.

IV,
and

m.

are all subject and subordinate epistemological

philosophic account expressed most

clearly in the
account

hierarchy
story

"intellegentia"

on

"sensus", "imaginatio", "ratio", the other hand, that philosophical
Boethius'

(Bk. V,

pr.

4, 24-39);
of

is

contained within the placed

encounter with

Dame Philosophy: it is

in

a

context, it is led up
of a char

to

by dialogue,

and

it is

preferred not

in the

author's words

but in those
respond

acter within the story.

The implication merely

seems to

be that to

to reality

merely
the end

as a philosopher or

as a poet

is insufficient, for

being requires both
be
endured.

an account and a

story,
of

and the tension

between these

modes must
fiction"

In

the depiction

the

universe as

God's "supreme

suggests a possi

ble

harmony

both to But
phy

purge

between philosophy and poetry. Philosophy's account is required human fictions and to lead man towards God's perspective; but
the
world constitutes a poem and must

from this

perspective

be

read as such.

what

in

practice

does it

mean

to

read a

text

with

the dual

focus

of philoso

and poetry?

The

clearest response

is to

give a specific example.

Thus it is
the

very

likely
It is

that the reader of this paper, and
stressing this

very
and

certain

that the

reader of

37.

worth

common

feature

of

poetry

philosophy, namely, a care

for the

co

herence
rather

of parts within a whole,

in

order

to clarify the

real

difference between the two
operative

modes.

Thus

the issue is the

beauty

conflict

vs. truth, for there is a kind of aesthetic is between two approaches to the truth.

in

all philosophic

accounts;

256

Interpretation
will

Consolatio itself,
the
question of

have

realized

by

now

that the the

central

theme of the work
question

is

the

order and coherence of

universe.

The

is

not a

new

one,

even

for Boethius; but his
of

means of

addressing the

question

is

novel. com

The first formulation
plaint

the

question

is the

Boethius'

character

distressed

in the

middle of

the first book:

Omnia

certo

fine

gubemans

hominum

solos respuis actus

merito rector cohibere modo

(Bk.

I,

m.

5,

25-27). affairs which you re

(You

who govern all

things

with

fuse to

contain, as ruler, within the

fixed purpose, it is only human deserved measure.)

His
of

claim

that order

seems

to

reign over

human fortune is

Dame

implicitly Philosophy maintains that a
it:

countered

every aspect of the universe except that in the very next verse section, in which universal order does obtain and that it is man's

duty

to conform to

Signat tempora
aptans ofliciis nee quas

propriis

deus
cohercuit

ipse

misceri patitur vices.

Sic

quod praecipiti via

certum

deserit

ordinem exitus

laetos (God

non

habet

(Bk. I,

m.

6,

16-22).

stamps the seasons,

cles which

assigning each to its proper duties; nor does he allow the cy he himself has bound to be confused. Therefore whatever in its headlong

course abandons this

fixed

order

has

no

happy

outcome.)

Here two opposing conceptions of man's taposed. As Boethius the character sees
order

does

not extend man

to the realm of
exiled

simply jux it, mankind is in exile, because God's human affairs; while from Philosophy's
position

in the

universe are

point of

view,

has

himself by

failing
fact,

to

conform

to the

order

inherent
ques read

in the
tion
as a

nature of

things. What

is important to

note

is that

neither side of

the

is

guaranteed as

the author's own; in

the entire Consolatio may be
.

dialogue between these opposing
represents an attempt on

points of view

Book II

Philosophy's
are not

part to convince

Boethius the
of

character not

only that the gifts

of

fortune

by

right
of

the possession

any

human

being

but furthermore that the

apparent

flux

fortune in reality

consti

tutes a kind of order:

Constat

aeterna positumque

lege est,

ut constet genitum nihil

(Bk.

II,

m. 3,

17-18). stands

(It

stands

firm

and

fixed

by

eternal

law that nothing born
which all

firm.)

This law
suffer

of

change, according to
and

highs

lows in the turn

of

sublunary creatures are destined to fortune's wheel, when properly understood,

How to Read the Consolation
no

of

Philosophy

257
usual persona

longer functions

as

the

deceptive seductress, fortune's
teacher:

in

philo

sophical

texts, but
plus

as an effective

Etenim

hominibus

reor adversam quam prosperam prodesse cum videtur

fortunam; ilia
est,

enim

semper specie

felicitatis,

blanda, mentitur, haec
pr.

semper vera

cum se

instabilem

mutatione

demonstrat (Bk. II,

8,

3).

(Therefore, I believe that bad fortune is
ter,
while

of more use to mankind than good, means of the appearance of change

for the lat

it

seems propitious,

deceives

whereas

the

former is

always

true, for

by by its

happiness,
essential

it demonstrates its

instability.)
This
pedagogical power of
when

fortune

was

foreshadowed

and

dramatized early in
paradox of vision of

Book 1 1
address

Dame

Philosophy

put on

the mask of Fortuna herself in order to

Boethius'

complaints

(Bk. II,

pr.

2,

iff.).

What is more, the

change as
"amor"

the order of fortune gives rise at the end of Book 1 1 to the

as

the

principle of order

in the

universe:

Hanc

rerum seriem

ligat
(Bk. II,

terras ac pelagus regens
et caelo

imperitans

amor

m.

8,

13-15).
and which controls

(Love,

which rules supreme

in heaven,

both land

and sea, also

binds this

series of

things.)
response

Thus

we

have the first

thought chaotic turns out verse, seen in the light

dilemma: the very fortune which he to function according to a law proper to it, and the uni
to

Boethius'

of

fortune's law, is
author's

governed

by

a

tensile

harmony, best
of uni

described lated
on

"amor"

as

But again,

one must remember that this

description

versal order

is

not

necessarily the

opinion; instead it

represents a calcu

attempt

by

Dame

Philosophy

to

communicate with

Boethius the

character

terms

which

he is

capable of understanding.

This

point

becomes

all the more clear when

in Book III

we see that certain as question.

pects of this
metrum of

first

conception of universal order are called

into

The first
poems

Book III

reads

very

much

like

metrum

6

of

Book I, both
the

preach a proper order which

it is

man's

duty

to

imitate; but in

section,
certain

#2,

which seeks

to describe the
emerge.

nature of

this order

very in greater detail,
the
poem

next verse

troubling

traits begin to

Dame

Philosophy

opens

by

governs the uni stating her intention to sing of the means by which nature's illustrative of examples verse. There follow three ability to reassert her self despite the artificial interventions of humanity: the tame lion, who once he

"Natura"

tastes

blood,

recovers

his

wild

nature; the caged
when

bird,
to

who, though

well

fed

by

its

haunts; human captors, breaks into song tree, the top of which has been bent to the ground, snapping back straight up when released. In all three cases man appears as in some way not belonging to
it
escapes natural

its

and

the

the

nature of

course

things, for the emphasis is on nature's capacity to maintain its own despite human interference. In addition, all three examples bear associa-

258

Interpretation
which might well

tions of violence or ingratitude
ease about
and again

instill in the

reader a certain un

the operations of

nature.38

Likewise in the fourth

and

final example,
1

no place process

for

in the concluding lines man. The return of the
of man's

of

the poem, the natural order
sun

described holds
.31

every morning

at

dawn (i

-33)

is

a

independent

control;

and

the concluding generalities about the

"eternal
of

return"

of nature

certainly

suggest man's

things, for he is just that creature who seems ginning and thus to enter into the eternal round of
Repetunt
proprios quaeque recursus

singularity in the larger scheme unable to join his end to his be
nature:

redituque suo singula gaudent
nee manet ulli

traditus ordo
ortum

nisi quod

fini iunxerit

stabilemque sui

fecerit

orbem

(Bk. II,

m. 2, 34-38).

(All things any
order

seek out

their proper cycles and everything rejoices
except

in its

own

return,

nor

is

handed down to anything,

that it join its

beginning

to

its

end and

make a stable circuit of

itself.)
things celebrated in the second book is

Thus the
have

natural order of

here

shown to

precious

little to do
"amor"

with

the realities of the human condition. What is more,
as

the principle

of

no

longer functions law
of

it did in the final

verse section of

Book II,
world.
"amor"

where

it

constituted a

In Book II the turning
were seen as

or bond uniting the disparate contraries of the Fortune's wheel and the cosmic principle of

for

more

(Bk. II,

m.

counterbalancing man's lawless appetites, his eternal desire 2); thus the book can end on a triumphant note of achieved desire:

harmony

between

order and

O felix hominum

genus

si vestros animos amor quo caelum regitur regat

(Bk.

II,

m.

8,

28-30).

(O

happy

race of

men, if the love

by

which

heaven is

ordered orders your

minds.)

But in Book III

nature's eternal return
"amor"

is

suggested to

be

of

little

concern

to

man

kind final
man

and

metrum of

loses its status as a principle of order. When in the consequently Book III Orpheus attempts to rescue Eurydice from Hades, a hu
with

interference

the cycle of nature parallel to those described in the second
"amor"

metrum, he fails because his "law": 'Donamus
comitem viro

cannot

bear to be

constrained

by

Hades'

emptam carmine sed

coniugem;

lex dona coherceat,

What is more, the literary background to some of these images conjures up very unsettling Thus the image of the lion calls to mind the famous Aeschylean lion cub in the Aga memnon (717-36), while the bent tree echoes the Bacchae grisly demise of Pentheus in
38.
associations.
Euripides'

(1062-75).

How to Read the Consolation
ne

of

Philosophy

259

dum Tartara liquerit
sit

fas

lumina

flectere.'

Quis legem det
Maior lex ('We

amantibus?

amor est sibi

(Bk.

Ill,

m.

12, 42-47).
a song.

grant as companion to gift:

her husband this wife, bought for

But let

one

law

hedge in this

it is
a

not allowed to on

look back

until

he has left the infernal

regions.'

Who may impose

law

lovers? Love is its

own greater

law.)
to

Thus

all

that has

happened in the intense

progress

from Book I

Book III is the

at

tainment of a more
with

and more sophisticated sense of man's

disjunction
are

the

universe.

The up

realm of

fortune

"amor"

and

as

described in Book II

in Book III
does

shown

as

of course this

is

not the

in reality excluding all properly human aspiration. But whole picture; Boethius the author is not a Camus, he
in
"absurd"

not envision man as

an

relation with

the

world.

What has been

lacking

throughout Books II and III is a sense of man's proper place in the uni
answer

verse; but the

to this

lack,

which will

be treated in detail in Books IV

and

V, has already been foreshadowed in

the central verse section,

#9,

of

Book III.

There, in
of

the context of a prayer, all that will become explicit in the disquisitions
"homeland"

final two books, is succinctly summarized. Man does have a but he is in exile from it and his re-entry into it requires not only
the
within one

movement

dimension, but the

passage

from

one

dimension to
as

another.

it is his

possible

to characterize man's place or homeland

the lack

of a

Likewise, home, as
is
on the

pilgrim status

way towards

some

in the universe, but only very definite goal
.

with

the proviso that

man

In Book I V the
certain precision.

means of

progressing towards this
wing
the prose

goal are mapped out with a

The

significance of the
arguments of

imagery

in the first

verse section

is

elucidated not

only in the

sections

but,

even more strik

ingly, in
metrum

the

measures of

the verse sections.
not

Thus in the fifth

metrum while

the obstacle

to man's return

is declared to be,
reminiscent of

distance, but ignorance,
ignorance
and potential

in the

sixth

the

object of man's

actual

knowledge is de
"amor":

scribed

in terms

"amor"

in Book II, but

with certain all-important

differences. God is
Hie

portrayed as

harmonizing

the cosmos

by

means of

est cunctis communis amor

repetuntque

boni fine teneri, durare
queant

quia non aliter

nisi converso rursus amore refluant causae quae

dedit

esse

(Bk. IV,

m.

6,

44-48).
seek

(This is the love

common

to

all

things, whereby they

to be

contained within

the

boundary

of

the good;

for

not otherwise are return

they

able to endure, unless, with

love

turned back

full circle, they

to the

cause which gave

them

being.)
is
pro

But the

relation

between the

principle of order and

the ordered universe

foundly
"amor"

different from that drawn in the final

metrum of

Book II. There the

in the world regulating the cosmos was depicted as immanent

itself,

suggests a solution. pointed out of this dilemma and of the As I have strikingly in the in more than one context. in m. 32-35). there is no attempt nize their respective points of view. m. in the second first of each pair Boethius the somewhat character expresses his dilemma. is depicted but. expresses elicit whereas in section 3 and 4 of Book V Boethius first which his dilemma in from Dame in sophisticated terms. m. fortes. because it will require the whole process . Why. order which makes sense to human beings and makes sense of human Ite nunc. the fount and source. the law and wise arbiter of justice. metra 3 and metres of 4 of Book V echo metra 5 and 6 of Book I. what is even more important. 34-39)- (Meanwhile the lofty creator sits control turning and the reins of things. and what he has put into motion. ubi celsa magni ducit exempli via. IV. the (Now go forth. IV. terms eventually intellectually Philosophy the strong epistemological poem which is verse section 4 and which she makes a case for the existence of the more active and creative mental faculties. The expression it will constitute the content of Book V. from all movement: Sedet interea conditor altus rerumque regens flectit habenas et origo. Dame Philosophy another. even more solution to obviously bound to nature. 7. by pulling back. for if man is in one sense out of nature. he stabilizes what otherwise would wander. in contrast. 6-33).) you keep this your backs free burdens? The earth once overcome What renders order humanly satisfying. he brings to a halt. Cur inertes terga nudatis? sideradonat Superata tellus (Bk. heroes. moving in eternally order is exempt from this circularity. out of nature. obliquely. fons lex et sapiens arbiter aequi. is the fact that it is in out of nature. the king and lord. The world. he is in Book II was not. The Dame Philosophy. in a way some which the order described just as man is way what makes this of transcendence is But in some way very quality this order so inaccessible to man. where lofty of path of the great exemplar leads. The the respective poems are the same. for he is ex repetitive circles (Bk.) Thus agree by the end of the fourth book Boethius the character and Dame Philosophy an activity: that there is an order to the universe and. IV. sistit retrahens ac vaga 6.260 whereas Interpretation here the principle of order as is radically transcendent. poems real and significant sent difference lies in the fact that the two of in Book I repre verse the mere juxtaposition two opposing points of view. as be fore. In Book I to harmo de- Boethius says one thing. rex et dominus. empt the agent of 6. inac bestows the tive. et quae motu concitat ire firmat (Bk. do stars.

3. dialogue between two interlocutors who at first appear in the end complete each other's arguments. exclusive modes of requires an along with many in antiquity feel to be discourse. III. By constructing . V. 1-5) but immediately thereafter asks the paradox more self-conscious and sophisticated question. in fact several accounts. to dramatize the emergence. itself. V. on the epistemological level. op but who we are not of the merely presented with a story. By the blending these two modes of discourse Boethius the author contrives not only to dramatize the process of thought. m. is this apparent merely m. For the in Book V portray Boethius critical change of procedure Boethius' from thought to thought and making the decisive Dame Philosophy as wonders completing and tentative venture into epistemology. are here used to complement each other. Boethius not only gives an account. as in fact.How to Read the Consolation picted speak of Philosophy 261 as the same in Books II. which we an Every story explanation. of eternity. or just to tell subjecting it to the rigor of a philosophical account. or to give an account of. 6-10) The remainder of the poem mixture of knowledge and is taken up with reflections on the peculiar ignorance which is characteristic of the human mind. In the fourth workings of man mental verse section Philosophy continues these investigations into the an the human mind and claims that essential to the mind's activity is an appreciation of understanding of hu active role in perception. but human interlocutor progresses to and of condition even more important is the point where he is on the verge of viewing his human pair of poems from a radically different perspective. the result of our limited powers of perception and reasoning? (Bk. that. better story if it is not to remain sterile. Boethius' On the story are the various arguments contained within which structures the over-arching epistemological of hierarchy even more or order it. 3. and a philosophy. mind's and reason. he also tells a story about the revelation of order in the pro cess of human thought. Boethius first why the universe is so constructed as to allow the paradox of divine providence human free will (Bk. of or der in the universe. for instance in Hesiod's Theogony. essential to it and hand. is by itself unsatisfying: must lead to another. Thus in metrum capacity for creative thought while 3 Boethius the character exhibits the in metrum 4 Dame Philosophy draws her revelation of general conclusions from this in the not one example as prelude to the mysteries of eternity. imagination. He seems to imply that it is inadquate merely to give an account without story Thus poetry mutually without placing that account in the context of a story. but significantly. The various philosophical doctrines and it were. interpretation. language. and IV before Boethius and Philosophy can. every explanation a to interpret. and yet merely to explain. That is. as rise of universal order. the arguments employed are process important in a whereby themselves. we are pre as polar other Instead sented with a posites exclusively rational account of the problem at hand. We see then that progress from Book I to Book V the it might question of the or der of the universe is of an handled as have been in an Aristotelian treatise.

40. p. one could not hold official posts without being a Christian. Gordian knot by throwde divinisub- The theological treatises De Trinitate. in fact. 333-44 for an enlightening discussion of the medieval tradition of Boethian commentaries. are echoes of Christian doctrine and of the Christian scriptures to be found here and there in the Consolatio. 109. betrays its author's part a mastery of the ancient tradi tion and an ability to handle that tradition creatively. that model of perfection for the ossification of the Greco-Roman tradition under the aegis of the Christian cult. op.. Corpus Christianorum Series Latina Beiler. in which various philosophical accounts are contained within a larger story. with his own mortality Boethius are refuses to cut the is profoundly non-Christian. and in rough and guide which Benedict produced his Regula in the ready patois that spoken Latin had become in the sixth century as a to the practice of "holy ignorance". in which that epistemological depiction such a of the human condition.. and it is as certain as these matters can be that Boethius in fact wrote him. 1957. thus his role in the transition from antiquity to the European Middle Ages. Anicii Manlii 94. hierarchy ushers in the vision of God creating and viewing his creation as a poem. The information in the early which Courcelle marshalls makes it clear that although Boethius read the and was a standard author middle ages and into the twelfth century. L. which. Early in the same century in which Cassiodorus composed his Institutiones . Contra Eutychen et Nestorium. Faced 39. See Courcelle. in hierarchy. Bre- . Boethius himself was no doubt nominally a Christian: for all intents and purposes there was no other cult available in the Latin West. Consolatio. the monks who of Consolatio carefully For a were struck and puzzled by its lack any overt mention of Christianity by 41. namely. handy list of possible references Holy Scripture see: Severini Boethii Philosophiae pols. The De Fide Catholica is com monly agreed not to be the work of Boethius.262 text in Interpretation which various stories are subject to the critical account of philosophy. pp. he also demonstrates reconciliation of what is required to make depiction possible. is an unusual and complicated one. Utrum substantiae pater etfilius et spiritus sanctus eo quod sint tate substantialiter praedicentur.39 the theological treatises ascribed to eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were convinced But the fact that many scholars of the that Boethius the author of the Consolatio could not have composed Christian theological treatises together with the further fact that medieval commentators were Boethius' by and large anxious about ciation or Boethius' orthodoxy. certain arguments at variance with Christian to orthodoxy.40 by attempting to and gloss over certain troubling suggests that Christianity. Tumhout. though not anti-Christian. the poetry and philosophy. on Boethius contrives a text which avoids the complementary pitfalls of merely academic erudition and religious igno rance. stantialia Quomodo in bonae sint cum non sint bona (or De Hebdomadis). by intertwining all these strategies Boethius manages not only to produce a subtly nuanced and delicately balanced which structured that larger story is according to an epistemological and finally.*'1 but the truly significant fact is that in western There the final analysis the text. whether they expressed that anxiety in direct denun passages. cit.

works with and through these two modes of as one of middle discourse and produces a philosophical poem. mortal and nostalgic eral occasions appropriated Christianity has on sev philosophy poetry as handmaidens to revelation. he chose to practice philosophy and poetry. The Boethius' personal allegiance Christianity done among one another. with it is the nonetheless slow deeply suspicious of the artifices of poetry and impatient hard work of philosophy. Boethius. con fronted with death. is probably gentlefolk is certainly in bad taste to force simplistic statements of belief or unanswerable and it is just unbelief from What we do know. and which provided a store of poetic strategies to be exploited by to not the likes of Dante and Chaucer. which serves the few examples of philosophy" "doing question of available to the early Latin ages. . in contrast.How to Read the Consolation of Philosophy 263 ing himself onto the tricacies of that mercy of a God made man. Although and wisdom. rather he carefully traces the in knot and produces a portrait of man. ignorant and hungry for for immortality. what Boethius allows us to know is that.

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on the Most of other hand. I will also contend.1 Rousseau the first of and most influential thinkers to encourage dominant scholarly view tion in the Discourse considered Machiavelli's theory. Machiavelli's unscholarly readers. kingship. and tyranny by viewing this now the latter two as sub was one of ordinate means to the attainment of republicanism. more specifically. and the legislator. following analysis. vii-viii. virtue that Rousseau's teaching quite foreign to Machiavelli's essentially aims at gives primacy to a tragic. own preference inward-looking for a daring and warlike fortune in virtue which is that overcoming the power of political affairs to the greatest extent possible. I will attempt to show that there are suggestive par allels or family resemblances between Machiavelli's and Rousseau's doctrines of In the popular statesmanhip. In putting forward his own republican political educa on Political Economy and the Social Contract. translation of The Prince (Chicago: University Chicago Press. Cf. The core of Machiavelli's doctrine of educa and Discourses. rule whether Its periphery. the senatorial hero. have concluded after reading The Prince that his advocacy of tyranny is the center of his consciously revolutionary teaching. tied to a however. have sought to explain away his simultaneous recommendation of re publican statesmanship.The Armed Founder Machiavelli and versus the Catonic Hero: Rousseau on Popular Leadership Joseph Masciulli St. Rousseau Machiavelli tyrants and kings important ally who only feigned to give the better to teach the people how to attain and an advice to safeguard their freedom. however. notion of for the alternative of princely kingship the common good or tyranny under some circumstances. Mansfield's introduction to his 1985). expansive republicanism. A majority of Machiavelli's scholarly readers. Only . pp. POPULAR STATESMANSHIP VERSUS TYRANNY Rousseau makes clear in the Political Economy that he and Machiavelli are on the same side i of upholders of popular freedom and opponents of tyranny. Francis Xavier University I. however. . INTRODUCTION In The Prince posed to the sance of a political education op Christian that was dedicated to the renais prevailing understanding Roman republican virtue. Machiavelli disclosed tion is republican allows in spirit albeit harsh. of their notions of the armed prophet or founder. Harvey C. II.

" by Paolo M. vol. p. M. ed. 247. Nonetheless. Chapter defense defend p. cared III. vol. of the works Cucchi. rev. or Political Satire?" background to satire. 1959-). gave some showed that "in pretending to give lessons to kings. 27.266 Interpretation on statesmanship based statesmanship between the will" the general will. pp. the lover of liberty every and profound po litical thinker. This was convinced of this interpreta tion of Machiavelli's on teaching from comparing The Prince comparative to the Discourses Livy and the analysis. 1480). and incapable of appreciating the truth it hears. m. Launay (Paris. when two speakers of equal skill are heard advocating different alternatives. [Machiavelli] people. was the enemy of the papal (Book III. the excellent et son survey ed. Gagnebin and M. most accessible in the Penguin Books ed. 3. For the Prince. if in bold things and those which appear useful. 482-91. praise one would surmise. attempting to the charges of "all the (Book I. 1968). 1980). Rousseau. See the CEuvres completes de J. I have consulted the Cole Everyman trans.. 1 and for Florentine History. 918-60. 3 In his moved court and of other king's court comparative reading. 247). and tyrannical maxims archives of inscribed in the history and "the Machiavelli" satires of (P. foresaw its so much so that it seems as if by some occult virtue it [the people] own evil and good. in. Mar tin's trans. 2. very rarely does one find it [the people] failing to adopt the better opinion. References for the Prince and Discourses are to vol. For Machiavelli I have used the Opere. in. the very opposite. Walker used s trans. is legitimate: there the kind of characteristic of a regime in which is "a unity of interest and people and anny. -J. ill. thus far (Paris: Gallimard. Sergio Bertelli (Milano: Feltrinelli. 4 (Autumn 1958). 247 means vol." very good ones to the Machiavelli. but on a second. trans. Rousseau he teaches censures suggests. tyr in the historical practice of politics. I have Hugh Clough. is writing on two levels: on the surface level. and the Masters St. In this work. John Dryden and Arthur On Rousseau's relationship to and as Machiavelli. P.2 Machiavelli. Bibliotheque de la Pleiade. Machiavelli declares that it is not without reason one sees likens the voice of a people to the voice of opinione God: because one that a universal opinion [una universale] arrives at marvelous results in its prognostications. as it is said above. (University for the Discourses I cited Fr. 4 vols. he claimed. etc. i960). lecteur de PP- Machiavel. 409. princes us Rousseau tells in the Social Contract that he Florentine Histories. Raymond. Rousseau was especially by Machiavelli's who in the Florentine Histories for those leading Flor entine citizens. says Rousseau. as republican writers" 262). it errs. has are prevailed its leaders. in their city's conflict with the pope. B.. For the Political Economy. "Rousseau. Chapter 6: P. usually cited Alvarez's trans. ed. how to dominate peoples. acted so as to demon strate that they 7). in Rousseau temps. Garrett Mattingly. vn. for their earthly fatherland more than for their souls (Book More importantly. . no. 17-35. Rousseau could be confident of his interpreta tion of Machiavelli's teaching of popular republicanism popular rule against in view of the latter's pathbreaking in the Discourses. the Modern Library see ed. With regard to its judgment. "Machiavelli's Prince: Political Science The American Scholar. deeper level he tyrannical domination from the perspective of popular republicanism. Chapter 58. And. I have of Dallas Press. For Plutarch's Lives.

statesmen. of course. forming codes of civic life. A people. For. 264). Machiavelli's tial "humors" effectual justice (Dis. to by "princes" Machiavelli the leading actors in any regime: armed prophets or founders. Thus Machiavelli must stipulates that for to be defensible. a people can make mistakes when deliberating about domestic matters. Ch. And if princes are su in ordering laws. provided the speakers who are putting forth not always various alternatives are of equal skill which. bold and useful projects are at issue. prosperity. In . 1. more essen version of an implicit social contract between the two that constitute society: the great who wish to dominate 9). And to become united. as well. found. 265).. That is to say. 1. symbiotic. 58. but or rather law-abiding and united. The princely leaders have the power stemming from their virtue to order the people into an effective whole either through new orders or reformed ones. pp. 1-2): perior to peoples new glory the people is by far superior [to princes]. Like Machiavelli. This contributes the conditions for order. It can err most easily deciding foreign affairs. is less or by that and Though less on a people subject to blind passions than kings likely to choose incompetent when infamous and corrupt statesmen. still Mach when iavelli grants that a people can make mistakes. pp. and the common people who desire not to be dominated (cf. relationship and independence based in which one side im is perial power. says Machiavelli. 264). the people has the it preserves their orders in the present and to manifest its gratitude towards its leaders recog on new or renewed reciprocal and gives them glorious nition future. balance can universal or general opinion effectively be guided in its future actions it has about what is good or evil for it. that those who ordered them (Dis. too. 1. p. whereas a prince may do so (i. is popular rule the case. For a republican regime be well-ordered. But. Pr. and legislators. goodness For as its part. 57. must not the people be "well-ordered" (Dis. means In this context. peoples are so adds to the it indubitably glory of in maintaining things once established. that in the election of magistrates the people makes far better nor can the people ever choice than point does the prince. a people needs heads leaders (Dis. while the other side provides stable adherence and support Machiavelli's formula for over. it be corrupt. 1. p. 58.The Armed Founder many times It is versus the Catonic Hero passions. cf. 58. there must be a reciprocal. p. Machiavelli asserts. in goodness and 260-61. It is. establishing statutes and much superior orders. Rousseau sees the broad outlines of a solution to the prob lem of political unity in the reciprocal relationship of the exceptionally virtuous few and the many who have the potential to acquire a popular or general will. 267 more errs a prince in his own and these are much stronger than those of a people. 1. a vast be persuaded that it is good to ap to such an office a man of and infamous life be or corrupt easily in variety of ways persuaded to habits. 1. a people will usually adopt the better opinion and be able to distinguish truth from falsehood. and dynamic relation ship between the few and the many grounded on their respective needs and pow ers. 131-32).

but particular and hence pernicious can from the a perspective of a the whole society: [A person] citizen. 245). first delineate Rousseau's understanding of the general will echo and have a family resemblance to Machiavelli's teaching on the popular will in Discourses that 1. but unfortunately personal interest is found always in inverse to duty. that to those which contain obey the latter in preference duties of a citizen go before those of a senator. permanent or temporary. even more emphatic than Indeed. or a zealous patrician. of the general (P. in the Political Economy. can brave soldier.Aristotelian emphasis the unifying character the passages the idea of justice (cf. Rather." appearances of the public that is. United by their common interests. he intends it as ideal the standard that is meant to correct the atomistic individualism of Hobbes on by of application of the Platonic. reflections on modern natural The general will relation is derived from Rousseau's alternative. for he of of contends m. . he smaller societies ways maintains. P. it is lated. composed of a is not homogeneous. Rous instead of a is is Machiavelli. he quickly sets aside this notion of and conducts inquiry on the assumption the existence of distinct popular wills (P. 246). in. Now. in. 244-45. m. and those of man before those of the proportion citizen. partial societies are anima by a will that is general from the perspective of its members. Nonetheless. the voice of the people is in fact the voice of God (P. what he a means by the general will in the Political Econ Political society variety of interre which mod will Rousseau distinguishes variety of associations and wills. one should being always subordinate to the others. in. formal these or tacit ify ted in many "the will. Rousseau is the seau as much as Machiavelli claims that the universal opinion of a people ultimate and most authoritative source of political morality. 248-49). in clarifying omy. Rousseau for that "common the first time self" mentions the notion of the general will as that gives life to the state as a moral whole and provides being. and a bad [Their] deliberation be advantageous to the small community. and particular societies very the pernicious to the large. It is true that them. . Rous unambiguous in affirming that the declarations the general will are only the universal opinion of that particular people as to what is that such just. . 246). caring for the preservation and well-being of the of each part (P. be devout priest. right in la an to the ancient If we judge by his first use of volonte generale.58. declarations may well be faulty from the perspective Though Rousseau raises the un-Machiavellian notion earthly city with foreigners (P. 245). in. Furthermore. most and increases less and to the extent that the association becomes more narrow and the en gagement sacred: invincible proof that the most general will is also always the just. then it is clear that the term. Conformity to the dictates of the general will standard the for just as opposed to tyrannical statesmanship. employing of an identity simile seau (the voice of the people "is in fact the voice of God"). the possibility of a unified caused its by the general wills of the rest of his universal general will overcoming the divisions different peoples.268 the Interpretation section of introductory the Political Economy. 245).

by Machiavelli's notion of a unity of interest and will be the people albeit a unity grounded on a division of political labor. is exercised no less on the will than on actions. and the most absolute authority is that which pene trates to the very interior of man. THE ARMED FOUNDER the armed founder while explicating a Rousseau adumbrates his notion of maxim of popular he restates laws" with the which statesmanship. in. P. 251). resemblances. 248. less key contention in Discourses 1. or parallels in Rousseau's teaching of Rousseau the Machiavelli's Rousseau's tween premise of popular acceptance of and leaders statesmanship are accompanied. in. prince who men when it wants. According to Rousseau "the great art of ancient imitated by modern leaders. P. The the amount of seems. populace and canaille when it pleases it. it is worth much more still to make what there is a need that they be. 248). P. And. PE. citizens. 58 that unlike kings who choose or corrupt magistrates. It is certain that the people are in the long run what the government makes them be. in. popular excellence under lined by Machiavelli (cf. they can mold the wills (P. 410). Rousseau stresses the same occult. in. ple's appropriates religious Pointing with a sense of awe to the sacred character of the peo declarations. "the people errs much prince. Rousseau initially seems to view the role of the established instrument of the laws by chef or head as passive. P. Rousseau the popular will. paragraph of emerges: this first section of the Political Machiavellian leitmotiv to know how to good use men as they are. P. As Machiavelli had that transcends the "virtue" done. in the Political Economy Rousseau echoes Machiavelli's concern that the people can be "seduced" by Machiavelli's incompetent says the eloquence of clever speakers to make bad judgments Rousseau about common affairs repeats (P. 381). echoes. 6. and senatorial statesmen which can accomplish this unifying task 11. in. Fourth. SC. 246). Rousseau "sublime. "Follow in everything the general "administration be in in the form that the government's conformity of the general will (PE. heroic virtue unity And it is only of armed found political ers. War and riors. learn and not to employ a disproportionate force to uphold the law to retain his However. despises his subjects dishonors himself in showing that he did not every know how to render them worthy of esteem (P. 252) of can be essentially malleable men . in Economy. rare. moreover. it legislator. later in the Social Contract. in." than the For. legislators. 251). III. the that exceptional. Ill. like Machiavelli. to head a republican government These family people elevates only those of true merit (Bk. in." asserts the need for a divisions of particular associations and classes.The Armed Founder versus the Catonic Hero 269 language to describe Third. in. The laws are the central con cern. an leader must simply. If it is them a the impartiality final. 7. lengthy under all circumstances. (cf. Ch.

Problematique du heros dans les ecrits de J. dissertation. 1263-64). heroic leadership to put an end to the corruption Thought. and they must be made to experience happiness for them to often with love it. In this wielder of work that the heroic founder is an expert force. in.4 heroic leader must to establish the rule of that results Once the people experience employ force initially in the happiness or will order com from obeying the laws. in this call to the virtuous few to overcome the albeit with some corruption of the age. 45. To fashion warriors. see Diane Beelen Woody's unpub literary lished Ph.September 1984). 261). (University of 1981). Cameron. Undoubtedly. leader must be a warrior as well. then. 1263. Rous break with seau advocates a the mercenary politics of the age that gave wish rise to disunited canaille and masses: "form men. in finally to submit them to the authority of (P. to become political. Rousseau active heroic virtue he analyzed is calling for the exercise of that in his earlier Discourse on the Virtue Most Nec he stresses indirection essary to the Hero. know how to wield force expertly (such as Romulus. They are only made happy by being constrained to be so. Rousseau that Men do not govern themselves thus by abstract views. Rousseau Toronto. 251-52). 401. According mon good and to this passage. and for an excellent study of the Discourse on the Hero that places it in its historical and contexts. in. 249). What is required to make men political is a comprehensive and citizens.-J. and instead stresses the use of austere and peaceful morals and manners Nonetheless. citizens to be first and needs their arms (cf. n. however. coming to the aid of their fatherland when it n. 1268. if you loved" to command men. make them (P. if you want the laws obeyed. laws. 3 (July. no. 1272). for the citizen "the first of the laws is to respect the dered riors necessary because naturally men are not political. vol. yoke of the laws. learn to love them justify as them with It is true that in the Political Economy Rousseau does not emphasize the use of force he had done in the Discourse in the Political warriors on the Hero. p. fashioning by morals and manners appropriate to republican war Addressing himself to every potentially heroic prince. This zen's psyche and formation of the citi body is Above all." his See David R. he must learn to respect the laws. Here lies the business that he puts and talents of the hero.D.270 into the Interpretation will to generalize the unified popular will of citizens who will desire the common good and fight to defend their homeland. section about the need for Economy last. P. it is force in his hand he first con himself in a condition to receive the order blessings of men whom strains to reason carry the 11. the law. This heroic virtue Rousseau of calls for in the Political Economy reminds us of of Machiavelli's advocacy 4. who is referred to as a founder in section ni). the and in making the laws he is wholly explicit obeyed and loved. then they their reason. although his defining P. in. "The Hero in Rousseau's Political Journal of the History of Ideas. virtue of strength of soul cannot properly contends be reduced to physical courage (cf." but this disposition cannot be engen by written laws (P. .

To be sure. are leaders who will be political arti whole people (in sans and put form in the prime object of politics constituted by a this case. arises always seemed that her military strength extinguished. in cule or satirical treatment of allel Lorenzo is not between Moses' divine destiny an and likening Lorenzo to Moses in saying to Lorenzo such a ridiculous fashion. Machiavelli. however. from the fact that her new old orders were not good. is a Italy and regain her ancient glory. Rousseau. here. is not seriously advising Lorenzo in The Prince. in fact. moreover. a newly ris 103). in inventing a second occurrence he ridicules the first. in Theseus (all viewed. Machiavelli may that. Chapter 6). Machiavelli is not reporting their occurrence a second time. says the surface level. of virtuous leader of the greatness as of Moses. In it (Chapter 26. If Lorenzo's supposed greatness. Let mode us read the final chapter of The Prince according to the interpretive Rousseau original on espouses. to Machiavelli.. then. 102). along with Romulus. then. and are reported in the Bible as experi enced by Moses and the Jewish people on the way to their promised land. Indeed. and that there was no one and knew how to discover ones. everything has run in favor of your greatness.. addressing himself to men more enzo. ruling prince of What is needed. just as none theless be in ironic manner Moses did not reach the promised land. For these happen ings were preceded in sacred history. Furthermore. depends upon the occurrence of these extraordinary happenings without example.The Armed Founder times versus the Catonic Hero 271 in The Prince. such virtue is present in the house Cyrus.. and armed prophets the de' Medici. whose heading and trans lated from the Latin from the is: "Exhortation to take hold of Italy liberate her de' barbarians"). neither would he attain the goal of a unified Italy. in Lorenzo ceded himself. 103). and he him (Pr. it is questionable. Machiavelli is making fun virtue required of Lorenzo. What is required. In capable satire: the fol lowing passage. Indeed. this ridi only based on the fact that the par Lorenzo's is false. as do the new laws and the new orders nothing brings as much honor to discovered by him (Pr. Above all. he reveals what he really intends beyond his it is This who no wonder politically than Lor if during it the numerous revolutions in Italy and during is the numer ous manoeuvres of war. 105). so as not to take from us that our free will and a part of glory that belongs to us (Pr. moreover. ing man. Florence. Machia velli shows his preference for republican modes and orders agreement with (Pr. The rest God does not want to do everything. you it has must rained manna do yourself. Machiavelli unite exhorts Lorenzo Medici.. is in fundamental Machiavelli's teaching that . according to Machiavelli. a cloud extraordinary happenings without example brought about has cleared your path. a to overcome the corruption petty autocrat who hardly possesses the in his native land. the Italian people). only follow the examples Then Machiavelli asserts need of greatness which pre at present we have witnessed by God: the sea has opened. In alluding to Roman virtue. the rock has poured water.

in. says of Rousseau. giving up his life to affirm the general good. nevertheless both view the problem of political corruption as requiring an armed prophet to provide the initial solution. For this love to develop among the citi the leaders must act in the manner of the most virtuous talented Roman senators. modern politicians confound their glory with the misery of the people. P. mercenary Blinded by their ambition to acquire and maintain power. in. protecting not the rights and liberties politicians. 8." nothing that "which creates and makes everything out of (celui de rien) (Book II. Though Machiavelli's in the direction of foreign policy (the mercenary soldiers in Italy that precluded the attainment of national independence). Political virtue requires that "the particular of form to the will" general (P. To found a nation success genius will not suffice. and thus failed to under concludes. like Cato. Rousseau considers Catonic virtue to be the epitome of political virtue in the Political Economy. stand that the Russians first had to be made into warriors. and whose activity says. a civic of just. it is the senatorial. THE SENATORIAL HERO The rather. in. In the Social Contract Rousseau leaves a place for the Machiavellian founder in his hints own armed theory. requires love of the fatherland as passionate fuel or zens. 4. he is "true that imitative What is required genius. would precede that of remember the legislator. It is will from the latter formulation that for Rousseau "virtue" to generalize one's concerns of in times of peace and of war. At the periphery of his discussion of the legislator. Chap. of the citizens against would-be tyrants. 254). he Peter the Great had only imitative genius. armed founder is not Rousseau's central model of popular leadership.272 Interpretation is necessary to create the foundation for the life of citizens and life according to the rule of laws accepted by the popular will as a corrupt mercenary politics based on the collection and payment concern was more the art of the few warriors. 252). Rousseau at the necessity of an armed founder who would be a leader of warriors. in. instead of money. but emphasizes the notion even less than he had in the Political Economy. IV. and resort quest to using a "dark art" consisting force and fraud (P. republican hero above all as exemplified by Cato the will con Younger. then civilized with the qui cree et fait tout appropriate laws and institutions (cf. At the level heroism such virtue de mands that one act as when Cato did. note. Unfortunately. like modern. And cal virtue or to generalize. iv. 253). This blind for . first of all energy (P. and however. fully. 444). this is simply the is the excel politi lence its the citizen that alone the will interests him in the Political Economy. and Rousseau's in that of domestic policy (monetary corruption associated with the system of taxation as he elaborates in section in of the Po litical Economy). even Caesar had won the physical battle on behalf of a tyranny that negated the clear popular will. m. he contends. P. 386).

this is not enough. 17. to be not says Machiavelli. ch.g.). when times change and longer his ways. 257). Citizens. in. never Hence. and is only the last of men. most will be virtuous their homeland if the leaders protect and enhance if they love their homeland. is arguing if one exercises power rights of citizens glory can alone be attained Roman senate that respects the according to the the assemblies in (P. the leaders of the Roman republic) ner (e. grown gray in purple and on the tribu- . 25). The Prince tells us (if it as having a republican intention). pp. show respect to liberty.. 8. for such produce a fragmented society of self-interested individuals unable to glorify the leader. But citizen virtue requires In addition. but brought him glory" (Pr. we read 42). property. without can acquire "imperium but glory" (Pr. it in the imperium.. For. 102-3 the Alvarez trans.. fully . Ch. 9.. as much as Machiavelli. Thus A herdsman governs his dogs and his herds.. They will love their interests in life. that political efficacy and model of a Rousseau. but "to kill fellow decides his citizens.g. it is when those who obey us can honor us: show respect then to fellow citizens. Machiavellian doctrine that be political ambi tion and the exercise of power are good things which can competent way (e. Even Scipio 's easy "would have in time wronged [his] fame and glory. ruined do. mouth of the instruction remains without fruit. and you will make yourself respectable. . and even virtue loses its influence in the under him who does not practice it. importantly. let magistrates. Louis XII of France) (Pr. satisfied either in a or an incompetent man All men. individual liberty. bent upright the weight of their laurels. in. seek material religion" faith. but of since he lived under the government of the Senate. 3). but not of glory. to betray his friends. be and your power will increase daily: never exceed your rights and they will soon come unlimited (P. the distinct strengths of each compensate for weaknesses of each: For this reason a republic since has a fuller life able and enjoys good adapt fortune for a longer time owing accus than a principality. then. Walker trans. when one's ambition is exercised in the context the unique of a republican senate. If one wants to acquire immortal glory. 258). to the it is better to itself to diverse circumstances a man who diversity in suit found among its one particular citizens than a prince can changes. accepts the Rousseau. these harmful qualities were not only hidden. he is inevitably (Discourses in. one must cultivate that greatness and nature with nobility of mind prevalent in the Roman senate. But let illustrious warriors. If it be a fine thing your to command. then. Ch.). preach courage. love ally as a bond energizing the concrete examples of heroic virtuous citizens who provide a model of emulation for the others: everywhere where the lesson is not upheld by authority. pity. and. Ch. had he continued . .The Armed Founder power and methods versus the C atonic Hero 273 glory may result in the acquisition of power. without that political actor who without things and glory (Pr. and the precept by example. we see. For is tomed to act no way.

P. and the courage and virtue of the common emulation of all live die for the fatherland (P. m. able. when Caesar and "his (cf. though he fought the sophists and taught a few individuals. says Rousseau. worthy emulator ambivalent in his judgment a Cato would be "the greatest. teach transmit the ones and the others will thus form the virtuous successors. its laws. Socrates proved his total dedication by dying for the philosophi cal way of life and the truth. conquests. in. sect. seau contrasts To clarify the conjunction of love of the fatherland and political virtue Rous Cato the Younger with Socrates.274 Interpretation justice. he defended the republic. he chose instead to commit suicide after reading the Phaedo several times. age nals. 48-64. In contrast. source The he Socrates' father the land truth. P. and its liberty. and whose example pierced Rousseau's heart to dying day Catonic the (cf. developing be the this contrast between the individualistic Socrates worthy human and the communitarian rates would Cato. "For a people [consisting solely] of wise men has never See Claude Pichois and Rene Pintard. hence claiming that we should be instructed ond. in the final analysis Rousseau avers that we worthy 5. Cato Plutarch) would not give Caesar his greatest victory: rather than accept (as claims the salva tion of his life through Caesar's customary clemency towards the virtuous." among his contem Though somewhat led about the relative value of these two models of vir tue. In the end. Cato who opposed the tyrannical of designs his Caesar and Pompey 1 134). impervious to the blandishments and Caesar who sought to flatter and bribe the senators and people sults of their lites" he stood his ground in the (Rousseau implies from Pompey satel with the re foreign in. in seeking after individual perfection. Rousseau of concludes that while a student of Soc most virtuous or excellent being poraries. 254-55). of the ad satisfies the and desire for rooted fraternity (P. 258-59). Jean-Jacques entre Socrate et Caton (Paris: Librairie Jose Corti. in. a dia logue in which Plato's Socrates discusses death and the possible immortality of individual After souls. (P. though. uncorrupted. was the whole world. Cato was totally committed to his par ticular fatherland his personal Living completely for his homeland. 269) triumphed and enslaved Rome. Only when there ciety one's own is such concrete public education in the context of a political so or compassion that protects the rights of citizens. 261). 5 Economy by being philosopher went about contrasted with pure virtue of Socrates (P." among Plutarch's account). by the first and by the sec should prefer and celebrate the emulator of Cato. will love fatherland the consequent citizen virtue develop. As long as he was Rome. and talents of the to from to age to the following generations. the citizens. 1972). pp. Cato discovered happiness in the happiness of his fellow citizens. I. virtue is put into relief in the Political 255). n. and experience and leaders. senate Appearing like of "a god mortals. in the as in search of His happiness had its exercise of such pure intellectual virtue. encourages humanity for in. .

1974). Such a popular foundation and perspective sires (Pr. in. pp. excellence." instituted. of rule Aristotle's ideal Machiavelli of rule by and Augustine's ideal ready partook in the spiritual community of the by City of God. property. according to Plutarch. For about even from Plutarch's account. pp. collective leadership of the senate under the law (Lives. it is clear that Cato cared too much his character and dignity to court the people's votes. Mach conforms to iavelli's general call for a politics based on "the effectual truth of the thing. Machiavelli's the great general that a civil order can firmly based on the satisfaction of the people's for life. And he reiterates in his claim reformed model of Cato.. p.. truth" Ch. Ch. 103-16. as as we have here de reflected on Machiavelli's Prince Discourses background material for developing his own maxims of popular leadership. fundamentally dedicated to senatorial ascendancy (Lives. interprete des institutions romaines dans le Contrat in Etudes sur le Contrat social (Paris. was that of the conservative sena tors who. Cato's perspective. Rousseau et social le mythe de I'antiquite (Paris: Vrin. 15): wise Plato's ideal aristocrats. from the perspective doing Rousseau has introduced an aspect of the his general "myth the of antiquity. Cf. 245).. closer analysis of Rousseau's ideal of patriotic republicanism that is to be shared we by leaders and citizens will reveal its realistic or of Machiavellian basis. seen. but in so community (P. and Rousseau. and liberty from being oppressed by 9-10. desire however. but it is leaders as not impossible to make a people when such re publican Cato Cato are guiding the political Rousseau of of views as the model of the happiness of the people. be of senatorial leadership. Jean Cousin. 936. above all that of Bodin and Montesquieu). Rousseau. than this realism to the imagination thereof" (Pr. was the first to arrive last to leave the Senate. 933). and would never consent to economic measures that benefited the common people. 13-34. if it was likely such measures would upset the and constitutional order centered in the 928). J. which never he publics and principates that been constructing "imagined re known to be in (Pr. -J. according to Rousseau love to manifest political virtue: the fatherland motivates leaders and citizens It is certain [l' that the greatest prodigies of virtue mild and have been produced by love of the fa of therland amour de la patrie]: this live sentiment which joins the force 6. but were pp. to be sure. Rousseau's Cato takes his bearings by the happiness of the common people. As have seen. Chs. Machiavelli viewed as seen or opposed with all versions of political idealism. . 946-47."6 especially Roman republic as truly democratic and senatorial leadership as concerned with the common people's interests.The Armed Founder been versus the Catonic Hero 275 happy. 1964). The mediating term accounting for this mythical reinterpretation is Machiavelli's popular repub licanism based on the Roman model (although I do not want to discount other influences. 16-17). Christian princes who al insists. of rule by wise philosopher-kings. "J. -J. A that politicians assume simply that all men are self-centered and material things and personal glory. then. have 15). showed humanity towards the common people. and Denise Leduc-Fayette.

who also withdrawing into private possessed the heroic virtue of 11. it is leaders that can well result in social as conditions that the people happy. 259). then. "perfectionist" approach that of they regarding passions (P. 1274). From the perspective of the latter what is required is our prudence and unrestrained passions or between between our love God and of ourselves. . we attain moral or spiritual per our fection and hence care about the common good more than for at individual in terests. want to emphasize of all ideal foundation the self-regarding basis republican patriotism. Rous asks. if seau. in. In the Discourse on the strength of soul of Cato required to give a public celebration after grief losing the consulship instead (P. al Rome before his personal glory. see. That is to say. so to speak. albeit rather vaguely in compari Second Discourse (cf. . This tension for exceptional as well as common citizens. doing what Rather. All heroic leaders strength of would not have performed (cf. soul. 255). 1264). it seems. in. overcome their most self- however. 11. gives to it an energy which disfiguring it. on in this Returning Cato to Rousseau's central example of a model republican leader we. P. in. able to arrive finally at identifying way Later son to the same passage Rousseau asserts. their existence as a part of with the greater it.276 Interpretation with self-love out [amour-propre] to all the beauty of virtue. in. with the state or popular will: If [children] its are accustomed early of enough never and to regard their individuality in some ex own cept by relations with the body the to perceive. 189. a generous act Caesar. as long the leaders are persuaded that when their desire for glorious recognition can only be fulfilled there are united citizens with a sense of liberty and and who the common good to give recognition. but Rousseau's Machi avellian path prevents tian solution a struggle of him from arguing for an essentially Aristotelian or Chris to the problem. P. including though the the type he is advocating for the corrupt modern world. he claims. as we now love of the homeland is self-love or self- regard amour-propre though it is experienced by the political actors ardor. makes of it the most heroic of all the passions (P. 260). will now see what. 255). effecitvely he advocates is a public education leads to . sion great leaders love their fatherland of personal always experience a ten between this love their love glory. 219). the essence of even But. make amour-propre a desire for recognition on part of the is a self-regarding desire. citizens experience this tension to a lesser tuous is not as exists degree. since as their attempt at emulating the exceptionally vir that of actual or potential thoroughgoing leaders leaders. that to do what incapable 259). put the of lowed Cato to on the glory Hero Rousseau remarks according to Rousseau's realistic psychology. we become tyrants. If we win the struggle. rejects such a are worst." themselves as a "burning and sublime as the emotion a religious person feels in istic loving God (P. that an expanded or patriotic love results from a form of habituation of man's amour-propre (P. men we lose this internal battle. in. m. they will be whole (P. Nonetheless. the realistic psychological Rousseau does not. an expansion of the self to identify State.

Resigning . il eut a soufTrir mille murmures et meme et de la ses des Lacedemoniens il fut meme contraint d'user de d'aller finir stitution qui jours hors de a rendu sa patrie pour obliger ses concitoyens a conserver une in la les le peuple le plus illustre et le plus respecte qui ait existe sur terre (P. even while they were unknown to the rest of Greece. essentially inferior and whom all other objects of possible affection are hence unworthy of one's love. P. raise section the possibility of a unified earthly city in the the Political Cato for refused to shave. with such "pru clearly follows Machiavelli's account of the way civilizes a people (quoting from Discourses 1. he we have seen that Cato sought political recognition. his time lawgiver a wise advisor he took advantage of a kingship following to serve as a revolutions and civil war course on to give his people a new code of laws (cf SC. cf. though. 1 1 in a note dence and 384). and enlists the support of myths about laws embodying their common the will of the divine. but those like Cato put that to the service of the constitutional order other countries because of their pride in their country conditions side being first self- among in establishing the the common good for civil freedom. then. . as we saw. However. the legislator relies not on force. No sooner did introductory Economy than he quickly laid it to rest. or ner when at table. Rousseau the legislator. 7. For republican politics based on being spiritually superior to other states could not function in the absence of particular regimes. fleeing among strangers. 512). P. In the end." like Cato has the among mortals (P." not Numa as his central example. Rousseau uses Lycurgus. Cato acted like one in mourning for a any longer recline in the Roman man most beautiful beloved. but on his "great soul" to lead the people to the condition where they adopt good. 11.The Armed Founder must possess strength of versus the Catonic Hero 277 strength soul. has this Rousseau of thoroughly self-regarding but it is an expanded regard consistent with of a particular nation. in. to SC n. Rousseau and tells us that the legislator also hopes to attain "distant stature of a god glory. portrait of 180). 381. V THE CATONIC LEGISLATOR In Rousseau's account in the Political Economy. Lycurgus made the Spartans happy. goodness. in. in. in. 381. During the civil war. portrait of In Rousseau's him. In the So was satisfied with Contract. But the Lycurgus given in the Social Contract leaves out the Ca tonic dimension Rousseau underlines in a "Fragment": de mauvais ruse et Quand Licurgue traitemens etabli ses part lois. 385. recognition cial in future centuries attaining for his total dedication to his fatherland. 7-8 with the Dis Inequality. 245)- Furthermore. have his hair cut. Patrio tism. unlike Machiavelli.

In VI. though Rous company with Machiavelli after an initial agreement.. and the armed founder has a necessary senatorial preliminary function to perform to clear the way for the der primitive or corrupt historical circumstances. Ch. in Rousseau's teaching concern with seau parts there is a resemblance to Machiavelli's overcoming the power of fortune in political affairs. or. un Moreover. 72-73). his knew Plutarch's portrait of Lycurgus and thus the requisite details of the which deception to Lycurgus any of he alludes in the preceding to given quotation. grant. Machiavelli's philosophy leadership is fortune in human be self-reliant and active. he that this oracular utterance back to the Spartans. Catonic sen atorial virtue is combined with foundation Machiavelli advocated in political education of new leaders. However. VIOLENT CREATIVITY OR TRAGIC EQUANIMITY IN THE FACE OF FORTUNE We have his seen that in Rousseau's doctrine the popular of political leadership. statesman. a protest against the power of affairs a call to political men to Now. 1. not tragic and passive instruments of a fate beyond their control. arms and imaginative. and the legislators and senatorial heroes who emerge from such bodies of advisors are Machiavelli. 1 1 . politically speaking. 1). a However. Machiavelli fortune is like fickle physical strength and uses a second image to depict seduced the power of fortune: mistress who is effectively by forceful overtures. 11. defeat for the sake of affirming the value of idealism and the . After visiting the sent would never oracle and being told that from visiting the his institutions were good. If one builds sight embankments and dikes in quiet times uses prudential fore in to plan for the then one will not be subject to fortune's power chaotic times (Pr. to assure his laws stead. In power of describing the fortune.278 Interpretation readers In the Social Contract's account. pp. until he returned oracle at Delphi. returned to Sparta. Lycurgus never himself to death (Lives. Machiavelli future 25). at first employs the image of fortune as a torrential river. one gathers. weakness. is not entirely certain fortune can be wholly con calculation. though the unifying theme of and by human fortune daring and adaptive his political education in The Prince Discourses is how political virtue can problem overcome more and more to the point of totality. quered one must fortune's worthy foes (cf. debase political virtue with vulnerability. such as The armed prophets who establish republican senates the Roman one. Plutarch recounts that persuaded his countrymen swear an oath that they would not change the customs or laws he had them. res olute calculation and will. Machiavelli's armed is how to inspire his readers to imitate founders or prophets and senatorial heroes completely For these admixtures and acceptance of without the admixture of would Christian compassion and love. Rousseau simply assumed. he starved be changed. Dis. daring.

Going in a Ma Catonic statesman who em chiavellian direction. leadership takes second place to his awe in the face of those tyrannical manifestations of creative competence that conquer fortune. versa. 55. 266. A head or leader the fruits of deliberation are often lost" . in. 267. In in making governmental some proportion as more people are distance toward advocating in decisions. P. in. Rousseau. to triumph after one has competently In the Political Economy. censure of albeit less violently of entirely in the spirit the idle rich in the Discourses (P.. he tyrannical (Dis. both advocate parsimony army (P. wisdom is so close (P.. 266). in the Political Economy people mands egalitarian tax reforms with excessive taxes the (P. nor did exile depress (Dis. Ch. preventing the emergence so as of new governmental needs rather than increasing attacks revenues to prevent 16)." he asseverates. Chs. Second. In the spirit of Machiavelli's first image of fortune as a tor rential river. like Machiavelli. insufficient emphasis is given to fortune. Third. 55. Such reso mind and conduct results in fortune having "no sway them.The Armed Founder innocent in the face of versus the Catonic Hero 279 and 25). the struggles against fortune (Pr. of such activism. Rousseau where claims that "in public administration fortune has less of a part than in the fate of to happiness that these two objects are intertwined" individuals. just as Machiavelli had done in The Prince (P. "the 12-13). 268-69. 270-78. 402). and egali hence the power tarian tax measures can assure that public needs are satisfied policies of of fortune minimized. Indeed. 15-17. 1. fully found deed. encourages the construction of public ware houses to prevent famine. Machiavelli prepared one's advocates resoluteness of mind combined with resoluteness of will allow one military conduct. Pr. of Rousseau tyranny the rich and de Machiavelli's 55. ies 10). in. he says. 266).. in. 262). first of all. and cowardly "who live idly income their abundant possessions without living" being concerned either with cultivation or (Dis.. so that by dint of deliberating. and even Machiavelli's popular passionate personal commitment to republicanism symbiotic. cf. (SC. and all that forces. Dis. This new senate Mach necessary toil in iavelli envisages is made up of leaders who are resolute in the face of fortune. 257-58. in. 31. not the on the out enterprises of this magnitude. 1. Machiavellian volved In the Social Contract. Machiavelli defends the rich. prudence is stressed "too much. in. Ch. Pr. 1. calculating parsimony. in. in. Someone of "outstanding brain-power and to monarchical rule order a authority. Chs. who have that greatness of soul manifested by Camillus me" who averred: "The dicta torship did luteness in not elate me. crushed" [from] being Fourth. 2. 16." over Still. a new political aristoc "pernicious" old ones of of lazy. Rousseau instead for the opposes the use of mercenar and argues establishment of a citizen Pr. 25-26). are the leaders who possess such mental and physical power carry In his advocacy racy. 469). Rare in to says. Rousseau maintains that the ploys enlightened. or vice could con or will vert a province suited into a republic. 1. Rousseau even goes daring in the face of fortune. future planning.

pated combination of chance should with employing emergency measures and hence subjecting in dealing with the Catilinarian con have appointed a Rather. However. 19) and of both Catos. Machiavelli faith to what he understood to be "the effectual of . in. subor long run than the dinated pure mere success through the competent wielding of the political art to his truth" subordinated this politics. with swift strokes of political and not make not employ prudence. with that the example of virtue was a republican politics of emulation insufficient to turn the tide. The moral struggle for republicanism Rousseau is important than winning dedication is more potent in the more specific armed battles. P. the polity subject to factors" its vagaries. he dictator who could chance easily have dissi the conspiracy vigor. of 457)- Rousseau. 382). then. i. he quickly wanting. but also those imagi judgment and action that will harmonize affairs fortune. Rousseau criticizes Cicero for himself to "a spiracy. but more sophisticated so of men by as to be able to deal the lavish corruption the imperial republic (Dis. faith in the nobility and moral superiority of republicanism. was instilling had known at the beginning of their regime they prophet like Romulus.280 Interpretation the political art well must who exercises native. Machiavelli's advocacy of of the priority who of the action puts of the armed founder and those creative commanders imitate him in the him at odds with Rousseau's ultimate reliance on a politics grounded emulation of strength of soul. m. 1. he implies. What that "terror and fear" a new armed founder with or needed. iv. ii). which the time of he admired but found Rome was so corrupt at Cato the was Younger. It is true that violence: violence goes on at times Machiavelli seems to prefer the arts of peace to those of he seems to rank Numa's peaceful methods above Romulus's creative (Dis. reverses to manifest little interest in that exemplary virtue his judgment (Dis. Thus. velli's thought of himself as as following in the footsteps his Machia Prince and Discourses he elaborated upon own political education for republican statesmen in the Political Economy and the Social Contract. 6. i. For Rousseau was convinced that only the Catonic model of republican leadership other assures that a republic will regimes and not seek be oriented to showing moral superiority over imperialistic mastery. compelling by exemplary force of arms. leaving nothing to (SC. Rousseau did not conclude that there is a fundamental difference between his as we must teaching tion of and Machiavelli's because in his see republican interpreta Machiavelli's thought he failed to the priority Machiavelli gives to creative violence.

42 and notes 3 and 4. in his response to the challenge of religious to civil authority. on the other hand. Those opting for this method can rarely resist the temptation to import arguments from the See. 2. The Anatomy of Leviathan (London: Macmillan. and Politic written and circulated in two was Elementorum Philosophiae.Reason and Rhetoric in Hobbes's Leviathan William Mathie Brock University I How is the of student of Thomas Hobbes to treat the ' several systematic versions his political teaching? commonwealth by In every version Hobbes promotes the peace of the teaching the rights of sovereign power and obligation of sub laws of nature. The Elements of Law Natural in 1649 and 1650.g. there are many and striking account of the of differences in Hobbes's nature. progress. F." merely analyzes "the formal structure of essential the relations between or a movement that I parts jeopardizes the basis of Hobbes's teaching through the in 1640 was published published . De Cive.. S. In the same year he published Leviathan. guin. Sectio Tenia. De Cive into English in 1642. and Lev. At the same time.2 is to forsake the invaluable as help other versions seem sometimes to To identify but Hobbes's political science a composite of arguments sume found in some not all statements of it. . C. 13. 1972)."3 statements of as student can neither neglect nor exploit uncritically the several his teachings. of his thought? Do upon a we see here Hobbes's progress from a political science dependent and unattractive account of the human passions to one that individuals. e. republished by Hobbes with added notes in 1647. To ig nore these differences and treat Hobbes's teaching as if it were definitively stated in any one of these versions supply. other versions. and laws of the generation of the commonwealth and of the forms it may take. might he not find in the fact of their existence a clue to the fundamental intention underlying Hobbes's political philosophy. and translated and published again by Philosophical Rudiments concerning Government and Society. McNeilly. References to these works will usually occur in parentheses in the text with abbreviations EL. Hobbes published the first and second parts of his Elementorum Philosophiae in Hobbes in 1651 as 1655 and 1658 and a Latin version of Leviathan in 1668. if he If Hobbes's could but understand how those statements are related? Do the succeeding or even ver sions of Hobbes's dubious political science record a movement. jects to obey the appeal sovereign commands and Always he does In so by to that condition of equality and radical insecurity that is the consequence each statement of man's nature and passions in the absence of sovereignty. 3. p. Macpherson in his Introduction to Leviathan (Harmondsworth: Pen p. is to as that the interpreter's task must be to reassemble the elements of a teaching which has somehow "come to pieces. 1968). in his treatment passions. Page references are to Pogson-Smith's edition of Leviathan and Gert's Man and Citizen (New York: Doubleday. natural condition. B. Hobbes other argues the case rivals of civil for monarchy and attacks the pretensions of priests and authority. as required. 1968).

32. eloquence" and is compared strained to the objection to peace "that it is a grievance it" to valiant men to be re from tions of great eloquence because they delight in (2. On the rhetoric ot Gary Shapiro. is superior to monarchy be cause "to show their knowledge. as a whole see also thos. Vol. may Hobbes attributes to Thucydides. 6. "Hobbes's Leviathan: Logos. and Pa 1981 .. the profitable. International Society for the History of Rhetoric. No. "Reading and Writing in the Text of History of Philosophy (April 1980). C. e. The public delibera assemblies fail because success here depends upon eloquence and fighting the unjust appear just.. Bernard Gert.4)."6 power which can to hold what they had attained. ed. and aims at victory. though as philosophic. of authority and sway In the Elements of Law Hobbes argues that the misuse of result from the passions of the sovereign will be greatest where sovereignty is in the hands of many assembled together because there every speaker will seek his own benefit or honour by "working on the passions of the rest" (2. Illinois: Free Press..10.. Man and Citizen (New York: Doubleday. the honest and their contraries. That Hobbes always deplored the we role of rhetoric central in the commonwealth's de liberations. and James Zappen. De Cive (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. I" T>e Cive. and What is Political Philosophy? (Glencoe. democracy lutions as . 1972). 6-29. The suggestion is pursued in relation to the Clifford "on the Sovereign theory of authorization Authorization" by Orwin. 1965). 4." Leviathan. 1949).5." McNeilly them. "The Ethical Doctrine of Hobbes. 3. . 35. The Politi cal Philosophy of Hobbes (Chicago: University of Chicago. is the hearers' by passions. the amongst people. 5. not truth (2. Taylor. Madison. 47. 170-96.5 rarely own political Yet.9). A. Wisconsin. they still strain at the "unsavoury gnat which is Hobbes's view hopes to extrapolate from the progress he detects in successive versions Hobbes's teaching to a statement freed of this objection.. for it led to and not doubt. 10." Journal of the Ethos. we note that no one claims that Hobbes him version of has indicated by word or deed the clear superiority of the forms. See. I. See that the theory constitutes a "rhetorical also Hanna Pitkin's enthusiasm for Orwin's Leviathan advance. 3. ed." in K. While contemporary now readers no longer object to Hobbes's "wicked. 1952). 1959). Compare Leo Strauss. 11).282 attempt Interpretation to express it as if a result of his said of either natural philosophy?4 Whatever must finally self be hypothesis. xix. makes reasons from vulgar opinions rather than true principles. Hobbes Studies (Oxford: Blackwell. suggestion Political Theory. English Works vm. 5. shaped distorts the good. ed. the it allows more men claim that democracy wisdom. E. 169. xvi-xvii. Eloquence is to the case against ancient desperate or actions undertaken upon the "inconsistency of reso flattering advice of such desired to attain. Might the his continuing effort to content of Leviathan could purpose latest his teaching to its earlier changed expression of make reflect Hobbes's political science then rather reflect that science effectual? That the form as well and even its author's rhetorical. is a suggestion frequently advanced pursued. . Ibid. blasphemous. April. Sterling Lamprecht.g. recalling Hobbes's bold description (in Leviathan) of his science as a proper subject for public instruction and his repeated in his public condemnation of eloquence deliberations. one must consider whether Hobbes's understanding the of own enterprise and of rhetoric does not exclude possibility we mean to explore. and atheis tical of of views" that they share human nature. Brown." Ibid.

(2. see also El. 9. becomes a less conspic feature of his political science.12). "Justice Question Canadian Journal of Political Science.12. as they false expect to succeed. 198).8.25. "turn their The fools into madmen enlarge their hopes. he treats rhetoric now within a general discussion the qualities of "apt. their chance of success great auditors out of 2. the taught by such men were already "insinuated by to . is given in long to discourses injure than the dan which commonly the excite rather than govern the passions. of pretense of hope in the Elements of Law (2. . For the part. 12. 12. In fact. then. with the authority without the ministration . they display lack wisdom. The right.2. and successful orators of sedition .9. rebellion just. See Mathie. The leaders of sedition are imprudent. "formal" 8. there is one "nothing quicken them" wanting to sedition and (De Cive 2. gers of eloquence are rather treated now as reasons why a sovereign should seek advice same than from the individuals in an As Hobbes's uous comparison of of the kinds of commonwealth so assembly (2. one who or the ability to conjecture what is to come who by remembrance of things past. The their discontents grievous." sarily at once eloquent and lacking in both "judgment" and According such show to the argument of the Elements the leaders of sedition as that they lack prudence.8). reorganization of the argument in Leviathan seems to follow the suggestion of democracy which result from the deliberation of great assemblies would disappear if everyone within the democracy would mind his own affairs and the people "would be stow the power of deliberating in matters of war and peace.5.10. 11). 7 In his Elements of Law and Citizen Hobbes also views rhetoric as a necessary condition of the dissolution of the commonwealth through sedition.8. have 144-45).15.8). 200-201). being that the inconveniences of content with the nomination of magistrates and public ministers. since of those have led their seditions of twenty have failed for every or of succeeded.8. 452. who are favourites assemblies. Vol. 3 (Sept.8 The leaders or authors of sedition are neces "wisdom. That the authors of sedition must be eloquent is shown by a consideration of their create or augment must make men the sense of injury and provoke task. 1 the realm. According to both works if there be members of the commonwealth who are discontent. and he greater most adds that ora tors. 12. who participate by of right not knowledge. either on one." membrance of pacts and covenants of men made amongst can can since it be demonstrated be just" by such knowledge or science that "no pretense of sedition right or (2. They must believe their (El. and clearest statement of of success occurs the theory of sedition in terms of discontent. 2. No.14). capacity defend innocent "apart" subjects (2. . dis to stir posed to believe sedition could be rightful.Reason and Rhetoric in Hobbes's Leviathan 283 that the advice In Leviathan Hobbes of still argues against sovereign assemblies members. [and] De Cive 7. for they must rage and indignation. however. and inept counsellors" (2. but up and 1).1) but and the the same theory is implicit in Regimes the account of De Cive (2. confusion of and hopeful of success.13). unwise as seem they themselves believe one or another of those false doctrines that opinions adopted and eloquent justify sedition (De Cive 2.25. sophistry" [the] both of Aristotle and others (El.e.. 2. 1976). of the knowledge of re people' "what conduceth to the good and government the drawn from "a themselves. 1.19. " i. or some very few.

. people. rhetoric "the metaphorical use of words fitted to the passions" would seem not only a necessary but a sufficient ical science intended to therefore depend upon cause of sedition and civil war. dangers just least partly directed to the political In Leviathan this discussion is much expanded and subjects discussion grounds of significantly modified. Could Hobbes's failure to here treated as a necessary if not sufficient condition of sedition he had previously imply a new hope of rendering common opinion safe against the danger of eloquence and thus a basis for Hobbes's hope that the commonwealth might become "immortal"? In any case. preserve The success of a polit the commonwealth against dissolution will its ability to render the potential auditors of such rhetoric immune to its When we appeal. of Catiline. 247). divines" folly the orator's hearers story is altered in the later work so as to suggest a greater concern "the common Compare De Cive 2. 2. Elsewhere. Among the "not so great" diseases of the common speaks of the popularity of a potent subject whose laws" draw others from "their flattery and reputation may serve to obedience to the but he does of as not mention rhetoric or eloquence in dis cussing the potency of such a subject.29.27. Hobbes illustrates the combination of and rhetoric and the result of this combination through the and place story of the daughters of Pelias who were persuaded by Medea to dismember their father his members in a boiling cauldron in order to restore his youthful vigor in De Cive as in the application of this of Elements. 12). in discussing the passions that most dom of Caesar who proceeded to win the people and in the Elements crime not of De Cive. just. 249-51). we observe that Hobbes's treatment metaphorical. If. indeed. be. but his for the 10. 2. man each of each of the internal causes of or is compared to some infirmity mention dissolution is itself partly disease of the individual hu what body. great elo in its hearers the passionate sense of discontent or can and hope of the false opinion that their sedition is. 13. frequently cause but Hobbes discusses their eloquence the unwis 228).29. examined. and that what is at fault when commonwealths do perish of are internal disorders lies "not in and men as they are the matter. Nor eloquence. but as orderers" they the makers. he speaks here against the Senate after he had won the army and not. Hobbes now holds that the common be indefinitely against internal dissolution if men make use of the reason they claim to possess.10 does Hobbes mention or Instead.284 Interpretation reason lessen their dangers beyond quence can create success as well as as (De Cive 2.9 turn in Leviathan wealth can we are struck secured from these to the corresponding account of political dissolution by two changes. El." The false doctrines and some of which support a pretended right of sedition are attributed to "unlearned of those "making profession of the laws" (2. "the first movers in the disturbance of commonwealth" (2. now of rhetoric the commonwealth (Lev. we may observe that Hobbes does not here much alter his treatment of dis content and those opinions that can support a pretense to right of sedition. 12. The duty of the sovereign to instruct his his own essential rights as sovereign is given much nence within in the greater promi that discussion.15. Speaking the exam solicit ple of neighbouring Hobbes nations as a possible cause of innovation Hobbes speaks of "those that <men> to wealth change" but gives no account of these.8. This teaching folly of one's subjects is of fundamental 9. In of the all versions of his political science Hobbes proceeds of from the examination of internal causes of dissolution to a a discussion at the duties or "office" the sovereign representative. 12.

and upon by the perspicuity of gotten by education. 264). 260). among the "human possessed by few and by these in but few things their possessors (1 . and eloquence. Success in teaching the true civil doctrine depends upon the discovery of how "so many opinions. but reason" In length time.30. and eloquence as seeming prudence. " In all statements of his political science Hobbes speaks both of the who and young in the universities be themselves fully demonstrated foundations of civil and of the truly capacity of the vulgar to entertain true doctrine through their public and private instruction by teach the doctrine" necessity that those instructed in the "true those educated 264-65). Neither already civil law nor sovereignty cannot otherwise be successfully fear of punishment can accomplish this. [most men] 264. (though well not perhaps in the 548)- natural sci together" ences." Prudence. in the universities In Leviathan Hobbes "potent" goes on (De Cive 2. presented as to combine reason and false doctrines "not (2.30. are so far from it.9). to answer those who doubt the capacity of the common people posed to receive this instruction. 2.5. are (2. or says If moral science very must. are cf. that they know 90). In De Cive Hobbes it is the duty of the sovereign to root out by com 13. cannot only that opinions which are be taken away by force. powers" but the sciences are "small power" they are and understood at all Conclusion" 10. that the difficulty is rather by the who can hardly digest "anything the "learned" bridle their eth affections" and by who reject their errors and vulgar thereby lesseneth their authority" to up discover"that anything (2. . remarks not by the terror of penalties. "Preface.9.9. And indeed he now offers a statement of of what be taught on the pattern the decalogue. contrary to the peace of mankind. since De Cive. 259). which the learning truth. be so stand (547. the Elements he made habitual. 37.8).9. but also of other sciences necessar (2.30. yet in the moral) may may. Those who do not recognize themselves as obliged by the laws of nature will and will regard punish not acknowledge ment or that they are obliged to obey civil law the threat of it as nothing but "an act of hostility" (2. What is discov of thereby is that the not greatest part of mankind is diverted by lack leisure or of attachment to sensual pleasures "from the deep meditation.30. of elo- 11. or certain rules of their ac tions.13. 260.8. have ered nevertheless been so deeply rooted" in the people. manding.2. and in the sudden . Certainly Hobbes does not speak of this as a capac ily requires ity for scientific instruction as such "as for science.Reason and Rhetoric in Hobbes's Leviathan of 285 importance because the rights maintained. The capacity a power that setteth of the is shown by their acquiescence in the "great Mysteries of Christian of Religion". not what it is" (1. 2.30. El. upon weak and false prin ciples. reason's be slight and conse "if there be not powerful eloquence which procureth attention and concludes that "reason. 67). Lev. only in the " matter of natural justice. but by teaching. must than to this doctrine. In Leviathan's "Review and all only by Hobbes ac men knowledges are that though solid reasoning is necessary to resolutions and unjust deliberations if effect will to avoid rash sentences. true civil on the basis of this evidence and/or can assert the reasonable character the to doctrine Hobbes hear" that an unprejudiced man "needs no more leam.

12 What are those principles from and which the rules of just to those and unjust can of be sufficiently derived how exactly "evident" are they the meanest capacity? II How perhaps a successful moral science should combine reason and eloquence may be better understood if we consider that failure of Hobbes's predecessors to create such a science which no older than and led Hobbes to proclaim that moral of philosophy is successors. "scarce anything can be little more than de ." ficient demonstration the meanest of the rules of just and unjust "from principles evident to capacity. said . 212. Lack ence.46." the old moral philosophers do Aristotle's Ethics. it is noted have had no effect. he adds that one writer has already prepared a suf lion. his especially Aristotle.. of If lack leisure and concern for of bodily pleasures make most men while science qua science incapable is alone science. free disputation. The failure much of Socrates..) . or the most interest" and therefore following others potent" in all other things." they are the "way" of reason are "small Geometry use" which is the true Ge mother of all sciences and "arts of public is least of all acknowledged. Interpretation what should be the nature of this combination? The sciences although power. is no matter of sci of contention for it "crosses of ambition" no man's and (Lev. of including the science the justice. his own De Cive (FWi. ignorantly. take trust the errors and nonsense of those of they have come to trust (1 1 1 . ometry. for those who suffer from this ignorance on rely on the opinions and advice of others and even . English Works vi. or ignorance causes. 522.286 quence. more contribute much to must the power of seditious eloquence. ix). i. 4. Than more to establish moral science as a science would seem to be almost complete. 78-79)." Geometry 79). must not successful rhetorical response to the rhetoric of sedi tion itself somehow resemble science? In Hobbes's Behemoth alter one of the speakers doubts whether anything can ever of the ignorance of the common people their duty to the public "as never meditating anything but their particular "the preachers. . scribe their own passions and ture" treat "attributes of honour" as if "attributes of na (Lev. (Emphasis added. has the advantage over "the doctrine of right and wrong" that it is not like the latter "perpetually ignorance of disputed. over. We have already Hobbes's 12. In response to this unjust might not demonstration" doubt the taught other discussant like other sciences .ii. 531). on the other hand. . the signification of words. Yet if that those writings what the moral philosophers have written has not entertained men's affections rather so clear than illuminated their understandings. asks why the science of just and from "true principles and evident be and "more easily than the preachers and democratical gentlemen teach rebel to a further doubt as to the existence of this science and the safety of one who should try to teach it.

to their own judgments apprehensions" have been the "causes of all contentions and bloodsheds" (98. In one passage ofDe might Cive Hobbes appears even to suggest that the philosophers "who have lived under the natural jurisdiction of kings" are securely and quietly instead "tormented with their own "in dissensions" perpetual cares. El. Until this event. or politics the naturally greater ability of some to rule. This seems 2. 10. . 1. would 218). we think. and vention" in consequence of of the (false) science. Indeed. Hobbes claims that Aristotle made natural inequality.1)." utter ruin of the Now.. intention. suspicions. Aristotle's founding of politi has "weakened the whole frame of his politics and given men colour and pretences. wise the rhetoric of the philosophers or acquiesced has the doubtful result. FW vi. "even the or claim an equal share of that "prudence" "civil knowledge" by which the government should be directed and its conduct judged (96). at least consistently. undermined the natural or im men's opinions as authority "principles of "practice of all who and even established in nature" those "democratical principles" they derived from the popular" of their own commonwealths.13 civil cal science upon natural inequality In any case. or almost ever mastered by force those "who distrust their own wisdom". the have the always.17. "that had strong bodies. often. maintain Rather. 165.13. which were (Lev.3. De Cive 1.Reason statement and Rhetoric in Hobbes's Leviathan 287 that the false opinions successfully taught "insinuated" by the orators of of sedition were previously In the "Preface to the by the of "eloquent sophistry" Aristotle and others. emphasis added). 2. the foundation of his whole and intended thereby the as rule of "the wiser sort (such as he thought himself to be for his philosophy)" over those others losophers he .. note) especially when compared with that other fable of the ancients to be the meaning of Hobbes's interpretation of the fable of Prometheus (De Cive "Preface" reported in the (97). The success of were Aristotle and other moral philosophers as orators thus be great the promotion of democratic principles an adequate de scription of their that this is so. subjects recog nized that their own power and would not security depended upon the preservation of the supreme "join themselves with ambitious and hellish spirits. Hobbes's own rhetoric A clue to the nature of may be furnished. the foolish have wise nor seldom sought. Hobbes does existed not hesitate to describe in this justice" passage a golden age of peace that before "the science of was "openly exposed to disputation" by the first philosophers who took this science up. to the state. . Hobbes goes so far as to suggest that attempt the opinions of the moral philosophers which prostitute derived from their and "to justice . Reader" De Cive. apparently in consequence of the prostitution of vulgar" justice by the moral philosophers. Measured their against this achieved a rule of account of intention. in.3. The moral philosophers mediate have successfully rule. by reflection upon and the considerable effect Hobbes here attributes to his predecessors of the ambiguous relation this effect to the intention he also attributes to them. but Hobbes does not. 1 whereby to disturb and hinder the peace of 3 . 118. but were not phi (Lev.21.15. 1.

4. at least partly. that of those philosophers who considered themselves the wise. What Hobbes does political not acknowledge is that those Hobbes who claimed that the evils which beset life would not cease until philos of and political power coincided were hardly more confident than the prospects for this coincidence. as neither truth" by lawful au thority. the Transition to 1964). the the dominance individual This private or rather passion. if any. by the old moral philosophy. actual regimes to reflect very this exactly. in Cropsey.i). nor sufficient study are competent judges of the (Lev. Although the argument for this coincidence could be made within the perspective of political life perhaps perspective the political efficacy of this argument was must also only within that doubtful to those who made it. "the the actual result of that moral philosophy could better be de scribed as suppression of philosophy by such men. EWvi. the this is more than a to rule. ed. another" It would seem that the moral and political philosophy Socrates and of his successors has established. opinion.14 remedy it will be useful to consider of the claims of the old civil philoso If we claim of may doubt whether Hobbes has done justice to the reasons for the Socrates and his followers that philosophers should rule. or call upon. For the proud at least. inequality" this inequality upon "founded Nor did they apparently expect any regime to be if by this is meant the clear acknowledgement and those who rule as their title to rule. its accuracy see Joseph Cropsey. "Hobbes and Moderns (New York: Basic Books. for the ambitious have obtained thereby as wiser than him or them now ruling. the way is the prepared for the division is the true of spiritual and not temporal authority and subordination of the latter to the former. and much support for this level of common opinion. in ical the second place. When.288 one of Interpretation (El. we cannot deny ophy that this claim was made. In ation 283). in any event.46. over public author claim at ity.i. 536. 225-28. .. the teach that political science did not expect many. result can be connected to the assumption that wisdom the basis of a claim to rule. over the Indirectly. Republic 498d. the possession by some of greater wisdom ers of by whereby these ought to rule over the others. Ancients Plato. finally. philosophy practice. "ghostly" claim is combined with the belief that ruling is justified by those who rule. Where and acceptance of the greater wisdom of 14. by the success of its rhetoric.15 the indignation provoked by the very hearing of such a If. wisdom. or pretext. a rhetoric that can soothe proposal. for it has become one's opinion prevail with supernatural wisdom wisdom of an admission of inferior wisdom not have to the him that does. i. order to determine the character of Hobbes's proposed remedy for this situ for which his predecessors are. responsible a situation de to fective from the point of view of both philosophy and commonwealth and identify the rhetorical dimension of this briefly the accuracy of Hobbes's account phy. there is a partial truth to the assertion that the old polit or science was founded nature upon natural inequality. should rule. What is rule of established or even unwise. a pretext for the ambitious. For a general discussion of Modernity" 15.

ob (4870-489^. The possessor of not rule but is despised because his is valued. only it is misrepresented. rhetoric must apparently overcome great resentment or indig nation. while the art rule would he does not possess The possibility or his depend upon the combi of nation of those two navigation. contend with one another in order the rudder. be combined with what is clearly the art of obtaining the rudder. Socrates neither the owner. or by the "noble By children persuading to be raised the adult inhabit the founders of by lie" he proposes to secure fraternal dedi organization to the common good and acceptance of the city's hierarchical (4i4b-4i5d). if all. In Leviathan the for concurring same conviction of almost all men they are more prudent whom than the vulgar. also H. art is of not acknowledged. "than with all men but themselves and a few others. albeit facetiously "Aristotle" (Lev. arts.13. 1. Just as by a powerful rule of rhetoric. of philosophers which compares Adeimantus. example. like Hobbes. in securing the the lovers of wisdom. contempt. Socrates implies that an order which cor and all to natural inequality. at result of even though beneficial to the city when its mem bers. they has become 94-95)nor an argument for the equality of prudence. the true art of navigation does whether by persuasion or force. History of Political Philosophy (Chicago: Rand McNally. They doubt whether there is any could never true art of navigation that this art. valuable if it does exist. the occur recognition as claim of wisdom or virtue ground justed. Jaffa. Aristotle. as obtain control of and suppose here. the peo ple. 1963). Cropsey and Leo Strauss. or civil knowledge. is very to perceptive nor knowledgeable concerning Mem bers of this ship's crew.. Politics eds. deny the disastrous See consequences of the contention in Joseph for rule. as the direct divine agency. not or themselves. Hobbes does 16. approve by fame. had city to a ship represented whose navigation. this is of several likely to wider accommodation conflicting claims to only within a for rule. i283bio-35. the persuasion of the shipowner that there is an art Hobbes notes the somewhat similar fact that even the vulgar suppose as some themselves to possess an equal share of prudence. 113-14- . the politicians. In De Cive this unwillingness of most that others might have a better claim to the civil science is pre accomplished sented as a consequence of that prostitution of justice by Socrates that and his successors. We may begin to indicate Hobbes's point predecessors if we recall an image Socrates and even served of departure from the teaching of his employs to account for the nonrule. responds the latter especially.16 may sometimes obtain a limited a on which the more potent claims rhetoric and of wealth and number can be ad The immense task for reflects natural are in the creation of a regime that sig nificantly could inequality be the virtual impossibility of a rhetoric that suggestion that the all fulfill this task both illustrated by Socrates' city in speech of the Republic might established by ants of some city to depart the new order cation leaving their (541a). V. thing any men attained without others wiser to admit that there are any great care or study and therefore deny in this than themselves. will be accepted.Reason the and Rhetoric in Hobbes' s Leviathan 289 claim of wisdom to rule is accepted at all.

any other and the actual enjoyment of an equal liberty consis claimed an supposed tent with this acknowledgement equal or even superior share of commonwealth will perhaps content men who have that wisdom whereby they have claim the is governed. a and strongest how easy (De Cive 1 1 . it be the comes possible to conclude that natural knowledged as a of government. isheth with it. that although this demonstration is said to show that "the now inequality that is has been introduced by the laws not civil. its strength. necessary condition The universal acknowledgement that of human equality must be universally ac for the securing of peace and establishing no man is by nature the su perior.3). 1. istotelian which claim that there is a Does this teaching effectively contradict the Ar natural inequality among men in wisdom or virtue justifies the rule of some by others? names of When he summarizes reason's teach kindred." Although the requirement that natural equality be acknowledged is deduced as necessary for peace in view of the unwillingness of most men to admit that any other is wiser than they are. as forms inequality by reason to "come . Hobbes must be denied (El. in there is a natural over all presentations of of wisdom of his political men teaching." ing but in De Cive Hobbes specifically not prudence or "riches. 17. perishing. 117- What we must consider how far this denial has itself claim must claim as we a rhetorical character. how ever. in any case.290 Interpretation the existence of some perhaps even kind of art of of navigation. Hobbes experience: "there are very few so fool governed ish. the existence of that art. that had not rather govern themselves. against says the be denied because it is both "reason" "experience. justifying the rule by some doctrine.15." and is against "experience". 118). vigour. all reason teaches "reason" in all three accounts of the natural condition is "how brittle the which frame of our hu man body is. as Of course. that the claim inequality 1. Thus natural equality is to be admitted "if nature have equal" made men or "if nature made men un equal. Lev. others. Hobbes insists. We must observe. even for the all and wisdom itself per- weakest man to kill the . Once the experienced unwillingness of accept the rule of others as wiser than supposedly less wise to themselves is understood in this way. Whatever the conclusion to be drawn from this experi which we have observed was also offers a kind of explanation for this familiar to Hobbes's predecessors. but neither does he that seek to persuade those who contend for rule. which was a foundation among Aristotle's 18).3. because. 1. power. nobility shown of wisdom. than be by others" (Lev. or denied by prudence. fully ence. matter it is. here is The Aristotelian 1. in the first place. In fact. i. have seen. 15. those supposing themselves wiser have seldom if ever success imposed their claim. it may be objected that what is required for peace corresponds with what teaches." Hobbes's this conclusion that equality reason by but nature must on be acknowledged is based on demonstration from have the argument developed from experience. De Cive 13. the Aristotelian is also denied "by reason" inasmuch can be killed by it has previously been demonstrated that even the strongest the weakest in the natural condition. or ruler.

that "the this difference in the passions. affairs of who those who do desire power or more dominion prudent other Hobbes does own assert that a "plain husband-man is in his house. or common others wiser The for equality of prudence is thus based to admit any that the opinion. 1. has itself a 17. the equality of prudence is not so great as to of but enough to restrict the intervention is added husband-men. than equal selves in bodily 1 ." equally apply themselves edged selves that Hobbes has already acknowl in the eighth chapter of Leviathan that all causes of do not . Men are equal not only by reason of at vulnerability to violent death the hands of others but also in "the faculties mind.3. We may in Leviathan to the argument from of plain conclude "reason" against the Aristotelian claim of natural inequality refutes that claim.56) though office not that the plain could perform Privy justify a share of all or anyone in rule Privy Counsellors into the daily affairs in any only case event that what the Counsellor's well. or even common opinion. latter account whether prudence is entirely distinct from judg ment and ." Men are indeed even more equal prudence. 52- if less subject to inequality The than "judgment" "fancy" or (Lev. for the difference in wit men's passions which is the do cause of and the difference in their natural is a difference between those over others. does however the wisdom those who would rather govern themselves than governed by not the wise. 426). 18 Hobbes's thematic but the analysis of prudence analysis does be not indicate the equality confirm of of prudence converse. strength since prudence in the only relevant mental faculty. "which time equally bestows on all men. is only experience. by any means apply them are equally. 1. If it is pecular to rhetoric principles out of which have" its arguments are possi drawn "are the common opinions that men (EW vi. In Leviathan Hobbes says ity that now is introduced in this that is by the civil laws perhaps because in the account of the state of nature work a equality their of of prudence he has specifically denied that there is a natural in basis for rule." 18. or even to say that the Hobbesian commonwealth. foundation. at rhetorical least in Leviathan. The fundamental another version of role of the See Descartes. on prudence. Discourse. or the passionate refusal of men than themselves. in those things unto" (Lev. than a Privy Counsellor in the husband-man affairs of an man" (Lev. 94). on the the same "argu ment.Reason from the and Rhetoric in Hobbes's Leviathan (i . 291 simply that "the inequal law" civil is" 13).17 If it be true that prudence is experience and that all men will what obtain an equal measure of this over the same period of time in we must note "they unto." and various that prudence is in fact a natural virtue unequally possessed even by men. by appeal once more to a kind of prudence. it becomes ble to speak of edged as a rhetorical Hobbes's insistence that human equality by nature be acknowl claim. 57).8. 13.8. The vain conceit of most they equally apply them that they are more prudent is equally distributed than others since equal derives from partiality and proves that prudence the satisfaction of all with their share of some good is the best sign of an distribution. Part I (at the beginning) for It may also be doubted fancy. if at all.

20 On the latter reading to be seen as a merely private view and no part of his political science. Ibid. This analysis pretation which of rational finds in this chapter may also supply an alternative to that inter Hobbes's substitution of a formal analysis deliberation for his account of earlier and dubious reliance upon an unattractive of Leviathan arbitrary Hobbes's concern for. comparison."19 centre of Hobbes's political theory lies examine the concept of the state of na role of rhetoric Although we cannot hope to here the we in the into structure and content of Leviathan as a whole. 2. there are significant revisions preserve closely parallel treatments of this question in the Elements and De Cive in each version and especially in Leviathan Hobbes did not merely something from the earlier works. 22. from his central political argument. necessary bound to obey the a standard for the and sufficient condition of sovereign sovereign that reasoning perfor representative. We hope to show that the novel features of this account admit of such an explanation and. See notes 23 and 28. are . If Hobbes remains a is now concerning human nature. or is vanishing. and the in the ordinary only his office. (Lev. 21.17. or with pride or the passionate desire for glory has vanished. 130-31). 20. do intend to illustrate in this it departs from ccfncluding Hobbes's treatment that section of our discussion how far human rhetorical considerations enter especially furnished in the Elements of Law and De Cive. his and "obsession" "pessimist" "pessimism" human nature. or even encourages a great living" things "necessary commodious result inequality in the and obtained through the industry of in Hobbes's perception of can dividuals this latter common opinion: attributed too is at least consistent with "Want is less of a disgrace than stupidity. inequity fortune. indication of of the natural condition as constitute a valuable rhetoric the character and broader aim of Hobbes's in Leviathan. is alone" attributable to nature (De Homine 1 1 Ill "At the ture. further. so understood. for the former the latter be to the .22 Summarizing argument to the end of the twenty-eighth chapter. Hobbes says he has "set forth 159. Though there 146. If. the Hobbesian also commonwealth not affirms equality but to permits.. Ibid. of Can one diminishing ments 6?21 say that Hobbes "does not miss the importance of glory in his of an opportunity [in Leviathan] and political psychological argu At least four the six considerations Hobbes advances concerning of the mankind to volve distinguish human society from that or reputation irrational creatures in his glory. Anatomy.292 Interpretation equality within acknowledgement of natural cated Hobbes's political science is indi by the fact that it is that a whereby several laws mance of natural we see of we are and nature. 19. McNeilly.8).

is king of all the chil of of (Lev. and so as to the specific possibility nature of of either war.27.23 is commonly called If vanity is a less pride and characterizes human obvious and explicit concern in Leviathan. 293 compelled the nature of man pride and other passions have him to submit himself to government) and explains the title of the reference to God's words to Job: "he [Leviathan] by dren pride" present work Leviathan . competitive violence can result whenever men have incompatible objectives. supposes nothing patory general pects violence when he fears violence violence from some other within a condition of other not diffidence.. a general on this diffidence. 246). individuals. within a violence for any and of these "Diffidence" "anticipa violence" tory pothetical" formal analysis of rational deliberation constitute a "hy In "be were argument which replaces that of the Elements and De Cive. or contin is understood by Hobbes to the excess of passion itself we may almost conclude that self-conceit" "vainglory. to a state of lations of nature of nature generally. 25. anticipatory there should it is finally is hypothetical may be doubted even on McNeilly's understanding of hypothetical only in the sense that it is deemed reasonable "only if war" be an opportunity of making precautionary to do so (166). and The "relentless drive for glory which is error in this interpretation begins to De Cive which the chief cause of emerge when we consider Hobbes's from preface to is supposed to constitute evidence of a transition an earlier political science based upon a specific account of human nature to the 23. or human account. 165. than previously. passion and espe as such. 2. 228-29). and madness" uance maketh (1. Political Philosophy of Hobbes. he may fear of from that that other pursuing an incompatible objective or only when he sus glory but also when he suspects that the other same reasons may himself initiate anticipatory including fear of anticipatory violence. Strauss. ."24 A man may reasonably initiate antici these others is Hobbes.Reason and Rhetoric in Hobbes's Leviathan (whose .28.. cially in the discussion of the state of nature. 24. the to anticipatory violence. Whether the argument violence. Vainglory is treated passions as the most important the passions which cause crime and apparently constitute which as the more especially important of the two criminal sedition (2. 57). it has hardly disap peared from Hobbes's teaching. but only works out the calcu any individual who must act in relation to others "when the specific indeterminate.25 those works Hobbes had argued that man passions as an is driven into it conflict with others cause of the nature of not caused his individual" so that even if violence by the incompatibility of objectives would result from the universal conflict.8. Since madness "whose violence. Does Hobbes's longer account of the principal reasons why the state of nature is a state of war no depend upon the pursuit of glory? The improved rized argument Hobbes's Leviathan is said to contain can be summa thus: while self-glorifying leads to violence can result from the pursuit of glory. Nevertheless. 1 1 - 12 . McNeilly. we must consider whether it has become quently superfluous of minor to Hobbes's discussion of the state of nature and conse importance to Hobbes's argument as a whole.

or self-glory. of mind. Hobbes argues in Leviathan for the first time that men are their physical vulnerability but also in their ter he notes that "such equal not have already only in faculties .5. Has Hobbes thus found a sufficient cause of violence in the mere incompatibility and of objectives. account of In his the causes of quarrel in De Cive Hobbes frequent" calls violence" chief source of yet admits that "the most source glory "the is the incom argument mo patibility as stated of objectives. chacun se sent inferieur. and self-defense operates because we cannot distinguish them" anticipation is required of even the most honest (p. Hobbes yet who object that he has as wicked were sumed men wicked by observes that "though the fewer than the righteous. hath not somewhat of eminence in the enjoyment In Leviathan Hobbes introduces ability" "equality hope" of as the result of "equality of from this derives enmity and war out of competition (1. or We should observe rather that in the scarcity of the Hobbes means whereby desires may be satisfied? new notion of "equality As hope" of follows his expanded and revised treatment of ability. though anticipatory violence may be caused by fear of anticipa tory violence the condition of diffidence within which this can occur presupposes a certain understanding of human nature. It possible form of human nature in the treatment of remains essential to of nature the existence diffidence even the state in Leviathan. as a of anticipatory violence itself. etat. . Hobbes's "honest" does know the others is "wicked" "righteous" or but he must have an account of human nature which encompasses the more dangerous possi bility. In reply to those nature.5). (2. though diffidence "Dans cet 26. One can say that Hobbes derives "equality of from "equal only when he expands his account of the latter to include the vain hope" themselves For Hobbes this becomes a proof of conceit of most men as equal of to their own wisdom. their into the very choice of objectives and cause. De T esprit des lois 1. on the part of the of violence can also diffident. ioo). not as in Leviathan.1. Not equal hope of obtaining but fear derives from equality of ability when this is confined to the recognition how brittle the frame of our body is." "equality of we seen. a peine chacun se sent-il egal.. To say that what nature of here. is "not the which of human motives . an acknowledgement of equality as it exists in beliefs. or incompatibility. . This would indicate incoherence in Hobbes's as a specific and we recognize here. Hobbes's incoherence vanishes when for glory "man or comparison can enter contribute isolated human that the human concern to. And indeed Hobbes says in De Cive that anything good. or of the range of its possible forms. but the deliberation" bearing man of the unknown on rational is not exact.2* In Leviathan then. in arguing this lat is the nature of men they will hardly believe there be many men's so wise as wisdom ity ability" of equality of but it is not.294 Interpretation version of formalized Leviathan.. Similarly.13. which scarce esteems .2. the diffident must be able to the fear of conceive of a possible cause in human nature other than be shown that vanity. of course. only if we understand glory tive. 95)." Montesquieu.

this change and in relation to Hobbes's understanding of the possibility manner of satisfying those pursuing these ends within civil society. remains essential to Hobbes's account of the generation of quarrel must nevertheless acknowledge in the natural condition. is finally suggested by the fact that "the desire inclines of such men things as are is a necessary to commodious least when it is accompanied by the hope living" passion that of to peace.13. nature of sup this If the may be pursuit by two or more of some objective over they tains a kind of priority considered the pursuit of reputation cannot jointly enjoy ob in Leviathan. or have argued. vanity. a general consistency between the revisions ports changes in Hobbes's account of the natural condition here and other the commonwealth which in his teaching concerning the suggestion. It is therefore reasonable to consider whether Hobbes's altered the priority of the pursuit of solution of treatment of these differences of opinion as also of glory could be intended to contribute to the practical the problem these create for the commonwealth. "appetite to the same opinion prudence" causes . or the concern for what is eminent.17. were this obtainable (1. glory tioned after rather than of as a separate and specific cause of violence competition is men before for "gain. As have seen. the or "civic prudence" important cause of contention or civil problem greater part of Le viathan is directed to the for the commonwealth posed by errors of reli gious doctrine. as we 98). "the fiercest." we must recall again that thing which nevertheless they "man. while their differences of seek opinion are (Lev. or concerning religious "doc the greatest discords which are their own wisdom (De Cive 1 1 . In Leviathan " men's vain esteem of is in corporated into the "proof of equal faculties of mind. the desire hope necessary for commodious living coupled with the of obtaining these through our own industry is a passion . at their own obtaining these things by industry (1. included among the 13. we that its explicit role within his argument is re duced. The probability and possibility pends upon can relish of a nothing but is eminent" (2. even if Hobbes argues that "gain" it could be sought yet more we successfully through of things dominion.Reason may and Rhetoric in Hobbes's Leviathan "two men 295 occur whenever desire the same cannot both enjoy. the concern for reputation.5). If. disagreement of trines or politic . re mains an essential element of the argument which shows that the state of nature is a state of war. can 130). thing" De Cive Hobbes had identified the "combat hurt" of and if glory is the chief cause of the "desire to its most frequent source." Nor is this the only as a cause of change this kind within Hobbes's also argument. We may doubt differences an "trifles" for which those who glory contend whether this change indicates that Hobbes no doctrine" longer supposes of opinion concerning "religious strife. 96). More exactly. 1. men imagine that That vanity. In De Cive can be obtained through the society of others. we believe. In the earlier statements and wits" especially in violence. or that all some might. objectives" true "incompatibility of de the fact that at least some men proceed in this way. whose joy consists in com what paring himself with other men. There is. 1. 2).

when they that have well served the common so well re are with as little expense of the common treasure." on the other can hand. of opinion is expressed in their differences concerning civic prudence and religious doctrine in De Cive. as others as thereby may be encouraged serve the same as faithfully they can. 98). 270)27 If the proper use of rewards can encourage could something other than the mere "ambi We tion to obey". distinct and therefore cause contention.19. 14) 28. and to study the arts by which they may be enabled it better (Lev.5.30. "ambition men" and greediness of honour cannot be rooted out of the minds of those who think themselves wiser than others and show it by harming (2. . Society does (1 not at all advance "the and of cause of my glorying in myself. Compare also the extent and status of Hobbes's treatment of the prevention of idleness in De Cive (2. both to as is possible. 1 13. Lev. 267)." power" 27.1. is then done. De Cive 2. 13. 2. further. becomes have suggested part of an argument prudence and we that this argument for the equality of is dubious both on its face and when compared athan. Since." . no great or lasting in society be based on this pursuit Those forms commonwealth which there ferior to that in which is opportunity for this pursuit are to this extent in there is none (De Cive 2.30. 12). than. 1. We may now observe that this thought obtains its most radical form in Levia In the Elements of Law Hobbes had said that while bees pursue a common men seek such goods as are good.2). according . the concern for comparisons or what is eminent be trans formed into the pursuit of those goods associated with commodious living? have already noted Hobbes's observation that the peculiarly human pursuit is of what is eminent since man's joy consists in his comparison of himself with oth ers.5. 103) the rhetorical merit of his new argument is considerable and it is augmented by other changes in his teachshould not ambitious men "suffer through the streams "Preface. to De Cive. 130).10. to what Hobbes has said about prudence previously in Levi aim remains So far as Hobbes's that of persuading his readers that of they [those readers'] blood to wade to their own (De Cive. The account in De Cive falls between those and of The Elements "has and Leviathan: the among natural appe tite of the bees is "conformable private" and they desire the common good.17. . Leviathan (2. We have which seen that in Leviathan men's vain esteem of their own wisdom. 2. In Leviathan the application of rewards understands the aim of these extend beyond the end mere restraint of ambition: their use and wealth.5. more than that which others do possess. which what them differs not from their while man "scarce esteems" not somewhat of eminence in the enjoy ment. to do compensed. the commonwealth obey" if they cannot do so "constant application Hobbes to still speaks of otherwise must be led to "an but ambition to by the of rewards and punishments 13.296 which Interpretation inclines men to peace (Lev.9). in Le viathan the bees are naturally inclined to their man private good and thereby its procure the common good while comparison determines what is good by a eminence is not a result but a cause of the human pursuit of goods that are dis tinct and eminent (El.

In Leviathan the himself" 30. 32. even of worship.ii. i.13." 35-38. Mansfield. 275. Equity the acknowledgement equality among has moreover an representative in the performance of increased role in guiding the sovereign of his office and a new role of great importance of in the judicial Differences all interpretation of opinion the laws the commonwealth.31 obedience of the sovereign consistent with is all that is required for salvation and that this faith is any external actions.. 1 3 . In De Cive the same rule is presented as the ninth law of nature and a sequel to the prohibition of pride (1 3. men's differences of opinion might obvious. 243. required of subject by sov ereign." American Political Sci Review. times. 65 (1971). "trifles" understood as a contention over is not immediately In the the Elements of Law Hobbes had supposed it a duty of sovereigns "to religion they hold for since "eternal is better than temporal best" establish good" (2. Vol." this difference Hobbes attributes to the fact that these latter 29. has 99-100. Equality of hope becomes and central to the account of quarrel in the natural condition. supposing there wit. and how their to one another. numbers. 96). equality as of right fundamental to of nat Hobbes's treatment ural of the men laws of nature. suppose such differences That retain their significance we can only that Hobbes includes them among the "trifles" for which men seek ing be glory invade one another (1 . "On Sovereign Authorization. Nor is the question of should govern ignored by the partisans religious ferences "trifles.29 and Rhetoric in Hobbes's Leviathan 297 Though in the men's vain esteem of their own wisdom is not satisfied by partici need to pation admit governance of the commonwealth it is not violated by the the greater wisdom of some other. Jr. himself "with 100). so much liberty against other men.14).9. To eliminate differences of opinion or reduce these attributed to their passionate basis is consistent with of the aim Harvey C.Reason ing. "Hobbes and the ence Science Indirect Government.5). See English Works vi. requirement to seek peace if obtainable is immediately followed by he the rule that a man content ." of opinion concerning however if it be agreed of opposing religious Dif doctrine may become a contention over that Jesus is the Christ and that "inward faith" doctrine. 3 1 . as would allow other men against ( 1 14. living If together in peace and unity" earlier in the same (Lev. to Hobbes of avoiding founding politics or rule on political opinion as such." needs but that supplied by "natural mankind contrasted this efforts of lack with the several benefits to resulting from the motions and those who com proportions are men pared "magnitudes. and these are the teachings of Leviathan}1 In the Elements of Law Hobbes had deplored the lack of progress in moral and civil philosophy evidenced by the fact that the writers on this subject have not re solved but exacerbated controversy much as while every He had man continues to think "that in thereonto no of progress this subject he knows as study" any other.30 among the causes of quarrel concerning religious doctrine are no longer named at in Hobbes's treatment of the natural condition in of religious Leviathan though the basis corded considerable belief in ignorance of natural causes is ac importance in Hobbes's examination of the "qualities of mankind work that concern their 78-81). .2) who though in De Cive he is less sure of this (2. On Hobbes's authorization theology see Orwin.

Republic 441-42. . 2. or can be represented as recogniz ing.298 have Interpretation proceeded have taken "evidently "vulgarly benefits the things from humble principles" while the civil philosophers received" opinions as their principles (1. his correction tends and to the acknowledgement of nat ural equality the acceptance of a politics and society based of on right than to the recognition of that "harder study" the politics. . that opinion implies a basis on which the claims of the political which many.7. which (1 . the wealthy. Hobbes these are names these same enumerated as natural of scientific progress in Leviathan but condition of war now men must lack in that 96-97).34 political justice is the this subordina For Hobbes.13.30." to which their passions carry them (1. or those devoted to its pursuit. 271). Hobbes's response to men's their own prudence must be acknowledged as a new and powerful kind of rhetoric (El. Hobbes seeks rather to derive from men's passionate of right. the claim of wisdom. or because. If the spirited element is to be civilized it 33.12) and in De Cive of the lack of usually invented and "pleasure and beauty of ( 1 1 1 3) The famous enumeration occurs only in Leviathan 34.8. the the spirited element. tion. If Hobbes attempts rather to correct men's "vain conceit" of their wisdom. result of large measure the subordination of is the basis of anger. inequality of wisdom as a possible basis de of rule must nial be denied.3). . If the pursuit of wisdom is itself a form of the pursuit of glory or power. See Plato. on the other hand. conceit" Hobbes's understanding of men's "vain we could say that this reaction is at once the acknowledgement that wisdom is a title to rule and the angry denial of most men ence so that there are others the wiser than themselves. Hobbes in the study effort to continues to deny is the opinion that "there needs no method geometry)" of the politics (as there does in the study of politics and even to suppose that "the harder study profess two" of the of (2. must rather be subordinated to appetite so far as this is possible. as it is for Hobbes. For ancient political sci far as common opinion recognizes. and the task becomes in wise might be harmonized. equality of Within classi On cal political science rhetoric is called upon to assuage the indignant popular reac should rule.14). speaks only of the absence of "ornaments and comforts of life. to wisdom. this subordination is ruled out. that others are wiser than themselves their passion" belief in equality As "getting opinion from vain esteem of is a form of rhetoric. .13.14. he study or makes little persuade men of the need or rule of difficulty that that they should accept the those who own it. the common Although. tion to the claim that wisdom. 1. In principle.13. In the Elements Hobbes by peace and procured" society are life" .

often presented his salutary truths. 4 vols. the new teaching the materialism upon which it is based. had the human given rise to a predatory that stood competitiveness and a cheerless stark opposition men and dependency on the whims of others. . He employed a powerful rhetoric to prevent the cor to be the inevitable also wrote consequence of educators and upon he saw the modern natural-right teaching. Rousseau. sur Cf. Contrary to the teach ing of Hobbes and Locke. facts of condition: in to the most potent the solidarity of against human freedom. In fact.. it be or strategic case necessary to speculate that some of them may have dramatic rather than philosophical significance and that this where religious and ethical matters are at stake. Bibliotheque de la of Allan Bloom. he for legislators whose future task it would be to construct new social power bonds the ruins of the political order and within the emerging matrix that pending revolutions would produce. v (1909). "Recherches Annales de la Societe J. although I have followed the translation les de J. Rousseau appeared to be particularly acute in his day because of what he per and to be the social consequences of modern materialism teaching. 135. Rousseau (Paris: Gallimard. -J. Men confronted one another now the modern natural-right as equals. discourse readers with ruption than his contemporaries to the fact that philosophic was a public act and therefore had political effects. Rousseau did not believe that calculative reason and juridical power could moderate and the newly liberated appetites.Rousseau versus the of Savoyard Vicar: The Profession Faith Considered Peter Emberley Carleton University New philosophic truths and new forms of political power can cast doubt on the existence of the gods to whom a people prays and can erode the traditional re straints by which a believe this problem to ceived community regulates men's passions.1 may be particularly the relation Interpreters References are of Rousseau have often been insensitive to the of his to Qiuvres completes Pleiade. -J. Rousseau's teaching involves a sustained polemic what he perceived to be the public irresponsibility of the materialists and innovations to reconstitute moral various philosophic and pedagogic behaviour in the wake of their disturbances. more sensitive Rousseau. Jean Morel. liberated of from had earlier obligations to do another's bidding. 1979). The diffusion individualism the made each man the center of a self-contained universe thus jeopardizing social order by dissolving the self-evidentness of traditional restraints and en couraging a ruthless calculation of interest and advantage." tion (New York: Basic Books. in interpreting comes Rousseau's various pronouncements and judgments. 1964). 1 p. Emile or on Educa sources. . However. Thus.

1976. Rousseau establish he had transcribed it "as an example of can reason with one's pupil in order not to diverge from the method" he had tried to he had (iv. immediately after the wrote that presentation of the profession of the way one faith. Butterworth. Yvon Belaval. 1977). inter and K. Many of Rousseau's interpreters claim presented that in the "Profession of Faith" he the only coherent and unified discussion of his metaphysics. in his Confessions: way. La Mettrie. La Profession defoi du vicaire Savoyard (Fribourg: University of Fribourg Press. Rousseau and the Religious Quest (Oxford: Clarendon Press. dissertation. J. Cropsey. and with seminal Much of what is revealed by the vicar is indeed compatible ideas Rousseau expressed explicitly in such works as the First Dis course. commentators of Rousseau have the materialist monists and their pernicious him to be unequivocally challenging doctrines with a restatement of tradi to a new moral autonomy. "La Theorie du jugement dans Jean-Jacques Rousseau et son QZuvre (Paris: 1964).D. 181-250. The Ques York: Columbia University Press.Y. in this xi. "La Bibliotheque de J. 1954). "The Human Vision of in Political Philosophy and the Is sues of Politics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press.: New York University Press. Rousseau.Y. and works. however. Grimsley. 1974). Stoic tion of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (New essay to The Reveries of the Solitary Walker (N. . 580. Ernest Cassirer. episte ethics. A prominent interpretation. The exceptions to the general opinion are A. With this Rousseau was said to have attempted to have made explicit his self-appointed task of rais ancients. 1976).3 mology. Romantic (London: Methuen. and Letter to the epistle d'Alembert." of Harvard Ph. is freedom to see self- the Profession as Rouseau's "proto-Kantian" statement of moral on natural sentiment. 1979).635)." by various au Annales. 1914). pp. In his Confessions. M. however. examples of As this interpretation: R." Rousseau" The Problem of the of Compassion in the Thought explore Rousseau. Orwin. the Letter to Voltaire. 1968). C. Bloom. and C. introduction to the Emile (N.: Basic Books. A. Rousseau's broad grasp of both classical and Biblical Marguerite Reichenberg. pointing forward however is said This restatement to occur in "The Profession Faith of the Savoyard Vicar" in Book IV of the Emile. then. 149-57. 961). Roche. pp. "Humanity and Justice: pretive l'Emile. Rous religious seau claimed that he had resolved his own metaphysical and of what written doubts re- along the lines 2." "My usual evening reading the Bible and I read it through five or six times 3. -J. a tradition that constitutes a large part One of the consequences intellectual fabric of Rouseau's time. Masson. The Poli tics of Autonomy (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press. and to have contemporary man "to the pitch of the souls of the sponded to the doctrines of Helvetius. the disjunctions in detail. P. 1979). None latter. cf.300 novel Interpretation of of the social and doctrines to the Biblical tradition. in the Emile: "the result of my painful thors. and The Philosophy of Religion (Oxford: Oxford University Press. of tional dualistic doctrines. 1973). have a strategic value. 1. Moreover. was xxi (1932).2 this is that readers have difficulty orthodoxy with the same caution and alarm as in understanding the philosophic dispute did the political authorities with not to say ecclesiastics ments might in Rousseau's time." to charm corrupted hearts. the Moral dedicatories to other major Letters. Rousseau writes material is attested to Rousseau. Levine. F. Ignoring the possibility that his state or to have been a product of prudent understood caution. It is ing re as serted that Rouseau did not merely restore but instead identified the structure of a novel and rigorous moral experience. as legislating autonomy grounded. and Diderot (in.

but to the much more unorthodox char materialists. also denies that the Church has in a fallible authority. as will be shown. I shall few have doubted that the profession of explicitly faith is Rousseau's expressed elsewhere own philosophical position. or to the truth of holy scriptures and prophecies. argue. The vicar claims there is no basis to revelation. by ings in Christian and classical teach disputing the ontological structure of that tradition. not seem incompatible proof with Rousseau's cient. even (b) that there are substantial philosophical claims made that are own views stated elsewhere. however. The spectable than those of I would suggest. Insofar as Rousseau appears to adopt some of the important doctrines of sential vicar.Rousseau search was versus the Savoyard Vicar I have 301 in the faith" just about what what since registered conveyed profession of (1. The vicar. and aim the vicar's positions does not explain the purpose of the profes What does it serve if it is not Rouseau's own considered opinions about . readers' major reason for most belief that these are Rousseau's own views is that the with profession is unorthodox and was the cause of Rousseau's troubles Rousseau that the ecclesiastical authorities. to divine intervention in the form of miracles. much more subversive of teaching is. that this conspicuous section of the Emile is in fact and Rousseau's most orthodox and traditional of treatment of philosophical issues thus does not contain the enduring core sion clashes while his teaching. this is not suffi Does it extraordinary that an author would offer a text that is not his own philosophical position but one guaranteed to bring is a about the severest censure? To explore and to present the view that there disjunction between Rousseau's sion. I suggest that the profes only with the externalities of the theological teaching of the Church leaving its foundations intact. Rousseau's fundamental novel general agreement with and the It mediates be tween his teaching the traditional or conventional opinions of his contemporaries. The vicar's approach to theology is type of "natural religi constituted by man's natural grasp of the world around him rather than the truths of revelation. is could air literary mask through which his own unorthodox views in a less direct He manner. De vicar's views profession embraces a metaphysical spite all its heretical character. The radical character of the profession acts acter of indeed as a mask. However. materialistic monism. The character of the rest of Rousseau's contrast.1018). tended as Apparently his final Rousseau in the vicar's profession was in word on religious and ethical matters and few commentators have A questioned his openness or sincerity. are ultimately more re Rousseau himself before the judgment of orthodoxy. the dualism and that this commitment entails. who is commonly thought to be regarded as a Rousseau's mouthpiece. Since some of the vicar's views are by Rousseau. there is an es incompatibility in submit the physical and moral theories of Rousseau and the To that the profession does not constitute Rousseau's own teaching factors and "dramatic" will require a two-fold demonstration: (a) that there are major that suggest that the profession is an unacceptable teaching for Emile.

Explaining his demand decipher the meaning these frag ments. the disjunction in It is not self-evident which of Rousseau's works are more im portant and which serve a didactic rather than a philosophic purpose. If you are made for understanding me. it way necessary for the interest truth to present the readers inquiry in such a as to promote salutary teachings to those re- unwilling or unable to pursue the more subtle meaning. Rousseau 4. that he of had dedicated his life to the interest er's opinions and reactions are truth. are after . I declare and I feel that writing I have carried good faith. that the ef that he would be read superficially. in if by chance. of of 105- 106). two factors claimed in a work sixteen years should be considered. . Especially Rousseau who so constantly parades his sincerity and who explicitly subtlety claimed that he had dedicated his life to the interest of truth and that the and subterfuge of many authors was a sign of their bad faith (iv. iv. the to greater part of my readers ought find my long series of reflections. "Yes. Rousseau later. in response. provides a series of on readers narratives. But it was enough for those who know how to understand. to as exemplified most partic and conversa of ularly in the Emile. He was concerned fects he and so sought would not on be produced. I have often given myself a good a word cast as deal of trouble to result of a try to enclose in a sentence. sincerity. 802. veracity. Instead. The terseness broader many Rousseau's images encourages reflection on the significance of the example: you will "Reader. all. In a public document was whose read of diverse. further statements. he tions. examples. a certain order and Rousseau asserted that read" his books would have to be taken "in that he would diligently (1933). it is incumbent he offers. never wanted to speak to the others (in. for having failed shown to perceive branches alone and I have I have them. "simple naivete" than any other man has done" ever (1 . anecdotes. in that even . cipher a reader might be suspicious of an and interpreter's attempt to de vir his tues that Rouseau extolls. Often the speeches badly connected and almost en the trunk whose tirely desultory. with some pride of soul. Nonetheless.302 Interpretation Such an explanation moral matters? is a needed supplement views. Openness. The Reveries of a Solitary Walker. 1035). the reader to trust Rousseau's advice given in the few suggestions It is obvious that Rousseau's philosophic principles are not presented in the traditional mode of philosophical discourse. . First. and be misrepresented. and frankness as far. spare me words.569)."4 be quite able to follow my rules in my detailed writes with It is nonetheless pertinent to query the suggestion that Rousseau with caution and indirectly. to the inquiry and follows my demonstration of It is necessary to make some preliminary remarks concerning the justification for engaging in interpretation of Rousseau's intention and the interpretive strat egy I shall employ. in a line.

a science with which a novel transformation of ethics and politics which he uses may be effected. d'Alembert M.Y. in hour. -J. That transformation is obscured by the way his terminology. Rousseau "My professed truthfulness is based more on feelings integrity and justice than on factual What he implies is that the consideration of obligation to reveal the truth publicly is based on a the public utility of that truth. 1135-36). and that the striving had recognized sole guide to human action is self-calculation? Rousseau were that po litical dangers maxim. at the very least. d'Epinay: "Learn good worthwhile heeding my vocabulary better. the is to inspire in his fellow citizens. three works are whole" a single (1. if you want us to understand each other. de Malesherbes Rousseau identified his principal writings in a description provide the principles of his "suden inspiration": "All I a quarter of an could retain of these crowds of great truths that which.: Free Press. always the same morality. most significance J. Letter to p. vitam being of posed by the new science. namely that which tree. Believe me. well be educators in the simulacrum of virtue. he also offers to his and future readers who may legislators. -J. the Second Discourse 5. transl. 1968). has been weakly first discourse. The materialists had run roughshod over this dis tinction.Rousseau vealed versus the Savoyard Vicar 303 the that his writing had been motivated by desire to offer useful teachings to to mankind: speak "Love of the public good is the only passion which causes me and to the public. form Rousseau's and the treatise on education. What would happen to the saluary effects of traditional re straints on the passions notion of the fear the of eternal damnation. the same maxims and. the one on inseparable and inequality. Is there a set of works that would whereby all the differences can be understood? In a letter to M. sometimes in the more radical way. or the mined that men have no intrinsic nobility of just acts if science had deter that all human is souls."6 other. 132. purposeless. could be said to have the to and the Emile. J. it is well-known that there are significant tensions or disjunctions from one of Rousseau's works to an meaning. for the Discourse Of these. on the Theatre. illuminated me under distributed in my three principal writings. It is the admonition Rousseau gave to Mme. 6. Origin of Inequality Among Men. my terms rarely have their usual To turn now to the interpretive strategy I shall employ. M. but always with the same principles. the same belief. Letter p. Yet he had claimed "I have written on variouss subjects. by Allan Bloom (N. the same (iv. This suggests that the on decisive Arts principles of thought are to on the be found in the Discourse the and Sciences. but the diffusion of knowledge which they had effected had not pro duced human order. 28. or the corruption of the soul. Rousseau. impendere vero. .1038). The truth is different ument men. owed but the manner of its delivery can reveal different things to I suggest that Rousseau's intention is two-fold: he provides a doc nature of which for his time. wrote: Interpreting truth" his life's (1. if opinions" you like. my friend. d'Alembert."5 He had recognized that some truths were salutary that others were socially harmful. Rousseau.928).

in the Rousseau defended his treatise the the accusations of Archibishop.: a similar of Princeton 10. the unnoticed. . writing in his Confessions about his texts. he in dicated that "everything daring in the Social Contract was already said in the principles were most revealed" boldly. 556. p. Rouseau's of portrait of simply that the contents of each letter Mme. the Archbishop de portion Beaumont. T.9 Thus. Although dressee have and to support the interpretation Rousseau efforts.J. or I have not addressed the issue why in the Moral Letters to Mme.8 the author's profession of faith less reserve than that of the Savoyard a passage of Finally. and P. discrepancies have appears.10 pedagogical innovations. -J. these letters too reveal Rousseau's pedagogical receive The individual attentioin and one cannot assume cf. The Social Compact and the Mandate of the p. in locutor which Rousseau juge de Jean-Jacques. (iv. Indeed. Rousseau. 783)." and in the Emile his references to that discourse imply that it against was of crucial philosophical significance which for interpreting the educational trea In the Letter to Beaumont. they gained with in they lost in extent and express vicar. There is of interpretation philosophic considerable evidence piece of to support his claim. 796. The Political Philosophy of Rousseau (Princeton. for interpretive strategy. Archbishop of Paris (London: 1764). a general significance. This is exist important conclusion because dictions that Although between the Second Discourse and the profession of most modern commentators not gone have ignored these contradictions. not was "a writing in which these audaciously (in. 1. if the force subject of them what did not admit of their being fully explained. perhaps not seau's which completely surprisingly. in an is a A suggestion of disjunction Rous of Arch- account by the first reviewer of Emile. Confessions (London: Penguin Books. 7. In his mandate against the Emile. he in wrote following so about the Second Dis course and his earlier works relation to the Emile. the most important theoretical insights toricization of consciousness and the crucial any such disjunctions to be interpreted in favor offered of the hisexpe significance of the condition human rience of time as duration supplies an the necessary for Rousseau's of the contra faith. June 17. iv. 8.7 Discourse. 1986). Rousseau has his inter understood suggest that Rousseau's principles could be to that of their only in an order publication "was retrograde suggesting of that the dis courses contain appears the most elaborate expression of his philosophic principles. d'Houdetot in the Confessions (1. the the significant discussion of the profession of faith. N. 379. 1070-71). if Second tise. d'Houdetot of the Lettre la Providence Rousseau often quoted embraces certain metaphysical assumptions similar to those of the vicar. Roger Masters. -A. sur University Press.304 an Interpretation Rousseau's teaching because in this writing he elaborates the principles upon which the novelty of his thought is based. it that an interpretation of the resilient core and Rousseau's teaching as requires an emphasis upon the arise Second Discourse in reading Rousseau's other works need may that discourse. 1975). de Honot. as a proto-Kantian and metaphysi particular anxieties of each ad cian. 932-33. That essay. Becket J. 47.409) 1760 his qualifications for the initial letter Providence to Voltaire. he had indicated. Years later. 9. see also.

He have written this on the basis his reading of the profession alone. We will four elements of that context: (a) Rousseau's preceding discussion vine. it judicious to consider "dramatic" consider the factors of the vicar's presentation. instrumentalizing it. containing doctrines calculated to invalidate the princi ples of natural justice and to subvert the foundations of the Christian of (p. However. p. or points to. about T. beyond cit. in which the the character of the profession's addressee. 16.Rousseau versus the Savoyard Vicar 305 as bishop himself also censures Rousseau for presenting Emile material and subject as a being purely to the the brought up "to look laws of basis of on mechanism. op. which although heretical is sustained by a metaphysical dualism and not what often appears be Rousseau's own mechanical monism. The discussion of Book IV. and ex control over the body of the nascent moral subject. For the moment it is to say that it is particularly vicar's and regard to the problematization of desire that the of Rousseau's views differ. abominable 11."11 Now this in the statement could hardly have been to made on the presentation profession of faith. Becket and P. A the teaching from which they are to learn how single object well chosen and shown in a suitable light will provide him emotion and on what reflection for a month. supra. Rousseau minds counsels that great stealth and care must be in presenting young to judge. 34). The major dilemma confronted in that book is the tendency of Emile's imagination to arouse his desires through alluring and enticing images.. It is necessary to em tending tutor seeks imagination phasize that this context offers us an sion of indication sufficient of what is at stake in the Profes with Faith.516). profession marily to the need to prevent the premature sire. that the Profession tation and instrumentation of Faith is situated in the context of the exci a mere desire in Book IV may suggest. It is not so much what he sees as his looking back he has he seen that determines the judgments he object comes to makes about it. Thus. DRAMATIC FACTORS Throughout the taken Emile. The Archbishop wrote the following could not the Emile as a whole: ". (c) the significance of the (d) accompanying frontispiece. I. The statement therefore attests to. -A.. . the is situated. appears Given this advice. (b) his critique of Locke's and of imagination and the source of ideas of the di educational method. and the durable impression point receives from the him less from the object itself than from the of view which one induces him to take in recalling it (iv. an apparent disjunction between of the rest of the profession of faith and the Archbishop's own interpretation the Emile. is devoted pri development of Emile's sexual de by various manipulations to mute and to channel the influence of by eliciting and maintaining desire. de Honot.

Rousseau now suggests that men have animated the world with processes and characteristics which are projections of want of their own being. procedure Rousseau against that Locke's method is the order of nature. 12. An examination of the relevant section in Locke's writings on education is re vealing because it shows the great divergence between the two thinkers regarding the foundation of virtue. corporeal and sensible phenomena are and reliable the only ones of which men have concrete ideas. in a similar fashion. to begin knowledge of bodies. and hopes. . It is in the imitation of Christ that men become Christ-like. John Locke. The esteem of God makes men esteem themselves. A world that is not understood is animated with intention and will. 1902). it is in being valued by edged as the author and maker of all good God. 13. acceptable or tolerable to appears more himself. Locke argues that virtue is the first and most necessary endowment for a gentleman and suggests that it is "absolutely requisite to make him valued and beloved other's by others.306 Interpretation positions. explore the locus of a positive investment in life processes. men created gods that were anthropomor fears. Locke's gentleman is to acquire concerning Vic (New York: Vintage Books. esteem important to men than self- Virtue. that men acquire value in their own eyes.551). of appears here as the means to happiness in this virtue world and the Locke continues by arguing that the foundation of this onto is to be "a true Notion God. needs. section p."13 In Locke's teaching. Rousseau reiterates a theme sustained throughout the first three books.12 The men section immediately preceding the focuses upon the difficulty have in acquiring ideas of the divine. as well as the benefactor of all that is in men's lives. that his that it proceeds from superstition. For comprehending their natural phic versions of ativity" own forces. As he has maintained throughout Book II. 99. of substance. the generated by ignorance one read the vicar's views mindful of of this observation? The second feature Rousseau's prelude to profession is his criticism of Locke's suggestion that a child should become acquainted argues first with spirits and then bodies. as he has throughout Emile's education. the rec ognition of God's benefaction encourages humility and the love of fellow men. vol. I Press. that men can only know the things which can be world by perception: "we are limited by our faculties to sensed" (111. next. with a Rousseau proposes. Foucault's "repressive hypothesis" torian mores. Some Thoughts Concerning Education (Cambridge: Cambridge University critique of the For this distinction see M. and of disembodied spir its. and leads to materialism." imprinted early the mind and that He is to be acknowl things. esteem. Rousseau relates this "cre and to to a certain primal fear the rampant excursions of the imagination. of Sexuality. an omnipotent about sub of will is believed to direct the Should motions of the universe. 1980). in The History 135. as a strategic conflict of tactic on the tutor's part in the constitution of "sexuality". Men's ideas stance and spirit are conceived natural causes. profession which I shall presently.

15. whose greatness is to be praised and acknowledged through prayer. its self-divinizing quality is captured by a remark of Merleau-Ponty that of Cartesian consciousness assumes the divine task of creating the world anew each morning. if Rousseau is implying that there is a connection be confined throughout tween Locke's and the vicar's pedagogy. he has ences of reality. Arendt's The Human Condition (Chicago: and University Making" Chicago Press. Ibid. it also interiorizes the cre ator: the self is his own origin."14 The knowledge revelation. and the danger of operationalizing doubt in experimentation and the indubitability 14. Grant's discussion of tration knowing 12 and ada. 329. Locke stipulates that "none of the great of spirits The study phenomena of nature can be resolved" by recourse to explanations of mere mat ter and motion. sec. albeit technologically successful.. to the notion of an external Will with some manifest intention towards mitted. such positive forces as gravity so can only be explained by appealing to "the of Will of a Superior Being ordering it. does not itself encourage immaterial phenomena. . required no recourse to spiritual explanations experi Moreover. children ought to have of God and their own soul is to be taken from matter. 4th Series. the meaning of the modem understanding of the truth as the Transactions of the Royal Society of Can in "Knowing and making (1974). pp. 1971). 157-58. utility ble the and the scientific knowledge with which which This solip- sistic self-contraction core of material is intended however to guarantee some indubita facts justifies Starobinski's claim that Rousseau banishes divine. man runs counter to the perspective to which maintain within Emile is com In an attempt Emile to appraise all phenomena his heart. for "If the self interiorizes the last judge. Locke's precise argument for the study of spirits is have may that is serves "as an enlargement of our minds to which we are led both by Rea son and Revelation. the mind's enclosure within its own self-made entities. and benefaction primal fear. is of explored in H. Jean-Jacques Rousseau: La Transperence et T obstacle suivi de sept essais surRouseau (Paris: Gallimard. he keeps the memory of his own ori it. 248-89. 16. teaching men to endure patiently whatever His designs in store for them."15 Now tion all of this goes very much against the spirit and particulars the the educa the revela proposed by Rousseau and casts some question on purpose of tion about to commence.. His goodness. 156. upon reflection on is necessary because which the senses are constantly engaged. Rousseau has taught the unity around him from the point of view of his own he has experimented. of Locke then turns to that are a discussion how to accustom children to the dark so they avoid the fearful imagining that He of other spirits which. 1958)."16 Rousseau has insisted that gin and in his recollection he coincides with Ibid.Rousseau the versus the Savoyard Vicar 307 idea of an omnipresent and omniscient Deity. they made liable to produce. 190. p. or better. protecting them against any in God. Trusting vigilant. Emile education has been solely his to understanding the natural phenomena by grasping the in his proper ties of matter. The self-delusion of this Cartesian project on behalf of of material facts. Jean Starobinski. He advises that children should know that God the dark for their purpose and is ever harm that forestalls could come to them. sec. copene- in G. 192. in their fears.

Rousseau's comments on Locke's advice regarding revelation and trust in God's beneficient Book II fear the of where nature might remind the reader of a corresponding imaginings" section in Rousseau had shown that the "fantastic arising from the dark could be dispelled world. source of the tyrannical will Rousseau had intimated that this turbulent state was from a will. As Rousseau and further.499). Mindful that Emile's good principal question in sessing what knowledge is "what is that for?".566). useful. for the relief of his estate. about thus plant ing in his reader's mind some suspicion concludes Rousseau method his comments on regarding Locke with the judgment that Locke's on what is to transpire.557) consider The third dramatic factor to is the complex relation between the vicar . Can faith ever supplement Emile's functional observations of the natural world? Is Emile in a condition such direction?" that "the progress of his enlightenment leads his researches in that (iv. to the a reader might wonder whether need of or age education could lead Emile to have desire for any notion of spirits. Implic itly. No restraint is to appear that constraint is the natural necessity of an universe. study The former of natural phenomena based on need and the desire for obscures natural causes even will vealing them. Rousseau's young student is educated of to question the nations world around him in light his needs and to seek natural expla for the makes effects he observes. Emile's only precisely a product of the belief that there is an external will in the universe. What Locke's method seeks encour the contemplation of spirit are Rousseau's method appears to exclude from the beginning. concerns. scientific. he proceeds not me by a reasoned conversation but rather. the latter aids in re of a need which is natural "The idea later. empirically examining the phenomena of The discussion in Book II involved an experience in a church and the by consequences of imagining the existence of spirits. Rousseau appears to cast serious doubt the truths of religious orthodoxy. Emile's inquiries and. and his utilitarian appropria one might wonder articles of tion of the phenomena that may present themsselves to him. say process" known to the child turns aside that of a mysterious upon some of and (iv. Reflecting Rousseau's Emile's education. ignorance. reducing them to psychological responses. close at hand. Rous them. in his discussion of the impersonal. This it all the more strange that when the vicar actually commences. leads to materialism. had been to redirect it from an alliance with ignorance of the the phenomena and the resultant superstitious imaginging spirits. literally. No authoritative doctrine is required to shed light on his doings. in Book II. by claiming: it to you" "it is enough for as to reveal all (iv.308 Emile Interpretation not perceive emanates any intention beyond himself. purposeless Indeed. in the vicar's revelation will actually benefit Emile. on behalf of of channelling causes of a physical fear. to relief from pain. however. That example alludes perhaps to the broader question of religion and its psychological origin and so is relevant to our immediate Rousseau's project in Books II and IV. Locke's seau's method method prepares is meant to pre-empt for administering to future anxieties.

Nei reproaches nor contempt have him coward. and a tempestuous vanity are his re by sponses to fate. free from the worries and the rage the vicar's beliefs are designed to Moreover. his "Flesh.Rousseau and versus the Savoyard Vicar This 309 to the addressee of the profession. indignation. Emile is ease. the pedagogies of Rousseau and the vicar differ substantially. division. temptations. By contrast. He has all the indiscretion innocence. he is truly a "pre-Fall" innocent: as pure as His heart. it creed might thus appears to provide a for their weaknesses and guilt be said. To alleviate this he embraces moral principles upon which life." as the site of moral prohibitions on desire. ther his body. The and.706). He is uncalculatingly (iv. As we shall examine more carefully shortly. submits to car to the vicar's weak involvement with married women. which The youth well is witness ness. the young Emile man experiences a hatred and contempt for mankind. propriety Emile's own careful the relation of tutor to student counsels Throughout the Emile. is no more made familiar a with disguise than never with vice. Could the vicar ever provide model of education which Emile requires? . Rousseau and sobriety. The addressee of the profession is such that the vicar's words appear to be spe cially tailored to his corrupted character. question appears never be raised by commentators for it is simply assumed that the profession is directed to Emile. is a healing response to the dualism they feel within themselves. The vicar. too. while nal sworn to celibacy. But the rupted to whom the profession is actually addressed is described as cor "tyrants": rage. and The self-sufficiency and self-dependency as a of Emile contrasts with the slavishness dependency meant of the embittered addressee. Everywhere he sees only the viciousness of men and the ruses youth men perpetrate under the appearance of virtue. significantly different. is a special case. of has vile fear taught him to disguise naive himself. He. Can a therapeutic profession for a youth like this be applicable to Emile? by contrast has none of this youth's remorse nor division. As a consequence of his observa tions. that the tutor must be the model of is also Any indication to of weakness. It is not obvious then that the pro fession is for Emile necessary supplement to his "natural education Rousseau has repeatedly vance cautioned that the pedagogical techniques used to ad the teaching of virtue must be appropriate to the character of the soul of the student." "he founded theories the the uniformity of so singular a The moral and metaphysical vicar proposes appear necessitated are by the conditions he himself and his addressee palliative in. or dissimilarity to condition will serve undermine and ultimately to collapse the the sort of foundation he has constructed. "of he corrected was not too and The vicar's recur of ring theme of anxiety is the guilt and what he problematizes is the torment regarding the disunity his soul. here the difference between the two is too glaring to permit the immedi ate conclusion that the profession can benefit Emile.

and thus an expression of natural man's and yet ultimate hope of union with a transcendent god. thus a benefaction for it led to real life. I45-63- . Chastity. was a supreme expression of longing for purity. through divine insight into the meaning of natural events 17. and the lack of division in his soul. the absence of sacramental ritual But the Orpheus myth also in his life. harmoniously orders The term "supplement" is Derrida's and connotes both the linguistic attempt to reappropriate presence and the cf. 1976). demanded from the bodily prison. They. Or pheus as a god-man of androgynous character was understood to attend to the re demptive. Beatitude was a reward for the sacramental acts men were obliged to perform so as sins of to atone for the human inheritance life the the Titans. the character of which exposes the ambiguity of Rousseau's intention and so takes us beyond our immediate sense of a ments a disjunction. of a became like the gods. the was its attitude towards sin committed death. The frontispiece both the seems particularly concerns. transforming virtue of beasts by the wonderful power apparent he was said to have lyre-playing. prostrate his singing and by themselves before the terror of divinity as a above. It is a theology in its celestial and eschatological elements of sentation. It is highly questionable. has a supplement. Man's real an ascetic nature was seen as dualistic and sex was problematized by techniques of power. Of Grammatology (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. in the fright. given naivete. adding only to replace. is in fact the enduring core of the religion of could Orpheus. of note for our immediate death the Death sense of disjunction. his earthly engagement and striking similarity to that underlying the vicar's pre what use Emile could have of such attachments. Through soul escaped and was granted was the privilege of beautitude in the life where men afterlife. Derrida. power while who the "orobouric" androgyny as a within the theme of the generative of the earth. his shameless opinions. While he was appro of later by Christianity innocence symbol of as the prototype Christ. priated rhythmic regeneration of the rites of agriculture. Jacques infringing substitute. Looking of up they are given the hope of to the divine benefaction. well-suited revelation about hallmark that profession and as a signal to the disjunction the religion between Orpheus vicar's and Emile's For what is singular about inspired. It Orpheus teaching the worship of the gods. however. The body was seen as a prison wherein soul paid for the by the Titans. that is an intervention or insinuation.17 The myth brings forth in images of addition to its Apollonian ele host of chthonian and tellurian of generation expressed the fecundity initiate's of the earth and abandonment of the mystery in the religious himself to the experience of the full fertilizing power of the Earth Mother. pp.310 Interpretation and The fourth final feature to which the reader's attention is drawn is Rous de them and the seau's choice of picts the frontispiece that men accompanies the profession of faith. the as an seeing the flesh as the site of various prohibiting imitatioDei and as the deja-ld of death. Thus and Orpheus be depicted Christ who mediates heaven earth. to occur. The need for an expiation of original sin and the notion of life as a means of as a preparation for the delivering the soul life beyond.

18 element which in the Pythagorean ta meaning. II. op supra. making them instead only more endur the Emiles and Sophies participate in a recurrent nature. permitting instead a disclosure of the last Dio nysian trace of we shall Orpheus. he is more properly the fecundating While the Vicar affirms the Apollonian ble of opposites places all Earth Mother. I suggest. betrays a subtle suggestion that the Profession of Faith lacks a univocal meaning.19 Here the sacrality of mortality is replaced by the ideal of and fertil is no ity. earthy. however. The first section of the vicar s profession outlines his epis tun- temology. Rites and Symbols of Initiation (New York: Harper (London: Sheed 19.Rousseau them versus the Savoyard Vicar -311 from within and bestows heavenly and eschatological significance upon power of the them. a cyclic and endless metabolism with becoming social and biocosmic health unity. fullness. death is no destiny or fate shall but a scandal and extended examination of these transgression. This contrast plentiude of now on of sanctity of life and the mys the sacrality of the sky and the fe cundity of the earth. metaphysics. and of reality. philosophy is transposed into technical modes of interven tion that invest the appropriation of life process with significance. and plenitude on the side of light and and ab the celestial. In Rousseau's Enlightenment longer a the chthonian Orpheus. 1958). to be corrected by technical means. female. Even love's illusions do able. of cold. the reader experience some hesitation in simply equating the vicar's and Rousseau's The substantial philosophic position to which I have already alluded and to whose fuller treatment I now turn. these four elements of turn to an Having may views. PHILOSOPHIC CLAIMS There are two sections to the vicar's profession. truth. considered Rousseau's presentation. heavy. Hannah Arendt. of meaning. Philosophy longer learning how to die. even more indicative of a se disjunction with Rousseau's other avowed principles. Rouseau's social world As vicar's: it is one in which the Emiles and is radically distinct from that of the Sophies are submerged within the and rhythmic cycles of birth. and all absence on the side of what is dark. and Row. and his account of the soul and its proper moral For a discussion of the significance of these chthonian themes see Mircea and Eliade. decay of the life process. his 18. vere is. an object of calculation with no sense of transcendence. one that elaborates a philo sophic system and the other constituted orthodox by a polemic on the historical effects of Christianity. 1958) into a and Patterns in Comparative Religion nature" Ward. Instead. I issues in the following sections. see. leads to loss of care for "the world". For an argument that the submergence see "metabolism with cit. because death does not continue to be ontologically significant. pp. not As "biopower" quanta of break those cycles. Rousseau's sence. growth. own teaching admits the re-emergence the the suppressed tery of conferring meaning birth and abundance. 79-'35- .

an "inner "original Emile is (iv.312 Interpretation is the one with which we are ing and whether it is compatible with primarily concerned in order to discern Rousseau's philosophic principles. testing. albeit and con- . of and ultimately at offers a more restricted but "operational" theory knowledge knowledge. The and natural vicar appears to grant human nature a greater natural en dowment tion direction than does Rousseau.569). The vicar is more skeptical in some ways about knowledge than Rousseau: We do subjective account of truth is potentially a for it is truth that is personally satisfying in limits truth to the effect of the inquiry and the na be led to feel that his not have the know measurements of neither this immense machine. . we cannot calculate its relations: we we its first laws nor We do not know ourselves. From this he "the clarity of the original understanding in (his) upon which views are supported. Emile's education has been by contrast more narrowly empirical. . The or is not told this is part of understanding" allowed no such if it is his "conscience". Certain fundamental facts. In the Emile. One merely quieting doubt. they are above the region accessible to the senses (iv. and habituation. mysteries sur know neither our nature nor our active principle. there appears to be quired neither a natural by experience nor The vicar's questions understanding apart from the prudence ac any inherent intellectual or moral sense. He suggests that his inquiry is intended to account overcome this state." state for the human mind" (iv. light" The vicar now appeals reader to a guide in his whether delibera the tions.560). From is shaped. but however that may appeal in any of his deliberations. The vicar's revelation is thus a settling of doubt. by the recognition that his is an disparity need exist here. but it must be noted that without a further philosophy of history no ontological claim could be advanced by the vicar is qualified no serious which the vicar's posi long historically contingent introspec as Rousseau would accept. are based on his "natural researches" those things that are of Rousseau's account of the manner in which Emile's consciousness utility to him. Such an inquiry ture of the inquirer himself rather than relating it to those facts by virtue of which the propositions are true or false. are addressed to what he experiences as a "frame of a condition that he finds a "disturbing and pain uncertainty and ful state": "Doubt about the things it is important for us to know is too violent a mind of doubt. derivative capacity. Impenetrable round us on all sides. his and is a satisfaction of the requirements of the situation of might perplexity profession doubt that initiated the inquiry. its final cause. repetition. by virtue of verifying. . too.568). As tion.568). mind" his epistemological views by proposing to speak with (iv. His judgments of be. In philosophical principles his major draws the The vicar commences the Second Discourse Rousseau tells a us that man is not by nature rational and that understanding is appear endowed with a ples the young man does not or with innate ideas or princi for understanding capacity beyond those which he gradually grasps through trial and error. for he has tempted to gain certainty of his cross-referencing his various sensations.

or of substances. For the vicar. he is far than the vicar about immediate. Rousseau's "I" training that "self. that realizes the continuity of its son that own existence independent of experience It was for this rea various senses. and Bloom.20 versus the Savoyard Vicar -313 corporeal utility. and II reveals. Rousseau clearly has given the impression that the active principle is ther a spiritual nor a mysterious principle physiopsychological moreover motion of but rather.Rousseau fined to world. the Emile "I" is created to. The and vicar continues resolves inquiry by he is from this endowed with an active recognizing that he is a sensing creature force a sense of his existence that acquiesces to sensations. The senti ment of existence is acquired rather than sensed. Indeed. are at the source of his certainty about the material Rousseau himself we know shares the vicar's skepticism about man's grasp of the final end. Rousseau thought. and implying that man's proper posture to of control and willful nature is not one of upon tion of about form passivity matter in resignation. the passions. See iv. Cropsey. and produced and to give physiological explanations of the effects hitherto believed to be 2. J. Cf. sensibility. men sensation have a natural no "I" tion of their own existence. by a spiritual substance. 502. 547. but imposi motion. Rousseau however does not believe that men naturally have a For Rousseau. on this last nei point. of essences. throughout the Emile he assertively than the vicar that the first laws of nature can be known. . argues much more However. that general laws of science are derivable from empirical observations. astronomy.301). other objects and selves of suggests relatively in the consciousness of. Whatever doubt Rousseau may have had more confident the mind's ability to grasp certain ethereal truths. In Book III Emile is taught the rudimentary principles of hydrostat ics. sense of a Emile had to learn experientially to coordinate the effects he felt from his unable to rely on an inherent sense coordination or an innate "I" residing that experiences all the sensations as a unity. implies the presence of an that is sensing (iv. that man's nature is governed by knowable psychological laws. and resistance but the self is never immediately sensed. The sentiments it produces appear account. 21 . nothing more than the the body. supra for an account of this thermomechanism.342. Following La Mettrie and Diderot. appears to identify heat as a stimulus that gives rise to 488. See note 16. n. and that the "ac principle" tive is controllable and its working ascertainable. cit. his that palpable certainty. as a reading of Books I sense of their own existence (1 v.21 to be explicable by a thermomechanistic The science of the passions used coherent by the tutor with precision throughout the Emile is based upon a understanding of human behaviour as subject to predictable modes of modification. There is no substan tial self prior to this experience that can reflect on its own states and .570). 279 -80)." develops from a relation between a sensed phenomenon and a sensing human The awareness of modification by an external re- source and the realization reinforced over time that the modification can be experienced provides the machine with an identity. biology. op. 519. and chemistry. the unity of consciousness achieved through the equilibrium of power and desire (iv. 20.

thus dissolving. possessing forces must capabilitites which must administered at flaws must be corrected and the capil lary level. by sensations rather than appeal to an intelligible His judgment is consid than that which the vicar describes. but through the experience of original comparing assumption. The vicar's position exper implies that man an autonomous reason to which the perceiving and iencing world. That Rousseau is of experience. this mode of judgment is not so obviously active.571). He suggests that distinguishes tinctive perceptions one from judgment hence is he has a dis faculty. Rousseau suggests that perceive the stick to be bent the first time he saw various sensations resolution it.314 Interpretation suggests What this is a radical appears feature of Rousseau's teaching. to depicting traversing instead the a subject constituted as a conjuncture of multi ple trajectories accords possible body. the proper relation. nor does he accept the idea that man has an autonomous reasoning capacity. too. the subject makes the success of technical Constituted be as a body. a task beneath consciousness and identity. The vicar infers from certain effects that he must have a substan more tial soul. alien to his a contemporaries. Emile learns the true character of the stick ceiving different types erably Emile would more passive of sensations. the indi be vidual can optimized: be represented as a "machine". unified Rousseau to have dispersed the subject understood as totality. He denies that tions. This he would soon does not require a learn to rectify his distinct power or capacity reason as to the for judgment. the example of the appearance of a broken or bent stick in water. Rousseau suggests an alternative. whereas the vicar is puzzled as to how the mind could coordi its five senses as if it were in fact passive and denies that without an active and autonomous cation judgment the mind could be capable of between the senses. The vicar then depicts his "active force" as one and that is capable of judging. He presents. employing various senses and re His deliberation consists in a succession of principle. engaged in such is suggested by do his understanding not For Rousseau the sensa tions prior to touch convey what would alone distinguish itself from its sensations. comparison involves superadding a mental construction to received sensa intelligent force is has active rather than passive. let be necessary for the self realize that it has a distinct be even to and en during identity. at one point. the vicar's claims are unscientific for the vicar believes that spiri tual and metaphysical principles underlie the workings of his mind. providing communi Reference to the . that is a sign of an "active and intelligent human a being" (iv. copresence of various sensations informs his nate For example. From Rousseau's point of simply understood by in the spirit of Condil view. Rousseau shows that these effects could explaining the gradual construction of experience much lac's demonstration of the understanding of his statue-man. Man's merely sensitive being capable of this sort of judg ment. the primacy the vicar of consciousness and identity. individual appeals to adjudicate the appearances present in the sensible For Rousseau. This disemination reconstitution.

" or from nonintelligent life and chance. For Rousseau there are no innate to experience. He distinguishes the two and suggests types of motion communicated and spontaneous at rest. The and vicar thought. the ters into ence vicar denies that be the sole cause of all ideas and sentiments. I can see in him only a sophist attribute sentiment to rocks than to grant a soul to It seems to me that discovered. epistemology. turns The vicar subsequently to is to be metaphysical issues. "I not think. experience can In sum. but on the contrary. claiming in the Second Discourse. he He also sees ently of peculiar about attributing vitality to makes matter. to which one only compared sensations. in addition to Rousseau saying that ani Yet Rousseau mals are only machines and yet capable of thought. judging is a modified form of sensing. arguments. and habit.584). Rousseau denies the autonomy of reason. suggests that matter is organized in such a manner they are capable of motion. thus extending far greater power to matter.453).Rousseau Molyneux versus the Savoyard Vicar Cheseldon -315 problem and the experiment in the Moral Letters scientific suggest of an a that Rousseau was well aware of priori coordination. that men far from saying that rocks think. it unnecessary that plants should and thought . by which the no illusions of perception are dispelled. There is mysterious. of "unorganized moving itself that animals that their action" producing some are only "ingenious machines" Rousseau. The senses correct themselves and simple ideas. sensitive beings in reveals nature" his solidarity with his contemporaries on precisely this point: reason or thought is not natural to man and deliberation is a product of ex perience. however. that the natu motion matter ral state of phenomena On the first point he claims that the of animate beings is or spontaneous and denies the idea (iv. psychological forces: "it is only are act" passions which make us (iv.645). modern philosophy has do not think. constitutes his contemporaries' denial He thus suggests that the copresence of different sensations comparison. doubts that intelligent life could possibly have emerged from "passive and even some dead need matter" and "blind fatality. suggests nothing inher that only the lack have sense movement" "progressive (iv. only know that matter is extended and divisible in order to be sure that it can And for all that any philosopher who comes to tell me that trees sense and suble rocks think. had rather the extent to which the mind relies on the body than on the promptings of a spiritual substance.580). yet Rousseau states quite comes unambiguously that there through the "everything and which en human understanding means of senses" that experi is the only ideas the or principles prior acquiring knowledge. and through habit. sensitivity. may entangle me in his speaking in bad faith who prefers to man . Faculties and sentiments are acquired by perceptions of pain and repetition of sensations. among not realized include the vicar. for it "alone is not The fundamental activity of the mind resides not in itself but in active" (iv. It no longer recognizes anything (iv. strengthened by exercise and coordinated to the sensations of touch. pleasure. nonempirical principle Rousseau's must The rationalists. Moreover. senstion.575). Rousseau claims.

The vicar continues the theme of order and regularity by turning to the doc trine of evolution as proposed by the modern materialists. or divine and and directs the world beyond the appearance of disorder. Rousseau.316 Interpretation second point of natural perceives a motion and On the around rest. the vicar. Rousseau depicts the lot does not of man to be one of hardship pain. final end. The "goodness of God is the love links . 578). should I go and form eter ties on and from to understand away..284. chaos. sitory" and sudden upheaval: "everything on earth is only tran Lucretian account of the (iv. but one which an excessive desire for tran scendence particular if his pedagogy is followed. everything disappear (iv. because all is a mortal and perishable flux nal and transition.. these do not suggest an ultimate unified order beyond. for it is by order that He maintains whole" what exists and each part of the notion of (iv. nor for security in love of glory. A perception of destructiveness susceptibility to nature. and subjected to his first article of faith: a will an external and or moves cause the universe and animates nature (iv. 363).816). He denies too the notion that all life could from a common prototype: . Rousseau intimates his a acceptance of a universe.593). The "proclaims of order a supreme (iv.576). He suggests that it is impossible to conceive that "nature finally for the prescribed laws to itself to which it outset" was not subjected at the (iv. there is to the regular motions of the vicar universe. uniform. posits a the universe that is more ambiguous. matter. There is no reason for habituation to a posture of the intellect. perceived nature of reality social as flux and indeterminate motion is often a product of man's turbulent life. in observing the visible universe him. there is also a caprice to nature that issues in disorder." and suggests that it is precisely is in constant motion that men come to acquire knowledge and (iv. From The a perception of design der. For him. everything changes. 303. painful and violent alteration characterizes man's proper relation to and like of Lucretius. reality as a result of the accidental collisions of random particles of denying thereby force that that there personified sustains is any overall design." continuous to the affections of the bodies in "continual world flux. Rousseau religion appears concerned to liberate the issue in mind from the terrors by demystifying and death. he says laws" constant draws from this observation is "regular.579).579). the derives the notion of a prime mover: moved matter certain laws is evidence of an intelligent will. He flatly refuses to accept the notion of chance combination as responsible and present configuration of the universe that complex configurations could emerge from the have conjunction of simple el emerged ements.820) Although men may come the first laws of observable motion sufficient for their earthly pur where passes earth where I tomorrow?" shall poses. vicar according to illustrates this phenome universe non of order and and harmony with a Newtonian image: the all is like a watch end" it is God's design that keeps sensible order the parts working for a "common intelligence" (iv. by Although the contrast. "As this which being. He because the makes repeated reference to the "body in motion.

the naturalist. one may go further and suggest that what Discourse particularly interesting is that in his analysis of each Second the situates the emergence of a new practical within a synchronic rather historical stage. 162). to the love of justice and moral wise beauty.583). He senses a "violent condition" invokes a notion of metaphysical dualism. He depicts his shame as a "tyrannical . Rousseau appears to sustain an argument of for the materiality of discourse ordering human consciousness. and thus Rousseau disavows the teleological and to sustain the vicar's position. It was not satisified with establishing certain measures so that nothing could disturb that order (iv. He but admits that he cannot understand of the interaction of his two tains nothing repugant substances reason or accepts that the idea dualism "con suggests observation" to to (iv. He that he has two distinct principles: one of which raised him to the study the took of eternal truths. stating for example that it is an error to believe that the senses urally functional for the utility of life. Like the atomists. its intentions It took with the utmost clarity. There was no benevolent guide to man's ages" writes: ". Thus. and development in the history of Second Discourse. the generations multiplied present state of organization. Rousseau history of natural phenomena has been a product of "fortuitous and accidents" argues causes. His discussions in Note emerged "J" strongly suggest that he believes all natural gence was makes life to have in no from a common prototype.576-7). There are no gods who end and organs are nat prescribe design or to the universe.580). in identity. of Rousseau's Second Discourse explicitly denies both the vicar's claims. 160).Rousseau versus the Savoyard Vicar nature sets -317 The insurmountable barrier that would not between the various species.. Describing from earliest man and his original ignorance. There is noth view metaphysical assumptions required ing contradictory to Rousseau in the that the development of the organs and the corporeal organization generally was haphazard and often by error. subjected him to the means of em pire of the senses and to the passions all that the sentiment of the which are their ministers and by these former inspired in him (iv. but that such emer way designed." "countless and the "chance combination of events which might never the passage of time have arisen" (in. the species. hindered the regions of while the intellectual world whose contemplation is the other him basely into himself. than diachronic structuration. centuries passed in all the the first (in." natural science rather than to a priori reasoning "the writings of that the deferring more precisely to Buffon. he guage. lan script. and consciousness. Rousseau and everyone always crudeness of uselessly starting from the same point. Indeed. these two principles and The vicar experiences the conflict of is torn by remorse senti- and guilt for his coarser inclinations. so that they be confounded. and to man's delight. or Ap pealing to Moses. The third and final section of the vicar's philosophical position is his account within himself and as a consequence the soul.. Rousseau disavows any language concerning formal or final causation. shows order. thus disrupting the human the notion of continuity.

iv. the vicar is ashamed and his fears torment lead to his attempt to hide from himself. Emile's experimental sense of order is restricted to the predictable consequences of his science.600. sense of beauty is fabricated and nurtured by the judicious manipulation of his imagination. and his virtue develops in the regulation of his heart by ideals that the tutor instills. he has would been led to judge of others nor to ported by raptures that What "divine virtue": permits the vicar within injure the stability to sustain his project an his mind. He also speaks of man's capacity for and contemplation and links to it a natural per ception of "order. he nonetheless retained much of the artifice Much of self-identity and immediacy to nature of natural man." wicked re together with an intense "love for the which is the source of "these transports . infallible guide of good and bad which makes man like God (iv. By contrast. is described. of restoration to self-unity is a essence" himself that issues in "innate principle of justice and Conscience. a conscience! Divine instinct."22 We discover that the achieved vicar's project for overcoming hiss grounds social self-division is to be he by a moral freedom which man's active reason and will what in the natural sentiment of con actions to na science. immortal limited but intelligent unto and celestial voice. While subject to the alienation caused human temporality underlying also the vicar's self-division. beauty. . the the original unity of natural man. Instead. for heroic actions.318 Interpretation that ment" brings him torment." raptures of love for and great souls this enthusiasm for Divided between his desires vicar seeks the moral principles evoked by his active reason. and ignores in his own peda gogical techniques. 22. has been deployed to achieve this. he his and so the Emile restoring the original unity of his being. a metaphysical structure that Rousseau both emplaced reveals to be a false hypostatization of structurally and historically behaviours. virtue. Like Adam of eternal after the fall. The vicar ascribes to the natural character of the soul.1). but an artifice wholly unlike that moderate sentiments not the vicar's current animadversions. Emile who has never been given cause to choose between desire and duty because his desires have never been rampant. as we have seen. thereby reconciling or sees as his freely-determined ture. Rousseau never appeals in in the Second Discourse to these faculties or this resolution nor does sense of mention any inherent order. 582.596). or virtue. He moralism of does so with the self-righteous hating the wicked (iv. certain guide of being that is ignorant and and free. The vicar's shame and side feelings of torment and his intense and bitter and passionate of admiration hatred for the beautiful. By confining be trans existence within himself. The vicar's violent vacillations of love and are hatred his far from the that Emile experiences.642). . by has as undeceiving and naive (iv. these virtue. beauty.

"I find myself by my species in- contestably in first rank" (iv. ideals the human The is consequence of vicar's belief that his is a privileged position in nature for understanding the difference between Rousseau and the vicar. ap increasing turbulence of his pride. of moral sentiment. 151). man's renders him incapable of consistently maintaining asocial and a natural and By claiming that man informs Man man as is by nature nonrational. Rousseau's analysis of the passion amour propre appears to shed light on the vicar's condition. Rous to the other hand "from the little care taken by nature bring men together through mutual need and to sees facilitate and bonds" their use of speech. fact the possibility of the of natural law in the strict If we take the doctrine who law to mean (a) that man is by nature a rational is inclined toward acting according to reason and hence acting and that the principles of natural law are universally valid and eter (b) virtuously nal because they accord with an unchanging human nature. which makes himself because there is as no natural order he must adapt. indeed. he this honour asks able post and without blessing the hand which placed me in himself (iv. Rousseau denies that hu or man nature points to to certain moral principles whereby he is to completed or perfected. of and his need for the palliative of passion. 552-3).583). the by contrast. The He claims himself makes mention the distraught state of this that raising of questions of meta physics pear to has "agitated (his) be both products vicar amour propre Many the and also causes of his sentiments. in sense. his self-interpreta vicar tion. one at least how little it men prepared their sociability how little it (in. The vicar. Where the seau on vicar expresses writes his admiration for man's natural sociability. amour propre. For Rousseau. appears to suggest. nature has assigned no ranks. For Rousseau. then Rousseau's po being sition in the Second Discourse law doctrine. to reflect upon and make actual a voice" just The vicar expresses the view that the "inner acts as a natural law governing men's affairs: All the duties tice of the natural law which were almost erased name of the eternal of men are recalled to it in the justice from my heart by the injus which imposes them on me and sees me to fulfill them (iv. claims. his faith. morality is an artifice of imagination. man does not represent the apex of the crucial natural world. contributed to every thing not have done to argument establish social Rousseau's that man's nature is a product of history. myself thus The is imperious in his self-congratulatory without "Can I see distinguished congratulating myself on filling it".603).Rousseau The bad versus the Savoyard Vicar -319 vicar claims that these sentiments of love of the good and hatred of the are as natural as the love of self and suggests that it is these relative senti men are ments able that make men sociable by nature. and that man is by nature a being endowed undermines with certain predetermined capabilities and expe vicar's natural riences. On servitude: the other side of this imperiousness can be found an obsequious . By dint regime. by finding distinctiveness in his malleability. and Book V will.

the more prone to constraints transcendent morality make men more turbulent. The tutor has fully contrived situations so imperious passions sown. . The transcendence to contemplation of the eternal order is. to meditate my reason is for it to annihilate itself before to feel myself overwhelmed by your Greatness (i v.. cause men hope. this transcendence simply betrays a demand for recognition of others. For Rousseau. the source of these attempts to care aspire to supreme heights and beyond the human that the seeds of condition. reason It is for this attempt that a significant portion of has been an to arrest the emergence of amour propre. it is to lift worthiest use of on you ceaselessly. believe that an external will can concerned not be beseeched to to its de Emile's tutor has been man to manipulate the environment in such a way that the young may develop the character which would require the of myths of eternal salvation and hope The divine intervention. A proper education must en the child nor not perceive a domineering insisting that its precepts be respond followed mands.320 Interpretation I am Being of beings. The that to to to emulate others. the soul for Pride. the height of perfection human beings. and become resentful if that recognition is forthcoming will are not however natural man. Emile is one who lives for himself. that leads a propre frustrated amour to animate the universe with will and produces propre's link with imagination that intention. to become dependent on other's recognition. for the vicar. passions thus a symptom of defective education. be traying his slavishness to their opinions: "I wanted supernatural understanding in . not unruly vanity.591). produces a slavishness the source of misery and dependency For Rouseau. It is the lack of desire to cull from those resources to comprehend and use nature. they vanity. lead to unhappiness. produces the "hateful and irascible passions. The it is the charm of my weakness myself up to my source. The vicar does indeed seek recognition from others. which especially is enflamed when others are perceived as being superior. within ultimately more unjust. you . the vicar corrupted soul lives in the eyes of oth of the ers or another. It is precisely amour the very idea of a sphere that tran Emile's education scends human life. careful nurture sure that can prevent their emergence. and servility are seen by Rousseau distortions are based on corrupt comparisons. Efforts to surpass the human condition unrequitable by and acts of supreme and may Godlike passions never be vir tue. Rousseau's that the profession succors analysis of the source of the tyrannical will reveals that the cause of such a temperament are is a faulty perception of reality.. because You are." "looking upon others." amour propre up" that "always wants to that is carry of a and man above his sphere. This diverges remarkably from the status Emile is to as envisage of for himself. Comparisons with others and resentment propre. ability or deception. Supreme the Being the eternal truths of which He the beauty of for order will strike all the powers of our soul" (iv. 594). lead to envy Amour in turn all by comparisons It is and this of those superior. The and finds his source of happiness in "contemplation is the source .

and from which I shall disappear to (iv. His virtue. de Honot. morrow? where everything passes away. and Be a man. is calculating and hypocritical: "If I do a good deed without a witness. virtue of one" Rousseau transforms the preme virtue of humility of to that of humanity. men have lost the capacity to achieve justice and happiness in this world. and the su redirect a domestic fidelity. As well. in ideas." produces misery and Letter to Beaumont. . the common are no great elevation of mind sometimes turns the brain and things in their ordinary light23 The teaching Rousseau wishes to convey is that by focusing upon the divine. himself up within He is unhappy estates estate in forge for himself goods imaginary from which are falls back into his one . op. Men therefore restrict their allegiance and energies must to the human estate. He when is unhappy only he forgets his human he always wants order own.608). this heroic striving has corrupted the regularity of their souls. p. an and neglectful of imaginary his weak elevation of man's existence makes ness and him imprudent true duties. How closes them. Belief in a transcendent realm and who is the author of commands regarding human virtue.. Rousseau revealed precisely that may have disturbed. moreover. one precept to give you and I have only strain your it comprehends all the others. he is the longer The illusions of pride are the source of our greatest contemplation of human misery makes the wise man always moderate eternal As a mortal and perishable being should I go and form ties on this earth where ev erything changes. ever narrow they may be. cit.. But . He does so others: reanimated a generous ardour .Rousseau order versus the Savoyard Vicar 321 fellows" that I myself would be privileged among my (iv. in his heart deeds" by the ac per others' deeds formed them. or attempts to and honor to that Deity In the surpass the human condition in heroic feats. A man wants it is costly to be deprived of to be God when he believes ills. be appropriate for hu- exacerbate He has been taught to question the motives and 23. "vain-glory. I know that it is seen and I make a record for the other life of my conduct in this (iv. the sublime imaginations. to go out beyond them. intentions of those who attempt to surpass supra. 308). this would not amour propre. ordinary T. Becket and P. . a man when is he not unhappy to as Study long as he know the limits. A too longer seen continual meditations on the Deity or the enthusiasm for virtue mean and regular order of . The vicar attempts to instill it a love of virtue by depicting by portraying count of beauty noble of virtue in such a way as to make alluring.820) between the vicar's and This disparity the Rousseau's views underscores too the divergent pedagogies they "he employ. 37. The only those one no believes a man has a right to . examined. in seeking to glory attention to the man's earthly things. Re heart within the limits of your condition. the priest gave For reasons we have already Emile because it would in making the boy admire him the desire to perform like his those who had (iv. -A.653).

duties in opposition to na of ture. is constituted by a selfIt is based on knowing how to judge and circumscribe his eternal salvation are of Hopes for folly in Rousseau's eyes for they cause to forget "the art living": In the uncertainty of human life.632). He bases his hopes on the immortality of the for justice soul and the belief that the afterlife justifies the the soul survives pains endured and virtue: "I believe that the body long and enough for the The order" maintenance of (iv. relation to himself.654). the vicar is tormented vicar's by the "violent condi of quire a the union of his body and soul. pp.24 virtue who was said to partake of Chiron as the most popular not seek a Emile's concerns are at tant happiness for him one completely this-worldly: "I shall the expense of the (iv. in the Compared to the heavenly bodies insignificant. disruption in their souls. Emile's virtue. constituted. punitive God ("without faith no true virtue exists"). choice of preceptors indicates the worldly he offers concerns he intends to im the Rather than choosing a teacher of divine Socrates. hopes and sufferings thus re belief in eternal salvation. Christ. and the need for patient had taken men outside of the Rousseau's part. present" dis In sum. like Locke's which we examined earlier. the former heroes. or the heroes model. he partook of the dual nature of beast and man and it is this that Rousseau emphasizes. xvn:4 (December 1984)..781). 731-53. and recrimina tions the vicar's beliefs are intended to ease." While Chiron the teacher of . supreme virtue. as a prison and sees after between desire and guilt.590). being delivered from the shackles of body.322 man Interpretation and bounds to strive for immortality. the wicked one orders the center of all whole mea- in 24. Torn between inclination tion" duty. virtue depends on suppressing nature and tran mortal scending regulatory ambitions. vicar may discern from the god to whom a man prays how a man is The vicar's regard is for a god who exercises divine judgment.604). reasons for which I explored in "Rousseau and the Domestication of Canadian Journal of Political Science. endurance in hope future "natural" order and caused salvation necessary. rebellious. in I shall be me without contradiction or happy" division and shall need only myself order to be (iv. the and torn is corrupt. Virtue. The vicar sees the the body life as a period of atonement: ". man is at an outer periphery: The good man orders himself in relation to makes the whole. In Rousseau's understanding the discourse of the classical made appeal pedagogy that to "imaginary estates". The vicar's "virtue". men prudence. The latter was himself the things. let us avoid above all the false prudence of sacrificing the present for the future. by contrast. life (iv. and the heroic or the divine. calculations. is the source of the corruption of an honest especially imitation of love of vir tue.. if guaranteed. or divine intelligence. I my aspire to moment when. Despite the place vicar's expectations man occupies an whole. depends on a transcendent. Imitation. this is often to sacrifice what is for what will not be (iv. Do all of these opinions and beliefs sound like the sort of teaching Emile re quires? Emile is completely free from the worries.

Whatever the ambiguity of Rousseau's agreement with Swift's critique of the moderns. 151- 26. taste. The pro faith is. man can understand the order in nature because he is cosm of the universe.305). he nonetheless adopts this modern perspective. metaphor Rousseau's metaphor choice of the spider as a the dominant has pedigree. 25. an explanation have had in writing the text and situating it to which I promised to return. The of difference is most revealed in Rousseau's description man's relation to the world around him: Let us measure the radius of our sphere and stay in the center like the insect in the middle of his web. He had in his "The Battle be ancient tween the Ancient and Modern whose wings produce music and described philosophy as a flight and who thus "visits all the blossoms of enriches the field and garden . verse. and and its transcendent morality. or their spider which himself without the ancient least injury to their beauty." Jonathan Swift. therefore. who have mistaken a particular historical configuration of nature and of the soul as nature herself. for the it in Swift's bitbee ingly satiric contrast of ancients and moderns.2* within Book IV of the Books. of previous philosophers. However. Rousseau's acceptance of mechanism historicization of consciousness requires leaving ancient psychology and his ideas behind. the best known the Books" being the use made of is insightful. . and in collecting from them their smell. he reflects its order and at har and remains within a pre-established relation. or is the master and measure of the chaotic uni the order and his understanding is based on his own construc All intelligibility of accounts meaning has its poignantly root in human needs and artifice. we must now account for the reason Rous fession of ing seau might Emile. By looking the order a micro himself. 1975). objection could and Modern in A Tale of a Tub Rousseau and other p. ordered his radius and keeps to the in circumference. in relation to the common center. the most conservative part of Rouseau's work and should be taken as distinct from the radical teaching he propounds as the endur basis of his philosophy. we shall always be sufficient unto ourselves and we shall not have to complain of our weakness. An be made to this reading by pointing out that in his dual own name embraces some of the vicar's doctrines. For the vicar. particularly of conscience and of substances. 292). . Rousseau rejects the vicar's teleological conception of the universe."25 The bee is con trasted to the own world modern house-building itself feels that it can produce its from within and perceives itself as self-sufficient. mony within man is the measure of the cosmos. However. he tions. Rousseau's criticism the account of power that sustains that classical project. The vicar simply remains committed to a classical cosmol materialists' ogy and ethic as a For Rousseau. and relation to all the concentric which are the creatures (iv. however. for we shall never feel it (iv. . creates response to the man claims.Rousseau sures versus the Savoyard Vicar 323 Then he is circles. applies as much and modern to the vicar's posi tion. "The Battle Between the Ancient Satires (London: Dent.

One might hypothesize that the juristic constitu tion of sovereign association cases the civil profession of in the Social Contract is faith as vulnerable. and it is must be (iv.654). quel to the Emile is a tragic aftermath. but gineer a education which is offered to Emile is not only an impractical politi the tutor gives to his pu cal proposal because of the rare and privileged attention also because Rousseau himself soul was not persuaded of its efficacy. that they move to Paris. Emile abandons her for a misan thropic existence as a solitary." manding less inclined to promote hypocrisy than revealed religion. only one argument. Rouseau alluring "natural religion. Emile's pedagogy is not invulnerable. dazzling and in its charm and beauty and capable of provides a For his contemporaries. pil. that as misery. Indeed. by contrasting earlier editions with the published I will adduce or der. bourgeois forces." The reader should recall that in the general preface to the education Emile Rousseau addresses his work to those educators heart. of God. self-unity is uncontaminated. Rousseau intimates that the profession has primarily a po litical task. the se reality. In a corrupt. The Profession. It is by their em tyranny must to regulate nature be combatted. and in both en serves as a palliative of to the degeneration suing from the rupture while injurious to those solution where of the whose unity the moral experience. the vicar's profession conveys a salutary teaching. vice. After the profession where one might expect that love of or of the inherent virtue and justice might regulate Emile's heart. At the beginning of the profession he announces that he is about to speak to his "dear fellow "suitable for citizen. First. these what would otherwise declarations views. the what purpose does it serve? I offer following possibilities." who seek an universal man and well adapted to the human This since this occurs conspicuously around the profession. Like Styx-dipped Achilles. not because Rousseau of appears to believe that the truths of student will suffer which intimations of deprival natural. where following Sophie's se duction and impregnation by another man. one that is intended as a tract for the times. Rousseau resumes his a biotechnology: "One has pire that their ments hold on the possessions only by means of the passions. To en human is a wager.324 Interpretation III. might be the only the technical penetration has failed or been overwhelmed by other to the second suggestion. drawn" always from nature itself that the proper instru . sures some moral response to the commercial society and its In this way. This leads me society the away from less de vicar's profession of faith can inspire virtue by portraying a simulacrum of vir men tue. but because because of of the essential artifice and cial trajectories traversing the fragility body in a given human so the threatening the univocal script with which it has been outfitted. experiential from he has been excluded. DRAMATIC AND STRATEGIC SIGNIFICANCE If the seau's profession of faith is not compatible with the theoretical the core of Rous teaching. where Rousseau reveals that the couple's daughter dies in infancy. After all. seem to have the role of softening work be too severe a disjunction in Although one could muster sufficient evidence for this thesis for example.

He did believe it ble in his man who age simply to praise temperance and exhort men to moderation.Rousseau address versus the Savoyard Vicar the 325 to mankind is in where contrast to particular addresses of other more rhetor ical works. that teach alluring image for men already corrupted by ings. Rousseau never the objections he might have made to the profession of effect systematically re faith and its pro posed model of virtue. seeking to impart salutary truths and concerning himself with civic virtue and justice." to duty and virtue always not have a secret charm even for corrupted be 27."27 "useful to mankind": take this utility therefore as our guide. Becket and P. his and is beautiful as and noble and he presents his ambiguously nected with his solutions reserve. he speaks as a citizen of Geneva to other citizens. who has been exposed to modern materialism and the istering natural-right teaching and whose prejudices would render often presents Rousseau's concerns comical. and proceed to establish those doc trines which are most conducive to The truth of revelation is subordinated wholly to the utility aim presenting As well. p. need to accept some evils reveals degree of suffering as the to a moral outlook. sufficient for the more comprehensive op. . the to be endured are a emphasized more than the goods to be happily enjoyed. no such political fervor is expressed. generally. In those works where he speaks as a citizen. In the Letter to Beaumont. hearts in writing had been to display the beauty of virtue so that he might move the of the Parisians. the simulacrum of virtue must virtuous: be compounded with what is not precisely "the sacrifices made hearts. in Book XI of the Confessions. Rousseau is less open and more didactic. Rousseau in fact indicates that his of certain views to his contemporaries. cit. To the restraints. supra. Rousseau's His teaching in the Emile prerequisite teaching would appear anachronistic and tyrannical. and so one might assume that it serves the same end as Rousseau's other rhetorical works. An explicit statement to the that the vicar's position only provided the simulacrum of virtue would have rhetoric undermined its intended views un effect. the image of T. There is im complexity to the relationship between happiness and virtue not of admin efficient means most calculates the mediately apparent to the man who to his desires. Only implicitly not does Rous seau speak with less There is a reason for Rousseau's reticence con possi the difficulty presenting his teaching. In "corrupted can serve as an the modern hearts" again become disposed to a love of virtue. A. For this reason. They are charmed by his text and are sent away with a surface view better which by dint of persuasion might than their old prejudices. Although he believed that they were corrupt and had to know virtue and morality. Hence. could entrance with ceased seau veals they had a "delicate sensitivity" that Rous felt he his accounts. theory of Although this may "exvirtue. 37. Rousseau the simulacrum of virtue. de Honot. Rousseau had in a religion dicated that "Let us his sole concern had been to devise it. whose action is governed has abandoned all traditional by the the principle of pleasure and calculative reasoning alone. Only in the introduction to the otic or partisan profession of faith does Rousseau express any similar patri sentiment. In the Emile. of unproblematic.

What this of means proper tactics and techniques as men well as formations knowledge to governing in their multiple relations in the conjuncture of popu and make possible lation. namely This art has as its datum the is that new "population" as a unique field of intervention. truth. 5-21. win agreement neither of virtue" Beautiful images charm even as they help However. op. Consciousness. they subjects. "The century invented." the desiring man who wills and acts. relates that Thus. pp. by by the way guided traverses their bodies within a political culture. For this I suggest another interpretive his egy must be advanced and pedagogical that in looking at the connection between political Rousseau's techniques and a distinctive element of comes teaching crucial agenda plains jects. it is better still to make them what one needs them to and be." tuted within a specific art of political rule. power. men are not are constituted as particular moral simply morality. That desire. power. vi (Autumn 1979). dream eighteenth safety of urban and domestic spaces. speak. therefore. health and hygiene. him to be and wealth emerge as the concern of state. the "penetration of inner man. mortality. and knowledge are posed as sites of problematization ticle already early in his writings emerges. or dressage involving questions of and the of a per sexuality. Such wealth. It is unorthodox but I on believe and ex to make the case that the Discourse Political Economy of establishes an for Rousseau's thoughts on the political technology desire the mode of power deployed in constituting the Emiles as moral sub As the Discourse reason and power and the Emile make evident. The most absolute on is exerted no less his will authority is that which penetrates to the inner man than on his actions. in the Discourse on Political Economy. Foucault writes. Foucault has suggested was consti "governmentality. in his for Diderot's Encyclopedic which offers us his agenda: good If it is to know how to use men as they are. toward the of each form surveillance. the en wealth and Rousseau behaviour to govern a state is to set up an economy toward its citizens of involving tire state that is to exercise a that is.326 alted Interpretation plays a crucial pedagogical role. fertility. Profession to the more substantial arguments. birthrates." Ideology uality. 28. a synoptic regime of power. enabling governed efficiently. if you want long run what the government makes them to command men. these suggestions does justice to the question of why the strat of Faith is where it is in the Emile. for example. a regime of its exercise within I am here pursuing and and enlarging upon an argument made by Michel Foucault in "Govern and mentality. cit. a project conveys the fectly transparent so to and efficient society. What of makes Rousseau and interesting is his problem: how to constitute an economy ar desire. territory. his histories on sex .28 a provocative possibility to light. It is certain that people are in the Train men. or a political economy. Rousseau is alluding here to organization of an a very specific which historical and political reality and economy of bodies. supra.

Individuals simulta neously exercise and undergo they are vehicles of power and not with its point of application. knowledges. population. decipher them that for the first which not stirrings of desire which animate the flesh. does know his own truth. the the ritual of examination. he has done so. organizing system. so as to to examine his thoughts. but here they juridicial conception of power. The their constitution as quanta of "Man" labour power or biopower in a popula tion. images. course on Economy Emile. indeed dependent upon. pectations Moreover. Here power is polyvalent. That is. It must be extracted. dreams. especially the level of desire." Let me elaborate this further: one might see that Rousseau's politics of truth is inextricable from subject the dynamics of a produce a confessional discursive regime. or of of the Stoic in the cosmopolis. exercised by a superior wisdom. within the many governmental discourses of Commentators have hinted at this political technology its accompanying exercise of power by referring to the refashioning con ducted by the soulcraft of the legislator and by suggesting that the reproduction and of the structure of the natural equilibrium the of power and desire is a technical ques government tion. Desire until is construed as is hidden. his sexuality. in which power/ knowledge elicits and maintains desire. instrumentalizing it and extending con- . the condottieri in the city-republic because the measure is drawn from a new scientific object. how they are constituted in the deployment of power. and of and thus must be differentiated from the divergent po litical Italian "the technologies of self-mastery of the citizen of the courtesan in the Greek polis. focus. and ex Rousseau is precisely novel in this regard bodies as effects of because he power. memories. Commentators that allow this acknowledge that it is the external conditions of "making" "denaturing" or to be possible. Indeed." 327 Unlike Hobbes's sovereign who ex body. the individual is the prime effect of power. The hermeneutic relation in a which the moral subject is engaged to achieve self-mastery. the is incited to discourse of truth about and his desires. in feudal Europe. power. the Dis there are no of social central nodal points of power. his desires. rather than power a above juridicial distillation of power into a single will the art of government deploys a power that circulates in a dispersed or network of appara tuses without a single. and the subject. I have suggested that Rousseau's position is more refined: this is a power dispersed and diffuse. only the trajectories of a multiplicity forces.Rousseau the social ercises versus the Savoyard Vicar from it. Pedagogical discipline incites renders his truth in the verbalization of confessing subject who his desires. suggests that this is not as an ontological given who is being made to freedom to a appeal be free. politics of surveillance. power has a productive character it produces since the effects of truth population management. are given over to a discus sion of this discipline. center. Political moral a substantial portion of and most of the the Social Contract. One is right to "self-mastery" identify the genre of the moral code free and dom constituted to be but in Rousseau this is at one. of the confessional. that at examines how the relations of power constitute is. But the of men and constitution of new subject goes beyond this.

Rousseau has here tion of resorted to the disciplinary intensified surveillance serves. an omniscient gaze is actualized and an in a society devoted to of a new polit ical optics economy orderly. is in the least watchful. the tutor engages the technique of constant surveil lance. I readily employ them. who will eventually solu become the tangible Sophie. his temporary self-division is monitored by the policing of an inter nalized gaze. find in the Emile now becomes as a political." At this point where the tutor has contrived the situation so immediately consummate his desire for Sophie. What this implicitly shows "inner sentiment" is distrust for the effective as the final. but instead it constituted on (the Church teaching or the sovereign's power of new form as "sexuality": sex has become a locus of the basis of new techniques vengeance. not on the negative exercise to the world of the sovereign's upon a positive denial of access hereafter. free desire but its incorporation. Sex. with possessing capabilities which must be optimized. subject The same mechanic in the constitution of this unique is found too in La Nouvelle Heloise where Julie claims. conclusive moral regu- . ruse. do and. Rousseau deploys tactics incitement. of through disciplinary Throughout the Emile. The innovation is that what is not the repression of power. occurs a gaze coupled with the incitement desire. or the power. a prelude and This scrutiny is however only the administration of desire it "the inner to the interiorization of surveillance next tactic makes possible. ob the powers of desire over him. in that Emile cannot fixing desire to a particular object: the imaginary woman. juridical force. a woman who governs. and duties are deprecated rights. In the Emile. and exercises from without. of knowledge as juridical authority. so they are compatible with the complete freedom of the child and not sow the seeds of vice. and technical problem. flaws must be cor forces must be administered at the capillary level in this "metabolism Emile's education nature. Instead. visibility in we economy out of excitation. as a body.328 trol over Interpretation the body of the subject. The teaching of moral. proliferation. If a mother plete control. It is not a morality of repression and self-abnegation an but rather one of and desire instru eco as a pervasive mentation. but Constituted investment in can practices which direct life processes. the in this administration is illustrated sures that by the Profession of Faith whereby the tutor en sentiment" obliges Emile "to keep an attentive watch over himself before listening to his nascent desires. its government." is not a pedagogy of of precept. as a quantum of "biopower" rected. nomic. and the individual be represented as a "machine". contented bod ies. judges. The procedure finally culminates in again shifting the surveillance. for prohibitive example. it is no longer "the techniques of power assumes a flesh" the site of various death). she has the passions of her children under her com She has means of arousing and sustaining the desire to learn or any other far as desire. continually by Rousseau as ineffective and inap propriate for producing the new "natural who is to be integrated into soci suppression and man" ety's grid of surveillance. habit.

I have that the profession of faith cannot be read as con taining Rousseau's trix and thus philosophic principles. was gone too. elsewhere in the knowledge his who It was of Nietzsche. However. The vicar's system is open to insur mountable objections on the basis of the new philosophic truths and political ma ineffective in regulating the social effects individualism fostered by materialism. he presented could not to a classical cosmology and impose a refutable system of morality may upon men. and not Rousseau taught us that with the to recognize that death God. The traditional restraints of rendered can is of the new a transcen dent morality selfish only be the seen as arbitrary or quaint from the point of view of the man who embraces materialist teaching on human nature and realizes realized that his that the designs now have philosophic sanction. Man is nature lated phenomena of nature. . new commercial govern Nor did Rousseau believe it possible to findings exempts and postulate that man nonetheless has a simply ignore the materialist distinct realm of freedom that one of the mechanically-regu him from mechanical necessity. guaranteed the dependence desire. tactically contrived within a moral project of constituting disciplined "biopower" subjects. The Profession is but a tool drawn from Rousseau's kit to this end. It is from his that the nature must be taken. Although such depictions and of virtue as by the vicar charm corrupted men's hearts dispose them to virtue. however. as a singularity but by biological species. "Man" of course. that his inspired followers.Rousseau lator and versus the Savoyard Vicar on a new 329 relation. Power dispersed and diffused to the capillaries of this society will ensure an efficient circulation of moral effects. and that mo the public responsibility and caution and political and willful rality is but an armature of that power. the healthy and productive argued To conclude. The transparent society no gods and no sovereign. Rousseau's moralizing multiple modes of power and of regulating his the human machine is found means of account sustains. tutelary by a prudent management of The Profession then has program of a control of served as a perfectly transparent society momentary bridge in Rousseau's overall which guarantees itself the complete will require the drawstrings of moral behavior. Submerged not within the recurrent and endless metabolism with nature and identifiable to by their the quanta of they contribute Mankind. But Rousseau to also seemed "Man" had become problematic and have ventured on the path implying that "Man" is technically constituted through various modes of power. Rousseau had consequences of this new teaching simply on social revert life were calamitous. the ancient ideas could not be sustained in the ments. the technical interven Emiles and Sophies have been constituted within an object of "population." tion. It is Rousseau adapts in constituting the moral distinguishes him from many of subject.

North Texas State University (817) 565-2313 Denton. Catherine H.. $15. Irving Kristol. federalism in Germany. William H. Anton. Smiley. Vincent Ostrom. Scheiber. Alexandre Marc. Lovell. Student and Retired. Elinor Ostrom. Deil S. in research stitutions. PUBLIUS is a book reviews on the theoretical and practical dimen sions of the American federal system and intergovernmental rela tions and other federal systems throughout the world. Murray L. consociationalism and federalism. PUBLIUS publishes articles. Duchacek. Max Frenkel. notes. Dexter. Wright. Harry N. and processes. Livingston. baum. Elazar and John Kincaid quarterly journal now in its sixteenth year of publication. Adele Jinadu. federalism and military rule in Nigeria. Robert B. Peirce.PUBLIUS: THE JOURNAL OF FEDERALISM Published by the Center for the Study of Federalism Temple University and North Texas State University Editors: Daniel J. Donald V. E. Riker. Beer. and much more as well as the PUBLIUS Annual Review of American Federalism. Ivo D. Dick Howard. Frederick Wirt. Samuel H. Texas 76203-5338 . Jr. and Forthcoming issues will feature articles on state constitutional law. It is dedicated to the study of federal principles. $20. Hawkins. rural communities in the federal system. Lewis A. ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION RATES: Individual tional $30. EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD: Thomas J. Ira SharkanWeidensky. Lester Levine. Institu Subscriptions and manuscript submissions should be sent to: PUBLIUS: THE JOURNAL OF FEDERALISM c/o Department of Political Science. L. diffusions of information and innovation.E. A. the Voting Rights Act. David B. Reagan's New Federalism. Neal R. Walker. William S.

Cooke 2. the rules thing does This will become what a it is intended to become. Conn. it is his name that is invoked as the advocate of what most Americans take to be While the principles of the American regime. Department of Energy In Number observed men are I of The Federalist. Jeffery Wallin." that America would decide the great question writing as "whether societies of really capable or not of and choice. a reason that is ordered toward a truth that lies in an objective order of reality. p. 3. National Right History (Chicago: University Chicago Press. Leo Strauss.2 informing the American founding would shape the nation's destiny There gime are various statements of the principles the upon which the American re is supposed to be founded. 1925). rather than having its political sys it by tradition or necessity. The human beginning will the end. John Marshall. which is the translation meaning the Greek governs the or action of a thing. most people profess to know Jefferson's principles and their impor tance to the foundation of the United States. is to be found in to this document the purpose or end is to protect unalienable natural rights of individuals to life. Cf. 122-27. V. and John Jay. Alexander Hamilton. Insofar present An as the rule which governs the development of a thing is in its origin. The Federalist." paper and delivered at the APSA Annual of Meeting. it has fulfilled its nature. of and the pursuit of happiness. Office of Congressional Affairs. An become acorn does not an oak. As John Marshall remarked. The Life of George Washington (New York. Alexander Hamilton. 1980. . Vol. would establish a regime by hu in accordance with reason. when human being. The English of word comes cxgxr). which a beginning or origin. 3. 1961). according to Hamilton in this passage. 202. and a embryo become.: Wesleyan University Press. pp. from the Latin ium. Thomas Jefferson and of course was the author the Declaration. p. The as principles well. 1950). nation would The American rather therefore be the first regime based upon "principle" principle princip- than accident. it is also dgxtf is a rule."3 i. Jr. tem imposed man choice upon was that this nation. 3. but best known expression of those princi ples understood as both the the Declaration of Independence. "Publius. "Locke and the American Founding. by determining what not become a thing. or whether they are establishing forever destined to depend for their The unique claim of good government from reflection political con stitutions on accident or force. p."1 America. the same cannot be said of Alexan polit der Hamilton. liberty. the most contradictory opinions were entertained.Alexander Hamilton Mackubin Thomas on Natural Rights and Prudence Owens. (Middletown. ed. Jacob E. of government beginning According the and end of government. applies as well to politics. James Madison. "[wjith respect to [Hamilton's] ical principles and designs.

The great debate 4. (Washington. 11. 126. 9. reactionary most opponent of the principles of the American revolution: reputation Thomas Jefferson a firmly fixed Hamilton's by branding him "not and monarchist. plutocracy."6 And Fisher Ames: "The of Aristides. rick. . be- and Journals of George Ticknor (Boston. p. that the late "conservative" Hamilton "radical. must be classed among the men who have best strength and contribute fundamental conditions of a government there is not an element of not order. ed. 1962). John Adams. I. indeed. but for a monarchy bottomed on only his allies characterized Hamilton as a proto-Caesar. 1931-44). 1085. II. Vol. and he hated every man young or old who stood in his Your "ambition. choose and Hamilton the three greatest men of our age. D. National Gazette: "Brutus No. 6. "I consider Napoleon. and corruption in To the charge of added being opposed to the principles of the revolution."10 Jefferson and attacked his financial monarchy. John C. pp. p. Fitzpat- Life. but it is he takes in that laudable kind. Washington wrote of him: of "That he is shall readily grant." early revolution In fact. Dodge."9 But it was Hamilton's perceived principles rather than his ambition that most troubled his greatest political enemy."4 According to Guizot. to the 8. 10. peddler. "Hamilton vital principles and . 249. Quoted in Melvin G. with modern historians have the charge that Hamilton was at odds contradicted the himself. 1896). September 25. perfectly consistent with the early Hamilton in the principles by which he took his bearings. Cf. Alexander Hamilton (New York: Putnam. 1876). Alexander Hamilton (New York: Norton. A Collection of the Facts and Documents Relative Death of Major General Alexander Hamilton (New York: Houghton Mifflin. Vol. Vol.. the principles of servative" Thomas Jefferson. Hamilton's principles were the principles of the American and. 5. ."7 Hamilton would not have dishonored Greece in the Age Of course. I. who branded him as the conservative or. March 15 and subsequent Forrest McDonald. ed. pp. Pitt." and Selected Writ Cited in numbers.g. plan as an attempt to establish America. Jefferson. The Anas. 1944). 7-8."8 tined you to be the evil genius of this country. 261..11 corruption. Vol. eds. aristocracy. 48. Quoted in Page Smith. The Life ings of Thomas Jefferson (New York: Modern Library. John Adams. Letters. e. 241. p. Quoted in William Coleman. called him "the bastard brat of a The ambition for which Washington had praised Hamilton was Scots sal. p. Talleyrand is as to have said. which prompts a man name of to excel in whatever hand. 1798. and if I had to among the known the three. 1904). 1979).." the source of Adams's disdain: "[Hamilton] was in a delirium of ambition: he had been blown up with vanity by the Tories. 460-61. contemporary approbation of Hamilton was by no means univer His erstwhile Federalist ally. to a remarkable extent. The later "con "radical" Hamilton was.332 The Interpretation reputation of Alexander Hamilton has been supposed subject to wide vicissitudes of opinion. II. worthy of its name duration in the Constitution there. XXXVI. John Adams (New York. 1045. The Writings of George Washington. 7. p. Smith. "have des temper" way. moreover."5 which [Hamilton] did ambitious powerfully restricted to place Nor was this high regard for Hamilton I to foreigners. had fixed his eye on the highest sta tion in America. pride and overbearing wrote Noah Webster.C. To John Adams. in Adrienne Koch and William Peden. I would without hesitation give the first place to Hamilton. p.

Papers hereafter. particularly in urging debts. Hamilton sought to teach moderation and justice to a people through attachment to good revolutionary them to respect the property of minorities. These principles must be applied in practice. The same state of passions which . This passionate attachment to liberty led them to the belief that their will should rule in all things. They were instead establishing institutions of government and learning to live together un der them. 1. Hamilton believed that liberty meant the citizens ought to be free to follow their natural inclinations. Hamilton saw that such a character in the people would lead to anarchy and hence to tyranny. 176-77. and oppression. great challenge was In short. Harold C. very naturally leads them to contempt and disregard authority into When the minds of those are loosened to grow from their attachment to ancient establishments and courses. though revolution and found ing served As a statesman instrumental in the founding of the American regime. to moderate their passion for liberty in order to se to them the blessings at of liberty. Hamilton showed his awareness of this challenge in letter to John Jay. and in making them virtuous by making them law-abiding. and abide by the stric tures of international law. pay their laws. they seem giddy and are apt more-or-less to turn anarchy. This is not to say that these differences were not considerable. Hamil ton faced a major obstacle. for opposition to of all tyranny . The public measures (and the public disposition) required for founding were different from those the same ends. Even the height of revolutionary fervor. passionately attached to liberty.12 [Emphasis added] 12. fits the multitude . Hamilton's vision of America in his Report tent with the natural rights Manufactures is perfectly consis doctrine found in his Full Vindication of the Measures on of Congress (1774) and end of government was the The Farmer Refuted (1775). 1961-79).Alexander Hamilton tween on Natural Rights and Prudence 333 and Jefferson. ed. and the mode of application can make all the difference in the world. His understanding of the same in 1800 as in 1776. longer fighting a revolutionary war. (November 26. Syr 26 Volumes (New York: Columbia University Press. To "establish government" good it is not sufficient merely to espouse true principles. . A major aspect of Hamilton's statesmanship consisted of attaching the American people to the law and Constitution of the new nation. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. and the apparent conflict between the early and had late Hamilton. but that it was necessary for there to be what some is right relationship between what the people are inclined to do and for them to do. largely to do with means rather than ends. Americans were no had changed. 1775). required for revolution. Even established law was an unacceptable constraint. a to infuse the spirit of independence with the spirit of the law. even funda mental Hamilton from a political point of view. The American people were a revolutionary people. But what he perceived as the proper means to those ends Specifically. Hamilton's to transform a revolutionary people into cure a self-governing people. as circumstances had changed. both destructive of true liberty. Cooke. ette and To John Jay Jacob E.

equally important. the better to fulfill America's revolutionary purpose. Our first 13. In the commencement of a revolution nothing was more natural than that the pub . Alexander Hamilton. lic mind should be influenced by an extreme spirit of and to nourish this spirit. 193-95. But. knowledge have. Zeal for liberty be In forming our confederation. Papers. there are certain which all subsequent reasonings must depend . the to unchanging ends. which. Papers. 1788). or first principles. ed. was the great object of all our public and private came predominant and excessive. The Examination. given by na ture and not subject to deliberation. is as necessarily a philosopher. I certainly was a valuable one. The ing. this passion alone to actuate us. xxv. and therefore better) self. be rare.15 The statesmen. in general. change his opinions. John Jay. pp. Cf. Number XVI. The contrary is and or always a mark either of a weak and versatile mind. Thus in Federalist 31 he writes: of In disquisitions every kind. The Federalist. 15. Sir. Second Letter from 14. must such changes. that Hamilton incurred the wrath of Thomas Jefferson nent of great and won the revolution and from posterity the reputation as a reactionary oppo of his earlier (radical.334 He Interpretation to this central returned theme at the New York . merely an advocate of a particular political plan to miss the important point that political decision and advocacy. In this choice of means test of his statesmanship Hamilton displayed that quintessential virtue of the statesman prudence. while certainly not identical with political theory. m. James Madison. the same degree of yet they have much better claims in this re men. Jacob Cooke town. there is another ob ject. Al- at the New York Ratifying Convention (24 June. Ratifying Convention in jealousy 1788. and of vigor and which our enthusiasm rendered us little capable of regard mean a principle of strength and stability in the organizing of our government. man" annual message under certain to Congress he says that circumstances.: Wesleyan University Press."1 spect. just not as may suit a present convenience. to circumstances." It was in attempting to moderate America's revolutionary passion. Conn. especially in matters of great importance to the public.542-43- . accommodating its creed. as of course. v. problem is to discover what Hamilton's political principles were. Papers. Remarks (Middle- Phocion. seemed institutions. than to judge from the conduct of And in commenting on Jefferson's first although "a wise and good may. Hamilton seems to attach great importance to principles and to consistency in holding them. upon Though it can not be pretended that the principles of moral and political certainty with those of the mathematics. 1961). and we appear object to have had no other view than to secure ourselves from despotism. primary truths. in its operation.564. But to dismiss him is simply a man of action. takes up lays down an article of faith. 68. or of an artificial designing character. nonetheless may be grounded in thoughtfully articulated principles.

He here oughgoing for themselves. 17. I. 1. and to engage the assis of Lord experience and upon the principles William Kent. position was that Parliament had every a right to legislate for the col motherland. the the Declaration of Independence. 1. since these are his earliest political natural writings. . &c. Hopkins related relates: when colony is subordinate consent to the to Thus. A Full Vindication of the Measures of Congress. Seabury 's onies 16. written in December 1774. Hamilton hesitated his given republication [of The Feder alist]. governm words indicating his formed to write a John C. Vol. New York. 1864). the genius of the British constitution. pp. reports." these early pamphlets are truly of shocking. and The Farmer Refuted. In fact. . ural radicalism. "Mr. the Continental was a response to an attack on Congress by Samuel Seabury. in his reply. it upon [He desired] to have the subject treated in reference to past Bacon's inductive philosophy.16 on Natural Rights and Prudence 335 is evidence His principles must ters which. Hamilton never wrote a political be gleaned from his pamphlets. tance of others in the freedom and happiness of mankind enterprise. now phlets he intended to do so. 18. set out to show that "the inhabitants of Great Britain [had no] right to dispose of the lives and the inhabitants of America "18 . and common sense begin here.45-78. he derives a radical justification for the right to revolution. invoking the law of nature.. "[Hamilton intended to write] full in the history and science of civil government and the various modifications of . requested that Hamilton "explicitly [declare] to the pub Hamilton obliged him in The [his] idea of the natural rights of which mankind. "Coercive" Seabury. and therefore an articulation of what for man as man. From nat rights. to of he added a justification colonists' of the cause in terms the British constitution and the colonial charters. xcii. Hamilton. There are however two pam collected. Hamilton's first pamphlet. Papers. Hamilton's two of pamphlets provide one of the most comprehensive defenses American liberty to be found. provide the clearest statement of Hamilton's political principles. the Anglican the name of "A. 'Heretofore I have purpose the people milk: hereafter I will give them treatise on ciii. cal one that is at least author of as radical as the document written by his future politi enemy. which followed in March 1775.81-165. beginning a is is Hamilton's as well. 1. response rector of Westches ter. and let run to 26 thick volumes. Hamilton devotes to the dictates that we in particular which articulation of political princi our ples. The Farmer Re futed..Alexander Hamilton though there treatise. pp. Farmer" under had ridiculed the "Intolerable" measures enacted by the Congress in to the so-called or Acts passed by Parliament in 1774.17 In view of Hamilton's voices alleged a thor "conservatism. In them is full discussion good of human nature. &c. by definition. A Full Vindication of the Measures of the Congress. and the Colonial charters as justifi cation for the security of the individual in his life and property. The Federalist (New vestigation of the York. because. Hamilton.' to him. 327-28." Farmer Refuted. Papers.46." Brown. that he meat. Papers. ends. A Full Vindication. He defends the right his the American colonies to legislate basing argument on natural rights and natural law. Memoirs and Letters of James Kent (Boston: Little. a ed. properties of lic Seabury. W. 1898).

is.87. that principle is a right to tax us But Hamilton denies this cause to admit such a power principle. and his ignorance that spell out a doctrine of political obligation. and the colonial charters. the issue was there should be a was rather by the "petty taxes duty they of 5 pence per pound on of East India The dispute "whether the Parliament Great Britain or not . or advantage of others. is one of ignorance. beginning with the law of nature. of times.21 Quoting Blackstone.23 Papers. source of all says Hamilton." Hamilton's strong formulation that there are two commands the law of nature: a one and a weak one. has constituted an on all eternal and we stand in. original. 21. interest. which is. London. mediately. and impose what please upon us.'9 to that. 23. 41. from the relations. indispensibly. other. Commentaries on the Laws of England. I. 67. lives and properties are at stake. 20. to himself and to immutable institution law. dic by God himself. He does these rights is the requires know the Hamilton natural rights of mankind. Papers. acknowledging the principle in all cases whatso it is founded. 1. mutual protection. that the deity. the globe.'22 The content of the natural suggests law as it applies to man is of "twofold. (Chicago: University Chicago Press. 51. It is because upon which ever. Vol. 1979 [First published. There is no unlimited power is a contradiction of the law of tax. of .20 Seabury 's problem. because they be detrimental to 1. 1765-69]. shall make what laws.87. but humanity does not require us to sacrifice our own security welfare to the convenience." Parliament. others.a dictate of humanity to contribute to the support and happiness of our fellow creatures and more and and especially those who are allied to us by the lines of blood. from this them as are valid. 'which being coeval with mankind. superior in obligation to any and at all It is binding over all in all countries. Papers. For Hamilton. Good and wise men. Papers. or if contrary to this. No human laws all their are of any validity. Self-preservation is the first When our principle of our nature. obligatory mankind. His total ignorance of fundamental his errors and sophisms. It is true. the British to not constitution. derive authority. It is . but it is without not for the value of the thing itself. and other. 1. . 1. 22. Papers. it would be foolish from such measures as might preserve them. in all ages each have supposed. we are denying to pay the duty we cannot submit and upon tea. and unnatural to refrain would 19. 1.43. prior to any human whatever. This is tated what he continues: is called the law of of nature. Blackstone. p. be nature. and such immediately. course.336 there Interpretation be no could lawful resistance to the taxes imposed on the colonies not whether tea.

Two Treatises of Government. 1. be understood because the supreme being "endowed sue such able [man] with rational faculties. the least authority to command. Vol. others. the right of self-preservation of one man necessar ily his comes into conflict with that of means another. but the sanctions against those who violate the law of nature are very weak sence of civil society. This 24. 84-86. 1. 25. to deprive another of his life. If has the the law of nature commands "preserve right to self-preservation. 1952). 45. Peter Laslett (New York: New American Library."25 It is est that indicates these "luminous principles. by the mist of prejudice." liberty. Papers.97. Leviathan. Sections Papers. Nelle Fuller (Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica. property or can him. . the state of nature is must thwarts the intention law." as well as the natural to freedom. that is. by the things.87-88. all will Because the equal right of self-preservation unendurable and actual for lead to universal con of natural moral flict."26 Reason and the law of nature operate even when there is no civil society." end of the strong com mand is to preserve one's life. or exact obedience from emphasis on moral power Hamilton's indicates that there is yourself. and property are the dictates of the law of nature.88. least. as were consistent with his him to understand and employ "the means reason help of which."24 with rights to life. limbs. and include the inviolable right to "personal right liberty" "personal safety. liberty. ambition. if. inviolable rights which Hamilton in the state of nature. 23 of The Great Books. ed. do not harm. partiality.48-5I. by placing force behind the ineffectual Papers.66. i960). Chapter III. Second Treatise. vation." "They the plain language to every man of common sense. upon mankind" depend and the natural law. These or "which is the same thing security for all life in and prop natu erty. duty and interest of to discern and pur . "since a right implies a law of nature will always proclaims are thus not complete The weaker dictate of the be "moral" overwhelmed by to the stronger. Hobbes. and since every man is the judge of own cause. force be corrected 1. 1. Locke. 27. no man in the ab The best Hamilton had any nor moral power say is that "in a state of nature." is "help. Chapter XIII." a problem man here. ed. 26. this war. pp. ral rights. but The "natural are constrained rights of by the weak command. The relationship between natural and self-preservation can accordance natural law. and that power one has in the state of nature turns out be no power at all. every he must also have the right to the means of self-preser In the state of nature. or avarice.Alexander Hamilton The strong command on Natural Rights law of nature and Prudence 337 The weak command of the or at is: "preserve The yourself. The means to that end are within the choice of the individual. and must carry conviction where the mental eye is not bedimmed.27 that the state of nature is either actually or potentially a state of The natural. Papers. and which en preserving and beatifying [his] speak existence.

is to violate that law to his personal liberty. No reason can be assigned why one man should exercise over his fellow it. Papers. unless any power. that the the absolute rights of first and primary human laws is to maintain and regulate individuals.88. it must be a voluntary compact. The purpose of civil society is to protect those absolute rights which. 1. "Civil sanctions liberty is only natural liberty." of civil rights. that mutual assistance and gained by the institution of friendly and end of social communities. not which were vested society is to protect individuals in the in them by the immutable laws without enjoyment of those absolute of nature. confer no obligation to obedience. original. 28. In other words. A to secure self-preservation. i. and can therefore. Blackstone. but which could be preserved.. derive all their authority .47. 30. added)31 nature. . which is Hence. As Hamilton Blackstone: "[N]o human laws and such of nature].e. . 1. as are neces between the rulers and of the ruled. though ordained by the law of nature.88. others. justly established be liable to the of must be a voluntary compact. based on the con the governed. consent?30 sary for the security man or set of men the absolute rights to govern latter. except their own Thus does Hamilton derive the purpose and foundation of civil government from first principles or the law of nature. or pre-eminence have they voluntarily vested him with . . or to grasp of at a more extensive which gives they are every man a right willing to entrust. modified and secured by the Again quoting Blackstone. Papers. 1. the origin of all civil government. for what original title can any have. 31. are not secure in the state of nature. Papers. (Emphasis not Hamilton does hesitate to proclaim the right to revolt against such illegiti mate governments. 120. it follows. 1. 1. them as are any validity if contrary to [the law from this valid. 104. real sanction must men must be prevented from harming each other. 29. Papers. Civil society is the necessary correc tion of the state of nature.28 For sent of civil society to be just. 88.338 Interpretation law which says of that part of natural do not harm others. intercourse. in peace. and must such limitations. be pro vided where nature does not provide one.29 creatures more than another." To usurp dominion power than over a people. Governments that quotes of violate these principles are of are illegitimate. for the law of nature to effect even its minimal purpose. Hamilton says: The principle aim of society. The editors of the Papers mistakenly give the page ref erence of this passage as 124. in their own despite.

) and to model their gov upon ernment. they defeat the proper end of all laws. What was best simply. Thus might not while be best under the circumstances. or human excellence through the expansion of liberty. a government of political equality based understood as ends are His principles the perfection of virtue." probability of could not in good conscience. he wrote. and the rights of a whole people invaded. in public he attempted to attach the people to law-abidingness tutions. 1. . negotiated by "an old he publicly defended it ditions of the best means of affairs. Hamilton wrote that his duty as Secretary of the Treasury. There when applied are in society. have inherent right. to that standard. necessary to preserve the essential rights of any society. System written after his resignation as is found in The Defence of the Fund Secretary of the Treasury. the common forms of municipal law are not to be regarded. Papers. the principle of civil liberty. Spain and all other despotic kingdoms in the world. free government. ingredients intrinsic goodness [and] a reasonable He plan " . Hamilton's prin ciples understood as beginnings are rooted in human nature which requires a on consent. 125. and by implication the . it [must] have success. in private Hamilton criticized the various state constitutions. "have submitted the best financial simply because it was too remote from the prevailing opinions .33 a probability of In the Defence. 136 (Emphasis added). 52.Alexander Hamilton The nations of an on Natural Rights and Prudence 339 Turkey. are When the first principles of civil society are violated. had been "to unite [in his policy] two success. France. what Guided practice by he took to be the natural ends of men. Papers. which are when human laws contradict or discounte nance the means. Men may then betake themselves to the law of nature. Russia. and if they but conform their actions. all cavils against some events them. preserving the regime under the prevailing con international Hamilton's fullest account of prudence ing icy. and prudence. But even in of his first pamphlets there is a brief discussion A good the relationship among good pol principles. it probable source of greater evils than those it pretends remedy: and [must] not be lastly. cannot extend. to force which human laws In short. and while he that Jay's as Treaty had been woman. duty of any statesman. asserted while document. . . the necessity of the times [must] it. secondly to . Hamilton varied his to meet the exigencies of the time and place. 1. 33. policy require must meet these practical criteria: First. betray either ignorance or dishonesty." worthless he privately characterized he mounted a major praising those same consti the Federal Constitution as a "frail and effort by to see it ratified. but to them lose all their and efficacy. whenever they please to shake off the yoke of servitude (though sanctified by the immemorial usage of their ancestors. the . 32.32 similar Hamilton clearly advocates a natural rights position expressed in language to that of Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence. and so become null and void. This is the essence of prudence.

it is helpful to Hamilton's justification for revolu tion and the source of that justification. While Jefferson advocated a constant appeal to first principles. to to the laws of the that stable gov new government ernment might order that their rights might be protected. however. necessity of paying their debts. Before he could hope to see a regime of liberty fully make a established in America. attempt as suggested before.: Stanford University Press. 36. Alexander Hamilton Idea of Republican Government (Stanford. Revolutionary fervor is inappropriate to society. and the Gerald Stourzh. was This is never justifiable. 1970). . In order to understand the importance of prudence to the implementation of a examine regime of principles. Prudence teaches that ultimately individual rights can only be preserved when there exists in the regime a strong sense of law-abidingness."34 Hamilton's did not. Perhaps the foremost in to make an an cient establishment of a new government. Papers. This. of the Funding System. Although we should act dence. Hamilton believed that positive law that appeal. xix. the the source of both Hamilton's "radicalism" and his "conservatism" "eminently "Defense respectable" Blackstone. a revo other lutionary people had to be countries and attachment shown the necessity of subordinating gratitude to to revolutionary principles. even one must of necessity replace living in a stable political individual rights. 3-6. 7." Papers. we must keep our eye upon an objective standard of according to the dictates of pru human behavior. it any essential prin accommodation was not to be carried so with far as to sacrifice to ciple. Calif. much of Hamilton's enterprise was the prudential to make a revolutionary people law-abiding. pp. and "a severe prudence blow to the security mean of property. to the dictates of interna requirement of prudence was attach the people tional law. The chance of an absolutely bad issue was infinitely enhanced. the subordination of principle to simple expediency.340 Interpretation unaccomodated to In pursuing too far the idea of absolute perfection in the plan circumstances. and be preserved. xix.36 Much has been made of Blackstone's 34. who necessary to their wills revolutionary people. it seems is the source of the real debate be tween Hamilton and Jefferson. collapse of Such evils included the credit. policy and duty But it appeal was also a dictate of Hamilton's of prudence to recognize that the constant to first principles those is destructive the stability necessary to the very pres ervation of principles. As Gerald Stourzh has brilliantly demon was strated. the subversion of union (and hence effective government). that protects Thus. and the evils connected with it. it was desired only to acquire whatever and an directed. In will of great infant nation whose survival depended the restraint and good powers. see the on its benefits enjoyed. 35. 9-37. But the restriction of not it not right and adviseable to shape the course as to secure the sacrificing principle best prospect of path of effecting the greatest possible good? To me this appeared the 3S and I acted under the influence of that impression.

resort first principles" that characterized the radical aspect of the Rev whom The jurist of all Jefferson and of accused (along with Hume) . whenever necessity and the safety of the whole shall require no 37. ever which no . espe cially in terms of his understanding of natural law. Indeed. 38. tracts. Boorstin explanation of the role neglects the role of resort to first Taking issue with Carl Becker's . Bergh (Washington. Spafford (March 17. And therefore. 1814) in The Writings of Thomas Jefferson. climate. and the law proves too weak a defense the violence of fraud or oppression.g. Stourzh's opinion. . which are necessary when the con tracts of against society are in danger of dissolution. 6. Indeed. . Daniel Boorstin. ed. suggesting that "he may have merely skimmed through [the Commentaries] during refer the six or eight weeks to them in his earlier pamphlet. p. Cited in Stourzh. though the positive silent. The Causes of p. can ever latent) powers of society. pp. no constitution." McDonald. could nonetheless write about: recourses to those extraordinary first principles. destroy or which diminish. with gigantic strides and the sovereign power.40 To Horatio G. 1922)." doing the same to "those young Americans them above feelings of independence do not place wily ries . mankind be reasoned out of their feelings of humanity. 13. Claude Van Tyne. principles. .243. For instance.238. Blackstone. can destroy or diminish To a that venerated the Constitution ideas were poisonous. since he did between his writing of the two McDonald." unflawed but generally excellent misinterprets and overstates Hamilton. . advance will not threaten desolation to a state. p. 1. anyone familiar with how much my discussion here depends upon his view. which were originally es tablished to preserve it. therefore. laws are nor sacrifice their liberty by will a scrupulous adherence to those political maxims. 1. the War of Independence (Boston. 236-37. no time. A. such though inherent rights of society. wherein nature and reason prevailed James II]. it is interesting to note at this point that Hamilton's use of Blackstone may point law' I follow Stourzh in this debate. Stourzh's work will recognize was transmitted in the British tra Blackstone demonstrates the unique way in which the "natural dition. e. 40. 51 McDonald also claims that Hamilton did . Stourzh. "ideological" and the view of Bernard Bailyn. Stourzh maintains that Blackstone had a major impact on Hamilton. 378.. . leaving to future generations. 1903). 9-36.38 The historian Claude Van Tyne a writes that: South Carolinian no spoke of those latent. that whenever the unconstitutional oppressions. the exertion of those inherent (though climate.. McDonald study . in his not Blackstone's influence upon Vattel. 57.Alexander Hamilton conservative on Natural Rights and Prudence 341 influence to on the Revolution. of having sophist "made Tories whose native England. I believe that note 17.39 But the source of those sentiments was precisely one who venerated the British constitution. Blackstone. since both law and history are silent. no constitution. mind time. no contract." not not "derive his understanding of natural law from Blackstone: that came Donald. Concerning p. writes Mc principally from "I believe that Stourzh. or other circumstances. p. Vol. it is found by even of experience. the way to reconciling two apparently irreconcilable views of the Revolution: the "legalistic" "conservative" or view of. McDonald minimizes the influence of Blackstone on Hamilton. experience . 39. A. But he also provided a justification for "the olution. furnish us with a of [Abdication very remarkable case.. no contract. and pointed plainly to anarchy. 335. it. In these. which a fertile imagination may furnish. Lipscomb and A. E. pp. it becomes us to be si lent too.

Ill. 309. ed. Thus the first Resolve of the Mas sachusetts House of Representatives proclaimed "that there which are are certain essential rights of of the British Constitution of Government. but as Par supremacy gained ground.. Butterfield (Cambridge. it was dis cussed liamentary "whether we should recur to the Law of Nature. such an fact that the nists tion" in their in recognizing the importance of Blackstone to the founders. Onto this tradition as English natural the fun damental law ticulated of self-preservation. of 1768 expressed the view that the acquired "essential. The Genius of American Politics (Chicago. Mass. ral Both of those views. mankind. inter "natural" of medieval Natural Law. Rights of founded in the Law and Mankind. and the prudence of the colonists in law as adapting their arguments to their needs. . 1962). Boorstin the common writes: law in the "According to to this view. a by Hobbes and Locke are Revolutionary period. 79. they were in fact the same. the colonists began their within arguments on a low legalistic level. ed. The Diary and Autobiography of John Adams. which we inherit from Hobbes such as for the Founders. . Writers. such as of the right to trial by a jury of one's peers. right. The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (Cambridge. Perhaps. Edmund S. represented most of all by recognizing the special status of the natu by Blackstone. 77-78. Mass. called also the the finger Sir Edward Coke. as transmitted by Blackstone's Commentaries. Mr. The concern with the "true nature of the British Constitu colonists' must not obscure the inseparable from Englishmen" natural fact that. on the other hand stresses the ubiquity of natural rights thinking. in the words of of sacred by virtue of the very antiquity law their tradition. Thus there and merging of common law rights. can be reconciled law in English thought. modern natural rights as ar incompatible with the older tradition. by mid-1776.: Harvard University Press." that led the Americans to change their arguments from a defense of the colonies in terms of the "rights of to the "rights of At the beginning. but he misses the Blackstone provided the means of constitutional reasoning used by the colo enterprise. as a fundamental has Revolution. finding it convenient debate first the framework of the of imperial constitution and abstraction until. who embraced incompatibility was not important. which enable grounds to their needs." American Charters Grants. Boorstin." God and Nature." by God and revealed by scripture and reason: of nature the written with of moral law. 1959).342 Interpretation For Blackstone (and Hamilton writing in 1775) the English law and the British constitution were coeval with the natural law. from guilty to not guilty. but for the statesmen of the lawyer's understanding of law and the constitution. as a Resource to which we might be driven. Boorstin is correct conservative radical later thinkers have argued. it seems.91 . p. Prologue to Revolution: Sources and Documents on the Stamp Act Crisis (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. and goes far toward suggesting that there was no conservative element to the Revolution. p. H. Morgan. First of all. 1. but they gradually and inevitably climbed the ladder were thinking and talking in the arid heights of natural law they of [Becker's account] supposes the Americans to shift their could as kind intellectual mobility suit near disingenuousness granted .: Harvard University Press. the absolute distinction between and other species of exist positive the pure command of the sovereign via law such as natural law. Thus John Adams recollected that during the drafting of the Declaration of Rights in 1774. Bailyn's interpretation 1967)." Quoted by Hamilton in Papers. and the rules of moral conduct ordained "LexAeterna. by Parliament much sooner than we were John Adams. I was very strenuous for retaining and insisting on it. particularly Christian writers preted the common law and the British Constitution in terms was a Fortescue John Austin. and are the common the Massachu unalterable own setts Circular Letter . It takes for that the colonists ter his plea PP- readily abandon the legal for the philosophical level of argument as a hired counsel could al Daniel J."" into the British Constitution. did not and Hooker." 1953). as well as to the British Constitution and our Galloway and Mr. The Massachusetts Circular and aware. 56. And further it is not disingenuousness but prudence. the colonists suited their arguments to their changing needs. L. Bernard Bailyn. Duane were for excluding the Law of Nature. . that concern was law and natural rights. "the God in the heart of law was engrafted man. 41. in nature [was] engrafted of natural is absolutely his What a man honestly law. Vol. a law.

and which man is entitled to enjoy whether out of society or in it. being peculiarly adapted to the preservation of this inestimable blessing even in the meanest subject. "[t]he law of nature and the constitution both confine allegiance to the person of the King. . 45 Blackstone. taken in a political and extensive on nature and reason. Blackstone. and the right of private The preservation of our civil immunities in these. and found it upon the principle of role protection. so sense. lib consist in three articles: right of personal security. 125. 91.45 preservation of Letter is cited in Edward S. "the now the civil rights of the people of England. 1.Alexander Hamilton on Natural Rights and Prudence fervor on 343 three levels that Hamilton. and our [colonial] charters facility argue his position from natural law or from "legiance. 1 23. on stroyed the continent of Europe. Corwin. 43. Law" Background of American Constitutional Law (Ithaca. only be lost or de by the folly or demerits of its owner: the legislature. may justly be said to include the their largest and most extensive sense. or in a few calculated to vest an despotic power of controlling the actions of the sub grandees. 1.43 Blackstone argues that all men have certain natural rights "such every liberty" as would be long to their persons merely in a state of nature."42 Blackstone's in unifying. Papers. 1955). forcefully demonstrated in The absolute rights of are every Englishman (which. 44. 79. and of course the laws of England. 122-123 (Emphasis added). the absolute rights of individuals. "Every man when he enters into ciety gives up a part of his natural liberty. which is not required natural by the laws of society to be sacrificed to public conve nience." The "natural fit" of man which or so must be modified in "consists properly in a power of acting as one thinks der to receive the advantage of civil society. 1. in the minds of Englishmen and colonists alike. Blackstone. in his early the pamphlets argued with equal "security of the to our lives and property [is afforded by] the law of nature. The "Higher p. the gen ius with equal British constitution. which in general are arbitrary ject in the prince." Hamilton could a pre-Lockean un derstanding British of such a concept as Thus. usually called their liberties) as they are founded they are coeval with our form of government written: Immediately The idea these above this passage. it falls little perfection."44 The rights." erty. the right of personal property. 1. inviolate. 42. are a number of "private immuni and consist in "that residuum of natural lib defined by "several ties" statutes" purchase erty. as the price of so valuable a Civil rights. and from the and genius of the imperial law.125. the law of nature and the British constitution is most this little noticed passage. Very different from the modern constitutions of other states. Blackstone had this political or civil short of and practice of where liberty flourish in their highest and can vigour in kingdoms.

1. Jefferson spoke favorably of the "tumults i. Hamilton believed that the "resort to first principles" should be a rare occurrence. where he was writing. of rule legitimate. and but legitimate measures serve though guarantee the purpose of to restore the conditions government. "as a means to the firmness of our [state] which. undertaken only under the direst circum times. But to a view of the constitution advanced by the eminently respectable Blackstone. 121-22. New York. of this plea: The to be rummaged They hand are written. reflect a Blackstonian the British constitution. from the the most im sacred rights portant privileges of the rest. It is true. constitution All to these world rights. and can never by mortal power.344 The Interpretation sum of Blackstone's argument seems to be that the British constitution men are entitled systems is coeval with the natural rights of mankind. "keep principles of their institutions. of mankind are not There is no need. by the be erased or obscured of the divinity itself. that New York has no other way. as quoted above." in error..46 Hamilton's principles. as with a sun for. but has in fact only the British secured them. plead the common principles of colonization: for enjoyment of it would be unreasonable to seclude one colony. originally designed to in contrast Hamilton's favored bookish in a sober radicalism stands resort to that of Jefferson. As Hamilton himself tells us. society are violated." "Legiti absolutely required by the "prudence of the revolution. in the whole Volume of human nature. which may involve illegal acts. only mate" when principles of civil vaded . however. and rights of the Since the end and intention of government. is to be undertaken only when the absolute safety of the people is at stake or.e. extralegal may do Such illegal measures. Shays's Rebellion. had no royal charter. and his careful argument for the charter rights of other colonies did not apply to New York. But. Jefferson frequent reaction first principles. if it could support its claim to liberty in justice. Hamilton's radicalism is thus traceable jurist. In a America. only the encroachments used of oppression to first principles. and unlike Jefferson. is to preserve the life. among all the legal in the The fact that Hamilton pamphlets. can be explained by a circumstance to which prudence must adapt itself." letter to Edward Carrington. with no Charter. and advocated relied on natural rights to a greater extent in his early them more strongly than Jefferson did in his Summary View of the Rights of British America. When power is illegitimately by their rules. beam. which explains his complacent and to Shays's Rebellion and the bloodshed of the French Revolu to tion. the people may resort to so with a clear conscience. even when government. . among old parchments. understanding with of as given in his early pamphlets. To Madison he wrote [their governors] to the true "I hold it that a little rebel- 46. and the rights of a whole people are in Resistance to Parliament is justified by that body's usurpation of the people. or musty records. it might. property liberty and tyranny justify a resort of the subjects. Papers. "when the first stances.

1970). that to render a com monwealth long lived. 413. 48. And indeed these bookish admirers of "little rebellions. 34-37. 47. pp. in The Works of Algernon 1772).436. m. and reduce it towards its and Sydney finally to Machiavelli. p. 124. and must per unless ish. Koch and Peden. I is "To insure a long existence to reli gious sects or principles. 1774-75). original plished which the title of The Discourses III. and by quent recurrence sis on a resort fundamental principles. Political Disquisitions (London. once in an age or two."49 And its first [Machiavelli proposed] reducing every state. ."47 Gerald Stourzh has Article IV ernment." According Stourzh. p.i. frugality. they are timely renewed. saw it Jefferson followed him in this regard. Smith (November 13.Alexander Hamilton lion now and on Natural Rights thing. to John Trenchard. p. Discourses Concerning Government. pp. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty time to time. to Col.48 first principles. "And what country not warned from time to time. Algernon Sydney. and as and Prudence 345 political world as then is a good necessary in the of storms in the physical. 405. P. 51." uary 30. that this set them right as people preserve pardon and the Let them take arms. Sydney. 1787). if its rulers are spirit of resistance? To Edward Carrington (January 16. of shown that the source of Jefferson's ideas which states can be found in free gov the Virginia Declaration Rights. or sacking of Rome by the internal devices such as "a law that to render an account of their "Franks" obliges the citizens of the association often conduct. Machiavelli. pacify be refreshed from Koch and Peden. Koch and Peden. Sydney: which is likely to be done by punishments and examples.50 Indeed. 50. with the blood of patriots and tyrants. and other republican lar tumults. Ill. James Burgh. and reduced to their first principles. Vol. thence to Algernon writes Burgh in his Political Disquisitions that "Machiavelli says. Discourses. Bernard Crick (Baltimore: Pensuin Books. that "no or the blessing to of liberty can be preserved to any to people but by a firm fre adherence to justice. All human constitutions are subject to corruption. must " them. should Hamilton's great necessary they fear was that the that such recurrences end of government would be overturned and that mobs. and also as a call for popu While Hamilton first be Blackstone agreed with Jefferson that maintained an extralegal resort principles was sometimes rare. 49. His Phocion Letters directed had against mob rule. 1787). 411. to the integrity of principle. for one. to and institutions. (London. ed. The remedy is to to facts. It is its natural manure. 298. frequent elections."51 Many saw this as the source of the ideas of rotation in office. to moderation. this empha first principles can and James Burgh. it is necessary to correct it often. Sydney p. mine driven by their short-sighted passions would under were the whole basis of civil government. can preserve its liberties." republics. the authors of the influential Cato's Letters. To James Madison (Jan cf. and virtue. 1787). it is necessary frequently to bring them back to their The purification of the corrupt body politic could be accom accidents" by "extrinsic such as the led to the rebirth of Rome. 386. Stourzh. temperance. Thomas Gordon be traced back through George Mason.

For which reason all oppres which feels sions. 237-38. 157.346 Interpretation the whole of Machiavelli's the essential correctness of of republics chapter on resort they have read seen to first principles would return Hamilton's fear. must nec essarily be new out of the reach of rule. extralegal acts authority Locke's position. Men may are then betake themselves to the law nature. For this devolution of power to the people at large. or express legal provision: but if ever upon they unfortunately happen. Blackstone 1. But however just this conclusion may be in theory. be legitimate expressed under certain of circumstance. For Machiavelli's and to the to the terrible beginning beginning writes involved terrible striking deaths. since in such cases the law itself incapable of furnishing any adequate remedy. may happen to spring from any branch any stated of the sovereign power." "new remedies upon new emergencies during the period of the According and to Hamilton a whole people When the first are principles of civil society of are violated. I. p. emergencies. that the people have the inherent power to remove or alter the legislature. by whatsoever once must will before enacted.. and. nor argue from it. when they find the legislative act contrary to the trust reposed in them. otherwise it was difficult to ment" it.53 the prudence of the times must provide new remedies It was the "prudence of the times" which required Revolution.52 For Blackstone rants undermine ervation of against with or Hamilton. as must provisions ineffectual. if they but conform their actions to or that standard. The ment supposition of law therefore is. . the rights of invaded. under any dispensation of government at present actually existing. betray either ignorance dishonesty. arose. all cavils against them. where by "reconstituting with which they ior and them when instilling they had instilled of it Provision has to be made against [misbehav instituting necessity corruption] by restoring that government to what it was at its meant men with that terror and fear . which at destroy law and compel men to build afresh upon a new render all foundation. the common forms of municipal law are not to be regarded. There 52. all annihilating the sovereign power. origins. repeals all positive law No human laws will therefore suppose a case. that neither the king nor either house of parlia (collectively taken) is capable of doing any wrong. includes in it a dissolution of the whole form of government established by that people. 388. While Blackstone might that extrajudicial. and. we cannot adopt it. 149 The Second Treatise. a return out of which civil society necessarily A return to beginnings is the Machiavelli renewal of the fear that characterizes the state of nature. reduces all the members to their origi nal state of equality. Discourses ill. As in this to section: [Some men] used say that it was necessary to maintain reconstitute the government every five the govern years. he took issue in Sect. frequent rebellions or rules for overthrowing ty the stability of government which is necessary for the very pres admitted liberty.e. 53. . i. . legal nor they make provision for so desperate an event.

But men. The same state of passions which fits the multitude. . Papers. I cannot help disapproving In times up to edge condemning this is of such commotion as the present. driven guide by passion and without a "sufficient stock of reason knowledge to them" will recognize no principle passions are to limit their desires. To James A. it requires and within proper the greatest skill political pilots to keep men steady bounds. while the passions of men are worked an uncommon pitch there great who danger of fatal extremes. "radical" Hamilton was as much concerned about rash violence as as "conservative" the Hamilton. authority because the in principle unlimited. understood as merely the emancipa tion of desires is opposed to the reason and knowledge necessary to establish true can undermine the liberty. but if not through the actions of true statesmen. to force and which cannot extend. 1." Short-sighted. Reason and thority and and rules of knowledge teach that it is necessary to establish a proper au law and government in order to protect the absolute rights of individuals. his reaction to the attack on the press of Tory James Rivington in the previously am cited letter to John Jay indicates: press Though I and fully and sensible how dangerous and pernicious Rivington's yet has been. "Nothing is projects. courting the strongest and most active passion of the human heart Papers. is in every respect. passion can curbed self-interested men have sionate attachment to Such be made use of in opposition to tyranny and oppression. But everyone has not the same a pas "stock of reason and "liberty. 176-77." mankind.56 Papers. And here. very principles of the Revolution. that violence may The young mature Revolution is not anarchy.55 every thing which is done pleasure. of on which account mere will and am always more or without less alarmed at authority. 1. The passionate devotion to freedom. will recognize no 54.136. any proper It is the prudence of the time that teaches that authority and government are nec essary to the protection of those rights for which the revolution was fought. produce men. 55. a problem that. knowl to quiet them. but when applied to them lose all their efficacy. Hamilton faces a particular problem. as his letter to Jay demonstrates. no matter under erupt.605.54 But the prudence of the times also recognizes that extralegal but legitimate revo what pretence lution is not to be confused with mere violence. Bayard (April [16-21]. the principles of true lib erty. for disregard in the I have not a sufficient stock of reason and and oppression. how destestable the character of the man step. cern concerned him even in his "radical" youth. more fallacious than to on expect to any valuable or permanent Men are rather reasoning than For at in political by relying merely the reason of reasonable animals for the are most part governed by the impulse of passion the very moment [the Republicans] are eulogizing the reason of men and pro fessing the appeal only to that faculty. opposition to of all tyranny to contempt and authority In such very naturally leads them tempestuous times. 1802): 56. Reason teaches men the rights of knowledge. and which will con him to the very end of his life. they xxv.Alexander Hamilton some events on Natural Rights human laws and Prudence 347 in society. results.

That authority and not honorably 57. arising from and that a passionate and not a reasoned attachment to liberty. and to effect which mountains of prejudice must be levelled. et c'est ensuite l'institution CEuvres Completes (Paris: Editions du Seuil.348 What Interpretation prudence dictates is the of moderation of the passionate which love of liberty. Cf."59 According to Hamilton the American governments were formed of by the democratic temper the people passionately attached to liberty. This example would government's adherence to the government which al very principles upon which the Revolution lows its actions to be swayed by passion based. as well as manners form ernments. there was a tendency for the new government to succumb to the passions of citizens the people. Hamilton wished to have government form manners rule of passions.57 We have mains to proves now happily of concluded the great work of independence. A for its provides no example to the people. but flattering. The of people" to attach citizens to a government rights and law. Papers. ce qui causes sont 59. common much re be done to reach the fruits of it. must guide the people to the establishment of proper which rights for Peace a the revolution authority and government. Good government forms a model of good conduct Good object of government requires attachment to authority. 1783). Papers. in. It must act tyranically. The object then will made ." have been loosened from their people. but of taking into people. which in turn attains the independence. arbitrarily or be worthy of respect. 58." ancient ones. republiques qui forme les chefs des . may return to reason and correct our was concerned errors. yet the danger Every day being re . p. To do this we must secure our union on solid foundations. Our prospects are not the inefficacy the present confederation.553. "Dans la naissance des societes. What this means is that the "pilots of the ward those who do have reason and knowledge.58 Hamilton that in the aftermath of the Revolution. Second Letter from Phocion. and providing an antidote to the chaotic interests. causing those governments to oppress the government oppressed was just problem as surely as the British for the "pilots of the on and the Americans. call without which the love liberty will turn into anarchy. a new scene opens. be to make our a independence herculean task blessing. in order that those was fought are protected and maintained. "It will be shocking and indeed an must To John Laurens (August 15. gov human nature such a way as to moderate the passions the "It is an axiom that governments form manners. in turn may forth tyranny as a necessary corrective. 145. hostility to authority in general had emerged.17. citizens. 436. 1964). de la gran deur des les chefs des font l'institution. 416. prejudices. This was to be done both by proper be the was by force and by example. Sur les romains et de leur decadence. Prudence dictates that revolutionary pas since the minds of men sion be replaced by new "establishments and courses. m. Papers. based account informed in by a concern for principle. we are receding instead of advancing in a disposition to amend its defects It is to be hoped that when prejudice and folly have run themselves out of breath we moved. Montesquieu. To John Jay (July 25. in. 1782).

productive and permanent blessings to the community. liberality. in. the public councils are guided by humour. Papers. in this instance." to "those have the direction of public the statesman establishes the manners necessary for self-government. . The failure of good government in America the of the cause of freedom everywhere. 1783)." and true By just. has example occasioned a penetrated kind of revolution in human sentiment. The advocates of the latter With the themselves. and a scrupulous regard to the constitution. if from resentment to individuals. The world has its eye upon America. a government is rendered moderate and spectable and exemplary. To George Clinton 62. . moderation. 355. nature. that they must have a we shall then see the final triumph of must acknowledge it to be an ignis fatuus." If the outcome of the experiment in self- government proves such an imitate. "it remains for us justify the revolution by its fruits. Papers. By teaching moderation and adherence affairs. must away from certain tendencies. There will be fluctuate with the alternate prevelancy no of contending factions. if we begin the peaceable enjoyment of our by a violation of all the principles of honesty policy. The rights of the subject will be the sport of settled rule of conduct. but every thing will every party vicissitude. 556-57. and The influence pointed the has the inquiries. passion and prejudice. of mankind. Second Letter from Phocion. greatest advantages for promoting it. the future spirit of government will be feeble." that "we really have asserted the cause of human example will happiness. and were despotism over only made for the rein and spur: liberty. that How important to the happiness should acquire good ones. signals hering doom to the rule of principle. Papers. 61. Self-government requires mod and The statesman needs to do more than merely establish institutions. ni. we shall have betrayed the nature not cause of human That the uated cause of human be betrayed. 'Tis with governments as with individuals.Alexander Hamilton eternal reproach pendence on Natural Rights and Prudence 349 inde ad re to this country. verified the lesson govern long taught by the enemies of liberty." illustrious be something that "the world will bless and But if experience. and abandon the pursuit. He to principle teach who moderation.557- ill. has way to order to provide an example to the rest of the world. The noble struggle we have made in the cause of of our liberty. human nature must be habit to certain behavior ernment or popular eration. (May 14. America alone.61 that ever a people had. the constitution is slighted or explained away upon every frivolous pretext. If on the contrary. . that the bulk of mankind are not fit to master. first impressions Our governments not of lasting bias to the temper and character. or a dread of partial inconveniences. Otherwise self-gov government is not possible. but they If we set out with justice. and early habits give a hitherto have no habits.62 60. distracted and arbitrary. But in to which may shake gloomy it to its deepest foundation regions of despotism. the government will acquire a spirit and tone.

Abuse or the power you possess. principles and precedents which afterwards prove fatal to themselves."63 the government into a gov ernment of will not of gratification of momentary to passions through whimsical and tions which ignores principles. well return while arbitrary ac it may be in the immediate interests of the people. the fact that everyone does not order But this merely takes have the same "stock of reason and the in to seek "the real upon commun welfare of The welfare of the community depends of the establishment of good law and the attachment and the citizens to the law." which practice amounts to acting on law. convent by which individuals can know their duties The and their rights. the ment fulfilling would the passions great unreasoning men should become danger be that such "a the may disgust the best citizens. and you need never apprehend its diminution loss.350 There Interpretation is.556. by letting into the government. But if 63.64 By teaching which made people that their true self-interest lay in developing for a character good them law-abiding and which engendered an affection laws.494. If such moderation should not take place. Papers. to ask. 64. and make disorderly body of the people tired of their or violent govern what shall we independence. a certain responsibilities in Hamilton's attempt to educate the Americans to their cognizance of knowledge" in self-government. The role of the statesman and the policy dictated by the "prudence of the was times" to moderate the passionate love of liberty so that the blessings of liberty may be obtained. and those motivated the law. in. rather than on the basis of principle as law. "paternalism" of course. m. 65. to grat ify momentary passions. and interest. they put themselves "out of protection of They scepter in effect . Papers. . manifested in good humour."65 Were the our people of America. may haunt them. The passionate attachment to liberty which characterized the Revolution was appropriate to the struggle/or lib erty but was not appropriate to the establishment and maintenance of true liberty. humour. either with one voice. interest alone cannot be properly attached to Men passionately attached to liberty must be est lies in developing habits of law-abidingness. act on made to see that their true inter must They in be shown that if they the basis of of "political expedience. of individu als [T]hey arm one part of the community all against another [and thereby] war. 551. Hamilton tried to make self-government possible." enact a civil They "undermine those rules. Nothing is more common than for a free people. and laws. do to perpetuate and you not liberties and secure our happiness? The answer would be "govern well" have nothing to fear from internal disaffection or external hostility. Papers. in times of heat and violence. 111. 485-86. if violent government as of the arbitrary means to the norm." the basis passion. by passion. "transfer the from the hands of government to those .

They must be taught that their true interest lies in law-abidingness. if you furnish many as well as another example. Hamilton publicly praised extant political authority. because of passionate hostility to authority on the one hand.e. particularly centralized au thority. while at the same time working to establish the necessary above. Hamilton had to do what he could to make all authority as decent and people was the American effective as he could. that the precedents that will recourse to vio render all lent expedience. courage a certain character affection for a rule of conduct. political career Hamilton's havior. men that governments. will experience that licentiousness is the fore-runner to slavery. private . as shown during the period of the Revolution state governments or the its aftermath. once formed by then form the character of their citizens. adoption of the improved even the establishment of constitution the the national government and requirement the adoption of the statesmanship. and they be protected by civil authority.Alexander Hamilton on Natural Rights and Prudence 35 1 you make a wanton use of it. His the was. a model of prudential be of aim was to establish a government that implemented the principles make use of Revolution. in. the while in he the expressed concern over people the inadequacy authority Articles and the attachment of to state rather than the national gov ernment. Hamilton realized that only a central gov the enjoyment of the fruits of the Revolution. 66. but the char hostile to authority. for the most part. because not everyone had the knowledge. would now those principles be able to ensure the implementation was and perpetuation of for which the Revolution fought. either the Congress and Articles of Confederation. and the use of authority by mobs to destroy rights on the other. introduces eventually men unsafe in their liberty. in order to en in the people. that the constitution is the implementation of those principles political for which men fought the Revolution. and Thus. The passions released in the fight for one's rights can in the end destroy those rights. and of law-abidingness. His praise of extant was done for the But The purpose of establishing the conditions necessary for the ultimate constitution. central government. like all others that have acted same part.66 It the should now be clear that Hamilton in no way abandoned his principles. i. but he had to That character was not always same stock of reason and ernment could ensure acter of the character of the people to do it. but prudence. Papers. . that despotism may de you base the the government of the the few. Passionate men must be attached to good laws. But mere assertion of when those principles does not secure them. 495. This is not hypocrisy. and who remembered who could make use of the institutions available. They must must be fought for threatened by tyranny and oppression. Federal did not end for Hamilton's Those character of the new government was still unformed. suited to the times.

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London. (RKP. tion (Macmillan. 1948). morality as an independent is thus un derstood as ous acts of senses of arising from the fact that it is constituted by independent. 1984. An Examination of Plato's Doctrines 1981). 22. 274-75 (though see also pp. As both senses of independence used here are to be counted as autonomous autonomy. spontane will. to do and what counts as morally good is different from thinking about how things are or about the true and false. p. 1962).Autonomous Morality and the Idea of the Noble Peter Simpson Catholic University INTRODUCTION I refer to autonomous morality in my title. but the force peculiar to itself. For the prudential on for its force and 'ought' the facts about the contingent desires and interests people to do if one is to satisfy and have. 275. London." 233. After Virtue (Duckworth. or acts of choice that are spontaneous and not elicited by the performance of certain by any prior sphere acts of thought. for 'ought' the realm of the . the morality of my title must be taken to em brace both. Absolutes. Modern Moral Philosophy (Macmillan. Crombie. The existence of but rather will. for it is quite not constituted acts of by knowing certain facts. and Moral E. Virtues and Vices (Blackwell. cal' Unless one recognizes this peculiar 'categori of moral character of morality. pp. 55. not . London. 1980. March that followed. This autonomy is often expressed 'ought' by the to the is/ought distinction. internal logic without having any foundation in anything outside itself. vol. Foot. in Hudson. 276-81). Duty in Philosophy. I am grateful to the other participants for the stimulating and helpful discussion Having a Point". I. The Is/Ought Ques Hudson. In this and moral sense morality is autonomous because it has its reference 'is' own independent sphere. "On Morality's p. 1970). pp. 223-38. it is said. like rests the prudential or hypothetical 'ought'. moral just tells has a one what one ought them. The Moral Law (Hutchinson University Library. London . p. the very interesting article of Duff. 'ought' Morality is is not. such as thinking about natural and to set it in a realm of its own where it operates according to its own objects. London. 1878). and this is sui generis and instance. 1. Oxford. p. essays 11 and 12.1 Another way that of stating the same thinking about what one ought idea is to say that morality is nonnaturalist. is somehow uncontaminated by calculations of selfish advantage. one has failed to grasp the idea thinking or at all. 1969). "Desire. An earlier version of this article was read to the Irish Philosophical Society at its conference in Cork. In this sense it is said that moral thinking is volitional rather than cognitive.g. and of moral what I principally mean by the term is that tradition theorizing that wants to separate off moral values thinking from other forms of thinking. Maclntyre. Paton. 131. Phillips and Mounce.

Foot. I cannot really justify this because the justification is precisely the ensuing argument importance of Machiavelli for my theme will become clear. when one re may be able to discern in it what before had escaped whole. pp. cit. may it in their beginnings. Von Wright. between the knowl the edge and nature on other. 2. Oxford. p. Moral Thinking (Claren don. But one may also would get reduced or and equally look realm of upon it as the claim that there is a divorce. pp. 1963). for the persistence of that idea in our own My remarks be exhaustive. it is a theme that perhaps de more attention than it is usually If I choose to approach it from the of given. it like this. in pose. 3. I can. The precise bearing and significance of plained or refuted in terms different be better elements seen in a united if observed turns to the whole. Rawls. Freedom and Reason (O UP. of morality as constituting a divorce in human of existence that I want to examine in this article.2 vantage of history. 1981). as he made starkly evident It is. looked on in the introduction to his Third Critique. if anyone is. Cf. 256. nevertheless. but because in many cases. the one hand and the exponent of realm of will and moral values on At least the finest the autonomy of morality. I57flf. or a severing.3 also the exponent of the idea of autonomous morality. THE REALISM' OF MACHIAVELLI In tracing any historical development one is always faced with the problem of how far back to go. 4. pp. cially clearer if seen in its process of growth. I hope. Wherever one stops it will always be possible to continue further. 219. it is not because I think of a philosophical position can be ex its origins. and as the one who is respon sible. one one's notice. Obviously My purpose can suitably begin advance one needs to go back as far is required (except possibly the for one's pur choice where the with Machiavelli. and espe in this the internal logic of a philosophical position can become case. 1. A Theory of Justice (OUP. Oxford 1972). Varieties of Goodness (RKP. this theme of the autonomy or split Kant. . Oxford. that they will be pertinent and will of course not provocative. Considering the influence fluence serves the ideas of autonomous morality today. in fact. 34. pp. viii. without which it into something quite different. 1963). I regard him just as the finest but day.354 The of Interpretation claim that morality is autonomous is often looked upon as the guarantee its peculiar and collapsed distinctive character. either with respect to history or with respect to the philosophy of Kant. they still have in that whole. Hare. E. op. London.g. In this way. for no historical beginning is absolutely a beginning as Big Bang). and even more so the in Kant in contemporary moral philosophy. and which outside My deal first principal object of concern in what follows not will be Kant (though I will with several others as well). 9-11.

pp. London 1979). The vol. Declaring his in of tention to write something "useful". one may say. it of be surprising if it has about roots in Machia There has. and separating himself from the termines the character and structure of the good substance of ancient moral and political "orders" others. 1978). being is widely regarded as initiat founders of modern forms of thought. The Is/Ought Question. ment of his thinking which is especially which relevant for my This is his good re of the ancient idea that there is by nature a supreme or highest for (namely human perfection). pp. 4. is discoverable by reason and which de life. there re- Machiavelli". and I have jection man no intention here entering this debate. because and everything". essay on "The Originality of Foundations of Modern Political Thought (CUP. Chicago. 180-86. Milan. This. xcii. Natural Right and History. and construc tions of. Skinner. and to men world. and his in speaking the world of actual realities. 6. whether of Machiavelli ." was going to go to the "effectual truth of the not the of "imagina it.. 1. E. from fortune the to obtain few of them. 7. Against the Current (Hogarth Press. agree with some of the and owe more things especially that Maclntyre says. Procacci." teaching is that given a theoretical can basis.g.5 in character). very Prince Machiavelli gives what is effectively his dismissal of it. 1979). my own views are somewhat different to the writings of Leo Strauss (e. 37. I75~95 (it originally appeared in Philosophy. instead his refusal speculations about. 1958). and the attempt to as live by the virtues relative to that good. The novelty of the modern autonomous "Modem Moral Philosophy"." on the thinkers the previous tra never princedoms that what have been or It is in this that is found to indulge in I shall call Machia 'realism'. was the and in chapter 15 of The thought." dition. cit. For a summary of the varying views. velli's He accordingly mounted an attack those who "imagined republics and known to be in or truth. in Hudson. whose concern was with getting in that The effort. Machiavelli: II Principe "ought' e Discorsi (Feltrinelli. course. note Discourses: Bk. been of much debate the novelty of Machiavelli. Cambridge. he writes. to see as far as possible what political order will best realize man's highest good. op. see the essay by Berlin. Intro. The thesis has been recently and more elaborately re-argued by Maclntyre.g. seen. by the imaginative construction of the best regime. on such as were usual about on in the classical writers. was argued in a famous article by Anscombe.6 1 will note one particular ele purposes.4 Since autonomous doctrine (nothing like it exists morality as I have described it is a typically modern in ancient moral thought which is far more holistic would not and naturalist velli.Autonomous Morality as and the Idea of the Noble 355 nevertheless. 33. 5. p. he tion of matter. is rejected by Machiavelli a both useless and ruinous.7 cannot obtain and again: having power nature the power and wish desire everything. all translations. are my own. or others. the sistence best regime. 4. Machiavelli's orientation work may have to for he wants not speculate confessedly practical rather than theoretical yet his practical but to get results "Nature. appeal to the fact that Machiavelli one of the chief ing something original. . Berlin. While 1 1953). I ch. "has from created men in a way they "human appetites to desire everything but are insatiable.

cruel and Machiavelli. ethical thought. Such a life is the intention itself: this is is naturally directed towards. and to all of them equally. Boethius. De Consolatione Philosophiae. or perfection. the natural human condition world is understood as one of misery frustration. men are directed by nature only to the objects of their con of a tingent and self-regarding passions. It is not the whatever one case. between this vision of man and The contrast the ancient vision could hardly be greater. therefore. Ibid. a. The traditional idea of a supreme end for have two nothing desirable. but it is also the noble is understood as the highest and most ele most vated. vicious speaks almost as if nature had been deliberately to man. la Ilae. but also the disciplining and control of desire. 1. is precisely the realizing in the at hierarchy of one's being. Men's sees good is their private good.8 out be both insatiable self-interested. 1-5. not to one more than another. Preface. In 8. and in the human life. E. least in the of nature ultimate noble and beautiful life. science. q. it follows case. lot is such or of will complete and satisfy the Moreover because these never and passions are infinite but man's that he can satisfy them. Aquinas. prose 2. The context of objectively satisfying life. Summa Theologica. Attaining the supreme good in volves not just the satisfaction of desire. that desire sires will be satisfied by may subjectively and contingently happen to the supreme good. There can one that be no sense in speaking possessor. It is.). etc. but this in fact proves to most desirable and fully satisfying nature. 2. be the with so that it does not exceed the rational state measure. and For Machiavelli men's desires turn an continually ill content a disgust to with the things that and possessed". I2l5bi8. The is hostile to 'realist' man and opposed to his natural urges. their private pleasure and ad vantage. ill.356 suits are Interpretation in human minds. As he it. As this development oneself of must soul. be the what man that the good and satisfied life also. passions set greater or vision is of man as a creature of selfish At any rate his in a hostile world where he is forever condemned to frustration in lesser degree. qq. 10. in fact.9 it: (i) it is the fully satisfying object of (ii) it is an ordered hierarchy responding to the Man is a may be said to desire that excludes man objective hier archy of human nature.10 because it is the state that accords the objective condition of good The most noble life may thus be the or excellent life. and of ticles on This is certainly the thrust of Plato's and Aristotle's happiness. la Ilae. where life is lived to its fullest and most intense.g. Aristotle. high of and elevated mean the most com plete and advanced development of soul. for it may be that some of these de lack the necessary subordination to reason. Summa Theologica. highest among these. philosophy. therefore.: Bk. Aquinas in his ar . aspects to of some importance to fix the precise sense and character of the difference. Eudemian Ethics. 9. 5. and when they preserve and assist the activity of reason (in art. being made of up of parts and these parts are rightly ordered when subject to the discipline reason.

misery if they are not. Nor any more live desires is are at an end than he whose senses and imaginations are at a stand. This necessarily brings infinite character of men into Aristotle was as aware as Machiavelli unlike most of the the passions. other an swers." for what men want future. 1 passions 12. man Hobbes presents the Machiavellian picture of in his some ways more effec more tively even than Machiavelli himself. instead of friendly and beneficent. but because of a measure on of notion of hierarchy. the reverse case. In Machiavelli's case this are of the takes the form devious and unscrupulous techniques of able his political science whereby the himself the artful prince is to conquer and subdue other men and win for pleasures of of lasting rule and glory. one becoming good not oppose or and noble. in the name of nature. I have Machiavelli. Ibid. happi if they ble but one ness satisfied. Politics. notably that Hobbes. There were. hostile and cease Man's desires thus to be a guide to follow and become rather a problem to overcome.11 hierarchy. 13. There might still be here a notion (implicit sense of complete satisfaction of not than explicit) of a supreme good desire (though this satisfaction remains out of no reach). discipline and attempt whatever are regarded as equally natu of By thus retaining the idea of complete satisfaction and rejecting the idea the idea of complete satisfaction of one's order and yearning for it and a cruel.13 is not satisfaction now but an abil con- ity his to secure satisfaction for the 1 1 . however. being and one's become. ultimately 1. instead of something ennobling and elevating. and man's world.12 later. all men there "perpetual and restless of power after power that ceaseth only in death. These desires are the cause both of happiness and misery. I257b24-8ai4. is natural and Leviathan. and moved by nothing but the rather restless urge to satisfy them.Autonomous Morality and the Idea of the Noble rational rather 357 self-control. that reason's imposition satisfying. in desire just Hobbes' view. Felicity the man's a continual progress of the desire from the one object to another. instead all desires in Machiavelli to distinguish among to impose. Complete happiness is impossi can at least contrive to get what one can. Man has inclina tion to virtue or nobility. a curse burden. he holds. To no such finis ultimus quote one of nor summum striking passages: as There is (utmost aim) bonum (greatest good) can a man is spoken of whose in the books of the old moral philosophers. cf. no natural For Machiavelli. or latter. in achieving virtue and does thwart one's natural inclinations but is the follows them. There is longer any natural and unnatural restraint on ral. ch. however. the cause whereof of former being still but the way to once desire. the desires. . spelling and punctuation the changed to bring them more into line with current conventions. but in the sense of an ordered hierarchy. ruled he is just by whatever desires he happens to have in the by nature a creature of multitudinous passions. but to forever the way of his future quest This insatiable that in for is a satisfactions has the inevitable result. The for one attaining of is that the object of assure desire is not to enjoy only and instant time.

but Hobbes has and not acquired same reputation seek. 15. and these rules consist in giving up. competing for limited goods and so striving to From this results the "war of everyman against are satisfied or get the better everyman" where. who ch. a choice be tween them. the one absolutely indis it with a state of peace. . ch. one certainly cannot satisfy all. to Ibid. without By distinction. back in short along frustrate it. a on nature. The reason. so there is a divorce beween the moral life and the natural life. therefore. 13.. far from being secure. let alone of pensable thing for everyone is to replace can be sure of getting any satisfaction for the future. and that in turn is to achieve nothing but the frustration of all one's passions. For to satisfying some passions or none. deserves particular notice.358 Interpretation flict. reference moral For as the ancients the moral by to the highest good of human perfection. each is in continual fear of violent death. condition of Hobbes Hobbes' understands the by reference to the necessary peace. as he calls them. That is why I call peace a substitute understood so for the ancient vision of a supreme end. In the state of war of everyman against at everyman. J. One has. therefore. to hold it to Warnock. it is still frustration and a frustration that one cannot entirely avoid. morality comes check. for the satisfying some of one's passions. the pursuit of the satisfaction of all of try to satisfy all is to achieve but the war of everyman against nothing everyman. hence for the attainment and safe enjoyment of anything that the individual can call good. consciously constructs his morality on the Hobbesian model. Hobbes accordingly constructs a set of rules or purpose is to secure peace. Hobbes in a quite endeavours by finding stitute a substitute to refound morality on its basis. since they of each other. 14. I5. and for 'wickedness' 'evil arts'. is not far to While Machiavelli leaves the counsels unredeemed condition of man unredeemed merely ingenious way how to exploit it to one's own advantage. is necessary for and satisfied whose sole decent "natural laws". Peace is the uni versal and and necessary condition for the attainment of any satisfaction whatever. sort of Whatever.14 They are also at the same time the normative this universal condition of Hobbes' moral theory. He does this in for the traditional idea of a highest end. peace is necessary for any life. I think. nature man pursues the satisfaction of as a all passions whatever..15 theory may be ingenious but the morality that results has a certain feature that. This is implicitly admitted by Hobbes. for my present theme. First of all there is a divorce that it creates between the moral life and the satisfied life. G. But just as there is this divorce between the moral life and the fully satisfied life. and restraint. Ibid. Morality consists sake of in the rules of peace. since no one satisfactions all. "convenient rules of articles of peace". only condition effect sub Hobbes' is rather a necessary assuring than a supreme end. they are. It creates a two fold split or divorce. the This picture is quite parallel to Machiavelli's.adfinem. but it has taken a modern Hobbesian. for even if the frustration is partial and is justified in the name of satisfaction.

The Object of Morality (Methuen. m. knowledge. who up Machiavelli's idea of knowledge as conquest. thought it could and should be applied to the conquest of nonhuman things as well. pp.19 by the invention of "new arts. 1857-74). vol. Preface. in Works: Advancement. Bacon and Descartes. and commodities towards 20 life" man's vellian If Hobbesian morality was one alternative answer to the Machia problem of how to deal with man's insatiable passions. Bacon hoped to fictional secure by technological science. If in elaborating ers one divorce it elaborating a one of the strands of creates within strand of Machiavellian 'realism' Hobbes uncov human existence. Great 19. bk. which was invented precisely cf. London. 1971). vol. . seeing but the advantage of implicitly having accused Machiavelli being one-sided. 1977). who at least for this life accepted Machiavelli's picture of man. of the his understanding passions of men. 244-45. them.. uncover another. 125-33. pp. one could achieve a lot more of it than Machiavelli thought. m. a picture of knowledge as a technique of mastery for advantage. 1. Spedding. and so exploit nonhuman things for human of Bacon. 10719. so that they could be exploited for human advantage. Inventing in. pp. 301-302. by ruthless politics. and much more on his understanding of how to control The Machiavellian prince is a man who knows how to manipulate men. 20. as has already been personal briefly and mentioned. not the continuous fulfillment. Works. 301-302. quer The man of knowledge in this is known. bk. science. Instauration. 161-62. sense is a man who knows how to is con human nature and human affairs. in fact. power and for the conquest of what confined Machiavelli picked his knowledge to control of man. Machiavelli prided on on exploit himself his knowledge. tion. by pic further it. pp. I. See the dedicatory epistles of The Prince and Discourses. of not knowledge in both areas. 4l9ff. pp.16 rate quite clear that Hobbesian morality generates a split or causing It is at any divorce in the struc of ture of human life: the morality and those of satisfaction and na ture are in insoluble conflict. pp. Ellis and Heath (Longman. Advancement. in Works. of nature psychological damage. ed. in other words. 18. endowments.Autonomous point out Morality and the Idea of the Noble since 359 re that such a morality it involves the frustration indeed the involves also the pression. 1. Along with Machiavelli's ture of man as a collection of unordered passions went also. for could overcome the hostility the of external nature by the conquest of technological advantage and satisfac science. and of thus failing to see that one could control man not also just by the direct use of force and trickery. in Works: vol. but Bacon. It seemed to Bacon. or requirements of likelihood a general psychic malaise. Advancement.17 and to their passions to his own advantage.18 that even if one could not secure entire one satisfaction. His vision of the New Atlantis is a representation of just that hope. London. also Bacon's 16. To control the insatiable beast that is man one needs skill and force. vol. new method of for this pur- Right and 17. Baconian science What Machiavelli thought to secure was another. he is a man endowed with a superior technique. Mackie. Wrong (Penguin.

that is without any inherent teleology. 138. so that artificial first requires can devices be built with the necessary mathematical and mechanical precision to embody and exploit them. could a legitimate mind and things. of the Advancement. pp. and external one only ever knows the 21. and indeed intended result. Novum Works: 294-95. Novum Organum: Preface. but it is the experiments that must re science the truth about For Bacon's is a mechanical and materialist science. pp. 11. ill. operating without reference to ends. vol. 50. in Works. by the knowledge of the unaided senses. 2." natural perceptions of the a had tried to these to get to the realities senses are of things. the original divorce is never abolished. Advancement. and vol. I. has however precisely the same consequence for human new morality had for human acting namely a split or di knowing as Hobbes' (a vorce of man from nature. and though mechanical aids enable him in part to overcome this. the setting of the world of things be human access behind a screen of or inner mental entities. 23. the world is just bodies and efficient causes. Ill. . sect. in Works. 357-59. like Bacon. But this is hopeless can procedure because the too gross to judge nature directly. they port can report the truth about experiments only judge it by means of artificial aids. indeed. and I sect. In his view. for such a science that the natural be to calculable rules. pp. direct the nature of things. bk. 2. as yond its result. Preface Distribution 121.360 pose21 Interpretation purpose which still predominately animates the pursuit of technologi cal science to this day). thing than another. in Bacon's view. pp. 121. of the 1. and second it requires that things be understood as no more di rected to one wills. It had and too much store use by the "immediate senses. he only remains nature. It the case that the mind and the senses are not by nature fitted to know This divorce is great even more evident in the also. and picture of nature postulated by science as objectively hence he thought that and not by the knowledge revealed by artificial experi ments alone. always the direct and proper object of knowledge. they nature. vol. pp. in Works. 24. Previous or traditional science set had. his skep ticism to reject the natural and ordinary operations the mind and the senses. in Works. ever gets indirect access. only reduced on the basis of such a vision of things that a technological science seems best able to operate. contents of one's own consciousness. has. things only to the Distri bution 22.24 His famous 'doubt'. that is. Great Instauration. 125-45. i. founders of modern science. and failed to find the proper method. Man has. vol. so that man is free to use them exactly as he Now Bacon took this real. Great In Work. such. who Descartes. 1. 138. vol. The world is just a collection of goalless facts. saw in it case of of another of the a means of the use of conquest of nature for human advantage. Work.23 familiarity nature be restored between the But it is at once evident that this restoration by means of an artificial method is only as required no because access by to the mind and things are divorced. Preface and Organum. stauration. Discourse: Part VI. which are 'ideas' . bk.22 It is.

the modem Machiavellian tradition passions. for it is. Essay One is on Human Understanding. This be systematic rigor. that whereas the ancient tradition was severe as regards the passions but indulgent as regards speculative thought. Kant. to the Ma had exercised Bacon ch. 7. In fact. indeed. and for my purposes. ignorance gerly and useless and consequently where it disputing. and Hobbes.25 and from him it passes over into Hume. modern task. sect. in the light of this. Not surprisingly it pretended to soon came to be believed that the first task any philosophy that precisely to determine the scope and competence of the hu man mind. something. tempted to suggest. that is for the goes increasing satisfaction of his But the despair hand in hand with this. The condition of the evidence of could produce nothing but schools of the day was ea seized upon as furnishing just the for this fact. stress. such a Kantian critique. J. The and Descartes is by more opposing characteristics what confidence confidence noticeable. One also gets in significant answer this philosophy another. The Descartes up with is one of pure mathematical extensions. that if this was outset that of was not form. quite chiavellian problem that 25. this Ayer. was comes quite explicit and in Locke. of the human mind behind a We have long grown accustomed to call this epistemological despair by another name. 26. devoid all sensible properties. in other words.Autonomous extent world Morality ends and the Idea of the Noble 361 picture of the real of that God guarantees one's ideas are like them. I. but the real nature or essence cut off that world is forever screen of more or less delusive For the from the direct grasp sensible images. is the reverse severe as regards speculative thought and indulgent as regards the . with latterly. for it is they both passions. one evidently what has in gen the tradition of eral realism descended from Machiavelli may be called in the philosophy of divorce. A. the name of epistemology. bk. and so to impose on it the necessary ascetic discipline and restraint that the previous scholastic tradition of philosophy had signally ignored. namely their belief in the almost unlimited power of man to conquer nature for his own advantage. I. It seemed very clear at the time. foreign to what we are familiar with through the unaided This new vision of science and of the world and man's place in it two is marked al ready in Bacon and despair. from the done the no mind would fly off in all directions into areas where it had and could have knowledge. in Kant's critical most ingenious and systematic elaboration of philosophy that one gets perhaps the just this theme. as this exists in its typically confining the human mind within nar rower bounds than had traditionally been allowed by laying down for it its legiti mate sphere of competence. for it is nothing other than the divorce be tween mind and things on which the new method of science was founded. as was suggested is exactly applicable to the in the introduction and as I shall now title try to show more at length. both typically scientific and at the same time quite senses. Man may be of able to conquer the world for his own use.26 Taking divorce from in the nature in the sphere of knowledge together the divorce from nature sphere of morals traced earlier.

First Critique. the 27. he driven to look for another these properties. world of realities that we do not know.28 knowledge in were part of But if the actual procedures of contemporary confined science empir his inspiration here. Following to ideas and elaborating impressions (immediate level of Locke. For the mind. however. and the major influence on was undoubtedly the icism edge of Hume. Kant ac cepted that Hume was right about what experience in itself is like but because he recognized that there was no science without of the universal and the necessary. it possesses its structure. he showed. with fair success. or sensuous as well. that the content of our experience purely sensible and that we never sensible properties. Galileo and for. purely quantitative. B. knowing. 28. according to Kant. is always the British empiricists.27 the by people like Copernicus. Kant holds is not real that the direct and immediate ob knowledge and experience tities in our own minds. One of the immediate consequences of of we can never have knowledge Kant's epistemology is the claim that anything but what can be given in sensible form. the real being that things have in them is forever hidden from us. and found it in the mind. dures a matter of patterns given prior subsuming sensible or empirical data under laws or to that data. Knowledge is thus. a priori. whenever the mind thinks ex it must of necessity think it according to these categories. that is. . on the contrary they are imposed on sensible experience by the mind itself in the act of patterns of unity. In his view we can selves only know appearances. and the noumenal world. First Critique. pp. know anything except what is in some way a matter of He denies. that is knowledge of the being as being of things. however. xiv-xxii. Kant wholly rejected the speculative metaphysics that is so marked in the older thinkers. p. This leads him to distinguish two worlds: the phenomenal world. for Kant. that the patterns of tion that give this sensible content coherence and meaning unity or combina derive from experi ence. dition of epistemological despair that he was consciously following. like many in his own day and since. Hume had and knowl in sense experiences and their copies imagination) grasped at the sensation. that in such a gutted experience there is nothing universal or necessary. He expressly models himself here on the proce Newton. them already as part of perience Consequently. was and because he source of accepted the reality science. xvi. in mathematics. b. is endowed with these or categories as he calls them. the world of appearances that we know. He goes with further. in the nat There is no such thing as genuine metaphysical knowledge. externally existing things but en than Descartes in asserting. he was deeply impressed by success of modern science and became convinced that it had the key to of modern science as practiced general. and also the conclusion to the Second Critique. In complete consistency with the tra either ural sciences.362 Interpretation KANTIAN AUTONOMOUS MORALITY Following Bacon ject of our and Descartes.

in some sense 'categorical'.29 among If Kant had been forced and by reflection on the character of science. i9ioff. But. pp.Autonomous The Morality and the Idea of the Noble natural world as 363 phenomenal world is the ence. AA. also note 26 Groundwork. 30. conception of a supreme and 1898. Berlin. In the first case this addition took the form of the a priori categories or patterns of unity. and this is necessity by important for present purposes. Third. for sensible data. braces the whole. in effect. Kant was. proves to be and no other than the description given previously by Machiavelli purely Hobbes. Now in doing this. vol. 3529. morality is something elevated and sublime. 428. Knowledge 'being' hierarchical end for human life was tied discerns the supreme end. substantial nature) that one 'being' up is not. rather it em of man (or his of things. to add something from the mind to the so Hume. he was forced to the by reflection on the character of morality to add Machiavelli and something from the mind selfish world of Hobbes. Second. independently following Machiavelli made of one's actual and contingent wants and (the only Hobbes. London. in judging and acting morally. the a correctness of that account. or compulsion nal will. reverting to Second Critique. Longmans. man is just a crea ture of passions. do so without external constraint them. . in the second case it took the form at of autonomy and the categorical particular seem imperative. for it is materialist. logically above. but rather stands independently of even in opposition to them. or one's 'ought' change. cf. v. then one ought to do it. which are all selfish. namely its empirical universality world of necessity. (Also in Abbott. and these passions are selfish and lack any natural order ing themselves.. Kant felt satisfy one had as natural). they are exercising free choice or their ratio All three the of these elements were lacking in the morality devised could not. 107-12. as he says. hereafter referred to as AA [Akademieausgabe]). morality is bound up with freedom. and conceptually.) One ought to say here that the ancient with their far more confident conception of them. First. and it is by discernment of the the scope of human knowledge. and erned more it has the features attributed to and it by contemporary sci Bacon. When Kant looked morality. gov described by lacks any objective teleology. The rejection of ancient epistemology is thus of a piece. one ought only to something behave and as the one moral judgement requires if one will wants some want no in the process. longer if has no such want. 442-44. the description Kant gives of man insofar mechanical part of as he too is the natural or phenomenal world. in Gesammelte Schriften (Konigliche Preussiche Akademie der Wissenschaften. one will make of it something low and base. iv. Men. but if one subordinates it to particular inclinations. It does inclinations. pp. Kant therefore. 125. with the rejection of the ancient idea of a supreme end. it is. 21-25. Kant's Theory of Ethics. vol. moral judgements have a special claim or au thority wants that applies that. pp. three things in to have struck him as characteristic of it. by Hobbes accept on basis of Machiavelli's view of man. If morality is to depend on such wants. and destroy all its peculiar worth.30 from natural causes. nor to such data plus Kantian categories. But the not sense of used one's vary with the state of in morality is not hypothetical like this. confined to empiricist.

3. properly To take first the questions of the moral good. the world. their particular passions. Groundwork. by directly. he the noble was. Morality is about action. The will. Kant firmly believed that in the world of knowledge. Kant thus only secures the nobility and freedom associated with morality at the cost of shifting both into a sphere that lies completely beyond human grasp.31 beyond human explanation and This does not mean. has its spontaneity. the natural perfection of soul. Baco The nian phenomenal world is in fact the beast of world of Machiavellian realism and science. forced to find the origin of what was moral in the noumenal world. Kant was. But if Kant was sym to the ancient claim that the truly good life must was not sympathetic to cause of their understanding of what be something noble. none of the aspects of morality phenomenal he had noted could be found. as has been argued. says Kant accordingly. something objectively valid for all men independently choice. therefore. alism' or his acceptance of the tradition of epistemological despair that was. the of categorical contrary one can say quite specifically that they imperatives or categorical 'oughts'. or of the noble. it lies in his theory of knowledge. its own from the determinist causality nation with which the will is and of scientific nature. Judgments how to behave are typi- 31. free causality. quite distinct This causality or self-determi endowed must evidently belong to the noumenal hence nonknowable sphere. mine to do so by some the will to moral On the contrary nothing knowable can deter choice. if the will is determined it cannot be by anything accessible to understanding. The free acts of the will that setting constitute moral goodness and moral choice are comprehension. This was be he rejected their claim that the noble was part of nature and was an object knowledge. however. when one wills and acts or moved way. ch. The reason for this is of course not difficult to grasp. it ceases to be the case that one is determined prior cognitive recognition of good. but only own directly by the will itself. of valueless The as moral good can manifestly and no longer be regarded as an object of knowledge in it had been by the ancients (for the only knowable goods are the object of par a moral ticular selfish desires). consequently. the any thinking. and as were present involving free assent of human For these or in the ancient vision of the su preme good and pathetic the noble. on that one cannot say anything about the form that these choices take the form about take.364 Interpretation morality. means that it has to determine itself sphere makes of this self-determination in the noumenal freedom something entirely unknowable. If the impossibility prior acts of of the will's being deter mined by any prior grasp of good. of man as a insatiable passions and of nature as a collection facts. or about how to behave. . the vision that as more ancient and pre-Machiavellian vision of moral goodness as did the see something fine of and splendid. and of freedom. just another (though of distinguishable) element of the 're Machiavelli. This had some important results.

it is nevertheless possible can to put these desires on a higher moral plane provided they subsumed un der the 32. for the has to be under and removes 'ought' in a purely formal way. Anscombe (see Hume. the same time.Autonomous cally these one ought ruled out expressed 'oughts' Morality of and the Idea of the Noble or 365 in terms 'should' 'ought'. But Hume has makes no sense of or that duty note 5 above). This also it the at categorical character that is necessary for morality. But Kant has in the this way of other 'ought' understanding than contingent. the so-called categorical imperative. merely with the formal character of the prescription or a command. and be made into uni- Some people. 517-19. some interest one has and cannot be 'ought' wished nor can it arise on its own (Treatise. This categorical 'ought' is just the pure idea of prescription or command. 523)- . enables Kant. as any reference to a good to which the is tive or which is to be attained by following what the 'ought' judgment scribes. have argued that this begins with disinterested duty. 484. for that is all that is left to it when the reference to a good is removed. a matter of pure categorical self 'oughts'. and follows.g. 'categorical'. In the of ancient scheme of things of are relative to the good the supreme end of. 'ought' aspect of and that separation of stood from good means that the moral 'ought' Kant's moral thought. in his own words. 498. Consequently 'ought' case rel judgements about how to behave he is left with an that is not to any good. has been said. acter of man's desires these were pictured in Machiavellian one can For while men it remains true that the only desires or interests that know to be exist in are their particular felt and self-interested preferences. human perfection. since he obligation is tied to. that any good accessible to knowledge of moral ative low. but there is a further one that deserves mention. if it can requires that any proposed course of action must be examined to see made a universal law for everyone and still stand. and it is essentially volitional. it plain e. as to give a moral dignity to the purely selfish char realism. of an legislation. ed. receives it certainly has nothing to do anything that can be known. the good. follows from it. or that is. not It is thus in Kantian categorical morality that the distinction own mysterious will 'is/ought' than one's its first and certainly its classic expression. and perhaps the most important. categorical imperative. 'ought' 'ought' one as a is left. If one takes 'ought' an judgment from rela pre it. Now this purely formal character of was understood by Kant as not just prescription. by denying and selfish. 1888. This separates the action only if it can is it compati from dependence on merely to each subjective and selfish and so allows interests that are private and contingent individual. or to do is so and so because it is part leads to. and ble with right and duty. or unfounded r itonomous 'oughts'. Selby Bigge. pp.32 This is one. prescrip The be in which the will expresses itself. but also universal tion (the 'ought' reason given is that what is formal is necessarily universal). autonomy commanding that has no ground or source other with nature or cognitive. the principle of morality. Oxford. in the manner described. or and Kant's morality therefore becomes the will's free self-determination of it Freedom is self'ought' takes the form of the that is imposition the of a moral command.

Everyone finds he has Hobbes' to desire peace because what he pleasure instinctively cannot leads to consequences he the unfettered pursuit of private ordinarily desires desire (namely the misery of war) if everyone does the and same. The contradiction that shows a given maxim cannot p. Hobbesian right. . 36. Cambridge. his ethical writings (and izing of is little more than an elaboration of establishes just The Groundwork). 20-22. Kant's Political Writings. pp. 3-4).36 In this sense Kant on never gets beyond Hobbesian morality. Practice. vol. in or one's self-interested so one desires. and right find that universal The formal principle universalizing pursuing those of ers' is that one should refrain from one's self-interested desires which are incompatible one with oth others. this will perhaps help to meet Mill's objec 1910. in upon whatever way one wishes. pp. ch.366 Interpretation laws.33 of universalizing carries the whole Kant's moral system and stand its significance. 35. 748. of some importance to under looks at how Kant expressly regards the principle in one will peace. That is why Kant is to appeal to the undesirability of consequences. his self-interested desires. also AA. This becomes especially clear in such of Kant's political pamphlets as Theory and Idea for a Universal History. in begins as 'ought' versalized prescriptions or other words. with Machiavelli) had lost. Theory and Practice. But he does and not do this by changing the formal Cf. especially 4th and 5th propositions. vi. however. one is free. to put it differently. One asks what would be the if everyone to do the same. pp. though it consider whether would or could be a case of utilitarianism. manage to bestow this morality something of that ancient sense of the noble that Hobbes (along 33. and pp. vi. 230-33 (Riess. 104-105.35 Kant's than moral which establishes the idea of right is no more Hobbes' idea it is its logical as well as historical heir. universalized is rather one of will than of thought tion to Groundwork.g. in whatever way he wishes. is just (e. for an happiness for a done happiness of the many at the expense of few would means many that in not be a case of by universalizing.34 Right is the and restraining and checking result of one's desires sufficiently to were avoid conflict. vm. so long as does or not infringe the right and freedom of another to pursue his doing hap the piness. 290-91 (also in Riess. 380-81. even though one could desire it when conceived as of done only by oneself. therefore. If one not it is. sect. AA. 291. or which Or. becomes a kind of universalizing of what The categorical autonomous weight of self-interest. especially creased the not utilitarianism in Mill's sense. for it is precisely the repugnance to one's desire of the consequences of an action when this action is universalized or conceived as done by everyone that shows one cannot desire it as universalized. pursuing their self-interested desires.. iv. Kant (in Utilitarianism. Hare. and vol. AA. Freedom Reason. Morality. It is gument against war and in favor of peace has exactly the same structure as ar noting that this. of peace war of all with all. pp. pp. 133-35). AA. compare with Metaphysic of Morals. 307). 11. 396 34. 1. then it is not right. though there remarks on are similarities with action Hare's ver when one considers his 'fanaticism'). pp. and if the result would be conflict or something like the principle. This does not mean that utilitarianism lies at the bottom Kant's principle of universalizing (at least sion. 289-306. with The contradiction that rules out prepared certain maxims or courses of action conflict of desire desire. What it worth is that or not one has to to the consequences of a given maxim amount to conflict of maxim desire in order know whether the is universalizable in the relevant sense. then. vol.). pp. vm. vol. be 423). 1971. He does. way to ensure this is precisely the device of universalizing one's desire. AA. vol. Everyman. (Abbott. and has bring into conflict with a right to pursue happiness.

As incomprehensible is just Hobbes' all 'oughtness' nothing else. quite regardless of the selfish of which men would more or system. For this reason Kant's noble has an altogether peculiar character. AA. root . namely the principle into the categorical of universalizing.Autonomous character of Morality and the Idea of the Noble 367 tion. but because of context the way that forces him to alter that idea into the idea of categorical 'oughts'. For by Hobbesian morality. the noble is reduced to a sort of universalizing that differs from Hob besian peace only because it is conceived as an unfounded and awesome com mand. that nature. this is a little extreme. that will is independent spontaneously passions. pp. that the the noble comes to rest in Kant's thought. which proudly strikes out all kinship inclinations? It can self. that is independent is low and actual. By Kant's own admission 'higher' morality Hobbesian morality is too low for morality. . and where with is found the . The truth this conclusion is no better illustrated than by Kant himself: Duty! thou sublime. p. less that is imposed on the by itself and not by more or mechanical workings of the It is thus in the idea universalizing sense of as 'oughts' of autonomy. descent. that that can be and noble here is the sheer unfounded and is to say incomprehensible. what is your origin. Perhaps. sublime. As one can see from the that thought traced above. however.37 from Kant may thus have succeeded in restoring something of the noble to morality within a Machiavellian context (which Hobbes failed to do). and for the less necessarily be moved towards it in endowed with Hobbes' (which it In this way the principle is separated from never was for Hobbes). v. all divorced from anything knowable. 86-87. Hobbes is 37. mighty of your noble name . and so has been selfish and contingent motives three qualities which now Kant. freedom. What Kant regards as ignoble about not the peace he commends but the grounds on which he commends it. imperative (in into which is contained the pure idea in of oughtness or command that the will imposes on itself without reference to an object of respect and awe sake good or desire). interests it serves. felt it lacked. contingent and desires. . of what selfish. . Abbott. of be nothing less than It can be nothing mechanism of which what exalts man (as part of the sensible world) above him other than personality. he aims to make this principle and for itself. yet is freedom and independence the the whole of viewed at the same time as a power of a given being is subject to special laws. it would seem that Kant's noble ignoble made mysteriously imperious. pure practical laws by its own reason. . rather he changes its motive and its justifica making his expression of this formal character. of categorical natural and and respect for such. yet his own appears to be no more than Hobbes backed up by the un founded 'ought' of noumenal. this a movement of happens because the context of selfish sense of the no and ble has had to be forced into epistemological Machiavellian of inclinations despair. with his sense of of precisely those the noble. For it is categorical. the free. Second Critique. 180. vol.

in the end. besides the of real the separations already mentioned of the moral from the natural and from the knowable. respect this universalizing as such and By which contrast the ancient vision of the noble is tied to a particular view of the natural man denies any independent validity to pursuit of passions. is necessarily. and a right to the them. AA." the attempt to base morality on some of thing other than the stern categorical duty. pp. however. also the separation the moral from the beneficial and expedient. Second Critique AA. What needs fortiori any to be dis with cerned instead is how to subordinate the passions so as to make them accord and promote the natural perfection and elevation of soul (which means. making this problem a moral one is to ask be harmonized with the satisfying of by in the end. whatever may protested self- to the contrary. v. Kant. Groundwork. vol. to some love kind or sentimental thinking" romanticism. properties to the intelligible 40. of the natural man.38 specifi fanaticism. 38. pp. 39. both to appeal to a motive that is "pathological". pp. 441-44. 29. p. they "yoke" necessary to repeat about only that Kant's of moral when subject reasons It is not such remarks are of course his beliefs the natural the limitations human knowledge and about the selfishness of man. and to induce an a "airy. pp. Hobbes' peace. 84-86. 41. The say that man has a not just in view of is. to universalize.40 of that are flatters men they have for "voluntary to the when. All that Kant adds is to one can mysterious what he gets out of capacity to it. The Hobbesian way of passion answer how the satisfying passion by all. v. Abbott. he calls it seeing beyond the boundaries cally in the case of "moral perfection of "fanaticism. (deriving directly or from Hobbes) the most de- from the idea of Third Critique: presupposed a sect. When he speaks of man. superficial. of of sensibility (sense 'ought' perception)". vol. sires are This is only devised in the first place on the basis of a Machiavellian view For it is because men are conceived as creatures whose de just particular passions that the problem becomes one of coping with of these passions.39 the at tempt to base it on some presumed knowledge and love of the Kant condemns all such ideas fiercely.368 Interpretation namely selfish interest. Ibid. and in particular noble. 275. vol. that is the main reason why he rejected it. So in removing this but keeping the idea of peace. iv. v. Kant ignoble imperious as removing something noble is not so much making But this is to forget the logical origin of the idea of from an ignoble context. Second Critique. 35-41. 124-30. . fantastical goodness of of duty. .41 This opposition to the ancient idea that the of noble is perfection of soul and re placement of it 'ought' by the pure duty has meant that in Kant's thought one has. To exhort men to action by be appeal to the noble. sublime and magnanimous." by which he means "the delusion or. AA. whether universalized or not. 178-79. a certain perfection of reason in thought and action). vol. is bit their vision of the terly opposed to ancient moral thought. Abbott. Kant was aware that the ancient vision of per fection capacity of the mind to penetrate beyond sensible being of things. pp. in fact. AA.

Foot Warnock and others also wish to reunite the prudential and the moral by relating the moral to human benefit and harm. 198 1). which one should compare with Aristotle's own remarks in bk. One Ethics. references AA. AA. (Penguin. London. 443c-445b). I have only to be so profligate a to protest. he wanted fection and elevation of and soul. have been what makes tolerated by Plato's Socrates. Machiavelli and Hobbes that prais the natural condition wretched and miserable. in actually ing nature for being cruel and vicious for it is misery that is nature's engine to compel men to develop towards morality by forcing them to universalize their particular passions. He goes further. Also Veatch. 'realism' Machiavelli.42 selfishly the low and selfish now he necessarily associates the beneficial and satisfying with and so dissociates them from It has duty and the moral. against what I princip conceive Rheto ric. 390. p.44 any essential connec This separation is a good x and in terms good of x. pp. Third Critique. at least in some quarters. O'Meara. but they do. 429-34. Since. to repeat the same separa tion and to equate the selfish with the prudent and to tion between the moral and what sometimes put what deny benefits the individual. Having herited despair 42. more will come wrong. to speak of how something benefits one or makes one better off or fully satisfied is. 83. p. and so in terms of what enhances and to see nobility in terms of per benefits the noble individual (so Beyond Good . sect. Like the Evil. and of course Plato. Foot. See the It is in the is previous note. of the science of conquest Bacon and Descartes. especially part 9). selfish view of natural real human inclinations. of Aristotle's 44. or were inclined to do this. For a ent to violate the Socratic position. and a mechanis- the human capacity to grasp the references being of things. in Longmans. v. first who thought it absurd to suppose that good or something as good might not also be beneficial for it. and forward and acknowledge that to be his belief. 1981). to speak of something empirical and fully pleasant.45 just.Autonomous sirable and Morality and the Idea of the Noble 369 satisfying life. a of there is the general teaching of the Republic that justice is health and of soul and a benefit to the just man precisely as such without addition (e. and made of own a bestial. one may compare Whately : "If anyone really holds that it can ever be expedi that he who does so is not sacrificing a greater good to a less injunctions of duty that it can be really advantageous to do what is morally (which all would admit to be inexpedient). 474c-479e. 'Telos and Teleology in Aristotelian D. if it is to have any graspable content and not be merely empty ideas. if not more than. 45.g. 7. and also remarks in the translation Poli 1. Gorgias. however. for Kant.g. vm. 43. tics vol. 1877. p. p.43 become fairly standard. the distinction between what it is to be it is to be for Such a distinction would not. op.. for my own part. ancient authors. to which Saunders is kind referring. 21. Washington. 316. for instance. and who went so far to curse the man who separated the useful and the since. There are others who have made the same protest SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION In this veloped of article I have tried to roots and show how the idea of of autonomous morality as de in by Kant has its his in the morality ultimately the Hobbes. J. Studies in Aristotle (Catholic University of American Press. by giving up the idea of the noble and returning to the selfishness of Hobbes (e. See the in Saunders' note I . ch. vol. 4th proposition. with the deepest abhorrence. Universal History. cit. asserts as much worth noting that of man Kant as. xiii).' should also not forget Nietzsche.

for they have distinction. Politics. Kant devises an autonomous noble. have been overcome or the root causes aban doned in the historical development cardinal of autonomous morality since The Kant. Yet one must not forget that there are other ways of coping with this evidence good evidence to without ther. that does not posit nor require radical splits and yet gives a place to the noble. are with the more ancient one. as derived is lot an examination of historical origins. . These about the structure of autonomous morality. the is/ought there is still the same insistence that the the moral has not been understood properly if it is from at all equated with suggestions prudential and satisfying. of man and Certainly for one who is drawn towards and unified vision his world. of either of the origins or of what rests on them. in fact. throughout this paper. 46. 1253*29-39. Interpretation nature. cannot say that these course of the not. Still it has not been to settle this my aim issue here. thing there back up the Machiavellian account of the natural man very (the appeal to facts of history is one of the strong points of Machiavelli's work). or of 'facts'. and a selfish understanding of human desires as it was for Kant. and mind is divorced from the real. and thesis of autonomous morality. the ancient vision is far more promising.46 I going the way of Machiavelli. nonteleological science of 'oughts' self-willed categorical consequence of to cope with the sense of the morality of This has the man existence.370 tic. Aristotle. without contrasted going the way the Kantian holistic of Kant ei account of how things This has doubtless a revealed my own preferences. merely to help make clearer what the issue is. and so have. making more absolute fundamental splits in hu reaffirming The moral is divorced from the natural and knowable and also and from the One prudential and the fully splits satisfying. do not in themselves For one amount to a refu a tation. remains today as much dependent on empiricist notions of the 'is'.

" Everyone is to his own without having be or answer any questions about them. delusions. "varieties" and we have all learned from William James with which of and others sible that there are of religious experience. Indeed. all such questions are to judged irrelevant is the very least unanswerable. if it has to do the content of the experi with not an object of sense perception. degree of openness to prevail regard ing these matters. it has been contemporaries the highest theme of and thought. No one is likely which has a certain prima facie evidence longer claim." to quarrel with the word can no readily accessible to us. not always easy to tell an authentic experience from There is no mistaking the pain that I feel when I have a toothache. with rare exceptions. or momentary infatua deeper have tions. having is had a number of them are in the past. Fortin Boston College After centuries of heated and often futile debate. our have "religion" "experience. strike the modern reader as a quaint ancient anachronism or at convenient best a daring terms. They thus assume a public character to which they . constitutes knowledge whose problematic re western lationship." substituted both of which are supposedly less that "reason" controversial and more "experience. They tend to be those of our time or of our society and are generally shared by other members of that society. have been taught to see in it.Review Essays Faith and Reason in Contemporary Perspective Apropos of a Recent Book Ernest L. any For these of attempt to reopen the question of faith and reason is bound to challenge. For all practical purposes the world is what we see in it. It suffices that to account they be for them "authentic. but even they are not wholly unam biguous in so far as they are apt to be mediated if not actually induced by the larger context of opinion to which they belong. what we fits of enthusiasm. Experiences can be described but entitled require no justification. Seemingly profound experiences to be nothing passing fancies. and what we see in it is. it is pos to become acquainted even a remarkable if we have no firsthand knowledge has come them our selves. however. If. once used as labels to designate the two types said. The trouble is that it is one that not. issues as subtle and elusive as those associated with religious belief. and. I know roughly what others go through ence when they similarly afflicted. Our thoughts and feelings are rarely ours alone. Others obviously roots. Since their objects are presumed to lie beyond the or at pale of rational discourse. a greater measure of caution often prove may be in more than order.

If Philosophy could be employed. Reason: The Foundations of ch. it is not the kind of knowledge that someone brought up in different tradition would take for granted. but its meaning and counter as a tool with which to probe any attack that might be leveled It is against quite it in the name of reason.32. . singular merit theology is example. The assent that they commanded was a reasonable one rationabile obsequium (cf. x. City Thomas Aquinas. just as. Still. whether it be that of the prophet to whom God had spoken or of the recipient of his message. once the normative into question. Since the God faith himself in the Scriptures was also the author of nature. This simple observation is enough to remind us religious or other that we are confronted with a multiplicity of such wise. they often "religions" speaking of differ widely from one another. great The theologians of the past were not wholly unaware of the problem and preferred a more objective approach accustomed. that in its eagerness to emphasize the reason ableness of existential modern of Christian faith. however. The assumption mind's natural ous that. Cf.1 Christianity was not was in principle and could become in fact a universal reli people and gion. as "religion" was the custom prior to the sixteenth century. although the divinely revealed truth exceeded the capacity. the opposite was true. principle allowing long as the investigator was competent. its rational component. for 2.2 the preserve of any particular nation or group of its teachings contained nothing incongruent or demonstrably were false. Hence the modern habit in the plural rather than of in the singular. It was an assent of which all human beings theoretically of There was of danger nothing to fear from a its being damaged by it one to philosophic as investigation its roots and no anything. See. and The Robert Sokolowski's book. no real antagonism of reason could between antici the dogmas It of the and the independent findings be pated. capable.372 owe Interpretation cows are sacred both their plausibility and their authority. 12:1). The Hindu who is persuaded that is not indulging in a private fantasy or expressing a purely per sonal view. and that of traditions. His is noticeably different from that of the party-goer "knowledge" who has had too much to drink and swears that the cow in his backyard has wings. 7. Summa of God. that is why we they to it than the one to which have lately was become They knew that what went under the name "faith" of ultimately grounded in an experience of some sort. but they denied that it was a simple matter of subjective experience and insisted that the formulation of its content be submitted to the external control of reason. any effort to evaluate to criteria that are not indigenous to any them. not indeed as a pass judgment on the truth or falsity of Revelation. it did not run counter to it and was not totally impervi was who reveals to it. contra Gentiles. Romans. I. and since he cannot contradict himself. It these religions has character of been called them will have to one of include some reference follows that. The God of Faith 1 . Augustine. possible. medieval theology downplayed its component. in its eagerness to react against the prone to overlook experiential or this tendency.

Such a make sense of the dogmas and practices of theology is or said to proceed by way of clarification rather than by way of inference from premises to conclu space" sions. though disclosure" or a "theology necessarily in opposition to. it is of manifesta a tion. as we learn from the first chapter of the book. Thomas Aquinas. ad only.Faith and Reason in Contemporary Perspective a 373 Christian Theology. whereas secundum rationem). As its suggests." Sokolowski's becomes term thought that culiar fully manifest only when we reflect thematically it with on the pe understanding to of God that underlies it and contrast the one that per vades the whole of pagan philosophic and religious thought. Accordingly. is celebrated already implicit in Anselm's being is all of than whom none greater can of be conceived. a. "theology for the theology of the Middle Ages. a that has no exact equivalent outside of Christian theology." aptly described as a "theology as distinguished from. 32-33). just as he would lose nothing from its absence. Summa Theoi. "there may be (p. Take God away and nothing is left of the world. This insight. of dependence between God and and the world works direction + 172. even though he is both for its coming into being and its continued existence. not merely by balance between these two ap restating the problem as it posed itself phenomenology to subtitle in the Middle Ages.4 Notre Dame For London: University of Notre Dame Press. Without daughter. for even if there were no world. God is himself a part of the world. unlike any the ones with which we are familiar In these the two terms of the distinction imply each other and a son or a have no mean ing no one without the other (cf. he gains nothing from its presence. 'better' " but there is no When he creates. the relation God to the creature is no more than a "relation (relatio . I.1 is that it looks for happy proaches and that it does so.45. God would still be "all that he is in in him alone. 19). xiv 4. formula according to which God is the The distinction that it presumes from common experience. Neither in Greek philosophic thought nor conceived as a being that in any religious tradition other than Christianity is God is not in any way affected by the existence or nonexis not tence of the responsible world. within which the "meaning" of these teachings can "open up the logical be unfolded for the benefit of believers most and interested nonbelievers alike of not pp. It seeks above all to elaborate the horizon (cf. In him and essence and exis 'greater' tence or coincide." Its immediate that of rea is not so much defend the compatibility the life of faith with son as to lay bare the theoretical presuppositions that enable one to Christianity. there is father or mother and vice versa. cf. 'more' undiminished greatness" goodness and (p. pp. The present case is different in that the in one rela tionship 3. 107). but essay is aim an exercise by using the is contributions of modern arrive at a more adequate articulation of it.3. where Aquinas explains that the relation of the creature to of a real of (relatio realis). God is 1982. Sokolowski's in to what now called "fundamental of theology. Pp. this novel understanding and is best formulated in distinction the fundamental distinction between God the world. Its thesis is that there is imbedded in the structures of the Christian faith a coherent pattern of of things. q. but the converse does not obtain. and. "relation" lum. a similar argument. xiv and 37). According terms of Sokolowski.

understanding of the sacraments in human life. di the man governs in Christians the Scriptures. saying so. for "no as how Aristotle's god is to be de thought. to what one so often no question of Sokolowski can also claim to be on more solid ground Thomism" than either Rahner or Lonergan. This is true of the Olympian gods. the basic distinction to of (p. Within this framework. whether he (pp. and it is obviously necessary that there be other beings besides him. and in many. for. experience the world around them. 108-109). Such an approach has the great advan tage of preserving the 21-23). 15-16). Such a view constitutes a radical which be any less departure from all of pagan or pre-Christian thought. neither of them sees the need to contrast the Christian give and pagan senses of the whole. most being.374 God is perfect Interpretation no more perfect for having created the world and would not for not having created it." As a consequence. most inde self-sufficient. Rahner and Lonergan take the createdness of the for granted. of whose "transcendental and arrives at God through an analysis human thought its alleged demand for complete or unrestricted knowl edge. the prime mover or the self-thinking not" ture is looked upon as a rational necessity and is treated as such. On this score. for only on that assumption can it be regarded as transparent to God and hence "completely fails to intelligible. pp. for of what even here the itself" transsub- One or the Good is still "taken 'part' as is: it is the One by being 18). integrity of the faith as well as that of the natural order (pp. The thought that same view emphasis the world might never have equally stantial one characteristic of of simply does not arise. scendental method thus "due to the pagan state of and works It refuses to accept it as a real that is biblical or Christian possibility from the outset (cf. 37-39). Contrary there thinkers. the Christian cease to be mysteries mysterious but only that one then begins to see more clearly wherein their character lies (cf. entirely within a perspective pp. and the role which Trinity. he is part of the world. everything that is not divine were not. god or the gods are appreciated as pendent and powerful. but it is also true of the matter Aristotelian metaphysics. Sokolowski seems to detect in their approach a Without explicitly latent tendency to blur ." cepted within even the context of unchanging beings in the world. world Unlike Sokolowski. "In Greek God is merely the most perfect Roman religion. This is not to say that once the "mysteries" im portance of that distinction is fully appreciated. over. The the later Platonic tradition. despite its existed principle of all is on the transcendence the divine things. It is indispensable to vine ner grace. is tem of symbols finds among contemporary religious Christian reducing theology to a complex sys designed to convey a purely human meaning. and it the read Incarnation. the whole of na is aware of them or scribed. but they are ac Hence "the possibility that they could be though anyone" to god of (p. is not a possibility that occurs 12). book never As the rest of the so well by being One only alone by shows. for and being in the universe. recognition" Their tran mind. and in Greek and Roman the most philosophies. which attention has just been drawn undergirds the entire structure of a proper Christian life the and thought. and relate to one another and to the divinity.

the book will set a new trend in religious sophical theology. will be less not accessible to human alone. is bound to arrive at similar conclusions and will agree that the Christian faith cannot be dismissed as meaningless. 39. but who goes to the opposite extreme and repudiates metaphysics alto gether makes us us by leaving pay for the "religious (p. it prized stands may in the best tradition of Catholic theology. and. do not require Christian mysteries. pp. into and hence that one can sub scribe to them without lapsing obvious contradictions. apart from its more modern (and sometimes disclosure" obscure) terminology. more one wonders whether. where the problem is taken up in much but without any mention of either Rahner Lonergan. they the same terms See esp. Anyone from the same premises. Nonbelievers will have fewer difficulties accepted it or at it than they do with the dogmas of the faith. repudiation generates One further point to be stressed is that the distinction between God and the Christian theology itself.Faith or and Reason in Contemporary with Perspective natural and 375 the supernatural orders. . though that one turn one's back on it (cf . parallels Sokolowski's essay has few ished literature of our time. its topic and the level on it is taken up are more typical of former ages than of ours and the thesis that it lays before us is argued with a cogency that one admires all the more as it rarely found elsewhere today. it does not strictly speaking belong to the realm of faith. has always reason and who starts looked upon as an ally rather than an enemy of the Faith. and by raising it in a is so manner that is both respectful of the past and sympathetic to recent develop ments. that its main tenets are neither patent absurdities nor logical inconsistencies. xii. namely. Because it purely philosophical. 101 or . This said.5 deemphasize the distinction between the own method of His dealing this issue likewise differs markedly from that clarity" of Karl Barth. As which was mentioned in the theologically lean and impover earlier. and 113). what There does not appear philosophy as well as in philo to be much doubt that it accomplishes Christian faith can command it sets out to do. advantage. One can only hope that. having least been made to see that it is not manifestly contrary to rea reluctant to concede that the reason son. the intersection of the two do p. in "philosophical darkness" that this 112). Sokolowski's "theology of medieval is really as new as it claims to be. the distinction between the 89-90 and 100- their various formalities. which As such. and they are the ones that the medieval tradition took as its point of departure. In view of the extreme care that the sciences and theologians brought to 5. by raising once again the thorny issue of the rapport between faith and reason. to show that the the respect of thoughtful persons regardless of what their religious convictions be and even if they it profess no religious convictions at all. as it can serve as a with bridge between them (cf. 39). they pp. Since that dis tinction is not entirely beyond the scope of reason. but since it has not in fact been discovered without world occupies a unique position within the aid of divine revelation. one hesitates to describe it stands at Therein lies its mains.

90-92).376 can Interpretation concerned than we are with or manifest of scarcely be thought to have been less things come to the manner in which light. To speak of such a to distinction. or the (I272bi4). elsewhere he puts some other god the world. a some of Aristotle's "divine" beings belong whole with which the metaphysician prime mover is concerned. q. and would not speak of him at all were it not for the fact that the world as we know it becomes unintelligible without him. he (p. notoriously pret. who highlights that distinction. xiii. 33). but there is reason to think that Sokolowski. I025b2. then he calls the celestial world which heat (or ether) a god. is imply that one termined as accurately as possible wherein has already analyzed its terms and de they differ. takes the Christian distinction between "theology in on of God dis the world for granted and concentrates on its two terms. must be kept "in Whereas the and intention things" tandem" separating the two theologies. I.. the zeroes "theology of closure" the distinction itself (cf. the texts in which the problem is taken up may not in the Metaphysics and elsewhere are relatively few in number and. to the Deor. tends to take its terms for in granted.6 He is not as such the subject of metaphysics or erything else in relation to being. Sokolowski has says. as the long history of Aristotelian scholarship demonstrates. 7.l. etc. in accordance with earlier to the outermost heaven. do full justice to the complexity of Aristotle's Unfortunately. Clearly. it self. especially and difficult to inter is no small mover" "God" since the word is applied not only to the "first unmoved the other separate substances but. To be sure. no "presenced. Ascertaining what exactly Aristotle may have meant by task. odoiav ioj2b2-j. God is appropriately begins with him and studies him. as "self-subsisting an actuality" I07ib20). The not at all clear that the is himself "part" of Metaphysics describes him xa&' variously cf. and on occasion reason Greek tradition.7 first philosophy. The medievals may pos sibly have taken the distinction between God and the world for granted. which may thought on this matter. Metaphysics. point A elian case is his insistence or on the intramundane character of the Aristot God. which anything from them. "eternal and (ivegyeia r) immovable (didiov being" depend" atixr\v. 1. not realizing that the heaven is he himself had previously designated by the name of a part of god" that (De Nat. which takes as its theme knows nothing of being qua God as he is in himself. . The ambiguity is noted by Cicero. Summa Theol. even though the ev he himself does not depend them or receive subject of sacred theology.. 6. I07ib5). at another he calls the over world itself a god. I003a2i. all of the heavenly bodies. Cf. Significantly. assigning to this god the task of regulating and sustaining the movement of the world by means of a revolution of some sort. I004bi5. 7. the good at which principle on which the everything in the heaven and all of nature on universe aims (I072b3). Thomas Aquinas. a. but he nevertheless sees them as different. 93). which. who observes apropos of Aristotle's lost dialogue On Philosophy: "At one moment he assigns divinity exclusively to the mind. but it is that whole." are themselves to us. however. dxivr)xov. pp.

That it great thinkers of which was taken with attested the utmost seriousness by the the past is amply by the numerous disquisitions to it gave rise and in all three of the great religious communities of the not West. they are by fatal to Sokolowski's him from the God sight thesis. Judaism.Y. It does thoroughly.Faith and Reason in Contemporary Perspective 311 God is discussed only toward the end of the Physics and the Metaphysics. The problem comes up at least once in the Meta physics. stances. 115). It is equally 8. al side when creation has been presented. that Aristotle could not conceive of a divine being it whose existence was not so linked to the world as to be unthinkable without pp. 11. As far as human rea follow necessarily that. having exam will be more inclined to accept it. in Lerner and Mahdi. the to philosopher owes he insists that. be said to be infinite or to exhaust the totality of being. p.. Medieval Political Philosophy: A Sourcebook (N. ined that one still son case Christianity. however. for regardless of whether one regards Aris totle's prime mover as part of the world or not. From this point of view at least it is certainly possible to argue for the greater transcendence of the Christian perfection God. 13. I074ai4-3i). That difference of the radical comes most in Sokolowski's discussion than view God. there is obviously term. the philosopher hard to see how God could produce beings other than himself and it is thing. Aristotle thought it "reasonable" (evXoyov) to suppose set at ei that this number ther fifty-five or that there might related is identical to that be of the spheres. Guide. as the within ipsum esse subsistens or ready contains Sokolowski the case for would appear himself the totality of to have reason on his uniquely being. it too may have to be re-examined in the light of other state that bear on this subject. as distinct for its intrin sic final cause or the order of contention its parts . To say that that creation gives us "better" "greater" something but nothing the problem or provides elucidate us with a good shorthand statement of but does little to it. The pages devoted to this topic the opposition analysis on bring issue contingency us back to the religious and of all clearly to beings other more familiar according to which between the the the philosophic traditions turns tence.. Yet he was not prepared to rule out the possibility other separate substances whose existence in any way no means to the realm of celestial or sublunar phenomena (cf. I73"75. Even if these remarks should prove general accurate. a vast of difference still separates Christian theology. who not only surpasses all other self-subsistent beings in but. nothing "more" can be added to infinity. and has nothing to do with its all-powerful cre no middle coming into being or its governance on the one hand. Is lam. . Met. is ignorant of what goes on in this world. Decisive Treatise. As for the (cf. where he is introduced as the extrinsic final cause of the world. 1963).8 in the final of creation or divine omnipo Between a God who is defined exclusively as the thought that thinks it self. once it to himself to take it seriously (cf. Maimonides. and the ator of the biblical tradition on the other. in connection with the discussion of the number of the separate sub True enough. See inter multa alia Averroes. which is tentatively is not forty-seven. being. ments 16-18). For knows.

i. Kant had the right idea when he of 9. While not itself a properly supernatural it at least has that It much in common with noted the truths that belong exclusively to the not claim to order of grace. the incontinent. who is defined as pure and changeless actuality could cre from potency to act and hence without undergoing some kind passing Finally. he also makes it clear defy any completely satis in the Metaphysics that he preferred own alternative to difficulties" the others only because it was the one that offered the (cf. I075a25-I076a5. be can even be stated (pp. it is fair goes on to say that the problems have always been clearer than the proposed solutions to them. the science character and must live with realization loses something of its nec that its results could be over may not render by divine decree. 10. but it does inject an unknown factor or an element of unpre dictability into Much tled with these the philosopher's quest for unchanging causes. 10-15. In that case. For Kant. the ethical and life is conceived solely in terms of the struggle nal obligation. for his part. iojsa2-j) and shed the greatest amount of light on the famous issue of the one and the many or of being Since and so becoming that had dominated the whole of pre-Socratic philosophy. . to leave the study of nature aside for the time turn to being taking our from Socrates. Sokolowski seems to grant as much when he to explain that the Christian distinction between God and the world is not on a par with other philosophical and doctrines in be so far as it "en and the affections" gages our will. Anything that is not inherently contradictory becomes essary turned at any time world order possible.9 tional certitude awaits us on either side of this vexed question. he the magnitude of the problem is such as to factory his "fewest solution. character is used as a foil to illustrate the importance to moral in classical thought..10 Sokolowski's account of human or moral things. the conti much of nent. The discussion in this virtue particular instance begins with an analysis of natural (pp. Met. 53-68) that takes its bearings from the Nicomachean Ethics the nature of moral agency as categories or and well as on and fo cuses on Aristotle's division of human types into four basic formal possibilities: the virtuous. who the vicious. In Topics I04b6-i7. demands the collaboration of both the intellect "lived" To that extent. Cf. See Aristotle's summary discussion this frequently debated topic in Metaphysics. Xenophon. The stage for the argument is set attributed by Kant. i. notion of between inclination duty or between passion and ratio The virtues and human wholeness habits have practically no role to play in it and the all but disappears.378 hard to Interpretation see how ate without of change. 142). able to prove admits that should be that Aristotle. did apodictically that the and world was eternal. Divine omnipotence the vain. Memorabilia. if God can create. advantage cue little in the way of ra it may be to our and. 123. he also has the power to intervene in the a God processes of nature and alter them as he sees fit. the zeal with which as one can admire the medieval theologians wres themselves issues. it is inseparable from action and must before it truth.

that Augustine. 83). when virtues destroys the virtues. the Christian illumination of what is to be done consists first of all in confirming what is good by nature. his interpretation of the Ethics stresses only ments as may be thought to be neutral in regard to the distinction that made such ele was between the kind pagan and Christian virtue. provides a new adding to it the infused moral setting for human existence. 82). and. Sokolowski's remarks set within the context of a comparison concerning the difference between natural and Christian morality are between the Augustinian and Thomistic views of natural virtue "false" virtue." where Aristotle can be most helpful to us (p. but that is about responsibility to the issue of the as much as Sokolowski is willing to say in his behalf. 55). to whom his book is typically addressed. In simple terms. To be specific. so Augustine denies that virtue and the order of grace. i. by virtues and the theological virtues.Faith "related and Reason in Contemporary Perspective divine" 379 (p. Just as Plato denies that virtue without true knowledge is genuine virtue. contrasted with the The Aristotelian tian view. . Generally speaking. and in appreciating to that what is good according to therefore nature is not cause created and willed by God. This be the two contexts. for Augustine natural virtue without faith is for Aquinas. it exhibits a livelier concern natural moral way is thus gan paved goods" 11. 78-79 and 88). 56). the individual moral agent is "split into two performers".e. pp. his method about the of proce resolve dure. the natural and the theological. . Among other things. "true" It is not unimportant to note. it is virtue. simply good in itself but also good be What is good by nature is not set over what what is good by grace but is integrated into it. what the Christian is primarily to do" supposed more to do is what the good man would be expected (p. however. 83). moral virtue most important. This apparent discrepancy is rightly said to find its explanation in the fact that Aquinas distinguishes more sharply between the order of nature (cf. . one cannot ethics weight help thinking even the that Sokolowski's determination to suspicion of absolve Christian him to from faintest his fa later irrationality has again caused the evidence in vor. For an adequate assess ment of natural moral phenomena "we must get out from under and this is moral Kant. of spirit that informs Aristotle's treatment of reader Little if anything is said these matters. for the assertion that Christian morality does not contradict pa but merely redirects or refines it by privileging "certain aspects of morality " (p. introduced. which con must not "ballast" for Christian action (p. view of morality is subsequently some extent Chris which modifies it to and. 83). tends to study all things in the light of their highest principles. much on nature and shares simply a in the While there is to applaud in all of this. And is good by grace is not matter of convention and reasonableness arbitrary decision. within a without faith is true virtue. rather it builds associated with nature (p. his or as to present moral phenomena on their own philosopher as to level they appear not so much to the morally good or decent human beings. it concrete means rather that "in the situation. perspective The Christian ought does not bring in obligations that are at odds with what we do according to the nature of things. The the cognitive status that attaches to in the Aristotelian scheme. . albeit only relative virtue. natural None of these tinue to serve as a taken to mean are properly Christian kind of that. who generally works Platonic framework.

achievement it is everyone.380 Interpretation human beings have in common with what "as created and loved and redeemed by God". moral the most necessary of the (Summa Theol. An Open Letter to On p. The those who manage to combine in their own persons "natural pride and supernatural is proof enough that the two virtues can live comfort ably together (p.129. 11-11. of course. Aquinas would have it. anywhere in the Bible." later to be not even reasserted None of this. it less lofty. Rousseau (pp. depending on one's perhaps not the highest one at that. it and of all pays greater attention to the needs and dignity of the weak.. the unborn. H17JI7. whereas "natural temperance. which is regarded as a means to a further end. the poor. con and natural goodness. Locke. This alone does not make Christian morality any less but to anyone who is not inclined to virtues "reasonable." worst of all one that "flatly the opposes divine grace and all virtues. the spirit that ani and them and dictates their actions is not the same. No mention is made of the Aris totelian notion of moderation and moral virtue generally as something (xaXov) or desirable for its own sake. Ethics. It becomes. and it is more emphatic in its proclamation of "the natural equality men. but it does not enter into the believer any less secure in his actions humility" competition with noble human being." a part of courage. 96). promotes one type of morality and. Nic. 77. Luther may have exaggerated but he was not entirely wide of the mark when pronounced Aristotle's Ethics "the Christian books. Luther. All well and good." No one denies.13 Magnanimity. Sokolowski use of notes by and example. Sokolowski's argument proves only that Christian belief perspective. but the interesting point in Sokolowski's statement is that it purely instrumental conception of natural virtue."12 Even if the Christian and pagan should mates happen to agree on many of the same things. "noble" 1 120a23. 93-9413. 1 1 igai8 and bi7. et passim. ni5bi3 and 24: rn6i 2 and b2o. inevitably albeit ceases to as be the rare described in Book IV the Ethics. qu. by Hobbes. stitutes an obstacle to the pursuit of Humility as a may affect one's appraisal of one's own pride or make example of worth. and and the few people who come to behave as if they were Saul Michal immediately to pp. 5). . in Three Treatises (Philadelphia. whether it be bodily health or the healthy condition of the mind. 81) says a good Christianity's inherent propensity to the moral life of some of its justice above nobility. different types he of save for the fact that we are still confronted with two vastly compelled human beings between which one is sooner or later to choose. a. the German Nobility. once thereby stripping required of of splendor. there are not what said about is "ladies" "gentlemen" many tried 12. i960). 85). that Christian virtue is more ascetical than reflects a purely natural virtue. moderates our food way of comparison that. for drink in view of health and the exercise of reason. cf. the addition of humility to Aristotle's list of virtues. 83. in . that is surely some thing to be considered in any analysis of moral character. fused virtue will urge us toward asceticism. arguably the lowest measure human perfection by could make it look and somewhat it in the New Testament. For better or for worse. the effect that tory" in Aquinas "the deal noble seems almost about The passing remark to to be changed into the obliga elevate (p.

one is tempted to say. The moral man as such. neglect of religion on the part of political thinkers and of Cf. for it is far from that purely philosophical standpoint moral virtue is fully supported by nature that its normal requirements are always consonant with the good of society a as a whole. The Defender of the Peace. Cf. II Samuel. 6:16-23. Sokolowski notes perceptively that the privatiza tion of religion necessitated or brought about by the triumph of modern liberal poli- ism has led to the 14. As one of them expressed it universally recognized princi in equivalent terms. I Samuel. however. evident The from and problem has larger ramifications. 55).14 Along as similar lines. . in the absence of a legislating God." far as I know. straightaway to the comparatively brief but incisive appendix that is devoted an examination of the relationship between Christian belief and This brings us the political life (pp. in I i35b20-26). deformed offspring likewise think of numer ordinarily un city. 15:1-9. 12. Confronted Ages with that problem. the moral order is point and enjoys the cosmic support that most internally consistent at every decent human beings demand for observes it. what is ted. did after all propose that the number of children not be limited One and that can be allowed live (cf.Faith mind and Reason in Contemporary their Perspective 381 soon learned to rue mistake.15 universally admitted is not rational and what is rational is not universally admit The question with which we ultimately come face to face is whether. Sokolowski separable puts us on the right track when he that "the divine is in obligatory from a sense of the good and the natural (p. Sokolowski's to spokesman for natural morality. 157-64). by valuing some moral Christianity risks inhibiting the devel opment of certain parts of essential the soul the cultivation of which may not be any less to the attainment of human excellence. Achaeans. 11. but as neither Aristotle nor any of easily jeopardize its his classical followers ever is always and far to maintain that an unswerving commitment to them everywhere possible. some Christian Aristotelians of the Middle questioned the universal applicability of all ples of justice and right. Simply put. between Christ Achilles. can Christian on ratio ity's traditional stand against abortion and infanticide be defended Christian grounds. Aristotle. To cite only one of the examples adduced by Sokolowski. but the reasons that purport to justify it may have to be pondered in the light of other reasons that militate against it in certain nal as well as on circumstances. A soci ous other cases where strict observance of the rules of justice as derstood would be detrimental to the for the preservation and welfare of the ety that has chances of went so no regard observance of these rules could survival. is the candidate for belief in divine revelation.. 15. "the best so much more of "goods" highly than others. Marsilius of Padua. Pol.7-8. it is significant and that the Christian tradition has the often seen a parallel of sorts between Christ Socrates (who and was not a gentleman) but never.

least human 158). the pivot of political virtues theory. Although Sokolowski readily acknowledges that Strauss' position on these and related matters remains somewhat elusive. we are again told. as the story of Abraham and "may even appear to be irrational. the belief in creation.382 Interpretation part of tics on the theology. not because of ity. along with the Christian the obligations they entail. he sees no warrant for the allegation that revealed reli renders "the political life." virtue of of all the unusual opinions they of None of its central doctrines. On this telling. accentuates certain parts of natural requirements with greater law" morality clarity." Such its an understanding is for to Christianity. Equally of the objectionable in Sokolowski's eyes is the Straussian tendency to in Strauss' terpret the distinction between the natural and the supernatural as a simple variant distinction between nature and convention. he questions what appears to be his understanding of revealed religion whose necessity is not obvious to Isaac suggests. For the same odds with reason. Such phers and was not theologians." intelligence or natural abil else but because they are the repositories of certain higher truths to which no one is privy. political theory and when most philoso theologians were wont to take a lively interest in all questions per taining to the place of religion in society. to whom Sokolowski full credit for having refocused our attention on this problem with whom he nevertheless feels compelled to take issue on a number of cru cial points. but than others and expresses some of teachings never "work against the natural (p. become another form of conventionalism. 159). or at least the preservation of natural right impos in so sible" far as it singles out some members of the wealth or strength or virtue or body politic "as superior to others. Yet Strauss himself acknowledges the threat that the weakening of the sense of the sacred poses to civil society. but Sokolowski denies its relevance to innermost thoughts lest by disclosing Christianity on the ground that the Christian faith "does not enter into competi- . the mysteries of the and faith. Sokolowski cannot accept the view that Athens is permanently at Jerusalem or that philosophic reason and religious belief can coexist an only in uneasy and finally unresolvable tension of with each other. gion Specifically. eign as the "communication of commandments reason" and that. One notable exception and to the present- day but rule is to be found in the gives works of Leo Strauss his disciples. His answer to that charge is that Christianity leaves the realm of na political ture intact and hence does not advance any teachings that are not equally available to non-Christian or nonbelievers or establish are supposed to govern others "a group of people who by possess. this tension is what prompted many the philosophers of the past to conceal their them openly they should un dermine the salutary opinions by which most people live and on which society depends for its well being. interferes with the the "natural necessities" normal operations of reason or contravenes the political order (p. According to Strauss. more whose which. This peculiar mode of writing may have been preva lent among philosophers in the past. at the risk of losing much of their credibility. to the detriment of both the situation in premodern times.

in which Thomas Aquinas as examples the various ways this harmonization could be effected.Faith tion with and Reason in and Contemporary Perspective other writer can 383 reason" that "its scope is than the whole within which reason with finds its or home. however cautious they may have been in stating that view. Though Sokolowski is critical of not Strauss on the points that have just been mentioned. what the notion of creation when What he does as a phi losopher is world no different from he would do if he were convinced that the is eternal and uncreated. But this leaves a untouched of the question of whether the way life rather than as a set of teachings wholehearted assent fiiog dewgnxixbg or philosophy as or a body of doctrines is compatible by it. the Christian God is not "unfathomable the God of the philosophers. Hence the Christian need not prescind from speculates about the world. What is more. not because he is known" more honest or forthright than is ers. the argu ment against it would have to be based on premises that bear no trace of the influence Rahner of divine revelation. As the ipsum he is both Will the and will. 162). the sacred. let alone rule out its Strauss denied that he in possession of such a philos of ophy. but because the things he believes in "do not what is believed and what is (p. could demonstrate the possibility. but to be convincing to everyone. falsity was of revealed religion. or the whole that philosophy then scrutinizes and reveals as mere opinion. acute comments are all the more welcome as Sokolowski's unusual they reveal with experience clarity the uneasiness that Christian theologians Strauss' frequently when confronted with analysis of the so-called theologicopolitical prob lem. the obligatory. He knew that." and esse subsistens. formulating for the uneducated in a way that is persuasive to them certain thoughts about the ultimate. One may wish with the believer's human to certain truths that either exceed the ca pacity of reason or cannot be nailed down to quarrel with that definition of philosophy. he is not intellect alone. Unlike the God of whom unlike Strauss speaks. and he pointed to and the achievements of Averroes. But nei ther does he profess to agree with them. within certain with limits. necessitate a conflict between Christianity not a conven tion. Maimonides. Moreover. the necessary. Intellect and neither more one than the other. for only a completed philosophy. Sokolowski has a good point when he reproaches possi- and Lonergan with not accepting the pagan state of mind as a real . telligibility exercise of fact that he creates and redeems does not deprive nature of its in the or prevent human beings from he discerning that intelligibility by their unimpeded reason. as dis tinct from a philosophy that quest understands itself as an unfinished and unfinishable for wisdom." The Christian dispense this form of concealment oth deliberate dissimulation. implied that many of these authors looked upon revealed politically useful myth. he never expressly disagrees with them. "teachings" the the classical philos ophers could be harmonized of those of revealed religion. entirely unsympathetic to him and he fully appreciates the difficulty ing in his posed by the fact that one cannot always tell whether Strauss is speak own name or said or Strauss certainly religion as a merely paraphrasing the authors about whom he writes.

the eternity sionally of the world or its creation in time. 1968). "What Is Liberal 8. Strauss. but as Sokolowski has general and not proved but merely in the full asserted that Strauss relegated religion realm of Strauss' in Christianity particular even if it is not. But he is careful to add that the results in each consideration. 161). L. and Germany as being is proved on the as a is the biblical God name is characterized by Will and whose knowledge has only the in common with our knowledge. but from the difference between Germany as the need greatest power which ruled second-rank power ruled sumption of creation tyrannically and was ruled democratically." Granted. and case are not simply identical: someone might For instance. follow immediately.384 Interpretation to bility. in it we should miss import the statement if we were to see a simple acknowledgment of of fact that there is a large area of agreement between the domains vealed religion. p. for 16. Sokolowski can hardly be blamed for taking excep tion to the Maimonidean and Straussian view according to which God is essen tially Will rather than Intellect and for countering it with the Thomistic view. oneness.. The argument may be beside to the of the point. if would Germany her be prosperous regardless of whether she won or would she won. would have said prior to the Second World War that lost the war. Ancient and Modern (New York 180. the existence. regarding what is to be done in a particular set of But there is also something of importance to be learned from the few remaining cases in which their actions could conceivably differ. Sokolowski of quotes a statement to the effect that ground of the "By becoming dignity dignity of man and therewith of the goodness of the world. 17. The God who whose tryannically. so to speak. be reluctant to go all the way in recognizing that Using Strauss against himself. aware of the the mind. L. to wit. which is the home of man because it is the home of the human mind." The total picture comes into view only when in the essay entitled "How to Begin to Study the Guide of the Per where Strauss explains that the same conclusion in the instance under philosophy and re we look at a paral immateriality of God may occa be drawn from two different and opposed premises. Strauss. her prosperity her as an be assured by have abstracted ally against Soviet Russia. As a Christian theologian. . Education?" in Liberalism. if prosperity the United States of America who would the predictor would she lost. however. lel passage plexed. but he himself appears possibility. we realize the true whether we understand it as created or uncreated. in his the vast majority of cases the human being who takes reason alone as ultimate guide and the one who seeks to please God above all else are likely to come to the same conclusion circumstances."16 From that not statement he infers that as by Strauss' own admission and Christian belief need be interpreted just another convention that the Christian thinker is not required to choose between nature on the one and creation and grace on hand the other (p. ibid. p. inasmuch convention.

Strauss was also intrigued by Aquinas' habit of muting his disagreements "reverently" with some of his Christian predeces sors of by exposing their thought and (reverenter) . leaves it uses at other moments in his saying that. which replaces what is now called the Old Law with the new and in some fashion perhaps even more paradoxical "com mand" of love. Aquinas consciously and deliberately interpreted Aristotle's text in the manner that best accords with the Christian faith. Thomas Aquinas. different vision emerges. Sokolowski laments the fact that more and alludes is not known about the way Strauss interpreted according to Aquinas' works to a "Straussian oral tradition" which Strauss in would have 161). it was now largely abandoned Be that as it may. particular political community does lay down any particular (Turin. on Aristotelian If one sticks to what is a said about God in the Hebrew As is Scriptures. Closely related to this problem is the whole issue of esoteric writing. that theological interpretation of the biblical datum that draws heavily Intellect philosophy. This is not to suggest. Sokolowski home" traces Christianity's greater openness to philos God. a practice reminiscent the reserve that marks the works of the ancient philosophers and some of their Islamic Aquinas was Jewish followers. Pera. vaguely at acquainted with it Pseudo-Dionysius. through the works of the Aquinas. the matter however. In his treatment of this matter. device to where for a long who time it survived mainly in the form called upon of a pedagogical which the learned could was resort when to address the simple faithful. p. In Librum B. That outlook is only slightly modified in the New Testament. obvious not numerable other only from the paradigmatic story of Abraham and Isaac but from in biblical passages as well. The same point could be made more rather simply by not stating that. Dionysii De Divinis Nominibus. . as a charis not matic religion or a religion of love than of the and Law. 1. Prooemium. which figures prominently in Straussian hermeneutics but which is supposedly out of place in the Christian world. It did not surprise him that. Christianity is ed. but to my knowledge he never questioned whenever Aquinas' the sincerity of religious beliefs. considered Aquinas to be "more truly is capable believer" a philosopher than a (p. 163). 1950). while it may have had its legitimate apud modernos est inconsuetus tory. linked to any 18. The fact is." ophy to its "special understanding Strauss of which calls for a world of in which "the mind and reason are at contradictions that and so well does away with "many the paradoxes and philo describes between religion and (p. possible.Faith which and Reason in as much Contemporary Perspective as 385 Thomas' God is position is a he is Will. upon The truth of genuine esotericism less frowned than ignored in the Christian West. however. is that that he regarded as an esoteric writer. It is no accident that within the Christian tradition itself the vol- untaristic emphasis on the divine works of such well-known will again comes massively to the fore in the late-medieval theologians as Scotus and Ockham. Strauss did say more than once that there is no way of knowing advance what a truly great mind of. 11. the biblical God does not give any rea he does or what sons for what he demands of his followers. C. which is what Strauss has in mind.

"Natural Law: Catholic Encyclopedia. Wassmer. The God of the Old Testa "interventionist" ment. what it has already chosen calls is sometimes. to say that "Christian Revelation leaves the ral necessities and natural natu truths intact. would require a much more detailed exami nation than any that can be accorded to it here. ogy to define as reason. regrets only that more is not said about the Old of "holiness" (in modern parlance. Sokolowski argues for the greater transcendence of the New Testament con God over against that of the Old Testament (cf. for. thereby depriving it of its strictly legal status (cf.. The first theological treatises devoted expressly to it date only from the thirteenth century and are proper to the Christian West. Sokolowski. the itself. including all those that are at work in po litical life. as is accessible to the unassisted human reason. the Jewish writers speak of him." and that a commitment to its beliefs does not of itself qualify one for positions of much of its leadership history the civil society (p. it that its was community might be immune to the kind of philosophic governed. One Testament's highly original notion of the the others are in error" (p. 1 24-29). 10. natural morality. is an natures. Republ. in the name of may feel compelled to embark upon courses of action that Christian morality reproves. One does not solve that problem by ar guing that none of the teachings of the Faith violates the "natural law". the perpetrated across frequency Strauss' been to the centuries inspire in the 19.19 On that level at criticism still a that could be di rected against moral the Jewish or the Islamic Law.20 "reason" It is easy." and New . wise and decent rulers law properly so-called is itself a product of the Christian world and a What Christian theol reflection of its own understanding of natural though not always. identifies the natural law with right reason. p. This are always is far cry from saying imperatives in full accord with the needs of the political life. 22). there are times when. truly while As Sokolowski himself eventually recognizes. however. The whole argument. Since the end of the nineteenth century. we are told. pp. in. Contemporary Theology Philosophy. the author of the oldest known works in the expression is used in a clearly moral sense. As yet recent studies have shown. On this point. see the law. a puzzling remarks by T. The Church Fathers refer to it only sparingly and more as a fully developed doctrine. would probably reply that this is a simple his torical accident based on a misunderstanding of Christian principles on the part of Church leaders. 158). this super eminently transcendent character of the Christian God is often obscured in ordinary Christian piety. that the gentiles but for all that. Even so. 262. Cicero. "they speak of 'the thing' same speak of with their god and gods. As reason we have had occasion to observe. origin of 20. which is as subtle as it is profound. E. minds of others. the "transcendence") riddle that God. too easy perhaps.386 code of Interpretation laws by which such a any rate. except that the Jews consider themselves to be speaking 125). one which could cast the problem in a slightly different light. vol. God who does not allow things to be according to their own set His creative power and when dominion over the world no doubt him apart from everything else. who does not dwell on the subject. the law fact that may seem somewhat strange if. the claim has frequently been made that the Church itself is the authentic interpreter natural of is the natural likewise asserted. Everyone knows that throughout Chruch did arrogate to itself the right to exercise political in authority and to impose its ethical demands on society as a whole. the the natural law theory presents a which no has been able to crack. with which that misunderstanding has does little to allay the fears that it continues criticisms are not proper to him and to ception of On that basis. where the natural law proved especially helpful as a means of bridging the gulf between the ecclesiastical and the temporal commonplace than as a powers.

One regrets that Sokolowski. We live in a peculiar age. ignores the fads fashions of the day and refuses to be in timidated ment. by the pomp and ceremony of the contemporary theological establish It is also a serene and dispassionate book. despite its claim to be "closer to vital concerns of (p." They were first voiced by thoughtful occasionally neglect of political dedicated Christians far back as the Middle Ages. faute de combattants Sokolowski no them both. more than anything else. 97). said in it in order to be enlightened and perhaps even profoundly edified by . but he knows and that their harmonious relationship is medieval longer as evident which to us as it was to our forebears. who blames it more us" Christian theologians for their theory. will also the two currently influential be in Catholic theol and it teach political theorists to more moderate never in their criti cisms of a tradition that for the its most part they have taken the pains to investigate. His is a coura geous book. an air of remoteness from the everyday Christian living. of so much of as remarkable for its defense of of the faith against the latent or reason against the vestigial rationalism of our time as for its defense religious irrationalism a present-day thought. one whose leading soon thinkers are frequently and. there are same with all the attention it deserves. would just as ignore them wants altogether. This.Faith his and Reason in Contemporary Perspective and 387 as "school. is lends to his life" analysis a slightly abstract quality and. Theologians Rahner ogy. Et le combat cessa. of It is not necessary to add that the foregoing remarks barely touch the surface Sokolowski's essay and are in no way meant to detract from its outstanding merits. and will find in it challenging alternative most to the approaches favored names by Lonergan. has not taken seriously himself. embarrassed by the continued presence of faith to do with and reason in our midst not knowing what them. A sure sign of success is that one need not agree with every thing that is it. What he regards as the not the political life but the Lebenswelt of primum quoad nos or "first for which is modern phenomenology. They will have achieved their purpose if they encourage others to read the book for themselves and to read it say. Sad to can few recent books of its kind that be recommended with the degree of confidence and enthusiasm. is not particularly noted for its interest in politics and shows of the extent to which our perception of the world around us relatively little awareness is shaped by the real what ities of our political situation.

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of in 1327. of persuaded of these principles . They arrive on a Sunday of in November die and [p. $15. and an epistemological a religious tract epiphany . what havoc we must make? hand any volume di vinity or school metaphysics. Brooklyn The Name of the Rose. 1983. stuffing the pages of a forbidden book into his The week ends (Saturday. meeting between the Fran a ciscans and the representatives of Pope John XXII Avignon ("Heaven grant that no pontiff take again a name now so an distasteful to the righteous" abbey in northern Italy. Carpino St. all. runaway horse he has paragraph of seen.95. a celebration of cerebration. in theatrically Holmesean fashion. It is a paean a to the particular.On Eco's The Name of the Rose Joseph J. rememberings. starting in taking with it the of Library around which revolved. all booksl It is. (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovano- This is tration of no mere medieval story. the Hume's Inquiry: "When If we take in our we run over libraries. vich. last the name. 502 pp. we must remember." . the seventh day) with and total "ecpyrosis" abbey. the which time about a half dozen the monks violent deaths.: By Umberto cloth. in the guise of a ending in a holocaust literary feast. apparently drug-taking young stuffy Franciscan (p. Does it contain any abstract reasoning con cerning quantity or number? No. and the never probable whereabouts of a 1. laudation of Levellerism. so little can be lost by it. . in the process. by Emperor Louis the Bavarian to arrange a Franciscan friar sent. Francis College. lan pages. Adso of Melk. gossip. The Name of the Rose presents man with a name we cannot whisperings to speak of meaningful Italian as a monastery. the Ishmael-Watson of this adventure. pounded. not debates. glances. in the first few . a lus of laughter. has during a brief fling night). for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion. 12]) at remain for a week. The story by now is well known. then in a conversa- Echoing. 335]) in a ("a fraternal debate regarding the poverty hilarious brawl (Thursday morning). in sum. and pulverized and by an endless conversations.) detective Eco. Adso with a peasant girl on floor the refectory kitchen (Wednes day of convocation of clerics erupts Jesus" [p. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. is novice assigned as amanuensis briefly a summarizing young Benedictine to William of Baskerville. Italian and letter) and who is as guid. and a mad mouth a monk commits suicide with glee by (Friday of the night). And all throughout. man could be this lanky.1 everything smashed. Commit it then to the flames. This is. for instance let us ask. the Rule Silence is shattered. the appearance. itself detective story: a or tall thin English disengage from the Hound the typeface. traveling after with a sidekick whose name an (Adso) lacks only as a "W" the (which is not. 213) deduces. discussions.

in the retrospective the main villain of the piece (Jorge of convinced rationalizations of Burgos). is of the deaths. Rev. 132). Occam's razor (p. "There plot. but not everyone will agree Adso that "there is nothing more wonderful than a (p. a pat by a somewhat dotty monk. we can only suspect ." was no says William * at the end (p. red in the face. the in nap of details about things medieval. the Trumpets. were in Tartary. the The "seriality" tially fictive. the first time around) and. 492). pp. 91). 10.390 tion with Interpretation the abbot he is presented with an unsolved murder (it turns out to be a suicide of sorts) which soon becomes the first "order" of an apparent series of homicides. But insofar as Adam Smith makes his own mistake about poor Piano (conflating him with another Franciscan. 'I can prove that before any Minorites there. 486). making it a sort of intel lectual coffee table book. book" of peninsular mentioned family-joke. and the whole of mystery is of a triumph of Nominalism! The fabric this often gorgeous a tapestry is woven of a woof of detective story crisscrossing terstices warp crammed with a philosophy (epistemological and political). essen And therein lies the reality and the mystery: there is no series! in which they are located. are not the pattern. list" The list with "accidental" of such delights could go on.": the bull etNon of for any reader ever sub Phalaris (p. Franciscans] three Dominicans (p. 481) but of course it kills him. At one point in the interchange. The deaths do fit the "Seven but they 491). for example. 73). Pope Innocent . at the end. 3. 10. tern first "that a divine plan was directing these and who makes use of suggested the "Seven Trumpets" of old Apocalypse. There is even comic relief. 470).'" [i.e. The final clue. 4. 261). p.5 a scene whose theatrical or even cinematic potential cannot be ignored. entails taking words as things and not even as signs. Alinardo. 159) is pure Italian.2 (p. 24). "the idea mounta of a golden the figure Darii (p. 5. stood up. and as soon as I had eaten hand. "The Dominican Bishop "martyr-dropping" of here can only be to Piano Carpini (no relation). residing initially in tive" the investigative intentionality of the "detec (and of the reader. We must His gumming of the chick-peas (p. 457. The comedic intention here may well be to point up the igno rance of the bishop's Franciscan opponent. that there is some plot afoot to obscure the efforts of old Carpini. p. a Franciscan friar sent with two others of that order by Innocent IV on a mission to the Mongols in 1245. and finally Wittgenstein's ladder (p."3 toothless Tiresias of this tragicomedy. There is some bits of citron scattered all thing here for this everyone. sent by sent reference Alborea. especially the convocation syllogistic of friars and prelates which ends in a melee of boasting and namecalling. a kind which is not Consider.. 389-99]). 159). nuts and raisins and through literary panettone to provide nuggets of recognition jected to a course with in "Western Civ. Abelard. 343) The Louis IX in 1253 [as per the Modern Library Wealth of Nations. 188)." his Sic (p. who does not challenge his facts. "the castrate (p. the who permits deaths" himself to become (p. and ate it up. Buridan's ass (or horse. connection with in And I took the little book out of the angel's honey. my belly was bitter. and it was in my it. the Seventh Trumpet Jorge's cramming of the "forbidden into his mouth: 2. A personal note. mouth sweet as Jorge enjoys eating the Second Book of Aristotle's Poetics it's the only time he laughs in the entire book (p.

was not at all 304-305): I had the impression [muses Adso] that William interested in the truth. 4. its philosophical forego completely any indulgence in the detective-story "mat Echoing. . was with William had in fact been inquisitor. diabolical intervention (p. to the particular content. is a characteristic theme among Scholastics. and it is no accident that the protagonist and his favorites (Roger Bacon and William of Occam) are all Franciscans although Duns Scotus.9 the contrary. One of the many historical figures appearing in the book. That forms the Franciscan "specialty" "property' For surely it gether' cannot be an accident that the Eskimo expression for the conjugal act is "to laugh to "geographi and cal" that such the laughing together. least a series of connections in small areas of the world's affairs 394)." of the novel. . is to discover the location of a horse he has never William's mysteries address" of to seen (p. Laughter. and must ter. is that of an decipherer . 7. a am .8 as inquisitor I [even] better than Bernard the guilty.On Eco's The Name of the Rose 391 form" turn rather to essentials. if (p. not in discovering at a but in burning the accused. 245-50 of a 500-page book! and a 8. I believe God" (p. [But] I. that individuation can be formal. the wonderful list of fundamental philosophical ques tions offered by Kant. 207]) Reasoning about such the only judge of that can be ultimate causalities. The political program vision of 3. knot. 31) because he prisoner and not interested only in causes" the "simple chains of 30). to when as a philosopher I doubt the world has an order. if ever there was one! activity" 9. investigator. 166). God forgive me. however. occurs at the midpoint of novel pp. of codes (p. DECIPHERING OF PUZZLES The very first thing that William of Baskerville does. I am consoled discover. whose is haecceitas. his "act the abbey. an really grand inquisitor. Scotus. of Seinsverhaltung (p. Because Bernard is on interested. concerns: of puzzles 2. and [p. connecting a victim to know who is good a his or who is wicked. a solver indeed. The procedure is packed into a peculiar ity of translation (there are several such) in a passage occurring just after William consolation a whole And from that has explained to Adso the principles of solving a mystery (pp. epistemology is made to flow. he says. therefore. must also find the most joyful delight in unravelling time not an order. we shall approach The Name of the Rose in terms of the following I Deciphering . at a nice complicated And it be because. in other words. between Adso and his peasant girl. of course. 23). which is nothing but the adjustment [V adequazione] between the thing and the can be particular. is the classical of man and the central concern of the book. never appears in person. 6. "is very difficult thing. a notion of truth modeled on the solving of puzzles. but "abandoned ("I don't want that noble with (p. 30). had little or nothing to say politically. The the simple Laughter7 1. 304). an inquisitor: Gui.

and the terms indicate singular First the particulars. an the learning [l'intuizione] horses. 27-28). p. clusters. as the hoofprints in the snow signs of signs are used were signs of the idea of 'horse'. that it is Brunellus. Needless to say. Subsequent dual references will 309 of the Italian (// nome della be arranged in this manner. but the formula being echoed by Adso is you should bite your tongue the rendered as the adequation of (even "Adjustment" of course usually "correspondence" between) thing and truth and intellect. reasoning my Only close to the truth. . p. But only men make of "adjustment" is puzzles. I didn't know which hypothesis was right until I saw the cellarer [looking for a horse] . ." according to which they are to be arranged or The relationship is suggested in a couple of lines omitted from the translation. . So hour ago I could ex pect all of paucity saw the when I intellect's hunger was sated [intuizione]. n. I line up so solving a mystery is not the same as deducing from first principles. proposizione e Bada. There are two elements.392 Interpretation amused intellect. you will be able to proper distance will you see say it is a horse. Brunellus hypothesis (p. appears again. or concepts even manifolds of particulars. Science has to do things. That is. . was the only right one. "or "understood. not of things. not of the singular of [pace Aristotle!]. p. English translation and p. and signs and the only when we are lacking things p. 207): Observe. che rosa." fare con le i termini indicano cose // nome della rosa. Then I understood that the . . Emphasis added. On the contrary. Brunellus . in the solving the puzzles. . 306. Milano. Bompiani. . (p. non di cose. William describes the process by which a vague and general idea is gradually replaced by more specific ones as we come closer to the object of inquiry. When still closer. 210. 36). becomes appropriate term. many disjointed elements [tanti elementi sconnessi] and I venture some hypotheses. parlo di i suoi termini. William is speaking of "the science [Roger] Bacon spoke of (p. but because of the not yet seen. and they are inevitably ders. p. La scienza ha a singolari. 308). in a disquisition on hypothesis testing: . when he was expatiating to Adso on the epistemology of his discovery of the missing horse (pp. I won. And deduction only my my me brought know that previous had then did I single horse." problematic for a science built on paradigm of puzzle-solving: par and "sets. the patterns. you come . I speak of propositions about things. . but I might also have lost 10. when it is closer. he were possible himself by imagining how many possibilities (p. then their ordering. 305. which I was using earlier to imagine a horse I had . success. of when puzzle- solving is the made the model of learning (i. And so the ideas. 28. And finally. ." ticulars. and it is what the investigator into puzzles must do. proposizione sulle e cose. ." with propositions and their terms. coming to know). Early in the tale. And only when you are at the And that will be full knowledge. you will then define it as an animal. " 306 of the 1980). because the vastness of my intellect. one might say.. 309.)10 is precisely what William was doing.e. were pure signs.

" the opposite (Ibid. so that if He wanted. But then it's unnecessary to decipher it! I 12. 279. intends the contingently in such a intend 14. "But I found before. 208. whereas You understand. p. I thought this tendency came to him from his being both a Briton (p. 83) In other words." which has built of [costruito] master: the world as a perfect syllogism other occasions spect about (p. Order. In the way that act in such a way that it could at one and the same instant elicit its op the divine will. William's rejection of this "method of the philosopher. laws of of this one. can is not science but miracles. New York: intentions of the creative original). triumphant. Trans. tention (tendentia). 211). (pp. "Universal all of course. as natu prior to its act. same elicits posite. 282). cannot speak of them. 165-67) systems particularly William offers some examples of code (p. Meno 8od. p.14 Earlier Adso had remarked on the ways of "divine reason. could make the world different (p. laughed.. who that his 12 intellect almost assumes divine p. because I believe it I must assume there are universal laws. here. is quite equivocal. bit of order in this poor head mine. p." and afterward. [the divine will] William Ockham. than the learning. Brunellus. 308). p. Predestination. because the very concept that universal laws and an established order [un ordine dato delle cose] exist would imply that God is their prisoner. way that at the same instant it could God's freedom to make another world is not compromised by the here. answered "Then there is p. 13. of less is involved. and the way of discover of inquiry. The problem. "[The divine intellect] un act of the divine will (since their truth were not divine rally will are no more bound by their effects than ours are. The page or are two devoted specifically to cryptography and code solving revealing. . 84 (brackets in the willing). 1969. and to that of the philosopher. insofar as volition itself alone is naturally prior to such an in object p. as if before the As Occam says. But the Crofts. 166) and then turns rule to the ways of breaking is to them: But the first in deciphering a message guess what it means. possibility and nature of hardly be accidental. and a laws." of William (p. The echo." William cried." "reasons by first in and "almost assumes the ways of the divine intellect" is grounded his tender concern for the prerogatives of the divine will: must believe that my proposition works. 207. and on the contrasting temperament his "On I had heard him Franciscan" speak with great skepticism about universal ideas and with great re individual things. we must assume. is the process of deci ing it. recalling the horse world episode of two days "Then there is an order a in the [un ordine del mondo]!" I cried. 305.On Eco's The Name At this derstood point of the Rose 393 procedure with the "usual" Adso contrasts William's one: "I un at that moment my master's method of reasoning. 28. Marilyn McCord Adams and Norman Kretzmann. too. derstands does not act and they would be understood even if. 210)13 with a single act of His will He Adso sympathizes: a "Yours is difficult life. the very "form" phering. and Future Contin Appleton-Centurygents. Meno's conundrum. who reasons the ways of the intellect" it seemed to me so quite alien by first principles. (pp. I learned it God is something absolutely free. in short. Meredith Corporation." I said. because nothing coming to know. Adso." necessary depend upon that principles naturally. God's Foreknowledge. the type and paradigm. per impossibile. is a function of the individual mind. Yet I but to by experience. 36). Occam: "For our will. Again. object.

] also be just a series of coincidences. William's very next sentence is: "But we (p. 182). p. Thus the With anthropomorphism of all cosmic representations! 16. A . is puzzle a place to get out of. a condition: If this abbey were a speculum mundi. . Found In this our where? Adso. Rather. 171." to which William replies: world would How beautiful the through be if there were a procedure [una regola] for moving labyrinths (p. Perhaps this is the of correspondence right tack. and want to visit the off expertise in the techniques of his trade library" must of the be deciphered. 167).. "How beautiful the world is. Again we must not dally with the obvious: the world. 176. Emphasis Lest we be lulled his by the Holmesean flavor of this apostrophe the detective into thinking that the showing topic here is the deciphering of codes. sign of the labyrinth as old Alinardo says (p. "from an ancient text I once a complicated scheme for read. which is itself a "mirror of the quence of infoliated symbols of symbols. so it is quite literally a "sign of the maps. let be found in the world. Its wings and branches are arranged and stacked in terms of the areas of the world from which the books or authors ancient and medieval around not unlike supposedly came. . 178. as far as I know.] In order you would already have the answer. 180). p. every juncture unless it already has three marks finding at ."15 world"16 abbey (p. be all in a se emergence not (by accident!) the library (it may entered by day) to William. remember there is no secret writing that added). And by observing this rule [questa regola] you get out? [Adso asks. con cluded William." one's way out of a labyrinth. It is the library which risk losing time. for Adso the cloistered young monk. with the Mediterranean Sea in the center and all places located in a circle world" it. 36). it is a to enjoy. 120).. But it could apply concerning the cipher before them.394 Not sage. it is necessary that the world form. cannot be deciphered with a bit of patience (p. . . William recites. But is it? [Adso asks. 120). [William replies] (p. of Interpretation exactly. who was too much of a philosopher for my adolescent mind (p.] see whether heads. Some hypotheses [He can be formed on the possible first words of the mes and then you can see . 166. p. involving making a mark with charcoal or something like that. Upon their from their first frightful Adso remarks night-visit to (p. from them can to the rest . gives some examples. the library which is "a great labyrinth. and the library is the heart of the world. [says William] have a for there to be a mirror of the world. 15. for what will William. Invent it. rule [una [asks regola di corrispondenza] has to be found. 158). whether the rule you infer the text. and how ugly labyrinths are.] Almost never. And then it is the right one. ing us now try to discover the by which order is to While they are wandering around the library in the darkness of that first night. by be a somewhat tortuous winding and turn among the pages. the worldly old "regola" friar.

as if from the [la regola]. cio significherebbe (spesso le favole dicono la verita) che si esce da un labirinto solo con un aiuto esterno. . And. are Only mathematical sciences. And therefore we must compare [confrontare] our mathematical propositions with the propositions of the builder. in any case. p. Lasciami metodo pensare. There is constructed one more piece to the puzzle. disse. Mathematical that notions are propositions constructed by our intellect in or such a way they function always as truths. [pace Hegel!]." heroes solve the puz of the Library.17 to the laws of the were How then in the with will we figure it out? as "We will use the mathematical sciences. E anche se esistessero. he [William] said. "But and by means of must. know things by looking at them from the deve essere cosi outside! [exclaims Adso. E il di dicevate ieri? Non volevate percorrere il labirinto facendo segni col carbone? No. the outside. And the mind are innate because mathe library was built by a human fashion. o forse di in un labirinto bisogna avere una bona Arianna ti attende alia porta tenendo il capo filo. Forse non riesco a ricordare che bene la regola. Not quite. But how does it happen you were able to solve the mystery of the library inside? looking outside. from how?" . 219). And also if they fables speak the truth) that one can get out of a tance. either because they matics was invented before the other sciences. Perhaps I didn't needs in recollecting the rule well. 215. succeed so But threads ten long don't exist. The laws of the outside must be equal to exist. Ma non esistono fili cosi lunghi. and you were unable to solve conceived and we it when you were Thus God knows the world. says William the next . For some from where it belongs on p. things known to us identified 219). day.] 17. it be so difficult. Averroes says. the obvious conclusion: "Then you do admit universal notions. meno mi convince. the am convinced. because He before it we was created it in His not mind. Let think." mathematics." known absolutely [in modo assoluto] (p. p. non cui difficile. per girare un piu ci penso. or perhaps to get around in a labyrinth one to have a good Ariadne who awaits you at the door holding the end of a thread. one can having found it already made. from what standpoint? From outside. do know its rule because So live inside it. . A few days later.On Eco's The Name So zle of the Rose 395 But how do our much for the "We rules of and "ancient texts. 208). stop dragging me into discus sions of metaphysics (p. because it is a science of terms upon terms [di termini termini]. and from this comparison science can that thought in a mathematical be produced [e di questo confronto si pud su dare scienza]. the more I think about it. those Adso jumps to (cf. p. because without mathematics you cannot build labyrinths. 215 of the English translation. a asks way of describing me the Aedificium as shouldn't it is inside. that would signify (of labyrinth only with outside assis inside. And the method of which you spoke yesterday? You don't less I want to walk through the labyrinth making signs with charcoal? No. after William has re the floor plan and layout that of the library. 215. "find. Dove le leggi deU'esterno siano reason this passage is omitted uguali alle legge dell'interno (pp. Adso asks him admiringly. at it from the outside. Adso. 218-19 of the Italian).

A. intelligibility as such? Where and what. but insofar as he bases this meant Averroes' rejection of the particularity of the universal. The modern prob (the Franciscans did not discover the particular. "But for the library this suffices. where the Measure and the things It made were all particular.396 Interpretation creations of art The [Le cose deH'arte]. are the in short. . And there "Ancient we have it. na ture. world where they merely popularized it) is the problem of universals: else an what universals?" In a "Divinity" a proper noun and everything intelligible par ticular (God being unable to make anything meaningless). . 219). particular as at made some accommodations with chaos.) circumspect about these things. since it is one likeness of them all. permitting the (who sees) and even the philosopher (who seeks) kind of divinity? The ancient solutions. Maurer. the inevitable consequence of a creational cosmology. one asks. as Nominalism was the thread from here there to weave a swatch of simple must be said again. can Aquinas' On Being and Essence: "Human . See. and William replies But only for the (p. Thomas tends to be Agent Intellect on men.' pp." "as if from the only in labyrinth of this world. the opera are tions of the artificer. it is agreed that the statue's im age or likeness would ter. The ancient problem was the problem of individuation: how can particular beings be proper mode of wise man intelligible. In the same way. Trans. 41 -42. 222). but the larger application the ending of Chapter III of would be to exclude free acts from the analytic "mathematical science. . for example. he must have it to be taken seriously. For the universality of that form does not come from the it has in the intellect. that equivalent to God. the Charter of Modern Science. The implication for the story-line is that mathematics library" . not the work Not the creations of nature of our minds cose della natura] because they 18 [non sono opera] (p. this shuttling through the fabric and text. doesn't (p. Who to such a rule will permit us that "regola. a when the intelligibility as such is timeless and unchanging. the And way that Ariadne's thread. Adso then asks. because [le we retrace in our minds . texts" are of no use whose in solving the "equal" puzzles of this world. Only some some "outside assistance. "mode" is left to To what." the world make our sciences. do God's 18. for he wanted to conclude that the intellect is one in all from the universality existence which of the form in the intellect. A." laws are to the internal laws. will not solve power of the homicides. 218. only point of view like God's. pulling doctrine. and common nouns refer? There is their "world" no separate and of mutual Forms. 218). The Commentator was thus clearly in error in his book of the De Anima. generally speaking." 19. but this. nature have the character of a species only as it exists in the intellect. if a material statue represented a great number of men. but it (On 1949. St." We of must be forgiven this at a serpentine sorites. it is a cer tain particular species apprehended exposition on the third men by the intellect. would and Being have an individual and proper act of existing as it existed in this particular mat have community inasmuch as it would be the common representative of many Essence. And although the existing in the intellect has the character of a universal from its relation to things outside the in tellect. is "the mathematical conceives outside. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies. absolute simplicity excludes multiplicity it?" exclusivity "Yes. nevertheless as it exists in this or that intellect. regarding the lem and it emerges early in the is middle ages least partly meaningless. p. is no mere detective story. then. but from its relation to things whose likeness it is.

(Imagine Galileo trying to work with Roman numerals!) And the verities of "mathematical science" But Nominalism are so self-assured or that their provenance ("either because they p. in the Theaetetus (202-206). his what can words be but with all could an be the "Ideas" which intention to use them in a general In fine. 283. pp. to provide an armature for scientific inquiry." rules for the achievement of success. too often retired to its chambers and the somber consolations of skepticism. it simply is it is. we speak.g. and not even books speaking of when metaphor." a Christian might well regard the world as a cosmic puzzle the puzzlement occurs Socrates' the context it certainly presents itself that way but of belief in an ultimately benevolent if of the syllable and 20. But to inquire of its veracity. off (". must its pomps and virtualities. the methodologies investigative knowl reporting edge. to be being is to expect an answer from it and. But the hilarity of its elements. indeed. in ancient thought. 215) success of experimental inquiry ("I won . technological science. example. imputed were "categories." Thus. The labyrinth is not. "misology" Modern nihilism is a dif ferent thing. in this com attempt to show the medieval roots of modern thought. 282. it is within "what. words about books (pp. their intention is only historical . have floundered aimlessly for years until a flexible number-system appeared. unable to check satisfied with anything that "works. confronted with the sullen silence of the accused (being doesn't speak. There is involuted pletely science perhaps one more metaphor that can squeezed for meaning. has noth his etymologies in the Cratylus indicate precisely the impossibility. on the other hand.On Eco's The Name as of the Rose 397 "concepts" though. but for a non-Creational consciousness the as what Measure does A Jew not make anything. 305). Can it be accidental that the protagonist had been of by trade an inquisitor? Ancient scientific experi did not inquire being or put it to the torture (as in and ments). "p. it accused. true." then awaiting results that "largely and for the part" most followed their histories. of using language as the model for being. .. even then inevitably is all. but a little fun-poking and not epistemological. could not be. the Suffice it to say that inquisition is taken languages 20 of as the model of phers judiciary mode. when heretical conspiracies and labyrinths of and ci (as in "the book nature") and puzzles and even are taken as the paradigm for being itself. . it is a resulting not from a disappointment with argu ment (as Socrates would have it in the Phaedo) but from a bitterness over the loneliness of a reason which of finds itself suggests so often unrewarded by the now-Godless Nature it inquires But that is other all (as Kant in the Fundamental Principles). ing to do with languages in their variety and complexity. a model of the universe for pagan philoso Labyrinths (and puzzles and conspiracies and languages) or a are made by peo ple. dragging into discussions be metaphysics" p. 286. Nominalism. words. The categoriz ing mode. sought as was so Plato way? first suggested. The Name of the Rose also has some very amusing derivations (e. 288). are innate can because mathematics was invented before the me sciences" other of 215) be bracketed with no stop detriment to the . 396). and and of decipherment become the "winning. phy. and maybe God speaks).

For.21 we must wonder what context of his puzzlement could be? A mem at ory? A cruel hoax? A cosmic joke. April 1985. the "heresy" at issue the illegitimacy of wealth as particularly dangerous to the social order. Cf. keeping renouncing the and legislate on earthly (p. perhaps. The action ostensive topic of the convocation which provides the raison "debate" d'etre of the is a on the poverty of Christ. to the perversion of behavior (p. p. politically. The abbot. rose of an earlier time stands name. to looting. but it were of practice and principle. THE POLITICAL PROGRAM The and political thrust of of this "medieval detective story" is deep and passionate. the "moments" its dialectic are present from the (p. or to have advocated poverty. of all the groups Avignon is wrong in his of Fraticelli and Poverelli that had course. matters it means. Current Biography. William of Basker- ville. Which has been translated as: "the "approximately" p. whereas all the others Roger Bacon. (this guys" is. the victims not the suicidal monks. 15b. . in the original. And it absence of Duns Scotus in all the finally dawns on us. . Heresy as poverty. ." the simple folk. we hold alone. If Christ can be shown to have been poor. as Adso writes. and sometimes quite active. then the Pope as at condemnation and prosecution. 345. that the laudatory references to Franciscan doctors can only be due to his virtual silence on political matters. 23. Occam. 349). Grosseteste (a semi-Franciscan) were outspoken. the very end. p. 150. to name the while main ones). And or does not so much mean right to owning a palace or not. Our the author immediately A wish? reportedly no longer shares that faith. and Jorge of Burgos. if p. makes the connection: gism: P- The Fraticelli derive from that doctrine [of the poverty of Christ] a practical syllo they infer a right to revolution. are not a matter of theory and and fact. 22. No. in other words. Vol. 155)- 21." if we mix languages a little. start. speaking for the Establishment.. And we soon realize that the "bad a Scottish. but the cellarer and the are all peasants and girl caught in the inquisitorial web of Bernard Gui from "i semplici. 13) not and was even born in a castle 335). Of the question is "poor" not whether Christ was poor: it is whether the church must be poor.23 detective story) all come from aristocratic backgrounds (Abo the all. abbot. "stat rosa pristina nomine. after reflection. preached and pillaged throughout Italy in the recent past. 46. which might be rendered as "Big Daddy.398 not Interpretation benign Puzzler. Adso of Melk is of the nobility (p."22 2. 14b. 15) after clearly of peasant stock is basically British (apparently which is almost as good." only as a names Ibid. rather. heretical. nomina nuda tenemus. Abbone. the blind old keeper of the secrets. 4.

e. proud. After he has been imperiously at case by the abbot. of the Rose 399 order of the civilized world . what can you ask of them? of the in the Trinitarian dogma much in the definition and is wrong? Come. the outcasts. . as a who with words of penance have driven the simple to rebel soon I was in such despair that not consider that the girl [Adso's brief encounter. p. William]. and a plebeian Minorite [i. is killed et passim). benevolence dismissed from the on the part the ruling class. discover the rat's nest of 24. 66-67. The have problems" other 206. plici His interest in knowledge of medicinal herbs (pp. the Eucharist how That they distin much is correct lower classes] how as he is. " . If a peasant comes along him [as the hand him Have abbot received the cellarer]. when the poor and downtrodden made use of the faith to theology to support their dominion. "You be quiet. the simple. other eats must be just one of those accidents of villain language. Emphasis of added). p- 155)- . 158). worse than princes. for those like Ubertino !" and Michael. but a peasant. you do not may hesitate to be shielded. all of you Adso: more Cluniacs. (p. also called sem with no apparent (simples) in Italian. p. 153. Your band you [Voi] are not simple men. But not one of your own. 406. I know that heretics P- are those who endanger the order that sustains the people of God (p.. 151. . the ideolog ical significance than the fact that the by poison he himself spread on the pages he finally . This is logical" a very function political of book." William answered me sadly. in our own theology in the Middle Ages (a thing unknown. 203. justify their rebellion and the powerful used says: As William Every battle guish against heresy wants only this: to keep the leper [i. As for the or lepers. I ventured. receive over to the secular arm. Adso. and it presents in no uncertain terms the "ideo ven. but as I saw yesterday."24 the folk. blows up Proud.On Eco's The Name . 409) What is to be done? The of solution is not to be a matter of Christian charity. in his frustration. no. did by Ubertino's mystical vision. . seduced to be burned witch] not even a Fraticello. he must a Franciscan. you are made of or sons of the [della stessa pasta].. [Adso is the same stuff son of a baron]. sono giochi per noi uomini di dottrina]. baronial than barons!" "Master " . "So it is. cellarer was right "So the those their [says Adso]: the even simple folk always pay for all. William.e.. paying for something that not concern her. even for I did was who speak in their favor.. [all heretics] jeopardize the very (p. hurt. thank hea time). these games are for us men simple of learning [questi (p. William simple Baskerville is very concerned for what he calls "i semplici.

then in the future the community of the learned [comunita dei dotti] will have to pro pose p. "The between business. are in their ex way the the Christian (pp. . the needs. 453-54).. So I think that. 346). 87. (p. of "orders. the the two Williams (the one of Occam.400 this . since I and my friends today believe that for the management of human affairs it is not the church that should legislate but the assembly of the people. p. quoted in have been a vora This is the its magic" "holy in connection with the spectacles. and it serves to transform nature. that represented also the heap of expectations . the challenge is not just a matter between me and Abo. people" The program." with the we Emperor [Marsilius backing of the Franciscans William of for his purposes 13)." Earlier. struggle with Pope) for improvements in quite work out on the Unfortunately it didn't God. 14a). must be done? Give learning to the simple? Too easy.) . but at least a preamble. this is something Abo [the abbot] cannot allow at any price." change" nor points to the possibilities for reform. idiots and illiterate. or too difficult. 205. pp. it is a mat ter of social systems. Treasury of Jewish truly catholic Quotations. scientist. and one cognoscenti:21 which makes manifest the role of i voice of "Those learned in divine things (p. theologian." that way. 352-56). to the tent that there is one. life" is to prolong man's very (p. The plan was that as advisors to the Emperor. of the simple. often speak with What p.' needed (ibid. 346. April 1985 (p. 26. 450. 208) [Ba the con] thought that the new natural science should be the great new enterprise of of natural . . "where God's and knowledge is one of made manifest through the knowledge of man. (p. In that same brief biography our au thor's analysis of popular diversionary culture is spoken of: "He objected not to occasional escapist amusement but to an exclusive diet of the kind of entertainment that neither provokes social criticism ends 63. the refer ence. in speaking Roger Bacon. out have been a good Franciscan if he hadn't thought that the poor. For "The voice of the people is as the Voice of Midrash Samuel p. 95). Padua and Baskerville] man would like the empire to support our view and serve our idea of hu rule" (p. to his association with a "Gruppo "a group of writers concerned with social in the 1950s and 1960s. in Current Biography. spoken of earlier William must Pirke Abot. Interpretation holy But the now house? Ah no. is presented mainly in William's speech to the friars and prelates on Thursday (p. Pope and Emperor stand on opposite sides in the matter of Christ's "poverty. William enlarges: Bacon believed in the strength. 27. politician. is not just the homicides or even rather the conflict (wealthy monastics) and mendicant of friars. Bantam. 297. in his interests. the the mouth of our cast. Professor Eco may share some of William's views on the role of the learned. the elementary needs through a different knowledge processes.. Not yet a political program. Cf. this new and * humane theology which is natural philosophy and positive magic 206. Leo Rosten's cious reader. "But . 1980. . the other fictional) and Marsilius would exchange theological ammuni tion (for the conditions of 25." whole "Cluniacs" course.25 . p. the He wouldn't spiritual inventions Lord. 300). it is between me business [tutta la of " and whole vicenda]. of the simple. 209). learned [dei dotti]: to coordinate. Emperor in his / semplici.

. (Cf. . 357). has try. (p. corpus. the Renaissance. the off-handed remark of Aquinas." already be found in medieval thinkers who. if not precisely were no less real. be . sweeping away in its the path all prior dis and the specter of it horizon even makes William's mildly Marsilian a parliamentarianism seem more naive. magistrate. he could do harm through ignorance or malice . rebellion against power takes the form of a call to poverty. be 124-27. in this world. (William mentions Marsilius of Padua and John startle read Jandun at this point [p. Aymaro's complaint. In other words. . Adso provides only a paraphrase of revolutionary William's adumbra proposals He cleared his throat. could not live with that. but there is also the church. la Ilae. But what should the prince with a heretic? The at prince can and must condemn the point heretic if his . considers 126-27). much of . but there were others. change. for ill.) The Money. . And even priests. was the emerging mercantile. ready to destroy things. A lot into later became self-evident principles. from even religious orders to take money into account. p. way in which the people could ex He said that to him it seemed sen sible for such an assembly to be empowered to interpret. in the hands of with all coercive the prince. a personal enemy the one who preaches poverty too much Money tinctions. at the meeting. . 354. art. the contrary. bishops. life elsewhere on dominated and regulated by the bar have tering of goods. naturally. for example. and civic tidal wave which later came. in Italy. not all of the roots of of work was put the eighteenth century go back to classical the unearthing of what antiquity. See. William proposes a separation of church and power. . Q. or suspend the law.. ers totally for have unacquainted with but as there acedia not anyone who has read the words of is nothing new in William's Carmina Burana. 28. pp. . new force is money. because if the law is made by one man alone. pp. and therefore [Christ] did worldly that not want the apostles to have command and dominion. Even Aristotle could Aristotle state. that "Hence the making of a law be longs either to the whole people or to a public personage who has care of the whole people. passe. some of the can elemental principles of Enlightenment political philosophy of "mainstream. action harms the community.28) This may the period. .On Eco's The Name of the Rose 401 the whole medieval order of waiting in the wings. and suggested that the press its will might an elective general assembly. than tion of things to come. 352. manufacturing. you must have noticed that goods serve to procure money. . 5. will be the nexus of the on future. 355]. 90. in Italy [says William]. . should relieved of any . But the power of the prince ends (p. or a different function from is still what it has in your coun in mine. bishop to (pp.7. a problem have foreseen. 3. In the Italian city. and the whole city. or coercive power. 358-59). That is why. so also one does good or to be a medievalist to realize that. be do it seemed a wise thing that the successors of the apostles .

is to strive for the elimination of injustice in this i." who enjoyed "Well. 202) . William cussion of showing Adso how a lens can magnify without changing what is seen through it "I'm saying more than I seem to and immediately launches into his dis Roger Bacon's political program (pp. they are not (Politics in. then. but surely not loved.31 important. for when there are ours and in poverty. St. 233. (p. Have you been told birds?" yes.] "I've heard that beautiful story. he says: are a sign of exclusion in general. 205).) Taken individually. 203). however. him. be handled. Right (p. to be trusted with the highest offices (vi. THE VISION OF THE SIMPLE William's abiding respects: concern is for "the folk. The simple have a sense of the individual sense [l'intuizione dell'individuale]. there (pp. city and its magistrates and saw they didn't understand began preaching to ravens and magpies.402 What Interpretation we ought world and the do. St. the company of those tender creatures of God."29 (e.g.). Following simple the lens experiment (p. 6." simple i semplici. The many. Loeb translation. even manipulated. vi. possibility of a kind of collective wisdom in an as some sembly of the freeborn: for where there are many. is the metaphysical and epistemological grounding for this by now rather standard secular ethic. When Francis spoke to the people of the went out on to the cemetery I and it's a story the order has revised today. is not enough. he what they told you was mistaken." 207). is the "gnoseological" function Bacon's The of i semplici. No sentimentalist charming mate of medieval himself. p. to hawks. 3. but "for them not to partic a number of persons without political ipate [at all] is an alarming situation. Aristotle. 4. William expands upon the role of "the simple": in their search have something more than do the learned doctors. each individual. 206. as the despised of the their role as epistemological "lens. Francis understood that. p. earth and this in two pp. 205. "demo institution. rather. in other words. 225). What is somewhat new. for of example. but this [intuizione]. of more equitable to cratic" political systems." "What a horrible thing!" said. 206after says be.30 or as mere political It may therefore be set aside as religious sentimentality and of no import for a purely rational and natural sentimentality More program. After speaking of lepers as the ulti outcasts. again in this world. The first concern providing insight into the is doubtless grounded in to compassion being no classical philosophical counterpart for the downtrodden. or. and I admired the saint "Oh. in William's presentation. who often become lost for broad general laws. Francis preaching to the birds. by itself. et passim). 30. it may be argued. The 29.. the city then is bound to be full of must hon enemies" (ibid. 31. William offers an intriguing explanation of that most images..e. 201- their status as outcasts. . course. 205-206) and Occam's epistemology (pp. has portion of virtue and wisdom. The lepers about . to raptors feeding corpses. his preaching to the [says Adso. and fairly unique. 205) and his brief presentation of Roger sociological proposals. and real really his Christianity. will concede the " .

But when now talking about his discovery other of the horse (p. 209-10) "Intuition singular. their natural sight into "the How individual. perhaps truer than that of the doctors of the church p. but what is the guarantee that this [questo PP- universal and stable? (pp." continues: so . 205-206. and vision a function of technology?) head will be even more The dramatic leitmotive nose. [relazioni] are the [il rapporto] between the modo] is single [modi] in which my mind perceives the connections entities. And Bacon's solution legislation by the people under the direction of those learned in the "new p. 208). Practice is 32. 205. but it is surely it. made things more of visible. of the Rose 403 grasp (p. the we must be sure that the simple are right in possessing the sense of individual [l'intuizione dell'individuale]. in its effort to discover the laws from of their interconnections. for that matter." says he "no longer know[s]. if the sense of the individual [l'intuizione dell'individuale] is the good But to believe in it only [l'unica buona]. 208). how which will science succeed in recomposing [ricomporre] will the universal laws through and.32 and now the simple folk in "bearers of a truth different from that William wise" the (p. 206. like frost upon a windowpane. maintaining. a proposition can Because if only the sense of the individual is just that identical causes have identical effects is universal difficult to lift I discover the an bond that orders all things if I The finger ment all relations the relations of position creating infinity between my finger ways of new entities? For with such a move and all other objects change.On Eco's The Name simple . p. "perhaps my poor p. interpreting 209) which. their operative virtue [la virtii operativa]. cannot correct]. The are lens. However. . and even light itself William says. Adso asks how it can be done. is not overwhelmed by ceptions. we remember. a truth of their own. issue: and epistemological function of William's spectacles is only one of the many which shimmer through the text. ." the individual breeds indi viduals." orderly. which is the only good kind [l'unica buona]. and the mind. the prove. p. 206-207. For example. Magic" is a "splendid enterprise" (Adso's expression. is "full knowledge. to speak. from what Kant calls "dogmatism. This is Nominalism at its simplest the multiplicity of its own per (where it cannot be distinguished an outgrowth of what Engels not at will call "metaphysics"33). are we to remain close to the experience of the simple. the good magic become functional [operativa]? (p. like mirrors." But how the even abbey's glazier can grind and polish a new set of lenses for William in but coming a matter of days. . 285). William Occam." and re fers to "my friend William doubts in my How without of He has sown = mind. hours. the the transformation and capacity was betterment of their world? This working toward the problem for Bacon of (pp. is itself something of a mystery! 33. Or. [giusta." at it from another angle. 28). 208: "And when this fork [the spectacles] is on my poor (Order a function of vision. 206) which Bacon and William both think is possible." of the he had said.

" is to say "law. 353. up for grabs (as the simple might that individuals may be named. designate concepts. but completely. are imposed. 207. he was exercising a kind of soverign right in imagining the name that in the his opinion best corresponded to that nature. . 357). that was enough to call. but return all agree. "encouraged" by God "to names. the insights of the simple and their political vi what remains untouched "laws" In a way.. of ture. not or. behavior. The "therefore" which connects antecedent and which the experimenter generalizes consequent. To be sure. as 34. 206) is nothing less than needs that . With their native insight into the singular. by And only the simple simple have no illusions about this. it is now known that men impose different are the same things. For by all this perplexity is the status of names. put interconnecting are it). but it's backwards! For surely naming accord" offered comes (like money. the step from the manifold of experience to the kind of compulsion specifying the unity of human being. in fact. in first. And though surely the first man had been clever in his Adamic language. But sion? what has this to do everything.404 Interpretation worked out In fact. There are rewards for "correct" inductions. is "law" the same as the "therefore" by a his experiences. the book Genesis is actually quite explicit on this point: God brought all the animals unto Adam to see what he would call them: the whatsoever Adam called every living crea In fact." since nomina are given by men ad placitum. or positive law. names Because. Locke) decree. p. and when all the bets are in they want their cut of The faith [i." give things though some in our times say that nomina sunt consequentia rerum. 210). I have posited it because on other occasions I have had individual insights [intuizione individuali] of the same type. . . I have this proposition: equal thickness [of lens] corresponds nec essarily [deve corrispondere] to equal power of vision. . their unconcern for word games or for dalliance with universals.e. and the investigator [lo sperimentatore] formulates the proposition that every the herb of a given type helps the feverish. the folk know that laws too the pot. generalized imposition "by free and collective legislative and impositions on then. a movement proclaims doesn't count: what counts The hope that is offered by this "new science. both simple and learned. the new natural (p. unlimited creature comforts also for the many. signs of [How would we know that?] So that surely the word "no to that men" comes from "nomos. 203). . mentions Adam. every thing and animal according to its nature. the theology which] is the hope it offers (p. though only the concepts. nevertheless name thereof. or that every lens of such a type magnifies eye's vision to the same degree (p. of the (ibid. "the elementary simple" [are] the heap of expectations . We He to William's political statement at the meeting of friars and prelates. But that is is of a different order a side issue. The derivation (nomen from nomos) is much too wild to have been without historical justification. with p.). here. herbs of therefore34 anyone who tests the curative property of effects of herbs knows that individual nature on the same species have equal the same the patient. for all. in other words by free and collective accord (p.

politically. plan. all laws imposed connections. or at least the condemnation of our pride (pp. along with and perhaps at the cost of its for Nominalism. The distinctions in it are all spoon-made." (i. to dig out on. finally This all begins to think: be forgiven these lapses into on gastronomical 35. (Cf. then (or should Protagoras implied "leadership.. 492.495)- And then he order our mind quotes "a mystic" from Adso's homeland. creating relations that did not stem from any I behaved stubbornly [da ostinato] pursuing a ordine]. reviewer must metaphor. but there's It's hard God is a larger issue. p. [parvenza di (p.On Eco's The Name Jorge the puts of the Rose 405 man can wish it. pp.e. because (p. But wards you must throw the discover that. its inherent relativism. 475). 307). e. in the counters. 220. but cannot be grounded in itself. Now only the hope remains. William reflects. condemnation. . The expecta genius of Hobbes to ground his hopes in human selfishness. they the are the only things man with which to orient signs. P. in another context. only] a sequence of causes and concauses. abundance of the land of (p. re moral judgment to sentimental indignation." jority and rules rule. Nominalism (l'intuizione dell'individuale) it emerges as the epistemological foundation for Populism! Hope by nature overrides was the given. and with merely naming as the mode of science. no order in the universe P. because given the right kind of it can).g. William goes on: cannot to accept the idea that there will of be an order in the universe because it the would offend the our free God and His omnipotence [cf." attain something. . "the idea that Cockaigne" to have on earth . 288. when I should have known well that there is then? .495)- We must not be put off by this lightning shift from Wittgenstein to Sartre. Where is all semblance of order my wisdom. William's hopes are grounded in for "the simple and his universe is a kind of polenta with an folk. Christianity provided the many with ontological for hope for a millenium or so. the either/or of moral ducing For latent for chewing That's the prob a cosmologically disengaged Nominalism. world." tion that though "words are wise men's rock of certitude compassion anticlerical their fears will provide a bed beneath the swamp of vanities. 492). 207]. built to ladder away. Adso. . there is nothing for the fork reason. it was meaningless Use is of course the ladders. 94. So freedom of condemnation. communicated William's who tender regard for God's prerogatives has itself to Adso. but that too is Ital ian.35 all grounds its weaknesses. as For if all words are imputed the ma names. of ul timately lem of quantitative and subjective. . 492-93. you who had said that "the after imagines" is like "a ladder. Italian) seasoning. What I did not understand was the relation among there was no plan [connecting deaths. even of if it was "meaning" useful. the delightful digressions food. and of causes contradicting one which proceeded on their own. .. but another. towards has support it the residue of the end: I have never doubted the truth himself in the of signs.

against For example: the treasures of men learning " must but. ." wicked use of them. 482). 132. "Sometimes it is better for of secrets that certain secrets remain veiled by arcane words. 139). to express a theological conclusion: with "But can a necessary being exist totally difference is there. 96). Bompiani edition). 493. and the mystery ends with joke: "Non in commotione. And finally." And answer: a of course at (literally!) and William cannot "There is too much confusion a final double-entendre. learned [un sapiente] to your go on sapere] if he words. p. for the first how last time in my life. 89. therefore finally p. it does not conceal all this exoteric-esoteric interplay. "But often in places.406 Interpretation and I dared. LAUGHTER This is a very funny book. ences Adso's "unpacking" of it remind us of all the refer to secrecy that bestrew the text:36 William looked "How could a at me without man betraying any feeling in his features. On 132. 88. P. . p. not And then." rather a place where secrets remain them. p. be defended. perche altri non ne facciano cattivo uso. bisogna scoprirli. 496) that point the roof caves in here.) It looks like the echo of a prayer. "that there would be no possible and communicable you mean allow you learning [sapere] you could no to?" any more if the very criterion of truth were lacking. non in (ibid. After saying (p. 88. or do longer communicate what you know because others would not p. since these are arcana from which both good and evil can derive. considered that such things should have been subdued rather than raised [piuttosto sciolte]" sopite che (p.] p. (p.97)- There is later a brief recapitulation of much the same thing. 105." you I asked. rather. Jorge biblioteca mi pare piuttosto un luogo dove i had segreti rimangono coperti (p." commotione assertion! he says. and he said. 96). must communicating too many arcana of nature and art breaks Which does not mean that secrets must not be revealed. but how" that the learned [sapienti] decide when and (p. question?" answered yes communicating his learning [il suo I did not understand the meaning of his "Do mean. that is why I said to the master glazier today that the should not learned man must in some manner conceal the secrets that he discovers. be dealt with. . reminds his listeners that "the fathers . but it's an little grammatical 4. in order that others not make do. between God and polluted [intessuto] the possible? What Isn't affirming God's absolute omnipotence and His absolute freedom [disponibilita] with regard to His own (p. against other learned [sapienti]. as a recurrent theme. 493. . . 496) and William's response. the learned man [il sapiente] has the right and the duty to use an obscure language. to the simple that. William tells us: "The hand of [nasconde]" (478. choices [miracles?] tantamount to demonstating that God does not primigenial chaos? exist?" p. a little below "You see?" William says said. putting God above God creates. but [he] needs to reveal hidden. Dominus. Aristotle in the book many a celestial seal and evils can ensue. It must and laughter ripples through The Name and seri- of the Rose 36. but it is omitted from the translation. 97) that learning (scienza) consists "also of knowing what we could do and perhaps William explains: "Look. and this [Ecco perche library oggi [like the world?] appears to me dicevo al maestro vetraio che il sapiente ma deve in qualche modo celare e questa i segreti che scopre. comprehensible only to his (p. (p. He explains further: "I fellows" meant that. then.

394) The book in question. is surely like a book written by the finger of God in which every creature is description and mirror of life and death. 139). though it tells us things differently from the way they are. from the peasant villages not as a joy ous celebration after a meal or a Comedy does tell of famous and powerful not end with men. in which the humblest rose be (p. Needless to say.. we will now deal well as with satire and mime) and of the ridiculous. a few pages later. it only looks . because as the of the Rose 407 an blind old Jorge says.37 book. second vengeance" because be of as must well- known by now. [replies Jorge] (p. and I didn't know it. comes a gloss of our terrestrial progress [cammino terreno] Adso . [implicitamente].] (p. "text" Comedy with the role laughter. in inspiring the pleasure [And so forth. and the rose. the compass rose. worse in any case than the epics. the with purification of those feelings. like mirrors and the rose itself. protagonists. p. with all 'Deus non (p. of the Library. Is that it? [he Jorge. pp. but the death base the and ridiculous creatures. and it makes us say: Ah. by arousing pity we see and fear. This is a a book about a book. As promised. [and asks the] lives of the saints have shown them to us. 467-48. as we shall see. "the " . Truth reached by depicting men and the world as worse than they are or than we believe them to be. is also a cosmic metaphor universe here. of whole Burgos. Here Aristotle sees the tendency to laughter as a force for good. 282. how. 472.] p.. what can be so terrible about that? "Because it was by the Jorge: book" 37. First William from the Aristotle: we In the first book comedy (as dealt tragedy and saw how. it arrives at the purification of that passion. . even up. in early interchange "With his laughter [Cosi ridendo] the fool says in his heart est'" William. "A forbidden book!" "a story of theft and (p. on in the monastery's library. in the hidden room pp. 468. not just be he's a puritanical sourpuss. cause the only extant copy of which of is somewhere and Aristotle's Poetics. The theoretical and climax of the book (as opposed to the final monastic holocaust the central orgasm on the kitchen and and floor) is William of the last of debate.On Eco's The Name ously. is the supposed long-lost book Comedy. Emphasis added). 471-72) And then. It achieves the effect of the ridiculous by through witty riddles and unexpected metaphors. the tragedies. goes nowhere. which can also have an instructive value [un valore cognoscitivo]. . Philosopher. . between Jorge The topic is of Baskerville (pp. Jorge piece. 132. one-time Librarian the gray eminence of the will not allow anyone access to it. it pro duces catharsis. that is. to include a listing of what the ridiculous includes. where there is no one to write and nothing to mirror. 475). this is just how things are. 297." Fairly But says close. as if it were lying. it actually obliges us to examine them more closely. Jorge is against laughter. Comedy of of is born from the Komai feast. reads 471-82). and it does showing the defects and vices of ordinary men. p. William spells out what he thinks will be impor tant about the book: . but for apologetical and political reasons. muses at one point: the whole " Of course these are all meaningless images in a pagan context. for all the egalitarianism among its petals. though not wicked.

'I laugh Incarnation. 474-76. and no day longer as a plebeian exception but as ascesis of the learned of [ascesi del dotto]. the fear aim of death. Aristotle's the doors Poetics]. and to seem noble and and no longer at the mechanical [meccanica]. illustrious in the villein that could legitimatize the the reversal. we used to look to heaven now we the earth. destructive the to destroy death through from fear. Then what is still. . from that moment. the he has overturned his position with respect men feels he is master. is be the book's final sermon. and in his madness he for the art of mockery. (p. . if the topics of the pa tient construction of the images of redemption were to be replaced by the topics of the oh. it becomes the object of philosophy. 478-79) would manage. (pp. are opened to it.' have no weapons to combat that blasphemy. that impatient even pp. violence. a defense entertainment. were to raise the weapon of laughter to the the rhetoric condition of subtle weapon. Laughter frees the villein [villano] from fear of the Devil . William feels he of the Jorge goes on to blasphemy. the foolishness of our flesh. corruption. 398-405). brandishing words of the Philosopher and therefore speaking as a phi losopher. dying does not matter: after license is past. and all of your knowledge. according be born the This book of new divine plan. the use of ridicule in debate. . here But here. . if one day then we would someone could say (and be heard). of the world of the of perfidious learned [dotti] . It cannot escaped. . [in the Second Book of for the mob] the function of laughter is reversed. in modo negativo.] ant's laughter is weakness.e. 476-77. pp. But this book [osten Devil is wisdom. dismantling and William. his argument against laughter. relaxation . had already been spo- . be to his lord [i rapporti di signoria]. . albeit. to the the liturgy imposes on him [i.. of course. the last p. for the simple [i. "their impiety makes afraid our shine" piety But if one 476). P- 480) of course quite And there gets that we have it. laughter remains base. the drunkard's license. 477)- Jorge is a preacher (see his days. if the rhetoric of conviction were replaced by of of mockery. Mardi could Gras]. cause could teach that freeing oneself of the fear of the as the wine gurgles in his throat. it is elevated to art. the land Cockaigne. would be swept away! (pp. Jorge is mad. upsetting every holy and venerable image day you. and theology sermon on (p. could prompt of idea that this man can wish to have on the abundance . an operation of belly would be transformed into at that moment. and destruction of say that "we are not heretics.408 Interpretation book Every look by that man has destroyed . centuries. sibly Aristotle's] When he laughs. if one day somebody. fortu brain but nately. . 474. . . and this. had ac cumulated over at the . It is the peas Still.. And from this book there redemption earth . devoted to the indestructible mockery were to testimony of Scripture liberal the art be made acceptable. But the is what we cannot and must not have. Before. again an operation of the [intelletta] then. a part of the learning that Christianity . when To the the villein who laughs. what But frightened you in all this discussion of laughter? [William asks. . but villein this book could teach learned artifices [dotti] the clever and.e.

" have dealt with Comedy (and. First. to be sure. lviii). 1-2). There in Plato. variously and at some length. Laughter is another matter. of having discussed the ridiculous in the Poetics. buffoonery is to be studiously avoided by the and are "far from beof jesting which are "not suited to us. matter" dramatic form. the advice of Gorgias was opponents' to confound the stated earnest with jest and their jest with earnest. while those of a less rep the actions of inferior men" (Poetics iv. And in the only real para graph we have. On the offchance. 477). with hexameter a a second book (as per 1). Poetics v. full base or ugly. The differ ence.. not indeed in the sense of the word bad. is a representation of inferior people. that his treatment would have given much comfort to Levellers of any time or type. no copy distinguished "fine doings resented of his treatment remains." "according the to the poet's of the "more serious" representing exalted nature and doings fine men. 8). the ludicrous] is a species of the It consists in some blunder or ugliness that does not cause pain or disas ter. laugh are some passages ter is a polemical technique: As for jests. is that the ancients used ridicule to defeat an opponent. 78. a looking down on the foolishness of mortals. nor great misery all scurrilous is a subject and (ch. is united with Caesar begins for ridicule with: "for neither great vice. as we have said. in the how many kinds of jests there becomare. We have 38.. laughter is a "mixed posturing of our friends (Philebus 49e-50a). lviii-lxxiii). For Aristotle. 7. but even if Aristotle did treat seriously of Comedy in some subsequent book of the Poetics. but at no point does laughter provide insight into anything deeper than human ignorance (cf. good since they may Poetics36 sometimes be useful in debates. we can hardly expect. a little later he cautions: "so in this. an obvious example being the comic mask which is ugly and distorted but not painful (Poetics v. Comedy. Comedy is for him one of two of nature. and it is indeed kinds pity that poetry. And that's ously" about it. tinged perhaps with pity. "the Comedy. from the powers of corporal (Jorge. at Rhetoric I. and they must have been hilarious to very amusing his contemporaries. traditionally. however. 29. by some stretch of imagination. he summarizes: Comedy." our reaction to the ridiculous For Socrates. but the laughable [i. xi. laughter" crime. a Incarnation" is to be taken to signify some Particular. The paradigm is a mild derision. 131. as he says. by ancient works on rhetoric. well Aristotle may in verse) "later. 3). some such as the presentation is lost. that his discussion was still through the mouth of Julius Caesar of the role of wit in oratory chs. Bk. 95) differentia and not from "the dark of man animals which and Laughter. p. 197. pleasure.e. Gorgias 509b). II. where Jorge fears the the use of ridicule to destroy an idea unless. some of them Not in what we have. from what we do have. He also speaks. And he refers repeatedly to kinds (ch. but that too Cicero. It "was because it was not at first treated seri (v. perhaps. for Comedy in Aristotle. Two things are involved here: property rational (pp. the flows.On Eco's The Name of the Rose 409 ken of." orator" . don't laugh. a particular individual. available might to of be interest (On the Orator. lx). perhaps not to be taken seriously.

e. 7. theoria). which he aspires and his its it actions prove concept and rejoices. .. there is no analysis. . contrasting quoted as passion" mankind" [of] the "insane it does. which has always preferred to deal with the species-differentiating "rationality. for the first is account. Oratory and Orators. 467).40 unlike This pompous . Book II. New Throughout. Philosophy. to laugh. alludes to the reflective character of 39. education" coming to a man of York: Harper & Brothers. trans. 133) mission of those who William mankind Baskerville suggests that Perhaps the make truth love is to make people laugh at the truth. p. And we would not want to go along with "an African ation of the world alchemist" by Jorge. Science presumes to report on being in a systematic manner. pecting. the enjoyment must result therefore from the "play representations. Kant laughter. 54."39 Laughter that flows from the have but sudden and fortunate cancellation of of expectations permeated the neurons (i. S." laughter a visceral response to some "report on the set being. xviii. There is that is permitted "a gen tleman" to it. philosophy (and science) the object of laughter is very particu twit does not achieve the essence of great-souledness to . a presumably rational for truth. no of demonstration." Laughter should be taken more seriously. a attempts to analyze "reports on also in disciplined and way. Watson. directly a cause of Critique of gratification. the second on that of another (Rhetoric hi. who reaction to Jorge Burgos hates laughter of and insists that Christ never laughed (pp. But it remains true that laughter. employed on one's own ing a Irony is more gentlemanly than buffoonery. for that thought is required. and about (ch. who attributes "the cre to divine laughter" (p. that's is "evil" about it!) the theoretical posture of humor: it That is is different about is not sys tematic. perhaps going too with far. 132. dalla] insane That is "love for truth (p. has been treated in step-sisterly fashion by philosophy. the "property" of man. But lar." a second-level theoretical a endeavor. and (Wickedness does compromise the univer sal. J. Pp. humor reveals and then moves on. and indeed unlike poetry. jesting is what the superior do at that its object cannot be the inferior. 492). 156. 491. with relief. Loeb p. because passion the only truth lies in learning to free ourselves from [the. Animals may giggle (they seem to) ex not at the antics of clowns. Like poetry. 151. for ancient (to employ has no laughing In his at oneself always a barbarism) or even a sign (that's buffoonery) and the jesting hard edge of thought. Laughter is being" a rhetorical a device. lxii). 40." of Judgment.410 Interpretation gentleman. 467). being. 153. and then a sudden seeing. on i860. at particular groups of We may laugh people. but never at logical classes. But humor is third and perhaps more primal "theoretical mo dality. there is Cicero seldom even a rereading it. foreseeing. Reason notices the discrepancy be not compro tween the particular and mise that the discrepancy does the universal what what . 95. others not. and never "revealing of of the human condition. it.

God. and the moment is gone. De winds trouble would rerum natura. for philosophy. by right thinking. .On Eco's The Name The ter gentle of the Rose -411 lightning flashes. The thin sive and at bitter laughter the foibles of the gods and their human counterparts. Of course there may be a larger intention in the incident. in something important but in error as the wicked are in error (we note that Bernard Gui remains aloof as such throughout)? Piety is untouched by the squabble. Laugh is theoretical. folks!) is not real laughter the aside the biting wit. a an bit of comic relief "made for the except movies" although. The problem is that it is not "sys eludes and that by nature the nets of analysis." what humor is\ Humor is it "comportement. the oil upon the sea of dread. the abstractive and In other words. The friars may be in error not merely because piety cannot be an objective possession but because there is nothing to be pious about are . the near-fist-fight between the Franciscans at the meeting (pp. What does it say one might that piety is not not an objective structure of being about which error about boast. brothers are fools no either because either they have forgotten they case. This means not proverbs. Kierkegaard and Nietzsche. like with all that of proverbs. In however. Philoso phy is the examination of the utterances of a putative wisdom. to In a fundamentally hopeless knowledge is technique. an al But the context of laughter. the deri laughter mortals (that's us. a con generalizing instrumentalities of philoso because the deal with "Virtue is knowledge" text which phy. its sounds and smells resists is life itself. 346-47). to be sure. and it could not have been. for opponents example. something is seen. There is another reason for the virtual absence of laughter in the history of modern philosophy (aside from the natural gravitas of philosophical "types"). remove pain and anxiety. sea ironic empyrean. when over a great " the the waters. to gaze from shore upon another's great tribulation. and their Consider. there can be no hope (or despair." a metaphysical and visceral response to its revelations. Italian movie. The battling . there must too much raw hope in it. And besides. too and much of the particular. human or because there is purport. is life that's why measure they often contradict each other but formulas like "Man is the ready whose context reflective mode. or with "You life" same reflective wanna ball park. and that those who would boast of it are fools. (Can it be accidental that the great anti-Systemists of also thought. the humor has a metaphysical But that is laughter the tematic. but it is not contemplative. there was too much chaos in it. mainly because it's no fun\ That kind of humor is quite possible in the most hope-less theoretical 41.41 but from As in Lucretius. whose context . Bk. the beginning: "pleasant it is. but what can it do with In duck?" buy a classical "The fabric of was not a system. is theory. are its only humorists?) Laughter is a living thing and dies under the knife. II. it of be added) in a philosophical uni verse. not was even a proper theoretical context. He goes on to say how easy it universe. philosophy can utterance vino is already in the Veritas. the whole fabric of lived experience and hopes and fears and trying once again. systematic if not a complete system. be.

412

Interpretation
great wit

Aristippus to Oscar Wilde, the
who

a hope-less universe humor reveals only par ticulars, this foolishness, this ignorance, this discrepancy with the universal. For laughter to have a metaphysical function the individual must have a cosmic sig because that's what hope is, in the long run, the conviction that we nificance
particulars are not mere

teeth, Real laughter requires hope. In
with

laugh

their

not with their

is feared, bellies.

not

loved,

even

by

his

friends,

instances,

more or

less defective,
or

of some universal.
which

thing is not accessible to classical science universal is the object, and the particular is barely
Such
a

philosophy, for

the

thinkable.
philosophy,"

Of

course

for those William

with

"no tincture

of natural always

for the

simple

folk

of whom

of

Baskerville speaks, there has

been laughter (and

tears as well, it must be
what ward

Of these it may be asked: If humor is theoretical, is their "theory"? And if laughter needs hope, what have they to look for
said).
life"

to but suffering and death? A distinction can be made between "rational
as such

and

"the life

reason."

of

Ra

tionality

is theoretical; it

puts particulars

into

a context.

And life

as such

overrides the

given, does

not accept what
enough and

is but

pitches
hope"

it into the future. Be
of pro

tween the two there is
vide

theory
is

the "raw

between them
a

a

basis for laughter

when

the work
real

vitality itself to is done.
of wealth

But
mism

"life

reason"

of

another thing.

As the

luxury

is

pessi

(the

Sadducees,
so too

we

remember,

were not poor

folk

and could afford

their

materialism),

the special privilege of the learned
of the

that
of the

is,

of academics

generally
need not

is their transcendence

hopes in

and

fears

many, their "im

partiality."

Living
mic significance.

as

they do in

the timeless generalities of their
which

disciplines, they
no cos

fear death

and can afford a universe

the particular has

But for Jews

and

Christians,
on

whether

by

circumcision or

in the

spirit

(or from

forgetfulness, living

borrowed cosmology, as it were), and for both learned and simple among them, the particular is of absolute significance; they are mea sured by a Particular and their particularities will be attended to by the Measure.
question
not42

The

is

not whether or not whether or not

Christ

ever

laughed

William

also

believes

he did

but

the sparrow's fall will be broken.
a system a

Only
imum

when

the universe

itself is

labyrinth,

to be sure ("The

max

of confusion achieved with

the maximum of

order"

[p. 217]), but

a system

nonetheless

and whole,

the production of a cosmogenic Will giving significance to parts then can the individual have universal significance and laughter only

an epistemological

function.
course,
was unknown

Such

a

thing,

of

to pagan consciousness
well aware of

especially
perhaps

the more philosophical
"...

and

Professor Eco is

it (although

42.
have"

(p.

161).

because, omniscient as the son of God had to be, he knew how we Christians would be Again, aside from the implicit Monophysitism, the sweet pessimism of the learned,
God's
omnipotence to make

who

have

no need of

it

all

turn out all right,

observing

as

from

they do, already

an upper tier.

On Eco's The Name
not

of

the Rose

-413

William, in his dour

enthusiasms). an enormous

We

must

assume, therefore, that The

Name of the Rose is itself
evangelical

hoax,

theological

deadpan, in

which an

enterprise masquerades under

the appearance of apocalyptic excoria

tion.

One
dence

of

the few Latin passages translated in the English edition (it is

not

trans

lated in the

Italian)

appears

in the

course of

Adso's

reflections upon the coinci
metaphors:

of opposites

(a characteristically

medieval

theme) in

Is it

possible

that things so equivocal can be said in

such a univocal way?

And this, it
more not

is the teaching left us by Saint Thomas, the greatest of all doctors: the it remains a figure of speech, the more it is a dissimilar similitude and openly 43 the more a metaphor reveals its truth (p. 248). eral,
seems,

lit

The
girl

passage occurs

in the
the

midst of

Adso's

ecstatic union with the peasant and

the

center piece of

book,

one might

say

its

most obvious

func

tion

is to

call

into

question the

in the
must

raptures of some

(as possibility of any other kind of "igneous Saint Hildegard, p. 239; cf. also Ubertino, on p. 231), but it
significance.

ardor"

have is

larger
of

Irony
witty

one

form if it

saying

what

is

not
.

the case; but so too is humor: "through
.

riddles and unexpected metaphors
lying"

it tells

us

things

differently from

the

way they are,
metaphor scientific

as

by

which

Could there be any more implausible to convey the essential dependence of modern political and
were

(p.

472).

thought on Medieval
and vengeance

theology

than this vast and

virtue!"

"of theft

among

monks of scant

(p.

394)?

rollicking panorama For as William

says near the end:

"There
P-

was no plot

.

and

I discovered it

by

mistake

[per sbaglio]."[!] (p. 491;

492)

43.

The Italian: Possibile

che cose tanto equivoche possan che

dirsi in

modo cosi univoco?

Epurre

e

questo, pare, l'insegnamento
of

hanno lasciato i

massimi

tra i dottori [N.B.: plural, and no mention

Saint Thomas]:

omnis ergo

figura tanto

evidentius veritatem

demonstrat
nome

quanto apertius per disp. 251.

similem

similitudinem

figuram

se esse et non veritatem probat.

//

della rosa,

Annals
Metastudies
of the

of

Scholarship
and

Humanities

Social Sciences

announces a special

issue:

Science
Edited
A
collection of essays

and the

Imagination,
Volume 4, number 1: available October 1986. Issue price: $7.00. Annual subscriptions:

by

G.S. ROUSSEAU.

from

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Berkeley Conference, sponsored by the Society for Literature and Science. Themes include: the history of the con cept of energy, the "two debate,
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institutions, $35.00; individuals, $20.00;
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Contributors: Stuart Peterfreund, Lance Schachterle, George Slusser, Nelson Hilton, Mark L. Greenberg, Donald R. Benson, John Woodcock, G.S. Rousseau.

Affirmative

Action, Liberalism,

and

Teleology

On Nicholas Capaldi's Out of Order
Nino Langiulli
Saint Francis

College, Brooklyn, New York

Out

of

Order: Affirmative Action

and

the Crisis

of

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1985. 201
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I

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contemporary political affair, namely, the policy of affirmative action, the federally-dictated preferential treatment of cer tain groups in American society. The title of the book, Out of Order, adumbrates
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are,

bluntly

speaking, that the policy

of affirmative action

is le

gally out of order, morally pernicious, and logically incoherent and that the ideo logical environment of the policy, i.e., doctrinaire liberalism, is a swamp.

The book is

philosophical rather

than political, and this in many respects.

It is

first, theoretical, addressing itself
and

primarily to the understanding of the reader

only

incidentally
wrought

to any action to be taken. With its many distinctions and

carefully

conveys the importance of offering and main belief. for Indeed, it displays the arguments for affirmative taining any action in clear ordinary English as well as in the now unfashionable symbolic no

arguments, it

reasons

tation (pp. 188-91). But it is philosophical, most

of

all, because it is an

inquiry
of

into the

principles and suppositions of the

doctrine

which

houses the
the

policy.

[B]eneath the
affirmative

maelstrom of statistics and court
,

decisions

[concerning
(p.
1).

policy

action]

we shall

discover

a

fundamental debate

about the structure of the

social world, the nature of man, and a conflict of values

The task,

as

I

see

it, is

to

unearth our present as

dominant
the

social

liberalism],
ments and our

to recognize

it

such, to

recognize

extent

to

which

philosophy [doctrinaire it colors our judg development in
(p.
4).
subject

evaluations, to understand
and

its history, to

note

its

peculiar

society,

gradually

to unfold the

distortions to

which

it is

Because the book is
the
reader

concerned with so controversial a
addressed

topic,

a comment about

to

whom

it is

is in

order. on

Such

a reader

must, of course, be
these the

someone who

is

still open to

discussion

the

issue, but among

book

has in mind,
out of

more specifically, those

liberals

who would not

dismiss its

author

simply for raising doubts and offering objec tions concerning a policy which has taken on the cast, among its advocates, of a sacred action (p. 101). Indeed, it is one of the themes of the book that through hand
as a racist and a sexist

416
the

Interpretation
and practice of affirmative

theory

action, liberalism betrays its very own
entitlement,"

principle

that of

liberty

itself

by

by believing in power as the sole ing in manipulative activism with
advocates of affirmative action conflict with representative

employing a concept of "group and central fact of political life, and
a

by

engag
the

patently

elitist posture.

In

all

these

ways

think and act

in

ways which are

fundamentally

in

democracy unmistakably fascism. Professor Capaldi consciously and unhesitatingly draws the comparison between liberalism and fascism (Chapter 7), yet interprets the crisis of liberalism
which are

but

evocative of

not

in terms

of

elitist,

and egalitarian

its affinity to fascism but rather liberals (pp. 21-25).

as a

debate among meritocratic,
and

There is
the term

a terminological

demon

which

haunts the book

that is the use of
which we

"teleology"

to

name

the theoretical position of
definition."

liberalism for

have the

following "working
consists of a

Liberalism

basic

psychological

theory

and

derivative theories
general and

of social

its basic psy theory chological component can be defined as teleological. A theory is teleological if it seeks to explain any act, event or process as the outcome of goal-directed behavior (p. 19).
structure, politics, and history. The
of

liberalism in

Capaldi
terms
tion for the

seems to

comply

with a

fairly

recent convention
not

in the

use of

the

"teleology"

"teleological,"

and

but it is

the correct name and
and

theory

of

liberal doctrine. Failure to locate the demon only
make

to call it

descrip by
become

its

proper name can

its

exorcism more

difficult. This

will

clearer

in the

course of

the review. For now we will continue with the author's

criticism of affirmative action

in terms

of

his

own usage.

When Professor Capaldi

attacks the proponents of affirmative action
view

for hav
ob

ing

"teleological"

a

view, it is because he finds that

fundamental to their
affirmative action).

jections to discrimination (itself the
crimination,

universal excuse

for

Dis

they

say, does

not permit

the oppressed groups to achieve their "full
natures"

potential"

(p. 120), to "fulfill
ends"

[their]

true

(p. 90),

or to accomplish their

"innate built-in

(p. 90). Affirmative action, they

insist, is

the remedy for

such blockages, especially when the discrimination has been covert. It is the remedy that will permit (if not ensure) the oppressed to "achieve their The proponents use the same sort of language in response to those who will

poten

inevitably
viously

be disadvantaged

oppressed.

policy which gives hyperadvantages to the pre But the terminology is curiously inverted in the arguments
a

by

which are offered

to

mollify the

victims of affirmative action.

The

following

are

examples:

1.

Nobody
and

qualifications.

deserves anything anyway, even by virtue of their Professor Capaldi quotes two affirmative action

abilities or

"theorists,"

John

Rawls

Richard Wasserstrom.