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and gymnastic: Homer is excluded from it on the grounds of common morality. Afterwards education is a lifelong work, leading through the mathematical sciences to dialectics. Poetry is found to be the imitation of an imitation. The virtues are first defined by a confessedly imperfect method ; they are afterwards seen in the light of a higher knowledge' (p. 504 Steph.). The community of families and property is hinted at in the first part; but the defence of it needs all the help of the longer way,' and, in fact, is made the occasion for introducing the doctrine of Ideas, and with it the reign of philosophers, on the stage of the dialogue. Thus by artistic arrangement, as well as in express terms, dialectics is proclaimed as the central and necessary part of the system, to which all the previous discussions had been leading up, and without which they are shown to be imperfect.

These considerations seem to illustrate a peculiarity of the * Republic' on which Mr. Grote laid some stress, namely, the abandonment of the Socratic cross-questioning. The definitions of the virtues in the fourth book of the “Republic' are no better than those which are examined and rejected in earlier dialogues, such as the “Charmides' and 'Laches;' indeed, they are sometimes actually the same. * The logical and ethical difficulties still exist: they have never been elucidated; the Republic does not pretend to elucidate them, but overlooks or overleaps them.'* Plato, it may be answered, does not profess to attain perfect certainty in this part of the argument: he leaves that to the dialectic which is the ever-retreating object of his pursuit. Compared with the Laws' where the questioning method and the theory of Ideas alike disappear, the first four books of the • Republic' mark a less advanced stage in the course of Platonic speculation. In the large element of traditional opinion, and the disposition-hinted at rather than confessed—to be content in the pressure of circumstances with something short of certainty, they recall the later and more dogmatic vein. Hence, the relation between the two parts of the Republic' proves that a growing sense of practical aims and requirements was consistent with an undiminished faith in the value of the ideal and of the scientific methods which aim at absolute knowledge. Plato had not, in Mr. Grote's sense of the phrase, 'gone over to the Government benches. The shorter way which he had found, and which had yielded positive results, did not make it less his duty to search for that longer way which he neither did nor could find.

* Grote's . Plato,' vol. iii. p. 165. Ed. 1867.


The dialogues which compose Mr. Jowett's third volume (except perhaps the ‘Gorgias') are regarded by him as in all proba bility later than the · Republic. They have, as he shows in the successive Introductions, many common characteristics, not only of language and dramatic treatment, but also of method and doctrine. The style, in most of them, is comparatively hard and artificial, wanting in humour and liveliness; the personal interest and play of character is subordinated to logical arrangement; there is much less cross-questioning, and more positive result; definitions are not propounded, and one after another refuted, but are sought by a regular method of classification. The relation to earlier and to contemporary systems is much more prominent. Indeed, in these dialogues, especially in the “Theatetus' and 'Sophist', we find much that belongs to the modern historical study of philosophy : the conceptions, for instance, of the development of doctrines, of the virtual identity of doctrines under different forms, of opposing tendencies,

right and left wings'—of a school, of philosophical ideas im-plicit in literature and common opinion. And chief among the notes of progress or of decay which mark this part of Plato's course must be ranked the new aspects assumed by his theory of Ideas. We have seen that the notion of pre-existent Ideas is confined to a few dialogues (the · Meno,' Phædrus,' and 'Phædo'), and that in the · Republic' they are represented (but without discussion) as all subordinate or derivative, compared with the Idea of good. The group of dialogues which we have now reached is chiefly occupied with questions turning on the relations of Ideas to each other, or with difficulties suggested in this part of the subject by Plato himself or by his contemporaries.

The Parmenides' may be described as the great critical or elenctic' dialogue of the later stage of Platonism, holding somewhat the same place on the threshold of later metaphysics which the ‘Protagoras' holds towards Plato's own theory. Mr. Jowett's analysis is such as befits its importance and obscurity. His view of the aim and purpose of the work is new, and is an example of that union of subtlety and simplicity which renders. him so consummate an interpreter. The dialogue consists of two divisions: the principal speaker in both is Parmenides; the method pursued is the same, that of the Megarian dialectic (which, as the latest phase of the Eleatic philosophy, is 'fathered upon the founder of the school'), and is a criticism of the two forms of idealism,--- first the Platonic Ideas, secondly the Eleatic One or Being. The criticism is serious rather than hostile. No one can answer the questions which Parmenides asks of Socrates. And yet these questions are asked with the express

acknowledgment acknowledgment that the denial of ideas will be the destruction of the human mind' (Parm. p. 135 B). So in the second part, Plato did not mean to say that Being or Substance had no existence, but he is preparing for the development of his later view, that ideas were capable of relation. To some extent, too, the Megarian school were carrying on, but with a serious purpose, the Eristic methods of the Sophists; and Plato accordingly, who, in the “Euthydemus,' had attacked the Sophistical disputations by an extravagant caricature, is now preparing himself to meet the destructive arguments of his Megarian contemporaries by weapons taken from their own armoury.

The Megarian dialectic is again criticised in the 'Sophist, and in a manner which leads to more positive results and enables us better to understand their doctrines. The Megarians, like the Eleatics, sought for certainty in the universal, and, like Plato, identified the highest abstraction or · Being' with the Good. They also regarded this Being under the attributes of unity and rest, and thus denied that either motion or plurality could have a 'real'existence. These doctrines, which are not inconsistent with Plato's earlier writings, and perhaps are implicitly taught in them, were seen by him to be destructive to science. By denying motion they made it impossible to conceive the relation of the mind to the thing known: and by denying plurality to ideas they did away with predication (since an idea could only be asserted of itself), and with the difference of kinds which is necessary for classification. The 'Sophist' works out two important conceptions, for which the way had been prepared, as Mr. Jowett points out, in the Parmenides,' that of relation between ideas, and that of the ideas as motive powers. In them, to use Plato's language, we must regard Being as both one and many, and also as both rest and motion. In the dialogue these questions are perplexed by the puzzle about not-being,' which is got over by making .not-being ' equivalent to difference. But this, as Mr. Jowett acutely remarks, though a useful shift, is not the permanently valuable part of the dialogue. «The greater service rendered (by Plato in the 'Sophist') to mental science, is the recognition of the communion of classes, which, although based by him on his account of not-being is independent of this. He clearly saw that the isolation of ideas or classes is the annihilation of reasoning. Thus, after wandering in many diverging paths, we return to common sense' (vol. iii. p. 459). Moreover, in admitting the idea of motion into the ideal world, Plato was planting the germ of a theory capable of superseding

The idea of progress or development is perhaps to be traced in earlier dialogues; but only, as we saw, under a mythical form. The return to common sense,' that is to say, the attainment by philosophy of a mode of conceiving one or more of the phases of experience, gives in this case an idea which reaches further than that of classification, and which was infinitely more difficult to ancient thinkers.


his own.

The 'Sophist' is expressly represented by Plato as a continuation of the “Theatetus. The main element of connexion is ‘notbeing,' the confusion, as Mr. Jowett translates it into modern language, of negation and falsehood. There are other indications, however, in the “Theætetus' that Plato had begun to examine afresh the vague and thin generalisations which underlie such words as being, whole, likeness, sameness, motion, and that he was seeking to bring them into agreement with his Ideas. And amid the wealth of suggestions which characterises that dialogue, we find something not really different from generalisation,' by which Plato is laying the foundation of a rational psychology (vol. iii. p. 356, cf. Theæt. p. 186 D, and Parm. 132 A).

The relation of the Philebus' to the “Sophist' and 'Parmenides' is difficult to determine, because in it the dialectical element is subordinated to the ethical and physical. Mr. Jowett speaks of it as earlier : in the well-known passage about One and the Many (Phileb. pp. 14 c-17 A), he discerns the 'germs of the attack upon the ideas, and the transition to a more rational philosophy' (vol. iii. p. 255). Zeller sees in the same passage a brief statement of results already attained in the · Parmenides.' Each Idea, it is laid down, includes the One and a finite plurality, i. e. the notion of a higher kind, and those of lower kinds, into which the higher may be divided : and it also ‘has in its nature' the finite in the general notions), and the infinite or unlimited (in the particulars). This view is farther developed so as to give four orders or elements of existence :-(1) limit or definite numerical relation ; (2) the unlimited, or more and less; (3) the mixture of the two (the product or result of applying a law of measure to measurable quantity, e.g. health, beauty, harmony, favourable climate); and (i) the cause or producer of the mixture. The first three are kinds: there may be many species of each, but all comprehended under a single notion. The last is mind or reason—that which furnishes our bodies with life and wise treatment, and, as we may argue by analogy, is the cause and deviser of the orderly and beautiful universe.

The theory in this form shows several of the latest tendencies of Platonism. The representation of the cause of existence as rational and half-personal—a soul of the universe parallel to the human soul-agrees with the passage in the Sophist

which (as we have seen) ascribes motion and intelligence to the highest being, and prepares us for the cosmogony of the * Timæus.' The prominence given to the conception of limit is a step to the representation of the Ideas as num bers—the Pythagorean shape which Plato's theory finally appears to have assumed. On the side of ethics the same conception, as that of measure and the mean,' is a link of connexion with the Statesman," and with the ethical system of Aristotle.

The dialogue called the ‘Laws,' which occupies most of Mr. Jowett's fourth volume, is perhaps the part of Plato which is least generally known. As a literary work it is certainly inferior to the Republic;' and its great length, coupled with a style which those who are familiar with Plato still find obscure, has led to this comparative neglect. Yet it offers, in some respects, the most interesting subjects of study. No part of Plato, and, it may be said, no ancient writing, sums up so well the highest religious thoughts of heathenism. The anticipation of the subsequent course of philosophy which is often so remarkable in Plato is especially so in the Laws;' and the treatment of some practical questions—for example, that of the different kinds of involuntary actions—is at least as satisfactory as that of Aristotle. In its relation to earlier forms of Platonism the dialogue is of peculiar interest. Between the two types of society which Plato has hitherto contrasted—that which ought to be and that which is—he now interposes a third, that which may be. Instead of the bold speculation and the sweeping censure of existing things which mark his earlier works, he is found treating antiquity with scrupulous veneration, anxious to collect and build into a single structure all that the wisdom of legislators or immemorial custom has made most sacred. The ethica} spirit which pervades the work is not less lofty than that of other parts of Plato; but it is gentle and tolerant. The hopeful tone inspired by the fancy of giving laws to an infant community is curiously mixed with the sobriety, the sense of illusion, the

browner tinge' inseparable from the autumn of life. The defence of the genuineness of the Laws' which Mr. Jowett offers is not only satisfactory, but exemplifies admirably the principles which ought to govern such cases. As a polemic, it is happily almost superfluous, the critics being nearly unanimous in admitting the work to be Plato's.*

Much might still be said, especially in connexion with the • Laws,' of the historical value of Plato: of the interest, that is


* Neither Mr. Jowett nor Dr. Thompson seems to have noticed that Zeller has long since withdrawn the doubts which at one time he expressed of the genuineness of the · Laws.' See his · Gesch. d. Philosophie,' ii. pp. 638, n. 2.


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