The Project Gutenberg eBook of Plato's Republic (2023)

The Project Gutenberg eBook of Plato's Republic

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Title: The Republic

Author: Plato

Translator: B. Jowett

Release date: October 1998 [eBook #1497]
[Last updated: September 11, 2021]

English language

Characterset encoding: UTF-8

Produced by: Sue Asscher and David Widger


by Plato

Translated by Benjamin Jowett

Note: See also "The Republic" by Plato, Jowett, eBook #150




Plato's Republic is the longest of his works, with the exception of the Laws, and is certainly his longest. There are closer approximations to modern metaphysics in Philebus and the Sophist; the politician or statesman is more ideal; the form and institutions of the State are most clearly established in the Laws; as works of art, the Symposium and the Protagoras are of the highest excellence. But no other dialogue by Plato has the same breadth of vision and the same perfection of style; no other shows an equal knowledge of the world, or contains more of those thoughts that are new and old, and not of one age, but of all. Nowhere in Plato is there a deeper irony or a greater richness of humor or imagery or a more dramatic power. Nor in any other of his writings is there an attempt to intertwine life and speculation, or to connect politics with philosophy. The Republic is the center around which the other Dialogues can be grouped; here philosophy reaches the highest point (cp, especially in books V, VI, VII) which the ancient thinkers never reached. Plato among the Greeks, as Bacon among the moderns, was the first to devise a method of knowledge, though none of them ever distinguished the naked outline or form from the substance of truth; and both had to content themselves with an abstraction of science which had not yet been realized. He was the greatest metaphysical genius the world has ever seen; and in him, more than in any other ancient thinker, are contained the germs of future knowledge. The sciences of logic and psychology, which provided so many thinking tools for later ages, are based on the analyzes of Socrates and Plato. The principles of definition, the law of contradiction, the fallacy of reasoning in a circle, the distinction between the essence and accidents of a thing or notion, between means and ends, between causes and conditions; also the division of the mind into rational, lustful, and irascible elements, or of pleasures and desires into necessary and unnecessary: ​​these and other great forms of thought are all found in the Republic, and were probably first invented by Plato. The greatest of all logical truths, and the one which writers on philosophy are most apt to lose sight of, the difference between words and things, was most vigorously insisted upon by him (cf. Rep.; Polit.; Cratyl. 435, 436ff.) . , though he did not always avoid his confusion in his own writings (eg Rep.). But it does not enclose the truth in logical formulas, logic is still veiled in metaphysics; and the science he imagines to "behold all truth and all existence" is very different from the doctrine of syllogism which Aristotle claims to have discovered (Soph.Elenchi, 33. 18).

Nor should we forget that the Republic is only the third part of an even larger project that was to include an ideal history of Athens as well as a political and physical philosophy. The Critias fragment has given rise to world-famous fiction, second only in importance to the Trojan story and the Arthurian legend; and is said to have inspired some of the first navigators of the 16th century. This mythical tale, whose subject was the story of the Athenian wars against the island of Atlantis, is supposedly based on an unfinished poem by Solon, with which it would have stood in the same relation as the logographers' writings to the poems. of Homer He would have spoken of a struggle for Freedom (cp. Tim. 25C), intended to represent the conflict between Persia and Hellas. We may judge from the noble opening of the Timaeus, from the Critias fragment itself, and from the third book of the Laws, how Plato would have handled this lofty argument. We can only guess why the grand project was abandoned; perhaps because Plato noticed some inconsistency in a fictional story, or because he lost interest in it, or because old age prevented him from completing it; and we may indulge in the fancy that, if this imaginary narrative had been completed, we would have found Plato himself sympathizing with the struggle for Hellenic independence (cp. Laws, iii. 698 ff.), singing a hymn of triumph over Marathon. and Salamis, perhaps reflecting Herodotus (v. 78) where he contemplates the growth of the Athenian empire: "How brave is the freedom of speech, which made the Athenians surpass in grandeur all the other states of Hellas!" , or, more probably, attributing the victory to the ancient good order of Athena, and the favor of Apollo and Athena (cf. Introductory to Critias).

Again, Plato can be considered the "captain" ("arhchegoz") or leader of a good band of followers; for in the Republic one finds the originals of Cicero's De República, St. Augustine's City of God, Sir Thomas More's Utopia, and many other imaginary states that fit the same model. The extent of Aristotle's or the Aristotelian school's debt to him in the Politics has been little recognized, and recognition is all the more necessary because Aristotle himself does not. The two philosophers had more in common than they realized; and probably some elements of Plato remain undetected in Aristotle. In English philosophy too many affinities can be found, not only in the works of the Cambridge Platonists, but also in great original writers like Berkeley or Coleridge, with Plato and his ideas. That there is a truth superior to experience, to which the mind bears witness for itself, is a conviction which in our own generation has been enthusiastically asserted, and is perhaps gaining ground. Of the Greek authors who in the Renaissance brought new life to the world, Plato had the greatest influence. Plato's Republic is also the first treatise on education, from which the writings of Milton and Locke, Rousseau, Jean Paul and Goethe are legitimate descendants. Like Dante or Bunyan, he has a revelation of another life; like Bacon, he is deeply impressed by the unity of knowledge; in the early Church he exercised a real influence on theology, and in the literary Renaissance on politics. Even the fragments of his words, when "repeated at second hand" (Symp. 215 D), have in all ages delighted the hearts of men, who have seen their own higher nature reflected in them. He is the father of idealism in philosophy, in politics, in literature. And many of the latest conceptions of modern thinkers and statesmen, such as the unity of knowledge, the rule of law, and the equality of the sexes, were anticipated by him in a dream.

The Republic's argument is the pursuit of justice, the nature of which is first suggested by Cephalus, the just and innocent old man, then discussed on the basis of proverbial morality by Socrates and Polemarchus, then caricatured by Thrasymachus, and partially explained by Socrates, reduced to an abstraction. of Glaucon and Adeimantus, and having become invisible in the individual, it finally reappears in the ideal state that Socrates constructs. The first care of rulers must be education, the scheme of which is traced according to the ancient Hellenic model, envisioning only an improved religion and morals, and more simplicity in music and gymnastics, more masculine poetry, and greater harmony among men. individuals. and society. The state. We are thus led to the conception of a superior State, in which 'nobody calls anything his own', and in which there is no 'marriage nor marriage', and 'kings are philosophers' and 'philosophers are kings'. . and there is other higher education, both intellectual and moral and religious, both scientific and artistic, and not of youth only, but of all life. Such a state is difficult to realize in this world and quickly degenerates. The perfect ideal is succeeded by the government of the soldier and the lover of honor, declining again to democracy, and democracy to tyranny, in an imaginary but regular order that bears little resemblance to real events. When "the wheel has come full circle," we do not start over with a new period of human life; but we go from best to worst, and there we are done. The subject is then changed, and the old dispute of poetry and philosophy, which had been treated more lightly in the earlier books of the Republic, is now taken up again and brought to its conclusion. Poetry is considered an imitation thrice removed from the truth, and Homer, as well as the dramatic poets, condemned as imitators, are exiled with them. And the idea of ​​the State is complemented by the revelation of a future life.

The division into books, like all similar divisions (Cp. Sir G.C. Lewis in the Classical Museum, vol. ii. p 1.), is probably later than the time of Plato. The natural divisions are five in number: (1) Book I and the first half of Book II to the beginning of the paragraph, "I have always admired the genius of Glaucon and Adeimantus," which is introductory; the first book contains a refutation of popular and sophistical notions of justice and concludes, like some of the earlier Dialogues, without arriving at any final result. To this is attached a restatement of the nature of justice according to common opinion, and calls for an answer to the question, What is justice, stripped of appearances? The second division (2) includes the remainder of the second and all of the third and fourth books, which deal chiefly with the building of the first state and the first education. The third division (3) consists of the fifth, sixth and seventh books, in which philosophy, not justice, is the subject of investigation, and the second state is built on the principles of communism and governed by philosophers, and the contemplation of the idea of ​​good takes the place of social and political virtues. In the eighth and ninth books (4) the perversions of states and the individuals corresponding to them are reviewed successively; and the nature of pleasure and the principle of tyranny are further discussed in the individual man. The tenth book (5) is the conclusion of the whole, in which the relations of philosophy to poetry are finally determined, and the happiness of the citizens in this life, now assured, is crowned with the vision of another.

Or a more general division into two parts may be adopted; the first (Books I - IV) contains the description of a State generally framed according to the Hellenic notions of religion and morality, while in the second (Books V - X) the Hellenic State is transformed into an ideal realm of philosophy, from which all other governments are the perversions. These two views are really opposites, and the opposition is only veiled by Plato's genius. The Republic, like Phaedrus (see Introduction to Phaedrus), is an imperfect whole; the superior light of philosophy breaks through the regularity of the Hellenic temple, which finally disappears into the sky. If this imperfection of the structure results from an extension of the plan; or of the imperfect reconciliation in the writer's own mind of the conflicting elements of thought which he now brings together for the first time; or, perhaps, of the work's composition at different times—these are questions, like the similar question about the Iliad and the Odyssey, that are worth asking, but to which there is no clear answer. In Plato's time there was no regular mode of publication, and an author would have less scruples if he left unchanged or added to a work known only to a few of his friends. set aside for a while or transferred from one job to another; and such interruptions would be more likely to occur in the case of a long recording than in a short one. In all attempts to determine the chronological order of Platonic writings on the basis of internal evidence, this uncertainty that a single Dialogue was composed in a single epoch is a disturbing element, admittedly affecting more and longer works such as the Republic and the Laws, than the shorter ones. . But, on the other hand, the Republic's apparent discrepancies can only arise from the discordant elements that the philosopher tried to unite into a single whole, perhaps without himself being able to recognize the inconsistency that is evident to us. Because there is a judgment of later times which few great writers have been able to anticipate for themselves. They don't notice the disconnect in their own writing, or the gaps in their systems that are visible enough to those who come after them. In the early days of literature and philosophy, amid the early efforts of thought and language, there are more inconsistencies than now, when the paths of speculation are well trodden and the meaning of words precisely defined. For consistency is also the growth of time; and some of the greatest creations of the human mind lack unity. Tested by this test, several of the Platonic Dialogues appear, according to our modern ideas, to be defective, but the deficiency is no proof that they were composed at different times or by different hands. And the assumption that the Republic was written without interruption and with continuous effort is somewhat confirmed by the numerous references from one part of the work to another.

The second title, "On Justice," is not the one by which the Republic is cited, either by Aristotle or generally in antiquity, and, like the other second titles of the Platonic Dialogues, it may therefore be supposed to be of later date. Morgenstern and others wonder whether the definition of justice, which is the declared aim, or the construction of the State is the work's main argument. The answer is that the two merge into one and are two sides of the same truth; for justice is the order of the State, and the State is the visible embodiment of justice in the conditions of human society. One is the soul and the other is the body, and the Greek ideal of the State, as of the individual, is a just mind in a beautiful body. In Hegelian phraseology, the State is the reality of which justice is the idea. Or, described in Christian language, the kingdom of God is within, and yet it takes place in an external church or kingdom; “the house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens,” is reduced to the proportions of an earthly building. Or, to use a Platonic image, justice and the state are the warp and woof that run through the whole texture. And when the constitution of the State is completed, the conception of justice is not discarded, but reappears under the same or different names throughout the work, both as an internal law of the individual soul and finally as a principle of rewards and punishments. in another life. The virtues are based on justice, of which ordinary honesty in buying and selling is the shadow, and justice is based on the idea of ​​the good, which is the harmony of the world, and is reflected both in the institutions of states and in the movements of bodies. heavenly. (cf. Tim.47). The Timaeus, which deals more with the political than the ethical aspect of the Republic and deals mainly with hypotheses concerning the outside world, nevertheless contains many indications that the same law should govern the State, nature and man. .

However, much has been said about this issue, both in antiquity and today. There is a phase of criticism in which all works, whether of nature or art, refer to design. Now, in ancient writings, and indeed in literature generally, there often remains a large element which was not understood in the original design. Because the plan grows in the hands of the author; new thoughts occur to him in the act of writing; You didn't work the plot all the way through before you started. The reader who seeks to find some idea under which the whole may be conceived must necessarily lay hold of the vaguest and most general. Thus, Stallbaum, who is not satisfied with ordinary explanations of the Republic's argument, imagines that he has found the true argument "in the representation of human life in a State perfected by justice and governed according to the idea of ​​good". ." use in such general descriptions, but it can hardly be said to express the writer's design. The truth is, we may speak of several designs as well as of one; nor is it necessary to exclude anything from the plan of a great work for which the mind is naturally carried on by association of ideas and that it does not interfere with the general purpose What kind or degree of unity is to be sought in a building, in the plastic arts, in poetry, in prose, is a problem to be determined in relation to the subject. For Plato himself, the question "what was the writer's intention" or "what was the Republic's main argument" would have been hardly intelligible and therefore best dismissed out of hand (cf. the Introduction to the Phaedrus).

Is not the Republic the vehicle of three or four great truths which, in Plato's own opinion, are most naturally represented in the form of the State? As in the Jewish prophets, the Messiah's kingdom, or 'the day of the Lord', or the suffering Servant or people of God, or the 'Sun of righteousness with healing in his wings' only convey, at least to us, his great spirituality. Thus, through the Greek State, Plato reveals to us his own thoughts on divine perfection, which is the idea of ​​good, like the sun in the visible world, on human perfection, which is justice, on education that begins in youth. and continues in later years. about poets and sophists and tyrants who are the false teachers and evil rulers of mankind, about 'the world' which is their personification, about a kingdom which exists nowhere on earth but is kept in heaven for all to see. be the model and rule of human life. No inspired creation is in harmony with itself any more than the clouds in the sky are when the sun passes through them. Every shade of light and dark, truth and fiction which is the veil of truth, is admissible in a work of philosophical imagination. Not everything is on the same plane; it passes easily from ideas, myths and fantasies, from facts to figures of speech. It is not prose but poetry, much of it at least, and is not to be judged by the rules of logic or the odds of history. The writer is not molding his ideas into an artistic whole; they get hold of him and are too much for him. We need not, therefore, discuss whether a state such as Plato conceived is practicable or not, or whether the outer form or the inner life came first to the writer's mind. Because the practicality of his ideas has nothing to do with their truth; and it can truly be said that the highest thoughts he arrives at bear the greatest "design marks": justice more than the external framework of the state, the idea of ​​good more than justice. The great science of dialectics or the organization of ideas has no real content, but is only a kind of method or spirit in which the spectator of all times and all existence must seek higher knowledge. It is in the fifth, sixth and seventh books that Plato reaches the 'peak of speculation', and these, although they do not satisfy the requirements of a modern thinker, may be considered the most important, as they are also the most original. parts of the work.

It is not necessary to discuss at length a minor point which was raised by Boeckh, concerning the imaginary date on which the conversation took place (the year 411 BC which he proposes will work like any other); for a writer of fiction, and especially one who, like Plato, is notoriously careless about chronology (cf. Rep., Symp., 193 A, etc.), aims only at general probability. Whether all the people mentioned in the Republic could have met at one point in time is not a difficulty that would have occurred to an Athenian reading the work forty years later, or to Plato himself at the time he wrote it (no more than Shakespeare ). about one of his pieces). dramas themselves); and that need not bother us too much now. However, this may be an unanswered question that is "still worth asking", because research shows that we cannot argue historically from Plato's dates; therefore, it would be pointless to waste time inventing exaggerated reconciliations of them to avoid chronological difficulties, as C.F. Hermann that Glaucon and Ademantus are not brothers but Plato's uncles (cf. Apol. 34 A), or Stallbaum's fantasy that Plato intentionally left anachronisms indicating the dates when some of his Dialogues were written.

The main characters of the Republic are Cephalus, Polemarchus, Thrasymachus, Socrates, Glaucon and Adimantus. Cephalus appears only in the introduction, Polemarchus falls at the end of the first plot, and Thrasymachus is reduced to silence at the end of the first book. The main discussion is held by Socrates, Glaucon and Adimantus. Among the company are Lysias (the orator) and Euthydemus, sons of Cephalus and brothers of Polemarchus, an unknown Carmantis, these are mute hearers; there is also Cleitophon, who once interrupts, where, as in the Dialogue which bears his name, he appears as a friend and ally of Thrasymachus.

Cephalus, the patriarch of the house, appropriately dedicated himself to offering a sacrifice. He is the model of an old man who is nearing the end of his life and is at peace with himself and with all mankind. He feels he is getting closer to the world below and seems to linger in the memory of the past. He is eager for Socrates to come visit him, in love with the poetry of the last generation, happy with the consciousness of a life well lived, happy to have escaped the tyranny of youthful lusts. His love of conversation, his affection, his indifference to riches, even his talkativeness, are interesting character traits. He is not one of those who have nothing to say, because his whole mind is focused on making money. However, he recognizes that riches have the advantage of placing men above the temptation to dishonesty or falsehood. Also worthy of note is the respectful attention paid to her by Socrates, whose love of conversation, no less than the mission imposed on him by the Oracle, leads him to ask questions of all men, young and old. Who better equipped to raise the question of justice than Cephalus, whose life might seem to be the expression of it? The restraint with which Cephalus describes old age as a very tolerable part of existence is characteristic not only of him but of Greek feeling generally, and contrasts with Cicero's exaggeration in De Senectute. The sunset of life is described by Plato in the most expressive way, but with as few touches as possible. As Cicero points out (Ep. ad Attic. iv. 16), the old Cephalus would be out of place in the discussion that follows, and in which he could not have understood or participated without a violation of dramatic propriety (cp. Lysimachus in the Laches).

His "son and heir" Polemarchus has the directness and impetuousness of youth; he favors Socrates' forcible detention in the opening scene and will not "allow" it in the matter of women and children. Like Cephalus, he is limited in his outlook and represents the proverbial stage of morality which has rules of life rather than principles; and he quotes Simonides (cf. Aristoph. Clouds) as his father had quoted Pindar. But after that he has nothing more to say; the answers he gives are drawn from him only by Socrates' dialectic. He has not yet experienced the influence of sophists like Glaucon and Ademantus, nor is he aware of the need to refute them; He belongs to the pre-Socratic or pre-dialectical period. He is unable to argue and is so intrigued by Socrates that he doesn't know what he is saying. He is led to admit that justice is a thief and that the virtues follow the analogy of the arts. From his brother Lysias (against Eratosth.) we learn that he was a victim of the Thirty Tyrants, but no allusion is here made to his fate, nor to the circumstance that Cephalus and his family were of Syracusan origin, and had emigrated from Thurii to Athens. . .

The "giant of Chalcedon," Thrasymachus, whom we have already heard of in the Phaedrus, is the personification of the Sophists, according to Plato's conception of them, in some of their worst characteristics. He is vain and proud, refuses to speak unless paid, likes to keep notes, and thus hopes to escape the inevitable Socrates; but a mere child in the discussion, and unable to foresee that the next "move" (to use a Platonic expression) will "close" it. But he is unable to defend them in an argument and tries in vain to cover his confusion with jokes and insolence. It is not known whether the doctrines which Plato ascribes to him were really held by him or by any other sophist; in the infancy of philosophy, serious mistakes about morality could easily arise; certainly Thucydides puts them in the mouths of orators; but we are now interested in Plato's description rather than historical reality. The unevenness of the competition adds a lot to the mood of the scene. The pompous and empty sophist is completely defenseless in the hands of the great master of dialectics, who knows how to throw all the springs of vanity and weakness into him. He is greatly irritated by Socrates' irony, but his boisterous, boisterous rage only exposes him more and more to his assailant's thrusts. His determination to swallow them down his throat, or to put his own words "bodily into their souls," elicits a cry of horror from Socrates. His temper is as remarkable as the plot unfolds. Nothing is more fun than your complete submission when you've been utterly defeated once. At first he seems reluctant to continue the discussion, but soon with apparent goodwill, even attesting his interest at a later stage with an occasional comment or two. When attacked by Glaucon, Socrates humorously protects him "as one who was never his enemy and is now his friend". at later ages. The play on his name by his contemporary Herodicus (Aris. Rhet.), "you were always valiant in battle," seems to show that the description of him is not without plausibility.

When Thrasymachus has been silenced, the two main responders, Glaucon and Adimantus, appear on the scene: here, as in Greek tragedy (cp. Introd. to Phaedo), three actors are introduced. At first glance, Ariston's two sons may seem familiar, like Phaedo's two friends Simmias and Cebes. But on closer examination, the resemblance disappears and they are seen as distinct characters. Glaucon is the impetuous young man who "never tires of looking" (cf. his character in Xen. Mem. iii. 6); the man of pleasure who knows the mysteries of love; the 'juveniles qui gaudet canibus', and which improves the breed of animals; the art and music lover who has all the experiences of youthful life. He is full of quickness and wit, slipping easily below Thrasymachus' clumsy banalities into real difficulty; he brings out the sordid side of human life and yet he does not lose faith in what is just and true. a city of pigs, which is always ready for a joke when the plot offers it an opportunity, and which is always ready to support Socrates' humor and enjoy ridicule, whether in connoisseurs of music, or lovers of music, theater or in the fantastic behavior of citizens of democracy. His weaknesses are several times alluded to by Socrates, who, however, does not allow him to be attacked by his brother Adeimantus. He is a soldier and, like Adeimantus, was distinguished in the battle of Megara (year 456?)... The character of Adeimantus is deeper and more serious, and the deepest objections are commonly put into his mouth. Glaucon is more demonstrative and generally opens up. Adimantus continues with the argument. Glaucon has more of the liveliness and quick charm of youth; Adeimantus has the most mature judgment of an adult male in the world. In the second book, when Glaucon insists that justice and injustice must be considered independently of their consequences, Adimantus points out that mankind in general considers them only because of their consequences; and in a similar line of thought he insists at the beginning of the fourth book that Socrates fails to make his citizens happy, and is told that happiness is not the first but the second, not the direct end but the indirect consequence of a good government. of a state. . In the discussion of religion and mythology, Adeimantus is the interviewee, but Glaucon interrupts with a light joke and continues the conversation in a lighter tone about music and gymnastics until the end of the book. It is Adeimantus again who offers himself up for the commonsense critique of the Socratic method of argumentation, and who refuses to allow Socrates to lightly ignore the question of women and children. It is Adeimantus who responds in the more argumentative parts, as does Glaucon in the lighter and more imaginative parts of the Dialogue. For example, throughout most of the sixth book, the causes of the corruption of philosophy and the conception of the idea of ​​the good are discussed with Adeimantus. Glaucon returns to his place as the main culprit; but he has difficulty apprehending Socrates' higher education, and makes a few false guesses in the course of the discussion. Once more Adeimantus returns with the allusion to his brother Glaucon, whom he compares to the contentious State; in the next book he is bested again, and Glaucon continues to the end.

Thus, in a succession of characters, Plato represents the successive stages of morality, beginning with the Athenian gentleman of antiquity, followed by the practical man of that age who regulates his life by proverbs and saws; it is followed by the wild generalization of the sophists, and lastly come the young disciples of the great master, who know the sophistic arguments but are not convinced by them and want to go deeper into the nature of things. These too, like Cephalus, Polemarchus, Thrasymachus, are clearly distinguished from each other. Neither in the Republic nor in any other of Plato's Dialogues is a single character repeated.

Socrates' delineation in The Republic is not entirely consistent. In the first book we have more of the real Socrates as described in Xenophon's Memorabilia, Plato's early Dialogues, and the Apology. He is ironic, provocative, questioning, the old enemy of the sophists, willing both to put on the mask of Silenus and to argue seriously. But in the sixth book his enmity towards the sophists lessens; he recognizes that they are the representatives and not the corrupters of the world. It also becomes more dogmatic and constructive, going beyond the political or speculative ideas of the real Socrates. In one passage, Plato himself seems to suggest that the time had come for Socrates, who had spent his whole life in philosophy, to give his own opinion and not always repeat other men's notions. There is no evidence that the idea of ​​the good or the conception of a perfect state was understood in Socratic teaching, although it certainly dwelled on the nature of the universal and final causes (cf. Xen. Mem.; Phaedo); and so profound a thinker as he, in his thirty or forty years of public teaching, could hardly fail to touch upon the nature of family relations, for which there is also some positive evidence in the Memorabilia (Mem.). The Socratic method is nominally preserved; and each inference is put into the interviewee's mouth or represented as his and Socrates' joint discovery. But anyone can see that this is a mere form, the affectation of which grows wearisome as the work progresses. The research method has become a teaching method in which, with the help of interlocutors, the same thesis is approached from various points of view. The nature of the process is truly characterized by Glaucon, when he describes himself as a fellow who is not very useful in an investigation, but who can see what he is shown and can, perhaps, give the answer to a question more fluently. than another.

Nor can we be absolutely certain that Socrates himself taught the immortality of the soul, which is unknown to his disciple Glaucon in the Republic (cp. Apol.); nor is there any reason to suppose that he used myths or supernatural revelations as a vehicle of instruction, or that he banned poetry or denounced Greek mythology. His favorite oath is maintained, and slight mention is made of the daemonium, or inner sign, to which Socrates alludes as a phenomenon of its own. A real element of Socratic teaching, which is more prominent in the Republic than in any of Plato's other dialogues, is the use of example and illustration τὰ φορτικὰαὐτῷπροσφέροντες, "Let us apply the test of common cases." , in the sixth book, "they are so unaccustomed to speaking in figures." has already been described, or is about to be described, in short. Thus, the figure of the cave in Book VII is a recapitulation of the divisions of knowledge in Book VI. The compound animal in Book IX is an allegory of the parts of the soul. The noble captain and ship and true pilot of Book VI are a figure of the people's relation to the philosophers of the State which we have described. Other figures, such as the dog, or the marriage of the portionless maiden, or the hornets and hornets in the eighth and ninth books, also form connecting links in long passages or are used to recall earlier discussions.

Plato is most true to his teacher's character when he describes him as "not of this world". of Socrates. To him, as to other great philosophical and religious teachers, when they looked up, the world seemed to be the personification of error and evil. The common sense of mankind rebelled against this view, or only partially admitted it. And even in Socrates himself, the most severe judgment of the crowd sometimes turns into some kind of ironic pity or love. Men in general are incapable of philosophizing, and therefore are at enmity with the philosopher; but their misunderstanding is inevitable: for they never saw him as he really is in his own image; they are only familiar with artificial systems which lack the innate force of truth, words which admit of many applications. Its leaders have nothing to compare themselves to and are therefore ignorant of their own stature. But they are to be pitied or ridiculed, not fought against; they mean well with their nostrums, if only they could learn they're chopping off a Hydra's head. This moderation towards those who err is one of the most characteristic traits of Socrates in the Republic. In all the different representations of Socrates, whether by Xenophon or by Plato, and amid the differences of earlier or later Dialogues, he always retains the character of the tireless and disinterested seeker of truth, without which he would have ceased to be Socrates.

Leaving the characters, we can now analyze the content of the Republic and then move on to consider (1) The general aspects of this Hellenic ideal of the State, (2) The modern lights in which Plato's thoughts can be read.

BOOK I. The Republic opens with a truly Greek scene: a festival in honor of the goddess Bendis held in Piraeus; Added to this is the promise of an equestrian race by torchlight at night. Socrates is to recite the entire play the day after the feast to a small group consisting of Critias, Timaeus, Hermocrates, and one other; this we learn from the first words of the Timaeus.

When the rhetorical advantage of reciting the Dialogue is gained, attention is not distracted by any reference to the audience; nor is the reader reminded of the extraordinary length of the narrative. Of the numerous companies, only three take a serious part in the discussion; nor are we told whether they went to the torchlight run in the afternoon, or talked, as at the Symposium, all night. How the conversation arose is described below: Socrates and his companion Glaucon are about to leave the festival when they are interrupted by a message from Polemarchus, who promptly appears accompanied by Glaucon's brother Adimanto and with playful violence forces them to remain. . , promising them not only the race by torchlight, but the pleasure of talking with the young people, which for Socrates is a much greater attraction. They return to the home of Cephalus, Polemarchus' father, now in extreme old age, who sits on a padded seat crowned for a sacrifice. “You should come to me more often, Socrates, because I am too old to come to you; and at my age, having lost other pleasures, I am more concerned with conversation.' Socrates asks him what he thinks about old age, to which the old man replies that the sorrows and discontents of old age are to be attributed to the temperament of men, and that old age is a time of peace in which the tyranny of women is no longer felt. . passions. Yes, replies Socrates, but the world will say, Cephalus, that you are happy in old age because you are rich. "And there is something in what they say, Socrates, but not so much as they imagine, as Themistocles replied to the Serifian: "Neither you, if you were an Athenian, nor I, if I were a Serifian, have ever been famous", I could answer him in the same way: Not a good poor man can be happy in old age, nor a rich poor man." He acquired them, and I would like to know what he considers to be their main advantage. Cephalus replies that, when you are old, belief in the world below, and then having done justice and never having been forced to do injustice through poverty, and never having deceived anyone, are considered unspeakable blessings by Socrates, who is evidently preparing to a discussion, next question: What is the meaning of the word justice? Tell the truth and pay your dues? No more than that? Or should we admit exceptions? Shall I, for example, return my friend, who has gone mad, the sword I borrowed for when he was sane? "There must be exceptions." heir, Polemarchus...

The description of old age is over, and Plato, as is his style, has struck the keynote of the whole work by asking for the definition of justice, first suggesting the question which Glaucon later pursues in relation to external goods, and preparing for the final myth. . of the world below in the slight allusion to Cephalus. The portrait of the just man makes a natural frontispiece or introduction to the long discourse which follows, and perhaps implies that, in all our perplexity about the nature of justice, there is no difficulty in discerning "who is a just man." by a saying of Simonides; and now Socrates has it in his mind to show that the resolution of justice into two disconnected precepts, which have no common principle, does not satisfy the requirements of the dialectic.

... He continues: What did Simonides mean by this? Did you mean you were going to return the guns to a madman? 'No, not in that case, not if the parties are friendly, and evil would result. It meant that you should do the right thing, do good to your friends and harm your enemies. Every act does something for somebody; and following this analogy, Socrates asks: What is due and proper that does justice, and to whom? They tell him that justice does good to friends and harms enemies. But in what sense is this good or bad? 'Make alliances with one and go to war with the other.' So, in peacetime, what good is justice? The answer is that fairness is useful in contracts, and contracts are money companies. Yes, but how is it that in such associations the just man is more useful than any other man? 'When you want to have money safely stored and not used.' Then justice will be useful when money is useless. And there is another difficulty: justice, like the art of war or any other art, must be opposed, both in attack and defense, both in robbery and guarding. But then justice is a thief, though a hero, like Autolycus the Homer, who was "excellent above all men in theft and perjury," to such an extent that you, Homer, and Mrs. Simonides; although do not forget that the theft must be for the good of friends and for the evil of enemies. And yet another question arises: are friends to be interpreted as real or apparent? enemies as real or apparent? And should our friends only be good and our enemies bad? The answer is that we should do good to our apparent and true good friends, and evil to our apparent and true bad enemies: good to the good, evil to the bad. But shall we return evil for evil, when it will only make men more evil? Can justice produce injustice any more than the art of riding can make bad riders, or heat produce cold? The final conclusion is that no sage or poet ever said that the just repay evil for evil; this was a maxim of a rich and powerful man, Periander, Perdiccas or Ismenias the Theban (circa 398-381 B.C.)...

Thus the first stage of aphoristic or unconscious morality proves inadequate for the needs of the age; the authority of the poets is left aside and, through the tortuous labyrinths of the dialectic, we approach the Christian precept of forgiveness of injuries. Similar words are applied by the Persian mystic poet to the divine being when the inquiring spirit stirs within him: "If because I do evil you punish me with evil, what is the difference between you and me?" above the level of many Christian theologians (?). The first definition of justice passes easily into the second; because the simple words "tell the truth and pay your debts" are replaced by the more abstract "do good to your friends and harm your enemies". the precision of philosophy. We may point out in passing the antiquity of casuistry, which arises not only from the conflict of established principles in particular cases, but also from the effort to achieve them, and is both earlier and later than our fundamental notions of morality. The 'interrogation' of moral ideas; Homer's appeal to authority; the conclusion that the maxim "Do good to your friends and evil to your enemies," being erroneous, could not have been the word of any great man, are all very characteristic of the Platonic Socrates.

. "Socrates," he said. says, "What's this madness? Why would you agree to be defeated by each other in a mock argument?" It therefore forbids all ordinary definitions of justice; to which Socrates replies that he cannot say how many are twelve, if he is forbidden to say 2 x 6, or 3 x 4, or 6 x 2, or 4 x 3. At first Thrasymachus is reluctant to argue; but in the end, with the promise of payment from the company and praise from Sócrates, he is induced to come clean. "Listen," says he, "my answer is that power is just, justice is the interest of the strongest: now praise me." Let me understand you first. Do you mean that because the fighter Polydamas, who is stronger than us, thinks that eating meat is in his interest, eating meat is also in our interest, that we are not as strong? Thrasymachus is indignant at the illustration, and, in pompous words, apparently designed to restore the argument's dignity, explains its meaning to be, that rulers make laws for their own interests. But suppose, says Socrates, that the ruler or the strongest make a mistake: then the interest of the strongest is not his interest. Thrasymachus is saved from this rapid fall by his disciple Cleitophon, who introduces the word 'think'; not the ruler's real interest, but what he thinks, or what appears to be his interest, is justice. Contradiction is avoided by pointless evasion: although their real and apparent interests may differ, what the ruler thinks is his interest will always remain what he thinks is his interest.

Of course, this was not the original claim, nor does Thrasymachus himself accept the new interpretation. But Socrates is unwilling to argue about words if, as he significantly insinuates, his adversary has changed his mind. infallible. Socrates is ready to accept the new position, which also turns against Thrasymachus with the help of the analogy of the arts. Every art or science has an interest, but that interest is to be distinguished from the accidental interest of the artist, which has only to do with the good of things or people under art. And justice has an interest not in the ruler or the judge, but in those under his rule.

Thrasymachus is on the verge of a foregone conclusion, when he boldly deviates. "Tell me, Socrates," he says, "do you have a nurse?" What question! Why ask? 'Because if you have, he neglects you and lets you drool, and he hasn't even taught you to tell the shepherd from the sheep. Because you imagine that shepherds and rulers never think of their own interest, but only of their sheep or subjects, while the truth is, they fatten them for their use, both sheep and subjects. And experience proves that in all the dealings of life the just are the losers and the unjust the winner, especially where injustice is on a grand scale, which is very different from the little pranks of swindlers, thieves, and temple robbers. The language of men proves this - our "graceful" and "blessed" tyrant and the like - all of which tend to show (1) that justice is the interest of the stronger; and (2) that injustice is more profitable and also stronger than justice”.

Thrasymachus, who is better at a speech than a closed discussion, having flooded the company with words, intends to escape. But the others will not let him go, and Socrates adds a humble but heartfelt request that he not abandon them in such a crisis of fate. 'And what else can I do for you?' he says; Do you want me to put the words bodily into your soul? God forbid! answers Socrates; but we want you to be consistent in your use of terms, and not use 'physician' in an exact sense, and again 'shepherd' or 'ruler' in an imprecise sense, if the words are taken strictly, the ruler and the shepherd look only for the good of your people or herds and not your own: while you insist that rulers act only for the love of position. "There is no doubt about it," replies Thrasymachus. So why are they paid? Is this not why your interest is not included in your art, and is therefore the interest of another art, the art of paying, which is common to the arts in general, and therefore not identical with any of them? No man would be ruler unless he was motivated by hope of reward or fear of punishment; the reward is money or honor, the punishment is the need to be ruled by a man worse than himself. And if a State (or a Church) were composed entirely of good men, they would only be affected by the last reason; and there would be as much 'nolo episcopari' as there is now otherwise...

The satire of existing governments is heightened by the simple and seemingly incidental way in which the last remark is introduced. There is a similar irony in the argument that mankind's rulers dislike being in office and therefore demand payment.

... Enough of this: the other statement of Thrasymachus is far more important: that the unjust life is more profitable than the just one. Now, since you and I, Glaucon, are not convinced by him, we must answer him; but if we try to compare their respective yields, we need a judge to decide for us; therefore, we had better proceed by admitting the truth to one another.

Thrasymachus had claimed that perfect injustice was more profitable than perfect justice, and after a little hesitation Socrates induces him to admit the even greater paradox that injustice is a virtue and justice is a vice. Socrates praises his frankness and assumes the attitude of one whose only desire is to understand the meaning of his opponents. At the same time, he is weaving a web in which Thrasymachus is finally caught. You get from him the admission that the just man seeks to gain advantage only over the unjust, but not over the just, while the unjust would get advantage over any one of them. Socrates, to prove this statement, once again employs the favorite analogy of the arts. The musician, the doctor, the skilled artist of any kind, does not seek to earn more than the skilled, but only more than the unskilled (that is, he works according to a rule, standard, law and does not go beyond it), while the unskilled make random efforts in excess. So the skillful fall on the good side, and the unskilled on the bad side, and the just is the skillful, and the unjust is the unskilled.

It was very difficult to bring Thrasymachus to the point; the day was hot and he was drenched in sweat, and for the first time in his life he was seen to blush. But his other thesis that injustice was stronger than justice has not yet been refuted, and Socrates now turns to the consideration of this, which, with the help of Thrasymachus, he hopes to clear up; the latter is rude at first, but in the judicious hands of Socrates soon returns to good humour: Is there no honor among thieves? Is not the force of injustice just a remnant of justice? Is not absolute injustice also absolute weakness? A house divided against itself cannot stand; two men who fight weaken each other, and he who is at war with himself is an enemy of himself and the gods. Therefore, evil does not flourish, but semi-evil in states; a remnant of good is needed to make union in action possible; there is no reign of evil in this world.

Another question was not answered: is fair or unfair happier? To this we answer, that all art has an end, and an excellence or virtue by which the end is attained. And is not happiness the end of the soul, and justice the excellence of the soul by which happiness is attained? Thus demonstrating that justice and happiness are inseparable, the question of whether the just or the unjust is happier disappears.

Thrasymachus replies, "Let this be your entertainment, Socrates, at the festival of Bendis." Yea; and much good entertainment your kindness has given me, now that you've stopped mumbling. And yet it wasn't good entertainment, but that was my fault because I tried a lot of things. First, the nature of justice was the subject of our investigation, and then whether justice is virtue and wisdom, or wickedness and folly; and then the comparative advantages of just and unjust: and the sum of it all is, I don't know what justice is; How, then, shall I know whether the righteous is happy or not?...

Thus, the sophistic fabric was demolished, resorting mainly to the analogy of the arts. “Justice is like the arts (1) in that it has no external interest and (2) in that it does not aim at excess and (3) justice is to happiness what the worker's instrument is to his work. ”. stumbles, because he forgets that Plato writes at a time when the arts and virtues, like the moral and intellectual faculties, were not yet distinguished. Among early investigators of the nature of human action, the arts helped to bridge the speculation gap; and at first the comparison of arts and virtues was not perceived by them as fallacious. They only saw in them the points of agreement and not the points of divergence. Virtue, like art, must do away with means; good manners are an art and a virtue; the character is naturally described under the image of a statue; and there are many other figures of speech which are easily transferred from art to morals. The next generation clarified these perplexities; or at least provided afterages with a more detailed analysis of them. Plato's contemporaries were in a state of transition and had not yet fully grasped Aristotle's common-sense distinction that "virtue relates to action, art to production" (Nic. Eth.), or that "virtue implies intention and constancy of purpose". ' while 'art requires only knowledge'. And yet, in the absurdities which flow from some uses of the analogy, there seems to be a hint conveyed that virtue is more than art. This is implied in the reductio ad absurdum that "justice is a thief", and in the dissatisfaction that Socrates expresses with the final result.

The expression "a heathen art" which is described as "common to all the arts" is not in accordance with the common usage of the language. Neither Plato nor any other Greek writer uses it anywhere else. It is suggested by the plot and seems to extend the conception of art in both doing and doing. Another fault or inaccuracy of language may be noticed in the words 'men who are hurt become more unjust'. Because those who are hurt are not necessarily worse off, just damaged or mistreated.

The second of the three arguments, "that fairness does not point to excess", has real meaning, even if shrouded in an enigmatic way. That the good is of the nature of the finite is a peculiarly Hellenistic sentiment, which may be compared with the language of those modern writers who speak of virtue as adequacy and freedom as obedience to law. The mathematical or logical notion of limit easily passes into ethics, and even finds a mythological expression in the conception of envy (in Greek). The ideas of measure, equality, order, unity, proportion still persist in the writings of moralists; and the true spirit of the fine arts is better conveyed by such terms than by superlatives.

"When workers strive to do better than good,
They mistake your skill for greed.' (King John. Act. iv. Sc.2.)

The harmony of soul and body, and of the parts of the soul with each other, a harmony "more beautiful than the notes of music," is the true Hellenic way of conceiving the perfection of human nature.

In what can be called an epilogue to the discussion with Thrasymachus, Plato argues that evil is not a principle of force, but of discord and dissolution, touching precisely on the issue that has often been addressed in modern times by theologians and philosophers, of nature negative evil. . In the last argument, we trace the germ of the Aristotelian doctrine of an end and an end-directed virtue, which is again suggested by the arts. It also suggests the ultimate reconciliation between justice and happiness and the identity of the individual and the state. Socrates takes up the character of “knowing nothing”; at the same time, he seems not to be entirely satisfied with how the plot was handled. Nothing is over; but the tendency of the dialectical process, here as always, is to widen our conception of ideas and widen their application to human life.

BOOK II. Thrasymachus is pacified, but the intrepid Glaucus insists on continuing the discussion. He is not satisfied with the roundabout way in which, at the end of the last book, Socrates resolved the question whether the just or the unjust are happier. He starts by dividing goods into three classes: first, desirable goods. in themselves; second, desirable goods in themselves and for their results; third, goods desirable only for their results. He then asks Socrates which of the three classes he would place justice in. In the second class, replies Socrates, among the desirable goods for itself, and also for its results. “Then the world at large is of another opinion, because justice is said to belong to the class of problematic goods which are desirable only for their results. Socrates replies that this is the doctrine of Thrasymachus which he rejects. Glaucon thinks that Thrasymachus was very willing to listen to the enchanter's voice, and proposes to consider the nature of justice and injustice in themselves and apart from the results and rewards which the world is ever ringing in its ears. In the first place he will speak of the nature and origin of justice; secondly, from the way in which men see justice as a necessity and not as a good; and third, he will prove the reasonableness of that view.

‘Doing injustice is considered good; to suffer injustice is an evil. As it is discovered by experience that evil is greater than good, those who suffer, who also cannot be practitioners, make a pact that they will not have it either, and this pact or means is called justice, but it is really the impossibility of doing injustice. . No one would observe such a covenant if he were not bound by it. Suppose the just and the unjust have two rings, like Gyges's in the well-known story, which make them invisible, and then no difference will appear in them, because each will do evil if he can. And he who abstains will be considered a fool by the world because of his pains. Men may praise him in public for fear of themselves, but they will laugh at him in their hearts (Cp. Gorgias).

“And now let us formulate an ideal of just and unjust. Picture the unjust man as the master of his craft, rarely making mistakes and easily correcting them; having gifts of money, speech, strength, the greatest villain having the highest character: and by his side let us place the righteous in his nobility and simplicity, being, without appearance, without name or reward, clothed only in his righteousness, the best of men, men who are considered the worst, and who die as they lived. I might add (but I'd rather put the rest in the mouths of injustice panegyrists, they'll say) that the righteous will be scourged, tortured, bound, have their eyes gouged out, and finally crucified (literally impaled). ) — and all this because he should have preferred to appear to be. How different is the case with the unrighteous who clings to appearance as the true reality! His high character makes him a ruler; he can marry where he likes, trade where he likes, help his friends and hurt his enemies; having enriched himself by dishonesty, he can better worship the gods, and will therefore be loved more by them than by the righteous.

He was considering what to say when Adimantus entered the already unbalanced fray. He felt that the most important point of all had been omitted: “Men are taught to be just for the sake of rewards; parents and guardians make reputation the incentive to virtue. And they promise other advantages of a more solid kind, such as rich marriages and high offices. There are the images in Homer and Hesiod of fat sheep and heavy wool, rich fields of corn and decaying trees with fruit, which the gods provide in this life for the righteous. And the Orphic poets add a like image of another. The heroes of Musaeus and Eumolpus lie in beds at a festival, with garlands on their heads, enjoying as virtue's reward a paradise of immortal drunkenness. Some go further and speak of a just posterity in the third and fourth generations. But the wicked are buried in a marsh, and made to carry water in a sieve: and in this life they ascribe to them that infamy which Glaucon supposed was the lot of the just who should be unjust.

Take another sort of argument found in both poetry and prose: "Virtue," as Hesiod says, "is honorable but difficult, vice easy and profitable." You can often see the wicked in great prosperity and the righteous afflicted by the will of heaven. And mendicant prophets knock at the doors of the rich, promising to expiate the sins of themselves or their fathers in an easy way with sacrifices and festive games, or with incantations and invocations to deliver an enemy for good or ill with the help of the divine help and for a small price; they appeal to books that claim to have been written by Musaeus and Orpheus, and captivate the minds of entire cities, and promise to "bring souls out of purgatory"; and if we refuse to listen to them, nobody knows what will happen to us.

'When a discerning young man hears all this, what will be his conclusion? "Will he," in the language of Pindar, "shall do justice to his high tower, or fortify himself with crooked deceit?" Justice, he reflects, without the appearance of justice, is misery and ruin; injustice holds the promise of a glorious life. Appearance owns the truth and the owner of happiness. Then I will turn to appearance, display virtue, and follow behind me the fox of Archilochus. I hear someone say that “evil is not easily hidden”, to which I reply that “nothing great is easy”. Unity, force and rhetoric will do a lot; and if men say they cannot prevail over gods, how do we know there are gods? Only from poets, who recognize that they can be appeased by sacrifices. So why not sin and pay indulgences for your sin? Because if the righteous goes unpunished, he will have no more reward, while the wicked can go unpunished and have the pleasure of sinning too. But what about the world below? No, the argument goes, are there expiatory powers that will settle this question, as the poets tell us, who are children of the gods; and this is confirmed by the authority of the State.

‘How can we resist such arguments in favor of injustice? Add good manners and, as the sages say, we'll make the best of both worlds. Who but a wretched caitiff will fail to smile at the praises of justice? Even if a man knows the best part, he will not be angry with others; for he also knows that it takes more than human virtue to save a man, and that he only praises justice when it is incapable of injustice.

"The origin of evil is that all men from the beginning, heroes, poets, educators of youth, have always asserted the 'temporary dispensation', the honors and benefits of justice. If we had learned in youth the power of justice and injustice inherent in the soul and invisible to any human or divine eye, we would not need others to be our guardians, but each one to be his own guardian. This is what I want you to show me, Socrates; other men use arguments that tend to strengthen the Thrasymachus's position that "might is right", but I expect better things from you. And please, as Glaucon said, exclude reputation; let the just be regarded as unjust and the unjust as just, and it proves to us further the superiority of justice'...

The thesis, defended by Glaucon by way of argumentation, is the opposite of that of Thrasymachus: what is right is not the interest of the strongest, but what is right is the need of the weakest. Starting from the same premises, he takes the analysis of society a step back: power is still right, but power is the weakness of the many combined against the strength of the few.

There have been theories both in modern times and in antiquity that bear a family resemblance to Glaucon's speculations; for example, that power is the foundation of law; or that a monarch has a divine right to rule for good or evil; or that virtue is self-love or love of power; or that war is the natural state of man; or that private vices are public benefits. All these theories have a kind of plausibility because of their partial agreement with experience. Because human nature oscillates between good and evil, and the motives of actions and the origin of institutions can be explained to some extent in any hypothesis according to the character or point of view of a particular thinker. The obligation to maintain authority under all circumstances and sometimes by quite questionable means is strongly felt and has become something of an instinct among civilized men. The divine right of kings, or more generally of governments, is one of the forms in which this natural feeling is expressed. Nor is there any evil that does not have some accompaniment of good or pleasure; nor any good that is free from any league of evil; nor any noble or generous thought that is not accompanied by a shadow or the ghost of a shadow of self-interest or self-love. We know that all human actions are imperfect; but we do not, therefore, ascribe them to the worse motive or principle than to the best. Such a philosophy is both foolish and false, like the opinion of the crafty knave who assumes that all other men are like him. And theories of this kind do not represent the true nature of the State, which is based on a vague sense of right gradually corrected and enlarged by custom and law (though also susceptible to perversion), nor do they describe the origin of society, which is to look to the family and in the social and religious feelings of man. Nor do they represent the average character of individuals, which cannot simply be explained on the basis of a theory of evil, but always has a counter-element of good. And as men improve, such theories seem more and more false to them, because they are more conscious of their own selflessness. A little experience can turn a man into a cynic; Much will bring you back to a truer and kinder view of the mixed nature of yourself and your fellow men.

The two brothers ask Socrates to show them that the just man is happy when everything that happiness is normally supposed to consist of has been taken away from him. It is not that there is (1) any absurdity in the attempt to formulate a notion of justice apart from circumstances. Because the ideal must always be a paradox when compared with the ordinary conditions of human life. Neither the Stoic ideal nor the Christian ideal is really true, but they can serve as a basis for education and exert an ennobling influence. An ideal is not made worse because "someone found out" that the ideal was never realized. And in some exceptional individuals who rise above the common level of mankind, the ideal of happiness may be realized in death and misery. This may be the state which reason deliberately approves of, and which the utilitarian, like any other moralist, may be forced to prefer in certain cases.

Nor should we (2) forget that Plato, while generally agreeing with the point of view implicit in the argument of the two brothers, is not expressing his own final conclusion, but trying to dramatize one aspect of ethical truth. He develops his idea gradually into a series of positions or situations. For the first time, he displays Socrates under Socratic interrogation. Finally, (3) the word "happiness" involves some degree of confusion because it is associated in the language of modern philosophy with conscious pleasure or satisfaction, which was not equally present in his mind.

Glaucon has drawn a picture of the misery of the just and the happiness of the unjust, to which the tyrant's misery in Book IX is both the answer and the parallel. And yet the unjust must appear just; this is "the homage that vice pays to virtue." which is given to arguments like those of Thrasymachus and Glaucon for the conventional morality of mankind. He seems to feel the difficulty of 'justifying God's ways to man.' Both brothers address the question of whether the morality of actions is determined by their consequences; and both go beyond Socrates' position, that justice belongs to the class of goods not only desirable for themselves, but desirable for themselves and their results, to which he calls them. In their attempt to see justice as an internal principle, and in their condemnation of poets, they anticipate it. The ordinary life of Greece is not enough for them; they must penetrate deeper into the nature of things.

It has been contested that justice is honesty in the sense of Glaucon and Adimantus, but Socrates understands it as any virtue. Can we not say with more truth that Socrates enlarges the old-fashioned notion of justice and makes it equivalent to universal order or well-being, first in the State and then in the individual? You have found a new answer to your old question (Protag.), 'whether the virtues are one or many,' viz. this is the ordering principle of the other three. In trying to establish the purely internal nature of justice, he is faced with the fact that man is a social being, and he tries to harmonize as best he can the two opposing theses. There is no more inconsistency in this than was unavoidable in his time and country; it is useless to point out to him the crosslights of modern philosophy, which, from some other point of view, would seem just as inconsistent. Plato does not give us the final solution of philosophical questions; nor can it be judged by our standard.

The rest of the Republic develops from the issue of Ariston's children. Three points deserve comment in what immediately follows: First, Socrates' answer is wholly indirect. He does not say that happiness consists in contemplating the idea of ​​justice, and he is even less tempted to assert the Stoic paradox that the just can be happy on the wheel. But he first insists on the difficulty of the problem, and insists on restoring man to his natural condition, before answering the question. He too will form an ideal, but his ideal includes not only abstract justice but all human relationships. Under the fanciful illustration of the large letters he intimates that he will only seek justice in society and that the State will proceed to the individual. His answer in essence is this: that under unfavorable conditions, that is, in the perfect state, justice and happiness will coincide, and that when justice is found, happiness can be left to itself. That he incurs some degree of inconsistency, when in the tenth book he claims to have deprived himself of the rewards and honors of justice, it may be admitted; because he left those that exist in perfect condition. And the philosopher "who hides under the protection of a wall" can hardly be considered happy for him, at least not in this world. He still retains the true attitude of moral action. Let man do his duty first, without questioning whether he will be happy or not, and happiness will be the inseparable accident that accompanies it. "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

Second, it may be noted that Plato preserves the genuine character of Greek thought beginning with the state and continuing with the individual. First ethics, then politics: this is the order of ideas for us; the reverse is the order of the story. Only after many thought struggles does the individual assert his right as a moral being. In the early ages he is not ONE, but one among many, the citizen of a State prior to him; and he has no sense of right or wrong beyond the law of his country or the creed of his church. And to this type he constantly tends to return, whenever the influence of habit, or party spirit, or the memory of the past becomes too strong for him.

Thirdly, we can observe the confusion or identification of the individual and the State, of ethics and politics, which permeates ancient Greek speculation and still retains a degree of influence in modern times. The subtle difference between collective and individual human action seems to have escaped early thinkers, and we too are in danger of forgetting the conditions of united human action, whenever we elevate politics to ethics or debase it. . The good man and the good citizen only coincide in the perfect state; and this perfection cannot be reached by means of legislation that acts on them from outside, but, in any case, by means of an education that forms them from within.

... Socrates praises the sons of Ariston, 'inspired son of the renowned hero,' as the elegiac poet calls them; but he does not understand how they can argue so eloquently for injustice while their character shows that they are not swayed by their own arguments. He doesn't know how to answer them, though he is afraid to defect from justice in the hour of need. Thus, he puts it as a condition that, having weak eyes, he is allowed to read the large letters first and then go to the small ones, that is, he must first seek justice in the State, and then proceed with the particular. . Accordingly, he begins to build the state.

Society arises from the needs of man. Your first need is food; your second home; your third a coat. The meaning of these needs and the possibility of satisfying them through exchange bring individuals together in the same place; and this is the beginning of a State, which we take the liberty of inventing, although necessity is the true inventor. There must first be a farmer, then a mason, third a weaver, to which a shoemaker may be added. At least four or five citizens are needed to make a city. Now, men have different natures, and one man will do one thing better than many; and business waits for no one. Therefore, there must be a division of labor into different jobs; Wholesale and retail; in workers and makers of tools for workers; in shepherds and farmers. A city that includes all of these will have far exceeded the limit of four or five, and yet it will not be very large. But, again, imports will be needed, and imports need exports, and that means variety of products to suit the taste of buyers; also merchants and ships. In the city, too, we must have a market, money, and retail trade; otherwise, buyers and sellers will never meet, and producers' valuable time will be wasted in futile efforts to trade. If we add the workers, the State is complete. And we can assume that somewhere in the relationship between citizens justice and injustice will appear.

Here follows a rustic picture of their way of life. They spend their days in houses they built for themselves; they make their own clothes and produce their own corn and wine. Their main food is semolina and flour, and they drink it in moderation. They live on the best terms with each other and take care not to have too many children. "But," said Glaucon, interfering, "won't they have a dainty?" Certainly; they will have salt and olives and cheese, vegetables and fruits, and chestnuts to roast over the fire. "It's a city of pigs, Socrates." Why, I replied, what do you want more? "Just the amenities of life, sofas and tables, also sauces and sweets." I see; you want not just a State, but a luxurious State; and possibly in the most complex picture we may find justice and injustice before. Then the fine arts must be put into practice: every conceivable luxury instrument and ornament will be needed. There will be dancers, painters, sculptors, musicians, cooks, hairdressers, pneumatics, nurses, artists; swineherds and herdsmen also for the animals, and physicians to cure the diseases of which luxury is the source. To feed all those superfluous mouths we're going to need a piece of our neighbor's land, and they're going to want a piece of ours. And this is the origin of war, which may be traced to the same causes as other political evils. Our city will now require a small addition of a camp, and the citizen will become a soldier. But neither must we forget our old doctrine of the division of labor. The art of war cannot be learned in a day, and there must be a natural aptitude for military duties. There will be some warrior natures that have this aptitude: sharp in the nose, quick in the feet to chase and strong in the limbs to fight. And as spirit is the foundation of value, such natures, whether of men or animals, will be full of spirit. But these energetic natures tend to bite and devour each other; the union of kindness with friends and ferocity with enemies seems impossible, and the guardian of a state requires both qualities. Who then can be a guardian? The image of the dog suggests an answer. Dogs are kind to friends and fierce to strangers. Your dog is a philosopher who judges by the rule of knowing or not knowing; and philosophy, whether in man or beast, is the mother of meekness. Human guard dogs must be philosophers or lovers of learning which makes them gentle. And how do they learn without education?

But what will his education be? Is there anything better than the old style that goes by the name of music and gymnastics? Music includes literature, and literature is of two kinds, true and false. 'What do you mean?' said. I mean, kids hear stories before they learn gymnastics, and those stories are either false or have at most one or two grains of truth in a ton of falsehood. Now, the beginning of life is very impressionable, and children must not learn what they will have to unlearn when they grow up; therefore, we should have a censorship of children's stories, banning some and keeping others. Some of them are very inappropriate, as we can see from the great examples of Homer and Hesiod, who not only tell lies, but bad lies; stories about Uranus and Saturn, which are both immoral and false, and should never be told to young people, or ever; or, at any rate, then in mystery, after the sacrifice, not of an Eleusinian pig, but of some incurable animal. Will our young people be encouraged to beat their parents by the example of Zeus, or will our citizens be spurred on to fight by hearing or seeing representations of fighting between the gods? Will they hear the story of Hephaestus tying up their mother and Zeus sending him flying to her aid when she was stricken? Such tales can have a mystical interpretation, but young people cannot understand the allegory. If someone asks which stories should be allowed, we answer that we are legislators and not bookmakers; we have only laid down the principles according to which books should be written; writing them is the duty of others.

And our first principle is, that God must be represented as he is; not as the author of all things, but of good only. We will not suffer poets to say that he is the steward of good and evil, or that he has two barrels full of destinies; or that Athena and Zeus urged Pandarus to break the treaty; or that God caused the sufferings of Niobe, or Pelops, or the Trojan War; or that he causes men to sin when he would destroy them. Either these were not the actions of the gods, or God was just, and men should be punished. But that the deed was evil, and God the author, is a perverse and suicidal fiction which we will not allow anyone, old or young, to pronounce. This is our first and great principle: God is the author of good only.

And the second principle is similar to this: with God there is no variation or change of form. Reason teaches us this; for if we suppose a change in God, he must be changed either by another or by himself. For another? — But the best works of nature and art, and the noblest qualities of the mind, are least likely to be altered by any external force. By itself? But it cannot change for the better; it will hardly change for the worse. He forever remains fairer and better in his own image. That is why we refuse to listen to the poets who tell us of Here begging in the likeness of a priestess or other deities who haunt the night in strange attire; all that blasphemous nonsense with which mothers trick their sons into taking away their manhood must be suppressed. But someone will say that God, who is immutable, can assume a form in relation to us. Why should I? For both gods and men hate lying in the soul, or the principle of falsehood; and as for any other form of lying that is used for a purpose and is considered innocent in certain exceptional cases, what need have the gods for it? Because they are not ignorant of antiquity like the poets, nor are they afraid of their enemies, nor is any madman their friend. God then is true, he is absolutely true; he does not change, he does not deceive, neither by day nor by night, nor by word or sign. This is our second great principle: God is true. Aside from Agamemnon's lying dream in Homer, and Thetis' accusation against Apollo in Aeschylus...

In order to clarify his conception of the State, Plato proceeds to outline the first principles of mutual necessity and division of labor in an imaginary community of four or five citizens. Gradually this community grows; the division of labor extends to countries; imports require exports; a medium of exchange is needed and retailers stay in the market to save producers time. These are the steps by which Plato builds the first or primitive State, introducing in passing the elements of political economy. As it will frame a second State or civilized State, the simple naturally precedes the complex. He indulges, like Rousseau, in an image of primitive life, an idea which has certainly exerted a strong influence on the human imagination, but does not seriously mean that one is better than the other (Politicus); nor can any inference be drawn from the description of the first state separate from the second, as Aristotle seems to do in the Politics. We must not interpret a Platonic dialogue any more than a poem or a parable in a very literal or prosaic style. On the other hand, when we compare Plato's lively fantasy with the arid abstractions of modern philosophical treatises, we are forced to say with Protagoras that "myth is more interesting" (Protag.)

Several interesting comments that in modern times would have a place in a treatise on Political Economy are scattered throughout Plato's writings: notably Laws, Population; Free trade; Adulteration; wills and legacies; begging; Eryxias, (though not Plato's), Value and Demand; Republic, Division of Labour. This last theme, and also the origin of Retail Trade, is treated with admirable lucidity in the second book of the Republic. But Plato never combined his economic ideas into one system, and he never seems to have recognized that commerce is one of the great driving forces in the state and the world. It would make retail merchants only of the lower class of citizens (Rep., Laws), though he observes, curiously (Laws), that 'if only the best men and best women everywhere were obliged to keep taverns for a time or to carry in retail trade, etc., then we should know how all these things are pleasant and pleasant.'

Glaucon's disillusionment with the "city of swine", the ludicrous description of the ministers of luxury in the most refined state, and the afterthought on the need for physicians, the illustration of the nature of the keeper taken from the dog, the desirability of offering some Victim almost impregnable when they go to celebrate impure mysteries, the behavior of Zeus with his father and of Hephaestus with his mother, are touches of humor that also have a serious meaning. Speaking of education, Plato surprises us by stating that a child must be brought up first in falsehood and then in truth. However, this is not very different from saying that children should be taught as much by imagination as by reason; that their minds can only gradually develop, and that there is much they must learn without understanding. This, too, is the essence of Plato's view, although it must be recognized that he drew the line somewhat differently from modern writers on ethics, respecting truth and falsehood. With us, economies or accommodations would not be admissible, unless they were required by human faculties or necessary for the communication of knowledge to the simple and ignorant. We must insist that the word is inseparable from the intention, and that we must not be 'falsely true', that is, speak or act falsely in defense of what is right or true. But Plato would limit the use of fictions only by requiring that they have a good moral effect and that so dangerous a weapon as falsehood be used only by rulers and for great purposes.

A Greek in Plato's day didn't care if his religion was historical fact. I was beginning to realize that the past had a history; but he could see nothing but Homer and Hesiod. Whether his narratives were true or false, it did not seriously affect Hellas's political or social life. Men only began to suspect that they were fictions when they recognized that they were immoral. And so in all religions: first comes the consideration of their morality, then the truth of the documents in which they are recorded, or of the natural or supernatural facts which are told about them. But in modern times, and in Protestant countries perhaps more than in Catholic ones, we tend to identify the historical with the moral; and some refused to believe in religion unless superhuman precision could be discerned in every part of the record. The facts of ancient or religious history are among the most important of all facts; but they are often uncertain, and we learn their true lesson from them only when we rise above them. These reflections tend to show that the difference between Plato and us, while not insignificant, is not as great as it might seem at first sight. Because we must agree with him in putting morality before the historical truth of religion; and, in general, without taking into account the errors or misrepresentations of facts which necessarily occur in the beginnings of all religions. We also know that changes in a country's traditions cannot be made in one day; and therefore they are tolerant of many things that science and criticism would condemn.

We note in passing that the allegorical interpretation of mythology, said to have been first introduced in the sixth century BC by Theagenes of Regius, was well established by the time of Plato, and here, as in the Phaedrus, though for a different reason, it was rejected by him. It is in accordance with universal experience that anachronisms, whether of religion or of law, when men reach another stage of civilization, must be eliminated by fictions. Great is the art of interpretation; and by a natural process which, once discovered, was always in progress, explained what could not be altered. And so, without any palpable incongruity, two forms of religion coexisted, the tradition inherited or invented by poets and the customary worship of the temple; on the other hand, there was the religion of the philosopher, who lived in the heaven of ideas, but did not refuse to offer Aesculapius a rooster, nor to be seen praying at sunrise. In the end, the antagonism between popular religion and philosophical religion, never so great among the Greeks as in our time, disappeared and was only felt as the difference between the religion of the learned and that of the ignorant among us. The Zeus of Homer and Hesiod passed easily into the "real mind" of Plato (Philebus); the giant Heracles became the knight errant and benefactor of mankind. These transformations, and others even more wonderful, were easily accomplished by the ingenuity of the Stoics and Neoplatonists in the two or three centuries before and after Christ. Greek and Roman religions were gradually penetrated by the spirit of philosophy; having lost their ancient meaning, they turned into poetry and morality; and they were probably never purer than at the time of their decline, when their influence over the world was waning.

A singular conception that occurs towards the end of the book is the lie in the soul; This is related to the Platonic and Socratic doctrine that involuntary ignorance is worse than willful ignorance. The lie in the soul is a true lie, the corruption of the highest truth, the deception of the highest part of the soul, which the deceived one has no power to get rid of. For example, representing God as false or immoral, or, according to Plato, as deceiving men with appearances or as the author of evil; or again, to assert with Protagoras that "knowledge is sensation", or that "to be is to become", or with Thrasymachus, "that power is certain", would have been considered by Plato to be a lie of this odious kind. The greatest unconsciousness of the greatest falsehood, p. if, in the language of the Gospels (John), "he who was blind" said "I see", is another aspect of the mental state described by Plato. Lying in the soul can still be compared to the sin against the Holy Spirit (Luke), taking into account the difference between the Greek and Christian modes of speech. To this is opposed lying in words, which is just the deceit that may occur in a play or poem, or allegory or figure of speech, or in any kind of accommodation, which though useless to the gods may be useful to men in certain cases. Socrates answers here the question he himself had asked about the advisability of deceiving a madman; and also contrasts the nature of God and that of man. Because God is the Truth, but humanity can only be true by appearing sometimes partial or false. Reserving for another place the more important questions of religion or education, we may also point out, (1) the approbation of the ancient traditional education of Greece; (2) Plato's preparation for the attack on Homer and the poets; (3) the preparation that is also being made for the use of State savings; (4) the contemptuous and at the same time euphemistic way in which here as below the 'Chronique Scandaleuse' of the gods is alluded to.

BOOK III. There is another reason for purifying religion, which is to banish fear; because no man can be brave if he is afraid of death, or if he believes the stories that poets tell about the world below. They must be kindly asked not to abuse hell; they can be reminded that their stories are false and discouraging. Nor should they be angry if we delete hateful passages, like Achilles' depressing words, "I would rather be a servant than rule all the dead," and the verses that speak of wretched abodes, meaningless shadows, the fleeting soul. I mourn the loss of strength and youth, the soul with a babbling that sinks underground like smoke, or the souls of suitors that flutter like bats. The terrors and horrors of Cocytus and Styx, ghosts and sapless shadows, and the rest of their Tartar nomenclature, must be gone. Such tales may have their uses; but they are not fit food for soldiers. Nor can we admit the sorrows and sympathies of the Homeric heroes: Achilles, son of Thetis, cries, throwing ashes on his head or pacing the shore of the sea distracted; Priam, the cousin of the gods, crying aloud, wallowing in the mir. A good man does not bow to the loss of children or fortune. Not even death is terrible for him; and therefore lamentations over the dead ought not to be practiced by notable men; they must be the exclusive business of inferior persons, whether male or female. Worse still is the attribution of such weakness to the gods; as when the goddesses say: Alas! my work!" and worst of all, when the king of heaven himself laments his inability to save Hector, or laments the imminent death of his beloved Sarpedon. Such a character of God, if not ridiculed by our youth, is likely to be imitated by them. Nor must our citizens be given to excessive laughter: "Such violent delights" are followed by a violent reaction. The description in the Iliad of the gods swinging their flanks at Hephaestus' clumsiness will not be admitted by us. 'Certainly not.'

Truth must have a high place among the virtues, because falsehood, as we said, is useless to the gods, and serves men only as a medicine. But this use of falsehood must remain a state privilege; the common man must not, in return, tell a lie to the ruler; more than the patient would tell a lie to his doctor, or the sailor to his captain.

Second, our youth must be temperate, and temperance consists in self-control and obedience to authority. This is a lesson Homer teaches elsewhere: "The Achaeans marched breathing deftly, in silent fear of their leaders," but a very different lesson elsewhere: "O heavy with wine, who has the eyes of a dog, but the heart of astag.” Language of the latter kind will not impress self-restraint on the minds of the young The same may be said of his praise of eating and drinking and his fear of starvation, also of the lines in which he speaks of the endearing love affairs of Zeus and Aqui, or of how Hephaestus once caught Ares and Aphrodite in a net on a similar occasion.citizens taking bribes, or saying, "Gifts convince gods, gifts bow to kings," or applauding the ignoble, the Phoenix's advice to Achilles to take money from the Greeks before aiding them, or Achilles' own meanness in accepting gifts from Agamemnon; or his demand of ransom for the body of Hector; or his curse by Apollo; or his insolence to the god of the river Scamander; or his dedication to the dead Patroclus of his own hair which had already been dedicated to the other god of the river Sperchei nous; or his cruelty in dragging Hector's body through the walls and slaying the captives on the pyre: such a combination of meanness and cruelty in Chiron's pupil is inc conceivable. The amorous exploits of Pirithous and Theseus are equally undignified. Either these so-called sons of the gods were not the sons of the gods, or they were not as the poets imagine them, just as the gods themselves are not the authors of evil. The young man who believes that such things are done by those who have the blood of heaven running through their veins will be ready to imitate his example.

No more gods and heroes; what shall we say of men? What do poets and storytellers say, that the wicked prosper and the righteous are afflicted, or that righteousness is someone else's gain? Such misrepresentations cannot be permitted by us. But in this we are anticipating the definition of justice and therefore it would be better to postpone the investigation.

The themes of poetry have been sufficiently treated; then follow the style. Nowall's poetry is a narrative of past, present, or future events; and narrative is of three kinds, the simple, the imitative, and a composition of the two. An example will clarify my meaning. Homer's first scene is of the latter or mixed type, being part description and part dialogue. But if you play the dialogue in the 'oratio obliqua', the passage goes like this: The priest came and begged Apollo that the Achaeans might take Troy and return safely if Agamemnon would return his daughter to him; and the other Greeks agreed, but Agamemnon was angry, and so on - The whole then becomes descriptive, and the poet is the only orator left; or, if narration is omitted, the whole becomes dialogue. Those are the three styles, which one has to be admitted in our state? "You ask if tragedy and comedy are allowed?" Yes, but also something else: is it not doubtful that our guardians are imitators? Or rather, the question is no longer answered, because we have decided that a man cannot play many roles in his life, any more than he can act in both tragedy and comedy, or be a rhapsode and an actor at the same time. ? Human nature is wrought in very small pieces, and as our guardians already have their own business, which is the care of freedom, they will have enough to do without imitating. If they imitate, they must imitate, not any meanness or baseness, but only good; for the mask worn by the actor can become his face. We cannot allow men to play the role of women, fighting, crying, scolding or boasting to the gods, especially when making love or at work. They must not represent slaves, or bandits, or cowards, or drunks, or madmen, or blacksmiths, or neighing horses, or roaring bulls, or roaring rivers, or a raging sea. A good or wise man will be willing to do good and wise deeds, but will be ashamed to play a lesser part than he ever played; and he will prefer to use the descriptive style with as little imitation as possible. The man who doesn't respect himself, on the other hand, will imitate anyone and anything; nature sounds and animal screams; his whole performance will be imitation of gestures and voice. Now, in the descriptive style there are few changes, but in the dramatic there are many. Poets and musicians use one or a combination of both, and this compound is very attractive to young people and their teachers as well as to the common people. But our state of a man is unsuitable for complexity. And when one of these polyphonic, pantomimetic gentlemen offers to exhibit himself and his poetry, we will show him all the marks of respect, but at the same time we will tell him that there is no place for his ilk in our state; we prefer the rough and honest poet, and we will not deviate from our original models (Laws).

Next in terms of music. A song or ode has three parts: the theme, harmony and rhythm; of which the last two depend on the first. Just as we banned the lament chords, we can now banish the mixed Lydian harmonies, which are the lament harmonies; and as our citizens must be moderate, we may also banish cordial harmonies, such as pure Ionian and Lydian. Two remain: the Doric and the Phrygian, the first for war, the second for peace; the one expressive of courage, the other of obedience or instruction or religious feeling. And just as we reject varieties of harmony, so we will reject many-stringed instruments and the various forms that give them expression, and in particular the flute, which is more complex than any of them. The lyre and the harp may be permitted in the city, and the panpipe in the fields. So we cleaned up the music, and now we're going to clean up the meters. These should be like harmonies, simple and appropriate to the occasion. There are four notes of the tetrachord, and there are proportions of three meters, 3/2, 2/2, 2/1, which have all their characteristics, and the feet have different characteristics, as do the rhythms. But about this you and I must ask Damon, the great musician, who speaks, if I remember right, of the martial measure, as well as of the dactylic, trochaic, and iambic rhythms, which he arranges to make the syllables equal to one another, assigning each the right amount. We only venture to state the general principle that the style must be fitted to the subject and the meter to the style; and that the simplicity and harmony of the soul is reflected in all of them. This principle of simplicity must be learned by all in the days of their youth, and can be learned anywhere in the creative and building arts, as well as in the forms of plants and animals.

Other artists, as well as poets, must be warned against meanness or impropriety. Sculpture and painting, like music, must obey the law of simplicity. Whoever violates it cannot work in our city and corrupt the taste of our citizens. For our guardians must grow up, not amid images of deformity which will gradually poison and corrupt their souls, but in a land of health and beauty where they will drink the sweet and harmonious influences of every object. And of all these influences, the greatest is the education given by music, which finds its way into the depths of the soul and gives it a sense of beauty and deformity. At first the effect is unconscious, but when reason arrives, then the one who has been educated in this way welcomes her as the friend she has always known. As in learning to read, we first acquire the individual elements or letters, and then their combinations, and we cannot recognize reflections of them until we know the letters themselves; likewise, we must first reach the essential elements or forms of the virtues, and then trace their combinations in life and experience. There is a music of the soul that responds to the harmony of the world; and the most beautiful object of a musical soul is the beautiful mind in the beautiful body. Some defect can be excused in the second, but not in the first. True love is the child of temperance, and temperance is completely opposed to the folly of bodily pleasure. Enough has been said about the song, which makes a righteous ending with love.

Then we go to the gym; about what you wanted to signal that the soul is related to the body as a cause with an effect, and therefore, if we educate the mind, we can leave the education of the body in charge, and we just need to give a general outline of the course Next. . In the first place, guardians must abstain from strong drink, for they must be the last to go mad. It is more doubtful whether the habits of the arena are suitable for them, as ordinary gymnastics is a drowsy thing, and, if suddenly abandoned, may be injurious to health. But our warrior athletes must be alert dogs and must also be used to all changes in food and weather. Therefore, they will require a simpler type of gymnastics similar to their simple music; and for their diet a rule is to be found in Homer, who feeds his heroes only roast meat, and gives them no fish, though they live by the sea, nor cooked meats encircling an apparatus of pots and pans; and, if I'm not mistaken, nowhere does it mention sweet sauces. Sicilian cuisine, Attic sweets, and Corinthian courtesans, which are to gymnastics what Lydian and Ionian melodies are to music, must be banned. Where gluttony and intemperance prevail, the city quickly fills with physicians and lawyers; and law and medicine are put on the air as soon as the free men of a state take an interest in them. But what can show a more disgraceful state of education than having to go abroad for justice because you have nothing at home? And yet, THERE IS a worse stage of the same disease: when men have learned to like and be proud of the twists and turns of the law; without considering how much better it would be for them to order their lives than to be in need of beckoning justice. And there is a similar misfortune in employing a physician, not to cure wounds or epidemic diseases, but because a man through sloth and lust contracted diseases which were unknown in the days of Asclepius. How simple is the Homeric practice of medicine. Eurypylus after being wounded drinks a posset of Pramnian wine, which is warm by nature; and yet the sons of Asclepius blame neither the damsel who gives him drink nor Patroclus who attends him. What is certain is that this modern system of treating disease was introduced by Herodicus the trainer; who, being of sickly constitution, by a combination of training and medicine, tortured first himself, and afterwards many other people, and lived far longer than he should have. But Asclepius didn't want to practice this art, because he knew that the citizens of a well-ordered state don't have time to get sick, and so he adopted the "kill or cure" method, employed by craftsmen and workers. 'They must be about their business,' say they, 'and have no time for pampering: if they recover, well and good; if they do not, they are finished." Whereas the rich man must be a gentleman who can afford to be ill. You know a maxim of Phocylides, that "when a man begins to be rich" (or, perhaps, a little earlier) "he must practice virtue"? But how can excessive health care be incompatible with an ordinary occupation and yet compatible with the practice of virtue which Phocilides inculcates? When a student imagines that philosophy gives him a headache head, he never does anything; it is always wrong. This was the reason why Asclepius and his sons did not practice such an art. They were acting in the public interest and did not wish to preserve useless lives, nor raise insignificant children for miserable parents. Honest diseases that they healed honestly; and if a man was injured, they applied the proper remedies, and then let him eat and drink what he liked. But they refused to deal with immoderate and unprofitable subjects, though they might make great fortunes from and them. As for Pindar's story, that Asclepius was killed by lightning for bringing a rich man back to life, that is a lie; following our old rule, we must say that he did not take a bribe or that he was not the son of a god.

Glaucon then asks Socrates if the best physicians and the best judges are not those who have separately had the greatest experience of disease and crime. Socrates makes a distinction between the two professions. The doctor should have experienced the illness in his own body, because he heals with the mind and not the body. But the judge controls mind by mind; and therefore his mind must not be corrupted by crime. Where, then, will he gain experience? How can he be wise and also innocent? When young, a good man is apt to be deceived by evildoers, because he has no pattern of evil in him; and therefore the judge must be of a certain age; his youth should have been innocent and he should have perceived evil not by his practice but by his observation in others. This is the ideal of a judge; the criminal turned detective is wonderfully suspicious, but when he is in the company of good, experienced men, he is to blame, for he foolishly imagines that they are all as bad as he is. Vice can be known by virtue, but it cannot know virtue. This is the type of medicine and this is the type of law that will prevail in our State; they will be healing arts for better natures; but the evil body will be left to die by the one, and the evil soul will be killed by the other. And the need for one or the other will be greatly lessened by good music that will give harmony to the soul and good gymnastics that will give health to the body. It's not that this division of music and gymnastics really corresponds to the soul and the body; for both are equally concerned with the soul, which is animated by the one and awakened and sustained by the other. The two together provide our guardians with their dual nature. The passionate disposition with too much gymnastics hardens and dulls, the gentle or philosophical temper with too much music weakens. Just as a man allows music to flow like water through the funnel of his ears, the edge of his soul gradually wears away and the passionate or energetic element dissolves in him. Very little spirit is easily depleted; very quickly leads to intranervous irritability. So, again, the athlete, by eating and training, has doubled his value, but he soon becomes stupid; he is like a wild beast, ready to do anything for scams and nothing for advice or politics. There are two principles in man, reason and passion, and to these, not the soul and body, correspond the two arts of music and gymnastics. He who mixes them in harmonious harmony is the true musician, he will be the brilliant president of our state.

The next question is: Who will be our rulers? First, the greater must rule the lesser; and the best of the elders will be the best guardians. He will now be the best who loves his subjects most, and thinks that they have a common interest with them in the welfare of the state. These we must select; but they must be watched in all seasons of life to see if they hold the same views and withstand strength and charm. For time, persuasion, and the love of pleasure can charm a man to change his mind, and the force of grief and pain can compel him. And therefore our guardians must be men who have been tried by many trials, like gold in a refiner's fire, and who have passed first through danger, then through pleasure, and come out of such trials victorious and unsullied, in full command. of themselves and their principles; having all his faculties disharmoniously exercised for the good of his country. These will receive the highest honors both in life and in death. (Perhaps it would be better to limit the term 'guardians' to this select class: younger men might be called 'helpers'.)

And now for a magnificent lie, in which the belief, Oh, if we could only train our rulers! In any case, let's try with the rest of the world. What I'm about to tell you is just another version of the Cadmus legend; but our unbelieving generation will be slow to accept such a story. The story must be conveyed first to the rulers, then to the soldiers, and finally to the people. We will inform you that your youth was a dream, and that during the time when you seemed to be doing your education, in reality you were being formed in the earth, which sent you when you were ready; and that they should protect and care for him whose children they are, and regard themselves as brothers and sisters. "I am not surprised that you are ashamed to propound such a fiction." There's more behind. These brothers and sisters have different natures, and some of them were formed by God to rule, whom he fashioned out of gold; others he made of silver, to be helpers; others again to be farmers and artisans, and these were made by him of bronze and iron. But as they all come from a common stock, a gold parent may have a silver child, or a silver parent a gold child, and then there must be a change of position; the rich man's son must go down, and the craftsman's son. promotion, on the social scale; because an oracle says that the State will end if it is governed by a man of bronze or iron. Will our citizens believe all this? 'Not in the current generation, but in the next, maybe, yes.'

Now, as earth-born men go forth under their rulers, look around and set up your camp in a high place, which will be safe from external enemies as well as internal insurrections. There they sacrifice and pitch their tents; by soldiers they must be and not shopkeepers, the guard dogs and guardians of the sheep; and luxury and avarice will make them wolves and tyrants. Their habits and their dwellings must correspond to their education. They must not own property; your salary should only cover your expenses; and they must have common meals. We will tell you gold and silver which you have from God, and this divine gift in your souls must not be mixed with that earthly dross which goes by the name of gold. Only citizens cannot touch it, nor be under the same roof with it, nor drink from it; it's the damn thing. If they ever acquire houses, lands, or money of their own, they will become owners and merchants instead of tutors, enemies and tyrants instead of helpers, and the time of ruin, both for them and for the rest of the State, will be upon them. they. near.

The religious and ethical aspect of Plato's education will be considered below under a separate heading. Some minor points may be more conveniently noted here.

1. The constant appeal to Homer's authority, which, with serious irony, Plato, in the manner of his time, cites as witness on ethics and psychology, as well as on food and medicine; trying to distinguish the best lesson from the worst, sometimes changing the layout of the text; more than once quoting or alluding to Homer imprecisely, in the manner of the first logographers who turned the Iliad into prose and delighted in drawing implausible inferences from his words, or making ridiculous applications of them. He does not, like Heraclitus, rage at Homer and Archilochus (Heracl.), but uses their words and expressions as vehicles of a higher truth; not in a system like Theagenes of Regius or Metrodorus, or in later times the Stoics, but as fancy may dictate. And the conclusions drawn from them are sound, even if the premises are fictitious. These fanciful appeals to Homer add a Platonic charm, and at the same time have the effect of a satire on the follies of Homeric interpretation. For us (and probably for himself), although they take the form of arguments, they are actually figures of speech. They may be compared to modern quotations from Scripture, which often have great rhetorical power, even when the original meaning of the words is entirely lost. The real one, like the Platonic Socrates, as is clear from Xenophon's Memorabilia, liked to make similar adaptations. Great in all times and countries, both in religion and in law and literature, has been the art of interpretation.

2. 'The style should fit the theme and the metrics should fit the style.' Despite the fascination that the word 'classic' holds for us, we can hardly maintain that this rule is observed in all Greek poetry that has come down to us. . We cannot deny that thought often exceeds the power of lucid expression in Aeschylus and Pindar; or that rhetoric overcomes thought in the sophist poet Euripides. Perhaps only in Sophocles is there a perfect harmony of the two; only in him do we find a grace of language like the beauty of a Greek statue, in which there is nothing to add or subtract; at least that is true for individual works or for a large part of them. The connection in tragic choirs and Greek lyric poets is often a tangled thread which in an age before logic the poet could not unravel. Too many thoughts and feelings were jumbled together in his mind, and he had no power to separate or order them. Because there is a subtle influence of logic that needs to be transferred from prose to poetry, just as music and perfection of language are infused by poetry into prose. In all ages the poet has been a poor judge of his own meaning (Apol.); because he does not see that the word which is full of associations to his own mind is difficult and meaningless to another; or that the sequence that is clear to him is puzzling to others. There are many passages in some of our greatest modern poets which are very obscure; in which there is no proportion between style and subject, in which any half-expressed figure, any crude construction, any distorted placement of words, any remote sequence of ideas is admitted; and there is no voice that 'comes sweetly from nature,' nor music that adds the expression of feeling to thought. As if there could be poetry without beauty, or beauty without ease and clarity. The obscurities of the early Greek poets necessarily arose from the state of language and logic that existed in their day. They are not examples for us to follow; because the use of language must be clearer and clearer with each generation. Like Shakespeare, they were great despite, not because of, their imperfections of expression. But there is no reason to return to the necessary obscurity that prevailed in literature's infancy. The English poets of the last century were certainly not obscure; and we have no excuse for losing what they gained or for returning to the earlier or transitional era that preceded them. The thought of our time has not overcome language; the lack of Plato's "art of measurement" is the main cause of the disproportion between them.

3. A closer approach to a theory of art is taken in the third book of the Republic than in any other by Plato. His views may be summarized as follows: true art is neither fanciful nor imitative, but simple and ideal, the expression of the highest moral energy, whether in action or at rest. To live among works of plastic art of this noble and simple character, or to hear such chords, is the best of influences, the true Greek atmosphere, in which youth should be brought up. This is the way to create in them a natural good taste, which will have a feeling of truth and beauty in all things. For though the poets must be expelled, yet art is recognized as another aspect of reason, like love at the Banquet, spreading over the same sphere, but confined to preliminary education, and acting by the power of habit; and this conception of art is not limited to the chords of music or the forms of the plastic arts, but permeates all of nature and has wide kinship in the world. Plato's Republic, like Pericles' Athens, has an artistic as well as a political side.

The creative arts are barely mentioned in Plato; only in two or three passages does he allude to them (Rep.; Soph.). He is not lost in ecstasy before the great works of Phidias, the Parthenon, the Propylaea, the statues of Zeus or Athena. He would probably have regarded any abstract truth of number or figure as superior to the greatest of them. However, it is difficult to assume that some influence, such as the one he hopes to inspire in his youth, did not come to him through the works of art he saw around him. We are living in their fragments and we find in some broken stones the banner of truth and beauty. But in Plato this feeling has no expression; nowhere is it said that beauty is the object of art; he seems to deny that wisdom can assume an external form (Phaedrus); does not distinguish the fine arts from mechanics. Whether or not he feels, as some writers do, more than he expresses, it is at any rate remarkable that the greatest perfection of the fine arts coincides with an almost total silence about them. In a very scathing passage he tells us that a work of art, like the State, is a whole; and this conception of a whole, and love for the newborn mathematical sciences, may be regarded, if not as the inspirers, at least as the regulative principles of Greek art (Xen.Mem.; and Sophist).

4. Plato makes the apt and subtle observation that it is better for the doctor not to be in robust health; and he should know what disease is in his own person. But the judge should not have had a similar experience of evil; he must be a good man who, having spent his youth in innocence, learned late in life the vices of others. And therefore, according to Plato, a judge should not be young, just as a young man according to Aristotle is not fit to be a listener of moral philosophy. The wicked, on the other hand, have knowledge of vice but no knowledge of virtue. However, it is doubtful that this thread of reflection is well founded. In a remarkable passage in the Laws it is recognized that evil can form a correct estimate of good. The union of sweetness and courage in Book II. at first it seemed like a paradox, but later it was proved to be true. And Plato may also have discovered that an intuition of evil can be consistent with an aversion to it. There is an objective frankness in virtue that hints at vice. And the knowledge of character is, to some extent, a natural sense independent of any special experience of good or evil.

5. One of Plato's most striking conceptions, because it is not Greek and also very different from everything that existed in his time in the world, is the transposition of levels. In the Spartan state, the right to vote was granted to helots and the degradation of citizens under special circumstances. And in ancient Greek aristocracies, merit was certainly recognized as one of the elements on which government was based. The founders of states were supposed to be their benefactors, who were raised by their great deeds above the common level of mankind; at a later period the services of warriors and lawgivers were performed to grant them and their descendants the privileges of citizenship and first degree in the state. And though the existence of an ideal aristocracy is weakly proved from the remains of ancient Greek history, and we have difficulty in attributing such a character, by any definition of the idea, to any actual Hellenic state, or indeed to any state that ever existed in the 19. still, the government of the best was certainly the aspiration of the philosophers, who probably accommodated their views of early history with their own notions of good government. Plato further insists on applying to the guardians of his state a series of tests by which all those who did not meet a fixed standard were either removed from the governing body or not admitted to it; and this "academic" discipline prevailed to some extent in the Greek states, especially in Sparta. It also indicates that the caste system, which existed for much of antiquity and is by no means extinct in the modern European world, must be set aside from time to time in favor of merit. He is aware of how deeply the majority of humanity resents any interference with the order of society, and therefore he proposes his new idea in the form of what he himself calls "monstrous fiction". Book v.) Indicates two principles: first, that there is a distinction of ranks that depends on the circumstances prior to the individual; second, that this distinction is and must be overcome by personal qualities. He adapts mythology, like the Homeric poems, to the needs of the state, making the "Phoenician tale" the vehicle for his ideas. Each Greek state had a myth about its own origin; the platonic republic may also have a history of men born on earth. the Iron Age succeed each other, but Plato supposes that these differences in the natures of men exist together in one state. Mythology provides a figure under which the lesson can be taught (as Protagoras says, "the myth is more interesting"), and it also allows Plato to touch lightly on new principles without going into detail. In this passage he obfuscates a general truth, but he does not tell us by what steps the transposition of categories is to be effected. Indeed, throughout the Republic, it allows the lower echelons to fade into the distance. We do not know whether they should carry weapons and whether or not in the fifth book they are included in the communist rules on property and marriage. Nor does it do any good to argue strictly from a few random words, or from Plato's silence, or from making inferences that were beyond his reach. Aristotle, in his critique of the position of the lower classes, does not realize that poetic creation is "like air, invulnerable", and cannot be penetrated by the axes of his logic (Pol.).

6. In the third book of the Republic are found two paradoxes which strike the modern reader as fanciful and ideal in the highest degree, and which prompt many reflections: first, the great power of music, far beyond any influence, let it be experienced by us in modern times, when art or science has been much more developed and has found the secret of harmony as well as of melody; second, the indefinite and almost absolute control which the soul must exercise over the body.

At first we suspect some exaggeration, as we can also observe among certain masters of the art, not unknown to us today. This natural enthusiasm, felt only by a few, seems to be mixed in Plato with a kind of Pythagorean reverence for numbers and numerical proportion to which Aristotle is alien. The intervals of sound and number are for him sacred things that have their own law, which does not depend on variations in meaning. They rise above the senses and become a link with the world of ideas. But clearly Plato is describing what also seems to him to be fact. The power of a simple, characteristic melody over the Greek's impressionable mind is more than we can easily estimate. The effect of national airs may have some comparison with it. And beyond all this there is a confusion between the harmony of musical notes and the harmony of soul and body so powerfully inspired by them.

The second paradox leads to some curious and interesting questions: to what extent can the mind control the body? Is the relationship between them one of mutual antagonism or mutual harmony? Are they two or one, and is one of them the cause of the other? Can't we sometimes drop the opposition between them and the way of describing them, which is so familiar to us and yet hardly conveys a precise meaning, and try to view that composite creature, man, in a simpler way? ? Must we not, in any case, admit that there is in human nature a higher principle and a lower principle, separated by a different line, which sometimes separate and oppose each other? Or, they reconcile and move together, unconsciously in the common work of life, or consciously in pursuit of some noble goal, which is not to be reached without effort, and to which all thoughts and nerves are strained. And then the body becomes the good friend or ally, or servant or tool of the mind. And the mind often has a wonderful, almost superhuman power to banish disease and weakness and invoke hidden strength. Reason and desires, intellect and senses are brought into harmony and obedience to form a single human being. They always part, they always meet; and the identity or diversity of their tendencies or operations is lost on us. When the mind touches the body through the appetites, we recognize the responsibility of one to the other. There's a tendency in us that says 'Baby'. There is another that says, 'Don't drink; This is not good for you'. And we all know who the legitimate superior is. We are also responsible for our health, although some elements of necessity come into this sphere that may be beyond our control. Even in health management, care and thought, continued for many years, can make us almost free agents, if we do not demand too much of ourselves and if we recognize that all human freedom is limited by the laws of nature and mind. .

We were disappointed to find that Plato, in his general condemnation of the practice of medicine that prevailed in his day, disparaged the effects of diet. He would like to have illnesses of a definite character and capable of receiving definite treatment. You are afraid that the disability will interfere with life affairs. It does not recognize that time is the great healer of mental and bodily disorders; and that remedies that are gradual and advance little by little are safer than those that produce a sudden catastrophe. Neither does he see that there is no way in which the mind can more safely influence the body than by controlling food and drink; or any other action or occasion of human life in which the superior freedom of the will may be more simply or truly asserted. .

7. Minor style issues can be discussed.

(1) The affected ignorance of music, which is Plato's way of expressing that he is passing lightly over the subject.

(2) The experimental way in which here, as in the second book, he proceeds to build the state.

(3) The description of the State sometimes as reality, sometimes as a work of imagination; these are the arts with which he holds the reader's interest.

(4) Connecting links, or the preparation for the total expulsion of the poets in Book X.

(5) The complementary images of the litigious lover and the valetudinarian, the satirical joke about Phocilides' maxim, the way in which the image of the citizens of gold and silver is taken up in the subject, and Asclepius' argument from practice, must not go unnoticed .

BOOK IV. Adimantus said: 'Suppose a person argues, Socrates, that you make your citizens miserable, and that of your own free will; they are the lords of the city, and yet, instead of having, like other men, lands, houses, and money of their own, they live like mercenaries and are always on guard. You might add, I replied, that they receive no salary, only food. , and I have no money to spend on a trip or a lover. 'Ok, and what answer do you give?' My answer is that our guardians may or may not be the happiest of men, I would not be surprised to find that in the end they were, but that is not the purpose of our constitution, which was designed for the good of all. and not just a part. . If I went to a sculptor and reproached him for having painted the eye, which is the noblest feature of the face, not purple but black, he would reply, "The eye must be an eye, and you must look at the statue as an eye. all." “Now I can imagine a fool's paradise, in which everyone eats and drinks, dressed in purple and fine linen, and the potters lie on sofas and have their wheel close at hand, so that they can work a little when asked. please; and shoemakers and all other classes in a state lose their distinctive character. And a state can go on without shoemakers; but when guardians degenerate into fellow helpers, then ruin is complete. Remember, we are not talking about peasants celebrating holidays, but about a state in which every man must do his own work. Happiness does not reside in this or that class, but in the State as a whole. I have another observation to make:—An intermediate condition is best for artisans; they must have enough money to buy tools and not enough to be independent of the business. And won't the same condition be better for our citizens? If they are poor, they will be stingy; if rich, luxurious and lazy; and by no means happy. “But then how can our poor city go to war against an enemy who has money?” There may be difficulty in fighting an enemy internally; against two there will be none. First, the contest will be fought by trained warriors against wealthy citizens: and isn't a regular athlete an easy match for at least two stalwart opponents? Suppose also that, before embarking, we send ambassadors to one of the two cities, saying: Silver and gold we have not; help us and receive our share of the booty'; who would fight lean, skinny dogs, when they could join them in hunting fattened sheep? 'But if many states pool their resources, aren't we in danger?' They are "states" but not "one state", many in one. Because in each state there are two enemy nations, rich and poor, that you can pit against each other. But our state, so long as it remains true to its principles, will indeed be the most powerful of the Hellenic states.

There is no limit to the size of the state, except the need for unity; it should be neither too big nor too small to be one. This is a matter of secondary importance, as the principle of transposition is suggested in the parable of men born on earth. The implied meaning was, that each man should do what was proper and be one with himself, and then the whole city would be united. But all these things are secondary, if education is properly considered, which is the big question. Once the wheel is set in motion, the speed always increases; and each generation improves the previous one, both in physical and moral qualities. The care of rulers must be turned to preserving the music and gymnastics of innovation; change a country's songs, says Damon, and you'll soon end up changing its laws. Change seems innocent at first and starts in the game; but the evil soon becomes serious, working secretly in the characters of individuals, then in social and commercial relations, and finally in the institutions of a state; and there is ruin and confusion everywhere. But if education remains in the established form, there is no danger. A restore process will always be running; the spirit of law and order will raise up the fallen. Nor will regulations be needed for the smallest matters of life: rules of conduct or fashions of dress. It invites both for better or for worse. Education will correct the deficiencies and supply the power of self-government. Far be it from us to go into the details of legislation; let the guardians take care of education, and education will take care of everything else.

But without education they can tinker and fix as they please; they will make no more progress than a patient who thinks to cure himself with some favorite medicine and does not give up his luxurious way of life. If you tell these people that they must change their habits first, they will get angry; they are lovely people. "Charming, no, quite the contrary. Evidently, these gentlemen are not in their good graces, nor in the state that is like them. And there are such states that first order under pain of death that no one alters the constitution, and then suffer like to be flattered in and out of anything; and he who pleases and flatters them, is their leader and savior. 'Yea, men are as bad as states.' But don't you admire their intelligence? 'No, some of them are stupid enough to believe what people tell them." And when everyone tells a man he is six feet tall and has no measurements, how can he believe otherwise? But don't get excited: seeing our statesmen trying out their panaceas, and believing they can end the Hydra-like ravages of humanity, is as good as a play. Detailed reenactments are superfluous in good states and useless in bad ones.

And now what remains of the work of legislating? Nothing for us; but to Apollo, the god of Delphi, we leave the order of the greatest of all things, that is, religion. We will only trust our ancestral deity sitting in the center and navel of the earth, if we have any sense, in a matter of such magnitude. No foreign god will be supreme in our realms...

Here, as Socrates would say, we "reflect" (in Greek) precedent: hitherto we have not spoken of the happiness of citizens, but only of the well-being of the state. They may be the happiest men, but our main object in founding the State was not to make them happy. They were guardians, not tourists. In this agreeable manner we are introduced to the famous question of ancient and modern philosophy, concerning the relation of duty to happiness, of right to utility.

First duty, then happiness, is the natural order of our moral ideas. The utilitarian principle is valuable as a corrective of error and shows us a side of ethics that can be neglected. It may also be admitted that law and utility are coextensive, and that he who makes the happiness of mankind his object has one of the highest and noblest motives of human action. But utility is not the historical basis of morality; nor the aspect in which moral and religious ideas commonly occur to the mind. The greatest happiness of all is, we believe, the distant result of the divine government of the universe. The individual's greatest happiness is certainly to be found in a life of virtue and goodness. But we seem to be more certain of a law of righteousness than of a divine purpose, that 'all mankind be saved,' and we infer the one from the other. And the greatest happiness of the individual may be the inverse of the greatest happiness in the common sense of the term, and may be realized in a life of pain or in a voluntary death. Furthermore, the word "happiness" has several ambiguities; it may mean pleasure or an ideal life, subjective or objective happiness, in this world or another, only of ourselves or of our neighbors and of all men everywhere. For the modern founder of utilitarianism, selfish and altruistic motives for action are included in the same term, although we commonly oppose them as benevolence and self-love. The word happiness has neither the definition nor the sacredness of "true" and "right"; it does not equally appeal to our higher nature and has not penetrated the consciousness of humanity. He associates too much with the comforts and conveniences of life; very little with 'the goods of the soul which we desire for their own sake.' In great trial, or danger, or temptation, or in any great and heroic deed, it is scarcely thought of. For these reasons, the "greatest happiness" principle is not the true foundation of ethics. But although it is not the first principle, it is the second, which is similar to it and is generally easier to apply. Because most human actions are neither good nor bad, except in so far as they tend to the happiness of mankind (Introduction to Gorgias and Philebus).

The same issue reappears in politics, where what is useful or convenient seems to claim greater reach and greater authority. Regarding political measures, we ask ourselves mainly: how will they affect the happiness of humanity? However, we can also observe that what we call convenience is simply the law of law limited by the conditions of human society. Law and truth are the highest aims of both government and individuals; and we must not lose sight of them because we cannot directly apply them. They appeal to the best mind of nations; and they are sometimes too much for merely temporary interests. They are the slogans which all men use in matters of public policy as well as in their private affairs; it can be said that the peace of Europe depends on them. In the more commercial and utilitarian states of society, the power of ideas remains. And all the upper class of statesmen have something of that idealism which Pericles would have drawn from the teachings of Anaxagoras. They recognize that the true leader of men must rise above the motives of ambition, and that national character is of greater value than material comfort and prosperity. And this is Plato's order of thought: first, he expects his citizens to do their duty, and then, under favorable circumstances, that is, in a well-ordered state, their happiness is assured. That he was far from excluding the modern principle of utility in politics is quite evident from other passages; where "the most beneficent is said to be the most honourable," and also "the most holy."

we can notice

(1) The way in which Adeimantus' objection here is designed to lengthen and deepen Socrates' argument.

(2) The conception of a whole as the foundation both of politics and of art, supplying in the latter the only principle of criticism which, under the various names of harmony, symmetry, measure, proportion, unity, the Greeks seem to have applied. to works of art.

(3) The requirement that the State must be limited in size, following the traditional model of a Greek State; as in Aristotle's Politics, the fact that the cities of Hellas were small becomes a principle.

(4) The humorous images of skinny dogs and fat sheep, of the slight boxer who annoys at least two burly gentlemen, of the "charming" patients who always get worse; or even the ludic supposition that there is no State but ours; or the seriousness with which one excuses the statesman who thinks he is six feet tall, because he is told so, and having nothing to measure it with, one forgives his ignorance, is too amusing to be seriously angry with him.

(5) The frivolous and superficial way in which religion is neglected when two great principles are laid down: first, that religion should be based on the highest conception of the gods, second, that the true type should be maintained. Hellenic. ..

Socrates continues: But where, in the midst of all this, is justice? Son of Ariston, tell me where. Light a candle and search the city, and ask your brother and the rest of our friends to help look for her. "That won't do," replied Glaucon, "you promised to do the quest yourself, and spoke of the impiety of deserting justice." Well, I said, I'll show you the way, but you follow me. My idea is that our State, being perfect, will contain all four virtues: wisdom, courage, temperance and justice. If we eliminate the first three, the rest unknown will be justice.

First, then, wisdom: the state we create will be wise because it is political. And politics is one of many kinds of skill, not the skill of the carpenter, or the metalworker, or the farmer, but the skill of advising on the interests of the whole State. Of such a class is the skill of guardians, who are a small class in number, far fewer than blacksmiths; but in them is concentrated the wisdom of the State. And if this small ruling class has wisdom, the whole state will be wise.

Our second virtue is courage, which we have no difficulty finding in another class: that of soldiers. Courage may be defined as a kind of salvation, the infallible salvation from the views which law and education have prescribed about dangers. You know the way dyers first prepare the white base and then put in the purple dye or any other color. Colors dyed this way are set and no soap or bleach will remove them. Now, the base is education and the laws are colors; and if the soil is well placed, neither the soap of pleasure nor the lie of pain or fear will wash them away. To this force which guards the correct opinion of danger, I would ask you to call it "courage", adding the epithet "political" or "civilized" to distinguish it from mere animal courage and a superior courage of which more will be spoken. later.

Two virtues remain; temperance and justice. More than the previous virtues, temperance suggests the idea of ​​harmony. Some light is thrown on the nature of this virtue by the popular description of a man as "master of himself", which sounds absurd, because the master is also the servant. The expression really means, that the best principle in a man dominates the worst. There are whole classes in cities - women, slaves, and so on - who correspond to the worst, and only a few to the best; and in our state the first class is under the control of the second. Now, to which of these classes does temperance belong? 'For both'. And our State, if any, will be the abode of temperance; and we were right in describing this virtue as a harmony spreading throughout, making the townspeople of one mind and tuning the upper, middle, and lower classes like the strings of an instrument, suppose they differed in wisdom, strength, or wealth. .

And now we are close to the place; let us retire and circle the deck and watch with all our eyes, lest justice slip and slip away. Tell me, if you see that the scrub moves first. 'No, I want you to lead.' Well then, say a prayer and follow us. The path is dark and difficult; but we must move on. I'm starting to see a clue. Good news. Why, Glaucon, our clumsiness for smell is ridiculous! While we sharpen our eyes in the distance, justice collapses at our feet. We are as bad as people looking for something they have in their hands. You have forgotten our old principle of division of labour, or of each man doing his own thing, which we spoke of at the founding of the State: what else was justice? Is there any other virtue that can compete with wisdom, temperance, and courage on the scale of political virtue? Because "each one having his own" is the great aim of government; and the great object of commerce is, that every man should do his own business. Not that there is much wrong with a carpenter trying to be a shoemaker, or a shoemaker becoming a carpenter; but great evil may arise when the shoemaker leaves his last and becomes a guardian or lawgiver, or when a single individual is trainer, warrior, lawgiver all rolled into one. And that evil is injustice, or each doing the other's business. I am not saying that we are still in a position to reach a final conclusion. Because the definition that we believe is valid in the states has yet to be verified by the individual. Having read the large letters, we will now return to the lower case letters. From the two together, the blazing light can be crossed...

Socrates proceeds to discover the nature of justice by a residual method. Each of the first three virtues corresponds to one of the three parts of the soul and to one of the three classes of the State, although the third, temperance, is more harmonious in nature than the first two. If there is a fourth virtue, it can only be sought in the relation of the three parts of the soul or classes of the State to each other. It's obvious and simple, and that's why it hasn't been discovered. The modern logician will be inclined to object that ideas cannot be separated like chemical substances, but meet and can only be different aspects or names of the same thing, and such seems to be the case in this case. For the definition of justice given here is verbally the same as one of the definitions of temperance given by Socrates in the Charmides, which, however, is only provisional and is therefore rejected. And far from justice subsisting when the other virtues are suppressed, it is difficult to distinguish between justice and temperance in the Republic. Temperance seems to be the virtue of one part and one of three, while justice is a universal virtue of the whole soul. However, on the other hand, temperance is also described as a kind of harmony, and in that sense it is similar to justice. Justice seems to differ from temperance in degree rather than in kind; while temperance is the harmony of discordant elements, justice is the perfect order by which all natures and classes do their own business, the right man in the right place, the division and co-operation of all citizens. Justice, again, is a more abstract notion than the other virtues and therefore, from Plato's point of view, their foundation, to which they refer and which precedes them in idea. The proposal to omit temperance is a mere stylistic trick to avoid monotony.

There is a famous question discussed in one of Plato's early Dialogues (Protagoras; Arist. Nic. Ethics): 'Are the virtues one or many?' This receives an answer that there are four cardinal virtues (now for the first time brought together in ethical philosophy), and one supreme over the others, which is not like the Aristotelian conception of universal justice, the virtue relative to others. , but the whole of virtue in relation to the parts. This universal conception of justice or order in the first education and in man's moral nature seems to succeed the still more universal conception of the good in the second education and in the sphere of speculative knowledge. Both can be equally described by the terms "law", "order", "harmony", but while the idea of ​​good encompasses "all time and all existence", the conception of justice does not extend beyond man.

... Socrates will now identify the individual and the state. But first you must prove that there are three parts to the individual soul. His argument is as follows: quantity makes no difference to quality. The word "just," whether applied to the individual or the state, has the same meaning. And the term "justice" implied that the same three principles in the State and in the individual were doing their own business. But are they really three or one? The question is difficult and can hardly be resolved by the methods we are now using; but the truer and longer way would take too much of our time. "The shortest will satisfy me." Well then, would you admit that the qualities of states mean the qualities of the individuals that compose them? The Scythians and Thracians are passionate, our own intellectual race, and the Egyptians and Phoenicians greedy, because the individual members of each have such and such a character; the difficulty is to determine whether the several principles are one or three; that is, whether we reason with one part of our nature, wish with another, are angry with another, or whether the whole soul comes into play in every kind of action. This investigation, however, requires a very exact definition of terms. The same thing in the same relationship cannot be affected in two opposite ways. But there is no impossibility in a man who is stationary but who moves his arms, or in a top that is fixed at one point and rotates on its axis. It is not necessary to mention every possible exception; let us provisionally assume that opposites cannot make, be, or suffer opposites in the same relation. And to the class of opposites belong agreement and disagreement, desire and avoidance. And a form of desire is thirst and hunger: and here a new point arises: thirst is thirst for drink, hunger is hunger for food; not a hot drink or a certain type of food, except, of course, that the very fact of wanting something implies that it is good. When relative terms do not have attributes, their correlatives do not have attributes; when they have attributes, so do their correlates. For example, the term "greater" is simply relative to "lesser", and knowledge refers to a subject of knowledge. But, on the other hand, a particular knowledge is of a particular subject. Again, each science has a distinct character, which is defined by an object; medicine, for example, is the science of health, although it should not be confused with health. Having clarified our ideas thus far, let us return to the original example of thirst, which has a definite purpose: to drink. Now, the thirsty soul can feel two different impulses; the animal that says 'Baby'; the rational one, which says 'Don't drink'. The two impulses are contradictory; and therefore we may suppose that they spring from different principles in the soul. But is passion a third principle or similar to desire? There is a story of a certain Leontius which sheds some light on this question. He was coming from Piraeus outside the north wall and passed by a place where dead bodies lay beside the executioner. He felt a burning desire to see them and also a loathing for them; at first he turned and closed his eyes, then opening them suddenly he said, "Get fed up, you wretches, of the beautiful sight." reason against desire, but never desire against reason? This is the passion or spirit, of the separate existence of which we may be further convinced by posing the following case: when a man suffers justly, if he is of a generous nature, he is not indignant at the hardships he suffers: but when he suffers unjustly . , indignation of him is his great support; hunger and thirst cannot tame it; the spirit within him must do or die, until the voice of the shepherd, that is, of reason, commanding his dog to bark no more, is heard within him. This shows that passion is allied with reason. Is passion then the same reason? No, because the former exists in children and animals; and Homer furnishes a proof of the distinction between them when he says, "He beat his breast, and thus rebuked his soul."

And now, finally, we have reached solid ground and can infer that the virtues of the State and the individual are the same. Because wisdom and courage and justice in the State are separately wisdom and courage and justice in the individuals that make up the State. Each of the three classes will do its own class's work in the State, and each part in the individual soul; reason, the superior, and passion, the inferior, will be harmonized by the influence of music and gymnastics. The counselor and the warrior, the head and the arm, will work together in the city of the Human Soul and keep the desires in due subjection. The warrior's courage is that quality which preserves a right opinion of dangers despite pleasures and pains. The counselor's wisdom is that little part of the soul that has authority and reason. The virtue of temperance is the friendship of governing principles and subjects, both in the state and in the individual. We have already spoken of justice; and the notion already given may be confirmed by common examples. Will the just state or the just individual steal, lie, commit adultery, or be guilty of impiety toward gods and men? 'Not'. And is it not the reason for this, that the various principles, whether in the state or in the individual, do their own business? And justice is the quality that makes men just and states just. Furthermore, our old division of labor, which required there to be only one man for a job, was a dream or a foretaste of things to come; and that dream has now been realized in justice, which begins by uniting the three threads of the soul, and then works harmoniously in all relationships of life. And injustice, which is the insubordination and disobedience of the lower elements of the soul, is the opposite of justice, and is inharmonious and unnatural, being to the soul what disease is to the body; because both in the soul and in the body, good or bad actions produce good or bad habits. And virtue is the health, beauty, and well-being of the soul, and vice is the disease, weakness, and deformity of the soul.

Once again, the age-old question arises: Is justice or injustice more profitable? The question became ridiculous. Because injustice, like a deadly disease, makes life worthless. Climb with me to the hill overlooking the city and contemplate the single form of virtue and the infinite forms of vice, among which there are four special ones, proper to both states and individuals. And the state which corresponds to the single form of virtue is the one we have described, in which reason rules under one of two names: monarchy and aristocracy. Thus, there are five forms in total, both states and souls...

Trying to prove that the soul has three separate faculties, Plato takes the opportunity to discuss what differentiates the faculties. And the criterion he proposes is the difference in the functioning of the faculties. The same faculty cannot produce contradictory effects. But the path of the first reasoners is strewn with thorny tangles, and they will not take a step without first clearing the ground. This takes him on an irritating digression, which aims to explain the nature of the contradiction. First, the contradiction must occur at the same time and in the same relation. Secondly, no extraneous word should be introduced into any of the terms in which the contradictory proposition is expressed: for example, thirst is for drink, not for hot drink. This implies, what it does not say, that if, by the counsel of reason or the impulse of anger, a man is prevented from drinking, it proves that thirst, or the desire under which thirst is included, is different from anger and reason. But suppose we allow the term "thirst" or "desire" to be modified and say "wrathful thirst" or "desire for revenge", then the two spheres of desire and anger overlap and become confused. This case, therefore, must be excluded. And yet there is an exception to the rule in the use of the term "good", which is always implied in the object of desire. These are the discussions of a time before logic; and anyone who is tired of them must remember that they are necessary for the elucidation of ideas in the early development of human faculties.

Plato's psychology does not extend beyond the division of the soul into rational, irascible, and lustful elements, which, as far as we know, was first made by him and maintained by Aristotle and later ethical writers. The main difficulty in this first analysis of the mind is to define exactly the locus of the (Greek) irascible faculty, which can be variously described under the terms righteous indignation, spirit, passion. It is the foundation of courage, which in Plato includes moral courage, the courage to endure pain and overcome intellectual difficulties, as well as to face the dangers of war. Though irrational, it tends to side with the rational: it cannot be spurred on by punishment when justly inflicted: sometimes it takes the form of an enthusiasm which sustains a man to great deeds. It is the "lion heart" with which reason makes a pact. On the other hand, it is more negative than positive; he is indignant at evil or falsehood, but does not aspire, like Love in the Banquet and the Phaedrus, to the vision of Truth or Good. It is the peremptory military spirit that prevails in honorable government. It differs from wrath (Greek) in that the latter term does not have an accessory notion of righteous indignation. Although Aristotle kept the word, we can observe that "passion" (Greek) lost for him its affinity with the rational and became indistinguishable from "anger" (Greek). And Plato himself seems to return to this vernacular usage in the Laws, though not always. In modern philosophy too, as in our common conversation, the words anger or passion are almost exclusively used in a bad sense; there is no connotation of just or reasonable cause to which they are aroused. The feeling of "righteous indignation" is too partial and accidental to allow us to regard it as a separate virtue or habit. We are also tempted to doubt whether Plato is right in supposing that a criminal, however justly convicted, may be expected to recognize the justice of his sentence; this is the spirit of a philosopher or martyr, not a criminal.

We can see how Plato approaches Aristotle's famous thesis that "good actions produce good habits". The words "as good practices (Greek) produce health, so just practices produce justice" sound very similar to the Nicomachean Ethics. But we also note that an incidental remark in Plato became a far-reaching principle in Aristotle and an inseparable part of a great ethical system.

There is a difficulty in understanding what Plato meant by "the longest way": he seems to suggest some metaphysics of the future that will not be content to argue from the principle of contradiction. In the sixth and seventh books (compare Sophist and Parmenides) he has given us an outline of such metaphysics; but when Glaucon asks for the final revelation of the idea of ​​good, he is discouraged by the statement that he has not yet studied the preliminary sciences. How he would have completed the sketch or discussed such matters from a higher point of view, we can only conjecture. Perhaps he hoped to find some a priori method of developing the parts out of the whole; or he may have asked which idea contains the other ideas and possibly stumbled upon the Hegelian identity of "ego" and "universal". Or you might have imagined that ideas could be constructed in some way analogous to the construction of figures and numbers in the mathematical sciences. The most certain and necessary truth was for Plato the universal; and to this he has always sought to refer all knowledge or opinion, just as in modern times we have sought to place them at the opposite pole of induction and experience. The aspirations of metaphysicians have always tended to go beyond the limits of human thought and language: they seem to have reached a height when "they move about the world without realizing it", and their conceptions, though deeply affecting their own minds, become invisible or invisible. unintelligible to others. . We are therefore not surprised to find that Plato himself nowhere clearly explained his doctrine of ideas; or what school of his in a later generation, like his contemporaries Glaucon and Adimantus, might not follow him into this region of speculation. In the Sophist, where he refutes the skepticism that there is no predication, or that everything can be predicated of everyone, he concludes that some ideas go with some, but not all with all. But he only takes a step or two forward in this way; no connected system of ideas reaches, not even the knowledge of the most elementary relations of the sciences to each other.

BOOK V. I was about to enumerate the four forms of vice or decay of states, when Polemarchus, who was sitting a little farther from me than Adimantus, taking him by the tunic and leaning towards him, said something in a low voice. , of which I only know: he caught the words, 'Shall we let him go?' "Of course not," said Adeimantus, raising his voice. "You," he said. Why? "Because we think he is not treating us fairly by omitting the women and children, whom he has cunningly disposed of under the general formula that friends have everything in common." And he wasn't right? 'Yes,' he replied, but there are many types of communism or commonwealth, and we want to know which one is right. The company, as you just heard, is determined to have more explanations. Thrasymachus said: Do you think we came here to dig for gold or to listen to your speech? Yes, I said; but the speech must be of reasonable length. Glaucon added: “Yes, Socrates, and there is a reason to spend a lifetime in such discussions; but please, without further ado, tell us how this community is to be realized and how the gap between birth and education is to be bridged.' Well, I said, the matter has several difficulties, what is possible? is the first question. What is desirable? And the second. 'Don't be afraid,' he replied, 'because you are talking among friends.' That, I replied, is a sad consolation; I will destroy my friends as well as myself. Not that I mind an innocent laugh; but whoever kills the truth is a murderer. "Then," said Glaucon, laughing, "if you kill us, we'll absolve you in advance and you'll be freed from the guilt of having deceived us."

Socrates continues: — The guardians of our state must be watchdogs, as we have already said. Now dogs are not divided into males and females, we do not take the male to hunt, and we leave the females at home to look after the puppies. They have the same jobs, the only difference between them is that one sex is stronger and the other is weaker. But if women are to have the same jobs as men, they must have the same education: they must learn music and gymnastics and the art of war. I know there will be a big joke about riding horses and carrying guns; the sight of naked and wrinkled old women displaying their agility in the arena will certainly not be a sight of beauty, and might be expected to become a famous joke. But we don't need to worry about intelligence; there was a time when they might have laughed at our current gymnastics. It's all habit: people have finally discovered that exposing is better than hiding, and now they don't laugh anymore. Only evil is to be ridiculed.

The first issue is whether women can fully or partially participate in men's work. And here we may be accused of inconsistency in making the proposal. Because we originally started with the division of labor; and the diversity of jobs was based on the difference of natures. But is there no difference between men and women? No, aren't they totally different? Therein lay the difficulty, Glaucon, which made me reluctant to discuss family relations. However, when a man is out of his depths, whether in a pool or the ocean, he can only swim for his life; and we must try to find a way of escape if we can.

The argument is that different natures have different uses, and the natures of men and women are said to differ. But this is just a verbal opposition. We do not consider that the difference can be purely nominal and accidental; for example, a bald man and a hairy man are opposed on a single point of view, but it cannot be inferred that because a bald man is a shoemaker, a hairy man must not be a shoemaker. Now, why is such an inference wrong? Simply because the opposition between them is only partial, like the difference between a doctor and a female doctor, and does not extend to the whole of nature, like the difference between a doctor and a carpenter. And if the difference between the sexes is only that one begets and the other begets children, that does not prove that they ought to have different upbringings. Assuming that women differ from men in ability, do men not differ equally from one another? Has not nature distributed from top to bottom all the qualities required by our citizens between the two sexes? and even in their peculiar pursuits, are not women often, though in some cases superior to men, ridiculously surpassed by them? Women are of the same class as men, and have the same aptitude or lack of aptitude for medicine, gymnastics, or warfare, but to a lesser degree. One woman will be a good guardian, another will not; and the good must be chosen to be the companions of our guardians. However, if their natures are the same, the inference is, that their upbringing must also be the same; there is nothing more unnatural or impossible about a woman who learns music and gymnastics. And the education we give them will be the best, far superior to that of shoemakers, and it will form the best women, and nothing can be more advantageous for the State than that. So let them strip naked, clothed in their chastity, and take part in the work of war and the defense of their country; He who laughs at them is a fool because of their pains.

The first wave is over and the discussion is forced to admit that men and women have common duties and goals. A second and larger wave is coming: wife and child community; Is this convenient or possible? I do not doubt the convenience; Not so sure about the possibility. No, I think there will be considerable doubt about both points. I intended to save myself the trouble of trying the first one, but since you noticed the little ruse, I even have to agree. Just let me feed my fantasy like the loner on his walks, with a dream of what might be, and then I'll come back to the question of what might be.

First, our rulers will enforce the laws and make new ones when necessary, and their allies or ministers will obey. You, as lawgiver, have already chosen men; and now you are going to select the women. After the selection is made, they will live in common houses and eat in common, and will be brought together by a necessity more certain than mathematics. But they cannot live in debauchery; this is something unholy that the rulers are determined to prevent. To prevent this, sacred marriage feasts will be instituted, and their sanctity will be proportionate to their usefulness. And here, Glaucon, I would like to ask you (for I know you are a breeder of birds and beasts): do you not take the greatest care in mating? 'Certainly'. And there is no reason to suppose that less care is required in the marriage of human beings. But then our rulers must be skilful doctors of the State, as they will often need a strong dose of falsehood to bring about desirable unions among their subjects. The good must be paired with the good, and the bad with the bad, and the offspring of the one must be created and the offspring of the other destroyed; in this way the herd will be preserved in optimal conditions. The wedding festivities will be held at fixed times taking into account the population, and the bride and groom will meet; and by an ingenious system of lots, the rulers will cause the brave and the beautiful to unite, and the inferior race to mate with the inferior; the latter will attribute to chance what is really the invention of rulers. And when the children are born, the descendants of the brave and beautiful will be taken to a precinct in a certain part of the city, and there they will be cared for by suitable nurses; the rest will be taken to parts unknown. The mothers will be brought into the fold and will tend the children; however, care must be taken that none of them recognize their own offspring; and, if necessary, other nurses can also be hired. The hassle of watching and waking up at night will be transferred to the participants. So the wives of our guardians will have a lot of fun when they have children. And very well too, I said, that they should.

The parents must be in their prime age, which for a man may be estimated at thirty years, from twenty-five, when he "has passed the point where the speed of life is greatest," to fifty-five; and at twenty for a woman, from twenty to forty. Anyone above or below these ages who participates in the hymens will be guilty of impiety; also every one who forms a marriage bond at another time without the consent of the rulers. This last rule applies to those within the designated ages, after which they may pass at will, provided they avoid the forbidden degrees of parents and children, or of brothers and sisters, the latter, however, are not absolutely prohibited, if a waiver is requested. 'But how shall we know degrees of affinity, when all things are common?' having many children and each child many parents.

Socrates continues: Now I have to prove that this scheme is advantageous and also consistent with our whole form of government. The greatest asset of a State is unity; the greatest evil, discord and distraction. And there will be unity where there are no particular pleasures, pains or interests, where if one member suffers, all members suffer, if one citizen is touched, all are quickly sensitive; and the slightest damage to the little finger of the State runs through the whole body and vibrates to the soul. Because the real State, as an individual, is harmed as a whole when any part is affected. Every state has subjects and rulers, who in one democracy are called rulers, and in another masters: but in our state they are called saviors and allies; and those subjects who in other states are called slaves, are called by us breeders and payers, and those who are called comrades and colleagues in other places, are called by us fathers and brothers. And while in other States the members of the same government regard one of their colleagues as a friend and another as an enemy, in our State no man is a stranger to another; because every citizen is linked by blood ties, and these names and this way of speaking will have a corresponding reality: brother, father, sister, mother, repeated since childhood in children's ears, will not be mere words. citizens will have everything in common, having common goods they will have common pleasures and pains.

There may be contention and contention among those who are of the same mind; or property judgments when men have nothing but their bodies which they call their own; or trials of violence when everyone is forced to defend themselves? Permission to hit when insulted will be an 'antidote' to the knife and will prevent disturbances in the state. But no young man will hit an old man; reverence will keep you from laying hands on your kin, and you will fear that the rest of the family might retaliate. In addition, our citizens will be freed from the minor ailments of life; there will be no flattering of the rich, no sordid domestic worries, no loans and non-payments. Compared with citizens of other states, ours will be Olympic winners and crowned with even greater blessings: they and their children will have better support during life and, after death, an honorable burial. Nor was the happiness of the individual sacrificed to the happiness of the State; our Olympic winner did not become a shoemaker, but he is happier than any shoemaker. At the same time, if some vain young man begins to dream of taking over the state, he must be reminded that "the half is better than the whole." brave life.

But is such a community possible? As among animals, so among men; and if possible, how possible? About war there is no difficulty; the principle of communism suits military service. Parents will take their children to witness a battle, just as child potters are trained in the craft by looking at the wheel. And for the parents themselves, as for other animals, the sight of their young will be a great incentive to courage. Young warriors must learn, but must not be in danger, though some degree of risk is worth taking when the reward is great. Young creatures must be placed under the care of experienced veterans and must be winged, that is, swift and docile steeds on which they can fly and escape. One of the first things to do is teach a young person to walk.

Cowards and deserters will be demoted to the class of farmers; lords who allow themselves to be taken prisoner can be presented to the enemy. But what will be done with the hero? First, he will be crowned by all the young men in the army; second, you will receive the company's right hand; and third, do you think there's any harm in being kissed? We have already determined that he will have more wives than the others, so that he can have as many children as possible. And at the feast he will eat more; we have Homer's authority to honor mighty men with "long loins," which is a fitting compliment, as meat is a fortifying thing. So fill the bowl and give the best seats and meat to the brave, may they do them good! And whoever dies in battle will immediately be declared a member of the golden race and will become, we believe, one of Hesiod's guardian angels. He will be worshiped after death in the manner prescribed by the oracle; and not only he, but all other benefactors of the State who otherwise die, will be admitted to the same honours.

The next question is, how will we treat our enemies? Will the Hellenes be slaves? Not; because there is much danger of the whole race falling under the yoke of the barbarians. Or will the dead be despoiled? Certainly not; for that sort of thing is an excuse for vagrancy, and has been the bane of many an armies. There is pettiness and female malice in making an enemy of the dead body, when the soul that owned it has fled, like a dog that cannot catch up. his assailants, and fights with the stones thrown at him. Again, the weapons of the Hellenes must not be offered in the temples of the gods; they are a defilement, because they are separated from the brothers. And for similar reasons there must be a limit to the devastation of Hellenic territory: houses must not be burned, nor more than the annual produce withdrawn. Because war is of two kinds, civil and foreign; the first of which is properly called 'discord,' and the second only 'war;' and the war between Hellenes is really a civil war: a quarrel in a family, which must always be considered unpatriotic and unnatural, and must be justly prosecuted. a prospect of reconciliation in a true Hellenic spirit, like that of those who would punish, but not wholly enslave. The war is not against a whole nation which is a friendly crowd of men, women and children, but only against a few culprits; when they are punished, peace will be restored. This is how the Hellenes must make war against each other and against the barbarians, as they now make war against each other.

But, my dear Socrates, you forget the main question: is such a state possible? I concede everything and more of what you say about the blessing of being a family: fathers, brothers, mothers, daughters, going to war together; but I want to check the possibility of this ideal state. You are very relentless. The first wave and the second wave I narrowly escaped, and now you will surely drown me with the third. When you see the high crest of the wave, I hope you feel sorry. Not even a little.

Well, so we were led to form our ideal system of government in pursuit of justice, and the just man responded to the just state. Is this ideal all the worse for being impractical? Is the image of a perfectly handsome man worse because such a man never existed? Can any reality correspond to the idea? Nature will not allow words to be fully realized; but if I have to try to realize the ideal of the State to a certain extent, I believe that the perfection that I dream of can be approached with one or two changes, not slight, but possible in the current constitution of the States. I would reduce them to one: the big wave, as I call it. Until then, until kings are philosophers, or philosophers are kings, cities will never cease from evil: no, nor the human race; nor will our ideal system of government ever exist. I know it's a difficult word that few will be able to accept. "Socrates, everyone will take off their clothes and attack you with sticks and stones, so I advise you to prepare a response." You got me in trouble, I said. 'And he was right,' he replied; "However, I will stand by you as a sort of well-meaning, do-nothing ally." With the help of such a champion, I will do my best to maintain my position. And first I must explain of whom I speak, and what sort of natures these are that ought to be philosophers and rulers. As you are a man of pleasure, you will not have forgotten how indiscriminate lovers are in their bonds; they love everyone and turn imperfections into beauties. The snub-nosed youth is said to have an endearing grace; the beak of another looks real; the expressionless ones are perfect; the dark ones are virile, the beautiful angels; a new affection was invented especially for the sick, which is "pale as honey." Wine lovers and lovers of ambition also desire the objects of their affection in all their forms. Now comes the point: the philosopher is also a lover of knowledge in all its forms; He has an insatiable curiosity. But will curiosity make a philosopher? Should lovers of images and sounds, who listen to the chorus of Dionysian feasts, be called philosophers? They are not true philosophers, but only an imitation. So how can we describe the true?

You would recognize the existence of abstract ideas, like justice, beauty, good, evil, which are individually one, but in their various combinations seem to be many. Those who recognize these realities are philosophers; while the other class hears sounds and sees colors, and understands their use in the arts, but cannot attain true or awakened vision of absolute justice or beauty or truth; they have not the light of knowledge but that of opinion, and what they see is but a dream. Perhaps the one about whom we say the last will be angry with us; Can we appease him without revealing the disorder of his mind? Suppose we say that if you have knowledge we are glad to hear it, but knowledge must be of something that is, just as ignorance is of something that is not; and there is a third thing, which is and is not, and it is only a matter of opinion. Opinion and knowledge, then, having different objects, must also be different faculties. And by faculties I understand powers invisible and distinguishable only by the difference in their objects, for opinion and knowledge differ, for the one is subject to error, but the other is infallible, and is the most powerful of all our faculties. If being is the object of knowledge and non-being of ignorance, and these are the extremes, opinion must be between them, and may be called darker than the one and lighter than the other. This intermediate or contingent matter is and is not at the same time, and partakes of both existence and non-existence. Now I would like to ask my good friend, who denies abstract beauty and justice, and asserts that there are many beautiful and many just, if everything he sees is not in some different point of view: the beautiful ugly, the pious wicked , the beautiful Unfair? Is not double also half, and are not heavy and light relative terms conveyed to each other? Everything is and is not, as in the old riddle: "A man and not a man shot and not shot a bird and not a bird with a stone and not with a stone." The mind cannot fixate on any alternative; and these ambiguous, intermediate, wandering, dim objects, which have disorderly motion in the region between being and non-being, are the proper stuff of opinion, just as immutable objects are the proper stuff of knowledge. And he who drags himself into the world of the senses, and only has this uncertain perception of things, is not a philosopher, but only a lover of opinion...

The fifth book is the new beginning of the Republic, in which the community of property and family is maintained for the first time, and the transition to the realm of philosophers is made. To this end, Plato, in his own way, has prepared a few casual words from Book IV, which pass unnoticed in the reader's mind, as supposedly would have fallen on the ears of Glaucon and Adeimantus at first. The "paradoxes," as Morgenstern calls them, of this book on the Republic will be reserved elsewhere; some comments about the style and some explanations about the difficulties can be added shortly.

First, there is the image of the waves, which serves as a sort of outline or blueprint for the book. The first wave, the second wave, the third and biggest wave come rolling in, and we hear their roar. All that can be said of the extravagance of Plato's proposals is anticipated by himself. Nothing is more admirable than the hesitation with which he proposes the solemn text, "Until kings shall be philosophers," etc.; or the reaction of the sublime to the ridiculous, when Glaucon describes how mankind will receive the new truth.

Some defects and difficulties in the execution of the communist plan can be noticed. Nothing is said about the application of communism to the lower classes, nor can a table of prohibited degrees be made. It is quite possible for a child born at one hymenal festival to marry one of his own brothers or sisters, or even one of his parents, at another. Plato fears incestuous unions, but at the same time he does not want to bring up the fact that the city would be divided into families born seven and nine months after each hymenal festival. If it was worth the trouble to seriously discuss such fantasies, we could say that while all old affinities are abolished, the new forbidden affinity is not based on any natural or rational principle, but only on the accident of the children who were born in the same month no longer. Nor does it explain how the legislator managed to defraud the lots to bring together the fairest and the best. The singular expression used to describe the age of twenty-five may perhaps be borrowed from a poet.

In the philosopher's delineation, illustrations of the nature of philosophy derived from love are more suited to Glaucon's apprehension, the Athenian man of pleasure, than to modern tastes or sentiments. They are partly funny, but they also contain a grain of truth. That science is a whole remains a true principle of both inductive philosophy and metaphysics; and the love of universal knowledge remains the characteristic of the philosopher in modern as well as ancient times.

At the end of the fifth book, Plato introduces the fiction of contingent matter, which has so influenced both ethics and theology of the modern world, and which appears here for the first time in the history of philosophy. He did not observe that the degrees of knowledge in the subject have nothing to correspond to them in the object. With him, a word must respond to an idea; and he could not conceive of an opinion that was an opinion about anything. The influence of analogy led him to invent "parallels and conjugates" and to ignore the facts. To us, some of his difficulties are baffling just because of their simplicity: we don't realize that the answer to them "is falling at our feet." To the minds of early thinkers, the conception of non-being was obscure and mysterious; they didn't see that this terrible apparition that threatened to destroy all knowledge was just a logical determination. The common term under which, by accidental use of language, two completely different ideas were subsumed was another source of confusion. Thus, through the ambiguity of (Greek) Plato, in trying to introduce order into the first chaos of human thought, he seems to have confused perception and opinion, and failed to distinguish the contingent from the relative. In Theaetetus, the first of these difficulties begins to become clear; in the Sophist the second; and therefore, among other reasons, these two dialogues should probably be considered post-Republic.

BOOK VI. Having determined that the many are unaware of the true self, and have no clear standards in their minds of justice, beauty, truth, and that philosophers have such standards, we now have to ask whether they or the many will be the rulers in our State. . But who can doubt that philosophers should be chosen, if they have the other qualities required in a ruler? Because they are lovers of the knowledge of the eternal and of all truth; they hate falsehood; their basest desires are absorbed by the interests of knowledge; they are spectators of all times and of all existence; and in the magnificence of their contemplation, man's life is as nothing to them, nor death is fearful. They also have a social and good-natured disposition, equally free from cowardice and arrogance. They learn and remember easily; they have harmonious, well-regulated minds; truth flows sweetly to them by nature. Can the god of jealousy himself find fault with such an array of good qualities?

Here Adeimantus intervenes: “No one can answer you, Socrates; but every man feels that this is owing to his own deficiency in argument. He is carried from position to position until he has nothing more to say, just as an inexperienced checkers player is reduced to his last move by a more skilled opponent. And yet all the time can be right. You must know, in this case, that those who make philosophy the business of their lives generally become malicious if they are bad, and fools if they are good. What do you say?" I must say that he is absolutely right. "So how is this admission reconcilable with the doctrine that philosophers should be kings?"

I will answer you with a parable that will also make you see how poor I am at making allegories. The relation of good men to their governments is so peculiar that, to defend them, I must use an illustration from the world of fiction. Imagine the captain of a ship, taller in head and shoulders than any of the crew, but a little deaf, a little blind, and totally ignorant of the art of navigation. Sailors want to rule even though they know nothing of art; and they have a theory that it cannot be learned. If denied the helm, they drug possession of the captain, tie him hand and foot, and take possession of the ship. Whoever joins the mutiny is called a good pilot and all that; they have no idea that the true pilot must watch the winds and the stars, and must be their master, whether they like it or not; such a person would be called by them a fool, a charlatan, a stargazer. This is my parable; which I ask you to interpret for me for those gentlemen who ask why the philosopher has such a bad reputation, and explain to them that it is not he, but those who do not want to use him, who are to blame for his uselessness. The philosopher must not beg humanity for authority over it. The wise should not go to the rich, as the proverbs say, but every man, whether rich or poor, should knock at the doctor's door when he needs it. Now the pilot is the philosopher, who in the parable is called the stargazer, and the mutinous sailors are the mob of politicians who render him useless. Not that these are the worst enemies of philosophy, which is far more disgraced by its own professing children when corrupted by the world. Do I need to remember the original image of the philosopher? Did we not just say of him that he loved truth and hated falsehood, and that he could not rest in the multiplicity of phenomena, but was carried away by a sympathy in his own nature towards the contemplation of the absolute? All virtues, as well as truth, which is their leader, took up residence in his soul. But as you were remarking, if we deviate to look at the reality, we find that the people thus described, with the exception of a small and useless class, are rascals.

The point to be considered is the origin of this corruption in nature. Everyone will admit that the philosopher, in our description of him, is a rare being. But what innumerable causes tend to destroy these rare beings! There is no good that cannot be the cause of evil: health, wealth, strength, position, and the virtues themselves, when found in unfavorable circumstances. For, as in the animal or vegetable world the strongest seeds most need the accompaniment of good air and soil, so the best human characters are at their worst when they fall on unsuitable soil; while weak natures hardly do any considerable good or harm; they are not the stuff great criminals or great heroes are made of. The philosopher follows the same analogy: he is either the best or the worst of all men. Some people say that the sophists are the corrupters of youth; but is not public opinion the true sophist who is present everywhere: in those same people, in the assembly, in the courts, in the camp, in the applause and whistles of the theater that resound in the surrounding hills? Will not a young man's heart leap amid these discordant sounds? and will any education save him from being swept away by the torrent? This is not everything. Because if you don't yield to their opinion, the soft compulsion of exile or death follows. What principle of the rival Sophists or any other can win in so unequal a contest? There may be more than human characters, who are exceptions: God can save a man, but not his own strength. Besides, I would have you consider, that the hired sophist only gives back to the world his own opinions; he is the monster's keeper, knowing how to flatter or infuriate it, looking for the meaning of its inarticulate snarls. Good is what pleases him, evil what displeases him; truth and beauty are determined only by the taste of the brute. Such is the wisdom of the sophist, and such is the condition of those who make public opinion the test of truth, whether in art or morals. They are cursed to be and do as they please, and when first principles are attempted, failure is ridiculous. Think about all this and ask yourself if the world believes more in the unity of the idea or in the multiplicity of phenomena. And the world, if it does not believe in the idea, cannot be a philosopher and therefore must be a persecutor of philosophers. There is another evil: the world does not like to lose its gifted nature, and so it flatters the young man (Alcibiades) by giving him a magnificent opinion of his own ability; the tall, upright young man begins to expand and dreams of kingdoms and empires. If at this moment a friend whispers to you: 'Now the gods enlighten you; you are a big asshole and need to be polite, do you think he will listen to you? Or suppose a better class of men who are attracted to philosophy will not go to Herculean efforts to spoil and corrupt it? Are we not right in saying that the love of knowledge, no less than wealth, can distract you? Men of this class (Critias) often become politicians: they are the authors of great evils in states, and sometimes of great goods as well. And so philosophy is abandoned by its natural protectors, and others come in and dishonor it. Vulgar minds see the earth open and rush from the prisons of the arts to its temple. A skilled mechanic who has a soul as rough as his body, he thinks he will gain caste by becoming her suitor. Because philosophy, even in its fallen state, has a dignity of its own, and he, like a bald blacksmith's apprentice, after earning some money and getting out of prison, washes himself and dresses himself as a groom and marries the teacher. daughter. What will be the result of such marriages? Are they not vile and bastards, devoid of truth and nature? 'They will.' Little, then, is the remnant of genuine philosophers; there may be some who are citizens of small states, where politics is not worth thinking about, or who have been detained on account of Theage's ill health; for my own case of the oracle sign is almost unique and too rare to deserve mention. And these few, when they have tasted the pleasures of philosophy and glimpsed that den of thieves and cradle of wild beasts which is human life, will retreat from the storm under the shelter of a wall and try to preserve their own innocence. and leave in peace. 'They too will have done a great job.' Big, yes, but not the biggest; because man is a social being, and he can only reach his maximum development in the society that best suits him.

Enough, then, of the reasons why philosophy has such a bad name. Another question is: which of the existing states is suitable? None of them; at present it is like an exotic seed that degenerates in a strange soil; only in its proper state will it be shown to be of heavenly growth. And is his own state ours or someone else's? Wow in all points except one, which was undetermined. You will remember that we said that some living mind or witness for the legislature was needed in the states. But we were afraid to get into such a difficult subject, and now the question is repeated and it has not become easier: how can one safely study philosophy? Let's bring it out into the open and close the investigation.

First, I boldly say that nothing can be worse than the present way of studying. People often learn a little philosophy in their youth and in the intervals of business, but they never master the real difficulty, which is the dialectic. Later, perhaps, they occasionally attend a lecture on philosophy. The years advance and the sun of philosophy, unlike that of Heraclitus, never rises again. This order of education must be reversed; it must begin with gymnastics in youth, and as a man grows stronger, the gymnastics of his soul must increase. Then, when the active life is over, let him at last return to philosophy. "You are serious, Socrates, but the world will be just as serious in resisting you, no more than Thrasymachus." Do not argue between me and Thrasymachus, we were never enemies and now we are good friends. And I will do my best to convince you and all mankind of the truth of my words, or at least to prepare myself for the future when, in another life, we may again engage in similar discussions. That will be a long time. Not much compared to eternity. Most will likely remain incredulous because they have never seen the natural unity of ideas, only artificial juxtapositions; not free and generous thoughts, but tricks of controversy and mockery of the law; a perfect man who rules in a perfect state, even a single one they have not known. And we saw beforehand that there was no possibility of perfection either in States or in individuals until philosophers - not scoundrels, but what we call a useless class - were forced into public office; or until the sons of kings were inspired with a true love of philosophy. If in the infinity of past time there existed, or exists in some distant land, or will exist in the future, such an ideal as we have described, we hold firmly that there was, is, and will be such an ideal. state whenever the muse of philosophy rules. Will you say the world is of another mind? Oh my friend, do not harm the world! They will soon change their minds if they are gently entreated and shown the true nature of the philosopher. Who can hate a man who loves him? Or be jealous of those who are not jealous? Consider, again, that the majority hate not true philosophers but false philosophers: the pretenders who barge in uninvited and are always talking about people rather than principles, which is different from the spirit of philosophy. Because the true philosopher despises earthly struggles; his gaze is fixed on the eternal order according to which he fashions himself in the divine image (and not only himself, but other men), and he is the creator of private and public virtues. When mankind sees that the happiness of states can only be found in this picture, will they be angry with us for trying to paint it? 'Certainly not. But what will be the delineation process? The artist will do nothing until he has made a clean slate; upon this he will inscribe the constitution of a state, looking often to the divine truth of nature, and thence deriving the divine among men, mixing the two elements, erasing and painting, until there is a perfect harmony or fusion of the divine and the human. But perhaps the world doubts the existence of such an artist. What will they doubt? That the philosopher is a lover of truth, who has a nature like the best? And if they admit it, will they continue to argue with us for making philosophers our kings? They will be less willing to fight. Suppose then that they are pacified. Still, one might doubt the likelihood that a king's son would be a philosopher. And we do not deny that they are very susceptible to corruption; but, nevertheless, surely in the course of centuries there might be an exception, and one is enough. If one of a king's sons were a philosopher and had obedient citizens, he could create the ideal form of government. From this we conclude that our laws are not only the best, but also possible, though not without difficulty.

I had nothing to gain by dodging the troubling issues being raised about women and children. I will be wiser now and recognize that we must get to the bottom of another question: What should be the education of our guardians? It was agreed that they would be lovers of their country and would be tested in the refining fire of pleasures and pains, and those who emerged pure and remained steadfast in their principles would have honors and rewards in life and after death. But at that point, the discussion was veiled and took a different path. I hesitated to make the safe statement: that our guardians must be philosophers. Do you remember all the contradictory elements that came together in the philosopher, how difficult it is to find them all in one person! Intelligence and spirit are usually not firmly combined; the impassive and intrepid nature is contrary to intellectual effort. And yet these opposite elements are all necessary, and therefore, as we said before, the aspirant must be tested in pleasures and dangers; and also, as we must now add, in the highest branches of knowledge. You will remember that when we spoke of the virtues, a longer path was mentioned, which you were content to leave without going. "He seemed to have said enough." Enough, my friend; but what is enough while something is missing? Of all men, the guardian must not fail in the pursuit of truth; you must be prepared to go the long way, or you will never reach that upper region which is above the four virtues; and of the virtues, too, he must obtain not only an outline, but a clear and distinct view. How often have you heard me speak of the idea of ​​good, about which we know so little, and without which, even if a man gains the world, he has no profit! Some people imagine that wisdom is good; but that implies a circle: good, they say, is wisdom, wisdom has to do with good. According to others, good is pleasure; but then comes the absurdity that good is bad, because there are bad pleasures as well as good ones. Again, the good must have reality; a man may desire the appearance of virtue, but he will not desire the appearance of good. Should our guardians, then, ignore this supreme principle, of which every man has a presentiment, and without which no one has real knowledge of anything? “But, Socrates, what is this supreme principle, knowledge or pleasure, or what? You may find it boring, but I say you don't have to be always repeating other people's doctrines instead of giving us yours. Can I say what I don't know? "You can have an opinion." And will the blindness and crookedness of opinion content you when you can have the light and certainty of science? "I will only ask you to give an explanation of good such as you have already given of temperance and justice." I wish I could, but in my present frame of mind I cannot rise to the height of the knowledge of good. I cannot introduce the father or the director, but the son generated in his image, which I can compare with the director's interest, I will. (Check the bill and don't let me misrepresent the debt.) Remember our old distinction between the beautiful and the unique, the particular and the universal, the objects of sight and the objects of thought? Have you ever considered that objects of sight imply a faculty of sight which is the most complex and costly of our senses, which requires not only objects of sense, but also a medium, which is light; without which the vision will not distinguish colors and everything will be white? Because light is the noble link between the faculty of perception and the thing perceived, and the god who gives us light is the sun, which is the eye of the day, but which must not be confused with the eye of man. That eye of the day or sun is what I call the son of good, being in the same relation to the visible world as good is to the intellectual. When the sun shines, the eye sees, and in the intellectual world where truth is, there is sight and light. Now well, what is the sun of intelligent natures, is the idea of ​​well, the cause of knowledge and truth, even though different and more beautiful than them, and in the same relationship with them in which the sun is concerned the light. O inconceivable height of beauty, which is above knowledge and above truth! ("Surely you cannot mean pleasure," he said. Peace, I replied.) dignity and power. ‘This is a more than human scope of thought; but please stick with the picture, because I suspect there's more behind it. There is, I said; and taking into account our two solar principles, imagine their corresponding worlds: one of the visible, the other of the intelligible; You can help your fancy by imagining the distinction under the image of a line divided into two unequal parts, and you can again subdivide each part into two smaller segments representative of the stages of knowledge in either sphere. The lower portion of the lower or visible sphere will consist of shadows and reflections, and its upper and lower portion will contain real objects in the world of nature or art. The sphere of the intelligible will also have two divisions, one of mathematics, in which there is no ascent, but every descent; without investigating the premises, but only drawing inferences. In this division, the mind works with figures and numbers, the images of which are not taken from shadows, but from objects, though the truth of them is seen only in the mind's eye; and are used as hypotheses without being tested. While in the other division, reason uses hypotheses as steps or rungs in the ascent to the idea of ​​the good, at which it stops, and then descends again, treading steadily in the region of ideas, and ideas alone. , both on the way up and on the way down. and finally rest in them. "I understand in part," he replied; You mean that the ideas of science are superior to the hypothetical and metaphorical conceptions of geometry and other arts or sciences, whatever their name; and the last conceptions refuse to subject the pure intellect, because they do not have a first principle, although supported by a first principle, they pass to the superior sphere. You understand me very well, I said. And now to these four divisions of knowledge you can assign four corresponding faculties: pure intelligence to the highest sphere; active intelligence to the second; to the third, faith; to the fourth, the perception of shadows and the clarity of the various faculties will be in the same proportion as the truth of the objects with which they relate...

Like Socrates, we can recapitulate the philosopher's virtues. In a language that seems to go beyond the horizon of that time and that country, he is described as “the spectator of all times and of all existence”. He possesses nature's noblest gifts and uses them to the fullest. All his desires are absorbed in the love of wisdom, which is the love of truth. None of the graces of a beautiful soul lacks; neither can he fear death, nor think much of human life. The ideal of modern times hardly retains the simplicity of the ancients; there is not the same originality either in truth or in error that characterized the Greeks. The philosopher no longer lives in hiding, nor is he sent by an oracle to convince humanity of ignorance; nor does he regard knowledge as a system of ideas leading upward by regular steps to the idea of ​​the good. The urge to chase subsided; there is more division of labor and less comprehensive reflection on nature and human life as a whole; more of exact observation and less of anticipation and inspiration. However, under the altered conditions of knowledge, the parallel is not entirely lost; and it may be useful to translate Plato's view into the language of our time. The philosopher of modern times is he who fixes his mind on the laws of nature in their sequence and connection, not on fragments or images of nature; about history, not controversy; in the truths that are recognized by the few, not in the opinions of the many. He is aware of the importance of "classifying according to nature" and will try to "separate the limbs of science without breaking them" (Phaedr.). There is no part of the truth, great or small, which he disgraces; and in the smallest things he will discern the greatest (Parmen.). Like the ancient philosopher, he sees the world full of analogies, but he can also say "why in some cases a single case suffices for an induction" (Mill's Logic), while in other cases a thousand examples would prove nothing. . Let him investigate only a part of knowledge, because the whole has become too vast to be encompassed by a single mind or life. He has a clearer conception of the divisions of science and their relation to the mind of man than was possible for the ancients. Like Plato, he sees the unity of knowledge, not as the principle of philosophy to be reached through the study of elementary mathematics, but as the distant result of the work of many minds in many ages. He is aware that mathematical studies are preliminary to almost everyone else; at the same time, he will not reduce all varieties of knowledge to the mathematical type. He must also have a nobility of character, without which genius loses the better half of greatness. Considering the world as a point in the immensity, and each individual as a link in an infinite chain of existence, he will not think too much about his own life, nor will he be too afraid of death.

Adeimantus objects above all to the Socratic form of reasoning, thus showing that Plato is aware of the imperfection of his own method. He brings against himself the accusation that a modern logician might level against him: he extracts the answer because he knows how to formulate the question. In a long argument, the words tend to change meaning slightly, or the premisses may be assumed or the conclusions inferred with great certainty or universality; the variation at each step may go unnoticed, but eventually the divergence becomes considerable. Hence the failure of attempts to apply arithmetic or algebraic formulas to logic. Imperfection, or rather the higher and more elastic nature of language, does not allow words to have the precision of numbers or symbols. And this quality of language reduces the force of an argument that has many steps.

The objection, although well accepted by Socrates in this particular case, can be seen as implying a reflection on the Socratic mode of reasoning. And here, as elsewhere, Plato seems to imply that the time has come when Socrates' negative and interrogative method must be replaced by a positive and constructive one, examples of which are given in some of the later dialogues. Adimantus further argues that the ideal is wholly at variance with the facts; because experience shows that philosophers are useless or malicious. Contrary to all expectations, Socrates does not hesitate to admit the truth of this and explains the anomaly in an allegory, first characteristically dismissing his own inventive powers. In this allegory, the people are distinguished from professional politicians, and, as elsewhere, are spoken of in tones of pity rather than reproach under the image of "the noble captain who is not very quick in his perceptions."

The uselessness of philosophers is explained by the fact that mankind will not use them. The world in all ages has been divided between contempt and fear of those who use the power of ideas and know no other weapons. Regarding the false philosopher, Socrates argues that the best is the most subject to corruption; and that the more refined nature is more likely to suffer from strange conditions. We also observe that there are some kinds of excellence which arise from a peculiar delicacy of constitution; as is evidently true of the poetic and imaginative temperament, which often seems to depend on impressions, and therefore can only breathe or live in a certain atmosphere. The man of genius has greater pains and greater pleasures, greater powers and greater weaknesses, and often a greater play of character than is found in ordinary men. He can assume the guise of virtue or selflessness without having them, or veil personal enmity in the language of patriotism and philosophy, he can say the word that all men are thinking, he has a terrible sense of the follies and weaknesses of his fellows. similar. . . An Alcibiades, a Mirabeau or a Napoleon I are born to be the authors of great evils in states, or "of a great good, when they are drawn in that direction".

However, the thesis "corruptio optimi pessima" cannot be maintained in a general way or without taking into account the type of excellence that is corrupted. Strange conditions that corrupt one nature can be elements of culture for another. In general, a man can only achieve his greatest development in a pleasant state or in family, among friends or business associates. But sometimes he can also be agitated by adverse circumstances to such an extent that he rebels against them and reforms them. And while weaker or coarser characters will extract good from evil, say in a corrupt state of church or society, and live happily allowing evil to remain, finer or stronger natures can be crushed or spoiled by surrounding influences. , they can alternately become a misanthrope and a philanthropist; or in some cases, as the founders of monastic orders, or the reformers, by some peculiarity of themselves or of their time, may entirely separate themselves from the world and the church, sometimes to great good, sometimes to great evil, sometimes for both. . And the same thing happens in the smaller sphere of a convent, a school, a family.

Plato wants us to consider how easily the better natures are swayed by public opinion and what efforts the rest of mankind will make to catch hold of them. The world, the church, your own profession, any political or party organization, are always deceiving you and teaching you to apply high and sacred names to your own prejudices and interests. The 'monstrous' corporation to which they belong believes that the law and the truth are to the liking of the community. The individual becomes one with his order; or, if he resists, the world is too much for him, and sooner or later he will take revenge on him. This is, perhaps, a one-sided, but not entirely false, picture of the maxims and practices of mankind when they "gathered together in an assembly," whether in ancient or modern times.

When the higher natures are corrupted by politics, the lower ones take over the vacant place of philosophy. This is portrayed in one of those continuous pictures where the plot, to use a Platonic expression, "veils itself" and drops and reappears in the intervals. The question is asked: why are the citizens of the states so hostile to philosophy? The answer is that they don't know. And yet there is also a better mind among many; they would believe if they were taught. But so far they have only known a conventional imitation of philosophy, words without thoughts, systems that have no life in them; a (divine) person who utters the words of beauty and freedom, the friend of man who communes with the Eternal and seeks to frame the state in that image, they have never known him. The same double feeling towards the mass of mankind has always existed among men. The first thought is, that the people are enemies of truth and law; the second, that it only arises from accidental mistake and confusion, and that they do not really hate those who love them, if only they could be educated to know them.

In the last part of the sixth book, three questions must be considered: 1st, the nature of the longer and more crooked way, as opposed to the shorter and imperfect method of the fourth book; 2nd, the Oridean celestial patron of the state; 3°, the relationship of the divisions of knowledge to each other and to the corresponding faculties of the soul:

1. Of Plato's superior method of knowledge we have but a glimpse. Neither here, nor in the Phaedrus or the Symposium, nor in the Philebus or the Sophist, does he give a clear explanation of its meaning. He would probably have described his method as proceeding by regular steps towards a system of universal knowledge, inferring the parts from the whole rather than the whole from the parts. This ideal logic is not practiced by him in the pursuit of justice, nor in analysis. of the parts of the soul; there, like Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics, he argues from experience and the common use of language. But towards the end of the sixth book he devises another, more perfect method, in which all ideas are but steps or degrees or moments of thought, forming a self-sustaining connected whole, and in which consistency is the proof of consistency. . explain in detail the nature of the process. Like many other thinkers, past and present, his mind seems to be filled with empty forms he cannot comprehend. He assumes that the sciences have a natural order and connection in an age when they can hardly be said to exist. It's rushing to the "end of the intellectual world" without even starting.

In modern times we hardly need to be reminded that the process of acquiring knowledge is here confused with the contemplation of absolute knowledge. In all of science, a priori and a posteriori truths blend in various proportions. The a priori part is that which derives from the most universal experience of men, or is universally accepted by them; the a posteriori is what grows around the most general principles and imperceptibly merges with them. But Plato mistakenly imagines that synthesis is separable from analysis and that the method of science can anticipate science. He is quite justified in harboring such a view of a priori knowledge, or at least its meaning can be sufficiently explained by similar attempts by Descartes, Kant, Hegel, and even Bacon himself, in modern philosophy. Anticipations or guesswork, or prophetic glimpses of truths, whether related to man or nature, seem to stand in the same relation to ancient philosophy as hypotheses do to modern inductive science. These "conjectures about the truth" were not made at random; they arose from a superficial impression of uniformities and first principles in nature which the genius of the Greek, beholding the extent of heaven and earth, seemed to recognize from a distance. Nor can we deny that in antiquity knowledge would have stopped and the human mind deprived of the very instruments of thought, if philosophy had limited itself strictly to the results of experience.

2. Plato assumes that when the tablet is left blank, the artist will fill in the contours of the ideal state. Is this a pattern held in heaven or a mere void that you must behold with wondering eyes? The answer is that such ideals are shaped in part by the omission of details, in part by imagination perfecting the form that experience provides (Phaedo). Plato represents these ideals in a figure as belonging to another world; and in modern times the idea sometimes seems to precede, sometimes to cooperate with, the artist's hand. As in science, so in creative art there is a synthetic and analytical method. A man will have everything in mind before starting; for another, the processes of mind and hand will be simultaneous.

3. There is no difficulty in seeing that Plato's divisions of knowledge are based, first, on the fundamental antithesis of the sensible and the intellectual that runs through all pre-Socratic philosophy; in which the opposition of the permanent and the transitory, the universal and the particular is also implicit. But the age of philosophy in which he lived seemed to demand a greater distinction: numbers and figures were beginning to separate from ideas. The world could no longer regard justice as a cube and was learning to see, however imperfectly, that the abstractions of the senses were different from the abstractions of the mind. Between Eleatic being or essence and the shadows of phenomena, the Pythagorean principle of number found a place and was, as Aristotle points out, a conduit from one to the other. Hence Plato was forced to introduce a third term which had not hitherto entered the scheme of his philosophy. He had observed the use of mathematics in education; they were the best preparation for higher studies. The subjective relationship between them further suggests an objective relationship; though the passage from one to the other is really imaginary (Metaph.). Because metaphysical and moral philosophy has no connection with mathematics; Number and figure are abstractions of time and space, not expressions of purely intellectual conceptions. When stripped of metaphor, a straight line or a square has no more to do with right and justice than a crooked line has to do with vice. The figurative association was confused with the real one; and thus were constructed the last three divisions of the Platonic proportion.

It is more difficult to understand how he arrived at the first term in the series, which is not mentioned elsewhere and makes no reference to any other part of his system. Nor does the relation of shadows to objects correspond to the relation of numbers to ideas. Probably Plato was moved by the love of analogy (Timaeus) to make four terms instead of three, although the objects perceived in both divisions of the lower sphere are equally objects of the senses. He is also paving the way, in his own way, for the shadows of images at the beginning of the seventh book and the imitation of an imitation in the tenth. The line may be considered as extending from unity to infinity, and is divided into two unequal parts and subdivided into two more; each lower sphere is the multiplication of the previous one. Of the four faculties, faith in the lower division occupies an intermediate position (cp. for the use of the word faith or belief, (Greek, Timaeus), contrasting equally with the vagueness of shadow perception (Greek) and the higher certainty of understanding. (Greek) and reason (Greek).

The difference between understanding and mind or reason (Greek) is analogous to the difference between acquiring knowledge in the parts and beholding the whole. True knowledge is whole and at rest; consistency and universality are the tests of truth. To this self-evident knowledge of the whole must correspond the faculty of the mind. But there is a knowledge of the understanding which is incomplete and always in motion, because it cannot rest on subordinate ideas. These ideas are called images and hypotheses: images because they are invested with meaning, hypotheses because they are only guesses, until they are connected with the idea of ​​the good.

The general meaning of the passage, 'Noble, then, is the bond that binds vision... And of this kind have I spoken as the intelligible...' insofar as the thought contained therein admits of being translated into the terms of modern language. philosophy, can be described or explained as follows: - There is one truth, one and self-existent, to which, with the help of a ladder lowered from above, human intelligence can ascend. This unity is like the sun in the sky, the light by which all things are seen, the being by which they are created and maintained. It is the IDEA of good. And the rungs on the ladder leading to this higher or universal existence are the mathematical sciences, which also contain within themselves an element of the universal. We also see them in a new way when we connect them with the idea of ​​good. They then cease to be hypotheses or images and become essential parts of a superior truth which is both its first principle and its final cause.

We cannot give a more precise meaning to this remarkable passage, but we can trace in it several rudiments or vestiges of thought which are common to us and to Plato: such as (1) the unity and correlation of the sciences, or rather of science, because in Plato's time they were not yet separated or distinguished; (2) the existence of a Divine Power, or life or idea or cause or reason, not yet conceived or no longer conceived as in the Timaeus and elsewhere in the form of a person; (3) the recognition of the hypothetical and conditional character of the mathematical sciences and, to some extent, of each science isolated from the others; (4) the conviction of an invisible truth and of a law, though hardly a law of nature, which pervades the intellectual world more than the visible.

Socrates' method is tentative and hesitant, awaiting the fuller explanation of the idea of ​​good and the nature of dialectics in the seventh book. Glaucon's imperfect intelligence and Socrates' reluctance to begin mark the difficulty of the subject. The allusion to Theage's bridle and Socrates' inner oracle, or demonic sign, which here, as always in Plato, is only forbidding; the observation that the salvation of any remnant of the good in the present evil state of the world is due to God alone; the reference to a future state of existence, unknown to Glaucon in the tenth book, and in which the discussions of Socrates and his disciples would be resumed; the surprise in the answers; the fanciful irony of Socrates, where he claims he can only describe the philosopher's strange position in a figure of speech; the original observation that the sophists are, after all, only the representatives and not the leaders of public opinion; the painting of the philosopher standing sideways in the sleet under a wall; the figure of the 'great beast' followed by the expression of goodwill towards ordinary people who would not have rejected the philosopher had they known him; the 'noble right thinking' that the highest truths demand the greatest accuracy; Socrates' hesitation to return once more to his banal theme of the idea of ​​the good; the ridiculous seriousness of Glaucon; the comparison of philosophy with a helpless maiden who marries beneath her - these are some of the most interesting features of the sixth book.

However, a few more words can be added on the old subject, so much discussed in Socratic circles, of which we, like Glaucon and Ademantus, would like, if possible, to have a clearer notion. Like them, we are dissatisfied when they say that the idea of ​​the good can only be revealed to a student of mathematical sciences, and are apt to think that neither we nor they could have been led along that path to any satisfactory goal. . For we learn that differences in quantity cannot be transformed into differences in quality, and that the mathematical sciences can never rise above themselves in the sphere of our higher thoughts, though they can sometimes furnish symbols and expressions of them, and can train mind in habits of abstraction. and self-concentration. The illusion that was natural to an ancient philosopher is no longer an illusion to us. But if the process by which we must arrive at the idea of ​​the good is really imaginary, might not the idea itself also be a mere abstraction? We observe, first of all, that in all ages, and especially in primitive philosophy, words like being, essence, unity, good, have exercised an extraordinary influence on the minds of men. The scarcity or negativity of its content has been inversely proportional to its power. They became the forms under which all things were understood. There was a need or instinct in the human soul which they satisfied; they were not ideas but gods, and to this new mythology men of a later generation began to attach the powers and associations of the older deities.

The idea of ​​good is one of those sacred words or thought forms which were beginning to take the place of ancient mythology. It meant unity, in which all time and all existence were united. It was the truth of all things, and also the light in which they shone and were evident to human and divine intelligences. It was the cause of all things, the power by which they were created. It was universal reason stripped of a human personality. It was life, as well as the light of the world, all knowledge and all power was contained in it. The way to this was through the mathematical sciences, and these also depended on it. To ask whether God created it, or made it by it, would be like asking whether God can be conceived apart from goodness, or goodness apart from God. The God of the Timaeus doesn't really disagree with the idea of ​​good; they are aspects of the same, differing only in the personal from the impersonal, or in the masculine from the neuter, the one being the expression or language of mythology, the other of philosophy.

This, or something like it, is the meaning of Plato's idea of ​​the good. It can also be said that ideas of number, order, harmony and development intervene in it. The paraphrase just given goes beyond Plato's actual words. Perhaps we have reached the stage of philosophy which allows us to understand what he intends better than he does himself. We are beginning to realize what he saw dimly and in the distance. But if he had been told that this, or some conception of the same kind but superior to it, was the truth to which he aspired and the want which he sought to supply, he would have been happy to admit that his own thoughts contained more. what he himself knew. As his words are few, and his manner reticent and hesitant, so must be his interpreter's style. We must not approach its meaning by trying to define it further. By translating it into the language of modern thought, we might imperceptibly lose the spirit of ancient philosophy. It is notable that although Plato speaks of the idea of ​​the good as the first principle of truth and being, it is not mentioned anywhere in his writings except in this passage. Nor did he retain any control over the minds of his disciples in a later generation; it was probably unintelligible to them. Nor does Aristotle's mention of him seem to have any reference to this or any other passage in his extant writings.

BOOK VII. And now I will describe in a figure the enlightenment or non-illumination of our nature: - Imagine human beings living in an underground lair open to light; they have been there since childhood, with their necks and legs chained, and can only see into the lair. the screen on which puppet players display their puppets. Behind the wall, moving figures appear, with various works of art in their hands, including images of men and animals, wood and stone, and some of the passers-by speak and others remain silent. 'A strange parable,' he said, 'and strange captives.' They are ourselves, I replied; and they see only the shadows of the images which the fire casts on the wall of the pit; these are given names, and if we add an echo from the wall, the passengers' voices seem to come from the shadows. Suppose now that you suddenly turn them around and make them look with pain and pity at the real pictures; Will they believe they are real? Won't their eyes get dazzled and won't they try to stray from the light to something they can look at without blinking? And suppose, furthermore, they are dragged up a steep and rugged climb into the very presence of the sun itself, will not their vision be obscured by the excess of light? It will take some time for them to get into the habit of noticing; and at first they will only be able to perceive shadows and reflections in the water; then you will recognize the moon and the stars, and finally you will see the sun in its own place as it is. At last they will conclude:-This is he who gives us the year and the seasons, and he is the author of all that we see. How they will rejoice as they pass from darkness to light! How worthless will the honors and glories of the pit seem to them! But now imagine further that they go down to their old rooms; in that subterranean abode they will not see as well as their fellows, and cannot compete with them in measuring the shadows on the wall; there will be many jokes about the man who went to visit the sun and lost his eyes, and if they find someone trying to free and light one of them, they will kill him if they can catch him. Now the cave or den is the world of sight, fire is the sun, the way upwards is the way to knowledge, and in the world of knowledge the idea of ​​good is last seen with difficulty, but when view, it is inferred that he is the author of the good and upright - father of the lord of light in this world and of truth and understanding in the next. Whoever reaches the beatific vision always climbs; it is unwilling to descend into political assemblies and courts of law; because their eyes tend to blink at the images or shadows of images they behold; it cannot enter into the ideas of those who have never in their lives understood the relation of shadow to substance. But blindness is of two kinds, and may be caused by passing from darkness to light or from light to darkness, and a sensible man will distinguish between them, and will not laugh alike at both, but at the blindness which arises from fullness. . from the light he will consider him blessed and will have compassion on the other; or if he laughs at the bewildered soul that looks at the sun, he will have more reason to laugh than the inhabitants of those who descend from above. There is another lesson taught by this parable of ours. Some imagine that instructing is like giving eyes to the blind, but we say that the faculty of sight has always been present, and that the soul need only turn towards the light. And this is conversion; other virtues are almost like bodily habits, and can be acquired in the same way, but intelligence has a divine life, and is indestructible, turning to good or evil according to the direction given. Have you ever noticed how a cunning rogue's mind lurks in his eyes, and the more clearly he sees, the more harm he does? Now, if you take such a man and remove those weights of pleasure and desire that tie his soul to the earth, his mind will change and he will see the truth as clearly as he now discerns his petty aims. And have we not decided that our rulers should not be so uneducated as not to have a fixed rule of life, nor so overeducated as not to be willing to leave their paradise for the affairs of the world? We must, therefore, choose those natures that are most likely to ascend to the light and knowledge of good; but we must not allow them to remain in the region of light; they must be forced to descend among the captives in the pit to share in their labors and honours. “Don't you think this is a hardship?” It must be remembered that our aim in framing the State was not for our citizens to do as they pleased, but for them to serve the State for the common good of all. Let us not justly say to our philosopher: Friend, we do you no harm; for in other States philosophy grows wild and a wild plant owes nothing to the gardener, but you have been trained by us to be the rulers and kings of our hive, and therefore we must insist that you come down to the den. You must, each of you, take your turn and become able to use your eyes in the dark, and with a little practice you will see much better than those who fight in the shadows, whose knowledge is but a dream, while the yours is an awakening. reality. It may be that the fittest saint or philosopher is also the least inclined to rule, but necessity overwhelms him and he must no longer live in the paradise of ideas. And this will be the salvation of the state. Because those who govern must not be those who want to govern; and if you can offer our citizens a better life than rulers in general, there is a chance that those rich, not only in this world's goods, but also in virtue and wisdom, can rule. And the only better life than the life of political ambition is that of philosophy, which is also the best preparation for the government of a state.

So now comes the question: How will we create our rulers; What path is there from darkness to light? Change is effected by philosophy; It is not the turning of an oyster shell, but the conversion of a soul tonight, of becoming. And what training will elevate the soul? Our former education had two branches, gymnastics, which dealt with the body, and music, the sister art, which instilled a natural harmony in mind and literature; but none of these sciences promised to do what we want. Nothing remains for us but that universal or primary science in which all arts and sciences participate, I mean number or calculation. "Very right". Including the art of war? "Yes, certainly." So there is something ridiculous about Palamedes in the tragedy, coming in and saying that he had made up the number, that he had counted the rows and put them in order. He?) He must have been a pretty nice general. No man should be a soldier who cannot count, and indeed can hardly be called a man. But I'm not talking about these practical applications of arithmetic, because number, in my view, should be considered rather as a conductor of thought and being. I will explain what I mean by the last expression: sensible things are of two kinds; those of one type invite or stimulate the mind, while in the others the mind acquiesces. The stimulating type are things that suggest contrast and relationship. For example, suppose I have three fingers in front of my eyes: an index finger, a middle finger, a little finger; vision recognizes the three fingers equally, but without the number it can no longer distinguish them. Or again, suppose two objects are relatively big and small, these ideas of big and small are not given by the senses, but by the mind. And the perception of their contrast or relation quickens and sets the mind in motion, which is perplexed by the confused insinuations of the senses, and resorts to number to ascertain whether the things indicated are one or more than one. The number replies that they are two and not one, and that they must be distinguished from each other. Again the eye beholds the great and the small, but only in confused chaos, and only when they are distinguished does the question of their respective natures arise; we are thus led to the distinction between the visible and the intelligible. This is what I meant when I spoke of stimulants for the intellect; I was thinking about the contradictions that arise in perception. The idea of ​​unity, for example, like that of a finger, does not awaken thought unless it implies some conception of plurality; but when the one is also the opposite of the one, the contradiction gives rise to reflection; an example of this is provided by any object in the view. Each number also has a lifting effect; it lifts the mind from the foam and stream of generation to the contemplation of being, also having minor military and retail uses. Retail usage is not required by us; but as our guardian must be both a soldier and a philosopher, the military may be preserved. And for our greater purpose, non-science can best be adapted; but it must be pursued in the spirit of a philosopher, not a shopkeeper. It is not concerned with visible objects, but with abstract truth; for numbers are pure abstractions: true arithmetic indignantly denies that their unit is capable of division. When you divide, he insists that you are just multiplying; its "one" is not material or soluble in fractions, but an absolute and invariable equality; and this proves the purely intellectual character of his study. Note also the great power which arithmetic has to sharpen ingenuity; no other discipline is equally severe, or an equal test of general ability, or equally improves a stupid person.

Let our second branch of education be geometry. 'I can easily see,' replied Glaucon, 'that the general's skill will be doubled by his knowledge of geometry.' That's a minor matter; the use of geometry, to which I refer, is the aid it gives to contemplating the idea of ​​good, and to force the mind to look at true being, and not just at generation. However, the present way of pursuing these studies, as anyone who is even the smallest of mathematicians knows, is petty and ridiculous; they are made to look down to the arts, not up to eternal existence. The geometer always speaks of quadrature, subtendency, adposition, as if he had the action in view; while knowledge is the real object of study. It must elevate the soul and create the mind of philosophy; he must raise what has fallen, not to mention lesser uses in war and military tactics and the improvement of faculties.

Shall we propose, as the third branch of our education, astronomy? "Very well," replied Glaucon. 'knowledge of the skies is necessary for agriculture, navigation and military tactics at the same time'. I like the way you give useful reasons for everything in order to make friends in the world. And there is a difficulty in proving to humanity that education is not just useful information, but a purification of the eye of the soul, which is better than the eye of the body, because only through it can one see the truth. Now, are you going to appeal to humanity in general or to the philosopher? Or would you rather just look at yourself? 'Every man is his best friend'. So he takes a step back, because we're out of order, and inserts the third dimension, which is the solids, after the second, which is the planes, and then he can proceed with the moving solids. But solid geometry is not popular and state-sponsored, nor is its use fully recognized; the difficulty is great, and the devotees of study are vain and impatient. Still, the charm of hunting conquers men, and if the government lends a little help, great progress can be made. "True," replied Glaucon; "But now I understand that you start with plane geometry and then you put the geometry of solids and thirdly astronomy or the motion of solids?" Yes, I said; my haste only hindered us.

'Very well, and now for astronomy, which I am prepared to speak of in your noble tones. No one can fail to see that the contemplation of the heavens draws the soul upward. I am an exception, then; The astronomy studied today seems to me to draw the soul not upwards but downwards. Looking at the stars is just looking at the ceiling, nothing better; a man can lie on his back on land or in water; You can look up or down, but there's no science to it. The vision of knowledge I speak of is not seen with the eyes, but with the mind. All the magnificence of the heavens is but the embroidery of a copy which is far below the divine Original, and teaches nothing about the absolute harmonies or motions of things. Its beauty is like the beauty of figures drawn by the hand of Daedalus or any other great artist, which may be used for illustration, but no mathematician would seek to derive from them true concepts of equality or numerical relations. How ridiculous, then, to look for them on the map of the sky, in which the imperfection of matter appears everywhere as a disturbing element, spoiling the symmetry of day and night, of months and years, of sun and stars in their courses. Only through problems can we put astronomy on a truly scientific basis. Let's leave the heavens alone and exercise the intellect.

However, mathematics admits of other applications, as the Pythagoreans say, and we agree. There is a sister science to harmonic motion, adapted to the ear as astronomy is to the eye, and there may be other applications as well. Let us ask the Pythagoreans about them, without forgetting that we have a purpose superior to theirs, which is the relationship of these sciences with the idea of ​​good. The error that pervades astronomy also pervades harmonics. Musicians put their ears in the place of their minds. "Yes," replied Glaucon, "I like to see them put their ears close to their neighbors' faces, some saying, 'That's a new bill,' others declaring the two notes to be equal." Yes, I said; but you mean the empiricists who are always twisting and torturing the lyre strings and arguing about the temperament of the strings; I refer rather to the Pythagorean harmonists, who are almost as wrong. Because they only investigate the numbers of the consonances that are heard and do not rise higher; of the true numerical harmony that is not heard, and that is only found in problems, they do not even have a conception. "That last thing," he said, "must be a wonderful thing." One thing, I replied, which is only useful if pursued with a view to good.

All these sciences are the prelude to tension and are useful if considered in their natural relations to one another. "I dare say, Socrates," said Glaucon. 'but such a study will be a never-ending business'. What study are you referring to, the prelude, or what? For all these things are but the prelude, and surely you will not suppose that a mere mathematician is also a dialectician? 'Certainly not. I almost never met a mathematician who could reason.” And yet, Glaucon, is it not true to reason that hymn of dialectic which is the music of the intellectual world, and which has been compared by us to the strain of sight, when beholding the shadows in What the shadows gave? Likewise, the dialectical faculty, moving away from sense, arrives through the pure intellect at the contemplation of the idea of ​​good, and never rests except at the extreme of the intellectual world. It is the royal path from the cave to the light, and the blinking of the eye in the sun and turning to see the shadows of reality, not just the shadows of an image, this progress and gradual acquisition of a new mental faculty. Seen with the aid of the mathematical sciences, it is the elevation of the soul to the contemplation of the highest ideal of being.

'So far, I agree with you. But now, leaving the prelude, let us pass to the hymn. What, then, is the nature of the dialectic and what are the paths that lead to it?' Dear Glaucon, you cannot follow me here. There can be no revelation of absolute truth for someone who has not been disciplined in the previous sciences. But I am sure that there is a science of absolute truth, achieved in a way very different from what is practiced now. Because all other arts or sciences are relative to human needs and opinions; and the mathematical sciences are but a dream or hypothesis of true being, and never analyze their own principles. Dialectic alone rises to the principle that is above hypotheses, gently turning and leading the eye of the soul from the barbaric swamp of ignorance to the light of the upper world, with the help of the sciences we have described, sciences, as they are often called. named, though they require some other name, which implies greater clarity than opinion and less clarity than science, and this in our earlier sketch was understanding. And so we get four names, two for intellect and two for opinion, reason or mind, understanding, faith, perception of shadows, which form a proportion: being:becoming::intellect:opinion, and science:belief::understanding: shadow perception. Dialectics may be further described as the science which defines and explains the essence or being of every nature, which distinguishes and abstracts the good, and is ready to fight all opponents in the cause of the good. For those who are not dialectical, life is but a sleepy dream; and many men are in his tomb before he wakes up well. And the future rulers of your ideal state, do they want smart beings, or stupid as poles? "Certainly not the last." Then you must train them in dialectics, which will teach them to ask and answer questions, and is the cornerstone of science.

I daresay you have not forgotten how our rulers were chosen; and the selection process can be taken a step further: as before, they must be firm and courageous, handsome and noble in manners, but now they must also have a natural ability which education will improve; that is, they should be quick to learn, capable of mental work, of a retentive, solid, and diligent nature, combining intellectual and moral virtues; not lame and one-sided, diligent in bodily exercise and sluggish in mind, or on the contrary; not a crippled soul, who hates falsehood, and yet, unwillingly, always sinks into the terror of ignorance; not a bastard or a weakling, but sound in wind and limbs, and fit for the great gymnastic test of the mind. Justice itself cannot find fault with such natures as these; and they will be the saviors of our State; disciples of a different sort would only make philosophy more ridiculous than it is today. Pardon my enthusiasm; I'm getting excited; but when I see her trampled underfoot, I am angry with the authors of her misfortune. I didn't know you were more excited than you should have been. But I felt like I was. Now let us not forget another point in selecting our disciples, that they must be young and not old. Because Solon is wrong when he says that an old man can always be learning; youth is a time of study, and here we must remember that the mind is free and delicate and, unlike the body, must not work against the current. Learning must at first be a kind of game, in which the natural inclination is detected. As in training for war, young dogs at first only need a taste of blood; but when the necessary gymnastics which divides life between sleep and bodily exercise for two or three years is overcome, then the education of the soul will be a more serious matter. At the age of twenty, a selection should be made of the most promising disciples, with whom a new era of education will begin. The sciences which you have learned hitherto in fragments will now be related to each other and to the true being; for the power to combine them is the test of speculative and dialectical skill. And then, at the age of thirty, a new selection will be made of those who are able to withdraw from the world of the senses into the abstraction of ideas. But at this point, judging from present experience, there is a danger that the dialectic is the source of many evils. The danger may be illustrated by a parallel case:-Imagine a person who has been brought up in wealth and luxury amidst a crowd of sycophants and who is suddenly informed that he is a false child. Until now he has honored his reputed parents and ignored the sycophants, and now he does the opposite. This is exactly what happens to a man's principles. There are certain doctrines which he learned at home and which exercised parental authority over him. After a while he discovers that accusations are being made against them; a troubled inquisitor comes along and asks, "What is just and good?" or he proves that virtue is vice and vice-virtue, and his mind becomes restless, and he ceases to love, honor, and obey them as hitherto. He is seduced by the life of pleasure and becomes a criminal and a rogue. The case of such speculators is a most regrettable one, and that our thirty-year-old pupils need not be pitied, let us take all possible care that the young do not study philosophy too early. Because a young person is a kind of puppy that only plays with an argument; and he reasons in and out of his opinions every day; soon he begins not to believe in anything and discredits himself and philosophy. A thirty-year-old man doesn't stay that way; he will argue and not only contradict, and adds new honor to philosophy by the sobriety of his conduct. How much time shall we allow for this second gymnastic training of the soul? Let's say double the time needed for body gymnastics; six, or perhaps five years, to begin at thirty, and then for fifteen years, let the student go down to the lair, command armies, and gain experience in life. At fifty, let him return to the end of all things, and look to the idea of ​​good, and order his life according to that pattern; if necessary, assume the leadership of the State and train others to be his successors. When his time comes, he will depart in peace for the isles of the blessed. He will be honored with sacrifices and given whatever worship the Pythian oracle approves.

"You are a sculptor, Socrates, and you have made a perfect image of our governors." Yes, and our housekeepers, because women will share everything with men. And you will admit that our State is no mere aspiration, but that it may actually arise when philosopher-kings arise, one or more, who will despise earthly vanities and be but servants of justice. 'And how are they going to start their work?' His first act will be to expel all who are over ten years old from the country and proceed with those who remain...

At the beginning of the sixth book, Plato anticipated his explanation of the philosopher's relation to the world in an allegory, in this, as in other passages, following the order he prescribes in education and proceeding from the concrete to the abstract. At the beginning of Book VII, under the figure of a cave which has an opening to a fire and a way to true light, he reviews the divisions of knowledge, displaying familiarly, as in an image, the result which had scarcely been seen before, was obtained. by a great effort of thought in the foregoing discussion; at the same time, looking at the dialectical process, which is represented by the path that leads from darkness to light. The shadows, the images, the reflection of the sun and stars in the water, the stars and the sun itself, correspond separately, the first to the realm of fantasy and poetry, the second to the world of the senses, the third to abstractions. or universals of sense, the type of which is supplied by the mathematical sciences, the fourth and last of the same abstractions, when viewed in the unity of the idea, from which new meaning and power are derived. The true dialectical process begins with the contemplation of real stars, and not mere reflections of them, and ends with the recognition of the sun, or idea of ​​good, as the father not only of light, but also of heat and growth. The stages of education respond in part to the divisions of knowledge: first, there is childhood and youth education in the fantasies of poets, and in the laws and customs of the State; then there is training the body to be a warrior athlete and a good servant of the mind; and thirdly, after an interval, follows the education of adult life, beginning with mathematics and proceeding to philosophy in general.

There seem to be two great aims in Plato's philosophy: first, to make abstractions; second, to connect them. According to him, true education is the one that takes men from becoming to being and to the comprehensive examination of the whole being. He wants to develop in the human mind the faculty of seeing the universal in all things; until finally the particulars of the senses disappear and only the universal remains. Next he seeks to combine the universals he has separated from the meaning, not realizing that their correlation has no other basis than the common usage of language. He never understands that abstractions, as Hegel says, are "mere abstractions", useful when used in arranging facts, but adding nothing to the sum of knowledge when sought separately from them or with reference to an idea. However, the exercise of the faculty of abstraction apart from facts broadened the mind and played an important part in the education of the human race. Plato appreciated the value of this faculty and saw that it could be accelerated through the study of number and relation. All things in which there is opposition or proportion suggest reflection. The mere impression of the senses does not evoke the power of thought or the mind, but when sensible objects ask to be compared and distinguished, then philosophy begins. The science of arithmetic first suggests such distinctions. Next are the other sciences of simple and solid geometry, and of solids in motion, a branch of which is astronomy, or the harmony of the spheres, to which is added the sister science of the harmony of sounds. Plato also seems to suggest the possibility of other applications of arithmetic or mathematical proportions, such as we use in chemistry and natural philosophy, as the Pythagoreans and even Aristotle make use of in Ethics and Politics, p. his distinction between arithmetic and geometric proportion in Ethics (Book V), or between numerical and proportional equality in Politics.

The modern mathematician will readily sympathize with Plato's delight in the properties of pure mathematics. He will not feel inclined to say with it, -- Leave the heavens alone, and study the beauties of number and figure in themselves. He will also tend to despise its application to the arts. You will observe that Plato has a conception of geometry in which figures are to be dispensed with; thus, in a distant and gloomy way, seeming to anticipate the possibility of solving geometric problems through a more general mode of analysis. He will comment with interest on the retrograde state of solid geometry, which, alas! he was not encouraged by state aid in Plato's time; and he will recognize the understanding of Plato's mind in his ability to conceive of a science of solids in motion which includes both earth and heavens, not forgetting to note the hint already alluded to that, in addition to astronomy and harmonics, the science of moving solids can have other applications. You will be even more amazed at the open-mindedness which led Plato, at a time when these sciences barely existed, to say that they should be studied in relation to one another and to the idea of ​​the good, or common principle of truth and being. . But you will also see (and perhaps not surprisingly) that, at this stage of physical and mathematical knowledge, Plato made the mistake of assuming that he can construct the heavens a priori by mathematical problems and determine the principles of harmony independently of adaptation. of the sounds. to the human ear. The illusion was natural at that time and in that country. The simplicity and certainty of astronomy and harmonics seemed to contrast with the variation and complexity of the world of the senses; therefore, he ignored the fact that there was some elemental basis in fact, some measure of distance or time or vibrations on which they were to be based. Newton's modern predecessors made equally big mistakes; and it can hardly be said that Plato was very wrong, or even claim a kind of prophetic view on the subject, when we consider that the greater part of astronomy at the present time consists of abstract dynamics, with the help of which most astronomical discoveries have been made. developed. done

From his point of view, the metaphysical philosopher recognizes mathematics as an instrument of education, which strengthens the power of attention, develops the sense of order and the faculty of construction and allows the mind to capture the quantitative differences of phenomena through formulas. simple. physical. But while he recognizes their value in education, he also sees that they have no connection to our higher moral and intellectual ideas. In Plato's attempt to relate them, we can easily trace the influences of ancient Pythagorean notions. There's no reason to assume you're talking about ideal numbers; but he is describing numbers which are pure abstractions, to which he ascribes a real and separate existence, which, as "the masters of the art" (probably referring to the Pythagoreans) would have asserted, reject all attempts at subdivision, and in which the unity and all other numbers are conceived as absolutes. The truth and certainty of numbers, when thus separated from phenomena, gave them a kind of sacredness in the eyes of an ancient philosopher. Nor is it easy to say how far the ideas of order and fixity may have had a moral and uplifting influence on the minds of men, "who," in the words of the Timaeus, "may learn to regulate their wayward lives accordingly." It is worth noting that the ancient Pythagorean ethical symbols still exist as figures of speech among us. And those who in modern times see the world permeated by universal law may also see an anticipation of this last word of modern philosophy in Plato's idea of ​​the good, which is the source and measure of all things, and yet only one. abstraction (Filebus).

Two passages seem to demand more particular explanation. First, what relates to vision analysis. The difficulty of this passage may be explained, like many others, by the differences in modes of conception which prevail among ancient and modern thinkers. To us the perceptions of the senses are inseparable from the act of mind which accompanies them. The consciousness of form, color, distance is indistinguishable from the simple sensation which is its medium. While for Plato the sense is the flow of the senses of Heraclitus, not the vision of the objects in the order in which they really present themselves to the experienced eye, just as one can imagine that they appear confused and blurred before the half-awake eye of the Boy. the action of the mind is provoked by the attempt to bring order into this chaos, and the reason is asked to construct different conceptions under which the confused impressions of the senses may be ordered. Hence the question arises: "What is big, what is small?" and thus begins the distinction of the visible and the intelligible.

The second difficulty relates to Plato's conception of harmonics. He distinguishes three classes of harmonists: first, the Pythagoreans, whom he proposes to consult as in the previous discussion of music he was going to consult Damon, are recognized as masters of the art, but wholly deficient in the knowledge of their superiors. import and relationship with the good; secondly, the mere empiricists, whom Glaucon seems to confuse with them, and who both he and Socrates ludicrously describe as experiencing by mere auscultation in the intervals of sounds. Both fall short in varying degrees of the Platonic idea of ​​harmony, which must be studied purely abstractly, first by the method of problems and, second, as part of universal knowledge in relation to the idea of ​​the good.

The allegory has political and philosophical significance. The cave represents the narrow sphere of politics or law (compare the description of the philosopher and the lawyer in Theaetetus), and the light of eternal ideas is supposed to exert a disturbing influence on the minds of those who return to this nether world. In other words, its principles are too broad for practical application; they are looking far into the past and into the future when their business is the present. The ideal is not easily reduced to real-life conditions and can often be at odds with them. And at first, those who return cannot compete with the inhabitants of denin into the shadows, and are ridiculed and persecuted by them; but after a while they see things below in much truer proportions than those who never ascended to the upper world. The difference between the politician turned philosopher and the philosopher turned politician is symbolized by the two kinds of visual disturbances, the one experienced by the captive who is translated from darkness to day, the other, that of the heavenly messenger who willingly for the sake of his like, he goes down to the pit. Plato leaves it unexplained how the brightest light should illuminate the inhabitants of the underworld, or how the idea of ​​the good should become the guiding principle of politics. As to the nature and divisions of the dialectic, of which Glaucon impatiently demands to be informed, he might have said that the explanation could only be given to a disciple of the earlier sciences. (Symposium.)

Many illustrations of this part of the Republic can be found in modern politics and everyday life. Among us, too, there have been two kinds of politicians or statesmen, whose vision has become disordered in two different ways. First, there were great men who, in Burke's language, "were much given to general maxims," ​​who, like J.S. Millor Burke himself, were theorists or philosophers before they were politicians, or who, having been students of history, allowed some great historical parallel, such as the English Revolution of 1688, or possibly Athenian democracy or Roman imperialism, to be the means through which they viewed contemporary events. Or perhaps the long shadow cast by some existing institution has obscured your vision. The Church of the future, the Community of the future, the Society of the future, have so absorbed their minds that they are incapable of seeing the Politics of today in their true proportions. They have become intoxicated with great ideas, such as liberty, inequality, the greatest happiness of the greatest number, or the brotherhood of mankind, and they no longer bother to consider how these ideas should be limited in practice or harmonized with the conditions of life. human. . They are full of light, but light for them has become a kind of fog or light blindness. Almost everyone has known some semi-educated enthusiast who sees everything at the wrong distances and in the wrong proportions.

To this disturbance of vision one can oppose another, that of someone who does not see far away, but only what is close at hand; who have dedicated their whole lives to a trade or profession; that they are limited to a set or sect of their own. Men of this type have nothing more universal than their own interests or the interests of their class, no principles beyond the opinion of people like themselves, no knowledge of matters beyond what they learn in the streets or in their clubs. Suppose they are sent into a greater world, to fulfill a higher calling, from merchant to general or politician, from teacher to philosopher: or imagine them suddenly receiving an inner light revealed to them by For the first time in their lives they have a higher idea of ​​God and the existence of a spiritual world, by this sudden conversion or change your daily life is not likely to be altered; and, on the other hand, will not many of their old prejudices and narrownesses cling to them long after they have begun to take a larger view of human things? From familiar examples like these we can learn what Plato meant by seeing that it is subject to two kinds of perturbations.

Nor do we have any difficulty in drawing a parallel between the young Athenian of the fifth century BC, disturbed by new ideas, and the student at a modern university who has been subjected to a similar "aufklärung". begin to criticize habitual beliefs or to analyze the constitution of human nature, tend to lose hold of sound principle (ἅπαν τὸβέβαιον αὐτῶνἐξοίχεται). They are like trees that have been often transplanted. The soil around them is loose and they don't have roots that go very deep into the soil. They 'perch on every flower', following their own rebellious will, or because the wind blows them. They get opinions, how diseases spread, when they're in the air. Driven here and there, they 'quickly fall into beliefs' opposite to those in which they were raised. They barely preserve the distinction between good and evil; They seem to think that one thing is as good as another. They assume they are seeking the truth when they play the 'follow my leader' game. so absorbed for a while in their new notion that they can think of nothing else. The resolution of some philosophical or theological question seems to them more interesting and important than any substantial knowledge of literature or science or even a good life. Like the Philebus youths, they are ready to teach anyone about a new philosophy. Usually they are pupils of some eminent teacher or sophist, whom they would rather imitate than understand. They may be considered happy if, in later years, they retain some of the simple truths which they acquired in early education and which, perhaps, they consider all the rest worth. This is Plato's picture, and we have only reproduced it, in part in his own words, of the dangers that lie in wait for youth in transitional times, when the old views are fading and the new ones are not yet firmly established. His condition is ingeniously compared by him to that of a fictitious son, who has discovered that his supposed parents are not the real ones, and consequently lost authority over him.

The distinction between the mathematician and the dialectician is also notable. Plato is well aware that the mathematician's faculty is quite different from the higher philosophical sense which he recognizes and combines first principles. The contempt he expresses for distinctions of words, the danger of unwitting falsehood, Socrates' apology for his seriousness in speaking, are very characteristic of the Platonic style and mode of thought. The curious notion that if Palamedes was the inventor of the number, Agamemnon could not have counted his feet; the art by which we are led to believe that this state of ours is not just a dream; Truly platonic is also the seriousness with which the first step towards the effective creation of the State is taken, that is, the expulsion from the city of all who have reached the age of ten, in order to accelerate the task of education by one generation ( for the latter, compare the passage at the end of the third book, in which he expects the lie about earthborn men to be believed in the second generation).

BOOK VIII. And so we come to the conclusion that in the perfect state mistresses and children must be in common; and the education and pursuits of men and women, both in war and peace, must be common, and kings must be philosophers and warriors, and soldiers of the State must live together, having all things in common; and they must be warrior athletes, receiving no pay, but only their food, from the other citizens. Now let's get back to where we digressed. 'That is easy to do,' he replied, 'You were speaking of the State which you built and the individual who answered to it, of whom you asserted that they were good; and you said that of the lower States there were four forms, and four individuals corresponding to them, who though deficient in various degrees, were all worthy of examination for the purpose of determining the relative happiness or misery of the best or worst man. Then Polemarchus and Adimantus interrupted you, and that led to another argument, and here we are. "I wonder what constitutions you're talking about?" Besides the Perfect State, there are only four of note in Hellas: first, the famous Lacedaemonian or Cretan community; secondly, the oligarchy, a state full of evils; thirdly, democracy, which follows this order; fourth, tyranny, which is the disease or death of all government. Now, states are not made of "oak and stone", but of flesh and blood; and therefore, as there are five States, there must be five human natures in individuals, corresponding to them. And first, there is the ambitious nature, which responds to the Lacedaemonian State; secondly, the oligarchic nature; third, the democratic; and fourth, the tyrannical. The latter will have to be compared with the perfectly just, which is the fifth, so that we may know which is happier, and then determine whether Thrasymachus' argument or ours is more convincing. And just as before we began with the State and moved on to the individual, so now, starting with timocracy, let us move on to timocratic man, and then move on to other forms of government and the individuals who answer to them.

But how did the perfect state timocracy come about? Clearly, like all changes in government, the split in rulers. But where did the division come from? "Sing, heavenly muses," as Homer says, - let them answer us, as if we were children, to whom they make a solemn face in jest. "And what will they say?" To say that human things are destined to decay, and not even the perfect State will escape this law of fate, when 'the wheel makes a complete turn' in a short or long period. Plants or animals have periods of fertility and sterility, which the intelligence of rulers, being influenced by the senses, will not allow them to determine, and children will be born out of time. Because, while the divine creations are in a perfect cycle or number, the human creation is in a number that declines from perfection and has four terms and three intervals of numbers, increasing, decreasing, assimilable, different, and yet perfectly provided for each other. from others. . The base of the number with a fourth added (ie 3:4), multiplied by five and cubed, gives two harmonies: the first a square number, which is one hundred times the base (or one hundred percent); the second, oblong, being one hundred squares of the rational diameter of a figure whose side is five, subtracting one from each square or two perfect squares from all, and adding one hundred cubes from three. All this number is geometric and contains the rule or law of generation. When this law is neglected, marriages will be unfavorable; the inferior offspring then born will, in time, become the rulers; the state will decline and education will decline; gymnastics will be preferred to music, and gold, silver, bronze, and iron will form a chaotic mass; this is how division will arise. Such is the answer of the Muses to our question. "And a truthful answer, of course: but what else do they have to say?" It is said that the two races, iron and bronze, and silver and gold, will attract the State in different ways; , and others, who have the true riches, and care not for money, will resist them: the dispute will end in an agreement; they will agree to own private property and enslave their fellow citizens who were once their friends and caretakers. But they will retain their warlike character and will be primarily concerned with infighting and the exercise of power. Thus arises timocracy, which is intermediate between aristocracy and oligarchy.

The new form of government resembles the ideal in obedience to rulers and contempt for commerce, in common meals and devotion to war and gymnastic exercises. But corruption crept into the philosophy, and simplicity of character, once its mark, is now sought after only in the military class. The arts of war begin to prevail over the arts of peace; the ruler is no longer a philosopher; As in oligarchies, an extravagant love of profit arises among them: getting what is others and saving what is yours is their principle; and they have dark places where they keep their gold and silver, for the use of their women and others; they take their pleasures in secret, like children fleeing their father, the law; and their education is not inspired by the Muse, but enforced by the strong arm of power. The main characteristic of this state is party spirit and ambition.

And what kind of man responds to such a state? "In the love of strife," replied Adeimantus, "he will be like our friend Glaucon." In that respect, perhaps, but not in others. He is presumptuous and ill-mannered, but fond of literature, though not like an orator, fierce with slaves, but obedient to rulers, a lover of power and honor, who hopes to win by feats of arms, and is also fond of gymnastics. .and hunting. As he advances in age, he becomes miserly, because he has lost philosophy, which is the only savior and guardian of men. His origin is as follows: —His father is a good man who lives in a poorly organized state, who has withdrawn from politics to lead a peaceful life. His mother is angry at his loss of precedence among other women; she is disgusted by her husband's selfishness and exposes her father's lack of masculinity and indolence to her son. The family's old servant takes up the story and tells the young man, "When you grow up, you must be more of a man than your father." Everyone agrees that a man who minds his own business is an idiot, while a busybody is highly honored and esteemed. The young man compares this spirit with his father's words and manners, and as he is naturally good-natured, though he has come under bad influences, he inherits something in between, and becomes ambitious and honor-loving.

And now let's put another city in front of another man. The next form of government is oligarchy, in which the government is only for the rich; nor is it difficult to see how such a state arises. Decline begins with the possession of gold and silver; Illegal ways of spending are invented; one attracts the other, and the crowd is infectious; riches outweigh virtue; lovers of money take the place of lovers of honour; misers of politicians; and, in time, political privileges are limited by law to the wealthy, who do not shrink from violence to achieve their ends.

So far the origin, let us next consider the evils of oligarchy. Would a man who wanted to be safe on a voyage hire a bad pilot because he was rich or reject a good pilot because he was poor? And does not the analogy apply even more to the state? And there are even greater evils: two nations fight as one: the rich and the poor; and the rich dare not place arms in the hands of the poor, and are unwilling to pay the defenders out of their own money. And do we not already condemn that State in which the same people are warriors and shopkeepers? The greatest evil of all is that a man may sell his property and have no place in the State; while there is one class that has enormous wealth, the other is completely destitute. But observe, these poor really had no more of the dominant nature in them when they were rich than they do now that they are poor; they've always been miserable spenders. They are the drones of the hive; just while the real drone is not provided by nature with a stinger, the bipedal things we call drones are some of them stingless and some of them have terrible stingers; in other words, there are poor people and there are rascals. These are never far away; and in oligarchic cities, where almost everyone who does not govern is poor, you will find an abundance of both. And this bad state of society originates from bad education and bad government.

Like state, like man, change in the latter begins with the representative of timocracy; he walks at first in the ways of his father, who may have been a statesman, or perhaps a general; and then he sees him "fallen from his high estate," the victim of informers, dying in prison or exile, or by the hand of the executioner. The lesson thus received makes him cautious; he leaves politics, suppresses his pride and saves pennies. Greed is enthroned as lord of her bosom and assumes the style of the Great King; the rational and witty elements humbly sit on the floor on either side, one immersed in calculation, the other absorbed in the admiration of wealth. The love of honor becomes the love of money; the conversion is instantaneous. Man is stingy, thrifty, hardworking, the slave of a passion that dominates all others: isn't he the very image of the State? dance inside it. And being uneducated, he will have many servile desires, some begging, some dishonest, growing in his soul. If he is the steward of an orphan, and has the power to defraud, he will soon prove that he is not without will, and that his passions are stifled only by fear and not by reason. Therefore, he leads a divided existence; where best wishes prevail. But when he is competing for prizes and other distinctions, he is afraid of suffering a loss which can only be compensated for with barren honor; in wartime he fights with a small portion of his resources, usually taking his money and losing victory.

Then comes democracy and the democratic man, the oligarchy and the theoligarchic man. Insatiable greed is the ruling passion of an oligarchy; and they encourage costly habits in order to profit from the ruin of extravagant youth. Thus, heads of households often lose their property or citizenship rights; but they remain in the city, full of hatred against the new owners of their farms and ready for revolution. The stooped usurer pretends not to see them; he passes by and leaves his sting, that is, his money, in some other victim; and more than one man has to pay the principal or the principal amount multiplied in a family of children, and he reduces it to a state of bewilderment. The only way to lessen the evil is to limit a man's use of property, or to insist that he borrow at his own risk. But the ruling class doesn't want medicine; they only care about money and are as indifferent to virtue as the poorest citizen. Now, there are times when the rulers and the ruled meet: at festivals, on a journey, sailing or fighting. The robust pauper discovers that in the hour of danger he is not despised; he sees the rich man huffing and puffing, and draws the conclusion which he privately shares with his companions, "that our people are not good for much," and like a diseased body, he is sick at the mere touch of the outside, or at times times without External impetus is about to fall apart, so for the slightest reason, or no reason, the city falls ill and fights a life and death battle. And democracy comes to power when the poor are victorious, killing some and exiling others, and giving equal shares in government to everyone else.

The way of life in such a state is that of the Democrats; there is liberty and freedom of speech, and each man does what is right in his own eyes, and has his own way of life. Hence arise the most varied developments of character; the State is like an embroidery whose colors and figures are the manners of men, and there are many who, like women and children, prefer this variety to true beauty and excellence. The State is not one, but many, like a bazaar where everything is bought. The great charm is that you can do whatever you want; you can rule if you like, leave him alone if you like; go to war and make peace if you want, and all without a care for others. When you condemn men to death, they live anyway; You want to exile a gentleman and he walks the streets like a hero; and no one sees him or cares about him. Observe also with what greatness the Democracy sets all our fine theories of education, how little it cares for the training of its statesmen! The only qualification required is the profession of patriotism. That's what democracy is like: a nice, lawless, and varied kind of government that distributes equality between equals and unequals.

Let us now inspect the individual democrat; and first, as with the State, we will track your history. He is the son of a greedy oligarch and taught him to curb his love of unnecessary pleasures. Perhaps I should explain this last term: the necessary pleasures are those that are good and which we cannot do without; Unnecessary pleasures are those that do no good and whose desire can be eradicated by early training. For example, the pleasures of eating and drinking are necessary and healthy to some extent; beyond that point, they are equally harmful to body and mind, and excess can be avoided. When they are in excess, they may rightly be called expensive, as opposed to useful pleasures. And the drone, as we called it, is a slave to these unnecessary pleasures and desires, while the greedy oligarch is subject only to what is necessary.

The oligarch becomes a democrat in the following way: the young man who has had a miserable upbringing tastes the honey of the bumblebee; he meets wild companions, who introduce him to all new pleasures. As in the State, so in the individual, there are allies on both sides, temptations from without and passions from within; there is also reason and external influences from parents and friends in alliance with the oligarchic principle; and the two factions are in violent conflict with each other. Sometimes the party of order prevails, but then new desires and new disorders arise, and the whole mob of passions seizes the Acropolis, that is, the soul, which it finds empty and unprotected by true words and deeds. Falsehoods and illusions arise to take their place; the prodigal returns to the country of the Lotophagi or drones, and dwells there openly. And if any offers of alliance or parliament from individual elders come from the house, the false spirits close the castle gates and allow no one to enter, there is a battle and they are victorious; and then, making an alliance with the desires, they banish modesty, which they call folly, and drive temperance over the border. The house swept and decorated, banished vices are dressed and, crowning them with garlands, they are brought with new names. They call insolence good breeding, anarchy freedom, waste magnificence, impudence courage. Such is the process by which youth passes from necessary to unnecessary pleasures. After a while he divides his time fairly between them; and perhaps, when he grows old and the violence of passion subsides, he will recover some of the exiles, and live in a kind of equilibrium, indulging first in one pleasure and then in another; and if reason comes and tells him that some pleasures are good and honorable, and others bad and vile, he shakes his head and says he cannot distinguish between them. So he lives in the fantasy of the moment; sometimes he starts drinking and then becomes teetotaler; he practices at the gym or does nothing; then again I would be a philosopher or a politician; or still, he would be a warrior or a businessman; he is

Everything at the beginning and nothing for a long time.

The best and most beautiful of all men and of all states still remains: tyranny and the tyrant. Tyranny arises from democracy as much as democracy arises from oligarchy. Both arise from excess; one from excess of wealth, the other from excess of freedom. "The great natural good of life", says the democrat, "is freedom". And this exclusive love of freedom and indifference to everything else is the cause of the change from democracy to tyranny. The State demands the strong wine of liberty, and unless its rulers give it a strong drink, it punishes and insults them; the equality and fraternity of rulers and ruled is the approved principle. Anarchy is a law, not only of the State, but of individuals. houses, and seven for the animals. Father and son, citizen and foreigner, teacher and student, old and young, are all on the same level; parents and teachers are afraid of their children and students, and the wisdom of the young is like that of the old, and the old imitate the cheerful ways of the young because they are afraid of being thought of as bad-tempered. Slaves are on the same level as their masters and mistresses, and there is no difference between men and women. No, the same animals in a democratic state have a freedom that is unknown elsewhere. The bitches are only as good as their owners, and horses and donkeys march with dignity and sniff at anyone who crosses their path. "That has often been my experience." Finally, citizens become so sensitive that they cannot bear the yoke of laws, written or unwritten; they would not want any man to call himself their master. Such is the glorious beginning of things whence tyranny springs. 'Glorious indeed; but then what?” The ruin of oligarchy is the ruin of democracy; because there is a law of opposites; excess freedom becomes excess slavery, and greater freedom greater slavery. You will remember that in the theoligarchy there were two classes: rascals and beggars, which we compare to drones with and without stings. These two classes are to the State what phlegm and bile are to the human body; and the state physician, or the legislator, must get rid of them, as the master of the bees keeps the drones out of the hive. Now, in a democracy there are also drones, but they are more numerous and more dangerous than in an oligarchy; there they are inert and unpracticed, here they are full of life and animation; and the shrewdest ones talk and act, while the others buzz around the bema and keep their opponents from being heard. And there is another class in democratic States, of respectable and prosperous individuals, who can be squeezed when drones need their goods; there is also a third class, which are the workers and craftsmen, and they constitute the mass of the people. When people meet, they are omnipotent, but they cannot unite unless they are attracted by some honey; and the rich are compelled to furnish the honey, of which the demagogues keep most of it, giving it only to taste the multitude. Its victims try to resist; they go insane from drone stings, becoming oligarchs in self-defense. Information and convictions for treason then follow. The people have a protector whom they nurture to greatness, and from this root grows the tree of tyranny. The nature of the change is indicated in the ancient fable of the temple of Zeus Lycaeus, which tells how he who tastes human flesh mixed with the flesh of other victims will turn into a wolf. So also the protector, who tastes human blood, and kills some and exiles others with or without law, who insinuates the abolition of debts and the division of lands, must either perish or become a wolf, that is, a tyrant. He may be expelled, but he soon returns from exile; and then, if his enemies cannot get rid of him by lawful means, they plot his murder. Then the friend of the city makes his well-known request for a personal guard, to which they gladly agree, thinking only of his danger and not theirs. Now let the rich man get his wings, because he'll never run away if he doesn't then. And the Great Protector, having crushed all his rivals, stands proudly in the chariot of State, a full-fledged tyrant: Let us inquire into the nature of his happiness.

In the early days of his tyranny he smiles and smiles at everyone; It's not "dominus", no, it's not him: he only came to put an end to debt and the land monopoly. Freed from foreign enemies, it becomes necessary for the State to always go to war. So you can depress the poor with heavy taxes, and so keep them at work; and you can get rid of the most daring spirits by handing them over to the enemy. Then comes the unpopularity; some of his former teammates had the courage to oppose him. The consequence is that he has to purge the state; but, unlike the doctor who purges the wicked, he must get rid of the brave, the wise, and the rich; because he has no choice between death and a life of shame and dishonor. And the more hated he is, the more he will demand trustworthy guards; but how are you going to get them? 'They will come in flocks like birds, for pay.' Won't you pick them up on the spot? He will take slaves from their owners and make them his bodyguards; these are his trusted friends, who admire and look up to him. Are not those tragic poets wise who magnify and extol the tyrant and say that he is wise by association with the wise? And is their praise of tyranny not reason enough to exclude them from our State? They can go to other cities and rally the crowd around them with fine words and turn communities into tyrannies and democracies, receiving honors and rewards for their services; but the higher they and their friends climb constitution hill, the more their honor fails them and they become "too asthmatic to climb". Returning to the tyrant: how is he going to support that strange army of his? First, robbing the temples of treasures, which will allow you to relieve taxes; then he will take all his father's goods and spend them on his companions, whether they be male or female. Now his father is the demus, and if the demus gets angry and says that a huge, burly son shouldn't be a burden to his parents and orders them to leave with their rioting group, then the father will know what monster he's creating. . and that the son he would like to expel is too strong for him. "You don't mean he's going to hit his father?" Yes, he will, after picking up his weapons. "Then he is a parricide and a cruel and unnatural son." And people jumped from fear to bondage to bondage, from smoke to fire. Thus freedom, when it is outside all order and reason, passes into the worst form of servitude...

In earlier books, Plato described the ideal state; now he returns to the perverted or decadent ways he touched lightly at the end of Book IV. He describes them in a succession of parallels between individuals and states, tracing the origin of both to the state or individual that preceded them. Start by asking where you went astray; and so he is led to briefly recapitulate the substance of the three preceding books, which also contain a parallel of the philosopher and the State.

He does not give an intelligible account of the first decay; he would not have liked to admit the most probable causes of the downfall of his ideal State, which would seem to us to be the impossibility of communism or the natural antagonism of the ruling and subjugated classes. He casts a veil of mystery over the origin of the decline, which he attributes to ignorance of the population law. The famous geometric figure or number is the expression of this law. Like the ancients generally, he had no idea of ​​man's gradual perfectibility or of the education of the human race. His ideal was not to be achieved over the centuries, but to sprout in all its armor from the head of the legislator. When good laws were given, he only thought of how they might be corrupted, or how they might be completed in detail, or restored to their original spirit. He seems not to have pondered the full meaning of his own words: "In the short span of human life nothing great can be accomplished"; or else, as he later says in The Laws, "infinite time is the maker of cities." Of history.

The first of these decadent states is timocracy, or the government of soldiers and lovers of honour, answerable to the Spartan state; this is a government of force, in which education is not inspired by the Muses, but enforced by law, and in which all subtler elements of organization have disappeared. The philosopher himself has lost the love of truth, and the soldier, who is of a simpler and more honest nature, rules in his stead. The individual who responds to timocracy has some remarkable qualities. He is described as ill-mannered but, like the Spartan, a lover of literature; and although he is a stern master to his servants, he has no natural superiority over them. His character is based on a reaction to the circumstances of his father, who in a troubled city has withdrawn from politics; and his mother, dissatisfied with her own position, always pushes him towards a life of political ambition. Such a character may have had this origin, and in fact Titus Livio attributes Licinius' laws to female jealousy of a similar type. But clearly there is no connection between the way in which the timocratic state arises from the ideal and the mere accident by which the timocratic man is the son of a retired statesman.

The next two stages of the decline of constitutions have even less historical foundation. Because there is not a trace in Greek history of a form of government like the Spartan or Cretan turning into an oligarchy of wealth, or of the oligarchy of wealth turning into a democracy. The order of the story appears to be different; In the first place, in Homeric times there is the royal or patriarchal form of government, which a century or two later was succeeded by an oligarchy of birth instead of wealth, and in which wealth was but the accident of the hereditary possession of land. Sometimes this oligarchic regime gave way to a regime based on the qualification of property which, in the Aristotelian use of words, would have been called timocracy; and this in some cities, like Athens, became the driving force of democracy. But this was not the necessary order of succession in States; nor, indeed, can any order be discerned in the endless fluctuation of Greek history (like the tides on the Euripus), except, perhaps, in the almost uniform tendency from monarchy to aristocracy in early times. At first glance, there seems to be a similar reversal on the last rung of the Platonic succession; Tyranny, instead of being the natural end of democracy, appears early in Greek history as a stage leading to democracy; the reign of Peisistratus and his sons is an episode between the legislation of Solon and the constitution of Cleisthenes; and some secret cause common to them all seems to have brought most of Hellas to its first appearance at the dawn of history, e.g. Athens, Argos, Corinth, Sicyon, and nearly every state except Sparta passed through a similar stage. of tyranny, ending in oligarchy or democracy. But then we must remember that Plato is describing the contemporary governments of the Sicilian states, which alternated between democracy and tyranny, rather than the ancient history of Athens or Corinth.

The portrait of the tyrant himself is like that which the later Greeks took pleasure in drawing of Phalaris and Dionysus, in which, as in the lives of medieval saints or mythical heroes, the conduct and actions of the one were ascribed to the other. the contour. There was no enormity that the Greeks could not believe about them today; the tyrant was the negation of government and law; his murder was glorious; there was no crime, however unnatural, which could not possibly be attributed to him. In this Plato only followed the common thought of his countrymen, which he embellished and exaggerated with all the force of his genius. There is no need to suppose that he took it from life; or that his knowledge of tyrants stems from a personal relationship with Dionysus. The way in which he speaks of them tends to make it doubtful that he ever "associated himself" with them, or considered the plans attributed to him in the Epistles to regenerate Sicily with their help.

Plato, in a hyperbolic and comic-serious vein, exaggerates the follies of democracy that he also sees reflected in social life. For him, democracy is a state of individualism or dissolution; in which each one does what seems good to him. He never seems to think of a people animated by a common spirit of liberty, rising up as one man to repel the Persian hosts, which is the main idea of ​​democracy in Herodotus and Thucydides. But if he does not believe in freedom, even less is he a lover of tyranny. Its deepest and gravest condemnation is reserved for the tyrant, who is the ideal of evil as well as of weakness, and who in his utter impotence and distrust leads an almost impossible existence without that vestige of good which, in Plato's opinion, was necessary. to give power. for evil (Book I). This ideal of evil living in helpless misery is the reverse of that other picture of the perfect injustice that reigns in happiness and splendor, sketched first by Thrasymachus and later by the sons of Ariston, and it is also the reverse of the king whose rule of life is the good of his subjects.

Each of these governments and individuals has a corresponding ethical gradation: the ideal state is under the dominion of reason, not extinguishing but harmonizing the passions and training them in virtue; In timocracy and in timocratic man, the constitution, whether of the State or of the individual, is founded, first, on value, and, secondly, on the love of honor; this last virtue, which can hardly be called a virtue, surpassed all others. In the second stage of decay, the virtues completely disappeared and the love of gain succeeded them; in the third stage, or democracy, the various passions are given free rein, and the virtues and vices are impartially cultivated. But this freedom, which leads to many curious vagaries of character, is really only a state of weakness and dissipation. Finally, a monstrous passion takes hold of the whole nature of man: this is tyranny. In all of them excess, first the excess of wealth and then of liberty, is the element of decadence.

The eighth book of the Republic is full of life pictures and fanciful allusions; the use of metaphorical language is carried out to a greater extent than elsewhere in Plato. we can comment

(1), the description of the two nations in one, which became more and more divided into the Greek republics, as in feudal times, and perhaps also in ours;

(2) the notion of democracy expressed in a kind of Pythagorean formula of inequality between unequals;

(3), the free and easy ways of men and beasts, which are characteristic of liberty, as well as foreign mercenaries, and the universal distrust of the tyrant;

(4) the proposition that mere debts are not to be recovered by law is a speculation often entertained by law reformers in modern times, and is in keeping with the trends in modern law. Debt and land were the two great difficulties of the ancient legislator: in modern times it may be said that we have almost, if not wholly, resolved the first of these difficulties, but scarcely the second.

Even more remarkable are the corresponding portraits of individuals: there is the family portrait of the father and mother and the old servant of the timocratic man, and the external respectability and inherent meanness of the theoligarchic; the unbridled debauchery and freedom of the democrat, in which the young Alcibiades seems to be portrayed, doing good or evil as he pleases, and finally, like the prodigal son, departing for a distant country (note here the language game by which the democrat the man himself is represented under the image of a State that has a citadel and receives embassies); and there is the nature of a wild beast, which is unleashed on its successor. The blow to the tyrant being parricide; the representation of the tyrant's life as an obscene dream; the rhetorical surprise of a man more miserable than the most miserable in Book IX; the suggestion to poets that, if they are friends with tyrants, there is no place for them in a constitutional state, and that they are too clever not to see the advisability of their own expulsion; the continued image of drones being of two kinds, eventually becoming the monstrous drone that has wings (Book IX), is among Plato's happiest touches.

It remains to consider the great difficulty of this book of the Republic, the so-called number of the State. This is nearly as big a puzzle as the Number of the Beast in the Book of Revelation, and although Aristotle was apparently aware of it, Cicero refers to it as a proverb of darkness (Ep. adAtt.). And some have imagined that there is no answer to the riddle and that Plato is practicing with his readers. But such a hoax is incompatible with Aristotle's way of talking about number (Pol.), and would have been ridiculous to any reader of the Republic familiar with Greek mathematics. There is so little reason to suppose that Plato intentionally used obscure expressions; the obscurity arises from our unfamiliarity with the subject. On the other hand, Plato himself indicates that he is not entirely serious, and by describing his number as a solemn joke of the Muses seems to imply some degree of satire in the symbolic use of the number. (Compare Cratylus; Protag.)

Our hope of understanding the passage depends chiefly on an accurate study of the words themselves; on which the parallel passage of the ninth book throws a dim light. Another help is the allusion in Aristotle, who points out that the last part of the passage (Greek) describes a solid figure. (Pol.—'He only says that nothing is permanent, but that all things change in a certain cycle; and that the source of change is a base of numbers which are in the proportion 4:3; and this when combined with a figure of five gives two harmonies, it means when the number of this figure becomes solid.') A further clue can be obtained from the appearance of the Pythagorean triangle, which is denoted by the numbers 3, 4, 5 and in which, as in In all right triangles, the squares of the two shorter sides are equal to the square of the hypotenuse (9 + 16 = 25).

Plato begins by speaking of a perfect or cyclic number (Tim.), that is, a number in which the sum of the divisors is equal to the whole; this is the divine or perfect number in which all minor cycles or revolutions are completed. He also speaks of a human or imperfect number, which has four terms and three ranges of numbers which are related to each other in certain proportions; he converts them into figures and finds in them, when raised to the third power, certain elements of number, which give two 'harmonies', one square, the other oblong; but he does not say that the square number answers to the divine cycle, or the oblong to the human cycle; nor is there any indication that the first or divine number represents the period of the world, the second the period of the state or human race as Zeller supposes; nor is the divine number (Arist.) mentioned afterward. The second is the number of generations or births, and presides over them in the same mysterious manner in which the stars preside over them, or in which, according to the Pythagoreans, opportunity, justice, marriage, are represented by some number or figure. . This is probably the number 216.

The explanation given in the text assumes that the two harmonies form the number 8000. This explanation derives some plausibility from the fact that 8000 is the ancient number of Spartan citizens (Herod), and would be what Plato might have called "a number that almost refers to the population of a city'; the mysterious disappearance of the Spartan population may have suggested to him the first cause of their decline in the States. The lesser or squared 'harmony' of 400 could be a symbol of the guardians, the 'harmony ' greater or oblong, of the people, and the numbers 3, 4, 5 could respectively refer to the three orders in the State or parts of the soul, the four virtues, the five forms of government. Also indicated is the harmony of the musical scale, which elsewhere it is used as a symbol of the harmony of the state.For the numbers 3, 4, 5, which represent the sides of the Pythagorean triangle, also indicate the intervals of the scale.

The terms used in the problem statement can be explained as follows. A perfect (Greek) number, as already said, is one that is equal to the sum of its divisors. Thus, 6, which is the first perfect or cyclic number, = 1 + 2 +3. The words (Greek), 'terms,' or 'notes,' and (Greek), 'intervals,' are as applicable to music as to number and figure. (Greek) is the 'base' on which all computation depends, or the 'lowest term' from which it can be carried out. The words (Greek) have been variously translated: 'square and cubic' (Donaldson), 'equal and equal in power' (Weber), 'by involution and evolution', i.e. raising power and extracting the root (as in translation). Numbers are called "like and different" (Greek) when the factors or sides of the planes and cubes they represent are or are not in the same proportion: p. 8 and 27 = 2 cubed and 3 cubed; and on the contrary. "Increasing" (Greek) numbers, also called "increasing" (Greek) numbers, are those that are exceeded by the sum of their divisors: p. 12 and 18 are less than 16 and 21. The 'decreasing' (Greek) numbers, also called 'decreasing' (Greek) are those that happen with the sum of their divisors: p. 8 and 27 outweigh 7 and 13. The words translated 'measurable and pleasing to one another' (Greek) seem to be different ways of describing the same relationship, more or less precisely. They are equivalent to 'expressible in terms having the same relation to each other', as the series 8, 12, 18, 27, each of which is in the relation of (1 and 1/2) to the previous one. The 'base' or 'fundamental number, to which 1/3 is added' (1 and 1/3) = 4/3 or musical fourth. (Greek) is a 'ratio' of numbers like musical notes, applied to the parts or factors of a single number or to the relation of one number to another. The first harmony is a 'square' (Greek) number; the second harmony is an 'oblong' (Greek) number, that is, a number representing a figure of which only the opposite sides are equal. (Greek) = 'numbers squared of' or 'over diameters'; (Greek) = 'rational', ie, omits fractions, (Greek), 'irrational', ie, includes fractions; eg 49 is a square of rational diameter of a figure whose side = 5 : 50, of its irrational diameter. For several of the explanations given here, and much more, I am indebted to an excellent article on the Platonic Number by Dr. Donaldson (Proc. of the Philol. Society).

The conclusions he draws from these data are summarized by him as follows. Having assumed that the number of the perfect or divine cycle is the number of the world, and the number of the imperfect cycle is the number of the state, he proceeds: 'The period of the world is defined by the perfect number 6, that of the state by the cube of that number or 216, which is the product of the last pair of terms in the Platonic Tetractys (a series of seven terms, 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 8, 27); and if we take this as the basis of our calculation, we have two cubic (Greek) numbers, viz. 8 and 27; and the proportional mean between these, viz. 12 and 18, will give three intervals and four terms, and these terms and intervals are related to each other in the sesqui-alteraratio, that is, each term is to the previous one as 3/2. Now, if we remember that the number 216 = 8 x 27 = 3 cubed + 4 cubed + 5 cubed, and 3 squared + 4 squared = 5 squared, we must admit that this number implies the numbers 3, 4, 5, to which musicians attach great importance And if we combine the ratio 4/3 with the number 5, or multiply the ratios of the sides by the hypotenuse, first squaring and then cubing, we get two expressions, denoting the ratio of the last two pairs of terms in the Platonic Tetractys, the first multiplied by the square, the second by the cube of the number 10, the sum of the first four digits constituting the Platonic Tetractys". (Greek) is (Greek), in other words (4/3 x 5) all squared = 100 x 2 squared over 3 squared. The second (Greek), a cube of the same root, is described as 100 multiplied (alpha) by the rational diameter of 5 minus one, i.e., as shown above, 48: (beta) by two incommensurable diameters, that is, the first two irrationals, or 2 and 3: y(gamma) times the cube of 3, or 27. So we have (48 + 5 + 27) 100 = 1000 x 2 cubed. This second harmony must be the cube of the number of which the previous harmony is the square, and therefore must be divided by the cube of 3. In other words, the total expression will be: (1), for the first harmony, 400 / 9 : (2), for the second harmony, 8000/27.'

The reasons that led me to agree with Dr. Donaldson and also with Schleiermacher in assuming that 216 is the Platonic number of births are: (1) that it agrees with the description of the number given in the first part of the passage (Greek ....): (2) that the number 216 with its permutations would have been familiar to a Greek mathematician, though unknown to us: (3) that 216 is the cube of 6, and also the sum of 3 cubed, 4 cubed, 5 cubed, the numbers 3, 4, 5 represent the Pythagorean triangle, whose squared sides are equal to the square of the hypotenuse (9 + 16 = 25): (4) which is also the period of Pythagorean metempsychosis: (5) the last three terms or bases (3, 4, 5 ) of which 216 is composed answer to the third, fourth, fifth of the musical scale: (6) that the number 216 is the product of the cubes of 2 and 3, which are the last two terms of the Platonic Tetractys: (7) that the triangle of Pythagoras is said by Plutarch (de Is. et Osir.), Proclus (superprime I cl.), and Quintilian (de Musica) contained in this passage, so that the tradition of the school seems point in the same direction: (8) that the Pythagorean triangle is also called the (Greek) marriage figure.

But while I agree with Dr. Donaldson so far I see no reason to suppose, as he does, that the prime or perfect number is the world, the human number or imperfect the state; nor has he given any proof that the second harmony is a cube. Nor do I think (Greek) can mean 'two incommensurables', which you arbitrarily assume to be 2 and 3, but rather, as the previous clause implies, (Greek), i.e. two square numbers based on irrational diameters of a figure whose side is 5 = 50 x 2.

The greatest objection to the translation is the sense given to the words (Greek), "a base of three with a third added to it, multiplied by 5." In this somewhat forced way, Plato once again introduces the numbers of the Pythagorean triangle. But the coincidences in the numbers that follow favor the explanation. The first harmony of 400, as already noted, probably represents rulers; the second and oblong harmony of 7600, the city.

And here we say goodbye to the difficulty. The discovery of the riddle would be useless and would not shed any light on ancient mathematics. The point of interest is that Plato should have used such a symbol, and that much of the Pythagorean spirit should have prevailed in him. Its general meaning is, that the divine creation is perfect, and is represented or presided over by a perfect or cyclic number; human generation is imperfect and is represented or presided over by an imperfect number or series of numbers. The number 5040, which is the number of citizens in the Laws, is expressly based on utilitarian reasons, namely, the convenience of the number for division; it is also composed of the first seven digits multiplied. The contrast between the perfect and the imperfect number may have been easily suggested by corrections to the cycle, made first by Meto and later by Callippus; (The latter is said to have been a student of Plato.) Of the degree of importance or precision to be attached to the problem, the number of the tyrant in Book IX (729 = 365 x 2), and the slight correction of the error in number 5040/12 (Laws), may give a clear idea. There is nothing surprising in the circumstance that those who have sought order in nature, and found order in number, have imagined that the one gives law to the other. Plato believes in a power of number far beyond what he could see realized in the world around him, and he knows the great influence that "the little matter of 1, 2, 3" has on education. One might even think that he had a prophetic anticipation of the discoveries of Quetelet and others, that numbers depend on numbers; for example, in the population, the number of births and the respective number of children born of both sexes, at the respective ages of the parents, that is, in other numbers.

BOOK IX. Finally comes the tyrannical man, about whom we must ask ourselves: where is he from and how does he live, in happiness or in misery? There is, however, a prior question about the nature and number of the appetites, which I would like to consider first. Some of them are unlawful, and yet admit to being punished and weakened in varying degrees by the power of reason and law. "What appetites do you mean?" I mean those who are awake when the reasoning faculties are asleep, who get up and walk. naked without any self-respect or shame; and there is no conceivable madness or crime, however cruel or unnatural they may not, in imagination, be guilty of. 'True,' said he; 'very right'. But when a man's pulse beats in moderation; and he dined at a feast of reason and came to know himself before he went to rest and indulged his desires long enough to prevent them from disturbing his reason, which remains clear and bright, and when freed from strife and heat waves, the visions he has in his bed are less irregular and abnormal. Even in good men there is that ragged nature of a beast, which hovers in sleep.

To return: - Do you remember what was said about the democrat; that he was the son of a miserly father, who encouraged parsimonious desires and repressed ornamental and costly ones; soon the young man found himself in good company, and began to dislike his father's narrow forms; and being a better man than the corruptors of his youth, he came to a mean, and led a life, not of lawless or servile passion, but of regular and successive indulgence. Now imagine that the young man has become a father and has a son who is exposed to the same temptations and has companions who lead him into all kinds of evil, and parents and friends who try to keep him in his place. The evil advisers discover that their only chance of holding him is to implant a monstrous hum, or love, in his soul; while other desires buzz around him and confuse him with sounds and sweet smells, this monstrous love seizes him and puts an end to every true or modest thought or desire. Love, like drunkenness and madness, is a tyranny; and the tyrannical man, whether made by nature or habit, is but a drunken, lecherous, and furious sort of animal.

And how does one live like this? "No, you must tell me this." Well then, I imagine that he will live among orgies and prostitution, and love will be the lord and master of the house. Many wishes require a lot of money, so he spends all he has and borrows more; and when he has nothing, the young crows are still in the nest they were born in, crying for food. love stirs them up; and they must be gratified by force or fraud, or else they become painful and troublesome; and as new pleasures succeed old ones, the son will take possession of his fathers' goods; if they show signs of refusal, they will be deceived and deceived; and if they openly resist, what happens? 'All I can say is that I wouldn't really want to be in his shoes.' Or enslave them to the fantasies of the moment! The truly tyrannical son is a blessing to his father and mother! When there is nothing left to get from them, he becomes a thief or pickpocket, or robs a temple. Love takes hold of the thoughts of her youth and becomes, in sober reality, the monster she sometimes was in her sleep. It is strengthened in all violence and iniquity; and he is ready for any act of audacity that will satisfy the needs of his rabble. In a well-ordered state there are but a few, and these in wartime go out and become mercenaries for a tyrant. But in peacetime they stay at home and do mischief; they are thieves, highwaymen, pickpockets, men's thieves in the community; or if they can speak, they become false witnesses and informers. "In fact, it is not a small catalog of crimes, even if the perpetrators are few." Yes, I said; but the small and the great are relative terms, and no crime committed by them approaches that of the tyrant, which this increasingly strong and numerous class creates of itself. If the people give in, well and good, but if they resist, then, as before, they beat the father and mother, now they beat the country and mother and set their mercenaries on them. Such men in their early days live with flatterers, and they themselves flatter others to achieve their ends, but soon discard their followers when they no longer need them; they are always master or servant, the joys of friendship unknown to them. And they are downright treacherous and unjust, if we understand the nature of justice at all. They make our dream come true; and he who is by nature the most tyrant, and lives the life of a tyrant the longest, will be the worst of them, and being the worst of them, he will also be the most miserable.

Like man, like the State, tyrannical man will respond to tyranny, which is the extreme opposite of the real State; Because one is the best and the other is the worst. But which one is happier? However great and terrible the tyrant enthroned among his satellites may seem, let us not be afraid to enter and ask; and the answer is that the monarchical is the happiest and the tyrannical the most miserable of states. And may we not ask the same question about themselves, asking someone to look at them who is able to penetrate the inner nature of man and who is not frightened by the vain pomp of tyranny? I think it's one of them. who lived with him, and saw him in family life, or perhaps in the hour of tribulation and danger.

Assuming that we ourselves are the impartial judge we seek, let us begin by comparing the individual and the State, and ask first whether the State is likely to be free or enslaved: is there not a little freedom and a lot of slavery? ? And liberty belongs to the wicked, and bondage to the good; and this applies both to man and to the State; for his soul is full of meanness and bondage, and the best part is a slave to the worst. He can't do what he wants and his mind is confused; it is the reverse of a free man. The State will be poor and full of misery and pain; and the soul of man will also be poor and full of pain, and he will be the most miserable of men. No, not the most wretched one, because there is still one more wretched one. 'Who is he?' The tyrannical man who has the misfortune to also become a public tyrant. "There I suspect you're right." Say rather: "I'm sure"; The conjecture is mistaken in an investigation of this nature. He is like a wealthy slave owner, only he has more slaves than any private individual. You will say, "Slave owners are generally not afraid of them." But why? Because the whole city is in a league that protects the individual. Suppose, however, that one of these landlords and his family were driven by a god into a desert, where there were no free men to help him, would he not be in an agony of terror? Will he not be forced to flatter his slaves and promise them many things? hurtful things against his will? And suppose the same god who kidnapped him surrounded him with neighbors who declared that no man should have slaves and that their owners should be punished by death. 'Worse and worse! He will be in the midst of his enemies. And our tyrant, he is not such a captive soul, that he is tormented by a swarm of passions that he cannot satisfy; living indoors always as a woman, and jealous of who can go out to see the world?

Having so many evils, will not the most miserable of men be even more miserable in a public office? Teacher of others when not himself; like a patient who is forced to be an athlete; the meanest of slaves and the most abject of sycophants; wanting all things, and never able to satisfy his desires; always afraid and distracted, like the State of which he is a representative. His jealous, hateful, and unfaithful temper is made worse by order; he is more and more unfaithful, envious, unjust, the most miserable of men, a misery to himself and to others. And so, we're going to have a final judgment and proclamation; Do we need to hire a herald, or should I proclaim the result? the happier. true master of himself; and that the unjust man is he who is the greatest tyrant of himself and his state. And I add further: "seen or unseen by gods or men."

This is our first test. The second derives from the three types of pleasure, which respond to the three elements of the soul: reason, passion, desire; under the latter is meant both avarice and sensual appetite, while passion includes ambition, the feeling of revelry, the love of reputation. Reason, again, is only directed towards obtaining the truth and does not care about money or reputation. According to the difference in the nature of men, one of these three principles is in the ascendancy, and they have their various corresponding pleasures. Question the three natures now, and each will find itself praising its own pleasures and despising those of others. The money maker will contrast the vanity of knowledge with the solid advantages of wealth. The ambitious man will despise knowledge that does not bring honor, while the philosopher will regard only the fruit of truth, and will regard other pleasures as more necessary than good. Now, how are we going to decide between them? Is there a better criterion than experience and knowledge? And which of the three has the truest knowledge and the widest experience? The experience of youth makes the philosopher familiar with both kinds of desire, but the greedy and ambitious man never experiences the pleasures of truth and wisdom. Honor is equally with them; they are 'judged by him', but he is 'not judged by them', because they never come to the knowledge of true being. And his instrument is reason, while his standard is only wealth and honor; and if by reason we have to judge, your good will be the truest. And so we arrive at the result that the pleasure of the rational part of the soul, and a life spent in such pleasure, is most pleasant. He who has the right to judge judges so. Then comes the life of ambition, and thirdly, the life of making money.

Twice the just conquered the unjust: once again, as in an Olympic competition, first offering a prayer to the savior Zeus, let him attempt a fall. A wise man whispers to me that the pleasures of the wise are true and pure; all others are but a shadow. Let's examine this: isn't pleasure opposed to pain, and isn't there an intermediate state that isn't? When a man is sick, nothing pleases him better than health. But that he never knew while he was well. In pain he just wants to stop suffering; on the other hand, when he is in an ecstasy of pleasure, the rest is painful to him. Thus, rest or cessation is pleasure and pain. But can what is neither become both? Furthermore, pleasure and pain are movements, and the absence of them is rest; but if so, how can the absence of one be the other? Thus, we are led to infer that the contradiction is only an appearance and a sorcery of the senses. And these are not the only pleasures, because there are others that are unprecedented in pain. Pure pleasure, then, is not the absence of pain, nor is pure pain the absence of pleasure; though most of the pleasures that reach the mind through the body are reliefs of pain, and have not only their reactions when they go away, but their anticipations before they arrive. They can best be described in a simile. There is in nature an upper, a lower, and an intermediate region, and he who passes from the lower to the middle imagines that he is ascending and that he is already in the upper world; and if they took him back he would think, and really think, that he was sinking. All this stems from your ignorance of the true upper, middle and lower regions. And a similar confusion happens with pleasure and pain, and with many other things. The man who compares gray with black calls gray white; and the man who compares the absence of pain with pain calls the absence of pain pleasure. Furthermore, hunger and thirst are starvation of the body, ignorance and madness of the soul; and food is the satisfaction of the one, the knowledge of the other. Now, which is the purer satisfaction, that of eating and drinking, or that of knowledge? Consider the matter thus: the satisfaction of him who has more existence is truer than that of him who has less. The changeless and immortal have a more real existence than the changeable and mortal, and have a corresponding measure of knowledge and truth. The soul, moreover, has more existence, truth, and knowledge than the body, and is therefore more truly satisfied and has more natural pleasure. Those who feast on a single earthly meal always go up at random to the middle and come down again; but they never pass into the true upper world, nor experience true pleasure. They are like fat animals, full of gluttony and sensuality, and ready to kill each other because of their insatiable lust; because they are not full of true being, and their vessel is leaky (Gorgias). Its pleasures are mere shades of pleasure, mingled with pain, colored and heightened by contrast, and therefore intensely desired; and men fight for them, as Estesichorus says the Greeks fought for Helen's shadow at Troy, because they do not know the truth.

The same can be said of the passionate element: the desires of the ambitious soul, like those of the miser, have an inferior satisfaction. Only when, under the guidance of reason, any one of the other principles does its own work or achieves its natural pleasure. When they don't, they force the other parts of the soul to pursue a shadow of pleasure that isn't their own. And the farther they are from philosophy and reason, the farther they are from law and order, and the more illusory their pleasures. The desires of love and tyranny are furthest from the law, and those of the king closest to it. There is one genuine pleasure and two spurious ones: the tyrant goes beyond even the last; he fled completely from law and reason. Nor can the measure of his inferiority be told, except in numbers. The tyrant is a separate third party from the oligarch, and therefore has no shadow of his pleasure, but only the shadow of a shadow. The oligarch, again, is three times away from the king, and so we obtain the formula 3x3, which is the number of a surface, which represents the shadow that is the pleasure of the tyrant, and if you want to cube this 'number of the beast' , you will find that the measure of the difference is 729; the king is 729 times happier than the tyrant. And that extraordinary number is ALMOST equal to the number of days and nights in a year (365 x 2 = 730); and therefore deals with human life. This is the gap between a good man and a bad man in happiness alone: ​​what must be the difference between them the yield of life and virtue!

You may remember someone who said at the beginning of our discussion that the unjust man would benefit from having a reputation for being just. Now that we know the nature of justice and injustice, let us make an image of the soul, which will personify his words. First, make a numerous animal, having a ring of heads of all kinds of animals, tame and wild, and capable of producing and changing them at will. Let us now suppose another form of lion and another of man; the second smaller than the first, the third smaller than the second; bring them together and cover them with a human skin, in which they will be completely hidden. When this has been done, let us tell the defender of injustice that he is feeding the animals and starving the man. The defender of justice, on the other hand, is trying to strengthen man; he is nurturing the gentle principle within him, and making an alliance with the lion's heart, that he may keep the many-headed hydra at bay, and bring all into unity with each other and with themselves. Thus, from every point of view, whether in regard to pleasure, honor, or advantage, the just is right and the unjust is wrong.

But now, let us reason with the unjust, who are not intentionally wrong. It is not the noble who attributes the beast to man, or rather to the God in man; the ignoble one, the one who subjugates man to the beast? And if so, who would receive gold on condition that he degrades the noblest part of himself under the worst? Who would sell his son or daughter into the hands of brutal and wicked men, for any amount of money? And will he unscrupulously sell his most beautiful and divine part to the most impious and disgusting? Is he not worse than Eriphila, who sold her husband's life for a necklace? And intemperance is deliverance from the manifold monster, and pride and sadness are the growth and increase of the lion and serpent element, while luxury and effeminacy are caused by an excessive relaxation of the spirit. Flattery and meanness reappear as the hardy element submits to greed and the lion gets used to becoming ape. The true shame of the craft arts is that those who engage in them must cajole rather than subdue their desires; therefore we say that they must be under the control of the best principle in another, because they have none in themselves; not, as Thrasymachus imagined, to the detriment of his subjects, but for their good. And our intention in educating the youth is to give them self-control; the law wants to nurture a higher principle in them, and when they have acquired it, they can go their ways.

'What then will it profit man if he gains the whole world' and becomes more and more wicked? Or what will he gain by avoiding discovery, if the concealment of evil prevents healing? Had he been punished, the brute within him would have been silenced and the gentler element released; and he would have united temperance, justice, and wisdom in his soul, a far better union than any combination of bodily gifts. The man of understanding will honor knowledge above all else; secondly, he will keep it under his body, not only for the sake of health and strength, but in order to achieve the most perfect harmony of body and soul. Also in the acquisition of wealth he will seek order and harmony; he will not wish to accumulate wealth without measure, but he will fear lest the increase of wealth disturb the constitution of his own soul. For the same reason he will only accept honors that make him a better man; any other will reject it. "In that case," he said, "he will never be a politician." Yes, but it will be, in your own city; though probably not in his native country, unless by some divine accident. You mean he will be a citizen of the ideal city, which has no place on earth. But in heaven, I replied, there is a model of such a city, and anyone who wants to can order his life according to this image. It matters not whether such a state is or will be; he will act according to that standard and no other...

The most notable points in Book 9 of the Republic are:- (1) the description of pleasure; (2) the number of the interval that separates the king from the tyrant; (3) the standard which is in heaven.

1. Plato's description of pleasure is notable for its moderation, and in this respect he contrasts with the later Platonists and the views attributed to them by Aristotle. He is not, like the Cynics, opposed to every pleasure, but desires that the various parts of the soul should have their natural satisfaction; he even agrees with the Epicureans in describing pleasure as something more than the absence of pain. Proof of this is the fact that there are pleasures that do not have a history of pain (as the Philebus also points out), such as the pleasures of smell, and also the pleasures of hope and anticipation. In the previous book he had distinguished between necessary and unnecessary pleasures, which Aristotle repeats, and now he observes that there is another class of "wild" pleasures, corresponding to those of Aristotle (Greek). He focuses on the relative and unreal character of sensual pleasures and the illusion that arises from the contrast between pleasure and pain, pointing out the superiority of the pleasures of reason, which are at rest, over the fleeting pleasures of the senses and emotion. The pre-eminence of real pleasure is shown by the fact that reason is able to judge the inferior pleasures, while the two inferior parts of the soul are incapable of judging the pleasures of reason. Thus, in his treatment of pleasure, as in many other matters, Plato's philosophy is "sawn in pieces" by Aristotle; his original analysis became the basis of other technical distinctions in the next generation. In both Plato and Aristotle we note the delusion into which the ancients fell, regarding the transience of pleasure as proof of their unreality, and mistaking the permanence of intellectual pleasures for the immutability of the knowledge from which they derive. Nor do we like to admit that the pleasures of knowledge, though higher, are not more enduring than other pleasures, and depend almost equally on the accidents of our bodily state (Introduction to Philebus).

2. The number of the interval separating the king from the tyrant, and from the royal pleasures of tyrants, is 729, the cube of 9. Which Plato characteristically designates as a number relating to human life, because it is ALMOST equivalent to the number of days and nights in the year. He is eager to proclaim that the gap between them is immeasurable, and he devises a formula to give expression to his idea. Those who spoke of justice as a cube, of virtue as the art of measuring (Prot.), saw no objection to conceiving the soul under the figure of a line, or the pleasure of strips separated from the king's pleasure by the figure of number. range of 729. And in modern times we sometimes use metaphorically what Plato used as a philosophical formula. "It is not easy to estimate the tyrant's loss, except perhaps in this way," says Plato. So we might say that, although the life of a good man cannot be compared with that of a bad man, you can measure the difference between them by measuring a minute of one against an hour of the other ("A day in your courts". better than a thousand'), or it may be said that 'there is an infinite difference'. But this is not so much as saying, in one simple sentence, 'They are a thousand miles away'. And hence Plato finds the natural vehicle for his thoughts in a progression of numbers; this arithmetic formula he draws more seriously, and both here and in the generation number he seems to find further proof of the truth of his speculation in turning the number into a geometrical figure; just as nowadays people tend to imagine that a statement is verified when it has been presented only in an abstract way. By speaking of the number 729 as typical of human life, he probably meant to imply that one year of tyranny = 12 hours of real life.

The simple observation that the comparison of two similar solids is done by comparing the cubes of their sides is the mathematical foundation of this extravagant expression. There is some difficulty in explaining the steps by which the number 729 is obtained; the oligarch is separated in the third degree from the royal and aristocratic, and the tyrant in the third degree from the oligarchic; but we have to arrange the terms like the sides of a square and count the oligarch twice, thus counting them not as = 5 but as = 9. The square of 9 is passed slightly as a step towards the cube.

3. Towards the end of the Republic, Plato seems to be more and more convinced of the ideal character of his own speculations. At the end of Book IX, the patron who is in heaven takes the place of the city of philosophers on earth. The vision that was given form and substance in your hands now lies in the distance. And yet this distant realm is also the rule of man's life. ("Say not lo! here, nor lo! there, for the kingdom of God is within you.") Thus a note is struck which prepares for the revelation of a future life in the next book. But the life to come is still present; the ideal of politics must be realized in the individual.

BOOK X. Many things pleased me in the order of our State, but nothing pleased me more than the regulation on poetry. The division of the soul sheds new light on our exclusion from imitation. I do not mind saying suspiciously that all poetry is an insult to understanding, unless the hearers have that balm of science which cures error. I have loved Homer since I was a boy, and even now he seems to me the great master of tragic poetry. But as much as I love man, I love truth more, and so I must speak: and first of all, will you explain to me what imitation is, because I really don't understand? 'How likely then that he understands!' This might well be, for the dullest eye often sees better than the keenest eye. "True, but in his presence I can hardly venture to speak my mind." So suppose we start the old-fashioned way, with the doctrine of universals. Suppose there are beds and tables. There is an idea of ​​the bed, or table, that the creator of each had in mind when making them; he did not make the ideas for beds and tables, but he made beds and tables according to the ideas. And is there not one maker of the works of all the workers, who makes not only vessels, but also plants and animals, himself, the earth and heaven, and the things that are in heaven and under the earth? He also makes the Gods. 'Must be a real magician!' But don't you see there's a sense in which you could do the same? You just have to take a mirror and catch the reflection of the sun, and the earth, or whatever, and now you've made them. 'Yes, but only in appearance.' Exactly; and the painter is as creative as you are with the mirror, and he is even more unreal than the carpenter; though neither the carpenter nor any other artist can make the bed absolute. "Not if it is possible to believe the philosophers." Nor should we be surprised that his bed bears an imperfect relation to the truth. Reflect:—Here are three beds; one in nature, which is made by God; another, which is made by the carpenter; and the third, of the painter. God made only one, and could not have made more than one; for if there were two, there would always be a third, more absolute and abstract than any, under which they would have been subsumed. Thus we may conceive of God as the natural creator of the bed, and in a lower sense the carpenter is also the creator; but the painter is rather the imitator of what the other two do; it is a creation three times removed from reality. And the tragic poet is an imitator and, like any other imitator, he is three times removed from the king and from the truth. The painter does not imitate the original bed, but the bed made by the carpenter. And this one, without being really different, seems to be different, and has many points of view, of which only one is captured by the painter, who represents everything because he represents a piece of everything, and that piece is an image. And you can paint any other artist, even if you don't know anything about his arts; and that with sufficient skill to deceive children or simple people. Suppose now that someone came to us and told us how he met a man who knew everything that everybody else knows, and better than anybody else: we should not infer that he is a fool who, without discerning truth and falsehood, had known a magician or enchanter, who he believed to be all wise? And when we hear people say that Homer and the tragedians know all the arts and all the virtues, must we not infer that they are under a similar delusion? they don't see that poets are imitators and their creations are just imitations. "Very right". But if a person could create as well as imitate, he would rather leave some permanent work and not just an imitation; Would you rather be the recipient than the giver of compliments? 'Yes, because then I would have more honor and advantage.'

Let us now question Homer and the poets. Friend Homer, I tell you, I am not going to ask you about medicine, nor about any art to which your poems incidentally refer, but about your main themes: war, military tactics, politics. If you are only twice and not three times far from the truth, you are not an imitator or image-maker, please let us know what good you have done to humanity. Is there any city that claims to have received laws from you, as Sicily and Italy received from Charondas, Sparta from Lycurgus, Athens from Solon? Or has a war ever been fought for their councils? Or is some invention attributed to you, like Thales and Anacarsis? Or is there some Homeric way of life, like the Pythagorean, in which you instructed men and which bears your name? 'In truth no; and Creophylus (son of flesh) was even more unhappy in his creation than in his name, if, as tradition has it, Homer and his other friends allowed him to starve during his lifetime.' Yes, but could this have happened if Homer really had been the educator of Hellas? Would he not have many devout followers? If Protagoras and Prodicus can persuade their contemporaries that no one can rule the house or state without them, is it likely that Homer and Hesiod would have been allowed to run around like beggars, I mean if they could really do any good in the world? ? Did the men force them to stay where they were or did they follow them to get an education? But they didn't; and hence we may infer that Homer and all poets are but imitators, who do nothing but imitate the appearances of things. For just as a painter, by knowledge of figure and color, can paint a cobbler without any practice of parallelepipeds, so the poet can sketch any art in the colors of language, and give harmony and rhythm to the cobbler and general alike. ; and you know how mere narrative, when stripped of the trappings of meter, is like a face that has lost the beauty of youth and never had another. Again, the imitator has no knowledge of reality, only of appearance. The painter paints, and the craftsman makes a bridle and reins, but neither understands their use; knowledge of this is limited to the pilot; and so on other things. Thus, we have three arts: one of use, another of invention, a third of imitation; and the user provides the rule for the other two. The flutist will know the good and the bad flute, and the maker will trust him; but the imitator will neither know nor have faith; neither science nor true opinion can be ascribed to it. Imitation, then, is without knowledge, being only a kind of game or sport, and tragic and epic poets are imitators in the highest degree.

And now let us inquire what is the faculty of man which responds to imitation. Let me explain what I mean: objects look different when they are in the water and when they are out of it, when they are near and when they are far away; and the painter or juggler uses this variation to impose himself on us. And the art of measuring, weighing, and calculating intervenes to save our confused minds from the power of appearance; because, as we said, two contrary opinions about the same thing about the same thing at the same time cannot both be true. But which of them is true is determined by the art of calculation; and this is related to the best faculty of the soul, as the arts of imitation are related to the worst. And the same applies to both hearing and sight, both poetry and painting. Imitation is voluntary or involuntary actions, in which there is an expectation of a good or bad result, and present experience of pleasure and pain. But is a man in harmony with himself when he is subject to these conflicting influences? Is there not a contradiction in this? Let me ask you if you are more likely to control your pain when you are alone or when you are with other people. "As a last resort." Feeling would lead him to tolerate his pain, but reason and law control him and demand patience, for he cannot know whether his affliction is good or bad, and no human thing is of great importance, while pain is certainly an obstacle. for good advice. Because when we stumble, we shouldn't make noise like children; we must take the measures that reason prescribes, not raising a complaint, but finding a cure. And the best part of us is ready to follow reason, while your rational principle is full of pain and distraction in remembering our problems. Unfortunately, however, the latter provides the main materials for the imitative arts. Whereas reason is always at rest and cannot easily show itself, especially to a mixed crowd who have no experience of it. So the poet is like the painter in two ways: first, he paints a lower degree of truth, and second, he is concerned with a lower part of the soul. He delights in feelings, while weakening reason; and we refuse to allow it to have authority over the mind of man; for he has no measure of what is greater or less, and he is an image-maker and far from the truth.

But we haven't yet mentioned the charge's heaviest charge: the power of poetry to excite feelings in harmful ways. When we hear some passage where a hero laments at length over his sufferings, you know we sympathize with him and praise the poet; and yet, in our own sorrows, such a display of feeling is thought to be effeminate rather than masculine (Ion). Now, should a man take pleasure in seeing another do what he hates and abhors in himself? Are you not giving in to a feeling that, in your own case, you would control? He is taken aback because the pain belongs to someone else; and he thinks he can satisfy his feelings without shame, and he will be the conqueror of pleasure. But the inevitable consequence is that he who begins to cry for the pain of others will end up crying for his own. So it is with comedy: you can often laugh at buffoonery that you would be ashamed to utter, and the love of boorish gaiety on stage will eventually make you a jester at home. Poetry feeds and waters passions and desires; she lets them rule instead of ruling them. And therefore, when we hear Homer's praisers assert that he is the educator of Hellas, and that all life must be regulated by his precepts, we may recognize the excellence of their intentions, and agree with them in thinking that Homer is a great poet and tragic. But we will continue to ban all poetry that goes beyond hymns to the gods and eulogies to famous men. Not pleasure and pain, but law and reason will rule in our state.

These are our reasons for expelling poetry; but lest she accuse us of impoliteness, let us also apologize to her. We recall that there is an ancient dispute between poetry and philosophy, of which there are many traces in the writings of poets, such as the saying 'the bitch, howling at her mistress', and 'the philosophers who are ready to flee to Zeus' and 'the philosophers who they are poor'. However, we bear him no ill will, and will gladly allow him to return, on condition that he defends himself in verse; and its supporters who are not poets can speak in prose. We confess his charms; but if it cannot prove to be as useful as it is delicious, as rational lovers we must renounce our love, though it has captivated us by former associations. Having come to years of discretion, we know that poetry is not the truth, and that a man must beware of introducing it into that state or constitution which he himself is; for there is a great issue at stake, no less than the good or evil of a human soul. And it is not worth abandoning justice and virtue for the attractions of poetry, nor for honor or wealth. 'I agree with you.'

And yet the rewards of virtue are far greater than I have described. 'And can we conceive of even greater things?' Not, perhaps, in this brief life: but should an immortal care about anything other than eternity? 'I do not understand what you mean?' Don't you know that the soul is immortal? 'Surely you're not ready to try this?' In fact, I am. 'Then let me hear this argument, that you do so little.'

Would you admit that everything has an element of good and evil. In all things there is inherent corruption; and if that cannot destroy them, nothing else will. The soul also has its own corrupting principles, which are injustice, intemperance, cowardice, and the like. But none of this destroys the soul in the same sense that disease destroys the body. The soul may be full of all iniquities, but it is not because of them that it approaches death. Nothing that has not been destroyed within ever perishes from the external affection of evil. The body, which is one thing, cannot be destroyed by food, which is another, unless the evil of food is communicated to the body. Nor can the soul, which is one thing, be corrupted by the body, which is another, unless it itself becomes infected. And as no bodily evil can infect the soul, no bodily evil, whether disease or violence, or any other, can destroy the soul, unless it can be shown to make it impious and unjust. But no one will ever prove that men's souls become more unjust when they die. If anyone has the audacity to say the opposite, the answer is: So why do criminals ask for the executioner's hand and not die alone? ; but I believe that the injustice that kills others tends to hasten and stimulate the lives of the unjust. You are absolutely right. If sin, which is its own natural and inherent evil, cannot destroy the soul, hardly anything else will. But the soul that cannot be destroyed by internal or external evil must be immortal and eternal. And if this is true, souls will always exist in the same number. They cannot diminish, because they cannot be destroyed; nor increase, because the increase of the immortal must come from something mortal, and so all would end in immortality. The soul is not variable and diverse either; for what is immortal must be of the most beautiful and simple composition. If we would truly conceive of it, and so contemplate justice and injustice in its own nature, it must be contemplated in the light of pure reason as at birth, or as reflected in philosophy in conversation with the divine, the immortal, and the eternal. . In her present condition, we see her only as the sea-god Glaucus, bruised and maimed in the sea that is the world, and covered with shells and encrusted stones for earth's entertainments.

Hitherto, as the argument demanded, we have said nothing of the rewards and honors which poets ascribe to justice; we have been content to show that justice itself is better for the soul itself, even if a man put on a ring of Gyges and had the helmet of Hades also. And now you're going to give me back what you borrowed; and I will enumerate the rewards of righteousness in life and after death. I admitted, for the sake of argument, as you will remember, that evil might perhaps escape the knowledge of gods and men, though that was really impossible. And since I have shown that justice has reality, you must also grant me that it has the palm of appearance. First, the righteous man is known to the Gods and therefore a friend of the Gods, and he will receive all good at their hands, except always the evil that is a necessary consequence of previous sins. All things end well for him, whether in life or after death, even what appears to be bad; because the gods take care of those who want to be like them. And what shall we say of men? Isn't honesty the best policy? The wily rogue makes a great start at the start, but collapses before reaching the finish line and runs away in disgrace; while the true runner perseveres to the end and receives the prize. And you must allow me to repeat all the blessings you attributed to the unjustly lucky: they rule the city, marry and give in marriage to whomever they want; and the evils that you attribute to the unfortunate just, really fall on the unjust in the end, although, as you insinuated, it is better to watch over their sufferings in silence.

But all the blessings of this present life are nothing compared to those that await good men after death. I would like to hear about them. Come, then, and I will tell you the story of Er, son of Armenian, a valiant man. He should have died in battle, but ten days later his body was found intact and sent home for burial. On the twelfth day he was placed on the funeral pyre and there he came to life and told what he had seen in the world below. He said that his soul went with a great company to a place where there were two chasms together in the earth below, and two corresponding chasms in the heavens above. And there were judges sitting in the intervening space, ordering the righteous to go up the heavenly way to the right hand, having the seal of their judgment placed before them, while the unrighteous, having the seal behind, were ordered to go down the way to the left. . They told him to watch and listen, for he would be their messenger to men in the world below. And he looked and saw the souls leaving after the judgment in every abyss; some that came from the earth were worn and stained by travel; others, which came down from heaven, were clean and bright. They seemed content to meet and rest awhile in the meadow; here they discussed among themselves what they had seen in the other world. Those who came from earth wept at the memory of their sorrows, but the spirits on high spoke of glorious visions and heavenly happiness. He said that for every wrong act they were punished tenfold - now the journey was a thousand years, because a man's life was reckoned in a hundred years - and the rewards of virtue were in the same proportion. He added something that hardly bears repeating about children who die almost as soon as they are born. Of parricides and other murderers he had even more terrible tortures to narrate. He was present when one of the spirits asked: Where is Ardiaeus the Great? (This Ardiaeus was a cruel tyrant, who had murdered his father and elder brother a thousand years before.) Another spirit replied: 'He does not come hither, and never will.' And I myself," he added, "actually saw this terrible spectacle. At the mouth of the abyss, when we were about to climb back up, Ardiaeus and some other sinners appeared, most of whom were tyrants, but not all, and just when they thought they were coming back to life, the abyss roared. , and then wild men, fierce looking, who knew the meaning of the sound, seized him and several others, tied them hand and foot, threw them to the ground, and dragged them to the side of the road, tearing and carding like wool, and explaining to passers-by that they were going to be cast into hell.” The greatest terror of the ascending pilgrims was to hear the voice, and when silence fell one by one they passed through with joy. To these sufferings there were corresponding delights.

On the eighth day the souls of the pilgrims resumed their journey and in four days they reached a place from which they saw a line of light, the color of a rainbow, only brighter and clearer. One more day he took them to the place, and they saw that that was the column of light that unites the entire universe. The ends of the pillar were fastened to the sky, and from them hung the distaff of Necessity, upon which all the heavenly bodies revolved; the hook and spindle were of diamond, and the spiral of a mixed substance. The spiral was in the form of a series of boxes that fitted together with upturned edges, forming a single spiral with the spindle across. The outer one had the widest edge, and the inner whorls were getting smaller and had narrower edges. The largest (the fixed stars) were adorned with sequins; the seventh (the sun) was the brightest; the eighth (the moon) shone in the light of the seventh; the second and fifth (Saturn and Mercury) were more similar to each other and more yellow than the eighth; the third (Jupiter) had the whitest light, the fourth (Mars) was red, the sixth (Venus) was second in whiteness. The whole had a single movement, but as it rotated in one direction, the seven inner circles moved in the opposite direction, with varying degrees of speed and slowness. The spindle spun on Necessity's knees, and a siren sang over each circle, while Lachesis, Clotho, and Atropos, the daughters of Necessity, sat on thrones at equal intervals, singing of the past, present, and future, responding to the music. from Sirens; Clotho occasionally guiding the outer circle with a flick of her right hand; Atropos with the left hand touching and guiding the inner circles; Lachesis, in turn, extended a hand from time to time to guide the two. As they arrived, the pilgrims proceeded to Lachesis, and there was an interpreter who organized them and, taking from their knees lots and samples of lives, ascended a pulpit and said: 'Mortal souls, listen to the words of Lachesis, the daughter of need. A new period of mortal life has begun, and you can choose any deity you like; the responsibility to choose is on you; God is innocent. After saying this, he cast lots among them, and each drew his lot. Then he laid on the ground before them the specimens of lives, far more than the souls present; and there were all kinds of life, man and beast. There were tyrannies that ended in misery and exile, and lives of men and women famous for their different qualities; and also mixed lives, made up of wealth and poverty, sickness and health. Here, Glaucon, is the great risk of human life, and therefore all education must be directed towards acquiring such knowledge as will teach man to reject evil and choose good. He must know all the combinations that occur in life, of beauty with poverty or wealth, of knowledge with external goods, and finally choose with reference to the nature of the soul, regarding it only as the best life that makes the best men. , and leaving the rest. And a man must carry with him an iron sense of truth and justice to the world below, that there too he may remain undisturbed by wealth or the temptations of evil, determined to avoid extremes and choose the means. Because this, as the messenger said to the interpreter, is man's true happiness; and anyone, as he proclaimed, can, if he wants to without understanding, have good luck, even if he is the last. Let the first not be careless in his choice, nor the second despair. He said; and when he spoke, he who drew the first lot chose a tyranny: he did not see that he was destined to devour his own children, and when he discovered his mistake, he wept and beat his breast, blaming chance and the gods and anyone in the place from yourself. He was one of those who came from heaven, and in his former life he had been a citizen of a well-ordered state, but he had only habits and no philosophy. Like many others, he made a bad choice because he lacked life experience; while those who came from the earth and faced problems were not in such a hurry to choose. But if a man had followed philosophy while he was on earth, and was moderately fortunate in his lot, he might not only be happy here, but his pilgrimage to and from this world would be peaceful and heavenly. Nothing is more curious than the spectacle of the election, sad, laughable and wonderful at the same time; most souls seek only to avoid their own condition in a previous life. He saw Orpheus' soul transform into a swan because he didn't want to be born of a woman; there was Thamyras turning into a nightingale; musical birds, like the swan, choosing to be men; the twentieth soul, which was that of Ajax, preferring the life of a lion to that of a man, in memory of the injustice done him in the trial of arms; and Agamemnon, from an enmity similar to human nature, becoming an eagle. In the middle was the soul of Atalanta choosing the honors of an athlete, and beside Epeo assuming the nature of a worker; among the last was Thersites, who was changing into a monkey. There, the last of all, he reached Odyssey, and sought the fate of a private man, who was already careless and unappreciated, and when he found him, he rejoiced, and said that if he had been the first instead of the last, his choice would have been the same. Men have also been seen changing into animals, and wild and domesticated animals changing into each other.

When all the souls chose, they went to Lachesis, who sent with each of them his genie or assistant to fulfill his destiny. First he placed them under Clotho's hand and drew them into the revolution of the spindle driven by her hand; from her they were taken to Atropos, who made the threads irreversible; whence, without turning, they passed under the throne of Necessity; and when all had passed, they rode in the scorching heat to the Plain of Forgetfulness and rested at night on the Unconscious River, whose water could not be held in any vessel; of this everyone had to drink a certain amount; some of them drank more than was necessary, and the one who drank forgot everything. Er himself was prevented from drinking. When they went to rest, around midnight there were thunderstorms and earthquakes, and suddenly they were all taken in different ways, shooting out like stars in their birth. As for his return to the body, he only knew that, on waking suddenly in the morning, he found himself lying on the pyre.

Thus, Glaucon, history was saved, and it will be our salvation, if we believe that the soul is immortal and cling to the heavenly path of Justice and Knowledge. Thus shall we pass unspotted over the river of Oblivion, and be loved by ourselves and the Gods, and have a crown of reward and happiness both in this world and in the thousand-year pilgrimage of the Hereafter.

The Tenth Book of Plato's Republic is divided into two parts: first, picking up an old broken thread, Socrates attacks the poets, who, now that the nature of the soul has been analysed, seem to be very far from the truth.; and secondly, having shown the reality of the just man's happiness, he demands that appearance be restored to him, and then proceeds to prove the immortality of the soul. The argument, as in the Phaedo and the Gorgias, is supplemented by the vision of a future life.

Why was Plato, who was himself a poet and whose dialogues are both poems and dramas, hostile to poets as a class, and especially to dramatic poets? why should he not have seen that truth can be embodied in verse as well as in prose, and that there are some indefinable lights and shadows of human life which can only be expressed in poetry, some elements of the imagination which are always intertwined with reason ; why he should have supposed that the epic was inseparably associated with the impurities of ancient Hellenic mythology; why he should judge Homer and Hesiod by the unfair and prosaic test of utility, are questions that have always been debated among students of Plato. Although we cannot give you a complete answer, we can show: first, what views he had naturally arose from the circumstances of his time; and second, we can bring to light both the truth and the error they contain.

He is an enemy of poets because poetry was in decline during his lifetime, and a theatrecracy, as the Laws say, took the place of an intellectual aristocracy. Euripides exhibited the last phase of tragic drama, and Plato saw in him the friend and apologist of tyrants and the sophist of tragedy. The old comedy was almost extinct; the new had not yet arisen. Lyric and dramatic poetry, like every other branch of Greek literature, was falling under the power of rhetoric. There was no "second or third" for Aeschylus and Sophocles in the generation that followed. Aristophanes, in one of his last comedies (Frogs), speaks of 'thousands of charlatans who create tragedies', whose attempts at poetry he compares to the singing of swallows. ; "their chatter went far beyond Euripides", "they appeared once on stage and that was it". their 'theology' (Rep.), these 'minor poets' must have been contemptible and intolerable. There is no stronger feeling in Plato's dialogues than the sense of decadence and decadence in both literature and politics that marked his own time. Nor can he be expected to look kindly on the license of Aristophanes, now at the end of his career, who began by satirizing Socrates in the Clouds and, in similar spirit, forty years later, satirized the founders of ideal communities in his Eccleziazusae. , or Women's Parliament (Laws).

There were other reasons for Plato's antagonism to poetry. He considered the acting profession a degradation of human nature, as "one man in his life" cannot "play many roles"; the characters the actor plays seem to destroy his own character and leave nothing that can truly be called himself. Not any man can live his life and act it out. The actor is a slave to his art, not a master of it. From this point of view, Plato is more determined in his expulsion of the dramatic poets than of the epics, although he must know that the Greek tragedians provided noble lessons and examples of virtue and patriotism. , to which nothing in Homer can be compared. But great dramatic or even rhetorical power is hardly compatible with firmness or strength of mind, and dramatic talent is often incidentally associated with a weak or dissolute character.

In Book Tenth, Plato introduces a new set of objections. First, he says that the poet or painter is an imitator, and third, he is far from the truth. His creations are not tested by rule and measure; they are just appearances. In modern times, we must say that art is not mere imitation, but the expression of the ideal in forms of meaning. Even adopting Plato's humble image, from which his argument draws color, we must maintain that the artist can ennoble the bed he paints with the folds of the curtains, or with the feeling of home he introduces; and there have been modern painters who have given such ideal interest to a blacksmith's or a carpenter's workshop. The eye or mind that feels as well as it sees can give dignity and emotion to a dilapidated mill, to a shed built of straw (Rembrandt), to the hull of a ship "going to her last home" (Turner). Even more is this true of the greatest works of art, which seem to be the visible embodiment of the divine. If Plato had been asked whether the Zeus of Phidias or Athena were but the imitation of an imitation, he would not have been forced to admit that there was more in them than in the form of any mortal; and that the rule of proportion to which they conformed was "greater than any geometry or arithmetic could express" (Statesman).

Once again, Plato is opposed to imitative arts that express the emotional rather than the rational part of human nature. He does not support Aristotle's theory that tragedy or other serious imitations are a purification of the passions by pity and fear; to him they just seem to allow him the opportunity to please them. However, we must recognize that we can sometimes heal disordered emotions by giving them expression; and that often gain strength when they are repressed within our own chest. Not all indulgence of feeling is to be condemned. Because there can be gratification both from the higher and the lower; thoughts that are too deep or too sad to express for ourselves may find expression in the words of poets. Everyone would admit that there were times when they were comforted and uplifted by beautiful music or the sublimity of architecture or the peace of nature. Plato himself admitted, in the first part of the Republic, that the arts can have the effect of harmonizing and unnerving the mind; but in the Tenth Book he considers them through a Stoic or Puritan medium. Just ask "What good did they do?" and is not satisfied with the answer that "They gave innocent pleasure to mankind."

He tells us that he rejoices in the banishment of poets, as he has discovered by analysis of the soul that they occupy themselves with the lower faculties. It means that the higher faculties have to do with universals, the lower with the particulars of the senses. Poets are on the level of their own age, but not on the level of Socrates and Plato; and he was well aware that Homer and Hesiod could not be made a rule of life by any process of legitimate interpretation; his ironic use of them is in fact a denial of his authority; he also saw that the poets were not critical, as he says in the Apology: "Anyone was a better interpreter of their writings than they were themselves." He himself ceased to be a poet when he became a disciple of Socrates; though, as he tells us of Solon, "he might have been one of the greatest of them, had he not been deterred by other pursuits" (Tim.). Thus, from many points of view, there is an antagonism between Plato and the poets, foreshadowed for him in the old dispute between philosophy and poetry. The poets, as he says in the Protagoras, were the Sophists of his time; and his distaste for one class is reflected in the other. He considers them enemies of reasoning and abstraction, though in Euripides' case more in reference to his immoral feelings about tyrants and so on. Because Plato is the prophet who "came into the world to convince men," first of the fallibility of meaning and opinion, and second of the reality of abstract ideas. Strange as it may be in modern times to oppose philosophy to poetry, which seems to us to have so much in common, the strange will disappear if we conceive of poetry as the ally of meaning, and philosophy as equivalent to thought and abstraction. The word "idea", which for Plato expresses the most real of all things, is associated in our minds with an element of subjectivity and unreality. We can also notice how he differs from Aristotle, who claims that poetry is truer than history, for the opposite reason, because it deals with universals, not like history, with particulars (Poet).

Things that are seen are opposed in Scripture to things that are not seen; in Plato they are equally opposed to universals and ideas. For him, every detail seems to float in a world of meaning; they have a taint of error or even malice. There is no difficulty in seeing that this is an illusion; because there is no more error or variation in an individual man, horse, bed, etc., than in the class man, horse, bed, etc.; nor is the truth which manifests itself in individual cases any less certain than that which is conveyed through ideas. But Plato, deeply impressed with the real importance of universals as instruments of thought, ascribes to man an essential truth which is imaginary and unreal; for universals may often be false and particulars true. Had he arrived at some clear conception of the individual, who is the synthesis of the universal and the particular; or if he had been able to distinguish between opinion and sensation, which the ambiguity of words (Greek) and the like tended to confuse, he would not have denied the truth of the particulars of sense.

But poets are also the representatives of falsehood and pretense in all departments of life and knowledge, like the sophists and rhetoricians of the Gorgias and the Phaedrus; They are the false priests, the false prophets, the lying spirits, the sorcerers of the world. There is another charge made in the indictment against them by Plato, that they are the tyrant's friends, and enjoy the sunshine of his patronage. Despotism in all ages has had at its service an apparatus of false ideas and false teachers, both in the history of modern Europe and in that of Greece and Rome. Because no government by men depends on force alone; Without some corruption of literature and morality, some appealing to the imagination of the masses, some claiming the favor of heaven, some element of good giving power to evil, tyranny, even for a short time, cannot be maintained. Greek tyrants were not insensitive to the importance of awakening pseudo-Hellenic sentiment in their cause; they were proud of successes at the Olympic games; they were not devoid of love for literature and art. Plato is thinking first of all of the Greek poets who graced the courts of Dionysus or Archelaus: and the ancient spirit of liberty is awakened within him by his prostitution of the Tragic Muse in the praises of tyranny. But his prophetic gaze extends beyond them to the false teachers of other ages who are creatures of the government under which they live. He compares the corruption of his contemporaries with the idea of ​​a perfect society, and gathers in a mass of evil the evils and errors of mankind; for him they are personified in rhetoricians, sophists, poets, rulers who deceive and rule the world.

Another objection Plato makes to poetry and the imitative arts is that they excite the emotions. Here the modern reader will be ready to introduce a distinction that seems to have escaped him. Because emotions are neither bad nor good in themselves, and are most likely not controlled by trying to eradicate them, but by mildly indulging them. And the vocation of art is to present thought in the form of feeling, to place feelings alongside reason, to inspire courage or resignation even for a moment; perhaps to suggest a sense of infinity and eternity in a way that mere language is incapable of achieving. It is true that the same power which in the purest age of art embodies only gods and heroes can be made to express the voluptuous image of a Corinthian courtesan. But this only shows that art, like other external things, can be turned either to good or to evil, and is no more closely related to the higher than the lower part of the soul. Limiting art is subject to certain limitations and therefore necessarily partakes of the nature of a compromise. Something in the ideal truth is sacrificed to the representation, and something in the accuracy of the representation is sacrificed to the ideal. Still, works of art have a permanent element; they idealize and pass through thought, and are the intermediaries between meaning and ideas.

At the present stage of the human mind, poetry and other forms of fiction can certainly be considered an asset. But we can also imagine that there was a time when a more severe conception of truth banished or transformed them. Even so, we must admit that they occupy a different place in different periods of world history. In the childhood of mankind, poetry, with the exception of proverbs, is all literature and the only instrument of intellectual culture; in modern times he is the shadow or echo of his former self and seems to have a precarious existence. Milton in his day doubted that an epic poem was ever possible. At the same time, we must remember that what Plato would have called the charms of poetry were transferred in part to prose; he himself (Statesman) admits that rhetoric is the servant of Politics, and proposes to find in the line of law (Laws) a substitute for the old poets. With us the creative power often seems to be waning, and scientific facts are more absorbing and overwhelming to the mind than ever before. The illusion of feeling commonly called love has hitherto been the inspiring influence on modern poetry and the novel, and has exerted a humanizing, if not strengthening, influence on the world. But will one day the stimulus that love has given to fantasy not run out? The modern English novel, which is the most popular of all reading forms, is not more than a century or two old: will the love story a hundred years from now, after so many thousands of variations on the same theme, still be the same?received with constant interest?

Art cannot claim to be on the same level as philosophy or religion, and it can often corrupt them. It is possible to conceive of a state of mind in which all artistic representations are considered a false and imperfect expression of the religious ideal or the philosophical ideal. The most beautiful forms can be repugnant in certain moods, as shown by the fact that Mohammedans and many sects of Christians renounced the use of pictures and images. The beginning of a great religion, whether Christian or Gentile, was not "wood or stone," but a spirit moving in the hearts of men. The disciples met together in a great upper room, or in "holes and caves of the earth;" in the second or third generation they had mosques, temples, churches, monasteries. And the revival or reformation of religions, like their first revelation, came from within and generally ignored external ceremonies and accompaniments.

But poetry and art can also be an expression of the highest truth and purest feeling. Plato himself seems to vacillate between two opposing points of view: when, as in the third Book, he insists that youth should be brought up amid wholesome images; and again in Book X, when he banishes poets from his Republic. Admitting that the arts, which some of us almost deify, have not reached their highest goal, we must admit, on the other hand, that banishing the imagination altogether would be both suicidal and impossible. Because nature is also an art form; and a breath of fresh air or a single glance at the changing landscape would revive and rekindle in an instant the extinguished spark of poetry in the human breast. In the lower stages of civilization imagination, not reason, distinguishes man from animals; and to banish would be to banish thought, banish language, banish the expression of all truth. No religion is wholly without external forms; even the Mohammedan who renounces the use of pictures and images has a temple in which to worship the Most High, as solemn and beautiful as any Greek or Christian building. Feeling and thinking are not really opposites either; because he who thinks must feel before executing. And the highest thoughts, when they are familiar to us, always tend to pass into the form of feeling.

Plato does not seriously intend to expel poets from life and society. But he strongly feels the unreality of his writings; he is protesting against the degeneracy of poetry in his own time, as we protest against the lack of serious purpose in modern fiction, against the impropriety or extravagance of some of our poets or novelists, against the length of service of preachers or public writers. , against the indifference to truth that in the eyes of the philosopher seems to characterize most of the world. Because we too have reason to complain that our poets and novelists "paint an inferior truth" and "concern themselves with the inferior part of the soul"; that your readers become what they read and are harmed by them. And in vain do we look for that wholesome atmosphere of which Plato speaks, "the beauty that meets the senses like a breeze and imperceptibly draws the soul, even in childhood, into harmony with the beauty of reason."

Because there could be a poetry that would be the hymn of divine perfection, the harmony of good and truth among men: a melody that would renew the youth of the world and bring back the times when the poet was the only teacher and the best friend of man,—who would find materials both in the living present and in the novel of the past, and could subject to the most beautiful forms of speech and verse the intractable materials of modern civilization, which could bring out the simple principles or, as Plato would have it named them, the essential forms of truth and justice, from the variety of opinion and complexity of modern society, which would preserve all the good of each generation and set aside the evil, which should not be based on vain desires or feeble imaginations. , but in a clear view of the nature of man. Then the love story could begin again in poetry or prose, two in one, united in the pursuit of knowledge, or in the service of God and man; and feelings of love could still be the spur to great thoughts and heroic deeds, as in the days of Dante or Petrarch; and many kinds of male and female beauty could appear among us, rising above the common level of mankind, and many lives that were like poems (Laws), would not only be written, but lived by us. Some of these tensions between men are heard in the tragedies of Aeschylus and Sophocles, whom Plato quotes, not as Homer is quoted by him, with irony, but with deep and sincere approval, in the poetry of Milton and Wordsworth, and in passages by other poets. English, chiefly in the Hebrew prophets and psalmists. Shakespeare taught us how great men should speak and act; he drew characters of wonderful purity and depth; he ennobled the human mind, but, like Homer (Rep.), "left no form of life." The next great poet of modern times, Goethe, is concerned with "a lesser degree of truth"; he paints the world as a stage on which "all men and women are mere actors"; he cultivates life as an art, but he does not provide ideals of truth and action. The poet may rebel against any attempt to limit his fantasy; and you may rightly argue that moralizing in verse is not poetry. Possibly, like Mephistopheles in Faust, he may retaliate against his adversaries. But the philosopher will still be right to ask, "How can the heavenly gift of poetry be devoted to the good of mankind?"

Returning to Plato, we can see that a similar mixture of truth and error appears elsewhere in the argument. He is aware of the absurdity of humanity framing its whole life according to Homer; as with the Phaedrus, he hints at the absurdity of interpreting mythology on rational principles; both were the modern trends of his time, which he deservedly ridicules. On the other hand, his argument that Homer, if he had been able to teach mankind something worth knowing, would not have been allowed to beg like a rhapsode, is false and contrary to the spirit of Plato (Rep.). It may be compared with those other paradoxes of the Gorgias, that "No statesman was ever unjustly slain by the city of which he was the head"; and that 'No sophist was ever disappointed by his pupils' (Gorg.)...

The immortality argument seems to rest on the absolute dualism of soul and body. Admitting the existence of the soul, we know of no force capable of putting an end to it. Vice is its own evil; and if she cannot be destroyed by that, she cannot be destroyed by any other. However, Plato recognized that the soul can be so covered by the encrustations of the earth that it loses its original form; and in the Timaeus he recognizes with more force than in the Republic the influence which the body exercises over the mind, denying even the voluntary character of human actions, claiming that they proceed from physical states (Tim.). In the Republic, as elsewhere, it oscillates between the original soul that must be restored and the character that develops through training and education...

The vision of another world is attributed to Er, son of Armenian, who Clement of Alexandria says was Zoroaster. The tale certainly has an oriental character, and may be compared to the pilgrimages of the soul in the Zend Avesta (Haug, Avesta). But no trace of familiarity with Zoroaster is found elsewhere in Plato's writings, and there is no reason to give him the name Er the Panphilitic. It cannot be shown that Heraclitus' philosophy was borrowed from Zoroaster, still less from Plato's myths.

The local arrangement of the vision is less distinct than that of the Phaedrus and Phaedo. Astronomy mixes with symbolism and mythology; the great sphere of heaven is represented under the symbol of a cylinder or box, containing the seven orbs of the planets and fixed stars; it is suspended from an axis or spindle that turns on the knees of Necessity; the revolutions of the seven orbits contained in the cylinder are guided by the destinies, and their harmonious movement produces the music of the spheres. Through the innermost or eighth of them, which is the moon, the spindle passes; but it is doubtful whether this is the continuation of the column of light, from which pilgrims look up to the heavens; Plato's words imply that they are connected, but they are not the same thing. The column itself is clearly not inflexible. The rod (which is diamond) is attached to the ends of chains that extend halfway down the column of light; this column is said to hold the sky together; but either hangs from the axis or forms right angles to it. , not explained. The cylinder containing the orbits of the stars is almost as symbolic as the figure of Necessity turning the spindle; for the outer edge is the sphere of the fixed stars, and nothing is said of the intervals of space which divide the paths of the stars in the heavens. The description is both an image and a planetary, and therefore necessarily inconsistent with itself. The column of light is not the Milky Way, which is not straight or rainbow-like, but the imaginary axis of the Earth. This is compared to the rainbow not in form but in color, not in the lower beams of a trireme but in the straight string running from bow to stern where the lower beams meet.

The planetary or picture of the heavens which occurs in the Republic differs in its mode of representation from the circles of the same and the other in the Timaeus. In both, the fixed stars are distinguished from the planets and move in orbits without them, though in opposite directions: in the Republic as in the Timaeus, they all move around the axis of the world. But we are not sure that in the first place they move around the Earth. No separate mention is made in the Republic of the circles of the same and the other; though in both the Timaeus and the Republic the motion of the fixed stars must coincide with the motion of the whole. The relative thickness of the edges is perhaps designed to express the relative distances of the planets. Plato probably intended to represent the earth, from which Er and his companions contemplate the heavens, as stationary in place; but whether it itself rotates or not, unless this is implied by the revolution of the axis, is uncertain (Timaeus). It can be assumed that the observer looks at the celestial bodies, either from above or from below. The earth is a kind of earth and sky at the same time, like the sky of Phaedrus, on whose back the spectator goes out to look at the stars and lets himself be carried away by the revolution. There is no distinction between the equator and the ecliptic. But Plato is undoubtedly led to imagine that the planets have a motion opposite to that of the fixed stars, in order to explain their appearances in the heavens. In the description of the meadow and the retribution of good and evil after death, there are traces of Homer.

The depiction of the axis as a spindle and of the celestial bodies forming a whole arises in part from an attempt to connect the movements of the celestial bodies with the mythological image of the net, or weaving of the Fates. The delivery of the lots, the weaving of them and their reversibility, which are attributed to the three fates - Lachesis, Clotho, Atropos, are obviously derived from their names. The chance element in human life is indicated by the order of the lots. But chance, however adverse it may be, can be defeated by the wisdom of man, if he knows how to choose well; there is a worse enemy of man than chance; that enemy is himself. One who was moderately lucky in the lot number, even the last one to arrive, could have a good life if he chose wisely. And since Plato does not like to make unproven claims, he more than confirms this claim a few sentences later with the example of Odysseus, who chose the latter. But the virtue that is based on habit is not enough for man to choose; he must add knowledge to virtue, if he is to act rightly when he finds himself in new circumstances. The routine of good deeds and good habits is an inferior kind of goodness; and, as Coleridge says, "Common sense is intolerable if it is not based on metaphysics," so Plato would have said, "Habit is useless if it is not based on philosophy."

The freedom of the will to reject the evil and choose the good is clearly asserted. "Virtue is free, and according as a man honors or dishonors it, he will have more or less of it." Man's life is "rounded off" by necessity; there are circumstances before birth that affect it (Pol.). But within the walls of necessity there is an open space in which he is his own master and can study for himself the effects which the various gifts of nature or fortune have on the soul and act accordingly. All men cannot have first choice in everything. But all men's lot is good enough, if they choose wisely and live diligently.

The plausibility given to the thousand-year pilgrimage by the insinuation that Ardiaeus had lived a thousand years before; the coincidence that Er revived on the twelfth day after his supposed death with the seven days the pilgrims spent in the meadow and the four days during which they traveled to the column of light; the precision with which the soul that chose the twentieth lot is mentioned; the passing remarks that there was no definite character among souls, and that souls who chose wrongly blamed someone rather than themselves; or that some of the souls drank more than necessary of the waters of Oblivion, while Er himself was prevented from drinking; Odysseus' desire to finally rest, contrary to Dante and Tennyson's conception of him; the false ignorance of how E returned to the body, when the other souls were shot like stars at their birth, greatly increases the likelihood of the narrative. It's those touches of nature that Defoe's art might have introduced when he wanted to gain credibility for wonders and apparitions.

There are still a few points to be considered that were intentionally left for last: (1) the Janus character of the Republic, which presents two faces: one of a Hellenic state, the other of a kingdom of philosophers. Connected with the latter of the two aspects are (2) the paradoxes of the Republic, as Morgenstern called them: (a) the community of property; (b) from families; (c) the rule of philosophers; (d) the analogy of the individual and the State, which, like some other analogies in the Republic, is carried too far. We can then move on to consider (3) the theme of education as conceived by Plato, bringing together in an overview the education of youth and the education of life after death; (4) we can still notice some essential differences between ancient and modern politics that are suggested by the Republic; (5) we can compare the Politicus and the Laws; (6) we can observe the influence exerted by Plato on his imitators; and (7) have opportunity to consider the nature and value of political and (8) religious ideals.

1. Plato expressly says that he intends to found a Hellenic state (Book V). Many of his patterns are characteristically Spartan; such as the prohibition of gold and silver, ordinary meals for men, military training for youth, gymnastic exercises for women. The life of Sparta was the life of a camp (Laws), enforced even more rigidly in times of peace than in times of war; citizens of Sparta, like those of Plato, were forbidden to trade: they had to be soldiers, not shopkeepers. Nowhere else in Greece was the individual so completely subject to the state; the time he should marry, the education of his children, the clothes he should wear, the food he should eat, were all prescribed by law. Some of the best enactments of the Republic, such as the reverence to be paid to parents and elders, and some of the worst, such as the exposure of deformed children, borrow from Spartan practice. Promoting friendships between men and boys, or men among themselves, as an incentive to bravery, is also Spartan; Sparta, too, took a closer approach than any other Greek state to equality of the sexes and community property; and though there was probably less licentiousness in the sense of immorality, the bond of marriage was more lightly regarded than in the rest of Greece. The 'suprema lex' was the preservation of the family and the interest of the State. The brute force of a military government was not conducive to purity and refinement; and the excessive rigor of some rules seems to have produced a reaction. Of all the Hellenes, the Spartans were the most open to bribery; several of the greatest of them could be described in Plato's words as possessing a "secret fierce desire for gold and silver." Although they were not communists in the strict sense, the principle of communism was maintained among them in the division of land, common meals, slaves, and the free use of each other's goods. Marriage was a public institution: women were educated by the state and sang and danced in public with men.

Many traditions were preserved in Sparta by the severity with which the magistrates maintained the primitive mastery of music and poetry; as in Plato's Republic, the poet of the novel had to be expelled. Hymns to the gods, which are the only kind of music allowed in the Ideal State, were the only ones allowed in Sparta. The Spartans, though a non-poetic race, were lovers of poetry; they were touched by the elegiac chords of Tyrtaeus, they thronged around Hippias to hear his Homeric recitals; but in this they were more like the citizens of the timocratic state than the ideal state. The council of elders also corresponds to Spartangerousia; and the freedom with which they are allowed to judge on matters of detail agrees with what we are told of that institution. Again, the military rule not to despoil the dead or offer weapons in temples; moderation in pursuing enemies; the importance given to the physical well-being of citizens; the use of war for purposes of defense rather than aggression - are characteristics probably suggested by the spirit and practice of Sparta.

For the Spartan type, the ideal State reverts at the first decay; and the character of the individual timocrat is borrowed from the Spartan citizen. Lacedaemon's love affected not only Plato and Xenophon, but was shared by many undistinguished Athenians; there they seemed to find a principle lacking in their own democracy. They were attracted by the (Greek) of the Spartans, i.e. not by the goodness of their laws, but by the spirit of order and loyalty which prevailed. Fascinated by the idea, the citizens of Athens imitated the Lacedaemonians in their dress and manners; they were known to Plato's contemporaries as "the people with sore ears", like the Roundheads of the Commonwealth. The love of another church or country when seen only from a distance, the longing for a simplicity imagined in civilized times, the affectionate longing for a past that never was or a future that never will be, are aspirations of the human mind which they often become. feel between us. Such feelings find a response in Plato's Republic.

But there are other characteristics of the Platonic Republic, such as, for example, literary and philosophical education, the grace and beauty of life, which are the reverse of the Spartan. Plato wants to give his citizens a taste of Athenian freedom as well as Lacedaemonian discipline. His individual genius is purely Athenian, though in theory he is in love with Sparta; and he is something more than any of them: he has a true Hellenic feeling too. He is anxious to humanize the Hellenes' wars with each other; He recognizes that the God of Delphi is the great hereditary interpreter of all Hellas. The spirit of harmony and the Doric mode must prevail, and every state must have an external beauty that is a reflection of the internal harmony. better lawgiver who made men of one mind, than he who trained them for war. The citizens, as in other Hellenic states, both democratic and aristocratic, are actually an upper class; for, though mention is made of slaves, the lower classes are allowed to fade into the distance, and to be represented in the individual by the passions. Plato has no idea of ​​a social state in which all classes are harmonized, nor of a federation of Hellas or of the world in which different nations or states take place. Your city is more prepared for war than for peace, and this seems to be justified by the normal condition of the Hellenic States. The myth of earth-born men is an embodiment of the orthodox tradition of Hellas, and the allusion to the four ages of the world is also sanctioned by the authority of Hesiod and the poets. Thus we see that the Republic is based partly on the ideal of the ancient Greek polis, partly on the actual circumstances of Hellas at that time. Plato, like the ancient painters, maintains the traditional form and, like them, he too has a vision of a city in the clouds.

There is yet another thread that weaves itself into the texture of the work; for the Republic is not only a Dorian state, but a Pythagorean league. The 'way of life' associated with the name of Pythagoras, like the Catholic monastic orders, showed the power that an individual's mind could exert over his contemporaries, and may naturally have suggested to Plato the possibility of reviving such medieval 'institutions'. . The Pythagoreans, like Plato, imposed a rule of life and a moral and intellectual formation. The influence attributed to music, which seems exaggerated to us, is also a Pythagorean trait; it should not be taken to represent the actual influence of music in the Greek world. More than any other government in Hellas, the Pythagorean League of Three Hundred was a virtuous aristocracy. For the first time in the history of mankind, the philosophy of order or (Greek), expressing and consequently enlisting on its side the combined efforts of the majority of the people, obtained the management of public affairs and possessed it for a considerable time (until about 500 AD). B.C.). Probably only in states prepared by Doric institutions would such an alloy have been possible. Rulers, like those of Plato (Greek), had to undergo severe training to prepare the way for the education of the rest of the community. Long after the dissolution of the Order, eminent Pythagoreans such as Archytas of Taranto maintained their political influence over the cities of Magna Graecia. There was much here that suggested the kindred spirit of Plato, who no doubt pondered deeply on "the way of life of Pythagoras" (Rep.) and followers of him. Slight traces of Pythagoreanism can be found in the mystical number of the State, in the number expressing the interval between king and tyrant, in the doctrine of transmigration, in the music of the spheres, as well as in the great, though secondary, importance attached to mathematics in education.

But, as in his philosophy, so in the form of his State, he goes far beyond the ancient Pythagoreans. It attempts a really impossible task, which is to unite the past of Greek history with the future of philosophy, analogous to that other impossibility which has often been the dream of Christianity, the attempt to unite the past history of Europe with the kingdom of Christ. Nothing that really exists in the world is like Plato's Ideal State; nor does he himself imagine that such a state is possible. This he continually repeats; for example, in the Republic, or in the Laws where, looking back on the Republic, he admits that the perfect state of communism and philosophy was impossible in his own time, although it must still be preserved as a model. The same doubt is implicit in the seriousness with which he argues in La República that the ideals are no worse because they cannot be realized in fact, and in the chorus of laughter, which like a wave that, as he anticipates, will welcome the mention of his proposals; although, like other fiction writers, he uses all his artistry to bring his inventions to life. When asked what ideal politics might turn out to be, he wryly replies, "When a king's son becomes a philosopher"; he designates the fiction of earth-born men a 'noble lie'; and when the structure is finally complete, he justly says that his Republic is but a vision, that in a sense it may have reality, but not in the vulgar sense of a philosopher's reign on earth. It has been said that Plato flies as well as he walks, but this is far from the truth; because it flies and walks at the same time, and is in the air and on solid ground at successive moments.

Niebuhr asked an insignificant question, which can be summarized here: Was Plato a good citizen? If by that is meant, was he loyal to Athenian institutions?, he can hardly be said to be a friend of democracy, but neither is he a friend of any other existing form of government; he considered them all "faction states" (Laws); none achieved his ideal of voluntary government over voluntary subjects, which seems to describe democracy more than any other; and the worst of them is tyranny. The truth is, the question hardly makes sense when applied to a great philosopher whose writings are not intended for a particular time and country, but for all times and all mankind. The decline of Athenian politics was probably what led Plato to formulate an ideal state, and the Republic can be seen as a reflection of the glory that departed from Hellas. We can also complain about St. Augustine, whose great work 'The City of God' originated from a similar motive, for not being loyal to the Roman Empire. A still closer parallel may be furnished with the early Christians, who cannot justly be charged with being bad citizens because, though "subject to higher powers," they looked forward to a city which is in heaven.

2. The idea of ​​the perfect state is full of paradoxes when judged according to the common notions of mankind. It has been said that the paradoxes of one age become the commonplaces of the next; but Plato's paradoxes are at least as paradoxical to us as they were to his contemporaries. The modern world has mocked them as absurd or denounced them as unnatural and immoral; men were pleased to find in Aristotle's criticisms the anticipation of their own good sense. The rich and cultured classes detested and also feared them; noted with satisfaction the failure of efforts to realize them in practice. However, because they are the thoughts of one of the greatest human intelligences, and of one who has done more to elevate morals and religion, they seem to deserve better treatment at our hands. We may have to address the public, as Plato does with poetry, and assure them that we mean no harm to existing institutions. There are serious errors which have a grain of truth in them and which may, therefore, require careful consideration: there are truths mixed with errors of which we may say, "The half is better than the whole." However, "half" can be an important contribution. for the study of human nature.

(a) The first paradox is the community of property, which is mentioned slightly towards the end of the third book and apparently, as Aristotle observes, is confined to the guardians; at least no mention is made of the other classes. But the omission has no real significance and probably stems from the play's plan, which prevents the writer from going into detail.

Aristotle censures the commonwealth of goods very much in the spirit of modern political economy, as it tends to repress industry and do away with the spirit of benevolence. Modern writers almost refuse to consider the question, which is supposed to have been settled long ago by the common opinion of mankind. But it must be remembered that the sacredness of property is a much more ingrained notion in modern times than in ancient times. The world has aged and therefore is more conservative. Early society offered many examples of common land ownership, whether by a tribe or a municipality, and this may probably have been the original form of land ownership. Ancient lawgivers invented various ways of dividing and preserving the divisions of land among the citizens; according to Aristotle, there were nations that owned the land in common and shared the produce, and there were others that divided the land and stored the produce in common. The evils of debt and the inequality of property were much greater in ancient times than in modern times, as were the accidents to which property was subject by war, revolution, taxation, or other legislative interference. All these circumstances gave the property a less fixed and sacred character. The first Christians are believed to have had their goods in common, and the principle is sanctioned by the words of Christ himself, and has been held as a counsel of perfection in nearly all Church ages. There was also no lack of examples of modern enthusiasts who made a religion out of communism; in all ages of religious excitement, notions like Wycliffe's 'inheritance of grace' have tended to prevail. A similar, but more ferocious and violent spirit appeared in politics. "The preparation of the Gospel of peace" soon became the red flag of republicanism.

We can hardly judge what effect Plato's views would have had on his contemporaries; perhaps they just seemed like an exaggeration of the Spartan community. Even modern writers would recognize that the right to private property is based on expediency and can be interfered with in a variety of ways for the public good. Any other type of property concession considered more advantageous would acquire the same legal basis over time; “the most useful”, in Plato's words, “would be the most sacred”. The jurists and ecclesiastics of earlier times would have spoken of property as a sacred institution. But with that language they only intended to offer the maximum resistance to any invasion of the rights of individuals and of the Church.

When we consider the question, without any fear of immediate practical application, in the spirit of Plato's Republic, are we sure that received notions of property are the best? Is the customary distribution of wealth in civilized countries the most favorable that can be conceived for the education and development of the mass of mankind? Can "the spectator of all time and all existence" be fully convinced that in a thousand years or two there will be no great changes in property rights, or even that the very notion of property, beyond what is necessary to personal maintenance, may not have disappeared? This was a familiar distinction for Aristotle, though it is probably ridiculed among us. Such a change would be no greater than some other changes which the world went through in the transition from ancient to modern society, for example, the emancipation of serfs in Russia or the abolition of slavery in America and the West Indies. and not as great as the difference which separates the eastern village community from the western world. To carry out such a revolution in the course of a few centuries would imply a rate of progress no faster than has actually occurred during the last fifty or sixty years. The kingdom of Japan has experienced more changes in five or six years than Europe has in five or six hundred. Many opinions and beliefs which we hold among ourselves as strongly as the sanctity of property have disappeared; and the most untenable propositions respecting the right of inheritance or pledge were held as fervently as the more moderate ones. Someone will be heard asking whether a state of society can be finalized in which the interests of thousands are endangered in the life or character of a single person. And many will give themselves up to the hope that our present condition is, after all, only transitory, and may lead to a higher one, in which property, besides serving the enjoyment of a few, may also furnish the means of the highest culture for all, and be of greater benefit to the general public, and also more under the control of public authority. There may come a time when the saying: "Do I not have the right to do what I want with what is mine?" it may seem a barbarous relic of individualism, when the possession of a part is a greater blessing to each and every one than the possession of the whole is now to any one.

Such reflections seem visionary in the eyes of the practical statesman, but they are within reach of the possible for the philosopher. You can imagine that at some distant time or climate, and through the influence of some individual, the notion of common property might or might have sunk deep into the heart of a race, and become as fixed to them as private property is to us. . Do you know that this last institution is not more than four or five thousand years old: the end cannot go back to the beginning? In our time, even utopias affect the spirit of legislation, and an abstract idea can have a great influence on political practice.

The objections that would usually be raised against Plato's community of property are Aristotle's old ones, that the motives of effort would be eliminated, and that disputes would arise when each depended on all. Each man would produce as little and consume as much as he wanted. The experience of civilized nations has hitherto been adverse to socialism. The effort is too great for human nature; men try to live together, but personal feeling always arises. On the other hand, it can be doubted that our current notions of property are unconventional, because they differ in different countries and in different states of society. We boast of an individualism which is not freedom but an artificial result of the industrial state of modern Europe. The individual is nominally free, but he is also powerless in a world bound hand and foot by the chains of economic necessity. Even if we cannot wait for the mass of humanity to lose interest, we still see in it an organizing power that fifty years ago we would never have suspected. The same forces that revolutionized the political system of Europe can effect a similar change in the social and industrial relations of mankind. And if we assume the influence of some good and neutral motives at work in the community, it is not unreasonable to expect that the mass of humanity will be empowered and enlightened about the higher possibilities of human life, when they learn how much more can be achieved for themselves, all what is currently in the possession of a favored few, they can pursue the common interest with an intelligence and persistence that mankind has never seen before.

Now that the world has been set in motion, and is no longer subject to the tyranny of custom and ignorance; now that criticism has torn the veil of tradition and the past no longer dominates the present, the progress of civilization can be expected to be much greater and faster than before. Even at our current speed, where we might be in two or three generations is beyond the power of imagination to predict. There are forces in the world that work, not at an arithmetic but geometric rate of growth. Education, to use Plato's expression, moves like a wheel with increasing speed. Nor can we tell how great its influence may be, when it becomes universal, when it is handed down through many generations, when it is freed from the fetters of superstition, and duly adapted to the needs and capabilities of different classes of men. and women. Nor do we know how much more cooperation of minds or hands can be achieved, whether in work or study. The resources of the natural sciences are not yet half-developed; the earth's soil, instead of becoming more barren, may become many times more fertile than hitherto; the uses of machinery are much greater and also less than they are today. It is possible that new secrets of physiology will be revealed, which will profoundly affect human nature in its innermost recesses. The level of health can be raised and men's lives prolonged through sanitary and medical knowledge. There may be peace, there may be leisure, there may be innocent refreshments of various kinds. The ever-increasing power of locomotion can unite the ends of the earth. There may be mysterious workings of the human mind such as occur only in the great crises of history. East and West can meet, and all nations can contribute their thoughts and experiences to the common heritage of mankind. Many other elements enter into such speculation. But it's better to kill them. Because such reflections seem implausible to the majority, and to scientists, commonplace.

(b) Neither in Plato's nor Aristotle's mind did the doctrine of community of property present the same difficulty, nor did it appear to be the same violation of common Hellenic sentiment, as the community of wives and children. I preface this paradox with another proposition, that the occupations of men and women will be the same, and that for this they will have a common formation and education. Male and female animals have the same activities, why not also the two sexes of man?

But do we not run into a contradiction here? for we have said that different natures must have different aims. So how can men and women have the same thing? And is not the proposal inconsistent with our notion of the division of labor? These objections are not raised, but answered, since, according to Plato, there is no organic difference between men and women, but only the accidental difference that men and women engender. have children. Following the analogy of other animals, he maintains that all natural endowments are distributed indifferently between both sexes, although there may be a superiority of degree on the part of men. The objection to the decency of participating in the same gymnastic exercises is answered by Plato's assertion that existing feeling is a matter of habit.

That Plato emancipated himself from the ideas of his own country and from the example of the East shows a wonderful independence of mind. She knows that women are half of the human race, in some ways the most important half (Laws); and for the sake of both men and women he wants to raise women to a higher level of existence. He brings, not sentiment, but philosophy to deal with a question which in both antiquity and modernity has been seen chiefly in the light of custom or sentiment. The Greeks had noble conceptions of femininity in the goddesses Athena and Artemis, and in the heroines Antigone and Andromache. But these ideals had no equivalent in real life. The Athenian woman was by no means the equal of her husband; she was not the hostess of his guests or the mistress of his house, but only his governess and the mother of his children. He did not participate in military or political affairs; nor is there any instance in later ages of Greece of a woman who became famous in literature. "His hers is the greatest glory of him who is least renowned among men," is the historian's conception of female excellence. Plato presents the world with a very different ideal of womanhood; she will be a man's companion and share with him the toils of war and the cares of government. She must be equally trained in bodily and mental exercises. She should lose as much as possible the incidences of motherhood and female sex characteristics.

The modern antagonist of the equality of the sexes would argue that differences between men and women are not limited to the single point advocated by Plato; that sensitivity, sweetness, grace are qualities of women, while energy, strength, superior intelligence are to be sought in men. And the criticism is fair: the differences affect all of nature and are not limited, as Plato supposes, to a single point. But neither can we say how far these differences are due to the education and opinions of mankind, or are physically inherited from the habits and opinions of previous generations. Women have always been taught, not exactly that they are slaves, but that they are in an inferior position, who should also have compensating advantages; and to this position they conformed. It is also true that physical form can easily change over generations through way of life, and weakness or delicacy, once a matter of opinion, can become a physical fact. Sexual characteristics vary greatly in different countries and social classes, and at different ages in the same individuals. Plato may be right in denying that there was any fundamental difference in the sexes of man than that which exists in animals, for all other differences may be conceived as disappearing in other states of society, or under different circumstances of life and upbringing.

Having passed the first wave, we move on to the second - community of wives and children. 'It's possible? It is desirable?" For, as Glaucon suggests, and as we insist much more strongly, "great doubts may be entertained about these two points." be considered. For here, as Mr. Grote pointed out, it is a wonderful thing that one of the wisest and best men should have had ideas of morality, which are wholly at variance with ours. And if we want to do Plato justice, we must carefully examine the character of his proposals. In the first place, we can observe that the relations of the sexes he assumes are the opposite of licentious: he seems to point rather to an impossible rigor. the family as the natural enemy of the State and nurtures the sincere hope that a universal fraternity can occur. substitute private interests, an aspiration which, though not justified by experience, has possessed many a noble mind. On the other hand, there is no feeling or imagination in the connections he supposes men and women to form; human beings return to the level of animals, without exalting themselves to heaven, or abusing natural instincts. All that world of poetry and fantasy that the passion of love gave rise to modern literature and the novel would have been banished by Plato. Marriage arrangements in the Republic are directed towards one goal: the betterment of the race. In successive generations, a great development of bodily and mental qualities may be possible. The animal analogy tends to show that mankind can, within certain limits, receive a change of nature. And just as in animals we generally must choose the best breeding and destroy the rest, so must a selection be made of those human beings whose lives are worth preserving.

We turn away from this Platonic ideal in horror, believing, first, that humanity's highest feelings are too strong to be crushed; second, that if the plan could be carried out, we would be ill rewarded with improvements in the race for the loss of the good things in life. The highest regard for the weakest and meanest human being, the child, the criminal, the madman, the idiot, truly seems to us one of the noblest results of Christianity. We learn, though still imperfectly, that the individual man is of infinite value in the sight of God and that we honor him when we honor his darkened and tarnished image (Laws). This is the lesson which Christ taught in a parable when he said, 'His angels always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.' Such lessons are only partially understood in any age; they were alien to Plato's time, as they have very different degrees of strength in different countries or times of the Christian world. For the Greeks, the family was a religious and customary institution which bound members together by a bond of lesser strength than friendship, and which had a less solemn and sacred sound than that of the country. The relation which existed on the lower level of custom, Plato imagined as raising it to the higher level of nature and reason, while from the modern and Christian point of view we find it sanctioning murder and destroying the first principles of morality.

The great error of these and similar speculations is that they forget the difference between man and animals. One looks at the human being with the eyes of a dog breeder or a bird breeder, or at best, a slave owner; superior or human qualities are left out. The animal breeder is primarily looking for size, speed, or strength; in some cases of courage or temper; most of the time, the animal's ability to feed itself is the great desideratum. But mankind was not created to be defeated, nor for its superiority in fighting, running or pulling chariots. The betterment of the human race does not consist simply in the increase of bones and flesh, but in the growth and enlightenment of the mind. Therefore, there must be 'a marriage of true minds' as well as bodies, of imagination and reason as well as of desires and instincts. Men and women without feeling or imagination are justly called brutes; however, Plato removes these qualities and puts nothing in their place, not even the desire for noble children, as parents are not supposed to know their own children. The most important transaction in social life, he who is the idealistic philosopher becomes the most brutal. Because the couple should not have any relationship with each other, except at the hymenal festival; their children are not theirs, but the state; nor is there a bond of affection that unites them. Here, however, the animal analogy might have saved Plato a gigantic error had he not 'lost sight of his own enlightenment'. Because the “noblest class of birds and beasts” nurture and protect their offspring and are faithful to each other.

An eminent physiologist believes that it is worth "trying to put life on a physical basis." But shouldn't life be based on the moral and not the physical? The higher comes first, then the lower, first the human and rational, then the animal. However, they are not absolutely divided; and in times of illness or times of self-indulgence they seem to be just different aspects of a common human nature which includes both. Nor is the moral the limit of the physical, but its expansion and amplification, the highest form the physical is capable of receiving. As Plato would say, the body does not deal with the body, much less with the mind, but the mind deals with both. In all human action it is not what is common to man and animals that is the characteristic element, but what distinguishes him from them. Even if we admit the physical basis and resolve all the virtues in the health of the body 'la facon que notre sang circule', still on merely physical bases we must return to the ideas. Mind and reason and duty and conscience, under these or other names, are always reappearing. There can be no health of body without health of mind; nor mental health without a sense of duty and love of truth (Charm).

That the greatest of ancient philosophers, in his rulings on marriage, made the mistake of separating body and mind, certainly seems surprising. The astonishing thing, however, is not so much that Plato had ideas of morals repugnant to our time, but that he contradicted himself to a hardly believable degree, falling from heaven in an instant from idealism to the grossest animalism. . Rejoicing in his new gift for reflection, he seems to have conceived a subject on which it would be better to follow the Enlightenment sentiment of his day. Hellas's general feeling opposed his monstrous fantasy. The ancient poets, and later the tragedians, did not disrespect the family, on which much of their religion was based. But Sparta's example, and perhaps to some extent the tendency to challenge public opinion, seems to have misled him. He will make a single family out of all the families in the state. He will select the best male and female specimens and reproduce only from them.

However, because illusion is always returning (since the animal part of human nature will assert itself from time to time under the guise of philosophy as well as poetry), and also because any deviation from established morals, even if it is not the intention, is apt. To be disturbing, it might be worth drawing out the objections to platonic marriage a little longer. In the first place, history shows that wherever polygamy has been permitted on a large scale, the race has deteriorated. A man for a woman is the law of God and nature. Almost all civilized peoples of the world, at some period before the age of written records, became monogamous; and the step, once taken, never returns. The exceptions which occur among the Brahmins, Mohammedans, or ancient Persians are of the kind which may be said to prove the rule. Connections formed between superior and inferior races almost never produce noble offspring, because they are licentious; and because the children, in such cases, often despise the mother, and are abandoned by the father, who is ashamed of them. Barbarian nations, when introduced by Europeans to vice, become extinct; Polygamous peoples import and adopt children from other countries, or decrease in numbers, or both. Dynasties and aristocracies that disregarded the laws of nature diminished in number and degenerated in stature; the “mariages de convenance” leave their debilitating mark on their descendants (King Lear). Marriage of close relatives, or marriage within and within the same family, tends constantly to the weakness or idiocy of children, sometimes taking the form, as they grow up, of passionate wantonness. The common prostitute rarely has children. By such unequivocal evidence the authority of morality in the relations of the sexes is asserted: and into this "mystery" far more enters than Plato and some other philosophers dreamed.

Recent scholars have come to the conclusion that among primitive tribes there existed a community of property wives, and that the captive taken by the spear was the only wife or female slave any man could call his own. The partial existence of such customs among some of the lower human races, and the survival of peculiar marriage ceremonies in some civilized nations, are believed to provide proof that similar institutions were once universal. There is no doubt that the study of anthropology has considerably changed our views on the first appearance of man on Earth. We know more about the world's Aboriginal peoples than ever before, but our growing knowledge shows just how little we know overall. With all the aids that written monuments provide, we hardly realize the condition of man two or three thousand years ago. What was his condition when he was removed at a distance of 200,000 or 300,000 years, when the majority of mankind were inferior and closer to animals than any other tribe now existing on earth, we cannot even conjecture. Plato (Laws) and Aristotle (Metaphius) may have been more right than we realize in supposing that some forms of civilization were discovered and lost several times. If we cannot argue that all barbarism is a degraded civilization, neither can we set limits to the depth of degradation to which the human race can sink through war, disease, or isolation. And if we want to make inferences about the origin of marriage from the practice of barbarian nations, we must also consider the above animal analogy. Many birds and animals, especially carnivores, have only one partner, and the seemingly natural love and care of offspring is inconsistent with the primitive theory of marriage. If we go back to an imaginary state in which men were almost animals and their companions, we have as much right to argue from the animal to the human as from the barbarian to civilized man. The record of animal life on the globe is fragmentary, the connecting links are deficient and cannot be provided; the record of social life is even more fragmented and precarious. Even if we grant that our earliest ancestors had no such institution as marriage, the stages through which men passed from external barbarism to the comparative civilization of China, Assyria, and Greece, or even the ancient Germans, are unknown to us. .

Such speculations tend to be disturbing, because they seem to show that an institution thought to be a revelation from heaven is only the growth of history and experience. We asked what is the origin of marriage and were told that, like the right of property, after many wars and quarrels, it arose gradually from the selfishness of the barbarians. We are face to face with human nature in its primeval nakedness. We are forced to accept, not the highest, but the lowest account of the origin of human society. But, on the other hand, we can truly say that every step of human progress has been in the same direction, and that over the centuries the idea of ​​marriage and the family has become more and more defined and consecrated. The civilized East is immensely ahead of any savage tribe; the Greeks and Romans improved the East; Christian nations have been more rigid in their views of the marriage relationship than any of the ancient nations. In this as in so many other things, instead of looking to the past with regret, we should look to the future with hope. We must consecrate what we believe to be most sacred, and 'that which is most sacred shall be most useful'. There is more reason to maintain the sacredness of the marriage bond, when we see the benefit of it, than when he felt only a vague religious horror at the violation of it. But at all times of transition, when established beliefs are being undermined, there is a danger that, in passing from the old to the new, we calllessly let moral principle slip away, finding an excuse to hear the voice of passion in the uncertainty of knowledge. . . , or fluctuations of opinion. And there are many people today who, enlightened by the study of anthropology and fascinated by the new and the strange, some using the language of fear, others of hope, are inclined to believe that a time will come when through the self-affirmation of women, or the rebellious spirit of children, by the analysis of human relations, or by the force of external circumstances, the ties of family life may be severed or relaxed in a great measure. They point to societies in America and elsewhere that tend to show that the destruction of the family does not necessarily entail the overthrow of all morality. Wherever we think of such speculations, we can hardly deny that they were more common in this generation than in any other; and where they are going, who can predict?

To the doubts and inquiries raised by these "social reformers" about the relation between the sexes and the moral nature of man, there is an answer sufficient if need be. The difference between them and us is really a fact. They are talking about man as they wish or imagine him to be, but we are talking about him as he is. They cut off the animal part of their nature; we think of him as a multifaceted or aspected creature, hovering between good and evil, striving to rise above himself and become "a little lower than the angels." family life, the meanness of commerce, the flattery of one class of society to another, the impediments which the family places in the way of high goals and aspirations. But we know that deep down there are even greater evils and dangers, which are not appreciated, because they are hidden or repressed. What a condition of man would it be where human passions were not controlled by any authority, divine or human, where there was no shame or decency or superior affection to overcome or sanctify the natural instincts, but simply a rule of health! Is this why we are asked to abandon the civilization that is the growth of the ages?

Because strength and health are not the only qualities to be desired; there are the most important considerations about mind, character and soul. We know how degraded human nature can be; we do not know how, by artificial means, any improvement in the race can be effected. The problem is complex, because if we go back just four steps (and these go into at least a child's composition), there are usually thirty parents to consider. Many curious facts, which seldom admit of proof, are reported concerning the inheritance of diseases or traits from a remote ancestor. We can trace the physical similarities of parents and children in the same family—

'He used his eyes, his hands, his mouth like that';

but no less frequently the differences which distinguish children from their parents and from each other. We are told of similar mental peculiarities running in families, and also of a tendency, as in animals, to return to a common or original lineage. But we have difficulty in distinguishing what is a true heredity of genius or other qualities, and what is mere imitation or the result of similar circumstances. Great men and great women rarely had great mothers and fathers. Nothing we know about the circumstances of his birth or lineage will explain his appearance. Of the English poets of the last century and the two before, there is scarcely a descendant left, not one has ever distinguished himself. So deeply has nature concealed her secret, and ridiculous is the fancy entertained by some, that we might insinuate, by suitable marriage arrangements, or, as Plato would say, "by an ingenious system of lots," produce a Shakespeare or a Milton. . Even supposing we could create men who had the tenacity of bulldogs or, like the Spartans, "who lacked the intelligence to run from battle", would the world be any better? Many of the noblest specimens of the human race were among the weakest physically. Tyrtaeus or Aesop, or our own Newton, would have been exposed in Sparta; and some of the fairest and strongest men and women were among the most wicked and worst. Not by Plato's device of uniting the strong and just with the strong and just, irrespective of sentiment and morality, nor by his other device of combining disparate natures (Statesmanship), did mankind pass gradually from the brutality and licentiousness of primitive marriage to the christian and christian marriage. civilized.

Few would deny that we bring into the world an inheritance of mental and physical qualities derived first from our parents, or through them from some more remote ancestor, second from our race, third from the general condition of humanity into which we were born. Nothing is more common than the observation that "So-and-so is like his father or uncle"; and an older person can often notice a resemblance in a young person to a long-forgotten ancestor, noting that "nature sometimes skips a generation." . Admitting the facts thus popularly described, we may, however, point out that there is no method of difference by which they can be defined or estimated, and that they constitute but a small part of each individual. It may seem that the doctrine of heredity takes the conduct of our own lives out of our hands, but it is the idea, not the fact, that really terrifies us. Because what we receive from our ancestors is only a fraction of what we are or can become. The knowledge that drunkenness or insanity ran in a family is perhaps the best protection against its recurrence in a future generation. The father will be more attentive to his son's vices or illnesses than to those he is most sensitive to within himself. All life can be directed towards its prevention or cure. Traces of consumption may weaken or disappear altogether: the inherent tendency to vice or crime may be eradicated. And the inheritance, from a curse, can become a blessing. We recognize that in our birth, as in our nature in general, there are prior circumstances that affect us. But on this platform of circumstance or within this wall of necessity, we still have the power to create a life for ourselves through the informational energy of the human will.

There is another aspect of the question of marriage that Plato ignores. All children born in your state are foundlings. It never occurred to him that most of them, according to universal experience, would have perished. Because children can only be brought up in families. There is a subtle sympathy between mother and child that cannot be supplied by other mothers, nor by "strong nurses, one or more" (Laws). If Plato's "kennel" had been as fatal as the nurseries in Paris or the foundling hospital in Dublin, more than nine-tenths of his children would have died. There would be no need to expose or move the weaker children out of the way, as they would have died on their own. Thus emphatically does nature protest against the destruction of the family.

What Plato heard or saw about Sparta he misapplied to his ideal community. He probably observed that both Spartan men and women were superior in form and strength to other Greeks; and this superiority he was prepared to ascribe to the laws and customs relating to marriage. He did not regard the desire for noble sons as a passion among the Spartans, or that their physical superiority was primarily attributed, not to marriage customs, but to temperance and education. He did not reflect that Sparta was great, not as a consequence of the laxity of morality, but in spite of it, in virtue of a political principle much stronger than that which existed in any other Greek state. Even less did he realize that Sparta really did not produce the finest specimens of the Greek race. The genius, the political inspiration of Athens, the love of liberty, all that made Greece famous in posterity, was lacking among the Spartans. They didn't have Themistocles, Pericles, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Socrates or Plato. The individual was not allowed to rise above the state; the laws were fixed, and he had nothing to do to change or reform them. Yet where does the progress of cities and nations come from, if not from remarkable individuals, who come into the world we don't know how and from causes over which we have no control? Much may have been said in modern times about the value of individuality. But we can hardly condemn too strongly a system which, instead of fostering scattered seeds or sparks of genius and character, tends to stifle and extinguish them.

However, in condemning Plato, we must recognize that neither Christianity nor any other form of religion and society has hitherto been able to deal with this most difficult social problem, and that the side from which Plato found it considered is the one from which we have deviated. . . . Population is the most indomitable force in the political and social world. Do we not think, especially in large cities, that the greatest obstacle to the betterment of the poor is their lack of foresight in marriage? Truly a minor flaw, if not one of endless consequences. There are also entire countries, such as India or, closer to home, Ireland, where a correct resolution of the question of marriage seems to be the basis of community happiness. There are too many people in a given space, or they marry too soon and bring sick, half-developed children into the world; or by the very conditions of their existence, emaciate and transmit a similar life to their offspring. But who can oppose the voice of prudence to "the most powerful passions of mankind" (Laws), especially when they have been authorized by custom and religion? In addition to the influences of education, it seems that we need some new principles of good and evil in these matters, some strength of opinion, which you can already hear whispering in private, but which has never affected the moral feelings of humanity generally. Inevitably we lose sight of the principle of utility, precisely in that action of our life in which we need it most. The influences we can exert on this issue are mainly indirect. In a generation or two, education, emigration, improvements in agriculture and manufacturing may have provided the solution. The state physician hardly likes to probe the wound: it is beyond his art; a subject which he cannot safely lay aside, but dares not touch upon:

We do nothing more than skin and film the ulcerated area.

When again in private life we ​​see a whole family falling into the grave, one by one, under the ailment of some inherited disease, and the parents perhaps outliving them, do our minds go silently back to that twenty-fifth or thirty years? day - years ago when under the most beautiful auspices, amid the joy of friends and acquaintances, a bride and groom shook hands? In making such a reflection, we are not opposing physical considerations to moral ones, but moral ones to physical ones; we seek to make the voice of reason heard, which distances us from the extravagance of sentimentality over common sense. His biographer says that the late Dr. Combe resisted the temptation of marriage, knowing it was subject to hereditary consumption. One who deserved to be called a man of genius, a friend of my youth, was in the habit of wearing a black band around his wrist, to remind him that, exposed to bouts of madness, he must not give in to natural impulses. of affection: he died unmarried in an asylum. These two small facts suggest the reflection that very few people have done from duty what the rest of mankind should have done under similar circumstances, if they had allowed themselves to think of all the misery they were about to bring to the world. . If we could prevent such marriages without any violation of sentiment or propriety, of course we should; and the prohibition from time to time would be protected by a 'horrornaturalis' similar to that which, in all civilized ages and countries, has prevented the marriage of close consanguineous relatives. Mankind would have been happier if some of the things that are now allowed had been denied from the beginning; whether the sanction of religion could have prohibited practices harmful to health; if sanitary principles could have been invested at early ages with a superstitious fear. But, living so far back in the world's history, we are no longer able to immediately stamp a new prohibition with the stamp of religion. A free agent cannot have his fantasies regulated by law; and the execution of the law would be made unfeasible by the uncertainty of the cases in which marriage was prohibited. Who can weigh virtue, or even fortune, against health, or moral and mental qualities against bodily ones? Who can measure the probabilities against the certainties? There were good and bad in the discipline of suffering; and there are diseases, like tuberculosis, which have had a refining and softening influence on the character. Young people are too inexperienced to ponder such pleasant considerations; parents often don't think about them or do it too late. They are far away and can probably be avoided; the change of place, a new state of life, the interests of a house can be the cure for them. This is how people reason in vain when they have made up their minds and their fortunes are irrevocably linked. There is also no reason to suppose that marriages are largely influenced by reflections of this kind, which seem incapable of dealing with the irresistible impulse of individual attachment. .

Lastly, no one can have observed the first rising torrent of the passions in youth, the difficulty of regulating them, and the resulting effects on the whole mind and nature, the stimulation given to them by the imagination, without feeling that there is something unsatisfactory. in our method of treating them. The philosopher cannot consider the most important influence in human life left entirely to chance or shrouded in mystery and, instead of being disciplined or understood, conformed only to some external standard of propriety. stuff. And even those who have youth in charge can find a way through vigilance, through affection, through the masculinity and innocence of their own lives, through occasional suggestions, through general warnings that each one can apply for himself, to mitigate this terrible evil that it eats away at the heart. of individuals and corrupts the moral sentiments of nations. In no duty to others is there more need for reticence and self-control. So great is the danger that he who wants to be another's adviser reveals the secret prematurely, who has so much in his power for another; or correct the passing impression of error by demanding his confession.

Plato is also wrong when he says that family ties can interfere with higher goals. If there were those who "gave up what it was for humanity", there were certainly others who gave up what it was for humanity or their country. The care of children, the necessity of obtaining money for their maintenance, the fawning of the rich by the poor, caste exclusivity, pride of birth or wealth, the tendency of family life to lead the poor astray. heroism, are as degrading in our time as in Plato's. And if we prefer to observe the gentle influences of the home, the development of the affections, the comforts of society, the devotion of one member of the family to the good of others, which form one side of the picture, we must not quarrel with him. Or perhaps we should be quite grateful to him for introducing us to the contrary. Without trying to defend Plato on grounds of morality, we can admit that there is an aspect of the world that naturally led him astray.

We can hardly appreciate the power which the idea of ​​the State, like all other abstract ideas, had over Plato's mind. For us, the State seems to be built from the family, or sometimes to be the framework in which family and social life is inserted. But for Plato, in his present frame of mind, the family is only a disturbing influence which, instead of filling, tends to disturb the higher unity of the State. No more organization is needed than the apolitical one, which, seen from another point of view, is military. The State is sufficient for man's needs and, like the idea of ​​the Church in later ages, absorbs all other desires and affections. In time of war the thousand citizens must stand as an impregnable wall against the world or the Persian army; in times of peace, preparation for war and duties towards the State, which are also reciprocal duties, occupy their whole lives and their time. The only other interest allowed them besides war is the interest of philosophy. When they are too old to be soldiers, they must retire from active life and undertake a second novitiate of study and contemplation. There is an element of monasticism even in Plato's communism. Had he been able to do without children, he could have turned his Republic into a religious order. Not even in the Laws, when the light of common sense breaks upon him, does he recant his error. In the state of which he would be the founder, there is no marriage or giving in marriage: but because of the weakness of mankind, he condescends to allow the law of nature to prevail.

(c) But Plato harbors an equal or, in his opinion, even greater paradox, which is summed up in the famous text: "Until kings are philosophers or philosophers are kings, cities will never cease to be evil." he explains himself as one who is capable of apprehending ideas, especially the idea of ​​good. The second education is directed towards the attainment of this higher knowledge. Through a training process that already made them good citizens, they will now be good legislators. We are met with some surprise (not unlike the feeling which Aristotle in a well-known passage describes as experienced by listeners of Plato's lectures, when they came to a speech on the idea of ​​the good, expecting to be instructed in moral truths, and received instead knowledge of arithmetic). and mathematical formulas) that Plato proposes to his future legislators no study of finance, law, or military tactics, but only of abstract mathematics, as a preparation for the still more abstract conception of the good. We ask ourselves, with Aristotle, what good is it for a man to know the idea of ​​good if he does not know what is good for this individual, this state, this condition of society? We cannot understand how Plato's lawgivers or guardians should be prepared for his statesmanship by studying the five mathematical sciences. We search in vain in Plato's own writings for some explanation of this apparent absurdity.

The discovery of a great metaphysical conception seems to captivate the mind with a prophetic awareness that robs it of the power to estimate its value. No metaphysical investigator has ever justly criticized his own speculations; in their own judgment they were above reproach; nor did he understand that what seemed to him to be absolute truth might reappear in the next generation as a form of logic or an instrument of thought. And posterity has also sometimes misunderstood the real value of his speculations. It seems to them that they have contributed nothing to the store of human knowledge. The modern thinker tends to regard the IDEA of the good as a meaningless abstraction; but he forgets that this abstraction is ready to be used and that in the future it will be filled with the divisions of knowledge. When mankind does not yet know that the world is subject to law, the introduction of the mere conception of law or design or final cause, and the distant anticipation of the harmony of knowledge, are great steps forward. Even the gross generalization of the unity of all things leads men to see the world with different eyes, and can easily affect their conception of human life and politics, and also their own conduct and character (Tim). We can imagine how a great mind like Pericles could emerge from his relationship with Anaxagoras (Phaedr.). Striving for a higher but unattainable conception is a more favorable intellectual condition than resting contentedly on a narrow slice of proven fact. And the former, which were sometimes the great ideas of science, are often lost sight of at a later period. How seldom can we say of any modern seeker in the magnificent language of Plato that "He is the beholder of all time and all existence!"

Nor is there anything unnatural in the hasty application of these vast metaphysical conceptions to practical and political life. In the first enthusiasm of ideas, men tend to see them everywhere and apply them in the remotest sphere. They do not understand that the experience of eons is needed to enable them to complete "the intermediate axioms". Plato himself seems to have imagined that the truths of psychology, like those of astronomy and the harmonica, were to be arrived at by a process of deduction, and that the method he followed in the Fourth Book of inferring them from experience and the use of language, it was imperfect and only provisional. But when, after having arrived at the idea of ​​the good, which is the end of the science of dialectics, he is asked: What is the nature and what are the divisions of science? He refuses to answer, as if by his refusal he wanted to insinuate that the state of knowledge then existing did not allow the philosopher to enter his final rest. The first sciences must be studied first and, we might add, will continue to be studied until the end of time, albeit in a different sense than Plato could have conceived. But we can observe that, although he is aware of the vacancy of his own ideal, he is full of enthusiasm in contemplating it. Looking at the orb of light, he sees nothing, but he warms up and rises. The Hebrew prophet believed that faith in God would enable him to rule the world; the Greek philosopher imagined that the contemplation of the good would make a legislator. There is as much to fill in the one case as the other, and the one mode of conception is to the Israelite what the other is to the Greek. Both find their repose in a divine perfection which, whether more personally or impersonally, exists outside and independently of them as well as within them.

There is no mention of the idea of ​​good in the Timaeus, nor of the divine Creator of the world in the Republic; and we are naturally led to ask in what relation they are to one another. Is God above or below the idea of ​​good? Or is the Idea of ​​Good another way of conceiving God? The latter seems to be the truest answer. For the Greek philosopher, the perfection and unity of God was a conception far superior to his personality, which he would hardly find a word to express and which would seem to him taken from mythology. For the Christian, on the contrary, or for the modern thinker in general, it is difficult, if not impossible, to attribute reality to what he calls mere abstraction; while for Plato this very abstraction is the truest and most real of all things. Therefore, from a difference in thought forms, Plato seems to be resting only on a creation of his own mind. But if we are allowed to paraphrase the idea of ​​the good with the words "intelligent principle of law and order in the universe, embracing both man and nature equally", we begin to find a meeting point between it and ourselves.

The question of whether the ruler or the statesman should be a philosopher has not lost interest in modern times. In most countries in Europe and Asia, there has been someone over time who has really united the power of command with the power of thought and reflection, as there have also been many false combinations of these qualities. Some kind of speculative power is needed in both practical and political life; like the rhetorician of the Phaedrus, men are required to have a conception of the varieties of human character, and that, on great occasions, they be elevated above the commonplaces of everyday life. However, the idea of ​​the philosopher-statesman has never been popular with the majority of mankind; partly because he cannot trust the world or make them understand why he is acting; and also because they are jealous of a power they do not understand. The revolution which human nature desires to effect step by step in many ages is likely to be precipitated by him in a single year or lifetime. They fear that, in the pursuit of his great aims, he may ignore the common sentiments of mankind, he is too prone to look into the distant future or the remote past and unable to see actions or events which, to use Plato's expression, , . "They are falling at your feet." Besides, as Plato would say, there are other corruptions of these philosophical statesmen. Or "the native hue of resolution is sick with the pale hue of thought," and at the moment when action is needed above all else, he is undecided, or enunciates general principles to cover some change of policy; or his ignorance of the world made him more easily fall into the arts of others; or, in some cases, he became a courtier, enjoying the luxury of liberal views, but was never known to have taken a liberal attitude. No wonder mankind is in the habit of calling statesmen of this class pedants, sophists, doctrinaires, visionaries. Because, as we might say, parodying Plato's words a little, "they saw bad imitations of the philosopher-statesman." the future, 'such', ruling in a constitutional state, 'they never saw'.

But just as the philosopher tends to fail in the routine of political life, so does the ordinary statesman tend to fail in extraordinary crises. When the face of the world begins to change and the thunder rumbles in the distance, he is still guided by his old maxims and a slave to his long-held party prejudices; he fails to perceive the signs of the times; instead of looking forward, he looks back; nothing learns and nothing forgets; with "modern wisdom and instances" he would stem the rising tide of revolution. He lives more and more within the circle of his own party, as the world without him grows stronger. This seems to be why the old order of things looks so poor when confronted with the new, why churches can never reform, why most political changes are made blindly and convulsively. Great crises in the history of nations have often been met with ecclesiastical positivity and a more dogged reassertion of principles that have lost hold of a nation. The fixed ideas of a reactionary statesman may be compared to madness; they grow in him, and he is owned by them; he never admits that the judgment of others is weighed in the balance against his own.

(d) Plato, working under what seems to modern readers to have been a confusion of ideas, assimilates the State to the individual and fails to distinguish Ethics from Politics. He thinks himself to be the greater part of a state which is most like a single man, and in which the citizens have the greatest uniformity of character. He fails to see that the analogy is in part fallacious, and that the will or character of a State or a nation is really the balance, or rather the surplus, of individual wills, which are limited by the condition of their having to act in common. . The movement of a body of men can never have the flexibility or ease of a single man; the freedom of the individual, always limited, becomes even narrower when it is transferred to a nation. The powers of action and feeling are necessarily weaker and more balanced when they are diffused in a community; Whence the oft-discussed question, 'Can a nation, like an individual, have a conscience?' We hesitate to say that the characters of nations are but the sum of the characters of the individuals who compose them; because there can be tendencies in individuals that react to each other. A whole nation may be wiser than any man in it; or it may be animated by some common opinion or sentiment which could not equally have affected the mind of a single person, or it may have been inspired by a leader of genius to more than human acts. Plato does not seem to have discussed the complications that arise from the collective action of mankind. Neither is he able to see that analogies, though misleading as arguments, are often groundless in fact, or to distinguish between what is intelligible or vividly present to the mind and what is true. In this respect he is far below Aristotle, on whom false analogies are comparatively rarely imposed. He cannot separate the arts from the virtues, at least he is always arguing from one to the other. His notion of music is transferred from the harmony of sounds to the harmony of life: in this he is helped by the ambiguities of language, as well as by the predominance of Pythagorean notions. And once the state has been assimilated into the individual, he imagines that he will find the parallel succession of states in the lives of individuals.

However, through this fallacious means, a true expansion of ideas is achieved. When the virtues did not yet present a distinct concept to the mind, a great advance was made in comparing them with the arts; for virtue is in part art, and has an external form as well as an internal principle. The harmony of music offers a vivid picture of the harmonies of the world and of human life, and may be considered a splendid illustration which was naturally mistaken for a real analogy. Likewise, the identification of ethics with politics tends to define ethics, but also to elevate and ennoble notions of government's objectives and citizens' duties; law and politics; and politics, as ethics reduced to the conditions of human society. There have been evils which have arisen from the attempt to identify them, and this has led to their separation or antagonism, which has been introduced by modern political writers. But we may also feel that something has been lost in their separation, and that the ancient philosophers who esteemed the moral and intellectual welfare of mankind in the first place, and the wealth of nations and individuals in the second place, may have a salutary influence on speculations. . of modern times. Many political maxims are born of a reaction against a contrary error; and when the errors against which they were directed pass, they themselves become errors.

3. Plato's views on education are remarkable in several respects; like the rest of the Republic, they are part Greek and part ideal, starting with the common curriculum of Greek youth and extending to the afterlife. Plato is the first writer who says clearly that education must embrace the whole of life and be a preparation for another in which education begins anew. This is the continuous thread that runs through The Republic and which, more than any other of his ideas, admits of application to modern life.

He has long since abandoned the notion that virtue cannot be taught; and he is willing to modify Protagoras' thesis that the virtues are one and not many. He is unwilling to admit the sensible world into his scheme of truth. Nor does he assert in the Republic the involuntary nature of vice, which he maintains in the Timaeus, the Sophist, and the Laws (Protag., Apol., Gorg.). Nor do they affect so-called Platonic ideas recovered from an earlier state of existence. his theory of mental enhancement. We still see in him the remnants of the old Socratic doctrine, that true knowledge must be gained from within and must be sought in ideas, not in the details of the senses. Education, as he says, will implant a principle of intelligence that is better than ten thousand eyes. The paradox that the virtues are one and the related notion that all virtue is knowledge is not completely relinquished; The first is seen in the supremacy given to justice over others; the second in the tendency to absorb the moral virtues into the intellectual ones, and to center all good in the contemplation of the idea of ​​good. The world of sense is still despised and identified with opinion, though it is admitted to be a shadow of the truth. In the Republic he is evidently impressed with the conviction that vice arises chiefly from ignorance, and can be cured by education; the crowd can hardly be blamed for what it does. A slight allusion to the doctrine of reminiscence occurs in the Tenth Book; but Plato's views on education have no more real connection with an earlier state of existence than ours; he only proposes to remove from the mind what is already there. Education is represented by him, not as the filling of a vessel, but as turning the soul's eyes to the light.

He deals first with music or literature, which he divides into true and false, and then passes on to gymnastics; of childhood in the Republic he ignores, although in the Laws he gives wise advice on the education of children and the handling of mothers, and he would have an education even before birth. But in The Republic he begins at the age when the child is capable of receiving ideas, and boldly asserts, in language that sounds paradoxical to modern ears, that he must be taught the false before he can learn the true. The modern and ancient philosophical worlds disagree about truth and falsehood; one identifies truth almost exclusively with facts, the other with ideas. That is the difference between us and Plato, which is, however, in part a difference in words. Because we too must admit that a child must be given many lessons which he understands imperfectly; some things are to be taught to him only in pictorial form, some also which he can hardly be expected to believe when he grows up; but we must limit the use of fiction by the necessity of the case. Plato would draw the line differently; according to him, the objective of early childhood education is not the truth in fact, but the truth in principle; the child must first learn simple religious truths, and then simple moral truths, and insensibly learn the lesson of good manners and good taste. He would do a complete overhaul of ancient mythology; like Xenophanes and Heraclitus, he is aware of the gulf that separates his time from that of Homer and Hesiod, whom he quotes and invests with imaginary authority, but only for his own purposes. The lusts and treacheries of the gods must be banished; the terrors of the world below must be dispelled; the misconduct of the Homeric heroes should not serve as a model for youth. But there is another tension heard in Homer that can teach our youth to resist; and something can be learned in medicine from the simple practice of Homeric times. The principles on which religion must be based are but two: first, that God is true; second, which is good. Modern and Christian writers often fail on this point; it can hardly be said that they went beyond them.

The young should be brought up in happy surroundings, away from sights or sounds that might hurt the character or spoil the taste. They must live in an atmosphere of health; the breeze will always carry the impressions of truth and goodness. If such an education could be realized, or if our modern religious education could be connected with truth, virtue, good manners, and good taste, that would be the best hope for human improvement. Plato, like us, expects changes in the moral and religious world and is preparing for them. He recognizes the danger of disturbing young minds through sudden changes in laws and principles, destroying the sanctity of a set of ideas when there is nothing else to replace them. He also fears the influence of drama, claiming that it encourages false feelings and therefore would not allow his children to be taken to the theatre; he thinks the effect on spectators is bad, and on actors even worse. His idea of ​​education is one of harmonious growth, in which the lessons of temperance and endurance are imperceptibly learned, and body and mind develop in equal proportions. The first principle that permeates all art and nature is simplicity; this too must be the rule of human life.

The second stage of education is gymnastics, which responds to the period of muscle growth and development. The simplicity that prevails in music extends to gymnastics; Plato is aware that training the body can be incompatible with training the mind and that training the body can easily be overdone. Excessive training of the body may give men a headache, or make them drowsy in a lecture on philosophy, and they do not attribute this to the real cause, but to the nature of the subject. Two points are notable in Plato's treatment of gymnastics: First, that training time is completely separate from literary education time. He seems to have thought that two things of an opposite and different nature could not be learned at the same time. Here we can hardly agree with him; and, if we can judge from experience, the effect of spending three years between the ages of fourteen and seventeen in mere bodily exercise would be far from improving the intellect. Secondly, he asserts that music and gymnastics are not intended, as commonly imagined, one for the cultivation of the mind and the other for the body, but that both are equally intended for the improvement of the mind. The body, in his opinion, is the servant of the mind; the subjection of the inferior to the superior is for the benefit of both. And certainly the mind can exert a very great and supreme influence over the body, if it is not exercised at particular times and moments, but continually, in preparation for the whole of life. Other Greek writers saw the malicious tendency of Spartan discipline (Arist. Pol; Thuc.). But only Plato recognized the fundamental error on which the practice was based.

The theme of gymnastics leads Plato to the sister theme of medicine, which he further illustrates with the parallel of law. Modern disbelief in medicine has led in this, as in some other departments of knowledge, to a demand for greater simplicity; doctors are realizing that they often make diseases "bigger and more complicated" by treating them (Rep.). In two thousand years, their art has progressed very little; what they gained in the analysis of parts is largely lost by their weaker conception of the human structure as a whole. They paid more attention to curing diseases than to health conditions; and improvements in medicine were more than compensated for by disuse of regular training. Until recently they had paid little attention to air and water, whose importance the ancients well understood; as Aristotle points out, "air and water, being the elements we use most, have the greatest effect on health" (Polit.). For centuries, physicians have been under the sway of prejudices that have only recently subsided; and now there are as many opinions in medicine as there are in theology, and an equal degree of skepticism and a certain lack of tolerance from both. Plato has several good notions about medicine; according to him, “you cannot cure the eye without the rest of the body, nor the body without the mind” (Charm.). No sensible man, says the Timaeus, would take medicine; and we sincerely sympathize with him in the Laws when he declares that "members of the weary rustic will benefit more from lukewarm baths than from the prescriptions of a not very wise physician." Homer's authority either despises the diet or approves of the inhuman spirit in which it would get rid of invalid and useless lives by letting them die. He does not seem to have considered that 'Theages' bridle' might be accompanied by qualities far more valuable to the State than the health or strength of the citizens; or that the duty to care for the homeless can be an important element of education in a state. The physician himself (this is a delicate and subtle observation) must not be a man of robust health; he should have, in modern phraseology, a nervous temper; he must have experience of the disease in his own person, that his powers of observation may be sharpened in the case of others.

The perplexity of medicine parallels the perplexity of the law; where, again, Plato would have men follow the golden rule of simplicity. Major matters will be determined by the legislator or the oracle at Delphi, minor matters will be left to the temporary regulation of the citizens themselves. Plato is aware that laissez faire is an important element of government. The diseases of a state are like the heads of a hydra; They multiply when cut. The real remedy for them is not removal, but prevention. And the way to prevent is to take care of education, and education will take care of everything else. Thus, in modern times, men have often felt that the only valid policy measure, the only one that would produce any sure or lasting effect, was a measure of national education. And in ours, more than in any previous age, the necessity of restoring the ever-increasing confusion of the law to simplicity and common sense has been recognized.

After training in music and gymnastics, the first stage of active and public life follows. But soon education will begin again under a new point of view. In the interval between the Fourth and Seventh Books we discussed the nature of knowledge, and from there we were led to form a higher conception of what is required of us. Because true knowledge, according to Plato, is of abstractions and has to do not with particulars or individuals, but only with universals; not with the beauties of poetry, but with the ideas of philosophy. And the great object of education is to cultivate the habit of abstraction. This must be acquired through the study of the mathematical sciences. Only they are capable of giving ideas of relationship and awakening the dormant energies of thought.

Mathematics in Plato's time comprised a very small part of what is now included in it; but they had a much larger proportion of the sum of human knowledge. They were the only organ of thought the human mind possessed at that time, and the only measure by which the chaos of particulars could be reduced to rule and order. The faculty they trained was naturally at war with the poetic or imaginative; and therefore, for Plato, who is everywhere looking for abstractions and trying to get rid of the illusions of the senses, almost all education is contained in them. They seemed to have inexhaustible application, in part because their true limits were not yet understood. Plato himself is beginning to investigate; Although he does not know that number and figure are mere abstractions of meaning, he recognizes that the forms used by geometry are borrowed from the sensible world. He seeks to find the ultimate foundation of mathematical ideas in the idea of ​​the good, although he does not satisfactorily explain the connection between them; and in his conception of the relation of ideas to numbers, he is very far removed from the definition assigned to him by Aristotle (Met.). But if he fails to recognize the true limits of mathematics, he also reaches a point beyond them; in his opinion, the ideas of number become secondary to a superior conception of knowledge. The dialectician is as much above the mathematician as the mathematician is above the common man. That, that which proves itself, the good which is the highest sphere of the dialectic, is the perfect truth to which all things ascend and in which they finally rest.

This self-proving unity or idea of ​​the good is a mere view of which no other explanation can be given, relating only to a particular stage of Greek philosophy. It is an abstraction under which individuals are not comprehended, a whole which has no parts (Arist., Nic. Eth.). The vacancy of such a form was noticed by Aristotle, but not by Plato. He also failed to recognize that two or more different research methods are included in the dialectical process. He didn't see that if he took the long way or the short way, he wouldn't be able to advance in that way. And yet these visions often have immense effect; for though the method of science cannot anticipate science, the idea of ​​science, not as it is, but as it will be in the future, is a great and inspiring principle. In the pursuit of knowledge, we are always moving towards something beyond ourselves; and just as a false conception of knowledge, like scholastic philosophy, may lead men astray for ages to come, so the true ideal, however empty, may draw all their thoughts in the right direction. It makes a big difference whether the general expectation of knowledge, as that vague feeling might be called, is based on good judgment. Because mankind can often entertain a true conception of what knowledge should be when they have little experience of the facts. The correlation of the sciences, the awareness of the unity of nature, the idea of ​​classification, the sense of proportion, the unwillingness to stop at certainty or confuse probability with truth, are important principles of higher education. . Although Plato could not tell us anything, and perhaps knew that he could not tell us anything, in absolute truth, he exerted an influence on the human mind that is still not exhausted today; and political and social issues may still arise in which Plato's thoughts can be read anew and given new meaning.

The Idea of ​​the Good is so called only in the Republic, but there are traces of it in other dialogues of Plato. It is both a cause and an idea, and from this point of view it can be compared to the creator of the Timaeus, who out of his goodness created all things. It corresponds to some extent with the modern conception of a law of nature, or a final cause, or both in one, and in that sense may be related to the measure and symmetry of Philebus. It is represented at the Banquet under the aspect of beauty, and is supposed to be reached there by stages of initiation, as here by regular gradations of knowledge. Viewed subjectively, it is the process or science of dialectics. This is the science that, according to Phaedrus, is the true basis of rhetoric, the only one capable of distinguishing the natures and classes of men and things, the one that divides a whole into its natural parts and unites the dispersed parts. natural or organized set. whole; which defines the abstract essences or universal ideas of all things and connects them; which pierces the veil of hypotheses and reaches the final cause or principle first of all; which refers to the sciences in relation to the idea of ​​good. This ideal science is the highest thought process and can be described as the soul talking to itself or communing with eternal truth and beauty, and in another form it is the eternal question and answer, the incessant interrogation of Socrates. Plato's own dialogues are examples. of the nature and method of the dialectic. Viewed objectively, the idea of ​​good is a power or cause that makes the outer world correspond to the inner world. However, this world without us is still a world of ideas. For Plato, the investigation of nature is another department of knowledge, and in this he seeks to arrive at probable conclusions only (Timaeus).

If we ask whether this science of dialectics that Plato explains to us is only halfway in line with logic or metaphysics, the answer is that in his mind the two sciences are not distinguished, as well as the subjective and objective aspects of the world and from nature. man, which German philosophy has revealed to us. Nor has he determined whether his science of dialectics is at rest or in motion, concerned with the contemplation of absolute being, or in a process of development and evolution. Modern metaphysics can be described as the science of abstractions, or as the science of the evolution of thought; modern logic, when it goes beyond the limits of mere Aristotelian forms, may be defined as the science of method. The germ of both is contained in the Platonic dialectic; all metaphysicians have something in common with Plato's ideas; all logicians have derived something from Plato's method. The closest approximation in modern philosophy to Plato's universal science is found in Hegel's "succession of moments in the unity of the idea". Both Plato and Hegel seem to have conceived the world as the correlation of abstractions; and it is not impossible that they would have understood each other better than any of their commentators (Swift's Voyage to Laputa. 'Having a desire to see those ancients who were most famous for their intelligence and learning, I purposely reserved a day. I proposed that Homer and Aristotle could appear at the head of all their commentators; but these were so numerous that a few hundred were obliged to appear in the courtyard and outer rooms of the palace. I knew and was able to distinguish them two heroes, at first glance, not just from the crowd, but from each other. Homer was the taller and more attractive of the two, he walked very straight for someone his age and his eyes were the quickest and most piercing I've ever seen Aristotle, he stooped a lot and used a cane . His face was gaunt, his hair straight and fine and his voice hollow. or I've heard of them before. and I had a whisper of a ghost, who has no name, "which these commentators have always kept in the farthest places from s chief selves, in the nether world, by a consciousness of shame and guilt, because they had horribly misrepresented the meaning of these authors to posterity." I introduced Didymus and Eustace to Homer. , and persuaded him to treat them better than perhaps they deserved, for he soon found that they wanted a genius to get into the mind of a poet. But Aristotle lost patience with the account I gave him of Scotus and Ramus, when I introduced them to him; and asked them "if the rest of the tribe were as stupid as they are?"). However, there is a difference between them: while Hegel thinks of the minds of all men as one, developing the stages of the idea in different countries or at different times in the same country, in Plato these gradations are considered only as an order. of thought or ideas; the history of the human mind had not yet caught up with it.

Many criticisms can be made of Plato's theory of education. While in some respects he inevitably falls short of modern thinkers, in others he is ahead of them. He is opposed to the modes of education which prevailed in his own time; but it can hardly be said that he discovered new ones. He does not see that education is relative to the character of individuals; you just want to imprint the same form of state on everyone's mind. He does not have a sufficient idea of ​​the effect of literature on forming the mind, and greatly exaggerates that of mathematics. His object is above all to train the reasoning faculties; implant in the mind the spirit and power of abstraction; explain and define general notions and, if possible, connect them. It is not surprising that, in the void of real knowledge, followers of him, and sometimes even himself, turned away from the doctrine of ideas and returned to that branch of knowledge where only the relationship between one and many can be truly seen. : the science of number. In his view of teaching and training he might be called, in modern parlance, doctrinaire; in Spartan fashion, he would have his citizens cast in one mould; he does not seem to think that a certain degree of freedom, "a little healthy carelessness," is necessary to strengthen and develop character and make room for individual nature. Its citizens would not have acquired that knowledge which, in Er's view, the pilgrims should acquire from their experience of evil.

On the other hand, Plato is far ahead of modern philosophers and theologians when he teaches that education should continue throughout life and begin again in the next. I would never allow education of any kind to cease; although he was aware that Solon's proverbial saying, "I grow old learning many things", cannot be literally applied. Enraptured by the contemplation of the idea of ​​the good, and delighting in solid geometry (Rep.), he has no difficulty in imagining that a life could be lived happily in such pursuits. We, who know how many more entrepreneurs there are in the world than real students or thinkers, are not equally optimistic. The education it proposes to its citizens is really the ideal life of the philosopher or man of genius, interrupted, but only for a time, by practical duties, a life not for the majority but for a few.

However, Plato's thinking may not be totally inapplicable to our times. Even if it is considered an ideal that can never be realised, it can have a great effect in uplifting the character of mankind and raising them above the routine of their ordinary occupation or profession. It is the best way in which we can conceive of the totality of life. However, Plato's idea is not easily put into practice. Because the education of the beyond is necessarily the education that each one gives to himself. Men and women cannot be brought together in schools or colleges at forty or fifty years of age; and if they could, the result would be disappointing. Most men's fate is what Plato would call "the Burrow" for life, and with that they are content. They also don't have teachers or counselors with whom they can consult in more mature years. There is no "foreign teacher" who tells them of their failures, or inspires in them the highest sense of duty, or the ambition of true success in life; no Socrates to condemn them for ignorance; no Christ, or follower of Christ, to rebuke them of sin. Thus, they have difficulty receiving the first element of improvement, which is self-knowledge. The hopes of youth no longer agitate them; they would rather rest than pursue lofty goals. Only a few who knew great men and women, or eminent teachers of religion and morality, received a second life from them and lit a candle with the fire of their genius.

Lack of energy is one of the main reasons why so few people continue to improve in recent years. They have no will and do not know the way. They "never try an experiment" or seek a point of interest for themselves; they do not make sacrifices for the sake of knowledge; their minds, like their bodies, at a certain age become fixed. Genius was defined as “the power to fight”; but hardly anyone maintains his interest in knowledge for a lifetime. The problems of a family, the business of earning money, the demands of a profession destroy the elasticity of the mind. The wax plate of memory, once capable of receiving "true thoughts and clear impressions," hardens and fills up; there is no place for the accumulations of a long life (Theaet.). The student, over the years, prefers to exchange knowledge that increases his reserves. There is no pressing need to learn; the stock of Classics, History or Natural Sciences that was enough for a man of twenty-five is enough for him at fifty. Nor is it easy to give a definitive answer to someone who asks you how you can improve. Because self-education consists of a thousand things, common in themselves, in adding to what we are by nature something of what we are not; in learning to see ourselves as others see us; in judging, not by opinion, but by the evidence of facts; in seeking the company of superior minds; in a study of the lives and writings of great men; in the observation of the world and the character; in gently receiving the natural influence of the different moments of life; in any act or thought that rises above the practice or opinions of mankind; in search of some new or original research; in any exertion of the mind which invokes some latent power.

If anyone wishes to carry out the Platonic education of the afterlife in detail, some advice may be offered, such as the following: let him choose the branch of knowledge to which his own mind is most clearly inclined and in which he takes the greatest interest. pleasure, whether that seems to be related to your own daily work or, perhaps, provides the greatest contrast to it. You can study from the speculative side the profession or business in which you are practically engaged. You can make Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, Plato, Bacon the friends and companions of your life. You may find opportunities to hear the living voice of a great teacher. You can choose to investigate some point in history or some unexplained natural phenomenon. An hour a day spent in such scientific or literary pursuits will yield as many facts as memory can contain and give you "pleasure you will not regret" (Timaeus). Just be careful not to be a slave to stupidity, or run after a will-o-the-wisp in your ignorance, or in your vanity of claiming to be a poet or assuming the air of a philosopher. You must know the limits of your own powers. Better to build up the mind by slow accretions, to creep silently from one thing to another, to insensibly acquire new powers and new interests in knowledge, than to form vast schemes which are never destined to be realized. But perhaps, as Plato would say, 'That is another matter' (Tim.); though we may also defend our digression by example from him (Theaet.).

4. We note with surprise that the progress of nations or the natural growth of institutions which fill modern treatises on political philosophy never seem to have attracted the attention of Plato and Aristotle. The ancients were familiar with the changeability of human affairs; they could moralize about the ruins of cities and the fall of empires (Plato, Statesman and Sulpicius' Letter to Cicero); they considered that fate and chance were real powers, almost people, and that they had played a large part in political events. The wisest, such as Thucydides, believed that "what had been will be again", and that a tolerable idea of ​​the future could be gleaned from the past. They too dreamed of a Golden Age that once existed and may still exist in some unknown land, or may return in the remote future. But the constant growth of a State illuminated by experience, advancing in knowledge, perfecting itself in the arts, in which citizens were educated for the fulfillment of political duties, never seems to have been within reach of their hopes and aspirations. Such a state had never been seen and therefore could not be conceived by them. Their experience (Aristot. Metaph.; Plato, Laws) led them to conclude that there were cycles of civilization in which the arts were discovered and lost many times, and cities were destroyed and rebuilt again and again, and the floods and volcanoes and other natural upheavals changed the face of the earth. Tradition told them of the many destructions of mankind and the preservation of a remnant. The world started anew after a flood and was rebuilt from the fragments of itself. They also knew empires of unknown antiquity, such as the Egyptian or the Assyrian; but they never saw them grow up and could not imagine, as we cannot, the state of the man who preceded them. They were intrigued and amazed by the Egyptian monuments, whose forms, as Plato says, not in a figure, but literally, were ten thousand years old (Leis), and they contrasted the antiquity of Egypt with their own brief memories.

The early legends of Hellas have no real connection with later history: they are far away and the region in between is hidden; there is no road or path that leads from one to the other. At the beginning of Greek history, in the vestibule of the temple, the figure of the legislator stands out, himself interpreter and servant of God. The fundamental laws he gives must not change with time and circumstances. It is believed that the salvation of the State depends first of all on its inviolability. They were sanctioned by the authority of heaven, and it was considered impiety to alter them. The desire to keep them unchanged seems to be at the origin of what at first glance most surprises us: Plato's intolerant zeal against innovators in religion or politics (Laws); though with happy inconsistency, he is also willing to have the laws of other countries studied and improvements in legislation communicated privately to the Night Council (Laws). Additions made to them in later times to meet the increasing complexity of the issues were still attributed by fiction to the original lawgiver; and the words of such enactments at Athens have been discussed as if they were the words of Solon himself. Plato hopes to preserve in a later generation the lawgiver's mind; he wants his citizens to stay within the lines he has set for them. I would not pester them with minute regulations, I would have allowed some changes in the laws: but not changes which would affect the fundamental institutions of the state, such as turning an aristocracy into a timocracy, or a timocracy into a popular form of government. . .

Moving from speculation to fact, we see that progress has been the exception rather than the law of human history. And therefore we are not surprised to find that the idea of ​​progress is more modern than ancient; and, like the idea of ​​a philosophy of history, it is not more than a century or two old. It seems to have arisen from the impression made on the human mind by the growth of the Roman Empire and the Christian Church, and to be owing to the political and social improvements which they had introduced into the world; and still more in our own century to the idealism of the first French Revolution and the triumph of American Independence; and in still greater degree to the vast material prosperity and population growth in England and her colonies and in America. It must also be attributed to some extent to the later study of the philosophy of history. The optimistic temperament of some great writers helped its creation, while the opposite character led some to consider the future of the world bleak. The 'beholder of all time and of all existence' sees more than ever before 'the rising purpose that spanned the ages': but to the inhabitant of a small state of Hellas, the vision was necessarily as limited as the valley in which he lived. There was no remote past upon which his gaze could rest, no future from which the analogy of history had partially lifted the veil. The mental narrowness, which seems so singular to us, was natural to him, if not inevitable.

5. For the Republic's relation to the Statesman and the Laws, and the other two works of Plato that deal directly with politics, see the Introductions to the last two; some general points of comparison can be covered here.

And the first of the Laws.

(1) The Republic, though probably written at intervals, but generally speaking and judging from indications of thought and style, may reasonably be assigned to the middle period of Plato's life: the Laws are certainly the work of his later years, and some parts anyway, they seem to have been written in extreme old age.

(2) The Republic is full of hope and aspiration: the Laws bear the stamp of failure and disappointment. One is a finished work with the author's finishing touches: the other is executed imperfectly and seemingly unfinished. One has the grace and beauty of youth: the other has lost its poetic form, but has more of the severity and knowledge of life that characterize old age.

(3) The most evident defect in the Laws is the lack of dramatic power, while the Republic is full of startling contrasts of ideas and oppositions of character.

(4) The Laws may be said to be more in the nature of a sermon, the Republic of a poem; one is more religious, the other more intellectual.

(5) Many of Plato's theories, such as the doctrine of ideas, the government of the world by philosophers, are not found in the Laws; the immortality of the soul is first mentioned in xii; the person of Socrates has completely disappeared. The community of women and children is renounced; the institution of common or public meals for women (Laws) (Ar. Pol.) is first introduced.

(6) The old enmity against the poets remains in the Laws, who are ironically hailed in high-sounding terms, and at the same time are peremptorily ordered to leave the city if they are unwilling to submit their poems to the censorship of the magistrates (Rep. ).

(7) Although the work is inferior in many respects, there are some passages in the Laws, such as the honor due to the soul, the evils of licentious or unnatural love, the whole of Book x. (religion), the dishonesty of retail trade and the legacies, which are more familiar to us and contain more of what is perhaps called a modern element in Plato than almost anything else in the Republic.

The relationship between the two works is very well given:

(1) by Aristotle in Politics on the Side of Laws:—

The same, or nearly the same, objections apply to Plato's later work, the Laws, and it is therefore best for us to look briefly at the constitution described there. In the Republic, Socrates definitively resolved only a few issues; such as the community of women and children, the community of goods, and the state constitution. The population is divided into two classes: one of peasants and another of warriors; from the latter a third class of advisers and rulers of the state is taken. But Socrates did not determine whether farmers and artists should have a stake in government. , and whether they should also carry weapons and share military service or not. She certainly feels that women should be involved in educating Guardians and fighting alongside them. The remainder of the work is filled with digressions from the main theme and with discussions on tutor education. In the Laws there is almost nothing but laws; Not much is said about the constitution. This, which he intended to make more of the ordinary kind, gradually leads him to the other form or ideal form. Well, with the exception of the community of women and property, everything is supposed to be the same in both states; there must be the same education; the citizens of both shall live free from servile occupations, and there shall be common meals in both. The only difference is that in the Laws the common meals are extended to women, and the warriors number about 5,000, but in the Republic only 1,000.

(2) By Plato in the Laws (Book v.), on the side of the Republic:—

"The first and highest form of state, government, and law is that in which the old saying 'friends have everything in common' prevails most widely." Whether there is now or will be this communion of women, children, and property, in which the private and the individual are completely banished from life, and things which are private by nature, like eyes, ears, and hands, have become common and all men express praise and blame, and feel joy and sorrow, on the same occasions, and the laws unite the city to the utmost, whether all this is possible or not, I say that no man, acting above any other principle, ever constitutes a more exalted state. in virtue, or truer or better than that. Such a state, whether inhabited by Gods or sons of Gods, will make those who dwell therein blessed; and therefore we must look to this as the standard of the state, and hold fast to it, and, as far as possible, look for one like it. The state we now have in hand, when created, will be the closest to immortality and unity in the next degree; and after that, by the grace of God, we will complete the third. And we'll start by talking about the nature and origin of the second.

The comparatively short work called The Statesman or Politicus is in its style and form more like the Laws, while in its idealism it is more like the Republic. As far as we can judge from several evidences of speech and thought, it must be after one, and, of course, before another. Both in Republic and in Statesman there is a close connection between Politics and Dialectic. In the Policy, questions about the principles of the Method are interspersed with discussions about the Policy. The comparative advantages of the rule of law and a person are considered, and the decision is made in favor of a person (Arist. Pol.). But much can be said on the other side, nor is opposition necessary; for a person can govern by the law, and the law can be so applied as to be the living voice of the lawgiver. As in the Republic, there is a myth that describes, however, not a future, but a previous existence of humanity. The question arises, "Whether the state of innocence which is described in myth, or a state like ours, which possesses art and science, and distinguishes good from evil, is the preferable condition of man." life, about which so much was said in the last century and in ours, there is no answer. The Statesman, though less perfect in style than The Republic and much smaller in scope, may be considered one of Plato's greatest dialogues.

6. Others, like Plato, chose an ideal Republic as a vehicle for thoughts that they could not definitively express or that went beyond their own time. The classical writing that comes closest to Plato's Republic is Cicero's De Republica; but neither in this nor any other of his dialogues does he rival Plato's art. Manners are clumsy and inferior; the hand of the rhetorician is evident at every step. However, the noble sentiments are constantly repeated: the true note of Roman patriotism – “We Romans are a great people” – resounds throughout the entire work. Like Socrates, Cicero turns away from the phenomena of the heavens to concentrate on civil and political life. He prefers not to talk about the "two suns" all of Rome talked about, when he can talk about "the two nations in one" that have divided Rome since the time of the Gracchi. Like Socrates again, speaking in the person of Scipio, he is afraid of assuming too much the character of a teacher, rather than an equal who is arguing between friends on both sides of an issue. He would limit the terms King or State to the domain of reason and justice, and would not grant that title to either a democracy or a monarchy. But under the dominion of reason and justice he is willing to include the superior natural dominion over the inferior natural, which he compares with the dominion of the soul over the body. He prefers a mixture of forms of government to just one. The two portraits of just and unjust, which appear in the second book of the Republic, are transferred to the State: Philus, one of the interlocutors, maintains against his will the necessity of injustice as a principle of government, while the other, Laelius, defends the opposite thesis. His views on language and number derive from Plato; as he denounces the drama. He also declares that if his life were to be doubled, he would not have time to read the lyric poets. The image of democracy is translated by him word for word, although he has hardly shown himself capable of "taking the joke" on Plato. He transforms the humorous fantasy about animals, which “are so imbued with the spirit of democracy that they lead passers-by astray”, into a majestic phrase. His description of the tyrant is an imitation of Plato's, but far inferior. The second book is historical and claims for the Roman constitution (which for him is the ideal) a factual foundation like the one that Plato probably intended to give to the Republic in Critias. His most notable imitation of Plato is the adaptation of Er's vision, which Cicero transforms into the 'Somnium Scipionis'; he "romanized" the myth of the Republic, adding an argument for the immortality of the soul from Phaedrus and a few other touches derived from Phaedo and Timaeus. Though it is a beautiful tale and contains splendid passages, the 'SomniumScipionis; it is far inferior to Er's vision; it is just a dream and hardly allows the reader to assume that the writer believes in his own creation. If dialogues of his were framed on the model of the lost dialogues of Aristotle, as he himself tells us, or of Plato, which have many superficial appearances. similarities, he is still the Roman orator; he is not talking but making speeches, and he is never able to mold intractable Latin to the grace and ease of Platonic Greek dialogue. But if he is defective in form, much more is he inferior to the Greek in matter; nowhere in his philosophical writings does he leave the impression of an original thinker on our minds.

It has been said that Plato's Republic is a church and not a state; and such an ideal of a city in the heavens has ever hovered over the Christian world, and is embodied in St. Augustine's 'De Civitate Dei', which is suggested by the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, just as we may imagine that Plato's Republic was influenced by the decline of Greek politics in Plato's time. The difference is that in Plato's time the degeneration, though certain, was gradual and insensible: whereas the capture of Rome by the Goths shook the time of St. Augustine like an earthquake. Men were inclined to believe that the overthrow of the city was to be attributed to the anger felt by the ancient Roman deities at the neglect of their worship. St. Augustine holds the opposite thesis; He argues that the destruction of the Roman Empire is due, not to the rise of Christianity, but to the vices of paganism. He wanders through Roman history and Greek philosophy and mythology, finding crime, impiety, and falsehood everywhere. He compares the worst parts of the Gentile religions with the best elements of faith in Christ. He shows none of the spirit which led other early Christian fathers to recognize in the writings of Greek philosophers the power of divine truth. He draws the parallel between the kingdom of God, i.e., the history of the Jews, contained in their scriptures, and the kingdoms of the world, found in the Gentile writers, and pursues both towards an ideal future. It is needless to point out that his use of Greek and Roman historians and the sacred writings of the Jews is wholly uncritical. Pagan mythology, the Sibylline oracles, the myths of Plato, the dreams of the Neoplatonists are equally considered by him as facts. It must be recognized that he is a strictly polemical or controversial writer, who brings out the best of everything on one side and the worst of everything on the other. He is not as sympathetic to ancient Roman life as Plato is to Greek life, nor does he have any idea of ​​the ecclesiastical kingdom that would rise from the ruins of the Roman empire. He is not blind to the faults of the Christian Church, and he looks forward to the time when both Christians and pagans will be brought before the court, and the true City of God will appear... The work of St. Augustine is a curious repertoire. of scholarship and antiquarian quotations, deeply imbued with Christian ethics, but showing little reasoning power and scant knowledge of Greek literature and language. He was a great genius and a noble character, but hardly capable of feeling or understanding anything external to his own theology. Of all the ancient philosophers, he is most attracted to Plato, although he is not familiar with his writings. He is inclined to believe that the Timaeus idea of ​​creation is derived from the Genesis narrative; and he is strangely captivated by the coincidence (?) of Plato's statement that "the philosopher is the lover of God" and the words of the Book of Exodus in which God reveals himself to Moses (Exodus). He dwells at length on the miracles wrought in his day, the evidence of which he finds overwhelming. He speaks very interestingly of the beauty and usefulness of nature and human structure, which he conceives as anticipating the heavenly state and resurrection of the body. The book is not really what its title would imply to most people and belongs to an era that is long gone. But it contains many good passages and thoughts that are for all time.

Dante's little treatise on Monarchy is by far the most remarkable of medieval ideals, bearing the imprint of the great genius in which Italy and the Middle Ages are so vividly reflected. It is the vision of a Universal Empire, supposedly the natural and necessary government of the world, having a divine authority distinct from but coextensive with the Papacy. He is not "the ghost of the late Roman Empire sitting crowned in its tomb", but its rightful heir and successor, vindicated by the ancient virtues of the Romans and the beneficence of his rule. Their right to be the rulers of the world is also confirmed by the testimony of miracles, and recognized by St. Paul when he appealed to Caesar, and still more emphatically by Christ himself, who could not have made atonement for the sins of men if he had not been condemned. by a divinely authorized tribunal. The necessity of establishing a Universal Empire is proved in part by a priori arguments, such as the unity of God and the unity of the family or nation; in part by perversions of Scripture and history, by false analogies of nature, by misapplied quotations from the classics, and by witticisms and common places of logic, showing a familiar but no-one's exact knowledge of Aristotle (of Plato there is none). But an even more convincing argument is the miserable state of the world, which he movingly describes. He sees no hope of happiness or peace for mankind until all the nations of the earth are encompassed in one empire. The whole treatise shows how deeply the idea of ​​the Roman Empire was fixed in the minds of his contemporaries. It did not take many arguments to support the veracity of a theory that seemed so natural and agreeable to its contemporaries. He speaks, or rather preaches, from the point of view, not of the ecclesiastical, but of the layman, although, as a good Catholic, he is willing to admit that in certain respects the Empire must submit to the Church. The beginning and end of all their noble reflections and arguments, good and bad, is the aspiration "that on this little piece of earth which belongs to mortal man, life may pass in freedom and peace." the beliefs and circumstances of his own time.

Sir Thomas More's 'Utopia' is an impressive monument to his genius and shows a range of thinking far beyond that of his contemporaries. The book was written by him at the age of 34 or 35 and is full of the generous sentiments of youth. He brings Plato's light to the wretched state of his own country. Living not long after the Wars of the Roses and in the dregs of the Catholic Church in England, he resents the corruption of the clergy, the luxury of the nobility and gentry, the sufferings of the poor, the calamities caused by war. . In More's eyes, the whole world was in dissolution and decay; and alongside the misery and oppression that he described in the First Book of Utopia, he places in the Second Book the ideal state that he built up with the help of Plato. The times were full of turmoil and intellectual interest. The distant murmur of the Reformation was beginning to be heard. To minds like More's, Greek literature was a revelation: an art of interpretation had arisen, and the New Testament was beginning to be understood as never before, and not often since, in its natural sense. The life there described seemed to him quite different from that of Christian communities, in which he "saw nothing but a certain conspiracy of rich men acquiring their own goods under the name and title of the Commonwealth." He thought that Christ, like Plato, "instituted all things". common', so that, he tells us, the citizens of Utopia were more disposed to receive his doctrines ('However, I think it was no small help and advance in the matter, that they heard us say that Christ instituted among his own, everything common, and that the same community still remains in the most just Christian communities" (Utopia). I say), when I consider myself, I am well with Plato, and I am not surprised that he makes no laws for those who reject those laws, by which all men should have and enjoy equal shares of wealth and commodities brought and settled' (Utopia).) We wonder how in the reign of Henry VIII, though veiled in another language and published in a foreign country, such speculations could have been supported.

He is endowed with far greater dramatic inventiveness than any of his successors, with the exception of Swift. In the art of pretending he is a worthy disciple of Plato. How he, starting from a small part of the facts, bases his account with admirable skill on some lines of the Latin narrative of the voyages of Amerigo Vespucci. It is very accurate in dates and facts, and it has the power to make us believe that the narrator of the story must have been an eyewitness. We were quite intrigued by his way of mixing real and imaginary people; his son John Clement and Peter Giles, citizen of Antwerp, with whom he discusses the precise words supposedly used by the (imaginary) Portuguese traveler Raphael Hythloday. "I have more reason," says Hythloday, "to fear that my words will not be believed, for I know how much I myself would have believed another man to say the same thing, had I not seen it with my own eyes." Or again: 'If you had been with me in Utopia, and had seen its fashions and laws now as I have, who lived there five years or more, and would never have come thence but only to make the new land known here,' etc. He is very sorry that he forgot to ask Hythloday where Utopia is in the world; he 'would have spent a large sum of money before it escaped him,' and he begs Peter Giles to see Hythloday or write to him and get an answer to the question. After this we are not surprised to learn that a professor of theology (perhaps "a famous late vicar of Croydon in Surrey," as the translator thinks) wishes to be sent thither as a missionary by the High Bishop, "yes, and that he himself be made Bishop of Utopia, not doubting that he must obtain this Bishopric by a lawsuit; and he considers it to be a pious garment which does not proceed from the desire of honor or gain, but only from a pious zeal". The project may have failed due to the disappearance of Hythloday, about whom we have "very uncertain news" after his departure. There is no doubt, however, that he had told More and Giles the exact situation of the island, but unfortunately at the same moment More's attention, as he is remembered in a letter from Giles, was attracted by a servant, and one of the company of a cold. trapped aboard, he coughed loud enough to prevent Giles from hearing him. And 'the secret perished' with him; To this day, the location of Utopia remains unknown.

The words of Phaedrus, "Oh, Socrates, you can easily make up Egyptians or whatever", come to mind as we read this realistic fiction. However, the greatest merit of the work is not the admirable art, but the originality of thought. More is as free as Plato from his time biases, and far more tolerant. The Utopians do not allow anyone who does not believe in the immortality of the soul to participate in the administration of the state (Laws), 'although they do not punish him, because they are convinced that it is not in anyone's power to believe what he enumerates'; and 'no man is to be blamed for reasoning in support of his own religion' ('One of our company in my presence was severely punished. He, as soon as he was baptized, began, against our will, with more sincere affection than wisdom, because of the religion of Christ, and he began to be so inflamed in his subject, that he not only preferred our religion to all others, but also despised and condemned all others, calling them profane, and their followers wicked and devilish. , and sons of eternity. After he had thus reasoned the matter a long time, they arrested, accused, and condemned him into exile, not as a despiser of religion, but as a seditious person, and an agitator of discord among the people.' ) .' public services 'no prayer should be used, but it may be boldly uttered by every man without offending any sect'. He significantly says, 'Let them worship a man who was once of excellent virtue or famous glory, not only as God, but also as the chief and supreme God. But the wisest and wisest, rejecting all this, believe that there is some unknown divine power, far beyond the capacity and reach of man's ingenuity, spread over the world, not in greatness, but in virtue and power. They call him the Father of all. To Him alone they ascribe the beginning, increase, processes, changes, and ends of all things. Nor do they give divine honors to anyone but him.” Far was Moro from sharing the popular beliefs of his time. However, at the end he reminds us that he does not agree in all respects with the customs and opinions of the utopians he describes. And we must let him benefit from this saving clause, and not abruptly withdraw the veil behind which he has been pleased to hide himself.

He is also no less ahead of popular opinion in his political and moral speculations. He would like to despise military glory; he would place all kinds of idlers in lucrative occupations, including in the same class priests, women, nobles, knights and "strong and valiant beggars", so that the work of all was reduced to six hours a day. His aversion to the death penalty and criminal reform plans; his contempt for priests and lawyers (compare his satirical remark: "They (the Utopians) have priests of superior sanctity, and therefore very few); his comment that "though all may hear of dogs and cruel man-eating wolves and voracious, it is not easy to find states which are well and wisely governed", is curiously at odds with the notions of his time and, indeed, with his own life. There are many points at which he shows a modern feeling and a vision prophetic like that of Plato. He is a sanitary reformer; he maintains that civilized states have a right to the land of devastated countries; he inclines to the view that places happiness in virtuous pleasures, but in this, as he thinks, he does not disagree of those other philosophers who define virtue as living in conformity with nature. He extends the idea of ​​happiness to include the happiness of others, and humorously argues: "They all agree that we ought to make others happy." the happy ones; but if others, how much more we!” And yet he thinks there may be a more excellent way, but to it man's reason cannot arrive unless heaven inspires him with a higher truth. Your pre-wedding ceremonies; his human proposal that war should be fought by murdering enemy leaders can be compared to some of Plato's paradoxes. He has a charming fantasy, like the affinities of the Greeks and the Barbarians in the Timaeus, that the Utopians learned the language of the Greeks more easily because they were originally of the same race with them. It is imbued with the spirit of Plato and quotes or adapts many thoughts from both the Republic and the Timaeus. He prefers public duties to private ones and is somewhat impatient with the nuisance of relationships. Your citizens have no silver or gold of their own, but they are willing to pay your mercenaries for it. There is nothing I despise more than the love of money. Gold is used for the fetters of criminals, and diamonds and pearls for the necklaces of children (when ambassadors dressed in gold and peacock feathers in the eyes of all but a few Utopians, who have been to other countries for some reasonable reason, all that beauty of apparel seemed to them shameful and reproachable, so that they saluted with the greatest reverence the vilest and most abject of them as lords, ignoring the ambassadors themselves without any honor, judging them by wearing gold chains as servants. their pearls and precious stones, when they saw similar things fastened on the ambassadors' caps, they dug and pushed their mothers under the sides, saying to them thus: "Look, though he was still a little boy." also seriously: "Peace, son" , she says, "I think he's one of the ambassador's idiots."')

Like Plato, he is full of satirical reflections on governments and princes; about the state of the world and knowledge. The hero of his speech (Hythloday) is very reluctant to become a Minister of State, considering that he would lose his independence and his advice would never be heard (compare an exquisite passage, which concludes thus: 'And indeed it comes naturally... suppressed and done away with .') He ridicules the new logic of his time; the Utopians could never be made to understand the doctrine of ulterior motives ('Why did they not invent one of all those rules of restrictions, amplifications, and assumptions, very cleverly invented in little logicians, which our children here everywhere learn? they were never yet able to discover the ulterior motives, so that none of them could ever see the common man himself, as they call him, though he is (as you know) greater than any giant, yea, and pointed by him. .') He is very severe in the sports of the nobility; Utopians consider "hunting the lowest, vilest, most abject part of carnage." He quotes the words of the Republic in which the philosopher is described as "staying out of the way under a wall until the storm of hail and rain has passed". which admit of a singular application to More's own destiny; although, writing twenty years earlier (about the year 1514), it can hardly be supposed that he had foreseen this. No touch of satire cuts deeper than his silent observation that most of Christ's precepts are more out of keeping with the lives of ordinary Christians than the talk of utopia ("And yet most of them are more divergent from the customs of Christians." world today, than was my communication. But the preachers, crafty and cunning men, following their advice (as I suppose) because they saw men ill disposed to mold their ways in the government of Christ, they distorted and distorted their doctrine, and, as a rule of lead, I have applied it to the customs of men, that somehow, at least, they might assent.')

'New Atlantis' is but a fragment, and far inferior in merit to 'Utopia'. The work is full of humor but lacks creative fantasy and by no means impresses the reader with a sense of credibility. In some places Lord Bacon is characteristically different from Sir Thomas More, as, for example, in the external state which he ascribes to the Governor of the House of Solomon, whose clothes he minutely describes, while to Sir Thomas More such trappings seem simply ridiculous. However, after this parade of dresses, Bacon adds the beautiful trait, "that she seemed to pity men." Several things he borrows from Timaeus; but he damaged the unity of style by adding thoughts and passages taken from the Hebrew Scriptures.

The 'City of the Sun' written by Campanella (1568-1639), a Dominican friar, several years after Bacon's 'New Atlantis' has many similarities with Plato's Republic. Citizens have wives and children in common; their marriages are of the same temporary kind, and are arranged by magistrates from time to time. However, they do not adopt their lottery system, but bring together the best natures, male and female, "according to philosophical rules". Children up to the age of two are raised by their mothers in public temples; and as individuals, for the most part, educate their children badly, at the beginning of the third year they are entrusted to the care of the State, and are taught at first, not with books, but with drawings of all kinds, which are stamped on the walls walls of walls. the city. The city has six inner circuits of walls and an outer wall which is the seventh. On this outer wall are painted the figures of legislators and philosophers, and on each of the inner walls are outlined the symbols or forms of one of the sciences. Women are, for the most part, trained, like men, in military and other exercises; but they have two special occupations of their own. After a battle, they and the children soothe and soothe wounded warriors; they also encourage them with hugs and kind words. Among them some elements of the Christian or Catholic religion are conserved. The life of the Apostles is greatly admired by this people because they had everything in common; and the short prayer which Jesus Christ taught men is used in their worship. It is the duty of superior magistrates to forgive sins, and therefore all the people secretly confess them to the magistrates, and these to their master, who is a kind of Metaphysical Rector; and by this means he is well informed of all that is going on in the minds of men. After confession, absolution is granted to the citizens collectively, but no one is mentioned by name. There is also among them the practice of perpetual prayer, performed by a succession of priests, who change every hour. Their religion is a worship of God in Trinidad, that is, of Wisdom, Love and Power, but without distinction of persons. They behold in the sun his reflection of glory; mere graven images they reject, refusing to fall under the "tyranny" of idolatry.

Many details are given about their eating and drinking habits, their dress, their jobs, their wars. Campanella hopes for a new mode of education, which should be a study of nature, not of Aristotle. He doesn't want his citizens to waste time considering what he calls "the dead signs of things". he who knows only one science, in reality knows no more than the others, and strongly insists on the necessity of a variety of knowledge. More scholars appear in Sun City in one year than by contemporary methods in ten or fifteen. He evidently believes, like Bacon, that the natural sciences will henceforth play an important part in education, a hope which seems hardly realised, either in our age or in any previous age; in any case, its fulfillment was delayed for a long time.

There is much ingenuity and even originality in this work, and it is permeated with a very enlightened spirit. But it has little or no stylistic charm and is a far cry from Bacon's 'New Atlantis', let alone Sir Thomas More's 'Utopia'. It is full of inconsistencies and, although taken from Plato, shows a superficial knowledge of his writings. It is a work such as one might expect to be written by a philosopher and man of genius who was also a friar and who spent twenty-seven years of his life in an Inquisition prison. The book's most interesting feature, common to both Plato and Sir Thomas More, is the writer's deep feeling for the misery and ignorance that prevailed among the lower classes of his time. Campanella notes Aristotle's reply to Plato's community of goods, that in a society where all things are common, no individual would have any reason to work (Arist. Pol.): he replies that its citizens, being happy and content with themselves (they are compelled to work only four hours a day), will have a greater regard for their fellow men than exists among men at present. He thinks, like Plato, that if he suppresses private feelings and interests, great public feeling will take their place.

Other writings on ideal states, such as Harrington's Oceana, in which Lord Archon, that is, Cromwell, is described not as he was, but as he should have been; or Barclay's 'Argenis', which is a historical allegory of his own time, are too different from Plato to deserve mention. More interesting than any of them, and far more Platonic in style and thought, is Sir John Eliot's 'Monarchy of Man', in which the prisoner of the Tower, who can no longer 'be a politician in the land of his birth' , he turns away from politics to see "that other city that is within him" and discovers on the very threshold of the grave that the secret of human happiness is self-control. The change of government in the days of the English Commonwealth made men think of basic principles, and gave rise to many such works... Swift's great original genius owes nothing to Plato; nor is there any trace in the conversations or works of Dr. Johnson of any familiarity with his writings. He would probably have refuted Plato without reading him, just as he presumed that he himself had refuted Bishop Berkeley's theory of the non-existence of matter. Except for the so-called English Platonists, or rather Neoplatonists, who never understood their master, and the writings of Coleridge, who was to some extent a kindred spirit, Plato did not leave a permanent mark on English literature.

7. Human life and conduct are affected by ideals, as they are by the examples of eminent men. Neither the one nor the other is immediately applicable in practice, but a virtue emanates from them which tends to elevate individuals above the common routine of society or commerce, and to elevate States above mere commercial interests or the necessities of self-defense. Like the ideals of art, they are shaped in part by the omission of details; they need to be seen from a distance and tend to disappear if we try to approach them. They acquire an imaginary distinction when they are incorporated into a state or a system of philosophy, but visions of "an unrealized world" remain. in another. Even in our own family circle there may have been someone, a woman or even a child, in whose face more than human kindness shone. The ideal then approaches us and we cling to it with affection. The ideal of the past, whether of our own past lives or of earlier states of society, exercises a singular fascination in the minds of many. With the tools, we learn that such ideals cannot be remembered, although the memory of them can have a humanizing influence in other times. But the abstractions of philosophy are to most people cold and empty; they give light without heat; they are like the full moon in the sky when the stars do not appear. Men cannot live by thought alone; the world of the senses is always invading them. For the most part they are confined to a corner of the earth, seeing little beyond their own home or place of residence; they 'do not lift up their eyes to the mountains'; they are not awake when dawn appears. But in Plato we reach a height from which a man can look into the future of the world and philosophy. The ideal of the State and the life of the philosopher; the ideal of lifelong continuing education that extends equally to both sexes; the ideal of the unity and correlation of knowledge; faith in the good and immortality are the empty forms of light on which Plato tries to fix humanity's gaze.

8. Two other ideals, which never appeared on the horizon of Greek philosophy, float before the minds of men today: the one seen more clearly than before, as if each year and each generation brought us closer to a great change; the other almost to the same degree withdrawing from view behind the laws of nature, as if oppressed by them, but still remaining a silent hope that we do not know what lurks in the heart of man. The first ideal is the future of the human race in this world; the second the future of the individual in another. The first is the most perfect realization of our own present life; the second, his selflessness: one limited by experience, the other transcending it. Both were and are powerful motives for action; there are some in whom they have taken the place of all earthly interests. The hope of a future for the human race seems at first sight the more disinterested, the hope of individual existence the more selfish of the two motives. But when men have learned to fix their hope of a future, for themselves or for the world, on the will of God, "not my will, but thine," the difference between them disappears; and they may be authorized to make any one of them the basis of their lives, according to their own individual character or temperament. There is as much faith in the will to work for an unseen future in this world as in another. Nor is it inconceivable that some rare nature might feel its duty to another generation, or to another century, almost as strongly as to its own, or that living ever in the presence of God, should be aware of another world as vividly as it is. . .

The greatest of all ideals can, or rather must, be conceived by us under similitudes derived from human qualities; though sometimes, like the Jewish prophets, we may discard these figures of speech and describe God's nature only in a negative way. These again gradually acquire a positive meaning. It would be well if, when meditating on higher truths, whether of philosophy or religion, we sometimes substitute one form of expression for another, so that the needs of language do not make us slaves to mere words.

There is a third ideal, not the same, but similar to these, which takes place in the home and heart of every believer in the religion of Christ, and in which men seem to find a closer and more familiar truth, the divine man. , divine man. Son of Man, Savior of mankind, who is the Firstborn and head of the whole family in heaven and on earth, in Whom the Divine and the human are indissolubly united, what is outside and what is within the reach of our earthly faculties. Nor is this divine form of goodness wholly separable from the ideal of the Christian Church, which in the New Testament is said to be "His body," nor is it in conflict with those other images of good that Plato presents to us. We see Him only in a figure, and from the rhetorical figures we select only a few, and the simplest ones, to be His expression. We behold Him in an image, but He is not there. We collect fragments of his speeches, but they don't represent him as he really was either. His abode is neither in heaven nor on earth, but in the heart of man. This is the image which Plato dimly saw in the distance, which, when it existed among men, he called, in the language of Homer, "the likeness of God," the likeness of a nature which in all ages men have felt to be older. and better than her. themselves, and that in infinite forms, whether derived from the Scriptures or from nature, from the testimony of history or from the human heart, considered as a person or not as a person, with or without parts or passions, existing in space or not in space, is and it will always be for humanity the Idea of ​​Good.



Socrates, who is the narrator.







And others who are mute hearers.

The scene takes place in Cephalus' house in Piraeus; and the entire dialogue is narrated by Socrates the day after what actually happened to Timaeus, Hermocrates, Critias, and an unnamed person, who appear in the Timaeus.


Yesterday I went down to Piraeus with Glaucon, son of Ariston, that I might offer my prayers to the goddess (Bendis, the Thracian Artemis); and also because I wanted to see how they were going to celebrate the party, which was something new. He was delighted with the procession of the inhabitants, but that of the Thracians was just as beautiful, if not more so. When we finished our prayers and saw the spectacle, we turned towards the city; and at that instant Polemarchus, the son of Cephalus, saw us from a distance as we were returning home, and he ordered his servant to run and tell us to wait for him. The servant grabbed me by the back of my cloak and said: Polemarchus wants you to wait.

I turned around and asked where his master was.

There he is, said the young man, coming after you if you wait.

Of course, said Glaucon; and in a few minutes Polemarchus appeared, and with him Adeimantus, brother of Glaucon, Niceratus, son of Nicias, and several others who were in the procession.

Polemarchus said to me: I see, Socrates, that you and your companion are already on their way to the city.

You are not far wrong, I said.

But you see, he replied, how many of us are there?


And are you stronger than all that? because if not, you will have to stay where you are.

Can't there be an alternative, I said, so we can convince him to let us go?

But can you persuade us if we refuse to listen to you? he said.

Certainly not, replied Glaucon.

So let's not listen; of that you can be sure.

Adeimantus added: Didn't anyone tell you about the torchlight race on horseback in honor of the goddess that will take place at dusk?

With horses! I replied: This is a novelty. Will drivers carry torches and pass them to each other during the race?

Yes, said Polemarchus, and not only that, but there will be a party in the evening, which you should certainly see. Let's get up right after dinner and see this festival; there will be a youth meeting and we will have a good conversation. So stay and don't be wicked.

Glaucon said: I suppose, since you insist, that we must.

Very well, I replied.

So we went with Polemarchus to his house; and there we find his brothers Lysias and Euthydemus, and with them Thrasymachus the Chalcedonian, Charmantides the Peanian, and Cleitophon the son of Aristonymus. There was also Cephalus, Polemarchus's father, whom I hadn't seen for a long time, and I thought he was very old. He was sitting on a padded chair and had a wreath on his head, because he had sacrificed at court; and there were other chairs in the room arranged in a semicircle, on which we sat beside him. He greeted me with enthusiasm and said:

You don't come to see me, Socrates, as often as you should: if I could still come to see you, I wouldn't ask you to come to me. But at my age I can hardly get to the city, and therefore you should come to Piraeus more often. Well, let me tell you that the more bodily pleasures disappear, the greater the pleasure and delight of conversation becomes for me. So do not deny my request, but make our house your resting place and keep these young people company; we are old friends and you will feel right at home with us.

I replied: There is nothing I like more, Cephalus, than to converse with the elderly; for I regard them as travelers who have undertaken a journey which I too must take, and whom I must ask whether the road is smooth and easy or hard and difficult. And this is a question I would like to ask those of you who have reached that moment that poets call the "threshold of old age": is life harder in the end, or what account do you give of it?

I will tell you, Socrates, he said, what my own feeling is. Men my age go out; we are birds of the same plumage, as the old proverb says; and at our meetings, the story of my acquaintances is often: I can't eat, I can't drink; the pleasures of youth and love are gone: there was a good time once, but now that is gone, and life is life no more. Some complain of the offenses that their relatives do to them and, with sadness, tell how much harm old age does to them. But to me, Socrates, these complainers seem to blame what is not really their fault. Because if old age were the cause, I too, being old, and any other old man, would feel like them. But this is not my own experience, nor that of other people I have met. How well do I remember the old poet Sophocles, when in answer to the question, How does love adapt to age, Sophocles? Are you still the many that you were? Peace, he replied; I have happily escaped what you speak of; I feel like I've escaped from a mad and furious master. Since then, words of his come to mind frequently and they sound as good to me now as when he uttered them. Because certainly old age brings a great sense of calm and freedom; when the passions loosen their grip, then, as Sophocles says, we free ourselves from the grip not of one mad master, but of many. The truth is, Socrates, that these sorrows, and also the complaints about relationships, must be attributed to the same cause, which is not old age, but the character and temper of men; for he who has a calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of the opposite disposition, youth and age are alike a burden.

I listened with admiration and wanting him to continue... Yes, Cephalus, I said: but first I suspect that people in general are not convinced by you when you talk like that; they think old age suits you, not because of your happy disposition, but because you are rich, and wealth is known to be a great consolation.

You are right, he replied; they are not convinced: and there is something in what they say; not as much as you might think. He could answer them as Themistocles answered the Serifian who had insulted him and said that he was famous, not on his own merits, but because he was an Athenian: "If you were a native of my country or I of yours, neither of us would have been famous. ." And to those who are not rich and impatient of old age, the same answer may be given; because for the good poor old age cannot be a light burden, nor can the bad rich man have peace with himself.

May I ask, Cephalus, whether your wealth was largely inherited or acquired by you?

Acquired! Socrates; Want to know how much I bought? In the art of earning money, I have been halfway between my father and my grandfather: because my grandfather, whose name I bear, has doubled and tripled the value of his assets, much of what he inherited from what I now possess; but my father Lysanias has reduced the estate below what it is now: and I will be satisfied if I leave these my children not less, but a little more than I received.

That's why I asked you the question, I answered, because I see that you are indifferent to money, which is a characteristic more of someone who inherits fortunes than of someone who acquires it; fortune-makers have a second love of money as their own creation, akin to the affection of authors for their own poems or of parents for their children, in addition to the natural love of money for the use and profit it brings. it is common to them and to all men. And that's why they are terrible company, because they can only speak in praise of wealth.

That's true, he said.

Yes, that's true, but can I ask another question? What do you consider to be the greatest blessing you've reaped from your wealth?

One, he said, of which he could not hope to convince others easily. Well, let me tell you, Socrates, when a man thinks he is near death, fears and worries come into his mind that he never had before; the tales of an underworld and the punishments that were inflicted there for deeds committed here were once a laughing matter to him, but now he is tormented by the thought that perhaps they are true: either because of the weakness of age or because now is is getting closer. his. that other place, has a clearer view of these things; suspicions and alarms gather about him, and he begins to reflect and consider the harm he has done to others. And when he finds the sum of his transgressions to be great, often, like a child, he starts with fear in his sleep and is filled with dark forebodings. But to him who is unaware of sin, sweet hope, as Pindar charmingly puts it, is the kind nurse of his age:

“Hope”, he says, “warms the soul of those who live injustice and holiness, it is the nurse of their age and the companion of their journey; the hope that is most powerful to influence the restless soul of man.

How admirable are his words! And the great blessing of riches, I do not say to every man, but to a good man, is that he has had no opportunity to deceive or defraud others, intentionally or unintentionally; and when he departs for the world below, he is not afraid of the offerings due to the gods or the debts he owes to men. Now, this peace of mind goes a long way towards the possession of wealth; and that is why I say that, setting one thing against another, of the many advantages that wealth has to give, to a man of common sense, this is, in my opinion, the greatest.

Well said, Cephalus, I answered; but as for justice, what is it? Tell the truth and pay your dues, no more than that? And even for that, are there no exceptions? Suppose a friend, when he is not in his right mind, has deposited arms with me and asks me for them when he is not in his right mind, shall I return them? No one would say that I should or should be right in doing so, any more than they would say that I should always tell the truth to someone in their condition.

You are absolutely right, he replied.

But then, I said, telling the truth and paying your dues is not a correct definition of justice.

Very correct, Socrates, if Simonides is to be believed, said Polemarchus, interrupting.

I fear, said Cephalus, that I must go now, as I have sacrifices to attend, and I leave the argument to Polemarchus and company.

Polemarchus is not his heir? I said.

Yes, he replied, and went laughing to the sacrifices.

Tell me then, O heir of argumentation, what did Simonides say, and according to what you truly say, about justice?

He said that the payment of a debt is fair, and when he says that it seems to me that he is right.

I am sorry to doubt the word of so wise and inspired a man, but its meaning, though probably clear to you, is the opposite of clear to me. Because it certainly does not mean, as we just said, that I must return a cache of weapons or anything else to anyone who asks for it when he is not in his right mind; and yet it cannot be denied that a deposit is a debt.


So when the person asking me is not in their right mind, is there no way I can return it?

Certainly not.

When Simonides said that the payment of a debt was justice, did he not want to include this case?

Certainly not; because he thinks that a friend should always do good to his friend and never harm.

You mean to say that the return of a deposit of gold to the detriment of the receiver, if the two parties are friendly, is not the payment of a debt, is that what you imagine it means?


And the enemies also have to receive what we owe them?

Surely, he said, they must get what we owe them, and an enemy, as I understand it, owes an enemy what is due or proper to him, that is, evil.

Simonides, then, after the manner of poets, seems to have spoken darkly of the nature of justice; Well, he actually meant that justice is giving each one what suits him, and he called it a debt.

That must have been the meaning, he said.

By heaven! I answered; And if we asked him what proper or suitable thing is given with medicine, and to whom, what do you think he would answer us?

I would certainly answer that medicine gives drugs, meat and drink to human bodies.

And what due or proper thing does the kitchen give, and for what?

Seasoning for food.

And what does justice give, and to whom?

If, Socrates, we must be guided by the analogy of the previous examples, then justice is the art that gives good to friends and evil to enemies.

Is this its meaning then?

I think so.

And who is better able to do good to his friends and harm to his enemies in time of illness?

The physique.

Or when they are travelling, amidst the perils of the sea?

The pilot.

And in what kind of actions or in view of what result is the just man most able to do harm to his enemy and good to his friend?

Going to war against one and making alliances with the other.

But when a man is well, my dear Polemarchus, is there no need for a doctor?

Do not.

And who is not traveling does not need a pilot?

Do not.

So in times of peace justice will be useless?

I'm far from thinking so.

Do you think that justice can be useful both in peace and in war?


How to agriculture for the acquisition of corn?


Or how to make shoes to acquire shoes, is that what you mean?


And what use or similar purchasing power does justice have in peacetime?

In contracts, Socrates, justice serves.

And by contracts do you mean companies?


But is the fair man or the skilful player a more useful and better partner in a game of checkers?

The skilled player.

And in laying bricks and stones, is the just man more useful or a better partner than the builder?

The opposite.

So in what kind of society is the just man a better partner than the harp player, since in playing the harp the harp player is certainly a better partner than the just man?

In a cash society.

Yes, Polemarchus, but certainly not in the use of money; because you don't want a just man to be your adviser in buying or selling a horse; a man who understands horses would be better for that, wouldn't he?


And when you want to buy a boat, would the carpenter or the pilot be better?


What, then, is the joint use of silver or gold in which the righteous is to be preferred?

When you want a deposit to be held securely.

You mean when you don't want money but can lie?


That is, does justice work when money does not?

That's the inference.

And when you want to keep a pruning knife safe, then justice is useful to the individual and the state; but when do you want to use it, then the winegrower's art?


And when you want to keep a shield or a lyre, and not use them, you would say justice is useful; but when do you want to use them then the soldier's art or the musician's?


And so of all other things: is justice useful when it is useless, and useless when it is useful?

That's the inference.

So justice is not good for much. But let's consider this additional point: who can land a punch better in a boxing match or any kind of fight, isn't he the most able to protect himself from a punch?


And is he who is most skillful at preventing or escaping disease best at creating it?


And is it the best guard in a camp that is most capable of getting ahead of the enemy?


So he who is a good guardian of something is also a good thief?

This, I suppose, must be inferred.

Therefore, if the righteous man is good at keeping money, he is also good at stealing it.

This is implied in the argument.

So, after all, the righteous man turned out to be a thief. And this is a lesson I suspect you may have learned from Homer; for he, speaking of Autolycus, maternal grandfather of Odysseus, who is one of his favorites, asserts that

'He excelled above all men in theft and perjury.'

And so you and Homer and Simonides agree that justice is an art of theft; but that it should be practiced "for the good of friends and for the harm of enemies", is that what you said?

No, certainly not, though I don't know what I said now; but still I keep the last words.

Well, there is another question: by friends and enemies do we mean those who really are, or only in appearance?

Certainly, he said, a man may be expected to love those he considers good and hate those he considers bad.

Yes, but aren't people often mistaken about good and evil: do many who are not good seem to be good, and vice versa?

That's true.

So for them, the good ones will be their enemies and the bad ones their friends? Real.

And then will they be right to do good to the bad and evil to the good?


But the good guys are fair and wouldn't they do an injustice?


So, according to your argument, is it fair to harm those who do nothing wrong?

No, Socrates; the doctrine is immoral.

So I suppose we should do good to the just and evil to the unjust?

I like this one better.

But look at the consequence: many men who are ignorant of human nature have friends who are bad friends, and if so, it should hurt them; and he has good enemies whom he must benefit; but if so, we would be saying the complete opposite of what we claim to be Simonides' meaning.

It is true, he said: and I think we had better correct a mistake into which we seem to have fallen into the use of the words "friend" and "enemy."

What was the mistake, Polemarchus? I asked.

We assume it's a friend who seems to be or who thinks they're good.

And how to fix the error?

Rather, we should say that he is a friend who, in addition to looks, is good; and he who only seems and is not good, only seems to be and is not a friend; and of an enemy the same may be said.

Would you say that the good guys are our friends and the bad guys are our enemies?


And instead of simply saying, as we did at the beginning, that it is fair to do good to our friends and evil to our enemies, we must further say: It is fair to do good to our friends when they are good, and evil to our enemies when they are good. são bons. are they more?

Yes, it seems to me that is the truth.

But should the righteous harm anyone?

Undoubtedly he must insult the wicked and their enemies.

When horses are injured, do they get better or are they hurt?

The last.

Harmed, that is, in the good qualities of horses, not dogs?

Yes, horse.

And do dogs deteriorate into the good qualities of dogs, not horses?


And will not damaged men deteriorate in that which is the proper virtue of man?


And that human virtue is justice?

To be sure.

So are wounded men necessarily unjust?

This is the result.

But can the musician, by his art, make men unmusical?

Certainly not.

Or does the knight with his art make them bad knights?


And can the just through justice make men unjust, or speaking generally, can the good through virtue make them evil?

Probably not.

Can more than heat produce cold?

Can not.

Or the dampness of the drought?

clearly not.

Can't good also harm anyone?


And just is good?


So insulting a friend or anyone else is not the act of a just man, but on the contrary, who is unjust?

I think what you say is quite true, Socrates.

So if a man says that justice consists in paying debts, and that the debt the righteous owes his friends is good, and the debt he owes his enemies is bad, to say that is not wise; because it is not true if, as has been clearly demonstrated, the injury to others cannot in any case be just.

I agree with you, said Polemarchus.

So are you and I prepared to take up arms against anyone who attributes such a saying to Simonides or Blaise or Pittacus, or any other sage or seer?

I am ready to fight by your side, he said.

Shall I tell you whose sentence I think of?


I think Periander or Perdiccas or Xerxes or Ismenia the Theban, or some other rich and powerful man, who had a high opinion of his own power, was the first to say that justice is "doing your friends good and your friends injuring . "your enemies."

Very true, he said.

Yes, I said; but if this definition of justice also fails, what more can be offered?

On several occasions throughout the discussion, Thrasymachus tried to take the decision into his own hands and was reprimanded by the rest of the company, who wanted to hear the end. But when Polemarchus and I had finished speaking and there was a pause, he could not be silent any longer; and, gathering himself together, he came towards us like a wild beast, seeking to devour us. We were very scared to see him.

He shouted to the whole company: What madness, Socrates, has taken hold of you all? And why do you fools destroy yourselves? I say that if you really want to know what justice is, you must not only ask, but answer, and you must not seek honor for yourself in an opponent's refutation, but have your own answer; because there are many who can ask and cannot answer. And now I don't want you to say that justice is duty or advantage or profit or gain or interest, because that kind of nonsense won't help me; I must have clarity and precision.

I was terrified by his words and couldn't look at him without shuddering. In fact, I think if I hadn't laid eyes on him I would have been speechless: but when I saw his fury rise I looked at him. first, and so was able to answer him.

Thrasymachus, I said with a shudder, don't be hard on us. Polemarchus and I may have made a minor plot error, but I can assure you that the error was unintentional. If we were looking for a piece of gold, they wouldn't imagine that we were 'bumping into each other' and thus missing the chance of finding it. And why, when we seek justice, something more precious than many pieces of gold, do you say that we weakly submit to one another and do not do our best to get to the truth? No, my good friend, we are very willing and eager to do it, but the fact is, we cannot. And if so, you who know all things should pity us and not be angry with us.

What a characteristic of Socrates! he replied, with a bitter laugh; That's his ironic style! Didn't he foresee, didn't I already tell you, that whatever he was asked he would refuse to answer and would try irony or some other shuffling in order not to answer?

You are a philosopher, Thrasymachus, I replied, and you know very well that if you ask a person how many numbers make twelve, taking care to forbid the person to answer twice six, or three times four, or six times two, or four times three, 'because that kind of nonsense doesn't cut it for me', so obviously if that's your way of asking the question, no one can answer it. But suppose he replied: 'Thrasymachus, what do you mean? If one of those numbers you forbid is the true answer to the question, should I falsely say a number other than the correct one? Is this its meaning? How would you respond?

As if the two cases were totally alike! he said.

Why shouldn't they be? I answered; and even if they are not, but just seem that way to the person being questioned, shouldn't he say what he thinks, whether you and I forbade him or not?

So I guess you're going to do one of the forbidden answers?

I dare say I can, despite the danger, if upon reflection I approve of any one of them.

But what if I give you an answer about justice that is different and better, he said, than any of those? What do you deserve to be done to you?

They made me! As befits the ignorant, I must learn from the wise, that is what I deserve to have been done to me.

What, and without payment! a good idea!

I'll pay when I have money, I replied.

But you, Socrates, said Glaucon: and you, Thrasymachus, don't have to worry about money, because we will all make a contribution to Socrates.

Yes, he replied, and then Socrates will do what he always does: refuse to answer himself, but accept and defuse someone else's answer.

Well, my good friend, I said, how can anyone answer that he knows, and say that he doesn't know, just nothing; And who, even if he has some vague notions, does a man in authority say not to utter them? The natural thing is for the speaker to be someone like you who professes to know and can say what he knows. Will you kindly reply, for the edification of the company and myself?

Glaucon and the rest of the company joined in my request, and Thrasymachus, as all could see, was really anxious to speak; for he thought he had an excellent answer, and would stand out. But at first he pretended to insist on my answer; finally he consented to begin. This, he said, is the wisdom of Socrates; he refuses to learn on his own and is dedicated to learning from others, whom he never thanks.

That I learn from others, I replied, it's true; but that I am ungrateful, I deny completely. I have no money, so I pay in praise, which is all I have; and as I am ready to praise anyone who seems to me to speak well, you will soon find out when you reply; because I hope you answer well.

Hear, then, he said; I proclaim that justice is nothing but the interest of the strongest. And now why don't you praise me? But of course you won't.

Let me understand you first, he replied. Justiça, as you say, is the strongest interest. What is the disso meaning, Thrasymachus? Can't you say that because Polydamas the pancratiast is stronger than we are and finds meat-eating conducive to his bodily strength, that meat-eating is therefore equally good for us who are weaker than him, and right and just for us?

This is abominable of you, Socrates; you take the words in the sense that is most detrimental to the argument.

You're welcome, my good lord, I said; I'm trying to understand them; and I would like you to be a little clearer.

Well, he said, have you never heard that the forms of government differ; Are there tyrannies, are there democracies and are there aristocracies?

Yes I know.

And is the government the dominant power in all states?


And the different forms of government make laws democratic, aristocratic, tyrannical, with a view to their various interests; and these laws, which are made by them for their own interests, are the justice they give to their subjects, and they punish him who transgresses them as a lawbreaker and unjust. And this is what I mean when I say that in all States there is the same principle of justice, which is the interest of the government; and as the government is supposed to have power, the only reasonable conclusion is that everywhere there is a principle of justice, which is the interest of the strongest.

Now I understand you, I said; and whether you are right or not I will try to find out. But let me remark that, in defining justice, you yourself used the word "interest" which you forbade me to use. It is true, however, that the words "from the strongest" are added to its definition.

A small addition you must allow, he said.

Big or small, it doesn't matter: first we must ask ourselves if what you are saying is true. We both agree that justice is a kind of interest, but you keep saying "of the strongest"; about this addition I am not so sure, and therefore I must consider further.

To proceed.

I go to; and first tell me, do you admit that it is just for subjects to obey their rulers?

To do.

But are the rulers of states absolutely infallible, or are they sometimes prone to err?

No doubt, he replied, they are bound to err.

So in making your laws, sometimes you get it right and sometimes you don't?


When they do them well, they do them in their interests; when they are wrong, against their interests; do you admit it?


And the laws they make must be obeyed by their subjects, and is that what you call justice?


So justice, according to your argument, is not just obedience to the interests of the strongest, but vice versa?

What is it you're saying? I ask.

I'm just repeating what you say, I guess. But consider: do we not admit that rulers can be wrong about their own interests in what they command, and also that obeying them is justice? Was this not admitted?


Then you too must have recognized that justice is not in the interests of the strongest when rulers inadvertently order things to be done to their own detriment. For if, as you say, justice is the subject's obedience to his commands, then, O wisest of men, is there any escape from the conclusion that the weakest are commanded to do, not what suits interests, but what is good? for the injury of the strongest?

Nothing could be clearer, Socrates, said Polemarchus.

Yes, said Clitophon, interfering, if you can be his witness.

But there is no need for witnesses, said Polemarchus, for Thrasymachus himself recognizes that rulers can sometimes order what is not in their own interest, and that for subjects to obey them is justice.

Yes, Polemarchus, Thrasymachus said that for subjects to do what their rulers commanded is right.

Yes, Cleitophon, but you also said that justice is in the interest of the stronger, and while you accepted both propositions, you also recognized that the stronger can order the weaker, who are his subjects, to do what is not in his favor. well. interest; whence it follows that justice is as much a harm as the interest of the stronger.

But, said Cleitophon, he meant by the interest of the stronger what the stronger thought his interest to be: that was what the weaker had to do; and he claimed that this was justice.

Those were not your words, Polemarco reinstalled.

It doesn't matter, I replied, if he now says yes, let's accept his statement. Tell me, Thrasymachus, I said, do you mean by justice what the strongest thought was in your interest, whether it was true or not?

Certainly not, he said. Do you think I call the one who misses stronger the moment he makes a mistake?

Yes, I said, my impression was that it was, when he admitted that the rule was not infallible, but could sometimes be wrong.

You argue like an informer, Socrates. Do you mean, for example, that the one who is wrong about the patient is a doctor in so far as he is wrong? Or that he who errs in arithmetic or grammar is an arithmetic or grammarian at the moment he errs, in relation to the error? It is true that we say that the doctor, arithmetician, or grammarian has erred, but that is only a manner of speaking; for the fact is, that neither the grammarian nor any other intelligent person ever misses what his name implies; none of them err, unless their skill fails them, and then they cease to be able artists. No artist, sage, or ruler is wrong when that is what his name implies; though it is commonly said that he is wrong, and I have adopted the common way of speaking. But to be perfectly exact, since you are so fond of exactitude, we must say that the ruler, qua ruler, is infallible, and, being infallible, he always commands what is in his own interest; and the subject is obliged to carry out his orders; and therefore, as I said at the beginning and now repeat, justice is the interest of the strongest.

Indeed, Thrasymachus, do you really think I am arguing like an informer?

Certainly, he replied.

And you think I ask these questions with the aim of hurting you in the discussion?

No, he replied, "suppose" is not the word, I know; but you will be found out, and by sheer force of argument you will never prevail.

I will not try, dear friend; but to avoid any misunderstanding between us in future, let me ask you, in what sense do you speak of a ruler or stronger whose interest, as you said, being the superior, it suffices that the inferior execute, is he is a ruler in what? the popular or in the strict sense of the term?

In the strictest of all senses, he said. And now cheat and become the informer if you can; I do not ask quarters from your hands. But you never, ever.

And do you imagine, I said, that I am so foolish as to try to deceive, Thrasymachus? Might as well shave a lion.

Why, he said, you tried a minute ago and you failed.

Enough, I said, of these civilities. It would be better for me to ask you a question: is the doctor, in the strict sense in which you speak, a healer of the sick or a maker of money? And remember that now I'm talking about the real doctor.

A healer of the sick, he replied.

And the pilot, that is, the true pilot, is he a ship's captain or a simple sailor?

A captain of sailors.

The circumstance of his sailing the ship will not be taken into account, nor will he be called a seaman; the pilot's name by which he is distinguished has nothing to do with navigation, but is significant of his skill and authority over seamen.

Very true, he said.

Now, I said, does all art have an interest?


What should art take into account and provide?

Yes, that is the purpose of art.

And the interest of any art is its perfection, that and nothing else?

What do you mean?

I mean what I can illustrate negatively with the example of the body. Suppose you were to ask me whether the body is self-sufficient or has needs, I would answer: Of course, the body has needs; because the body can be sick and need healing, and therefore it has interests to which the art of medicine ministers; and this is the origin and intent of medicine, as you will recognize. Am I not right?

Very well, he replied.

But is the art of medicine or any other art defective or deficient in some quality, in the same way that the eye may be deficient in seeing or the ear in hearing, and therefore requires another art to satisfy the interests of others? ? in itself, I say, some similar liability of fault or defect, and each art needs another supplementary art to provide for its interests, and that other and that without end? Or do they have the arts to only look after their own interests? Or do they need neither themselves nor another? Having no faults or defects, they need not correct them, either by exercising their own art or any other; they just need to consider the interest of their topic. Because all art remains pure and irreproachable as long as it remains true, that is, as long as it remains perfect and intact. Take the words in their precise sense and tell me if I am wrong.

Yes, clearly.

So medicine does not consider the interest of medicine, but the interest of the body?

True, he said.

The art of riding also does not consider the interests of the art of riding, but the interests of the horse; nor do the other arts take care of themselves, because they have no needs; Do they only care about what their art is about?

True, he said.

But surely, Thrasymachus, are the arts superior and rulers of their own subjects?

He agreed rather reluctantly.

Then, I said, no science or art considers or orders the interest of the strongest or superior, but only the interest of the subject and the weakest?

He also tried to dispute this proposition, but ended up agreeing.

So, I continued, no physician, as a physician, considers his own good in what he prescribes, but his patient's good; for the true physician is also a ruler who has the human body as his subject and is not a mere money-earner; what was admitted?


And the pilot too, in the strict sense of the term, is a ruler of sailors, and not a simple sailor?

This has been admitted.

And will such a pilot and ruler supply and prescribe for the interest of the mariner under him, and not for his own interest or that of the ruler?

He gave a reluctant 'Yes'.

Then, I said, Thrasymachus, there is no one in any rule who, as a ruler, considers or orders what is in his own interest, but always what is in the interest of his subject, or appropriate to his art; that's what he looks up to, and it's the one thing he considers in everything he says and does.

When we reached this point in the discussion, and everyone saw that the definition of justice had been completely inverted, Thrasymachus, instead of answering me, said: Tell me, Socrates, do you have a nurse?

Why are you asking this question, I said, when you should be answering?

Because he lets you whine and never wipes your nose: he didn't teach you to tell the shepherd from the sheep.

What makes you say that? I answered.

Why do you imagine that the shepherd or shepherd fattens or cares for the sheep or the oxen with a view to their own good and not to the good of himself or his master; and besides, you imagine that the rulers of states, if they are true rulers, never think of their subjects as sheep, and that they are not studying their own advantage day and night. Oh no; and you are so completely deviated in your ideas about just and unjust, that you don't even know that justice and fair are in reality the other's good; that is, the interest of the ruler and stronger, and the loss of subject and servant; and injustice the opposite; because the unjust is lord of the truly simple and just: he is the strongest, and his subjects do what is in his interest, and serve his happiness, which is far from being theirs. Consider further, Socrates the Fool, that the just is always a loser compared to the unjust. First, in private contracts: wherever the unjust is a partner of the just, you will find that, when the partnership is dissolved, the unjust always has more and the just less. Secondly, in its relations with the State: when there is income tax, the just pay more and the unjust with the same income; and when there is something to receive, one gains nothing and the other much. Notice also what happens when they take possession; there is the righteous one who neglects his business and perhaps suffers other losses, and receives nothing from the public, because he is righteous; Furthermore, his friends and acquaintances hate him for refusing to serve them illegally. But all this is reversed in the case of the unjust. I refer, as before, to injustice on a large scale, in which the advantage of the unjust is most evident; and my meaning will be seen more clearly if we turn to the highest form of injustice in which the criminal is the happiest of men, and those who suffer or those who refuse to do injustice are the most miserable, viz., tyranny, who by fraud and force take away the property of others, not little by little, but by wholesale; comprising in one, things sacred as well as profane, private and public; for which acts of wickedness, if he were found to perpetrate any one of them individually, he would be punished and incur great misfortune; those who commit such wickedness in particular cases are called robbers of temples, robbers of men, thieves, swindlers, and thieves. But when a man, besides taking money from the citizens, makes them his slaves, then, instead of these names of reproach, he is called happy and blessed, not only by the citizens, but by all who find that he has reached the consummation of injustice. . Because men censure injustice, fearing to be victims of it and not because they are ashamed of committing it. And so, as I have shown, Socrates, injustice, when on a sufficient scale, has more power, freedom, and dominion than justice; and, as he said at the outset, justice is the interest of the strongest, while injustice is the benefit and interest of the man himself.

Thrasymachus, having thus spoken, having flooded our ears with his words, like a bathing man, intended to depart. But the company didn't allow it; they insisted that he stay and defend his position; and I myself added my humble request that he not leave us. Thrasymachus, I said, excellent man, how suggestive are his remarks! And will you run away before you have taught or learned whether they are true or not? Is trying to determine man's life path such a small matter in your eyes, to determine how each of us can enjoy life to the greatest advantage?

And do I disagree with you, he said, on the importance of the investigation?

Instead, I replied, you don't seem to care or think about us, Thrasymachus: whether we live better or worse for not knowing what you say you know, it makes no difference to you. I beg you, friend, do not keep your knowledge to yourself; we are one big party; and any benefit you bestow upon us will be amply rewarded. For my part, I openly declare that I am not convinced and that I do not believe that injustice is more profitable than justice, even if it is not freely controlled and allowed. For, granting that there might be an unjust man who is capable of doing injustice by fraud or by force, this does not convince me of the superior advantage of injustice, and there may be others who are in the same position as myself. Perhaps we are wrong; if so, you with your wisdom must convince us that we are wrong in preferring justice to injustice.

And how am I going to convince you, he said, if you are not yet convinced of what I just said; What else can I do for you? Do you want me to put the bodily test on your souls?

Heaven forbidden! I said; I would just ask that you be consistent; or, if you change, change openly, and be not deceived. For I must point out, Thrasymachus, if you remember what was said before, that although you began by defining the true physician in an exact sense, you did not observe the same exactness in speaking of the shepherd; you thought that the shepherd as a shepherd takes care of the sheep not with a view to their own good, but as a diner or diner with a view to the pleasures of the table; or, again, as a merchant for sale in the market, and not as a shepherd. Yet surely the shepherd's art is concerned only with the good of his subjects; You only need to provide the best as artwork perfection is already guaranteed as long as all artwork requirements are met. And that's what he was just saying about the rule. I conceived that the art of the ruler, considered as a ruler, whether in state or private life, could only consider the good of his flock or subjects; while you seem to think that rulers set up, that is, true rulers, as being in authority.

Think! I am not sure.

Why, then, in the case of lesser offices, do men never willingly accept them without pay, unless they have an idea that they govern for the benefit, not of themselves, but of others? Let me ask you a question: aren't the various arts different because each has a separate function? And my dear and distinguished friend, speak your mind, so that we can move forward a little.

Yes, that's the difference, he replied.

And each art gives us a particular and not just a general good: medicine, for example, gives us health; navigation, safety at sea, etc.?

Yes, he said.

And the art of paying has the special function of paying: but we do not confuse it with other arts, just as the pilot's art must not be confused with the art of medicine, because the pilot's health can be improved by a sea. . travel through. You would not be inclined to say, would you, that navigation is the art of medicine, at least if we adopt your exact use of language?

Certainly not.

Or because a man is in good health when he gets paid, would you not say that the art of paying is medicine?

Should not.

Wouldn't you also say that medicine is the art of getting paid because a man charges a fee when he dedicates himself to healing?

Certainly not.

And do we admit, I said, that the good of each art is specially confined to art?


So if there is some good that all artists have in common, should that be attributed to something they all have common use for?

True, he replied.

And when the artist benefits from receiving a payment, is the advantage gained by further use of the art of the payment, which is not the art he professes?

He gave a reluctant nod at that.

Therefore, payment is not obtained by the various artists of their respective arts. But the truth is that while the art of medicine gives health, and the art of the builder builds a house, another art helps them, and that is the art of paying. various arts may be doing their own business and benefiting the one they preside over, but would the artist receive any benefit from his art unless he was also paid?

I suppose not.

But therefore it does you no good when you work for nothing?

It certainly confers a benefit.

Now, Thrasymachus, there is no longer any doubt that neither the arts nor governments look after their own interests; but, as we said before, they govern and look after the interests of their subjects, who are the weakest and not the strongest: they serve their own good and not that of their superior. And this is the reason, my dear Thrasymachus, why, as I was saying a moment ago, no one is willing to rule; because no one likes to do with their own hands the repair of evils that do not concern them without remuneration. Because, in the execution of his work, and when giving orders to others, the true artist does not consider his own interest, but always that of his subjects; and therefore, in order for rulers to be willing to rule, they must be paid in one of three forms of payment, money or honor, or a penalty for refusal.

What do you mean, Socrates? said Glaucon. The first two forms of payment are quite intelligible, but I don't understand what the penalty is, or how a penalty can be a payment.

Do you mean to say that you do not understand the nature of this payment, which for the best men is the great incentive to rule? Of course, did you know that ambition and greed are considered, and indeed are, a downer?

Very right.

And therefore, I said, money and honor do not attract them; good men do not want to openly demand payment to govern and thus obtain the name of mercenaries, nor secretly help themselves with public revenues to obtain the name of thieves. And not being ambitious, they don't care about honor. Therefore necessity must be imposed on them and they must be induced to serve through fear of punishment. Which is why, I imagine, daring to take office, rather than waiting to be forced, was considered dishonorable. Now the worst part of the punishment is that he who refuses to rule is liable to be ruled by someone worse than himself. And the fear of it, as I conceive it, induces the good to take it over, not because they want to, but because they cannot help it, not under the idea that they themselves will get some benefit or pleasure, but out of necessity. ., and why they are not. capable of entrusting the task of governing to someone who is better than them, or even as good. For there is reason to think that, if a city were composed entirely of good men, the avoidance of office would be as controversial a matter as obtaining it for the moment; then we should have clear proof that the true ruler is not destined by nature to consider his own interest, but that of his subjects; and anyone who knew this would rather receive a boon from another than take the trouble to confer it on one. I am so far from agreeing with Thrasymachus that justice is the best interest. This last question need not be discussed further now; but when Thrasymachus says that the life of the unjust is more advantageous than that of the just, his new statement seems to me of a much more serious character. Which one of us told the truth? And what kind of life, Glaucon, do you prefer?

For my part, I consider the life of the righteous more advantageous, he replied.

Have you heard all the advantages of injustice that Thrasymachus rehearsed?

Yes, I heard, he replied, but I was not convinced.

So should we try to find a way to convince him, if we can, that he is saying what is not true?

Sure enough, he replied.

If, I said, he makes a fixed speech and we make another telling all the advantages of being just, and he answers and we meet, there must be a numbering and measurement of the goods claimed by both parties, and judges will not end up lacking. to decide; but if we proceed in our investigation as we have lately done, admitting to each other, we will unite the offices of judge and advocate in our own persons.

Very good, he said.

And which method do I understand you prefer? I said.

The one you propose.

Well then, Thrasymachus, I said, suppose you start at the beginning and answer me. You say that perfect injustice is more profitable than perfect justice?

Yes, that's what I say, and I've already given my reasons.

And what is your opinion about them? Would you call one a virtue and the other a vice?


I suppose you would call justice a virtue and injustice a vice?

What an adorable idea! Just as likely, since I assert that injustice is profitable and justice is not.

What else would you say then?

Quite the contrary, he replied.

And would you call justice a vice?

No, I prefer to say sublime simplicity.

So would you call injustice evil?

Not; I prefer to say discretion.

And do the unjust seem wise and good to you?

Yes, he said; in any case, those who are capable of being perfectly unjust and who have the power to subjugate states and nations; but perhaps you imagine me talking about thieves. Even this profession, if undetected, has advantages, although they cannot be compared with those I just talked about.

I think I have not misunderstood what you mean, Thrasymachus, I replied; but yet I cannot hear without astonishment that you rank injustice with wisdom and virtue, and justice with the opposite.

I certainly rate them.

Now, I said, you are on more substantial and almost unanswerable ground; because if the injustice which you found profitable had been admitted by you as by other vices and deformities, an answer might have been given you in accepted principles; but now I see that you will call injustice honorable and strong, and will attribute to the unjust all those qualities which we formerly ascribed to the just, for you do not hesitate to equate injustice with wisdom and virtue.

You guessed it almost infallibly, he replied.

So I certainly wouldn't hesitate to continue the argument as long as I had reason to think that you, Thrasymachus, are saying what you really mean; because I think you're serious now and not having fun at our expense.

You may or may not be serious, but what is it to you? Refuting the argument is your problem.

It's true, I said; is what I have to do: but would you be so kind as to answer one more question? Does the just try to gain some advantage over the just?

Quite the opposite; if he did, he would not be the simple, funny creature that he is.

And would you try to go beyond simple action?

He wouldn't.

And how would you regard trying to gain advantage over the unjust; Would that be considered fair or unfair by him?

I would consider it fair and try to take advantage; but he wouldn't be able to.

Whether or not he could, I said, is beside the point. My question is only whether the just man, though he refuses to have more than another just man, would desire and claim to have more than the unjust.

Yes it would.

And the unfair? Does he claim to have more than fair and do more than fair?

Of course, he said, because he claims to have more than all men.

And will the unjust man strive and strive for more than unjust lordly deed, in order to have more of everything?


May we put it this way, I said: does not the just man want more than his fellow men but more than his different men, while the unjust man wants more than his like and his different men?

Nothing, he said, can be better than that statement.

And the unjust is good and wise, and the righteous is not?

Good again, he said.

And is not the unjust like the wise and the good and the just like them?

Of course, he said, he who has a certain nature is like those who have a certain nature; the one who is not, no.

Is each one of them, I said, the same as yours?

Certainly, he replied.

Well done, Thrasymachus, I said; and now, to take the case of the arts: would you admit that one man is a musician and another is not?


And which is wise and which is foolish?

Clearly, the musician is wise and the non-musician is foolish.

And is he good as a wise man and bad as a fool?


And would you say the same about the doctor?


And do you think, my excellent friend, that a musician in tuning the lyre would either pretend to exceed or go beyond a musician in tightening and loosening the strings?

I think not.

But would he claim to exceed the non-musician?


And what would you say about the doctor? When prescribing meats and drinks, would you like to go beyond another doctor or beyond the practice of medicine?

He wouldn't.

But would you like to go beyond non-medical?


And about knowledge and ignorance in general; See if you think any man of knowledge would like to have the option of saying or doing more than another man of knowledge. Wouldn't you rather say or do the same as your colleague in the same case?

This, I suppose, can hardly be denied.

And the ignorant? Wouldn't you like to have more than the one who knows or the ignorant?

dare I say.

And is knowledge wise?


And the sage is good?


Then the wise and good will not want to earn more than his equal, but more than his unequal and opposite?

I think so.

Whereas the wicked and the ignorant will desire to gain more than both?


But did we not say, Thrasymachus, that the unjust goes beyond his fellow men and his fellow men? Weren't those your words?

They were.

And did you also say that the righteous will not go beyond his fellow man, but his unequal?


So is the just like the wise and good, and the unjust like the bad and ignorant?

That's the inference.

And is each one of them equal to his fellow man?

This has been admitted.

Then the righteous proved to be wise and good, and the unrighteous, evil and ignorant.

Thrasymachus made all these admissions, not fluently, as I repeat, but with extreme reluctance; it was a hot summer day and sweat was pouring; and then I saw what I had never seen before, Thrasymachus blushing. As we already agreed that justice was virtue and wisdom, and injustice vice and ignorance, I moved on to another point:

Well, I said, Thrasymachus, that matter is settled; but did we not also say that injustice had force? Remember?

Yes, I remember, he said, but don't think that I approve of what you're saying or that I don't have an answer; However, if I had to answer, I would certainly be accused of harangue; so please let me express my opinion, or if you prefer to ask, ask, and I will answer "Very well", as the old women who tell stories say, and I will agree with "Yes" and "No."

Certainly not, I said, if it is contrary to your true opinion.

Yes, he said, I will, to please you, since you won't let me speak. What else would you have?

Not for the world, I said; and if you want, I will ask and you will answer.

To proceed.

I will then repeat the question I asked earlier, so that our examination of the relative nature of justice and injustice can be carried out regularly. It has been said that injustice is stronger and more powerful than justice, but now justice, having been identified with wisdom and virtue, easily proves stronger than injustice, if injustice is ignorance; this can no longer be questioned by anyone. But I want to look at the matter, Thrasymachus, in a different way: would you not deny that a state may be unjust and may be trying to unjustly enslave other states, or may already have enslaved them, and may hold many of them in subjection? ?

True, he replied; and I will add that the best and most perfectly unjust state will be the one most likely to do so.

I know, I said, that this was your position; but what I would most like to consider is whether this power possessed by the superior State can exist or be exercised without justice or only with justice.

If you are right in your opinion and justice is wisdom, then only with justice; but if I'm right, then no justice.

I am delighted, Thrasymachus, to see you not just agreeing and disagreeing, but giving excellent answers.

That's courtesy to you, he replied.

You are very kind, I said; And would you kindly let me know too whether you think a state, or an army, or a band of thieves and thieves, or any other band of malefactors, could act if they hurt each other?

No, actually, he said, they couldn't.

But if they refrained from hurting each other, could they act better together?


And that's because injustice creates divisions, hatred and strife, and justice gives harmony and friendship; Isn't that right, Thrasymachus?

I agree, he said, because I don't want to fight with you.

How kind of you, I said; but I would also like to know whether injustice, which has such a tendency to arouse hatred, wherever it exists, between slaves and freemen, will not make them hate each other and put them at odds and unfit them for common action?


And even if injustice is only found in two, will they not fight and fight and become enemies of each other and the righteous?

They go.

And suppose injustice resides in a single person, would your wisdom say that he loses or retains his natural power?

Suppose he retains his power.

However, the power exercised by injustice is not of such a nature that wherever it takes hold, whether in a city, an army, a family, or any other body, that body is at first incapable of action. . for reasons of sedition and distraction; And does he not become his own enemy and at odds with all who oppose him and with the righteous? Is this not the case?

Yes, certainly.

And injustice is not equally fatal when it exists in only one person; first, rendering him incapable of action because he is not at one with himself; secondly, by making him an enemy to himself and the righteous. Isn't that right, Thrasymachus?


And then my friend, I said, are you sure the gods are just?

Granted they are.

But if so, are the unjust enemies of the gods and the righteous their friends?

Feast in triumph and fill yourself with discussion; I will not oppose you, so as not to displease the company.

Good, then get on with your answers and let me eat the rest of my food. For we have already shown that the just are clearly wiser, better, and more capable than the unjust, and that the unjust are incapable of common action; nay, that to speak as we have of men who are bad acting at any time vigorously together is not strictly true, for if they had been perfectly bad they would have laid hands on one another; but it is evident that there must have been some remnant of justice in them, which enabled them to combine; otherwise, they would have been injured, as well as their victims; they were only half villainous in their undertakings; because if they were complete and completely unfair villains, they would be completely incapable of acting. This, I believe, is the truth of the matter, and not what you said at the outset. But whether the just have a better and happier life than the unjust is another question which we also set out to consider. I think so, and for the reasons I have given; but still I would like to look deeper, because nothing less is at stake, nothing less than the rule of human life.

To proceed.

I'll keep asking a question: wouldn't you say a horse has some purpose?

I should.

And what end or use of a horse or anything would be what could not be achieved, or not so well achieved, by anything else?

I don't understand, he said.

Let me explain: can you see except with your eye?

Certainly not.

Or hear except with the ear?

Do not.

So, can you really say that these are the ends of these organs?

That can.

But can a vine branch be cut with a dagger or a chisel and in many other ways?


And yet not as well as with specific pruning shears?


Can we not say that this is the end of pruning shears?

We can.

So now I think you will have no difficulty understanding what I mean when you ask me whether the end of something would be one that could not be achieved, or not so well achieved, by anything else.

I understand what you mean, he said, and I nodded.

And what is assigned an end also has an excellence? Need I ask again if the eye has an end?

I have.

And does not the eye have an excellence?


And does the ear also have an end and an excellence?


And the same is true of all other things; Does each of them have a special end and excellence?

That's right.

Well, and can eyes serve their purpose if they lack their own excellence and have a defect instead?

How can they, he said, if they are blind and cannot see?

You mean, if they lost their own excellence, which is vision; but I haven't reached that point yet. I would rather ask the question more generally, and just inquire whether things that fulfill their ends fulfill them by their own excellence, and fail to fulfill them by their own defect.

Certainly, he replied.

I could say the same for the ears; when deprived of their own excellence, cannot they accomplish their object?


And does the same remark apply to all other things?

I agree.

Good; And does not the soul have an end that nothing else can fulfill? for example, to oversee and order and deliberate and so on. Are not these functions proper to the soul, and can they rightly be attributed to any other?

For none other.

And is not life counted among the confines of the soul?

Certainly, he said.

And does not the soul also have an excellence?


And can it or can it not serve its own purposes when deprived of that excellence?

She can not.

Then an evil soul must necessarily be an evil ruler and overseer, and the good soul a good ruler?

Yes, necessarily.

And do we admit that justice is the excellence of the soul and injustice the defect of the soul?

This has been admitted.

So will the just soul and the righteous live well, and the unjust live badly?

This is what your argument proves.

And who lives well is blessed and happy, and who lives poorly is the opposite of happiness?


So the just are happy and the unjust miserable?

So be it.

But happiness and not misery is profitable.


So, my blessed Thrasymachus, injustice can never be more profitable than justice.

Let this, Socrates, he said, be your entertainment in the Most Holy.

For that I'm in your debt, I said, now that you've become kind to me and stopped grumbling. However, I haven't been having much fun; But it was my fault, not yours. Just as an epicurean takes pleasure in each course that is brought to the table in succession, without having had time to savor the one before it, so I passed from one subject to another without having discovered what I was looking for in the first place, the nature of justice. I abandoned that question and went away to consider whether justice is virtue and wisdom or wickedness and folly; and when another question arose about the comparative advantages of justice and injustice, I could not help turning to it. And the result of all the discussion was that I know absolutely nothing. For I do not know what justice is, and therefore I am not able to know whether it is a virtue or not, nor can I say whether the just man is happy or unhappy.


With these words, he thought he had ended the discussion; but the end actually turned out to be just a beginning. For Glaucon, who is always the most bellicose of men, was not satisfied with the retreat of Thrasymachus; he wanted to finish the battle. Then he said to me: Socrates, do you really want to persuade us, or are you just trying to persuade us, that being fair is always better than being unfair?

I really wish I could persuade him, I replied, if I could.

So you certainly didn't succeed. Let me ask you now: how would you organize the assets? Are there not some which we enjoy for their own sake, and irrespective of their consequences, as, for example, pleasures and harmless pleasures, which delight us for the moment, though nothing follows from them? ?

I agree that there is such a class, I replied.

Is there not also a second class of goods, such as knowledge, vision, health, which are desirable not only in themselves but also for their results?

Certainly, I said.

And you wouldn't recognize a third class, like gymnastics, the care of the sick, and the doctor's art; also the various ways of earning money: they do us good, but we find them unpleasant; and would no one choose them for themselves, but only for some gratifying result which flows from them?

There is, I said, this third class too. But why do you ask?

Because I want to know which of the three classes would you place justice in?

In the highest class, I replied, among those goods that one wants to be happy both for himself and for his results.

So many have another mind; They think that justice should be included in the problematic class, among those goods that are pursued for the sake of rewards and reputation, but which are unpleasant and avoidable.

I know, I said, that this is your way of thinking, and that this was the thesis that Thrasymachus defended a little while ago, when he censured justice and praised injustice. But I'm too stupid to be convinced by him.

I wish, he said, that you would hear me as well as he did, and then I'll see if you and I agree. For it seems to me that Thrasymachus, like a serpent, was bewitched by her voice sooner than he should have been; but, in my opinion, the nature of justice and injustice has not yet been clarified. Leaving aside their rewards and results, I want to know what they are in themselves and how they work within the soul. Please revive Thrasymachus' argument. And first I will speak of the nature and origin of justice according to his common opinion. Secondly, I will show that all men who practice justice do it against their will, out of necessity, but not as a good. And thirdly, I will argue that there is reason in this view, because the life of the unjust is, after all, much better than the life of the just, if what they say is true, Socrates, since I myself am not one of yours. opinion. But still I admit that I am perplexed when I hear the voices of Thrasymachus and myriads of others ringing in my ears; and, on the other hand, I have never heard of the superiority of justice over injustice being held satisfactorily by anyone. I want justice to be praised for its own sake; then I shall be satisfied, and you are the person I think is most likely to hear it from; and therefore I will praise the unjust life with all I can, and my way of speaking will indicate the way in which I want to hear you also praising justice and censuring injustice. Will you tell me if you approve my proposal?

In fact, I do; nor can I imagine any subject on which a sensible man would want to converse more often.

I am glad, he replied, to hear you say that, and I will begin by speaking, as I proposed, of the nature and origin of justice.

They say that doing injustice is by nature good; suffer injustice, wickedness; but this evil is greater than the good. And so, when men have committed and suffered injustices, and have had experience of both, being unable to avoid the one and obtain the other, they think it best to agree among themselves that they have neither; hence arise laws and mutual agreements; and what is ordained by law they call lawful and just. This, they assert, is the origin and nature of justice: it is a means or compromise, between the best of all, which is to do injustice and not be punished, and the worst of all, which is to suffer injustice without the power of retaliation; and justice, being midway between the two, is tolerated not as a good, but as a lesser evil, and honored because of men's inability to do injustice. For no man worthy of being called a man would ever submit to such an agreement if he could resist it; he would be angry if he did. Such is the received account, Socrates, of the nature and origin of justice.

Now, that those who do justice do it involuntarily and because they do not have the power to be unjust, we will see better if we imagine something of this kind: having given both the just and the unjust the power to do whatever they want, let us look and see Where. desire will lead them; then we shall discover in the same act that the just and the unjust march in the same way, following their interest, which all natures regard as their good, and are only diverted into the path of justice by the force of law. The liberty we suppose might be bestowed upon them most fully in the form of such power as Gyges, the ancestor of Croesus the Lydian, would have possessed. According to tradition, Gyges was a shepherd in the service of the king. of Lidia; there was a great storm, and an earthquake made a hole in the ground where he was feeding his flock. Astonished at the sight, he descended into the opening, where, among other wonders, he saw a hollow bronze horse, with doors, before which he bowed and looked in, he saw a corpse of stature, as it seemed to him, more than than human, and wearing only a gold ring; he took it from the dead man's finger and rose again. Now the shepherds assembled, according to custom, to send their monthly report on the flocks to the king; He came to the assembly with the ring on his finger, and, as he sat among them, he turned around with the ring necklace in his hand, when instantly he became invisible to the rest of the company and they began to speak of him as if they were him. they were no longer present. He was astonished at this, and, touching the ring again, turned the necklace outwards and reappeared; he made several tests with the ring, and always with the same result: when he turned the tweezers inwards, it became invisible, when he turned it outwards it reappeared. After which he managed to be chosen one of the messengers who were sent to court; whereas as soon as he arrived he seduced the queen, and with her help he conspired against the king and killed him and took the kingdom. Now suppose there were two of these magic rings, and the just man put on one of them and the unjust man the other; no man can be imagined so iron-natured as to stand firm in justice. No man would take his hands off what was not his own when he could safely take what he wanted from the market, or enter houses and sleep with anyone he wanted, or kill or release from prison anyone he wanted, and in every respect to be like a god. among men. Then the actions of the righteous would be like the actions of the unrighteous; both would eventually come to the same point. And verily we may say that this is a great proof that a man is just, not voluntarily or because he thinks that justice does him any good individually, but out of necessity, because wherever anyone thinks he can safely be unjust, there it is. . Unfair. Because all men believe in their hearts that injustice is far more profitable to the individual than justice, and he who argues as I suppose will say that they are right. If you could imagine someone gaining this power to become invisible and never do anything wrong or touch what belongs to another, onlookers would consider him a miserable idiot, even though they would praise him to others' faces and keep up appearances. with each other for fear that they too will suffer injustice. Enough of that.

Now, if we would form a real judgment of the lives of the just and the unjust, we must isolate them; There is no other way; And how will the isolation be done? I answer: Let the unjust be wholly unjust, and the just wholly just; nothing is to be taken from either of them, and both must be perfectly equipped for their respective life's work. First, let the unjust be like other illustrious masters of the craft; like the skilful pilot or physician, who intuitively knows his own powers and keeps himself within their limits, and who, if he fails at any point, is able to recover. So let the unjust do their unjust attempts right, and hide if you want to be great in your unrighteousness: (who is found out is nobody:) because the greatest reach of unrighteousness is, to be considered fair when you do it is not you. Therefore I say that in the perfectly unjust man we must suppose the most perfect injustice; there must be no deduction, but we must allow him, by committing the most unjust acts, to have acquired the highest reputation for justice. If you made a wrong move, you should be able to recover; he must be one who can speak with effect, should any of his acts come to light, and who can force his way where his courage and strength and mastery of money and friends require. And by his side let us place the just man in his nobility and simplicity, wanting, as Aeschylus says, to be and not to appear good. There must be no appearance, because if he appears righteous, he will be honored and rewarded, and then we will not know whether he is righteous from justice or from honors and rewards; therefore, let him only clothe himself with righteousness, and have no other covering; and he must be imagined in a state of life opposite to the former. Let him be the best of men and be considered the worst; then he will have been put to the test; and we shall see whether the fear of infamy and its consequences affects him. And so continue until the hour of death; be fair and seem unfair. When both have reached the extreme extreme, one of justice and the other of injustice, let it be judged which of them is the happier of the two.

Heavens! My dear Glaucon, I said, with what energy you polished them to the decision, first one and then the other, as if they were two statues.

I do the best I can, he said. And now that we know what they are like, there is no difficulty in tracing the kind of life that awaits any of them. This I will describe; but as you may think the description a little coarse, I beg you to assume, Socrates, that the words which follow are not mine. Let me put them in the mouth of the panegyrics of injustice: they will say that the just man who is the unjust thought will be scourged, tormented, bound, his eyes will be burned; and finally, after suffering all kinds of evils, he will be impaled: then he will understand that he must only appear, and not be, righteous; the words of Aeschylus may be more truly said of the unjust than of the just. Because the unjust pursues a reality; he doesn't live with an eye on appearances, he wants to be really unfair and not just show up:—

'His mind has deep and fertile soil, From which his wise advice springs.'

First, he is considered righteous, and therefore rules the city; he can marry anyone he wants and give in marriage to anyone he wants; he can also trade and trade wherever he wants, and always for his own benefit, because he has no doubts about injustice; and in all disputes, whether in public or in private, he gets the better of his antagonists, and wins at their expense, and is rich, and by his victories he can benefit his friends and harm his enemies; moreover, he can offer sacrifices and dedicate gifts to the gods abundantly and magnificently, and can honor the gods or any man he wishes to honor in a style far better than just, and therefore will likely be dearer than they are to the gods. And so, Socrates, they say that gods and men unite to make the life of the unjust better than that of the just.

He was about to say something in reply to Glaucon, when Adimantus, his brother, intervened: Socrates, he said, don't you think there's nothing left to insist on?

Why, what else is there? I answered.

The strongest point of all wasn't even mentioned, he replied.

Well then, according to the proverb, 'Let brother help brother': if he fails at anything, help him; though I must confess that Glaucon has said enough to throw me to the ground and take away my power to aid justice.

Nonsense, he replied. But let me add something else: there is another side to Glaucon's argument about praise and blame for justice and injustice, which is equally necessary to bring out what I think its meaning is. Parents and guardians are always telling their children and wards that they must be fair; but why? not for the sake of justice, but for the sake of character and reputation; hoping to obtain for him who is reputed only some of those offices, marriages, and the like, which Glaucon enumerated among the advantages which the reputation of justice brings to the unjust. to the others; because they cast the good opinion of the gods, and they will speak to you of a rain of benefits which the heavens, as they say, rain down on the pious; and this agrees with the testimony of the noble Hesiod and of Homer, the former of whom says that the gods make the oaks of the righteous:

'To carry acorns at the top and bees in the middle;
and the sheep are bent under the weight of their wool,'

and many other blessings of the same kind are provided for them. And Homer has a very similar lineage; for he speaks of one whose fame is:

“Like the fame of some innocent king Who, like a god, Keeps justice; whom the black earth yields Wheat and barley, whose trees are full of fruit, And his sheep never fail to give birth, and the sea gives him fish.

Greater still are the gifts of heaven which Musaeus and his son bestow on the righteous; they take them down to the world below, where they have the saints lying on beds at a feast, eternally drunk, crowned with garlands; his idea seems to be that the immortality of drunkenness is the highest measure of virtue. Some extend their rewards even further; the posterity, as they say, of the faithful and righteous will survive to the third and fourth generation. This is the style in which they praise justice. But upon the wicked there is another strain; they bury them in a swamp in Hades and make them carry water in a vessel; also while they still live, they bring them to infamy, and inflict on them the punishments which Glaucon described as the portion of the just who are deemed unjust; nothing else furnishes your invention. That's your way of praising one and censuring the other.

Again, Socrates, I ask you to think of another way of talking about justice and injustice, which is not limited to poets but is found in prose writers. The universal voice of mankind is ever declaring that justice and virtue are honorable but painful and wearisome; and that the pleasures of vice and injustice are easy to attain, and are only censured by law and opinion. They also say that honesty is more often than not profitable than dishonesty; and they are ready to call the wicked happy, and to honor them in public and in private when they are rich or influential, while they despise and ignore those who may be weak and poor, though they acknowledge them to be better than they are. . The others. But most extraordinary of all is their way of speaking of virtue and the gods: they say that the gods distribute calamity and misery to many good men, and good and happiness to bad men. And the mendicant prophets go to the gates of the rich and persuade them that they have a power given them by the gods to make atonement for the sins of a man or of his ancestors by sacrifice or enchantment, with rejoicing and feasting; and they promise to harm an enemy, whether just or unjust, at low cost; with magic arts and enchantments that force heaven, as they say, to do its will. And the poets are the authorities to whom they appeal, now giving way to vice with the words of Hesiod;

'Vice can be had in abundance without trouble; the road is flat and the herd place is close. But before virtue the gods began to work,'

and a tedious and difficult road: then quoting Homer as a witness that the gods can be swayed by men; because it also says:—

'The gods too can be led astray from their purpose; and men pray to them and turn away their anger with sacrifices and consoling supplications, and with drink offerings and the smell of fatness, when they have sinned and transgressed.

And they produce a multitude of books written by Musaeus and Orpheus, who were children of the Moon and the Muses, so they say, according to which they perform their ritual, and convince not only individuals, but entire cities, that atonements and atonements for sin may be made for sacrifices and diversions which fill a vacant hour, and are equally in the service of the living and the dead; They call the last mysteries and redeem us from the pains of hell, but if we neglect them, no one will know what awaits us.

He continued: And now, when young people hear all this said about virtue and vice, and the way in which gods and men regard them, how can their minds be affected, my dear Socrates? witty and, like bees in flight, light on every flower, and from everything they hear are able to draw conclusions about what kind of people they should be and what path they should take if they want to get the most out of life? The young man will probably say to himself in the words of Pindar:

'Shall I by justice or by crooked ways of deceit climb a higher tower that may be a stronghold for me all my days?'

For what men say is that if I am really just and not considered fair, there is no gain, but pain and loss, on the other hand, are unmistakable. But if, though unjust, I acquire a reputation as righteous, heavenly life is promised to me. Since, as philosophers prove, appearance tyrannizes truth and owns happiness, I must dedicate myself to appearance. I will describe around me a frame and a shadow of virtue to be the vestibule and exterior of my house; Behind I will follow the subtle and cunning fox, as recommended by Archilochus, the greatest of sages. But I hear someone exclaim that it is often difficult to conceal evil; to which I answer: Nothing great is easy. However, the argument indicates that this, if we want, is the path we should follow. Aiming at concealment, we will establish secret brotherhoods and political clubs. And there are professors of rhetoric who teach the art of persuading courts and assemblies; and so, partly by persuasion and partly by force, I will gain ill-gotten gains and not be punished. I still hear a voice that says the gods cannot be tricked or forced. But what if there are no gods? or, suppose they don't care about human things, why in any case should we care about concealment? And even if there are gods, and they care about us, we only know them from tradition and the genealogies of poets; and these are the very people who are said to be influenced and converted by 'sacrifices and supplications and comforting offerings.' So let's be consistent and believe in both or neither. If poets speak the truth, it is better for us to be unjust and offer the fruits of unrighteousness; because if we are righteous, even if we can escape the vengeance of heaven, we shall lose the gains of unrighteousness; but if we are unjust, we shall keep the proceeds, and for our sin and prayer, and prayer and sin, the gods will be appeased and we will not be punished. "But there is a world below in which we or our posterity will suffer for our unjust actions." Yes, my friend, it will be the reflection, but there are mysteries and atoning deities, and they have great power. This is what mighty cities declare; and the sons of the gods, who were their poets and prophets, bear similar testimony.

On what principle, then, should we choose justice over the worst injustice? when, if we unite the latter with a deceitful consideration of appearances, it will come to mind alike with gods and men, in life and after death, as the most numerous and highest authorities tell us. Knowing all this, Socrates, how can a man who has any superiority of mind, person, position or wealth be willing to honor justice? Or, indeed, do you refrain from laughing when you hear justice praised? And even if there is someone who is able to refute the truth of my words, and who is convinced that justice is best, he is not angry with the unjust, but is very willing to forgive them, because he also knows that the men are not only of their own free will; unless, by chance, there is one to whom the divinity within him might have inspired a hatred of injustice, or who has attained to the knowledge of the truth but no other man. Only those who, because of cowardice, age or weakness, do not have the power to be unfair blame injustice. And this is proved by the fact that, having come to power, he immediately becomes as unfair as possible.

The cause of all this, Socrates, was indicated by us at the beginning of the argument, when my brother and I told you how surprised we were to find that of all the professed panegyrists of justice, beginning with the ancient heroes of whom some memory has been preserved. down to us, and ending with the men of our time - no one has ever condemned injustice or praised justice, except with a view to the glories, honors and benefits derived from them. the nature of any one of them dwelling in the soul and invisible to any human or divine eye; or shown that of all the things a man's soul has within it, justice is the greatest good, and injustice the greatest evil. If this were the universal tendency, if you had tried to persuade us of it from our youth, we would not have been on the alert to prevent others from doing evil, but each would have been his own sentinel, out of fear, if he did. evil, of harboring within itself the greatest evils. I dare say that Thrasymachus and others would earnestly defend the language which I have but repeated, and even stronger words than these about justice and injustice, which I conceive grossly pervert their true nature. But I speak thus vehemently, as I must frankly confess to you, because I want to hear the opposite side from you; and I would ask you to demonstrate, not only the superiority that justice has over injustice, but also what effect they have on the possessor of them, which makes the one good and the other bad for him. And please, as Glaucon asked, delete reputations; for unless you take from each of them their true reputation and add their false one, we shall say that you do not praise justice, but the appearance of it; we will think that he is only exhorting us to keep injustice obscure, and that he really agrees with Thrasymachus in thinking that justice is the good of the other and the interest of the stronger, and that injustice is the benefit and interest of man, though harmful. to the weakest. Now, since you admit that justice is one of the highest class goods, certainly desired for its results, but much more for its own sake, like sight, hearing, knowledge, health, or any other real and natural and not just conventional. — I ask you in your praise of justice to concentrate on a single point: I am referring to the essential good and evil that justice and injustice exercise over their possessors. Let others praise justice and censure injustice, extolling the rewards and honors of the one and abusing the other; that is a way of arguing which, coming from them, I am prepared to tolerate, but from you, who have spent your whole life considering this question, unless I hear the contrary from your own lips, I expect better. And therefore, I say, not only show us that justice is better than injustice, but show what each of them does to their possessor, what makes one good and the other bad, seen or unseen by men. . and men

I have always admired the genius of Glaucon and Ademantus, but on hearing these words I was very pleased and said: Sons of an illustrious father, it was not a bad start for the elegiac verses that the admirer of Glaucon wrote in your honor after having had you. excelled in the battle of Megara:-

"Sons of Ariston," he sang, "divine sons of an illustrious hero."

The epithet is very appropriate, because there is something truly divine about being able to argue as you do for the superiority of injustice and not being convinced by your own arguments. And I think he's not convinced; I deduce this from your general character, because if I had judged only by your speeches, I would have been suspicious of you. But now, the greater my trust in you, the greater my difficulty in knowing what to say. Because I'm in trouble between two; on the one hand, I feel that I am not up to the task; and my incapacity comes to mind from your not being satisfied with the answer I gave to Thrasymachus, demonstrating, as I thought, the superiority of justice over injustice. And yet I cannot refuse to help, as long as I have breath and speech; I fear it would be impious to be present when justice is spoken of badly and not to raise a hand in its defense. And therefore, you better give all the help you can.

Glaucon and the others implored me by all means not to let the matter pass, but to continue the investigation. They wanted to get at the truth, first, about the nature of justice and injustice and, second, about their relative advantages. I told them what I really thought, that the investigation would be of a serious nature and would require a very keen eye. Seeing then, I said, that we are not very ingenious, I think it would be better to adopt a method which I can thus illustrate; Suppose someone asked a nearsighted person to read small print from a distance; and it occurred to someone else that they might meet somewhere else that was bigger and the letters were bigger, if they were the same and he could read the bigger letters first and then go to the smaller ones, that would have been considered a rare piece of good luck .

Very true, said Adeimantus; but how does the illustration apply to our investigation?

I'll tell you, I replied; Justice, the object of our investigation, is, as you know, sometimes mentioned as a virtue of an individual, sometimes as a virtue of a State.

True, he replied.

And is not a State greater than an individual?


Therefore, the greater the amount of fairness, the more likely it is to be and the easier it is to discern. I propose, then, that we inquire into the nature of justice and injustice, first as they appear in the State and then in the individual, proceeding from the greatest to the least, and comparing them.

That, he said, is an excellent proposition.

And if we imagine the State in the process of being created, we will see the justice and injustice of the State also in the process of being created.

dare I say.

(Video) Apology, by Plato PG1656

When the State is complete, there may be hope that the object of our quest will be more easily discovered.

Yes, much easier.

But should we try to build one? I said; for to do so, as I was inclined to think, will be a very serious business. Reflect then.

I have thought, said Adeimantus, and I am eager for you to proceed.

A State, I said, arises, as I conceive it, from the needs of mankind; no one is self-sufficient, but we all have many needs. Can you imagine another origin of a State?

There can be no other.

Then, as we have many needs and many people are needed to supply them, one takes one helper for one purpose and another for another; and when these partners and helpers meet in one room, the body of inhabitants is called the State.

True, he said.

And they exchange among themselves, and one gives and the other receives, under the idea that the exchange will be for their good.

Very right.

So, I said, let's get started and form an idea of ​​a state; and yet the true creator is necessity, which is the mother of our invention.

Of course, he replied.

Now, the first and greatest need is food, which is the condition of life and existence.


The second is housing, and the third is clothing and the like.


And now let us see how our city can supply this great demand: can we assume that one man is a farmer, another builder, another weaver, shall we add to them a shoemaker, or perhaps some other provider for our bodies? would you like?

Very well.

The most elementary notion of a State must include four or five men.


And how will they proceed? Will each one contribute the result of their work to a common capital? The individual farmer, for example, produces for four and works four times as much and as much as he needs in providing food with which he supplies others as well as himself; or he will have nothing to do with others, and will not trouble himself to produce for them, but will furnish himself only a quarter of his food a quarter of the time, and the rest three quarters of his time. to spend making a house or a coat or a pair of shoes, not having a partnership with others, but meeting all their needs?

Adeimantus thought that he should aspire to produce only food and not produce everything.

Probably, I replied, that would be the best way; and when i hear you say that i remind myself that we are not all the same; there are diversities of natures among us, adapted to different occupations.

Very right.

And will you do a better job when the worker has many occupations or when he has only one?

When you only have one.

Furthermore, is there no doubt that a work is spoiled when it is not done in the right time?

There's no doubt.

Because business is not willing to wait until the trader is free; but the doer must follow what he is doing, and make business his first object.

He must.

And if so, we must infer that all things are produced more abundantly and easily and of better quality when a man does one thing that is natural to him and does it at the right time, and leaves other things.

No doubt.

So more than four citizens will be needed; because the farmer will not make his own plow, nor hoe, nor other agricultural implements, if they are for anything. Nor will the builder make his tools, and he also needs many; and likewise the weaver and the shoemaker.


So will carpenters, and blacksmiths, and many other craftsmen, be participants in our small State, which is already beginning to grow?


Yet even if we add shepherds, shepherds, and other shepherds, so that our husbandmen may have oxen to plow, and both builders and husbandmen may have draft cattle, and tanners and weavers of wool and hides, our State will not be very large. . .

That's true; However, it will not be a very small state that contains all of this.

Then again, there's the city situation: finding a place where nothing needs to be imported is next to impossible.


So there must be another class of citizens who bring the necessary supplies from another city?

It should.

But if the merchant leaves empty-handed, having nothing he needs to meet his needs, he will return empty-handed.

That's right.

And therefore, what they produce at home must not only be enough for them, but also in quantity and quality to accommodate those whose needs are met.

Very right.

Are more farmers and artisans then needed?

They go.

Not to mention importers and exporters, who are called traders?


So we're going to need merchants?

We should.

And if the goods are to be transported by sea, are skilled seamen also needed in considerable numbers?

Yes, in considerable quantities.

Then again, within the city, how are they going to exchange their productions? To secure such an exchange was, as you will remember, one of our main objects when we formed them into a society and formed a State.

Of course they will buy and sell.

They will then need a market and a money token for trading purposes.


Suppose now that a farmer, or an artisan, brings some produce to market, and he arrives at a time when there is no one to trade with him, should he leave his trade and remain idle in the market?

You're welcome; there you will find people who, seeing the need, will work as salespeople. In well-ordered states they are generally the weakest in bodily strength, and therefore of little use for any other purpose; his duty is to be in the market and give money in exchange for goods to those who want to sell and take money from those who want to buy.

This need, then, creates a class of retailers in our state. Is not "seller" the term applied to those who sit in the market place engaged in buying and selling, while those who wander from town to town are called merchants?

Yes, he said.

And there is another class of servants, who intellectually are only at the level of fellowship; yet they have much strength of body for work, which they therefore sell, and are called, if I mistake not, wage-earners, rent being the name given to the price of their labour.


So will wage earners help form our population?


And now, Adeimantus, is our State mature and perfect?

I think so.

Where, then, is justice and where is injustice, and in what part of the state did they arise?

Probably in the treatment of these citizens to each other. I can't imagine you're more likely to find them anywhere else.

I dare say you are right in your suggestion, I said; We'd better think about it and not shy away from the investigation.

Let us consider first, then, what their mode of life will be, now that we have established them. Will they not produce wheat, wine, clothes and shoes and build houses? And when they are housed, they will work, in summer generally naked and barefoot, but in winter substantially clothed and shod. They will feed on barley flour and wheat flour, cooking and kneading them, making cakes and noble breads; these will serve them on a reed mat or on clean sheets, while they recline on beds covered with yew or myrtle. And they and their children will feast, drinking the wine they have made, wearing garlands on their heads and singing praises to the gods, in merry conversation with one another. And they will see that their families do not exceed their means; keep an eye out for poverty or war.

But, said Glaucon, interrupting, you have not flavored their food.

It's true, I replied, I had forgotten; of course they must have a seasoning: salt, olives and cheese, and they will boil roots and herbs as the peasants prepare them; for dessert, figs, peas and broad beans; and they roast myrtle berries and acorns over the fire, drinking in moderation. And on such a diet, they can be expected to live in peace and health to a good old age, and bequeath a similar life to their children after them.

Yes, Socrates, he said, and if you had a city of pigs, how else would you feed the animals?

But what do you want, Glaucon? I answered.

Well, he said, you should give them the common comforts of life. People who need comfort are used to lying on sofas and dining outside tables, and they must have sauces and sweets in a modern style.

Yes, I said it, now I understand: the question you want me to consider is not just how a state is created, but how a luxurious state is created; and possibly there is nothing wrong with that, as in such a state we are more likely to see the origin of justice and injustice. In my opinion, the true and healthy constitution of the State is that which I have described. But if you also want to see a boiling state, I have no objections. Because I suspect that many will not be satisfied with the simplest way of life. They will be to add sofas, tables and other furniture; also sweets and perfumes and incense and courtesans and cakes, all these not of one kind, but of every variety; it will be necessary to go beyond the necessary things I mentioned at the beginning, such as houses, clothes and shoes: it will be necessary to set in motion the arts of the painter and the embroiderer, and it will be necessary to obtain gold and ivory and all kinds of materials.

True, he said.

Therefore, we must expand our borders; for the original healthy state is no longer sufficient. Now the city will have to be filled and swelled with a multitude of callings which are required by no natural necessity; like the whole tribe of hunters and actors, of whom a large class have to do with shapes and colors; others will be the devotees of music: the poets and their retinue of rhapsodes, actors, dancers, contractors; also manufacturers of various types of articles, including women's dresses. And we're going to need more servants. Nor will they ask for tutors, wet nurses, bartenders and barbers, as well as pastry chefs and cooks; and also pigs, which were not needed and therefore had no place in the previous edition of our State, but are needed now? They must not be forgotten: and there will be animals of many other kinds, if people eat them.


And living like this, will we have much more need for doctors than before?

Much older.

And will the country that was sufficient to support the original inhabitants now be too small and insufficient?

Very right.

So, are we going to want a piece of our neighbors' land for grazing and farming, and are they going to want a piece of ours if, like us, they step beyond the bounds of need and indulge in the unlimited accumulation of wealth?

This, Socrates, will be inevitable.

And so we go to war, Glaucon. It's not like this?

Sure enough, he replied.

Thus, without yet determining whether war is good or bad, we may both assert that we now find that war springs from causes which are also the causes of almost all the ills of States, both private and public.

No doubt.

And our State must be enlarged once more; and this time the expansion will be nothing less than an entire army, which will have to go out to fight the invaders for everything we have, as well as the things and people we described earlier.

Why? he said; Are they not able to defend themselves?

I did not say; not if we were right in the principle which we all recognized when we formed the State: the principle, as you will remember, was that one man cannot successfully practice many arts.

Very true, he said.

But isn't war an art?


And how about an art that demands as much attention as shoemaking?

Very right.

And the shoemaker was not allowed to be a farmer, weaver or mason, so that we would have well-made shoes; but he and all other workers were assigned to a job for which he was naturally fitted, and at which he was to continue to work all his life and at no other; he must not miss opportunities, and then he will become a good worker. Now, nothing can be more important than that a soldier's work is well done. But war is so easy an art to acquire, that a man may be a warrior who is also a farmer, or a shoemaker, or any other craftsman; although no one in the world would be a good dice or draft player if they just came into the game as a creation, and weren't in their early years doing that and nothing else? No tool will make a man a skilled worker or a master of defense, nor will it be of use to one who has not learned to handle it and never paid attention to it. How, then, can someone who wields a shield or other instrument of war become a good fighter in one day, whether with heavy weapons or with any other type of troops?

Yes, he said, the tools that would teach men how to use them would be priceless.

And the greater the guardian's duties, I said, the more time, skill, art, and diligence will he need for it?

Without a doubt, he replied.

Will he not also require natural aptitudes for his vocation?


So is it our duty to select, if we can, natures that are suited to the task of guarding the city?

Go to.

And the selection will not be easy, I said; but we must be courageous and do our best.

We must.

Isn't the young noble a lot like a mild-mannered dog when it comes to watchfulness and vigilance?

What do you mean?

I mean, both must be quick to see and catch up with the enemy when they see him; and strong too if, when they catch him, they have to fight him.

All these qualities, he replied, would certainly be required by them.

Well, and your guardian must be brave if he wants to fight well?


And is he likely to be brave who has no spirit, be it a horse, a dog, or any other animal? Have you never observed how invincible and invincible the spirit is and how its presence makes the soul of any creature absolutely fearless and indomitable?


So now we have a clear sense of the bodily qualities that are required in the guardian.


And also of the mental ones; must your soul be full of spirit?


But aren't these energetic natures prone to being wild with each other and everyone else?

Not an easy difficulty to overcome, he replied.

Whereas, I said, they must be dangerous to their enemies and kind to their friends; otherwise they will destroy themselves without waiting for their enemies to destroy them.

True, he said.

What is there to do then? I said; How are we to find a gentle nature that also has a great spirit, because one is the contradiction of the other?


He will not be a good guardian who lacks either of these two qualities, and yet their combination seems impossible; and from this we must infer that being a good guardian is impossible.

I'm afraid what you say is true, he replied.

Here, feeling intrigued, I began to think about the foregoing. My friend, said I, it is no wonder that we are perplexed; because we lost sight of the image we had before us.

What do you mean? he said.

I mean that there are natures endowed with these opposite qualities.

And where do you find them?

Many animals, I replied, give examples of them; our dog friend is very good: you know that well-behaved dogs are perfectly friendly with relatives and acquaintances, and the opposite with strangers.

Yes I know.

So is there anything impossible or out of nature's order for us to find a Guardian who has a similar combination of qualities?

Certainly not.

One who is qualified to be a guardian, in addition to the soulish nature, would he not need to have the qualities of a philosopher?

I do not understand its meaning.

The trait I speak of, I replied, can also be seen in the dog, and is noticeable in the animal.

What feature?

Well, a dog, every time he sees a stranger, he gets angry; when he is known, he welcomes him, though the one has never done him harm, nor the other good. Did that ever strike you as curious?

The subject had never occurred to me before; but I fully recognize the truth of his comment.

And certainly this instinct of the dog is very charming; his dog is a true philosopher.


Well, because he distinguishes the face of a friend and an enemy only by the criterion of knowing and not knowing. And shouldn't an animal be a lover of learning, determining its likes and dislikes, testing knowledge and ignorance?

With safety.

And is not the love of knowledge the love of wisdom, which is philosophy?

They are the same, he replied.

And may we not confidently say of man also, that he who is likely to be kind to his friends and acquaintances must by nature be a lover of wisdom and knowledge?

This we can say for sure.

So he who is going to be a really good and noble guardian of the State will need to unite in himself philosophy and spirit and speed and strength?

No doubt.

Then we find the desired natures; And now that we've found them, how are they going to be raised and educated? This inquiry cannot be expected to shed light on the wider inquiry which is our ultimate aim: how do justice and injustice grow in States? because we don't want to omit what's relevant or stretch the argument to an inconvenient length.

Adimantus thought the investigation would be of great use to us.

So I said, my dear friend, the task must not be abandoned even if it is a little long.

Certainly not.

Come, then, and let us spend an idle hour telling stories, and our history will be the education of our heroes.

By all means.

And what will be his education? Can we find a better class than the traditional one? - and this one has two divisions, gymnastics for the body and music for the soul.


Shall we start education with music and then move on to gymnastics?

By all means.

And when you talk about music, do you include literature or not?

To do.

And can literature be true or false?


And young people should be trained in both types, and do we start with the false one?

I don't understand what you mean, he said.

You know, I said, that we began by telling children's stories which, while not wholly devoid of truth, are mostly fictional; and these stories are told to them when they are not yet old enough to learn gymnastics.

Very right.

That's what I meant when I said we should teach music before gymnastics.

Very good, he said.

You also know that the beginning is the most important part of any job, especially in the case of something young and tender; for that is the time when character is formed, and the desired impression is most easily obtained.

Very right.

And are we to carelessly allow children to listen to whatever casual stories may have been invented by casual people, and put into their minds ideas totally opposite to what we would like them to have as adults?

We can not.

So the first thing will be to establish a censorship of fiction writers, and that the censors take any fiction that is good and reject the bad; and we want mothers and nurses to tell their children only the authorized ones. Let them mold the mind with such tales, even more lovingly than they shape the body with their hands; but most of those in use now must be thrown away.

What stories are you talking about? he said.

You can find a pattern from the smallest to the largest, I said; for they are necessarily of the same kind, and there is the same spirit in both.

Most likely, he replied; but I still don't know what you would call the eldest.

Those, I said, who are narrated by Homer and Hesiod, and the other poets, who have always been the great storytellers of mankind.

But what stories do you mean, he said; and what defect do you find?

Missing that is very serious, I said; the failure to tell a lie, and a lie in poor taste at that.

But when is this offense committed?

Whenever a misrepresentation is made of the nature of gods and heroes, as when a painter paints a portrait that bears not the shadow of a resemblance to the original.

Yes, said he, that sort of thing is certainly very reprehensible; but what are the stories you want to tell?

First of all, I said, there was the greatest of all lies from above, which the poet told about Uranus, and that too was a lie in bad taste, I mean what Hesiod says Uranus did, and how Cronus took revenge on him . The acts of Kronos, and the sufferings inflicted on him by his son, even if they were true, surely must not be lightly related to thoughtless youths; if possible, it is best that they be buried in silence. But if there is an absolute necessity for their mention, a chosen few can hear them in mystery, and must not sacrifice a common (Eleusinian) pig, but a huge and incurable victim; and then the number of hearers will certainly be very small.

Why, yes, he said, these stories are extremely questionable.

Yes, Adimanto, these are stories that are not repeated in our state; the youth should not be told that in committing the worst of crimes he is far from doing something outrageous; and that even if he punishes his father when he does wrong, he is still only following the example of the first and greatest of gods.

I fully agree with you, he said; in my opinion, these stories are wholly unworthy of being repeated.

Nor, if we expect our future guardians to regard the custom of fighting among themselves as the lowest of all things, we must not say a single word about the wars in heaven and about the scheming and fighting of the gods among themselves, for there is no , they are true. No, we will never mention the battles of the giants, nor have them embroidered on our garments; and we will keep silent about the countless quarrels of gods and heroes with their friends and relatives. If they believed us, we would tell them that fighting is unholy and that there has never been a fight between citizens until now; that's what old people should start telling children; and when they grow up, poets too should be instructed to compose for them in a similar spirit. But the story of Hephaestus tying up his mother here, or how on another occasion Zeus sent him flying to take part in it when she was being beaten, and all the battles of the gods in Homer, these stories must not be admitted into our State. , if they are supposed to. have an allegorical meaning or not. Because a young man cannot judge what is allegorical and what is literal; whatever you get into your mind at that age is likely to become indelible and unalterable; and so it is very important that the stories that young people hear for the first time should be models of virtuous thinking.

There you are right, he replied; but if someone asks where these models can be found and what stories are you talking about, how should we answer him?

I said to him: You and I, Adeimantus, at this time are not poets, but founders of a State: by now the founders of a State must know the general ways in which poets must express their tales, and the limits which must be observed by they. , but making the stories is none of their business.

Very true, he said; but what are these forms of theology to which you refer?

Something like that, I replied: God must always be represented as he really is, whatever the type of poetry, epic, lyric or tragic, in which the representation is given.


And isn't it very good? And should it not be represented as such?


And nothing good is harmful?

In truth no.

And what doesn't hurt, doesn't hurt?

Certainly not.

And what doesn't hurt doesn't hurt?

Do not.

And what doesn't hurt, can it be the cause of harm?


And the good is advantageous?


And therefore the cause of well-being?


Does it follow, then, that the good is not the cause of all things, but only of the good?


Therefore God, if he is good, is not the author of all things, as many claim, but he is the cause of some things only, and not of most things that happen to men. Because few are the goods of human life, and many are the evils, and the good are to be attributed to God alone; the causes of evils must be sought elsewhere than in him.

That strikes me as very true, he said.

Therefore, we must not listen to Homer or any other poet who is guilty of the folly of saying that two barrels

"They lie on the threshold of Zeus, full of luck, one of good luck, the other of bad luck",

and he to whom Zeus gives a mixture of the two

'Sometimes he encounters bad luck, sometimes good luck;'

but he to whom the cup of evil is given without mixing,

Wild hunger drives him over the beautiful land.

And again-

'Zeus, who is the dispenser of good and evil to us.'

And if anyone alleges that the breach of oaths and treaties, which was really the work of Pandarus, was caused by Athena and Zeus, or that the strife and strife of the gods was instigated by Themis and Zeus, he will not have our approval; nor will we let our youth hear the words of Aeschylus, who

"God sows guilt among men when he wants to completely destroy a house."

And if a poet writes of the sufferings of Niobe, the subject of the tragedy in which these iambic lines occur, or of the house of Pelops, or of the Trojan War, or of any other subject, we must not allow him to say that these are the works of God, or if they are of God, he must invent some explanation for them such as we are looking for; he must say that God did what was just and right, and they were better off being punished; but that those who are punished are miserable, and that God is the author of their misery, the poet must not be allowed to say; though he might say that the wicked are miserable, because they demand punishment, and benefit by receiving punishment from God; but that God, being good, is the author of evil to any person, must be vehemently denied, and must not be said, sung, heard in verse or prose by anyone, old or young, in any well-ordered community. Such fiction is suicidal, ruinous, impious.

I agree with you, he replied, and I am ready to agree with the law.

Let this, then, be one of our rules and principles in regard to the gods, which our poets and reciters are expected to conform to: that God is not the author of all things, but only of good.

That will do, he said.

And what do you think of a second principle? I must ask if God is a magician, and of a nature that insidiously appears sometimes in one form and sometimes in another, sometimes transforming himself into many forms, sometimes deceiving us with the appearance of such transformations; Or is he one and the same immutably fixed in his own image?

I can't answer, he said, without further thought.

Well I said; but if we suppose a change in anything, must that change be effected by the thing itself or by something else?


And the things that are at their best are also the least likely to be altered or broken; for example, when it is healthier and stronger, the human body is less liable to be affected by food and drink, and the plant which is in full vigor also suffers less from winds or heat from the sun or the like.


And will not the bravest and wisest soul be less confused or disturbed by any outside influence?


And the same principle, as I must suppose, applies to all composite things: furniture, houses, clothes: when they are good and well made, they are least altered by time and circumstance.

Very right.

So everything that is good, whether made by art or nature or both, is less susceptible to external change?


But surely God and the things of God are perfect in every way?

Of course they are.

So it can hardly be forced by an outside influence to assume many forms?

Can not.

But can he not change and transform?

Clearly, he said, that must be the case if he changes.

And will he himself change for the better and prettier, or for the worse and uglier?

If it changes anything, it can only change for the worse, because we cannot assume that it is devoid of virtue or beauty.

Very true, Adimantus; but then would anyone, whether God or man, wish to become worse?


Therefore, it is impossible that God is always willing to change; being, as is supposed, the fairest and best that can be conceived, each God remains absolutely and forever in his own form.

This necessarily follows, he said, at my judgment.

So I said, dear friend, let none of the poets tell us that

'The gods, disguising themselves as strangers from other lands, walk up and down the cities in all kinds of shapes;'

and let no one slander Proteus and Thetis, nor let anyone, either by intragedia or in any other kind of poetry, appear here disguised as a priestess begging for alms.

'To the life-giving daughters of Inachus, the river of Argos;'

"Let's not have any more lies like that. Nor should we have mothers under the influence of poets frightening their children with a bad version of these myths, telling how certain gods, as they say, 'Walk by night like so many strangers and in various shapes', but beware lest they make their children cowards, and at the same time speak blasphemies against the gods.

God forbid, he said.

But though the gods themselves are unchangeable, can they still, by witchcraft and trickery, make us think that they appear in various forms?

Maybe, he replied.

Well, can you imagine that God would be willing to lie, whether in word or deed, or present a ghost of himself?

I can't say, he replied.

Do you not know, I said, that the true lie, if such an expression be allowed, is hated by gods and men?

What do you mean? he said.

I mean that no one willfully deceives himself about what is the truest and highest part of himself, or about the truest and highest things; there, above all, he is more afraid of being dominated by a lie.

Still, he said, I don't understand you.

The reason, I replied, is that you attach some deep meaning to my words; but I am only saying that deceiving, or being deceived or misinformed about the highest realities in the highest part of themselves, which is the soul, and in that part of them having and keeping a lie is what they like least for mankind; that, I say, is what he absolutely loathes.

There is nothing more hateful to them.

And, as I have just pointed out, this ignorance in the soul of him who is deceived may be called a true lie; for lying in words is but a species of imitation and a dark image of an old affection of the soul, not pure unadulterated falsehood. Am I not right?

Perfectly correct.

Is the true lie hated not only by the gods but also by men?


While lying in words is in certain cases useful and not hateful; when dealing with enemies, this would be an example; or also, when those whom we call friends in a fit of madness or delusion are about to do some harm, then it is useful, and is a kind of remedy or preventive; also in the stories of mythology, which we have just spoken of, because we do not know the truth about ancient times, we make falsehood as close as possible to the truth, and thus transform it into something.

Very true, he said.

But can any of these reasons apply to God? Can we assume that he ignores antiquity and therefore resorts to invention?

That would be ridiculous, he said.

So the lying poet has no place in our idea of ​​God?

I should say no.

Or maybe he can lie because he is afraid of enemies?

This is inconceivable.

But can you have friends that don't make sense or are crazy?

But no madman or fool can be God's friend.

So you can't think of any reason why God would lie?


So the superhuman and the divine are absolutely incapable of falsehood?


Therefore, God is perfectly simple and true both in word and in deed; he does not change; he does not deceive, neither with signs, nor with words, nor with dreams, nor with waking visions.

Your thoughts, he said, are a reflection of mine.

You will agree with me then, I said, that this is the second kind or form in which we are to write and speak of divine things. The gods are not self-transforming magicians, nor do they deceive humanity in any way.

I grant

So, while we are admirers of Homer, we don't admire the lying dream that Zeus sends to Agamemnon; nor shall we praise the lines of Aeschylus in which Thetis says that Apollo at his nuptials

'He was celebrating in song his fair progeny whose days would be long and would know no disease. And when he spoke of my lot as in all things blessed by heaven, he raised a note of triumph and encouraged my soul. And I thought that the word of Phoebus, being divine and full of prophecy, would not fail. And now, the same one who uttered the song, the one who was present at the feast, and the one who said it, it is he who killed my son.

This is the kind of sentiment about the gods that will rouse our wrath, and whoever utters them will have denied the chorus; nor will we allow teachers to make use of them in the instruction of the youth, understanding, as we do, that our guardians, so far as men can be, are true worshipers of the gods, and like them.

I fully agree, he said, with these principles and promise to make them my laws.


Such, then, I said, are our tenets of theology: some stories must be told, and some must not be told, to our disciples from their youth, if we would have them honor the gods and their fathers, and value friendship with someone . . other.

Yea; and I think our principles are correct, he said.

But if they are to be courageous, must they not learn other lessons than these, and lessons of such a kind as will remove the fear of death? Can anyone be brave if he is afraid of death in him?

Certainly not, he said.

And he cannot be afraid of death, or will he choose death in battle over defeat and slavery, who believes that the world below is real and terrible?


We must then hold the tellers of these kinds of tales, as well as others, and implore them not only to insult, but to praise the world below, by insinuating that their descriptions are false and will harm our future warriors. .

That will be our duty, he said.

So, I said, we'll have to delete a lot of nasty bits, starting with the verses,

"I would rather be a servant in a poor man's land without a portion than rule over all the dead who have become nothing."

We must also erase the verse, which tells us how Pluto feared,

"So that the dark and sordid mansions detested by the gods may be seen by mortals and immortals alike."

And again:-

'Oh gosh! verily, in the house of Hades there is soul and ghostly form, but no mind!

Novamente of Tiresias:—

'(To him, even after death, Persephone bestowed mind,) that he alone should be wise; but the other souls are passing shadows.


"The soul that flew from the limbs went to Hades, lamenting its fate, leaving manhood and youth behind."


"And the soul, with a shrill cry, passed like smoke under the earth."


'Like bats in the hollow of a mystical cave, whenever one of them lets go of the rope and falls off the rock, they fly away screaming and clinging to each other, then they keep together with shrill screams as they move.'

And we must beg Homer and other poets not to be angry if we strike out these and similar passages, not because they are unpoetic or unattractive to the popular ear, but because the greater their poetic charm, the less pleasing they are to the ear. . of boys and men destined for freedom and who should fear slavery more than death.

No doubt.

We will also have to reject all the terrible and frightening names that describe the world below: Cocytus and Styx, ghosts under the earth and shadows without sap, and any such words the mere mention of which sends a shiver down into the hearer's soul. they. I'm not saying these horrible stories can't be of some sort; but there is a danger that our guardians' nerves will become too excitable and effeminate for them.

There is a real danger, he said.

So we shouldn't have any more of them.


Another nobler chord must be composed and sung by us.


And shall we get rid of the lamentations and lamentations of famous men?

They will go with the rest.

But do we do well to get rid of them? Consider: our principle is that the good man will not think the death of any other good man who is his comrade terrible.

Yea; this is our principle.

And therefore, will you not mourn your dead friend as if he had suffered some terrible thing?

He no.

Such a person, as we also assert, is sufficient for himself and his own happiness, and therefore needs less of other men.

True, he said.

And therefore the loss of a son or a brother, or the deprivation of wealth, is the least terrible of all men for him.


And therefore he will be less likely to suffer, and will bear with the greatest equanimity whatever misfortune of this kind may befall him.

Yes, he will feel this misfortune much less than others.

Then we would do well to get rid of the lamentations of illustrious men, and give them to women (and not even to women who are good for anything), or to men of a lower species than those who are being educated by us to be defenders. from your country may hesitate to do the same.

That will be very correct.

Then we will implore Homer and the other poets once more not to represent Achilles, who is the son of a goddess, lying first on his side, then on his back, then on his stomach; then frantically tearing and sailing along the shores of the barren sea; now picking up the sooty ashes with both hands and pouring them over her head, or weeping and wailing in the various ways Homer outlined. Nor must he describe Priam, the kinsman of the gods, as praying and supplicating,

'Rolling on the earth, calling each man aloud by name.'

Even more fervently, we will implore you, in any case, not to present the god lamenting and saying:

'Poor me! my misery! Poor me! that I gave birth to the bravest for my grief.

But if he must introduce the gods, in any case, dare not misrepresent the greatest of gods so completely, as to make him say:

'Oh gosh! with my eyes I really see a dear friend of mine chased through the city, and my heart is sad.

Or yet:-

Woe is me that I am destined to have Sarpedon, the man dearest to me, subjected to Patroclus, son of Menoetius!

For if, my sweet Adeimantus, our youth seriously listen to such unworthy representations of the gods, instead of properly laughing at them, hardly any of them will consider that he himself, being but a man, can be dishonored by similar actions; nor will he rebuke any inclination that may arise in his mind to say and do the same. And instead of being embarrassed or self-controlled, you will always be complaining and complaining on small occasions.

Yes, he said, that's quite true.

Yes, I replied; but that is certainly what it ought not to be, as the argument has just proved to us; and by this proof we must stand until it is refuted by a better one.

It shouldn't be.

Our guardians must not be given to laughter either. Because an exaggerated laugh almost always produces a violent reaction.

So I guess.

Then persons of worth, even mortal men only, should not be represented as overcome with laughter, much less should such a representation of the gods be allowed.

Even less of the gods, as you say, he replied.

So we will not allow an expression about the gods like Homer's to be used when he describes how

"Unquenchable laughter arose among the blessed gods when they saw Hephaestus moving about the mansion."

Into their opinions we must not admit them.

About my views, if you want to show me; that we should not admit them is true.

Again, truth is to be highly valued; if, as we said, a lie is useless to the gods and useful only as a medicine to men, then the use of such medicines must be restricted to doctors; individuals do not do business with them.

Clearly not, he said.

So, if anyone is to have the privilege of lying, the rulers of the state must be the people; and they, in their dealings with enemies or with their own citizens, may be authorized to lie for the public good. But no one else should meddle in something like this; and though rulers have that privilege, a private man lying to them in return is considered a more flagrant offense than a patient or gymnasium student failing to tell the truth of his own bodily ailments to his doctor or trainer. , or for a sailor not to tell the captain what is going on with the ship and the rest of the crew, and how things are going with him or his fellow sailors.

Very true, he said.

If, then, the ruler surprises someone beside himself thrown into the State,

'Any of the artisans, whether priest or physician or carpenter,'

will punish him for introducing a practice equally subversive and destructive to the ship or the State.

Certainly, he said, if our idea of ​​the State is ever realized.

Second, must our youth be tempered?


Are not the main elements of temperance, generally speaking, obedience to orders and self-control in sensual pleasures?


Then we shall approve language like that of Diomedes in Homer,

"Friend, be still and obey my word",

and the verses that follow,

'The Greeks marched breathing prowess, ... in silent awe of their leaders,'

and other feelings of the same kind.

We should.

And that line,

'O heavy with wine, who has the eyes of a dog and the heart of a stag,'

and the words that follow? Would you say that these, or any similar impertinences which private individuals should address to their rulers, whether in verse or prose, are right or wrong?

They are poorly spoken.

They may provide some amusement, but they are not conducive to temperance. And therefore likely to cause harm to our young people. Would you agree with me on that?


And again, to make the wisest of men say that nothing, in his opinion, is more glorious than

"When the tables are full of bread and meat, and the cupbearer brings wine, he takes it from the bowl and pours it into the cups",

Is it proper or conducive to temperance for a youth to hear such words? or vice versa

'Is the saddest fate to die and face the fate of starvation?'

What would you say again about the story of Zeus, who, while other gods and men slept and he was the only person awake, conceived plans, but forgot them all in a moment because of his lust, and was so utterly defeated seeing here that He did not even want to enter the hut, but wanted to lie down with her on the floor, declaring that he had never been in such a state of ecstasy before, even when they first met.

'Without the knowledge of their parents;'

Or that other story of how Hephaestus, due to similar occurrences, cast a chain around Ares and Aphrodite?

In fact, he said, I am of the firm opinion that they shouldn't listen to that sort of thing.

But all acts of resistance done or told by famous men these must see and hear; as, for example, what is said in the verses,

"He beat his chest and reproached his heart: Hold on, my heart, much worse have you endured!"

Certainly, he said.

Second, we must not allow them to be gift recipients or lovers of money.

Certainly not.

Nor should we sing for them

"Gifts that convince the gods and convince reverend kings."

Nor is Phoenix, Achilles' tutor, to be approved of, or thought to have given his pupil good advice, when he told him that he should receive the gifts of the Greeks, and help them; but that without a gift he must not let go of his anger. Nor will we believe or acknowledge that Achilles himself was so fond of money that he accepted Agamemnon's gifts, or that, when paid, he returned Hector's corpse, but would not do so without payment.

Undoubtedly, he said, these are not sentiments that can be approved of.

Though I love Homer as much as I do, I don't like to say that in attributing these feelings to Achilles, or in believing that he really does ascribe them to him, he is guilty of sheer impiety. I can hardly believe the narrative of his insolence towards Apollo, where he says:

Thou hast wronged me, O distant dart, most abominable of deities. I would really be on a par with you, if I had the power;

or his insubordination to the river-god, on whose divinity he is willing to lay his hands; or his offering to dead Patroclus of his own hair, which had been formerly dedicated to the other river-god Spercheius, and who actually fulfilled that vow; or that he dragged Hector around the tomb of Patroclus and killed the captives on the pyre; I cannot believe that he was guilty of all this, nor can I allow our citizens to believe that he, pupil of the wise Chiron, son of a goddess and Peleus, who was the gentlest of men and third in line from Zeus, he was so disordered in his intelligence that he once overcame the slave of two apparently inconsistent passions, meanness, not without greed, combined with an arrogant contempt for gods and men.

You are absolutely right, he replied.

And let us equally refuse to believe, or allow to be repeated, the story of Theseus, son of Poseidon, or of Peirithous, son of Zeus, setting out like them to perpetrate a hideous rape; or of any other hero or son of a god who dares to do such impious and terrible things as are falsely attributed to them in our day: and let us still oblige poets to declare that these acts were not done by them, or were not done by they, the sons of the gods; - both in the same breath will not be allowed to assert. We will not let them try to persuade our youth that the gods are the authors of evil, and that heroes are no better than men, sentiments which, as we have said, are neither pious nor true, for we have already proved that evil cannot come from men. gods.

Probably not.

Furthermore, they are likely to have a negative effect on those who hear them; all will begin to excuse their own vices when they are convinced that similar evils are always being perpetrated by—

'The family of the gods, the kin of Zeus, whose ancestral altar, the altar of Zeus, is in the air on the peak of Ida,'

and what do they have

'the blood of the deities still runs in their veins'.

And so let's put an end to these stories, lest they create moral laxity among the young.

Of course, he replied.

But now that we're determining what kinds of topics to talk about and what not to talk about, let's see if we missed any. How gods, demigods, heroes, and the underworld are to be treated has already been established.

Very right.

And what shall we say of men? This is clearly the remaining part of our topic.

Clearly so.

But we are not in a position to answer that question at this time, my friend.

Why not?

Because, if I'm not mistaken, we have to say that poets and short story writers commit the most serious mistakes when they tell us that the bad are often happy and the good are miserable; and that injustice is profitable when undetected, but that justice is one man's loss and another's gain: these things we will forbid you to utter, and invite you to sing and say the contrary.

Of course, he replied.

But if you admit that I am right about that, then I will maintain that you have hinted at the principle we have been fighting for all this time.

I admit the truth of your inference.

Whether or not such things are said of men is a question we cannot determine until we have discovered what justice is, and how naturally advantageous to the possessor, whether it seems fair or not.

Very true, he said.

Enough of poetry themes: now let's talk about style; and when this is considered, both the subject and the manner will have been fully treated.

I don't understand what you mean, said Adeimantus.

So I must make you understand; and perhaps it is more intelligible if I put the subject in this way. You know, I suppose, that all mythology and poetry is a narrative of past, present, or future events?

Certainly, he replied.

And can narration be simple narration, or imitation, or a union of the two?

That again, he said, I don't quite understand.

I am afraid I must be a ridiculous teacher when I have such a hard time being apprehended. As a bad speaker, therefore, I will not go into the whole subject, but will interrupt a part of it to illustrate what I mean. You know the first lines of the Iliad, in which the poet says that Chryses sprinkled Agamemnon to free his daughter, and that Agamemnon fell in love with him; whereupon Chryses, failing in his aim, invoked the wrath of the God upon the Achaeans. Now, regarding these lines,

And he prayed to all the Greeks, but especially to the two sons of Atreus, the leaders of the people,

the poet is speaking in his own person; never leads us to assume that he is someone else. But then he assumes the persona of Crises and does all he can to make us believe that it is not Homer who is speaking but the old priest himself. And in this twofold way he captured the entire narrative of the events that took place at Troy and Ithaca and throughout the Odyssey.


And does a story remain as much in the speeches the poet recites from time to time as in the intervening passages?

Very right.

But when the poet speaks in the person of another, can we not say that he assimilates his style to that of the person who, as he informs, is going to speak?


And is this assimilation of himself to another, whether by the use of voice or gesture, the imitation of the person whose character he assumes?


So, in this case, can it be said that the poet's narration proceeds by imitation?

Very right.

Or, if the poet appears everywhere and never hides, then imitation is again abandoned and his poetry becomes mere narrative. However, so that I can clarify what I mean and stop saying, "I don't understand," I will show you how the change can be effected. If Homer had said: "The priest came, with the ransom of his daughter in his hands, pleading with the Achaeans, and above all with the kings", and then, if instead of speaking in the person of Chryses, he had continued in his person, the words would have been, not an imitation, but a simple narrative. The passage would have been as follows (I am no poet and therefore tip the meter): "The priest came and prayed to the gods in the name of the Greeks to capture Troy and return home safe and sound, but he prayed that his daughter should be returned to him, and receive the ransom he brought, and respect God." So he spoke, and the other Greeks bowed to the priest and agreed. But Agamemnon was angry and ordered him to go away and not come back, so that the god's staff and crowns would be of no use to him, the daughter of Chryses should not be released, he said, she should grow old with him in Argos . The old man withdrew in fear and silence, and, when he had left the camp, he called Apollo by his many names, reminding him of all that he had done to please him, whether in building his temples, or in the offering of sacrifices, and praying that his good deeds be repaid to him, and that he may atone for his tears with the arrows of the god, and so on. In this way, the whole becomes a simple narrative.

I understand, he said.

Or you can assume the opposite case: that the middle passages are omitted and only dialogue is left.

That too, he said, I understand; means, for example, as in tragedy.

You perfectly understand what I mean; And if I'm not mistaken, what you didn't know how to understand before is now clear to you, that poetry and mythology are, in some cases, totally imitative; examples of this are provided by tragedy and comedy; there is also the opposite style, in which the poet is the only speaker; of this the dithyramb offers the best example; and the combination of both is found in the epic and various other styles of poetry. take you with me?

Yes, he said; Now I understand what you meant.

Please also remember what I started by saying, that we're done with the subject and can move on to style.

Yes I remember.

In saying this, I mean to suggest that we should come to an understanding about mimetic art, whether poets, in telling their stories, should allow themselves to imitate, and if so, whether in whole or in part, and whether the latter, in what parts; Or should all imitation be prohibited?

I suspect he means to ask whether tragedy and comedy should be admitted in our State.

Yes, I said; but there might be more to it than that: I don't really know yet, but where the plot might go, here we go.

And we will, he said.

Then, Adeimantus, let me ask, whether our guardians must be imitators, nay, that question is not settled by the already established rule that a man can only do one thing well, and not many; and that if he tries too many, he won't be able to gain much reputation in any?


And this is equally true of imitation; Can no man imitate many things as well as he could imitate one?

Can not.

So the same person will hardly be able to play a serious role in life and at the same time be an imitator and imitate many other roles too; for even when two kinds of imitation are nearly alike, the same persons cannot succeed in both, as, for instance, writers of tragedy and comedy, have you not called them imitations?

If I did; and you are right in thinking that the same people cannot succeed at both.

More than they can be rhapsodes and actors at the same time?


Comic and tragic actors are not the same either; however, all these things are imitations.

They are so.

And human nature, Adimantus, seems to have been minted in still smaller pieces, and as incapable of imitating many things as of doing well the actions of which the imitations are copies.

It's true, he replied.

If, then, we adhere to our original conception, and bear in mind that our guardians, leaving all other business aside, should devote themselves wholly to the maintenance of liberty in the State, making it their business, and devoting themselves to no work other than that. it's related to that. end, they must not practice or imitate anything else; if they imitate in anything, they should imitate from youth only those characters who are suitable for their profession: brave, sober, holy, free, and the like; but they must not represent, or be skilled in imitating, any kind of illiberality or baseness, lest, by imitation, they become what they imitate. Have you ever noticed how imitations, which begin in youth and continue throughout life, eventually become habit and second nature, affecting body, voice and mind?

Yes, sure, he said.

Then, I said, we will not allow those for whom we profess a care, and of whom we say they ought to be good men, to imitate a woman, whether young or old, who quarrels with her husband, or fights and boasts against the gods. . inconceivable of her happiness, or when he is in affliction, or pain, or crying; and certainly not someone who is sick, in love, or working.

Very good, he said.

Nor should they depict slaves, male or female, carrying on the slave trade?

Should not.

And certainly not the wicked, whether cowardly or otherwise, who do the opposite of what we have just prescribed, who scold or mock or insult one another while drinking or out of drink, or who in any other way sin against themselves. and against their neighbors by word of mouth. or done, as is the manner of it. Nor should they be educated to imitate the action or speech of mad or evil men or women, because madness, like vice, must be known, but not practiced or imitated.

It's true, he replied.

Will they not also be able to imitate blacksmiths or other craftsmen, or oarsmen, or foremen, or the like?

How can they, said he, when they are not allowed to apply their minds to the vocations of any one of them?

Can't they also imitate the neighing of horses, the bellowing of bulls, the murmur of rivers and the roar of the ocean, the thunder and all that sort of thing?

No, he said, if madness is prohibited, they cannot copy the behavior of mad people either.

You mean, I said, if I understand correctly, that there is one kind of narrative style that a really good man can use when he has something to say, and that another style can be used by a man of opposite character and education. .

And what are these two types? I ask.

Supposing, I replied, that a just and good man, in the course of a narrative, comes across some saying or action of another good man, I fancy he will enjoy impersonating it, and will not be ashamed of that kind of imitation: he will do so. . be more willing to play the part of the good man when you act firmly and wisely; in a lesser degree, when sickness, love, or drink overtake him, or he meets with any other disaster. But when he comes to a character that is not worthy of him, he will not study him; he will disdain such a person and assume his likeness, if any, just for a moment when he is doing some good deed; at other times he will be ashamed to play a role he never played, nor will he like to model himself and fit the lowest models; he feels that the use of such an art, unless it is a joke, is beneath him, and his mind rebels against it.

Then I should wait, he replied.

Then he will adopt a mode of narration like that which we have illustrated in Homer, that is, his style will be both imitative and narrative; but there will be too little of the former and too much of the latter. Agrees?

Certainly, he said; this is the model which such an orator must necessarily adopt.

But there is another type of character that will narrate anything, and the worse it is, the more unscrupulous it will be; nothing will be too bad for him: and he will be ready to imitate anything, not in jest, but in all seriousness and in front of great company. As I was just saying, he will try to represent the rumble of thunder, the noise of wind and hail, or the creaking of wheels and pulleys, and the various sounds of flutes, pipes, trumpets, and all kinds of instruments: he will bark like a dog, bleat like a sheep, or crow like a rooster; all his art will consist of imitation of voice and gesture, and there will be very little narration.

This, said he, will be his manner of speaking.

Are these, then, the two types of style?


And you agree with me that one of them is simple and has small changes; and if harmony and rhythm are also chosen for their simplicity, the result is that the speaker, if he speaks correctly, is always more or less the same in style, and will remain within the bounds of a single harmony (for changes are not great). . , and likewise will use almost the same pace?

That's quite true, he said.

While the other requires all kinds of harmonies and all kinds of rhythms, if the music and the style are to match, because the style has all kinds of changes.

That too is perfectly true, he replied.

And do they not understand the two styles, or the mixture of the two, all poetry and all forms of expression in words? No one can say anything but one or the other of them or both of them together.

They include everything, he said.

And will we get all three styles in our state, or just one of the two styles unmixed? Or would you include the mix?

I prefer to admit only the pure imitator of virtue.

Yes, I said, Adeimantus, but the mixed style is also very charming: and indeed pantomime, which is the opposite of your choice, is the most popular style among children and their companions, and in the world at large.

Well, he.

But I suppose you would argue that such a style is not suitable for our State, where human nature is not twofold or multiple, for one man plays only one role.

Yea; quite inappropriate.

And that is why in our state, and only in our state, we will see that a shoemaker is also a shoemaker and not a pilot, and a farmer who is a farmer and not a dick too, and a soldier is a soldier and not a merchant too, and the same in everything. ?

True, he said.

And therefore, when any one of these pantomimic gentlemen, who are so clever that they can imitate anything, comes to us and makes a proposal to exhibit himself and his poetry, we must fall down and worship him as sweet, holy and wonderful; but we should also let you know that things like ears are not allowed in our state; the law will not allow them. And so, when we have anointed him with myrrh and placed a woolen collar on his head, we will send him to another city. For we intend to employ for the health of our souls the rudest and sternest poet or storyteller, who will only imitate the style of the virtuous, and follow the standards which we first prescribed when we began educating our soldiers.

We certainly will, he said, if we have the power.

So now, my friend, I said, that part of musical or literary education which relates to history or myth may be considered finished; for the subject and manner were discussed.

So do I, he said.

Next in order will follow the melody and music.

This is obvious.

Everyone can already see what we must say about them if we want to be consistent with ourselves.

I am afraid, said Glaucon, laughing, that the word "all" hardly includes me, as I cannot say at present what they should be; although I can guess.

Anyway, it can be said that a song or an ode has three parts: the lyrics, the melody and the rhythm; What degree of knowledge can I presume?

Yes, he said; how much you get.

And as for the words, surely there will be no difference between the words that have and those that don't have music; will both obey the same laws, and these have already been determined by us?


And will the melody and rhythm depend on the words?


Did we say, when we talked about it, that we didn't need the wails and strains of pain?


And what are the expressive harmonies of pain? You're musical, and you can tell me.

The harmonies you are referring to are Lydian mix or tenor, and Lydian full tone bass, and so on.

These then, I said, must be banished; even women who have character to maintain are worthless, let alone men.


Secondly, drunkenness, sluggishness, and sloth are wholly out of character for our guardians.

Absolutely inappropriate.

And what are smooth or drinkable harmonies?

The Ionian, he answered, and the Lydian; They are called "relaxed".

Well, and do they have any military use?

Quite the contrary, he replied; and if so, the Doric and the Phrygian are the only ones left to him.

I replied: I know nothing of harmonies, but I want to have a warrior, so that the note or accent pronounced by a valiant man may sound in the hour of danger and firm resolution, or when his cause is failing, and he goes to wounds or death, death. or he is overcome by some other evil, and in each of these crises he meets the blows of fortune with a firm step and determination to resist; and another to be used by him in times of peace and freedom of action, when there is no pressure of need, and he is trying to persuade God by prayer, or man by instruction and admonition, or the other way around, when he is expressing his will. of yielding to persuasion or appeal or admonition, and representing it when by prudent conduct he reached his end, not being carried away by his success, but acting moderately and wisely under the circumstances, and consenting to the event. These two harmonies I ask you to leave; the tension of necessity and the tension of freedom, the tension of the unfortunate and the tension of the fortunate, the tension of courage and the tension of temperance; these, I say, are departing.

And these, he replied, are the Doric and Phrygian harmonies of which he had just spoken.

So, I said, if these and only these are used in our songs and melodies, won't we lack a multiplicity of notes or a panharmonic scale?

I suppose not.

Shall we not, then, support the makers of three-pointed lyres and complex scales, or the makers of any other curiously harmonized many-stringed instrument?

Certainly not.

But what do you say to flutists and flutists? Would you admit them to our state when you reflected that, in this compound use of harmony, the flute is worse than all stringed instruments put together; is even panharmonic music only an imitation of the flute?

clearly not.

Then only the lyre and harp remain for use in the city, and the shepherds may have a flute in the countryside.

That is certainly the conclusion drawn from the argument.

The preference of Apollo and his instruments for Marsyas and his instruments is not at all strange, I said.

No way, he replied.

And so, by the dog of Egypt, we were unconsciously purifying the State, which not long ago we called luxury.

And we did it wisely, he replied.

So let's finish cleaning now, I said. Then, in the order of the harmonies, the rhythms will follow naturally, and must be subject to the same rules, for we must not look for complex systems of meter, or meters of all kinds, but rather to discover which rhythms are expressions of a courageous and harmonious life. ; and when we find them, we will adapt the foot and melody to words of a similar spirit, not the words to the foot and melody. It will be your duty to say what these rhythms are; you must teach me, as you already taught me the harmonies.

But really, he replied, I can't say. I only know that there are about three principles of rhythm from which metrical systems are formed, just as in tones there are four notes (that is, the four notes of the tetrachord) of which all harmonies are composed; this is an observation I made. But what kind of life the imitations are, separately, I cannot say.

So, I said, we must take Damon's advice; and he will tell us which rhythms express malice, insolence, fury, or other indignity, and which are to be reserved for the expression of opposite sentiments. And I think I have a vague recollection of him mentioning a complex cretic rhythm; also a dactylic or heroic, and he arranged them in a way I don't quite understand, equalizing the rhythms in the rise and fall of the foot, alternating longs and shorts; and, unless I am mistaken, he spoke of an iambic as well as a trochaic rhythm, and assigned short and long quantities to them. Furthermore, in some cases he seemed to praise or condemn both the footwork and the pace; or perhaps a combination of the two; because I'm not sure what he meant. These matters, however, as I was saying, it's best that they be referred to Damon himself, because the analysis of the matter would be difficult, you know? (Socrates carelessly expresses himself in accordance with his alleged ignorance of the details of the subject. In the first part of the sentence he seems to be speaking of peonic rhythms which are in the proportion of 3/2; in the second part of dactylic rhythms and the anapastic rhythms. , which are in the ratio 1/1; in the last clause, the phiambic and trochaic rhythms, which are in the ratio 1/2 or 2/1.)

Rather, I must say.

But there is no difficulty in seeing that grace or gracelessness is an effect of good or bad rhythm.

None at all.

And also that good and bad rhythm are naturally assimilated to good and bad style; and that harmony and discord follow style; because our principle is that rhythm and harmony are regulated by words, not words by them.

Only then, he said, should the words follow.

And will not words and character depend on the style of the soul's temperament?


And everything else about the style?


Thus beauty of style, harmony, grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity; I mean the true simplicity of a rightly and nobly ordered mind and character, not that other simplicity which is but a euphemism for madness?

It's true, he replied.

And if our youth are to do their work in life, must they not make these graces and harmonies their perpetual aim?

They should.

And certainly the painter's art, and every other creative and constructive art, is full of them: weaving, embroidery, architecture, and every kind of manufacture; also nature, animal and vegetable - in all of them there is grace or lack of grace. And ugliness, discord and inharmonious movements are almost related to evil words and bad nature, just as grace and harmony are the twin sisters of goodness and virtue and have their likeness.

That's quite true, he said.

But will not our superintendence go further, and must poets only be required by us to express the image of good in their works, under pain, if they do anything else, of being expelled from our State? Or the same control will be extended to other artists, and they too will be prohibited from exhibiting the opposite forms of vice and intemperance and meanness and indecency in sculpture and building and other creative arts; And who cannot conform to this rule of ours, should they be prevented from practicing their art in our State, so that the taste of our citizens is not corrupted by it? We do not want our guardians to grow up in the midst of images of moral deformity, as in some noxious pasture, and there they graze and feed on many noxious herbs and flowers, day after day, little by little, until they silently accumulate a festering mass. of corruption in his own soul. May our artists be rather those who have the gift of discerning the true nature of the beautiful and graceful; then our youth will dwell in a land of health, amid fair sights and sounds, and receive good in everything; and beauty, the effluvium of fine works, will flow to the eyes and ears, like a salutary breeze from a purer region, and imperceptibly draw the soul from its earliest years into resemblance and sympathy with the beauty of reason.

There can be no nobler training than this, he replied.

And therefore I said, Glaucon, musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way to the inner places of the soul, where they hold powerfully, imparting grace and making the soul one who is brought up correctly. graceful, or of him who is ill-mannered without grace; and also because he who has received this true education of the inner being will perceive with the greatest keenness the omissions or faults in art and nature, and with true delight, as he praises and rejoices and receives the good in his soul, and becomes noble. and well, he will justly blame and hate the wicked, now in the days of his youth, even before he can know why; and when reason comes, he will recognize and salute the friend with whom his education has long made him familiar.

Yes, he said, I completely agree with you in thinking that our youth should be educated in music and in the areas you mention.

As in learning to read, I said, we content ourselves with knowing the letters of the alphabet, which are very few, in all their sizes and recurring combinations; not despising them as unimportant, whether they occupy a large or a small space, but everywhere anxious to distinguish them; and not believing ourselves to be perfect in the art of reading until we recognize them wherever they are:


Or, as we recognize the reflection of letters in water, or in a mirror, only when we know the letters themselves; the same art and study giving us the knowledge of both:


Still, I maintain, neither we nor our tutors, whom we have to educate, can become musicians until we and they know the essential forms of temperance, courage, liberality, magnificence and the like, as well as the contrary forms, in all their combinations, and can recognize them and their images wherever they are, not belittling them in small or great things, but believing that they are all within the sphere of one art and study.

With safety.

And when a beautiful soul harmonizes with a beautiful form, and the two blend into one mould, is that the fairest sight for him who has eyes to see it?

The fairest.

And the most beautiful is also the most beautiful?

This can be assumed.

And the man who has a spirit of harmony will be most in love with the most charming; but will he not love the one with a discordant soul?

That is true, he replied, if the deficiency be in your soul; but if there is any bodily defect in another, he will have patience and love everyone equally.

I understand, he said, that you have or have had such experiences, and I agree. But let me ask you another question: does overindulgence have any affinity with temperance?

How can be? answered; pleasure deprives man of the use of his faculties as much as pain does.

Or some affinity with virtue in general?


Any affinity with debauchery and intemperance?

Yes, the biggest.

And is there any greater or keener pleasure than sensual love?

No, it's not crazy.

Whereas true love is a love of beauty and order, moderate and harmonious?

Very true, he said.

Then, should not intemperance or folly be allowed to approach true love?

Certainly not.

So mad or excessive pleasure should never be allowed to approach the lover and his beloved; None of them can participate if their love is the right kind?

No, actually, Socrates, you must never go near them.

Therefore, I suppose in the city we are founding you would make a law to the effect that a friend must use no other familiarity for his love than a father would use for his child, and that only for a noble purpose, and he must first have the consent of others; and this rule must limit him in all his dealings, and he must never be seen to go beyond it, or, if he exceeds it, he must be found guilty of rudeness and bad taste.

I completely agree, he said.

So much of the music, it makes a good ending; for what should be the end of music but the love of beauty?

I agree, he said.

After music comes gymnastics, in which our youth are the next to train.


Both gymnastics and music should begin in the early years; the inner training must be careful and must continue throughout life. Now my belief is, and this is a subject on which I should like your opinion in confirmation of mine, but my own belief is, not that the good body by any bodily excellence improves the soul, but, on the contrary, that the good soul, by its own excellence, improves the body as far as possible. What do you say?

Yes. I agree.

So for the mind, when properly trained, we are right to give it the most particular care of the body; and to avoid prolixity we will now give only the general lines of the subject.

Very well.

We have already said that they must refrain from getting drunk; because of all people a guardian should be the last to get drunk and not know where in the world he is.

Yes, he said; for a guardian to demand that another guardian take care of him is really ridiculous.

But now, what shall we say of their food? because the men are training for the biggest competition of all, isn't it?

Yes, he said.

And will the body habit of our ordinary athletes be suitable for them?

Why not?

I'm afraid, I said, that the body habit they have is just a sleepy thing and quite dangerous to health. Can't you see that these athletes sleep all their lives and are exposed to the most dangerous diseases if they deviate even a little from their usual regimen?


Then, I said, a finer kind of training will be required of our warrior-athletes, who must be like dogs awake, and see and hear more acutely; amidst the many changes of water as well as food, the heat of summer and the cold of winter, which they will have to endure during the campaign, must not be liable to ill health.

That's my opinion.

Really excellent gymnastics is the twin sister of that simple music just described.

How is that?

Well, I imagine there is gymnastics that, like our music, is simple and good; and especially military gymnastics.

What do you mean?

My meaning may be learned from Homer; he, you know, feeds his heroes at their feasts, when they are on campaign, with soldiers' food; they have no fish, although they are on the shores of the Hellespont, and they cannot eat boiled but roasted meat, which is the most suitable food for soldiers, requiring only that they light a fire and not agree to bring pots and pans.


And I can hardly be wrong in saying that sweet sauces are nowhere mentioned in Homer. In proscribing them, however, he is not singular; all professional athletes know very well that a man who is going to be in good condition shouldn't take any of that.

Yes, he said; and knowing this, they are right not to take them.

So you wouldn't approve of Syracuse dinners and the refinements of Sicilian cuisine?

I do not think so.

Nor, if a man must be fit, would you allow him to have a Corinthian girl as his beautiful friend?

Certainly not.

Would you not approve of the delicacies, as is believed, of the Athenian confectionery?

Certainly not.

We can compare all this eating and living with melody and singing composed in the panharmonic style and in all rhythms.


There complexity bred licentiousness, and here disease; while simplicity in music was the father of temperance in the soul; and simplicity in body health gymnastics.

Very true, he said.

But when intemperance and disease multiply in a State, the halls of justice and medicine are always being opened; and the arts of the doctor and the lawyer gain air, verifying how keen is the interest that not only slaves, but also the free men of a city have in them.


And yet what greater proof can there be of a bad and disgraceful state of education than this, that not only craftsmen and the humblest people need the skill of physicians and judges of the first order, but also those who claim to have had a liberal education? Is it not disgraceful, and a great sign of want of good breeding, that a man should go abroad for the sake of his law and medicine because he has nothing of his own at home, and must therefore leave himself in the hands of other men. who does he do it for? lords and judges over him?

Of all things, he said, the most shameful.

You would say 'most', I replied, when you consider that there is another stage of evil in which a man is not just a lifelong litigator, spending all his days in court, whether as plaintiff or defendant, but in reality is led by its bad taste to be proud of its litigiousness; he imagines he is a master of dishonesty; able to make every crooked turn and slip in and out of every hole, bending like a wicker and getting out of the way of justice: and all for what? , like being able to do without a sleeping judge, is something much higher and nobler. Isn't that even more embarrassing?

Yes, he said, that's even more embarrassing.

Well then, I said, and to ask for the help of medicine, not when it is necessary to heal a wound, or on the occasion of an epidemic, but only because, due to indolence and the habit of life that we have been describing, men get fed up up with water and sand. winds, as if their bodies were a swamp, forcing the ingenious sons of Asclepius to find more names for illnesses such as flatulence and catarrh; Is this not also a disgrace?

Yes, he said, they certainly give very strange and novel names to diseases.

Yes, I said, and I don't think there were any such diseases in Asclepius' time; and this I infer from the circumstance that the hero Eurypylus, after having been wounded in Homer, drinks a pot of Pramnian wine well sprinkled with barley flour and grated cheese, which certainly are inflammatory, and yet the sons of Asclepius who were in the Trojan war blame not the damsel who gives you drink, nor rebuke Patroclus who is handling your case.

Well, he said, it certainly was an extraordinary drink for a person in his condition.

Not so extraordinary, I replied, considering that in former times, as they say, before the time of Herodicus, the guild of Asclepius did not practice our present system of medicine, which may be said to teach disease. But Herodicus, being a trainer and himself of sickly constitution, through a combination of training and medical treatment found a way to torture himself first and the rest of the world second.

How was that? he said.

By the invention of prolonged death; because he had a fatal illness which he perpetually nursed, and as recovery was out of the question, he spent his whole life as a valetudinarian; he could do nothing but take care of himself and was in constant torment whenever he deviated from his usual regimen, and thus, dying a hard way, with the help of science he fought to old age.

A rare reward for your skill!

Yes, I said; a reward which might have been expected by a man who never understood that if Asclepius did not instruct his descendants in the valetudinary arts, the omission arose, not from ignorance or inexperience in such a branch of medicine, but because he knew it too well. In the ordained states, each individual has an occupation which he must attend to, and therefore has no spare time to spend in being continually ill. We observe this in the case of the craftsman, but, ridiculously, we do not apply the same rule to the richest.

What are you talking? he said.

I mean this: when a carpenter is sick, he asks the doctor for a quick and hard cure; an emetic or a purge or a cautery or a knife, these are his remedies. And if someone prescribes him a course in dietetics, and tells him to bandage and bandage his head, and all that kind of thing, here he immediately replies that he has no time to be sick and does not see anything good in life. . which is spent nursing his illness until he quits his regular job; and therefore, taking leave of such a physician, he returns to his ordinary ways and recovers, lives and does his work, or, if his constitution fails, he dies and has no further trouble.

Aye, he said, and a man in his condition in life should use the art of medicine only so far.

You have not, I said, an occupation; and what benefit would there be to your life if you were deprived of your occupation?

Very true, he said.

But with the rich man it is different; We do not say that he has some specially assigned work that he must do if he is to live.

It is generally assumed that he has nothing to do.

Then you never heard the saying of Phocylides, that as soon as a man has life he should practice virtue?

No, he said, I think it's better to start a little earlier.

Let's not argue with him about it, I said; Rather, ask yourselves: is the practice of virtue obligatory for the rich, or can he live without it? And if it is obligatory for him, let us ask another question: if this diet of disorders, which prevents the application of the mind in carpentry and mechanical arts, does not equally disturb Phocilides' feeling?

Of this, he replied, there can be no doubt; this excessive care of the body, when carried beyond the rules of gymnastics, is most inimical to the practice of virtue.

Yes indeed, I replied, and equally incompatible with the address of a house, an army, or a public office; and, more important, irreconcilable with any kind of study or thought or self-reflection: there is a constant suspicion that the headache and vertigo must be attributed to philosophy, and therefore to any practice or test of virtue. interrupted; for a man is always imagining that he is getting sick, and is in constant anxiety about the state of his body.

Yes, probably.

And therefore it may be supposed that our politician Asclepius exhibited the power of his art only to persons who, being generally of healthy constitution and habits of life, had a definite disease; these he cured by purges and operations, and ordered them to live as usual, consulting here the interests of the State; but bodies into which the disease had repeatedly entered he would not have tried to cure by gradual processes of evacuation and infusion: he would not prolong useless lives, or have weak parents beget weaker children; if a man was not able to live in the normal way, he had nothing to do to cure him; for such a cure would be of no use to him or the State.

So, he said, you consider Asclepius a statesman.

Clearly; and his character is further illustrated by his children. Bear in mind that they were heroes in ancient times, and practiced the remedies I speak of at the siege of Troy: you will remember how, when Pandarus smote Menelaus, they

"He sucked the blood out of the wound and sprayed soothing medicine,"

but they never prescribed what the patient should eat or drink afterwards in the case of Menelaus, any more than in the case of Eurypylus; the remedies, as they conceived them, were sufficient to cure any man who, before being injured, was healthy and regular in his habits; and though he drank a glass of Pramnian wine, he might recover all the same. But they would have nothing to do with unhealthy and intemperate subjects, whose lives were of no use to themselves or others; the art of medicine was not designed for their good, and though they were as rich as Midas, the sons of Asclepius would have refused to oblige them.

They were very sharp people, those sons of Asclepius.

Naturally, I responded. However, the tragedian and Pindar, disobeying our orders, though they acknowledge that Asclepius was the son of Apollo, also say that he was bribed to heal a rich man who was about to die, and for that reason he was struck by lightning. But we, in accordance with the principle already asserted by us, will not believe it when they tell us both these things: if he was the son of a god, we assert that he was not covetous; or, if he was greedy, he was not the son of a god.

All this, Socrates, is excellent; but I would like to ask you a question: shouldn't there be good doctors in a State, and aren't the best those who have treated the greatest number of good and bad constitutions? And are not the best judges likewise those who are acquainted with all kinds of moral natures?

Yes, I said, I also want good judges and good doctors. But you know who I consider good?

Would you tell me?

I will if I can. However, let me point out that in the same question you are putting together two things that are not the same.

How is that? I ask.

Well, I said, you join doctors and judges. Now, the most skilful physicians are those who, from their youth, have combined the greatest experience of illness with the knowledge of their art; It is better that they are not of robust health, and have all kinds of diseases in their own persons. Because the body, as I understand it, is not the instrument with which they heal the body; in that case we could not allow them to be or be sick; but they heal the body with the mind, and the mind that has gone astray and is sick cannot heal anything.

That's quite true, he said.

But with the judge it is something else; since it rules mind by mind; therefore, he should not have been trained among wicked minds and associated with them from his youth, and run through the entire calendar of crime, just so that he could quickly infer the crimes of others as he would their illnesses. -knowledge; the honest mind that should form a good judgment should have had no experience or defilement of bad habits when young. And this is the reason why in youth good men often appear simple and are easily deceived by dishonest ones, because they have no examples of wickedness in their own souls.

Yes, he said, they are very likely to be deceived.

Therefore, I said, the judge must not be young; he should have learned to know evil, not by his own soul, but by belated observation of the nature of evil in others: knowledge should be his guide, not personal experience.

Yes, he said, that is the ideal of a judge.

Yes, I replied, and he will be a good man (which is my answer to your question); because he who has a good soul is good. But the shrewd and suspicious nature we speak of, he who has committed many crimes and believes himself to be a master of mischief, when he is among his companions, is admirable in the precautions he takes, because he judges them by himself: but when he enters the company of men of virtue, who have the experience of age, again seem a fool, owing to their premature suspicions; he cannot recognize an honest man, because he has no standard of honesty in himself; at the same time, as the bad are more numerous than the good and he meets them more often, he considers himself, and others consider him, wiser than a fool.

Very true, he said.

Therefore, the good and wise judge we are looking for is not this one, but the other one; for vice also cannot know virtue, but a virtuous nature, educated by time, will acquire knowledge of both virtue and vice: the virtuous man, not the vicious, has wisdom, in my opinion.

And mine too.

This is the kind of remedy, and this is the kind of law you are going to enact in your state. They will serve better natures, giving health to soul and body; but those who are sick in their bodies they will let die, and corrupt and incurable souls they will take their lives.

This is clearly in the best interest of patients and the state.

And so our youth, having been educated only in that simple music which, as we have said, inspires temperance, will resist going to justice.


And the musician who, following the same path, is content to practice simple gymnastics, will have nothing to do with medicine, except in some extreme case.

I believe in it.

The very exercises and tribulations he undergoes are designed to stimulate the spiritual element in his nature, not to increase his strength; you will not use, like ordinary athletes, exercises and regimens to build your muscles.

Very good, he said.

Nor are the two arts of music and gymnastics really intended, as is often supposed, the one for training the soul and the other for training the body.

What then is your true aim?

I believe, I said, that the teachers of both have the improvement of the soul chiefly in view.

How can be? I ask.

Have you never observed, I said, the effect on one's own mind of exclusive devotion to gymnastics, or the reverse effect of exclusive devotion to music?

How is it displayed? he said.

The one that produces a temper of hardness and ferocity, the other of softness and effeminacy, I replied.

Yes, said he, I am well aware that the mere athlete grows very wild, and that the mere musician melts and softens beyond what is good for him.

But surely, I said, that ferocity only comes from the spirit, which, if properly educated, would give courage, but if too much intensified, it can become hard and brutal.

I think a lot.

On the other hand, the philosopher will have the quality of meekness. And this too, when exaggerated, will become mild, but, if properly brought up, it will be gentle and restrained.


And in our opinion guardians should have both qualities?


And both must be in harmony?


And is the harmonious soul temperate and courageous?


And the disharmonious is cowardly and rude?

Very right.

And, when a man allows the music to play in it and pour into his soul through the embudo of his ears and those airs sweet and soft and melancholic of those we have just spoken, and his whole life goes on in gorjeos and the delights of the song; in the first stage of the process, the passion or spirit in him is tempered like iron and made useful instead of brittle and useless. But if he continues the process of softening and soothing, in the next stage he begins to melt and wither away, until he has consumed his spirit and severed the sinews of his soul; and he becomes a weak warrior.

Very right.

If the spirit element is naturally weak in him, change takes place quickly, but if he has too much of it, then the spirit-weakening power of music makes him excitable; at the slightest provocation, it ignites immediately and quickly goes out; instead of being upbeat, he becomes irritable and passionate and quite impractical.


And so, in gymnastics, if a man exercises violently and is a great feeder, and unlike a great student of music and philosophy, at first the high condition of his body fills him with pride and spirit, and he becomes two times more man than him. was.


And what happens? if he does nothing else, and does not converse with the Muses, not even with that intelligence that may be in him, not liking any kind of learning or research or thinking or culture, he becomes weak, dull and blind, his mind never awake created or given food, and your senses not being purged from their mists?

True, he said.

And he ends up becoming an enemy of philosophy, uncivilized, never using the weapon of persuasion; he is like a wild animal, all violence and ferocity, and knows no other way to cope; and he lives in all ignorance and evil conditions, and has no sense of propriety and grace.

That's quite true, he said.

And as there are two principles of human nature, one spiritual and the other philosophical, some God, I would say, gave mankind two arts which answer to them (and only indirectly to soul and body), so that these two principles (like the strings of an instrument) can be relaxed or stretched until they are properly harmonized.

That seems to be the intention.

And he who mixes music with gymnastics in the right proportions and tempers them in the best way for the soul, can be called a true musician and harmonist in a much higher sense than the string tuner.

You are absolutely right, Socrates.

And such a genius president will always be needed in our state for the government to last.

Yes, it will be absolutely necessary.

Such, then, are our principles of upbringing and education: where would it serve to go into more detail about the dances of our citizens, or about their hunting and racing, their gymnastics and riding competitions? For they all follow the general principle, and having discovered this, we shall have no difficulty in discovering them.

I dare say there will be no difficulty.

Very well, I said; So what's the next question? Shouldn't we ask ourselves who will be the rulers and who will be the subjects?


There can be no doubt that the greater should rule the lesser.


And that the best of these should rule.

That too is clear.

Now, aren't the best farmers the ones who spend the most time growing crops?


And since we're going to have the best guardians for our city, shouldn't they be the ones with the most guardian character?


And for that they must be wise and efficient, and take special care of the State?


And is a man more likely to care about what he loves?

To be sure.

And is he more likely to love that which he considers to have the same interests as himself, and whose good or bad fortune he supposes at any moment to affect his most?

It's true, he replied.

So there must be a selection. Let us note among Guardians those who throughout their lives show the greatest willingness to do what is good for their country, and the greatest reluctance to do what is contrary to its interests.

These are the right men.

And they will have to be watched at all times, that we may see that they retain their resolve, and never, under the influence of force or enchantment, forget or discard their sense of duty to the State.

How to discard? he said.

I'll explain to you, I replied. A resolution may come out of a man's mind willingly or unwillingly; with his will when he gets rid of a falsehood and learns better, against his will when he is deprived of a truth.

I understand, he said, the voluntary loss of a resolution; the meaning of indisposition I have yet to learn.

Why, I said, do you not see that men unwittingly deprive themselves of good and voluntarily of evil? Is it not a bad thing to have lost the truth and a good thing to have it? And would you agree that to conceive of things as they are is to possess the truth?

Yes, he replied; I agree with you in thinking that humanity is deprived of the truth against its will.

And is not this involuntary deprivation due to theft, force, or enchantment?

Still, he replied, I don't understand you.

I fear I must have spoken darkly, like the tragedians. I only mean that some men are changed by persuasion, and some men forget; discussion steals the hearts of one class and the time of another; and this I call theft. Now you understand me?


Also forced are those whom the violence of some pain or grief compels them to change their minds.

I see, he said, and you're absolutely right.

And would you also recognize that the enchanted are those who change their minds under the milder influence of pleasure or under the severer influence of fear?

Yes, he said; everything that deceives can be said to enchant.

Therefore, as I was just saying, we must ask who are the best guardians of their own conviction that what they believe to be the State's interest must be the rule of their lives. We must watch over them from youth and make them perform actions they are likely to forget or be deceived in, and the one who remembers and is not deceived should be selected, and the one who fails the test should be rejected. Will this be the way?


And labors, pains, and conflicts must also be prescribed for them, in which they will be made to give more proof of the same qualities.

Very well, he replied.

And then, I said, we must test them with spells - this is the third kind of test - and see what their behavior will be: like those who take colts out of the noise and tumult to see whether they are of a timid nature, so shall we take our children in the midst of some kind of terror, and again we transfer them to pleasures, and we test them more minutely than gold is tested in the furnace, that we may find that they are armed against all enchantments, and nobles always having good guardians of themselves and of the music they have learned, and preserving in all circumstances a rhythmic and harmonious nature, such as will be most useful to the individual and the State. victorious and pure judgment, he will be appointed ruler and guardian of the state; he will be honored in life and in death, and will receive burial and other memorials of honor, the greatest we have to give. But he who fails we must reject. I am inclined to think that this is how our rulers and guardians should be chosen and appointed. I speak in general, and not with any pretense of precision.

And generally speaking, I agree with you, he said.

And perhaps the word 'guardian' in the widest sense is only to be applied to that upper class who protects us against foreign enemies, and keeps peace between our citizens at home, lest one has the will, or the other the power, to hurt. we. The youth whom we formerly called guardians may more properly be designated as the helpers and upholders of the rulers' principles.

I agree with you, he said.

So how can we invent one of those necessary falsehoods we've been talking about lately, a single real lie that might fool the rulers, if possible, and the rest of the city anyway?

What kind of lie? he said.

Nothing new, I replied; but an ancient Phoenician tale (Leis) of what has often happened before elsewhere (as the poets say, and have made the world believe), though not in our time, and I know not whether such an event could happen again, or even now could it be made likely, if that happened.

How his words seem to falter on his lips!

You won't be surprised, I replied, at my hesitation when you find out.

Speak, he said, and fear not.

Well then, I will speak, although I really don't know how to look you in the face, nor with what words to utter the daring fiction, which I propose to communicate little by little, first to the rulers, then to the soldiers, and finally to the people. They must be told that their youth was a dream, and the education and training they received from us only an appearance; in fact, during all this time, they were formed and fed in the womb of the earth, where they made themselves and their weapons and belongings; when they were complete, the earth, their mother, made them rise; and so, their country being their mother as well as their nurse, they are obliged to advise it for its good, and to defend it from attacks, and its citizens must regard them as children of the earth and their own brothers.

You had good reason, he said, to be ashamed of the lie you were about to tell.

True, I replied, but there is more to come; I only told you half. Citizens, we will tell you in our story, you are brothers, but God made you differently. Some of you have the power of command, and in the composition of these he has mixed gold, for which you also have the highest honor; others he made of silver, to be helpers; others, who will be farmers and artisans, he composed of bronze and iron; and the species will usually be preserved in children. But since they are all of the same original lineage, a golden parent will sometimes have a silver child, or a silver parent will have a golden child. And God proclaims as a first principle to rulers, and above all, that there is nothing which they should so eagerly guard, or which they should be so good guardians of, as the purity of the race. They must watch what elements are mixed in their offspring; for if the son of a father of gold or silver has a mixture of bronze and iron, then nature commands a transposition of echelons, and the eye of the ruler must not pity the son because he has to step down in the balance and become whether a farmer or craftsman, just as there may be children of craftsmen who, having a mixture of gold or silver in them, are raised to honor, and become guardians or helpers. Because an oracle says that when a man of bronze or iron guards the State, it will be destroyed. That's the story; Is there any chance that our citizens believe this?

Not in the current generation, he replied; there is no way to achieve this; but their children, and their children's children, and posterity after them, may be made to believe the story.

I see the difficulty, I replied; however, fostering such a belief will make them care more about the city and others. Enough, however, of fiction, which can now fly on the wings of rumour, as we arm our earthborn heroes and lead them under their rulers. Let them look around, and choose a place whence they can best suppress the insurrection, if any show themselves refractory within, and also defend themselves from enemies, who like wolves may descend without; there let them encamp, and when they encamp let them sacrifice to proper gods and prepare their abodes.

That's right, he said.

And their dwellings should be such as to protect them from the cold of winter and the heat of summer.

I assume you mean houses, he replied.

Yes, I said; but they must be soldiers' houses, not shopkeepers'.

What's the difference? he said.

I'll try to explain that, I replied. To have watchdogs, who, from lack of discipline or hunger, or some bad habit, attack the sheep and make them restless, and behave not like dogs but like wolves, would that be a loathsome and monstrous thing in a shepherd?

Truly monstrous, he said.

And therefore care must be taken that our auxiliaries, being stronger than our citizens, do not become too much for them, and become savage tyrants instead of friends and allies?

Yes, you have to be very careful.

And wouldn't a really good education provide the best protection?

But they are already well educated, he replied.

I cannot be so confident, my dear Glaucon, I said; I am much more certain that they should be, and that true education, whatever it may be, will have the greatest tendency to civilize and humanize them in their relations with each other and with those under their protection.

It's true, he replied.

And not only their education, but also their apartments and everything that belongs to them, must be such as not to injure their virtue as guardians, nor incite them to plunder other citizens. Any sensible man should recognize this.

He must.

So let us now consider what their way of life will be if they want to realize our idea of ​​them. In the first place, none of them should own property beyond what is absolutely necessary; nor should they have a private house or shop locked against any person intending to enter; its provisions should be only those required by trained warriors, who are men of temperance and courage; they must agree to receive from citizens a fixed rate of payment, sufficient to cover the year's expenses and no more; and they will eat and live together like soldiers in a camp. Gold and silver, we will tell you they have from God; the divine metal is within them, and therefore they have no need of the dross that circulates among men, and must not defile the divine with any of these earthly mixtures; for that common metal has been the source of many unholy acts, but your own is unsullied. And they alone of all citizens may not touch or handle silver or gold, nor be under the same roof with them, nor wear them, nor drink from them. And this will be their salvation, and they will be the saviors of the state. But if they acquire houses, land or money of their own, they will become housewives and farmers instead of guardians, enemies and tyrants instead of allies of the other citizens; hating and being hated, plotting and being plotted, they will spend their whole lives in far greater terror from enemies within than without, and the hour of ruin, both for themselves and the rest of the State, will be at hand. May we not for all reasons say that our State will be so ordained, and that these will be the regulations we will make for guardians in their homes and in all other things?

Yes, said Glaucon.


Here Adeimantus interjected a question: How would you answer, Socrates, he said, if a person said that you are making these people unhappy and that they are the cause of your own unhappiness; the city really belongs to them, but they are no better for it; while others acquire lands and build large and beautiful houses, and have everything beautiful in them, offering sacrifices to the gods at their own expense and practicing hospitality; besides, as you just said, they have gold and silver, and all that is customary among the favorites of fortune; but are not our poor citizens better than the mercenaries who are garrisoned in the city and are always on guard?

Yes, I said; and he might add, that they are only fed, and not paid apart from their food, like other men; and therefore they cannot, if they choose, take a leisure trip; they have no money to spend on a mistress or any other luxurious fancy that in the world counts as happiness; and many other accusations of the same nature might be added.

But, he said, suppose all of that is included in the bill.

You want to ask, I said, what will our response be?


If we continue on the old path, I believe, he said, that we will find the answer. And our answer will be that, such as they are, our guardians are probably the happiest of men; but that our object in founding the State was not a disproportionate happiness of any kind, but the greatest happiness of the whole; we thought that in a State ordered for the good of all we would be more likely to find justice, and in a badly ordered State injustice: and, having found them, we could decide which of the two is happier. . At present, I suppose, we are forging the happy State, not in parts, or with a view to making some citizens happy, but as a whole; and little by little we will see the opposite type of State. Suppose we are painting a statue, and someone comes up to us and says, Why don't you put the prettiest colors on the prettiest parts of the body? The eyes should be purple, but you made them black. I might justly reply: Sir, surely you do not want us to beautify our eyes to the point of ceasing to be eyes; consider rather whether, by giving this and other features their due proportion, we make the whole beautiful. And that's why I tell you, don't force us to attribute to guardians a kind of happiness that makes them anything but guardians; for we too can dress our husbandmen in royal raiment, place golden crowns on their heads, and order them to cultivate the land as much as they like, and no more. Our potters can also rest on beds and feast by the fire, passing the glass of wine, while their wheel is conveniently close at hand, and working on the pottery alone as much as they like; in this way we could make every class happy, and then, as you might imagine, the whole state would be happy. But don't get this idea into our heads; because, if we listen to you, the farmer will cease to be a farmer, the potter will cease to be a potter, and no one will have the character of a different class in the State. Well, it matters little when the corruption of society and the pretense of being what you are not is limited to shoemakers; but when the guardians of laws and government are apparent and not real guardians, then see how they disturb the State; on the other hand, only they have the power to give order and happiness to the State. We want our guardians to be true saviors and not destroyers of the state, while our opponent is thinking of peasants at a festival enjoying a life of revelry, not citizens doing their duty to the state. But if so, we mean different things, and he is talking about something that is not a state. And therefore we must consider whether in appointing our guardians we shall seek the greatest happiness for them individually, or whether this principle of happiness does not lie in the State as a whole. But if the latter be true, then guardians and helpers, and all others with them, must be compelled or induced to do their own work to the best of their ability. And thus the whole State will grow into a noble order, and the various classes will receive the proportion of happiness which nature assigns them.

I think you are right.

I wonder if you agree with another observation that occurs to me.

What can this be?

There seem to be two causes for the deterioration of the arts.

That are?

Wealth, I said, and poverty.

How do they act?

The process is this: when a potter becomes rich, do you think he will no longer strive with his art?

Certainly not.

Will he become more and more lazy and careless?

Very right.

And will the result be that he becomes a worse potter?

Yea; it deteriorates a lot.

But, on the other hand, if he has no money and cannot provide himself with tools or instruments, he will not work as well, nor will he teach his children or apprentices to work as well.

Certainly not.

So, under the influence of poverty or wealth, are workers and their work equally subject to degeneration?

Is obvious.

Here, then, is the discovery of new evils, I said, against which the guardians will have to watch, or they will sneak into the city unseen.

what evils?

Wealth, I said, and poverty; the one is the father of luxury and indolence, and the other of meanness and wickedness, and both of discontent.

That's true, he replied; but still I would like to know, Socrates, how our city can go to war, especially against a rich and powerful enemy, if he is deprived of the nerves of war.

There would certainly be difficulty, I replied, in going to war with one of these enemies; but there is no difficulty where there are two of them.

How is that? I ask.

First of all, I said, if we have to fight, our side will be trained warriors fighting an army of rich men.

That's true, he said.

And do you not think, Adeimantus, that a single boxer perfect in his art could easily be a match for two robust and prosperous gentlemen who were not boxers?

Hardly if they found him right away.

And now, I said, if he could run away and then turn around and beat the one who came first? And assuming he did this multiple times under the heat of a scorching sun, couldn't he, being an expert, take down more than one character?

Surely, he said, there would be nothing wonderful about it.

And yet rich men probably have a greater superiority in the science and practice of boxing than in military qualities.

Very likely.

So, can we assume that our athletes will be able to fight with two or three times their own number?

I agree with you because I think you are right.

And suppose, before committing themselves, our citizens send an embassy to one of the two cities, telling them what is the truth: silver and gold we have not nor can we have, but you can; come, therefore, help us in the war, and take the spoil of the other city: Who, hearing these words, would choose to fight lean and meager dogs, rather than, with the dogs at his side, against fat sheep? and contest?

This is not likely; and yet there may be a danger to the poor State if the wealth of many States is gathered into one.

But how simple is it for you to use the term State in anything other than ours!


It would be necessary to speak of other states in the plural; none of them is one city, but many cities, as they say in the game. Because in truth every city, however small it may be, is actually divided into two, one the city of the poor, the other the city of the rich; these are at war with each other; and in both there are many smaller divisions, and you would be quite out of place to treat them all as a state. But if you deal with them as many, and give wealth, power, or people from one to another, you will always have many friends and few enemies. And your State, as long as the wise order that has now been prescribed continues to prevail in it, will be the greatest of States, not in reputation or appearance, but in facts and truth, even if it does not exceed a thousand defenders. You will hardly find a single State equal to it, whether among Hellenes or Barbarians, though many seem to be just as large, and many times larger.

That's quite true, he said.

And what, I said, is the best limit for our rulers to set when considering the size of the State and the amount of territory it must cover and beyond which it will not go?

What limit would you propose?

This would allow the State to grow as much as was compatible with unity; that, I think, is the proper limit.

Very good, he said.

Here, then, I said, is another command which shall be conveyed to our guardians: Let our city be considered neither great nor small, but one and self-sufficient.

And certainly, he said, it is not a very severe order that we impose on them.

And the other, I said, which we spoke of earlier is even lighter, I refer to the duty to demote the children of guardians when they are inferior, and to raise the children of the lower classes to the rank of guardians, when these are naturally superior. . The intention was, that, in the case of citizens at large, each individual would be put to the use to which nature intended him, work one by one, and then each man would do his own business, and would be one and not many. and thus the whole city would be one and not many.

Yes, he said; it's not that hard

The rules we are prescribing, my good Adeimantus, are not, as one might suppose, a series of great principles, but rather trifles, if one cares, as they say, for a great thing, a thing, however, which I would rather call it, not large, but sufficient for our purpose.

What can this be? I ask.

Education, I said, and upbringing: if our citizens are well educated and sensible men, they will easily understand all this, as well as other subjects which I omit; such, for example, as marriage, the possession of women, and the begetting of children, which will follow the general principle that friends have everything in common, as the proverb says.

That will be the best way to solve them.

Besides, I said, the State, once well started, moves with accumulated strength like a wheel. For a good upbringing and education implants good constitutions, and those good constitutions rooted in a good education improve more and more, and this improvement affects the race in man as in other animals.

Quite possibly, he said.

So, to summarize: this is the point to which, above all, the attention of our rulers must be directed: that music and gymnastics be preserved in their original form, and no innovations be made. They must do everything possible to keep them intact. And when someone says that humanity considers it more

'The newest song the singers have',

they will be afraid that he is praising, not new songs, but a new song; and this is not to be commended, or conceived to be the poet's meaning; for any musical innovation is fraught with danger to the whole State and must be prohibited. So Damon told me, and I can believe him; He says that when modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the state always change with them.

Yes, said Adimantus; and you can add my vote to Damon's and his.

So, I said, shall our guardians lay the foundation of their stronghold in music?

Yes, he said; the anarchy you speak of creeps in too easily.

Yes, I replied, amused; and at first glance it seems harmless.

Well, yes, he said, and there is no harm; if it were not so, little by little this spirit of licentiousness, finding a home, penetrates imperceptibly into usages and customs; whence, emerging with greater force, it invades contracts between men, and from contracts passes to laws and constitutions, in utter imprudence, ending finally, Socrates, by the subversion of all rights, both private and public.

It is true? I said.

That is my belief, he replied.

So, as I was saying, our youth must be educated from the beginning in a stricter system, because if amusements become illegal and the youth themselves illegal, they can never become virtuous and well-behaved citizens.

Very true, he said.

And when they got a good start in the game, and with the help of music they acquired the habit of good order, then this habit of order, so different from the lawless game of others! it will accompany them in all their actions and it will be a beginning of growth for them, and if there are fallen places in the State, it will raise them up again.

Very true, he said.

Thus educated, they will invent for themselves any minor rule which their predecessors completely neglected.

What do you mean?

I mean things like these: when the young must be silent before the elderly; how they should show respect by standing up and making them sit down; what honor is due to parents; what clothes or shoes to wear; the way to comb; behavior and manners in general. Would you agree with me?


But I think there is little wisdom in legislating such matters, I doubt there ever will be; nor is any accurate written enactment of them likely to last.


It seems, Adeimantus, that the direction in which a man's education begins will determine his future life. Don't you always like to attract similar ones?

To be sure.

Until some exceptional and grandiose result is achieved, which can be good and can be the opposite of good?

This cannot be denied.

And so, I said, I will try no more to legislate on them.

Naturally, he responded.

Well, what about the affairs of the agora, and the common affairs between man and man, or also about agreements with craftsmen; about insults and injuries, or the initiation of actions, and the appointment of juries, what would you say? Questions may also arise about the impositions and extortions of market and port rights that are necessary and, in general, about the regulations of markets, police, ports and the like. But oh dear! Shall we condescend to legislate on any of these details?

I think, he said, that there is no need to lay down laws about them on good men; what regulations are needed, they will find out for themselves very soon.

Yes, I said, my friend, if only God would keep the laws we gave them.

And without divine help, said Adeimantus, they will forever go on making and correcting their laws and their lives in hopes of reaching perfection.

Would you compare them, I said, to those invalids who, not having self-control, are unwilling to give up their habits of intemperance?


Yes, I said; And what a delightful life they lead! they are always curing, enlarging and complicating their disorders, and always imagining that they will be cured by whatever panacea anyone advises them to try.

Such cases are very common, he said, with invalids of this kind.

Yes, I replied; and the most charming thing is that their worst enemy is anyone who tells them the truth, which is simply that if they don't stop eating and drinking and fucking and loitering, neither the drug nor the cauterization nor the spell nor the amulet nor the no other medicine works.

Charming! answered. I don't see anything charming about falling in love with a man who says what's right.

These gentlemen, I said, do not seem to be in your good will.

Probably not.

Nor would you commend the behavior of states that act like the men I just described. Because there are no ill-ordered states in which citizens are prohibited on pain of death from altering the constitution; and yet he who most sweetly woos those who live under this regime, and pleases and flatters them, and is adept at anticipating and pleasing their moods, is considered a great and good statesman. Don't these states look like the people you described?

Yes, he said; States are as bad as men; and I am far from praising them.

But don't you admire, I said, the coldness and dexterity of these able ministers of political corruption?

Yes, he said, I want to; but not all, for there are some who have been deceived by the applause of the multitude into believing that they are really statesmen, and these are not very worthy of admiration.

What do you mean? I said; you should feel more for them. When one man cannot measure, and many others who cannot measure declare that he measures four cubits, can you stop believing what they say?

No, he said, certainly not in this case.

Well, don't be mad at them; for they are not as good as a game, trying to do miserable makeovers as he was describing; Are you always imagining that through legislation you're going to put an end to fraud in contracts, and the other evils I mentioned, without knowing that you're actually cutting off hydra heads?

Yes, he said; that's exactly what they are doing.

I conceive, I said, that the true legislator will not concern himself with this class of decrees, whether they be laws or constitutions, whether in an ill-ordered State or in a well-ordered State; for in the first they are utterly useless, and in the second there will be no difficulty in creating them; and many of them will naturally arise from our previous regulations.

What, then, said he, is left to us from the work of legislating?

Nothing for us, I replied; but to Apollo, the God of Delphi, remains the ordering of the greatest, noblest, and most important things of all.

Which are they? he said.

The institution of temples and sacrifices, and all the service of gods, demigods, and heroes; also the ordering of the storehouses of the dead, and the rites which must be observed by him who should propitiate the inhabitants of the world below. These are matters we ourselves are ignorant of, and as founders of a city it would be unwise to entrust them to any interpreter other than our ancestral deity. He is the god who sits in the center, at the navel of the earth, and is the interpreter of religion for all mankind.

You are right, and we will do as you propose.

But where, in the midst of all this, is justice? son of Ariston, tell me where. Now that our city has become habitable, light a candle and search, and have your brother Polemarchus and the rest of our friends help you, and let us see where in it we can find justice, and where injustice, and where they differ from each other. , and which of them the man who wants to be happy must have in turn, whether or not they are seen by gods and men.

Nonsense, said Glaucon: did you not promise to register, saying that it would be impious of you not to help justice in your need?

I do not deny that I said it and, as you remind me, I will keep my word; but you must participate.

We will, he replied.

Well, I hope to make the discovery this way: I want to start from the assumption that our State, if it is well ordered, is perfect.

This is the safest.

And being perfect, he is therefore wise and courageous and temperate and just.

This is equally clear.

And any of these qualities that we find in the State, the one that is not found is the residue?

Very well.

If there were four things and we were looking for one of them, wherever it was, the thing sought could be known from the beginning and there would be no more problems; or we can meet the other three first, and then the fourth would clearly be what was left.

Very true, he said.

And is not a similar method to be followed in regard to the virtues, which also are four in number?


In the first place, among the virtues found in the State, wisdom appears, and in this I detect a certain peculiarity.

What is that?

Is the state we describe considered wise as a good adviser?

Very right.

And good advice is clearly a kind of knowledge, because not out of ignorance, but out of knowledge, do men give good advice?


And are the types of knowledge in a State many and diverse?


There is the carpenter's knowledge; but is this the kind of knowledge that gives a city the title of wise and good in council?

Certainly not; that alone would give a city a reputation for carpentry skill.

So shouldn't a city be called wise because it has a knowledge that advises the best about wooden utensils?

Certainly not.

Nor for a knowledge that advises on brazen pots, I said, nor for having any other similar knowledge?

Not because of any of them, he said.

Nor because of a knowledge that cultivates the land; What would give the city the name of agricultural?


Well, I said, and is there any knowledge in our newly founded State among any of the citizens who might advise, not about any particular thing in the State, but on the whole, and consider how a State might best deal with itself and with others? ? ?

There certainly is.

And what is this knowledge, and among whom is it found? I asked.

It is the knowledge of guardians, he replied, and it is among those we have just described as perfect guardians.

And what is the name that the city receives from the possession of this type of knowledge?

The name of the good in advice and truly wise.

And will there be more of these true guardians or more blacksmiths in our city?

Blacksmiths, he replied, will be far more numerous.

Will not guardians be the lowest of all classes who are given a name by profession of some kind of knowledge?

Much the smallest.

And so, by reason of the smallest part or class, and the knowledge that resides in that part which presides and governs, the whole State, being so constituted according to nature, will be wise; and that, which has the only knowledge worthy of being called wisdom, was ordained by nature to be the least of all kinds.

Very right.

So, then, I said, the nature and place in the State of one of the four virtues has been discovered in one way or another.

And, IMHO, very satisfactorily figured out, he answered.

Again, I said, there is no difficulty in seeing the nature of courage, and in what part lies that quality which gives the name of bravery to the State.

What are you talking?

Well, I said, anyone who calls any State brave or cowardly will be thinking of the part that fights and goes to war in the name of the State.

No one, he replied, would ever think of another.

The rest of the citizens may be brave or cowardly, but their courage or cowardice will not, as I conceive, have the effect of making the city one or the other.

Certainly not.

(Video) Plato’s Republic: Introduction & Analysis, Part 3 (ASMR Quiet Reading for Relaxation & Sleep)

The city will be valiant by virtue of a part of itself which retains under all circumstances that opinion of the nature of things to be feared and not to be feared in which our legislator educated them; and that's what you call courage.

I'd like to hear what you say one more time, because I don't think I fully understand you.

I mean that courage is a kind of salvation.

Salvation from what?

Of the opinion of the things to be feared, what they are and of what nature, which the law establishes by education; and by the words 'under all circumstances' I mean that in pleasure or pain, or under the influence of desire or fear, a man retains and does not lose this opinion. Can I give you an illustration?

With your permission.

You know, I said, that dyers, when they want to dye wool to make the true purple of the sea, begin by selecting its white color; This is prepared and dressed with great care and care, so that the white earth takes on the purple hue in all its perfection. Then proceed to dyeing; and everything dyed in this way takes on a solid color, and no washing, bleach or otherwise, can remove its bloom. But when the soil has not been properly prepared, you may have noticed how bad purple and every other color looks.

Yes, he said; I know they are faded and ridiculous looking.

So now, I said, you will understand what our object was in selecting our soldiers and educating them in music and gymnastics; We were inventing influences that would prepare them to bring the tone of the laws to perfection, and the color of their opinion of dangers, and of every other opinion, must be indelibly fixed by their education and training, lest they be washed away by lies so powerful. .as pleasure. —more powerful agent for washing the soul than any soda or lye; or by pain, fear and desire, the most powerful of all other solvents. And that kind of universal saving power of legally true opinion over real and false dangers I call and maintain courage, unless you disagree.

But I agree, he replied; for I suppose you mean to exclude unlearned courage, like that of a beast or that of a slave; this, in his opinion, is not the required value by law, and should have another name.


So can I infer that courage is exactly as you describe it?

Why yes, I told you, you can, and if you add the words 'of a citizen' you won't be far wrong; from now on, if you like, we will carry on the examination, but for the moment we are not looking for courage, but for justice; and for the purpose of our research, we said enough is enough.

You're right, he replied.

Two virtues remain to be discovered in the State: first, temperance, and then justice, which is the end of our quest.

Very right.

Now, can we find justice without worrying about temperance?

I do not know how this can be done, he said, nor do I want justice to appear and temperance to disappear; and therefore I would have you do me the favor of considering temperance first.

Certainly, I replied, I would have no reason to refuse his request.

So consider, he said.

Yes, I replied; I go to; and as far as I can now see, the virtue of temperance is more in the nature of harmony and symphony than the former.

How is that? I ask.

Temperance, I replied, is ordering or controlling certain pleasures and desires; this is curiously implied in the saying "a man being his own master"; and other traces of the same notion may be found in the language.

Without a doubt, he said.

There is something ridiculous about the expression "master of himself", because the master is also the servant and the servant is the master; and in all these ways of speaking the same person is denoted.


The meaning is, I think, that in the human soul there is a better principle as well as a worse one; and when the best controls the worst, the man is said to be his own master; and this is a term of praise: but when, owing to bad manners or association, the best principle, which is also the least, is subdued by the greater mass of the worst, in that case it is reproached and called a slave to itself and unscrupulous. .

Yes, there's a reason for that.

And now, I said, look at our newly created State, and there you will find that one of these two conditions is satisfied; for the State, as you will recognize, may justly be called master of itself, if the words "temperance" and "self-control" truly express the domination of the better part over the worse.

Yes, he said, I see what you say is true.

Let me further point out that the manifold and complex pleasures, desires, and pains are generally found in children, women, and servants, and in so-called free men who are of the lowest and most numerous class.

Certainly, he said.

While simple and moderate desires which follow reason and are under the guidance of the mind and true opinion, are found only in a few, and in the best born and educated.

Very right.

These two, as you can see, have a place in our state; and the petty desires of many are suppressed by the virtuous desires and wisdom of few.

I feel it, he said.

So if there is any city that can be described as master of its own pleasures and desires, and master of itself, can ours claim such a designation?

Certainly, he replied.

Can it also be called tempered and for the same reasons?


And if there is any state in which rulers and subjects agree on the question of who should govern, is it our state again?

No doubt.

And the citizens being thus in agreement among themselves, in what class is temperance to be found, in rulers or in subjects?

In both, as I must imagine, he replied.

Do you observe that we were not far wrong in our supposition that temperance was a species of harmony?


For temperance is different from courage and wisdom, each of which resides in a single part, the one making the state wise and the other courageous; not so temperance, which extends to the whole, and runs through all the notes of the scale, and produces a harmony of the weakest and the strongest and the middle class, whether you suppose them stronger or weaker in wisdom or power or numbers or wealth, or something else. Then, in all truth, we may consider temperance to be the agreement of naturally superior and inferior, as to the right to govern any person, both in States and in individuals.

I totally agree with you.

And so, I said, we may consider three of the four virtues discovered in our State. The last of those qualities which make a state virtuous must be justice, if we knew what it is.

The inference is obvious.

The time has come, then, Glaucon, when, like hunters, we circle the deck and take good care that justice does not escape us, lose sight of us and escape us; for she is undoubtedly somewhere in this country: watch then and endeavor to see her, and if you see her first let me know.

I wish I could! but you must consider me a follower who has eyes just enough to see what you show him; that's all i can do.

Offer a prayer with me and follow me.

I will go, but you must show me the way.

There is no path here, I said, and the forest is dark and bewildering; we still have to move forward.

Let's continue.

Here I saw something: Hello! I said, I start to perceive a trail and I think that the prey will not escape.

Good news, he said.

Really, I said, we are stupid guys.


Well, my good sir, at the beginning of our investigation, a long time ago, justice tottered at our feet, and we never saw it; nothing could be more ridiculous. Like people looking for what they have in their hands —it was like that with us—, we didn't look at what we were looking for, but at what was far away; and therefore, I suppose, we miss her.

What do you mean?

I want to say that in reality, justice has been talked about for a long time and has not been recognized.

I am impatient with the length of your exordium.

Well, tell me, I said, if I'm right or not: remember the original principle that we were always establishing at the base of the State, that man should practice only one thing, that to which his nature is best adapted; — Now, justice is this principle, or part of it.

Yes, we often say that a man should only do one thing.

Furthermore, we asserted that justice was to do your own thing and not be nosy; we've said it over and over again, and many others have told us the same thing.

Yes we did.

Therefore, it can be assumed that doing one's business in a certain way is fair. Can you tell me where I draw this inference?

I can't, but I would like you to tell me.

Because I think this is the only virtue left in the State when the other virtues of temperance, courage, and wisdom are abstracted away; and that this is the ultimate cause and condition of the existence of them all, and while it remains in them it is also their preserver; and we said that if the three of us found them, justice would be the fourth or the only one left.

This stems from necessity.

If we are asked to determine which of these four qualities, by their presence, contributes most to the excellence of the State, whether the agreement of rulers and subjects, or the preservation in soldiers of the opinion which the law imposes on the true nature of dangers, or wisdom . and vigilance in rulers, or if this other one I say, and which is found in children and women, slaves and free, craftsman, ruler, subject, quality, that is, of each one doing his work, and not being an intruder , would complain the palm, the question is not so easily answered.

Certainly, he replied, it would be difficult to say which.

Thus the power of each individual in the State to do his own work seems to compete with the other political virtues, wisdom, temperance, courage.

Yes, he said.

And the virtue that enters into this competition is justice?


Let us consider the question from another point of view: are not the rulers of a State those to whom you would entrust the office of determining judgments?


And are judgments decided for any other reason than that you cannot take what belongs to another, nor be deprived of what is yours?

Yea; this is your principle.

What is a just principle?


Then, according to this point of view, it will also be admitted that justice is having and doing what is proper to man and belongs to him.

Very right.

Think, now, and say whether you agree with me or not. Suppose a carpenter does the work of a shoemaker, or a carpenter's shoemaker; and suppose they exchanged their implements or their functions, or the same person was doing the work of both, or whatever the change might be; Do you think there would be great damage to the State?

A little bit.

But when the shoemaker or any other man whom nature has appointed to be a merchant, having his heart moved by wealth or strength or the number of his followers, or any similar advantage, tries to force his way into the warrior class, or a warrior in that of legislators and guardians, for which he is not qualified, and to take the instruments or functions of the other; or when a man is merchant, legislator, and warrior at the same time, I think you will agree with me in saying that this exchange and mutual interference is the ruin of the State.

Very right.

Seeing then, I said, that there are three different classes, any interference of one with another, or a change from one to another, is the greatest injury to the State, and may most justly be qualified as an evil.


And the greater degree of harm to the city itself would you qualify as injustice?


This then is injustice; and, on the other hand, when the merchant, the helper, and the caretaker each do his own business, that is justice, and that will make the city just.

I agree with you.

We won't be, I said, very positive yet; but if at trial this conception of justice is verified both in the individual and in the State, there will be no more doubt; if it is not verified, we must do a new investigation. Let us finish the old investigation first, which we started, you will remember, with the impression that if we could previously examine justice on a larger scale, it would be less difficult to discern it in the individual. That ultimate example seemed to be the State, and consequently we built as good a State as we could, knowing full well that justice would be in the good State. Let the discovery we have now made apply to the individual: if they agree, we are satisfied; or, if there is a difference in the individual, we go back to the State and have another proof of the theory. The friction of the two, when rubbed together, can kindle a light in which justice will shine, and the vision that is revealed will fix our souls.

This will be ongoing regularly; let's do as you say.

I proceeded to ask: When two things, one greater and one smaller, are called by the same name, are they similar or different when they are called the same?

Like, he replied.

Is the just then, if we consider only the idea of ​​justice, like the just state?

He will do it.

And we believed that a State was just when the three classes in States always did their own business; and also considered temperate, courageous, and wise on account of some other affections and qualities of these same classes?

True, he said.

And so of the individual; we may assume that he has the same three principles in his own soul as are found in the State; and can he rightly be described in the same terms, because he is affected in the same way?

Certainly, he said.

Once again, O my friend, we come to an easy question: does the soul have these three principles or not?

An easy question! No, unlike Socrates, the proverb says that hard is good.

It's true, I said; and I do not believe that the method we are employing is entirely adequate for the precise solution of this question; the true method is another and longer. Even so, we can come up with a solution that is not below the level of the previous query.

Can't we be satisfied with that? said; Given the circumstances, I'm very happy.

I too, I replied, will be very pleased.

So don't be put off by continuing the speculation, he said.

We must not recognize, I said, that in each of us there are the same principles and habits that exist in the State; What about the individual pass to the State? How else can they get there? Take the quality of passion or spirit; it would be ridiculous to imagine that this quality, when found in States, is not derived from the individuals who are supposed to possess it, for example, the Thracians, the Scythians, and the northern nations in general; and the same may be said of the love of knowledge, which is the special characteristic of our part of the world, or of the love of money, which may with equal truth be ascribed to the Phoenicians and Egyptians.

Exactly, he said.

There is no difficulty in understanding this.


But the question is not so easy when we come to ask whether these principles are three or one; that is, if we learn from one part of our nature, we are irritated by another, and by a third we desire the gratification of our natural appetites; or if the whole soul comes into play in each type of action: determine that to be the difficulty.

Yes, he said; there is the difficulty.

So let's now try to determine if they are the same or different.

How can we? I ask.

I replied thus: It is evident that the same thing cannot act or be actuated in the same part or in relation to the same thing at the same time, in a contrary way; and therefore when this contradiction occurs in apparently equal things, we know that in reality they are not equal, but different.


For example, I said, can the same thing be at rest and in motion at the same time in the same part?


Still, I said, let's have a more precise statement of terms so we don't fall by the wayside. Let us imagine the case of a man who is standing and also moves his hands and head, and suppose a person says that the same person is in motion and at rest at the same time. instead, let's say that one part of it is in motion while another part is at rest.

Very right.

And suppose the objector refines it still further and makes the fine distinction that not just parts of tops, but whole tops, when spun with their pins fixed in place, are at rest and in motion at the same time (and you can say the same thing ). of something rotating in the same place), your objection would not be admitted by us, because in such cases things are not at rest and in motion in the same parts of themselves; instead, we should say that they have an axis and a circumference, and that the axis is stationary, because there is no deviation from the perpendicular; and that the circle rotates. But if, in turning, the axis is tilted to the right or to the left, forwards or backwards, then in no point of view can they be at rest.

That's the right way to describe them, he replied.

Then none of these objections will confuse us, or lead us to believe that the same thing at the same time, in the same part, or in relation to the same thing, can act or be actuated in an opposite way.

Certainly not, according to my way of thinking.

However, I said, lest we be forced to go through all these objections and prove them false, let us assume their absurdity and proceed with the understanding that henceforth, if this assumption proves false, all the consequences that follow continue to be removed.

Yes, he said, that will be the best way.

Well, I said, would you not admit that assent and dissent, desire and aversion, attraction and repulsion, are all opposites, whether they be considered active or passive (because it makes no difference to the fact of their opposition)?

Yes, he said, they are opposites.

Well, I said, and hunger and thirst, and desires in general, and again wanting and wanting, all these would refer to the classes already mentioned. Would you say, would you not say, that the soul of him who desires is seeking the object of his desire; or that he is drawing to himself the thing he desires to possess: or again, when a person desires something to be given him, his mind, longing for the fulfillment of its desire, intimates its desire to have it with a nod, as if you had received it.have a question?

Very right.

And what would you say about unwillingness and disgust and lack of desire? Aren't they supposed to refer to the opposite type of revulsion and rejection?


Admitting this to be true of desire in general, let us suppose a particular class of desires, and from these we will select hunger and thirst, as they are called, which are the most obvious?

Let's do that class, he said.

Is the object of one food and the other drink?


And here comes the point: Thirst is not the soul's desire to drink, and only to drink; not of drink qualified by something else; for example, hot or cold, or much or little, or, in a word, drink of any particular kind: but if the thirst is accompanied by heat, then the desire is for cold drink; or, if accompanied by cold, after a hot drink; or, if the thirst is excessive, the desired drink will be excessive; or, if it is not much, the amount of drink will also be small: but will thirst pure and simple desire drink pure and simple, which is the natural satisfaction of thirst, as food is of hunger?

Yes, he said; the simple desire is, as you say, in all cases the simple object, and the qualified desire the qualified object.

But here confusion may arise; and I would like to guard myself against an adversary who is frightened and says that no man wants only drink but good drink, or only food but good food; because good is the universal object of desire, and thirst being a desire, will necessarily be thirst for a good drink; and the same goes for any other desire.

Yes, he replied, the opponent may have a say.

I must, however, still maintain that some relatives have a quality attached to either term of the relation; others are simple and have their simple counterparts.

I don't know what you're referring to.

Well, you know, of course, that greater is relative to less?


And from the very largest to the very smallest?


And the biggest to the smallest, and the largest to the smallest?

Certainly, he said.

And so on from more and less, and from other correlative terms, like double and a half, or also, the heaviest and the lightest, the fastest and the slowest; and from hot and cold, and from all other relatives; - isn't that true of all of them?


And does not the same principle apply to the sciences? The object of science is knowledge (assuming that is the true definition), but the object of a particular science is a particular kind of knowledge; I want to say, for example, that the science of building houses is a type of knowledge that is defined and distinguished from other types and is therefore called architecture.


Because he has a particular quality that no one else has?


And it has that particular quality because it has an object of a particular kind; and is this true of the other arts and sciences?


Now, if I've made myself clear, you'll understand my original meaning in what I said about relatives. What he meant is that if one term of a relation is alone, the other is alone; if one term is qualified, the other is also qualified. I do not mean that relatives cannot be disparate, or that the science of health is healthy, or that disease is necessarily sick, or that the sciences of good and evil are therefore good and bad; but just so, when the term science is no longer used absolutely, but has a qualified object, which in this case is the nature of health and disease, is defined and therefore called not just science, but the science of medicine.

I completely understand and think like you.

Wouldn't you say that thirst is one of those essentially relative terms, clearly having a relationship:

Yes, thirst is related to drinking.

And a certain kind of thirst is relative to a certain kind of drink; but is thirst itself neither for much nor for little, neither for good nor for bad, nor for any particular kind of drink, but only to drink?


So the soul of the thirsty one, as soon as he is thirsty, just wants to drink; Why do you yearn and try to get it?

That's simple.

And if you suppose anything that draws a thirsty soul away from drink, that must be different from the thirsty principle that draws it like an animal to drink; because, as we said, the same thing cannot at the same time with the same part of itself act contrary to it.


No more than you can say that the archer's hands push and pull the bow at the same time, but what you are saying is that one hand pushes and the other pulls.

Exactly, he replied.

And could a man be thirsty and still not want to drink?

Yes, he said, it happens all the time.

And in that case, what can be said? Would you not say that there is something in the soul that commands a man to drink, and something else that forbids it, that is different and stronger than the principle that commands it?

I would say yes.

And is the forbidding principle derived from reason, and that which invites and attracts from passion and disease?


Then we may justly suppose that they are two, and that they differ from each other; the one with which a man reasons, we may call the rational principle of the soul, the other, with which he loves, hungers and thirsts, and feels the throbbings of all other desires, may be called the irrational or appetitive, the ally of various pleasures and satisfactions?

Yes, he said, we can assume they are different.

Therefore, let us finally determine that there are two principles in the soul. And the passion or the spirit? Is it a third party or similar to one of the above?

I would be inclined to say: similar to desire.

Well, I said, there's a story I remember hearing that I have faith in. The story is that Leontius, son of Aglaion, going up one day from Piraeus, under the northern wall outside, observed some dead bodies lying on the ground at the place of execution. He felt the desire to see them, and also the fear and loathing of them; for a while he struggled and covered his eyes, but in the end desire got the better of him; and forcing them open, he ran towards the corpses, saying: Behold, wretches, be filled with the fair sight.

I heard the story myself, he said.

The moral of the story is that anger sometimes goes to war with desire, as if they were two different things.

Yea; that is the meaning, said he.

And there are not many other instances in which we observe that when a man's desires violently prevail over his reason, he insults himself and is irritated by the violence that is within him, and that in this fight, which is like the fight of factions in a State, its spirit is on the side of its reason; but for the passionate or witty element to partake of desires when reason decides it should not object to it, is the sort of thing I don't think you've ever seen happen in yourself, or, as I should imagine, in anyone else?

Certainly not.

Suppose a man thinks he has wronged another, the nobler he is, and the less able to be indignant at any sufferings, such as hunger, or cold, or any other pain which the injured person may inflict on him, these he considers just, and, as I said, your anger refuses to be excited by them.

True, he said.

But when he thinks that he is the one who suffers the wrong, then he is seething and angry, and sides with what he believes to be justice; and because he suffers from hunger, cold, or other pain, he is more determined to persevere and win. His noble spirit will not be extinguished until he kills or is killed; or even hearing the shepherd's voice, that is, reason, telling the dog to stop barking.

The illustration is perfect, he replied; and in our State, as we said, the helpers should be dogs, and listen to the voice of the masters, who are their shepherds.

I see, he said, that you understand me perfectly; There is, however, an additional point I want you to consider.

What point?

You must remember that passion or spirit appeared at first sight as a kind of desire, but now we must say the opposite; for in the conflict of the soul the spirit is on the side of the rational principle.

With safety.

But another question arises: is passion also different from reason, or just one kind of reason; in the latter case, instead of three principles in the soul, there will be only two, the rational and the concupiscent; nay, as the State was composed of three classes, merchants, auxiliaries, counsellors, there cannot be in the individual soul a third element which is passion or spirit, and when not corrupted by rudeness is the natural auxiliary of reason.

Yes, he said, there must be a third.

Yes, I replied, if passion, which has already shown itself to be different from desire, also turns out to be different from reason.

But this is easily proved: we may observe even in small children that they are full of spirit almost as soon as they are born, while some of them never seem to reach the use of reason, and most of them late enough.

Excellent, I said, and you can see passion in brute animals too, which is further proof of the truth of what you say. And we may appeal once more to the words of Homer, which we have already quoted,

'He beat his breast, and thus rebuked his soul,'

for in this verse Homer clearly supposed that the power which reasons about better and worse is different from the irrational anger which is rebuked by him.

Very true, he said.

And so, after much wandering, we landed and fully agreed that the same principles that exist in the State also exist in the individual, and that they are three in number.


Must we not then infer that the individual is wise in the same way and by virtue of the same quality that makes the State wise?


Also that the same quality which constitutes value in the State constitutes value in the individual, and that both the State and the individual have the same relation to all other virtues?


And will the individual be recognized by us as just in the same way that the State is just?

That follows, of course.

Can we not help remembering that the justice of the State consisted in each of the three classes doing the work of its own class?

It is not very likely that we have forgotten, he said.

Are we to remember that the individual in whom the various qualities of his nature do their own work will be just and do his own work?

Yes, he said, we must remember that too.

And should not the rational principle, which is wise and caring for the whole soul, rule, and the passionate or energetic principle be the subject and ally?


And, as we said, will the joint influence of music and gymnastics bring them into harmony, encouraging and sustaining reason with noble words and lessons, and tempering, calming, and civilizing the debauchery of passion with harmony and rhythm?

Very true, he said.

And these two, thus nurtured and educated, and having truly learned to know their own functions, will govern the concupiscence, which in each of us is the greatest part of the soul, and by nature the most insatiable gain; about this they will guard, lest, growing and strengthening with the fullness of bodily pleasures, as they are called, the lustful soul, no longer confined to its own sphere, should attempt to enslave and rule over those who are not its natural subjects. , and nullify the whole life of man?

Very true, he said.

Both together will not be the best defenders of the whole soul and body against external attacks; the one advising and the other fighting under his leader and valiantly executing his orders and advice?


And should he be considered courageous whose spirit retains in pleasure and pain the mandates of reason as to what he should or should not fear?

Correct, he replied.

And we call him wise who has in him that little part that governs and proclaims these commandments; Should that part also have a knowledge of what is in the interest of each of the three parts and the whole?


And would you not say that he who has these same elements in friendly harmony is temperate, in whom the single guiding principle of reason and the two subjectives of spirit and desire alike agree that reason should rule and not rebel?

Surely, he said, this is the true story of temperance, whether in the State or in the individual.

And certainly, I said, we have repeatedly explained how and by virtue of what quality a man will be just.

That's very true.

And is justice more tenuous in the individual, and is its form different, or is it the same as that which we find in the State?

There is no difference in my opinion, he said.

Because if there is still any doubt in our minds, some common examples will satisfy us of the truth of what I say.

What type of instances are you referring to?

If the case is brought before us, must we not admit that the just State, or the man instructed in the principles of such a State, will be less likely than the unjust to keep a deposit of gold or silver? Would anyone deny this?

No one answered.

Will the righteous man or citizen be guilty of sacrilege or theft, or treason to his friends or his country?


Will he also never break the faith where there were oaths or agreements?


Is anyone less likely to commit adultery, or dishonor his father and mother, or fail in his religious duties?


And the reason is that every part of it is doing its own business, ruling or being ruled?

Exactly this way.

Are you convinced that the quality that makes such men and such states is justice, or do you expect to discover some other quality?

I don't, actually.

So our dream came true; and has the suspicion we entertained at the beginning of our building work, that some divine power must have led us to a primary form of justice, now been verified?

Yes, certainly.

And the division of labor which required the carpenter and the shoemaker and the rest of the citizens to do each his own thing and not that of the others, was a shadow of justice, and therefore served?


But in reality justice was exactly as we describe it, not concerned, however, with the outer man, but with the inner, which is man's true self and concern: because the just man does not allow the various elements to within himself he interfere with only one. another, or either of them to do the work of others, he puts his own inner life in order, and is his own master and his own law, and is at peace with himself; and when he has united the three principles within himself, which may be compared with the highest, lowest, and middle notes of the scale, and the intervening intervals, when he has united all these, and it is no longer many, but has become fully moderated. and nature perfectly fitted, so he proceeds to act, if he must act, whether in a matter of property, or in the treatment of the body, or in some matter of private business or policy; always thinking and calling what preserves and cooperates with this harmonious condition, just and good action, and the knowledge that presides over it, wisdom, and what at any time harms this condition, will call unjust action, and the opinion that presides. ignorance.

You spoke the exact truth, Socrates.

Very well; and if we claim that we have discovered the just man and the just state, and the nature of justice in each, are we not speaking a falsehood?

Certainly not.

Can we say then?

Let's put it like this.

And now, I said, there is an injustice to consider.


Injustice must not be a struggle arising between the three principles, meddling and interference, and the elevation of one part of the soul against the whole, an illicit assertion of authority, which is made by a rebellious subject against a true prince, whose he is the natural vassal, what is all this confusion and deceit but injustice, intemperance, cowardice, ignorance, and every form of vice?

Exactly this way.

And if the nature of justice and injustice is known, then the meaning of acting unjustly and being unjust, or, again, acting justly, will also become perfectly clear?

What do you mean? he said.

Well, I said, they are like sickness and health; being in the soul exactly what sickness and health are in the body.

How is that? he said.

Well, I said, what is healthy causes health, and what is unhealthy causes disease.


And just actions cause justice and unjust actions cause injustice?

That's right.

And the creation of health is the institution of a natural order, and the government of one by another in the parts of the body; and is the creation of disease the production of a state of affairs at variance with this natural order?


And is not the creation of justice the institution of a natural order and the government of one by the other in the parts of the soul, and the creation of injustice the production of a state of things at variance with the natural order?

Exactly, he said.

Is then virtue the health, beauty, and well-being of the soul, and vice its disease, weakness, and deformity?


And do not good practices lead to virtue and bad practices to vice?


Our old question about the comparative advantage of justice and injustice is still unanswered: which is more profitable, to be just and act justly and practice virtue, whether gods and men see it or not, or to be unjust and act justly and righteously? unjustly, even without punishment? and without reform?

In my opinion, Socrates, the question has now become ridiculous. We know that when the bodily constitution is lost, life is no longer endurable, though pampered with all kinds of food and drink, and having all wealth and all power; and we must be told that when the very essence of the vital principle is undermined and corrupted, life is still worthwhile for a man, so long as he can do what he likes, except that he must not acquire justice and virtue, or escape injustice and vice; assuming both are as we describe them?

Yes, I said, the question is, as you say, ridiculous. Even so, since we are close to the place where we can see the truth more clearly with our own eyes, let us not faint on the way.

Certainly not, he replied.

Come hither, I said, and see the various forms of vice, those of them, I mean, which are worth looking at.

I follow you, he replied: continue.

I said: The argument seems to have reached a height from which, as from a tower of speculation, a man can look down and see that virtue is one, but that the forms of vice are innumerable; there are four specials worth mentioning.

What do you mean? he said.

I mean, I replied, that there seem to be as many forms of soul as there are different forms of state.

How many?

That's five for the State and five for the soul, I said.

That are?

The first, I said, is that which we have been describing, and which may be said to have two names, monarchy and aristocracy, according as the government is exercised by a single distinguished man or by many.

True, he replied.

But I consider that the two names describe only one form; Because whether the government is in the hands of one or many, if the rulers are formed in the way we suppose, the fundamental laws of the State will be maintained.

That's true, he replied.


Such is the good and true city or state, and the good and true man follows the same pattern; and if that is correct, everything else is incorrect; and evil is that which affects not only the order of the State, but also the regulation of the individual soul, and manifests itself in four ways.

That are? he said.

I was about to relate the order in which the four evil forms appeared to me in succession, when Polemarchus, who was sitting a little farther, a little beyond Adimantus, began to whisper to him: Reaching out his hand, he took the upper part of his coat over his shoulder and pulled him towards him, leaning forward to get close enough and saying something in his ear, of which I caught only the words, 'Should we let him go or what?'

Certainly not, said Adeimantus, raising his voice.

Who is it, I said, whom you refuse to let go?

You said.

I repeated: why, above all, will I not let myself be carried away?

Come on, he said, we think you're lazy and trying to rip us off with a whole chapter which is a very important part of the story; and you imagine that we will not notice your ethereal way of proceeding; as if it were evident to all that, in matters of women and children, 'friends have everything in common'.

And was I not right, Adeimantus?

Yes, he said; but what is correct in this particular case, like everything else, requires explanation; because the community can be of many types. Therefore, please indicate which type of community you are referring to. We have been waiting for a long time for her to tell us something about the family life of her citizens: how they will bring their children into the world, how they will raise them when they arrive and, in general, what is the nature of this community of women and children, for we are of the opinion that the good or bad management of such matters will have a great and supreme influence on the State, for good or ill. And now, as the matter is still undetermined, and you are taking another State in your hands, we have resolved, as you know, not to let you go until you have explained all this.

In this resolution, said Glaucon, you may consider me as having agreed.

And without further ado, said Thrasymachus, you may assume we are all equally in agreement.

I said: You don't know what you're doing attacking me like this: What argument are you making about the State! Just when I thought it was over, and I was so glad I had put this issue to sleep, and was reflecting on how lucky he was to accept what I said then, he asks me to start over from the bottom, ignoring what I said. said. . a hornet's nest of words you're stirring. Now I foresaw this growing problem and avoided it.

For what purpose do you think we came here, said Thrasymachus, to look for gold or to hear a speech?

Yes, but speech must have a limit.

Yes, Socrates, said Glaucon, and all of life is the only limit that wise men set for listening to such speeches. But don't worry about us; go ahead and answer in your own way: what kind of community of women and children is this that will prevail among our guardians? And how will we manage the period between birth and education, which seems to require more care? Tell us what these things will be like.

Yes, my simple friend, but the answer is the opposite; much more doubt is raised about this than about our previous conclusions. Because you might doubt the practicality of what is said; and viewed from another point of view, it is also doubtful whether the plan, if possible, was the best. I am therefore reluctant to broach the subject, fearing that our aspiration, my dear friend, will prove to be a failure. dream only.

Fear not, he replied, for your audience will not be hard on you; they are not skeptical or hostile.

I said: My good friend, I suppose you want to encourage me with these words.

Yes, he said.

So let me tell you that you are doing the exact opposite; the encouragement you offer me would have been very good if I myself believed I knew what I was talking about: declaring the truth about matters of high interest that a man honors and loves among the wise who love him needs no occasion for fear or hesitation in your mind; but to carry on a discussion when one is only a hesitant inquirer, which is my condition, is a dangerous and slippery thing; and the danger is not that they will laugh at me (whose fear would be childish), but that I will miss the truth where I most need to be sure of my balance, and drag my friends behind me in my fall. And I beg Nemesis not to visit me with the words I'm about to utter. For I really believe that to be an involuntary murderer is a lesser crime than to be a deceiver about beauty, goodness, or justice in legal matters. And that's a risk I'd rather take between enemies than between friends, and so you do well to cheer me up.

Glaucon laughed and said: Well, Socrates, if you and your argument do any serious damage, you will be acquitted in advance of murder and will not be considered a deceiver; so cheer up and talk.

Well, I said, the law says that when a man is acquitted he is free from guilt, and what is valid in law may be valid in argument.

So why should you care?

Well, I replied, I guess I must retrace my steps and say what perhaps I should have said earlier in the right place. The role of men has already been played, and now it is very well the turn of women. I will go on to talk about them, especially since they invite me.

For men born and bred as our citizens, the only way, in my opinion, to come to a correct conclusion about the ownership and use of women and children is to go back the way we originally started, when we said that men should be the guardians and guardians of the flock.


Further suppose that the birth and education of our women are subject to similar or almost similar norms; then we will see if the result is in accordance with our design.

What do you mean?

What I mean can be expressed in the form of a question, I said: Are the dogs divided between him and her, or do they both share equally in hunting, guarding, and the other functions of dogs? Or do we entrust the males with the complete and exclusive care of the herds, while we leave the females at home, under the idea that giving birth and suckling their young is enough work for them?

No, he said, they share equally; the only difference between them is that males are stronger and females are weaker.

But can you use different animals for the same purpose unless they are raised and fed the same way?

Can not.

So, if women should have the same duties as men, should they have the same upbringing and education?


The education assigned to men was music and gymnastics.


So women should learn music and gymnastics and also the art of war, which they should practice like men?

That's the inference, I think.

I rather hope, I said, that some of our proposals, if carried out, being unusual, might appear ridiculous.

There's no doubt about it.

Yes, and the most ridiculous of all will be seeing naked women in the arena, exercising with men, especially when they are no longer young; they certainly won't be a vision of beauty, just like the old enthusiasts who, despite their wrinkles and ugliness, continue to frequent gyms.

Yes indeed, he said: by today's notions, the proposal would be considered ridiculous.

But then, I said, since we have decided to speak our minds, we must not fear the witty jokes that will be directed against this kind of innovation; how they will talk about the achievements of women both in music and gymnastics, and especially about wearing armor and riding a horse!

It's true, he replied.

However, having begun, we must move on to the rough places of the law; at the same time imploring these gentlemen to be serious for once in their lives. Not long ago, as we will remember, the Hellenes were of the opinion, which is still generally held among barbarians, that the sight of a naked man was ridiculous and improper; and when first the Cretans and then the Lacedaemonians introduced the custom, the wits of the day might well have ridiculed the innovation.

There's no doubt.

But when experience showed that letting all things be exposed was much better than hiding them, and the ridiculous effect of sight disappeared before the best principle that reason asserted, then the man who drives the darts was considered a fool of his own. ridiculous. to any other point of view than that of madness and vice, or is seriously inclined to weigh the beautiful by any standard other than the good.

It's true, he replied.

So, first, whether the question is asked jokingly or seriously, let's understand the nature of a woman: is she able to fully or partially participate in men's actions, or does she not participate at all? And is the art of war one of those arts that she may or may not participate in? This will be the best way to start the investigation and will likely lead to the fairest conclusion.

That will be the best way.

Are we going to take the other side first and start arguing with ourselves? this way the opponent's position will not be defenseless.

Why not? he said.

So let's put a speech in the mouth of our opponents. They will say, "Socrates and Glaucon, no opponent need condemn you, because you yourselves, at the first foundation of the State, admitted the principle that each should do the only work suited to his own nature." I am not mistaken, such an admission was made by us. "And the natures of men and women really don't differ much?" And we will answer: Of course. Then we will be asked: 'Shouldn't the tasks assigned to men and women be different and according to their different natures?' They certainly should. 'But if so, have you not fallen into a grave inconsistency in saying that men and women, whose natures are completely different, should perform the same actions? these objections?

That's not an easy question to answer when asked out of the blue; and I will beg and ask you to drop the case on our side.

These are the objections, Glaucon, and there are many others of the same kind, which I foresaw long ago; they made me afraid and reluctant to accept any laws concerning the ownership and rearing of women and children.

As Zeus said, the problem to solve is anything but easy.

Well, yes, I did, but the fact is, when a man is out of his mind, whether he's fallen into a tiny bathtub or the middle of the ocean, he's got to swim anyway.

Very right.

And shouldn't we swim and try to get to the shore: do we hope that Arion's dolphin or some other miraculous help will save us?

I think so, he said.

Well, let's see if we can find any escape routes. We recognize it, don't we? that different natures should have different goals and that the natures of men and women are different. And now, what do we say? That different natures must have the same purposes. This is the inconsistency of which we are accused.


Truly, Glaucon, I said, glorious is the power of the art of contradiction!

Why do you say that?

Because I believe that many men fall into practice against their will. When you think you are reasoning, you are actually arguing, precisely because you cannot define and divide, and thus know what you are talking about; and will seek merely verbal opposition in the spirit of contention rather than fair discussion.

Yes, he replied, that happens very often; but what has that to do with us and our argument?

A lot of; for there is certainly a danger of inadvertently falling into verbal opposition.

Which way?

Why do we boldly and belligerently insist on the verbal truth that different natures must have different purposes, but never consider what was meant by equality or difference of nature, or why do we distinguish between them by assigning different purposes to different natures? the same nature? to the same natures.

Well no, he said, that was never considered by us.

I said: Suppose, by way of illustration, we asked the question whether there is not an opposition in nature between bald men and hairy men; and if this be admitted by us, then if bald men are shoemakers, should we forbid hairy men to be shoemakers, and vice versa?

That would be a joke, he said.

Yes, I said, a joke; it's because? because we never meant when we built the State, that the opposition of natures should extend to all differences, but only those differences which affected the pursuit in which the individual is engaged; we should have argued, for example, that a doctor and someone who is thinking about a doctor can be said to have the same nature.


Whereas the physician and the carpenter are of different natures?


And if, I said, the male and female sexes seem to differ in their aptitude for any art or activity, we must say that such activity or art must be ascribed to one or the other of them; but if the difference is only that women have children and men have children, this does not constitute proof that a woman differs from a man with regard to the kind of education she should receive; and therefore we will continue to maintain that our guardians and their wives should have the same occupations.

Very true, he said.

We will next ask our opponent how, in reference to any of the activities or arts of civic life, the nature of a woman differs from that of a man.

That will be fair.

And perhaps he, like you, will reply that it is not easy to give a sufficient answer at the moment; but after a little reflection there is no difficulty.

Yes maybe.

Suppose, then, that we invite you to join us in the discussion, and then we hope to show you that there is nothing peculiar in the constitution of women which affects them in the administration of the State.

By all means.

Let us say to him: Come now, and we will ask a question: when you spoke of a nature gifted or ungifted in some respect, did you mean that a man will acquire one thing easily, another with difficulty; a little learning will lead to a great discoverer; while the other, after much study and application, barely learns, forgets; or again, did you mean that one has a body which is a good servant of his mind, while the other's body is a hindrance to it? Who has no gifts?

Nobody will deny that.

And can you name any pursuit of mankind where the male sex does not have all these gifts and qualities to a greater degree than the female sex? Shall I waste time talking about the art of weaving and handling pancakes and preserves, where a woman looks really big, and a man's spanking is the most absurd of all things?

You are right, he replied, in maintaining the general inferiority of the female sex: though many women are in many things superior to many men, yet on the whole what you say is true.

And if so, my friend, I said, there is no special power of administration in a state which a woman has by reason of being a woman, or which a man has by virtue of his sex, but the gifts of nature are equally diffused in both. .; all men's activities are also women's activities, but in all of them woman is inferior to man.

Very right.

So are we going to impose all our laws on men and none on women?

It will never work.

One woman has the gift of healing, another does not; one is a musician and the other has no music in his nature?

Very right.

And one woman likes gymnastics and military exercises, and another is not bellicose and hates gymnastics?


And one woman is a philosopher and another is an enemy of philosophy; one has spirit and one has no spirit?

This is also true.

Then one woman will have the temperament of a guardian and another will not. Wasn't the choice of male guardians determined by such differences?


Men and women possess the qualities that make a guardian; they differ only in their comparative strength or weakness.


And should those women who have such qualities be selected as companions and associates of men who have similar qualities and resemble them in ability and character?

Very right.

And should not the same natures have the same occupations?

we must

So, as we said before, there is nothing unnatural about assigning music and gymnastics to guardian wives, we come back to that point again.

Certainly not.

The law we then enacted was in accord with nature, and therefore not an impossibility or a mere aspiration; and the contrary practice, which prevails at present, is really a violation of nature.

This appears to be true.

We had to consider, firstly, whether our proposals were possible and, secondly, whether they were the most beneficial.


And was the possibility recognized?


Does very big profit have to be established soon?

So it is.

You will admit that the same education that makes a good keeper of a man will also make him a good keeper of a woman; because their original nature is the same?


I would like to ask a question.

Which is?

Would you say that all men are equal in excellence, or is one man better than another?

The last.

And in the republic we were founding, do you conceive of the guardians who were educated in our model system as more perfect men, or as the shoemakers whose education was corrected?

What a ridiculous question!

You answered me, I answered: Well, and may we not also say that our guardians are the best of our citizens?

By far the best.

And won't their wives be the best women?

Yes, by far the best.

And can there be anything better for the interests of the State than for the men and women of a State to be the best they can be?

There can be nothing better.

And is this what the arts of music and gymnastics will achieve, when presented in the way we have described?


So have we made an enactment not only possible, but in the highest degree beneficial to the state?


That our guardians' wives may strip themselves naked, for their virtue will be their mantle, and that they may take part in the work of war and the defense of their country; only in the distribution of jobs, the lightest should be assigned to women, who are of a weaker nature, but in other respects their duties should be the same. And as for the man who laughs at naked women exercising their bodies for the best of reasons, in his laughter he tears himself apart.

'A fruit of immature wisdom,'

and he himself does not know what he is laughing at, or what it is all about; for this is, and ever will be, the best of sayings, That what is useful is what is noble, and what is harmful is what is base.

Very right.

Here, then, is a difficulty in our law concerning women, which we may be said to have now escaped; the wave has not swallowed us alive by enacting that guardians of both sexes must have all their activities in common; The consistency of the argument with itself testifies to the utility as well as the possibility of this arrangement.

Yes, it was a mighty wave you escaped.

Yes, I said, but there's a bigger one; You won't think much of it when you see the next one.

Follow; let me see.

The law, I said, which is the continuation of this and all the former, has this effect: 'that the wives of our guardians shall be common, and their children shall be common, and no father shall know his own child. .nor any son his father.

Yes, he said, it is a much bigger wave than the other; and both the possibility and usefulness of such a law are much more questionable.

I do not think, I said, that there can be any dispute about the great usefulness of having wives and children in common; the possibility is another question, and will be much discussed.

I think many doubts can be raised about both.

You imply that the two questions must be combined, I replied. Now I meant that you must support the utility; and so, as he thought, he would escape one of them, and then only possibility would remain.

But this little attempt is detected, and therefore you will be happy to present a defense of both.

Well, I said, I submit to my fate. But do me a small favor: let me feast my mind on sleep, as dreamers are wont to feast when they walk alone; for before they have discovered some means of realizing their desires - that is a question they never concern themselves with - they prefer not to be weary of thinking of possibilities; but assuming their wish has already been granted, they go on with their plan, delighting in detailing what they intend to do when their wish comes true: this is one way in which they do not do much good in a capacity that never was. Good for a lot. Now I'm starting to get discouraged and would like, with your permission, to skip the question of possibility at this point. Assuming, therefore, the possibility of the proposal, I will now inquire how the rulers will carry out these arrangements, and I will show that our plan, if carried out, will be of the greatest benefit to the State and to the guardians. First, then, if you have no objections, I will endeavor with your help to consider the advantages of the measure; and henceforth the question of possibility.

I have no objection; Continue.

First, I believe that in order for our rulers and their helpers to be worthy of the name they bear, there must be a willingness to obey in the one, and a power to command in the other; the guardians themselves must obey the laws, and must also imitate their spirit in all the details entrusted to them.

That's right, he said.

You, I said, who are their lawgiver, having chosen the men, will now choose the women and give them to them; they should be, as far as possible, similar in nature to them; and they must live in common houses and meet together for common meals. None of them will have anything especially of their own; they will be together and brought up together and associate in gymnastic exercises. And then they will be drawn by a need in their nature to have sex with each other. Need is not a very strong word I guess?

Yes, he said; necessity, not geometrical, but another kind of necessity which lovers know, and which is far more compelling and restrictive for the mass of mankind.

True, I said; and this Glaucon, like all others, must proceed in an orderly manner; in a blessed city, debauchery is an unholy thing which rulers will forbid.

Yes, he said, and it shouldn't be allowed.

So clearly the next step will be to make marriage sacred to the highest degree, and whatever is most beneficial will be considered sacred.


And how can marriages be made more profitable? This is a question I ask you, because I see hounds in your house, and not a few birds of the noblest species. Now, I beg you, tell me, have you ever witnessed their mating and rearing?

In what particulars?

Why, in the first place, although they are all good, aren't some better than others?


And do you breed them all indifferently, or do you care to breed only the best?

Of the best.

And do you take the older ones or the younger ones, or just the mature ones?

I choose only those of mature age.

And if care is not taken in breeding, will your dogs and birds deteriorate a lot?


And the same for horses and animals in general?

No doubt.

Heavens! My dear friend, I said, what consummate skill our rulers will need if the same principle is applied to the human species!

Surely the same principle applies; but why does it imply any particular skill?

Because, I said, our rulers will often have to practice in the corporation with medicine. Now, you know that when patients don't need drugs, but just need to submit to a regimen, the low type of doctor is considered good enough; but when it is necessary to give medicine, then the doctor must be more of a man.

This is true, he said; but what do you mean

I mean, I replied, that our rulers will find a considerable amount of falsehood and deceit necessary for the good of their subjects: we said that the use of all these things regarded as medicines might be advantageous.

And we were right.

And this lawful use of them seems to be frequently required in the regulations of marriages and births.

How is that?

Why, I said, has the principle been established that the better of both sexes should unite with the better as often as possible, and the inferior with the inferior as rarely as possible; and that they must rear the offspring of the one kind of union, but not of the other, if the herd is to be kept in first-class conditions. Now these happenings must be a secret known only to the rulers, or there will be greater danger that our flock, as the guards may call it, will rebel.

Very right.

If we had not better designated certain festivals at which we will gather the brides and grooms and offer sacrifices and hymns composed by our poets: the number of marriages is a question to be left to the discretion of the rulers, whose objective will be to preserve the average of population? There are many other things they will have to consider, such as the effects of wars and disease and any similar agencies, in order to avoid, as far as possible, the State becoming too big or too small.

Certainly, he replied.

We'll have to invent some ingenious sort of luck that the less worthy draw each time we gather them, and then they'll blame their own bad luck and not the rulers.

To be sure, he said.

And I think our bravest and best young men, in addition to their other honors and rewards, may have greater facilities for intercourse with women than they are given; their bravery will be a reason, and such parents should have as many children as possible.


And appropriate officers, whether men or women or both, for offices must be held by both men and women:


The corresponding officials will take the children of good parents to the corral or pen, and there they will deposit them with certain wet nurses who live in a separate room; but the descendants of the inferior, or of the best when deformed, will be kept in some mysterious and unknown place, as it should be.

Yes, he said, this must be done if the guardian race is to remain pure.

They will provide for their breeding and bring the mothers into the herd when they are full with milk, taking the greatest possible care that no mother recognizes her own child; and other wet nurses can be hired if more are needed. Care must also be taken that the suction process does not take too long; and the mothers won't have to get up at night or any other problem, but they'll hand over all these kinds of things to the nurses and orderlies.

You suppose our guardians' wives are amused when they have children.

Why, I said, and they should. But let us continue with our scheme. Did we say that parents should be in the prime of life?

Very right.

And what is the flower of life? Can it not be defined as a period of about twenty years in a woman's life and thirty in a man's?

Which years do you want to include?

A woman, I said, at the age of twenty can begin to bear children for the State and continue to bear them until she is forty; a man can start at twenty-five, when he's past the point where the pulse of life beats fastest, and continue to have children until he's fifty-five.

Certainly, he said, in both men and women these years are the flower of physical and intellectual vigour.

Anyone above or below the prescribed ages who participates in public hymens will be deemed to have done a profane and unjust thing; the child of which he is father, if he is robbed of life, will have been conceived under auspices very different from the sacrifices and prayers, which in each hymenal priestesses and priests and the whole city will offer, so that the new generation can be better and more useful than your good and helpful parents, while your child will be the child of darkness and strange lust.

It's true, he replied.

And the same law will apply to any of those within the prescribed age who form a connection with any woman in the prime of life without the sanction of the rulers; because we will say that he is creating a bastard for the State, without certifying and without consecrating.

It's true, he replied.

This applies, however, only to those who are within the specified age: after that we allow them to vary at will, except that a man may not marry his daughter or his daughter's daughter, or her mother or her mother. his mother's mother; and women, on the other hand, are prohibited from marrying their children or their parents, or their son's son or their father's father, and so on in any sense. And all this we grant, accompanying the permission with strict orders to prevent any embryo that is born from seeing the light; and if either forces a way into the birth, the parents must understand that the offspring of such a union cannot be sustained, and organize themselves accordingly.

That too, he said, is a reasonable proposition. But how will they know who are fathers and daughters etc.?

They will never know. The way will be this: from the day of the marriage, the then married bridegroom will call all the male children born in the seventh and tenth month after, his sons, and the young women, his daughters, and they will call him father. , and their children will be called grandchildren, and the older generation will be called grandfathers and grandmothers. All those who were generated at the time when their fathers and mothers were united will be called brothers and sisters, and these, as I said, will be forbidden to marry each other. This, however, is not to be understood as an absolute prohibition against the marriage of brothers and sisters; if luck favors them and they receive the sanction of the Pythianoracle, the law will allow them.

Very well, he replied.

Such is the scheme, Glaucon, according to which the guardians of our State must have their wives and families in common. And now you would have the argument to show that this community is consistent with the rest of our policy, and also that nothing could be better, right?

Yes, certainly.

We must try to find common ground by asking ourselves what should be the main aim of the legislator in making laws and in organizing a state, what is the greatest good and what is the greatest evil, and then consider whether our previous description has the same effect. seal of good or evil?

By all means.

Can there be a greater evil than discord, distraction and plurality where unity must reign? Or some greater good than the bond of unity?

Can not.

And is there unity where there is a community of pleasures and pains, where all citizens are happy or sad on the same occasions of joy and sadness?

There's no doubt.

Yea; and where there is no common feeling, but private feeling, does a State break down, when one half of the world triumphs and the other sinks in grief over the same events that befall the city or the citizens?


These differences often stem from a disagreement over the use of the terms 'mine' and 'not mine', 'yours' and 'not yours'.

Exactly this way.

And is this not the best-ordered state in which the greatest number of people apply the terms "mine" and "not mine" to the same thing in the same way?

Very right.

Or what comes closest to the condition of the individual, as in the body, when one of us hurts his finger, the whole structure, drawn to the soul as its center and forming a kingdom under the dominating power in it, feels the pain. and everything is sympathetic to the affected part, and we say the man has pain in the finger; and the same expression is used of any other part of the body which has a sensation of pain from suffering or of pleasure from relief from suffering.

It is true, he replied; and I agree with you that in the best ordered state there is the closest approximation to that common feeling you describe.

Then, when any one of the citizens experiences some good or evil, the whole State will take up his case and be happy or sad with him.

Yes, he said, that is what will happen in a well-ordered state.

It will be time, I said, to go back to our State and see if this or that form is more in accordance with these fundamental principles.

Very well.

Does our state, like all others, have rulers and subjects?


Will they all call themselves citizens?


But isn't there another name people give to their rulers in other states?

They are usually called masters, but in democratic states they are simply called rulers.

And in our State, what other name, besides citizens, do the people give to the rulers?

They are called saviors and helpers, he replied.

And what do the rulers call the people?

Your guardians and foster parents.

And what do they call them in other states?


And what are the rulers of other states called?

fellow rulers.

It's ours?

fellow guardians.

Have you ever known an example in any other state of a ruler speaking of one of his colleagues as his friend and another as not his friend?

Yes, very often.

What about the friend you consider and describe as someone you like and the other as a stranger you have no interest in?


But would any of your guardians think or speak of any other guardian as an outsider?

I certainly don't; for every one they find will be regarded by them as a brother or sister, or father or mother, or son or daughter, or as the son or father of those who are related to him.

Capital, I said; but let me ask you one more time, will they be a family in name only; Or will they be true to the name in all their actions? For example, in the use of the word 'father' would filial care and reverence, a father's duty and obedience to him be implied as enjoined by law? Are you not likely to receive much good at the hands of God or man? Are these or are they not the sounds that children will hear repeated in their ears by all citizens about those who insinuate that they are their parents and other family members?

These, he said, and no others; because what could be more ridiculous than pronouncing the names of family ties with just the lips and not acting on them?

Thus, in our city, the language of harmony and concord will be heard more often than in any other. As I described earlier, when someone is good or bad, the universal word will be "I'm fine" or "I'm bad."

Very right.

And in keeping with this way of thinking and talking, were we not saying that they will have their pleasures and pains in common?

Yes, and they will.

And will they have a common interest in the same thing which they will also call "mine", and having that common interest will they have a common feeling of pleasure and pain?

Yes, much more than in other states.

And the reason for this, besides the general constitution of the State, will the guardians have a community of women and children?

That will be the main reason.

And do we admit that this unity of feeling is the highest good, as implied by our own comparison of a well-ordered state with the relation of body and members, when affected by pleasure or pain?

We recognize this, and rightly so.

So is the community of wives and children among our citizens clearly the source of the highest good for the state?


And this agrees with the other principle which we assert, that guardians should not have houses or lands or any other property; their salary would be food, which they would receive from the other citizens, and would have no particular expenses; because we intended them to retain their true character as guardians.

Correct, he replied.

Both the community of goods and the community of families, as I said, tend to make them more true guardians; they will not tear the city to pieces by disagreeing about "mine" and "not mine," each dragging whatever acquisition he has made into a separate house, where he has separate wife and children and private pleasures and pains; but all will be affected as much as possible by the same pleasures and pains because all have an opinion of what is near and dear to them, and therefore all tend to a common end.

Certainly, he replied.

And as they have nothing but their persons to call their own, lawsuits and claims will not exist between them; They will be released from all quarrels of which money, children or relationships are the occasion.

Of course yes.

Nor will lawsuits for assault or injury be likely to occur between them. Let equals defend themselves against equals, we will maintain as honorable and just; we will make the protection of the person a matter of necessity.

That's good, he said.

Yea; and there is another good in the law; viz. that if a man quarrels with another, he will gratify his resentment on the spot, and not go to more dangerous extremes.


The eldest will be assigned the duty of ruling and punishing the youngest.


There can also be no doubt that the minor will not hit or do any other violence against an adult, unless the magistrates order it; nor will he despise you by any means. Because there are two guardians, shame and fear, powerful to prevent it: shame, which makes men refrain from laying hands on those who are with them in the parental relationship; fear, that the injured person will be helped by others who are his brothers, children, parents.

That's true, he replied.

So will laws in every way help citizens keep peace with each other?

Yes, there will be no lack of peace.

And since the guardians will never fight each other, there's no danger of the rest of the city splitting against them or each other.


I would hardly like to mention the little petties they will get rid of, because they pass unnoticed: as, for example, the adulation of the rich by the poor, and all the pains and anguish that men experience in raising a family, and finding money to buy things necessary for their house, borrowing and then saving, getting what they can, and giving the money into the hands of women and slaves to support them, the many evils of so many kinds which people suffer in this way are quite petty and obvious. enough, and not worth talking about.

Yes, he said, man needs no eyes to see that.

And from all these evils they will be freed, and their lives will be blessed like the lives of Olympic winners and even more blessed.

How is that?

The Olympic victor, I said, considers himself happy to receive but a part of the blessedness assured to our citizens, who have won a more glorious victory, and are more fully maintained at the public expense. Because the victory they won is the salvation of the entire State; and the crown with which they and their children are crowned is the fullness of all that life needs; they receive rewards from the hands of their country while they live, and after death they are given an honorable burial.

Yes, he said, and they are glorious rewards.

Do you remember, I said, how in the course of the previous discussion someone whose name we will not name accused us of making our guardians unhappy - they had nothing and could have everything - to whom we replied that, if the occasion arose, perhaps we might consider this matter henceforth, but that, as we now advise, we would make our guardians true guardians, and that we were forming the State with a view to the greatest happiness, not of any particular class, but at all.

Yes I remember.

And what do you say, now that the life of our protectors becomes so much better and nobler than that of the Olympic victors, is the life of shoemakers, or any other artisans, or farmers compared to it?

Certainly not.

At the same time, I must repeat here what I have already said elsewhere, that if any of our Guardians try to be so happy that he ceases to be a Guardian and is not content with this safe and harmonious life, which, in our judgment, is the best of all lives, but in love with some youthful concept of happiness that enters his head, he will try to appropriate the whole state for himself, then he will have to learn how wisely Hesiod spoke, when he said, 'half is more'. that the whole

If he consulted me, I would say: Stay where you are when such a life is offered.

Would you agree then, I said, that men and women should have a common way of life, as we have described it: common education, common children; and they must watch over the citizens in common, whether they remain in the city or go out to war; they will watch together and hunt together like dogs; and always and in all things, as far as possible, women should share with men? And in so doing, they will do what is best, and not violate, but rather preserve, the natural relationship of the sexes.

I agree with you, he replied.

The investigation, I said, has not yet been made, whether such a community is possible, as among other animals, so also among men, and if possible, in what manner possible?

You anticipated the question I was about to suggest.

There is no difficulty, I said, in seeing how they will conduct the war.


Well, of course they'll go on an expedition together; and he will take with him many of his children strong enough that, like the artisan's son, they can contemplate the work they will have to do when they grow up; and beyond looking they will have to help and be useful in war, and serve their fathers and mothers. Have you never observed in the arts how the potters' helpers look and help, long before they touch the wheel?

Yes I have.

And will potters be more careful in educating their children, and giving them opportunity to see and practice their duties, than our tutors?

The idea is ridiculous, he said.

There is also the effect on the parents, for whom, as with other animals, the presence of their young will be the greatest stimulus to courage.

That's true, Socrates; and yet if they are defeated, which may often be the case in war, how great is the danger! the children will be lost like their parents, and the State will never recover.

True, I said; but would you never allow them to risk it?

I'm far from saying that.

Well, but if they're going to risk it, shouldn't they do it sometime when escaping disaster would be better for it?


Whether or not future soldiers will see war in the days of their youth is a very important question, for which some risks can be taken.

Yes very important.

This, then, must be our first step: to make our children spectators of the war; but we must also take care that they are protected from danger; then everything will be fine.


It can be assumed that your parents are not blind to the risks of war, but they know, as far as human foresight can, which expeditions are safe and which are dangerous.

This can be assumed.

And will they take them on safe expeditions and be wary of dangerous ones?


And will they be placed under the command of seasoned veterans who will be their leaders and teachers?

Very well.

Still, the dangers of war cannot always be foreseen; Is there a good amount of possibilities about them?


Against such odds, then, children should immediately be given wings, that in the hour of need they may fly and escape.

What do you mean? he said.

I mean that we must put them on horses from a very young age, and when they learn to ride, take them on horseback to see the war: horses must not be energetic and warlike, but the most docile and yet the fastest. that they can. . This way you will get an excellent vision of how your own business will be from now on; and if there is danger, they need but follow their oldest leaders and escape.

I think you're right, he said.

So, as for the war; What will be the relations of your soldiers to each other and to their enemies? I would be inclined to propose that the soldier who abandons his post or throws away his weapons, or is guilty of any other act of cowardice, should be demoted to the rank of farmer or craftsman. What do you think?

By all means I must say.

And he who allows himself to be taken prisoner may well be given over to his enemies; he is their rightful prey, and let them do what they will with him.


But for the hero who stood out, what will be done with him? First, he will receive honor in the army of his young comrades; each of them in succession will crown him. What do you say?

I approve.

And what do you say when you receive the right hand of communion?

I also agree with that.

But you are unlikely to agree with my next proposal.

What is your proposal?

That you must kiss and be kissed by them.

Certainly, and I would be willing to go further and say: Let no one whom he wants to kiss refuse to be kissed by him during the expedition. Therefore, if there is a lover in the army, be it your young love or maiden, you may be more eager to win the award for bravery.

Capital, I said. That the brave man should have more wives than others has already been determined: and should he have the first choice in such matters more than others, that he may have as many children as possible?


Again, there is another way in which, according to Homer, valiant youths are to be honored; for it tells how Ajax, after he had distinguished himself in battle, was rewarded with long chins, which seems a fitting praise for a hero in the prime of his age, being not only a tribute of honor, but also a very strengthening thing.

Very true, he said.

So in that I said: Homer will be our teacher; and we too, in sacrifices and on similar occasions, will honor the brave according to the measure of their worth, whether they be male or female, with hymns and those other distinctions we have mentioned; also with

'seats of precedence, and meats and cups full;'

and in honoring them, we are at the same time training them.

That, he replied, is excellent.

Yes, I said; and when a man dies gloriously in war, must we not say, first of all, that he is of the golden race?

To be sure.

No, we do not have Hesiod's authority to say that when they are dead

'Are they holy angels on earth, authors of good, protectors from evil, guardians of men endowed with speech'?

Yea; and we accept authority from him.

We must learn from the god how we should order the burial of divine and heroic personages, and what their special distinction should be; and shall we do what he asks?

By all means.

And in the ages to come we will revere them and kneel before their tombs as before the tombs of heroes. And not only they, but all who are judged eminently good, whether they die of old age or not, will be admitted to the same honours.

This is very correct, he said.

So how will our soldiers treat their enemies? How about that?

In what sense do you mean?

First, in relation to slavery? Do you think it right for Hellenes to enslave Hellenic states or allow others to enslave them if they can help it? Should it not be your custom to spare them, considering the danger that exists that the whole race will one day fall under the yoke of the barbarians?

Doing without them is infinitely better.

Therefore, no Hellene was to be owned by them as a slave; this is a rule they will observe, and advise other Hellenes to observe.

Certainly, he said; in this way they will unite against the barbarians and take each other's hands.

Then as for the dead; Should conquerors, I said, take more than their armour? Isn't the practice of looting an enemy an excuse for not going into battle? Cowards lurk among the dead, pretending they are doing a duty, and armies before have been lost to this love of plunder.

Very right.

And is there not a lack of liberality and greed in stealing a corpse, and also a certain degree of pettiness and femininity in making an enemy of the corpse when the true enemy has flown away, leaving only his fighting equipment behind? Is this not more like a dog that cannot get to its attacker, struggling with the stones that hit it?

Much like a dog, he said.

So should we refrain from spoiling the dead or preventing their burial?

Yes, he replied, we certainly should.

Nor will we offer weapons in the temples of the gods, much less the weapons of the Hellenes, if we want to maintain good feelings with other Hellenes; and, indeed, have we reason to fear that the offering of spoils taken from kinsmen might be a profanation, unless ordained by the god himself?

Very right.

Again, regarding the devastation of Hellenic territory or the burning of houses, what should be the practice?

May I have the pleasure, he said, of hearing your opinion?

Both should be banned, in my opinion; I would take the annual product and nothing else. I tell you why?

Please do it.

You see, there is a difference in the names 'discord' and 'war', and I imagine there is also a difference in their natures; one is expressive of the internal and domestic, the other of the external and foreign; and the first of the two is called discord, and the second only, war.

That is a very appropriate distinction, he replied.

And may I not remark with equal propriety, that the Hellenic race is united by ties of blood and friendship, and is alien and alien to the barbarians?

Very good, he said.

And therefore, when the Hellenes fight the Barbarians, and the Barbarians the Hellenes, we shall describe them as at war when they fight, and by nature as enemies, and this kind of antagonism must be called war; but when the Hellenes quarrel among themselves, we shall say that Hellas is then in a state of disorder and discord, they being friends by nature; and such enmity must be called discord.

I agree.

Consider then, I said, when what we recognize as discord takes place, and a city is divided, if both parties destroy the lands and burn the houses of the other, how wicked the strife appears! No true lover of his country would dare to destroy his own mistress and mother: there might be reason for the conqueror to deprive the conquered of their harvest, but even so they would have the idea of ​​peace in their hearts and would not want to go on fighting for it. any time.

Yes, said he, that is a better temper than the other.

And isn't the city you found a Hellenic city?

It must be, he replied.

Then the citizens will not be good and civilized?

Yes, very civilized.

And will they not be lovers of Hellas, and think of Hellas as their own land, and share common temples?


And whatever disagreement arises between them will be considered by them as discord: a quarrel between friends that should not be called war?

Certainly not.

So will they fight like those who intend to reconcile one day?


They will use friendly correction, but not enslave or destroy their opponents; Will they be brokers, not enemies?


And as they are Hellenes themselves, they will not lay waste to Hellas, nor will they burn houses, nor will they ever suppose that the whole population of a city - men, women and children - are alike its enemies, for they know that the guilt of war is always confined to a few. and that many are your friends. And for all these reasons they will not be willing to lay waste to your lands and destroy your homes; will your enmity towards them last only until many innocent sufferers have compelled the guilty few to give satisfaction?

I agree, he said, that our citizens should thus treat their Hellenic enemies; and with barbarians like the Hellenes they now deal with each other.

So let us enact this law also for our guardians: that they must not devastate the lands of the Hellenes or burn their houses.

agreed; and we may also agree that these, like all our previous enactments, are very good.

Still, I must say, Socrates, that if you are allowed to go on like this, you will completely forget the other question you dismissed at the beginning of this discussion: is such an order of things possible and how, if possible? possible? Because I am willing to admit that the plan you propose, if it were viable, would do all kinds of good to the State. I will add, what you have omitted, that your citizens will be the bravest of warriors and will never abandon your ranks, because everyone will know each other and each will call the other father, brother, son; and if you suppose women to join his armies, either in the same rank or in the rear, either as a terror to the enemy, or as helpers in need, I know that then they will be absolutely invincible; and there are many domestic advantages which may also be mentioned, which I also fully acknowledge: but as I admit all these advantages, and as many more as you like, if only this state of yours came into being, we need say no more about them. ; Assuming then the existence of the State, let us now return to the question of possibility and forms and means; the rest can stay.

If I hover for a moment, you immediately attack me, I said, and show no mercy; I barely escaped the first and second waves, and you don't seem to realize that you're now bringing the third, biggest and heaviest, down on me. When you have seen and heard the third wave, I think you will be more considerate and recognize that some fear and hesitation was natural in relation to such an extraordinary proposal as the one I now have to present and investigate.

The more such calls you make, he said, the more determined we will be that you tell us how such a state is possible: Speak clearly and once.

Let me start by reminding you that we have come this far in pursuit of justice and injustice.

True, he replied; but that's it

I was just going to ask whether, if we have discovered them, we should demand that what is just does not lack absolute justice; Or can we be content with an approximation and achievement in him of a greater degree of justice than is found in other men?

The approximation will be enough.

We were investigating the nature of absolute justice and the character of the perfectly just, the unjust, and the perfectly unjust so that we might have an ideal. We had to look at them in order to judge our own happiness and unhappiness according to the standard they displayed and the degree to which we resembled them, but not with the intention of showing that they could in fact exist.

True, he said.

Would a painter be worse off if, after having sketched with consummate art an ideal of a perfectly handsome man, he could not prove that such a man could have existed?

He wouldn't be any worse.

Well, weren't we creating an ideal of a perfect state?

To be sure.

And is our theory a worse theory because we can't prove the possibility of a city being ordered in the way described?

Certainly not, he replied.

That's the truth, I said. But if, at your request, I must try to show how and under what conditions the possibility is increased, I must ask you, with this in mind, to repeat your previous admissions.

What admissions?

I want to know if ideals are ever fully realized in language. Does not the word express more than the fact, and must not the real, whatever a man may think, always, in the nature of things, be beneath the truth? What do you say?

I agree.

You must not, then, insist that he prove that the real State will in all respects coincide with the ideal: if we can only discover how a city can be governed almost as we proposed, he will admit that we have discovered the possibility which he requires. ; and you will be happy. I'm sure you must be happy, right?

Yes I will.

Let me now attempt to show what fault it is in States which is the cause of their present mismanagement, and what is the smallest change which will enable a State to pass into its truest form; and let the change, if possible, be of one thing, or, if not, of two; in any case, keep the changes as few as possible and light.

Certainly, he replied.

I think, I said, that there could be a reform of the State if only one change were made, which is neither small nor easy, although it is possible.

Which is? he said.

Now, I said, I'm going to face what I compare to the biggest of waves; but the word will be said, even if the wave breaks and drowns me in laughter and dishonor; and mark my words.

To proceed.

I said: 'Until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes of this world have the spirit and power of philosophy, and political greatness and wisdom are united in one, and those common natures that pursue either of the two with exclusion of others are forced to move away, cities will never rest from their ills, nor will the human race, I believe, and only then will this state of ours have a chance to live and see the light of day. » Such was the thought, my dear Glaucon, that I would wish. I would have said if it didn't sound too cheesy; for to be convinced that in no other State can there be private or public happiness is, indeed, a difficult thing.

Socrates, what do you mean? I would have you consider that the word you have uttered is such that many people, and very respectable people too, in one figure throwing off their coats in a moment, and seizing up any weapon that comes to hand, will run to you with all their might. your forces. . , before knowing where it is, with the intention of doing God knows what; and if you do not prepare an answer and act, you will be 'cut by your wit' and not err.

You got me in trouble, I said.

And he was absolutely right; however, I will do my best to get him out of there; but I can only give you good will and good advice, and perhaps I can answer your questions better than anyone else, that's all. And now, having such an assistant, you must do your best to show the unbelievers that you are right.

I should try, I said, since you offer me such invaluable help. And I think, if there is a chance of our escape, we must explain to them what we mean when we say that philosophers must rule in the State; then we will be able to defend ourselves: some natures will be discovered that should study philosophy and be leaders of the State; and others who were not born to be philosophers and are destined to be followers rather than leaders.

So now for a definition he said.

Follow me, I said, and I hope that somehow or other I can give you a satisfactory explanation.

To proceed.

I dare say you remember, and therefore need not remember, that everything, if it is worth its name, must show its love, not to a part of what it loves, but to the whole.

I really don't understand, and therefore I beg you to pay attention to my memory.

Someone else, I said, might answer like you; but a man of pleasure like you should know that all those in the prime of youth, in one way or another, cause a pang or shiver in a lover's breast, and he considers them worthy of his affectionate respects. Isn't this the treatment you get with beauty: one has a snub nose and you compliment her lovely face; another's hooked nose has, you say, a royal look; while he who is neither snubbed nor hooked has the grace of regularity: the dark face is virile, the beautiful are children of the gods; and as for the sweet 'pale honey', as they are called, what is the name itself but the invention of a lover who speaks indistinctly and has no aversion to pallor if it appears on the face of youth? In a word, there is no excuse that you will not make, and nothing that you will not say, so as not to miss a single flower that blooms in the spring of youth.

If you make me an authority on matters of love, for the sake of argument, I'll take it.

And what do you say about wine lovers? Can't you see them doing the same? They are happy with any excuse to drink any wine.

Very well.

And the same goes for ambitious men; if they cannot command an army, they are willing to command a column; and if they cannot be honored by really great and important people, they are happy to be honored by inferior and mean people, but they must have some kind of honor.


Again, let me ask you, who wants some kind of merchandise, does he want the whole class or just a portion?

The set.

And may we not say of the philosopher that he is a lover, not only of a part of wisdom, but of the whole?

Yes, at all.

And he who hates to learn, especially in youth, when he has no power to judge what is good and what is not, of him we maintain that he is not a philosopher or a lover of knowledge, just as he who refuses his food you are with hungry and can tell you have a bad appetite and not a good one?

Very true, he said.

Whereas he who has a taste for all kinds of knowledge and who is curious to learn and is never satisfied, can he rightly be called a philosopher? Am I not correct?

Glaucon said: If curiosity makes a philosopher, you will find that many strange beings will have a title to their name. All sight lovers delight in learning and therefore should be included. Music aficionados are also a people strangely out of place among philosophers, because they are the last people in the world who will get to something similar to a philosophical discussion, if they could help, while correct in the Dionysian festivals as if hubieran wanted to escape your voice. ears to hear every chorus; whether the presentation is in the city or in the country, it makes no difference, they are there. Now, are we to maintain that all these and all who have similar tastes, as well as teachers of lesser arts, are philosophers?

Certainly not, I replied; they are just an imitation.

He said: Who then are the true philosophers?

Those, I said, who are lovers of the vision of truth.

That too is good, he said; but i would like to know what you mean

To another, I replied, it might be difficult to explain; but I'm sure you'll agree with a proposal I'm about to make to you.

What is the proposal?

That since beauty is the opposite of ugliness, are they two?


And because there are two, each of them is one?

True again.

And of just and unjust, good and bad, and of any other class, the same observation holds: taken individually, each of them is one; but from the various combinations of them with actions and things and with each other, they are seen in all sorts of lights and appear to be many.

Very right.

And this is the distinction I make between the practical, eye-loving, and art-loving class, and those of whom I am speaking, who are the only ones worthy of the name of philosophers.

How do you tell them apart? he said.

Lovers of sounds and images, I replied, are, I believe, fond of fine tones, colors, shapes, and all the artificial products that are made of them, but their minds are incapable of seeing or loving absolute beauty.

True, he replied.

Few are able to reach the vision of this.

Very right.

And he who, having a sense of beautiful things, has no sense of absolute beauty, or who, if another leads him to the knowledge of that beauty, cannot follow him, I ask this man: Are you awake or only in dreams? Reflect: isn't the dreamer, asleep or awake, the one who compares disparate things, the one who puts the copy in the place of the real object?

Surely it should be said that such a person was dreaming.

But let us take the case of the other, who recognizes the existence of absolute beauty and is capable of distinguishing the idea from the objects that participate in the idea, without putting the objects in the place of the idea or the idea in the place of the objects. : eh or? A dreamer, or is he agreed?

He's wide awake.

And can we not say that the mind of the one who knows has knowledge, and the mind of the other, who only thinks, has an opinion?


But suppose the latter quarrels with us and contests our assertion, can we give him some reassurance or friendly advice, without revealing to him that there is a sad disorder in his intelligence?

Surely we must offer you good advice, he replied.

Come, then, and let us think of something to say to him. Shall we start by assuring you that you are welcome to any knowledge you may have and that we are happy you have it? But we would like to ask you a question: Does he who has knowledge know something or nothing? (You must vouch for him.)

I answer that he knows something.

Something that is or is not?

Something that is; for how can that which is never known?

And are we sure, after considering the matter from many points of view, that absolute being is or can be known absolutely, but that wholly non-existent is wholly unknown?

Nothing can be safer.

Good. But if there is something that is of such a nature that it is and is not, does it have an intermediate place between pure being and the absolute negation of being?

Yes, between them.

And as knowledge corresponded to being and ignorance necessarily to non-being, for this intermediary between being and non-being, a corresponding intermediary between ignorance and knowledge must be discovered, if any.


Do we admit the existence of opinion?

No doubt.

As being the same with knowledge, or with another faculty?

another college.

So do opinion and knowledge have to do with different types of subject corresponding to this difference in faculties?


And knowledge is relative to being and knows being. But before continuing I will do a division.

What division?

I'll start by putting the faculties in a class of their own: they are powers in us and in all the other things we do what we do for. Vision and hearing, for example, I would call them faculties. Have I clearly explained the class I am referring to?

Yes, I understand perfectly.

So let me tell you my opinion about them. I do not see them, and therefore the distinctions of shape, color, and the like, which enable me to discern the differences of some things, do not apply to them. When speaking of a college, I think only of its sphere and its result; and that which has the same sphere and the same result I call the same faculty, but that which has another sphere and another result I call it different. Was that his way of speaking?


And would you be kind enough to answer one more question? Would you say that knowledge is a faculty, or what class would you place it in?

Certainly knowledge is a faculty, and the most powerful of all faculties.

And is opinion also a faculty?

Certainly, he said; because opinion is what we can form an opinion with.

And yet you just recognized that knowledge is not the same as opinion?

Well, yes, he said: how can a reasonable being identify what is infallible with what is wrong?

An excellent answer which proves, I said, that we are well aware of the distinction between them.


So knowledge and opinion, which have different powers, also have different spheres or subjects?

That's right.

Is being the sphere or matter of knowledge, and knowledge is knowing the nature of being?


And giving an opinion is having an opinion?


And do we know what we think? Or is the object of opinion the same as the object of knowledge?

No, he replied, that has already been refuted; if a difference of faculty implies a difference of sphere or matter, and if, as we said, opinion and knowledge are different faculties, then the sphere of knowledge and that of opinion cannot be the same.

So if being is the object of knowledge, must something else be the object of opinion?

Yes, another thing.

Well then, isn't it being an object of opinion? or rather, how can there be an opinion about non-being? Reflect: When a man has an opinion, does he not have an opinion about something? Can you have an opinion that is an opinion about nothing?


Does anyone with an opinion have an opinion about anything?


And is not non-being a thing, but, properly speaking, nothing?


Of non-being, ignorance should be the necessary correlate; be, know?

True, he said.

So opinion deals neither with being nor with non-being?

Not with any.

And therefore there can be neither ignorance nor knowledge?

This appears to be true.

But is opinion to be sought outside and beyond any of these, in greater clarity than knowledge, or in greater obscurity than ignorance?

In none.

So I suppose opinion seems darker than knowledge to you, but lighter than ignorance.

Both; and to a great extent.

And also be in and among them?


So would you infer that the opinion is intermediate?

There's no doubt.

But if we did not say earlier that if something seems to be of a kind that it is and is not at the same time, that kind of thing would also seem to be in the interval between pure being and absolute non-being; and that the corresponding faculty is neither knowledge nor ignorance, but resides in the interval between them?


And in that interval now something we call our opinion has been discovered?

Eat well.

What then remains to be discovered is the object which partakes equally of the nature of being and non-being, and which cannot rightly be called pure and simple; this unknown term, when we discover it, we can really call it a matter of opinion, and attribute each to its own faculty, the extremes to the faculties of the extremes, and the middle to the faculty of the middle.


This being the premise, I would ask the gentleman who believes that there is no absolute or immutable idea of ​​beauty, in whose opinion beauty is multiple, he, I mean, your lover of beautiful views, who cannot bear to be told that beauty is one, and the righteous is one, or that anything is one, I would appeal to him, saying: Would you be kind enough, sir, to tell us if, of all these beautiful things, there is one that will not be found? ugly; or of the just, who will not be considered unjust; or of the saint, who also will not be impious?

Did not answer; the beautiful, from some point of view, will find himself ugly; and the same goes for the rest.

And the many that are double cannot also be halves? I mean, doubles of one thing and halves of another?

Very right.

And things great and small, heavy and light, as they are called, will they not be denoted by them, and not by their opposite names?

Real; both these and the opposite names will always be attached to all of them.

And can one of those many things called by particular names be said to be this instead of not being this?

He replied: They are like the puns that are made at parties or the children's riddle of the eunuch pointing to the staff, with what he hit him with, as they say in the riddle, and on which the staff was sitting. The individual objects I speak of are also an enigma and have a double meaning: neither can you fix them in your mind, either as being or non-being, or both, or neither.

So what will you do with them? I said. Can they have a better place than that between being and non-being? Because clearly they are not in greater darkness or negation than non-being, or more full of light and existence than being.

That's quite true, he said.

So we seem to find that the many ideas that the multitude have about the beautiful and about everything else are stimulated in some region that lies halfway between pure being and pure non-being?

I have.

Yea; and we had agreed before that anything of the kind we could find should be described as a matter of opinion, not a matter of knowledge; the intermediate flow being that which is caught and interrupted by the intermediate faculty.

Very right.

So, those who see the beauty of many, and who still don't see the absolute beauty, neither can they follow any guide that shows them the way; Who sees the many righteous, and not absolute justice, and so on, these people can be said to have an opinion, but not knowledge?

That's right.

But can it be said that those who see the absolute, eternal and unchanging know, and not just have an opinion?

This too cannot be denied.

Some love and embrace topics of knowledge, others of opinion. These last are the same, as I dare say they will remember, who have heard sweet sounds and seen beautiful colors, but would not tolerate the existence of absolute beauty.

Yes I remember.

Are we then guilty of some impropriety in calling them lovers of opinion instead of lovers of wisdom, and will they be very angry with us for describing them in this way?

I will tell them not to be angry; no man should be angry with what is true.

But those who love the truth in everything must be called lovers of wisdom and not lovers of opinion.



And so, Glaucon, after the discussion was wearisome, the true and false philosophers finally appeared.

I don't think, he said, that the path could have been shortened.

I don't think so, I said; and yet I think we might get a better view of both if the discussion were limited to this one subject, and if there were not many other questions awaiting us, than he who wishes to see how the lives of the just differ from that of the unjust. must be considered.

And what's the next question? I ask.

Certainly, I said, next in order. Since only philosophers are capable of apprehending the eternal and unchangeable, and those who wander in the region of the manifold and variable are not philosophers, I must ask which of the two classes should be the rulers of our state.

And how can we correctly answer this question?

Whichever of the two is better able to protect the laws and institutions of our State, let them be our guardians.

Very well.

Nor, I said, can there be any doubt that the guardian who is to guard something should have eyes instead of not having eyes?

There can be no doubt of that.

And are they not the ones who truly and truly lack knowledge of the true being of each thing, and who have no clear pattern in their souls, and are unable, as with a painter's eye, to see the absolute truth and repair the original? , and having a perfect view of the other world to order the laws about beauty, goodness, justice in this one, if they are not already ordained, and to maintain and preserve the order of them, are not such people, I ask, just blind?

In fact, he replied, they are very much in that state.

And will they be our guardians when there are others who, besides being their equal in experience and not their equal in any particular virtue, also know the very truth of everything?

There can be no reason, he said, to reject those who have the greatest of all great qualities; they must always come first unless they fail in some other respect.

Suppose then, I said, that we determine how far this and the other excellencies can come together.

By all means.

In the first place, as we begin to observe, we must discover the nature of the philosopher. We must come to an understanding about it, and when we have done so, then, if I am not mistaken, we shall also recognize that such a union of qualities is possible, and that those in whom they are united, and those only, must be rulers in Or state.

What do you mean?

Suppose philosophical minds always love knowledge of a kind which shows them the eternal invariant nature of generation and corruption.


And besides, I said, let's agree that they are lovers of all true beings; there is no greater or lesser part, or more or less honorable part, which they are willing to part with; as we said before about the lover and the man of ambition.


And if they are to be what we describe, isn't there another quality they must also possess?

What quality?

Truthfulness: They will never intentionally receive falsehood into their minds, which is their aversion, and they will love the truth.

Yes, this can be safely asserted about them.

'Perhaps,' my friend, I replied, is not the word; let us rather say "must be asserted": because he whose nature is a lover of anything, cannot help loving whatever belongs to or is related to the object of his affections.

Right, he said.

And is there anything closer to wisdom than the truth?

How can there be?

Can the same nature be a lover of wisdom and a lover of falsehood?


The true lover of knowledge must, therefore, from his earliest youth, as far as his lies are concerned, desire the whole truth.


But again, as we know from experience, he whose desires are strong in one direction will have them weaker in others; they will be like a current that has been drawn into another channel.


He whose desires are attracted by knowledge in all its forms will be absorbed in the pleasures of the soul and will hardly feel bodily pleasure, I mean, if he is a true philosopher and not an imposter.

This is the safest.

Someone like this will certainly be hot-tempered and the opposite of greedy; for the motives that make another man want to have and spend have no place in his character.

Very right.

Another criterion of a philosophical nature must also be considered.

What is that?

There must not be a secret corner of unliberality; nothing can be more antagonistic than meanness to a soul that always yearns for the totality of things, both divine and human.

It's true, he replied.

So how can one who has the magnificence of mind and is the observer of all time and all existence, think much of human life?

Can not.

Or can such a person be afraid of death?

In truth no.

Then cowardly and petty nature has no part in true philosophy?

Certainly not.

Or again: he, who is harmoniously constituted, who is not greedy or stingy, or arrogant or cowardly, can he, I say, be unjust or severe in his dealings?


Then you will soon observe whether a man is just and kind, or rude and unsociable; these are the signs that distinguish, even in youth, the philosophical from the non-philosophical nature.


There is another point that must be highlighted.

What point?

Whether or not you enjoy learning; because no one will love what causes him pain, and what, after much work, little advances.

Certainly not.

Furthermore, if he is forgetful and does not retain anything he learns, is it not an empty glass?

That's right.

Working in vain, must he end up hating himself and his fruitless occupation? Yes.

Thus, a forgetful soul cannot be ranked among genuine philosophical natures; Must we insist that the philosopher must have a good memory?


And, again, can disharmonious and indecorous nature only tend to disproportion?

No doubt.

And do you consider that truth is related to proportion or disproportion?

in proportion.

So, in addition to other qualities, we should seek to find a naturally well proportioned and graceful mind, which moves spontaneously towards the true being of everything.


Well, and don't all these qualities we've enumerated go together and aren't they necessary in some way for a soul, which must have a full and perfect participation in being?

They are absolutely necessary, he replied.

And should it not be an impeccable study that can only be done by those who have the gift of a good memory and are quick to learn, noble, kind, friends with truth, justice, courage, temperance, who are your relatives?

The god of jealousy himself, he said, would find no fault with such a study.

And to men like him, I said, when years and education have perfected them, and to them you will trust only the State.

Here Adeimantus intervened and said: To these statements, Socrates, no one can offer an answer; but when you speak in this way, a strange feeling passes through the minds of your hearers: they feel that they are getting a little sidetracked at every step of the argument, owing to their own inability to ask and answer questions; these little ones pile up, and at the end of the discussion it turns out that they have suffered a major defeat and all their previous notions seem to be turned upside down. And just as inexperienced checkers players are finally cornered by their more skilled opponents and have no pieces to move, so are they finally cornered; because they have nothing to say in this new game of which words are the pieces; and yet all the time they are right. Observation suggests to me what is happening now. Because any one of us could decide, which even in words is not able to meet with usted in each step of the argument, sees as one thing that the devotees of philosophy, when carrying out the studio, not only in youth as part of the education. , but as the pursuit of their mature years most of them turn into bizarre lunatics, not to say outright rascals, and those who may be considered the best of them are made useless to the world by the very study you extol.

Well, do you think those who say this are wrong?

I cannot say, he replied; But I would like to know what his opinion is.

Listen to my answer; I am of the opinion that they are absolutely right.

So how can you be justified in saying that cities will not cease from evil until philosophers rule in them, when philosophers are recognized by us as useless to them?

You ask a question, I said, which can only be answered by a parable.

Yes, Socrates; and that's a way of speaking you're not used to, I suppose.

I see, I said, that you are very amused at having plunged me into so desperate an argument; but now listen to the parable, and then you will be still more amused by the poverty of my imagination: for the way in which the best men are treated in their own States is so pitiful that nothing on earth compares with it; and therefore, if I must plead their cause, I must resort to fiction, and assemble a figure composed of many things, like the fabulous unions of goats and stags found in paintings. Imagine then a fleet or a ship in which there is a captain who is taller and stronger than any of the crew, but is somewhat deaf and has a similar weakness in eyesight, and his knowledge of navigation is not much better. . The sailors are arguing among themselves about the government; they all think they have a right to rule, though they never learned the art of sailing and cannot say who taught them or when they learned it, and they still claim that it cannot be taught. and they are ready to cut to pieces anyone who says otherwise. They crowd around the captain, begging and praying that he will give them the helm; and if at any time they do not prevail, but others prefer them, they kill the others or throw them overboard, and first chain the noble captain's senses with drink or some intoxicating substance, they mutiny and take possession of the ship and deliver. with the stores; so, eating and drinking, they continue their journey in the way expected of them. He who is their supporter and ably helps them in their plot to take the ship from the captain's hands into theirs, whether by force or persuasion, they congratulate him with the name seaman, pilot, skilful seaman, and abuse the name another type of man, whom they call a good-for-nothing; but that the true pilot must heed the year and the seasons and the sky and the stars and the winds, and everything else that belongs to his art, if he intends to be really qualified to command a ship, and that he must and will the helmsman, whether others like it or not, the possibility of this union of authority with the helmsman's craft never seriously entered his thoughts or formed part of his vocation. Now, in ships that mutiny and by sailors that mutiny, how will the true pilot be considered? Won't they call you a charlatan, stargazer, good-for-nothing?

Of course, said Adimantus.

Then I hardly need, I said, to hear the interpretation of the figure, which describes the true philosopher in his relation to the State; so that you understand.


Then suppose you take this parable to the gentleman who is surprised to find that philosophers have no honor in their cities; explain to him and try to convince him that having honor would be much more extraordinary.

I go to.

Tell him he is right in thinking that the best devotees of philosophy are useless to the rest of the world; but also tell them to blame their uselessness on those who will not use them, and not on themselves. The pilot must not meekly beg the sailors to be commanded by him, that is not the order of nature; nor are they "wise enough to go to the doors of the rich" - lied the ingenious author of this sentence - but the truth is that when a man is sick, whether rich or poor, he must go to the doctor, and who wants to be governed, the one who is able to rule. The ruler who is good for something should not beg his subjects to rule him; though the present rulers of mankind are of a different stamp; they may justly be compared with mutinous sailors, and true helmsmen with those who are called worthless and stargazers.

Simple as that, he said.

For these reasons, and among such men as these, philosophy, the noblest pursuit of all, is probably not held in high esteem by those of the opposing faction; not that the greatest and most lasting damage is done to him by his opponents, but by his own avowed followers, the very ones of whom you suppose the accuser says, that most of them are corrupt bandits, and the best of them worthless; in whose opinion I concurred.


And now the reason why good ones are useless has been explained?


Are we then to show that the corruption of the majority is also inevitable, and that this is not to be imputed to one philosophy more than to the other?

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By all means.

And let us ask and answer in turn, returning first to the description of the gentle and noble nature. Truth, as you will remember, was their leader, whom he followed always and in all things; failing that, he was an imposter and had no part or lot in true philosophy.

Yes, that has been said.

Well, and isn't this one quality, not to mention others, very different from present-day notions of him?

Certainly, he said.

And we have no right to say in his defense that the true lover of knowledge always strives to be: such is his nature; it will not rest on the multiplicity of individuals, which is only an appearance, but it will continue; the keen blade will not weaken, nor will the force of his desire lessen, until he attains knowledge of the true nature of each essence by means of like and like power. in the soul, and by that power approaching and mingling and incorporating itself into the being, having begotten mind and truth, he will have knowledge and truly live and grow, and then, and not till then, will he cease from his work.

Nothing, he said, can be fairer than such a description of him.

And is the love of lies part of the nature of a philosopher? Won't he absolutely hate a lie?

He will do it.

And when the truth is the captain, may we not suspect some evil in the band he leads?


Justice and health of mind must be present in the enterprise, and temperance next?

True, he replied.

Nor is there any reason for me to put the philosopher's virtues back in order, for you will no doubt remember that courage, magnificence, apprehension, memory, were his natural endowments. And you objected that, although no one could deny what I then said, yet, if you leave the words and look at the facts, the people thus described are some of them manifestly worthless, and most of them wholly depraved; we were then led to inquire into the grounds of these accusations, and now come to the point of asking why the majority are bad, a question which necessarily brought us back to the examination and definition of the true philosopher.


And next we have to consider the corruptions of the philosophical nature, why so many are corrupted and so few escape being corrupted. I mean those who were considered useless, but not evil. Imitators of philosophy, what sort of men are those who aspire to a profession which is above them and of which they are unworthy, and then, by its manifold inconsistencies, bring upon philosophy, and upon all philosophers, that disapproval? about.

What are these corruptions? he said.

I'll see if I can explain them to you. Everyone will admit that a nature that has in perfection all the qualities we demand from a philosopher is a rare plant that is rarely seen among men.

Rare indeed.

And what innumerable and powerful causes tend to destroy these rare natures!

What causes?

In the first place are the proper virtues, courage, temperance, and the like, whose praiseworthy qualities (and this is a very singular circumstance) destroy and divert the soul that possesses them from philosophy.

That's very original, he replied.

Then there are all of life's commons: beauty, wealth, strength, position and great state connections, you know the kind of thing? These too have a corrupting and distracting effect.

I get it; but I would like to know more precisely what you mean about them.

Understand the truth as a whole, I said, and in the right way; then you will have no difficulty in apprehending the previous observations, and they will no longer seem strange to you.

And how am I going to do it? I ask.

Why, I said, do we know that all germs or seeds, whether vegetable or animal, when they do not find food or suitable climate or soil, in proportion to their vigor, are all the more sensitive to the lack of a suitable environment, for evil is a greater enemy of what is good than what is not.

Very right.

There is reason to suppose that better natures, when under strange conditions, suffer more damage than inferior ones, because the contrast is greater.


And may we not say, Adeimantus, that the most gifted minds, when ill educated, become eminently evil? Do not great crimes and the spirit of pure evil spring from a nature ruined by education in its fullness, and not from any inferiority, while weak natures are hardly capable of great good or very great evil?

Then I think you are right.

And our philosopher follows the same analogy: it is like a plant, which, having proper nourishment, must necessarily grow and ripen into all virtues, but, if sown and planted in foreign soil, it becomes the most harmful of all evils. herbs, unless preserved by some divine power. Do you really believe, as people say, that our youth are corrupted by sophists, or that particular masters of the art corrupt them in any remarkable degree? Is not the public that says these things the greatest of all sophists? And do they not perfectly educate young and old, male and female, and fashion them after their own hearts?

When is this performed? he said.

When they come together, and the world comes together in an assembly, or in a court, or in a theater, or in a camp, or in any other popular meeting place, and there is a great uproar, and they praise some things that are being said or done, and they blame other things, equally exaggerating both, shouting and clapping their hands, and the echo of the rocks and the place where they are assembled redoubles the sound of praise or blame - at such a time it is not a young man's heart, how say, jump on it? Will any particular training enable you to defend against the overwhelming avalanche of popular opinion? Or will he just go with the flow? Don't you have the notions of good and evil that the general public does? Will he do like them, and like them will he also be?

Yes, Socrates; necessity will force you.

And yet, I said, there is an even greater need, which has not been mentioned.

What is that?

The gentle force of seizure or confiscation or death, which, as you know, these new sophists and educators, who are the public, apply when their words are powerless.

In fact, they do; and in all seriousness.

Now, what opinion of any other sophist, or of any one person in particular, can he be expected to overcome in so unequal a contest?

None, he replied.

No, indeed, I said, even trying is a great folly; there is not, nor ever was, nor is likely to be, any different type of character who has not had other training in virtue of what public opinion supplies. I speak, my friend, only of human virtue; what is more than human, as the proverb says, is not included: because I do not want you to ignore that, in the present bad state of governments, everything that is saved and prospers is saved by the power of God, as well, We can say.

I completely agree, he replied.

So let me ask your assent to another point as well.

Will you say?

Why do all these mercenary individuals, whom the majority call sophists, and whom they regard as their adversaries, in reality teach only the opinion of the majority, that is, the opinions of their assemblies; and this is his wisdom. I might compare them to a man who should study the tempers and desires of a mighty and strong beast that is fed by him; I would learn how to approach and handle him, also at what times and for what reasons he is dangerous or vice versa, and what is the meaning of his various cries, and by what sounds, when another emits them, he calms down or is furious; and you may suppose, furthermore, that when, by continually paying attention to it, he has become perfect in all these, he calls his knowledge wisdom, and makes of it a system or art, which he proceeds to teach, though he has no real knowledge. . notion of what it means. by the principles or passions of which he speaks, but calls it honorable and dishonourable, or good or bad, or just or unjust, all according to the tastes and temperaments of the great brute. He declares that good is what the beast delights in and bad is what he dislikes; and can give no other explanation than that the just and noble are necessary, without ever having seen and without being able to explain to others the nature of one or the other, or the difference between them, which is immense. By God, wouldn't he be such a rare educator?

In fact, I would.

And how does he differ from the one I have described, who thinks that wisdom is the discernment of the temperaments and tastes of the motley crowd, whether in painting or music, or, finally, in politics? Because when a man associates with many and displays his poem or other work of art or the service he has done to the State, making them his judges when he is not obliged, the so-called necessity of Diomedes will compel him to produce whatever they need. praise. And yet the reasons they give for confirming their own notions of what is honorable and good are utterly ridiculous. Have you heard any of them that weren't?

No, nor are you likely to hear it.

Do you recognize the truth of what I've been saying? Therefore, let me ask you to consider further whether the world will be led to believe in the existence of absolute beauty instead of manifold beauty, or of the absolute in each kind instead of the manifold in each kind.

Certainly not.

So the world cannot be a philosopher?


And therefore must philosophers inevitably fall under the censure of the world?

They should.

What about the individuals who join the crowd and try to please it?

Is obvious.

So do you see any way in which the philosopher can be preserved in his vocation to the end? and remember what we said of him, that he should have speed, memory, courage, and magnificence; these have been admitted by us to be the gifts of the true philosopher.


Will such a one not, from his earliest childhood, be first among all in all things, especially if his bodily endowments are like his mental ones?

Certainly, he said.

And will your friends and fellow citizens want to use it as it grows for their own purposes?

There's no doubt.

Falling at his feet, they will beg him and honor and flatter him, because they want to place in his hands now the power that he will one day possess.

This happens often, he said.

And what is a man like him likely to do under such circumstances, especially if he is a citizen of a large city, rich and noble, and a tall, upright young man? Will he not be full of limitless aspirations and will he deem himself capable of managing the affairs of Hellenes and barbarians, and having got such notions into his head, will he not expand and rise to the fullness of vain pomp and pomp, meaningless pride?

To make sure it goes.

Now, when you are in that frame of mind, if someone comes up to you kindly and tells you that you are a fool and that you must gain understanding, which can only be obtained by working hard for it, do you think that under such adverse circumstances , will he be easily induced to listen?

Quite the opposite.

And even if there is someone who, from inherent goodness or natural reasonableness, has his eyes a little open and is humbled and captivated by philosophy, how will his friends behave when they think they are likely to lose the advantage they hoped to get from him? company? Will they do or say nothing to stop him from giving in to his better nature and rendering his master powerless, using private intrigues and public trials to that end?

There can be no doubt of that.

And how can someone who finds himself in such circumstances become a philosopher?


Were we not, then, right in saying that even the very qualities which make a mana a philosopher may, if ill-bred, turn him away from philosophy no less than riches and their attendants and the other so-called goods of life?

We were absolutely right.

Thus, my excellent friend, comes all that ruin and failure which I have been describing from natures best adapted to the best of all pursuits; they are natures that we keep as rare at any time; this being the class whence come the men who are the authors of the greatest evils to States and individuals; and also of the greater good when the tide carries them in that direction; but a small man never did anything great, either for individuals or for States.

That's quite true, he said.

And so Philosophy is left desolate, her marriage rite incomplete: because her own have strayed and abandoned her, and while they lead a false and improper life, other unworthy people, seeing that she has no kinsmen to protect her, come in and dishonor her. . Is it over there; and attach to this the reproaches which, as you say, are pronounced by your reprovers, who assert of your devotees that some are good for nothing, and that the majority deserve the severest punishment.

That's certainly what people are saying.

Yea; and what else would you expect, I said, when you think of the puny creatures who, seeing this land open to them, a land well endowed with fair names and gaudy titles, like prisoners running from prison to a shrine, leap out of it. it is devoted to philosophy; Are those who do this probably the most skilled hands in their meager business? For although philosophy is in this bad case, there is still a dignity in it which is not found in the arts. And many are thus drawn to her, whose natures are imperfect, and whose souls are maimed and disfigured by her meanness, as their bodies by their crafts and crafts. Is this not inevitable?


They're not exactly like a little bald tinker who's just been released from prison and made a fortune; does he bathe and put on a new robe, and dress like a bridegroom who is going to marry his master's daughter, who is left poor and desolate?

A more exact parallel.

What will be the result of such marriages? Are they not vile and bastards?

There can be no doubt about it.

And when people who are not worthy of education approach and ally themselves with philosophy, which is at a higher level than they are, what kind of ideas and opinions are likely to be generated? Are they not captivating sophisms to the ear, which have nothing genuine, worthy, or connected with true wisdom?

Without a doubt, he said.

Then, Adeimantus, I said, the worthy disciples of philosophy will be but a small remnant: perhaps some noble and well-educated person, detained by exile in her service, who in the absence of corrupting influences remains devoted to her; or some noble soul born in a mean town, whose politics he despises and neglects; and there may be a gifted few who leave the arts, which they justly despise, and devote themselves to them; or perhaps there are some who are restrained by the reins of our friend Theages; for everything in Theages' life conspired to divert him from philosophy; but ill health kept him out of politics. My own case of the inner sign is scarcely worth mentioning, for rarely, if ever, has such a monitor been given to another man. Those who belong to this small class have tasted how sweet and blessed the possession of philosophy is, and have seen enough of the folly of the multitude; and they know that no politician is honest, nor is there any defender of justice beside whom they can fight and save themselves. Someone like that can be compared to a man who fell among wild beasts; he will not join in the wickedness of his fellows, but neither is he able to stand alone against all their fierce natures, and therefore, seeing that he would be of no use to the State or his friends, and reflecting that he would have to waste his life without doing good to himself or others, he shuts up and goes his own way. He is like one who, in the midst of the storm of dust and hail driven by the rushing wind, takes refuge under the protection of a wall; and seeing the rest of mankind full of evil, he is content, if only he can live his own life and be pure from evil or unrighteousness, and depart in peace and goodwill, with bright hopes.

Yes, he said, and he will have done a great job before he leaves.

A great work, yes; but not the eldest, unless he finds a suitable State for it; because in a state that suits him, he will have greater growth and will be the savior of his country, as well as of himself.

The causes why philosophy has such a bad reputation have been sufficiently explained: the injustice of the accusations against it has been demonstrated. Is there anything else you want to say?

Nothing further on that subject, he replied; but he would like to know which of the existing governments is, in his opinion, the one which has adapted to it.

None of them, I said; and this is precisely the charge I make against them: none of them is worthy of the philosophical nature, and therefore nature is distorted and alienated; and as it loses itself in the new soil, even this growth of philosophy, instead of persisting, degenerates and takes on another character. But if philosophy ever finds in the State that perfection which it itself is, then it will be seen that it is really divine and that all other things, whether the natures of men or of institutions, are only human; and now, I know, you are going to ask, what is this state:

Did not say; Then you are wrong, because I was going to ask you another question: is it the State of which we are founders and inventors, or some other?

Yes, I replied, ours in many respects; but perhaps you remember what I said before, that there would always need some living authority in the State who had the same idea of ​​the constitution that guided you when, as a legislator, you were making the laws.

Saying this, he replied.

Yes, but not satisfactorily; you startled us by raising objections, which certainly showed that the discussion would be long and difficult; and what remains is the opposite of easy.

What was left?

The question of how the study of philosophy can be ordered so that it is not the bane of the state: all great attempts carry risks; hard is good, as men say.

Even so, he said, let the point be made clear, and then the investigation will be completed.

I will not be hindered, I said, by any lack of will, but, in any case, by lack of power: my zeal you can see for yourselves; and please mark in what I am about to say how boldly and unhesitatingly I declare that States must follow the philosophy, not as they do now, but in a different spirit.

In what way?

Nowadays, I said, philosophy students are very young; beginning when they are barely past childhood, they dedicate to such activities only the time saved in earning money and keeping house; and even those who claim to have the greater part of a philosophical mind, when they perceive the great difficulty of the subject, I mean dialectical, disentangle themselves. Later in life, when they are invited by someone else, they may go to hear a lecture and make a lot of noise about it, because they do not consider philosophy to be their proper occupation: in the end, when they get older, in most cases, they are most truly extinct. than the sun of Heraclitus, since they are never lit again. (Heraclitus said that the sun went out every night and lit up again every morning).

But what should your course be?

The opposite. In childhood and youth, their studio, and the philosophy they learn, must adapt to their tender years: during this period, while they grow up to adulthood, primary and special care must be given to their bodies so that they can use them in the service. of philosophy; as life progresses and the intellect begins to mature, so does the gymnastics of the soul; but when the strength of our citizens fails, and civil and military duties are past, let them move at ease and not engage in any serious work, as we intend them to live happily here and crown this life with a similar happiness in another.

How sincere you are, Socrates! he said; I'm sure of it; and yet the majority of your hearers, if I mistake not, are likely to oppose you most fervently, and never to be convinced; Thrasymachus less than anyone else.

Do not quarrel, I said, between Thrasymachus and I, who have recently become friends, though we have never been real enemies; for I will continue to do my best until I convert him and other men, or do something that may benefit them in the day they live again, and I will maintain a similar speech in another state of existence.

You are talking about a time that is not very close.

Rather, I replied, from a time that is nothing compared to eternity. However, it is no wonder that so many refuse to believe; because they never saw what we are talking about now accomplished; they saw only a conventional imitation of philosophy, consisting of words strung together artificially, not like these of ours which have a natural unity. But a human being who in word and work is perfectly molded, in the measure of what is possible, in the proportion and semblance of virtue, such a man who rules in a city that carries the same image, never seen him, not one nor a lot of them. Do you think they already did?

In truth no.

No, my friend, and seldom, if ever, have they heard such free and noble sentiments as are expressed by men when sincerely seeking by every means in their power the good of knowledge, while coldly observing the subtleties of controversy. , whose end is opinion and struggle, whether you find them in courts of law or in society.

They are strangers, he said, to the words you speak.

And this is what we foresaw, and this is why the truth has compelled us to admit, not without fear and hesitation, that neither cities, nor states, nor individuals, will ever reach perfection until that little class of philosophers which we call useless, but not corrupt, they are providentially obliged, willingly or unwillingly, to take care of the State, and until such a necessity imposes itself on the State to obey them; or until kings, or if not kings, sons of kings or princes, are divinely inspired with a true love of true philosophy. That either or both alternatives are impossible, I see no reason to assert: if they were, we would certainly justly be derided as dreamers and visionaries. Am I not right?

Very well.

If, then, in countless ages past, or at the present hour in some foreign clime far beyond our knowledge, the perfect philosopher was, or will be, compelled by a higher power to take over the State, we are willing to assert to our death, that this constitution of ours was, and is, yes, and always will be that the Muse of Philosophy is queen. There is no impossibility in all this; that there is a difficulty, we recognize each other.

My opinion agrees with yours, he said.

But does it mean that this is not the opinion of the people?

I don't think so, he replied.

Oh, my friend, I said, do not attack the crowd: they will change their minds, if, not in an aggressive spirit, but gently and to calm them down and remove their distaste for excessive politeness, you show your philosophers like them. they really are, and describe how you were doing your character and profession, and then mankind will see that he of whom you speak is not such as they supposed; if they see it in this new light, they will surely change their concept and respond in another strain. Who can make enemies of him who loves them, who, being himself meek and free from envy, will be jealous of him in whom there is no jealousy? No, let me reply, that stern temper is to be found in some, but not in the majority of mankind.

I completely agree with you, he said.

And don't you also think, as I do, that the harsh feeling most have towards philosophy comes from the suitors, who rush in uninvited, and always insult and criticize them, who make people instead of people? thoughts? conversation? and nothing can be more unbecoming of philosophers than this.

It's very inappropriate.

For he, Adeimantus, whose mind is fixed on the true self, certainly has no time to despise the affairs of earth, or to be filled with malice and envy, fighting men; his gaze is ever turned towards fixed and immutable things, which he does not see harm each other or harm one another, but which all move in order according to reason; He imitates them, and will conform to them, as best he can. Can a man stop imitating what he has a reverent conversation with?


And the philosopher who dialogues with the divine order becomes ordered and divine, insofar as the nature of man allows it; but like all others, he will suffer from detraction.


And if he be forced to model, not only himself, but human nature in general, whether in States or in individuals, on what he sees elsewhere, do you think he will be a clumsy craftsman of justice, temperance, and of all civil virtues? ?

Anything but clumsy.

And if the world realizes that what we are saying about this is the truth, will they be angry with philosophy? Will you not believe us when we say that no State can be happy if it is not designed by artists who imitate the heavenly pattern?

They won't be angry if they understand, he said. But how will they draw up the plan you're talking about?

They will begin by taking the state and customs of men, of which, as on a plaque, they will erase the image and leave a clean surface. This is not an easy task. But, whether it be easy or not, here will be the difference between them and every other legislator: they will have nothing to do with either the individual or the state, and they will not write laws until they have found, or have themselves made, a clean surface. .

They will be right, he said.

Once this is done, will a draft constitution be drawn up?

There's no doubt.

And when they are completing the work, as I fancy, they will frequently roll their eyes up and down: I mean, they will look first to absolute justice, beauty, and temperance, and again to the human copy; and he will mix and temper the various elements of life in the image of one man; and this they will conceive according to that other image which, existing among men, Homer calls the form and likeness of God.

Very true, he said.

And will they erase one feature and put in another, until they have made the ways of men as much as possible in accordance with the ways of God?

In fact, he said, there was no way they could make a fairer picture.

And now, I said, we must begin to persuade those whom you have described as coming against us with might and main, that the Constitution Painter is such as we are praising; to those who were so indignant that in their hands we entrust the State; And are you calming down a bit by what you just heard?

Much calmer, if that makes any sense.

Why, where can they still find any ground for objection? Will they doubt that the philosopher is a lover of truth and being?

They wouldn't be so unreasonable.

Or that its nature, being as we describe it, is related to the greater good?

They cannot doubt it either.

But, again, will they tell us that such a nature, placed in favorable circumstances, will it not be perfectly good and wise, if it ever was? Or will they prefer those we reject?

Probably not.

So will they still be angry that we say that until philosophers rule, states and individuals will not rest from evil, nor will this imaginary state of ours ever be realized?

I think they will be less angry.

Are we to suppose that they are not only less angry, but also kind enough, and that they have been converted, and, through shame, cannot refuse to come to terms?

By all means, he said.

Then suppose reconciliation has taken place. Will anyone deny the other point, that there can be children of kings or princes who are philosophers by nature?

Certainly no man, he said.

And when they arise, will anyone say that it is necessary that they be destroyed? that they can hardly be saved, even we deny it; but that in all the course of time not one of them can escape, who will venture to assert it?

Who really!

But, I said, one is enough; let there be a man who has a city obedient to his will, and he can create the ideal policy about which the world is so incredulous.

Yes, one is enough.

Can the ruler enforce the laws and institutions we describe, and are citizens willing to obey them?


And that others approve, what we approve, is it not a miracle or an impossibility?

I do not think so.

But we have sufficiently shown, in what has gone before, that all this, if possible, is certainly for the best.

I have.

And now we say not only that our laws, if they could be enacted, would be the best, but also that their enactment, though difficult, is not impossible.

Very well.

And so, with effort and effort, we come to the end of one subject, but more remains to be discussed: how and by what studies and pursuits will the saviors of the constitution be created, and at what age should they take up their various studies?


I omitted the troublesome business of owning women, begetting children, and appointing rulers, because I knew that the perfect State would be jealously guarded and difficult to attain; but this cunning did not help much. me because I had to discuss them anyway. Now the women and children are available, but the other question of the rulers must be investigated from the beginning. We said, as you will remember, that they would be lovers of their country, tried by trial of pleasures and pains, and neither in adversity, nor in dangers, nor in any other critical moment would they lose their patriotism: it would be, it would be. rejected him who failed, but he who always came out pure, like gold tested in the refiner's fire, should be made ruler and given honors and rewards in life and after death. That was the sort of thing you said, and then the discussion veered and veiled his face; I don't like to remove the question that came up now.

I remember it perfectly, he said.

Yes, my friend, I said, and then I refused to risk the word bold; but now I venture to say that the perfect guardian must be a philosopher.

Yes, he said, let that be confirmed.

And don't assume there will be a lot of them; because the gifts we consider essential rarely grow together; they are mostly found in fragments and patches.

What do you mean? he said.

You know, I replied, that quick intelligence, memory, wit, cunning, and the like do not generally grow together, and that people who possess these, and who are at once courageous and magnanimous, are not by nature constituted to live in order and fashion. peaceful and serene; they are moved in some way by their impulses, and all sound principles come out of them.

Very true, he said.

On the other hand, those steadfast natures who can be most trusted, who in battle are impregnable to fear and immovable, are equally immovable when there is something to be learned; they are always in a state of torpor and are prone to yawning and falling asleep due to any intellectual exertion.

Very right.

And yet we said that both qualities were necessary in those to whom higher education is to be imparted, and who are to hold some office or command.

Certainly, he said.

And are they a rarely encountered class?

Yes really.

Therefore, the aspirant must be tested not only in the works, dangers and pleasures that we mentioned before, but there is another kind of test that we have not mentioned - he must also be exercised in many kinds of knowledge, to see whether the soul will be able to bear the highest of all, or faint under them, as in any other study and exercise.

Yes, he said, you are right to put him to the test. But what do you mean by the highest of all knowledge?

You will remember, I said, that we divide the soul into three parts; and distinguished the various natures of justice, temperance, courage, and wisdom?

Indeed, he said, if he had forgotten, he would not deserve to hear any more.

And do you remember the word of warning that preceded their discussion?

What are you talking?

We said, if I'm not mistaken, that whoever wanted to see them in their perfect beauty should take a longer and more tortuous path, at the end of which they would appear; but that we may add a popular exposition of them to the level of the preceding discussion. And you replied that such an exposition would be sufficient for you, so the investigation continued in what seemed to me a very loose form; whether you were satisfied or not is up to you to say.

Yes, he said, I thought and others thought you gave us a good dose of truth.

But, my friend, I said, a measure of such things which in some degree falls short of all truth, is not a fair measure; because imperfect nothing is the measure of nothing, though people are very prone to being content and think they need look no further.

It is not an uncommon case when people are indolent.

Yes, I said; and there can be no worse fault in a guardian of the State and the laws.


So, I said, the guardian must be required to make the longest circuit and strive to learn the same as in gymnastics, or he will never reach the highest knowledge of all that, as we said a little while ago, is his own vocation.

What, said he, is there knowledge even higher than this, higher than justice and the other virtues?

Yes, I said, there is. And of the virtues also we must contemplate not only the outline, as now nothing but the fullest picture should satisfy us. When small things are worked on with an infinity of efforts, so that they appear in all their beauty and in their greatest clarity, how ridiculous it is not to believe that the highest truths are worthy of reaching the highest precision!

A straight and noble thought; but do you think we will refrain from asking what this supreme knowledge is?

No, I said, ask if you like; but I'm sure you've heard the answer many times before, and now either you don't understand me, or, as I prefer to think, you're ready to piss me off; for you have often been told that the idea of ​​good is supreme knowledge, and that all other things are made useful and advantageous only by the use of it. You can hardly be ignorant of this I was about to speak, of which, as you have already heard me say, we know so little; and, without which, any other knowledge or possession of any kind will profit us nothing. Do you think that the possession of all other things has any value if we do not own the good? Or the knowledge of all other things, if we have no knowledge of beauty and goodness?

Probably not.

Do you also know that most people say that pleasure is good, but the smartest say that it is knowledge?


And do you also know that the latter cannot explain what they mean by knowledge, but are obliged to say knowledge of good?

How ridiculous!

Yes, I said, they should begin by censuring us for our ignorance of the good, and then presuming our knowledge of it, because the good they define the knowledge of the good, as if we understood them when they used the term 'Good'. '...this is, of course, ridiculous.

Very true, he said.

And those who make pleasure their good are in equal perplexity; for they are forced to admit that there are bad pleasures as well as good ones.


And therefore recognize that evil and good are the same thing?


There is no doubt of the innumerable difficulties in which this question is involved.

There can be none.

Besides, do we not see that many are disposed to do or have or appear to be what is just and honorable without reality; but no one is satisfied with the appearance of good: reality is what they are looking for; in the case of the good, appearance is despised by all.

Very true, he said.

Hence, then, every soul of man pursues and puts an end to all his actions, presenting that there is such an end, and yet hesitating, because he does not know nature, nor is he as sure of this as of other things, and therefore loses whatever. There is good in other things, should the best men of our State, to whom everything is entrusted, be in the darkness of ignorance of so great a principle as this?

Certainly not, he said.

I am sure, I said, that he who does not know how the beautiful and the just are equally good, will only be a sad guardian of them; and I suspect that no one who ignores the good ones will have any real knowledge of them.

This, he said, is a shrewd suspicion of yours.

And if we only had one tutor who had this knowledge, would our State be perfectly ordered?

Of course, he replied; but I would like you to tell me whether you conceive this supreme principle of good as knowledge or pleasure, or different from both.

Yes, I said, I always knew a meticulous gentleman like you wouldn't settle for someone else's opinion on such matters.

True, Socrates; but I must say that someone like you has spent your whole life studying philosophy must not always be repeating the opinions of others, and never saying your own.

Well, does anyone have the right to positively say what they don't know?

No, he said, with the assurance of a positive certainty; you have no right to do so: but you may say what you think, as a matter of opinion.

And do you not know, I said, that all mere opinions are bad, and the best are blind? Will you not deny that those who have any true notions without intelligence are but like blind men groping their way along the road?

Very right.

And do you want to behold what is blind and crooked and low, when others tell you of brightness and beauty?

However, I must implore you, Socrates, said Glaucon, do not stray when you are approaching the finish line; if you will only give an explanation of the good as you have already given about justice and temperance and the other virtues, we will be satisfied.

Yes, my friend, and I shall be at least as satisfied, but I cannot help fearing that I will fail and that my indiscreet zeal will bring ridicule upon me. No, dear sirs, let us not now ask what the true nature of good is, because achieving what is now in my thoughts would be too great an effort for me. But of the son of good who resembles him I would like to speak, if I can be sure you want to hear it; otherwise not.

Please, he said, tell us about the child, and you will be in our debt for the father.

I wish, I replied, to be able to pay, and you receive, the father's account, and not, as now, only the offspring; but take the latter as an interest, and at the same time take care that I do not make you a false account, although I have no intention of deceiving you.

Yes, we will take all possible precautions: proceed.

Yes, I did, but first I must come to terms with you and remind you of what I have mentioned throughout this discussion and on many other occasions.


The old story that there are many beautiful things and many good things, and so on from other things we describe and define; to all of them the term 'many' is applied.

True, he said.

And there is absolute beauty and absolute good, and of other things to which the term "many" applies, there is one absolute; because perhaps they were grouped under a single idea, which is called the essence of each one.

Very right.

The many, as we say, are seen but not known, and ideas are known but not seen.


And what is the organ with which we see visible things?

The view, he said.

And with the ear, I said, do we hear, and with the other senses do we perceive the other sense objects?


But have you noticed that vision is by far the most expensive and complex work that the craftsman of the senses has ever imagined?

No, never, he said.

So reflect; Does the ear or the voice need some third or additional nature so that one can hear and the other be heard?

Nothing of the sort.

No, actually, I replied; and the same is true of most, if not all, of the other senses. Would you not say that any of them require such an addition?

Certainly not.

But do you see that without the addition of some other nature there is no seeing or being seen?

What are you talking?

Vision being, as I conceive it, in the eyes, and he who has eyes wanting to see; the color being also present in them, however, unless there is a third nature specially adapted for the purpose, the owner of the eyes will see nothing and the colors will see nothing. Be invisible.

What nature are you talking about?

What do you call light, I replied.

True, he said.

Noble, then, is the link that unites vision and visibility, and far beyond other links by a great difference of nature; because light is their bond, and light is not an ignoble thing?

No, he said, the opposite of ignoble.

And which, I said, of the gods of heaven would you say was lord of this element? Whose light is this that makes the eye see perfectly and the visible appear?

You mean the sun, as you say and all mankind.

May not the relation of the vision to this deity be described as follows?


Is neither the vision nor the eye in which the vision resides the sun?

Do not.

However, of all the sense organs, is the eye the most similar to the sun?

By far the closest.

And is the power which the eye possesses a kind of effluvium which is dispensed by the sun?


So the sun is not the vision, but the author of the vision, who is recognized by the vision?

True, he said.

And this is he whom I call the son of good, whom good has begotten in his likeness, to be in the visible world, in relation to vision and things of vision, what is good in the intellectual world in relation to the mind and to things of the mind:

Will you be a little more explicit? he said.

Well, you know, I said, that the eyes, when a person directs them towards objects on which the light of day no longer shines, but only the moon and stars, see dimly and are almost blind; Do they seem to have no clarity of vision in them?

Very right.

But when they go towards objects upon which the sun shines, they see clearly and there is vision in them.


And the soul is like the eye: when it rests on that in which truth and being shine, the soul perceives and understands, and radiates intelligence; but when he turns to the twilight of becoming and passing, then he only has an opinion and blinks. , and is first of one opinion and then of another, and seems to have no intelligence?


Now what gives the known truth and the knower power to know is what I want you to call the idea of ​​the good, and this you will regard as the cause of science and truth in so far as you become the subject. of knowledge; beautiful too, as truth and knowledge are, you will be right to estimate this other nature as more beautiful than either; and, as in the first case, light and sight may truly be regarded as the sun, but not the sun, so, in this other sphere, science and truth may be regarded as good, but not good. good has an even greater place of honor.

What a marvel of beauty it must be, he said, who is the author of science and truth, and yet surpasses them in beauty; because surely you cannot mean that the pleasure is good?

God forbid, I replied; but may I ask you to consider the image from another point of view?

In what point of view?

You would say, would you not, that the sun is not only the author of visibility in all visible things, but also of generation, nourishment, and growth, though he himself is not generation.


In the same way, it can be said that the good is not only the author of the knowledge of all known things, but also of their being and essence, and yet the good is not essence, but far exceeds essence in dignity. and power.

Glaucon said, with ridiculous seriousness: By the light of heaven, how wonderful!

Yes, I said, and exaggeration may be imputed to him; because you made me extreme fantasies.

And pray to continue pronouncing them; In any case, let's hear if there's anything more to be said about the likeness of the sun.

Yes, I said, there's a lot more.

Therefore, do not omit anything, however small.

I'll do my best, he said; but I think much will have to be omitted.

I hope not, he said.

You have to imagine, then, that there are two governing powers, and that one of them is placed over the intellectual world, the other over the visible. I don't say heaven, so don't you think I'm kidding with the name ('ourhanoz, orhatoz'). May I assume that you have fixed in your mind this distinction between the visible and the intelligible?


Now take a line which has been cut into two unequal parts, and divide each of them again in the same proportion, and suppose that the two main divisions answer, one to the visible and the other to the intelligible, and then compare the subdivisions respecting their clearness and lack of clarity, and you will find that the first section in the sphere of the visible consists of images. And by images I mean, firstly, shadows and, secondly, reflections in water and solid, smooth, polished and similar bodies: you understand?

Yes, I understand.

Imagine, now, the other section, of which this is but a likeness, to include the animals we see and everything that grows or is made.

Very well.

Would you not admit that both sections of this division have different degrees of truth, and that the copy is to the original what the sphere of opinion is to the sphere of knowledge?


Then proceed to consider how the sphere of the intellectual is to be divided.

In what way?

Thus:—There are two subdivisions, in the lower of which the soul uses the figures given by the first division as images; the inquiry can only be hypothetical and, instead of rising to a beginning, it descends to the other extreme; in the superior of the two, the soul leaves the hypotheses and rises to a principle that is above the hypotheses, without making use of images as in the previous case, but proceeding only in and by the ideas themselves.

I don't quite understand what you mean, he said.

So I'll try again; You will understand me better when I make some preliminary remarks. You are aware that students of geometry, arithmetic, and allied sciences assume odd and even and figures and the three kinds of angles and the like in their various branches of science; these are their hypotheses, which they and the whole world must know and therefore do not deign to report them either to themselves or to others; but start with them and continue to the end and consistently. , in your conclusion?

Yes, he said, I know.

Nor do you know that, although they make use of visible forms and reason about them, they do not think of them, but of the ideals which they resemble; not the figures they draw, but the absolute square and the absolute diameter, and so on; the shapes they draw or make, and which have their own shadows and reflections in the water, are made into images by them, but are they really looking to behold the things themselves, which can only be seen with the mind's eye?

That's true.

And of that class I have spoken as intelligible, though in its search the soul is forced to use hypotheses; not ascending to a first principle, because it cannot rise above the region of hypothesis, but employing as images the objects of which the shadows below are likenesses, having them in relation to the shadows and reflections of them a greater distinction, and therefore , a higher value.

I understand, he said, that you speak from the province of geometry and the sister arts.

And when I speak of the other division of the intelligible, you will understand that I am speaking of that other type of knowledge that reason itself attains by the power of dialectics, using hypotheses not as first principles, but only as hypotheses, that is, as steps and starting points on the way. to a world that is above hypotheses, so that it rises beyond them towards the first principle of all; and clinging to this and then to what depends on it, by successive steps it descends again without the help of any sensible object, from ideas, by ideas, and in ideas it ends.

I understand you, he replied; not perfectly, because it seems to me that you are describing a really tremendous task; but, in any case, I understand you to say that knowing and being, which the science of dialectic contemplates, are clearer than the notions of the arts, as they are called, which proceed only from hypotheses: these too are contemplated by the understanding, and not by the senses; but as they start from hypotheses and do not ascend to a principle, those who contemplate them seem not to exercise a superior reason over them, although adding a first principle they are knowable by a superior reason. And the habit that deals with geometry and related sciences I suppose you would call understanding and not reason, as something intermediate between opinion and reason.

You perfectly understand what I mean, I said; and now, in correspondence with these four divisions, let there be four faculties in the soul: reason corresponds to the highest, understanding to the second, faith (or conviction) to the third, and the perception of shadows to the third. let there be a scale of them. , and suppose the various faculties have clarity to the same degree as their objects have truth.

I understand, he replied, I give my consent and accept your agreement.


And now, I said, let me show you in a figure the extent to which our nature is enlightened or unenlightened: See! human beings who live in an underground lair, with their mouths open to the light and reaching the entire length of the lair; they've been here since childhood, and their legs and neck are chained so they can't move, they can only see ahead, as the chains prevent them from turning around on their heads. Above and behind them a fire burns in the distance, and between the fire and the prisoners is an elevated road; and you will see, if you look carefully, a small wall built along the road, like the screen that puppeteers have in front of them, on which they show their puppets.

I see.

And do you see, I said, men passing through the wall carrying all kinds of vessels, and statues and figures of animals made of wood and stone and of various materials, appearing on the wall? Some of them are talking, others are silent.

You showed me a strange picture and they are strange prisoners.

Like us, I replied; and see only their own shadows, or the shadows of others, which the fire casts on the opposite wall of the cave?

True, he said; how could they see anything but shadows if they could never move their heads?

And of the objects that are transported in the same way, would you only see the shadows?

Yes, he said.

And if they could talk to each other, wouldn't they suppose they were naming what was really before them?

Very right.

And suppose even the prison had an echo coming from the other side, would you not be sure to imagine when one of the passers-by spoke that the voice you heard came from the passing shadow?

Without a doubt, he replied.

To them, I said, the truth would literally be nothing more than the shadows of the images.

That's right.

And now look again and see what will naturally happen if the prisoners are released and disillusioned with their error. At first, when one of them is released and suddenly forced to get up, turn his neck, walk and face the light, he will feel sharp pains; the splendor will overwhelm him and he will not be able to see the realities of which in his former state he had seen the shadows; and then you conceive someone telling you that what you saw before was an illusion, but now, when you approach the being and your gaze is turned towards a more real existence, you have a clearer vision, what will be your response? And can you also imagine that your instructor is pointing at passing objects and asking you to name them, wouldn't you be perplexed? Will you not imagine that the shadows you saw before are truer than the objects now shown to you?

Much truer.

And if you are forced to look directly into the light, will you not feel pain in your eyes that will make you take refuge in the objects of vision that you can see and that you will conceive as really brighter than things? What are you showing now?

True, he said.

And suppose, once again, you are dragged reluctantly up a steep and uneven slope, and are held in place until you are forced to stand in the presence of the sun, is it not likely that you will feel ashamed and irritated? When you approach the light, your eyes will go blind and you won't be able to see any of what we now call realities.

Not all in one moment, he said.

You will need to get used to the overworld view. And first he will see the shadows best, then the reflections of men and other objects in the water, and then the objects themselves; then he will see the light of the moon and the stars and the starry sky; and will he see the sky and stars by night better than the sun or sunlight by day?


At last he will be able to see the sun, and not just reflections of it on the water, but he will see it in its own place, and in no other; and see him as he is.


He will then argue that it is he who gives the season and the years, and is the guardian of all that exists in the visible world, and, in a sense, the cause of all the things he and his companions have become accustomed to. to behold.

Clearly, he said, he would first see the sun and then reason about it.

And when he remembered his old home, and the wisdom of the lair and his fellow prisoners, don't you think he would congratulate himself on the change and pity them?

I certainly would.

And if they were in the habit of bestowing honor among themselves on those who were quickest to observe the passing shadows and point out who went before, who came after, and who was with them; and who, therefore, was better able to draw conclusions about the future, do you think he would care for such honors and glories, or envy the possessors of them? Wouldn't you say with Homer,

'Better to be a poor master's poor servant'

e suportar qualquer coisa, ao invés de pensar como eles e viver de acordo com seus costumes?

Yes, he said, I think I'd rather suffer anything than entertain these false notions and live in this miserable way.

Imagine again, I said, someone like that coming out of the sun suddenly to be replaced in his old situation; Wouldn't he be sure his eyes were filled with darkness?

To be sure, he said.

What if there was a contest, and he had to compete in measuring shadows with the prisoners who had never left the lair, while his eyesight was still poor, and before his eyes had stabilized (and how long it would take to acquire that new habit) look can be very considerable), wouldn't that be ridiculous? Men would say that he went up and down without eyes; and that it was better not to think of going up; and if anyone tries to free another and bring him to light, let him seize the offender and put him to death.

Without a doubt, he said.

All this allegory, I said, you may now add, dear Glaucon, to the former argument; the prison is the world of vision, the light of fire is the sun, and you will not misunderstand me if you interpret the upward journey as the ascension of the soul to the intellectual world according to my poor belief, which, at your wish, I have expressed , yes Good or bad, God knows. But whether true or false, my opinion is that in the world of knowledge the idea of ​​the good comes last and is seen only with effort; and, when seen, it is also inferred that he is the universal author of all things fair and right, the father of light and lord of light in this visible world, and the immediate source of reason and truth in the world. and that this is the power upon which he who would act rationally must have his eyes set, whether in public or private life.

I agree, he said, as far as I can understand him.

Besides, I said, you need not be surprised that those who attain this beatific vision are unwilling to descend into human affairs; because their souls always rush towards the upper world where they want to dwell; whose desire for them is natural enough, if our allegory is to be trusted.

Yes, very natural.

And there is something surprising in someone who goes from divine contemplations to the bad state of man, behaving ridiculously badly; if, while his eyes are blinking and before he accustoms himself to the darkness that surrounds him, he is compelled to fight in the courts, or elsewhere, over the images or shadows of the images of justice, and strives to find the conceptions of those who have never seen absolute justice?

Anything but surprising, he replied.

Anyone who has common sense will remember that the perplexities of the eye are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from going out of the light or coming into the light, which is true of both the mind's eye and the mind. .mind's eye. the bodily eye; and he who remembers this when he sees one whose vision is confused and dim, will not be quite ready to laugh; first he will ask whether that man's soul has come out of life brighter and cannot see because it is unaccustomed to darkness, or having come out of darkness into the day it is dazzled by the excess of light. And he will consider one happy in his condition and state of being, and will feel pity for the other; or, if you want to laugh at the soul that comes from below to the light, there will be more reason for that than in the laughter that greets the one who returns from above to the light to the grave.

That, he said, is a very fair distinction.

But then, if I am right, certain professors of education must be wrong when they say that they can put knowledge into the soul that was not there before, like sight in blind eyes.

No doubt they say so, he replied.

While our argument shows that the power and capacity to learn already exists in the soul; and that just as the eye could not pass from darkness to light without the whole body, so the instrument of knowledge can only, through the movement of the whole soul, pass from the world of becoming to the world of being, and gradually learn to endure the vision of being, and of the brightest and best of being, or in other words, of good.

Very right.

And there must not be some art which effects the conversion in the easiest and quickest way; not implanting the faculty of sight, because it already exists, but you have turned in the wrong direction and are taking your eyes off the truth?

Yes, he said, this art can be boasted.

And while the other so-called virtues of the soul seem to be connected with bodily qualities, because even when they are not originally innate, they may later be implanted by habit and exercise, the virtue of wisdom, more than anything else, contains a divine element that always remains, and by this conversion becomes useful and profitable; or, on the contrary, harmful and useless. Have you ever noticed the narrow intelligence that shines in the piercing gaze of a cunning rogue? How anxious he is, how clearly his petty soul sees the way to his end; is he the opposite of blind, but is his keen eyesight forced into the service of evil, and is he mischievous in proportion to his cunning?

Very true, he said.

But what if there had been a circumcision of such natures in the days of their youth; and they have turned away from those sensual pleasures, like eating and drinking, which, like lead weights, were attached to them at birth, and which drag them down and turn their soul's vision to things below - if, let it be. tell me, had they been freed from these impediments and turned in the opposite direction, the same faculty in them would have seen the truth with the same intensity with which they see where their eyes are now directed.

Very likely.

Yes, I said; and there is another thing which is probable, or rather a necessary inference from what has gone before, that neither those ignorant and uninformed of the truth, nor those who never finish their education, can be ministers of state; not the former, because they have not a single end of duty which is the rule of all their actions, both private and public; nor the latter, for they will not act at all except from compulsion, imagining that they are already dwelling apart in the islands of the blessed.

It's true, he replied.

Then, I said, the task of us who are the founders of the State will be to compel the best minds to attain that knowledge which we have already shown to be the greatest of all: they must go on rising until they reach good; but when they have ascended and seen enough, we must not allow them to do what they do now.

What do you mean?

I mean they remain in the upper world: but this must not be allowed; they must be compelled to descend again among the prisoners in the pit, and share in their labors and honours, whether they be valuable or not.

But isn't that unfair? he said; Shall we give them a worse life, when they could have a better life?

You have forgotten again, my friend, I said, the intention of the legislator, who did not want to make any class of the State happy above all others; happiness should be in the whole State, and hold the citizens together by persuasion and necessity, making them benefactors of the State, and therefore benefactors of one another; to this end he created them, not to please himself, but to be his instruments for binding the state.

True, he said, he had forgotten.

Note, Glaucon, that there will be no injustice in obliging our philosophers to care and provide for others; we will explain to them that in other states men of their class are not obliged to participate in the work of politics: and this is reasonable, because they grow up of their own accord and the government would prefer not to have them. Being self-taught, they cannot be expected to show gratitude for a culture they never received. But we brought them into the world to be rulers of the hive, kings over themselves and their fellow citizens, and we raised them much better. and more perfectly than you were created, and you are better able to share the double duty. Therefore, each of you, when your turn comes, must descend into the general underground abode and acquire the habit of seeing in the dark. When you acquire the habit, you will see ten thousand times better than the inhabitants of the lair, and you will know what the various images are and what they represent, because you have seen the beautiful, the just and the good in their truth. . And so our State, which is also yours, will be a reality, and not just a dream, and it will be administered in a different spirit from other States, where men fight each other only for shadows and are distracted by the struggle for power. . , which in their eyes is a great asset. Though the truth is, that the State in which rulers are most reluctant to govern is always the best and most calmly governed, and the State in which they are most anxious, the worst.

It's true, he replied.

And will our students, when they hear this, refuse to take their offices in the State, when they can spend most of their time with each other in the heavenly light?

Impossible, he replied; because they are just men, and the mandates we impose on them are just; there is no doubt that each of them will take office out of severe necessity, and not in the manner of our present state rulers.

Yes my friend I said; and there's the point. You must plan for your future rulers another and better life than that of a ruler, and then you may have a well-ordered state; for only in the State which affords this will those rule who are truly rich, not in silver and gold, but in virtue and wisdom, which are life's true blessings. Whereas, if they go to the management of public affairs, the poor and hungry for their own private advantage, thinking that thence they must pluck the chief good, there can never be order; because they will be fighting for the charges, and the civil and domestic quarrels that thus arise will be the ruin of the rulers themselves and of the whole State.

It's true, he replied.

And the only life that despises the life of political ambition is that of true philosophy. Do you know any others?

Not really, he said.

And who governs must not be task-loving? Because if they are, there will be rival lovers, and they will fight.

There's no doubt.

Who, then, are those we will force to be guardians? They will certainly be the wisest men in matters of state, and by whom the state is best administered, and who at the same time have other honors and another and better life than politics.

They are the men, and I will choose them, he replied.

And now we must consider in what manner such guardians are to be produced, and how are they brought out of darkness into light, as some are said to have ascended from the nether world to the gods?

Of course, he replied.

The process, I said, is not the turning of an oyster shell (alluding to a game in which two parties flee or chase each other in the same way that a thrown oyster shell lands dark or light side up), but the turning of a soul that passes from a day little better than night to the true day of being, namely, the ascent from below, which we claim to be true philosophy?

So it is.

And shouldn't we ask what kind of knowledge has the power to effect such a change?


What kind of knowledge is there that would make the soul pass from becoming to being? And another consideration just occurred to me: Do you remember that our young people are supposed to be warrior athletes?

Yes, that has been said.

So this new kind of knowledge must have an additional quality?

What quality?

Utility in war.

Yes, if possible.

There were two parts to our earlier educational scheme, weren't there?


Was there a gymnastics which presided over the growth and decay of the body and can therefore be considered as having to do with generation and corruption?


So isn't that the knowledge we're trying to discover?

Do not.

But, what do you say about the music, which also entered our previous scheme in a certain way?

Music, he said, you will remember, was the counterpart of gymnastics, and trained the guards by the influences of habit, making them harmonious by harmony, rhythmic by rhythm, but without giving them science; and the words, whether fabulous or possibly true, had similar elements of rhythm and harmony in them. But in music there was nothing tending to that good that you are looking for now.

You are very exact, I said, in your memory; in music there was certainly none of that. But what branch of knowledge is there, my dear Glaucon, that is of the desired nature; since all useful arts were considered evil by us?

No doubt; and yet if music and gymnastics are excluded, and the arts also, what remains?

Well, I said, there might be nothing left of our special affairs; and then we'll have to pick something that's not special but universally applicable.

What can this be?

Something that all arts, sciences and intelligences use in common, and that each must learn first among the elements of education.

What is that?

The little matter of distinguishing one, two and three, in a word, number and calculation: don't all the arts and sciences necessarily participate?


So does the art of war participate in them?

To be sure.

Thus, Palamedes, every time he appears in the tragedy, ridiculously proves that Agamemnon is unfit to be a general. You never noticed how he claims to have invented the number, numbered the ships, and organized the ranks of the army at Troy; which implies that they had never been numbered before, and it must be assumed that Agamemnon was literally incapable of counting his own feet: how could he if he was ignorant of the number? And if that's true, what kind of general must he have been?

I would say a very strange one, if it were as you say.

Can we deny that a warrior must have knowledge of arithmetic?

You certainly should, if you intend to have the slightest understanding of military tactics, or indeed, I would say, if you intend to be a man.

I would like to know if you have the same notion that I have about this study.

What is your notion?

It seems to me that it is a study of the kind we are looking for, and one that naturally leads to reflection, but that has never been put to good use; for its true use is simply to bring the soul into existence.

Can you explain its meaning to me? he said.

Vou temptar, eu disse; and I wish you would share the question with me and say 'yes' or 'no' when I try to distinguish in my own mind which branches of knowledge have this power of attraction, so that we may have clearer proof that arithmetic is, as I suspect. um give them

Explain yourself, he said.

I mean that sense objects are of two kinds; some of them do not invite thought because sense is an adequate judge of them; while in the case of other objects the sense is so unreliable that further investigation is necessary.

You are clearly referring, he said, to the way in which the senses are imposed by distance and painting in light and shadow.

No, I said, that's not what I mean.

So what is its meaning?

When I speak of unattractive objects, I mean those that do not go from one sensation to the opposite; the objects that invite are the ones that do; in the latter case, the sense which strikes the object, whether from afar or near, does not give a more vivid idea of ​​a particular thing than of its opposite. An illustration will clarify my meaning: here are three fingers: a little finger, a second finger and a middle finger.

Very well.

You might assume they look pretty close: And here comes the point.

Which is?

Each of them looks equally like a finger, whether seen in the middle or the end, whether white or black, thick or thin, there is no difference; a finger is a finger anyway. In such cases, the man is not obliged to formulate the question in thought: what is a finger? for sight never suggests to the mind that a finger is different from a finger.


And therefore I said, as expected, there is nothing here to invite or stimulate intelligence.

There isn't, he said.

But is this equally true of the greatness and the smallness of the fingers? Can sight perceive them adequately? And doesn't it make a difference if one of the fingers is in the middle and the other in the extremity? And in the same way does touch adequately perceive the qualities of thickness or thinness, softness or hardness? And so of the other senses; Do they give perfect indications of such matters? Is not their way of operating this way: the sense that deals with the quality of hardness is necessarily related also to the quality of softness, and only hints to the soul that the same thing is felt as hard and soft?

You are absolutely right, he said.

And must not the soul be perplexed by this insinuation which gives the sensation of a hardness which is also soft? Furthermore, what is the meaning of light and heavy if what is light is also heavy and what is heavy is light?

Yes, he said, these hints which the soul receives are very curious and require explanation.

Yes, I said, and in these perplexities the soul naturally asks for the help of calculation and intelligence, to see whether the various things announced to it are one or two.


And if they are two, isn't each of them one and different?


And if each is one, and both are two, will you conceive of both as being in a state of division, for if they were undivided they could only be conceived of as one?


The eye saw both the small and the great, but only dimly; they were not distinguished.


Whereas the thinking mind, intent on illuminating the chaos, was forced to reverse the process and look at the small and the large as separate and not confused.

Very right.

Wasn't that the beginning of the question 'What is big?' and 'What is small?'

Exactly this way.

And thus came the distinction between the visible and the intelligible.

Very right.

This is what I meant when I spoke of impressions that invite the intellect, or vice versa, those that are simultaneous with opposing impressions invite thought; those that are not simultaneous do not.

I understand, he said, and I agree with you.

And to what class do units and numbers belong?

I don't know, he replied.

Think a little and you will see that the above will give you the answer; because if the simple unit could be properly perceived by sight or any other sense, then, as we said in the case of the finger, there would be nothing to attract. to be; but when there is some ever-present contradiction, and the one is the reverse of the one and involves the conception of plurality, then thought begins to awaken in us, and the perplexed soul, wanting to come to a decision, asks: "What is the absolute unity?the way in which the study of the one has the power to attract and convert the mind to the contemplation of the true self.

And certainly, said he, this remarkably occurs in the case of one; why do we see that the same thing is one and infinite in multitude?

Yes, I said; and that being true for one must be equally true for all numbers?


And does all arithmetic and calculation have to do with numbers?


And do they seem to lead the mind to truth?

Yes, in a very remarkable way.

So this is the kind of knowledge we are looking for, which has a dual utility, military and philosophical; because the man of war must learn the art of numbers or he will not know how to order his troops, and the philosopher too, because he has to come out of the sea of ​​change and cling to true being, and therefore he must be arithmetic.

That's true.

And is our guardian a warrior and a philosopher?


So this is a kind of knowledge that legislation can properly prescribe; and we must endeavor to persuade those who will be the leaders of our state to learn arithmetic, not as amateurs, but to continue the study until they see the nature of numbers with their minds alone; nor, either, as merchants or retail merchants, with a view to buying or selling, but for their own military and soul use; and because this will be the easiest way for him to pass from becoming to truth and being.

That's excellent, he said.

Yes, I said it, and now that I've talked about it, I might add, how lovely science is! and in how many ways does it lead to our desired end, if pursued in the mind of a philosopher rather than that of a shopkeeper!

What are you talking?

I mean, as I was saying, that arithmetic has a very high and great effect, forcing the soul to reason about abstract number, and rebelling against introducing visible or tangible objects into the argument. Do you know how often masters of the art reject and ridicule anyone who tries to divide the absolute unit when calculating, and if you divide, they multiply (i.e. either (1) which integrates the number because they deny the possibility of fractions; or (2 ) that division be considered by them as a multiplication process, because the fractions of one remain units), taking care that it remains one and does not get lost in fractions.

That's very true.

Now suppose a person says to you: Oh, my friends, what are these wonderful numbers you are reasoning about, in which, as you say, there is a unit such as you ask for, and each unit is equal, invariable. , indivisible. , — What would they answer?

They would reply, as I must conceive, that they were talking about those numbers which can only be perceived in thought.

So you see that this knowledge can be called truly necessary, necessitating, as clearly, the use of pure intelligence to reach pure truth?

Yea; this is her outstanding feature.

And have you further remarked that those who have a natural talent for calculation are generally quick in all other kinds of knowledge; and even fools, if they have training in arithmetic, though they derive no other advantage from it, always become much faster than they otherwise would be.

Very true, he said.

And, indeed, you will not easily find a more difficult study, and not that difficult either.

You won't do it.

And for all these reasons, arithmetic is a kind of knowledge in which the better natures must be educated, and which must not be abandoned.

I agree.

So let's make this one of our educational topics. And so, we must ask ourselves if the related science also interests us?

Do you mean geometry?

Exactly this way.

Clearly, he said, we are interested in that part of geometry relating to warfare; for breaking a camp, or taking a position, or closing or extending the lines of an army, or any other military manoeuvre, whether in actual battle or on the march, will make all the difference whether a general is geometric or not.

Yes, I said, but a little geometry or calculus is all it takes; the question rather concerns the larger and more advanced part of geometry: whether it tends in any degree to make the idea of ​​good easier to see; and there, as I said, go all the things that compel the soul to turn its gaze to that place, where the full perfection of being is, to which it must look by all means.

True, he said.

Thus, if geometry obliges us to see being, it concerns us; if you stay alone, doesn't that interest us?

Yes, that's what we claim.

However, anyone who has the slightest knowledge of geometry will not deny that such a conception of science is in complete contradiction with the common language of geometers.

How is that?

They only have practice in view, and always talk, narrowly and ridiculously, of squaring, extension, application, and the like; they confuse the needs of geometry with those of everyday life, while knowledge is the true object of all science.

Certainly, he said.

So shouldn't a new admission be made?

What admission?

That the knowledge to which geometry points is the knowledge of the eternal, and not of something perishable and transitory.

That, he replied, may easily be admitted, and it is true.

Then, my noble friend, geometry will draw the soul to truth, and create the spirit of philosophy, and raise what is now sadly allowed to fall.

Nothing is more likely to have such an effect.

Then nothing should be more sternly established than that the inhabitants of your fair city should learn geometry by all means. Furthermore, science has knock-on effects, which are not small.

What kind? he said.

There are the military advantages you were talking about, I said; and in all branches of knowledge, as experience proves, those who have studied geometry are infinitely quicker to grasp than those who have not.

Yes indeed, said he, there is an infinite difference between them.

So, are we going to propose this as a second branch of knowledge that our young people will study?

Let's do it, he replied.

And suppose we make astronomy third, what would you say?

I am very inclined to it, he said; the observation of seasons and months and years is as essential to the general as it is to the farmer or sailor.

I am amused, I said, by your fear of the world, which makes you suspicious of the appearance of insisting on useless studies; and I fully admit the difficulty of believing that in every man there is an eye of the soul which, when lost and beclouded by other occupations, is thereby purified and re-illuminated; and it is much more precious than ten thousand bodily eyes, because only the truth is seen. Now, there are two classes of people: a class of those who will agree with you and take your words as a revelation; another class to whom they will be utterly meaningless, and who will naturally regard them as fairy tales, because they see no benefit to be derived from them. And therefore it is better that you decide at once which of the two you propose to argue with. It is very likely that you will say without either, and that your main object in continuing the argument is your own improvement; at the same time, do not spare others any benefits they may receive.

I think I would prefer to continue the argument primarily on my own behalf.

Then take a step back, because we made a mistake in the order of the sciences.

What was the mistake? he said.

After plane geometry, I said, we proceeded immediately to solids in revolution, instead of taking the solids themselves; while after the second dimension it should have followed the third, which refers to cubes and dimensions of depth.

That's true, Socrates; but it seems that very little is still known about these issues.

Well, yes, I did, and for two reasons: first, no government sponsors them; this leads to a lack of energy in their pursuit, and they are difficult; second, students cannot learn them unless they have a principal. But then you hardly find a director, and even if you could, as it is, the students, who are very vain, would not attend to you. This, however, would be different if the whole State became the director of these studies and honored them; then the disciples would want to come, and there would be a continual and earnest search, and discoveries would be made; for even now, despised as they are by the world, and mangled from their fair proportions, and though none of their devotees can tell the use of them, still these studies go their way by their natural charm, and, most likely, if they had the aid of the state , would one day come to light.

Yes, he said, there is a remarkable charm about them. But I don't clearly understand the order change. Did you start with a geometry of flat surfaces?

Yes, I said.

And you put astronomy next and then took a step back?

Yes, and I delayed you in my haste; the ridiculous state of solid geometry, which, in the natural order, it should have followed, made me jump this branch and pass on to astronomy, or motion of solids.

True, he said.

Thus, assuming that the science now omitted would come into existence if it were encouraged by the State, let us move on to astronomy, which will be the fourth.

The correct order, he replied. And now, Socrates, since you have rebuked the vulgar way in which you formerly praised astronomy, my praise will be given in its own spirit. For everyone, I think, should see that astronomy forces the soul to look upwards and takes us from this world to another.

All but me, I said; for everyone else this may be clear, but not for me.

And what would you say then?

I prefer to say that those who elevate astronomy to philosophy seem to me to make us look down rather than up.

What do you mean? I ask.

You, I replied, have in mind a truly sublime conception of our knowledge of things above. And I dare say that if a person were to throw back his head and study the ornate ceiling, he would still think that his mind perceives and not his eyes. And you are very likely to be right, and I may be a fool: but, in my opinion, only the knowledge which is of being and of the invisible can make the soul look up, and if a man yawns at the sky or blinks on the ground, seeking to learn something particular from the senses, I would deny that I can learn it, because none of this is a matter of science; his soul looks down, not up, whether his path to knowledge is by water or land, whether he floats or just lies on his back.

I acknowledge, said he, the justice of your rebuke. Still, I would like to know how astronomy can be learned more conducive to the knowledge we are talking about.

I will tell you, I said: The starry sky we behold is carved out of a visible ground, and therefore, though it is the most beautiful and perfect of visible things, it must necessarily be considered inferior to the true movements of absolute speed and absolute slowness, which are among themselves, and carry with them what is contained in them, in the true number and in each true figure. Now these must be apprehended by reason and intelligence, but not by sight.

True, he replied.

The sequined skies are to be used as a model and with a view to this higher knowledge; its beauty is like the beauty of figures or paintings excellently made by the hand of Daedalus, or some other great artist, which we may happen to behold; any geometer who saw them would appreciate the refinement of their workmanship, but would never dream of finding in them the true equal or the true double, or the truth of any other proportion.

No, he replied, such an idea would be ridiculous.

And won't a true astronomer have the same feeling when observing the movements of the stars? Do you not think that heaven and the things that are in heaven are most perfectly formed by their Creator? But he will never imagine that the proportions of night and day, or of both to month, or of month to year, or of stars to stars and to each other, and anything else that is material and visible, can also be eternal and subject to pitch shift - that would be nonsense; and it is equally absurd to try so hard to inquire into its exact truth.

I quite agree, although I never thought about it before.

So, I said, in astronomy, as in geometry, we must employ problems and leave the heavens alone if we approach the subject in the right way, and thus make the natural endowment of reason any real use.

This, he said, is work infinitely beyond our current astronomers.

Yes, I said; and there are many other things which must also be of a similar length, if our legislation is to be of any value. But can you tell me about any other suitable studies?

No, he said, not without thinking.

Motion, I said, has many forms, not just one; two of them are obvious enough even to intelligence no better than ours; and there are others, I imagine, that may be left to wiser people.

But where are the two?

There is a second, I said, which is the counterpart of the one already mentioned.

And what could it be?

The second, I said, would appear to the ear what the first is to the eye; because I conceive that just as the eyes are designed to look at the stars, so the ears are designed to hear harmonious movements; and these are sister sciences, as the Pythagoreans say, and do we, Glaucon, agree with them?

Yes, he replied.

But this, I said, is a laborious study, and therefore we had better go and learn from them; and they will tell us whether there are other applications of these sciences. At the same time, we must not lose sight of our own higher purpose.

What is that?

There is a perfection that all knowledge must reach, and which our students also tried to reach, and not disappoint, as I said in astronomy. Because in the science of harmony, as you probably know, the same thing happens. Harmony teachers compare sounds and consonances only heard, and their work, like that of astronomers, is in vain.

Yes, by heaven! he said; and it is like a play to hear them talk about their condensed notes, as they call them; they bring their ears close to the strings like someone picking up a sound on their neighbor's wall: a group of them declares that they can distinguish an intermediate note and have found the smallest interval that should be the unit of measurement; the others insist that the two sounds have become the same, each party putting their ears before their understanding.

You mean, I said, those gentlemen who play and torture the strings and shake them on the tuning pegs of the instrument: I could go on with the metaphor and talk in your own way about the blows that the pick gives, and make accusations against the strings, both of delay. and daring to sound; but that would be tedious, and therefore I will only say that they are not men, and that I mean the Pythagoreans, of whom I only now set out to inquire about harmony. Because they too are wrong, like the astronomers; they investigate the numbers of the harmonies that are heard, but they never arrive at problems, that is, they never arrive at the natural harmonies of the number, nor do they reflect on why some numbers are harmonious and others are not.

This, he said, is something more than mortal knowledge.

One thing, I replied, which I prefer to call useful; that is, if one seeks with a view to what is beautiful and good; but if pursued with any other spirit, it is useless.

Very true, he said.

Now, when all these studies have reached the point of intercommunion and connection with each other, and are considered in their mutual affinities, then, I think, but not till then, the pursuit of them will be of value for our purposes; otherwise there is no gain in them.

I suspect it; but you speak, Socrates, of a vast work.

What do you mean? I said; the prelude or what? Don't you know that all this is just a prelude to the real tension we have to learn? For surely you would not regard the skilful mathematician as a dialectician?

Certainly not, he said; I almost never met a mathematician who was able to reason.

But do you imagine that men who are incapable of giving and receiving a reason will have the knowledge we demand of them?

Nor can this be assumed.

And so, Glaucon, I said, we come at last to the hymn of dialectics. This is the tension which is only of the intellect, but which the faculty of sight will nevertheless imitate; for the view, as you will remember, was imagined by us after a while to behold the real animals and stars, and lastly the sun itself. And so with the dialectic; when a person begins the discovery of the absolute only in the light of reason, and without any help of the senses, and perseveres until by pure intelligence he arrives at the perception of the absolute good, he finally finds himself at the end of the intellectual world, as in the case of sight at the end of the visible.

Exactly, he said.

So this is the progress you call dialectic?


But the release of the prisoners from the chains, and their translation from shadows into images and light, and the ascension from underground to the sun, while in his presence they try in vain to look at the animals and plants and the light of the Sun. sun, but are able to perceive even with their feeble eyes the images in the water (which are divine), and are the shadows of true existence (not shadows of images cast by a fiery light, which compared to the sun is but an image) - that power of raising the supreme principle of the soul to the contemplation of the best of existence, with which we may compare the raising of that faculty which is the very light of the body in view of the brightest in the material and visible world - that power is given, as I say, by all that study and pursuit of the arts which has been mentioned.

I agree with what you say, he replied, which may be hard to believe, but from another point of view, it's even harder to deny. This, however, is not a subject to be dealt with in passing, but one that will have to be discussed again and again. And so, whether our conclusion be true or false, let us assume all this and proceed at once from the prelude or preamble to the main line (a pun on the Greek word, meaning both 'law' and 'line'). , and describe it in the same way. Say, then, what is the nature and what are the divisions of the dialectic, and what are the paths that lead to it; for these paths will also lead to our final rest.

Dear Glaucon, I said, you will not be able to accompany me here, although I do my best, and you must contemplate not just an image, but the absolute truth, according to my idea. I cannot venture to say whether what I told you was true or not; but you would have seen something resembling reality; of that I'm sure.

Without a doubt, he replied.

But I must also remember that only the power of the dialectic can reveal this, and only to one who is a disciple of the earlier sciences.

You can be just as sure of this statement as the previous one.

And certainly no one will argue that there is any other method of understanding by any regular process all true existence, or of discovering what each thing is in its own nature; for the arts in general concern the desires or opinions of men, or are cultivated with a view to production and construction, or for the preservation of such productions and constructions; what about those mathematical sciences which, as we said, have some apprehension of true being - geometry and the like - only dream of being, but can never contemplate reality while they are awake, provided they leave the hypotheses they use unexamined and cannot explain to they. For when a man does not know his own first principle, and when the conclusion and intermediate steps are also constructed of which he does not know, how can he imagine that such a structure of convention could become a science?

Impossible, he said.

So dialectics, and only dialectics, goes directly to the first principle and is the only science that suppresses hypotheses to ensure its foundation; the eye of the soul, which is literally buried in a bizarre swamp, is lifted up by your kind help; and she uses as servants and helpers in the work of conversion the sciences we have discussed. Custom calls them sciences, but they should have another name, implying more clarity than opinion and less clarity than science: and this, in our former sketch, was called understanding. But why argue about names when we have realities of such importance to consider?

Why, indeed, said he, when any name serves clearly to express the thought of the mind?

In any case, we are satisfied, as before, with four divisions; two for intellect and two for opinion, and they call the first division science, the second understanding, the third belief, and the fourth perception of shadows, opinion being related to becoming and intellect to being. ; and so make a proportion:-

As being is to becoming, pure intellect is to opinion. And as intellect is to opinion, science is to belief, and understanding is to the perception of shadows.

But we will postpone further correlation and subdivision of the subjects of opinion and intellect, because it will be a long investigation, many times longer than this one.

As I understand it, he said, I agree.

And do you also agree, I said, in qualifying the dialectician as someone who arrives at a conception of the essence of each thing? And one who does not possess and is therefore incapable of conveying this concept, to whatever degree he fails, can he be said to also lack intelligence to that degree? Will you admit so much?

Yes, he said; how can i deny

And would you say the same of the conception of the good? Until one is able rationally to abstract and define the idea of ​​the good, and unless he can overcome all objections and is willing to refute them, appealing not to opinion but to absolute truth, never wavering at any step of the argument. he can do all this, you would say he knows neither the idea of ​​good nor any other good; it apprehends only a shadow, if anything, which is given by opinion and not by science; dreaming and sleeping in this life, before he is wide awake here, he reaches the world below and has his final silence.

In all of this, I should certainly agree with you.

And certainly you would not have children of your ideal State, whom you are raising and educating - if the ideal becomes a reality - you would not allow future rulers to be like poles (literally 'lines', probably the starting point of a runway of racing.), who are not right in them, and yet must be placed in authority over the highest matters?

Certainly not.

Then you will make a law for them to have an education that will enable them to achieve the greatest ability to ask and answer questions.

Yes, he said, you and I together will make it.

Dialectics, then, as will be agreed, is the cornerstone of the sciences and is laid in them; no other science can be placed above it, cannot the nature of knowledge go further?

I agree, he said.

But to whom are we going to attribute these studies, and how they should be attributed, are questions that still need to be considered.

Yes, clearly.

Do you remember, I said, how rulers were chosen in the old days?

Certainly, he said.

The same natures are still to be chosen, and preference given again to the most confident and courageous, and, if possible, to the most beautiful; and, having noble and generous temperaments, they must also have the natural endowments that will facilitate their education.

And what are these?

Gifts like intelligence and powers ready to acquire; for the mind more often faints from the severity of study than from the severity of gymnastics: the work is more entirely the mind's own, and not shared with the body.

It's true, he replied.

Also, the one we are looking for must have a good memory and be a solid and tireless man who loves work in any field; or he will never be able to endure the great amount of bodily exercise and go through all the intellectual discipline and study that we demand of him.

Certainly, he said; You must have natural gifts.

The error today is that those who study philosophy have no vocation, and this, as I said before, is the reason why it has fallen into disrepute: its true children must take it by the hand and not bastards.

What do you mean?

In the first place, his devotee must not be lame or wobbly in activity, I mean he must not be half industrious and half idle: as, for example, when a man is a lover of gymnastics and hunting, and all the rest bodily exercises, but an enemy more than a lover of the work of learning or listening or investigating. Or the occupation in which he is engaged may be of the opposite type, and he may have the other type of lameness.

Certainly, he said.

And as for the truth, I said, he is not an equally lame and lame soul who hates deliberate falsehood and is extremely indignant at himself and others when they tell lies, but who is patient with involuntary falsehood and does not mind to wallow like a wild sow in the mire of ignorance, and not be ashamed of being found out?

To be sure.

And, moreover, with regard to temperance, courage, magnificence, and all other virtues, should we not carefully distinguish between the true son and the bastard? for where there is no discernment of such qualities, states and individuals err unconsciously; and the State makes the ruler, and the individual, the friend of him who, being deficient in some part of virtue, is apparently lame or bastard.

That's quite true, he said.

All these things, then, will have to be carefully considered by us; and if those we introduce into this vast system of education and training are sound in body and mind, justice itself will have nothing to say against us, and we will be the saviors of the constitution and the state; but if our students are men of a different type, the opposite will happen, and we will pour into philosophy an even greater torrent of ridicule than it has to bear at present.

That would not be credible.

Certainly not, I said; and yet, perhaps, in turning the joke into something serious, I am just as ridiculous.

In what sense?

I forgot, I said, that we weren't serious, and I spoke with a lot of excitement. Because, when I saw philosophy so undeservedly trampled under foot by men, I could not help feeling a kind of indignation against the authors of its misfortune: and my rage made me too vehement.

In effect! I was listening and I didn't believe it.

But I, who am the speaker, felt that it did. And now let me remind you that although we chose elders in our previous selection, we must not do so in this one. Solón was wrong when he said that a man when he grows old can learn many things, because he can no longer do so. he learns a lot from what he can run a lot; youth is the time for any extraordinary effort.


And therefore calculus and geometry and all other elements of instruction, which are a preparation for dialectics, must be brought to mind in childhood; not, however, under any notion of forcing our educational system.

Why not?

Because a free man must not be a slave in acquiring knowledge of any kind. Bodily exercise, when obligatory, does not harm the body; but knowledge acquired by compulsion does not dominate the mind.

Very right.

So, my good friend, I said to him, don't use compulsion, but make child-rearing a kind of fun; then you can better find the natural slope.

That's a very rational notion, he said.

Do you remember that children also had to be taken to see the battle on horseback; and that, if there were no danger, he would approach them, and, like young dogs, give them a taste of blood?

Yes I remember.

The same practice may be followed, I said, in all these things - employments, lessons, dangers - and he who is most comfortable in all of them should be included in a select number.

What age?

At the age when necessary gymnastics ends: the period of two or three years spent in this kind of training is useless for any other purpose; why sleep and exercise are not conducive to learning; and the test of who is first in gymnastic exercises is one of the most important tests which our youth are subjected to.

Certainly, he replied.

After that period, those who are selected from the class of twenty will be promoted to a higher honor, and the sciences they learned haphazardly in their early education will now be brought together and they will be able to see the natural relationship between them. the other and the real me.

Yes, he said, this is the only kind of knowledge that has lasting roots.

Yes, I said; and the capacity for such knowledge is the great criterion of dialectical talent: the understanding mind is always the dialectic.

I agree with you, he said.

These, I said, are the points you must consider; and those who have more of this understanding, and who are more steadfast in their learning, and in their military and other assigned duties, when they reach the age of thirty years, will be chosen by you from the select class and raised to the highest honor; and you will have to test them with the help of the dialectic, to know which of them is able to renounce the use of sight and the other senses, and in company of the truth reach the absolute being: And here, my friend, great precaution if you need.

Why so careful?

Do you not see, I said, how great is the evil which the dialectic has introduced?

What's wrong? he said.

Art students are full of lawlessness.

Very true, he said.

Do you think there is anything so unnatural or inexcusable about his case? Or will you listen to them?

How to make concessions?

I want you, I said to him, as a parallel, to imagine a supposed son who is brought up in great wealth; he belongs to a large and large family and has many sycophants. Upon reaching adulthood, she discovers that her supposed parents are not her real parents; but who the real ones are he cannot find out. Can you guess how he is likely to behave with his sycophants and alleged parents, first during the period when he is unaware of the fake relationship, and again when he does? Or shall I guess for you?

With your permission.

Therefore, I must say that, although you are ignorant of the truth, you are likely to honor your father, mother, and so-called relatives more than sycophants; he will be less inclined to neglect them when necessary, or to do or say anything against them; and you will be less willing to disobey them in any important matter.

He will do it.

But when he makes the discovery, I imagine his honor and respect for them would diminish, and he would become more devoted to sycophants; her influence over him would greatly increase; now he would live up to their customs and openly associate with them, and unless he was of an extraordinarily good disposition he would no longer care for his supposed parents or other relatives.

Well, all of that is very likely. But how is the image applicable to disciples of philosophy?

In this way: you know that there are certain principles about justice and honor, which we were taught in childhood, and under your father's authority we were brought up, obeying and honoring them.

That's true.

There are also opposite maxims and habits of pleasure which flatter and appeal to the soul, but do not influence those of us who have any sense of entitlement and continue to obey and honor the maxims of our fathers.


Now, when a man is in this state, and the questioning spirit asks what is just or honorable, and he answers as the lawgiver has taught him, and then many and diverse arguments refute his words, until they lead him to believe that nothing is more honored. . how dishonourable, or just and good, and not the other way around, and so of all the notions he most prized, do you think he will still honor and obey them as before?


And when he ceases to regard them as honorable and natural as hitherto, and fails to discover the truth, can he be expected to seek another life than that which flatters his desires?

Can not.

And from guardian of the law he becomes a transgressor of it?


Now all this is quite natural to students of philosophy, as I have described it, and also, as I just said, quite excusable.

Yes, he said; and, I might add, regrettable.

Therefore, lest their feelings turn to pity for our citizens who are now thirty years old, every care must be taken to introduce them to the dialectic.


There is a danger that they will taste the beloved treat too soon; because young people, as you will have been able to observe, when they taste it for the first time, argue for fun and always contradict and refute others by imitating those who refute them; like puppies, they enjoy pulling and tearing everyone who approaches them.

Yes, he said, there's nothing they like better.

And when they have made many conquests and suffered defeats at the hands of many, they violently and quickly enter into a form of not believing in anything they believed in before, and therefore not only in themselves, but also in philosophy and everything connected with it. Is it over there. he is likely to have a bad reputation with the rest of the world.

Too true, he said.

But when a man begins to grow old, he will no longer be guilty of such folly; he will imitate the dialectician who seeks the truth, not the erist who contradicts for fun; and the greater moderation of his character will increase rather than diminish the honor of persecution.

Very true, he said.

And did we not make special provision for this, when we said that the disciples of philosophy must be orderly and firm, and not, as now, any casual intruders or intruders?

Very right.

Suppose, I said, that the study of philosophy takes the place of gymnastics, and is pursued with diligence, fervor, and exclusivity for twice as many years spent in physical exercise, will that suffice?

Would you say six or four years? I ask.

Let's say five years, I replied; at the end of time they must be sent back to the lair and forced to fill whatever military or other office the youth are qualified to fill: in this way they will gain their experience of life, and there will be an opportunity to prove themselves, when the temptation attract them in every way, they will stand firm or back down.

And how long will this stage of their lives last?

Fifteen years, I replied; and when they reach the age of fifty years, let those who still survive and have distinguished themselves in all the actions of their lives and in all branches of knowledge finally come to their consummation: the hour has come when they must lift up the eyes of the soul. to the universal light that illumines all things, and beholds the absolute good; because that is the standard according to which they must order the State and the lives of individuals, and also the rest of their own lives; make philosophy your main business, but, when your turn comes, exercise yourself in politics as well, and govern for the public good, not as if you were performing some heroic act, but simply as a matter of duty; and when in each generation they create others like themselves and leave them in their place to be governors of the State, then they will depart for the Isles of the Blessed and dwell there; and the city will give them public memorials and sacrifices and honor them, if the Pythian oracle consents, as demigods, but if not, as in any case blessed and divine.

You are a sculptor, Socrates, and you have made impeccably beautiful statues of our rulers.

Yes, I said, Glaucon, and our governesses too; for you must not suppose that what I have said applies only to men and not to women, so far as their nature is concerned.

There you are right, said he, since we made them partakers of all things as men.

Well, I said, and would you agree (or would you not?) that what has been said about the State and government is not a mere dream, and though difficult it is not impossible, but just possible in the way it is supposed to be; that is, when true philosopher kings are born in a State, one or more of them, despising the honors of this present world which they deem petty and worthless, esteeming above all the right and honor which spring from it, and regarding justice as the highest and most necessary of all things, whose ministers they are, and whose principles will they extol when they set their own city in order?

How will they proceed?

They will begin by sending all the townspeople over the age of ten to the country, and will take possession of their children, who will not be affected by the habits of their fathers; these will instruct them in their own habits and laws, I mean in the laws we have given them: and thus the state and constitution we speak of will reach happiness sooner and more easily, and the nation that has such a constitution will gain more.

Yes, that will be the best way. And I think, Socrates, that you have described very well how, if ever, such a constitution could come into being.

Enough, then, of the perfect State and the man who bears its image: there is no difficulty in seeing how we should describe it.

No difficulty, he replied; and I agree with you in thinking that nothing more needs to be said.


And so, Glaucon, we come to the conclusion that in the perfect state mistresses and children must be common; and that all education and pursuits of war and peace should also be common, and the best philosophers and bravest warriors should be their kings?

That, replied Glaucon, was recognized.

Yes, I said; and we further acknowledge that governors, when they appoint themselves, will take their soldiers, and place them in houses such as we have described, which are common to all, and contain nothing private or individual; and about your property, do you remember what we agreed?

Yes, I remember that no one should own any of the common possessions of mankind; they should be athletes, warriors and guardians, receiving from the other citizens, instead of an annuity, only their support, and they should take care of themselves and of the whole State.

True, I said; and now that this division of our task is over, let us find the point at which we deviated, that we may return to our former course.

There is no difficulty in returning; you intimated, then as now, that you had finished the description of the State: you said that such State was good, and that the man who answered him was good, though, as it now appears, he had more excellent things to report of both the state and man. And you also said that if this was the true form, then the others were false; and of false forms you said, if I remember rightly, that there were four principal ones, and that their faults, and the faults of the individuals corresponding to them, were worth examining. When we had seen all the individuals and finally agreed on who was the best and who was the worst of them, we should consider whether the best was not also the happiest and the worst the most miserable. I asked what were the four forms of government you spoke of, and then Polemarchus and Adimantus gave their word; and you started over and found your way to where we are now.

Your recollection, I said, is very exact.

So like a fighter, he replied, you must put yourself back in the same position; and let me ask the same questions, and you will give me the same answer you were about to give me.

Yes, if I can, I will, I said.

I would particularly like to know which are the four constitutions you spoke of.

This question, I said, is easily answered: the four governments of which I have spoken, so far as they have different names, are, first, those of Crete and Sparta, which are generally applauded; then comes what is called oligarchy, which is not likewise approved, and is a form of government which abounds in evils; thirdly, democracy, which naturally follows oligarchy, although very different; and, finally, the great and famous tyranny, which differs from all others and is the fourth and worst disorder of a State. I do not know and you? of any other constitution which may be said to have a distinct character. There are lordships and principalities that can be bought and sold, and some other intermediate forms of government. But these are indefinite, and are to be found equally among the Hellenes and among the barbarians.

Yes, he replied, we certainly have heard of many curious forms of government that exist among them.

Do you know, I said, that governments vary as the dispositions of men vary, and that there must be as many of the one as of the other? For we cannot suppose that States are made of "oak and rock," and not of the human natures that are in them, and that in one figure they tip the scales and drag other things after them.

Yes, he said, States are like men; they grow out of human characters.

Then, if the constitutions of states are five, will the dispositions of individual minds also be five?


He who answers to the aristocracy, and whom we rightly call just and good, we have already described.

I have.

So let us now describe the lower type of natures, the contentious and ambitious being those who respond to Spartan policy; also theoligarchic, democratic and tyrannical. Let us place the fairest alongside the most unjust, and when we see them we will be able to compare the relative happiness or unhappiness of those who lead a life of pure justice or pure injustice. The query will then complete. And we will know whether we should pursue injustice, as Thrasymachus advises, or, according to the conclusions of the argument, prefer justice.

Surely, he replied, we must do what you say.

Are we to follow our old plan, which we adopted for the sake of clarity, of taking the State first, then passing to the individual, and beginning with honorable government? I know of no other name for such a government than timocracy, or perhaps timarchy. . We will compare with this the similar character in the individual; and, after that, consider the oligarchy and the theoligarchic man; and then we will return to focus our attention on democracy and the democratic man; and finally we will see the city of tyranny, and once more we will see the tyrant's soul and try to come to a satisfactory decision.

This way of seeing and judging the matter will be very appropriate.

First, then, I said, let us inquire how timocracy (the rule of honor) arises from aristocracy (the rule of the best). Clearly, all political changes stem from divisions in the current ruling power; a united government, however small, cannot be moved.

Very true, he said.

In what way, then, will our city move, and in what way will the two classes of helpers and rulers be in conflict with each other or with each other? Shall we, in the manner of Homer, ask the Muses to tell us how the discord arose? Are we to imagine them solemnly mocking, teasing and joking with us as if we were children, and addressing us in a haughty and tragic manner, pretending to be serious?

How would they address us?

In this way: A city thus constituted can hardly be shaken; but as everything that has a beginning also has an end, even such a constitution as yours will not last forever, but will eventually dissolve. And this is the dissolution: - In plants that grow in the earth, as well as in animals that move on the surface of the earth, fertility and sterility of soul and body take place when the circumferences of the circles are completed. one, what in ephemeral stocks passes in a short space, and those of long duration in a long space. But the knowledge of human fecundity and sterility will not reach all the wisdom and education of your rulers; the laws that regulate them will not be discovered by an intelligence allied with the senses, but will escape them and bring children into the world when they should not. Now, what is of divine birth has a period which is contained in a perfect number (that is, a cyclic number, like 6, which is equal to the sum of its divisors 1, 2, 3, so that when the circle or time represented by 6 is completed, the lesser times or rotations represented by 1, 2, 3 are also completed), but the period of human birth is composed of a number which first increases by involution and evolution (or squared and cubed ) getting three intervals and four terms of like and different numbers, increasing and decreasing, makes all terms commensurable and agreeable to each other. (Probably the numbers 3, 4, 5, 6, of which the first three = the sides of the Pythagorean triangle. 4 cubed, 5 cubed, which together = 6 cubed = 216.) The base of these (3) with a added third (4) when combined with five (20) and raised to the third power gives two harmonies; the first a square which is one hundred times bigger (400 = 4 x 100) (Or the first a square which is 100 x 100 = 10,000. The integer will then be 17,500 = a square of 100 and an oblong of 100 by 75.) , and the other a figure that has the same side as the previous one, but oblong, composed of one hundred square numbers over rational diameters of a square (that is, omitting fractions), whose side is five (7 x 7 = 49 x 100 = 4900) , each being less by one (than the perfect square including fractions, sc. 50) or less by (O, 'consisting of two numbers squared over irrational diameters', etc. = 100 For further explanations of the passage, see the Introduction.) two perfect squares of irrational diameters (of a square whose side is five = 50 + 50 = 100); and one hundred cubes of three (27 x 100 = 2700 + 4900 + 400 = 8000). Now this number represents a geometric figure that has control over the good and evil of births. Because when their guardians ignore the law of births and unite the bride and groom out of time, the children will not be good or fortunate. And though their predecessors name only the best, they will still be unworthy of taking their fathers' place, and when they rise to power as guardians, they will soon find themselves failing to care for us Muses first. for belittling music; whose neglect will soon extend to gymnastics; and therefore the youth of your state will be less cultivated. In the next generation rulers who have lost their guardianship will be appointed to test the metal of their various races, which, like Hesiod's, are gold and silver and bronze and iron. And iron will mix with silver, and bronze with gold, and thence will arise dissimilarity, inequality and irregularity, which always and everywhere are the cause of hatred and war. The Muses assert that this is the tension from which discord, wherever it arises, arose; and this is his answer to us.

Yes, and we can assume that they really do.

Well yes, I said, of course they answer truthfully; How can the Muses speak falsely?

And what do the Muses say next?

When discord arose, then the two races were drawn differently: Iron and Bronze were engaged in acquiring money, lands, houses, gold and silver; but the golden and silver races, who want no money, but have the true riches in their own nature, incline to virtue and the old order of things. There was a battle between them and they finally agreed to distribute their land and houses among individual owners; and they enslaved their friends and maintainers, whom they had formerly protected as free men, and made them subjects and servants; and they themselves were engaged in war, and in keeping a guard against them.

I think you have correctly conceived the origin of change.

And will the new government that emerges be an intermediary between the oligarchy and the aristocracy?

Very right.

Such will be the change, and after the change is made, how will you proceed? Obviously, the new State, being in the middle ground between the oligarchy and the perfect State, will partly follow the one and partly the other, and will also have some peculiarities.

True, he said.

In the honor given to rulers, in the abstinence of the warrior class from agriculture, handicrafts, and commerce generally, in the institution of common meals, and in the attention paid to gymnastics and military training, in all these respects this state will resemble the first.


But afraid to admit philosophers into power, because they are no longer simple and serious, but composed of mixed elements; and in their passing to passionate and less complex characters, who by nature are more suited to war than peace; and in the value they place on military stratagems and inventions, and on waging eternal wars, this State will be for the most part peculiar.


Yes, I said; and the men of this image will be greedy for money, like those who live in oligarchies; they will have a secret fierce desire for gold and silver, which they will hoard in dark places, having their own storehouses and treasures for their deposit and concealment; also castles which are only nests for their eggs, and in which they will spend large sums on their wives or anyone else they wish.

That's quite true, he said.

And they are greedy because they have no way of openly acquiring the money they cherish; they will spend another man's what is in gratifying their desires, robbing their pleasures, and fleeing like children from the law, their father: they were brought up not by soft influences, but by force, because they neglected her who is the true Muse. , the companion of reason and philosophy, and they honored gymnastics more than music.

Undoubtedly, he said, the form of government you describe is a mixture of good and evil.

Why, there is a mixture, I said; but one thing, and one thing only, is seen predominately: the spirit of discord and ambition; and these are due to the predominance of the passionate or energetic element.

Certainly, he said.

Such is the origin and such the character of this State, that it has been described only in outline; The most perfect execution was not necessary, as a sketch suffices to show the type of the most perfectly just and the most perfectly unjust; and to go through all the States and all the characters of men, omitting none of them, would be an endless task.

It's true, he replied.

Now, what does man respond to this form of government? How did it come about and how is it?

I believe, said Adeimantus, that in the spirit of discord which characterizes him, he is no different from our friend Glaucon.

Perhaps, I said, you can be like him on this point; but there are other respects in which it is very different.

In what respects?

He should be more self-assertive and less cultured, but culture-friendly; and he must be a good listener, but not a speaker. Such a person tends to be rude to slaves, unlike the educated man, who is too proud for that; and he will also be courteous to free men and remarkably obedient to authority; he is a lover of power and a lover of honor; claiming to be a ruler, not because he is eloquent, or for any other reason, but because he is a soldier, and has accomplished feats of arms; He is also a lover of gymnastics and fetch exercises.

Yes, this is the type of character that responds to timocracy.

Such a person will despise riches only when he is young; but as he grows older he will be more and more attracted to them, because he has a part of the avaricious nature in him and is not determined by virtue, having lost his best guardian.

Who was that? said Adimantus.

Philosophy, I said, seasoned with music, which comes and makes abode in man, and is the only savior of his lifelong virtue.

Good, he said.

Such is, I said, the timocratic youth, and it is like the timocratic state.


His origin is as follows: He is often the young son of a brave father, who lives in a poorly governed city, from which he declines honors and offices, and does not go to court, nor exert himself in any way, but is willing to open hand over their rights to escape trouble.

And how is the child born?

The son's character begins to develop when he hears his mother complain that her husband has no place in government, causing her not to have precedence over other women. Also, when she sees that her husband is not very eager for money, and instead of quarreling and scolding in court or in the assembly, she calmly accepts everything that happens to her; and when she observes that her thoughts are always centered on him, while he treats her with very considerable indifference, she becomes irritated, telling her son that his father is only half a man, and very easy to get along with: adding all the other complaints about his own mistreatment that women are so fond of rehearsing.

Yes, said Adeimantus, they give us a lot, and their complaints are much like yours.

And you know, I said, that the old servants too, who are supposed to be connected with the family, occasionally speak privately in the same tone to the son; and if they see someone who owes his father money, or is doing him some harm, and he doesn't sue, they tell the young man that when he grows up he must take revenge on people like that, and be more of a man than his father. Just take a walk and you hear and see the same thing: those who do their own business in the city are called fools and despised, while the busybodies are honored and applauded. The result is that the young man, hearing and seeing all these things, also hearing his father's words and having a closer view of his way of life and making comparisons of himself and others, is led in opposite directions: while his father is watering and nurturing the rational principle in his soul, others are nurturing the passionate and appetizing; and he not being originally of a bad nature, but having had bad company, is finally carried by their joint influence to a middle point, and gives up the kingdom that is within him to the middle principle of strife and passion, and becomes haughty and ambitious.

It seems to me that you have perfectly described your origin.

So do we now have, I said, the second form of government and the second type of character?

I have.

Next let us look at another man who, as Aeschylus says,

'is opposed to another State;'

or rather, as our plan demands, begin with the State.

By all means.

I believe that the oligarchy follows him in order.

And what form of government do you call an oligarchy?

A government based on the valuation of property, in which the rich have power and the poor are deprived of it.

I understand, he replied.

Shouldn't I start by describing how the transition from timocracy to oligarchy takes place?


Well, I said, you don't need eyes to see how one passes into another.


Accumulation of gold in the treasury of individuals is the bane of timocracy; invent illegal ways to spend; for what do they or their wives care about the law?

Yes really.

And then one, seeing the other get rich, seeks to rival him, and thus the great mass of citizens become lovers of money.

Very likely.

And so they grow richer and richer, and the more they think of making a fortune, the less they think of virtue; for when riches and virtues are placed together in the balance of scales, one always rises and the other falls.


And inasmuch as riches and the rich are honored in the state, virtue and the virtuous are dishonoured.


And what is honored is cultivated, and what is not honored is neglected.

This is obvious.

And so, in the end, instead of loving struggle and glory, men become lovers of commerce and money; They honor and admire the rich, make him ruler and dishonor the poor.

do it

So they proceed to make a law that fixes a sum of money as a requirement for citizenship; the sum is greater in one place and less in another, according as the oligarchy is more or less exclusive; and they do not allow anyone whose property falls below the fixed amount to have any share in the government. These changes in the constitution are effected by force of arms, if intimidation has not already done its work.

Very right.

And this is how, generally speaking, an oligarchy is established.

Yes, he said; but what are the characteristics of this form of government, and what are the defects we speak of?

First, I said, consider the nature of the qualification. Imagine what would happen if pilots were chosen according to their properties, and a poor man was not allowed to govern, even though he was a better pilot.

Does that mean they would have sunk?

Yea; And is this not true of the government of anything?

I should imagine so.

Except one city? Or would you include a city?

No, said he, the case of a city is the strongest of all, as the government of a city is the greatest and most difficult of all.

Is this then the first great defect of the oligarchy?


And here's another glitch that's pretty bad.

What defect?

The inevitable division: such a State is not one, but two States, one for the poor, one for the rich; and they live in the same place and always conspire against each other.

This, of course, is at least as bad.

Another discreditable feature is that, for the same reason, they are incapable of waging any war. Either they arm the mob and are then more afraid of it than of the enemy; or, if they are not summoned at the time of battle, they are oligarchs in fact, few to fight as few to rule. And at the same time, their penchant for money makes them reluctant to pay taxes.

What a dishonor!

And, as we said before, under such a constitution, the same people have many trades: they are farmers, traders, warriors, all at the same time. This looks good?

Anything but good.

There is another evil which is perhaps the greatest of all, and to which this State is beginning to be subjected for the first time.

That bad?

One man may sell all he has, and another may acquire his property; However, after the sale, he can live in the city he is no longer a part of, not being a merchant, not a craftsman, not a knight, not a hoplite, but just a poor, helpless creature.

Yes, this is an evil that also starts first in this State.

Evil is certainly not stopped there; because oligarchies have the two extremes, great wealth and absolute poverty.


But think again: in his days of wealth, as he spent his money, was this man better off to the state for citizenship purposes? Or did he just appear to be a member of the governing body, while in fact he was neither ruler nor subject, but just a spendthrift?

As you said, he appeared to be a ruler, but he was just a spendthrift.

Can we not say that this is the bumblebee in the house which is like the bumblebee in the hive, and that one is a pest of the city as the other is of the hive?

That's right, Socrates.

And God made the flying drones, Adeimantus, all without stings, while of the walking drones He made some without stings, but others with terrible stings; of the stingless class are those who end up in poverty in old age; from the bites proceeds the whole criminal class, as they are called.

Very true, he said.

Clearly, then, whenever you see the poor in a state, somewhere in that neighborhood there are hidden thieves, pickpockets and temple thieves and all kinds of criminals.


Well, I said, and in oligarchic states you don't find poor people?

Yes, he said; almost everyone is a poor person who is not a ruler.

And can we have the audacity to say that there are also many criminals there, rascals who have bites and who the authorities are careful not to arrest by force?

Surely, we can be so bold.

Is the existence of such people to be attributed to lack of education, bad preparation and bad constitution of the state?


Such, then, is the form and such the evils of oligarchy; and there may be many other evils.

Very likely.

Thus, oligarchy, or the form of government in which rulers are chosen for their wealth, can now be ruled out. Let us next consider the nature and origin of the individual who responds to this State.

By all means.

Is not timocratic man thus transformed into oligarchic man?


There comes a time when the representative of the timocracy has a son: at first he begins to imitate his father and follow in his footsteps, but soon he sees him suddenly sink against the State as on a sunken reef, and he and all that he has is disappeared. ; he may have been a general or some other high official who is put on trial for a prejudice raised by informants and is condemned to death, or exiled, or deprived of the privileges of a citizen and deprived of all his property.

Nothing more likely.

And the son saw and knew all this: he is a ruined man, and his fear has taught him to cast down ambition and passion from the throne of his bosom; humbled by poverty, he devotes himself to earning money, and with pitiful, pitiful savings and hard work, he amassed a fortune. Is it not likely that such a person would seat the lustful and covetous element on the vacant throne and let him play the part of the great king within it, girded with tiara, chain and scimitar?

It's true, he replied.

And when he has made reason and spirit obediently sit on the ground on either side of their sovereign, and has taught them to know their place, he compels them to think only how smaller sums can become greater, and will not allow the other to to worship and admire anything but riches and the rich, or to be ambitious of anything so far as the acquisition of wealth and the means of acquiring it.

Of all the changes, he said, none is so quick and sure as the conversion of the ambitious young man into a miser.

And the miser, I said, is the oligarchic youth?

Yes, he said; in any case, the individual from which he comes is like the state from which the oligarchy comes.

Let us then consider whether there is any similarity between them.

Very well.

First, then, are they similar in the value they place on wealth?


Also in its painful and laborious character; the individual only satisfies his necessary appetites and limits his expenditure to them; he subdues his other desires, under the idea that they are unprofitable.


He's a ragged guy, who keeps a little of everything and makes a bag for himself; and this is the kind of man the vulgar applaud. Is he not a faithful image of the State he represents?

It seems to me that it is so; in any case, money is highly valued by him, as well as by the State.

You see he is not a learned man, I said.

I suppose not, he said; had he been educated, he would never have been a blind god like his choirmaster, nor would he have given him top honor.

Great! I said. However, consider: are we not to further admit that, due to this lack of cultivation, drone-like desires such as indigent and dishonest will be found in him, which are forcibly repressed by his general habit of life?


Do you know where you'll have to look if you want to discover their shenanigans?

Where should I look?

You must see him where he has great opportunity to act dishonestly, as in the care of an orphan.


It will then be quite clear that in his ordinary relations which give him a reputation for honesty, he coerces his evil passions by forced virtue; not making them see that they are wrong, nor taming them with reason, but constrained by necessity and fear, and because they tremble for their possessions.

To be sure.

Yes, indeed, my dear friend, but you will find that the drone's natural desires generally exist in him anyway, whenever he has to spend what is not his.

Yes, and they will also be strong in this.

Man, then, will be at war with himself; they will be two men, not one; but, in general, your best wishes will take precedence over your inferiors.


For these reasons, such a perso