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1 εἴη, the reading of most Mss., should stand. It covers the case of contradictory predicates, especially of relation, that do not readily fall under the dichotomy ποιεῖν πάσχειν. So Phaedo 97 Cἢ εἶναι ἢ ἄλλο ὁτιοῦν πάσχειν ἢ ποιεῖν.
3 It is almost a Platonic method thus to emphasize the dependence of one conclusion on another already accepted. Cf. Unity of Plato's Thought, n. 471, Politicus 284 D, Phaedo 77 A, 92 D, Timaeus 51 D, Parmenides 149 A. It may be used to cut short discussion (Unity of Plato's Thought, n. 471) or divert it into another channel. Here, however, he is aware, as Aristotle is, that the maximum of contradiction can be proved only controversially against an adversary who says something. (cf. my De Platonis Idearum Doctrina, pp. 7-9, Aristotle Met. 1012 b 1-10); and so, having sufficiently guarded his meaning, he dismisses the subject with the ironical observation that, if the maxim is ever proved false, he will give up all that he bases on the hypothesis of its truth. Cf. Sophist 247 E.
4 Cf. Gorgias 496 E, and on 435 D.
5 ἐθέλειν in Plato normally means to be willing, and βούλεσθαι to wish or desire. But unlike Prodicus, Plato emphasizes distinctions of synonyms only when relevant to his purpose. Cf. Unity of Plato's Thought, p. 47 and n. 339, Philebus 60 D.προσάγεσθαι below relates to ἐπιθυμία and ἐπινεύειν to ἐθέλειν . . . βούλεσθαι.
6 Cf. Aristotle De anima 434 a 9. The Platonic doctrine that opinion,δόξα, is discussion of the soul with herself, or the judgement in which such discussion terminates (Cf. Unity of Plato's Thought, p. 47) is here applied to the specific case of the practical reason issuing in an affirmation of the will.
8 Cf. Aristotle's ἀνθέλκειν, De anima 433 b 8. “All willing is either pushing or pulling,” Jastrow, Fact and Fable in Psychology, p. 336. Cf. the argument in Spencer's First Principles 80, that the phrase “impelled by desires” is not a metaphor but a physical fact. Plato's generalization of the concepts “attraction” and “repulsion” brings about a curious coincidence with the language of a materialistic, physiological psychology (cf. Lange, History of Materialism, passim), just as his rejection in the Timaeus of attraction and actio in distans allies his physics with that of the most consistent materialists.
9 Cf. on 349 E.
11 The argument might proceed with 439 Aτοῦ διψῶντος ἄρα ἡ ψυχή. All that intervenes is a digression on logic, a caveat against possible misunderstandings of the proposition that thirst qua thirst is a desire for drink only and unqualifiedly. We are especially warned (438 A) against the misconception that since all men desire the good, thirst must be a desire not for mere drink but for good drink. Cf. the dramatic correction of a misconception, Phaedo 79 B, 529 A-B.
12 In the terminology of the doctrine of ideas the “presence” of cold is the cause of cool, and that of heat, of hot. Cf. “The Origin of the Syllogism,”Class. Phil. vol. xix. p. 10. But in the concrete instance heat causes the desire of cool and vice versa. Cf. Philebus 35 Aἐπιθυμεῖ τῶν ἐναντίων ἢ πάσχει. If we assume that Plato is here speaking from the point of view of common sense (Cf. Lysis 215 Eτὸ δὲ ψυχρὸν θερμοῦ), there is no need of Hermann's transposition of ψυχροῦ and θερμοῦ, even though we do thereby get a more exact symmetry with πλήθους παρουσίαν . . . τοῦ πολλοῦ below.
14 Philebus 35 A adds a refinement not needed here, that thirst is, strictly speaking, a desire for repletion by drink.
15 Cf. 429 B. But (the desires) of such or such a (specific) drink are (due to) that added qualification (of the thirst).
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