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[435d] “and let me tell you, Glaucon, that in my opinion we shall never in the world apprehend this matter1 from such methods as we are now employing in discussion. For there is another longer and harder way that conducts to this. Yet we may perhaps discuss it on the level of previous statements and inquiries.” “May we acquiesce in that?” he said. “I for my part should be quite satisfied with that for the present.” “And I surely should be more than satisfied,” I replied. “Don't you weary then,” he said, “but go on with the inquiry.” “Is it not, then,”

1 τοῦτο by strict grammatical implication means the problem of the tripartite soul, but the reference to this passage in 504 B shows that it includes the whole question of the definition of the virtues, and so ultimately the whole of ethical and political philosophy. We are there told again that the definitions of the fourth book are sufficient for the purpose, but that complete insight can be attained only by relating them to the idea of the good. That required a longer and more circuitous way of discipline and training. Plato then does not propose the “longer way” as a method of reasoning which he himself employs to correct the approximations of the present discussion. He merely describes it as the higher education which will enable his philosophical rulers to do that. We may then disregard all idle guesses about a “new logic” hinted at in the longer way, and all fantastic hypotheses about the evolution of Plato's thought and the composition of the Republic based on supposed contradictions between this passage and the later books. Cf. Introduction p. xvi, “Idea of Good,” p. 190, Unity of Plato's Thought, p. 16, n. 90; followed by Professor Wilamowitz, ii. p. 218, who, however, does not understand the connection of it all with the idea of good. Plato the logician never commits himself to more than is required by the problem under discussion (cf. on 353 c), and Plato the moralist never admits that the ideal has been adequately expressed, but always points to heights beyond. Cf. 506 E, 533 A, Phaedo 85 C, Ti. 29 B-C, Soph. 254 C.

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