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[445c] “Come up here1 then,” said I, “that you may see how many are the kinds of evil, I mean those that it is worth while to observe and distinguish.2” “I am with you,” he said; “only do you say on.” “And truly,” said I, “now that we have come to this height3 of argument I seem to see as from a point of outlook that there is one form4 of excellence, and that the forms of evil are infinite, yet that there are some four among them that it is worth while to take note of.” “What do you mean?” he said. “As many as are the varieties of political constitutions that constitute specific types, so many, it seems likely,

1 Cf. Apology 25 C.

2 γε δὴ καὶ ἄξια θέας: for καί Cf. Sophist 223 A, 229 D, Timaeus 83 C, Politicus 285 B, and 544 A, C-D. By the strict theory of ideas any distinction may mark a class, and so constitute an idea. (Cf. De Platonis Idearum Doctrina, pp. 22-25.) But Plato's logical practice recognizes that only typical or relevant “Ideas” are worth naming or considering. The Republic does not raise the metaphysical question how a true idea is to be distinguished from a part or from a partial or casual concept. Cf. Unity of Plato's Thought, pp. 52-53, n. 381, Politicus 263 A-B.

3 Cf. 588 B, Emerson, Nominalist and Realist, ii. p. 256: “We like to come to a height of land and see the landscape, just as we value a general remark in a conversation.” Cf. Lowell, Democracy, Prose Works, vi. 8: “He who has mounted the tower of Plato to look abroad from it will never hope to climb another with so lofty a vantage of speculation.” From this and 517 A-B, the ἀνάβασις became a technical or cant term in Neoplatonism.

4 ἓν μέν, etc.: perhaps a faint remembrance of the line ἐσθλοὶ μὲν γὰρ ἁπλῶς, παντοδαπῶς δὲ κακοί, quoted by Aristotle Eth. Nic. 1106 b 35. It suggests Plato's principle of the unity of virtue, as ἄπειρα below suggests the logical doctrine of the Philebus 16 and Parmenides 145 A, 158 B-C that the other of the definite idea is the indefinite and infinite.

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