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[489a] a useless fellow, by the sailors in ships managed after this fashion?” “Quite so,” said Adeimantus. “You take my meaning, I presume, and do not require us to put the comparison to the proof1 and show that the condition2 we have described is the exact counterpart of the relation of the state to the true philosophers.” “It is indeed,” he said. “To begin with, then, teach this parable3 to the man who is surprised that philosophers are not honored in our cities, and try to convince him that it would be far more surprising [489b] if they were honored.” “I will teach him,”4 he said. “And say to him further: You are right in affirming that the finest spirit among the philosophers are of no service to the multitude. But bid him blame for this uselessness,5 not the finer spirits, but those who do not know how to make use of them. For it is not the natural6 course of things that the pilot should beg the sailors to be ruled by him or that wise men should go to the doors of the rich.7 The author of that epigram8 was a liar. But the true nature of things is that whether the sick man be rich or poor he must needs go to the door of the physician, [489c] and everyone who needs to be governed9 to the door of the man who knows how to govern, not that the ruler should implore his natural subjects to let themselves be ruled, if he is really good for anything.10 But you will make no mistake in likening our present political rulers to the sort of sailors we are just describing, and those whom these call useless and star-gazing ideologists to the true pilots.” “Just so,” he said. “Hence, and under these conditions, we cannot expect that the noblest pursuit should be highly esteemed by those whose way of life is quite the contrary. [489d] But far the greatest and chief disparagement of philosophy is brought upon it by the pretenders11 to that way of life, those whom you had in mind when you affirmed that the accuser of philosophy says that the majority of her followers12 are rascals and the better sort useless, while I admitted13 that what you said was true. Is not that so?” “Yes.”

“Have we not, then, explained the cause of the uselessness of the better sort?” “We have.” “Shall we next set forth the inevitableness of the degeneracy of the majority, and try to show if we can that philosophy [489e] is not to be blamed for this either?” “By all means.” “Let us begin, then, what we have to say and hear by recalling the starting-point of our description of the nature which he who is to be

1 Plato like some modern writers is conscious of his own imagery and frequently interprets his own symbols. Cf. 517 A-B, 531 B, 588 B, Gorg. 493 D, 517 D, Phaedo 87 B, Laws 644 C, Meno 72 A-B, Tim. 19 B, Polit. 297 E. Cf. also the cases where he says he cannot tell what it is but only what it is like, e.g.Rep. 506 E, Phaedr. 246 A, Symp. 215 A 5.

2 διάθεσις and ἕξις are not discriminated by Plato as by Aristotle.

3 Cf. 476 D-E.

4 This passage illustrates one of the most interesting characteristics of Plato's style, namely the representation of thought as adventure or action. This procedure is, or was, familiar to modern readers in Matthew Arnold's account in God and the Bible of his quest for the meaning of god, which in turn is imitated in Mr. Updegraff's New World. It lends vivacity and interest to Pascal's Provinciales and many other examples of it can be found in modern literature. The classical instance of it in Plato is Socrates' narrative in the Phaedo of his search for a satisfactory explanation of natural phenomena, 96 A ff. In the Sophist the argument is represented as an effort to track and capture the sophist. And the figure of the hunt is common in the dialogues(Cf. Vol. I. p. 365). Cf. also Rep. 455 A-B, 474 B, 588 C-D, 612 C, Euthyd. 291 A-B, 293 A, Phileb. 24 A ff., 43 A, 44 D, 45 A, Laws 892 D-E, Theaet. 169 D, 180 E, 196 D, Polit. 265 B, etc.

5 Cf. 487 D. Cf. Arnold, Culture and Anarchy, p. 3 “I am not sure that I do not think this the fault of our community rather than of the men of culture.”

6 For the idiom φύσιν ἔχει cf. 473 A, Herod. ii. 45, Dem. ii. 26. Similarly ἔχει λόγον, Rep. 378 E, 491 D, 564 A, 610 A, Phaedo 62 B and D, Gorg. 501 A, etc.

7 This saying was attributed to Simonides. Cf. schol. Hermann, Plato, vol. vi. p. 346, Joel, Der echte und der xenophontische Sokrates, ii.1 p .81, Aristot.Rhet. 1301 a 8 Cf. Phaedr. 245 Aἐπὶ ποιητικὰς θύρας,Thompson on Phaedr. 233 E, 364 Bἐπὶ πλουσίων θύρας, Laws 953 Dἐπὶ τὰς τῶν πλουσίων καὶ σοφῶν θύρας, and for the idea cf. also 568 A and Theaet. 170 A, Timon of AthensIV iii. 17 “The learned pate ducks to the golden fool.”

8 For Plato's attitude toward the epigrams of the Pre-Socratics Cf. Unity of Plato's Thought, pp. 68-69.

9 Cf. Theaet. 170 B and 590 C-D.

10 For the idiom with ὄφελος cf. 530 C, 567 B, Euthyphro 4 E, Apol. 36 C, Crito 46 A, Euthydem. 289 A, Soph.O. C. 259, where it is varied.

11 Cf. Theaet. 173 C, why speak of unworthy philosophers? and 495 C ff.

12 Possibly “wooers.” Cf. 347 C, 521 B. Plato frequently employs the language of physical love in speaking of philosophy. Cf. 495-496, 490 B, Theaet. 148 E ff., Pheado 66 E, Meno 60 B, Phaedr. 266 B, etc.

13 Cf. Theaet. 169 D.

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