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[504a] or whether it will faint and flinch1 as men flinch in the trials and contests of the body.” “That is certainly the right way of looking at it,” he said. “But what do you understand by the greatest studies?”

“You remember, I presume,” said I, “that after distinguishing three kinds2 in the soul, we established definitions of justice, sobriety, bravery and wisdom severally.” “If I did not remember,” he said, “I should not deserve to hear the rest.” “Do you also remember [504b] what was said before this?” “What?” “We were saying, I believe, that for the most perfect discernment of these things another longer way3 was requisite which would make them plain to one who took it, but that it was possible to add proofs on a par with the preceding discussion. And you said that that was sufficient, and it was on this understanding that what we then said was said, falling short of ultimate precision as it appeared to me, but if it contented you it is for you to say.” “Well,” he said, “it was measurably satisfactory to me, and apparently [504c] to the rest of the company.” “Nay, my friend,” said I, “a measure of such things that in the least degree falls short of reality proves no measure at all. For nothing that is imperfect is the measure of anything,4 though some people sometimes think that they have already done enough5 and that there is no need of further inquiry.” “Yes, indeed,” he said, “many experience this because of their sloth.” “An experience,” said I, “that least of all befits the guardians of a state and of its laws.” “That seems likely,” he said. “Then,” said I, “such a one must go around6 [504d] the longer way and must labor no less in studies than in the exercises of the body or else, as we were just saying, he will never come to the end of the greatest study and that which most properly belongs to him.” “Why, are not these things the greatest?” said he; “but is there still something greater than justice and the other virtues we described?” “There is not only something greater,” I said, “but of these very things we need not merely to contemplate an outline7 as now, but we must omit nothing of their most exact elaboration. Or would it not be absurd to strain every nerve8 to attain [504e] to the utmost precision and clarity of knowledge about other things of trifling moment and not to demand the greatest precision for the greatest9 matters?” “It would indeed,10” he said; “but do you suppose that anyone will let you go without asking what is the greatest study and with what you think it is concerned?” “By no means,” said I; “but do you ask the question. You certainly have heard it often, but now you either do not apprehend or again you are minded to make trouble for me

1 Cf. 535 B, Protag. 326 C.

2 For the tripartite soul cf. Vol. I. on 435 A and 436 B, Unity of Plato's Thought, p. 42, What Plato Said, p. 526 on Phaedo 68 C, p. 552 on Phaedr. 246 B, and p. 563 on Rep. 435 B-C.

3 Cf. Vol. I. on 435 C, Phaedr. 274 A, Friedländer, Platon, ii. pp. 376-377, Jowett and Campbell, p. 300 Frutiger, Mythes de Platon, pp. 81 ff., and my Idea of Good in Plato's RepublicUniv. of Chicago Studies in class. Phil. vol. i. p. 190). There is no mysticism and no obscurity. The longer way is the higher education, which will enable the philosopher not only like ordinary citizens to do the right from habit and training, but to understand the reasons for it. The outcome of such an education is described as the vision of the idea of good, which for ethics and politics means a restatement of the provisional psychological definition of the cardinal virtues in terms of the ultimate elements of human welfare. For metaphysics and cosmogony the vision of the idea of good may means teleological interpretation of the universe and the interpretation of all things in terms of benevolent design. That is reserved for poetical and mythical treatment in the Timaeus. The Republic merely glances at the thought from time to time and returns to its own theme. Cf.also Introd. p. xxxv.

4 Cf. Cic.De fin. i. 1 “nec modus est ullus investigandi veri nisi inveneris.” Note not only the edifying tone and the unction of the style but the definite suggestion of Plato's distaste for relativity and imperfection which finds expression in the criticism of the homo mensura in the Theaetetus, in the statement of the Laws 716 C, that God is the measure of all things (What Plato Said, p. 631), and in the contrast in the Politicus 283-294 between measuring things against one another and measuring them by an idea. Cf. 531 A.

5 Cf. Menex. 234 A, Charm. 158 C, Symp. 204 A, Epist. vii. 341 A. From here to the end of this Book the notes are to be used in connection with the Introduction, pp. xxiii-xxxvi, where the idea of good and the divided line are discussed.

6 Cf. Phaedr. 274 A.

7 i.e. sketch, adumbration. The ὑπογραφή is the account of the cardinal virtues in Bk. iv. 428-433.

8 For πᾶν ποιεῖν cf. on 488 C, for συντεινομένουςEuthydem. 288 D.

9 Such juxtaposition of forms of the same word is one of the most common features of Plato's style. Cf. 453 Bἑνα ἕν, 466 Dπάντα πάντῃ, 467 Dπολλὰ πολλοῖς, 496 Cοὐδεὶς οὐδέν, Laws 835 Cμόνῳ μόνος, 958 Bἑκόντα ἑκών. Cf. also Protag. 327 B, Gorg. 523 B, Symp. 217 B, Tim. 92 b, Phaedo 109 B, Apol. 232 C, and Laws passim.

10 The answer is to the sense. Cf. 346 E, Crito 47 C, and D, Laches 195 D, Gorg. 467 E. See critical note.

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