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2 Cf. Theaet. 175 D-E.
3 Lit. “or whether coming from a deeper ignorance into a more luminous world, it is dazzled by the brilliance of a greater light.”
5 ἐπαγγελλόμενοι connotes the boastfulness of their claims. Cf. Protag. 319 A, Gorg. 447 c, Laches 186 C, Euthyd. 273 E, Isoc.Soph. 1, 5, 9, 10, Antid. 193, Xen.Mem. iii. 1. 1, i. 2. 8, Aristot.Rhet. 1402 a 25.
6 Cf. Theognis 429 ff. Stallbaum compares Eurip.Hippol. 917 f. Similarly Anon. Theaet. Comm.(Berlin, 1905), p. 32, 48. 4καὶ δεῖν αὐτῇ οὐκ ἐνθέσεως μαθημάτων, ἀλλὰ ἀναμνήσεως. Cf. also St. Augustine: “Nolite putare quemquam hominem aliquid discere ab homine. Admonere possumus per strepitum vocis nostrae;” and Emerson's “strictly speaking, it is not instruction but provocation that I can receive from another soul.”
7 περιακτέον is probably a reference to the περίακτοι or triangular prisms on each side of the stage. They revolved on an axis and had different scenes painted on their three faces. Many scholars are of the opinion that they were not known in the classical period, as they are mentioned only by late writers; but others do not consider this conclusive evidence, as a number of classical plays seem to have required something of the sort. Cf. O. Navarre in Daremberg-Saglio s.v. Machine, p. 1469.
8 Hard-headed distaste for the unction or seeming mysticism of Plato's language should not blind us to the plain meaning. Unlike Schopenhauer, who affirms the moral will to be unchangeable, Plato says that men may be preached and drilled into ordinary morality, but that the degree of their intelligence is an unalterable endowment of nature. Some teachers will concur.
9 Plato often distinguishes the things that do or do not admit of reduction to an art or science. Cf. on 488 E p. 22, note b. Adam is mistaken in taking it “Education (ἡ παιδεία) would be an art,” etc.
10 This then is Plato's answer (intended from the first) to the question whether virtue can be taught, debated in the Protagoras and Meno. The intellectual virtues (to use Aristotle's term), broadly speaking, cannot be taught; they are a gift. And the highest moral virtue is inseparable from rightly directed intellectual virtue. Ordinary moral virtue is not rightly taught in democratic Athens, but comes by the grace of God. In a reformed state it could be systematically inculcated and “taught.” Cf. What Plato Said, pp. 51-512 on Meno 70 A. but we need not infer that Plato did not believe in mental discipline. cf. Charles Fox, Educational Psychology, p. 164 “The conception of mental discipline is a least as old as Plato, as may be seen from the seventh book of the Republic . . .”
12 Plato uses such synonyms as φρόνησις, σοφία, νοῦς, διάνοια, etc., as suits his purpose and context. He makes no attempt to define and discriminate them with impracticable Aristotelian meticulousness.
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