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[534a] the second understanding, the third belief,1 and the fourth conjecture or picture-thought—and the last two collectively opinion, and the first two intellection, opinion dealing with generation and intellection with essence, and this relation being expressed in the proportion2: as essence is to generation, so is intellection to opinion; and as intellection is to opinion, so is science to belief, and understanding to image-thinking or surmise? But the relation between their objective correlates3 and the division into two parts of each of these, the opinable, namely, and the intelligible, let us dismiss,4 Glaucon, lest it involve us in discussion many times as long as the preceding.” [534b] “Well,” he said, “I agree with you about the rest of it, so far as I am able to follow.” “And do you not also give the name dialectician to the man who is able to exact an account5 of the essence of each thing? And will you not say that the one who is unable to do this, in so far as he is incapable of rendering an account to himself and others, does not possess full reason and intelligence6 about the matter?” “How could I say that he does?” he replied. “And is not this true of the good likewise7—that the man who is unable to define in his discourse and distinguish and abstract from all other things the aspect or idea of the good, [534c] and who cannot, as it were in battle, running the gauntlet8 of all tests, and striving to examine everything by essential reality and not by opinion, hold on his way through all this without tripping9 in his reasoning—the man who lacks this power, you will say, does not really know the good itself or any particular good; but if he apprehends any adumbration10 of it, his contact with it is by opinion, not by knowledge; and dreaming and dozing through his present life, before he awakens here [534d] he will arrive at the house of Hades and fall asleep for ever?11” “Yes, by Zeus,” said he, “all this I will stoutly affirm.” “But, surely,” said I, “if you should ever nurture in fact your children12 whom you are now nurturing and educating in word,13 you would not suffer them, I presume, to hold rule in the state, and determine the greatest matters, being themselves as irrational14 as the lines so called in geometry.” “Why, no,” he said. “Then you will provide by law that they shall give special heed to the discipline that will enable them to ask and answer15 questions in the most scientific manner?” [534e] “I will so legislate,” he said, “in conjunction with you.” “Do you agree, then,” said I, “that we have set dialectics above all other studies to be as it were the coping-stone16—and that no other higher kind of study could rightly be placed above it,

1 Always avoid “faith” in translating Plato.

2 Cf. on 508 C, p. 103, note b.

3 That is the meaning, though some critics will object to the phrase. Lit. “the things over which these (mental states) are set, or to which they apply.”

4 There are two probable reasons for this: (1) The objective classification is nothing to Plato's present purpose; (2) The second member of the proportion is lacking in the objective correlates. Numbers are distinguished from ideas not in themselves but only by the difference of method in dialectics and in mathematics. Cf. on 525 D, 526 A, Unity of Plato's Thought, pp. 83-84, and Class. Phil. xxii. (1927) pp. 213-218. The explicit qualifications of my arguments there have been neglected and the arguments misquoted but not answered. They can be answered only by assuming the point at issue and affirming that Plato did assign an intermediate place to mathematical conceptions, for which there is no evidence in Plato's own writings.

5 Cf. on 531 E, p. 195, note f.

6 Cf. on 511 D, p. 117, note a.

7 This would be superfluous on the interpretation that the ἱκανόν must always be the idea of good. What follows distinguishes the dialectician from the the eristic sophist. For the short cut,καὶ . . . ὡσαύτως, cf. 523 E, 580 D, 585 D, 346 A, etc.

8 It imports little whether the objections are in his own mind or made by others. Thought is a discussion of the soul with itself (Cf. Theaet. 189 E, Phileb. 38 E, Soph. 263 E), and when the interlocutor refuses to proceed Socrates sometimes continues the argument himself by supplying both question and answer, e.g.Gorg. 506 C ff. Cf. further Phaedrus 278 C, Parman. 136 D-E, Unity of Plato's Thought, p. 17.

9 Cf. Theaet. 160 D, Phileb. 45 A. The practical outcome=Laws 966 A-B, Phaedr. 278 C, Soph. 259 B-C. Cf. Mill, Diss. and Disc. iv. p. 283: “There is no knowledge and no assurance of right belief but with him who can both confute the opposite opinion and successfully defend his own against confutation.”

10 For εἰδώλου cf. on 532 B, p. 197, not e. This may be one of the sources of Epist. vii. 342 B.

11 For Platonic intellectualism the life of the ordinary man is something between sleep and waking. Cf. Apol. 31 A. Note the touch of humor in τελέως ἐπικαταδαρθάνειν. Cf. Bridges, Psychology, p. 382: “There is really no clear-cut distinction between what is usually called sleeping and waking. In sleep we are less awake than in the waking hours, and in waking life we are less asleep than in sleep.”

12 Plato likes to affirm his ideal only of the philosophic rulers.

13 Cf. 376 D, 369 C, 472 E, Critias 106 A.

14 A slight touch of humor. Cf. the schoolgirl who said, “These equations are inconsiderate and will not be solved.”

15 A frequent periphrasis for dialectics. Cf.τὸ ἐρωτώμενον ἀποκρίνεσθαιGorg. 461 E, Charm. 166 D, Prot. 338 D, Alc. I. 106 B.

16 For ὥσπερ θριγκός cf. Eur.Herc. Fur. 1280, Aesch.Ag. 1283: and Phileb. 38 C-D ff.

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