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[537a] but by play.1 That will also better enable you to discern the natural capacities of each.” “There is reason in that,” he said. “And do you not remember,” I said, “that we also declared2 that we must conduct the children to war on horseback to be spectators, and wherever it may be safe, bring them to the front and give them a taste of blood as we do with whelps?” “I do remember.” “And those who as time goes on show the most facility in all these toils and studies and alarms are to be selected and enrolled on a list.3” [537b] “At what age?” he said. “When they are released from their prescribed gymnastics. For that period, whether it be two or three years, incapacitates them for other occupations.4 For great fatigue and much sleep are the foes of study, and moreover one of our tests of them, and not the least, will be their behavior in their physical exercises.5” “Surely it is,” he said. “After this period,” I said, “those who are given preference from the twenty-year class will receive greater honors than the others, [537c] and they will be required to gather the studies which they disconnectedly pursued as children in their former education into a comprehensive survey6 of their affinities with one another and with the nature of things.” “That, at any rate, he said, is the only instruction that abides with those who receive it.” “And it is also,” said I, “the chief test of the dialectical nature and its opposite. For he who can view things in their connection is a dialectician; he who cannot, is not.” “I concur,” he said. “With these qualities in mind,” I said, [537d] “it will be your task to make a selection of those who manifest them best from the group who are steadfast in their studies and in war and in all lawful requirements, and when they have passed the thirtieth year to promote them, by a second selection from those preferred in the first,7 to still greater honors, and to prove and test them by the power of dialectic8 to see which of them is able to disregard the eyes and other senses9 and go on to being itself in company with truth. And at this point, my friend, the greatest care10 is requisite.” “How so?” he said. “Do you not note,” [537e] said I, “how great is the harm caused by our present treatment of dialectics?” “What is that?” he said. “Its practitioners are infected with lawlessness.11” “They are indeed.” “Do you suppose,” I said, “that there is anything surprising in this state of mind, and do you not think it pardonable12?” “In what way, pray?” he said. “Their case,” said I, “resembles that of a supposititious son reared in abundant wealth and a great and numerous family

1 Cf. 424 E-425 A, Laws 819 B-C, 643 B-D, 797 A-B, Polit. 308 D. Cf. the naive statement in Colvin And Bagley, Human Behavior, p. 41: “The discovery [sic !] by Karl Groos that play was actually a preparation for the business of later life was almost revolutionary from the standpoint of educational theory and practice.”

2 Cf. 467, vol. I. pp. 485-487.

3 ἐγκριτέον cf. 413 D, 377 C, 486 D, Laws 802 B, 820 D, 936 A, 952 A.

4 Cf. Aristot.Pol. 1339 a 7 f.ἅμα γὰρ τῇ τε διανοίᾳ καὶ τῷ σώματι διαπονεῖν οὐ δεῖ, etc.; Plut.De Ed. Puer. 11, De Tuenda San.C. 25, quoted by Newman, Aristot.Pol.I. p. 359, are irrelevant to this passage, but could be referred to the balancing of music and gymnastics in 410-412.

5 Cf. Laws 829 B-C.

6 σύνοψιν: cf. 531 D. This thought is endlessly repeated by modern writers on education. Cf. Mill, Diss. and Disc. iv. 336; Bagley, The Educative Process, p. 180: “The theory of concentration proposed by Ziller . . . seeks to organize all the subject matter of instruction into a unifies system, the various units of which shall be consciously related to one another in the minds of the pupils”; Haldane, The Philosophy of Humanism, p. 94: “There was a conference attended by representatives of various German Universities . . . which took place at Hanstein, not far from Göttingen in May 1921. . . . The purpose of the movement is nominally the establishment of a Humanistic Faculty. But in this connection ‘faculty’ does not mean a separate faculty of humanistic studies. . . . The real object is to bring these subjects into organic relation to one another.” Cf. Alexander, Space, Time, and Deity, vol. i. p. 4 “So true is it that, as Plato puts it, the metaphysician is a ‘synoptical’ man.” Cf. also Aristot.Soph. El. 167 a 38διὰ τὸ μὴ δύνασθαι συνορᾶν τὸ ταὐτὸν καὶ τὸ ἕτερον. Stenzel, Dialektik, misuses the passage to support the view that Plato's dialectic still looks for unity and not for divisions and distinctions, as in the Sophist. Cf. also ibid. p.72.

7 For the technical meaning of the word προκρίτων Cf. Laws 753 B-D.

8 For this periphrasis Cf. Phaedr. 246 D, Tim. 85 E. Cf. also on 509 A.

9 The reader of Plato ought not to misunderstand this now. Cf. on 532 A, pp. 196 f., note d, and 530 p. 187, note c.

10 Plato returns to an idea suggested in 498 A, and warns against the mental confusion and moral unsettlement that result from premature criticism of life by undisciplined minds. In the terminology of modern education, he would not encourage students to discuss the validity of the Ten commandments and the Constitution of the United States before they could spell, construe, cipher, and had learned to distinguish an undistributed middle term from a petitio principii. Cf. Phaedo 89 D-E. We need not suppose with Grote and others that this involves any “reaction” or violent change of the opinion he held when he wrote the minor dialogues that portray such discussions. In fact, the still later Sophist, 230 B-C-D, is more friendly to youthful dialectics. Whatever the effect of the practice of Socrates or the Sophists, Plato himself anticipates Grote's criticism in the Republic by representing Socrates as discoursing with ingenuous youth in a more simple and edifying style. Cf. Lysis 207 D ff., Euthydem. 278 E-282 C, 288 D-290 D. Yet again the Charmides might be thought an exception. Cf. also Zeller, Phil. d. Griechen, ii. 1, p. 912, who seems to consider the Sophist earlier than the Republic.

11 i.e. they call all restrictions on impulses and instincts tyrannical conventions. Cf. Gorg. 483-484, Aristoph.Clouds, passim, and on nature and law cf. Vol. I. p. 116, note a, on 359 C.

12 Cf. on 494 A, p. 43, note c.

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