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πρῶτον μὲν...ἔπειτα...οὐδ̓ αὖ κτλ. The Ideal object is distinguished by three leading characteristics, viz. (1) eternity and immutability; (2) absoluteness, or freedom from relativity; (3) self-existence. Compare the accounts of Ideal being given in Phaedo 78 C ff., Phaedrus 247 C ff., Crat. 386 D, 439 C ff., Rep. 476 A, 479 A ff., Soph. 249 B ff., Phileb. 15 B, 58 A, Tim. 51 D ff. The description has, necessarily, to be conveyed by means of negative propositions, i.e. by way of contrast with phenomenal objects. See also the parallels in Plotin. Enn. V. viii. 546 C, VI. vii. 727 C.

τῇ μὲν...τῇ δὲ. “In part...in part”: so Theaet. 158 E, Polit. 274 E, Laws 635 D.

πρὸς μὲν τὸ...τὸ. This denotes varying “relation,” as in the Aristotelian τὸ πρός τι.

ὥς τισὶ...αἰσχρόν. Rettig defends this clause, quoting Wolf's note, “τισί (geht) auf alle vier (vorher genannten) Ideen, Theile, Zeit, Verhältniss, Ort.” Teuffel argues that “ausser Platon selbst hätte nicht leicht Jemand einen Anlass gehalt einen Beisatz zu machen.” None the less, I believe we have here another “ineptum glossema.”

φαντασθήσεται αὐτῷ. Sc. τῷ θεωμένῳ. φαντάζεσθαι often connotes illusive semblance; cp. Phaedo 110 D, Rep. 572 B.

οὐδέ τις λόγος. It is difficult to be sure of the sense in which λόγος is used here. (1) It is most natural to refer it, and ἐπιστήμη following, to the λόγοι and ἐπιστῆμαι of 210 C, and to render by “discourse,” “argument” (with Gomperz, Stewart and Zeller). This rendering has in its favour the fact that this is the usual sense of λόγος (λόγοι) throughout this dialogue. (2) Or λόγος may mean “concept”; so Rettig, who comments: “Die Ideen sind nicht blosse Begriffe, sie sind vielmehr Existenzen, χωρισταί, wie Aristoteles sich ausdrückt, und Bedingungen des Seins und Werdens der Dinge der Sinnenwelt.” Cp. Phaedrus 245 E, Laws 895 E, Phaedo 78 C, in which places (to quote Thompson) “λόγος is equivalent to ὅρος or ὁρισμός, of which οὐσία is the objective counterpart.” This more technical sense is, perhaps, less probable in the present context; but, after all, the difference between the two renderings is not of vital importance. The essence of the statement, in either case, is that the Idea is not dependent upon either corporeal or mental realization, i.e. that it is not subjective, as a quality or product of body or mind, but an objective, self-conditioned entity. A third possible sense of λόγος is “ratio,” or mathematical relation. Perhaps “formula” would best render the word here.

οὐδέ που ὂν . που is probably used in a local sense: cp. Arist. Phys. III. 4. 203^{a} 7 Πλάτων δὲ ἔξω μὲν οὐδὲν εἶναι σῶμα, οὐδὲ τὰς ἰδέας, διὰ τὸ μηδέ που εἶναι αὐτάς. But though the Ideas are extra-spatial, it is Platonic (as Aristotle implies, de An. III. 4. 429^{a} 27) to say τὴν ψυχὴν εἶναι τόπον εἰδῶν.


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hide References (14 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (14):
    • Plato, Laws, 635d
    • Plato, Laws, 895e
    • Plato, Republic, 476a
    • Plato, Republic, 572b
    • Plato, Phaedo, 110d
    • Plato, Phaedo, 78c
    • Plato, Cratylus, 386d
    • Plato, Sophist, 249b
    • Plato, Theaetetus, 158e
    • Plato, Phaedrus, 245e
    • Plato, Phaedrus, 247c
    • Plato, Philebus, 15b
    • Plato, Symposium, 210c
    • Plato, Timaeus, 51d
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