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ἔστιν ἄρα κτλ. Cf. Crito 49 A ff., Corg. 469 B, [περὶ ἀρετῆς] 376 E. This chapter contains the only element of permanent ethical interest and value in the discussion with Polemarchus—the only element, moreover, which reappears in a later book of the Republic (11 379 B). The underlying principle—that κακῶς ποιεῖν = κακὸν ποιεῖν—is in accordance with the traditional Greek view of life. For illustrations we may cite Od. XVIII 136 f. τοῖος γὰρ νόος ἐστὶν ἐπιχθονίων ἀνθρώπων | οἷον ἐπ᾽ ἦμαρ ἄγῃσι πατὴρ ἀνδρῶν τε θεῶν τε, Arch. Fr. 70 (Bergk), and Simon. Fr. 5. 10—14 ἄνδρα δ᾽ οὐκ ἔστι μὴ οὐ κακὸν ἔμμεναι | ὃν ἀμάχανος συμφορὰ καθέλοι: | πράξας μὲν εὖ πᾶς ἀνὴρ ἀγαθός, | κακὸς δ᾽ εἰ κακῶς <τις>, | κἀπὶ πλεῖστον ἄριστοι, τούς κε θεοὶ φιλῶσιν. The same point of view is manifest in the transition of meaning in μοχθηρός and πονηρός from ‘laborious,’ ‘afflicted’ (e.g. Hesiod Fr. 95. 1 Göttling) to ‘depraved.’ Conversely, prosperity makes one morally better, as in Solon 13. 69 f. τῷ δὲ κακῶς ἔρδοντι θεὸς περὶ πάντα τίθησιν | συντυχίην ἀγαθήν, ἔκλυσιν ἀφροσύνης, and in the frequent identification of εὐπραγία or εὐδαιμονία with εὖ πράττειν e.g. Charm. 172 A, 173 D, Alc. I 116 B, Arist. Eth. Nic. I 8. 1098^{b} 20. It is by the analogy of the arts that Socrates in this chapter seeks to prove, first the identification κακῶς ποιεῖν=κακὸν ποιεῖν, and second that the good man cannot harm others: the Socratic conception of right conduct as an art is still predominant. It is important to observe that it was by means of this Socratic weapon that Plato achieved this noble anticipation of Christian ethical theory (St Matth. 5. 44 al.). Cf. also Gorg. 472 D ff.

ἀνθρώπους δὲ κτλ. Cf. 352 E— 353 E.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Plato, Charmides, 172a
    • Plato, Gorgias, 469b
    • Plato, Gorgias, 472d
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