previous next

ἀναπέφανται. Stallbaum naïvely reminds us that ἀναπέφανται is often used of a conclusion which “praeter exspectationem emergit et elucet.” The pervading fallacy in the discussion is akin to the a dicto secundum quid ad dictum simpliciter. Thus ‘like’ and ‘unlike’ are used absolutely, and each of them is equated with itself. The wise man is held to be good, because one is good in that in which one is wise (this might however be justified on the “stricter mode of reasoning”). Finally, the just man is inferred to be wise and good, on the principle that one is what one resembles: but whether the resemblance be in essence or in accident, we are not told. The argument should be regarded as a dialectical tour de force,—φιλόνικον μᾶλλον φιλάληθες. The reasoning in the next section of the argument strikes a deeper note.

350C - 352D Socrates now attacks the second assertion made by Thrasymachus in 349 A, viz. that Injustice is strong. Justice (he argues) is stronger than Injustice, both because it is (as we have seen) virtue and wisdom, and because in its effects it is the antithesis of Injustice, which infuses hatred and sedition, both into aggregates of individuals, and into the individual himself. Injustice weakens by preventing community of action; it makes men collectively and individually hateful to themselves and to the just, among whom are the gods. When Injustice seems to be strong, it is in virtue of some latent Justice which it still retains.

ff. The argument in this section has a deeper ethical import than any which has preceded, and foreshadows some of the central doctrines of the Republic. See notes on 351 D, E, and (for the importance of the whole discussion in the general history of philosophy) Bosanquet's Companion, p. 63, where it is justly observed that the argument “marks an era in philosophy. It is a first reading of the central facts of society, morality, and nature. In social analysis it founds the idea of organization and division of labour....In morality it gives the conception of a distinctively human life which is the content or positive end of the distinctively human will. And for natural knowledge it suggests the connection between function and definition, and consequently between purpose and reality, which is profoundly developed in the sixth and seventh books. These conceptions become corner-stones of Aristotle's Philosophy, and still, when seen in their connection, form the very core of the best thought.”

δὲ Θρασύμαχος κτλ. ‘Now Thrasymachus’ etc. δέ is not “flat” (Tucker), but at least as good as δή, and much better supported by the MSS.

οὐχ ὡς ἐγὼ νῦν ῥᾳδίως λέγω. “Expectabam certe: οὐχ ὡς ἐγὼ νῦν λέγω ῥᾳδίως,” says Herwerden; but the antecedent in Greek is idiomatically attracted into the relative clause (Kühner Gr. Gramm. II p. 922). Translate ‘not in the easy way in which I now repeat them.’

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: