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οὕτω ῥᾷον ᾿κείνως . οὕτω refers to the alternative which is more familiar, although mentioned first: cf. (with Ast) Xen. Mem. I 3. 13 τοῦτο τὸ θηρίοντοσούτῳ δεινότερόν ἐστι τῶν φαλαγγίων ὅσῳ ἐκεῖνα μὲν ἁψάμενα, τοῦτο δὲ οὐδ᾽ ἁπτόμενονἐνίησί τι. On the corruption ῥᾴδιον for ´ῥᾷον (also in Men. 94 E) see Introd. § 5.

φύεται strikes the keynote of the City of Books II—IV. The first critic to lay sufficient stress on this point was Krohn: see Pl. St. pp. 59—62, where he collects the references to φύσις throughout Books I—IV. The City of II—IV is a κατὰ φύσιν οἰκισθεῖσα πόλις. What is meant by φύσις? Not inorganic Nature, but the ‘nature’ of a πόλις or aggregate of πολῖται, i.e. (as the unit in a city is the man) human nature, in other words, the nature of the human soul, which, according to Plato and Socrates, constitutes a man's true and proper individuality. It is not however human nature as it is, but as it ought to be, which is the foundation on which the Platonic State is built; so that, although the doctrine of transcendent Ideas is excluded from the first four books (see on III 402 C), Idealism at all events is present. See also Krohn Plat. Frage pp. 8—11, and (for the connotation of φύσις) Benn's article on ‘The Idea of Nature in Plato’ in Archiv f. Gesch. d. Phil. IX pp. 24 —49 and Pöhlmann l.c. pp. 110 ff.

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Plato, Meno, 94e
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.3.13
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