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σοφία as here described means φρόνησις—so it is called in 433 B, C— in its application to politics, not metaphysical knowledge of the Idea of Good. It deliberates for the good of the whole city (428 D), but the good is not yet elevated to the rank of an Idea. This point has been rightly emphasized by Krohn (Pl. St. pp. 40, 362), who points out the essentially Socratic character of this virtue, comparing Xen. Mem. I 2. 64 and IV 1. 2 (a sentiment of which Books II—IV of the Republic are an amplification and exposition in detail). See also Prot. 352 B and Laws III 689 B. Commentators before Krohn (Steinhart for example Einleit. p. 185, and Susemihl Gen. Entw. II p. 153) did not sufficiently grasp the almost exclusively political character of σοφία here, although it is expressly dwelt upon by Plato throughout, and particularly in 429 A. I say ‘almost,’ because here, as elsewhere, Plato, as his manner is, contrives to drop some hints preparing us for a still higher conception of the virtue of the guardians. See on 429 C and 442 C. ἄτοπον: because it is its smallest section which makes the whole city wise (428 E). εὔβουλος . εὐβουλία was primarily a political virtue: see on I 348 D.
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