previous next

καθ᾽ ὁδόν. Cf. (with Schneider) infra VII 533 B and Crat. 425 B. μέθοδον for καθ᾽ ὁδόν (Herwerden) is a sorry piece of criticism.

435A - 435D The point to be determined is this: are there three psychological forms or kinds in the soul of the Individual, corresponding to the three orders in our City? And is the Individual temperate, brave, wise and just in virtue of the corresponding affections of these kinds? Our present methods of investigation are wanting in exactness; but they are sufficient for our immediate object.

ff. The passages in Plato dealing with psychology have been collected and carefully expounded by E. W. Simson Der Begriff der Seele bei Plato (Leipzig 1889). I have found Simson's treatise more serviceable than Chaignet De la Psychologie de Platon (Paris 1862). Dr Brandt's Program Zur Entwickelung der Platonischen Lehre von den Seelentheilen (Leipzig 1890) will also be found useful in studying the psychological theory here unfolded. For an attempt to shew that Plato always believed in the unity of soul see ArcherHind in J. Ph. X pp. 120—131. The fundamental principle on which the theory of Book IV should be interpreted is that the just soul is an image of the just city. Now the just city is a ἕν with three πολλά: so therefore is the just soul. Plato states this quite clearly in 443 E ἕνα γενόμενον ἐκ πολλῶν. In this sense, therefore—and to Plato it was something real and no mere figure of speech—the soul has unity; but not, strictly speaking, in any other sense; otherwise we are in danger of obliterating the distinction between the three orders of the city, and so destroying the whole fabric. Of course nothing which Plato now says should be taken as prejudging the question about the nature of soul in its ἀληθεστάτη φύσις, i.e. when exempt from all the evils which are inseparable from matter (X 611 B ff.): if wholly separated from material accretions it is probably μονοειδές (612 A), λογιστικόν alone remaining. See on X 611 B. But for the present we are concerned with soul incarnate; and Plato certainly speaks of this as having three parts. Cf. Zeller^{4} II 1, pp 845 ff. In what sense an immaterial thing like the soul even when present in body can be said to contain ‘parts’ or ‘kinds’ (μέρη, εἴδη, γένη) is a further question, which Plato does not here raise, although his followers have done so. It is doubtless true (as Archer-Hind holds l.c.) that ‘parts’ of soul can only be different modes of its operation; and a consciousness of this fact seems to betray itself in 439 B, D; but we shall best apprehend the meaning of Plato in this passage by treating the analogy as Plato does, i.e. as valid throughout, and speaking, in common with Plato and his commentators, of ‘parts’ of soul. See also on 435 B.

μεῖζον -- ἔλαττον: ‘whether greater or smaller.’ The insertion of ὄν after ἔλαττον, suggested by Dobree, is unnecessary.

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 References (1 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (1):
    • Plato, Cratylus, 425b
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: