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ἐλέγομεν. See IV 435 D note

ἦν: “ut ἐχρῆν et similia dictum” (Schneider). There is no reason to eject the word (with Madvig) or to write εἴη: why should not the mood of the oratio recta be retained? εἴη would be unpleasing with εἴη following so soon. Liebhold's ὡς μὲν δυνατὰ is unclassical: see on I 349 C. Richards conjectures ὡς μὲν <ὡς or ὅσον or εἰς τὸ> δυνατὸν κάλλιστα κτλ., taking ὡς with κατιδεῖν. But we ought not to multiply instances of ὡς for ὥστε in Plato (II 365 D note). The infinitive means simply ‘for descrying,’ ‘in order to descry them in the best possible way’: see Goodwin MT. p. 308 and Kühner Gr. Gr. II p. 586.

αὐτά is of course the four cardinal virtues, like ταῦτα in 504 D. The ‘longer circuit’ is the educational training necessary in order to enable the guardians to obtain scientific knowledge of the virtues by discerning their relation with the Idea of Good: cf. 506 A. In Book IV Justice, Temperance etc. were regarded as psychological qualities or relations; but the philosophic Guardians must learn their metaphysical import. Throughout the rest of VI and VII Plato, in short, discards Psychology for Metaphysics. Thus much is clear; but many difficult and interesting questions arise in connexion with this passage, as Krohn and others have pointed out. The μακροτέρα περίοδος mentioned in IV 435 D appears to be a longer way of determining, not the essential nature of the virtues, but whether Soul has ‘parts’ or not. (A solution of this difficulty is suggested on 435 D). Socrates' shorter road, again, is not a way by which the Guardians are to go, but a method employed by himself in studying primarily the Soul, and secondarily the virtues. Finally, what is the relation between the psychological conception of Virtue and the metaphysical? And does the metaphysical conception involve a revised psychology or not? The last question is touched on in the notes to X 611 B, where Plato himself appears to raise it. For the last but one see on 504 D.

ἑπομένας: ‘corresponding with’ ‘on a level with’ (Jowett) viz. in point of ἀκριβεία: cf. IV 435 D τῶν γε προειρημένων τε καὶ προεσκεμμένων ἀξίως, where see note. For the genitive with ἑπόμενος cf. (with Stallbaum) Pol. 271 E and Laws 899 C (ὁπόσα τούτων ξυνεπόμενα, according to the best MS). Bywater would read ἐχομένας here and ἐχόμενα in the Politicus, but it is safer to make no change, although the reverse corruption of ἐχόμενα for ἑπόμενα apparently occurs in Gorg. 494 E, if Bekker's restoration is correct.

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