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ff. 8 τὸν ἥλιον κτλ. The Good has been shewn to be the cause of Knowledge: Socrates now proceeds to shew that it is also the cause of Being. In the philosophy of Plato, Knowledge is the epistemological counterpart of Being, Being the ontological counterpart of Knowledge: see V 476 E ff. notes The final unity in which both Knowledge and Being meet is the Idea of the Good, which is therefore the supreme and ultimate cause of the Universe. See also on οὐκ οὐσίας κτλ. below and the Appendix to Book VII On Plato's Dialectic.

οὐ γένεσιν αὐτὸν ὄντα. See on οὐκ οὐσίας ὄντος τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ below.

φάναι. V 473 A note

ἀλλὰ καὶ τὸ εἶναι κτλ. Cf. Arist. Met. A 6. 988^{a} 10 τὰ γὰρ εἴδη τοῦ τί ἔστιν αἰτία τοῖς ἄλλοις, τοῖς δ᾽ εἴδεσι τὸ ἕν. Plato identified τἀγαθόν and τὸ ἕν: see the anecdote in Aristox. Harm. § 30 Marquard.

οὐκ οὐσίας κτλ. has occasioned a vast amount of discussion. Krohn boldly declares that ‘Die ἰδέα τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ ist keine Idee, denn sie hat keine οὐσία, sondern es ist eine Macht, die mit unserer Denkweise nur als die Gottheit begriffen werden kann’ (Pl. St. p. 146). Fouillée La Philosophie de Platon II p. 109 draws an over-subtle distinction between εἶναι and οὐσία, holding that although the Good is not οὐσία, it nevertheless is ὄν (cf. VII 518 C). Others have suspected the text, O. Schneider, for example, proposing οὐ <μόνον> οὐσίας κτλ. (Versuch einer genet. Entw. d. Plat. ἀγαθόν p. 16). That the text is right, the balance with οὐ γένεσινὄντα conclusively shews. The Sun, said Socrates, is the cause of γένεσις, though not himself γένεσις. Just so the Good is the cause of οὐσία, though not itself οὐσία, but (to use a Neoplatonic expression) ὑπερούσιος. Plato's meaning is as follows. The Sun is not γένεσις in the sense in which the objects which he produces are γιγνόμενα. Yet in a certain sense he too is γένεσις, for he is ὁρατός: see VII 529 C ff. and Tim. 28 B. (Bosanquet cannot be right in denying that Plato regards the Sun as a γιγνόμενον). As the cause of γένεσις, we may, in fact, regard the Sun as the only true γένεσις, for all γιγνόμενα are derived from him. Similarly the Good is not οὐσία in the sense in which the Ideas are οὐσίαι; but in a higher sense it is the only true οὐσία, for all οὐσίαι are only specific determinations of the Good. The ὑπερουσιότης of the Good is merely Plato's way of saying that the first Principle of all existence must itself be underived. See on ἀρχὴν ἀνυπόθετον 510 B and cf. Biehl l.c. p. 62 and Fouillée l.c. II pp. 105—111, where the matter is very clearly explained. The doctrine of the ὑπερουσιότης of the Highest afterwards became a cardinal point with the Neoplatonists: see Plotinus ap. RP.^{7} p. 528, and for other references Hermann Vind. disp. de id. boni pp. 40 note 84, 41 note 87, Zeller^{3} III 2. pp. 490 ff., Fouillée La Philosophie de Platon III pp. 289, 291 notes, and Shorey Chicago Studies in Cl. Phil. I p. 188 note 1. It is highly characteristic of Plato's whole attitude that he finds the true keystone of the Universe—the ultimate fountain from which both Knowledge and Existence flow—in no cold and colourless ontological abstraction, like Being, but in that for which πᾶσα κτίσις συστενάζει καὶ συνωδίνει (Rom. 8. 22)—viz. τὸ ἀγαθόν. Cf. Phaed. 97 C ff. and see also on 508 D. The conception is poetical and religious no less than philosophical, and may be compared with Dante's ‘L’ Amor che muove il Sole e l' altre Stelle' and Tennyson's ‘For so the whole round world is every way Bound by gold chains about the feet of God,’ as well as with Aristotle's πρῶτον κινοῦν ἀκίνητον Met. Λ 7 et al.

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    • Plato, Phaedo, 97c
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