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κτλ. With cf. Theaet. 172 D. τὸ μέν is CE.

τοῖς τότε μιμηθεῖσιν: i.e. the objects represented by CD, which were ‘imitated’ or copied in AD. They were originals then, but are only images now: this is the force of the collocation μιμηθεῖσινεἰκόσι. Cf. 510 E πλάττουσίν τε καὶ γράφουσιν, ὧν καὶ σκιαὶ καὶ ἐν ὕδασιν εἰκόνες εἰσί, τούτοις μὲν ὡς εἰκόσιν αὖ χρώμενοι, 511 A εἰκόσι δὲ χρωμένην αὐτοῖς τοῖς ὑπὸ τῶν κάτω ἀπεικασθεῖσι, and for the meaning of μιμηθεῖσιν X 599 A τό τε μιμηθησόμενον καὶ τὸ εἴδωλον and Laws 668 B. I have restored the reading of A, μιμηθεῖσιν, with which Proclus (in Plat. remp. I p. 291 Kroll) also agrees. τμηθεῖσιν, which appears to be adopted by all other editors, occurs in all the available MSS except A. But τοῖς τότε τμηθεῖσι would include AD as well as DC, and the illustrations employed in the inferior νοητόν are drawn solely from DC, as is proved by 510 E (cited above), as well as by the actual facts of the case. The sole objection to μιμηθεῖσι is that the word is generally used only of “artificiosa imitatio” (Schneider): yet in Pol. 293 E, 297 C, Phil. 40 C and Arist. Hist. An. II 8. 502^{b} 9 the ‘imitatio’ can hardly be called ‘artificiosa.’ 511 A seems to me sufficient by itself to prove that A is right. Schneider (Addit. p. 51) refers to a dissertation by Mommsen published in 1842 as taking the view here advocated.

ἐξ ὑποθέσεων . ὑπόθεσις is correctly defined in the Platonic ὅροι (415 B) as ἀρχὴ ἀναπόδεικτος, a starting-point which is not demonstrated, but taken for granted, assumed, postulated. The arithmetician, for example, ὑποτίθεται the odd, the even, etc., i.e. assumes that his definition of odd, even, etc. is correct, and draws conclusions from his ὑπόθεσις of the odd, the even, etc. by means of exclusively deductive reasoning: cf. H. Sidgwick in J. Ph. II p. 100. If we attack his ὑπόθεσις, as Lucian for example does (Hermot. 74, quoted by Stallbaum), he must, quâ arithmetician, throw up the sponge, for the ὑποθέσεις of the inferior νοητόν can be demonstrated (or overthrown) only by Dialectic. Cf. generally Men. 86 E ff. Schneider may be right in supposing that Aristotle had the present passage in view when he wrote εὖ γὰρ καὶ Πλάτων ἠπόρει τοῦτο καὶ ἐζήτει, πότερον ἀπὸ τῶν ἀρχῶν ἐπὶ τὰς ἀρχάς ἐστιν ὁδός, ὥσπερ ἐν τῷ σταδίῳ ἀπὸ τῶν ἀθλοθετῶν ἐπὶ τὸ πέρας ἀνάπαλιν (Eth. Nic. I 2. 1095^{a} 32), though it is perhaps better (with Zeller^{4} II 1, p. 587 note 2) to suppose that he is alluding to Plato's oral instruction.

τὸ δ̓ αὖ ἕτερον κτλ. τὸ ἕτερον is EB. The article after ἕτερον (see cr. n.) stands self-condemned, although its intrusion is difficult to explain. , which Schneider proposes, is also difficult, though in harmony with Ficinus (alterum vero, quod excogitat animus), for the verb of the relative clause can hardly be omit ted. λόγῳ, once proposed by Hermann, has nothing in its favour. ζητεῖ must be supplied to govern τὸ ἕτερον.

ἀρχὴν ἀνυπόθετον. The only ἀρχὴ ἀνυπόθετος is the Idea of the Good: cf. VII 532 A f. Towards this the Dialectician travels, starting from ὑποθέσεις. He may begin, for example, by ‘assuming’ the ‘just.’ In such a case he assumes that his definition of ‘just’ is correct, i.e. corresponds exactly to the Idea of ‘Just.’ But whereas the arithmetician treats his ὑπόθεσις as an ultimate truth, and proceeds deductively to a conclusion, making use of sensible images by way of illustration, the dialectician treats his hypothesis as purely provisional, testing, revising, rejecting (VII 533 C note), and reconstructing, and gradually ascending step by step to the first principle of all (τὴν τοῦ παντὸς ἀρχήν), without employing any sensible objects to illustrate his reasoning. The one gives no account of his ὑπόθεσις (οὐδένα λόγονφανερῶν in C below); the other not only does, but must do so, just because he is a dialectician: cf. VII 533 C ff. He connects his ὑποθέσεις with others, subsuming them under higher and yet higher —better and truer—ὑποθέσεις, until at last he has traversed the whole region of νοητά. Such of his ὑποθέσεις as survive will be improved at each stage in the ascent, and finally, as soon as the Idea of Good is reached, all his surviving ὑποθέσεις will actually have become perfect counterparts of the Ideas which they have hitherto been only assumed to represent. In the meantime the ἀρχὴ τοῦ παντός, which Plato himself described dogmatically δἰ εἰκόνος in 507 A—509 C, will have ceased to be a mere ὑπόθεσις: it will have become, in the fullest sense of the term, an ἀρχὴ ἀνυπόθετος: for the highest rung of the ladder is not reached until the entire domain of the knowable has been exhausted, and shewn to be the expression of the Idea of Good. Plato's ideal—it is no more—is a comprehensive and purely intellectual view of the totality of νοητά, in which every department is seen in its connexion with every other, and all in their dependence on the Good, which is in itself ἀνυπόθετος and ὑπερούσιοςἀνυπόθετος because higher than all ὑποθέσεις and itself proved by an exhaustive scrutiny of all νοητά, ὑπερούσιος because higher than, and the cause of, all existence. See also on 511 B and the Appendix to Book VII On Plato's Dialectic, together with Jackson J. of Ph. X pp. 145 f., where the distinctive peculiarities of the two methods are very clearly explained.

ὧνπερ ἐκεῖνο εἰκόνων: i.q. ἄνευ τῶν αἷσπερ ἐκεῖνο (ζητεῖ) εἰκόνων. I formerly read τῶν περὶ ἐκεῖνο εἰκόνων (with q), but now think (with Schneider and others) that A is right. The attraction of a relative in the dative case is rare, but not unexampled. Van Cleef (de attract. in enunt. rel. usu Plat. p. 45) cites Gorg. 509 A, Prot. 361 E, Theaet. 144 A, Rep. VII 531 E (all examples of ἐντυγχάνω, whose proper construction in the sense of ‘fall in with’ is the dative, not the genitive), and Ep. VII 327 A (with προσέτυχον); for examples in other authors see Kühner Gr. Gr. II p. 914. If ἄνευ and ἐκεῖνο are pronounced with emphasis, the meaning, I think, is easily caught. Stallbaum reads ὧν περὶ κτλ. with one Vienna MS, understanding, I suppose, χρῆται.

αὐτοῖς -- δἰ αὐτῶν . αὐτοῖς (ipsis= solis) is further accentuated by δἰ αὐτῶν (‘through themselves alone’): cf. 511 C. The εἴδη of the dialectician do not employ the adventitious aid of εἰκόνες: see on 511 B. The use of εἴδεσι here must not be held to imply that even the dialectician's conceptions of the Ideas are correct before he has reached the Idea of the Good. Till then, they are only ὑποθέσεις, though the false ὑποθέσεις are weeded out (VII 533 C note), and the hypothetical character of the survivors is gradually eliminated in the course of the ascent. See on ἀρχὴν ἀνυπόθετον above, and contrast 511 C.

ἀλλ᾽ αὖθις κτλ. ‘Then have it over again, said I.’ The ellipse has a colloquial effect. Ast's εὐθύς for αὖθις is unlikely: nor does Cobet's <ἐρῶ> after ἐγώ sound right. If Plato had written ἐρῶ, he would, I think, have placed it after αὖθις. μάνθανε, or the like, supplied from ἔμαθον, suits the con text (ῥᾷον γὰρμαθήσει) best. Similarly in D below, οἶσθα is understood out of Glauco's reply. Cf. also ἀλλ᾽ ὧδε in I 352 E.

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  • Commentary references from this page (6):
    • Plato, Theaetetus, 144a
    • Plato, Theaetetus, 172d
    • Plato, Philebus, 40c
    • Plato, Gorgias, 509a
    • Plato, Protagoras, 361e
    • Plato, Meno, 86e
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