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εἰ γελᾶν κτλ. Cf. Theaet. 175 B, D. There is more of pity than of malice in Plato's philosophic smile.

518B - 521B It follows that Education is not a way of putting knowledge into empty souls, but a revolution of the Reason or organ of Knowledge, whose gaze must be directed upon Being and the brightest part thereof, which is the Good. The entire soul turns round along with Reason in this revolution. Other virtues are secondary and adventitious, but Reason never loses its power, and works weal or woe, according as it is or is not converted by means of Education. The best natures in our city, after they have ascended to the Good, must rejoin the prisoners whom they have left. To force them thus to redescend, may seem unjust; but Law seeks to make the whole city prosperous rather than a single class. And indeed it is also just that they should thus repay their country for having reared and educated them. They will themselves admit the force of our demands, and take their turn in the work of government, not eagerly, but as a necessity. We have seen that a well governed city is impossible unless a life better than that of ruling is open to its rulers, and the life of true philosophy is better.

ff. Nothing that Plato has bequeathed to us is more valuable than his theory of education as developed in this part of the Republic, and there is probably nothing in the whole range of educational literature, ancient or modern, which takes so far-reaching and profound a view of the aim and scope of education, or is so well fitted to inspire the teacher with indomitable courage and inextinguishable hope. See on 518 C and App. II.

αὐτῶν: ‘the subject before us’: cf. VI 511 C, and αὐτό in I 339 E note

ἐπαγγελλόμενοι κτλ. ἐπαγγέλλεσθαι of sophistic ‘professions’ is almost technical: cf. e.g. Prot. 319 A, Gorg. 447 C and Isocr. Soph. 1. τινές from its position is emphatic, and makes us halfsuspect some allusion to a particular Sophist: cf. Aristotle's use of τινές (Bonitz Ind. Arist. p. 598). Similar sophistic ἐπαγγέλματα are ridiculed, though on different grounds, by Isocrates Soph. 2 ff.: see also Prot. 318 E ff. and Euthyd. 273 D ff. (ἀρετήν, ἔφη sc. Εὐθύδημος,— οἰόμεθα οἵω τ᾽ εἶναι παραδοῦναι κάλλιστ᾽ ἀνθρώπων καὶ τάχιστα), and cf. Newman Politics of Aristotle I p. 387. It should be mentioned that the double εἶναι has been suspected by Richards, who would omit the first; but Plato himself is not averse to such repetitions: cf. μετέχεινμετέχειν in VI 511 E and X 621 B note

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hide References (5 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (5):
    • Plato, Theaetetus, 175b
    • Plato, Euthydemus, 273d
    • Plato, Gorgias, 447c
    • Plato, Protagoras, 318e
    • Plato, Protagoras, 319a
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