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ἐντιθέναι. Cf. Theognis 429—438 (εἰ δ᾽ ἦν ποιητόν τε καὶ ἔνθετον ἀνδρὶ νοήμα 435). The grossly material and mechanical view of education which Plato here attacks has some affinity with what is sometimes called ‘cram.’ ἐντιθέναι was used of a nurse feeding children (I 345 B note); but such an allusion, though not in itself inappropriate, is scarcely intended here. Cf. also Symp. 175 D, E.

δέ γε νῦν λόγος κτλ. Sophists profess to put ἐπιστήμη into the soul; but Plato's argument indicates that the power or faculty of ἐπιστήμη (ταύτην τὴν δύναμιν), and its organ νοῦς are already present in the soul of each individual, just as ὄψις and ὄμμα are already possessed by the prisoners in the cave. νοῦς is in fact the θεῖόν τι ἐν ἡμῖν, according to Plato, through whose indwelling man is most truly man by being like to God (VI 501 B, IX 589 D notes). The doctrine that μάθησις is ἀνάμνησις implies what is fundamentally the same view: see Meno 81 A ff. and Phaed. 72 E—76 D, especially 73 A ἐρωτώμενοι οἱ ἄνθρωποι, ἐάν τις καλῶς ἐρωτᾷ, αὐτοὶ λέγουσιν πάντα ἔχει: καίτοι εἰ μὴ ἐτύγχανεν αὐτοῖς ἐπιστήμη ἐνοῦσα καὶ ὀρθὸς λόγος, οὐκ ἂν οἷοί τ᾽ ἦσαν τοῦτο ποιήσειν. We may even go further and say that Plato's conception of the divine element in man is the ultimate basis of all his proofs of Immortality. In its deeper bearings, therefore, the view of education here presented is incomparably grander and more profound than the usual connotation of the word either in ancient or in modern times. We educate our pupils not only for time, but for eternity, and therefore πείρας οὐδὲν ἀνήσομεν, ἕως ἂν πείσωμεν καὶ τοῦτον καὶ τοῦς ἄλλους, προὔργου τι ποιήσωμεν εἰς ἐκεῖνον τὸν βίον, ὅταν αὖθις γενόμενοι τοῖς τοιούτοις ἐντύχωμεν λόγοις (VI 498 D). See also X 618 C ff. and Phaed. 107 D f. οὐδὲν γὰρ ἄλλο ἔχουσα εἰς Αἵδου ψυχὴ ἔρχεται πλὴν τῆς παιδείας τε καὶ τροφῆς κτλ. Michael Angelo used to say that every block of marble contained a statue, and that the sculptor brings it to light by cutting away the encumbrances by which the ‘human face divine’ is concealed. In like manner, according to Plato, it is the business of the teacher to prune the soul of his pupil of those unnatural excrescences and incrustations which hide its true nature (519 A, B note), until the human soul divine (VI 501 B note) stands out in all its pristine grace and purity. It should carefully be noted that in Plato's theory of education the entire soul is involved (ξὺν ὅλῃ τῇ ψυχῇ). The Platonic περιαγωγή, although, or rather, perhaps, because, it applies primarily and immediately to the intellect, effects a moral no less than an intellectual revolution. The moral discipline of Books II—IV, so far from being overthrown, is strengthened and consolidated by being intellectualised. Cf. also 519 A B note

ἑκάστου . ἑκάστῳ was read by Iamblichus (Protrept. 16) for ἑκάστου: but cf. 527 D note

ξύν. See on IV 424 D. Here, as in Gorg. 513 A and Laws 678 C, it implies an intimate, almost organic, connexion (‘in conjunction with’). Lina (de praepos. usu Plat. p. 33) is mistaken in holding that ξύν introduces a mere “Anhängsel” in this passage.

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hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Plato, Phaedo, 107d
    • Plato, Phaedo, 72e
    • Plato, Symposium, 175d
    • Plato, Gorgias, 513a
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