previous next

πέντε θές. Krohn thinks five years very short, compared with the time allotted to the προπαιδεία, and suspects that we have here ‘a silent confession that there is not so very much to say about the Ideas after all.’ (Pl. St. p. 187). Five years devoted ἐνδελεχῶς καὶ ξυντόνως to Dialectic exclusively is a good deal; and we may be sure that Plato does not intend his Guardians to neglect the subject between 35 and 50, although practical duties occupy most of their time. Moreover at 50, Dialectic is resumed, and it is not till then that the Idea of Good is fully apprehended, so that the five years from 30 to 35 were certainly not thought by Plato to exhaust the subject. We must also beware of supposing that there is any break of continuity in the education of the Guardians. The study of each propaedeutic ‘art’ by itself prepares us for seeing all the ‘arts’ in their mutual relations and interdependence, and the comparative survey of the ‘arts’ in turn prepares us for Dialectic (537 C), nor need the subjects of the προπαιδεία be finally abandoned after we enter on Dialectic. See Appendices II and III.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: