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ἔχειν . ἔχει was read till Bekker, apparently without any MS authority. The influence of φήσομεν is still felt.

ἐπεὶ γυμνωθέντα -- φαίνεται. Cf. Isocr. l.c. II ἢν γάρ τις τῶν ποιημάτων τῶν εὐδοκιμούντων τὰ μὲν ὀνόματα καὶ τὰς διανοίας καταλίπῃ, τὸ δὲ μέτρον διαλύσῃ, φανήσεται πολὺ καταδεέστερα τῆς δόξης ἧς νῦν ἔχομεν περὶ αὐτῶν and Pl. Gorg. 502 C, Symp. 205 C, Phaedr. 258 D ἐν μέτρῳ ὡς ποιητής, ἄνευ μέτρου ὡς ἰδιώτης. A cursory inspection of these passages of Plato might lead one to suppose that he defined poetry as no more than λόγος ἔχων μέτρον, but we can see from other passages in his writings that it was not the μέτρον, but the μῦθος which appeared to him to be the most essential part of poetry (e.g. Phaed. 61 B ἐννοήσας ὅτι τὸν ποιητὴν δέοι, εἴπερ μέλλοι ποιητὴς εἶναι, ποιεῖν μύθους ἀλλ᾽ οὐ λόγους: cf. Arist. Poet. 9. 1451^{b} 29 τὸν ποιητὴν μᾶλλον τῶν μύθων εἶναι δεῖ ποιητὴν τῶν μέτρων. See also Walter Gesch. d. Aesthetik im Alt. pp. 460, 463). Whether Plato would have spoken of a prose romance as a poem, is another question, and the passages to which I have referred make it unlikely that he would have done so. Aristotle seems to attach less importance than Plato to the metrical form: see Poet. 1. 1447^{b} 17 ff. οὐδὲν δὲ κοινόν ἐστιν Ὁμήρῳ καὶ Ἐμπεδοκλεῖ πλὴν τὸ μέτρον: διὸ τὸν μὲν ποιητὴν δίκαιον καλεῖν, τὸν δὲ φυσιολόγον μᾶλλον ποιητὴν κτλ. and ib. 9. 1451^{b} 2 ff.: but it is doubtful whether even Aristotle could have said with Sir Philip Sidney ‘One may be a poet without versifying,’ although he would certainly not quarrel with the converse statement that ‘one may be a versifier without poetry.’ See on the whole subject Butcher Aristotle's Theory of Poetry^{2} etc. pp. 143 ff. and Courthope Life in Poetry etc. pp. 68 ff.

τεθέασαι γάρ που. An example is afforded by III 393 B ff., but the reference is more general.

ἔοικεν -- προλίπῃ. Aristotle cites this as an example of an εἰκών (Rhet. III 4. 1406^{b} 36 ff.).

601B - 602B The condition of Imitative art in respect of knowledge may be apprehended in the following way. In connexion with every object we can distinguish three arts, that which uses, that which makes, and that which imitates it. The user alone has knowledge of the object; the maker, when the user instructs him, has correct opinion; but neither knowledge nor correct opinion can be attributed to the imitator. He merely copies what appears to be beautiful to the ignorant multitude.

ἴθι δή, τόδε ἄθρει κτλ. Plato has already proved that Imitation is ‘third from Truth’ ἐκ τῆς εἰωθυίας μεθόδου (596 A), i.e. from the ontological standpoint provided by his own Ideal Theory. The following argument takes up a different standpoint, according to which knowledge is defined as ἐμπειρία or practical familiarity (601 C, D, 602 A). The attitude assumed throughout this section resembles in some respects that of the historical Socrates (601 D note). Can the two points of view be reconciled? Bosanquet makes an interesting attempt to do so (pp. 379, 389 ff.), but his misconception (as it seems to me) of Plato's Ideas renders his conclusions less valuable than they might otherwise have been. Krohn (Pl. St. p. 255) professes himself unable to effect a reconciliation. We must admit that Plato himself does not, as a matter of fact, endeavour in this passage to connect the two arguments. Had he chosen to make the effort, I think a careful study of Euthyd. 288 E— 290 D and Crat. 390 B—E will shew on what lines he might have proceeded (see on ἐμπειρότατον in 601 D), but it is safer to suppose that he has shifted his ground, and is applying a new and less strictly scientific μέθοδος to shew that the Imitator is third from knowledge, as Imitation is from truth.

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hide References (6 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (6):
    • Plato, Phaedo, 61b
    • Plato, Cratylus, 390b
    • Plato, Phaedrus, 258d
    • Plato, Symposium, 205c
    • Plato, Euthydemus, 288e
    • Plato, Gorgias, 502c
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