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αὐτὴν -- εἶναι. The text is successfully defended by Vahlen (Hermes 1877 p. 196) who compares II 375 E οὐ παρὰ φύσιν ζητοῦμεν τοιοῦτον εἶναι τὸν φύλακα and (for the pleonasm) Phaed. 101 E ἱκανοὶ γὰρδύνασθαι αὐτοὶ αὑτοῖς ἀρέσκειν. Madvig's proposal (adopted by Baiter) αὖ ἣν ζητοῦμεν δεῖ εἶναι is neat but unnecessary; still less should we (with Herwerden) bracket δεῖν εἶναι. With the sentiment Krohn (Pl. St. p. 363) compares Xen. Mem. IV 1. 2.

ἀσχήμονος. Herwerden should not have conjectured ἀμνήμονος. We are passing to a fresh point. ἀμουσία and ἀσχημοσύνη (‘bad form’) tend to ἀμετρία ‘excess,’ ‘extravagance’ in behaviour (cf. Arist. Eth. Nic. IV 8. 1125^{a} 12—16); and extravagant behaviour is a form of untruth, because it makes a man appear what he is not. The love of truth will therefore save the philosopher from selfassertion and bad manners.

φύσει κτλ. The antecedent of ἥν is διάνοιαν: and φύσει (‘by nature,’ ‘naturally’) should be taken with the adjectives ἔμμετρον and εὔχαριν. It might seem possible to translate: ‘Let us insist, then, on a modest and agreeable habit of mind for a nature whose innate disposition is to make it easy to lead to the Form of each essential Being,’ making φύσει the antecedent to ἥν: but the ordinary view gives a better sense. The preceding note will explain how ἐμμετρία inclines one to the love of Truth or the Ideas. Stallbaum connects ἑκάστου with τὸ αὐτοφυές, but cf. V 480 A ad fin. and 484 D (ἕκαστον τὸ ὄν). ἰδέαν is, I think, ‘Form,’ ‘Idea’ (so Schneider etc.), rather than ‘contemplation’ (as Stallbaum translates). The word however suggests ἰδεῖν: see on V 479 A.

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  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Plato, Phaedo, 101e
    • Xenophon, Memorabilia, 4.1.2
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