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ἀντιλαμβανόμενος: ‘by holding on fast to me,’ ‘refusing to let me go,’ is the opposite of ἀφεῖναι: cf. VIII 544 B note ‘By raising objections’ (D. and V.) is incorrect: see on 497 D. Socrates means ‘you intend to bother me as before’—αὖ refers to V 449 B ff.—‘by not letting me off, but on this occasion you won't succeed, for I have the answer ready, so ask away!’ Cf. ἐρώτα in Gorg. 448 B.

τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ ἰδέα κτλ. It is clear from πολλάκις ἀκήκοας that the supremacy of the Idea of Good was already a recognised tenet of the Platonic school. No proof of the doctrine is here attempted by Plato (cf. V 475 E note): it is merely expounded and explained. τὸ Πλάτωνος ἀγαθόν was in antiquity a proverb for any dark or obscure saying: see Amphis ap. D. L. III 27 ἧττον οἶδα τοῦτ᾽ ἐγώ, | δέσποτ᾽ , τὸ Πλάτωνος ἀγαθόν. (Another allusion occurs in Alexis ap. Athen. VIII 354 D). Some account of the enormous literature of the subject will be found in Zeller^{4} II 1. pp. 709 ff., 718 note 1. In addition to Stumpf's treatise to be presently named, I have found the monograph by Biehl Die Idee des Guten bei Platon Graz 1870 particularly good and useful. Other special treatises are also referred to in the course of the notes. The majority of interpreters are now agreed in identifying Plato's Idea of the Good with his philosophical conception of the Deity. The best and fullest proof of the identity is still, I think, Stumpf's exhaustive dissertation Das Verhältniss des Platonischen Gottes zur Idee des Guten Halle 1869. There is only one passage in his works where Plato himself appears expressly to identify the two, viz. Phil. 22 C, but on the principle that things which are equal to the same thing are equal to one another, the identification is complete, and I have therefore thought myself at liberty throughout the notes occasionally to illustrate Plato's metaphysics by his theology.

δίκαια καὶ τἄλλα. It is only by κοινωνία with the Idea of Good that δίκαια, καλά etc. become good i.e. useful and beneficial (synonyms of ‘good’: see V 457 B note). Otherwise they are altogether useless. δίκαια does not of course mean the Idea of Justice, but τὰ πολλὰ δίκαια in the widest sense of the term, including νόμιμα περὶ δικαίου: see on V 476 A, 476 C, 479 D. Baiter's δὴ καί for δίκαια καί occurs in one or two inferior MSS, but is certainly wrong: s<*>e on 506 A.

ὅτι -- ἴσμεν. Cf. 506 D ff., VII 517 B ff., 532 E ff. and Tim. 28 C, where much the same is said of the πατὴρ τοῦ παντός.

εἰ δὲ μὴ ἴσμεν κτλ.: ‘and if we know it not, and should know all else excepting it never so well’ etc. Cobet does ill to expunge εἰ δὲ μὴ ἴσμεν. The repetition of εἰ before ἐπισταίμεθα is necessary because, while ἴσμεν expresses a fact, ἐπισταίμεθα is only an improbable supposition: see next note. The sentiment is one of Plato's commonplaces: see for example Alc. II 144 D ff. (where it is expounded in detail), 147 B, Charm. 173 A ff., Euthyd. 280 E ff., 289 A ff., 291, and cf. also Lach. 199 C, Lys. 219 B ff., Phaed. 69 B. Stumpf das Verhältniss etc. p. 87 note compares also the language about the Gods in Laws 905 C. The Euthydemus and Charmides already forecast the city of the Philosopher-king, in which the Knowledge of Good shall ‘sit alone in the helm of the state’ (Euthyd. 291 D): see Nohle die Statslehre Pl. pp. 39—48.

κεκτήμεθα. To possess a thing ἄνευ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ is matter of common and daily occurrence; to know everything (except the Good) is not. Hence the indicative κεκτήμεθα is as appropriate now as the optative ἐπισταίμεθα was before. I formerly read κεκτῄμεθα with Π and the majority of editors, but now agree with Schneider that there is no reason to depart from the text of A.

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hide References (9 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (9):
    • Plato, Phaedo, 69b
    • Plato, Philebus, 22c
    • Plato, Lysis, 219b
    • Plato, Charmides, 173a
    • Plato, Laches, 199c
    • Plato, Euthydemus, 280e
    • Plato, Euthydemus, 291d
    • Plato, Gorgias, 448b
    • Plato, Timaeus, 28c
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