This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
ὁρμήν. The idea is as of a start or impulse which enables one to clear the obstacles in the way: cf. V 451 C. τὰ νῦν should be taken with ἐφικέσθαι. If we take it with δοκοῦντος, we must suppose that Socrates intends to suggest that his view of the matter may change (so D. and V.). He is hardly likely to have made such a suggestion, even ironically. ἐάσωμεν τὸ νῦν εἶναι is also in favour of connecting τὰ νῦν with ἐφικέσθαι. Cf. Tim. 48 C f. τὴν μὲν γὰρ περὶ ἁπάντων εἴτε ἀρχὴν εἴτε α<*>ρχὰς—τὸ νῦν οὐ ῥητέον, δἰ ἄλλο μὲν οὐδέν, διὰ δὲ τὸ χαλεπὸν εἶναι κατὰ τὸν παρόντα τρόπον τῆς διεξόδου δηλῶσαι τὰ δοκοῦντα κτλ. The emphasis on τὸ νῦν εἶναι and τὰ νῦν seems to hint that a description of the ἀγαθόν, as it is in itself, may be expected on some future occasion. But there is no dialogue in which the Idea of Good is so clearly described as in the Republic, and it is not without reason that every historian of Philosophy regards this passage as the locus classicus on the subject. O. Schneider (Versuch einer genet. Entw. d. Pl. ἀγαθόν p. 15) thinks of the Philebus; Susemihl (Gen. Entw. II p. 193) of the Φιλόσοφος, which was perhaps planned, but probably never executed (see on 484 A). The Philebus is unsuitable; and of the Φιλόσοφος we know nothing. I am inclined to think—in view especially of βουλοίμην ἂν κτλ. below—that, although Plato may have cherished the idea of describing the Good without the aid of a simile—εἴδεσιν αὐτοῖς δἰ αὐτῶν—, he never, at all events in any of his dialogues, did so. In a certain sense, perhaps, the Timaeus describes the Good (see Archer-Hind's edition p. 27), but even there, we study the ‘Father of all’ not in himself so much as in his works. I agree with Stumpf's conclusion (l.c. p. 75) that Plato could hardly have depicted the Idea of Good at all except by means of a comparison. Certainly nothing else could have made it equally clear; and, in point of fact, ‘es wird nirgends Mehr gegeben’ (Stumpf, l.c. p. 59 note). See also next note. ὃς δὲ ἔκγονος κτλ. The ἔκγονος is the Sun, as presently appears. Socrates' procedure in Phaed. 99 C—E is in some respects like his procedure here. A nearer parallel is Phaedr. 246 A, where, before describing the soul, Socrates observes οἷον μέν ἐστι, πάντῃ πάντως θείας εἶναι καὶ μακρᾶς διηγήσεως, ᾧ δὲ ἔοικεν, ἀνθρωπίνης τε καὶ ἐλάττονος. The Idea of Good, like the Soul, is best described by one man to another in a figure. On εἰσαῦθις see last note and IV 430 C note
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.