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1 “Grudging.” Cf. Laches 200 B.
2 Cf. Cratylus 391 B.
3 Socrates' poverty (Apology 38 A-B) was denied by some later writers who disliked to have him classed with the Cynics.
4 For this dogmatic formulation of a definition Cf. Theaetetus 151 E.
5 To idealists law is the perfection of reason, or νοῦ διανομή, Laws 714 A; “her seat is in the bosom of God” (Hooker). To the political positivist there is no justice outside of positive law, and “law is the command of a political superior to a political inferior.” “Whatsoever any state decrees and establishes is just for the state while it is in force,”Theaetetus 177 D. The formula “justice is the advantage of the superior” means, as explained in Laws 714, that the ruling class legislates in its own interest, that is, to keep itself in power. This interpretation is here drawn out of Thrasymachus by Socrates' affected misapprehensions (cf. further Pascal, Pensees iv. 4, “la commodite du souverain.” Leibniz approves Thrasymachus's definition: “justum potentiori utile . . . nam Deus ceteris potentior!”).
6 The unwholesomeness of this diet for the ordinary man proves nothing for Plato's alleged vegetarianism. The Athenians ate but little meat.
7 The Greek is stronger—a beastly cad. A common term of abuse in the orators. Cf. Aristophanes Frogs 465, Theophrast.Char. xvii. (Jebb).
8 Cf. 392 C, 394 B, 424 C, Meno 78 C, Euthydemus 295 C, Gorgias 451 Aδικαίως ὑπολαμβάνεις, “you take my meaning fairly.” For complaints of unfair argument cf. 340 D, Charmides 166 C, Meno 80 A, Theaetetus 167 E, Gorgias 461 B-C, 482 E.
9 This is the point. Thrasymachus is represented as challenging assent before explaining his meaning, and Socrates forces him to be more explicit by jocosely putting a perverse interpretation on his words. Similarly in Gorgias 451 E, 453 B, 489 D, 490 C, Laws 714 C. To the misunderstanding of such dramatic passages is due the impression of hasty readers that Plato is a sophist.
10 These three forms of government are mentioned by Pindar, Pyth. ii. 86, Aeschines In Ctes. 6. See 445 D, Whibley, Greek Oligarchies, and Unity of Plato's Thought, p. 62.
11 κρατεῖ with emphasis to suggest κρείττων. Cf. Menexenus 238 D, Xenophon Memorabilia 1. 2. 43. Platonic dialectic proceeds by minute steps and linked synonyms. Cf. 333 A, 339 A, 342 C, 346 A, 353 E, 354 A-B, 369 C, 370 A-B, 379 B, 380-381, 394 B, 400 C, 402 D, 412 D, 433-434, 486, 585 C, Meno 77 B, Lysis 215 B, where L. and S. miss the point.
12 On this view justice is simply τὸ νόμιμον(Xenophon Memorabilia iv. 4. 12; Cf. Gorgias 504 D). This is the doctrine of the “Old Oligarch,” [Xenophon]Rep. Ath. 2. Against this conception of class domination as political justice, Plato (Laws 713 ff.) and Aristotle Politics iii. 7) protest. Cf. Arnold, Culture and Anarchy, chap. ii.: “We only conceive of the State as something equivalent to the class in occupation of the executive government” etc.
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