Plato and the Older Academy, Part II.

By Eduard G. Zeller

Chapter VI. Dialectic, or the Doctrine of Ideas

According to Plato, the specific and primary subject-matter of Philosophy consists, as already shown, in Ideas; for they alone contain true Being, the Essence of things. The enquiry into Ideas, which is Dialectic in the narrower sense, must therefore come first in the construction of his system: on that foundation only can a philosophic view of nature and of human life be built up. This enquiry is threefold: (1) Concerning the derivation of Ideas; (2) their Universal Concept; and (3) their expansion into an organised Plurality, a World of Ideas.

I. The Establishment of the Doctrine of Ideas. The theory of Ideas is primarily connected with the Socratic-Platonic theory of the nature of Knowledge. Concepts alone guarantor true Knowledge. But in the same proportion that truth belongs to our opinions (for Plato, like other philosophers, starts with this assumption1), reality must belong to their object, and |226| vice versa. That which may be known is, that which cannot be known is not. In the same measure that a thing exists, it is also knowable. Absolute Being is therefore absolutely knowable; absolute Non-being, absolutely unknowable;2 that which, uniting in itself Being and Non-being, lies in the midst between the absolutely real and the absolutely unreal, — must have a kind of knowledge corresponding to it, intermediate between Knowledge and Ignorance; it is not the province of Knowledge but of Opinion.3 As certainly, therefore, as Knowledge is something other than Opinion,4 so must also the object of Knowledge be other than that of Opinion: the former is an unconditioned reality; the latter a something to which Being and Non-being equally belong. If Opinion refers to the Material, our concepts can only refer to that which is Immaterial; and to this alone can a full and true, existence be attributed.5 Plato thus expressly designates |227| the distinction between Knowledge and Right Opinion, as the point on which our decision concerning the reality of Ideas depends. If they are identical, we can only assume the existence of the Corporeal; but if they are different, we must ascribe to Ideas, which are underived, unchangeable and imperishable, apprehended not by the senses but by reason alone, an absolute and independent existence.6 The reality of Ideas seems to him the direct and inevitable consequence of the Socratic philosophy of Concepts. Knowledge can only be employed on true existence, on the colourless, shapeless, immaterial Essence which the spirit alone beholds.7 If there is any Knowledge at all, there must also be a fixed and invariable object of Knowledge, — an object that exists not only For us and by reason of us, but in and for itself. Only the Invariable can be known. We can attribute no quality to that which is conceived as constantly changing.8 |228| Therefore to deny the reality of Ideas is altogether to annihilate the possibility of scientific enquiry.9 What is here derived from the idea of Knowledge, Plato also deduces from the contemplation of Being; and, as the doctrine of Ideas is, on the one side, a result of the Socratic philosophy, on the other, it follows from the teaching of Heraclitus and the Eleatics. As Ideas are to Opinion in the region of Knowledge, so is true Existence to Phenomena, — the Immaterial to the Material — in the region of Being. The Sensible, then, is a something Becoming, but the end of Becoming is Being.10 The Sensible is many and divided; but these many things become what they are, only by reason of that which is common to them all; and this common element must be distinct from the particulars, nor can any notion of it be abstracted from individuals, for these never show us that common quality itself, but only an imperfect copy.11 No individual presents its essence purely, but each possesses its own qualities in combination with their opposites. The manifold just is also unjust, — the manifold beautiful, ugly; and so on. This totality is therefore to be regarded as a middle-term between Being and Non-being: pure and full reality |229| can only be conceded to the one absolute self-identical beauty or justice, exalted above all opposition and restriction.12 We must distinguish between that which ever is and never becomes (Timaeus 27 D) and that which is ever in process of Becoming and never arrives at Being. The one, remaining always self-identical, can be apprehended by rational Thought; — the other, arising and passing away, without ever really being, can only be the subject of Opinion and Perception without Reason: the former is the prototype, the latter the copy. The contemplation of Nature leads us to these prototypes; for the world is perfect and beautiful, simply because it is fashioned after an eternal and unchangeable pattern.13 Things can only be understood by us in relation to their ultimate aim; their true causes are those by means of which they become good and fair; and this they are, because they participate in beauty, and goodness itself, in absolute Existence.14 Our moral life, too, presupposes moral prototypes, the perception of which must guide us, so that our actions may tend towards right ends.15 There is, in short, nothing in the |230| world which does not point us to the Idea; nothing which has not in the Idea the cause of its existence, and of such perfection as belongs to it. The dialectical exposition of this necessity of the theory of Ideas is attempted in the Sophist, and more fully in the Parmenides. The first proves, as against the doctrine of an original plurality of Being, from the concept of Being itself, that the All, in so far as Being belongs to it, is also One;16 as against Materialism, from the facts |231| of moral and mental conditions, that there must be some other Being than that of Sense.17 The Parmenides takes up the question more generally and from a logical point of view (Parmenides 137), developing both hypotheses, — ‘the One is’ and ‘the One is not’ — in their consequences. From the Being of the One, contradictions arise conditionally; from the Non-being of the One, absolutely. It is thus proved that without the One Being, neither the thought of the One, nor the Being of the Many, would be possible: however inadequate may be the Eleatic view of the One Being, and however necessary it may be to rise from this abstract Unity excluding Plurality, to the comprehensive Unity of the Idea.18 The proper connection of the Platonic doctrine, however, is more clearly marked in other expositions.

The theory of Ideas, then, is grounded on these two main points of view, that, to its author, neither true Knowledge nor true Being seems possible without the Reality of Ideas. These points of view overlap, and are mingled in Plato’s expositions; for the reason why Knowledge is impossible without Ideas is this: that |232| sensible existence wants permanence and self-consistency, without which Knowledge is unthinkable. And that the material phenomenon has no true Being is proved by the impossibility of knowing it ideally. The same conclusion is reached by the Platonic proofs of the theory as represented by Aristotle in his work on Ideas,19 so far as we are acquainted with that work.20 The first of these, the λόγοι ἐκ τῶν ἐπιστημῶν, coincides with the proof above developed — that all Knowledge refers to the permanent, self-identical Ideas. The second, τὸ ἓν ἐπὶ πολλῶν, is based on the proposition that the Universal which is in all particulars of the same Genus, must itself be distinct from these. The third (τὸ νοεῖν τι φθαρέντων), which is closely connected with the second, proves the independent existence of Ideas, by the argument that the universal concept remains in the soul even if the phenomenon be destroyed. Two other proofs, adduced by Alexander, — that things to which the same predicates belong, must be copied from the same archetype, and that things which are like one another can only be so by reason of participation in one Universal, — concur with those already quoted from Parmenides 132 and Phaedo 74. The doctrine of Ideas therefore is ultimately based upon the conviction that Reality belongs not to the Phenomenon with its self-contradictory divisions and variability, but to the Essence of things in its unity and identity; not to the sensibly perceived but to the logically thought. |233|

The theory being thus derived, we can also see how the hypothesis of Ideas connects itself with Plato’s historical position. Besides his relation to Socrates, Aristotle refers us to the influence of the Heraclitean philosophy, and also to that of the Pythagoreans and Eleatics. ‘These systems,’ he says,21 ‘were followed by the enquiries of Plato, which indeed on most points were allied with the Pythagoreans, but in some particulars diverged from the Italian philosophy. From his youth he agreed with Cratylus and the Heracliteans, that all things sensible are in continual flux, and that no knowledge of them is possible; and he remained true to that doctrine. At the same time, however, he embraced the Socratic philosophy, which occupied itself with Ethical investigations to the exclusion of natural science, yet in these sought out the universal and applied itself primarily to determination of concepts; and so Plato came to the conclusion that this procedure must refer to something different from Sense, for sensible things cannot be universally defined, being always liable to change. These classes of existence, then, he called Ideas; concerning sensible things, he maintained that they subsist side by side with Ideas, and are named after them, for the Manifold which bears like name with the Ideas is such by virtue of participation in the Ideas. This last definition is only a different expression of the Pythagorean tenet, that things are the copies of numbers.’ ‘Moreover,’ continues Aristotle at the conclusion of the chapter, ‘he assigns respectively to his two elements, — to the One and to |234| Matter, — the causes of good and evil; in which he was anticipated by some of the earlier philosophers, as Empedocles and Anaxagoras.’ This passage sums up nearly all the elements from which the Platonic theory of Ideas was historically developed; the Eleatics and Megarians might, however, have been more expressly mentioned. The Socratic demand for conceptual knowledge unmistakably forms the starting point of the theory; but Plato, by the utilization of all that the earlier philosophy offered, and in the direction which it traced out for him, enlarged this ground; his greatness, indeed, consists in his having been able to draw forth the result of the whole previous development, and shape from the given elements an entirely new creation. Socrates had declared that all true knowledge must rest upon right concepts: he had recognised in this conceptual knowledge the rule of all action; he had shown that Nature herself could only be explained by the concept of an End. Plato follows him in these convictions, and combines with them what earlier philosophers — Parmenides and Heraclitus, Empedocles and Democritus had taught on the uncertainty of the senses, and on the difference of rational Cognition from Opinion22 — together with Anaxagoras doctrines of the world-forming mind, and the intelligent disposition of all things.23 With those older philosophers, |235| their view of knowledge was only a consequence of their metaphysics; Plato, on the contrary, reduces Socrates principles on scientific method to the meta physical ideas they presuppose. He asks, How is the Real to be conceived by us, if only reasoning thought assures a true cognition of the Real? To this question Parmenides had already replied; The one eternal invariable Essence can alone be regarded as the Real. And a similar answer was given by Plato’s fellow-disciple Euclides, who may possibly have anticipated Plato in the formation of his system.24 Plato was drawn to such a view by several influences. In the first place, it seemed to him a direct result of the Socratic theory of conceptual knowledge that something real should correspond to our concepts, and that this should excel all else in reality as far as science excels all other ways of knowing in truth.25 Similarly it became clear that the object of our thought must not be sought in the phenomenon.26 This, however, ensued still more definitely from the Heraclitean doctrines of the flux of all things a for the permanent element, to which our ideas relate, could not lie in the sphere of unconditional change.27 The Eleatic arguments against Plurality and Mutation were at any rate so far acknowledged by Plato that he excluded from true Being that unregulated movement and unlimited Multiplicity — not comprehended in the unity of the Idea, not co-articulated according to fixed differences of kind — which the world of Sense appeared |236| to him to offer.28 And Parmenides, having already, on these grounds, denied to Being all sensible properties, and the Pythagoreans having, in their numbers, declared that which is not palpable to the senses to be the Essence of things29 — Plato may have been all the more inclined to maintain the same of the Immaterial which forms the subject matter of our concepts. Nor, lastly, must we estimate too lightly the influence of that aesthetic view of the world which was always uppermost in Plato’s artistic spirit. As the Greek everywhere loves clear limitation, firmly outlined forms, definiteness, visibility, as in his mythology he places before us the whole contents of moral and natural life embodied in plastic shapes, — so does Plato feel the necessity of translating the matter of his thought out of the abstract form of the concept into the concrete form of an ideal vision. It does not satisfy him that our reason should distinguish the qualifying realities embodied in things, — that we should separate them from the connection in which we perceive them; they must also exist in themselves apart from this inter-connection; they must condense into independent essences, concepts must become Ideas. The doctrine of Ideas thus appears as a truly Greek creation, |237| and, more particularly, as a fruit of that union between the Socratic and pre-Socratic philosophy, which was accomplished in Plato’s comprehensive mind. The Ideas are the Socratic concepts, elevated from rules of knowledge into metaphysical principles, and applied to the speculations of natural philosophy concerning the essence and grounds of Existence.30

II. The Concept of Ideas. If, then, we would be clear as to the general concept and nature of Ideas, it primarily follows from the preceding discussion that they are that which, as unconditioned Reality, is unaffected by the change and partial non-being of the phenomenon, and, as uniform and self-identical, is untouched by the multiplicity and contradictions of concrete existence.31 Plato takes for this permanent and |238| self-identical element (as the name of Ideas shows32) the Universal or Genus — that which is conceived general concepts. This alone it is which as early as the Theaetetus appears as the Essence of things and the sole object of science;33 with the |239| search for which, according to the Phaedrus, all Knowledge begins;34 which the Parmenides describes as alone true Being;35 to say nothing of the above-quoted distinct and reiterated declarations. Plato,36 therefore, expressly defines the Idea as that which is common to the Many of like name; Aristotle similarly defines it37 as the ἓν ἐπὶ πολλῶν, and on this founds his objection that it is a contradiction to assume the Universal as Substance and, in so far, as a particular.38 The view of modern criticism39 that Ideas. |240| contain not only the Universal in the sense we associate with the word, but also the individual, besides being incapable of proof, is thus evidently opposed to Plato’s clear definitions. This Universal, which is the idea he conceives as separate from the world of Phenomena, as absolutely existing Substance.40 It is the heavenly sphere, in which alone lies the field of truth, in which the gods and pure souls behold colourless, shapeless, incorporeal Existence;41 the justice, temperance, |241| and science that are exulted above all Becoming, and exist not in another, but in their own pure Essence. The true Beauty is in no living creature in earth or heaven or anywhere else, but remains in its purity everlastingly for itself and by itself, in one form (αὐτὸ καθ’ αὑτὸ μεθ’ αὑτοῦ μονοειδὲς ἀεὶ ὄν), unmoved by the changes of that which participates in it.42 The Essence of things exists absolutely for itself, one in kind, and subject to no vicissitude.43 The Ideas stand as the eternal prototypes of Being — all other things are copied from them.44 Purely for themselves (αὐτὰ καθ’ αὑτὰ), and divided from that which has part in them (χωρὶς), they are in the intelligible sphere (τόπος νοντὸς) to be beheld not with eyes, but by thought alone;45 visible things are but their adumbrations:46 phenomena, we might say, are relative; the Ideas alone |242| are absolute.47 In a word, the Ideas are, to use an illustration of Aristotle’s, χωρισταί:48 — i.e. there belongs to them a Being entirely independent of, and different from, the Being of things: they are self-subsistent entities.49 Consequently, those theories which have confused the Platonic Ideas with sensible substances, hypostasized images of the fancy (ideals), or with subjective conceptions, are neither of them correct. The first50 is now pretty generally abandoned, and has been already refuted by the preceding quotations from the Phaedrus, Symposium, and Republic: we might also refer to the assertion of the Timaeus (52 B), that only the copy of the Idea — in general, the Becoming, not the truly Existing — is in space; together with the corroborative testimony of Aristotle.51 It may be said |243| that Plato speaks of the supermundane sphere, and that his disciple describes Ideas as αἰσθητὰ ἀΐδια.52 But the figurative character of the former representation is too apparent to allow of its serving as proof; and Aristotle’s remark is clearly not intended to convey Plato’s own view, but to disprove it by its consequence.53 The other supposition, that the Platonic Ideas are subjective thoughts, is more prevalent. Hardly anyone would now regard them as mere conceptions of human reason;54 but it has been maintained, even recently, that they have no absolute existence, but are only the thoughts of God.55 This theory is as untrue as the |244| other and is altogether wanting in proof. Plato’s having been led to the doctrine of Ideas by his enquiry into the nature of knowledge proves nothing; indeed, it is more in agreement with the objective derivation of Ideas.56 The description of the Ideas as archetypes, according to which Divine Reason fashioned the world,57 or again, as the objects which human Reason contemplates,58 does not make them mere products of divine or human Reason. The Ideas are here presupposed by the activity of Reason, just as external things are presupposed by the activity of the sense which perceives them. Nor can this theory be deduced from the passage in the Philebus (28 D, 30 C), where the royal mind of Zeus is said to be the power which orders and governs all. Zeus here stands for the soul of the universe; that which he governs is the world,59 and reason, as is remarked, belongs to him from the cause above him — the Idea,60 which is accordingly treated not as the creation, but as the condition of the reason that thinks it. The proposition in the Parmenides (134 C) that God has knowledge in itself is not more conclusive; for this having is expressly described as participation, and the gods, not God, are spoken of61 as the possessors of that |245| knowledge. It is impossible to deduce from the passage that the Idea of knowledge as such exists only in the divine thought. And though, lastly, in the Republic (x. 597 B) God is called the Artist (ποιητὴς), or Creator (φυτουργὸς), who has created the Bed-in-itself, the Idea of the bed; it by no means follows from this that that Idea is only a thought of God, and has no existence except in the divine thought.62 We must remember that this is not intended for a strictly philosophic explanation of the origin of Ideas;63 and, that the Deity with Plato (as we shall presently find) is convertible with the highest Idea. Derived Ideas may very fairly be called his creations without involving the existence of the Idea only in the thought, and by the thought of a personality distinct from itself.64

The substantiality of Ideas is certified not only by the testimony of Aristotle, but also by the above-cited |246| Platonic passages. Ideas which, exist absolutely, in no other, but purely for themselves, which remain for ever the Archetypes of things, uncreated and imperishable, according to which even the divine intelligence moves itself, cannot at the same time be creatures of that intelligence subsisting only in it,65 owing their existence to it alone. The eternity of Ideas is proclaimed by Plato most emphatically, and regarded as the most essential of the characteristics by which they are to be discriminated from the phenomenon.66 How then can they be likewise thoughts which first sprang from the thinking soul? This difficulty is not obviated by saying67 that the origin of Ideas from the Divine Mind is not to be thought of as an origin in time: for not only an origin in time, but all and every origin is denied to them by Plato.68 Again, Plato |247| himself mentions the supposition that Ideas may be merely thoughts, having no other existence than in the soul; and sets it aside with the observation, that if it were so, everything that participates in them must be a thinking subject;69 it is self-evident, he says, that absolute entities as such cannot exist in us.70 And in another place,71 he expressly guards himself against the notion that the Idea of beauty is a speech or a knowledge. Nor can Aristotle have been aware that the Platonic Ideas were the thoughts of the Essence of things, and not this Essence itself. Not only does he never imply that they have their abode merely in human or Divine thought,72 but he describes them with all possible distinctness as self-subsistent substances;73 and on this presupposition, subjects them to a criticism which would be utterly groundless, and |248| must throughout have taken quite another turn, if he had understood by Ideas either concepts abstracted by us from things, or such prototypes as preceded things only in the creative mind of God.74 It is equally evident that he was unacquainted with any theory of the Ideas being the creations of the Deity.75 We are, therefore, fully justified in asserting that Plato held the Ideas neither as the thoughts of man nor of God.76

But if the Real, which is the object of thought, must be a substantial entity, it cannot on that very account be conceived in the manner of the Eleatics, as Unity without Multiplicity, Permanence without Motion. If |249| the All is established as One, nothing (as shown in the Sophist77) can be predicated of it; for as soon as we; combine a predicate with a subject, a name with a thing, we at once introduce a plurality. If we say the One is, we speak of the One and of Being as of two things; if we name the One or Being, we distinguish this naming from the thing named. Neither can Being be a whole,78 for the conception of a whole involves that of parts; the whole is not pure Unity, but a Plurality, the parts of which stand in relation to Unity. If Unity be predicated of Being, and Being thus becomes a Whole, Unity is therein discriminated from Being; we have then consequently instead of One Being, two — the One and Being. If Unity does not belong to Being, and Being is therefore not a Whole, then, supposing the conception of Whole to have a real import (the Whole as such exists). Being lacks the existence that belongs to the Whole, and is so far Non-existent. If it be maintained that there is no Whole, then Being would be deprived of magnitude, nor could it, generally speaking, be or become anything.79 But still less can the All be assumed as merely Multiplicity.80 The right course must be to admit both Unity and Multiplicity. How are they to be reconciled? Only, as before shown, by the theory of the communion of concepts. If no combination of concepts were |250| possible, no attribute could be predicated of anything different from the thing itself:81 we could, therefore, only say of Being that it exists; in no relation, that it does not exist: whence, as a farther consequence, the Unity of all Being inevitably follows. This presup position is, however, untrue, as indeed it must be, if speech and knowledge in general are to be possible.82 Closer investigation convinces us that certain concepts exclude, while others are compatible with, and even presuppose, each other. With the concept of Being, for example, all those concepts are compatible which express any determination of Being, even when these are mutually exclusive, as Rest and Motion. So far, then, as concepts may be combined, the Being denoted by one of them belongs to the other. So far as they are different, or mutually exclusive, the Being denoted by one does not belong to the other; consequently the Being of the one is the Non-being of the other.83 And as each concept may be combined with many others, but, as a concept, is at the same time different from all others, so to each in many relations there belongs Existence, but in an infinite number, Non-existence.84 The Non-existent, therefore, |251| is as well as the Existent; for Non-being is itself a Being, namely the Being of the Other (and therefore not absolute, but relative Non-being, the negation of a determinate Being) and thus in every Being there is also a Non-being, — the Difference.85

That is to say: the veritably Existent is not pure but determinate Being: there is not merely One Existent but many; and these many stand reciprocally in the most various relations of identity and difference, exclusion and communion.86

The Parmenides attains the same result, by a more abstract and thoroughgoing dialectic discussion.87 The two propositions from which the second part of this dialogue starts, — ‘The One is’ and ‘The One is not,’ affirm the same as the two assumptions refuted in the Sophist — ‘The All is One,’ and ‘The All is Many.’ Both these propositions are reduced ad absurdum by the derivation of contradictory consequences; |252| and the inference is that true Being must be defined as a Unity including in itself Multiplicity. But at the same time, from the manner in which the concept of Being is regarded in this apagogic proof, and from the contradictions which arise from that view, it is intimated that this true Being is essentially different from empirical Being, which, bounded by time and space, has no real Unity. With this exposition is closely allied that of the Philebus88 (14 C, 17 A), which unmistakably refers to it. The result of the earlier enquiries is here briefly summed up in the assertion that the One is Many, and the Many, One; and this holds good, not only of that which arises and passes away (τὸ γιγνόμενον καὶ ἀπολλύμενον), but also of pure concepts; — they also are compounded of One and Many, and have in themselves limit, and unlimitedness. Hence one and the same thing appears to thought, now as One, now as Many.89 Plato therefore declares true Existence to be only the Eternal, Self-identical, Indivisible, Uncontained by space; but on the other hand, he does not conceive it, with the Eleatics, as one Universal Substance, but as a multiplicity of substances, of which each without detriment to its Unity combines in itself a Plurality |253| of relations and determinations.90 This was required by the origin of the theory of Ideas; the Socratic concepts, which form the logical germ of Ideas, arose from the dialectical combination of the different sides and qualities of things into one. And such a definition was indispensable to Plato; there would be an end of any participation of things in Ideas, as well as of any combination of concepts, if these were to be regarded as Unity without Difference.91 This, then, |254| is the point at which the metaphysical doctrine of Plato most definitely diverges from that of the Eleatics, and shows that its concern is not the denial but the explanation of Actual existence (des Gegebenen).

The union in Ideas of the One and the Many was also expressed by describing the Ideas as numbers.92 This view must have belonged to Plato’s later development: it has no place in his writings. We can distinguish between his scientific and empirical treatment of numbers as well as of Mathematics in general;93 but his pure Mathematics is primarily a preparatory stage of Dialectic, the numbers with which it has to do are not Ideal, but mathematical numbers; not identical with Ideas, but intermediate between them and the things of sense.94 Side by side with numbers the Ideas of numbers are also spoken of,95 but only in the same sense that Ideas generally are opposed |255| to things: so that under the totality of Ideas, Ideas of numbers also appear, — not that Ideas in general are represented as numbers, or that all Ideas, as such, are at the same time denoted as being numbers. Aristotle likewise points out that the doctrine of Ideas was in its origin independent of the doctrine of numbers.96 The germs only of Plato’s later view may be perceived in some passages of the dialogues. The Philebus declares the Pythagorean doctrine of the universal Combination of the One and the Many, of the Limit and Unlimitedness, to be the keystone of Dialectic;97 this dialogue, therefore, applies to concepts those laws which the Pythagoreans had demonstrated in numbers. Plato further98 recognises in numbers and mathematical relations the connecting link between the Idea and the Phenomenon. Numbers represent the Ideas to us as the measure of the Corporeal and of that which is contained in Space: and if a symbolical expression had to be employed instead of a purely logical one, it was most obvious to express the Idea and its determinations in arithmetical formulas. The actual blending of the two was first asserted by Aristotle. According to his representation, the Platonic Ideas are nothing but numbers,99and when Plato |256| said that things are what they are by reason of participation in Ideas, he only departed from the Pythagorean doctrine in distinguishing between mathematical and Ideal numbers,100 and separating the latter, as to their existence, from things perceptible to sense.101 The more exact distinction between the two kinds of numbers is this: that the mathematical consist of homogeneous unities, which can therefore be reckoned together, each with each, whereas with the Ideal numbers this is not the case:102 consequently the former express merely quantitative, the latter, logical determinations. In the one, each number is like each in kind, and only different in quantity; whereas in the other, each is discriminated from each qualitatively. But a definite succession is also involved in the logical distinction of numbers. As the lower concepts are conditioned by the higher, the numbers corresponding to them must also be conditioned; those which express the most universal and fundamental Ideas must precede all others. The Ideal numbers have therefore, as distinguished from the mathematical, this specific characteristic, — that in them there is a Before and After;103 that is, a fixed succession. Though this |257| form of doctrine was in great favour with the older Academy, and though much quibbling and scholastic |258| pedantry have been expended upon the relation of numbers to Ideas,104 it can only have had a secondary importance |259| in its bearing on Plato’s original system, — otherwise more decided traces of it must have been somewhere |260| found in his works. The main point, to him, is the thought which underlies the doctrine of numbers — that, |261| in Reality, Unity and Multiplicity must be organically combined.

Plato is opposed to the distinctionless Unity of the Eleatic Substance. He declares himself equally against its motionless Invariability: and here he is in collision with his friend Euclides, who at that time appears to have admitted the Plurality of Being, while he denied to it all motion and activity.105 This view, says Plato, would make Being incognizable for us, and in itself lifeless and irrational. If we are to participate in Being, we must act upon it, or be acted upon by it: if we are to know Being, a capacity on its side of suffering (πάσχειν, the power of becoming known) must correspond to our faculty of knowledge. And suffering without motion is impossible.106 If true |262| Existence is not to be without mind and reason, it must also have life, soul, and motion.107 We cannot deny to it all permanence of Being, if knowledge is to be possible; yet we must not conceive it as absolutely unmoved,108 but as possessing reason, life, and energy. The concept of Being must be reduced to that of Power.109 Ideas are described as something energetic, |263| in the Phaedo, where they are made the proper and only efficient causes of things;110 |264| in the Philebus, where Plato ascribes to the highest cause (by which we can only understand Ideas),111 |265| reason and wisdom; and thence deduces the adaptation of means to ends in the economy of the universe.112 |266| We shall also find that the Idea of the Good is at the same time the highest efficient cause, the infinite Reason; and Aristotle, as we see from his writings, |267| knew of no efficient cause as held by his master above and beside Ideas.113 We cannot doubt that Plato meant to set forth in Ideas not merely the archetypes and essence of all true Existence, but energetic powers; that he regarded them as living and active, intelligent and reasonable. Nor is this view prejudiced by his distinguishing, in mythical or popular language, the efficient cause from Ideas.114 This is a necessary |268| result of the system: if Ideas are the only true and primary Reality, an equally primary efficient cause beside and together with themselves is impossible. They are the efficient principle that imparts Being to things, and as this Being is of a kind that can only be explained by Reason working to an end, Reason must be conceded to them. This position was certainly open to criticism. It was a difficult problem to conceive classes as self-existent substances; but it was far more difficult to endow these unchangeable entitles with motion, life, and thought; to suppose them as moved, and yet as invariable and not subject to Becoming;115 as powers, in spite of their absoluteness, operating in things. The soul which Plato in the Sophist attributes to pure Being, he afterwards places midway between the world of Sense and the world of |269| Ideas. So far, however, as the two points of view came into collision, the dynamical aspect must necessarily, with Plato, have been overpowered by the ontological. His whole philosophy is from the outset directed far less to the explanation of Becoming, than to the consideration of Being; the concepts hypostasized in the Ideas represent to us primarily that which is permanent in the vicissitude of phenomena, not the causes of that vicissitude. If Plato conceives them as living powers, this is only a concession forced from him by the facts of natural and spiritual life. But it is antagonistic to the main current of his system, and cannot be harmonized with his other theories respecting Ideas. We can easily understand how in his attempt at a comprehensive establishment of his doctrine of Ideas, this thought was not excluded. Such a determination naturally resulted from the universal presuppositions of that doctrine; and we therefore find traces of it, as has been shown, in other dialogues besides the Sophist.116 But the difficulties |270| which it involved were too great to allow of much progress in this direction.117 Although, therefore, the necessity of regarding Ideas not only as archetypes, but as efficient causes, was constantly obtruding itself |271| him, he could never really carry out this thought; he preferred to explain the phenomenal world by those mythical representations which poorly compensate for the gaps in the scientific development. So much the more productive, however, for Plato’s system is the other determination, that Unity and Multiplicity are combined in the Ideas. This alone enabled him to set in the place of the abstract Eleatic One, the concrete unity of the Socratic concept; to join concepts dialectically, and to place them in a positive relation to phenomena, where only a negative relation had existed. The Plurality of the phenomenon is sustained and comprehended by the Unity of the Concept. Only because he acknowledges Plurality in the Unity of the Concept has he the right to maintain not only One Idea, but a multiplicity of logically co-articulated Ideas — a World of Ideas.

III. The World of Ideas. Plato hardly ever speaks of the Idea, but always of Ideas in the plural.118 However little he himself would have allowed us to say so,119 the Ideas, arising out of the Socratic concepts, are, like them, abstracted from experience. They represent primarily a particular; and thought can onlv ascend step by step from this particular to the universal, |272| from the lower concepts to the higher. But the concepts being hypostasized, the particular in them cannot be so cancelled in the universal that collective concepts shall at last be reduced to one Highest principle, or several such, and, according to their whole contents, be derived from these principles, as moments of their logical development. Each concept is something absolutely self-subsistent; and, the reciprocal interdependence of concepts (like the interconnection of concepts with phenomena, to be considered presently) has only the form of participation and communion.120 Plato’s design does not extend to a purely a priori construction; it only embraces a complete logical arrangement of the Ideas which he himself has found by means of induction, or, if we prefer the expression, by means of Recollection, developing itself in the region of Sense121a>]

Of these Ideas there is an indefinite number.122 Since every generic and specific concept is, according to Plato, something substantial, — an Idea, — there must be as many Ideas as there are Genera and Species.123 And since Ideas alone are the Real by virtue of which all things are what they are, there can be nothing, and there can be imagined nothing, of which there is no Idea. Such a thing would be altogether non-existent and that which is absolutely non-existent cannot be conceived.124 It seems therefore to Plato a culpable |273| want of philosophic maturity, that there should be any hesitation in assigning Ideas even to the very meanest things.125 He himself reduces to their Ideas not only those things which are great and perfect, but also the smallest and most worthless: not only natural objects, but artistic productions; not only substances, but mere conceptions of quality and relation; activities and ways of life, mathematical figures and grammatical forms. He recognises Ideas of hair and of dirt, of the table and of the bed, of Greatness and of Smallness, of Likeness and Unlikeness, of the Double, etc.; an Idea of the noun, even Ideas of Non-being and of that which is in its nature the direct contradictory of the Idea, Evil and Vice.126 In a word, there is absolutely nothing which |274| has not its Idea. Wherever a uniform Character of several phenomena can be proved to exist, the sphere |275| of Ideas extends. Only where that uniform character ceases, and the unity and permanence of the Concept fall asunder in the conceptless plurality and absolute unrest of Becoming, — the Ideal World finds its limit.127 Plato seems subsequently to have become somewhat confused, as well he might, as to these deductions from his theory. According to Aristotle, he assumed no Ideas of things artificially made, nor of negation and relation;128 but the original point of view was in |276| these cases abandoned. In this way many difficulties were evaded, but others arose in their place which were not less dangerous to his system.

Ideas, as we already know, are related to one another, not merely as a multiplicity, but more precisely, as parts of a whole. What holds good of concepts, must also hold good of the entities that are thought in concepts. They form a graduated series, descending in ordered co-articulation, and a sequence of natural subdivisions, from the highest Genera to the lowest Species, from the most universal to the most particular.129 In all conceivable ways they cross, combine, exclude, or participate in each other.130 It is the task of science fully to represent this system, to rise from the particular to the most universal principles, to descend again from these to the particular, to define all middle terms that intervene, to ascertain all relations of concepts.131 Plato did not aim at a purely dialectical |277| construction; he argues rather from several given concepts;132 yet he demands that by an exhaustive enumeration and comparison of the sum total of collective concepts, a science comprehending the whole world of Ideas shall be attained.

He himself, however, made but a small beginning in this direction.133 He names as examples of universal concepts, Being and Non-being, Likeness and Unlikeness, Sameness and Difference, Unity and Number, Straightness and Crookedness.134 He uses the categories of Quality,135 of Quantity,136 of Relation;137 and according to Hermodorus,138 distinguishes among the last |278| several kinds. The distinction of the Absolute and Relative forms the logical groundwork of his whole system; for the Idea exists in and for itself; the Phenomenon, and to the fullest extent, Matter, only in relation to something else.139 He further affirms that in all Reality, Unity and Multiplicity, Limit and Unlimitedness, Identity and Difference, Being and Non-being are combined.140 He determines the concept of Being by the two characteristics of doing and suffering.141 He instances in the Sophist,142 Being, Rest, and Motion (to which Sameness and Difference are afterwards added), as the most important generic concepts; and, at the same time, determines which of these are compatible with, and which exclude, each other. He |279| discriminates in the Republic143 between the knowing subject and the thing known, Knowledge and Reality, Science and Being. But though in these and similar definitions144 the germs of the Aristotelian theory of Categories are clearly discernible, yet in none of the specified places does Plato attempt a complete catalogue of the highest concepts or an arrangement of them according to their internal relation. This want would have been ill supplied by the numerical system, which, when the fusion of Ideas with the Pythagorean numbers had begun, he subsequently attempted by deriving numbers from Unity and indefinite Duality,145 — even had this derivation been more fully accomplished than was actually the case.146

In designating the point in which the graduated series of Being terminates, Plato is more explicit. The highest of all Ideas is the Idea of the Good. As in the visible world, the sun brings forth simultaneously knowledge and life, — as he enlightens the eye |280| and reveals things seen, while everywhere causing growth and increase; so in the super-sensuous world, the Good is the source of Being and of Science, of Truth and of Knowledge: and as the sun is higher than light and the eye, so is the Good higher than Being and Science.147 But this definition has its difficulties. In the whole treatment of the question in the Philebus, we can only understand by the Good the goal of human activity, — that which is the highest Good for men.148 As there is an express reference to this dialogue in the passage above quoted from the Republic,149 it might seem as if here, too, the Idea of |281| the Good were set forth only as the goal of an activity (which in this case could not be merely human activity) — as the ultimate end of the world, or typical concept to which the divine intelligence looked, and by which it was guided in the framing of the world.150 According to this view, the Idea of the Good might still be held as something real and substantial,151 but it could not be an efficient cause; and it must be distinguished in such a manner from the Deity that either the Idea must be related to the Deity or the Deity to the Idea, as the conditioning to the conditioned. The former, supposing the Idea of the Good to be the genus under which the Deity is contained;152 the latter if it expressed a work or a thought of God,153 or even an inherent determination of His essence.154 But Plato’s |282| own declarations forbid the assumption. If it is the Idea of the Good which imparts to things their Being, to intelligence its capacity for knowledge, if it is called the cause of all truth and beauty, the parent of light, the source of reality and reason,155 it is not merely the end but the ground of all Being, efficient force, cause absolute.156 Plato cannot have contemplated another and a separate efficient cause; or in this place, where he is specifying the ultimate ground of all things, and the supreme object of knowledge,157 it must necessarily have been mentioned.158 He says clearly in the Philebus that the Divine Reason is none other than the Good;159 and in the Timaeus, he so speaks |283| of the Creator, that in order to get a consistent meaning we must abandon the notion of His being separate from the Ideas, from which He is said to have copied the universe.160 This hypothesis seems indeed to be required by the whole inter-connection of the Platonic doctrine. For in whatever way we may conceive the relation of God to a world of Ideas distinct from Himself, we are everywhere met by insuperable obstacles. Are we to suppose the Ideas to be thoughts or creations of God? or are they to be immanent determinations of His Essence? The one theory would imperil their eternity and self-dependence; the other, their absolute existence;161 and both would make the Idea of the Good, which, according to Plato, is the Highest of the Thinkable, something derived. Not this |284| Idea, but the Deity to whom it belonged or by whom it was engendered, would be the First and Highest. But neither a thought nor an attribute, nor a creature of God, could be called by Plato an Idea; since no thought is possible except through an intuition of the Idea: no creation except by the imitation of the Idea; no quality or attribute except through participation in the Idea.162 Are we then on the contrary to suppose God to be a product of Ideas; an individual that participates in the Idea of the Good? In that case He would not be the Absolute Eternal God, but only one of the created gods. He would stand to Ideas in the same relation that the spirits of the stars and the souls of men stand to them. Or, lastly, are we to assume163 that He exists side by side with the Ideas as a special, independent principle? that He neither brought them forth, nor was brought forth by them, and that His. activity essentially consists in working out the combination of Ideas with Phenomena, — in forming the world according to Ideas? In favour of this view it may be urged, not only that Plato so expresses himself in the Timaeus, but that there are important reasons for such a theory in his system. Though he himself would not I have admitted it, his Ideas are undeniably wanting in the moving principle that impels them to the Phenomenon.164 This want appears to be supplied by the concept of Deity; indeed in the Timaeus the World-framer is only required, because there would otherwise be no efficient cause. So far, we might hope by this |285| view to avoid essential difficulties. But we shall only have prepared for ourselves others near at hand. Could Plato really have placed his highest principles so dualistically in juxtaposition, without attempting to combine them? If Ideas alone are true Reality, can another essence side by side with them, distinct from them, and equally original, find a place? Must it not rather hold good of the Deity (as of all things except the Idea) that He is what He is, only through participation in the Idea? which is in no way compatible with the concept of God. All things considered, we may say that the Unity of the Platonic system can only be established on the supposition that Plato in his own belief never really separated the efficient from the logical cause, the Deity from the highest Idea, that of the Good. But it has been already shown165 that he identifies them, that he attributes efficient power and designing reason, sometimes to Ideas in general, sometimes to the highest Idea in particular. This is confirmed by the statement that in the oral discourses of his later life the supreme Unity is designated as the Good;166 |286| for this supreme Unity must have been identical with God. It is mentioned, too, as a departure of Speusippus from the doctrine of his Master, that he distinguished the Divine Reason from the One and the Good.167 The same view is presupposed by Aristotle when he says that Plato recognised only two kinds of causes, the formal or conceptual, and the material cause:168 and on this he grounds his complaint that Plato omits to state who forms things according to Ideas.169 To us it may certainly sound incomprehensible that a theological concept like the concept of the Good, should not merely be generally hypostasized, but positively declared to be the highest active energy and reason. We are accustomed to conceive of Reason only in the form of personality, which it would seem impossible to attribute to an idea. But it may be questioned whether all this appeared so inconceivable to Plato, as it appears to us, with our altered modes of thought. The mind that could allow relative determinations, the Same, the Great, the Small, etc., to precede as ideal entities the things in which we perceive them, could also make an aim into a self-subsistent |287| Reality, and the absolute aim and end, or the Good, into absolute Cause and absolute Being.170 That step once taken, it is not surprising that the Good, like all the other Ideas in their own spheres, should have been invested with further qualities such as Power, Activity and Reason, without which it could not be that infinite essential nature at all. But what relation it then bears to personality, is a question which Plato probably never definitely proposed to himself. The ancients were generally wanting in the distinct concept of personality, and Reason was not seldom apprehended as universal world-intellect, hovering uncertainly between personal existence and impersonal.171 Plato says indeed that Reason can be imparted to no essence without a soul, and he accordingly makes reason inherent even in the Cosmos by means of the soul.172 But in the first place, we cannot conclude |288| from this that the Divine Reason in itself exists as a soul; for however inseparably they may be bound together, the World-soul is always a principle distinct from and subordinate to Reason, which only combines with it, because in no other way could Reason impart itself to the world;173 and in the next place, a personality in the specific sense can scarcely be ascribed to the World-soul. Still less can we derive such a principle from the logical application of the Platonic hypotheses about God. If an original existence belong alone to the Universal, God, as the most original, must also be the most universal;174 if separate individuals |289| are what they are only by participation in a higher, that essence which has no higher above it cannot be a separate individual: if the soul is contra-distinguished from the Idea by its relation to the material world (by the share which the Unlimited has in it), a soul cannot be attributed to the Idea as such, nor consequently to God, who is identical with the highest Idea. Plato has nowhere expressly drawn out these consequences, but, on the other hand, he has done nothing to guard against them. He often speaks of God as a person; and we have no right to see in this only a conscious adaptation of his language to the popular religious notions. Such a mode of representation was, as before remarked, indispensable to him (on account of the immobility of Ideas) in order to explain phenomena; and all that he says concerning the perfection of God, divine Providence, and the care of the Gods for men,175 gives the impression, not that he is deliberately translating philosophic ideas into a language grown strange to him, but rather that he himself shares the religious belief, and holds it in the main to be well founded. Yet he never tries to reconcile these religious notions more definitely with his scientific conceptions, or to demonstrate their mutual compatibility. We can therefore only conclude that he was unconscious of the problem.176 In his scientific enquiry into the highest |290| causes he confined himself to the Ideas, and when, as in the Timaeus, he found it necessary to introduce the Deity side by side with them, he does so without proof or accurate definition, but merely as a presupposition of faith.177 For his personal needs,178 and for practical application, he held to the belief in Gods, purifying it indeed in the spirit of his philosophy,179 but not investigating very narrowly its relation to the doctrine of Ideas; contenting himself with the thought that both asserted the same truth; that the Ideas were truly divine, and that the highest Idea coincided with the highest Deity.180 The difficulties besetting the comparison |291| of things so essentially different seem to have been overlooked by Plato, as by many another philosopher before and since his time.181

In thus determining the highest Being as the Good, and as Reason assigning an end, Plato apprehends it as the creative principle, revealing itself in the Phenomenon: because God is good, He formed the world.182 |292| The doctrine of Ideas is in this way connected with the study of the Cosmos, – Dialectics with Physics.


1^ Parmenides had already said Non-being cannot be thought or expressed; that only Being could be thought (see vol. i. 470, 1). This tenet was frequently taken advantage of by the Sophists, in order to prove that false opinion is impossible (ib. 005, 3, 4). Similarly the so-called Hippocrates De Arte, c. ii. b. i. 7 Kühn: τὰ μὲν ἐόντα ἀεὶ ὁρᾶταί τε καὶ γινώσκεται, τὰ δὲ μὴ ἐόντα οὔτε οραται οὔτε γινώσκεται.

2^ We shall find this later on in the case of matter.

3^ Republic v. 476 E sq.; vi. 511 E. Cf. supra, p. 175 sq. Plato clearly expresses his agreement with the fundamental position that it is impossible to conceive Non-being (loc. cit. 478 B: ἆρ᾽ οὖν τὸ μὴ ὂν δοξάζει; ἢ ἀδύνατον καὶ δοξάσαι τό γε μὴ ὄν; ἐννόει δέ. οὐχ ὁ δοξάζων ἐπὶ τὶ φέρει τὴν δόξαν; ἢ οἷόν τε αὖ δοξάζειν μέν, δοξάζειν δὲ μηδέν; etc. Similarly Theaetetus 188 D sqq. (cf. Parmenides 132 B, 142 A, 164 A), and his attack on the sophistical conclusion just mentioned is not directed against the major proposition: he allows that there can be no notion of Non-being, but denies that error is the notion of Non-being as such. He refers error to the notion of relative Non-being or Other-being to the confusion and incorrect association of notions. Theaetetus, 189 B sq.; Sophist, 261 A sq.: further details subter.

4^ Cf. note 147, and p. 170 sqq.

5^ Republic v. 477 B: ἆρ᾽ οὖν λέγομέν τι δόξαν εἶναι; πῶς γὰρ οὔ; πότερον ἄλλην δύναμιν ἐπιστήμης ἢ τὴν αὐτήν; ἄλλην. ἐπ᾽ ἄλλῳ ἄρα τέτακται δόξα καὶ ἐπ᾽ ἄλλῳ ἐπιστήμη, κατὰ τὴν δύναμιν ἑκατέρα τὴν αὑτῆς. οὕτω. οὐκοῦν ἐπιστήμη μὲν ἐπὶ τῷ ὄντι πέφυκε, γνῶναι ὡς ἔστι τὸ ὄν; opinion, on the other hand (478 D), belongs to something which being at the same time existent and non-existent, is between the εἰλικρινῶς ὄν and the πάντως μὴ ὄν.

6^ Timaeus. 51 B: the question is: ἆρ ἔστιν τι πῦρ αὐτὸ ἐφ᾽ ἑαυτοῦ καὶ πάντα περὶ ὧν ἀεὶ λέγομεν οὕτως αὐτὰ καθ᾽ αὑτὰ ὄντα ἕκαστα, ἢ ταῦτα ἅπερ καὶ βλέπομεν, etc. μόνα ἐστὶν τοιαύτην ἔχοντα ἀλήθειαν, ἄλλα δὲ οὐκ ἔστι παρὰ ταῦτα οὐδαμῇ οὐδαμῶς, ἀλλὰ μάτην ἑκάστοτε εἶναί τί φαμεν εἶδος ἑκάστου νοητόν, τὸ δ᾽ οὐδὲν ἄρ᾽ ἦν πλὴν λόγος: this question is not to be discussed more fully in this place: εἰ δέ τις ὅρος ὁρισθεὶς μέγας διὰ βραχέων φανείη, τοῦτο μάλιστα ἐγκαιριώτατον γένοιτ᾽ ἄν. ὧδε οὖν τήν γ᾽ ἐμὴν αὐτὸς τίθεμαι ψῆφον. εἰ μὲν νοῦς καὶ δόξα ἀληθής ἐστον δύο γένη, παντάπασιν εἶναι καθ᾽ αὑτὰ ταῦτα, ἀναίσθητα ὑφ᾽ ἡμῶν εἴδη, νοούμενα μόνον: εἰ δ᾽, ὥς τισιν φαίνεται, δόξα ἀληθὴς νοῦ διαφέρει τὸ μηδέν, πάνθ᾽ ὁπόσ᾽ αὖ διὰ τοῦ σώματος αἰσθανόμεθα θετέον βεβαιότατα. δύο δὴ λεκτέον ἐκείνω (here follows what was quoted, p. 495). τούτων δὲ οὕτως ἐχόντων ὁμολογητέον ἓν μὲν εἶναι τὸ κατὰ ταὐτὰ εἶδος ἔχον, ἀγέννητον καὶ ἀνώλεθρον, οὔτε εἰς ἑαυτὸ εἰσδεχόμενον ἄλλο ἄλλοθεν οὔτε αὐτὸ εἰς ἄλλο ποι ἰόν, ἀόρατον δὲ καὶ ἄλλως ἀναίσθητον, τοῦτο ὃ δὴ νόησις εἴληχεν ἐπισκοπεῖν: τὸ δὲ ὁμώνυμον ὅμοιόν τε ἐκείνῳ δεύτερον, αἰσθητόν, γεννητόν, πεφορημένον ἀεί, γιγνόμενόν τε ἔν τινι τόπῳ καὶ πάλιν ἐκεῖθεν ἀπολλύμενον, δόξῃ μετ᾽ αἰσθήσεως περιληπτόν.

7^ Phaedrus 247 C.

8^ Cratylus 386 D; 439 C sq.; Sophist 249 B sq. Philebus 58 A. Cf. also the remarks, p. 174, on the mutability of Right Opinion and the immutability of Knowledge, and vol. i. 662 on the consequences of the doctrine of the flux of all things which are drawn out in the Cratylus.

9^ Parmenides 135 B sq.

10^ Philebus 54 C: φημὶ δὴ γενέσεως μὲν ἕνεκα φάρμακά τε καὶ πάντα ὄργανα καὶ πᾶσαν ὕλην παρατίθεσθαι πᾶσιν, ἑκάστην δὲ γένεσιν ἄλλην ἄλλης οὐσίας τινὸς ἑκάστης ἕνεκα γίγνεσθαι, ξύμπασαν δὲ γένεσιν οὐσίας ἕνεκα γίγνεσθαι ξυμπάσης. The doctrine of Flux and the partial non-existence of the sensible will be discussed at greater length in the beginning of the next chapter.

11^ Parmenides 132 A; Phaedo, 74 A sqq.

12^ Republic v. 479 A sq.; vii. 524 C Phaedo, loc. cit. 78 D sq.; 103 B.

13^ Timaeus, 28 A, 29 A, 30 C.

14^ Cf. the passages of the Phaedo and Timaeus (viz. 46 C sq.; 68 E and 100 B-E respectively) to be noticed later on.

15^ Phaedrus, 247 D: 250 B, sq., in his sketch of the world of Ideas, Plato expressly particularises the αὐτὴν δικαιοσύνην, σωφροσύνην, ἐπιστήμη, together with the Idea of beauty; Theaetetus, 170 E, he speaks of the παραδειγμάτων, … ἐν τῷ ὄντι ἑστώτων, τοῦ μὲν θείου εὐδαιμονεστάτου, τοῦ δὲ ἀθέου ἀθλιωτάτου: Parmenides 130 B; Phaedo, 65 D; Republic v. 476 A, of the Idea of the δὶκαιον, καλὸν, ἀγαθὸν, etc; and the highest of all Ideas to Plato is, as we shall find that of the Good. Still (as Ribbing remarks, Pl. Ideenl. i. 316 sq.) we cannot conclude that the practical Ideas alone or at any rate in preference to the others, formed the starting point of the doctrine of Ideas. In the Parmenides (loc. cit.) and Phaedo (78 D; 101 A sqq.), together with or even before the Idea of justice, those of similarity, equality, unity, plurality, duality, greatness, etc., are mentioned, and from the passages quoted in the preceding note we see how great was the influence of Plato’s teleology on the formation of the theory of Ideas. It was not merely on the basis of a definite kind of hypostasized concepts that this doctrine arose, hut from the universal conviction that in all existence and becoming the thought given by its concept was the only true reality.

16^ Sophist 243 D, Plato asks those who suppose two original existences (the warm and the cold and the like): τί ποτε ἄρα τοῦτ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἀμφοῖν φθέγγεσθε, λέγοντες ἄμφω καὶ ἑκάτερον εἶναι; τί τὸ εἶναι τοῦτο ὑπολάβωμεν ὑμῶν; πότερον τρίτον παρὰ τὰ δύο ἐκεῖνα, καὶ τρία τὸ πᾶν ἀλλὰ μὴ δύο ἔτι καθ᾽ ὑμᾶς τιθῶμεν; (That this is not so is not expressly proved, nor had Plato any need of proof, because the triplicity of existence directly contradicts its supposed duality, and the existent as such is only one, although it is a third together with the two elements.) οὐ γάρ που τοῖν γε δυοῖν καλοῦντες θάτερον ὂν (calling only the one of them an existing thing, as Parmenides and the Atomists; cf. Pt. i. 479 sq.; 687 sqq.) ἀμφότερα ὁμοίως εἶναι λέγετε: σχεδὸν γὰρ … ἀμφοτέρως (i.e. whether we call only the one or only the other an existing thing) ἕν, ἀλλ᾽ οὐ δύο εἴτην.’ ‘ἀλλ᾽ ἆρά τὰ ἄμφω βούλεσθε καλεῖν ὄν;’ ἴσως. ‘ἀλλ᾽, ὦ φίλοι,’ φήσομεν, ‘κἂν οὕτω τὰ δύο λέγοιτ᾽ ἂν σαφέστατα ἕν.’ ὀρθότατα εἴρηκας. By this explanation the above view seems to me to be perfectly justified. It might indeed be objected (Bonitz, Plat. Stud, ii. 51) that the possibility mentioned by Plato in the above passage — that existence itself is separate from the two elements — is overlooked. This supposition, it is true, is not expressly contradicted by Plato, apparently from the reasons indicated above; but his design in mentioning it can only be to show the untenability of the assertion of an original duality of existence in any sense that could possibly he assigned to it. In the case before us, this is done by showing the contradiction such an assumption involves (viz. the necessity of three existents instead of the presupposed two). The same argument would apply with equal force against the assumption of three, four, or any additional quantity whatsoever, of original elements: and we have really an indirect assertion here of what has been directly stated in the two other cases, that the originally existent, qua existent, can only be one.

17^ Sophist 246 E sq.; cf. Theaetetus 155 E, where those who would allow nothing to be real, ἢ οὗ ἂν δύνωνται ἀπρὶξ τοῖν χεροῖν λαβέσθαι, πράξεις δὲ καὶ γενέσεις καὶ πᾶν τὸ ἀόρατον οὐκ ἀποδεχόμενοι ὡς ἐν οὐσίας μέρει, are treated with unqualified contempt.

18^ This view of the Parmenides, which I first propounded in my Plat. Stud. 159 sqq. and defended in the first edition of the present work, part i. p. 346 sqq., I cannot substantiate with greater detail in this place; besides the dissertations mentioned above, cf. Susemihl Genet. Entw. i. 341 sqq.; Ribbing, loc. cit. 221 sqq.

19^ Cf. my Plat. Stud. p. 232 sq., and Schwegler and Bonitz ad loc. Aristotle.

20^ From Aristotle’s Metaphysics i. 9, 990 b. 8 sqq. 22, and Alex. ad locum.

21^ Metaphysics i. 6, beginning. Cf. xiii. 9; 1086 a. 35 sqq.

22^ See above, p. 170 sqq , with which compare vol. i. p. 476 sq.; 583 sq.; 651; 741 sq.

23^ Plato himself, Phaedo, 97 B sq. (vide vol. i. 811); Philebus 28 C, sqq., tells us what importance he attached to this doctrine, and what conclusions he drew from it, and at the same time how he regretted the absence of its further development in Anaxagoras.

24^ Vide Part i. p. 218 sq.

25^ Vide supra, p. 225 sq.

26^ Ibid. p. 226.

27^ Ibid. p. 228.

28^ Vide loc. cit. and note 92. Further details will be given in the paragraph on Matter.

29^ We shall find an opportunity later on to return to the importance attached by Plato to the Pythagorean doctrines of numbers. Aristotle’s statement, Metaphysics i. 6 beginning that Plato had in most points adhered to the Pythagoreans, goes too far. Asclepius (ad loc. Metaphysics) corrects Aristotle, but is also mistaken in his assertion that he ought to have said in all points, for Plato was a thorough Pythagorean. The same statement was frequently made in the Neo-Pythogorean and Neo-Platonic schools.

30^ Further particulars on the relation of the doctrine of Ideas to earlier philosophic theories will be given presently. Schleiermacher, Gesch. d. Phil. 104, combats the above-mentioned Aristotelian explanation, and wishes to refer the Ideas to a combination between Heraclitus and Anaxagoras — to a remodelling of the doctrine of homopomeries. The theory is entirely without historical justification. Herbart, more correctly (in his treatise, which will still repay perusal, De Plat. Systematis fundamento, Werke, xii. 63 sq.), sees in the doctrine of Ideas a combination of Eleatic and Heraclitean elements, but leaves entirely out of account the main point, viz. the Socratic conceptual philosophy. The formula in which he sums up the gist of his view: Divide Heracliti γένεσις οὐσίᾳ Parmenides; habebis ideas Platonis (for which — in spite of Ueberweg, Unters. plat. Schr. 40 — we could just as well say conversely: divide οὐσίΰν Parmenides, etc.), is better adapted to the Atomistic doctrine than to that of Ideas: vide vol. i. 687 sqq.

31^ In the first reference Plato calls the Ideas οὐσία. (Phaedrus 247 C; Cratylus 386 D; Phaedo 78 D; Parmenides 135 A); ἀΐδιος οὐσία (Timaeus 37 E); ἀεὶ ὄν (ibid. 27 D); ὄντως ὄν, ὄντως ὄντα (Phaedrus 247 C, E; Republic x. 597 D); παντελής ὄν Sophist 248 E; Republic v. 477 A; κατὰ ταὐτὰ ὄν, ὡσαύτως ὄν, ἀεὶ κατὰ ταὐτὰ ἔχον ἀκινήτως (Timaeus 35 A; 38 A; Phaedo 78 D; cf. Sophist 248 B); the adjective αὐτὸς or αὐτὸ ὃ ἔστι (Phaedrus 247 D; Theaetetus 175 C; Cratylus 389 D; Sophist 225 C; Parmenides 130 B; 133 D; 134 D; Phaedo, 65 D sq.; 78 D; 100 C; Philebus 62 A; Republic vi. 507 B; 493 E; Timaeus 51 B; is an equivalent term; cf. Aristotle, Metaphysics iii. 2; 997 b. 8; vii. 16, 1040 b. 32; Eth. Nich. i. 4; 1096 b. 34. Other passages may be found Ind. Aristototle 124 b. 52 sqq. Parmenides 132 the Ideas are designated as ἕν; in Philebus 15 A sq. as ἑνάδες or μονάδες.

32^ εἶδος and ἰδέα (for which μορφὴ is used Phaedo, 103 E; 104 D; Philebus 12 C) signify in Plato generally any form or shape, especially, however, species or genus (for as yet these were not distinguished, vide note 94), and from a subjective point of view the Idea or general concept; e.g. Euthyphro 6 D; Gorgias 454 E; Theaetetus 148 D; Meno, 72 C; Phaedrus 249 B; 265 D; Sophist 253 D; Parmenides 129 C; 132 A-D; Symposium 205 B; 210 B; Republic. v. 454 A; vi. 507 B; viii. 544 D; Philebus 15 D; 23 D; 32 C; cf. Ast, Lex. Plat.; Brandis, gr.-röm. Phil. ii. 221 sqq. According to Aristotle, Metaphysics i. 6 (supra, p. 233), Plato seems to have established this usage. Both ancients and moderns have in vain tried to discover any distinction in the signification of the two expressions. Seneca e.g. has the assertion, of course not original, that ἰδέα is the exemplar, εἶδος the forma ab exemplari sumta — the archetype and the copy respectively. Further development of this is found in the Neo-Platonist Johannes Diaconus, Alleg. in Hes. Theog. 452 Ox., who was indebted to Proclus for his knowledge. He says that ἰδέα with a simple ι signifies the purely simple, the αὐτοὲν, the αὐτοδυὰς, etc., εἶδος with a diphthong τὰ σύνδετα ἐκ ψυχῆς τε καὶ σώματος ἢ μορφῆς (add καὶ ὕλης). These are, of course, mere fictions. I cannot agree with Richter (De Id. Plat. 28 sq.) and Schleiermacher (Gesch. d. Phil. 104), who would make εἶδος signify the concept of a species, ἰδέα the archetype; nor with the view of Deuschle (Plat. Sprachphil. 73), and Susemihl (Genet. Entw. 122), that in εἶδος we are to understand the subjective concept, in idea the objective fundamental form (Steinhart inverts this order, but acknowledges both the expressions to be essentially the same). A comparison of the above and other passages proves that Plato makes no distinction at all between the two, as regards their scientific meaning; cf. e.g. Parmenides 132 A sq.; 135 B.

33^ Theaetetus 185 B, after several concepts have been mentioned: ταῦτα δὴ πάντα διὰ τίνος περὶ αὐτοῖν διανοῇ; οὔτε γὰρ δι᾽ ἀκοῆς οὔτε δι᾽ ὄψεως οἷόν τε τὸ κοινὸν λαμβάνειν περὶ αὐτῶν. Ibid. C: ἡ δὲ διὰ τίνος δύναμις τό τ᾽ ἐπὶ πᾶσι κοινὸν καὶ τὸ ἐπὶ τούτοις δηλοῖ σοι; 186 D (with reference to this passage): ἐν μὲν ἄρα τοῖς παθήμασιν (sensible impressions) οὐκ ἔνι ἐπιστήμη, ἐν δὲ τῷ περὶ ἐκείνων συλλογισμῷ: οὐσίας γὰρ καὶ ἀληθείας ἐνταῦθα μέν, ὡς ἔοικε, δυνατὸν ἅψασθαι, ἐκεῖ δὲ ἀδύνατον.

34^ Phaedrus 265 D (vide p. 199, where further proofs are adduced); ibid. 249 B.

35^ E.g. Parmenides 132 C, where the εἶδος is designated as the ἓν ὃ ἐπὶ πᾶσι τὸ νόημα ἐπὸν νοεῖ, μίαν τινὰ οὖσαν ἰδέαν, the ἓν ἀεὶ ὂν τὸ αὐτὸ ἐπὶ πᾶσιν. 135 A: ὡς ἔστι γένος τι ἑκάστου καὶ οὐσία αὐτὴ καθ᾽ αὑτήν. Cf. Republic vi. 507 B: πολλὰ καλά … καὶ πολλὰ ἀγαθὰ καὶ ἕκαστα οὕτως εἶναί φαμέν τε καὶ διορίζομεν τῷ λόγῳ. … καὶ αὐτὸ δὴ καλὸν καὶ αὐτὸ ἀγαθόν, καὶ οὕτω περὶ πάντων ἃ τότε ὡς πολλὰ ἐτίθεμεν, πάλιν αὖ κατ᾽ ἰδέαν μίαν ἑκάστου ὡς μιᾶς οὔσης τιθέντες, ‘ὃ ἔστιν’ ἕκαστον προσαγορεύομεν … καὶ τὰ μὲν δὴ ὁρᾶσθαί φαμεν, νοεῖσθαι δ᾽ οὔ, τὰς δ᾽ αὖ ἰδέας νοεῖσθαι μέν, ὁρᾶσθαι δ᾽ οὔ. Timaeus 31 A starts on the same supposition that for every plurality an Idea must be assumed as unity.

36^ Republic x. 596 A: εἶδος γάρ πού τι ἓν ἕκαστον εἰώθαμεν τίθεσθαι περὶ ἕκαστα τὰ πολλά, οἷς ταὐτὸν ὄνομα ἐπιφέρομεν. Ritter (ii. 306; c.f. 303 A 3) translates this passage: ‘An Idea is assigned to each thing which we designate as a number of things by the same name,’ and he infers that, inasmuch as not merely every individual but also every attribute, every condition, and every relation, and even the variably can be set forth in names, and every name signifies an Idea, therefore the Idea cannot merely express general concepts. Here, however, the main point is neglected; viz. that what the Idea corresponds to is the ὄνομα, common to many things.

37^ Metaphysics i. 9, 990 b. 6 (xiii. 4, 1079 a. 2): καθ᾽ ἕκαστον γὰρ ὁμώνυμόν τι ἔστι (ἐν τοῖς εἴδεσι) καὶ παρὰ τὰς οὐσίας (i.e. οὐσία in the Aristotelian sense, substances) τῶν τε (? cf. Bonitz ad loc.) ἄλλων ὧν ἔστιν ἓν ἐπὶ πολλῶν. Hence in what follows the ἓν ἐπὶ πολλῶν is mentioned under the Platonic evidences for the doctrine of Ideas, vide p. 232. Cf. Metaphysics xiii. 4, 1078 b. 30: ἀλλ᾽ ὁ μὲν Σωκράτης τὰ καθόλου οὐ χωριστὰ ἐποίει οὐδὲ τοὺς ὁρισμούς: οἱ δ᾽ ἐχώρισαν, καὶ τὰ τοιαῦτα τῶν ὄντων ἰδέας προσηγόρευσαν. Ibid. 1079 a. 9, 32; Anal. post. i. 11 beginning.

38^ Metaphysics vii. 16, 1040 b. 26 sqq.; xiii. 9, 1086 a. 31 sqq.

39^ Ritter, loc. cit., with whom Volquardsen agrees, Plat, Idee. d. pers. Geist. 17 sq., without, however, adducing anything new. Ritter brings the following points in support of his view: (1) what has already been refuted, note 36. (2 ) The feet that in Cratylus 386 D and elsewhere a permanent existence is attribute. d not merely to things, but also to the actions or activities of things. From this, however, it does not follow that these activities individually — as distinct from their general concepts — go to form the content of the respective Ideas. (3) That according to Plato the soul is non-sensible and imperishable. But this is far from proving that it is an Idea. (4) That according to Theaetetus 184 D, the individual soul is considered as an Idea, and (Phaedo, 102 B) what Simmias is and what Socrates is, is distinguished from what is both of them. The latter passage, however, rather goes against Ritter, for what Simmias is and what Socrates is, i.e. their individual existence, is here separated from the Idea or common element in which both partake. In the first passage (Theaetetus 184 D), certainly the argument is that the single experiences of sense coincide εἰς μίαν τινὰ ἰδέαν, εἴτε ψυχὴν εἴτε ὅτι δεῖ καλεῖν: but the latter qualification only proves that in the present case we have not to deal with the stricter philosophic usage of ἰδέα or εἶδος. The word stands in an indefinite sense, just as in Timaeus 28 A, 49 A, 52 A (where matter is called an εἶδος); 59 C, 69 C, 70 C, 71 A; Republic vi. 507 E, etc.; and also in the passage Theaetetus 157 C, wrongly cited by Ritter on his side. It is distinctly stated (Phaedo, 103 E, 104 C, 105 C sq.) that the soul is not an Idea in the proper sense of the term. Vide infra.

40^ This word, taken in the original Aristotelian sense, signifies generally anything subsisting for itself, forming no inherent part or attribute of anything else, and having no need of any substratum separate from itself. Of course if we understand by substance, as Herbart does (loc. cit. Werke, xii. 76), that which contains several mutable properties, itself remaining constant in the permutations of these properties, we have every reason for combating as he does the assertion that the Ideas are substances.

41^ Phaedrus 247 C sq.

42^ Symposium 211 A. Steinhart (Pl. Wk. iii. 424, 441; iv. 254, 641), following the Neo-Platonists (cf. vol. iii. b. 695; 723, 3, 2nd ed.), says: The Ideas must not be confounded with the general concepts of the understanding in the Symposium (loc. cit.) they are most decidedly distinguished from generic concepts: the concept of Species becomes an Idea only so far as it participates in the Ideal concept of Genus. 1 I agree with Bonitz (Plat. Stud. ii. 75 sq.) and others in opposing these views. The content of the Ideas is given by general concepts, — hypostatised by Plato — without any difference being made between Ideal and other concepts: nor are Species excluded from the Sphere of Ideas: every Species except the infima species, may be regarded as a Genus. Cf. further, Republic vi. 511 C (v. sup. p. 168); Parmenides 130 C sq.; Philebus 16 C (v. sup. 206, 92); and subsequent remarks on the extent of the World of Ideas.

43^ Phaedo, 78 D: ἀεὶ αὐτῶν ἕκαστον ὃ ἔστι, μονοειδὲς ὂν αὐτὸ καθ᾽ αὑτό, ὡσαύτως κατὰ ταὐτὰ ἔχει καὶ οὐδέποτε οὐδαμῇ οὐδαμῶς ἀλλοίωσιν οὐδεμίαν ἐνδέχεται. Philebus 15 B; Timaeus 51 B; vide note 6.

44^ Timaeus 28 A; Parmenides 132 D; Theaetetus 176 E.

45^ P. 556, Pt. i.; Parmenides 128 E; 130 B sq.; 135 A; Phaedo, 100 B; Republic vi. 507 B (vide note 35).

46^ They are represented as such in the famous allegory of the Cave-dwellers, Republic vii.: 514 B sq.; 516 E; 517 D.

47^ Plato draws a distinction in a general logical sense between the καθ’ αὑτὸ and the πρός τι: cf. Sophist 255 C (ἀλλ᾽ οἶμαί σε συγχωρεῖν τῶν ὄντων τὰ μὲν αὐτὰ καθ᾽ αὑτά, τὰ δὲ πρὸς ἄλλα ἀεὶ λέγεσθαι); also Parmenides 133 C; Republic iv. 438 A. Hermodorus, ap. Simpl. Phys. 54 b. says: τῶν ὄντων τὰ μὲν αὐτὰ καθ᾽ αὑτά εἶναιλέγει [Πλάτων], ὡς ἄνθρωπον καὶἵππον, τὰ δὲ πρὸςἕτερα, καὶ τούτων τὰ μὲν πρός ἐναντία, ὡς ἀγαθὸν κακῷ, τὰ δὲ τὰ δὲ ὡς πρὸς τι. But although this logical distinction extends as such through both worlds — the world of sense and the world of Ideas (cf. on the Idea of the Relative, subter, note 126) — in a metaphysical sense the Idea alone is an absolute. It is, as we have just been told, αὑτὸ καθ’ αὑτὸ: while of the phenomenon of sense it is said ἑτέρου τινος ἀεὶ φέρεται φάντασμα, διὰ ταῦτα ἐν ἑτέρῳ προσήκει τινὶ γίγνεσθαι (Timaeus 52 C). The latter is a relative, only a copy of the Idea — has its existence only in and through this relation.

48^ Metaphysics i. 9, 901 b. 2; xiii. 9, 1086 a. 31 sq.; xiii. 4; vide p. 554, 1; Phys. ii. 2, 193 b. 35; cf. Anal. Post. i. 77 a. 5; Metaphysics i. 6, 987 b. 8, 29; and my Plat. Stud. 230.

49^ οὐσίαι as Aristotle calls them: cf. Metaphysics i. 9, 990 b. 30; 991 b. 1; iii. 6, 1002 b. 29; vii. 16, 1040 b. 26. How this determination harmonises with the other, that things exist only in and through the Ideas, will be discussed later on.

50^ Tiedemann, Geist. d. spek. Phil. ii. 91 sq., where by ‘substances’ are understood sensible substances; cf. Van Heusde, Init. Phil. Plat. ii. 3, 30, 40.

51^ Phys. iv. 1, 209 b. 33: ταῦτα δ’ ἐστὶν ἐναντία, καθόλου δ’ ὑπεροχὴ καὶ ἔλλειψις, ὥσπερ τὸ μέγα φησὶ Πλάτων καὶ τὸ μικρόν, πλὴν ὅτι ὁ μὲν ταῦτα ποιεῖ ὕλην τὸ δὲ ἓν τὸ εἶδος, οἱ δὲ τὸ μὲν ἓν τὸ ὑποκείμενον ὕλην, τὰ δ’ ἐναντία διαφορὰς καὶ εἴδη. ["It is held that what is anywhere is both itself something and that there is a different thing outside it. (Plato of course, if we may digress, ought to tell us why the form and the numbers are not in place, if ‘what participates’ is place — whether what participates is the Great and the Small or the matter, as he called it in writing in the Timaeus.")] iii. 4, 203 a. 8: "Plato in the Timaeus says that matter and space are the same; for the ‘participant’ and space are identical. (It is true, indeed, that the account he gives there of the ‘participant’ is different from what he says in his so-called ‘unwritten teaching’. Nevertheless, he did identify place and space.) I mention Plato because, while all hold place to be something, he alone tried to say what it is."

52^ Aristotle Metaphysics iii. 2, 997 b. 5 sq.; cf. vii. 1(5, 1040 b. 30.

53^ Cf. Plat. Stud. p. 231.

54^ Melanchthon, Opp. ed. Bretsch. xiii. 520; Buhle, Gescli. d. Phil. ii. 96 sq.; Tennemann, Syst. d. Plat. Phil. ii. 118 sq. (cf. Gesch. d. Phil. ii. 29(5 sqq.), who makes the Ideas (viewed as archetypes of things), notions or envisagements; viewed as in the spirit of man, works of the Deity. Plat. ii. 125; iii. 11 sq., 155 sq.; Gesch. d. Phil. ii. 3i5J sqq.

55^ This theory is met with in antiquity among the later Platonists, and is general in Neo-Platonism (cf. vol. iii. a. 726; b. 105: 411 sq.; 469; 571, 5; 694; 723, 3, 2nd edit.). There, however, it was connected with the belief in the substantiality of the Ideas, and it was not observed that the two theories are contradictory. The same view of the doctrine of Ideas is common among the Platonizing realists of the middle ages. Among the moderns, cf. Meiners, Gesch. d. Wissensch. ii. 803; Stallbaum, Plat. Timaeus 40; Parmenides 269 sqq.; Richter, De Id. Plat, 21 sq., 36 sq.; Trendelenburg, De Philebi Cons. 17 sq. The latter says that the Ideas are formae a mente artifice susceptae, creations of the divine reason, quae cogitando ita ideas gignat, ut sint, quia cogitentur; and when they are described as absolute and as χωρισταί, the meaning merely is that they continue in the thoughts of the Divinity independent of the vicissitudes of phenomenal appearance. Cf., to the same effect, Rettig, Αἰτία in the Philebus, etc. (Bern, 1866), 24 sq.; Volquardsen, loc. cit p. 16 sq., who, to support his view, quotes certain dicta from Republic iv. 435, not to be found there at all. Kühn, De Dialecticâ, Plat, p. 9, 47 sq., approximates to this view in supposing that the Ideas (as was held by the Neo-Platonists) subsist in God as the most perfectly real existence, and at the same time are comprehended by his thoughts. Similarly Ebben, Plat. id. doctr. 78 sqq.

56^ Supra, p. 228 sq.

57^ Timaeus 28 A; Republic x. 596 A sq.; Phaedrus 247 A.

58^ Timaeus 52 A, and frequently.

59^ Philebus 28 D, 30 C: τόδε τὸ καλούμενον ὅλον, the κόσμου καὶ ἡλίου καὶ σελήνης καὶ ἀστέρων καὶ πάσης τῆς περιφορᾶς, the ἐνιαυτούς τε καὶ ὥρας καὶ μῆνας.

60^ I shall return to this later on.

61^ Parmenides 134 C sqq.: οὐκοῦν εἴπερ τι ἄλλο αὐτῆς ἐπιστήμης μετέχει, οὐκ ἄν τινα μᾶλλον ἢ θεὸν φαίης ἔχειν τὴν ἀκριβεστάτην ἐπιστήμην … οὐκοῦν εἰ παρὰ τῷ θεῷ αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ ἀκριβεστάτη δεσποτεία καὶ αὕτη ἡ ἀκριβεστάτη ἐπιστήμη … ἐκεῖνοί … οὔτε γιγνώσκουσι τὰ ἀνθρώπεια πράγματα θεοὶ ὄντες.

62^ When we say, God made the world, we do not assert that the world is merely a thought of God.

63^ With the Greeks, as everywhere else, whatever is not made by man (and consequently all the works of Nature) is referred to the Divinity. So here, the κλίνη ἐν τῇ φύσει οὖςα is as such made by God. But this is merely the explanation of popular religion, a figure of speech used just as easily by those who expressly deny the attribute of ποιεῖν to the Divinity, as Aristotle does (cf. De Caelo, i. 4, 271 a. 33; Eth. N. x. 9, 1179 a. 24; i. 10, 1099 b. 11; and on the other hand the passages quoted vol. ii. b. 276 sq. 2nd edit.); so that we cannot make it any real criterion of scientific views. This is particularly true of the case before us; for the sake of symmetry, three different κλινοποιοὶ must exist, to correspond to the three different sorts of κλίναι.

64^ Hermann has therefore no reason for discovering in this passage an entirely new development of the doctrine of Ideas, and an evidence for the later composition of the tenth book of the Republic (Plat. 540, 695); cf. Susemihl, Genet, Entw. ii. 262 sq.; Steinhart, iv. 258.

65^ Cf. e.g. the passage of the Symposium 211 A. Could Plato have thus maintained that the Idea of the Beautiful existed absolutely in none other, if his own opinion had been that it did exist only in some other, viz. the divine, understanding?

66^ E.g. Timaeus 27 D: ἔστιν οὖν δὴ κατ᾽ ἐμὴν δόξαν πρῶτον διαιρετέον τάδε: τί τὸ ὂν ἀεί, γένεσιν δὲ οὐκ ἔχον, καὶ τί τὸ γιγνόμενον μὲν ἀεί, ὂν δὲ οὐδέ ποτε, etc. Ibid. 28 C; Symposium 210 E Aristotle frequently designates the Ideas as eternal; e.g. Metaphysics i. 9, 990 b. 33; 991 a. 26; iii. 2, 997 b. 5 sqq.

67^ >Trendelenburg, loc. cit. 20; Stumpf Verb. d. plat. Gott. zur Idee d. Guten, 78 sq.

68^ E.g. Timaeus 28 C: τόδε δ᾽ οὖν πάλιν ἐπισκεπτέον περὶ αὐτοῦ (sc. τοῦ κόσμου) πρὸς πότερον τῶν παραδειγμάτων ὁ τεκταινόμενος αὐτὸν ἀπηργάζετο, πότερον πρὸ; τὸ κατὰ ταὐτὰ καὶ ὡσαύτως ἔχον ἢ πρὸς τὸ γεγονός. So in what follows: the creator of the world looked only πρὸς τὸ ἀΐδιον not πρὸς τὸ γεγονός. We see plainly that Eternity and immutability of existence on the one hand, and Becoming on the other, are to Plato opposite and contradictory antitheses; the thought that anything could spring into being and yet be eternal and unchangeable, which is Trendelenburg’s view of the Ideas, is quite beyond Plato’s intellectual horizon. Cf. Philebus 15 B: μίαν ἑκάστην (each Idea) οὖσαν ἀεὶ τὴν αὐτὴν καὶ μήτε γένεσιν μήτε ὄλεθρον προσδεχομένην. Further details, supra, note b, p. 228 sq.

69^ Parmenides 132 B; cf. Timaeus 51 C. It has been already remarked, Pt. i. p. 254, 1, end, that Plato here has in his mind the nominalism of Antisthenes.

70^ Parmenides 133 C: οἶμαι ἂν καὶ σὲ καὶ ἄλλον, ὅστις αὐτήν τινα καθ᾽ αὑτὴν ἑκάστου οὐσίαν τίθεται εἶναι, ὁμολογῆσαι ἂν πρῶτον μὲν μηδεμίαν αὐτῶν εἶναι ἐν ἡμῖν. πῶς γὰρ ἂν αὐτὴ καθ᾽ αὑτὴν ἔτι εἴη.

71^ Symposium 211 A.

72^ Aristotle nowhere describes the Ideas either as thoughts simply, or as thoughts of the Divinity; but, as we have already seen, he expressly calls them eternal substances. Can we, however, imagine that it he had known anything of the theory discussed above, he would have neglected to object to the doctrine of Ideas the contradiction between this determination and the other?

73^ This is clear from the passages cited supra, notes 48 and 48, and indeed from the single expression χωριστὸς, to explain which as Trendelenburg does (vide note 55) is made absolutely impossible by Aristotelian usage and by the connection in which it is used of the Platonic Ideas. Cf. e.g. (not to cite the whole of the passages adduced, Ind. Arist. 860 a. 35 sq.) Metaphysics vii. 16, 1040 b. 26 sq.; xiii. 9, 1086 a. 31 sqq., where he charges the doctrine of Ideas with a contradiction, in that the Ideas as concepts must be general and as χωρισταί individual. With Trendelenburg’s interpretation of χωριστὸς this criticism is objectless: the archetypes in the thoughts of God anterior to individual Being can only be general concepts.

74^ As regards the first of the above supposed cases (viz that the Ideas are the concepts of human intelligence), this will be at once conceded. And as to the second not the slightest doubt can remain. Of all the objections of Aristotle against the doctrine of Ideas (a review of them is given, Pt. i. b. 216 sq. 2rd edit.), there is not a single one which does not lose its force as soon as we understand by the Platonic Ideas, not substantial and self-subsisting concepts, but the thoughts of the Divinity expressing the essence of certain things.

75^ This definition is never mentioned either in his [Aristotle’s] account of the doctrine of Ideas, or in his criticism of it, though the question was obvious (had he been aware of it) — How does the creation of the Ideas agree with their eternity? (an eternity so strongly emphasized by Aristotle). Plato, in the disquisitions which Aristotle had heard, seems never to have referred to the Deity (vide p. 76, 70) as the agent through whom the Ideas are copied in things; still less would he have done so in order to explain the origin of the Ideas themselves, which were at once eternal and without origin.

76^ If we say with Stallbaum (Parmenides 269, cf. 272; Timaeus 41): ideas esse sempiternas numinis divini cogitationes, in quibus inest ipsa rerum essentia ita quidem, ut quales res cogitantur, tales etiam sint et ri sua consistant … in ideis veram οὐσίαν contineri, the question at once arises: Have the Ideas the essence of things merely as content and object, so that they themselves are distinct therefrom as subjective and objective, or are they actually the substance of things? And how can they be so if they are the thoughts of the divinity? Must not we admit in full the inference by means of which Plato (Parmenides loc. cit.) refutes the supposition that the Ideas are mere thoughts: ἢ ἐκ νοημάτων ἑκάστον εἶναι καὶ πάντα νοεῖν, ἢ νοήματα ὄντα ἀνόητα εἶναι?

77^ Sophist 244 B,-245 E.

78^ Which must be the case according to Parmenides. Vide Pt. i. 471, 1; 473.

79^ Cf. as to the train of thought of the above passages Ribbing, Plat. Ideenl. i. 196 sq.; Petersen, De Soph. Plat. ord. (Kiel. 1871). p. 9 sq., 38 sq. and the authorities there quoted. It is impossible for me to substantiate my view in detail here.

80^ Vide p. 228 sq.

81^ The assertion of Antisthenes; vide Part i. p. 252.

82^ 259 D sq.; 251 B sq.

83^ Motion e.g. can be united with Being, because it is; it is, however, at the same time ἕτερον τοῦ ὄντος, for its concept is different from that of Being: οὐκοῦν δὴ σαφῶς ἡ κίνησιν ὄντως οὐκ ὄν ἔστι καὶ ὄν, ἐπείπερ τοῦ ὄντος μετέχει. 256 D; 254 D.

84^ Parmenides 256 D: ἔστιν ἄρα ἐξ ἀνάγκης τὸ μὴ ὂν ἐπί τε κινήσεως εἶναι καὶ κατὰ πάντα τὰ γένη: κατὰ πάντα γὰρ ἡ θατέρου φύσις ἕτερον ἀπεργαζομένη τοῦ ὄντος ἕκαστον οὐκ ὂν ποιεῖ, καὶ σύμπαντα δὴ κατὰ ταὐτὰ οὕτως οὐκ ὄντα ὀρθῶς ἐροῦμεν, καὶ πάλιν, ὅτι μετέχει τοῦ ὄντος, εἶναί τε καὶ ὄντα … περὶ ἕκαστον ἄρα τῶν εἰδῶν πολὺ μέν ἐστι τὸ ὄν, ἄπειρον δὲ πλήθει τὸ μὴ ὄν.

85^ Cf. on this particularly 256 E-259 B; 260 C.

86^ It is contrary to Plato’s clear and definite opinion to reduce the doctrine of the κοινωνία τῶν γενῶν to ‘the possibility of some things connecting themselves with others in the being of the individual,’ as Stumpf does (Verb. d. plat. Gott. z. Idee d. Gut. 48 sq.). The question put was (p. 51 D), not whether a thing can partake in several Ideas at the same time, but whether οὐσία, κίνησις, στάσις can enter into communion with one another. We are then shown that if it is absolutely denied that κίνησις and στάσις partake in οὐσία, the consequence is that they are not; if it is absolutely affirmed, then (not, as we should have expected, that anything in motion may at the same time be at rest, but) κίνησις τε αὐτὴ παντάπασιν ἵσταιτ’ ἃν, καὶ στάσις πάλιν αὐτὴ κινοῖτο, and so throughout, e.g. 254 B sq., 254 D; κίνησις and στάσις are ἀμείκτω πρὸς ἀλλήλω, Being on the contrary μεικτὸν ἀμφοῖν: ἐστὸν γὰρ ἄμφω που, 255 A sq.: neither κίνησις nor στάσις is ταὐτὸν or θάτερον. 255 sq.: κίνησις is ἕτερον στάσεως: participates in Being, in ταὐτὸν and θάτερον, without being identical with them: it is, and it is a ταὐτὸν or ἕτερον, etc.

87^ With respect to which cf. supra, note 187.

88^ Vide p. 70, 56.

89^ Philebus 15 B: the question is not whether a subject can unite in itself many attributes or a whole many parts — on this people are now agreed — but about simple or unit-concepts, πρῶτον μὲν εἴ τινας δεῖ τοιαύτας εἶναι μονάδας ὑπολαμβάνειν ἀληθῶς οὔσας: εἶτα πῶς αὖ ταύτας, μίαν ἑκάστην οὖσαν ἀεὶ τὴν αὐτὴν καὶ μήτε γένεσιν μήτε ὄλεθρον προσδεχομένην, ὅμως εἶναι βεβαιότατα μίαν ταύτην; μετὰ δὲ τοῦτ᾽ ἐν τοῖς γιγνομένοις αὖ καὶ ἀπείροις εἴτε διεσπασμένην καὶ πολλὰ γεγονυῖαν θετέον, εἴθ᾽ ὅλην αὐτὴν αὑτῆς χωρίς, ὃ δὴ πάντων ἀδυνατώτατον φαίνοιτ᾽ ἄν, ταὐτὸν καὶ ἓν ἅμα ἐν ἑνί τε καὶ πολλοῖς γίγνεσθαι. Cf. quotation on p. 206, 92.

90^ There is no objection to Ribbing’s view (Plat. Ideenl. i. 336), that every Idea is ‘also a concrete existence,’ allowing that ‘concrete’ here has its true meaning, not of sensible being or individual existence, but simply (as in Hegel, when he speaks of the concrete concept) of the universally Determined. On the other hand, I cannot see what Ribbing has to object from a historical point of view against my assertion that the Platonic Ideas are the universal, nor do I find any explanation in the detailed discussion of the matter, loc. cit. p. 325 sq., 355 sq. By saying that the Ideas are the universal, we mean that every Idea contains that which occurs equally in several individual things; these individual things may be more or fewer, and the scope of the Ideas may be accordingly greater or less. It has already (p. 237 sq.) been incontrovertibly proved from Plato himself that this is the Platonic doctrine; nor indeed does Ribbing combat it, loc. cit. 374. It is, therefore, inconsistent of him to say (ibid.): ‘Plato no more intended to define the universal by the Ideas than to define the individual as the really existing; he wished simply to show the necessity of a constant Being as separate from Becoming.’ That the latter was his intention is beyond all doubt; but (as undeniably shown by his most definite explanations) he knew that this constant Being was only to be found in the universal existence of genera. He hypostasizes this universal; he attributes to it, as we shall find, even intelligence and life, and, generally, determinations which we are accustomed to attribute to individuals only. But we cannot say that he was still undecided as to its universality or not we can only say that to him these determinations did not seem incompatible with the nature of that which is thought of in general concepts.

91^ Plato himself emphasizes this point of view. In the above-quoted passages of the Sophist he proves that the combination of concepts and the recognition of a Manifold in them are mutual conditions, and in the Philebus, loc. cit., he finds the key to the problem of the simple or unit-concept comprehending the Many of the phenomenon, in the position that the actual includes unity and plurality, finiteness and infinity. In the Parmenides, too, after the speculations about the participation of things in the Ideas (130 E sq.), we find that dialectical discussion of which the last result is (vide p. 251) a progress from the pure Being of the Eleatics to the expanded and manifold Idea. More details on this point will be given later on.

92^ Cf. my Plat. Stud. p. 239 sq., 236 nt.; Trendelenburg, Plat, de Id. et Numeris doctrina ex Arist. illustr. p. 71 sq.; Comm. in Aristotle de An. p. 232; Brandis in Rhein. Mus. ii. (1828) 562 sq. Gr.-Röm. Phil. ii. a. 315 sq.: Ravaisson, Essai sur la Métaphysique d Aristot. i. 176 sq. Schwegler and Bonitz, ad loc. Metaphysics (xiii. 6 sq.; Susemihl Genet. Entw. ii. 525 sq.).

93^ See p. 216.

94^ The so-called numbers in which (Philebus 56 D), unlike units, as e.g. two armies or two oxen are numbered together, the ἀριθμοὶ ὁρατὰ ἢ ἁπτὰ σώματα ἔχοντες (Republic vii. 525 D); the ἀριθμοὶ αἰσθητοὶ, as Aristotle calls them, Metaphysics i. 8 end; xiv. 3, 1090 b. 36; cf. c. 5, 1092 b. 22 (ἀρ. σωματικοὶ).

95^ Republic v. 479 B; Phaedo, 101 C.

96^ Metaphysics xiii. 4, 1078 b. 9: περὶ δὲ τῶν ἰδεῶν πρῶτον αὐτὴν τὴν κατὰ τὴν ἰδέαν δόξαν ἐπισκεπτέον, μηθὲν συνάπτοντας πρὸς τὴν τῶν ἀριθμῶν φύσιν, ἀλλ᾽ ὡς ὑπέλαβον ἐξ ἀρχῆς οἱ πρῶτοι τὰς ἰδέας φήσαντες εἶναι.

79^ Vide p. 206, 92.

98^ As will be shown later on, in chap. vii.

99^ E.g. Metaphysics i. 6, 987 b. 20 sq.; c. 8, end; c. 9, 091 b. 9 sqq.; xiii. 6 sq. Further details in the following note, and Plat. Stud. 239. Theophrastus, Metaphysics 313 I3r. (Fragm. 12, 13, Wimm.), refers to the same form of the doctrine: Πλάτων … εἰς τὰς ἰδέας ἀνάπτων, ταύτας δ ͗εἰς τούς ἀριθμοὺς, ἐκ δὲ δούτων εἰς τὰς ἀρχάς.

100^ ἀριθμοὶ εἰδητικοὶ (Metaphysics xiii. 9, 1086 a. 5; xiv. 2, 1088 b. 34, c. 3, 1090 b. 35), ἀρ. τῶν εἰδῶν (ibid. xiii. 7, 1081 a. 21, c. 8, 1083 b. 3; xiv. 3, 1090 b. 33), ἀρ. νοητοὶ (ibid, i. 8, end), πρῶν ἀρ. (ibid. xiii. 6, 1080 b. 22, c. 7, 1081 a. 21 sqq.; xiv. 4, beginn.). The expression, i. 6, 987 b. 34, is questionable.

101^ Metaphysics i. 6; especially p.

102^ Aristotle expressly treats of this distinction, Metaphysics xiii. 6-8; namely, c. 6, beginn. c. 8, 1083 a. 31. Cf. Plat. Stud. 240 sq.

103^ In my Platonic studies, 243 sqq., I referred this expression with Trendelenburg to the mathematical numbers, and consequently agreed with his conjecture, that in Metaphysics xiii. 6, 1080 b. 11 (οἱ μὲν οὖν ἀμφοτέρους φασὶν εἶναι τοὺς ἀριθμούς, τὸν ἔχοντα τὸ πρότερον καὶ ὕστερον τὰς ἰδέας, τὸν δὲ μαθηματικὸν παρὰ τὰς ἰδέας) a μὴ has fallen out before ἔχοντα. I must now, however, concede to Brandis, as Trendelenburg does, that this supposition is inadmissible, not merely because the manuscripts and commentators know nothing of it, but also because Priority and Posteriority are attributed to Ideal and not to mathematical number. In Metaphysics xiii. 6, 1080 a. 16, from the premiss: τὸ μὲν πρῶτόν τι αὐτοῦ [τοῦ ἀριθμοῦ] τὸ δ᾽ ἐχόμενον, ἕτερον ὂν τῷ εἴδει ἕκαστον, we get the conclusion: καὶ τοῦτο ἢ ἐπὶ τῶν μονάδων εὐθὺς ὑπάρχει καὶ ἔστιν ἀσύμβλητος ὁποιαοῦν μονὰς ὁποιᾳοῦν μονάδι: so that those numbers are heterogeneous (ἀσύμβλητοι), of which, on account of their diversity in concept, the one is earlier, the other later. So we find in c. 7, 1081 a. 17: if all units were heterogeneous, there could be not only no mathematical, but no Ideal number: οὐ γὰρ ἔσται ἡ δυὰς πρώτη … ἔπειτα οἱ ἑξῆς ἀριθμοί. Hence a Before and After is supposed in the Ideal numbers. This is still plainer in what follows, and Z. 35 sqq., where both times the μονάδες καὶ ὕστεραι are substituted for the μονάδες ἀσύμβλητοι (cf. also c. 8, 1083 a. 33). So too 1081 b. 28, where, in reference to the πρώτη δυάς, etc., it is asked: τίνα τρόπον ἐκ προτέρων μονάδων καὶ ὑστέρων σύγκεινται; further, p. 1082 a. 26 sq., is very clear; Aristotle objects, as against the Platonic theory of Ideal numbers, that not merely all whole numbers, but the parts of them as well, must stand in the relation of Priority and Posteriority; that they must, therefore, be Ideas, and that an Idea must consequently be composed of several Ideas (e.g. the Ideal Eight of two Ideal Fours). Further on, 1082 b. 19 sq., we read: if there is an ἀριθμὸς πρῶτος καί δεύτερος, then the units in the Three-by-itself cannot be homogeneous with those in the Two-by-itself (ἀδιάφοροι = σύμβλητοι), and c. 8, 1083 a. 6, the supposition that the units of the Ideal numbers are heterogeneous (διαφοροι = σύμβλητοι) is met by the question: Whether they differ quantitatively or qualitatively, and whether, supposing the former to be the case, αἱ η πρῶται μείζους ἢ ἐλάττους, καὶ αἱ ὕστερον ἐπιδιδόασιν ἢ τοὐναντίον; Finally, p. 1083 b. 32, it is inferred that, as unity is prior to duality, unity must (according to Platonic doctrine) be the Idea of duality. Here, then, the Ideas stand in tho relation of Priority and Posteriority. From these passages it is clear that with Aristotle the προτέρον καὶ ὕστερον marks the peculiarity of the Ideal numbers, and at the same time some light is thrown on the meaning of that expression. That number is prior out of which another proceeds; the number two e.g. is prior to the number four; four is prior to eight; for the Four proceeds from the Ideal Two and the δυὰς ἀόριστος, and from these the Eight proceeds (Metaphysics xiii. 7, 1081 b. 21; 1082 a. 33), only not (cf. Aristotle ibid.) κατὰ πρόσθεσιν, as if the Two were contained in the Four, but by γέννησις (whatever may be the exact meaning of that mysterious phrase), so that one number has the other as its product. The Before and After, therefore, signifies the relation of the factor to the product of the conditioning to the conditioned. In support of this interpretation Trendelenburg (Plat, de id. doct, p. 81) rightly refers to Metaphysics v. 11, 1019 a.: τὰ μὲν δὴ οὕτω λέγεται πρότερα καὶ ὕστερα, τὰ δὲ κατὰ φύσιν καὶ οὐσίαν, ὅσα ἐνδέχεται εἶναι ἄνευ ἄλλων, ἐκεῖνα δὲ ἄνευ ἐκείνων μή: (cf. Phys. viii. 7, 260 b. 17; Eth. Eudem. i. 8; Theophr. Metaphysics ii. p. 308, 12 Br., where the ἀρχαὶ correspond to the πρότερα and τὰ ὑπὸ τὰ ἀρχὰς to the ὕστερα) ἦ διαιρέσει ἐχρήσατο Πλάτων. Cf. also Categ. c. 12: πρότερον ἕτερον ἑτέρου λέγεται τετραχῶς· πρῶτον μὲν καὶ κυριώτατα κατὰ χρόνον … δεύτερον δὲ τὸ μὴ ἀντιστρέφον κατὰ τὴν τοῦ εἶναι ἀκολούθησιν, οἷον τὸ ἓν τῶν δύο πρότερον· δυεῖν μὲν γὰρ ὄντων ἀκολουθεῖ εὐθὺς τὸ ἓν εἶναι, ἑνὸς δὲ ὄντος οὐκ ἀναγκαῖον δύο εἶναι, etc. Plato, Parmenides 153 B: πάντων ἄρα τὸ ἓν πρῶτον γέγονε τῶν ἀριθμὸν ἐχόντων … πρῶτον δέ γε οἶμαι γεγονὸς πρότερον γέγονε, τὰ δὲ ἄλλα ὕστερον. The consideration which formerly made me doubtful of this, viz. that according to Metaphysics iii. 3, 999 a. 12, there is no Before or After in individuals (ἄτομα), I no longer consider of any importance. Though these are conditioned by some other individual thing, still in individual existences (into which the lowest concepts of species finally resolve themselves and it is these alone which Aristotle is considering, cf. p. 998 b. 14 sqq.) we find, not the relation of Conditioning to Conditioned, of higher to lower concept, but a logical coordination. But how can this view of the Before and After be reconciled with the statement (Metaphysics iii. 3, 999 a. 6: Eth. N. iv. 1, 4, 1096 a. 17; Eth. Eud. i. 8, 1218 a.; cf. my Plat. Stud. p. 243 sq.) that Plato and his school supposed no Ideas of things in which there is a Before and After? Against Brandis’ expedient, of taking the πρότερον καὶ ὕστερον in these passages in a different sense to that of those previously quoted, viz. here as signifying numerical, in Metaphysics xiii. as signifying conceptual sequence, I must repeat my former objection (which Susemihl, loc. cit. ii. 527, has not succeeded in refuting) that a technical expression like πρότερον καὶ ὕστερον used by the same writer in the same way and in analogous connection, cannot possibly have opposite meanings. Hitherto everything proves satisfactorily that the expression, ‘Things in which there is a Before and an After’ was the standing denotation in the Platonic school for the peculiarity of certain numbers. How could this expression be used to signify the exactly opposite peculiarity of another class? The difficulty comes before us in another way. If we ask why no Ideas were presupposed of things in which there is a Before and an After, Aristotle answers: Because things which are separated in species, but at the same time stand in a definite relation of sequence, so that one of them is always first, another second, etc. cannot be reduced to any common concept. This reason is stated, Politics iii. 1, 1275 a. 34 sqq.: Δεῖ δὲ μὴ λανθάνειν ὅτι τῶν πραγμάτων ἐν οἷς τὰ ὑποκείμενα διαφέρει τῷ εἴδει, καὶ τὸ μὲν αὐτῶν ἐστι πρῶτον τὸ δὲ δεύτερον τὸ δ᾽ ἐχόμενον, ἢ τὸ παράπαν οὐδὲν ἔνεστιν, ᾗ τοιαῦτα, τὸ κοινόν, ἢ γλίσχρως. This is just the case in the constitution of states: they are εἴδει διαφέρονσαι ἀλλήλων; at the same time however, αἱ μὲν ὕστερον αἱ δέ πρότεραι for the perverted are necessarily later than the good states, from the deterioration of which they take their rise. The question, therefore, cannot be answered according to the concept of the πολίτης by any adequate definition — no characteristic mark can be given which is applicable to all. On the same ground, Aristotle, Eth. N. loc. cit., supports an objection against an Idea of the Good. The originators of the theory of Ideas, he says, οὐκ ἐποίουν ἰδέας ἐν οἷς τὸ πρότερον καὶ ὕστερον ἔλεγον, διόπερ οὐδὲ τῶν ἀριθμῶν ἰδέαν κατεσκεύαζον. Accordingly, they ought to suppose no Idea of the Good; for the Good occurs in all the categories; there is a Substantial Good (Divinity and Nous), a Qualitative, a Quantitative, a Relative Good, etc.; the Substantial, however, precedes the Qualitative, etc.; the Good, there fore, falls under the determination of the Before and the After, ὥστ᾽ οὐκ ἂν εἴη κοινή τις ἐπὶ τούτοις ἰδέα (or as it is put subsequently: δῆλον ὡς οὐκ ἂν εἴη κοινόν τι καθόλου καὶ ἕν). For the same reasons, numbers, if they stand as conceptually separate in the relation of the Before and the After, can be reduced to no common concept, and therefore to no Idea. But it is in this relation that the Ideal numbers stand, and the Ideal numbers only. There is consequently no Idea which includes them all in itself. Each is an Idea by itself (cf. Metaphysics vii. 11, 1036 b. 15, where the following statement is put in the mouth of the advocates of the doctrine of Ideas: ἔνια μὲν γὰρ εἶναι τὸ αὐτὸ τὸ εἶδος καὶ οὗ τὸ εἶδος οἷον δυάδα — the αὐτὸδυάς — καὶ τὸ εἶδος δυάδος), which includes in itself a plurality of homogeneous things (e.g. the Ideal duality, the αὐτὸδυάς, includes all mathematical dualities), but all of them together have no Idea above themselves, as they cannot be brought under a common concept. The Ideal two, three, four, etc., are specifically distinct; they are not coordinated as species in juxtaposition, but are to be subordinated as prior and posterior, conditioning and conditioned; they therefore cannot be looked upon merely as separate expressions of one Idea, the Idea of number. Eth. Eud. i. 8 , also contains a reference to the doctrine of Ideal numbers: ἔτι ἐν ὅσοις ὑπάρχει τὸ πρότερον καὶ ὕστερον, οὐκ ἔστι κοινόν τι παρὰ ταῦτα, καὶ τοῦτο χωριστόν. εἴη γὰρ ἄν τι τοῦ πρώτου πρότερον: πρότερον γὰρ τὸ κοινὸν καὶ χωριστὸν διὰ τὸ ἀναιρουμένου τοῦ κοινοῦ ἀναιρεῖσθαι τὸ πρῶτον. οἷον εἰ τὸ διπλάσιον πρῶτον τῶν πολλαπλασίων, οὐκ ἐνδέχεται τὸ πολλαπλάσιον τὸ κοινῇ κατηγορούμενον εἶναι χωριστόν: ἔσται γὰρ τοῦ διπλασίου πρότερον, εἰ συμβαίνει τὸ κοινὸν εἶναι τὴν ἰδέαν. In the words, τὸ διπλάσιον, etc., Eudemus undoubtedly had in view the Platonic theory of the indefinite duad from which, through its connection with the unit, the πρώτη; δυὰς must proceed as the first actual number (Metaphysics xiii. 7, 1081 a. 14; 21, 1081 b. 1 sqq.). The only peculiarity is that in order to prove the impossibility of an Idea of that in which there is a Before and an After, he lays stress on the supposed separate existence of the Ideas. In Metaphysics iii. 3, this reference to the Platonic Ideal numbers appears to me to hold good; although Bonitz (Aristotle’s Metaphysics ii. 153 sq. 251), while agreeing generally with the above explanation, here and v. 11 (ibid.) denies it, with the concurrence of Bonghi (Metafisica d ‘Arist. 115 sq.; 253 sq.) and Susemihl. Aristotle raises the question, whether the γένη or the ἐνυπάρχοντα (the material elements of things) are to be considered as ἀρχαὶ, and remarks among other objections to the first of these suppositions: ἔτι ἐν οἷς τὸ πρότερον καὶ ὕστερόν ἐστιν, οὐχ οἷόν τε τὸ ἐπὶ τούτων εἶναί τι παρὰ ταῦτα ̔οἷον εἰ πρώτη τῶν ἀριθμῶν ἡ δυάς, οὐκ ἔσται τις ἀριθμὸς παρὰ τὰ εἴδη τῶν ἀριθμῶν: ὁμοίως δὲ οὐδὲ σχῆμα παρὰ τὰ εἴδη τῶν σχημάτων. Still less, in any other cases, will the γένη be παρὰ τὰ εἴδη: τούτων γὰρ δοκεῖ μάλιστα εἶναι γένἠ. Moreover, of those cases τὸ μὲν βέλτιον τὸ δὲ χεῖρον, there can be no γένος, for the better is always prior. Aristotle is speaking quite generally, but in the example that he quotes: οἷον εἰ πρώτη τῶν ἀριθμῶν ἡ δυάς, he seems to have the πρώτη in his mind (Metaphysics xiii. 7, 1081 a. 23, b. 4), which alone is qualified to be an example of that in which the Before and After is, this being supposed to exist only in the Ideal numbers. However, the interpretation of these words is of no importance to the present question. I cannot agree with Susemihl, loc. cit., that ‘neither Eudemus nor Aristotle would have expressly proved the impossibility of Ideas of the Ideal numbers, because the impossibility is self-evident.’ It is not proved, either in Eth. Eud. i. 8, or Metaphysics iii. 3, that there are no Ideas of the Ideal numbers. In the former passage it is shown that there are no Ideas of the things in which the Before and After is, and the numbers are merely taken as an example, but not the only possible example. In the latter there is no proving at all; it is laid down as something acknowledged, and again illustrated by the numbers, only by way of example. And it is far from being self-evident that there can be no Ideas of Ideas; indeed, Aristotle, Metaphysics i. 9, 991 a. 29 sq., xiii. 5, 1079 b. 3, remarks that Ideas of Ideas are a necessary consequence of the doctrine of Ideas. Still less can I concede to Susemihl that my view is inadmissible in the passage of Eth. iv. 1, 4. Susemihl thinks that, as the Good, an Idea of which the Idea of the Good is, is not it self this Idea, the numbers of which Plato supposes no Idea, cannot themselves be the Ideal numbers. But because the separate kinds of the Good, which Plato reduces to one Idea, are not themselves Ideas, we can by no means infer that the numbers which he docs not reduce to one Idea, are likewise not Ideas. However, in the comparison of the several kinds of Good with the several numbers, the point is not whether one or the other are Ideas or not, but only that in both the Before and the After is found. Aristotle says that whatever stands in the relation of the Before and the After, has, according to Plato, no Idea. But not merely do the numbers (as Plato supposes) stand in this relation, but also the several kinds of the Good. Therefore, there can no more be any Idea of these than, according to Plato, there can be of the numbers. This conclusion remains equally valid, whether Plato says of the Ideal or the mathematical numbers, that they stand in the relation of the Before and the After, and therefore can be reduced to no Idea.

104^ Particulars on this point below.

105^ Cf. Part i. p. 218 sq.

106^ Sophist 248 A sqq.; Grote (Plato, ii. 439 sqq.) has mistaken Plato’s meaning in trying to prove that Plato here represents the Ideas as something relative — existing merely in relation to the knowing subject — and that he thereby returns to the theory of Protagoras, refuted in the Theaetetus. Plato does not say that the existence of the Ideas is conditioned by our knowledge of them; what he asserts is merely that the Ideas, among other attributes, have the attribute of being known by us. If we follow Grote we must suppose that in speaking of a knowledge of the Absolute or of the deity, we are at the same time making them into relatives of some sort.

107^ Loc. cit. 248 E sq.: τί δὲ πρὸς Διός; ὡς ἀληθῶς κίνησιν καὶ ζωὴν καὶ ψυχὴν καὶ φρόνησιν ἦ ῥᾳδίως πεισθησόμεθα τῷ παντελῶς ὄντι μὴ παρεῖναι, μηδὲ ζῆν αὐτὸ μηδὲ φρονεῖν, ἀλλὰ σεμνὸν καὶ ἅγιον, νοῦν οὐκ ἔχον, ἀκίνητον ἑστὸς εἶναι; — δεινὸν μεντἄν, ὦ ξένε, λόγον συγχωροῖμεν. — ἀλλὰ νοῦν μὲν ἔχειν, ζωὴν δὲ μὴ φῶμεν; — καὶ πῶς; — ἀλλὰ ταῦτα μὲν ἀμφότερα ἐνόντ᾽ αὐτῷ λέγομεν, οὐ μὴν ἐν ψυχῇ γε φήσομεν αὐτὸ ἔχειν αὐτά; — καὶ τίν᾽ ἂν ἕτερον ἔχοι τρόπον; — ἀλλὰ δῆτα νοῦν μὲν καὶ ζωὴν καὶ ψυχὴν ἔχειν, ἀκίνητον μέντοι τὸ παράπαν ἔμψυχον ὂν ἑστάναι — πάντα ἔμοιγε ἄλογα ταῦτ᾽ εἶναι φαίνεται. It is impossible to understand this passage as Hermann does, viz. that intellect and motion are declared to be a true Being, but are not attributed to all true Being.

108^ Loc. cit. 249 B sq.: συμβαίνει δ᾽ οὖν, ὦ Θεαίτητε, ἀκινήτων τε ὄντων νοῦν μηδενὶ περὶ μηδενὸς εἶναι μηδαμοῦ … τῷ δὴ φιλοσόφῳ … πᾶσα, ὡς ἔοικεν, ἀνάγκη διὰ ταῦτα μήτε τῶν ἓν ἢ καὶ τὰ πολλὰ εἴδη λεγόντων τὸ πᾶν ἑστηκὸς ἀποδέχεσθαι, κ.τ.λ.

109^ Loc. cit. 247 D Plato meets the Materialists with the fundamental position: λέγω δὴ τὸ καὶ ὁποιανοῦν τινα κεκτημένον δύναμιν. εἴτ᾽ εἰς τὸ ποιεῖν ἕτερον ὁτιοῦν πεφυκὸς εἴτ᾽ εἰς τὸ παθεῖν καὶ σμικρότατον ὑπὸ τοῦ φαυλοτάτου, κἂν εἰ μόνον εἰς ἅπαξ, πᾶν τοῦτο ὄντως εἶναι: τίθεμαι γὰρ ὅρον ὁρίζειν τὰ ὄντα ὡς ἔστιν οὐκ ἄλλο τι πλὴν δύναμις. Even this position, we are told, 248 C, is not conceded by the Megarians, because doing and suffering belong merely to Becoming, and as the above instances will hold good on the other side, the determination that the existent is nothing else than δύναμις, is proved quite generally of all that is real and actual. I cannot agree with Deuschle (Plat. Sprach. phil. 35) that we are to understand by δύναμις not power, but possibility of entering into relation with anything else. In the first place we can scarcely believe that Plato defined the ὄντως ὄν by the concept of possibility, the very concept to which Aristotle reduces the Platonic μὴ ὄν, Matter. Again, no single passage is to be found in Plato where δύναμις signifies mere possibility; it invariably means power or ability wherever it stands in a connection analogous to that under discussion. Finally, Plato himself explains unmistakably what meaning he attached to the expression, in Republic v. 477 C: φήσομεν δυνάμεις εἶναι γένος τι τῶν ὄντων, αἷς δὴ καὶ ἡμεῖς δυνάμεθα ἃ δυνάμεθα καὶ ἄλλο πᾶν ὅτι περ ἂν δύνηται, οἷον λέγω ὄψιν καὶ ἀκοὴν τῶν δυνάμεων εἶναι, εἰ ἄρα μανθάνεις ὃ βούλομαι λέγειν τὸ εἶδος. Each of these δυνάμεις is something colourless and shapeless, generally speaking something not an object of sense, only known in its operations, i.e. in a word, power. Stumpf, again (Verh. d. plat. Got. z. Idee d. Guten. 19, 30), asserts that Plato nowhere calls the Ideas efficient and operative causes; that Soph, 248, D sq., he attributes to them merely the passive motion of becoming known, not the faculty of putting something else in motion. This latter passage is quite irrelevant: for though Plato proves that the Ideas, in so far as they are known, suffer or are passive and therefore also moved, they are not excluded from the possibility of having active as well as passive faculties. Stumpf, in order to support his view (to say nothing of the passages which I quote from the Republic and the Philebus), is obliged to pervert the perfectly clear enunciation of the Phaedo (quoted in the following note) and the definite statement of Aristotle: while with regard to the Sophist he has to maintain that soul is attributed to the Ideas only ‘in a broad sense,’ — as having self-movement, but not the faculty of operating on anything else. But even this self-movement is an activity, and presupposes an active power.

110^ In the Phaedo 95 E, Socrates passes on to speak of the doctrine of Ideas with the remark: we have now περὶ γενέσεως καὶ φθορᾶς τὴν αἰτίαν διαπραγματεύσασθαι. In his youth he had been addicted to natural philosophy, to searching out the causes of things, διὰ τί γίγνεται ἕκαστον καὶ διὰ τί ἀπόλλυται καὶ διὰ τί ἔστι; he gave it up, however, without having attained any satisfaction. Hence he was all the more sanguine about the Nous of Anaxagoras. As a cosmoplastic Mind must adjust everything for the best, he had hoped to hear from Anaxagoras the final cause of all things. In this hope, however, he was miserably deceived; instead of intellectual causes Anaxagoras had only mentioned material causes. But in reality these are merely the indispensable means (ἐκεῖνο ἄνευ οὗ τὸ αἴτιον οὐκ ἄν ποτ᾽ εἴη αἴτιον); the actual and only operative causes are the final causes (τὴν δὲ τοῦ ὡς οἷόν τε βέλτιστα [-ον] αὐτὰ [he is speaking of the heavenly bodies] τεθῆναι δύναμιν οὕτω νῦν κεῖσθαι, ταύτην οὔτε ζητοῦσιν οὔτε τινὰ οἴονται δαιμονίαν ἰσχὺν ἔχειν … καὶ ὡς ἀληθῶς τὸ ἀγαθὸν καὶ δέον συνδεῖν καὶ συνέχειν οὐδὲν οἴονται, 99 B). As then no one has proved these causes to be in things, he has himself looked for them in the Ideas, and so supposes that it is the presence of the Idea (καλὸν αὐτὸ, etc.) of anything which makes a thing what it is. In the whole of this explanation not merely is there no distinction drawn between the conceptual, the efficient, and the final cause, but all three are clearly enunciated as one and the same. The Ideas, or, in Aristotelian terminology, the conceptual or formal causes, are to do just what Plato sought for in vain in Anaxagoras, viz. to bring out the ἄριστον and βέλτιστον; they coincide with the final causes. Plato declares his unwillingness to have anything to do with any other causes besides these (100, D: τὰ μὲν ἄλλα χαίρειν ἐῶ, — ταράττομαι γὰρ ἐν τοῖς ἄλλοις πᾶσι — τοῦτο δὲ ἁπλῶς καὶ ἀτέχνως καὶ ἴσως εὐήθως ἔχω παρ᾽ ἐμαυτῷ, ὅτι οὐκ ἄλλο τι ποιεῖ [that which is beautiful] καλὸν ἢ ἡ ἐκείνου τοῦ καλοῦ εἴτε παρουσία εἴτε κοινωνία εἴτε ὅπῃ δὴ καὶ ὅπως προσγενομένη: οὐ γὰρ ἔτι τοῦτο διισχυρίζομαι, ἀλλ᾽ ὅτι τῷ καλῷ πάντα τὰ καλὰ γίγνεται καλά. They are sufficient for him, nor does he find any further principle necessary; they are, as Aristotle says, in the passages quoted, p. 398, 1, on the occasion of the passage before us, καὶ τοῦ εἶναί γίγνεσθαι αἴτια, αἴτια καὶ γενέσεως καὶ φθορᾶς.

111^ Plato (Philebus 23 C sqq.; cf. 16 C) makes a fourfold division: the Finite, the Infinite, the Compound of the two, and the Cause of the Compound. He goes on to describe the Infinite in such a way that we can only understand by it the so-called Plutonic Matter. By the Compound of the two he means the world of sense, in so far as it is ordered by definite proportions, the γένετις εἰς οὐσίαν ἐκ τῶν μετὰ τοῦ πέρατος ἀπειργασμένων μέτρων. Brandis (gr.-röm. Phil. ii. a. 332), Steinhart (Pl. W. iv. 641), Susemihl (Genet. Entw. ii. 13), and Rettig (Αἰτια in the Philebus, c. Bern. 1866, p. 13 sq.) refer the Finite to the Idea; the fourth principle, the Cause, must, they think, signify the Divinity — either as identical with the Idea of the Good, or (as Rettig would have it) the creator of this and all other Ideas. But with regard to the first of these suppositions: Would Plato, who otherwise always opposes the Ideal world, as a whole, to the phenomenal world, have made in this one case such, a total distinction between the highest Idea and the derivative Ideas, as to place them in two quite separate classes, and to parallel the distinction between them by that between Idea and phenomenon? If, on the other hand, we understand by αἰτια the Divinity as the creator of Ideas distinct and separate from the Idea of the Good, this view is not only opposed by all the reasons (to be discussed later on) which favour the actual equalisation of the Good and the Divinity, but also obliges us to refer the Good to the sphere of the πέρας, whereas, according to Republic vi. 508 E sqq., it is elevated above all being and knowledge as the αἰτίαν ἐπιστήμης καὶ ἀληθείας. In the Philebus (64 C sqq.) it is clearly described as the Cause of the Compound; even a product of the good, νοῦς and ἐπιστὴμη, (28 C sqq.; 31 A) is classed with the αἰτια. And Plato’s description of the πέρας is not at all suitable to the Ideas. To the finite (p. 25 A, D) must be long everything which does not admit (δεχόμεναι) of more or less, but only of the opposite determinations, πρῶτον μὲν τὸ ἴσον καὶ ἰσότητα, μετὰ δὲ τὸ ἴσον τὸ διπλάσιον καὶ πᾶν ὅτιπερ ἂν πρὸς ἀριθμὸν ἀριθμὸς ἢ μέτρον ᾖ πρὸς μέτρον, that is to say, everything which is capable of exact numerical and metrical determination. The sphere of mathematical relations is thus clearly denoted by what would be a very imperfect description of the Ideal world. The field of the Ideas is in no way limited to numerical and metrical determinations. And it is improbable that this point of view is emphasised merely in opposition to the ἀριθμὸν without excluding the other determinations of the Ideas (Brandis, loc. cit.), because Pluto clearly intends to give an accurate and universally valid enunciation of what we are to think of under the different principles. Further, as νοῦς and ἐπιστὴμη are reckoned not under the πέρας, but under the fourth principle, the αἰτια (v. sup.), and as according to a well-known fundamental principle of Plato’s (supra, p. 225 sq.) the value and truth of knowledge depend on the nature of its object, the Ideas, (which are the highest object of contemplation for νοῦς, and through the possession of which knowledge as such originates), cannot be placed a degree lower, in the sphere of the πέρας. Finally 27 D sqq., the preference is given to the composite life of pleasure and knowledge, because it belongs to the τρίτον γένος, ξυμπάντων τῶν ἀπείρων ὑπὸ τοῦ πέρατος δεδεμένων. This preference of the compound to the πέρας will not harmonise with the supposition, that we are to think of the Ideas under the latter principle. The fact that Plato elsewhere (Phaedo, 74 A sqq.; 78 D; 100 D sq.; Republic v. 479 A sqq.) makes use of the Equal, the Double, etc., as examples to elucidate the distinction between the Idea and the things in which the Idea occurs (Rettig, p. 15), is irrelevant; in similar passages he makes use of other Ideas (the Just, the Beautiful, the Great, the Small, etc.) in a similar way; this has nothing to do with the present question. Rettig is also wrong in saying (p. 10) that the πέρας cannot signify the mathematical πέρας, for the πέρας, according to 23 E, has different kinds, where as quantity alone cannot establish differences of kind. The latter statement is signally mistaken: the Tracts in numbers is different from that in figures, and that in tones or movements is different again. Plato says, 23 E, 26 C, sq., not that the Infinite and the Finite, but that the Infinite and the Mixed, are split up and divided in many ways, whereas τό γε πέρας οὔτε πολλὰ εἶχεν, οὔτ᾽ ἐδυσκολαίνομεν ὡς οὐκ ἦν ἓν φύσει. Rettig (p. 10), — to quote one only of the many passages which he brings against me, — represents the well-known place in Aristox. Harm. El. 11, 30 Meib. (subter, note 166) as being on his side, because the πέρας here is put in the same position as, according to Plato’s expositions elsewhere, is held by Dialectic or the doctrine of Ideas. I cannot, however, see how he understands the words: καὶ τὸ πέρας ὅτι ἀγαθὸν ἐστινἕν. τό πέρας is evidently adverbial, and means finally; but Rettig seems to have considered it to be the subject of a sentence which in this connection would go thoroughly against the sense. I can not give up the view which I endeavoured to establish in my Plat. Stud. 248 sqq., and with which in the meanwhile others have agreed (e.g. Siebeck, Unters. z. Phil. d. Gr. 80 sqq.; Schneider, d. mat. Princ. d. plat. Phil. 14), viz. that it is not the πέρας but the αἄτιον, which in the passage before us fills the place otherwise occupied by the Ideas. If this is described as the world-creating intellect, it merely shows that to Plato νοῦς and the Idea coincide in the latter reference; and the two positions, — ‘everything is the work of intellect (νοῦς),’ and ‘everything is what it is through the Idea,’ mean the same. This is seen unmistakably in the enunciations of the Phaedo, noticed above. My view at once clears up Schaarschmidt’s objection against the Philebus (Samml. d. plat. Schr. 294 sqq.) that there is no reference in it to the Ideas. He objects further that a mixture of the Finite and the Infinite is impossible, because the πέρας would be destroyed by the entrance of the ἄπειρον. This objection arises from a misunderstanding: the Philebus says (loc. cit.) that the ἄπειρον admits of the More and Less, etc., the πέρας, on the contrary, only admits of the opposite (cf. on this meaning of δέχεσθαι Timaeus 52 A). As to the assertion that the Finite and the Infinite cannot exist together in things, Plato states the exact contrary (supra, p. 206, 92). Finally, Schaarschmidt (ibid. 295) would find in the expression γένος used for the ἄπειρον etc., not merely a departure from Platonic usage, but a proof that these are, to the author of the dialogue, not world-forming Powers but only subjective pictures of Thought. He is satisfactorily answered by Schneider (loc. cit. p. 4), who refers to Timaeus 48 E sq.; 50 C; 52 A.

112^ The αἰτια, which, p. 26 E sqq., is also called the ποιοῶν or δημιουργοῶν, is described p. 30 A sqq., as κοσμοῦσά τε καὶ συντάττουσα ἐνιαυτούς τε καὶ ὥρας καὶ μῆνας, σοφία καὶ νοῦς λεγομένη δικαιότατ᾽ ἄν. (It has been already shown, 28 C sqq.; cf. 22 C, that νοῦς adjusted the world and still regulates it.) It is in all things, it invests us with the soul, which (as Socrates said, Xen. Mem. i. 4, 8) must have its origin from the soul of the universe, just as our body from the body of the universe, and from it springs all knowledge; through it the universe itself is endowed with its soul and intellect, 130 D: οὐκοῦν ἐν μὲν τῇ τοῦ Διὸς ἐρεῖς φύσει βασιλικὴν μὲν ψυχήν, βασιλικὸν δὲ νοῦν ἐγγίγνεσθαι διὰ τὴν τῆς αἰτίας δύναμιν, ἐν δ᾽ ἄλλοις ἄλλα καλά. Cf. subter, note 172.

113^ Aristotle frequently objects to the doctrine of Ideas, that it wants an efficient principle. E.g. Gen. et Corr. ii. 9, 335 b. 7 sqq.: generation and decay presuppose matter and form, Δεῖ δὲ προσεῖναι καὶ τὴν τρίτην, ἣν ἅπαντες μὲν ὀνειρώττουσι, λέγει δ’ οὐδείς, ἀλλ’ οἱ μὲν ἱκανὴν ᾠήθησαν αἰτίαν εἶναι πρὸς τὸ γίνεσθαι τὴν τῶν εἰδῶν φύσιν, ὥσπερ ὁ ἐν Φαίδωνι Σωκράτης, etc. Metaphysics i. 9, 991 a. 19 sq. (xiii. 5, 1079 b. 23): the Ideas cannot be the causes of things: τὸ δὲ λέγειν παραδείγματα αὐτὰ εἶναι καὶ μετέχειν αὐτῶν τἆλλα κενολογεῖν ἐστὶ καὶ μεταφορὰς λέγειν ποιητικάς. τί γάρ ἐστι τὸ ἐργαζόμενον πρὸς τὰς ἰδέας ἀποβλέπον; Ibid. 992 a. 24 sqq.; viii. 6, 1045 b. 7; xii. 0, 1071 b. 14. It is remarkable that Aristotle here takes no notice of the explanation of the Timaeus — probably because he attached no scientific value to it, owing to its mystical character. And his expressions make it highly probable that Plato in his oral discourses never mentioned special efficient causes in conjunction with the Ideas. Cf. p. 76 on this point.

114^ Plato, as is well known, often speaks of the Divinity and its activity in the world; he calls God the author of all good and of good only (Republic ii. 379 A sqq.); he says that all things, lifeless and living, must have been produced by God, and not by a blind and unconscious power of nature (Sophist 265 C; cf. Philebus 28 sqq.); he extols the care of the Divinity or of the gods for mankind, the, righteousness of the divine government of the world (Phaedo 62 B, D; Republic x. 612 E sq.; Laws x. 899 D sqq.; iv. 715 E, etc.); he says that to imitate God is the highest object for mankind (Theaetetus 176 15, and further below). Such popular expressions, however, cannot prove much; his scientific conception of the Divinity is the really important thing. Is the Divinity actually a second cause together with the Idea, or merely another expression for the causality of the Idea? The fact of God being called the author of the Ideas is of little weight, as has been shown p. 245. The explanation of the Timaeus, which makes the world-creator build up the universe on the pattern of the Ideas, is, as we shall find later on, so mystical in all its parts that no dogmatic conclusions can be drawn from it. Phaedrus 247 D, where θεὸς is merely a god, proves nothing, and Parmenides 134 C sqq. not much more.

115^ Deuschle has very rightly (Jahn’s Jahrbb. B. lxxi. p. 170 sq.) called attention to a difficulty involved in the question how the ideas can partake in Motion without partaking in Becoming, and how the soul can be that which is absolutely moved and at the same time have an eternal nature. This question, as Deuschle rightly recognises, is to be answered by the fact that with Plato the Idea of motion is superior to that of Becoming, and that therefore all Becoming is to be considered as a motion, but not every motion as a Becoming. If Plato in isolated passages (Theaetetus 181 C sq.; Parmenides 138 B, where ἀλλοίωσις and φορὰ are separated as two distinct kinds of motion) assumes a concept of motion which is not applicable to the Ideas at all, and only improperly to the soul, we must be content to make allowance for a mere inaccuracy which might easily have been corrected by a more exact determination. The actual difficulty, however, of imagining motion without change, is not removed.

116^ Schaarschmidt, loc. cit. 204 sq., sees in the above-mentioned discussion a distinct proof for the spuriousness of the Sophist. But this is only taking one side of the case into consideration. It is of course a contradiction to attribute motion, life, etc. to the Ideas, and at the same time (as in the passage mentioned, p. 241 sq.) to assert that they are capable of no change whatever. But it is a contradiction, in which Plato must have become involved as soon as ever he tried to reconcile the two fundamental determinations of his doctrine of Ideas, viz. that the Ideas on the one hand do not come into contact with the mutability, partiality, and incompleteness of sensible Being, while on the other hand they are the only original reality and the only source of all reality for derivative Being. It is just the same as with the theological problem, which has so often involved the greatest thinkers in flagrant contradictions, — the problem how to imagine the Divinity as at once a "creative intelligence and an absolute existence elevated above all incompleteness and mutability. The contradiction in the Platonic expressions is not to be denied, but we cannot say how Plato should have undertaken to escape from the contradiction on his own presuppositions. Its occurrence, however, does not justify the denial of a Platonic origin to a dialogue which shows such obvious traces of Plato’s genius, and which has such distinct Aristotelian and even (indirectly) Platonic evidence in its favour. In Republic vii. 529 D, Plato speaks of the φοράὶ ἃς τὸ ὂν τάχος καὶ ἡ οὖσα βραδυτὴς φέρεται. It would not follow that all other Ideas are moved even if the ὄν τάχος were the Idea of swiftness; but it does follow that Plato did not think motion incompatible with the immutability of the ὄν. He has, moreover (as Peipers, Philol. xxix. 4, 711 sq., rightly observes), attributed motion to νοῦς (Timaeus 47 B: 89 A; 34 A; 77 B; Symposium x. 897 C; 898 A), though he could not have meant either of the motions described in the preceding note, or have considered νοῦς to be moved in the sense in which things of sense are, in opposition to the Ideas. What we are really to understand by this motion of νοῦς he does not tell us. We must, after all, credit Plato with the remarkable and undeniably false argument 248 C, sq. (if οὐσία is known, it πάσχει, for if knowing is a ποιεῖν, be coming known is a πάσχειν, just as much as with many other difficulties in his writings; e.g. the dictum that we cannot imagine a μὴ ὄν (Theaetetus 189 A; Republic i. 478 B; Sophist 240 D sq.), or the argument Republic i. 349 ft sqq., which turns on the ambiguous meaning of πλέον ἔχειν; the derivation of the elements Timaeus 31 B sq., and the like.

117^ In this point seems to lie the explanation of the fact that the predicates, which Plato lays claim to for them, are not attributed to the Ideas with such definiteness in any other dialogue. This exposition does not show us the latest form of the Platonic doctrine of ideas, as Ueberweg thinks (Unters. plat. Schr. 275 sq.; vide p. 106, 41), but is one from which Plato so far subsequently departed as not to pursue the road here indicated any further without entirely giving up the movement and life (the efficient] of the Ideas. In the latest form of the doctrine of Ideas known to us from the accounts of Aristotle this point of view recedes altogether. It has been already proved, p. 136 sq., that all evidence from other sources forbids our reckoning the Sophist amongst Plato’s last works.

118^ As Ritter rightly remarks (Gött. Anz. 1840, 20; St. S. 188); only it does not follow from this that in explaining the Platonic doctrine we are not to speak of the Idea to express generally the concept connected with the word εἶδος or ἰδέα, as Aristotle does, e.g. Metaphysics xii. 4, 1079 b. 9. Plato himself speaks of τὸ εἶδος not only where (e.g. Parmenides 131 A; Phaedo 103 E) he is treating of a definite Idea, but also where he is treating of the concept of the eI5os generally: Politicus 203 B: cf. Symposium 210 B; Phaedrus 249 B.

119^ Cf. on this point p. 228.

120^ Supra, p. 249 sq.

121^ Cf p. 204 sqq.

122^ Aristotle Metaphysics i. 990 b, init.: οἱ δὲ τὰς ἰδέας αἰτίας τιθέμενοι πρῶτον μὲν ζητοῦντες τωνδὶ τῶν ὄντων λαβεῖν τὰς αἰτίας ἕτερα τούτοις ἴσα τὸν ἀριθμὸν ἐκόμισαν, etc.

123^ Supra, p. 237 sq.

124^ Supra, p. 225 sq.

125^ In the well-known passage Parmenides 130 B sqq. After Socrates has spoken of the Ideas of Similarity, the One, the Many, Righteousness, Beauty, the Good, Parmenides asks him whether he supposes a self-subsisting Idea of man, or of fire or water, and then whether he supposes an idea of hairs, dirt, etc. Socrate, already embarrassed by the first of these questions, thinks that he must answer the second in the negative. Parmenides, however, tells him by way of advice [130 E]: νέος γὰρ εἶ ἔτι, ὦ Σώκρατες, καὶ οὔπω σου ἀντείληπται φιλοσοφία ὡς ἔτι ἀντιλήψεται κατ᾽ ἐμὴν δόξαν, ὅτε οὐδὲν αὐτῶν ἀτιμάσεις: νῦν δὲ ἔτι πρὸς ἀνθρώπων ἀποβλέπεις δόξας διὰ τὴν ἡλικίαν.

126^ The proofs, for the most part mentioned by Ritter, ii. 302 sqq., are to be found in the following passages besides those just quoted: Timaeus 51 B (the fire καθ’ αὑτὸ, which is distinct from visible fires; the same holds good of the remaining elements); Republic x. 596 A; 597 C sq. (the Idea of a bed, the κλίνη ὄντων οὖςα, ἐκείνη δ ἔστι κλίνη, the Idea of a table); Cratylus 389 B (the Idea of a shuttle, αὐτὸ ὃ ἔστιν κερκὶς); Parmenides 133 C, D (the αὑτὸς ὃ ἔστι δεσπότης and the αὑτὸς δοῦλος ὃ ἔστι δοῦλος); Phaedo 65 D (the δίκαιον, καλὸν, ἀγαθὸν αὑτὸ, the οὐσία of Health, Greatness, and Strength); ibid. 100 D sqq. (the Beautiful καθ’ αὑτὸ, Greatness, Smallness, Plurality, Unity, Duality, καθ’ αὑτὸ); Republic v. 479 A sq. (the Beautiful, the Just, the Double, the Great, the Small, the Heavy, the Light, καθ’ αὑτὸ. In vii. 529 D, by the motions of actual swiftness and slowness in the actual numbers and the actual figures are meant, as the context shows, not the Ideas, but the intuitions of pure mathematics, which, however, in this place are not distinguished clearly enough from the corresponding Ideas). Philebus 62 A (αὐτῆς δικαιοσύνης ὅ τι ἔστι … κύκλου καὶ σφαίρας αὐτῆς τῆς θείας); Phaedrus 247 D (the αὐτὴν δικαιοσύνην, σωφροσύνη, ἐπιστήμη, the ἐν τῷ ὅ ἐστιν ὂν ὄντως ἐπιστήμη οὖσα); Cratylus 389 D; 390 E (αὐτὸ ἐκεῖνον ὃ ἔστιν ὄνομα … τὸ τῇ φύσει ὄνομα); ibid. 423 E (the οὐσία of colour and sound); ibid. 386 D (all things, and consequently all activities, have an οὐσία βέβαιος); Theaetetus 176 E (παραδειγμάτων, ὦ φίλε, ἐν τῷ ὄντι ἑστώτων, τοῦ μὲν θείου εὐδαιμονεστάτου, τοῦ δὲ ἀθέου ἀθλιωτάτου, cf. the παραδείγματα βίων, Republic x. 617 D, 618 A, which of course taken by themselves would prove nothing on account of the mythical character of this exposition); Sophist 254 C sqq. (the most general εἴδη, the ὄν, στασις, κίνησις, ταὐτὸν and θάτερον); ibid. 258 C (δεῖ θαῤῥοῦντα ἤδη λέγειν ὅτι τὸ μὴ ὂν βεβαίως ἐστὶ τὴν αὑτοῦ φύσιν ἔχον … ἐνάριθμον τῶν πολλῶν ὄντων εἶδος ἕν; cf. 254 D: … τὸ μὴ ὂν … ὡς ἔστιν ὄντως μὴ ὂν); Republic v. 476 A: καὶ περὶ δὴ δικαίου καὶ ἀδίκου καὶ ἀγαθοῦ καὶ κακοῦ καὶ πάντων τῶν εἰδῶν πέρι ὁ αὐτὸς λόγος, αὐτὸ μὲν ἓν ἕκαστον εἶναι, etc.; cf. ibid. iii. 402 C: πρὶν ἂν τὰ τῆς σωφροσύνης εἴδη καὶ ἀνδρείας, etc.; καὶ τὰ τούτων αὖ ἐναντία πανταχοῦ περιφερόμενα γνωρίζωμεν; and Theaetetus 186 A: to those things which the soul contemplates without the aid of sense, belong the ὅμοιον and the ἀνόμοιον, the ταὐτὸν and ἕτερον, the καλὸν καὶ αἰσχρὸν, the ἀγαθὸν καὶ κακόν. Susemihl (Genet. Entw. ii. 197) would make out that not merely the Ideas of the bad, but also the Ideas of special virtues are simply a provisional supposition, because the latter only belong to appearance, and because the Ideas of the bad would be in direct contradiction to the doctrine that God is only the cause of the good. But Plato, as we see, supposed Ideas of many things which belong only to appearance; and if the Ideas of the bad or of Non-being entangle us in contradiction, such a contradiction does not, any more than the other instances objected by Aristotle, justify us in departing from Plato’s definite statements where the statements are supported by the consequences of Plato’s doctrine. If there is an Idea corresponding to every concept, this must unavoidably hold good of the concepts of badness, Non-being, etc. The Idea of Being ought not to give us greater offence than any other. As Bonitz (plat. Stud. ii. 82) rightly remarks, reality as such (Being itself) does not belong to the essence of things represented in the Ideas, though Plato scarcely makes this distinction. According to his original supposition, there is an Idea corresponding to every general concept without exception. This Idea is the content of the concept; and one of the most general concepts is that of Being. Again Plato speaks of the μονάς (Phaedo, 101 C), in which everything must participate in order to be one, although unity is given with the concept of the thing just as directly as Being. Bonitz finds the Idea of Being explicable enough, but he does not think it was required by the consequences of the doctrine of Ideas. Schaarschmidt (Samml. d. plat. Schr. 202) sees in it something which cannot be attributed to Plato, but which might just as well be maintained of the Ideas of the table, bed, βίος ἄθεος, unity, etc., and would actually be maintained, even if they occurred in the Sophist or Parmenides instead of the Republic, Phaedo, and Theaetetus.

127^ That Plato did suppose such a limit, is clear from Philebus 16 C sq., not to mention other passages; vide p. 200, 92. To this point Ritter, loc. cit., rightly refers Timaeus 66 D: περὶ δὲ δὴ τὴν τῶν μυκτήρων δύναμιν, εἴδη μὲν οὐκ ἔνι. τὸ γὰρ τῶν ὀσμῶν πᾶν ἡμιγενές, εἴδει δὲ οὐδενὶ συμβέβηκεν συμμετρία πρὸς τό τινα σχεῖν ὀσμήν. Distinctions of kinds of smell are here denied, because smell always has to do with an incomplete and undetermined Becoming, — because it belongs, as is said in what follows, only to a transient moment.

128^ Metaphysics xii. 3, 1070 a. 13 sqq.; in many things, as e.g. in artistic products the form cannot exist except in conjunction with the matter; if this is at all possible, it is only met with in natural products: διὸ δὴ οὐ κακῶς Πλάτων ἔφη ὅτι εἴδη ἔστιν ὁπόσα φύσει (that there are just as many Ideas as there are kinds of natural products. The fact would remain the same even if Plato’s name did not originally stand in the text but was first introduced from Alexander, as Rose (Arist. libr. ord. 151) conjectures with great probability, for in any case Plato is meant). Ibid. i. 9, 991 b. 6: πολλὰ γίγνεται ἕτερα, οἷον οἰκία καὶ δακτύλιος, ὧν οὔ φαμεν. Ibid. 990 b. 8, sqq.: the evidences for the doctrine of Ideas are (1) not valid, (2) would lead to Ideas of things of which we (i.e. the Platonic schools Aristotle in his criticism of the doctrines of Ideas is unintentionally communicative) presuppose no Ideas; κατά τε γὰρ τοὺς λόγους τοὺς ἐκ τῶν ἐπιστημῶν εἴδη ἔσται πάντων ὅσων ἐπιστῆμαι εἰσί (which was actually Plato’s original intention, according to the above account), τὸ ἓν ἐπὶ πολλῶν καὶ τῶν ἀποφάσεων … ἔτι δὲ οἱ ἀκριβέστεροι τῶν λόγων οἱ μὲν τῶν πρός τι ποιοῦσιν ἰδέας, ὧν οὔ φαμεν εἶναι καθ’ αὑτὸ γένος, etc. (which, in spite of Ebben’s objection, Plat. id. doct. p. 96 sq., can only mean: ‘of which there van be no self-subsisting forms,’ i.e. no Ideas). Ibid. Z 27 (xiii. 4, 1079 a. 24) Xenocrates according to Proclus in Parmenides 136, Cons. defined the Ideas as αἰτία παραδειγματικὴ τῶν κατά φύσιν ἀεὶ συνεστώτων. From this, as Proclus remarks, it would follow that there are no Ideas of the products of art or of things contrary to nature. A similar definition is attributed to Plato in the exposition of Platonic doctrine, ap. Diog. iii. 77, which is possibly throughout inauthentic. This view is common among the later Platonists and was then, naturally enough, attributed to Plato; cf. the scholia on the passage of the Metaphysics and vol. iii. (2nd edit.) a. 726 b. 470; 695; 723, 3, the references Alcinous, Plotinus, Syrian, Proclus. Still, even Aristotle mentions (in speaking of Health in itself) the Idea of a mere concept of an attribute, Metaphysics iii. 2, 997 b. 8: αὐτὸ γὰρ ἄνθρωπόν φασιν εἶναι καὶ ἵππον καὶ ὑγίειαν (they speak of an αὑτοάνθρώπους, etc.).

129^ Cf. p. 204 sqq., and the quotations from Republic vi. on pp. 108, 196.

130^ Vide p. 248 sq.

131^ Philebus 10 C sqq.; Republic vi. 511 B; Sophist 253 B sqq.; vide pp. 196, 205.

132^ So in the expositions which follow the idea of an immanent dialectic, Sophist 244 B sqq.; Parmenides 142 B sqq.; in both the separation of the One and the Existent is supposed, and further inferences are drawn from this supposition.

133^ Cf. on what follows, Trendelenburg, Hist. Beiträge zur Phil. i. 205 sqq.; Prantl, Gesch. der Logik, i. 73 sq.

134^ Theaetetus 184 C. The discussions of the Parmenides, 137 sqq., are occupied with similar concepts, and a further series such as the concept of the Whole and the Parts, Motion and Rest, Finite and Infinite. Cf. my Plat. Stud. 169.

135^ Theaetetus 182 A, where the expression ποιότης is brought in with an apology as something new, Republic iv. 38 A sqq. (vide note 6), where a distinction is drawn between the ποιόν τι and the αὐτὸ ἕκαστον; Cratylus 432 A sq., between qualitative and quantitative determinations (of number), Philebus 37 C; Sophist 262 E.

136^ Sophist 245 D: every ὅλον is a ποσόν. Phil. 24 C sq.: the More and Less, the σφόδρα and ἠρέμα, make the ποσόν (determined magnitude) impossible.

137^ Sophist 255 C: τῶν ὄντων τὰ μὲν αὐτὰ καθ᾽ αὑτά, τὰ δὲ πρὸς ἄλλα ἀεὶ λέγεσθαι … τὸ δέ γ᾽ ἕτερον ἀεὶ πρὸς ἕτερον, etc. Republic iv. 438 A: ὅσα γ᾽ ἐστὶ τοιαῦτα οἷα εἶναί του, τὰ μὲν ποιὰ ἄττα ποιοῦ τινός ἐστιν, ὡς ἐμοὶ δοκεῖ, τὰ δ᾽ αὐτὰ ἕκαστα αὐτοῦ ἑκάστου μόνον. Science e.g. proceeds on knowledge simply, definite science (ποιά ἐπιστὴμη) on definite knowledge. Parmenides 133 C, and the quotation from Hermodorus, p. 241, 47.

138^ In the passage apud Simpl. Phys. 54 b., just mentioned, after the words quoted pp. 214, 47 Hermodorus goes on to say: of that which is πρὸς ἕτερα, the one is ὡς πρὸς ἐναντία, the other ὡς πρὸς τι καὶ τούτων τὰ μὲν ὡς ὡρισμένα, ὰ δὲ ὡς ἀόριστα. This latter distinction he explains in the words (which I quote at length, because I shall have to return to them later on): καὶ τὸ μὲν ὡς μέγα πρὸς μικρὸν λεγόμενα πάντα ἔχειν (sc. λέγει Πλάτων) τὸ μᾶλλον καὶ τὸ ἧττον. ἔστι γὰρ μᾶλλον εἶναι μεῖζον καὶ ἔλαττον εἰς ἄπειρον φερόμενα. ὡς αύτως δὲ καὶ πλατύτερον καὶ στενόυερον [στενώτ.] καὶ βαθύτερον [βαρυτ.], καὶ κουφότερον, καὶ πάντα τὰ οὕτω λεγόμενα εἰς ἄπειρον τὰ δὲ ὡς τὸ ἴσον καὶ τὸ μέσον καὶ ἡρμοσμένον λεγόμενα οὐκ ἔχειν τὸ μᾶλλον καὶ τὸ ἧττον, τὰ δὲ ἐναντία τούτων ἔχειν ἔστι γὰρ μᾶλλον ἄνισον ἀνίσου καὶ κινούμενον κινουμένου καὶ ἀνάρμοστον ἀναρμόστου. ὤστε ἀμφοτέρων αὐτῶν [αὐτῶν should either be excised or altered into τούτων] τῶν συζυγιῶν πάντα [perhaps κατὰ πάντα] πλὴν τοῦ ἑνὸς στοιχείου τὸ μᾶλλον καὶ ἧττον δεδεγμένον [-ων], ἄστακτον [ἄστατον] καὶ ἄπειρον καὶ ἄμορφον καὶ οὐκ ὄν τὸ τοιοῦτον λέγεσθαι κατὰ ἀπόφασιν τοῦ ὄντος. τῷ τοιούτῳ δὲ οὐ προσήκειν οὔτε ἀρχῆς οὔτε οὐσίας, ἀλλ’ ἐν ἀκρισία τινὶ φέρεσθαι. The last position (as that just quoted, from Dercyllides) is again given with unimportant variations, p. 56 b.: ὤστε ἄστατον καὶ ἄμορφον καὶ οὐκ ὄν τὸ τοιοῦτον λέγεσθαι κατὰ ἀπόφασιν τοῦ ὄντος. τῷ τοιούτῳ δὲ οὐ προσήκειν οὔτε ἀρχῆς οὔτε οὐσίας, ἀλλ’ ἐν ἀκρισία (for which ἀκρισίᾳ is the better reading) τινὶ φέρεσθαι. Of the distinctions here made, that of the πρὸς ἕτερα into the πρὸς ἐναντία and the πρὸς τι, is not found in the Platonic writings, though this need not be any reason for mistrusting the statement of Hermodorus; on the other hand, the opposition of ὡρισμένα and ἀόριστα together with a more; detailed description of the latter is met with again lower down.

139^ Cf. p. 241, 47, and the quotations to be made later on as to the phenomenal world and matter.

140^ Vide p. 204 sq.; 249 sq.

141^ Vide p. 262, 109.

142^ 254 C sqq.: cf. supra, 249 sq.

143^ Vi. 508 E sqq.; vide p. 269, 116.

144^ E.g. Timaeus 37 A, where Plutarch (Procr. an. 23, 3, p. 1023) sees the first sketch of the ten categories.

145^ Aristotle Metaphysics xiii. 7, 1081 a. 14, 21 b. 17 sqq.; 31, 1082 a. 13 b. 30; xiv. 3, 1091 a. 4, 1, 9, 990 b. 19: cf. my Plat. Stud. 220, sqq. 242. We shall have to speak of the ἀόριστος δυὰς as in treating of the doctrine of matter.

146^ According to Aristotle ibid, xii. 8, 1073 a. 18; xiii. 8, 1084 a. 12; Phys. iii. 6, 206 b. 32, it is in any case limited to the first ten numbers, and perhaps did not go so far, for Aristotle does not express himself quite clearly. Aristotle’s objection (Metaphysics xiv. 4, beginn.) against the supporters of the Ideal numbers, viz. that they do not derive the first odd number, seems to refer, as Bonitz ad loc. supposes, simply to the fact that they did not account for the origin of the first odd number, the unit, whereas (according to the passage before us and xiii. 7, 1081 a. 21) they did try to derive the first duality. And as the unit is the root of all odd numbers, what holds good of it holds good indirectly of the odd generally. According to Metaphysics xiii. 7, the Platonic school regarded other odd numbers, for instance, three, as derived.

147^ Republic vi. 508 E, after the digression about the sun: τοῦτο τοίνυν τὸ τὴν ἀλήθειαν (real existence, actuality) παρέχον τοῖς γιγνωσκομένοις καὶ τῷ γιγνώσκοντι τὴν δύναμιν ἀποδιδὸν τὴν τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ ἰδέαν φάθι εἶναι: αἰτίαν δ᾽ ἐπιστήμης οὖσαν καὶ ἀληθείας, ὡς γιγνωσκομένης μὲν διανοοῦ, οὕτω δὲ καλῶν ἀμφοτέρων ὄντων, γνώσεώς τε καὶ ἀληθείας, ἄλλο καὶ κάλλιον ἔτι τούτων ἡγούμενος αὐτὸ ὀρθῶς ἡγήσῃ: ἐπιστήμην [509a] δὲ καὶ ἀλήθειαν, ὥσπερ ἐκεῖ φῶς τε καὶ ὄψιν ἡλιοειδῆ μὲν νομίζειν ὀρθόν, ἥλιον δ᾽ ἡγεῖσθαι οὐκ ὀρθῶς ἔχει, οὕτω καὶ ἐνταῦθα ἀγαθοειδῆ μὲν νομίζειν ταῦτ᾽ ἀμφότερα ὀρθόν, ἀγαθὸν δὲ ἡγεῖσθαι ὁπότερον αὐτῶν οὐκ ὀρθόν, ἀλλ᾽ ἔτι μειζόνως τιμητέον τὴν τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ ἕξιν. … καὶ τοῖς γιγνωσκομένοις τοίνυν μὴ μόνον τὸ γιγνώσκεσθαι φάναι ὑπὸ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ παρεῖναι, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὸ εἶναί τε καὶ τὴν οὐσίαν ὑπ᾽ ἐκείνου αὐτοῖς προσεῖναι, οὐκ οὐσίας ὄντος τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ, ἀλλ᾽ ἔτι ἐπέκεινα τῆς οὐσίας πρεσβείᾳ καὶ δυνάμει ὑπερέχοντος.

148^ Philebus beginn. At the very beginning the question is so put that the one side asserts: ἀγαθὸν εἶναί φησι τὸ χαίρειν πᾶσι ζῴοις καὶ τὴν ἡδονὴν, etc.; the other τὸ φρονεῖν καὶ τὸ νοεῖν καὶ μεμνῆσθαι etc. τῆς γε ἡδονῆς ἀμείνω καὶ λῴω γίγνεσθαι σύμπασιν … ὠφελιμώτατον ἁπάντων εἶναι πᾶσι. So the object is (p. 11 D) ἕξιν ψυχῆς καὶ διάθεσιν ἀποφαίνειν τινὰ ἐπιχειρήσει τὴν δυναμένην ἀνθρώποις πᾶσι τὸν βίον εὐδαίμονα παρέχειν: the one considers ἡδονὴ as this ἕξιν, the other, φρόνησις. So again 14 B, 19 C (τί τῶν ἀνθρωπίνων κτημάτων ἄριστον); 20 B sqq.; cf. 27 D, where a life combining wisdom and pleasure is pronounced to be the Good; 66 A sqq., where the elements of the perfect life (the κτῆμα οὐκ ἔστι πρῶτον οὐδ᾽ αὖ δεύτερον etc.) are enumerated. Subsequently the original question is enlarged into (64 A) the general one: τί ποτε ἔν τ᾽ ἀνθρώπῳ καὶ τῷ παντὶ πέφυκεν ἀγαθὸν.

149^ After Socrates has observed that the Idea of the Good is the highest object of knowledge, he continues with unmistakable reference to the Philebus, Republic 505 B: ἀλλὰ μὴν καὶ τόδε γε οἶσθα, ὅτι τοῖς μὲν πολλοῖς ἡδονὴ δοκεῖ εἶναι τὸ ἀγαθόν, τοῖς δὲ κομψοτέροις φρόνησις; and then, after a short refutation of both views. 506 B, the question with which the above-mentioned exposition was introduced, is wound up thus: ἀλλὰ σὺ δή, ὦ Σώκρατες, πότερον ἐπιστήμην τὸ ἀγαθὸν φῂς εἶναι ἢ ἡδονήν, ἢ ἄλλο τι παρὰ ταῦτα; in the middle of this statement the remark again occurs, 509 A: Socrates does not consider pleasure to be the Good.

150^ Van Heusde, Init. Phil. Plat, ii. 3, 88 sqq.; Hermann, Ind. lect. Marl. 182 1 (printed in Jahn’s and Seebode’s Archiv, i. 622 sq.); Vindiciae Disput. de Idea boni, Marb. 1839 (A. u. d. T. Vindiciae Platonicae, Marb. 1840); Stallbaum in Philebus Prolegg. (1820), xxxiv. ixxxix.; Plat. Timaeus 46 sqq.; Plato Parmenides 272: Trendelenburg, De Philebi Consilio (1837), 17 sq.; Wehrmann, Plato de s. bono doctr. 70 sq. Martin, Etudes sur le Timée, i. 9 sqq. speaks less definitely for the separation of the Divinity from the Idea of the Good; he supposes that Plato sometimes identified the two, as, for instance, in the Republic.

151^ As Hermann and Trendelenburg.

152^ So Trendelenburg, loc. cit. with reference to Timaeus, 30 A.

153^ Orges, Comparat. Plat, et Arist. libr. de Republic (Berl. 1843), 23 sqq.: the Idea of the Good is the power and completeness of God displaying itself in things; Ebben, Plat. idear. doctr. (Bonn, 1849), p. 65, says it is an attribute of God viz. that which displays itself in the limitation of the unlimited.

154^ This supposition is frequently found with regard to the Ideas generally; vide p. 266 sq.

155^ Republic loc. cit. and vii. 517 B: τὰ δ᾽ οὖν ἐμοὶ φαινόμενα οὕτω φαίνεται, ἐν τῷ γνωστῷ τελευταία ἡ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ ἰδέα καὶ μόγις ὁρᾶσθαι, ὀφθεῖσα δὲ συλλογιστέα εἶναι ὡς ἄρα πᾶσι πάντων αὕτη ὀρθῶν τε καὶ καλῶν αἰτία, ἔν τε ὁρατῷ φῶς καὶ τὸν τούτου κύριον τεκοῦσα, ἔν τε νοητῷ αὐτὴ κυρία ἀλήθειαν καὶ νοῦν παρασχομένη, καὶ ὅτι δεῖ ταύτην ἰδεῖν τὸν μέλλοντα ἐμφρόνως πράξειν ἢ ἰδίᾳ ἢ δημοσίᾳ.

156^ As the Ideas are generally, vide p. 263 sqq.

157^ The μέγιστον μάθημα as it is called, vi. 505 A.

158^ It has been already remarked, p. 255 sq., that he has mentioned no such causes in any scientific connection with the Ideas.

159^ Philebus 22 C. Socrates has proved that pleasure could not be the good; but again knowledge with out pleasure is not sufficient; and then he goes on: ὡς μὲν τοίνυν τήν γε Φιλήβου θεὸν οὐ δεῖ διανοεῖσθαι ταὐτὸν καὶ τἀγαθόν, ἱκανῶς εἰρῆσθαί μοι δοκεῖ. — οὐδὲ γὰρ, Philebus replies, ὁ σὸς νοῦς, ὦ Σώκρατες, ἔστι τἀγαθόν, ἀλλ᾽ ἕξει που ταὐτὰ ἐγκλήματα, — τάχ᾽ ἄν is the answer, ὦ Φίληβε, ὅ γ᾽ ἐμός: οὐ μέντοι τόν γε ἀληθινὸν ἅμα καὶ θεῖον οἶμαι νοῦν, ἀλλ᾽ ἄλλως πως ἔχειν. Hermann, Vindic. 18, mistakes the meaning of this passage in saying that the answer applies only to the last words of Philebus, the comparison of intellect with pleasure. Neither of them is itself the Good, and only in this sense could Socrates admit the assertion of Philebus of the human intellect. Its further extension he could not allow because (as he has hinted 11 D, and followed out in detail, 28 A sqq.) in men the intellect is more nearly related to the Good than pleasure, consequently what he denies of the divine intellect is that it is separate from the Good. Nor again can we say with Wehrmann (p. 80) that God is here described as the Good or the principle of all Good; but that the Good is not described as divinity or intellect, the Good is only one side of the divine being. If this were so, the Good could not, at the same time, be a self-subsisting Idea, as it must be according to the Republic; Plato, however, not merely says that the divine intellect is the Good, but that it is ταὐτὸν καὶ τἀγαθόν.

160^ E.g. Republic vii. (vide note 155), the Idea of the Good is described as the summit of the supra-sensuous world and the cause of all things, which is only perceived with difficulty. So Timaeus 28 C, the Divinity as the αἴτιον is thus spoken of: τὸν μὲν οὖν ποιητὴν καὶ πατέρα τοῦδε τοῦ παντὸς εὑρεῖν τε ἔργον καὶ εὑρόντα εἰς πάντας ἀδύνατον λέγειν; and Timaeus 37 A it is called τῶν νοητῶν ἀεί τε ὄντων ἄρίστον (the words are to be thus connected, vide Stallbaum); and there is just as little mention of the Divinity there as there is of the Good here. Further, whereas according to Timaeus 28 A, C, the Creator of the world looks to the archetype in order to make the world like it, he himself appears as this archetype 29 E, 92 B (where the world is called εἰκὼν τοῦ νοητοῦ [sc. θεὸς] θεὸς αἰσθητός. The same statements are made with regard both to the Divinity and the Idea, and both change places. When finally, 37 C, the world is called ῶν ἀιδίων θεῶν ἄγαλμα by the eternal gods as distinguished from the gods that become, we can only understand the Ideas; and then the ἀεὶ ὢν θεὸς (Timaeus 34 A) becomes identical with the highest Idea.

161^ Cf. p. 240 sq. on this point.

162^ Cf. p. 242 sqq.

163^ With Hermann.

164^ Cf. p. 268 sq. Further details below.

165^ See p. 281 sq., 263 sq.

166^ Aristoxenus Elements of Harmony 11, beginn. p. 30, Meib.: καθάπερ Άρίστοτέλης ἀεὶ διηγεῖτο τοὺς πλείστους τῶν ἀκουσάντων παρὰ Πλάτωνος τὴν περὶ τάγαθοῦ ακρόασιν παθεὶν· προσιέναι μὲν γὰρ ἕκαστον ὑπολαμβάνοντα λήψεσθαί τι τῶν νομιζομένων τούτων ἀνθρωπίνων ἀγαθῶν· ὅτε δὲ φανείησαν οί λόγοι περὶ μαθημάτων καὶ ἀριθμῶν καὶ γεωμετρίας καὶ ἀστρολογίας καὶ τὸ πέρας, ὅτι ἀγαθὸν ἐστι ἓν, παντελῶς, οἶμαι παράδοξόν τι εφαίνετο αὐτοῖς. Aristotle Metaphysics xiv. 4, 1091 b. 13: τῶν δὲ τὰς ἀκινήτους οὐσίας εἶναι λεγόντων οἱ μέν φασιν αὐτὸ τὸ ἓν τὸ ἀγαθὸν αὐτὸ εἶναι, which the Pseudo-Alexander ad loc. refers to Plato. Ibid. i. 6, end. Plato considered the one as the basis of Good, matter as the basis of evil with which we may connect the words of c. 4, p. 985 a. 9: τὸ τῶν ἀγαθῶν ἁπάντων αἴτιον αὑτὸ τἀγαθόν ἐστι. Theophrastus also recognises the identity of the Good and the Divinity in Plato, in saying of him apud Simpl. Phys. 6 b. m. (Fragm. 48 Wunm): δύο τὰς ἀρχὰς βούλεται ποιεῖν, τὸ μὲν ὑποκείμενον ὡς ὕλην, ὁ προσαγορεύει πανδεχὲς, τὸ δ’ ὡς αἴτιον καὶ κινοῦν, δ’ περιάπτει τῇ τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τἀγαθοῦ δυνάμει.

167^ Stobaeus. Ἐκλογαὶ i. 58: Σπεύσιππος [θεὸν ἀπεφήνατο] τὸν νοῦν οὔτε τῷ ἐνὶ οὔτε τῷ αγαθτῷ τὸν αὐτὸν, ιδιοφυῆ δὲ. In the words οὔτε, etc. Krische, Forsch. i. 256, rightly points out that Speusippus must have opposed himself to modes of thought which he had found previously in Plato, and which put νοῦς on a level with the One and the Good.

168^ Metaphysics i. 6, 988 a. 8: φανερὸν δ᾽ ἐκ τῶν εἰρημένων ὅτι δυοῖν αἰτίαιν μόνον κέχρηται, τῇ τε τοῦ τί ἐστι καὶ τῇ κατὰ τὴν ὕλην.

169^ Vide p. 76, 70, sq.

170^ That this must lead to many disadvantages is shown in the case before us. We have thus to explain, e.g. the mixture above remarked (p. 280 sq.), of the highest Good with the metaphysical concept of the absolute. The concept of the Good is abstracted from human life; it signifies that which is advantageous to mankind (as it did to Socrates). Plato then generalises it into die concept of the absolute, but its original meaning is continually playing into it: hence the confusion; neither the ethical nor the metaphysical concept of the Good is attained in its simplicity. Further difficulties arise (cf. Brandis, ii. a. 327 sq.) when we ask how the Idea of the Good is the cause of all other Ideas of the sensible world? The answer, however, can only be the same which we have had to the more general question as to the causality of the Ideas: viz. that here we have an instance of the inadequacy of the system, which Plato himself indirectly acknowledged by the silence in which he passes by the critical points.

171^ Vide the remarks in vol. i. p. 808, and subsequent observations on Aristotle’s concept of God.

172^ Timaeus 30 B: λογισάμενος οὖν ηὕρισκεν ἐκ τῶν κατὰ φύσιν ὁρατῶν οὐδὲν ἀνόητον τοῦ νοῦν ἔχοντος ὅλον ὅλου κάλλιον ἔσεσθαί ποτε ἔργον, νοῦν δ’ αὖ χωρὶς ψυχῆς ἀδύνατον παραγενέσθαι τῳ. διὰ δὴ τὸν λογισμὸν τόνδε νοῦν μὲν ἐν ψυχῇ, ψυχὴν δ’ ἐν σώματι συνιστὰς τὸ πᾶν ξσυνετεκταίνετο. In the light of this passage we must explain Philebus 30 C: σοφία μὴν καὶ νοῦς ἄνευ ψυχῆς οὐκ ἄν ποτε γενοίσθην. Οὐ γὰρ οὖν. Οὐκοῦν ἐν μὲν τῇ τοῦ Δίος, etc. Vide p. 266, 112. The question here is not as to intellect in its supramundane existence, but intellect in so far as it is impermanent in the universe (or as it is mythically expressed, in the nature of Zeus); the supramundane intellect is, however, separated from that which dwells in the world, when it is said that Zeus possesses a kingly soul and a kingly understanding διὰ τὴν τῆς αἰτίας δύναμιν. Deity, in the absolute sense, cannot have its reason imparted to it by some extraneous cause. The same holds good of Timaeus 37 C; reason and knowledge are only in the soul, and 46 D: τῶν γὰρ ὄντων ᾧ νοῦν μόνῳ κτᾶσθαι προσήκει, λεκτέον ψυχήν. Here also the question asked is not whether νοῦς as such can be imagined without soul, but whether it can be immanent in anything other than the soul, and the only thing denied is that reason can belong to the corporeal.

173^ Timaeus 35 A sqq. Plato certainly explains himself otherwise, Sophist 248 E sq. (vide p. 262, 107); this expression, however, is not to be identified with the confused theories of the Timaeus; it is merely an inaccuracy which was subsequently corrected by Plato himself.

174^ Stumpf, Verh. d. Plat. Gott. z. Idee d. Gut. 94, raises the objection that, as the Ideas are hypostasized and therefore separate from things and from one another, the Idea of the Good must be the most individual, and the Platonic God must be absolutely transcendent and individual. But substantiality and individuality are not identical to Plato, though they are to Aristotle. It is Aristotle’s well-grounded and repeated objection against the theory of Ideas that the Ideas ought to be the universal to the individuals, — the genera, whereas they cannot be so as χωρισταί. It has already been shown, p. 237 sq., that the Platonic Ideas are the hypostasized concepts of genus. But the highest Idea as such must be necessarily the highest genus, and consequently the most universal.

175^ Vide p. 267, 114.

176^ This Ribbing, Plat Ideenl i. 370 sqq., candidly admits, though he will not allow that the Ideas are the universal, and that therefore the predication of personality would contradict their concept. Whether this supposition is honourable to the philosopher (as Stumpf, loc. cit., maintains against me) or not, is not the question which the historical enquirer has to put; we have simply to discover what can he proved, or at least made probable. It is certainly not improbable that even Plato was unconscious of a problem which remained a secret to all antiquity up to the time of Plotinus, and that he overlooked the difficulty in which the theory of Ideas involved him just as much as many others which lay nearer to hand.

177^ Timaeus 28 A sqq. it is proved that the world must have a cause, for, as being corporeal, it came into existence, τῷ δ᾽ αὖ γενομένῳ φαμὲνὑπ᾽ αἰτίου τινὸς ἀνάγκην γενέσθαι. It is not, however, shown further that this αἴτιον is reducible to a ποιητὴς, πατὴρ, δημιουργός; we have here dogmatic beliefs and scientific ideas set simply down side by side.

178^ This is unmistakably the real point, and so far I agree with Deuschle’s remark (Plato, Mythen, 16 sq.) that to Plato’s mind the personal God had a meaning beyond a mere mythical personification. This, however, holds good, not only of a God, but also of the gods.

179^ On this point more exact details will be given later on.

180^ But does not this make Plato a pantheist? Even if this were so, it would be no great misfortune, and still less a valid objection against the result of an historical enquiry. This, however, is not the question here, and the title which Rettig bas given to his treatise, Αἰτία in the Philebus is the personal Divinity of Plato or Plato is no pantheist, implies a very vague conception of pantheism. If Plato had repudiated the personality of the divinity, he would still not be a pantheist. In his latest principles he has neither removed the dualism of the Idea and so-called Matter, nor the separation of the Ideas from things and of the Ideas from one another, But the statement against which Rettig takes the field does not assert that Plato repudiated the personality of the divinity, but merely that he did not enquire into the question of personality.

181^ The view above developed, that the Idea of the Good is identical with the divinity, is found with different modifications of detail, which affect the question of the personality of the Platonic God (not to mention the Neo-Platonists), in Herbart, Einleit. in d. phil. WW. i. 248; Plat. Syst. fund. ibid. xii. 78; Schleiermacher, Pl. WW. ii. C 134; Ritter, Gesch. d. Phil. ii. 311 sq.; Preller, Hist. phil. gr.-röm. 2 A p. 249; Bonitz, Disputatt. Plat. 5 sqq.; Brandis, ii. a. 322 sqq.; Schwegler, Gesch. d. Phil. 3 A 56; Strümpell, Gesch. d. theor. Phil. d. Gr. 131; Ueberweg, Rhein. Mus. ix. 69 sqq.; Susemihl, Genet. Entw. i. 360, ii. 22, 196, 202; Steinhart, Pl. WW. iv. 644 sq., 659, v. 214 sq., 258, 689 sq., vi. 86; Stumpf, loc. cit.; Ribbing, Plat. Ideenl. i. 370 sqq. (Other authorities apud Stallbaum, Plat. Timaeus 47.) I cannot, however, for the reasons above stated, agree with Steinhart (iv. 645), in referring Philebus 30 A, C to the divinity in an absolute sense. In Phaedrus 246 C, which he also quotes, Plato is not expressing his own views on the divinity, but simply the ordinary opinion, which he declares to be mistaken. It appears to me a very improbable conjecture of Steinhart’s (vi. 87 sq.), that Plato distinguished between a principle of rest or permanency and an efficient principle of motion, an objective and subjective, an Ideal and a real side in the divine Being — the former the Idea of the Good, the latter Spirit. Both forms of statement are found in Plato, but he does not in any way indicate that different sides of the divine principle are thereby intended. All the objections of Rettig, Volquardsen, etc. to my view, so far as they seemed to me to be of any importance, will be found to have been noticed either with or without express reference.

182^ Timaeus 29 D: λέγωμεν δὴ δι’ ἥντινα αἰτίαν γένεσιν καὶ τὸ πᾶν τόδε ὁ συνιστὰς συνέστησεν. ἀγαθὸς ἦν, ἀγαθῷ δὲ οὐδεὶς περὶ οὐδενὸς οὐδέποτε ἐγγίγνεται φθόνος (the very same important position which Plato brings as an objection, Phaedrus 247 A, to the θεῖον φθόνερὸν of the popular creed).

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Chapter VII. Physics. General Causes of the World of Phenomena

Under the name of Physics we include all discussions relating to the sphere of natural existence; on the general causes of the world of Phenomena, as contra distinguished from the world of Ideas; on the Cosmos and its parts; and on Man. The first of these enquiries has three divisions: (1) the universal groundwork of the Sensuous as such, namely Matter; (2) the relation of the Sensuous to the Idea; (3) that which mediatises between the world of Ideas and that of Sense — the World-soul.

1. Matter. To understand Plato’s doctrine of Matter, we must look back to his doctrine of Ideas. Plato considers Ideas as the only true existence: he regards the sensible Phenomenon as a middle-term between Being and Non-Being; that to which only a transition from Being to Non-Being, and from Non-Being to Being, only a Becoming, and never a Being, can belong. In the Phenomenon the Idea is never purely presented to us, but always intermingled with its opposite, confusedly, broken up in a Plurality |294| of individuals, hidden beneath the material veil.1 Phenomenon is not an absolute self-dependent existence, but all its Being is Being for another, by means of another, in relation to another, for the sake of another.2 The objects of Sense are therefore, in a word, only a shadow and mimicry of true Existence. That which in the latter is One, in the former is Many and Divided; what there exists purely for and by itself is here in, and by reason of, another; what is there Being, is here Becoming. But how is this metamorphosis of the Idea in the Phenomenon brought about? The cause of it cannot lie in the Ideas themselves; these, even if they enter into a community of existence, still remain individually distinct, without interminglement, each in its own specific essence: an Idea cannot coalesce with its opposite or pass over into it.3 Therefore, if one Idea |295| goes through many other Ideas, and includes them in itself,4 each must still maintain its unchanged identity,5 after its own fashion. One concept allows itself to combine with another, only so far as it is identical with that other.6 Sensible objects on the other hand, in contradistinction from Ideas, are capable of assuming not only similar, but also opposite conditions; and this is so essential in them, that Plato plainly says there is not one of them which is not at the same time its own opposite, the existence of which is not simultaneously its nonexistence.7 This imperfection of the Phenomenon cannot spring from the Idea: it rather proves that necessity as well as Reason is the cause of the world, and that this irrational cause cannot entirely be overcome by Reason.8 Consequently to explain Sense as such, a special principle must be assumed, and this principle must be the direct contrary of the Idea, for it is precisely the contradiction between the Phenomenon and the Idea which has to be derived from it. It must contain the cause of the Non-being, the divisibility, the mutability of the Phenomenon, and only this; for whatever is real, one, and permanent, originates |296| exclusively with the Idea. Therefore if the Idea be the purely Existent, this principle will be the purely Non-existent; if the one be uniform and invariable Essence, the other must be absolute division and absolute change. This principle is what is usually, though not in Platonic phraseology,9 termed by us Platonic Matter. |297|

A description of it is given in the Philebus and Timaeus.10 The Philebus (24 E) designates the universal substratum of the sensible Phenomenon as the Unlimited, and ascribes to it all that is capable of more and less, of stronger and weaker, and of excess; that is to say, the Unlimited is that within which no fixed and exact determination is possible, the element of conceptless existence, of change, which never arrives at Being and permanence.11 The Timaeus (48 E) enters |298| more into detail. Plato here distinguishes first the archetypical, self-identical Essence — Ideas. Secondly, comes that which is imitated from them, the sensible Phenomenon. In the third place we have that which is at once the groundwork and the receptacle of all Becoming. the common element which underlies all corporeal elements and all determinate matter. In the ceaseless flux of all these forms in the circle of Becoming this common element runs through them as their permanent substratum: it is the something in which they become, and to which they return. It is never represented in them purely, but only under a particular form;12 it is the impressible mass (ἐκμαγεῖον) out of which they were all formed, but which, for that very reason, must itself be without specific quality or definite form. That such an element must be presupposed, Plato proves from the continual flux of things sensible, the constant passing of the elements one into another. This he says would be impossible if the determinate kinds of matter in themselves were something real, a Something, and not merely modifications of one common and therefore necessarily indeterminate third Something.13 That Something he more precisely describes as an invisible and shapeless nature, capable of |299| taking any shape;14 as Space, which, itself eternal and imperishable, provides a home for all Becoming; as the Other, in which all Becoming must be, in order to exist at all; while true Existence, as in itself sole, cannot enter a sphere so entirely different from itself.15 The statements of Plato’s disciples are all to this effect. According to Aristotle, Plato in his discourses reduced Matter to the Unlimited, or, as he usually says, to the |300| Great and Small, in order thus to express that its specific essence consists, not in fixed, self-identical, Ideally defined properties, but only in extensive or intensive quantity; that it is capable of enlargement and diminution, of increase and decrease to an indefinite extent.16 Hermodorus says he described it as all that stands in the relation of Great and Small, that has in itself an endless gradation of more and less, that falls under the category of the inconstant, the infinite, the formless, the Non-existent, and as such can neither be called a principle nor a Being.17 What then are we to gather from these statements was Plato’s real opinion? It was once generally supposed that Plato taught the existence of an eternal corporeal Matter, or, at any rate, of a corporeal Matter that preceded the creation of the world. Aristotle first gave occasion to this view,18 though he does not share it; among later writers it is almost universal, and in modern times it has found many noteworthy supporters,19 though not a few20 opponents.21 Much may be urged in its favour. |301| The groundwork of sensuous existence is undoubtedly described in the Timaeus as a material substratum; — it is that in which all particular forms of matter arise, and into which they resolve themselves;22 it is compared with the unhewn mass out of which the artist fashions his figures; it is set forth as the τοῦτο and τόδε, which, never departing from its own nature, assumes sometimes the form of fire, sometimes that of water, etc.: lastly, mention is made of something visible, which, before the beginning of the world, had, in the restlessness of lawless motion, the forms and qualities of all elements confusedly and uncertainly in itself.23 But this last enunciation contradicts others too palpably to be maintained. Plato repeatedly declares |302| that the common substratum of all elementary forms must be entirely formless. Here beginnings of configuration are attributed to it. Elsewhere he holds that all the visible was originally created.24 According to this passage, a visible something existed before the creation of the world.25 He makes all motion in the corporeal to come from the soul. Here inanimate matter is said to be continually moved. These contradictions are not to be evaded by the distinction of a double matter;26 (a primitive matter which, as wholly shapeless, is likewise invisible and uncorporeal, — and a |303| secondary matter, which even before the creation of the world was to a certain extent formed). Not only does Plato give no hint of such a distinction,27 but he expressly excludes it, by attributing to the same substratum — which at first, before the Deity has begun to set it in order, is described as entirely without properties — an unregulated motion, and those beginnings of elementary forms, which it is difficult to conceive as originating prior to the framing of the Cosmos.28 This point must therefore belong to the mythical expressions in which the Timaeus abounds.29 It is the ancient notion of Chaos which Plato temporarily appropriates, |304| replacing it by something else when he has to explain himself more definitely. The rest has more weight, but is still not decisive; even if that which underlies all determinate matter, as substratum and as cause of its apparent constitution, be, according to our view, Matter alone, it may still be asked whether that view is shared by Plato. He constantly declares, and the Timaeus reiterates the declaration (27 D), that only to the Idea does true existence belong; but how can he maintain this if Matter be set beside the Idea, as a second substance, equally eternal, and according to its essential nature equally permanent and self-identical, in all the vicissitude of its forms? So far, however, from doing so, Plato designates matter with sufficient clearness as the Non-existent, According to the Timaeus, it is neither to be apprehended by Thought, like the Idea; nor by Perception, like the sensible Phenomenon.30 Since then, true Being, according to Plato, is absolutely knowable, while that which is intermediate between Being and Non-being is the object of perception, and Non-being is wholly unknowable31 — it follows that Matter can only belong to Non-being. And the same inference is deducible from the definition of sense as a middle term between Being and Non-being.32 If all the Being of Sense arises from participation in Ideas,33 that can only be Non-being whereby Sense and Ideas are contradistinguished from each other. Plato, however, has expressed himself still |305| more clearly: That in which all things appear, grow up and decay, is Space.34 It is, therefore, that Third Element which, side by side with Ideas and the Phenomenal world, is required as the universal groundwork of the latter.35 It is conceived, not as a mass filling space, but as Space itself the Empty, which receives into itself the forms of the corporeal. Hence the Timaeus never speaks of this groundwork of the sensibly-perceptible as that out of which, but always as that in which, things have become.36 Aristotle, too, agrees with this; his testimony is all the more weighty, as his inclination to fit in the views of others under |306| categories of his system would have disposed him rather to ascribe to his master the notion of Matter as a positive principle side by side with the Idea, in opposition to Plato’s real meaning, than to deny, without historical reason, that Plato held such an opinion. Aristotle, however, assures us that Plato made the Unlimited (ἄπειρον) a principle, not in the sense in which unlimited might be the predicate of another substratum, but so that the Unlimited should itself be subject.37 He distinguishes his own view of Matter from the Platonic view, by the definition that while Plato regards Matter as wholly and absolutely Non-being, he himself regards it as only relatively so: (κατὰ συμβεβηκός) To Plato negation (στέςητις) is the essence of Matter; to Aristotle it is only a quality of Matter.38 As to the oral discourses, Aristotle makes it appear that in these, far more than in the Timaeus, Plato avoided the appearance of presupposing a positive Matter; since he merely designates the Great-and-Small as that which receives Ideas into itself.39 But |307| the most striking proof of the correctness of this view is given by Plato himself in his mathematical construction of the Elements.40 A philosopher who should conceive of a mass filling space, assuming different forms, and thus changing into the several elements, could only seek for the ultimate constituents of these elements in the smallest bodies. Plato, however, supposes the Elements to be composed of planes, and, in their passage into each other, to resolve themselves into planes. Thus he makes bodies to originate not from atoms primarily, but from figures, by means of the mathematical limitation of empty space.41 |308|

For these reasons we cannot admit that Plato held a corporeal primary Matter. But it does not follow that Ritter42 is right in assuming him to have regarded the sensuous notion as something merely subjective. According to Hitter, all Ideas (with the exception of the highest) possess only a limited existence. This involves the hypothesis of a limited knowledge which does not adequately distinguish the pure essence of |309| things, and only apprehends Ideas partially. Hence the notion of an existence in which the Ideas are intermingled, and their absolute Being becomes a merely relative Being. Intelligent natures, however, strive for perfect knowledge; and thus the notion of Becoming appears to arise. The sensuous notion, therefore, results from the imperfection of Ideas in their separation from one another; the world of Sense exists only in relation to the sentient subject. So the Platonic theory of Matter would be in effect identical with that of Leibnitz, — sensible existence would be only the product of confused notion or opinion. Of this line of thought (as Ritter himself admits43 there are, in the Platonic writings, only very obscure indications, and even these, on closer consideration, disappear. Plato certainly says that there is a κοινωνία of Ideas; and that in the sensuous notion and sensuous existence Ideas intermingle with each other.44 But he nowhere makes the communion of concepts, as such, contain the ground of this intermingling. Even in the Republic (v. 176 A)45 it is only asserted that, beside the combination of concepts with the corporeal and Becoming, their combination among themselves might make it appear as if the concept, which is essentially One, were a Plurality. But |310| as this only happens in the case of persons unacquainted with the dialectical discrimination of Ideas,46 it must result from the incapacity of the individual to distinguish the copy from the prototype, the thing participating from that in which it participates.47 Nothing is said as to the origin of that distinction. If we bring other passages to our aid, we shall find that Plato, so far from deriving material existence merely from the sensuous notion, rather derives the sensuous notion from the nature of the corporeal. According to the Phaedo, it is the union of soul with body which hinders us from a pure cognition:48 at our entrance into this life, by means of that union, we have sipped the draught of Lethe and forgotten the Ideas.49 At the beginning of its earthly existence, the soul loses reason in the ebb and flow of sensation; not until this has abated, does it once more partake of reason:50 and then, only by disengaging itself inwardly from the body.51 The soul cannot hope for the full possession of reason till it is wholly freed from this lower life and exists in itself alone.52 The tone and connection of these enunciations being almost wholly didactic, we ought not to |311| consider them mythical and exaggerated unless they are contradicted by definite counter-explanations. But this is not the case. Plato’s having recognised in the sensuous perception a means for attaining the knowledge of truth, proves nothing.53 The sensuous perception is such a means only so far as the sensuous element in it is abstracted, and a return made to the Idea that is revealed in it. On Ritter’s theory Plato must have derived the sensuous notion from the communion of Ideas with each other, and from the manner in which this communion is presented by particular Ideas or souls,54 — the sensible phenomenon being afterwards derived solely from the perception of sense. So far from this, Plato takes the opposite course, and explains the intermingling of Ideas from the nature of the sensuous notion, and the nature of the sensuous notion from that of sensuous existence. Such is the only explanation given in the Philebus and Timaeus: and Aristotle knows of no other.55 Indeed, as Brandis well remarks,56 the subjective idealism which Ritter ascribes to Plato is altogether foreign to antiquity, and must necessarily be so from its whole point of view; it presupposes a consciousness of the importance of subjectivity too one-sided and powerful for any but modern times.

If, then, the Universal, the basis of sensible existence, is neither a material substratum, nor a mere phantasy of the subjective notion, what is it? Plato, in the passages |312| quoted above, tells us himself, and Aristotle agrees with him. The groundwork of all material existence is the Unlimited — i.e. Unlimitedness, the Great-and| Small — conceived not as predicate, but as subject; not, however, to be described as corporeal substance; the Non-existent, i.e. Non-being;57 that is to say, empty Space, as the condition of separation and division. In the place of an eternal Matter we must therefore suppose the mere form of Materiality, the form of Existence in Space and of Motion; and when the Timaeus speaks of a Matter restlessly moved, before the creation of the world, this only expresses the thought that separation and Becoming are the essential forms of all sensible existence. These forms Plato would have us regard as something objective, present in the sensible Phenomenon itself, not merely in our notion. On the other hand, Matter can have no reality or substantiality of its own, for all reality is in Ideas. It remains, therefore, to explain Matter as the negation of the reality supposed in Ideas; as the Non-being of the Idea, into which the latter cannot enter without dissolving its Unity in Multiplicity, its Permanence in the flux of Becoming, its definiteness in the unlimited possibility of augmentation and diminution, its self-identity in an internal contradiction, its absolute Being in a combination of Being and Non-being. This concept is certainly hard to realise. Putting aside the question whether a Space without a substratum in Space — a Non-being, which exists apart from the notion |313| of it — is thinkable; reserving to another place the enquiry about the participation of this Non-being in Ideas, and passing by all the objections which might be raised from without, against this portion of the Platonic doctrine, — there are still two considerations which from its own point of view cannot be overlooked. One is the relation of Matter to our knowledge; the other its relation to things. That which absolutely is not, Plato maintains5859 cannot be conceived; consequently, if Matter is absolute Non-existence, the notion of it must also be impossible. It cannot be the object of perception (as he says himself59), for perception shows us only determinate forms of Matter, not the pure formless ground of all the material, only a τοιοῦτον, not the τόδε. But still less can it be the object of thought, for thought has to do only with the truly existent, not with the Non-existent. And it is impossible to see how we arrive at the notion of this substratum, if it is neither in a condition to be perceived nor thought. It is only a veiled expression of his perplexity when Plato says that it is apprehended by a kind of spurious reason;60 and when he adds that it is very hard to comprehend, the embarrassment is |314| openly confessed.61 The fact is that, when we abstract all the particular qualities of that which is sensibly perceived, and seek for its common property, we find that it is only something thought, a universal concept; which, according to Plato’s presuppositions, is precisely what it cannot be. The same result follows if we keep in view the import of Matter for the Being of things. Inasmuch as Matter is absolutely nonexistent, and the sensible phenomenon is a middle term between Being and Non-being, an inferior proportion of reality must belong to Matter as compared with the sensible Phenomenon: to the one, a half-reality; to the other, none at all. But Matter is also to be the permanent principle, — that which, in the vicissitude of sensuous properties, maintains itself as something essential and self-identical.62 It is the Objective, to which the images of Ideas reflecting themselves in the Phenomenon must cleave, in order to take hold, and become participant in Being.63 It is that irrational remainder which is always left when we abstract from things that which in them is the copy of the Idea. However little reality may be conceded to it, it has the power of receiving the Idea, at least for its manifestation in the flux of Becoming and the externality of existence in Space,64 and also of occasioning the vicissitude of birth and decay.65 These characteristics certainly |315| carry us far beyond the concept of mere Space, and give to Matter, instead of Non-being, a Being which, in its very permanence, has a certain similarity to that of the Idea, That which Plato adduces66 as the special characteristic of true Being, — the power to do and to suffer, — is also attributed to Matter, when it is described as a cause restraining the operations of reason.67 And this may help to explain those expressions in the Timaeus, which represent the groundwork of sense not as mere capability of extension, but as a mass contained in Space. But we must abide by the results we have just obtained. Plato’s real view, according to his plain statement, tends to deny all Being to Matter, to abolish the notion of extended substance in the concept of mere extension. This was necessitated by the first general principles of his system. Whatever contradicts this view (so far as Plato seriously means it) we must regard as an involuntary concession to facts, which refused to give way to his theory.68

II. The Relation of Sensible Objects to the Idea. The above conception of Platonic Matter explains, on one side at least, Plato’s theory as to the relation of material things to the Idea. It is usually believed that, to Plato, the world of sense and that of Ideas stood over against each other, as two separate spheres, |316| two substantially different classes of existence. The objections of Aristotle to the theory of Ideas69 are chiefly grounded on this hypothesis, to which Plato has undoubtedly given occasion by what he says of the existence of Ideas for themselves and as archetypes. We must nevertheless question its correctness. Plato himself asks70 how it is possible that Ideas can be in the Becoming, and in the unlimited Many, without losing their Unity and Invariability? And he shows with what difficulties this enquiry is beset. Whether it be assumed that the whole Idea is in each of the many participating in it, or that in each there is only a part of the Idea, in either case the Idea would be divided.71 Again, if the doctrine of Ideas be founded on the necessity of assuming a common concept for all Multiplicity, a common concept must be likewise assumed for and above the Idea and its synonymous phenomena: — and so on ad infinitum.72 This difficulty presents itself again on the supposition that the communion of things with Ideas consists in the imitation of the one from the other.73 Lastly, if it be maintained that the Ideas are that which they are, for themselves absolutely, — it would seem that they could never have reference to us or become known by us, but only refer to themselves.74 These objections |317| to the doctrine of Ideas would not have been suggested by Plato, had he not been convinced that his theory was unaffected by them. How then from his own point of view could he seek their solution? The answer lies in his view of the nature of material things. As he ascribed to the Material no specific reality, distinct from that of the Ideas, but places all reality, simply and solely, in the Idea, and regards Non-being as the special property of the world of sense, all difficulties in this form vanish. He does not require any Third between the Idea and the Phenomenon, for they are not two separate substances, standing side by side with one another; the Idea alone’s is the Substantial. He need not fear that the Idea should be divided, because of the participation of the Many in it, for this plurality is nothing truly real. Nor need he consider how the Idea, as existing for itself, can at the same time stand in relation to the Phenomenon; for as the Phenomenon, so far as it exists, is immanent in the Idea, — as its allotted share of Being is only the Being of the Idea in it, — so the Being of Ideas, and their reference to one another, is in itself their reference to the Phenomenon; and the Being of the Phenomenon is its reference to the Ideas.75 While, therefore, in places where he has no occasion to develop more precisely his view of the nature of material things, Plato may adhere to the ordinary notion, and represent the Ideas as archetypes, over against which the copies stand, with a reality of their own, like a second world side by side with ours — in |318| reality, he is still only expressing the qualitative distinction between real and merely phenomenal existence. He is only giving the metaphysical difference between the world of Ideas and the world of sense; not an actual partition of the two, in which each attains its specific reality, and the sum total of Being is divided between them. It is one and the same Being which is contemplated whole and pure in the Idea imperfect and turbid in the sensible Phenomenon. The unity of the Idea appears76 in objects of sense as Multiplicity; the Phenomenon is (Republic vii. 514) only the adumbration of the Idea,77 only the multiform diffusion of its rays in that which, by itself, is the dark and empty space of the Unlimited. But whether this opinion intrinsically tenable, and whether the above-mention difficulties as to the theory of Ideas do not, after all reappear in an altered form, is another question which will come before us further on.78 |319|

“Plato ascribed to the Material no specific reality, distinct from that of the Ideas, but places all reality, simply and solely, in the Idea, and regards Non-being as the special property of the world of sense.” – Edouard Zeller

All that we have said, however, concerns only one side of the relation of the Phenomenon to the Idea: the negative aspect, in which the self-subsistence of sensible things is cancelled, and the Phenomenon is reduced to the Idea, as its substance. The other side is far more difficult. If the world of sense, as such, have so little reality; if, apart from its participation in the Idea, it be even regarded as nonexistent, how is this Non-existence generally thinkable beside the absolute Being of the Idea, and how can it be explained from the point of view of the Ideas? To this question the Platonic system as such contains no answer. The |320| assumption, side by side with the Ideas, of a second real principle which should contain the ground of finite existence, Plato has made impossible, by maintaining that reality belongs alone to the Idea. Neither can he derive the finite from the Ideas themselves — for what should determine the Idea to assume the form of Non-being instead of its perfect Being, and to break up the unity of its essence into partition in space? He allows, indeed, that in each individual concept, as such, there is an infinity of Non-being; but this is quite other than the Non-being of material existence. The Non-being in the Ideas is only the distinction of Ideas from one another, — the Non-being of sensible objects, on the contrary, is the distinction of the Phenomenon from the Idea. The former completes itself by means of the reciprocal relation of the Ideas, so that the Ideal world, taken as a whole, includes in itself all reality, and has abolished all Non-being. The latter is the essential and constant boundary of the finite, by reason of which each Idea appears (not only in relation to other Ideas, but in itself) as a multiplicity, consequently in part nonexistent, inseparably combined with the contrary of itself. Again, therefore, it is impossible to point out in Plato any actual derivation of the phenomenon from the Ideas. We can but enquire whether he ever sought to establish such an interconnection, and if so, how he attempted it.

We get our first hint on this subject from the fact that the Idea of the Good is placed at the apex of the system, — or that God, as the Timaeus expresses it,79 |321| formed the world because He was good. This thought, fully developed, would lead to such a concept of God as would make it essential in Him to manifest Himself in the Finite. Plato, however, for reasons deducible from the foregoing pages, could not thus develop it. The only conclusion he draws is that God brought into order the lawlessly moved mass of visible things, in which Matter, or the Finite, is already generally presupposed. To explain this latter, the Timaeus can only appeal to necessity.80 Of the Divine causality, on the contrary, it is assumed, that it could bring forth nothing but perfection.81 Similarly the Theaetetus (176 A) declares: Evil can never cease, for there must always be something opposite to good; and as this can have no place with the gods, it necessarily hovers about in mortal nature and in our world. And the Politicus (269 C) speaks to the same effect, of the alternation of cycles, following of necessity from the corporeal nature of the universe.

“There is in every Idea plurality of Being and infinity of Non-being.”
– Plato, Sophist

All this, however, does not bring the question a single step nearer its answer, for this necessity is only another expression for the nature of the Finite, — which is here presupposed and not derived. In vain do we seek among the writings of Plato, for any express mention of such a derivation. We are therefore forced to construct one |322| from the whole tenor of his system. How Bitter has attempted to do this we have already seen, but were unable to agree with him. Aristotle seems to point out another way. According to him,82 the Great-and| Small (or the Unlimited) is not merely the Matter of sensible objects but also of the Ideas: from its union with the One arise Ideas or intelligible numbers.83 If we adhere to this view, Materiality, in which the specific property of the sensible phenomenon consists, would be accounted for, by means of the participation |323| of the world of sense in the Ideas, and the difficulty of explaining the origin of material existence from Ideas would be removed.84 But it is removed only to return in greater force. It is certainly more comprehensible that things should have in them Ideas in conjunction with the material element, but it is all the less easy to see how there can belong to Ideas, which are to consist of the same elements as material things, an existence essentially different from sensible existence. It is in effect to cut away the ground from under the whole Ideal theory, and at the same time to leave the world of sense, as distinguished from that of the Ideas, unexplained and unexplainable. And the same may be urged against the attempt85 to explain the difference of the sensible, and the super-sensible world, by making Ideas originate from the immediate activity of the One, and sensible things out of the common material primary cause by means of the activity of Ideas.86 If it is the same One, and the same Unlimited which in a first combination produces Ideas, and in a second, brought about by Ideas, produces sensible things, it is impossible to see where the extension and variability come from, which belong to sensible things, |324| but not to Ideas. The essential difference of Idea and phenomenon is still unaccounted for. There would be only one way out of the difficulty: to assume with Weisse87 that the same elements constitute Ideal and finite Being, but in diverse relation; that in Ideas, the One rules and encompasses Matter, in the world of sense, it is overcome and embraced by Matter. But how is this perversion of the original relation of the two principles brought about? We can only retreat upon an inexplicable deterioration of a part of the Ideas.88 But neither the Platonic nor the Aristotelian writings give the least hint of such a deterioration. The only passage which might be adduced in support of it, the Platonic doctrine of the sinking down of the soul into corporeality, has not this universal cosmical import, and presupposes the existence of a material world. If this way, however, be closed, it is no longer possible to ascribe to Plato the doctrine that the same Matter which is the groundwork of sensible existence, is also in the Ideas. Together with Matter, he must have transferred to the Ideal world Becoming, extension, and all that the Philebus predicates of the Unlimited, and the Timaeus of the Universally-recipient. But in so doing he would have abandoned all ground for the assumption of Ideas, and for the distinction of sensible objects from the Idea. He would have flatly contradicted |325| the proposition, quoted by Aristotle,89 that the Ideas are not in space. The groundwork of things sensible, which Plato describes in the Timaeus, was necessary, because without it the specific difference between the world of Ideas and that of sense could not be explained. It was to provide a home for the Becoming and corporeal, — the visible and the sensible;90 to be the place for the copies of the Idea, which, as copies merely, must exist in another;91 it is the ground of change and of extension, the cause of the resistance experienced by the Idea in natural necessity.92 How then can it be at the same time the element which forms the Ideas and Ideal numbers by receiving Unity into itself? Would not the Ideas directly become something extended? Would not that be true of them which Plato expressly denies93 — that they are in another — namely in space? From these considerations it seems safer to charge Aristotle with a misunderstanding of the Platonic doctrine into which he might easily fall, rather than Plato with a contradiction that utterly destroys the coherence of his system. That Plato spoke of the Unlimited, or the Great-and-Small, in reference to Ideas, we may well believe. He actually does so in his writings. In the |326| Philebus (16 C) after he has said, at first quite universally, and expressly including pure Ideas (15 A), that all things have in them by nature limits and unlimitedness, he subsequently, referring to this, divides existence into Limited and Unlimited, and then describes the unlimited (24 A sqq.) in a manner that could not apply to the Idea, but only to the Unlimited in the material sense. Similarly in the Sophist (256 E) he remarks, in regard to the infinity of negative elements and class-qualities, that there is in every Idea plurality of Being and infinity of Non-being. There is no doubt a confusion here in Plato’s language; and so far as this always presupposes confusion of thought, we must admit that he has not distinguished with sufficient clearness the elements of Plurality and Difference in the Ideas, from the cause out of which arise the divisibility and mutability of phenomena. But that he, therefore, transferred the Unlimited, in the same sense in which it is the specific property of sensible existence, to Ideas also, or that he actually called it the Matter of Ideas, we are not justified in asserting.

Aristotle, however, makes no such allusion to a difference between the Matter of Ideas and that of sensible things, as modern critics have professed to find in him,94 and the theory is positively excluded by his |327| whole exposition.95 We can, therefore, only suppose that, on this particular question, he somewhat misapprehended |328| Plato. If such a view seem to impugn too disrespectfully the historical credibility of the Stagirite,96 we must remember that the vagueness of Platonic doctrine would be very likely to cause a misapprehension of its real meaning in the mind of one who everywhere sought for fixed and accurately defined concepts.

“The vagueness of Platonic doctrine would be very likely to cause a misapprehension of its real meaning in the mind of one who everywhere sought for fixed and accurately defined concepts (e.g., Aristotle)” – Edouard Zeller

The physical part of the system which obliged Plato to determine the concept of Matter more accurately, and to distinguish the corporeally Unlimited from the element of plurality in the Ideas, — was, if we may judge from his quotations, chiefly known to Aristotle from the Timaeus; and similar and even more striking misconstructions of Platonic expressions can be traced to him, with regard to many writings that still exist.97 He points out himself that Plato described the Great| |329| and-Small, as the element of Ideas, differently from the Matter of the Timaeus.[98] Even the defenders of Aristotle are forced to admit that he mistook the import of Plato’s doctrine on several essential points.99 It is true that Plato’s disciples themselves acknowledged |330| the doctrines attributed to him by Aristotle,100 but it is equally true that in so doing they departed from true Platonism, and, especially, almost forgot the theory of Ideas, confounding it with the Pythagorean doctrine of Numbers.101 It is far more unlikely that Plato should himself have applied his theory in a way that was virtually its destruction, than that his disciples, Aristotle among the rest, should, in the same manner, and for the same reasons, have departed from its original meaning. These reasons lay, on the one side, in the obscurity and discontinuity of the Platonic doctrine; and, on the other, in the dogmatic apprehension by his followers of indefinite and often merely figurative expressions. With this not only Speusippus and Xenocrates, but Aristotle himself, judging from his procedure in other cases, may be charged. It is quite possible that Plato in his later years may have recognised more clearly than at first the gap left by his system between the Ideas and Actuality; and he may have attempted to fill it up more definitely. He may, therefore, have pointed out that even in Ideas there is an infinite plurality, and designated this plurality by the name of the Unlimited or the Great-and-Small. He may have observed that as sensible things are ordered according to numerical proportions, so Ideas in a certain sense might be called Numbers. He may, further, have derived particular numbers from |331| Unity and Plurality, the universal elements of Ideas,102 and he may have reduced certain concepts to numbers.[103] |332| He may, lastly, have ceased to insist upon the difference between the world of sense and that of Ideas, side by side with the analogy between them. All this would be quite possible without belying his main philosophic position, and Aristotle may so far have transmitted to us his propositions on these subjects with literal correctness. But it is incredible that Plato should have intended in these propositions to annul the distinction between the Unlimited in space, and that plurality which is also in the Ideas. If his disciple so understood them, he must be charged, not indeed with false witness as to his master’s words, but with a view of them that is too external, too dogmatic, too little observant of the spirit and interconnection of the Platonic philosophy.[104]

We must then abandon the hope of finding in Plato |333| a derivation of the Sensible from the Idea; and this is to acknowledge that his system is involved in a contradiction, inextricable from its own point of view; a contradiction already latent in the concept of Ideas, but which only at this stage becomes fully apparent. The Idea, according to Plato, is to contain all reality, yet at the same time there must belong to the phenomenon not merely the existence accorded to it by reason of the Idea, but, together with this, a kind of existence that cannot be derived from the Idea. The Idea is to be therefore on the one hand the sole reality, and substance of the phenomenon; on the other, it is to exist for itself, it is not to enter into the plurality and vicissitude of sensible objects, and not to require the latter for its realization. But if the phenomenon is not a moment of the Idea itself, if a Being belongs to it which is not by reason of the Idea, then the Idea has not all Being in itself; and though that which distinguishes the phenomenon from it may be defined as Non-being, it is not in truth absolute Unreality, otherwise it could not have the power of circumscribing the Being of the Idea in the phenomenon, and of separating it in Divisibility and Becoming. Neither is the phenomenon in that case absolutely immanent in the Idea, for that which makes it a phenomenon cannot be derived from the Idea. Plato, in his original design, unmistakably intended to represent the Idea as the sole Reality, and all other Being as a Being contained in the Idea. He was unable, however, to carry out this design: in attempting to do so, he comes to the conclusion that the Idea has in the phenomenon a limit, a |334| something impenetrable, external to itself. The cause of this lies in the abstract view of the Idea as an absolutely existent, self-completed substance, which does not require the phenomenon for its realization. In excluding the phenomenon from itself, the Idea as such receives limits from the phenomenon; the Idea remains on one side, the phenomenon on the other, and the presupposed immanence of both is transformed into their dualism and the transcendency of the Idea. Here there is certainly a contradiction: the fault, however, does not lie in our representation, but in the subject of it. It was inevitable that so defective a beginning should be refuted by its result; and in acknowledging this contradiction, we state only the objective matter of fact and the internal historical connection; for it was this very contradiction by which Aristotle took hold of the Platonic principle and developed it into a new form of thought.105 |335|

“Aristotle made use of Platonic expressions, but probably attributed to them a sense completely contradictory to their real meaning” – Edouard Zeller

As with the origin of the world of Sense, so with regard to its subsistence. Plato is as little able to explain satisfactorily the coexistence of the Idea and the phenomenon, as the derivation of the one from the other. It is perfectly comprehensible from his point of view that the Idea should have room beside the phenomenon, for no specific reality is to belong to the latter, by which the reality of the Idea could be circumscribed. But it is, on that very account, all the less easy to understand how the phenomenon finds room beside the Idea — how an existence can be ascribed to it, if all reality lies in the Idea. Plato here summons to his aid the theory of participation: things are all that they are only by participating in the Idea.106 But as Aristotle complains,107 he has scarcely |336| made an attempt to determine that concept accurately; and in all that he says on the subject, this perplexity is clearly to be noted. He refers indeed to some of the difficulties involved in the notion of participation, while pointing out the way to solve them;108 but the main question — how the one essence can combine with that which is absolutely divided, the permanent with that which is restlessly changing, the uncontained in space with the. contained, the wholly real with the nonexistent, to form the unity of the phenomenon, and how they are mutually related in this combination — is left unanswered. It is only evident that even in his most mature period, however settled might be his conviction as to the participation of things in Ideas, he could find no adequate formula for it.109 Nor is it any real explanation, to represent the Ideas as the patterns which are imitated in phenomena.110 The objection,111 that the likeness of the copy to the archetype would only be possible by their |337| common participation in an Idea separate from them both, is easily removed;112 but the question of Aristotle113 as to the efficient Cause which imitates things from Ideas is much more serious. Here Plato, as far as his philosophic concepts are concerned, leaves us entirely at fault; in place of scientific explanation, we have the popular notion of the Framer of the world, who fashions Matter like a human artist, only with the wondrous might of a God. According to Plato, the Ideas are indeed the archetypes of material things, but they are at the same time their essence and their reality. Things are only copied from Ideas in so far as they participate in them. Consequently, if their participation in Ideas remains unexplained, this want cannot be supplied by what is said of their being imitated from the Idea. So far then as the things of sense are the manifestation and copy of the Idea, they must be determined by the Idea; so far as they have in Matter a specific principle in themselves, they are at the same time determined by Necessity; for though the world is the work of Reason,114 it cannot be denied that in its origin there was, side by side with Reason, another blindly acting cause; and even the Creator could not make his work absolutely perfect, but only as good as was permitted by the nature of the Finite.115 |338| Reason has no higher law in its working than the Idea of the Good, that highest Idea from which all others arise, and by which they are ruled: material things, as the work of Reason, must be explained from the Idea of the Good, that is, teleologically. That in them which resists this explanation, is to be regarded as the product of mechanical causes — the work of natural necessity. These two kinds of causes are in no way to be compared: the specific and essential grounds of material things are final causes; the physical grounds |339| are to be considered as merely concurrent causes, or, more precisely, means to Reason that is working to an end.116 But still they are not so powerless as to be altogether obedient instruments of Reason. We have already seen that Matter in spite of its Non-being, hinders and disfigures the Idea in the phenomenon; here, Plato speaks of a resistance of Necessity to Reason — a resistance which yields only partially to the persuasion |340| of Reason, and so prevented the Creator from producing a thoroughly perfect work.117 In the same way, as we shall presently find,118 it is the body which hinders man from pure knowledge, which calls forth in him evil desires, and moral disorder of every kind. Aristotle, indeed, plainly says that Plato held Matter as the cause of evil.119 To comprehend both causes in one to recognise in natural Necessity the proper work of Reason, and the positive medium (not merely the limitation and negative condition) of its working is impossible to him, in this dualism.120 But his teleology preserves in the main the external character of the Socratic view of Nature, though the end of Nature is no longer exclusively the welfare of men, but the Good, Beauty, Proportion, and Order.121 The natural world and the forces of Nature are thus related to |341| consequences external to themselves:122 hence there was a special necessity that Plato should here use not only personification, but mythical language, with regard to efficient causes. Aristotle was the first to conceive the notion of inner activity working to an and; and even he leaves much to be desired in his scientific view of this activity, and still more in its application.

Although, however, Plato did not succeed in overcoming the dualism of the idea and the phenomenon, he yet attempts, while presupposing this dualism, to point out the middle terms by means of which the Idea and the phenomenon are combined. And this he perceives in mathematical proportions, or the World-soul.

III. The World-soul.123 As God desired that the world should be framed in the best possible manner, says the Timaeus,124 He considered that nothing unintelligent, taken as a whole, could ever be better than the intelligent; and that intelligence (νοῦς) could not exist in anything which was devoid of soul. For this reason He put the intelligence of the world into a soul, |342| and the soul in the world as into a body. He prepared the soul as follows. Before He had formed the corporeal elements, He compounded out of the indivisible and self-identical substance and also out of the divisible and corporeal, a third nature intermediate between them. Having mingled in this substance the Same and the Other, he divided the whole according to the cardinal numbers of the harmonic and astronomical systems,125 |343| and formed from the entire compound, by a longitudinal bisection, the circle of the heaven of fixed stars, and that of the planets.126

In this representation the mythical and imaginative element is at once apparent. The division and spreading out of the World-soul in space, prior to the formation of the corporeal; its origin from a chemical admixture, the entirely material treatment even of the Immaterial, can never have been seriously intended by Plato; otherwise he would deserve all the censure, |344| which Aristotle,127 strangely mistaking the mythical form, casts upon this portion of the Timaeus. With regard to his real scientific views, it is first of all undisputed (and the Timaeus places it beyond a doubt) that he held the cosmos to be a living creature, and attributed to it not only a soul, but the most perfect and most, intelligent soul. This conviction partly resulted from the universal consideration of the relations between the soul and the body — partly from the particular contemplation of nature and the human mind. If God created a world, He must have made it as perfect as possible, and this perfection must belong to the Universe which contains in itself all essential natures, in greater measure than to any of its parts.128 But the intelligent is always more perfect than the unintelligent, and intelligence cannot dwell in any being, except by means of a soul. If, therefore, the world is the most perfect of all created beings, it must, as possessing the most perfect intelligence, possess also the most perfect soul.129 All that is moved by another must be preceded by a Self-moved; this alone is the beginning of motion. But all the corporeal is moved by another, the soul on the contrary is nothing else than the self-moving motion.130 The soul is consequently prior to the body; and that which belongs to the soul is prior to the corporeal. Reason and art are older than that which is generally called nature; and this name itself is in truth far more applicable to the soul than to the body. The same must also |345| hold good with regard to the Cosmos. In this also, the soul must be the first and governing principle; the body the secondary and subservient.131 Or if we consider more particularly the constitution of the universe, there is shown in its whole economy, such a comprehensive adaptation of means to ends, and, especially in the motion of the stars, such an admirable regularity, that it is impossible to doubt the Reason and wisdom that rule in it. But where, except in the soul of the world, can this Reason have its dwelling?132 The same universal mind or reason proclaims itself, lastly, in our own spirit: for just as there is nothing in our body which is not derived from the body of the world, so says Plato (with Socrates),133 there could be in us no soul, if there were none in the universe. And as the corporeal elements in the universe are incomparably more glorious, mighty, and perfect than in our body, so must the soul of the world proportionately transcend our soul in perfection.134 In a word, therefore, the World-soul is necessary, because only through it can Reason impart itself to the corporeal; it is the indispensable intermediate principle between the Idea and |346| the phenomenon. As such, it is, on the one side, the cause of all regulated motion, and of all the configuration thence proceeding; on the other it is the source of all spiritual life and especially of all knowledge, for knowledge, according to Plato, is that which distinguishes man from the beasts.135 These are the points of view from which he starts in his description of the World-soul, it is compounded of the indivisible and of the divisible essence; that is to say, it combines the sole Idea with the sensible phenomenon, by uniting in itself the specific qualities of both.136 It is incorporeal, like the Idea; but is at the same time, related to the corporeal; it stands over against the unlimited Multiplicity of phenomena as its ideal Unity: against its lawless vicissitude as the permanent element which introduces into it fixed proportion and law. But it is |347| not like the Idea, altogether outside this multiplicity; being involved, as the Soul of the body, in space, and as the primary cause of motion, in vicissitude. The union of the Same and the Other with this substance of Soul has reference to the combination of uniformity and change in the motion of the heavenly bodies;137 of comparison and difference in knowledge.138 In the revolution of the heaven of fixed stars, and in the rational cognition, the element of the Same predominates; in the movement of the planets and in the sensuous notion that of the other. We must not, however, restrict any of these phenomena to either of these two elements, nor must we in this half allegorical delineation seek a complete and developed system, or be too anxious and precise about its connection with other theoretic determinations.135 The division of the |348| soul as to its whole substance, according to the relations of the harmonic and astronomical systems,140 implies |349| that the soul comprehends all proportion and measure primarily in itself: it is wholly number and harmony, |350| and from it spring all numerical definition and all harmony in the world: for with Plato, as with the |351| Pythagoreans, musical harmony and the system of the heavenly bodies are the principal revelations of the invisible numbers and their accord.141 In this respect, |352| therefore, the World-soul has the same import and comprehension as that which Plato, in the Philebus, calls the Limit, and Aristotle represents him as calling the Mathematical principle. For of the Limit it is said142 that the whole sphere of number and measure belongs to it; and Aristotle assigns to the Mathematical principle the same place that is occupied in the Timaeus by the World-soul: it stands midway between material objects and the Ideas.143 It is quite in harmony with this, that Plato should make the Mathematical sciences, and these alone, form the transition from the sensible perception to the contemplation of the Idea;144 for in conformity with his principles, this presupposes that as these sciences themselves lie in the midst between the sensible notion and pure thought,145 so must their object lie between the phenomenon and the Idea. The two concepts, however, are certainly distinct in their points of departure and in their apprehension. The notion of the World-soul, starting from the contemplation of Life and motion, represents primarily the efficient powers in the universe, conceived in the manner of the human soul: the Mathematical principle represents the formal determination of things, according |353| to number and measure.146 But as in the Platonic Ideas, the highest efficient and the highest formal causes coincide, and are divided only temporarily and in inexact description, so it is here. The World-soul comprehends in itself all mathematical proportions in unity; and occupies the position, which according to the Philebus and to Aristotle, is exclusively filled by the Mathematical principle. Though we should not be justified in assuming that Plato has expressly identified them, and must indeed acknowledge that the problem of finding a middle term between Idea and phenomenon is apprehended in the two doctrines from different sides (this middle term being regarded in the concept of the soul from the point of view of living force, as cause of motion and of opinion, while in the concept of the mathematical principle it appears as a specific form of Being); yet both have ultimately the same signification, and take the same place in the Platonic system.147 They show us the Idea in reference to the world of sense; and the world of sense embraced |354| by firmly limited relations. In mathematical forms, the unity of the Idea does indeed separate into plurality; but these forms are not subject to the vicissitude of sensible things.148 The Soul enters into the corporeal and its motion, but the soul itself is not corporeal.149 While all that is corporeal is moved by another, the soul is the self-moved, and moves everything else,150 and though distinct from the Idea, the soul is of all things most closely related to it.151 Strictly speaking, we should go a step further, and declare both the World-soul and mathematical forms to be the Idea itself, as the formal determination and motive principle of the material world. For as Matter as such is the Nonexistent, the Real in the soul can only be the Idea. But the same reasons which obliged Plato to separate the Idea from the phenomenon, necessitated also the distinction of the soul from the Idea: the soul is derived, the Idea original; the soul is generated, the Idea eternal; the Soul is a particular, the Idea a universal;152 the Idea is absolute reality, the soul only participates in reality.153 As the Ideas are placed side by side with one another, although, properly speaking, the lower must be contained in the higher, and all in the highest; as the world of sense is set beside the Ideas, although, in so far as it possesses reality, it is immanent in them, so the Soul appears as a Third between |355| the Idea and the phenomenon, instead of merely representing that side of the Idea, which is turned to the phenomenon; and we find that the mathematical forms still retain a place beside the soul, while at the same time mathematical proportions are within it.154 |356|

The activity of the Soul is partly motion, partly intelligence.155 It is the first principle of all motion, for it alone is the Self-moving, and in moving itself it also moves the body.156 The Phaedrus says that the soul has the Care of the inanimate, traverses the world and is its ruler.157 The more fanciful imagery of the |357| Timaeus is to the same effect. The entire World-soul, we are told, was divided lengthwise into two parts; and these two halves were bent into an outer and an inner circle, of which the outer is named the circle of the Same; the inner, that of the Other. These circles, laid obliquely within each other, are the scaffolding of the World-system: the circle of the Same is the sphere of fixed stars; the circle of the Other forms by further division the seven spheres of the planets. In the circular revolution of these spheres the soul, turning in itself, moves; it is interfused every where from the centre of the universe to the circumference, and envelopes it externally; and as all the corporeal is built into these spheres, the soul effects also the motion of the corporeal.158 As Plato’s real opinion, however, we can only maintain this much, that the soul — diffused throughout the universe and by virtue of its nature, ceaselessly self-moving, according to fixed laws — causes the division as well as the motion of matter in the heavenly spheres: and that its harmony and life are revealed in the order and courses of the stars. The Timaeus also connects the intelligence of the World-soul with its motion and harmonious distribution. By reason of its composition (37, A ff), and because it is divided and bound together in itself according to harmonica! Proportion — because it at last returns into itself by its circular motion, — it tells itself |358| throughout its whole essence of all that it touches in its course, whether Divisible or Indivisible: in what respect it is the same, and in what diverse, whether and how it is related to Being or Becoming. But this speech, spreading itself soundlessly in the sphere of the Self-moved, generates knowledge. If the faculty of perception is touched by it and the announcement comes to the soul from the circle of the Other,159 then true notions and opinions arise;160 if it is signified to thought, from the circle of the Same, rational cognition and intelligent knowledge are the result. Here again the literal and figurative are freely intermingled, and Plato himself might, perhaps, scarcely be able to define with accuracy where his representation ceases to be dogmatic and begins to be mythical. He is doubtless in earnest161 when he ascribes to the world a soul, and to this soul the most perfect intelligence that can belong to aught created; and though the more precise concept of personality hardly applies to this soul,162 yet in all that he says on the subject, he abundantly |359| shows that he himself conceives it as analogous to the human soul. The question which to us would immediately occur, how far the World-soul possesses self-consciousness and will, he has scarcely even raised.163 It sounds to us strange that the intellectual activity of this soul should coincide with the revolution in space of the heavens; that reason and science should be assigned to the sphere of fixed stars, and opinion to that of the planets. Even Plato probably did not intend this exposition to be taken literally;164 yet he has certainly brought knowledge and the movement of the soul into a connection which must have made any accurate definition almost as difficult to him as to ourselves. He regards knowledge as a motion returning into itself, and ascribes to the World-soul a knowledge of all that is in itself and in the world, just because there belongs to it this perfect motion in and around itself. Other philosophers had similarly combined knowledge and motion,165 and Plato elsewhere compares them in a way that shows us that he conceived them to be governed by analogous laws.166 The same holds good |360| of the mathematical partition of the Soul. As Plato expressed the differences of knowledge by means of numbers,167 he might also place knowledge generally, in combination with number. The infinite Many, as Philolaus had already taught,168 becomes cognisable by being reduced through number and measure to definite proportions. Plato derives the knowledge of the World-soul from its harmonious distribution of parts, as well as from its composition and motion,169 and this is in the main his real opinion. The Soul could not know material things did it not bear within itself, in harmonic proportions, the principle of all determination and order. As its motion is regulated by number, so is its knowledge; and as in the one case it effects the transition of the Idea to the phenomenon and brings the unlimited plurality of material things into subjection to the Idea, — so in the other it combines Unity and Multiplicity, the cognition of Reason and the perception of Sense.


1^ Vide supra and Republic vii. 524 C, vi. 493 E, 476 A, 477 A; Symposium 211 E, 207 D; Politicus 269 D.

2^ Symposium 211 A, where archetypal Beauty in opposition to phenomenal beauty (τὰ πολλὰ καλὰ) is described as οὐ τῇ μὲν καλόν, τῇ δ᾽ αἰσχρόν, οὐδὲ τοτὲ μέν, τοτὲ δὲ οὔ, οὐδὲ πρὸς μὲν τὸ καλόν, πρὸς δὲ τὸ αἰσχρόν . οὐδ᾽ ἔνθα μὲν καλόν, ἔνθα δὲ αἰσχρόν, ὡς τισὶ μὲν ὂν καλόν, τισὶ δὲ αἰσχρόν. Philebus 54 C, vide chap. ii. n. 10. Timaeus 52 C: εἰκόνι μὲν (sensible appearance), ἐπείπερ οὐδ’ αὑτὸ τοῦτο ἐφ’ ᾦ γέγονεν the Actual, for the exposition of which it serves) ἑαυτῆς ἐστιν, ἑτέρου δέ τινος ἀεὶ φέρεται φάντασμα, διὰ ταῦτα ἐν ἑτέρῳ προσήκει τινὶ γίγνεσθαι, οὐσίας ἁμωσγέπως ἀντεχομένην, ἢ μηδὲν τὸ παράπαν αὐτὴν εἶναι. Cf. Republic. v. 476 A; Phaedo, 102 B sq.; also Cratylus 386 D; Theaetetus 160 B, in which latter passage, however, Plato is not speaking in his own name.

3^ Phaedo 102 D sqq.: ἐμοὶ γὰρ φαίνεται οὐ μόνον αὐτὸ τὸ μέγεθος οὐδέποτ᾽ ἐθέλειν ἅμα μέγα καὶ σμικρὸν εἶναι, etc., ὡς δ᾽ αὕτως καὶ τὸ σμικρὸν τὸ ἐν ἡμῖν οὐκ ἐθέλει ποτὲ μέγα γίγνεσθαι οὐδὲ εἶναι, οὐδ᾽ ἄλλο οὐδὲν τῶν ἐναντίων, etc. To this it is objected that Socrates himself had just said that opposites come from opposites, to which it is replied: τότε μὲν γὰρ ἐλέγετο ἐκ τοῦ ἐναντίου πράγματος τὸ ἐναντίον πρᾶγμα γίγνεσθαι, νῦν δέ, ὅτι αὐτὸ τὸ ἐναντίον ἑαυτῷ ἐναντίον οὐκ ἄν ποτε γένοιτο. Cf. Sophist 252 D, 255 A.

4^ Sophist 253 D; vide chap. v. note 78.

5^ Philebus 15 B (vide note 88). Cf. pp. 228, 240. It will be shown presently that Republic v. 470 A does not contradict this view.

6^ Sophist 255 E; vide p. 249.

7^ Republic v. 479 A (vide p. 224); Phaedo, 102.

8^ Timaeus 47 E-48 A: μεμειγμένη γὰρ οὖν ἡ τοῦδε τοῦ κόσμου γένεσις ἐξ ἀνάγκης τε καὶ νοῦ συστάσεως ἐγεννήθη: νοῦ δὲ ἀνάγκης ἄρχοντος τῷ πείθειν αὐτὴν τῶν γιγνομένων τὰ πλεῖστα ἐπὶ τὸ βέλτιστον ἄγειν, ταύτῃ κατὰ ταῦτά τε δι’ ἀνάγκης ἡττωμένης ὑπὸ πειθοῦς ἔμφρονος οὕτω κατ’ ἀρχὰς συνίστατο τόδε τὸ πᾶν. εἴ τις οὖν ᾗ γέγονεν κατὰ ταῦτα ὄντως ἐρεῖ, μεικτέον καὶ τὸ τῆς πλανωμένης εἶδος αἰτίας, ᾗ φέρειν πέφυκεν. Cf. Timaeus 50 C, 68 E; Theaetetus 170 A.

9^ The word ὕλη in Plato bears the same signification as in ordinary speech: it means a wood, timber, and sometimes generally material. The later philosophic application of the word to signify the abstract concept of material substratum is expressed by Plato, so far as he has that concept at all, in other ways. This holds good of Timaeus 69 A, where, after a discussion on the two kinds of causes to be mentioned later on, we read: ὅτ’ οὖν δὴ τὰ νῦν οἷα τέκτοσιν ἡμῖν ὕλη παράκειται τὰ τῶν αἰτίων γένη διυλισμένα (or -λισμένα): since we have the different kinds of causes set out before us, as carpenters have their timber, and Philebus 54 B (supra, chap. vi. n. 10). The context gives no occasion for understanding ὕλη, with Susemihl, Genet. Entw. ii. 43, and Wohlstein, Mat. w. Weltseele (Marb. 1863), p. 7, as matter in general, and not rather (on the analogy of πάρμακα and ὄργανα) in the sense of raw material. The so-called Timreus of Locri uses ὕλη (93 A sqq., 97 F), where Plato (Timaeus, 48 E sqq.) has ὑποδοχὴ γενέσεως, φύσιν τά πάντα σώματα δεχομένη, δεξαμένη, ἐκμαγεῖον, ἐκεῖο ἐν ᾧ γίγνεται, χώρα, τόπος, etc., Ὕλη, as a technical philosophic term, is first met with in Aristotle, and is frequently used in his exposition of the Platonic doctrine. It does not, however, follow that he had heard the word from Plato’s own lips in the oral discourses; for, as is well known, Aristotle does not hesitate to enunciate the views of earlier thinkers in his own terminology. In Physics iv. 2, 209 b. ii. 210 a. 1, he says: Plato in the Timaeus (where, however, this denotation never occurs) calls ὕλη the μεθεκτικὸν, in the ἄγραφα δόγματα. It is the Great and Small. If we consider how foreign the word is to the Timaeus, how closely its usage in Aristotle is connected with the peculiar leading ideas of his system, and how little it is suitable to Plato, who did not, like his scholars, seek for the basis of the corporeal in a positive substratum; and if again we observe that, for the reasons given above, it could not have occurred in the ἄγραφα δόγματα, and that Theophrastus (in the passage quoted chap. vi. note 165) does not appear to know the term as Platonic, it will seem far from probable that Plato introduced it into philosophic language. Although therefore I shall make use of Aristotle’s term for the sake of brevity, I do not wish it to be considered as Platonic. Σῶμα may be more correctly regarded as an ordinary Platonic denotation of the corporeal, in its general character and as distinguished from the spiritual. It occurs in this sense, Sophist 246 A-248 A; Politicus 269 D, 273 B (where Schaarschmidt, Samml. d. plat. Schr. 210, thinks he finds an evidence of spuriousness in this un-Platonic signification of the word); and also Philebus 29 C: cf. 64 B, and particularly (together with the equivalent σωματοειδὲς, in Timaeus 28 B) 31 B, 34 B, 35 A, 36 D, 50 B. The concept of σῶμα, however, does not coincide with that of matter: the σῶμα is visible and palpable, and this presupposes that it consists of the elements (Timaeus 28 B, 31 B sqq.); the so-called matter, on the contrary, is anterior to the elementary bodies, yet it has none of their determinations in itself, and is therefore not perceptible to the senses. The πανδεχὲς becomes the σῶμα because it admits the form of the four elements.

10^ In the passage quoted p. 263, 110.

11^ Cf. Timaeus 27 D, where it is said of the sensible as a whole, that it is γιγνόμενον μὲν ἀεί, ὂν δὲ οὐδέποτε … δόξῃ μετ᾿ αἰσθήσεως ἀλόγου δοξαστὸν γιγνόμενον καὶ ἀπολλύμενον, ὄντως δὲ οὐδέποτε ὄν. Wohlstein, loc. cit. 3 sq. 8 sq., would understand by the γιγνόμενον ἀεί in this passage not the world but matter, and would refer the γεννητὸν παράδειγμα mentioned in what follows (28 B, 29 A) to matter also. Against the first of these suppositions there is the circumstance that the γιγνόμενον ἀεί is not merely perceptible and presentable but also subject to becoming and perishing. Matter, according to Plato (cf. note 14), is neither. A complete and accurate consideration of the passage will show both suppositions to be equally untenable. With respect to the γιγνόμενον ἀεί it is remarked that it must have an author. The question follows, What archetype the author used in its creation? That which is fashioned after an archetype is itself neither the archetype nor the material in which it is fashioned. Nor can the material be identified with the archetype which it is to represent, as Wohlstein maintains. By the γεννητὸν παράδειγμα is not meant anything which actually preceded the creation of the world; it is merely something laid down hypothetically. Instead of saying, ‘the creator fashioned the world on an eternal archetype,’ Plato says ‘he fashioned it not according to the Becoming, but according to the Eternal.’

12^ Timaeus 49 D sq: we must not call any definite material (as fire, water, etc.) a τόδε or τοῦτο, but only a τοιοῦτον, because they are always passing into one another! φεύγει γὰρ οὐχ ὑπομένον τὴν τοῦ τόδε καὶ τοῦτο καὶ τὴν τῷδε καὶ πᾶσαν ὅση μόνιμα ὡς ὄντα αὐτὰ ἐνδείκνυται φάσις. … ἐν ᾧ δὲ ἐγγιγνόμενα ἀεὶ ἕκαστα αὐτῶν φαντάζεται καὶ πάλιν ἐκεῖθεν ἀπόλλυται, μόνον ἐκεῖνο αὖ προσαγορεύειν τῷ τε τοῦτο καὶ τῷ τόδε προσχρωμένους ὀνόματα, κ.τ.λ.

13^ Timaeus 49 B sqq. We have already met with something similar in Diogenes of Apollonia, vol. i. p. 219.

14^ Timaeus 50 A. sqq.; e.g. as gold continually transformed into all possible figures would still be called gold, so with the nature (φύσις) which admits all bodies in itself: ταὐτὸν αὐτὴν ἀεὶ προσρητέον: ἐκ γὰρ τῆς ἑαυτῆς τὸ παράπαν οὐκ ἐξίσταται δυνάμεως. δέχεταί τε γὰρ ἀεὶ τὰ πάντα, καὶ μορφὴν οὐδεμίαν ποτὲ οὐδενὶ τῶν εἰσιόντων ὁμοίαν εἴληφεν οὐδαμῇ οὐδαμῶς: ἐκμαγεῖον γὰρ φύσει παντὶ κεῖται, κινούμενόν τε καὶ διασχηματιζόμενον ὑπὸ τῶν εἰσιόντων, φαίνεται δὲ δι’ ἐκεῖνα ἄλλοτε ἀλλοῖον. τὰ δὲ εἰσιόντα καὶ ἐξιόντα τῶν ὄντων ἀεὶ μιμήματα (that which enters into that nature is in each case the copy of the Ideas), τυπωθέντα ἀπ’ αὐτῶν τρόπον τινὰ δύσφραστον καὶ θαυμαστόν … That in which an impression is to be taken must in itself be ἄμορφον ὂν ἐκείνων ἁπασῶν τῶν ἰδεῶν, ὅσας μέλλοι δέχεσθαί ποθεν. If it already had any of these forms, it would give back the impression badly. Just as we make the oil, out of which ointments are to be prepared, scentless, and the wax formless which we intend to mould, ταὐτὸν οὖν καὶ τῷ τὰ τῶν πάντων ἀεί τε ὄντων κατὰ πᾶν ἑαυτοῦ (in each of its parts) ταὐτὸν οὖν καὶ τῷ τὰ τῶν πάντων ἀεί τε ὄντων κατὰ πᾶν ἑαυτοῦ πολλάκις ἀφομοιώματα καλῶς μέλλοντι δέχεσθαι πάντων ἐκτὸς αὐτῷ προσήκει πεφυκέναι τῶν εἰδῶν. διὸ δὴ τὴν τοῦ γεγονότος ὁρατοῦ καὶ πάντως αἰσθητοῦ μητέρα καὶ ὑποδοχὴν μήτε γῆν μήτε ἀέρα μήτε πῦρ μήτε ὕδωρ λέγωμεν, μήτε ὅσα ἐκ τούτων μήτε ἐξ ὧν ταῦτα γέγονεν: ἀλλ’ ἀνόρατον εἶδός τι καὶ ἄμορφον, πανδεχές, μεταλαμβάνον δὲ ἀπορώτατά πῃ τοῦ νοητοῦ καὶ δυσαλωτότατον αὐτὸ λέγοντες οὐ ψευσόμεθα. The correct view is simply that: πῦρ μὲν ἑκάστοτε αὐτοῦ τὸ πεπυρωμένον μέρος φαίνεσθαι, τὸ δὲ ὑγρανθὲν ὕδωρ, κ.τ.λ.

15^ Timaeus 52 A sq.: ὁμολογητέον ἓν μὲν εἶναι τὸ κατὰ ταὐτὰ εἶδος ἔχον, ἀγέννητον καὶ ἀνώλεθρον, etc. … τὸ δὲ ὁμώνυμον ὅμοιόν τε ἐκείνῳ (sensible Being) τρίτον δὲ αὖ γένος ὂν τὸ τῆς χώρας ἀεί, φθορὰν οὐ προσδεχόμενον, ἕδραν δὲ παρέχον ὅσα ἔχει γένεσιν πᾶσιν, αὐτὸ δὲ μετ’ ἀναισθησίας ἁπτὸν λογισμῷ τινι νόθῳ, μόγις πιστόν, πρὸς ὃ δὴ καὶ ὀνειροπολοῦμεν βλέποντες καί φαμεν ἀναγκαῖον εἶναί που τὸ ὂν ἅπαν ἔν τινι τόπῳ καὶ κατέχον χώραν τινά, τὸ δὲ μήτ’ ἐν γῇ μήτε που κατ’ οὐρανὸν οὐδὲν εἶναι. … τἀληθὲς λέγειν, ὡς εἰκόνι μέν, κ.τ.λ. (vide note 2) … οὗτος μὲν οὖν δὴ παρὰ τῆς ἐμῆς ψήφου λογισθεὶς ἐν κεφαλαίῳ δεδόσθω λόγος, ὄν τε καὶ χώραν καὶ γένεσιν εἶναι, τρία τριχῇ, καὶ πρὶν οὐρανὸν γενέσθαι.

16^ Physics iii. 4, 203 a. 15, c. 6, 306 b. 27; iv. 2, 209 b. 33, 1, 9, 192 a 11; Metaphysics i. 6, 987 b. 20 sqq. 1, 7, 988 a. 25; iii. 3, 998 b. 10 This statement is more fully discussed in my Plat. Stud. p. 217 sqq. and later on in this chapter.

17^ In the statement of Dercyllides as to Hermodorus (borrowed from Simplicius), vide p. 277, 137, which is quoted in detail in my Diatribe de Hermodoro, p. 20 sqq., and again by Susemihl, Genet. Entw. ii. 522 sqq. The quotation from Eudemus, vol. i. 302-3, 3rd edit., agrees with this.

18^ Vide p. 283, 160.

19^ Bonitz, Disput. Platonicae, 65 sq.; Brandis, Gr.-röm. Phil. ii. a. 295 sqq.; Stallbaum Plat. Tim. p. 43, 205 sqq.; Reinhold, Gesch. d. Phil. i. 125; Hegel, Gesch. der Phil. ii. 231 sq.; Strümpell, Gesch. d theor. Phil. d. Gr. 144 sqq.; Ueberweg üb. d. Pl. Welts., Rhein.-Mus. ix. 57 sqq.; Volquardsen Idee. d. pers. Geist. 70 sq.; Schneider, D. Mat. Princ. d. plat. Metaph. (Gera, 1872) 11 sq.; Wohlstein, Mat. u. Welts. 11 sq., etc.

20^ Böckh, in Daub and Creuzer’s Studien, iii. 26 sqq.; Ritter, Gesch. der Phil. ii. 345 sq.; Preller, Hist. phil. Gr.-röm. 257; Schleiermacher, Gesch. der Phil. p. 105; Steinhart, Plat. W. vi. 115 sqq.; Susemihl, Genet. Entw. ii. 405 sqq.; Ribbing, Plat. Ideenl. i. 333 sq.; Siebeck, Unters. z. Phil. d. Gr. 103 sqq. Cf. my Plat. Stud. 212, 225.

21^ Marbach, Gesch. der Phil. i. p. 113. sq. and Sigwart, Gesch. der Phil. i. 117 sqq., express themselves vaguely. Ast (über die Materie in Timaeus Abhandl. der Münchener Akad. i. 45-54) does not clearly state his own views as to Plato’s meaning.

22^ Vide supra, 298. The statement Timaeus 51 A, that the ὑποδοχὴ τοῦ γεγενότος is neither one of the four elements, μήτε ὅσα ἐκ τούτων μήτε ἐξ ὧν ταῦτα γέγονεν, is merely intended to exclude the notion of any definite matter: the individual sensible things are what come into being from the elements. By ‘that out of which these become’ we are merely to understand the triples (vide chap, viii.) of which Plato composes the elements. The expression seems designedly general, to suit any other supposition which represents the elements as derived; e.g. the theories of the Atomists and of Anaxagoras. There is no real question as to what the elements are composed of. The object is rather to guard against any confusion of the primal substratum with the components of the elements (determined in form or quality), whatever they may be.

23^ Timaeus 30 A, vide p. 291, 181; 52 D sqq. 69 B; cf. Politicus 269 D, 273 B: τούτων δὲ αὐτῷ [τῷ κόσμῳ] τὸ σωματοειδὲς τῆς συγκράσεως αἴτιον, τὸ τῆς πάλαι ποτὲ φύσεως σύντροφον, ὅτι πολλῆς ἦν μετέχον ἀταξίας πρὶν εἰς τὸν νῦν κόσμον ἀφικέσθαι.

24^ Timaeus 28 B.

25^ The expedient, which Stallbaum (Plato Timaeus 205 sqq.) and apparently also Volquardsen (loc. cit. 70 sq.) adopt in the supposition that God first made matter and then fashioned the world out of it is thoroughly inadmissible. Had this been Plato’s meaning he must somewhere or other have declared it; but there is not a single passage in which a creation of matter is taught or hinted at (on Timaeus 52 D, cf. note 27), nor does Aristotle know anything about it; the Timaeus rather distinguishes the foundation of the corporeal from all Becoming: the archetype is one, the copy is two, γένεσιν ἔχον καὶ ὁρατόν, the ὑποδοχὴ γενέσεως three (48 E); ἅπαν ὅσονπερ ἂν ἔχῃ γένεσιν (49 E, vide note 12) is a mere τοιοῦτον, not a τόδε; the ἕδραν δὲ παρέχον ὅσα ἔχει γένεσιν πᾶσιν is separated from the αἰσθητόν and γεννητόν (52 B, vide note 15). One is fashioned by God: of the other it is said that he has received it to form it into the world (30 A: πᾶν ὅσον ἦν ὁρατὸν παραλαβὼν. 68 E: ταῦτα δὴ πάντα τότε ταύτῃ πεφυκότα ἐξ ἀνάγκης ὁ … δημιουργὸς … παρελάμβανεν, ἡνίκα τὸν αὐτάρκη τε καὶ τὸν τελεώτατον θεὸν ἐγέννα). Expressions like this cannot mean that God created it for this end and then formed it and Plato could not possibly have assumed this. Supposing that there were in the world no element in its essence and origin independent of the divine causality, the limitation of that causality by necessity, and the opposition νοῦς and ἀνάγκη, so expressly emphasised by Plato, would have no foundation; for (Politicus 273 B): only good is communicated to the world by its author, everything incomplete and bad can only originate from its corporeal nature. Were this likewise the work of the Divinity, there could be, on Plato’s, theory, no such thing as evil in the world.

26^ Ueberweg, Rhein. Mus. ix. 62. Siebeck loc. cit. is opposed to him.

27^ Timaeus 52 D (supra, note 15 end) might perhaps suggest itself; where by γένεσιν, as distinguished from χώρα, the so-called secondary matter might be understood. But the comparison of p. 50 C (γένη διανοηθῆναι τριττά, τὸ μὲν γιγνόμενον, τὸ δ’ ἐν ᾧ γίγνεται, τὸ δ’ ὅθεν ἀφομοιούμενον φύεται τὸ γιγνόμενον) and 52 A supra, note 15 beginning) proves that the γένεσιν applies to that which is fashioned on the model of the ideas — the word of sense. This would of course not be anterior to the world: Plato does not say that the γενόμενον was before the world, but simply that the ὄν, the χώρα and the γένεσιν are distinct (τρίατριχῇ), and were always so, i.e. they are distinct in concept.

28^ Timaeus 48 E, Plato says: besides the previous two classes (εἴδη), the παραδείγματος and the μίμημα παραδείγματος, there is a third, the ὑποδοχὴ or τιθήνην γενέσεως. After having shown that all determinate matter, in its continual interchange and transition, presupposes such an unchangeable substratum, he repeats, 50 C (vide previous note), his enumeration and explains that none of the forms and attributes which it is to appropriate can belong to that substratum; then, 52 A (vide note 15), he again recurs to the same classification, which, 52 D (ibid. end), is repeated a third time, and immediately adds the words: τὴν δὲ δὴ γενέσεως τιθήνην ὑγραινομένην καὶ πυρουμένην καὶ τὰς γῆς τε καὶ ἀέρος μορφὰς δεχομένην, καὶ ὅσα ἄλλα τούτοις πάθη συνέπεται πάσχουσαν, παντοδαπὴν μὲν ἰδεῖν φαίνεσθαι, διὰ δὲ τὸ μήθ’ ὁμοίων δυνάμεων μήτε ἰσορρόπων ἐμπίμπλασθαι κατ’ οὐδὲν αὐτῆς ἰσορροπεῖν, etc. Here it is obvious that the τιθήνη is the substratum previously described as entirely formless, which however cannot possibly be liquid, fiery, etc., before it has taken the forms of the elementary bodies.

29^ So, according to Böckh, loc. cit., with all that goes beyond the theory of matter in this dialogue.

30^ Timaeus 52 A sq.; vide note 15.

31^ Vide p. 266.

32^ Republic v. 477 A, 479 B sq., x. 597 A.

33^ Republic v. 479, vi. 509 B, vii. 517 C sq.; Phaedo, 74 A sq.; 76 D, 100 D; Symposium 211 B; Parmenides 129 A, 130 B.

34^ Cf. with Timaeus 49 E: (ἐν ᾧ δὲ ἐγγιγνόμενα ἀεὶ ἕκαστα αὐτῶν φαντάζεται καὶ πάλιν ἐκεῖθεν ἀπόλλυται) ibid. 52 A: (τὸ αἰσθητόν) γιγνόμενόν τε ἔν τινι τόπῳ καὶ πάλιν ἐκεῖθεν ἀπολλύμενον.

35^ Loc. cit.: τρίτον δὲ αὖ γένος ὂν τὸ τῆς χώρας ἀεί, φθορὰν οὐ προσδεχόμενον, ἕδραν δὲ παρέχον ὅσα ἔχει γένεσιν πᾶσιν, κ.τ.λ.; vide note 15. Timaeus 52 D: οὗτος μὲν οὖν δὴ παρὰ τῆς ἐμῆς ψήφου λογισθεὶς ἐν κεφαλαίῳ δεδόσθω λόγος, ὄν τε καὶ χώραν καὶ γένεσιν εἶναι, etc. It is unimportant whether we translate χώρα here by ‘space,’ or with Schneider (d. mat. Princ. d. plat. Metaphysics 12) by ‘place,’ for place just as well as space can be imagined empty or full. The only point here is whether it is a full or an empty space, which, according to Plato, forms the original substratum of the corporeal world. But as Plato expressly marks the χώρα as the sphere of all Becoming, we need not give it the more limited signification of Place (i.e. determined space), rather than the general one of Space. Plato himself, according to Aristotle, did not distinguish between χώρα and τόπος: v. subter, note 39.

36^ He says, 50 A, 53 A of the elements, that things are fashioned ἐξ αὐτῶν, for they have determined forms, they are bodies (which is not the case with the δεξαμένη; cf. note 9, end), and therefore constituent parts of things. With respect to that which precedes the elements as their general substratum, it is merely said, 49 E, 50 C-E, 52 A-B, that it is that ἐν ᾧ γίγνεται, the ἐκδεξόμενον πάντα γένη ἐν αὑτῷ, etc. Such an expression, repeated six times, cannot be unintentional, but can only be explained on the view enunciated above. What, again, is the meaning of the statement, 50 A (supra, note 14), in a comparison, that as the figures which we make ἐκ χρυσοῦ are all gold, so it is with the φύσις τὰ πάντα σώματα δεχομένη; it is to be considered in all of them as one and the same? In both cases the substratum remains the same, in spite of the multiplicity and change of its forms: but it does not follow that this substratum is in one case that out of which, and in the other that in which, the things become.

37^ Physics iii. 4, 203 a. 3: πάντες (τὸ ἄπειρον) ὡς ἀρχήν τινα τιθέασι τῶν ὄντων, οἱ μέν, ὥσπερ οἱ Πυθαγόρειοι καὶ Πλάτων, καθ’ αὑτό, οὐχ ὡς συμβεβηκός τινι ἑτέρῳ ἀλλ’ οὐσίαν αὐτὸ ὂν τὸ ἄπειρον.

38^ Physics i. 9: vide my Plat. Stud. p. 223 sqq. Ebben’s objections to my elucidation of this passage (De Plat. id. doctr. 41 sqq.) scarcely need detailed examination.

39^ Physics iv. 2, 209 b. ii. 33: Πλάτων τὴν ὕλην καὶ τὴν χώραν ταὐτό φησιν εἶναι ἐν τῷ Τιμαίῳ· τὸ γὰρ μεταληπτικὸν καὶ τὴν χώραν ἓν καὶ ταὐτόν. ἄλλον δὲ τρόπον ἐκεῖ τε λέγων τὸ μεταληπτικὸν καὶ ἐν τοῖς λεγομένοις ἀγράφοις δόγμασιν (on which cf. chap. ii. note 7) ὅμως τὸν τόπον καὶ τὴν χώραν τὸ αὐτὸ ἀπεφήνατο … Πλάτωνι μέντοι λεκτέον … διὰ τί οὐκ ἐν τόπῳ τὰ εἴδη καὶ οἱ ἀριθμοί, εἴπερ τὸ μεθεκτικὸν ὁ τόπος, εἴτε τοῦ μεγάλου καὶ τοῦ μικροῦ ὄντος τοῦ μεθεκτικοῦ εἴτε τῆς ὕλης, ὥσπερ ἐν τῷ Τιμαίῳ γέγραφεν. Plato in the Timaeus docs not use the expression ὕλη (vide note 9), but he describes the basis of the sensible in such a way that Aristotle ascribes that denotation to him. As he expressly makes an exception in the case of the ἄγραφα δόγματα, there can have been no description in them similar to that of the Timaeus; Metaphysics i. 7, 988 a. 25, the Great-and-Small are expressly denoted as a ὕλη ἀσώματος, and Physics iv. 7, 214 a. 13, Aristotle says: διό φασίν τινες εἶναι τὸ κενὸν τὴν τοῦ σώματος ὕλην, οἵπερ καὶ τὸν τόπον, which certainly refers to the Platonic school, and probably to Plato himself. Plato had actually described the χώρα as the τόπος of all perceptible existences (in the passage Timaeus 52 A sq., quoted in note 15 and note 34).

40^ This point, which is decisive for the present question, and too little considered by the supporters of a corporeal primary matter in Plato (as Susemihl, loc. cit. 409, remarks) will be discussed in greater detail below.

41^ Teichmüller’s objections (Stud. z. Gesch. d. Begr. 328 sq.) to the above view seem to me to prove little: ‘Matter, according to Plato, is the basis of motion and change; but this does not apply to space.’ But the basis of motion with Plato is the soul; matter so called is only the basis of Becoming, of the shifting change between opposed conditions. Why should not this basis, on Plato’s theory, reside in the fact that that which, according to its conceptual essence, is some thing ordered and regulated, be comes, when it admits the form of space, something unlimited and therefore unordered? It could not be said of space (vide note 15) that we perceive matter as in a dream when we say that everything must be in a determined place. But Plato does not say that we perceive matter as in a dream; he says that the χώρα is that in reference to which we imagine (ὀνειροπολοῦμεν) that everything must be in a place somewhere, whereas this is not true of the actually existing. The expression ὀνειρώττειν does not imply that χώρα cannot he perceived in the waking state, hut that we imagine what holds good only of sensible being, to hold good of all being generally. Teichmüller’s final objection is that Plato’s description elsewhere of matter does not apply to space. This in a certain sense is correct; the delineation of the antemundane chaotic matter (mentioned supra) cannot he transferred unchanged to the concept given in the passage before us. But Teichmüller, like all who deny to Plato the notion of such matter, is forced to reckon this delineation amongst the my ethical elements of the exposition. On the other hand, as regards Plato’s manner of envisagement, I cannot see the impossibility of saying that space becomes watery or fiery (τὴν δὲ δὴ γενέσεως τιθήνην ὑγραινομένην καὶ πυρουμένην, 52 D). In the formation of the elements, the πανδεχὲς becomes water, fire, etc. simply through a determined fashioning in space. This paragraph, however, by which every theory of Platonic matter has to establish its correctness, Teichmüller passes by unnoticed. He believes (p. 332 sq.) that Plato determines matter, just as Aristotle did afterwards, to be Potentiality (δύναμις). The only proof which he quotes to support his view, Timaeus 50 B, does not prove it in the least. It is there said of the φύσις τὰ πάντα σώματα δεχομένη (vide note 14): ταὐτὸν αὐτὴν ἀεὶ προσρητέον: ἐκ γὰρ τῆς ἑαυτῆς τὸ παράπαν οὐκ ἐξίσταται δυνάμεως. A determined δύναμις (here identical with φύσις), i.e. a determined property, is certainly thus attributed to it; and according to what follows this consists in its heing the πανδεχὲς. But we cannot conclude that in its essence it is nothing else than δύναμις; whether δύναμις is understood as the potentiality to become everything, or the power to produce everything. In Teichmüller’s further remarks, there is nothing to prove that, ‘according to Plato, the essence of matter is the potentiality of the Idea, or mere possibility, and nothing more.’

42^ Gesch. d. Phil. ii. 303-378; vide especially p. 369, 374 sqq. Similarly Fries Gesch. der Phil. i. 295, 300, 330, 351, and Maguire, An Essay on the Platonic Idea (Lond. 1800), 102 sq., who, however, has strangely misunderstood the words (Timaeus 52 B) τὸ δὲ μήτ’ ἐν γῇ μήτε που κατ’ οὐρανὸν οὐδὲν εἶναι.

43^ Loc. cit. p. 370.

44^ Eg. Republic vii. 524 C: μέγα μὴν καὶ ὄψις καὶ σμικρὸν ἑώρα, φαμέν, ἀλλ᾽ οὐ κεχωρισμένον ἀλλὰ συγκεχυμένον τι. Cf. Republic v. 479 A; vide pp. 228, 295.

45^ Republic v. 476 A: πάντων τῶν εἰδῶν πέρι ὁ αὐτὸς λόγος, αὐτὸ μὲν ἓν ἕκαστον εἶναι, τῇ δὲ τῶν πράξεων καὶ σωμάτων καὶ ἀλλήλων κοινωνίᾳ πανταχοῦ φανταζόμενα πολλὰ φαίνεσθαι ἕκαστον i.e. one and the same concept appears in different places; the concept of unity, for instance, not merely in the separate individuals of most widely different kinds, but in all the concepts which participate in it; hence the appearance of unity as such being manifold.

46^ Sophist 253 D; Philebus 15 D.

47^ Republic v. 476 C: ὁ οὖν καλὰ μὲν πράγματα νομίζων, αὐτὸ δὲ κάλλος μήτε νομίζων μήτε, ἄν τις ἡγῆται ἐπὶ τὴν γνῶσιν αὐτοῦ, δυνάμενος ἕπεσθαι, ὄναρ ἢ ὕπαρ δοκεῖ σοι ζῆν; σκόπει δέ. τὸ ὀνειρώττειν ἆρα οὐ τόδε ἐστίν, ἐάντε ἐν ὕπνῳ τις ἐάντ᾽ ἐγρηγορὼς τὸ ὅμοιόν τῳ μὴ ὅμοιον ἀλλ᾽ αὐτὸ ἡγῆται εἶναι ᾧ ἔοικεν … τί δέ; ὁ τἀναντία τούτων ἡγούμενός τέ τι αὐτὸ καλὸν καὶ δυνάμενος καθορᾶν καὶ αὐτὸ καὶ τὰ ἐκείνου μετέχοντα, καὶ οὔτε τὰ μετέχοντα αὐτὸ οὔτε αὐτὸ τὰ μετέχοντα ἡγούμενος, ὕπαρ ἢ ὄναρ αὖ καὶ οὗτος δοκεῖ σοι ζῆν.

48^ Phaedo 60 B sqq. Cf. ibid. 65 A; Republic x. 611 B.

49^ Phaedo 76 D; Republic x. 621 A.

50^ Timaeus 44 A: καὶ διὰ δὴ ταῦτα πάντα τὰ παθήματα (the previously described αἰσθήσεις) νῦν κατ’ ἀρχάς τε ἄνους ψυχὴ γίγνεται τὸ πρῶτον, ὅταν εἰς σῶμα ἐνδεθῇ θνητόν, etc.

51^ Phaedo 64 A; 65 E, 67 A; Timaeus 42 B sq.

52^ Phaedo 66 E, 67 B.

53^ Ritter, p. 350.

54^ Ritter’s theory of souls being Ideas, and its incorrectness, I have already adverted to (preceding chapter). His view of matter, however, can be adopted, with slight modifications, apart from that theory, and no further stress need be laid here upon the point.

55^ See my Plat. Stud. p. 216 sqq.

56^ Gr.-röm. Phil. ii. a. 297.

57^ For the μὴ ὄν cannot here be the predicate of a subject separate from it.

58^ Vide p. 226.

59^ Timaeus 51 A, 52 B (vide notes 14 and 15), where it is called ἀνόρατον, μετ’ ἀναισθησίας ἁπτὸν, 49 D sq. (supra, note 12).

60^ Timaeus 52 B: μετ’ ἀναισθησίας ἁπτὸν λογισμῷ τινι νόθῳ. In what this spurious thinking consists Plato himself can hardly explain: he makes use of this strange expression from inability to bring the notion of Matter under any of his categories. Timaeus Socrates 94 B, understands him to mean a knowledge by analogy (λογισμῷ νόθῳ τῷ μήτω κατ’ ἐνθυωρίαν νοῆσθαι, ἀλλὰ κατ’ ἀναλογίαν); and so Alex. Aphrod. Qu. nat. i. 1, p. 14; Simpl. Phys. 49 b u. Plotin. ii. 4, 10, p. 164 (i. 118 Kirchh.), interprets the expression as abstract thought, the ἀοριστία resulting from the removal of all sensible attributes.

61^ Loc. cit: [τὸ τῆς χώρας] μόγις πιστόν. κ.τ.λ. (vide note 15), 49 A: νῦν δὲ ὁ λόγος ἔοικεν εἰσαναγκάζειν χαλεπὸν καὶ ἀμυδρὸν εἶδος ἐπιχειρεῖν λόγοις ἐμφανίσαι.

62^ The τόδε and τοῦτο, which are equivalent; vide notes 12 and 14.

63^ Timaeus 52 C; vide notes 2 and 3.

64^ Cf. subsequent remarks in this chapter and in chap. x. on the relation of reason to natural necessity, on the origin of the latter and on evil.

65^ Cf. the quotations from Eudemus and Hermodorus, note 17, and p. 277, 137.

66^ Vide p. 262, 108.

67^ τὸ τῆς πλανωμένης εἶδος, Timaeus 48 A.

68^ I cannot, however, appeal to the passage (Sophist 242 D) quoted by Teichmüller (Stud. z. Gesch. d. Begr. 137) as evidence against the dualistic character of the Platonic system. In that passage the question is not as to dualism in general, but as to the assumption of two or three material principles, and especially as to the half-mythical cosmogonies of Pherecydes and (apparently) of Parmenides in the second part of his poem.

69^ Cf. Pt. ii. b. 216 sqq., 2nd edit

70^ Philebus 15 B; vide p. 252, 89.

71^ Philebus loc. cit.; Parmenides 130 E-131 E.

72^ Parmenides 131 E sq. The same objection, often made by Aristotle, is usually expressed by saying that the doctrine of Ideas necessitates the supposition of a τρίτος ἄνθρωπος. Vide infra.

73^ Parmenides 132 D sqq. Cf. Alexander’s quotation from Eudemus (Schol. in Arist. 566 a. ii. b. 15).

74^ Parmenides 133 B sqq.

75^ Cf. Plat. Stud. p. 181.

76^ Republic v. 476 A; Philebus 15 B. See note 47.

77^ Cf. the well-known allegory of the prisoners in the cave, Republic vii. 514 sqq., according to which the objects of sensible perception stand to true existences in the relation of the shadows to the bodies; when we take any object of sensible perception for something real, we are simply taking the shadows for the things themselves.

78^ The view developed above is essentially accepted by Susemihl, Genet. Entw. i. 352; Deuschle, Plat. Sprachphil. 27 sq.; Ribbing, Plat. Ideenl. i. 252, 262, 333, 360 sq.; and is combated by Stumpf, Verh. d. plat. Gott. z. Idee d. Guten, 23 sqq., and others. It is well known that Plato ascribes a being (and that too of a particular kind) not merely to Ideas but to soul and sensible things. We have seen (note 15) that, together with the Ideas and the corporeal world, he mentions space as a third class of Being: and he considers the Becoming and change of sensible things an objective incident. Aristotle, therefore, with whom the reality of the latter was an article of faith, in representing the εἴδη as χωριστὰ, as a second world besides the sensible world, had sufficient justification in the Platonic doctrine. The Ideas may be independent of and uninfluenced by the phenomenon, and there may be something in the phenomenon which separates it from the Idea. But, as was shown above, it does not follow that the phenomenon has equally an existence in and for itself; that its being does not rise into that of the Ideas; that consequently it exists without the Ideas, just as the Ideas exist without it. I do not assert that the Platonic view on the relation of things to the Ideas is exhausted by the explanation of the immanence of the one in the other. I merely say that this expresses one side of the doctrine: the other side, the distinction of things from the Ideas, the separateness of sensible being, which makes the Ideas something beyond the world of sense, εἴδη χωριστὰ, can not only not be explained by that determination, but cannot even be brought into harmony with it. An objector therefore must not be contented with showing that the latter determinations are to be bund in Plato (which I do not deny), but must prove that the others are not to be found and are not needed by the universal presuppositions of his system. To prove this is impossible so long as the passages above quoted are allowed to stand, and so long as the oft-repeated explanation (that only the Ideas have real Being, and are the object of knowledge, and that all the attributes of things, in short all the reality that they have, is imparted to them by the Ideas) holds good. If it seems impossible to attribute such a contradiction to Plato, we may ask how Plato could have proceeded in order to escape it on the suppositions of his system; and why this contradiction is less possible than the others which Aristotle has so forcibly pointed out. And we may notice that even Spinoza, whose conclusions otherwise are educed with the utmost rigour, continually involves himself in analogous contradictions, explaining the plurality of things and finitude generally as something which vanishes under reflective contemplation (sub aeternitatis specie), and yet as an objective reality, not merely a datum in our envisagement.

79^ Timaeus 29 D sq.; vide p. 291, note 181.

80^ Timaeus 46 D, 56 C, 68 D sq. and especially 47 E sq.

81^ At least in Timaeus 41 C. The fundamental position propounded, 30 A, in another connection (θέμις δ’ οὔτ’ ἦν οὔτ’ ἔστιν τῷ ἀρίστῳ δρᾶν ἄλλο πλὴν τὸ κάλλιστον), is applied to mean that God Himself can produce no mortal creation, and the whole distinction, to be mentioned later on, between that which νοῦς and that which ἀνάγκη has done in the world, points that way. Cf. Politicus 209 E sq. It will be shown below that no evil comes from God (chap. xii.).

82^ Metaphysics i. 6, 987 b 18 sqq. (where in the sentence so often quoted ἐξ ἐκείνων γὰρ κατὰ μέθεξιν τοῦ ἑνὸς [τὰ εἴδη] εἶναι τοὺς ἀριθμούς, etc., the words τὰ εἴδη are to be struck out), 988 a. 8 sqq., xi. 2, 1060 b. 6, xiv. 1, 1087 b. 12; Phys. iii. 4, 203 a. 3-16, iv. 2, 209 b.. 33. According to Simpl. Phys. 32 b. ra. 104, b. m. cf. 117 a. m. (Schol. in Ar. 334 b. 25, 362 a. 7, 368 a. 30), other Platonists, e.g. Speusippus, Xenocrates, Heraclides, Hestiaeus, gave a similar account, following the Platonic discourses on the Good. On the Great-and-Small of the early part of this chapter, and on the whole doctrine, cf. my Plat. Stud. 216 sqq., 252 sqq., 291 sqq.; Brandis, ii. a. 307 sqq.

83^ V. p. 253 sqq. The indefinite duad together with the unit is mentioned instead of the Great-and-Small as the material element (Alex, ad Metaphysics i. 6, 987 b. 33; i. 9, 990 b. 17. Idem apud Simpl. Phys. 32 b. m., 104 b.; Porphyry and Simpl. ibid.). Plato himself, however, seems to have used this exposition only with reference to numbers; the indefinite or the Great-and-Small of number is the even, the duad, which is called the δυὰς ἀόριστος, is distinction from the number two. (Cf. Aristotle Metaphysics xiii. 7, 1081 a. 13 sqq., b. 17 sqq. 31, 1082 a. 13, b. 30 c. q. 1085 b. 7, xiv. 3, 1091 a. 4, 1, 9, 990 b. 19: Alex, ad Metaphysics i. 6; Schol. 551 b. 19; Ps. Alex, ad Metaphysics 1085 b. 4, and my Plat. Stud. 220 sqq., with the results of which Brandis (ii. a. 310) and Schwegler (Aristotle Metaphysics iii. 64) agree). On the other hand we see from Theophrastus, Metaphysics (Frag. xii. Wimm.) 12, 33, that the indefinite duad was made use of in the Platonic schools, like the ἄπειρον of the Pythagoreans, as the basis of everything unite and sensible. Instead of the term Great-and-Small we find the Many and Few, the More and Less, Plurality, the Unlike, the Other, used to represent the material element (Aristotle Metaphysics xiv. 1, 1087 b. 4 sqq.). Each of these is added as Platonic to the disputed determinations of the Platonists; cf. on Unity and Plurality, Philebus 16 C; on the Like and Unlike, Timaeus 27 D sq., Philebus 25 A, Parmenides 161 C sq.; on the Unit and the θάτερον, Parmenides, Timaeus 35 A, Sophist 254 E sqq.; on the More and Less, the Many and Few, Philebus 24 E.

84^ Stallbaum (Proll. in Timaeus 44; Parmenides 136 sqq.) thinks that Platonic matter can be explained as simply equivalent to the eternal or infinite, which is also the matter of the Ideas.

85^ Brandis, Gr.-röm. Phil. ii. b. 622; cf. i. a. 307 sq.

86^ Aristotle Metaphysics i. 6, 988 a. 10 (following the quotation, chap. ii. 167): τὰ γὰρ εἴδη τοῦ τί ἐστιν αἴτια τοῖς ἄλλοις, τοῖς δ’ εἴδεσι τὸ ἕν̓, καὶ (sc. φανερὸν) τίς ἡ ὕλη ἡ ὑποκειμένη καθ’ ἧς τὰ εἴδη μὲν ἐπὶ τῶν αἰσθητῶν τὸ δ’ ἓν ἐν τοῖς εἴδεσι λέγεται (of which in that place the Ideas, here the One is predicted, so far as they contribute properties, definiteness of form), ὅτι αὕτη δυάς ἐστι, τὸ μέγα καὶ τὸ μικρόν.

87^ De Plat, et Arist. in constit. summ. philos. princ. differentia (Lpz. 1828), 21 sqq. and in many passages of his notes on Aristotle’s Physics and De Anima; cf. my Plat. Stud. p. 203.

88^ Stallbaum’s remark loc. cit. that the sensible is simply the copy, the Ideas the archetype, explains nothing; the question is, how the incompleteness of the copy can be reconciled with the equality of the elements in the Ideas and the sensible thing.

89^ V. p. 242, 50.

90^ Timaeus 49 A, 50 B, 51 A, 52 A.

91^ Timaeus 52 13; vide notes 15 and 2.

92^ Timaeus 47 E sqq. Details on this point later on.

93^ Vide supra, p. 240 sqq., but particularly the passage just quoted Timaeus 52 B: it is true only of the copy of Real Existence, that everything must be somewhere, for only this is in something else: τῷ δὲ ὄντως ὄντι βοηθὸς ὁ δι’ ἀκριβείας ἀληθὴς λόγος, ὡς ἕως ἄν τι τὸ μὲν ἄλλο ᾖ, τὸ δὲ ἄλλο, οὐδέτερον ἐν οὐδετέρῳ ποτὲ γενόμενον ἓν ἅμα ταὐτὸν καὶ δύο γενήσεσθον. Plato could not have expressed more definitely the independence of matter and the Idea.

94^ Ueberweg, Rhein. Mus. ix. 64 sqq. who cannot convince himself that Plato identified the Indefinite in the Ideas with the material of sensible things, and also refuses to recognise it in the accounts given by Aristotle. These accounts, he says, designate the sense, One and the Great-and-Small as the elements of all things; but this does not prevent the homonymous elements being considered as specifically distinct, at the same time as their generic similarity is recognised. In the Ideas, the first element is the One in the highest the Idea of the good or the Divinity. The second is the θάτερον or the separation of the Ideas from one another. In mathematics, the former is the number one, the latter is arithmetically the indefinite duad, geometrically space; in corporeal substances, the former is the ἔνυλον εἶδος (determined qualities), the latter matter. The same view is supported by Stumpf loc. cit. 77 sq.

95^ Aristotle often mentions the ἄπειρον or the μέγα καὶ μικρὸν as the ὕλη of the ideas; but he nowhere gives us to understand that this is an ἄπειρον of a different sort or the same ἄπειρον in a different way to that of sensible things. One and the same ἄπειρον is in both. Cf. Physics iii. 4, 203 a. 9: τὸ μέντοι ἄπειρον καὶ ἐν τοῖς αἰσθητοῖς καὶ ἐν ἐκείναις [ταῖς ἰδέαις] εἶναι. i. 6, 987 b. 18: Plato considered the στοιχεῖα of the Ideas as the στοιχεῖα of all things: ὡς μὲν οὖν ὕλην τὸ μέγα καὶ τὸ μικρὸν εἶναι ἀρχάς, ὡς δ’ οὐσίαν τὸ ἕν. Ibid. 988 a. 11; vide note 86. Metaphysics xi. 2, 1060 b. 6: τοῖς … ἐκ τοῦ ἑνὸς καὶ τῆς ὕλης τὸν ἀριθμὸν (viz. the Ideal number or the Idea) γεννῶσι πρῶτον. xiv. 1, 1087 b. 12: the Platonists do not correctly define the ἀρχαὶ or στοιχεῖα οἱ μὲν τὸ μέγα καὶ τὸ μικρὸν λέγοντες μετὰ τοῦ ἑνός, τρία ταῦτα [15] στοιχεῖα τῶν ἀριθμῶν, τὰ μὲν δύο ὕλην τὸ δ᾽ ἓν τὴν μορφήν. Stumpf loc. cit. remarks on this that, according to Aristotle, the ἕν the immediate cause only for the Ideas, and ‘the same explanation holds good of the μέγα καὶ μικρὸν.’ I cannot understand how the Great-and-Small can possibly be called ‘the immediate cause for the Ideas only’; there is nothing in the things of sense that can supply its place as the Idea in them supplies the place of the One. Nor can I agree with Stumpf’s conclusion. It is much more probable that Aristotle, had he meant that the ἄπειρον stands in different relation to sensible things from that in which it stands to the Ideas, would have said so, just as he does say in reference to the One. But in Metaphysics i. 6, 988, a. ii. (vide note 1), he says of one and the same ὕλη, the Great-and-Small — that in the Ideas, the One in things, the Idea, is assigned as the determination of form; and though in Physics i. 4, 6, 203 a. 15, 206 b. 27, he ascribes two ἄπειρα to Plato, in so far as Plato breaks up the ἄπειρον into the Great-and-Small, there is not a word of different sorts of Great-and-Small in his accounts of Plato’s doctrine as to the matter of Bodies. He says that in the Platonic school (and perhaps even with Plato himself) the Long and Short, the Broad and Narrow, the Deep and Shallow, were placed under the derivation of lengths, surfaces, and bodies respectively, instead of the Generic Concept comprehending them, viz. the Great-and-Small (Metaphysics i. 9, 992 a. 10: xiii. 9, 1085 a. 9. But he nowhere states that for the derivation of physical bodies the Great-and-Small was replaced by any other concept (such as that of the Full and Void). On the contrary, he meets Plato with the question, How can the Ideas be out of space, when the Great-and-Small or Matter, is the μεθεκυικὸν = space? (Physics iv. 2, 209 b. 33.) In Metaphysics i. 9, 992 b. 7, he draws the inference that if the ὑπεροχή and ἔλλειψις (equivalent to the Great-and-Small) are causes of motion, the Ideas also must be moved. Metaphysics xiv. 3. 1090 b. 32 (where cf. Bonitz on the text), in opposition to Plato, he asks, whence the mathematical numbers are derived. If from the Great-and-Small, they will be identical with the Ideal numbers. Physics iii. 6 end, he concludes that if the ἄπειρον is the comprehensive principle in sensible things, καὶ ἐν τοῖς νοητοῖς τὸ μέγα καὶ τὸ μικρὸν ἔδει περιέχειν τὰ νοητά. These objections and inferences would be impossible if Aristotle had not supposed that the Great-and-Small, which is intended to be an element of the Ideas, was identical with the cause of extent and motion in bodies, or if he had known anything of its distinction from the Great-and-Small in mathematical numbers. Aristotle could not possibly, says Stumpf, have charged Plato with such a contradiction, as that the matter of the Ideas was identical with that of sensible things, while the Ideas themselves were not in space; still less would he have left this contradiction unnoticed in his criticism of the doctrine of Ideas. But a mere glance shows that he has done both; he has charged Plato with the contradiction in question, and has made use of it in criticising the Ideas.

96^ Brandis loc. cit. p. 322; Stallbaum in Jahn and Seebode’s Jahrb, 1842, xxxv. 1, 63.

97^ Cf. my Plat. Stud. p. 200-16, an enquiry too little considered by the uncompromising partisans of Aristotelian accounts of Plato’s philosophy.

98^ Physics iv. 2; vide notes 39 and 9. I no longer appeal to Metaphysics i. 6, 987 b. 33, as the words there, ἔξω τῶν πρώτων, are too vague in their meaning, and Bonitz ad loc. has proved that my former reference of them to the Ideal numbers is unlikely. Probably these words, for which no suitable sense can be found, are an interpolation.

99^ Weisse ad Aristotle Physics p. 448: ‘It is remarkable that none of his followers, not even Aristotle, understood the meaning of this theory [of the derivation of Ideas], and its full signification.’ Ibid. p. 472 sqq. the identification of the Great-and-Small with space (consequently with the ὕλη of the Timaeus) is mentioned among Aristotle’s misunderstandings. Stallbaum (Jahn a Jahrb. 1842, xxxv. 1, 65 sq.) admits that ‘Aristotle may have mistaken the true sense of the Platonic doctrines,’ that not unfrequently ‘he attributes to them a meaning which is in direct contradiction to Plato’s,’ and particularly that the ‘objective being’ of the Ideas is falsely ‘converted into the ὕλη and to some extent into a material substance,’ though at the same time it must be conceded ‘that Aristotle has not foisted anything foreign on Plato, but has actually transmitted to us accounts, by means of which it becomes possible to comprehend and partly fill up Plato’s scientific foundation of the doctrine of Ideas.’ But is not this ‘attributing a meaning quite contradictory to Plato’s true meaning,’ foisting something foreign on Plato? Stallbaum (p. 64) consoles himself with, the fact that Plato applied the expression ‘the one and the infinite’ to the Ideas as well as to sensible things. But ‘his meaning was indisputably not that the content or the matter is the same in all and everything.’ In the Ideas ‘the infinite is the being of the Ideas in their indeterminate state, which is without any determined predicate and therefore cannot be thought of or known by itself particularly’; — ‘but with sensible things the case is quite different’; — ‘for in them the infinite is the unregulated and indeterminate principle of the sensible matter.’ This whole defence amounts, as we see, to the fact that Aristotle made use of Platonic expressions, but probably attributed to them a sense completely contradictory to their real meaning. [emphasis added here] The philological correctness of the word is maintained, where the real point is its true meaning in the exposition of philosophical opinions. Brandis does not go quite so far; he concedes, that though Aristotle cannot misunderstand any of Plato’s fundamental doctrine, he has failed to notice in his criticism the principles and aim of the theories, and has regarded their mythical dress or complement not as such, but as integral parts of doctrine. This grants nearly all that we require.

100^ Brandis, i. a. 322.

101^ The evidence for this is given below; as a preliminary I may merely refer to Metaphysics i. 9, 992 a. 3: γέγονε τὰ μαθήματα τοῖς νῦν ἡ φιλοσοφία, φασκόντων ἄλλων χάριν αὐτὰ δεῖν πραγματεύεσθαι., and the expressions of Metaphysics xiii. 9, 1086 a. 2, xiv. 2, 1088 b. 34.

102^ Vide p. 279, 145, 140; and note 83 of the present chapter.

103^ Arist. De An. i. 2, 404 b. 18: in accordance with the principle that like is known through like, we conclude that the soul must be composed out of the elements of all things, inasmuch as it could not otherwise know everything. This was the doctrine of Empedocles; and of Plato in the Timaeus: ‘Ομοίως δὲ καὶ ἐν τοῖς περὶ φιλοσοφίας λεγομένοις διωρίσθη, αὐτὸ μὲν τὸ ζῷον ἐξ αὐτῆς τῆς τοῦ ἑνὸς ἰδέας καὶ τοῦ πρώτου μήκους καὶ πλάτους καὶ βάθους, τὰ δ’ ἄλλα ὁμοιοτρόπως· ἔτι δὲ καὶ ἄλλως, νοῦν μὲν τὸ ἕν, ἐπιστήμην δὲ τὰ δύο (μοναχῶς γὰρ ἐφ’ ἕν), τὸν δὲ τοῦ ἐπιπέδου ἀριθμὸν δόξαν, αἴσθησιν δὲ τὸν τοῦ στερεοῦ. οἱ μὲν γὰρ ἀριθμοὶ τὰ εἴδη αὐτὰ καὶ αἱ [404b25] ἀρχαὶ ἐλέγοντο, εἰσὶ δ’ ἐκ τῶν στοιχείων, κρίνεται δὲ τὰ πράγματα τὰ μὲν νῷ, τὰ δ’ ἐπιστήμῃ, τὰ δὲ δόξῃ, τὰ δ’ αἰσθήσει· εἴδη δ’ οἱ ἀριθμοὶ οὗτοι τῶν πραγμάτων. Metaphysics xiii. 8, 1084 a. 12: ἀλλὰ μὴν εἰ μέχρι τῆς δεκάδος ὁ ἀριθμός, ὥσπερ τινές φασιν, πρῶτον μὲν ταχὺ ἐπιλείψει τὰ εἴδη — οἷον εἰ ἔστιν ἡ τριὰς αὐτοάνθρωπος, τίς ἔσται ἀριθμὸς αὐτόιππος. Still, it does not follow that Plato himself or one of his scholars referred the Idea of man to the number three; this is simply an example chosen by Aristotle, to show the absurdity of the Platonic identification of Ideas and numbers. Nor must we conclude too much from the passage of the De Anima. As has been already shown, vol. i. 349, from this and other passages, Plato derived the line from the number two, superficies from three, and body from four. He compares reason with unity, knowledge with duality, etc., and he therefore calls the former the unit and the latter the number two, etc., following out this Pythagorean symbolism, whilst to each act of cognition he assigns a higher number, further removed from unity, belonging to sensible and corporeal things, in proportion as the act of cognition is further removed from the single intuition of the Idea and turns to the manifold and corporeal (cf. p. 219, 147). Finally he asserts that the Idea of living Being (on which cf. Timaeus 30, c. 39, E 28 c.) is composed of the Idea of the unit and the Ideas of the corporeal, and the rest of living beings (ζῷα is to be supplied with ἄλλα), each in its kind, are composed out of corresponding elements. By the ἄλλα ζῷα we may either understand actual living beings, or more probably (according to Timaeus 30, c. 39), the Ideas of separate living beings comprehended under the Idea of the αὐτὸζῷον. So much may be concluded from the statement of Aristotle. Everything besides is his own addition. We cannot therefore assert that Plato himself compared reason with unity, reflection with duality, etc., because he believed the soul capable of knowing everything, only if it had in itself in the numbers the elements of all things. Aristotle is the first who propounded that theory and combined it with the further determination that the numbers are the principles of things. We must not attribute to the statements about the αὐτὸζῷον the object for which Aristotle used it. These seem rather to have sprung from the consideration, that just as living beings are composed of soul and body, there must also be in the Idea a something corresponding to the soul, and a something corresponding to the body. But as Aristotle usually looks for the most remote traces of every doctrine in his predecessors, he recognises the doctrine of the soul including all principles in itself (as necessary to its universal power of cognition), wherever it is composed of the most general elements of things. (The explanations of Simplicius, De An. 7 loc. cit., and Philoponus, De An. C 2, m. sqq., of the passage περὶ ψυχῆς is not from the Aristotelian treatise περὶ φιλοσοφία, as Simpl. himself gives us to understand: still, both consider this treatise to be the same as that on the Good.) — I cannot here enter further into the treatise on the Soul, nor the explanations, somewhat different from my own, to be found in Trendelenburg (Plat, de id. et num. doctr. 85 sqq.; in Aristotle de anima 220-234); Brandis (perd. Arist. libr. 48-61; Rhein. Mus. ii. 1828, 568 sqq.); Bonitz (Disputatt. Plat. 79 sqq.); Stallbaum (Plato Parmenides 280 sq). Susemihl (Genet, Darst. ii. 543 sq.). Cf. my Plat. Stud. 227 sq., 271 sqq. on the subject; it is unnecessary here to discuss some variations in the present exposition from my earlier views.

104^ Amongst others who express themselves to this effect are Bonitz, Aristotle Metaphysics ii. 94; Susemihl, Genet. Entw. 541 sqq., 550 sqq.; Ribbing. Plat. Ideenl. i. 390.

105^ The case, of course, is altered if Teichmüller (Stud. z. Gesch. d. Begr. 280 sqq.) is right in seeing in the above statement ‘the most striking indirect proof of the incorrectness of a view which leads to such inextricable contradictions.’ He would escape this contradiction by representing Plato as a pure Pantheist. To use Teichmüller’s own rather infelicitous phraseology, Plato must be understood ‘in an Athanasian, not an Arian sense.’ I.e. the Intelligible forms only the immanent soul of the Becoming, the world is the continuous birth of the Deity (who is at once its father and son), and so the transcendence of the Idea as opposed to the phenomenon is entirely abolished (p. 154-166 sq.). Plato’s system is ‘a Pantheistic Hylozoism and Monism’ (p. 254). We may certainly call for proof of such assertions, in the face, not only of all previous expositions of Platonic philosophy, but of Plato’s own enunciations in a contrary direction. But Teichmüller scarcely seeks to give us one. We can see plainly from our investigations, as far as they have hitherto gone, that there is an element in Plato’s system, which, taken separately, might lead to Teichmüller’s position; but we also see that it is counter-balanced by another, which prevents it from becoming dominant. If we keep exclusively to the position that things are what they are only through the presence of the Ideas, Teichmüller’s conclusions are unavoidable. If we consider that Plato’s doctrine of Ideas arose out of the sharp distinction between the Constant and the Changing, the immutable Existence and the mutable contradictory phenomenon, and that it never enabled him to explain the latter from the former, we are forced to allow a residuum of Reality in things not derivable from the Idea; and the world of sense appears as a second world, with a Reality of its own, as opposed to the world of Concepts, which latter, according to the original view of the doctrine of Ideas, is yet the sole Reality. The Ideas have passed from being into something transcendental. It is the part of historical investigation to grapple with such a contradiction, but not to remove it by ignoring one-half of the Platonic doctrine. The relation to the world assigned by Teichmüller (p. 245 sqq.) to the Platonic Deity is rather attributed by Plato to the World-soul. The World-soul is inserted between the Ideas and the phenomenal world, because such a relation was unsuitable to the former.

106^ Parmenides 129 A, 130 E; Phaedo 100 C sqq.: Symposium 211 B; Republic v. 476 A; Euthydemus 301 A, etc. This relation is expressed by μεταλαμβάνειν, μετέχειν, μέθεξις, παρουσία, κοινωνία.

107^ Metaphysics i. 6, 987 b. 9: according to Plato the things of sense are named after the Ideas (i.e. they receive their attributes from them): κατὰ μέθεξιν γὰρ εἶναι τὰ πολλὰ ὁμώνυμα τοῖς εἴδεσιν (the many which are synonymous with the Ideas exist only through participation in the Ideas; cf. Plat. Stud 234; Schwegler and Bonitz ad loc.). τὴν δὲ μέθεξιν τοὔνομα μόνον μετέβαλεν: οἱ μὲν γὰρ Πυθαγόρειοι μιμήσει τὰ ὄντα φασὶν εἶναι τῶν ἀριθμῶν, Πλάτων δὲ μεθέξει, τοὔνομα μεταβαλών. τὴν μέντοι γε μέθεξιν ἢ τὴν μίμησιν ἥτις ἂν εἴη τῶν εἰδῶν ἀφεῖσαν ἐν κοινῷ ζητεῖν. Ibid. c. 9, 991 a. 20 (vide p. 266, 112).

108^ Vide supra, p. 316 sq.

109^ Cf. Phaedo 100 D (see preceding chapter, note 109). Timaeus 50 C vide 299, 14): the forms which enter into matter bear the impress of the Ideas τρόπον τινὰ δύσφραστον καὶ θαυμαστόν. Ibid. 51 A: the basis of all determined bodies is an εἶδος ἄμορφον, πανδεχὲς, μεταλανβάξον δὲ ἀπορώτατά πῃ τοῦ νοητὸυ — the latter words do not state that matter in and by itself is a νοητὸν in a certain sense, but they are to be interpreted in the light of 50 C.

110^ Theaetetus 176; Cratylus 389 A sq.; Parmenides 132 C sqq.; Phaedrus 250 A; Republic vi. 500 E; ix. 592 B; Timaeus 28 A sqq., 30 C sqq., 48 E. The attributes of things are the copy of the Ideas, and so far, Plato says, (Timaeus 50 C, 51 B) the corporeal admits in itself the μιμήματα of the Ideas; and as the things themselves thereby become like the Ideas, they can be directly called imitations of them (μιμήματά), as Timaeus 49 A; cf. 30 C.

111^ Parmenides loc. cit.

112^ Vide supra, p. 317 sq.

113^ Vide p. 266, 112.

114^ Cf., besides the following note, Sophist 235 C sq.; Philebus 28 C sqq.; Laws, x. 897 B sqq., and supra, preceding chapter, notes 111, 158, 171.

115^ Timaeus 48 A (vide supra, note 6). 46 C: ταῦτ’ οὖν πάντα ἔστιν τῶν συναιτίων οἷς θεὸς ὑπηρετοῦσιν χρῆται τὴν τοῦ ἀρίστου κατὰ τὸ δυνατὸν (this has occurred p. 30 A) ἰδέαν ἀποτελῶν. 46 E: λεκτέα μὲν ἀμφότερα τὰ τῶν αἰτιῶν γένη, χωρὶς δὲ ὅσαι μετὰ νοῦ καλῶν καὶ ἀγαθῶν δημιουργοὶ καὶ ὅσαι μονωθεῖσαι φρονήσεως τὸ τυχὸν ἄτακτον ἑκάστοτε ἐξεργάζονται. 56 C, etc.; vide following note. Cf. further the quotations in the last chapter, and Politicus 273 C (τὸ τῆς πάλαιᾶς ἀναρμοστίας πάθος, which by its growth in the world left to itself, introduces a continual decrease of the good, and an increase of the bad, and would bring the world to dissolution if it were not for the interference of the divinity in the ἄπειρος τόπος τῆς ἀνομοιόυητος). It will be shown later on how this gives rise to a bad World-soul in the Laws. Still, Plutarch’s opinion (Procreat. Anim. in Timaeus C 5 sqq.) which is followed by Stallbaum, Plat. Polit. 100; Martin, Etudes i. 355, 369, and Ueberweg, Rhein. Mus. ix. 76, 79, viz. that Plato in the earlier writings derived the bad and evil from this and not from matter, is not correct, even if, with Stallbaum the one World-soul, quem rerum divinarum invasit incuria, is put in the place of the bad World-soul. The Politicus, 269 D sq., derives the confused condition of the world from the nature of the corporeal; and again, 273 B, we find: τούτων δὲ (the declension from completeness in the world) αὐτῷ τὸ σωματοειδὲς τῆς συγκράσεως αἴτιον, τὸ τῆς πάλαι ποτὲ φύσεως σύντροφον, ὅτι πολλῆς ἦν μετέχον ἀταξίας πρὶν εἰς τὸν νῦν κόσμον ἀφικέσθαι. The Timaeus makes no mention of a bad World-soul; but (46 E) we find express mention of the corporeal (47 E), matter and material causes are spoken of as τὰ δι’ ἀνάγκης γιγνόμενα, τὸ τῆς πλανωμένης εἶδος αἰτίας; 52 D sq., to matter are ascribed heterogeneous powers and an unregulated motion, before the formation of the world; where as from the soul are derived only order and proportion. The visible, to which the soul (acc. to 37 A) does not belong, is represented as ordered by God; the soul as the cause of regulated movement is formed not from an older unregulated soul, but from the Ideal and corporeal substance. Phaedrus 245 D sq.: the world directing soul, not the unregulated, is unbecome. It is therefore no misunderstanding of Plato’s doctrine when Aristotle, Physics i. 9, 192 a. 15, speaks of its κακοποιὸν with reference to the Platonic matter, and Eudemus (acc. to Plato loc. cit. 7, 3) accuses Plato of calling the same principle at one time μήυηρ καὶ τιθήνη), and at another representing it as αἰτία καὶ ἀρχή. Cf. Steinhart, vi. 95.

116^ Phaedo 96 A sqq. (cf. p. 10, 18), Socrates blames the Physicists, particularly Anaxagoras, because they wish to explain all things merely out of air, aether, wind, water, and the like, instead of demonstrating their proper reason teleologically; for if mind (νοῦς) is the creator of the world, it must have arranged everything in the best possible way: ἐκ δὲ δὴ τοῦ λόγου τούτου οὐδὲν ἄλλο σκοπεῖν προσήκειν ἀνθρώπῳ … ἀλλ᾽ ἢ τὸ ἄριστον καὶ τὸ βέλτιστον. Having learnt Anaxagoras’ doctrine of νοῦς, he hoped that with regard to the formation of the earth, for instance, and all other points, he would ἐπεκδιηγήσεσθαι τὴν αἰτίαν καὶ τὴν ἀνάγκην, λέγοντα τὸ ἄμεινον καὶ ὅτι αὐτὴν ἄμεινον ἦν τοιαύτην εἶναι … καὶ εἴ μοι ταῦτα ἀποφαίνοι, παρεσκευάσμην ὡς οὐκέτι ποθεσόμενος αἰτίας ἄλλο εἶδος, etc. In this expectation, however, he was entirely deceived; Anaxagoras, like all the rest, spoke merely of physical, not final, causes. This procedure, however, is no better than if one were to say, Socrates acts in all things reasonably, and then mentioned his sinews and bones as the reason of his acts. ἀλλ᾽ αἴτια μὲν τὰ τοιαῦτα καλεῖν λίαν ἄτοπον: εἰ δέ τις λέγοι ὅτι ἄνευ τοῦ τὰ τοιαῦτα ἔχειν … οὐκ ἂν οἷός τ᾽ ἦ ποιεῖν τὰ δόξαντά μοι, ἀληθῆ ἂν λέγοι: ὡς μέντοι διὰ ταῦτα ποιῶ ἃ ποιῶ, καὶ ταῦτα νῷ πράττων, ἀλλ᾽ οὐ τῇ τοῦ βελτίστου αἱρέσει, πολλὴ ἂν καὶ μακρὰ ῥᾳθυμία εἴη τοῦ λόγου. τὸ γὰρ μὴ διελέσθαι οἷόν τ᾽ εἶναι ὅτι ἄλλο μέν τί ἐστι τὸ αἴτιον τῷ ὄντι, ἄλλο δὲ ἐκεῖνο ἄνευ οὗ τὸ αἴτιον οὐκ ἄν ποτ᾽ εἴη αἴτιον, etc. (cf. p. 262, 109). Timaeus 40 C (vide preceding note). 46 D: τὸν δὲ νοῦ καὶ ἐπιστήμης ἐραστὴν ἀνάγκη τὰς τῆς ἔμφρονος φύσεως αἰτίας πρώτας μεταδιώκειν, ὅσαι δὲ ὑπ’ ἄλλων μὲν κινουμένων, ἕτερα δὲ κατὰ ἀνάγκης κινούντων γίγνονται, δευτέρας, etc. (preceding note). 48 A (vide p. 227, 8), 68 E (at the end of the review of the physical distinctions and causes of things): ταῦτα δὴ πάντα τότε ταύτῃ πεφυκότα ἐξ ἀνάγκης ὁ τοῦ καλλίστου τε καὶ ἀρίστου δημιουργὸς ἐν τοῖς γιγνομένοις παρελάμβανεν … χρώμενος μὲν ταῖς περὶ ταῦτα αἰτίαις ὑπηρετούσαις, τὸ δὲ εὖ τεκταινόμενος ἐν πᾶσιν τοῖς γιγνομένοις αὐτός. διὸ δὴ χρὴ δύ’ αἰτίας εἴδη διορίζεσθαι, τὸ μὲν ἀναγκαῖον, τὸ δὲ θεῖον, καὶ τὸ μὲν θεῖον ἐν ἅπασιν ζητεῖν κτήσεως ἕνεκα εὐδαίμονος βίου, καθ’ ὅσον ἡμῶν ἡ φύσις ἐνδέχεται, τὸ δὲ ἀναγκαῖον ἐκείνων χάριν, λογιζόμενον ὡς ἄνευ τούτων οὐ δυνατὰ αὐτὰ ἐκεῖνα ἐφ’ οἷς σπουδάζομεν μόνα κατανοεῖν οὐδ’ αὖ λαβεῖν οὐδ’ ἄλλως πως μετασχεῖν.

117^ Timaeus 48 A (supra, p. 227, 8). Ibid. 56 C (on the formation of the elements): καὶ δὴ καὶ τὸ τῶν ἀναλογιῶν … τὸν θεόν, ὅπῃπερ ἡ τῆς ἀνάγκης ἑκοῦσα πεισθεῖσά τε φύσις ὑπεῖκεν, ταύτῃ πάντῃ δι’ ἀκριβείας ἀποτελεσθεισῶν ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ συνηρμόσθαι ταῦτα ἀνὰ λόγον. Cf. Theophr. Metaphysics 33 (vol. i. 314, 3).

118^ Pp. 227, 241 sq.

119^ Metaphysics i. 6, end, it is said of Plato, ἔτι δὲ τὴν τοῦ εὖ καὶ τοῦ κακῶς αἰτίαν τοῖς στοιχείοιη (the unit and matter) ἀπέδωκεν ἑκατέροις ἑκατέρον, and Physics i. 9, 192 a. 14 Aristotle, as already remarked, speaks in Plato’s sense of the κακοποιὸν of matter.

120^ Cf., also, Republic ii. 379 C: οὐδ’ ἄρα, ἦν δ’ ἐγώ, ὁ θεός, ἐπειδὴ ἀγαθός, πάντων ἂν εἴη αἴτιος, ὡς οἱ πολλοὶ λέγουσιν, ἀλλὰ ὀλίγων μὲν τοῖς ἀνθρώποις αἴτιος, πολλῶν δὲ ἀναίτιος· πολὺ γὰρ ἐλάττω τἀγαθὰ τῶν κακῶν ἡμῖν, καὶ τῶν μὲν ἀγαθῶν οὐδένα ἄλλον αἰτιατέον, τῶν δὲ κακῶν ἄλλ’ ἄττα δεῖ ζητεῖν τὰ αἴτια (by which primarily, though not exclusively, the human will is to be understood). Politicus 273 D: σμικρὰ μὲν τἀγαθά, πολλὴν δὲ τὴν τῶν ἐναντίων κρᾶσιν ἐπεγκεραννύμενος (ὁ κοσμος). Theaetetus 170 A (infra, chap. x. note 6).

121^ Cf. Philebus 28 C sq., 30 A sqq., 64 C sqq.; Phaedo, loc. cit., Timaeus 29 E sq. In other passages the reference to the interests of mankind comes forward more strongly; particularly in the last part of the Timaeus, the contents of which naturally lead us to expect this.

122^ Cf. on this the quotations in note 116, particularly Phaedo 98 B sqq.

123^ Böckh, On the formation of the World-soul in the Timaeus; Daub and Creuzer’s Studien, iii. 34 sqq. (now Kl. Schr. iii. 109 sqq.); Enquiry into Plato’s Cosmic System (1852), p. 18 sq.; Brandis, Deperd. Aristotle libr. 64, Rhein. Mus. ii. 1828, p. 579; Gr.-röm. Phil. ii. a. 361 sqq.; Stallbaum, Schola crit. et hist. sup. loco Timaeus 1837; Plat. Timaeus p. 134 sqq.; Ritter, ii. 365 sq. 396; Trend. Plat, de id. et num. doctr. 52, 95; Bonitz, Disputatt. Plat. 47 sqq.; Martin Etudes I. 346 sqq.; Ueberweg, Ueber die plat. Weltseele, Rhein. Mus. f. Phil ix. 37 sqq.; Steinhart, Pl. WW. vi. 94-104; Susemihl, Genet. Entq. ii. 352 sq.; Philologus, ii. Supplementbl. (1863), p. 219 sqq.; Wohlstein, Mat. und Weltseele, Marl). 1863; Wohlrab, Quid Pl. de An. mundi elementis docuerit, Dresd. 1872.

124^ Timaeus 30 B; cf. supra, p. 228, 171.

125^ Timaeus 35 A: τῆς ἀμερίστου καὶ ἀεὶ κατὰ ταὐτὰ ἐχούσης οὐσίας καὶ τῆς αὖ περὶ τὰ σώματα γιγνομένης μεριστῆς τρίτον ἐξ ἀμφοῖν ἐν μέσῳ συνεκεράσατο οὐσίας εἶδος, τῆς τε ταὐτοῦ φύσεως αὖ [περὶ] καὶ τῆς τοῦ ἑτέρου, καὶ κατὰ ταὐτὰ συνέστησεν ἐν μέσῳ τοῦ τε ἀμεροῦς αὐτῶν καὶ τοῦ κατὰ τὰ σώματα μεριστοῦ: καὶ τρία λαβὼν αὐτὰ ὄντα συνεκεράσατο εἰς μίαν πάντα ἰδέαν, τὴν θατέρου φύσιν δύσμεικτον οὖσαν εἰς ταὐτὸν συναρμόττων βίᾳ. μειγνὺς δὲ μετὰ τῆς οὐσίας καὶ ἐκ τριῶν ποιησάμενος ἕν, πάλιν ὅλον τοῦτο μοίρας ὅσας προσῆκεν διένειμεν, ἑκάστην δὲ ἔκ τε ταὐτοῦ καὶ θατέρου καὶ τῆς οὐσίας μεμειγμένην, etc. In the interpretation suggested in the text, I have gone on the lately universal supposition that the unmeaning περὶ, here enclosed in brackets, is to be struck out. On the other hand, I believe that we must retain the αὖ before it, which Stallbaum ad loc. changes into ὅν, and Bonitz, Hermann (in his edition), and Susemihl agree in wishing to remove, not merely because this is the easiest explanation of the insertion of πέρι (from the preceding αὖ πέρι), but because the separation of the ταὐτὸν and θατέρον from the ἀμερίστον and the μερίστον, thus expressed is really Platonic. Although the ταὐτὸν is connected with the Divided, and the θατέρον with the Undivided, they in no way coincide; both pairs of concepts have a separate import, and in their combination give two classifications which cross each other. The ταὐτὸν and θατέρον both occur in the Indivisible and the Divisible, in the Idea and the Corporeal, and arc found in intellectual as well as sensible knowledge (Timaeus 37 A sq.; Sophist 255 C sqq., vide pp. 250, 278). The soul is indebted to the ἀμερίστον for its power of knowing the Ideal, to the μερίστον for its power of knowing the sensible, to the ταὐτὸν for its ability to conceive (in sensible and Ideal alike) the relation of identity, to the θατέρον for its ability (equally in both) to conceive the relation of difference (see on this point Timaeus loc. cit. together with the elucidation of the passage later on in this chapter. Sensible perception is here represented as proceeding from the κύκλος θατέρον, thought from the κύκλος ταὐτοῦ; but this does not prove that the θατέρον is identical with the αἰσθητὸν, and the ταὐτὸν with the νοητόν the circle of the ταὐτὸν is, according to p. 30 C, that in which the fixed stars move, the circle of the θατέρον, with its seven-fold divisions, that in which the planets move. Each of these circles, however, according to 35 B, cf. note 137, is composed in all its parts out of the ταὐτὸν, the θατέρον, and οὐσία). In order to express this different import of the two pairs, Plato keeps them apart in his exposition. Ueberweg correctly points out, p. 41 sq., that the substance of the World-soul is formed by a kind of chemical mixture out of the ἀμερίστον and the μερίστον; both are completely blended and no longer appear in it separately. The ταὐτὸν and θατέρον do appear separately, both according to the passage before us, and 37 A. Only these two are mentioned as parts of the World-soul, together with οὐσία, the Indivisible and the Divisible are merely elements of οὐσία. (Cf. Martin, i. 358 sqq.; Steinhart, vi. 243; on the other hand, Susemihl, Wohlrab, and others consider with Böckh that the ταὐτὸν and θατέρον are identical in signification with the ἀμερίστον and μερίστον.) The genitives τῆς μερίστον — ἀμερίστον appear to me to depend on the following ἐν μέσῳ; the genitive τῆς τε ταὐτοῦ φυσ., etc. on ἐξ: so that the sense is: Between the divisible and indivisible substance he mixed a third, composed out of the two, and further also (αὖ) composed out of the nature of the ταὐτὸν and θατέρον, and formed it so as to stand midway between the indivisible part of them, and the part which can be divided in bodies. Instead of τοῦ τε ἀμεροῦς αὐτῶν Steinhart loc. cit. would read, with Proclus in Timaeus 187 E, τοῦ τε ἀμεροῦς αὐτοῦ; but in the present passage Plato had no occasion to speak of the Indivisible καθ’ αὐτό. Wohlrab, p. 10, on the other hand, would refer the αὐτοῦ to the τρίτον οὐσίας εἶδος; but it is hard to see how this could be placed between the ἀμερὲς and the μερίστον in it, consequently between its own elements. Susemihl’s conjecture (Philol. Anzeiger, v. 672), that αὐτῶν is to be changed into ἀυτὸ. is more likely. I cannot here enter more fully into the various interpretations of the present passage, given most fully by Susemihl in the Philologus, and by Wohlrab.

126^ Further details on this point, p. 212.

127^ De An. i. 2, 406 b. 25 sqq.

128^ Timaeus 30 A, C sq., 37 A, 92 end.

129^ Vide p. 238, 171.

130^ ἡ δυναμένη αὐτὴ αὑτὴν κινεῖν κίνησις. Laws, 896 A.

131^ Laws x. 891 E-896 E. The leading idea of this proof has, however, been already expressed in the Phaedrus 245 C: μόνον δὴ τὸ αὑτὸ κινοῦν (the soul), ἅτε οὐκ ἀπολεῖπον ἑαυτό, οὔποτε λήγει κινούμενον, ἀλλὰ καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις ὅσα κινεῖται τοῦτο πηγὴ καὶ ἀρχὴ κινήσεως. Cf. Cratylus 400 A; Timaeus 34 B: God did not form the soul after the body; οὐ γὰρ ἂν ἄρχεσθαι πρεσβύτερον ὑπὸ νεωτέρου συνέρξας εἴασεν … ὁ δὲ καὶ γενέσει καὶ ἀρετῇ προτέραν καὶ πρεσβυτέραν ψυχὴν σώματος ὡς δεσπότιν καὶ ἄρξουσαν ἀρξομένου ξυνεστήσατο.

132^ Philebus 30 A sqq. (p. 264, 111). So, 28 D sq., the stars and their motions were appealed to, to prove that not chance, but reason and intellect govern the world. Timaeus 47 A sqq.; b Sophist 265 C sq.; Laws, x. 897 13. sqq.

133^ Vide part i. p. 147, 1.

134^ Philebus 29 A sqq., and supra, loc. cit.

135^ Cf. Phaedrus 249 B.

136^ Timaeus 35 A, Plato says distinctly that the οὐσία ἀμερίστος denotes the Ideal, the οὐσίας μεριστὴ the Corporeal; while he repeatedly calls the latter περὶ τὰ σώματα, and describes the former just as he previously, 27 D, described the Ideas (there: ἀεὶ κατὰ ταὐτὰ ἐχούσης οὐσίας; here: ἀεὶ κατὰ ταὐτὰ ὄν). It does not follow that the Ideas as such, and sensible things as such, are in the World-soul; Plato simply says that the substance of the World-soul is a mixture of the sensible and the Ideal substance. The substance of the sensible and the Ideal is something different from the individual Ideas, and the individual sensible things (cf. Ueberweg, p. 54 sq.); it signifies (as Simpl. De An. 6 b. o. rightly remarks) merely the νοητὸς and αἰσθητὸς ὅρος, the γενικὰ στπιχεῖά τοῦ ὅντος, the element of the Ideal and the Sensible, the universal essence of it. After the deduction of figurative expressions (as Simpl. loc. cit. 72 b. o. virtually acknowledges), the general result is that the soul stands midway between Sensible and Ideal, and partakes in both. Plato speaks of a participation of the soul in the Idea. In the Phaedo, 105 B sqq., et saepius, Martin, i. 355 sqq. explains the μέριστὸν as the un-ordered soul: the ἀμέριστον as the νοῦς which emanates from God. The former supposition has been already refuted, note 115; the idea of an emanation is quite un-Platonic.

137^ Timaeus 36 C, the motion of the heaven of the fixed stars is assigned (ἐπεφήμισεν) to the ταὐτὸν, that of the planets the θατέρον, Plato, however, cannot mean that in the former there is no mutability, and in the latter no fixedness. Without mutability no motion at all, without fixedness no regulated motion is imaginable; but (Sophist 255 B), both these qualities are attributed to motion, and the Politicus 269 D indicates the element of the mutability in the motion of the universe; while (Timaeus 35 B), in the division of the World-soul it is expressly remarked that each of its parts is composed out of οὐσία, ταὐτὸν, and θατέρον; and (37 A sq.), the knowledge both of Identity and Difference is ascribed to the circle of the ταὐτὸν and that of the θατέρον alike. The meaning is that in the sphere of the fixed stars the ταὐτὸν, in that of the planets to the θατέρον, is predominant, as Plut. 24, says.

138^ 37 A sqq.

139^ Ancient and modern commentators have combined the ταὐτὸν and θατέρον of the Timaeus in different ways with the other well-known principles of the Platonic system. Modern interpreters usually presuppose the identity of the ταὐτὸν with the ἀμέριστον, and of θατέρον with the μέριστον. Ritter, especially (ii. 366, 396), understands the Ideal by the ταὐτὸν, and the Material by the θατέρον; so too, Stallbaum (Plato’s Timaeus 136 sq.) — who compares the former with the Finite, the latter with the Infinite — and most of the commentators. Tennemann (Plat. Phil. iii. 66) understands Unity and plurality or Mutability; Böckh (loc. cit. 34 sqq.; cf. Cosmic system of Pl. p. 19), Unity and the indefinite duad, which is more Platonic, instead of the duad; Trendelenburg (Plat, de id. et num. doctr. 95), Ueberweg (54 sq.), and apparently Brandis (Gr.-röm. Phil. ii. a. 360), would say the Infinite or the Great and Small. I cannot agree unconditionally with the latter explanations of the μέριστὸν and the ἀμέριστον. The mixture of these two elementary principles must clearly represent the soul as something midway between the Ideas and sensible things. But this is not favoured either by the theory that it is composed out of Unity and Duality, or the theory that it is composed out of the Unit and the Infinite. Unity and Duality are merely the elements of number (according to the later form of the doctrine, of ideal, as well as mathematical number); the Unit and the Infinite, conversely, must exist in everything, Sensible and Ideal alike. Ueberweg’s expedient, of supposing a threefold Unit, and a threefold Infinite (of which only the second the mathematical unit and the mathematical or, more accurately, the spatial infinite are to be taken as elements of the world-soul), has been already refuted, p. 327 sq. My own view is that the ἀμέριστον denotes the Ideal, the μέριστον the Corporeal. To say that these two are in all things (as Plut. c. 3, 3; and Martin, i. 379, object) is only correct if we include the soul, by means of which the Sensible participates in the Idea, in our reckoning. It has been already proved, p. 343, that the ταὐτὸν and θατέρον do not coincide with the ἀμέριστον and the μέριστον. And the Greek interpreters as a rule (Proclus Timaeus 187 C, says not all), distinguish the two, e.g. Xenocrates and Crantor ap. Plut. c. 1-3; Proclus 181 C sqq., 187 A sqq.; Simpl. de an. 6 b. u.: Philop. De an. C 2, D 7: Timaeus Locr. 95 E (the details of these explanations are to be found in the passages themselves and in Martin, i. 371 sqq.; Steinhart, vi. 243). Plutarch too, c. 25, 3, agrees in distinguishing them; by the μέριστον, however, he understands (c. 6) as does Martin, i. 355 sq., not matter, but the ordered soul, which even before the formation of the world, moved the Material, and became the World-soul through its association with Reason (the ἀμέριστον: cf. note 115). Timaeus of Locri (90 A) makes two motive powers out of the ταὐτὸν and θατέρον by an arbitrary limitation of their meaning. The suppositions of Brandis in the two older treatises, that the Great-and-Small is meant by the μέριστον and ἀμέριστον, or the ταὐτὸν and θατέρον, and the kindred theory of Stallbanm, sup. loco Timaeus p. sqq., who would understand the indefinite duad or (sic) ‘the Ideal and the corporeally Infinite,’ have been refuted by Bonitz, p. 53; those of Herbart (Emil. in die Phil. W. i. 251), and Bonitz (p. 08 sqq. and cf. Martin, i. 358 sqq.), viz. that the soul is composed out of the Ideas of Identity, Difference, and Being, by Ueberweg, pp. 40-54. Even Plutarch, c. 23, shows that the soul is not an Idea.

140^ Timaeus 35 B-36 B; Böckh loc. cit. pp. 43-81 (cf. metr. Pind. 203 sqq.), following Crantor, Eudoxus and Plutarch, gives an exhaustive elucidation of this passage, and a catalogue of the ancient interpreters as far as they are known to us. All the moderns follow his example, e.g. Stallbaum ad loc.; Brandis. i. 457 sqq.; ii. a. 3(33 sq.; Martin, i. 383 sqq.: ii. 35 sq.; Müller, in his review, p. 203 sqq.; Steinhart, vi. 99 sqq.; Susemihl, Genet. Entw. ii. 357 sqq.; and others, though not all with equal understanding. Briefly, Plato represents the collective World-soul as divided into seven parts, which stand to one another as 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 8, 27, that is to say the two and three follow unity, and then the squares and cubes of two and three. Both these series of numbers, that progressing in the proportion of 1 : 2, and that in the proportion of 1 : 3 (the διπλάσια and τριπλάσθα διαστήματα), are then further completed in such a way that between each two terms of the system two means are inserted, an arithmetical and a harmonic; i.e. one which is greater by the same number as that by which it is less than the larger term; and one such that its difference from the smaller divided by the smaller equals its difference from the larger divided by the larger (cf. vol. i. 348, 3). If this requirement is satisfied, and the smallest number put as unity, which will allow the expression of the rest of the series in whole numbers, we get the following scheme. (The second number of each series gives the harmonic, the third the arithmetical mean.)

(A) For the διπλάσια διαστήματα: Proportion of —

 1 : 2)  384  512  576  768
 2 : 4)  768  1024  1152  1536
 4 : 8)  1536  2048  2304  3072

(B) for τριπλάσθα διαστήματα: Proportion of —

 1 : 3)  384  576  768  1152
 3 : 9)  1152  1728  2304  3456
 9 : 27)  3456  5184  6912  10368


According to this scheme, in the series of the διπλάσια διαστήματα, the first of the four numbers of each series stands to the second (e.g. 384 : 512), and the third to the fourth (576 : 768) as 3 : 4; the second to the third (512 : 576) as 8 : 9. In the series of the τριπλάσθα διαστήματα, the first stands to the second (384 : 576), and the third to the fourth (768 : 1152) as 2 : 3; the second to the third (576 : 768) as 3: 4. Hence (Timaeus 36 A sq.) arise the proportions 2 : 3, 3 : 4, 8 : 9. The first two of these fill up the τριπλάσθα, the second and third the διπλάσια διαστήματα. If we try to reduce the proportion 3 : 4 to the proportion 8 : 9, which serves to complete it, we find our progress arrested; but if we advance from the number 384 in the proportion of 8 : 9, we get the numbers 432 = 9/8 x 384, and 486 = 9/8 x 432; for the remainder, instead of the proportion 8 : 9, we get only 486 : 512 = 243 : 256. The same holds good of the resolution of the proportion 2 : 3 through the proportion 8 : 9; 2 : 3 is greater than 3 : 4 by the interval 8 : 9. All the proportions depending on the fundamental proportion 2 : 3 and 3 : 4 can be resolved into the two proportions 8 : 9 and 243 : 256. If this process be applied to the whole of the numbers in the above scheme, we get the following results: —

 } 8 : 9  2048
 }256: 273-3/8
 } 8 : 9  2187
 }243 : 256
 }243 : 256  2304
 } 8 : 9
 } 8 : 9  2592
 } 8 : 9
 } 8 : 9  2916
 }243 : 256
 } 8 : 9  3072
 } 8 : 9
 }243 : 256  3456
 } 8 : 9
 } 8 : 9  3888
 } 8 : 9
 } 8 : 9  4374
 }243 : 256
 }243 : 256  4608
 } 8 : 9
 } 8 : 9  5184
 } 8 : 9
 } 8 : 9  5832
 } 8 : 9
 } 8 : 9  6561
 }243 : 256
 }243 : 256  6912
 } 8 : 9
 } 8 : 9  7776
 } 8 : 9
 } 8 : 9  8748
 }243 : 256
 }243 : 256  9216
 } 8 : 9


In this series, derived from the first three numbers, Plato recognises the fundamental determinations of the astronomical and harmonic system. In the former, according to his of course entirely arbitrary supposition (Timaeus 36 D; cf. 38 D; Republic x. 617 A sq.), the distances of the planets depend upon the numbers two and three, and their powers; the sun, Venus, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn are respectively 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 27 times as far from the earth as the moon. So in the harmonic system. The eight tones of the octachord stand according to a diatonic classification, the strings going from lowest to highest, and consequently the tones are numbered from the high to the low (which is not always the case, e.g. Aristotle, Metaphysics v. ii. 1018, b. 28; x. 7, 1057, a. 22, the procedure is from the ὑπάτη through the μέση to the νήτη) in the following proportion:

 } 8 : 9  μέση
 } 8 : 9
 } 8 : 9  λιχανὸς
 } 8 : 9
 } 243 : 256  παρυπάτη
 } 243 : 256
 } 8 : 9    

If we reckon these proportions in accordance with a single measure for all eight tones, and make the higher tone the lesser (as is usual with the ancients, because the height of the tone, as is well known, stands in inverse proportion to the length of the sounding-string with equal thickness and tension, or because, as Böckh supposes, loc. cit. 49, the higher tone requires just as many vibrations in a lesser time. I cannot, however, find this in the passages quoted by Bockh, and in any case the first method of measurement seems to me to be the original), we obtain the following formula; if the tone of the νήτη be set down as = 384, then the παρανήτη = 432, the τρίτη = 486, the παραμέση = 512, the μέση = 576, the λιχανὸς = 648, the παρυπάτη = 729, the ὑπάτη = 768. (Other numbers would result, if we put down the larger number for the higher tone and the smaller for the deeper, as we should do in determining the proportion of the tone according to the number of its vibrations, Then if the ὑπάτη were put down at 486, we should have for the παρυπάτη 512: for the λιχανὸς 570; for the μέση 648; for the παραμέση 729; for the τρίτη 768; for the παρανήτη 864: for the νήτη 972. But clearly this is not Plato’s way of reckoning, and Martin, i. 395 is mistaken in believing that Plato intended to assign the larger numbers particularly to the higher tones, because, acec. to Timaeus 67 B; 80 A sq., with Aristotle and others he considers them to be quicker than the lower tones. As Martin himself remarks, even those old musicians who knew that the higher tones consist of more parts than the lower or produce more vibrations in the air, do not invariably do this, because they calculate the proportion of the tone according to the length of the strings. Others, of course, e.g. Arist. ap. Pint. Mus. 23, 5; Arist. Problem xvii. 23; Plut. an. procr. 8, 4 sq., 19, 1, assign the larger number to the higher tone. Further details on this point are to be found in Martin, loc. cit.) The fundamental proportions of the above scale, as the Pythagoreans had already taught (see vol. i. 305 i. 345 sq.), are the octave (διὰ παςῶν, or the proportion 1 : 2 λόγος διπλάσιος), the fifth (διὰ πέντε), in Philolaus (δι’ ὀξειῶν), or 2 : 3 (ἡμιόλιον) , the fourth (διὰ τεσσάρων, in Philol. συλλαβὴ), or 3 : 4 (ἐπίτριτον), the tone, or 8 : 9, and the lesser semi-tone, or 243 : 256 (this lesser half of a tone is called in Philolaus δίετις, later λεῖμμα, the greater = 250 : 273-3/8 is called ἀποτομὴ). From the νήτη to the παραμέση, and from the μέση to the ὑπάτη is a fourth, from the νήτη to the μέση, and from the παραμέση to the ὑπάτη is a fifth; the distance of the particular strings amounts partly to a tone, partly to a λεῖμμα. It is obvious that these are the same proportions which form the basis of the series of numbers. All the derivative tones (e.g. the διὰ παςῶν καὶ διὰ πέντε = 1 : 3, and the δὶς διὰ παςῶν = 1 : 4) can easily be shown in it (cf. Plat. an. procr. 14, 2); and it contains in itself a system of four octaves, a fifth and a tone; the sequence of the tones likewise comes quite right, if with Böckh and the pseudo-Timaeus (who can only on this supposition give the sum of the numbers in question as 114, 695) we interpolate the number 6144 between the numbers 5832 and 6561. This number is distant a λεῖμμα from 5832, and an ἀποτομὴ from 6561. Then there remains only the unimportant anomaly that two tones (2048 : 2304 and 6144 : 6912) are resolved into a semi-tone, and that in the fourth octave (3072: 6144) the fifth preceding the fourth.

141^ Republic vii. 527 D sq.; 529 C sqq.; 530 D; Timaeus 47 A sqq.; and vol. i. 374.

142^ Timaeus 25 A; vide p. 264.

143^ Metaphysics i. 6, 987 b. 14: X ἔτι δὲ παρὰ τὰ αἰσθητὰ [15] καὶ τὰ εἴδη τὰ μαθηματικὰ τῶν πραγμάτων εἶναί φησι μεταξύ, διαφέροντα τῶν μὲν αἰσθητῶν τῷ ἀί̈δια καὶ ἀκίνητα εἶναι, τῶν δ’ εἰδῶν τῷ τὰ μὲν πόλλ’ ἄττα ὅμοια εἶναι τὸ δὲ εἶδος αὐτὸ ἓν ἕκαστον μόνον. Similarly in the shorter allusions 1, 9, 991 a. 4, vii.; 2, 1028 b. 18, xi.: 1, 1059 b. 6.) The expression ἀκίνητα is, however, inaccurate; in Plato neither the World-soul nor, acc. to Republic vii. 529 C sq. (supra, p. 221, 158), the mathematical principle is absolutely unmoved; they are only free from Becoming and the changeability of Becoming.

144^ Vide p. 215.

145^ Cf. p. 225.

146^ On this depends Plutarch’s objection, De an. procr. 23, 1, to the theory that the soul is either a number or a space: μήτε τοῖς πέρασι μήτε τοῖς ἀριθνοῖς μεθὲν ἴχνος ἐνυπάρχειν ἐκείνης τῆς δυνάμεως ἡ τὸ αἰσθητὸνἡ ψυχ ὴ πέφυκε κρίνειν neither thought nor conception nor sensation can be derived from units, lines, or superficies, v. note 154.

147^ So Siebeck, Unters. z. Phil. d. Gr. 101 sq. The fact that in the Philebus 30 A, C, the World-soul is especially mentioned together with the πέρας (by which I understand the mathematical standard of determination), goes neither against my explanation of the πέρας, nor against the correctness of the connection given above. I do not, of course, suppose that Plato expressly identified the mathematical principle and the World-soul; so I am not concerned with Rettig’s citation (p. 20, Αἰτία in the Philebus) of this passage as against the assumption ‘that πέρας means the World-soul.’

148^ V. note 143.

149^ Sophist 246 E sqq.; Phaedo 79 A sq.; Timaeus 36 E et alibi.

150^ V. supra, p. 345.

151^ Phaedo 79 A sq. D (where the subject of discussion is the human soul), but acc. to Timaeus 41 D, this must hold good even more of the World-soul. Republic x. 611 E.

152^ So, too, mathematical things in relation to the Idea; vide passages quoted, note 143, from Aristotle.

153^ See p. 346 sq., p. 239, 39.

154^ The old Platonists reckoned the soul for the most part among mathematical things; only they were not agreed as to whether its nature was arithmetical or geometrical, a number or a magnitude. The former was the view of Xenocrates, who, as we shall see later on, defined it as a self-moving number. So (acc. to Proclus in Timaeus 187 B) did Aristander, Numenius, and many others; and to this view belongs the statement (Diog. iii. 67) that Plato attributed to the soul an ἀρχή ἀριθμητικήν, to the body an ἀρχή γεωμετρικήν, which, however, hardly agrees with what immediately follows, where the soul is defined as ἰδέα τοῦ πάντῃ διεστῶτος πνεύματος. The other view belongs not only to Severus, as mentioned by Proclus loc. cit., but to Speusippus and Posidonius. The former of these imagined its Being as in space (ἐν ἰδέα τοῦ πάντη διαστατοῦ, Stob. Ekl. i. 862); the latter defined it more precisely as ἰδέα τοῦ πάντη διαστατοῦ καθ’ ἀριθμὸν συνεστῶσα ἁρμονίαν περιέχοντα. (Plut. an. procr. 22, 1, who, however, wrongly understands the ἰδέα τ. π. διαστ. as an Idea, whereas it must rather mean a formation of that which is in space fashioned according to harmonic numbers). In the first view, the elements of the soul, the ἀμέριστον and μέριστὸν, would be referred to the Unit and the indefinite duad; in the second, to the Point and the intermediate Space (Proclus loc. cit., whose statement with regard to Xenocrates will receive further confirmation). Posidonius, however, refers them to the νοητὸν and spatial magnitude (τὴν τῶν περάτων οὐσίαν περὶ τὰ σώματα, the limitation of bodies in space). Aristotle, De An. 1, 3, 407 a. 2, objects to Plato that in the Timaeus he makes the soul a magnitude. Ueberweg, loc. cit. 56, 74 sq. holds the same view. The soul according to Ueberweg is a mathematical magnitude, and in space; of its elements, the ταὐτὸν signifies number, the θάτερον space, which admits of all figures; and this space is the principle of motion in secondary matter, and, as such the irrational soul (v. note 115). The quarrel of Xenocrates and Speusippus seems to show that Plato had not expressed himself definitely in favour of one view or the other. Aristotle had to form his doctrine as to the soul from the Timaeus alone; for his quotation De An. 1, 2 (supra, p. 256, 103), from the Discourses on Philosophy is irrelevant to the present question. The probable conclusion to be drawn from the Timaeus is that the soul, in spite of its incorporeality and invisibility, is envisaged as being diffused through the body of the World-whole. Such envisagements of the relation of soul to body, especially in an animated treatment of the subject, are scarcely to be avoided; but I cannot believe Plato to have represented it as a magnitude in space, in the direct manner Ueberweg supposes. All the expressions which can be quoted in favour of his view are veiled in a mythical and symbolical twilight which forbids our conceiving them as dogmatic. No one takes the division of the world-soul into eight circles, and all the connected details, as a literal expression of Plato’s belief; nor can the general supposition (only used in that allegorical exposition), that the soul is extended in space and divisible in space, be strictly pressed. Otherwise we should be obliged to consider the soul, not merely as something extended, but as something corporeal; anything filling space and yet not material can be no more split up and bent into circles than it can be mixed in a caldron (Timaeus 41 D). From the exposition of the Timaeus we can really infer nothing, simply because we should infer too much. In itself, however, it is incredible that Plato, who considers the fact of filling space to be the distinguishing sign of Body, should have expressly attributed the same quality to the incorporeal, standing in as close connection with the Idea as the soul. He might rather have called the soul a number; but as this determination is unanimously quoted as peculiar to Xenocrates, we cannot, of course, ascribe it to Plato. The most probable view is that Plato did not expressly declare himself on this point, and left the relation of the soul to the mathematical principle generally in that indeterminate state which our text presupposes.

155^ Cf. Aristotle De An. i. 2.

156^ Vide note 131. Phaedrus 245 D sq.: κινήσεως μὲν ἀρχὴ τὸ αὐτὸ αὑτὸ κινοῦν … ψυχῆς οὐσίαν τε καὶ λόγον τοῦτον αὐτόν τις λέγων οὐκ αἰσχυνεῖται. … μὴ ἄλλο τι εἶναι τὸ αὐτὸ ἑαυτὸ [246a] κινοῦν ἢ ψυχήν.

157^ Phaedrus 246 B: πᾶσα ἡ ψυχὴ παντὸς ἐπιμελεῖται τοῦ ἀψύχου, πάντα δὲ οὐρανὸν περιπολεῖ, ἄλλοτ᾽ ἐν ἄλλοις εἴδεσι γιγνομένη. τελέα μὲν οὖν οὖσα καὶ ἐπτερωμένη μετεωροπορεῖ τε καὶ πάντα τὸν κόσμον διοικεῖ, ἡ δὲ πτεροῤῥυήσασα φέρεται, etc. A question may possibly arise,whether we are to understand the πᾶσα ψυχὴ as the whole collective soul, i.e. the soul of the All, or (with Susemihl, ii. 399, and others) each individual soul. In favour of the first view we have besides the πᾶσα ἡ ψυχὴ (for which also πᾶσα ψυχὴ occurs) the words T παντὸς ἐπιμελεῖται τοῦ ἀψύχου … πάντα τὸν κόσμον διοικεῖ, for each individual soul supposes only its body, and all individual souls collectively suppose only their collective body; whereas the soul of the universe, and it only, cares for everything inanimate, including inorganic nature. Here, however, though less clearly than in the Timaeus, the soul of the All is thought of as including and embracing the collectivity of the individual souls in itself.

158^ Timaeus 34 B, 36 B-E. The astronomical part of this exposition will be discussed later on.

159^ In Timaeus 37 B, the αἰσθητικὸν, the reading of one of Bekker’s MSS. is to be adopted instead of αἰσθητὸν (as is shown by the opposition of λογιστικὸν) and it is to this that αὐτοῦ τὴν ψυχὴν of our text refers. The αἰσθητικὸν must signify, not the faculty of perception, but the subject capable of perception, which, however, can, at the same time, be one admitting of thought, a λογιστικὸν. It is, however, more convenient to read αὐτὸν [sc. τὸν λόγον]; may be the faculty of perception, and the whole passage receives a more natural colouring. In the above, therefore, I follow this conjecture. The expressions περὶ τὸ αἰσθητὸν γίγνηται, περὶ τὸ λογιστικὸν εἶναιn are generally referred to the objects of the λόγος (cf. Stallbaum in loc.); but this tends to embarrassment with the λογιστικὸν, which ought to be νοητὸν to meet this view.

160^ On these stages of cognition cf. p. 279 sq.

161^ V. pp. 325 sqq.: 288, 172; 266, 112.

162^ What can we understand by a personality which comprises numberless other existences, and those too possessed of life and soul? How could the soul be a World-soul, unless it were in relation with all parts of the world, just as the human soul is with the parts of the body?

163^ Cf. p. 266.

164^ If we take the passage just quoted from Timaeus 37 B as it stands, the result would be that Right Opinion is brought about by the motion of the planetary circle, Thought and Knowledge by that of the fixed stars. No clear idea, however, can be got out of this, whether we understand Thought and Opinion to be the Thought and Opinion of the human soul, or of the World-soul. We can hardly suppose that Plato would have attributed to the World-soul, besides Thought, mere Opinion, even though it were Right Opinion.

165^ E.g. Anaxagoras and Diogenes; vide vol. i. 804 sq., 220; cf. Aristotle De An. i. 2, 405 a. 13, 21.

166^ In Timaeus 34 B is mentioned the circular motion τῶν ἑπτὰ [κινήσεων] τὴν περὶ νοῦν καὶ φρόνησιν μάλιστα οὖσαν, similarly 39 C, 40 A. Laws, x. 898 A: εἶναί τε αὐτὴν τῇ τοῦ νοῦ περιόδῳ πάντως ὡς δυνατὸν οἰκειοτάτην τε καὶ ὁμοίαν … κατὰ ταὐτὰ δήπου καὶ ὡσαύτως καὶ ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ καὶ περὶ τὰ αὐτὰ καὶ πρὸς τὰ αὐτὰ καὶ ἕνα λόγον καὶ τάξιν 898b μίαν ἄμφω κινεῖσθαι; and Timaeus 77 B; 89 A, 90 C sq.; cf. 43 D, 44 D, 47 D, thought is described simply as a motion, and more particularly a circular motion (περιφορὰ) of the soul.

167^ Vide p. 219, 147 and p. 256, 103.

168^ Vide vol. i. 294, 1.

169^ Timaeus 37 A: ἅτε … ἀνὰ λόγον μερισθεῖσα καὶ ξυνδεθεῖσα.

Top ↑

Chapter VIII. The World-System and its Parts

The foregoing pages contain the leading thoughts of the Platonic view of Nature. The World is the phenomenon of the Idea in Space and in Time, — the sensible and variable copy of the Eternal: it is the common product of the Divine Reason and of Natural Necessity, of the Idea and of Matter. That which mediatises between them, the proximate cause of all order, motion, life, and knowledge, is the Soul.

The Timaeus shows how, from these causes, the origin and economy of the universe are to be explained; and to do so, it enters deeply into the particulars of phenomena. It may well be conceived, however, from the character of Plato’s genius, that these inquiries into natural science would be little to his taste: accordingly we find, not merely that the Timaeus alone of his writings discusses this subject, but that it does not seem to have been pursued even in his oral discourses.

Aristotle, at any rate, appeals for this portion of his theory solely to the Timaeus. But Plato himself declares that he esteems such discussions as inferior in value to more general philosophic enquiry. Our words, |362| he says, are constituted like the objects they describe. Only the doctrine of invariable Being can lay claim to perfect certainty and exactitude; where the mere phenomenon of true Reality is in question, we must be content with probability instead of strict truth.1 These things are therefore rather a matter of intellectual pastime than of serious philosophic investigation.2 Perhaps he is not quite in earnest,3 but from these remarks we may infer that Plato was to some extent aware of his weakness in natural science, and at the same time believed that from the nature of the subject, greater certainty in such enquiries was hardly to be attained. On his philosophy, indeed, the bearing of his own enquiries in this direction is unimportant: |363| they contain Ideas and observations, which are some times ingenious and sometimes puerile, interesting no doubt for the history of natural science, but for that of philosophy in great measure valueless, because of their slight connection with Plato’s philosophic principles. Much appears to be borrowed from others, especially from Philolaus, and probably Democritus. Three main points have, however, a more universal importance: these are, the Origin of the World, the derivation of the Elements, and the concept of the World-System.

I. The Origin of the World. This is described in the Timaeus as a mechanical construction. The universal Architect resolves to make the totality of the visible as perfect as possible, by forming a created nature after the eternal archetype of the living essential nature. For this purpose, He first mingles the World-soul, and divides it in its circles. Then He binds the chaotic, fluent matter into the primary forms of the four elements. From these He prepares the system of the universe — building matter into the scaffolding of the World-soul. In its various parts He places the stars, to be the dividers of Time. Lastly, that nothing might be wanting to the perfection of the world, He forms living beings.4

Now the mythical character of this description generally cannot be doubted, but it is not easy to determine how far the mythus extends. We have already in reference to this subject spoken of the Creator, of the Soul, and of Matter: we are now more immediately concerned with the question whether, and to what |364| extent, Plato seriously maintains the beginning of the world in time, and its gradual formation.5 On the one hand, not only does this seem to be required by the whole tone of the Timaeus, but it appears to result still more definitely from the explanation (28 B), that the world as corporeal, must have become; for all sensible and corporeal things are subject to Becoming. On the other hand, however, this assumption involves us in a series of glaring contradictions. For if all that is corporeal must have become, or been created, this must |365| also hold good of Matter; yet Matter is supposed to precede the creation of the world, and (80 A) is represented in this its ante-mundane condition as something already visible. But if we are to include the notion of an eternal matter in the mythical portion of the dialogue, where is our warranty that the creation of the world is not part of the same, and that the proper meaning of the latter theory may not be the meta physical dependence of the finite on the Eternal? The dogmatic form in which it is proved argues little; for the point is primarily to show, not a chronological beginning, but an Author of the world.6 And we constantly find Plato adopting this dogmatic tone7 |366| in places where it is impossible he can be stating his real and literal meaning. We cannot, it is true, rely much on inferences from the Platonic writings, never perhaps drawn by Plato himself;8 but the case is different with the assertion in Timaeus (37 D, 38 C), that Time first began with the world. This assertion |367| is perfectly logical if a beginning of the world be assumed, for that which alone previously existed, — the world of Ideas, is not in Time, — and empty Time is nothing. But it is all the more difficult to see how notwithstanding this, Plato can always speak of that which was before the formation of the world,9 while he nevertheless acknowledges (37 E sqq.) that this Before and After are only possible in Time.10 The unoriginated pre-existence of the soul which Plato taught,11 excludes a beginning of the world; for the Soul is itself a part of the world, and cannot be conceived without the body which it forms and animates. These contradictions may not suffice to prove that Plato creation as being in itself untrue, retaining as his own belief that the world had no beginning; but they at least show that the theory was not brought forward by him didactically, as part of his doctrine; that it was regarded as one of the presentations he occasionally employed without feeling moved to investigate or to pronounce upon them definitely.

This view is countenanced not only by the fact that many disciples of Plato have explained the origin of the world in Time as merely figurative investiture;12 but also by the whole composition of the Timaeus. For |368| the formation of the universe, instead of following the chronological sequence of its parts, as would be the case in a historical narration, is represented altogether according to ideal moments. Plato speaks first very fully of the works of Reason in the world, then (47 E sqq.) of the works of Necessity; and lastly, of the world itself (69 sqq.), as the common product of both these causes. In the first of these divisions, we are told of the composition of the corporeal elements, before that of the World-soul which preceded this process; and we find that the same object, because it may be regarded from two different points of view, is doubly represented — like the above-mentioned origin of the elements. Thus by its very form, this representation shows that it was designed to set forth not so much the historical order of events in the creation — as the universal causes and constituents of the World as it now exists. The mythical element, therefore, becomes strongest at those points where something historically new is introduced (30 B, 35 B, 36 B, 37 B, 41 A, etc.).13

II. The Formation of the Elements. The establishment of a well-ordered universe required that all bodies should be reducible to the four elements.14 But here the two ways of regarding the elements — the teleological and the physical — directly |369| encounter one another. From the teleological point of view the Timaeus (31 B sqq.) says: The world being corporeal, must of necessity be also visible and tangible: it could not be visible without fire, nor tangible without earth, which is the ground of all that is solid. Midway between these, however, there must be a third element which combines them; and as the fairest combination is Proportion, this Third must stand in proportion to both. If planes only were concerned, one mean would be sufficient, but as bodies are in question, two are necessary.15 We thus obtain |370| four elements, which among them form one proportion; so that fire is related to air, as air to water; and air to water, as water to earth. |371| This, though Plato may have seriously intended it, is in reality but a flight of fancy.16 The four elements |372| are only in appearance derived and placed in a certain order, by means of an external reference of aim, and a false arithmetical analogy. This order proceeds from the rarer and lighter to the denser and heavier; and the idea of a geometrical proportion could not properly be applied to it,17 Still more remarkable is the physical derivation of the elements.18 Plato here repeats Philolaus’19 theory, that the fundamental form of fire is the Tetrahedron; of air, the Octahedron; of water, the Icosahedron; and of earth, the Cube:20 the fifth regular figure, the Dodecahedron, he does not connect with an element.21 By compounding these |373| bodies themselves, not out of corporeal atoms, but out of planes of a certain kind,22 — by again resolving |374| them ultimately into triangles, in the transition of the elements23 one into another, — he clearly shows that the ground which underlies them is not a Matter that fills space, but space itself. From this ground these determinate bodies are to be formed in such a manner that certain parts of space are mathematically limited, and comprehended in definite figures.24 Not |375| indivisible bodies, but indivisible surfaces, are supposed as the primary constituents of the corporeal.25 These produce the smallest bodies by combining with certain figures. Bodies are therefore not only limited by planes, but also compounded out of them;26 a Matter which assumes corporeal figures is not recognised.

From the difference of their figures quantitative distinctions also arise in these elemental bodies. Of those which consist of triangles of the same kind, each is greater or less, according to the number of such triangles which it contains.27 Similar differences are found within particular elements. The triangles |376| of each sort (and consequently also the elemental bodies consisting of an equal number of such triangles) differ in magnitude,28 and thus from the beginning there is a diversity in kinds of matter, which, coupled with the mixture of these kinds in unequal proportions, perfectly explains the infinite multiplicity of things.

The elemental composition of bodies regulates their distribution in space. Each element has its natural place in the universe, to which it tends, and in which, in regard to its preponderating mass, it has its dwelling.29 Lightness and heaviness are therefore relative terms, the signification of which changes according to position: on earth, the earthly element appears the heavier; in the fiery sphere, fire.30 There can never be |377| a complete separation of material substances. The external orbit of the universe, being circular and continuous, presses together the bodies contained in it,31 and will not allow of any empty space between them.32 Consequently the smaller bodies are crowded into the interstices of the greater, and there results a continual mixture of the different kinds of matter.33 The perpetual motion and decomposition of the elements is a consequence of this admixture. As long as an elemental body is among its kindred, it remains unchanged; for among bodies which are similar and uniform none can change, or be changed by, another. If, on the contrary, smaller proportions of one element are |378| contained in greater proportions of another, in consequence of the universal pressure they are crushed or cut up;34 and their constituent parts must either pass over into the form of the stronger element, or make their escape to their kindred element in their natural place. Thus there is a perpetual ebb and flow of the elements: the diversity of Matter is the cause of its constant motion.

35^ The sum of the four elements constitutes the universe. (Timaeus 32 sqq.) |379|

III. The World-System. The further description of the universe contains much that is of a specific character, distinguishing it from the theories of Anaxagoras and Democritus, as also from the system of Philolaus; though in its whole spirit it greatly resembles the latter. The shape of the universe is that of a globe.36 Within this globe three divisions are to be distinguished, answering to the three Pythagorean regions of the world, though they are not actually identified with them by Plato. The earth is placed as a round ball in the centre,37 at the axis of the universe. Then follow the sun, the moon, and the five other planets, in circles described around the earth, and arranged according to the intervals of the harmonic system. The heaven of fixed stars, one undivided |380| sphere, forms the outermost circle.38 The earth is immovable.39 The heaven of fixed stars turns in one day |381| around the axis of the universe, in the direction of the equator, from east to west; and the circles comprehended in it are likewise carried round with the same motion. They themselves, however, move in various periods of revolution (increasing according to their distance) around the earth, in the plane of the Ecliptic, from west to east. Their courses are therefore, properly speaking, not circles, but spirals; and as those which have the shortest periods move the quickest in a direction opposed to the motion of the whole, it appears as if they remained the furthest behind this motion. The swiftest look like the slowest: those |382| which overtake the others in the direction of west to east, appear in the contrary direction, to be overtaken by them.40

These motions of the heavenly bodies give rise to Time, which is nothing else than the duration of their periods.41 A complete cosmical period, or perfect year, has elapsed, when all the planetary circles at the end of their revolution have arrived at the same point of the heaven of fixed stars, from which they set out.42 The duration of this cosmical year Plato fixes, not according to astronomical calculation, but by arbitrary conjecture, at ten thousand years:43 and he seems to |383| connect with it, periodical changes in the condition of the world.44 The particular heavenly bodies are so inserted in their orbits that they never change their place in them; the forward motion around the universal centre is not to be ascribed to these bodies as such, but to their circles.45 Plato, however, gives to each of them a movement around its own axis,46 but this assumption |384| is manifestly the result, not of astronomical observation, but of speculative theory.47 The stars must revolve around themselves, because this is the motion of reason,48 and they must partake in reason. Far from seeing, like Anaxagoras and Democritus, only dead masses in the heavenly bodies, Plato regards them as living-beings, whose souls must be higher and diviner than human souls, in proportion as their bodies are brighter and fairer than ours.49 In this he is evidently influenced by the even and regular motion, in which the stars as nearly as possible follow pure mathematical laws.50 If the soul is, generally, the moving principle, the most perfect soul must be where there is the |385| most perfect motion; and if the motive power in the Soul is accompanied by the faculty of knowledge, the highest knowledge must belong to that soul which by a perfectly regular motion of body evinces the highest reason.51 If the Cosmos, absolutely uniform and harmonious, circling about itself, possesses the most divine and most reasonable soul, those parts of the Cosmos which most nearly approximate to it in form and motion will most largely participate in this privilege. The stars are therefore the noblest and most intelligent of all created natures; they are the created gods,52 as the universe is the one created God. Man may learn how to regulate the lawless movements of his soul by their unchanging courses:53 he himself is not to be compared with them in worth and perfection. So strongly was the Greek deification of nature at work, even in the philosopher who did more than anyone else to turn away the thought of his nation from the many-coloured multiplicity of the phenomenon to a colourless conceptual world beyond. As to the personality of these gods, and whether thought combined with self-consciousness belongs to them, in the same way as to man, Plato seems never to have enquired.54 |386-

The Timaeus55 sums up the result of its whole cosmogony in the concept of the world as the perfect ζῶον. Made like the Idea of the Living One (the αὐτοζῶον), |387| so far as the created can be like the Eternal, comprehending in its body the totality of the corporeal participating, by means of its soul, in individual and endless life and in divine reason, never growing old nor passing away,56 the Cosmos is the best of things created the perfect copy of the everlasting and invisible God: itself a blessed God, sole in its kind, sufficing to itself and in need of no other. In this description we cannot fail to recognise the characteristic of the ancient view of the world. Even Plato is far too deeply penetrated with the glory of Nature to despise her as the Non-Divine, or to rank her as the unspiritual, below human self-consciousness. As the heavenly bodies are visible gods, so the universe is to him the One visible God winch comprehends in itself all other created gods and by reason of the perfection and intelligence of its nature occupies the place of Zeus.57 According to Plato it is above all things necessary to this perfection of the Cosmos, that as the Idea of the Living includes in itself all living beings, so the world, as its copy, should also include them.58 They fall, however, two classes: the mortal and the immortal. Of the latter we have already spoken and shall have again to speak. The former, on account of the peculiar connection in which the Platonic theory places all other living creatures with man, will lead us at once to Anthropology.


1^ Timaeus 29 B sq.; cf. 44 C, 56 C, 57 D, 67 D, 68 D, 90 E. Even in the important questions about matter and the unity of the world Plato uses this caution. Timaeus 48 D (on the text cf. Böckh, Kl. Schr. iii. 239), he says that about the Sensible as the εἰκὼν of true Being, only εἰκότες λόγοι are possible, i.e. such as are like the truth, but not the truth itself, just as an εἰκὼν is that which is like a thing, but is not the thing itself. That which is merely like the truth merely probable includes not only scientific suppositions, but also (as Susemihl, Genet. Entw. ii. 321 points out) mythical expositions. Plato himself clearly gives us to understand this in the passages already quoted, p. 485, 1; he says, however, in the Phaedo, 114 D, at the end of his eschatological myth: it would in truth be foolish ταῦτα διισχυρίσασθαι οὕτως ἔχειν … ὅτι μέντοι ἢ ταῦτ᾽ ἐστὶν ἢ τοιαῦτ᾽ ἄττα … τοῦτο καὶ πρέπειν μοι δοκεῖ, κ.τ.μ. This myth, then, cannot indeed lay claim to complete truth, but to a certain probability; and the same result is derived from Gorgias 527 A. Cf. 523 A.

2^ Timaeus 59 C: τἆλλα δὲ τῶν τοιούτων οὐδὲν ποικίλον ἔτι διαλογίσασθαι τὴν τῶν εἰκότων μύθων μεταδιώκοντα ἰδέαν: ἣν ὅταν τις ἀναπαύσεως ἕνεκα τοὺς περὶ τῶν ὄντων ἀεὶ καταθέμενος λόγους, τοὺς γενέσεως πέρι διαθεώμενος εἰκότας ἀμεταμέλητον ἡδονὴν κτᾶται, μέτριον ἂν ἐν τῷ βίῳ παιδιὰν καὶ φρόνιμον ποιοῖτο.

3^ παιδία, at least in the passage just quoted, recalls the corresponding and clearly exaggerated expression of Phaedrus 265 C, 276 D,and the whole depreciatory treatment of physical science is in harmony with the solemn tone of the Timaeus.

4^ See Timaeus x. 27 E-57 D.

5^ The views of the first Platonic scholars were divided on this point — Aristotle (De Caelo, i. 10, 280 a. 28; iv. 2, 300 b. 16; Phys. viii. 1, 251 b. 17; Metaphysics xii. 3, 1071 b. 31, 37; De An. i. 3, 406 b. 25 sqq.) in his criticism of the Platonic cosmogony takes the Timaeus literally throughout and considers the temporal origin of the world, the World-soul, and time, to be Plato’s real meaning. Still even he says (Gen. et corr. ii. 1, 329 a. 13); that Plato did not clearly explain whether matter can exist otherwise than in the form of the four elements; and that if this question be answered in the negative, the beginning of the world must also be denied. Another view (acc. to Aristotle De Caelo, i. 10, 279 b. 32) was, that Plato represented the formation of the world as a temporal act merely for the sake of clearness. We learn from Simpl. ad loc. Schol. in Arist. 488 b. 15 (whose statement is repeated by others, 489 a. 6, 9); Pseudo-Alex. ad Metaphysics 1091 a. 27; Plut. procr. an. 3, 1, that Xenocrates availed himself of this expedient; and was followed by Crantor and Eudorus (Plut. loc. cit. and c. 4, 1), Taurus ap. Philop. De aetern. mundi, vi. 21, and most of the Platonists who inclined to Pythagorean views — the Neo-Platonists without exception. On the other hand, Theophrastus (Fragm. 28 sq.; Wim. ap. Philop. loc. cit. vi. 8, 31, 27) rejects this supposition — though not so decidedly as Aristotle — and with him Alexander ap. Philop. vi. 27, and apparently the whole Peripatetic school agree. Among the Platonists, Plutarch, loc. cit. and Atticus (on whom see vol. iii. a. 722, 2nd edit.) endeavour to prove that the theory of the world being without a beginning is foreign to Plato. Among the moderns Böckh (On the World-soul, p. 23 sq.) has repeated the view of Xenocrates: and is followed by Brandis (ii. a. 356 sq., 365), Steinhart (Plat. WW. vi. 68 sqq., 94 sq.), Susemihl (Genet. Entw. ii. 326 sqq.), and others, together with my Plat. St. 208 sqq. and the 1st ed. of the present work. Martin, Etudes i. 355, 370 sq., 377: ii. 179 sqq.; Ueberweg, Rhein. Mus. ix. 76, 79; Plat. Schr. 287 sq.; Stumpf, (Verh. d. plat. Gott. z. Idee d. Gut. 36 sqq. declare in favour of Plutarch’s view.

6^ Cf. Timaeus 28 b: σκεπτέον δ’ οὖν περὶ αὐτοῦ πρῶτον … πότερον ἦν ἀεί, γενέσεως ἀρχὴν ἔχων οὐδεμίαν, ἢ γέγονεν, ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς τινος ἀρξάμενος. Γέγονεν … τῷ δ’ αὖ γενομένῳ φαμὲν ὑπ’ αἰτίου τινὸς ἀνάγκην εἶναι γενέσθαι.

7^ E.g. Politicus 269 C. Here the necessity of a periodical alternation between the self-motion of the world and its motion by divine agency (the starting-point of the well known cosmological myth) is insisted on as dogmatically and with the same apparent earnestness as the necessity of a beginning of the world in the Timaeus. ‘The corporeal cannot possibly be always the same. The world has a body. It must consequently change; and this change consists in its revolution. But it is impossible that it should continually revolve of it self. The ἡγούμενον τῶν κινουμένων πάντων alone has this power. And its nature does not allow (οὐ θέμις) that it should be moved first in one direction and then in another by this ἡγούμενον. The world, therefore, can neither always move itself nor always be moved by the divinity. Nor can two gods move it in opposite ways. The only conclusion remaining is that at one time it is moved by God, and at another being left alone, it moves in an opposite direction of itself.’ This is just as didactic as the passage of the Timaeus, and can be made to give just as valid and formal conclusions as Stumpf has derived from the latter passage (loc. cit. 38 f). But can we conclude from it that Plato really considered the world as alternately moved by the divinity, and again (in an opposite direction, and with a complete change of relations) by its ἔμφυτος ἐπιθυμία, while he lays down in question and answer that with the changed direction of the world’s revolution the life of the things in it must also suffer a change? Again, if there is any one point in the Platonic system established by the most distinct explanations on the part of its author, it is the doctrine that the Ideas are uncreated. Yet, as we have seen supra, p. 226, 3, Plato speaks of God as the creator of the Ideas; and in his lectures explained his views as to their origin in such a way that Aristotle (as in the question of the formation of the world) regards a γένεσις τῶν ἀριθμῶν not as merely τοῦ θεωρῆσαι ἕνεκεν. (Metaphysics xiv. 4 beginn.) That the ἀριθμοὶ here are to be understood as the Ideal numbers, and that the passage refers not to the Platonists only, but to Plato himself, is shown from Alex, and Metaphysics i. 6, 987, b. 33; Schol. 551 a. 38 sqq., besides all our other authorities for this doctrine of Plato’s. The literal interpreters of the cosmogony in the Timaeus might appeal confidently to Plato’s own explanation if the words (Timaeus 26 D) τό μὴ πλασθέντα μῦθον ἀλλ’ ἀληθινὸν λόγον εἶναι πάμμεγά που, were applied to it. Stumpf, indeed, loc. cit., thinks that he can support his theory by these words. But, as a glance will show, they refer, not to the picture of the formation of the world, but to Critias’ narrative of the struggle between the Athenians and the Atlantids. This is a πλασθεὶς μῦθπς if ever there was one, and yet Plato expressly says it is not. The discrepancies before mentioned (p. 301 sq.), in his expressions as to Matter, and in the discussion of the Protagoras, quoted p. 188, 40, might also be adduced to show how little the apparently didactic tone of a passage justifies us in considering everything in it to be Plato’s scientific conviction, and how many reasons there are, in a question like the present, for thinking twice before we commit ourselves to an assertion (Ueberweg, plat. Schr. 287 sq.), more suited to a theological apologist than a historical enquirer. If Plato (Timaeus 28 B) declared himself for a created world, believing all the while that it was eternal (which, however, the passage itself does not suppose unconditionally); ‘then,’ says Ueberweg, ‘we can only characterise his position by terms which we are heartily ashamed of applying to him. He must either have been a hypocrite or a fool.’ Which of the two was he when he wrote the above quoted passage of the Politicus, or when he ventured to declare the fable of the people of Atlantis to be true history?

8^ That e.g. the world, if God (Timaeus 29 E) created it out of goodness, must be just as eternal as the goodness of God.

9^ Timaeus 30 A, 34 B, C, 52 D, 53 B.

10^ Phaedrus 245 D sqq; Meno 86 A; Phaedo 106 D; Republic x. 611; A, etc.; cf. Laws, vi. 781 E, where the supposition that mankind is without beginning or end is viewed as at least possible and even probable.

11^ The theory that it is not the World-soul sketched in the Timaeus but the unregulated soul of the Laws that is without beginning has been refuted, p. 338. 115. The Phaedrus expressly designates the soul, which it has proved to be without beginning, as the mover of heaven.

12^ See note 5.

13^ The fact of Aristotle’s taking Plato’s exposition literally is no proof. Similar misconceptions of the mythical form are common in him; see my Plat. Stud. p. 207. The doubts there expressed against the meteorology I now retract.

14^ Plato was the first to use the name στοιχεῖον, according to Eudemus (ap. Simpl. Phys. 2 a. u.; Schol. in Arist. 322 a. 8), and Phavorinus, ap. Diog. iii. 24. He gave the same name to his most general causes, the unit and the Great-and-Small (Aristotle Metaphysics xiv. 1, 1087 b. 13).

15^ After Plato loc. cit. has shown that the body of the world must consist of fire and earth, he continues: Two always require a third as their δεσμὸς ἐν μέσῳ ἀμφοῖν ξυναγωγός; the most beautiful δεσμὸς is the proportion (ἀναλογία) found where, out of three ἀριθμοι, ὄγκοι, or δυνάμεις (here, as in Theaetetus 147 D sqq., not ‘powers,’ but ‘roots’), the second stands to the third as the first to the second, and to the first as the third to the second. εἰ μὲν οὖν ἐπίπεδον μέν, βάθος δὲ μηδὲν ἔχον ἔδει γίγνεσθαι τὸ τοῦ παντὸς σῶμα, μία μεσότης ἂν ἐξήρκει τά τε μεθ’ αὑτῆς συνδεῖν καὶ ἑαυτήν, νῦν δὲ στερεοειδῆ γὰρ αὐτὸν προσῆκεν εἶναι, τὰ δὲ στερεὰ μία μὲν οὐδέποτε, δύο δὲ ἀεὶ μεσότητες συναρμόττουσιν, and therefore God has put water and air between fire and earth, and assigned to them the relations stated above. This passage gives rise to considerable difficulties, even apart from the erroneous artificiality of the whole deduction. It is true (as Böckh shows, De Plat. corp. mund. fabrica, reprinted with valuable additions in his Klein. Schr. iii. 229-265) that, under certain determinations which we must suppose Plato assumed, between any two ἐπίπεδα there is one mean proportional, and between any two solids two proportionals, whether the expressions ἐπίπεδον; and στερεὸν be understood in a geometrical or in a arithmetical sense. In the former case it is clear that not only between any two squares but also between any two plane rectilineal figures similar to one another there is one mean proportional, between any two cubes and any two paralleleopipeds similar to one another there are two mean proportionals. In the latter, not only between any two square numbers, but also between any two plane numbers (i.e. numbers with two factors) there is one rational proportional, and not only between any two cubic numbers but also between any two solid numbers generally (i.e. formed out of three factors there are two rational proportionals, provided that the factors of the one number stand to one another in the same relation as those of the second number. (E.g. between the square numbers 2 x 2 = 4 and 3 x 3 = 9 there is the proportional number 2 x 3 = : 4 : 6 = 6 : 9; between the plane non-square numbers 2 x 3 = 6 and 4 x 6 = 24 the proportional number 2 x 6 or 3 x 4, because 6 : 12 = 12 : 24. Between the cubic numbers 2 x 2 x 2 = 8 and 3 x 3 x 3 = 27 occur the two numbers 2 x 2 x 3 = 12 and 2 x 3 x 3 = 18, because 8 : 12 = 12 : 18 = 18 : 27; between the non-cubic solid numbers 4 x 6 x 8 = 192 and 6 x 9 x 12 = 648 occur the two numbers 4 x 6 x 12 or 4 x 9 x 8 or 6 x 6 x 8 = 288 and 4 x 9 x 12 or 6 x 9 x 8 or 6 x 6 x 12 = 432, because 192 : 288 = 288 : 432 = 432 : 648; the same holds good in the analogous cases in planes and solids.) But Plato asserts, not merely that there is one mean proportional between any two planes and two between any two solids, but that the latter are by no means bound by one μεσότης. Such a generality, however, is not correct; as between two similar planes or plane numbers under certain circumstances there occur two further mean proportionals besides the one mean (e.g. between 22 = 4 and 162 = 256 there come, not only 2 x16 = 32, but also 42 = 16 and 82 = 64, became both 4 : 32 = 32 : 256 and 4 : 16 = 16 : 64 = 64 : 256), so between two similar solids and two analogously formed solid numbers, together with the two proportionals which always lie between them, there occurs one besides in certain cases. If two solid numbers are at the same time analogously formed plane numbers, there result between them, not only two mean proportionals, but one besides (e.g. between 23 = 8 and 83 = 512 there are the two proportionals 32 and 128, and also the one mean 64, because 8 = 1 x 8 and 512 = 8 x 64; between these comes 8 x 8, or what is the same thing 1 x 64); and if the roots of two cubic numbers have a mean proportional which can be expressed in whole numbers, the cube of the latter is the mean proportional between the former. (This is the case, e.g. between 43 = 64 and 93 = 729; their mean proportionals are not only 4 x 4 x 9= 144 and 4 x 9 x 9 = 324, but also 63, for as 4 : 6 = 6 : 9, 43 : 63 = 63 : 93, i.e. 64 : 216 = 216 : 729. So again, between 53 = 125 and 203 = 8000 there are the two proportionals 500 and 2000, and also the one proportional 1000, for as 5 : 10 = 10 : 20, 53: 103 : = 103 : 203, i.e. 125 : 1000 = 1000 : 8000.) We cannot suppose that this was unknown to Plato. How then are we to explain his assertion that the στερεὰ never have a μεσόυης between them? The simplest explanation would be to translate his words: Solids are never connected by one μεσόυης, but always by two at least. And this explanation might indeed be defended by examples, e.g. Aristotle Metaphysics ix. 5, 1048 a. 8, c. 8, 1050 b. 33, xii. 3, 1070 a. 18, and others. It is, however, almost too simple; as Plato loc. cit. wishes to prove that two intermediate terms must be inserted between fire and earth, his object is to show not merely that at least two terms, but that neither more nor less than two terms occur between two solids; and as the two proportionals between certain ἐπίπεδα belong to a different series from that to which the one occurring in all of them belongs, and the one proportional between certain στερεὰ belongs to a different series from that to which the two proportionals occurring in all belong, we should still have that which Plato denies within each of those proportionals. Ancient and modern interpreters therefore seek variously to limit Plato’s statement to such στερεὰ as have actually only two proportionals between them. (See the Review in Martin, Etudes, i. 337 sqq.) Nicomachus, for example (Arithm. ii. 24, p. 69), understands by them, not merely cubic numbers generally, but still more definitely κύβοι συνεχεῖς (13, 23, 33, etc.), and by the plane numbers he understands τετράγωνα συνεχή. Of such numbers of course the position holds good without exception: between 22 and 32, 32 and 42, etc., there is only one rational mean proportional, between 23 and 33, 33 and 43, etc. there are only two. But if Plato meant only these special cases, he would not have expressed himself so generally, and he must have given some reasons why fire and earth were to be exclusively regarded in the light of this analogy. Martin, who exhaustively refutes the elucidations of Stallbaum and Cousin (Müller, Pl. WW. vi. 259 sqq. can hardly be brought under consideration), wishes to make out that by ἐπίπεδα are meant only the numbers which have two factors, and by the στερεὰ only the numbers which have three prime numbers as factors: Könitzer (Ueb. d. Elementarkörper nach. Pl. Timaeus 1846, p. 13 sqq.) would limit them still closer to the squares and cubes of prime numbers. With this elucidation Susemihl, Genet. Entw. ii. 347 sq. agrees, and Böckh (d. Kosm. Syst. Pl. 17) allowed himself to be won over to it. In the end, however, he returned to his original view (Kl. Schr. iii. 253 sqq.), seeing no justification for the limitation of Plato’s statement to the plane and solid numbers derived from prime numbers, and the further limitation to square and cubic numbers. He appeals to the fact that in the cases where there are two proportionals besides the one mean between two planes or plane numbers, and one proportional besides the two means between solids or solid numbers, these latter do not proceed from the geometrical or arithmetical construction, and that two plane numbers can only have two rational proportionals between them, if they are at the same time similar solid bodies, and two solid numbers can only have one rational proportional, if they are at the same time similar plane numbers. This solution seems to me to be the best. If there are two proportionals between ἐπίπεδα, and one between στερεὰ, this is merely accidental, and it does not follow that the one are ἐπίπεδα, the other στερεὰ, and Plato accordingly thinks that this case may be left out in his construction of the elements.

16^ Hegel, Gesch. d. Phil. ii. 221 sqq., is unnecessarily surprised at this, and misinterprets it.

17^ Ancient and modern commentators fall into contradictions as soon as they try to prove the existence and extent of a proportion between the four elements of the same kind as that between the terms of a quadruple arithmetical proportion.

18^ Timaeus 53 C sqq.; cf. Martin, ii. 234 sqq.

19^ See vol. i. 350 sqq.

20^ Plato, 55 D sqq., enumerates the considerations which led him to adopt this classification; viz. mobility, magnitude, weight, greater or less capability of penetrating other bodies.

21^ He merely says, 55 C: ἔτι δὲ οὔσης συστάσεως μιᾶς πέμπτης, ἐπὶ τὸ πᾶν ὁ θεὸς αὐτῇ κατεχρήσατο ἐκεῖνο διαζωγραφῶν. What is the meaning of διαζωγραφῶν, and what part is played by the dodecahedron? Susemihl, ii. 413, explains: He painted the universe with figures; and refers this painting to the adornment of the heavens with stars (Timaeus 40 A; Republic vii. 529 C), to which the dodecahedron might be applied, as coming nearest to the sphere. The stars (Republic vii. 529 D sqq.) are not perfect spheres, but (on the analogy of the δωδεκάσκυτοι σφαῖραι, to which the earth is compared, Phaedo, 100 B) approach, like the universe, the form of the dodecahedron. It seems more natural to refer the διαζωγραφεῖν (which is not necessarily colour-painting) to the plan or design of the world which preceded its formation. The world and the stars too are spherical in form), and while the earth (Timaeus 33 B, 40 A) is a perfect sphere, the dodecahedron is of all regular solids that which nearest approaches to the sphere, that on which a sphere can be most easily described, and that therefore which could be most readily laid down as the plan of the world. The dodecahedron of the present passage used to be taken as the plan of the author; Philolaus seems to have been this opinion (cf. vol. i. 350 sq.); and with him the Platonic Epinomis, 981 C, and Xenocrates, who, ap. Simpl. Phys. 205 b. Schol. in Arist. 427 a. 15, attributes this view to Plato. Although the later interpreters follow him in this view (see Martin, iii. 140 sq.), we cannot agree with him as to the form of the doctrine contained in the Platonic writings. In the Phaedo, 109 B sq., 111 A sq. (cf. Cratylus 109 B), Plato understands by aether, in accordance with ordinary usage, the purer air lying next to our atmosphere, and still more definitely he says, Timaeus 58 D: ἀέρος, τὸ μὲν εὐαγέστατον ἐπίκλην αἰθὴρ καλούμενος. The aether is not a fifth element with him. He could not admit the dodecahedron (as Martin proves, ii. 245 sqq.) in his construction of the elements, because it is bounded, not by triangles, but equilateral pentagons, which again are composed neither (as Stallbaum thinks, ad loc.) of equilateral nor of rectangular triangles of one of the two Platonic elementary forms. The conclusion is, that the theory which constructs the elementary bodies out of triangles, and explains the transition of one element into another by the separation and different combination of its elementary triangles, belongs originally to Plato and not to Philolaus, who classes the dodecahedron as an elementary form with the four other bodies. The form which this theory takes in Plato must be foreign to Philolaus, because Plato’s reduction of matter to pure space is unknown to him. Plato himself clearly gives us to understand that this discovery is his own, when he introduces the enquiry about the material primal cause and the formation of the four elements, Timaeus 48 B, with the remark: νῦν γὰρ οὐδείς πω γένεσιν αὐτῶν μεμήνυκεν, ἀλλ’ ὡς εἰδόσιν πῦρ ὅτι ποτέ ἐστιν καὶ ἕκαστον αὐτῶν λέγομεν ἀρχὰς αὐτὰ τιθέμενοι στοιχεῖα τοῦ παντός.

22^ All superficies, he says, 53 C sqq., consist of triangles, and all triangles arise out of two different right-angled triangles, the isosceles and the scalene; of the scalene, however, the best and consequently the most congenial for the formation of the elements is that of which the lesser cathetus is half as large as the hypothenuse. Out of six such triangles arises an equilateral triangle, and out of four isosceles triangles arises a square. Out of the square is formed the cube, out of equilateral triangles the three remaining bodies. (There fore, 54 B sq.: τρίγωνα ἐξ ὧν τό τε τοῦ πυρὸς καὶ τὰ τῶν ἄλλων σώματα μεμηχάνηται … ἐκ τοῦ ἰσοσκελοῦς τριγώνου συναρμοσθέν.) The fact that he here attributes to the square four and not two, to the equilateral triangle six and not two elementary triangles, is accounted for by his wish to resolve them into their smallest parts (cf. Timaeus 48 B). For this purpose he divided the equilateral triangle by the perpendicular, and the square by the diagonal (cf. Martin, ii. 239: according to Plutarch the Pythagoreans emphasised the threefold bisection of the equilateral triangle by its perpendicular as an important quality of it; see vol. i. 337, 2). From the combination of the elements which he assumes Plato infers that only a part of them change into one another; v. next note.

23^ 54 C: not all the elements pass into one another, but only the three higher: ἐκ γὰρ ἑνὸς ἅπαντα πεφυκότα λυθέντων τε τῶν μειζόνων πολλὰ σμικρὰ ἐκ τῶν αὐτῶν συστήσεται, δεχόμενα τὰ προσήκοντα ἑαυτοῖς σχήματα, καὶ σμικρὰ ὅταν αὖ πολλὰ κατὰ τὰ τρίγωνα διασπαρῇ, γενόμενος εἷς ἀριθμὸς ἑνὸς ὄγκου μέγα ἀποτελέσειεν ἂν ἄλλο εἶδος ἕν. From this point of view the subject is further treated, 56 D sqq. If one element is split up by an other of smaller parts, or a smaller mass of the latter crushed by a larger mass of the former, or if again the elementary bodies of the smaller are united by the pressure of the larger, then out of one part of water arise two parts of air and one part of fire, out of one part of air two parts of fire, and vice versa; the transition of one element into another is brought about by the elementary triangles out of which it is composed being loosened from one another, and by a new combination being formed of the elementary bodies in a different numerical proportion. The whole conception is put in a clear light by Plato’s words, 81 PB sq., on the nourishment, growth, old age, and death of the living being.

24^ If Plato presupposed for his construction of the elements a Material in the ordinary sense, he must either have viewed it as a qualitatively equable and quantitatively undistinguished mass, out of which the elements arose, be cause certain parts of this mass transiently take the form of the elementary bodies — cube, tetrahedron, etc. (in which case there would be not the slightest reason why every element could not come out of every other); or he must have supposed that at the formation of the elements the mass was made in the form of corporeal elements for all time. But then any transition of one clement into another would be impossible, and what according to Plato is true only of the earth, but according to Empedocles of the elements, and to Democritus of the atoms viz. that they may intermingle with, but cannot change into, one another — must hold good of all of them. In neither case could he speak of the resolution of the elements into triangles, and their formation out of triangles, in the way we have seen.

25^ Martin, in his otherwise excellent exposition, ii. 241 sq., is not quite right in saying with Simpl. De Caelo, Schol. in Ar. 510 a. 37; Philop. gen. et corr. 47 a. o.): Si chacune des figures planes qu’il décrit est supposée avoir quelque épaisseur … comme des feuilles minces d‘un métal quelconque, taillés suivant les figures qu’il décrit, et si l‘on suppoe ces feuilles réunies de manière à présenter l’appearence extérieure des quatre corps solides dont il parle, mais a laisser l’intérieur complètement vide, toutes les transformatons indiquées s’expliquent parfaitment … Nous considérons done les triangles et les carrés de Platon comme des feuil‘es minces de matière corporelle. Plato does not, as Martin believes, inaccurately call plane bodies planes; he is thinking of actual planes, which, however, he treats as plane bodies. This is easily explained, if mathematical abstractions are once taken as something real more real than matter.

26^ So too Aristotle, who here understands the Platonic doctrines quite correctly: De Caelo, iii. 1 298 b. 33. Ibid. c. 7, 8; 305 4. 35, 306 a. sqq., gen. et corr. i. 2, 315 b. 30 sqq. ii. 1, 329 a. 21 sq.; cf. Alex. Aphr. Quaest. nat. ii. 13, against the variant opinion of many Platonists.

27^ 54 C, 50 A, D. How the earth stands to the three other elements as regards the magnitude of its smallest bodily parts is not here stated: but as it is the heaviest element, it must have the largest parts. Cf. 60 E.

28^ 57 C sq.; this can be reconciled with the previous quotation, by supposing (with Martin, ii. 254) that the largest part of fire is never so large as the smallest part of air, etc.

29^ 52 D sqq., 57 B sqq. Plato here derives the separation of matter in space from the original motion of matter: the result is that the lighter rises and the heavier sinks, just as in the winnowing of corn. But immediately after, he explains, 57 E sq., the motion itself as purely physical, springing out of the dissimilarity of the elements. It is, however, difficult to conceive how elementary distinctions and properties could have come into matter before God divided the latter into elementary forms, from which alone the distinctions can proceed. We may, therefore, class this point amongst the mythical parts of the Timaeus; cf. p. 391 sq., 304 sq.

30^ From 50 B we might infer that Plato identified heaviness and lightness with greatness and small-ness. Fire, he says, is the lightest of the three superior elements, be cause it consists of the smallest number of equal-sized parts, and similarly the two others in pro portion. Hence the further notion, that, just as smallness is merely a smaller amount of greatness, so lightness is only a smaller amount of heaviness. Everything tends to the mean; that which has large parts tends to it more powerfully than that which has smaller parts. So the latter is moved upward not of its own nature, but by the pressure of heavy bodies. (So Democritus; v. vol. i. 701, 713.) Plato himself, however, expressly rejects the supposition, 62 C sqq., that everything moves downward by nature, and upward only as a consequence of some compulsion. In the universe, there is no up and down, only an inner and an outer; nor does he imagine any general striving towards the mean, — certainly not a universal attraction of all matter. He simply says that every element has its natural place, out of which it can be removed only by force: to this force it offers greater opposition the greater its mass. The natural place of all bodies is the κάτω. Towards this they strive; and the heaviness of a body consists merely in its striving to unite itself with what is congenial (or to prevent its separation from it), Ritter, ii. 400, wrongly infers from Timaeus 61 C, that the elements have sensation together with this striving; the words ὑπάρχειν αἴσθησιν δεῖ signify (as Stallbaum rightly explains that they must be an object of sensation.

31^ Cf.vol. i. 374, 2; 637 (Empedocles v. 133).

32^ 58 A sqq., 60 C (Empedocles and Anaxagoras, following the, Eleatics (see vol. i. 472 2; 516; 620, 2; 803, 1), had denied Void. Hence a double difficulty to Plato. First, his four elementary bodies never fill up any space so completely that no intermediate space is left (Aristotle, De Caelo, iii. 8, beginn.), to say nothing of the fact that no sphere can be entirely filled out by rectilineal figures. And the resolution of an elementary body into its component triangles must produce a void each time, as there was nothing between them Martin, ii. 255 sq.). Plato must, either have disregarded these difficulties which, in the case of the first, would have been strange for a mathematician to do or else he does not mean to deny void absolutely, but merely to assert that no space remains void which can at all be taken possession of by a body.

33^ 58 A sq.

34^ Further details on this resolution of the elements, 60 E sqq.

35^ Timaeus 56 C-58 C (with 57 E: κίνησιν δὲ εἰς ἀνωμαλότητα ἀεὶ τιθῶμεν, cf. the quotation Pt. i. 302-3). This doctrine of the elements is followed by a discussion of separate phenomena, remarkable for its acuteness, though naturally insufficient for the demands of modern knowledge. He treats next, 58 C sqq., of the different kinds of fire, air, and particularly water, under which he includes liquid (ὕδωρ ὑγρόν), but also what is fusible (ὕδωρ χυτὸν), the metals, and then ice, hail, snow, hoar frost, the juice of plants (particularly wine), oil, honey, ὀπὸς (not opium, as Martin thinks, ii. 262, but the acids obtained from plants to curdle milk, so called in Homer). Further, 60 B sqq. he treats of the various kinds of earth, stone, bricks, natron, lava, glass, wax, etc.; 61 D sqq., of warmth and cold, hardness and softness, heaviness and lightness; 64 A sq. of the conditions under which anything becomes the object of sensations of pleasure or pain; 65 B sqq. of the qualities of things perceptible by taste; 66 D sqq. on smells, which all arise either in the transition of air into water, or of water into air; in the former case they are called ὁμίχλη, in the latter καπνὸς: 67 A sqq. cf. 80 A sq. treats of tones; 67 C-69 A (cf. Meno, 76 C sq.), of colours. To explain these phenomena Plato starts from his presuppositions as to the fundamental parts of the elements. He seeks to show who the separate bodies, according to the composition of their smallest parts and the extent of the intermediate space, at one time admit air and fire to pass through, but are burst by water, at another time forbid the entrance of water and admit fire. Hence he concludes that the two former are destructible by water, and the latter by fire. He explains the hardening of molten metals, the freezing of water, the condensation of earth into stone, and the like, by supposing that the parts of fire and water contained in them, passing out and seeking their natural place, press the surrounding air against the materials in question, and so condense them. Similarly (79 E-80 C; cf. Martin, ii. 342 sqq.), he tries to explain the downward motion of lightning, the apparently attractive power of amber and the magnet, and other phenomena. He observes that every sensation depends upon a motion of the object which occasions it; this motion is transmitted through the intervening space to the senses, and further to the soul, etc. I cannot here enter further into this portion of the dialogue; much useful matter is given by Martin, ii. 254-294: Steinhart, vi. 251 sq.; Susemihl, ii. 425 sq., 432 sqq.

36^ This is so according to the Timaeus 33 B sqq. because the sphere is the most perfect figure, and because the universe needs no limbs.

37^ 40 B (with which cf. Böckh, Cosm. Syst. Plat. p. 59 sqq.; Klein. Schr. ii i. 294 sqq.): cf. 62 E; Phaedo, 108 E. The statement of Theophrastus apud Plut, quaest. Plat. viii. 1, p. 1006; Numa, c. ii. — viz. that Plato in his later years regretted having made the earth the middle point of the universe in the Timaeus, because this belonged to a better, i.e. the central fire — is with good reason suspected by Martin, ii. 91, and Böckh, Cosm. Syst. 144 sqq., because (1) it rests merely on a report which might easily have been transferred to Plato by Academics of Pythagorean tendencies (Aristotle De Caelo, ii. 13 293 a. 27); because (2) even the latest works of Plato display no trace of any such opinion: and (3) the Epinomis, which was composed by the editor of the laws — one of Plato’s most strictly astronomical pupils, and designed for the astronomical completion of this latter dialogue — is acquainted only with the geocentric system of the Timaeus: see 986 A sqq., 990 A sq.

38^ 36 B sqq., 40 A sq. (On the distance of the planets, cf. p. 350.) Besides the above conceptions, Gruppe, Kosm. Syst. d. Gr. 125, would attribute to Plato the doctrines of the epicycle, and the eccentric; cf. against him Böckh, Kosm. Syst, 126 sq. A different system from that of the Timseus (viz. the Philolaic system) has been suspected in the Phaedrus, 246 E sqq.: I think, however, that Susemihl, Genet. Entw. i. 234 sq. is right in limiting the influence of Philolaus to a few traits. I cannot agree with Martin (ii. 138 sq., 114), and Stallbaum (in mythum Plat. de div. amoris ortu, cf. Susemihl in Jahn’s Jahrb. lxxv, 589 sq.), in trying to make out the twelve gods of the Phaedrus by adding the three regions of water, air, and aether to the earth, and the eight circles of the stars. Plato would not have called these elements gods, and the description of moving does not suit them. The twelve gods of the popular religion are meant, and astronomical determinations are transferred to them. Consequently we can draw no conclusion from the passage. Further details apud Susemihl.

39^ Böckh has shown that this is Plato’s real meaning, De Plat. Syst. Cael. glob. p. vi. sqq. (1810), and subsequently in his treatise on the Cosmic system of Plato, pp. 14, 75, and Kl. Schr. loc. cit, (in opposition to Gruppe, die Kosm. Syst. d. Gr. 1851, p. 1 sqq. and Grote, Plato’s doctrine of the rotation of the earth, 1860, cf. Plato, iii. 257; Martin, vi. 86 sqq., and Susemihl in Jahn’s Jahrb. lxxv., 598 sq. against a follower of Gruppe). This becomes in the highest degree probable from the circumstance that Plato, Timaeus 39 B, derives day and night from the motion of the heaven of the fixed stars, and, 38 C sqq., 39 B; Republic x. 616 C sqq., throughout he reckons the sun among the planets; by the former the daily, and by the latter the yearly motion of the earth is kept up. It might be said that we could account for the motion of the constellations by supposing that, together with the daily revolution of the firmament and the individual motions of the planets, there is also a revolution of the earth, either from east to west, or west to east, but far less rapid than that of the heaven of the fixed stars. But Plato has no where suggested this idea, nor made the least effort to explain the phenomena on such a supposition. There was nothing to induce him to make such an artificial and far-fetched hypothesis. The Timaeus, 34 A sq., 36 B sqq., 38 E sq., 40 A, always speaks of two motions only of the whole heaven and the planets, and the Phaedo, 109 A, undoubtedly treats the earth as at rest. Böckh, Kosm. Syst. 63 sqq., proves that Timaeus 40 B does not contradict this view: εἰλλομένην there means not ‘revolving’ but ‘formed into a ball.’ In the Law, vii. 822, we have the same statement as Timaeus 39 A. Aristotle certainly says De Caelo, ii. 13 293, b. 30: Ἔνιοι δὲ καὶ κειμένην ἐπὶ τοῦ κέντρου φασὶν αὐτὴν (the earth) ἴλλεσθαι καὶ κινεῖσθαι περὶ τὸν διὰ παντὸς τεταμένον πόλον, ὥσπερ ἐν τῷ Τιμαίῳ γέγραπται, and κινεῖσθαι (as Prantl shows in his edition, p. 311) cannot be removed from the text (with two MSS. and Bekker), because it recurs c. 14 begin. unanimously attested. There are many things against Böckh’s view (loc. cit. 70 sqq.) that the mention of the Timaeus (ὥσπερ ἐν τῷ Τιμαίῳ γέγραπται) refers only to the ἴλλεσθαι (or εἱλεῖσθαι), and not to the additional κινεῖσθαι, and that Aristotle here meant to attribute the assertion that the earth moves round the axis of the universe not to Plato himself, but to others unknown to us. It only does not follow from this that Plato supposed a revolution of the earth round an axis, whether daily or in a longer space of time. I cannot approve of the conjecture (Prantl, loc. cit.; Susemihl, Genet. Entw. ii. 380 sq.) that Plato ascribed to the earth at least a vibrating motion towards the axis of the universe, and that this is what the κινεῖσθαι of Aristotle refers to. Aristotle, as is clearly shown by c. 14, 296 a. 34 sq., 7, means a motion from west to east corresponding to the individual movement of the planets; the Timaeus, on the contrary, says nothing about a motion of the earth. Since, then, this word cannot be removed from the passage of Aristotle, we can only acknowledge that in this case Aristotle misunderstood the words of the Timaeus, perhaps led to do so by some Platonists who took the passage in that way. This was quite possible from the words, and Plato is even thus credited with far less extravagance than we find in the Meteorology, ii. 2, 355 b. 32 sqq. The passage of the Timaeus, ap. Cic. Acad. ii. 39, 123 (perhaps from Heraclides: see Part i. p. 687, 4, 2nd edit.) refers to a daily revolution of the earth round its axis. Cf. Teichmüller, Stud. z. Gesch. d. Begriffe, 238 sqq., whose explanation agrees in its results with the above, which was written before the appearance of his work.

40^ Timaeus 36 B sqq., 39 B sqq.: cf. Republic x. 617 A sq.; Laws vii. 822 A sq.; also Epinomis 986 E sq., and Böckh, Kosm. Syst. 16-59; Martin, ii. 42 sq., 80 sq. As regards the time of the planets revolution, Plato supposes it the same for the sun, Venus, and Mercury (this is the order in which he puts them, reckoning outwards), the motion of the heaven of the fixed stars is denoted as ἐπὶ δεξιὰ, Timaeus 36 C, of the planets as ἐπ’ ἀριστερά, plainly in order that the more complete motion may be ascribed to the more complete objects. In this Plato most have by an artifice contented himself with the ordinary usage which makes the east the right and the west the left side of the world. The motion from east to west is therefore towards the left, and vice versa. V. Böckh, p. 28 sqq. Laws, vi. 760 D; on another occasion, Epinomis 987 B, in an astronomical reference, the east is treated as the right side.

41^ Timaeus 37 D-38 C, 39 B sqq. Hence the tenet here that time was created with the world (see p. 669). Ibid, on the distinction between endless time and eternity. Maguire’s (Pl. Id. 103, see chap. vii. 42) assertion, that Plato considered time as something merely subjective is entirely without foundation.

42^ Timaeus 39 D.

43^ This duration of the year of the world (pre-supposed Republic vii. 546 B, as will be shown later on) is expressed more definitely in the statement (Phaedrus 248 C, E, 249 B; Republic x. 615 A C, 621 D), that the souls which have not fallen remain free from the body throughout one revolution of the universe, while the others enter into human life ten times, and after each period of life among men have to complete a period of 1000 years (strictly speaking, the period would be 11,000 years, but the inaccuracy must be attributed to the myth). Hence the curious assertion, Timaeus 23 D sq., that the oldest historical recollection does not reach beyond 9000 years. Other calculations of the great years are not to be taken as Platonic (cf. Martin, ii. 80). Plato is so evidently giving a round number with his usual mixture of dogmatism and symbolism, that to connect his great year, as Steinhart does, vi. 102, with observations on the advance of the equinoxes, is beside the question. Cf. Susemihl, Phil. xv. 423 sq.; Gen. Ent. ii. 360, 379.

44^ Politicus 269 C sqq., where of course (cf. Timaeus 36 E, and elsewhere) Plato is not in earnest in supposing that God from time to time withdraws from the government of the world: Timaeus 22 B sqq., 23 D; Laws, iii. 677 A sqq.

45^ This is clear from Timaeus 36 B sqq., 38 C, 40 A sq. But it is not quite clear how we are to conceive this circle itself. The description mentioned p. 358, depicts the circles of the planets as small bands bent into a circle, and the circle of the fixed stars as a band of the same kind, only much broader; doubtless Plato imagined the latter (as it appears to the eye) as a sphere, and the circles of the planets only as linear or like a band.

46^ Timaeus 4) A: κινήσεις δὲ δύο προσῆψεν ἑκάστῳ, τὴν μὲν ἐν ταὐτῷ κατὰ ταὐτά, περὶ τῶν αὐτῶν ἀεὶ τὰ αὐτὰ ἑαυτῷ διανοουμένῳ, τὴν δὲ εἰς τὸ πρόσθεν, ὑπὸ τῆς ταὐτοῦ καὶ ὁμοίου περιφορᾶς κρατουμένῳ. Plato says this of the fixed stars; whether he intended that it should hold good of the planets is questionable. In favour of this view we might allege that the motion which Plato considers to be peculiar to reason (cf. p. 358 sq.) must also belong to the planets: for they are rational beings or visible gods. And acc. to p. 40 B (where I cannot agree with Susemihl’s explanation, Philol. xv. 426) they are fashioned according to the fixed stars (κατ’ ἐκεῖνα γέγονεν). These reasons, however, are not decisive. The planets may be fashioned according to the fixed stars without at the same time resembling them in all points: and Plato himself, loc. cit., distinctly indicates their difference, in that the one κατὰ ταὐτὰ ἐν ταὐτῷ στρεφόμενα ἀεὶ μένει, while the others are τρεπόμενα καὶ πλάνην τοιαύτην ἴσχοντα, which rather means that the latter are without motion ἐν ταὐτῷ. In the case of the fixed stars reason is connected with their reflex motion; but even the earth, 40 C, is designated as a divinity, although it has not that motion (as Susemihl rightly remarks, loc. cit.); and this also holds good of the central fire of the Pythagoreans and the Ἑστία of the Phaedrus (247 A). As only two and not three motions are mentioned in the case of the planets (38 C sqq.), I think (with Steinhart, vi. 109; Susemihl, loc. cit. and Genet. Entw. ii 385) that Plato more probably attributed to the planets the motion on their own axes which Martin, Etudes, ii. 83, and Böckh Kosm. Syst. 59, with Proclus, ascribe to them. The planets do not, like the fixed stars, belong to the κύκλος τάὐτοῦ, but to the κύκλος θατέρον (see p. 358).

47^ There is no phenomenon which they serve to explain, nor any law known to Plato from which they could be derived; and the coruscation of the fixed stars, which Susemihl mentions loc. cit. could at the most have been considered merely as a confirmation but not as the proper ground of the theory.

48^ See p. 359 sq. and note 2, the words περὶ τ. αὐτ. … διανοουμένῳ.

49^ Timaeus 38 E, 39 E sqq.: there are four kinds of vital existences; the first is the heavenly, belonging to the gods. The Demiurgus formed this for the most part out of tire, so that it might be as beautiful and bright to look upon as possible, and gave it the round form of the universe and the motions discussed above: ἐξ ἧς δὴ τῆς αἰτίας γέγονεν ὅσ’ ἀπλανῆ τῶν ἄστρων ζῷα θεῖα ὄντα καὶ ἀίδια καὶ κατὰ ταὐτὰ ἐν ταὐτῷ στρεφόμενα ἀεὶ μένει: τὰ δὲ τρεπόμενα καὶ πλάνην τοιαύτην ἴσχοντα, καθάπερ ἐν τοῖς πρόσθεν ἐρρήθη, κατ’ ἐκεῖνα γέγονεν. Cf. Laws x, 886 D, 898 D sqq., xii. 966 D sqq.; Cratylus 397 C.

50^ As Plato says, Republic vii. 530 A, even the stars cannot correspond to mathematical rules quite perfectly, and without any deviation, because after all they are visible, and have a body. He thus seems to have noticed that the phenomena do not altogether agree with his astronomical system; but instead of giving an astronomical solution of the difficulty (which was indeed impossible to him), he cuts the knot by a mere theory.

51^ Cf. p. 344 sq. Hence in Laws x 898, D sqq (on the basis of the psychology developed loc. cit.), it is shown that the stars are gods. (There is nothing in the passage about the animation of the years, months, and seasons, such as Teichmüller, Stud. z. Gesch. d. Begr. 362, finds in 899 B, and which he would make out that the animation of the stars is not to be taken literally; the passage simply says that souls — those of the stars — are πάντων τούτων αἴτιαι.)

52^ θεοὶ ὁρατοὶ καὶ γεννητοὶ Timaeus 40 D; cf. 41 A sqq., and supra, note 49.

53^ Timaeus 47 B sq.

54^ Teichmüller (Stud. z. Gesch. d. Begr. 185 sq.; cf. 353 sqq.) says that Plato’s created (gewordene) gods are merely metaphorical meaning that the Ideas of the gods just as the Ideas of mortal beings are contained in the Idea of the animal. He can of course appeal to the difficulty which results as soon as ever we endeavour to determine precisely the conception of the spiritual individuality of the stars, as well as to the obviously mythical elements which run through the narrative of their creation (39 E sq., 42 A sq.). But similar difficulties arise in very many doctrinal determinations without giving us any right to reject them as un-Platonic; as e.g. in the doctrine of the World-soul, and of the three parts of the human soul, etc. If the narrative of the origin of the stars bears the same mythical character as the whole cosmogony of the Timaeus, it does not follow that Plato is not in earnest in what he says about its intelligence and divinity, not only here but also in the Laws. He speaks of the formation of the world in an equally mythical way, but he does not therefore doubt that the world is the most perfect revelation of the Idea, — the become God. He tells us myth after myth about the origin and destiny of the human soul; but who can dispute that the soul is to him the divine in man, the seat of the intellect? Plato distinctly gives us to understand that the case is essentially different with the divinity of the stars, and with the divinity of the purely mythical gods Chronos, Rhea, etc. In the well-known passage of Timaeus 40 E sq., he refuses with withering irony to express his views about these, as he has just done in the case of the former; and Teichmüller himself has correctly enunciated the reasons which, according to the above, induced Plato, as they did Aristotle and other philosophers afterwards, to suppose that the stars are animated by an intellect far higher than that of men. Where the tenets, which a philosopher expresses with all definiteness, so clearly proceed from presuppositions acknowledged by him, we cannot doubt that they correspond to his actual opinions. Plato certainly does not in the least endeavour to form for us a more precise conception of the animation of the stars. He does not tell us whether he attributes to them a self-consciousness, sensibility, or will, whether, in short, he imagines their life to be personal or not. But has he made any such scientific statement with reference to the World-soul or the Divinity? Has he accurately analysed human self-consciousness? Whenever the doctrines of an ancient philosopher give us occasion to ask questions, to which we find no answers in that philosopher’s works, our first enquiry should always be whether he ever proposed these questions to himself; and in the present case we are not justified in assuming this.

55^ 30 C sqq., 36 E, 37 C, 39 E, 34 A sq., 68 E, 92 end. Cf. beginning of the Critias. This exposition might, to a great extent, have been borrowed from Philolaus, if we could depend upon the genuineness of the fragments in Stob. Ecl. i. 420, the beginning of which has many points of similarity with Timaeus 32 C sqq., 37 A, 38 C. Cf., however, vol. i. 317, 4; 359, 1.

56^ In itself the world, and also the created gods, are not necessarily indissoluble, since everything which has come into being can pass away. But only their creator could destroy them; and this he would not wish to do by reason of his goodness. Timaeus 32 C, 38 B, 41 A. Cf, p. 4000 sq.

57^ See p. 112, 171, and 266.

58^ Timaeus 39 E, 41 B, 69 C, 92 end.

Top ↑

Chapter IX. Man. The Nature of the Human Soul

Plato has discussed the nature of the soul and of man both mythically and scientifically. In more or less mythical language, he speaks of the origin and pre-existence of souls, of their condition after death, and of Recollection (ἀνάμνησις). His enquiries into the divisions of the soul, and the interdependence of spiritual and corporeal life, are conducted in a more exclusively scientific manner. Our attention must first be directed to the mythical and half-mythical representations; for even the more strictly scientific utterances often receive their fullest elucidation from these. But we must previously glance at the general concept of the Soul, as determined by Plato.

We are told in the Timaeus (41 sqq.) that when the Creator had formed the Universe as a whole and the godlike natures in it (the stars), He commanded the created gods to produce mortal beings. They therefore fashioned the human body and the mortal part of the soul. He Himself prepared its immortal part in the same cup in which He had before fashioned the World-soul. The materials and the mixture were the same, only in less purity. This means, if we abstract |389| the form of the representation, that the essence of the human soul, conceived apart from its union with the body, is the same as that of the World-soul, except for the difference of the derived from the original, the part from the whole.1 If then the World-soul is, with regard to Being in general, the mediatising principle between the Idea and the Phenomenon, the first form of existence of the Idea in multiplicity, this must also hold good of the human soul. Though not itself the Idea,2 it is so closely combined with the Idea that it cannot be conceived without it. Reason cannot impart itself to any nature except through the instrumentality of the soul;3 conversely, it is so entirely essential in the soul to participate in the Idea of life, that death can never enter it.4 Hence the soul is expressly defined as the self-moved.5 But this it can only be so far as its essence is specifically different from that of the body, and akin to that of the Idea; for life and motion originally belong to the Idea, and all life, even of derived existence, comes from it.6 The Idea. in contradistinction to the plurality of Sensible things, is absolutely uniform and self-identical, and, in contradistinction to their transitoriness, is absolutely eternal. The soul, in its true nature, is without end or beginning |390| free from all multiplicity, inequality, and compositeness.7 More precise explanations than these, in regard to the universal concept of the soul, we vainly seek in Plato.

This high position, however, only belongs to the soul, as contemplated in its pure essential nature without reference to the disturbing influence of the body. The soul’s present condition is so little adapted to that essential nature, that Plato can only account for it by a departure of the souls from their original state; and he finds no consolation for its imperfection, except in a prospective return to that state.

The Creator of the world (so the Timaeus continues, 41 D sqq.) formed in the beginning as many souls as there were stars,8 and placed each soul in a star,9 |391| ordaining that they should thence contemplate the universe, and afterwards be implanted in bodies. At first, all were to come into the world alike, as men. Whoever should overcome the senses in this bodily existence should again return to a blessed existence in his star. Whoever did not accomplish this, should assume at the second birth the form of a woman; but, in case of continued wickedness, he should sink down among beasts,10 and not be released from this wandering until, by conquest over his lower nature, his soul had regained its original perfection. In accordance with this decree, the souls were distributed, some on the earth, some on the planets,11 and the created gods fashioned for them bodies, and the mortal parts of the soul.

This exposition differs from the much earlier one of the Phaedrus (246 sqq.) as follows. The entrance of souls into bodies, which the Timaeus primarily derives from a universal cosmic law, is in the Phaedrus ultimately reduced to a decline of the souls from their destiny. Hence the mortal part, which the Timaeus only allows to approach the immortal soul when it |392| enters the body, is, with regard to both its components, Courage and Desire,12 already attributed to the soul in the pre-existent state: there would otherwise be nothing to mislead souls to their fall.13 In other respects, the fundamental ideas of both dialogues are the same. If a soul, overcoming Desire, follows the choir of the gods |393| up to the super-celestial place to behold pure entities, it remains for a period of 10,000 years, — one revolution of the universe, — free from the body: but those souls which neglect to do this, and forget their highest nature, sink down to the earth. At their first birth, all, as stated in the Phaedrus, are implanted in human, and male, bodies; only their lots vary according to their merit. After death, all are judged, and placed for a thousand years, some as a punishment under the earth, some as a reward in heaven. This period having elapsed, they have again to choose, — the evil as well as the good, — a new kind of life; and in this choice, human souls pass into beasts, or from beasts back into human bodies. Those alone who thrice in succession have spent their lives in the pursuit of wisdom, are allowed to return, after the three thousand years, to the super-celestial abode. The latter part of this representation is confirmed by the Republic.14 The souls after death are there said to come into a place where they are judged: the just are led away thence to the right, into heaven; the unjust to the left, beneath the earth. Both, as a tenfold reward of their deeds, have to accomplish a journey of a thousand years, which for the one is full of sorrow, for the other of blessed visions.15 At the end of his thousand years, each soul has again to select an earthly lot, either human or animal, and only the very greatest sinners are cast forever |394| into Tartarus.16 The Politicus17 also recognises a periodical entrance of souls into bodies.

The Gorgias (523 sqq.) gives a detailed account of the future judgment, again with the qualification that incorrigible sinners are to be everlastingly punished: and the Phaedo (109 sqq.), with much cosmological imagery, describes the state after death in the same way. Here four lots are distinguished (113 D sqq.): that of ordinary goodness, of incurable wickedness, of curable wickedness, and of extraordinary holiness. People of the first class find themselves in a condition which, though happy, is still subject to purification; those of the second are eternally punished; those of the third temporarily.18 Those who are remarkable for goodness attain to perfect bliss, the highest grade of which — entire freedom from the body — is the portion of the true philosopher alone.19 This passage is to be taken in connection with the former one, Phaedo (80 sqq.), which makes the return of the greater number of souls into corporeal life (as men or animals) a necessary consequence of their attachment to the things of sense. But the Gorgias not only represents much more strongly than the Phaedo the distinction of |395| ordinary from philosophical virtue, and its importance in determining future conditions, but contains a some what different eschatology. According to the other descriptions, the departed spirits appear immediately after death before the bar of judgment, and only resume a body at the end of a thousand years. Here, the souls that hanker after sensible things are said to hover as shadows around the graves, until their desire draws them again into new bodies.20

Plato employs the same method in the doctrine of Recollection, to explain the phenomena of the present life. The possibility of learning, he says,21 would be incomprehensible, the sophistic objection that one can not learn that which is known, nor seek that which is unknown,22 would be unanswerable, if the unknown were not in some other relation to the known; some thing namely that man has once known and then again forgotten. Experience shows this to be actually the case. How could mathematical and other truths be extracted merely by questions from a person to whom they had hitherto been entirely strange, if they were not previously latent in him? How could sensible things remind us of universal concepts if the latter were not known to us independently of the former? They cannot be abstracted from the things themselves, for no particular represents its essence exactly and completely. But if these concepts and cognitions are given us |396| before any presentation has been appropriated, we cannot have acquired them in this life, but must have brought them with us from a previous life.23 The facts of learning, and of conceptual knowledge are only to be explained by the pre-existence of the soul. This doctrine alone makes Thought, distinguishing characteristic of human nature,24 comprehensible to us.

That the above descriptions as they stand were regarded by Plato not as dogmatic teaching but as myths, it scarcely required his express assertions25 to prove: this is unmistakably shown by the contradictions not only between one dialogue and another, but often in the, very same; the careless prodigality with which historical and physical wonders are heaped together; the occasional intermingling of irony;26 and the precise detailing of particularities that are beyond all human ken. But he no less clearly asserts that these myths were viewed by him not as mere myths, but also as hints of the truth, worth serious consideration;27 |397| and he therefore combines with them moral exhortations which he never would have grounded on uncertain fables.28 It is difficult, however, to make out precisely where that which is intended to be dogmatic ends, and that which is mythical begins. Plato himself was manifestly in uncertainty, and for that very reason betakes himself to the myth. The doctrine of immortality is the point, the strictly dogmatic signification of which can least be doubted. Not only in the Phaedo, but in the Phaedrus and Republic, too, it is the subject of a complete philosophic demonstration. But this demonstration is directly founded on the concept of the soul, as determined by the whole interconnection of the Platonic system. The soul in its Idea is that to the essence of which life belongs: at no moment, therefore, can it be conceived as not living. This ontological proof of immortality sums up all the separate proofs in the Phaedo,29 and is brought forward in |398| the Phaedrus, where it is shown that as the soul is ever in motion and is the first beginning of all motion, it must be indestructible as well as underived.30 The |399| same argument is used in the Republic,31 where it is said that the destruction of a thing is caused by its own inherent evil. But the evil of the soul, that is moral evil, does not weaken its faculty of life. If the soul could be destroyed at all, vice, says Plato, would have destroyed it; as this is not the case, we see that an absolutely indestructible life is inherent in it. In a word, the nature of the soul guarantees that it cannot cease to live: it is the immediate cause of all life and motion; and though both may be borrowed by the soul from a higher, namely the Idea, yet it is32 only by means of the soul that the Idea can impart itself to the Corporeal.33 Therefore, in proportion as it is |400| necessary that the Idea in the universe should be manifested in the phenomenon, the soul, as the medium of |401| this manifestation, is also necessary; and as it is impossible that the universe and its motion can ever |402| cease, so it is impossible that the soul should either have had a beginning or be subject to destruction.34 Plato cannot mean that this holds good only of the World-soul, and not of individual souls. In his view these are not emanations of the World-soul, coming forth from it for a certain time, and returning into it; but as particular Ideas stand side by side with the highest Idea, so particular souls stand beside the universal soul in self-dependent individuality. Both are of like nature: both must be equally imperishable. The soul, as such, is the principle of motion, and is inseparably combined with the Idea of Life: therefore each particular soul must be so. This argument is not altogether valid.35 It certainly follows from the premises that there must always be souls, but not that these souls must be forever the same.36 It is questionable |403| whether Plato would have attained his firm conviction of immortality had it not commended itself to |404| him on other grounds. We must remember the strong moral interest attaching to a belief in future retribution which is so prominent in his writings,37 and the agreement of the doctrine of immortality with his high idea of the worth and destiny of the spirit;38 together with the support it gave to his theory of knowledge, by means of the principle of Recollection. As far as the scientific establishment of this doctrine is concerned, Plato comprehends everything in the single demand that we should recognise the essential nature of the soul, which excludes the possibility of its destruction.

This argument shows the close interconnection between the doctrine of immortality and that of pre-existence. If it be impossible to imagine the |405| soul as not living this must equally hold good the future and of the past; its existence can as little begin with this life as end with it. Strictly speaking, it can never have begun at all; for the soul being itself the source of all motion, from what could motion have proceeded? Accordingly, Plato hardly ever mentions immortality without alluding to pre-existence and his expressions are as explicit and decided about the one as the other. In his opinion they stand or fall together, and he uses them alike to explain the facts of our spiritual life. We therefore cannot doubt that he was thoroughly in earnest in his assumption of a pre-existence. And that this pre-existence had no beginning is so often asserted by him39 that a mythical representation like that of the Timaeus can hardly be allowed any weight to the contrary.40 We must nevertheless admit the possibility |406| that in his later years he did not strictly abide by the consequences of his system, nor definitely propound to himself the question whether the soul had any historical beginning, or only sprang, to its essential nature, from some higher principle.

If the two poles of this ideal circle, Pre-existence and Immortality, be once established, there is no evading the doctrine of Recollection which lies between them; and the notions of Transmigration and of future rewards and punishments appear, the more we consider them, to be seriously meant. With regard to Recollection, Plato speaks in the above-cited passages so dogmatically and definitely, and the theory is so bound up with his whole system, that we must unconditionally reckon it among the doctrinal constituents of that system. The doctrine is an inference which could not well be escaped if once the pre-existence of the soul were admitted; for an existence of infinite duration must have left in the soul some traces which, though temporarily obscured in our consciousness, could not be for ever obliterated. But it is also in Plato’s opinion the only solution of a most important scientific question: the question as to the possibility of independent enquiry — of thought transcending the sensuous perception. Our thought could not get beyond the Immediate and the Actual; we could not seek for what is as yet unknown to us; nor recognise in what we find, the thing that we sought for; if we had not unconsciously possessed it before we recognised |407| and were conscious of it.41 We could form no conception of Ideas, of the eternal essence of things which is hidden from our perception, if we had not attained to the intuition of these in a former existence.42 The attempt of a modern work to exclude the theory of Recollection from the essential doctrines of the Platonic system,43 is therefore entirely opposed to the teaching of Plato. The arguments for the truth and necessity of this doctrine are not, indeed, from our point of view, difficult to refute; but it is obvious that from Plato’s they are seriously meant.44

As Recollection commended itself to him on scientific grounds, the belief in retribution after death was necessitated by his moral and religious view of the world. However firm his conviction that the unconditional |408| worth of morality could be shown without reference to a hereafter, he held that there would be a discord in the universal order, and that Divine justice would be at fault if, after death, good was not invariably rewarded and evil punished, whatever might have been the case in this world.45 He, therefore, insists on the doctrine of future retribution not only in passages where some concession to popular notions might naturally be expected for didactic or political reasons,46 but also in the strictest scientific enquiries, in a manner which clearly testifies to his personal belief in it;47 and he rightly regards it as so necessary a consequence of immortality, that the one doctrine is involved in the other.48 The precise kind and manner of retribution, however, he thought it impossible to determine; and in reference to this, he was obliged to content himself either with consciously mythical representations, or, as in the physics of the Timaeus, with probability.49

With regard to Transmigration, too, Plato is on the |409| whole in earnest. He himself shows us how it is connected with his whole system. As the living can only arise out of the dead, and the dead out of the living, souls must necessarily be at times without bodies, in order that they may return into new bodies.50 This vicissitude is, therefore, only a consequence of the circle in which all created things are constantly moving and vibrating between opposite poles. The notion of justice, too, requires such an alternation; for if life apart from the body be higher than life in the body, it would be unjust that all souls should not alike be obliged to descend into the lower kind of existence, and that all should not be given a chance of ascending to the higher.51 This argument seems, in Plato’s opinion, to involve that the body and habitation allotted to one rational soul shall not be less perfect than that of another, unless through the soul’s own fault.52 Yet, on the other hand, he considers it quite according to nature that each soul should be removed into a place corresponding with its internal constitution53 |410| and seek out a body that suits it.54 The notion of the soul adopting for its dwelling an animal body, is not only very repugnant to ourselves, but even from the Platonic point of view is involved in so many difficulties,55 and is treated by Plato with so much freedom,56 that it is easy to see how ancient and modern commentators have come to regard it as a merely allegorical rendering of the thought that man when he loses himself in a life of sensuality is degraded into a brute.57 Had the question been definitely proposed to Plato, it is probable that he would not have claimed for this notion the dignity of a scientific doctrine.58 Nevertheless, we are clearly not justified in explaining a trait which so persistently |411| recurs in all Plato’s eschatology, as the conscious allegorisation of a moral theorem not essentially belonging to the representation of the future life. Plato seems to have seen in this theory originally borrowed from the Pythagoreans — one of those pregnant myths which he was convinced contained a fundamental truth, though he did not trust himself to determine (and being still a poet as well as a philosopher, perhaps felt no necessity for determining) exactly where this truth began and how far it extended. The souls in their original state, and when sufficiently perfected to return to that state, are represented as entirely free from the body,59 and this doctrine is too closely interwoven with his whole philosophy to justify our limiting it to mean60 that perfect incorporeality is merely an unattainable ideal, and that in reality man even after this present life will possess a body — a nobler body, however, and more obedient to the soul. A philosopher who in his whole procedure consciously and exclusively strives after a release from the body, who so long as the soul carries about with if this evil despairs of attaining his end; who yearns to be free from corporeal bonds, and sees in that freedom the highest reward of the philosophic life; who recognises in the soul an invisible principle, which only in the invisible can reach its natural state;61 such a |412| philosopher, if any one at all, must have been convinced that it was possible for the disciple of true wisdom to attain in the life to come full release from the material element. Since this is just what he does assert, without a word to the contrary, we have not the slightest reason for mistrusting such explanations.62 In these main features, therefore, of the Platonic eschatology, we have to do with Plato’s own opinions.63 Other points may have had in his eyes at any rate an approximate probability; for example, the cosmic revolutions of ten thousand years,64 the duration of future intermediate states, the distinction between curable and incurable transgressions.65 But the further |413| details concerning the other world and the soul’s migrations are so fanciful in themselves, and are sometimes so playfully treated by Plato, that his doctrine, in proportion as it descends into particulars, passes into the region of the Myth.

In connection with these notions, by which alone it can be fully understood, we have now to consider the Platonic theory of the parts of the soul and its relation to the body. As the soul entered the body out of a purer life, as it stands related to the body in no original or essential manner, the sensuous side of the souls life cannot belong to its specific essence. Plato therefore compares the soul66 in its present condition to the sea-god Glaucus, to whom so many shells and sea-weeds have attached themselves that he is disfigured past recognition. He says that when the soul is planted in the body, sensuality and passion67 grow up with it; and he accordingly distinguishes a mortal and an immortal, a rational and an irrational division of the soul.68 Of these, only the rational part is simple; the irrational is again divided into a noble and an |414| ignoble half.69 The former, the noble soul-steed of the Phaedrus, is Courage or vehement Will (ὁ θυμὸς — τὸ θυμοηιδὲς), in which anger, ambition, love of glory, and in general, the better and more powerful passions have their seat. In itself without rational insight, it is disposed to be subordinate to Reason as its natural ally. It has an affinity with Reason, an instinct for the great and good;70 though when deteriorated by evil habits it may often give Reason trouble enough.71 The ignoble part of the mortal soul includes the sum total of sensuous appetites and passions; those faculties under the dominion of sensible likes and dislikes, which Plato usually calls the ἐπιθυμηυικὸν, or so far as property is desired as a means of sensuous enjoyment, the φιλοχρήματον.72 The reasonable part is Thought.73 Thought has its dwelling in the head; Courage in the breast, especially in the heart; Desire in the lower regions.74 The two inferior divisions are not possessed by man alone: the appetitive soul belongs to plants,75 the soul of Courage to animals.76 Even in man the three faculties are not equally distributed, neither in individuals nor in whole nations. Plato assigns Reason pre-eminently to the Greeks, Courage to the northern barbarians, love of |415| gain to the Phoenicians and Egyptians.77 Here, however, the determination universally applies that where the higher part exists, the lower must be presupposed, but not conversely.78

Plato then considers these three faculties not merely as separate forms of activity, but as separate parts of the soul;79 and he proves this from the experimental fact that not only is Reason in man in many ways at strife with Desire, but that Courage, on the one hand, acts blindly without rational intelligence, and on the other, when in the service of Reason, combats Desire. As the same principle in the same relation can only have the same effect, there must be a particular cause underlying each of the three activities of soul.80 The general ground of this theory is to be found in the whole Platonic system. As the Idea stands abruptly in opposition to the Phenomenon, the soul, as most nearly related to the Idea, cannot have the sensible principle originally in itself. Hence the discrimination of the mortal and immortal part of the soul. If, however, the soul has at any time received into itself this sensuality (as is certainly the case), a |416| mediatizing principle must for a similar reason be sought between the two. Hence, within the mortal soul, the second division of the noble part and the ignoble. In accordance with this theory, the three-fold partition should be still further carried out and extended not only to the faculty of Desire, but to Opinion and Knowledge; so that Sensation might belong to the Desiring soul, Opinion to Courage, Knowledge to Reason. These three forms of presentation are definitely distinguished,81 and even assigned to different parts of the soul.82 Plato seems to have been deterred from this combination by the circumstance that he ascribes even to knowledge derived from the senses and from envisagement, as preparatory to reasoned knowledge, a greater worth than to Courage and Desire. He attributes Perception,83 indeed, to the appetitive part of the soul, excluding Reason and Opinion. But he means by this, not so much sensuous perception as the feeling of pleasure and pain. He further contrasts Opinion, even right Opinion, with Reason, and says of the virtue that is entirely founded on Opinion, that it is without intelligence, a mere affair of custom.84 So that Opinion bears the same analogy to Reason that Courage does. |417| In their general relation to moral action they appear to be the same. In the Republic, the guardians of the State first undergo a complete training as warriors, and then85 only a part of them are admitted to the scientific training of rulers. All that belongs to the first educational stage represents the finished development of the courageous part (θυμοηιδὲς), to which the grade of warrior corresponds in the State, and to this stage is also ascribed the virtue founded on habit and opinion.86 But however necessary such a connection may seem to the completion of the Platonic theory, Plato himself, as far as we know, has never expressly enunciated it; and as he elsewhere ascribes Right Opinion and even Perception to the rational part of the soul,87 we should, in pressing the point, be attributing to him what is alien to his system.88

How the unity of the soul is consistent with this threefold partition is a question which Plato doubtless never definitely proposed to himself, and certainly did not attempt to answer. The seat of personality and self-consciousness could of course only lie in the Reason, which originally exists without the other powers, and even after its combination with |418| them remains the ruling part.89 But how the Reason can become one with these powers when, according to its own essential nature, it cannot belong to them, it is hard to see. Plato does not show us how Reason can be affected by the inferior parts of the soul and fall under their dominion:90 nor does he explain why Courage is in its very nature subject to Reason: and when he tells us91 that the covetous part is governed by Reason, by means of the liver, through dreams and prophetic intimations, we are not much assisted by so fanciful an idea. We have here three essences combined with one another; not one essence operating in different directions. This deficiency becomes most apparent in Plato’s conceptions of the future life. How can the bodiless soul still cling to the things of sense — how by its attachment to earth, and its false estimate of external advantages, can it be led into the most grievous mistakes92 in the choice of its allotted life, — how can it be punished in the other world for its conduct in this, — if in laying aside the body it also lays aside its own mortal part, the seat of desire, of pleasure, and of pain? Yet we cannot suppose that the mortal part of the soul survives death, and that that which first belonged to it at its union with the body and in consequence of this union remains when the union is dissolved. There is a manifest lacuna here, or rather series of contradictions: nor can we |419| wonder at it; it would have been much more remarkable had Plato succeeded in developing such strange notions quite consistently.

The case is somewhat similar with regard to another question, which has given much trouble to modern Philosophy, — the freedom of the will. There is no doubt that Plato presupposes this in the sense of freedom of choice. He often speaks of voluntariness and involuntariness in our actions, without a word to imply any other than the ordinary meaning93 of the terms. He distinctly asserts that the will is free;94 and he makes even the external lot of man, the shape under which the soul enters upon earthly existence, the kind of life which each individual adopts, and the events which happened to him, expressly dependent on free choice in a previous state of being.95 Should this |420| seem to indicate the doctrine of so-called Predestination, a closer examination of passages will contradict any such notion. It is only the outward destiny that is decided by the previous choice; virtue is absolutely free, and no state of life is so evil that it does not lie in a man’s own power to be happy or unhappy in it.96 Plato indeed maintains with Socrates that no one is voluntarily bad.97 But this maxim only asserts that no one does evil with the consciousness that it is evil for him: and in Plato’s opinion, ignorance concerning what is truly good, is still the man’s own fault and the result of cleaving to the things of sense.98 And though |421| he says that in most cases of moral degeneracy a sickly constitution or a bad education should chiefly bear the blame, yet we are clearly given to understand that those in such a situation are by no means to be entirely excused, or shut out from the possibility of virtue. Whether these theories are throughout consistent with each other, whether it is logical to declare all ignorance and wickedness involuntary, and yet to assert that man’s will is free and to make him responsible for his moral condition, may be doubtful; but this does not justify us in disregarding the distinct enunciations on free-will that we find in Plato.99 He was probably unconscious of the dilemma in which he was involved. The more general question, — whether we can conceive a free self-determination, and whether such a determination is compatible with the Divine government of the world, and the whole scheme of nature, — appears never to have been raised by him.

The relation of the soul to the body is likewise beset with considerable difficulties. On the one hand, the soul is in its essence so entirely distinct, and in its existence so independent, that it has even existed, and is destined again to exist, without the body; and will only attain a perfect life, corresponding with |422| its true nature, when it is freed from corporeal fetters.100 On the other hand, this alien body exerts on the soul so disturbing an influence, that the soul is dragged down into the stream of Becoming, overwhelmed in error, filled with unrest and confusion, intoxicated by passions and desires, by imaginations, cares and fears.101 The stormy waves of corporeal life disturb and hinder its eternal courses.102 At its entrance into the body it drinks the draught of forgetfulness,103 the visions of its past existence are blotted out beyond recognition. From its union with the body arises that entire disfigurement of its nature which Plato paints in such strong colours.104 Moral faults and spiritual sicknesses are caused by a bodily constitution disordered or diseased; rational care of the body and judicious exercise are most important as a means of spiritual health, and indispensable as preliminary moral training for individuals and for the commonwealth at large.105 Descent and parentage are of the greatest moment; the dispositions and qualities of parents are, in the natural course of things, entailed upon their children. The better the former, the nobler the latter, as a general rule.106 From fiery ancestors spring fiery descendants; from calm ones; calm. Both qualities, if exclusively transmitted in a race, develop themselves unduly:107 |423| whole nations are often essentially distinguished from one another by some natural characteristic.108 The circumstances under which marriage takes place are therefore an important matter of consideration; not only the bodily and spiritual condition of the individuals,[109] but also the general state of the world must be taken into account. As the universe changes in great periods of time, so for plants, beasts, and men there are varying seasons of fruitfulness and unfruitfulness for soul and body; consequently, if marriages are consummated at unfavourable times, the race deteriorates.110 Thus we see that corporeal life in |424| its commencement and throughout its course has an important bearing upon the spirit. How this is |425| to be reconciled with other theories of Plato does not appear. |426|

Plato connects his doctrine of the soul with his physiological theories by means of a teleology, which, |427| though sometimes graceful and ingenious, is poor in scientific results. The details of his physiology are |428| interesting, as showing the then state of that science and his acuteness in explaining the complicated phenomena of life from such inadequate experimental data; but in reference to his philosophic system their importance is very small.

That the three parts of the soul may be undisturbed in their specific nature and proper relation, a separate dwelling, says Plato, is allotted to each.111 The two circles of the rational soul are placed in the head, which is round, that thence as from a citadel, the whole may be ruled.112 The senses are appointed to be its organs.113 Sensible perception, however, does not belong exclusively to the rational soul, but extends to the |429| inferior parts.114 With it is connected the feeling of pleasure and pain,115 of which the mortal soul only is |430| capable.116 This soul inhabits the trunk of the body, but being itself divided into a noble and ignoble part, its dwelling has likewise two divisions, as the chambers of women in houses are partitioned from those of men. Courage has its place in the breast, nearest the sovereign Reason; Desire in the lower parts.117 In the breast is the heart, the chief organ of Courage; thence, throughout the whole body spread the channels of the blood, which is quick to proclaim in every direction the mandates and threatenings of Courage.118 These channels further serve to convey in the blood continual restitution of decaying particles;119 in them the air circulates,120 entering and leaving the body partly through the breathing passages,121 partly through the flesh and the skin.122 The lungs are placed about the |431| heart to cool it, and to make a soft cushion for its violent beating.123 The connection of Desire with Reason is accomplished by means of the liver; as Desire, pursuant to its nature, neither understands nor inclines to follow rational arguments, it must be ruled by imaginations; and this is the purpose of the liver. The Reason causes to appear on its smooth surface, as on a mirror, pleasant or terrible images: it changes the natural sweetness and colour of the liver by the infusion of bile, or else restores it: thus alarming or quieting the part of the soul which has its dwelling there. The liver is, in a word, the organ of presentiments and of prophetic dreams;124 in the same way, divination in general belongs only to the irrational man.125 Plato ascribes no great importance to the |432| other organs: those of digestion he especially regards as a place of reserve for food, the decomposition of which he derives from the natural warmth of the body.126 Some other physiological theories of his can in this place be only shortly indicated.127

Plants128 and animals,129 he says, are formed for the sake of man; plants to be his food, animals to serve as an abode for those human souls which have rendered themselves unworthy of a higher life. Plants too are living beings, but their soul is of the lowest kind, capable neither of reason nor opinion, but only of desire and sensation; a soul only moved from without, to which has been denied the motion that proceeds from and returns into itself130 — self-consciousness; therefore, plants can never change their place. The Timaeus represents animals as having been all originally |433| men; the Phaedrus,131 on the contrary, discriminates between animal souls proper, and souls which have descended out of human into animal forms; at the same time intimating that the soul of man as such can never become that of a beast. According to the measure and the nature of the soul’s unfaithfulness to its human vocation is regulated the animal body it is to occupy.132 So that in this theory the generic differences in the animal world are a consequence of human conduct. Elsewhere, however, these are more truly regarded as necessary for the general completeness of the universe.133

Even the distinctions of sex and the propagation of mankind are made to result from the misdeeds through which some human souls were degraded into lower forms:134 though this is hardly consistent either with the unconditional necessity of propagation,135 or with the essential equality of the two sexes,136 which Plato elsewhere asserts.

The Timaeus, in its last section, treats at considerable length of diseases; not only diseases of the body,137 but such maladies of mind as result from bodily |434| causes.138 These are all placed in two classes: madness and ignorance. In comprehending under these two classes every species of immorality; in making State neglect and defective education, as well as bodily constitution, answerable for their existence; in laying greater stress, for the cure of even bodily diseases,139 on rational care of the body than on medicine;140 and above all, in insisting on the harmonious training at the whole man, the even balance of physical and mental education, and the perfecting of reason by means of science — in all this Plato points out the boundary of Physics, and leads us on to Ethics, which from the outset has been the proper goal of his physical investigations. 141


1^ Philebus 30 A: Σωκράτης: τὸ παρ᾽ ἡμῖν σῶμα ἆρ᾽ οὐ ψυχὴν φήσομεν ἔχειν; Πρώταρχος: δῆλον ὅτι φήσομεν. Σωκράτης: πόθεν, ὦ φίλε Πρώταρχε, λαβόν, εἴπερ μὴ τό γε τοῦ παντὸς σῶμα ἔμψυχον ὂν ἐτύγχανε, ταὐτά γε ἔχον τούτῳ καὶ ἔτι πάντῃ καλλίονα. (Cf. supra, p. 266, 112). The human soul as well as the world-soul is said to have the two circles of the ταὐτὸν and θατέρον in itself, and is divided according to the harmonic system (Timaeus 43 C sq., 44 C), which is to be understood in the sense explained previously (p. 346 sqq., 358 sq.).

2^ See p. 239, 39.

3^ See p. 172, 287.

4^ Phaedo 105 C, 106 D; cf, 102 D sqq.

5^ See p. 345.

6^ See p. 261, sqq.

7^ Republic x. 611 B sq.; Phaedo 78 B sq., the results of which investigation are (x. 80 B) comprehended in the words: τῷ μὲν θείῳ καὶ ἀθανάτῳ καὶ νοητῷ καὶ μονοειδεῖ καὶ ἀδιαλύτῳ καὶ ἀεὶ ὡσαύτως κατὰ ταὐτὰ ἔχοντι ἑαυτῷ ὁμοιότατον εἶναι ψυχήν. Cf. Laws, 899 D: ὅτι μὲν ἡγεῖ θεούς, συγγένειά τις ἴσως σε θεία πρὸς τὸ σύμφυτον ἄγει.

8^ Susemihl, Genet. Entw. ii. 396, understands by this that the creator of the world divided the whole collective soul-substance into as many parts as there are fixed stars, appointed one of these parts to each of the latter, and caused the individual souls, in their transplantation to the earth and the planets, to proceed from these parts. As far as Plato’s scientific views are concerned, the meaning of such an entirely mythical point would be indifferent. As the question, however, has actually been raised, I cannot concur with the view just quoted. The creator forms ψυχὰς ἰσαρίθμους τοῖς ἄστροις, displays the universe to them, and proclaims the law of their future existence. In my opinion, none but the individual souls can be meant. The number need cause no difficulty; that of the souls is meant to be limited (see below), that of the stars, on the other hand, is always considered incalculable. The fact that, according to this view, ‘every (fixed) star would have only one reasonable inhabitant,’ is of no importance whatever. The question here is not about the inhabitants of the fixed stars; the souls are merely divided amongst the stars for a time, in order that they may contemplate the world from them (as in Phaedrus 246 E sqq., only in a different way).

9^ In this case, however, we can only think of the fixed stars, because this transposition of each soul to its definite star is clearly distinguished from its subsequent transplantation to the planets, 41 E, 42 D (overlooked by Martin, ii. 151).

10^ There is a further development of this point, Timaeus 90 E sqq.

11^ This point, standing quite separately in Plato and thoroughly misunderstood by Martin, loc. cit.), cannot be taken otherwise than as asserting that the planets have inhabitants just as the earth has; for the expression 42 D prevents our supposing that the human souls come to the planets first and then to the earth. Anaxagoras, and Philolaus before Plato, had supposed the moon to be inhabited (see vol. i. 820, 366); Plato seems to follow them. To understand Republic ix. 592 B as referring to inhabitants of another world is very hazardous.

12^ The whole description proves that these two qualities are to be understood by the two horses of the soul, Phaedrus 246 A; cf. also 247 E, 253 D sqq., 255 E sq. All that is brought against this view from the Timaeus (Hermann, De part. an. immort. sec. Plat. Gott. 1850-1, p. 10, following Hermias in Phaedrus p. 126) would prove nothing at all, even supposing that it was not a mythical exposition. Why might not Plato have altered his views? To explain the horses of the soul as equivalent to the elements of the soul mentioned in the Timaeus, as Hermann does, after Hermias, is more than improbable. These parts of the soul will be discussed later on.

13^ I cannot concur with Susemihl’s supposition (Genet. Entw. i. 232, ii. 398; Philol. xv. 417 sqq.) that Plato imagines the souls to be clothed with a sidereal body previous to the earthly life. In the Timaeus 41 C. sq., 42 E, only the souls, and these only in their immortal part, are fashioned by the Demiurgus; these souls are transported into the fixed stars, and only afterwards do they obtain a body — not perhaps earthly, but simply a body — and with this the sensible powers of the soul (42 A: ὁπότε δὴ σώμασιν ἐμφυτευθεῖεν ἐξ ἀνάγκης … πρῶτον μὲν αἴσθησιν ἀναγκαῖον εἴη μίαν πᾶσιν ἐκ βιαίων παθημάτων σύμφυτον γίγνεσθαι, etc.) begin. Of a super-terrestrial body Plato not only says nothing (as he must necessarily have done if he supposed it to exist), but positively excludes the notion by the whole character of his exposition. This body must have been created by the inferior gods; and their activity only commences with the creation of the earthly body; αἴσθησις too would have been inseparable from it; and αἴσθησις only originates with the earthly body. Nor is there anything in the Phaedrus, 245 C sqq., about a sidereal body: it is the souls themselves which throng and push and lose their plumage, etc. We might of course say that incorporeal souls could not live in the stars; but just as little could they wander about the heavens and raise their heads into the sphere above the heavens, according to the fable of the Phaedrus. We cannot expect that such mythical traits should, be thoroughly consistent with one another and in harmony with the serious determinations of the Platonic doctrine. We are not justified in attributing determinate theories to Plato simply because they are required in a purely mythical exposition.

14^ Republic x. 613 E sq. In vi. 498 D a future return to life was already supposed.

15^ In 615 C the question is brought forward, which afterwards caused so much trouble to Christian dogmatism, viz. the fate of children who die young. Plato refuses to enter into it.

16^ The peculiar touch here added — that at such persons the abyss of the world beneath roared — is a remodelling of a Pythagorean notion; cf. vol. i. 389, 3.

17^ 272 E; cf. 271 B sq., the development of details is here of course different, but the general doctrine the same as elsewhere.

18^ Brandis, Gr.-röm. Phil. ii. a. 448, is mistaken in trying to find here (114 A) a belief in the efficacy of intercession for the departed. The idea is rather that, the offender is punished until he has expiated his offence, and propitiated the injured person; there is nothing about intercession.

19^ A similar division of a four-fold state of recompense is referred to in the passage from the Laws, x. 904 B sqq. quoted p. 409.

20^ 108 A does not really balance this variation, in spite of the reference to the former passage.

21^ Phaedrus 249 B sq.; Meno, 80 D sqq.; Phaedo, 72 E sqq.: cf. Timaeus 41 E.

22^ See vol. i. 912; Prantl, Gesch. d. Log. i. 23.

23^ The expression which Aristotle, De an. iii. 4, 429 a. 27, quotes, though without Plato’s name, and which Philop. De an. ii. 5 a., though only conjecturally, refers to Plato, seems to imply this original possession of the Ideas: εὖ δὴ οἱ λέγοντες τὴν ψυχὴν εἶναι τόπον εἰδῶν, etc. Perhaps, however, he has in mind the more general view, on which cf. p. 287, 172.

24^ Phaedrus loc. cit.; only a human soul can come into a human body, because it alone has heard truth: δεῖ γὰρ ἄνθρωπον συνιέναι κατ᾽ εἶδος λεγόμενον, ἐκ πολλῶν ἰὸν αἰσθήσεων εἰς ἓν λογισμῷ συναιρούμενον· τοῦτο δ᾽ ἐστὶν ἀνάμνησις ἐκείνων ἅ ποτ᾽ εἶδεν ἡμῶν ἡ ψυχὴ συμπορευθεῖσα θεῷ καὶ ὑπερ, etc.

25^ Phaedo 114 D; Republic x. 621 B; Meno, 86 B.

26^ Cf. Phaedo 82 A; Timaeus 91 D; Republic x. 620.

27^ Gorgias 523 A; Phaedo 114 D, loc. cit.: τὸ μὲν οὖν ταῦτα διισχυρίσασθαι οὕτως ἔχειν ὡς ἐγὼ διελήλυθα, οὐ πρέπει νοῦν ἔχοντι ἀνδρί: ὅτι μέντοι ἢ ταῦτ᾽ ἐστὶν ἢ τοιαῦτ᾽ ἄττα περὶ τὰς ψυχὰς ἡμῶν καὶ τὰς οἰκήσεις, ἐπείπερ ἀθάνατόν γε ἡ ψυχὴ φαίνεται οὖσα, τοῦτο καὶ πρέπειν μοι δοκεῖ καὶ ἄξιον κινδυνεῦσαι οἰομένῳ οὕτως ἔχειν.

28^ Phaedo loc. cit.; Gorgias 526 D, 527 B sq.; Republic x. 618 B sq., 621 B.

29^ The details in the Phaedo about immortality appear to form a series of distinct evidences and considerations. If, however, we look into them more closely, we see that they all depend on one thought. The consciousness of the Ideal Being of the human soul (which is above growth and decay) is here exhibited in its advance to an ever clearer scientific certainty, in its establishment with each new step on deeper and firmer convictions. In the end we get (64 A-69 E) as a general pre-supposition of philosophic endeavour — a postulate of the philosophic consciousness — that all philosophising is a loosing of the soul from the body, a kind of death; and consequently that the soul arrives at its determination, the cognition of truth, only after the separation from the body, i.e. only after death, (Whether this exposition be called a proof or not is, I think, of no importance; the Platonic Socrates, 63 B E, makes use of it as a justification of his belief in a happy life after death.) Plato himself, however, 69 E sq., suggests that this kind of foundation is not sufficient; hence in a second part (70 C-84 B) he produces some other proofs from the nature of the soul itself, to demonstrate that which he expounded merely as an immediate pre-supposition of philosophic life and endeavour. These proofs are all distinguished from the decisive and incontestable proof of the last part, by the fact that they do not proceed from the concept of the soul as such, but from individual analogies and facts, by which immortality may be inferred with a high degree of probability, but not with the unquestionable certainty which Plato attributes to his chief argument. It is proved first of all (70 C-72 D) that as everything originates from its opposite, the living must originate from the dead, as the dead from the living; the dead must therefore exist. It is then shown (72 E-77 A) that the generation of new notions, and the formation of general concepts, are to be understood merely as Reminiscence, and are to be explained from a previous possession of those notions, and an existence prior to the present. And (according to the doctrine of the origination of the living from the dead) this prior existence must find its correspondence in an existence after death. Finally (78 B-81 A), from a comparison of the soul with the body, the result is obtained that the soul belongs to the class of simple and unchangeable things: and these are not liable to dissolution. Still even these proofs are found to be insufficient (85 D, 88 B sq.). A third division, distinct from the previous sections, introduces us to the proof which Plato considers complete and incontestable. This proof is brought in by refuting the notion that the soul is merely the harmony of its body (90 C-95 A). After (95 A-102 A) showing that the starting-point lies in the doctrine of Ideas (upon which all the previous discussions ultimately hinge), Plato develops the final argument as above (102 A-107 B): ‘A concept can never pass into its opposite, nor can a thing which has a definite concept belonging to its being admit the entrance of its opposite. But life belongs to the being of the soul, consequently it cannot admit the opposite of this, viz. death. Therefore it is immortal and imperishable.’ I cannot here enter into details as to the different views which have been entertained on the composition of the Phaedo, and its arguments for the immortality of the soul. Cf., however, Schleiermacher, Plat. WW. ii. 3, 13 sq.; Baur, Sokrates und Christus (Tub. Ztschr. 1837, 3), 114 sq.; Steinhart, Pl. WW. iv. 114 sq. (who, however, concedes too much to Hermann’s mistaken assertion that the proofs of the Phaedo exhibit the development of Plato’s convictions on this subject, Herm. Plat. 528 sq. — See, on the other side, Rettig. ub Pl. Phaedo, Bern, 181-5, p. 27 sqq.); Bonitz, z. Er Id. platon. Dialogu., Hermes, v. 413 sqq. Further details apud Ueberweg, Gesch. d. Phil. i. 135 sq.

30^ Phaedrus 245 C: ψυχὴ πᾶσα ἀθάνατος: τὸ γὰρ ἀεικίνητον ἀθάνατον, etc. The soul is ἀρχὴ κινήσεως. ἀρχὴ δὲ ἀγένητον. ἐξ ἀρχῆς γὰρ ἀνάγκη πᾶν τὸ γιγνόμενον γίγνεσθαι, αὐτὴν δὲ μηδ᾽ ἐξ ἑνός· εἰ γὰρ ἔκ του ἀρχὴ γίγνοιτο, οὐκ ἂν ἔτι ἀρχὴ γίγνοιτο. ἐπειδὴ δὲ ἀγένητόν ἐστιν, καὶ ἀδιάφθορον αὐτὸ ἀνάγκη εἶναι (cf. supra p. 344) … ἀθανάτου δὲ πεφασμένου τοῦ ὑφ᾽ ἑαυτοῦ κινουμένου, ψυχῆς οὐσίαν τε καὶ λόγον τοῦτον αὐτόν τις λέγων οὐκ αἰσχυνεῖται. πᾶν γὰρ σῶμα, ᾧ μὲν ἔξωθεν τὸ κινεῖσθαι, ἄψυχον, ᾧ δὲ ἔνδοθεν αὐτῷ ἐξ αὑτοῦ, ἔμψυχον, ὡς ταύτης οὔσης φύσεως ψυχῆς· εἰ δ᾽ ἔστιν τοῦτο οὕτως ἔχον, μὴ ἄλλο τι εἶναι τὸ αὐτὸ ἑαυτὸ [246a] κινοῦν ἢ ψυχήν, ἐξ ἀνάγκης ἀγένητόν τε καὶ ἀθάνατον ψυχὴ ἂν εἴη.

31^ Republic x. 608 D sqq. Cf. Phaedo 92 E sq., and Steinhart, v. 262 sq.

32^ See p. 288, 172.

33^ The Phaedrus designates the soul itself as the ἀρχὴ κινήσεως., without saying that it is indebted only to participation in the Idea of life and tho Ideal Cause for its motive power (Phaedo, 105 C; Philebus 30 B sq.; see p. 266, 112), and that it therefore belongs to the conditioned and derivative, or, as the Timaeus puts it, that it was produced by God together with the rest of the world. This is of no importance to the present question, but still there is a difference: the exposition of the Phaedrus is less precise and developed than that of the later dialogues. I cannot agree with Ueberweg (Unters, plat. Schr. 282 sqq.) that the Timaeus differs from the Phaedo in its view of the Being of the soul. Timaeus 41 A, the creator of the world says to the created gods: τὸ μὲν οὖν δὴ δεθὲν πᾶν λυτόν, τό γε μὴν καλῶς ἁρμοσθὲν καὶ ἔχον εὖ λύειν ἐθέλειν κακοῦ: δι’ ἃ καὶ ἐπείπερ γεγένησθε, ἀθάνατοι μὲν οὐκ ἐστὲ οὐδ’ ἄλυτοι τὸ πάμπαν, οὔτι μὲν δὴ λυθήσεσθέ γε οὐδὲ τεύξεσθε θανάτου μοίρας, τῆς ἐμῆς βουλήσεως μείζονος ἔτι δεσμοῦ καὶ κυριωτέρου λαχόντες ἐκείνων, οἷς ὅτ’ ἐγίγνεσθε συνεδεῖσθε. Hence Ueberweg concludes that as the soul according to the Timaeus has also an origin and a composition, the principle τὸ δεθὲν πᾶν λυτόν must hold good of it. The soul cannot, therefore, be immortal by nature, but only by the will of God. A comparison of this exposition with that of the Phaedrus and the Phaedo shows, says Ueberweg, that the Timaeus stands between these two and forms the transition from the one to the other. The Phaedrus presupposes the perishableness of everything conditioned, and therefore explains the soul as something unconditioned, an ἀρχὴ, in order to vindicate its immortality. The Phaedo, on the other hand, considers the soul to be conditioned by the Idea of life, and accordingly gives up the perishableness of everything conditioned; it allows that such a thing may be imperishable, provided it stand in an essential relation to the Idea of life. The Timaeus agrees with the Phaedrus as to the perishableness of everything conditioned, and with the Phaedo in saying that the soul is a conditioned thing. Hence it denies any natural immortality to the soul; and for this reason it may be considered earlier than the Phaedo. But in making this combination Ueberweg ought to have paid some attention to the Republic, which he has left quite out of consideration. The Republic, which is prior to the Timaeus, distinctly refers to the discussions of the Phaedo, 69 C-72 B, and 78 B-81 A (cf. especially Republic 611 A with Phaedo, 72 A sq., 611 B with Phaedo, 78 B sq.), the substance of which is referred to here so briefly only because it was detailed elsewhere. And in the words: ὅτι μὲν τοίνυν ἀθάνατον ψυχή, καὶ ὁ ἄρτι λόγος καὶ οἱ ἄλλοι ἀναγκάσειαν ἄν, we are clearly referred to further proofs known to the reader, which can only be those of the Phaedo. In the argument above mentioned, Republic 608 D sqq., it is evidently assumed that the soul is imperishable by nature, this being the only reason why its οἰκεία πονηρία is incapable of killing it. Again, it is incorrect to say that the principle τὸ δεθὲν πᾶν λυτόν is given up in the Phaedo. It is stated just as definitely there as in the Timaeus (Phaedo 78 B: τῷ μὲν ξυντεθέντι τε καὶ ξυνθέτῳ ὄντι φύσει προσήκει τοῦτο πάσχειν, διαιρεθῆναι ταύτῃ ᾗπερ ξυνετέθη: εἰ δέ τι τυγχάνει ὂν ἀξύνθετον, τούτῳ μόνῳ προσήκει μὴ πάσχειν ταῦτα, εἴπερ τῳ ἄλλῳ), and is repeated, Republic, 611 B. The Republic and Timaeus, as well as the Phaedo, add that the soul is not a σύνθετον, but a simple Being, and they prove its immortality immediately from this simplicity. The Phaedo (80 B: ψυχῇ δὲ αὖ τὸ παράπαν ἀδιαλύτῳ εἶναι ἢ ἐγγύς τι τούτου) does not omit to intimate that the indissolubility of the soul is not so unconditioned and original as that of the Idea. Is this really different in the Timaeus? Θυμὸς and ἑπιθυμία are first (42 A, 69 C) associated with the soul on its entry into the body; but they do not belong to its original Being, which outlasts death. If we want to know this Being we must, as Republic 611 B sq. expressly remarks, leave them out of the question. By its transient connection with them it docs not become anything composite. This would only be the case according to Phaedrus, 246 Ueberweg believes that the Phaedrus agrees with the Timaeus as to tho perishableness of everything conditioned. But the Timaeus does not speak of the conditioned anymore than tho Phaedo or Republic: it speaks of the composite. Is the soul to be considered as composite, and therefore dissoluble, in the Timaeus, because, according to a mythical exposition, it is formed out of its elements? (see p. 342 sq.) We might say in favour of this view that the principle πᾶν δεθὲν λυτόν is adduced not merely. 41 A, with reference to the composition of the stars out of the corporeal elements (40 A; cf. 42 E sq.), but also presupposed, 43 D. One of the soul’s circles is there said to be utterly confined by the throng of sensible perceptions at the entry of the soul into the body. This is the circle of identity (Thought), the ταὐτὸν. The other circle (Opinion) is so confused, ὥστε τὰς τοῦ διπλασίου καὶ τριπλασίου τρεῖς ἑκατέρας ἀποστάσεις καὶ τὰς τῶν ἡμιολίων καὶ ἐπιτρίτων καὶ ἐπογδόων μεσότητας καὶ ξυνδέσεις (the harmonic proportions of the soul, see p. 349 sq.), σύνθετον, etc. But, as we have seen, the Phaedo itself suggests a similar restriction. If then we are to press the words as Ueberweg does, we must assert not only of the Timaeus but of the Phaedo that it does not assume a natural imperishability of the soul. And in the Timaeus natural immortality must be denied both to the human and to the World-soul. But this would be going beyond Plato’s real meaning. The principle that everything composite is dissoluble is with Plato a fundamental metaphysical principle which occurs equally in the Phaedo, the Republic, and the Timaeus. The soul in spite of this has no dissolution to fear; and this can be substantiated in two ways. We can either deny that the soul is composite, or we can say that, so far as in a certain sense tho soul is composite, it is in itself dissoluble, but this possibility for other reasons is never realised. We can derive its immortality either from a metaphysical or a moral necessity. The former is the method pursued in the Republic and Phaedo; the latter is hinted at in the Timaeus, where the psychogony does not permit simplicity to be attributed to the soul in the same strict sense as in the other dialogues. Cf. the Republic, 611 B: οὐ ῥᾴδιον, ἦν δ᾽ ἐγώ, ἀίδιον εἶναι σύνθετόν τε ἐκ πολλῶν καὶ μὴ τῇ καλλίστῃ κεχρημένον συνθέσει, as is the case with the soul in its present condition, though not according to its original Being. The possibility is suggested of the soul’s being indeed a σύνθετον, but one so beautifully combined that it may last for ever. So far as there is any actual difference on this point between the Timaeus and the Phaedo, it proves the Timaeus to be not the earlier, but the later work. The simplicity of the soul is modified in the Timaeus (and not before) by the doctrines of its composition out of its elements. The same holds good against Ueberweg’s assertion (loc. cit. 292) that the Politicus also must be later than the Timaeus, because the higher part of the soul is called (309 C) τὸ ἀειγενὲς ὂν τῆς ψυχῆς αὐτῶν μέρος. can be drawn from these words it is that the Politicus is earlier than the Timaeus. It is not till we come to the Timaeus that we find any mention of the origin of the soul: in all the preceding dialogues,Phaedrus, Meno (86 A), Phaedo and Republic (611 A, B), it is regarded as without beginning — ἀεὶ ὄν. Considering the mythical character of the psychogony and cosmogony in the Timaeus, I should be inclined to attach little importance to these deviations.

34^ Phaedrus 245 D: τοῦτο δὲ [τὸ αὐτὸ αὑτὸ κινοῦν] οὔτ᾽ ἀπόλλυσθαι οὔτε γίγνεσθαι δυνατόν, ἢ πάντα τε οὐρανὸν πᾶσάν τε γῆν εἰς ἓν συμπεσοῦσαν στῆναι καὶ μήποτε αὖθις ἔχειν ὅθεν κινηθέντα γενήσεται.

35^ Phaedo 107 B sq., 114 C; Republic x. 610 D, 613 E sq., 621 B; Gorgias 522 E, 526 D sq.; Theaetetus 177 A; Laws, xii. 959 A sq.

36^ It does not follow that Plato considered his proofs invalid. Teichmüller tries to prove in his Studien zur Gesch. d. Begriffe, p. 110-222, that Plato did not believe in an individual immortality, but considered the individual in the soul to be mortal, disappearing at death. (Teichmüller is, as far as I remember, the first to promulgate this theory.) His view not only wants foundation, but contradicts every result of Plato’s most unequivocal explanations. Teichmüller thinks that if the individual soul is not an Idea, it cannot be imperishable, and convicts me of ‘a clear contradiction’ (p. 210) in having represented the individual souls with an independent existence by the side of the World-soul, while (p. 554) I deny that the soul is an Idea. I have not, however, yet discovered where the contradiction lies. Are there according to Plato no individual Beings by the side of the Ideas? or must they be perishable because they are not Ideas? Does not Plato expressly say (Phaedo, 104 B, 105 D, 106 D sq.), that, besides the Ideas themselves, all things with which an Idea is at any time connected exclude the opposite of that Idea? Hence, not only the Idea of life, but the soul which participates in that Idea, excludes death. Teichmüller further remarks (p. 111) that, as the soul is a becoming or actually existing thing, it must, like all else which actually exists, be a mixed thing composed of an Ideal and a principle of Becoming, of which one part (the individual) passes away, while the eternal factor returns into its eternal nature. But he neither has brought, nor could bring proofs to show that Plato thought this to be the case with all actually existing things. Are not the world and World-soul, the stars and the star-spirits, actually existing things? Do they not belong to the category of Becoming just as much as, and in the same sense as, the human soul? Yet we cannot infer that one part of their Being passes away, while the other returns to its eternal nature. Even if it were correct to say that the individual is to be found neither in the Ideas nor in the principle of Becoming, but only in the actual mixture of the two (p. 114), it would not necessarily in Plato’s view ‘belong only to things which originate and pass away.’ There would remain the possibility that he supposed an enduring and indissoluble connection of the Idea with the principle of Becoming as well as the transient connection. This is undoubtedly the case in the frequently quoted passage of the Phaedo, 103 C sqq. We cannot, however, say absolutely that individuality according to Plato arises from the mixture of the Ideas with the principle of Becoming; — at least, if we understand by the latter term what he himself explicitly calls it, the τιθήνην γενέσεως (Timaeus 52 D) — Matter — for this is not in the soul. Individual corporeal Beings do so originate, but how the spiritual individuality arises Plato gives us no explanation beyond the mythical partition of the soul-substance into the individual souls, Timaeus 41 D; and it is more than uncertain that he could account for it to himself. How can the assertion be justified that the eternity or individual souls most distinctly affirmed by Plato ‘must have been inconceivable from the nature of their origin?’ We may see that Plato’s evidences for the personal duration of the soul after death have no actual cogency; or (which, however, would be difficult to prove) that such a belief is not in harmony with the general suppositions of his system. But our next question must simply be whether he held this belief himself or not; and to undertake to prove this expressly to a reader of Plato by single passages, e.g. Phaedo 63 E, 67 B sq., 72 A, 80 B, 107 B sq.; Republic x. 611 A — where the constant number of the souls is by no means to be set aside with Teichmüller as a mere metaphor (Timaeus 42 B) — is simply ‘bringing owls to Athens.’ With this belief stands and fills the theory of future retribution and of ἀνάμνητθς, which, as will be presently shown, Plato seriously thought it impossible to renounce. Teichmüller endeavours (p. 143) to extract from the words (Phaedo 107 D), οὐδὲν γὰρ ἄλλο ἔχουσα εἰς Ἅιδου ἡ ψυχὴ ἔρχεται πλὴν τῆς παιδείας τε καὶ τροφῆς, the following sense: ‘What do we take with us into Hades?’ Answer: ‘Our general nature.’ Such an obvious artifice will hardly serve to recommend his explanation. In his citation of proofs for immortality (p. 115 sqq.), he considers it ‘obvious’ and ‘a matter of course’ that the question is not about any individual immortality. Throughout he has omitted to substantiate these assertions by any accurate analysis of Plato’s text.

37^ Phaedo 107 B sqq., 114 C; Republic x. 610 D, 613 E sqq., 621 B; Gorgias 522 E, 526 D sqq.; Theaetetus 177 A; Laws xii. 569 A sq.

38^ Cf. Phaedo 64 A sqq.; Republic x. 611 B sqq.; Apologia 40 E sqq. He who sees the true nature of the spirit exclusively in its intellectual nature, and its true determination exclusively in the activity of the intellect, and in sense merely a hindering clog, can hardly fail to suppose that when man is once free from sense, he will be free from this clog.

39^ This is explained most distinctly in the Phaedrus; cf. supra notes 30 and 34. The Meno is less definite, 86 A: εἰ οὖν ὅν τ᾽ ἂν ᾖ χρόνον καὶ ὃν ἂν μὴ ᾖ ἄνθρωπος, ἐνέσονται αὐτῷ ἀληθεῖς δόξαι … ἆρ᾽ οὖν τὸν ἀεὶ χρόνον μεμαθηκυῖα ἔσται ἡ ψυχὴ αὐτοῦ; δῆλον γὰρ ὅτι τὸν πάντα χρόνον ἔστιν ἢ οὐκ ἔστιν ἄνθρωπος. It might be objected that this refers only to the time since the soul existed at all. This, however, is clearly not Plato’s meaning here, or he would have said so. The same holds good of the explanation in the Phaedo, 70 C 72 D — that every living thing springs from the dead, and vice versa and that it must be so unless life is to cease altogether. So too in the corresponding passage, Republic x. 611 A: the same souls must always exist: for that which is immortal cannot pass away; but their number is not increased, otherwise the mortal element would in the end be consumed. Phaedo, 106 D, the soul is designated as ἀίδιον ὄν, Republic loc. cit. as ἀεὶ ὄν, which of course refers to endless duration. These expressions show how to Plato’s mind the absence of a beginning and the absence of an end coincide.

40^ It has been already shown, p. 369 sqq., in what contradictions Plato became involved by the supposition of a beginning of the world. In the present case there is the contradiction that the soul was fashioned in a determinate moment by the Demiurgus, whereas the Demiurgus himself could not be imagined without soul. It cannot be supposed that his soul is eternal and all the rest created; Timaeus 34 B sqq. certainly looks as if it were the primal origin of the soul that is meant.

41^ Meno 80 D sqq. See p. 396, where the question: τίνα τρόπον ζητήσεις, ὦ Σώκρατες, τοῦτο ὃ μὴ οἶσθα τὸ παράπαν ὅτι ἐστί … ἢ εἰ καὶ ὅτι μάλιστα ἐντύχοις αὐτῷ, πῶς εἴσῃ ὅτι τοῦτό ἐστιν ὃ σὺ οὐκ ᾔδησθα; is answered by the doctrine of ἀνάμνησις: τὸ γὰρ ζητεῖν ἄρα καὶ τὸ μανθάνειν ἀνάμνησις ὅλον ἐστίν.

42^ Phaedo 73 C sqq., where special weight is attributed to the feet that things always remain behind the Ideas of which they remind us; the Ideas, therefore, must have been known previously, because otherwise we could not compare them with things and remark the deviations of things from them. Plato therefore pronounces the preexistence of the soul to be the indispensable condition of the knowledge and assumption of the Ideas; Phaedo, 76 D: εἰ μὲν ἔστιν ἃ θρυλοῦμεν ἀεί, καλόν τέ τι καὶ ἀγαθὸν καὶ πᾶσα ἡ τοιαύτη οὐσία, καὶ ἐπὶ ταύτην τὰ ἐκ τῶν αἰσθήσεων πάντα ἀναφέρομεν … καὶ ταῦτα ἐκείνῃ ἀπεικάζομεν, ἀναγκαῖον, οὕτως ὥσπερ καὶ ταῦτα ἔστιν, οὕτως καὶ τὴν ἡμετέραν ψυχὴν εἶναι καὶ πρὶν γεγονέναι ἡμᾶς. Cf. supra, note 24.

43^ Teichmüller, loc. cit. 208 sq., whose refutation of my view is here limited to the question: ‘Is it meant that the souls saw the Ideas, before birth, with the eyes of sense?’ No one has ever attributed such an absurdity to Plato, nor has Plato anywhere spoken of a sensible appearance of the Ideas in the previous life. In fact, he guards against such an assumption even in his myths (Phaedrus 247 C).

44^ The apparent deviation of the Meno from the rest of the dialogues in its account of the doctrine of ἀνάμνησις has been already noticed. Supra, p. 126, 82.

45^ Republic x. 612 A sqq. (cf. ii. 357 A-369 B); Laws x. 903 B-905 C.

46^ E.g. Laws loc. cit.; Gorgias 523 A sqq.

47^ E.g. Republic loc. cit.; Phaedo, 63 C, 95 B sq., 114 D; Phaedrus 248 E.

48^ Phaedo 107 B sq., 114 D.

49^ As has been already shown. We cannot, however, say that ‘it is a contradiction to acknowledge the poetical play of imagination in all the particulars of a theory,’ and yet ‘to consider it on the whole as an essential and doctrinal element of the system’ (Teichmüller, loc. cit. 209). At any rate this is not Plato’s opinion, τὸ μὲν οὖν ταῦτα διισχυρίσασθαι οὕτως ἔχειν ὡς ἐγὼ διελήλυθα, he says at the end of the eschatologic myth in the Phaedo, 114 D, οὐ πρέπει νοῦν ἔχοντι ἀνδρί: ὅτι μέντοι ἢ ταῦτ᾽ ἐστὶν ἢ τοιαῦτ᾽ ἄττα περὶ τὰς ψυχὰς ἡμῶν καὶ τὰς οἰκήσεις, ἐπείπερ ἀθάνατόν γε ἡ ψυχὴ φαίνεται οὖσα, τοῦτο καὶ πρέπειν μοι δοκεῖ καὶ ἄξιον κινδυνεῦσαι οἰομένῳ οὕτως ἔχειν. And why should not a philosopher say: ‘I think it can be proved that a future retribution will take place, although I admit the uncertainty of all detailed determinations as to the manner of its fulfillment?’

50^ Phaedo 70 C sqq., 83 D; Republic x. 611 A: cf. note 39.

51^ Timaeus 41 E sq. The account of the Phaedrus is, as we have said, somewhat different. Perhaps Plato had not yet advanced to his later determinations, or it may have best suited his exposition to treat the degradation of the souls as a matter of will. Cf. Deuschle, Plat. Mythen, p. 21 sq., with whose remarks, however, I cannot entirely agree.

52^ Timaeus loc. cit.; cf. Phaedrus 248 D.

53^ Laws x. 903 D, 904 B: God willed that everything should take such a position in the universe that the victory of virtue and the defeat of evil in the world might be assured. μεμηχάνηται δὴ πρὸς πᾶν τοῦτο τὸ ποῖόν τι γιγνόμενον ἀεὶ ποίαν ἕδραν δεῖ μεταλαμβάνον οἰκίζεσθαι καὶ τίνας ποτὲ τόπους: τῆς δὲ γενέσεως τὸ [τοῦ] ποίου τινὸς ἀφῆκε ταῖς βουλήσεσιν ἑκάστων ἡμῶν τὰς αἰτίας. ὅπῃ γὰρ ἂν ἐπιθυμῇ καὶ ὁποῖός τις ὢν τὴν ψυχήν, ταύτῃ σχεδὸν ἑκάστοτε καὶ τοιοῦτος γίγνεται ἅπας ἡμῶν ὡς τὸ πολύ. Everything which possesses a soul changes constantly, ἐν ἑαυτοῖς κεκτημένα τὴν τῆς μεταβολῆς αἰτίαν, and according to the direction and degree of this change it moves this way or that, to the surface of the earth, into Hades, into a higher and purer or into the opposite place. Theaetetus 177 A: the just are like the divine, the unjust like the non-divine; if the unjust do not amend, καὶ τελευτήσαντας αὐτοὺς ἐκεῖνος μὲν ὁ τῶν κακῶν καθαρὸς τόπος οὐ δέξεται, ἐνθάδε δὲ τὴν αὑτοῖς ὁμοιότητα τῆς διαγωγῆς ἀεὶ ἕξουσι, κακοὶ κακοῖς συνόντες.

54^ Phaedo 80 E sqq. (see p. 395): if a soul leaves the body pure, εἰς τὸ ὅμοιον αὐτῇ τὸ ἀιδὲς ἀπέρχεται: otherwise, ἅτε τῷ σώματι ἀεὶ ξυνοῦσα … καὶ γεγοητευομένη ὑπ᾽ αὐτοῦ … βαρύνεταί τε καὶ ἕλκεται πάλιν εἰς τὸν ὁρατὸν τόπον. Such souls wander about the earth, ἕως ἂν τῇ τοῦ ξυνεπακολουθοῦντος, τοῦ σωματοειδοῦς, ἐπιθυμίᾳ πάλιν ἐνδεθῶσιν εἰς σῶμα.

55^ The question is obvious, How can man, to whose nature the capability of forming concepts, according to Phaedrus 249 B, essentially belongs, become a beast? How can the dull and purely sensual life of the beast serve to purify the soul? Are the souls of the beasts (acc. to Timaeus 90 E sq.) all descended from former human souls, and so all intelligent and immortal according to their original Being, or (Phaedrus loc. cit.) only some of them?

56^ Cf. p. 397.

57^ E.g. among Greek Platonists, the Pseudo-Timaeus, Plutarch apparently, Porphyry, Iamblichus, and Hierocles (see vol. iii. b. 121, 165, 590, 641, 684, 2nd edit.); among modern scholars, Susemihl, Genet. Entw. i. 243, ii. 392, 465; Philologus, xv. 430 sqq.

58^ We cannot quote Republic iv. 441 B here. It is said there that beasts have no reason (λοδισμὸς); but the same was said immediately before of children. Plato might deny the use of reason to children, from his point of view, but not its possession.

59^ Phaedrus 246 B sq., 250 C; Phaedo 66 E sq., 80 D sq., 114 C; cf. 81 D, 83 D, 84 D; Timaeus 42 A, D.

60^ With many of the earlier Neoplatonists, on whom compare vol. iii. b. 641, 684, 698, 736 (it is obvious that they all found this view of theirs in Plato); likewise Ritter, ii. 427 sqq.; Steinhart, iv. 51; Susemihl, Genet. Entw. i. 461; Philol. xv. 417 sqq.

61^ Phaedo 64 A-68 B, 79 C sq., 80 D-81 D, 82 D-84 B; cf. also Timaeus 81 D, 85 E, and subter, note 66.

62^ The original appearance of the Ideas presupposes the non-corporeity of the soul; it is at our entry into the body that we forget them; Phaedo, 76 D; Republic x. 621 A; cf. supra, note 13.

63^ Hegel, Gesch. d. Phil. ii. 181, 184, 186, is therefore incorrect in pronouncing the conceptions of the pre-existence, the fall of the soul and ἀνάμνησις, to be doctrines not reckoned essential to his philosophy by Plato himself.

64^ V. p. 383. The whole calculation is of course purely dogmatic. The world-year is a century (the longest time of a man’s life) multiplied by itself; its parts are ten periods of a thousand years, of which each one allows space for a single return to life and the possibility of retribution of tenfold duration.

65^ This distinction was the result of Plato’s general view as to the object of punishment (see next chapter). The consideration that the equilibrium between the numbers of the dying and of those returning into life (Phaedo, 72 A sq.; Republic x. 611 A) might be disturbed, and in the end quite destroyed, if in each period of the world even a small number only of incurable criminals withdrew from the ranks of those set apart to return to life, could be met by the supposition that the punishment (Gorgias 525 C; Republic 615 C sqq., denoted as endless) of such persons extended only to the end of each great year of the world. This of course would not be an eternity of punishment, but still such as would extend over the whole period of time comprehended by Plato’s eschatologic myths. It is, however, open to question whether Plato himself rose to this consideration. I see, therefore, no sufficient reasons for the assertion (Susemihl, Philol. xv. 433 sqq.) that this point ‘cannot be seriously meant’ in Plato.

66^ Republic x. 611 C sqq. Another similar image occurs, ix. 588 B sqq. Cf. Phaedrus 250 C.

67^ Timaeus 42 A sqq.; 69 C.

68^ Timaeus 69 C sqq., 72 D: cf. 41 C, 42 D; Politicus 309 C, cf. Laws xii. 961 D sq., Aristotle De An. iii. 9; 433 a. 26; Magna Moralia i. 1, 1182 a. 23 sqq. This theory is much less developed in the Phaedrus, 246, where the θυμὸς and ἐπιθυμία (see p. 393) are reckoned under the immortal soul, and the body only is designated as mortal. This exposition must not, owing to its mythical character, prevent us from seeking Plato’s real opinions in the explicit theories of the Timaeus, propounded as they are with all dogmatic determination, however much the views of later Greek Platonists may be at variance on this point (cf. Hermann, De part. an. immort. sec. Plat. p. 4 sq.).

69^ Republic iv. 438 D sqq., ix. 580 D sqq.; Phaedrus 246 A sq., 253 C sqq.; Timaeus 69 C sqq., 89 E.

70^ Republic loc. cit.; Phaedrus 246 B, 253 D sqq.

71^ Republic iv. 441 A; Timaeus 69 D: θυμὸν δυσπαραμύθητον.

72^ Republic iv. 436 A, 439 D, ix. 580 D sqq.; Phaedo, 253 E sqq.; Timaeus 69 D.

73^ Usually called λογιστικὸν, or λόγος; also φιλόσοφον, φιλομαθὲς, ᾧ μανθάνει ἄνθρωπος, Phaedrus 247 C; cf. Laws, loc. cit. and supra, p. 288, 172; also νοῦς.

74^ Timaeus 69 D sqq., 90 A.

75^ Timaeus 77 B.

76^ Republic iv. 441 B, Republic ix. 588 C sqq., can prove nothing in favour of this.

77^ Republic iv. 435 E.

78^ Republic ix. 582 A sqq.

79^ He also uses the expression μέρη, Republic iv. 442 C, 444 B; and ibid. 436 A, he puts the question: εἰ τῷ αὐτῷ τούτῳ ἕκαστα πράττομεν ἢ τρισὶν οὖσιν ἄλλο ἄλλῳ· μανθάνομεν μὲν ἑτέρῳ, θυμούμεθα δὲ ἄλλῳ τῶν ἐν ἡμῖν, ἐπιθυμοῦμεν δ’ αὖ τρίτῳ τινὶ … ἢ ὅλῃ τῇ ψυχῇ καθ’ ἕκαστον αὐτῶν πράττομεν. But he more frequently speaks of εἴδη or γένη. Phaedrus 253 C; Republic 435 C, 439 B, 441 C, 443 D, 444 B, 504 A; Timaeus 69 C, E, 77 B: cf. Wildauer, Philos. Monatschr. 1873, p. 241.

80^ Thus poets like Epicharmus, Theognis, and others oppose θυμὸς and νοῦς, and speak of a battle of θυμὸς and νοῦς (Theogn. v. 1053, where, however, Bergk reads not μάχεται, but πέτεται θυμύς τε νόος τε), and a νόος θυμοῦ κρέσσων (ibid. 631). From this it is an easy step to suppose that both are really distinct parts of the soul.

81^ See pp. 170, 174, 14.

82^ Republic x. 602 C sqq.; vii. 524 A sq. The αἴσθησις which leads us to form wrong judgments must be different from the λογιςμὸς which forms right judgments. Timaeus 43 A sqq. (cf. 37 B sq.): the two circles of the soul, the κύκλος (or περίοδος) τάὐτοῦ and θατέρου, the former the source of νοῦς and the latter of δόξαι and πίστεις: cf. pp. 218, 358 sq.

83^ Timaeus 77 B, on the vegetative soul: τοῦ τρίτου ψυχῆς εἴδους, ὃ μεταξὺ φρενῶν ὀμφαλοῦ τε ἱδρῦσθαι λόγος, ᾧ δόξης μὲν λογισμοῦ τε καὶ νοῦ μέτεστιν τὸ μηδέν, αἰσθήσεως δὲ ἡδείας καὶ ἀλγεινῆς μετὰ ἐπιθυμιῶν. ibid. 69 D: to the mortal soul belong ἡδονήν, λύπη, θάρρος, φόβος, θυμὸς, ἐλπίς, αἰσθήσις, ἄλογος and ἔρως, ibid. 65 A, 71 A.

84^ See p. 175.

85^ Republic v. 471 B sqq.; vi. 503 B sqq.

86^ See p. 215; cf. Republic iv. 430 B, where the peculiar virtue of the θυμοειδὲς in the state — courage — is defined as the δύναμις καὶ σωτηρίαν διὰ παντὸς δόξης ὀρθῆς τε καὶ νομίμου δεινῶν τε πέρι καὶ μὴ.

87^ Both belong (see note 82) to the two circles of the soul (which attach originally to the human soul as well as to the World-soul, v. p. 358; p. 359, 166), to the θεῖαι περίοδοι (Timaeus 44 D, 90 D), which are united in the rational part of the soul, and have their seat in the head. According to Timaeus 45 A the organs of sense are also situated in the head, because they are the instruments of this part of the soul; the sensible is perceived by reason: Timaeus 64 B, 67 B.

88^ Cf. Brandis, p. 401 sq.

89^ ἡγεμονοῦν, Timaeus 41 C, 70 B; cf. the Stoic ἡγεμονικόν.

90^ To say that the perceptions of sense hinder the revolution of the circle of the ταὐτὸν in the soul by their counter-current is merely an allegorical method of expression, not an explanation.

91^ Timaeus 71.

92^ Republic x. 618 B sqq.

93^ E.g. Republic vii. 535 E (ἑκούσιον and ἀκούσιον ψεῦδος, and Laws, v. 730 C); Politicus 293 A; Laws, ix. 861 E.

94^ Republic x. 617 E: each chooses a life, ᾧ συνέσται ἐξ ἀνάγκης (i.e. when once chosen), ἀρετὴ δὲ ἀδέσποτον, ἣν τιμῶν καὶ ἀτιμάζων πλέον καὶ ἔλαττον αὐτῆς ἕκαστος ἕξει. αἰτία ἑλομένου: θεὸς ἀναίτιος. 619 B: καὶ τελευταίῳ ἐπιόντι, ξὺν νῷ ἑλομένῳ, συντόνως ζῶντι κεῖται βίος ἀγαπητός, οὐ κακός. Similarly Timaeus 42 B sq., where the Creator previously makes known to the souls the ordinance that each by its own behavior will determine its future destiny, ἵνα τῆς ἔπειτα εἴη κακίας ἑκάστων ἀναίτιος, and with especial stress on the freedom of the will; Laws x. 904 B sq. (supra, note 53).

95^ See p. 390 sqq., and specially the quotations, pp. 392, 394: all souls at their first birth come into the world as men, ἵνα μήτις ἐλαττοῖτο ὑπ αὐτοῦ [τοῦ θεοῦ]. This would have no meaning in the mouth of a necessitarian if the behaviour of men is determined exclusively by divine causality; the same obviously holds good of their destiny, which is conditioned by their behaviour. Hence no necessitarian system has ever asserted that the divinity could not put any men behind others without their being guilty of wrong. These systems appeal to the impossibility of God’s placing individuals on a level in their mortal and spiritual beginnings any more than in their corporeal qualities and their destinies; because the completeness of the world requires infinitely many different kinds and grades of being.

96^ The difficulties which here arise are to some extent explained, but not removed; the external circumstances of life are not so independent of particular behaviour that, the former could be determined beforehand, and the latter free at each moment. How, for instance, could he who chose the life of Archelaus or of any great criminal be at the same time an honest man? Plato himself admits, 618 B: ἀναγκαίως ἔχειν ἄλλον ἑλομένην βίον ἀλλοίαν γίγνεσθαι [τὴν ψυχὴν]; but according to what has just been quoted, this cannot refer to virtue and vice.

97^ Timaeus 86 D: σχεδὸν δὴ πάντα ὁπόσα ἡδονῶν ἀκράτεια καὶ [? κατ’] ὄνειδος ὡς ἑκόντων λέγεται τῶν κακῶν, οὐκ ὀρθῶς ὀνειδίζεται: κακὸς μὲν γὰρ ἑκὼν οὐδείς, διὰ δὲ πονηρὰν ἕξιν τινὰ τοῦ σώματος καὶ ἀπαίδευτον τροφὴν ὁ κακὸς γίγνεται κακός. 87 A: πρὸς δὲ τούτοις, ὅταν οὕτως κακῶς παγέντων πολιτεῖαι κακαὶ καὶ λόγοι κατὰ πόλεις ἰδίᾳ τε καὶ δημοσίᾳ λεχθῶσιν, ἔτι δὲ μαθήματα μηδαμῇ τούτων ἰατικὰ ἐκ νέων μανθάνηται, ταύτῃ κακοὶ πάντες οἱ κακοὶ διὰ δύο ἀκουσιώτατα γιγνόμεθα: (Cf. Republic vi. 489 D sqq.; especially 492 E.) ὧν αἰτιατέον μὲν τοὺς φυτεύοντας ἀεὶ τῶν φυτευομένων μᾶλλον καὶ τοὺς τρέφοντας τῶν τρεφομένων, προθυμητέον μήν, ὅπῃ τις δύναται, καὶ διὰ τροφῆς καὶ δι’ ἐπιτηδευμάτων μαθημάτων τε φυγεῖν μὲν κακίαν, τοὐναντίον δὲ ἑλεῖν. Cf. Apology 25 E sq.; Protagoras 345 D, 358 B sq.; Meno 77 B sqq.; Sophist 228 C, 230 A; Republic ii. 382 A, iii. 413 A, ix. 589 C; Laws v. 731 C, 734 B, ix. 860 D sqq. (where Plato rejects the distinction of ἑκούσια and ἀκούσια ἀδικήματα, because all wrong is involuntary, and would substitute the terms ἀκούσιοι and ἑκούσιοι βλάβαι), and the quotations, Pt. i. 123, 1, and supra, p. 179.

98^ Cf. Phaedo 80 E sqq.: it all amounts to whether the soul leaves the body pure, are ἅτε οὐδὲν κοινωνοῦσα αὐτῷ ἐν τῷ βίῳ ἑκοῦσα εἶναι, etc. Republic vi. 485 C: the primary requirement in the philosophic disposition is, τὸ ἑκόντας εἶναι μηδαμῇ προσδέχεσθαι τὸ ψεῦδος. Laws, x. 904 D: μείζω δὲ δὴ ψυχὴ κακίας ἢ ἀρετῆς ὁπόταν μεταλάβῃ διὰ τὴν αὑτῆς βούλησίν. Timaeus 44 C: if man arrives at reason and secures a right education for his reason, he becomes mature and sound, καταμελήσας δέ … ἀτελὴς καὶ ἀνόητος εἰς ̔́Αιδου πάλιν ἔρχεται. The blame therefore lies with his own neglect of the means of moral education. — The Platonic schools always regarded the freedom of the will as their characteristic doctrine.

99^ E.g. Martin, ii. 361 sqq.; Steger, Plat. Stud. ii. 21, 47; iii. 38 sq.; Teichmüller, Stud. z. Gesch. d. Begr. 146 sq., 369 sq.

100^ See p. 412 sq., and Phaedo, 79 A sq.

101^ Phaedo 79 C sq., 66 B sqq., and elsewhere.

102^ Timaeus 43 B sqq.

103^ Republic x. 621 A; Phaedo, 76 C sq.

104^ See p. 414. Further in the Ethics.

105^ Timaeus 86 B-90 D; Republic iii. 410 B sqq. Details on this subject will be given later on.

106^ Republic v. 459 A sq.; cf. iii. 415 A; Cratylus 394 A. It is remarked, Republic 415 A sq., cf. Timaeus 19 A, that the rule admits of exceptions.

107^ Politicus 310 D sq.; cf. Laws, vi. 773 A sq.

108^ See note 77.

109^ Laws vi. 775 B sqq.: married people, so long as they continue to have offspring, must keep themselves from everything unhealthy, from all wrong-doing, and all passion, but particularly from drunkenness, because all such things transfer their results to the bodies and souls of the children.

110^ Republic viii. 546. Plato says that for all living beings as for plants, after the times of their bodily and spiritual fruitfulness, there come periods of unfruitfulness, if they are caused to return to their former path owing to some revolution of the spheres, etc. This is further developed by a comparison between the periods of the universe and those of the human race. But instead of saying generally: ‘even the universe is subjected to a change, only in longer periods of times, while mankind changes in shorter periods,’ Plato marks the duration of the two periods in definite numbers. These he states indirectly, giving us a numerical enigma, in the manner of the Pythagoreans. ἔστι δὲ, he says, θείῳ μὲν γεννητῷ περίοδος ἣν ἀριθμὸς περιλαμβάνει τέλειος, ἀνθρωπείῳ δὲ [sc. περίοδος ἐστιν, ἣν ἀριθμὸς περιλαμβάνει] ἐν ᾧ πρώτῳ αὐξήσεις δυνάμεναί τε καὶ δυναστευόμεναι, τρεῖς ἀποστάσεις, τέτταρας δὲ ὅρους λαβοῦσαι ὁμοιούντων τε καὶ ἀνομοιούντων καὶ αὐξόντων καὶ φθινόντων, πάντα προσήγορα καὶ ῥητὰ πρὸς ἄλληλα ἀπέφηναν: ὧν ἐπίτριτος πυθμὴν πεμπάδι συζυγεὶς δύο ἁρμονίας παρέχεται τρὶς αὐξηθείς, τὴν μὲν ἴσην ἰσάκις, ἑκατὸν τοσαυτάκις, τὴν δὲ ἰσομήκη μὲν τῇ, προμήκη δέ [so Hermann and most moderns, with a few good MSS.; Weber’s proposal, De num. Plat. 13 to read τῇ μὲν, gives the same sense, but does not commend itself] ἑκατὸν μὲν ἀριθμῶν ἀπὸ διαμέτρων ῥητῶν πεμπάδος, δεομένων ἑνὸς ἑκάστων, ἀρρήτων δὲ δυοῖν, ἑκατὸν δὲ κύβων τριάδος. σύμπας δὲ οὗτος ἀριθμὸς γεωμετρικός, τοιούτου (what follows, γενέσις) κύριος, ἀμεινόνων τε καὶ χειρόνων γενέσεων. This riddle, the key to which was evidently possessed by Aristotle (Politics v. 12, 131 b. a. 4 sqq.), had by Cicero’s time become proverbially unintelligible (ad. Att. 7, 13), and in our own day has variously exercised the ingenuity of scholars; see the references ap. Schneider, Plat. Opp. iii. Praef. 1-92; Susemihl, Genet. Entw. ii. 216 sqq.; Weber, De numero Platonis (Cassel, 1862; Gymn. progr. added to the second edition). Hermann, Susemihl, and Weber seem to have come nearest to the truth. Meanwhile, availing myself of their work, and referring to them for particulars (the discussion of which in the present place is as impossible as a detailed account including all differences of view), I may give the following as my own view. God’s product, i.e. the world, Plato says, moves in longer periods, and undergoes a slighter change, than the races of mankind, who change more quickly and decidedly. In Pythagorean language: the former has for its circuit a larger number, the latter a smaller; the former a complete, the latter an incomplete; the former a square, the latter an oblong number. (Oblong numbers are those composed of two unequal factors; the rectangle, however, compared with the square, stands on the side of the incomplete; see vol. i. 3rd edit., p. 341, 3, 4; 302, 3.) These numbers are now to be described more in detail. The circuit of the world is contained by a complete number, for the duration of the year of the world, at the expiration of which everything returns to the position which it had at the beginning, consists of 10,000 years (see p. 344). The number 10,000 is a complete number as being a square, but even more so as arising from the number ten, the τέλειος ὰριθμὸς (see vol. i. 342). The number ten raised to the fourth power, is multiplied by itself four times (according to the scheme of the potential decad, the sacred tetractys). To this number of the world’s circuit is opposed the number which contains the revolution of human kind, i.e. which gives the numbers of years, at the expiration of which a change to worse or better comes about in the production of new races of mankind — a change to εὐγονία or ἀφορία (cf. 546 A C). We are told firstly, that it is the first number in which αὐξήσεις δυνάμεναί, etc., occur, pure rational proportions which can be expressed in whole numbers (πάντα προσήγορα καὶ ῥητὰ … ἀπέφηναν). Secondly, the ἐπίτριτος πυθμὴν of the series so obtained (for this must be the meaning, whether the ὧν before ἐπίτ be referred to αὐξήσεις, or, as seems preferable, to πάντα), joined with the number five, and three times increased, gives two ἁρμονία, which are described at length. We learn further that the whole combination of numbers here described is ‘geometric,’ i.e. all the numbers out of which it is composed can be exhibited in a geometrical construction. In the first part of this description, the αὐξήσεις δυνάμεναί τε καὶ δυναστευόμεναι refer to the fact that we are dealing with equations, the roots of which are the numbers of the Pythagorean triangle, 3, 4, 5. The Pythagoreans call three and four δυναστευόμεναι, five δυναμέν, because 52 — 32 + 42 (see details in vol. i. 344, 2, 3rd edit.). To start from these numbers was all the more suitable because the law of the combination of kind, the law of γάμος, was to be here determined, and the number five, in which three and four are potentially contained, is called γάμος by the Pythagoreans, as the first combination of a male and female number (vol. i. 343, 4; 335, 3). The old commentators recognise the Pythagorean triangle in this passage; cf. Plut. De Is. 56, p. 373, who says of this triangle: ὡς καὶ Πλάτων ἐν τῇ πολιτείᾳ δοκεῖ τούτῳ [?] προσκεχρῆσθαι τὸ γαμήλιον διάγραμμα συντάττων. From these elements, then, by repeated augmentation (αὐξήσεις) a proportion, or even several proportions (for the expression αὐξήσεις leaves this indefinite), are to be found with four terms (ὅροι, which is here used in the same sense as iv. 443 D), and three determinations as to the distance (the arithmetical ratio) of these terms, i.e. one or more proportions of the form: A: B = B : C = C; D (the words ῥητὰ πρὸς ἄλληλα show that we have to deal with proportions). The numbers of these ὅροι are to be partly ὁμοιοῦντες, partly ἀνομοιούντων, and partly αὔξοντες, partly φθίνοντες. (The genitives, ὁμοιούντων, etc., must, of course, be made to depend on ὅροι; ἀριθμῶν is to be supplied, and ὅροι; ὁμοιούντω, etc., to be explained: ὅροι which consist in ἀριθμοι ὁμοιοῦντες, etc.) What this means is a question. As the square numbers are called ὅμοιοι and the oblong ἀνόμοιοι (Iambl. in Nicom. p. 115 Tennul.), Hermann, p. ix. is quite right in referring ὁμοιοῦν to the formation of square numbers, ἀνομοιούν to the formation of oblong numbers. αὐξόντων and φθινόντων are obscure. I do not think it probable that the former is equivalent to ὁμοιοῦν, and the latter to ἀνόμοιοι (Weber, p. 22, following Rettig). It seems unlikely that in a description otherwise so extraordinarily concise, Plato should have used such a pleonasm; and the meaning in question cannot be extracted from the original signification of ‘increasing and diminishing’ without straining the words. The καὶ, too, before αὐξόντων leads us to expect something new, and not a mere repetition of what we have already been told by ὁμοιούντων and ἀνομοιούντων. Weber believes that the proportion intended by Plato (and the only one as he thinks) in the words ἐν ᾧ πρώτῳ … ἀπέφηναν must have been formed out of certain powers of five, four, and three, in such a way that the first and third term are square numbers, the second and fourth oblong numbers, and that the terms (an account of the ἐπίτριτος πυθμὴν to be mentioned immediately) stand in the proportion of 4 : 3. Hence he gets the following proportion: 52 x 42 x 42 : 43 x 52 x 32 : 52 x 42 x 32 : 33 x 52 x 4 = 6400 : 4800 : 3600 : 2700. Here the sum of the first and third term give the complete number 10,000; that of the second and fourth term the incomplete number 7500. But, in the first place, the suppositions from which he starts are very uncertain. The tone of the passage itself leaves it undecided whether we have to do with one or several proportions of four terms. It is not said that in this or these proportion or proportions the first and third term must be square, and the second and fourth oblong; but merely that, generally speaking, square and oblong numbers do occur in those places. And we cannot infer from the ἐπίτριτος πυθμὴν that the proportion (if it is only one) advances in the ratio of 4 : 3, because in every equation proceeding from the elements 3, 4, 5, there is an ἐπίτριτος πυθμὴν together with the number five. Secondly (and this is the main point), Weber gets two numbers by his proportion; these occur in what follows as the sums of the two ἁρμξνίαι: the number of the year of the world, 10,000, and the number 7500. But in the words ἐν ᾧ πρώτῳ . . . ἀπέφηναν Plato means to describe only one number, that of the period of the ἀνθρώπειον γεννετόν. What this is, and how it is to be found, is not sufficiently stated in these words, so long as their meaning is not more clearly explained. From the three elements, 3, 4, 5, which Plato makes the basis of his calculation, we could derive proportions of four terms in such a way that, raised to the third power, they could be connected, by proportional means (on the system described p. 671, 3), two and two. Then we get the three equations: 1) 33 : 32 x 4 : 3 x 42 : 43 = 27 : 36 : 48 : 64; 2) 33 : 32 x 5 : 3 x 52 : 53 = 27 : 45 : 75 : 125; 3) 43 : 42 x 5 : 4 x 52 : 53 = 64 : 80 : 100 : 125. From these the number required, the ἀριθμὸς κύριος γενέσεων, can be obtained by forming a series of their collective terms (27, 36, 45, 48, 64, 75, 80, 100, 125), and summing the numbers of this series (just as the numbers of the harmonic series are summed in Timaeus Locr. 96 B). This would give 600 as the result, and the notion would then be that εὐγονίαι and ἀφορία of mankind change in periods of 600 years. We might further observe that 600 is ten times 60, and 60 = 3 x 4 x 5; and if at the same time we could assume that Plato determined the γενεὰ in the present case at 60 years (say, as the longest period of procreative power in man) we should get this result: As a new circuit begins for the individual souls after 10 hundred years, and for the universe after 10 thousand years (see above), so the race undergoes a revolution after 10 generations. Hitherto, however, we have too little ground to explain Plato’s meaning with any certainty. In the second part of the description, the numbers meant by the words ὧν ἐπίτριτος πιθμὴν … ἑκατὸν δὲ κύβων τριάδος can be more definitely specified. Of the two ἁρμονίαι here mentioned, one must give the number 100 x 100 = 1 0,000. The other (as Hermann rightly explains) must give a number consisting of 100 cubes of the number 3, and a hundred numbers obtained from the rational diagonals of the number 5 after the deduction of 1, and from its irrational diagonals after the deduction of 2. This number is 7500; obtained from 100 x 33 = 2700 and 100 x 48. 48 is one less than the square of the rational diagonals, and two less than that of the irrational diagonals of 5; the diagonal of 5 = √(2 x 52) = √50, its rational diagonal = √49 = 7; the square of the former is therefore 50; of the latter 49. Any further steps are uncertain. The two numbers mentioned are to proceed from two harmonies, i.e. two series of numbers progressing in a definite arithmetical ratio (ἁρμονία is to be taken in a mathematical, and not in a musical or metaphysico-ethical sense), by multiplying the ἐπίτριτος πυθμὴν of the series previously arrived at (see p. 421) in combination with the number 5 three times (τρὶς αὐξηθείς). The ἐπίτριτος πυθμὴν can only be the numbers 3 and 4 themselves, for πυθμένες means (Theo. Math. 125 sq., Bull.) for any arithmetical relation οἱ ἐν ἐλαχίστις καὶ πρώτοις πρὸς ἀλλήλους λόγοις ὄντες (ἀριθμοὶ) … ἐπίτριτων δὲ ὀ τῶν δ’ πρὸς γʼ. The τρὶς αὐξηθείς means, as Aristotle explains, Politics v. 12, 1316 a. 7: ὅταν ὁ τοῦ διαγράμματος ἀριθμὸς τούτου (the number of the Pythagorean triangle: 3, 4, 5) γένηται στερεός. Those two series of numbers are to be obtained by a combination of the three, four, and five cubes, which give the above sums. Weber’s proposal (p. 27 sq.) is worth consideration. He combines 3 and 4 singly at first by multiplication with 5, and then again multiplies both multiples 3 x 5 and 4 x 5 with the numbers of the Pythagorean triangle. He thus gets two series of three terms progressing in the ratio of 3, 4, 5 (and at the same time in arithmetical proportion), which can also be exhibited in a geometrical construction, as he shows: 1) 3x3x5 = 45; 4 x 3x5 = 60; 5x3x5 = 75; 2) 3 x 4 x 5 = 60; 4 x 4 x 5 = 80; 5 x 4 x 5 = 100. Multiply the first term of the first series with the first term of the second, etc., and we arrive at the oblong numbers 45 x 60 = 2700; 60 x 80 = 4800; 75 x 100 = 7500. Multiply each of the three terms of the second series into itself, and we get the square numbers: 60 x 60 = 3600; 80 x 80 = 6400; and as a third the sum of both: 100 x 100 = 10,000. Symmetry would perhaps require that the three terms of the first series should also be multiplied into themselves, which does not fit into the Platonic construction. But, however we are to understand Plato’s exposition, and however we are to fill up its deficiencies, we must not expect from the present passage any serious information as to the law governing the change of the races of mankind. Plato himself indicates as much when he says, 546 A sq.: however wise the rulers of the state may be, it is impossible for them to know the times of εὐγονίαι and ἀφορία for our race, and to avoid fatal mistakes in managing the union of parents. Plato’s object is rather to show the mysterious importance of that law by giving an interpretation of it in enigmatical formulae; but the law itself becomes no clearer (as Aristotle, loc. cit. objects), even if we could interpret the formulae mathematically. The mystic element here, as the mythical elsewhere, is intended to conceal a deficiency of scientific knowledge under apparent explanations.

111^ ψυχῆς περίοδος, p. 43 D sqq., 44 B D, 47 D, 85 A, 90 D; cf. supra, p. 368; p. 359, 166. The sutures of the skull are (76 A) derived from the revolution of this circle of the soul, and its interruption by the afflux of nourishment (cf. 43 D sqq.).

12^ 44 D sq.

113^ Timaeus 45 A. Of the particular senses Plato explains sight by the supposition that there is an interior fire (or light) in the eye, which passing out from the eye unites with the kindred fire which comes out of luminous bodies, and transmits the motion through the whole body to the soul. (Timaeus 45 B-D; cf. Sophist 266 C; Theaetetus 156 D; Republic vi. 508 A.) This light dwelling in the eye Plato calls ὄψις. The phenomena of reflected light, and reflections in mirrors, are discussed, Timaeus 46 A-C; the colours of lights, 67 C sqq. Of. Martin, ii. 157-171, 291-294 ad h. loc. Sleep also is derived from the interior fire of the eyes: if the eyelids close, the inner movements of the body must be relaxed and at rest, Timaeus 45 D sq. The sensations of hearing are caused by the tones moving the air in the inside of the ear, and this motion is transmitted through the blood into the brain, and to the soul. The soul is thus induced to a motion extending from the head to the region of the liver, to the seat of desire, and this motion proceeding from the soul is ἀκοή (Timaeus 67 A sq.). Taste consists in a contraction or dilatation of the vessels (φλέβες) of the tongue (Timaeus 65 C sq.). Smell depends on the penetration of vapours (καπνὸς and ὁμίχλη, see p. 378) into the vessels between the head and the navel, and the roughness or smoothness of their contact (66 D sqq.).

114^ Cf. supra, note 81, and what has just been quoted as to hearing and smell; p. 65 C we are told that the blood-vessels of the tongue, the organs of taste, run into the heart.

115^ Αἴσθησις, according to Timaeus 64 sqq., takes place when an external shock brings about a movement in the body, which is transmitted to the soul. Hence it occurs only to the parts of the body which are mobile, while those which are immobile, such as bones and hair, are insensible. The most important medium for the dissemination of sensations in the body, Plato considered to be the blood, on account of its superior mobility (Timaeus 70 A sq., 77 E, 65 C, 67 B). (The nerves were quite unknown in his day, and remained so for a considerable time afterwards.) If the motion only takes place in the body very gradually, it is not noticed at all, and is not a sensation. If it passes quickly, easily, and unrestrained by any obstacles, as the motion of light in seeing, it creates a very distinct sensation, but one neither pleasurable nor painful. If it is combined with a noticeable interruption, or a noticeable re-establishment of the natural condition, there arises in the former case pain, in the latter pleasure (Timaeus 64 A sqq.; with regard to pleasure and the absence of pleasure cf. Philebus 31 D sqq., 42 C sqq.: Gorgias 496 C sqq.; Republic ix. 583 C sqq.). But pain and pleasure are not always conditioned by one another. It may happen (Timaeus loc. cit.) that only the interruption of the natural condition takes place quick enough to be remarked, while its re-establishment passes unnoticed; or the case may be exactly reversed. Then, in the former instance, we have pain without pleasure; in the latter that purely sensuous pleasure which is spoken of, Philebus 51 A sqq., 62 E, 63 D, 66 C. To say that the latter is ‘no longer merely sensuous, but has become intellectual, mathematical’ (Susemihl, ii. 429), does not seem to correspond with Plato’s meaning. As he says, Timaeus 65 A, that a pleasure without pain affords ὅσα δὲ κατὰ σμικρὸν τὰς … κενώσεις εἴληφεν, τὰς δὲ πληρώσεις ἁθρόας καὶ κατὰ μεγάλα, e.g. pleasant smells, so Philebus 51 B, he mentions, as examples of pure ἡδοναὶ, τὰς περί τε τὰ καλὰ λεγόμενα χρώματα καὶ περὶ τὰ σχήματα καὶ τῶν ὀσμῶν τὰς πλείστας καὶ τὰς τῶν φθόγγων καὶ ὅσα. (and generally everything which) τὰς ἐνδείας ἀναισθήτους ἔχοντα … τὰς πληρώσεις αἰσθητὰς … παραδίδωσιν. Of these sensations of pleasure, however (among which those of smell are of course less noble than those of sight and hearing), 52 A, αἱ περὶ τὰ μαθήματα ἡδοναὶ are expressly distinguished. In Philebus 66 C (ἃς ἡδονὰς ἔθεμεν ἀλύπους ὁρισάμενοι, καθαρὰς ἐπονομάσαντες τῆς ψυχῆς αὐτῆς, ἐπιστήμαις, τὰς δὲ αἰσθήσεσιν ἑπομένας), where the received reading certainly agrees with the above remarks, but in itself is liable to verbal and logical difficulties, I would therefore propose: τὰς τῆς ψυχῆς αὐτῆς, ἐπιστήμαις (as one MS. reads), τὰς δὲ αἰσθήσεσιν ἑπομένας.

116^ Cf. supra, note 82. This, however, can only hold good of sensible pleasure and its opposite, Plato recognises a spiritual pleasure besides, Republic ix. 582 B, 583 B, 586 E sqq., vi. 485 D; Philebus 52 A; see p. 187.

117^ Timaeus 69 E sq., 70 D, 77 B.

118^ 70 A sq. It has already been noticed, note 115, that the blood is the transmitting medium of sensation. Timaeus 77 C sqq. (cf. Martin, ii. 301 sqq., 323 sqq.) is an attempt to describe the system of the blood-vessels; there is no mention here of the distinction between veins and arteries, still less of the circulation of the blood, which was entirely unknown to the ancients.

119^ Plato’s theory in detail is as follows (Timaeus 80 C sqq., 78 E sq.): Every element tends towards what is homogeneous to it: parts are constantly disappearing from the human body; but, according to the same principle, these are continually repaired out of the blood, into which the nourishment spread by means of the fire (the inner warmth) in the body, is brought by the air which enters in the act of breathing (cf. note 122). In youth, so long as the elements of the body are fresh, they hold together faster and digest nourishment more easily, more goes into than out of the body — it grows; in age, after it is worn out, it diminishes, and finally breaks up altogether.

120^ 78 E sq., 80 D. Plato here follows Diogenes; see vol. i. 227, 7, 3rd edit.

121^ The obscure description, 77 E sqq., is elucidated by Martin, ii. 334 sqq.; Susemihl, ii, 453 sqq.

122^ Plato supposes with Empedocles (see vol. i. 647), not only a respiration but a perspiration. The air, he thinks (78 D-79 E), enters into the body alternately through the windpipe and throat, and through the skin; here it becomes warmed by the inner fire, and then seeks its kindred element outside the body by one or the other of the ways just mentioned. There is no void space; and, accordingly, other air is pressed into the body by the air passing out; through the skin if the one current is coming out through the mouth and nose, through the mouth and nose if the current is passing out through the skin.

123^ 70 C sqq.; not only air but drink is supposed to pass into the lungs.

124^ Timaeus 71 A-72 D. Even after death traces of prophetic pictures remain in the liver. Plato, however, observes that they are too dull and obscure for any definite conclusions to be drawn from them. He also rejects vaticination from victims. — The spleen is intended to keep the liver pure.

125^ 71 E: μαντικὴν ἀφροσύνῃ θεὸς ἀνθρωπίνῃ δέδωκεν: οὐδεὶς γὰρ ἔννους ἐφάπτεται μαντικῆς ἐνθέου καὶ ἀληθοῦς, ἀλλ’ ἢ καθ’ ὕπνον τὴν τῆς φρονήσεως πεδηθεὶς δύναμιν ἢ διὰ νόσον, ἢ διά τινα ἐνθουσιασμὸν παραλλάξας. Only the interpretation of prophecy is matter of reason and reflection. Cf. Laws 719 C, and supra, p. 176 sq., and, on the other side, p. 191. Prophetic and significant dreams occur, as is well known, in the Phaedrus 60 D sq., and Crito 44 A, and in the Eudemus (Cic. Dio. 1, 25, 53) composed by Aristotle as Plato’s scholar; and the belief in presentiments, expressing themselves sometimes in sleep, sometimes in waking, may have been seriously held by Plato, on the precedent of the Socratic Daemon. On the other hand, he certainly remarks (and this is the more correct consequence from his point of view) that the animal desires assert themselves more unrestrainedly in dreams, because in sleep the rational life recedes into the background. (Republic ix. 571 C, where Schleiermacher, Pl. WW. III. i. 601 tries to find too much; the example which Plato quotes is taken from Sophocles Oedipus Rex, 981).

126^ 71 E sq.; cf. 80 D sq.

127^ Cf. 44 E sq. on the limbs; 73 A sqq. on the formation of marrow, brain, flesh, and bones; 75 D on the mouth; 75 E sqq. on the skin, hair, and nails.

128^ 77 A-C, see p. 416, 83.

129^ 90 E, 91 D sqq., with which further cf. the quotation on 392 sqq.

130^ 77 B: πάσχον γὰρ διατελεῖ πάντα, στραφέντι δ’ αὐτῷ ἐν ἑαυτῷ περὶ ἑαυτό, τὴν μὲν ἔξωθεν ἀπωσαμένῳ κίνησιν, τῇ δ’ οἰκείᾳ χρησαμένῳ, τῶν αὑτοῦ τι λογίσασθαι κατιδόντι φύσει οὐ παραδέδωκεν ἡ γένεσις. These words have generally been wrongly construed, e.g. by Stallbaum, Martin (i. 207, ii. 322), and by H. Müller. The translation is: ‘Its γένεσις has not conferred upon it such a nature as to repel movements coming from without, while it moves in and round itself’ (or joining φύτιν with κατιδόντι, ‘has not granted it to repel, etc.’), ‘but to avail itself of its own motion, and so to perceive somewhat of its own conditions, and to reflect on them.’

131^ 249 B; see p. 411, 55.

132^ Timaeus 91 D sqq.; Phaedo, 82 A, cf. supra, pp. 178, 394, 411, 499 sq.

133^ See p. 388.

134^ Timaeus 90 E sqq., 41 E sqq. (see p. 392). In the first of these passages sexual impulse is thus explained. The male semen (an efflux of the spinal marrow) is like the corresponding matter in the female, a ζῷον ἔμψυχον. In the one there dwells a desire for ἐκροὴ, in the other for παιδοποιΐα; cf. The quotations from Hippo and Empedocles, vol. i. 216, 1; 645, 4, 3rd edit.

135^ Symposium 206 B sqq.; Laws, iv. 721 B sq., vi. 773 E: see p. 193.

136^ Republic v. 452 E sqq. I shall return to this point later on.

137^ 81 E-86 A. Three causes of disease are mentioned: 1. The condition of the elementary materials. Some may be too abundant or too scanty, or not rightly apportioned, or some one organ may be acted upon by other kinds of fire, water, etc., than are proper for it (82 A sq., 86 A). 2. A second source of disease consists in the same deficiencies with respect to the organic elements (marrow, bones, flesh, sinews, blood). The perversion of the natural order in the production of these organic materials out of one another is especially dangerous. Naturally, the flesh together with the sinews is formed out of the blood, the bones out of flesh and sinews, the marrow out of the bones. If instead of this a counter-formation in the opposite way sets in, the most grievous sufferings result (82 B sqq.). 3. A third class of diseases spring from irregularity in the apportionment and the condition of the πνεύματα, the mucus, and the bile (84 C sqq.). Further details are given in Martin, ii. 347-359; Susemihl, ii. 460 sqq.

138^ Timaeus 86 B-87 B.

139^ Timaeus 87 C-90 D.

140^ Cf. Republic iii. 405 C sqq., and Schleiermacher, Werke z. Philosophie, iii. 273 sqq.

141^ 27 A. It is proposed that Timaeus should begin with the origin of the world and end with mankind, whose education Socrates had described the day before in the dialogue on the State.

Eduard G. Zeller, a German philosopher and Protestant theologian of the Tübingen School of theology, was well known for his writings on Ancient Greek philosophy. Although he published in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries, his meticulous research, documentation, and footnotes remain a valuable scholarly resource.


Zeller, Eduard. Plato and the Older Academy. Sarah Frances Alleyne and Alfred Goodwin, trans. New York and London, Longmans, Green & Co., 1876. This work is in the Public Domain.