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PTCOLIM

 

The Republic VII

In this extract Socrates suggests to his listeners that reality, and in particular our own position within reality, is not as it seems. The analogy of The Cave reveals one of the essential doctrines of Plato and has opened many aspiring philosophers' eyes to his or her own destiny - which is to rise from the darkness of shadowy matter to the light of The Good, here wonderfully symbolised as the Sun. For the superficial reader the analogy of the Cave merely makes a distinction between the world of matter and the world of intellect; there is, however, a far more profound reading of this passage, as Taylor's note here [note 1] indicates.

<514a> After these things now, said I, assimilate, with reference to erudition, and the want of erudition, our nature to such a condition as follows. Consider men as in a subterraneous habitation, resembling a cave, with <514b> its entrance expanding to the light, and answering to the whole extent of the cave. Suppose them to have been in this cave from their childhood, with chains both on their legs and necks, so as to remain there, and only be able to look before them, but by the chain incapable to turn their heads round. Suppose them likewise to have the light of a fire, burning far above and behind them; and that between the fire and the fettered men there is a road above. Along this road, observe a low wall built, like that which hedges in the stage of mountebanks on which <514c> they exhibit their wonderful tricks. I observe it, said he. Behold now, along this wall, men bearing all sorts of utensils, raised above the wall, <515a> and human statues, and other animals, in wood and stone, and furniture of every kind. And, as is likely, some of those who are carrying these are speaking, and others silent. You mention, said he, a wonderful comparison, and wonderful fettered men. But such, however, as resemble us, said I; for, in the first place, do you think that such as these see any thing of themselves, or of one another, but the shadows formed <515b> by the fire, falling on the opposite part of the cave? How can they, said he, if through the whole of life they be under a necessity, at least, or having their heads unmoved? But what do they see of what is carrying along? Is it not the very same? Why not? If then they were able to converse with one another, do not you think they would deem it proper to give names to those very things which they saw before them? Of necessity they must. And what if the opposite part of this prison had an echo, when any of those who passed along spake, do you imagine they would reckon that what spake was any thing else than the passing <515c> shadow? Not I, by Jupiter! said he. Such as these then, said I, will entirely judge that there is nothing true but the shadows of utensils. By an abundant necessity, replied he. with reference then, both to their freedom from these chains, and their cure of this ignorance, consider the nature of it, if such a thing should happen to them. When any one should be loosed, and obliged on a sudden to rise up, turn round his neck, and walk and look up towards the light; and in doing all these things should be pained, and unable, from the splendours, to behold the things of which he formerly saw the shadows, what do you think he <515d> would say, if one should tell him that formerly he had seen trifles, but now, being somewhat nearer to reality, and turned toward what was more real, he saw with more rectitude; and so, pointing out to him each of the things passing along, should question him, and oblige him to tell what it were; do not you think he would be both in doubt, and would deem what he had formerly seen to be more true than what was now <515e> pointed out to him? By far, said he. And if he should oblige him to look to the light itself, would not he find pain in his eyes, and shun it; and, turning to such things as he is able to behold, reckon that these are really more clear than those pointed out? Just so, replied he. But if one, said I, should drag him from thence violently through a rough and steep ascent, and never stop till he drew him up to the light of the sun, would he not, whilst he was thus drawn, both be in torment, and be <516a> filled with indignation? And after he had even come to the light, having his eyes filled with splendour, he would be able to see none of these things now called true. He would not, said he, suddenly at least. But he would require, I think, to be accustomed to it some time, if he were to perceive things above. And, first of all, he would most easily perceive shadows, afterwards the images of men and of other things in water, and after that the things themselves. And, with reference to these, he would <516b> more easily see the things in the heavens, and the heavens themselves, by looking in the night to the light of the stars, and the moon, than by day looking on the sun, and the light of the sun. How can it be otherwise? And, last of all, he may be able, I think, to perceive and contemplate the sun himself, not in water, not resemblances of him, in a foreign seat, but himself by himself, in his own proper region. Of necessity, said he. And after this, he would now reason with himself concerning him, that it is he who gives the seasons, and years, and <516c> governs all things in the visible place; and that of all those things which he formerly saw, he is in a certain manner the cause. It is evident, said he, that after these things he may arrive at such reasonings as these. But what? when he remembers his first habitation, and the wisdom which was there, and those who were then his companions in bonds, do you not think he will esteem himself happy by the change, and pity them? And that greatly. And if there were there any honours and encomiums and rewards among themselves, for him who most acutely perceived what passed along, and best remembered which of them were wont to <516d> pass foremost, which latest, and which of them went together; and from these observations were most able to presage what was to happen; does it appear to you that he will be desirous of such honours, or envy those who among these are honoured, and in power? Or, will he not rather wish to suffer that of Homer, and vehemently desire

As labourer to some ignoble man
To work for hire

. . . . . . . . and rather suffer any thing than to possess such opinions, and live after <516e> such a manner? I think so, replied he, that he would suffer, and embrace any thing rather than live in that manner. But consider this further, said I: If such an one should descend, and sit down again in the same seat, would not his eyes be filled with darkness, in consequence of <517a> coming suddenly from the sun? Very much so, replied he. And should he now again be obliged to give his opinion of those shadows, and to dispute about them with those who are there eternally chained, whilst yet his eyes were dazzled, and before they recovered their former state, (which would not be effected in a short time) would he not afford them laughter? and would it not be said of him, that, having ascended, he was returned with vitiated eyes, and that it was not proper even to attempt to go above, and that whoever should attempt to liberate them, and lead them up, if ever they were able to get him into their hands, should be put to death? They would by all means, said he, put him to death.

The <517b> whole of this image now, said I, friend Glauco, is to be applied to our preceding discourse: for, if you compare this region, which is seen by the sight, to the habitation of the prison; and the light of the fire in it, to the power of the sun; and the ascent above, and the vision of things above, to the soul's ascent into the intelligible place; you will apprehend my meaning, since you want to hear it. But God knows whether it be true. Appearances then present themselves to my view as follows. In the intelligible place, the idea of The Good is the last object of vision, and is scarcely to be seen; but if it be seen, we must collect by reasoning <517c> that it is the cause to all of everything right and beautiful, generating in the visible place, light, and its lord the sun; and in the intelligible place, it is itself the lord, producing truth and intellect [see note 1]; and this must be beheld by him who is to act wisely, either privately or in public. I agree with you, said he, as far as I am able. Come now, said I, and agree with me likewise in this. And do not wonder that such as arrive hither are unwilling to act in human affairs but their souls always hasten to converse with things above; for it is somehow reasonable it should be <517d> so, if these things take place according to our above- mentioned image. It is indeed reasonable, replied he. But what? do you think that this is anything wonderful, that when a man comes from divine contemplations to human evils, he should behave awkwardly and appear extremely ridiculous, whilst he is yet dazzled, and is obliged, before he is sufficiently accustomed to the present darkness, to contend in courts of <517e> justice, or elsewhere, about the shadows of justice, or those statues which occasion the shadows; and to dispute about this point, how these things are apprehended by those who have never at any time beheld <518a> justice itself? This is not at all wonderful, said he. But if a man possesses intellect, said I, he must remember, that there is a twofold disturbance of the sight, and arising from two causes, when we betake ourselves from light to darkness, and from darkness to light: and when a man considers that these very things happen with reference also to the soul, whenever he sees any one disturbed, and unable to perceive any thing, he will not laugh in an unreasonable manner, but will consider, whether the soul, coming from a more splendid life, be darkened by ignorance, or, going from abundant ignorance to one more luminous, be filled with the dazzling splendour, and so will congratulate the one on <518b> its fate and life, and compassionate the life and fate of the other. And if he wishes to laugh at the soul that goes from darkness to light, his laughter would be less improper, than if he were to laugh at the soul which descends from the light to darkness. You say very reasonably, replied he.

It is proper then, said I, that we judge of them after such a manner as this, if those things be true. That education is not such a <518c> thing as some announce it to be; for they somehow say, that whilst there is no science in the soul, they will insert it, as if they were inserting sight in blind eyes. They say so, replied he. But our present reasoning, said I, now shows, that this power being in the soul of every one, and the organ by which every one learns, and being in the same condition as the eye, if it were unable otherwise, than with the whole body, to turn from darkness to light, must, in like manner, with the whole soul, be turned from generation, till it be able to endure the contemplation of being itself, and the most splendid of being; and this <518d> we call The Good. Do we not? We do. This then, said I, would appear to be the art of his conversion, in what manner he shall, with greatest ease and advantage, be turned. Not to implant in him the power of seeing, but considering him as possessed of it, only improperly situated, and not looking at what he ought, to contrive some method by which this may be accomplished. It seems so, replied he. The other virtues now then of the soul, as they are called, seem to be somewhat resembling those of the body (for when, in reality, they were not in it formerly, they are afterwards produced in it by habits and exercises); but <518e> that of wisdom, as it seems, happens to be of a nature somewhat more divine than any other; as it never loses its power, but, according as it is <519a> turned, is useful and advantageous, or useless and hurtful. Or have you not observed of those who are said to be wicked, yet wise, how sharply the little soul sees, and how acutely it comprehends every thing to which it is turned, as having no contemptible sight, but compelled to be subservient to wickedness: so that the more acutely it sees, so much the more productive is it of wickedness? Entirely so, replied he. But however, said I, with reference to this part of such a genius; if, immediately from childhood, it should be stripped of every thing allied to generation, as leaden weights, and of all those pleasures and lusts <519b> which relate to feastings and such like, which turn the sight of the soul to things downwards; from all these, if the soul, being freed, should turn itself towards truth, the very same principle in the same men would most acutely see those things as it now does these to which it is turned. It is likely, replied he. But what? is not this likely, said I, and necessarily deduced from what has been mentioned? that neither those who are uninstructed and unacquainted with truth can ever sufficiently <519c> take care of the city; nor yet those who allow themselves to spend the whole of their time in learning. The former, because they have no one scope in life, aiming at which they ought to do whatever they do, both in private and in public; and the latter, because they are not willing to manage civil affairs, thinking that whilst they are yet alive, they inhabit the islands of the blessed. True, said he. It is our business then, said I, to oblige those of the inhabitants who have the best geniuses, to apply to that learning which we formerly said was the greatest, both to view <519d> The Good, and to ascend that ascent; and when they have ascended, and sufficiently viewed it, we are not to allow them what is now allowed them. What is that? To continue there, said I, and be unwilling to descend again to those fettered men, or share with them in their toils and honours, whether more trifling or more important. Shall we then, said he, act unjustly towards them, and make them live a worse life <519e> when they have it in their power to live a better? You have again forgot, friend, said I, that this is not the legislator's concern, in what manner any one tribe in the city shall live remarkably happy; but this he endeavours to effectuate in the whole city, connecting the citizens together; and by necessity, and by persuasion, making them share the advantage with one another with which they are severally able to benefit <520a> the community: and the legislator, when he makes such men in the city, does it not that he may permit them to go where each may incline, but that himself may employ them for connecting the city together. True, said he, I forgot, indeed. Consider then, said I, Glauco, that we shall no way injure the philosophers who arise among us, but tell them what is just, when we oblige them to take care of others, and to be guardians. We will allow, indeed, that those who in other cities become philosophers, with reason do not participate of the toils of public offices <520b> in the state (for they spring up of themselves, the policy of each city opposing them, and it is just, that what springs of itself, owing its growth to none, should not be forward to pay for its nurture to any one); but you have we generated both for yourselves, and for the rest of the state, as the leaders and kings in a hive, and have educated you <520c> better, and in a more perfect manner than they, and made you more capable of sharing both in the rewards and labours attending public offices. Every one then must, in part, descend to the dwelling of the others, and accustom himself to behold obscure objects: for, when you are accustomed to them, you will infinitely better perceive things there, and will fully know the several images what they are, and of what, from your having perceived the truth concerning things beautiful, and just, and good. And thus, as a real vision, both to us and you, shall the city be inhabited, and not as a dream, as most cities are at present inhabited <520d> by such as both fight with one another about shadows, and raise sedition about governing, as if it were some mighty good. But the truth is as follows: In whatever city those who are to govern, are the most averse to undertake government, that city, of necessity, will be the best established, and the most free from sedition; and that city, whose governors are of a contrary character, will be in a contrary condition. Entirely so, replied he.

Do you think then that our pupils will disobey us, when they hear these injunctions, and be unwilling to labour jointly in the city, each bearing a part, but spend the most of their time with <520e> one another, free from public affairs? Impossible, said he. For we prescribe just things to just men. And each of them enters on magistracy from this consideration beyond all others, that they are under a necessity of governing after a manner contrary to all the present governors of all other cities. For thus it is, my companion, said I, if you <521a> discover a life for those who are to be our governors, better than that of governing, then it will be possible for you to have the city well established; for in it alone shall those govern who are truly rich, not in gold, but in that in which a happy man ought to be rich, in a good and prudent life. But if, whilst they are poor, and destitute of goods of their own, they come to the public, thinking they ought thence to pillage good, it is not possible to have the city rightly established. For the contest being who shall govern, such a war being domestic, and within <521b> them, it destroys both themselves, and the rest of the city. Most true, said he. Have you then, said I, any other kind of life which despises public magistracies, but that of true philosophy? No, by Jupiter! said he. But, however, they ought at least not to be fond of governing who enter on it, otherwise the rivals will fight about it. How can it be otherwise? Whom else then will you oblige to enter on the guardianship of the city, but such as are most intelligent in those things by which the city is best established, and who have other honours, and <521c> a life better than the political one? No others, said he. Are you willing then, that we now consider this, by what means such men shall be produced, and how one shall bring them into the light, as some are said, from Hades, to have ascended to the Gods? Why should I not be willing? replied he. This now, as it seems, is not the turning of a shell [see note 2]; but the conversion of the soul coming from some benighted day, to the true re-ascent to real being, which we say is true philosophy. Entirely <521d> so. Ought we not then to consider which of the disciplines possesses such a power? Why not? What now, Glauco, may that discipline of the soul be, which draws her from that which is generated towards being itself? But this I consider whilst I am speaking. Did not we indeed say, that it was necessary for them, whilst young, to be wrestlers in war? We said so. It is proper then, that this discipline likewise be added to that which is now the object of our inquiry. Which? Not to be useless to military men. It must indeed, said he, be added if possible. They <521e> were somewhere in our former discourse instructed by us in gymnastic and music. They were, replied he. Gymnastic indeed somehow respects what is generated and destroyed, for it presides over the increase and <522a> corruption of body. It seems so. This then cannot be the discipline which we investigate. It cannot. Is it music then, such as we formerly described? But it was, said he, as a counterpart of gymnastic, if you remember, by habits instructing our guardians, imparting no science, but only with respect to harmony, a certain propriety, and with regard to rhythm, a certain propriety of rhythm, and in discourses, certain other habits the sisters of these, both in such discourses as are fabulous, and <522b> in such as are nearer to truth.

But as to a discipline respecting such a good as you now investigate, there was nothing of this in that music. You have, most accurately, said I, reminded me; for it treated, in reality, of no such thing. But, divine Glauco, what may this discipline be? For all the arts have somehow appeared to be mechanical and illiberal. How should they not? And what other discipline remains distinct from music, gymnastic, and the arts? Come, said I, if we have nothing yet further besides these to take, let us take something in these which <522c> extends over them all. What is that? Such as this general thing, which all arts, and dianoŽtic powers, and sciences employ, and which every one ought, in the first place, necessarily to learn. What is that? said he. This trifling thing, said I, to know completely one, and two, and three: I call this summarily number, and computation. Or is it not thus with reference to these, that every art, and likewise every science, must of necessity participate of these? They must of necessity, replied he. And <522d> must not the art of war likewise participate of them? Of necessity, said he. Palamedes then, in the tragedies, shows every where Agamemnon to have been at least a most ridiculous general; or have you not observed how he says, that having invented numeration, he adjusted the ranks in the camp at Troy, and numbered up both the ships, and all the other forces which were not numbered before; and Agamemnon, as it seems, did not even know how many foot he had, as he understood not how to number them: but what kind of general do you imagine him to be? Some absurd one, for my part, replied he, if this were true. Is there any other discipline then, said I, which we shall establish as more necessary <522e> to a military man, than to be able to compute and to number? This most of all, said he, if he would any way understand how to range his troops, and still more if he is to be a man. Do you perceive them, said <523a> I, with regard to this discipline the same thing as I do? What is that? It seems to belong to those things which we are investigating, which naturally lead to intelligence, but that no one uses it aright, being entirely a conductor towards real being. How do you say? replied he. I shall endeavour, said I, to explain at least my own opinion. With reference to those things which I distinguish with myself into such as lead towards intelligence, and such as do not, do you consider them along with me, and either agree or dissent, in order that we may more distinctly see, whether this be such as I conjecture respecting it. - Show <523b> me, said he. I show you then, said I, if you perceive some things with relation to the senses, which call not intelligence to the inquiry, as they are sufficiently determined by sense, but other things which by all means call upon it to inquire, as sense does nothing sane. You plainly mean, said he, such things as appear at a distance, and such as are painted. You have not altogether, said I, apprehended my meaning. Which then, said he, do you mean? Those things, said I, call not upon <523c> intelligence, which do not issue in a contrary sensation at one and the same time; but such as issue in this manner. I establish to be those which call upon intelligence: since here sense manifests the one sensation no more than its contrary, whether it meet with it near, or at a distance. But you will understand my meaning more plainly in this manner. These, we say, are three fingers, the little finger, the next to it, and the middle finger. Plainly so, replied he. Consider me then as speaking of them when seen near, and take notice of this concerning them. What? <523d> Each of them alike appears to be a finger, and in this there is no difference, whether it be seen in the middle or in the end; whether it be white or black, thick or slender, or any thing else of this kind; for in all these, the soul of the multitude is under no necessity to question their intellect what is a finger; for never does sight itself at the same time intimate finger to be finger, and its contrary. It does not, replied he. Is it not likely then, said I, that such a case as this at least shall neither <523e> call upon nor excite intelligence? It is likely. But what? with reference to their being great and small, does the sight sufficiently perceive this, and makes it no difference to it, that one of them is situated in the middle, or at the end; and in like manner with reference to their thickness and slenderness, their softness and hardness, does the touch <524a> sufficiently perceive these things; and in like manner the other senses, do they no way defectively manifest such things? Or does each of them act in this manner? First of all, must not that sense which relates to hard, of necessity relate likewise to soft; and feeling these, it reports to the soul, as if both hard and soft were one and the same? It does. And must not then the soul again, said I, in such cases, of necessity be in doubt, what the sense points out to it as hard, since it calls the same thing soft likewise; and so with reference to the sense relating to light and heavy; the soul must be in doubt what is light and what is heavy; if the sense intimates that heavy is light, and that light is heavy? These <524b> at least, said he, are truly absurd reports to the soul, and stand in need of examination. It is likely then, said I, that first of all, in such cases as these, the soul, calling in reason and intelligence, endeavours to discover, whether the things reported be one, or whether they be two. Why not? And if they appear to be two, each of them appears to be one, and distinct from the other. It does. And if each of them be one, and both of them two, he will by intelligence perceive two distinct; for, if they <524c> were not distinct, he could not perceive two, but only one. Right. The sight in like manner, we say, perceives great and small, but not as distinct from each other, but as something confused. Does it not? It does. In order to obtain perspicuity in this affair, intelligence is obliged again to consider great and small, not as confused, but distinct, after a manner contrary to the sense of sight. True. And is it not from hence, somehow, that it begins to question us, What then is great, and what is small? By all means. And so we have called the one intelligible, and the <524d> other visible. Very right, said he. This then is what I was just now endeavouring to express, when I said, that some things call on the dianoŽtic part, and others do not: and such as fall on the sense at the same time with their contraries, I define to be such as require intelligence, but such as do not, do not excite intelligence. I understand now, said he, and it appears so to me. What now? with reference to number and unity, to which of the two classes do you think they belong? I do not understand, replied he. But reason by analogy, said I, from what we have already said: for, if unity be of itself sufficiently seen, or be apprehended by any other sense, it will not lead towards real <524e> being, as we said concerning finger. But if there be always seen at the same time something contrary to it, so as that it shall no more appear unity than the contrary, it would then require some one to judge of it: and the soul would be under a necessity to doubt within itself, and to inquire, exciting the conception within itself, and to interrogate it what this unity is. And thus the discipline which relates to unity would be <525a> of the class of those which lead, and turn the soul to the contemplation of real being. But indeed this at least, said he, is what the very sight of it effects in no small degree: for we behold the same thing, at one and the same time, as one and as an infinite multitude. And if this be the case with reference to unity, said I, will not every number be affected in the same manner? Why not? But surely both computation and <525b> arithmetic wholly relate to number. Very much so. These then seem to lead to truth. Transcendently so. They belong then, as it seems, to those disciplines which we are investigating. For the soldier must necessarily learn these things, for the disposing of his ranks; and the philosopher for the attaining to real being, emerging from generation, or he can never become a reasoner. It is so, replied he. But our guardian at least happens to be both a soldier and a philosopher. Undoubtedly. It were proper then, Glauco, to establish by law this discipline, and to persuade those who are to manage the greatest affairs <525c> of the city to apply to computation, and study it, not in a common way, but till by intelligence itself they arrive at the contemplation of the nature of numbers, not for the sake of buying, nor of selling, as merchants and retailers, but both for war, and for facility in the energies of the soul itself, and its conversion from generation to truth and essence. Most beautifully said, replied he.

And surely now, I perceive <525d> likewise, said I, at present whilst this discipline respecting computations is mentioned, how elegant it is, and every way advantageous towards our purpose, if one applies to it for the sake of knowledge, and not with a view to traffic! Which way? replied he. This very thing which we now mentioned, how vehemently does it somehow lead up the soul, and compel it to reason about numbers themselves, by no means admitting, if a man in reasoning with it shall produce numbers which have visible <525e> and tangible bodies! For you know of some who are skilled in these things, and who, if a man in reasoning should attempt to divide unity itself, would both ridicule him, and not admit it; but if you divide it into parts, they multiply them, afraid lest anyhow unity should appear <526a> not to be unity, but many parts. You say, replied he, most true. What think you now, Glauco, if one should ask them: O admirable men! about what kind of numbers are you reasoning? in which there is unity, such as you think fit to approve, each whole equal to each whole, and not differing in the smallest degree, having no part in itself, what do you think they would answer? This, as I suppose; that they mean such numbers as can be conceived by the dianoŽtic part alone, but cannot be comprehended in any other way. You see then, my friend, said I, that <526b> in reality this discipline appears to be necessary for us, since it seems to compel the soul to employ intelligence itself in the perception of truth itself. And surely now, said he, it effects this in a very powerful degree. But what? have you hitherto considered this? that those who are naturally skilled in computation appear to be acute in all disciplines; and such as are naturally slow, if they be instructed and exercised in this, though they derive no other advantage, yet at the same time all of them <526c> proceed so far as to become more acute than they were before. It is so, replied he. And surely, as I think, you will not easily find any thing, and not at all many, which occasion greater labour to the learner and student than this. No, indeed. On all these accounts, then, this discipline is not to be omitted but the best geniuses are to be instructed in it. I agree, said he. Let this one thing then, said I, be established among us; and, in the next place, let us consider if that which is consequent to this in any respect pertains to us. What is it? said he: or, <526d> do you mean geometry? That very thing, said I. As far, said he, as it relates to warlike affairs, it is plain that it belongs to us; for, as to encampments, and the occupying of ground, contracting and extending an army, and all those figures into which they form armies, both in battles and in marches, the same man would differ from himself when he is a geometrician, and when he is not. But surely now, said I, for such purposes as these, some little geometry and some portion of computation might suffice: but we must inquire, whether much of it, <526e> and great advances in it, would contribute any thing to this great end, to make us more easily perceive the idea of the good. And we say that every thing contributes to this, that obliges the soul to turn itself towards that region in which is the most divine of being, which it must by all means perceive. You say right, replied he. If therefore it compel the soul to contemplate essence, it belongs to us; but if it oblige it to <527a> contemplate generation, it does not belong to us. We say so indeed. Those then who are but a little conversant in geometry, said I, will not dispute with us this point at least, that this science is perfectly contrary to the common modes of speech, employed in it by those who practice it. How? said he. They speak somehow very ridiculously, and through necessity: for all the discourse they employ in it appears to be with a view to operation, and to practice. Thus they speak of making a square, of prolonging, of adjoining, and the like. But yet the whole of this discipline is somehow studied for the sake of knowledge. By all means <527b> indeed, said he. Must not this further be assented to? What? That it is the knowledge of that which always is, and not of that which is sometimes generated and destroyed. This, said he, must be granted; for geometrical knowledge is of that which always is. It would seem then, generous Glauco, to draw the soul towards truth, and to be productive of a dianoŽtic energy adapted to a philosopher, so as to raise this power of the soul to things above, instead of causing it improperly, as at <527c> present, to contemplate things below. As much as possible, replied he. As much as possible then, said I, must we give orders, that those in this most beautiful city of yours by no means omit geometry; for even its by-works are not inconsiderable. What by-works? said he. Those, said I, which you mentioned relating to war; and indeed with reference to all disciplines, as to the understanding of them more handsomely, we know somehow, that the having learned geometry or not, makes every way an entire difference. Every way, by Jupiter! said he. Let us then establish this second discipline for the youth. Let us establish it, replied he. But <527d> what? shall we, in the third place, establish astronomy? or are you of a different opinion? I am, said he, of the same: for to be well skilled in the seasons of months and years, belongs not only to agriculture and navigation, but equally to the military art. You are pleasant, said I, as you seem to be afraid of the multitude, lest you should appear to enjoin useless disciplines: but this is not altogether a contemptible thing, though it is difficult to persuade them, that by each of these disciplines <527e> a certain organ of the soul is both purified and exsuscitated, which is blinded and buried by studies of another kind; an organ better worth saving than ten thousand eyes, since truth is perceived by this alone. To such therefore as are of the same opinion, you will very readily appear to reason admirably well: but such as have never observed this will <528a> probably think you say nothing at all: for they perceive no other advantage in these things worthy of attention. Consider now from this point, with which of these two you will reason; or carry on the reasonings with neither of them, but principally for your own sake, yet envy not another, if any one shall be able to be benefited by them. In this manner, replied he, I choose, on my own account principally both to reason, and to question and answer. Come then, said I, let us go back again: for we have not rightly taken that which is consequent to <528b> geometry. How have we taken? replied he. After a plain surface, said I, we have taken a solid, moving in a circle, before we considered it by itself: but if we had proceeded rightly we should have taken the third argument immediately after the second, and that is somehow the argument of cubes, and what participates of depth. It is so, replied he. But these things, Socrates, seem not yet to be discovered. The reason of it, said I, is twofold. Because there is no city which sufficiently honours them, they are slightly investigated, being difficult; and besides, those who do investigate them want a leader, without which they cannot discover them. And this leader is in the first place hard to be obtained; and when he is obtained, as things are at present, those who investigate <528c> these particulars, as they conceive magnificently of themselves, will not obey him. But if the whole city presided over these things, and held them in esteem, such as inquired into them would be obedient, and their inquiries, being carried on with assiduity and vigour, would discover themselves what they were since: even now, whilst they are on the one hand despised and mutilated by the multitude, and on the other by those who study them without being able to give any account of their utility, they yet forcibly, under all these disadvantages, increase through their <528d> native grace: nor is it wonderful that they do so. Because truly, said he, this grace is very remarkable. But tell me more plainly what you were just now saying; for somehow that study which respects a plain surface you called geometry. I did, said I. And then, said he, you mentioned astronomy in the first place after it. But afterwards you drew back. Because, whilst am hastening, said I, to discuss all things rapidly, I advance more slowly. For that augment by depth which was next according to method we passed over, because the investigation of it is ridiculous; and after geometry we mentioned astronomy, which is the <528e> circular motion of a solid. You say right, replied he. We establish then, said I, astronomy as the fourth discipline, supposing that to subsist which we have now omitted, if the city shall enter upon it. It is reasonable, said he. And now that you agree with me, Socrates, I proceed in my commendation of astronomy, which you formerly <529a> reproved as unseasonable.

<529a> For it is evident, I conceive, to every one, that this discipline compels the soul to look to that which is above, and from the things here conducts it thither. It is probable, said I, that it is evident to every one but to me. For to me it does not appear so. How then do you think of it? replied he. In the way it is now pursued by those who introduce it into philosophy, it entirely makes the soul to look downwards. How do you say? replied he. You seem to me, said I, to have formed with yourself no ignoble opinion of the discipline respecting things above, what it is: for you seem to think, that if any one contemplates the various bodies in the firmament, and, by earnestly <529b> looking up, apprehends every thing, you think that he has intelligence of these things; and does not merely see them with his eyes; and perhaps you judge right, and I foolishly. For I, on the other hand, am not able to conceive, that any other discipline can make the soul look upwards, but that which respects being, and that which is invisible; and if a man undertakes to learn any thing of sensible objects, whether he gape upwards, or bellow downwards, never shall I say that he learns; for I aver he has no science of these things, nor shall say that his soul looks <529c> upwards, but downwards, even though he should learn lying on his back, either at land or at sea. I am punished, said he; for you have justly reproved me. But which was the proper way, said you, of learning astronomy different from the methods adopted at present, if they mean to learn it with advantage for the purposes we speak of? In this manner, said I, that these variegated bodies in the heavens, as they <529d> are varied in a visible subject, be deemed the most beautiful and the most accurate of the kind, but far inferior to real beings, according to those orbits in which real velocity, and real slowness, in true number, and in all true figures, are carried with respect to one another, and carry all things that are within them. Which things truly are to be comprehended by reason and the dianoŽtic power, but not by sight; or do you think they can? By no means, replied he. Is not then, said I, that variety in the heavens to be made use of as a paradigm for learning <529e> those real things, in the same manner as if one should meet with geometrical figures, drawn remarkably well and elaborately by Dśdalus, or some other artist or painter? For a man who was skilled in geometry, on seeing these, would truly think the workmanship most excellent, yet would esteem it ridiculous to consider these things seriously, as if from thence he were to learn the truth, as to what were <530a> in equal, in duplicate, or in any other proportion. Why would it not be ridiculous? replied he. And do not you then think, that he who is truly an astronomer is affected in the same manner, when he looks up to the orbits of the planets? And that he reckons that the heavens and all in them are indeed established by the demiurgus of the heavens, in the most beautiful manner possible for such works to be established; but would not he deem him absurd, who should imagine that this proportion of night with day, and of both these to a month, and of a <530b> month to a year, and of other stars to such like things, and towards one another, existed always in the same manner, and in no way suffered any change, though they have a body, and are visible; and search by every method to apprehend the truth of these things? So it appears to me, <530c> replied he, whilst I am hearing you. Let us then make use of problems, said I, in the study of astronomy, as in geometry. And let us dismiss the heavenly bodies, if we intend truly to apprehend astronomy, and render profitable instead of unprofitable that part of the soul which is naturally wise. You truly enjoin a much harder talk on astronomers, said he, than is enjoined them at present. And I think, replied I, that we must likewise enjoin other things, in the same manner, if we are to be of any service as law-givers. But can you suggest any of the proper disciplines? I can suggest none, replied he, at present at least. Lation, said I, as it appears to me, affords us not one indeed, but many species of discipline. <530d> All of which any wise man can probably tell; but those which occur to me are two. What are they? Together with this, said I, there is its counter-part. Which? As the eyes, said I, seem to be fitted to astronomy, so the ears seem to be fitted to harmonious lation. And these seem to be sister sciences to one another, both as the Pythagoreans <530e> say, and we, Glauco, agree with them, or how shall we do? Just so, replied he. Shall we not, said I, since this is their great work, inquire how they speak concerning them - and, if there be any other thing besides these, inquire into it likewise? But above all these things, we will still guard that which is our own. What is that? That those we educate never attempt at any time to learn any of those things in an imperfect manner, and not pointing always at that mark to which all ought to be directed: as we now mentioned with reference to astronomy. Or do not you know that they do the same thing with <531a> regard to harmony, as in astronomy? For, whilst they measure one with another the symphonies and sounds which are heard, they labour like the astronomers unprofitably. Nay, by the gods, said he, and ridiculously too, whilst they frequently repeat certain notes, and listen with their ears to catch the sound as from a neighbouring place; and some of them say they hear some middle note, but that the interval which measures them is the smallest; and others again doubt this, and <531b> say that the notes are the same as were sounded before; and both parties subject the intellect to the ears. But you speak, said I, of the lucrative musicians, who perpetually harass and torment their strings, and turn them on the pegs. But that the comparison may not be too tedious, I shall say nothing of their complaints of the strings, their refusals and stubbornness, but bring the image to an end. But I say we ought not to choose these to speak of harmony, but those true musicians whom we mentioned. For these do the same things here as the others did in <531c> astronomy; for in these symphonies which are heard, they search for numbers, but they pass not thence to the problems, to inquire what numbers are symphonious, and what are not, and the reason why they are either the one or the other. You speak, said he, of a divine work. It is then indeed profitable, said I, in the search of the beautiful and good, but if pursued in another manner it is unprofitable. It is likely, <531d> said he. But I think, said I, that the proper method of inquiry into all these things, if it reach their communion and alliance with each other, and reason in what respects they are akin to one another, will contribute something to what we want, and our labour will not be unprofitable; otherwise it will. I likewise, said he, prophesy the same thing. but you speak, Socrates, of a very mighty work. Do you mean the introduction, or what else? said I. Or do we not know that all these things are introductory to the law itself? which we ought to learn; for even those <531e> that are skilled in dialectic do not appear expert as to these things. No, by Jupiter, said he, unless a very few of all I have met with. But whilst they are not able, said I, to impart and receive reason, will they ever be <532a> able to know any thing of what we say is necessary to be known? Never will they be able to do this, replied he. Is not this itself then, Glauco, said I, the law? To give perfection to dialectic; which being intelligible, may be said to be imitated by the power of sight; which power endeavours, as we observed, first to look at animals, then at the stars, and last of all at the sun himself. So when any one attempts to discuss a subject without any of the senses, by reasoning he is impelled <532b> to that which each particular is; and if he does not desist till he apprehends by intelligence what is The Good Itself, he then arrives at the end of the intelligible, as the other does at the end of the visible. Entirely so, said he. What now? Do not you call this progression dialectic? What else? And now, said I, as in our former comparison you had the liberation from chains, and turning from shadows towards images, and the light, and an ascent from the cavern to the sun; and when there, the looking at images in water, from an inability at first to <532c> behold animals and plants, and the light of the sun; so here you have the contemplation of divine phantasms, and the shadows of real beings, and not the shadows of images shadowed out by another light of a similar kind, as by the sun. And all this business respecting the arts which we have discussed, has this power, to lead back again that which is best in the soul, to the contemplation of that which is best in beings; as in the <532d> former case, that which is brightest in the body is led to that which is most splendid in the corporeal and visible place. I admit, said he, of these things; though truly it appears to me extremely difficult to admit of them, and in another respect it is difficult not to admit of them. But however (for we shall hear these things not only now at present, but often again discuss them), establishing these things as now expressed, let us go to the law itself, and discuss it as we have finished the <532e> introduction. Say then what is the mode of the power of dialectic [see note 3], and into what species is it divided, and what are the paths leading to it? For these, it is likely, conduct us to that place, at which when we are arrived, we shall find a resting-place, and the end of the journey. You <533a> will not as yet, friend Glauco, said I, be able to follow; for otherwise no zeal should be wanting on my part; nor should you any longer only see the image of that of which we are speaking, but the truth itself. But this is what to me at least it appears; whether it be so in reality or not, this it is not proper strenuously to affirm; but that indeed it is somewhat of this kind may be strenuously affirmed. May it not? Why not? And further that it is the power of dialectic alone, which can discover this to one who is skilled in the things we have discussed, and that by no other <533b> power it is possible. This also, said he, we may strenuously affirm. This at least no one, said I, will dispute with us: That no other method can attempt to comprehend, in any orderly way, what each particular being is; for all the other arts respect either the opinions and desires of men, or generations, and compositions, or are all employed in the culture of things generated and compounded. Those others, which we <533c> said participated somewhat of being, geometry, and such as are connected with her, we see as dreaming indeed about being; but it is impossible for them to have a true vision, so long as employing hypotheses they preserve these immoveable, without being able to assign a reason for their subsistence. For where the principle is that which is unknown, and the conclusion and intermediate steps are connected with that unknown principle, by what contrivance can an assent of such a kind ever become science? By none, replied he. Does not then, said I, the dialectic method proceed in this way alone, to the principle itself, removing all hypotheses, that it may firmly establish it, <533d> and gradually drawing and leading upwards the eye of the soul, which was truly buried in a certain barbaric mire, using as assistants and circular leaders those arts we have mentioned, which through custom we frequently call sciences, but which require another appellation more clear than opinion, but more obscure than science? We have somewhere in the former part of our discourse termed it the dianoŽtic power. But the controversy is not, as it appears to me, about a name, with those who inquire into things of such great importance as those now before <533e> us. It is not, said he. Do you agree then, said I, as formerly, to call the first part science, the second the dianoŽtic power, the third faith, and the fourth assimilation? and both these last opinion? and the two former intelligence? And that opinion is employed about generation, and <534a> intelligence about essence? Likewise, that as essence is to generation, so is intelligence to opinion, science to faith, and the dianoŽtic power to assimilation? But as for the analogy of the things which these powers respect, and the twofold division of each, viz. of the object of opinion, <534b> and of intellect, these we omit, Glauco, that we may not be more prolix here than in our former reasonings. As for me, said he, with reference to those other things, as far as I am able to follow, I am of the same opinion. But do not you call him skilled in dialectic, who apprehends the reason of the essence of each particular? And as for the man who is not able to give a reason to himself, and to another, so far as he is not able, so far will you not say he wants intelligence of the thing? Why should I not say so? replied he. And is not the case the same with reference to The Good? Whosoever cannot define it by reason, <534c> separating the idea of The Good from all others, and as in a battle piercing through all arguments, eagerly striving to confute, not according to opinion, but according to essence, and in all these marching forward with undeviating reason, - such an one knows nothing of The Good Itself, nor of any good whatever: but if he has attained to any image of The Good, we must say he has attained to it by opinion, not by science; that <534d> in the present life he is sleeping, and conversant with dreams; and that before he is roused he will descend to Hades, and there be profoundly and perfectly laid asleep. By Jupiter, said he, I will strongly aver all these things. But surely you will not, I think, allow your own children at least whom you nourished and educated in reasoning, if ever in reality you educate them, to have the supreme government of the most important affairs in the state, whilst they are void of reason, as letters of the alphabet. By no means, replied he. You will then lay down this to them as a law: That in a most especial manner they attain to that part of education, by which they may become able to question and <534e> answer in the most scientific manner. I will settle it by law, said he, with your assistance at least. Does it then appear to you, said I, that dialectic is to be placed on high as a bulwark to disciplines? and that no other discipline can with propriety be raised higher than this; but that <535a> every thing respecting disciplines is now finished? I agree, said he.

There now remains for you, said I, the distribution: To whom shall we assign these disciplines, and after what manner? That is evident, said he. Do you remember then our former election of rulers, what kind we chose? How should I not? said he. As to other things then, conceive, said I, that such geniuses as these ought to be selected. For the most firm and brave are to be preferred, and, as far as possible, the most graceful; and besides, we must not only seek for those whose manners <535b> are generous and stern, but they must be possessed of every other natural disposition conducive to this education. Which dispositions do you recommend? They must have, said I, O blessed man! acuteness with respect to disciplines, that they may not learn with difficulty. For souls are much more intimidated in robust disciplines, than in strenuous exercises of the body; for their proper labour, and which is not in common with the body, is more domestic to them. True, said he. And <535c> we must seek for one of good memory, untainted, and every way laborious: or how else do you think any one will be willing to endure the fatigue of the body, and to accomplish at the same time such learning and study? No one, said he, unless he be in all respects of a naturally good disposition. The mistake then about philosophy, and the contempt of it, have been occasioned through these things, because, as I formerly said, it is not applied to in a manner suitable to its dignity: for it ought not to be applied to by the bastardly, but the legitimate. <535d> How? said he. In the first place, he who is to apply to philosophy ought not, said I, to be lame as to his love of labour, being laborious in some things, and averse to labour in others. But this takes place when a man loves wrestling and hunting, and all exercises of the body, but is not a lover of learning, and loves neither to hear nor to inquire, but in all these respects has an aversion to labour. He likewise is lame, in a different manner from this man, who dislikes all bodily exercise. You say most true, replied he. And shall we not, said I, in like manner <535e> account that soul lame as to truth, which hates indeed a voluntary falsehood, and bears it ill in itself, and is beyond measure enraged when others tell a lie; but easily admits the involuntary lie; and, though at any time it be found ignorant, is not displeased, but like a savage sow willingly wallows in ignorance? By all means, said he. And in like <536a> manner, said I, as to temperance and fortitude, and magnanimity, and all the parts of virtue, we must no less carefully attend to what is bastardly, and what is legitimate; for when either any private person or city understands not how to attend to all these things, they unawares employ the lame and the bastardly for whatever they have occasion; private persons employ them as friends, and cities as governors. The case is <536b> entirely so, said he. But we, said I, must beware of all such things; for, if we take such as are entire in body and in mind for such extensive learning, and exercise and instruct them, justice herself will not blame us, and we shall preserve both the city and its constitution: but if we introduce persons of a different description into these affairs, we shall do every thing the reverse, and bring philosophy under still greater ridicule. That indeed were shameful, said he. Certainly, said I. But I myself <536c> seem at present to be somewhat ridiculous. How so? said he. I forgot, said I, that we were amusing ourselves, and spoke with too great keenness; for, whilst I was speaking, I looked towards philosophy; and seeing her most unworthily abused, I seem to have been filled with indignation, and, as being enraged at those who are the cause of it, to have spoken more earnestly what I said. No truly, said he, not to me your hearer at least. But for me, said I, the speaker. But let us not forget this, that in our former election we made choice of old men; but <536d> in this election it will not be allowed us. For we must not believe Solon, that one who is old is able to learn many things; but he is less able to effect this than to run. All mighty and numerous labours belong to the young. Of necessity, said he. Every thing then relating to arithmetic and geometry, and all that previous instruction which they should be taught before they learn dialectic, ought to be set before them whilst they are children, and that method of teaching observed, which <536e> will make them learn without compulsion. Why so? Because, said I, a free man ought to learn no discipline with slavery: for the labours of the body when endured through compulsion render the body nothing worse: but no compelled discipline is lasting in the soul. True, said he. Do not then, said I, O best of men! compel boys in their learning; but <537a> train them up, amusing themselves, that you may be better able to discern to what the genius of each naturally tends. What you say, replied he, is reasonable. Do not you remember then, said I, that we said the boys are even to be carried to war, as spectators, on horseback, and that they are to be brought nearer, if they can with safety, and like young hounds taste the blood? I remember, said he. Whoever then, said I, shall appear the most forward in all these labours, disciplines, and terrors, are to be selected into a certain number. At what age? said he. <537b> When they have, said I, finished their necessary exercises; for during this time, whilst it continues, for two or three years, it is impossible to accomplish anything else; for fatigue and sleep are enemies to learning; and this too is none of the least of their trials, what each of them appears to be in his exercises. Certainly, said he. And after this period, said I, let such as formerly have been selected of the age of twenty <537c> receive greater honours than others, and let those disciplines which in their youth they learned separately, be brought before them in one view, that they may see the alliance of the disciplines with each other, and with the nature of real being. This discipline indeed will alone, said he, remain firm in those in whom it is ingenerated. And this, said I, is the greatest trial for distinguishing between those geniuses which are naturally fitted for dialectic, and those which are not. He who perceives this alliance is skilled in dialectic; he who does not, is not. I am of the <537d> same opinion, said he. It will then be necessary for you, said I, after you have observed these things, and seen who are most approved in these, being stable in disciplines, and stable in war, and in the other things established by law, to make choice of such after they exceed thirty years, selecting from those chosen formerly, and advance them to greater honours. You must likewise observe them, trying them by the power of dialectic so as to ascertain which of them without the assistance of his eyes, or any other sense, is able to proceed with truth to being itself. And here, my companion, is a work of great caution. <537e> In what principally? said he. Do not you perceive, said I, the evil which at present attends dialectic, how great it is? What is it, said he, you mean? How it is somehow, said I, full of what is contrary to law. Greatly so, replied he. Do you think then, said I, they suffer some wonderful thing, and will you not forgive them? How do you mean? said he. Just as if, said I, a certain supposititious child were educated in <538a> great opulence in a rich and noble family, and amidst many flatterers, and should perceive, when grown up to manhood, that he is not descended of those who are said to be his parents, but yet should not discover his real parents; can you divine how such an one would be affected both towards his flatterers, and towards his supposed parents, both at the time when he knew nothing of the cheat, and at that time again when he came to perceive it? Or are you willing to hear me while I presage it? I am willing, said he. I prophesy then, said I, that he will <538b> pay more honour to his father and mother, and his other supposed relations, than to the flatterers, and that he will less neglect them when they are in any want, and be less apt to do or say anything amiss to them, and in matters of consequence be less disobedient to them than to those flatterers, during that period in which he knows not the truth. It is likely, said he. But when he perceives the real state of the affair, I again prophesy, he will then slacken in his honour and respect for them, and attend to the flatterers, and be remarkably more persuaded by them <538c> now than formerly, and truly live according to their manner, conversing with them openly. But for that father, and those supposed relations, if he be not of an entirely good natural disposition, he will have no regard. You say every thing, said he, as it would happen. But in what manner does this comparison respect those who are conversant with dialectic? In this. We have certain dogmas from our childhood concerning things just and beautiful, in which we have been nourished as by parents, <538d> obeying and honouring them. We have, said he. Are there not likewise other pursuits opposite to these, with pleasures flattering our souls, and drawing them towards these? They do not however persuade those who are in any degree moderate, but they honour those their relations, and obey them. These things are so. What now, said I, when to one who is thus affected the question is proposed, What is the beautiful? and when he, answering what he has heard from the lawgiver, is refuted by reason; and reason frequently and every way convincing him, reduces <538e> him to the opinion, that this is no more beautiful than it is deformed; and in the same manner, as to what is just and good, and whatever else he held in highest esteem, what do you think such an one will after this do, with regard to these things, as to honouring and obeying them? Of necessity, said he, he will neither honour nor obey them any longer in the same manner as formerly. When then he no longer deems, said I, <539a> these things honourable, and allied to him as formerly, and cannot discover those which really are so, is it possible he can readily join himself to any other life than the flattering one? It is not possible, said he. And from being an observer of the law, he shall, I think, appear to be a transgressor. Of necessity. Is it not likely then, said I, that those shall be thus affected who in this situation apply to reasoning, and that they should deserve, as I was just now saying, great forgiveness? And pity too, said he. Whilst you take care then, lest this compassionable case befall these of the age of thirty, ought they not by every method to <539b> apply themselves to reasoning? Certainly, said he. And is not this one prudent caution? that they taste not reasonings, whilst they are young: for you have not forgot, I suppose, that the youth, when they first taste of reasonings, abuse them in the way of amusement, whilst they employ them always for the purpose of contradiction. And imitating those who are refuters, they themselves refute others, delighting like whelps in dragging and tearing to pieces, in their reasonings, those always who are near them. Extremely so, said he. And after they have confuted many, <539c> and been themselves confuted by many, do they not vehemently and speedily lay aside all the opinions they formerly possessed? And by these means they themselves, and the whole of philosophy, are calumniated by others. Most true, said he. But he who is of a riper age, said I, will not be disposed to share in such a madness, but will rather imitate him who inclines to reason and inquire after truth, than one <539d> who, for the sake of diversion, amuses himself, and contradicts. He will likewise be more modest himself, and render the practice of disputing more honourable instead of being more dishonourable. Right, said he. Were not then all our former remarks rightly made, in the way of precaution, as to this point, that those geniuses ought to be decent and stable, to whom dialectic is to be imparted, and not as at present when every common genius, and such as is not at all proper, is admitted to it? Certainly, said he. Will not then the double of the former period suffice a man to remain in acquiring the art of dialectic with perseverance and application, and doing nothing else but in way of counterpart exercising <539e> himself in all bodily exercises? Do you mean six years, said he, or four? 'Tis of no consequence, said I, make it five. After this you must compel them to descend to that cave again, and oblige them to govern both in things relating to war, and such other magistracies as require youth, that they may not fall short of others in experience. And they must be still further tried among these, whether, being drawn to every different quarter, they will continue firm, or whether they will in any measure <540a> be drawn aside. And for how long a time, said he, do you appoint this? For fifteen years, said I. And when they are of the age of fifty, such of them as are preserved, and as have excelled in all these things, in actions, and in the sciences, are now to be led to the end, and are to be obliged, inclining the ray of their soul, to look towards that which imparts light to all things, and, when they have viewed The Good Itself, to use it as a paradigm, each of them, in their turn, in adorning both the city and <540b> private persons, and themselves, during the remainder of their life. For the most part indeed they must be occupied in philosophy; and when it is their turn, they must toil in political affairs, and take the government, each for the good of the city, performing this office, not as any thing honourable, but as a thing necessary. And after they have educated others in the same manner still, and left such as resemble themselves to be the guardians of the city, they depart to inhabit the islands of the <540c> blest. But the city will publicly erect for them monuments, and offer sacrifices, if the oracle assent, as to superior beings; and if it do not, as to happy and divine men. You have, Socrates, said he, like a statuary, made our governors all-beautiful. And our governesses likewise, Glauco, said I. For do not suppose that I have spoken what I have said any more concerning the men than concerning the women, - such of them as are of a sufficient genius. Right, said he, if at least they are to share <540d> in all things equally with the men, as we related. What then, said I, do you agree, that with reference to the city and republic, we have not altogether spoken what can only be considered as wishes; but such things as are indeed difficult, yet possible in a certain respect, and in no other way than what has been mentioned, viz. when those who are truly philosophers, whether more of them or a single one, becoming governors in a city, shall despise those present honours, considering them as illiberal and of no value; but esteeming rectitude and the <540e> honours which are derived from it above all things; accounting the just as a thing of all others the greatest, and most absolutely necessary; and ministering to it, and, increasing it, thoroughly regulate the constitution <541a> of their own city? How? said he. As many, said I, of the more advanced in life as have lived ten years in the city they will send into the country, and, removing their children away from those habits which the domestics possess at present, they will educate them in their own manners and laws, which are what we formerly mentioned: and the city and republic we have described being thus established in the speediest and easiest manner, it will both be happy itself, and be of the greatest advantage to that people among whom it is established. Very much so <541b> indeed, said he. And you seem to me, Socrates, to have told very well how this city shall arise, if it arise at all. Are not now then, said I, our discourses sufficient both concerning such a city as this, and concerning a man similar to it? For it is also now evident what kind of a man we shall say he ought to be. It is evident, replied he; and your inquiry seems to me to be at an end.


Thomas Taylor's Notes to the Seventh Book of the Republic.

1. Every thing in this cave is analogous to things visible; the men, animals and furniture of every kind in it corresponding to the third, and the shadows in it, and the images appearing in mirrors, to the fourth section in the division of a line at the end of the preceding book. Things sensible also are imitations of things dianoŽtic, or, in other words, of the objects of scientific energy, which form the second section of Plato's line. For the circle and triangle which are described upon paper are imitations of those which geometry considers; and the numbers which are beheld in things visible, of those which the arithmetician contemplates; and so with respect to every thing else. But observe that Plato here does not consider human life so far as it is essence, and is allotted a particular power, but merely with reference to erudition and the want of erudition. For in the ninth book he assimilates our essence to an animal whose nature is mingled from a man and a lion, and a certain many-headed beast. But the present image in the first place shows what human life is without erudition, and what it will be when educated conformably to the above-mentioned sections, and acquiring knowledge corresponding to that arrangement. In the next place, when Plato says that we must conceive a road above between the fire and the fettered men, and that the fire from on high illuminates the men bearing utensils, and the fettered men, who see nothing but the shadows formed by the fire, it is evident that there is a certain ascent in the cave itself from a more abject to a more elevated life. By this ascent, he signifies the contemplation of dianoŽtic objects, (which form the second section of his line,) in the mathematical disciplines. For as the shadows in the cave correspond to the shadows of visible objects, and visible objects are the immediate images of dianoŽtic forms, or the essential reasons of the soul, it is evident that the objects from which these shadows are formed must correspond to such as are dianoŽtic. It is requisite therefore, that the dianoŽtic power, exercising itself in these, should draw forth from their latent retreats the reasons of these which she contains, and should contemplate these, not in images, but as subsisting in herself in impartible involution; which when she evolves, she produces such a beautiful multitude of mathematical theorems. After these things, he says "that the man who is to be led from the cave will more easily see what the heavens contain, and the heavens themselves, by looking in the night to the light of the stars, and the moon, than by day looking on the sun, and the light of the sun." By this he signifies the contemplation of intelligibles: for the stars and their light are imitations of intelligibles, so far as all of them partake of the form of the sun, in the same manner as intelligibles are characterized by the nature of The Good. These then such a one must contemplate, that he may understand their essence, and those summits of their nature by which they are deiform processions from the ineffable principle of things. But if as prior to the vision of the sun it is requisite to behold the whole heaven, and all that the heavens contain; in the same manner prior to the vision of The Good, it is necessary to behold the whole intelligible order and all that it comprehends, we may from hence collect that some things in intelligibles are analogous to the whole starry spheres, but others to the stars which those spheres comprehend, and others again to the circles in them. Hence too, the spheres themselves, considered as wholes, may be said to be images of those Gods that are celebrated as total;* but the circles, of those that are called total, and at the same time partial;# and the stars, of those that are properly denominated partial Gods.+ After the contemplation of these, and after the eye is through these accustomed to the light, as it is requisite in the visible region to see the sun himself in the last place, in like manner, according to Plato, the idea of The Good must be seen the last in the intelligible region. He likewise adds, in a truly divine manner, that it is scarcely to be seen; for we can only be conjoined with it through the intelligible, in the vestibule of which it is beheld by ascending souls. The intelligible indeed is the first participant of The Good, and indicates from itself to those that are able to behold it, what that nature is, if it be lawful so to speak, which is the super-intelligible cause of the light it contains. For the light in an intelligible essence is more divine than that in intellectual natures, in the same manner as the light in the stars is more divine than that which is in the eyes that behold them. Thus also Socrates, in the Philebus, says, that The Good is apprehended with difficulty, and is scarcely to be seen, and that it is found with three monads, and these intelligible, arranged in its vestibule, truth, beauty, and symmetry. For these three produce the first being, or being itself, and through these the whole intelligible order is unfolded into light. With great propriety, therefore, does Plato assert, that the idea of The Good is to be seen the last thing in the intelligible; for the intelligible is the seat of its vision. Hence it is seen in this, as in its first participant, though it is beyond every intelligible. And in the last place Plato exhorts him who knows The Good, "to collect by reasoning that it is the cause to all of every thing right and beautiful, in the visible place generating light, and its lord the sun, and in the intelligible place being itself the lord of all things, producing intellect and truth." For, if it generates the sun, it must by a much greater priority be the cause of those things which originate from the sun; and if it is the cause of essence to intelligibles, it must be celebrated as in a greater degree the cause of things of which these are the causes.

* That is to say, all the Gods denominated intelligible and intellectual. See the Introduction to the Parmenides.

# That is to say, the supermundane Gods.

+ These are of a mundane characteristic.

2.The Greek Scholia inform us that this is a proverb, said of those who do any thing quickly. It is also the name of a sport. It is likewise applied to those who rapidly betake themselves to flight, or to those who are easily changed.

3. For a copious account of the dialectic of Plato, which is the same with the metaphysics of Aristotle, see the Introduction and Notes to the Parmenides [Thomas Taylor Series vol. X].