Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Parmenides and the Sophist

Plato went to Sicily in 367 B.C. to help Dion in an attempt to turn Dionysius II to philosophy, but Dionysius became suspicious that the real intentions of Dion were to deprive him of his power, and he expelled him from Sicily, asking Plato to stay. In 366 Plato returned to Athens making a compact with Dionysius that the latter would invite him back and that he would return to resume educating him in philosophy. Back in Athens, Plato’s task was to prepare his students and followers in the Academy for his departure by fortifying them against those who argued against the Forms. With this aim in mind he wrote the Parmenides.

In this dialogue Parmenides raises a set of arguments against the Forms, insisting that the Forms are of necessity beset by arguments against them (1234e9-135a1), but that whoever brings up such arguments ‘is wrong’ (pseudetai, 133b7): ‘only a man of great natural gifts will understand that there are Forms’ (135a7-b1). Parmenides affirms the Forms without countering any of the arguments he has raised against them. The historical Parmenides could not defend the Forms as true beings because of his theory that ‘All is one.’ It is Plato who steps in in Parmenides 133b4 to affirm the Forms; at 135c5 Parmenides becomes himself again.

The historicity of Parmenides’ encounter with young Socrates and his criticism of his theory of Forms provides the basis for Plato’s defence of the Forms by means of this dialogue. Antiphon, Plato’s younger half-brother, ‘diligently rehearsed the arguments in his teens, though now, like his grandfather of the same name, he spends most of his time on horses’ says Adeimantus, Plato’s older brother, in Parmenides 126c6-7. When Antiphon grew up, he lost interest in philosophy, which in itself indicates in what light Plato wants us to see Parmenides’ arguments against the Forms. But much more importantly, we are supposed to realize that Plato was well acquainted with arguments against the Forms from his early days, and that he viewed all such arguments as irrelevant. He proved the irrelevance of any arguments against the Forms in the Republic, to which he directs the reader in the opening sentence of the Parmenides: ‘When we arrived at Athens from our home in Clazomenae, we met Adeimantus and Glaucon in the Agora’; Adeimantus and Glaucon are Socrates’ main interlocutors in the Republic. In Republic 475c-480a13 Socrates argues that only those who can see the Forms have knowledge; all those who argue against them can’t see them; they have therefore only opinion (doxa), which occupies the region between knowledge and not-knowing and is directed to that which lies between being and not- being; this is why any arguments against the Forms are irrelevant. By thus joining the Parmenides with the Republic, Plato provided his disciples and followers with the defence of Forms designed to resist any attack against them after his planned departure to Sicily.

When Plato was leaving Sicily in 366 B.C. he was to stay in Athens only for a year; Dionysius was to invite him back in the summer (eis hȏran etous, Plutarch, Dion XVI, 4). But as Plato’s stay in Athens protracted, if he was to return to Sicily, he had to counter the influence of sophists bent on disparaging Plato and his philosophy, to whom Dionysius began to lend an ear. The Parmenides was as good for this purpose as it was for the students in the Academy, but its link to the Republic was unfortunate as far as Dionysius was concerned, as I have pointed out in my preceding post. And so he wrote the Sophist in which he establishes the link to the Parmenides with the words of Theodorus in the opening paragraph: ‘Here we are, Socrates, true to our agreement from yesterday; and we bring with us a stranger from Elea, who is a disciple of Parmenides and Zeno, and a true philosopher.’ (tr. Jowett)

Socrates tells Theodorus that he should like to ask the Stranger what people thought about sophist, statesman, and philosopher in Italy: ‘I want to know whether by his countrymen they are regarded as one or two; or do they, as the names are three, distinguish also three kinds, and assign one to each name? (217a6-8) – Theodorus: ‘I dare say that the Stranger will not object to discuss the question. What do you say, Stranger?’ – Stranger: ‘I am far from objecting, Theodorus, nor have I any difficulty in replying that by us they are regarded as three. But to define precisely the nature of each of them (kath’ hekaston mȇn diorisasthai saphȏs ti pot’ estin) is by no means a slight or easy task (ou smikron oude raidion ergon, 217b2-3).’ – Theodorus: ‘You have happened to light, Socrates, almost on the very question which we were asking our friend before we came hither, and he excused himself to us, as he does now to you; although he admitted that the matter had been fully discussed (epei diakȏkenai ge phȇsin hikanȏs), and that he remembered the answer (kai ouk amnȇmonein, 217b7-8).’ – Socrates: ‘Then do not, Stranger, deny us the first favour which we ask of you; I am sure that you will not, and therefore I shall only beg of you to say whether you like and are accustomed to (poteron eiȏthas hȇdion) make a long oration on a subject which you want to explain to another (autos epi sautou makrȏi logȏi diexienai legȏn touto ho an endeixasthai tȏi boulȇthȇis), or to proceed by the method of question and answer (ȇ di erȏtȇseȏn). I remember hearing a very noble discussion in which Parmenides employed the latter of the two methods (hoion pote kai Parmenidȇi chrȏmenȏi kai diexionti logous pankalous paregenomȇn), when I was a young man and he was far advanced in years (egȏ neos ȏn, ekeinou mala dȇ tote ontos presbutou, 217c2-7).’ – Stranger: ‘I prefer to talk with another when he responds pleasantly, and is light in hand (Tȏi men alupȏs te kai euȇniȏs prosdialegomenȏi raion houtȏ); if not, I would rather have my own way (ei de mȇ, to kath’ hauton, 217d1-3).’ (Tr. Jowett; Jowett’s ‘and is light in hand’ renders the Stranger’s euȇniȏs, which is an expression borrowed from horsemanship; hȇnia is ‘bridle’, ‘reins’; euȇniȏs thus means literally ‘guided by reins well, with ease’).

This opening discussion in the Sophist refers to the Parmenides; most obviously comes to mind Parmenides 137a4-b8. Parmenides: ‘When I remember how, at my age, I must traverse such and so great a sea of arguments, I am afraid. Still, I must oblige you, especially since, as Zeno says, we are alone among ourselves. Where then shall we begin? What shall we hypothesize first? Since it seems I must play this laborious game, shall I begin with myself and take my own hypothesis? Shall I hypothesize about the one itself, what must follow if one is or one is not? – By all means, said Zeno. – Then who will answer me? He asked. Perhaps the youngest? For he would give least trouble, and be most likely to say what he thinks. At the same time, his answering would give me a chance to rest.’ (Tr. R. E. Allen)

Less obvious is the link between Parmenides’ ‘When I remember how (kai moi dokȏ memnȇmenos), at my age, I must traverse such and so great a sea of arguments …’ and Theodorus’ reference to the Eleatic Stranger ‘he excused himself to us, as he does now to you; although he admitted that the matter had been fully discussed, and that he remembered the answer (kai ouk amnȇmonein).’ It appears that such discussions as the Stranger performed concerning sophist in the Sophist, as Parmenides performed concerning the contradictory thesis that ‘being is’ and ‘being is not’ in the Parmenides, and Zeno in his treatise, which he had read before the actual dialogue started in the Parmenides, were part and parcel of the philosophical activities in the Eleatic school.

Concerning Zeno we learn in the Parmenides that he and Parmenides came to Athens for the Great Panathenaea, and that Socrates and others assembled to hear him reading his treatise (epithumountes akousai tȏn tou Zȇnȏnos grammatȏn, 127c3): ‘When the reading was finished, Socrates asked to hear the hypothesis of the first argument again. When it was read, he asked, “What does it mean Zeno? If things which are, are many, then it must follow that the same things are both like and unlike, but that is impossible; for unlike things cannot be like nor like things unlike. Isn’t that your claim?” “It is,” said Zeno. “Then if it is impossible for unlike things to be like and like things unlike, it is surely also impossible for there to be many things; for if there were many, they would undergo impossible qualifications. Isn’t this the point of your arguments, to contend, contrary to everything generally said, that there is no plurality? And don’t you suppose that each of your arguments is a proof of just that, so that you in fact believe you’ve given precisely as many proofs that there is no plurality as there are arguments in your treatise? Is that what you mean, or have I failed to understand you?” “No,” said Zeno, “you’ve grasped the point of the whole treatise.” (127d6-128a3, tr. Allen)

Parmenides tells us in the dialogue that Zeno’s arguments represented the type of exercise that a would be philosopher should undergo. When Socrates proved incapable of answering Parmenides’ arguments against the Forms, Parmenides criticised him: ‘For you undertake to define something beautiful and just and good and each one of the Forms too soon, before being properly trained’ (Prȏi gar, prin gumnasthȇnai, horizesthai epicheireis kalon te ti kai dikaion kai agathon kai hen hekaston tȏn eidȏn, 135c8-d1). When Socrates asked him, what kind of training he had in mind (tis ho tropos tȇs gumnasias), Parmenides replied: ‘This (Houtos), which you heard from Zeno (honper ȇkousas Zȇnȏnos). Except that (plȇn) I admired it when you said to him (touto ge sou kai pros touton eipontos), that you did not allow (hoti ouk eias) inquiry to wander among the things we see nor concern them (en tois horȏmenois oude peri tauta tȇn planȇn episkopein), but rather concern those things (alla peri ekeina) which one would most especially grasp by rational account (ha malista an tis logȏi laboi) and believe to be Forms’ (kai eidȇ an hȇgȇsaito einai, 135d7-e4).

Parmenides here refers to Socrates’ challenge addressed to Zeno: ‘If someone (ean de tis), concerning things that I just mentioned (hȏn nundȇ egȏ elegon), were first to distinguish (prȏton men diairȇtai) separately (chȏris), alone by themselves (auta kath’ hauta), the Forms (ta eidȇ), such as (hoion) likeness and unlikeness (homoiotȇta kai anomoiotȇta), and multitude and the one (kai plȇthos kai to hen), and rest and motion (kai stasin kai kinȇsin), and all such things (kai panta ta toiauta) and then should show that these things among themselves can be combined and distinguished (eita en heautois tauta dunamena sunkerannusthai kai diakrinesthai apophainȇi), this I should greatly admire’ (agaimȇn an egȏge thaumastȏs, 129d6-e3).

Socrates appears to have thought that the Forms cannot be combined and distinguished among themselves, that each of them is alone by itself and only thus truly is; on this basis he viewed his Forms as a threat to Parmenides’ thesis that ‘Allis one’. This is how Pythodorus, the narrator, and the rest of the audience took it, expecting Parmenides and Zeno to be annoyed at every word of Socrates. ‘Instead, they paid close attention to him (tous de panu te autȏi prosechein ton noun), and frequently glancing at each other (kai thama eis allȇlous blepontas) they smiled as if in admiration of Socrates (meidian hȏs agamenous ton Sȏkratȇ, 130a5-7).’ Obviously, this wandering (tȇn planȇn) among those things (peri ekeina) which one would most especially grasp by rational account (ha malista an tis logȏi laboi) was something with which Parmenides and Zeno were well acquainted and in which their disciples were well trained.

Parmenides responds to Socrates’ challenge in discussing his own thesis that ‘All is one’; all the hypotheses concerning it display contradictory attributes regarding the one under discussion, which Parmenides, Zeno, and young Socrates himself, viewed as proofs that it was impossible for the one to be in this way, thus indirectly affirming that ‘All is one’, the Parmenidian one. In response to Socrates’ challenge, Parmenides thus turned the tables on Socrates.

As has been seen, in the Republic Plato deprived arguments against the Forms of relevance by placing all those, who proffered them, into the realm of opinion (doxa), wandering between being, of which they are deprived, and not-being. He could not do this with Parmenides whose eye was firmly fixed on pure being. In the Sophist the Eleatic Stranger had to revise his teacher’s teaching in order to secure for sophists the place delineated in the Republic, that is the realm between being and not-being, and to ascertain that the Forms can be combined among themselves and distinguished without losing their true being in the process.

The Stranger addresses Theaetetus, his young interlocutor, with a request, and Theaetetus asks, what request (To poion). Stranger: ‘That you will not think I am turning into a sort of parricide (Mȇ me hoion patraloian hupolabȇis gignesthai tina).’ – Theaetetus: ‘In what way (Ti dȇ)?’ – ‘We shall find it necessary in self-defence to put to the question that pronouncement of father Parmenides (Ton tou patros Parmenidou logon anankaion hȇmin amunomenois estai basanizein), and establish by main force (kai biazesthai) that what is not, in some respect has being (to te mȇ on hȏs esti kata ti), and conversely that what is (kai to on au palin), in a way is not (hȏs ouk esti pȇi).’ – Theaetetus: ‘It is plain (Phainetai) that the course of the argument requires us to maintain that at all costs (to toiouton diamacheteon en tois logois).’ (241d1-8, tr. F. M. Cornford)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The dating of the Sophist and the Statesman

In the Republic Plato maintains that states will be properly ruled only if philosophers become kings or the kings philosophers, ‘so that political power and philosophy meet in one (kai touto eis t’auton sumpesȇi, dunamis te politikȇ kai philosophia), and the plentiful natures of those who now pursue either to the exclusion of the other (tȏn de nun poreuomenȏn chȏris eph’ hekateron hai pollai phuseis) are of necessity compelled to stand aside’ (ex anankȇs apokleisthȏsi, 473c11-d5).

In the Sophist Socrates opens the discussion by directing a question at the Stranger from Elea, a disciple of Parmenides (237a), a true philosopher (216c6), what philosophers in his country, in Italy, think about sophist, statesman, and philosopher: ‘I want to know whether by his countrymen they are regarded as one or two (poteron hen tauta panta enomizon ȇ duo); or do they, as the names are three (ȇ kathaper ta onomata tria), distinguish also three kinds (tria kai genȇ diairoumenoi), and assign one to each name (kath’ hen onoma hekastȏi prosȇpton)?’ (217a6-8, tr. Jowett) The Stranger answers that they are considered to be three, but that to define clearly the nature of each is no easy task. Implored by Socrates and the company, the Stranger agrees to define the three. Plato wrote only the Sophist and the Statesman, but he makes it abundantly clear that the Stranger from Elea viewed the nature of true statesman and true philosopher as separate from each other. The Statesman opens as follows:

Socrates: ‘I owe you many thanks, indeed, Theodorus, for the acquaintance both of Theaetetus and of the Stranger.’ – Theodorus: ‘And in a little while, Socrates, you will owe me three times as many, when they have completed for you the delineation of the Statesman and of the Philosopher, as well as of the Sophist.’ – Socrates: ‘Sophist, statesman, philosopher! O my dear Theodorus, do my ears truly witness that this is the estimate formed of them by the great calculator and geometrician?’ – Theodorus: ‘What do you mean, Socrates?’ – Socrates: ‘I mean that you rate them at the same value, whereas they are really separated by an interval, which no geometrical ratio can express.’ (257a1-b4) – Theodorus: ‘I must now ask the Stranger, who will not, I hope, tire of his goodness to us, to proceed either with the Statesman or with the Philosopher, whichever he prefers.’ (257b8-c`1 – Eleatic Stranger: ‘After the Sophist, then, I think that the Statesman naturally follows next in the order of enquiry.’ (258b2-3, tr. Jowett)

This stands in stark contrast to Plato’s view in the Republic, which allows us to date the composition of the Sophist and the Statesman; I shall argue that Plato wrote these two dialogues after his return from Sicily in 366 B.C. and before his leaving Athens for Sicily in 361 B.C.

In 367 B.C. Plato came to Sicily at the insistence of Dion, brother-in-law and son-in-law of Dionysius I. After the death of Dionysius I, with Plato’s help, Dion hoped to transform Dionysius II from a tyrant into a philosopher-ruler. Plato’s Seventh Letter leaves us in little doubt that Dion (and the young Dionysius at Dion’s insistence) invited Plato to Sicily with the prospect of establishing in Sicily a state governed by philosophers: ‘now, if ever (eiper pote kai nun)’, Dion pleaded, ‘all our hopes will be fulfilled (elpis pasa apotelesthȇsetai) of seeing the same persons at once philosophers and rulers of mighty states (tous autous philosophous te kai poleȏn archontas megalȏn sumbȇnai genomenous, 328a6-b1, tr. Bury). But the situation in the court of Dionysius was not auspicious: ‘On my arrival I found Dionysius’s kingdom all full of civil strife and of slanderous stories brought to the court concerning Dion … about three months later, charging Dion with plotting against the tyranny, Dionysius sent him aboard a small vessel and drove him out with ignominy.’ (Seventh Letter 329b7-c4, tr. Bury) As far as Plato was concerned, Dionysius begged him by all means to stay (edeito pantȏs menein, 329d4-5).

Plutarch says in his Life of Dion: ‘Dionysius conceived a passion for Plato that was worthy of a tyrant (ȇrasthȇ tyrannikon erȏta), demanding that he alone should have his love returned by Plato and be admired by all others, and he was ready to entrust Plato with the administration of the tyranny if only he would not set his friendship for Dion above that which he had for him. Now, this passion of his was a calamity for Plato, for the tyrant was mad with jealousy, as desperate lovers are, and in a short space of time would often be angry with him and as often beg to be reconciled; for he was extravagantly eager to hear his doctrines and share in his philosophic pursuits, but he dreaded the censure of those who tried to divert him from this course as likely to corrupt him. At this juncture, however, a war broke out, and he sent Plato away, promising him that in the summer he would summon Dion home.’ (XVI, 2-4, tr. B. Perrin)

Plato himself says that Dionysius ‘became indeed more and more devoted as time advanced, according as he drew more familiar with my disposition and character, but he was desirous that I should praise him more than Dion and regard him rather than Dion as my special friend, and this triumph he was marvellously anxious to achieve. But the best way to achieve this, if it was to be achieved – namely, by occupying himself in learning and listening to discourses on philosophy and by associating with me – this he always shirked owing to his dread of the talk of slanderers, lest he might be hampered in some measure and Dion might accomplish all his designs. I, however, put up with all this, holding fast the original purpose with which I had come, in the hope that he might possibly gain a desire for the philosophic life (330a3-b6) … What happened next was this: I urged Dionysius by all means possible to let me go, and we both made a compact that when the peace was concluded (for at that time there was a war in Sicily) Dionysius, for his part, should invite Dion and me back again … and I gave a promise that upon these conditions I would return’ (338a3-b2, tr. Bury).

Plato’s return to Athens, which was to last a year, became protracted, and in his absence Dionysius appears to have lent his ears to sophists unfavourable to Plato. This becomes clear from Plato’s Second Letter, written to Dionysius in 364 B.C., two years after his departure from Sicily: ‘If you altogether despise philosophy, leave it alone. If, again, you have been taught by someone else or have yourself invented better doctrines than mine, hold them in honour. But if you are contented with my doctrines, then you should hold me also in special honour (312b4-7) … if you honour me and take the lead in so doing, you will be thought to be honouring philosophy; and the very fact that you have studied other systems as well will gain you the credit, in the eyes of many, of being a philosopher yourself (312c1-4) … For seeing that you are testing my doctrines both by attending the lectures of other teachers and by examining my teachings side by side with theirs, as well as by itself, then, if the test you make is a true one, not only will these doctrines implant themselves in your mind, but you also will be devoted both to them and to us’ (313c7-d3, tr. Bury).

But if Plato were to have any hope that Dionysius might be allowed by his courtiers to accept him and his doctrines, he had to modify them, for as Plutarch writes, ‘there were some who pretended to be indignant that the Athenians, who in former times had sailed to Sicily with large land and sea forces, but had perished utterly without taking Syracuse, should now, by means of one sophist, overthrow the tyranny of Dionysius by persuading him to dismiss his ten thousand body-guards, and abandon his four hundred triremes and his ten thousand horsemen and his many times that number of men-at-arms, in order to seek in Academic philosophy for a mysterious good, and make geometry his guide to happiness.’ (Dion, XIV, 2-3, tr. B. Perrin)

Plato had to show that his view on the nature of statesman and philosopher differed from the view expressed in the Republic. In the Second Letter, referring to the ‘King of All’ (peri ton pantȏn basilea, 312e1) – i.e. the Form of the Good (hȇ tou agathou idea, Rep. 505a2), which is set over the intellectual world (basileuein noȇtou genous te kai topou, Rep. 509d2) – he writes to Dionysius that the views about the most important philosophic truths cannot be written down: ‘For this reason (dia tauta) I myself have never yet written anything on these subjects (ouden pȏpot’ egȏ peri tauta gegrapha), and no treatise by Plato exists (oud’ estin sungramma Platȏnos ouden) or will exist (oud’ estai), but those which now bear his name (ta de nun legomena) belong to a Socrates (Sȏkratous estin) become fair and young (kalou kai neou gegonotos, 314c1-4, tr. Bury). This remark was to be viewed by Dionysius, I believe, as referring in the first place to the Republic, which is narrated by Socrates in its entirety.

But as Plato’s stay in Athens, which was to last a year, became protracted, writing was the only means by which Plato could exercise any influence on Dionysius. In the Sophist and the Statesman Socrates figures only in the introduction; both these dialogues are led by the Stranger from Elea. (Plato appears to have felt a stranger in Athens; in the Laws, his last work, which is set in Crete, he presents himself as an Athenian Stranger.)

It could be argued that Plato must have written the Statesman after his last return from Sicily, that is after his attempt to turn Dionysius ended in complete failure, for he writes towards the end of it: ‘But then, as the State is not like a beehive (Nun de ge hopote ouk esti gignomenos, hȏs dȇ phamen, en tais polesi basileus hoios en smȇnesi emphuetai), and has no natural head who is at once recognized to be the superior both in body and in mind (to te sȏma euthus kai tȇn psuchȇn diapherȏn heis) mankind are obliged to meet and make laws (dei dȇ sunelthontas sungrammata graphein, hȏs eoiken), and to approach as nearly as they can to the true form of the government (metelthontas ta tȇs alȇthestatȇs politeias ichnȇ, 301d8-e4, tr. Jowett).’ Yet the Statesman is written so as to promote political knowledge: ‘We said that no great number of persons, whoever they may be (Hȏs ouk an pote plȇthos oud’ hȏntinoun), can attain political knowledge, or order a State wisely (tȇn toiautȇn labon epistȇmȇn hoion t’ an genoito meta nou dioikein polin), but that the true government is to be found in a small body, or in an individual’ (alla peri smikron ti kai oligon kai to hen esti zȇtȇteon tȇn mian ekeinȇn politeian tȇn orthȇn, 297b7-c2, tr. Jowett).
And so, I believe, Plato’s doubt that Dionysius could become a true statesman was addressed to Dionysius as a question: was Plato giving up on him? Plato says in the Seventh Letter: ‘Dionysius was greatly afraid, I believe, because of his love of glory (dokei moi Dionusios pantapasi philotimȇthȇnai), lest any should suppose that it was owing to my contempt of his nature  (mȇ pote tisi doxaimi kataphronȏn autou tȇs phuseȏs) and disposition (te kai hexeȏs) together with my experience of his mode of life (hama kai tȇs diaitȇs empeiros gegonȏs), that I was ungracious and was no longer willing to come to his court’ (ouket’ ethelein duscherainȏn par’ auton aphikneisthai, 338e7-339a3, tr. Bury) And so ‘constant accounts were pouring in (kai gar dȇ logos echȏrei polus) from Sicily (ek Sikelias) how Dionysius was now once more marvellously enamoured of philosophy (hȏs Dionusios thaumastȏs philosophias en epithumiai palin eiȇ gegonȏs ta nun); and for this reason Dion (hothen ho Diȏn) was strenuously urging me (suntetamenȏs edeito hȇmȏn) not to disobey his summons’ (tȇi metapempsei mȇ apeithein, 338b5-8, tr. Bury) – Plato did not disobey, and went to Sicily for the third time. I cannot see how he could have written the Statesman after that experience.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

2 The Parmenides, the Republic, and the Symposium

In the Parmenides Plato maintains that only a man of considerable natural gifts (135a7), if he is willing to undergo a course of prolonged study, beginning ‘from afar’ (porrôthen, 133b9), can be shown that the arguments against the Forms are false (133b7). With these words he points to the Republic taken as a whole; the actual road to the Forms starts in the latter part of the fifth book and culminates at the sight of the Form of Good in the sixth book.

In the Parmenides we meet with Adeimantus and Glaucon in the opening line of the dialogue. While these two brothers of Plato link the Parmenides to the Republic, where they figure as Socrates’ main interlocutors, Glaucon on his own joins the Parmenides to the Symposium, in the opening paragraph of which he figures as a man eager to listen to speeches on love (peri tôn erôtikôn logôn tines êsan, 172b2-3) and as a man who thinks he ought to do anything rather than engage in philosophy (panta mallon prattein ê philosophein, 173a3). This characterization of him points us to the fifth book of the Republic, where he gives vent to his deprecatory view of philosophy (173e6-174a4) and where Socrates characterizes him as a man interested in everything concerning love (anêr erôtikos, 474d4). In this way Plato directs the eye of the reader of the Parmenides to the point in the fifth book of the Republic at which the road to the Forms begins, and where we can learn, why Plato can view as solved the problems raised by the arguments against the Forms raised in the former by pointing to the latter.

In Republic V Socrates contrasts a philosopher who recognizes the existence of beauty itself (hêgoumenos te ti auto kalon), i.e. of the Form of Beauty, and is able to see it (kai dunamenos kathoran kai auto) and the objects which participate in it (kai ta ekeinou metechonta, 476c9-d2), with a man who loves beautiful things (kala pragmata nomizȏn) but has no sense of beauty itself (auto de kallos mê nomizȏn, 476c2-3). The state of mind of the former is properly called knowledge (toutou men tên dianoian hȏs gignȏskontos gnȏmên an orthȏs phaimen einai), that of the latter, who opines only, opinion (tou de doxan hȏs doxazontos, 476d5-6). Being that fully is (to men pantelȏs on) is fully knowable (pantelȏs gnȏston), not-being (mê on de mêdamê) is utterly unknown (pantêi agnȏston, 477a2-3); opinion (doxa) is in between these two (metaxu toutoin, 478d3). Doxa is related to that which partakes equally of being and not-being (to amphoterȏn metechon, tou einai te kai mê einai), and cannot rightly be termed either (kai oudeteron eilikrines orthȏs an prosagoreuomenon, 478e1-3).

Socrates: ‘This being premised (toutȏn de hupokeimenȏn), I would ask the gentleman who is of opinion that there is no absolute or unchangeable Idea of beauty, but only a number of beautiful things – he, I say, your lover of beautiful sights, who cannot bear to be told that the beautiful is one, and the just is one, or that anything else is one – to him I would appeal, saying (legetȏ moi, phêsȏ, kai apokrinesthȏ ho chrêstos hos auto men to kalon kai idean tina autou kallous mêdemian hêgeitai aei men kata t’auta hȏsautȏs echousan, polla de ta kala nomizei, ekeinos ho philotheamȏn kai oudamêi anechomenos an tis hen to kalon phêi einai kai dikaion kai t’alla houtȏ), Will you be so very kind, sir, as to tell us whether, of all these beautiful things, there is one which will not be found ugly (Toutȏn gar dê, ȏ ariste, phêsomen, tȏn pollȏn kalȏn mȏn ti estin ho ouk aischron phanêsetai); or of the just, which will not be found unjust (kai tȏn dikaiȏn ho ouk adikon); or of the holy, which will not also seem unholy (kai tȏn hosiȏn, ho ouk anosion)?’ – Glaucon: ‘No (Ouk), these things must (all’ anankê), from different points of view, be found both beautiful and ugly (kai kala pȏs auta kai aischra phanênai); and the same is true of the rest (kai hosa alla erȏtas).’ (478e7-479b2) – Socrates: ‘Thus then we seem to have discovered (Hêurêkamen ara, hȏs eoiken) that the many notions which the multitude entertains (hoti ta tȏn pollȏn polla nomima) about the beautiful (kalou te peri) and about all other things (kai tȏn allȏn) are tossing about in some region which is half-way (metaxu pou kulindeitai) between pure being and pure not-being (tou te mê ontos kai tou ontos eilikrinȏs).’ – Glaucon: ‘We have (Hêurêkamen).’ (479d3-6) (Tr.  B. Jowett)

In the light of this discussion between Socrates and Glaucon in the Republic, all objections raised against the Forms in the Parmenides are shown to be made by a man whose mind is wandering between knowledge and ignorance, deprived of the former, so that whatever he may say against the Forms is false (hoti pseudetai, Parm. 133b7), he only seems to be saying something, while in fact he says nothing (tauta legonta dokein te ti legein, Parm. 135a5-6), there is nothing sound in what he says (ouch hugiainei, Rep. 476e2).

Sunday, January 10, 2016

1 The Parmenides, the Republic, and the Symposium

In the Parmenides Plato endows some of the most telling arguments against the Forms with the authority of Parmenides. Without offering any counterarguments Parmenides avers that only to ‘a man of considerable natural gifts’ (andros panu men euphuous, 135a7), ‘willing to follow a man who is showing him the Forms in course of a prolonged study, starting from afar’ (etheloi de panu polla kai porrȏthen pragmateuomenou tou endeiknumenou hepesthai, 133b9-c1), it can be shown that the arguments against the Forms are false (echoi tis endeixasthai hoti pseudetai, 133b6-7). These words on their own point to the Republic, but Plato makes it double sure that the reader gets the point; the Parmenides opens with the words: ‘When we arrived at Athens, we met Adeimantus and Glaucon in the Agora’; these two bothers of Plato are Socrates’ main interlocutors in the Republic.

I have argued that Plato wrote the Parmenides after returning from Sicily in 366 B.C., following his unsuccessful, yet open-ended attempt to transform the Syracusan tyrant Dionysius the Younger into a philosopher-ruler; Plato agreed to return to Syracuse in order to resume his instruction of Dionysius, prepared to devote the rest of his life to the task of educating him. The Parmenides, hand in hand with the Republic, was to protect his disciples from the attacks against the Forms, such as Parmenides proffers in the dialogue, after his departure.

Presumably, Plato’s departure from Sicily was to be short; Dionysius wanted to end the war in which he had been engaged and call Plato back as soon as he made his own power more secure (Seventh Letter 338a). But as the time passed by and Plato’s stay in Athens proved to be longer than expected, Plato had time to do more. The road to the Forms outlined in the Republic begins too far from the beginning of the dialogue, in the fifth book. And so Plato wrote the Symposium – in which he outlines a life-long ascent to the Form of Beauty in a compressed way in Socrates’ speech on love – linking it to the Parmenides by the figure of Glaucon.

The Symposium is not designed to replace the arduous study leading to the Forms in the Republic, but to supplement it. In the preamble to the Symposium we learn that Apollodorus had narrated to Glaucon the speeches on love that he is going to narrate in the dialogue, and that he told him on that occasion: ‘There was a time when I was running about the world, fancying myself to be well employed, but I was really a most wretched being, no better than you are now. I thought that I ought to do anything rather than be a philosopher.’ (173a1-3, tr. Jowett) This remark points to Glaucon’s response to Socrates’ pronouncement in Republic V that ‘until philosophers are kings in their cities, or the kings and princes of this world have the spirit and power of philosophy, cities will never have rest from their evils’ (473c11-d6, tr. Jowett): ‘Socrates, what do you mean? I would have you consider that the word which you have uttered is one at which numerous persons, and very respectable persons too, in a figure pulling off their coats all in a moment and seizing any weapon that comes to hand, will run at you might and main before you know where you are, intending to do heaven knows what; and if you don’t prepare an answer and make good your escape, you will be “pared by their fine wits, and no mistake.’ – Socrates: ‘You got me into the scrape.’ – Glaucon: ‘And I was quite right; however, I will do what I can to protect you; but I can only give you goodwill and encouragement (parakeleuesthai, Jowett’s ‘good advice’ is out of place), and, perhaps, I may be able to fit answers to your questions better than another – that is all. And now, having such an auxiliary, you must do your best to show the unbelievers that you are right.’ (173e6-174b2, tr. Jowett)

Socrates begins by defining philosophers as ‘lovers of the vision of truth’ (tous tȇs alȇtheias philotheamonas). – Glaucon: ‘I should like to know what you mean (alla pȏs auto legeis)?’ – Socrates: ‘To another I might have a difficulty in explaining (Oudamȏs raidiȏs pros ge allon); but I am sure that you will admit a proposition which I am about to make (se de oimai homologȇsein moi to toionde).’ – Glaucon: ‘What is the proposition’ (To poion)?’ – Socrates: ‘That since beauty is the opposition of ugliness (Epeidȇ estin enantion kalon aischrȏi), they are two (duo autȏi einai)?’ – Glaucon: ‘Certainly’ (Pȏs d’ou). – Socrates: ‘And inasmuch they are two, each of them is one’ (Oukoun epeidȇ duo, kai hen hekateron). – Glaucon: ‘True again’ (Kai touto). – Socrates: ‘And of just (Kai peri dȇ dikaiou) and unjust (kai adikou), good (kai agathou) and evil (kai kakou), and of every other form (kai pantȏn tȏn eidȏn peri), the same remark holds (ho autos logos): taken singly, each of them is one (auto men hen hekaston einai); but from the various combinations of them with actions and bodies and with one another (tȇi de tȏn praxeȏn kai sȏmatȏn kai allȇlȏn koinȏniai), they are seen in all sorts of lights and appear many (pantachou phantazomena polla phainesthai hekaston)?’ – Glaucon: ‘Very true’ (Orthȏs legeis). (475e4-476a8, tr. Jowett)

And so Socrates takes Glaucon, Adeimantus, and the rest of the audience on the road that culminates in the sixth book of the Republic with a glimpse of the Form of the Good (505a-b).

Friday, January 8, 2016

The pictures of Glaucon in the Symposium and the Republic; their relative dramatic dating

In the preamble to the Symposium we learn that Glaucon saw Apollodorus, the narrator, as he walked from Phalerum [an Athenian harbour] to the city. He addressed him with the words: ‘I was looking for you, only just now (kai mên kai enanchos se ezêtoun), that I might ask you (boulomenos diaputhesthai) about the speeches in praise of love (peri tȏn erȏtikȏn logȏn, tines êsan), which were delivered by Socrates, Alcibiades, and others, at Agathon’s supper. Phoenix, the son of Philip, told another person who told me of them; his narrative was very indistinct, but he said that you knew, and I wish that you would give me an account of them. Who, if not you, should be the reporter of the words of your friend? And first tell me, were you present at this meeting?’ Apollodorus tells him that the event took place when they were children: ‘Are you ignorant that for many years Agathon has not resided in Athens; and not three have elapsed (oudepȏ tria etê estin) since I became acquainted with Socrates (aph’ hou dê Sȏkratei sundiatribȏ), and have made it my daily business to know all that he says and does (kai epimeles pepoiêmai hekastês hêmeras eidenai hoti an legêi ê  prattêi). There was a time when I was running about the world (pro tou de peritrechȏn hopêi tuchoimi), fancying myself to be well employed (kai oiomenos ti poein), but I was really a most wretched being (athliȏteros ê hotououn), no better than you are now (ouch hêtton ê su nuni). I thought I ought to do anything rather (oiomenos dein panta mallon prattein) than be a philosopher (ê philosophein).’ – Glaucon: ‘Well, jesting apart, tell me when the meeting occurred.’ – Apollodorus: ‘In your boyhood, when Agathon won the prize with his first tragedy.’ – Glaucon: ‘Then it must have been a long while ago, and who told you did Socrates?’ Apollodorus: ‘No, indeed, but the same person who told Phoenix; he was a little fellow, who never wore any shoes, Aristodemus … He had been at Agathon’s feast; and I think that in those days there was no one who was a more devoted admirer of Socrates. Moreover, I have asked Socrates about the truth of some parts of his narrative, and he confirmed them.’ – Glaucon: ‘Then, let us have the tale over again; is not the road to Athens just made for the conversation?’ – Apollodorus: ‘And so we walked and talked of the discourses on love.’ (172a1-173b9, tr. Jowett)

The following points are worth noticing: It does not even occur to Glaucon to approach Socrates with his request; Apollodorus was an acquaintance of his (gnȏrimȏn tis, 172a3), of the same age. He thought he ought to do anything rather (oiomenos dein panta mallon pratteint) than pursue philosophy (ê philosophein). What he wanted to hear (boulomenos diaputhesthai), were the erotic speeches (peri tȏn erȏtikȏn logȏn, tines êsan) that were told at the meeting of Agathon, Socrates, Alcibiades, and others.

Socrates opens the Republic with the words: ‘I went down yesterday to the Piraeus [a promontory 4 miles from Athens; it had three harbours] with Glaucon the son of Ariston … When we had finished our prayers and viewed the spectacle, we turned in the direction of the city’ (327a1-b1, tr. Jowett). Clearly, Socrates spent with Glaucon the whole day in Piraeus, just the two of them. It was on their way back that they were stopped by a servant of Polemarchus (327b4-5). Adeimantus: ‘Has no one told you of the torch-race on horseback in honour of the goddess which will take place in the evening 328a1-2)?’ Polemarchus: ‘A festival will be celebrated lasting throughout the night, which you certainly ought to see … Stay then, and do not be perverse.’ – Glaucon: ‘I suppose, since you insist, that we must.’ – Socrates: ‘Let us do so if you wish.’ – It is at Glaucon’s decision that Socrates and Glaucon join Adeimantus, Glaucon’s brother (ho tou Glaukȏnos adelphos, 327c2), Niceratus the son of Nicias (a famous Athenian politician and general), and Polemarchus, to whose house they go (oikade eis tou Polemarchou, 328b4), where the subsequent narrative of the Republic is going to take place.

In the first book of the Republic Socrates defends justice against the sophist Thrasymachus, who claimed that the key to happiness was the ultimate injustice, which the tyrants exercise. Referring to his defeat of Thrasymachus, he says in the opening paragraph of the second book: ‘With these words I was thinking that I had made an end of the discussion (Egȏ men oun tauta eipȏn ȏimên logou apêllachthai); but the end, in truth, proved to be only a beginning (to d’ ên ara, hȏs eoike, prooimion). For Glaucon (ho gar Glaukȏn), who is always the most pugnacious of men (aei te dê andreiotatos ȏn tunchanei pros hapanta), would not submit quietly to the retirement of Thrasymachus (kai dê kai tote tou Thrasumachou tên aporrêsin ouk apedexato). So he said to me (all’ ephê): “Socrates (ȏ Sȏkrates), do you wish really to persuade us, or only to seem to have persuaded us (poteron hêmas boulei dokein pepeikenai ê hȏs alêthȏs peisai), that to be just is in every way better than to be unjust (hoti panti tropȏi ameinon estin dikaion einai ê adikon)?” – I should wish really to persuade you, I replied, if I could (hȏs alêthȏs, eipon, egȏg’ an heloimên, ei ep’ emoi eiê). – “Then you certainly have not succeeded (Ou toinun poieis ho boulei, 357a1-b4) … to my mind the nature of justice and injustice has not yet been made clear (emoi de oupȏ kata noun hê apodeixis gegonen peri hekaterou). Setting aside their rewards and results, I want to know what they are in themselves, and how they inwardly work in the soul (epithumȏ gar akousai ti t’ estin hekateron kai tina echei dunamin auto kath’ hauto enon en têi psuchêi, tous te misthous kai ta gignomena ap’ autȏn easai chairein). If you please, then, I will revive the argument of Thrasymachus (houtȏsi oun poiêsȏ, ean soi dokêi, epananeȏsomai ton Thrasumachou logon). And first I will speak of the nature and origin of justice according to the common view of them (kai prȏton men erȏ dikaiosunên hoion einai phasin kai hothen gegonenai). Secondly (deuteron de), I will show that all men who praise justice do so against their will (hoti pantes auto hoi epitêdeuontes akontes epitêdeuousin), of necessity (hȏs anankaion), but not as a good (all’ ouch hȏs agathon). And thirdly (triton de), I will argue that there is reason in this view (hoti eikotȏs touto drȏsi), for the life of the unjust is after all better far than life of the just (polu gar ameinȏn ara ho tou adikou ê ho tou dikaiou bios) – if what they say is true (hȏs legousi), Socrates, since I myself am not of their opinion (epei emoige, ȏ Sȏkrates, out ti dokei houtȏs). But still I acknowledge that I am perplexed when I hear voices of Thrasymachus and myriads of others dinning in my ears (aporȏ mentoi diatethrulêmenos ta ȏta akouȏn Thrasumachou kai muriȏn allȏn); and, on the other hand, I have never yet heard the superiority of justice to injustice maintained by anyone in a satisfactory way (ton de huper dikaiosunês logon, hȏs ameinon adikias, oudenos pȏ akêkoa hȏs boulomai). I want to hear justice praised in respect of itself; then I shall be satisfied (boulomai de auto kath’ hauto enkȏmiazomenon akousai), and you are the person from whom I think that I am most likely to hear this (malista d’ oimai an sou puthesthai); and therefore I will praise the unjust life to the utmost of my power (dio katateinas erȏ ton adikon bion epainȏn), and my manner of speaking will indicate (eipȏn de endeixomai soi) the manner in which I desire (hon tropon au boulomai) to hear you too praising justice and censuring injustice (kai sou akouein adikian men psegontos, dikaiosunên de epainountos). Will you say whether you approve of my proposal (all’ hora ei soi boulomenȏi ha legȏ)?” – Indeed I do (Pantȏn malista, ên d’ egȏ); nor can I imagine any theme about which a man of sense would oftener wish to converse.’ (peri gar tinos an mallon pollakis tis noun echȏn chairoi legȏn kai akouȏn, 358b3-d8, tr. Jowett)

Glaucon begins his encomium on injustice by defining what justice is and what is its origin (ti on te kai hothen gegone dikaiosunê): ‘They say that to do injustice is, by nature (Pephukenai gar dê phasin to men adikein), good (agathon); to suffer injustice (to de adikeisthai), evil (kakon); but that there is more evil in the latter (pleoni de kakȏi huperballein to adikeisthai) than good in the former (ê agathȏi to adikein). And so when men have both done and suffered injustice (hȏst’ epeidan allêlous adikȏsi te kai adikȏntai) and have had experience of both (kai amphoterȏn geuȏntai), any who are not able to avoid the one and obtain the other (tois mê dunamenois to men ekpheugein to de hairein), think that they had better agree among themselves (dokei lusitelein sunthesthai allêlois) to have neither (mêt’ adikein mêt’ adikeisthai); hence they began to establish laws (kai enteuthen dê arxasthai nomous tithesthai) and mutual covenants (kai sunthêkas hautȏn); and that which was ordained by law was termed by them lawful and just (kai onomasai to hupo tou nomou hupotagma nomimon te kai dikaion). This, it is claimed, is the origin and nature of justice (kai einai dê tautên genesin te kai ousian dikaiosunês); it is a mean or compromise (metaxu ousan), between the best of all (tou men aristou ontos), which is to do injustice and not to be punished (ean adikȏn mê didȏi dikên), and the worst of all (tou de kakistou), which is to suffer injustice without the power of retaliation (ean adikoumenos timȏreisthai adunatos êi); and justice (to de dikaion), being at a middle point between the two (en mesȏi on toutȏn amphoterȏn), is tolerated not as a good (agapasthai ouch hȏs agathon), but as the lesser evil, and honoured where men are too feeble to do injustice (all’ hȏs arrȏstiai tou adikein timȏmenon). For no man who is worthy to be called a man would ever submit to such an agreement with another if he had the power to be unjust (epei ton dunamenon auto poiein kai hȏs alêthȏs andra oud’ an heni pote sunthesthai to mête adikein mête adikeisthai); he would be mad if he did (mainesthai gar an).’ (358e3-359b3, tr. Jowett)

Glaucon then says that people will argue that if a just man had a ‘Gyges-ring’ of invisibility, ‘then the actions of the just would be as the actions of the unjust (houtȏ de drȏn ouden an diaphoron tou heterou poioi); they would both tend to the same goal (all’ epi t’aut’ an ioien amphoteroi) … for all men believe in their hearts that injustice is far more profitable to the individual than justice’ (lusitelein gar oietai pas anêr polu mallon idiai tên adikian tês diakiosunês, 360c3-d1). He argues that if the lives of a just man and the unjust man are to be properly judged, we must set apart the extremes of justice and injustice: ‘The height of injustice is to be deemed just when you are not (eschatê gar adikia dokein dikaion einai mê onta); in the perfectly unjust man we must assume the most perfect injustice (doteon oun tȏi teleȏs adikȏi tên teleȏtatên adikian) … we must allow him (eateon), while doing the most unjust acts (ta megista adikounta), to have acquired the greatest reputation for justice (tên megistên doxan hautȏi pareskeuakenai eis dikaiosunên, 361a4-b1) … And at his side let us place the just man (ton dikaion au par’ auton histȏmen tȏi logȏi) in his nobleness and simplicity (andra haploun kai gennaion) … let him be the best of men, and let him be reputed the worst (mêden gar adikȏn doxan echetȏ tên megistên adikias) … and let him continue thus to the hour of death (alla itȏ ametastatos mechri thanatou); being just and seeming to be unjust (dokȏn de einai adikos dia biou, ȏn de dikaios, 361b6-d1) … the just man who is thought unjust (houtȏ diakeimenos ho dikaios) will be scourged (mastigȏsetai), racked (streblȏsetai), bound (dedêsetai) – will have his eyes burnt out (ekkauthêsetai t’ȏphtalmȏi); and, at last (teleutȏn), after suffering every kind of evil (panta kaka pathȏn), he will be impaled (anaschinduleuthêsetai): then he will understand (kai gnȏsetai) that he ought to seem only, and not to be, just (hoti ouk einai dikaion alla dokein dei ethelein, 361e3-362a3) … For the unjust, they will say (phêsousi ton adikon) … is thought just (dokounti dikaiȏi einai), and therefore bears rule in the city (archein en têi polei) … he can trade and deal where he likes (sumballein, koinȏnein hois an ethelêi), and always to his own advantage (kai para tauta panta ȏpheleisthai kerdainonta), because he has no misgivings about injustice (tȏi mê duscherainein to adikein); and at every contest (eis agȏnas toinun ionta), whether in public or in private (kai idiai kai dêmosiai), he gets the better of his antagonists, and gains at their expense (perigignesthai kai pleonektein tȏn echthrȏn), and is rich, and out of his gains he can benefit his friends (pleonektounta de ploutein kai tous te philous eu poiein), and harm his enemies (kai tous echthrous blaptein); moreover, he can offer sacrifices, and dedicate gifts to the gods abundantly and magnificently (kai theois thusias kai anathêmata hikanȏs kai megaloprepȏs thuein te kai anatithenai), and can honour the gods or any man whom he wants to honour in a far better style than the just (kai therapeuein tou dikaiou polu ameinon tous theous kai tȏn anthrȏpȏn hous an boulêtai), and therefore is likely to be dearer than they are to the gods (hȏste kai theophilesteron auton einai mallon prosêkein ek tȏn eoikotȏn ê ton dikaion). And thus, Socrates, they say (houtȏ phasi, ȏ Sȏkrates) that a better life is provided, by gods and men alike, for the unjust than for the just’ (para theȏn kai par’ anthrȏpȏn tȏi adikȏi pareskeuasthai ton bion ameinon ê tȏi dikaiȏi, 362a4c8, tr. Jowett).

Adeimantus then adds his voice to that of his younger brother (362d2-367e5). While Glaucon relied on imaginative argument, Adeimantus drew more on experience: ‘On what principle, then (Kata tina oun eti logon), shall we any longer choose justice rather than the worst injustice (dikaiosunên an pro megistês adikias hairoimeth’ an)? when, if we only unite the latter with a deceitful regard to appearances (hên ean met’ euschêmosunês kibdêlou ktêsȏmetha), we shall fare to our mind both with gods and men (kai para theois kai par’ anthrȏpois praxometha kata noun), in life and after death (zȏntes te kai teleutêsantes), as the most numerous and the highest authorities tell us (hȏs ho tȏn pollȏn te kai akrȏn legomenos logos, 366b3-7) … But I speak to you in this vehement manner, as I must frankly confess to you, because I want to hear from you the opposite side  (all’ egȏ, ouden gar se deomai apokruptesthai, sou epithumȏn akousai t’anantia, hȏs dunamai katateinas legȏ); and I would ask you to show not only (mê oun hêmin monon endeixêi tȏi logȏi) the superiority which justice has over injustice (hoti dikaiosunê adikias kreitton), but what effect, inseparable from their nature, they have on the possessor of them which makes the one good and the other an evil to him’ (alla ti poiousa hekatera ton echonta autê di hautên hê men kakon, hê de agathon estin, 367a8-b5).

When Adeimantus ended his contribution to Glaucon’s challenge and request, Socrates reflected on what they both said: ‘I had always admired the genius of Glaucon and Adeimantus, but on hearing these words I was quite delighted, and said (Kai egȏ akousas, aei men dê tên phusin tou te Glaukȏnos kai tou Adeimantou êgamên, atar oun kai tote panu ge hêsthên kai eipon): ‘Sons of an illustrious father, that was not a bad beginning of the elegiac verses which the admirer of Glaucon made in honour of you (Ou kakȏs eis humas, ȏ paides ekeinou tou andros, tên archên tȏn elegeiȏn epoiêsen ho Glaukȏnos erastês) after you had distinguished yourself at the battle of Megara (eudokimêsantas peri tên Megaroi machên): - “Sons of Ariston (paides Aristȏnos),” he sang (eipȏn), “divine offspring of an illustrious hero (kleinou theion genos andros).” The epithet is very appropriate (touto moi, ȏ philoi, eu dokei echein), for there is something truly divine (panu gar theion peponthate) in being able to argue as you have done for the superiority of injustice, and remaining unconvinced by your own arguments (ei mê pepeisthe adikian dikaiosunês ameinon einai, houtȏ dunamenoi eipein huper autou). And I do believe that you are unconvinced (dokeite dê moi hȏs alêthȏs ou pepeisthai) – this I infer from your general character (tekmairomai de ek tou allou tou humeterou tropou), for had I judged only from your speeches (epei kata ge autous tous logous) I should have mistrusted you’ (êpistoun an humin, 367e6-368b3, tr. Jowett)

Dramatically, we cannot imagine that Plato could present Glaucon as he is presented in the Symposium – a man who thought he ought to do anything rather than pursue philosophy – after his performance in the Republic. Dramatically, Glaucon’s listening to the speeches on love in the Symposium aroused his interest in philosophy, and thus he became Socrates’ interlocutor in the Republic.