Forthe orderly class are always wanting to be at peace, and hence they passimperceptibly into the condition of slaves; and the courageous sort arealways wanting to go to war, even when the odds are against them, and aresoon destroyed by their enemies. Plato and Aristotle are sensible of the difficulty of combining the wisdomof the few with the power of the many. Or rather, shall we not first ask, whetherthe king, statesman, master, householder, practise one art or many? The myth gave us only the image of a divine shepherd,whereas the statesmen and kings of our own day very much resemble theirsubjects in education and breeding. 'And is this cycle, of which you are speaking, the reign of Cronos, or ourpresent state of existence?' This would not have been the case, if they hadboth originally held the same notions about the honourable and the good;for then they never would have allowed the temperate natures to beseparated from the courageous, but they would have bound them together bycommon honours and reputations, by intermarriages, and by the choice ofrulers who combine both qualities. Let us proceed, then, by regular steps:--There are causal or principal, and co-operative or subordinate arts. It is ostensibly an attempt to arrive at a definition of "statesman," as opposed to "sophist" or "philosopher" and is presented as following the action of the Sophist. The Statesman combines conceptual analysis with political philosophy. More than any of the preceding dialogues, the Statesman seems toapproximate in thought and language to the Laws. Socrates concludes his attack on the \"libelous poetry\" that portrays his beloved virtues in so many negative lights. The law sacrifices the individualto the universal, and is the tyranny of the many over the few (compareRepublic). Very good,Socrates, and if you are not too particular about words you will be all thericher some day in true wisdom. For, as the Stranger maintains, a sophist is one who does not know the right thing to do, but only appears to others as someone who does. Not power but knowledge is thecharacteristic of a king or royal person. Thereis a reflection in this idealism of the Socratic 'Virtue is knowledge;'and, without idealism, we may remark that knowledge is a great part ofpower. The reason ofthis further decline is supposed to be the disorganisation of matter: thelatent seeds of a former chaos are disengaged, and envelope all things. Let us try once more: There are diviners and priests, who are full of pride and prerogative;these, as the law declares, know how to give acceptable gifts to the gods,and in many parts of Hellas the duty of performing solemn sacrifices isassigned to the chief magistrate, as at Athens to the King Archon. He then examines which of the current forms… If we suppose the Sophist andPoliticus to stand halfway between the Republic and the Laws, and in nearconnexion with the Theaetetus, the Parmenides, the Philebus, the argumentsagainst them derived from differences of thought and style disappear or maybe said without paradox in some degree to confirm their genuineness. But, first ofall, the nature of example is explained by an example. And whoever, having skill, should try to improvethem, would act in the spirit of the law-giver. Too many laws may be thesign of a corrupt and overcivilized state of society, too few are the signof an uncivilized one; as soon as commerce begins to grow, men makethemselves customs which have the validity of laws. Overall Impression: Plato … Tointerlace these is the crowning achievement of political science. Or our mythus may be compared to a picture, which is well drawn inoutline, but is not yet enlivened by colour. But now I recognize the politician and his troop, thechief of Sophists, the prince of charlatans, the most accomplished ofwizards, who must be carefully distinguished from the true king orstatesman. Admitting that a few wisemen are likely to be better governors than the unwise many, yet it is notin their power to fashion an entire people according to their behest. I am not speaking of theveritable slave bought with money, nor of the hireling who lets himself outfor service, nor of the trader or merchant, who at best can only lay claimto economical and not to royal science. (Summary by Geoffrey Edwards) share Share No_Favorite Favorite rss RSS. Atlast, then, we have found a trace of those whom we were seeking. c. Besides the imaginary rule of a philosopher or a God, the actual formsof government have to be considered. The excellence, importance, and metaphysical originality of the twodialogues: no works at once so good and of such length are known to haveproceeded from the hands of a forger. Plato is fond of picturing the advantages which would result from the unionof the tyrant who has power with the legislator who has wisdom: he regardsthis as the best and speediest way of reforming mankind. II. The Statesman is naturally connected with the Sophist. 25-47) Le Politique de Platon comporte trois parties principales: Division, Mythe, Tissage. The ancient legislator would have found this question moreeasy than we do. Ought we not rather to admire the strength of thepolitical bond? In this new disguise the Sophists make their lastappearance on the scene: in the Laws Plato appears to have forgotten them,or at any rate makes only a slight allusion to them in a single passage(Laws). You have probablyheard of the fish-preserves in the Nile and in the ponds of the Great King,and of the nurseries of geese and cranes in Thessaly. Even equity, which isthe exception to the law, conforms to fixed rules and lies for the mostpart within the limits of previous decisions. Plato - Plato - Late dialogues: The Parmenides demonstrates that the sketches of forms presented in the middle dialogues were not adequate; this dialogue and the ones that follow spur readers to develop a more viable understanding of these entities. The plan of the Politicus or Statesman may be briefly sketched as follows: (1) By a process of division and subdivision we discover the true herdsmanor king of men. Buy Study Guide. I must explain: Law-making certainly is the business of a king; and yetthe best thing of all is, not that the law should rule, but that the kingshould rule, for the varieties of circumstances are endless, and no simpleor universal rule can suit them all, or last for ever. The words inwhich he describes the miseries of states seem to be an amplification ofthe 'Cities will never cease from ill' of the Republic. And if thelegislator, or another like him, comes back from a far country, is he to beprohibited from altering his own laws? In A Stranger's Knowledge Marquez argues that Plato abandons here the classic idea, prominent in the Republic, that the philosopher, qua philosopher, is qualified to rule. He also appeals to internalevidence, viz. But, as in the laterdialogues generally, the play of humour and the charm of poetry havedeparted, never to return. When an individual rules according tolaw, whether by the help of science or opinion, this is called monarchy;and when he has royal science he is a king, whether he be so in fact ornot; but when he rules in spite of law, and is blind with ignorance andpassion, he is called a tyrant. [Mitchell H Miller] Get this from a library! Acknowledgement: I have summarized Plato's dialogs (some much more than others) using The Collected Dialogues Bollingen Series Princeton University Press 1961-1989, edited by Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns. And what's the relation between politics and philosophy? These are adaptedto each other, and the orderly composition of them forms a woollen garment. At first the case of men was veryhelpless and pitiable; for they were alone among the wild beasts, and hadto carry on the struggle for existence without arts or knowledge, and hadno food, and did not know how to get any. This is the sort of division which an intelligentcrane would make: he would put cranes into a class by themselves for theirspecial glory, and jumble together all others, including man, in the classof beasts. This observation is incomplete. Hence we conclude that the science of the king, statesman, andhouseholder is one and the same. The outline may be filled up as follows:--. The higher ideas, of which we have a dreamy knowledge, canonly be represented by images taken from the external world. (5) His characteristicis, that he alone has science, which is superior to law and writtenenactments; these do but spring out of the necessities of mankind, whenthey are in despair of finding the true king. The stylesand the situations of the speakers are very similar; there is the same loveof division, and in both of them the mind of the writer is greatly occupiedabout method, to which he had probably intended to return in the projected'Philosopher.'. Its elaboration of the "ship of state" metaphor improves upon the Republic. We forgot this in our hurry to arrive at man, and found byexperience, as the proverb says, that 'the more haste the worse speed.'. The idea of the king or statesmanand the illustration of method are connected, not like the love andrhetoric of the Phaedrus, by 'little invisible pegs,' but in a confused andinartistic manner, which fails to produce any impression of a whole on themind of the reader. And the art which presides over these operations is the art of weaving. When Plato was a child his father died and his mother married Pyrilampes who was a collegue of the statesman Pericles. Book Summary. Book I “The Republic” by Plato, opens with his teacher, Socrates returning home accompanied by one of Plato’s brothers, Glaucon. For a king rules with his mind, and not with hishands. when he thinks of the king runningafter his subjects, like the pig-driver or the bird-taker. Here he makes the oppositereflection, that there may be a philosophical disregard of words. I owe you many thanks, indeed, Theodorus, for the acquaintance … There are two uses of examples or images--in the first place, they suggestthoughts--secondly, they give them a distinct form. Your division was like adivision of the human race into Hellenes and Barbarians, or into Lydians orPhrygians and all other nations, instead of into male and female; or like adivision of number into ten thousand and all other numbers, instead of intoodd and even. comment. There is the same declineand tendency to monotony in style, the same self-consciousness,awkwardness, and over-civility; and in the Laws is contained the pattern ofthat second best form of government, which, after all, is admitted to bethe only attainable one in this world. There is a similar depth in the remark,--'The wonder about states is notthat they are short-lived, but that they last so long in spite of thebadness of their rulers.'. He hasbanished the poets, and is beginning to use a technical language. There is a one-sided truth in these answers, if they are regarded ascondemnations of the interference with commerce in the last century or ofclerical persecution in the Middle Ages. Thereis no such interval between the Republic or Phaedrus and the two suspecteddialogues, as that which separates all the earlier writings of Plato fromthe Laws. This is scientific government, and all others areimitations only. The Sophist had begun with the question of whether the sophist, statesman, and philosopher were one or three, leading the Eleatic Stranger to argue that they were three but that this could only be ascertained through full accounts of each (Sophist 217b). Or shall we say, that the violence is just, if exercised by a rich man, andunjust, if by a poor man? Like Minos, they too wil… The law is just anignorant brute of a tyrant, who insists always on his commands beingfulfilled under all circumstances. As a young man, Plato had political ambitions, but he quickly abandoned them when he began to become dissatisfied with the leadership in Athens. I did not know them at first, for every one looks strange whenhe is unexpected. From such ideals as he had once formed, he turns away tocontemplate the decline of the Greek cities which were far worse now in hisold age than they had been in his youth, and were to become worse and worsein the ages which followed. The royal or political art has nothing to do witheither of these, any more than with the arts of making (3) vehicles, or (4)defences, whether dresses, or arms, or walls, or (5) with the art of makingornaments, whether pictures or other playthings, as they may be fitlycalled, for they have no serious use. He is always wanting to break through theabstraction and interrupt the law, in order that he may present to himselfthe more familiar image of a divine friend. A logical or psychological phase takes the place of the doctrine of Ideasin his mind. 'I should say, that there is one management of men, and another ofbeasts.' Then (6) there are the arts whichfurnish gold, silver, wood, bark, and other materials, which should havebeen put first; these, again, have no concern with the kingly science; anymore than the arts (7) which provide food and nourishment for the humanbody, and which furnish occupation to the husbandman, huntsman, doctor,cook, and the like, but not to the king or statesman. Nor is Plato, here or elsewhere,wanting in denunciations of the incredulity of 'this latter age,' on whichthe lovers of the marvellous have always delighted to enlarge. Is hea worse physician who uses a little gentle violence in effecting the cure?
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