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seems an impossibility. No people will ever be rightly governed, till kings shall be philosophers, or philosophers be kings.
P. 474. The description of a genius truly philosophick.
P. 476. The distinction of knowledge and opinion.
HEADS OF THE SIXTH DIALOGUE.
PLATO is no where more admirable than in this book: the thoughts are as just as they are new, and the elocution is as beautiful as it is expressive; it can never be read too often but towards the end it is excessively obscure.
P. 485. The love of truth is the natural consequence of a genius truly inclined to philosophy. Such a mind will be little inclined to sensual pleasures, and consequently will be temperate, and a stranger to avarice and to illiberality.
NOTES ON THE GREEK TEXT.
Ρ. 485. Της ουσίας της αει ουσης, και μη πλανωμενης ὑπο γενεσews Kαι plopâs.] Our general abstracted ideas, as they exist in the mind independent of matter which is subject to continual changes, were regarded by Plato as the sole foundations of knowledge, and emanations, as it were, from the divinity himself.
Ib. Of ideas independent of matter. Το τω σκοτω κεκραμενον, το γιγνομενον τε και απολλυμενον, oι το αισθητον, are put in opposition to the το νοητον, το οντως ον, ἡ ουσια. Thus he calls pure speculative geometry, ἡ του αει οντος γνωσις. See Mr. Locke on the reality of our knowledge with regard to mathematical truths. L. 4. c. 4. s. 6. See also De Republ. L. 9. p. 585.
P. 486. Such a mind, being accustomed to the most extensive views of things and to the sublimest contemplations, will contract an habitual greatness, and look down, as it were, with disregard on human life and on death, the end of it; and consequently will possess the truest fortitude. Justice is the result of these virtues. Apprehension and memory are two fundamental qualities of a philosophick mind.
P. 487. Such a genius is made by nature to govern mankind.
Objection from experience: that, such as have devoted themselves to the study of philosophy, and have 'made it the employment of their maturer age, have turned out either very bad men, or entirely useless to society.
P. 488. Their inutility, with regard to government, is allowed and accounted for. The comparison of a bad government to a ship, where the mariners have agreed to let their pilot have no hand in the steerage, but to take that task upon themselves.
P. 488. Meɣelei μev kai дwμŋ.] Aristotle (Rhetor. L. 3. 121.) speaking of similes, mentions this of Plato; els tov dnμov, ὁμοιος ναυκληρω, ισχυρω μεν, ὑποκωφω δε. The image seems borrowed from the Equites of Aristophanes.
Ib. Οι γραφεις τραγελαφους.] The figures of mixed animals, such as are seen in the grotesque ornaments of the ancients, and imitated by the modern painters, &c.
Ib. Mηte exovта aπodeığaı.] Vid. Menonem, et Protagoram, p. 357.
Ib. METеwроσкоTOV.] Vid. Politicum, p. 299, and Xenoph. Economic. p. 494. 496.
P. 491. Those very endowments, before described as necessary to the philosophick mind, are often the ruin of it, especially when joined to the external advantages of strength, beauty, nobility, and wealth, when they light in a bad soil, and do not meet with their proper nurture, which an excellent education only can bestow.
Extraordinary virtues and extraordinary vices are equally the produce of a vigorous mind: little souls are alike incapable of one or of the other.
The corruption of young minds is falsely attributed to the sophists, who style themselves philosophers: it is the publick example which depraves them; the assemblies of the people, the courts of justice, the camp, and the theatres, inspire them with false opinions, elevate them with false applause, and fright them with false infamy. The sophists do no more than confirm the opinions of the publick, and teach how to humour its passions and to flatter its vanities.
P. 495. As few great geniuses have strength to resist the general contagion, but leave philosophy abandoned and forlorn, though it is their own peculiar pro
P. 489. 'O TOUTO коμÝеvσаμevos.] i.e. Simonides: who, when his wife asked him, Ποτερον γενεσθαι κρειττον, πλουσιον, η σοφον ; answered, Πλουσιον τους γαρ σοφους ὁρᾶν επι ταις των πλουσιων Ovpais diaтpißovтas. Aristot. Rhetor. L. 2. p. 92.
490. Anyoɩ woîvos.] 493. H Aloμndeal.] 494. Eav Tis пpeμa.]
are an example of this.
Vid. Sympos. p. 206.
Vid. Erasmi Adagia.
The two conversations with Alcibiades
495. EK TWV TEXvwv.] This seems to be aimed at Protagoras, who was an ordinary countryman and a woodcutter.
vince, the sophists step into their vacant place, assume their name and air, and cheat the people into an opinion of them. They are compared to a little old slave (worth money) dressed out like a bridegroom to marry the beautiful, but poor, orphan daughter of his deceased lord.
P. 495. A description of the few of true genius who escape depravation, and devote themselves really to philosophy; which happens commonly either from some ill fortune, or from weakness of constitution. The reason why they must necessarily be excluded from publick affairs, unless in this imaginary republick.
P. 500. The application of these arguments to the proof of his former proposition, namely, that until princes shall be philosophers or philosophers shall be princes, no state can be completely happy.
P. 503. The Pulakes, therefore, are to be real philo
P. 496. Tо puyns.] This was the case with Pythagoras, and other great men, particularly with Dion, Plato's favourite scholar; though I rather imagine, that this part of the dialogue was written before Dion's banishment.
Ib. Ocaye.] Theages died before Socrates, a very young
497. Οταν και ἁπτομενοι.] This is a remarkable passage, as it shews the manner in which the Athenians usually studied philosophy, and Plato's judgment about it, which was directly opposite to the common practice.
Ib. Αποσβεννυνται πολυ μαλλον του Ηρακλείτειου ἥλιου, ὅσον αυθις ουκ εξαπτονται.] Ρ. 498. Εις εκείνον τον βιον. Does he speak of some future state?
499. Οταν αυτη ἡ Μουσα.] So in the Philebus; Των εν Μουσῃ φιλοσοφω μεμαντευμενων ἑκαστοτε λογων. p. 67.