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has translated all that part of the dialogue in which Plato has explained the system of Protagoras, from p. 151. to 168. The description of a true? philosopher in this place, (though a little aggravated, and more in the character of Plato than of Socrates,) has yet an elevation in it which is admirable. The Abbé Sallier has also given a sketch of the dialogue, which is a very long one, and (as he rightly judges) would not be much approved in a translation. It is of that kind called Πειραστικος, in order to make trial of the capacity of Theatetus, while Socrates (as he says) only plays the midwife, and brings the conceptions of his mind to light. The question is; what is knowledge and the purpose of the dialogue is rather to refute the false definitions of it, as established by? Protagoras in his writings, and resulting from the tenets of Heraclitus, 3

1 P. 172 of this dialogue. See also Gorgias, p. 484.

2 His fundamental tenet was this ; viz: Ilavtwv Xonuatwv μετρον Ανθρωπον ειναι των μεν οντων, ως εστι των δε μη οντων ÚS OUK EOTC that every man's own perceptions of things were (to him) the measure and the test of truth and of falsehood.

3 Viz. That motion was the principle of being, and the only cause of all its qualities. Mr. Hardion has given us a short view of the arguments used by Protagoras in support of these doctrines in his seventh Dissertation on the Rise and Progress of Eloquence in Greece. See Mémoires de l'Academie des Inscriptions, &c. V. 15. p. 152. This seems to be much the same with the doctrine of the new Academy ; “Omnes omnino res, quæ sensus omnium movent TWV 7Tpos ti esse dicunt: id verbum significat nihil esse quicquam quod ex se constet, nec quod habeat vim propriam et naturam ; sed omnia prorsum ad aliquid referri, taliaque videri esse, qualis sit eorum species, dum videntur, qualiaque apud sensus nostros, quo pervenerunt, creantur, non apud sese, unde profecta sunt.” Aul. Gell. L. 11. c. 5. Vid. Platon. Cratylum, p. 385.

of Empedocles, and of other philosophers, than to produce a better definition of his own. Yet there are many fine and remarkable passages in it, such as the observations of Theodorus on the faults of temper, which usually attend on brighter parts, and on the defects of genius often found in minds of a more sedate and solid turn; Socrates's illustration of his own art by the whimsical comparison between that and midwifery; his opinion, that admiration 1 is the parent of philosophy; the active and passive powers 2 of matter, arising from the perpetual flux and motion of all things, (being the doctrine of Heraclitus and others,) explained; the reflections on philosophical leisure, and on a liberal turn of mind opposed to the little cunning and narrow thoughts of mere men of business; the description of Heraclitus's followers, then very numerous in Ionia, particularly at Ephesus; the account of the tenets of Parmenides and of: Melissus, directly

1 Δια το θαυμαζειν οι ανθρωποι, και νυν και πρωτον, ηρξαντο pilogopelv, &c. Aristot. Metaphys. L. 1. p. 335. Ed. Sylburg.

2 There is a near affinity between this, and Mr. Locke's account in the beginning of his chapter on Power, L. 2. c. 21. and in his reflections on our ideas of secondary qualities. B. 2. c. 8. See also Cudworth’s Intellectual System, B. 1. c. 1. sect. 7.

3 They maintained, ως έν τα παντα εστι, και έστηκεν αυτο εν αυτω, ουκ εχον χωραν, εν ώ κινειται.

Socrates speaks with respect of these two philosophers, particularly of Parmenides : Παρμενιδης δε μου φαινεται (κατα το του Ομηρου) αιδοιος τε μου ειναι αμα δεινος τε συμπροσεμιξα γαρ τω ανδρι πανυ νεος πανυ πρεσβυτη, και μου εφανη βαθος τι εχειν Tavtataol yevvalov. (p. 183.) and in the Sophist, p. 217. Oiov ποτε και Παρμενιδη χρωμενω, &c. and ib. p. 237. Παρμενιδης δε ο μεγας, &c.


contrary to those of the former; the distinction between our senses, the instruments through which the mind perceives external objects, and the mind itself, which judges of their existence, their likeness and their difference, and founds? its knowledge on the ideas which it abstracts from them; to which we may add, the comparison of ideas fixed in the memory2 to impressions made in wax, and the dwelling on this similitude in order to shew the several imperfections of this faculty in different constitutions.


1 P. 184, 5, and 6.] Compare this with Locke's Definition of Knowledge, B. 4. c. 1.

2 P. 191 to 194. Here also see Locke etention, B. 2. c. 10. and C. 29. § 3. on clear and obscure ideas.






Platon. Op. Serrani, Vol. 1. p. 216. I AM convinced that this is a continuation of the Theætetus, which ends with these words, Εωθεν δε, ω θεοδωρε, δευρο παλιν απαντωμεν, as this begins, Κατα την χθες ομολογιαν, ω Σωκρατες, αυτοι τε κοσμιως ήκομεν, και τονδε τινα ξενον αγομεν. The persons are the same, except the philosopher of the Eleatick school, who is here introduced, and who carries on the disputation


P. 216. Ετερον τε των αμφι Παρμενιδην και Ζηνωνα εταιρων.] Read for έτερον, έταιρον.

Ib. Οποσοι μετεχουσιν αιδούς.] Ηom. Odyss. Ρ. V. 485. 1b. Καθορωντες υψοθεν.] Lucretius, L. 2. ν. 9.

217. Δι' ερωτησεων.] We see therefore that Parmenides practised the dialectick method of reasoning, which his scholar Zeno first reduced to an art, as Aristotle tells us, and also Laertius, L. 9. 8 25.

218. Σωκρατη.] The younger Socrates about the same age with Plato and Theætetus. (Vid. Plato Epist. 11.)

226. Οικετικων ονοματων.] Vulgar and trivial terms. Vide Longinum, s. 43. VOL. IV.


with Theætetus while both Theodorus and Socrates continue silent. The apparent subject of it is the character of a sophist, which is here at large displayed in opposition to that of a philosopher ; but here too he occasionally attacks the opinions of Protagoras, Heraclitus, Empedocles, and others, on the incertitude of all existence and on the perpetual flux of matter.


This dialogue, in a translation, would suit the taste of the present age still less even than the Theatetus;


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P. 232. Ta IIpwtayopela.] Laertius (L. 9. sect. 52.) tells us that the works of Protagoras were publickly burnt at Athens, yet he reckons up a number of them as still extant in his time : and we see, both here and in the Theatetus, that they were left by the author, at his departure from Athens, in the hands of Callias, and were known to every one there : deonuoolwueva Tov καταβεβληται.

Ib. Της Αντιλογικης.] Protagoras had left a work in two books entitled Avriloylai ; whence Aristoxenus (Laert. L. 3. s. 37.) accuses Plato of borrowing a great part of his work De Republica.

234. Ως εγγυτατατω ανευ των παθηματων.] This is undoubtedly the true reading και ως εγγυτατα μαθηματων is very poor and insipid.

235. Ουκουν όσοι γε των μεγαλων.] Hence the Abbé Sallier collects (Mém. de l'Acad. des Inscriptions, Vol. 8. p. 97.) that the Ancients were no strangers to perspective, both lineal and aerial. See Plato de Republ. L. 10. p. 606. on poetical imitation, and Vitruvius, L. 7. c. 5. The words seem only to relate to colossal figures, where the upper parts must be made larger, as they are farther removed from the eye.

Ib. Της παιδειας μετεχοντων.] Read, της παιδιας.

Ib. Ovde allo yevos ovdev.] Plato seems to triumph here in his own method of division and distinction.

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