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expresses himself, the Ionians moved even the immoveable, so, probably, the Eleatics were for reducing even the untenable to rest, and Parmenides alone by his hypothesis of an opposition between the intelligible and apparent, of which we may regret that only rough outlines and particular traces have come down to us, appeared to have found, or at least to have divined the right road, although even to his doctrine Plato has objections to make in a subsequent dialogue. Even in what Plato here says about Parmenides we may easily detect the inclination to consider the doctrine of that philosopher more thoroughly at a future opportunity, in short an announcement of what he afterwards carried into effect in the Sophist. At the same time however it contains an almost tacit exposure of Zeno, who is by no means excepted from among those whom Socrates considers undeserving of much notice, and a hint implying how little any one should venture to make Parmenides the object of his satire, and how difficult it was to penetrate to the real meaning of his doctrine. Both refer manifestly enough to the dialogue of that name, and to a variety of misapprehensions in the understanding of it which from these allusions may be easily surmised. So again, without any particular mention of the philosopher, several of the antitheses discussed in the Parmenides reappear elsewhere in this dialogue, in part accompanied by elucidations of what is there barely stated as briefly as possible, so that the position of the Theaetetus between the Parmenides and Sophist is thus in every way justified. And moreover, besides these that are contained in the general plan, there occur in detail several allusions to the Gorgias, and among these too, individually considered, those which presuppose the Gorgias have a great advantage over those which look as if the Theaetetus ought to be placed before it.
In two other respects, moreover, these two counterparts especially resemble one another. One of these points of similarity is, that in both dialogues a variety of perfectly similar matter occurs incidentally. Thus also in the Theaetetus important passages from the defence of Socrates are brought up, and as it were commented upon. For Plato expatiates in a peculiar manner, and one which almost warrants the conclusion that he must on some occasion have exposed a weak side in this respect, upon the extremely natural and very pardonable ignorance of a philosopher in all civil matters and usages. More skilful persons may decide whether this is to refer to that apology, or to passages in some other writings of his, or to some fact of which traces still survived. Moreover we find in several passages a manifest defence, partly of his indirect mode of speculation in general, as in the explanation of Socrates' midwife practice, partly directed against a variety of objections which must have been made to his writings, and likewise censure of the form and method in which many of his opponents probably endeavoured to confute him. Thus for example, he constantly repeats here as well as in the Gorgias, that in philosophical matters apparent consequences are not to be made the grounds of confutation, and particularly lays down the conditions under which, in the dialogue, a position of the
opponent can be regarded as confuted. So that, these vivid expressions which recur so frequently in the course *
of the two dialogues rightly considered, we shall remark a concealed and gradually gathering indignation, which
afterwards strives to vent itself thoroughly in the Euthydemus. Secondly, the two dialogues have even in their philosophical bearing some polemics in common with one another, quite of a different kind from what we meet with at an earlier period against the Sophists. For, as in the Gorgias, the philosopher especially confuted under the person of Callicles is manifestly Aristippus, in whose system the principle that nothing is naturally just, but only becomes so by capricious establishment, occupied an important place, so also the first half generally of this dialogue Aristippus is the person especially in view. That Aristippus took the impressions of the senses to be certain knowledge, that he did not notwithstanding deny the possibility of a progress towards greater perfection in knowledge, and the existence of a distinction between the philosopher and other men, we learn from all the sources of information we possess; and this furnishes us with a key to explain
how and why it happens that Plato represented this doctrine as Protagorean though supported by Socrates,
and we find Aristippus especially denoted by those who did not indeed follow the doctrine of Protagoras exclusively, but still ended with the principle that there
is nothing just by nature; we find him with his propensity for good living represented in that long digression as one of those who do not occupy themselves with philosophy in the proper way, and some perhaps may even think fit to view that exposition of the Socratic midwifery as at the same time a protestation that ... that philosophy was in no way learnt from Socrates.
In short, a multitude of allusions discover themselves as soon as ever we take these polemics into consideration.
Every one however must also certainly admire the art.
with which they are interwoven with the whole, so completely without detracting from the universality of its purely scientific bearing, so that the reader, with the exception of very particular allusions which do not interfere with the progress of the whole, and which every one may easily be content to take as embellishments without thinking to find in them any thing particular, may understand the whole without having been aware of those allusions. The second half gives great occasion to suspect the presence in it of similar polemics against Antisthenes of whom we know, though only, I regret to say, in the most general way, that he maintained the principle of the impossibility of contradicting successfully any position whatever. These polemics appear to begin in this dialogue at the commencement of the section about false conception, and are elsewhere concluded under more definite and extended views. The character of this opponent and what we know of his relations to Plato make it probable that much has reference to him which appears to be defence against unscientific and rude attack. There may yet be much besides of a polemical character which it is now almost impossible to decypher, with the exception perhaps of a few scattered traces. What is said of the followers of Heraclitus is particularly strange, and it may be doubtful whether others than themselves are meant under their name, or actually themselves; in which case it is scarcely possible to avoid thinking of Plato having sojourned in Ionia, probably on that great journey, when, according to some accounts, he wished to penetrate even into Persia. Historical testimonies upon which to determine the time of the composition of the dialogue are not to be found, with the exception of what follows immediately from the allusions to all those circumstances, that the schools of Plato as well as of most of the other Socratic philosophers had been already formed. Not much can be built upon the mention of the battle at Corinth in which Theaetetus had been wounded; the most to be inferred from it would be only what is also certain upon other grounds, that the dialogue cannot have been written before the middle of the ninety-sixth olympiad. We should however by no means be warranted in concluding that the fight thus mentioned is the same which Xenophon notices in the fourth book of his Hellenics; on the contrary we might easily find just as much reason for thinking of less important events which may have taken place subsequently, when Iphicrates had the command in that quarter. We have however every reason for considering as historical, both the character of Theaetetus and what is said of him, though not the literal words of the conversation held. Suidas mentions him in two characters, as a scholar of Socrates and a hearer of Plato; we see clearly that both notices refer to the same person : he also mentions him as a philosopher and mathematician, and knows that he taught at a later period in Heracleia. So Proclus also mentions him among celebrated mathematicians. Hence it may easily be inferred that from the school of Socrates, as far as this expression may be allowed, he passed into that of Plato, and is very properly represented as quite young at the death of Socrates. From this point of view, that is a striking description which is sketched with so much fondness and put by Plato into the mouth partly of Euclides, partly of Theodorus. For what philosopher would not have