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mot be overlooked, the interlocutor is introduced as a disciple of Gorgias, and expressly referred to a dialogue of Socrates with that philosopher. Moreover Menon answers precisely in the sense in which Gorgias and his friends must have understood the beautiful. And as the last result of the Theaetetus is confirmatively enunciated, so also is that of the Gorgias repeated, and it is shown to be still not the last, and that it carries the investigation still higher. The same result also appears when we look to what is, or seems to be, accidental matter; for in the Menon this is throughout so identical with what we find in those dialogues, that we are compelled to infer from them the existence of still further similar relations and connecting circumstances. The same use of mathematics for examples as in the Theaetetus, may, even the object selected in visible connection with that dialogue. For the problem which is the foundation of the Pythagorean theorem, to find the side of the double square, is precisely the instance in which the incommensurability of two lines with one another was most immediately, and certainly also first, made palpable. This consistency in the matter from which the examples are taken can be so little the result of accident, that we might rather be tempted by it to attribute to the example itself a still higher symbolical value; especially if we remember that Plato is in the habit of introducing remembrances into his works for the hearers of his immediate oral instructions. This however might remain for ever nothing but a weak supposition, or perhaps be altogether precipitate and false; but clearly this application of these subjects, which no where else appears so prominently, points to the fact, that during the composition of the two diaD D

logues Plato was employed upon the same subject, whether it were more in a mathematical or a Pythagorean point of view. Again, the examples which occur in the Menon taken from natural philosophy are most manifestly connected with what is adduced in the Theaetetus in illustration of the doctrine of Protagoras, and is intended defensively to show that Socrates did really there bring forward the doctrines of that school in the sense in which the master of it meant them. And Gorgias as a disciple of Empedocles is here expressly associated with the Pythagoreans, and moreover, attention is thus drawn to the inward connection between the dialogue which bears his name and the Theaetetus. In like manner the Menon connects itself with both dialogues by the similarity of its polemics. For the allusion to Aristippus, the bosom friend of rich tyrants cannot be mistaken, when Menon the friend of the great king declares that virtue consists in the compilation of wealth, even when he makes the limitation, not, according to Xenophon's description, consistent with his own opinions, that this should only be done by legitimate methods. In like manner every reader will think of Antisthenes where it is conceded somewhat contemptuously by all and repeatedly asseverated, that a sophist cannot teach virtue, for Antisthenes maintained the positive side in a sense which did not meet Plato's views, and where his first master Gorgias is held up to him as a pattern of one who made no claims to this. Moreover the Menon has in common with the Theaetetus and Gorgias a similar allusion to the accusation of Socrates. For as in the Theaetetus express and somewhat gratuitous mention is made of it, and in the Gorgias it is almost prophesied, and in both dialogues much from the Apology recurs in a very remarkable manner, so here the future accuser himself appears, and we see his anger rise exactly as Socrates describes it in the Apology; and these allusions are found in so similar a dress that manifestly a similar occasion lies at the bottom of them in this dialogue as in the two others, and the Menon falls coincidently into the same period with those dialogues. And this dialogue connects itself with the Gorgias still further, and more particularly by what Socrates extracts by questions from Anytus, and says himself about the Athenian statesmen. For Plato assumes the appearance of changing into a more favourable opinion what he had maintained in the Gorgias; but he does this apparently only, and with a sufficient quantity of irony which at the end rings out clearly enough. It seems, indeed, to be a regular apologetic recantation with which Socrates presents them, intended to convey that there have always been among the politicians of Athens many honourable and just men, and that he would here only maintain that their virtue did not rest upon knowledge, and that this was the cause why they could not also teach and communicate, and this explanation seems all the more powerful as Socrates now comprehends under the sentence, in this its milder application, even Aristides himself, whom he had before exalted so far above the rest. But this man, whom as far as communication is concerned he was certainly compelled to give up, remains nevertheless free from the other objections of which no further mention is here made, and the possibility of his so remaining is founded upon the principle that there may be men in whom the correct conception which they once have continues unchangeable; and it is precisely this which is laid down as the true value of that virtue which is not accompanied by a perfectly finished reason, and consequently does not rest upon knowledge properly so called. The rest, on the other hand, of whom it has been already shown elsewhere that they cannot keep possession of the useful, are, with their true conception, which will not remain without knowledge, most gently merged into the same class with soothsayers and poets, and it is at last distinctly declared what was meant by this elsewhere, namely, that all these men are but as shadows to one, if such there be, who knows and can teach. This leads of itself to a still further resemblance between the Menon and the Gorgias. For in the latter we found explanatory references to several earlier dialogues; and it may be said of the Menon that it touches upon almost all in the first series, and concludes and seals in so many words a large share of their common subject-matter of which the decision was as it were still left open. This holds especially of the Protagoras and the dialogues immediately connected with it, and on account of this relation much matter is again taken up, almost too literally and too fully, out of the Protagoras, which already lay at too great a distance to admit of Plato's referring to it only by one or two slight allusions. It is now shown here how much of the virtues remains, as they are ordinarily enumerated, and are no longer allowed to be comprehended in a unity of virtue, if we separate them from knowledge; and at the same time the whole dispute, in which, in the Protagoras, Socrates is not only engaged with Protagoras, but also each of the two with himself as to the identification of virtue with knowledge, and the possibility of communicating it, is solved by the preliminarily established distinction between knowledge and true conception. And in doing this it is said that the more exalted species of virtue rests certainly upon knowledge, though upon a higher mode of it than that calculation of the pleasant, and is moreover thus communicable in the sense in which it may be said generally that remembrancing, and the excitement and reanimation of ideas, is communication; while the ordinary political dpérn is not communicable, but rests for the most part only upon correct conception, upon a feeling which has never penetrated up to the point of true knowledge. If therefore, in consequence of what was first remarked, the Menon is indispensable to us as a strengthening key-stone of the dialogues which form the beginning of the second series, so it is also from those references indispensable as a key to much not yet expressly solved in the first series. Again, a slight degree of attention will show us that the Menon thus becomes a fresh confirmation of the arrangement hitherto pursued in general. For that it solves the riddle of the Protagoras, and, not to go beyond what is particularly mentioned, that of the Laches also, and that hence those two dialogues must be placed before the Menon and in connexion with one another, is clear to every one, and no intelligent reader will think of inverting the relation and saying that those dialogues were later in point of composition, and intended to be further continuations of what is here preliminarily said. The same is true of the Phaedrus, to which dialogue sufficiently decided reference is made by a resemblance in the diction, which, though without anything like verbal coincidence, strikes us almost as

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