Sivut kuvina

appearance of being earlier than it is here, because it is there put only hypothetically, while here it is regularly deduced and established. Moreover, the Sophist appeals to the notion of the semblance of the just as to a thing known, and sets up a connection between rhetoric and sophistry, such that they both coincide in the idea of mere appearance. And as the Euthydemus generally is presupposed in the Sophist, and every thing in which Plato could appeal to that dialogue is briefly dispatched, as, for example, that non-existence cannot be ever made the predicate of a proposition, and that it is self-evident, that when a man asserts falsely about a thing, he does not speak of the thing at all; so also, any one may easily see that much that was too shortly touched upon in the Euthydemus, is here demonstrated more at length. If we compare further what the Cratylus and Sophist have in common, we can scarcely doubt that the illustrations about types and imitations preceded the application here made of the same thought ; especially if we notice the easy way in which the stranger is satisfied with the explanation, that a type is a second reality made to resemble a first, while in the Cratylus we find extensive explanations as to how the type can only be externally and in part the same with the archetype; and even in the manner in which in the Sophist the idea of a type is first introduced, we may easily observe the reference to the Cratylus. In like manner, Plato could scarcely have expressed himself so briefly as to the relation between thought and language, if he had not himself already represented words to be immediate imitations of things and actions. From these points, certainly, every appearance of an inverted order in the arrangement of the dialogues will easily admit of being destroyed. And how should Plato, just at the beginning of this dialogue, have come to consider all knowledge, not as resulting from an act of production, but of appropriation P and how, with his accuracy, should he thus have allowed himself to maintain this point without further discussion, if he could not reckon upon what the Menon was supposed to have made clear to his readers ? This short analysis will, it is hoped, suffice with reference now to much that has been already said on former occasions, fully also to justify the separation of the Sophist from the Theaetetus, notwithstanding the two are placed so closely in connection with one another. For while, with regard to some of the dialogues introduced between these two, the manner of their connexion with the Theaetetus has been made more clear, and how they develope themselves from it, and again with regard to others, how they are presupposed by the Sophist; these two circumstances taken in conjunction, become too evident in the case of every one of these dialogues to allow a doubt to arise as to their place with reference to these. But it is also immediately certain, that the Sophist rests upon the Theaetetus, and would be perfectly unintelligible without the distinction previously established between knowledge and conception, and the suggestions in the Theaetetus respecting the first, which constitute in fact a sufficient foundation for what is here said, and no other is essentially necessary. Let any one, however, conceive the Sophist to have followed immediately upon the Theaetetus, and consequently to have contained in itself all that he can now take for granted out of the Menon, and

Euthydemus especially, and then say whether it would not necessarily have been a shapeless work for Plato to have composed, and if to its present difficulties such superabundance and complexity of matter had been further added, whether it would not then have been perfectly unintelligible. Only it is not here intended to be said, that in completing the plan of this dialogue, Plato projected in his mind those other dialogues purposely with a view to the future; but this is only to be understood in the sense in which one may reasonably speak of the natural course of the development of inward conceptions from one another. Hence, as to the assignation made at the end of the Theaetetus and the continuous connection at the beginning of the Sophist, it is scarcely worth while entering into a more accurate explanation, as any reader, not satisfied with that given in the Introduction to the Meno, can do this for himself.


IT must be at once self-evident to every reader how the Statesman, as the second part of the trilogy announced in the Sophist, is connected with that dialogue. But although it takes place among the same persons, and annexes itself in a continued conversation as it were with the investigation concerning the Sophist, it would be too much to think of viewing the two as in reality and on that account one dialogue. There is, on the contrary, reason to believe that some time intervened between the publication of the two, especially if we are to give any weight to several particular sentiments in our dialogue, which have fully the appearance of being intended to defend the Sophist. Hence, we have not hesitated to follow with the greater confidence, the old method of separating the two dialogues from one another under the titles that have come down to us, notwithstanding their intimate connection. And indeed the similarity of the two is of such a nature as to direct us rather to place them in juxta-position as counterparts, than to admit of our conjoining them as parts of a whole. For they do in fact, correspond to one another in their whole construction more accurately than any other two dialogues of Plato; and whatever difference is to be met with appears only to be the result of the general distinction, that in the Sophist the immediate object of the speculation is an object of aversion; in the Statesman, on the contrary, it is something genuine and excellent. Although even in this respect our dialogue approximates again to the Sophist, for collaterally with the meritorious object, it at the same time, and with great pains, deduces and describes the reverse; just as in the Sophist also the meritorious object, namely, the philosopher, is at all events sketched out collaterally with the elaborate description of its opposite. Thus then our dialogue justly occupies the middle place in the designed trilogy, as it does in fact form a middle term between the Sophist and the promised description of the Philosopher, as near as we can conceive what the character of the

latter is to be.

Even in the very first outlines it is impossible not to recognise a great coincidence between the two existing parts of this trilogy. For in the Statesman, as well as the preceding part, the object of the whole problem is a delineation, and it is to be discovered in like manner by subdivision of the whole province of art, though proceeding upon a different principle of separation. Only, as in the case of the Sophist, the whole process was not seriously meant, so also neither is it true. For scarcely, had this been an essential part of the whole, could we have attributed to Plato such errors as are here committed. For instance, under the department of Command, in so far as it is a part of the province of knowledge; the office of the mere publisher of commands is comprehended, in the exercise of which no knowledge, properly speaking, is necessary, and which we accordingly find afterwards numbered among the merely serving arts. Again, at the end of the whole subdividing process, swine are made to stand in closer and more direct relation to man than to horned cattle, whereupon Plato himself exhibits a little pleasantry, and afterwards tells us more seriously that man is related to other beasts as the nature of daemons to that of man. Similarly also in the repetition of the panegyric upon the subdividing method, where it is said that this method does not concern itself with great and small, there is in what is said seriously a touch also of jest; if that were not the case, Plato would have been justly censured by that well-known bad joke of Diogenes with the plucked hen, which bears accurately enough upon one of the subdividing processes here pursued. And after the delineation has

« EdellinenJatka »