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while here the good is only most nobly extolled in images, and by a further extension of imaginative language, in such a manner, however, that undeniable reference is made to what in the Philebus is partly sketched and partly worked up upon this subject. And the style of execution is far more gratifying here than there; nay, even the image that the idea of the good stands in the same relation to the region of the intelligible, as the sun created by the good as its typical emblem does to the region of the visible, affords, by an excellent application of all the resulting relations, a clear and unimpeded survey of the whole subject, how that reason bears the same relation to the intelligible as the eye does to the visible, and that as light and the eye—and here we may recollect what spontaneous activity in reference to light has been already attributed to the eye in the exposition of earlier theories—are not themselves indeed the sun, but more connected with it than anything else, so also human reason, requiring as it does such an effluence from the good in the exertion of its power of knowing, is not the good itself, but that which is most of all connected with it. And it affords us a deep glance into a subject, not improperly treated of in our author with much mystery, in what manner Plato conceived the identity of objective being and consciousness; that it is namely the same effluence of the good—the spiritual light so to speak— which imparts truth to the intelligible essence of material things and to ideas, and to reason the power of knowing, which is likewise the truth of their being. And this means to say that the reason cannot know anything otherwise than with reference to the idea of the good, and by means of it, and that to the whole range of the visible, or we might indeed say, the perceptible generally, no being whatever corresponds, and that there would indeed be nothing but the eternally inconstant flux of the non-existent, if flux were not stayed by the living operative influence of the idea of the good, and thus something at length produced, which although still participating in the inconstant and restless, may yet be referred to real existence. To all this, indeed, the reader only meets with slight allusions, but they carry the attentive mind, in conjunction with what is brought forward above in the general explanation of philosophy, back to the earlier dialectic dialogues, which now develope themselves to such results. But if, on the one hand, the two provinces of the visible and intelligible are placed parallel and compared with one another, neither is that subordination of the one to the other, with which we have already been made acquainted, here wanting. The sun, it is said, is only a type of the essential absolute good—the corporeal light bears a precisely similar relation to the spiritual, and when contemplated from the spiritual region is nothing but darkness, in which every mind gropes about which is enchanted by the charm of the terrestrial sun, and, without endeavouring to rise higher, lingers among the material things illuminated by it. And as the whole range of the visible world stands in the relation of a type to the intelligible, so is there in each of the two again a similar distinction; one thing real in its kind and the typical form of it. Now here it may surprise us that the subjects of mathematical thought, number and figure, are described as types of the ideas; meanwhile we should continue to be well satisfied that this branch of intellectual activity here attains a fixed position, and we possess at the same time a key to the Platonic use of number and figure in the region of philosophy, and to the relation in which Plato stood to the Pythagorean school in this respect. Very remarkable also are the elucidations given with regard to the relation between the mathematical method and the dialectic, although they stand in no connection whatever with the former theory, unless by the introduction of a middle term, here not even alluded to, in so far, that is, as mathematical hypotheses can be considered also as types of real premises or first principles. Thus, at least, upon these arguments it would be quite consistent in Plato to distinguish himself from those who think themselves able to define the essence of things by means of number and figure, and fancy that they know, in the philosophical sense of the word, while they are only forming mathematical connections. But if already at an earlier period material things have been described as constituting the true in the sphere of the visible, and called also types of the ideas, still mathematical processes, as belonging to the province of the intelligible, have justly the precedence of them, and thus the four gradations that follow obtain among the objects of intellectual activity: corporeal vision has for its object the types; belief, real things; abstract intuition, mathematical subjects; and real knowledge, ideas. To this gradation, then, the whole series of studies of those intended for the government is to correspond; and that we may the better survey this, and learn to estimate the reciprocation between studies and practice, Socrates suddenly transports us out of the midst of these investigations into that cave, in which the tenor of life and condition of those who, because it is impossible for them to turn themselves with their eyes to the spiritual sun, take external appearance, and the types, that is, visible objects, for reality and being, is represented in such vivid colours, that one scarcely sees, even though the illuminated were to give up their own happiness which they enjoy above, and to bestow it there, why it should be even worth while to lead such a destitute life, in which there is nothing to improve and nothing to lose; so that he is indeed no common patriot who, as is here demanded, applies to this point also that magnanimous sentiment, that it is not an object that any one part of the whole should be prosperous above the rest”. But if, notwithstanding all guidance, the great mass of the people ever continues what it was before—and Plato does not appear to conceive the existence of society upon any other principle, or to have an idea of a progressive improvement comprehending the people—then even the most magnanimous selfdevotion can only receive any compensation in so far as it is by this means alone possible, in the case of every rising generation, to discover the more honourable natures, and bring them to a better lot. And if to this we add the further consideration that the population in Plato's state, to which we are now again introduced, is not even to multiply itself, and that the relation between the producers and the consumers must appear to him confined within very narrow limits, we may say that the problem of the Platonic state, and consequently of collective human activity considered in the gross, is no other than to preserve human nature without deterioration in its once given relations. So that our philosopher appears in the character of the strictest and most consistent champion of stability. In what manner, then, the small selection of more noble natures is to be tried, and by degrees practised in and accustomed to their better lot, is immediately developed by Plato by an elegant reference of this image of the cave to the original one of the sun, in which it is at once selfevident that the capability of gazing at the sun itself can only be acquired by manifold preparatory exercises. As then the common corporeal and mental exercises of the children were unavoidably much conversant with typical images, by reason of the mythical matter involved in them, and the world of real material things, and consequently of faith, is the scene of the whole development of infantine life, so also the preparatory exercises of the grown-up boys of distinguished powers are conversant exclusively with the world of intuition, subjective thought, which is constituted by the mathematical sciences in their natural order. Yet even here Plato draws a distinction between two different processes, separated by a couple of strictly gymnastic years. The first is the delivery of those sciences, according to his notions improperly so called, each for itself, though always—setting aside all merely experimental proceeding, and all practical reference to material things— exclusively bearing upon number in the abstract, figure in the abstract, and in like manner motions and relations in the abstract. The next is the setting up of these sciences in their connection with, and their relation to, the nature of absolute existence; and those only who can follow up to this point, and join in the contemplation of this, are recognised as dialectic and consequently regal natures. But it is not until a late period, and after they have been compelled to divide

* VI. c. 5.

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