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Daniel Tarr

 

Plato's enlightenment

The concept of phronesis

2001.

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"There does not exist, nor will there ever exist, any treatise of mine dealing therewith. For it does not at all admit of verbal expression like other studies, but, as a result of continued application to the subject itself and communion therewith, it is brought to birth in the soul on a sudden [1], as light that is kindled [341d] by a leaping spark, and thereafter it nourishes itself."

[7th Letter 341c-d]

"[…] Keeping in mind that both I the speaker, and you, the judges, are only human. So we should accept the likely tale on these matters. It behooves us not to look for anything beyond this."

[Timaeus 29d]

Introduction

"The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition  is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato"
[A. N. Whitehead, Process and Reality, 1929]

Plato

 

The role of Plato in western thought is unparallel and outstanding. Although Whitehead's remark may be a little radical, nevertheless it may make us wonder, whether the so-called "European" Augustinian idealism preceding the scholastic thought of the middle ages, and the following thinkers of the Enlightenment – while abolishing Thomism – are not merely reformulating all those concepts that Plato laid down in his 26 dialogues. In the sense of the scholastic universalistic categorization, the extreme realism of Plato is still part of the major problems of western philosophy up to present days. Of course I do not mean that all works of later philosophers of the west would be merely footnotes to Plato's work, but that the problems proposed by Plato reach to the heart of all human problems and thus philosophers can only add to the discussion and not take away anything…

Why is it, that Platonic idealism – or extreme realism in the sense of scholastic terminology – still presents a problem to the human mind? Is it merely because Plato dealt with the problems and solutions of human weaknesses and imperfections or because he revealed secrets about the most inner nature of the human self, that ordinary man – the crowd – is unable to comprehend? To this question Plato himself gives the answer in many dialogues; the discernment that he reached is the most inner character of human nature, which is by no sense to be experienced or glimpsed at by people of the ordinary.

"And now they are at the spot and behold the flashing beauty of the beloved; which when the charioteer sees, his memory is carried to the true beauty, whom he beholds in company with Modesty like an image placed upon a holy pedestal. He sees her, but he is afraid and falls backwards in adoration, and by his fall is compelled to pull back the reins with such violence as to bring both the steeds on their haunches […]"

[Plato – Phaedrus 254b-c]

This realization has a major role in the process of self-recognition, like when people living in darkness first glimpse at the sunlight (Republic VI. [508.]).  Like the rays of the sun illuminating the visible things, so does realization illuminate the most inner secrets of the human nature. This is the process Plato calls phronesis (fronhsiV [phrónêsis]), which we shall explore as the topic of this paper, thus getting acquainted with the nature and order of things.

But before we shall begin exploring the Platonic view of the world, I wish to make clear, that I am aware of the difficulties of the minor inconsistencies of the Platonic opera as to the chronology and shift of concepts, thus not ultimately presenting a coherent whole. On the other hand I do not wish to deal with the conceptual history of the Platonic theory of forms in respect to all the major shifts in Plato's thinking. Therefore I shall limit my presentation to the dialogues of the so-called middle period: namely the Phaedo, the Symposium, the Republic II.-X. and the Phaedrus.

There are three important issues that need to be accessed in connection to the concept of phronesis. The soul-body problem; the theory of forms; and Platonic cosmology. So in the first part I will shortly pinpoint the origins and major innovations of Platonic duality; in the second part I will investigate the Theory of Forms; and in the third part I will shortly outline the Platonic cosmology in connection to the attributes of the higher world(s) – how Plato observed it’s ontology and how he thought of it’s possible epistemology.

In addition I shall use quotations from Plato's 7th Letter, Homer's Odyssey and the Orphic fragments. Furthermore, I naturally cannot list all the arguments and deductions that lead Plato to the ultimate realization, since that would transcend the limits of this paper. Thus I shall only introduce the most necessary and most "spectacular" arguments to show what is truly Platonic recognition.

Top

I. The Platonic Duality

Since it was deeply incorporated in European thought and Christian tradition, Platonic duality may seem evident for us – members of a European and Christian society – but it was far from evident or widely known for the contemporaries of Plato. The dualistic concept, with it’s Platonic alterations were highly innovative in it’s own time and must be well understood, because it forms the ground for the whole of Platonic cosmology; the structure of the world and men’s position therein.

The Platonic view of the world must have been considered radical in his own times. The rigid, traditionalist Greek authority still hung on to the Homeric cosmology: the anthropomorphic images of gods, the human life being a subject to the caprice of the gods, which is no more than a passing shadow. On the other hand – parallel to this view – there existed a much more "advanced", human centered and progressive philosophical notion of the world, which is usually linked to the 'priests' and followers of the Orphic mysteries. Most progressive thinkers of the time sympathized with these teachings and Plato was surely to know these teachings, since he makes allusions to orphic teachings in Phaedo [62b]. We might not be too far from the truth if we propose that much of Plato's teaching is based on Orphic teachings. [2]

There are many possible sections in the dialogues, where we can make the comparison, but the most obvious one is Phaedo, where Cebes is astonished to hear Socrates' account of the soul (yuch [psychê]) having an independent character of the body (soma [sóma]) – the immortal nature – and thus can live on after death:

"Socrates, he said, everything else you said is excellent, I think, but men find it very hard to believe what you said about the soul. They think that after it has left the body it no longer exists anywhere, but that it is destroyed and dissolved on the day the men dies, as soon as it leaves the body; and that, on leaving it, it is dispersed like breath or smoke, has flown away and gone and is no longer anywhere. If indeed it gathered itself together and existed by itself and escaped those evils you were recently enumerating, there would be much good hope, Socrates, that what you say is true; but to believe this requires a good deal of faith and persuasive argument, to believe that the soul still exists after a man has died and that it still possesses some capability and intelligence."

[Plato – Phaedo 70a-b]

This section well indicates the contemporary view of human nature: although the soul's existence is widely accepted as something independent of the human body, it is still something material (ousia [ousia]), thus either destroyed in death, or wanders unconsciously in the gray realms of Hades. This view reflects that of Homer – whose works most scholars see as representations of the general Greek religious view – like of the above:

"Then I tried to find some way of embracing my mother's ghost. Thrice I sprang towards her and tried to clasp her in my arms, but each time she flitted from my embrace as it were a dream or phantom, […] but all people are like this when they are dead. The sinews no longer hold the flesh and bones together; these perish in the fierceness of consuming fire as soon as life has left the body, and the soul flits away as though it were a dream. "

[Homer – Odyssey XI.204.]

The orphic tradition on the contrary treats the human soul as a divine principle. Orpheus claims that human nature is dualistic: the body (soma [sóma]) is inferior to the soul (yuch [psychê]) – moreover the body is the prison of the soul, while the soul bears divine attributes. Thus "dualistic human nature" is originally an orphic principle:

"After that Dionysos took the place of Zeus, but was destroyed by the Titans by the command of evil Hera, and surrounded him and ate from his flesh. Then Zeus got angry and struck them down with his mighty bolt of lightning. The smoke of their bodies produced the matter out of which humans were formed. Thus we must not throw our lives away, not because – as the saying goes – we are in prison of the body – that is obvious, and would not be considered conforming. But we must not throw our lives away because our body contains something of Dionysos too; we are a part of him, since we are of the ashes of the titans eating his flesh." [3]

[Orphic Fragment 220]

Soul bird

Plato refers to this teaching in Meno [81b], formulating it in his own words:

"The speakers were among the priests and priestesses whose care it is to be able to give account of their practices. […] What they say is this; see whether you think they speak the truth: They say that the human soul is immortal; at times is comes to an end, which they call dying, at times it is reborn, but it is never destroyed, and one must therefore live one's life as piously as possible For from whomsoever Persephone shall accept requital for ancient wrong [4], the souls of these she restores in the ninth year to the upper sun again […]."

[Plato – Meno 81b]

We should therefore conclude, that Plato was teaching a dualistic view in the orphic sense: the human person consists of a body and a soul, out of which the soul is superior existent, thus human life should primarily deal with the soul. Those, who have realized this truth obviously cannot do otherwise:

"Do you not think, he said, that in general such a man's concern is not with the body but that, as far as he can, he turns away from the body towards the soul?"

[Plato – Phaedo 64e]

Let me spare a few more words on why 'must' one give his life to the dealings with the soul. Most contemporary thinkers agreed that death was equal to the separation of the body and the soul (See: Phaedo [64c]). But as we have shown before, the common view was that the soul lingers in Hades' realms forever, whereas in the orphic teachings – which Plato incorporated in his own philosophy – if the men led a strong and virtuous life, the soul could reach the "Islands of the Blessed", the World of Heroes. [5] The following fragments illustrate this point:

"You will find a spring on the left of the halls of Hades, / and beside it a white cypress growing. / Do not even go near this spring. / And you will find another, from the Lake of Memory, / flowing forth with cold water. In front of it are guards. / You must say, 'I am the child of Earth and of starry Heaven; But my race is of Heaven (alone). This you yourselves also know. / But I am dry with thirst and am perishing. Come, give me at once / cold water flowing forth from the Lake of Memory.' / And they themselves will give you to drink from the divine spring, / and then thereafter you shall reign with the other heroes." [6]

[Orphic Fragment (32a), {Plate from Petelia, South Italy} 3rd-4th Century B.C.]

"Happy you are, and lucky, from Man you will God become."

[Orphic Fragment (32c)]

Thus it is clear, that the main reason for dealings with the soul is to achieve this state of divinity – to turn oneself into God. This is far by not an easy task and is only an option for “the few” [7]:

"It is likely that those who established the mystic rites for us were not inferior persons but were speaking in riddles long ago when they said that whoever arrives in the underworld uninitiated and unsanctified will wallow in the mire, whereas who arrives there purified and initiated will dwell with the gods. […] These latter are, in my opinion, no other than those who have practiced philosophy in the right way." [8]
[Phaedo 69c-d]

We could continue to point out connections of the Platonic corpus and orphic fragments, but this is not our goal here. The last section I would like to pinpoint is in Phaedrus [249a], where Socrates talks about the ones who do not reach the heavenly adobe. Such souls are deemed to an eternal circulation in the lower parts of the physical world (fusiV [physis]), and their soul constantly returns to the earth, thus they are kept away from their original place of the divine world. This cycle of rebirth is what Plato calls metapychosiV [metapsychosis], a kind of “reincarnation”.

II. The Theory of Forms and the World of Ideas

Perhaps the most characteristic point of the whole Platonic philosophy is the Theory of Forms – no matter which subject one tries to investigate, one always ends up at it. The theory is elaborated in the so-called “middle dialogues” (the Phaedo, the Symposium, the Republic II.-X. and the Phaedrus) most explicitly in Book VII. of the Republic. We can most easily grasp the essence of the theory, by the Allegory of the Cave, which compares the Human World to the World of Ideas (Republic [514a-521b]). Here Plato explains that the general run of humankind can think, and speak, etc., without any awareness of the World of Ideas – the “Realm of Forms”:

Plato's Cave

 

In the allegory, Plato likens people untutored in the Theory of Forms to prisoners chained in a cave, unable to turn their heads. All they can see is the wall of the cave.  Behind them burns a fire.  Between the fire and the prisoners there is a parapet, along which puppeteers can walk. The puppeteers, who are behind the prisoners, hold up puppets that cast shadows on the wall of the cave.  The prisoners are unable to see these puppets – the real objects – that pass behind them. What the prisoners see and hear, are shadows and echoes cast by objects that they do not see. Such would mistake appearance for reality. They think the things they see on the wall (the shadows) are real; and they know nothing of the real causes of the shadows.

Given this allegory, we might think that if only the prisoners were released from their chains by some external agency, they would cease to mistake shadows for realities and would be automatically disabused of their former errors. The allegory points out that no such simple deliverance from illusions is possible. At first, when any of the prisoners is liberated and compelled suddenly to stand up and turn his neck round and walk and look towards the light, he will suffer sharp pains.

Further, the glare will disturb him and he will be unable to see the realities he formerly identified with their mere shadows. If he is now told that what he saw before was an illusion and that now he is approaching real existence and has a clearer vision, he will be perplexed. He will continue to fancy that the shadows he saw for so long were truer than the objects which are now shown to him. If he is compelled to look straight at the light, the pain in his eyes will induce him to turn away to take refuge in the objects of vision that have acquired a false but greater reality than the things which are now being shown to him. If he is dragged up a steep ascent and forced into the presence of the sun, his eyes will be dazzled and he will not be able to see anything at all.

The liberated prisoner will obviously require to grow accustomed to the sight of the upper world. He will first see the shadows best, then the reflections of men and objects in the water, and then the objects themselves; and then he will gaze upon the light of the moon and the stars by night. At last he will be able to see the sun. He will come to see that the sun is the guardian of all that is in the visible world and in a certain sense the cause of all that he and his fellows had been accustomed to behold. He would remember his old habitation and the delusions of his fellow prisoners, pity them and felicitate himself on the change in himself and in his position. He would no longer care for the honours conferred upon one another by the ignorant prisoners on the basis of who were the quickest to observe the passing shadows.

The first test that the liberated prisoner has to face is to get accustomed to his new condition and to forsake his long-cherished illusions. The second test is to see the unity of all things. The third is to show compassion towards his fellow prisoners and not merely revel in his own happiness. The fourth is to detach himself completely from the false valuations and hierarchical distinctions made by the men in the den. His fifth and much more difficult test comes if he is then made to re-enter the cave of darkness, for he would appear ridiculous to the prisoners who still cling to their former illusions centered on the shadows. They would say that he had become blind to realities since leaving the cave, that it is better not even to think of ascending, that they would be entitled to put to death anyone who tried to free another and lead him up to the light. [9]

The allegory explains that the prison-house is the world of sight, the light of the fire is the sun, and the journey upwards is the ascent of the soul into the intellectual world. In the world of knowledge the archetypal idea of Good appears last of all and is seen only with an effort. It is only then inferred to be the universal author of all things beautiful and right, the lord of light in this visible world and the immediate source of reason and truth in the intellectual world, the power upon which the eye must be fixed in private and public life in order to act rationally. It is not surprising, we are told, that those who attain to this beatific vision are unwilling to descend to human affairs; for their souls are ever hastening into the upper world where they desire to dwell. Those who do descend from divine contemplations to the underground den will not find it easy to deal with those who have never yet seen Absolute Good or Justice.

The bewilderment of the eyes, the bodily eye as well as the mind's eye, are of two kinds and arise either from coming out of the light or from going into the light. The plight of the soul as soon as it comes from darkness into the light is to be pitied, and there is no reason to laugh at the condition of the soul which has come out of the brighter life and is unable to see because unaccustomed to the dark. It is wrong to think that we can put sight into blind eyes or knowledge into the soul, which was not there before. The power and capacity of learning exist in the soul already, and just as the eye was unable to turn from darkness to light without the whole body, so too it is only by the movement of the whole soul that the instrument of knowledge can be turned from the world of Becoming into that of Being, and can learn by degrees to endure the sight of the good and the true. Whereas the other so-called virtues of the soul can be implanted by habit and exercise, the virtue of wisdom or of spiritual sight contains a divine element, which is the identifying property or function of the soul. Sensual pleasures, like leaden weights, drag down the soul and turn its vision upon the things below, but if the soul is released from earthly impediments, the faculty of seeing the truth comes into full play.

Platonic World

Every detail of the allegory of the cave has been mentioned here because everything in it is significant. The entire allegory could be interpreted in several ways – mystically, psychologically or even politically. It was Plato's great genius that he could give us a parable, archetypal in meaning and full of occult truth, that is rich in its symbolism and suggestive of several profitable interpretations. One further interpretation could be as follows: The cave is the world. The fetters are the imagination. The shadows of ourselves are the passive states, which we know by introspection. [10] The learned in the cave are those who possess empirical forms of knowledge (who know how to make predictions, the doctors who know how to cure people by using empirical methods, those who know what is going on, etc.). Their knowledge is nothing but a shadow. But each person has within himself the ability to think. If one does not understand, this is because one is held by the fetters. Whenever the soul is bound by the fetters of suffering, pleasure, etc. it is unable to contemplate through its own intelligence the unchanging patterns of things. (No doubt, there are mathematicians in the cave, but their attention is given to honors, rivalries, competition, etc. If anyone is not able to understand the unchanging patterns of things, that is not due to a lack of intelligence; it is due to a lack of moral stamina.)

Platonic Cosmos

 

 

The allegory gives a clear account of the physical (human) condition in the Platonic cosmology. For Plato, human beings live in a world of visible and intelligible things. The world of visible existents (orata [orata]) is what surrounds us: what we see, what we hear, what we experience; this visible world is a world of change and uncertainty. On the other hand, parallel to the sensible things (aisJheton [aistheton]) there exists a non-sensible realm – the intelligible world, – which constitutes the basis of the former. The world of intelligible existents (nohta [noêta]) is made up of the unchanging products of human reason (nouV [nous]): anything arising from reason alone, such as abstract definitions or mathematics, which is the world of reality. The intelligible world contains the eternal "Forms" (idea [idea]) of things, which are subject to reason only, thus are considered as intelligible things (nohton [noêton]). The visible world is the imperfect and changing manifestation in this world of these unchanging forms. [11] Human life relates to the reality of ideas (idea [idea]), like the shadows of the cave to real existents. In human conditions we only sense the shadows or reflections of real things.

This view is further elaborated in the Allegory of the Divided Line in Book VI. of the Republic [509d-511e], where existence is similarly divided into two realms: Plato imagines these two worlds, the sensible world (topoV aisthJoV [topos aistêthos]) and the intelligible world (topoV noetoV [topos noetos]), as existing on a line that can be divided in the middle: the lower part of the line consists of the visible world and the upper part of the line makes up the intelligible world. Each half of the line relates to a certain type of knowledge: of the visible world, we can only have "opinion" (doxa [dóxa]); of the intelligible world we achieve "knowledge" (episthmh [epistêmê]). Each of these divisions is to be further divided in two. The visible or changing world can be divided into two parts: a lower region made up of "images" (eikoneV [eikones]) – shadows, reflections, paintings, poetry, etc. – and which is (from an epistemological point of view) subject to "illusion" or "imagination" (eikasia [eikásia]); and an upper region referring to any kind of knowledge of things that change, such as individual things (zwa [zoa]), subject to "belief" (pistiV [pístis]).

"Belief" may be true some or most of the time but occasionally is wrong (since things in the visible world change); belief is practical and may serve as a relatively reliable guide to life but doesn't really involve thinking things out to the point of certainty. The upper region is also divided into two parts: on the lower end, objects of "reason" (dianoia [diánoia]), which is knowledge of things like mathematics (maqhmatika  [mathématika]) but which require that some postulates be accepted without question; and objects of "intelligence" (nohsiV [nóêsis]), which is the knowledge of the highest and most abstract categories of things – the Forms (idea [idea]) themselves. The ideas are understood as the ultimate principles (arch [archê]) of the world – the organizing and final constituents of all existents.

What is often left untreated by many scholars, that there is an extra level – a realm above the other two (topoV hyper uraniV [hyper uranis topos]): the realm of the Ultimate Good (agaqon [idea tou agathon / agathon kat’ auto]), which permeates both the sensible and intelligible worlds like the rays of the sun; and which is not subject to any kind of understanding, reason or intelligence, but only to a sudden "enlightenment" or "ultimate realization" (fronhsiV [phrónêsis]).

So, what is "being" for Plato? He gives a definition of it through the mouth of the Elean stranger in the Sophist, which is supposed to be provisionally used against the materialists, but is never challenged or replaced later, and is thus meant to hold. The stranger attributes "being" to "a thing really is if it has any capacity (dunamiV [dynamis]) at all, either by nature to do something to something else, or to have the smallest thing done to it by even the most trivial thing, even if it happens only once." (Sophist [247d-e]). The point is that, for Plato, being is the least meaningful predicate of all, because it is the one that has the greatest extension. It applies to everything. The problem for him is not that of "being" but that of "the good beyond being" (Republic VI. [509b]). The problem is not for "something" to have being, it is to figure out the relationship this "ultimate being" entertains with other "beings."

III. The Hyper Uranis Topos and The Realm of the Good

Having mapped the Platonic cosmology, let us turn towards the issue of what position does man – as a complex of body and soul – hold in this system. As the basis of the investigation, we could start by asking: since we can not directly observe the topoV noetoV, how is one capable of acquiring knowledge of the upper-part of the intelligible world – the ideas? As we have pointed out earlier, Forms (idea [idea]) constitute the basis of individual things (zwa [zoa]) through the process of participation (meJexiV [methexis]), thus we can reach them through sensible things (aisJheton [aistheton]), if we are able to transcend their particular form and grasp their intelligible form in general (morfh [morphê]). This process is most clearly described in the Symposium [210a ff], where Plato explains, how the love of beauty (eroV [eros]) can lead one from the observation of a particular to the observation of the Absolute Beauty, which he identifies with the category of Ultimate Good.

"For he who would proceed aright in this matter should begin in youth to visit beautiful forms; and first, if he be guided by his instructor aright, to love one such form only – out of that he should create fair thoughts; [210b] and soon he will of himself perceive that the beauty of one form is akin to the beauty of another; and then if beauty of form in general (morfh [morphê]) is his pursuit, how foolish would he be not to recognize that the beauty in every form is one and the same! And when he perceives this he will abate his violent love of the one, which he will despise and deem a small thing, and will become a lover of all beautiful forms; in the next stage he will consider that the beauty of the mind is more honourable than the beauty of the outward form. […] drawing towards and contemplating the vast sea of beauty, he will create many fair and noble thoughts and notions in boundless love of wisdom; until on that shore he grows and waxes strong, and at last the vision is revealed to him of a single science, which is the science of beauty everywhere. To this I will proceed; [210e] please to give me your very best attention: "He who has been instructed thus far in the things of love, and who has learned to see the beautiful in due order and succession, when he comes toward the end will suddenly perceive a nature of wondrous beauty (and this, Socrates, is the final cause of all our former toils) – a nature which in the first place is everlasting, [211a] not growing and decaying, or waxing and waning; secondly, not fair in one point of view and foul in another, or at one time or in one relation or at one place fair, at another time or in another relation or at another place foul, as if fair to some and foul to others, or in the likeness of a face or hands or any other part of the bodily frame, or in any form of speech or knowledge, or existing in any other being, as for example, in an animal, [211b] or in heaven, or in earth, or in any other place; but beauty absolute, separate, simple, and everlasting, which without diminution and without increase, or any change, is imparted to the ever-growing and perishing beauties of all other things."

[Symposium 210a-211b]

Platonic Realms

Thus having transcended the love of particular things (zwa [zoa]), the love of general forms (morfh [morphê]), and the love of intelligible things (nohton [noêton]), through the realization of the pure form (idea [idea]) of beauty, one is able to reach the comprehension of Absolute Beauty. Each human being has the possibility to experience the absolute divine nature of the world personally. But since one is bound to the sensible world (topoV aisthJoV [topos aistêthos]) by the illusions of life, first one has to go through a process of purification – as Plato points out in Phaedo [69c]. This purification is what Plato calls katarziV [katarzis], through which the soul (yuch [psychê]) cleaned of the false imaginings (doxa [dóxa]) and return to its place of origin. For what is the original place of the soul – to which world does it belong? To quote Plato: "So the soul is more like the invisible than the body, and the body more like the visible." (Phaedo [79c]). Being of an invisible kind, it is clear, that the soul belongs to the World of Ideas (topoV noetoV [topos noetos]) – the realm of the divine Forms. That is why Plato claims – accordingly to the Orphic mysteries – that there is a possibility of return.

Having made this point, the following question might come to one’s mind: if the soul by its own nature belongs to the intelligible world (topoV noetoV [topos noetos]), how did it end up in the physical world (topoV aisthJoV [topos aistêthos])? Plato gives the answer in Phaedrus, where he talks about the pre-existence of the soul. One peculiarity might strike us when reading this passage: while Plato usually uses “Socratic dialogue” for persuasion, here he deliberately uses a mythic language to describe he knowledge of the subject matter. This is most likely because, this kind of knowledge, which is gained through ultimate realization (fronhsiV [phrónêsis]), is not subject to rational thinking (nouV [nous]) or reason (dianoia [diánoia]) – not a "knowledge" proper (episthmh [epistêmê]) – therefore cannot be expressed by means of rational language. As Plato formulates in the 7th Letter [341b-e]:

"But thus much I can certainly declare [341c] concerning all these writers, or prospective writers, who claim to know the subjects which I seriously study, whether as hearers of mine or of other teachers, or from their own discoveries; it is impossible, in my judgement at least, that these men should understand anything about this subject. There does not exist, nor will there ever exist, any treatise of mine dealing therewith. For it does not at all admit of verbal expression like other studies, but, as a result of continued application to the subject itself and communion therewith, it is brought to birth in the soul on a sudden, [12] as light that is kindled [341d] by a leaping spark, and thereafter it nourishes itself. […] And if I had that these subjects ought to be fully stated in writing or in speech to the public, [13] what nobler action could I have performed in my life than that of writing what is of great benefit to mankind and [341e] bringing forth to the light for all men the nature of reality? "

Thus the images in Phaedrus are gained through such ultimate realization, which cannot be expressed in everyday language. Accordingly before its descent to the physical world (fusiV [physis]) the soul existed in a realm transcending both the sensible world (topoV aisthJoV [topos aistêthos]) and the intelligible world (topoV noetoV [topos noetos]), and lingered in a world of divinity among the gods – the World beyond the Uranis (topoV hyper uraniV [hyper uranis topos]). In this realm of the Ultimate Good (agaqon [idea tou agathon / agathon kat’ auto]) the soul existed in its perfect form – its three parts worked in harmony. [14]

"The soul in her totality has the care of inanimate being everywhere, and traverses the whole heaven in divers forms appearing; – when perfect and fully winged she soars upward, and orders the whole world; whereas the imperfect soul, losing her wings and drooping in her flight at last settles on the solid ground […]"

[Plato – Phaedrus 256b-c]

The fall (penJoV [penthos]) is due to the transgression of the soul, whereas the parts of the soul become corrupted and disharmonious; and as they thrive for the roof of the sky the chariot of the soul becomes heavy and falls to the Earth. In order for the soul not to fall deeper, the soul takes on the body. (Phaedrus 246b ff) Soon they forget their divine origin, and turning towards the passing beauty of particular things, they loose sight of the divine Absolute Beauty. That is how the soul gets imprisoned in the body and becomes detached from divine reality.

Platonic Realms

In order to return to the Realm of the Good, one must take on oneself the process of purification (katarziV [katarzis]) (Phaedo [81b-84b]). [15] Although it is possible to reach a state of pureness, where it is possible to observe the final nature of things, this state is not permanent – final purification is only possible in death [16] . After death is when the realization of ultimate reality becomes permanent for the purified soul – it becomes part of the Ultimate Good, and thus avoids the tortures of imperfect shadows lingering in the gray fields of Hades caught up in the endless cycle of reincarnation (metapychosiV [metapsychosis]) [17] .

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Platonic Glossary [18]

aisqhsiV [aisthêsis]

Term for “sense perception”, the epistemic significance of which was vigorously debated. Plato took perception to be unreliable as a source of knowledge episthmh [epistêmê], since it deals only with temporal objects. For Aristotle, on the other hand, aisqhsiV is a basic activity of living organisms, through which they acquire information about material things. The Eleatics argued that mere sensation is inferior to nohsiV [nóêsis], while Empedocles and the Atomists regarded it as a vital connection with the natural world.

agaqon [agathon]

Plato’s term for “Ultimate Good” (agaqon [idea tou agathon / agathon kat’ auto]). This is the realm above the other two (topoV hyper uraniV [hyper uranis topos]); which permeates both the sensible world (topoV aisthJoV [topos aistêthos]) and the intelligible world (topoV noetoV [topos noetos]) like the rays of the sun; and which is not subject to any kind of understanding, reason or intelligence, but only to a sudden "enlightenment" or "ultimate realization" (fronhsiV [phrónêsis]).

alhqeia [alêtheia]

Word for “truth”, which in the philosophy of Plato generally marks the distinction between mere opinion (doxa [dóxa]) and genuine knowledge (episthmh [epistêmê]). According to Aristotle, truth appears in our propositional judgments, whose logical structure mirrors the nature of things.

anamnhsiV [anámnêsis]

Term for “recollection” as a source of human knowledge. Socrates himself may have argued that recollection establishes mathematical truths independently of sensory experience (aisqhsiV [aisthêsis]). In the mature philosophy of Plato, however, our ability to recollect the immutable form (eidos [eidos]) is taken to provide direct evidence of the pre-existence of the human soul (yuch [psychê]).

andreia [andreia]

Term for “bravery” or “courage” (from andreios [andreios] – "manly" or "stubborn.") According to Plato, this is the virtue properly exemplified by soldiers in the ideal state.

apeirwn [apeirôn]

Anaximander's word for the boundless extent of the universe as undifferentiated matter. Although Plato made only scant reference to this notion of what is unlimited, the neoplatonic philosophy of Plotinus elevated it as the material principle of all change.

aporia [aporia]

Term for a difficulty or “puzzle” (literally, "with no pathway"), like Plato’s Parmenides dialogue. Aristotle commonly used this term to signify a group of individually plausible but collectively inconsistent statements.

arch [archê]

Term for “beginning” or “ultimate principle”. The Milesian philosophers looked for a single material stuff of which the entire universe is composed, while Empedocles identified no fewer than four elements whose mixture makes up ordinary things. For both Plato and Aristotle, however, the arch most worth seeking would be an originating power from which the material order flows and upon which theoretical knowledge of its nature might be grounded logically. Plato sees Forms (idea [idea]) as arch.

areth [aretê]

Word for unique excellence or “skill” of any sort; hence, especially, moral virtue. Socrates supposed that areth can be identified with knowledge of the good, but Plato distinguished four distinct virtues as crucial components of the perfect state or person. Aristotle maintained that moral areth is invariably found as the mean between vicious extremes.

D

dianoia [diánoia]

Greek term used by Plato to signify “understanding” or ‘intellectual activity as a discursive process’, in contrast with the immediate apprehension characteristic of nohsiV [nóêsis]. In the taxonomy of Aristotle, dianoia includes both the theoretical episthmh [epistêmê] and the more practical tecnh [technê].

dikh [díkê]

Term for “legal compensation” or “justice”; the corresponding human virtue of being just is dikaiwsunh [dikaiôsunê]. According to Plato, justice in this sense is best exemplified by harmonious relations in the ideal state. Aristotle, on the other hand, focussed primarily upon the equitable distribution of goods in a properly-run city.

doxa [dóxa]

Term for “opinion”, “belief”, or “judgment”, as opposed to systematic knowledge (episthmh [epistêmê]). According to Plato, this limited awareness of the sensible world encompasses the lower portion of the divided line. In Aristotle's works on logic, the same.

dunamiV [dynamis]

Greek term for “power” or “force” used by presocratic philosophers in reference to the qualities or features of material elements. Aristotle later used the term to signify potentiality, or the capacity for undergoing change. The neoplatonic tradition, on the other hand, developed a conception of personified causal agents.

E

eidos [eidos]

Term for what is seen – “figure”, “shape”, or “form”. In the philosophy of Plato, the eidos is the immutable genuine nature of a thing, one of the eternal, transcendent Forms (idea [idea]) apprehended by human reason (nouV [nous]). Aristotle rejected the notion of independently existing Forms and understood them instead as abstract universals. By extension, Husserl used the term "eidetic" for the phenomenological apprehension of essences generally.

eikasia [eikásia]

General term for "illusion" or "imagination" as a subjective state, used by Plato, to signify human “imagination”, which is focussed exclusively on a temporal appearance or image (eikwn [eikon]). According to Plato, this occupies a lower part of the lower portion of the divided line – the “visible world” orata [orata], made up of "images" (eikoneV [eikones]) – shadows, reflections, paintings, poetry, etc. – and which is (from an epistemological point of view) subject to (eikasia [eikásia]).

energeia [energeia]

Term for the “operation” or “activity” of anything. More technically, in the philosophy of Aristotle, energeia is the actuality characteristic of every individual substance toward some end (teloV [télos]), in contrast with its “potentiality” (dunamiV [dynamis]) or capacity to change, which for Plato, signifies the proof of being.

episthmh [epistêmê]

Term for an “organized body of theoretical knowledge”. According to Plato, this encompasses the upper portion of the divided line – the “intelligible world” (nohta [noêta]), which is made up of the unchanging products of human reason (nouV [nous]). In the philosophy of Aristotle, episthmh is a body of demonstrable truths about the essences of things.

eroV [eros]

Term for the personification of “love”; hence, sexual desire or love generally. For Plato it is the primary driving force that turns the soul in the direction of eternal forms (idea [idea]). Plato's Symposium also offers a set of speeches on the nature of love in human life. Also compare tofilia [philia] and agaph [agapê] as other kinds of “love”.

eqos [ethos]

Term for “custom” or “habit”, the characteristic conduct of an individual human life. For Plato it is often contrasted with “virtue” areth [aretê]. Beginning with Aristotle, ethics is the study of human conduct, and the Stoics held that all behavior – for good or evil – arises from the eqos of the individual.

G

gnwsiV [gnôsis] 

The most general Greek term for “knowledge”. Thus, Aristotle took it to include both accurate understanding (episthmh [epistêmê]) and sensory experience (aisqhsiV [aesthesis]) of the natural world. From the second century CE onward, the Gnostics used the term to signify the theological secrets they supposed crucial for genuine Christianity.

H

'ulh [hylê]

Term for “wood” or forest; hence, in the philosophy of Aristotle, the term is used for matter considered more generally. Among the four causes, ‘ulh is the material cause that underlies any sort of substantial change.

I

 idea [idea]

Term for the eternal "Forms" of things, which for Plato are subject to reason (nouV [nous]) only, thus are considered as intelligible things (nohton [noêton]).

K

katarziV [katarzis]

Plato’s term for “purification” paralleled with the Pythagorean idea of omoiwsiV tv Jew [omoioesis to theo] – "to become like god" as the objective of life. In order to return to the Realm of the Good (topoV hyper uraniV [hyper uranis topos]), one must take on oneself the process of purification. Although it is possible to reach a state of pureness, where it is possible to observe the final nature of things, this state is not permanent – final purification is only possible in death.

kinhsiV [kinêsis]

Term for “motion” or “change”, a subject of great controversy among Greek philosophers. The Milesians took the facts of change and motion for granted until the Eleatics argued that motion of any kind is impossible; the atomists nevertheless supposed that change is a natural feature of all things. Aristotle argued that every change must be produced by some cause and regarded kinhsiV as the actualization of some potentiality (dunamiV [dynamis]) in the individual substance.

L

logos / muqos [logos / mythos]

Plato's distinction between two ways of explaining what happens: either by providing an explicit rational account (logos), which combines with belief to form accurate knowledge (episthmh [epistêmê]) of the essence of things; or merely by telling a story with figurative significance (muqos). The Stoics elevated logos into an active principle that generates the specific "seminal reasons" (logoi spermatikoi [logoi spermatikoi]) from which individual things flow. Philo Judaeus fully personified this notion as the divine agent responsible for creation of the world.

M

meJexiV [methexis]

Plato’s term for “participation”. Forms (idea [idea]) constitute the basis of individual things (zwa [zoa]) through the process of participation, thus we can reach them through sensible things (aisJheton [aistheton]), if we are able to transcend their particular form and grasp their intelligible form in general (morfh [morphê]).

mimhsiV [mimêsis]

Term for “imitation” or “representation”. Hence, for Plato, mimhsiV is one of the ways in which sensible particulars copy the eternal forms; thus he criticized the arts as doubly removed from ultimate reality. Although Aristotle rejected the theory of forms, he agreed with Plato that aesthetic experience is fundamentally mimetic.

morfh [morphê]

Word for the "shape" or "figure" of a thing. Plato uses to refer to the “general form” of an individual thing. For Aristotle, it is the fundamental cause which, in conjunction with ‘ulh [hylê], constitutes a natural object as a hylomorphic composite.

muqos [mythos]

Term for a “speech”, tale, or story, as opposed to a rational explanation. See logos / muqos [logos/mythos]. Although Plato typically derided myth as inferior to analysis, he uses muqos to express truths gained by ultimate realization (fronhsiV [phrónêsis]). Philo Judaeus incorporated it as allegorical interpretation in order to synthesize theology and philosophy.

N

nohsiV [nóêsis]

Word for “intuition” or “thinking”; the operation of nouV [nous] without benefit of the discursive reasoning that characterizes dianoia [diánoia]. According to Plato, such awareness represents the highest portion of human knowledge. From this foundation, Plotinus developed a detailed theory about the operation of the human soul in relation to the world. Husserl later appropriated this Greek term in order to emphasize the characteristic intentionality of mental acts.

nohta [noêta]

Plato’s term for the “intelligible world” is made up of the unchanging products of human reason (nouV [nous]): anything arising from reason alone, such as abstract definitions or mathematics, which is the world of reality. The intelligible world contains the eternal "Forms" (idea [idea]) of things, which are subject to reason only, thus are considered as intelligible things (nohton [noêton]). It is contrasted to the “visible world” (orata [orata]).

nohton [noêton]

Term for “intelligible things” which for Plato are thus are considered as subject to reason (nouV [nous]) only, like mathematical notions and the eternal "Forms" (idea [idea]) of things.

nouV [nous]

Term for “mind”, “reason”, or “intellect”. In the philosophy of Anaxagoras, nouV is an organizing principle for the universe as a whole. Plato distinguished this cosmic sense from the more ordinary operation of the human soul in achieving higher knowledge. Aristotle typically regarded nouV as the distinctive faculty involved in the acquisition of general knowledge. As always, Plotinus elevated this into a quasi-divine principle.

O

orata [orata]

Plato’s term for the “visible world”, which is the imperfect and changing manifestation in this world of the unchanging forms (idea [idea]). It is what surrounds us: what we see, what we hear, what we experience; this visible world is a world of change and uncertainty. This is the realm of the sensible things (aisJheton [aistheton]). It is contrasted to a non-sensible realm, – the intelligible world (nohta [noêta]), – which constitutes the basis of the former.

ousia [ousia]

Term for “being” or “substance”. Plato uses it to refer to the essence of a particular thing. In the philosophy of Aristotle, it is the most crucial of the categories by means of which to describe a natural object.

P

penJoV [penthos]

Plato’s term for the “fall” of the soul (yuch [psychê]), which is due to transgression, whereas the parts of the soul become corrupted and disharmonious; and as they thrive for the roof of the sky the chariot of the soul becomes heavy and falls to the Earth. In order for the soul not to fall deeper, the soul takes on the body (soma [sóma]). Soon it forgets its divine origin, and turning towards the passing beauty of particular things, it looses sight of the divine Absolute Beauty (agaqon [agathon]). That is how the soul gets imprisoned in the body and becomes detached from divine reality.

filia [philia]

Greek term for “friendship” or “amiability”. In the philosophy of Empedocles, the constructive principle counter-acting the destructive influence of neikos [neikos]. For Plato it is the secondary driving force that guides the soul to the “love of mathematics” – the observation of intelligible things (nohton [noêton]), thus to discursive reasoning that characterizes dianoia [diánoia].  Aristotle regarded friendship as a crucial component of the good life.  Also compare eroV [eros] and agaph [agapê] as other kinds of “love”.

fronhsiV [phrónêsis]

Term for “ultimate realization” or “enlightenment” in Plato’s context, also understood as "practical wisdom" or "prudence", the application of good judgment to human conduct, in contrast with the more theoretical inquiry leading to sofia [sophía], or wisdom generally. This is the only source of absolute knowledge gained by the observation of the Ultimate Good (agaqon [idea tou agathon / agathon kat’ auto]).

fusiV [physis]

Term for “nature”, also opposed to "art" (tecnh [technê]). Plato uses it in relation to the visible world (orata [orata]). The visible world is the imperfect and changing manifestation in this world of these unchanging forms. For Aristotle, it is the governing principle of all movement among inanimate things.

pistiV [pístis]

General term for "belief" or "faith" as a subjective state. According to Plato, this occupies a higher part of the lower portion of the divided line – the “visible world” orata [orata], referring to any kind of knowledge of things that change, such as individual things (zwa [zoa]). "Belief" may be true some or most of the time but occasionally is wrong (since things in the visible world change); belief is practical and may serve as a relatively reliable guide to life but doesn't really involve thinking things out to the point of certainty. Compare to "imagination" (eikasia [eikásia]).

poihsiV [poiêsis]

General term for “creation” or “production” that is aimed at some end (teloV [télos]), unlike mere action (praxiV [praxis]) or doing. Excellence in poihsiV is achieved by skill tecnh [technê].

praxiV [praxis]

General term for “action” or “doing”, as opposed to creative production (poihsiV [poiêsis]). According to Aristotle, actions are subject to moral valuation if they result from deliberate choice.

yuch [psychê]

Term for “soul” as the essential principle of life and the locus of consciousness. Although used pre-philosophically simply in reference to the "breath of life," the term was associated by presocratic philosophers, including especially Anaxagoras, with an explanatory principle. Pythagorean thought proposed that the yuch be understood as the persistent element in the life of an individual. Plato expanded upon this view with a detailed account of the tripartate soul, with associated human virtues, and an argument for the immortality of its rational component. Aristotle restored a broader sense of the term, using it for the several functions characteristic of living things generally. NeoPlatonic thinkers made it the cosmic principle of all motion.

S

soma [sóma]

Term for “body”, as contrasted to the “soul” (yuch [psychê]). Body is inferior to the soul – moreover the body is the prison of the soul, while the soul bears divine attributes. These two make up the Platonic "dualistic human nature", which is originally an orphic principle.

sofia [sophía]

General term for “the intellectual virtue of wisdom”, in contrast with the more practical function of fronhsiV [phrónêsis]. According to Plato, this is the distinctive feature of rulers in the ideal state and the crowning achievement of the rational soul of an individual.

swfrosunh [sôphrosúnê]

Term for “moderation”; the capacity to exercise self-control over one's desire for pleasure. For Plato, this is the virtue best exemplified by the masses in the ideal state. According to Aristotle, however, swfrosunh is even more crucial, since every moral virtue is properly conceived as the mean between vicious extremes.

T

tecnh [technê]

Term for the “art”, “craft”, or “skill” involved in deliberately producing something (poihsiV [poiêsis]), by contrast with those things that merely derive from nature (fusiV [physis]) or chance (tuch [tychê]). Both Plato and Aristotle distinguished its productive and practical components from more theoretical concerns.

topoV [topos]

Term for “world”. Plato distinguishes the sensible world (topoV aisthJoV [topos aistêthos]) and the intelligible world (topoV noetoV [topos noetos]), but also refers to a third, which is often left untreated by many scholars, – a realm above the other two (topoV hyper uraniV [hyper uranis topos]). This is the realm of the Ultimate Good (agaqon [idea tou agathon / agathon kat’ auto]), which permeates both the sensible and intelligible worlds like the rays of the sun; and which is not subject to any kind of understanding, reason or intelligence, but only to a sudden "enlightenment" or "ultimate realization" (fronhsiV [phrónêsis]).

tuch [tychê]

General term for “fortune”, “luck”, or “chance”, as opposed to the necessity (anagkh [anankê]) of logical or causal connections. In moral life, especially, this significantly diminishes the tendency of virtue to produce happiness with any regularity or certainty.

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Bibliography:

Primary texts:

Plato – Complete Works [(ed. John M. Cooper) Hackett, Indianapolis, 1997.]
Plato – Plato in Twelve Volumes [Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1966.]

  • Phaedo (from Plato – Complete Works translated by G.M.A. Grube, 1997)
  • Phaedrus (from Exploring Plato's Dialogues translated by Benjamin Jowett, 1871)
  • The Symposium (from Exploring Plato's Dialogues translated by Benjamin Jowett, 1871)
  • The Republic (from Exploring Plato's Dialogues translated by Benjamin Jowett, 1871)
  • Letter VII. (from The Internet Classics Archive translated by J. Harward) or from Plato – Plato in Twelve Volumes (Vol. 7 translated by R.G. Bury.)
  • Odyssey (from The Internet Classics Archive translated by Samuel Butler)

In Hungarian:
Platón I.-III. [Európa Könyvkiadó, Budapest 1984.]

HesiodWorks and Days. [The Online Medieval and Classic Library, 1995.]

Secondary literature:

Cornford, Francis MacdonaldPlato's Cosmology [Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd, London 1963.]
Dodds, Eric R.The Greeks and the Irrational [University of California Press, 1990.]
Ferguson, JohnSocrates [The Open University Press, 1970.]
Lee, DesmondPlato: The Republic Introduction (pp. 11-61.) [Penguin Books, London, 1987.]
Ross, W. D.Plato’s Theory of Ideas [Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1951.]
Segal, ErichThe Dialogues of Plato Introduction [Bantam Books, 1986.]

In Hungarian:
Steiger Kornél (e.d.) – Platón: A Lakoma & Phaidrosz [Matura, Ikon, Budapest 1984.]
Tylor, A.E.Platón [Osiris Kiadó, Budapest 1997.] {translated by Gábor Betegh}

Comprehensive literature:

Copleston, FrederickThe History of Philosophy Volume I. “Greece and Rome” Part 3. Chapters 17-26 on Plato [Image Books, New York, 1962.]

Internet resources:

Beavers, Anthony F. (ed.) – Exploring Plato's Dialogues [© 1998 by the Internet Applications Laboratory at the University of Evansville] at {http://plato.evansville.edu/}
Cane, Gregory (ed.) – The Perseus Digital Library [© Tufts University] at {http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/}
Stevenson, Daniel C. (ed.) – The Internet Classics Archive [© 1994-2000, Daniel C. Stevenson, Web Atomics.] at {http://classics.mit.edu/}
Suzanne, BernardPlato and his Dialogues [© 1996, 1997 First published May 16, 1996 - Last updated November 21, 1998.] at {http://plato-dialogues.org/plato.htm}

Hallsal, Paul (ed.) – The Internet History Sourcebooks Project [IHSP] [© created 1/26/1996 : revised 7/29/2001] at {http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/}

Killings, B. DouglasThe Online Medieval and Classic Library [© 1995. All rights reserved.] at {http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/OMACL/}

Raghavan N. Iyer (ed.) – Theosophy Library Online at {http://theosophy.org/home.htm}

The Orphic Hymns [Translated and interpreted by Virginia Stewart, M.Ed.] at {http://www.sibyllinewicca.org/lib_writing/lib_oh_index.htm}

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Footnotes:

[1] Cf. Plato's Symposium [210e] for the “suddenness” of the mystic vision of the Idea.

[2] Dodds, Eric R.: The Greeks and the Irrational (p. 151.)

[3] My translation from Hungarian.

[4] penthos (“affliction”) in mystic language means something like “fall” or “sin.” These lines are probably from one of Pindar's Dirges (Bergk, fr. 133).

[5] About the award of the divine heroes and the Island of the Blessed see: HesiodWorks and Days. : “But to the others father Zeus the son of Cronos gave a living and an abode apart from men, and made them dwell at the ends of earth.  And they live untouched by sorrow in the islands of the blessed along the shore of deep swirling Ocean, happy heroes for whom the grain-giving earth bears honey-sweet fruit flourishing thrice a year, far from the deathless gods, and Cronos rules over them (5); for the father of men and gods released him from his bonds.  And these last equally have honour and glory.” [11. 159-169b]

[6] English translation by W. Y. C. Guthrie, in his Orpheus and Greek Religion [London, 1935]. (pp. 172-3)

[7] For philosophy as possible only for  “the few” cf. Plato's Republic [494a].

[8] Compare: Homeric Hymns, Hymn 2 to Demeter. [line 480]: This is the earliest allusion to the happiness of the initiated after death; also cf. Pind. fr. 137

[9] Summary from: Raghavan IyerThe Allegory of the Cave [in Hermes Magazine, February 1975.]

[10] Introspection is a psychological state incompatible with other states:  1. Thinking about things of the world precludes introspection. 2. Very strong emotion precludes introspection. 3. All actions which require attention preclude introspection. To sum up, thought, action and emotion exclude examination of oneself. Therefore introspection results in one's taking notice, for the most part, of what is passive in human thought. By the very fact that one keeps a watch on oneself, one changes: and the change is for the worse since we prevent that which is of greatest value in us from playing its part.” – Lectures on Philosophy by Simone Weil

[11] For example, the "Form" or "Idea" of a horse is intelligible, abstract, and applies to all horses; this Form never changes, even though horses vary wildly among themselves – the Form of a horse would never change even if every horse in the world were to vanish. An individual horse is a physical, changing object that can easily cease to be a horse; the Form of a horse, or "horseness," never changes. As a physical object, a horse only makes sense in that it can be referred to the "Form" or "Idea" of horseness.

[12] cf. Plato's Symposium [210e] for the “suddenness” of the mystic vision of the Idea.

[13] On the danger of writing such doctrines cf. Plato's 2nd Letter [2.314c ff].; and for philosophy as possible only for  “the few” cf. Plato's Republic [494a].

[14] For "proper conduct" cf. Meno [73b]; and for the threefold soul cf. Phaedrus [253c-257b] and Republic IV. [436a-441d]: One part of the soul relates to the body, to the material dimension of being, to the feelings and passions. Plato calls this the "desiring" part, the epithumiai. Another part relates to the mind, the immaterial realities, "forms" and the like, and he calls it the logos. In between is a third part, the one that has to make choices, to lean toward either one or the other of the first two parts, and that he calls the thumos, the "fighting" part, akin to the will. The longing part has temperance, the lumbering part has courage, and the ruling part has wisdom as virtue. Justice derives from the harmonious operation of these virtues.

[15] Compare with the Pythagorean idea of omoiwsiV tv Jew [omoioesis to theo] – "to become like god" as the objective of life.

[16] Acquisition of pure knowledge is possible only without the body cf. Phaedo [65a-67c]

[17] Cf. Phaedrus [249a ff] and Phaedo [107c ff]

[18] With the help of: F. E. PetersGreek Philosophical Terms: A Historical Lexicon [NYU, 1967.]

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