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American Philological Association

The Evidence for the Teaching of Socrates Author(s): Eric Alfred Havelock Source: Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association, Vol. 65 (1934), pp. 282-295 Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/283034 . Accessed: 08/10/2013 19:24
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of Socrates for the Teaching XVII.- The Evidence


ERIC ALFRED HAVELOCK
VICTORIA COLLEGE

abstract was a traditional methodofrendering Dramatizedconversation ideas, as examplesfromthe poets and historiansshow. Hence the "SocraticLogoi," whetherof Xenophon or Plato, owe their formto literary the historicSocrates. It is only reasons,and not to a desireto represent fashionwhichpreventsthe fact frombeing modernprejudiceand literary appreciated. If these logoi are eliminatedas primaryevidence,we are leftwith the Apologyand Clouds,whichare likelyto be historicalin a sense in which none of the othermaterialis. These two sourcesyield a simpleand consistentset of ideas whichcan safelybe labelled "Socratic."

the lifeand teachings The major materialforreconstructing of Socrates is supplied by the dialogues of Plato and some of of Xenopholn, by a play of Ar'stosupplemented the writings phanes and some remarksof Aristotle. But thereis today no agreedmethodby whichthis materialcan be appraised,and in the problemof who was the historicSocrates has consequenice The old orthodoxy been reduced to lhopeless conifusioni. relied mainly on Xenophon. The heterodoxyof the Burnetplus Plato's Taylor theory utilised the whole of the Clotuds early and middle dialogues. Average opinion now hovers uneasilybetweenthese two extreimes. Socrates is represented or a metaphysician, today as eithera scientist,or a imioralist, or a mystic,or as a combinationof some of these, according of his iinterpreter.The confusion to the personal preferences two recent works on the ('an be illustrated by comnparing subject,A. E. Taylor's Socratesand A. K. Rogers' The Socratic Socrates as a scientistand a Problem:the former represents the scienceand metaphysics latter regards the metaphysician; as Platonic, and representsSocrates only as a moralist and do not mystic. This is not to say that the two interpretations in emphasisis obvious. overlap. But theirdifference The reason forthis confusionis that there is at presentno

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accepted criterionby which the aVailable evidence can be evaluated. The orthodox preferencefor Xenophon did at least providesuch a criterion. No one today is probablyquite satisfiedwith it. But nothinghas taken its place. Every is left free to pick out of the available material interpreter and the porwhat he thinksis suitable to his own conception, traits of Socrates which result are not historybut subjective creations. a sound criterThe chiefobstacle in the way of establishing ion of evidence is the modernillusionthat because Plato and Xenophon chose to representSocrates as a central figurein dramatized conversations,they were inspiredby a desire to reconstruct the master'spersonality. Their methodofwriting philosophyis not the normal method today. We therefore assume that they had some ulterior motive in so writing, of theirown ideas. But this is beyond the merepresentation not so. The dialogue formwas chosenfortraditionalreasons. Acted drama, or dramatizedconversations, was the traditional Greek methodof discussingand analysingmoral ideas. This instinctto dramatize, and hence to subordinatethe can be traced fromHomer onwards, writer'sown personality, on rightand wrongand human destinyare whose reflections is in spoken throughhis characters. Even Hesiod's Theogony a dialogue between himselfand the Muses, the Muses effect supplyingall the doctrine. In the Worksand Days, it is true, he descends to personal exhortation, but a vestigeof the dramatic instinctpersists;he carrieson his conversation with his brother. Epicharmus, if our evidence is to be trusted,was among the earliest to undertake analytical discussion of abstract moral problems. His medium was the comic stage, and the audience that listened to these discussionsfilledthe theatreat Syracuse. It is hard to decide whether he was more of a dramatist or a philosopher. His successor Sophron of Syracuse may or may not have been a moral philosopher, but he was at least responsiblefor one thing: he developed the dialogue formforpurposesof reading,as distinctfromacting,

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writers forthe use ofphilosophic an instrument thus perfecting century. It is no accidentthat Plato is reported of the fourth to have been veryfondof Epicharmus'plays,sincehe adopted his Socratic the techniqueof the Sicilian mimein constructing conversations.' the destinyand beIt was always moral ideas, concerning haviourofman,whichfoundtheirmostappropriateexpression in such dramatization. This, I would suggest,is one of the main reasons for the preeminenceof dialectic in Greek philosophy,not least in the pages of Plato, who convertsit from techniqueinto a philosophicalmethod. If the a mereliterary stage was the earliest vehicle of what could be called moral discussion,it would be natural to develop such discussionby opinions,whoserepartee depictingcharacterswithantithetical and incidentallydevelop a an might audience, would amuse point of view.2 As the interestin ideas increased,the dramatic purpose was graduallyforgotten. On the other hand, and physicalnature,non-humanist the speculationconcerning did in traditional Ionia, which became early very non-moral, simplybecause its subject not develop out of a dramaticform, matter had nothingto do with human character. The two traditionsunite in Zeno, who applied the dialogue different and hence techniqueto discussionofpurelyphysicalproblems, produced a purely undramaticdialectic.3 Plato, turninghis back, at least in the earlypart of his career,on the philosophy once more,with a new precision, of nature,and concentrating to the drama. reverted of man, on the problems is not inspiredby any desire to The dialogue form,tlhen,
1 Aristotle, Poet. 1447b, 2. Burnet, Phaedo (Oxford, Clarendon, 1911) introduction, xxxi, and Taylor, Varia Socratica (Oxford, Parker, 1911), 55 assume Aristotle cites it as an example of the exact that the mime was "realistic." opposite: cf. Ross' edition of the Metaphysics (Oxford, Clarendon, 1924) i, introduction, xxxvii. 2 Cf. Epicharmus, frags. 1 f. (Diels, Fragmente der Vorsokratiker4(Berlin, Weidmann, 1922)
3 Cf. Diog.
e

i,

L.

13b, 1 f.).
Ue

viii,

57, 'ApLuToTriX7s
3LaXEKTLK7'P

pr7TOpLK77P

pe?V,

Z7'rwpa

(Aristotle, frag. 65 Ross): see also Plato,

6' e'P Tr, 0o04Urjj

4Oil'

7wp TOP

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Parmenides 135d.

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portray character. It was a standard literary method of moral philosophy. It is true that actual historical expressing figuresof the fifthcentury are portrayedin the dialogues. But here again we do not make enough allowance for Greek tradition in these matters. Every time a Greek went to a play, he saw representednot some fictitiouscharacter,the creation of the artist,but a thoroughly familiarone, known to him from the legendsof childhood. Yet the dramatistwas expected to adapt this given characterto his own purposes. He was expected to work up particularconcretesituationsin his own way, and allow his puppetsto conversein what manner suited him. In this way, Epicharmus may have made Odys4 seus the mouthpiece for some amateur philosophizing; Euripides certainly did not set the fashion in this regard. Such characters,it is true,were mythical,and therefore more easily treated as types. But the historiansgive us historical treatedin the same way. Herodotus,forexample,tells figures a tale of Cyrus and Croesus,5 whichmay have been suggested to him by something he heard,but whichhe at any rate works up into a situation where he is enabled to give dramatic expression to a fewsentiments concerning human destiny. So wTehave Croesus on his pyre,carrying on what amounts to a conversation, despite the painfulcircumstances, with the victorious Cyrus. This conversation is in turn the report of another conversation,this time between Croesus and Solon, whichhad happened long ago. This is almost in the Platonic manner. The classic example of this dialectical use of historicalmaterialis ofcoursethe Melian dialogue.6 Thucydides may have had leanings towards scientifichistory,but the Greek instinctwas too much forhim. He selects a particular situation in Athenian history as a suitable setting for the dramatic presentationof the eternal human problem,might mersus right. It is inconceivablethat such a discussion was
4Diels, op. cit. (see note 2) 13b, 4: cf. Croiset, Hist. Litt. Gr. Im, 471.
6 6

Thuc. v, 85.

Hdt. I, 86.

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it is thus that the historianchooses held in the circumstances; to recordhis own reflections. For that matter,does anyone believe that the funeralspeech is any safe guide to the sentiYet Pericles was as ments,let alone the style,of Pericles? Y near to the readers of Thucvdides as Socrates was to the readersof Plato, and probablya good deal nearer. anotherfact. The case of Periclesin this instanceillustrates now no guarhistoric dead was figure Reverence for a great would take any troubleto report antee that a later generation him accurately. The reversewas ratherthe truth. Socrates was very quickly exalted into the position of a sort of saint. It was this very exaltation which in the eyes of the next generationdepersonalisedhim. He changed froma human to beinginto the championof a cause, and as such lenthimself just that sort of dramatic treatmentwhich the Greeks accorded their heroes-a treatmentthe reverseof historicalin our sense of the word. " werea literary I concludethat the " SocraticConversations not ofhis charmediumused to expressthe ideas of the writer, in the classiconversations of such rea(ler any and that acters, cal perio(lwould not expect otherwise. I have by implication classedl Xenophon with Plato in this discussion. I do this because his "Memoirs" are really disguised conversations. The narrativean(ddescriptivematerialin them bears a small proportionto the whole and in some importantrespects is obviously vitiated by his apologetic purpose.8 One may could at this date have impelled suspectthat only controversy any Greek to attemptdeliberatebiography. If, however,we are to assume that one of Plato's purposes or Sy?nposium, in writingsuch dialogues as the Charmides,
7 Many of the abstract ideas, as well as their antithetical arrangement, appear unadorned by genius in the briT0atos of Gorgias (Diels. op. cit. 76b, 6). The shorter speech inserted fourteen chapters later (Thuc. ii, 60-64) is much more convincing as a specimen of what Pericles' style may have been. 8 E.g. the divine sign wherever mentioned is credited with positive powers, in flat contradiction of the Apology: Mem. i, 1, 2-9; iv, 3, 12 f., 8, 5 f.: Apology 31c-d, 40a-b.

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Phaedo was to recall a historicsituation,we are compelledto convert him from a philosopher into an antiquarian, who the manners and opinions of an age carefullyreconstructed which Burnet argues was dead by the time he wrote.9 I totally disbelieve this judgment; in my opinlionlthe controversieswhichare argued in Plato's pages are the controversies of his own day, dramatizedthrough the mouthsof men mostlv dead who had initiatedthese controversies, and had become as it were the canonized representativesof philosophical tendencies. Arguingfromthe contrary assumption,the BurnetTaylor theory presents to us a Socrates who is not only a cosmologistand a mathematician,but a metaphysician, the author of the theoryof Ideas. To arrive at this conclusion, the authors of it have to involve themselvesin a maze of special pleading,1and flyin the face ofsome expresstestimony of Aristotle's.1 "(It seems unthinkable,"argues Burnet in discussing the Phaedo, "that Plato should have invented a purely fictitiousaccount of his revered master's intellectual and insertedit in an account ofhis last hourson development, earth." 12 This onlymeans that such a methodis unthinkable to Mr. Burnet. Rogers, again, assumes forhis own purposes that what Socrates says in the Symposiumis a record of his own opinions. For otherwisePlato "shifts to an intentional falsification and thorough-going whenhe introduces the heroof the dialogue. Such a proceduremust have confusedhis contemporariesas much as it confuses the modern reader." 13
9 Burnet,op. cit. (see note 1), introduction, and article"Socxxxiv-xxxvi, rates" in Hastings,Enc. Rel. and Eth. xi. 10Burnet, for example, (introd.to Phaedo) dismissesthe references to the Clouds in the Apologyas "persiflage"; Taylor (Var. Soc. 158) renders. . .

the plain sense is "I am innocentof all knowledge of thesematters." ItMet. A. 987b, 1, M. 1078b,28 and 1086b,2: cf. the discussionof these in Ross. op. cit. (see note 1) introduction, and in Field, Socrates and Plato (Oxford, Parker,1913). 12 Op. cit. (in note 9), 668. 13 The Socratic Problem(New Haven, Yale Press, 1933), 8.

Ka &XXv 7roXAX7v ov6ev oTre ,ttiya oTre /tKpJv 7rEpt Ovaplav cOvapouvJTa, W'VEycW eiraltw(Apol. 19c) as "I can make neither head nor tail of this nonsense," when

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The use of "falsification"begs the whole question,as though the choice beforea Greek writerwere deliberateand faithful versusdeliberatelying.14 reporting We have to rememberthat classic Greek literaturewas characterisedby an entire absence of what we would call that is, drama or narrativebuilt around purelyimagifiction, nary characters. This absence of pure fiction guaranteed manthat historicalcharacterswould be treatedin a fictional ner,or what we would call such, and that this would happen withoutany problemof historichonestyor dishonestybeing by the raised thereby. It was the Alexandrians,influenced of histories of first the compilers disciples of Aristotle,the philosophyand science, that firstbecame interestedin biography. The "facts" so called that they began to collectwere drew fromsources which they painstakingly really inferences at all. They spirit written in a biographical which were not do not seem to have been much more capable of appreciating this than we are, and a mass of apocryphal anecdote is the it was in the same period that the result.15 Correspondingly with invented characters made its romance purely fictional appearance. Factual biography and fictionalnarrative befromeach other. came, as it were,separated off The worldof lettershas ever since set a value on the actual recordof a man's personallife. Today it sets a highervalue than ever. A large part of modern literatureis directlyor biographical. In a spiritand temperquite alien to indirectly that of classic Greece we seek to know the historicSocrates his psychological to understand in relationto his environment, which influences the produced him. to discover development, The resultis such a lifeof Socrates as A. E. Taylor's, in which
14 Cf. similar reasoning by Field, who says, op. cit. (see note 11) 4, concerning the Memorabilia: "There are only three alternatives: either it is substantially true, or else Xenophon is deliberately lying, or else he is very ignorant." 15 The stories for example about Anytus' son (based on the Meno) and Xanthippe (inferences from the Phaedo, aided by imagination) and perhaps the assertion that Socrates was a disciple of, i.e. had " heard " Archelaus (an inference

from Phaedo 97b?).

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a hundredand thirtypages are devoted to the life,and fortyfour to the thought of the philosopher. This proportionis the exact reverse of the one observed by the disciples of Socrates. To amass enough biographicalmaterial to fillthe record,a desperate use has to be made of what authorities we have. Plato was not interestedin men, but in ideas. He constructs dramatic situations which will allow him to expose the mediumof a conversation some abstractproblem. through He projects this conversationinto the past, oftentaking care to underlinethe fact, as for example in the introductions to the Symposiumand Phaedo.16 This projectionhas the same effectas that achieved by the tragic dramatist who used a conventionalized characterdrawn frommythology: it enabled Plato to subordinatecharacterto ideas, expressinghis ideas throughthe mouths of historicfigures who were just remote enough to avoid intrudingas a distractionin his educative mime. By way of contrast,one may compare the modern attitudeas it is illustrated by the techniqueofLyttonStrachey, the writer who perhaps has developed the art of biographyto its logical conclusion. He deliberatelyexposes the private life and inneremotionsof his subject, ratherthan the public career which everyoneknows. He is interested, forexample, to let us see Queen Victorialess as a queen and moreas a lover of her husband, or Florence Nightingale less as the "lady with the lamp" than as an imperiousinvalid on a couch, ordering ArthurHugh Clough to tie up brown paper parcels for her. If we are in sympathy withthe modernmood, we applaud the method because we feel that it is in the minuterevelationof individualcharacterthat truthand meaningis to be found. I cannot imagine an attitude more alien to that of Greece, as long as the city state still retainedsignificance; and Plato is a of child the citystate, remotein spiritfrom that individualism
16Symp. 172c, iravrabraotv aoL OV&ev 6 &t77yov'yevos, EOCKE EL &t77yEZoOaL oaac/s veco-rc -)y r')v o-vvovoLav -ye-yovevaL raVr77v 7'V CpWr,as, WorTEKaL e lrapa-yEv4aoaL: Phaedo 57a . . . ovre rcs tfvos 4c/LKTaL xp6vov avXvoV &KELOEV O6ars av 7'7yzv vaa/es
Tt

a-y-yeLXaLo0tos r'v

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which later became dominant anid renderedthe biograpllical popular. point of view in literature One is at libertyto imaginePlato givingus a coniversationi betweenQueen Victoria andlThomas Huxley, on the suitable subject of "What is piety?" The queen aiid the scienitist ileet in the groundsof WindsorCastle. The queen's interest andlits inaintenance inithe established is inlthe state religioni colnclhurch. The scientistargues that all ethical anid mloral basis. The clash of these two points cepts requirea scientific of view allows Plato to add a few light touches of character hluxleyretiresleavino drawing. Afterprotractedargumenit the queen sadder but a littlewiser. that we can say that the conversations I do not thinkmyself of Socrates with the sophistshad any more basis in historical fact, but one may imagine a Burnet of many centurieslater, remainsof our vanishedcivilization, as he studiedthe literary arguing with great effectthat of course the conversationis historical:Victoria must have met Huxley. His post as inwould render a royal appointment, spectorof salmon fisheries, such a meeting almost inevitable. If confirmationwere wanted, one could see it in the altered policy of the state totowards the close of the wards the dissentingdenominations which reflects the impressionthat this conversation cenitury, had made. Socrates theniwould remain anl importantbut well nigl uiiknownquantity in the historyof philosophy,but for two facts. Plato besides his dialogues wrote a speech. And a comic dramatist chose to pillory Socrates in a play nearly beforehis death. My thesis is that these two thirtyy-ears works, an(d these alone, if rightlyused, provide us with a the teaching of Socrates. Ariscriterionfor distinguishing conclusionsdrawn from totle adds a little,which reinforces in itself is inadequate. the speech and the play, but is the onlyworkof Plato's whichin formis not The Apology a conversation. I take this one departure from literary practice to be (leliberate. It indicates that for once he is

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interested in something other than an abstract problem. the Apology presents Socrates in a situation Furthermore, whichwas part of his public career,not of his privatelife. It was indeed the only situation of all those in the dialogues whicha readertwentyyears afterwould instinctively thinkof as historical. Thirdly, it is only in the Apologythat Plato refers to his own presenceat the scene portrayed, and he does so twice."7 He specifically eliminates himself from the Phaedo,'8 which was perhaps the one other dialogue which a contemporary reader mighthave been tempted to regard as in any sense historical. I therefore take the Apologyto be Plato's one deliberate attempt to reconstruct Socrates forhis own sake, and am willingenough to believe that the motive behindthe attemptwas to refute otherpamphletson the same subject. This is not to say that it is reporting. On the contrary,it is very unlikelyto be. I would be prepared to go further for example than Hackforth,who in his Composition ofPlato's Apology attemptsto distinguish betweenthe forensic portions actually delivered to the jury and those added by Plato. In orderto value the Apology as a historical document, it is not necessaryto assume that Socrates spoke any of it. Such reporting impliesa more violentdeparturefromPlato's normal practice than I thinkhe would have been capable of. I take the speech to be rathera consciousattempton his part to sum up the significance of his master's teaching,utilizing forthat purposea dramaticsituationwhichwas historical, and whicheveryoneknew to be so. A. E. Taylor rightly pointedout, in his Varia Socratica,the unique importanceof the Clouds as evidence forthe teaching of Socrates. It is the only contemporary evidence we have, and is contributed by a non-philosopher. Unfortunately, Taylor tended to discreditthe evidence he had rediscovered by his extravagant use of it. Obsessed with the idea that fifth-century Greekswere interested in the objective portrayal
1734a, 38b.
18

59b.

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in the he takes practicallyeverything of individualcharacter, of the historicSocrates, and does Cloudsto be a reminiscence this with the less excuse because in this case his authority, is a comic dramatist,with an axe of while not a philosopher, purposeis to amuse; his his own to grind. A dramatist'sfirst or preacha moral,his third second may possiblybe to instruct picture. I and last, ifhe has it at all, is to rendera historical because he chose Socrates primarily take it that Aristophanes when the was amusing. He seems to declare the facthimself, time at line 359, says chorus,addressingSocrates forthe first "0 high priestof ingeniousnonsense,declare to us thy need. of the professors For there is none other of the highfalutin presentday that we would ratherlisten to, except Prodicus. We would listen to him because of his wisdom and doctrine, but to you, because you strutalong the streetsshootingsidelong glances, going barefoot,putting up with all kinds of a sternfrontunder our protection." trouble,and maintaining The play then used Socrates because he was an eccentric with eccentrichabits.19 Now, part of a man's eccentricity consistsin the phraseshe uses, the jargon in whichhe expresses his ideas, and to some extentthe ideas themselves,if he has any, thougha dramatistis an unsafeguide to what his victim's ideas may be, as he will select only what is superficial. It is reasonableto supposethat the Clouds,in additionto parodying the personalhabits of Socrates,would contain a large amount which, if recovered,would be a valuable of his phraseology, methods. But the play itselfprovides ideas and his to guide no criterion by means of whichwe can separate it out. disappearsif we regardthe contentof the But this difficulty of what Socrates Apologyas in some sense a formaldefinition this outlineby anything taught and believed,and supplement in the Apology. Probin the Cloudswhichis not contradicted ably the biggestsinglemistakemade by Burnetand Taylor was of that thereare. I am thinking to ignorethe contradictions
19 Cf. Apol. 34b, aXX' OW'v bebo'Y/ELvop

y4 eaTrL

Tp

2wKpa?r1 bLa'epEt

Trv rLvTW

7roXXWCP& YavOpwc7rwY.

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in particular;first, that Socrates two statements in the Apology was utterlyignorantof the so called science of his day, and second, that he nevertaught a formalbody of doctrineat all, let alone an esotericdoctrine.20 These two statements, unless the Apologydistortsthe historicfacts,destroythe portraitof the Orphic teacher,the metaphysician, Socrates the scientist, which has been laboriouslyconstructed duringthe last thirty years. But if the Apology is a distortion,then surely the dialogue material on which the biographicallyminded are drivento rely is scarcelylikelyto be less so. We would then be leftwith no evidence at all. The essence, then, of what Socrates believed and taught is containedwithinthe limitsof the Apology;this can be supplementedby a good deal of Socratic language and methodfrom the Clouds. What Aristotlehas to say merelyconfirms this evidence in two particulars.2" Having thus constructed a definitepicture of what Socrates' ideas were, and also what they were not, we are able to take the dialogues of Plato and disentanglefromthem the Socratic ideas which in part they use. This criterionenables us to definethe fieldof Socraticism fairlyprecisely. I can only indicate the results summarily. Certain negative conclusions seem definite:the science and atheism of the Clouds is eliminated. So also are the formal theories of psychologyand politics, the doctrinesof immortality,and the technical use of the Forms which occur in the early and middle dialogues of Plato. But the positive outlines of Socrates' thought emerge equally definitely: Burnet made a great contribution to the historyof philosophywhen he definedSocrates' centralidea as the notion of the rational soul and its supreme importance.22To this we can add, as
20 21

Apol. 19 c-d, 26 d, 33 b. See note 11.

22 "The Socratic Conception of the Soul," in the Proceedings of the British Academy VIII, 235-260, and article "Soul" (Greek) in Hastings, Enc. Rel. and Eth. xi, 741.

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part of the same idea, the doctrinethat the attainmentof is the supreme knowledgeof the self,i.e. of selfconsciousness, and onlyduty of man, a duty to be achieved bv introspection. The Socraticmethodofdoingthiswas to examinepropositions -what we would class as moral propositions-which to Socrates were thoughts,the productsof soul, but could vary to the goodnessor badness ofsoul,and had in qualityaccording the soul was improved. The to be improvedso that therewith again, was to ask, "What does this method of improvement, propositionmean?", and in supplying the answer to trace deductivelya seriesof conclusionswhichwere then compared or, with otherconclusionsdrawn frominductiveillustrations, excommon at or least sense common from say, as we might the original did not fit, perience. If the two sets ofconclusions had to be improvedso that theywould. In order proposition Socrates also assumed to have a standardbasis of comparison, had to stand the test ofbeing" good," without that everything between the morallygood and the useful and distinguishing as setting up a pleasant. That is, he could be interpreted single standard of value as the soul's equipment in passing judgmentin any situationor on any statemeint. This simple and consistentlittle system of ideas--though it should not really be called a system at all-ha(d two by-products:he liscoveredthat the properfunctioiiof the soull is to think,23 of and that the objective of exact thoughtis the elaborationi of Socraticism essential definitions. Such is the contribution to philosophy:everyelementin this summaryappears in the Apology,and is backed up and sometimes explained more
23 I.e. supreme virtue consists in the actual exercise of mental powers for their own sake to the limit: cf. in particular Apol. 29e and 38a and the use of cpovsL?etV passim in the Clouds. This is not the same thing as "Virtue is knowledge," i.e. an exact science. It was Plato himself who in the "early" dialogues set about trying to produce this formula. The implications achieved in the Protagoras became accepted by Aristotle and later authorities as Socratic, and thus the famous paradox became traditional as Socratic doctrine; cf. Arist. Eth. N. 1116b, 4, 1145b, 23, Eth. E. 1216b, 6, 1230a, 4, 1246b, 33; (Arist.)

Ma.

Mor.

i,

1, 5-7; Diog. L. iI, 31.

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preciselyby corresponding expressionsin the Clouds.24 One may add two more elements,fromthe Apologyalone: an unquestionedassumptionthat the good was also the will of God, and that thereforeits pursuit through introspectionand was also a moral imperative:and a hope, but not a definition conviction,that soul persistedbeyond death, still exercising and preoccupiedwith its own its properfunctionof thinking, self-consciousness. As can be readilyseen, Platonismconsistedmainlyin workof these ideas in the fieldsof psycholing ouitthe implications ogy, politics, epistemology, and, finally,cosmology. But in so doing Plato transcended Socraticism, which in the last resortwas only a method,and produced a set of positive results. Nevertheless, the harvestgleaned by Socrates was not a meagreone, if it is judged in its historicsetting. European thoughthas accepted what he gave it so readily and without question that it has grown unconsciousof the gift,which is perhaps why modern historicalcriticismhas sought to put into his mouth a set of doctrineswhich may seem more elaborate,in keepingwiththe intellectualelaborationof our day, but are scarcelymore imDosing.
24 For soul cf.lines 94, 329, 415, 420, and also Birds 1553 ff.: self-knowledge, 242, 385, 695, 842: the "proposition,"489, 757: ?rTIfsq, 728,737, 768: &wopia, 703, 743: bra-ywy'y, 1427: essentialdefinition, 194, 250, 479, 742, 886.

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