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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Plato (429–347 B.C.)
Critical and Biographical Introduction by Paul Shorey (1857–1934)
 
PLATO, the first of philosophers, and the only writer of prose who ranks in the literature of power with the bibles and supreme poets of the world, was born at Athens in the year 429 B.C., and died in the year 347. His youth was contemporaneous with that fatal Peloponnesian war in which the Athens of Pericles dissipated, in a fratricidal contest, the energies that might have prolonged the flowering season of the Greek genius for another century. His maturity and old age were passed as writer and teacher in the subdued and chastened Athens of the restoration, whose mission it was, as schoolmaster of Greece, to disengage the spirit of Hellenism from local and temporal accidents, and prepare it—not without some loss of native charm—for assimilation by the Hellenistic, the Roman, the modern world. Like his pupil the Stagirite Aristotle, he embraces in the compass of his thoughts the entire experience, and reflective criticism of life, of the Greek race. But because he was an Athenian born, and had nourished his mighty youth on the still living traditions of the great age, he transmits the final outcome of Greek culture to us in no quintessential distillation of abstract formulas, but in vivid dramatic pictures that make us actual participants in the spiritual intoxication, the Bacchic revelry of philosophy, as Alcibiades calls it, that accompanied the most intense, disinterested, and fruitful outburst of intellectual activity in the annals of mankind.  1
  It was an age of discussion. The influence of the French salon on the tone and temper of modern European literature has been often pointed out. But the drawing-room conversation of fine ladies and gentlemen has its obvious limits. In the Athens of Socrates, for the first and last time, men talked with men seriously, passionately, on other topics than those of business or practical politics; and their discussions created the logic, the rhetoric, the psychology, the metaphysic, the ethical and political philosophy of western Europe, and wrought out the distinctions, the definitions, the categories in which all subsequent thought has been cast. The Platonic dialogues are a dramatic idealization of that stimulating soul-communion which Diotima celebrates as the consummation of the right love of the beautiful; wherein a man is copiously inspired to declare to his friend what human excellence really is, and what are the practices and the ways of life of the truly good man. And in addition to their formal and inspirational value, they remain, even after the codification of their leading thoughts in the systematic treatises of Aristotle, a still unexhausted storehouse of ideas, which, as Emerson says, “make great havoc of our originalities.” This incomparable suggestiveness is due—after the genius of Plato—to the wealth of virgin material which then lay awaiting the interpretative ingenuity of these brilliant talkers, and the synoptic eye of the philosopher who should first be able to see the one in the many and the many in the one.  2
  Before the recent transformation of all things by physical science, the experience of the modern world offered little to the generalizing philosophic mind which the Periclean Greek could not find in the mythology, the poetry, the art, the historical vicissitudes, the colonial enterprises, and the picturesquely various political life of his race. Modern science was lacking. But the guesses of the pre-Socratic poet-philosophers had started all its larger hypotheses, and had attained at a bound to conceptions of evolution which, though unverified in detail, distinctly raised all those far-reaching questions touching the origin and destiny of man and the validity of moral and religious tradition, that exercise our own maturer thought.  3
  The concentration and conscious enjoyment of this rich culture in the intense life of imperial Athens gave rise to new ideals in education, and to the new Spirit of the Age, embodied in the Sophists—or professional teachers of rhetoric and of the art of getting on in the world. Their sophistry consisted not in any positive intention of corruption, but in the intellectual bewilderment of a broad but superficial half-culture, which set them adrift with no anchorage of unquestioned principle or fixed faith in any kind of ultimate reality. They thus came to regard the conflicting religious, ethical, and social ideals of an age of transition merely as convenient themes for the execution of dialectical and rhetorical flourishes, or as forces to be estimated in the shrewd conduct of the game of life.  4
  Among these showy talkers moved the strange uncouth figure of Socrates, hardly distinguished from them by the writers of comedy or by the multitude, and really resembling them in the temporarily unsettling effect, upon the mind of ingenuous youth, of his persistent questioning of all untested conventions and traditions. Two things, in addition to the stoic simplicity of his life, his refusal to accept pay for his teaching, and his ironical affectation of ignorance, especially distinguish his conversation from theirs: First, a persistent effort to clear up the intellectual confusion of the age before logic, by insistence on definitions that shall distinguish essence from accident. Second, an adamantine faith in the morality of common-sense, and in the absoluteness of the distinction between right and wrong.  5
  Every student must decide for himself which he will accept as the probable Socrates of history: the homely portrait of Xenophon, or the speculative, super-subtle, mystic protagonist of these dialogues, fertile in invention, inexhaustible in resource, equal to every situation, seemingly all things to all men, yet guarding ever his indomitable moral and intellectual integrity behind a veil of playful irony. This Platonic Socrates stands out as the second religious figure of the European world in the fourfold gospel of his conversation, his trial, his temptation, and his death, recorded in the ‘Gorgias,’ the ‘Apology,’ the ‘Crito,’ and the ‘Phædo.’ However much of this result criticism may attribute to the genius of the reporter, we divine a strangely potent personality in the very fact that he dominated to the end the imagination of a scholar who went to school to many other influences, and who absorbed the entire culture of that wondrous age in “a synthesis without parallel before or since.” Amid all the dramatic variety, the curious subtlety, the daring speculation, the poetic Pythagorean mysticism of the later dialogues, the two chief Socratic notes persist. There is always an effort to dissipate the clouds of intellectual confusion by the aid of some logic of definition and relevancy; and however often the quest for absolute verities loses itself in baffling labyrinths of dialectic, or issues in an impasse of conflicting probabilities, the faith is never lost that truth exists, may be won by persistent wooing, and is in the end essentially moral.  6
  Associated with Socrates are groups of the noble youths of Athens; with worthy burghers who are their parents, guardians, or friends, an inner circle of earnest disciples or devoted enthusiasts attached to the person of the master, an outer circle of local celebrities and of all the brilliant personalities whom the policy of Pericles drew to the Prytaneion of Greek intellect,—visiting sophists, rhetoricians, philosophers. The dramatic setting is some typical scene of Athenian life. Socrates returning from the campaign of Potidæa strolls into a gymnasium, inquires of the progress of the young men, and draws the reigning favorite Charmides into a discussion of the nature and definition of that virtue of temperance which is the bloom of youthful beauty. He is aroused at earliest dawn by the knock of the youthful enthusiast Hippocrates, who comes breathless to announce that “Protagoras is in town,” and that there is to be a great gathering of wise men at the house of Callias. Thither they proceed, and hear and say many things. He meets Phædrus carrying a roll under his arm, and fresh from the rhetorical school of Lysias, and joins him in a constitutional beyond the city gates while they discourse on the philosophy of style, and incidentally on love. He is a guest at the banquet held to celebrate the success of Agathon’s new tragedy at the Dionysiac festival; and after listening benignantly to the young men’s euphuistic panegyrics on the great god Love, expounds to them the lore he learned from the wise woman Diotima; and then, as the night wears on, drinks all the guests under the table while he proves to Aristophanes and Agathon that the true dramatic artist will excel in both tragedy and comedy. Turning homeward from attendance on a religious ceremony at the Peiræus, he is constrained by the playful importunity of a band of young friends to remain for the torchlight race in the evening. They proceed to the house of the delightful old man Cephalus, father of the orator Lysias, where a conversation springs up on old age and the right use of wealth, which insensibly develops into the long argument on the Republic or Ideal State, in which alone justice and the happy life are perfectly typed. Condemned to drink the hemlock “for corrupting the youth,” he spends the last hours in prison beguiling the grief of his distracted disciples with high disputations touching the immortality of the soul, striving
                      “—to unfold
What worlds or what vast regions hold
The immortal mind, that hath forsook
Her mansion in this fleshly nook.”
  7
  The style is as various as are the themes. It ranges from homely Socratic parable and the simple exquisite urbanity of Attic conversation to the subtlest metaphysical disquisition, the loftiest flights of poetic eloquence, the most dithyrambic imaginative mysticism. The only limitation of this universality which the critics of antiquity could discover was the failure (in the ‘Menexenus,’ for example) to achieve sustained formal eloquence of the Demosthenic type. The thought was too curious and subtle, the expression charged with too many minor intentions, for that; the peculiar blending, in the Platonic diction, of colloquialism, dialectic precision, vivid imagination, and the tone of mystic unction, unfitted it for the conventional effects of political oratory.  8
  But no other prose writer manifests such complete and easy mastery of every note in the compass of his idiom as Plato possesses over the resources of Greek. He not only employs all styles separately at will, but modulates from one to the other by insensible transitions, that can be compared only to the effects of modern music. Platonic prose is an orchestral accompaniment of the thought; suggesting for every nuance of the idea its appropriate mood, and shot through with leitmotifs of reminiscence and anticipation, that bind the whole into emotional and artistic unity. He is not only the greatest but the first artist of an elaborate and curiously wrought prose diction. No writer before him had thus combined quotation, parody, literary and historic allusion, idiom, proverb, dialect, continued metaphor, and the dramatically appropriated technical vocabularies of all arts, sciences, and professions,—to one resultant literary effect suited to his various meanings and moods. The nice finish of Demosthenes’s comparatively simple oratorical prose was the outcome from a long evolution, and from the labors of three generations of orators and rhetoricians. The composite, suggestive, polychromatic, literary prose which is the ideal of the cleverest modern writers, was created, in its perfection and without precedent, by the genius of Plato.  9
  The reconstruction of a systematic philosophy for Plato must be left, in his own words, to “some very clever and laborious but not altogether enviable man.” The notorious doctrine of Ideas is a language, a metaphysic, a mythology. “Socrates used to ask concerning each thing,—as justice, friendship, or the State,—What is it?” And so in the minor dialogues of search, the definition pursued through many a dialectical winding in the dramatization of elementary logic came to be regarded as a real thing to be apprehended, and not as the mere “statement of the connotation of a term.” “The naïve childish realism of the immature mind!” will be the confident comment of the hasty critic. But as against the deeper meaning of Plato such criticism is competent only to those, if any there be, who have completely solved the problem of the true nature of Universals. The mediæval controversy still subsists under manifold disguises; and in the last resort, as Professor James picturesquely says, “introspective psychology is forced to throw up the sponge.” We may classify the doctrine of Ideas as “logical realism”; but if we remember the kind of reality which Berkeley, Kant, Schopenhauer, Shelley, and the most delicate psychological analysis concur in attributing to the “things” of common-sense, which Plato called shadows and copies of the ideas, we may well surmise that the Platonic doctrine is more nearly akin to modern psychological and poetical idealism than to the crude logical realism of the Middle Ages. The verification of this conjecture would take us too far afield. It is enough that general notions, forms, essences, purposes, ideals, are in a sense as real as brick and mortar. For Plato they are the supreme realities. The idea of a thing, its form, identifying aspect, purpose, and true function,—these, and not its material embodiment and perishable accidents, are what concern us. The very workman who makes a tool does not copy with Chinese fidelity the accidents of an individual pattern, but is guided by an idea of a service or function which in the last analysis determines both material and form. Similarly the Divine Artist may be said to have created the world by stamping, in the limits of necessity, upon rude and shapeless chaos the informing types of harmonious order and his own beneficent designs. Lastly we may transfer the analogy to the social life of man, and say that the true educator, statesman, and ruler, is he whose soul has risen to the apprehension of fixed eternal norms of virtue, law, the ideal city, the perfectly just man,—and who has the power to mold and fashion as nearly as may be to the likeness of these ideal types, the imperfectly plastic human material—the “social tissue”—in which he works.  10
  Thus the theory of ideas is a high poetic language, consistently employed to affirm the precedence of soul, form, ideal, reason, and design, over matter, body, and the accidents, irrelevancies, imperfections, and necessary compromises, of concrete physical existence.
  “For Soul is Form, and doth the body make.”
From this it is but a step to the imaginative mythological personification of the ideas. They are beautiful shapes, almost persons, first beheld by the soul in prenatal vision, and now in life’s stormy voyage, ever fleeting before us “down the waste waters day and night,” or gleaming “like virtue firm, like knowledge fair,” through the mists that encompass the vessel’s prow. So conceived, they provide a ready explanation or evasion of all the final problems which Plato was both unwilling and unable to answer in the sense of an unflinching materialistic nominalism. Our instantaneous a priori recognition of mathematical truth, the shaping of the vague chaos of sensation in predetermined molds of thought, the apprehension of norms of experience to which no finite experience ever conforms, our intuitions of a beauty, a goodness, a truth, transcending anything that earth can show, our persistent devotion to ideals that actual life always disappoints, our postulates of a perfection that rebukes and shames our practice,—what can these things mean save that all which we call knowledge here is a faint and troubled reminiscence of the Divine reality once seen face to face, a refraction of the white light of eternity by life’s dome of many-colored glass, a sequence of shadow pictures cast on the further wall of the dim cavern in which we sit pinioned, our eyes helplessly averted from the true Light of the World?
  11
  But Plato does not, like the pseudo-Platonists, abandon himself to dreaming ecstasy. The theory of Ideas in its practical effect is a doctrine of the strenuous definition and application to life of regulative ideals. The multitude who lack such guiding aims live the “untested life” which Socrates pronounced intolerable. The so-called statesmen who fail to achieve them are blind leaders of the blind. The establishment in the mind of a clearly defined ethical and social ideal, as a touchstone of the tendencies of all particular acts and policies, is described in the language of poetical Platonism as the acquisition of the highest knowledge, the knowledge of the Idea of Good, on which the value of all partial and relative “goods” depends. The Idea of Good, supreme in the hierarchy of ideas, and last reached in the scale and process of pure dialectic, is the sun of the intelligible world; and like its symbol, the visible sun, is not only the fountain of light and knowledge, but the source of motion, life, and existence. For—to translate the image into prose—institutions, laws, and systems of government and education have their origin and find their best explanation in the final purposes, the ultimate ethical and social ideals, of their founders and supporters. But the knowledge of the Idea of Good, though described as a vision, is not granted to visionaries. The relation of all action to a rational and consistent theory of practice presupposes a severe discipline in dialectic. And dialectic itself, so confusing and unsettling as practiced in imitation of Socrates and the Sophists by the irresponsible youth of Athens, may be safely studied only after a long preparatory training in all the culture and exact science of the age. Only to the elect few, who, triumphantly supporting these and many other tests of mind and body, attain the beatific vision, will Plato intrust the government of his perfect city and the guardianship of mankind. They represent for him the antithesis of the typical pettifoggers and brawling demagogues of the Athens that was “dying of the triumph of the liberal party.” For these too he shapes, in many of the dialogues, a theory of unscrupulous cynical practice more coherent, doubtless, than anything in their minds, but serving in a way as an ideal of evil to oppose to his own idea or ideal of good. It has been affirmed that Plato was a bad citizen because he despaired of the Republic. But if we remember that, as Matthew Arnold says, Plato was right and Athens was doomed, if we recall the excesses of the post-Periclean demagogues, if we reflect on his bitter disillusionment in the brief tyrannical rule of the “good-and-fair” companions of his youth, we shall not censure him for “standing aside under a wall in a storm of dust and hurricane of driving wind,” or seeking refuge in the “city of which a pattern is laid up in heaven.” “He was born to other politics.”  12
  Platonism is much more than this doctrine of Ideas, or than any doctrine. The dialogues, apart from their dramatic interest and literary charm, make a manifold appeal to numerous abiding instincts and aptitudes of the human mind through dialectics, metaphysics, mysticism, and æsthetic and ethical enthusiasm. Some hard-headed readers will use them as an intellectual gymnastic. The thrust and parry of logical fence, the close pursuit of a trail of ratiocination through all the windings and apparently capricious digressions of the argument, the ingenious détours and surprises of the Socratic Elenchus, the apparatus of definitions, divisions, and fine-spun distinctions,—these things are in themselves a pleasurable exercise to many minds. Others seek in the dialogues the gratification of that commonplace metaphysical instinct which Walter Pater warns us to suppress. Being and non-Being, the One and the many, the finite and the infinite, weave their endless dance through the ‘Parmenides,’ the ‘Sophist,’ and the ‘Philebus.’ We may say that it is barren logomachy, the ratiocinative faculty run to seed, if we will. The history of literature proves it what Plato called it: a persistent affection of discourse of reason in man. Certain Platonic dialogues exercise and gratify this instinct even more completely than Neo-Platonism, mediæval scholasticism, Hegelianism, or the new psychological scholasticism of to-day. And so, to the amazement and disgust of the positivists, the stream of résumés, new interpretations, and paraphrases of the ‘Sophist’ and ‘Parmenides,’ flows and will continue to flow.  13
  Mysticism too “finds in Plato all its texts.” The yearning towards an Absolute One, ineffable symbol of the unity which the soul is ever striving to recover amid the dispersions of life, the impulse to seek a spiritual counterpart for every material fact, the tantalizing glimpses of infinite vistas beyond the ken of the bodily eye, the aspirations that elude definition, and refuse to be shut in a formula,—to all these
  Fallings from us, vanishings,
Blank misgivings of a creature
Moving about in worlds not realized,”
Plato gives full recognition, while shunning with unerring tact their concrete superstitious developments. His mystical imagery is always embroidered on a definite framework of thought. The attributes of the Absolute One are deduced as systematically as a table of logical categories. The structure of a Greek temple is not more transparently symmetrical than the allegory of the sun and the Idea of Good, the analogy of the divided line, and the symbolism of the Cave in the ‘Republic’; or than the description, in the ‘Phædrus,’ of the soul as a celestial car, of which reason is the charioteer, and noble passion and sensuous appetite are the two steeds. The visions of judgment that close the ‘Republic’ and ‘Gorgias’ are as definite in outline as a picture of Polygnotus. All nobler forms of mystic symbolism, from Plotinus to Emerson, derive from Plato; all its baser developments, from Iamblichus to the newest thaumaturgic theosophy, seek shelter under his name.
  14
  Allied to mysticism is the quality which the eighteenth century deprecated as enthusiasm. The intellect is suffused with feeling. All the nobler sentiments partake of the intensity of passionate love and the solemnity of initiations. Hence the sage and serious doctrine of Platonic love, whose interpretation and history would demand a volume:—
  “Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
The soul that rises with us, our life’s star,
      Hath had elsewhere its setting,
        And cometh from afar.”
  15
  All noble unrest and higher aspiration in this world is a striving to recapture something of the rapture of the soul’s prenatal vision of the Divine ideas. Now the good and the true are apprehended dimly through the abstractions of dialectic. The idea of beauty alone finds a not wholly inadequate visible embodiment on earth. And so the love of beauty is the predestined guide to the knowledge of the good and the true. In the presence of the beautiful the soul is stung by recollection of the Idea, and yearns for an immortality which the mortal can put on only through generation. To this throe, this yearning, awakened by the sight of a beautiful body, men give the special name love. But love in the larger sense is all passionate thirst for happiness, all thrilling recollection of the absolute beauty, all desire to reproduce it on earth, not merely after the flesh, but in such immortal children of the spirit as the poems of Homer and Sappho, the laws of Solon and Lycurgus, the victories of Epaminondas.
  The noble heart that harbors virtuous thought,
    And is with child of glorious great intent,
Can never rest, until it forth have brought
    Th’ eternal brood of glory excellent.”
  16
  For this higher love the lower is a preparation and an initiation.  17
  Akin to this enthusiasm of the lover is the fine frenzy of the poet, who, by visitation of the Muse, is inspired to utter many strange and beautiful sayings, of which he can render no account under a Socratic cross-examination. This power of the Muse resembles the magnet, which both attracts and imparts its attractive virtue to other substances. And when a vast audience thrills with terror and pity as the rhapsode, tears in his eyes, distraction in ’s aspect, recites the sorrows of Priam or Hecuba, they are all dependent links in the magnetic chain that descends from the poet and the Muse.  18
  The ‘Vita Nuova’ of Dante, the sonnets of Michaelangelo, the ‘Eroici Furori’ of Bruno, the spiritual quality of the higher poetry of the Italian and English Renaissance, and the more recent names of Shelley, Wordsworth, and Emerson, faintly indicate the historic influence of these beautiful conceptions.  19
  In later years Plato’s “enthusiasm” was transmuted into a prophetic puritanic world-reforming temper,—the seeming antithesis of this gracious philosophy of love and beauty. His work was from the beginning as intensely moralized as were the discourses of Socrates. On whatever theme you talked with Socrates, it was said, you would in the end be forced to render an account of the state of your soul. And so in Plato every text is improved for edification, “the moral properties and scope of things” are kept constantly in sight, and the unfailing ethical suggestiveness of the style intensifies the moral sentiment to a pitch of spiritual exaltation that makes of Platonism one of the great religions of the world. But the age as we see it in Thucydides, Aristophanes, and Euripides, was one of “enlightenment,” skepticism, and the breaking up of traditional moral restraints. And as he watched year by year the deterioration of the Athenian civic temper, and the triumph of the mocking spirit of denial, Plato’s passionate concern for the moral side of life developed into something akin to the temper of the Hebrew prophet, preaching righteousness to a stubborn and perverse generation, or the modern Utopian reformer, dashing his angry heart against the corruptions of the world. The problems which increasingly absorb his attention are the disengagement from outworn forms of the saving truths of the old religion and morality, the polemic defense of this fundamental truth against the new Spirit of the Age, and the salvation of society by a reconstitution of education and a reconstruction of government.  20
  These are the chief problems, again, of our own age of transition; and the ‘Republic,’ in which they find their ripest and most artistic treatment, might seem a book of yesterday—or to-morrow. The division of labor, specialization, the formation of a trained standing army, the limitation of the right of private property, the industrial and political equality of women, the improvement of the human breed by artificial selection, the omnipotence of public opinion, the reform of the letter of the creeds to save their spirit, the proscription of unwholesome art and literature, the reorganization of education, the kindergarten method, the distinction between higher and secondary education, the endowment of research, the application of the higher mathematics to astronomy and physics,—such are some of the divinations, the modernisms of that wonderful work. The framework is a confutation of ethical skepticism by demonstration that morality is of the nature of things, and the just life is intrinsically happier than the unjust. The nature of justice can be studied only in the larger life of the State. A typical Greek city is constructed,—or rather, allowed to grow,—and by the reform of education is insensibly transformed into the ideal monarchy or aristocracy, governed by philosopher-statesmen who have attained to the Idea of Good. The existing degenerate forms of government are reviewed, and estimated by their approximation to this perfect type; and by means of an elaborate psychological parallel between the individual and the social constitution, it is inferred that the superior happiness of the “just man” is proportional to the perfection of the best city.  21
  The puritanic temper reveals itself in the famous banishment of Homer. In the course of a criticism of Greek anthropomorphism, which was repeated almost verbatim by the Christian fathers, the tales told of the gods by Homer are deprecated as unsuitable for the ears of the young. As his conception of education broadens, Socrates unfolds the Wordsworthian idea of the molding influence upon character of noble rhythms, and a beautiful and seemly environment of nature and art; and ordains that in the perfect city all art and literature must be of a quality to produce this ennobling effect. Lastly, recurring to the topic with deeper analysis in the closing book, he rejects all forms of dramatic, flamboyant, luscious art and literature, as superficial mimicries twice removed from absolute truth, unwholesome stimulants of emotion, and nurses of harmful illusions. We may not, with Ruskin, pronounce this a quenching of the imagination and of the poetic sensibilities by the excess of the logical faculty. Plato is only too conscious of the siren’s charm:—“And thou too, dear friend, dost thou not own her spell, and most especially when she comes in the guise of Homer? But great is the prize for which we strive; and what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world of poetry and art, and lose his own soul?”
  But all those pleasant bowers and palace brave
    Guyon broke down with rigor pitiless,
Ne aught their goodly workmanship might save
    Them from the tempest of his wrathfulness.”
  22
  The ‘Republic’ undertakes to prove that virtue is its own reward, and needs no other wage here or hereafter. But at the close the imperious human cry makes itself heard: “Give her the wages of going on, and not to die.” The beautiful tale of salvation related by Er the son of Armenius is like the myth at the close of the ‘Gorgias’; and the description of the blissful region of the “upper earth” in the ‘Phædo’ rather an “intimation of immortality” than a cogent logical demonstration. Plato sketches many such proofs: the soul possesses concepts not derived from experience; the soul is an uncomposite unity; the soul is a spontaneous source of motion. But like the myths, these arguments are rather tentative expressions of a rational hope than dogmatic affirmations or organic members of a system. Yet the traditional conception of Plato as the champion of immortality and the truths of natural religion, is justified by the fact that in the age when traditional religion first found itself confronted with the affirmations of dogmatic science, and with the picture of a mechanical universe that left no place for God or the soul,—he, at home in both worlds of thought, stood forward as a mediator, and demonstrated this much at least: that a purely sensationist psychology fails to yield an intelligible account of mind, and that the dogmatism of negation is as baseless as the dogmatism of unlicensed affirmation.  23
  Space does not admit even a sketch of the history of the Platonic dialogues, and their domination of the thought of intensely vital ages, like the Renaissance and our own time. Their influence in literature, philosophy, and the higher education, has perhaps never been greater than in the past thirty years. No original book of this generation has done more to shape the thought of our time than Jowett’s admirable translation, accompanied by notes and analyses. This translation, with Grote’s elaborate study in four volumes, Zeller’s ‘History of Greek Philosophy,’ Campbell’s excellent article in the ‘Encyclopædia Britannica,’ and Walter Pater’s exquisite ‘Plato and Platonism,’ will meet all the needs of the general student. The latest edition of Zeller will guide scholars to the enormous technical literature of the subject.  24
 
 
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