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CHAP.'
VI.

for true knowledge. The consciousness of our own Not-knowing continuing, and the philosopher having an idea of knowledge without finding it realised in himself, the search for knowledge naturally assumes the form of an application to others, with a view of ascertaining whether the knowledge wanting at home is to be found with them. Hence the necessity ofenquiry in common by means of the dialogue. For Socrates, this mode of intercourse has not merely an educational value, procuring easier access and a more fruitful effect for his ideas, but it is to his mind an indispensable condition of the development of thought, and one from which the Socrates of history never departs.3 Speaking more accurately, its nature consists in a sifting of men such as it is described in the Apology, 4 or in a bringing to the birth, as it is called in the Theætetus ; 5 in other words, the philosopher by his questions obliges others to unfold their inner self before him : 6 he asks after their real

1 The Connection is very ap- προσηκούσαις πράξεσιν αυτούς είναι parent in the Apol. 21, B., if éTEMedeito: and the enquiry only the inner thought of the into human nature has this philosophy of Socrates is put meaning in Mem. iii. 6; iv. 2 ; in the place of the oracular but clearly this is not its origiresponse.

nal object. 2 Compare p. 123, 2.

5 See p. 149; 122, 2. * Compare, besides the Me- 6 Plato, Lach. 187, E; he morabilia, Plato, Apol. 24, C.; who enters into conversation Protag. 335, B., 336, B. Theæt. with Socrates un naveo dai İnd 1. c.

τούτου περιαγόμενον τώ λόγω. . 4 Similarly Xen. Mem. iv. πριν αν εμπέση εις το διδόναι περί 7, 1: πάντων μεν γαρ ών εγώ οίδα αυτού λόγον, όντινα τρόπον νυν τε μάλιστα έμελεν αυτώ είδέναι, ότου ζή, nor is there any escape τις επιστήμων είη των συνόντων from the most thorough βααυτό. Xenophon only took it σανίζεσθαι. to prove ότι αυτάρκεις εν ταις

CHAP.
VI.

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opinions, after the reasons of their beliefs and actions, and in this way attempts by an interrogatory analysis of their notions to bring out the thought latent therein, of which they are themselves unconscious.' In as far as this process presupposes that the knowledge which the questioner lacks may be found in others, it resembles an impulse to supplement one's own defects by their help. This intercourse with others is, for a philosopher with whom knowing coincides with purposing, not only an intellectual but also a moral and personal need. To enquire in common is at once to live in common. Love of knowledge is at once impulse to friendship, and in the blending together of these two sides consists the peculiarity of the Socratic Eros.?

. In as far as others do not possess the knowledge sought for, and the questions of Socrates only serve to expose their ignorance, the process bears also the character of irony. Irony, however, must not be understood to be merely a conversational trick ;still

· It is assumed as a matter spiritual and the disadvantages of course, that every one can of a sensual love are unfolded, give an account of what he apparently (as a careful survey knows and is, Plato, l. c. 190, C.; of the Platonic Symposion will Charm. 158, E.

show) by Xenophon, speaking ? See above, p. 75. Besides for himself, but undoubtedly Brandis ii. a, 64, reminds us following in the train of Sowith justice that treatises on crates. Even Æschines and épws are mentioned not only by Cebes had treated of špws in Plato and Xenophon, but also the Socratic sense. See Plut. by Euclid, Crito, Simmias, and Puer. Ed. c. 15, p. 11, and the Intisthenes, which shows the fragment of Æschines in Arisimportance of it for the So- tid. Or. xlv. p. 34. cratic schools. The chief pas- Hegel, Gesch. d. Phil, ii. sage is in Xenophon, Symp. c. 53, 57; Conf. Arist. Eth. iv. 8, where the advantages of a 13; 1127, b, 22.

CHAP.
VI.

less is it that derisive condescension or affected simplicity, which as it were lures others on to the ice in order to laugh at their falls; or that absolute reference to the person and destruction of all general truth, which for a time bore this name in the romantic school.) Its proper nature consists rather herein, that without any positive knowledge, and prompted only by a desire for knowledge, Socrates addresses himself to others, in the hope of learning from them what they know, but that in the attempt to discover it, upon a critical analysis of their notions, even their supposed knowledge vanishes. This

| Plato at least gives this ready mentioned, and in the deeper meaning to the irony of Meno, 80, Α. : ουδέν άλλο και αυτός Socrates. See Rep. i. 337, A. : τε απορείς και τους άλλους ποιείς αύτη εκείνη η ειωθυία ειρωνεία απορείν, and also in the Apol. Σωκράτους, και ταυτ' εγώ ήδη τε 23, E., in which, after the και τούτοις προϋλεγον, ότι συ Socratic sifting of others has αποκρίνασθαι μεν ουκ έθελήσοις, been described, it goes on to ειρωνεύσοιο δε και πάντα μάλλον say : έκ ταυτησί δή της εξετάσεως ποιήσους και αποκρίνοιο εί τίς τί σε πολλοί μεν απέχθειαί μοι γεγόνασί έρωτα. And again, 337, Ε. : όνομα δε τούτο σοφός ίνα Σωκράτης το ειωθός διαπράξ- είναι. οίονται γάρ με εκάστοτε οι ηται, αυτός μεν μη αποκρίνεται, παρόντες ταύτα αυτών είναι σοφών άλλον δε αποκρινομένον λαμβάνη & αν άλλον εξελέγξω. Likewise λόγον και ελέγχή: to which So- Xenophon, Mem. iv. 4, 10: ότι crates replies : πώς γαρ αν των άλλων καταγέλας, έρωτών τις αποκρίναιτο πρώτον μεν μη ειδώς μεν και ελέγχων πάντας, αυτός δε μηδε φάσκων ειδέναι, &c. Symp. ουδενί θέλων υπέχειν λόγον ουδε 216, Ε. : ειρωνευόμενος δε και γνώμην αποφαίνεσθαι περί ουδενός. παίζων πάντα τον βίον προς τους Ιbid. 11. Conf. 1. 2, 36: αλλά ανθρώπους διατελεί, which, as τοι σύ γε, ώ Σώκρατες, είωθας the context shows, refers partly ειδώς πως έχει τα πλείστα ερωτάν. to the fact that Socrates pre- Hence Quintilian, ix. 2, 46, tended to be in love, without observes that the whole life of being so in the Greek sense of Socrates seemed an irony, bethe term, and partly to the cause he always played the words αγνοεί πάντα και ουδέν part of an admirer of the oldev. The same, omitting the wisdom of others. Connected word ειρωνεία, is said in the with this is the use which passage of the Theætetus al. Socrates made of irony as a

CHAP. irony is, therefore, speaking generally, the dialectical VI.

or the critical factor in the Socratic method, assuming the peculiar form it here does owing to the presup

posed ignorance of him who uses it for his instrument. C. The Doubtless, however conscious Socrates might be of formution of concep possessing no real knowledge, he must at least have tions and believed that he possessed the notion and the method the method of proof by of true knowledge. Without this conviction he concep

would neither have been able to confess his own ignotions.

rance, nor to expose that of others, both being only rendered possible by comparing the knowledge he found with the idea of knowledge residing within himself. The fact that this idea was no where to be found realised was in itself a challenge to him to set about realising it; and hence resulted as the third point in his philosophic course the attempt to create real knowledge. For real knowledge he could only allow that to pass which emanated from the conception of a thing, hence the first step here is the formation of conceptions or induction. For even if Socrates does not always make for formal definitions, he at least always seeks some universal quality applicable to the conception and to the essence of the object, in order to settle the question under notice by referring the particular case tò this universal quality. The class

1

figure of speech. Conf. Plut. the word also Leop. Schmidt Gorg. 489, E. ; Symp. 218, D.: in Ind. Lection, Marburg, 1873. Xen. Mem. iv, 2. Only its

Compare the remarks of meaning must not be limited Aristotle already mentioned, to this. Compare also Her. p. 110, 2. mann, Plat. 242, 326, and par- 2 επί την υπόθεσιν επανήγε ticularly Schleiermacher, Gesch. Távta Tov abyov, See p. 110, 2. d. Phil. 83, and for the use of

quality is therefore to him of the greatest import

CHAP.
VI:

ance.

The starting point for this induction is supplied by the commonest notions. He begins with examples taken from daily life, with well-known and generally admitted truths. On every disputed point he goes back to such instances, and hopes in this way to attain a universal agreement. All previous science being doubtful, nothing remains but to begin anew with the simplest experiences. On the other hand, induction has not as yet so far advanced as to mean the deriving conceptions from an exhaustive and critically tested series of observations. This is a later requirement due partly to Aristotle, and partly to more modern philosophy. The wider basis of a comprehensive knowledge of facts being as yet wanting, nay, even being despised, and Socrates being in the habit of expanding his thoughts in personal conversation with distinct reference to the case before him and to the capacity and needs of his fellow-speakers, he is confined to the assumptions which the circumstances and his own limited experience supply; he must take isolated notions and admissions as his point of departure, and can only go as far as others can follow. Hence in most cases he relies more on particular instances than on an exhaustive analysis of

1 Compare what has been επίσταμαι, όμοια τούτοις επιδεικνύς quoted, pp. 80, 2 ; 121, 1, and & ουκ ενόμιζον επίστασθαι, αναπείthe whole of the Memorabilia. θεις, οιμαι ως και ταυτα επίσταμαι. Plato, too, gives instances of As to the principle that from this procedure. See Xen. Ec. the less you proceed to an un19, 15 : η ερώτησις διδασκαλία derstanding of the more imCơTÌv ...&rov ráp xe ô ồn érò portant, see Plato, Gorg. 947, C.

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