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CHAP.
VII.

difference between one person and another, one time of life and another, one sex and another, affect the question. For in all cases it is one and the same thing, which makes the conduct virtuous,' and in all persons the same natural capacity for virtue must be assumed to exist. The main point then invariably is to cultivate this disposition by education. Some may bring with them more, others fewer gifts for any particular activity ; yet all alike require exercise and training; the most talented require it most, would they not be lost in ruinous errors. There being no greater obstacle to true knowledge than imaginary knowledge, nothing can in a moral point of view be more urgently necessary than self-knowledge, to dispel the unfounded semblance of knowledge and to show to man his wants and needs. Right action according to Socratic principles invariably follows upon knowledge, just as wrong action follows from absence of

| Plato, Meno, 71, D., and deital. Conf. Plato, Rep. v. Aristotle, Pol. i. 13, probably, 452, E. following the passage in Plato, 3 Mem. iii. 9, 1; iv. 1, 3; 1216, a, 20, which he must in iv. 2, 2. The question whether some way have harmonised virtue is a natural gift or a with the Socratic teaching: result of instruction—the idenώστε φανερόν, ότι εστίν ηθική tical question to which Plato αρετή των ειρημένων πάντων, και devoted a thorough discussion ουχ ή αυτή σωφροσύνη γυναικός in the Meno and Protagorasκαι ανδρός, ουδ' ανδρία και δικαιο- appears to have become a faσύνη, καθάπερ φετο Σωκράτης. vourite topic of discussion, πολύ γαρ άμεινον λέγουσιν οι thanks to the appearance of εξαριθμούντες τας αρετάς.

the Sophistic teachers of virtue. 2 Xen. Sym. 2, 9: Kal / Ew- Such at least it seems in Xenoκράτης είπεν· εν πολλοίς μέν, & phon, iii. 9, 1, and in the Meno. άνδρες, και άλλοις δηλυν, και εν Ρindar had previously drawn οις δ' ή παίς ποεί, ότι η γυνακεία the contrast between natural φύσις ουδέν χείρων της του ανδρός and acquired gifts. See above, ούσατυγχάνει, δώμης δε και ισχύος p. 23.

L

CHAP.
VII.

knowledge; he who knows himself will, without fail, do what is healthful, just as he who is ignorant of himself will, without fail, do what is harmful. Only the man of knowledge can do anything fitting; he alone is useful and esteemed.2 In short, knowledge is the root of all moral action ; want of knowledge is the cause of every vice; and were it possible wittingly to do wrong, that were better than doing wrong unwittingiy; for in the latter case the first condition of right action, the moral sentiment, is wanting, whilst in the former case it would be there, the doer being only faithless to it for the moment. What, however, the know

1 Mem. iv. 2, 24. For exam- Tótepov Ó ÉKūv feudóuevos kai ples of conversations, in which εξαπατών οίδεν, ή και άκων ; Δήλον Socrates endeavoured to bring ότι ο εκών. Δικαιότερον δε [φής his friends to a knowledge of είναι] τον επιστάμενον τα δίκαια themselves, see Mem. iii. 6; του μη επιστάμενον ; Φαίνομαι. iv. 2.

Conf. Plato, Rep. ii. 382; iii. 2 Mem. i. 2, 52: the accuser 389, B.; iv. 459, C.; vii. 535, charged Socrates with inducing E.; Hipp. Min. 371, E. It is his followers to despise their only an imaginary case to supfriends and relations; for he pose that any one can knowhad declared, those only deserve ingly and intentionally do to be honoured who can make what is wrong; for according themselves useful by means of to the principles of Socrates, their knowledge. Xenophon it is impossible to conceive allows that he showed how that the man who possesses little useless and ignorant knowledge as such should, hy people were esteemed by their virtue of his knowledge, do own friends and relatives; but anything but what is right, or he says that Socrates did not

that any one should spontanethereby intend to teach them ously choose what is wrong. to despise dependants, but If, therefore, an untruth is only to show that understand told knowingly and intentioning must be aimed at, 8ti tò ally, it can only be an apparent άφρον άτιμόν έστι. .

and seeming untruth, which • Mem. iv. 2, 19: Tŵr o on Plato allows as a means to Toùs çirous égaratávtwvěma Baáßn higher ends (Rep. ii. 382; iii. πότερος αδικώτερος εστιν, ο εκών, 389, B.; iv. 459, C.), whereas

O škw; The question is after- want of knowledge is the only wards thus settled : Tà dikala proper lie, a proper lie being

ledge is in which virtue consists, whether experimen- CHAP.

VII. tal or speculative, purely theoretical or practical-is a question upon which Socrates has not entered. In Xenophon at least he places learning and exercise quite naturally together, although Plato had distinguished them, and to prove that virtue consists in knowledge, that it requires knowledge, and can be acquired by instruction, he chooses by preference, even in the pages of Plato, examples of practical acquirements and of mechanical dexterity.3 As yet, however, all that has been laid down is in C. The

Good and the nature of a formal definition. All virtue is know

Eudeledge, but of what is it the knowledge ? To this So- monism. crates gives the general answer, knowledge of the good. (1) Virtue

determiHe is virtuous, just, brave, and so forth, who knows ned theowhat is good and right. Even this addition is as

retically. wide and indefinite as those before. Knowledge which

always unintentional, Rep. ii. by natural gifts are really de382; v. 535, E. See Zeller’s veloped to mastery. In Mem. Phil. Stud. p. 152.

iv. 1, 3, μάθησις and παίδεια are At the beginning of the generally required, but even Meno.

here no difference is made be2 Mem. iii. 9, 1, Socrates an- tween theoretical and practical swers the question whether knowledge. bravery is a διδακτών or φυσικόν : 3 So Protag. 349, E.; Mem. the disposition thereto is quite iii. 9, 1 and 11: ápxovtes are as various as is bodily power. those éALOTájevou áp xelv, the νομίζω μέντοι πάσαν φύσιν μαθήσει steersman in a ship, in agriculkai jer étn apds åvoplav avferdal, ture, sickness, and athletics, in proof of which it may be those who have made it their noted that no nation with profession, women in spinning. weapons to which it is un

The question here raised is disaccustomed ventures to cussed at length by Strümpell, counter those who are familiar Gesch. d. Prakt. Phil. d. Gr. vor with them. So, too, in every- Arist. 146. thing else, it is the emméAELA, 4 See p. 143. the μανθάνειν και μελετών, where

en

CHAP. makes virtue, is knowledge of the good; but what is VII.

the good? The good is the conception of a thing viewed as an end. Doing what is good, is acting up to the conception of the corresponding action, in short, knowledge in its practical application. The essence of moral action is therefore not explained by the general definition, that it is a knowledge of the good, the right, and so forth. Beyond this general definition, however, Socrates did not advance in his philosophy. Just as his speculative philosophy stopped short with the general requirement that knowledge belonged to conceptions only, so his practical philosophy stopped short with the indefinite postulate of conduct conformable to conceptions. From such a theory it is impossible to deduce definite moral actions. If such are sought no other alternative remains but to look for them in .some other way, either by adopting the necessary principles from the prevailing morality without further testing them; or, in as far as principles according to the theory of knowledge must be vindicated before thought, by a reference to experience and to the

well-known consequences of actions. (2) Prac

As a matter of fact both courses were followed tically the by Socrates. On the one hand he explained the Good is de termined conception of the right by that of the lawful. The cither by

1 Mem. iv. 6, 6: Δίκαια δε νόμιμον δίκαιον είναι, and when utility. οισθα, έφη, οποία καλείται ;-“A Hippias asks for further infor

οι νόμοι κελεύουσιν, έφη.- Οι άρα mation as to what is meant by ποιούντες & οι νόμοι κελεύουσι νόμιμον: νόμους δε πόλεως, έφη, δίκαιά τε ποιούσι και & δεί; Πώς γιγνώσκεις ;-- Ουκούν, έφη [Sogàp oő; In Mem. iv. 4, 12, So- crates], vóruos uèv åv ein d kard crates says: φημί γάρ εγώ το ταύτα[& οι πολίται εγράψαντο πο

custom 01

CHAP.
VII.

best service of God, he says, is that which agrees
with custom ;' and he will not withdraw himself even
from an unjust sentence, lest he should violate the
laws.2 On the other hand, as a necessary conse-
quence of this view of things, he could not be con-
tent with existing moral sanctions, but was fain to
seek an intellectual basis for morality. This he
could only take from a consideration of consequences;
and in so doing he frequently proceeds most super-
ficially, deriving his ethical principles by a line of
argument, which taken by itself differs in results
more than in principles, from the moral philosophy
of the Sophists. When asked whether there could
be a good, which is not good for a definite purpose,
he distinctly stated that he neither knew, nor desired
to know of such a one : 4 everything is good and beau-
λιτευόμενος, άνομος δε ο ταύτα πα- only refusing to allow us to
ραβαίνων ; Πάν μεν ουν, έφη.- speak of Sophistic morals as if
Ουκούν και δίκαια μέν αν πράττοι they were uniform.
και τούτοις πειθόμενος, άδικα δ' και 4 Mem. iii. 8, 1-7, where it is
τούτοις άπειθών ;-Πάνυ μεν ουν. said, amongst other things :

· Mem. iv. 3, 16: Euthyde- e q' épwrậs ue, et ti åyaddy oloa, mus doubts whether anyone και μηδενός αγαθόν έστιν, ούτοίδα, can worthily honour the gods. έφη, ούτε δέομαι Λέγεις συ, Socrates tries to convince him. έφη ['Αρίστιππος] καλά τε και δράς γάρ, ότι ο εν Δελφοίς θεός αισχρά τα αυτά είναι; και νή Δί' όταν τις αυτόν επερωτά πώς αν έγωγ', έφη [Σωκράτης] αγαθά τε τους θεούς χαρίζοιτο αποκρίνεται και κακά ... meaning, as the vóugo Trólews. The same prin- sequel shows (not as Ribbing, ciple is attributed to Socrates, l. c. p. 105, translates it: good i. 3, 1.

and evil are the same), but 2 See p. 77, 1.

the same thing is good and As Dissen has already evil, in as far as for one purshown, in the treatise referred pose it is useful, that is good, to p. 100, 2. Compare Wiggers, and for another harmful ; návra Socrates, p. 187; Hun:ndall, De γαρ αγαθά μεν και καλά εστι, Philosophia Mor. Socr. Grote προς και αν εί έχη, κακά δε και (Hist. of Greece, viii. 605) aioxpà, apos & av kar@s.

this statement,

agrees with

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