>All right, I will show you, if you can see that some sense-perceptions[ 10] do not summon the understanding to look into them, because [b] the judgment of sense-perception is itself adequate; whereas others encourage it in every way to look into them, because sense-perception does not produce a sound result.
I don't understand this part of book 7 of the republic, what did Socrates mean by this?
So in his description the first group of people take what they see as granted while the second group of people look into it in more depth because relying on the sense alone is inadequate?
An alternative translation:
"Here, I show," I said, "if you can make it out, that some objects of sensation do not summon the intellect to the activity of investigation because they seem to be adequately judged by sense, while others bid it in every way to undertake a consideration because sense seems to produce nothing healthy."
His following example (looking at one's fingers) is illustrative: We ordinarily take it that when we compare the sizes and number of our fingers (or some other object of sense), that when we say x finger is bigger than y finger, that our observation is based on sense. Socrates seems to be contesting that. Sense merely notes that it is there, but it doesn't, well, *see* that there's some other element present, namely "size" and "number" in his example, which we don't encounter by sense. Now, he's said that the objects that *don't* summon the intellect are those that undergo some "opposite sensation," and that seems to mean things that you don't compare as being bigger than x but smaller than y, and somehow both being bigger and smaller at the same time.
(A question I have is whether there's anything that's adequately judged by sense alone, given what he says.)
tl;dr -- Sense doesn't see comparitives (hotter/colder, bigger/smaller, longer/shorter), but intellect does.
At least that's some part of it. I'm just taking a quick look before having to go to work.
Just posted this in /his/. Maybe you guys (what with all the Republic threads lately) might like it.
>If any of you are interested, I just put up a rar of a bunch of Republic articles/essays/commentaries:
>Lots of different perspectives (Neo-Platonic, traditional philological, analytic, Straussian, post-structuralist), lots of different lengths (4 page articles discussing very particular passages to 500 page commentaries on the minutiae of the Greek text).
As in, will the Republic prepare one for Aristotle? Not really.
You can "move to" Aristotle whenever you want, but 1) the Republic is not the sum total of Plato's philosophy, and 2) there's not really that much in the way of overlap thematically between the Republic and Aristotle's work--for that, you'd really have to read just about the rest of Plato's main works, but especially TImaeus and Parmenides.
If you're not interested with Plato, so be it, but I'm not sure one can say that in reading the Republic, one has even scratched the material present in Plato--people read these works over and over to be able to do just that, after all.
>there's not really that much in the way of overlap thematically between the Republic and Aristotle's work
So wrong, if I understand you correctly. Nicomachean Ethics spends several hundred pages implicitly taking issue with the Republics tripartite soul, its treatment of the virtues, the excellence of the philosophical life, and more. His various technical terms are either refinements or refutations of the picture of human nature laid out in the Republic.
In the Politics, he seems to treat the Republic as though it were serious about its politics (which one can have very good reason to doubt), and critiques it, and gives his own take on the relationship between the philosopher and the city, seemingly in response to the Republic.
In Metaphysics, the ultimate principle of reasoned discourse and the nature of being is investigated and the Platonic doctrine (if it can be called that) of the forms and the Good is both implicitly and explicitly critiqued. He also addresses the principle of non-contradiction, another topic of discussion in the Republic.
The problem with the Republic is that, while sometimes it's abundantly clear when we're hearing an allegory or likely story, it's not always clear whether or not things things said are things being said "on behalf of philosophy" in response to very specific concerns from very specific people kinds of people, as opposed to doctrine. Take for example Socrates discussion of powers of knowledge vs opinion at the end of book V. Pretty consistently, Aristotle addresses moments like those as though they were meant seriously and unironically as doctrinal points which he then takes issue with.
Republic is crucial for properly reading both Plato and Aristotle, imo. Necessary, but not sufficient.
I should have been clearer; all I meant was that reading the Republic will not prepare you for an insight into Aristotle's philosophical projects and his own arguments and methods used to support them. That he brings up the Republic on occasion to argue against it suggests precisely as much, since the disagreements aren't substantially the point of his work but are often asides.
Beyond that, again, the Republic is certainly important for an understanding of Platonic philosophy, but so are the rest of the dialogues, and to miss that the Republic is intentionally partial on certain subjects (Eros, rhetoric, arguably the soul by its own frequent admission, etc.) suggests the necessity of supplementing a reading with the other dialogues. All I'm contesting is the idea that once you've read the Republic, you've "got" Plato and can move on.
Oh I see. No doubt.
Tell the truth, even having read and reread a fair portion of the dialogues, I still can't give a satisfying account to myself why the treatment of eros and thumos in particular and the general system of the human soul feels so inadequate or, given that it's intentionally inadequate, why he has Socrates say it.
Is the dialogue mostly for the benefit of Glaucon, Thrasymachus, or Adeimantus? What does Glaucon get out of it overall given that I'm pretty convinced that although he seems promising in the beginning, he's not a potential philosopher, I can't simply say that philosophical husbandry is the point. Thrasymachus is possibly the biggest beneficiary of the dialogue: he probably sees that there's a weird tension between his personal love of his craft and the particular rhetoric he finds himself speaking for the sake of appealing to both the masses and the sons of the rich.
And where the hell does Adeimantus fit into the whole thing?
Those are some very good questions. I'm not sure of the answers myself.
Thumos might actually have a pretty thorough account in Republic--the focus on the Guardians, the discussion of the Timocratic man/soul/regime, and even the fact that Glaucon and Adeimantus are the primary interlocutors for the rest of the dialogue (both distinguished in battle, both honor loving and victory loving, etc.). I think you're right that Socrates isn't training them to be philosophers; if they are in fact better described as Spirited men, then perhaps the key to what Socrates is doing for them would be found in the treatment of the Guardians. They just have to respect philosophy, even though they have no access to it properly. (It's notable that these two young men from an aristocratic family with connections to Pericles never went on to distinguish themselves in politics. There's a story in Xenophon's Memorabilia where Socrates, *on behalf of Plato and Charmides*, goes on to moderate Glaucon's desire to speak before the assembly. Somehow Socrates is responsible for protecting directing Glaucon and Adeimantus away from political action...)
I think you're right that eros is treated very partially, but I haven't figured out what to make of that. The Phaedrus and Symposium both offer a different take on eros, but they both seem to suffer the notable absence of a concern with Justice. Is the Republic an example of Wisdom led by Justice, instead of vice versa? If Wisdom requires eros for its pursuit, then that might make sense of certain elements of the Republic.
Adeimantus is strange in that he seems to focus a bit more on honor than Glaucon, not that that's a bad thing, but wherein Glaucon seems at times to be guided by an almost tyrannical self-interest (the ring of Gyges? Holy shit, Glaucon.), Adeimantus is the more traditionally "respectable" of the two, asking questions of Socrates when he thinks the people present are too afraid to ask them, focusing on the interest of the many and asking after the Guardians' welfare, etc.
I don't know. I'll have to think about this more.
Thinking a bit more on it, I'm a bit confused about why it's Glaucon that goes down to the Piraeus with Socrates. If the meaning of Socrates' going down is to echo the later passages about the cave, is he making a more concerted attempt to offer a philosophical experience to Glaucon? That still doesn't address why Adeimantus plays a big part in the rest of the Republic, though.