The invincible Socrates is withdrawn from view; and new foes beginto appear under old names. The philosopher ortheologian who could realize to mankind that a person is a law, that thehigher rule has no exception, that goodness, like knowledge, is also power,would breathe a new religious life into the world. Hence the phenomenon so often observed in the old Greek revolutions,and not without parallel in modern times, that the leaders of the democracyhave been themselves of aristocratic origin. On the Concept of Irony with Continual Reference to Socrates, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Statesman_(dialogue)&oldid=974042653, Articles containing Ancient Greek (to 1453)-language text, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 20 August 2020, at 19:17. This claim runs counter to those who, the Stranger points out, actually did rule. There have been crises in the history ofnations, as at the time of the Crusades or the Reformation, or the FrenchRevolution, when the same inspiration has taken hold of whole peoples, andpermanently raised the sense of freedom and justice among mankind. There may have been a time when the kingwas a god, but he now is pretty much on a level with his subjects inbreeding and education. There are two uses of examples or images--in the first place, they suggestthoughts--secondly, they give them a distinct form. But is aphysician only to cure his patients by persuasion, and not by force? THEODORUS: And you will have three times as much reason to thank me whenthey have delineated the Statesman and Philosopher, as well as the Sophist. As theadviser of a physician may be said to have medical science and to be aphysician, so the adviser of a king has royal science and is a king. The reason of the falling off was thedisengagement of a former chaos; 'a muddy vesture of decay' was a part ofhis original nature, out of which he was brought by his Creator, underwhose immediate guidance, while he remained in that former cycle, the evilwas minimized and the good increased to the utmost. Thus in the Statesman, as in the Laws, we have three forms ofgovernment, which we may venture to term, (1) the ideal, (2) the practical,(3) the sophistical--what ought to be, what might be, what is. 'Your picture, Stranger, of the king and statesman, no less than of theSophist, is quite perfect.'. Allchanges in the heaven affect the animal world, and this being the greatestof them, is most destructive to men and animals. The imaginary ruler, whether God or man, is above the law, and is a lawto himself and to others. Along the way, the three men meet Adeimantus, another brother of Plato. This would apply to all shepherds, with the exception of theStatesman; but if we say 'managing' or 'tending' animals, the term wouldinclude him as well. He is constantly dwelling on the importance of regularclassification, and of not putting words in the place of things. Those that rule merely give the appearance of such knowledge, but in the end are really sophists or imitators. Still there remain some other and betterelements, which adhere to the royal science, and must be drawn off in therefiner's fire before the gold can become quite pure. No, not that; but another part of the story, which tells howthe sun and stars once arose in the west and set in the east, and that thegod reversed their motion, as a witness to the right of Atreus. Sowe may venture slightly to enlarge a Platonic thought which admits of afurther application to Christian theology. Or our mythus may be compared to a picture, which is well drawn inoutline, but is not yet enlivened by colour. THEODORUS: By Ammon, the god of Cyrene, Socrates, that is a very fair hit; and shows that you have not forgotten your geometry. As in the Republic,the government of philosophers, the causes of the perversion of states, theregulation of marriages, are still the political problems with whichPlato's mind is occupied. Whether he has the power or not, is a mere accident; or rather hehas the power, for what ought to be is ('Was ist vernunftig, das istwirklich'); and he ought to be and is the true governor of mankind. How can we get the greatest intelligence combined with thegreatest power? Questions of interest both in ancient and modernpolitics also arise in the course of the dialogue, which may with advantagebe further considered by us:--. The gravity and minuteness with which someparticulars are related also lend an artful aid. Whenwith the best intentions the benevolent despot begins his regime, he findsthe world hard to move. It is the beginning of political society, but there is … In the Statesman Plato admits that, although there is a correct science of government, like geometry it cannot be realized, and he stresses the need for the rule of law, since no ruler can be trusted with unbridled power. Then the Creator, seeing the worldin great straits, and fearing that chaos and infinity would come again, inhis tender care again placed himself at the helm and restored order, andmade the world immortal and imperishable. Like statuaries, we have madesome of the features out of proportion, and shall lose time in reducingthem. He is always wanting to break through theabstraction and interrupt the law, in order that he may present to himselfthe more familiar image of a divine friend. That was the time whenPrometheus brought them fire, Hephaestus and Athene taught them arts, andother gods gave them seeds and plants. Inthe case of the world, the perturbation is very slight, and amounts only toa reversal of motion. For, as the Stranger maintains, a sophist is one who does not know the right thing to do, but only appears to others as someone who does. Some discrepancies may be observedbetween the mythology of the Statesman and the Timaeus, and between theTimaeus and the Republic. how dignified! Man should be well advised that he is only one ofthe animals, and the Hellene in particular should be aware that he himselfwas the author of the distinction between Hellene and Barbarian, and thatthe Phrygian would equally divide mankind into Phrygians and Barbarians,and that some intelligent animal, like a crane, might go a step further,and divide the animal world into cranes and all other animals. Alldivisions which are rightly made should cut through the middle; if youattend to this rule, you will be more likely to arrive at classes. The pride of theHellene is further humbled, by being compared to a Phrygian or Lydian. For they ought to have perished long ago, if they had dependedon the wisdom of their rulers. Even equity, which isthe exception to the law, conforms to fixed rules and lies for the mostpart within the limits of previous decisions. THEODORUS: By the god Ammon, Socrates, you are right; and I am glad to seethat you have not forgotten your geometry. To thosewho were naturally inclined to believe that the fortunes of mankind areinfluenced by the stars, or who maintained that some one principle, likethe principle of the Same and the Other in the Timaeus, pervades all thingsin the world, the reversal of the motion of the heavens seemed necessarilyto produce a reversal of the order of human life. Theypropose to take the Statesman after the Sophist; his path they mustdetermine, and part off all other ways, stamping upon them a singlenegative form (compare Soph.). Plato glories in this impartiality of the dialectical method, which placesbirds in juxtaposition with men, and the king side by side with the bird-catcher; king or vermin-destroyer are objects of equal interest to science(compare Parmen.). I will select the example of weaving, or, more precisely, weaving of wool.In the first place, all possessions are either productive or preventive; ofthe preventive sort are spells and antidotes, divine and human, and alsodefences, and defences are either arms or screens, and screens are veilsand also shields against heat and cold, and shields against heat and coldare shelters and coverings, and coverings are blankets or garments, andgarments are in one piece or have many parts; and of these latter, some arestitched and others are fastened, and of these again some are made offibres of plants and some of hair, and of these some are cemented withwater and earth, and some are fastened with their own material; the latterare called clothes, and are made by the art of clothing, from which the artof weaving differs only in name, as the political differs from the royalscience. Rather, as in the Phaedo, he says, 'Something of the kind is true;'or, as in the Gorgias, 'This you will think to be an old wife's tale, butyou can think of nothing truer;' or, as in the Statesman, he describes hiswork as a 'mass of mythology,' which was introduced in order to teachcertain lessons; or, as in the Phaedrus, he secretly laughs at such storieswhile refusing to disturb the popular belief in them. The text is a dialogue between Socrates and the mathematician Theodorus, another student named Socrates (referred to as Young Socrates), and an unknown philosopher expounding the ideas of the statesman. The first and grand error was in choosing for ourking a god, who belongs to the other cycle, instead of a man from our own;there was a lesser error also in our failure to define the nature of theroyal functions. But even supposing the different classes of a nation, when viewedimpartially, to be on a level with each other in moral virtue, there remaintwo considerations of opposite kinds which enter into the problem ofgovernment. Such a conception hassometimes been entertained by modern theologians, and by Plato himself, ofthe Supreme Being. Once more we will endeavour to view this royal science by the light of ourexample. The Statesman (Greek: Πολιτικός, Politikós; Latin: Politicus), also known by its Latin title, Politicus, is a Socratic dialogue written by Plato. A change must be madein the spirit of a people as well as in their externals. Having discovered the genus underwhich the king falls, we proceed to distinguish him from the collateralspecies. Then (6) there are the arts whichfurnish gold, silver, wood, bark, and other materials, which should havebeen put first; these, again, have no concern with the kingly science; anymore than the arts (7) which provide food and nourishment for the humanbody, and which furnish occupation to the husbandman, huntsman, doctor,cook, and the like, but not to the king or statesman. The sensible world, according to Plato is the world of contingent, contrary to the intelligible world, which contains essences or ideas, intelligible forms, models of all things, saving the phenomena and give them meaning. He touches upon another question of great interest--the consciousness ofevil--what in the Jewish Scriptures is called 'eating of the tree of theknowledge of good and evil.' The Statesman (Greek: Πολιτικός, Politikós; Latin: Politicus ), also known by its Latin title, Politicus, is a Socratic dialogue written by Plato. In that case we should have begun by dividing land animalsinto bipeds and quadrupeds, and bipeds into winged and wingless; we shouldthan have taken the Statesman and set him over the 'bipes implume,' and putthe reins of government into his hands. I will explain my meaning by an illustration:--Suppose that mankind,indignant at the rogueries and caprices of physicians and pilots, calltogether an assembly, in which all who like may speak, the skilled as wellas the unskilled, and that in their assembly they make decrees forregulating the practice of navigation and medicine which are to be bindingon these professions for all time. Both expressly recognize the conception of a first or idealstate, which has receded into an invisible heaven. In theProtagoras, Socrates was maintaining that there was only one virtue, andnot many: now Plato is inclined to think that there are not only parallel,but opposite virtues, and seems to see a similar opposition pervading allart and nature. From such ideals as he had once formed, he turns away tocontemplate the decline of the Greek cities which were far worse now in hisold age than they had been in his youth, and were to become worse and worsein the ages which followed. But how would you subdivide the herdsman'sart? In lesser matters theantagonism between them is ludicrous, but in the State may be the occasionof grave disorders, and may disturb the whole course of human life. Again, a ruler isconcerned with the production of some object, and objects may be dividedinto living and lifeless, and rulers into the rulers of living and lifelessobjects. The myth, like that of the Timaeus and Critias, is rather historical thanpoetical, in this respect corresponding to the general change in the laterwritings of Plato, when compared with the earlier ones. And thenature of example can only be illustrated by an example. Plato (c. 427– c. 347 B.C.) Plato seems to be conscious of the suggestivenessof imagery; the general analogy of the arts is constantly employed by himas well as the comparison of particular arts--weaving, the refining ofgold, the learning to read, music, statuary, painting, medicine, the art ofthe pilot--all of which occur in this dialogue alone: though he is alsoaware that 'comparisons are slippery things,' and may often give a falseclearness to ideas. The ancientlegislator did not really take a blank tablet and inscribe upon it therules which reflection and experience had taught him to be for a nation'sinterest; no one would have obeyed him if he had. It may however be doubted how far, either in a Greek or modernstate, such a limitation is practicable or desirable; for those who areleft outside the pale will always be dangerous to those who are within,while on the other hand the leaven of the mob can hardly affect therepresentation of a great country. May not any man, rich or poor, with or withoutlaw, and whether the citizens like or not, do what is for their good? plus-circle Add Review. Besides the supreme science of dialectic, 'which will forget us, if weforget her,' another master-science for the first time appears in view--thescience of government, which fixes the limits of all the rest. Often people say Plato has three great political dialogues, the Republic, the Statesman and the Laws. And in his later writingsgenerally we further remark a decline of style, and of dramatic power; thecharacters excite little or no interest, and the digressions are apt tooverlay the main thesis; there is not the 'callida junctura' of an artisticwhole. The dialectical interest of the Statesman seems to contend in Plato'smind with the political; the dialogue might have been designated by twoequally descriptive titles--either the 'Statesman,' or 'Concerning Method.' You have heardwhat happened in the quarrel of Atreus and Thyestes? It is ostensibly an attempt to arrive at a definition of "statesman," as opposed to "sophist" or "philosopher" and is presented as following the acti… When a pupil at a school isasked the letters which make up a particular word, is he not asked with aview to his knowing the same letters in all words? The outline may be filled up as follows:--. He is a young nobleman named Polemarchus. Nor am I referring to governmentofficials, such as heralds and scribes, for these are only the servants ofthe rulers, and not the rulers themselves. And the best thing which they can do (though only the secondbest in reality), is to reduce the ideal state to the conditions of actuallife. 3 Favorites . The royalscience is queen of educators, and begins by choosing the natures which sheis to train, punishing with death and exterminating those who are violentlycarried away to atheism and injustice, and enslaving those who arewallowing in the mire of ignorance. The true politicalprinciple is to assert the inviolability of the law, which, though not thebest thing possible, is best for the imperfect condition of man. And yet he issomething more than this,--the perfectly good and wise tyrant of the Laws,whose will is better than any law. Like Minos, they too wil… But are any of these governmentsworthy of the name? The higher ideas, of which we have a dreamy knowledge, canonly be represented by images taken from the external world. andthe distinctions of freedom and compulsion, law and no law, poverty andriches expand these three into six. Themind of the writer seems to be so overpowered in the effort of thought asto impair his style; at least his gift of expression does not keep up withthe increasing difficulty of his theme. And our enquiry aboutthe Statesman in like manner is intended not only to improve our knowledgeof politics, but our reasoning powers generally. into one of the most prominent families in Athens. Thus theywill embrace every species of property with the exception of animals,--butthese have been already included in the art of tending herds. Still less would any oneanalyze the nature of weaving for its own sake. Tell me, whichis the happier of the two? The reason ofthis further decline is supposed to be the disorganisation of matter: thelatent seeds of a former chaos are disengaged, and envelope all things. The law sacrifices the individualto the universal, and is the tyranny of the many over the few (compareRepublic). Statesman by PLATO (Πλάτων) LibriVox. Thevirtuous tyrant is common to both of them; and the Eleatic Stranger takesup a position similar to that of the Athenian Stranger in the Laws. It is not of use to the State. Measure is the life of the arts, and may some daybe discovered to be the single ultimate principle in which all the sciencesare contained. Reviews There are no reviews yet. The Eleatic Stranger and Socrates the Younger resume using the method of division employed in the Sophist, pausing to reflect on dialectical methods and a myth similar to the myth of ages. Who has described 'thefeeble intelligence of all things; given by metaphysics better than theEleatic Stranger in the words--'The higher ideas can hardly be set forthexcept through the medium of examples; every man seems to know all thingsin a kind of dream, and then again nothing when he is awake?' It is hardly amyth in the sense in which the term might be applied to the myth of thePhaedrus, the Republic, the Phaedo, or the Gorgias, but may be more aptlycompared with the didactic tale in which Protagoras describes the fortunesof primitive man, or with the description of the gradual rise of a newsociety in the Third Book of the Laws. Their realwishes hardly make themselves felt, although their lower interests andprejudices may sometimes be flattered and yielded to for the sake ofulterior objects by those who have political power. (7)Fixed principles are implanted by education, and the king or statesmancompletes the political web by marrying together dissimilar natures, thecourageous and the temperate, the bold and the gentle, who are the warp andthe woof of society. The text is a dialogue between Socrates and the mathematician Theodorus, another student named Socrates (referred to as Young Socrates), and an unknown philosopher expounding the ideas of the statesman. And whoever, having skill, should try to improvethem, would act in the spirit of the law-giver. And here is the pointof my tale. Instead the citizens of the state, at this early stage they are generically named guardians, are to be nourished only on literature - br… Hence we conclude that the science of the king, statesman, andhouseholder is one and the same. Introduction to the Statesman. Literature Network » Plato » Statesman » Introduction and Analysis. The rest of the citizens she blendsinto one, combining the stronger element of courage, which we may call thewarp, with the softer element of temperance, which we may imagine to be thewoof. No onewould think of usurping the prerogatives of the ordinary shepherd, who onall hands is admitted to be the trainer, matchmaker, doctor, musician ofhis flock. But there is some inconsistency;for the 'letting go' is spoken of as a divine act, and is at the same timeattributed to the necessary imperfection of matter; there is also anumerical necessity for the successive births of souls. And the Theaetetus, Parmenides, and Philebus, supply links, bywhich, however different from them, they may be reunited with the greatbody of the Platonic writings. The Statesman is a difficult and puzzling Platonic dialogue. comment. First in theconnection with mythology;--he wins a kind of verisimilitude for this asfor his other myths, by adopting received traditions, of which he pretendsto find an explanation in his own larger conception (compare Introductionto Critias). There was a time when God directed the revolutions of the world, but at thecompletion of a certain cycle he let go; and the world, by a necessity ofits nature, turned back, and went round the other way. To geometricians, like you andTheaetetus, I can have no difficulty in explaining that man is a diameter,having a power of two feet; and the power of four-legged creatures, beingthe double of two feet, is the diameter of our diameter. In modern politics so manyinterests have to be consulted that we are compelled to do, not what isbest, but what is possible. For the compact which the law makes withmen, that they shall be protected if they observe the law in their dealingswith one another, would have to be substituted another principle of a moregeneral character, that they shall be protected by the law if they actrightly in their dealings with one another. Thoughdeprived of God's help, he is not left wholly destitute; he has receivedfrom Athene and Hephaestus a knowledge of the arts; other gods give himseeds and plants; and out of these human life is reconstructed. The people are expecting tobe governed by representatives of their own, but the true man of the peopleeither never appears, or is quickly altered by circumstances. A previous chaos in which the elementsas yet were not, is hinted at both in the Timaeus and Statesman. For at first the universeis governed by the immediate providence of God,--this is the golden age,--but after a while the wheel is reversed, and man is left to himself. All things require to be compared,not only with one another, but with the mean, without which there would beno beauty and no art, whether the art of the statesman or the art ofweaving or any other; for all the arts guard against excess or defect,which are real evils. Now there are inferior sciences, such as music and others;and there is a superior science, which determines whether music is to belearnt or not, and this is different from them, and the governor of them.The science which determines whether we are to use persuasion, or not, ishigher than the art of persuasion; the science which determines whether weare to go to war, is higher than the art of the general. But before we can rightly distinguish him from his rivals,we must view him, (2) as he is presented to us in a famous ancient tale: the tale will also enable us to distinguish the divine from the humanherdsman or shepherd: (3) and besides our fable, we must have an example;for our example we will select the art of weaving, which will have to bedistinguished from the kindred arts; and then, following this pattern, wewill separate the king from his subordinates or competitors. After a while the tumult ceased, and the universal creature settled down inhis accustomed course, having authority over all other creatures, andfollowing the instructions of his God and Father, at first more precisely,afterwards with less exactness. Here let us sum up:--The science of pure knowledge had a part which was thescience of command, and this had a part which was a science of wholesalecommand; and this was divided into the management of animals, and was againparted off into the management of herds of animals, and again of landanimals, and these into hornless, and these into bipeds; and so at last wearrived at man, and found the political and royal science.
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