Statesman HTML version

ther remark a decline of style, and of dramatic
power; the characters excite little or no interest, and
the digressions are apt to overlay the main thesis;
there is not the ‘callida junctura’ of an artistic whole.
Both the serious discussions and the jests are some-
times out of place. The invincible Socrates is with-
drawn from view; and new foes begin to appear
under old names. Plato is now chiefly concerned,
not with the original Sophist, but with the soph-
istry of the schools of philosophy, which are mak-
ing reasoning impossible; and is driven by them out
of the regions of transcendental speculation back
into the path of common sense. A logical or psy-
chological phase takes the place of the doctrine of
Ideas in his mind. He is constantly dwelling on the
importance of regular classification, and of not put-
ting words in the place of things. He has banished
the poets, and is beginning to use a technical lan-
guage. He is bitter and satirical, and seems to be
sadly conscious of the realities of human life. Yet
the ideal glory of the Platonic philosophy is not
Translated by Benjamin Jowett
IN THE PHAEDRUS, the Republic, the Philebus, the
Parmenides, and the Sophist, we may observe the
tendency of Plato to combine two or more subjects
or different aspects of the same subject in a single
dialogue. In the Sophist and Statesman especially
we note that the discussion is partly regarded as an
illustration of method, and that analogies are
brought from afar which throw light on the main
subject. And in his later writings generally we fur-
ranslated by Benjamin Jowett