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Plato's theory of understanding by Jon Moline

By Jon Moline

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Onee candidates complete them, he has no reservations about putting unchecked dictatorial power in their hands, confident that they will use it rightly. " lt is possible to "come forth" from these tests. They are not lifelong. , 341C-342B, 489C, 520B. The high stakes he wagers on the outcome of these tests surely bespeak total confidence in their sufficiency to establish the possession of EmOt~l1'l and hence aQEt~, or excellence. At Republic 425D Socrates remarks that it is not worthwhile to dictate to good and honorable men.

Although the passage from 603 to 605 is more explicit than any in book 4, it makes no break with the views expressed in book 4, and is in fact antieipated there in its essentials. YJ and the Psyche that the same thing cannot at the same time and in the same respect be, do, or suffer opposites, he made it quite inclusive enough far later application to thoughts and opinions. " Part B is said not only to be capable of having opinions but also to be in need of intelligent communication either from the wisdom-loving part A within the person or perhaps from other persons' wisdom-loving parts.

The occasion for this principle is the widespread meddlesomeness in the ordinary polis. Plato sees clearly the distinction between minimal capacity and competence. 20 Since Plato regards the psyche as isomorphie to a polis composed of people capable of meddlesomeness, it would be odd if he chose an entirely 58 'Em01~rt'l and the Psyche different principle of specialization for the parts of the psyche than the very principle he had invoked for the parts of the polis-the principle that one is to do what one is competent to do and leave other tasks to others.

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