Meeting Index

Eric Voegelin Society Meeting 2009


Copyright 2003 Kenneth Quandt



    Voegelinians as a group (not to say we are just a group!) speak of trying to restore, or are spoken of as trying to restore, and recover, the older paradigms. For this is Voegelin's own self-interpretation, and the motivation behind his historical work. His older essay, the Origins of Scientism, is a classic example of this historical work. But with the publication last year of a reliable translation of the Anamnesis essays complete with its original contents (1) we are reaching a clearer record of Voegelin's more and more explicit attempts, in his later years, to reach a theory of history and politics through a theory of consciousness: to ground the results of his research (historie) on the consciousness of the researcher. Hence my title, for this is the direction in which I am reaching in this paper.

    As a preliminary matter we must decide what we shall take as our model of "research." The currently predominant sense of the word is present in the phrase "scientific research," and this use is predominant because scientific research (along with research grants and the income to universities generated by them) is big business. (2) This raises the very important though only preliminary point, preliminary but usually overlooked, that the elemental issue of research finance can play an insidious role in the behavior of the researcher.

    The point may be illustrated paradigmatically by the case of Socrates's remark, near the end of the Apology: ho de anexestastos bios ou biotos anthropoi (38A5-6). We are all familiar with the standard interpretation of this line, namely, "The unexamined life is not worth living:" it is almost unanimous and even proverbial, (3) and yet it is incorrect. For Socrates is saying that living a life without mindful awareness is unlivable for man, that it will not sustain his humanity (ou biotos anthropoi); whereas on the other hand the received translation turns his remark into a mere "value judgment" that some men would agree with and others would disagree with. To some extent, I believe, this misinterpretation reveals a blind spot in the minds of the people whose job it is to translate it, namely, the men and women for whom the life of study is definitely worth living since they make their living from it. To just what extent the mistranslation is due to the blind spot is not my privilege, nor my duty, to know, since it is long since I have made my living this way. Indeed, like many of you I have paid my own way to be here today, without being issued a travel allowance, except the one I received from my gracious wife, who allowed me to be here even though today is our twentieth anniversary. (4)

    The second preliminary, besides how we finance study, is the self-image of the professional researcher. "Research" today occurs not only in such phrases as "scientific research" and "research grant," but also in the wording of the doctoral certificate, "demonstrated capability to perform independent research." (5) Within the academic world we get to know each other by asking, "What is your research in?" Less commonly we hear "What questions are you working on?" But almost never do we hear, "Why are you reading?" and I think I will never hear "Why are you still alive?" -- or in the Socratic way of talking, "What questions are sustaining you in your humanity?"

    Such a question, for one thing, would be rude -- "too personal." But really -- we are among friends -- this reaction is only defensive: the academic professional teaches people that come and go, year in and year out, and writes books read by people that he never meets: he can hardly expect his personal development -- the sequence of challenges, for instance, that he is served up by his family life, or for that matter his lack thereof-- to proceed pari passu with his ... his ... research (!) ah!! there's the term!!

    Clearly then my interest in the "consciousness of the researcher" includes an interest in his "psychology." Indeed, we have known since Heraclitus that the inward dimension of the psyche is as much a mystery as any in the cosmos, and indeed as important a mystery, too. Although one might suspect that modern psychology betrays the Greek psychology, it is psychology nonetheless, and if there is a truncation or derogation in the soul as depicted by modern psychology, the cause for the truncation is, inescapably, that the consciousness of modern researchers on a socially relevant scale has found this version adequate despite its truncation.

    Voegelin's work on Scientism dates from an earlier time in his written oeuvre. "Scientism" arises as a problematic phenomenon only when (6) it appears in the political sphere, namely in the derogation of "reason" in the English 17th Century (7) or in the work of Comte to which totalitarian manipulation might be traced; (8) and the nature of the problem is made out to be a transfer of the methods of one discipline to that of another: from the natural sciences to human affairs (9) -- a fallacy called metabasis eis allo genos by Aristotle in the Posterior Analytics . (10) To the extent that the problem is characterized as a transfer of the method of one science to another, allowing the method to determine the criterion of relevance is merely a corollary of any methodology; indeed, the trouble created by this corollary is the reason not to allow the metabasis; to the extent that the problem is a problem of subordinating theory to science, a definition of theory is needed.

    That the method of natural sciences was in fact misapplied, transferred to the analysis and understanding of human or political phenomena, Voegelin explains as due to (1) the attractive success of science and its corollary technology, and (2) the derogation of the notion of reason. (11) In a not untypical and as usual fascinating explanation of the obscurum through the obscurius, he then presents an exhibit of how problems at the borders of disciplines are subjected to misunderstanding by the imperial pretensions of the exponents of the several disciplines, using as his case the argument on absolute space between the metaphysical Leibniz and the physical Clarke. (12)

    Here we have a paradigm, I believe, of what Voegelin later tried to move beyond, namely a diagnosis formulated in the terms of the by then well-established "history of ideas" approach. Later in his treatment, he is willing to thematize the whole issue by characterizing the scientistic politician in terms of his state of consciousness, namely as a "spiritual eunuch." (13) The metaphor of the eunuch is attractively ambiguous, evoking on the one hand the image of an advisor to the sultan but then undercutting any confusion with a Castiglionean courtier by suggesting, with "eunuch," that those who can't "do it" only get to talk about it. This latter, to me, is a much more pertinent critique than the methodological one, despite the unscientific use of the crucial term, eunuch, in contrast with the highly respectable coloring that his paper receives with its critique of methodology.

    One of the things many of us liked best about Voegelin was his ability to call a spade a spade; and "spiritual eunuch" goes into the shortest list of such callings, right alongside "intellectual swindler." Like Mr. Justice Potter Stewart, (14) he knew what-was-what when he saw it, even before he had articulated the problem theoretically to the point of formulating a definition. (15) In this case, too, where the gravamen of the issue was a definition of the sphere of political science and its proper methodology and method, it was not until his lecture of 1965, "Was ist politische Realitaet," that he treated the underlying problem head on. Marvelously and through the work of many hands we now have a reliable translation of this essay, in the new collected works volume, Anamnesis. In this essay he deals more deeply with what he might then have called the underlying metaphysical and epistemological issues involved in scientistic political science (16) -- It might be better to say that he finally deals with the problem "theoretically," for the important point is that even the language with which we describe the activity awaits the outcome of the activity for its own grounding: there is no terminology by which to describe theorizing except the terminology that emerges in the course of theorizing itself. This is what Heraclitus compactly and presciently utters when he says that the soul has a logos that increases itself (17) Therefore even to characterize the issues involved presupposes the result of the theoretical effort brought into being by the initial smelling of a rat.

    Of course this is to say that the question precedes the answer: but it might be saying more: we are also near to saying that the answer remains inextricable from the process that reaches it, insofar as it is only a report of the process tentatively formed from within that process. If it remains inextricable can we speak of an outcome? Can the answer ever become what Voegelin calls a "possession" or "a piece of information lying around?" (18) We might, in a rising and proud moment declare victory over the positivists by saying, "No!" but then we are left with Pyrrhic problem that there would be no expertise in political matters, and if no expertise, no guidance in political affairs, let alone departments of Political Science, or a Deutsche Vereinigung fuer Politische Wissenschaft, or an American Political Science Association. And so quite apart from the exigencies of employment and professional identity and institutionalization, which we recognized as merely preliminary a moment ago, we have reached the real heart of the matter: How many of us are able (let alone willing) to "dwell in the question," as our late friend, Ken Whelan, put it, without getting to separate out an answer that we could walk away with?

    Voegelin sketched out, in his widely popular essay that is also characteristic of his later interests, "Reason--the Classic Experience," (19) how the terminology of scientific methodology arose in the historical attempts by Heraclitus, Parmenides, and Plato to describe in language events within consciousness that the people around them did not acknowledge to be real, even though it was part of their description to say of these events that they were the common heritage of all. (20) Likewise, when Socrates in the Apology confessed that god would not let him stop urging the Athenians to examine their lives and reminding them that a life without conscience is less than human, they executed him so as to hear no more of it. He warned them that this would not end the matter, but would unleash still harsher criticism of them, and of course Plato's literary corpus is the can of whoop-ass to which he prophetically refers.

    It would not be wrong to characterize all three of these Greek thinkers as prophets among men in the original sense of the term, namely, as spokesmen for god. But god is not at the center of Greek philosophy, and so the characterization, though probably a worthwhile equivalent, is not quite germane. It would be more to the point to say that the very experience of the inextricability of the answer from the process of questioning is represented, first, in Heraclitus by his tricky use of ambiguity whereby his auditor discovers himself making the mistake Heraclitus is criticizing (one could say he exploits the tension between luminosity and intentionality by creating instances of it in language); second, in Parmenides by his adopting the didactic epic meter and dialect of Hesiod and speaking of the "knowing man" from the point of view of the gods; but, third, and most thoroughly and ineluctably, by Plato through his invention of the dialogue form, which has proven both by precept and by example to be the most powerful antidote to doctrinization --the separation of the answer from the questioning process-- in the history of western education.

    Characterizing the greater Greek efforts in this way invites a quick comparison with the Christian effort of Bonaventura, where God is both center and circumference. (21) The Itinerarium Mentis in Deum presents itself as an attempt to describe the mental path by which St.Francis may have reached such an intimate union with God that in very fact he suffered the wounds of Jesus. (22) The description in a sense recapitulates (and in fact is primarily meant to propose a standard for) the new and rapidly growing Franciscan movement in terms provided by medieval epistemology and metaphysics. In the three pairs of chapters that comprise the treatise-proper, dealing serially with the world outside, the world inside, and the world above us, he matches what we know per speculum with what we know in speculo -- showing how in these three realms our intentional consciousness enables us through the intervention of grace also to undergo the insights of luminosity. This pairing of searching and praying, if you will, is achieved and illustrated by Bonaventura through a continuous discourse about forty pages long, that continually sweep up the reader into a process greater than his own thinking. The Platonic dialogue, therefore, with its simultaneous display of the process of inquiry and its provisional results, is not the only literary form available to correct the human frailty of jumping to conclusions. But on the other hand, note also that Bonaventura, unlike Plato, is not a literary master. For he did not fashion the itinerary; rather, as he tells us in the preface, it was revealed to him during his meditative visit to Mount Alverna, the site of Francis's experience of the wounds.



    At the center of the central work of the Platonic corpus (23) Plato has his interlocutors reflect on the grounds of all knowledge, truth, and reality. It is the passage comprising the Image of the Sun, the Analogy of the Line, and the Myth of the Cave. (24) It is in the center member of this triad that Plato presents his most concerted description of philosophical and scientific experience. What he says here was immediately misunderstood by Aristotle (25) and later overinterpreted by the NeoPlatonists: (26) that we could at all discover his true meaning rests solely on the accuracy of the account by which he describes a theoretical experience that is essentially available to anyone who finds himself in the right state of questioning. It is the purpose of the present essay to make this description and therefore the experience it describes,more undergoable, especially for Greekless readers. (27)

    The question animating the interlocutors when these matters arise is not an idle academic question or likely dissertation topic such as "Can Plato make a reasonable case for idealism?" or "Is The Good a pros hen equivocal according to Plato?" but something like this:

"Having now agreed that political order is grounded in the ruler's awareness of truth and reality, and having recognized how likely it is that our social and economic situation will corrupt the young man who has the intellectual and temperamental personal abilities needed to achieve such knowledge and awareness, can we achieve a secure enough sense of the knowledge itself, by constant reference to which our ruler could at all be able to make all the judgments needed to maintain political order, so that we could at least conceivably hope that political order be achieved and sustained among us, mere humans that we are?" (28)

    At this point (506D) Socrates famously demurs: for obviously, the knowledge in question is nothing less than the knowledge of the good, but to say what the good is, is beyond his powers. Instead, he begs leave to introduce only a likeness of an answer, whose meaning will therefore have to depend on our supplying an original to which the likeness alludes. (29) As the Sun is to the existence, growth, and visibility of all things visible, making also the eye able to see; so also is the Good to the distinct nature, reality, and knowability of all things noetic, making also the nous able to know. Chewing on this much, his interlocutor craves more, and Socrates seeks to supply his desire as far as in him lies: (30) "All right then, use your mind to conceive of a line ...," and with this begins the Line Passage (509D1-511E5).


    Into the completely empty and purely formal medium of a line, the mind is at once directed (31) to project its understanding of itself and its objects, in the wake of (32) and as an elaboration of (33) the simile just presented that likened the sun's kingly role in the visible world to the role of the good in the noetic world. This line we are told (34) to accept as being already divided into unequal parts. Rather than this inequality being explained we are told to redivide the unequal segments by the same ratio (logos). The fact that the line's segments are unequal, we already guess, has some significance; but since length is almost the only distinguishing quality that a line segment has, difference in length can signify absolutely anything: the mind therefore already finds itself with an unanswered question, and so is drawn in on its own reconnaissance to discover the criterion represented by this inequality of length. (35) It is allowed to infer that the two parts represent the two realms just distinguished, the visible and the noetic, but there is no direct warrant even for this inference.

    Nevertheless, before we can progress toward deciding the criterion, the narrator of this thought experiment issues (509D7) another command (36) that doubles our problem: (37) "subdivide the two segments into subsegments by the same unequal proportion." For the mind, this does not serve as a clue to the meaning of the original inequality, but to the mind it suggests a second-order sort of logical complexity: Whatever the criterion represented by the inequality, we are to reproduce it even though we do not know what it is. (38) Subjectively, this operation is a purely formal mental act; but it also has an objective meaning: the criterion is such as to be applicable to itself. In other words, in algebraic terms, we have f(f(x)), a function whose range is included in its domain.

    Immediately next (509D8) we are told, by the way, (39) that the original division represented, in its one section the seen type, (40) and in its other section the known; (41) and we are told that if we follow these commands our (42) result will be, within at least the subdivision of the line representing the seen, a division whose criterion --or at least the spectrum of values, the termini of the subsection-- is (the degree of) clarity and unclarity. (43) On the one hand we finally have our criterion, but on the other we get it only in the subaltern context of the subdivision --the realm of the visual-- and so at the same time that we are required to absorb this thing that we are being told, we, on our own reconnaissance, either begin to try to derive f(x) by working backwards from what we are given (i.e., f(f(x))), or we give the question up or postpone it, and keep our attention clear to receive more commands.

    The immediately next thing said (509E1) is, as before, a description of the content of the one subdivision (44) appended again as a mere appositive. (45) That content is: images (eikones). But these are then explained, (46) and explained not by means of a definition or general characterization, but by a list (509E1-510A2). At first the list does not seem to be a list of mere instances. (47) The first item is shadows in general, (48) a category of items, and so the next one (49) should be, too, and it is: appearances in water. (50) But this item is immediately modified to include other media than water: (51) what is being expanded upon, that is, is the "in what" the appearances appear. In particular, the characteristics of the medium as medium are generalized, (52) namely, the properties of water that make it able to reflect (density, smoothness and [resultant] brightness (53)). The effect of this generalization is to exclude as irrelevant in the conception of the appearances, as far as the mind can do so, any inclusion of the medium in which they appear, even though without the medium they would disappear. That is, the distinction we are being asked to draw is again purely mental: isolate the image in the water from the water that it appears (and therefore is) in. With our eyes, however, we cannot distinguish the image (the phantasma) from the water that it is in. The distinction within the visible subsection therefore requires mind, but what mind is distinguishing is in a sense only visible.

    Since we are receiving orders we are again left to our own reconnaissance to ask, why mention first (54) these eikones, likenesses, before or without mentioning of what they are images? The explication of the eikones does not answer this obvious question: instead, by moving from shadows in general to other non-self-subsistent "things seen" in a manner that focuses on the reflectivity of the medium in which these likenesses appear, the explication only doubles our grounds for wondering why these things, by nature derivative, are placed first, since now we are made to see that their existence is not only derivative from an original but also dependent upon a second thing, the medium in which they appear. (55) And so again and even more, the distinction within the visible subsection requires sustained mental support for us to draw it. That Socrates should next interrupt himself to ask whether his interlocutor has grasped with his nous (56) what he is saying (510A3) acknowledges this requirement (which of course exists in the reader, who is real, rather than in Glaucon, who is merely the image of a man or -- since he only speaks -- of a mind). So when Glaucon replies,"Oh but I do get it!" the reader knows at least that he has been given all the help he is going to get, and moreover that something else is about to happen.

    Socrates next asserts (510A5) (57) that Glaucon is ready for the next command, which is to posit (58) that the other subsection of the visible segment of the line (59) is what this first subsection resembles (is the eikon of (60)). So, we get the horse that the cart had been placed before, above. But it is still referred to as the horse's cart rather than the cart's horse: Socrates does not say "the originals of which those were mere images" but "what those things resembled" -- and immediately as before explains with a list rather than by defining or characterizing the originals as such: "the animals that are around us and the whole realm of flora and artifacts, too, the whole kit and caboodle." (61) The list, which is in parallel position to and therefore invites comparison with the exegetical list of eikones, has, also like it, a logical (mental) shape or form that repays close scrutiny. The sequence "fauna and flora and man-made objects, too," is not as striking (62) as the rather gratuitous detail "around us." (63) Perhaps what is meant by the phrase is that just as the appearances subsist (only) in a medium, (64) so the animals (and other things), as being "around us," stand on their own (at least as much as we do). This much we would infer from the formal parallelism with "in water" (en hudasi); but in itself the content of the prepositional phrase, around us, rather suggests that the animals around us are visible because nearby, viz., "The animals we see around us." Again we are left to ourselves to ponder such an answer, and perhaps even to wonder whether our question is pertinent.

    But his interlocutor interrupts our thoughts to announce that he will comply with the command: "So I do posit (sc. the second half of the subdivision to consist of this group of items)." Does he know something we don't? Why doesn't he ask some of the questions that keep occurring to us?

    Socrates continues by seeing whether he will also accept or further comply (65) with the suggestion that it (that is, the entire segment (66)), divided as they have agreed to divide it, can be said consequentially to have been divided in the same way it would have been divided if we had divided it (67) according to the criterion (or termini) of the real-and-true and the unreal-and-untrue. (68) This new criterion (or set of termini) is formulated in such a way as to correspond with the previous one (namely, as a pair of opposites, cf. clarity and unclarity, 509D9), which we had rather forgotten because of the attention we had to pay to the intervening lists of the two line subsegments' contents. The suggestion is then supported by the statement of an analogy, introduced abruptly as an appositive but serving as an explanation or proposed ground for the suggestion (or for the suggestion being accepted: this abruptness is there, whatever it means). The appositive asserts, "as the opined or seeming (69) is to the known; (70) so is the thing that is made to be similar, to the thing to which it is made to be similar." (71) Again we can just succeed in grasping the meaning despite the confusing apparatus of the circumlocution: Why, withal, is the circumlocution preferred?

    Be that as it may, the argument that is being made is, compendiously, that (1) adopting a cut of the line segment representing the visible realm for which the termini of the subsection would be clarity at one end and unclarity at the other; fits with (2) attributing to these subsections appearances (derivative both in form and in matter, if you will) and things (visible shapes or forms) that the appearances resemble, respectively; (72) and that (3) divided and filled in this way the termini of the subsection can also be said to be true-and-real at one end and untrue-and-unreal at the other; on the grounds that (4) as the opined is to the known, so is the resemblant to the thing to which it is resemblant, respectively. (73) The fourth step introduces the grounds for the third, by introducing the middle terms "opined" and "known," between the terms of the second and the third steps. To spell it out, the paradigm of the unclear (asaphes), namely the resemblant (homoiothen), verges toward the terminus untrue-and-unreal (me alethes), because of its correspondence with the opined (doxaston); whereas the paradigm of the clear (saphes), namely the thing that the resemblant resembles (to hoi homoiothe), verges toward the true-and-real (alethes) because of its corresponding correspondence with the known (gnoston).

    Importantly, this and any other summary of the argument is much longer than the argument itself. If the mind grasps it the first time, the summary is not necessary as Socrates's interlocutor reminds us by his next action: For his part, he is fully in agreement (510B1); and this provides permission for Socrates to move on to the subdivision of the second half of the original division: (74)

    "Accordingly, observe in turn how the noetic subdivision must be made"; and the interlocutor signals his readiness to move on to this second phase in the argument by replying with the question, "How?"

    "In such a manner that with respect to the one part of it (75) the soul (76) can only (77) carry out her investigation (78) by using now as images the things that were imitated before, (79) picking her way (80) from hypotheses not toward the principle but toward the result; whereas with respect to the other part in turn, (81) by moving toward a principle (82) that is not an hypothesis, she makes her way out of hypothesis in general (83) without (84) the images used by the former section, (85) creating (86) instead (87) her own (88) path of argument (89) from idea to idea (90) aided by ideas alone." (91)

    The sentence (510B4-9) is daringly theoretical. In sharp contrast with the immediately previous construction of the lower half of the line, there is no issuing of commands that are easy to follow, attended in tandem by the mind's wondering why it is this way rather than the other. Here, merely to grasp the meaning is quite enough of a task, and the means provided are generous rather than methodical: a panoply of semantic, linguistic and syntactic means, as I have tried to show in my footnotes. Indeed at this point my footnotes do not prove what the meaning is but merely accompany the meaning: right or wrong they show at least some of the many ambiguities that need to be resolved in order to come up with any interpretation of the sentence.

    It is perhaps some relief to us, therefore, that the interlocutor then apologizes (510B10): "This time I didn't quite get what you are saying." To which Socrates says, "No problem -- I'll go over it again. It will be easier to understand what I mean, now that I have laid this first version out before you" (510C1-2). Importantly, Socrates's restatement of the distinction is almost ten times as long (510C1-511D5). Our hope, that is, that the structured density of that original statement will now be "unpacked," is met. This is the first time that he has not just moved on with more imperatives. In fact, in what follows there is no more geometrical cutting and assuming and assigning -- indeed no more orders at all!

    "I fancy that (92) you recognize that people (93) who deal with (94) geometries (95) and calculations and such (96) by means of hypothesizing (97) the odd and the even and the geometrical figures and three kinds of angles, and other things related to these in the several disciplines, (98) that these people act as though they knew their natures once they have turned them, whatever they are, (99) into hypotheses for the purpose of their dealings, and feel they owe no further account of them, neither to each other as exponents of the discipline nor to others outside their group, on the belief that it is self-evident to anyone what they are. Instead, (100) beginning (101) their dealings from these hypothesized things (102) they move right on (103) through the rest of the steps until, maintaining consistency with the hypothesis, (104) they reach the result that they had originally set out to reach with their investigation."

    Although Glaucon did not understand the compact expression above, this at least --i.e., these sorts of people and this sort of behavior-- he has indeed seen (510D4).

    Having established the example as familiar, Socrates then (510D5,ff) goes on to ask (not command) whether Glaucon has not also observed (105) that they bring into their arguments (106) visible forms, (107) in the sense that (108) they use them as the medium of their arguments, even though their thought process is not about them, but about the things of which these things are the likenesses: that is, that they conduct their argument with the goal of understanding the square in itself and the diagonal of the square in itself, rather than this diagonal and square that they draw in the course of their argument? And to put the point generally, (109) these things that they are in the habit of drawing or making as models, which as such (110) are also the sorts of things that shadows are the shadows of and reflections in water are the reflections of, these things, I say, (111) they may in their turn use as images, but nevertheless their research is directed toward catching a glimpse (112) of those things in themselves (113) that one could never catch sight of except in thought. (114)

Glaucon in the Greek manner agreeing to the whole by agreeing with the last point, says, "That's true."

    All right then, (115) this is what I meant when I said that although in its essential character this section pertains to the mind (rather than to the eyes), (116) the soul, since she is compelled to use hypotheses in connection with studying it and does not move toward the source of things on the grounds that (117) she is not able to depart from the path of hypotheses and go upward, uses instead (118) the very things of which there had been images below, reconciling those things with those things, (119) on the grounds that they are obviously what matters and what deserves to be understood. (120)

    Glaucon: "I am learning what you mean: you are talking about the section of the line (121) dealt with in geometrical sciences and those that are akin to them." With this he bespeaks his recognition at least that with these lines (511A3-8) Socrates is restating the method or manner of the geometrical and related (122) arts, but not much more: he has not, that is, acknowledged his understanding of the content, which is, after all, quite abstruse!

    Socrates: "If you have learned that subsection then try to learn (123) the other subsection of the part of the line that pertains to mind (124) while I describe it in argument (125) as the thing that pure argument (126) seizes hold of by means of its power of careful thinking and discussion, (127) treating the hypotheses of the other kind of arts not as principles governing all that ensues for itself, but rather as things literally placed (thesis) under (hypo) -- placed under its feet, as it were, like stepping stones and footholds to be used for the purpose reaching the unhypothetical and unconditional and the real source of all, and then once having grasped this, to proceed back step by step through the consequences that flow from it so as finally to descend to the end of the sequence, perceptual entities eschewing (128) one and all in every way, and using rather the characters that they embody freed from their embodiment, both as subject and as guide, so as to end with them also. (129)

    Glaucon says: "I am coming to understand -- though I'm not quite there yet (130) -- after all you're describing a large labor, indeed. (131) But this much I have grasped: (132) You are trying to create a distinction according to which the theoretical work (133) carried out by the science of logic and conversation on reality and the realm of thought, (134) is more clear (135) than that carried out by the so-called arts (136) for whom their hypotheses take the place of principles. (137) And although it is perforce by means of thinking, (138) rather than by the eyes and the senses, that these contemplators contemplate things themselves, still, since the direction of their investigation is not up to the source but rather has its source in the hypotheses, they never secure the nous of things --the mind's version of things (139) -- even though these things always were noetic if viewed in connection with the source. (140) And I think although you call the mental state of those that do geometrical problems and the like "thinking," still it is not for you nous, since according to you thinking lies somehow in between opinion and nous."

    "Quite adequately have you grasped what I am saying, indeed!" says Socrates, and so he reverts to a closing imperative (511D6-E4): "Now finish the diagram for me and assign to the four sections of the line these four states that the soul (141) experiences, assigning mental vision (nous) to the highest subsection, and thinking to the second; to the third then render credulity, (142) and to the last, dreamy guesswork. And order them in terms of their partaking of clarity, by the same proportion as the respective contents of the segments partake in truth and reality.

    "I understand, I grant what you ask, I so order them."

3. Reflection and Conclusion

    According to the conventions of the academic setting you and I find ourselves in at this moment, you expect me to deliver myself of a prepared interpretation of this passage, while you luxuriate in not having had to prepare anything but instead sit in judgement. Insofar as the apparent goal my preparatory work does indeed appear to be delivering my lecture to you, the audience's reaction --your reaction-- appears to be the criterion whether it was all worth it.

    I say all this to announce a different agenda: I for my part shall have succeeded if you take with you my paper and try to go through the Plato passage with my help. You on the other hand shall have succeeded if you succeed to get through the passage, with or without my help.

    If once we should succeed in this way, we would able to speak with some competence about the history of consciousness of science, and the history of the science of consciousness, in which this passage plays a fundamental role. I will not proceed to such talk at this time, since it is very unlikely that both I shall and you shall have succeeded.

    Finally, even before we may converse about the passage there is even earlier the opportunity to reflect on its meaning, alone. If we notice this opportunity to reflect on it, we would decide to do so or not. The question then arises, How would we decide to do so rather than not? There is only one answer to this question, and the answer is simple, and both necessary and sufficient: We would decide to reflect on what has happened to us if we thought it was good to do so.

    I conclude then, with a few miscellaneous remarks.

    (1) Notably, there is no explicit "good" in this passage, but there is a trace of good, for there is honor and praise, (143) which are what is accorded to what appears to be good. (144) Thus there is a trace of a trace of the good. The accorders of such honor and praise in this case are the specialists; (145) and what they treat in this way as good, is their own special starting points. (146) Their praise is lavish. (147) Indeed in their enthusiasm they treat these starting points as "principles;" (148) but this is a misnomer since principles are inherently underivable, whereas these starting points are merely underived. (149) The specialists are, moreover, unable to derive them since all their thinking starts from them and to question them would remove the apparatus with which or medium in which they are thinking: they have no Archimidean standpoint from which to question them. (150) In this weaker sense these starting points ARE after all underivable -- underivable that is by the specialists, as long as they think and act as specialists. Still, principles are not principles because they are underivable: they are underivable because they are principles. This broaches the old question whether the path of learning is "from the principles" or "to the principles," as Aristotle likes to say, (151) an aporia that he attributes to Plato, having in mind indeed no other passage than the Line. (152)

    (2) As we learned from the Sun passage, the "unconditioned principle" (153) of our passage, is what was there identified as "the good," in its being what makes the knowable knowable. (154) By this locution, "the good," I mean, and Socrates, Glaucon, and Plato mean, (155) that single character by the presence of which we call any thing good, whether it be music, an opera, a note in the opera, a knife, a passage in Plato, or doing good unto others, or the death of a bad man. This, the good, is the independent principle by reference to which (156) all things that we think about and try to understand, become known and understandable. (157)

    (4) As we also learned in the Sun passage, this entity is also the cause of existence and truth of all things known (as the sun is the cause of all the existence of things visible as well as of their being visible). It itself is one of the knowables, as the sun is also one of the visibles; but though categorically coordinate with the other knowables as knowable, it is higher than they in its power and prestige (158) because it is the cause or reason for their being what they are as well as the cause of their being rather than not being.

    (5) We are left then with some unaswered questions, for instance,

        (a) What does it mean to say that the good is the cause of the knowability of knowables?

        (b) The principle is a principle because it does not need to be derived: it is able to stand on its own. But the hypotheses of the special sciences, although the specialists start with them ("treat them as principles", do not become principles merely because the specialists do not THINK they need to be derived (159) (hos panti phaneron). How, then, can we be sure that a given starting point does not need to be derived? it would appear that we need an "objective" criterion with which to trump the (merely) "subjective" sense (of the specialists, for instance) that their hypotheses (for instance) need to be derived and should not or cannot be treated as needing no justification. What will supply us this true and objective criterion? What will we do until we find it? What will we do if we do not find it?


    The "fallacy" of a metabasis eis allo genos (a "crossing over into a different genus"), as formulated by Aristotle in the Posterior Analytics, (160) presupposes the ultimacy of the definitions and axioms of the several sciences. Genos here refers to the genus of the objects of the sciences (as zoion, animal, for biology). The very terminology reveals Aristotle's reason for deeming it a fallacy. It is his own logic of species and genus, which for him is a corollary of his ontologies of form and matter and of actuality and potentiality: (161) What is fallacious about assuming an analogy between one genus and another that is so close that the conclusions of the science of the one can be made to bear on that of the other, is that in presuming such an analogy one presumes that the differentiae that connect the two genera with their respective supergenera and the differentiae that link the them with their respective subspecies, which connections and links are for Aristotle exactly and only what it is the work of the several sciences to establish, are identical or at least analogous. Clearly there is no warrant for presuming this.

    The putative ultimacy of definitions and axioms of the several sciences is therefore not the ultimacy of underivability such as would within the Platonic formulation qualify these definitions and axioms truly to be called archai, but rather the presumption that they have properly been derived (according to the true relations of inherence and derivation represented by Aristotle's own theories of species and genus, form and matter, actuality and potentiality, and subject and predicate) from an ultimate fundamentum divisionis within which the other sciences, too, could be or have been properly and separately derived. This presumption of Aristotle's would in Plato's mind disqualify the definitions and axioms of the several sciences from being true archai. But more important is the corollary that for Aristotle there entails no incumbency upon the specialists to derive their own starting points, (162) whereas for Plato the knowledge of these specialists remains mere opinion until they have done so. It is this disagreement between them to which Aristotle refers when he says that Plato puzzled over whether the path is "from the archai or to the archai:" his statement means that for Plato the question is still open, while he himself has found its solution. (163)

    Such a fundamental reliance on the hylomorphic logic and ontology Plato, of course, did not share with Aristotle. Among other things, this outlook is incompatible with his own theory of forms, as many of Aristotle's criticisms of that theory (themselves presupposing his hylomorphism) eloquently retail. Confined as he is by these presuppositions Aristotle seldom even describes Plato's theory properly, (164) so that his criticisms largely devolve into petitiones principii, ignorationes elenchi, or both. In all his criticisms are a study in the incompatibility of his outlook with that of Plato.

    For Plato, the fundamentum divisionis, upon which, as I have illustrated above and in many other ways, the final validation of Aristotle's own system ultimately depends, is likely impossible for man to know. It is this fully systematic knowledge, envisionable enough by our logical powers that Socrates could presume (165) that Anaxagoras's book, in which, he heard, nous (166) had been shown to be the cause of all things, would reveal it; but so divine in its perspicuity that Socrates, though disappointed by Anaxagoras's book itself, which turned out to argue that he was in the prison because his bones had brought him there rather than because the Athenian jurors thought it good (167) that he be there, becomes neither a skeptic nor an disillusioned misologist, but abandons once and for all the pursuit of such a divine knowledge and adopts instead a safer though less direct course, (168) suitable to the negotiation of knowledge and discussion on the human scale -- the examination, that is, that is sufficient to sustain an existence that is human (169) -- namely the hypothesis that Simmas is tall by the presence of tallness, so as to focus directly on the questions that matter -- the good questions-- such as that if men are virtuous by the presence of virtue, "What," one may and must next ask, "is virtue?"

    The eschewal of any reliance on a dream of final knowledge in the face of needing to know the meaning of life as it presents itself to man (170) in such vicissitudes as being condemned to death by the very citizens and neighbors with whom you have loyally spent the seventy years of your life, or the lesser vicissitudes than these that we all daily face, presents the critical question underlying whatever power scientistic credulity may momentarily achieve, in politics, society and history.

    But the identification of this question as a question whose primary seat is in the nous of men, somehow identical with the nous of the world, was the contribution of Plato to represent in written works that are for us a ktema es aiei. (171) These writings prove this point ineluctably by creating not only all those arguments whose merits can be, have been, and probably always will be debated by lesser minds; but also an experientially authoritative noetic experience that goes along with them, available in meditative reading if only one will meditate, which after all is nothing but careful reading if only one will read carefully, as I have tried to illustrate here.

    The legacy of the Dialogues to cause events in the reader's mind and spirit, as well as to leave behind a welter of well-formulated arguments and wide-ranging discussions, to which all subsequent philosophy could be said to be mere footnotes, derives from Plato's attempt to represent both aspects of his experience of Socrates (stingray (172) and philologos (173)). In a sense Voegelin's concentration on writing a philosophy of consciousness in his later years represents a turn from the welter of symbolizations whose trail is history, to the events in his own consciousness recognized and asserted, bravely, to be representative events.

    The danger of self-assertion introduced by this brave shift becomes thematic in Order and History, v.5. (174) It is important to realize, from a review of Aristotle's treatment of his predecessors and in particular of Plato, that Aristotle, despite his methodological protestations to the contrary, (175) seems not to have been so reluctant to allow his own theorizing to be the measure of history. To establish a science of everything one must perhaps be willing to break a few eggs.

    Voegelin's abandonment of the History of Political Ideas might represent in part a healthier reluctance.

    To explore whether Voegelin's expression of dissatisfaction with Hegel might after all be a medium in which he could, in the language of Volume 5, "imaginatively" portray this paramount but very delicate problem, is my next Voegelinian project. -30-

K.Quandt: Consciousness of the Researcher: Appendix (8/10/08)


Text of The Line

(Plato Republic 509D1-511E5, tr. P.Shorey, Loeb Classical Library)


Conceive then, as we were saying, that there are these two entities, and that one of them is sovereign over the intelligible order and region and the other over the world of the eye-ball, not to say sky-ball, but let that pass. You surely apprehend the two types, the visible and the intelligible."


SOCRATES: Represent them, then, as it were, by a line divided into two unequal sections and cut each section again in the same ratio (the section, that is of the visible and that of the intelligible order), and then as an expression of the ratio of their comparative clearness and obscurity you will have, as one of the sections of the visible world, images. By images I mean <510A>, first, shadows, and then reflections in water and on surfaces of dense, smooth and bright texture, and everything of that kind, if you apprehend.


SOCRATES: As the second section assume that of which this is a likeness or an image, that is, the animals about us and all plants and the whole class of objects made by man.

GLAUCON: I so assume it.

SOCRATES: Would you be willing to say that the division in respect of reality and truth or the opposite is expressed by the proportion: as is the opinable to the knowable so is the likeness to that of which it is a likeness?

GLAUCON: <510B> I certainly would.

SOCRATES: Consider then again the way in which we are to make the division of the intelligible section.

GLAUCON: In what way?

SOCRATES: By the distinction that there is one section of it which the soul is compelled to investigate by treating as images the things imitated in the former division, and by means of assumptions from which it proceeds not up to a first principle but down to a conclusion, while there is another section in which it advances from its assumption to a beginning or principle that transcends assumption, and in which it makes no use of the images employed by the other section, relying on ideas only and progressing systematically through ideas.

GLAUCON: I don't fully understand.

SOCRATES: <510C> Well, I will try again, for you will better understand after this preamble. For I think you are aware that students of geometry and reckoning and such subjects first postulate the odd and the even and the various figures and three kinds of angles and other things akin to these in each branch of science, regard them as known, and, treating them as absolute assumptions, do not deign to render any further account of them to themselves or others, taking it for granted that they are obvious to everybody. They take their start from these <510D>, and pursuing the inquiry from this point on consistently, conclude with that for the investigation of which they set out.

GLAUCON: Certainly, I know that.

SOCRATES: And do you not also know that they further make use of the visible forms and talk about them, though they are not thinking of them but of these things of which they are a likeness, pursuing their inquiry for the sake of the square as such and the diagonal as such, and not for the sake of the image of it which they draw? <510E> And so in all cases. The very things which they mould and draw, which have shadows and images of themselves in water, these things they treat in their turn as only images, but what they really seek <511A> is to get sight of those realities which can be seen only by the mind.


SOCRATES: This then is the class that I described as intelligible, it is true, but with the reservation first that the soul is compelled to employ assumptions in the investigation of it, not proceeding to a first principle because of its inability to extricate itself from and rise about its assumptions, and second, that it uses as images or likenesses the very objects that are themselves copied and adumbrated by the class below them, and that in comparison with these latter are esteemed as clear and held in honour.

GLAUCON: <511B> I understand that you are speaking of what falls under geometry and the kindred arts.

SOCRATES: Understand then that by the other section of the intelligible I mean that which the reason itself lays hold of by the power of dialectics, treating its assumptions not as absolute beginnings but literally as hypotheses, underpinnings, footings, and springboards so the speak, to enable it to rise to that which requires no assumption and is the starting-point of all, and after attaining to that again taking hold of the first dependencies from it, so to proceed downward to the conclusion, <511C> making no use whatever of any object of sense but only of pure ideas moving on through ideas to ideas and ending with ideas.

GLAUCON: I understand not fully; for it is no slight task that you appear to have in mind, but I do understand that you mean to distinguish the aspect of reality and the intelligible which is contemplated by the power of dialectic, as something truer and more exact than the object of the so-called arts and sciences whose assumptions are arbitrary starting-points. And though it is true that those who contemplate them are compelled to use their understanding and not their senses, yet because <511D> they do not go back to the beginning in the study of them but start from assumptions you do not think they posses true intelligence abut them although the things themselves are intelligible when apprehended in conjunction with a first principle. And I think you call the mental habit of geometers and their like mind or understanding and not reason because you regard understanding as something intermediate between opinion and reason.

SOCRATES: Your interpretation is quite sufficient; and now, answering to these four sections, assume these four affections occurring in the soul: intellection or reason for the highest, understanding <511E> for the second; assign belief to the third, and to the last picture-thinking or conjecture, and arrange them in a proportion, considering that they participate in clearness and precision in the same degrees as their objects partake of truth and reality.

GLAUCON: I understand; I concur and arrange them as you bid.

1. Anamnesis ("Collected Works ").

2. One would like to know whether universities, and which ones, make more or less with football.

3. Googling yields 7,260 returns; "livable for man" gets 20 or so -- though respectable ones!

4. I 'd like to dedicate this study to Maxwell Myers, a man who respects tradition and learning, whose significant financial and moral support over the years has made it possible for me to continue my studies.

5. The French meaning that underlies all this, denoting the life affected by the Pascalian divertissement of searching for the recondite (the rcherch) is only tangentially relevant here.

6. I am speaking loosely of the time of the composition of the History of Political Ideas.

7. "The English Quest for the Concrete", in History of Political Ideas 6 (=Collected Works 24.149-215).

8. "The Origins of Scientism," Social Research 15(1948), repr. in Collected Works, 10.168-196.

9. Voegelin speaks now of a transfer from one discipline to another, and then of a suobrdination of theory to model methods (e.g. New Science of Politics, 4-11). The latter formulation is closer to the Platonic, and the former to the Aristotelian view. Crucial to the latter formulation is to distinguish "model methods" from "theory." The historical origin of this distinction is the Line passage of the Republic, presented infra.

10. An.Po. 75B9.

11. "Quest," 163-183.

12. "Quest," 183-209; "Origins," 171-191.

13. "Quest," 209-215; "Origins," 191-196.

14. Jacobellis v. Ohio 378 US 184, 197 (1964).

15. Or: He said what-was-what even if he did not take the trouble to articulate the whole reason.

16. I use these polysyllabic terms, which usually obscure matters at the very threshold of describing them, advisedly: at the time of Voegelin's treatment of scientism the best book in English on the problems was probably still E.A.Burtt, the Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Science (1924); and even today we hear people interested in spiritual matters sigh about the neglect of metaphysics.

17. Diels-Kranz B115: psyches esti logos heauton auxon. I notice for the first time that Stobaeus to whom we are indebted for preserving this apothegm wrongly attributed it to Socrates: cf. Diels-Kranz, ad loc. His error betokens the continuity of the what we might call the "psychological" theme in Greek philosophy.

18. The expression is characteristic in Voegelin. It recalls the Thucydidean expression ktema es aiei (1.26), for which Thucydides may be forgiven: for it is not that he wants to master history by the instrumentality of a knowledge more powerful than time and vicissitude, but that he wants a clear eyed and fully conscious mental refuge from the deformation of the human realm (to anthropinon) that he has witnessed and his history describes with relentlessly critical accuracy. The passage should be read alongside the final speech to the troops that Thucydides puts into the mouth of Nicias (7.7.4).

19. Southern Review n.s.10(1974) 237-64 (= Collected Works 12.265-291).

20. to xunon, Heraclitus (Diels-Kranz B2).

21. E.g., Itinerarium, ch5.

22. "mental" of course only translates his term (itinerarium mentis, from mens).

23. It was supposed to be, at least: he had the Laws in him, still.

24. 504D-520 or thereabouts.

25. In particular, Aristotle's foisting upon Plato a doctrine of intermediate mathematical entities on the basis of this passage. In English, Paul Shorey was first to argue contra in his de Platonis idearum doctrina: (sub capit. "de ideis atque numeris") (Munich, 1884) and passim in his later works; cf. also Harold Cherniss Aristotle's Criticism of Plato and the Academy (Baltimore 1944) n.55, and The Riddle of the Early Academy (Berkeley 1942) 8ff.

26. E.g., Proclus, in Platonis rem publicam commentarii, ed. Kroll (Teubner 1965) 1.269ff.

27. In the present version, I have tried to interrupt the flow of the summary as little as possible, by consigning supplementary exegetical comments to the footnotes. Greek words will appear in the English alphabet, in rough and ready transliteration (iota subscript written adscript, no long and short marks, e standing for epsilon OR eta, o for omicron OR omega, u for upsilon, and h for rough breathing). Greek is underlined; Latin for clarity isn't.

28. This is a sort of summary of Book Six up to the passages on Sun Line and Cave (which begins Book Seven).

29. The answer proposed, that is, will remain inextricable from the dialogical process.

30. The by-play with anagkazon, apoleipein and toinun (509C3-D1) remind me of Parmenides B1.1, hoson t'epi thumos hikanoi, with Socrates playing the goddess's horse.

31. noeson, 509D1.

32. toinun, D1.

33. suchna, 509C7, on which more, below.

34. labon (participle) is tantamount to a second imperative along with temne, infra.

35. Wonderfully, the letters of the text may just support the meaning that the lines are divided into equal subsections (509D6: anisa, or an' isa = ana isa). Commentators have worried about which way to go, but even if the segments are equal they are still distinct enough to raise the issue of how we are to distinguish them for the sake of the argument.

36. The givenness of the inequality of the line has the character of a command to the mind since its meaning is unexplained. The mind, that is, must accept it without question.

37. Like "doubling down" in blackjack.

38. That is, we have to hypothesize what it is.

39. 509D8, to te tou horomenou genos kai to tou nooumenou, is a bare appositive (the least descriptive syntactical construction) to hekateron to tmema, D7.

40. What had been referred to by the verbal adjective, horaton, is now referred to with present passive participle horomenon.

41. The analogous verbal adjective, noeton, is now, analogously, replaced with the present passive participle, nooumenon.

42. soi estai, D8-9: the speaker is not included, which suggests that he already has this result. There is a suggestion therefore of reproducibility.

43. sapheneia kai asapheia, D9. The terms are vague although they mean to denote clarity. In the instant passage they apply to the visual realm, but they shall by the end be used more broadly (or more narrowly), as becomes clear upon reflection at the end.

44. to men heteron tmema, E1.

45. eikones is not the predicate of estai: the subject of estai is the two tmemata of which only one is mentioned before the construction is dropped because it is interrupted by ei katanoeis (510A2), to be resumed below at to toinun heteron (A5); the predicate of estai is the relation sapheneiai kai asapheiai pros allela (509D9).

46. lego de tas eikonas, E1.

47. This is so since the presentation of the items begins not with hoion (vel sim.), but with proton men, which betokens either a plan for exhaustiveness or at least a logical structure or configuration of the items about to be retailed.

48. tas, 510A1, added skias emphasizes that it is generic.

49. epeita (A1), without de answering the men, suddenly abandons the logical pretense introduced by men. There is a suggestion, therefore, that men was concessive. He wants to highlight the second category as deserving greater attention; and this impression is borne out by the way and extent that this second category is elaborated.

50. ta en tois hudasi phantasmata. In English we would call them reflections, explaining how they can appear to be something when they are not; the Greek is simply phantasmata, phantasms, which asserts only the prior point, that they appear to be something, without explaining (as "reflections" does) how.

51. For the next words are kai en, which comment on the en hudasi that had appeared in attributive position with phantasmata.

52. hosa, A2.

53. pukna te kai leia kai phana , 510A2. It helps to remember that in Greek times water mirrored images better than their mirrors did.

54. men, 509D.

55. This ends up being the reason for men in proton men: shadows do resemble what casts them, but their medium is less identifiable as such (for the simple linguistic fact that they appear not "in" but "on"). So the shadows are a halfway step to the images in water: men has the concessive force that is never fully absent from it. The halfway step is a fine instance of what Shorey means by his observation that Socrates's dialectic moves by very small steps.

56. katanoeis, 510A3.

57. toinun, A5, again directing the interlocutor's attention.

58. tithei (A5), imperative, from tithenai.

59. to heteron, A5, answering to to men heteron, 509E1, above.

60. Socrates refers back to what he had above called eikones, with the cognate verb, eoiken (A5).

61. ta te peri hemas zoia kai pan to phuteuton kai to skeuaston holon genos, (510A5-6).

62. In fact it is a not unparalleled way to depict the "world of things:" cf.401A. Striking, however, is the variation of generalizing terms, pan and holon. Perhaps it is mere variatio, but perhaps another constellation of ideas is at work, thus: peri hemas includes man among animals, a set that is then extended (by pan) to include plants, the rest of animate nature; and then the things that men make are included also: thus, as a member of the visible world, man is both made and maker, an expression of reality and an expresser of it, if you will. The chiastic ordering of pan and holon supports this interpretation.

63. peri hemas, sandwiched into attributive position with the first item in the list, as en tois hudasi had been with phantasmata, above (510A1).

64. en tisi.

65. ethelois an (A8) stressing willingness rather than choice, is variatio for an imperative.

66. auto A8, indicates shift of subject from the second tmema to "the thing itself" -- the thing of which it is a tmema. Its meaning is therefore here close to that of ekeino.

67. All this is in the use of the perfect, diheiresthai (A8), which stresses that the division just performed is to be viewed as a fait accompli, about which a further inference might be made.

68. One should almost always understand aletheia in this way, until required by context to reduce its meaning to one or the other aspect of what is in Greek a single thing.

69. doxaston, which for Plato always has these subjective and objective meanings available to it (for the objective reality of the opined subsists in the subjective opining).

70. gnoston, which does not share with the ambiguity of doxaston but is subjective only: the known without denotation of the real. Paired with doxaston it therefore cancels the objective half of the denotative range of doxaston.

71. hos to doxaston pros to gnoston houto to homoiothen pros to hoi homoiothe, A9-10. Both the Greek and the English sound awkward until understood.

72. The course of the argument requires me to realize, on my own reconnaissance, that sapheneia is meant to go with the things resembled -- the animals around us, etc.-- and asapheia with the eikones, even though the order of the terms is reversed (compare sapheneia/asapheia [D9] with eikones/hoi touto eoiken, etc.[E1-510A6]).

73. And once again I am made to supply the recognition that aletheia te kai me (A9) is reversed, although the two limbs of the proportion (A9-10) are not. Indeed the logical order is from the positive (sapheneia, aletheia) to the negative (asapheia, me [sc. aletheia]: this is just what makes the circumlocutive expressions about 'the resemblant and that to which it is resemblant,' circumlocutive.

74. 510B2,ff. The first subdivision of the segments, or the subdivision of the first segment, began with men at D9, en men toi horomenoi.

75. to men autou is an almost perversely indeterminate expression: that it be a nominative or accusative cannot be known except by the syntax of the rest; and even if an accusative, whether it be an object accusative with (transitive) zetein or an adverbial accusative with (intransitive) zetein, as I translate it here, cannot be known except by the syntax of the rest. We have to hypothesize both its case and its syntactical role in order for the sentence to have one meaning or another.

76. Soul suddenly appears, where (in the Sun passage) we had talked about eyes on the one hand and mind on the other, because in the instant passage and in this tmema of the Line their roles and activities are somehow confused: soul is the place where they are confused.

77. anagkazetai, B5.

78. zetein, present tense.

79. tote: i.e., in the segment previously narrated.

80. poreuomene, i.e., succeeds not to be bogged down in aporia.

81. to d' au heteron: same ambiguous neuter.

82. deleting to before ep' with Ast and Shorey.

83. Note that the plural hupotheseon (B5) is replaced by the singular, hupotheseos (B7).

84. kai, B7, may link the syntactically coordinate circumstantial participles, iousa and poioumene; but the two corresponding circumstantial participles in the parallel first limb (namely, chromene and poreuomene) were not linked by kai: the second was epexegetical to the first. This moves kai into the role of linking the syntactically coordinate prepositional phrases, ex hupotheseos and aneu ton peri ekeino eikonon, so as to make the two phrases a binary adverbial predicate of iousa, with the poioumene clause (correspondingly) exegetical to the iousa clause. Thus, getting the soul out of the world of hypothesis (ex hupotheseos) is tantamount to freeing her from having to use images (aneu ...eikonon).

85. Reading EITHER ton peri (ex em. F, Burnet) or honper (A, M, Shorey).

86. poioumene, replacing poreuomene, supra.

87. There is no adversative particle in the Greek, but by now we are seeing that the entire sentence is chiastic, and that the dative autois eidesi corresponds with the dative at the beginning, tois tote mimetheisin, which are recalled just before autois eidesi with the words ton peri ekeino eikonon.

88. poioumene is middle.

89. methodon, B8.

90. dia, B8.

91. It is hard to get in the translation the powerful chiastic swiftness of autois eidesi di auton, with its omission of the article.

92. The shift to playful or speculative experimentation is a palpable relief.

93. And it is accompanied by observation and illustrative example.

94. pragmateouomenoi foreshadows Aristotle's use of pragmateia for the several disciples.

95. The plural suggests the application of rules to individual cases.

96. From these two examples we are asked to generalize.

97. Simply transliterating hupothemenoi: Socrates has not told us what it means, and either he will do so or else he is depending upon a technical meaning.

98. adelpha kath'hekasten methodon either means things related to angles and figures in the one discipline (viz., geometry), and things related to the odd and even in the other (viz., arithmetic); or it means things in all the other disciplines that play a role related to the role played by odd and even in arithmetic and the figures and types of angles in geometry.

99. auta (510C6) is not completely otiose.

100. d', 510D1.

101. archomenoi, which can of course be passive -- in which case it would mean "within the constraints effected by (ek) the hypotheses."

102. touton, D1.

103. ta loipa ede, E1 ede used exactly as in Tht. 202B3.

104. homologoumenos, 510D2. The idea of merely relative consistency is broached by the homo-prefix.

105. oukoun kai, 510D5.

106. proschrontai, echoing chromene, 510B4; but the prefix pros adds the sense of apparatus and one's hands being full.

107. horomenois eidesi (510D5): the things that animals and their reflections in water have in common. We might think of the term "aspect" as used in titles of scholarly articles.

108. Epexegetical kai (D5), as auton (D6) confirms.

109. kai talla houtos points forward.

110. auta, 510E1: i.e. they are artifacts: part of to skeuaston holon genos (510A6): while plattousi te kai graphousi does suggest solid and plane geometry (I don't think this helps explain the plural geometriais, 510C2), still, plattousi also reminds us of the humanly created skeuasta.

111. men 510E3, resuming men in 510E1.

112. idein (aorist), as opposed to staring at the visible model, for which the present is the tense used, as above: horomenois eidesi, 510D5. Cf. 509D8, et passim.

113. auta ekeina: note again the striking anathrous construction (cf. autois eidesi, 510B8, which these words resume).

114. dianoia, 511A1.

115. toinun, 511A3, again marking Socrates's scrupulous concern to keep his own speaking close to Glaucon's understanding.

116. noeton to eidos, an accusative of respect, referring back to the two eide with which we began: horaton, noeton (509D4).

117. hos ou dunamenen (A5).

118. de, 511A6.

119. Thus do I take ekeinois pros ekeina, 511A7: it echoes the tautological figure autois eidesi di auton (supra, 510B8 and infra, 511C1-2), so as to point the comparison between the two methods.

120. hos enargesi dedoxasmenois te kai tetimemenois (A8), taking hos with the participles, as above (A5): the two participial clauses in hos thus each explain the soul's "reasons" for not doing the one thing but doing the other instead. If hos is taken only with enargesi ONLY, then he meaning is "received beyond cavil as true and worthy of of our attention since they are obviously real." The meaning, once grasped, comes to the same.

The two perfects are emphatic (indeed, this use of the perfect passive of doxazo is an hapax in Classical Greek), and the connotation is as follows: 'The honor (time) that these items are accorded is entirely doxic, and the matter is settled beyond cavil, all because of the ease (en-a-erg-ia as opposed to abstruseness) with which we are affected by them, impinging intrusively after all, as they do, upon our senses.

121. to, 511B1.

122. tais geometriais te kai adelphais technais, 511B1, where adelphais suggests that adelpha in 510C5 had the more general meaning given in n.98, supra: the kinship in question has to do with using hypotheses and images --the method-- not with a distinct category or even range of entities studied, despite centuries of misinterpretation, begun by Aristotle.

123. toinun picks up Glaucon's manthano (present) and answers it with manthane (present imperative, with conative force). This is the fifth use of toinun in this passage!

124. tmema tou noetou, B3.

125. The striking construction legonta me appears to be an hyperbaton governing to heteron tmema after all!

126. autos ho logos (511B4).

127. he tou dialegesthai dunamis (511B4).

128. ou proschromenos (511C1) again pointing the contrast with the arts (cf. proschrontai, 510D5).

129. This sentence clearly rehearses 510CB6-9 (the meaning of eidesin autois di'auton here is clearly the same as it was at B8 (with the striking anathrous construction here repeated), and ten methodon poioumene there is redone here climactically with kai teleutai eis eide [n.b. teleutai is subjunctive]). But the sentence also means also to compare dialectic with science as it was described at 510C3-D3 and 511A3-8 (thus autois di'auton contrasts with ekeinois pros ekeina (511A7) and teleutai, 511C2 (and its resting point) contrasts with teleutosin, 510D2 (and its stopping point). Adam's addition of eis auta, 511C2, is therefore both redundant and anticlimactic.

130. hikanos men ou: reading ou with the recentiores and all modern editors, rather than oun. For hikanos cf. again Parmenides B1.1, hoson t'epi thumos hikanoi.

131. suchnon ergon, 511C3: Glaucon perhaps forgets that Socrates had used just this word when at the beginning of this passage he had acknowledged that the Sun simile was not a complete account of the Good: there, Glaucon enthusiastically required Socrates to tell everything he could (although it is suchna), whereas here he acknowledges that his understanding may not be up to such a large labor (suchnon ergon). Again the Parmenidean striving topic (cf. prev. n.).

132. mentoi, C4.

133. theoroumenon, C6.

134. to on te kai noeton, 511C5-6: this pairing (with te kai and only one article) of reality-and-thought bespeaks a parallel pairing of appearance-and-sight.

135. saphesteron: cf. sapheneia, 509D9. This passage defines the meaning of this word as it pertains to consciousness, through the analogy with the meaning it has in the realm of vision, as the characteristic of a kind of thought that is so fully realized as thought that it subsists in itself and for itself in its primary and original medium, consciousness (eidesin autois di'auton [eis auta] kai teleutai eis eide, 511C1-2).

136. technai, C6: Socrates first referred to them as pragmateiai (indirectly, by referring to their exponents as pragmateouomenoi: 510C3), then methodoi (C5). It was Glaucon who first designated these as technai, in 511B2.

137. The sentence is strictly an anacoluthon, and a constuctio ad sensum. The construction is manthano (C3) plus a long hoti clause starting at C4 in which the main verb is boulei, which governs all that follows starting with the infinitive dihorizein whose second object is described by a relative clause (hais, etc. C6) that is itself compound (kai C7), with its second limb made compound in turn by a men/de construction. But the de clause (infinitive ouk ischein) is subordinated (and here is the anacoluthon) from indicative to infinitive, dependent on the subsequent dokousi soi, which as the sense requires ends up being parallel with boulei at the beginning. I have introduced what will end up being the main break in the limbs of the long hoti construction at just the place where Glaucon would have introduced it, if he had known what he was going to say before he said it.

138. dianoia (dia plus stem of nous plus abstract ending, ia) . Glaucon is remembering Socrates's use of dianooumenos at 510D6, the thinking that "uses images" of what it is thinking about, as it thinks.

139. noun ouk ischein peri auta, D1.

140. kaitoi noeton onton meta arches (D2) means both "even though they were in essence mental entities all along" (whence the soul was compelled to use dianoia rather than aistheseis, C7 supra), and "although they are in their very essence amenable to noetic understanding if only one make use of the source or principle of reality."

141. Again the soul is used (cf.510B5 and n. ad loc.) for the whole range of cognitive experience, from dreaming to noesis.

142. pistis, usually given an approbative sense like "trust," here means taking things as they appear, without question: just what he had spelled out in condemnatory terms at 511A7-8.

143. 511A8.

144. For the derivability of something's apparent goodness from its being honored, cf.Aristotle, Nic.Eth.1096 B 23-29.

145. 511A3-8.

146. 510C6-D1.

147. cf. n.120 supra, on the perfect passive participles at 511A8.

148. 510D1.

149. In the specialists' hands they will remain so, since they already think they know them (or have seen them, at least: hos eidotes, 510C6: cf. enargesi, 511A7), and therefore feel no incumbency (oute ... axiousi, 510C6-7) to derive them, unable as they are even to imagine questions about them in the minds of others (hos panti paneron, 510D1). Their attitude embodies what Voegelin calls "the pathos of autonomy and self-reliance.... [A] scientist need not look left or right in his pursuit of knowledge so long as he abides by his standards" (Voegelin, "Origins" [=CW10.192, cf.CW 24.210]); conversely in their eyes someone who posits something recondite rather than dealing with the plain givens (enargesi, 511A7) might seem to them to be dealing in gratuitous fictions (whence Newton's hypotheses non fingo: cf. Voegelin ibid.) To the extent that these specialists might be seen moreover to resemble Socrates' interlocutors in the aporetic dialogues, we can say as a corollary that it is the thrust of the Dialogues to reveal how the "hypothetical" state of mind can be urged by Socratic questions to move above its own horizon.

150. They are therefore unable even to imagine questions about them (hos panti paneron, 510D1). In a sense they have seen (eidotes, 510C6) but do not understand (they have not gotten noetic grasp [noun ischein, 511D1] of) their own assumptions, even though those assumptions are, and would for them be, noetically grasped (noeta) if once they were able to connect them to the unconditioned principle (meta arches, 511D1-2), i.e., if for once they would ask and answer "what good" their principles are.

151. E.g., Nic.Eth.1095A32-3.

152. It is again the Line that he has in mind in his chapter on metabasis eis allo genos (An.Po. A.7).

153. anhupothetos arche, 510B7. This expression, from the compendious first description of the upper half of the line (510B6-9), is then spelled out in the elaboration (511B3-C2) as follows: mechri tou anhupothetou epi ten tou pantos archen ion, 511B6-7.

154. Cf. 508B2-C2, 508D4-E3.

155. E.g., 507B5-7.

156. meth'hou: cf. meta arches, 511D2, and n.140, supra.

157. noeton onton meta arches, ibid.

158. epekeina tes ousias presbeiai kai dunamei huperechontos, 509B9-10: tes ousias here is an hyperbolic epanalepsis for both einai and ousia in B7-8. Voegelin with the Neoplatonists overinterprets this statement, taking epekeina to mean transcendent. In truth, each and all of the "forms" "transcend" the world of becoming, exactly and only because they, in contrast to it, truly are (i.e., are invariant, self-subsistent, self-identical and single): there is for Plato no further transcendence beyond transcendence. The good were better viewed as a primus inter pares, responsible as it is by its nature for the other "forms" having their invariant characters and for their existing rather than not existing (to einai te kai ten ousian, 509B6-7). The sense in which the "good" is responsible for these two things, is simply and only that it is "good" for the forms to be what they are and good that they exist rather than not exist.

159. hos panti paneron, 510D1; enargesi, 511A7.

160. An.Po. 1.7 (75A38-B20).

161. The species is the form of the genus as matter. The species actualizes the form: thus there is no dog that is not a spaniel or some other species. To say that an Athenian is a man is to predicate a genus of a species, and such predication is amenable to transitive iteration (syllogism) so that if also a man is an animal, an Athenian is an animal.

162. In the same sense that a housepainter does not need to become a carpenter in order to have a house to paint.

163. Hence the imperfect, eporei (Nic.Eth. 1095A32).

164. Most relevant in the present connection is his criticism of Plato's conception of dihairesis, which for Plato is not a science describing hylomorphically defined relations of inherence, essential predication, actualization, etc., but a mere aid de memoir for the recollection of disinct and individual essences or "forms." Cf. H. Cherniss, op.cit, ch.1.

165. Phaedo 97B-99A4.

166. If nous is shown to be the cause, then we will understand the cause because we have nous. That the human and divine nous are so conversant with one another is an unargued presupposition ushered in by Parmenides's radical philosophy of the Is! Marvelously, his insight or intuition or experience of the identity of human and divine nous, expresses itself not in an explicit statement of this (subjective) identity but in the identification-in-action of the speaker with the god whose knowledge of reality is so perfect that it (and therefore he) is qualified to announce the (objective) boundaries of being.

167. Socrates by the way presumed that if nous were in charge, things would be as they were for the best (97C4-6): this presumption or presupposition connects the Phaedo passage directly to the Line passage.

168. deuteros plous, Phaedo 99D1.

169. Apology 38A.

170. Cf. Phaedo 97D1-4.

171. "possession for ever" (Thucydides). Cf. n.18, supra.

172. Meno 80A.

173. Phaedrus 236E.

174. In Search of Order (Baton Rouge 1987) 37-39.

175. Cf. K.Quandt, "ai gar ton enantion apodeixeis aporiai peri ton enantion eisin," Classical Antiquity 2.2 (1983) 279-298.