ETHICS . The Socratics . It has been seen that, so far from having any
See also:physical or metaphysical, to enunciate,
See also:Socrates rejected " the pursuit of knowledge for its own
See also:sake " as a delusion and a snare, Socratic a delusion, inasmuch as knowledge, properly so called, Schoatic is unattainable, and a snare, in so far as the pursuit of it draws us away from the study of conduct . He has therefore no claim to be regarded as the founder of a philosophical school . But he had made some tentative contributions to a theory of morality ; he had shown both in his
See also:life and in his
See also:death that his princitles stood the test of
See also:practical application; he had invented a nethod having for its end the rectification of opinion; and, above all, he had asserted " the autonomy of the individual intellect." Accordingly, not one school but several
See also:schools sprang up amongst his associates, those of them who had a turn for
See also:speculation taking severally from his teaching so much as their pre-existing tendencies and convictions allowed them to assimilate . Thus
See also:Aristippus of
See also:Cyrene interpreted hedonistically the theoretical morality ;
See also:Antisthenes the Cynic copied and caricatured the austere example; Euclides of
See also:Megara practised and perverted the elenctic method ;
See also:Plato the
See also:Academic, accepting the whole of the Socratic teaching, first
See also:developed it harmoniously in the sceptical spirit of its author, and afterwards, conceiving that he had found in Socrates's
See also:agnosticism the germ of a philosophy, proceeded to construct a system which should embrace at once
See also:ontology, physics, and ethics . From the four schools thus established sprang subsequently four other schools,—the Epicureans being the natural successors of the Cyrenaics, the
See also:Stoics of the
See also:Cynics, the Sceptics of the Megarians, and the Peripatetics of the Academy . In this way the teaching of Socrates made itself
See also:felt throughout the whole of the
See also:post-Socratic philosophy . Of the influence which he exercised upon Aristippus, Antisthenes and Euclides, the " incomplete Socratics,' as they are commonly called, as well as upon the "
See also:complete Socratic," Plato, something must now be said . The ." incomplete Socratics " were, like Socrates, sceptics; but, whereas Aristippus, who seems to have been in contact with Protagoreanism before he made acquaintance with Socrates, /ncomp/ete came to scepticism, as
See also:Protagoras had done, from the Socratics . standpoint of the pluralists, Antisthenes, like his former
See also:Gorgias, and Euclides, in whom the ancients rightly saw a successor of
See also:Zeno, came to scepticism from the stand-point of Eleatic henism . In other words, Aristippus was sceptical because, taking into account the subjective
See also:element in sensation, he found himself compelled to regard what are called " things " as successions of feelings, which feelings are themselves absolutely distinct from one another; while Antisthenes and Euclides were sceptical because, like Zeno, they did not understand how the same thing could at the same moment bear various and inconsistent epithets, and consequently conceived all predication which was not identical to be illegitimate .
Thus Aristippus recognized only feelings, denying things; Antisthenes recognized things, denying attributions; and it is probable that in this
See also:matter Euclides was at one with him . For, though since Schleiermacher many historians, unnecessarily identifying the eiS v rplXoi of Plato's Sophist with the Megarians, have ascribed to Euclides a theory of " ideas," and on the strength of this single passage thus conjecturally interpreted have added a new
See also:chapter to the
See also:history of Megarianism, it is difficult, if not impossible, to see how, if the founder of the school had broken loose from the trammels of the Zenonian paradox, his successors, and amongst them
See also:Stilpo, should have reconciled themselves, as they certainly did, to the Cynic denial of predication . While the " incomplete Socratics " made no attempt to overpass the limits which Socrates had imposed upon himself, within those limits they occupied each his department . Aristippus, a
See also:citizen of the
See also:drawn to Athens by the fame of Socrates, and retained there by the sincere affection which he conceived for him, interpreted the ethical
See also:doctrine of Socrates in accordance with his own theory of pleasure, which in its turn came under the refining influence of Socrates's, theory of 4povrrtc . Contrariwise, Antisthenes, a rugged but not ungenerous nature, a hater of pleasure, troubled himself little about ethical theory and gave his life to the imitation of his master's
See also:asceticism . Virtue, he held, depended upon "
See also:works," not upon arguments or lessons; all that was necessary to it was the strength of a Socrates (Diog . Laert. vi . W . Yet here too the Socratic theory of ' p6vriois had a qualifying effect; so that Cyrenaic hedonism and Cynic asceticism sometimes exhibit unexpected approximations . The teaching of Euclides, though the
See also:Good is still supposed to be the highest
See also:object of knowledge, can hardly be said to have an ethical element; and in consequence of this deficiency the
See also:dialectic of Socrates degenerated in Megarian hands, first into a series of exercises in fallacies, secondly into a vulgar and futile eristic . In fact, the partial Socraticisms of the incomplete Socratics necessarily suffered, even within their own narrow limits, by the dismemberment which the system had undergone . Apparently the maieutic theory of
See also:education was not valued by any of the three; and, however this may be, they deviated from Socratic tradition so far as to establish schools, and, as it would seem, to take fees like the professional educators called Sophists .
Of the relations in which the metaphysic of Plato stood to the Socratic
See also:search for
See also:definitions there are of
See also:necessity almost as many Plato's theories as there are interpretations of the Platonic
See also:Meta- system . Hence in this place the writer must content Meta- himself with a
See also:summary statement of his own views . physical Theories . Initiated into philosophical speculation by the
See also:Hera- clitean Cratylus, Plato began his intellectual life as an absolute sceptic, the followers of Heraclitus having towards the end of the 5th century pushed to its conclusion the unconscious scepticism of their master . There would have been then nothing to provoke surprise, if, leaving speculation, Plato had given himself to politics . In 407, however, he became acquainted with Socrates, who gave to his thoughts a new direction . Plato now found an occupation for his intellectual energies, as Socrates had done, in the
See also:scrutiny of his beliefs and the systematization of his principles of
See also:action . But it was not until the catastrophe of 399 that Plato gave himself to his life's
See also:work . An
See also:exile, cut off from
See also:political ambitions, he came forward as the author of dialogues which aimed at producing upon readers the same effect which the
See also:voice of the master had
See also:pro- duced upon hearers . For a
See also:time he was content thus to follow in the steps of Socrates,- and of this
See also:period we have records in those dialogues which are commonly designated Socratic . But Plato had too decided a bent for
See also:metaphysics to linger long over propaedeutic studies . Craving knowledge—not merely provisional and subjective knowledge of ethical concepts, such as that which had satisfied Socrates, but knowledge of the causes and
See also:laws of the universe, such as that which the physicists had sought—he asked himself what was necessary that the " right opinion " which Socrates had obtained by
See also:abstraction from particular instances might be converted into " knowledge " properly so called .
In this way Plato was led to assume for every Socratic universal a corresponding unity, eternal, immutable, suprasensual, to be the cause of those particulars which are called by the
See also:common name . On this
See also:assumption the Socratic definition or statement of the " what " of the universal, being ob- tained by the inspection of particulars, in some sort represented the unity,
See also:form, or " idea " from which they derived their characteristics, and in so far was valuable; but, inasmuch as the inspection of the particulars was partial and imperfect, the Socratic definition was only a partial and imperfect
See also:representation of the eternal, immutable, suprasensual, idea . How, then, was the imperfect representation of the idea to be converted into'a perfect representation ? To this question Plato's answer was " gue "id tentative . 13y
See also:constant revision of the provisional definitions which imperfectly represented the ideas he hoped to bring them into such shapes that they should culminate in the definition of the supreme principle, the Good, from which the ideas themselves derive their being . If in this way we could pass from uncertified general notions, reflections of ideas, to the Good, so as to-be able to say, not only that the Good causes the ideas to be what they are, but also that the Good causes the ideas to be what we conceive them, we might infer, he thought, that our definitions, -hitherto provisional, are adequate representations of real existences . But the
See also:Platonism of this period - had another ingredient . It has been seen that the Eleatic Zeno had rested his denial of plurality upon certainsupposed difficulties of-predication, and that they continued to perplex Antisthenes as well as perhaps Euclides and others of Plato's contemporaries . These difficulties must be disposed of, if the new philosophy was to hold its ground ; and accordingly, to the fundamental assertion of the existence of eternal immutable ideas, the
See also:objects of knowledge, Plato added two subordinate propositions, namely, (i) " the idea is immanent in the particular," and (2) " there is an idea wherever a plurality of particulars is called by the same name." Of these propositions the one was intended to explain the attribution of various and even inconsistent epithets to the same particular at the same time, whilst the other was necessary to make this explanation available in the case of common terms other than the Socratic universals . Such was the Platonism of the Republic and the
See also:Phaedo, a provisional ontology, with a
See also:scheme of scientific
See also:research, which, as Plato honestly confessed, was no more than an unrealized aspiration . It was the non-Socratic element which made the weakness of this, the earlier, theory of ideas . Plato soon saw that the hypothesis of the idea's immanence in particulars entailed the sacrifice of its unity, whilst as a theory of predication that hypothesis was insufficient, because applicable to particulars only, not to the ideas themselves .
But with clearer views about relations and. negations the paradox of Zeno , ceased to perplex; and with the consequent withdrawal of the two supplementary articles the development of the fundamental assumption of ideas, eternal, immutable, suprasensual, might be attempted afresh . In the more definite theory which Plato now propounded the idea was no longer a Socratic universal perfected and hypostatizecl, but rather the perfect type of a naturalkind, to which type its imperfect members were related by imitation, whilst this relation was metaphysically explained by means of a " thoroughgoing
See also:idealism " (R . D .
See also:Hind) . Thus, whereas in the earlier theory of ideas the ethical universals of Socrates had been held to have a first claim to hypostatization in the world of ideas, they are now peremptorily excluded, whilst the idealism which reconciles plurality and unity gives an entirely new significance to so much of the Socratic element as is still retained . The growth of the metaphysical system necessarily influenced Plato's ethical doctrines; but here his final position is less remote from that of Socrates . Content in the purely Socratic period to elaborate and to record ethical definitions Plato's such as Socrates himself might have propounded, Plato, Bthka[ as soon as the theory of ideas offered itself to his Theories,
See also:imagination, looked to it for the foundation of ethics as of all other sciences . Though in the earlier ages both of the individual and of the state a sound utilitarian morality of the Socratic sort was useful,
See also:nay valuable, the morality of the future should, he thought,
See also:rest upon the knowledge of the Good . Such is the teaching of the Republic . But with the revision of the metaphysical system came a complete
See also:change in the view which Plato took of ethics nd its prospects . Whilst in the previous period it had ranked as the first of sciences, it was now no longer a science; because, though Good absolute still occupied the first place, Good relative and all its various forms—justice,
See also:temperance, courage, wisdom—not being ideas, were incapable of being " known." Hence it is that the ethical teaching of the later dialogues bears an intelligible, though perhaps unexpected, resemblance to the
See also:simple practical teaching of the unphilosophical Socrates . Yet throughout these revolutions of doctrine Plato was ever true to the Socratic theory of education .
His manner indeed changed; for, whereas in the earlier dialogues the characteristics of the master are studiously and skilfully preserved, in the later dialogues Socrates first becomes metaphysical, then ceases to be protagonist, and at last disappears from thescene . But in the later dialogues, as in the earlier, Plato's aim is the aim which Socrates in his conversation never lost sight of, namely, the dialectical improvement of the learner . BI$LIOGRAPHY.—Of the histories of Greek philosophy the most convenient for the study of Socrates's life and work is
See also:Zeller's Philosophie d . Griechen . The
See also:part in question has been translated into
See also:English under the title of Socrates and the Socratic Schools (
See also:London, 1877) . For a
See also:list of
See also:treatises, see
See also:Ueberweg in his Grundriss d . Geschwhle d . Philosophie . The following
See also:sources of information may be specially mentioned: F . Schleiermacher, " Ueber d . Werth d . Sokrates als Philosophen," in Abh. d. berliner Akad. d .
Wissensch . (1815) and Werke, iii . 2, 287–308, translated into English by C .
See also:Thirlwall in the Philological Museum (Cambridge, 1833), ii . 538–555; L . F . Lelut, Du Demon de Sacs-
See also:ate (
See also:Paris, 1836, 1856), reviewed by E . Littre in Medecine et medecins (Paris, 1872): G .
See also:Grote, History of
See also:Greece, ch. lxviii., and Plato and the Other Companions of Sokrates (London, 1865) ; C . F . Hermann, De Socrates accusetoribus (
See also:Gottingen, 1854) ; W . H .
See also:Thompson, The Pheedrus of Plato (London, 1868), Appendix I.; Joel, Der echte and der Xenophontische Sokrates (1901) . For the view taken in the
See also:present article with regard to the Saigbvcov, see the writer's paper " On the Saysbviov of Socrates," in the Journal of
See also:Philology, v.; and cf . Chr . Meiners, Vermischte philosophische Schriften (
See also:Leipzig, 1776)—" in moments of ' Schwarmerei ' Socrates took for the voice of an attendant
See also:genius what was in reality an instantaneous presentiment in regard to the issue of a contemplated
See also:act." For a
See also:fuller statement of the writer's view of Plato's relations to Socrates, see a paper on Plato's Republic, vi . 509 D seq., in the Journal of Philology, vol. x., and a series of papers on " Plato's Later Theory of Ideas," in vols. x., xi., xiii., xiv., xv.,
See also:xxv. of the same periodical . See also SOPHISTS and ETHICS . (H .
HOBBES SHAFTESBURY ETHICS
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