By W. K. C. Guthrie

The fourth quantity of Professor Guthrie's nice historical past of Greek idea offers solely with Plato. Plato, although, so prolific a author, so profoundly unique in his proposal, and so substantial a power at the later historical past of philosophy, that it has no longer been attainable to restrict him to at least one quantity. quantity IV for this reason deals a normal creation to his lifestyles and writings, and covers the so-called 'early' and 'middle' sessions of his philosophical improvement (up to and together with the Republic).

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Extra resources for Plato: The Man and His Dialogues Earlier Period (A History of Greek Philosophy, Volume 4)

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Others besides these [have] only smell. They say, at least, that certain molluscs, such as clams, go after bait, following by smell. 105 But if anything shares in sight it necessarily also shares in the rest. Why is it, then, that when talking about whole powers106 he starts from what is last and less estimable, whereas with parts he travels in the opposite direction, and makes his start from what is first and more estimable? To this some people say that in his teaching he has mixed both routes, in the case of whole powers having started from what is last and more imperfect, in the case of parts, from what is primary and more perfect.

It is not hard, he says, in the case of some powers of the soul, to see that they are not separated in place. With plants when they are divided you will find in each of the cuttings both the nourishing [power] and the augmenting and the generative, so the soul in plants is one in act but many in potentiality, since when the plant is divided in each of the divisions the form of the vegetative soul can be seen perfect. So earlier it was one in number, before the division, but after the division there are produced several in number, though [they are] one in form.

But even if each of these powers is a life, still, he says, the nourishing, being the last of all, can also be separate from these, whereas they are not apart from it. And he does well to add ‘in the case of mortals’. For in the case of divine beings, since augmentation and diminution are not there, the nourishing power is useless; but in the case of mortals, [235] for this very reason that they are mortal, it is impossible that the better power of soul should come to be unless there are the more defective – and also for the reasons that have often been stated.

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