Republic Book 4 ( 218r – 223v)


Here is a caption for the MSWord file with 430e and the neighboring material present:

Caption for IV,8 on Rep4 page



Chapter 8 of Rep. IV has a passage which is certain to have preoccupied those at Early Academy close to Plato.   Especially  the two men about whom a philologist or logic specialist might say ‘one way or another, both were fascinated with words or word-segments — including proper names — ending in or near   “-krates”‘  In the case of Aristotle Bonitz gives special listing to the point that the pair of propernames “So-krates” and “Iso-krates” are often confounded.  In the case of Neos So-krates it will not have been easy to avoid feeling “referred to”, at least in the oral parts of the writing and re-writing!


Kindly query this MSWord file that includes this Ch 8 of Bk IV, now also containing the entire TLG text of REPUBLIC.   Search the string ‘430e’:






Republic, Book 4


Prof. Joseph Arel of No. Arizona State has published an insightful piece elaborating on recollection in Meno and bringing in connections between self-awareness and blindness averted or inverted.   He does this with much vigor and clarity and makes ample references to Derrida on the ‘aveugle’

Here, in this pair of links, you will see a set of curious signs of A. De Morgan’s achieving  deeply witty results with subjects in ancient physics, especially Thales.  He plays artfully on a word like ‘niemand‘ and/or Odysseus’s adopted proper name : ‘ou-tis‘   Odysseus is not often credited with a Sisyphus kind of  wit there in Polyphemus;s epic auditorium.   The giant’s infinite appetite (alas, anthropophagous !) is heard to reach its end with this very mortal — with Outis.    Thales’s publications  are the front of the atomists’s physics, h.e.  the ou- part of their ou-den.

A major point Slings was fond of in his interpreting of Rep. was his bringing out the elaborate wordplay on ‘ourano’ and soundalike words, related to seeing.  Here Slings can rely on the strength of the witty byplay, in that Plato’s text confesses to the peccadillo in point.   That is the little prank on the reader which is to shift about amongst the cognate sounds and near-cognate meanings.  Here in our Anglo-America and its customary ways of speaking, we can find speakers offering their apologies for seeming to perpetrate a pun or trick of words.   And clearly in Plato’s Athens one could find those offended by exhibits of philological theatrics.    Plato locates this wicked word-play in the penultimate chapter of the key middle Book 5 of his masterwork, Republic.   Notice Plato’s signalling his own self-consciousness and conscientiousness over this  remark near this seeing-or-heaven passage:

εἰπὼν σοι σοφίζεσθαι περὶ τὸ ὄνομα [509d3]  [=  ‘I seem to you to be speaking a sophism over the word.’ ]

In the myth at the end of Phaedo, recall, the soul is meant to see with newfound power after being freed from its erstwhile body; it is calculated to be advantaged with a new heaven-specific clarity.   One will see well soon enough (I might put it into idiomatic French.)

Plato’s own wit, especially when challenged by his two students Aristotle and Philip of Opus, gave rise to published writing.   To include the π. κοσμου.   I judge the little work to have been authored by Philp of Opus, a.k.a. Younger Socrates.   Some of my arguments are supplied elsewhere.  In any case this work makes efforts at witty etymologies, especially in its seventh and final chapter, analysing the names of gods.  I refer to Chapt.. 7 of the π. κοσμου (=De Mundo).

One argument is as follows.   We are entitled to a good decipherment of the little anacoluthon of our best texts of Timaeus 28b, a little aside which  seems to be executing a play of wit:   call your book what you may, they both look to me to be about The All.   This little aside continues ‘. . . or whatever else we may opt to entitle it’.   The text uses the optative of urbanity here, a usage which earned the title optativus urbanitatis.  It is a common urbanity within Plato, often one he has issuing from an Athenian and addressing another speaker from that same city.    But it is just as fitting if a Londoner such as Jonathan Barnes is addressing a fellow Oxonian J. Annas.    Something we might imagine Plato to have added here might read this way :  ‘. . .my good and early editors might one day want to add the alternate title :  π. πύσεως ( p, Physews ) .   This would match nicely our Timaeus phrase ‘or whatever else we may opt to entitle it’  Were Plato to emulate Philodemus and his tradition he might opt for the Latin version, De [rerum] Natura.    Each of you two, my early academic disciples may opt differently, Aristotle in certifiable fact opting for  Π. οὐρανοῦ  (De Caelo) and Philip on my authorship hypothesis Π. κόσμου   It now appears in Aristotle’s Bekker edition, the roughly 10 Bekker pages prior to and including the final theological chapter, on p. 401.  There continues to be lively scholarly debate, including by J. Barnes of France about its true authorship.  A moderate view mediating between those who have it written centluries after Aristotle, and the extreme view that it comes directly from Aristotle is the position here:  it comes direct from Aristotle’s early days at the Academy, near to the date of his DeCaelo, from the hand neither of Aristotle nor his famous teacher.  Rather from the teacher assigned him by the Vita Marciana, Socrates Alternate.

An additional follower of Plato, Holger Thesleff, has for many decades now admired Plato’s wit.   There are many of us Plato-admirers, both “Quick and Dead”  as A.E. Taylor wrote.  He exercised a specialist wit in thus including himself as one amongst the dedicatees, even today.   Some of us are still quick today.  Plato, the man and his work.    One can reasonably say even that Holger is a major participant in the Ideal of Platonic Wit.   Thesleff’s admiration of Plato is very durable indeed, and he exhibits many of the virtues of Plato-lovers all.   A notable virtue, which Thesleff is witty in his own naming of it.    I feel sure he will plead guilty, before St. Peter, of the seeming vice, ‘The Over-Attentive Reader’.    Where do we find a more worthy subject for such extreme reading, than the writer Plato ?   A subject author of very distinctly lower value, the author of Epinomis and De Kosmou.  can be compared.  Each stands as by a  ‘pseudigraphos’ in their appendings, — one to Plato’s corpus and one to Aristotle’s.   I believe the author of both to be the same man, namely Philip of Opus, a.k.a. Younger Socrates.

Likely also, for reasons I spell out elsewhere, this same same man with expertise in astronomer, Philip may well have made appendages to Books IV and XIIA of Euclid’s Elements.  In this last case, that of Euclid XIIA,  he published a tract we might rightly give the title ‘stereometric Episkepseis .  In bulk it contains more than Euclid’s standard Book XII, in that it supplies duplicates of the final theorems of stereometric Book XI, as well as the ‘episkepsis‘ version, which has no episkepsis arguments at all.      He contrived to make it over-attentively Platonistic.   I spell out elsewhere more about this last case.   It may be that the Academic-sounding neologism ‘epidhmiourgein’, now found in scholia to Euclid, is also responsibly traced back to the writings of Philip.   If so, he will have earned our descriptive name ‘pseudo-Eudoxus’.   One very modernistic way to put a formula on his Episkepsis arguments is to say of them that they at once stand as falsely Eudoxus-like arguments, which contrive to claim a kind of hyper-platonic position in number theory where, in the words of Feynman ‘we find a way to sweep infinities under the rug.    Current day work in mathematics, cosmology and logic is continuing.   Some of this researclh today proudly claims to prosper, and even to have helpful theological results, ‘without any need to sweep infinities under the rug.’   But this 2019 speculation seems to me ‘over the top’, especially its efforts at ‘neutroscopic’ logic not limiting itself to 2 values, and best left at some distance from speculations offered here, neither under any rug nor off any wall, but grounded in solid texts coming more or less directly from the early Academy.

De Morgan, blind on right side since 1806, birth year

De Morgan, blind on right side since infancy



Chapt 1:  419 a1


Chapt 2:  421 c6


Chapt 3:  423 b5

Chapt 4:  424 c8


Chapt 5:  426 b8

Chapt 6:  427 c6


Chapt 7:  429 a8


Chapt 8:  430 c8

Chapt 9:  431 d4


Chapt 10:  433 a1

Chapt 11:   434 c7


Chapt 12:  436 a8

Chapt 13:  437 b1


Chapt 14:  438 d9

Chapt 15:  440 a9


Chapt 16:  441 c4


Chapt 17:  443 b7

Chapt 18:  444 a10


Chapt 19:  444 e6