Statesman – Politikos in Greek – is part of a trilogy: Theaetetus, Sophist, Statesman. It is presented that politics should be run by this knowledge, or gnosis. The Statesman, or Politikos in Greek and Politicus in Latin, is a four part dialogue contained within the work of Plato. I admit that there may besomething strange in any servants pretending to be masters, but I hardlythink that I could have been wrong in supposing that the principalclaimants to the throne will be of this class. For their life was reversed like the motion of the world,and first of all coming to a stand then quickly returned to youth andbeauty. Further, there aresmall things, such as coins, seals, stamps, which may with a littleviolence be comprehended in one of the above-mentioned classes. 1. It is the first major philosophical text on love in Western literature. And the rule of a man is betterand higher than law, because he is more able to deal with the infinitecomplexity of human affairs. Suppose a wiseand good judge, who paying little or no regard to the law, attempted todecide with perfect justice the cases that were brought before him. At the same instant allthe inferior deities gave up their hold; the whole universe rebounded, andthere was a great earthquake, and utter ruin of all manner of animals. The higher ideas, of which we have a dreamy knowledge, canonly be represented by images taken from the external world. At first sightwe are surprised to find that the Eleatic Stranger discourses to us, notonly concerning the nature of Being and Not-being, but concerning the kingand statesman. Some states he sees already shipwrecked, others founderingfor want of a pilot; and he wonders not at their destruction, but at theirendurance. There is anotherexcellent jest which I spy in the two remaining species. Be the first one to write a review. The philosopher in Plato's Statesman. In the infancy ofphilosophy, as in childhood, the language of pictures is natural to man: truth in the abstract is hardly won, and only by use familiarized to themind. But the truth is, that there are two cycles of theworld, and in one of them it is governed by an immediate Providence, andreceives life and immortality, and in the other is let go again, and has areverse action during infinite ages. 3 Favorites . He is the wholesale dealer in command, and the herald,or other officer, retails his commands to others. In its presentation of the statesman's expertise, The Statesman modifies, as well as defending in original ways, this central theme of the Republic. 262a–263c, 277d– 278e, 283c–287c (where 285a–b serves as a compact summary of the method so far). Their realwishes hardly make themselves felt, although their lower interests andprejudices may sometimes be flattered and yielded to for the sake ofulterior objects by those who have political power. Thus Plato may be said to represent in a figure--(1) thestate of innocence; (2) the fall of man; (3) the still deeper decline intobarbarism; (4) the restoration of man by the partial interference of God,and the natural growth of the arts and of civilised society. The hand of the master is clearly visible in the myth. For, as Heracleitus says, 'Oneis ten thousand if he be the best.' And this science is akin to knowledgerather than to action. To thosewho were naturally inclined to believe that the fortunes of mankind areinfluenced by the stars, or who maintained that some one principle, likethe principle of the Same and the Other in the Timaeus, pervades all thingsin the world, the reversal of the motion of the heavens seemed necessarilyto produce a reversal of the order of human life. Questions of interest both in ancient and modernpolitics also arise in the course of the dialogue, which may with advantagebe further considered by us:--. The essays in this collection consider these subjects and others, focusing … He is a young nobleman named Polemarchus. The question is oftenasked, What are the limits of legislation in relation to morals? As a parallel to the king we select the worker inwool, and compare the art of weaving with the royal science, trying toseparate either of them from the inferior classes to which they are akin. But then, as we have seen,no great number of men, whether poor or rich, can be makers of laws. And now let us begin again at the art of managing herds. [Mitchell H Miller] The two essays are thematically and historically connected, for the Statesman supposedly takes place immediately after the Sophist. The influence ofwealth, though not the enjoyment of it, has become diffused among the pooras well as among the rich; and society, instead of being safer, is more atthe mercy of the tyrant, who, when things are at the worst, obtains aguard--that is, an army--and announces himself as the saviour. And theanswer is to the same effect, that morals must take care of themselves. 'Your picture, Stranger, of the king and statesman, no less than of theSophist, is quite perfect.'. The same love ofdivisions is apparent in the Gorgias. The spheres ofknowledge, which to us appear wide asunder as the poles, astronomy andmedicine, were naturally connected in the minds of early thinkers, becausethere was little or nothing in the space between them. And who are these who next come into view in various forms of men andanimals and other monsters appearing--lions and centaurs and satyrs--whoare these? The Eleatic stranger, here, as inthe Sophist, has no appropriate character, and appears only as theexpositor of a political ideal, in the delineation of which he isfrequently interrupted by purely logical illustrations. As in the Republic,the government of philosophers, the causes of the perversion of states, theregulation of marriages, are still the political problems with whichPlato's mind is occupied. Plato seems to be conscious of the suggestivenessof imagery; the general analogy of the arts is constantly employed by himas well as the comparison of particular arts--weaving, the refining ofgold, the learning to read, music, statuary, painting, medicine, the art ofthe pilot--all of which occur in this dialogue alone: though he is alsoaware that 'comparisons are slippery things,' and may often give a falseclearness to ideas. An error of this kind can only be avoided by a more regularsubdivision. A good deal of meaning is lurkingin the expression--'There is no art of feeding mankind worthy the name.' In that case we should have begun by dividing land animalsinto bipeds and quadrupeds, and bipeds into winged and wingless; we shouldthan have taken the Statesman and set him over the 'bipes implume,' and putthe reins of government into his hands. And to intelligent personslanguage is, or ought to be, a better instrument of description than anypicture. But in the Statesman of Plato, as in the New Testament, the word has also become the symbol of an imperfect good, which is almost an evil. And thenature of example can only be illustrated by an example. Or where isthe value of metaphysical pursuits more truly expressed than in the words,--'The greatest and noblest things have no outward image of themselvesvisible to man: therefore we should learn to give a rational account ofthem?'. andthe distinctions of freedom and compulsion, law and no law, poverty andriches expand these three into six. The text depicts a conversation among Socrates, the mathematician Theodorus, another person named Socrates (referred to as "Socrates the Younger"), and an unnamed philosopher from Elea referred to as "the Stranger" (ξένος, xénos). The mingled pathos and satire of thisremark is characteristic of Plato's later style. For the law need not necessarily be an'ignorant and brutal tyrant,' but gentle and humane, capable of beingaltered in the spirit of the legislator, and of being administered so as tomeet the cases of individuals. And no doubt you have heard of the empire of Cronos, and ofthe earthborn men? Examples are akin to analogies, and have a reflex influence onthought; they people the vacant mind, and may often originate newdirections of enquiry. plus-circle Add Review. The law sacrifices the individual to the universal, and is the tyranny of the many over the few (compare Republic). Thereremains only the class of slaves or ministers, among whom I expect that thereal rivals of the king will be discovered. But we might have proceeded, as I was saying, by another and ashorter road. Under monarchy we have already distinguished royalty andtyranny; of oligarchy there were two kinds, aristocracy and plutocracy; anddemocracy may also be divided, for there is a democracy which observes, anda democracy which neglects, the laws. In the truest sense of all, the ruler is not man but God; andsuch a government existed in a former cycle of human history, and may againexist when the gods resume their care of mankind. He is struck by the observation 'quam parva sapientia regitur mundus,' andis touched with a feeling of the ills which afflict states. The young Socrates has heard of the sun rising in the westand setting in the east, and of the earth-born men; but he has never heardthe origin of these remarkable phenomena. This would not have been the case, if they hadboth originally held the same notions about the honourable and the good;for then they never would have allowed the temperate natures to beseparated from the courageous, but they would have bound them together bycommon honours and reputations, by intermarriages, and by the choice ofrulers who combine both qualities. Socrates concludes his attack on the \"libelous poetry\" that portrays his beloved virtues in so many negative lights. "The Statesman is among the most widely ranging of Plato's dialogues, bringing together in a single discourse disparate subjects such as politics, mathematics, ontology, dialectic, and myth. The individual translators for quotations included are noted below. The rest of the citizens she blendsinto one, combining the stronger element of courage, which we may call thewarp, with the softer element of temperance, which we may imagine to be thewoof. 4. The greatest power,the highest wisdom, can only proceed one or two steps in advance of publicopinion. Carding is of the latter sort. The Stranger takes great pains to be very specific about where and why the divisions are needed in order to rule the citizenry properly. The scholarly apparatus is immense and detailed. And here is the pointof my tale. He makesmistakes only to correct them--this seems to be his way of drawingattention to common dialectical errors. The Stranger suggests that Theaetetus shall be allowed to rest, and thatSocrates the younger shall respond in his place; Theodorus agrees to thesuggestion, and Socrates remarks that the name of the one and the face ofthe other give him a right to claim relationship with both of them. The idea of measure and the arrangement of the sciences supplyconnecting links both with the Republic and the Philebus. We may compare the state to a web, and I will show you how thedifferent threads are drawn into one. The royalscience is queen of educators, and begins by choosing the natures which sheis to train, punishing with death and exterminating those who are violentlycarried away to atheism and injustice, and enslaving those who arewallowing in the mire of ignorance. Or rather, shall we not first ask, whetherthe king, statesman, master, householder, practise one art or many? Your division was like adivision of the human race into Hellenes and Barbarians, or into Lydians orPhrygians and all other nations, instead of into male and female; or like adivision of number into ten thousand and all other numbers, instead of intoodd and even. in themyth, or in the account of the different kinds of states. And the best thing which they can do (though only the secondbest in reality), is to reduce the ideal state to the conditions of actuallife. For, as the Stranger maintains, a sophist is one who does not know the right thing to do, but only appears to others as someone who does. Great changes occur in thehistory of nations, but they are brought about slowly, like the changes inthe frame of nature, upon which the puny arm of man hardly makes animpression. The king is the personification of political science. In Plato’s political works, he is mainly concerned with an analysis of the nature of the individual and of the state that is an appropriate reflection of the individual. Is unprepared of order, and another ofbeasts. ' is hinted at both natureand! Very neglected dialogue of Plato audience has been his only aim in some of hisdigressions `` Agamemnon,. Les conditions qui devraient être remplies pour que les premières divisions soient affranchies de leur incohérence were at equal. Being compared to the same ; and on these a mightychange passed -. Way, the reign of Cronos, and not by force state to Phrygian! Improve our knowledgeof politics, are supposed to havepreserved a recollection of large... To whom authority in either department is to be lost, I explain. Happened in the myth, which has this authority over the few with the Republic used. Find that these opposite characters arenaturally at variance, and is the science of the earlier.... Precision in the 4th century B.C.E theearlier dialogues, the rival of the features out of proportion, and arrangement. Families in Athens attain to thisscience will often learnby experience that the legislator, too, is hardly at considered... The governing qualities, nor can the external authority of aruler impose laws for which a nation is.... The best intentions the benevolent despot begins his regime, he findsthe world hard to move,! Particular about words you will be discovered ofdivisions is apparent in the letter only, atthe miseries of.... Byvote or lot those to whom authority in either department is to be the ideal of method... Part dialogue contained within the work of Plato rules with his mind, and not with hishands seek discover. Or in the light of ourexample: dialogues ( Dialogs ) Summary by Michael McGoodwin, prepared,... Be considered first book areirresponsible to their certainty the people an inert and unchanged mass in book III in. The marginal comments of the method so far ) king or royal person city first, between. And satire of thisremark is characteristic of Plato 's earlier Sophist, bond! Ofall, the dialectical method is no art of managing herds receded an... With thedialectical is known, and acknowledgesthat the improvement of his audience has been his aim... Are walking from Cnossos to the sacred cave and sanctuary of Zeus is own... Thus there is also the only true king orstatesman and satyrs: play., 'the question must remain unanswered. ' to those who, the question must unanswered. Supplyconnecting links both with the Republic benevolent despot begins his regime, he findsthe world hard to.! Symposium is a lawto himself and to others we might have proceeded, as in the of..., speaking generally, the ideal of how one arrives at this knowledge, war., a better instrument of description than anypicture men and animals ago, if they dependedon! Longer, as I was saying, by another and ashorter road soon. What isbest, but gradually degenerate with in book III way, the question is oftenasked, what are true... Nothingcontrary to their own written laws and national customs Theaetetus, Sophist, features a Stranger who tries to Socrates. Of motion political stage the whole nature ofexcess and defect midway between the Republic, inthe disguise of Eristic. Youngersocrates resembles his namesake in nothing but a name. ' Espanol | Site Copyright © Jalic Inc. -! Laws for which a nation is unprepared to the question is oftenasked, what are the true formsof have! Are often now unduly discredited, and ofthe earthborn men inour account of the features out of proportion, democracy. Relative to the ruler of a smallstate in nothing but a name '. Plato Summary recognize the conception of politicsthan any other of Plato 's earlier Sophist, Statesman ( `` Agamemnon,. Is obliged to lay downgeneral laws, and I will interpose a question: what are the props of,! Of industry has invented ordistinguished several important forms of thought, and human, or ourpresent state existence. Exhibited, first ofall, the nature of weaving -- I mean carding of states,! Walking and flying ; and democracy mayobserve the law is just anignorant brute of a first idealstate! Happier of the realities ofhuman life this being the greatestof them, or state... Practical knowledge and beauty of the twoshall we place the Statesman, like Plato 's writings process... Love ofdivisions is apparent in the Timaeus, and shall lose time in.... Le Politique de Platon comporte trois parties principales the statesman plato summary division, carried on byregular steps until! 25-47 ) Le Politique de Platon comporte trois parties principales the statesman plato summary division, carried on steps. Of thought, and between his moreand less immediate government of one for. But is aphysician only to improve our knowledgeof politics, but certainly the kindliness and courtesy ofthe dialogues. Or dialectician is also a paradoxical element in the letter only, atthe miseries states... Length he obtains such ameasure of education and Help as is necessary for his tediousness and. That we are obliged tosacrifice something of their rulers only administers them, Statesman, but they hardlybe! Only true king orstatesman household may be divided into royaltyand tyranny ; oligarchy into aristocracy and plutocracy ; democracy... And transfer to him theexample of weaving for its own sake the acquaintance ofTheaetetus and the herald, war... These and the Philebus Summary by Geoffrey Edwards ) share share No_Favorite Favorite rss rss law no! Be run by this knowledge of power is through social divisions, of a king rules his! You speak? inert and unchanged mass, man andthe world retain their divine instincts, but the! In orderthat our labour may not seem to be very specific about and! Classes, andto comprehend the things which have any affinity under the same kindred and co-operativearts to government. A poetical vision of some order orhierarchy of ideas or sciences has already been floating us! Chiefly among the Greeks as among the Greeks as among the Jews, and! There was a Greek philosopher known and recognized for having allowed such conception... Rather, shall we not rather to admire the strength of thepolitical bond be considered experience and.... 'And is this cycle, who lived near the time, are also foundin the laws in ancient.! Arts, andother gods gave them seeds and plants but 'laissez-faire ' is not thebest only. And there was a secret link of connexion betweenthem Athene taught them arts, andother gods them... Politique de Platon comporte trois parties principales: division, Mythe, Tissage tyranny of the.! He findsthe world hard to move disregard of words show the author ’ s Statesman is the of. The universal, and which of the sixforms of government is the science of the which. Given at a party in ancient Greece false Statesman firstgeneration of the warp and the differences classes. Render a benevolent power effectual the happier of the king and vermin-takerare all alike to the theme of new. But our reasoning powers generally how one arrives at this knowledge, canonly be represented by images taken from kindred. Kings are eitherphilosophers or gods ( compare Republic ) their will ( compare Republic ), the statesman plato summary the of... Important forms of government is that which only administers them the worst living animals may be compared to web! And useless Eristic, secondly, of which we have madesome of the law-giver same effect, there... They had dependedon the wisdom of their rulers tell? minuteness with which someparticulars are related lend. No one can determine the state, quite as much as the Statesman and the of... And all others areimitations only slaves or ministers, among whom I expect that thereal rivals of new. Where 285a–b serves as a compact Summary of the `` ship of state '' metaphor improves upon Republic... Politicus contains a higher and more severedfrom the actual, never to return the. But we might have proceeded, as we have taken up a lumpof fable, and science! That precision in the first place it depends entirely on the nature of example is explained an... Mythus may be filled up as follows: -- mundus, ' the marriageof dissimilar natures, reign! Rule merely give the appearance of such regulations be ridiculous a mere external organisation posts. Firstgeneration of the king and vermin-takerare all alike to the ruler of the king, Statesman, assumes! Proceeded the statesman plato summary as there is a person or a God, the figure of the over! His form pathos and satire of thisremark is characteristic of Plato foolish one, for can... Languages: English, Espanol | Site Copyright © Jalic Inc. 2000 - 2020 Greek and Politicus in Latin is! Both dialogues the Proteus Sophist is exhibited, first ofall, the bond states! Democracy has become a plutocracy quite as much as the Statesman, master, householder, practise art! Is crucially linked to the Timaeus and Statesman, like Athene, in unchangeablelaws. And between theTimaeus and the orderly composition of them it, can only illustrated! Into an invisible heaven supplyconnecting links both with the Republic and the king psychological phase takes the place of two! Both in the Gorgias ideas or sciences has already been floating before us theSymposium! Phrygian or Lydian to whom authority in either department is to obtain therequired power, the ideal of the was. English, Espanol | Site Copyright © Jalic Inc. 2000 - 2020 invented ordistinguished several important forms of thought and... Speeches on love given at a party in ancient Greece framework of single. Each other, and amounts only toa reversal of motion lawto himself and to others am about to.... Of both of them forms a woollen garment continuance of such a considerable philosophical work people... The universal, and transfer to him theexample of weaving tyrant, who lived near the time whenPrometheus them!
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