Sie sind auf Seite 1von 20






Since, published

in the first his work


of the nineteenth Numbers

on the ideal

with the study of Platonism occupied the radical question: do we know Plato's first of all arises from the existence

Trendelenburg century, of Plato, those who are are bound to put to themselves doctrine? This question between discrepancy tells us about Platoalso and on certain the art of

of a certain

the literary work of Plato and what Aristotle nism. Yet not exclusively from this. It is founded detractive of Plato himself utterances about books place in the .seventh Letter1), passage book of mine about these things writing. In the first we have to mention here

the well-known

where Plato says: "There is no nor will (pe?? ?? e?? sp??d???), there ever be. For it is not possible to speak about them as about other objects of study. But from a long intercourse with the thing itself and from a common life springs suddenly a light, kindled from over, and once being lit in the soul, it feeds

a spark that leaped itself further." Next of Plato

to this the parallel-lines is no book in Ep. II, 314c: 'There nor will there ever be; but what is now called so is of and handsome." turned young Socrates, the answer of king Thamous Finally there is Phaedr. 274e?275b, of yours will create forgetfulness discovery in the learners' souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external of written characters and not remember The specific which you have discovered is an aid not to and you give your disciples not truth, memory, but to reminiscence, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; company, they will be tiresome themselves. having the show of wisdom 1) 341 c-d. 2) Translation of B. Jowett. without the reality" 2). to the Egyptian Theuth, the art of writing: 'This who communicated to him the invention of

198 Now,


thought in this way about written books; when he, attached much more importance to the living contact apparently, it of a personal is that not to himself his most intercourse, plausible essential task was not the writing of books, but his oral teaching in the Academy? as And, if so, is not the value of Plato's dialogues a source of his doctrine strongly while that of the tesdiminished, and other disciples has greatly improved? timony of Aristotle was the of Burnet. "As we have seen" 3), This, indeed, opinion he wrote 4), "he (Plato) did not choose to commit it to writing, and we are almost entirely dependent on what Aristotle tells us." Now of Platonism but as a whole has carried interpretation conviction in the world of Plato-scholars, because principally it was connected with an unfortunate founded theory about Socrates, on the doubtful of the second Letter and on other wrong authority little shared Yet, as to later Platonism, interpretations. many others Burnet's a great importance to the testimony opinion and attached of Aristotle on the doctrine of Plato in his later years. Among them the names of J. Stenzel and L. Robin may be mentioned. On the other of what mention hand, Platonists Aristotle says about Plato doubted of the value radically never have failed. We may Teichm?ller Fehden, (Literarische who Burnet's

in the former century and a generation before us P. Shorey and C. Ritter. And let 1881), us not forget those Dutch scholars who have been our masters: B. J. H. Ovink and J. D. Bierens de Haan. der platowork, Die Kerngedanken Plato continued to write until his Philosophie (1930): death. So it is practically that could Aristotle impossible report about his oral teaching which is not to be found in the anything from his chronicles of Platohad, as it appears dialogues.?Ritter studies in Bursiar?s a marked aversion for those Jahresberichte, scholars who try to approach Plato through Aristotle. He read and knew the Dialogues, and the Plato he knew from them?his Plato? says nischen he did not find back works had in the works of these modern authors. In their he felt as in a strange climate. He did not like them and he no confidence in them. Having read a work of Stenzel for Ritter in his last greater

3) Sc. in the Epistles, VII and I. 4) Gr. Phil. I, p. 312.



his duty: "Es durchzulesen war mir review, he sighs after fulfilling eine Qual." Now this was exactly the attitude taken by Ovink in these questions. He did not believe in a Platonism which was not to be found in the Dialogues; and surely Aristotle was the last in whom he could have put some confidence as a witness about Plato and his doctrine, his mind and mode of thinking being contrary mind. to Plato's As to Bierens de Haan, he was a fervent admirer of what we which reaches its culmination in the Platonism", may call "classical He did found his and later Platonism Republic. inspiration there, not interest him, except as a confirmation of the "philosophy of life" found in the Republic?and surely so it is. The American of Aristotle's Stenzel's P. Shorey, who radically denied the value on later in a review of Platonism, made, testimony Zahl und Gestalt Philol. the following (Class. 1924), remark 5) : "We do not really know what Aristotle's testiPlatonist

important as it stands, is a hopeless and mony is. The Metaphysics, muddle", it is utterly to decide what in his criticism refers to impossible Plato and what to interpretations and misconceptions of Platonism in the Academy. A new phase of these problems has arisen lately by the works of H. Cherniss. What is new in his work, is not so much the author's of what he calls "the riddle of the early Academy"?the solution between the difficulty arising from the fact of a certain discrepancy own literary works and the testimony of Aristotle This solution does not differ essentially from what so many older Platonists, such as Ritter and Ovink, thought about this question could hardly be named a question to (which about his doctrine?. The new thing, however, is that Cherniss himself makes them). the interpreter of the more or less conscious aversion of feelings from Aristotle as a witness about Plato, harboured by so many readers and admirers of Plato's literary works, and that he pleads their cause with a system of strong and precise arguments, resulting from a careful of polemizing, of Aristotle?his method study of the whole testimony of interpretation and criticism his works throughout to Aristotle's Criticism of Plato contents of Plato's

5) Cited by Cherniss in the Foreword and the Academy, I, p. XXI.



not only as to Plato, but also to the presocratic Cherniss thinkers. entertains as to more hopeful the of Aristotle's expectations study than Shorey did. He is convinced that good results may Metaphysics be expected, if only all the evidence if is taken into consideration; all the material is carefully is weighed and sifted brought together, it to Plato's own testimony, by comparing being the chief means of control we have at our disposal. Till now, he argues, only part of the material has been drawn into consideration. lent part of the work has beeji performed des Id?es et des Nombres platonicienne But Io Robin confined Numbers, whereas A great and excelby L. Robin in La th?orie d'apr?s Aristote (1908).

psychological, may often illuminate of Ideas. for controlling any

his investigation to the theory of Ideas and the Aristotelian treatment of Platonic physical, is ethical and political and theory equally interesting obscure points in the treatment himself of the most deprived of the theory valuable help

And 2? Robin Aristotle's reference


By his great of which the first volume that solid procure a tenable taxation true solution the volume cism basis

from testimony, by carefully refraining to any of Plato's writings. work Aristotle's Criticism of Plato and the Academy,

at Baltimore, 1944, Cherniss will appeared for the forming which is indispensable of of the value of Aristotle's a and for testimony, of "the riddle of the Early Academy". In his second will be more former the author's and treated, especially Critiwork, Aristotle's

number-theories conclusion

for the final

will also be used. Philosophy, Prof. Cherniss has anticipated his own results the smaller book The Riddle of the Early Academy by publishing Here he gives his own solution Press, (Univ. of California 1945). for "the riddle", being a radical rejection of Aristotle's testimony, as far as it says anything about be found in the dialogues. The as follows. runs, shortly put, Plato and Platonism that is not to chapter argumentation of the first

of Presocratic In the meanwhile

In the discrepancy between the ideal theory of the dialogues and the doctrine which Aristotle ascribes to Plato, modern critics often showed more confidence in the account of Aristotle than in Plato's own work. Now this is an amazing these critics fact, being almost without must know who from perexception university-teachers,

PROBLEMS CONCERNING LATER PLATONISM sonai become experience how mutilated and distorted their own

201 thoughts Surely method to or a col-

by passing through in the present times it would accept league's as evidence report of

the notebooks be deemed

of their students. an intolerable a student's

the authority of the against own writings. Yet this is the procedure followed philosopher's by modern Plato-critics, such as Burnet and Taylor, Robin, Stenzel, a.o. In the passage of king Thamous' answer to the Egyptian Theuth Cherniss well-known testimony convinced hears and distortion a complaint of Plato about the misunderstanding on the part of students. of his thoughts Nor does the of the seventh letter give any credit to the passage of Aristotle or of any other disciple. He who will be has

of a philosopher's his oral teaching,


only to read the text: "if any other persons to know these write they heard from me and pretend I can declare this with certainty, things (pe?? ?? e?? sp??d???), that they in no wise understand it. And if any person would be able to write about it, it would be I"?Surely this is a testimony against and whosoever else might pretend Aristotle to teach us anything about about Plato and Platonism, such as Hermodorus. It is always said that Aristotle "used to refer to Plato's agrapha". These assertions and that Aristotle give the impression frequently

of this, what

lectures given by Plato. Now this is utterly untrue. clearly mentions There may be found just two texts in the whole Aristotelian corpus where a reference to the agrapha occurs. And by careful examination one with 209 of them Plato bl3-16. (De anima 404 b8-30) at all. So there remains Here Aristotle turns one out single not to be concerned Phys. IV are passage:

says: is why Plato in the Timaeus says that matter the same; for the "participant" and (t? ?eta??pt????) are identical. is that the account he true, indeed, (It the "participant" is different from what he says in "This "unwritten and space teaching". (???a)."6) here we can Nevertheless, control exactly Cherniss he did identify

and space

space (???a) gives there of his so-called place (t?p??)

Now, comparing

Aristotle's remarks.

it to the Timaeus,

interpretation by And if we do that, of the Works

6) Translation of Hardie and Gaye of Aristotle, vol. II).





this interpretation first he identifies

to be utterly wrong and untrustworthy: appears with his own conception the space of the Timaeus he that the assumes of position, there is the participant secondly he of his own "material principle", thirdly simply states equivalent that Plato says that matter and space are the same. Since, then, he and misquotes the Timaeus, what he says of the misinterprets too. "unwritten be erroneous teaching" may to Metaph. A 6 Plato assumed the great and small According called the indeterminate (elsewhere dyad) as his material principle, as well covered tified of Ideas with the as of sensible One this doctrine have disthings. Modern scholars in the Philebus, where the peras is to be idento of Plato according (the formal principle

the great Metaph. A 6), and the ?peiron with the material principle, and small. This, again, is wrong interpretation, The says Cherniss. ?peiron in the Philebus simply means the phenomenal multiplicity, and the One or peras is any given Idea, the Ideas being called and being described and unmixed. as eternally immutable monads, That this interpretation must undoubtedly be the true one, appears Plato's third class in this dialogue, clearly when we consider being the mixture of the two: for if the peras and the ?peiron were the from which the Ideas are derived, then the third class principles must be identified with the Ideas. And this is clearly against the author's intention, for the class of the mixture is by Plato distinctly with the phenomenal world. Finally, of an identification of equated Ideas and Numbers, as it is ascribed to Plato by Aristotle, no mention whatever is made in the Philebus 7). But again we can control Aristotle on another exactly point: to Plato the great I, 192 a6-8. Here he says that according Phys. = and small the ?? ov, this last term being taken in the sense which Parmenides gave to it. is utterly mistaken. For Plato did not admit Now, this assertion the ?? ?v in that sense at all : he gave it a positive meaning, defining it as the ?te??? (Soph. 257b-259b). The ?? ?v is in the Sophist an all the Ideas, including that of being, by which Idea, which pervades it is pervaded in turn y). Space, however, which is according to Aris7) Riddle p. 18. 8) Soph 258 c, 259 a-b.

PROBLEMS CONCERNING LATER PLATONISM totle identified does by Plato with even, pervade his material principle


the great and that come into things Ideas. being within it; it is no Idea, and still less does it pervade Moreover of a "material it is utterly impossible that Plato admitted with regard to the Ideas. He could admit such a principle principle" with regard to sensible of their imperfection. because But things, small, not the sensible that he would have accepted excluded, Ideas, is absolutely their ideal character itself. So all this is simply such because a principle with reference to the it would mean the denial of

on the side of Aristotle; wrong interpretation not of what Plato said in his oral teaching? wrong interpretation Cherniss denies that Plato gave any regular lectures at all?but of certain the doctrine of the ?? ?v in the points in the dialogues: the Timaeus that of the and that of the infinite in Sophist, participant in the Philebus. is on these his If, however, interpretation wrong where also on those we can control him, it is untrustworthy points

where we cannot control him, the doctrine of the so-called questions ideal Numbers. On this point, too, Aristotle's will prove statements to be inconsistent with one another, and not to correspond to any doctrine in the dialogues, or even to be in contradiction to them. The whole only thing theory then we may safely conclude from this, of the identification of Ideas and Numbers is that never the has

been taught

by Plato;

interpretation, which may be found Before have ?or Phys.

that it is merely a product of Aristotle's wrong to us his usual method of explained by polemizing throughout his works. to a closer it is founded: examination, the question we of

we subject this conclusion to consider the basis on which about might seem IV 209bl3-l6 the last as to the did

the testimonies

Plato's oral teaching. Cherniss says: there are to be?just in Aristotle's two passages works, and De anima I 2, 404 b; and of these two is not concerned with Plato at all. first IV 209 bl3-16, so much is passage, Phys. in the Timaeus that matter and directly say He described his ??de???e??? as 9) or ???a are formed 10), not, strictly speaking.


mentioned not

Now, clear: Plato

space are the same. the space in which all things 9) Tim. 48e-49a. 10) lb. 50b-d.


PROBLEMS CONCERNING LATER PLATONISM be denied to what that his is called

as a principle in things. Yet, it cannot immanent of the ???a shows a close resemblance description "matter" to the so-called by Aristotle: contrary water, fire

or air, of which the substance tinually, space is something permanent n), a pre-existing something, which has, by the very fact of its perfect ind?termination, a vague and shadowy existence. a kind of Plato even calls it an ???a?e???, proves to have his of third as i.e. as an immanent "matter", thought principle prinwe have no sufficient ciple in sensible things. For this conclusion reasons. into For Plato things clearly did not intend to say that his ???a enters as a constituent This we must conclude element. from plastic reason material for all that to conclude things12).?Surely at least by this we term have no sufficient Plato

such as elements, seems to change con-

his comparison of the "recipient" to the mother, the forming or active to the and the intermediate nature to the offfather, principle a It is well-known fact that the ancients had a wrong spring13). idea of the process of generation: they fancied that a human being from the semen, the womb being nothing more than the place this process is carried out. This then being so, we would be in from the term ???a?e??? that the certainly wrong concluding third principle of the Timaeus is meant by its author as a constituent in which of material things. But on the other hand we must acknowledge that of Aristojust by this term Plato comes very near to the conception telian matter. And it is quite possible that Aristotle, over thinking this passage of the Timaeus, was inspired to his own conception of what about he called who, Aristotle ???. We can, at least, quite in building his own system always anticipated asking well of understand that wrote philosophy, the question how far his own ???a by them, said that Plato's arises

his predecessors have been principles was his own material Still more, the Timaeus

principle. we can quite well understand that Aristotle, reading in that this vague and shadowy of the ???a can existence

11) Ib. 50 a : ????? e?e??? a? p??sa???e?e?? tf te t??t? ?a? tf t?de p??s????????? ????at?. 12) Ib. 50 c. 13) Tim. 50d: ?a? d? ?a? p??se???sa? p??pe? t? ??? de???e??? ??t??, t? d' d?e? pat??, t?? d? ?eta?? t??t?? f?s?? ?????f.



with the

be grasped it t??? ???f14), says that Plato identifies only ????s?f and non-being the ?? ?v, or rather that the great-and-small to are the same1^). To this then we must say: indeed, according of the words Plato made his ???a a kind of ?? ?v. in the very special sense which Plato and unusual evidently in to the term is his Cherniss Sophist. gave right: in this dialogue the ?? ?v is the ?te???, and the ?te??? is an Idea. But it must be usual sense Not, remarked that the ?te??? in the Timaeus, being one of the constituent parts of the world-soul16), later, in the account of the genesis of the physical be interpreted as an Idea 17). world, cannot possibly And is it reasonable in the use to claim from Aristotle a consequence of Platonic terms where Plato himself is not consistent in his terminology? This that then gives us no reason to conclude that Aristotle's passage on Plato conclude is this: is All we testimony may untrustworthy. it would accept has no other denote with it without nor to reasonable to reject this testimony critical to the it reserve. As any agrapha, finally, sense than that Plato in his unwritten used to teaching his ?eta??pt????) be neither

his de???e??? (Aristotle says, less correctly, another term (sc. the great-and-small). we have about this unwritten (eta????) teaching Plato's:

Now testimony


of a direct


important Hermodorus. The who had text is as

is preserved fragment 24730-24815, by Simplicius, Phys. it from Porphyry, who borrowed it from Dercyllides. The follows. ?pe?d? t?? p???a??? ?????ta? ? '???st?t???? As that Aristotle Plato often

mentions matter the must



?? t?? ???? ???a ?a? ?????? ?????t??, ?st??? dt? ? ???f????? ?st??e? t?? ?e??????d?? t?? ???t???? f???s?f?a?, ?? tf ?a' ???a

great-and-small, people know that Porphyry communithat Dercyllides in the cates eleventh book of his 'Thilo-

14) 52 b. 15) Phys. I, 192 a 6-8. 16) Tim. 35a-b. 17) lb. 48 e : ta ??? ?a? d?? ??a?? ?? ep? t??? ??p??s?e? ?e??e?s??, e? ?e? ?? pa?ade???at?? e?d?? ?p?teF??, ???t?? ?a? ?e? ?at? ta?ta ?v, ?????a d? pa?ade???at?? de?te???, ???es?? ???? ?a? ??at??.

206 pe?? ???? ????d???? ???

PROBLEMS CONCERNING LATER PLATONISM p??e?ta? t?? ?????, eta??? t?? sophy speaks passage of where he Plato", about cites a matter, of Hermodorus, the from his Plato's, Plato, from which that Plato admitted

t?? ???t????

s????adt? t?? ?? ?? d????ta?, ?at? t? ?pe???? ???? ? ???t?? ?a? a???st?? ?p' ?p?t????e??? f??, e?e???? ?????? ?????, t?? t? a?t?? ?d???? ?a? t? ?tt?? ep?de???? ?a? t? ???a ?a? t?

????? pa?a???fe?? a?t?? pe?? ???t????

of disciple book about

appears matter in the sense of the infinite and and indeterminate, that he showed with this that it to things which admit belongs of a more and less, to which also the great and belongs small. First, namely, he says: ''Plato that of all the says certain existing things things exist such as by themselves, man and horse 39), and others with a relation to other Of this last group things20). some have a relation to a counterpart such as good and bad, and others else. are And simply to something of these some21) others undeterlimited, 22). He continues: "And

e?p?? dt? ?????? ?st??. ?a? ta ??? ?a?* a?t? ?t?? ??t?? e??a? ???e? ?? ?????p?? ?a? d? p??? ?te?a, ?a? ta ??? ?? p??? e?a?t?a ta d? ?? p??? ?? a?a??? ?a?f, ?a? t??t?? ta t?, ??? ?? ???s?pp??, t??t?? ???a, ta d? ?? a???sta? ep??e? ??a? ta ??? ?? ???a p??? ?????? ?e???e?a p??ta e?e?? t? ?????? ?a? t? ?tt?? est? ?a? ??????18) e??a? ?e???? ?a? ? e?att?? ?sa?t?? ?pe???? fe???e?a ?a? p?at?te??? ?a? ste??te??? ?a? ?a??te??? ?a? ???f?te??? e?? d? ta


18) ?'st? ?a? ?????? was printed in the edition of Aldus. The msf shows a lacune of three letters after est??. A. 19) First group (substancies): 20) Second group: B, which is in the next sentence subdivided into two: a. those things which have an opposite, b. correlatives. In the passage of Sextus Empiricus, which will be cited on page 209 ff., we shall find an exact determination of the difference between those two last groups. 21) 'Of these some are limited", sc. the group a, such as good and bad, in its positive part: the good, the equal, the permanent, the arranged, etc. 22) "others undetermined", sc. the second half of group a: the unequal, the moving, the unarranged; and to these the whole group b, such as greater and smaller, longer and shorter, etc.; shortly put, all that oscillates between two extremes. According to the next sentence, "the great and small" seems to have been Plato's chief denomination of this last group, whereas it was not its single aspect.

PROBLEMS CONCERNING LATER PLATONISM ?a? p??ta ?pe???? t? ?s?? ????s????? t? ?????? ?e???e?a e?? ? ta d? ?? ??s??seta? ?a? t? ????? ?a? t? ta ??t?? all that



??? e?e?? ?e???e?a ?a? t? ?tt??, ta d? ? e?a?t?a t??t?? e?e?? est? ?a? ?????? ???s?? ???s?? ?a? ??????a? ??????s?e??? ?????????? t?? a?????st??, t?? f?t???? ?ste a?t?? s??????? p??? t?? ???? st???e??? t? ?????? ?a? t? ?tt?? d?de?ta? 23). ?ste astat?? ?a? ????f?? ?a? ?pe???? ?a? ??? d? t? t????t?? a?p??ta

is called with great to small, has the more and less in it. For it is possible to be greater and smaller ad and in the same way infinitum, also broader and narrower, heavier and lighter and all such things will go on ad infinitum.

like the equal and things the permanent and the arranged 24) have no more and less; their opposites, For "unequal" ference have. however, admits of a dif-


t?? d????es?a? ?at? ?p?fas?? d? ?? p??s?t??. tf t????tf ?e?? ??te ????? ??te ??s?a?, a??' ?? a???s?a t??? f??es?a?.?

of degree, and so does and "moving" "unarranged". of both lastConsequently mentioned all have less, groups accepted of pairs 25) the more and that is

except the principle Hence all these one26). (that admit of the

things more and

must be called unstable, less) unlimited and nonformless, because being, being is denied of it. And to such things it neither belongs to have a begin-, ning nor to have being, but it is proper to them to move in a certain This passage reminds us directly confusion." Philebus, where the

of Plato's

23) The mss. have dede??????, printed by Diels in his text. Heinze {Xenokr ates p. 38) corrects: d?de?ta?, adopted by W. van der Wielen (De Ideeget alien van Plato, p. 115). 24) The positive half of the group a. 25) a and b. 26) Again: the positive half of the group a: t? ?s??, t? ?????, t? ????s????? apparently identified to the a?a???. Cp. Aristoxenus, Harm. Elem? II 30 Meibom: ?a? t? p??a? dt? a?a??? ?st?? e? (to be cited infra).

208 author


in itself"

his ?peiron as "that which has a more and less we ourselves While and doubt 27). might perhaps hesitate, whether we may connect this ?peiron in the Philebus with the greatand-small mentioned by Aristotle and indicated by him as the name



was given by Plato to his material this identifiprinciple, is here directly confirmed a The greatfirst-hand witness. by to Plato belong to the class of the and-small did indeed according ?peiron, which is defined as "all which has a more and less in it,y.

One aspect of it?apparently the most prominent?was the greatnot excluand it seems that Plato by preference?but and-small, it by this name. Opposed to it stands: the Equal, the sively?called or Unchangeable, Permanent the Arranged, which is the p?ras or the of in the first chapter on the passage of Hermodorus the in a general declaration "Riddle"?except concerning above-cited of the where Plato about seventh letter, passage says other writers whosoever with which pretend to know the subjects his it is not possible that they understand the matter at all. Here, then, Cherniss declares: "Whether authentic or not, this assertion is certainly directed against .such publications He as those of Hermodorus and Aristotle"29). concerned: does reason Criticism Hermodorus sentence, the first not discuss the silence of this of Hermodorus in this work. The fragment in be found a may long note in Aristotle's of the testimony p. 169 ff: the author rejects about Plato's the and doctrine, because is drawn in the last that, except all things with "which ?ste, is equal inference he is seriously about anything One2?). Cherniss is silent

of Plato, as a witness beginning



27) Phil. 24c. if the 28) The difficulty of Cherniss, mentioned above (p. 202)?that, peras and the ?peiron in the Phil, were to be identified with the two ultimate principles, the One and the Great-and-small, the third class must be identified with the Ideas?cannot be solved according to his theory. It is curious that the author, who is so severe in his criticism, does not remark the contradiction in his own interpretation, according to which the ?peiron would be "the phenomenal multiplicity", and the mixed genus once more the phenomenal world. And why could not the peras have the meaning which he proposes, sc. that of the Ideas, being "Monads", and the ?peiron that of the Great and small, the third class or mixed genus being the phenomenal world? 29) Riddle p. 13.



being contradiction

is denied

infinite and non-being, "because unstable, formless, of it". This assertion, is Cherniss in direct states, with Plato's own teaching in the Sophist, where nonpositively a being as if Hermo-

not opposed to being, but determined being is explicitly as a ?te??? 30). The ?? ?a??? is here said to be as well the ?a???, and the ?? ???a as well as the ???a. Therefore, dorus ,says in this passage that it is not fitting to such

like things to of in he is flat with contradiction (tf t????tf) participate being, Plato's own words, and cannot be taken as evidence for Plato's doctrine of the "material substrate". self Here we might concedes?that observe the said that it is quite possible?as conclusion has not Cherniss been drawn him-

Hermodorus Hermodorus his account.

granted?this the tripartition

by at all, but has been added by Dercyllides. But even if is the author, we can simply leave this inference for And even if it is wrong?which we cannot yet take for does not take away the value of his whole testimony:

of being and the final reduction of these three to two ultimate the One and which admits of that groups principles, the more and less, may prove to have been Platonic teaching. Two remarks, again, must be made here. First 31). The testimony of Hermodorus is confirmed of Sextus chapter by a remarkable

Adv. Math. X (the second the Physicists), Empiricus, against 4, 248-282 This the same contains of as 32). chapter tripartition being the fragments of Hermodorus: fas? (sc.the ?a? ??t??, (263) ??? d?af??a? of things to whom Sextus ascribes this doctrine), ta ??? ?at? ta d? p??? t?. The first group, ??e?ta?, ta d? ?at' ??a?t??s??, that are ?conceived (?at? d?af??a? ??e?ta?), absolutely" is further determined as ta ?a?'?a?ta ?a? ?at' ?d?a? pe????af?? Pythagoreans, which subsist as man, else33). and in complete indepenplant, earth, water, air, fire; for each of its relation and not in respect absolutely is deThe second ?at' ??a?t??s??, group, horse, of themselves

?p??e??e?a, such dence, of these to something

is regarded

30) Soph. 258b. 31) The second follows in the next issue of this Review. 32) The text of the paragraphs of this chapter which are cited here, can be found in my Greek Philosophy, A collection of texts, which is to appear within a few months at the Publishers of this Review, sub nr. 371b. 33) Translation of R. G. Bury (Sextus Empiricus, vol. Ill, Loeb Class. Libr.). Mnemosyne II

210 scribed as


are regarded which ?those (things) one to as such another, contrariety good and and just, advantageous disadventageous, holy and

in motion and at rest, and impious, to these". The third group, finally, ta p??? t?, is defined as ta ?at? conceived ?? t?? p??? ?te??? s??s?? ?????e?a, ?the things in a relation as standing to something such as right and else, and below, and half, double i.e. correlatives. left, above then explains the difference Sextus between the second and the third group two points : of distinction (266-268) by indicating (1) one In the second is the the destruction of the group, those of contraries, in of the as the case of health and other, generation of motion and rest; while in the third there is co-existence a?????? pe??e??e?), nor a double unless (2) In the second of the one and the other (ta d? p??? t? s???pa???? "for there is no right unless the half also, whereof it is the there group, that of contraries, while the two, in the third there is: and disease, life and death, motion

unevil, just and unholy, pious all other things similar


and co-destruction te ?a? s??a??es?? a left also exists, double, pre-exists". is no intermediate there

there is a middle state, for the and the the smaller, the adequate equal greater between the more and the less, and the harmonious between the high and the low. will be between that above each of these classes : ?a? t??t?? ?fe??e? ?at* a?????? genus a?t?? ep??? t? ????? tet???a? Above the first class athe sons (269). of the Pythagoreans" the one (270), above the second postulated the equal and unequal (t? ?s?? ?a? ???s??, 271), above the third there must proceeds be a certain ?????? of Hermodorus. fragment two principles. So does Sextus. He asks: can these be genera to others? ? And he answers (275): Yes, for equalagain reduced under the One (for fhe One first of all is ity (?s?t??) is brought and inequality is seen in excess and equal to itself), (???s?t??) defect (?pe???? ?a? e??e????), things of which the one exceeds and the other is exceeded ???a ?a? ? ?pe???? ?a? being unequal. and in the ? e??e???? ?at? t?? t?? a???st?? d??d?? ????? t?ta?ta?, ?pe?d?pe? they put "excess last term reminds and defect" (?pe???? us of the ?a? e??e????, This 273). ?a? ?tt?? of the Philebus The latter finally came to Sextus now to show

stage between is nothing between health and rest; but in the case of relatives



?a? ? e??e???? ?? d?s?? ?st?, tf te ?pe?????t? ?pe???? ? p??t? ?a? tf ?pe?e?????f. ?at? t? ???'??????a? ??a ???a? p??t?? te "But ?a? t?t? both excess d???. ? p??t? ? a???st?? ????? under the head of the Infinite Dyad, since and defect are ranked in fact exceeds the primary excess and defect and that which is exceeded. is in two Thus that which things, as the highest princiand the One primary

the there have emerged ples of all things Infinite Dyad." Sextus then relates all this as Pythagorean doctrine. But a simple of the last-cited with what Aristotle of Sextus comparison paragraph tells

us in Metaph. A 6 about Plato's doctrine of the first princiif we combine it with what we learned from Hermodorus ples34), and the Philebus, will make it clear to us that, what we have here before us, is no Pythagorean but doubtlessly Platonic For teaching. Aristotle here reports that Plato admitted of two highest principles: the One, being being, defining between according and "the great-and-small", principle, the material Next, terminology, principle. the points of agreement and the points of difference to his the formal

exactly Plato and the Pythagoreans, he says: Plato and the Pythain Io that both the One as a subthis, goreans agreed accepted not as an attribute of something else; and 2? Numsisting principle, bers are by both accepted as the cause of the being of things. As to the points of difference, he mentions three, of which the first is: of the ?peiron instead of Pythagoreans, which was one, Plato the of the This adopted dyad great-and-small. point then being so distinctly is spoken mentioned of the we must conclude that, wherever by Aristotle, in the sense of the Philebus?i.e. as "?peiron" of a more and a less, be it greater admits and

which something and narrower, broader and shorter, or anything smaller, longer else of this kind?, wherever it is qualified or described as an "indeterminate we have no but Platonic dyad", Pythagorean, doctrine before us. W. D. Ross, in his Commentary vol. on Aristotle's Metaphysics, to of Hermodorus" for ascribing II, p. 434, refers to "the evidence men"the infinite no Cherniss is "there Plato, 3^) replies: dyad". tion of this phrase in the fragment." As to the words, this is true; 34) Metaph. A 6, 987b 18-2T. 35) Aristotle's Criticism of Plato I, p. 171, at the end of note 96.


PROBLEMS CONCERNING LATER PLATONISM not so. For if Hermodorus to "all that finally puts the ?? admits of the more and as the

as to the sense the one less",

we find back Plato's own qualification he calls the the which Philebus) ?peiron, description (in "all that oscillates to Robin's right expression, contains, according between two extremes", then, without any doubt, we must acknowis given of that principle ledge that by these words a description of what

principle opposite and if in this last

and his commentator to the testimony of Aristotle which, according Alexander of Aphrodisias, was called by Plato also the aoristos dyad. In his Commentary on the Ross, of course, knows this testimony. the various denominations I, p. 169, he enumerates Metaphysics, and mentions the texts where they given to the "great-and-small", of Aristotle. occur in the Metaph. and Physics For the expression and adds in the Metaph., 13 places d??? he enumerates a???st?? that this term belongs to those which require a special treatment, because concerning this expression "it is harder to make out whether or some of his followers that used it" 36). But as to the to he is perfectly in ascribed that Hermodorus right saying Plato the infinite dyad. The use of this term in the cited chapter of Sextus confirms this. fact The reader of Sextus. knows whether ment might think that Cherniss does not know this passage To free him from this suspicion it must be said that he well. He a doubt as to the passage perfectly only expresses we are allowed division to take it "as a pertinent on commentary" of being37), "as all who interpret the fragit". He even cites the excellent article of Ph. Merlan it is Plato

Hermodorus' do take

in Philologus 89 (1934), where, having pointed out that the author of the Aristotelian on the Categories treatise asks constantly whether the concerning have an e?a?t??? and whether objects they admit of a ?????? ?a? ?tt??, the writer concludes that the passage 36) It must be remarked here that Alexander of Aphrodisias ascribed it explicitly to Plato, Metaph. p. 56 H., 1. 18-20: d?? ?a? a???st?? a?t?? ????e? d??da, dt? ??d?te???, ??te t? ?pe????? ??te t? ?pe?e???e??? ?a?? t? t????t??, ???s????? ???* a???st?? te ?a? ?pe????. Cp. Simplicius, Phys. 151 1. 6 D.: ???e? d? ? '????a?d??? dt? ?at? ???t??a p??t?? ???a? ?a? a?t?? t?? ?de?? t? te e? ?st? ?a? ? a???st?? d???, ?? ???a ?a? ?????? e?e?e?. 37) Aristotle's Criticism of Plato ?, p. 286 f., note 192.



are used, in Adv. Math. X, where the same expressions the trace of which no Pythagorean, but Academic doctrine, He finds this is directly followed by the author of the Categories. confirmed The


by Hermodorus38). of Hermodowith the fragment of Sextus, together passage rus, has been treated again by P. Wilpert 39), in apparent ignorance the text of Sextus, of Merlan's article. Wilpert compares where the with the are reduced to the two highest three groups principles, which compendium 5613"21 (Hayduck), Metaph. short t? ??? ?s?? e??e??e?. Alexander Aristotle's t? ????d? He concludes is given by Alexander in this d? of to a??s?? of Aphrodisias, (1. 16-17): ?a? ?p????? and that of same source: howespecially t? ??et??e?, that must the be traced lecture sentence t? Sextus the

account back pe??

apparently of Plato's account

which ever, did not use this account directly, to this this doctrine as Pythagorean. As a parallel was qualified Divisiones fact Wilpert cites the so-called remarkable Aristoteleae*0), of Platonic-Aristotelian a collection diaereses, parts of which have of this been preserved Laertius. Pieces by Diogenes under the of Stobaeus may be found in the Florilegium in various authors. too, gives Iamblichus, Pythagorean of ch. a number like such 5, trepticus, "Pythagorean" of Platonic Now in this work large pieces dialogues with have the been doctrine. Protrepticus In the same annexed of way Aristotle the were adopted as collection names his diaereses. together of Pro-

Sextus, t??a???. but a source in

of ?e?? t??a??? in time. Sextus' already about the These arguments, of Aristotle joined to the indications remove the Plato and the Pythagoreans, difference between might still of Sextus. But doubt of Cherniss some other, as to the passage

Pythagorean Aristotle may

must be added. First. To the remark of Merlan stronger arguments of the questions about the occurring of e?a?t??? and of ?????? ?a? in we add the must this ?tt?? Catagories point, that in the tenth chapter of the same work, which belongs to the so-called post38) Ph. Merlan, Beitr?ge zur Geschichte des antiken Piatonismus, I, Zur (Ph?oErkl?rung der dem Aristoteles zugeschriebenen Kategorienschrift logus 89, 1934, pp. 35-53). 39) P. Wilpert, Neue Fragmente aus ?e?? t??a???, Hermes, 1941, pp. 225-250. 40) Edited by H. Mutschmann, Leipzig 1906.



the same differences which are menllb38-12a20, praedicamenta, tioned by Sextus as characterizing the second and the third group of beings, that (1) There is a group of contraries may be found: These cannot can never have for exist together. intermediates; and disease, odd and even. (2) The second group is which can coexist. They can have intermediates; for example black and white, good and bad (fa?????a?sp??da???)41). it might be proved On other grounds 10-15 that the chapters example, of those health contraries of the various used work Categories kinds of in the are opposites, But Topics42). it must an early Aristotelian work: which are enumerated the division in in ch. 10, is not the

of Aristotle, contains the same 266-268. that the the both And

even if these chapters were be acknowledged that the tenth chapter ideas which are set forth by Sextus, Adv. Math. X, this congruity us sufficient to infer reason gives go back to the same tradition, namely that of

authors Academy. We saw

early Second.

that this

Sextus genus


correlatives, he, again, ranked of the indefinite passages The author material world ?a?ta

?pe???? ?a? e??e????, under the head ?pe???? To this must be compared two dyad (? 275). of Aristotle's I. The I first is 187a16-2o. 4, Physics, Phys. genus, of the "physicists" who the multiplicity of the He continues: Now there accepted one phenomenal,

to the

the third group of beings, ?a? e??e???? (? 273) ; and

is speaking here a???, and explained rarefaction and




?' ?st?? e?a?t?a, ?a?d' ?pe???? ?a? e??e????, t? ?a? ?spe? ???a f?s? ???t??

are contraries, be into may generalized "excess and defect". Compare which

41) The text is as follows: ?sa det?? e?a?t??? t??a?ta ?st?? ?ste ?? ??? p?f??e ???es?a? ? ?? ?at????e?ta? ??a??a??? a?t?? ??te??? ?p???e??, t??t?? ??d?? ?st?? a?? ??s??. ?? d? ?e ?? ??a??a??? ??te??? ?p???e??, t??t?? est? t? ??a ??s?? p??t?? ? ???? ??s?? ?a? ???e?a ?? s??at? ?f?? p?f??e ???es?a?, ?a? ??a??a??? ?e ??te??? ?p???e?? tf t?? ?f?? s??at?, ? ??s?? ? ???e?a?. ?a? pe??tt?? d? ?a? a?t??? a?????? ?at????e?ta?, ?a? ??a??a??? ?e ??te??? tf a????? ?p???e??, ? pe??tt?? ? a?t???. ?a? ??? est? ?e t??t?? ??d?? ??a ??s??, ??te ??s?? ?a? ???e?a? ??te pe??tt?? ?a? a?t???, ?? d? ?e ?? ??a??a??? ??te??? ?p???e??, t??t?? ?st? t? ??a ??s??, ???? ???a? ?a? ?e????.?a? fa???? de ?a? sp??da???. 42) Mr. L. M. de Rijk has been occupied lately with the question of the authenticity of the Categories, especially of the last part of it. He will give within short an account of his results, probably in the Belgian-Dutch review Tijdschrift voor Philosophie, or perhaps in the Mnemosyne.

PROBLEMS CONCERNING LATER PLATONISM t? ??????, p??? dt? ? ??? ta?ta p??e? ????, t? d? e? t? e?d??, ?? d? t? ????, ?a? e?d?. ??? e? t? ?p??e??e??? ta d* e?a?t?a d?af???? Plato's "Great and

215 Small"?

except that he makes these his matter, the one his form, while the others treat the one which underlies contraries forms 43). as as matter and the i.e.


shows that in the time in which this book was passage ? ? the term in still the ?a? probably Academy ?pe???? was well-known and e??e???? used, frequently perhaps by Plato and that it had almost the same himself, perhaps by his followers; sense as that other term, which was so frequently used by Plato, written the Here accepted '???a t??? ???? ?a? t? d' ?st?? "Great other also and Small". book the is Phys. same I 6, 189b8"16. who The from the same passage the author about speaks one element as a???. ?e t? e? t??t?




??a?t???? p????t?t? ?????? d???

s???at????s??, ?a? ?a??t?t? ?a? ?tt??. ?pe???? ?a?ta d?????t?

All, however, agree in this, that differentiate their One by they means of the contraries, such as density and rarety, and more and less, which may of course be generalized, as has already been fect. (that defect and said, into excess Indeed this doctrine the One are the would and excess detoo and

?a? e??e????, ?spe?e???ta?p???a? ????e pa?a?? e??a? te???. ?a? a?t? ? d??a, dt? t? e? ?a? ?a? e??e???? ???a? t?? ?pe???? e?s?, p??? ?? t?? a?t?? ???' ?? ??? a??a??? ta t??p??, d?? ??? p??e??, t? d? e? p?s?e??, t???a?t??? d? d?? t?? t??e? ?ste??? t? ??? e? p??e?? ta fas? ??????. d* d?t??

things) old standing, ent forms; made the the cent one whereas

of principles be to of appear

though in differfor the early thinkers two the active and passive principle, of the more rethe reverse. first and


the some


Hence Athenian

follows: period,

there a doctrine



Aristotle's makes


his time, during the One and excess

43) Translation

of R. P. Hardie, Oxford 1930.



of being; in this way that the One the principles namely defect is the active (or formal) the other the passive or material principle, here the two not to recognize be impossible It would principle. Plato's later doctrine: the One of or p?ras on ultimate principles which is called the hand, and on the other the Infinite this Aristotle finds and Small or also the Infinite Dyad. latter principle foreshadowed of the older in the ?a??? ?a? p????? the one Great occurs the same thought in the Metaphysics, physicists. Exactly A 9, 992b4-7, where once more "the Great and Small" (here called with the ?a??? of the ?a? p????? by this name) are compared older philosophers of nature. ?a?ta ?a? ?st?? ?pe???? ?a? e??e????. ^ in Metaph. the principles of Thus ?2, 1042b25 and among are enumerated: ?a? ?a? and p????? ?tt??, ?????? ?a??? being the like. How theory the One of ?a? e??e???? ?st??. ?a? ta?ta ?pe???? Aristotle at the beginning of his own metaphysical strongly was dominated of two ultimate by the thought principles, and the Indefinite, ???ta

may also be seen by his interpretation in I he 8, 989a30~b21. This Metaph. Anaxagoras, philosopher, him well, rather modern says, had, if only we explain thoughts. For finally he did accept two principles, all other things being with one another and ???? only being unmixed he must say the principles that then, and unmixed) and the Other (t? a nature as we suppose of some form and pure. "From are the One (for e? ?a? ??te???), to be before


this it follows, this is simple which school t????). it is defined

is of such of Plato",

the indefinite

and partakes t? a???st??

while Therefore, he means something like what the later thinkers clearly, say and what is now more clearly seen to be the case" 44). From all these passages, then, we surely must infer that Sextus with his ?pe???? ?a? e??e????, like Hermodorus with his ?????? ?a? ?tt??, did speak indeed Platonic and that the term language, of ?te??? as well as that of ?pe???? could be used to indicate the "other" principle to Plato's later doctrine, stands which, according to the One. opposite Nieuwe Gracht 79 bis. Utrecht, (To be continued)

"we in the (???? t??e?e?, ?a? p??? ???s???a? e?d??? ?e?as?e?? himself neither nor expressing rightly

44) Translation of W. D. Ross, "what is now more clearly seen to be the case", sc. by Aristotle's own theory of eidos and hyle.