Imatges de pàgina

classic form to language and sentiment. These forms, as Aristotle declared, lifted the mind to the level of the good life.

When in the Crito Socrates is implored to flee from prison through the aid of his friends, he replies that he hears the laws of the state saying to him: "Was it not through our authority that your father received your mother in marriage and gave you life? Have we not nurtured and educated you and given you a share in the good things of life? We do not harshly require obedience; all matters are open for discussion. Have you not pledged your loyalty by remaining as a citizen. throughout your life? If you break this tacit agreement, what good will result from all your discourses on justice?" Men can enjoy the new Socratic freedom only in the institution of the state; and it was the purpose of the Republic to show how this could be achieved. Religion, music, education, industry, the family, war, government, are all examined in the light of the Socratic reason. The Orphic emphasis on the inner life puts the state on a basis of volition and free self-expression in place of the old basis of tradition and kinship. Indeed, Plato's state is the institutional expression of the inner psychological structure of the individual himself. The nature of the state and the constitution of the individual are shown to be the objective and the subjective aspects of one and the same experience.

Plato and Aristotle belong to the fourth and not to the fifth century. They are rationalists. Each incarnates in a philosophic school an ideal of life which cannot be contained within the limits of the traditional

city-state. Plato confesses that his ideal state can exist only in heaven. Aristotle's royal pupil, Alexander, brought to an end the period of the Greek city-state by establishing a world-empire. If Plato's conscience centered in heaven, Aristotle is too cosmopolitan and too individualistic to feel any longer at home in the old order of things. Nevertheless, Plato, in his Republic, and Aristotle, in his Politics, give us a loyal and sympathetic interpretation of the classical ideal of the city-state.

In the second book of Plato's Republic, Socrates is unable to convince his friends that justice is better than injustice. "Therefore," says Socrates, "since I am not a clever person, I think we had better adopt a mode of inquiry which may be thus illustrated. Suppose we had been ordered to read small writing at a distance, not having very good eyesight, and that one of us discovered that the same writing was to be found somewhere else in larger letters, and upon a larger space, we should have looked upon it as a piece of luck, I imagine, that we could read the latter first, and then examine the smaller and observe whether the two were alike. Perhaps, then, justice may exist in larger proportions in the greater subject, and thus be easier to discover; so, if you please, let us first investigate its character in cities; afterwards let us apply the same inquiry to the individual, looking for the counterpart of the greater as it exists in the form of the less" (Trans. of Davies and Vaughan). Looking at this problem of ethics from the point of view of the state, a very definite perspective is immediately disclosed. Each individual has his own type of inclination and

capacity, but his needs are indeed many. The natural endowments of some predispose them toward intellectual pursuits; some are by nature better endowed for manual labor. Hence a division of labor is necessary for any form of developed human life; and this principle Plato makes the basis of organized society. The workman cannot make his own tools, if they are to be good ones. In the same way, some will serve the state with their own special gifts as legislators and some as soldiers. In other words, according to the first four books of the Republic, the virtues are unintelligible, except as viewed in relation to the city-state. There are no virtues in the abstract; there are no individual minds as such. Individuals are to be made happy only in so far as they are organic parts of a city-state which functions as a social unit. Artisans, merchants, soldiers, and legislators must have just those virtues which their functioning in the social whole demands. No painter of portraits would paint the eyes purple rather than black, because purple eyes are more beautiful than black eyes. Rather "by giving to every part what properly belongs to it, we make the whole beautiful." If farmers wore long robes and put golden coronets on their heads, if potters plied their trade reclining on soft couches, the farmer would be no farmer, the potter would be no potter. On such a basis, no profession would maintain its proper character. "We should examine then whether our object in constituting our guardians should be to secure to them the greatest possible amount of happiness, or whether our duty, as regards happiness, is to see if our state as a whole enjoys it, persuading or compelling these our auxiliaries and

guardians to study only how to make themselves the best possible workmen at their own occupation, and treating all the rest in like manner, and thus, while the whole city grows and becomes prosperously organized, permitting each class to partake of as much happiness as the nature of the case allows to it."

The virtues which Socrates and his friends are unable to define in the individual stand out in large characters in the city-state. Some members of the city have unusual intellectual ability; they furnish the thinkers and legislators. They have the virtue of wisdom. Others are endowed by nature with a strong sense of loyalty and with exceptional energy of spirited emotion or energy of action. This class exemplifies the virtue of courage; they constitute the military defense of the state. The rest of the state is composed of the working classes, whose chief moral virtue is temperance. Justice is that moral characteristic of the city-state which arises when the conduct of all classes is coördinated through the wisdom of the thinking class.

The four cardinal Greek virtues cannot even be understood in terms of "the individual." They imply an organic relation of the individual to the state. They presuppose rank, order, perspective, both in the individual and in the individual's relation to society. Wisdom, the chief virtue, is the organizing center not only of the individual mind but of the individual's relation to the social order. The good citizen must be a good soldier, a fair judge; he must know how to vote intelligently on matters which concern the state. Freedom to the Greek was not a theoretical presuppo

sition but the result of masterful achievement. Only the state saved the individual from the wild, outlawed condition of unorganized savage life. The illconstituted perished because the only right to life came through the state and the state needed the best.

Having found the four fundamental virtues, temperance, courage, wisdom, and justice, written in large letters in the very constitution of the state, Plato turns to the individual to see if the fundamental virtues discovered in the state apply equally well to the individual. And, says Plato, "if we should find something different in the case of the individual, we will again go back to our city, and put our theory to the test." Perhaps by considering the individual and the state at the same time "and rubbing them together" the truth may flash out from their contact, like fire from two sticks of wood!

Turning to the individual, then, Plato finds the same four fundamental virtues which he found in the state. There are in all minds sensuous desires, the desire for food and drink. In this lower world of sensation and desire the cardinal virtue is of course temperance. Higher than this mental level of sensation is the realm of spirit or spirited emotion. Its virtue is courage. Highest of all is reason with its corresponding virtue of wisdom. And just as in the state, so in the individual, when the spirited or willing element of the mind fights the battles of the reason, and when the sense life is organized by the reason, then we have a just or righteous individual person. Hence the divisions of the mind and their respective virtues correspond to the divisions of the state and their vir

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