Plato, Laws

LCL 187: 88-89

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Plato

B

652

ΑΘ. Τὸ δὴ μετὰ τοῦτο, ὡς ἔοικε, σκεπτέον ἐκεῖνο περὶ αὐτῶν, πότερα τοῦτο μόνον ἀγαθὸν ἔχει, τὸ κατιδεῖν πῶς ἔχομεν τὰς φύσεις, ἢ καί τι μέγεθος ὠφελείας ἄξιον πολλῆς σπουδῆς ἔνεστ᾿ ἐν τῇ κατ᾿ ὀρθὸν χρείᾳ τῆς ἐν οἴνῳ συνουσίας. τί οὖν δὴ λέγομεν; ἔνεσθ᾿, ὡς ὁ λόγος ἔοικε βούλεσθαι σημαίνειν· ὅπῃ δὲ καὶ ὅπως, ἀκούωμεν προσέχοντες τὸν νοῦν, μή πῃ παραποδισθῶμεν ὑπ᾿ αὐτοῦ.

ΚΛ. Λέγ᾿ οὖν.

ΑΘ. Ἀναμνησθῆναι τοίνυν ἔγωγε πάλιν ἐπιθυμῶ 653τί ποτ᾿ ἐλέγομεν1 ἡμῖν εἶναι τὴν ὀρθὴν παιδείαν. τούτου γάρ, ὥς γ᾿ ἐγὼ τοπάζω τὰ νῦν, ἔστιν ἐν τῷ ἐπιτηδεύματι τούτῳ καλῶς κατορθουμένῳ σωτηρία.

ΚΛ. Μέγα λέγεις.

ΑΘ. Λέγω τοίνυν τῶν παίδων παιδικὴν εἶναι πρώτην αἴσθησιν ἡδονὴν καὶ λύπην, καὶ ἐν οἷς ἀρετὴ ψυχῇ καὶ κακία παραγίγνεται πρῶτον, ταῦτ᾿ εἶναι· φρόνησιν δὲ καὶ ἀληθεῖς δόξας βεβαίους, εὐτυχὴς2 ὅτῳ καὶ πρὸς τὸ γῆρας παρεγένετο· τέλεος δ᾿ οὖν ἔστ᾿ ἄνθρωπος ταῦτα καὶ τὰ Bἐν τούτοις πάντα κεκτημένος ἀγαθά. παιδείαν δὴ λέγω τὴν παραγιγνομένην πρῶτον παισὶν ἀρετήν, ἡδονὴ δὲ καὶ φιλία καὶ λύπη καὶ μῖσος ἂν ὀρθῶς ἐν ψυχαῖς ἐγγίγνωνται μήπω δυναμένων λόγον3

88

Plato

Book II

ath.

In the next place, we probably ought to enquire, regarding this subject, whether the discerning of men’s natural dispositions is the only gain to be derived from the right use of wine-parties, or whether it entails benefits so great as to be worthy of serious consideration. What do we say about this? Our argument evidently tends to indicate that it does entail such benefits; so how and wherein it does so let us now hear, and that with minds attentive, lest haply we be led astray by it.

clin.

Say on.

ath.

I want us to call to mind again our definition of right education. For the safe-keeping of this depends, as I now conjecture, upon the correct establishment of the institution mentioned.

clin.

That is a strong statement!

ath.

What I state is this,—that in children the first childish sensations are pleasure and pain, and that it is in these first that goodness and badness come to the soul; but as to wisdom and settled true opinions, a man is lucky if they come to him even in old age; and he that is possessed of these blessings, and all that they comprise, is indeed a perfect man. I term, then, the goodness that first comes to children “education.” When pleasure and love, and pain and hatred, spring up rightly in the souls of those who are unable as yet to grasp a rational

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.plato_philosopher-laws.1926