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Essays may thus appear somewhat akin to the amazing monuments of the same generation,--the tomb of the Cardinals d'Amboise at Rouen, for example, in which the fine portrait statues appear against such a medley of mediæval symbols classicised. The actual place and proportion of the pages devoted to his friend by Montaigne is comparable, as it may appear with reflection not dissimilar to that occupied by the group of the Apology, the Crito and the Phaedo among the Platonic dialogues. Like the famous statue of Diane de Poitiers at Blois what we have perhaps to consider is a piece of eulogistic poetry celebrating intellectual passion, symbolizing an ethico-political ideal, for the present, and a bit of the most gifted humanistic scholarly taste. As research has shown no occasion for a state of puritanic shock in Henri's relation to Diane, so perhaps with Montaigne's to Etienne de la Boëtie the personal element is the least important, though it has now and then been the most stressed. Faguet's analysis is valuable. “ Because it was he, because it was myself” may mean really, “Because he had written the Contre Un in which there is for me opened up a whole vista of politico-psychologic reflection.” Duly introduced by other essays as the Socratic biographic dialogues appear, the De l'amitié is placed by Montaigne.
As the diversity of sixteenth century France was unlike the State uniformity of Greece in education, he is obliged to spend more time than Plato or Plutarch in explaining that his training is not ill-suited to the task as witness for his age, it then seems to follow. In the Institution des Enfants we have not merely the pendant to Rabelais and his Republic, we have a more sober original imitation, Plato modified by Plutarch and more practical possibility. More practical, but yet so far imaginative, that we have to question Faguet's contrast between Rabelais and Montaigne, as the one Greek, the other Latin, unless Graeco-Latin be substituted for the latter term.
As such must surely be regarded the keynote passage, as it seems to me of the Institution, and, if there be one, for the Essays as a whole:
Ce qu'on sçait droictement on en dispose, sans regarder au patron, sans tourner les yeux vers son livre. Facheuse suffisance, qu'une suffiBance pure livresque! Je n'attends qu'elle serve d'ornement, non de fondement, suyvant l'advis de Platon, qui dict: "La fermeté, la foy, la sincerité, estre la vraye philosophie: les aultres sciences et qui visent ailleurs n'estre que fard."
The ideal preceptor for Montaigne was just that antiquity “to whose honor," he, no less than all the great mediæval writers and the men of the seventeenth century, was trying to approach. The better we know both these and the classics, then, the better we shall understand him, not forgetting the vast array of criticalencyclopædic writing extending from Plato actually to Littré,and since. It has never lacked originality, the results of personal study, which is as astonishing in many mediæval glosses and directions to the clergy as it is in the famous Apology, or Montesquieu, or Renan, and Augustine and Origen. Gloss or confession or treatise, the common bond is critical, and usually politic psychology.
Reading thus a little, late or early, or late and early, we shall be little prone to pigeon-hole Montaigne under any facile modern ethical label: we shall be none too sure of even his skepticism. Of his intelligence we shall be surer, in both the Platonic and the everyday sense.
1 Cf. “Histoire religieuse de France”: Georges Goyau (Histoire de la Nation Française, tome vi, p. 122):
“Rome mérite qu'on l'aime, confédérée de si longtemps et par tant de titres à notre couronne, ces mots sont d'un sceptique, Montaigne."
The sense attached to Rome by Montaigne in this connection may be open to various interpretation, but accepting it as M. Goyau does for the See of St. Peter and the Papacy, we have occasion to recall again Faguet's analysis.
PLATO'S VIEW OF THE IMAGINATION
BY MURRAY W. BUNDY
In the Dialogues of Plato there are utterances concerning the 'imagination' as significant and as important in their implications for later theory as anything in the comparable views of Aristotle. Yet it is the conception of the latter which was from the first the object of careful exposition, and which came down through the Middle Ages as the accepted tradition. The reasons for this comparative neglect of Plato are not far to seek. The directness of Aristotle's method in comparison with the subtle art of the Dialogues rendered the views of the former much easier of comprehension. Much of the suggestiveness of the Platonic conception, one fears, has been lost through lack of sympathy with the artistic purposes of the philosopher-poet. To recover some of that suggestiveness, to see some of the implications of Plato for later thought, is the purpose of the present study.
Our task is rendered the more difficult by the fact that the dialogue as a species of drama is capable of representing a unified action-in this instance the development of a philosophical system-having beginning, middle, and end. Plato through his artistic medium may be representing the drama of reflective thought as it passes through intermediary stages to arrive at its artistic solution. To many a good student of Plato it has not seemed unreasonable to believe that the Dialogues represent the growth of a philosophy. Much, then, depends upon the proper order. For this investigation it has seemed best to accept, tentatively at least, Lutosławski's 1 arrangement, in which the writings are divided into four groups: an early Socratic group; an early Platonic group, including of the Dialogues which concern us the Cratylus and the Symposium; a middle Platonic group, containing the greater part of the Republic, the Phaedrus, and the Theaetetus; and a final group in which the Sophist, Philebus, and Timaeus find place.
1 See Lutosławski, The Origin and Growth of Plato's Logic, 1897, Chapter 2; for convenience see J. A. Stewart, Plato's Doctrine of Ideas. Oxford, 1909, pp. 14-15.
Acceptance of this order would point to the fact that the earliest Dialogues involve none of the problems with which pavraola and εικασία are concerned. . With the period of Early Platonism' there comes a distinct doctrine of ideas as “absolute, separate, simple, and everlasting. At this point Plato seems to have been so far in sympathy with the view attributed to Parmenides that he conceived of reality as not only above but entirely separate from sensible experience. In this view knowledge was altogether divorced from opinion. This position he seems to have modified by the time of the Republic; because he saw that no philosophy could be satisfactory which insisted upon the reality of the Absolute as opposed to the Relative, of the One as opposed to the Many, and of Knowledge as opposed to Opinion. He was forced to give up the old monism, and to face certain very apparent paradoxes,quite unintelligible to a consistent Parmenidean. Not the least important of these was the statement that there could be a true opinion. Finally, in the last Dialogues he seems to have fully recognized that the unideal, the relative, the particular, and the sensible were realities which demanded explanation as well as the ideal, the absolute, the general, and the immaterial. All of these notions must be included in his final belief. Thus he was led to institute a critical philosophy, which, in the light of these facts, profoundly modified the earlier belief, and issued in the well-tempered views of the Timaeus, the Critias, and the Laws.
In the early 'Socratic’ Dialogues there is no theory of imagination. Not until we come to the Cratylus and the Symposium is there a definite attitude towards 'phantasies' and 'images '-an attitude quite in keeping with an early belief in the Eleatic notion of Absolute Being. Even here the utterances do not imply conscious theory. In the Cratylus the Platonic Socrates insists that the function of a name, like the function of a painting, is to render, though by different means, an imitation of the thing;? and he who by syllables and letters imitates the nature of things, if he gives all that is appropriate, will produce a good image (cikóv), or, in other words, a name. But Socrates, quite in sympathy with the Eleatic doctrine, insists that the analogy of painting shows the limitation of names: for drawing, painting, and music, as imitations concerned with form and sound, and color, cannot be concerned also with the essences of each thing.* Only a god could create an image, or portrait, which, transcending the limits of form and color, would imitate also the inward organization of the man, thus reproducing internal as well as external qualities. The images both of the painter and of the one who gives names to things come far from reproducing their originals; for God alone can create the true form of things. It is for man, then, not ‘to learn of the image, whether the image and the truth of which the image is the expression have been rightly conceived [lit. 'imaged’ ei kaota), [but] to learn of the truth whether the truth and the image of it have been duly executed.'? 'Knowledge of things is not to be derived from names'-or, Plato might have added, from the images of the fine arts. “Let us seek the true beauty, not asking whether a particular face is fair, for all such things appear to be in a flux.'8 Plato at this point could hardly have held an exalted view of the rôle of imagination in the fine arts.
2 430 B; B. Jowett, Dialogues of Plato, Third ed., 5 vol., Oxford, 1892, 1. 376. Hereafter referred to as Jowett.
3431 C; Jowett, 1. 378.
His early conception of 'phantasies’ is equally unconstructive. It is natural that this attack upon the particular and the material should have been closely connected with a similar attack upon the Protagorean doctrine of the relativity of knowledge. It is with such an attack that the dialogue begins and ends. "Things are not relative to individuals,' says Socrates, but 'must be supposed to have their own proper and permanent essence: they are not in relation to us, or influenced by us, fluctuating according to our fancy [άνω και κάτω τω ημετέρω φαντάσματι]??
That his attack upon 'phantasies’ is of a piece with his discussion of 'images' is evident when we connect this first discussion of relativity with the last growing immediately out of his consideration of images. A particular portrait, he had said, could never reproduce internal qualities by means of `images.' One must seek true beauty, and not ask whether a particular face is fair, for all such things appear to be in a flux. 'Can we rightly
* 423 D, E, 424 A; Jowett, 1. 369.
? 439 A; Jowett, 1. 387.