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Pl. Ap. 23d2-7

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Pl. Ap. 23d2-7

Postby NateD26 » Sat Jul 17, 2010 3:26 pm


καὶ ἐπειδάν τις αὐτοὺς ἐρωτᾷ ὅτι ποιῶν
καὶ ὅτι διδάσκων, ἔχουσι μὲν οὐδὲν εἰπεῖν ἀλλ' ἀγνοοῦσιν,
ἵνα δὲ μὴ δοκῶσιν ἀπορεῖν, τὰ κατὰ πάντων τῶν φιλοσο-
φούντων πρόχειρα ταῦτα λέγουσιν, ὅτι “τὰ μετέωρα καὶ
τὰ ὑπὸ γῆς” καὶ “θεοὺς μὴ νομίζειν” καὶ “τὸν ἥττω
λόγον κρείττω ποιεῖν.”

My question is regarding the ready-made answers. Both the 1966 translation
and this commentary (p121 D.) suggest adding διδάσκειν to
“τὰ μετέωρα καὶ τὰ ὑπὸ γῆς” as answering directly to the question.

My commentary (Ra'anana Meridor) suggests to add ζητεῖν by 18b7-8 (καὶ τὰ
ὑπὸ γῆς πάντα ἀνεζητηκὼς) and 19b5 (καὶ περιεργάζεται ζητῶν τά τε ὑπὸ
γῆς καὶ οὐράνια), that is, διδάσκων is implied and not repeated in the answer itself,
    [teaching] a) (to investigate) the matters in heaven and under the earth;
    b) to not believe in gods; and c) to make the worse appear the better cause.

I don't know if that even makes any difference in meaning,
but I thought I'd ask if it's possible ζητεῖν was ellipted from the first handy answer.
Nate.
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Re: Pl. Ap. 23d2-7

Postby modus.irrealis » Sat Jul 17, 2010 3:58 pm

That seems like trying too hard to normalize the grammar. In English, I could imagine myself saying something like

they give the usual complaints against philosophers, "phenomena above and below", "not believing in gods", "making the weaker argument stronger"

and there's nothing missing or ellipted there, it's just a "looser" way of speaking, and seems to fit the colloquial style that Socrates is using.

That said, I would agree that something like ζητεῖν could be said to be ellipted, but I'm more hesitant to say that διδάσκων is implied, or rather that just διδάσκων and not ποιῶν as well is implied. I don't read it as saying that these philosophers only teach these things but they themselves also practice them.
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Re: Pl. Ap. 23d2-7

Postby NateD26 » Sat Jul 17, 2010 4:20 pm

Thank you, modus. very clear and helpful reply. :)
Nate.
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