“πάνυ μὲν οὖν”

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Tugodum
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“πάνυ μὲν οὖν”

Post by Tugodum » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:38 am

In Plato's R 330 d1, it seems to be an expression of a complete agreement with the interlocutor, whereas at 331 d 4--of a complete disagreement. If my understanding of its respective functions in those passages is correct, can anyone suggest an explanation for this locution's capacity to signify such diametric opposites?

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Re: “πάνυ μὲν οὖν”

Post by seneca2008 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:41 am

The Loeb has the following:
330 d Πάνυ μὲν οὖν, ἦν δ’ ἐγώ. ἀλλά μοι ἔτι τοσόνδε εἰπέ· τί μέγιστον οἴει ἀγαθὸν ἀπολελαυκέναι τοῦ πολλὴν οὐσίαν κεκτῆσθαι;
“I certainly am,” I said. “But tell me this too; what do you believe is the greatest benefit you have enjoyed from the acquisition of all your wealth?”
331 d Πάνυ μὲν οὖν, ἔφη, ὦ Σώκρατες, ὑπολαβὼν ὁ Πολέμαρχος, εἴπερ γέ τι χρὴ Σιμωνίδῃ πείθεσθαι.
Oh but it is, Socrates,” said Polemarchus taking up the argument, “at any rate if we’re to believe Simonides.
Its perhaps better to read Denniston p 470 but Smyth is helpful in a more condensed form:
2901. μὲν οὖν lit. certainly in fact, μέν being a weaker form of μήν. μὲν οὖν has two common uses, according as the particles have a compound force, or each has its own force.
a. The compound force of μὲν οὖν is seen in affirmations; as in replies: πάνυ (μάλιστα) μὲν οὖν yes, by all means; certainly, by all means; aye truly, εὖ μὲν οὖν οἶδα nay, I am sure of it, οὐ μὲν οὖν indeed not, ““ἆρ᾽ ου᾽ τόδε ἦν τὸ δένδρον ἐφ᾽ ὅπερ ἦγες ἡμᾶς; τοῦτο μὲν οὖν αὐτό” isn't this the tree to which you were bringing us? To be sure this is it” P. Phae. 230a.

b. The compound force appears also when μὲν οὖν indicates a correction; nay rather (imo vero); as λέγε σύ: σὺ μὲν οὖν μοι λέγε do you say. Nay, rather you Ar. Eq. 13, ἄτοπον τὸ ἐνύπνιον, ὦ Σώκρατες. ἐναργὲς μὲν οὖν the dream is strange, Socrates. Nay rather, it was distinct P. Cr. 44b.

c. Each particle has its own force especially where μὲν οὖν indicates a transition to a new subject. Here μέν points forward to an antithesis to follow and indicated by δέ, ἀλλά, μέντοι, while οὖν (inferential) connects with what precedes. Here so then, therefore may be used in translation. Thus, ““Κλέαρχος μὲν οὖν τοσαῦτα εἶπε. Τισσαφέρνης δὲ ὧδε ἀπημείφθη” such then were the words of Clearthus; and on the other hand Tissaphernes answered as follows” X. A. 2.5.15 Sometimes μὲν οὖν (like igitur) shows that a subject announced in general terms is now to be treated in detail (P. Ph. 70c).

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Re: “πάνυ μὲν οὖν”

Post by Hylander » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:01 pm

It translates to French in context both as mais oui and as mais si.

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Re: “πάνυ μὲν οὖν”

Post by Tugodum » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:17 pm

My French is not good enough for me to see how "mais si" can possibly fit any of the two contexts under question.

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Re: “πάνυ μὲν οὖν”

Post by jeidsath » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:27 pm

In 330d he's answering ἀληθῆ, ἔφη, λέγεις. In 331d he's answering οὐκ ἄρα. Isn't that enough explanation?
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

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Re: “πάνυ μὲν οὖν”

Post by Tugodum » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:50 pm

But what is it that might possibly prevent one from (mis-)taking πάνυ μὲν οὖν at 331d for an expression of an agreement with οὐκ ἄρα? One does not know at that point what dictum by Simonides Polemarchus has in mind.

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Re: “πάνυ μὲν οὖν”

Post by Callisper » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:45 pm

jeidsath is close.

The truth is that “πάνυ μὲν οὖν” affirms not the speaker but the sentiment.

In English, it is normal to answer "..., (this is the case,) surely?" with "yes." It is not possible to unambiguously answer "...: this is not the case, is it?" with "yes." Platonic Greek avoids this conundrum much of the time by dividing affirmative response formulae into those which address specifically the speaker - which could not be used in the second of your two contexts - and those which address the sentiment.

“πάνυ μὲν οὖν” therefore in both cases constitutes affirmation. "xxx: this is the case, right?" "Yes, it is" ("yes it is the case": the sentiment you expressed, 'xxx', is true); "xxx: and this is not the case, is it?" "Oh but it is" ("yes it is the case": the sentiment you expressed is true).

Another example comes to mind of perhaps some relevance:

ὅμως δὲ δὴ λέγε ἡμῖν, πῶς με φῂς διαφθείρειν, ὦ Μέλητε, τοὺς νεωτέρους; ἢ δῆλον δὴ ὅτι κατὰ τὴν γραφήν, ἣν ἐγράψω, θεοὺς διδάσκοντα μὴ νομίζειν οὓς ἡ πόλις νομίζει, ἕτερα δὲ δαιμόνια καινά; οὐ ταῦτα λέγεις, ὅτι διδάσκων διαφθείρω;
"Πάνυ μὲν οὖν σφόδρα ταῦτα λέγω."
(Apology)
i.e. "Don't you say this?" "I do say it."

All this regarding just the function of “πάνυ μὲν οὖν” overall and which question types it may respond to. I have not treated the precise force or broken down the phrase to analyse its exact sense as it wasn't necessary here.

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Re: “πάνυ μὲν οὖν”

Post by Tugodum » Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:16 am

But what, then, is exactly the "sentiment" that "οὐκ ἄρα..." expresses and “πάνυ μὲν οὖν” at 331d affirms?

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Re: “πάνυ μὲν οὖν”

Post by Callisper » Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:41 am

Tugodum wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:16 am
But what, then, is exactly the "sentiment" that "οὐκ ἄρα..." expresses and “πάνυ μὲν οὖν” at 331d affirms?
That "οὗτος ὅρος ἐστὶν δικαιοσύνης, ἀληθῆ τε λέγειν καὶ ἃ ἂν λάβῃ τις ἀποδιδόναι." See Loeb for translation. It fits very neatly into the category I outlined above.

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Re: “πάνυ μὲν οὖν”

Post by Tugodum » Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:51 am

What you cited is just a part of the statement to which “πάνυ μὲν οὖν” is the response; I'm not sure why you consider this part, not the whole statement (including "οὐκ ἄρα"), the expression of a "sentiment."

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Re: “πάνυ μὲν οὖν”

Post by Tugodum » Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:56 am

I've looked up Schleiermacher's translation; if my understanding of his German is correct, he takes it as an expression of agreement:
– Also ist das auch nicht die rechte Erklärung der Gerechtigkeit, Wahrheit reden und was man empfangen hat wiedergeben.
Allerdings doch o Sokrates, sagte Polemarchos die Rede aufnehmend, wenn man doch dem Simonides etwas glauben darf.

https://gutenberg.spiegel.de/buch/plato ... aat-7314/3

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Re: “πάνυ μὲν οὖν”

Post by Tugodum » Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:16 pm

p.s. Am not sure, though, whether or not the "doch" makes it negative... A bit further, at 332 b4, where “πάνυ μὲν οὖν” undoubtedly indicates agreement, he renders it as just "Allerdings."

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