It must abstract from all that is not connected with its own specific aim, or included in the specific sphere of existence it has to investigate, in order that it may take as complete a view as possible of all that contributes to that aim, or falls within that sphere.
And—subject to a qualification to be explained in
Platonic ideas may be fairly inter-in this sense; for by an idea Plato means which can be defined, and from the definition of which consequences can be drawn, Le. he means not a bare unit but a unity of differences, not a simple abstraction which excludes all distinction, but a content whose elements, though distinguishable, are yet in transparent unity with each other. When,
therefore, he speaks of the exclusion of multiplicity
ideas and -from the science of them, what he means to express is that, when we reach the inmost nature of anything we find in it, not parts that are external to each other, or phases
are recognised as essential y con-
In other ; words, what he is aiming at is not the negation of all difference, do not flow from
or are not involved m it.
of Plato, though we to acknowledge that at this stage of his
he dwells too exclusively upon the
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