Further Development Of

connexion with the theory of metempsychosis; that is, he speaks only of the grades of elevation or degradation through which the individual soul may pass. All organised beings, or rather we should say all animals—for nothing is said of plants—are conceived by Plato as having in them a principle of self-determination to which he gives the name of a soul; and all souls are treated as fundamentally identical in nature. But this nature is shown in i its purity only in the Divine Being; or, if in men, only in those men in whom the intelligence reaches its highest development; and, pre-eminently, in the philosopher who has grasped the central idea of good, and, therefore, beholds all things mb specie aeternitaiis.

And while the soul thus can rise to the highest, it can also sink to the lowest, becoming more and more immersed in the body, till the life of intelligence is

lost in the obscure animal motions of sensation and appetite. So far, therefore, all real or substantial objects are conceived by Plato as souls or minds, in a more or less elevated or degraded condition. The doctrine of metempsychosis, in fact, enables him to hold that, in the strict sense of the word, reality is confined to souls or minds, without thereby denying that it belongs to every being that has life, or at least animal life, in it. On the other hand, when we descend further in the scale of being, this mode of explanation fails him, and Plato, it would seem, must

THE THEORY OF IDEAS 19?

be driven either to regard all inorganic objects mere appearances, or else to imagine that they are spme-how living and organic. And the latter alternative he would be obliged to reject; for, as the body is conceived as obscuring and thwarting the life of the soul, it cannot be referred to the same principle with that life; and its existence, even as an appearance, becomes a difficult problem. We are therefore compelled to recognise that at this point Plato's idealism passes into dualism; and it becomes necessary for us to enquire into the exact form which his dualism finally took—a question which must be answered mainly from the PhUebus and the Timaeus.

Before, however, we can deal with this subject, we have to consider more fully Plato's doctrine of the soul, and, particularly, his treatment of the question of

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