NEW BOOKS

A. E. TAYLOR
1919 Mind  
NEW BOOKS. 99 -who could have contradicted him if he had invented these things, but as a matter of fact he is confirmed on one of the most important points by another member of the Academy, Hermodorus. In general, I should say that Mr. More's treatment of such questions is seriously weakened by his failure to make clear to himself the nature of the Academy and the .Lyceum and the relation between them. For instance, he actually thinks well of Teichmiiller's madcap suggestion that certain
more » ... that certain passages in. the Laws are a reply to Aristotle's Ethics. Surely it is certain that the' course of lectures for which the Ethics formed a basis cannot have been •delivered till after Plato's death, and as good as certain that it was not published till after the death of Aristotle himself. On the other hand, Mr. More will have nothing to say to the Spittles; but, after all, the Epistles exist, and, if we are going to dismiss them as forgeries, we are bound to give some plausible account of how they came to be and when. Prof. Shorey once spoke of a " Philonic or neo-Platonic tendency " in one of the Epistles, 1 but that was an inadvertence, seeing that Cicero had read the Epistles, which means that they existed long before there were any Neoplatonists and even before Philo. In fact those who have argued recently against the genuineness of the Epistles have mostly been forced to admit that they must have been written by a contemporary of Plato himself, and this seems a very difficult thesis to maintain. The main criticism I would make, however, is that a work on Platonism, especially if it is to be a foundation for a series of studies on its influence in later days, must itself be founded in a clearer view of the historical conditions in which Platonism arose and in which it was handed down to succeeding generations. Apart from that, it will be built on the sand.
doi:10.1093/mind/xxviii.1.99 fatcat:bqvbcvwf2rdo3djfttrjzmgggu