republic (books 6 - 10)
That is most certain.
Such a one is sure to be temperate and the reverse of covet-
ous; for the motives which make another man desirous of
having and spending, have no place in his character.
Another criterion of the philosophical nature has also to be
What is that?
There should be no secret corner of illiberality; nothing can
be more antagonistic than meanness to a soul which is ever
longing after the whole of things both divine and human.
Most true, he replied.
Then how can he who has magnificence of mind and is the
spectator of all time and all existence, think much of human
Or can such a one account death fearful?
Then the cowardly and mean nature has no part in true
Or again: can he who is harmoniously constituted, who is
not covetous or mean, or a boaster, or a coward--can he, I say,
ever be unjust or hard in his dealings?
Then you will soon observe whether a man is just and gentle,
or rude and unsociable; these are the signs which distinguish
even in youth the philosophical nature from the unphilosophi-
There is another point which should be remarked.
Whether he has or has not a pleasure in learning; for no one
will love that which gives him pain, and in which after much
toil he makes little progress.
And again, if he is forgetful and retains nothing of what he
learns, will he not be an empty vessel?
That is certain.
Laboring in vain, he must end in hating himself and his fruit-