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The lover of W"""HH wants to leam and understand with a fervor Plato compares with of a lover of wine or a paederast. One expects a lover of something to to defeat ar outwit whoever or whatever stands in the way of satisthis love. The initial stories of psychological conftict in Republic 4 it clear that for part A, the other parts can and often do stand in the of its satisfying its love or loves. So it has every reason to want to inflluellce them, if not rule over them. On the face of it one might think it impossible for part A to rule over Band C.

At Republic 5llD9, for example, he says that VOIlOLC; (which 534Al shows to be another of his ways of denoting bna"t~flll ) is one of four conditions of the psyche. What do we need to know in order to grasp precisely what this condition is? 52 and "levels" of the psyche. Their nature and role have been characterized in ways inlluenced as much perhaps by the connotations of these terms as by the details of Plato's text. Yet scholars have long known better. Ritter, Taylor, and Graeser, to name only three, have plainly warned of the confusions that result from characterizing the parts Plato posits as if they were psychological divisions more familiar to uS.!

Thus, as 58608 indicates, part A will actually prescribe or approve (t1;'ly1jTm) certain pleasures of gain and victory. The parts need not disagree in their opinions about what is of value and what is allowable. In a just person they will not disagree (4420), even though thelr natural tendency is to disagree. A common awareness of means/end relationships in each part suggests preclsely the sort of versatility a capacity for usurpation presupposes. It suggests a minimal capacity we might call "cognitive" even in part C.

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Plato's theory of understanding by Jon Moline

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