Professor Sarah Broadie (University of St Andrews), “What has Plato’s Divided Line to do with his Sun-image of the good?”
We know from the text that there is a close connection, but Plato leaves us with the task of working out exactly what it is. The explanation involves (of course) the so called dialectical method, presented in the context of the Divided Line. One of this method’s distinctive marks is that it operates with, or from, a ‘non-hypothetical starting point (archE)’. Just about every reader assumes that this starting point is nothing other than the good,or the form of the good. But, strangely, Plato does not say so (nor does he say anything to rule it out). I shall not dispute the identity, but shall ask why he wants to preserve the anonymity of the non-hypothetical starting point.