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2020-09-27 12:25:22


In reality, Stoicism was not, like the older Greek philosophies, a creation of individual genius. It bears the character of a compilation both on its first exposition and on its final completion. Polemo, who had been a fine gentleman before he became a philosopher, taunted Zeno with filching his opinions from every quarter, like the cunning little Phoenician trader that he was.18 And it was said that the seven hundred treatises of Chrysippus would be reduced to a blank if everything that he had borrowed from others were to be erased. He seems, indeed, to have been the father of review-writers, and to have used the reviewer’s right of transcription with more than modern license. Nearly a whole tragedy of Euripides reappeared in one of his ‘articles,’ and a wit on being asked what he was reading, replied, ‘the Medea of Chrysippus.’19

In the last chapter we dealt at length with the theories of art, and especially of tragic poetry, propounded in Aristotle’s Poetics. For the sake of formal completeness, it may be mentioned here that those theories are adapted to the general scheme of his systematic philosophy. The plot or plan of a work answers to the formal or rational element in Nature, and this is why Aristotle so immensely over-estimates its importance. And, just as in his moral philosophy, the ethical element, represented by character-drawing, is strictly subordinated to it. The centre of equilibrium is, however, not supplied by virtue, but by exact imitation of Nature, so that the characters must not deviate very far from mediocrity in the direction either of heroism or of wickedness.Yet, while the Stoics were far from anticipating the methods of modern Utilitarianism, they were, in a certain sense, strict Utilitarians—that is to say, they measured the goodness or badness of actions by their consequences; in other words, by39 their bearing on the supposed interest of the individual or of the community. They did not, it is true, identify interest with pleasure or the absence of pain; but although, in our time, Hedonism and Utilitarianism are, for convenience, treated as interchangeable terms, they need not necessarily be so. If any one choose to regard bodily strength, health, wealth, beauty, intellect, knowledge, or even simple existence, as the highest good and the end conduciveness to which determines the morality of actions, he is a Utilitarian; and, even if it could be shown that a maximum of happiness would be ensured by the attainment of his end, he would not on that account become a Hedonist. Now it is certain that the early Stoics, at least, regarded the preservation of the human race as an end which rightfully took precedence of every other consideration; and, like Charles Austin, they sometimes pushed their principles to paradoxical or offensive extremes, apparently for no other purpose than that of affronting the common feelings of mankind,84 without remembering that such feelings were likely to represent embodied experiences of utility. Thus—apart from their communistic theories—they were fond of specifying the circumstances in which incest would become legitimate; and they are said not only to have sanctioned cannibalism in cases of extreme necessity, but even to have recommended its introduction as a substitute for burial or cremation; although this, we may hope, was rather a grim illustration of what they meant by moral indifference than a serious practical suggestion.85

The rules for breeding and education set forth in the Republic are not intended for the whole community, but only244 for the ruling minority. It was by the corruption of the higher classes that Plato was most distressed, and the salvation of the State depended, according to him, on their reformation. This leads us on to his scheme for the reconstitution of society. It is intimately connected with his method of logical definition and classification. He shows with great force that the collective action of human beings is conditioned by the division of labour; and argues from this that every individual ought, in the interest of the whole, to be restricted to a single occupation. Therefore, the industrial classes, who form the bulk of the population, are to be excluded both from military service and from political power. The Peloponnesian War had led to a general substitution of professional soldiers for the old levies of untrained citizens in Greek warfare. Plato was deeply impressed by the dangers, as well as by the advantages, of this revolution. That each profession should be exercised only by persons trained for it, suited his notions alike as a logician, a teacher, and a practical reformer. But he saw that mercenary fighters might use their power to oppress and plunder the defenceless citizens, or to establish a military despotism. And, holding that government should, like strategy, be exercised only by functionaries naturally fitted and expressly trained for the work, he saw equally that a privileged class would be tempted to abuse their position in order to fill their pockets and to gratify their passions. He proposed to provide against these dangers, first by the new system of education already described, and secondly by pushing the division of labour to its logical conclusion. That they might the better attend to their specific duties, the defenders and the rulers of the State were not to practise the art of money-making; in other words, they were not to possess any property of their own, but were to be supported by the labour of the industrial classes. Furthermore, that they need not quarrel among themselves, he proposed that every private interest should be eliminated245 from their lives, and that they should, as a class, be united by the closest bonds of family affection. This purpose was to be effected by the abolition of marriage and of domesticity. The couples chosen for breeding were to be separated when the object of their union had been attained; children were to be taken from their mothers immediately after birth and brought up at the expense and under the supervision of the State. Sickly and deformed infants were to be destroyed. Those who fell short of the aristocratic standard were to be degraded, and their places filled up by the exceptionally gifted offspring of low-class parents. Members of the military and governing caste were to address each other according to the kinship which might possibly exist between them. In the absence of home-employments, women were to be, so far as possible, assimilated to men; to pass through the same bodily and mental training; to be enrolled in the army; and, if they showed the necessary capacity, to discharge the highest political functions. In this practical dialectic the identifying no less than the differentiating power of logic is displayed, and displayed also in defiance of common ideas, as in the modern classifications of zoology and botany. Plato introduces distinctions where they did not before exist, and annuls those which were already recognised. The sexes were to be assimilated, political life was to be identified with family life, and the whole community was to present an exact parallel with the individual soul. The ruling committee corresponded to reason, the army to passionate spirit, and the industrial classes to the animal desires; and each, in its perfect constitution, represented one of the cardinal virtues as reinterpreted by Plato. Wisdom belonged to the ruling part, courage to the intermediate executive power, and temperance or obedience to the organs of material existence; while justice meant the general harmony resulting from the fulfilment of their appropriate functions by all. We may add that the whole State reproduced the Greek family in a much246 deeper sense than Plato himself was aware of. For his aristocracy represents the man, whose virtue, in the words of Gorgias, was to ‘administer the State;’ and his industrial class takes the place of the woman, whose duty was ‘to order her house, and keep what is indoors, and obey her husband.’146

Such a character would, in any case, be remarkable; it becomes of extraordinary, or rather of unique, interest when we consider that Socrates could be and do so much, not in spite of being a philosopher, but because he was a philosopher, the chief though not the sole originator of a vast intellectual revolution; one who, as a teacher, constituted the supremacy110 of reason, and as an individual made reason his sole guide in life. He at once discovered new principles, popularised them for the benefit of others, and exemplified them in his own conduct; but he did not accomplish these results separately; they were only different aspects of the same systematising process which is identical with philosophy itself. Yet the very success of Socrates in harmonising life and thought makes it the more difficult for us to construct a complete picture of his personality. Different observers have selected from the complex combination that which best suited their own mental predisposition, pushing out of sight the other elements which, with him, served to correct and complete it. The very popularity that has attached itself to his name is a proof of this; for the multitude can seldom appreciate more than one excellence at a time, nor is that usually of the highest order. Hegel complains that Socrates has been made the patron-saint of moral twaddle.81 We are fifty years further removed than Hegel from the golden age of platitude; the twaddle of our own time is half cynical, half aesthetic, and wholly unmoral; yet there are no signs of diminution in the popular favour with which Socrates has always been regarded. The man of the world, the wit, the viveur, the enthusiastic admirer of youthful beauty, the scornful critic of democracy is welcome to many who have no taste for ethical discourses and fine-spun arguments.

Two precepts stand out before all others, which, trivial as they may seem, are uttered from the very soul of Greek62 experience, ‘Be moderate,’ and, ‘Know thyself.’ Their joint observance constitutes the characteristic virtue of S?phrosynê, which means all that we understand by temperance, and a great deal more besides; so much, in fact, that very clever Greeks were hard set to define it, and very wise Greeks could pray for it as the fairest gift of the gods.48 Let us suppose that each individual has a sphere of activity marked out for him by his own nature and his special environment; then to discern clearly the limits of that sphere and to keep within them would be S?phrosynê, while the discernment, taken alone, would be wisdom. The same self-restraint operating as a check on interference with other spheres would be justice; while the expansive force by which a man fills up his entire sphere and guards it against aggressions may be called courage. Thus we are enabled to comprehend the many-sided significance of S?phrosynê, to see how it could stand both for a particular virtue and for all virtuousness whatever. We need only glance at Homer’s poems, and in particular at the Iliad—a much deeper as well as a more brilliant work than the Odyssey—to perceive how very early this demand for moderation combined with self-knowledge had embodied itself in Greek thought. Agamemnon violates the rights of Achilles under the influence of immoderate passion, and through ignorance of how little we can accomplish without the hero’s assistance. Achilles, again, carries his vindictiveness too far, and suffers in consequence. But his self-knowledge is absolutely perfect; conscious that he is first in the field while others are better in council, he never undertakes a task to which his powers are not fully adequate; nor does he enter on his final work of vengeance without a clear consciousness of the speedy death which its completion will entail on himself. Hector, too, notwithstanding ominous forebodings, knows his duty and does it, but with much less just an estimate of his own powers, leading him to pursue his success too far, and then, when the63 tide has turned, not permitting him to make a timely retreat within the walls of Troy. So with the secondary characters. Patroclus also oversteps the limits of moderation, and pays the penalty with his life. Diomed silently bears the unmerited rebuke of Agamemnon, but afterwards recalls it at a most effective moment, when rising to oppose the craven counsels of the great king. This the Greeks called observing opportunity, and opportunism was with them, as with French politicians, a form of moderation.49 Down at the very bottom of the scale Thersites and Dolon are signal examples of men who do not know their sphere and suffer for their folly. In the Odyssey, Odysseus is a nearly perfect type of wisdom joined with self-control, erring, if we remember rightly, only once, when he insults Polyphemus before the ship is out of danger; while his comrades perish from want of these same gifts.

Institute of Plasma Physics, Hefei Institutes of Physical Science (ASIPP, HFIPS) undertakes the procurement package of superconducting conductors, correction coil, superconducting feeder, power supply and diagnosis, accounting for nearly 80% of China's ITER procurement package.

"I am so proud of our team and it’s a great pleasure for me working here," said BAO Liman, an engineer from ASIPP, HFIPS, who was invited to sit near Chinese National flay on the podium at the kick-off ceremony to represent Chinese team. BAO, with some 30 ASIPP engineers, has been working in ITER Tokamak department for more than ten years. Due to the suspended international traveling by COVID-19, most of the Chinese people who are engaged in ITER construction celebrated this important moment at home through live broadcasting.

One of ASIPP’s undertakes, the number 6 poloidal field superconducting coil (or PF6 coil) , the heaviest superconducting coil in the world, was completed last year, and arrived at ITER site this June. PF6 timely manufacturing and delivery made a solid foundation for ITER sub-assembly, it will be installed at the bottom of the ITER cryostat.

Last year, a China-France Consortium in which ASIPP takes a part has won the bid of the first ITER Tokamak Assembly task, TAC-1, a core and important part of the ITER Tokamak assembly.

Exactly as Bernard BIGOT, Director-General of ITER Organization, commented at a press conference after the ceremony, Chinese team was highly regarded for what they have done to ITER project with excellent completion of procurement package.


The kick-off ceremony for ITER assembly (Image by Pierre Genevier-Tarel-ITER Organization) 


the number 6 poloidal field superconducting coil (Image by ASIPP, HFIPS) 


ITER-TAC1 Contract Signing Ceremony (Image by ASIPP, HFIPS)

World dignitaries celebrate a collaborative achievement

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