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the exposition of Philosophy is in the same sense progressive from the very first excitement of the original and leading ideas, up to an all but perfected exposition of particular sciences, it follows, what has been above said being presumed, it follows, I say, that there must be a natural sequence and a necessary relation in these dialogues to one another. For he cannot advance further in another dialogue unless he supposes the effect proposed in an earlier one to have been produced, so that the same subject which is completed in the termination of the one, must be supposed as the beginning and foundation of another. Now if Plato ended with separate expositions of the several philosophical sciences, it might then be supposed that he had also advanced each for itself in gradual progression, and we should be compelled to look for two separate classes of dialogues, an ethical and a physical series. But as he represents them as a connected whole, and it is ever his peculiar theory to conceive of them generally as essentially connected and inseparable, so also are the preparations for them united in like manner, and made by considering their common principles and laws, and there are therefore not several unconnected and collaterally progressing series of Platonic Dialogues, but only one single one, comprehending every thing in it. The restoration then of this natural order is, as every one sees, an object very far distinct from all attempts hitherto made at an arrangement of the works of Plato, inasmuch as these attempts in part terminate in nothing but vain and extravagant trifling, and in part proceed upon a systematic separation and combination according to the established divisions of Philosophy, in part also, only take particular points into consideration here and there, without having anything like a whole in view. The classification into tetralogies, which Diogenes has preserved for us after Thrasyllus, manifestly rests merely upon the almost dramatic form of these dialogues, which gave occasion to arrange them in the same manner as the works of the Tragic Poets spontaneously arranged themselves according to the regulations of the Athenian festival, and even on this poor chance-work the classification was ill kept and so ignorantly executed, that for the most part, no reason whatever can be discovered why, in particular instances, the results of it are at all as we find them. Not even is the resemblance carried on so far as that, as every dramatic tetralogy ended with a satirical piece, so also in this case the dialogues in which irony and epideictic polemics are most strongly preeminent, were assigned to the concluding portions; on the contrary, they are all heaped together in two tetralogies. Quite as little regard was had to an old tradition, and one, in itself, at first sight extremely probable, that Plato, when actually a pupil of Socrates, made some of his dialogues public; for how otherwise could those which refer to the condemnation and death of Socrates be the first, and the Lysis and Phaedrus, which the ancients regard as works of so early a date, be thrown far into the middle of all P The only trace of an intelligent notion might perhaps be found in the fact that the Clitophon is placed before the Republic, as a justifying transition from the so-called investigative dialogues, and in appearance sceptical, to those that are immediately instructive and exponential, and in this case it is almost ridiculous that so suspicious a dialogue can boast of having suggested this solitary idea. The Trilogies of Aristophanes, although they proceed upon the same comparison, are more intelligible, at least in so far as that he is not for subjecting the whole mass of writings to this frolic of fancy, and constructs a trilogy only in cases in which Plato has himself, with sufficient clearness, projected a combination; or when such is implied by some external circumstance, leaving all the rest subordinate to that arrangement. Meanwhile both attempts may only serve to show how soon the true arrangement of the Platonic works was lost, excepting very few traces of it, and how ill suited that kind of criticism which the Alexandrian Philologists knew how to apply, was to discover the principles of a correct arrangement of Philosophical works. Less evternal, indeed, but otherwise not much better are the well known dialectic divisions of the dialogues which Diogenes likewise has prepared for us without indicating the author of them, and according to which moreover the editions usually mark every dialogue in the title. At first sight, indeed, this attempt does not seem deserving of any notice in this place, as its tendency is more to separate than connect, and it relates to matters which do not profess to indicate the exponent of the natural order. But the great division into the investigative and instructive might certainly, if properly understood, be a guide for marking the progress of the Platonic dialogues, at least in the main, since the former can only be preparatory to the latter as explanatory of positive theories. Provided only that the further subdivision were not made in the most utterly illogical manner, in the one according to the form alone of the investigation, in the other according to the subject, while the latter of the two methods again quite unplatonically arranges the works according to the different Philosophical sciences, so that even what Plato had himself expressly combined is split asunder, as the Sophist and the Politicus, the Timaeus and the Critias, not to mention other most strange exhibitions of criticism in the details. The same unplatonic principle is followed also in the Syzygies of Serranus, which are therefore perfectly useless for the arrangement of Plato, and at the most can only serve as a register to any one wishing to inform himself of the opinion of Plato upon particular subjects, where he has to look for the decisive passages, although even this, considering the character of the Platonic writings, is ever very uncertain, and can only be productive of very deficient results. Besides these attempts at arrangement there is scarcely any other to mention, unless it be that of Jacob Geddes the Scotchman, and our own countryman Eberhard, in his treatise upon the Myths of Plato and the object of his Philosophy. The first would not indeed deserve to be mentioned, had not great merit been attributed to him in a variety of places, and even demands made that any future translator should arrange the works of Plato according to his plan. It is however impossible that these should be complied with, supposing even the best disposition to do so. For the man's whole discovery amounts but to this, that certain dialogues of Plato reciprocally illustrate each other, and upon this principle he takes occasion to write a few at the most very meagre lines about each of them, shewing nothing so clearly as that there is scarce a single instance in which he has traced out Plato's object with any thing like ordinary understanding. But even supposing all this to be better than it is, and that the greatest proofs of ignorance, as well as misapprehension of particular passages were not to be found, how can an argument be undertaken upon a principle of reciprocal illustration ? For which of the dialogues thus reciprocal is to be the first, and according to what law P And as regards Eberhard's attempt, he sets himself to prove a reference in all Plato's works to a common object in his Philosophy, which, independent of the Philosophy itself, lies in the formation of the Athenian youths of rank to be virtuous citizens. Now in this, notwithstanding the very clear manner in which the position is enunciated, it is difficult to determine whether this object was to have been at the same time the basis for the discovery of all the higher speculations of Plato, which, I suppose, it would be somewhat overhazardous to maintain, and even disregarding the circle in which it is involved, as Philosophy must certainly determine what is the virtue of a citizen, it is far too subordinate a ground to rest the Philosophy itself upon. But if the opinion is to mean, that Plato invented his Philosophy independent of that particular object, and that this, the Philosophy, must be supposed, while the writings are to tend to that object of education, and were worked out in the manner in which, under the circumstances of that time, such an object might demand, this would be the strongest position ever taken up in favour of their exoteric character. Meanwhile, according to that view, the philosophical writings of Plato could only constitute a paedagogic, or rather a polemic series, in which, from its reference to external circumstances and events, all must be accidental, and thus it would be like enough to a string of pearls, only a capricious concatenation of productions, which, torn out of their organic place, would be, considering further the

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