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quet, and why it must do so. And this is seen, as it appears to me, evidently enough from the different form under which the notion common to the two dialogues, of the neither good nor bad, is stated in both; in the Lysis, indeed, quite inartificially, as being derived from the common conversation of ordinary life, so that it can be considered only as a feeler in reference to the higher department of the investigation ; as something, as it were, which might be true, if the necessary confirmation were added. And what confirmation then is there here, when Socrates expresses his surprise at the theory brought forward by the wise Diotima P The analogy of a mean precisely similar in another department, namely, the notion, treated of in the Theaetetus, of true conception: and every reader will certainly be put in mind, even though it is not expressly here mentioned, of what is said in the Sophist of non-existence—namely, that it is no real opposition —as the peculiar ground of the certainty with which this theory may be enunciated. If, therefore, these confirmations had been already given in the works of Plato when the Lysis was written, why should he have enunciated the theory in that dialogue only so precariously We have the Lysis therefore manifestly rejected to a place the other side of the Theaetetus, and when once there, it becomes easy, if we would assign its place to it, to force it to retrograde a dialogue at a time, and remain in its natural position immediately next after the Phaedrus ; and the more, if we bear in mind the remarks there made upon the weakness of the Lysis in point of dialectic composition. For as soon as we have become fully aware that Plato's whole theory of love rested upon the Hellenic character, and that in every thing even of higher purport which he would contemplate under this idea, he was compelled to proceed upon the condition given in that character of the sexual passion and the sexes; and, consequently, if we are not to be surprised to find here precisely the anti-modern and anti-christian pole of his style of thought, we must allow that in the Symposium love is discussed in a more judicious, manly, and, that style being supposed, more perfect manner, than in the Phaedrus. And this because the philosopher is now no longer satisfied with that youthful idea of the relation between the lover and the individual loved, even in its most sublime sense, as a representation of the philosophical impulse, declaring it only proportioned and appropriate to the notions of a beginner; and because the desire to generate is now no longer according to him the highest object, and in itself immediately divine, but as the child, indeed, of that immortal and eternally supplying Poros, though, at the same time, of the needy Penia as well, it has its origin indeed in the immortal principle, though only in so far as that principle exists in the mortal being, in order also to produce the immortal in this last; and therefore Diotima takes especial pains to show that in mortal man, even knowledge herself appears as mortal; not as that which is ever immutable and self-consistent, but only as that which is ever renewing itself; and therefore, confined between two periods of time, is in each several instance only recollection going back to its eternal and permament archetype; and she endeavours to show that love cannot in any way generate the eternal nature and immortal essence of knowledge, but can only generate for it its state of mortal appearance, and not only vivifies it in the individual, but by this transference from one to another, makes it immortal in the mortal. But whatever pains she takes, are available only to those who know from the Statesman, that the finite, as such, is never the immutably permanent and self-identical, and who, being already acquainted with the doctrine of the suggestion of knowledge, and the relation it bears to its eternal essence, as contained in the Menon and elsewhere, only require some still more palpable assistance. So that from this point also, the place we have assigned to the Symposium acquires additional justification. And what is more, our general arrangement receives remarkable confirmation from what Diotima says of the gradual advances in the mysteries of love. For this gradation harmonises most accurately with the continually developing philosophical speculation in the works of Plato, so that he here, unconsciously perhaps, as is often the case with beauties, most elegantly exhibits a mirrored likeness of himself. For first of all, the Phaedrus with its enamoured preference for one object, is excused as a work of youth; then the beginner rises to the contemplation of the beautiful, in practical exertions and laws; consequently, to investigations into the political virtues, such as we find in the Protagoras, and the dialogues connected with it, and in the Gorgias. Then come the modifications of knowledge, in their plurality indeed, but still as modifications of knowledge, consequently, with the consciousness of the peculiar character of knowledge as exhibited from the Theaetetus onwards; and thus the mind rises at last to the conscious contemplation of the absolutely beautiful, as it is beheld in disconnection with any individual beauty; and, as producing all inO O
dividual beauty in the world, both moral and material, will manifest itself to us in the last and later division of his works. For the determination of the time also when the dialogue was written, we find yet further some evidence, though of an uncertain character, in the anachronism already censured elsewhere, by which, in the speech of Aristophanes, mention is made of the destruction of Mantinea, which followed four olympiads after the death of Socrates, and it is certainly true that at the time when Plato wrote, the circumstance must have been fresh in men's recollection. But are we not to suppose that this recollection must have been as vividly renewed at the time when preparations were made for the restoration of the town, and do we not therefore still continue in doubt between the ninety-eighth olympiad and the hundred and second P The characters, with the exception of the otherwise sufficiently well-known poets, have been already introduced in other dialogues of Plato, and in Wolf's Introduction to his edition of the Symposium, enough for the satisfaction of every reader is compiled together about them. But why these persons in particular, and not others, should have these speeches put into their mouths by Plato, is a question which, as regards many of them, might be a difficult one to answer. Only we might regard Agathon's character as founded upon historic truth, and we find Phaedrus here, partly because he was described in the dialogue that bears his name, as a great friend to speeches and as a cause of many, partly to remind us still more decisively of this dialogue. As to Aristophanes, I should be inclined to regard his introduction here in the most friendly relation to Socrates, as an honourable compensation for what was said in the Apology; especially when we take into consideration the quotation from the clouds; perhaps also to show how entirely all bad feeling had vanished in him who had in earlier times written that beautiful epigram upon the poet, notwithstanding all the satire which the latter had aimed at the philosopher.
It now becomes incumbent upon us to explain more accurately the proper meaning of what has already been said preliminarily in the Introduction to the Symposium, as to the relation and connection between these two dialogues. Now, if the reader would assume with us, by way of experiment, that the Symposium and the Phaedon constitute the third description, that of the Philosopher, as connected with the other two already given of the Sophist and the Statesman, we would then, in order that a more accurate view of the subject may not escape him, draw his attention to the fact, that in the speech of Diotima the passion for wisdom is expressly excluded out of the idea of love, in order that this province may be assigned solely to parturition in the beautiful*, and that reference is as it were thus made to another place; which might at once, and of itself, be regarded as a prefatory indication of the Phaedon. For it cannot certainly be denied, that if the good is the object of love in general,