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all cosmical contemplation, first shot upon him; how by the dialectic method he convinced himself of the unsoundness of the Empedoclean doctrine of physics, and therefore, so long as his own ideas were not sufficiently clear and distinct to follow them out consistently and plenarily as principles, he could not proceed otherwise than critically and hypothetically ; and this applies particularly to his speculations upon the Eleatic and Heraclitic philosophy, and to the result of those speculations, which taught him that in the eternal forms alone is found the constant as connected with the changeable, and real unities as connected with pluralities, and that it is only upon them, and the relation of things to them, that knowledge or science of anything whatever can be constructed. And this principle is here for the first time established so totally without restraint, and with so much reference made to the construction of science, that every reader who is familiar with the Platonic turns, and the value of Platonic expressions, must very easily see that when Plato wrote this, the idea of the good had ceased to be too strange to him, or too obscure to prevent him any longer from constructing in connection with that principle the two sciences which are here alluded to. But every really attentive reader must feel in this place the most decided inclination to pass at once from the Phaedon to the Timaeus, until he reflects that in Plato's speculations the ethical generally precede the physical, and on the other hand, that the idea of the good itself was still susceptible of more accurate explanation, and indeed, more especially on account of disputed questions, at that time still unsettled, even required it; and we have, therefore, yet to pass through the Philebus and the Republic, of both of which the germs manifestly appear in this place in the Phaedon. And again, it can hardly escape any one of sound and unprejudiced mind, that the doctrine of the soul is in our dialogue still imperfect, though in its last stage of developement, no longer in a mythological chrysalis' sheath, as in the Phaedrus, but like the just emergent butterfly, whose wings only want to grow to maturity, a process which a few moments may complete. And this circumstance in the case of the Phaedrus, points very nearly to the Timaeus. For the manner in which the soul is here described as producing life generally, and as related to immutable essence, does indeed approximate to strict definition, but still is not definition itself; and we observe here exactly the appearance of an author's only producing so much of one subject, to which a particular investigation is to be devoted, to bear upon another, as every reader must grant without more ado. As then all these allusions to what is still to come, assign the Phaedon its place before the last great works of Plato, though in such a manner as to bring it near to them, so also, all references to the dialogues already given determine its place after them. For, if we look to the dialogues forming the second part, in the order in which they are here published, we find that in that arrangement the connection which obtains between the Platonic doctrine of knowledge and that of immortality has not as yet been indicated by decisive strokes, but only in a vague and sketchy manner, inasmuch as, wherever perfect and immutable existence is spoken of, in opposition to that which is imperfect

and mutable, mention is also made in some way or other of immortality. It is first brought nearer, by the way in which in the Menon the doctrine, that knowledge is recollection, is expounded and put into tangible form, and to this Plato himself appeals here in the Phaedon, perhaps more definitely and expressly than he anywhere else alludes to an earlier work. For a denial of this appeal would scarcely leave us anything remaining, but to suppose that the speech of the Socratic Cebes refers only to colloquial discussions, whether of Socrates or of Plato, and that the Menon was composed after this had been said by Cebes, though not indeed then by Plato, but by some one else, a supposition, however, which it would be difficult to make appear probable to any one who understood the practice of sound criticism. But the connection of which we speak could not be well represented quite clearly until the investigations contained in the Sophist had preceded; and the ease with which Socrates admits all principles relating to this point to be taken for granted as long since dispatched, would be, without such a reference, inexplicable. The exposition, therefore, of this theory follows in this place, being the first in which it is found; but here it is quite complete, and that part of the dialogue in which it appears is indisputably the kernel of the whole. And agreeably with this supposition, the Platonic Socrates himself clearly lays most weight upon the theory, that the ideas and the soul exist by a similar necessity even before we are born; and moreover, that there is a similar mode of the existence of ideas and of the soul, without the sphere of that imperfect existence in which it appears in life. To Socrates and his disciples this is the immediately certain principle to which they firmly adhere, simply, because it is immediately one and the same with that of the reality of knowledge, and they who understand Plato otherwise, or at least foist upon him any other conception of immortality, as if it were that of which he is immediately certain, and the result of his demonstration, might learn to be cautious from this passage, not to associate themselves without intending it with those who dream, erroneously enough, that, according to Plato, the ideas had a kind of sensible existence, or, somehow and somewhere, a special and external being, or I know not what, out of nature and out of the mind. For, with the exception of what is necessarily connected with that higher and truly immortal existence of the soul, and is here also followed out as a regular theory, that, namely, the repeated appearances of the soul in the body always proceed out of the abundance of that immortality, and are real repetitions, and not new creations; with the exception of this, Plato arranges all other conceptions and minor points subordinate to that doctrine, as something not homogeneous with it, nor of an equal degree of certainty, considering them partly in the light of amusing conversation, and exorcisement of the baby within us which foolishly fears death, while they have in part quite a different bearing. Thus, for instance, the repeated and always perfected appearances of the soul in the life of the body are quite homogeneous with, and correspondent to its different places upon the earth, in one of which it may see more clearly, and be less exposed to disturbing influences than in another; but what it sees must still be only material things, and it is not in a more distinct conception of clearer impressions of ideas that every glimpse of higher and really immortal existence is vouchsafed to it, but only in knowledge itself. Hence, both do indeed serve more to specify the whole province of the soul in the kingdom of imperfect being and of corporeal life, than to exhibit or define more closely immortality itself. Nay, who can say that the whole of Cebes' objection, that the fact of souls lingering among many bodies does not nevertheless prove their immortality, an objection which is somewhat harshly and unexpectedly directed against Simmias the disciple of Philolaus, is not covertly meant against the Pythagoreans, who thought that they had in the doctrine of Metempsychosis demonstrated the immortality of souls, and therefore, produced no more accurate information upon this point; a deficiency upon which some regret is expressed in an earlier part of the dialogue. Only, let no reader be misled by this, and by the mention of the harmony, to suppose that Simmias probably brings forward his argument, that the soul may be after all but a disposition of what is given in the body, in the name of the Pythagoreans. On the contrary, these philosophers were perfectly agreed with Plato, that only virtue and vice could be regarded as arising from a disposition of the soul itself; and the argument may be rather considered as exclusively in the spirit of the strictly atomical system, to which indeed Empedocles, in this point of view, in no small degree approximates; so that it might scarcely be possible to decide, from whom in particular the dress into which the thought is put is either borrowed or adapted. And if there are any to whom the answer appears, partially at least, obscure and unsatisfactory, let them not overlook that it refers to the distinction already started in several places between the ideas subjected to the conditions of more and less,

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