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to internal as well as external circumstances, this wish does in no way contradict the confession previously made, that this Republic exists only in imagination. For, although as near an approximation to it as is possible is the highest point at which all others are to aim, still a standard for every thing that can take place in the life of a state can only be given by such a living representation; and this must be the best means of exposing in their nakedness all immoral, and therefore corrupt, politics. Socrates had already this return in mind when he repeated the work, and had cursorily explained, with a view of establishing a ground whereupon to found his claims to it, in what manner generally such a state might be framed, provided only genuine philosophers had once the power in their hands. But on this second meeting every thing does not come off as he had anticipated ; but having once for all committed the subject to the hands of others, he must also be content with what they resolved. Now, they resolve that he must have patience to listen to the romantic history of his state. For Timaeus, in order that the subject may commence with the true beginning, is first of all to treat in a historical form, which nearly all more ancient physiologists have adopted, of the origin and formation of the world, down to the beginnings of the human race; and then Critias is to exhibit that state according to its internal and external history, not indeed as Socrates appears to have intended, now for the first time existing and localized, but as the ancient Athens, of which he has received information from foreign legendary lore. / Thus, accordingly, our work, under new authority, comes into a still more comprehensive series than that which Socrates, according to his own expressions, had in view. But, although the annexation of that philosophy which concerns the theory of Nature to this work appears to overreach his original plans, still not only is the necessity for it declared in his own words, but even the first outlines drawn according to which they are to set to work upon this subject. For the principle already laid down in the Phaedo, that nature must be conceived from the idea of the good, is virtually repeated in the Philebus as well as in these books, where that idea is pronounced to be absolutely the highest; and further, we here find it stated pretty early as a principle to be generally established, that the Deity is not the efficient cause of every thing without distinction, but that he can only be the cause of good, and it is upon this principle especially that the theory in the Timaeus of the formation of the world is constructed. The necessity for a science of abstract being in general is clearly declared by the remark, to the principle of which so striking a prominency is given in these books, that an accurate knowledge of the mind is not to be attained by the method hitherto pursued. Now, what is wanted can be nothing but a knowledge of the relation between the mind and objective existence collectively, and of the place which the mind is to occupy in the system accordingly. And thus the manner in which the Timaeus connects itself with the books of the Republic is a declaration of the essential identity of ethics and natural philosophy. The same principle also is expressed under another form in the last fable about the migration of the souls. For this myth, in which at the same time the system of the world brought forward in the Timaeus is graphically prefigured, is meant also to declare it as a

Socratic view, that every soul, in the intervals between its appearance on earth is happy in the contemplation especially of these general mundine relations, and strengthens and recruits itself anew ; whence it follows that during life also that renewed recollection, which is likewise his leading principle, is most awakened when the mind is employed in speculations upon nature, and most powerfully enlivened by them, and on that account adepts in this science are best qualified to apply the all-pervading idea of the good to all human relations. It is clear, accordingly, from the way in which, as we have shewn, the subject-matter of the former series is interwoven with that of the new, that in the latter also the ethical element has the preponderance, as natural philosophy is itself ethicised by the idea of the good which is placed at the summit of it; and therefore the formation of the world, as an expression of the divine mode of acting, furnishes the model which, notwithstanding that creation, deliberation, and government constitute the proper business of every mind, can yet be followed but indistinctly in so contracted a sphere. The establishment, however, and conservation of general prescriptive regulations, such as the constitution of every state must include, is in the first degree a plenary and distinct imitation of the Deity. But what Critias undertook to say, as well as what Hermocrates would have said, was undoubtedly to have been ethical, only certainly, if Socrates' wish was to have been complied with in so doing, directed to a comparative application to political life. And from this point of view not only might the whole of the subject-matter contained in this work be intelligible, but it would also be an easy task for every one to make it clear to himself, how all previous works determine to this, and all the threads laid out in them centre in it. But at how early a period Plato designed the plan of this great and splendid structure, and whether or not out of many, especially of his juvenile works, several points were at a later period taken up, and a determinate reference given to them, which they had not before, to the philosophy of this, is a point which now probably it might not be very easy to decide. Only it can scarcely be doubted that when Plato wrote these books he had already

resolved to subjoin to them the Timaeus and the Critias.

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