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atory to the Timaeus, those namely, which endeavour to solve the problem of the inherence of ideas in things, and of the kind of knowledge we possess of nature; this would be not only as unplatonic, according to what has been said above as any thing could be, and would suppose the grossest ignorance of those preparatory works in which such a separation of subjects is not to be found; but it would thence follow in particular, that the Politicus, which is preparatory to the Republic, in exactly the same relation as the Sophist to the Timaeus, was written earlier, and that by a considerable period than the Sophist itself, which does, nevertheless, in conjunction with the Politicus, constitute but one dialogue, and is in fact the first part of it. But the Republic, as being clearly the earliest of the properly expositive works, at once supposes the existence of all dialogues not belonging to this class, and this splendid structure contains, as it were let into its foundation, the key-stones of all these noble arches upon which it rests, and which, previous to entering that edifice whose support they are, if one considers them only in reference to themselves, and surveys them immediately within their own range, one might, not being able to divine their destination, pronounce objectless and imperfect. If, therefore the Republic will not admit of being separated by any means from the subsequently annexed Timaeus and Critias, whoever would make any objection against the place they occupy in common, must assume that Plato premised, generally, the perfected exposition, and did not add until afterwards the elementary investigations into the principles. But every thing, as well the manner in which those principles are introduced into the expositive works themselves, and in which they are investigated in the preparatory ones, as also every possible conception of Plato's spirit and style of thought, is so strongly repugnant to the adoption of such an inverted order, that it is hardly necessary to say anything upon that point; but we need only ask any one what dialogues he would read in this order, and then leave him to his own feelings as to the inverted process and the miserable expedient that the investigations leading back to the principles will now be necessarily instituted with persons knowing nothing of the preceding expositions, so to cut off all natural references to them. Moreover, instead of those references which he will in vain look for, other relations would spontaneously force themselves throughout upon the mind of any one reading in this order, clearly pointing to the opposite arrangement. It is hoped that no one will object that the case would, in the main, be the same with the order here proposed, inasmuch as according to this, a subject is not seldom anticipated mythically which does not appear until later in its scientific form. For the very fact of its being done only mythically does not only accurately agree with that main purpose of Plato to excite his readers to spontaneous origination of ideas, upon the recognition of which our whole arrangement rests, but it is even in itself a clear proof of how firmly convinced Plato was, that in philosophizing, properly so called, it is necessary to begin not with a composite theory but with the simple principles. Nay, whoever penetrates deeper into the study of Plato, will then, and not before, be aware how the gradual development and moulding of the Platonic myths form one fundamental myth, as well as the transition of much that is mythical into a scientific form, affords a new proof in favour of the correctness of the order in which all this may be most clearly

perceived. The necessity, therefore, for assigning the last place to the constructive dialogues, is in every point of view so great, that if well-grounded historical traces were to be found of an earlier composition of the Republic prior to any one of those preparatory dialogues, though none such has yet been found, and, what is more, will not be found, we could not avoid falling into the most serious contradiction with our judgement upon Plato, and we should be much embarrassed how to reconcile this instance of unreason with his vast intelligence. As then, these constructive dialogues are indisputably the last, some, on the other hand, of the remaining ones distinguish themselves as clearly as the first ; for instance, continuing to adhere only to those of the first rank, the Phaedrus, Protagoras, and Parmenides. For these are contrasted with the former, first by a character of youthfulness quite peculiar to them, which may indeed be most easily recognized in the first two, but even in the last will not escape the attentive eye. Moreover by the circumstance, that as by the former all the rest are presupposed, so, conversely, many references are to be found throughout to these latter as previously existing ; and even looking only to the particular thoughts, they appear in these dialogues still as it were in the first glitter and awkwardness of early youth. And further, these three dialogues are not indeed like those three last, worked up into one whole with a definite purpose and with much art, but notwithstanding, mutually connected in the closest manner by a similarity in the entire construction scarcely ever to be met with again to the same degree, by many like thoughts, and a number of particular allusions. But the most important thing yet in them is their internal matter, for in them are developed the first breathings of what is the basis of all that follows, of Logic as the instrument of Philosophy, of Ideas as its proper object, consequently of the possibility and the conditions of knowledge. These therefore, in conjunction with some dialogues attaching to them of the lesser kind, form the first, and, as it were, elementary part of the Platonic works. The others occupy the interval between these and the constructive, inasmuch as they treat progressively of the applicability of those principles, of the distinction between philosophical and common knowledge in their united application to two proposed and real sciences, that of Ethics, namely, and of Physics. In this respect also they stand in the middle between the constructive in which the practical and the theoretical are completely united, and the elementary, in which the two are kept separate more than any where else in Plato. These, then, form the second part, which is distinguished by an especial and almost difficult artificiality, as well in the construction of the particular dialogues as in their progressive connection, and which might be named for distinction's sake, the indirect method, since it commences almost universally with the juxta-position of antitheses. In these three divisions therefore, the works of Plato are here to be given to the reader; so that while each part is arranged according to its obvious characteristics, the dialogues also of the second rank occupy precisely the places which, after due consideration of every point, seems to belong to them. Only it must be allowed that with respect to this more nice arrangement, everything has not equal certainty, inasmuch as there are two things necessary to be attended to in making it, the natural progression of the development of ideas, and a variety of particular allusions and references. With respect to the works of the first rank, the first of these two is generally perfectly decisive, and is never contravened by a characteristic of the second kind. Thus, in the first part, the development of the dialogistic method is the predominant object, and hence, manifestly, the Phaedrus is the first and the Parmenides the last, partly as a most perfect exposition of it, partly as a transition to the second part, because it begins to philosophize upon the relation of ideas to actual things. In the second part, the explanation of knowledge and of the process of knowing in operation is the predominant subject, and at the head of that part stands the Theaetetus, beyond the possibility of a mistake, taking up as it does this question by its first root, the Sophistes with the annexed Politicus in the middle, while the Phaedo and Philebus close it as transitions to the third part; the first, from the anticipatory sketch of Natural Philosophy, the second, because in its discussion of the idea of the Good, it begins to approximate to a totally constructive exposition, and passes into the direct method. The arrangement of the collateral works of the second class, is not always quite so decisive, as several, in the first place, are only enlargements upon and appendages to the same principal work, as is the case in the first part with the Laches and Charmides in reference to the Protagoras, and in these therefore we can only follow certain particular, and not always very definite, indications; and, in the second place, several of them might be transitions between the same larger dialogues, as in the second part the Gorgias with the Menon and Euthydemus collectively are preludes

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