IMMANUEL KANT PLATO WITH AN EXCURSUS ON THE ESSENCE OF LIFE From the Gods a gift to the human race thus should I reckon the gift of seeing the one in the many. Plato,last the threads that we have been spinning in our previous lectures run together into warp and woof. I had to start with the Goethe lecture in order to speak of ideas so that my meaning should be perceived without the Leonardo lecture,-in which I endeavoured to draw an accurate distinction between that which is pure and that which is empirical, and consequently between mathematical natural science, and artistic intuition of nature, I could hardly have attained a consideration of the true Plato, in the face of so many deeply rooted misunderstandings which had to be swept away the Descartes lecture is adapted to lay the foundation of the present lecture, as teaching the importance of the dualistic method of observation for all criticism of the human intellect, of which it, at the same time, furnishes you with a plastic conception finally, the Bruno lecture has laid down once for all the difference between dogmatism and criticism, so that we know where to seek for Plato and where not. Towards the close of the lecture, when we shall know Plato better, we shall return to these heroes of our earlier lectures for the moment I must content myself with these brief hints, only calling your attention to a special relation between the different lectures in order that you may from the very outset correctly grasp the distinguishing feature of the goal in view. It will have struck you that we have made very varying use of the personalities which we have brought forward for our purposes of comparison, In the Goethe lecture it was the personality itself, with its physical properties reaching into the very volutes of the brain, that we placed in contrast with the Sage of Konigsberg and his individual capacities Leonardo, on the contrary, possessed for our purpose rather a general than an individual-importance, and helped us to fix more exactly the points that Kant has in common with Goethe, as well as those in which their modes of perception differ. In Descartes it was once more the personality, which held us, but not so much, as in Goethe, by way of contrast or in opposition to that of Kant, but because it opened up for us an access to the labyrinthine depths of Kantian thought, -while, on the other hand, Brmo served as the sharply stamped type of a numerous tribe of thinkers who stand as the very antipodes of Kant. Now we must introduce the lens by which we may collect these various rays and focus them upon the burning point of our interest, Immanuel Kant. For in Plato we, for the first time, meet a man whose genius and whose mode of seeing, inborn and developed to perfection through a wholc life of incessant thinking, are almost exactly in harmony with Kant. If we had singled out Plato earlier, we should not rightly have understood him all that we have in the meanwhile done for Kant is equally of value in his case but if we were to leave him out now I should despair of being able to add the indispensable sharpness of outline to the plastic picture of Kants intellectual personality, of which the general features should now be dearly before you...
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