|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Philebus by Plato:
you may let the matter drop, if you are able and willing to find some other
mode of clearing up our controversy.
SOCRATES: If you say that, I have nothing to apprehend, for the words 'if
you are willing' dispel all my fear; and, moreover, a god seems to have
recalled something to my mind.
PHILEBUS: What is that?
SOCRATES: I remember to have heard long ago certain discussions about
pleasure and wisdom, whether awake or in a dream I cannot tell; they were
to the effect that neither the one nor the other of them was the good, but
some third thing, which was different from them, and better than either.
If this be clearly established, then pleasure will lose the victory, for
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Charmides by Plato:
and the Apology, contain allusions to one another. But these allusions are
superficial and, except in the case of the Republic and the Laws, have no
philosophical importance. They do not affect the substance of the work.
It may be remarked further that several of the dialogues, such as the
Phaedrus, the Sophist, and the Parmenides, have more than one subject. But
it does not therefore follow that Plato intended one dialogue to succeed
another, or that he begins anew in one dialogue a subject which he has left
unfinished in another, or that even in the same dialogue he always intended
the two parts to be connected with each other. We cannot argue from a
casual statement found in the Parmenides to other statements which occur in
the Philebus. Much more truly is his own manner described by himself when