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According to the Plato counted Socrates "the justest man alive" (324e).
According to Diogenes Laertius, the respect was mutual (3.5). Whether or not any of these stories is true, there can be no question of Plato's mastery of dialogue, characterization, and dramatic context.
The best reports of these orderings (see Diogenes Laertius' discussion at 3.56-62) included many works whose authenticity is now either disputed or unanimously rejected.
The uncontroversial internal and external historical evidence for a chronological ordering is relatively slight.
This is evident not only in many of the doctrines and arguments we find in Plato's dialogues, but perhaps most obviously in Plato's choice of Socrates as the main character in most of his works. Though influenced primarily by Socrates, to the extent that Socrates is usually the main character in many of Plato's writings, he was also influenced by Heraclitus, Parmenides, and the Pythagoreans.Plato's middle to later works, including his most famous work, the , are generally regarded as providing Plato's own philosophy, where the main character in effect speaks for Plato himself.Aristotle ( 143c, Plato announces through his characters that he will abandon the somewhat cumbersome dialogue form that is employed in his other writings.Since the form does not appear in a number of other writings, it is reasonable to infer that those in which it does not appear were written after the Scholars have sought to augment this fairly scant evidence by employing different methods of ordering the remaining dialogues.