It may assist the reader if the stages of the argument are set out as follows:
I. Lectures I and II. An outline statement of the field of enquiry, with some of the elements of the main problem.
II. Lectures III and IV. A clearing away of the débris of past controversies.
III. Lecture V. The main problem stated. A start is made from the picture of the world offered by science. The recollection that Mind is a factor in that world leads to a re-consideration of the picture. This is the first dialectical transition.
IV. Lectures VI to IX describe certain characteristic activities of Mind, or characteristics of mental activity.
V. Lecture X. Consideration of what has been set forth concerning Mind and its activity leads from a doctrine of Immanence to one of Transcendence. This is the second dialectical transition.
VI. Lectures XI to XIII set out some of the ways in which the Transcendent Mind, by its immanent operation in the world, makes itself known to finite minds.
VII. Lectures XIV and XV introduce consideration of the Evil attendant upon finite minds and the resultant conception of the relation between these and the Transcendent Mind. This is the third dialectical transition.
VIII. Lectures XVI to XVIII set out the significance of the finite in the scheme of the whole.
IX. Lecture XIX aspires towards some apprehension of the meaning of the world as so far understood for that Transcendent Mind in which it is grounded.
X. Lecture XX surveys the entire argument and concludes that Natural Theology culminates in a demand for the specific Revelation which its principles forbid it to include in its own province. This is the fourth and last dialectical transition; because of its nature, a study in Natural Theology can only indicate, not expound, the theme to which this transition leads.
Simmias in Plato’s Phaedo
St. John’s Gospel