For Emerson, Plato is the quintessential philosopher. I will argue that, to the extent that Emerson wanted his essays to have philosophical depth, he considered his work to be an extension of the work found in Plato’s dialogues.
Bailey, J. (2016). Emerson on Plato: Literary philosophy, dialectic, and the temporality of thought. Humanitas, 29(1-2), 79-96.