CHAPTER I. THE PERIOD OF TRANSITION: FROM NICOLAS OF CUSA TO DESCARTES.
The essays at philosophy which made their appearance between the middle of the fifteenth century and the middle of the seventeenth, exhibit mediaeval and modern characteristics in such remarkable intermixture that they can be assigned exclusively to neither of these two periods. There are eager longings, lofty demands, magnificent plans, and promising outlooks in abundance, but a lack of power to endure, a lack of calmness and maturity; while the shackles against which the leading minds revolt still bind too firmly both the leaders and those to whom they speak. Only here and there are the fetters loosened and thrown off; if the hands are successfully freed, the clanking chains still hamper the feet. It is a time just suited for original thinkers, a remarkable number of whom in fact make their appearance, side by side or in close succession. Further, however little these are able to satisfy the demand for permanent results, they ever arouse our interest anew by the boldness and depth of their brilliant ideas, which alternate with quaint fancies or are pervaded by them; by the youthful courage with which they attacked great questions; and not least by the hard fate which rewarded their efforts with misinterpretation, persecution, and death at the stake. We must quickly pass over the broad threshold between modern philosophy and Scholastic philosophy, which is bounded by the year 1450, in which Nicolas of Cusa wrote his chief work, the Idiota, and 1644, when Descartes began the new era with his Principia Philosophiae; and can touch, in passing, only the most important factors. We shall begin our account of this transition period with Nicolas, and end it with the Englishmen, Bacon, Hobbes, and Lord Herbert of Cherbury. Between these we shall arrange the various figures of the Philosophical Renaissance (in the broad sense) in six groups: the Restorers of the Ancient Systems and their Opponents; the Italian Philosophers of Nature; the Political and Legal Philosophers; the Skeptics; the Mystics; the Founders of the Exact Investigation of Nature. In Italy the new spiritual birth shows an aesthetic, scientific, and humanistic tendency; in Germany it is pre-eminently religious emancipation—in the Reformation.
1. Nicolas of Cusa.
Nicolas was born in 1401, at Cues (Cusa) on the Moselle near Treves. He early ran away from his stern father, a boatman and vine-dresser named Chrypps (or Krebs), and was brought up by the Brothers of the Common Life at Deventer. In Padua he studied law, mathematics, and philosophy, but the loss of his first case at Mayence so disgusted him with his profession that he turned to theology, and became a distinguished preacher. He took part in the Council of Basle, was sent by Pope Eugen IV. as an ambassador to Constantinople and to the Reichstag at Frankfort; was made Cardinal in 1448, and Bishop of Brixen in 1450. His feudal lord, the Count of Tyrol, Archduke Sigismund, refused him recognition on account of certain quarrels in which they had become engaged, and for a time held him prisoner. Previous to this he had undertaken journeys to Germany and the Netherlands on missionary business. During a second sojourn in Italy death overtook him, in the year 1464, at Todi in Umbria. The first volume of the Paris edition of his collected works (1514) contains the most important of his philosophical writings; the second, among others, mathematical essays and ten books of selections from his sermons; the third, the extended work, De Concordantia Catholica, which he had completed at Basle. In 1440 (having already written on the Reform of the Calendar) he began his imposing series of philosophical writings with the De Docta Ignorantia, to which the De Conjecturis was added in the following year. These were succeeded by smaller treatises entitled De Quaerendo Deum, De Dato Patris Luminum, De Filiatione Dei, De Genesi, and a defense of the De Docta Ignorantia. His most important work is the third of the four dialogues of the Idiota (“On the Mind"), 1450. He clothes in continually changing forms the one supreme truth on which all depends, and which cannot be expressed in intelligible language but only comprehended by living intuition. In many different ways he endeavors to lead the reader on to a vision of the inexpressible, or to draw him up to it, and to develop fruitfully the principle of the coincidence of opposites, which had dawned upon him on his return journey from Constantinople (De Visione Dei, Dialogus de Possest, De Beryllo, De Ludo Globi, De Venatione Sapientiae, De Apice Theoriae, Compendium ). Sometimes he uses dialectical reasoning; sometimes he soars in mystical exaltation; sometimes he writes with a simplicity level to the common mind, and in connection with that which lies at hand; sometimes, with the most comprehensive brevity. Besides these his philosophico-religious works are of great value, De Pace Fidei, De Cribratione Alchorani. Liberal Catholics reverence him as one of the deepest thinkers of the Church; but the fame of Giordano Bruno, a more brilliant but much less original figure, has hitherto stood in the way of the general recognition of his great importance for modern philosophy.
[Footnote 1: R. Zimmermann, Nikolaus Cusanus als Vorlaeufer Leibnizens, in vol. viii. of the Sitzungsberichte der philosophisch-historischen Klasse der Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna, 1852, p. 306 seq. R. Falckenberg, Grundzuege der Philosophie des Nikolaus Cusanus mit besonderer Beruecksichtigung der Lehre vom Erkennen, Breslau, 1880. R. Eucken, Beitraege zur Geschichte der neueren Philosophie, Heidelberg, 1886, p. 6 seq.; Joh. Uebinger, Die Gotteslehre des Nikolaus Cusanus, Muenster, 1888. Scharpff, Des Nikolaus von Cusa wichtigste Schriften in deutscher Uebersetzung, Freiburg i. Br., 1862.]
Human knowledge and the relation of God to the world are the two poles of the Cusan's system. He distinguishes four stages of knowledge. Lowest of all stands sense (together with imagination), which yields only confused images; next above, the understanding (ratio), whose functions comprise analysis, the positing of time and space, numerical operations, and denomination, and which keeps the opposites distinct under the law of contradiction; third, the speculative reason (intellectus), which finds the opposites reconcilable; and highest of all the mystical, supra-rational intuition (visio sine comprehensione, intuitio, unio, filiatio), for which the opposites coincide in the infinite unity. The intuitive culmination of knowledge, in which the soul is united with God,—since here even the antithesis of subject and object disappears,—is but seldom attained; and it is difficult to keep out the disturbing symbols and images of sense, which mingle themselves in the intuition. But it is just this insight into the incomprehensibility of the infinite which gives us a true knowledge of God; this is the meaning of the “learned ignorance,” the docta ignorantia. The distinctions between these several stages of cognition are not, however, to be understood in any rigid sense, for each higher function comprehends the lower, and is active therein. The understanding can discriminate only when it is furnished by sensation with images of that which is to be discriminated, the reason can combine only when the understanding has supplied the results of analysis as material for combination; while, on the other hand, it is the understanding which is present in sense as consciousness, and the reason whose unity guides the understanding in its work of separation. Thus the several modes of cognition do not stand for independent fundamental faculties, but for connected modifications of one fundamental power which work together and mutually imply one another. The position that an intellectual function of attention and discrimination is active in sensuous perception, is a view entirely foreign to mediaeval modes of thought; for the Scholastics were accustomed to make sharp divisions between the cognitive faculties, on the principle that particulars are felt through sense and universals thought through the understanding. The idea on which Nicolas bases his argument for immortality has also an entirely modern sound: viz., that space and time are products of the understanding, and, therefore, can have no power over the spirit which produces them; for the author is higher and mightier than the product.
The confession that all our knowledge is conjecture does not simply mean that absolute and exact truth remains concealed from us; but is intended at the same time to encourage us to draw as near as possible to the eternal verity by ever truer conjectures. There are degrees of truth, and our surmises are neither absolutely true nor entirely false. Conjecture becomes error only when, forgetting the inadequacy of human knowledge, we rest content with it as a final solution; the Socratic maxim, “I know that I am ignorant,” should not lead to despairing resignation but to courageous further inquiry. The duty of speculation is to penetrate deeper and deeper into the secrets of the divine, even though the ultimate revelation will not be given us until the hereafter. The fittest instrument of speculation is furnished by mathematics, in its conception of the infinite and the wonders of numerical relations: as on the infinite sphere center and circumference coincide, so God's essence is exalted above all opposites; and as the other numbers are unfolded from the unit, so the finite proceeds by explication from the infinite. A controlling significance in the serial construction of the world is ascribed to the ten, as the sum of the first four numbers—as reason, understanding, imagination, and sensibility are related in human cognition, so God, spirit, soul, and body, or infinity, thought, life, and being are related in the objective sphere; so, further, the absolute necessity of God, the concrete necessity of the universe, the actuality of individuals, and the possibility of matter. Beside the quaternary the tern also exercises its power—the world divides into the stages of eternity, imperishability, and the temporal world of sense, or truth, probability, and confusion. The divine trinity is reflected everywhere: in the world as creator, created, and love; in the mind as creative force, concept, and will. The triunity of God is very variously explained—as the subject, object, and act of cognition; as creative spirit, wisdom, and goodness; as being, power, and deed; and, preferably, as unity, equality, and the combination of the two.
God is related to the world as unity, identity, complicatio, to otherness, diversity, explicatio, as necessity to contingency, as completed actuality to mere possibility; yet, in such a way that the otherness participates in the unity, and receives its reality from this, and the unity does not have the otherness confronting it, outside it. God is triune only as the Creator of the world, and in relation to it; in himself he is absolute unity and infinity, to which nothing disparate stands opposed, which is just as much all things as not all things, and which, as the Areopagite had taught of old, is better comprehended by negations than by affirmations. To deny that he is light, truth, spirit, is more true than to affirm it, for he is infinitely greater than anything which can be expressed in words; he is the Unutterable, the Unknowable, the supremely one and the supremely absolute. In the world, each thing has things greater and smaller by its side, but God is the absolutely greatest and smallest; in accordance with the principle of the coincidentia oppositorum, the absolute maximum and the absolute minimum coincide. That which in the world exists as concretely determinate and particular, is in God in a simple and universal way; and that which here is present as incompleted striving, and as possibility realizing itself by gradual development, is in God completed activity. He is the realization of all possibility, the Can-be or Can-is (possest); and since this absolute actuality is the presupposition and cause of all finite ability and action, it may be unconditionally designated ability (posse ipsum), in antithesis to all determinate manifestations of force; namely, to all ability to be, live, feel, think, and will.
However much these definitions, conceived in harmony with the dualistic view of Christianity, accentuate the antithesis between God and the world, this is elsewhere much softened, nay directly denied, in favor of a pantheistic view which points forward to the modern period. Side by side with the assertion that there is no proportion whatever between the infinite and the finite, the following naively presents itself, in open contradiction to the former: God excels the reason just as much as the latter is superior to the understanding, and the understanding to sensibility, or he is related to thought as thought to life, and life to being. Nay, Nicolas makes even bolder statements than these, when he calls the universe a sensuous and mutable God, man a human God or a humanly contracted infinity, the creation a created God or a limited infinity; thus hinting that God and the world are at bottom essentially alike, differing only in the form of their existence, that it is one and the same being and action which manifests itself absolutely in God, relatively and in a limited way in the system of creation. It was chiefly three modern ideas which led the Cusan on from dualism to pantheism—the boundlessness of the universe, the connection of all being, and the all-comprehensive richness of individuality. Endlessness belongs to the universe as well as to God, only its endlessness is not an absolute one, beyond space and time, but weakened and concrete, namely unlimited extension in space and unending duration in time. Similarly, the universe is unity, yet not a unity absolutely above multiplicity and diversity, but one which is divided into many members and obscured thereby. Even the individual is infinite in a certain sense; for, in its own way, it bears in itself all that is, it mirrors the whole world from its limited point of view, is an abridged, compressed representation of the universe. As the members of the body, the eye, the arm, the foot, interact in the closest possible way, and no one of them can dispense with the rest, so each thing is connected with each, different from it and yet in harmony with it, so each contains all the others and is contained by them. All is in all, for all is in the universe and in God, as the universe and God in all. In a still higher degree man is a microcosm (parvus mundus), a mirror of the All, since he not merely, like other beings, actually has in himself all that exists, but also has a knowledge of this richness, is capable of developing it into conscious images of things. And it is just this which constitutes the perfection of the whole and of the parts, that the higher is in the lower, the cause in the effect, the genus in the individual, the soul in the body, reason in the senses, and conversely. To perfect, is simply to make active a potential possession, to unfold capacities and to elevate the unconscious into consciousness. Here we have the germ of the philosophy of Bruno and of Leibnitz.
As we have noticed a struggle between two opposite tendencies, one dualistic and Christian, one pantheistic and modern, in the theology of Nicolas, so at many other points a conflict between the mediaeval and the modern view of the world, of which our philosopher is himself unconscious, becomes evident to the student. It is impossible to follow out the details of this interesting opposition, so we shall only attempt to distinguish in a rough way the beginnings of the new from the remnants of the old. Modern is his interest in the ancient philosophers, of whom Pythagoras, Plato, and the Neoplatonists especially attract him; modern, again, his interest in natural science (he teaches not only the boundlessness of the world, but also the motion of the earth); his high estimation of mathematics, although he often utilizes this merely in a fanciful symbolism of numbers; his optimism (the world an image of the divine, everything perfect of its kind, the bad simply a halt on the way to the good); his intellectualism (knowing the primal function and chief mission of the spirit; faith an undeveloped knowledge; volition and emotion, as is self-evident, incidental results of thought; knowledge a leading back of the creature to God as its source, hence the counterpart of creation); modern, finally, the form and application given to the Stoic-Neoplatonic concept of individuality, and the idealistic view which resolves the objects of thought into products thereof. This last position, indeed, is limited by the lingering influence of nominalism, which holds the concepts of the mind to be merely abstract copies, and not archetypes of things. Moreover, explicatio, evolutio, unfolding, as yet does not always have the meaning of development to-day, of progressive advance. It denotes, quite neutrally, the production of a multiplicity from a unity, in which the former has lain confined, no matter whether this multiplicity and its procession signify enhancement or attenuation. For the most part, in fact, involution, complicatio (which, moreover, always means merely a primal, germinal condition, never, as in Leibnitz, the return thereto) represents the more perfect condition. The chief examples of the relation of involution and evolution are the principles in which science is involved and out of which it is unfolded; the unit, which is related to numbers in a similar way; the spirit and the cognitive operations; God and his creatures. However obscure and unskillful this application of the idea of development may appear, yet it is indisputable that a discovery of great promise has been made, accompanied by a joyful consciousness of its fruitfulness. Of the numberless features which point backward to the Middle Ages, only one need be mentioned, the large space taken up by speculations concerning the God-man (the whole third book of the De Docta Ignorantia), and by those concerning the angels. Yet even here a change is noticeable, for the earthly and the divine are brought into most intimate relation, while in Thomas Aquinas, for instance, they form two entirely separate worlds. In short, the new view of the world appears in Nicolas still bound on every hand by mediaeval conceptions. A century and a half passed before the fetters, grown rusty in the meanwhile, broke under the bolder touch of Giordano Bruno.
[Footnote 1: The attention of our philosopher was called to the natural sciences, and thus also to geography, which at this time was springing into new life, by his friend Paul Toscanelli, the Florentine. Nicolas was the first to have the map of Germany engraved (cf. S. Ruge in Globus, vol. lx., No. I, 1891), which, however, was not completed until long after his death, and issued in 1491.]
[Footnote 2: On the modern elements in his theory of the state and of right, cf. Gierke, Das deutsche Genossenschaftsrecht, vol. iii. Sec. II, 1881.]
2. The Revival of Ancient Philosophy and the Opposition to it.
Italy is the home of the Renaissance and the birthplace of important new ideas which give the intellectual life of the sixteenth century its character of brave endeavor after high and distant ends. The enthusiasm for ancient literature already aroused by the native poets, Dante (1300), Petrarch (1341), and Boccaccio (1350), was nourished by the influx of Greek scholars, part of whom came in pursuance of an invitation to the Council of Ferrara and Florence (1438) called in behalf of the union of the Churches (among these were Pletho and his pupil Bessarion; Nicolas Cusanus was one of the legates invited), while part were fugitives from Constantinople after its capture by the Turks in 1453. The Platonic Academy, whose most celebrated member, Marsilius Ficinus, translated Plato and the Neoplatonists into Latin, was founded in 1440 on the suggestion of Georgius Gemistus Pletho under the patronage of Cosimo dei Medici. The writings of Pletho (“On the Distinction between Plato and Aristotle"), of Bessarion (Adversus Calumniatorem Platonis, 1469, in answer to the Comparatio Aristotelis et Platonis, 1464, an attack by the Aristotelian, George of Trebizond, on Pletho's work), and of Ficinus (Theologia Platonica, 1482), show that the Platonism which they favored was colored by religious, mystical, and Neoplatonic elements. If for Bessarion and Ficinus, just as for the Eclectics of the later Academy, there was scarcely any essential distinction between the teachings of Plato, of Aristotle, and of Christianity; this confusion of heterogeneous elements was soon carried much farther, when the two Picos (John Pico of Mirandola, died 1494, and his nephew Francis, died 1533) and Johann Reuchlin (De Verbo Mirifico, 1494; De Arte Cabbalistica, 1517), who had been influenced by the former, introduced the secret doctrines of the Jewish Cabala into the Platonic philosophy, and Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim of Cologne (De Occulta Philosophia, 1510; cf. Sigwart, Kleine Schriften, vol. i. p. 1 seq.) made the mixture still worse by the addition of the magic art. The impulse of the modern spirit to subdue nature is here already apparent, only that it shows inexperience in the selection of its instruments; before long, however, nature will willingly unveil to observation and calm reflection the secrets which she does not yield to the compulsion of magic.
[Footnote 1: Pletho died at an advanced age in 1450. His chief work, the [Greek: Nomoi], was given to the flames by his Aristotelian opponent, Georgius Scholarius, surnamed Gennadius, Patriarch of Constantinople. Portions of it only, which had previously become known, have been preserved. On Pletho's life and teachings, cf. Fritz Schultze, G.G. Plethon, Jena, 1874.]
A similar romantic figure was Phillipus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombast Paracelsus von Hohenheim (1493-1541), a traveled Swiss, who endeavored to reform medicine from the standpoint of chemistry. Philosophy for Paracelsus is knowledge of nature, in which observation and thought must co-operate; speculation apart from experience and worship of the paper-wisdom of the ancients lead to no result. The world is a living whole, which, like man, the microcosm, in whom the whole content of the macrocosm is concentrated as in an extract, runs its life course. Originally all things were promiscuously intermingled in a unity, the God-created prima materia, as though inclosed in a germ, whence the manifold, with its various forms and colors, proceeded by separation. The development then proceeds in such a way that in each genus that is perfected which is posited therein, and does not cease until, at the last day, all that is possible in nature and history shall have fulfilled itself. But the one indwelling life of nature lives in all the manifold forms; the same laws rule in the human body as in the universe; that which works secretly in the former lies open to the view in the latter, and the world gives the clew to the knowledge of man. Natural becoming is brought about by the chemical separation and coming together of substances; the ultimate constituents revealed by analysis are the three fundamental substances or primitive essences, quicksilver, sulphur, and salt, by which, however, something more principiant is understood than the empirical substances bearing these names: mercurius means that which makes bodies liquid, sulfur, that which makes them combustible, sal, that which makes them fixed and rigid. From these are compounded the four elements, each of which is ruled by elemental spirits—earth by gnomes or pygmies, water by undines or nymphs, air by sylphs, fire by salamanders (cf. with this, and with Paracelsus's theory of the world as a whole, Faust's two monologues in Goethe's drama); which are to be understood as forces or sublimated substances, not as personal, demoniacal beings. To each individual being there is ascribed a vital principle, the Archeus, an individualization of the general force of nature, Vulcanus; so also to men. Disease is a checking of this vital principle by contrary powers, which are partly of a terrestrial and partly of a sidereal nature; and the choice of medicines is to be determined by their ability to support the Archeus against its enemies. Man is, however, superior to nature—he is not merely the universal animal, inasmuch as he is completely that which other beings are only in a fragmentary way; but, as the image of God, he has also an eternal element in him, and is capable of attaining perfection through the exercise of his rational judgment. Paracelsus distinguishes three worlds: the elemental or terrestrial, the astral or celestial, and the spiritual or divine. To the three worlds, which stand in relations of sympathetic interaction, there correspond in man the body, which nourishes itself on the elements, the spirit, whose imagination receives its food, sense and thoughts, from the spirits of the stars, and, finally, the immortal soul, which finds its nourishment in faith in Christ. Hence natural philosophy, astronomy, and theology are the pillars of anthropology, and ultimately of medicine. This fantastic physic of Paracelsus found many adherents both in theory and in practice. Among those who accepted and developed it may be named R. Fludd (died 1637), and the two Van Helmonts, father and son (died 1644 and 1699).
[Footnote 1: On Paracelsus cf. Sigwart, Kleine Schriften, vol. i. p. 25 seq.; Eucken, Beitraege zur Geschichteder neueren Philosophie, p. 32 seq.; Lasswitz, Geschichte der Atomistik, vol. i. p. 294 seq.]
[Footnote 2: The influence of Paracelsus, as of Vives and Campanella, is evident in the great educator, Amos Comenius (Komensky, 1592-1670), whose pansophical treatises appeared in 1637-68. On Comenius cf. Pappenheim, Berlin, 1871; Kvacsala, Doctor's Dissertation, Leipsic, 1886; Walter Mueller, Dresden, 1887.]
Beside the Platonic philosophy, others of the ancient systems were also revived. Stoicism was commended by Justus Lipsius (died 1606) and Caspar Schoppe (Scioppius, born 1562); Epicureanism was revived by Gassendi (1647), and rhetorizing logicians went back to Cicero and Quintilian. Among the latter were Laurentius Valla (died 1457); R. Agricola (died 1485); the Spaniard, Ludovicus Vives (1531), who referred inquiry from the authority of Aristotle to the methodical utilization of experience; and Marius Nizolius (1553), whose Antibarbarus was reissued by Leibnitz in 1670.
The adherents of Aristotle were divided into two parties, one of which relied on the naturalistic interpretation of the Greek exegete, Alexander of Aphrodisias (about 200 A.D.), the other on the pantheistic interpretation of the Arabian commentator, Averroes (died 1198). The conflict over the question of immortality, carried on especially in Padua, was the culmination of the battle. The Alexandrist asserted that, according to Aristotle, the soul was mortal, the Averroists, that the rational part which is common to all men was immortal; while to this were added the further questions, if and how the Aristotelian view could be reconciled with the Church doctrine, which demanded a continued personal existence. The most eminent Aristotelian of the Renaissance, Petrus Pomponatius (De Immortalite Animae, 1516; De Fato, Libero Arbitrio, Providentia et Praedestinatione), was on the side of the Alexandrists. Achillini and Niphus fought on the other side. Caesalpin (died 1603), Zabarella, and Cremonini assumed an intermediate, or, at least, a less decided position. Still others, as Faber Stapulensis in Paris (1500), and Desiderius Erasmus (1520), were more interested in securing a correct text of Aristotle's works than in his philosophical principles.
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Among the Anti-Aristotelians only two famous names need be mentioned, that of the influential Frenchman, Petrus Ramus, and the German, Taurellus. Pierre de la Ramee (assassinated in the massacre of St. Bartholomew, 1572), attacked the (unnatural and useless) Aristotelian logic in his Aristotelicae Animadversiones, 1543, objecting, with the Ciceronians mentioned above, to the separation of logic and rhetoric; and attempted a new logic of his own, in his Institutiones Dialecticae, which, in spite of its formalism, gained acceptance, especially in Germany. Nicolaus Oechslein, Latinized Taurellus (born in 1547 at Moempelgard; at his death, in 1606, professor of medicine in the University of Altdorf), stood quite alone because of his independent position in reference to all philosophical and religious parties. His most important works were his Philosophiae Triumphus, 1573; Synopsis Aristotelis Metaphysicae, 1596; Alpes Caesae (against Caesalpin, and the title punning on his name), 1597; and De Rerum Aeternitate, 1604. The thought of Taurellus inclines toward the ideal of a Christian philosophy; which, however, Scholasticism, in his view, did not attain, inasmuch as its thought was heathen in its blind reverence for Aristotle, even though its faith was Christian. In order to heal this breach between the head and the heart, it is necessary in religion to return from confessional distinctions to Christianity itself, and in philosophy, to abandon authority for the reason. We should not seek to be Lutherans or Calvinists, but simply Christians, and we should judge on rational grounds, instead of following Aristotle, Averroes, or Thomas Aquinas. Anyone who does not aim at the harmony of theology and philosophy, is neither a Christian nor a philosopher. One and the same God is the primal source of both rational and revealed truth. Philosophy is the basis of theology, theology the criterion and complement of philosophy. The one starts with effects evident to the senses and leads to the suprasensible, to the First Cause; the other follows the reverse course. To philosophy belongs all that Adam knew or could know before the fall; had there been no sin, there would have been no other than philosophical knowledge. But after the fall, the reason, which informs us, it is true, of the moral law, but not of the divine purpose of salvation, would have led us to despair, since neither punishment nor virtue could justify us, if revelation did not teach us the wonders of grace and redemption. Although Taurellus thus softens the opposition between theology and philosophy, which had been most sharply expressed in the doctrine of “twofold truth” (that which is true in philosophy may be false in theology, and conversely), and endeavors to bring the two into harmony, the antithesis between God and the world still remains for him immovably fixed. God is not things, though he is all. He is pure affirmation; all without him is composed, as it were, of being and nothing, and can neither be nor be known independently: negatio non nihil est, alias nec esset nec intelligeretur, sed limitatio est affirmationis. Simple being or simple affirmation is equivalent to infinity, eternity, unity, uniqueness,—properties which do not belong to the world. He who posits things as eternal, sublates God. God and the world are opposed to each other as infinite cause and finite effect. Moreover, as it is our spirit which philosophizes and not God's spirit in us, so the faith through which man appropriates Christ's merit is a free action of the human spirit, the capacity for which is inborn, not infused from above; in it, God acts merely as an auxiliary or remote cause, by removing the obstacles which hinder the operation of the power of faith. With this anti-pantheistic tendency he combines an anti-intellectualistic one—being and production precedes and stands higher than contemplation; God's activity does not consist in thought but in production, and human blessedness, not in the knowledge but the love of God, even though the latter presupposes the former. While man, as an end in himself, is immortal—and the whole man, not his soul merely—the world of sense, which has been created only for the conservation of man (his procreation and probation), must disappear; above this world, however, a higher rears its walls to subserve man's eternal happiness.
[Footnote 1: On Ramus cf. Waddington's treatises, one in Latin, Paris, 1849, the other in French, Paris, 1855.]
[Footnote 2: Schmid Schwarzenburg has written on Taurellus, 1860, 2d ed., 1864.]
The high regard which Leibnitz expressed for Taurellus may be in part explained by the many anticipations of his own thoughts to be found in the earlier writer. The intimate relation into which sensibility and understanding are brought is an instance of this from the theory of knowledge. Receptivity is not passivity, but activity arrested (through the body). All knowledge is inborn; all men are potential philosophers (and, so far as they are loyal to conscience, Christians); the spirit is a thinking and a thinkable universe. Taurellus's philosophy of nature, recognizing the relative truth of atomism, makes the world consist of manifold simple substances combined into formal unity: he calls it a well constructed system of wholes. A discussion of the origin of evil is also given, with a solution based on the existence and misuse of freedom. Finally, it is to be mentioned to the great credit of Taurellus, that, like his younger contemporaries, Galileo and Kepler, he vigorously opposed the Aristotelian and Scholastic animation of the material world and the anthropomorphic conception of its forces, thus preparing the way for the modern view of nature to be perfected by Newton.
3. The Italian Philosophy of Nature.
We turn now from the restorers of ancient doctrines and their opponents to the men who, continuing the opposition to the authority of Aristotle, point out new paths for the study of nature. The physician, Hieronymus Cardanus of Milan (1501-76), whose inclinations toward the fanciful were restrained, though not suppressed, by his mathematical training, may be considered the forerunner of the school. While the people should accept the dogmas of the Church with submissive faith, the thinker may and should subordinate all things to the truth. The wise man belongs to that rare class who neither deceive nor are deceived; others are either deceivers or deceived, or both. In his theory of nature, Cardanus advances two principles: one passive, matter (the three cold and moist elements), and an active, formative one, the world-soul, which, pervading the All and bringing it into unity, appears as warmth and light. The causes of motion are attraction and repulsion, which in higher beings become love and hate. Even superhuman spirits, the demons, are subject to the mechanical laws of nature.
The standard bearer of the Italian philosophy of nature was Bernardinus Telesius of Cosenza (1508-88; De Rerum Natura juxta Propria Principia, 1565, enlarged 1586), the founder of a scientific society in Naples called the Telesian, or after the name of his birthplace, the Cosentian Academy. Telesius maintained that the Aristotelian doctrine must be replaced by an unprejudiced empiricism; that nature must be explained from itself, and by as few principles as possible. Beside inert matter, this requires only two active forces, on whose interaction all becoming and all life depend. These are warmth, which expands, and cold, which contracts; the former resides in the sun and thence proceeds, the latter is situated in the earth. Although Telesius acknowledges an immaterial, immortal soul, he puts the emphasis on sensuous experience, without which the understanding is incapable of attaining certain knowledge. He is a sensationalist both in the theory of knowledge and in ethics, holding the functions of judgment and thought deducible from the fundamental power of perception, and considering the virtues different manifestations of the instinct of self-preservation (which he ascribes to matter as well).
[Footnote 1: Cf. on Telesius, Florentine, 2 vols., Naples, 1872-74; K. Heiland, Erkenntnisslehre und Ethik des Telesius, Doctor's Dissertation at Leipsic, 1891. Further, Rixner and Siber, Leben und Lehrmeinungen beruehmter Physiker am Ende des XVI. und am Anfang des XVII. Jahrhunderts, Sulzbach (1819-26), 7 Hefte, 2d ed., 1829. Hefte 2-6 discuss Cardanus, Telesius, Patritius, Bruno, and Campanella; the first is devoted to Paracelsus, and the seventh to the older Van Helmont (Joh. Bapt.).]
With the name of Telesius we usually associate that of Franciscus Patritius (1529-97), professor of the Platonic philosophy in Ferrara and Rome (Discussiones Peripateticae, 1581; Nova de Universis Philosophia, 1591), who, combining Neoplatonic and Telesian principles, holds that the incorporeal or spiritual light emanates from the divine original light, in which all reality is seminally contained; the heavenly or ethereal light from the incorporeal; and the earthly or corporeal, from the heavenly—while the original light divides into three persons, the One and All (Unomnia), unity or life, and spirit.
The Italian philosophy of nature culminates in Bruno and Campanella, of whom the former, although he is the earlier, appears the more advanced because of his freer attitude toward the Church. Giordano Bruno was born in 1548 at Nola, and educated at Naples; abandoning his membership in the Dominican Order, he lived, with various changes of residence, in France, England, and Germany. Returning to his native land, he was arrested in Venice and imprisoned for seven years at Rome, where, on February 17, 1600, he suffered death at the stake, refusing to recant. (The same fate overtook his fellow-countryman, Vanini, in 1619, at Toulouse.) Besides three didactic poems in Latin (Frankfort, 1591), the Italian dialogues, Della Causa, Principio ed Uno, Venice, 1584 (German translation by Lasson, 1872), are of chief importance. The Italian treatises have been edited by Wagner, Leipsic, 1829, and by De Lagarde, 2 vols., Goettingen, 1888; the Latin appeared at Naples, in 3 vols., 1880, 1886, and 1891. Of a passionate and imaginative nature, Bruno was not an essentially creative thinker, but borrowed the ideas which he proclaimed with burning enthusiasm and lofty eloquence, and through which he has exercised great influence on later philosophy, from Telesius and Nicolas, complaining the while that the priestly garb of the latter sometimes hindered the free movement of his thought. Beside these thinkers he has a high regard for Pythagoras, Plato, Lucretius, Raymundus Lullus, and Copernicus (died 1543). He forms the transition link between Nicolas of Cusa and Leibnitz, as also the link between Cardanus and Spinoza. To Spinoza Bruno offered the naturalistic conception of God (God is the “first cause” immanent in the universe, to which self-manifestation or self-revelation is essential; He is natura naturans, the numberless worlds are natura naturata); Leibnitz he anticipated by his doctrine of the “monads,” the individual, imperishable elements of the existent, in which matter and form, incorrectly divorced by Aristotle as though two antithetical principles, constitute one unity. The characteristic traits of the philosophy of Bruno are the lack of differentiation between pantheistic and individualistic elements, the mediaeval animation and endlessness of the world, and, finally, the religious relation to the universe or the extravagant deification of nature (nature and the world are entirely synonymous, the All, the world-soul, and God nearly so, while even matter is called a divine being).
[Footnote 1: Nicolaus Copernicus (Koppernik; 1473-1543) was born at Thorn; studied astronomy, law, and medicine at Cracow, Bologna, and Padua; and died a Canon of Frauenberg. His treatise, De Revolutionibus Orbium Caelestium, which was dedicated to Pope Paul III., appeared at Nuremberg in 1543, with a preface added to it by the preacher, Andreas Osiander, which calls the heliocentric system merely an hypothesis advanced as a basis for astronomical calculations. Copernicus reached his theory rather by speculation than by observation; its first suggestion came from the Pythagorean doctrine of the motion of the earth. On Copernicus cf. Leop. Prowe, vol. i. Copernicus Leben, vol. ii. (Urkunden), Berlin, 1883-84; and K. Lohmeyer in Sybel's Historische Zeitschrift, vol. lvii., 1887.]
[Footnote 2: Cf. on Bruno, H. Brunnhofer (somewhat too enthusiastic), Leipsic, 1882; also Sigwart, Kleine Schriften, vol. i. p. 49 seq.]
Bruno completes the Copernican picture of the world by doing away with the motionless circle of fixed stars with which Copernicus, and even Kepler, had thought our solar system surrounded, and by opening up the view into the immeasurability of the world. With this the Aristotelian antithesis of the terrestrial and the celestial is destroyed. The infinite space (filled with the aether) is traversed by numberless bodies, no one of which constitutes the center of the world. The fixed stars are suns, and, like our own, surrounded by planets. The stars are formed of the same materials as the earth, and are moved by their own souls or forms, each a living being, each also the residence of infinitely numerous living beings of various degrees of perfection, in whose ranks man by no means takes the first place. All organisms are composed of minute elements, called minima or monads; each monad is a mirror of the All; each at once corporeal and soul-like, matter and form, each eternal; their combinations alone being in constant change. The universe is boundless in time, as in space; development never ceases, for the fullness of forms which slumber in the womb of matter is inexhaustible. The Absolute is the primal unity, exalted above all antitheses, from which all created being is unfolded and in which it remains included. All is one, all is out of God and in God. In the living unity of the universe, also, the two sides, the spiritual (world-soul), and the corporeal (universal matter), are distinguishable, but not separate. The world-reason pervades in its omnipresence the greatest and the smallest, but in varying degrees. It weaves all into one great system, so that if we consider the whole, the conflicts and contradictions which rule in particulars disappear, resolved into the most perfect harmony. Whoever thus regards the world, becomes filled with reverence for the Infinite and bends his will to the divine law—from true science proceed true religion and true morality, those of the spiritual hero, of the heroic sage.
Thomas Campanella (1568-1639) was no less dependent on Nicolas and Telesius than Bruno. A Calabrian by birth like Telesius, whose writings filled him with aversion to Aristotle, a Dominican like Bruno, he was deprived of his freedom on an unfounded suspicion of conspiracy against the Spanish rule, spent twenty-seven years in prison, and died in Paris after a short period of quiet. Renewing an old idea, Campanella directed attention from the written volume of Scripture to the living book of nature as being also a divine revelation. Theology rests on faith (in theology, Campanella, in accordance with the traditions of his order, follows Thomas Aquinas); philosophy is based on perception, which in its instrumental part comprises mathematics and logic, and in its real part, the doctrine of nature and of morals, while metaphysics treats of the highest presuppositions and the ultimate grounds,—the “pro-principles,” Campanella starts, as Augustine before him and Descartes in later times, from the indisputable certitude of the spirit's own existence, from which he rises to the certitude of God's existence. On this first certain truth of my own existence there follow three others: my nature consists in the three functions of power, knowledge, and volition; I am finite and limited, might, wisdom, and love are in man constantly intermingled with their opposites, weakness, foolishness, and hate; my power, knowledge, and volition do not extend beyond the present. The being of God follows from the idea of God in us, which can have been derived from no other than an infinite source. It would be impossible for so small a part of the universe as man to produce from himself the idea of a being incomparably greater than the whole universe. I attain a knowledge of God's nature from my own by thinking away from the latter, in which, as in everything finite, being and non-being are intermingled, every limitation and negation, by raising to infinity my positive fundamental powers, posse, cognoscere, and velle, or potentia, sapientia, and amor, and by transferring them to him, who is pure affirmation, ens entirely without non-ens. Thus I reach as the three pro-principles or primalities of the existent or the Godhead, omnipotence, omniscience, and infinite love. But the infrahuman world may also be judged after the analogy of our fundamental faculties. The universe and all its parts possess souls; there is naught without sensation; consciousness, it is true, is lacking in the lower creatures, but they do not lack life, feeling, and desire, for it is impossible for the animate to come from the inanimate. Everything loves and hates, desires and avoids. Plants are motionless animals, and their roots, mouths. Corporeal motion springs from an obscure, unconscious impulse of self-preservation; the heavenly bodies circle about the sun as the center of sympathy; space itself seeks a content (horror vacui).
[Footnote 1: Campanella's works have been edited by Al. d'Ancona, Turin, 1854, Cf. Sigwart, Kleine Schriften, vol. i. p. 125 seq.]
The more imperfect a thing is, the more weakened is the divine being in it by non-being and contingency. The entrance of the naught into the divine reality takes place by degrees. First God projects from himself the ideal or archetypal world (mundus archetypus), i.e., the totality of the possible. From this ideal world proceeds the metaphysical world of eternal intelligences (mundus mentalis), including the angels, the world-soul, and human spirits. The third product is the mathematical world of space (mundus sempiternus), the object of geometry; the fourth, the temporal or corporeal world; the fifth, and last, the empirical world (mundus situalis), in which everything appears at a definite point in space and time. All things not only love themselves and seek the conservation of their own being, but strive back toward the original source of their being, to God; i.e., they possess religion. In man, natural and animal religion are completed by rational religion, the limitations of which render a revelation necessary. A religion can be considered divine only when it is adapted to all, when it gains acceptance through miracles and virtue, and when it contradicts neither natural ethics nor the reason. Religion is union with God through knowledge, purity of will, and love. It is inborn, a law of nature, not, as Machiavelli teaches, a political invention.
Campanella desired to see the unity in the divine government of the world embodied in a pyramid of states with the papacy at the apex: above the individual states was to come the province, then the kingdom, the empire, the (Spanish) world-monarchy, and, finally, the universal dominion of the Pope. The Church should be superior to the State, the vicegerent of God to temporal rulers and to councils.
4. Philosophy of the State and of Law.
The originality of the modern doctrines of natural law was formerly overestimated, as it was not known to how considerable an extent the way had been prepared for them by the mediaeval philosophy of the state and of law. It is evident from the equally rich and careful investigations of Otto Gierke that in the political and legal theories of a Bodin, a Grotius, a Hobbes, a Rousseau, we have systematic developments of principles long extant, rather than new principles produced with entire spontaneity. Their merit consists in the principiant expression and accentuation and the systematic development of ideas which the Middle Ages had produced, and which in part belong to the common stock of Scholastic science, in part constitute the weapons of attack for bold innovators. Marsilius of Padua (Defensor Pacis, 1325), Occam (died 1347), Gerson (about 1400), and the Cusan (Concordantia Catholica, 1433) especially, are now seen in a different light. “Under the husk of the mediaeval system there is revealed a continuously growing antique-modern kernel, which draws all the living constituents out of the husk, and finally bursts it” (Gierke, Deutsches Genossenschaftsrecht, vol. iii. p. 312). Without going beyond the boundaries of the theocratico-organic view of the state prevalent in the Middle Ages, most of the conceptions whose full development was accomplished by the natural law of modern times were already employed in the Scholastic period. Here we already find the idea of a transition on the part of man from a pre-political natural state of freedom and equality into the state of citizenship; the idea of the origin of the state by a contract (social and of submission); of the sovereignty of the ruler (rex major populo; plenitudo potestatis), and of popular sovereignty (populus major principe); of the original and inalienable prerogatives of the generality, and the innate and indestructible right of the individual to freedom; the thought that the sovereign power is superior to positive law (princeps legibus solutus), but subordinate to natural law; even tendencies toward the division of powers (legislative and executive), and the representative system. These are germs which, at the fall of Scholasticism and the ecclesiastical reformation, gain light and air for free development.
[Footnote 1: Gierke, Johannes Althusius und die Entwickelung der naturrechtlichen Staatstheorien, Breslau, 1880; the same, Deutsches Genossenschaftsrecht, vol. iii. Sec. II, Berlin, 1881. Cf. further, Sigm. Riezler, Die literarischen Widersacher der Paepste, Leipsic, 1874; A. Franck, Reformateurs et Publicistes de L'Europe, Paris, 1864.]
[Footnote 2: Nicolas' political ideas are discussed by T. Stumpf, Cologne, 1865.]
[Footnote 3: Cf. F. von Bezold, Die Lehre von der Volkssouveraenitaet im Mittelalter, (Sybel's Historische Zeitschrift, vol. xxxvi., 1876).]
The modern theory of natural law, of which Grotius was the most influential representative, began with Bodin and Althusius. The former conceives the contract by which the state is founded as an act of unconditional submission on the part of the community to the ruler, the latter conceives it merely as the issue of a (revocable) commission: in the view of the one, the sovereignty of the people is entirely alienated, “transferred,” in that of the other, administrative authority alone is granted, “conceded,” while the sovereign prerogatives remain with the people. Bodin is the founder of the theory of absolutism, to which Grotius and the school of Pufendorf adhere, though in a more moderate form, and which Hobbes develops to the last extreme. Althusius, on the other hand, by his systematic development of the doctrine of social contract and the inalienable sovereignty of the people, became the forerunner of Locke and Rousseau.
[Footnote 1: Ulrich Huber (1674) may be called the first representative of constitutionalism, and so the intermediate link between Althusius and Locke. Cf. Gierke, Althusius, p. 290.]
The first independent political philosopher of the modern period was Nicolo Machiavelli of Florence (1469-1527). Patriotism was the soul of his thinking, questions of practical politics its subject, and historical fact its basis. He is entirely unscholastic and unecclesiastical. The power and independence of the nation are for him of supreme importance, and the greatness and unity of Italy, the goal of his political system. He opposes the Church, the ecclesiastical state, and the papacy as the chief hindrances to the attainment of these ends, and considers the means by which help may be given to the Fatherland. In normal circumstances a republican constitution, under which Sparta, Rome, and Venice have achieved greatness, would be the best. But amid the corruption of the times, the only hope of deliverance is from the absolute rule of a strong prince, one not to be frightened back from severity and force. Should the ruler endeavor to keep within the bounds of morality, he would inevitably be ruined amid the general wickedness. Let him make himself liked, especially make himself feared, by the people; let him be fox and lion together; let him take care, when he must have recourse to bad means for the sake of the Fatherland, that they are justified by the result, and still to preserve the appearance of loyalty and honor when he is forced to act in their despite—for the populace always judges by appearance and by results. The worst thing of all is half-way measures, courses intermediate between good and evil and vacillating between reason and force. Even Moses had to kill the envious refractories, while Savonarola, the unarmed prophet, was destroyed. God is the friend of the strong, energy the chief virtue; and it is well when, as was the case with the ancient Romans, religion is associated with it without paralyzing it. The current view of Christianity as a religion of humility and sloth, which preaches only the courage of endurance and makes its followers indifferent to worldly honor, is unfavorable to the development of political vigor. The Italians have been made irreligious by the Church and the priesthood; the nearer Rome, the less pious the people. When Machiavelli, in his proposals looking toward Lorenzo (II.) dei Medici (died 1519), approves any means for restoring order, it must be remembered that he has an exceptional case in mind, that he does not consider deceit and severity just, but only unavoidable amid the anarchy and corruption of the time. But neither the loftiness of the end by which he is inspired, nor the low condition of moral views in his time, justifies his treatment of the laws as mere means to political ends, and his unscrupulous subordination of morality to calculating prudence. Machiavelli's general view of the world and of life is by no means a comforting one. Men are simple, governed by their passions and by insatiable desires, dissatisfied with what they have, and inclined to evil. They do good only of necessity; it is hunger which makes them industrious and laws that render them good. Everything rapidly degenerates: power produces quiet, quiet, idleness, then disorder, and, finally, ruin, until men learn by misfortune, and so order and power again arise. History is a continual rising and falling, a circle of order and disorder. Governmental forms, even, enjoy no stability; monarchy, when it has run out into tyranny, is followed by aristocracy, which gradually passes over into oligarchy; this in turn is replaced by democracy, until, finally, anarchy becomes unendurable, and a prince again attains power. No state, however, is so powerful as to escape succumbing to a rival before it completes the circuit. Protection against the corruption of the state is possible only through the maintenance of its principles, and its restoration only by a return to the healthy source whence it originated. This is secured either by some external peril compelling to reflection, or internally, by wise thought, by good laws (framed in accordance with the general welfare, and not according to the ambition of a minority), and by the example of good men.
[Footnote 1: In his Essays on the First Decade of Livy (Discorsi), Machiavelli investigates the conditions and the laws of the maintenance of states; while in The Prince (II Principe, 1515), he gives the principles for the restoration of a ruined state. Besides these he wrote a history of Florence, and a work on the art of war, in which he recommended the establishment of national armies.]
In the interval between Machiavelli and the system of natural law of Grotius, the Netherlander (1625: De Jure Belli et Pacis), belong the socialistic ideal state of the Englishman, Thomas More (De Optimo Reipublicae Statu deque Nova Insula Utopia, 1516), the political theory of the Frenchman, Jean Bodin (Six Livres de la Republique, 1577, Latin 1584; also a philosophico-historical treatise, Methodus ad Facilem Historiarum Cognitionem, and the Colloquium Heptaplomeres, edited by Noack, 1857), and the law of war of the Italian, Albericus Gentilis, at his death professor in Oxford (De Jure Belli, 1588). Common to these three was the advocacy of religious tolerance, from which atheists alone were to be excepted; common, also, their ethical standpoint in opposition to Machiavelli, while they are at one with him in regard to the liberation of political and legal science from theology and the Church. With Gentilis (1551-1611) this separation assigns the first five commandments to divine, and the remainder to human law, the latter being based on the laws of human nature (especially the social impulse). In place of this derivation of law and the state from the nature of man, Jean Bodin (1530-96) insists on an historical interpretation; endeavors, though not always with success, to give sharp definitions of political concepts; rejects composite state forms, and among the three pure forms, monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy, rates (hereditary) monarchy the highest, in which the subjects obey the laws of the monarch, and the latter the laws of God or of nature by respecting the freedom and the property of the citizens. So far, no one has correctly distinguished between forms of the state and modes of administration. Even a democratic state may be governed in a monarchical or aristocratic way. So far, also, there has been a failure to take into account national peculiarities and differences of situation, conditions to which legislation must be adjusted. The people of the temperate zone are inferior to those of the North in physical power and inferior to those of the South in speculative ability, but superior to both in political gifts and in the sense of justice. The nations of the North are guided by force, those of the South by religion, those between the two by reason. Mountaineers love freedom. A fruitful soil enervates men, when less fertile, it renders them temperate and industrious.
[Footnote 1: What is the state? What is sovereignty? The former is defined as the rational and supremely empowered control over a number of families and of whatever is common to them; the latter is absolute and continuous authority over the state, with the right of imposing laws without being bound by them. The prince, to whom the sovereignty has been unconditionally relinquished by the people in the contract of submission, is accountable to God alone.]
Attention has only recently been called (by O. Gierke, in the work already mentioned, Heft vii. of his Untersuchungen zur deutschen Staats-und Rechtsgeschichte, Breslau, 1880) to the Westphalian, Johannes Althusius (Althusen or Althaus) as a legal philosopher worthy of notice. He was born, 1557, in the Grafschaft Witgenstein; was a teacher of law in Herborn and Siegen from 1586, and Syndic in Emden from 1604 to his death in 1638. His chief legal work was the Dicaeologica, 1617 (a recasting of a treatise on Roman law which appeared in 1586), and his chief political work the Politica, 1603 (altered and enlarged 1610, and reprinted, in addition, three times before his death and thrice subsequently). Down to the beginning of the eighteenth century he was esteemed or opposed as chief among theMonarchomachi, so called by the Scotchman, Barclay (De Regno et Regali Potestate, 1600); since that time he has fallen into undeserved oblivion. The sovereign power (majestas) of the people is untransferable and indivisible, the authority vested in the chosen wielder of the administrative power is revocable, and the king is merely the chief functionary; individuals are subjects, it is true, but the community retains its sovereignty and has its rights represented over against the chief magistrate by a college of ephors. If the prince violates the compact, the ephors are authorized and bound to depose the tyrant, and to banish or execute him. There is but one normal state-form; monarchy and polyarchy are mere differences in administrative forms. Mention should finally be made of his valuation of the social groups which mediate between the individual and the state: the body politic is based on the narrower associations of the family, the corporation, the commune, and the province.
While with Bodin the historical, and with Gentilis the a priori method of treatment predominates, Hugo Grotius combines both standpoints. He bases his system on the traditional distinction of two kinds of law. The origin of positive law is historical, by voluntary enactment; natural law is rooted in the nature of man, is eternal, unchangeable, and everywhere the same. He begins by distinguishing with Gentilis thejus humanum from the jus divinum given in the Scriptures. The former determines, on the one hand, the legal relations of individuals, and, on the other, those of whole nations; it is jus personale and jus gentium.
[Footnote 1: Hugo de Groot lived 1583-1645. He was born in Delft, became Fiscal of Holland in 1607, and Syndic of Rotterdam and member of the States General in 1613. A leader of the aristocratic party with Oldenbarneveld, he adhered to the Arminians or Remonstrants, was thrown into prison, freed in 1621 through the address of his wife, and fled to Paris, where he lived till 1631 as a private scholar, and, from 1635, as Swedish ambassador. Here he composed his epoch-making work, De Jure Belli et Pacis, 1625. Previous to this had appeared his treatise, De Veritate Religionis Christianae, 1619, and theMare Liberum, 1609, the latter a chapter from his maiden work, De Jure Praedae, which was not printed until 1868.]
[Footnote 2: The meaning which Grotius here gives to jus gentium (=international law), departs from the customary usage of the Scholastics, with whom it denotes the law uniformly acknowledged among all nations. Thomas Aquinas understands by it, in distinction to jus naturale proper, the sum of the conclusions deduced from this as a result of the development of human culture and its departure from primitive purity. Cf. Gierke, Althusius, p. 273; Deutsches Genossenschaftsrecht, vol. iii. p. 612. On the meaning of natural law cf. Gierke's Inaugural Address as Rector at Breslau, Naturrecht und Deutsches Recht, Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1883.]
The distinction between natural and conventional law which has been already mentioned, finds place within both: the positive law of persons is called jus civile, and the positive law of nations, jus gentium voluntarium. Positive law has its origin in regard for utility, while unwritten law finds its source neither in this nor (directly) in the will of God, but in the rational nature of man. Man is by nature social, and, as a rational being, possesses the impulse toward ordered association. Unlawful means whatever renders such association of rational beings impossible, as the violation of promises or the taking away and retention of the property of others. In the (pre-social) state of nature, all belonged to all, but through the act of taking possession (occupatio) property arises (sea and air are excluded from appropriation). In the state of nature everyone has the right to defend himself against attack and to revenge himself on the evil-doer; but in the political community, founded by contract, personal revenge is replaced by punishment decreed by the civil power. The aim of punishment is not retribution, but reformation and deterrence. It belongs to God alone to punish because of sin committed, the state can punish only to prevent it. (The antithesis quia peccatum est—ne peccetur comes from Seneca.)
[Footnote 1: Natural law would be valid even if there were no God. With these words the alliance between the modern and the mediaeval philosophy of law is severed.]
This energetic revival of the distinction already common in the Middle Ages between “positive and natural,” which Lord Herbert of Cherbury brought forward at the same period (1624) in the philosophy of religion, gave the catchword for a movement in practical philosophy whose developments extend into the nineteenth century. Not only the illumination period, but all modern philosophy down to Kant and Fichte, is under the ban of the antithesis, natural and artificial. In all fields, in ethics as well as in noetics, men return to the primitive or storm back to it, in the hope of finding there the source of all truth and the cure for all evils. Sometimes it is called nature, sometimes reason (natural law and rational law are synonymous, as also natural religion and the religion of the reason), by which is understood that which is permanent and everywhere the same in contrast to the temporary and the changeable, that which is innate in contrast to that which has been developed, in contrast, further, to that which has been revealed. Whatever passes as law in all places and at all times is natural law, says Grotius; that which all men believe forms the content of natural religion, says Lord Herbert. Before long it comes to be said: that alone is genuine, true, healthy, and valuable which has eternal and universal validity; all else is not only superfluous and valueless but of evil, for it must be unnatural and corrupt. This step is taken by Deism, with the principle that whatever is not natural or rational in the sense indicated is unnatural and irrational. Parallel phenomena are not wanting, further, in the philosophy of law (Gierke, Althusius ). But these errors must not be too harshly judged. The confidence with which they were made sprang from the real and the historical force of their underlying idea.
As already stated, the “natural” forms the antithesis to the supernatural, on the one hand, and to the historical, on the other. This combination of the revealed and the historical will not appear strange, if we remember that the mediaeval view of the world under criticism was, as Christian, historico-religious, and, moreover, that for the philosophy of religion the two in fact coincide, inasmuch as revelation is conceived as an historical event, and the historical religions assume the character of revealed. The term arbitrary, applied to both in common, was questionable, however: as revelation is a divine decree, so historical institutions are the products of human enactment, the state, the result of a contract, dogmas, inventions of the priesthood, the results of development, artificial constructions! It took long ages for man to free himself from the idea of the artificial and conventional in his view of history. Hegel was the first to gather the fruit whose seeds had been sown by Leibnitz, Lessing, Herder, and the historical school of law. As often, however, as an attempt was made from this standpoint of origins to show laws in the course of history, only one could be reached, a law of necessary degeneration, interrupted at times by sudden restorations—thus the Deists, thus Machiavelli and Rousseau. Everything degenerates, science itself only contributes to the fall—therefore, back to the happy beginnings of things!
If, finally, we inquire into the position of the Church in regard to the questions of legal philosophy, we may say that, among the Protestants, Luther, appealing to the Scripture text, declares rulers ordained by God and sacred, though at the same time he considers law and politics but remotely related to the inner man; that Melancthon, in his Elements of Ethics (1538), as in all his philosophical text-books, went back to Aristotle, but found the source of natural law in the Decalogue, being followed in this by Oldendorp (1539), Hemming (1562), and B. Winkler (1615).
[Footnote 1: The edition of Melancthon's works by Bretschneider and Bindseil gives the ethical treatises in vol. xvi. and the other philosophical treatises in vol. xiii. (in part also in vols. xi. and xx.).]
[Footnote 2: Cf. C.v. Kaltenborn, Die Vorlaeufer des Hugo Grotius, Leipsic, 1848.]
On the Catholic side, the Jesuits (the Order was founded in 1534, and confirmed in 1540), on the one hand, revived the Pelagian theory of freedom in opposition to the Luthero-Augustinian doctrine of the servitude of the will, and, on the other, defended the natural origin of the state in a (revocable) contract in opposition to its divine origin asserted by the Reformers, and the sovereignty of the people even to the sanctioning of tyrannicide. Bellarmin (1542-1621) taught that the prince derives his authority from the people, and as the latter have given him power, so they retain the natural right to take it back and bestow it elsewhere. The view of Juan Mariana (1537-1624; De Rege, 1599) is that, as the people in transferring rights to the prince retain still greater power themselves, they are entitled in given cases to call the king to account. If he corrupts the state by evil manners, and, degenerating into the tyrant, despises religion and the laws, he may, as a public enemy, be deprived by anyone of his authority and his life. It is lawful to arrest tyranny in any way, and those have always been highly esteemed who, from devotion to the public welfare, have sought to kill the tyrant.
5. Skepticism in France.
Toward the end of the sixteenth century, and in the very country which was to become the cradle of modern philosophy, there appeared, as a forerunner of the new thinking, a skepticism in which that was taken for complete and ultimate truth which with Descartes constitutes merely a moment or transition point in the inquiry. The earliest and the most ingenious among the representatives of this philosophy of doubt was Michel de Montaigne (1533-92), who in his Essays—which were the first of their kind and soon found an imitator in Bacon; they appeared in 1580 in two volumes, with an additional volume in 1588—combined delicate observation and keen thinking, boldness and prudence, elegance and solidity. The French honor him as one of their foremost writers. The most important among these treatises or essays is considered to be the “Apology for Raymond of Sabunde” (ii. 12) with valuable excursuses on faith and knowledge. Montaigne bases his doubt on the diversity of individual views, each man's opinion differing from his fellow's, while truth must be one. There exists no certain, no universally admitted knowledge. The human reason is feeble and blind in all things, knowledge is deceptive, especially the philosophy of the day, which clings to tradition, which fills the memory with learned note-stuff, but leaves the understanding void and, instead of things, interprets interpretations only. Both sensuous and rational knowledge are untrustworthy: the former, because it cannot be ascertained whether its deliverances conform to reality, and the latter, because its premises, in order to be valid, need others in turn for their own establishment, etc., ad infinitum. Every advance in inquiry makes our ignorance the more evident; the doubter alone is free. But though certainty is denied us in regard to truth, it is not withheld in regard to duty. In fact, a twofold rule of practical life is set up for us: nature, or life in accordance with nature and founded on self-knowledge, and supernatural revelation, the Gospel (to be understood only by the aid of divine grace). Submission to the divine ruler and benefactor is the first duty of the rational soul. From obedience proceeds every virtue, from over-subtlety and conceit, which is the product of fancied knowledge, comes every sin. Montaigne, like all who know men, has a sharp eye for human frailty. He depicts the universal weakness of human nature and the corruption of his time with great vivacity and not without a certain pleasure in the obscene; and besides folly and passion, complains above all of the fact that so few understand the art of enjoyment, of which he, a true man of the world, was master.
The skeptico-practical standpoint of Montaigne was developed into a system by the Paris preacher, Pierre Charron (1541-1603), in his three books On Wisdom (1601). Doubt has a double object: to keep alive the spirit of inquiry and to lead us on to faith. From the fact that reason and experience are liable to deception and that the mind has at its disposal no means of distinguishing truth from falsehood, it follows that we are born not to possess truth but to seek it. Truth dwells alone in the bosom of God; for us doubt and investigation are the only good amid all the error and tribulation which surround us. Life is all misery. Man is capable of mediocrity alone; he can neither be entirely good nor entirely evil; he is weak in virtue, weak in vice, and the best degenerates in his hands. Even religion suffers from the universal imperfection. It is dependent on nationality and country, and each religion is based on its predecessor; the supernatural origin of which all religions boast belongs in fact to Christianity alone, which is to be accepted with humility and with submission of the reason. Charron lays chief emphasis, however, on the practical side of Christianity, the fulfillment of duty; and the “wisdom” which forms the subject of his book is synonymous with uprightness (probite), the way to which is opened up by self-knowledge and whose reward is repose of spirit. And yet we are not to practice it for the sake of the reward, but because nature and reason, i.e., God, absolutely (entirely apart from the pleasurable results of virtue) require us to be good. True uprightness is more than mere legality, for even when outward action is blameless, the motives may be mixed. “I desire men to be upright without paradise and hell.” Religion seeks to crown morality, not to generate it; virtue is earlier and more natural than piety. In his definition of the relation between religion and ethics, his delimitation of morality from legality, and his insistence on the purity of motives (do right, because the inner rational law commands it), an anticipation of Kantian principles may be recognized.
Under Francis Sanchez (died 1632; his chief work is entitled Quod Nihil Scitur), a Portuguese by birth, and professor of medicine in Montpellier and Toulouse, skepticism was transformed from melancholy contemplation into a fresh, vigorous search after new problems. In the place of book-learning, which disgusts him by its smell of the closet, its continued prating of Aristotle, and its self-exhaustion in useless verbalism, Sanchez desires to substitute a knowledge of things. Perfect knowledge, it is true, can be hoped for only when subject and object correspond to each other. But how is finite man to grasp the infinite universe? Experience, the basis of all knowledge, gropes about the outer surface of things and illumines particulars only, without the ability either to penetrate to their inner nature or to comprehend the whole. We know only what we produce. Thus God knows the world which he has made, but to us is vouchsafed merely an insight into mediate or second causes, causae secundae. Here, however, a rich field still lies open before philosophy—only let her attack her problem with observation and experiment rather than with words.
The French nation, predisposed to skepticism by its prevailing acuteness, has never lacked representatives of skeptical philosophy. The transition from the philosophers of doubt whom we have described to the great Bayle was formed by La Mothe le Vayer (died 1672; Five Dialogues, 1671), the tutor of Louis XIV., and P.D. Huet(ius), Bishop of Avranches (died 1721), who agreed in holding that a recognition of the weakness of the reason is the best preparation for faith.
6. German Mysticism.
In a period which has given birth to a skeptical philosophy, one never looks in vain for the complementary phenomenon of mysticism. The stone offered by doubt in place of bread is incapable of satisfying the impulse after knowledge, and when the intellect grows weary and despairing, the heart starts out in the quest after truth. Then its path leads inward, the mind turns in upon itself, seeks to learn the truth by inner experience and life, by inward feeling and possession, and waits in quietude for divine illumination. The German mysticism of Eckhart (about 1300), which had been continued in Suso and Tauler and had received a practical direction in the Netherlands,—Ruysbroek (about 1350) to Thomas a Kempis (about 1450),—now puts forth new branches and blossoms at the turning point of the centuries.
[Footnote 1: Master Eckhart's Works have been edited by F. Pfeiffer, Leipsic, 1857. The following have written on him: Jos. Bach, Vienna, 1864; Ad. Lasson, Berlin, 1868; the same, in the second part of Ueberweg's Grundriss, last section; Denifle, in the Archiv fuer Litteratur und Kulturgeschichte des Mittelalters. ii. 417 seq.; H. Siebeck, Der Begriff des Gemuts in der deutschen Mystik (Beitraege zur Entstehungsgeschichte der neueren Psychologie, i), Giessen Programme, 1891.]
Luther himself was originally a mystic, with a high appreciation of Tauler and Thomas a Kempis, and published in 1518 that attractive little book by an anonymous Frankfort author, the German Theology. When, later, he fell into literalism, it was the mysticism of German Protestantism which, in opposition to the new orthodoxy, held fast to the original principle of the Reformation, i.e., to the principle that faith is not assent to historical facts, not the acceptance of dogmas, but an inner experience, a renewal of the whole man. Religion and theology must not be confounded. Religion is not doctrine, but a new birth. With Schwenckfeld, and also with Franck, mysticism is still essentially pietism; with Weigel, and by the addition of ideas from Paracelsus, it is transformed into theosophy, and as such reaches its culmination in Boehme.
Caspar Schwenckfeld sought to spiritualize the Lutheran movement and protested against its being made into a pastors' religion. Though he had been aroused by Luther's pioneer feat, he soon saw that the latter had not gone far enough; and in his Letter on the Eucharist, 1527, he defined the points of difference between Luther's view of the Sacrament and his own. Luther, he maintained, had fallen back to an historical view of faith, whereas the faith which saves can never consist in the outward acceptance of an historical fact. He who makes salvation dependent on preaching and the Sacrament, confuses the invisible and the visible Church, Ecclesia interna and externa. The layman is his own priest.
According to Sebastian Franck (1500-45), there are in man, as in everything else, two principles, one divine and one selfish, Christ and Adam, an inner and an outer man; if he submits himself to the former (by a timeless choice), he is spiritual, if to the latter, carnal. God is not the cause of sin, but man, who turns the divine power to good or evil. He who denies himself to live God is a Christian, whether he knows and confesses the Gospel or not. Faith does not consist in assent, but in inner transformation. The historical element in Christianity and its ceremonial observances are only the external form and garb (its “figure"), have merely a symbolic significance as media of communication, as forms of revelation for the eternal truth, proclaimed but not founded by Christ; the Bible is merely the shadow of the living Word of God.
Valentin Weigel (born in 1533, pastor in Zschopau from 1567), whose works were not printed until after his death, combines his predecessors' doctrine of inner and eternal Christianity with the microcosmos-idea of Paracelsus. God, who lacks nothing, has not created the world in order to gain, but in order to give. Man not only bears the earthly world in his body, and the heavenly world of the angels in his reason (his spirit), but by virtue of his intellect (his immortal soul) participates in the divine world also. As he is thus a microcosm and, moreover, an image of God, all his knowledge becomes self-knowledge, both sensuous perception (which is not caused by the object, but only occasioned by it), and the knowledge of God. The literalist knows not God, but he alone who bears God in himself. Man is favored above other beings with the freedom to dwell in himself or in God. When man came out from God, he was his own tempter and made himself proud and selfish. Thus evil, which had before remained hidden, was revealed, and became sin. As the separation from God is an eternal act, so also redemption and resurrection form an inner event. Christ is born in everyone who gives up the I-ness (Ichheit); each regenerate man is a son of God. But no vicarious suffering can save him who does not put off the old Adam, no matter how much an atheology sunk in literalism may comfort itself with the hope that man can “drink at another's cost” (that the merit of another is imputed to him).
[Footnote 1: Weigel is discussed by J.O. Opel, Leipsic, 1864.]
German mysticism reaches its culmination in the Goerlitz cobbler, Jacob Boehme (1575-1624; Aurora, or the Rising Dawn; Mysterium Magnum, or on the First Book of Moses, etc. The works of Boehme, collected by his apostle, Gichtel, appeared in 1682 in ten volumes, and in 1730 in six volumes; a new edition was prepared by Schiebler in 1831-47, with a second edition in 1861 seq.). Boehme's doctrine centers about the problem of the origin of evil. He transfers this to God himself and joins therewith the leading thought of Eckhart, that God goes through a process, that he proceeds from an unrevealed to a revealed condition. At the sight of a tin vessel glistening in the sun, he conceived, as by inspiration, the idea that as the sunlight reveals itself on the dark vessel so all light needs darkness and all good evil in order to appear and to become knowable. Everything becomes perceptible through its opposite alone: gentleness through sternness, love through anger, affirmation through negation. Without evil there would be no life, no movement, no distinctions, no revelation; all would be unqualified, uniform nothingness. And as in nature nothing exists in which good and evil do not reside, so in God, besides power or the good, a contrary exists, without which he would remain unknown to himself. The theogonic process is twofold: self-knowledge on the part of God, and his revelation outward, as eternal nature, in seven moments.
[Footnote 1: Cf. Windelband's fine exposition, Geschichte der neueren Philosophie, vol. i. Sec.19. The following have written on Boehme: Fr. Baader (in vols. iii. and xiii. of his Werke); Hamberger, Munich, 1844: H. A. Fechner, Goerlitz, 1857; A. v. Harless, Berlin, 1870, new edition, Leipsic, 1882.]
At the beginning of the first development God is will without object, eternal quietude and rest, unqualified groundlessness without determinate volition. But in this divine nothingness there soon awakes the hunger after the aught (somewhat, existence), the impulse to apprehend and manifest self, and as God looks into and forms an image of himself, he divides into Father and Son. The Son is the eye with which the Father intuits himself, and the procession of this vision from the groundless is the Holy Ghost. Thus far God, who is one in three, is only understanding or wisdom, wherein the images of all the possible are contained; to the intuition of self must be added divisibility; it is only through the antithesis of the revealed God and the unrevealed groundless that the former becomes an actual trinity (in which the persons stand related as essence, power, and activity), and the latter becomes desire or nature in God.
At the creation of the world seven equally eternal qualities, source-spirits or nature-forms, are distinguished in the divine nature. First comes desire as the contractile, tart quality or pain, from which proceed hardness and heat; next comes mobility as the expansive, sweet quality, as this shows itself in water. As the nature of the first was to bind and the second was fluid, so they both are combined in the bitter quality or the pain of anxiety, the principle of sensibility. (Contraction and expansion are the conditions of perceptibility.) From these three forms fright or lightning suddenly springs forth. This fourth quality is the turning-point at which light flames up from darkness and the love of God breaks forth from out his anger; as the first three, or four, forms constitute the kingdom of wrath, so the latter three constitute the kingdom of joy. The fifth quality is called light or the warm fire of love, and has for its functions external animation and communication; the sixth, report and sound, is the principle of inner animation and intelligence; the seventh, the formative quality, corporeality, comprehends all the preceding in itself as their dwelling.
The dark fire of anger (the hard, sweet, and bitter qualities) and the light fire of love (light, report, and corporeality), separated by the lightning-fire, in which God's wrath is transformed into mercy, stand related as evil and good. The evil in God is not sin, but simply the inciting sting, the principle of movement; which, moreover, is restrained, overcome, transfigured by gentleness. Sin arises only when the creature refuses to take part in the advance from darkness to light, and obstinately remains in the fire of anger instead of forcing his way through to the fire of love. Thus that which was one in God is divided. Lucifer becomes enamored of the tart quality (the centrum naturae or the matrix) and will not grow into the heart of God; and it is only after such lingering behind that the kingdom of wrath become a real hell. Heaven and hell are not future conditions, but are experienced here on earth; he who instead of subduing animality becomes enamored of it, stands under the wrath of God; whereas he who abjures self dwells in the joyous kingdom of mercy. He alone truly believes who himself becomes Christ, who repeats in himself what Christ suffered and attained.
The creation of the material world is a result of Lucifer's fall. Boehme's description of it, based on the Mosaic account of creation, may be passed without notice; similarly his view of cognition, familiar from the earlier mystics, that all knowledge is derived from self-knowledge, that our destination is to comprehend God from ourselves, and the world from God. Man, whose body, spirit, and soul hold in them the earthly, the sidereal, and the heavenly, is at once a microcosm and a “little God.”
Under the intractable form of Boehme's speculations and amid their riotous fancy, no one will fail to recognize their true-hearted sensibility and an unusual depth and vigor of thought. They found acceptance in England and France, and have been revived in later times in the systems of Baader and Schelling.
7. The Foundation of Modern Physics.
In no field has the modern period so completely broken with tradition as in physics. The correctness of the Copernican theory is proved by Kepler's laws of planetary movement, and Galileo's telescopical observations; the scientific theory of motion is created by Galileo's laws of projectiles, falling bodies, and the pendulum; astronomy and mechanics form the entrance to exact physics—Descartes ventures an attempt at a comprehensive mechanical explanation of nature. And thus an entirely new movement is at hand. Forerunners, it is true, had not been lacking. Roger Bacon (1214-94) had already sought to obtain an empirical knowledge of nature based upon mathematics; and the great painter Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) had discovered the principles of mechanics, though without gaining much influence over the work of his contemporaries. It was reserved for the triple star which has been mentioned to overthrow Scholasticism. The conceptions with which the Scholastic-Aristotelian philosophy of nature sought to get at phenomena—substantial forms, properties, qualitative change—are thrown aside; their place is taken by matter, forces working under law, rearrangement of parts. The inquiry into final causes is rejected as an anthropomorphosis of natural events, and deduction from efficient causes is alone accepted as scientific explanation. Size, shape, number, motion, and law are the only and the sufficient principles of explanation. For magnitudes alone are knowable; wherever it is impossible to measure and count, to determine force mathematically, there rigorous, exact science ceases. Nature a system of regularly moved particles of mass; all that takes place mechanical movement, viz., the combination, separation, dislocation, oscillation of bodies and corpuscles; mathematics the organon of natural science! Into this circle of modern scientific categories are articulated, further, Galileo's new conception of motion and the conception of atoms, which, previously employed by physicists, as Daniel Sennert (1619) and others, is now brought into general acceptance by Gassendi, while the four elements are definitively discarded (Lasswitz, Geschichte der Atomistik, 1890). Still another doctrine of Democritus is now revived; an evident symptom of the quantification and mechanical interpretation of natural phenomena being furnished by the doctrine of the subjectivity of sense qualities, in which, although on varying grounds, Kepler, Galileo, Descartes, Gassendi, and Hobbes agree. Descartes and Hobbes will be discussed later. Here we may give a few notes on their fellow laborers in the service of the mechanical science of nature.
[Footnote 1: Cf. chapter vi. in Natorp's work on Descartes' Erkenntnisstheorie, Marburg, 1882, and the same author's Analekten zur Geschichte der Philosophie, in the Philosophische Monatshefte, vol. xviii. 1882, p. 572 seq.]
We begin with John Kepler (1571-1630; chief work, The New Astronomy or Celestial Physics, in Commentaries on the Motions of Mars, 1609). Kepler's merit as an astronomer has long obscured his philosophical importance, although his discovery of the laws of planetary motion was the outcome of endeavors to secure an exact foundation for his theory of the world. The latter is aesthetic in character, centers about the idea of a universal world-harmony, and employs mathematics as an instrument of confirmation. For the fact that this theory satisfies the mind, and, on the whole, corresponds to our empirical impression of the order of nature, is not enough in Kepler's view to guarantee its truth; by exact methods, by means of induction and experiment, a detailed proof from empirical facts must be found for the existence not only of a general harmony, but of definitely fixed proportions. Herewith the philosophical application of mathematics loses that obscure mystical character which had clung to it since the time of Pythagoras, and had strongly manifested itself as late as in Nicolas of Cusa. Mathematical relations constitute the deepest essence of the real and the object of science. Where matter is, there is geometry; the latter is older than the world and as eternal as the divine Spirit; magnitudes are the source of things. True knowledge exists only where quanta are known; the presupposition of the capacity for knowledge is the capacity to count; the spirit cognizes sensuous relations by means of the pure, archetypal, intellectual relations born in it, which, before the advent of sense-impressions, have lain concealed behind the veil of possibility; inclination and aversion between men, their delight in beauty, the pleasant impression of a view, depend upon an unconscious and instinctive perception of proportions. This quantitative view of the world, which, with a consciousness of its novelty as well as of its scope, is opposed to the qualitative view of Aristotle; the opinion that the essence of the human spirit, as well as of the divine, nay, the essence of all things, consists in activity; that, consequently, the soul is always active, being conscious of its own harmony at least in a confused way, even when not conscious of external proportions; further, the doctrine that nature loves simplicity, avoids the superfluous, and is accustomed to accomplish large results with a few principles—these remind one of Leibnitz. At the same time, the law of parsimony and the methodological conclusions concerning true hypotheses and real causes (an hypothesis must not be an artificially constructed set of fictions, forcibly adjusted to reality, but is to trace back phenomena to their real grounds), obedience to which enabled him to deduce a priori from causes the conclusions which Copernicus by fortunate conjecture had gathered inductively from effects—these made our thinker a forerunner of Newton. The physical method of explanation must not be corrupted either by theological conceptions (comets are entirely natural phenomena!) or by anthropomorphic views, which endow nature with spiritual powers.
[Footnote 1: See Sigwart, Kleine Schriften, vol. i. p. 182 seq.; R. Eucken, Beitraege zur Geschichte der neueren Philosophie, p. 54 seq.]
[Footnote 2: Aristotle erred when he considered qualitative distinctions (idem and aliud) ultimate. These are to be traced back to quantitative differences, and the aliud or diversum is to be replaced by plus et minus. There is nothing absolutely light, but only relatively. Since all things are distinguished only by “more or less,” the possibility of mediating members or proportions between them is given.]
Intermediate between Bacon and Descartes, both in the order of time and in the order of fact, and a co-founder of modern philosophy, stands Galileo Galilei (1564-1641). Galileo exhibits all the traits characteristic of modern thinking: the reference from words to things, from memory to perception and thought, from authority to self-ascertained principles, from chance opinion, arbitrary opinion, and the traditional doctrines of the schools, to “knowledge,” that is, to one's own, well grounded, indisputable insight, from the study of human affairs to the study of nature. Study Aristotle, but do not become his slave; instead of yielding yourselves captive to his views, use your own eyes; do not believe that the mind remains unproductive unless it allies itself with the understanding of another; copy nature, not copies merely! He equals Bacon in his high estimation of sensuous experience in contrast to the often illusory conclusions of the reason, and of the value of induction; but he does not conceal from himself the fact that observation is merely the first step in the process of cognition, leaving the chief role for the understanding. This, supplementing the defect of experience—the impossibility of observing all cases—by its a prioriconcept of law and with its inferences overstepping the bounds of experience, first makes induction possible, brings the facts established into connection (their combination under laws is thought, not experience), reduces them to their primary, simple, unchangeable, and necessary causes by abstraction from contingent circumstances, regulates perception, corrects sense-illusions, i. e., the false judgments originating in experience, and decides concerning the reality or fallaciousness of phenomena. Demonstration based on experience, a close union of observation and thought, of fact and Idea (law)—these are the requirements made by Galileo and brilliantly fulfilled in his discoveries; this, the “inductive speculation,” as Duehring terms it, which derives laws of far-reaching importance from inconspicuous facts; this, as Galileo himself recognizes, the distinctive gift of the investigator. Galileo anticipates Descartes in regard to the subjective character of sense qualities and their reduction to quantitative distinctions, while he shares with him the belief in the typical character of mathematics and the mechanical theory of the world. The truth of geometrical propositions and demonstrations is as unconditionally certain for man as for God, only that man learns them by a discursive process, whereas God's intuitive understanding comprehends them with a glance and knows more of them than man. The book of the universe is written in mathematical characters; motion is the fundamental phenomenon in the world of matter; our knowledge reaches as far as phenomena are measurable; the qualitative nature of force, back of its quantitative determinations, remains unknown to us. When Galileo maintains that the Copernican theory is philosophically true and not merely astronomically useful, thus interpreting it as more than a hypothesis, he is guided by the conviction that the simplest explanation is the most probable one, that truth and beauty are one, as in general he concedes a guiding though not a controlling influence in scientific work to the aesthetic demand of the mind for order, harmony, and unity in nature, to correspond to the wisdom of the Creator.
[Footnote 1: Cf. Natorp's essay on Galileo, in vol. xviii. of the Philosophische Monatshefte, 1882.]
[Footnote 1: This doctrine is developed by Galileo in the controversial treatise against Padre Grassi, The Scales (Il Saggiatore, 1623, in the Florence edition of his collected works, 1842 seq., vol. iv. pp. 149-369; cf. Natorp, Descartes' Erkenntnisstheorie, 1882, chap. vi.). In substance, moreover, this doctrine is found, as Heussler remarks, Baco, p. 94, in Bacon himself, in Valerius Terminus (Works, Spedding, vol. iii. pp. 217-252.)]
One of the most noted and influential among the contemporaries, countrymen, and opponents of Descartes, was the priest and natural scientist, Petrus Gassendi, from 1633 Provost of Digne, later for a short period professor of mathematics at Paris. His renewal of Epicureanism, to which he was impelled by temperament, by his reverence for Lucretius, and by the anti-Aristotelian tendency of his thinking, was of far more importance for modern thought than the attempts to revive the ancient systems which have been mentioned above (p. 29). Its superior influence depends on the fact that, in the conception of atoms, it offered exact inquiry a most useful point of attachment. The conflict between the Gassendists and the Cartesians, which at first was a bitter one, centered, as far as physics was concerned, around the value of the atomic hypothesis as contrasted with the corpuscular and vortex theory which Descartes had opposed to it. It soon became apparent, however, that these two thinkers followed along essentially the same lines in the philosophy of nature, sharply as they were opposed in their noetical principles. Descartes' doctrine of body is conceived from an entirely materialistic standpoint, his anthropology, indeed, going further than the principles of his system would allow. Gassendi, on the other hand, recognizes an immaterial, immortal reason, traces the origin of the world, its marvelous arrangement, and the beginning of motion back to God, and, since the Bible so teaches, believes the earth to be at rest,—holding that, for this reason, the decision must be given in favor of Tycho Brahe and against Copernicus, although the hypothesis of the latter affords the simpler and, scientifically, the more probable explanation. Both thinkers rejoice in their agreement with the dogmas of the Church, only that with Descartes it came unsought in the natural progress of his thought, while Gassendi held to it in contradiction to his system. It is the more surprising that Gassendi's works escaped being put upon the Index, a fate which overtook those of Descartes in 1663.
[Footnote 2: Pierre Gassendi, 1592-1655: On the Life and Character of Epicurus, 1647; Notes on the Tenth Book of Diogenes Laertius, with a Survey of the Doctrine of Epicurus, 1649. Works, Lyons, 1658, Florence, 1727. Cf. Lange, History of Materialism, book i. Sec. 3, chap, 1; Natorp, Analekten, Philosophische Monatshefte, vol. xviii. 1882, p. 572 seq.]
As modern thought derives its mechanical temper equally from both these sources, and the natural science of the day has appropriated the corpuscles of Descartes under the name of molecules, as well as the atoms of Gassendi, though not without considerable modification in both conceptions (Lange, vol. i. p. 269), so we find attempts at mediation at an early period. While Pere Mersenne (1588-1648), who was well versed in physics, sought an indecisive middle course between these two philosophers, the English chemist, Robert Boyle, effected a successful synthesis of both. The son of Richard Boyle, Earl of Cork, he was born at Lismore in 1626, lived in literary retirement at Oxford from 1654, and later in Cambridge, and died, 1692, in London, president of the Royal Society. His principal work, The Sceptical Chemist (Works, vol. i. p. 290 seq.), appeared in 1661, the tract, De Ipsa Natura, in 1682. By his introduction of the atomic conception he founded an epoch in chemistry, which, now for the first, was freed from bondage to the ideas of Aristotle and the alchemists. Atomism, however, was for Boyle merely an instrument of method and not a philosophical theory of the world. A sincerely religious man, he regards with disfavor both the atheism of Epicurus and his complete rejection of teleology—the world-machine points to an intelligent Creator and a purpose in creation; motion, to a divine impulse. He defends, on the other hand, the right of free inquiry against the priesthood and the pedantry of the schools, holding that the supernatural must be sharply distinguished from the natural, and mere conjectures concerning insoluble problems from positions susceptible of experimental proof; while, in opposition to submission to authority, he remarks that the current coin of opinion must be estimated, not by the date when and the person by whom it was minted but by the value of the metal alone. Cartesian elements in Boyle are the start from doubt, the derivation of all motion from pressure and impact, and the extension of the mechanical explanation to the organic world. His inquiries relate exclusively to the world of matter so far as it was “completed on the last day but one of creation.” He defends empty space against Descartes and Hobbes. He is the first to apply the mediaeval terms, primary and secondary qualities, to the antithesis between objective properties which really belong to things, and sensuous or subjective qualities present only in the feeling subject.
[Footnote 1: Boyle's Works were published in Latin at Geneva, in 1660, in six volumes, and in 1714 in five; an edition by Birch appeared at London, 1744, in five volumes, second edition, 1772, in six. Cf. Buckle, History of Civilization in England, vol. i. chap. vii. pp. 265-268; Lange, History of Materialism, vol. i. pp. 298-306; vol. ii. p. 351 seq.; Georg Baku, Der Streit ueber den Naturbegriff, Zeitschrift fuer Philosophie, vol. xcviii., 1891, p. 162 seq.]
[Footnote 2: The foundation named after him had for its object to promote by means of lectures the investigation of nature on the basis of atomism, and, at the same time, to free it from the reproach of leading to atheism and to show its harmony with natural religion. Samuel Clarke's work on The Being and Attributes of God, 1705, originated in lectures delivered on this foundation.]
[Footnote 3: Eucken, Geschichte der philosophischen Terminologie, pp. 94, 196.]
8. Philosophy in England to the Middle of the Seventeenth Century.
(a) Bacon's Predecessors.—The darkness which lay over the beginnings of modern English philosophy has been but incompletely dispelled by the meritorious work of Ch. de Remusat (Histoire de la Philosophie en Angleterre depuis Bacon jusqu'a Locke, 2 vols., 1878). The most recent investigations of J. Freudenthal (Beitraege zur Geschichte der Englischen Philosophie, in the Archiv fuer Geschichte der Philosophie, vols. iv. and v., 1891) have brought assistance in a way deserving of thanks, since they lift at important points the veil which concealed Bacon's relations to his predecessors and contemporaries, by describing the scientific tendencies and achievements of Digby and Temple. The following may be taken from his results.
Everard Digby (died 1592; chief work, Theoria Analytica, 1579), instructor in logic in Cambridge from 1573, who was strongly influenced by Reuchlin and who favored an Aristotelian-Alexandrian-Cabalistic eclecticism, was the first to disseminate Neoplatonic ideas in England; and, in spite of the lack of originality in his systematic presentation of theoretical philosophy, aroused the study of this branch in England into new life. His opponent, Sir William Temple  (1553-1626), by his defense and exposition of the doctrine of Ramus (introduced into Great Britain by George Buchanan and his pupil, Andrew Melville), made Cambridge the chief center of Ramism. He was the first who openly opposed Aristotle.
[Footnote 1: Temple was secretary to Philip Sidney, William Davison, and the Earl of Essex, and, from 1619, Provost of Trinity College, Dublin. His maiden work, De Unica P. Rami Methodo, which he published under the pseudonym, Mildapettus 1580, was aimed at Digby's De Duplici Methodo. His chief work, P. Rami Dialectics Libri Dua Scholiis, Illustrati, appeared in 1584.]
Bacon was undoubtedly acquainted with both these writers and took ideas from both. Digby represented the scholastic tendency, which Bacon vehemently opposed, yet without being able completely to break away from it. Temple was one of those who supplied him with weapons for this conflict. Finally, it must be mentioned that many of the English scientists of the time, especially William Gilbert (1540-1603; De Magnete, 1600), physician to Queen Elizabeth, used induction in their work before Bacon advanced his theory of method.
(b) Bacon.—The founder of the empirical philosophy of modern times was Francis Bacon (1561-1626), a contemporary of Shakespeare. Bacon began his political career by sitting in Parliament for many years under Queen Elizabeth, as whose counsel he was charged with the duty of engaging in the prosecution of his patron, the Earl of Essex, and at whose command he prepared a justification of the process. Under James I, he attained the highest offices and honors, being made Keeper of the Great Seal in 1617, Lord Chancellor and Baron Verulam in 1618, and Viscount St. Albans in 1621. In this last year came his fall. He was charged with bribery, and condemned; the king remitted the imprisonment and fine, and for the remainder of his life Bacon devoted himself to science, rejecting every suggestion toward a renewal of his political activity. The moral laxity of the times throws a mitigating light over his fault; but he cannot be aquitted of self-seeking, love of money and of display, and excessive ambition. As Macaulay says in his famous essay, he was neither malignant nor tyrannical, but he lacked warmth of affection and elevation of sentiment; there were many things which he loved more than virtue, and many which he feared more than guilt. He first gained renown as an author by his ethical, economic, and political Essays, after the manner of Montaigne; of these the first ten appeared in 1597, in the third edition (1625) increased to fifty-eight; the Latin translation bears the title Sermones Fideles. His great plan for a “restoration of the sciences” was intended to be carried out in four, or rather, in six parts. But only the first two parts of the Instauratio Magna were developed: the encyclopaedia, or division of all sciences, a chart of the globus intellectualis, on which was depicted what each science had accomplished and what still remained for each to do; and the development of the new method. Bacon published his survey of the circle of the sciences in the English work, the Advancement of Learning, 1605, a much enlarged revision of which, De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum, appeared in Latin in 1623. In 1612 he printed as a contribution to methodology the draft, Cogitata et Visa (written 1607), later recast into the [first book of the] Novum Organum, 1620. This title, Novum Organum, of itself indicates opposition to Aristotle, whose logical treatises had for ages been collected under the title Organon. If in this work Bacon had given no connected exposition of his reforming principles, but merely a series of aphorisms, and this an incomplete one, the remaining parts are still more fragmentary, only prefaces and scattered contributions having been reduced to writing. The third part was to have been formed by a description of the world or natural history, Historia Naturalis, and the last,—introduced by a Scala Intellectus(ladder of knowledge, illustrations of the method by examples), and by Prodromi (preliminary results of his own inquiries),—by natural science, Philosophia Secunda. The best edition of Bacon's works is the London one of Spedding, Ellis &Heath, 1857 seq., 7 vols., 2d ed., 1870; with 7 volumes additional of The Letters and Life of Francis Bacon, including His Occasional Works, and a Commentary, by J. Spedding, 1862-74. Spedding followed this further with a briefer Account of the Life and Times of Francis Bacon, 2 vols., 1878.
[Footnote 1: According to the faculties of the soul, memory, imagination, and understanding, three principal sciences are distinguished; history, poesy, and philosophy. Of the three objects of the latter, “nature strikes the mind with a direct ray, God with a refracted ray, and man himself with a reflected ray.” Theology is natural or revealed. Speculative (theoretical) natural philosophy divides into physics, concerned with material and efficient causes, and metaphysics, whose mission, according to the traditional view, is to inquire into final causes, but in Bacon's own opinion, into formal causes; operative (technical) natural philosophy is mechanics and natural magic. The doctrine concerning man comprises anthropology (including logic and ethics) and politics. This division of Bacon was still retained by D'Alembert in his preliminary discourse to the Encyclopedie.]
[Footnote 2: Cf. on Bacon, K. Fischer, 2d ed., 1875; Chr. Sigwart, in the Preussische Jahrbuecher, 1863 and 1864, and in vol. ii. of his Logik; H. Heussler, Baco und seine geschichtliche Stellung, Breslau, 1889. [Adamson, Encyclopedia Britannica, 9th. ed., vol. iii. pp. 200-222; Fowler, English Philosophers Series, 1881; Nichol, Blackwood's Philosophical Classics, 2 vols., 1888-89.—TR.]] Bacon's merit was threefold: he felt more forcibly and more clearly than previous thinkers the need of a reform in science; he set up a new and grand ideal—unbiased and methodical investigation of nature in order to mastery over nature; and he gave information and directions as to the way in which this goal was to be attained, which, in spite of their incompleteness in detail, went deep into the heart of the subject and laid the foundation for the work of centuries. His faith in the omnipotence of the new method was so strong, that he thought that science for the future could almost dispense with talent. He compares his method to a compass or a ruler, with which the unpractised man is able to draw circles and straight lines better than an expert without these instruments.
[Footnote 1: His detractors are unjust when they apply the criterion of the present method of investigation and find only imperfection in an imperfect beginning.]
All science hitherto, Bacon declares, has been uncertain and unfruitful, and does not advance a step, while the mechanic arts grow daily more perfect; without a firm basis, garrulous, contentious, and lacking in content, it is of no practical value. The seeker after certain knowledge must abandon words for things, and learn the art of forcing nature to answer his questions. The seeker after fruitful knowledge must increase the number of discoveries, and transform them from matters of chance into matters of design. For discovery conditions the power, greatness, and progress of mankind. Man's power is measured by his knowledge, knowledge is power, and nature is conquered by obedience—scientia est potentia; natura parendo vincitur.
Bacon declares three things indispensable for the attainment of this power-giving knowledge: the mind must understand the instruments of knowledge; it must turn to experience, deriving the materials of knowledge from perception; and it must not rise from particular principles to the higher axioms too rapidly, but steadily and gradually through middle axioms. The mind can accomplish nothing when left to itself; but undirected experience alone is also insufficient (experimentation without a plan is groping in the dark), and the senses, moreover, are deceptive and not acute enough for the subtlety of nature—therefore, methodical experimentation alone, not chance observation, is worthy of confidence. Instead of the customary divorce of experience and understanding, a firm alliance, a “lawful marriage,” must be effected between them. The empiricists merely collect, like the ants; the dogmatic metaphysicians spin the web of their ideas out of themselves, like the spiders; but the true philosopher must be like the bee, which by its own power transforms and digests the gathered material.
As the mind, like a dull and uneven mirror, by its own nature distorts the rays of objects, it must first of all be cleaned and polished, that is, it must be freed from all prejudices and false notions, which, deep-rooted by habit, prevent the formation of a true picture of the world. It must root out its prejudices, or, where this is impossible, at least understand them. Doubt is the first step on the way to truth. Of these Phantoms or Idols to be discarded, Bacon distinguishes four classes: Idols of the Theater, of the Market Place, of the Den, and of the Tribe. The most dangerous are the idola theatri, which consist in the tendency to put more trust in authority and tradition than in independent reflection, to adopt current ideas simply because they find general acceptance. Bacon's injunction concerning these is not to be deceived by stage-plays ( i.e., by the teachings of earlier thinkers which represent things other than they are); instead of believing others, observe for thyself! The idola fori, which arise from the use of language in public intercourse, depend upon the confusion of words, which are mere symbols with a conventional value and which are based on the carelessly constructed concepts of the vulgar, with things themselves. Here Bacon warns us to keep close to things. The idola specus are individual prepossessions which interfere with the apprehension of the true state of affairs, such as the excessive tendency of thought toward the resemblances or the differences of things, or the investigator's habit of transferring ideas current in his own department to subjects of a different kind. Such individual weaknesses are numberless, yet they may in part be corrected by comparison with the perceptions of others. The idola tribus, finally, are grounded in the nature of the human species. To this class belong, among others, illusions of the senses, which may in part be corrected by the use of instruments, with which we arm our organs; further, the tendency to hold fast to opinions acceptable to us in spite of contrary instances; similarly, the tendency to anthropomorphic views, including, as its most important special instance, the mistake of thinking that we perceive purposive relations everywhere and the working of final causes, after the analogy of human action, when in reality efficient causes alone are concerned. Here Bacon's injunction runs, not to interpret natural phenomena teleologically, but to explain them from mechanical causes; not to narrow the world down to the limits of the mind, but to extend the mind to the boundaries of the world, so that it shall understand it as it really is.
To these warnings there are added positive rules. When the investigator, after the removal of prejudices and habitual modes of thought, approaches experience with his senses unperverted and a purified mind, he is to advance from the phenomena given to their conditions. First of all, the facts must be established by observation and experiment, and systematically arranged, then let him go on to causes and laws. The true or scientific induction thus inculcated is quite different from the credulous induction of common life or the unmethodical induction of Aristotle. Bacon emphasizes the fact that hitherto the importance of negative instances, which are to be employed as a kind of counter-proof, has been completely overlooked, and that a substitute for complete induction, which is never attainable, may be found, on the one hand, in the collection of as many cases as possible, and, on the other, by considering the more important or decisive cases, the “prerogative instances.” Then the inductive ascent from experiment to axiom is to be followed by a deductive descent from axioms to new experiments and discoveries. Bacon rejects the syllogism on the ground that it fits one to overcome his opponent in disputation, but not to gain an active conquest over nature. In his own application of these principles of method, his procedure was that of a dilettante; the patient, assiduous labor demanded for the successful promotion of the mission of natural investigation was not his forte. His strength lay in the postulation of problems, the stimulation and direction of inquiry, the discovery of lacunae and the throwing out of suggestions; and many ideas incidentally thrown off by him surprise us by their ingenious anticipations of later discoveries. The greatest defect in his theory was his complete failure to recognize the services promised by mathematics to natural science. The charge of utilitarianism, which has been so broadly made, is, on the contrary, unjust. For no matter how strongly he emphasizes the practical value of knowledge, he is still in agreement with those who esteem the godlike condition of calm and cheerful acquaintance with truth more highly than the advantages to be expected from it; he desires science to be used, not as “a courtezan for pleasure,” but “as a spouse for generation, fruit and comfort,” and—leaving entirely out of view his isolated acknowledgments of the inherent value of knowledge—he conceives its utility wholly in the comprehensive and noble sense that the pursuit of science, from which as such all narrow-minded regard for direct practical application must keep aloof, is the most important lever for the advancement of human culture.
[Footnote 1: Bacon illustrates the method by the explanation of heat. The results of experimental observation are to be arranged in three tables. The table of presence contains many different cases in which heat occurs; the table of absence, those in which, under circumstances otherwise the same, it is wanting; the table of degrees or comparison enumerates phenomena whose increase and decrease accompany similar variations in the degree of heat. That which remains after the exclusion now to be undertaken (of that which cannot be the nature or cause of heat), yields as a preliminary result or commencement of interpretation (as a “first vintage"), the definition of heat: “a motion, expansive, restrained, and acting in its strife upon the smaller particles of bodies.”]
[Footnote 2: This goal of Baconian inquiry is by no means coincident with that of exact natural science. Law does not mean to him, as to the physical scientist of to-day, a mathematically formulated statement of the course of events, but the nature of the phenomenon, to be expressed in a definition (E. Koenig, Entwickelung des Causalproblems bis Kant, 1883, pp. 154-156). Bacon combines in a peculiar manner ancient and modern, Platonic and corpuscular fundamental ideas. Rejecting final causes with the atomists, yet handing over material and efficient causes (the latter of which sink with him to the level of mere changing occasional causes) to empirical physics, he assigns to metaphysics, as the true science of nature, the search for the “forms” and properties of things. In this he is guided by the following metaphysical presupposition: Phenomena, however manifold they may be, are at bottom composed of a few elements, namely, permanent properties, the so-called “simple natures,” which form, as it were, the alphabet of nature or the colors on her palette, by the combination of which she produces her varied pictures; e. g., the nature of heat and cold, of a red color, of gravity, and also of age, of death. Now the question to be investigated becomes, What, then, is heat, redness, etc.? The ground essence and law of the natures consist in certain forms, which Bacon conceives in a Platonic way as concepts and substances, but phenomenal ones, and, at the same time, with Democritus, as the grouping or motion of minute material particles. Thus the form of heat is a particular kind of motion, the form of whiteness a determinate arrangement of material particles. Cf. Natge, Ueber F. Bacons Formenlehre, Leipsic, 1891, in which Heussler's view is developed in more detail. [Cf. further, Fowler's Bacon, English Philosophers Series, 1881, chap. iv.—TR.]]
[Footnote 3: The Baconian method is to be called induction, it is true, only in the broad sense. Even before Sigwart, Apelt, Theorie der Induction, 1854, pp. 151, 153, declared that the question it discussed was essentially a method of abstraction. This, however, does not detract from the fame of Bacon as the founder, of the theory of inductive investigation (in later times carefully elaborated by Mill).]
Bacon intended that his reforming principles should accrue to the benefit of practical philosophy also, but gave only aphoristic hints to this end. Everything is impelled by two appetites, of which the one aims at individual welfare, the other at the welfare of the whole of which the thing is a part (bonum suitatis—bonum communionis ). The second is not only the nobler but also the stronger; this holds of the lower creatures as well as of man, who, when not degenerate, prefers the general welfare to his individual interests. Love is the highest of the virtues, and is never, as other human endowments, exposed to the danger of excess; therefore the life of action is of more worth than the life of contemplation. By this principle of morals Bacon marked out the way for the English ethics of later times. He notes the lack of a science of character, for which more material is given in ordinary discourse, in the poets and the historians, than in the works of the philosophers; he explains the power of the affections over the reason by the fact that the idea of present good fills the imagination more forcibly than the idea of good to come, and summons persuasion, habit, and morals to the aid of the latter. We must endeavor so to govern the passions (each of which combines in itself a masculine impetuosity with a feminine weakness) that they shall take the part of the reason instead of attacking it. Elsewhere Bacon gives (not entirely unquestionable) directions concerning the art of making one's way. Acute observations and ingenious remarks everywhere abound. In order to inform one's self of a man's intentions and ends, it is necessary to “keep a good mediocrity in liberty of speech, which invites a similar liberty, and in secrecy, which induces trust.” “In order to get on one must have a little of the fool and not too much of the honest.” “As the baggage is to an army, so is riches to virtue. It cannot be spared nor left behind, but it hindereth the march; yea, and the care of it sometimes loseth or disturbeth the victory" (impedimenta—baggage and hindrance). On envy and malevolence he says: “For men's minds will either feed upon their own good or upon others' evil; ... and whoso is out of hope to attain another's virtue will seek to come at even hand by depressing another's fortune.”
[Footnote 1: Cf. Vorlaender, p. 267 seq.]
In ethics, as in theoretical philosophy, Bacon demands the completion of natural knowledge by revelation. The light of nature (the reason and the conscience) is able only to convince us of sin and not to give us complete information concerning our duty,—e.g., the lofty moral principle, Love your enemies. Similarly, natural theology is quite sufficient to place the existence of God beyond doubt, by reasoning from the order in nature (“slight tastes of philosophy may perchance move one to atheism but fuller draughts lead back to religion"); but the doctrines of Christianity are matters of faith. Religion and science are separate fields, any confusion of which involves the danger of an heretical religion or a fabulous philosophy. The more a principle of faith contradicts the reason, the greater the obedience and the honor to God in accepting it.
(c) Hobbes.—Hobbes stands in sharp contrast to Bacon both in disposition and in doctrine. Bacon was a man of a wide outlook, a rich, stimulating, impulsive nature, filled with great plans, but too mobile and desultory to allow them to ripen to perfection; Hobbes is slow, tenacious, persistent, unyielding, his thought strenuous and narrow. To this corresponds a profound difference in their systems, which is by no means adequately characterized by saying that Hobbes brings into the foreground the mathematical element neglected by his predecessor, and turns his attention chiefly to politics. The dependence of Hobbes on Bacon is, in spite of their personal acquaintance, not so great as formerly was universally assumed. His guiding stars are rather the great mathematicians of the Continent, Kepler and Galileo, while Cartesian influences also are not to be denied. He finds his mission in the construction of a strictly mechanical view of the world. Mechanism applied to the world gives materialism; applied to knowledge, sensationalism of a mathematical type; applied to the will, determinism; to morality and the state, ethical and political naturalism. Nevertheless, the empirical tendency of his nation has a certain power over him; he holds fast to the position that all ideas ultimately spring from experience. With his energetic but short-breathed thinking, he did not succeed in fusing the rationalistic elements received from foreign sources with these native tendencies, so as to produce a unified system. As Grimm has correctly shown (Zur Geschichte des Erkenntnissproblems), there is an unreconciled contradiction between the dependence of thought on experience, which he does not give up, and the universal validity of the truths derived from pure reason, which he asserts on the basis of the mathematico-philosophical doctrines of the Continent. A similar unmediated dualism will meet us in Locke also.
Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) was repelled while a student at Oxford by Scholastic methods in thought, with which he agreed only in their nominalistic results (there are no universals except names). During repeated sojourns in Paris, where he made the acquaintance of Gassendi, Mersenne, and Descartes, he devoted himself to the study of mathematics, and was greatly influenced by the doctrines of Galileo; while the disorders of the English revolution led him to embrace an absolutist theory of the state. His chief works were his politics, under the title Leviathan, 1651, and his Elementa Philosophiae, in three parts (De Corpore, De Homine, De Cive ), of which the third, De Cive, appeared first (in Latin; in briefer form and anonymously, 1642, enlarged 1647), the first, De Corpore, in 1655, and the second, De Homine, in 1658. These had been preceded by two books  written, like the two last parts of the Elements, in English: On Human Nature and De Corpore Politico, composed 1640, printed without the author's consent in 1650. Besides these he wrote two treatises Of Liberty and Necessity, 1646 and 1654, and prepared, 1668, a collected edition of his works (in Latin). In Molesworth's edition, 1839-45, the Latin works occupy five volumes and the English eleven.
[Footnote 1: Or rather one; the treatise On Human Nature consists of the first thirteen chapters of the work, Elements of Law, Natural and Politic, and the De Corpore Politico of the remainder.]
[Footnote 2: Cf. on Hobbes, G.C. Robertson (Blackwood's Philosophical Classics, vol. x.), 1886; Toennies in the Vierteljahrsschrift fuer wissenschaftliche Philosophie, Jahrg. 3-5, 1879-81.]
Philosophy is formally defined by Hobbes as knowledge of effects from causes and causes from effects by means of legitimate rational inference. This implies the equal validity of the deductive and inductive methods,—while Bacon had proclaimed the latter the most important instrument of knowledge,—as well as the exclusion of theology based on revelation from the domain of science. Philosophy is objectively defined as the theory of body and motion: all that exists is body; all that occurs, motion. Everything real is corporeal; this holds of points, lines, and surfaces, which as the limits of body cannot be incorporeal, as well as of the mind and of God. The mind is merely a (for the senses too) refined body, or, as it is stated in another place, a movement in certain parts of the organic body. All events, even internal events, the feelings and passions, are movements of material parts. “Endeavor” is a diminutive motion, as the atom is the smallest of bodies; sensation and representation are changes in the perceiving body. Space is the idea of an existing thing as such, i. e., merely as existing outside the perceiving subject; time, the idea of motion. All phenomena are corporeal motions, which take place with mechanical necessity. Neither formal nor final causes exist, but only efficient causes. All that happens takes its origin in the activity of an external cause, and not in itself; a body at rest (or in motion) remains at rest (or in motion) forever, unless affected by another in a contrary sense. And as bodies and their changes constitute the only objects of philosophy, so the mathematical method is the only correct method.
There are two kinds of bodies: natural bodies, which man finds in nature, and artificial bodies, which he himself produces. By the latter Hobbes refers especially to the state as a human artefact. Man stands between the two as the most perfect natural body and an element in the political body. Philosophy, therefore, besides the introductory philosophia prima, which discusses the underlying concepts, consists of three parts: physics, anthropology, and politics. Even the theory of the state is capable of demonstrative treatment; moral phenomena are as subject to the law of mechanical causation as physical phenomena.
The first factor in the cognitive process is an impression on a sense-organ, which, occasioned by external motion, continues onward to the heart and from this center gives rise to a reaction. The perception or sensation which thus arises is entirely subjective, a function of the knower merely, and in no way a copy of the external movement. The properties light, color, and sound, which we believe to be without us, are merely internal phenomena dependent on outer and inner motions, but with no resemblance to them. Memory consists in the lingering effects or residuary traces of perception; it is a sense or consciousness of having felt before (sentire se sensisse meminisse est), and ideas are distinguished from sensations as the perfect from the present tense. Experience is the totality of perceptions retained in memory, together with a certain foresight of the future after the analogy of the past. These stages of cognition, which can yield prudence but not necessary and universal knowledge, are present in animals as well as men. The human capacity for science is dependent on the faculty of speech; words are conventional signs to facilitate the retention and communication of ideas. As the memory-images denoted by words are weaker, fainter, and less clearly discriminated than the original sensations, it comes to pass that a number of similar ideas of memory receive a common name. Thus abstract general ideas and generic concepts arise, to which nothing real corresponds, for in reality particulars alone exist. The universal is a human artefact. The combination of words into propositions, being an addition or subtraction of arbitrary symbols or marks, is called judgment; the combination of propositions into syllogisms, inference; the united body of true or demonstrated principles, science—hence mathematics is the type of all knowledge. In short, thought is nothing but calculation and the words with which we operate are mere counters; he who takes counters for coin is a fool. Animals lack reason, i.e., this power of combining artificial symbols.
Hobbes's theory of the will is characterized by the same! sensationalism and mechanism as his theory of knowledge. All spiritual events originate in impressions of sense. Man responds to the action of objects by a double reaction, adding to the theoretical reaction of sensation a practical one in the feeling of pleasure or pain (according as the impression furthers or hinders the vital function), whence desire and aversion follow in respect to future experience. Further developments from the feelings experienced at the signs of honor (the acknowledgment of superior power) and the contrary, are the affections of pride, courage, anger, of shame and repentance, of hope and love, of pity, etc. Deliberation is the alternation of different appetites; the final, victorious one which immediately precedes action is called will. Freedom cannot be predicated of the will, but only of the action, and even in this case it means simply the absence of external restraints, the procedure of the action from the will of the agent; while the action is necessary nevertheless. Every motion is the inevitable result of the sum of the preceding (including cerebral) motions.
Things which we desire are termed good, and those which we shun, evil. Nothing is good per se or absolutely, but only relatively, for a given person, place, time, or set of circumstances. Different things are good to different men, and there is no objective, universal rule of good and evil, so long as men are considered as individuals, apart from society. A definite criterion of the good is first reached in the state: that is right which the law permits, that wrong which it forbids; good means that which is conducive to the general welfare. In the state of nature nothing is forbidden; nature gives every man a right to everything, and right is coextensive with might. What, then, induces man to abandon the state of nature and enter the state of citizenship? The opinion of Aristotle and Grotius that the state originates in the social impulse is false; for man is essentially not social, but selfish, and nothing but regard for his own interests bids him seek the protection of the state; the civil commonwealth is an artificial product of fear and prudence. The highest good is self-preservation; all other goods, as friendship, riches, wisdom, knowledge, and, above all, power, are valuable only as instruments of the former. The precondition of well-being, for which each man strives by nature, is security for life and health. This is wanting in the state of nature, in which the passions govern; for the state of nature is a state of war of everyone against everyone (bellum omnium contra omnes). Each man strives for success and power, and, since he cannot trust his fellow, seeks to subdue, nay, to kill him; each looks upon his fellow as a wolf which he prefers to devour rather than submit himself to the like operation. Now, as no one is so weak as to be incapable of inflicting on his fellows that worst of evils, death, and thus the strongest is unsafe, reason, in the interest of everyone, enjoins a search after peace and the establishment of an ordered community. The conditions of peace are the “laws of nature,” which relate both to politics and to morals but which do not attain their full binding authority until they become positive laws, injunctions of the sovereign power. Peace is attainable only when each man, in return for the protection vouchsafed to him, gives up his natural right to all. The compact by which each renounces his natural liberty to do what he pleases, provided all others are ready for the same renunciation,—to which are added, further, the laws of justice (sanctity of covenants), equity, gratitude, modesty, sociability, mercifulness, etc., whose opposites would bring back the state of nature,—this compact is secured against violation by the transfer of the general power and freedom to a single will (the will of an assembly or of an individual person), which then represents the general will. The civil contract includes, then, two moments: first, renunciation; second, irrevocable transference and (absolute) submission. The second unites the multitude into a civil personality, the most perfect unity being vouchsafed by absolute monarchy. The sovereign is the soul of the political body; the officials, its limbs; reward and punishment, its nerves; law and equity, its reason.
The social contract theory has often experienced democratic interpretation and application, both before and since Hobbes's time; and, in fact, it does not include per se the irrevocability of the transfer, the absoluteness of the sovereign power, and the monarchical head, which Hobbes considered indispensable in order to guard against the danger of anarchy. In every abridgment of the supreme power, whether by division or limitation, he sees a step toward the renewal of the state of nature; and he defends with iron rigor the omnipotence of the state and the complete lack of legal status on the part of all individuals in contrast with it. The citizen is not to obey his own conscience, which has simply the value of a private opinion, but the laws, as the public conscience; while the supreme ruler, on the contrary, is superior to the civil laws, for it is he that decrees, interprets, alters, and abrogates them. He is lord over the property, the life, and the death of the citizens, and can do no one wrong. For he alone has retained his original natural right to all, which the rest have entirely and forever renounced. He must have regard, indeed, to the welfare of the people, but he is accountable to God alone. The obligation of the subject to obey is extinguished in one case only,—when the civil power is incapable of providing him further with external and internal protection. For the rest, Hobbes declares the existing public order the lawful one, the evils of arbitrary rule much more tolerable than the universal hostility of the state of nature, and aversion to tyrants a disease inherited from the republicans of antiquity.
The sovereign, by the laws and by instruction, determines what is good and evil; he determines also what is to be believed. Religion unsanctioned by the state is superstition. The temporal ruler is also the spiritual ruler, the king, the chief pastor, and the clergy his servants. One and the same community is termed state in so far as it consists of men, and church in so far as it consists of Christian men (the ecclesiastical commonwealth). The dogmas which the law prescribes are to be received without investigation, to be swallowed like pills, without mastication.
The principle that every passion and every action is in its nature indifferent, that right and wrong exist only in the state, that the will of a despot is to determine what is moral and what immoral, has given just offense. Moreover, this was not, in fact, Hobbes's deepest conviction. Even without ascribing great importance to isolated statements, it must be admitted that his doctrine was interpreted more narrowly than it was intended. He does not say that no moral distinctions whatever exist before the foundation of the state, but only that the state first supplies a fixed criterion of the good. Moral ideas have a certain currency before this, but they lack power to enforce themselves. Further, when he ascribes the origin of the state to self-interest, this does not mean that reason, conscience, generosity, and love for our fellows are entirely wanting in the state of nature, but only that they are not general enough, and, as against the passions, not strong enough to furnish a foundation for the edifice of the state. Not only exaggeration in statement but also uncouthness of thought may be forgiven the representative of a movement which is at once new and strengthened by the consciousness of agreement with a naturalistic theory of knowledge and physics; and the vigor of execution compels admiration, even though many obscurities remain to be deplored (e. g., the relation of the two moral standards, the standard of the reason or natural law and the standard of positive law). And recognition must be accorded to the significant kernel of doctrine formed, on the one hand, by the endeavor to separate ethics from theology, and on the other, by the thoughts—which, it is true, were not perfectly brought out—that the moral is not founded on a natural social impulse, but on a law of the reason, and first gains a definite criterion in society, and that the interests of the individual are inseparably connected with those of the community. In any case, the attempt to form a naturalistic theory of the state would be an undertaking deserving of thanks, even if the promulgation of this theory had done no further service than to challenge refutation.
[Footnote 1: God inscribed the divine or natural law (Do not that to another, etc.) on the heart of man, when he gave him the reason to rule his actions. The laws of nature are, it is true, not always legally binding (in foro externo), but always and everywhere binding on the conscience (in foro interno). Justice is the virtue which we can measure by civil laws; love, that which we measure by the law of nature merely. The ruler ought to govern in accordance with the law of nature.]
(d) Lord Herbert of Cherbury.—Between Bacon (1605, 1620) and Hobbes (1642, 1651) stands Lord Herbert of Cherbury (1581-1648), who, by his work De Veritate (1624), became the founder of deism, that theory of “natural religion,” which, in opposition to the historical dogmatic faith of the Church theology, takes the reason, which is the same in all men, as its basis and morality for its content. Lord Herbert introduces his philosophy of religion by a theory of knowledge which makes universal consent the highest criterion of truth (summa veritatis norma consensus universalis), and bases knowledge on certain self-evident principles (principia), common to all men in virtue of a natural instinct, which gives safe guidance. These common notions (notitiae communes) precede all reflective inquiry, as well as all observation and experience, which would be impossible without them. The most important among them are the religious and ethical maxims of conscience.
[Footnote 1: Tractatus de Veritate prout distinguitur a Revelatione, a Verisimili, a Possibile, et a False. Also, De Religione Gentilium, 1645, complete 1663.]
This natural instinct is both an impulse toward truth and a capacity for good or impulse to self-preservation. The latter extends not only to the individual but to all things with which the individual is connected, to the species, nay, to all the rest of the world, and its final goal is eternal happiness: all natural capacities are directed toward the highest good or toward God. The sense for the divine may indeed be lulled to sleep or led astray by our free will, but not eradicated. To be rational and to be religious are inseparable; it is religion that distinguishes man from the brute, and no people can be found in which it is lacking. If atheists really exist, they are to be classed with the irrational and the insane.
The content of natural religion may be summed up in the following five articles, which all nations confess: 1. That there is a Supreme Being (numen supremum). 2. That he ought to be worshiped. 3. That virtue and piety are the chief elements of worship. 4. That man ought to repent of his sins. 5. That there are rewards and punishments in a future life. Besides these general principles, on the discovery of which Lord Herbert greatly prides himself, the positive religions contain arbitrary additions, which distinguish them from one another and which owe their origin, for the most part, to priestly deception, although the rhapsodies of the poets and the inventions of the philosophers have contributed their share. The essential principles of natural religion (God, virtue, faith, hope, love, and repentance) come more clearly to light in Christianity than in the religions of heathendom, where they are overgrown with myths and ceremonies.
The Religio Medici (1642) of Sir Thomas Browne shows similar tendencies.
9. Preliminary Survey.
In the line of development from the speculations of Nicolas of Cusa to the establishment of the English philosophy of nature, of religion, and of the state by Bacon, Herbert, and Hobbes, and to the physics of Galileo, modern ideas have manifested themselves with increasing clearness and freedom. Hobbes himself shows thus early the influence of Descartes's decisive step, with which the twilight gives place to the brightness of the morning. In Descartes the empiricism and sensationalism of the English is confronted by rationalism, to which the great thinkers of the Continent continue loyal. In Britain, experience, on the Continent the reason is declared to be the source of cognition; in the former, the point of departure is found in particular impressions of sense, on the latter, in general concepts and principles of the understanding; there the method of observation is inculcated and followed, here, the method of deduction. This antithesis remained decisive in the development of philosophy down to Kant, so that it has long been customary to distinguish two lines or schools, the Empirical and the Rationalistic, whose parallelism may be exhibited in the following table (when only one date is given it indicates the appearance of the philosopher's chief work):
Bacon, 1620. (Nicolas, 1450; Bruno, 1584).
Hobbes, 1651. Descartes, died 1650.
Locke, 1690 (1632-1704). Spinoza, (1632-) 1677.
Berkeley, 1710. Leibnitz, 1710.
Hume, 1748. Wolff, died 1754.
We must not forget, indeed, the lively interchange of ideas between the schools (especially the influence of Descartes on Hobbes, and of the latter on Spinoza; further, of Descartes on Locke, and of the latter on Leibnitz) which led to reciprocal approximation and enrichment. Berkeley and Leibnitz, from opposite presuppositions, arrive at the same idealistic conclusion—there is no real world of matter, but only spirits and ideas exist. Hume and Wolff conclude the two lines of development: under the former, empiricism disintegrates into skepticism; under the latter, rationalism stiffens into a scholastic dogmatism, soon to run out into a popular eclecticism of common sense.
If we compare the mental characteristics of the three great nations which, in the period between Descartes and Kant, participated most productively in the work of philosophy,—the Italians, with their receptive temperament and so active in many fields, exerted a decisive influence on its development and progress in the transition period alone,—it will be seen that the Frenchman tends chiefly to acuteness, the Englishman to clearness and simplicity, the German to profundity of thought. France is the land of mathematical, England of practical, Germany of speculative thinkers; the first is the home of the skeptics, though of the enthusiasts as well; the second, of the realists; the third, of the idealists.
The English philosopher resembles a geographer who, with conscientious care, outlines a map of the region through which he journeys; the Frenchman, an anatomist who, with steady stroke, lays bare the nerves and muscles of the organism; the German, a mountaineer who loses in clear vision of particular objects as much as he gains in loftiness of position and extent of view. The Englishman describes the given reality, the Frenchman analyses it, the German transfigures it.
The English thinker keeps as close as possible to phenomena, and the principles which he uses in the explanation of phenomena themselves lie in the realm of concrete experience. He explains one phenomenon by another; he classifies and arranges the given material without analyzing it; he keeps constantly in touch with the popular consciousness. His reverence for reality, as this presents itself to him, and his distrust of far-reaching abstraction, are so strong that it is enough for him to take his bearings from the real, and to give a true reproduction of it, while he willingly renounces the ambition to form it anew in concepts. With this respect for concrete reality he combines a similar reverence for ethical postulates. When the development of a given line of thought threatens to bring him into conflict with practical life, he is honest enough to draw the conclusions which follow from his premises and to give them expression, but he avoids the collision by a simple compromise, shutting up the refinements of philosophy in the study and yielding in practice to the guidance of natural instinct and conscience. His support, therefore, of theories which contradict current views in morals is free from the levity in which the Frenchman indulges. Life and thought are separate fields, contradictions between them are borne in patience, and if science draws its material from life it shows itself grateful for the favor by giving life the benefit of the useful outcome of its labors, and, at the same time, shielding it from the revolutionary or disintegrating effect of its doubtful paradoxes.
While the deliberate craft of English philosophy does not willingly lose sight of the shores of the concrete world, French thought sails boldly and confidently out into the open sea of abstraction. It is not strange that it finds the way to the principles more rapidly than the way back to phenomena. A free road, a fresh start, a straight course—such is the motto of French thinking. Whatever is inconsistent with rectilinearity is ignored, or opposed as unfitting. The line drawn by Descartes through the world between matter and spirit, and that by Rousseau between nature and culture, are distinctive of the philosophical character of their countrymen. Dualism is to them entirely congenial; it satisfies their need for clearness, and with this they are content. Antithesis is in the Frenchman's blood; he thinks in it and speaks in it, in the salon or on the platform, in witty jest or in scientific earnestness of thought. Either A or not-A, and there is no middle ground. This habit of precision and sharp analysis facilitates the formation of closed parties, whereas each individual German, in philosophy as in politics, forms a party of his own. The demand for the removal of the rubbish of existing systems and the sanguine return to the sources, give French philosophy an unhistorical, radical, and revolutionary character. Minds of the second order, who are incapable of taking by themselves the step from that which is given to the sources, prove their radicalism by following down to the roots that which others have begun (so Condillac and the sensationalism of Locke). Moreover, philosophical principles are to be translated into action; the thinker has shown himself the doctrinaire in his destructive analysis of that which is given, so, also, he hopes to play the dictator by overturning existing institutions and establishing a new order of things,—only his courageous endeavor flags as soon in the region of practice as in that of theory.
The German lacks the happy faculty, which distinguishes the two nations just discussed, of isolating a problem near at hand, and he is accustomed to begin his system with Leda's egg; but, by way of compensation, he combines the lofty flight of the French with the phlegmatic endurance of the English, i.e., he seeks his principles far above experience, but, instead of stopping with the establishment of points of view or when he has set the note, he carries his principles through in detail with loving industry and comprehensive architectonic skill. While common sense turns the scale with the English and analytical thought with the French, the German allows the fancy and the heart to take an important part in the discussion, though in such a way that the several faculties work together and in harmony. While in France rationalism, mysticism, and the philosophy of the heart were divided among different thinkers (Descartes, Malebranche and Pascal, Rousseau), there is in every German philosopher something of all three. The skeptical Kant provides a refuge for the postulates of thought in the sanctuary of faith; the earnest, energetic Fichte, toward the end of his life, takes his place among the mystics; Schelling thinks with the fancy and dreams with the understanding; and under the broad cloak of the Hegelian dialectic method, beside the reflection of the Critique of Reason and of the Science of Knowledge, the fancies of the Philosophy of Nature, the deep inwardness of Boehme, even the whole wealth of empirical fact, found a place. As synthesis is predominant in his view of things, so a harmonizing, conciliatory tendency asserts itself in his relations to his predecessors: the results of previous philosophers are neither discarded out of hand nor accepted in the mass, but all that appears in any way useful or akin to the new system is wrought in at its proper place, though often with considerable transformation. In this work of mediation there is considerable loss in definiteness, the just and comprehensive consideration of the most diverse interests not always making good the loss. And since such a philosophy, as we have already shown, engages the whole man, its disciple has neither impulse nor strength left for reforming labors; while, on the other hand, he perceives no external call to undertake them, since he views the world through the glasses of his system. Thus philosophy in Germany, pursued chiefly by specialists, remains a professional affair, and has not exercised a direct transforming influence on life (for Fichte, who helped to philosophize the French out of Germany, was an exception); but its influence has been the greater in the special sciences, which in Germany more than any other land are handled in a philosophic spirit.
The mental characteristics of these nations are reflected also in their methods of presentation. The style of the English philosopher is sober, comprehensible, diffuse, and slightly wearisome. The French use a fluent, elegant, lucid style which entertains and dazzles by its epigrammatic phrases, in which not infrequently the epigram rules the thought. The German expresses his solid, thoughtful positions in a form which is at once ponderous and not easily understood; each writer constructs his own terminology, with a liberal admixture of foreign expressions, and the length of his paragraphs is exceeded only by the thickness of his books. These national distinctions may be traced even in externals. The Englishman makes his divisions as they present themselves at first thought, and rather from a practical than from a logical point of view. The analytic Frenchman prefers dichotomy, while trichotomy corresponds to the synthetic, systematic character of German thinking; and Kant's naive delight, because in each class the third category unites its two predecessors, has been often experienced by many of his countrymen at the sight of their own trichotomies.
The division of labor in the pre-Kantian philosophy among these three nationalities entirely agrees with the account given of the peculiarities of their philosophical endowment. The beginning falls to the share of France; Locke receives that tangled skein, the problem of knowledge, from the hand of Descartes, and passes it on to Leibnitz; and while the Illumination in all three countries is converting the gold inherited from Locke and Leibnitz into small coin, the solution of the riddle rings out from Koenigsberg.