In no other department is a thorough knowledge of history so important as in philosophy. Like historical science in general, philosophy is, on the one hand, in touch with exact inquiry, while, on the other, it has a certain relationship with art. With the former it has in common its methodical procedure and its cognitive aim; with the latter, its intuitive character and the endeavor to compass the whole of reality with a glance. Metaphysical principles are less easily verified from experience than physical hypotheses, but also less easily refuted. Systems of philosophy, therefore, are not so dependent on our progressive knowledge of facts as the theories of natural science, and change less quickly; notwithstanding their mutual conflicts, and in spite of the talk about discarded standpoints, they possess in a measure the permanence of classical works of art, they retain for all time a certain relative validity. The thought of Plato, of Aristotle, and of the heroes of modern philosophy is ever proving anew its fructifying power. Nowhere do we find such instructive errors as in the sphere of philosophy; nowhere is the new so essentially a completion and development of the old, even though it deem itself the whole and assume a hostile attitude toward its predecessors; nowhere is the inquiry so much more important than the final result; nowhere the categories “true and false” so inadequate. The spirit of the time and the spirit of the people, the individuality of the thinker, disposition, will, fancy—all these exert a far stronger influence on the development of philosophy, both by way of promotion and by way of hindrance, than in any other department of thought. If a system gives classical expression to the thought of an epoch, a nation, or a great personality; if it seeks to attack the world-riddle from a new direction, or brings us nearer its solution by important original conceptions, by a subtler or a simpler comprehension of the problem, by a wider outlook or a deeper insight; it has accomplished more than it could have done by bringing forward a number of indisputably correct principles. The variations in philosophy, which, on the assumption of the unity of truth, are a rock of offense to many minds, may be explained, on the one hand, by the combination of complex variety and limitation in the motives which govern philosophical thought,—for it is the whole man that philosophizes, not his understanding merely,—and, on the other, by the inexhaustible extent of the field of philosophy. Back of the logical labor of proof and inference stand, as inciting, guiding, and hindering agents, psychical and historical forces, which are themselves in large measure alogical, though stronger than all logic; while just before stretches away the immeasurable domain of reality, at once inviting and resisting conquest. The grave contradictions, so numerous in both the subjective and the objective fields, make unanimity impossible concerning ultimate problems; in fact, they render it difficult for the individual thinker to combine his convictions into a self-consistent system. Each philosopher sees limited sections of the world only, and these through his own eyes; every system is one-sided. Yet it is this multiplicity and variety of systems alone which makes the aim of philosophy practicable as it endeavors to give a complete picture of the soul and of the universe. The history of philosophy is the philosophy of humanity, that great individual, which, with more extended vision than the instruments through which it works, is able to entertain opposing principles, and which, reconciling old contradictions as it discovers new ones, approaches by a necessary and certain growth the knowledge of the one all-embracing truth, which is rich and varied beyond our conception. In order to energetic labor in the further progress of philosophy, it is necessary to imagine that the goddess of truth is about to lift the veil which has for centuries concealed her. The historian of philosophy, on the contrary, looks on each new system as a stone, which, when shaped and fitted into its place, will help to raise higher the pyramid of knowledge. Hegel's doctrine of the necessity and motive force of contradictories, of the relative justification of standpoints, and the systematic development of speculation, has great and permanent value as a general point of view. It needs only to be guarded from narrow scholastic application to become a safe canon for the historical treatment of philosophy.
In speaking above of the worth of the philosophical doctrines of the past as defying time, and as comparable to the standard character of finished works of art, the special reference was to those elements in speculation which proceed less from abstract thinking than from the fancy, the heart, and the character of the individual, and even more directly from the disposition of the people; and which to a certain degree may be divorced from logical reasoning and the scientific treatment of particular questions. These may be summed up under the phrase, views of the world. The necessity for constant reconsideration of them is from this standpoint at once evident. The Greek view of the world is as classic as the plastic art of Phidias and the epic of Homer; the Christian, as eternally valid as the architecture of the Middle Ages; the modern, as irrefutable as Goethe's poetry and the music of Beethoven. The views of the world which proceed from the spirits of different ages, as products of the general development of culture, are not so much thoughts as rhythms in thinking, not theories but modes of intuition saturated with feelings of worth. We may dispute about them, it is true; we may argue against them or in their defense; but they can neither be established nor overthrown by cogent proofs. It is not only optimism and pessimism, determinism and indeterminism, that have their ultimate roots in the affective side of our nature, but pantheism and individualism, also idealism and materialism, even rationalism and sensationalism. Even though they operate with the instruments of thought, they remain in the last analysis matters of faith, of feeling, and of resolution. The aesthetic view of the world held by the Greeks, the transcendental-religious view of Christianity, the intellectual view of Leibnitz and Hegel, the panthelistic views of Fichte I and Schopenhauer are vital forces, not doctrines, postulates, not results of thought. One view of the world is forced to yield its pre-eminence to another, which it has itself helped to produce by its own one-sidedness; only to reconquer its opponent later, when it has learned from her, when it has been purified, corrected, and deepened by the struggle. But the elder contestant is no more confuted by the younger than the drama of Sophocles by the drama of Shakespeare, than youth by age or spring by autumn.
If it is thus indubitable that the views of the world held in earlier times deserve to live on in the memory of man, and to live as something better than mere reminders of the past—the history of philosophy is not a cabinet of antiquities, but a museum of typical products of the mind—the value and interest of the historical study of the past in relation to the exact scientific side of philosophical inquiry is not less evident. In every science it is useful to trace the origin and growth of problems and theories, and doubly so in philosophy. With her it is by no means the universal rule that progress shows itself by the result; the statement of the question is often more important than the answer. The problem is more sharply defined in a given direction; or it becomes more comprehensive, is analyzed and refined; or if now it threatens to break up into subtle details, some genius appears to simplify it and force our thoughts back to the fundamental question. This advance in problems, which happily is everywhere manifested by unmistakable signs, is, in the case of many of the questions which irresistibly force themselves upon the human heart, the only certain gain from centuries of endeavor. The labor here is of more value than the result.
In treating the history of philosophy, two extremes must be avoided, lawless individualism and abstract logical formalism. The history of philosophy is neither a disconnected succession of arbitrary individual opinions and clever guesses, nor a mechanically developed series of typical standpoints and problems, which imply one another in just the form and order historically assumed. The former supposition does violence to the regularity of philosophical development, the latter to its vitality. In the one case, the connection is conceived too loosely, in the other, too rigidly and simply. One view underestimates the power of the logical Idea, the other overestimates it. It is not easy to support the principle that chance rules the destiny of philosophy, but it is more difficult to avoid the opposite conviction of the one-sidedness of formalistic construction, and to define the nature and limits of philosophical necessity. The development of philosophy is, perhaps, one chief aim of the world-process, but it is certainly not the only one; it is a part of the universal aim, and it is not surprising that the instruments of its realization do not work exclusively in its behalf, that their activity brings about results, which seem unessential for philosophical ends or obstacles in their way. Philosophical ideas do not think themselves, but are thought by living spirits, which are something other and better than mere thought machines—by spirits who live these thoughts, who fill them with personal warmth and passionately defend them. There is often reason, no doubt, for the complaint that the personality which has undertaken to develop some great idea is inadequate to the task, that it carries its subjective defects into the matter in hand, that it does too much or too little, or the right thing in the wrong way, so that the spirit of philosophy seems to have erred in the choice and the preparation of its instrument. But the reverse side of the picture must also be taken into account. The thinking spirit is more limited, it is true, than were desirable for the perfect execution of a definite logical task; but, on the other hand, it is far too rich as well. A soulless play of concepts would certainly not help the cause, and there is no disadvantage in the failure of the history of philosophy to proceed so directly and so scholastically, as, for instance, in the system of Hegel. A graded series of interconnected general forces mediate between the logical Idea and the individual thinker—the spirit of the people, of the age, of the thinker's vocation, of his time of life, which are felt by the individual as part of himself and whose impulses he unconsciously obeys. In this way the modifying, furthering, hindering correlation of higher and lower, of the ruler with his commands and the servant with his more or less willing obedience, is twice repeated, the situation being complicated further by the fact that the subject affected by these historical forces himself helps to make history. The most important factor in philosophical progress is, of course, the state of inquiry at the time, the achievements of the thinkers of the immediately preceding age; and in this relation of a philosopher to his predecessors, again, a distinction must be made between a logical and a psychological element. The successor often commences his support, his development, or his refutation at a point quite unwelcome to the constructive historian. At all events, if we may judge from the experience of the past, too much caution cannot be exercised in setting up formal laws for the development of thought. According to the law of contradiction and reconciliation, a Schopenhauer must have followed directly after Leibnitz, to oppose his pessimistic ethelism to the optimistic intellectualism of the latter; when, in turn, a Schleiermacher, to give an harmonic resolution of the antithesis into a concrete doctrine of feeling, would have made a fine third. But it turned out otherwise, and we must be content.
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The estimate of the value of the history of philosophy in general, given at the start, is the more true of the history of modern philosophy, since the movement introduced by the latter still goes on unfinished. We are still at work on the problems which were brought forward by Descartes, Locke, and Leibnitz, and which Kant gathered up into the critical or transcendental question. The present continues to be governed by the ideal of culture which Bacon proposed and Fichte exalted to a higher level; we all live under the unweakened spell of that view of the world which was developed in hostile opposition to Scholasticism, and through the enduring influence of those mighty geographical and scientific discoveries and religious reforms which marked the entrance of the modern period. It is true, indeed, that the transition brought about by Kant's noetical and ethical revolution was of great significance,—more significant even than the Socratic period, with which we are fond of comparing it; much that was new was woven on, much of the old, weakened, broken, destroyed. And yet, if we take into account the historical after-influence of Cartesianism, we shall find that the thread was only knotted and twisted by Kantianism, not cut through. The continued power of the pre-Kantian modes of thought is shown by the fact that Spinoza has been revived in Fichte and Schelling, Leibnitz in Herbart and Hegel, the sensationalism of the French Illuminati in Feuerbach; and that even materialism, which had been struck down by the criticism of the reason (one would have thought forever), has again raised its head. Even that most narrow tendency of the early philosophy of the modern period, the apotheosis of cognition is,—in spite of the moralistic counter-movement of Kant and Fichte,—the controlling motive in the last of the great idealistic systems, while it also continues to exercise a marvelously powerful influence on the convictions of our Hegel-weary age, alike within the sphere of philosophy and (still more) without it. In view of the intimate relations between contemporary inquiry and the progress of thought since the beginning of the modern period, acquaintance with the latter, which it is the aim of this History to facilitate, becomes a pressing duty. To study the history of philosophy since Descartes is to study the pre-conditions of contemporary philosophy.
We begin with an outline sketch of the general characteristics of modern philosophy. These may be most conveniently described by comparing them with the characteristics of ancient and of mediaeval philosophy. The character of ancient philosophy or Greek philosophy,—for they are practically the same,—is predominantly aesthetic. The Greek holds beauty and truth closely akin and inseparable; “cosmos” is his common expression for the world and for ornament. The universe is for him a harmony, an organism, a work of art, before which he stands in admiration and reverential awe. In quiet contemplation, as with the eye of a connoisseur, he looks upon the world or the individual object as a well-ordered whole, more disposed to enjoy the congruity of its parts than to study out its ultimate elements. He prefers contemplation to analysis, his thought is plastic, not anatomical. He finds the nature of the object in its form; and ends give him the key to the comprehension of events. Discovering human elements everywhere, he is always ready with judgments of worth—the stars move in circles because circular motion is the most perfect; the right is better than left, upper finer than lower, that which precedes more beautiful than that which follows. Thinkers in whom this aesthetic reverence is weaker than the analytic impulse—especially Democritus—seem half modern rather than Greek. By the side of the Greek philosophy, in its sacred festal garb, stands the modern in secular workday dress, in the laborer's blouse, with the merciless chisel of analysis in its hand. This does not seek beauty, but only the naked truth, no matter what it be. It holds it impossible to satisfy at once the understanding and taste; nay, nakedness, ugliness, and offensiveness seem to it to testify for, rather than against, the genuineness of truth. In its anxiety not to read human elements into nature, it goes so far as completely to read spirit out of nature. The world is not a living whole, but a machine; not a work of art which is to be viewed in its totality and enjoyed with reverence, but a clock-movement to be taken apart in order to be understood. Nowhere are there ends in the world, but everywhere mechanical causes. The character of modern thought would appear to a Greek returned to earth very sober, unsplendid, undevout, and intrusive. And, in fact, modern philosophy has a considerable amount of prose about it, is not easily impressed, accepts no limitations from feeling, and holds nothing too sacred to be attacked with the weapon of analytic thought. And yet it combines penetration with intrusiveness; acuteness, coolness, and logical courage with its soberness. Never before has the demand for unprejudiced thought and certain knowledge been made with equal earnestness. This interest in knowledge for its own sake developed so suddenly and with such strength that, in presumptuous gladness, men believed that no previous age had rightly understood what truth and love for truth are. The natural consequence was a general overestimation of cognition at the expense of all other mental activities. Even among the Greek thinkers, thought was held by the majority to be the noblest and most divine function. But their intellectualism was checked by the aesthetic and eudaemonistic element, and preserved from the one-sidedness which it manifests in the modern period, because of the lack of an effective counterpoise. However eloquently Bacon commends the advantages to be derived from the conquest of nature, he still understands inquiry for inquiry's sake, and honors it as supreme; even the ethelistic philosophers, Fichte and Schopenhauer, pay their tribute to the prejudice in favor of intellectualism. The fact that the modern period can show no one philosophic writer of the literary rank of Plato, even though it includes such masters of style as Fichte, Schelling, Schopenhauer, and Lotze, not to speak of lesser names, is an external proof of how noticeably the aesthetic impulse has given way to one purely intellectual.
When we turn to the character of mediaeval thinking; we find, instead of the aesthetic views of antiquity and the purely scientific tendency of the modern era, a distinctively religious spirit. Faith prescribes the objects and the limitations of knowledge; everything is referred to the hereafter, thought becomes prayer. Men speculate concerning the attributes of God, on the number and rank of the angels, on the immortality of man—all purely transcendental subjects. Side by side with these, it is true, the world receives loving attention, but always as the lower story merely, above which, with its own laws, rises the true fatherland, the kingdom of grace. The most subtle acuteness is employed in the service of dogma, with the task of fathoming the how and why of things whose existence is certified elsewhere. The result is a formalism in thought side by side with profound and fervent mysticism. Doubt and trust are strangely intermingled, and a feeling of expectation stirs all hearts. On the one side stands sinful, erring man, who, try as hard as he may, only half unravels the mysteries of revealed truth; on the other, the God of grace, who, after our death, will reveal himself to us as clearly as Adam knew him before the fall. God alone, however, can comprehend himself—for the finite spirit, even truth unveiled is mystery, and ecstasy, unresisting devotion to the incomprehensible, the culmination of knowledge. In mediaeval philosophy the subject looks longingly upward to the infinite object of his thought, expecting that the latter will bend down toward him or lift him upward toward itself; in Greek philosophy the spirit confronts its object, the world, on a footing of equality; in modern philosophy the speculative subject feels himself higher than the object, superior to nature. In the conception of the Middle Ages, truth and mystery are identical; to antiquity they appear reconcilable; modern thought holds them as mutually exclusively as light and darkness. The unknown is the enemy of knowledge, which must be chased out of its last hiding-place. It is, therefore, easy to understand that the modern period stands in far sharper antithesis to the mediaeval era than to the ancient, for the latter has furnished it many principles which can be used as weapons against the former. Grandparents and grandchildren make good friends.
[Footnote 1: On the separation and union of the three worlds, natura, gratia, gloria, in Thomas Aquinas, cf. Rudolph Eucken, Die Philosophie des Thomas von Aquino und die Kultur der Neuzeit, Halle. 1886.]
When a new movement is in preparation, but there is a lack of creative force to give it form, a period of tumultuous disaffection with existing principles ensues. What is wanted is not clearly perceived, but there is a lively sense of that which is not wanted. Dissatisfaction prepares a place for that which is to come by undermining the existent and making it ripe for its fall. The old, the outgrown, the doctrine which had become inadequate, was in this case Scholasticism; modern philosophy shows throughout—and most clearly at the start—an anti-Scholastic character. If up to this time Church dogma had ruled unchallenged in spiritual affairs, and the Aristotelian philosophy in things temporal, war is now declared against authority of every sort and freedom of thought is inscribed on the banner. “Modern philosophy is Protestantism in the sphere of the thinking spirit” (Erdmann). Not that which has been considered true for centuries, not that which another says, though he be Aristotle or Thomas Aquinas, not that which flatters the desires of the heart, is true, but that only which is demonstrated to my own understanding with convincing force. Philosophy is no longer willing to be the handmaid of theology, but must set up a house of her own. The watchword now becomes freedom and independent thought, deliverance from every form of constraint, alike from the bondage of ecclesiastical decrees and the inner servitude of prejudice and cherished inclinations. But the adoption of a purpose leads to the consideration of the means for attaining it. Thus the thirst for knowledge raises questions concerning the method, the instruments, and the limits of knowledge; the interest in noetics and methodology vigorously develops, remains a constant factor in modern inquiry, and culminates in Kant, not again to die away.
[Footnote 1: The doctrine of twofold truth, under whose protecting cloak the new liberal movements had hitherto taken refuge, was now disdainfully repudiated. Cf. Freudenthal, Zur Beurtheilung der Scholastik, in vol. iii. of the Archiv fuer Geschichte der Philosophie, 1890. Also, H. Reuter, Geschichte der religioesen Aufklaerung im Mittelalter 1875-77; and Dilthey, Einleitung in die Geisteswissenschaften, 1883.]
This negative aspect of modern tendencies needs, however, a positive supplement. The mediaeval mode of thought is discarded and the new one is not yet found. What can more fittingly furnish a support, a preliminary substitute, than antiquity? Thus philosophy, also, joins in that great stream of culture, the Renaissance and humanism, which, starting from Italy, poured forth over the whole civilized world. Plato and Neoplatonism, Epicurus and the Stoa are opposed to Scholasticism, the real Aristotle to the transformed Aristotle of the Church and the distorted Aristotle of the schools. Back to the sources, is the cry. With the revival of the ancient languages and ancient books, the spirit of antiquity is also revived. The dust of the schools and the tyranny of the Church are thrown off, and the classical ideal of a free and noble humanity gains enthusiastic adherents. The man is not to be forgotten in the Christian, nor art and science, the rights and the riches of individuality in the interest of piety; work for the future must not blind us to the demands of the present nor lead us to neglect the comprehensive cultivation of the natural capacities of the spirit. The world and man are no longer viewed through Christian eyes, the one as a realm of darkness and the other as a vessel of weakness and wrath, but nature and life gleam before the new generation in joyous, hopeful light. Humanism and optimism have always been allied.
This change in the spirit of thought is accompanied by a corresponding change in the object of thought: theology must yield its supremacy to the knowledge of nature. Weary of Christological and soteriological questions, weary of disputes concerning the angels, the thinking spirit longs to make himself at home in the world it has learned to love, demands real knowledge,—knowledge which is of practical utility,—and no longer seeks God outside the world, but in it and above it. Nature becomes the home, the body of God. Transcendence gives place to immanence, not only in theology, but elsewhere. Modern philosophy is naturalistic in spirit, not only because it takes nature for its favorite object, but also because it carries into other branches of knowledge the mathematical method so successful in natural science, because it considers everything sub ratione naturae and insists on the “natural” explanation of all phenomena, even those of ethics and politics.
In a word, the tendency of modern philosophy is anti-Scholastic, humanistic, and naturalistic. This summary must suffice for preliminary orientation, while the detailed division, particularization, modification, and limitation of these general points must be left for later treatment.
Two further facts, however, may receive preliminary notice. The indifference and hostility to the Church which have been cited among the prominent characteristics of modern philosophy, do not necessarily mean enmity to the Christian religion, much less to religion in general. In part, it is merely a change in the object of religious feeling, which blazes up especially strong and enthusiastic in the philosophy of the sixteenth century, as it transfers its worship from a transcendent deity to a universe indued with a soul; in part, the opposition is directed against the mediaeval, ecclesiastical form of Christianity, with its monastic abandonment of the world. It was often nothing but a very deep and strong religious feeling that led thinkers into the conflict with the hierarchy. Since the elements of permanent worth in the tendencies, doctrines, and institutions of the Middle Ages are thus culled out from that which is corrupt and effete, and preserved by incorporation into the new view of the world and the new science, and as fruitful elements from antiquity enter with them, the progress of philosophy shows a continuous enrichment in its ideas, intuitions, and spirit. The old is not simply discarded and destroyed, but purified, transformed, and assimilated. The same fact forces itself into notice if we consider the relations of nationality and philosophy in the three great eras. The Greek philosophy was entirely national in its origin and its public, it was rooted in the character of the people and addressed itself to fellow-countrymen; not until toward its decline, and not until influenced by Christianity, were its cosmopolitan inclinations aroused. The Middle Ages were indifferent to national distinctions, as to everything earthly, and naught was of value in comparison with man's transcendent destiny. Mediaeval philosophy is in its aims un-national, cosmopolitan, catholic; it uses the Latin of the schools, it seeks adherents in every land, it finds everywhere productive spirits whose labors in its service remain unaffected by their national peculiarities. The modern period returns to the nationalism of antiquity, but does not relinquish the advantage gained by the extension of mediaeval thought to the whole civilized world. The roots of modern philosophy are sunk deep in the fruitful soil of nationality, while the top of the tree spreads itself far beyond national limitations. It is national and cosmopolitan together; it is international as the common property of the various peoples, which exchange their philosophical gifts through an active commerce of ideas. Latin is often retained for use abroad, as the universal language of savants, but many a work is first published in the mother-tongue—and thought in it. Thus it becomes possible for the ideas of the wise to gain an entrance into the consciousness of the people, from whose spirit they have really sprung, and to become a power beyond the circle of the learned public. Philosophy as illumination, as a factor in general culture, is an exclusively modern phenomenon. In this speculative intercourse of nations, however, the French, the English, and the Germans are most involved, both as producers and consumers. France gives the initiative (in Descartes), then England assumes the leadership (in Locke), with Leibnitz and Kant the hegemony passes over to Germany. Besides these powers, Italy takes an eager part in the production of philosophical ideas in the period of ferment before Descartes. Each of these nations contributes elements to the total result which it alone is in a position to furnish, and each is rewarded by gifts in return which it would be incapable of producing out of its own store. This international exchange of ideas, in which each gives and each receives, and the fact that the chief modern thinkers, especially in the earlier half of the era, prior to Kant, are in great part not philosophers by profession but soldiers, statesmen, physicians, as well as natural scientists, historians, and priests, give modern philosophy an unprofessional, worldly appearance, in striking contrast to the clerical character of mediaeval, and the prophetic character of ancient thinking.
Germany, England, and France claim the honor of having produced the first modern philosopher, presenting Nicolas of Cusa, Bacon of Verulam, and Rene Descartes as their candidates, while Hobbes, Bruno, and Montaigne have received only scattered votes. The claim of England is the weakest of all, for, without intending to diminish Bacon's importance, it may be said that the programme which he develops—and in essence his philosophy is nothing more—was, in its leading principles, not first announced by him, and not carried out with sufficient consistency. The dispute between the two remaining contestants may be easily and equitably settled by making the simple distinction between forerunner and beginner, between path-breaker and founder. The entrance of a new historical era is not accompanied by an audible click, like the beginning of a new piece on a music-box, but is gradually effected. A considerable period may intervene between the point when the new movement flashes up, not understood and half unconscious of itself, and the time when it appears on the stage in full strength and maturity, recognizing itself as new and so acknowledged by others: the period of ferment between the Middle Ages and modern times lasted almost two centuries. It is in the end little more than logomachy to discuss whether this time of anticipation and desire, of endeavor and partial success, in which the new struggles with the old without conquering it, and the opposite tendencies in the conflicting views of the world interplay in a way at once obscure and wayward, is to be classed as the epilogue of the old era or the prologue of the new. The simple solution to take it as a transition period, no longer mediaeval but not yet modern, has met with fairly general acceptance. Nicolas of Cusa (1401-64) was the first to announce fundamental principles of modern philosophy—he is the leader in this intermediate preparatory period. Descartes (1596-1650) brought forward the first system —he is the father of modern philosophy.
A brief survey of the literature may be added in conclusion:
Heinrich Ritter's Geschichte der neueren Philosophie (vols. ix.-xii. of his Geschichte der Philosophie), 1850-53, to Wolff and Rousseau, has been superseded by more recent works, J.E. Erdmann's ableVersuch einer wissenschaftlichen Darstellung der neueren Philosophie (6 vols., 1834-53) gives in appendices literal excerpts from non-German writers; the same author's Grundriss der Geschichte der Philosophie (2 vols., 1869; 3d ed., 1878) contains at the end the first exposition of German Philosophy since the Death of Hegel [English translation in 3 vols., edited by W. S. Hough, 1890.—TR.]. Ueberweg's Grundriss (7th ed. by M. Heinze, 1888) is indispensable for reference on account of the completeness of its bibliographical notes, which, however, are confusing to the beginner [English translation by G.S. Morris, with additions by the translator, Noah Porter, and Vincenzo Botta, New York, 1872-74.—TR.]. The most detailed and brilliant exposition has been given by Kuno Fischer (1854 seq.; 3d ed., 1878 seq.; the same author's Baco und seine Nachfolger, 2d ed., 1875,—English translation, 1857, by Oxenford,—supplements the first two volumes of the Geschichte der neueren Philosophie ). This work, which is important also as a literary achievement, is better fitted than any other to make the reader at home in the ideal world of the great philosophers, which it reconstructs from its central point, and to prepare him for the study (which, of course, even the best exposition cannot replace) of the works of the thinkers themselves. Its excessive simplification of problems is not of great moment in the first introduction to a system [English translation of vol. iii. book 2 (1st ed.), A Commentary on Kant's Critick of the Pure Reason, by J.P. Mahaffy, London, 1866; vol. i. part 1 and part 2, book 1, Descartes and his School, by J, P. Gordy, New York, 1887; of vol. v. chaps, i.-v., A Critique of Kant, by W.S. Hough, London, 1888.—TR.]. Wilhelm Windelband (Geschichte der neueren Philosophie, 2 vols., 1878 and 1880, to Hegel and Herbart inclusive) accentuates the connection of philosophy with general culture and the particular sciences, and emphasizes philosophical method. This work is pleasant reading, yet, in the interest of clearness, we could wish that the author had given more of positive information concerning the content of the doctrines treated, instead of merely advancing reflections on them. A projected third volume is to trace the development of philosophy down to the present time. Windelband's compendium, Geschichte der Philosophie, 1890-91, is distinguished from other expositions by the fact that, for the most part, it confines itself to a history of problems. Baumann's Geschichte der Philosophie, 1890, aims to give a detailed account of those thinkers only who have advanced views individual either in their content or in their proof. Eduard Zeller has given his Geschichte der deutschen Philosophie seit Leibniz (1873; 2d ed., 1875) the benefit of the same thorough and comprehensive knowledge and mature judgment which have made his Philosophie der Griechen a classic. [Bowen's Modern Philosophy, New York, 1857 (6th ed., 1891); Royce's Spirit of Modern Philosophy, 1892.—TR.]
Eugen Duehring's hypercritical Kritische Geschichte der Philosophie (1869; 3d ed., 1878) can hardly be recommended to students. Lewes (German translation, 1876) assumes a positivistic standpoint; Thilo (1874), a position exclusively Herbartian; A. Stoeckl (3d ed., 1889) writes from the standpoint of confessional Catholicism; Vincenz Knauer (2d ed., 1882) is a Guentherian. With the philosophico-historical work of Chr. W. Sigwart (1854), and one of the same date by Oischinger, we are not intimately acquainted.
Expositions of philosophy since Kant have been given by the Hegelian, C.L. Michelet (a larger one in 2 vols., 1837-38, and a smaller one, 1843); by Chalybaeus (1837; 5th ed., 1860, formerly very popular and worthy of it, English, 1854); by Fr. K. Biedermann (1842-43); by Carl Fortlage (1852, Kantio-Fichtean standpoint); and by Friedrich Harms (1876). The last of these writers unfortunately did not succeed in giving a sufficiently clear and precise, not to say tasteful, form to the valuable ideas and original conceptions in which his work is rich. The very popular exposition by an anonymous author of Hegelian tendencies, Deutschlands Denker seit Kant (Dessau, 1851), hardly deserves mention.
Further, we may mention some of the works which treat the historical development of particular subjects: On the history of the philosophy of religion, the first volume of Otto Pfleiderer'sReligionsphilosophie auf geschichtlicher Grundlage (2d ed., 1883;—English translation by Alexander Stewart and Allan Menzies, 1886-88.—TR.), and the very trustworthy exposition by Bernhard Puenjer (2 vols., 1880, 1883; English translation by W. Hastie, vol. i., 1887.—TR.). On the history of practical philosophy, besides the first volume of I.H. Fichte's Ethik (1850), Franz Vorlaender'sGeschichte der philosophischen Moral, Rechts-und Staatslehre der Englaender und Franzosen (1855); Fr. Jodl, Geschichte der Ethik in der neueren Philosophie (2 vols., 1882, 1889), and Bluntschli, Geschichte der neueren Staatswissenschaft (3d ed., 1881); [Sidgwick's Outlines of the History of Ethics, 3d ed., 1892, and Martineau's Types of Ethical Theory, 3d ed., 1891.—TR.]. On the history of the philosophy of history: Rocholl, Die Philosophie der Geschichte, 1878; Richard Fester, Rousseau und die deutsche Geschichtsphilosophie, 1890 [Flint, The Philosophy of History in Europe, vol. i., 1874, complete in 3 vols., 1893 seq.]. On the history of aesthetics, R. Zimmermann, 1858; H. Lotze, 1868; Max Schasler, 1871; Ed. von Hartmann (since Kant), 1886; Heinrich von Stein,Die Entstehung der neueren Aesthetik (1886); [Bosanquet, A History of Aesthetic, 1892.—TR.]. Further, Fr. Alb. Lange, Geschichte des Materialismus, 1866; 4th ed., 1882; [English translation by E.C. Thomas, 3 vols., 1878-81.—TR.]; Jul. Baumann, Die Lehren von Raum, Zeit und Mathematik in der neueren Philosophie, 1868-69; Edm. Koenig, Die Entwickelung des Causalproblems von Cartesius bis Kant, 1888, seit Kant, 1890; Kurd Lasswitz, Geschichte der Atomistik vom Mittelalter bis Newton, 2 vols., 1890; Ed. Grimm, Zur Geschichte des Erkenntnissproblems, von Bacon zu Hume, 1890. The following works are to be recommended on the period of transition: Moritz Carriere, Die philosophische Weltanschauung der Reformationszeit, 1847; 2d ed., 1887; and Jacob Burckhardt, Kultur der Renaissance in Italien, 4th ed., 1886. Reference may also be made to A. Trendelenburg, Historische Beitraege zur Philosophie, 3 vols., 1846-67; Rudolph Eucken, Geschichte und Kritik der Grundbegriffe der Gegenwart, 1878; [English translation by M. Stuart Phelps, 1880.—TR.]; the same, Geschichte der philosophischen Terminologie, 1879; the same, Beitraege zur Geschichte der neueren Philosophie, 1886 (including a valuable paper on parties and party names in philosophy); the same, Die Lebensanschauungen der grossen Denker, 1890; Ludwig Noack,Philosophiegeschichtliches Lexicon, 1879; Ed. Zeller, Vortraege und Abhandlungen, three series, 1865-84; Chr. von Sigwart, Kleine Schriften, 2 vols., 1881; 2d ed., 1889. R. Seydel's Religion und Philosophie, 1887, contains papers on Luther, Schleiermacher, Schelling, Weisse, Fechner, Lotze, Hartmann, Darwinism, etc., which are well worth reading.
Among the smaller compends Schwegler's (1848; recent editions revised and supplemented by R. Koeber) remains still the least bad [English translations by Seelye and Smith, revised edition with additions, New York, 1880; and J.H. Stirling, with annotations, 7th ed., 1879.—TR.]. The meager sketches by Deter, Koeber, Kirchner, Kuhn, Rabus, Vogel, and others are useful for review at least. Fritz Schultze'sStammbaum der Philosophie, 1890, gives skillfully constructed tabular outlines, but, unfortunately, in a badly chosen form.