【北京赛车黑平台破解】欢迎光临: 。 In fixing the relation of Plotinus to his own age, we have gone far towards fixing his relation to all ages, the place which350 he occupies in the development of philosophy as a connected whole. We have seen that as an attempt to discover the truth of things, his speculations are worthless and worse than worthless, since their method no less than their teaching is false. Nevertheless, Wisdom is justified of all her children. Without adding anything to the sum of positive knowledge, Plotinus produced an effect on men’s thoughts not unworthy of the great intellect and pure life which he devoted to the service of philosophy. No other thinker has ever accomplished a revolution so immediate, so comprehensive, and of such prolonged duration. He was the creator of Neo-Platonism, and Neo-Platonism simply annihilated every school of philosophy to which it was opposed. For thirteen centuries or more, the three great systems which had so long divided the suffrages of educated minds—Stoicism, Epicureanism, and Scepticism—ceased to exist, and were allowed to lapse into such complete oblivion that only a few fragments of the works in which they were originally embodied have been preserved. And Plotinus was enabled to do this by the profound insight which led him to strike less at any particular doctrine held by his opponents than at the common foundation on which they all stood, the materialism openly professed by the Stoics and Epicureans, and assumed by the Sceptics as the necessary presupposition of every dogmatic philosophy. It is true that the principle which he opposed to theirs was not of his own origination, although he stated it more powerfully than it had ever been stated before. But to have revived the spiritualism of Plato and Aristotle in such a way as to win for it universal acceptance, was precisely his greatest merit. It is also the only one that he would have claimed for himself. As we have already mentioned, he professed to be nothing more than the disciple of Plato. And although Aristotelian ideas abound in his writings, still not only are they overbalanced by the Platonic element, but Plotinus might justly have contended that they also belong, in a sense, to Plato,351 having been originally acquired by a simple development from his teaching. 新冠肺炎累计确诊病历
北京赛车黑平台破解Euripides is not a true thinker, and for that very reason fitly typifies a period when religion had been shaken to its very foundation, but still retained a strong hold on men’s minds, and might at any time reassert its ancient authority with unexpected vigour. We gather, also, from his writings, that ethical sentiment had undergone a parallel transformation. He introduces characters and actions which the elder dramatists would have rejected as unworthy of tragedy, and not only introduces them, but composes elaborate speeches in their defence. Side by side with examples of devoted heroism we find such observations as that everyone loves himself best, and that those are most prosperous who attend most exclusively to their own interests. It so happens that in one instance where Euripides has chosen a subject already handled by Aeschylus, the difference of treatment shows how great a moral revolution had occurred in the interim. The conflict waged between Eteoclês and Polyneicês for their father’s throne is the theme both of the Seven against Thebes and of the Phoenician Women. In both, Polyneicês bases his claim on grounds of right. It had been agreed that he and his brother should alternately hold sway over Thebes. His turn has arrived, and Eteoclês refuses to give way. Polyneicês endeavours to enforce his pretensions by bringing a foreign army against Thebes. Aeschylus makes him appear before the walls with an allegorical figure of Justice on his shield, promising to restore him to his father’s seat. On hearing this, Eteoclês exclaims:—
Our personality, says the Alexandrian philosopher, cannot be a property of the body, for this is composed of parts, and is in a state of perpetual flux. A man’s self, then, is his soul; and the soul cannot be material, for the ultimate elements of matter are inanimate, and it is inconceivable that animation and reason should result from the aggregation of particles which, taken singly, are destitute of both; while, even were it possible, their disposition in a certain order would argue the presence of an intelligence controlling them from without. The Stoics themselves admit the force of these considerations, when they attribute reason to the fiery element or vital breath by which, according to them, all things are shaped. They do, indeed, talk about a certain elementary disposition as the principle of animation, but this disposition is either identical with the matter possessing it, in which case the difficulties already mentioned recur, or distinct from it, in which case the animating principle still remains to be accounted for.
Timon, a celebrated disciple of Pyrrho, added another and, from the speculative point of view, a much more powerful argument, which, however, may equally have been139 borrowed from the master’s lectures. Readers of the Posterior Analytics will remember how strongly Aristotle dwells on the necessity of starting with first principles which are self-evidently true. The chain of demonstration must have something to hang on, it cannot be carried back ad infinitum. Now, Timon would not admit of such a thing as first principles. Every assumption, he says, must rest on some previous assumption, and as this process cannot be continued for ever, there can be no demonstration at all. This became a very favourite weapon with the later Sceptics, and, still at the suggestion of Aristotle, they added the further ‘trope’ of compelling their adversaries to choose between going back ad infinitum and reasoning in a circle—in other words, proving the premises by means of the conclusion. Modern science would not feel much appalled by the sceptical dilemma. Its actual first principles are only provisionally assumed as ultimate, and it is impossible for us to tell how much farther their analysis may be pursued; while, again, their validity is guaranteed by the circular process of showing that the consequences deduced from them agree with the facts of experience. But as against those modern philosophers who, in adherence to the Aristotelian tradition, still seek to base their systems on first principles independent of any individual experience, the sceptical argument is unanswerable, and has even been strengthened by the progress of knowledge. To this day, thinkers of different schools cannot agree about the foundations of belief, and what to one seems self-evidently true, is to another either conceivably or actually false. To Mr. Herbert Spencer the persistence of force is a necessary truth; to Prof. Stanley Jevons its creation is a perfectly possible contingency; while to others, again, the whole conception of force, as understood by Mr. Spencer, is so absolutely unmeaning that they would decline to entertain any proposition about the invariability of the objective reality which it is supposed to represent. And when the140 à priori dogmatist affects to treat the negations of his opponents as something that they do not think, but only think they think, they may, with perfect fairness, attribute his rejection of their beliefs—as, for example, free-will—to a similar subjective illusion. Moreover, the pure experimentalists can point to a circumstance not foreseen by the ancient sceptics, which is that propositions once generally regarded as incontrovertible by thinking men, are now as generally abandoned by them.
When I speak of the division of the intellectual, you will also understand me to speak of that knowledge which reason herself attains by the power of dialectic, using the hypotheses not as first principles, but only as hypotheses—that is to say as steps and points of departure into a region which is above hypotheses, in order that she may soar beyond them to the first principle of the whole; and clinging to this and then to that which depends on this, by successive steps she descends again without the aid of any sensible object, beginning and ending in ideas.560Moreover, we have not here to consider what was the average level of sentiment and practice among the Greeks; we have to study what alone was of importance for the races which came under their tuition, and that is the highest moral judgment to which they rose. Now, the deliberate verdict of their philosophy on the relation between beauty and virtue is contained in the following passage from Plato’s Laws:—
417The philosophical affinities of the new science were not exhausted by the atomistic analysis of Democritus and the regulative method of Aristotle. Platonism could hardly fail to benefit by the great impulse given to mathematical studies in the latter half of the sixteenth century. The passionate love of its founder for geometry must have recommended him as much to the most advanced minds of the period as his religious mysticism had recommended him to the theologians of the earlier Renaissance. And the increasing ascendency of the heliocentric astronomy, with its splendid defiance of sense and opinion, was indirectly a triumph for the philosophy which, more than any other, had asserted the claims of pure reason against both. We see this distinctly in Galileo. In express adhesion to Platonism, he throws his teaching into a conversational form, endeavouring to extract the truth from his opponents rather than convey it into their minds from without; and the theory of reminiscence as the source of demonstrative knowledge seems to meet with his approval.549 He is always ready with proofs drawn from observation and experiment; but nothing can be more in Plato’s spirit, nothing more unlike Aristotle and Bacon, than his encomium on the sublime genius of Aristarchus and Copernicus for having maintained a rational hypothesis against what seemed to be the evidence of their senses.550 And he elsewhere observes how much less would have been the glory of Copernicus had he known the experimental verification of his theory.551
Being by Being set; immovable, 北京赛车黑平台破解:Of all testimonies to the restored supremacy of Aristotelianism, there is none so remarkable as that afforded by the thinker who, more than any other, has enjoyed the credit of its overthrow. To call Francis Bacon an Aristotelian will seem to most readers a paradox. Such an appellation would, however, be much nearer the truth than were the titles formerly bestowed on the author of the Novum Organum. The notion, indeed, that he was in any sense the father of modern science is rapidly disappearing from the creed of educated persons. Its long continuance was due to a coalition of literary men who knew nothing about physics and of physicists who knew nothing about philosophy or its history. It is certain that the great discoveries made both before and during Bacon’s lifetime were the starting-point of all future progress in the same direction. It is equally certain that Bacon himself had either not heard of those discoveries or that he persistently rejected them. But it might still be contended that he divined and formulated the only method by which these and all other great additions to human knowledge have been made, had not the delusion been dispelled by recent investigations, more especially those of his own editors, Messrs. Ellis and Spedding. Mr. Spedding has shown that Bacon’s method never was applied to physical science at all. Mr. Ellis has shown that it was incapable of application, being founded on a complete misconception of the problem to be solved. The facts could in truth, hardly have been other373 than what they are. Had Bacon succeeded in laying down the lines of future investigation, it would have been a telling argument against his own implied belief that all knowledge is derived from experience. For, granting the validity of that belief, a true theory of discovery can only be reached by an induction from the observed facts of scientific practice, and such facts did not, at that time, exist in sufficient numbers to warrant an induction. It would have been still more extraordinary had he furnished a clue to the labyrinth of Nature without ever having explored its mazes on his own account. Even as it is, from Bacon’s own point of view the contradiction remains. If ever any system was constructed à priori the Instauratio Magna was. But there is really no such thing as à priori speculation. Apart from observation, the keenest and boldest intellect can do no more than rearrange the materials supplied by tradition, or give a higher generalisation to the principles of other philosophers. This was precisely what Bacon did. The wealth of aphoristic wisdom and ingenious illustration scattered through his writings belongs entirely to himself; but his dream of using science as an instrument for acquiring unlimited power over Nature is inherited from the astrologers, alchemists, and magicians of the Middle Ages; and his philosophical system, with which alone we are here concerned, is partly a modification, partly an extension, of Aristotle’s. An examination of its leading features will at once make this clear.
Again, to suppose that the soul shares in the changes of the body is incompatible with the self-identity which memory reveals. To suppose that it is an extended substance is incompatible with its simultaneous presence, as an indivisible whole, at every point to which its activity reaches; as well as with the circumstance that all our sensations, though received through different organs, are referred to a common centre of consciousness. If the sensorium is a fluid body it will have no more power of retaining impressions than water;295 while, if it is a solid, new impressions will either not be received at all, or only when the old impressions are effaced.Holy everlasting Saviour of the human race! Bounteous nurse of mortals! Tender mother of the afflicted! Not for a day or night nor even for one little moment dost thou relax thy care for men, driving away the storms of life and stretching forth to them the right hand of deliverance, wherewith thou dost unravel even the tangled threads of fate, soothe the storms of fortune, and restrain the hurtful courses of the stars. The gods above adore thee, the gods below respect; thou dost cause the heavens to roll, the sun to shine; the world thou rulest, and treadest Tartarus under foot. To thee the stars reply, for thee the seasons come again; in thee the deities rejoice, and thee the elements obey. At thy nod the breezes blow, the clouds drop fatness, the seeds germinate and seedlings spring. But my wit is small to celebrate thy praises, my fortune256 poor to pay thee sacrifices, the abundance of my voice does not suffice to tell what I think of thy majesty, nor would a thousand tongues nor an unwearied and everlasting flow of speech. Therefore what alone religion joined to poverty can achieve, I will provide: an image of thy divine countenance and most holy godhead, guarded for perpetual contemplation within the recesses of my heart.397
Thus does the everlasting Greek love of order, definition, limitation, reassert its supremacy over the intelligence of this noble thinker, just as his almost mystical enthusiasm has reached its highest pitch of exaltation, giving him back a world which thought can measure, circumscribe, and control.
III. We now pass to the consideration of Aristotle’s most important achievement—his system of logic. And as, here also, we shall find much to criticise, it is as well to begin by saying that, in our opinion, his contributions to the science are the most valuable ever made, and perhaps have done more to advance it than all other writings on the same subject put together.
The other great ethical method of the eighteenth century, its hedonism, was closely connected with the sceptical movement in speculative philosophy, and, like that, received an entirely new significance by becoming associated with the idea of law. Those who isolate man from the universe are necessarily led to seek in his interests as such the sole regulator of his actions, and their sole sanction in the opinion of his fellows. Protagoras went already so far, notwithstanding his unwillingness to recognise pleasure as the supreme end; and in the system of his true successor, Aristippus, the most extreme hedonism goes hand in hand with the most extreme idealism; while with Epicurus, again, both are tempered by the influence of naturalism, imposing on him its conceptions of objective law alike in science and in practice. Still his system leaned heavily to the side of self-gratification pure and simple; and it was reserved for modern thought to establish a complete equilibrium between the two competing tendencies of Greek ethics. This has been effected in Utilitarianism; and those critics are entirely mistaken who, like M. Guyau, regard that system as a mere reproduction of Epicureanism. It might with full as much reason be called a modern version of Stoicism. The idea of humanity is essentially Stoic; to work for the good of humanity was a424 Stoic precept; and to sacrifice one’s own pleasure for that higher good is a virtue which would have satisfied the most rigorous demands of a Cleanthes, an Epictêtus, or an Aurelius.。