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Title: History of Modern Philosophy - From Nicolas of Cusa to the Present Time
Author: Falckenberg, Richard
Language: English
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From Nicolas of Cusa to the Present Time



_Professor of Philosophy in the University of Erlangen_


_Professor of Philosophy in Wesleyan University_



The aim of this translation is the same as that of the original work. Each
is the outcome of experience in university instruction in philosophy, and
is intended to furnish a manual which shall be at once scientific and
popular, one to stand midway between the exhaustive expositions of the
larger histories and the meager sketches of the compendiums. A pupil of
Kuno Fischer, Fortlage, J.E. Erdmann, Lotze, and Eucken among others,
Professor Falckenberg began his career as _Docent_ in the university of
Jena. In the year following the first edition of this work he became
_Extraordinarius_ in the same university, and in 1888 _Ordinarius_ at
Erlangen, choosing the latter call in preference to an invitation to Dorpat
as successor to Teichmüller. The chair at Erlangen he still holds. His work
as teacher and author has been chiefly in the history of modern philosophy.
Besides the present work and numerous minor articles, he has published the
following: _Ueber den intelligiblen Charakter, zur Kritik der Kantischen
Freiheitslehre_ 1879; _Grundzüge der Philosophie des Nicolaus Cusanus_,
1880-81; and _Ueber die gegenwärtige Lage der deutschen Philosophie_, 1890
(inaugural address at Erlangen). Since 1884-5 Professor Falckenberg has
also been an editor of the _Zeitschrift für Philosophie und philosophische
Kritik_, until 1888 in association with Krohn, and after the latter's
death, alone. At present he has in hand a treatise on Lotze for a German
series analogous to Blackwood's Philosophical Classics, which is to be
issued under his direction. Professor Falckenberg's general philosophical
position may be described as that of moderate idealism. His historical
method is strictly objective, the aim being a free reproduction of the
systems discussed, as far as possible in their original terminology and
historical connection, and without the intrusion of personal criticism.

The translation has been made from the second German edition (1892),
with still later additions and corrections communicated by the author in
manuscript. The translator has followed the original faithfully but
not slavishly. He has not felt free to modify Professor Falckenberg's
expositions, even in the rare cases where his own opinions would have led
him to dissent, but minor changes have been made wherever needed to fit the
book for the use of English-speaking students. Thus a few alterations have
been made in dates and titles, chiefly under the English systems and from
the latest authorities; and a few notes added in elucidation of portions
of the text. Thus again the balance of the bibliography has been somewhat
changed, including transfers from text to notes and _vice versa_ and a few
omissions, besides the introduction of a number of titles from our English
philosophical literature chosen on the plan referred to in the preface
to the first German edition. The glossary of terms foreign to the German
reader has been replaced by a revision and expansion of the index, with the
analyses of the glossary as a basis. Wherever possible, and this has been
true in all important cases, the changes have been indicated by the usual

The translator has further rewritten Chapter XV., Section 3, on recent
British and American Philosophy. In this so much of the author's
(historical) standpoint and treatment as proved compatible with the aim of
a manual in English has been retained, but the section as a whole has been
rearranged and much enlarged.

The labor of translation has been lightened by the example of previous
writers, especially of the translators of the standard treatises of
Ueberweg and Erdmann. The thanks of the translator are also due to several
friends who have kindly aided him by advice or assistance: in particular to
his friend and former pupil, Mr. C.M. Child, M.S., who participated in the
preparation of a portion of the translation; and above all to Professor
Falckenberg himself, who, by his willing sanction of the work and his
co-operation throughout its progress, has given a striking example of
scholarly courtesy.

A.C.A., Jr.

Wesleyan University, June, 1893.


Since the appearance of Eduard Zeller's _Grundriss der Geschichte der
griechischen Philosophie_ (1883; 3d ed. 1889) the need has become even more
apparent than before for a presentation of the history of modern philosophy
which should be correspondingly compact and correspondingly available for
purposes of instruction. It would have been an ambitious undertaking to
attempt to supply a counterpart to the compendium of this honored scholar,
with its clear and simple summation of the results of his much admired five
volumes on Greek philosophy; and it has been only in regard to practical
utility and careful consideration of the needs of students--concerning
which we have enjoyed opportunity for gaining accurate information in the
review exercises regularly held in this university--that we have ventured
to hope that we might not fall too far short of his example.

The predominantly practical aim of this _History_--it is intended to serve
as an aid in introductory work, in reviewing, and as a substitute for
dictations in academical lectures, as well as to be a guide for the
wider circle of cultivated readers--has enjoined self-restraint in the
development of personal views and the limitation of critical reflections
in favor of objective presentation. It is only now and then that critical
hints have been given. In the discussion of phenomena of minor importance
it has been impossible to avoid the _oratio obliqua_ of exposition; but,
wherever practicable, we have let the philosophers themselves develop their
doctrines and reasons, not so much by literal quotations from their
works, as by free, condensed reproductions of their leading ideas. If the
principiant view of the forces which control the history of philosophy, and
of the progress of modern philosophy, expressed in the Introduction and in
the Retrospect at the end of the book, have not been everywhere verified
in detail from the historical facts, this is due in part to the limits, in
part to the pedagogical aim, of the work. Thus, in particular, more space
has for pedagogical reasons been devoted to the "psychological" explanation
of systems, as being more popular, than in our opinion its intrinsic
importance would entitle it to demand. To satisfy every one in the choice
of subjects and in the extent of the discussion is impossible; but our hope
is that those who would have preferred a guide of this sort to be entirely
different will not prove too numerous. In the classification of movements
and schools, and in the arrangement of the contents of the various systems,
it has not been our aim to deviate at all hazards from previous accounts;
and as little to leave unutilized the benefits accruing to later comers
from the distinguished achievements of earlier workers in the field. In
particular we acknowledge with gratitude the assistance derived from the
renewed study of the works on the subject by Kuno Fischer, J.E. Erdmann,
Zeller, Windelband, Ueberweg-Heinze, Harms, Lange, Vorlãnder, and Pünjer.

The motive which induced us to take up the present work was the perception
that there was lacking a text-book in the history of modern philosophy,
which, more comprehensive, thorough, and precise than the sketches of
Schwegler and his successors, should stand between the fine but detailed
exposition of Windelband, and the substantial but--because of the division
of the text into paragraphs and notes and the interpolation of pages of
bibliographical references--rather dry outline of Ueberweg. While the
former refrains from all references to the literature of the subject and
the latter includes far too many, at least for purposes of instruction, and
J.B. Meyer's _Leitfaden_ (1882) is in general confined to biographical and
bibliographical notices; we have mentioned, in the text or the notes and
with the greatest possible regard for the progress of the exposition, both
the chief works of the philosophers themselves and some of the
treatises concerning them. The principles which have guided us in these
selections--to include only the more valuable works and those best adapted
for students' reading, and further to refer as far as possible to the most
recent works--will hardly be in danger of criticism. But we shall not
dispute the probability that many a book worthy of mention may have been

The explanation of a number of philosophical terms, which has been added as
an appendix at the suggestion of the publishers, deals almost entirely
with foreign expressions and gives the preference to the designations of
fundamental movements. It is arranged, as far as possible, so that it may
be used as a subject-index.

JENA, December 23, 1885.


The majority of the alterations and additions in this new edition are in
the first chapter and the last two; no departure from the general character
of the exposition has seemed to me necessary. I desire to return my
sincere thanks for the suggestions which have come to me alike from public
critiques and private communications. In some cases contradictory requests
have conflicted--thus, on the one hand, I have been urged to expand, on the
other, to cut down the sections on German idealism, especially those on
Hegel--and here I confess my inability to meet both demands. Among the
reviews, that by B. Erdmann in the first volume of the _Archiv für
Geschichte der Philosophie_, and, among the suggestions made by letter,
those of H. Heussler, have been of especial value. Since others commonly
see defects more clearly than one's self, it will be very welcome if I can
have my desire continually to make this _History_ more useful supported by
farther suggestions from the circle of its readers. In case it continues to
enjoy the favor of teachers and students, these will receive conscientious

For the sake of those who may complain of too much matter, I may remark
that the difficulty can easily be avoided by passing over Chapters I., V.
(§§ 1-3), VI., VIII., XII., XV., and XVI.

Professor A.C. Armstrong, Jr., is preparing an English translation. My
earnest thanks are due to Mr. Karl Niemann of Charlottenburg for his kind
participation in the labor of proof-reading.


ERLANGEN, June 11, 1892.

       *       *       *       *       *





1. Nicolas of Cusa
2. The Revival of Ancient Philosophy and the Opposition to it
3. The Italian Philosophy of Nature
4. Philosophy of the State and of Law
5. Skepticism in France
6. German Mysticism
7. The Foundation of Modern Physics
8. Philosophy in England to the Middle of the Seventeenth Century
  (_a_) Bacon's Predecessors
  (_b_) Bacon
  (_c_) Hobbes
  (_d_) Lord Herbert of Cherbury
9. Preliminary Survey


%From Descartes to Kant.%



1. The Principles
2. Nature
3. Man



1. Occasionalism: Geulincx
2. Spinoza
  _(a)_ Substance, Attributes, and Modes
  _(b)_ Anthropology; Cognition and the Passions
  _(c)_ Practical Philosophy
3. Pascal, Malebranche, Bayle



  _(a)_ Theory of Knowledge
  _(b)_ Practical Philosophy



1. Natural Philosophy and Psychology
2. Deism
3. Moral Philosophy
4. Theory of Knowledge
 _(a)_ Berkeley
 _(b)_ Hume
 _(c)_ The Scottish School



1. The Entrance of English Doctrines
2. Theoretical and Practical Sensationalism
3. Skepticism and Materialism
4. Rousseau's Conflict with the Illumination



1. Metaphysics: the Monads, Representation, the Pre-established Harmony;
the Laws of Thought and of the World
2. The Organic World
3. Man: Cognition and Volition
4. Theology and Theodicy



1. The Contemporaries of Leibnitz
2. Christian Wolff
3. The Illumination as Scientific and as Popular Philosophy
4. The Faith Philosophy


%From Kant to the Present Time.%



1. Theory of Knowledge
  _(a)_ The Pure Intuitions (Transcendental Aesthetic)
  _(b)_ The Concepts and Principles of the Pure Understanding
  (Transcendental Analytic)
  _(c)_ The Reason's Ideas of the Unconditioned (Transcendental
2. Theory of Ethics
3. Theory of the Beautiful and of Ends in Nature
  _(a)_ Aesthetic Judgment
  _(b)_ Teleological Judgment
4. From Kant to Fichte



1. The Science of Knowledge
  _(a)_ The Problem
  _(b)_ The Three Principles
  _(c)_ The Theoretical Ego
  _(d)_ The Practical Ego
2. The Science of Ethics and of Right
3. Fichte's Second Period: his View of History and his Theory
of Religion



1_a_. Philosophy of Nature
1_b_. Transcendental Philosophy
2. System of Identity
3_a_. Doctrine of Freedom
3_b_. Philosophy of Mythology and Revelation



1. The Philosophers of Nature
2. The Philosophers of Identity (F. Krause)
3. The Philosophers of Religion (Baader and Schleiermacher)



1. Hegel's View of the World and his Method
2. The System
  (_a_) Logic
  (_b_) The Philosophy of Nature
  (_c_) The Doctrine of Subjective Spirit
  (_d_) The Doctrine of Objective Spirit
  (_e_) Absolute Spirit



1. The Psychologists: Fries and Beneke
2. Realism: Herbart
3. Pessimism: Schopenhauer



1. Italy
2. France
3. Great Britain and America
4. Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Holland



1. From the Division of the Hegelian School to the Materialistic
2. New Systems: Trendelenburg, Fechner, Lotze, and Hartmann
3. From the Revival of the Kantian Philosophy to the Present Time
  (_a_) Neo-Kantianism, Positivism, and Kindred Phenomena
  (_b_) Idealistic Reaction against the Scientific Spirit
  (_c_) The Special Philosophical Sciences
4. Retrospect


       *       *       *       *       *


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.

       *       *       *       *       *

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 noëtical 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,[1] 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.[1] "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 noëtics 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 für Geschichte der Philosophie_, 1890. Also, H. Reuter,
_Geschichte der religiösen Aufklärung 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
René 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 able _Versuch 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_,

Eugen Dühring'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 Güntherian. With the philosophico-historical work of Chr. W. Sigwart
(1854), and one of the same date by Oischinger, we are not intimately

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's _Religionsphilosophie auf
geschichtlicher Grundlage_ (2d ed., 1883;--English translation by Alexander
Stewart and Allan Menzies, 1886-88.--TR.), and the very trustworthy
exposition by Bernhard Pünjer (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 Vorländer's
_Geschichte der philosophischen Moral, Rechts- und Staatslehre der
Engländer 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. König, _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 Carrière, _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 Beiträge 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, _Beiträge
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, _Vorträge 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's _Stammbaum der Philosophie_,
1890, gives skillfully constructed tabular outlines, but, unfortunately, in
a badly chosen form.



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

%1. Nicolas of Cusa.%

Nicolas[1] 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 Vorläufer Leibnizens_, in
vol. viii. of the _Sitzungsberichte der philosophisch-historischen Klasse
der Akademie der Wissenschaften_, Vienna, 1852, p. 306 seq. R. Falckenberg,
_Grundzüge der Philosophie des Nikolaus Cusanus mit besonderer
Berücksichtigung der Lehre vom Erkennen_, Breslau, 1880. R. Eucken,
_Beiträge zur Geschichte der neueren Philosophie_, Heidelberg, 1886, p. 6
seq.; Joh. Uebinger, _Die Gotteslehre des Nikolaus Cusanus_, Münster,
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 naïvely 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

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[1] (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.[2] 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. § II,

%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[1] 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[1] 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.[2] 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, _Beiträge 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, Averroës (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.

       *       *       *       *       *

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 Ramée (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.[1] Nicolaus
Oechslein, Latinized Taurellus (born in 1547 at Mömpelgard; 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.[2] 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, Averroës, 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.,

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[1] 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
berühmter 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., Göttingen, 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).[1] 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).[2]

[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[1] (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[1] 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[2] _(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[3] (_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. § II, Berlin, 1881. Cf. further, Sigm.
Riezler, _Die literarischen Widersacher der Päpste_, Leipsic, 1874; A.
Franck, _Réformateurs et Publicistes de L'Europe_, Paris, 1864.]

[Footnote 2: Nicolas' political ideas are discussed by T. Stumpf, Cologne,

[Footnote 3: Cf. F. von Bezold, _Die Lehre von der Volkssouveränität 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[1] 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.[1] 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

[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 République_, 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;[1] 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 the _Monarchomachi_, 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[1] 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 the _jus 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_.[2]

[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 the _Mare 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,[1] 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
noëtics, 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

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,[1] 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

[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 Vorläufer 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
(_probité_), 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[1] (about 1300), which had
been continued in Suso and Tauler and had received a practical direction
in the Netherlands,--Ruysbroek (about 1350) to Thomas à 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 für Litteratur und
Kulturgeschichte des Mittelalters_. ii. 417 _seq_.; H. Siebeck,
_Der Begriff des Gemuts in der deutschen Mystik (Beiträge zur
Entstehungsgeschichte der neueren Psychologie_, i), Giessen Programme,

Luther himself was originally a mystic, with a high appreciation of Tauler
and Thomas à 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 Böhme.

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).[1]

[Footnote 1: Weigel is discussed by J.O. Opel, Leipsic, 1864.]

German mysticism reaches its culmination in the Görlitz cobbler, Jacob
Böhme (1575-1624; _Aurora, or the Rising Dawn_; _Mysterium Magnum, or
on the First Book of Moses_, etc. The works of Böhme, 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_.). Böhme's doctrine[1] 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. §19. The following have written on Böhme: Fr. Baader
(in vols. iii. and xiii. of his _Werke_); Hamberger, Munich, 1844: H. A.
Fechner, Görlitz, 1857; A. v. Harless, Berlin, 1870, new edition, Leipsic,

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. Böhme'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 Böhme'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

%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.[1] 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[1] (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;[2] 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, _Beiträge 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).[1] 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 rôle for the understanding.
This, supplementing the defect of experience--the impossibility of
observing all cases--by its _a priori_ concept 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 Dühring 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,[2] 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,[1] 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 noëtical 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 Brahé 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 Laërtius, with a
Survey of the Doctrine of Epicurus_, 1649. _Works_, Lyons, 1658, Florence,
1727. Cf. Lange, _History of Materialism_, book i. § 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 Père 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.[1] 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,[2] 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.[3]

[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 über den Naturbegriff, Zeitschrift für
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 Rémusat _(Histoire de la Philosophie en
Angleterre depuis Bacon jusqu'a Locke_, 2 vols., 1878). The most recent
investigations of J. Freudenthal _(Beiträge zur Geschichte der Englischen
Philosophie_, in the _Archiv für 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

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 [1] (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[1], 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[2].

[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

[Footnote 2: Cf. on Bacon, K. Fischer, 2d ed., 1875; Chr. Sigwart, in the
_Preussische Jahrbücher_, 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.[1] 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

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

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,[1] then let him go on to causes and laws.[2] The true or
scientific induction[3] 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. König, _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.[1] 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 [1] 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.[2]

[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; Tönnies in the _Vierteljahrsschrift für
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

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,[1] 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),[1] 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

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):

  _Empiricism.                         Rationalism_.
  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 Böhme, 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 naïve 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

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 Königsberg.





The long conflict with Scholasticism, which had been carried on with ever
increasing energy and ever sharper weapons, was brought by Descartes to a
victorious close. The new movement, long desired, long sought, and prepared
for from many directions, at length appears, ready and well-established.
Descartes accomplishes everything needful with the sure simplicity of
genius. He furnishes philosophy with a settled point of departure in
self-consciousness, offers her a method sure to succeed in deduction from
clear and distinct conceptions, and assigns her the mechanical explanation
of nature as her most imperative and fruitful mission.

René Descartes was born at La Haye in Touraine, in 1596, and died at
Stockholm in 1650. Of the studies taught in the Jesuit school at La Flèche,
mathematics alone was able to satisfy his craving for clear and certain
knowledge. The years 1613-17 he spent in Paris; then he enlisted in the
military service of the Netherlands, and, in 1619, in that of Bavaria.
While in winter quarters at Neuburg, he vowed a pilgrimage to Loretto if
the Virgin would show him a way of escape from his tormenting doubts; and
made the saving discovery of the "foundations of a wonderful science."
At the end of four years this vow was fulfilled. On his return to Paris
(1625), he was besought by his learned friends to give to the world his
epoch-making ideas. Though, to escape the distractions of society, he kept
his residence secret, as he had done during his first stay in Paris, and
frequently changed it, he was still unable to secure the complete privacy
and leisure for scientific work which he desired. Therefore he went to
Holland in 1629, and spent twenty years of quiet productivity in Amsterdam,
Franecker, Utrecht, Leeuwarden, Egmond, Harderwijk, Leyden, the palace of
Endegeest, and five other places. His work here was interrupted only by
a few journeys, but much disturbed in its later years by annoying
controversies with the theologian Gisbert Voëtius of Utrecht, with Regius,
a pupil who had deserted him, and with professors from Leyden. His
correspondence with his French friends was conducted through Père Mersenne.
In 1649 he yielded to pressing invitations from Queen Christina of Sweden
and removed to Stockholm. There his weak constitution was not adequate to
the severity of the climate, and death overtook him within a few months.

The two decades of retirement in the Netherlands were Descartes's
productive period. His motive in developing and writing out his thoughts
was, essentially, the desire not to disappoint the widely spread belief
that he was in possession of a philosophy more certain than the common one.
The work entitled _Le Monde_, begun in 1630 and almost completed, remained
unprinted, as the condemnation of Galileo (1632) frightened our philosopher
from publication; fragments of it only, and a brief summary, appeared
after the author's death. The chief works, the _Discourse on Method_, the
_Meditations on the First Philosophy_, and the _Principles of Philosophy_
appeared between 1637 and 1644,--the _Discours de la Méthode_ in 1637,
together with three dissertations (the "Dioptrics," the "Meteors," and the
"Geometry"), under the common title, _Essais Philosophiques_. To the (six)
_Meditationes de Prima Philosophia_, published in 1641, and dedicated to
the Paris Sorbonne, are appended the objections of various savants to whom
the work had been communicated in manuscript, together with Descartes's
rejoinders. He himself considered the criticisms of Arnauld, printed fourth
in order, as the most important. The Third Objections are from Hobbes, the
Fifth from Gassendi, the First, which were also the first received, from
the theologian Caterus of Antwerp, while the Second and Sixth, collected by
Mersenne, are from various theologians and mathematicians. In the second
edition there were added, further, the Seventh Objections, by the Jesuit
Bourdin, and the Replies of the author thereto. The four books of the
_Principia Philosophiae_, published in 1644 and dedicated to Elizabeth,
Countess Palatine, give a systematic presentation of the new philosophy.
The _Discourse on Method_ appeared, 1644, in a Latin translation, the
_Meditations_ and the _Principles_ in French, in 1647. The _Treatise on the
Passions_ was published in 1650; the _Letters_, 1657-67, in French, 1668,
in Latin. The _Opera Postuma_, 1701, beside the _Compendium of Music_
(written in 1618) and other portions of his posthumous writings, contain
the "Rules for the Direction of the Mind," supposed to have been written in
1629, and the "Search for Truth by the Light of Nature." The complete works
have been often published, both in Latin and in French. The eleven volume
edition of Cousin appeared in 1824-26.[1]

[Footnote 1: Of the many treatises on the philosophy of Descartes those of
C. Schaarschmidt (_Descartes und Spinoza_, 1850) and J.H. Löwe, 1855, may
be mentioned. Further, M. Heinze has discussed _Die Sittenlehre des
Descartes_, 1872; Ed. Grimm, _Descartes' Lehre von den angeborenen
Ideen_, 1873; G. Glogau, _Darlegung und Kritik des Grundgedankens der
Cartesianisch. Metaphysik (Zeitschrift für Philosophie_, vol. lxxiii. p.
209 _seq_.), 1878; Paul Natorp, _Descartes' Erkenntnisstheorie_, 1882;
and Kas. Twardowski, _Idee und Perception_ in Descartes, 1892. In French,
Francisque Bouillier (_Histoire de la Philosophie Cartésienne_, 1854) and
E. Saisset (_Précurseurs et Disciples de Descartes_, 1862) have written
on Cartesianism. [The _Method, Meditations, and Selections from the
Principles_ have been translated into English by John Veitch, 5th ed.,
1879, and others since; and H.A.P. Torrey has published _The Philosophy
of Descartes in Extracts from his Writings_, 1892 (Sneath's Modern
Philosophers). The English reader may be referred, also, to Mahaffy's
_Descartes_, 1880, in Blackwood's Philosophical Classics; to the article
"Cartesianism," _Encyclopedia Britannica_, 9th ed., vol. v., by Edward
Caird; and, for a complete discussion, to the English translation of
Fischer's _Descartes and his School_' by J.P. Gordy, 1887.--TR.]]

We begin our discussion with Descartes's noëtical and metaphysical
principles, and then take up in order his doctrine of nature and of man.

%1. The Principles%.

That which passes nowadays for science, and is taught as such in the
schools, is nothing but a mass of disconnected, uncertain, and often
contradictory opinions. A principle of unity and certainty is entirely
lacking. If anything permanent and irrefutable is to be accomplished in
science, everything hitherto considered true must be thoroughly demolished
and built up anew. For we come into the world as children and we form
judgments of things, or repeat them after others, before we have come into
the full possession of our intellectual powers; so that it is no wonder
that we are filled with a multitude of prejudices, from which we can
thoroughly escape only by considering everything doubtful which shows the
least sign of uncertainty. Let us renounce, therefore, all our old views,
in order later to accept better ones in their stead; or, perchance, to
take the former up again after they shall have stood the test of rational
criticism. The recognized precaution, never to put complete confidence in
that which has once deceived us, holds of our relation to the senses as
elsewhere. It is certain that they sometimes deceive us--perhaps they do so
always. Again, we dream every day of things which nowhere exist, and there
is no certain criterion by which to distinguish our dreams from our waking
moments,--what guarantee have we, then, that we are not always dreaming?
Therefore, our doubt must first of all be directed to the existence of
sense-objects. Nay, even mathematics must be suspected in spite of the
apparent certainty of its axioms and demonstrations, since controversy
and error are found in it also.

I doubt or deny, then, that the world is what it appears to be, that there
is a God, that external objects exist, that I have a body, that twice
two are four. One thing, however, it is impossible for me to bring into
question, namely, that I myself, who exercise this doubting function,
exist. There is one single point at which doubt is forced to halt--at the
doubter, at the self-existence of the thinker. I can doubt everything
except that I doubt, and that, in doubting, I am. Even if a superior being
sought to deceive me in all my thinking, he could not succeed unless I
existed, he could not cause me not to exist so long as I thought. To be
deceived means to think falsely; but that something is thought, no matter
what it be, is no deception. It might be true, indeed, that nothing at all
existed; but then there would be no one to conceive this non-existence.
Granted that everything may be a mistake; yet the being mistaken, the
thinking is not a mistake. Everything is denied, but the denier remains.
The whole content of consciousness is destroyed; consciousness itself, the
doubting activity, the being of the thinker, is indestructible. _Cogitatio
sola a me divelli nequit_. Thus the settled point of departure required for
knowledge is found in the _self-certitude of the thinking ego_. From the
fact that I doubt, _i.e._, think, it follows that I, the doubter, the
thinker, am. _Cogito, ergo sum_ is the first and most certain of all

The principle, "I think, therefore I am," is not to be considered a
deduction from the major premise, "Whatever thinks exists." It is rather
true that this general proposition is derived from the particular and
earlier one. I must first realize in my own experience that, as thinking, I
exist, before I can reach the general conclusion that thought and existence
are inseparable. This fundamental truth is thus not a syllogism, but a
not further deducible, self-evident, immediate cognition, a pure
intuition--_sum cogitans_. Now, if my existence is revealed by my activity
of thought, if my thought is my being, and the converse, if in me thought
and existence are identical, then I am a being whose essence consists in
thinking. I am a spirit, an ego, a rational soul. My existence follows only
from my thinking, not from any chance action. _Ambulo ergo sum_ would not
be valid, but _mihi videor_ or _puto me ambulare, ergo sum_. If I believe
I am walking, I may undoubtedly be deceived concerning the outward action
(as, for instance, in dreams), but never concerning my inward belief.
_Cogitatio_ includes all the conscious activities of the mind, volition,
emotion, and sensation, as well as representation and cognition; they are
all _modi cogitandi_. The existence of the mind is therefore the most
certain of all things. We know the soul better than the body. It is for
the present the only certainty, and every other is dependent on this, the
highest of all.

What, then, is the peculiarity of this first and most certain knowledge
which renders it self-evident and independent of all proof, which makes
us absolutely unable to doubt it? Its entire clearness and distinctness.
Accordingly, I may conclude that everything which I perceive as clearly and
distinctly as the _cogito ergo sum_ is also true, and I reach this general
rule, _omne est verum, quod clare et distincte percipio_. So far, then, we
have gained three things: a challenge; to be inscribed over the portals
of certified knowledge, _de omnibus dubitandum_; a basal truth, _sum
cogitans_; a criterion of truth, _clara et distinct a perceptio_.

The doubt of Descartes is not the expression of a resigned spirit which
renounces the unattainable; it is precept, not doctrine, the starting point
of philosophy, not its conclusion, a methodological instrument in the hand
of a strong and confident longing for truth, which makes use of doubt to
find the indubitable. It is not aimed at the possibility of attaining
knowledge, but at the opinion that it has already been attained, at the
credulity of the age, at its excessive tendency toward historical and
poly-historical study, which confuses the acquisition and handing down of
information with knowledge of the truth. That knowledge alone is certain
which is self-attained and self-tested--and this cannot be learned
or handed down; it can only be rediscovered through examination and
experience. Instead of taking one's own unsupported conjectures or the
opinions of others as a guide, the secret of the search for truth is to
become independent and of age, to think for one's self; and the only remedy
against the dangers of self-deception and the ease of repetition is to be
found in doubting everything hitherto considered true. This is the meaning
of the Cartesian doubt, which is more comprehensive and more thorough
than the Baconian. Descartes disputed only the certitude of the knowledge
previously attained, not the possibility of knowledge--for of the latter no
man is more firmly convinced than he. He is a rationalist, not a skeptic.
The intellect is assured against error just as soon as, freed from
hindrances, it remains true to itself, as it puts forth all its powers and
lets nothing pass for truth which is not clearly and distinctly known.
Descartes demands the same thing for the human understanding as Rousseau at
a later period for the heart: a return to uncorrupted nature. This faith in
the unartificial, the original, the natural, this radical and naturalistic
tendency is characteristically French. The purification of the mind, its
deliverance from the rubbish of scholastic learning, from the pressure of
authority, and from inert acceptance of the thinking of others--this is
all. Descartes finds the clearest proof of the mind's capacity for truth in
mathematics, whose trustworthiness he never seriously questioned, but only
hypothetically, in order to exhibit the still higher certainty of the "I
think, therefore I am." He wants to give philosophy the stable character
which had so impressed him in mathematics when he was a boy, and recommends
her, therefore, not merely the evidence of mathematics as a general
example, but the mathematical method for definite imitation. Metaphysics,
like mathematics, must derive its conclusions by deduction from
self-evident principles. Thus the geometrical method begins its rule in
philosophy, a rule not always attended with beneficial results.

With this criterion of truth Descartes advances to the consideration of
ideas. He distinguishes volition and judgment from ideas in the narrow
sense (_imagines_), and divides the latter, according to their origin, into
three classes: _ideae innatae, adventitiae, a me ipso factae_, considering
the second class, the "adventitious" ideas, the most numerous, but the
first, the "innate" ideas, the most important. No idea is higher or clearer
than the idea of God or the most perfect being. Whence comes this idea?
That every idea must have a cause, follows from the "clear and distinct"
principle that nothing produces nothing. It follows from this same
principle, _ex nihilo nihil fit_, however, that the cause must contain as
much reality or perfection--_realitas_ and _perfectio_ are synonymous--as
the effect, for otherwise the overplus would have come from nothing. So
much ("objective," representative) reality contained in an idea, so much or
more ("formal," actual) reality must be contained in its cause. The idea
of God as infinite, independent, omnipotent, omniscient, and creative
substance, has not come to me through the senses, nor have I formed it
myself. The power to conceive a being more perfect than myself, can have
only come from someone who is more perfect in reality than I. Since I know
that the infinite contains more reality than the finite, I may conclude
that the idea of the infinite has not been derived from the idea of the
finite by abstraction and negation; it precedes the latter, and I become
conscious of my defects and my finitude only by comparison with the
absolute perfection of God. This idea, then, must have been implanted in me
by God himself. The idea of God is an original endowment; it is as innate
as the idea of myself. However incomplete it may be, it is still
sufficient to give a knowledge of God's existence, although not a perfect
comprehension of his being, just as a man may skirt a mountain without
encircling it.

Descartes brings in the idea of God in order to escape solipsism. So long
as the self-consciousness of the ego remained the only certainty, there was
no conclusive basis for the assumption that anything exists beyond self,
that the ideas which apparently come from without are really occasioned by
external things and do not spring from the mind itself. For our natural
instinct to refer them to objects without us might well be deceptive. It is
only through the idea of God, and by help of the principle that the cause
must contain at least as much reality as the effect, that I am taken beyond
myself and assured that I am not the only thing in the world. For as this
idea contains more of representative, than I of actual reality, I cannot
have been its cause.

To this empirical argument, which derives God's existence from our idea
of God (from the fact that we have an idea of him), Descartes joins the
(modified) ontological argument of Anselm, which deduces the existence of
God from the concept of God. While the ideas of all other things include
only the possibility of existence, necessary existence is inseparable from
the concept of the most perfect being. God cannot be thought apart from
existence; he has the ground of his existence in himself; he is _a se_
or _causa sui_. Finally, Descartes adds a third argument. The idea of
perfections which I do not possess can only have been imparted to me by a
more perfect being than I, which has bestowed on me all that I am and
all that I am capable of becoming. If I had created myself, I would have
bestowed upon myself these absent perfections also. And the existence of a
plurality of causes is negatived by the supreme perfection which I conceive
in the idea of God, the indivisible unity of his attributes. Among the
attributes of God his veracity is of special importance. It is impossible
that he should will to deceive us; that he should be the cause of our
errors. God would be a deceiver, if he had endowed us with a reason to
which error should appear true, even when it uses all its foresight in
avoiding it and assents only to that which it clearly and distinctly
perceives. Error is man's own fault; he falls into it only when he misuses
the divine gift of knowledge, which includes its own standard. Thus
Descartes finds new confirmation for his test of truth in the _veracitas
dei_. Erdmann has given a better defense of Descartes than the philosopher
himself against the charge that this is arguing in a circle, inasmuch as
the existence of God is proved by the criterion of truth, and then the
latter by the former: The criterion of certitude is the _ratio cognoscendi_
of God's existence; God is the _ratio essendi_ of the criterion of
certitude. In the order of existence God is first, he creates the reason
together with its criterion; in the order of knowledge the criterion
precedes, and God's existence follows from it. Descartes himself endeavors
to avoid the circle by making _intuitive_ knowledge self-evident, and by
not bringing in the appeal to God's veracity in _demonstrative_ knowledge
until, in reflective thought, we no longer have each separate link in the
chain of proof present to our minds with full intuitive certainty, but only
remember that we have previously understood the matter with clearness and

Our ideas represent in part things, in part qualities. Substance is defined
by the concept of independence as _res quae ita existit, ut nulla alia re
indigeat ad existendum_; a pregnant definition with which the concept of
substance gains the leadership in metaphysics, which it held till the time
of Hume and Kant, sharing it then with the conception of cause or, rather,
relinquishing it to the latter. The Spinozistic conclusion that, according
to the strict meaning of this definition, there is but one substance, God,
who, as _causa sui_, has absolutely no need of any other thing in order to
his existence, was announced by Descartes himself. If created substances
are under discussion, the term does not apply to them in the same sense
(not _univoce_) as when we speak of the infinite substance; created beings
require a different explanation, they are things which need for their
existence only the co-operation of God, and have no need of one another.
Substance is cognized through its qualities, among which one is pre-eminent
from the fact that it expresses the essence or nature of the thing, and
that it is conceived through itself, without the aid of the others, while
they presuppose it and cannot be thought without it. The former fundamental
properties are termed attributes, and these secondary ones, modes or
accidents. Position, figure, motion, are contingent properties of
body; they presuppose that it is extended or spatial; they are _modi
extensionis_, as feeling, volition, desire, representation, and judgment
are possible only in a conscious being, and hence are merely modifications
of thought. Extension is the essential or constitutive attribute of body,
and thought of mind. Body is never without extension, and mind never
without thought--_mens semper cogitat_. Guided by the self-evident
principle that the non-existent has no properties, we argue from a
perceived quality to a substance as its possessor or support. Substances
are distinct from one another when we can clearly and distinctly cognize
one without the other. Now, we can adequately conceive mind without a
corporeal attribute and body without a spiritual one; the former has
nothing of extension in it, the latter nothing of thought: hence thinking
substance and extended substance are entirely distinct and have nothing
in common. Matter and mind are distinct _realiter_, matter and extension
_idealiter_ merely. Thus we attain three clear and distinct ideas, three
eternal verities: _substantia infinita sive deus, substantia finita
cogitans sive mens, substantia extensa sive corpus_.

By this abrupt contraposition of body and mind as reciprocally independent
substances, Descartes founded that dualism, as whose typical representative
he is still honored or opposed. This dualism between the material and
spiritual worlds belongs to those standpoints which are valid without being
ultimate truth; on the pyramid of metaphysical knowledge it takes a high,
but not the highest, place. We may not rest in it, yet it retains a
permanent value in opposition to subordinate theories. It is in the
right against a materialism which still lacks insight into the essential
distinction between mind and matter, thought and extension, consciousness
and motion; it loses its validity when, with a full consideration and
conservation of the distinction between these two spheres, we succeed in
bridging over the gulf between them, whether this is accomplished through
a philosophy of identity, like that of Spinoza and Schelling, or by an
idealism, like that of Leibnitz or Fichte. In any case philosophy retains
as an inalienable possession the negative conclusion, that, in view of the
heterogeneity of consciousness and motion, the inner life is not reducible
to material phenomena. This clear and simple distinction, which sets bounds
to every confusion of spiritual and material existence, was an act of
emancipation; it worked on the sultry intellectual atmosphere of the time
with the purifying and illuminating power of a lightning flash. We shall
find the later development of philosophy starting from the Cartesian

Descartes himself looked upon the fundamental principles which have now
been discussed as merely the foundation for his life work, as the entrance
portal to his cosmology. Posterity has judged otherwise; it finds his chief
work in that which he considered a mere preparation for it. The start from
doubt, the self-certitude of the thinking ego, the rational criterion of
certitude, the question of the origin of ideas, the concept of substance,
the essential distinction between conscious activity and corporeal being,
and, also, the principle of thoroughgoing mechanism in the material world
(from his philosophy of nature)--these are the thoughts which assure his
immortality. The vestibule has brought the builder more fame, and has
proved more enduring, than the temple: of the latter only the ruins remain;
the former has remained undestroyed through the centuries.

%2. Nature.%

What guarantee have we for the existence of material objects affecting our
senses? That the ideas of sense do not come from ourselves, is shown by
the fact that it is not in our power to determine the objects which we
perceive, or the character of our perception of them. The supposition that
God has caused our perceptions directly, or by means of something which has
no resemblance whatever to an external object extended in three dimensions
and movable, is excluded by the fact that God is not a deceiver. In
reliance on God's veracity we may accept as true whatever the reason
declares concerning body, though not all the reports of the senses,
which so often deceive us. At the instance of the senses we clearly and
distinctly perceive matter distinct from our mind and from God, extended
in three dimensions, length, breadth, and depth, with variously formed and
variously moving parts, which occasion in us sensations of many kinds. The
belief that perception makes known things as they really are is a prejudice
of sense to be discarded; on the contrary, it merely informs us concerning
the utility or harmfulness of objects, concerning their relation to man as
a being composed of soul and body. (The body is that material thing which
is very intimately joined with the mind, and occasions in the latter
certain feelings, _e.g._, pain, which as merely cogitative it would not
have.) Sense qualities, as color, sound, odor, cannot constitute the
essence of matter, for their variation or loss changes nothing in it; I can
abstract from them without the material thing disappearing.[1] There is one
property, however, extensive magnitude (_quantitas_), whose removal would
imply the destruction of matter itself. Thus I perceive by pure thought
that the essence of matter consists in extension, in that which constitutes
the object of geometry, in that magnitude which is divisible, figurable,
and movable. This thesis (_corpus = extensio sive spatium_) is next
defended by Descartes against several objections. In reply to the objection
drawn from the condensation and rarefaction of bodies, he urges that the
apparent increase or decrease in extension is, in fact, a mere change of
figure; that the rarefaction of a body depends on the increase in size of
the intervals between its parts, and the entrance into them of foreign
bodies, just as a sponge swells up when its pores become filled with water
and, therefore, enlarged. The demand that the pores, and the bodies which
force their way into them, should always be perceptible to the senses, is
groundless. He meets the second point, that we call extension by itself
_space_, and not body, by maintaining that the distinction between
extension and corporeal substance is a distinction in thought, and not in
reality; that attribute and substance, mathematical and physical bodies,
are not distinct in fact but only in our thought of them. We apply the
term space to extension in general, as an abstraction, and body to a given
individual, determinate, limited extension. In reality, wherever extension
is, there substance is also,--the non-existent has no extension,--and
wherever space is, there matter is also. Empty space does not exist.
When we say a vessel is empty, we mean that the bodies which fill it are
imperceptible; if it were absolutely empty its sides would touch. Descartes
argues against the atomic theory and against the finitude of the world, as
he argues against empty space: matter, as well as space, has no smallest,
indivisible parts, and the extension of the world has no end. In the
identification of space and matter the former receives fullness from
the latter, and the latter unlimitedness from the former, both internal
unlimitedness (endless divisibility) and external (boundlessness). Hence
there are not several matters but only one (homogeneous) matter, and only
one (illimitable) world.

[Footnote 1: They are merely subjective states in the perceiver, and
entirely unlike the motions which give rise to them, although there is
a certain agreement, as the differences and variations in sensation are
paralleled by those in the object.]

Matter is divisible, figurable, movable quantity. Natural science needs no
other principles than these indisputably true conceptions, by which all
natural phenomena may be explained, and must employ no others. The most
important is motion, on which all the diversity of forms depends. Corporeal
being has been shown to be extension; corporeal becoming is motion. Motion
is defined as "the transporting of one part of matter, or of one body, from
the vicinity of those bodies that are in immediate contact with it,
or which we regard as at rest, to the vicinity of other bodies." This
separation of bodies is reciprocal, hence it is a matter of choice which
shall be considered at rest. Besides its own proper motion in reference to
the bodies in its immediate vicinity, a body can participate in very many
other motions: the traveler walking back and forth on the deck of a ship,
for instance, in the motion of the vessel, of the waves, and of the earth.
The common view of motion as an activity is erroneous; since it requires
force not only to set in motion bodies which are at rest, but also to stop
those which are in motion, it is clear that motion implies no more activity
than rest. Both are simply different states of matter. Since there is no
empty space, each motion spreads to a whole circle of bodies: A forces B
out of its place, B drives out C, and so on, until Z takes up the position
which A has left.

The ultimate cause of motion is God. He has created bodies with an
original measure of motion and rest, and, in accordance with his immutable
character, he preserves this quantity of motion unchanged: it remains
constant in the world as a whole, though it varies in individual bodies.
For with the power to create or destroy motion bodies lack, further, the
power to alter their quantity of motion. By the side of God, the primary
cause of motion, the laws of motion appear as secondary causes. The first
of these is the one become familiar under the name, law of inertia:
Everything continues of itself in the state (of motion or rest) in which it
is, and changes its state only as a result of some extraneous cause. The
second of these laws, which are so valuable in mechanics, runs: Every
portion of matter tends to continue a motion which has been begun in the
same direction, hence in a straight line, and changes its direction only
under the influence of another body, as in the case of the circle above
described. Descartes bases these laws on the unchangeableness of God and
the simplicity of his world-conserving (_i.e._, constantly creative)
activity. The third law relates to the communication of motion; but
Descartes does not recognize the equality of action and reaction as
universally as the fact demands. If a body in motion meets another body,
and its power (to continue its motion in a straight line) is less than the
resistance of the other on which it has impinged, it retains its motion,
but in a different direction: it rebounds in the opposite direction. If, on
the contrary, its force is greater, it carries the other body along with
it, and loses so much of its own motion as it imparts to the latter. The
seven further rules added to these contain much that is erroneous. As
_actio in distans_ is rejected, all the phenomena of motion are traced back
to pressure and impulse. The distinction between fluid and solid bodies is
based on the greater or less mobility of their parts.

The leading principle in the special part of the Cartesian physics,--we
can only briefly sketch it,--which embraces, first, celestial, and, then,
terrestial phenomena, is the axiom that we cannot estimate God's power and
goodness too highly, nor ourselves too meanly. It is presumptuous to seek
to comprehend the purposes of God in creation, to consider ourselves
participants in his plans, to imagine that things exist simply for our
sake--there are many things which no man sees and which are of advantage
to none. Nothing is to be interpreted teleologically, but all must be
interpreted from clearly known attributes, hence purely mechanically.
After treating of the distances of the various heavenly bodies, of the
independent light of the sun and the fixed stars and the reflected light of
the planets, among which the earth belongs, Descartes discusses the motion
of the heavenly bodies. In reference to the motion of the earth he seeks a
middle course between the theories of Copernicus and Tycho Brahé. He agrees
with Copernicus in the main point, but, in reliance on his definition
of motion, maintains that the earth is at rest, viz., in respect to its
immediate surroundings. It is clear that the harmony of his views with
those of the Church (though it was only a verbal agreement) was not
unwelcome to him. According to his hypothesis,--as he suggests, perhaps an
erroneous hypothesis,--the fluid matter which fills the heavenly spaces,
and which may be compared to a vortex or whirlpool, circles about the sun
and carries the planets along with it. Thus the planets move in relation to
the sun, but are at rest in relation to the adjacent portions of the matter
of the heavens. In view of the biblical doctrine, according to which the
world and all that therein is was created at a stroke, he apologetically
describes his attempt to explain the origin of the world from chaos under
the laws of motion as a scientific fiction, intended merely to make the
process more comprehensible. It is more easily conceivable, if we think
of the things in the world as though they had been gradually formed from
elements, as the plant develops from the seed. We now pass to the Cartesian
anthropology, with its three chief objects: the body, the soul, and the
union of the two.

3. %Man.%

The human body, like all organic bodies, is a machine. Artificial automata
and natural bodies are distinguished only in degree. Machines fashioned by
the hand of man perform their functions by means of visible and tangible
instruments, while natural bodies employ organs which, for the most part,
are too minute to be perceived. As the clock-maker constructs a clock from
wheels and weights so that it is able to go of itself, so God has made
man's body out of dust, only, being a far superior artist, he produces a
work of art which is better constructed and capable of far more wonderful
movements. The cause of death is the destruction of some important part of
the machine, which prevents it from running longer; a corpse is a broken
clock, and the departure of the soul comes only as a result of death. The
common opinion that the soul generates life in the body is erroneous. It
is rather true that life must be present before the soul enters into union
with the body, as it is also true that life must have ended before it
dissolves the bond.

The sole principles of physiology are motion and heat. The heat (vital
warmth, a fire without light), which God has put in the heart as the
central organ of life, has for its function the promotion of the
circulation of the blood, in the description of which Descartes mentions
with praise the discoveries of Harvey _(De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in
Animalibus_, 1628). From the blood are separated its finest, most fiery,
and most mobile parts, called by Descartes "animal spirits" _(spiritus
animales sive corporales_), and described as a "very subtle wind" or "pure
and vivid flame," which ascend into the cavities of the brain, reach
the pineal gland suspended in its center _(conarion, glans pinealis,
glandula_), pass into the nerves, and, by their action on the muscles
connected with the nerves, effect the motions of the limbs. These views
refer to the body alone, and so are as true of animals as of men. If
automata existed similar to animals in all respects, both external and
internal, it would be absolutely impossible to distinguish them from real
animals. If, however, they were made to resemble human bodies, two signs
would indicate their unreality--we would find no communication of ideas by
means of language, and also an absence of those bodily movements which
take their origin in the reason (and not merely in the constitution of the
body). The only thing which raises man above the brute is his rational
soul, which we are on no account to consider a product of matter, but which
is an express creation of God, superadded. The union of the soul or the
mind _(anima sive mens_) with the body is, it is true, not so loose that
the mind merely dwells in the body, like a pilot in a ship, nor, on the
other hand, in view of the essential contrariety of the two substances, is
it so intimate as to be more than a _unio compositionis_. Although the soul
is united to the whole body, an especially active intercourse between them
is developed at a single point, the pineal gland, which is distinguished by
its central, protected position, above all, by the fact that it is the only
cerebral organ that is not double. This gland, together with the animal
spirits passing to and from it, mediates between mind and body; and as the
point of union for the twofold impressions from the (right and left) eyes
and ears, without which objects would be perceived double instead of
single, is the seat of the soul. Here the soul exercises a direct influence
on the body and is directly affected by it; here it dwells, and at will
produces a slight, peculiar movement of the gland, through this a change
in the course of the animal spirits (for it is not capable of generating
motion, but only of changing its direction), and, finally, movements of the
members; just as, on the other hand, it remarks the slightest change in the
course of the _spiritus_ through a corresponding movement of the gland,
whose motions vary according to the sensuous properties of the object to be
perceived, and responds by sensations. Although Descartes thus limits the
direct interaction of soul and body to a small part of the organism, he
makes an exception in the case of _memoria_, which appears to him to be
more of a physical than a psychical function, and which he conjectures to
be diffused through the whole brain.

In spite of the comprehensive meaning which Descartes gives to the notion
_cogitatio_, it is yet too narrow to leave room for an _anima vegetativa_
and an _anima sensitiva_. Whoever makes mind and soul equivalent, holds
that their essence consists in conscious activity alone, and interprets
sensation as a mode of thought, cannot escape the paradox of denying to
animals the possession of a soul. Descartes does not shrink from such
a conclusion. Animals are mere machines; they are bodies animated, but
soulless; they lack conscious perception and appetition, though not the
appearance of them. When a clock strikes seven it knows nothing of the
fact; it does not regret that it is so late nor long soon to be able to
strike eight; it wills nothing, feels nothing, perceives nothing. The lot
of the brute is the same. It sees and hears nothing, it does not hunger or
thirst, it does not rejoice or fear, if by these anything more than mere
corporeal phenomena is to be meant; of all these it possesses merely the
unconscious material basis; it moves and motion goes on in it--that is all.
The psychology of Descartes, which has had important results,[1] divides
_cogitationes_ into two classes: _actiones_ and _passiones_. Action denotes
everything which takes its origin in, and is in the power of, the soul;
passion, everything which the soul receives from without, in which it can
make no change, which is impressed upon it. The further development of this
distinction is marred by the crossing of the most diverse lines of thought,
resulting in obscurities and contradictions. Descartes's simple, naïve
habits of thought and speech, which were those of a man of the world rather
than of a scholar, were quite incompatible with the adoption and consistent
use of a finely discriminated terminology; he is very free with _sive_, and
not very careful with the expressions _actio, passio, perceptio, affectio,
volitio_. First he equates activity and willing, for the will springs
exclusively from the soul--it is only in willing that the latter is
entirely independent; while, on the other hand, passivity is made
equivalent to representation and cognition, for the soul does not create
its ideas, but receives them,--sensuous impressions coming to her quite
evidently from the body. These equations, "_actio_--the practical, _passio_
= the theoretical function," are soon limited and modified, however. The
natural appetites and affections are forms of volition, it is true, but not
free products of the mind, for they take their origin in its connection
with the body. Further, not all perceptions have a sensuous origin; when
the soul makes free use of its ideas in imagination, especially when in
pure thought it dwells on itself, when without the interference of the
imagination it gazes on its rational nature, it is by no means passive
merely. Every act of the will, again, is accompanied by the consciousness
of volition. The _volitio_ is an activity, the _cogitatio volitionis_ a
passivity; the soul affects itself, is passively affected through its own
activity, is at the same instant both active and passive.

[Footnote 1: For details cf. the able monograph of Dr. Anton Koch, 1881.]

Thus not every volition, _e.g._ sensuous desire, is action nor all
perception, _e.g._ that of the pure intellect, passion. Finally, certain
psychical phenomena fall indifferently under the head of perception or of
volition, _e.g._, pain, which is both an indistinct idea of something and
an impulse to shun it. In accordance with these emendations, and omitting
certain disturbing points of secondary importance, the matter may be thus

                           ACTIO ¦ PASSIO
(Mens sola; clarae et distinctae ¦ (Mens unita cum corpore;
ideae.)                          ¦ confusae ideae.)
VOLITIO:                         ¦
    6. Voluntas. 3b. Commotiones ¦ 3a. Affectus. 2. Appetitus naturales.
           ¦       intellectuales¦        ¦                  ¦
           ¦                     ¦         \                /
           ¦                     ¦          --------v-------
       Judicium.                 ¦           Sensus interni
PERCEPTIO:                4. Imaginatio
                          /             \
   5. Intellectus 4b. Phantasia. ¦ 4a. Memoria. 1. Sensus externi.

Accordingly six grades of mental function are to be distinguished: (1)
The external senses. (2) The natural appetites. (3) The passions (which,
together with the natural appetites, constitute the internal senses,
and from which the mental emotions produced by the intellect are quite
distinct). (4) The imagination with its two divisions, passive memory and
active phantasy. (5) The intellect or reason. (6) The will. These various
stages or faculties are, however, not distinct parts of the soul, as in the
old psychology, in opposition to which Descartes emphatically defends the
_unity of the soul_. It is one and the same psychical power that exercises
the higher and the lower, the rational and the sensuous, the practical and
the theoretical activities.

Of the mental functions, whether representative images, perceptions, or
volitions, a part are referred to body (to parts of our own body, often
also to external objects), and produced by the body (by the animal spirits
and, generally, by the nerves as well), while the rest find both object and
cause in the soul. Intermediate between the two classes stand those acts
of the will which are caused by the soul, but which relate to the body,
_e.g._, when I resolve to walk or leap; and, what is more important, the
_passions_, which relate to the soul itself, but which are called forth,
sustained, and intensified by certain motions of the animal spirits. Since
only those beings which consist of a body as well as a soul are capable of
the passions, these are specifically human phenomena. These affections,
though very numerous, may be reduced to a few simple or primary ones,
of which the rest are mere specializations or combinations. Descartes
enumerates six primitive passions (which number Spinoza afterward reduced
one-half)--_admiratio, amor et odium, cupiditas (désir), gaudium et
tristitia_. The first and the fourth have no opposites, the former being
neither positive nor negative, and the latter both at once. Wonder, which
includes under it esteem and contempt, signifies interest in an object
which neither attracts us by its utility nor repels us by its hurtfulness,
and yet does not leave us indifferent. It is aroused by the powerful or
surprising impression made by the extraordinary, the rare, the unexpected.
Love seeks to appropriate that which is profitable; hate, to ward off that
which is harmful, to destroy that which is hostile. Desire or longing looks
with hope or fear to the future. When that which is feared or hoped for
has come to pass, joy and grief come in, which relate to existing good and
evil, as desire relates to those to come.

The Cartesian theory of the passions forms the bridge over which its author
passes from psychology to ethics. No soul is so weak as to be incapable of
completely mastering its passions, and of so directing them that from them
all there will result that joyous temper advantageous to the reason. The
freedom of the will is unlimited. Although a direct influence on the
passions is denied it,--it can neither annul them merely at its bidding,
nor at once reduce them to silence, at least, not the more violent
ones,--it still has an indirect power over them in two ways. During the
continuance of the affection (e.g., fear) it is able to arrest the bodily
movements to which the affection tends (flight), though not the emotion
itself, and, in the intervals of quiet, it can take measures to render a
new attack of the passion less dangerous. Instead of enlisting one passion
against another, a plan which would mean only an appearance of freedom,
but in fact a continuance in bondage, the soul should fight with its own
weapons, with fixed maxims _(judicia)_, based on certain knowledge of good
and evil. The will conquers the emotions by means of principles, by clear
and distinct knowledge, which sees through and corrects the false values
ascribed to things by the excitement of the passions. Besides this negative
requirement, "subjection of the passions," Descartes' contributions to
ethics--in the letters to Princess Elizabeth on human happiness, and to
Queen Christina on love and the highest good--were inconsiderable. Wisdom
is the carrying out of that which has been seen to be best, virtue is
steadfastness, sin inconstancy therein. The goal of human endeavor is peace
of conscience, which is attained only through the determination to be
virtuous, i.e., to live in harmony with self.

Besides its ethical mission, the will has allotted to it the theoretical
function of affirmation and negation, i.e., of judgment. If God in his
veracity and goodness has bestowed on man the power to know truth, how is
misuse of this power, how is error possible? Single sensations and ideas
cannot be false, but only judgments--the reference of ideas to objects.
Judgment or assent is a matter of the will; so that when it makes erroneous
affirmations or negations, when it prefers the false judgment to the true,
it alone is guilty. Our understanding is limited, our will unlimited; the
latter reaches further than the former, and can assent to a judgment
even before its constituent parts have attained the requisite degree of
clearness. False judgment is prejudgment, for which we can hold neither God
nor our own nature responsible. The possibility of error, as well as the
possibility of avoiding error, resides in the will. This has the power to
postpone its assent or dissent, to hold back its decision until the ideas
have become entirely clear and distinct. The supreme perfection is the
_libertas non errandi_. Thus knowledge itself becomes a moral function; the
true and the good are in the last analysis identical. The contradiction
with which Descartes has been charged, that he makes volition and cognition
reciprocally determinative, that he bases moral goodness on the clearness
of ideas and _vice versa_, does not exist. We must distinguish between a
theoretical and a practical stadium in the will; it is true of the latter
that it depends on knowledge of the right, of the former that the knowledge
of the right is dependent on it. In order to the possibility of moral
_action_ the will must conform to clear judgment; in order to the
production of the latter the will must _be_ moral. It is the unit-soul,
which first, by freely avoiding overhasty judgment, cognizes the truth, to
exemplify it later in moral conduct.



[Footnote 1: Cf. G. Monchamp, _Histoire du Cartésianisme en Belgique_,
Brussels, 1886.]

%1. Occasionalism: Geulincx.%

The propagation and defense of a system of thought soon give occasion
to its adherents to purify, complete, and transform it. Obscurities and
contradictions are discovered, which the master has overlooked or allowed
to remain, and the disciple exerts himself to remove them, while retaining
the fundamental doctrines. In the system of Descartes there were two
closely connected points which demanded clarification and correction, viz.,
his double dualism (1) between extended substance and thinking substance,
(2) between created substance and the divine substance. In contrast with
each other matter and mind are substances or independent beings, for
the clear conception of body contains naught of consciousness, thought,
representation, and that of mind nothing of extension, matter, motion.
In comparison with God they are not so; apart from the creator they can
neither exist nor be conceived. In every case where the attempt is made to
distinguish between intrinsic and general (as here, between substance in
the stricter and wider senses), an indecision betrays itself which is not
permanently endured.

The substantiality of the material and spiritual worlds maintained by
Descartes finds an excellent counterpart in his (entirely modern) tendency
to push the _concursus dei_ as far as possible into the background, to
limit it to the production of the original condition of things, to give
over motion, once created, to its own laws, and ideas implanted in the mind
to its own independent activity; but it is hard to reconcile with it the
view, popular in the Middle Ages, that the preservation of the world is a
perpetual creation. In the former case the relation of God to the world is
made an external relation; in the latter, an internal one. In the one the
world is thought of as a clock, which once wound up runs on mechanically,
in the second it is likened to a piece of music which the composer himself
recites. If God preserves created things by continually recreating them
they are not substances at all; if they are substances, preservation
becomes an empty word, which we repeat after the theologians without giving
it any real meaning.

Matter and spirit stand related in our thought only by way of exclusion;
is the same true of them in reality? They can be conceived and can exist
without each other; can they, further, without each other effect all that
we perceive them to accomplish? There are some motions in the material
world which we refer to a voluntary decision of the soul, and some among
our ideas (_e.g._, perceptions of the senses) which we refer to corporeal
phenomena as their causes. If body and soul are substances, how can they
be dependent on each other in certain of their activities, if they are of
opposite natures, how can they affect each other? How can the incorporeal,
unmoved spirit move the animal spirits and receive impulses from them?
The substantiality (reciprocal independence) of body and mind, and their
interaction (partial reciprocal dependence), are incompatible, one or
the other is illusory and must be abandoned. The materialists (Hobbes)
sacrifice the independence of mind, the idealists (Berkeley, Leibnitz), the
independence of matter, the occasionalists, the interaction of the two.
This forms the advance of the last beyond Descartes, who either naïvely
maintains that, in spite of the contrariety of material and mental
substances, an exchange of effects takes place between them as an
empirical fact, or, when he realizes the difficulty of the anthropological
problem,--how is the union of the two substances in man possible,--ascribes
the interaction of body and mind, together with the union of the two, to
the power of God, and by this abandonment of the attempt at a natural
explanation, opens up the occasionalistic way of escape. Further, in
his more detailed description of the intercourse between body and mind
Descartes had been guilty of direct violations of his laws of natural
philosophy. If the quantity of motion is declared to be invariable and a
change in its direction is attributed to mechanical causes alone, we must
not ascribe to the soul the power to move the pineal gland, even in the
gentlest way, nor to control the direction of the animal spirits. These
inconsistencies also are removed by the occasionalistic thesis.

The question concerning the substantiality of mind and matter in relation
to God, is involved from the very beginning in this latter problem, "How
is the appearance of interaction between the two to be explained without
detriment to their substantiality in relation to each other?" The denial
of the reciprocal dependence of matter and spirit leads to sharper
accentuation of their common dependence upon God. Thus occasionalism forms
the transition to the pantheism of Spinoza, Geulincx emphasizing the
non-substantiality of spirits, and Malebranche the non-substantiality of
bodies, while Spinoza combines and intensifies both. And yet history was
not obliging enough to carry out this convenient and agreeable scheme of
development with chronological accuracy, for she had Spinoza complete his
pantheism _before_ Malebranche had prepared the way. The relation which was
noted in the case of Bruno and Campanella is here repeated: the earlier
thinker assumes the more advanced position, while the later one seems
backward in comparison; and that which, viewed from the standpoint of the
question itself, may be considered a transition link, is historically to be
taken as a reaction against the excessive prosecution of a line of thought
which, up to a certain point, had been followed by the one who now shrinks
back from its extreme consequences. The course of philosophy takes first a
theological direction in the earlier occasionalists, then a metaphysical
(naturalistic) trend in Spinoza, to renew finally, in Malebranche, the
first of these movements in opposition to the second. The Cartesian school,
as a whole, however, exhibits a tendency toward mysticism, which was
concealed to a greater or less extent by the rationalistic need for clear
concepts, but never entirely suppressed.

Although the real interaction of body and mind be denied, some explanation
must, at least, be given for the appearance of interaction, _i.e._ for the
actual correspondence of bodily and mental phenomena. Occasionalism denotes
the theory of occasional causes. It is not the body that gives rise to
perception, nor the mind that causes the motion of the limbs which it has
determined upon--neither the one nor the other can receive influence from
its fellow or exercise influence upon it; but it is God who, "on the
occasion" of the physical motion (of the air and nerves); produces the
sensation (of sound), and, "at the instance" of the determination of the
will, produces the movement of the arms. The systematic development and
marked influence of this theory, which had already been more or less
clearly announced by the Cartesians Cordemoy and De la Forge,[1] was due to
the talented Arnold Geulincx (1624-69), who was born at Antwerp, taught
in Lyons (1646-58) and Leyden, and became a convert to Calvinism. It
ultimately gained over the majority of the numerous adherents of the
Cartesian philosophy in the Dutch universities,--Renery (died 1639) and
Regius (van Roy; _Fundamenta Physicae_, 1646; _Philosophia Naturalis_,
1661) in Utrecht; further, Balthasar Bekker (1634-98; _The World
Bewitched_, 1690), the brave opponent of the belief in angels and devils,
of magic, and of prosecution for witchcraft,--in the clerical orders in
France and, finally, in Germany.

[Footnote 1: Gerauld de Cordemoy, a Parisian advocate (died 1684,
_Dissertations Philosophiques_, 1666), communicated his occasionalistic
views orally to his friends as early as 1658 (cf. L. Stein in the _Archiv
für Geschichte der Philosophie_, vol. i., 1888, p. 56). Louis de la Forge,
a physician of Saumur, _Tractatus de Mente Humana_, 1666, previously
published in French; cf. Seyfarth, Gotha, 1887. But the logician, Johann
Clauberg, professor in Duisburg (1622-65; _Opera_, edited by Schalbruch,
1691), is, according to the investigations of Herm. Müller _(J. Clauberg
und seine Stellung im Cartesianismus_, Jena, 1891), to be stricken from
the list of thinkers who prepared the way for occasionalism, since in his
discussion of the anthropological problem (_corporis et animae conjunctio_)
he merely develops the Cartesian position, and does not go beyond it. He
employs the expression _occasio_, it is true, but not in the sense of the
occasionalists. According to Clauberg the bodily phenomenon becomes the
stimulus or "occasion" (not for God, but) for the soul to produce from
itself the corresponding mental phenomenon.]

Geulincx himself, besides two inaugural addresses at Leyden (as Lector in
1662, Professor Extraordinary in 1665), published the following treatises:
_Quaestiones Quodlibeticae_ (in the second edition, 1665, entitled
_Saturnalia_) with an important introductory discourse; _Logica Fundamentis
Suis Restituta_, 1662; _Methodus Inveniendi Argumenta_ (new edition by
Bontekoe, 1675); and the first part of his Ethics--_De Virtute et Primis
ejus Proprietatibus, quae vulgo Virtutes Cardinales Vocantur, Tractatus
Ethicus Primus_, 1665. This chief work was issued complete in all six parts
with the title, _[Greek: Gnothi seauton] sive Ethica_, 1675, by Bontekoe,
under the pseudonym Philaretus. The _Physics_, 1688, the _Metaphysics_,
1691, and the _Annotata Majora in Cartesii Principia Philosophiae_, 1691,
were also posthumous publications, from the notes of his pupils. In view of
the rarity of these volumes, and the importance of the philosopher, it is
welcome news that J.P.N. Land has undertaken an edition of the collected
works, in three volumes, of which the first two have already appeared.[1]
The Hague, 1891-92.[2]

[Footnote 1: On vol. i. cf. Eucken, _Philosophische Monatshefte_, vol.
xxviii., 1892, p,200 _seq_.]

[Footnote 2: On Geulincx see V. van der Haeghen, _Geulincx, Étude sur sa
Vie, sa Philosophie, et ses Ouvrages_, Ghent, 1886, including a complete
bibliography; and Land in vol. iv. of the _Archiv für Geschichte der
Philosophie_, 1890. [English translation, _Mind_, vol. xvi. p. 223 _seq_.]]

Geulincx bases the _occasionalistic_ position on the principle, _quod
nescis, quomodo fiat, id non facis_. Unless I know how an event happens, I
am not its cause. Since I have no consciousness how my decision to speak or
to walk is followed by the movement of my tongue or limbs, I am not the one
who effects these. Since I am just as ignorant how the sensation in my mind
comes to pass as a sequel to the motion in the sense-organ; since, further,
the body as an unconscious and non-rational being can effect nothing, it is
neither I nor the body that causes the sensation. Both the bodily movement
and the sense-impression are, rather, the effects of a higher power, of the
infinite spirit. The act of my will and the sense-stimulus are only _causae
occasionales_ for the divine will, in an incomprehensible way, to effect,
in the one case, the execution of the movement of the limbs resolved upon,
and, in the other, the origin of the perception; they are (unsuitable)
instruments, effective only in the hand of God; he brings it to pass that
my will goes out beyond my soul, and that corporeal motion has results in
it. The meaning of this doctrine is misapprehended when it is assumed,--an
assumption to which the Leibnitzian account of occasionalism may mislead
one,--that in it the continuity of events, alike in the material and the
psychical world, is interrupted by frequent scattered interferences from
without, and all becoming transformed into a series of disconnected
miracles. An order of nature such as would be destroyed by God's action
does not exist; God brings everything to pass; even the passage of motion
from one body to another is his work. Further, Geulincx expressly says that
God has imposed such _laws_ on motion that it harmonizes with the soul's
free volition, of which, however, it is entirely independent (similar
statements occur also in De la Forge). And with this our thinker
appears--as Pfleiderer[1] emphasizes--closely to approach the
pre-established harmony of Leibnitz. The occasionalistic theory certainly
constitutes the preliminary step to the Leibnitzian; but an essential
difference separates the two. The advance does not consist in the
substitution by Leibnitz of one single miracle at creation for a number of
isolated and continually recurring ones, but (as Leibnitz himself remarks,
in reply to the objection expressed by Father Lami, that a perpetual
miracle is no miracle) in the exchange of the immediate causality of God
for natural causation. With Geulincx mind and body act on each other, but
not by their own power; with Leibnitz the monads do not act on one another,
but they act by their own power.[2]--When Geulincx in the same connection
advances to the statements that, in view of the limitedness and passivity
of finite things, God is the only truly active, because the only
independent, being in the world, that all activity is his activity, that
the human (finite) spirit is related to the divine (infinite) spirit as
the individual body to space in general, viz., as a section of it, so that,
by thinking away all limitations from our mind, we find God in us and
ourselves in him, it shows how nearly he verges on pantheism.

[Footnote 1: Edm. Pfleiderer, _Geulincx, als Hauptvertreter der
occasionalistischen Metaphysik und Ethik_, Tübingen, 1882; the same,
_Leibniz und Geulincx mit besonderer Beziehung auf ihr Uhrengleichnis_,
Tübingen, 1884.]

[Footnote 2: See Ed. Zeller, _Sitzungsberichte der Berliner Akademie der
Wissenschaften_, 1884, p. 673 _seq_.; Eucken, _Philosophische Monatshefte_,
vol. xix., 1893, p. 525 _seq_; vol. xxiii., 1887, p. 587 _seq_.]

Geulincx's services to noëtics have been duly recognized by Ed. Grimm
(Jena, 1875), although with an excessive approximation to Kant. In this
field he advances many acute and suggestive thoughts, as the deduction
which reappears in Lotze, that the actually existent world of figure and
motion cognized by thought, though the real world, is poorer than the
wonderful world of motley sensuous appearance conjured forth in our minds
on the occasion of the former, that the latter is the more beautiful and
more worthy of a divine author. Further, the conviction, also held by
Lotze, that the fundamental activities of the mind cannot be defined, but
only known through inner experience or immediate consciousness (he
who loves, knows what love is; it is a _per conscientiam et intimam
experientiam notissima res_); the praiseworthy attempt to give a systematic
arrangement, according to their derivation from one another, to the innate
mathematical concepts, which Descartes had simply co-ordinated (the concept
of surface is gained from the concept of body by abstracting from the third
dimension, thickness--the act of thus abstracting from certain parts of
the content of thought, Geulincx terms _consideratio_ in contrast to
_cogitatio_, which includes the whole content); and, finally, the still
more important inquiry, whether it is possible for us to reach a knowledge
of things independently of the forms of the understanding, as in pure
thought we strip off the fetters of sense. The possibility of this is
denied; there is no higher faculty of knowledge to act as judge over the
understanding, as the latter over the sensibility, and even the wisest
man cannot free himself from the forms of thought (categories, _modi
cogitandi_). And yet the discussion of the question is not useless: the
reason should examine into the unknowable as well as the knowable; it is
only in this way that we learn that it is unknowable. As the highest forms
of thought Geulincx names subject (the empty concept of an existent, _ens_
or _quod est_) and predicate _(modus entis_), and derives them from two
fundamental activities of the mind, a combining function _(simulsumtio,
totatio_) and an abstracting function (one which removes the _nota
subjecti_). Substance and accident, substantive and adjective, are
expressions for subjective processes of thought and hence do not hold
of things in themselves. With reference to the importance, nay, to the
indispensability, of linguistic signs in the use of the understanding, the
science of the forms of thought is briefly termed grammar.

The principle _ubi nihil vales, ibi nihil velis_, forms the connection
between the occasionalistic metaphysics and ethics, the latter deducing the
practical consequences of the former. Where thou canst do nothing, there
will nothing. Since we can effect nothing in the material world, to which
we are related merely as spectators, we ought also not to seek in it the
motives and objects of our actions. God, does not require works, but
dispositions only, for the result of our volition is beyond our power. Our
moral vocation, then, consists in renunciation of the world and retirement
into ourselves, and in patient faithfulness at the post assigned to us.
Virtue is _amor dei ac rationis_, self-renouncing, active, obedient love
to God and to the reason as the image and law of God in us. The cardinal
virtues are _diligentia_, sedulous listening for the commands of the
reason; _obedientia_, the execution of these _justitia_, the conforming of
the whole life to what is perceived to be right; finally, _humilitas_,
the recognition of our impotency and self-renunciation (_inspectio_ and
_despectio_, or _derelictio, neglectus, contemptus, incuria sui_). The
highest of these is humility, pious submission to the divine order of
things; its condition, the self-knowledge commended in the title of the
Ethics; the primal evil, self-love (_Philautia_--_ipsissimum peccatum_).
Man is unhappy because he seeks happiness. Happiness is like our shadows;
it shuns us when we pursue it, it follows us when we flee from it. The joys
which spring from virtue are an adornment of it, not an enticement to it;
they are its result, not its aim. The ethics of Geulincx, which we cannot
further trace out here, surprises one by its approximation to the views of
Spinoza and of Kant. With the former it has in common the principle of love
toward God, as well as numerous details; with the latter, the absoluteness
of the moral law (_in rebus moralibus absolute praecipit ratio aut vetat,
nulla interposita conditione_); with both the depreciation of sympathy, on
the ground that it is a concealed egoistic motive.

The denial of substantiality to individual things, brought in by the
occasionalists, is completed by Spinoza, who boldly and logically proclaims
pantheism on the basis of Cartesianism and gives to the divine All-one a
naturalistic instead of a theological character.

%2. Spinoza.%

Benedictus (originally Baruch) de Spinoza sprang from a Jewish family of
Portugal or Spain, which had fled to Holland to escape persecution at home.
He was born in Amsterdam in 1632; taught by the Rabbin Morteira, and,
in Latin, by Van den Ende, a free-thinking physician who had enjoyed a
philological training; and expelled by anathema from the Jewish communion,
1656, on account of heretical views. During the next four years he found
refuge at a friend's house in the country near Amsterdam, after which he
lived in Rhynsburg, and from 1664 in Voorburg, moving thence, in 1669, to
The Hague, where he died in 1677. Spinoza lived in retirement and had few
wants; he supported himself by grinding optical glasses; and, in 1673,
declined the professorship at Heidelberg offered him by Karl Ludwig, the
Elector Palatine, because of his love of quiet, and on account of the
uncertainty of the freedom of thought which the Elector had assured him.
Spinoza himself made but two treatises public: his dictations on the first
and second parts of Descartes's _Principia Philosophiae_, which had been
composed for a private pupil, with an appendix, _Cogitata Metaphysica_,
1663, and the _Tractatus Theologico-Politicus_, published anonymously
in 1670, in defense of liberty of thought and the right to unprejudiced
criticism of the biblical writings. The principles expressed in the latter
work were condemned by all parties as sacrilegious and atheistic, and
awakened concern even in the minds of his friends. When, in 1675, Spinoza
journeyed to Amsterdam with the intention of giving his chief work, the
_Ethics_, to the press, the clergy and the followers of Descartes applied
to the government to forbid its issue. Soon after Spinoza's death it was
published in the _Opera Posthuma_, 1677, which were issued under the care
of Hermann Schuller,[1] with a preface by Spinoza's friend, the physician
Ludwig Meyer, and which contained, besides the chief work, three incomplete
treatises (_Tractatus Politicus, Tractatus de Intellectus Emendatione,
Compendium Grammatices Linguae Hebraeae_) and a collection of Letters by
and to Spinoza. The _Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata_, in five parts,
treats (1) of God, (2) of the nature and origin of the mind, (3) of the
nature and origin of the emotions, (4) of human bondage or the strength
of the passions, (5) of the power of the reason or human freedom. It has
become known within recent times that Spinoza made a very early sketch
of the system developed in the _Ethics_, the _Tractatus Brevis de Deo et
Homine ejusque Felicitate_, of which a Dutch translation in two copies was
discovered, though not the original Latin text. This treatise was published
by Böhmer, 1852, in excerpts, and complete by Van Vloten, 1862, and by
Schaarschmidt, 1869. It was not until our own century, and after Jacobi's
_Ueber die Lehre des Spinoza in Briefen an Moses Mendelssohn_ (1785)
had aroused the long slumbering interest in this much misunderstood
philosopher, who has been oftener despised than studied, that complete
editions of his works were prepared, by Paulus 1802-03; Gfrörer, 1830;
Bruder, 1843-46; Ginsberg (in Kirchmann's _Philosophische Bibliothek_,
4 vols.), 1875-82; and Van Vloten and Land,[2] 2 vols., 1882-83. B.
Auerbach has worked Spinoza's life into a romantic novel, _Spinoza, ein
Denkerleben_, 1837; 2d ed., 1855 [English translation by C.T. Brooks,

[Footnote 1: See L. Stein in the _Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie_,
vol. i., 1888, p. 554 _seq_.]

[Footnote 2: For the literature on Spinoza the reader is referred to
Ueberweg and to Van der Linde's _B. Spinoza, Bibliografie_, 1871; while
among recent works we shall mention only Camerer's _Die Lehre Spinozas_,
Stuttgart, 1877. An English translation of _The Chief Works of Spinoza_ has
been given by Elwes, 1883-84; a translation of the _Ethics_ by White,
1883; and one of selections from the _Ethics_, with notes, by Fullerton in
Sneath's Modern Philosophers, 1892. Among the various works on Spinoza, the
reader may be referred to Pollock's _Spinoza, His Life and Times_, 1880
(with bibliography to same year); Martineau's _Study of Spinoza_, 1883; and
J. Caird's _Spinoza_, Blackwood's Philosophical Classics, 1888.--TR.]

We shall consider Spinoza's system as a completed whole as it is given in
the _Ethics_; for although it is interesting for the investigator to trace
out the development of his thinking by comparing this chief work with its
forerunner (that _Tractatus Brevis_ "concerning God, man, and the happiness
of the latter," whose dialogistical portions we may surmise to have been
the earliest sketch of the Spinozistic position, and which was followed by
the _Tractatus de Intellectus Emendatione_) such a procedure is not equally
valuable for the student. In regard to Spinoza's relations to other
thinkers it cannot be doubted, since Freudenthal's[1] proof, that he was
dependent to a large degree on the predominant philosophy of the schools,
_i.e._ on the later Scholasticism (Suarez[2]), especially on its Protestant
side (Jacob Martini, Combachius, Scheibler, Burgersdijck, Heereboord);
Descartes, it is true, felt the same influence. Joël,[3]: Schaarschmidt,
Sigwart,[4] R. Avenarius,[5] and Böhmer[6] = have advanced the view that
the sources of Spinoza's philosophy are not to be sought exclusively in
Cartesianism, but rather that essential elements were taken from the
Cabala, from the Jewish Scholasticism (Maimonides, 1190; Gersonides, died
1344; Chasdai Crescas, 1410), and from Giordano Bruno. In opposition
to this Kuno Fischer has defended, and in the main successfully, the
proposition that Spinoza reached, and must have reached, his fundamental
pantheism by his own reflection as a development of Descartes's principles.
The traces of his early Talmudic education, which have been noticed in
Spinoza's works, prove no dependence of his leading ideas on Jewish
theology. His pantheism is distinguished from that of the Cabalists by
its rejection of the doctrine of emanation, and from Bruno's, which
nevertheless may have influenced him, by its anti-teleological character.
When with Greek philosophers, Jewish theologians, and the Apostle Paul
he teaches the immanence of God (_Epist. 21_), when with Maimonides and
Crescas he teaches love to God as the principal of morality, and with the
latter of these, determinism also, it is not a necessary consequence that
he derived these theories from them. That which most of all separates him
from the mediaeval scholastics of his own people, is his rationalistic
conviction that God can be known. His agreement with them comes out most
clearly in the _Tractatus Theologico-Politicus_. But even here it holds
only in regard to undertaking a general criticism of the Scriptures and to
their figurative interpretation, while, on the other hand, the demand for
a special historical criticism, and the object which with Spinoza was
the basis of the investigation as a whole, were foreign to mediaeval
Judaism--in fact, entirely modern and original. This object was to make
science independent of religion, whose records and doctrines are to edify
the mind and to improve the character, not to instruct the understanding.
"Spinoza could not have learned the complete separation of religion and
science from Jewish literature; this was a tendency which sprang from the
spirit of his own time" (Windelband, _Geschichte der neueren Philosophie_,
vol. i. p. 194).

[Footnote 1: J. Freudenthal, _Spinoza und die Scholastik_ in the
_Philosophische Aufsätze, Zeller zum 50-Jährigen Doktorjubiläum gewidmet_,
Leipsic, 1887, p. 85 _seq_. Freudenthal's proof covers the _Cogitata
Metaphysica_ and many of the principal propositions of the _Ethics_.]

[Footnote 2: The Spanish Jesuit, Francis Suarez, lived 1548-1617. _Works_,
Venice, 1714 Cf. Karl Werner, _Suarez und die Scholastik der letzten
Jahrhunderte_, Regensburg, 1861.]

[Footnote 3: M. Joël, _Don Chasdai Crescas' religions-philosophische Lehren
in ihrem geschichtlichen Einfluss_, 1866; _Spinozas Theo.-pel. Traktat
auf seine Quellen geprüft_, 1870; _Zur Genesis der Lehre Spinozas mit
besonderer Berücksichtigung des kurzen Traktats_, 1871.]

[Footnote 4: _Spinozas neu entdeckter Traktat eläutert u. s. w_., 1866;
_Spinozas kurzer Traktat übersetzt mit Einleitungen und Erläuterungen_,

[Footnote 5: _Ueber die beiden ersten Phasen des Spinozistischen
Pantheismus und das Verhältniss der zweiten zur dritten Phase_, 1868.]

[Footnote 6: _Spinozana_ in Fichte's _Zeitschrift für Philosophie_ vols.
xxxvi., xlii., lvii., 1860-70.]

The logical presuppositions of Spinoza's philosophy lie in the fundamental
ideas of Descartes, which Spinoza accentuates, transforms, and adopts.
Three pairs of thoughts captivate him and incite him to think them through:
first, the rationalistic belief in the power of the human spirit to possess
itself of the truth by pure thought, together with confidence in the
omnipotence of the mathematical method; second, the concept of substance,
together with the dualism of extension and thought; finally, the
fundamental mechanical position, together with the impossibility
of interaction between matter and spirit, held in common with the
occasionalists, but reached independently of them. Whatever new elements
are added (_e. g_., the transformation of the Deity from a mere aid to
knowledge into its most important, nay, its only object; as, also, the
enthusiastic, directly mystical devotion to the all-embracing world-ground)
are of an essentially emotional nature, and to be referred less to
historical influences than to the individuality of the thinker. The
divergences from his predecessors, however, especially the extension of
mechanism to mental phenomena and the denial of the freedom of the will,
inseparable from this, result simply from the more consistent application
of Cartesian principles. Spinoza is not an inventive, impulsive spirit,
like Descartes and Leibnitz, but a systematic one; his strength does not
lie in brilliant inspirations, but in the power of resolutely thinking a
thing through; not in flashes of thought, but in strictly closed circles of
thought. He develops, but with genius, and to the end. Nevertheless this
consecutiveness of Spinoza, the praises of which have been unceasingly sung
by generations since his day, has its limits. It holds for the unwavering
development of certain principles derived from Descartes, but not with
equal strictness for the inter-connection of the several lines of thought
followed out separately. His very custom of developing a principle straight
on to its ultimate consequences, without regard to the needs of the heart
or to logical demands from other directions, make it impossible for the
results of the various lines of thought to be themselves in harmony; his
vertical consistency prevents horizontal consistency. If the original
tendencies come into conflict (the consciously held theoretical principles
into conflict with one another, or with hidden aesthetic or moral
principles), either one gains the victory over the other or both insist
on their claims; thus we have inconsistencies in the one case, and
contradictions in the other (examples of which have been shown by Volkelt
in his maiden work, _Pantheismus und Individualismus im Systeme Spinozas_,
1872). Science demands unified comprehension of the given, and seeks the
smallest number of principles possible; but her concepts prove too narrow
vessels for the rich plenitude of reality. He who asks from philosophy more
than mere special inquiries finds himself confronted by two possibilities:
first, starting from one standpoint, or a few such, he may follow a direct
course without looking to right or left, at the risk that in his
thought-calculus great spheres of life will be wholly left out of view, or,
at least, will not receive due consideration; or, second, beginning from
many points of departure and ascending along converging lines, he may seek
a unifying conclusion. In Spinoza we possess the most brilliant example of
the former one-sided, logically consecutive power of (also, no doubt,
violence in) thought, while Leibnitz furnishes the type of the many-sided,
harmonistic thinking. The fact that even the rigorous Spinoza is not
infrequently forced out of the strict line of consistency, proves that the
man was more many-sided than the thinker would have allowed himself to be.

To begin with the formal side of Spinozism: the rationalism of Descartes
is heightened by Spinoza into the imposing confidence that absolutely
everything is cognizable by the reason, that the intellect is able by its
pure concepts and intuitions entirely to exhaust the multiform world of
reality, to follow it with its light into its last refuge.[1] Spinoza is
just as much in earnest in regard to the typical character of mathematics.
Descartes (with the exception of an example asked for in the second of the
Objections, and given as an appendix to the _Meditations_, in which he
endeavors to demonstrate the existence of God and the distinction of body
and spirit on the synthetic Euclidean method), had availed himself of the
analytic form of presentation, on the ground that, though less cogent, it
is more suited for instruction since it shows the way by which the matter
has been discovered. Spinoza, on the other hand, rigorously carried out the
geometrical method, even in externals. He begins with definitions, adds to
these axioms (or postulates), follows with propositions or theorems as the
chief thing, finally with demonstrations or proofs, which derive the later
propositions from the earlier, and these in turn from the self-evident
axioms. To these four principal parts are further added as less essential,
deductions or corollaries immediately resulting from the theorems, and the
more detailed expositions of the demonstrations or scholia. Besides these,
some longer discussions are given in the form of remarks, introductions,
and appendices.

[Footnote 1: Heussler's objections (_Der Rationalismus des_ 17
_Jahrhunderts_, 1885, pp. 82-85) to this characterization of Kuno Fischer's
are not convincing. The question is not so much about a principle
demonstrable by definite citations as about an unconscious motive in
Spinoza's thinking. Fischer's views on this point seem to us correct.
Spinoza's mode of thinking is, in fact, saturated with this strong
confidence in the omnipotence of the reason and the rational constitution
of true reality.]

If everything is to be cognizable through mathematics, then everything must
take place necessarily; even the thoughts, resolutions, and actions of man
cannot be free in the sense that they might have happened otherwise. Thus
there is an evident methodological motive at work for the extension
of mechanism to all becoming, even spiritual becoming. But there are
metaphysical reasons also. Descartes had naïvely solved the anthropological
problem by the answer that the interaction of mind and body is
incomprehensible but actual. The occasionalists had hesitatingly questioned
these conclusions a little, the incomprehensibility as well as the
actuality, only at last to leave them intact. For the explanation that
there is a real influence of body on mind and _vice versa_, though not
an immediate but an occasional one, one mediated by the divine will, is
scarcely more than a confession that the matter is inexplicable. Spinoza,
who admits neither the incognizability of anything real, nor any
supernatural interferences, roundly denies both. There is no intercourse
between body and soul; yet that which is erroneously considered such
is both actually present and explicable. The assumed interaction is as
unnecessary as it is impossible. Body and soul do not need to act on one
another, because they are not two in kind at all, but constitute one being
which may be looked at from two different sides. This is called body when
considered under its attribute of extension, and spirit when considered
under its attribute of thought. It is quite impossible for two substances
to affect each other, because by their reciprocal influence, nay, by their
very duality, they would lose their independence, and, with this, their
substantiality. There is no plurality of substances, but only one, the
infinite, the divine substance. Here we reach the center of the system.
There is but one becoming and but one independent, substantial being.
Material and spiritual becoming form merely the two sides of one and the
same necessary world-process; particular extended beings and particular
thinking beings are nothing but the changeable and transitory states
_(modi)_ of the enduring, eternal, unified world-ground. "Necessity in
becoming and unity of being," mechanism and pantheism--these are the
controlling conceptions in Spinoza's doctrine. Multiplicity, the
self-dependence of particular things, free choice, ends, development, all
this is illusion and error.

%(a) Substance, Attributes, and Modes%.--There is but one substance, and
this is infinite (I. _prop_. 10, _schol; prop_. 14, _cor_. 1). Why, then,
only one and why infinite? With Spinoza as with Descartes independence is
the essence of substantiality. This is expressed in the third definition:
"By substance I understand that which is in itself and is conceived by
means of itself, _i.e._, that the conception of which can be formed without
the aid of the conception of any other thing." _Per substantiam intelligo
id, quod in se est et per se concipitur; hoc est id, cujus conceptus
non indiget conceptu alterius rei, a quo formari debeat_. An absolutely
self-dependent being can neither be limited (since, in respect to its
limits, it would be dependent on the limiting being), nor occur more than
once in the world. Infinity follows from its self-dependence, and its
uniqueness from its infinity.

Substance is the being which is dependent on nothing and on which
everything depends; which, itself uncaused, effects all else; which
presupposes nothing, but itself constitutes the presupposition of all that
is: it is pure being, primal being, the cause of itself and of all. Thus in
Spinoza the being which is without presuppositions is brought into the most
intimate relation with the fullness of multiform existence, not coldly and
abstractly exalted above it, as by the ancient Eleatics. Substance is the
being in (not above) things, that in them which constitutes their reality,
which supports and produces them. As the cause of all things Spinoza calls
it God, although he is conscious that he understands by the term something
quite different from the Christians. God does not mean for him a
transcendent, personal spirit, but only the _ens absolute infinitum (def.
sexta)_, the essential heart of things: _Deus sive substantia_.

How do things proceed from God? Neither by creation nor by emanation. He
does not put them forth from himself, they do not tear themselves free from
him, but they follow out of the necessary nature of God, as it follows from
the nature of the triangle that the sum of its angles is equal to two right
angles (I. _prop_. 17, _schol_.). They do not come out from him, but remain
in him; just this fact that they are in another, in God, constitutes their
lack of self-dependence (I. _prop_. 18, _dem.: nulla res, quae extra Deum
in se sit_). God is their inner, indwelling cause (_causa immanens, non
vero transiens_.--I. _prop_. 18), is not a transcendent creator, but
_natura naturans_, over against the sum of finite beings, _natura naturata_
(I. _prop_. 29, _schol_.): _Deus sive natura_.

Since nothing exists out of God, his actions do not follow from external
necessity, are not constrained, but he is free cause, free in the sense
that he does nothing except that toward which his own nature impels him,
that he acts in accordance with the laws of his being (_def. septima: ea
res libera dicitur, quae ex sola suae naturae necessitate existit et a se
sola ad agendum determinatur; Epist_. 26). This inner necessitation is
so little a defect that its direct opposite, undetermined choice and
inconstancy, must rather be excluded from God as an imperfection. Freedom
and (inner) necessity are identical; and antithetical, on the one side, to
undetermined choice and, on the other, to (external) compulsion. Action in
view of ends must also be denied of the infinite; to think of God as acting
in order to the good is to make him dependent on something external to him
(an aim) and lacking in that which is to be attained by the action. With
God the ground of his action is the same as the ground of his existence;
God's power and his essence coincide (I. _prop_. 34: _Dei potentia est ipsa
ipsius essentia_). He is the cause of himself (_def. prima: per causam sui
intelligo id, cujus essentia involvit existentiam, sive id, cujus natura
non potest concipi nisi existens_); it would be a contradiction to hold
that being was not, that God, or substance, did not exist; he cannot be
thought otherwise than as existing; his concept includes his existence. To
be self-caused means to exist necessarily (I. _prop_. 7). The same thing
is denoted by the predicate eternal, which, according to the eighth
definition, denotes "existence itself, in so far as it is conceived to
follow necessarily from the mere definition of the eternal thing."

The infinite substance stands related to finite, individual things, not
only as the independent to the dependent, as the cause to the caused, as
the one to the many, and the whole to the parts, but also as the universal
to the particular, the indeterminate to the determinate. From infinite
being as pure affirmation (I. _prop_. 8, _schol_. I: _absoluta affirmatio_)
everything which contains a limitation or negation, and this includes every
particular determination, must be kept at a distance: _determinatio negatio
est (Epist_. 50 and 41: a determination denotes nothing positive, but a
deprivation, a lack of existence; relates not to the being but to the
non-being of the thing). A determination states that which distinguishes
one thing from another, hence what it is _not_, expresses a limitation of
it. Consequently God, who is free from every negation and limitation, is to
be conceived as the absolutely indeterminate. The results thus far reached
run: _Substantia una infinita--Deus sive natura--causa sui (aeterna) et
rerum (immanens)--libera necessitas--non determinata_. Or more briefly:
Substance = God = nature. The equation of God and substance had been
announced by Descartes, but not adhered to, while Bruno had approached the
equation of God and nature--Spinoza decisively completes both and combines

A further remark may be added concerning the relation of God and the world.
In calling the infinite at once the permanent essence of things and their
producing cause, Spinoza raises a demand which it is not easy to fulfill,
the demand to think the existence of things in substance as a following
from substance, and their procession from God as a remaining in him. He
refers us to mathematics: the things which make up the world are related to
God as the properties of a geometrical figure to its concepts, as theorems
to the axiom, as the deduction to the principle, which from eternity
contains all that follows from it and retains this even while putting
it forth. It cannot be doubted that such a view of causality contains
error,--it has been characterized as a confusion of _ratio_ and _causa_,
of logical ground and real cause,--but it is just as certain that Spinoza
committed it. He not only compares the dependence of the effect on its
cause to the dependence of a derivative principle on that from which it is
derived, but fully equates the two; he thinks that in logico-mathematical
"consequences" he has grasped the essence of real "effects": for him the
type of all legality, as also of real becoming, was the necessity which
governs the sequence of mathematical truths, and which, on the one hand, is
even and still, needing no special exertion of volitional energy, while, on
the other, it is rigid and unyielding, exalted above all choice. Philosophy
had sought the assistance of mathematics because of the clearness and
certainty which distinguish the conclusions of the latter, and which she
wished to obtain for her own. In excess of zeal she was not content with
striving after this ideal of indefectible certitude, but, forgetting the
diversity of the two fields, strove to imitate other qualities which
are not transferable; instead of learning from mathematics she became
subservient to it.

Substance does not affect us by its mere existence, but through an
_Attribute_. By attribute is meant, according to the fourth definition,
"that which the understanding perceives of substance as constituting the
essence of it" _(quod intellectus de substantia percipit, tanquam ejusdem
essentiam constituens)_. The more reality a substance contains, the more
attributes it has; consequently infinite substance possesses an infinite
number, each of which gives expression to its essence, but of which two
only fall within our knowledge. Among the innumerable divine attributes
the human mind knows those only which it finds in itself, thought and
extension. Although man beholds God only as thinking and extended
substance, he yet has a clear and complete; an adequate--idea of God. Since
each of the two attributes is conceived without the other, hence in itself
(_per se_), they are distinct from each other _realiter_, and independent.
God is absolutely infinite, the attributes only in their kind (_in suo

How can the indeterminate possess properties? Are the attributes merely
ascribed to substance by the understanding, or do they possess reality
apart from the knowing subject? This question has given rise to much
debate. According to Hegel and Ed. Erdmann the attributes are something
external to substance, something brought into it by the understanding,
forms of knowledge present in the beholder alone; substance itself is
neither extended nor cogitative, but merely appears to the understanding
under these determinations, without which the latter would be unable to
cognize it. This "formalistic" interpretation, which, relying on a passage
in a letter to De Vries (_Epist_. 27), explains the attributes as mere
modes of intellectual apprehension, numbers Kuno Fischer among its
opponents. As the one party holds to the first half of the definition, the
other places the emphasis on the second half ("that which the
_understanding_ perceives--as constituting the _essence_ of substance").
The attributes are more than mere modes of representation--they are real
properties, which substance possesses even apart from an observer, nay, in
which it consists; in Spinoza, moreover, "must be conceived" is the
equivalent of "to be." Although this latter "realistic" party undoubtedly
has the advantage over the former, which reads into Spinoza a subjectivism
foreign to his system, they ought not to forget that the difference in
interpretation has for its basis a conflict among the motives which control
Spinoza's thinking. The reference of the attributes to the understanding,
given in the definition, is not without significance. It sprang from the
wish not to mar the indeterminateness of the absolute by the opposition of
the attributes, while, on the other hand, an equally pressing need for the
conservation of the immanence of substance forbade a bold transfer of the
attributes to the observer. The real opinion of Spinoza is neither so
clear and free from contradictions, nor so one-sided, as that which his
interpreters ascribe to him. Fischer's further interpretation of the
attributes of God as his "powers" is tenable, so long as by _causa_ and
_potentia_ we understand nothing more than the irresistible, but
non-kinetic, force with which an original truth establishes or effects
those which follow from it.

As the dualism of extension and thought is reduced from a substantial to
an attributive distinction, so individual bodies and minds, motions and
thoughts, are degraded a stage further. Individual things lack independence
of every sort. The individual is, as a determinate finite thing, burdened
with negation and limitation, for every determination includes a negation;
that which is truly real in the individual is God. Finite things are
_modi_ of the infinite substance, mere states, variable states, of God. By
themselves they are nothing, since out of God nothing exists. They possess
existence only in so far as they are conceived in their connection with the
infinite, that is, as transitory forms of the unchangeable substance. They
are not in themselves, but in another, in God, and are conceived only
in God. They are mere affections of the divine attributes, and must be
considered as such.

To the two attributes correspond two classes of modes. The most important
modifications of extension are rest and motion. Among the modes of thought
are understanding and will. These belong in the sphere of determinate and
transitory being and do not hold of the _natura naturans_: God is exalted
above all modality, above will and understanding, as above motion and rest.
We must not assert of the _natura naturata_ (the world as the sum of all
modes), as of the _natura naturans_, that its essence involves existence
(I. _prop_. 24): we can conceive finite things as non-existent, as well as
existent (_Epist_. 29). This constitutes their "contingency," which must
by no means be interpreted as lawlessness. On the contrary, all that takes
place in the world is most rigorously determined; every individual, finite,
determinate thing and event is determined to its existence and action by
another similarly finite and determinate thing or event, and this cause is,
in turn, determined in its existence and action by a further finite mode,
and so on to infinity (I. _prop_. 28). Because of this endlessness in the
series there is no first or ultimate cause in the phenomenal world; all
finite causes are second causes; the primary cause lies within the sphere
of the infinite and is God himself. The modes are all subject to the
constraint of an unbroken and endless nexus of efficient causes, which
leaves room neither for chance, nor choice, nor ends. Nothing can be or
happen otherwise than as it is and happens (I. _prop_. 29, 33).

The causal chain appears in two forms: a mode of extension has its
producing ground in a second mode of extension; a mode of thought can be
caused only by another mode of thought--each individual thing is determined
by one of its own kind. The two series proceed side by side, without a
member of either ever being able to interfere in the other or to effect
anything in it--a motion can never produce anything but other motions, an
idea can result only in other ideas; the body can never determine the mind
to an idea, nor the soul the body to a movement. Since, however, extension
and thought are not two substances, but attributes of one substance,
this apparently double causal nexus of two series proceeding in exact
correspondence is, in reality, but a single one. (III. _prop_. 2, _schol_.)
viewed from different sides. That which represents a chain of motions when
seen from the side of extension, bears the aspect of a series of ideas from
the side of thought. _Modus extensionis et idea illius modi una cademque
est res, sed duobus modis expressa_ (II. _prop_. 7, _schol_.; cf. III.
_prop_. 2, _schol_.). The soul is nothing but the idea of an actual body,
body or motion nothing but the object or event in the sphere of extended
actuality corresponding to an idea. No idea exists without something
corporeal corresponding to it, no body, without at the same time existing
as idea, or being conceived; in other words, everything is both body and
spirit, all things are animated (II. _prop_. 13, _schol_.). Thus the famous
proposition results; _Ordo et connexio idearum idem est ac ordo et connexio
rerum (sive corporum; II. prop_. 7), and in application to man, "the order
of the actions and passions of our body is simultaneous in nature with the
order of the actions and passions of the mind" (III. _prop. 2, schol_.).

The attempt to solve the problem of the relation between the material and
the mental worlds by asserting their thoroughgoing correspondence and
substantial identity, was philosophically justifiable and important,
though many evident objections obtrude themselves upon us. The required
assumption, that there is a mental event corresponding to _every_ bodily
one, and _vice versa_, meets with involuntary and easily supported
opposition, which Spinoza did nothing to remove. Similarly he omitted
to explain how body is related to motion, mind to ideas, and both to
actuality. The ascription of a materialistic tendency to Spinoza is not
without foundation. Corporeality and reality appear well-nigh identical for
him,--the expressions _corpora_ and _res_ are used synonymously,--so that
there remains for minds and ideas only an existence as reflections of
the real in the sphere of [an] ideality (whose degree of actuality it is
difficult to determine). Moreover, individualistic impulses have been
pointed out, which, in part, conflict with the monism which he consciously
follows, and, in part, subserve its interests. An example of this is given
in the relation of mind and idea: Spinoza treats the soul as a sum of
ideas, as consisting in them. An (at least apparently substantial) bond
among ideas, an ego, which possesses them, does not exist for him: the
Cartesian _cogito_ has become an impersonal _cogitatur_ or a _Deus
cogitat_. In order to the unique substantiality of the infinite, the
substantiality of individual spirits must disappear. That which argues for
the latter is their I-ness (_Ichheit_), the unity of self-consciousness;
it is destroyed, if the mind is a congeries of ideas, a composite of them.
Thus in order to relieve itself from the self-dependence of the individual
mind, monism allies itself with a spiritual atomism, the most extreme which
can be conceived. The mind is resolved into a mass of individual ideas.

Mention may be made in passing, also, of a strange conception, which
is somewhat out of harmony with the rest of the system, and of which,
moreover, little use is made. This is the conception of _infinite modes_.
As such are cited, _facies totius mundi, motus et quies, intellectus
absolute infinitus_. Kuno Fischer's interpretation of this difficult
conception may be accepted. It denotes, according to him, the connected sum
of the modes, the itself non-finite sum total of the finite--the universe
meaning the totality of individual things in general (without reference to
their nature as extended or cogitative); rest and motion, the totality of
material being; the absolutely infinite understanding, the totality of
spiritual being or the ideas. Individual spirits together constitute, as
it were, the infinite intellect; our mind is a part of the divine
understanding, yet not in such a sense that the whole consists of the
parts, but that the part exists only through the whole. When we say, the
human mind perceives this or that, it is equivalent to saying that God--not
in so far as he is infinite, but as he expresses himself in this human
mind and constitutes its essence--has this or that idea (II. _prop_. II,

The discussion of these three fundamental concepts exhausts all the chief
points in Spinoza's doctrine of God. Passing over his doctrine of body (II.
between _prop_. 13 and _prop_. 14) we turn at once to his discussion of
mind and man.

%(b) Anthropology: Cognition and the Passions.%--Each thing is at once mind
and body, representation and that which is represented, idea and ideate
(object). Body and soul are the same being, only considered under different
attributes. The human mind is the idea of the human body; it cognizes
itself in perceiving the affections of its body; it represents all that
takes place in the body, though not all adequately. As man's body is
composed of very many bodies, so his soul is composed of very many ideas.
To judge of the relation of the human mind to the mind of lower beings, we
must consider the superiority of man's body to other bodies; the more
complex a body is, and the greater the variety of the affections of
which it is capable, the better and more adapted for adequate cognition,
the accompanying mind.--A result of the identity of soul and body is
that the acts of our will are not free (_Epist_. 62): they are, in fact,
determinations of our body, only considered under the attribute of thought,
and no more free than this from the constraint of the causal law (III.
_prop_. 2, _schol_.).--Since the mind does nothing without at the same time
knowing that it does it--since, in other words, its activity is a conscious
activity, it is not merely _idea corporis humani_, but also _idea ideae
corporis_ or _idea mentis_.

All adherents of the Eleatic separation of the one pure being from the
manifold and changing world of appearance are compelled to make a
like distinction between two kinds and two organs of _knowledge_. The
representation of the empirical manifold of separately existing individual
things, together with the organ thereof, Spinoza terms _imaginatio_; the
faculty of cognizing the true reality, the one, all-embracing substance, he
calls _intellectus. Imaginatio_ (imagination, sensuous representation)
is the faculty of inadequate, confused ideas, among which are included
abstract conceptions, as well as sensations and memory-images. The objects
of perception are the affections of our body; and our perceptions,
therefore, are not clear and distinct, because we are not completely
acquainted with their causes. In the merely perceptual stage, the mind
gains only a confused and mutilated idea of external objects, of the body,
and of itself; it is unable to separate that in the perception (_e.g._,
heat) which is due to the external body from that which is due to its own
body. An inadequate idea, however, is not in itself an error; it becomes
such only when, unconscious of its defectiveness, we take it for complete
and true. Prominent examples of erroneous ideas are furnished by general
concepts, by the idea of ends, and the idea of the freedom of the will. The
more general and abstract an idea, the more inadequate and indistinct it
becomes; and this shows the lack of value in generic concepts, which are
formed by the omission of differences. All cognition which is carried on by
universals and their symbols, words, yields opinion and imagination merely
instead of truth. Quite as valueless and harmful is the idea of ends, with
its accompaniments. We think that nature has typical forms hovering before
it, which it is seeking to actualize in things; when this intention is
apparently fulfilled we speak of things as perfect and beautiful; when it
fails, of imperfect and ugly things. Such concepts of value belong in the
sphere of fictions. The same is true of the idea of the freedom of the
will, which depends on our ignorance of that which constrains us. Apart
from the consideration that "the will," the general conception of which
comes under the rubric of unreal abstractions, is in fact merely the sum of
the particular volitions, the illusion of freedom, _e.g._, that we will
and act without a cause, arises from the fact that we are conscious of
our action (and also of its proximate motives), but not of its (remoter)
determining causes. Thus the thirsty child believes it desires its milk of
its own free will, and the timid one, that it freely chooses to run away
(_Ethica, III. prop_. 2, _schol_.; I. _app_.) If the falling stone were
conscious, it would, likewise, consider itself free, and its fall the
result of an undetermined decision.

Two degrees are to be distinguished in the true or adequate knowledge
of the intellect: rational knowledge attained through inference, and
intuitive, self-evident knowledge; the latter has principles for its
object, the former that which follows from them. Instead of operating with
abstract concepts the reason uses common notions, _notiones communes_.
Genera do not exist, but, no doubt, something common to all things. All
bodies agree in being extended; all minds and ideas in being modes of
thought; all beings whatever in the fact that they are modes of the divine
substance and its attributes; "that which is common to all things, and
which is equally in the part and in the whole, cannot but be adequately
conceived." The ideas of extension, of thought, and of the eternal and
infinite essence of God are adequate ideas. The adequate idea of each
individual actual object involves the idea of God, since it can neither
exist nor be conceived apart from God, and "all ideas, in so far as
they are referred to God, are true." The ideas of substance and of the
attributes are conceived through themselves, or immediately (intuitively)
cognized; they are underivative, original, self-evident ideas.

There are thus three kinds, degrees, or faculties of cognition--sensuous or
imaginative representation, reason, and immediate intuition. Knowledge of
the second and third degrees is necessarily true, and our only means
of distinguishing the true from the false. As light reveals itself and
darkness, so the truth is the criterion of itself and of error. Every
truth is accompanied by certainty, and is its own witness (II. _prop_. 43,
_schol_.).--Adequate knowledge does not consider things as individuals,
but in their necessary connection and as eternal sequences from the
world-ground. The reason perceives things under the form of eternity: _sub
specie aeternitatis_ (II. _prop_. 44, _cor_. 2).

In his theory of the _emotions_, Spinoza is more dependent on Descartes
than anywhere else; but even here he is guided by a successful endeavor
after greater rigor and simplicity. He holds his predecessor's false
concept of freedom responsible for the failure of his very acute inquiry.
All previous writers on the passions have either derided, or bewailed, or
condemned them, instead of investigating their nature. Spinoza will
neither denounce nor ridicule human actions and appetites, but endeavor
to comprehend them on the basis of natural laws, and to consider them as
though the question concerned lines, surfaces, and bodies. He aims not
to look on hate, anger, and the rest as flaws, but as necessary, though
troublesome, properties of human nature, for which, as really as for heat
and cold, thunder and lightning, a causal explanation is requisite.--As a
determinate, finite being the mind is dependent in its existence and its
activity on other finite things, and is incomprehensible without them;
from its involution in the general course of nature the inadequate ideas
inevitably follow, and from these the passive states or emotions; the
passions thus belong to human nature, as one subject to limitation and
negation.--The destruction of contingent and perishable things is effected
by external causes; no one is destroyed by itself; so far as in it lies
everything strives to persist in its being (III. _prop_. 4 and 6). The
fundamental endeavor after self-preservation constitutes the essence of
each thing (III. _prop_. 7). This endeavor _(conatus)_ is termed will
_(voluntas)_ or desire _(cupiditas)_ when it is referred to the mind alone,
and appetite _(appetitus)_ when referred to the mind and body together;
desire or volition is conscious appetite (III. _prop_. 9, _schol_.). We
call a thing good because we desire it, not desire a thing because we hold
it good (cf. Hobbes, p. 75). To desire two further fundamental forms of the
emotions are added, pleasure and pain. If a thing increases the power of
our body to act, the idea of it increases the power of our soul to think,
and is gladly imagined by it. Pleasure (_laetitia_) is the transition of
a man to a greater, and pain (_tristitia_) his transition to a lesser

All other emotions are modifications or combinations of the three original
ones, to which Spinoza reduces the six of Descartes (cf. p. 105). In
the deduction and description of them his procedure is sometimes aridly
systematic, sometimes even forced and artificial, but for the most part
ingenious, appropriate, and psychologically acute. Whatever gives us
pleasure augments our being, and whatever pains us diminishes it; hence we
seek to preserve the causes of pleasurable emotions, and love them, to do
away with the causes of painful ones, and hate them. "Love is pleasure
accompanied by the idea of an external cause; hate is pain accompanied by
the idea of an external cause." Since all that furthers or diminishes the
being of (the cause of our pleasure) the object of our love, exercises
at the same time a like influence on us, we love that which rejoices the
object of our love and hate that which disturbs it; its happiness and
suffering become ours also. The converse is true of the object of our hate:
its good fortune provokes us and its ill fortune pleases us. If we are
filled with no emotion toward things like ourselves, we sympathize in their
sad or joyous feelings by involuntary imitation. Pity, from which we
strive to free ourselves as from every painful affection, inclines us to
benevolence or to assistance in the removal of the cause of the misery of
others. Envy of those who are fortunate, and commiseration of those who are
in trouble, are alike rooted in emulation. Man is by nature inclined
to envy and malevolence. Hate easily leads to underestimation, love to
overestimation, of the object, and self-love to pride or self-satisfaction,
which are much more frequently met with than unfeigned humility. Immoderate
desire for honor is termed ambition; if the desire to please others is kept
within due bounds it is praised as unpretentiousness, courtesy, modesty
(_modestia_). Ambition, luxury, drunkenness, avarice, and lust have no
contraries, for temperance, sobriety, and chastity are not emotions
(passive states), but denote the power of the soul by which the former
are moderated, and which is discussed later under the name _fortitudo_.
Self-abasement or humility is a feeling of pain arising from the
consideration of our weakness and impotency; its opposite is
self-complacency. Either of these may be accompanied by the (erroneous)
belief that we have done the saddening or gladdening act of our own free
will; in this case the former affection is termed repentance. Hope and fear
are inconstant pleasure and pain, arising from the idea of something past
or to come, concerning whose coming and whose issue we are still in doubt.
There is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear without hope; for he who
still doubts imagines something which excludes the existence of that which
is expected. If the cause of doubt is removed, hope is transformed into a
feeling of confidence and fear into despair. There are as many kinds of
emotions as there are classes among their objects or causes.

Besides the emotions to be termed "passions" in the strict sense, states
of passivity, Spinoza recognizes others which relate to us as active. Only
those which are of the nature of pleasure or desire belong to this class
of _active_ emotions; the painful affections are entirely excluded, since
without exception they diminish or arrest the mind's power to think. The
totality of these nobler impulses is called _fortitudo_ (fortitude), and
a distinction is made among them between _animositas_ (vigor of soul) and
_generositas_ (magnanimity, noble-mindedness), according as rational
desire is directed to the preservation of our own being or to aiding our
fellow-men. Presence of mind and temperance are examples of the former,
modesty and clemency of the latter. By this bridge, the idea of the active
emotions, we may follow Spinoza into the field of ethics.

%(c) Practical Philosophy.%--Spinoza's theory of ethics is based on the
equation of the three concepts, perfection, reality, activity (V. _prop_.
40, _dem_.). The more active a thing is, the more perfect it is and the
more reality it possesses. It is active, however, when it is the complete
or adequate cause of that which takes place within it or without it;
passive when it is not at all the cause of this, or the cause only in part.
A cause is termed adequate, when its effect can be clearly and distinctly
perceived from it alone. The human mind, as a _modus_ of thought, is active
when it has adequate ideas; all its passion consists in confused ideas,
among which belong the affections produced by external objects. The essence
of the mind is thought; volition is not only dependent on cognition, but at
bottom identical with it.

Descartes had already made the will the power of affirmation and negation.
Spinoza advances a step further: the affirmation cannot be separated from
the idea affirmed, it is impossible to conceive a truth without in the
same act affirming it, the idea involves its own affirmation. "Will and
understanding are one and the same" (II. _prop_. 49, _cor_.). For Spinoza
moral activity is entirely resolved into cognitive activity. To the two
stages of knowing, _imaginatio_ and _intellectus_, correspond two stages
of willing--desire, which is ruled by imagination, and volition, which is
guided by reason. The passive emotions of sensuous desire are directed to
perishable objects, the active, which spring from reason, have an eternal
object--the knowledge of the truth, the intuition of God. For reason there
are no distinctions of persons,--she brings men into concord and gives them
a common end (IV. _prop_. 35-37,40),--and no distinctions of time (IV.
_prop_. 62, 66), and in the active emotions, which are always good, no
excess (IV. _prop_. 61). The passive emotions arise from confused ideas.
They cease to be passions, when the confused ideas of the modifications of
the body are transformed into clear ones; as soon as we have clear ideas,
we become active and cease to be slaves of desire. We master the emotions
by gaining a clear knowledge of them. Now, an idea is clear when we cognize
its object not as an individual thing, but in its connection, as a link in
the causal chain, as necessary, and as a mode of God. The more the mind
conceives things in their necessity, and the emotions in their reference to
God, the less it is passively subject to the emotions, the more power it
attains over them: "Virtue is power" (IV. _def_. 8; _prop_. 20, _dem_.). It
is true, indeed, that one emotion can be conquered only by another stronger
one, a passive emotion only by an active one. The active emotion by which
knowledge gains this victory over the passions is the joyous consciousness
of our power (III. _prop_. 58, 59). Adequate ideas conceive their objects
in union with God; thus the pleasure which proceeds from knowledge of,
and victory over, the passions is accompanied by the idea of God, and,
consequently (according to the definition of love), by _love toward God_
(V. _prop_. 15, 32). The knowledge and love of God, together, "intellectual
love toward God,"[1] is the highest good and the highest virtue (IV.
_prop_. 28). Blessedness is not the reward of virtue, but virtue itself.
The intellectual love of man toward God, in which the highest peace of the
soul, blessedness, and freedom consist, and in virtue of which (since it,
like its object and cause, true knowledge, is eternal), the soul is not
included in the destruction of the body (V. _prop_. 23, 33), is a part of
the infinite love with which God loves himself, and is one and the same
with the love of God to man. The eternal part of the soul is reason,
through which it is active; the perishable part is imagination or sensuous
representation, through which it is passively affected. We are immortal
only in adequate cognition and in love to God; more of the wise man's soul
is immortal than of the fool's.

[Footnote 1: The conception _amor Dei intellectualis_ in Spinoza is
discussed in a dissertation by C. Lülmann, Jena, 1884.]

Spinoza's ethics is intellectualistic--virtue is based on knowledge.[1] It
is, moreover, naturalistic--morality is a necessary sequence from human
nature; it is a physical product, not a product of freedom; for the acts of
the will are determined by ideas, which in their turn are the effects
of earlier causes. The foundation of virtue is the effort after
self-preservation: How can a man desire to act rightly unless he desires to
be (IV. _prop_. 21, 22)? Since reason never enjoins that which is contrary
to nature, it of necessity requires every man to love himself, to seek
that which is truly useful to him, and to desire all that makes him more
perfect. According to the law of nature all that is useful is allowable.
The useful is that which increases our power, activity, or perfection, or
that which furthers knowledge, for the life of the soul consists in thought
(IV. _prop. 26; app. cap_. 5). That alone is an evil which restrains man
from perfecting the reason and leading a rational life. Virtuous action is
equivalent to following the guidance of the reason in self-preservation
(IV. _prop_. 24).--Nowhere in Spinoza are fallacies more frequent than
in his moral philosophy; nowhere is there a clearer revelation of the
insufficiency of his artificially constructed concepts, which, in their
undeviating abstractness, are at no point congruent with reality. He is
as little true to his purpose to exclude the imperative element, and to
confine himself entirely to the explanation of human actions considered as
facts, as any philosopher who has adopted a similar aim. He relieves the
inconsistency by clothing his injunctions under the ancient ideal of the
free wise man. This, in fact, is not the only thing in Spinoza which
reminds one of the customs of the Greek moralists. He renews the Platonic
idea of a philosophical virtue, and the opinion of Socrates, that right
action will result of itself from true insight. Arguing from himself, from
his own pure and strong desire for knowledge, to mankind in general, he
makes reason the essence of the soul, thought the essence of reason, and
holds the direction of the impulse of self-preservation to the perfection
of knowledge, which is "the better part of us," to be the natural one.

[Footnote 1: That virtue which springs from knowledge is alone genuine.
The painful, hence unactive, emotions of pity and repentance may impel to
actions whose accomplishment is better than their omission. Emotion caused
by sympathy for others and contrition for one's own guilt, both of which
increase present evil by new ones, have only the value of evils of a lesser
kind. They are salutary for the irrational man, in so far as the one spurs
him on to acts of assistance and the other diminishes his pride. They
are harmful to the wise man, or, at least, useless; he is in no need of
irrational motives to rational action. Action from insight is alone true

All men endeavor after continuance of existence (III. _prop_. 6); why not
all after virtue? If all endeavor after it, why do so few reach the goal?
Whence the sadly large number of the irrational, the selfish, the vicious?
Whence the evil in the world? Vice is as truly an outcome of "nature" as
virtue. Virtue is power, vice is weakness; the former is knowledge, the
latter ignorance. Whence the powerless natures? Whence defective knowledge?
Whence imperfection in general?

The concept of imperfection expresses nothing positive, nothing actual, but
merely a defect, an absence of reality. It is nothing but an idea in us,
a fiction which arises through the comparison of one thing with another
possessing greater reality, or with an abstract generic concept, a pattern,
which it seems unable to attain. That concepts of value are not properties
of things themselves, but denote only their pleasurable or painful effects
on us, is evident from the fact that one and the same thing may be at the
same time good, bad, and indifferent: the music which is good for the
melancholy man may be bad for the mourner, and neither good nor bad for the
deaf. Knowledge of the bad is an abstract, inadequate idea; in God there is
no idea of evil. If imperfection and error were something real, it would
have to be conceded that God is the author of evil and sin. In reality
everything is that which it can be, hence without defect: everything actual
is, in itself considered, perfect. Even the fool and the sinner cannot be
otherwise than he is; he appears imperfect only when placed beside the wise
and the virtuous. Sin is thus only a lesser reality than virtue, evil a
lesser good; good and bad, activity and passivity, power and weakness
are merely distinctions in degree. But why is not everything absolutely
perfect? Why are there lesser degrees of reality? Two answers are given.
The first is found only between the lines: the imperfections in the
being and action of individual things are grounded in their finitude,
particularly in their involution in the chain of causality, in virtue of
which they are acted on from without, and are determined in their action
not by their own nature only, but also by external causes. Man sins because
he is open to impressions from external things, and only superior natures
are strong enough to preserve their rational self-determination in spite
of this. The other answer is expressly given at the end of the first part
(with an appeal to the sixteenth proposition, that everything which
the divine understanding conceives as creatable has actually come into
existence). "To those who ask why God did not so create all men that they
should be governed only by reason, I reply only: because matter was not
lacking to him for the creation of every degree of perfection from highest
to lowest; or, more strictly, because the laws of his nature were so ample
as so suffice for the production of everything conceivable by an infinite
intellect." All possible degrees of perfection have come into being,
including sin and error, which represent the lowest grade. The universe
forms a chain of degrees of perfection, of which none must be wanting:
particular cases of defect are justified by the perfection of the whole,
which would be incomplete without the lowest degree of perfection, vice
and wickedness. Here we see Spinoza following a path which Leibnitz was to
broaden out into a highway in his _Theodicy_. Both favor the quantitative
view of the world, which softens the antitheses, and reduces distinctions
of kind to distinctions of degree. Not till Kant was the qualitative view
of the world, which had been first brought into ethics by Christianity,
restored to its rights. An ethics which denies freedom and evil is nothing
but a physics of morals.

In his _theory of the state_ Spinoza follows Hobbes pretty closely, but
rejects absolutism, and declares democracy, in which each is obedient to
self-imposed law, to be the form of government most in accordance with
reason. (So in the _Tractatus Theologico-Politicus_, while in the later
_Tractatus Politicus_ he gives the preference to aristocracy.) In
accordance with the supreme right of nature each man deems good, and seeks
to gain, that which seems to him useful; all things belong to all, each may
destroy the objects of his hate. Conflict and insecurity prevail in the
state of nature as a result of the sensuous desires and emotions (_homines
ex natura hostes_); and they can be done away with only through the
establishment of a society, which by punitive laws compels everyone to do,
and leave undone, that which the general welfare demands. Strife and breach
of faith become sin only in the state; before its formation that alone was
wrong which no one had the desire and power to do. Besides this mission,
however, of protecting selfish interests by the prevention of aggression,
the civil community has a higher one, to subserve the development of
reason; it is only in the state that true morality and true freedom are
possible, and the wise man will prefer to live in the state, because
he finds more freedom there than in isolation. Thus the dislocation of
concepts, which is perceptible in Spinoza's ethics, repeats itself in his
politics. First, virtue is based on the impulse of self-preservation and
the good is equated with that which is useful to the individual; then, with
a transformation of mere utility into "true" utility, the rational moment
is brought in (first as practical prudence, next as the impulse after
knowledge, and then, with a gradual change of meaning, as moral wisdom),
until, finally, in strange contrast to the naturalistic beginning, the
Christian idea of virtue as purity, self-denial, love to our neighbors and
love to God, is reached. In a similar way "Spinoza conceives the starting
point of the state naturalistically, its culmination idealistically."[1]

[Footnote 1: C. Schindler in his dissertation _Ueber den Begriff des
Guten und Nützlichen bei Spinoza_, Jena, 1885, p. 42, a work, however,
which does not penetrate to the full depth of the matter. Cf. Eucken,
_Lebensanschauungen_, p. 406.]

The fundamental ideas of the Spinozistic system, and those which render
it important, are rationalism, pantheism, the essential identity of the
material and spiritual worlds, and the uninterrupted mechanism of becoming.
Besides the twisting of ethical concepts just mentioned, we may briefly
note the most striking of the other difficulties and contradictions which
Spinoza left unexplained. There is a break between his endeavor to exalt
the absolute high above the phenomenal world of individual existence, and,
at the same time, to bring the former into the closest possible conjunction
with the latter, to make it dwell therein--a break between the transcendent
and immanent conceptions of the idea of God. No light is vouchsafed on the
relation between primary and secondary causes, between the immediate divine
causality and the divine causality mediated through finite causes. The
infinity of God is in conflict with his complete cognizability on the
part of man; for how is a finite, transitory spirit able to conceive
the Infinite and Eternal? How does the human intellect rise above modal
limitations to become capable and worthy of the mystical union with God?
Reference has been already made to the twofold nature of the attributes (as
forms of intellectual apprehension and as real properties of substance)
which invites contradictory interpretations.

3. %Pascal, Malebranche, Bayle.%

Returning from Holland to France, we find a combination of Cartesianism
and mysticism similar to that which we have noticed in the former country.
Under Geulincx these two forces had lived peacefully together; in Spinoza
they had entered into the closest alliance; with Blaise Pascal (1623-62),
the first to adopt a religious tendency, they came into a certain
antithesis. Spinoza had taught: through the knowledge of God to the love
of God; in Pascal the watchword becomes, God is not conceived through
the reason, but felt with the heart. After attacking the Jesuits in his
_Provincial Letters_, and unveiling the worthlessness of their casuistical
morality, Pascal, constrained by a genuine piety, undertook to construct a
philosophy of Christianity; but the attempt was ended by the early death of
the author, who had always suffered under a weak constitution. Fragments of
this work were published by his friends, the Jansenists, under the title,
_Thoughts on Religion_, 1669, though not without mediating alterations.
The Port-Royal _Logic (The Art of Thinking_, 1662), edited by Arnauld and
Nicole, was based on a treatise of Pascal. His thought, which was not
distinguished by clearness, but by depth and movement, and which, after
the French fashion, delighted in antitheses, was influenced by Descartes,
Montaigne, and Epictetus. He, too, finds in mathematics the example for
all science, and holds that whatever transcends mathematics transcends the
reason. By the application of mathematics to the study of nature we attain
a mundane science, which is certain, no doubt, and which makes constant
progress,[1] but which does not satisfy, since it reveals nothing of the
infinite, of the whole, without which the parts remain unintelligible.
Hence all natural philosophy together is not worth an hour's toil. Pascal
consoles himself for our ignorance concerning external things by the
stability of ethics.

[Footnote 1: It is this uninterrupted progress which raises the reason
above the operations of nature and the instincts of animals. While the bees
build their cells to-day just as they did a thousand years ago, science is
continually developing. This guarantees to us our immortal destiny.]

The leading principles of his ethics are as follows: In sin the love to God
created in us has left us and self-love has transgressed its limits; pride
has delivered us over to selfishness and misery. Our nature is corrupted,
but not beyond redemption. In his actions worthless and depraved, man is
seen to be exalted and incomprehensible in his ends; in reality he is
worthy of abhorrence, but great in his destination. No philosophy or
religion has so taught us at once to know the greatness and the misery of
man as Christianity: this bids him recognize his low condition, but at the
same time to endeavor to become like God. We must humbly despise the world
and renounce ourselves; in order to love God, we must hate ourselves. Moral
reformation is an act of divine grace, and the merit of human volition
consists only in not resisting this. God transforms the heart by a heavenly
sweetness, grants it to know that spiritual pleasure is greater than bodily
pleasure, and infuses into it a disgust at the allurements of sin. Virtue
is finding one's greatest happiness in God or in the eternal good. As
morality is a matter of feeling, not of thought, so God, so even the first
principles on which the certitude of demonstration depends, are the object,
not of reason, but of the heart. That which certifies to the highest
indemonstrable principles is a feeling, a belief, an instinct of nature:
_les principes se sentent_. As a defender of the needs and rights of the
heart, Pascal is a forerunner of the great Rousseau. His depreciation of
the reason to exalt faith establishes a certain relationship with the
skeptics of his native land, among whom Cousin has unjustly classed him
(_Études sur Pascal_, 5th ed., 1857).[1]

[Footnote 1: Of the works on Pascal we may mention that of H. Reuchlin,
1840: Havet's edition of the _Pensées_, with notes, Paris, 1866; and the
_Étude_ by Ed. Droz, Paris, 1886.]

Nicolas Malebranche (1638-1715), a member of the Oratory of Jesus, in
Paris, which was opposed by the Jesuits, completed the development of
Cartesianism in the religious direction adopted by Pascal. His thought
is controlled by the endeavor to combine Cartesian metaphysics and
Augustinian Christianity, those two great forces which constituted the
double citadel of his order. His collected works appeared three years
before his death; and a new edition in four volumes, prepared by
J. Simon, in 1871. His chief work, _On the Search for Truth_ (new edition
by F. Bouillier, 1880), appeared in 1675, and was followed by the
_Treatise on Ethics_ (new edition by H. Joly, 1882) and the _Christian
and Metaphysical Meditations_ in 1684, the _Discussions on Metaphysics and
on Religion_ in 1688, and various polemic treatises. The best known among
the doctrines of Malebranche is the principle that _we see all things in
God (que nous voyons toutes choses en Dieu_.--_Recherche_, iii. 2, 6). What
does this mean, and how is it established? It is intended as an answer to
the question, How is it possible for the mind to cognize the body if, as
Descartes has shown, mind and body are two fundamentally distinct and
reciprocally independent substances?

The seeker after truth must first understand the sources of error. Of these
there are two, or, more exactly, five--as many as there are faculties of
the soul. Error may spring from either the cognitive or the appetitive
faculty; in the first case, either from sense-perception, the imagination,
or the pure understanding, and, in the latter, from the inclinations or the
passions. The inclinations and the passions do not reveal the nature of
things, but only express how they affect us, of what value they are to
us. Further still, the senses and the imagination only reproduce the
impressions which things make on us as feeling subjects, express only what
they are for us, not what they are in themselves. The senses have been
given us simply for the preservation of our body, and so long as we expect
nothing further from them than practical information concerning the
(useful or hurtful) relation of things to our body, there is no reason for
mistrusting them,--here we are not deceived by sensation, but at most by
the overhasty judgment of the will. "Consider the senses as false witnesses
in regard to the truth, but as trustworthy counselors in relation to the
interests of life!"--Sensation and imagination belong to the soul in virtue
of its union with the body; apart from this it is pure spirit. The essence
of the soul is thought, for this function is the only one which cannot be
abstracted from it without destroying it. Hence there can be no moment in
the life of the soul when it ceases to think; it thinks always (_l'âme
pense toujours_), only it does not always remember the fact.

The kinds of knowledge differ with the classes of things cognized. God is
known immediately and intuitively. He is necessary and unlimited being,
the universal, infinite being, being absolutely; he only is known through
himself. The concept of the infinite is the presupposition of the concept
of the finite, and the former is earlier in us; we gain the conception of
a particular thing only when we omit something from the idea of "being in
general," or limit it. God is cogitative, like spirits, and extended, like
bodies, but in an entirely different manner from created things. We know
our own soul through consciousness or inner perception. We know its
existence more certainly than that of bodies, but understand its nature
less perfectly than theirs. To know that it is capable of sensations of
pain, of heat, of light, we must have experienced them. For knowledge
of the minds of others we are dependent upon conjecture, on analogical
inferences from ourselves.

But how is the unextended soul capable of cognizing extended body? Only
through the medium of _ideas_. The ideas occupy an intermediate position
between objects, whose archetypes they are, and representations in the
soul, whose causes they are. The ideas, after the pattern of which God
has created things, and the relations among them (necessary truths), are
eternal, hence uncaused; they constitute the wisdom of God and are not
dependent on his will. Things are in God in archetypal form, and are
cognized through these their archetypes in God. Ideas are not produced by
bodies, by the emission of sensuous images,[1] nor are they originated by
the soul, or possessed by it as an innate possession. But God is the cause
of knowledge, although he neither imparts ideas to the soul in creation nor
produces them in it on every separate occasion. The ideas or perfections of
things are in God and are beheld by spirits, who likewise dwell in God as
the universal reason. As space is the place of bodies, so God is the
place of spirits. As bodies are modes of extension, so their ideas are
modifications of the idea of extension or of "intelligible extension." The
principle stated at the beginning, that things are perceived in God, is,
therefore, supported in the following way: we perceive bodies (through
ideas, which ideas, and we ourselves, are) in God.

[Footnote 1: Malebranche's refutation of the emanation hypothesis of the
Peripatetics is acute and still worthy of attention. If bodies transmitted
to the sense-organs forms like themselves, these copies, which would
evidently be corporeal, must, by their departure, diminish the mass of the
body from which they came away, and also, because of their impenetrability,
obstruct and interfere with one another, thus destroying the possibility of
clear impressions. A further point against the image theory is furnished by
the increase in the size of an object, when approached. And, above all, it
can never be made conceivable how motion can be transformed into sensations
or ideas.]

As the knowledge of truth has been found to consist in seeing things as God
sees them, so morality consists in man's loving things as God loves them,
or, what amounts to the same thing, in loving them to that degree which
is their due in view of their greater or less perfection. If, in the last
analysis, all cognition is knowledge of God, so all volition is loving God;
there is implanted in every creature a direction toward the Creator. God is
not only the primordial, unlimited being, he is also the highest good,
the final end of all striving. As the ideas of things are imperfect
participations in, or determinations of universal being, the absolute
perfection of God, so the particular desires, directed toward individual
objects, are limitations of the universal will toward the good. How does
it happen that the human will, so variously mistaking its fundamental
direction toward God, attaches itself to perishable goods, and prefers
worthless objects to those which have value, and earthly to heavenly
pleasure? The soul is, on the one hand, united to God, on the other, united
to the body. The possibility of error and sin rests on its union with the
body, since with the ideas (as representations of the pure understanding)
are associated sensuous images, which mingle with and becloud them, and
passions with the inclinations (or the will of the soul, in so far as it is
pure spirit). This gives, however, merely the possibility of the immoral,
sensuous, God-estranged disposition, which becomes actual only through
man's free act, when he fails to stand the test. For sin does not consist
in having passions, but in consenting to them. The passion is not caused by
the corporeal movement of which it is the sequel, but only occasioned by
it; and the same is true of the movement of the limbs and the decision
of the will. The one true cause of all that happens is God. It is he who
produces affections in the soul, and motion in the material world. For the
body possesses only the capacity of being moved; and the soul cannot be the
cause of the movement, since it would then have to know how it produces
the latter. In fact those who lack a medical training have no idea of the
muscular and nervous processes involved. Without God we cannot even move
the tongue. It is he who raises our arm, even when we use it contrary to
his law.

Anxious to guard his pantheism from being identified with that of Spinoza,
Malebranche points out that, according to his views, the universe is in
God, not, as with Spinoza, that God is in the universe; that he teaches
creation, which Spinoza denies; that he distinguishes, which Spinoza had
not done, between the world in God (the ideas of things) and the world of
created things, and between intelligible and corporeal extension. It may
be added that he maintains the freedom of God and of man, which Spinoza
rejects, and that he conceives God, who brings everything to pass, not as
nature, but as omnipotent will. Nevertheless, as Kuno Fischer has shown,
he approaches the naturalism of Spinoza more nearly than he is himself
conscious, when he explains finite things as limitations (hence as modes)
of the divine existence, posits the will of God in dependence on his wisdom
(the uncreated world of ideas), thus limiting it in its omnipotence, and,
which is decisive, makes God the sole author of motion, _i.e._, a natural
cause. His attempt at a Christian pantheism was consequently unsuccessful.
But its failure has not shattered the well-grounded fame of its thoughtful
author as the second greatest metaphysician of France.

Pierre Poiret[1] (1646-1719; for some years a preacher in Hamburg; lived
later in Rhynsburg near Leyden) was rendered hostile to Cartesianism
through the influence of mystical writings (among others those of
Antoinette Bourignon, which he published), and through the perception of
the results to which it had led in Spinoza. All cognition is taking up the
form of the object. The perfection of man is based more on his passive
capacities than on his active reason, which is concerned with mere ideas,
unreal shadows; the mathematical spirit leads to fatalism, to the denial of
freedom. The passive faculties, on the contrary, are in direct intercourse
with reality, the senses with external material objects, and the arcanum of
the mind, the basis of the soul, the intellect, with spiritual truths
and with God, whose existence is more certain than our own. Man is not
unconcerned in the development of the highest power of the mind, he must
offer himself to God in sincere humility. In subordination to the passive
intellect, the external faculty, the active reason, is also to be
cultivated; it deserves care, like the skin. Evil consists in the absurdity
that the creature, who apart from God is nothing, ascribes to himself an
independent existence.

[Footnote 1: Poiret: _Cogitationes Rationates de Deo, Anima, et Malo_,
1677, the later editions including a vehement attack on the atheism of
Spinoza: _L'Économie Divine_, 1682; _De Eruditione Solida, Superficiaria,
et Falsa_, 1692; _Fides et Ratio Collatae_, against Locke, 1707.]

Le Vayer and Huet, who have been already mentioned (pp. 50-51),
mediate between the founders of skepticism and Bayle, its most gifted
representative. The latter of these two wrote a _Criticism of the Cartesian
Philosophy_, 1689, besides a _Treatise on the Impotence of the Human Mind_,
which did not appear until after his death. He opposes, among other things,
the criterion of truth based on evidence, since there is an evidence of
the false not to be distinguished from that of the true, as well as the
position that God becomes a deceiver in the bestowal of a weak and blind
reason--for he gives us, at the same time, the power to know its deceptive

As the last among those influenced by Descartes but who advanced beyond
him, may be mentioned the acute Pierre Bayle (1647-1706; professor in Sedan
and Rotterdam; _Works_, 1725-31[1]), who greatly excited the world of
letters by his occasional and polemic treatises, and still more by the
journal, _Nouvelles de la République des Lettres_ from 1684, and his
_Historical and Critical Dictionary_, in two volumes, 1695 and 1697.
Nowhere do the most opposite antitheses dwell in such close proximity as
in the mind of Bayle. Along with an ever watchful doubt he harbors a most
active zeal for knowledge, with a sincere spirit of belief (which has been
wrongly disputed by Lange, Zeller, and Pünjer) a demoniacal pleasure in
bringing to light absurdities in the doctrines of faith, with absolute
confidence in the infallibility of conscience an entirely pessimistic view
of human morality. His strength lies in criticism and polemics, his work in
the latter (aside from his hostility to fanaticism and the persecution of
those differing in faith) being directed chiefly against optimism and the
deistic religion of reason, which holds the Christian dogmas capable of
proof, or, at least, faith and knowledge capable of reconciliation. The
doctrines of faith are not only above reason, incomprehensible, but
contrary to reason; and it is just on this that our merit in accepting
them depends. The mysteries of the Gospel do not seek success before the
judgment seat of thought, they demand the blind submission of the reason;
nay, if they were objects of knowledge they would cease to be mysteries.
Thus we must choose between religion and philosophy, for they cannot be
combined. For one who is convinced of the untrustworthiness of the reason
and her lack of competence in things supernatural, it is in no wise
contradictory or impossible to receive as true things which she declares
to be false; he will thank God for the gift of a faith which is entirely
independent of the clearness of its objects and of its agreement with the
axioms of philosophy. Even, when in purely scientific questions he calls
attention to difficulties and shows contradictions on every hand, Bayle by
no means intends to hold up principles with contradictory implications as
false, but only as uncertain.[2] The reason, he says, generalizing from his
own case, is capable only of destruction, not of construction; of
discovering error, not of finding truth; of finding reasons and
counter-reasons, of exciting doubt and controversy, not of vouchsafing
certitude. So long as it contents itself with controverting that which is
false, it is potent and salutary; but when, despising divine assistance, it
advances beyond this, it becomes dangerous, like a caustic drug which
attacks the healthy flesh after it has consumed that which was diseased.

[Footnote 1: Cf. on Bayle, L. Feuerbach. 1838, 2d ed., 1844; Eucken in the
_Allgemeine Zeitung_, supplement to Nos. 251, 252, October 27, 28, 1891.]

[Footnote 2: Thus, in regard to the problem of freedom, he finds it hard
to comprehend how the creatures, who are not the authors of their own
existence, can be the authors of their own actions, but, at the same time,
inadmissible to think of God as the cause of evil. He seeks only to show
the indemonstrability and incomprehensibility of freedom, not to reject it.
For he sees in it the condition of morality, and calls attention to
the fact that the difficulties in which those who deny freedom involve
themselves are far greater than those of their opponents. He shows himself
entirely averse to the determinism and pantheism of Spinoza.]

He who seeks to refute skepticism must produce a criterion of truth. If
such exists, it is certainly that advanced by Descartes, the evidence, the
evident clearness of a principle. Well, then, the following principles pass
for evident: That one, who does not exist, can have no responsibility for
an evil action; that two things, which are identical with the same thing,
are identical with each other; that I am the same man to-day that I was
yesterday. Now, the revealed doctrines of original sin and of the Trinity
show that the first and second of these axioms are false, and the Church
doctrine of the preservation of the world as a continuous creation, that
the last principle is uncertain. Thus if not even self-evidence furnishes
us a criterion of truth, we must conclude that none whatever exists.
Further, in regard to the origin of the world from a single principle, its
creation by God, we find this supported, no doubt, both by the conclusions
of the pure reason and by the consideration of nature, but controvened by
the fact of evil, by the misery and wickedness of man. Is it conceivable
that a holy and benevolent God has created so unhappy and wicked a being?

Bayle's motives in defending faith against reason were, on the one hand,
his personal piety, on the other, his conviction of the unassailable purity
of Christian ethics. All the sects agree in regard to moral principles, and
it is this which assures us of the divinity of the Christian revelation.
Nevertheless, he does not conceal from himself the fact that possession of
the theoretical side of religion is far from being a guarantee of practice
in conformity with her precepts. It is neither true that faith alone leads
to morality nor that unbelief is the cause of immorality. A state composed
of atheists would be not at all impossible, if only strict punishments and
strict notions of honor were insisted upon.

The judgments of the natural reason in moral questions are as certain
and free from error as its capacity is shown to be weak and limited in
theoretical science. The idea of morality never deceives anyone; the moral
law is innate in every man. Although Christianity has given the best
development of our duties, yet the moral law can be understood and followed
by all men, even by heathen and atheists. We do not need to be Christians
in order to act virtuously; the knowledge given by conscience is not
dependent upon revelation. From the knowledge of the good to the practice
of it is, it is true, a long step; we may be convinced of moral truth
without loving it, and God's grace alone is able to strengthen us against
the power of the passions, by adding to the illumination of the mind an
inclination of the heart toward the good. Temperament, custom, self-love
move the soul more strongly than general truths. As in life pleasure is far
outbalanced by pain and vexation, so far more evil acts are done than good
ones: history is a collection of misdeeds, with scarcely one virtuous act
for a thousand crimes. It is not the external action that constitutes the
ethical character of a deed, but the motive or disposition; almsgiving from
motives of pride is a vice, and only when practiced out of love to one's
neighbors, a virtue. God looks only at the act of the will; our highest
duty, and one which admits of no exceptions, is never to act contrary to



After the Cartesian philosophy had given decisive expression to the
tendencies of modern thought, and had been developed through occasionalism
to its completion in the system of Spinoza, the line of further progress
consisted in two factors: Descartes's principles--one-sidedly rationalistic
and abstractly scientific, as they were--were, on the one hand, to be
supplemented by the addition of the empirical element which Descartes had
neglected, and, on the other, to be made available for general culture by
approximation to the interests of practical life. England, with its freer
and happier political conditions, was the best place for the accomplishment
of both ends, and Locke, a typically healthy and sober English thinker,
with a distaste for extreme views, the best adapted mind. Descartes, the
rationalist, had despised experience, and Bacon, the empiricist, had
despised mathematics; but Locke aims to show that while the reason is the
instrument of science, demonstration its form, and the realm of knowledge
wider than experience, yet this instrument and this form are dependent for
their content on a supply of material from the senses. The emphasis, it is
true, falls chiefly on the latter half of this programme, and posterity,
especially, has almost exclusively attended to the empirical side of
Locke's theory of knowledge in giving judgment concerning it.

John Locke was born at Wrington, not far from Bristol, in 1632. At Oxford
he busied himself with philosophy, natural science, and medicine, being
repelled by the Scholastic thinkers, but strongly attracted by the writings
of Descartes. In 1665 he became secretary to the English ambassador to the
Court of Brandenburg. Returning thence to Oxford he made the acquaintance
of Lord Anthony Ashley (from 1672 Earl of Shaftesbury; died in Holland
1683), who received him into his own household as a friend, physician, and
tutor to his son (the father of Shaftesbury, the moral philosopher), and
with whose varying fortunes Locke's own were henceforth to be intimately
connected. Twice he became secretary to his patron (once in 1667--with
an official secretaryship in 1672, when Shaftesbury became Lord
Chancellor--and again in 1679, when he became President of the Council),
but both times he lost his post on his friend's fall. The years 1675-79
were spent in Montpellier and Paris. In 1683 he went into voluntary exile
in Holland (where Shaftesbury had died in January of the same year), and
remained there until 1689, when the ascension of the throne by William of
Orange made it possible for him to return to England. Here he was made
Commissioner of Appeals, and, subsequently, one of the Commissioners of
Trade and Plantations (till 1700). He died in 1704 at Gates, in Essex, at
the house of Sir Francis Masham, whose wife was the daughter of Cudworth,
the philosopher.

Locke's chief work, _An Essay concerning Human Understanding_, which had
been planned as early as 1670, was published in 1689-90, a short abstract
of it having previously appeared in French in Le Clerc's _Bibliothèque
Universelle_, 1688. His theoretical works include, further, the two
posthumous treatises, _On the Conduct of the Understanding_ (originally
intended for incorporation in the fourth edition of the _Essay_, which,
however, appeared in 1700 without this chapter, which probably had proved
too extended) and the _Elements of Natural Philosophy_. To political
and politico-economic questions Locke contributed the two _Treatises on
Government_, 1690, and three essays on money and the coinage. In the year
1689 appeared the first of three _Letters on Tolerance_, followed, in 1693,
by _Some Thoughts on Education_, and, in 1695, by _The Reasonableness of
Christianity as delivered in the Scriptures_. The collected works appeared
for the first time in 1714, and in nine volumes in 1853; the philosophical
works (edited by St. John) are given in Bonn's Standard Library

[Footnote 1: Lord King and Fox Bourne have written on Locke's life, 1829
and 1876. A comparison of Locke's theory of knowledge with Leibnitz's
critique was published by Hartenstein in 1865, and one by Von Benoit (prize
dissertation) in 1869, and an exposition of his theory of substance by De
Fries in 1879. Victor Cousin's _Philosophie de Locke_ has passed through
six editions. [Among more recent English discussions reference may be made
to Green's Introduction to Hume's _Treatise on Human Nature_, 1874 (new ed.
1890), which is a valuable critique of the line of development, Locke,
Berkeley, Hume; Fowler's _Locke_, in the English Men of Letters, 1880; and
Fraser's _Locke_, in Blackwood's Philosophical Classics, 1890.--TR.]]

%(a) Theory of Knowledge.%--Locke's theory of knowledge is controlled by
two tendencies, one native, furnished by the Baconian empiricism, and the
other Continental, supplied by the Cartesian question concerning the origin
of ideas. Bacon had demanded the closest connection with experience as
the condition of fruitful inquiry. Locke supports this commendation of
experience by a detailed description of the services which it renders to
cognition, namely, by showing that, in simple ideas, perception supplies
the material for complex ideas, and for all the cognitive work of the
understanding. Descartes had divided ideas, according to their origin, into
three classes: those which are self-formed, those which come from without,
and those which are innate (p. 79), and had called this third class the
most valuable. Locke disputes the existence of ideas in the understanding
from birth, and makes it receive the elements of knowledge from the senses,
that is, from without. He is a representative of sensationalism,--not in
the stricter sense, first put into the term by those who subsequently
continued his endeavors, that thought arises from perception, that it is
transformed sensation--but in the wider sense, that thought is (free)
operation with ideas, which are neither created by it nor present in it
from the first, but given to it by perception, that, consequently, the
cognitive process begins with sensation and so its first attitude is a
passive one. From the standpoint of the Cartesian problem, which he solves
in a sense opposite to Descartes, Locke supplements the empiricism of Bacon
by basing it on a psychologically developed theory of knowledge. That in
the course of the inquiry he introduces a new principle, which causes him
to diverge from the true empirical path, will appear in the sequel.

The question "How our ideas come into the mind" receives a negative answer
(in the first book of the _Essay_): "There are no innate principles in the
mind"[1] The doctrine of the innate character of certain principles is
based on their universal acceptance. The asserted agreement of mankind in
regard to the laws of thought, the principles of morality, the existence
of God, etc., is neither cogent as an argument nor correct in fact. In the
first place, even if there were any principles which everyone assented to,
this would not prove that they had been created in the soul; the fact of
general consent would admit of a different explanation. Granted that no
atheists existed, yet it would not necessarily follow that the universal
conviction of the existence of God is innate, for it might have been
gradually reached in each case through the use of the reason--might have
been inferred, for instance, from the perception of the purposive character
of the world. Second, the fact to which this theory of innate ideas appeals
is not true. No moral rule can be cited which is respected by all nations.
The idea of identity is entirely unknown to idiots and to children. If
the laws of identity and contradiction were innate they must appear in
consciousness prior to all other truths; but long before a child is
conscious of the proposition "It is impossible for the same thing to be and
not to be," it knows that sweet is not bitter, and that black is not white.
The ideas first known are not general axioms and abstract concepts, but
particular impressions of the senses. Would nature write so illegible a
hand that the mind must wait a long time before becoming able to read what
had been inscribed upon it? It is often said, however, that innate ideas
and principles may be obscured and, finally, completely extinguished
by habit, education, and other extrinsic circumstances. Then, if
they gradually become corrupted and disappear, they must at least be
discoverable in full purity where these disturbing influences have not
yet acted; but it is especially vain to look for them in children and the
ignorant. Perhaps, however, these possess such principles unconsciously;
perhaps they are imprinted on the understanding, without being attended
to? This would be a contradiction in terms. To be in the mind or the
understanding simply means "to be understood" or to be known; no one can
have an idea without being conscious of it. Finally, if the attempt be
made to explain "originally in the mind" in so wide a sense that it would
include all truths which man can ever attain or is capable of discovering
by the right use of reason, this would make not only all mathematical
principles, but all knowledge in general, all sciences, and all arts
innate; there would be no ground even for the exclusion of wisdom and
virtue. Therefore, either all ideas are innate or none are. This is an
important alternative. While Locke decides for the second half of the
proposition, Leibnitz defends the first by a delicate application of the
concept of unconscious representation and of implicit knowledge, which his
predecessor rejects out of hand.

[Footnote 1: According to Fox Bourne this first book was written after the
others. Geil _(Ueber die Abhängigkeit Lockes von Descartes_, Strassburg,
1887, chap, iii.) has endeavored to prove that, since the arguments
controverted are wanting in Descartes, the attack was not aimed at
Descartes and his school, but at native defenders of innate ideas, as Lord
Herbert of Cherbury and the English Platonists (Cudworth, More, Parker,
Gale). That along with these the Cartesian doctrine was a second and
chief object of attack is shown by Benno Erdmann in his discussion of the
treatises by G. Geil and R. Sommer _(Lockes Verhältnis zu Descartes_,
Berlin, 1887) in the _Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie_, ii, pp.

Locke's positive answer to the question concerning the origin of ideas is
given in his second book. Ideas are not present in the understanding from
the beginning, nor are they originated by the understanding, but received
through sensation. The understanding is like a piece of white paper
on which perception inscribes its characters. All knowledge arises in
experience. This is of two kinds, derived either from the external senses
or the internal sense. The perception of external objects is termed
Sensation, that of internal phenomena (of the states of the mind itself)
Reflection. External and internal perception are the only windows
through which the light of ideas penetrates into the dark chamber of the
understanding. The two are not opened simultaneously, however, but one
after the other; since the perceptions of the sensible qualities of bodies,
unlike that of the operations of the mind itself, do not require an effort
of attention, they are the earlier. The child receives ideas of sensation
before those of reflection; internal perception presupposes external

In this distinction between sensation and reflection, we may recognize
an after-effect of the Cartesian dualism between matter and spirit.
The antithesis of substances has become a duality in the faculties of
perception. But while Descartes had so far forth ascribed precedence to the
mind in that he held the self-certitude of the ego to be the highest and
clearest of all truths and the soul to be better known than the body, in
Locke the relation of the two was reversed, since he made the perception
of self dependent on the precedent perception of external objects. This
antithesis was made still sharper in later thinking, when Condillac made
full use of the priority of sensation, which in Locke had remained without
much effect; while Berkeley, on the other hand, reduced external perception
to internal perception.

All original ideas are representations either of the external senses or
of the internal sense, or of both. And since, in the case of ideas of
sensation, there is a distinction between those which are perceived by a
single one of the external senses and those which come from more than one,
four classes of simple ideas result: (1) Those which come from one external
sense, as colors, sounds, tastes, odors, heat, solidity, and the like.
(2) Those which come from more than one external sense (sight and touch),
as extension, figure, and motion. (3) Reflection on the operations of our
minds yields ideas of perception or thinking (with its various modes,
remembrance, judging, knowledge, faith, etc.), and of volition or willing.
(4) From both external and internal perception there come into the mind the
ideas of pleasure and pain, existence, power, unity, and succession. These
are approximately our original ideas, which are related to knowledge as
the letters to written discourse; as all Homer is composed out of only
twenty-four letters, so these few simple ideas constitute all the material
of knowledge. The mind can neither have more nor other simple ideas than
those which are furnished to it by these two sources of experience.

Locke differs from Descartes again in regard to extension and thought.
Extension does not constitute the essence of matter, nor thought the
essence of mind. Extension and body are not the same; the former is
presupposed by the latter as its necessary condition, but it is the former
alone which yields mathematical matter. The essence of physical matter
consists rather in solidity: where impenetrability is found there is body,
and the converse; the two are absolutely inseparable. With space the case
is different. I cannot conceive unextended matter, indeed, but I can easily
conceive immaterial extension, an unfilled space Further, if the essence
of the soul consisted in thought, it must be always thinking. As the
Cartesians maintained, it must have ideas as soon as it begins to be, which
is manifestly contrary to experience. Thinking is merely an activity of
the mind, as motion is an activity of the body, and not its essential
characteristic. The mind does not receive ideas until external objects
occasion perception in it through impressions, which it is not able to
avert. The understanding may be compared to a mirror, which, without
independent activity and without being consulted, takes up the images of
things. Some of the simple ideas which have been mentioned above represent
the properties of things as they really are, others not. The former class
includes all ideas of reflection (for we are ourselves the immediate object
of the inner sense); but among the ideas of sensation those only which come
from different senses, hence extension, motion and rest, number, figure,
and, further, solidity, are to be accounted _primary_ qualities, _i. e_.,
such as are actual copies of the properties of bodies. All other ideas, on
the contrary, have no resemblance to properties of bodies; they represent
merely the ways in which things act, and are not copies of things. The
ideas of _secondary_ or derivative qualities (hard and soft, warm and cold,
colors and sounds, tastes and odors) are in the last analysis caused--as
are the primary--by motion, but not perceived as such. Yellow and warm are
merely sensations in us, which we erroneously ascribe to objects; with
equal right we might ascribe to fire, as qualities inherent in it, the
changes in form and color which it produces in wax and the pain which it
causes in the finger brought into proximity with it. The warmth and the
brightness of the blaze, the redness, the pleasant taste, and the aromatic
odor of the strawberry, exist in these bodies merely as the power to
produce such sensations in us by stimulation of the skin, the eye, the
palate, and the nose. If we remove the perceptions of them, they disappear
as such, and their causes alone remain--the bulk, figure, number, texture,
and motion of the insensible particles. The ground of the illusion lies in
the fact that such qualities as color, etc., bear no resemblance to their
causes, in no wise point to these, and in themselves contain naught of
bulk, density, figure, and motion, and that our senses are too weak
to discover the material particles and their primary qualities.--The
distinction between qualities of the first and second order--first advanced
by the ancient atomists, revived by Galileo and Descartes on the threshold
of the modern period, retained by Locke, and still customary in the natural
science of the day--forms an important link in the transition from the
popular view of all sense-qualities as properties of things in themselves
to Kant's position, that spatial and temporal qualities also belong
to phenomena alone, and are based merely on man's subjective mode of
apprehension, while the real properties of things in themselves are

Thus far the procedure of the understanding has been purely passive. But
besides the capacity for passively receiving simple ideas, it possesses the
further power of variously combining and extending these original ideas
which have come into it from without, of working over the material given
in sensation by the combination, relation, and separation of its various
elements. In this it is active, but not creative. It is not able to form
new simple ideas (and just as little to destroy such as already exist), but
only freely to combine the elements furnished without its assistance by
perception (or, following the figure mentioned above, to combine into
syllables and words the separate letters of sensation). Complex ideas arise
from simple ideas through voluntary combination of the latter.

Perception is the first step toward knowledge. After perception the most
indispensable faculty is retention, the prolonged consciousness of present
ideas and the revival of those which have disappeared, or, as it were, have
been put aside. For an idea to be "in the memory" means that the mind
has the capacity to reproduce it at will, whereupon it recognizes it as
previously experienced. If our ideas are not freshened up from time to time
by new impressions of the same sort they gradually fade out, until finally
(as the idea of color in one become blind in early life) they completely
disappear. Ideas impressed upon the mind by frequent repetition are rarely
entirely lost. Memory is the basis for the intellectual functions of
discernment and comparison, of composition, abstraction, and naming. Since,
amid the innumerable multitude of ideas, it is not possible to assign to
each one a definite sign, the indispensable condition of language is found
in the power of abstraction, that is, in the power of generalizing ideas,
of compounding many ideas into one, and of indicating by the names of the
general ideas, or of the classes and species, the particular ideas also
which are contained under these. Here is the great distinction between
man and the brute. The brute lacks language because he lacks (not all
understanding whatever, _e.g._, not a capacity, though an imperfect one, of
comparison and composition, but) the faculty of abstraction and of forming
general ideas. The object of language is simply the quick and easy
communication of our thoughts to others, not to give expression to the real
essence of objects. Words are not names for particular things, but signs
of general ideas; and _abstracta_ nothing more than an artifice for
facilitating intellectual intercourse. This abbreviation, which aids in
the exchange of ideas, involves the danger that the creations of the mind
denoted by words will be taken for images of real general essences, of
which, in fact, there are none in existence, but only particular things. In
order to prevent anyone to whom I am speaking from understanding my words
in a different sense from the one intended, it is necessary for me to
define the complex ideas by analyzing them into their elements, and, on the
other hand, to give examples in experience of the simple ideas, which do
not admit of definition, or to explain them by synonyms. Thus much from
Locke's philosophy of language, to which he devotes the third book of the

Complex ideas, which are very numerous, may be divided into three classes:
Modes, Substances, and Relations.

_Modes_ (states, conditions) are such combinations of simple ideas which do
not "contain in them the supposition of subsisting by themselves, but are
considered as dependencies on, or affections of substances." They fall into
two classes according as they are composed of the same simple ideas, or
simple ideas of various kinds; the former are called simple, the latter
mixed, modes. Under the former class belong, for example, a dozen or a
score, the idea of which is composed of simple units; under the latter,
running, fighting, obstinacy, printing, theft, parricide. The formation of
_mixed_ modes is greatly influenced by national customs. Very complicated
transactions (sacrilege, triumph, ostracism), if often considered and
discussed, receive for the sake of brevity comprehensive names, which
cannot be rendered by a single expression in the language of other
nations among whom the custom in question is not found. The elements most
frequently employed in the formation of mixed modes are ideas of the two
fundamental activities, thinking and motion, together with power, which is
their source. Locke discusses _simple_ modes in more detail, especially
those derived from the ideas of space, time, unity, and power.
Modifications of space are distance, figure, place, length; since any
length or measure of space can be repeated to infinity, we reach the idea
of immensity. As modes of time are enumerated succession (which we perceive
and measure only by the flow of our ideas), duration, and lengths or
measures of duration, the endless repetition of which yields the idea of
eternity. From unity are developed the modes of numbers, and from the
unlimitedness of these the idea of infinity. No idea, however, is richer
in modes than the idea of power. A distinction must be made between active
power and passive power, or mere receptivity. While bodies are not capable
of originating motion, but only of communicating motion received, we notice
in ourselves, as spiritual beings, the capacity of originating actions and
motions. The body possesses only the passive power of being moved, the mind
the active power of producing motion. This latter is termed "will." Here
Locke discusses at length the freedom of the will, but not with entire
clearness and freedom from contradictions (cf. below).

Modes are conditions which do not subsist of themselves, but have need of
a basis or support; they are not conceivable apart from a thing whose
properties or states they are. We notice that certain qualities always
appear together, and habitually refer them to a substratum as the ground of
their unity; in which they subsist or from which they proceed. _Substance_
denotes this self-existent "we know not what," which has or bears the
attributes in itself, and which arouses the ideas of them in us. It is the
combination of a number of simple ideas which are presumed to belong to one
thing. From the ideas of sensation the understanding composes the idea of
body, and from the ideas of reflection that of mind. Each of these is just
as clear and just as obscure as the other; of each we know only its effects
and its sensuous properties; its essence is for us entirely unknowable.
Instead of the customary names, material and immaterial substances,
Locke recommends cogitative and incogitative substances, since it is not
inconceivable that the Creator may have endowed some material beings with
the capacity of thought. God,--the idea of whom is attained by uniting the
ideas of existence, power, might, knowledge, and happiness with that of
infinity,--is absolutely immaterial, because not passive, while finite
spirits (which are both active and passive) are perhaps only bodies which
possess the power of thinking.

While the ideas of substances are referred to a reality without the mind as
their archetype, to which they are to conform and which they should image
and represent, _Relations_ (_e.g._, husband, greater) are free and immanent
products of the understanding. They are not copies of real things, but
represent themselves alone, are their own archetypes. We do not ask whether
they agree with things, but, conversely, whether things agree with them
(Book iv. 4.5). The mind reaches an idea of relation by placing two things
side by side and comparing them. If it perceives that a thing, or a
quality, or an idea begins to exist through the operation of some other
thing, it derives from this the idea of the causal relation, which is the
most comprehensive of all relations, since all that is actual or possible
can be brought under it. _Cause_ is that which makes another thing to begin
to be; _effect_, that which had its beginning from some other thing. The
production of a new quality is termed alteration; of artificial things,
making; of a living being, generation; of a new particle of matter,
creation. Next in importance is the relation of _identity and diversity_.
Since it is impossible for a thing to be in two different places at the
same time and for two things to be at the same time in the same place,
everything that at a given instant is in a given place is identical with
itself, and, on the other hand, distinct from everything else (no matter
how great the resemblance between them) that at the same moment exists in
another place. Space and time therefore form the _principium
individuationis_. By what marks, however, may we recognize the identity of
an individual at different times and in different places? The identity of
inorganic matter depends on the continuity of the mass of atoms which
compose it; that of living beings upon the permanent organization of
their parts (different bodies are united into _one_ animal by a common
life); personal identity consists in the unity of self-consciousness, not
in the continuity of bodily existence (which is at once excluded by the
change of matter). The identity of the person or the ego must be carefully
distinguished from that of substance and of man. It would not be impossible
for the person to remain the same in a change of substances, in so far as
the different beings (for instance, the souls of Epicurus and Gassendi)
participated in the same self-consciousness; and, conversely, for a spirit
to appear in two persons by losing the consciousness of its previous
existence. Consciousness is the sole condition of the self, or personal
identity.--The determinations of space and time are for the most part
relations. Our answers to the questions "When?" "How long?" "How large?"
denote the distance of one point of time from another (_e.g._, the birth of
Christ), the relation of one duration to another (of a revolution of the
sun), the relation of one extension to another well-known one taken as a
standard. Many apparently positive ideas and words, as young and old, large
and small, weak and strong, are in fact relative. They imply merely the
relation of a given duration of life, of a given size and strength, to that
which has been adopted as a standard for the class of things in question. A
man of twenty is called young, but a horse of like age, old; and neither of
these measures of time applies to stars or diamonds. Moral relations, which
are based on a comparison of man's voluntary actions with one of the three
moral laws, will be discussed below.

The inquiry now turns from the origin of ideas to their _cognitive value_
or their _validity_, beginning (in the concluding chapters of the second
book) with the accuracy of single ideas, and advancing (in Book iv., which
is the most important in the whole work) to the truth of judgments. An idea
is real when it conforms to its archetype, whether this is a thing, real
or possible, or an idea of some other thing; it is adequate when the
conformity is complete. The idea of a four-sided triangle or of brave
cowardice is unreal or fantastical, since it is composed of incompatible
elements, and the idea of a centaur, since it unites simple ideas in a
way in which they do not occur in nature. The layman's ideas of law or of
chemical substances are real, but inadequate, since they have a general
resemblance to those of experts, and a basis in reality, but yet only
imperfectly represent their archetypes. Nay, further, our ideas of
substances are all inadequate, not only when they are taken for
representations of the inner essences of things (since we do not know these
essences), but also when they are considered merely as collections of
qualities. The copy never includes all the qualities of the thing, the less
so since the majority of these are powers, _i.e._, consist in relations to
other objects, and since it is impossible, even in the case of a single
body, to discover all the changes which it is fitted to impart to, or
to receive from, other substances. Ideas of modes and relations are all
adequate, for they are their own archetypes, are not intended to represent
anything other than themselves, are images without originals. An idea of
this kind, however, though perfect when originally formed, may become
imperfect through the use of language, when it is unsuccessfully intended
to agree with the idea of some other person and denominated by a current
term. In the case of mixed modes and their names, therefore, the
compatibility of their elements and the possible existence of their objects
are not enough to secure their reality and their complete adequacy; in
order to be adequate they must, further, exactly conform to the meaning
connected with their names by their author, or in common use. Simple
ideas are best off, according to Locke, in regard both to reality and to
adequacy. For the most part, it is true, they are not accurate copies of
the real qualities, of things, but only the regular effects of the powers
of things. But although real qualities are thus only the causes and not
the patterns of sensations, still simple ideas, by their constant
correspondence with real qualities, sufficiently fulfill their divinely
ordained end, to serve us as instruments of knowledge, _i.e._, in the
discrimination of things.--An unreal and inadequate idea becomes false only
when it is referred to an object, whether this be the existence of a thing,
or its true essence, or an idea of other things. Truth and error belong
always to affirmations or negations, that is, to (it may be, tacit)
propositions. Ideas uncombined, unrelated, apart from judgments, ideas,
that is, as mere phenomena in the mind, are neither true nor false.

Knowledge is defined as the "perception of the connexion and agreement, or
disagreement and repugnancy" of two ideas; truth, as "the right joining or
separating of signs, _i.e._, ideas or words." The object of knowledge
is neither single ideas nor the relations of ideas to things, but the
_relations of ideas among themselves_. This view was at once paradoxical
and pregnant. If all cognition, as Locke suggests in objection to his own
theory, consists in perceiving the agreement or disagreement of our ideas,
are not the visions of the enthusiast and the reasonings of sober thinkers
alike certain? are not the propositions, A fairy is not a centaur, and a
centaur is a living being, just as true as that a circle is not a triangle,
and that the sum of the angles of a triangle is equal to two right angles?
The mind directly perceives nothing but its own ideas, but it seeks a
knowledge of things! If this is possible it can only be indirect
knowledge--the mind knows things through its ideas, and possesses criteria
which show that its ideas agree with things.

Two cases must be clearly distinguished, for a considerable number of our
ideas, viz., all complex ideas except those of substances, make no claim
to represent things, and consequently cannot represent them falsely. For
mathematical and moral ideas and principles, and the truth thereof, it is
entirely immaterial whether things and conditions correspondent to them
exist in nature or not. They are valid, even if nowhere actualized; they
are "eternal truths," not in the sense that they are known from childhood,
but in the sense that, as soon as known, they are immediately assented
to.[1] The case is different, however, with simple ideas and the ideas of
substances, which have their originals without the mind and which are to
correspond with these. In regard to the former we may always be certain
that they agree with real things, for since the mind can neither
voluntarily originate them (_e.g._, cannot produce sensations of color
in the dark) nor avoid having them at will, but only receive them from
without, they are not creatures of the fancy, but the natural and regular
productions of external things affecting us. In regard to the latter, the
ideas of substances, we may be certain at least when the simple ideas which
compose them have been found so connected in experience. Perception has
an external cause, whose influence the mind is not able to withstand. The
mutual corroboration furnished by the reports of the different senses, the
painfulness of certain sensations, the clear distinction between ideas from
actual perception and those from memory, the possibility of producing and
predicting new sensations of an entirely definite nature in ourselves and
in others, by means of changes which we effect in the external world (e.g.
by writing down a word)--these give further justification for the trust
which we put in the senses. No one will be so skeptical as to doubt in
earnest the existence of the things which he sees and touches, and to
declare his whole life to be a deceptive dream. The certitude which
perception affords concerning the existence of external objects is indeed
not an absolute one, but it is sufficient for the needs of life and the
government of our actions; it is "as certain as our happiness or misery,
beyond which we have no concernment, either of knowing or being." In regard
to the past the testimony of the senses is supplemented by memory, in
which certainty [in regard to the continued existence of things previously
perceived] is transformed into high probability; while in regard to the
existence of other finite spirits, numberless kinds of which may be
conjectured to exist, though their existence is quite beyond our powers of
perception, certitude sinks into mere (though well-grounded) faith.

[Footnote 1: Thus it results that knowledge, although dependent on
experience for all its materials, extends beyond experience. The
understanding is completely bound in the reception of simple ideas; less so
in the combination of these into complex ideas; absolutely free in the act
of comparison, which it can omit at will; finally, again, completely bound
in its recognition of the relation in which the ideas it has chosen
to compare stand to one another. There is room for choice only in the
intermediate stage of the cognitive process; at the beginning (in the
reception of the simple ideas of perception, a, b, c, d), and at the end
(in judging how the concepts a b c and a b d stand related to each other),
the understanding is completely determined.]

More certain than our _sensitive_ knowledge of the existence of external
objects, are our immediate or _intuitive_ knowledge of our own existence
and our mediate or _demonstrative_ knowledge of the existence of God.
Every idea that we have, every pain, every thought assures us of our own
existence. The existence of God, however, as the infinite cause of all
reality, endowed with intelligence, will, and supreme power, is inferred
from the existence and constitution of the world and of ourselves. Reality
exists; the real world is composed of matter in motion and thinking beings,
and is harmoniously ordered. Since it is impossible for any real being to
be produced by nothing, and since we obtain no satisfactory answer to the
question of origin until we rise to something existent from all eternity,
we must assume as the cause of that which exists an Eternal Being, which
possesses in a higher degree all the perfections which it has bestowed upon
the creatures. As the cause of matter and motion, and as the source of all
power, this Being must be omnipotent; as the cause of beauty and order in
the world, and, above all, as the creator of thinking beings, it must be
omniscient. But these perfections are those which we combine in the idea
of God.

Intuitive knowledge is the highest of the three degrees of knowledge. It is
gained when the mind perceives the agreement or disagreement of two ideas
at first sight, without hesitation, and without the intervention of any
third idea. This immediate knowledge is self-evident, irresistible, and
exposed to no doubt. Knowledge is demonstrative when the mind perceives the
agreement (or disagreement) of two ideas, not by placing them side by side
and comparing them, but through the aid of other ideas. The intermediate
links are called proofs; their discovery is the work of the reason, and
quickness in finding them out is termed sagacity. The greater the number
of the intermediate steps, the more the clearness and distinctness of the
knowledge decreases, and the more the possibility of error increases.
In order for an argument (_e. g_., that a = d) to be conclusive, every
particular step in it (a = b, b = c, c = d) must possess intuitive
certainty. Mathematics is not the only example of demonstrative knowledge,
but the most perfect one, since in mathematics, by the aid of visible
symbols, the full equality and the least differences among ideas may be
exactly measured and sharply determined.

Besides real existence Locke, unsystematically enough, enumerates three
other sorts of agreement between ideas,--in the perception of which he
makes knowledge consist,--viz., identity or diversity (blue is not yellow),
relation (when equals are added to equals the results are equal), and
coexistence or necessary connexion (gold is fixed). We are best off in
regard to the knowledge of the first of these, "identity or diversity," for
here our intuition extends as far as our ideas, since we recognize every
idea, as soon as it arises, as identical with itself and different from
others. We are worst off in regard to "necessary connexion." We know
something, indeed, concerning the incompatibility or coexistence of certain
properties (_e. g_., that the same object cannot have two different sizes
or colors at the same time; that figure cannot exist apart from extension):
but it is only in regard to a few qualities and powers of bodies that we
are able to discover dependence and necessary connexion by intuitive or
demonstrative thought, while in most cases we are dependent on experience,
which gives us information concerning particular cases only, and affords no
guarantee that things are the same beyond the sphere of our observation and
experiment. Since empirical inquiry furnishes no certain and universal
knowledge, and since the assumption that like bodies will in the same
circumstances have like effects is only a conjecture from analogy, natural
science in the strict sense does not exist. Both mathematics and ethics,
however, belong in the sphere of the demonstrative knowledge of relations.
The principles of ethics are as capable of exact demonstration as those of
arithmetic and geometry, although their underlying ideas are more complex,
more involved, hence more exposed to misunderstanding, and lacking in
visible symbols; though these defects can, and should, in part be made good
by careful and strictly consistent definitions. Such moral principles as
"where there is no property there is no injustice," or "no government
allows absolute liberty," are as certain as any proposition in Euclid.

The advantage of the mathematical and moral sciences over the physical
sciences consists in the fact that, in the former, the real and nominal
essences of their objects coincide, while in the latter they do not; and,
further, that the real essences of substances are beyond our knowledge. The
true inner constitution of bodies, the root whence all their qualities, and
the coexistence of these, necessarily proceed, is completely unknown to us;
so that we are unable to deduce them from it. Mathematical and moral ideas,
on the other hand, and their relations, are entirely accessible, for they
are the products of our own voluntary operations. They are not copied from
things, but are archetypal for reality and need no confirmation from
experience. The connexion constituted by our understanding between the
ideas crime and punishment _(e. g_., the proposition: crime deserves
punishment) is valid, even though no crime had ever been committed, and
none ever punished. Existence is not at all involved in universal
propositions; "general knowledge lies only in our own thoughts, and
consists barely in the contemplation of our own abstract ideas" and their
relations. The truths of mathematics and ethics are both universal and
certain, while in natural science single observations and experiments are
certain, but not general, and general propositions are only more or less
probable. Both the particular experiments and the general conclusions are
of great value under certain circumstances, but they do not meet the
requirements of comprehensive and certain knowledge.

The _extent_ of our knowledge is very limited--much less, in fact, than
that of our ignorance. For our knowledge reaches no further than our ideas,
and the possibility of perceiving their agreements. Many things exist of
which we have no ideas--chiefly because of the fewness of our senses and
their lack of acuteness--and just as many of which our ideas are only
imperfect. Moreover, we are often able neither to command the ideas
which we really possess, or at least might attain, nor to perceive their
connexions. The ideas which are lacking, those which are undiscoverable,
those which are not combined, are the causes of the narrow limits of human

There are two ways by which knowledge may be extended: by experience, on
the one hand, and, on the other, by the elevation of our ideas to a state
of clearness and distinctness, together with the discovery and systematic
arrangement of those intermediate ideas which exhibit the relation of other
ideas, in themselves not immediately comparable. The syllogism, as an
artificial form, is of little value in the perception of the agreements
between these intermediate and final terms, and of none whatever in the
discovery of the former. Analytical and identical propositions which merely
explicate the conception of the subject, but express nothing not already
known, are, in spite of their indefeasible certitude, valueless for the
extension of knowledge, and when taken for more than verbal explanations,
mere absurdities. Even those most general propositions, those "principles"
which are so much talked of in the schools, lack the utility which is so
commonly ascribed to them. Maxims are, it is true, fit instruments for the
communication of knowledge already acquired, and in learned disputations
may perform indispensable service in silencing opponents, or in bringing
the dispute to a conclusion; but they are of little or no use in the
discovery of new truth. It is a mistake to believe that special cases (as
5 = 2 + 3, or 5 = 1 + 4) are dependent on the truth of the abstract rule
(the whole is equal to the sum of its parts), that they are confirmed by
it and must be derived from it. The particular and concrete is not only
as clear and certain as the general maxim, but better known than this,
as well as earlier and more easily perceived. Nay, further, in cases
where ideas are confused and the meanings of words doubtful, the use of
axioms is dangerous, since they may easily lend the appearance of proved
truth to assertions which are really contradictory.

Between the clear daylight of certain knowledge and the dark night of
absolute ignorance comes the twilight of probability. We find ourselves
dependent on _opinion_ and presumption, or judgment based upon probability,
when experience and demonstration leave us in the lurch and we are,
nevertheless, challenged to a decision by vital needs which brook no delay.
The judge and the historian must convince themselves from the reports of
witnesses concerning events which they have not themselves observed; and
everyone is compelled by the interests of life, of duty, and of eternal
salvation to form conclusions concerning things which lie beyond the limits
of his own perception and reflective thought, nay, which transcend all
human experience and rigorous demonstration whatever. To delay decision and
action until absolute certainty had been attained, would scarcely allow
us to lift a single finger. In cases concerning events in the past, the
future, or at a distance, we rely on the testimony of others (testing their
reports by considering their credibility as witnesses and the conformity of
the evidence to general experience in like cases); in regard to questions
concerning that which is absolutely beyond experience, _e.g._, higher
orders of spirits, or the ultimate causes of natural phenomena, analogy is
the only help we have. If the witnesses conflict among themselves, or with
the usual course of nature, the grounds _pro_ and _con_ must be carefully
balanced; frequently, however, the degree of probability attained is so
great that our assent is almost equivalent to complete certainty. No
one doubts,--although it is impossible for him to "know,"--that Caesar
conquered Pompey, that gold is ductile in Australia as elsewhere, that iron
will sink to-morrow as well as to-day. Thus opinion supplements the lack of
certain knowledge, and serves as a guide for belief and action, wherever
the general lot of mankind or individual circumstances prevent absolute

Although in this twilight region of opinion demonstrative proofs are
replaced merely by an "occasion" for "taking" a given fact or idea "as true
rather than false," yet assent is by no means an act of choice, as the
Cartesians had erroneously maintained, for in knowledge it is determined by
clearly discerned reasons, and in the sphere of opinion, by the balance of
probability. The understanding is free only in combining ideas, not in its
judgment concerning the agreement or the repugnancy of the ideas compared;
it lies within its own power to decide whether it will judge at all, and
what ideas it will compare, but it has no control over the result of the
comparison; it is impossible for it to refuse its assent to a demonstrated
truth or a preponderant probability.

In this recognition of objective and universally valid relations existing
among ideas, which the thinking subject, through comparisons voluntarily
instituted, discovers valid or finds given, but which it can neither alter
nor demur to, Locke abandons empirical ground (cf. p. 155) and approaches
the idealists of the Platonizing type. His inquiry divides into two very
dissimilar parts (a psychological description of the origin of ideas and a
logical determination of the possibility and the extent of knowledge), the
latter of which is, in Locke's opinion, compatible with the former, but
which could never have been developed from it. The rationalistic edifice
contradicts the sensationalistic foundation. Locke had hoped to show the
value and the limits of knowledge by an inquiry into the origin of ideas,
but his estimate of this value and these limits cannot be proved from the
_a posteriori_ origin of ideas--it can only be maintained in despite of
this, and stands in need of support from some (rationalistic) principle
elsewhere obtained. Thinkers who trace back all simple ideas to outer and
inner perception we expect to reject every attempt to extend knowledge
beyond the sphere of experience, to declare the combinations of ideas
which have their origin in sensation trustworthy, and those which are
formed without regard to perception, illusory; or else, with Protagoras,
to limit knowledge to the individual perceiving subject, with a consequent
complete denial of its general validity. But exactly the opposite of all
these is found in Locke. The remarkable spectacle is presented of a
philosopher who admits no other sources of ideas than perception and the
voluntary combination of perceptions, transcending the limits of experience
with proofs of the divine existence, viewing with suspicion the ideas of
substance formed at the instance of experience, and reducing natural
science to the sphere of mere opinion; while, on the other hand, he
ascribes reality and eternal validity to the combinations of ideas formed
independently of perception, which are employed by mathematics and ethics,
and completely abandons the individualistic position in his naïve faith in
the impregnable validity of the relations of ideas, which is evident to all
who turn their attention to them. The ground for the universal validity of
the relations among ideas as well as of our knowledge of them, naturally
lies not in their empirical origin (for my experience gives information to
me alone, and that only concerning the particular case in question), but in
the uniformity of man's rational constitution. If two men really have the
same ideas--not merely think they have because they use similar
language--it is impossible, according to Locke, that they should hold
different opinions concerning the relation of their ideas. With this
conviction, that the universal validity of knowledge is rooted in the
uniformity of man's rational constitution, and the further one, that we
attain certain knowledge only when things conform to our ideas, Locke
closely approaches Kant; while his assumption of a fixed order of relations
among ideas, which the individual understanding cannot refuse to recognize,
and the typical character assigned to mathematics, associate him with
Malebranche and Spinoza. In view of these points of contact with the
rationalistic school and his manifold dependence on its founder, we may
venture the paradox, that Locke may not only be termed a Baconian with
Cartesian leanings, but (almost) a Cartesian influenced by Bacon. The
possibility must not be forgotten, however, that rationalistic suggestions
came to him also from Galileo, Hobbes, and Newton.[1]

[Footnote 1: Cf. the article by Benno Erdmann cited p. 156, note.]

Intermediate between knowledge and opinion stands faith as a form of assent
which is based on testimony rather than on deductions of the reason,
but whose certitude is not inferior to that of knowledge, since it is a
communication from God, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. Faith
and the certainty thereof depend on reason, in so far as reason alone can
determine whether a divine revelation has really been made and the meaning
of the words in which the revelation has come down to us. In determining
the boundaries of faith and reason Locke makes use of the
distinction--which has become famous--between things above reason,
according to reason, and contrary to reason. Our conviction that God exists
is according to reason; the belief that there are more gods than one, or
that a body can be in two different places at the same time, contrary
to reason; the former is a truth which can be demonstrated on rational
grounds, the latter an assumption incompatible with our clear and distinct
ideas. In the one case revelation confirms a proposition of which we
were already certain; in the other an alleged revelation is incapable
of depriving our certain knowledge of its force. Above reason are those
principles whose probability and truth cannot be shown by the natural use
of our faculties, as that the dead shall rise again and the account of the
fall of part of the angels. Among the things which are not contrary to
reason belong miracles, for they contradict opinion based on the usual
course of nature, it is true, but not our certain knowledge; in spite of
their supernatural character they deserve willing acceptance, and receive
it, when they are well attested, whereas principles contrary to reason must
be unconditionally rejected as a revelation from God. Locke's demand for
the subjection of faith to rational criticism assures him an honorable
place in the history of English deism. He enriched the philosophy of
religion by two treatises of his own: _The Reasonableness of Christianity_,
1695, and three _Letters on Tolerance_, 1689-1692. The former transfers the
center of gravity of the Christian religion from history to the doctrine of
redemption; the _Letters_ demand religious freedom, mutual tolerance among
the different sects, and the separation of Church and State. Those sects
alone are to receive no tolerance which themselves exercise none, and which
endanger the well-being of society; together with atheists, who are
incapable of taking oaths. In other respects it is the duty of the state to
protect all confessions and to favor none.

%(b) Practical Philosophy.%--Locke contributed to practical philosophy
important suggestions concerning freedom, morality, politics, and
education. Freedom is the "power to begin or forbear, continue or put an
end to" actions (thoughts and motions). It is not destroyed by the fact
that the will is always moved by desire, more exactly, by uneasiness under
present circumstances, and that the decision is determined by the judgment
of the understanding. Although the result of examination is itself
dependent on the unalterable relations of ideas, it is still in our power
to decide whether we will consider at all, and what ideas we will take into
consideration. Not the thought, not the determination of the will, is free,
but the person, the mind; this has the power to suspend the prosecution of
desire, and by its judgment to determine the will, even in opposition
to inclination. Four stages must, consequently, be distinguished in the
volitional process: desire or uneasiness; the deliberative combination of
ideas; the judgment of the understanding; determination. Freedom has its
place at the beginning of the second stage: it is open to me to decide
whether to proceed at all to consideration and final judgment concerning a
proposed action; thus to prevent desire from directly issuing in movements;
and, according to the result of my examination, perhaps, to substitute for
the act originally desired an opposite one. Without freedom, moral judgment
and responsibility would be impossible. The above appears to us to
represent the essence of Locke's often vacillating discussion of freedom
(II. 21). Desire is directed to pleasure; the will obeys the understanding,
which is exalted above motives of pleasure and the passions. Everything is
physically good which occasions and increases pleasure in us, which removes
or diminishes pain, or contributes to the attainment of some other good and
the avoidance of some other evil. Actions, on the contrary, are morally
good when they conform to a rule by which they are judged. Whoever
earnestly meditates on his welfare will prefer moral or rational good to
sensuous good, since the former alone vouchsafes true happiness. God has
most intimately united virtue and general happiness, since he has made the
preservation of human society dependent on the exercise of virtue.

The mark of a law for free beings is the fact that it apportions reward for
obedience and punishment for disobedience. The laws to which an action must
conform in order to deserve the predicate "good" are three in number
(II. 28): by the divine law "men judge whether their actions are sins
or duties"; by the civil law, "whether they be criminal or innocent"
(deserving of punishment or not); by the law of opinion or reputation,
"whether they be virtues or vices." The first of these laws threatens
immorality with future misery; the second, with legal punishments; the
third, with the disapproval of our fellow-men.

The third law, the law of opinion or reputation, called also philosophical,
coincides on the whole, though not throughout, with the first, the divine
law of nature, which is best expressed in Christianity, and which is the
true touchstone of the moral character of actions. While Locke, in his
polemic against innate ideas, had emphasized the diversity of moral
judgments among individuals and nations (as a result of which an action is
condemned in one place and praised as virtuous in another), he here gives
prominence to the fact of general agreement in essentials, since it is only
natural that each should encourage by praise and esteem that which is to
his advantage, while virtue evidently conduces to the good of all who
come into contact with the virtuous. Amid the greatest diversity of moral
judgments virtue and praise, vice and blame, go together, while in general
that is praised which is really praiseworthy--even the vicious man approves
the right and condemns that which is faulty, at least in others. Locke was
the first to call attention to general approval as an external mark of
moral action, a hint which the Scottish moralists subsequently exploited.
The objection that he reduced morality to the level of the conventional is
unjust, for the law of opinion and reputation did not mean for him the
true principle of morality, but only that which controls the majority of
mankind--If anyone is inclined to doubt that commendation and disgrace are
sufficient motives to action, he does not understand mankind; there is
hardly one in ten thousand insensible enough to endure in quiet the
constant disapproval of society. Even if the lawbreaker hopes to escape
punishment at the hands of the state, and puts out of mind the thought of
future retribution, he can never escape the disapproval of his misdeeds
on the part of his fellows. In entire harmony with these views is Locke's
advice to educators, that they should early cultivate the love of esteem in
their pupils.

Of the four principles of morals which Locke employs side by side, and in
alternation, without determining their exact relations--the reason, the
will of God, the general good (and, deduced from this, the approval of
our fellow-men), self-love--the latter two possess only an accessory
significance, while the former two co-operate in such a way that the one
determines the content of the good and the other confirms it and gives
it binding authority. The Christian religion does the reason a threefold
service--it gives her information concerning our duty, which she could have
reached herself, indeed, without the help of revelation, but not with
the same certitude and rapidity; it invests the good with the majesty of
absolute obligation by proclaiming it as the command of God; it increases
the motives to morality by its doctrines of immortality and future
retribution. Although Locke thus intimately joins virtue with earthly joy
and eternal happiness, and although he finds in the expectation of heaven
or hell a welcome support for the will in its conflict with the passions,
we must remember that he values this regard for the results and rewards of
virtue only as a subsidiary motive, and does not esteem it as in itself
ethical: eternal happiness forms, as it were, the "dowry" of virtue,
which adds to its true value in the eyes of fools and the weak, though it
constitutes neither its essence nor its basis. Virtue seems to the wise man
beautiful and valuable enough even without this, and yet the commendations
of philosophers gain for her but few wooers. The crowd is attracted to her
only when it is made clear to it that virtue is the "best policy."

In politics Locke is an opponent of both forms of absolutism, the despotic
absolutism of Hobbes and the patriarchal absolutism of Filmer (died 1647;
his _Patriarcha_ declared hereditary monarchy a divine institution), and
a moderate exponent of the liberal tendencies of Milton (1608-74) and
Algernon Sidney (died 1683; _Discourses concerning Government_). The two
_Treatises on Civil Government_, 1690, develop, the first negatively, the
second positively, the constitutional theory with direct reference to the
political condition of England at the time. All men are born free and with
like capacities and rights. Each is to preserve his own interests, without
injuring those of others. The right to be treated by every man as a
rational being holds even prior to the founding of the state; but then
there is no authoritative power to decide conflicts. The state of nature is
not in itself a state of war, but it would lead to this, if each man should
himself attempt to exercise the right of self-protection against injury. In
order to prevent acts of violence there is needed a civil community, based
on a free contract, to which each individual member shall transfer his
freedom and power. Submission to the authority of the state is a free act,
and, by the contract made, natural rights are guarded, not destroyed;
political freedom is obedience to self-imposed law, subordination to the
common will expressing itself in the majority. The political power is
neither tyrannical, for arbitrary rule is no better than the state of
nature, nor paternal, for rulers and subjects are on an equality in the use
of the reason, which is not the case with parents and children. The
supreme power is the legislative, intrusted by the community to its chosen
representatives--the laws should aim at the general good. Subordinate
to the legislative power, and to be kept separate from it, come the two
executing powers, which are best united in a single hand (the king), viz.,
the executive power (administrative and judicial), which carries the laws
into effect, and the federative power, which defends the community against
external foes. The ruler is subject to the law. If the government, through
violation of the law, has become unworthy of the power intrusted to it, and
has forfeited it, sovereign authority reverts to the source whence it
was derived, that is, to the people. The people decides whether its
representatives and the monarch have deserved the confidence placed in
them, and has the right to depose them, if they exceed their authority. As
the sworn obedience (of the subjects) is to the law alone, the ruler who
acts contrary to law has lost the right to govern, has put himself in a
state of hostility to the people, and revolution becomes merely necessary
defense against aggression.

Montesquieu made these political ideas of Locke the common property of
Europe.[1] Rousseau did a like service for Locke's pedagogical views, given
in the modest but important _Thoughts concerning Education_, 1693. The
aim of education should not be to instill anything into the pupil, but to
develop everything from him; it should guide and not master him, should
develop his capacities in a natural way, should rouse him to independence,
not drill him into a scholar. In order to these ends thorough and
affectionate consideration of his individuality is requisite, and private
instruction is, therefore, to be preferred to public instruction. Since it
is the business of education to make men useful members of society, it must
not neglect their physical development. Learning through play and object
teaching make the child's task a delight; modern languages are to be
learned more by practice than by systematic study. The chief difference
between Locke and Rousseau is that the former sets great value on arousing
the sense of esteem, while the latter entirely rejects this as an
educational instrument.

[Footnote 1: Cf. Theod. Pietsch, _Ueber das Verhältniss der politischen
Theorien Lockes zu Montesquieus Lehre von der Teilung der Gewalten_ Berlin
dissertation, Breslau, 1887.]



Besides the theory of knowledge, which forms the central doctrine in his
system, Locke had discussed the remaining branches of philosophy, though in
less detail, and, by his many-sided stimulation, had posited problems
for the Illumination movement in England and in France. Now the several
disciplines take different courses, but the after-influence of his powerful
mind is felt on every hand. The development of deism from Toland on is
under the direct influence of his "rational Christianity"; the ethics of
Shaftesbury stands in polemic relation to his denial of everything innate;
and while Berkeley and Hume are deducing the consequences of his theory of
knowledge, Hartley derives the impulse to a new form of psychology from his
chapter on the association of ideas.

%1. Natural Philosophy and Psychology.%

In Locke's famous countryman, Isaac Newton (1642-1727),[1] the modern
investigation of nature attains the level toward which it had striven, at
first by wishes and demands, gradually, also, in knowledge and achievement,
since the end of the mediaeval period. Mankind was not able to discard at
a stroke its accustomed Aristotelian view of nature, which animated things
with inner, spirit-like forces. A full century intervened between Telesius
and Newton, the concept of natural law requiring so long a time to break
out of its shell. A tremendous revolution in opinion had to be effected
before Newton could calmly promulgate his great principle, "Abandon
substantial forms and occult qualities and reduce natural phenomena to
mathematical laws," before he could crown the discoveries of Galileo and
Kepler with his own. For this successful union of Bacon's experimental
induction with the mathematical deduction of Descartes, this combination of
the analytic and the synthetic methods, which was shown in the demand
for, and the establishment of, mathematically formulated natural laws,
presupposes that nature is deprived of all inner life [2] and all
qualitative distinctions, that all that exists is compounded of uniformly
acting parts, and that all that takes place is conceived as motion. With
this Hobbes's programme of a mechanical science of nature is fulfilled. The
heavens and the earth are made subject to the same law of gravitation. How
far Newton himself adhered to the narrow meaning of mechanism (motion from
pressure and impulse), is evident from the fact that, though he is often
honored as the creator of the dynamical view of nature, he rejected _actio
in distans_ as absurd, and deemed it indispensable to assume some "cause"
of gravity (consisting, probably, in the impact of imponderable material
particles). It was his disciples who first ventured to proclaim gravity as
the universal force of matter, as the "primary quality of all bodies" (so
Roger Cotes in the preface to the second edition of the _Principia_, 1713).

[Footnote 1: 1669-95 professor of mathematics in Cambridge, later resident
in London; 1672, member, and, 1703, president of the Royal Society. Chief
work, _Philosophic Naturalis Principia Mathematica_, 1687. _Works_, 1779
_seq_. On Newton cf. K. Snell, 1843; Durdik, _Leibniz und Newton_, 1869;
Lange, _History of Materialism_, vol. i. p. 306 _seq_.]

[Footnote 2: That the mathematical view of nature, since it leaves room for
quantitative distinctions alone, is equivalent to an examination of nature
had been clearly recognized by Poiret. As he significantly remarked: The
principles of the Cartesian physics relate merely to the "cadaver" of
nature _(Erud_., p. 260).]

Newton resembles Boyle in uniting profound piety with the rigor of
scientific thought. He finds the most certain proof for the existence of
an intelligent creator in the wonderful arrangement of the world-machine,
which does not need after-adjustment at the hands of its creator, and whose
adaptation he praises as enthusiastically as he unconditionally rejects
the mingling of teleological considerations in the explanation of physical
phenomena. By this "physico-theological" argument he furnishes a welcome
support to deism. While the finite mind perceives in the sensorium of the
brain the images of objects which come to it from the senses, God has all
things in himself, is immediately present in all, and cognizes them without
sense-organs, the expanse of the universe forming his sensorium.

       *       *       *       *       *

The transfer of mechanical views to psychical phenomena was also
accompanied by the conviction that no danger to faith in God would
result therefrom, but rather that it would aid in its support. The chief
representatives of this movement, which followed the example of Gay,
were the physician, David Hartley[1] (1704-57), and his pupil, Joseph
Priestley,[2] a dissenting minister and natural scientist (born 1733, died
in Philadelphia 1804; the discoverer of oxygen gas, 1774).

The fundamental position of these psychologists is expressed in two
principles: (1) all cognitive and motive life is based on the mechanism of
psychical elements, the highest and most complex inner phenomena (thoughts,
feelings, volitions) are produced by the combination of simple ideas,
that is, they arise through the "association of ideas "; (2) all inner
phenomena, the complex as well as the simple, are accompanied by, or rather
depend on, more or less complicated physical phenomena, viz., nervous
processes and brain vibrations. Although Hartley and Priestley are agreed
in their demand for an associational and physiological treatment of
psychology, and in the attempt to give one, they differ in this, that
Hartley cautiously speaks only of a parallelism, a correspondence between
mental and cerebral processes, and rejects the materialistic interpretation
of inner phenomena, pointing out that the heterogeneity of motion and ideas
forbids the reduction of the latter to the former, and that psychological
analysis never reaches corporeal but only psychical elements. Moreover, it
is only with reluctance that, conscious of the critical character of the
conclusion, he admits the dependence of brain vibrations on the mechanical
laws of the material world and the thoroughgoing determinateness of the
human will, consoling himself with the belief that moral responsibility
nevertheless remains intact. Priestley, on the contrary, boldly avows the
materialistic and deterministic consequences of his position, holds that
psychical phenomena are not merely accompanied by material motions but
consist in them (thought is a function of the brain), and makes psychology,
as the physics of the nerves, a part of physiology. The denial of
immortality and the divine origin of the world is, however, by no means
to follow from materialism. Priestley not only combated the atheism of
Holbach, but also entered the deistic ranks with works of his own on
Natural Religion and the Corruptions of Christianity.

[Footnote 1: Hartley, _Observations on Man, his Frame, his Duties, his
Expectations_. 1749.]

[Footnote 2: Priestley, _Hartley's Theory of the Human Mind on the
Principles of the Association of Ideas_, 1775; _Disquisitions relating to
Matter and Spirit_, 1777; _The Doctrine of Philosophical Necessity_, 1777;
_Free Discussions of the Doctrines of Materialism_, 1778 (against Richard
Price's _Letters on Materialism and Philosophical Necessity_). Cf. on
both Schoenlank's dissertation, _Hartley und Priestley, die Begründer des
Assoziationismus in England_, 1882.]

As early as in Hartley[1] the principle, which is so important for ethics,
appears that things and actions (_e.g._, promotion of the good of others)
which at first are sought and done because they are means to our own
enjoyment, in time come to have a direct worth of their own, apart from the
original egoistic end. James Mill (1829) has repeated this thought in later
times. As fame becomes an immediate object of desire to the ambitious man,
and gold to the miser, so, through association, the impulse toward that
which will secure approval may be transformed into the endeavor after that
which deserves approval.

[Footnote 1: Cf. Jodl, _Geschichte der Ethik_, vol. i. p. 197 _seq_.]

Among later representatives of the Associational school we may mention
Erasmus Darwin _(Zoönomia, or the Laws of Organic Life_, 1794-96).

%2. Deism%.

As Bacon and Descartes had freed natural science, Hobbes, the state, and
Grotius, law from the authority of the Church and had placed them on an
independent basis, _i.e._, the basis of nature and reason, so deism[1]
seeks to free religion from Church dogma and blind historical faith, and to
deduce it from natural knowledge. In so far as deism finds both the source
and the test of true religion in reason, it is rationalism; in so far as it
appeals from the supernatural light of revelation and inspiration to the
natural light of reason, it is naturalism; in so far as revelation and its
records are not only not allowed to restrict rational criticism, but are
made the chief object of criticism, its adherents are freethinkers.

[Footnote 1: Cf. Lechler's _Geschichte des Englischen Deismus_, 1841, which
is rigorously drawn from the sources. [Hunt, _History of Religious Thought
in England_, 1871-73 [1884]; Leslie Stephen, _History of English Thought in
the Eighteenth Century_, 1876 [1880]; Cairns, _Unbelief in the Eighteenth
Century_, 1881.]]

The general principles of deism may be compressed into a few theses. There
is a natural religion, whose essential content is morality; this comprises
not much more than the two maxims, Believe in God and Do your duty.

Positive religions are to be judged by this standard. The elements in them
which are added to natural religion, or conflict with it, are superfluous
and harmful additions, arbitrary decrees of men, the work of cunning rulers
and deceitful priests. Christianity, which in its original form was the
perfect expression of the true religion of reason, has experienced great
corruptions in its ecclesiastical development, from which it must now be

These principles are supported by the following arguments: Truth is one
and there is but one true religion. If the happiness of men depends on the
fulfilment of her commands, these must be comprehensible to every man and
must have been communicated to him; and since a special revelation and
legislation could not come to the knowledge of all, they can be no other
than the laws of duty inscribed on the human heart. In order to salvation,
then, we need only to know God as creator and judge, and to fulfill his
commands, _i.e._. to live a moral life. The one true religion has been
communicated to man in two forms, through the inner natural revelation of
reason, and the outer historical revelation of the Gospel. Since both have
come from God they cannot be contradictory. Accordingly natural religion
and the true one among the positive religions do not differ in their
content, but only in the manner of their promulgation. Reason tries
historical religion by the standard furnished by natural religion, and
distinguishes actual from asserted revelation by the harmony of its
contents with reason: the deist believes in the Bible because of the
reasonableness of its teachings; he does not hold these teachings true
because they are found in the Bible. If a positive religion contains
less than natural religion it is incomplete; if it contains more it is
tyrannical, since it imposes unnecessary requirements. The authority of
reason to exercise the office of a judge in regard to the credibility of
revelation is beyond doubt; indeed, apart from it there is no means of
attaining truth, and the acceptance of an external revelation as genuine,
and not merely as alleged to be such, is possible only for those who have
already been convinced of God's existence by the inner light of reason.

To these logical considerations is added an historical position, which,
though only cursorily indicated at the beginning, is evidenced in
increasing detail as the deistic movement continues on its course. Natural
religion is always and everywhere the same, is universal and necessary, is
perfect, eternal, and original. As original, it is the earliest religion,
and as old as the world; as perfect, it is not capable of improvement, but
only of corruption and restoration. Twice it has existed in perfect purity,
as the religion of the first men and as the religion of Christ. Twice
it has been corrupted, in the pre-Christian period by idolatry, which
proceeded from the Egyptian worship of the dead, in the period after Christ
by the love of miracle and blind reverence for authority. In both cases the
corruption has come from power-loving priests, who have sought to frighten
and control the people by incomprehensible dogmas and ostentations,
mysterious ceremonies, and found their advantage in the superstition of the
multitude,--each new divinity, each new mystery meaning a gain for them. As
they had corrupted the primitive religion into polytheism, so Christianity
was corrupted by conforming it to the prejudices of those to be converted,
in whose eyes the simplicity of the new doctrine would have been no
recommendation for it. The Jew sought in it an echo of the Law, the heathen
longed for his festivals and his occult philosophy; so it was burdened
with unprofitable ceremonial observances and needless profundity, it was
Judaized and heathenized. It was inevitable that the doctrines of original
sin, of satisfaction and atonement should prove especially objectionable to
the purely rational temper of the deists. Neither the guilt of others (the
sin of our ancestors) nor the atonement of others (Christ's death on the
cross) can be imputed to us; Christ can be called the Savior only by way of
metaphor, only in so far as the example of his death leads us on to faith
and obedience for ourselves. The name atheism, which, it is true, orthodoxy
held ready for every belief incorrect according to its standard, was on the
contrary undeserved. The deists did not attack Christian revelation, still
less belief in God. They considered the atheist bereft of reason, and they
by no means esteemed historical revelation superfluous. The end of the
latter was to stir the mind to move men to reflection and conversion, to
transform morals, and if anyone declared it unnecessary because it contains
nothing but natural truths, he was referred to the works of Euclid, which
certainly contain nothing which is not founded in the reason, but which no
one but a fool will consider unnecessary in the study of mathematics.

That which we have here summarized as the general position of deism, gained
gradual expression through the regular development and specialization of
deistic ideas in individual representatives of the movement. The chief
points and epochs were marked by Toland's _Christianity not Mysterious_,
1696; Collins's _Discourse of Freethinking_, 1713; Tindal's _Christianity
as Old as the Creation_, 1730; and Chubb's _True Gospel of Jesus Christ_,
1738. The first of these demands a critique of revelation, the second
defends the right of free investigation, the third declares the religion
of Christ, which is merely a revived natural religion, to be the oldest
religion, the fourth reduces it entirely to moral life.

The deistic movement was called into life by Lord Herbert of Cherbury (pp.
79-80) and continued by Locke, in so far as the latter had intrusted to
reason the discrimination of true from false revelation, and had admitted
in Christianity elements above reason, though not things contrary to
reason. Following Locke, John Toland (1670-1722) goes a step further with
the proof that the Gospel not only contains nothing contrary to reason, but
also nothing above reason, and that no Christian doctrine is to be called
mysterious. To the demand that we should worship what we do not comprehend,
he answers that reason is the only basis of certitude, and alone decides on
the divinity of the Scriptures, by a consideration of their contents. The
motive which impels us to assent to a truth must lie in reason, not in
revelation, which, like all authority and experience, is merely the way by
which we attain the knowledge of the truth; it is a means of instruction,
not a ground of conviction. All faith has knowledge and understanding for
its conditions, and is rational conviction. Before we can put our trust in
the Scriptures, we must be convinced that they were in fact written by the
authors to whom they are ascribed, and must consider whether these men,
their deeds, and their works, were worthy of God. The fact that God's
inmost being is for us inscrutable does not make him a mystery, for even
the common things of nature are known to us only by their properties.
Miracles are also in themselves nothing incomprehensible; they are
simply enhancements of natural laws beyond their ordinary operations, by
supernatural assistance, which God vouchsafes but rarely and only for
extraordinary ends. Toland explains the mysteries smuggled into the ethical
religion of Christianity as due to the toleration of Jewish and heathen
customs, to the entrance of learned speculation, and to the selfish
inventions of the clergy and the rulers. The Reformation itself had not
entirely restored the original purity and simplicity.

Thus far Toland the deist. In his later writings, the five _Letters to
Serena_, 1704, addressed to the Prussian queen, Sophia Charlotte, and
the _Pantheisticon_ (Cosmopoli, 1720), he advances toward a hylozoistic

The first of the Letters discusses the prejudices of mankind; the second,
the heathen doctrine of immortality; the third, the origin of idolatry;
while the fourth and fifth are devoted to Spinoza, the chief defect in
whose philosophy is declared to be the absence of an explanation of motion.
Motion belongs to the notion of matter as necessarily as extension and
impenetrability. Matter is always in motion; rest is only the reciprocal
interference of two moving forces. The differences of things depend on the
various movements of the particles of matter, so that it is motion which
individualizes matter in general into particular things. As the Letters
ascribe the purposive construction of organic beings to a divine reason, so
the _Pantheisticon_ also stops short before it reaches the extreme of naked
materialism. Everything is from the whole; the whole is infinite, one,
eternal, all-rational. God is the force of the whole, the soul of
the world, the law of nature. The treatise includes a liturgy of the
pantheistic society with many quotations from the ancient poets.

Anthony Collins (1676-1729), in his _Discourse of Free-thinking_, shows
the right of free thought _(i. e_., of judgment on rational grounds) in
general, from the principle that no truth is forbidden to us, and that
there is no other way by which we can attain truth and free ourselves from
superstition, and the right to apply it to God and the Bible in particular,
from the fact that the clergy differ concerning the most important matters.
The fear that the differences of opinion which spring from freethinking may
endanger the peace of society lacks foundation; on the contrary, it is
only restriction of the freedom of thought which leads to disorders, by
weakening moral zeal. The clergy are the only ones who condemn liberty of
thought. It is sacrilege to hold that error can be beneficial and truth
harmful. As a proof that freethinking by no means corrupts character,
Collins gives in conclusion a list of noble freethinkers from Socrates down
to Locke and Tillotson. Among the replies to the views of Collins we may
mention the calmly objective Boyle Lectures by Ibbot, and the sharp and
witty letter of Richard Bentley, the philologist. Neither of these attacks
Collins's leading principle, both fully admitting the right to employ the
reason, even in religious questions; but they dispute the implication that
freethinking is equivalent to contentious opposition. On the one hand, they
maintain that Collins's thinking is too free, that is, unbridled, hasty,
presumptuous, and paradoxical; on the other, that it is not free enough
(from prejudice).

After Shaftesbury had based morality on a natural instinct for the
beautiful and had made it independent of religion, as well as served the
cause of free thought by a keenly ironical campaign against enthusiasm and
orthodoxy, and Clarke had furnished the representatives of natural religion
a useful principle of morals in the objective rationality of things, the
debate concerning prophecy and miracles[1] threatened to dissipate the
deistic movement into scattered theological skirmishes. At this juncture
Matthew Tindal (1657-1733) led it back to the main question. His
_Christianity as Old as the Creation_ is the doomsday book of deism.
It contains all that has been given above as the core of this view of
religion. Christ came not to bring in a new doctrine, but to exhort to
repentance and atonement, and to restore the law of nature, which is as old
as the creation, as universal as reason, and as unchangeable as God,
human nature, and the relations of things, which we should respect in our
actions. Religion is morality; more exactly, it is the free, constant
disposition to do as much good as possible, and thereby to promote the
glory of God and our own welfare. For the harmony of our conduct with
the rules of reason constitutes our perfection, and on this depends our
happiness. Since God is infinitely blessed and self-sufficient his purpose
in the moral law is man's happiness alone. Whatever a positive religion
contains beyond the moral law is superstition, which puts emphasis on
worthless trivialities. The true religion occupies the happy mean between
miserable unfaith, on the one hand, and timorous superstition, wild
fanaticism, and pietistical zeal on the other. In proclaiming the
sovereignty of reason in the sphere of religion as well as elsewhere, we
are only openly demanding what our opponents have tacitly acknowledged in
practice _(e. g_.> in allegorical interpretation) from time immemorial. God
has endowed us with reason in order that we should by it distinguish truth
from falsehood.

[Footnote 1: The chief combatant in the conflict over the argument from
prophecy, which was called forth by Whiston's corruption hypothesis,
was Collins _(A Discourse of the Grounds and Reasons of the Christian
Religion_, 1724). Christianity is based on Judaism; its fundamental article
is that Jesus is the prophesied Messiah of the Jews, its chief proof the
argument from Old Testament prophecy, which, it is true, depends on the
typical or allegorical interpretation of the passages in question. Whoever
rejects this cuts away the ground from under the Christian revelation,
which is only the allegorical import of the revelation of the Jews.--The
second proof of revelation, the argument from miracles, was shaken by
Thomas Woolston _(Six Discourses on the Miracles of our Saviour_, 1727-30),
by his extension of the allegorical interpretation to these also. He
supported himself in this by the authority of the Church Fathers, and,
above all, by the argument that the accounts of the miracles, if taken
literally, contradict all sense and understanding. The unavoidable doubts
which arise concerning the literal interpretation of the resurrection of
the dead, the healing of the sick, the driving out of devils, and the other
miracles, prove that these were intended only as symbolic representations
of the mysterious and wonderful effects which Jesus was to accomplish. Thus
Jairus's daughter means the Jewish Church, which is to be revived at the
second coming of Christ; Lazarus typifies humanity, which will be raised
again at the last day; the account of the bodily resurrection of Jesus is
a symbol of his spiritual resurrection from his grave in the letter of
Scripture. Sherlock, whose _Trial of the Witnesses of the Resurrection of
Jesus_ was long considered a cogent answer to the attacks of Woolston,
was opposed by Peter Annet, who, without leaving the refuge of figurative
interpretation open, proceeded still more regardlessly in the discovery of
contradictory and incredible elements in the Gospel reports, and declared
all the scriptural writers together to be liars and falsifiers. If a man
believes in miracles as supernatural interferences with the regular course
of nature (and they must be so taken if they are to certify to the divine
origin of the Scriptures), he makes God mutable, and natural laws imperfect
arrangements which stand in need of correction. The truth of religion is
independent of all history.]

Thomas Chubb (1679-1747), a man of the people (he was a glove maker and
tallow-chandler), and from 1715 on a participant in deistic literature and
concerned to adapt the new ideas to the men of his class, preached in _The
True Gospel of Jesus Christ_ an honorable working-man's Christianity.,
Faith means obedience to the law of reason inculcated by Christ, not the
acceptance of the facts reported about him. The gospel of Christ was
preached to the poor before his death and his asserted resurrection and
ascension. It is probable that Christ really lived, because of the great
effect of his message; but he was a man like other men. His gospel is his
teaching, not his history, his own teaching, not that of his followers--the
reflections of the apostles are private opinions. Christ's teaching
amounts, in effect, to these three fundamental principles: (1) Conform
to the rational law of love to God and one's neighbor; this is the only
ground of divine acceptance. (2) After transgression of the law, repentance
and reformation are the only grounds of divine grace and forgiveness. (3)
At the last day every one will be rewarded according to his works. By
proclaiming these doctrines, by carrying them out in his own pure life
and typical death, and by founding religio-ethical associations on the
principle of brotherly equality, Christ selected the means best fitted for
the attainment of his purpose, the salvation of human souls. His aim was
to assure men of future happiness (and of the earthly happiness connected
therewith), and to make them worthy of it; and this happiness can only be
attained when from free conviction we submit ourselves to the natural moral
law, which is grounded on the moral fitness of things. Everything which
leads to the illusion that the favor of God is attainable by any other
means than by righteousness and repentance, is pernicious; as, also, the
confusion of Christian societies with legal and civil societies, which
pursue entirely different aims.

Thomas Morgan _(The Moral Philosopher, a Dialogue between the Christian
Deist, Philalethes, and the Christian Jew, Theophanes, 1737 seq_.) stands
on the same ground as his predecessors, by holding that the moral truth of
things is the criterion of the divinity of a doctrine, that the Christian
religion is merely a restoration of natural religion, and that the apostles
were not infallible. Peculiar to him are the application of the first of
these principles to the Mosaic law, with the conclusion that this was not a
revelation; the complete separation of the New Testament from the Old (the
Church of Christ and the expected kingdom of the Jewish Messiah are as
opposed to each other as heaven and earth); and the endeavor to give a
more exact explanation of the origin of superstition, the pre-Christian
manifestations of which he traces back to the fall of the angels, and those
since Christ to the intermixture of Jewish elements. He seeks to solve his
problem by a detailed critique of Israelitish history, which is lacking in
sympathy but not in spirit, and in which, introducing modern relations
into the earliest times, he explains the Old Testament miracles in part as
myths, in part as natural phenomena, and deprives the heroes of the Jews of
their moral renown. The Jewish historians are ranked among the poets; the
God of Israel is reduced to a subordinate, local tutelary divinity; the
moral law of Moses is characterized as a civil code limited to external
conduct, to national and mundane affairs, with merely temporal sanctions,
and the ceremonial law as an act of worldly statecraft; David is declared
a gifted poet, musician, hypocrite, and coward; the prophets are made
professors of theology and moral philosophy; and Paul is praised as the
greatest freethinker of his time, who defended reason against authority
and rejected the Jewish ritual law as indifferent. Whatever is spurious in
Christianity is a remnant of Judaism, all its mysteries are misunderstood
and falsely (_i.e._ literally) applied allegories. Out of regard for Jewish
prejudices Christ's death was figuratively described as sacrificial, as in
earlier times Moses had been forced to yield to the Egyptian superstitions
of his people. Morgan looks for the final victory of the rational morality
of the pure, Pauline, or deistic Christianity over the Jewish Christianity
of orthodoxy. Among the works of his opponents the following deserve
mention: William Warburton's _Divine Legation of Moses, and_ Samuel
Chandler's _Vindication of the History of the Old Testament_.

It maybe doubted whether Bolingbroke (died 1751; cf. p. 203) is to be
classed among the deists or among their opponents. On the one hand, he
finds in monotheism the original true religion, which has degenerated
into superstition through priestly cunning and fantastical philosophy; in
primitive Christianity, the system of natural religion, which has been
transformed into a complicated and contentious science by its weak,
foolish, or deceitful adherents; in theology, the corruption of religion;
in Bacon, Descartes, and Locke, types of untrammeled investigation. On
the other hand, he seeks to protect revelation from the reason whose
cultivation he has just commended, and to keep faith and knowledge
distinct, while he demands that the Bible, with all the undemonstrable
and absurd elements which it contains, be accepted on its own authority.
Religion is an instrument indispensable to the government for keeping the
people in subjection. Only the fear of a higher power, not the reason,
holds the masses in check; and the freethinkers do wrong in taking a bit
out of the mouth of the sensual multitude, when it were better to add to
those already there.

As Hume, the skeptic, leads empiricism to its fall, so Hume, the
philosopher of religion (see below), leads deism toward dissolution. Among
those who defended revealed Christianity against the deistical attacks we
may mention the names of Conybeare (1732) and Joseph Butler (1736). The
former argues from the imperfection and mutability of our reason to like
characteristics in natural religion. Butler (cf. p. 206) does not admit
that natural and revealed religion are mutually exclusive. Christian
revelation lends a higher authority to natural religion, in which she finds
her foundation, and adapts it to the given relations and needs of mankind,
adding, however, to the rational law of virtue new duties toward God the
Son and God the Holy Ghost. It is evident that in order to be able to deal
with their opponents, the apologetes are forced to accommodate themselves
to the deistic principle of a rational criticism of revelation.

Notwithstanding the fear which this principle inspired in the men of the
time, it soon penetrated the thought even of its opponents, and found
its way into the popular mind through the channels of the Illumination.

Although it was often defended and applied with violence and with a
superfluous hatred of the clergy, it forms the justifiable element in the
endeavors of the deists. It is a commonplace to-day that everything which
claims to be true and valid must justify itself before the criticism of
reason; but then this principle, together with the distinction between
natural and positive religion based upon it, exerted an enlightening and
liberating influence. The real flaw in the deistical theory, which was
scarcely felt as such, even by its opponents, was its lack of religious
feeling and all historical sense, a lack which rendered the idea acceptable
that religions could be "made," and priestly falsehoods become world-moving
forces. Hume was the first to seek to rise above this unspeakable
shallowness. There was a remarkable conflict between the ascription to
man, on the one hand, of an assured treasure of religious knowledge in
the reason, and the abandonment of him, on the other, to the juggling of
cunning priests and despots. Thus the deists had no sense either for the
peculiarities of an inward religious feeling, which, in happy prescience,
rises above the earthly circle of moral duties to the world beyond, or for
the involuntary, historically necessary origin and growth of the particular
forms of religion. Here, again, we find that turning away from will and
feeling to thought, from history to nature, from the oppressive complexity
of that which has been developed to the simplicity of that which is
original, which we have noted as one of the most prominent characteristics
of the modern period.

%3. Moral Philosophy.%

The watchword of deism was "independence in religion"; that of modern
ethical philosophy is "independence in morals." Hobbes had given this out
in opposition to the mediaeval dependence of ethics on theology; now it was
turned against himself, for he had delivered morality from ecclesiastical
bondage only to subject it to the no less oppressive and unworthy yoke of
the civil power. Selfish consideration, so he had taught, leads men to
transfer by contract all power to the ruler. Right is that which the
sovereign enjoins, wrong that which he forbids. Thus morality was conceived
in a purely negative way as justice, and based on interest and agreement.
Cumberland, recognizing the one-sidedness of the first of these positions,
announces the principle of universal benevolence, at which Bacon had hinted
before him, and in which he is followed by the school of Shaftesbury.
Opposition to the foundation of ethics on self-love and convention, again,
springs up in three forms, one idealistic, one logical, and one aesthetic.
Ethical ideas have not arisen artificially through shrewd calculation and
agreement, but have a natural origin. Cudworth, returning to Plato and
Descartes, assumes an innate idea of the good. Clarke and Woolston base
moral distinctions on the rational order of things, and characterize
the ethically good action as a logical truth translated into practice.
Shaftesbury derives ethical ideas and actions from a natural instinct for
judging the good and the beautiful. Moreover, Hobbes's ethics of interest
experiences, first, correction at the hands of Locke (who, along with a
complete recognition of the "legal" character of the good, distinguishes
the sphere of morality from that of mere law, and brings it under the
law of "reputation," hence of a "tacit" agreement), and then a frivolous
intensification under Mandeville and Bolingbroke. A preliminary conclusion
is reached in the ethical labors of Hume and Smith.

Richard Cumberland _(De Legibus Naturae_, 1672) turns to experience with
the questions, In what does morality consist? Whence does it arise? and
What is the nature of moral obligation? and finds these answers: Those
actions are good, or in conformity to the moral law of nature, which
promote the common good _(commune bonum summa lex)_. Individual welfare
must be subordinated to the good of all, of which it forms only a part. The
psychological roots of virtuous action are the social and disinterested
affections, which nature has implanted in all beings, especially in those
endowed with reason. There is nothing in man more pleasing to God than
love. We recognize our obligation to the virtue of benevolence, or that God
commands it, from the rewards and punishments which we perceive to follow
the fulfillment or non-fulfillment of the law,--the subordination of
individual to universal good is the only means of attaining true happiness
and contentment. Men are dependent on mutual benevolence. He who labors
for the good of the whole system of rational beings furthers thereby the
welfare of the individual parts, among whom he himself is one; individual
happiness cannot be separated from general happiness. All duties are
implied in the supreme one: Give to others, and preserve thyself. This
principle of benevolence, advanced by Cumberland with homely simplicity,
received in the later development of English ethics, for which it pointed
out the way, a more careful foundation.

The series of emancipations of morality begins with the Intellectual System
of Ralph Cud worth _(The Intellectual System of the Universe_, 1678; _A
Treatise concerning Eternal and Immutable Morality_, 1731). Ethical ideas
come neither from experience nor from civil legislation nor from the will
of God, but are necessary ideas in the divine and the human reason. Because
of their simplicity, universality, and immutability, it is impossible for
them to arise from experience, which never yields anything but that which
is particular and mutable. It is just as impossible that they should spring
from political constitutions, which have a temporal origin, which are
transitory, and which differ from one another. For if obedience to positive
law is right and disobedience wrong, then moral distinctions must have
existed before the law; if, on the other hand, obedience to the civil law
is morally indifferent, then more than ever is it impossible that this
should be the basis of the moral distinctions in question. A law can bind
us only in virtue of that which is necessarily, absolutely, or _per se_
right; therefore the good is independent, also, of the will of God. The
absolutely good is an eternal truth which God does not create by an act of
his will, but which he finds present in his reason, and which, like the
other ideas, he impresses on created spirits. On the _a priori_ ideas
depends the possibility of science, for knowledge is the perception of
necessary truth.

In agreement with Cudworth that the moral law is dependent neither on human
compact nor on the divine will, Samuel Clarke (died 1729) finds the eternal
principles of justice, goodness, and truth, which God observes in his
government of the universe, and which should also be the guide of human
action, embodied in the nature of things or in their properties, powers,
and relations, in virtue of which certain things, relations, and modes
of action are suited to one another, and others not. Morality is the
subjective conformity of conduct to this objective fitness of things; the
good is the fitting. Moral rules, to which we are bound by conscience and
by rational insight, are valid independently of the command of God and of
all hope or fear in reference to the life to come, although the principles
of religion furnish them an effective support, and one which is almost
indispensable in view of the weakness of human nature. They are not
universally observed, indeed, but universally acknowledged; even the
vicious man cannot refrain from praising virtue in others. He who is
induced by the voice of passion to act contrary to the eternal relations
or harmony of things, contradicts his own reason in thus undertaking to
disturb the order of the universe; he commits the absurdity of willing that
things should be that which they are not. Injustice is in practice that
which falsity and contradiction are in theoretical affairs. In his
well-known controversy with Leibnitz, Clarke defends the freedom of the
will against the determinism of the German philosopher.

In William Wollaston (died 1724), with whom the logical point of view
becomes still more apparent, Clarke found a thinker who shared his
convictions that the subjective moral principle of interest was
insufficient, and, hence, an objective principle to be sought; that
morality consists in the suitableness of the action to the nature and
destination of the object, and that, in the last analysis, it is coincident
with truth. The highest destination of man is, on the one hand, to know the
truth, and, on the other, to express it in actions. That act is good whose
execution includes the affirmation (and its omission the negation) of a
truth. According to the law of nature, a rational being ought so to conduct
himself that he shall never contradict a truth by his actions, _i. e_., to
treat each thing for what it is. Every immoral action is a false judgment;
the violation of a contract is a practical denial of it. The man who is
cruel to animals declares by his act that the creature maltreated is
something which in fact it is not, a being devoid of feeling. The murderer
acts as though he were able to restore life to his victim. He who, in
disobedience toward God, deals with things in a way contrary to their
nature, behaves as though he were mightier than the author of nature. To
this equation of truth and morality happiness is added as a third identical
member. The truer the pleasures of a being the happier it is; and a
pleasure is untrue whenever more (of pain) is given for it than it is
worth. A rational being contradicts itself when it pursues an irrational
pleasure.--The course of moral philosophy has passed over the logical
ethics of Clarke and Wollaston as an abstract and unfruitful idiosyncrasy,
and it is certain that with both of these thinkers their plans were greater
than their performances. But the search for an ethical norm which should
be universally valid and superior to the individual will, did not lack
justification in contrast to the subjectivism of the other two schools of
the time--the school of interest and the school of benevolence, which made
virtue a matter of calculation or of feeling.

       *       *       *       *       *

The English ethics of the period culminates in Shaftesbury (1671-1713),
who, reared on the principles of his grandfather's friend Locke, formed
his artistic sense on the models of classical antiquity, to recall to the
memory of his age the Greek ideal of a beautiful humanity. Philosophy,
as the knowledge of ourselves and that which is truly good, a guide to
morality and happiness; the world and virtue, a harmony; the good, the
beautiful as well; the whole, a controlling force in the particular--these
views, and his tasteful style of exposition, make Shaftesbury a modern
Greek; it is only his bitterness against Christianity which betrays the
son of the new era. Among the studies collected under the title
_Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times_, 1711, the most
important are those on Enthusiasm, on Wit and Humor, on Virtue and Merit,
and the Moralists.[1]

[Footnote 1: Georg v. Gizycki has written on Shaftesbury's philosophy,
1876. [Cf. Fowler's _Shaftesbury and Hutchison_, English Philosophers
Series, 1882.--TR.]]

Shaftesbury's fundamental metaphysical concept is aesthetic: unity in
variety is for him the all-pervasive law of the world. In every case where
parts work in mutual dependence toward a common result, there rules a
central unity, uniting and animating the members. The lowest of these
substantial unities is the ego, the common source of our thoughts and
feelings. But as the parts of the organism are governed and held together
by the soul, so individuals are joined with one another into species and
genera by higher unities. Each individual being is a member in a system of
creatures, which a common nature binds together. Moreover, since order and
harmony are spread throughout the world, and no one thing exists out of
relation to all others and to the whole, the universe must be conceived
as animated by a formative power which works purposively; this all-ruling
unity is the soul of the world, the universal mind, the Deity. The finality
and beauty of those parts of the world which we can know justifies the
inference to a like constitution of those which are unapproachable, so that
we may be certain that the numerous evils which we find in the details,
work for the good of a system superior to them, and that all apparent
imperfections contribute to the perfection of the whole. As our philosopher
makes use of the idea of the world-harmony to support theism and the
theodicy, so, further, he derives the content of morality from it, thus
giving ethics a natural basis independent of self-interest and conventional

A being is good when its impulses toward the preservation and welfare of
the species is strong, and those directed to its own good not too strong.
The virtue of a rational being is distinguished from the goodness of
a merely "sensible creature" by the fact that man not only possesses
impulses, but reflects upon them, that he approves or disapproves his own
conduct and that of others, and thus makes his affections the object of a
higher, reflective, judging affection. This faculty of moral distinctions,
the sense for right and wrong, or, which amounts to the same thing, for
beauty and ugliness, is innate; we approve virtue and condemn vice by
nature, not as the result of a compact, and from this natural feeling for
good and evil exercise develops a cultivated moral taste or tact. And when,
further, the reason, by means of this faculty of judgment, gains control
over the passions, man becomes an ethical artist, a moral virtuoso.

Virtue pleases by its own worth and beauty, not because of any external
advantage. We must not corrupt the love of the good for its own sake by
mixing with it the hope of future reward, which at the best is admissible
only as a counter-weight against evil passions. When Shaftesbury speaks of
future bliss, his highest conception of the heavenly life is uninterrupted
friendship, magnanimity, and nobility, as a continual rewarding of virtue
by new virtue.

The good is the beautiful, and the beautiful is the harmonious, the
symmetrical; hence the essence of virtue consists in the balance of the
affections and passions. Of the three classes into which Shaftesbury
divides the passions, one, including the "unnatural" or unsocial
affections, as malevolence, envy, and cruelty, which aim neither at the
good of the individual nor that of others, is always and entirely evil.

The two other classes, the social (or "natural") affections and the
"self-affections," may be virtuous or vicious, according to their degree,
_i. e_., according to the relation of their strength to that of the other
affections. In itself a benevolent impulse is never too strong; it
can become so only in comparison with self-love, or in respect to the
constitution of the individual in question, and conversely. Commonly the
social impulses do not attain the normal standard, while the selfish exceed
it; but the opposite case also occurs. Excessive parental tenderness, the
pity which enervates and makes useless for aid, religious zeal for making
converts, passionate partisanship, are examples of too violent social
affections which interfere with the activity of the other inclinations.
Just as erroneous, on the other side, is the neglect of one's own good.
For although the possession of selfish inclinations does not make a
man virtuous, yet the lack of them is a moral defect, since they are
indispensable to the general good. No one can be useful to others who
does not keep himself in a condition for service. The impulse to care for
private welfare is good and necessary in so far as it comports with the
general welfare or contributes to this. The due proportion between the
social passions, which constitute the direct source of good, and those of
self-love, consists in subordinating the latter to the former. The kinship
of this ethics of harmony with the ethical views of antiquity is evident.
It is completed by the eudemonistic conclusion of the system.

As the harmony of impulses constitutes the essence of virtue, so also it is
the way to true happiness. Experience shows that unsocial, unsympathetic,
vicious men are miserable; that love to society is the richest source
of happiness; that even pity for the suffering of others occasions more
pleasure than pain. Virtue secures us the love and respect of others,
secures us, above all, the approval of our own conscience, and true
happiness consists in satisfaction with ourselves. The search after this
pure, constant, spiritual pleasure in the good, which is never accompanied
by satiety and disgust, should not be called self-seeking; he alone takes
pleasure in the good who is already good himself.

Shaftesbury is not well disposed toward positive Christianity, holding that
it has made virtue mercenary by its promises of heavenly rewards, removed
moral questions entirely out of this world into the world to come, and
taught men most piously to torment one another out of pure supernatural
brotherly love. In opposition to such transcendental positions Shaftesbury,
a priest of the modern view of the world, gives virtue a home on earth,
seeks the hand of Providence in the present world, and teaches men to reach
faith in God by inspiring contemplation of the well-ordered universe.
Virtue without piety is possible, indeed, though not complete. But morality
is first and fixed, hence it is the condition and the criterion of genuine
religion. Revelation does not need to fear free rational criticism, for the
Scriptures are accredited by their contents. Besides reason, banter is
with Shaftesbury a second means for distinguishing the genuine from the
spurious: ridicule is the test of truth, and wit and humor the only
cure for enthusiasm. With these he scourges the over-pious as religious
parasites, who for safety's sake prefer to believe too much rather than too

Before Shaftesbury's theory of the moral sense and the disinterested
affections had gained adherents and developers, the danger, which indeed
had not always been escaped, that man might content himself with the
satisfaction of possessing noble impulses, without taking much care
to realize them in useful actions, called forth by way of reaction, a
paradoxical attempt at an apology for vice. Mandeville, a London physician
of French extraction, and born in Holland, had aroused attention by his
poem, _The Grumbling Hive; or Knaves Turned Honest_, 1706, and in response
to vehement attacks upon his work, had added a commentary to the second
edition, _The Fable of the Bees; or Private Vices Public Benefits_, 1714.
The moral of the fable is that the welfare of a society depends on the
industry of its members, and this, in turn, on their passions and vices.
Greed, extravagance, envy, ambition, and rivalry are the roots of
the acquisitive impulse, and contribute more to the public good than
benevolence and the control of desire. Virtue is good for the individual,
it is true, since it makes him contented with himself and acceptable to God
and man, but great states require stronger motives to labor and industry
in order to be prosperous. A people among whom frugality, self-denial, and
quietness of spirit were the rule would remain poor and ignorant. Besides
holding that virtue furthers the happiness of society, Shaftesbury makes a
second mistake in assuming that human nature includes unselfish
inclinations. It is not innate love and goodness that make us social, but
our passions and weaknesses (above all, fear); man is by nature
self-seeking. All actions, including the so-called virtues, spring from
vanity and egoism; thus it has always been, thus it is in every grade of
society. In social life, indeed, we dare not display all these desires
openly, nor satisfy them at will. Shrewd lawgivers have taught men to
conceal their natural passions and to limit them by artificial ones,
persuading them that renunciation is true happiness, on the ground that
through it we attain the supreme good--reputation among, and the esteem of
our fellows. Since then honor and shame have become the strongest motives
and have incited men to that which is called virtue, _i.e._, to actions
which apparently imply the sacrifice of selfish inclinations for the good
of society, while they are really done out of pride and self-love. By
constantly feigning noble sentiments before others man comes, finally, to
deceive himself, believing himself a being whose happiness consists in the
renunciation of self and all that is earthly, and in the thought of his
moral excellence.--The crass assumptions in Mandeville's reasoning are
evident at a glance. After analyzing virtue into the suppression of desire,
after labeling the impulse after moral approbation vanity, lawful self-love
egoism, and rational acquisitiveness avarice, it was easy for him to prove
that it is vice which makes the individual industrious and the state
prosperous, that virtue is seldom found, and that if it were universal it
would become injurious to society.

With different shading and with less one-sidedness, Bolingbroke (cf.
p. 193) defended the standpoint of naturalism. God has created us for
happiness in common; we are destined to assist one another. Happiness is
attainable in society alone, and society cannot exist without justice and
benevolence. He who exercises virtue, _i.e._, promotes the good of the
species, promotes at the same time his own good. All actions spring from
self-love, which, guided at first by an immediate instinct, and later, by
reason developed through experience, extends itself over ever widening
spheres. We love ourselves in our relatives, in our friends, further still,
in our country, finally, in humanity, so that self-love and social love
coincide, and we are impelled to virtue by the combined motives of interest
and duty. This is an ethic of common sense from the standpoint of the
cultured man of the world--which at the proper time has the right, no
doubt, to gain itself a hearing.

Meanwhile Shaftesbury's ideas had impressed Hutcheson and Butler, according
to the peculiarities of each. Both of these writers deem it necessary to
explain and correct the distinction between the selfish and the benevolent
affections by additions, which were of influence on the ethics of Hume;
both devote their zeal to the new doctrine of feelings of reflection or
moral taste, in which the former gives more prominence to the aesthetic,
merely judging factor, the latter to the active or mandatory one.

Francis Hutcheson[1] (died 1747), professor at Glasgow, in his posthumous
_System of Moral Philosophy_, 1755, which had been preceded by an _Inquiry
concerning the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue_, 1725, pursues
the double aim of showing against Hobbes and Locke the originality and
disinterestedness both of benevolence and of moral approval. Virtue is not
exercised because it brings advantage to the agent, nor approved on account
of advantage to the observer.

[Footnote 1: Cf. Fowler's treatise, cited above--TR.]

(1) The benevolent affections are entirely independent of self-love and
regard for the rewards of God and of man, nay, independent even of the
lofty satisfaction afforded by self-approbation. This last, indeed, is
vouchsafed to us only when we seek the good of others without personal
aims: the joy of inward approval is the result of virtue, not the motive to
it. If love were in reality a concealed egoism, it would yield to control
in cases where it promises advantage, which, as experience shows, is not
the fact. Benevolence is entirely natural and as universal in the moral
world as gravitation in the corporeal; and like gravitation further in
that its intensity increases with propinquity--the nearer the persons, the
greater the love. Benevolence is more widespread than malevolence; even
the criminal does more innocent and kind acts in his life than criminal
ones--the rarity of the latter is the reason why so much is said about

(2) Moral judgment is also entirely uninfluenced by consideration of the
advantageous or disadvantageous results for the agent or the spectator. The
beauty of a good deed arouses immediate satisfaction. Through the moral
sense we feel pleasure at observing a virtuous action, and aversion when we
perceive an ignoble one, feelings which are independent of all thought of
the rewards and punishments promised by God, as well as of the utility or
harm for ourselves. Hutcheson argues a complete distinction between moral
approval and the perception of the agreeable and the useful, from the facts
that we judge a benevolent action which is forced, or done from motives of
personal advantage, quite differently from one inspired by love; that we
pay esteem to high-minded characters whether their fortunes be good or
ill; and that we are moved with equal force by fictitious actions, as, for
instance, on the stage, and by those which really take place.

(3) A few further particulars may be emphasized from the comprehensive
systematization which Hutcheson industriously and thoughtfully gave to
Shaftesbury's ideas. Two points reveal the forerunner of Hume. First, the
rôle assigned to the reason in moral affairs is merely subsidiary. Our
motive to action is never the knowledge of a true proposition, but always
simply a wish, affection, or impulse. Ultimate ends are given by the
feelings alone; the reason can only discover the means thereto. Secondly,
the turbulent, blind, rapidly passing passions are distinguished from the
calm, permanent affections, which are mediated by cognition. The latter are
the nobler; among them, in turn, the highest place is occupied by those
conducive to the general good, whose worth is still further determined
by the extent of their objects. From this is derived the law that a kind
affection receives the more lively approval, the more calm and deliberate
it is, the higher the degree of happiness experienced by the object of the
action, and the greater the number of persons affected by it. Patriotism
and love of mankind in general are higher virtues than affection for
friends and children. As the goal of the self-regarding affections,
perfection makes its appearance--for the first time in English ethics--by
the side of happiness.

Joseph Butler[1] (1692-1752; _Sermons on Human Nature_, 1726; cf. p. 194)
maintains still more strictly than Hutcheson the immediateness both of the
affections and the moral estimation of them. He declares that even the
self-regarding impulses as such are un-egoistic, and makes moral judgment
leave out of view all consequences, either foreseen or present, whereas his
predecessor had resolved the goodness of the action into its advantageous
effects (not for the agent and the spectator, but for its object and) for
society. The conscience--so Butler terms the moral sense--directly approves
or disapproves characters and actions in themselves, no matter what good or
ill they occasion in the world. We judge a mode of action good, not because
it is useful to society, but because it corresponds to the demands of the
conscience. This must be unconditionally obeyed, whatever be the issue. We
must not act contrary to truth and justice, even if it should seem to bring
about more happiness than misery.--Butler, too, furnishes material for the
ethics of Hume, by his revival of the separation, previously defended by
the Stoics, of desire and passion from self-love or interest. Self-love
desires a thing because it expects pleasure from it, but the natural
impulses impel us toward their objects immediately, _i. e_., without a
representation of the pleasure to be gained; and repetition is necessary
before the artificial motive of egoistic pleasure-seeking can be added to
the natural motive of inborn desire. Self-love always presupposes original,
immediate affections.

[Footnote 1: Cf. Collins's _Butler_, Blackwood's Philosophical Classics.

The English moral science of the century is brought to a conclusion by Adam
Smith[1] (1723-90), the celebrated founder of political economy.[2] Smith
not only takes into consideration--like his greater friend, Hume--all the
problems proposed by his predecessors, but, further (in his _Theory of
Moral Sentiments_, 1759, published while he was professor at Glasgow),
combines the various attempts at their solution, not by eclectic
co-ordination but by working them over for himself, and arranges them on a
uniform principle, thus accomplishing a work which has not yet received
due recognition beyond the limits of his native land. He reached this
comprehensive moral principle by recognizing the full bearing of a thought
which Hume had incidentally expressed, that moral judgment depends on
participation in the feelings of the agent, and by following out with fine
psychological observation this sympathy of men into its first and last
manifestations. In this way a twofold kind of morality was revealed to him:
mere propriety of behavior and real merit in action. On the one hand, that
is, the sympathy of the spectator--as Hume has one-sidedly emphasized--is
directed to the utility of the consequences (or to the "merit") of the
action, and, on the other, to the fitness of the motives (or their
"propriety"). An action is proper when the impartial spectator is able to
sympathize with its motive, and meritorious if he can sympathize also with
its end or effect; _i.e._, if, in the first case, the feelings are suitable
to their objects (neither too strong nor too weak), and, in the second
case, the consequences of the act are advantageous to others. Merit =
propriety + utility. The main conclusion is this: Sympathy is that by
means of which virtue is recognized and approved, as well as that which is
approved as virtue; it is _ratio cognoscendi_ as well as _ratio essendi_,
the criterion as well as the source of morality. Thus Smith endeavors to
solve the two principal problems of English ethics--the criterion and the
origin of virtue--with a common answer.

[Footnote 1: Cf. Farrer's _Adam Smith_, English Philosophers Series,

[Footnote 2: The epoch-making work, with which he called economic science
into existence, _The Wealth of Nations_\ appeared in 1776. Cf. Wilhelm
Hassbach, _Untersuchungen über Adam Smith_, Leipsic, 1891.]

"Sympathy" denotes primarily nothing more than the innate and purely formal
power of imitating to a certain degree the feelings of others. From this
modest germ is developed by a progressive growth the wide-spreading tree of
morality: moral judgment, the moral imperative with its religious sanction,
and ethical character. Accordingly we may distinguish different stages
in the development of sympathy--the psychological stage of mere
fellow-feeling, the aesthetic stage of moral appreciation, the imperative
stage of moral precepts, which further on are construed as commands of
God (the famous Kantian definition of religion was announced in Glasgow
a generation earlier than in Königsberg), finally, the concluding stage
wherein these laws of duty are taken up into the disposition. Besides
these, there results from the mechanism of the sympathetic feelings a
series of phenomena, which, although they do not entirely conform to the
ethical standard, yet exercise a salutary effect on the permanence of
society; _e.g._, our exceptional judgment of the deeds of the great, the
rich, and the fortunate, as also the higher worth ascribed to good (and,
conversely, the greater guilt to bad) intentions when successfully carried
out into action, in comparison with those which fall short of their result.

The first, the purely psychological stage, includes three cases. The
spectator sympathizes (1) with the feelings of the agent; (2) with the
gratitude or anger of the person affected by the action; (3) the person
observed sympathizes in return with the imitative and judging feelings of
the spectator.

The fundamental laws of sympathy are as follows: We are roused to imitate
the feeling of another by the perception either of its signs (its natural
consequences or its natural expression in visible and audible motions), or
of its causes (the circumstances and experiences which occasion it), the
latter exercising a more potent influence than the former. The wooden leg
of the beggar is more effective in exciting our pity than his anxious air;
the sight of dental instruments is more eloquent than the plaints of
the sufferer from toothache. In order to be able to imitate vividly the
feelings of a person, we must know the causes of them.--The feeling of
the spectator is, on the average, less intense than that of the person
observed, so long as the latter does not control and repress his emotions
in view of the calmness of the former. The difference of intensity between
the original and the sympathetic feelings differs widely with the various
classes of emotions. It is difficult to take part in feelings which arise
from bodily conditions, but easy to share those in the production of which
the imagination is concerned--hence easier to share in hope and fear than
in pleasure and pain.--We sympathize more readily with feelings which are
agreeable to the observer, the observed, and other participants than with
such as are not so; more willingly, therefore, with cheerfulness, love,
benevolence than with grief, hatred, malevolence. This is not only true of
temporary affections, but especially of those general dispositions which
depend on a more or less happy situation in life; we sympathize more
vividly with the fortunes of the rich and noble, because we consider them
happier than the poor and lowly. Wealth and high rank are objects of
general desire chiefly because their possessor enjoys the advantage of
knowing that whatever gives him joy or sorrow always arouses similar
feelings in countless other men. The root of all ambition is the wish to
rule over the hearts of our fellows by compelling them to make our feelings
their own; the central nerve of all happiness consists in seeing our own
sensations shared by those about us and reflected back, as it were, from
manifold mirrors. Small annoyances often have a diverting effect on the
spectator; great success easily excites his envy; great sorrows and minor
joys, on the contrary, are always sure of our sympathy. Hence the morose
man, to whom everything is an occasion of ill-humor, is nowhere welcome,
and the man of cheerful disposition, who rejoices in each little event and
whose good spirits are contagious, everywhere.

Not less admirable than the fine gift of observation which guides Smith in
his discovery of the primary manifestations and the laws of sympathy is the
skill with which he deduces moral phenomena, from the simplest to the
most complex--moral judgment, the moral law, its application to one's own
conduct, the conscience--from the interchange of sympathetic feelings. From
involuntary comparison of the representative feeling of the spectator with
its original in the person observed arises an agreeable or disagreeable
feeling of judgment, a judgment of value, approbating or rejecting the
latter. This is approving when the intensity of the original harmonizes
with that of the copy, disapproving when the former exceeds or fails to
attain the latter. In the one case the emotion is judged suitable to the
object which causes it; in the other, too violent or too weak. It is always
a certain mean of passion which, as "proper," receives approval (esteem,
love, or admiration). In the case of the social passions excess is more
readily condoned, in the case of the unsocial and selfish ones, defect;
hence we judge the over-sensitive more leniently than the over-vengeful.
Anger must be well-grounded and must express itself with great moderation
to arouse in the spectator a like degree of sympathetic resentment. For
here the sympathy of the spectator is divided between two parties, and
fellow-feeling with the angry one is weakened by fear for the person
menaced by him, whereas, in the case of kind affections, sympathy is
increased by doubling. While our judgment of propriety or decorum rests on
simple participation in the sentiments of the agent, our judgment of
merit and demerit is based, in addition, on sympathy with the feelings
of gratitude or resentment experienced by the person on whom the action
terminates. An act is meritorious if it appears to us to deserve thanks
and reward, ill-deserving if it seems to merit resentment and punishment.
Nature has inscribed on the heart, apart from all reflection on the utility
of punishment, an independent, immediate, and instinctive approbation of
the sacred law of retribution. This is the point at which a hitherto purely
contemplative sympathy passes over into an active impulse, which prepares
us to support the victim of attack and insult in his defense and revenge.

This participation in the circumstances and feelings of others is a
reciprocal phenomenon. The spectator takes pains to share the sentiments of
the person observed; and the latter, on his part, endeavors to reduce the
emotions which move him to a degree which will render participation in them
possible for the former. In these reciprocal efforts we have the beginnings
of the two classes of virtues--the gentle, amiable virtues of sympathy
and sensibility, and the exalted, estimable virtues of self-denial and
self-command. Both of these conditions of mind, however, are considered
virtues only when they are manifested in unusual intensity: humanity is
a remarkably delicate fellow-feeling, greatness of soul a rare degree of
self-command. (The consideration for those about one which is ethically
demanded is given, moreover, to a certain extent involuntarily. The man
in trouble and the merry man alike restrain themselves in the company of
persons who are indifferent, or in an opposite mood, while they give rein
to their emotions when with those similarly affected. Joy is enhanced by
sympathy, and grief mitigated.) Thus the perfection of human nature and the
divinely willed harmony among the feelings of men are dependent on every
man feeling little for himself and much for others; on his holding his
selfish inclinations in check and giving free course to his benevolent
ones. This is the injunction of Christianity as well as of nature. And
as, on the one hand, the content of the moral law is thus deduced from
sympathy, so, on the other, this yields the formal criterion of good:
Look upon thy sentiments and actions in the light in which the impartial
spectator would see them. Conscience is the spectator taken up into our own
breast. It remains to consider the origin of this third, imperative stage.

From daily experience of the fact that we judge the conduct of others, and
they ours, and from the wish to gain their approval, arises the habit of
subjecting our own actions to criticism. We learn to look at ourselves
through the eyes of others, we assign the spectator and judge a place in
our own heart, we make his calm objective judgment our own, and hear the
man within calling to us: Thou art responsible for thy acts and intentions.
In this way we are placed in a position to overcome two great delusions,
one of passion, which overestimates the present at the expense of the
future, and one of self-love, which overestimates the individual at the
expense of other men; delusions from which the impartial spectator is free,
for the pleasure of the moment seems to him no more desirable than pleasure
to come, and one person is just the same to him as another. Through
comparison of like cases in the exercise of self-examination certain rules
or principles are formed concerning what is right and good. Reverence for
these general rules of living is called the sense of duty. The last step in
the process consists in our enhancement of the binding authority of moral
rules by looking on them as commands of God. Here Smith adds subtle
discussions of the question, in what cases actions ought to be done simply
out of regard for these abstract maxims, and in what others we welcome the
co-operation of a natural impulse or passion. We ought to be angry and to
punish with reluctance, merely because reason enjoins it, but, on the other
hand, we should be benevolent and grateful from affection; she is not a
model wife who performs her duties merely from a sense of duty, and not
from inclination also. Further, in all cases where the rules cannot be
formulated with perfect exactness and definiteness (as they can in the case
of justice), and are not absolutely valid without exception, reverence for
them must be assisted by a natural taste for modifying and supplementing
the general maxims to suit particular instances.

In this sketch of the course of Smith's moral philosophy much that is fine
and much that is of importance has of necessity been passed over--his
excellent analysis of the relations of benevolence and justice, and
numerous descriptions of traits of character, _e. g_., his ingenious
parallel between pride and vanity. We may briefly mention, in conclusion,
his observations on the irregularities of moral judgment. Prosperity and
success exert an influence on this, which, though hurtful to its purity,
must, on the whole, be considered advantageous to mankind. Our lenience
toward the defects of princes, the great, and the rich, and our over-praise
for their excellent qualities are, from the moral standpoint, an injustice,
but one which has this advantage, that it encourages ambition and industry,
and maintains social distinctions intact, which without loyalty and respect
toward superiors would be broken down. For most men the road to fortune
coincides with the path to virtue. Again, it is a beneficent provision of
nature that we put a higher estimate on a successfully executed act of
benevolence, and reward it more, than a kind intention which fails of
execution; that we judge and punish the purposed crime which is not carried
out more leniently than the one which is completed; that we even ascribe
a certain degree of accountability to an unintentional act of good or
evil--although in these cases the moralist is compelled to see an ethically
unjustifiable corruption of the judgment by external success or failure
beyond the control of the agent. The first of these irregularities does
not allow the man of good intentions to content himself with noble desires
merely, but spurs him on to greater endeavors to carry them out--man
is created for action; the second protects us from the inquisitorial
questioning of motives, for it is easy for the most innocent to fall under
grave suspicion. To this inconsistency of feeling we owe the necessary
legal principle that deeds only, not intentions, are punishable. God
has reserved for himself judgment concerning dispositions. The third
irregularity, that he who inflicts unintentional injury is not guilty, even
in his own eyes, but yet seems bound to make atonement and reparation,
is useful in so far as it warns everyone to be prudent, while the
corresponding illusion, in virtue of which we are grateful to an
involuntary benefactor--for instance, the bearer of good tidings--and
reward him, is at least not harmful, for any reason appears sufficient for
the bestowal of kind intentions and actions.

It is impossible to explain in brief the relation of Smith's ethical
theory to his political economy. His merit in the former consists in his
comprehensive and characteristic combination of the results reached by his
predecessors, and in his preparation for Kantian views, so far as this
was possible from the empirical standpoint of the English. His impartial
spectator was the forerunner of the categorical imperative.

English ethics after Smith may, almost without exception, be termed
eclecticism. This is true of Ferguson _(Institutes of Moral Philosophy_,
1769); of Paley (1785); of the Scottish School (Dugald Stewart, 1793).
Bentham's utilitarianism was the first to bring in a new phase.

%4. Theory of Knowledge.%

(a) %Berkeley%.--George Berkeley, a native of Ireland, Bishop of Cloyne
(1685-1753; _An Essay toward a New Theory of Vision_, 1709; _A Treatise
concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge_, 1710; _Three Dialogues
between Hylas and Philonous_, 1713; _Alciphron, or the Minute Philosopher_,
1732, against the freethinkers; _Works_, 1784. Fraser's edition of the
Collected Works appeared in 1871, in four volumes),[1] is related to Locke
as Spinoza to Descartes. He notices blemishes and contradictions allowed by
his predecessor to remain, and, recognizing that the difficulty is not to
be remedied by minor corrections and artificial hypotheses, goes back to
the fundamental principles, takes these more earnestly than their author,
and, by carrying them out more strictly, arrives at a new view of the
world. The points in Locke's doctrines which invited a further advance were
the following: Locke proclaims that our knowledge extends no further
than our ideas, and that truth consists in the agreement of ideas among
themselves, not in the agreement of ideas with things. But this principle
had scarcely been announced before it was violated. In spite of his
limitation of knowledge to ideas, Locke maintains that we know (if not the
inner constitution, yet) the qualities and powers of things without us, and
have a "sensitive" certainty of their existence. Against this, it is to be
said that there are no primary qualities, that is, qualities which exist
without as well as within us. Extension, motion, solidity, which are cited
as such, are just as purely subjective states in us as color, heat, and
sweetness. Impenetrability is nothing more than the feeling of resistance,
an idea, therefore, which self-evidently can be nowhere else than in the
mind experiencing it. Extension, size, distance, and motion are not even
sensations (we see colors only, not quantitative determinations), but
relations which we in thinking add to the sense-qualities (secondary
qualities), and which we are not able to represent apart from them; their
relativity alone would forbid us to consider them objective. And material
substances, the "support" of qualities invented by the philosophers, are
not only unknown, but entirely non-existent. Abstract matter is a phrase
without meaning, and individual things are collections of ideas in us,
nothing more. If we take away all sense-qualities from a thing, absolutely
nothing remains. Our ideas are not merely the only; objects of knowledge,
but also the only existing things--_nothing exists except minds and
their ideas_. Spirits alone are active beings, they only are indivisible
substances, and have real existence, while the being of bodies (as
dependent, inert, variable beings, which are in a constant process of
becoming) consists alone in their appearance to spirits and their being
perceived by them. Incogitative, hence passive, beings are neither
substances, nor capable of producing ideas in us. Those ideas which we do
not ourselves produce are the effects of a spirit which is mightier than
we. With this a second inconsistency was removed which had been overlooked
by Locke, who had ascribed active power to spirits alone and denied it to
matter, but at the same time had made the former affected by the latter. If
external sense is to mean the capacity for having ideas occasioned by the
action of external material things, then there is no external sense. A
third point wherein Locke had not gone far enough for his successor,
concerned the favorite English doctrine of nominalism. Locke, with his
predecessors, had maintained that all reality is individual, and that
universals exist only in the abstracting understanding. From this point
Berkeley advances a step further, the last, indeed, which was possible in
this direction, by bringing into question the possibility even of abstract
ideas. As all beings are particular things, so all ideas are particular

[Footnote 1: Cf. also Fraser's _Berkeley_ (Blackwood's Philosophical
Classics) 1881; Eraser's _Selections from Berkeley_, 4th ed., 1891; and
Krauth's edition of the _Principles_, 1874, with notes from several
sources, especially those translated from Ueberweg.--TR.]

Berkeley looks on the refutation of these two fundamental mistakes--the
assumption of general ideas in the mind, and the belief in the existence
of a material world outside it--as his life work, holding them the chief
sources of atheism, doubt, and philosophical discord. The first of these
errors arises from the use of language. Because we employ words which
denote more than one object, we have believed ourselves warranted in
concluding that we have ideas which correspond to the extension of the
words in question, and which contain only those characteristics which are
uniformly found in all objects so named. This, however, is not the case.[1]
We speak of many things which we cannot represent: names do not always
stand for ideas. The definition of the word triangle as a three-sided
figure bounded by straight lines, makes demands upon us which our faculties
of imagination are never fully able to meet; for the triangle that we
represent to ourselves is always either right-angled or oblique-angled, and
not--as we must demand from the abstract conception of the figure--both and
neither at once. The name "man" includes men and women, children and the
aged, but we are never able to represent a man except as an individual of a
definite age and sex. Nevertheless we are in a position to make a safe
use of these non-presentative but useful abbreviations, and by means of a
particular idea to develop truths of wider application. This takes place
when, in the demonstration, those qualities are not considered which
distinguish the idea from others with a like name. In this case the
given idea stands for all others which are known by the same name; the
representative idea is not universal, but serves as such. Thus when I have
demonstrated the proposition, the sum of all the angles of a triangle is
equal to two right angles, for a given triangle, I do not need to prove
it for every triangle thereafter. For not only the color and size of the
triangle are indifferent, but its other peculiarities as well; the question
whether it is right-angled or obtuse-angled, whether it has equal
sides, whether it has equal or unequal angles, is not mentioned in the
demonstration, and has no influence upon it. _Abstracta_ exist only in this
sense. In considering the individual Paul I can attend exclusively to those
characteristics which he has in common with all men or with all living
beings, but it is impossible for me to represent this complex of common
qualities apart from his individual peculiarities. Self-observation shows
that we have no general concepts; reason, that we can have none, for the
combination of opposite elements in one idea would be a contradiction in
terms. Motion in general, neither swift nor slow, extension in general,
at once great and small, abstract matter without sensuous
determinations--these can neither exist nor be perceived.

[Footnote 1: Against the Berkeleyan denial of abstract notions the popular
philosopher, Joh. Jak. Engel, directed an essay, _Ueber die Realität
allgemeiner Begriffe_ (Engel's _Schriften_, vol. x.), to which attention
has been called by O. Liebmann, _Analysis tier Wirklichkeit_, 2d ed., p.

The "materialistic" hypothesis--so Berkeley terms the assumption that a
material world exists apart from perceiving mind, and independently of
being perceived--is, first, unnecessary, for the facts which it is to
explain can be explained as well, or even better, without it; and, second,
false, since it is a contradiction to suppose that an object can exist
unperceived, and that a sensation or idea is the copy of anything itself
not a sensation or idea. Ideas are the only objects of the understanding.
Sensible qualities (white, sweet) are subjective states of the soul; sense
objects (sugar), sensation-complexes. If sensations need a substantial
support, this is the soul which perceives them, not an external thing which
can neither perceive nor be perceived. Single ideas, and those combined
into objects, can exist nowhere else than in the mind; the being of sense
objects consists in their being perceived (_esse est percipi_). I see light
and feel heat, and combine these sensations of sight and touch into the
substance fire, because I know from experience that they constantly
accompany and suggest each other.[1] The assumption of an "object" apart
from the idea is as useless as its existence would be. Why should God
create a world of real things without the mind, when these can neither
enter into the mind, nor (because unperceived) be copied by its ideas, nor
(because they themselves lack perception and power) produce ideas in it?
Ideas signify nothing but themselves, _i. e_., affections of the subject.

[Footnote 1: The fire that I see is not the cause of the pain which I
experience in approaching it, but the visual image of the flame is only a
sign which warns me not to go too near. If I look through a microscope
I see a different object from the one perceived with the naked eye. Two
persons never see the same object, they merely have like sensations.]

The further question arises, What is the origin of ideas? Men have been led
into this erroneous belief in the reality of the material world by the
fact that certain ideas are not subject to our will, while others are.
Sensations are distinguished from the ideas of imagination, which we can
excite and alter at pleasure, by their greater strength, liveliness, and
distinctness, by their steadiness, regular order, and coherence, and by
the fact that they arise without our aid and whether we will or no. Unless
these ideas are self-originated they must have an external cause. This,
however, can be nothing else than a willing, thinking Being; for without
will it could not be active and act upon me, and without ideas of its own
it could not communicate ideas to me. Because of the manifoldness and
regularity of our sensations the Being which produces them must, further,
possess infinite power and intelligence. The ideas of imagination are
produced by ourselves, real perceptions are produced by God. The connected
whole of divinely produced ideas we call nature, and the constant
regularity in their succession, the laws of nature. The invariableness of
the divine working and the purposive harmony of creation reveal the wisdom
and goodness of the Almighty more clearly than "astonishing and exceptional
events." When we hear a man speak we reason from this activity to his
existence. How much less are we entitled to doubt the existence of God, who
speaks to us in the thousandfold works of nature.

The natural or created ideas which God impresses on us are copies of
the eternal ideas which he himself perceives, not, indeed, by passive
sensation, but through his creative reason. Accordingly when it was
maintained that things do not exist independently of perception, the
reference was not to the individual spirit, but to all spirits. When I
turn my eyes away from an object it continues to exist, indeed, after
my perception has ended--in the minds of other men and in that of the
Omnipresent One. The pantheistic conclusion of these principles, in the
sense of Geulincx and Malebranche,[1] which one expects, was really
suggested by Berkeley. Everything exists only in virtue of its
participation in the one, permanent, all-comprehensive spirit; individual
spirits are of the same nature with the universal reason, only they are
less perfect, limited, and not pure activity, while God is passionless
intelligence. But if, in the last analysis, God is the cause of all, this
does not hold of the free actions of men, least of all of wicked ones. The
freedom of the will must not be rejected because of the contradictions
which its acceptance involves; motion, also, and mathematical infinity
imply incomprehensible elements. In the philosophy of nature Berkeley
prefers the teleological to the mechanical view, since the latter is able
to discover the laws of phenomena only, but not their efficient and
final causes. Sense and experience acquaint us merely with the course
of phenomenal effects; the reason, which opens up to us the realm of
causation, of the spiritual, is the only sure guide to science and truth.
The understanding does not feel, the senses do not know. We have no
(sensuous) idea of other spirits, but only a notion of them; instead of
themselves we perceive their activities merely, from which we argue
to souls like ourselves, while we know our own mind by immediate

[Footnote 1: The example of Arthur Collier shows that the same results
which Berkeley reaches empirically can be obtained from the standpoint of
rationalism. Following Malebranche, and developing further the idealistic
tendencies of the latter, Collier had, independently of Berkeley, conceived
the doctrine of the "non-existence or impossibility of an external world ";
but had not worked it out in his _Clavis Universalis_, 1713, until after
the appearance of Berkeley's chief work, and not without consideration of
this. The general point of view and the arguments are the same: Existence
is equivalent to being perceived by God; the creation of a real world of
matter apart from the ideal world in God and from sensuous perceptions in
us would have been a superfluous device, etc.]

[Footnote 2: It should be remembered, however, that this immediate
knowledge of ourselves is also "not after the manner of an idea or
sensation." Our knowledge of spirits is always mediated by "notions" not by
"ideas" in the strict sense, that is, not by "images." Cf. _Principles_,
§§ 27, 135 _seq_., especially in the second edition.--TR.]

In contrast to the fearlessness with which Berkeley propounds his
spiritualism, his anxious endeavors to take away the appearance of paradox
from his immaterialistic doctrine, and to show its complete agreement with
common sense, excite surprise. Even the common man, he argues, desires
nothing more than that his perceptions be real; the distinction between
idea and object is an invention of philosophers. Here Berkeley cannot be
acquitted of a certain sophistical play upon the term "idea," which, in
fact, is ambiguous. He understands by it _that which_ the soul perceives
(its immediate, inner object), but the popular mind, _that through which_
the soul perceives an object. The reality of an idea in us is different
from the idea of a real thing, or from the reality of that which is
perceived without us by means of the idea, and it is just this last meaning
which common sense affirms and Berkeley denies. In any case it was a work
of great merit to have transferred the existence of objects beyond our
ideas, of things-in-themselves, out of the region of the self-evident into
the region of the problematical. We never get beyond the circle of our
ideas, and if we posit a thing-in-itself as the ground and object of the
idea, this also is simply a thought, an idea. For us there is no being
except that of the perceiver and the perceived. Later we shall meet two
other forms of idealism, in Leibnitz and Fichte. Both of these agree with
Berkeley that spiritual beings alone are active, and active beings alone
real, and that the being of the inactive consists in their being perceived.
But while in Berkeley the objective ideas are impressed upon finite spirits
by the Infinite Spirit from without and singly, with Leibnitz they appear
as a fullness of germs, which God implanted together in the monads at the
beginning, and which the individual develops into consciousness, and with
Fichte they become the unconscious productions of the Absolute Ego acting
in the individual egos. For the two former as many worlds exist as there
are individual spirits, their harmony being guaranteed, in the one case, by
the consistency of God's working, and, in the other, by his foresight. For
Fichte, on the other hand, there is but one world, for the absolute is not
outside the individual spirits, but the uniformly working force within

(b) Hume.--David Hume was born in Edinburgh in 1711, and died in the same
city, 1776. His position as librarian, which he held in the place of
his birth, 1752-57, gave the opportunity for his _History of England_(
1754-62). His chief work, the _Treatise on Human Nature_, which, however,
found few readers, was composed during his first residence in France in
1734-37. Later he worked over the first book of this work into his
_Enquiry concerning Human Understanding_ (1748); the second book into _A
Dissertation on the Passions_; and the third _into An Enquiry concerning
the Principles of Morals_. These, and others of his essays, found so much
favor that, during his second sojourn in France, as secretary to Lord
Hertford, in 1763-66, he was already honored as a philosopher of world-wide
renown. Then, after serving for some time as Under-Secretary of State, he
retired to private life at home (1769).

The three books of the _Treatise on Human Nature_, which appeared in
1739-40, are entitled _Of the Understanding, Of the Passions, Of Morals_.
Of the five volumes of the Essays, the first contains the _Essays Moral,
Political, and Literary_, 1741-42; the second, the _Enquiry concerning
Human Understanding_, 1748; the third, the _Enquiry concerning the
Principles of Morals_, 1751; the fourth, the _Political Discourses_, 1752;
the fifth, 1757, the _Four Dissertations_, including that _On the Passions_
and the _Natural History of Religion_. After Hume's death appeared the
_Autobiography_, 1777; the _Dialogues concerning Natural Religion_, 1779;
and the two small essays on _Suicide_ and the _Immortality of the Soul_,
1783.[1] The _Philosophical Works_ were published in 1827, and frequently

[Footnote 1: Or 1777, cf. Green and Grose's edition, vol. iii. p. 67

[Footnote 2: Among the works on Hume we may mention Jodl's prize treatise,
1872, and Huxley's _Hume_ (English Men of Letters), 1879. [The reader may
be referred also to Knight's _Hume_ (Blackwood's Philosophical Classics),
1886; to T.H. Green's "Introductions" in Green and Grose's edition of the
collected works in four volumes, 1874 (new ed. 1889-90), which is now
standard; and to Selby-Bigge's reprint of the original edition of the
_Treatise_, I vol., 1888, with a valuable Analytical Index.]]

Hume's object, like that of Berkeley, is the improvement of Locke's
doctrine of knowledge. In several respects he does not go so far as
Berkeley, in others very much farther. In agreement with Berkeley's
ultra-nominalism, which combats even the possibility of abstract ideas, he
yet does not follow him to the extent of denying external reality. On the
other hand, he carries out more consistently Berkeley's hint that immediate
sensation includes less than is ascribed to it (_e.g._, that by vision
we perceive colors only, and not distance, etc.), as well as his
principle--destructive to the certainty of our knowledge of nature--that
there is no causality among phenomena; and brings the question of substance
to, the negative conclusion, that there is no need whatever for a support
for groups of qualities, and, therefore, that substantiality is to be
denied to immaterial as well as to material beings. The points in Locke's
philosophy which seemed to Hume to need completion were different from
those at which Berkeley had struck in. The antithesis of rational and
empirical knowledge is more sharply conceived; the combination of ideas is
not left to the choice of the understanding but placed under the dominion
of psychological laws; and to the distinction between outer and inner
experience (to the former of which priority is conceded, on the ground that
we must have had an external sensation before we can, through reflection,
be conscious of it as an internal phenomenon), there is added a second, as
important as the other and crossing it, between impressions and ideas, of
which the former are likewise made prior to the latter.

Everyone will acknowledge the considerable difference between a sensation
actually present (of heat, for instance) and the mere idea of one
previously experienced, or shortly to come. This consists in the greater
force, liveliness, and vividness of the former. Although these two classes
of states (the idea of a landscape described by a poet and the perception
of a real one, anger and the thought of anger) are only quantitatively
distinct, they are scarcely ever in danger of being confused--the most
lively idea is always less so than the weakest perception. The actual,
outer or inner, sensations may be termed impressions; the weaker images of
memory or imagination, which they leave behind them, ideas. Since nothing
can gain entrance to the soul except through the two portals of outer and
inner experience, there is no idea which has not arisen from an impression
or several such; every idea is the image and copy of an impression. But
as the understanding and imagination variously combine, separate, and
transpose the elements furnished by the senses and lingering in memory, the
possibility of error arises. A hidden, and, therefore more dangerous source
of error consists in the reference of an idea to a different impression
than the one of which it is the copy. The concepts substance and causality
are examples of such false reference.

The combination of ideas takes place without freedom, in a purely
mechanical, way according to fixed rules, which in the last analysis
reduce to three fundamental laws of association: Ideas are associated
(1) according to their resemblance and contrast; (2) according to their
contiguity in space and time; (3) according to their causal connection.
Mathematics is based on the operation of the first of these laws, on
the immediate or mediate knowledge of the resemblance, contrariety, and
quantitative relations of ideas; the descriptive and experimental part of
the sciences of nature and of man on the second; religion, metaphysics, and
that part of physical and moral science which goes beyond mere observation
on the third. The theory of knowledge has to determine the boundaries of
human understanding and the degree of credibility to which these sciences
are entitled.

The objects of human thought and inquiry are either relations of ideas or
matters of fact. To the former class belong the objects of mathematics, the
truths of which, since they are analytic (_i. e_., merely explicate in the
predicate the characteristics already contained in the subject, and add
nothing new to this), and since they concern possible relations only,
not reality, possess intuitive or demonstrative certainty. It is only
propositions concerning quantity and number that are discoverable _a
priori_ by the mere operation of thought, without dependence on real
existence, and that can be proved from the impossibility of their
opposites--mathematics is the only demonstrative science.

We reach certainty in matters of fact by direct perception, or by
inferences from other facts, when they transcend the testimony of our
senses and memory. These arguments from experience are of an entirely
different sort from the rational demonstrations of mathematics; as the
contrary of a fact is always thinkable (the proposition that the sun will
not rise to-morrow implies no logical contradiction), they yield, strictly
speaking, probability only, no matter how strong our conviction of their
accuracy may be. Nevertheless it is advisable to separate this species of
inferences from experience--whose certainty is not doubted except by the
philosophers--from uncertain probabilities, as a class intermediate between
the latter and demonstrative truth (demonstrations--proofs--probabilities).
All reasonings concerning matters of fact are based on the relation of
cause and effect. Whence, then, do we obtain the knowledge of cause and
effect? Not by _a priori_ thought. Pure reason is able only to analyze
concepts into their elements, not to connect new predicates with them. All
its judgments are analytic, while synthetic judgments rest on experience.
Judgments concerning causation belong in this latter class, for effects are
entirely distinct from causes; the effect is not contained in the cause,
nor the latter in the former. In the case of a phenomenon previously
unknown we cannot tell from what causes it has proceeded, nor what
its effect will be. We argue that fire will warm us, and bread afford
nourishment, because we have often perceived these causal pairs closely
connected in space and time. But even experience does not vouchsafe all
that we desire. It shows nothing more than the coexistence and succession
of phenomena and events; while the judgment itself, _e. g_., that the
motion of one body stands in causal connection with that of another,
asserts more than mere contiguity in space and time, it affirms not merely
that the one precedes the other, but that it produces it--not merely that
the second follows the first, but that it results from it. The bond which
connects the two events, the force that puts forth the second from the
first, the necessary connection between the two is not perceived, but added
to perception by thought, construed into it.[1] What, then, is the occasion
and what the warrant for transforming perceived succession in time into
causal succession, for substituting _must_ for _is_, for interpreting the
observed connection of fact into a necessary connection which always eludes

[Footnote 1: The weakness of the concept of cause had been recognized
before Hume by the skeptic, J. Glanvil (1636-80). Causality itself cannot
be perceived; we infer it from the constant succession of two phenomena,
without being able to show warrant for the transformation of _thereafter_
into _thereby_.]

We do not causally connect every chance pair of successive events, but
those only which have been repeatedly observed together. The wonder is,
then, that through oft-repeated observation of certain objects we come to
believe that we know something about the behavior of other like objects,
and the further behavior of these same ones. From the fact that I have seen
a given apple fall ten times to the ground, I infer that all the apples in
the world do the same when loosened, instead of flying upward, which, in
itself, is quite as thinkable; I infer further that this has always
been the case, and will continue to be so to all eternity. Where is the
intermediate link between the proposition, "I have found that such an
object has always been attended with such an effect," and this other, "I
foresee that other objects which are, in appearance, similar, will be
attended with similar effects"? This postulate, that the future will be
like the past, and that like causes will have like effects, rests on a
purely psychological basis. In virtue of the laws of association the sight
of an object or event vividly recalls the image of a second, often observed
in connection with the former, and leads us involuntarily to expect its
appearance anew. The idea of causal connection is based on feeling (the
feeling of inner determination to pass from one idea to a second), not upon
insight; it is a product of the imagination, not of the understanding. From
the habitual perception of two events in connection (sunshine and heat)
arises the mental determination to think of the second when we perceive the
first, and, anticipating the senses, to count on its appearance. It is now
possible to state of what impression the idea of the causal nexus is the
copy: the impression on which it is based is the habitual transition from
the idea of a thing to its customary attendant. Hence the idea of causality
has a purely subjective significance, not the objective one which we
ascribe to it. It is impossible to determine whether there is a real
necessity of becoming corresponding to the felt necessity of thought.
In life we never doubt the fact, but for science our conviction of the
uniformity of nature remains a merely probable (though a very highly
probable) conviction. Complete certainty is vouchsafed only by rational
demonstration and immediate experience. The necessary bond which we
postulate between cause and effect can neither be demonstrated nor felt.

If all experiential reasonings depend on the idea of causality, and this
has no other support than subjective mental habit, it follows that all
knowledge of nature which goes beyond mere observed fact is not knowledge
(neither demonstrative knowledge nor knowledge of fact), but belief.[1] The
probability of our belief in the regularity of natural phenomena increases,
indeed, with every new verification of the assumptions based thereon; but,
as has been shown, it never rises to absolute certainty. Nevertheless
inferences from experience are trustworthy and entirely sufficient for
practical life, and the aim of the above skeptical deliverances was not
to shake belief--only a fool or a lunatic can doubt in earnest the
immutability of nature--but only to make it clear that it is mere belief,
and not, as hitherto held, demonstrative or factual knowledge. Our doubt
is intended to define the boundary between knowledge and belief, and to
destroy that absolute confidence which is a hindrance rather than a help to
investigation. We should recognize it as a wise provision of nature that
the regulation of our thoughts and the belief in the objective validity
of our anticipation of future events have not been confided to the weak,
inconstant, inert, and fallacious reason, but to a powerful instinct. In
life and action we are governed by this natural impulse, in spite of all
the scruples of the skeptical reason.

[Footnote 1: Hume distinguishes belief as a form of knowledge from
religious faith, both in fact and in name. In the _Treatise_--the passage
is wanting in the _Enquiry_--our conviction of the external existence of
the objects of perception is also ascribed to the former, which later
formed Jacobi's point of departure. Religious faith is referred to

In Hume's earlier work his destructive critique of the idea of cause
is accompanied by a deliverance in a similar strain on the concept of
substance, which is not included in the shorter revision. Substances are
not perceived through impressions, but only qualities and powers. The
unknown something which is supposed to have qualities, or in which these
are supposed to inhere, is an unnecessary fiction of the imagination. A
permanent similarity of attributes by no means requires a self-identical
support for these. A thing is nothing more than a collection of qualities,
to which we give a special name because they are always found together. The
idea of substance, like the idea of cause, is founded in a subjective habit
which we erroneously objectify. The impression from which it has arisen
is our inner perception that our thought remains constant in the repeated
experience of the same group of qualities (whenever I see sugar, _I do the
same thing_, that is, I combine the qualities white color, sweet taste,
hardness, etc., with one another), or the impression of a uniform
combination of ideas. The idea of substance becomes erroneous through the
fact that we refer it not to the inner activity of representation, to which
it rightly belongs, but to the external group of qualities, and make it
a real, permanent substratum for the latter. Mental substances disappear
along with material substances. The soul or mind is, in reality, nothing
more than the sum of our inner states, a collection of ideas which flow
on in a continuous and regular stream; it is like a stage, across which
feelings, perceptions, thoughts, and volitions are passing while it does
not itself come into sight. A permanent self or ego, as a substratum of
ideas, is not perceived; there is no invariable, permanent impression. That
which leads to the assumption of personal identity is only the frequent
repetition of similar trains of ideas, and the gradual succession of
our ideas, which is easily confused with constancy. Thus robbed of its
substantiality, the soul has no further claims to immateriality and
immortality, and suicide ceases to be a crime.[1]

[Footnote 1: Cf. the essays on _Suicide_ and the _Immortality of the Soul_,
1783, whose authorship by Hume, however, is not absolutely established [of.
Green and Grose, as above, p. 221, note first.--TR.]]

Is Hume roundly to be called a skeptic? [1] He never impugned the validity
of mathematical reasonings, nor experimental truths concerning matters of
fact; in regard to the former his thought is rationalistic, in regard to
the latter it is empirical or, more accurately, sensationalistic. His
attitude toward the empirical sciences of nature and of mind is that of a
semi-skeptic or probabilist, in so far as they go beyond the establishment
of facts to the proof of connections under law and to inferences concerning
the future. Habit is for him a safe guide for life, although it does not go
beyond probabilities; absolute knowledge is unattainable for us, but
not indispensable. Toward metaphysics, as an alleged science of the
suprasensible, he takes up an entirely negative attitude. If an argument
from experience is to be assured of merely that degree of probability which
is sufficient for belief, it must not only have a well-established fact (an
impression or memory-image) for its starting point, but, together with its
conclusion, it must keep within the limits of possible experience. The
limits of possible experience are also the limits of the knowable;
inferences to the continued existence of the soul after death and to the
being of God are vain sophistry and illusion. According to the famous
conclusion of the _Essay_, all volumes which contain anything other than
"abstract reasonings concerning quantity or number" or "experimental
reasonings concerning matter of fact and existence" deserve to be committed
to the flames. In view of this limitation of knowledge to that which is
capable of exact measurement and that which is present in experience, as
well of the principle that the elements added by thought are to be
sharply distinguished from the positively given (the immediate facts of
perception), we must agree with those who call Hume the father of modern

[Footnote 1: In the _Essay_, Hume describes his own standpoint as mitigated
or academical skepticism in antithesis to the Cartesian, which from doubt
and through doubt hopes to reach the indubitable, and to the excessive
skepticism of Pyrrhonism, which cripples the impulse to inquiry. This
moderate skepticism asks us only, after resisting the tendency to
unreflecting conclusions, to make a duty of deliberation and caution in
judging, and to restrain inquiry within those fields which are accessible
to our knowledge, _i.e._, the fields of mathematics and empirical fact. In
the _Treatise_ Hume had favored a sharper skepticism and extended his doubt
more widely, _e.g._, even to the trustworthiness of geometry. Cf. on this
point Ed. Grimm, _Zur Geschichte des Erkenntnissproblems_, 1890, p, 559

[Footnote 2: So Volkelt, _Erfahrung und Denken_, 1886, p. 105.]

       *       *       *       *       *

As a philosopher of religion Hume is the finisher and destroyer of deism.
Of the three principles of the deists--religion, its origin and its truth
are objects of scientific investigation; religion has its origin in the
reason and the consciousness of duty; natural religion is the oldest, the
positive religions are degenerate or revived forms of natural religion--he
accepts the first, while rejecting the other two. Religion may correspond
to reason or contradict it, but not proceed from it. Religion has its basis
in human nature, yet not in its rational but its sensuous side; not in
the speculative desire for knowledge, but in practical needs; not in the
contemplation of nature, but in looking forward with fear or joy to the
changing events of human life. Anxiety and hope concerning future events
lead us to posit unseen powers as directing our destiny, and to seek their
favor. The capriciousness of fortune points to a plurality of gods;
the tendency to conceive all things like ourselves gives them human
characteristics; the powerful impression made by all that comes within the
sphere of the senses incites us to connect the divine power with visible
objects; the allegorical laudation and deification of eminent men leads to
a completed polytheism. That this and not (mono-) theism was the original
form of religion, Hume assumes to be a fact for historical times, and a
well-founded conjecture for prehistoric ages. Those who hold that humanity
began with a perfect religion find it difficult to explain the obscuration
of the truth, endow immature ages with a developed use of the reason which
they can scarcely have possessed, make error grow worse with increasing
culture, and contradict the historical progress upward which is everywhere
else observed. The philosophical knowledge of God is a very late product of
mature reflection; even monotheism, as a popular religion, did not arise
from rational reflection, although its chief principle is in agreement
with the results of philosophy, but from the same irrational motives
as polytheism. Its origin from polytheism is accomplished by the
transformation of the leading god (the king of the gods or the tutelary
deity of the nation) through the fear and emulous flattery of his votaries
into the one, infinite, spiritual ruler of the world. Amid the folly of the
superstitious herd, however, this refined idea is not long preserved in its
purity; the more exalted the conception entertained of the supreme deity,
the more imperatively the need makes itself felt for the interpolation
between this being and mankind of mediators and demi-gods, partaking more
of the human nature of the worshipers and more familiar to them. Later
a new purification takes place, so that the history of religion shows a
continuous alternation of the lower and higher forms.

After depriving theism of its prerogative of originality, Hume further
takes away from it its fame as in every respect the best religion. It is
disadvantageously distinguished from polytheism by the fact that it is more
intolerant, makes its followers pusillanimous, and, by its incomprehensible
dogmas, puts their faith to severer tests; while it is on a level with
polytheism in that most of its adherents exalt belief in foolish mysteries,
fanaticism, and the observance of useless customs above the practice of

The _Natural History of Religion_, which far outbids the conclusions of
the deists by its endeavors to explain religion, not on rational, but on
historical and psychological grounds, and to separate it entirely
from knowledge by relegating it to the sphere of practice, leaves the
possibility of a philosophical knowledge of God an open question. The
_Dialogues concerning Natural Religion_ greatly diminish this hope.
The most cogent argument for the intelligence of the world-ground, the
teleological argument, is a hypothesis which has grave weaknesses, and one
to which many other equally probable hypotheses may be opposed. The finite
world, with its defects and abounding misery amid all its order and
adaptation, can never yield an inference to an infinite, perfect
unit-cause, to an all-powerful, all-wise, and benevolent deity. To this
the eleventh section of the _Enquiry_ adds the argument, that it is
inadmissible to ascribe to the inferred cause other properties than those
which are necessary to explain the observed effect. The tenth section of
the same _Essay_ argues that there is no miracle supported by a sufficient
number of witnesses credible because of their intelligence and honesty, and
free from a preponderance of contradictory experiences and testimony of
greater probability. In short, the reason is neither capable of reaching
the existence of God by well-grounded inference nor of comprehending the
truth of the Christian religion with its accompanying miracles. That which
transcends experience cannot be proven and known, but only believed in.
Whoever is moved by faith to give assent to things which contradict all
custom and experience, is conscious of a continued miracle in his own

Hume never denied the existence of God, never directly impugned revelation.
His final word is doubt and uncertainty. It is certain that his counsel not
to follow the leadership of the reason in religious matters, but to submit
ourselves to the power of instinct and common opinion, was less earnest and
less in harmony with the nature of the philosopher than his other advice,
to take refuge from the strife of the various forms of superstition in the
more quiet, though dimmer regions of--naturally, the skeptical--philosophy.
Hume's originality and greatness in this field consist in his genetic view
of the historical religions. They are for him errors, but natural ones,
grounded in the nature of man, "sick men's dreams," whose origin and course
he searches out with frightful cold-bloodedness, with the dispassionate
interest of the dissector.

       *       *       *       *       *

In his moral philosophy[1] Hume shows himself the empiricist only, not the
skeptic. The laws of human nature are capable of just as exact empirical
investigation as those of external nature; observation and analysis promise
even more brilliant success in this most important, and yet hitherto so
badly neglected, branch of science than in physics. As knowledge and
opinion have been found reducible to the associative play of ideas, and the
store of ideas, again, to original impressions and shown derivable from
these; so man's volition and action present themselves as results of the
mechanical working of the passions, which, in turn, point further back to
more primitive principles. The ultimate motives of all action are pleasure
and pain, to which we owe our ideas of good and evil. The direct passions,
desire and aversion, joy and sorrow, hope and fear, are the immediate
effects of these original elements. From the direct arise in certain
circumstances the indirect passions, pride and humility, love and hatred
(together with respect and contempt); the first two, if the objects which
excite feeling are immediately connected with ourselves, the latter, when
pleasure and pain are aroused by the accomplishments or the defects of
others. While love and hate are always conjoined with a readiness
for action, with benevolence or anger, pride and humility are pure,
self-centered, inactive emotions.

[Footnote 1: Cf. G. von Gizycki, _Die Ethik David Humes_, 1878.]

All moral phenomena, will, moral judgment, conscience, virtue, are not
simple and original data, but of a composite or derivative nature. They are
without exception products of the regular interaction of the passions. With
such views there can be, of course, no question of a freedom of the will.
If anyone objects to determinism, that virtues and vices, if they are
involuntary and necessary, are not praise-or blame-worthy, he is to be
referred to the applause paid to beauty and talent, which are considered
meritorious, although they are not dependent upon our choice. The legal
attitude of theology and law first caused all desert to be based upon
freedom, whereas the ancient philosophers spoke unhesitatingly of
intellectual virtues.

Hume does not, like nearly all his predecessors and contemporaries, find
the determining grounds of volition in ideas, but in the feelings. After
curtailing the rights of the reason in the theoretical field in favor of
custom and instinct, he dispossesses her also in the sphere of practice.
Impassive reason, judging only of truth and falsehood, is an inactive
faculty, which of itself can never inspire us with inclination and desire
toward an object, can never itself become a motive. It is only capable
of influencing the will indirectly, through the aid of some affection.
Abstract relations of ideas, and facts as well, leave us entirely
indifferent so long as they fail to acquire an emotional value through
their relation to our state of mind. When we speak of a victory of reason
over passion it is nothing but a conquest of one passion by another, _i.
e_., of a violent passion by a calm one. That which is commonly called
reason here is nothing but one of those general and calm affections _(e.
g_., the love of life) which direct the will to a distant good, without
exciting any sensible emotion in the mind; by passion we commonly
understand the violent passions only, which engender a marked disturbance
in the soul and the production of which requires a certain propinquity of
the object. A man is said to be industrious "from reason," when a calm
desire for money makes him laborious. It is a mistake to consider all
violent passions powerful, and all calm ones weak. The prevalence of calm
affections constitutes the essence of strength of mind.

As reason is thus degraded from a governor of the will to a "slave of the
passions," so, further, judgment concerning right and wrong is taken away
from her. Moral distinctions are determined by our sense of the agreeable
and the disagreeable. We pass an immediate judgment of taste on the actions
of our fellow-men; the good pleases, evil displeases. The sight of virtue
gives us satisfaction; that of vice repels us. Accordingly an action or
trait of mind is virtuous when it calls forth in the observer an agreeable,
disinterested sentiment of approbation.

What, then, are the actions which receive such general approval, and how is
the praise to be explained which the spectator bestows on them? We approve
such traits of character as are immediately agreeable or useful, either to
the person himself or to others. This yields four classes of praiseworthy
qualities. The first class, those which are agreeable to the possessor
(quite apart from any utility to himself or to others), includes
cheerfulness, greatness of mind, courage, tranquillity, and benevolence;
the second, those immediately agreeable to others, modesty, good manners,
politeness, and wit; the third, those useful to ourselves, strength of
will, industry, frugality, strength of body, intelligence and other mental
gifts. The fourth class comprises the highest virtues, the qualities useful
to others, benevolence and justice. Pleasure and utility are in all cases
the criterion of merit. The monkish virtues of humility and mortification
of the flesh, which bring no pleasure or advantage either to their
possessor or to society, are considered meritorious by no one who
understands the subject.

If the moral value of actions is thus made to depend on their effects, we
cannot dispense with the assistance of reason in judging moral questions,
since it alone can inform us concerning these results of action. Reason,
however, is not sufficient to determine us to praise or blame. Nothing but
a sentiment can induce us to give the preference to beneficial and useful
tendencies over pernicious ones. This feeling is evidently no other than
satisfaction in the happiness of men and uneasiness in view of their
misery--in short, it is sympathy. By means of the imagination we enter into
the experiences of others and participate in their joy and sorrow. Whatever
depresses or rejoices them, whatever inspires them with pride, fills us
with similar emotions. From the habit of sympathetically passing moral
judgment on the actions of others, and of seeing our own judged by them,
is developed the further one of keeping a constant watch over ourselves and
of considering our dispositions and deeds from the standpoint of the good
of others. This custom is called conscience. Allied to this is the love of
reputation, which continually leads us to ask, How will our behavior appear
in the eyes of those with whom we associate?

Within the fourth and most important class, the social virtues, Hume
distinguishes between the natural virtues of humanity and benevolence and
the artificial virtues of justice and fidelity. The former proceed from our
inborn sympathy with the good of others, while the latter, on the other
hand, are not to be derived from a natural passion, an instinctive love of
humanity, but are the product of reflection and art, and take their origin
in a social convention.

In order that an action may gain the approval of the spectator two other
things are required besides its salutary effects: it must be a mark
of character, of a permanent disposition, and it must proceed from
disinterested motives. Hume is obliged by this latter position to show that
disinterested benevolence actually exists, that the unselfish affections
do not secretly spring from self-love. To cite only one of the thousand
examples of benevolence in which no discernible interest is concerned,
we desire happiness for our friends even when we have no expectation
of participating in it. The accounts of human selfishness are greatly
overdrawn, and those who deduce all actions from it make the mistake of
taking the inevitable consequences of virtue--the pleasure of self-approval
and of being esteemed by others--for the only motives to virtue. Because
virtue, in the outcome, produces inner satisfaction and is praised by
others, it does not follow that it is practiced merely for the sake of
these agreeable consequences. Self-love is a secondary impulse, whose
appearance at all presupposes primary impulses. Only after we have
experienced the pleasure which comes from the satisfaction of such an
original impulse (_e. g_., ambition), can this become the object of a
conscious reflective search after pleasure, or of egoism. Power brings no
enjoyment to the man by nature devoid of ambition, and he who is naturally
ambitious does not desire fame because it affords him pleasure, but
conversely, fame affords him pleasure because he desires it. The natural
propensity which terminates directly on the object, without knowledge or
foresight of the pleasurable results, comes first, and egoistic reflection
directed toward the hoped-for enjoyment can develop only after this has
been satisfied. The case is the same with benevolence as with the love
of fame. It is implanted in the constitution of our minds as an original
impulse immediately directed toward the happiness of other men. After
it has been exercised and its exercise rewarded by self-satisfaction,
admiration, thanks, and reciprocation, it is indeed possible for the
expectation of such agreeable consequences to lead us to the repetition of
beneficent acts. But the original motive is not an egoistic, regard for
useful consequences. If, from the force of the passion alone, vengeance
may be so eagerly pursued that every consideration of personal quiet and
security is silenced, it may also be conceded that humanity causes us
to forget our own interests. Nay, further, the social affections, as
Shaftesbury has proven, are the strongest of all, and the man will rarely
be found in whom the sum of the benevolent impulses will not outweigh that
of the selfish ones.

In the section on justice Hume attacks the contract theory. Law, property,
and the sacredness of contracts exist first in society, but not first in
the state. The obligation to observe contracts is, indeed, made stronger by
the civil law and civil authority, but not created by them. Law arises from
convention, _i. e_., not from a formal contract, but a tacit agreement, a
sense of common interest, and this agreement, in turn, proceeds from an
original propensity to enter into social relations. The unsocial and
lawless state of nature is a philosophical fiction which has never existed;
men have always been social. They have all at least been born into the
society of the family, and they know no-more terrible punishment than
isolation. States are not created, however, by a voluntary act, but have
their roots in history. The question at issue between Hobbes and Hume was
thus adjusted at a later period by Kant: the state, it is true, has not
historically arisen from a contract, yet it is allowable and useful to
consider it under the aspect of a contract as a regulative idea.

Only once since David Hume, in Herbert Spencer, has the English nation
produced a mind of like comprehensive power. Hume and Locke form the
culminating points of English thought. They are national types, in that
in them the two fundamental tendencies of English thinking, clearness of
understanding and practical sense, were manifested in equal force. In Locke
these worked together in harmonious co-operation. In Hume the friendly
alliance is broken, the common labor ceases; each of the two demands its
full rights; a painful breach opens up between science and life. Reason
leads inevitably to doubt, to insight into its own weakness, while life
demands conviction. The doubter cannot act, the agent cannot know. It is
true that a substitute is found for defective knowledge in belief based
upon instinct and custom; but this is a makeshift, not a solution of the
problem, an acknowledgment of the evil, not a cure for it. Further, Hume's
greatness does not consist in the fact that he preached modesty to the
contending parties, that he banished the doubting reason into the study
and restricted life to belief in probabilities, but in the mental strength
which enabled him to endure sharp contradictions, and, instead of an
overhasty and easy reconciliation, to suspend the one impulse until the
other had made its demands thoroughly, completely, and regardlessly heard.
Though he is distinguished from other skeptics by the fact that he not
only shows the fundamental conceptions of our knowledge of nature and the
principles of religion uncertain and erroneous, but finds _necessary_
errors in them and acutely uncovers their origin in the lawful workings
of our inner life, yet his historical influence essentially rests on his
skepticism. In his own country it roused in the "Scottish School" the
reaction of common sense, while in Germany it helped to wake a kindred but
greater spirit from the bonds of his dogmatic slumbers, and to fortify him
for his critical achievements.

(c) %The Scottish School%.--Priestley's associational psychology,
Berkeley's idealism, and Hume's skepticism are legitimate deductions from
Locke's assumption that the immediate objects of thought are not things but
ideas, and that judgment or knowledge arises from the combination of ideas
originally separate. The absurdity of the consequences shows the falsity of
the premises. The true philosophy must not contradict common sense. It
is not correct to look upon the mind as a sheet of white paper on which
experience inscribes single characters, and then to make the understanding
combine these originally disconnected elements into judgments by means of
comparison, and the belief in the existence of the object come in as a
later result added to the ideas by reflection. It is rather true that the
elements discovered by the analysis of the cognitive processes are far from
being the originals from which these arise. It is not isolated ideas that
come first, but judgments, self-evident axioms of the understanding, which
form part of the mental constitution with which God has endowed us; and
sensation is accompanied by an immediate belief in the reality of the
object. Sensation guarantees the presence of an external thing possessing a
certain character, although it is not an image of this property, but merely
a sign for something in no wise resembling itself.

This is the standpoint of the founder[1] of the Scottish School, Thomas
Reid (1710-96, professor in Aberdeen and Glasgow; _An Inquiry into the
Human Mind on the Principles of Common Sense_, 1764; _Essays on the
Intellectual Powers of Man_, 1785, _Essays on the Active Powers_, 1788,
together under the title, _Essays on the Powers of the Human Mind.
Collected Works_, 1804, and often since, especially the edition by
Hamilton, with valuable notes and dissertations, 7th ed., 2 vols., 1872).
We may recognize in it a revival of the common notions of Herbert, as well
as a transfer of the innate faculty of judgment inculcated by the ethical
and aesthetic writers from the practical to the theoretical field; the
"common sense" of Reid is an original sense for truth, as the "taste"
of Shaftesbury and Hutcheson was a natural sense for the good and the
beautiful. Like Jacobi at a later period, Reid points out that mediate,
reasoned knowledge presupposes a knowledge which is immediate, and all
inference and demonstration, fixed, undemonstrable, immediately certain
fundamental truths. The fundamental judgments or principles of common
sense, which are true for us, even if [possibly] not true in themselves,
are discoverable by observation (empirical rationalism). In the enumeration
of them two dangers are to be avoided: we must neither raise contingent
principles to the position of axioms, nor, from an exaggerated endeavor
after unity, underestimate the number of these self-evident principles.
Reid himself is always more sparing with them than his disciples. He
distinguishes two classes: first principles of necessary truth, and first
principles of contingent truth or truth of fact. As first principles of
necessary truth he cites, besides the axioms of logic and mathematics,
grammatical, aesthetic, moral, and metaphysical principles (among the last
belong the principles: "That the qualities which we perceive by our senses
must have a subject, which we call body, and that the thoughts we are
conscious of must have a subject, which we call mind"; "that whatever
begins to exist, must have a cause which produced it"). He lays down twelve
principles as the basis of our knowledge of matters of fact, in which his
reference to the doubt of Berkeley and Hume is evident. The most important
of these are: "The existence of everything of which I am conscious"; "that
the thoughts of which I am conscious, are the thoughts of a being which I
call myself, my mind, my person"; "our own personal identity and continued
existence, as far back as we remember anything distinctly"; "that those
things do really exist which we distinctly perceive by our senses, and are
what we perceive them to be"; "that we have some degree of power over our
actions, and the determinations of our will"; "that there is life and
intelligence in our fellow-men"; "that there is a certain regard due... to
human authority in matters of opinion"; "that, in the phenomena of
nature, what is to be, will probably be like what has been in similar

[Footnote 1: In the sense of "chief founder"; cf. McCosh's _Scottish
Philosophy_, 1875, pp. 36, 68 _seq_., which is the standard authority on
the school as a whole.--TR.]

The widespread and lasting favor experienced by this theory, with its
invitation to forget all earnest work in the problems of philosophy
by taking refuge in common sense, shows that a general relaxation had
succeeded the energetic endeavors which Hume had demanded of himself and
of his readers. With this declaration of the infallibility of common
consciousness, the theory of knowledge, which had been so successfully
begun, was incontinently thrust aside, although, indeed, empirical
psychology gained by the industrious investigation of the inner life by
means of self-observation. James Beattie continued the attack on Hume
in his _Essay on the Nature and Immutability of Truth in Opposition to
Sophistry and Skepticism_, 1770, on the principle that wisdom must never
contradict nature, and that whatever our nature compels us to believe,
hence whatever all agree in, is true. In his briefer dissertations Beattie
discussed Memory and Imagination, Fable and Romance, the Effects of

Poetry and Music, Laughter, the Sublime, etc. While Beattie had given the
preference to psychological and aesthetic questions, James Oswald (1772)
appealed to common sense in matters of religion, describing it as an
instinctive faculty of judgment concerning truth and falsehood. The most
eminent among the followers of Reid was Dugald Stewart (professor in
Edinburgh; _Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind_, 1792-1827;
_Collected Works_, edited by Hamilton, 1854-58), who developed the
doctrines of the master and in some points modified them. Thomas
Brown (1778-1820), who is highly esteemed by Mill, Spencer, and Bain,
approximated the teachings of Reid and Stewart to those of Hume. The
philosophy of the Scottish School was long in favor both in England and in
France, where it was employed as a weapon against materialism.

By way of appendix we may mention the beginnings of a psychological
aesthetics in Henry Home (Lord Kames, 1696-1782), and Edmund Burke
(1728-97).[1] Home, in ethics a follower of Hutcheson, is fond of
supporting his aesthetic views by examples from Shakespeare. Beauty (chap.
iii.) appears to belong to the object itself, but in reality it is only an
effect, a "secondary quality," of the object; like color, it is nothing but
an idea in the mind, "for an object is said to be beautiful for no other
reason but that it appears so to the spectator." It arises from regularity,
proportion, order, simplicity--properties which belong to sublimity as well
(chap, iv.), but to which they are by no means so essential, since it is
satisfied with a less degree of them. While the beautiful excites emotions
of sweetness and gayety, the sublime rouses feelings which are agreeable,
it is true, but which are not sweet and gay, but strong and more serious.
Burke's explanation goes deeper. He derives the antithesis of the sublime
and the beautiful from the two fundamental impulses of human nature, the
instinct of self-preservation and the social impulse. Whatever is contrary
to the former makes a strong and terrible impression on the soul; whatever
favors the latter makes a weak but agreeable one. The terrible delights us
(first depressing and then exalting us), when we merely contemplate it,
without being ourselves affected by the danger or the pain--this is the
sublime. On the other hand, that is beautiful which inspires us with
tenderness and affection without our desiring to possess it. Sublimity
implies a certain greatness, beauty, a certain smallness. Delight in both
is based on bodily phenomena. Terror moderated exercises a beneficent
influence on the nerves by stimulating them and giving them tension;
the gentle impression of beauty exerts a quieting effect upon them. The
disturbances caused by the former, and the recovery induced by the latter,
are both conducive to health, and hence, experienced as pleasures.

[Footnote 1: Home, _Elements of Criticism_, 1762. Burke, _A Philosophical
Inquiry info the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful_,



In the last decade of the seventeenth century France had yielded the
leadership in philosophy to England. Whereas Hobbes had in Paris imbibed
the spirit of the Galilean and Cartesian inquiry, while Bacon, Locke, and
even Hume had also visited France with advantage, now French thinkers take
the watchword from the English. Montesquieu and Voltaire, returning from
England in the same year (1729), acquaint their countrymen with the ideas
of Locke and his contemporaries. These are eagerly caught up; are, step
by step, and with the logical courage characteristic of the French mind,
developed to their extreme conclusions; and, at the same time, spread
abroad in this heightened form among the people beyond the circles of the
learned, nay, even beyond the educated classes. The English temperament is
favorable neither to this advance to extreme revolutionary inferences nor
to this propagandist tendency. Locke combines a rationalistic ethics with
his semi-sensational theory of knowledge; Newton is far from finding in his
mechanical physics a danger for religious beliefs; the deists treat the
additions of positive religion rather as superfluous ballast than as
hateful unreason; Bolingbroke wishes at least to conceal from the people
the illuminating principles which he offers to the higher classes. Such
halting where farther progress threatens to become dangerous to moral
interests does more honor to the moral, than to the logical, character of
the philosopher. But with the transfer of these ideas to France, the wall
of separation is broken down between the theory of knowledge and the theory
of ethics, between natural philosophy and the philosophy of religion;
sensationalism forces its way from the region of theory into the sphere
of practice, and the mechanical theory is transformed from a principal
of physical interpretation into a metaphysical view of the world of an
atheistical character. Naturalism is everywhere determined to have its
own: if knowledge comes from the senses, then morality must be rooted
in self-interest; whoever confines natural science to the search for
mechanical causes must not postulate an intelligent Power working from
design, even to explain the origin of things and the beginning of
motion--has no right to speak of a free will, an immortal soul, and a deity
who has created the world. Further, as Bayle's proof that the dogmas of
the Church were in all points contradictory to reason had, contrary to its
author's own wishes, exerted an influence hostile to religion, and as,
moreover, the political and social conditions of the time incited to revolt
and to a break with all existing institutions, the philosophical ideas from
over the Channel and the condition of things at home alike pressed toward
a revolutionary intensification of modern principles, which found
comprehensive expression in the atheists' Bible, the _System of Nature_ of
Baron Holbach, 1770. The movement begins in the middle of the thirties,
when Montesquieu commences to naturalize Locke's political views in France,
and Voltaire does the same service for Locke's theory of knowledge,
and Newton's natural philosophy, which had already been commended by
Maupertuis. The year 1748, the year also of Hume's _Essay_, brings
Montesquieu's chief work and La Mettrie's _Man a Machine_. While the
_Encyclopedia_, the herald of the Illumination, begun in 1751, is advancing
to its completion (1772, or rather 1780), Condillac (1754) and Bonnet
(1755) develop theoretical sensationalism, and Helvetius (_On Mind_,
1758; in the same year, D'Alembert's _Elements of Philosophy_) practical
sensationalism. Rousseau, engaged in authorship from 1751 and a contributor
to the _Encyclopedia_ until 1757 comes into prominence, 1762, with his two
chief works, _Emile_ and the _Social Contract_. Parallel with these we
find interesting phenomena in the field of political economy: Morelly's
communistic _Code of Nature_ (1755), the works of Quesnay (1758), the
leader of the physiocrats, and those of Turgot, 1774.

Our discussion takes up, first, the introduction and popularization of
English ideas; then, the further development of these into a consistent
sensationalism, into the morality of interest, and into materialism;
finally, the reaction against the illumination of the understanding in
Rousseau's philosophy of feeling.[1]

[Footnote 1: On the whole chapter cf. Damiron, _Mémoires pour Servir à
l'Histoire de la Philosophie au XVIII. Siécle_, 3 vols., 1858-64; and
John Morley's _Voltaire_, 1872 [1886], _Rousseau_, 1873 [1886], and
_Diderot and the Encyclopedists_, 1878 [new ed., 1886].]

1. %The Entrance of English Doctrines%.

Montesquieu[1] (1689-1755) made Locke's doctrine of constitutional
monarchy and the division of powers (pp. 179-180), with which he joins the
historical point of view of Bodin and the naturalistic positions of the
time, the common property of the cultivated world. Laws must be adapted to
the character and spirit of the nation; the spirit of the people, again,
is the result of nature, of the past, of manners, of religion, and of
political institutions. Nature has bestowed many gifts on the Southern
peoples, but few on those of the North; hence the latter need freedom,
while the former readily dispense with it. Warm climates produce greater
sensibility and passionateness, cold ones, muscular vigor and industry; in
the temperate zones nations are less constant in their habits, their vices,
and their virtues. The laws of religion concern man as man, those of the
state concern him as a citizen; the former have for their object the moral
good of the individual, the latter, the welfare of society; the first aim
at immutable, the second at mutable good. Laws and manners are closely
interrelated. Right is older than the state, and the law of justice holds
even in the state of nature; but in order to assure peace positive right is
required in three forms, international, political, and civil.

[Footnote 1: Montesquieu, _Persian Letters_, 1721; _Considerations on
the Causes of the Greatness of the Romans and of their Decadence_, 1734;
_Spirit of Laws_, 1748.]

Each of the four political forms has a passion for its underlying
principle: despotism has fear; monarchy, honor (personal and class
prejudice); aristocracy, the moderation of the nobility; democracy,
political virtue, which subordinates personal to general welfare, and
especially the inclination to equality and frugality. While republics are
destroyed by extravagance, lust, and self-seeking, a monarchy can dispense
with civil virtue, patriotism, and moral disinterestedness, since in it
false honor, luxury, and wantonness subserve the public good. Great states
tend toward despotism; smaller ones toward aristocracy, or a democratic
republicanism; for those of medium size monarchy, which is intermediate
between the two former, is the best form of constitution. Although
Montesquieu, in his _Lettres Persanes_, shows himself enthusiastic for the
federal republics of Switzerland and the Netherlands, his opinions are
different after his return from England, and in his _Esprit des Lois_ he
praises the English form of government as the ideal of civil liberty.

Political freedom consists in liberty to do (not what we wish, but) what
we ought, or in doing that which the laws allow. Such lawful freedom is
possible only where the constitution of the state and criminal legislation
inspire the citizen with a sense of security. In order to prevent misuse of
the supreme power, the different authorities in the state must be divided
so that they shall hold one another in check. In particular Montesquieu
demands for the judicial power absolute independence of the executive power
(which Locke had termed the federative) as well as of the legislative
power. The last belongs to parliament, which includes in its two houses an
aristocratic and a democratic element.

Voltaire[1] (1694-1778)--he himself had made this anagram from his name,
Arouet l(e) j(eune)--seemed by his many-sided receptivity almost made to be
the interpreter of English ideas; in the words of Windelband, he "combines
Newton's mechanical philosophy of nature, Locke's noëtical empiricism, and
Shaftesbury's moral philosophy under the deistic point of view." The
same qualities which made him the first journalist, enabled him to free
philosophy from its scholastic garb, and, by concentrating it on the
problems which press most upon the lay mind (God, freedom, immortality),
to make it a living force among the people. His superficiality, as Erdmann
acutely remarks, was his strength. True religion, so reason teaches us,
consists in loving God and in being just and forbearing to our fellow-men
as to our brothers; morality is so natural and necessary that it is no
wonder that all philosophers since Zoroaster have inculcated the same
principles. The less of dogma the better the religion; atheism is not
so bad as superstition, which teaches men to commit crimes with an easy
conscience. He considered it the chief mission of his life to destroy these
two miserable errors. He endeavored to controvert atheism by rational
arguments, while with passionate hatred and contemptuous wit he attacked
positive Christianity and his persecutors, the priesthood. The existence
of God is for him not merely a moral postulate, but a result of scientific
reasoning. One of his famous sayings was: "If God did not exist it would be
necessary to invent him; but all nature cries out to us that he exists." He
defends immortality in spite of theoretical difficulties, because of its
practical necessity; his attitude toward the freedom of the will, which
he had energetically defended in the beginning, grows constantly more
skeptical with increasing age. His position in regard to the question
of evil experiences a similar change--the Lisbon earthquake made him an
opponent of optimism, though he had previously favored it.

[Footnote 1: David Friedrich Strauss, _Voltaire, sechs Vorträge_, 1870.]

%2. Theoretical and Practical Sensationalism.%

We turn next from the popular introduction and dissemination of Locke's
doctrines, which left their contents unchanged, to their principiant
development by the French sensationalists. Condillac (1715-80) always
thinks of his work as a completion of Locke's, whose _Essay_ he held not to
have gone down to the final root of the cognitive process. Locke did not
go far enough, Condillac thinks, in his rejection of innate elements; he
failed to trace out the origin of perception, reflection, cognition, and
volition, as also the relation between the external senses, the internal
sense, and the combining intellect, which he discussed as separate sources,
the two former of particular, and the last of complex, ideas; in short,
he omitted to inquire into the origin of the first function of the soul.
Berkeley was right in feeling that a simplification was needed here; but by
erroneously reducing outer perception to inner perception, he reached the
absurd conclusion of denying the external world. The true course is just
the opposite of this--the one already taken by the Bishop of Cork, Peter
Browne (died 1735; _The Procedure, Extent, and Limits of the Human
Understanding_, 1728): understanding and reflection must be reduced to
sensation. All psychical functions are transformed sensations. The soul has
only one original faculty, that of sensation; all the others, theoretical
and practical alike, are acquired, _i.e._, they have gradually developed
from the former. Condillac is related to Locke as Fichte to Kant; in
the former case the transition is mediated by Browne, in the latter
by Reinhold. Each crowns the work of his predecessor with a unifying
conclusion; each demands and offers a genetic psychology which finds the
origin of all the spiritual functions--from sensation and feelings of
pleasure and pain up to rational cognition and moral will--in a single
fundamental power of the soul. But there is a great difference, materially
as well as formally, between these kindred undertakings, a difference
corresponding to that between Locke's empiricism and Kant's idealism.
The idea of ends, which controls the course of thought in Fichte as in
Leibnitz, is entirely lacking in Condillac; that which is first in time,
sensation, is for the Science of Knowledge and the Monadology only the
beginning, not the essence, of psychical activity, while Condillac makes
no distinction between beginning and ground, but expressly identifies
_principe_ and _commencement_. With Fichte and Leibnitz sensation is
immature thought, with Condillac thought is refined sensation. The former
teach a teleological, the latter a mechanical mono-dynamism. The Science
of Knowledge, moreover, makes a very serious task of the deduction of the
particular psychical functions from the original power, while Condillac
takes it extraordinarily easy. Good illustrations of his way of effacing
distinctions instead of explaining them are given by such monotonously
recurring phrases as memory is "nothing but" modified sensation; comparison
and simultaneous attention to two ideas "are the same thing"; sensation
"gradually becomes" comparison and judgment; reflection is "in its origin"
attention itself; speech, thought, and the formation of general notions
are "at bottom the same"; the passions are "only" various kinds of desire;
understanding and will spring "from one root," etc.

The demand for a single fundamental psychical power comes from Descartes,
and Condillac does not hesitate to retain the word _penser_ itself as a
general designation for all mental functions. Similarly he holds fast to
the dualism between extension and sensation as reciprocally incompatible
properties, opposes the soul as the "simple" subject of thought to
"divisible" matter, and sees in the affections of the bodily organs merely
the "occasions" on which the soul of itself alone exercises its sensitive
activity. Even freedom--the supremacy of thought over the passions--is
maintained, in striking contrast to the whole tendency of his doctrine and
to the openly announced principle, that pleasure controls the attention and
governs all our actions. He has just as little intention of doubting the
existence of God. All is dependent on God. He is our lawgiver; it is in
virtue of his wisdom that from small beginnings--perception and need--the
most splendid results, science and morality, are developed under the hands
of man. Whoever undertakes to complain that He has concealed from us the
nature of things and granted us to know relations alone, forgets that we
need no more than this. We do not exist in order to know; to live is to

The theme of the _Treatise on the Sensations_, 1754, is: Memory,
comparison, judgment, abstraction, and reflection (in a word, cognition)
are nothing but different forms of attention; similarly the emotions, the
appetites, and the will, nothing but modifications of desire; while both
alike take their origin in sensation. Sensation is the sole source and the
sole content of the life of the mind as a whole. To prove these positions
Condillac makes use of the fiction of a statue, in which one sense awakes
after another, first the lowest of the senses, smell, and last the most
valuable, the sense of touch, which compels us (by its perception of
density or resistance) to project our sensations, and thus wakes in us the
idea of an external world. In themselves sensations are merely subjective
states, modes of our own being; without the sense of touch we would ascribe
odor, sound, and color to ourselves. Condillac distinguishes between
sensation and _ideas_ in a twofold sense, as mere ideas (the memory or
imagination of something not present), and as ideas of objective things
(the image, representative of a body); this latter sense is meant when he
says, touch sensations only are also ideas.

For the details of the deduction, which often makes very happy use of a
rich store of psychological material, the reader must be referred to the
more extended expositions. Here we can only cite as examples the chief
among the genetic definitions. Perceptions (impressions) and consciousness
are the same thing under different names. A lively sensation, in which the
mind is entirely occupied, becomes attention, without the necessity of
assuming an additional special faculty in the mind. Attention, by its
retentive effect on the sensation, becomes memory. Double attention--to
a new sensation, and to the lingering trace of the previous one--is
comparison; the recognition of a relation (resemblance or difference)
between two ideas is judgment; the separation of an idea from another
naturally connected with it, by the aid of voluntary linguistic symbols,
is abstraction; a series of judgments is reflection; and the sum total of
inner phenomena, that wherein ideas succeed one another, the ego or person.
All truths concern relations among ideas. The tactual idea of solidity
accustoms us to project the sensations of the other senses also, to
transfer them thither where they are not; hence arise the ideas of our
body, of external objects, and of space. If we perceive several such
projected qualities together, we refer them to a substratum--substance,
which we know to exist, although not what it is. By force we mean the
unknown, but indubitably existent, cause of motion.

There are no indifferent mental states; every sensation is accompanied by
pleasure or pain. Joy and pain give the determining law for the operation
of our faculties. The soul dwells longer on agreeable sensations; without
interest, ideas would pass away like shadows. The remembrance of past
impressions more agreeable than the present ones is need; from this
springs desire (_désir_) then the emotions of love, hate, hope, fear, and
astonishment; finally, the will as an unconditional desire accompanied by
the thought of its possible fulfillment. All inclinations, good and bad
alike, spring from self-love. The predicates "good" and "beautiful"
denote the pleasure-giving qualities of things, the former, that which is
agreeable to smell and taste (and the passions), the latter, that which
pleases sight, hearing, feeling (and the intellect). Morality is the
conformity of our actions to laws, which men have established by convention
with mutual obligations. In this way the good, which at first was the
servant of the passions, becomes their lord.

Man's superiority to the brute depends on the greater perfection of his
sense of touch; on the greater variety of his wants and his associations
of ideas; on the idea of death, which leads him to seek not merely the
avoidance of pain but also self-preservation; and the possession of
language. Without denomination no abstractions, no thought, no handing
down of knowledge. Although all that is mental has its origin, in the last
analysis, in simple sensations, its development requires emancipation from
the sensuous, and language is the means for freeing ourselves from the
pressure of sensations by the generalization and combination of ideas.

A more moderate representative of sensationalism was Charles Bonnet, who
later exercised a considerable influence in Germany, especially until
Tetens (1720-93; _Essay in Psychology, or Considerations on the Operations
of the Soul_, 1755; _Analytical Essay on the Faculties of the Soul_, 1760;
_Philosophical Palingenesis, or Ideas on the Past and the Future of Living
Beings_, 1769, including a defense of Christianity; _Collected Works_,
1779). Sensations, to which he, too, reduces all mental life, are, in his
view, reactions of the immaterial soul to sense stimuli, which operate
merely as occasional causes. On the other hand, he emphasizes more strongly
than Condillac the dependence of psychical phenomena on physiological
conditions, and endeavors to show definite brain vibrations as the basis
not only of habit, memory, and the association of ideas, but also of
the higher mental operations. In harmony with these views he adheres to
determinism, and finds the motive of all endeavor: in self-love, and
its ultimate aim in happiness. To the latter the hope of immortality is
indispensable. The link between Bonnet's theory of the thoroughgoing
dependence of the soul on the body and his orthodox convictions, is formed
by his idea of an imperishable ethereal body, which enables the soul in the
life to come to remember its life on earth and, after the dissolution of
the present material body, to acquire a new one. Animals as well as men
share in the continuance of existence and the transition to a higher stage.

The material earnestness of these thinkers is in sharp contrast to the
superficial and frivolous manner in which Helvetius (1715-71) carries out
sensationalism in the sphere of ethics. His chief work, _On Mind_, came out
in 1758; and a year after his death, the work _On Man, his Intellectual
Faculties and his Education_. The search for pleasure or self-love is, as
Helvetius thinks he has discovered for the first time,[1] the only motive
of action; the laws of interest reign in the moral world as the laws of
motion in the physical world; justice and love for our neighbors are
based on utility; we seek friends in order to be amused, aided, and, in
misfortune, compassionated by them; the philanthropist and the monster both
seek only their own pleasure.

[Footnote 1: In reality not only English moralists, but also some among his
countrymen, had anticipated him in the position that all actions proceed
from selfishness, and that virtue is merely a refined egoism. Thus La
Rochefoucauld in his _Maxims (Réflexions, ou Sentences et Maximes Morales_,
1665), La Bruyère _(Les Charactères et les Moeurs de ce Siécle_, 1687), and
La Mettrie (of. pp, 251-253).]

Helvetius draws the proof for these positions from Condillac. Recollection
and judgment are sensation. The soul is originally nothing more than the
capacity for sensation; it receives the stimulus to its development from
self-love, _i.e._, from powerful passions such as the love of fame, on the
one hand, and, on the other, from hatred of _ennui_, which induces man to
overcome the indolence natural to him and to submit himself to the irksome
effort of attention--without passion he would remain stupid. The sum of
ideas collected in him is called intellect. All distinctions among men
are acquired, and concern the intellect only, not the soul: that which is
innate--sensibility and self-love--is the same in all; differences arise
only through external circumstances, through education. Man is the pupil of
all that environs him, of his situation and his chance experience. The most
important instrument in education is the law; the function of the lawgiver
is to connect public and personal welfare by means of rewards and
punishments, and thus to elevate morality. A man is called virtuous when
his stronger passions harmonize with the general interest. Unfortunately
the virtues of prejudice, which do not contribute to the public good, are
more honored among most nations than the political virtues, to which alone
real merit belongs. And self-interest is always the one motive to just and
generous action; we serve only our own interests in furthering the welfare
of the community. As the promulgator of these doctrines was himself a kind
and generous man, Rousseau could make to him the apt reply: You endeavor in
vain to degrade yourself below your own level; your spirit gives evidence
against your principles; your benevolent heart discredits your doctrines.

The morality of enlightened self-love or "intelligent self-interest"
appears in a milder form in Maupertuis (_Works_, 1752), and Frederick the
Great,[1] to the latter of whom D'Alembert objected by letter that interest
could never generate the sense of duty and reverence for the law.

[Footnote 1: _Essay on Self-love as a Principle of Morals_, 1770, printed
in the proceedings of the Academy of Sciences. Cf. on Frederick, Ed.
Zeller, 1886.]

%3. Skepticism and Materialism.%

The ideas thus far developed move in a direction whose further pursuit
inevitably issues in materialism. Diderot, the editor of the _Encyclopedia
of the Sciences, Arts, and Trades_ (1751-72), which gathered all the
currents of the Illumination into one great stream and carried them to the
open sea of popular culture, reflects in his intellectual development
the dialectical movement from deism through skepticism to atheism and
materialism, and was a co-laborer in the work which brought the whole
movement to a conclusion, Holbach's _System of Nature_. Two decades,
however, before the latter work, the outcome of a long development of
thought, appeared, the physician La Mettrie[1] (1709-51) had promulgated
materialism, though rather in an anthropological form than as a
world-system, and with cynical satisfaction in the violation of traditional
beliefs--in his _Natural History of the Soul_, 1745, in a disguised form,
and, undisguised, in his _Man a Machine_, 1748--and at the same time
(_Anti-Seneca, or Discourse on Happiness_, 1748) had sketched out for
Helvetius the outlines of the sensationalistic morality of interest. While
ill with a violent fever he observed the influence of the heightened
circulation of the blood on his mental tone, and inferred that thought is
the result of the bodily organization. The soul can only be known from the
body. The senses, the best philosophers, teach us that matter is never
without form and motion; and whether all matter is sentient or not,
certainly all that is sentient is material, and every part of the organism
contains a vital principle (the heart of a frog beats for an hour after
its removal from the body; the parts of cut-up polyps grow into perfect
animals). All ideas come from without, from the senses; without
sense-impressions no ideas, without education, few ideas, the mind of a man
grown up in isolation remains entirely undeveloped; and since the soul is
entirely dependent on the bodily organs, along with which it originates,
grows, and declines, it is subject to mortality. Not only animals, as
Descartes has shown, but men, who differ from the brutes only in degree,
are mere machines; by the soul we mean that part of the body which thinks,
and the brain has fine muscles for thinking as the leg its coarse ones for

[Footnote 1: La Mettrie was born at St. Malo, and educated in Paris, and in
Leyden under Boerhave; he died in Berlin, whither Frederick the Great
had called him after he had been driven out of his native land and from
Holland. On La Mettrie cf. Lange, _History of Materialism_, vol. ii. pp.
49-91; and DuBois-Reymond's Address, 1875.]

If man is nothing but body, there is no other pleasure than that of the
body. There is a difference, however, between sensuous pleasure, which is
intense and brief, and intellectual pleasure, which is calm and lasting.
The educated man will prefer the latter, and find in it a higher and more
noble happiness; but nature has been just enough to grant the common
multitude, in the coarser pleasures, a more easily attainable happiness.
Enjoy the moment, till the farce of life is ended! Virtue exists only in
society, which restrains from evil by its laws, and incites to good by
rousing the love of honor. The good man, who subordinates his own welfare
to that of society, acts under the same necessity as the evil-doer; hence
repentance and pangs of conscience, which increase the amount of pain
in the world, but are incapable of effecting amendment, are useless and
reprehensible: the criminal is an ill man, and must not be more harshly
punished than the safety of society requires. Materialism humanizes and
exercises a tranquilizing influence on the mind, as the religious view of
the world, with its incitement to hatred, disturbs it; materialism frees
us from the sense of guilt and responsibility, and from the fear of future
suffering. A state composed of atheists, is not only possible, as Bayle
argued, but it would be the happiest of all states.

Among the editors of the _Encyclopedia_, the mathematician D'Alembert
_(Elements of Philosophy_, 1758) remained loyal to skeptical views. Neither
matter nor spirit is in its essence knowable; the world is probably quite
different from our sensuous conception of it. As Diderot (1713-84), and
the _Encyclopedia_ with him, advanced from skepticism to materialism,
D'Alembert retired from the editorial board (1757), after Rousseau, also,
had separated himself from the Encyclopedists. Diderot[1] was the leading
spirit in the second half of the eighteenth century, as Voltaire in the
first half. His lively and many-sided receptivity, active industry, clever
and combative eloquence, and enthusiastic disposition qualified him for
this rôle beyond all his contemporaries, who testify that they owe even
more to his stimulating conversation than to his writings. He commenced by
bringing Shaftesbury's _Inquiry into Virtue and Merit_ to the notice of
his countrymen; and then turned his sword, on the one hand, against the
atheists, to refute whom, he thought, a single glance into the microscope
was sufficient, and, on the other, against the traditional belief in a
God of anger and revenge, who takes pleasure in bathing in the tears of
mankind. Then followed a period of skepticism, which is well illustrated by
the prayer in the _Thoughts on the Interpretation of Nature_, 1754: O God!
I do not know whether thou art, but I will guide my thoughts and actions
as though thou didst see me think and act, etc. Under the influence
of Holbach's circle he finally reached (in the _Conversation between
D'Alembert and Diderot_, and _D'Alembert's Dream_, written in 1769, but not
published until 1830, in vol. iv. of the _Mémoires, Correspondance, et
Ouvrages Inédits de Diderot_) the position of naturalistic monism--there
exists but one great individual, the All. Though he had formerly
distinguished thinking substance from material substance, and had based the
immortality of the soul on the unity of sensation and the unity of the ego,
he now makes sensation a universal and essential property of matter
(_la pierre sent_), declares the talk about the simplicity of the
soul metaphysico-theological nonsense, calls the brain a self-playing
instrument, ridicules self-esteem, shame, and repentance as the absurd
folly of a being that imputes to itself merit or demerit for necessary
actions, and recognizes no other immortality than that of posthumous fame.
But even amid these extreme conclusions, his enthusiasm for virtue remains
too intense to allow him to assent to the audacious theories of La Mettrie
and Helvetius.

[Footnote 1: _Works_ in twenty-two vols., Paris, Brière, 1821; latest
edition, 1875 _seq_. Cf. on Diderot the fine work by Karl Rosenkranz,
_Diderots Leben und Werke_, 1866.]

French natural science also tended toward materialism. Buffon _(Natural
History_, 1749 _seq_) endeavors to facilitate the mechanical explanation
of the phenomena of life by the assumption of living molecules, from
which visible organisms are built up. Robinet (_On Nature_, 1761 _seq_.),
availing himself of Spinozistic and Leibnitzian conceptions, goes still
further, in that he endows every particle of matter with sensation, looks
on the whole world as a succession of living beings with increasing
mentality, and subjects the interaction of the material and psychical sides
of the individual, as well as the relation of pleasure and pain in the
universe, to a law of harmonious compensation.

The _System of Nature_, 1770, which bore on its title page the name of
Mirabaud, who had died 1760, proceeded from the company of freethinkers
accustomed to meet in the hospitable house of Baron von Holbach (died
1789), a native of the Palatinate. Its real author was Holbach himself,
although his friends Diderot, Naigeon, Lagrange, the mathematician, and the
clever Grimm (died 1807) seem to have co-operated in the preparation
of certain sections. The cumbrous seriousness and the dry tone of this
systematic combination of the radical ideas which the century had produced,
were no doubt the chief causes of its unsympathetic reception by the
public. Similarly unsuccessful was the popular account of materialism with
which Holbach followed it, in 1772, and Helvetius's excerpts from the
_System of Nature_, 1774.

Holbach applies himself to the despiritualization of nature and the
destruction of religious prejudices with sincere faith in the sacred
mission of unbelief--the happiness of humanity depends on atheism. "O
Nature, sovereign of all beings, and ye her daughters, Virtue, Reason, and
Truth, be forever our only divinities." What has made virtue so difficult
and so rare? Religion, which divides men instead of uniting them. What has
so long delayed the illumination of the reason, and the discovery of truth?
Religion with its mischievous errors, God, spirit, freedom, immortality.
Immortality exists only in the memory of later generations; man is the
creature of a day; nothing is permanent but the great whole of nature and
the eternal law of universal change. Can a clock broken into a thousand
pieces continue to mark the hours? The senseless doctrine of freedom was
invented only to solve the senseless problem of the justification of God in
view of the existence of evil. Man is at every moment of his life a passive
instrument in the hands of necessity; the universe is an immeasurable
and uninterrupted chain of actions and reactions, an eternal round of
interchanging motions, ruled by laws, a change in which would at once alter
the nature of all things. The most fatal error is the idea of human and
divine spirits, which has been advanced by philosophers and adopted with
applause by fools. The opinion that man is divided into two substances is
based on the fact that, of the changes in our body, we directly perceive
only the external molar movements, while, on the other hand, the inner
motions of the invisible molecules are known only by their effects. These
latter have been ascribed to the mind, which, moreover, we have adorned
with properties whose emptiness is manifested by the fact that they are all
mere negations of that which we know. Experience reveals to us only the
extended, the corporeal, the divisible--but the mind is to be the opposite
of all three, yet at the same time to possess the power (how, no man can
tell) of acting on that which is material and of being acted upon by it.
In thus dividing himself into body and soul, man has in reality only
distinguished between his brain and himself. Man is a purely physical
being. All so-called spiritual phenomena are functions of the brain,
special cases of the operation of the universal forces of nature. Thought
and volition are sensation, sensation is motion. The moving forces in the
moral world are the same as those in the physical world; in the latter they
are called attraction and repulsion, in the former, love and hate;
that which the moralist terms self-love is the same instinct of
self-preservation which is familiar in physics as the force of inertia.

As man has doubled himself, so also he has doubled nature. Evil gave the
first impulse to the formation of the idea of God, pain and ignorance have
been the parents of superstition; our sufferings were ascribed to unknown
powers, of which we were in fear, but which, at the same time, we hoped to
propitiate by prayer and sacrifice. The wise turned with their worship and
reverence toward a more worthy object, to the great All; and, in fact, if
we seek to give the word God a tenable meaning, it signifies active nature.
The error lay in the dualistic view, in the distinction between nature and
itself, _i.e._ its activity, and in the belief that the explanation of
motion required a separate immaterial Mover. This assumption is, in the
first place, false, for since the All is the complex of all that exists
there can be nothing outside it; motion follows from the existence of the
universe as necessarily as its other properties; the world does not receive
it from without, but imparts it to itself by its own power. In the second
place the assumption is useless; it explains nothing, but confuses the
problems of natural science to the point of insolubility. In the third
place it is self-contradictory, for after theology has removed the Deity
as far away from man as possible, by means of the negative metaphysical
predicates, it finds itself necessitated to bring the two together again
through the moral attributes--which are neither compatible with one another
nor with the meta-physical--and crowns the absurdity by the assurance that
we can please God by believing that which is incomprehensible. Finally, the
assumption is dangerous; it draws men away from the present, disturbs their
peace and enjoyment, stirs up hatred, and thus makes happiness and morality
impossible. If, then, utility is the criterion of truth, theism--even in
the mild form of deism--is proven erroneous by its disastrous consequences.
All error is bane.

Matter and motion are alike eternal. Nature is an active, self-moving,
living whole, an endless chain of causes and effects. All is in unceasing
motion, all is cause (nothing is dead, nothing rests), all is effect (there
is no spontaneous motion, none directed to an end). Order and disorder are
not in nature, but only in our understanding; they are abstract ideas to
denote that which is conformable to our nature and that which is contrary
to it. The end of the All is itself alone, is life, activity; the universal
goal of particular beings, like that of the universe, is the conservation
of being.

Anthropology is for Holbach essentially reduced to two problems, the
deduction of thought from motion, and of morality from the physical
tendency to self-preservation. The forces of the soul are no other than
those of the body. All mental faculties develop from sensation; sensations
are motions in the brain which reveal to us motions without the brain. All
the passions may be reduced to love and hate, desire and aversion, and
depend upon temperament, on the individual mixture of the fluid parts.
Virtue is the equilibrium of the fluids. All human actions proceed from
interest. Good and bad men are distinguished only by their organizations,
and by the ideas they form concerning happiness. With the same necessity
as that of the act itself, follow the love or contempt of fellow-men,
the pleasure of self-esteem and the pain of repentance (regret for evil
consequences, hence no evidence of freedom). Neither responsibility nor
punishment is done away with by this necessity--have we not the right to
protect ourselves against the stream which damages our fields, by building
dikes and altering its course? The end of endeavor is permanent happiness,
and this can be attained through virtue alone. The passions which are
useful to society compel the affection and approval of our fellows. In
order to interest others in our welfare we must interest ourselves in
theirs--nothing is more indispensable to man than man. The clever man acts
morally, interest binds us to the good; love for others means love for the
means to our own happiness. Virtue is the art of making ourselves happy
through the happiness of others. Nature itself chastises immorality, since
she makes the intemperate unhappy. Religion has hindered the recognition of
these rules, has misunderstood the diseases of the soul, and applied false
and ineffective remedies; the renunciation which she requires is opposed to
human nature. The true moralist recognizes in medicine the key to the human
heart; he will cure the mind through the body, control the passions and
hold them in check by other passions instead of by sermons, and will teach
men that the surest road to personal ends is to labor for the public good.
Illumination is the way to virtue and to happiness.

Volney (Chasseboeuf, died 1820; _Catechism of the French Citizen_, 1793,
later under the title _Natural Law or Physical Principles of Morals deduced
front the Organization of Man and of the Universe_; further, _The Ruins;
Complete Works_, 1821) belongs among the moralists of self-love, although,
besides the egoistic interests, he takes account of the natural sympathetic
impulses also. This is still more the case with Condorcet (_Sketch of
an Historical View of the Progress of the Human Mind_, 1794), who was
influenced alike by Condillac and by Turgot, and who defends a tendency
toward universal perfection both in the individual and in the race. Besides
the selfish affections, which are directed as much to the injury as to the
support of others, there lies in the organization of man a force which
steadily tends toward the good, in the form of underived feelings of
sympathy and benevolence, from which moral self-judgment is developed by
the aid of reflection. The aim of true ethics and social art is not to make
the "great" virtues universal, but to make them needless; the nearer the
nations approximate to mental and moral perfection, the less they stand in
need of these--happy the people in which good deeds are so customary that
scarcely an opportunity is left for heroism. The chief instrument for the
moral cultivation of the people is the development of the reason, the
conscience, and the benevolent affections. Habituation to deeds of kindness
is a source of pure and inexhaustible happiness. Sympathy with the good of
others must be so cultivated that the sacrifice of personal enjoyment will
be a sweeter joy than the pleasure itself. Let the child early learn to
enjoy the delight of loving and of being loved. We must, finally, strive
toward the gradual diminution of the inequalities of capacity, of property,
and between ruler and ruled, for to abolish them is impossible.

Of the remaining philosophers of the revolutionary period mention may be
made of the physician Cabanis _(Relations of the Physical and the Moral in
Man, 1799)_, and Destutt de Tracy _(Elements of Ideology, 1801 seq.)_. The
former is a materialist in psychology (the nerves are the man, ideas are
secretions of the brain), considers consciousness a property of organic
matter (the soul is not a being, but a faculty), and makes moral sympathy
develop out of the animal instincts of preservation and nourishment.
De Tracy, also, derives all psychical activity from organization and
sensation. His doctrine of the will, though but briefly sketched, is
interesting. The desires have a passive and an active side (corresponding
to the twofold action of the nerves, on themselves and on the muscles); on
the one hand, they are feelings of pleasure or pain, and on the other, they
lead us to action--will is need, and, at the same time, the source of
the means for satisfying this need. Both these feelings and the external
movements are probably based upon unconscious organic motions. The will is
rightly identified with the personality, it is the ego itself, the totality
of the physico-psychical life of man attaining to self-consciousness. The
inner or organic life consists in the self-preserving functions of the
individual, the outer or animal life, in the functions of relation (of
sense, of motion, of speech, of reproduction); individual interests are
rooted in the former, sympathy in the latter. The primal good is freedom,
or the power to do what we will; the highest thing in life is love. In
order to be happy we must avoid punishment, blame, and pangs of conscience.

%4. Rousseau's Conflict with the Illumination.%

The Genevese, Jean Jacques Rousseau[1] (1712-78), stands in a similar
relation of opposition to the French Illumination as the Scottish School to
the English, and Herder and Jacobi to the German. He points us away from
the cold sophistical inferences of the understanding to the immediate
conviction of feeling; from the imaginations of science to the unerring
voice of the heart and the conscience; from the artificial conditions of
culture to healthy nature. The vaunted Illumination is not the lever of
progress, but the source of all degeneration; morality does not rest on the
shrewd calculation of self-interest, but on original social and sympathetic
instincts (love for the good is just as natural to the human heart as
self-love; enthusiasm for virtue has nothing to do with our interest; what
would it mean to give up one's life for the sake of advantage?); the truths
of religion are not objects of thought, but of pious feeling.

[Footnote 1: Cf. Brockerhoff, Leipsic, 1863-74; L. Moreau, Paris, 1870.]

Rousseau commenced his career as an author with the _Discourse on the
Sciences and the Arts_, 1750 (the discussion of a prize question, crowned
by the Academy of Dijon), which he describes as entirely pernicious, and
the _Discourse on the Origin and the Bases of the Inequality among Men_,
1753. By nature man is innocent and good, becoming evil only in society.
Reflection, civilization, and egoism are unnatural. In the happy state of
nature pity and innocent self-love (_amour de soi_) ruled, and the
latter was first corrupted by the reason into the artificial feeling of
selfishness (_amour propre_) in the course of social development--thinking
man is a degenerate animal. Property has divided men into rich and poor;
the magistracy, into strong and weak; arbitrary power, into masters and
slaves. Wealth generated luxury with its artificial delights of science and
the theater, which make us more unhappy and evil than we otherwise are;
science, the child of vice, becomes in turn the mother of new vices. All
nature, all that is characteristic, all that is good, has disappeared with
advancing culture; the only relief from the universal degeneracy is to be
hoped for from a return to nature on the part of the individual and society
alike--from education and a state conformed to nature. The novel _Emile_ is
devoted to the pedagogical, and the _Social Contract, or the Principles of
Political Law_, to the political problem. Both appeared in 1762, followed
two years later by the _Letters from the Mountain_, a defense against the
attacks of the clergy. In these later writings Rousseau's naturalistic
hatred of reason appears essentially softened.

Social order is a sacred right, which forms the basis of all others. It
does not proceed, however, from nature--no man has natural power over his
fellows, and might confers no right--consequently it rests on a contract.
Not, however, on a contract between ruler and people. The act by which the
people chooses a king is preceded by the act in virtue of which it is a
people. In the social contract each devotes himself with his powers and his
goods to the community, in order to gain the protection of the latter.
With this act the spiritual body politic comes into being, and attains its
unity, its ego, its will. The sum of the members is called the people; each
member, as a participant in the sovereignty, citizen, and, as bound to
obedience to the law, subject. The individual loses his natural freedom,
receiving in exchange the liberty of a citizen, which is limited by the
general will, and, in addition, property rights in all that he possesses,
equality before the law, and moral freedom, which first really makes him
master of himself. The impulse of mere desire is slavery, obedience to
self-imposed law, freedom. The sovereign is the people, law the general
popular will directed to the common good, the supreme goods, "freedom and
equality," the chief objects of legislation. The lawgiving power is the
moral will of the body politic, the government (magistracy, prince) its
executive physical power; the former is its heart, the latter its brain.
Rousseau calls the government the middle term between the head of the state
and the individual, or between the citizen as lawgiver and as subject--the
sovereign (the people) commands, the government executes, the subject
obeys. The act by which the people submits itself to its head is not a
contract, but merely a mandate; whenever it chooses it can limit, alter, or
entirely recall the delegated power. In order to security against illegal
encroachments on the part of the government, Rousseau recommends regular
assemblies of the people, in which, under suspension of governmental
authority, the confirmation, abrogation, or alteration of the constitution
shall be determined upon. Even the establishment of the articles of social
belief falls to the sovereign people. The essential difference between
Rousseau's theory of the state and that of Locke and Montesquieu consists
in his rejection of the division of powers and of representation by
delegates, hence in its unlimited democratic character. A generation after
it was given to the world, the French Revolution made the attempt to
translate it into practice. "The masses carried out what Rousseau himself
had thought, it is true, but never willed" (Windelband).

Rousseau's theory of education is closely allied to Locke's (cf. above),
whose leading idea--the development of individuality--was entirely in
harmony with the subjectivism of the philosopher of feeling. Posterity has
not found it a difficult task to free the sound kernel therein from the
husks of exaggeration and idiosyncrasy which surrounded it. Among the
latter belong the preference of bodily over intellectual development, and
the unlimited faith in the goodness of human nature. Exercise the body, the
organs, the senses of the pupil, and keep his soul unemployed as long as
possible; for the first, take care only that his mind be kept free from
error and his heart from vice. In order to secure complete freedom from
disturbance in this development, it is advisable to isolate the child from
society, nay, even from the family, and to bring him up in retirement under
the guidance of a private tutor.

As the Swiss republican spoke in Rousseau's politics, so his religious
theories[1] betray the Genevan Calvinist. "The Savoyard Vicar's Profession
of Faith" (in _Emile_) proclaims deism as a religion of feeling. The
rational proofs brought forward for the existence of God--from the motion
of matter in itself at rest, and from the finality of the world--are only
designed, as he declares by letter, to confute the materialists, and derive
their impregnability entirely from the inner evidence of feeling, which
amid the vacillation of the reason _pro_ and _con_ gives the final

[Footnote 1: Cf. Ch. Borgeaud, _Rousseaus Religionsphilosophie_, Geneva and
Leipsic, 1883.]

If we limit our inquiry to that which is alone of importance for us, and
rely on the evidence of feeling, it cannot be doubted that I myself exist
and feel; that there exists an external world which affects me; that
thought, comparison or judgment concerning relations is different from
sensation or the perception of objects--for the latter is a passive,
but the former an active process; that I myself produce the activity of
attention or consideration; that, consequently, I am not merely a sensitive
or passive, but also an active or intelligent being. The freedom of my
thought and action guarantees to me the immateriality of my soul, and is
that which distinguishes me from the brute. The life of the soul after
the decay of the body is assured to me by the fact that in this world the
wicked triumphs, while the good are oppressed. The favored position which
man occupies in the scale of beings--he is able to look over the universe
and to reverence its author, to recognize order and beauty, to love the
good and to do it; and shall he, then, compare himself to the brute?--fills
me with emotion and gratitude to the benevolent Creator, who existed before
all things, and who will exist when they all shall have vanished away,
to whom all truths are one single idea, all places a point, all times a
moment. The _how_ of freedom, of eternity, of creation, of the action of
my will upon matter, etc., is, indeed, incomprehensible to me, but _that_
these are so, my feeling makes me certain. The worthiest employment of
my reason is to annihilate itself before God. "The more I strive to
contemplate his infinite essence the less do I conceive it. But it is, and
that suffices me. The less I conceive it, the more I adore."

In the depths of my heart I find the rules for my conduct engraved by
nature in ineffaceable characters. Everything is good that I feel to be so.
The conscience is the most enlightened of all philosophers, and as safe
a guide for the soul as instinct for the body. The infallibility of its
judgment is evidenced by the agreement of different peoples; amid the
surprising differences of manners you will everywhere find the same ideas
of justice, the same notions of good and evil. Show me a land where it is
a crime to keep one's word, to be merciful, benevolent, magnanimous, where
the upright man is despised and the faithless honored! Conscience enjoins
the limitation of our desires to the degree to which we are capable of
satisfying them, but not their complete suppression--all passions are good
when we control them, all evil when they control us.

In the second part of the "Profession du Foi du Vicaire Savoyard" Rousseau
turns from his attacks on sensationalism, materialism, atheism, and the
morality of interest, to the criticism of revelation. Why, in addition to
natural religion, with its three fundamental doctrines, God, freedom, and
immortality, should other special doctrines be necessary, which rather
confuse than clear up our ideas of the Great Being, which exact from us
the acceptance of absurdities, and make men proud, intolerant, and
cruel--whereas God requires from us no other service than that of the
heart? Every religion is good in which men serve God in a befitting manner.
If God had prescribed one single religion for us, he would have provided
it with infallible marks of its unique authenticity. The authority of the
fathers and the priesthood is not decisive, for every religion claims to be
revealed and alone true; the Mohammedan has the same right as the Christian
to adhere to the religion of his fathers. Since all revelation comes down
to us by human tradition, reason alone can be the judge of its divinity.
The careful examination of the documents, which are written in ancient
languages, would require an amount of learning which could not possibly be
a condition of salvation and acceptance with God. Miracles and prophecy are
not conclusive, for how are we to distinguish the true among them from
the false? If we turn from the external to the internal criteria of the
doctrines themselves, even here no decision can be reached between the
reasons _pro_ and _con_ (the author puts the former into the mouth of a
believer, and the latter into that of a rationalist); even if the former
outweighed the latter, the difficulty would still remain of reconciling it
with God's goodness and justice that the gospel has not reached so many of
mankind, and of explaining how those to whom the divinity of Christ is
now proclaimed can convince themselves of it, while his contemporaries
misjudged and crucified him. In my opinion, I am incapable of fathoming the
truth of the Christian religion and its value to those who confess it. The
investigation of the reason ends in "reverential doubt": I neither accept
revelation nor reject it, but I reject the obligation to accept it. My
heart, however, judges otherwise than the reflection of my intellect; for
this the sacred majesty and exalted simplicity of the Scriptures are a most
cogent proof that they are more than human, and that He whose history they
contain is more than man. The touching grace and profound wisdom of his
words, the gentleness of his conduct, the loftiness of his maxims, his
mastery over his passions, abundantly prove that he was neither an
enthusiast nor an ambitious sectary. Socrates lived and died like a
philosopher, Jesus like a God. The virtues of justice, patriotism, and
moderation taught by Socrates, had been exercised by the great men of
Greece before he inculcated them. But whence could Jesus derive in his time
and country that lofty morality which he alone taught and exemplified?
Things of this sort are not invented. The inventor of such deeds would
be more wonderful than the doer of them. Thus again, in the question of
revealed religion, the voice of the heart triumphs over the doubts of the
reason, as, in the question of natural religion, it had done over the
objections of opponents. It is true, however, that this enthusiasm is
paid not to the current Christianity of the priests, but to I the real
Christianity of the gospel.

Rousseau was the conscience of France, which rebelled against the negations
and the bald emptiness of the materialistic and atheistic doctrines. By
vindicating with fervid eloquence the participation of the whole man in
the highest questions, in opposition to the one-sided illumination of the
understanding, he became a pre-Kantian defender of the faith of practical
reason. His emphatic summons aroused a loud and lasting echo, especially in
Germany, in the hearts of Goethe, Kant, and Fichte.



In the contemporaries Spinoza and Locke, the two schools of modern
philosophy, the Continental, starting from Descartes, and the English,
which followed Bacon, had reached the extreme of divergence and opposition,
Spinoza was a rationalistic pantheist, Locke, an empirical individualist.
With Leibnitz a twofold approximation begins. As a rationalist he sides
with Spinoza against Locke, as an individualist with Locke against Spinoza.
But he not only separated rationalism from pantheism, but also qualified
it by the recognition (which his historical tendencies had of themselves
suggested to him) of a relative justification for empiricism, since he
distinguished the factual truths of experience from the necessary truths of
reason, gave to the former a noëtical principle of their own, the principle
of sufficient reason, and made sensation an indispensable step to thought.

To the tendencies thus manifested toward a just estimation and peaceful
reconciliation of opposing standpoints, Leibnitz remained true in all the
fields to which he devoted his activity. Thus, in the sphere of religion,
he took an active part in the negotiations looking toward the reunion of
the Protestant and Catholic Churches, as well as in those concerning the
union of the Lutheran and the Reformed. Himself a stimulating man, he yet
needed stimulation from without. He was an astonishingly wide reader, and
declared that he had never found a book that did not contain something
of value. With a ready adaptability to the ideas of others he combined a
remarkable power of transformative appropriation; he read into books more
than stood written in them. The versatility of his genius was unlimited:
jurist, historian, diplomat, mathematician, physical scientist, and
philosopher, and in addition almost a theologian and a philologist--he is
not only at home in all these departments, because versed in them, but
everywhere contributes to their advancement by original ideas and plans. In
such a combination of productive genius and wealth of knowledge Aristotle
and Leibnitz are unapproached.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz was born in 1646 at Leipsic, where his father
(Friederich Leibnitz, died 1652) was professor of moral philosophy; in his
fifteenth year he entered the university of his native city, with law as
his principal subject. Besides law, he devoted himself with quite as much
of ardor to philosophy under Jacob Thomasius (died 1684, the father of
Christian Thomasius), and to mathematics under E. Weigel in Jena. In 1663
(with a dissertation entitled _De Principio Individui_) he became Bachelor,
in 1664 Master of Philosophy, and in 1666, at Altdorf, Doctor of Laws, and
then declined the professorship extraordinary offered him in the latter
place. Having made the acquaintance of the former minister of the Elector
of Mayence, Freiherr von Boineburg, in Nuremberg, he went, after a short
stay at Frankfort-on-the-Main, to the court of the Elector at Mayence, at
whose request he devoted himself to the reform of legal procedure, besides
writing, while there, on the most diverse subjects. In 1672 he went to
Paris, where he remained during four years with the exception of a short
stay in London. The special purpose of the journey to Paris--to persuade
Louis XIV to undertake a campaign in Egypt, in order to divert him from his
designs upon Germany--was not successful; but Leibnitz was captivated
by the society of the Parisian scholars, among them the mathematician,
Huygens. From the end of 1676 until his death in 1716 Leibnitz lived
in Hanover, whither he had been called by Johann Friedrich, as court
councillor and librarian. The successor of this prince, Ernst August, who,
with his wife Sophie, and his daughter Sophie Charlotte, showed great
kindness to the philosopher, wished him to write a history of the princely
house of Brunswick; and a journey which he made in order to study for this
purpose was extended as far as Vienna and Rome. Upon his return he took
charge of the Wolfenbüttel library in addition to his other engagements.

The marriage of the Princess Sophie Charlotte with Frederick of
Brandenburg, the first king of Prussia, brought Leibnitz into close
relations with Berlin. At his suggestion the Academy (Society) of Sciences
was founded there in 1700, and he himself became its first president. In
Charlottenburg he worked on his principal work, the _New Essays concerning
the Human Understanding_, which was aimed at Locke, but the publication of
which was deferred on account of the death of the latter in the interim
(1704), and did not take place until 1765, in Raspe's collective edition.
The death of the Prussian queen in 1705 interrupted for several years the
_Theodicy_, which had been undertaken at her request, and which did not
appear until 1710. In Vienna, where he resided in 1713-14, Leibnitz
composed a short statement of his system for Prince Eugen; this, according
to Gerhardt, was not the sketch in ninety paragraphs, familiar under the
title _Monadology_, which was first published in the original by J.E.
Erdmann in his excellent _Complete Edition of the Philosophical Works
of Leibnitz_, 1840, but the _Principles of Nature and of Grace_, which
appeared two years after the author's death in _L'Europe Savante_.
While Ernst August, as well as the German emperor and Peter the Great,
distinguished the philosopher, who was not indifferent to such honors, by
the bestowal of titles and preferments, his relations with the Hanoverian
court, which until then had been so cordial, grew cold after the Elector
Georg Ludwig ascended the English throne as George I. The letters
which Leibnitz interchanged with his daughter-in-law, gave rise to the
correspondence, continued to his death, with Clarke, who defended the
theology of Newton against him. The contest for priority between Leibnitz
and Newton concerning the invention of the differential calculus was later
settled by the decision that Newton invented his method of fluxions first,
but that Leibnitz published his differential calculus earlier and in a more
perfect form. The variety of pursuits in which Leibnitz was engaged was
unfavorable to the development and influence of his philosophy, in that it
hindered him from working out his original ideas in systematic form, and
left him leisure only for the composition of shorter essays. Besides the
two larger works mentioned above, the _New Essays_ and the _Theodicy_, we
have of philosophical works by Leibnitz only a series of private letters,
and articles for the scientific journals (the _Journal des Savants_ in
Paris, and the _Acta Eruditorum_ in Leipsic, etc.), among which may be
mentioned as specially important the _New System of Nature, and of the
Interaction of Substances as well as of the Union which exists between the
Soul and the Body_, 1695, which was followed during the next year by three
explanations of it, and the paper _De Ipsa Natura_, 1698. Previous to
Erdmann (1840) the following had deserved credit for their editions of
Leibnitz: Feller, Kortholt, Gruber, Raspe, Dutens, Feder, Guhrauer (the
German works), and since Erdmann, Pertz, Foucher de Careil, Onno Klopp, and
especially J.C. Gerhardt. The last named published the mathematical
works in seven volumes in 1849-63, and recently, Berlin, 1875-90, the
philosophical treatises, also in seven volumes.[1] In our account of the
philosophy of Leibnitz we begin with the fundamental metaphysical concepts,
pass next to his theory of living beings and of man (theory of knowledge
and ethics), and close with his inquiries into the philosophy of religion.

[Footnote 1: We have a life of Leibnitz by G.E. Guhrauer, jubilee edition,
Breslau, 1846 [Mackie's _Life_, Boston, 1845 is based on Guhrauer]. Among
recent works on Leibnitz, we note the little work by Merz, Blackwood's
Philosophical Classics, 1884, and Ludwig Stein's _Leibniz und Spinoza_,
Berlin, 1890, in which with the aid of previously unedited material the
relations of Leibnitz to Spinoza (whom he visited at The Hague on his
return journey from Paris) are discussed, and the attempt is made to trace
the development of the theory of monads, down to 1697. The new exposition
of the Leibnitzian monadology by Ed. Dillman, which has just appeared,
we have not yet been able to examine [The English reader may be referred
further to Dewey's _Leibniz_ in Griggs's Philosophical Classics, 1888, and
Duncan's _Philosophical Works of Leibnitz_ (selections translated,
with notes), New Haven, 1890, as well as to the work of Merz already

%1. Metaphysics: the Monads, Representation, the Pre-established Harmony;
the Laws of Thought and of the World.%

Leibnitz develops his new concept of substance, the monad,[1] in
conjunction with, yet in opposition to, the Cartesian and the atomistic
conceptions. The Cartesians are right when they make the concept of
substance the cardinal point in metaphysics and explain it by the concept
of independence. But they are wrong in their further definition of this
second concept. If we take independence in the sense of unlimitedness and
aseity, we can speak, as the example of Spinoza shows, of only one, the
divine substance. If the Spinozistic result is to be avoided, we must
substitute independent action for independent existence, self-activity
for self-existence. Substance is not that which exists through itself
(otherwise there would be no finite substances), but that which acts
through itself, or that which contains in itself the ground of its changing
states. Substance is to be defined by active force,[2] by which we mean
something different from and better than the bare possibility or capacity
of the Scholastics. The _potentia sive facultas_, in order to issue into
action, requires positive stimulation from without, while the _vis activa_
(like an elastic body) sets itself in motion whenever no external hindrance
opposes. Substance is a being capable of action (_la substance est un être
capable d'action_). With the equation of activity and existence (_quod non
agit, non existit_) the substantiality which Spinoza had taken away from
individual things is restored to them: they are active, consequently, in
spite of their limitedness, substantial beings (_quod agit, est substantia
singularis_). Because of its inner activity every existing thing is a
determinate individual, and different from every other being. Substance is
an individual being endowed with force.

[Footnote 1: According to L. Stein's conjecture, Leibnitz took the
expression Monad, which he employs after 1696, from the younger (Franc.
Mercurius) van Helmont.]

[Footnote 2: Francis Glisson (1596-1677, professor of medicine in Cambridge
and London) had as early as 1671, conceived substances as forces in his
treatise _De Natura Substantiae Energetica_. That Glisson influenced
Leibnitz, as maintained by H. Marion (Paris, 1880), has not been proven;
cf. L. Stein, p. 184.]

The atomists are right when they postulate for the explanation of
phenomenal bodies simple, indivisible, eternal units, for every composite
consists of simple parts. But they are wrong when they regard these
invisible, minute corpuscles, which are intended to subserve this purpose
as indivisible: everything that is material, however small it be, is
divisible to infinity, nay, is in fact endlessly divided. If we are to find
indivisible units, we must pass over into the realm of the immaterial and
come to the conclusion that bodies are composed of immaterial constituents.
Physical points, the atoms, are physical, but not points; mathematical
points are indivisible, but not real; metaphysical or substantial
points, the incorporeal, soul-like units, alone combine in themselves
indivisibility and reality--the monads are the true atoms. Together with
indivisibility they possess immortality; as it is impossible for them to
arise and perish through the combination and separation of parts, they
cannot come into being or pass out of it in any natural way whatever, but
only by creation or annihilation. Their non-spatial or punctual character
implies the impossibility of all external influence, the monad develops its
states from its own inner nature, has need of no other thing, is sufficient
unto itself, and therefore deserves the Aristotelian name, entelechy.

Thus two lines of thought combine in the concept of the monad. Gratefully
recognizing the suggestions from both sides, Leibnitz called Cartesianism
the antechamber of the true philosophy, and atomism the preparation for
the theory of monads. From the first it followed that the substances were
self-acting forces; from the second, that they were immaterial units.
Through the combination of both determinations we gain information
concerning the kind of force or activity which constitutes the being of the
monad: the monads are representative forces. There is nothing truly real in
the world save the monads and their representations [ideas, perceptions].

In discussing the representation in which the being and activity of the
monads consist, we must not think directly of the conscious activity of
the human soul. Representation has in Leibnitz a wider meaning than that
usually associated with the word. The distinction, which has become of the
first importance for psychology, between mere representation and conscious
representation, or between perception and apperception, may be best
explained by the example of the sound of the waves. The roar which we
perceive in the vicinity of the sea-beach is composed of the numerous
sounds of the single waves. Each single sound is of itself too small to be
heard; nevertheless it must make an impression on us, if only a small one,
since otherwise their total--as a sum of mere nothings--could not be
heard. The sensation which the motion of the single wave causes is a weak,
confused, unconscious, infinitesimal perception (_petite, insensible
perception_), which must be combined with many similar minute sensations
in order to become strong and distinct, or to rise above the threshold of
consciousness. The sound of the single wave is felt, but not distinguished,
is perceived, but not apperceived. These obscure states of unconscious
representation, which are present in the mind of man along with states of
clear consciousness, make up, in the lowest grade of existence, the whole
life of the monad. There are beings which never rise above the condition of
deep sleep or stupor.

In conformity with this more inclusive meaning, perception is defined as
the representation of the external in the internal, of multiplicity in
unity _(representatio multitudinis in unitate_). The representing being,
without prejudice to its simplicity, bears in itself a multitude of
relations to external things. What now is the manifold, which is expressed,
perceived, or represented, in the unit, the monad? It is the whole world.
Every monad represents all others in itself, is a concentrated all, the
universe in miniature. Each individual contains an infinity in itself
_(substantia infinitas actiones simul exercet_) and a supreme intelligence,
for which every obscure idea would at once become distinct, would be able
to read in a single monad the whole universe and its history--all that is,
has been, or will be; for the past has left its traces behind it, and
the future will bring nothing not founded in the present: the monad is
freighted with the past and bears the future in its bosom. Every monad is
thus a mirror of the universe,[1] but a living mirror (_miror vivant de
l'univers_), which generates the images of things by its own activity
or develops them from inner germs, without experiencing influences from
without. The monad has no windows through which anything could pass in or
out, but in its action is dependent only on God and on itself.

[Footnote 1: The objection has been made against Leibnitz, and not without
reason, that strictly speaking there is no content for the representation
of the monads, although he appears to offer them the richest of all
contents, the whole world. The "All" which he makes them represent is
itself nothing but a sum of beings, also representative. The objects of
representation are merely representing subjects; the monad A represents the
monads from B to Z, while these in turn do nothing more than represent one
another. The monad mirrors mirrors--where is the thing that is mirrored?
The essence of substance consists in being related to others, which
themselves are only points of relation; amid mere relativities we never
reach a real. That which prevented Leibnitz himself from recognizing this
empty formalism was, no doubt, the fact that for him the mere form of
representation was at once filled with a manifold experiential content,
with the whole wealth of spiritual life, and that the quantitative
differences in representation, which for him meant also degrees of feeling,
desire, action, and progress, imperceptibly took on the qualitative
vividness of individual characteristics. Moreover, it must not be
overlooked that the spiritual beings represent not merely the universe but
the Deity as well, hence a very rich object.]

All monads represent the same universe, but each one represents it
differently, that is, from its particular point of view--represents that
which is near at hand distinctly, and that which is distant confusedly.
Since they all reflect the same content or object, their difference
consists only in the energy or degree of clearness in their
representations. So far then, as their action consists in representation,
distinct representation evidently coincides with complete, unhindered
activity, confused representation with arrested activity, or passivity.
The clearer the representations of a monad the more active it is. To have
clear and distinct perceptions only is the prerogative of God; to the
Omnipresent everything is alike near. He alone is pure activity; all
finite beings are passive as well, that is, so far as their perceptions are
not clear and distinct. Retaining the Aristotelian-Scholastic terminology,
Leibnitz calls the active principle form, the passive matter, and makes the
monad, since it is not, like God, _purus actus_ and pure form, consist of
form (entelechy, soul) and matter. This matter, as a constituent of the
monad, does not mean corporeality, but only the ground for the arrest of
its activity. The _materia prima_ (the principle of passivity in the monad)
is the ground, the _materia secunda_ (the phenomenon of corporeal mass) the
result of the indistinctness of the representations. For a group of monads
appears as a body when it is indistinctly perceived. Whoever deprives the
monad of activity falls into the error of Spinoza; whoever takes away
its passivity or matter falls into the opposite error, for he deifies
individual beings.

No monad represents the common universe and its individual parts just as
well as the others, but either better or worse. There are as many
different degrees of clearness and distinctness as there are monads.

Nevertheless certain classes may be distinguished. By distinguishing
between clear and obscure perceptions, and in the former class between
distinct and confused ones--a perception is clear when it is sufficiently
distinguished from others, distinct when its component parts are thus
distinguished--Leibnitz reaches three principal grades. Lowest stand the
simple or naked monads, which never rise above obscure and unconscious
perception and, so to speak, pass their lives in a swoon or sleep. If
perception rises into conscious feeling, accompanied by memory, then
the monad deserves the name of soul. And if the soul rises to
self-consciousness and to reason or the knowledge of universal truth, it
is called spirit. Each higher stage comprehends the lower, since even in
spirits many perceptions remain obscure and confused. Hence it was an error
when the Cartesians made thought or conscious activity--by which, it is
true, the spirit is differentiated from the lower beings--to such a degree
the essence of spirit that they believed it necessary to deny to it all
unconscious perceptions.

From perception arises appetition, not as independent activity, but as a
modification of perception; it is nothing but the tendency to pass from one
perception to another (_l'appetit est la tendance d'une perception à
une autre_); impulse is perception in process of becoming. Where the
perceptions are conscious and rational appetition rises into will. All
monads are self-active or act spontaneously, but only the thinking ones are
free. Freedom is the spontaneity of spirits. Freedom does not consist in
undetermined choice, but in action without external compulsion according to
the laws of one's own being. The monad develops its representations out of
itself, from the germs which form its nature. The correspondence of
the different pictures of the world, however, is grounded in a divine
arrangement, through which the natures of the monads have from the
beginning been so adapted to one another that the changes in their states,
although they take place in each according to immanent laws and without
external influence, follow an exactly parallel course, and the result is
the same as though there were a constant mutual interaction. This general
idea of a _pre-established harmony_ finds special application in the
problem of the interaction between body and soul. Body and soul are like
two clocks so excellently constructed that, without needing to be regulated
by each other, they show exactly the same time. Over the numberless lesser
miracles with which occasionalism burdened the Deity, the one great miracle
of the pre-established harmony has an undeniable advantage. As one great
miracle it is more worthy of the divine wisdom than the many lesser ones,
nay, it is really no miracle at all, since the harmony does not interfere
with natural laws, but yields them. This idea may even be freed from its
theological investiture and reduced to the purely metaphysical expression,
that the natures of the monads, by which the succession of their
representations is determined in conformity with law, consist in nothing
else than the sum of relations in which this individual thing stands to all
other parts of the world, wherein each member takes account of all others
and at the same time is considered by them, and thus exerts influence
as well as suffers it. In this way the external idea of an artificial
adaptation is avoided. The essence of each thing is simply the position
which it occupies in the organic whole of the universe; each member is
related to every other and shares actively and passively in the life of
all the rest. The history of the universe is a single great process in
numberless reflections.

The metaphysics of Leibnitz begins with the concept of representation
and ends with the harmony of the universe. The representations were
multiplicity (the endless plurality of the represented) in unity (the unity
of the representing monad); the harmony is unity (order, congruity of the
world-image) in multiplicity (the infinitely manifold degrees of clearness
in the representations). All monads represent the same universe; each one
mirrors it differently. The unity, as well as the difference, could not be
greater than it is; every possible degree of distinctness of representation
is present in each single monad, and yet there is a single harmonic accord
in which the unnumbered tones unite. Now order amid diversity, unity in
variety make up the concept of beauty and perfection. If, then, this world
shows, as it does, the greatest unity in the greatest multiplicity, so that
there is nothing wanting and nothing superfluous, it is the most perfect,
the best of all possible worlds. Even the lowest grades contribute to the
perfection of the whole; their disappearance would mean a hiatus; and if
the unclear and confused representations appear imperfect when considered
in themselves, yet they are not so in reference to the whole; for just on
this fact, that the monad is arrested in its representation or is passive,
_i.e._, conforms itself to the others and subordinates itself to them, rest
the order and connection of the world. Thus the idea of harmony forms the
bridge between the Monadology and optimism.

As in regard to the harmony of the universe we found it possible to
distinguish between a half-mythical, narrative form of presentation and a
purely abstract conception, so we may make a similar distinction in the
doctrine of creation. This actual world has been chosen by God as the best
among many other conceivable worlds. Through the will of God the monads of
which the world consists attained their reality; as possibilities or
ideas they were present in the mind of God (as it were, prior to their
actualization), present, too, with all the distinctive properties and
perfections that they now exhibit in a state of realization, so that their
merely possible or conceivable being had the same content as their actual
being, and their essence is not altered or increased by their existence.
Now, since the impulse toward actualization dwells in every possible
essence, and is the more justifiable the more perfect the essence, a
competition goes on before God, in which, first, those monod-possibilities
unite which are mutually compatible or compossible, and, then, among the
different conceivable combinations of monads or worlds that one is ordained
for entrance into existence which shows the greatest possible sum of
perfection. It was, therefore, not the perfection of the single monad, but
the perfection of the system of which it forms a necessary part, that was
decisive as to its admission into existence. The best world was known
through God's wisdom, chosen through his goodness, and realized through his
power.[1] The choice was by no means arbitrary, but wholly determined by
the law of fitness or of the best (_principe du meilleur_); God's will must
realize that which his understanding recognizes as most perfect. It is at
once evident that in the competition of the possible worlds the victory of
the best was assured by the _lex melioris_, apart from the divine decision.

[Footnote 1: In regard to the dependence of the world on God, there is a
certain conflict noticeable in Leibnitz between the metaphysical interests
involved in the substantiality of individual beings, together with the
moral interests involved in guarding against fatalism, and the opposing
interests of religion. On the one side, creation is for him only an
actualization of finished, unchangeable possibilities, on the other, he
teaches with the mediaeval philosophers that this was not accomplished by a
single act of realization, that the world has need of conservation, _i.e._,
of continuous creation.]

This law is the special expression of a more general one, the principle
of sufficient reason, which Leibnitz added, as of equal authority, to the
Aristotelian laws of thought. Things or events are real (and assertions
true) when there is a sufficient reason for their existence, and for their
determinate existence. The _principium rationis sufficientis_ governs our
empirical knowledge of contingent truths or truths of fact, while, on
the other hand, the pure rational knowledge of necessary or eternal
(mathematical and metaphysical) truths rests on the _principium
contradictionis_. The principle of contradiction asserts, that is, whatever
contains a contradiction is false or impossible; whatever contains no
contradiction is possible; that whose opposite contains a contradiction
is necessary. Or positively formulated as the principle of identity,
everything and every representative content is identical with itself.[2]
Upon this antithesis between the rational laws of contradiction and
sufficient reason--which, however, is such only for us men, while the
divine spirit, which cognizes all things _a priori_, is able to reduce even
the truths of fact to the eternal truths--Leibnitz bases his distinction
between two kinds of necessity. That is metaphysically necessary whose
opposite involves a contradiction; that is morally necessary or contingent
which, on account of its fitness, is preferred by God to its (equally
conceivable) opposite. To the latter class belongs, further, the physically
necessary: the necessity of the laws of nature is only a conditional
necessity (conditioned by the choice of the best); they are contingent
truths or truths of fact. The principle of sufficient reason holds for
efficient as well as for final causes, and between the two realms there is,
according to Leibnitz, the most complete correspondence. In the material
world every particular must be explained in a purely mechanical way, but
the totality of the laws of nature, the universal mechanism itself, cannot
in turn be mechanically explained, but only on the basis of finality, so
that the mechanical point of view is comprehended in, and subordinated
to, the teleological. Thus it becomes clear how Leibnitz in the _ratio
sufficiens_ has final causes chiefly in mind.

[Footnote 2: Within the knowledge of reason, as well as in experiential
knowledge, a further distinction is made between primary truths (which
need no proof) and derived truths. The highest truths of reason are the
identical principles, which are self-evident; from these intuitive truths
all others are to be derived by demonstration--proof is analysis and, as
free from contradictions, demonstration. The primitive truths of experience
are the immediate facts of consciousness; whatever is inferred from them is
less certain than demonstrative knowledge. Nevertheless experience is not
to be estimated at a low value; it is through it alone that we can assure
ourselves of the reality of the objects of thought, while necessary truths
guarantee only that a predicate must be ascribed to a subject (_e.g._, a
circle), but make no deliverance as to whether this subject exists or not.]

To the broad and comprehensive tendency which is characteristic of
Leibnitz's thinking, philosophy owes a further series of general laws,
which all stand in the closest relation to one another and to his
monadological and harmonistic principles, viz., the law of continuity, the
law of analogy, the law of the universal dissimilarity of things or of the
identity of indiscernibles, and, finally, the law of the conservation of

The most fundamental of these laws is the _lex continui_. On the one hand,
it forbids every leap, on the other, all repetition in the series of beings
and the series of events. Member must follow member without a break and
without superfluous duplication; in the scale of creatures, as in the
course of events, absolute continuity is the rule. Just as in the monad one
state continually develops from another, the present one giving birth
to the future, as it has itself grown out of the past, just as nothing
persists, as nothing makes its entrance suddenly or without the way being
prepared for it, and as all extremes are bound together by connecting
links and gradual transitions,--so the monad itself stands in a continuous
gradation of beings, each of which is related to and different from each.
Since the beings and events form a single uninterrupted series, there are
no distinctions of kind in the world, but only distinctions in degree. Rest
and motion are not opposites, for rest may be considered as infinitely
minute motion; the ellipse and the parabola are not qualitatively
different, for the laws which hold for the one may be applied to the other.
Likeness is vanishing unlikeness, passivity arrested activity, evil a
lesser good, confused ideas simply less distinct ones, animals men with
infinitely little reason, plants animals with vanishing consciousness,
fluidity a lower degree of solidity, etc. In the whole world similarity
and correspondence rule, and it is everywhere the same as here--between
apparent opposites there is a distinction in degree merely, and hence,
analogy. In the macrocosm of the universe things go on as in the microcosm
of the monad; every later state of the world is prefigured in the earlier,
etc. If, on the one side, the law of analogy follows as a consequence from
the law of continuity, on the other, we have the _principium (identitatis)
indiscernibilium_. As nature abhors gaps, so also it avoids the
superfluous. Every grade in the series must be represented, but none more
than once. There are no two things, no two events which are entirely alike.
If they were exactly alike they would not be two, but one. The distinction
between them is never merely numerical, nor merely local and temporal, but
always an intrinsic difference: each thing is distinguished from every
other by its peculiar nature. This law holds both for the truly real (the
monads) and for the phenomenal world--you will never find two leaves
exactly alike. By the law of the conservation of force, Leibnitz corrects
the Cartesian doctrine of the conservation of motion, and approaches the
point of view of the present day. According to Descartes it is the sum of
actual motions, which remains constant; according to Leibnitz, the sum of
the active forces; while, according to the modern theory, it is the sum of
the active and the latent or potential forces--a distinction, moreover, of
which Leibnitz himself made use.

We now turn from the formal framework of general laws, to the actual, to
that which, obeying these laws, constitutes the living content of the

%2. The Organic World.%

A living being is a machine composed of an infinite number of organs. The
natural machines formed by God differ from the artificial machines made by
the hand of man, in that, down to their smallest parts, they consist of
machines. Organisms are complexes of monads, of which one, the soul, is
supreme, while the rest, which serve it, form its body. The dominant monad
is distinguished from those which surround it as its body by the greater
distinctness of its ideas. The supremacy of the soul-monad consists in this
one superior quality, that it is more active and more perfect, and clearly
reflects that which the body-monads represent but obscurely. A direct
interaction between soul and body does not take place; there is only a
complete correspondence, instituted by God. He foresaw that the soul at
such and such a moment would have the sensation of warmth, or would wish an
arm-motion executed, and has so ordered the development of the body-monads
that, at the same instant, they appear to cause this sensation and to
obey this impulse to move. Now, since God in this foreknowledge and
accommodation naturally paid more regard to the perfect beings, to the more
active and more distinctly perceiving monads than to the less perfect ones,
and subordinated the latter, as means and conditions, to the former
as ends, the soul, prior to creation, actually exercised an ideal
influence--through the mind of God--upon its body. Its activity is the
reason why in less perfect monads a definite change, a passion takes place,
since the action was attainable only in this way, "compossible" with this
alone.[1] The monads which constitute the body are the first and direct
object of the soul; it perceives them more distinctly than it perceives,
through them, the rest of the external world. In view of the close
connection of the elements of the organism thus postulated, Leibnitz, in
the discussions with Father Des Bosses concerning the compatibility of
the Monadology with the doctrine of the Church, especially with the real
presence of the body of Christ in the Supper, consented, in favor of
the dogma, to depart from the assumption that the simple alone could be
substantial and to admit the possibility of composite substances, and of a
"substantial bond" connecting the parts of living beings. It appears least
in contradiction with the other principles of the philosopher to assign the
rôle of this _vinculum substantiate_ to the soul or central monad itself.

[Footnote 1: Cf. Gustav Class, _Die metaphysischen Voraussetzungen des
Leibnizischen Determinismus_, Tübingen, 1874.]

Everything in nature is organized; there are no soulless bodies, no dead
matter. The smallest particle of dust is peopled with a multitude of living
beings and the tiniest drop of water swarms with organisms: every portion
of matter may be compared to a pond filled with fish or a garden full of
plants. This denial of the inorganic does not release our philosopher from
the duty of explaining its apparent existence. If we thoughtfully consider
bodies, we perceive that there is nothing lifeless and non-representative.
But the phenomenon of extended mass arises for our confused sensuous
perception, which perceives the monads composing a body together and
regards them as a continuous unity. Body exists only as a confused idea
in the feeling subject; since, nevertheless, a reality without the mind,
namely, an immaterial monad-aggregate, corresponds to it, the phenomenon
of body is a well-founded one _(phenomenon bene fundatum)_. As matter is
merely something present in sensation or confused representation, so space
and time are also nothing real, neither substances nor properties, but only
ideal things--the former the order of coexistences, the latter the order of

If there are no soulless bodies, there are also no bodiless souls; the soul
is always joined with an aggregate of subordinate monads, though not always
with the same ones. Single monads are constantly passing into its body,
or into its service, while others are passing out; it is involved in a
continuous process of bodily transformation. Usually the change goes on
slowly and with a constant replacement of the parts thrown off. If it takes
place quickly men call it birth or death. Actual death there is as little
as there is an actual genesis; not the soul only, but every living thing
is imperishable. Death is decrease and involution, birth increase and
evolution. The dying creature loses only a portion of its bodily machine
and so returns to the slumberous or germinal condition of "involution",
in which it existed before birth, and from which it was aroused through
conception to development. Pre-existence as well as post-existence must
be conceded both to animals and to men. Leuwenhoek's discovery of the
spermatozoa furnished a welcome confirmation for this doctrine, that all
individuals have existed since the beginning of the world, at least as
preformed germs. The immortality of man, conformably to his superior
dignity, differs from the continued existence of all monads, in that after
his death he retains memory and the consciousness of his moral personality.

%3. Man: Cognition and Volition.%

In reason man possesses reflection or self-consciousness as well as the
knowledge of God, of the universal, and of the eternal truths or _a priori_
knowledge, while the animal is limited in its perception to experience,
and in its reasoning to the connection of perceptions in accordance with
memory. Man differs from higher beings in that the majority of his
ideas are confused. Under confused ideas Leibnitz includes both
sense-perceptions--anyone who has distinct ideas alone, as God, has no
sense-perceptions--and the feelings which mediate between the former and
the perfectly distinct ideas of rational thought. The delight of music
depends, in his opinion, on an unconscious numbering and measuring of
the harmonic and rhythmic relations of tones, aesthetic enjoyment of
the beautiful in general, and even sensuous pleasure, on the confused
perception of a perfection, order, or harmony.

The application of the _lex continui_ to the inner life has a very wide
range. The principal results are: (1) the mind always thinks; (2) every
present idea postulates a previous one from which it has arisen; (3)
sensation and thought differ only in degree; (4) in the order of time, the
ideas of sense precede those of reason. We are never wholly without ideas,
only we are often not conscious of them. If thought ceased in deep sleep,
we could have no ideas on awakening, since every representation proceeds
from a preceding one, even though it be unconscious.

In the thoughtful _New Essays concerning the Human Understanding_ Leibnitz
develops his theory of knowledge in the form of a polemical commentary
to Locke's chief work.[1] According to Descartes some ideas (the pure
concepts) are innate, according to Locke none, according to Leibnitz all.
Or: according to Descartes some ideas (sensuous perceptions) come from
without, according to Locke all do so, according to Leibnitz none.
Leibnitz agrees with Descartes against Locke in the position that the mind
originally possesses ideas; he agrees with Locke against Descartes, that
thought is later than sensation and the knowledge of universals later
than that of particulars. The originality which Leibnitz attributes to
intellectual ideas is different from that which Descartes had ascribed and
Locke denied to them. They are original in that they do not come into the
soul and are not impressed upon it from without; they are not original in
that they can develop only from previously given sense-ideas; again, they
are original in that they can be developed from confused ideas only because
they are contained in them _implicite_ or as pre-dispositions.
Thus Leibnitz is able to agree with both his predecessors up to a certain
point: with the one, that the pure concepts have their origin within the
mind; with the other, that they are not the earliest knowledge, but are
conditioned by sensations. This synthesis, however, was possible only
because Leibnitz looked on sensation differently from both the others. If
sensation is to be the mother of thought, and the latter at the same time
to preserve its character as original, _i.e._, as something not obtained
from without, sensation must, first, include an unconscious thinking in
itself, and, secondly, must itself receive a title to originality and
spontaneity. As the Catholic dogma added the immaculate conception of the
mother to that of the Son, so Leibnitz transfers the (virginal) origin of
rational concepts, independent of external influence, to sensations. The
monad has no windows. It bears germinally in itself all that it is to
experience, and nothing is impressed on it from without. The intellect
should not be compared to a blank tablet, but to a block of marble in whose
veins the outlines of the statue are prefigured. Ideas can only arise from
ideas, never from external impressions or movements of corporeal parts.
Thus _all_ ideas are innate in the sense that they grow from inner germs;
we possess them from the beginning, not developed (_explicite_), but
potentially, that is, we have the capacity to produce them. The old
Scholastic principle that "there is nothing in the understanding which was
not previously in sense" is entirely correct, only one must add, except the
understanding itself, that is, the faculty of developing our knowledge
out of ourselves. Thought lies already dormant in perception. With the
mechanical position (sensuous representation precedes and conditions
rational thought) is joined the teleological position (sensuous
representations exist, in order to render the origin of thoughts possible),
and with this purposive determination, sensation attains a higher dignity:
it is more than has been seen in it before, for it includes in itself the
future concept of the understanding in an unconscious form, nay, it is
itself an imperfect thought, a thought in process of becoming. Sensation
and thought are not different in kind, and if the former is called a
passive state, still passivity is nothing other than diminished activity.
Both are spontaneous; thought is merely spontaneous in a higher degree.

[Footnote 1: A careful comparison of Locke's theory of knowledge with
that of Leibnitz is given by G. Hartenstein, _Abhandlungen der k. sächs.
Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften_, Leipsic, 1865, included in Hartenstein's
_Historisch-philosophische Abhandlungen_, 1870.]

By making sensation and feeling the preliminary step to thought, Leibnitz
became the founder of that intellectualism which, in the system of Hegel,
extended itself far beyond the psychological into the cosmical field, and
endeavored to conceive not only all psychical phenomena but all reality
whatsoever as a development of the Idea toward itself. This conception,
which may be characterized as intellectualistic in its content, presents
itself on its formal side as a quantitative way of looking at the world,
which sacrifices all qualitative antitheses in order to arrange the
totality of being and becoming in a single series with no distinctions but
those of degree. If Leibnitz here appears as the representative of a view
of the world which found in Kant a powerful and victorious opponent, yet,
on the other hand, he prepared the way by his conception of innate ideas
for the Critique of Reason. By his theory of knowledge he forms the
transition link between Descartes and Kant, since he interprets necessary
truths not as dwelling in the mind complete and explicit from the start,
but as produced or raised into consciousness only on the occasion of
sensuous experience. It must be admitted, moreover, that this in reality
was only a restoration of Descartes's original position, _i.e._, a
deliverance of it from the misinterpretations and perversions which it
had suffered at the hands of adherents and opponents alike, but which
Descartes, it is true, had failed to render impossible from the start by
conclusive explanations. The author of the theory of innate ideas certainly
did not mean what Locke foists upon him, that the child in the cradle
already possesses the ideas of God, of thought, and of extension in full
clearness. But whether Leibnitz improved or only restored Descartes, it was
in any case an important advance when experience and thought were brought
into more definite relation, and the productive force in rational concepts
was secured to the latter and the occasion of their production to the

The unconscious or minute ideas, which in noëtics had served to break the
force of Locke's objections against the innateness of the principles of
reason, are in ethics brought into the field against indeterminism. They
are involved whenever we believe ourselves to act without cause, from pure
choice, or contrary to the motives present. In this last case, a motive
which is very strong in itself is overcome by the united power of many in
themselves weaken The will is always determined, and that by an idea (of
ends), which generally is of a very complex nature, and in which the
stronger side decides the issue. An absolute equilibrium of motives is
impossible: the world cannot be divided into two entirely similar parts
(this in opposition to "Buridan's ass"). A spirit capable of looking us
through and through would be able to calculate all our volitions and
actions beforehand.

In spite of this admitted inevitableness of our resolutions and actions,
the predicate of freedom really belongs to them, and this on two grounds.
First, they are only physically or morally, not metaphysically, necessary;
as a matter of fact, it is true, they cannot happen otherwise, but their
opposite involves no logical contradiction and remains conceivable. To
express this thought the formula, often repeated since, that our
motives only impel, incite, or stimulate the will, but do not compel it
(_inclinant, non necessitant_), was chosen, but not very happily. Secondly,
the determination of the will is an inner necessitation, grounded in the
being's own nature, not an external compulsion. The agent determines
himself in accordance with his own nature, and for this each bears the
responsibility himself, for God, when he brought the monads out of
possibility into actuality, left their natures as they had existed before
the creation in the form of eternal ideas in His understanding. Though
Leibnitz thus draws a distinction between his deterministic doctrine and
the "fatalism" of Spinoza, he recognizes a second concept of freedom, which
completely corresponds to Spinoza's. A decision is the more free the more
distinct the ideas which determine it, and a man the more free the more he
withdraws his will from the influence of the passions, _i.e._, confused
ideas, and subordinates it to that of reason. God alone is absolutely free,
because he has no ideas which are not distinct. The bridge between the
two conceptions of freedom is established by the principle that reason
constitutes the peculiar nature of man in a higher degree than the sum of
his ideas; for it is reason which distinguishes him from the lower beings.
According to the first meaning of freedom man is free, according to the
second, which coincides with activity, perfection, and morality, he should
become free.

Morality is the result of the natural development of the individual. Every
being strives after perfection or increased activity, _i.e._, after more
distinct ideas. Parallel to this theoretical advance runs a practical
advance in a twofold form: the increasing distinctness of ideas, or
enlightenment, or wisdom, raises the impulse to transitory, sensuous
pleasure into an impulse to permanent delight in our spiritual perfection,
or toward happiness, while, further, it opens up an insight into the
connection of all beings and the harmony of the world, in virtue of which
the virtuous man will seek to promote the perfection and happiness of
others as well as his own, _i.e._, will _love_ them, for to love is to find
pleasure in the happiness of others. To promote the good of all, again,
is the same as to contribute one's share to the world-harmony and to
co-operate in the fulfillment of God's purposes. Probity and piety are the
same. They form the highest of the three grades of natural right, which
Leibnitz distinguishes as _jus strictum_ (mere right, with the principle:
Injure no one), _aequitas_ (equity or charity, with the maxim: To each
his due), and _probitas sive pietas_ (honorableness joined with religion,
according to the command: Lead an upright and morally pure life). They may
also be designated as commutative, distributive, and universal justice.
Belief in God and immortality is a condition of the last.

%4. Theology and Theodicy.%

God is the ground and the end of the world. All beings strive toward him,
as all came out from him. In man the general striving toward the most
perfect Being rises into conscious love to God, which is conditioned by the
knowledge of God and produces virtuous action as its effect. Enlightenment
and virtue are the essential constituents of religion; all else, as cultus
and dogma, have only a derivative value. Religious ceremonies are an
imperfect expression of the practical element in piety, as the doctrines of
faith are a weak imitation of the theoretical. It is a direct contradiction
of the intention of the Divine Teacher when occult formulas and ceremonies,
which have no connection with virtue, are made the chief thing. The points
in which the creeds agree are more important than those by which they are
differentiated. Natural religion has found its most perfect expression in
Christianity, although paganism and Judaism had also grasped portions of
the truth. Salvation is not denied to the heathen, for moral purity is
sufficient to make one a partaker of the grace of God. The religion of the
Jews elevated monotheism, which, it is true, made its appearance among the
heathen in isolated philosophers, but was never the popular religion, into
a law; but it lacked the belief in immortality. Christianity made the
religion of the sage the religion of the people.

Whatever of positive doctrine revelation has added to natural religion
transcends the reason, it is true, but does not contradict it. It contains
no principles contrary to reason (whose opposite can be proved), but, no
doubt, principles above reason, _i.e._, such as the reason could not have
found without help from without, and which it cannot fully comprehend,
though it is able approximately to understand them and to defend them
against objections. Hence Leibnitz defended the Trinity, which he
interpreted as God's power, understanding, and will, the eternity of the
torments of hell (which brought him the commendation of Lessing), and other
dogmas. Miracles also belong among the things the how and why of which we
are not in a position to comprehend, but only the that and what. Since the
laws of nature are only physically or conditionally necessary, _i.e._ have
been enacted only because of their fitness for the purposes of God, they
may be suspended in special cases when a higher end requires it.

While the positive doctrines of faith cannot be proved--as, on the other
hand, they cannot be refuted--the principles of natural religion admit of
strict demonstration. The usual arguments for the existence of God are
useful, but need amendment. The ontological argument of Descartes, that
from the concept of a most perfect Being his existence follows, is
correct so soon as the idea of God is shown to be possible or free from
contradiction. The cosmological proof runs: Contingent beings point to a
necessary, self-existent Being, the eternal truths especially presuppose an
eternal intelligence in which they exist. If we ask why anything whatever,
or why just this world exists, this ultimate ground of things cannot be
found within the world. Every contingent thing or event has its cause in
another. However far we follow out the series of conditions, we never reach
an ultimate, unconditioned cause. Consequently the sufficient reason for
the series must be situated without the world, and, as is evident from the
harmony of things, can only be an infinitely wise and good Being. Here the
teleological proof comes in: From the finality of the world we reason to
the existence of a Being, as the author of the world, who works in view
of ends and who wills and carries out that which is best,--to the supreme
intelligence, goodness, and power of the Creator. A special inferential
value accrues to this position from the system of pre-established
harmony--it is manifest that the complete correspondence of the manifold
substances in the world, which are not connected with one another by any
direct interaction, can proceed only from a common cause endowed with
infinite intelligence and power.

The possibility of proving the existence of one omnipotent and
all-beneficent God, and the impossibility of refuting the positive
dogmas, save the harmony of faith and reason, which Bayle had denied.
The conclusion of the _New Essays_ and the opening of the _Theodicy_ are
devoted to this theme. The second part gives, also against Bayle, the
justification of God in view of the evil in the world. _Si Deus est, unde
malum_? Optimism has to reckon with the facts of experience, and to show
that this world, in spite of its undeniable imperfections, is still the
best world. God could certainly have brought into actuality a world in
which there would have been less imperfection than in ours, but it would at
the same time have contained fewer perfections. No world whatever can exist
entirely free from evil, entirely without limitation--whoever forbids God
to create imperfect beings forbids him to create a world at all. Certain
evils--in general terms, the evil of finitude--are entirely inseparable
from the concept of created beings; imperfection attaches to every created
thing as such. Other evils God has permitted because it was only through
them that certain higher goods, which ought not to be renounced, could be
brought to pass. Think of the lofty feelings, noble resolves, and great
deeds which war occasions, think of national enthusiasm, readiness for
sacrifice, and defiance of death--all these would be given over, if war
should be taken out of the world on account of the suffering which it also
brings in its train.

If we turn from the general principles to their application in detail, we
find a separate proof for the inevitableness or salutary nature of each of
the three kinds of evil--the metaphysical evil of created existence, the
physical evil of suffering (and punishment), and the moral evil of sin.
Metaphysical evil is absolutely unavoidable, if a world is to exist at all;
created beings without imperfection, finiteness, limitation, are entirely
inconceivable--something besides gods must exist. The physical evil of
misery finds its justification in that it makes for good. First of all, the
amount of suffering is not so great as it appears to discontented spirits
to be. Life is usually quite tolerable, and vouchsafes more joy and
pleasure than grief and hardship; in balancing the good and the evil we
must especially remember to reckon on the positive side the goods of
activity, of health, and all that which affords us, perchance, no
perceptible pleasure, but the removal of which would be felt as an evil
(_Theodicy_, ii. § 251). Most evils serve to secure us a much greater good,
or to ward off a still greater evil. Would a brave general, if given the
choice of leaving the battle unwounded, but also without the victory, or of
winning the victory at the cost of a wound, hesitate an instant to choose
the latter? Other troubles, again, must be regarded as punishment for sins
and as means of reformation; the man who is resigned to God's will may be
certain that the sufferings which come to him will turn out for his good.

Especially if we consider the world as a whole, it is evident that the
sum of evil vanishes before the sum of good. It is wrong to look upon the
happiness of man as the end of the world. Certainly God had the happiness
of rational beings in mind, but not this exclusively, for they form only
a part of the world, even if it be the highest part. God's purpose has
reference rather to the perfection of the whole system of the universe. Now
the harmony of the universe requires that all possible grades of reality
be represented, that there should be indistinct ideas, sense, and
corporeality, not merely a realm of spirits, and with these, conditions
of imperfection, feelings of pain, and theoretical and moral errors are
inevitably given. The connection and the order of the world demands a
material element in the monad, but happiness without alloy can never be the
lot of a spirit joined to a body. Thirdly, in regard to moral evil also we
receive the assurance that the sum of the bad is much less than that of the
good. Then, moral evil is connected with metaphysical evil: created beings
cannot be absolutely perfect, hence, also, not morally perfect or sinless.
But, in return for this, there is no being that is absolutely imperfect,
none only and entirely evil. With this is joined the well-known principle
of the earlier thinkers, that evil is nothing actual, but merely
deprivation, absence of good, lack of clear reason and force of will. That
which is real in the evil action, the power to act, is perfect and good,
and, as force, comes from God--the negative or evil element in it comes
from the agent himself; just as in the case of two ships of the same size,
but unequally laden, which drift with the current, the speed comes from the
stream and the retardation from the load of the vessels themselves. God
is not responsible for sin, for he has only permitted it, not willed it
directly, and man was already evil before he was created. The fact that God
foresaw that man would sin does not constrain the latter to commit the
evil deed, but this follows from his own (eternal) being, which God left
unaltered when he granted him existence. The guilt and the responsibility
fall wholly on the sinner himself. The permission of evil is explained by
the predominantly good results which follow from it (not, as in physical
evil, for the sufferer himself, but for others)--from the crime of Sextus
Tarquinius sprang a great kingdom with great men (of. the beautiful myth in
connection with a dialogue of Laurentius Valla, _Theodicy,_ iii. 413-416).
Finally, reference is made again to the contribution which evil makes to
the perfection of the whole. Evil has the same function in the world as the
discords in a piece of music, or the shadows in a painting--the beauty is
heightened by the contrast. The good needs a foil in order to come out
distinctly and to be felt in all its excellence.

In the Leibnitzian theodicy the least satisfactory part is the
justification of moral evil. We miss the view defended in such grand
outlines by Hegel, and so ingeniously by Fechner, that the good is not
the flower of a quiet, unmolested development, but the fruit of energetic
labor; that it has need of its opposite; that it not merely must approve
itself in the battle against evil without and within the acting subject,
but that it is only through this conflict that it is attainable at all.
Virtue implies force of will as well as purity, and force develops only
by resistance. Although he does not appreciate the full depth of the
significance of pain, Leibnitz's view of suffering deserves more approval
than his questionable application to the ethical sphere of the quantitative
view of the world, with its interpretation of evil as merely undeveloped
good. But, in any case, the compassionate contempt of the pessimism of the
day for the "shallow" Leibnitz is most unjustifiable.



%1. The Contemporaries of Leibnitz.%

The period between Kepler and Leibnitz in Germany was very poor in
noteworthy philosophical phenomena. The physicist, Christoph Sturm[1] of
Altdorf (died 1703), was a follower of Descartes, Joachim Jungius[2] (died
1657) a follower of Bacon, though not denying with the latter the value of
the mathematical method in natural science. Hieronymus Hirnhaym, Abbot at
Prague (_The Plague of the Human Race, or the Vanity of Human Learning_,
1676), declared the thirst for knowledge of his age a dangerous disease,
knowledge uncertain, since no reliance can be placed on sense-perception
and the principles of thought contradict the doctrines of faith, and
harmful, since it contributes nothing to salvation, but makes its
possessors proud and draws them away from piety. He maintained, further,
that divine authority is the only refuge for man, and moral life the true
science. Side by side with such skepticism Hirnhaym's contemporary, the
poet Angelus Silesius (Joh. Scheffler, died 1667), defended mysticism.
The teacher of natural law, Samuel Pufendorf[3] (1632-94, professor in
Heidelberg and Lund, died in Berlin), aimed to mediate between Grotius and
Hobbes. Natural law is demonstrable, its real ground is the will of God,
its noëtical ground (not revelation, but) reason and observation of the
(social) nature of man, and the fundamental law the promotion of universal
good. The individual must not violate the interests of society in
satisfying his impulse to self-preservation, because his own interests
require social existence, and, consequently, respect for its conditions.

[Footnote 1: Chr. Sturm: _Physica Conciliatrix_, 1687; _Physica Electiva_,
vol. i. 1697, vol. ii. with preface by Chr. Wolff, 1722; _Compendium
Universalium seu Metaphysica Euclidea_.]

[Footnote 2: J. Jung _Logica Hamburgiensis_, 1638; cf. Guhrauer, 1859.]

[Footnote 3: Pufendorf: _Elementa Juris Universalis_, 1660; _De Statu
Imperii Germanici_, 1667, under the pseudonym Monzambano; _De Jure Natures
et Gentium_ 1672, and an abstract of this, _De Officio Hominis et Civis_,

Pufendorf was followed by Christian Thomasius[1] (1655-1728; professor of
law at the University of Halle from its foundation in 1694). He was
the first instructor who ventured to deliver lectures in the German
language--in Leipsic from 1687--and at the same time was the editor of the
first learned journal in German (_Teutsche Monate, Geschichte der Weisheit
und Thorheit_). In Thomasius the characteristic features of the German
Illumination first came out in full distinctness, namely, the avoidance of
scholasticism in expression and argument, the direct relation of knowledge
to life, sober rationality in thinking, heedless eclecticism, and the
demand for religious tolerance. Philosophy must be generally intelligible,
and practically useful, knowledge of the world (not of God); its form, free
and tasteful ratiocination; its object, man and morals; its first duty,
culture, not learning; its highest aim, happiness; its organ and the
criterion of every truth, common sense. He alone gains true knowledge who
frees his understanding from prejudice and judges only after examining for
himself; the joy of mental peace is given to no one who does not free his
heart from foolish desires and vehement passions, and devote it to virtue,
to "rational love." The positive doctrines of Thomasius have less interest
than this general standpoint, which prefigured the succeeding period. He
divides practical philosophy into natural law which treats of the _justum_,
politics which treats of the _decorum_, and ethics which treats of the
_honestum_. Justice bids us, Do not to others what you would not that
others should do to you; decorum, Do to others as you would that they
should do to you; and morality, Do to yourself as you would that others
should do to themselves. The first two laws relate to external, the third
to internal, peace; legal duties may be enforced by compulsion, moral
duties not.

[Footnote 1: Thomasius: _Institutionum Jurisprudentiae Divinae Libri Tres_,
1688; _Fundamenta Juris Naturae et Gentium_, 1705, both in Latin; in
German, appeared in 1691-96 the _Introduction and Application of Rational
and Moral Philosophy_.]

If Thomasius was the leader of those popular philosophers who, unconcerned
about systematic continuity, discussed every question separately before
the tribunal of common sense, and found in their lack of allegiance to
any philosophical sect a sufficient guarantee of the unprejudicedness
and impartiality of their reflections, Count Walter von Tschirnhausen
(1651-1708; _Medecina Mentis sive Artis Inveniendi Praecepta Generalia_,
1687), a friend of Spinoza and Leibnitz, became the prototype of another
group of the philosophers of the Illumination. This group favored
eclecticism of a more scientific kind, by starting from considerations
of method and seeking to overcome the antithesis between rationalism and
empiricism. While fully persuaded of the validity and necessity of the
mathematical method in philosophical investigations, as well as elsewhere,
Tschirnhausen still holds it indispensable that the deductions, on the one
hand, start from empirical facts, and, on the other, that they be confirmed
by experiments. Inner experience gives us four primal facts, of which the
chief is the certainty of self-consciousness. The second, that many things
affect us agreeably and many disagreeably, is the basis of morals; the
third, that some things are comprehensible to us and others not, the
basis of logic; the fourth, that through the senses we passively receive
impressions from without, the basis of the empirical sciences, in
particular, of physics. Consequently consciousness, will, understanding,
and sensuous representation _(imaginatio)_, together with corporeality,
are our fundamental concepts. Not perception _(perceptio)_, but conception
_(conceptio)_ alone gives science; that which we can "conceive" is true;
the understanding as such cannot err, but undoubtedly the imagination can
lead us to confuse the merely perceived with that which is conceived. The
method of science is geometrical demonstration, which starts from
(genetic) definitions, and from their analysis obtains axioms, from their
combination, theorems. That which is thus proved _a priori_ must, as
already remarked, be confirmed _a posteriori_. The highest of all sciences
is natural philosophy, since it considers not sense-objects only, not (like
mathematics) the objects of reason only, but the actual itself in its true
character. Hence it is the divine science, while the human sciences busy
themselves only with our ideas or the relations of things to us.

%2. Christian Wolff.%

Christian Wolff was born at Breslau in 1679, studied theology at Jena, and
in addition mathematics and philosophy, habilitated at Leipsic in 1703,
and obtained, through the instrumentality of Leibnitz, a professorship of
mathematics at Halle, in 1706. His lectures, which soon extended themselves
over all philosophical disciplines, met with great success. This
popularity, as well as the rationalistic tendency of his thinking, aroused
the disfavor of the pietists, Francke and Lange, who succeeded, in 1723, in
securing from King Frederick William I. his removal from his chair and his
expulsion from the kingdom. Finding a refuge in Marburg, he was called back
to Halle by Frederick the Great a short time after the latter's ascension
of the throne. Here he taught and wrote zealously until his death in 1754.
In his lectures, as well as in half of his writings,[1] he followed the
example of Thomasius in using the German language, which he prepared in
a most praiseworthy manner for the expression of philosophical ideas and
furnished with a large part of the technical terms current to-day. Thus
the terms _Verhältniss_ (relation), _Vorstellung_ (representation, idea),
_Bewusstsein_ (consciousness), _stetig (continuus)_, come from Wolff, as
well as the distinction between _Kraft_ (power) and _Vermögen_ (faculty),
and between _Grund_ (ground) and _Ursache_ (cause),[2] Another great
service consisted in the reduction of the philosophy of Leibnitz to a
systematic form, by which he secured a dissemination for it which otherwise
it would scarcely have obtained. But he did not possess sufficient
originality to contribute anything remarkable of his own, and it showed
little self-knowledge when he became indignant at the designation
Leibnitzio-Wolffian philosophy, which was first used by his pupil,
Bilfinger. The alterations which he made in the doctrines of Leibnitz are
far from being improvements, and the parts which he rejected are just the
most characteristic and thoughtful of all. Such at least is the opinion
of thinkers to-day, though this mutilation and leveling down of the most
daring of Leibnitz's hypotheses was perhaps entirely advantageous for
Wolff's impression on his contemporaries; what appeared questionable to him
would no doubt have repelled them also. Leibnitz's two leading ideas, the
theory of monads and the pre-established harmony, were most of all affected
by this process of toning down. Wolff weakens the former by attributing
a representative power only to actual souls, which are capable of
consciousness, although he holds that bodies are compounded of simple
beings and that the latter are endowed with (a not further defined) force.
He limits the application of the pre-established harmony to the relation of
body and soul, which to Leibnitz was only a case especially favorable for
the illustration of the hypothesis. By such trifling the real meaning of
both these ideas is sacrificed and their bloom rubbed off.--While depth
is lacking in Wolff's thinking, he is remarkable for his power of
systematization, his persevering diligence, and his logical earnestness,
so that the praise bestowed on him by Kant, that he was the author of the
spirit of thoroughness in Germany, was well deserved. He, too, finds
the end of philosophy in the enlightenment of the understanding, the
improvement of the heart, and, ultimately, in the promotion of the
happiness of mankind. But while Thomasius demanded as a condition of such
universal intelligibility and usefulness that, discarding the scholastic
garb, philosophy should appear in the form of easy ratiocination, Wolff, on
the other hand, regards methodical procedure and certainty in results as
indispensable to its usefulness, and, in order to this certainty,
insists on distinctness of conception and cogency of proof. He demands
a _philosophia et certa et utilis_. If, finally, his methodical
deliberateness, especially in his later works, leads him into wearisome
diffuseness, this pedantry is made good by his genuinely German, honest
spirit, which manifests itself agreeably in his judgment on practical

[Footnote 1: _Reasonable Thoughts on the Powers of the Human
Understanding_, 1712; _Reasonable Thoughts on God, the World, and the
Soul of Man, also on All Things in General_, 1719 (_Notes_ to this 1724);
_Reasonable Thoughts on the Conduct of Man_, 1720; _Reasonable Thoughts on
the Social Life of Man_, 1721; _Reasonable Thoughts on the Operations of
Nature_, 1723; _Reasonable Thoughts on the Purposes of Natural Things_,
1724; _Reasonable Thoughts on the Parts of Man, Animals, and Plants_, 1725,
all in German. Besides these there are extensive Latin treatises (1728-53)
on Logic, Ontology, Cosmology, Empirical and Rational Psychology, Natural
Theology, and all branches of Practical Philosophy. Detailed extracts may
be found in Erdmann's _Versuch einer wissenschaftlichen Darstellung_, ii.
2. The best account of the Wolffian philosophy has been given by Zeller
(pp. 211-273).]

[Footnote 2: Eucken, _Geschichte der Terminologie_^ pp. 133-134.]

Wolff reaches his division of the sciences by combining the two
psychological antitheses--the higher (rational) and lower (sensuous)
faculties of cognition and appetition. On the first is based the
distinction between the rational and the empirical or historical method of
treatment. The latter concerns itself with the actual, the former with the
possible and necessary, or the grounds of the actual; the one observes and
describes, the other deduces. The antithesis of cognition and appetition
gives the basis for the division into theoretical and practical philosophy.
The former, called metaphysics, is divided into a general part, which
treats of being in general whether it be of a corporeal or a spiritual
nature, and three special parts, according to their principal subjects, the
world, the soul, and God,--hence into ontology, cosmology, psychology, and
theology. The science which establishes rules for action and regards man as
an individual being, as a citizen, and as the head or member of a family,
is divided (after Aristotle) into ethics, politics, and economics, which
are preceded by practical philosophy in general, and by natural law. The
introduction to the two principal parts is furnished by formal logic.

Philosophy is the science of the possible, _i.e._, of that which contains
no contradiction; it is science from concepts, its principle, the law of
identity, its form, demonstration, and its instrument, analysis, which in
the predicate explicates the determinations contained in the concept of the
subject. In order to confirm that which has been deduced from pure concepts
by the facts of experience, _psychologia rationalis_ is supplemented by
_psychologia empirica_, rational cosmology by empirical physics, and
speculative theology by an experimental doctrine of God (teleology). Wolff
gives no explanation how it comes about that the deliverances of the
reason agree so beautifully with the facts of experience; in his naïve,
unquestioning belief in the infallibility of the reason he is a typical

A closer examination of the Wolffian philosophy seems unnecessary, since
its most essential portions have already been discussed under Leibnitz and
since it will be necessary to recur to certain points in our chapter on
Kant. Therefore, referring the reader to the detailed accounts in Erdmann
and Zeller, we shall only note that Wolff's ethics opposes the principle
of perfection to the English principle of happiness (that is good which
perfects man's condition, and this is life in conformity with nature or
reason, with which happiness is necessarily connected); that he makes the
will determined by the understanding, and assigns ignorance as the cause of
sin; that his philosophy of religion, which argues for a natural religion
in addition to revealed religion (experiential and rational proofs for the
existence of God, and a deduction of his attributes), and sets up certain
tests for the genuineness of revelation, favors a rationalism which was
flexible enough to allow his pupils either to take part in orthodox
movements or to advance to a deism hostile to the Church.

Among the followers of Wolff, Alexander Baumgarten (1714-62) deserves
the first place, as the founder of German aesthetics _(Aesthetica_, 1750
_seq_.). He perceives a gap in the system of the philosophical sciences.
This contains in ethics a guide to right volition, and in logic a guide
to correct thinking, but there are no directions for correct feeling, no
aesthetic. The beautiful would form the subject of this discipline. For the
perfection (the harmonious unity of a manifold, which is pleasant to the
spectator), which manifests itself to the will as the good and to the
clear thinking of the understanding as the true, appears--according to
Leibnitz--to confused sensuous perception as beauty. From this on the name
aesthetics was established for the theory of the beautiful, though in
Kant's great work it is used in its literal meaning as the doctrine of
sense, of the faculty of sensations or intuitions. Baumgarten's pupils
and followers, the aesthetic writer G.F. Meier at Halle, Baumeister, and
others, contributed like himself to the dissemination of the Wolffian
system by their manuals on different branches of philosophy. To this school
belong also the following: Thümmig (_Institutiones Philosophia Wolfianae_,
1725-26); the theologian Siegmund Baumgarten at Halle, the elder brother
of the aesthete; the mathematician Martin Knutzen, Kant's teacher;[1] the
literary historian Gottsched [2] at Leipsic; and G. Ploucquet, who in
his _Methodus Calculandi in Logicis_, with a _Commentatio de Arte
Characteristica Universali_ appended to his _Principia de Substantiis et
Phaenomenis_, 1753, took up again Leibnitz's cherished plan for a logical
calculus and a universal symbolic language. The psychologist Kasimir von
Creuz (_Essay on the Soul_, in two parts, 1753-54), and J.H. Lambert,[3]
whom Kant deemed worthy of a detailed correspondence, take up a more
independent position, both demanding that the Wolffian rationalism be
supplemented by the empiricism of Locke, and the latter, moreover, in
anticipation of the Critique of Reason, pointing very definitely to the
distinction between content and form as the salient point in the theory of

[Footnote 1: Benno Erdmann, _M. Knutzen und seine Zeit_, 1876.]

[Footnote 2: Th. W. Danzel, _Gottsched und seine Zeit_, 1848.]

[Footnote 3: Lambert: _Cosmological Letters_, 1761; _New Organon_, 1764;
_Groundwork of Architectonics_, 1771. Bernoulli edited some of Lambert's
papers and his correspondence.]

Among the opponents of the Wolffian philosophy, all of whom favor
eclecticism, A. Rüdiger[1] and Chr. Aug. Crusius,[2] who was influenced by
Rüdiger, and, like him, a professor at Leipsic, are the most important.
Rüdiger divides philosophy according to its objects, "wisdom, justice,
prudence," into three parts--the science of nature (which must avoid
one-sided mechanical views, and employ ether, air, and spirit as principles
of explanation); the science of duty (which, as metaphysics, treats of
duties toward God, as natural law, of duties to our neighbor, and deduces
both from the primary duty of obedience to the will of God); and the
science of the good (in which Rüdiger follows the treatise of the Spaniard,
Gracian, on practical wisdom). Crusius agrees with Rüdiger that mathematics
is the science of the possible, and philosophy the science of the actual,
and that the latter, instead of imitating to its own disadvantage the
deductive-analytical method of geometry, must, with the aid of experience
and with attention to the probability of its conclusions, rise to the
highest principles synthetically. Besides its deduction the determinism
of the Wolffian philosophy gave offense, for it was believed to endanger
morals, justice, and religion. The will, the special fundamental power of
the soul (consisting of the impulses to perfection, love, and knowledge),
is far from being determined by ideas; it is rather they which depend on
the will. The application of the principle of sufficient reason, which is
wrongly held to admit of no exception, must be restricted in favor of
freedom. For the rest, we may note concerning Crusius that he derives the
principle of sufficient reason (everything which is now, and before was
not, has a cause) and the principle of contingency from the principles of
contradiction, inseparability, and incompatibility, and these latter from
the principle of conceivability; that he rejects the ontological argument,
and makes the ground of obligation in morality consist in obedience toward
God, and its content in perfection. Among the other opponents of the
Wolffian philosophy, we may mention the theologian Budde(us)[3]
_(Institutiones Philosophiae Eclecticae_, 1705); Darjes (who taught in Jena
and Frankfort-on-the-Oder; _The Way to Truth_, 1755); and Crousaz (1744).

[Footnote 1: Rüdiger: _Disputatio de eo quod Omnes Idea Oriantur a
Sensione_, 1704; _Philosophia Synthetica_, 1707; _Physica Divina_, 1716;
_Philosophia Pragmatica_, 1723.]

[Footnote 2: Crusius: _De Usu et Limitibus Principii Rationis_, 1743;
_Directions how to Live a Rational Life_ (theory of the will and of
ethics), 1744; _A Sketch of the Necessary Truths of Reason_, 1745; _Way to
the Certainty and Trustworthiness of Human Knowledge_, 1747.]

[Footnote 3: J.J. Brucker _(Historia Critica Philosophiae_, 5 vols.,
1742-44; 2d ed., 6 vols., 1766-67) was a pupil of Budde.]

%3. The Illumination as Scientific and as Popular Philosophy.%

After a demand for the union of Leibnitz and Locke, of rationalism and
empiricism, had been raised within the Wolffian school itself, and still
more directly in the camp of its opponents, under the increasing influence
of the empirical philosophy of England,[1] eclecticism in the spirit of
Thomasius took full possession of the stage in the Illumination period.
There was the less hesitation in combining principles derived from entirely
different postulates without regard to their systematic connection, as
the interest in scholastic investigation gave place more and more to the
interest in practical and reassuring results. Metaphysics, noëtics, and
natural philosophy were laid aside as useless subtleties, and, as in the
period succeeding Aristotle, man as an individual and whatever directly
relates to his welfare--the constitution of his inner nature, his duties,
the immortality of the soul, and the existence of God--became the exclusive
subjects of reflection. The fact that, besides ethics and religion,
psychology was chosen as a favorite field, is in complete harmony with the
general temper of an age for which self-observation and the enjoyment of
tender and elevated feelings in long, delightfully friendly letters and
sentimental diaries had become a favorite habit. Hand in hand with this
narrowing of the content of philosophy went a change in the form of
presentation. As thinkers now addressed themselves to all cultivated
people, intelligibility and agreeableness were made the prime requisites;
the style became light and flowing, the method of treatment facile and
often superficial. This is true not only of the popular philosophers
proper--who, as Windelband pertinently remarks (vol. i. p. 563), did not
seek after the truth, but believed that they already possessed it, and
desired only to disseminate it; who did not aim at the promotion of
investigation, but the instruction of the public--but to a certain extent,
also, of those who were conscious of laboring in the service of science.
Among the representatives of the more polite tendency belong, Moses
Mendelssohn[2] (1729-86); Thomas Abbt (_On Death for the Fatherland_, 1761;
_On Merit_, 1765); J.J. Engel (_The philosopher for the World_, 1775); G.S.
Steinbart (_The Christian Doctrine of Happiness_, 1778); Ernst Platner
(_Philosophical Aphorisms_, 1776, 1782; on Platner cf. M. Heinze, 1880);
G.C. Lichtenberg (died 1799; _Miscellaneous Writings_, 1800 _seq_.; a
selection is given in _Reclam's Bibliothek_); Christian Garve (died 1798;
_Essays_, 1792 _seq.; Translations from the Ethical Works of Aristotle,
Cicero, and Ferguson_); and Friedrich Nicolai[3] (died 1811). Eberhard,
Feder, and Meiners will be mentioned later among the opponents of the
Kantian philosophy.

[Footnote 1: The influence of the English philosophers on the German
philosophy of the eighteenth century is discussed by Gustav Zart, 1881.]

[Footnote 2: Mendelssohn: _Letters on the Sensations_, 1755; _On Evidence
in the Metaphysical Sciences_, a prize essay crowned by the Academy, 1764;
_Phaedo, or on Immortality_, 1767; _Jerusalem_, 1783; _Morning Hours, or on
the Existence of God_, 1785; _To the Friends of Lessing_ (against Jacobi),
1786; _Works_, 1843-44. Cf. on Mendelssohn, Kayserling, 1856, 1862, 1883.]

[Footnote 3: Nicolai: _Library of Belles Lettres_, from 1757; _Letters on
the Most Recent German Literature_, from 1759; _Universal German Library_,
from 1765; _New Universal German Library_, 1793-1805.]

Among the psychologists J.N. Tetens, whose _Philosophical Essays on Human
Nature_, 1776-77, show a remarkable similarity to the views of Kant,[1]
takes the first rank. The two thinkers evidently influenced each other. The
three fold division of the activities of the soul, "knowing, feeling,
and willing," which has now become popular and which appears to us
self-evident, is to be referred to Tetens, from whom Kant took it; in
opposition to the twofold division of Aristotle and Wolff into "cognition
and appetition," he established the equal rights of the faculty of
feeling--which had previously been defended by Sulzer (1751), the aesthetic
writer, and by Mendelssohn (1755, 1763, 1785). Besides Tetens, the
following should be mentioned among the psychologists: Tetens's opponent,
Johann Lossius (1775), an adherent of Bonnet; D. Tiedemann (_Inquiries
concerning Man_, from 1777), who was estimable also as a historian of
philosophy (_Spirit of Speculative Philosophy_, 1791-97); Von Irwing
(1772 _seq_.; 2d ed., 1777); and K. Ph. Moriz (_Magazin zur
Erfahrungsseelenlehre_, from 1785). Basedow (died 1790), Campe (died 1818),
and J.H. Pestalozzi (1745-1827) did valuable work in pedagogics.

[Footnote 1: Sensation gives the content, and the understanding
spontaneously produces the form, of knowledge. The only objectivity of
knowledge which we can attain consists in the subjective necessity of the
forms of thought or the ideas of relation. Perception enables us to cognize
phenomena only, not the true essence of things and of ourselves, etc.]

One of the clearest and most acute minds among the philosophers of the
Illumination was the deist Hermann Samuel Reimarus[1] (1694-1768), from
1728 professor in Hamburg. He attacks atheism, in whatever form it may
present itself, with as much zeal and conviction as he shows in breaking
down the belief in revelation by his inexorable criticism (in his
_Defense_, communicated in manuscript to a few friends only). He obtains
his weapons for this double battle from the Wolffian philosophy. The
existence of an extramundane deity is proved by the purposive arrangement
of the world, especially of organisms, which aims at the good--not merely
of man, as the majority of the physico-theologists have believed, but--of
all living creatures. To believe in a special revelation, _i.e._, a
miracle, in addition to such a revelation of God as this, which is granted
to all men, and is alone necessary to salvation, is to deny the perfection
of God, and to do violence to the immutability of his providence. To these
general considerations against the credibility of positive revelation
are to be added, as special arguments against the Jewish and Christian
revelations, the untrustworthiness of human testimony in general, the
contradictions in the biblical writings, the uncertainty of their meaning,
and the moral character of the persons regarded as messengers of God, whose
teachings, precepts, and deeds in no wise correspond to their high mission.
Jewish history is a "tissue of sheer follies, shameful deeds, deceptions,
and cruelties, the chief motives of which were self-interest and lust for
power." The New Testament is also the work of man; all talk of divine
inspiration, an idle delusion, the resurrection of Christ, a fabrication of
the disciples; and the Protestant system, with its dogmas of the Trinity,
the fall of man, original sin, the incarnation, vicarious atonement, and
eternal punishment, contrary to reason. The advance of Reimarus beyond
Wolff consists in the consistent application of the criteria for the divine
character of revelation, which Wolff had set up without making a positive,
not to speak of a negative, use of them. His weakness[2] consists in the
fact that, on the one hand, he contented himself with a rationalistic
interpretation of the biblical narratives, instead of pushing on--as Semler
did after him at Halle (1725-91)--to a historical criticism of the sources,
and, on the other, held fast to the alternative common to all the deists,
"Either divine or human, either an actual event or a fabrication," without
any suspicion of that great intermediate region of religious myth, of the
involuntary and pregnant inventions of the popular fancy.

[Footnote 1: H.S. Reimarus: _Discussions on the Chief Truths of Natural
Religion_, 1754; _General Consideration of the Instincts of Animals_, 1762;
_Apology or Defense for the Rational Worshipers of God_. Fragments of the
last of these works, which was kept secret during its author's life, were
published by Lessing (the well-known "Wolffenbüttel Fragments," from
1774). A detailed table of contents is to be found in _Reimarus und seine
Schutzschrift_, 1862, by D. Fr. Strauss, included in the fifth volume of
his _Gesammelte Schriften_.]

[Footnote 2: Cf. O. Pfleiderer, _Philosophy of Religion_, vol. i. p. 102,
p. 106 _seq_.]

The philosophico-religious standpoint of G.E. Lessing (1729-81), in whom
the Illumination reached its best fruitage, was less one-sided. Apart from
the important aesthetic impulses which flowed from the _Laocoon_ (1766) and
the _Hamburg Dramaturgy_ (1767-69), his philosophical significance rests
on two ideas, which have had important consequences for the religious
conceptions of the nineteenth century: the speculative interpretation of
certain dogmas (the Trinity, etc.), and the application of the Leibnitzian
idea of development to the history of the positive religions. By both of
these he prepared the way for Hegel. In regard to his relation to his
predecessors, Lessing sought to mediate between the pantheism of Spinoza
and the individualism of Leibnitz; and in his comprehension of the latter
showed himself far superior to the Wolffians. He can be called a Spinozist
only by those who, like Jacobi, have this title ready for everyone
who expresses himself against a transcendent, personal God, and the
unconditional freedom of the will. Moreover, in view of his critical and
dialectical, rather than systematic, method of thinking, we must guard
against laying too great stress on isolated statements by him.[1]

[Footnote 1: A caution which Gideon Spicker (_Lessings Weltanschauung_,
1883) counsels us not to forget, even in view of the oft cited avowal of
determinism, "I thank God that I must, and that I must the best." Among the
numerous treatises on Lessing we may note those by G.E. Schwarz (1854), and
Zeller (in Sybel's _Historische Zeitschrift_, 1870, incorporated in the
second collection of Zeller's _Vorträge und Abhandlungen_, 1877); and on
his theological position, that of K. Fischer on Lessing's _Nathan der
Weise_, 1864, as well as J.H. Witte's _Philosophie unserer Dichterheroen_,
vol. i. _(Lessing and Herder_), 1880. [Cf. in English, Sime, 2 vols., 1877,
and _Encyclopedia Britannica_, vol. xiv. pp, 478-482.--TR.]]

Lessing conceives the Deity as the supreme, all-comprehensive, living
unity, which excludes neither a certain kind of plurality nor even a
certain kind of change; without life and action, without the experience of
changing states, the life of God would be miserably wearisome. Things are
not out of, but in him; nevertheless (as "contingent") they are distinct
from him. The Trinity must be understood in the sense of immanent
distinctions. God has conceived himself, or his perfections, in a twofold
manner: he conceived them as united and himself as their sum, and he
conceived them as single. Now God's thinking is creation, his ideas
actualities. By conceiving his perfections united he created his eternal
image, the Son of God; the bond between God representing and God
represented, between Father and Son, is the Holy Spirit. But when he
conceived his perfections singly he created the world, in which these
manifest themselves divided among a continuous series of particular beings.
Every individual is an isolated divine perfection; the things in the world
are limited gods, all living, all with souls, and of a spiritual nature,
though in different degrees. Development is everywhere; at present the soul
has five senses, but very probably it once had less than five, and in
the future it will have more. At first the actions of men were guided by
obscure instinct; gradually the reason obtained influence over the will,
and one day will govern it completely through its clear and distinct
cognitions. Thus freedom is attained in the course of history--the rational
and virtuous man consciously obeys the divine order of the world, while he
who is unfree obeys unconsciously.

Lessing shares with the deistic Illumination the belief in a religion of
reason, whose basis and essential content are formed by morality; but he
rises far above this level in that he regards the religion of reason not
as the beginning but as the goal of the development, and the positive
religions as necessary transition stages in its attainment. As natural
religion differs in each individual according to his feelings and powers,
without positive enactments there would be no unity and community in
religious matters. Nevertheless the statutory and historical element is
not a graft from without, but a shell organically grown around natural
religion, indispensable for its development, and to be removed but
gradually and by layers--when the inclosed kernel has become ripe and firm.
The history of religions is an _education of the human race through divine
revelation_; so teaches his small but thoughtful treatise of 1780.[1] As
the education of the individual man puts nothing extraneous into him, but
only gives him more quickly and easily that which he could have reached of
himself, so human reason is illuminated by revelation concerning things
to which it could have itself attained, only that without God's help the
process would have been longer and more difficult--perhaps it would have
wandered about for many millions of years in the errors of polytheism, if
God had not been pleased by a single stroke (his revelation to Moses) to
give it a better direction. And as the teacher does not impart everything
to the pupil at once, but considers the state of development reached by him
at each given period, so God in his revelation observes a certain order and
measure. To the rude Jewish people he revealed himself first as a national
God, as the God of their fathers; they had to wait for the Persians to
teach them that the God whom they had hitherto worshiped as the most
powerful among other gods was the only one. Although this lowest stage in
the development of religion lacked the belief in immortality, yet it must
not be lightly valued; let us acknowledge that it was an heroic obedience
for men to observe the laws of God simply because they are the laws of God,
and not because of temporal or future rewards! The first practical teacher
of immortality was Christ; with him the second age of religion begins: the
first good book of elementary instruction, the Old Testament, from which
man had hitherto learned, was followed by the second, better one, the New
Testament. As we now can dispense with the first primer in regard to the
doctrine of the unity of God, and as we gradually begin to be able to
dispense with the second in regard to the doctrine of the immortality of
the soul, so this New Testament may easily contain still further truths,
which for the present we wonder at as revelations, until the reason shall
learn to derive them from other truths already established. Lessing himself
makes an attempt at a philosophical interpretation of the dogmas of the
Trinity (see above), of original sin, and of atonement. Such an advance
from faith to knowledge, such a development of revealed truths into proved
truths of reason, is absolutely necessary. We cannot dispense with the
truths of revelation, but we must not remain content with simply believing
them, but must endeavor to comprehend them; for they have been revealed in
order that they may become rational. They are, as it were, the sum which
the teacher of arithmetic tells his pupils beforehand so that they
may guide themselves by it; but if they content themselves with this
solution--which was given merely as a guide--they would never learn to
calculate. Hand in hand with the advance of the understanding goes the
progress of the will. Future recompenses, which the New Testament promises
as rewards of virtue, are means of education, and will gradually fall into
disuse: in the highest stage, the stage of purity of heart, virtue will
be loved and practiced for its own sake, and no longer for the sake of
heavenly rewards. Slowly but surely, along devious paths which are yet
salutary, we are being led toward that great goal. It will surely come, the
time of consummation, when man will do the good because it is good, this
time of the new, eternal Gospel, this third age, this "Christianity of
reason." Continue, Eternal Providence, thine imperceptible march; let me
not despair of thee because it is imperceptible, not even when to me thy
steps seem to lead backward. It is not true that the straight line is
always the shortest.

[Footnote 1: _Die Erziehung des Menschengeschlects_.]

With the thought that every individual must traverse the same course as
that by which the race attains its perfection, Lessing connects the idea
of the transmigration of souls. Why may not the individual man have been
present in this world more than once? Is this hypothesis so ridiculous
because it is the oldest?

If Lessing abandoned the ranks of the deists by his recognition of the
fact that the positive religions contain truth in a gradual process of
purification, by his free criticism, on the other hand, he broke with
the orthodox, whose idolatrous reverence for the Bible was to him an
abomination. The letter is not the spirit, the Bible is not religion, nor
yet its foundation, but only its records. Contingent historical truths can
never serve as a proof of the necessary truths of reason. Christianity is
older than the New Testament.

Already, in the case of Lessing, we may doubt, in view of his historical
temper and of certain speculative tendencies, whether he is to be included
among the Illuminati. In the case of Kant a decided protest must be
raised against such a classification. When Hegel numbers him among the
philosophers of the Illumination, on account of his lack of rational
intuition, and some theologians on account of his religious rationalism,
the answer to the former is that Kant did not lack the speculative gift,
but only that it was surpassed by his gift of reflection, and, to the
latter, that in regard to the positive element in religion he judged very
differently from the deists and appreciated the historical element more
justly than they--if not to the same extent as Lessing and Herder. We
do not need to lay great stress on the fact that Kant had a lively
consciousness that he was making a contribution to thought, and that the
Illumination contemplated this new doctrine without comprehending it, in
order to recognize that the difference between his efforts and achievements
and those of the Illumination is far greater than their kinship. For
although Kant is upon common ground with it, in so far as he adheres to its
motto, "Have courage to use thine own understanding, become a man, cease
to trust thyself to the guidance of others, and free thyself in all fields
from the yoke of authority," and, although besides such formal injunctions
to freedom of thought, he also shares in certain material tendencies and
convictions (the turning from the world to man, the attempt at a synthesis
of reason and experience, and the belief in a religion of reason); yet in
method and results, he stands like a giant among a race of dwarfs, like one
instructed, who judges from principles, among men of opinion, who merely
stick results together, a methodical systematizer among well-meaning but
impotent eclectics. The philosophy of the Illumination is related to
that of Kant as argument to science, as halting mediation to principiant
resolution, as patchwork to creation out of full resources, yet at the same
time as wish to deed and as negative preparation to positive achievement.
It was undeniably of great value to the Kantian criticism that the
Illumination had created a point of intersection for the various tendencies
of thought, and had brought about the approximation and mutual contact of
the opposing systems which then existed, while, at the same time, it had
crumbled them to pieces, and thus awakened the need for a new, more firmly
and more deeply founded system.

%4. The Faith Philosophy.%

The philosophers of feeling or faith stand in the same relation to the
German Illumination as Rousseau to the French. Here also the rights of
feeling are vindicated against those of the knowing reason. Among the
distinguished representatives of this anti-rationalistic tendency Hamann
led the way, Herder was the most prolific, and Jacobi the clearest. That
the fountain of certitude is to be sought not in discriminating thought,
but in intuition, experience, revelation, and tradition; that the highest
truths can be felt only and not proved; that all existing things are
incomprehensible, because individual--these are convictions which, before
Jacobi defended them as based on scientific principles, had been vehemently
proclaimed by that singular man, J.G. Hamann (died 1788) of Königsberg.
From an unprinted review by Hamann, Herder drew the objections which his
"Metacritique" raises against Kant's Critique of Reason--that the division
of matter and form, of sensibility and understanding, is inadmissible;
that Kant misunderstood the significance of language, which is just where
sensibility and understanding unite, etc.

In Herder[1] (1744-1803: after 1776 Superintendent-General in Weimar) the
philosophy of feeling gained a finer, more perspicuous and harmonious
nature, who shared Lessing's interest in history and his tendency to
hold fast equally to pantheism and to individualism. God is the all-one,
infinite, spiritual (non-personal) primal force, which wholly reveals
itself in each thing _(God: Dialogues on the System of Spinoza_, 1787).
To the life, power, wisdom, and goodness of God correspond the life and
perfection of the universe and of individual creatures, each of which
possesses its own irreplaceable value and bears in itself its future in
germ. Everywhere, one and the same life in an ascending series of powers
and forms with imperceptible transitions. Always, an inner and an outer
together; no power without organ, no spirit without a body. As thought is
only a higher stage of sensation, which develops from the lower by means of
language--reason, like sense, is not a productive but a receptive faculty
of knowing, perceiving ("_Vernehmen_")--so the free process of history is
only the continuation and completion of the nature-process (_Ideas for the
Philosophy of the History of Mankind_, 1784 _seq_.). Man, the last child of
nature and her first freedman, is the nodal point where the physical series
of events changes into the ethical; the last member of the organisms of
earth is at the same time the first in the spiritual development. The
mission of history is the unfolding of all the powers which nature
has concentrated in man as the compendium of the world; its law, that
everywhere on our earth everything be realized that can be realized there;
its end, humanity and the harmonious development of all our capacities. As
nature forms a single great organism, and from the stone to man describes
a connected development, so humanity is a one great individual which passes
through its several ages, from infancy (the Orient), through boyhood
(Eygpt and Phoenicia), youth (Greece), and manhood (Rome), to old age (the
Christian world). The spirit stands in the closest dependence upon nature,
and nature is concerned in history throughout. The finer organization of
his brain, the possession of hands, above all, his erect position, make
man, man and endow him with reason. Similarly it is natural conditions,
climate, the character of the soil, the surrounding animal and vegetable
life, etc., that play an essential part in determining the manners, the
characters, and the destinies of nations. The connection of nature with
history by means of the concept of development and through the idea that
the two merely represent different stages of the same fundamental process,
made Herder the forerunner of Schelling.

[Footnote 1: On Herder cf. the biography by R. Haym, 2 vols., 1877, 1885;
and the work by Witte which has been referred to above (p. 306, note).]

His polemic against Kant in the _Metacritique_, 1799 (against the _Critique
of Pure Reason_), and the dialogue _Calligone_, 1800 (against the _Critique
of Judgment_), is less pleasing. These are neither dignified in tone nor
essentially of much importance. In the former the distinction between
sensibility and reason is censured, and in the latter the separation of the
beautiful from the true and the good, but Kant's theory of aesthetics is
for the most part grossly misunderstood. The "disinterested" satisfaction
Herder makes a cold satisfaction; the harmonious activity of the cognitive
powers, a tedious, apish sport; the satisfaction "without a concept,"
judgment without ground or cause. The positive elements in his own views
are more valuable. Pleasure in mere form, without a concept, and without
the idea of an end, is impossible. All beauty must mean or express
something, must be a symbol of inner life; its ground is perfection or
adaptation. Beauty is that symmetrical union of the parts of a being, in
virtue of which it feels well itself and gives pleasure to the observer,
who sympathetically shares in this well-being. The charm and value of the
_Calligone_ lie more in the warmth and clearness with which the expressive
beauty of single natural phenomena is described than in the abstract

Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi (1743-1819) gave the most detailed statement of
the position of the philosophy of feeling, and the most careful proof of
it. He was born in Düsseldorf, the son of a manufacturer; until 1794 he
lived in his native place and at his country residence in Pempelfort; later
he resided in Holstein, and, from 1805, in Munich, where, in 1807-13, he
was president of the Academy of Sciences. Of his works, collected in five
volumes, 1812-25, we are here chiefly concerned with the letters _On the
Doctrine of Spinoza_, 1785; _David Hume on Faith, or Idealism and Realism_,
1787; and the treatise _On Divine Things_, 1811, which called out
Schelling's merciless response, _Memorial of Jacobi_. Besides Hume and
Spinoza, the sensationalism of Bonnet and the criticism of Kant had made
the most lasting impression on Jacobi. His relation to Kant is neither that
of an opponent nor of a supporter and popularizer. He declares himself in
accord with Kant's critique of the understanding (the understanding is
merely a formal function, one which forms and combines concepts only, but
does not guarantee reality, one to which the material of thought must be
given from elsewhere and for which the suprasensible remains unattainable);
in regard to the critique of reason he raises the objection that it; makes
the Ideas mere postulates, which possess no guarantee for their reality.
The critique of sensibility appears to him still more unsatisfactory, as
it does not explain the origin of sensations. Without the concept of the
"thing-in-itself" one cannot enter the Kantian philosophy, and with it
one cannot remain there. Fichte has drawn the correct conclusion from the
Kantian premises; idealism is the unavoidable result of the Critique of
Reason and foretold by; it as the Messiah was foretold by John the Baptist.
And by the evil fruit we know the evil root: the idealistic theory is
philosophical nihilism, for it denies the reality of the external world, as
the materialism of Spinoza denies a transcendent God and the freedom of
the will. Reality slips away from both these systems--they are the only
consistent ones there are--material reality escaping from the former
and suprasensible reality from the latter; and this must be so, because
reality, of whatever kind it be, cannot be known, but only believed and
felt. The actual, the existence of the noumenal as well as of the external
world, even the existence of our own body, makes itself known to us through
revelation alone; the understanding comprehends relations only; the
certainty that a thing exists is attained only through experience and
faith. Sense and reason are the organs of faith, and hence the true
sources of knowledge; the former apprehends the natural, the latter, the
supernatural, while for the understanding is left only the analysis and
combination of given intuitions.

Philosophy as a science from concepts must necessarily prove atheistic and
fatalistic. Conception and proof mean deduction from conditions. How shall
that which has no cause from which to explain it, the unconditioned, God,
and freedom, be comprehended and proved? Demonstration rises along the
chain of causes to the universe alone, not to a transcendent Creator;
mediate knowledge is confined to the sphere of conditioned being and
mechanical becoming. The intuitive knowledge of feeling alone leads us
beyond this, and along with the wonderful, the inconceivable power of
freedom in ourselves, which is above all nature, shows us the primal source
of all wonders, the transcendent God above us. The inference from our
own spiritual, self-conscious, free personality to that of God is no
unauthorized anthropomorphism--in the knowledge of God we may fearlessly
deify our human existence, because God, when he created man, gave his
divine nature human form. Reason and freedom are the same: the former
is theoretical, the latter practical elevation to the suprasensible.
Nevertheless virtue is not based upon an inflexible, despotic, abstractly,
formal law, but upon an instinct, which, however, does not aim at
happiness. Thus Jacobi attempts to mediate between the ethics of the
Illumination and the ethics of Kant, by agreeing with the former in regard
to the origin of virtue (it arises from a natural impulse), and with the
latter in regard to its nature (it consists in disinterestedness). Hence
with the Illumination he rejects the imperative form, and with Kant the
eudemonistic end. At the same time he endeavors to introduce Herder's idea
of individuality into ethics, by demanding that morality assume a special
form in each man. Schiller and the romantic school take from Jacobi their
ideal of the "beautiful soul," which from natural impulse realizes in its
action, and still more in its being, the good in an individual way.




The suit between empiricism and rationalism had continued for centuries,
but still awaited final decision. Are all our ideas the result of
experience, or are they (wholly or in part) an original possession of the
mind? Are they received from without (by perception), or produced from
within (by self-activity)? Is knowledge a product of sensation or of pure
thought? All who had thus far taken part in this discussion had resembled
partisans or advocates rather than disinterested judges. They had given
less attention to investigation than to the defense of the traditional
theses of their schools; they had not endeavored to obtain results, but
to establish results already determined; and, along with real arguments,
popular appeals had not been despised. Each of the opposing schools had
given variations on a definite theme, and whenever timid attempts had been
made to bring the two melodies into harmony they had met with no approval.
The proceedings thus far had at least made it evident to the unbiased
hearer that each of the two parties made extravagant claims, and, in the
end, fell into self-contradiction. If the claim of empiricism is true, that
all our concepts arise from perception, then not only the science of the
suprasensible, which it denies, but also the science of the objects of
experience, about which it concerns itself, is impossible. For perception
informs us concerning single cases merely, it can never comprehend all
cases, it yields no necessary and universal truth; but knowledge which is
not apodictically valid for every reasoning being and for all cases is
not worthy the name. The very reasons which were intended to prove the
possibility of knowledge give a direct inference to its impossibility. The
empirical philosophy destroys itself, ending with Hume in skepticism and
probabilism. Rationalism is overtaken by a different, and yet an analogous
fate--it breaks up into a popular eclecticism. It believes that it
has discovered an infallible criterion of truth in the clearness and
distinctness of ideas, and a sure example for philosophical method in the
method of mathematics. In both points it is wrong. The criterion of
truth is insufficient, for Spinoza and Leibnitz built up their opposing
theories--the pantheism of the one and the monadology of the other--from
equally clear and distinct conceptions; tried by this standard
individualism is just as true as pantheism. Mathematics, again, does not
owe its unquestioned acceptance and cogent force to the clearness and
distinctness of its conceptions, but to the fact that these are capable
of construction in intuition. The distinction between mathematics and
metaphysics was overlooked, namely, that mathematical thought can transform
its conceptions into intuitions, can generate its objects or sensuously
present them, which philosophical thought is not in a position to do. The
objects of the latter must be given to it, and to the human mind they are
given in no other way than through sensuous intuition. Metaphysics seeks
to be a science of the real, but it is impossible to conjure being out of
thought; reality cannot be proved from concepts, it can only be felt. In
making the unperceivable and suprasensible (the real nature of things, the
totality of the world, the Deity, and immortality) the special object
of philosophy, rationalism looked on the understanding as a faculty of
knowledge by which objects are given. In reality objects can never be given
through concepts; these only render it possible to think objects given
in some other way (by intuition). It is true that concepts of the
suprasensible exist, but nothing can be known through them, there is
nothing intuitively given to be subsumed under them.

With this failure to perceive the intuitive element in mathematics was
joined the mistake of overlooking its synthetic character. The syllogistic
method of presentation employed in the Euclidean geometry led to the belief
that the more special theorems had been derived from the simpler ones, and
these from the axioms, by a process of conceptual analysis; while the fact
is that in mathematics all progress is by intuition alone, the syllogism
serving merely to formulate and explain truths already attained, but not to
supply new ones. Following the example of mathematics thus misunderstood,
the mission of philosophy was made to consist in the development of
the truths slumbering in pregnant first principles by means of logical
analysis. If only there were metaphysical axioms! If we only did not
demand, and were not compelled to demand, of true science that it increase
our knowledge, and not merely give an analytical explanation of knowledge.
When once the clearness and distinctness of conceptions had been taken
in so purely formal a sense, it was inevitable that in the end, as
productivity became less, the principle should be weakened down to a mere
demand for the explanation and elucidation of the metaphysical ideas
present in popular consciousness. Thus the rationalistic current lost
itself in the shallow waters of the Illumination, which soon gave as
ready a welcome to the empirical theories--since these also were able to
legitimate themselves by clear and distinct conceptions--as it had given
to the results of the rationalistic systems.

It was thus easy to see that each of the contending parties had been guilty
of one-sidedness, and that in order to escape this a certain mean must be
assumed between the two extremes; but it was a much more difficult matter
to discover the due middle ground. Neither of the opposing standpoints is
so correct as its defenders believe, and neither so false as its opponents
maintain. Where, then, on either side, does the mistaken narrowness begin,
and how far does the justification of each extend?

The conflict centers, first, about the question concerning the origin of
human knowledge and the sphere of its validity. Rationalism is justified
when it asserts that some ideas do not come from the senses. If knowledge
is to be possible, some concepts cannot originate in perception, those,
namely, by which knowledge is constituted, for if they should, it would
lack universality and necessity. The sole organ of universally valid
knowledge is reason. Empiricism, on the other hand, is justified when it
asserts that the experiential alone is knowable. Whatever is to be knowable
must be given as a real in sensuous intuition. The only organ of reality is
sensibility. Rationalism judges correctly concerning the origin of the
most important classes of ideas; empiricism concerning the sphere of their
validity. The two may be thus combined: some concepts (those which produce
knowledge) take their origin in reason or are _a priori_, but they are
valid for objects of experience alone. The conflict concerns, secondly, the
use of the deductive (syllogistic) or the inductive method. Empiricism,
through its founder Bacon, had recommended induction in place of the barren
syllogistic method, as the only method which would lead to new discoveries.
It demands, above all things, the extension of knowledge. Rationalism, on
the contrary, held fast to the deductive method, because the syllogism
alone, in its view, furnishes knowledge valid for all rational beings. It
demands, first of all, universality and necessity in knowledge. Induction
has the advantage of increasing knowledge, but it leads only to empirical
and comparative, not to strict universality. The syllogism has the
advantage of yielding universal and necessary truth, but it can only
explicate and establish knowledge, not increase it. May it not be possible
so to do justice to the demands of both that the advantages which they seek
shall be combined, and the disadvantages which have been feared, avoided?
Are there not cognitions which increase our knowledge (are _synthetic_)
without being empirical, which are universally and necessarily valid
(_a priori_) without being analytic? From these considerations arises the
main question of the _Critique of Pure Reason_: How are synthetic judgments
_a priori_ possible?

The philosophy of experience had overestimated sense and underestimated the
understanding, when it found the source of all knowledge in the faculty of
perception and degraded the faculty of thought to an almost wholly inactive
recipient of messages coming to it from without. From the standpoint of
empiricism concepts (Ideas) deserve confidence only in so far as they can
legitimate themselves by their origin in sensations (impressions). It
overlooks the _active_ character of all knowing. Among the rationalists,
on the other hand, we find an underestimation of the senses and an
overestimation of the understanding. They believe that sense reveals
only the deceptive exterior of things, while reason gives their true
non-sensuous essence. That which the mind perceives of things is deceptive,
but that which it thinks concerning them is true. The former power is the
faculty of confused, the latter the faculty of distinct knowledge. Sense is
the enemy rather than the servant of true knowledge, which consists in the
development and explication of pregnant innate conceptions and principles.
These philosophers forget that we can never reach reality by conceptual
analysis; and that the senses have a far greater importance for knowledge
than merely to give it an impulse; that it is they which supply the
understanding with real objects, and so with the content of knowledge.
Beside the (formal) activity (of the understanding), cognition implies a
passive factor, a reception of impressions. Neither sense alone nor the
understanding alone produces knowledge, but both cognitive powers are
necessary, the active and the passive, the conceptual and the intuitive.
Here the question arises, How do concept and intuition, sensuous and
rational knowledge, differ, and what is the basis of their congruence?
Notwithstanding their different points of departure and their variant
results, the two main tendencies of modern philosophy agree in certain
points. If the conflict between the two schools and their one-sidedness
suggested the idea of supplementing the conclusions of the one by those of
the other, the recognition of the incorrectness of their common
convictions furnished the occasion to go beyond them and to establish a
new, a higher point of view above them both, as also above the eclecticism
which sought to unite the opposing principles. The errors common to both
concern, in the first place, the nature of judgment and the difference
between sensibility and understanding. Neither side had recognized that
the peculiar character of judgment consists in _active connection_. The
rationalists made judgment an active function, it is true, but a mere
activity of conscious development, of elucidation and analytical inference,
which does not advance knowledge a single step. The empiricists described
it as a process of comparison and discrimination, as the mere perception
and recognition of the relations and connections already existing between
ideas; while in reality judgment does not discover the relations and
connections of representations, but itself establishes them. In the former
case the synthetic moment is ignored, in the latter the active moment. The
imperfect view of judgment was one of the reasons for the appearance of
extreme theories concerning the origin of ideas in reason or in perception.
Rationalism regards even those concepts which have a content as innate,
whereas it is only formal concepts which are so. Empiricism regards all,
even the highest formal concepts (the categories), as abstracted from
experience, whereas experience furnishes only the content of knowledge,
and not the synthesis which is necessary to it. On the one hand too much,
and on the other too little, is regarded as the original possession of the
understanding. The question "What concepts are innate?" can be decided only
by answering the further question, What are the concepts through which the
faculty of judgment connects the representations obtained from experience?
These connective concepts, these formal instruments of synthesis are
_a priori_. The agreement of the two schools is still greater in regard to
the relation of sense and understanding, notwithstanding the apparently
sharp contrast between them. The empiricist considers thought transformed,
sublimated perception, while the rationalist sees in perception only
confused and less distinct thought. For the former concepts are faded
images of sensations, for the latter sensations are concepts which have not
yet become clear; the difference is scarcely greater than if the one should
call ice frozen water, and the other should prefer to call water melted
ice. Both arrange intuition and thought in a single series, and derive the
one from the other by enhancement or attenuation. Both make the mistake of
recognizing only a difference in degree where a difference in kind exists.
In such a case only an energetic dualism can afford help. Sense and
understanding are not one and the same cognitive power at different stages,
but two heterogeneous faculties. Sensation and thought are not different in
degree, but in kind. As Descartes began with the metaphysical dualism of
extension and thought, so Kant begins with the noëtical dualism of
intuition and thought.

Much more serious, however, than any of the mistakes yet mentioned was
a sin of omission of which the two schools were alike guilty, and the
recognition and avoidance of which constituted in Kant's own eyes the
distinctive character of his philosophy and its principiant-advance beyond
preceding systems. The pre-Kantian thinker had proceeded to the discussion
of knowledge without raising _the question of the possibility of
knowledge_. He had approached things in the full confidence that the human
mind was capable of cognizing them, and with a naïve trust in the power of
reason to possess itself of the truth. His trust was naïve and ingenuous,
because the idea that it could deceive him had never entered his mind. Now
no matter whether this belief in man's capacity for knowledge and in the
possibility of knowing things is justifiable or not, and no matter how
far it may be justifiable, it was in any case untested; so that when the
skeptic approached with his objections the dogmatist was defenseless.
All previous philosophy, so far as it had not been skeptical, had been,
according to Kant's expression, dogmatic; that is, it had held as an
article of faith, and without precedent inquiry, that we possess the power
of cognizing objects. It had not asked _how_ this is possible; it had not
even asked what knowledge is, what may and must be demanded of it, and by
what means our reason is in a position to satisfy such demands. It had left
human intelligence and its extent uninvestigated. The skeptic, on the other
hand, had been no more thorough. He had doubted and denied man's capacity
for knowledge just as uncritically as the dogmatist had believed and
presupposed it. He had directed his ingenuity against the theories of
dogmatic philosophy, instead of toward the fundamental question of the
possibility of knowledge. Human intelligence, which the dogmatist had
approached with unreasoned trust and the skeptic with just as unreasoned
distrust, is subjected, according to the plan of the critical philosopher,
to a searching examination. For this reason Kant termed his standpoint
"criticism," and his undertaking a "Critique of Reason." Instead of
asserting and denying, he investigates how knowledge arises, of what
factors it is composed, and how far it extends. He inquires into the origin
and extent of knowledge, into its sources and its limits, into the grounds
of its existence and of its legitimacy. The Critique of Reason finds itself
confronted by two problems, the second of which cannot be solved until
after the solution of the first. The investigation of the sources of
knowledge must precede the inquiry into the extent of knowledge. Only after
the conditions of knowledge have been established can it be ascertained
what objects are attainable by it. Its sphere cannot be determined except
from its origin.

Whether the critical philosopher stands nearer to the skeptic or to the
dogmatist is rather an idle question. He is specifically distinct from
both, in that he summons and guides the reason to self-contemplation, to
a methodical examination of its capacity for knowledge. Where the one had
blindly trusted and the other suspected and denied, he investigates; they
overlook, he raises the question of the possibility of knowledge. The
critical problem does not mean, Does a faculty of knowledge exist? but, Of
what powers is it composed? are all objects knowable which have been so
regarded? Kant does not ask whether, but how and by what means, knowledge
is possible. Everyone who gives himself to scientific reflection must
postulate that knowledge is possible, and the demand of the noëtical
theorists of the day for a philosophy absolutely without assumptions is
quite incapable of fulfillment. Nay, in order to be able to begin his
inquiry at all, it was necessary for Kant to assume still more special
postulates; for that a cognition of cognition is possible, that there is a
critical, self-investigating reason could, at first, be only a matter of
belief. This would not have excluded a supplementary detailed statement
concerning the _how_ of this self-knowledge, concerning the organ of the
critical philosophy. But Kant never gave one, and the omission subsequently
led to a sharp debate concerning the character and method of the Critique
of Reason. On this point, if we may so express it, Kant remained a

Kant felt himself to be the finisher of skepticism; but this was chiefly
because he had received the strongest impulse to the development of his
critique of knowledge from Hume's inquiries concerning causation. Brought
up in the dogmatic rationalism of the Wolffian school, to which he
remained true for a considerable period as a teacher and writer (till about
1760), although at the same time he was inquiring with an independent
spirit, Kant was gradually won over through the influence of the English
philosophy to the side of empirical skepticism. Then--as the result, no
doubt, of reading the _Nouveaux Essais_ of Leibnitz, published in
1765--he returned to rationalistic principles, until finally, after a
renewal of empirical influences,[1] he took the position crystallized in
the _Critique of Pure Reason_, 1781, which, however, experienced still
other, though less considerable, changes in the sequel, just as in itself
it shows the traces of previous transformations.

[Footnote 1: Cf. H. Vaihinger's _Kommentar zu Kants Kritik der reinen
Vernunft_, vol. i., 1881, pp. 48-49. This is a work marked by acuteness,
great industry, and an objective point of view which merits respect. The
second volume, which treats of the Transcendental Aesthetic, appeared in

It would be a most interesting task to trace in the writings which belong
to Kant's pre-critical period the growth and development of the fundamental
critical positions. Here, however, we can only mention in passing the
subjects of his reflection and some of the most striking anticipations and
beginnings of his epoch-making position. Even his maiden work, _Thoughts on
the True Estimation of Vis Viva_, 1747, betokens the mediating nature of
its author. In this it is argued that when men of profound and penetrating
minds maintain exactly opposite opinions, attention must be chiefly
directed to some intermediate principle to a certain degree compatible with
the correctness of both parties. The question under discussion was whether
the measure of _vis viva_ is equal, as the Cartesians thought, to the
product of the mass into the velocity, or, according to the Leibnitzians,
to the product of the mass into the square of the velocity. Kant's
unsatisfactory solution of the problem--the law of Descartes holds for
dead, and that of Leibnitz for living forces--drew upon him the derision
of Lessing, who said that he had endeavored to estimate living forces
without having tested his own. A similar tendency toward compromise--this
time it is a synthesis of Leibnitz and Newton--is seen in his
_Habilitationsschrift, Principiorum Primorum Cognitionis Metaphysicae Nova
Dilucidatio_, 1755, and in the dissertation _Monadologia Physica_, 1756.
The former distinguishes between _ratio essendi_ and _ratio cognoscendi_,
rejects the ontological argument, and defends determinism against Crusius
on Leibnitzian grounds. In the _Physical Monadology_ Kant gives his
adherence to dynamism (matter the product of attraction and repulsion), and
makes the monads or elements of body fill space without prejudice to
their simplicity. A series of treatises is devoted to subjects in natural
science: The Effect of the Tides in retarding the Earth's Rotation; The
Obsolescence of the Earth; Fire (Inaugural Dissertation), Earthquakes, and
the Theory of the Winds. The most important of these, the _General Natural
History and Theory of the Heavens_, 1755, which for a long time remained
unnoticed, and which was dedicated to Frederick II., developed the
hypothesis (carried out forty years later by Laplace in ignorance of Kant's
work) of the mechanical origin of the universe and of the motion of the
planets. It presupposes merely the two forces of matter, attraction and
repulsion, and its primitive chaotic condition, a world-mist with elements
of different density. It is noticeable that Kant acknowledges the failure
of the mechanical theory at two points: it is brought to a halt at the
origin of the organic world and at the origin of matter. The mechanical
cosmogony is far from denying creation; on the contrary, the proof that
this well-ordered and purposive world necessarily arose from the regular
action of material forces under law and without divine intervention, can
only serve to support our assumption of a Supreme Intelligence as the
author of matter and its laws; the belief is necessary, just because
nature, even in its chaotic condition, can act only in an orderly and
regular way.

The empirical phase of Kant's development is represented by the writings
of the 60's. _The False Subtlety of the Four Syllogistic Figures_, 1762,
asserts that the first figure is the only natural one, and that the others
are superfluous and need reduction to the first. In the _Only Possible
Foundation for a Demonstration of the Existence of God_, 1763, which, in
the seventh Reflection of the Second Division, recapitulates the cosmogony
advanced in the _Natural History of the Heavens_, the discussions
concerning being ("existence" is absolute position, not a predicate which
increases the sum of the qualities but is posited in a merely relative
way), and the conclusion, prophetical of his later point of view, "It is
altogether necessary that we should be _convinced_ of the existence of God,
but not so necessary that his existence should be _demonstrated_" are more
noteworthy than the argument itself. This runs: All possibility presupposes
something actual wherein and whereby all that is conceivable is given as
a determination or a consequence. That actuality the destruction of which
would destroy all possibility is absolutely necessary. Therefore there
exists an absolutely necessary Being as the ultimate real ground of all
possibility; this Being is one, simple, unchangeable, eternal, the _ens
realissimum_ and a spirit. The _Attempt to introduce the Notion of
Negative Quantities into Philosophy_, 1763, distinguishes--contrary to
Crusius--between logical opposition, contradiction or mere negation (_a_
and _not-a_, pleasure and the absence of pleasure, power and lack of
power), and real opposition, which cannot be explained by logic (+_a_ and
-_a_, pleasure and pain, capital and debts, attraction and repulsion;
in real opposition both determinations are positive, but in opposite
directions). Parallel with this it distinguishes, also, between logical
ground and real ground. The prize essay, _Inquiry concerning the Clearness_
(Evidence) _of the Principles of Natural Theology and Ethics_, 1764, draws
a sharp distinction between mathematical and metaphysical knowledge, and
warns philosophy against the hurtful imitation of the geometrical method,
in place of which it should rather take as an example the method which
Newton introduced into natural science. Quantity constitutes the object of
mathematics, qualities, the object of philosophy; the former is easy and
simple, the latter difficult and complicated--how much more comprehensible
the conception of a trillion is than the philosophical idea of freedom,
which the philosophers thus far have been unable to make intelligible.
In mathematics the general is considered under symbols _in concrete_, in
philosophy, by means of symbols _in abstracto_; the former constructs its
object in sensuous intuition, while the object of the latter is given
to it, and that as a confused concept to be decomposed. Mathematics,
therefore, may well begin with definitions, since the conception which is
to be explained is first brought into being through the definition, while
philosophy must begin by seeking her conceptions. In the former the
definition is first in order, and in the latter almost always last; in the
one case the method is synthetic, in the other it is analytic. It is the
function of mathematics to connect and compare clear and certain concepts
of quantity in order to draw conclusions from them; the function of
philosophy is to analyze concepts given in a confused state, and to make
them detailed and definite. Philosophy has also this disadvantage, that
it possesses very many undecomposable concepts and undemonstrable
propositions, while mathematics has only a few such. "Philosophical truths
are like meteors, whose brightness gives no assurance of their permanence.
They vanish, but mathematics remains. Metaphysics is without doubt the most
difficult of all human sciences _(Einsichten)_, but a metaphysic has
never yet been written"; for one cannot be so kind as to "apply the term
philosophy to all that is contained in the books which bear this title." In
the closing paragraphs, on the ultimate bases of ethics, the stern features
of the categorical imperative are already seen, veiled by the English
theory of moral sense, while the attractive _Observations on the Feeling
of the Beautiful and the Sublime_, which appeared in the same year, still
naïvely follow the empirical road.

The empirical phase reaches its skeptical termination in the satire _Dreams
of a Ghost-seer explained by the Dreams of Metaphysics_, 1766, which pours
out its ingenious sarcasm impartially on spiritualism and on the assumed
knowledge of the suprasensible. Here Kant is already clearly conscious of
his new problem, a theory of the limits of human reason, conscious also
that the attack on this problem is to be begun by a discussion of the
question of space. This second question had been for many years a frequent
subject of his reflections;[1] and it was this part of the general critical
problem that first received definitive solution. In the Latin dissertation
_On the Form and Principles of the Sensible and Intelligible World_, 1770,
which concludes the pre-critical period, and which was written on the
occasion of his assumption of his chair as ordinary professor, the
critique of sensibility, the new theory of space and time, is set forth in
approximately the same form as in the _Critique of Pure Reason_, while the
critique of the understanding and of reason, the theory of the categories
and the Ideas and of the sphere of their validity, required for its
completion the intellectual labor of several more years. For this essay,
_De Mundi Sensibilis atque Intelligibilis Forma et Principiis_, leaves
unchallenged the possibility of a knowledge of things in themselves and of
God, thus showing that its author has abandoned the skepticism maintained
in the _Dreams of a Ghost-seer_, and has turned anew to dogmatic
rationalism, whose final overthrow required another swing in the direction
of skeptical empiricism. In regard to the progress of this latter phase
of opinion, the letters to M. Herz are almost the only, though not very
valuable, source of information.

[Footnote 1: _New Theory of Motion and Rest_, 1758; _On the First Ground of
the Distinction of Positions in Space_, 1768; besides several of the works
mentioned above.]

The _Critique of Pure Reason_ appeared in 1781, much later than Kant had
hoped when he began a work on "The Limits of Sensibility and Reason," and a
second, altered edition in 1787.[1] After the _Prolegomena to every Future
Metaphysic which may present itself as Science_, 1783, had given a popular
form to the critical doctrine of knowledge, it was followed by the critical
philosophy of ethics in the _Foundation of the Metaphysics of Ethics_,
1785, and the _Critique of Practical Reason_, 1788; by the critical
aesthetics and teleology in the _Critique of Judgment_, 1790; and by the
critical philosophy of religion in _Religion within the Limits of Reason
Only_, 1793[2] (consisting of four essays, of which the first, "Of Radical
Evil," had already appeared in the _Berliner Monatsschrift_ in 1792). The
_Metaphysical Elements of Natural Science_, 1786, and the _Metaphysics
of Ethics_, 1797 (in two parts, "Metaphysical Elements of the Theory of
Right," and "Metaphysical Elements of the Theory of Virtue "), are devoted
to the development of the system. The year 1798 brought two more larger
works, the _Conflict of the Faculties_ and the _Anthropology_. Of the
reviews, that on Herder's _Ideen_ maybe mentioned, and among the minor
essays, the following: _Idea for a Universal History in a Cosmopolitan
Sense, Answer to the Question: What is Illumination f_ both in 1784;
_What does it mean to Orient oneself in Thought_? 1786; _On the Use of
Teleological Principles in Philosophy_, 1788; _On a Discovery according to
which all Recent Criticism of Pure Reason is to be superseded by a Previous
One_, 1790; _On the Progress of Metaphysics since the Time of Wolff; On
Philosophy in General, The End of all Things_, 1794; _On Everlasting
Peace_, 1795. Kant's _Logic_ was published by Jäsche in 1800; his _Physical
Geography_ and his _Observations on Pedagogics_ by F.T. Rink in 1803; his
lectures on the _Philosophical Theory of Religion_ (1817; 2d. ed., 1830)
and on _Metaphysics_ (1821; cf. Benno Erdmann in the _Philosophische
Monatshefte_, vol. xix. 1883, p. 129 _seq_., and vol. xx. 1884, p. 65
_seq_.) by Pölitz. If we may judge by the specimens given by Reicke in the
_Altpreussische Monatsschrift_, 1882-84, and by Krause himself,[3]
the promised publication of a manuscript of Kant's last years, now in
possession of the Hamburg pastor, Albrecht Krause, and which discusses the
transition from the metaphysical elements of natural science to physics,
will hardly meet the expectations which some have cherished concerning it.
Benno Erdmann has issued _Nachträge zu Kants Kritik der reinen Vernunft aus
Kants Nachlass_, 1881, and _Reflexionen Kants zur kritischen Philosophie
aus handschriftlichen Aufzeichnungen_--the first volume first _Heft
(Reflexionen zur Anthropologie_) appearing in 1882, the second volume
_(Reflexionen zur Kritik der reinen Vernunft, aus Kants Handexemplar
von Baumgartens Metaphysica)_ in 1884. Max Müller has made an English
translation of the _Critique of Pure Reason_, 2 vols., 1881.[4]

[Footnote 1: There has been much discussion and much has been written
concerning the relation of the two editions. In opposition to Schopenhauer
and Kuno Fischer it must be maintained that the alterations in the second
edition consist in giving greater prominence to realistic elements, which
in the first edition remained in the background, though present even

[Footnote 2: This publication was the occasion of a conflict between Kant
and the censorship concerning the right of free religious inquiry; cf.
Dilthey in the _Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie_, vol. in. 1890, pp.

[Footnote 3: A. Krause: _I. Kant wider K. Fischer, zum ersten Male mit
Hülfe des verloren gewesenen Kantischen Hauptwerkes vertheidigt_, 1884 (in
reply, K. Fischer, _Das Streber- und Gründerthum in der Litteratur_,
1884); also, _Das nachgelassene Werk I. Kants, mit Belegen
populär-wissenschaftlich dargestellt_, 1888.]

[Footnote 4: Besides this (centenary) translation the English reader may
be referred to the earlier version of Meiklejohn in Bonn's Library; to the
versions of the _Prolegomena_ by Bax (also in Bonn's Library, and including
the _Metaphysical Elements of Natural Science_), and Mahaffy and Bernard,
new ed., 1889; to Abbot's _Kant's Theory of Ethics_, 4th ed., 1889,
containing the _Foundation of the Metaphysics of Ethics_ and the _Critique
of Practical Reason_ entire, with portions of the _Metaphysics of Ethics_
and _Religion within the Limits of Reason Only_; to Bernard's translation
of the _Kritik of Judgment_, 1892; and to Watson's _Selections from Kant_,
2d ed., 1888 (in Sneath's Modern Philosophers, 1892).--TR.]

The best complete edition of the works of Kant is the second edition of
Hartenstein, in eight volumes, 1867-68, which is chronologically arranged
and excellently gotten up. Simultaneously with the first edition of
Hartenstein in ten volumes, in 1838 _seq_., appeared the edition in twelve
volumes by K. Rosenkranz and F.W. Schubert (containing in the last volumes
a biography of Kant by Schubert, and a history of the Kantian philosophy by
Rosenkranz, 1842). Kehrbach's edition of the principal works in Reclam's
_Universal-Bibliothek_, with the pagination of the original and collective
editions (1877 _seq_.), is more valuable than Von Kirchmann's edition of
the complete works in his _Philosophische Bibliothek_.

Among the works on Kant those of Kuno Fischer (vols. iii.-iv. of the
_Geschichte der neueren Philosophie_, 3d ed., 1882; also Kant's _Leben und
die Grundlagen seiner Lehre_, 1860) take the first place. The writings of
Liebmann, Cohen, Stadler, Riehl, Volkelt, and others will be mentioned
later, in connection with the neo-Kantian movement; here we may give some
of the more important monographs and essays, selected from the enormously
developed Kantian literature:

Ad. Böhringer, _Kants erkenntnisstheoretischer Idealismus_, 1888;
K. Dieterich, _Die Kantische Philosophie in ihrer inneren
Entwickelungsgeschichte_, 2 parts, 1885 (first published separately,
_Kant und Newton_, 1877; _Kant und Rousseau_, 1878); W. Dilthey, _Aus
den Rostocker Kanthandschriften_ in the _Archiv für Geschichte der
Philosophie_, vols. ii.-iii. 1889-90; M.W. Drobisch, _Kants Ding an sich
und sein Erfahrungsbegriff_, 1885; B. Erdmann, _Kants Kritizismus in der
I. und II. Auflage der Kritik der reinen Vernunft_, 1878; the same, _Kants
Prolegomena herausgegeben und erläutert_, 1878, Introduction (in reply Emil
Arnoldt, _Kants Prolegomena nicht doppelt redigiert_, 1879; cf. also H.
Vaihinger, _Die Erdmann-Arnoldtsche Kontroverse_ in the _Philosophische
Monatshefte_, vol. xvi. 1880); Franz Erhardt, _Kritik der Kantischen
Antinomienlehre_, 1888; R. Eucken, _Ueber Bilder und Gleichnisse bei
Kant, Zeitschrift für Philosophie_, vol. lxxxiii, 1883, reprinted in his
_Beiträge zur Geschichte der neueren Philosophie_, 1886; F. Frederichs,
_Der phänomenale Idealismus Berkeleys und Kants_, 1871; the same, _Kants
Prinzip der Ethik_, 1879; Ed. von Hartmann, _Das Ding an sich und seine
Beschaffenheit_, 1871, in the 2d ed., 1875, and the 3d, 1885, entitled
_Kritische Grundlegung des transzendentalen Realismus_; C. Hebler,
_Kantiana_, in his _Philosophische Aufsätze_, 1869; Alfred Hegler, _Die
Psychologie in Kants Ethik_, 1891; A. Hölder, _Darstellung der Kantischen
Erkenntnisstheorie_, 1873 J. Jacobson, _Die Auffindung des Apriori_, 1876;
the same, _Ueber die Beziehungen zwischen Kategorien und Urtheilsformen_,
1877; Wilhelm Koppelmann, _Kants Lehre vom analytischen Urtheil, Philosoph.
Monatshefte_, vol. xxi, 1885; the same, _Lotzes Stellung zu Kants
Kritizismus, Zeitschrift für Philosophie_, vol. lxxxviii, 1886; the same,
_Kants Lehre vom kategorischen Imperativ_, 1888; the same, _Kant und die
Grundlagen der Christlichen Religion_, 1890; E. Laas, _Kants Analogien
der Erfahrung_, 1876; the same, _Einige Bemerkungen zur
Transzendentalphilosophie_, Strassburg _Abhandlungen_, 1884; J. Mainzer,
_Die kritische Epoche in der Lehre von der Einbildungskraft_, 1881; J.B.
Meyer, _Kants Psychologie_, 1870; F. Paulsen, _Was Kant uns sein kann,
Vierteljahrsschrift für wissenschaftliche Philosophie_, 1881; B. Pünjer,
_Die Religionslehre Kants_, 1874; R. Quaebicker, _Kants und Herbarts
metaphysische Grundansichten über das Wesen der Seele_, 1870; J. Rehmke,
_Physiologie und Kantianismus_, address in Eisenach, 1883; Rud. Reicke,
_Lose Blätter aus Kants Nachlass_, 1889 (on this H. Vaihinger in the
_Zeitschrift für Philosophie_, vol. xcvi. 1889); O. Riedel, _Die
monadologischen Bestimmungen in Kants Lehre vom Ding an sich_, dissertation
at Kiel, 1884; O. Schneider, _Die psychologische Entwickelung des Apriori_,
1883; the same, _Transzendentalpsychologie_, 1891; F. Staudinger,
_Noumena_, 1884; M. Steckelmacher, _Die formale Logik Kants_, Breslau
Prize Essay, 1879; A. Stern, _Die Beziehung Garves zu Kant,
nebst ungedruckten Briefen_, 1884; C. Stumpf, _Psychologie und
Erkenntnisstheorie, Abhandlungen der bayerischen Akademie der
Wissenschaften_, 1891; G. Thiele, _Kants intellectuelle Anschauung als
Grundbegriff seines Kritizismus_, 1876; the same, _Die Philosophie Kants
nach ihrem systematischen Zusammenhange und ihrer logischhistorischen
Entiwickelung_, I. (1) _Kants vorkritische Naturphilosophie_, 1882; (2)
_Kants vorkritische Erkenntnisstheorie_, 1887; Ad. Trendelenburg, _Ueber
eine Lücke in Kants Beweis von der ausschliessenden Subjectivität des
Raumes and der Zeit_ in vol. iii. of his _Historische Beiträge zur
Philosophie_, 1867; Ueberhorst, _Kants Lehre von dem Verhältnisse der
Kategorien zu der Erfahrung_, 1878; H. Vaihinger, _Eine Blattversetzung in
Kants Prolegomena, Philosoph. Monatshefte_, vol. xv. 1879; the same, _Zu
Kants Widerlegung des Idealismus_, Strassburg _Abhandlungen_, 1884; J.
Walter, _Zum Gedächtniss Kants, Festrede_, 1881; Th. Weber, _Zur Kritik der
Kantischen Erkenntnisstheorie_ (from the _Zeitschrift für Philosophie_),
1882; W. Windelband, _Ueber die verschiedenen Phasen der Kantischen Lehre
vom Ding an sich, Vierteljahrsschrift für wissenschaftliche Philosophie_,
1877 (cf. the same author's _Geschichte der neueren Philosophie_, § 58);
J. Witte, _Beiträge zum Verständniss Kants_, 1874; the same, _Kantischer
Kritizismus gegenüber unkritischem Dilettantismus_ (against A. Stöhr),
1885; Wohlrabe, _Kants Lehre vom Gewissen_, 1889; E. Zeller, _Ueber das
Kantische Moralprinzip_, 1880; R. Zimmermann, _Ueber Kants Widerlegung des
Idealismus von Berkeley_, 1871; the same, _Ueber Kants mathematisches
Vorurtheil und dessen Folgen_, 1871.

Popular expositions have been given by the following: K. Fortlage (in his
_Philos. Vorträge_, 1869); E. Last, _Mehr Licht! Die Haupsätze Kants und
Schopenhauers_, 1879; the same, _Die realistiche und die idealistische
Anschauung entwickelt an Kants Idealität von Raum und Zeit_, 1884; H.
Romundt, _Antaeus, neuer Aufbau der Lehre Kants über Seele, Freiheit,
und Gott_, 1882; the same, _Grundlegung zur Reform der Philosophie,
vereinfachte und erweiterte Darstellung von Kants Kritik der reinen
Vernunft_, 1885; the same, _Die Vollendung des Socrates, Kants Grundlegung
zur Reform der Sittenlehre_; the same, _Ein neuer Paulus, Kants Grundlegung
zu einer sicheren Lehre von der Religion_, 1886; the same, _Die drei Fragen
Kants_, 1887; A. Krause, _Populäre Darstellung von Kants Kritik der reinen
Vernunft_, 1881; K. Lasswitz, _Die Lehre Kants von der Idealität des
Raumes und der Zeit_, 1883; Wilhelm Münz, _Die Grundlagen der Kantischen
Erkenntnisstheorie_, 2d ed., 1885.

Among foreigners Villers, Cousin, Nolen, Desdouits, Cantoni, E. Caird [_\A
Critical Account of the Philosophy of Kant_, 1877; _The Critical Philosophy
of Immanuel Kant_, 2 vols., 1889], Adamson _[On the Philosophy of Kant_,
1879, and a valuable article in the _Encyclopedia Britannica_, 9th ed.,
vol. xiii.], Stirling [_Text-book to Kant_, 1881], [Watson, _Kant and his
English Critics_, 1881], Morris _Kant's Critique of Pure Reason_, Griggs's
Philosophical Classics, 1882, [Wallace, _Kant_, Blackwood's Philosophical
Classics, 1882; Porter, _Kant's Ethics_, Griggs's Philosophical Classics,
1886; Green, _Lectures_, Works, vol. ii., 1886.--Tr.], have among others
made contributions to Kantian literature. Of the older works we may mention
the dictionaries of E. Schmid, 1788, and Mellin (in six volumes), 1797
_seq_., the critique of the Kantian philosophy in the first volume of
Schopenhauer's chief work, 1819, and the essay of C.H. Weisse, _In
welchem Sinne hat sich die deutsche Philosophie jetzt wieder an Kant zu
orientieren_, 1847.

Kant's outward life was less eventful and less changeful than his
philosophical development.[1] Born in Königsberg in 1724, the son of J.G.
Cant, a saddler of Scottish descent, his home and school training were both
strict and of a markedly religious type. He was educated at the university
of his native city, and for nine years, from 1746 on, filled the place of
a private tutor. In 1755 he became _Docent_, in 1770 ordinary professor in
Königsberg, serving also for six years of this time as under-librarian. He
seldom left his native city and never the province. The clearness
which marked his extremely popular lectures on physical geography and
anthropology was due to his diligent study of works of travel, and to an
unusually acute gift of observation, which enabled him to draw from his
surroundings a comprehensive knowledge of the world and of man. He ceased
lecturing in 1797, and in 1804 old age ended a life which had always, even
in minute detail, been governed by rule. A man of extreme devotion to
duty, particularity, and love of truth, and an amiable, bright, and witty
companion, Kant belongs to the acute rather than to the profound thinkers.
Among his manifold endowments the tendency to combination and the faculty
of intuition (as the _Critique of Judgment_ especially shows) are present
to a noticeable degree, yet not so markedly as the power of strict analysis
and subtle discrimination. So that, although a mediating tendency is
rightly regarded as the distinguishing characteristic of the Kantian
thinking, it must also be remembered that synthesis is everywhere preceded
by a mighty work of analysis, and that this still exerts its power even
after the adjustment is complete. Thus Kant became the energetic defender
of a qualitative view of the world in opposition to the quantitative view
of Leibnitz, for which antitheses (_e.g._, sensation and thought, feeling
and cognition, good and evil, duty and inclination) fade into mere
differences of degree.

[Footnote 1: The following have done especially valuable service in the
investigation of the development of Kant's doctrine: Paulsen (_Versuch
einer Entwickelungsgeschichte der Kantischen Erkenntnisstheorie_, 1875),
B. Erdmann, Vaihinger, and Windelband. Besides Hume and Leibnitz, Newton,
Locke, Shaftesbury, Rousseau, and Wolff exercised an important influence
on Kant.]

In the beginning of this chapter we have indicated how the new ideal of
knowledge, under whose banner Kant brought about a reform of philosophy,
grew out of the conflict between the rationalistic (dogmatic) and the
empirical (skeptical) systems. This combines the Baconian ideal of the
extension of knowledge with the Cartesian ideal of certainty in knowledge.
It is synthetic judgments alone which extend knowledge, while analytic
judgments are explicative merely.[1] _A priori_ judgments alone are
perfectly certain, absolutely universal, and necessarily valid; while _a
posteriori_ judgments are subjectively valid merely, lack necessity, and,
at best, yield only relative universality.[2] All analytic judgments are _a
priori_, all empirical or _a posteriori_ judgments are synthetic. Between
the two lies the object of Kant's search. Do _synthetic judgments a priori_
exist, and how are they possible?

[Footnote 1: "All bodies are extended" is an analytic judgment; "all bodies
possess weight," a synthetic judgment. The former explicates the concept
of the subject by bringing into notice an idea already contained in it and
belonging to the definition as a part thereof; it is based on the law of
contradiction: an unextended body is a self-contradictory concept. The
latter, on the contrary, goes beyond the concept of the subject and adds
a predicate which had not been thought therein. It is experience which
teaches us that weight is joined to matter, a fact which cannot be derived
from the concept of matter. Almost all mathematical principles are
synthetic, and here, as will be shown, it is not experience but "pure
intuition" which permits us to go beyond the concept and add a new mark
to it.]

[Footnote 2: The Scholastics applied the term _a priori_ to knowledge from
causes (from that which precedes), and _a posteriori_ to knowledge from
effects. Kant, following Leibnitz and Lambert, uses the terms to designate
the antithesis, knowledge from reason and knowledge from experience. An _a
priori_ judgment is a judgment obtained without the aid of experience. When
the principle from which it is derived is also independent of experience it
is absolutely _a priori_, otherwise it is relatively _a priori_.]

Two sciences discuss the _how_, and a third the _if_ of such judgments,
which, at the same time, are ampliative and absolutely universal and
necessary. The first two sciences are pure mathematics and pure natural
science, of which the former is protected against doubt concerning its
legitimacy by its evident character, and the latter, by the constant
possibility of verification in experience; each, moreover, can point to
the continuous course of its development. All this is absent in the third
science, metaphysics, as science of the suprasensible, and to its great
disadvantage. Experiential verification is in the nature of things denied
to a presumptive knowledge of that which is beyond experience; it lacks
evidence to such an extent that there is scarcely a principle to be found
to which all metaphysicians assent, much less a metaphysical text-book
to compare with Euclid; there is so little continuous advance that it is
rather true that the later comers are likely to overthrow all that their
predecessors have taught. In metaphysics, therefore, which, it must be
confessed, is actual as a natural tendency, the question is not, as in
the other two sciences, concerning the grounds of its legitimacy, but
concerning this legitimacy itself. Mathematics and pure physics form
synthetic judgments _a priori_, and metaphysics does the same. But the
principles of the two former are unchallenged, while those of the third
are not. In the former case the subject for investigation is, Whence this
authority? in the latter case, Is she thus authorized?

Thus the main question, How are synthetic judgments _a priori_ possible?
divides into the subordinate questions, How is pure mathematics possible?
How is pure natural science possible, and, How is metaphysics (in two
senses: metaphysics in general, and metaphysics as science) possible? The
Transcendental _Aesthetic_ (the critique of sensibility or the faculty
of intuition) answers the first of these questions; the Transcendental
_Analytic_ (the critique of the understanding), the second; and the
Transcendental _Dialectic_ (the critique of "reason" in the narrower sense)
and the Transcendental _Doctrine of Method (Methodenlehre)_, the third. The
Analytic and the Dialectic are the two parts of the Transcendental "Logic"
(critique of the faculty of thought), which, together with the Aesthetic,
forms the Transcendental "Doctrine of Elements" _(Elementarlehre)_, in
contrast to the Doctrine of Method. The _Critique of Pure Reason_ follows
this scheme of subordinate division, while the _Prolegomena_ co-ordinates
all four parts in the manner first mentioned.

Let us anticipate the answers. Pure mathematics is possible, because there
are pure or _a priori intuitions_ (space and time), and pure natural
science or the metaphysics of phenomena, because there are _a priori
concepts_ (categories) _and principles_ of the pure understanding.
Metaphysics as a presumptive science of the suprasensible has been possible
in the form of unsuccessful attempts, because there are _Ideas_ or concepts
of reason which point beyond experience and look as though knowable objects
were given through them; but as real science it is not possible, because
the application of the categories is restricted to the limits of
experience, while the objects thought through the Ideas cannot be
sensuously given, and all assumed knowledge of them becomes involved in
irresolvable contradictions (antinomies). On the other hand, a science is
possible and necessary to teach the correct use of the categories, which
may be applied to phenomena alone, and of the Ideas, which may be applied
only to our knowledge of things (and our volition), and to determine the
origin and the limits of our knowledge--that is to say, a transcendental
philosophy. In regard to metaphysics (knowledge from pure reason), then,
this is the conclusion reached: Rejection of transcendent metaphysics (that
which goes beyond experience), recognition and development of immanent
metaphysics (that which remains within the limits of possible experience).
It is not possible as a metaphysic of things in themselves; it is possible
as a metaphysic of nature (of the totality of phenomena), and as a
metaphysic of knowledge (critique of reason).

The interests of the reason are not exhausted, however, by the question,
What can we know? but include two further questions, What ought we to do?
and, What may we hope? Thus to the metaphysics of nature there is added
a metaphysics of morals, and to the critique of theoretical reason, a
critique of practical reason or of the will, together with a critique of
religious belief. For even if a "knowledge" of the suprasensible is denied
to us, yet "practical" grounds are not wanting for a sufficiently certain
"conviction" concerning God, freedom, and immortality.

After carrying the question of the possibility of synthetic judgments _a
priori_ from the knowledge of nature over to the knowledge of our duty,
Kant raises it, in the third place, in regard to our judgment concerning
the subjective and objective purposiveness of things, or concerning their
beauty and their perfection, and adds to his critique of the intellect
and the will a critique of the faculty of aesthetic and teleological

The Kantian philosophy accordingly falls into three parts, one theoretical,
one practical (and religious), one aesthetic and teleological.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before advancing to our account of the first of these parts, a few
preliminary remarks are indispensable concerning the presuppositions
involved in Kant's critical work and on the method which he pursues. The
presuppositions are partly psychological, partly (as the classification of
the forms of judgment and inference, and the twofold division of judgments)
logical, either in the formal or the transcendental sense, and partly
metaphysical (as the thing in itself). Kant takes the first of these from
the psychology of his time, by combining the Wolffian classification of the
faculties with that of Tetens, and thus obtains six different faculties:
lower (sensuous) and higher (intellectual) faculties of cognition, of
feeling, and of appetition; or sensibility (the capacity for receiving
representations through the way in which we are affected by objects),
understanding (the faculty of producing representations spontaneously and
of connecting them); the sensuous feelings of pleasure and pain, taste;
desire, and will. The understanding in the wide sense is equivalent to the
higher faculty of cognition, and divides further into understanding in the
stricter sense (faculty of concepts), judgment (faculty of judging), and
reason (faculty of inference). Of these the first gives laws to the faculty
of cognition or to nature, the second laws to taste, and the third laws to
the will.

The most important of the fundamental assumptions concerns the relation,
the nature, and the mission of the two faculties of cognition. These do
not differ in degree, through the possession of greater or less
distinctness--for there are sensuous representations which are distinct and
intellectual ones which are not so--but specifically: Sensibility is the
faculty of intuitions, understanding the faculty of concepts. Intuitions
are particular, concepts general representations. The former relate to
objects directly, the latter only indirectly (through the mediation of
other representations). In intuition the mind is receptive, in conception
it acts spontaneously. "Through intuitions objects are _given_ to us;
through concepts they are _thought_." It results from this that neither of
the two faculties is of itself sufficient for the attainment of knowledge,
for cognition is objective thinking, the determination of objects, the
unifying combination or elaboration of a given manifold, the forming of a
material content. Rationalists and empiricists alike have been deceived
in regard to the necessity for co-operation between the senses and the
understanding. Sensibility furnishes the material manifold, which of itself
it is not able to form, while the understanding gives the unifying form, to
which of itself it cannot furnish a content. "Intuitions without concepts
are _blind_" (formless, unintelligible), "concepts without intuitions are
_empty_" (without content). In the one case, form and order are wanting; in
the other, the material to be formed. The two faculties are thrown back on
each other, and knowledge can arise only from their union.

A certain degree of form is attained in sense, it is true, since the chaos
of sensations is ordered under the "forms of intuition," space and time,
which are an original possession of the intuiting subject, but this is
not sufficient, without the aid of the understanding, for the genesis of
knowledge. In view of the _a priori_ nature of space and time, though
without detraction from their intuitive character (they are immediate
particular representations), we may assign pure sensibility to the higher
faculty of cognition and speak of an intuiting reason.

The forms of intuition and of thought come from within, they lie ready in
the mind _a priori_, though not as completed representations. They are
functions, necessary actions of the soul, for the execution of which a
stimulus from without, through sensations, is necessary, but which, when
once this is given, the soul brings forth spontaneously. The external
impulse merely gives the soul the occasion for such productive acts, while
their grounds and laws are found in its own nature. In this sense Kant
terms them "originally acquired," and in the Introduction to the _Critique
of Pure Reason_ declares that although it is indubitable that "all our
knowledge begins _with_ experience (impressions of sense), yet it does not
all arise _from_ experience." That a representation or cognition is _a
priori_[1] does not mean that it precedes experience in time, but that
(apart from the merely exciting, non-productive stimulation through
impressions already mentioned) it is independent of all experience, that it
is not derived or borrowed from experience.

[Footnote 1: The terms _a priori_ representation and pure representation
(concept, intuition) are equivalent; but in judgments, on the other hand,
there is a distinction. A judgment is _a priori_ when the connection takes
place independently of experience, no matter whether the concepts connected
are _a priori_ or not. If the former is the case the _a priori_ judgment is
pure (mixed with nothing empirical); if the latter, it is mixed.]

The material of intuition and thought is given to the soul, received by
it; it arises through the action of objects upon the senses, and is always
empirical. Intuition is the only organ of reality; in sensation the
presence of a real object as the cause of the sensation is directly
revealed. When Kant's transcendental idealism was placed by a reviewer on a
level with the empirical idealism of Berkeley, which denies the existence
of the external world, he distinctly asserted that it had never entered
his mind to question the reality of external things. Further, after the
existence of real things affecting the senses had been transformed in
his mind from a basis of the investigation into an object of inquiry,
he endeavored to defend this assumption (which at first he had naïvely
borrowed from the realism of pre-scientific thought) by arguments, but
without any satisfactory result.[1]

[Footnote 1: The task of confirming the existence of things in themselves
changes under his hands into another, that of proving the existence of
external phenomena. "That external objects are real as representations"
Berkeley had never disputed.]

On the basis of the inseparability of sensibility and understanding the
ideal of knowledge--an extension of knowledge to be attained by _a priori_
means (p. 333)--experiences a remarkable addition in the position that the
rational synthesis thus obtained must be a knowledge of reality, must be
applied to matter given in intuition. To the question, "How are synthetic
judgments _a priori possible_?" is joined a second equally legitimate
inquiry, "How do they become _objectively valid_, or applicable to objects
of experience?" The principle from which their validity is proved--they are
applicable to objects of experience because _without them experience would
not be possible_, because they are _conditions of experience_--like the
criterion of apriority (strict universality and necessity), is one of the
noëtic assumptions of the critical theory.[1]

[Footnote 1: Cf. Vaihinger, _Kommentar_, i. pp. 425-430.]

Inasmuch as its investigation relates to the conditions of experience the
Kantian criticism follows a method which it itself terms _transcendental_.
Heretofore, when the metaphysical method had been adopted, the object had
been the suprasensible; and when knowledge had been made the object of
investigation, the method followed had been empirical, psychological. Kant
had the right to consider himself the creator of noëtics, for he showed it
the transcendental point of view. Knowledge is an object of experience, but
its conditions are not. The object is to explain knowledge, not merely to
describe it psychologically,--to establish a new science of knowledge from
principles, from pure reason. That which lies beyond experience is
sealed from our thought; that which lies on this side of it is still
uninvestigated, though capable and worthy of investigation, and in
extreme need thereof. Criticism forbids the _transcendent_ use of reason
(transcending experience); it permits, demands, and itself exercises the
_transcendental_[1] use of it, which explains an experiential object,
knowledge, from its conditions, which are not empirically given.

[Footnote A: Kant applies the term _transcendental_ to the knowledge (the
discovery, the proof) of the _a priori_ factor and its relation to objects
of experience. Unfortunately he often uses the same word not only to
designate the _a priori_ element itself, but also as a synonym for
transcendent. In all three cases its opposite is _empirical_, namely,
empirico-psychological investigation by observation in distinction from
noëtical investigation from principles; empirical origin in distinction
from an origin in pure reason, and empirical use in distinction from
application beyond the limits of experience.]

There is, apparently, a contradiction between the empiristic result of the
Critique of Reason (the limitation of knowledge to objects of experience)
and its rationalistic proofs (which proceed metaphysically, not
empirically), and, in fact, a considerable degree of opposition really
exists. Kant argues in a metaphysical way that there can be no metaphysics.
This contradiction is solved by the distinction which has been mentioned
between that which is beyond, and that which lies within, the boundary of
experience. That metaphysic is forbidden which on the objective side soars
beyond experience, but that pure rational knowledge is permissible and
necessary which develops from principles the grounds of experiential
knowledge existing in the subject. In the Kantian school, however, these
complementary elements,--empirical result, transcendental or metaphysical,
properly speaking, pro-physical method,--were divorced, and the one
emphasized, favored, and further developed at the expense of the other.
The empiricists hold to the result, while they either weaken or completely
misunderstand the rationalism of the method: the _a priori_ factor, says
Fries, was not reached by _a priori_, but by _a posteriori_, means, and
there is no other way by which it could have been reached. The constructive
thinkers, Fichte and his successors, adopt and continue the metaphysical
method, but reject the empirical result. Fichte's aim is directed to
a system of necessary, unconscious processes of reason, among which,
rejecting the thing in itself, he includes sensation. According to
Schelling nature itself is _a priori_, a condition of consciousness. This
discrepancy between foundation and result continues in an altered form even
among contemporary thinkers--as a discussion whether the "main purpose"
of Criticism is to be found in the limitation of knowledge to possible
experience, or the establishment of _a priori_ elements--though many, in
adherence to Kant's own view, maintain that the metaphysics of knowledge
and of phenomena (immanent rationalism) is the only legitimate metaphysics.

%1. Theory of Knowledge.

(a) The Pure Intuitions (Transcendental Aesthetic).%--The first part of the
Critique of Reason, the Transcendental Aesthetic, lays down the position
that _space and time_ are not independent existences, not real beings, and
not properties or relations which would belong to things in themselves
though they were not intuited, but _forms of our intuition_, which have
their basis in the subjective constitution of our, the human, mind. If we
separate from sensuous intuition all that the understanding thinks in it
through its concepts, and all that belongs to sensation, these two forms of
intuition remain, which may be termed pure intuitions, since they can be
considered apart from all sensation. As subjective _conditions_ (lying in
the nature of the subject) through which alone a thing can become an object
of intuition for us, they precede all empirical intuitions or are
_a priori_.

Space and time are neither substantial receptacles which contain all
that is real nor orders inhering in things in themselves, but forms of
intuition. Now all our representations are either pure or empirical in
their origin, and either intuitive or conceptual in character. Kant
advances four proofs for the position that space and time are not empirical
and not concepts, but pure intuitions: (1) Time is not an empirical
concept which has been abstracted from experience. For the coexistence or
succession of phenomena, _i.e._, their existence at the same time or at
different times (from which, as many believe, the representation of time
is abstracted), itself presupposes time--a coexistence or succession is
possible only in time. It is no less false that space is abstracted from
the empirical space relations of external phenomena, their existence
outside and beside one another, or in different places, for it is
impossible to represent relative situation except in space. Therefore
experience does not make space and time possible; but space and time first
of all make experience possible, the one outer, the other inner experience.
They are postulates of perception, not abstractions from it. (2) Time is a
necessary representation _a priori_. We can easily think all phenomena away
from it, but we cannot remove time itself in view of phenomena in general;
we can think time without phenomena, but not phenomena without time. The
same is true of space in reference to external objects. Both are conditions
of the possibility of phenomena. (3) Time is not a discursive or general
concept. For there is but one time. And different times do not precede the
one time as the constituent parts of which it is made up, but are mere
limitations of it; the part is possible only through the whole. In the same
way the various spaces are only parts of one and the same space, and can
be thought in it alone. But a representation which can be given only by
a single object is a particular representation or an intuition. Because,
therefore, of the oneness of space and time, the representation of each
is an intuition. The _a priori_, immediate intuition of the one space is
entirely different from the empirical, general conception of space, which
is abstracted from the various spaces. (4) Determinate periods of time
arise by limitation of the one, fundamental time. Consequently this
original time must be unlimited or infinite, and the representation of it
must be an intuition, not a concept. Time contains in itself an endless
number of representations (its parts, times), but this is never the
case with a generic concept, which, indeed, is contained as a partial
representation in an endless number of representations (those of the
individuals having the same name), and, consequently, comprehends them all
under itself, but which never contains them in itself. The general concept
horse is contained in each particular representation of a horse as a
general characteristic, and that of justice in each representation of a
definite just act; time, however, is not contained in the different times,
but they are contained in it. Similarly the relation of infinite space to
the finite spaces is not the logical relation of a concept to examples of
it, but the intuitive relation of an unlimited whole to its limited parts.

The _Prolegomena_ employs as a fifth proof for the intuitive character of
space, an argument which had already appeared in the essay _On the Ultimate
Ground of the Distinction of Positions in Space_. There are certain spatial
distinctions which can be grasped by intuition alone, and which are
absolutely incapable of comprehension through the understanding--for
example, those of right and left, above and below, before and behind. No
logical marks can be given for the distinction between the object and its
image in the mirror, or between the right ear and the left. The complete
description of a right hand must, in all respects (quality, proportionate
position of parts, size of the whole), hold for the left as well;
but, despite the complete similarity, the one hand cannot be exactly
super-imposed on the other; the glove of the one cannot be worn on the
other. This difference in direction, which has significance only when
viewed from a definite point, and the impossibility mentioned of a
congruence between an object (right hand) and its reflected image (left
hand) can be understood only by intuition; they must be seen and felt, and
cannot be made clear through concepts, and, consequently, can never be
explained to a being which lacks the intuition of space.

In the "transcendental" exposition of space and time Kant follows this
"metaphysical" exposition, which had to prove their non-empirical, and
non-discursive, hence their _a priori_ and intuitive, character, with
the proof that only such an explanation of space and time could make it
conceivable how synthetic cognitions _a priori_ can arise from them. The
principles of mathematics are of this kind. The synthetic character of
geometrical truths is explained by the intuitive nature of space, their
apodictic character by its apriority, and their objective reality or
applicability to empirical objects by the fact that space is the condition
of (external) perception. The like is true of arithmetic and time.

If space were a mere concept, no proposition could be derived from it which
should go beyond the concept and extend our knowledge of its properties.
The possibility of such extension or synthesis in mathematics depends on
the fact that spatial concepts can always be presented or "constructed" in
intuition. The geometrical axiom that in the triangle the sum of two sides
is greater than the third is derived from intuition, by describing the
triangle in imagination or, actually, on the board. Here the object is
given through the cognition and not before it.--If space and time were
empirical representations the knowledge obtained from them would lack
necessity, which, as a matter of fact, it possesses in a marked degree.
While experience teaches us only that something is thus or so, and not that
it could not be otherwise, the axioms, (space has only three dimensions,
time only one; only one straight line is possible between two points),
nay, all the propositions of mathematics are strictly universal and
apodictically certain: we are entirely relieved from the necessity of
measuring all triangles in the world in order to find out whether the sum
of their angles is equal to two right angles, and we do not need, as in the
case of judgments of experience, to add the limitation, so far as it is yet
known there are no exceptions to this rule. The apriority is the _ratio
essendi_ of the strict necessity involved in the "it must be so" _(des
Soseinmüssens_), while the latter is the _ratio cognoscendi_ of the former.
Now since the necessity of mathematical judgments can only be explained
through the ideality of space, this doctrine is perfectly certain, not
merely a probable hypothesis.--The validity of mathematical principles for
all objects of perception, finally, is based on the fact that they are
rules under which alone experience is possible for us. It should be
mentioned, further, that the conceptions of change and motion (change of
place) are possible only through and in the representation of time. No
concept could make intelligible the possibility of change, that is, of the
connection of contradictory predicates in one and the same thing, but the
intuition of succession easily succeeds in accomplishing it.

The argument is followed by conclusions and explanations based upon it;
(1) Space is the form of the outer, time of the inner, sense. Through the
outer sense external objects are given to us, and through the inner sense
our own inner states. But since all representations, whether they have
external things for their objects or not, belong in themselves, as mental
determinations, to our inner state, time is the formal condition of all
phenomena in general, directly of internal (psychical) phenomena, and,
thereby, indirectly of external phenomena also. (2) The validity of the
relations of space and time cognizable _a priori_ is established for all
objects of possible experience, but is limited to these. They are valid
for _all phenomena_ (for all things which at any time may be given to our
senses), but only for these, not for things as they are _in themselves_.
They have "empirical reality, but, at the same time, transcendental
ideality." As external phenomena all things are beside one another in
space, and all phenomena whatever are in time and of necessity under
temporal relations; in regard to all things which can occur in our
experience, and in so far as they can occur, space and time are
objectively, therefore empirically, real. But they do not possess absolute
reality (neither subsistent reality nor the reality of inherence); for if
we abstract from our sensuous intuition both vanish, and, apart from the
subject (_N.B._, the transcendental subject, concerning which more below),
they are naught. It is only from man's point of view that we can speak
of space, and of extended, moveable, changeable things; for we can know
nothing concerning the intuitions of other thinking beings, we have no
means of discovering whether they are bound by the same conditions which
limit our intuitions, and which for us are universally valid. (3) Nothing
which is intuited in space is a thing in itself. What we call external
objects are nothing but mere representations of our sensibility, whose
true correlative, the _thing in itself_, cannot be known by ever so deep
penetration into the phenomenon; such properties as belong to things in
themselves can never be given to us through the senses. Similarly nothing
that is intuited in time is a thing in itself, so that we intuit ourselves
only as we appear to ourselves, and not as we are.

The merely empirical reality of space and time, the limitation of their
validity to phenomena, leaves the certainty of knowledge within the limits
of experience intact; for we are equally certain of it, whether these forms
necessarily belong to things in themselves, or only to our intuitions
of things. The assertion of their absolute reality, on the other hand,
involves us in sheer absurdities (that is, it necessitates the assumption
of two infinite nonentities which exist, but without being anything real,
merely in order to comprehend all reality, and on one of which even our own
existence would be dependent), in view of which the origin of so peculiar
a theory as the idealism of Berkeley appears intelligible. The critical
theory of space and time is so far from being identical with, or akin to,
the theory of Berkeley, that it furnishes the best and only defense against
the latter. If anyone assumes the absolute or transcendental reality of
these forms, it is impossible for him to prevent everything, including even
our own existence, from being changed thereby into mere illusion. But
the critical philosopher is far from degrading bodies to mere illusion;
external phenomena are just as real for him as internal phenomena, though
only as phenomena, it is true, as (possible) representations.

Phenomenon and illusion are not the same. The transcendental distinction
between phenomena and things in themselves must not be confused with the
distinction common to ordinary life and to physics, in accordance with
which we call the rainbow a mere appearance (better, illusion), but the
combination of sun and rain which gives rise to this illusion the thing
in itself, as that which in universal experience and in all different
positions with respect to the senses, is thus and not otherwise determined
in intuition, or that which essentially belongs to the intuition of the
object, and is valid for every human sensibility (in antithesis to that
which only contingently belongs to it, and is valid only for a special
position or organization of this or that sense). Similarly an object always
appears to grow smaller as its distance increases, while in itself it is
and remains of some fixed size. And this use of words is perfectly
correct, in the _physical or empirical_ sense of "in itself"; but in the
_transcendental_ sense the raindrops, also, together with their form and
size, are themselves mere phenomena, the "in itself" of which remains
entirely unknown to us. Kant, moreover, does not wish to see the
subjectivity of the forms of intuition placed on a level with the
subjectivity of sensations or explained by this, though he accepts it as
a fact long established. The sensations of color, of tone, of temperature
are, no doubt, like the representation of space in that they belong only to
the subjective constitution of the sensibility, and can be attributed to
objects only in relation to our senses. But the great difference between
the two is that these sense qualities may be different in different persons
(the color of the rose may seem different to each eye), or may fail to
harmonize with any human sense; that they are not _a priori_ in the same
strict sense as space and time, and consequently afford no knowledge of the
objects of possible experience independently of perception; and that they
are connected with the phenomenon only as the contingently added effects of
a particular organization, while space, as the condition of external
objects, necessarily belongs to the phenomenon or intuition of them. _It is
through space alone that it is possible for things to be external objects
for us_. The subjectivity of sensation is individual, while that of space
and time is general or universal to mankind; the former is empirical,
individually different, and contingent, the latter _a priori_ and
necessary. Space alone, not sensation, is a _conditio sine qua non_ of
external perception. Space and time are the sole _a priori_ elements of
the sensibility; all other sensuous concepts, even motion and change,
presuppose perception; the movable in space and the succession of
properties in an existing thing are empirical data.

In confirmation of the theory that all objects of the senses are mere
phenomena, the fact is adduced that (with the exception of the will and the
feelings, which are not cognitions) nothing is given us through the senses
but representations of relations, while a thing in itself cannot be known
by mere relations. The phenomenon is a sum total of mere relations. In
regard to matter we know only extension, motion, and the laws of this
motion or forces (attraction, repulsion, impenetrability), but all these
are merely relations of the thing to something, else, that is, external
relations. Where is the inner side which underlies this exterior, and
which belongs to the object in itself? This is never to be found in the
phenomenon, and no matter how far the observation and analysis of nature
may advance (a work with unlimited horizons!) they reach nothing but
portions of space occupied by matter and effects which matter exercises,
that is, nothing beyond that which is comparatively internal, and which,
in its turn, consists of external relations. The absolutely inner side
of matter is a mere fancy; and if the complaint that the "inner side" of
things is concealed from us is to mean that we do not comprehend what
the things which appear to us may be in themselves, it is unjust and
irrational, for it demands that we should be able to intuit without
senses, in other words, that we should be other than men. The transcendent
questions concerning the noumenon of things are unanswerable; we know
ourselves, even, only as phenomena! A phenomenon consists in nothing but
the relation of something in general to the senses.

It is indubitable _that_ something corresponds to phenomena, which,
by affecting our sensibility, occasions sensations in us, and thereby
phenomena. The very word, the very concept, "phenomenon", indicates a
relation to something which is not phenomenon, to an object not dependent
on the sensibility. _What_ this may be continues hidden from us, for
knowledge is impossible without intuition. Things in themselves are
unknowable. Nevertheless the idea (it must be confessed, the entirely empty
idea) of this "transcendental object", as an indeterminate somewhat = _x_
which underlies phenomena, is not only allowable, but, as a limiting
concept, unavoidable in order to confine the pretensions of sense to the
only field which is accessible to it, that is, to the field of phenomena.

The inference "space and time are nothing but representations and
representations are in us, therefore space and time as well as all
phenomena in them, bodies with their forces and motions, are in us," does
not accurately express Kant's position, for he might justly reply that,
according to him, bodies as phenomena are in different parts in space from
that which we assign to ourselves, and thus without us; that space is the
form of external intuition, and through it external objects arise for us
from sensations; but that, in regard to the things in themselves which
affect us, we are entirely ignorant whether they are within or without us.

It can easily be shown by literal quotations that there were distinct
tendencies in Kant, especially in the first edition of his principal
work, toward a radical idealism which doubts or denies not merely the
cognizability, but also the existence of objects external to the subject
and its representations, and which degrades the thing in itself to a mere
thought in us, or completely does away with it (_e.g._, "The representation
of an object as a thing in general is not only insufficient, but, ...
independently of empirical conditions, in itself contradictory "). But
these expressions indicate only a momentary inclination toward such a view,
not a binding avowal of it, and they are outweighed by those in which
idealism is more or less energetically rejected. That which according to
Kant _exists outside the representation of the individual_ is twofold: (1)
the unknown things in themselves with their problematical characteristics,
as the ground of phenomena; (2) the phenomena "themselves" with their
knowable immanent laws, and their relations in space and time, as possible
representations. When I turn my glance away from the rose its redness
vanishes, since this predicate belongs to it only in so far and so long
as it acts in the light on my visual apparatus. What, then, is left? That
thing in itself, of course, which, when it appears to me, calls forth in me
the intuition of the rose. But there is still something else remaining--the
phenomenon of the rose, with its size, its form, and its motion in the
wind. For these are predicates which must be attributed to the phenomenon
itself as the object of my representation. If the rose, as determined in
space and time, vanished when I turned my head away, it could not, unless
intuited by a subject, experience or exert effects in space and time, could
not lose its leaves in the wind and strew the ground with its petals.
Perception and thought inform me not merely concerning events of which I am
a witness, but also of others which have occurred, or which will occur, in
my absence. The process of stripping the leaves from the rose has actually
taken place as a phenomenon and does not first become real by my subsequent
representation of it or inference to it. The things and events of the
phenomenal world exist both before and after my perception, and are
something distinct from my subjective and momentary representations of
them. The space and time, however, in which they exist and happen are
not furnished by the intuiting individual, but by the supra-individual,
_transcendental consciousness_ or generic reason of the race. The
phenomenon thus stands midway between its objective ground (the absolute
thing in itself) and the subject, whose common product it is, as a relative
thing in itself, as a reality which is independent of the contingent and
changing representation of the individual, empirical subject, which is
dependent for its form on the transcendental subject, and which is the only
reality accessible to us, yet entirely valid for us. The phenomenal world
is not a contingent and individual phenomenon, but one necessary for all
beings organized as we are, a phenomenon for humanity. My representations
are not the phenomena themselves, but images and signs through which I
cognize phenomena, _i.e._, real things as they are for me and for every man
(not as they are in themselves). The reality of phenomena consists in the
fact that they can be perceived by men, and the objective validity of my
knowledge of them in the fact that every man must agree in it. The laws
which the understanding (not the individual understanding!) imposes upon
nature hold for phenomena, because they hold for every man. Objectivity is
universal validity. If the world of phenomena which is intuited and known
by us wears a different appearance from the world of things in themselves,
this does not justify us in declaring it to be mere seeming and dreaming; a
dream which all dream together, and which all must dream, is not a dream,
but reality. As we must represent the world> so it is, though for us, of
course, and not in itself.

Many places in Kant's works seem to argue against the intermediate position
here ascribed to the world of phenomena--according to which it is less than
things in themselves and more than subjective representation--which, since
they explain the phenomenon as a mere representation, leave room for only
two factors (on the one hand, the thing in itself = that in the thing which
cannot be represented; on the other, the thing for me = my representation
of the thing). In fact, the distinction between the phenomenon "itself"
and the representation which the individual now has of it and now does not
have, is far from being everywhere adhered to with desirable clearness; and
wherever it is impossible to substitute that which has been represented
and that which may be represented or possible intuitions for "mere
representations in me," we must acknowledge that there is a departure
from the standpoint which is assumed in some places with the greatest
distinctness. The latter finds unequivocal expression, among other places,
in the "Analogies of Experience" and the "Deduction of the Pure Concepts
of the Understanding," § 2, No. 4 (first edition). The second of these
passages speaks of one and the same universal experience, in which all
perceptions are represented in thoroughgoing and regular connection, and of
the thoroughgoing affinity of phenomena as the basis of the possibility
of the association of representations. This affinity is ascribed to the
objects of the senses, not to the representations, whose association is
rather the result of the affinity, and not to the things in themselves, in
regard to which the understanding has no legislative power.

The relation between the thing in itself and the phenomenon is also
variable. Now they are regarded as entirely heterogeneous (that which can
never be intuited exists in a mode opposed to that of the intuited and
intuitable), and now as analogous to each other (non-intuitable properties
of the thing in itself correspond to the intuitable characteristics of the
phenomenon). The former is the case when it is said that phenomena are in
space and time, while things in themselves are not; that in the first of
these classes natural causation rules, and in the second freedom; that
in the one-conditioned existence alone is found, in the other
unconditioned.[1] But just as often things in themselves and phenomena are
conceived as similar to one another, as two sides of the same object,[2]
of which one, like the counter-earth of the Pythagoreans, always remains
turned away from us, while the other is turned toward us, but does not
reveal the true being of the object. According to this each particular
thing, state, relation, and event in the world of phenomena would have its
real counterpart in the noumenal sphere: un-extended roses in themselves
would lie back of extended roses, certain non-temporal processes back of
their growth and decay, intelligible relations back of their relations in
space. This is approximately the relation of the two conceptions as in part
taught by Lotze himself, in part represented by him as taught by Kant.
Herbart's principle, "So much seeming, so much indication of being" (_wie
viel Schein so viel Hindeutung aufs Sein_), might also be cited in
this connection. That which continually impelled Kant, in spite of his
proclamation of the unknowableness of things in themselves, to form ideas
about their character, was the moral interest, but this sometimes threw its
influence in favor of their commensurability with phenomena and sometimes
in the opposite scale. For in his ethics Kant needs the intelligible
character or man as noumenon, and must assume as many men in themselves (to
be consistent, then, in general, as many beings in themselves) as there are
in the world of phenomena. But for practical reasons, again, the causality
of the man in himself must be thought of as entirely different from, and
opposed to, the mechanical causality of the sense world. Kant's judgment
is, also, no more stable concerning the value of the knowledge of the
suprasensible, which is denied to us. "I do not _need_ to know what
things in themselves may be, because a thing can never be presented to me
otherwise than as a phenomenon." And yet a natural and ineradicable need of
the reason to obtain some conviction in regard to the other world is said
to underlie the abortive attempts of metaphysics; and Kant himself uses
all his efforts to secure to the practical reason the satisfaction of this
need, though he has denied it to the speculative reason, and to make good
the gap in knowledge by faith. From the theoretical standpoint an extension
of knowledge beyond the limits of phenomena appears impossible, but
unnecessary; from the practical standpoint it is, to a certain extent,
possible and indispensable.

[Footnote 1: Kant's conjectures concerning a common ground of material and
mental phenomena, and those concerning the common root of sensibility and
understanding, show the same tendency. On the one hand, duality, on the
other, unity.]

[Footnote 2: "Phenomenon, which always has _two sides_, the one when the
object in itself is considered (apart from the way in which it is intuited,
and just because of which fact its character always remains problematical),
the other when we regard the form of the intuition of this object, which
must be sought not in the object in itself, but in the subject to whom the
object appears, while it nevertheless actually and necessarily belongs
to the phenomenon of _this object_." "This predicate "--_sc_., spatial
quality, extension--"is attributed to things only in so far as _they_
appear to us."]

There is, then, a threefold distinction to be made: (1) _Things in
themselves_, which can never be the object of our knowledge, because our
forms of intuition are not valid for them. (2) _Phenomena_, things for us,
nature or the totality of that which either is or, at least, may be the
object of our knowledge (here belong the possible inhabitants of the moon,
the magnetic matter which pervades all bodies, and the forces of attraction
and repulsion, though the first have never been observed, and the second is
not perceptible on account of the coarseness of our senses, and the
last, because forces in general are not perceptible; nature comprehends
everything whose existence "is connected with our perceptions in a possible
experience"[1]). (3) _Our representations_ of phenomena, _i.e._, that of
the latter which actually enters into the consciousness of the empirical
individual. In the realm of things in themselves there is no motion
whatever, but at most an intelligible correlate of this relation; in the
world of phenomena, the world of physics, the earth moves around the sun;
in the sphere of representation the sun moves around the earth. It is true,
as has been said, that Kant sometimes ignores the distinction between
phenomena as related to noumena and phenomena as related to
representations; and, as a result of this, that the phenomenon is either
completely volatilized into the representation[2] or split up into an
objective half independent of us and a representative half dependent on us,
of which the former falls into the thing in itself,[3] while the latter is
resolved into subjective states of the ego.

[Footnote 1: "Nothing is actually given to us but the perception and the
empirical progress from this to other possible perceptions." "To call a
phenomenon a real thing antecedent to perception, means ... that in the
_progress of experience_ we must meet with such a perception."]

[Footnote 2: Phenomena "are altogether in me," "exist only in our
sensibility as a modification of it." "There is nothing in space but that
which is actually represented in it." Phenomena are "mere representations,
which, if they are not given in us (in perception) nowhere exist."]

[Footnote 3: Here Kant is guilty of the fault which he himself has
censured, of confusing the physical and transcendental meanings of "in
itself." He forgets that the thing, if it is momentarily not intuited or
represented by me, and therefore is not immediately given for me as an
individual, is nevertheless still present for me as man, is mediately
given, that is, is discoverable by future search. That which is without
my present consciousness is not for this reason without all human
consciousness. In fact, Kant often overlooks the distinction between actual
and possible intuition, so that for him the "objects" of the latter slip
out of space and time and into the thing in itself. To the "transcendental
object we may ascribe the extent and connection of our possible
perceptions, and say that it is given in itself before all experience." In
it "the real things of the past are given."]

After the possibility and the legitimacy of synthetic judgments _a
priori_ have been proved for pure mathematics upon the basis of the
pure intuitions, there emerges, in the second place, the problem of the
possibility of _a priori_ syntheses in pure natural science, or the
question, Do pure concepts exist? And after this has been answered in the
affirmative, the further questions come up, Is the application of these,
first, to phenomena, and second, to things in themselves, possible and
legitimate, and how far?

%(b) The Concepts and Principles of the Pure Understanding (Transcendental
Analytic).%--Sensations, in order to become "intuition" or the perception
of a phenomenon, needed to be ordered in space and time; in order to become
"experience" or a unified knowledge of objects, intuitions need a synthesis
through concepts. In order to objective knowledge the manifold of intuition
(already ordered by its arrangement in space and time) must be connected in
the unity of the concept. Sensibility gives the manifold to be connected,
the understanding the connecting unity. The former is able to intuit only,
the latter only to think; knowledge can arise only as the result of their
union. Intuitions depend on affections, concepts on functions, that is, on
unifying acts of the understanding.

To discover the pure forms of thought it is necessary to isolate the
understanding, just as an isolation of the sensibility was necessary above
in order to the discovery of the pure forms of intuition. We obtain the
elements of the pure knowledge of the understanding by rejecting all that
is intuitive and empirical. These elements must be pure, must be concepts,
further, not derivative or composite, but fundamental concepts, and their
number must be complete. This completeness is guaranteed only when the pure
concepts or _categories_ are sought according to some common principle,
which assigns to each its position in the connection of the whole, and
not (as with Aristotle) collected by occasional, unsystematic inquiries
undertaken at random. The table of the forms of judgment will serve as a
guide for the discovery of the categories. Thought is knowledge through
concepts; the understanding can make no other use of concepts than to judge
by means of them. Hence, since the understanding is the faculty of judging,
the various kinds of connection in judgment must yield the various pure
"connective-concepts" (_Verknüpfungsbegriffe_.--K. Fischer) or categories.

In regard to quantity, every judgment is universal, particular, or
singular; in regard to quality, affirmative, negative, or infinite; in
regard to relation, categorical, hypothetical, or disjunctive; and in
regard to modality, problematical, assertory, or apodictic. To these
twelve forms of judgment correspond as many categories, viz., I., Unity,
Plurality, Totality; II., Reality, Negation, Limitation; III., Subsistence
and Inherence (Substance and Accident), Causality and Dependence (Cause and
Effect), Community (Reciprocity between the Active and the Passive);
IV., Possibility--Impossibility, Existence--Non-existence,

The first six of these fundamental concepts, which have no correlatives,
constitute the mathematical, the second six, which appear in pairs,
the dynamical categories. The former relate to objects of (pure or of
empirical) intuition, the latter to the existence of these objects (in
relation to one another or to the understanding). Although all other _a
priori_ division though concepts must be dichotomous, each of the four
heads includes three categories, the third of which in each case arises
from the combination of the second and first,[1] but, nevertheless, is an
original (not a derivative) concept, since this combination requires a
special _actus_ of the understanding. Universality or totality is plurality
regarded as unity, limitation is reality combined with negation, community
is the reciprocal causality of substances, and necessity is the actuality
given by possibility itself. Kant omits, as unnecessary here, the useful,
easy, and not unpleasant task of noting the great number of derivative
concepts _a priori_ (predicables) which spring from the combination of
these twelve original concepts (predicaments = categories) with one
another, or with the modes of pure sensibility,--the concepts force,
action, passion, would belong as subsumptions under causality, presence
and resistance under community, origin, extinction, and change under
modality,--since his object is not a system, but only the principles of
one. His liking or even love for this division according to quantity,
quality, relation, and modality, which he always has ready as though it
were a universal key for philosophical problems, reveals a very strong
architectonic impulse, against which even his ever active skeptical
tendency is not able to keep up the battle.

[Footnote 1: Concerning this "neat observation," Kant remarked that it
might "perhaps have important consequences in regard to the scientific form
of all knowledge of reason." This prophecy was fulfilled, although in a
different sense from that which floated before his mind. Fichte and Hegel
composed their "thought-symphonies" in the three-four time given by Kant.]

In view of the derivation of the forms of thought from the forms of
judgment Kant does not stop to give a detailed proof that the categories
are concepts, and that they are pure. Their discursive (not intuitive)
character is evident from the fact that their reference to the object is
mediate only (and not, as in the case of intuition, immediate), and their
_a priori_ origin, from the necessity which they carry with them, and which
would be impossible if their origin were empirical. Here Kant starts from
Hume's criticism of the idea of cause. The Scottish skeptic had said that
the necessary bond between cause and effect can neither be perceived nor
logically demonstrated; that, therefore, the relation of causality is an
idea which we--with what right?--add to perceived succession in time. This
doubt (without the hasty conclusions), says Kant, must be generalized, must
be extended to the category of substance (which had been already done by
Hume, pp. 226-7, though the author of the Critique of Reason was not aware
of the fact), and to all other pure concepts of the understanding. Then we
may hope to kindle a torch at the spark which Hume struck out. The problem
"It is impossible to see why, because something exists, something else must
necessarily exist," is the starting point alike of Hume's skepticism and
Kant's criticism. The former recognized that the principle of causality
is neither empirical nor analytic, and therefore concluded that it is an
invention of reason, which confuses subjective with objective necessity.
The latter shows that in spite of its subjective origin it has an objective
value; that it is a truth which is independent of all experience, and yet
valid for all who have experience, and for all that can be experienced.

Of the two questions, "How can the concepts which spring from our
understanding possess objective validity?" and, "How (through what means
or media) does their application to objects of experience take place?"
the first is answered in the Deduction of the Pure Concepts of the
Understanding, and the second in the chapter on their Schematism.

The _Deduction_, the most difficult portion of the Critique, shows that the
objective validity of the categories, as concepts of objects in general,
depends on the fact that _through them alone experience_ as far as regards
the form of thought _is possible, _i.e._, it is only through them that any
object whatever can be thought. All knowledge consists in judgments; all
judgments contain a connection of representations; all connection--whether
it be conscious or not, whether it relates to concepts or to pure or
empirical intuitions--is an _act of the understanding_; it cannot be given
by objects, but only spontaneously performed by the subject itself. We
cannot represent anything as connected in the object unless we have
ourselves first connected it. The connection includes three conceptions:
that of the manifold to be connected (which is given by intuition), that
of the act of synthesis, and that of the unity; this last is two-fold,
an objective unity (the conception of an object in general in which the
manifold is united), and a subjective unity (the unity of consciousness
under which or, rather, through which the connection is effected). The
categories represent the different kinds of combination, each one of these,
again, being completed in three stages, which are termed the Synthesis of
Apprehension in Intuition, the Synthesis of Reproduction in Imagination,
and the Synthesis of Recognition in Concepts. If I wish to think the time
from one noon to the next, I must (1) grasp (apprehend) the manifold
representations (portions of time) in succession; (2) retain or renew
(reproduce) in thought those which have preceded in passing to those which
follow; (3) be conscious that that which is now thought is the same
with that thought before, or know again (recognize) the reproduced
representation as the one previously experienced. If the mind did not
exercise such synthetic activity the manifold of representation would not
constitute a whole, would lack the unity which consciousness alone can
impart to it. Without this _one_ consciousness, concepts and knowledge of
objects would be wholly impossible. The unity of pure self-consciousness
or of "transcendental apperception" is the postulate of all use of the
understanding. In the flux of internal phenomena there is no constant
or abiding self, but the unchangeable consciousness here demanded is a
precedent condition of all experience, and gives to phenomena a connection
according to laws which determine an object for intuition, _i.e._, the
conception of something in which they are necessarily connected.[1]
Reference to an object is nothing other than the necessary unity of
consciousness. The connective activity of the understanding, and with
it experience, is possible only through "the synthetic unity of pure
apperception," the "I think," which must be able to accompany all my
representations, and through which they first become _mine_.

[Footnote 1: Object is "that which opposes the random or arbitrary
determination of our cognitions," and which causes "them to be determined
in a certain way _a priori_."]

Experience (in the strict sense) is distinguished from perception
(experience in the wide sense) by its objectivity or universal validity. A
judgment of perception (the sun shines upon the stone and the stone becomes
warm) is only subjectively valid; while, on the other hand, a judgment of
experience (the sun warms the stone) aims to be valid not only for me and
my present condition, but always, for me and for everyone else. If the
former is to become the latter, an _a priori_ concept must be added to
the perception (in the above case, the concept of cause), under which the
perception is subsumed. The category determines the perceptions in view of
the form of the judgment, gives to the judgment its reference to an object,
and thus gives to the percepts, or rather, concepts (sunshine and warmth),
necessary and universally valid connection. The "reason why the judgments
of others" must "agree with mine" is "the unity of the object to which they
all relate, with which they agree, and hence must also all agree with one

Though the categories take their origin in the nature of the subject, they
are objective and valid for objects of experience, because experience is
possible alone through them. They are not the product, but the ground
of experience. The second difficulty concerns their applicability to
phenomena, which are wholly disparate. By what means is the gulf between
the categories, which are concepts and _a priori_, and perceptions, which
are intuitous and empirical, bridged over? The connecting link is supplied
by the imagination, as the faculty which mediates between sensibility and
understanding to provide a concept with its image, and consists in the
intuition of time, which, in common with the categories, has an _a priori_
character, and, in common with perceptions, an intuitive character, so that
it is at once pure and sensuous. The subsumption of phenomena or empirical
intuitions under the category is effected through the _Schemata_[1] of the
concepts of the understanding, _i.e._, through _a priori_ determinations
of time according to rules, which relate to time-_series_, time-_content_,
time-_order_, and time-_comprehension_, and indicate whether I have to
apply this or that category to a given object.

[Footnote 1: The schema is not an empirical image, but stands midway
between this (the particular intuition of a definite triangle or dog) and
the unintuitable concept, as a general intuition (of a triangle or a dog
in general, which holds alike for right- and oblique-angled triangles, for
poodles and pugs), or as a rule for determining our intuition in accordance
with a concept.]

Each category has its own schema. The schema of quantity is number, as
comprehending the successive addition of homogeneous parts. Filled time
(being in time) is the schema of reality, empty time (not-being in time)
the schema of negation, and more or less filled time (the intensity of
sensation, indicating the degree of reality) the schema of limitation.
Permanence in time is the sign for the application of the category of
substance;[1] regular succession, for the application of the concept of
cause; the coexistence of the determinations of one substance with those of
another, the signal for their subsumption under the concept of reciprocity.
The schemata of possibility, actuality, and necessity, finally, are
existence at any time whatever (whensoever), existence at a definite time,
and existence at all times. By such schematic syntheses the pure concept
is brought near to the empirical intuition, and the way is prepared for an
application of the former to the latter, or, what is the same thing, for
the subsumption of the latter under the former.

[Footnote 1: This determination is important for psychology. Since
the inner sense shows nothing constant, but everything in a continual
flux,--for the permanent subject of our thoughts is an identical activity
of the understanding, not an intuitable object,--the concept of substance
is not applicable to psychical phenomena. Representations of a permanent
(material substances) exist, indeed, but not permanent representations. The
abiding self (ego, soul) which we posit back of internal phenomena is, as
the Dialectic will show, a mere Idea, which, or, rather, the object of
which, maybe "thought" as substance, it is true, but cannot be "given" in
intuition, hence cannot be "known."]

As a result of the fact that the schematism permits a presentation of the
categories in time intuition antecedent to all experience, the possibility
is given of synthetic judgments _a priori_ concerning objects of possible
experience. Such judgments, in so far as they are not based on higher
and more general cognitions, are termed "principles," and the system of
them--to be given, with the table of the categories as a guide, in
the _Analytic of Principles_ or the Doctrine of the Faculty of
Judgment--furnishes the outlines of "pure natural science." When thus
the rules of the subsumption to be effected have been found in the pure
concepts, and the conditions and criteria of the subsumption in the
schemata, it remains to indicate the principles which the understanding,
through the aid of the schemata, actually produces _a priori_ from its

The principle of quantity is the _Axiom of Intuition_, the principle of
quality the _Anticipation of Perception_; the principles of relation
are termed _Analogies of Experience_, those of modality _Postulates
of Empirical Thought in General_. The first runs, "All intuitions are
extensive quantities"; the second, "In all phenomena sensation, and the
real which corresponds to it in the object, has an intensive quantity,
i.e., a degree." The principle of the "Analogies" is, "All phenomena, as
far as their existence is concerned, are subject _a priori_ to rules,
determining their mutual relation in time" (in the second edition this is
stated as follows: "Experience is possible only through the representation
of a necessary connection of perceptions"). As there are three modes of
time, there result three "Analogies," the principles of permanence, of
succession (production), and of coexistence. These are: (1) "In all changes
of phenomena the substance is permanent, and its quantum is neither
increased nor diminished in nature." (2) "All changes take place according
to the law of connection between cause and effect"; or, "Everything that
happens (begins to be) presupposes something on which it follows according
to a rule." (3) "All substances, in so far as they are coexistent, stand in
complete community, that is, reciprocity, one to another." And, finally,
the three "Postulates": "That which agrees with the formal conditions of
experience (in intuition and in concepts) is possible," "That which is
connected with the material conditions of experience (sensation) is actual"
(perception is the only criterion of actuality). "That which, in its
connection with the actual, is determined by universal conditions of
experience, is (exists as) necessary."

As the categories of substance and causality are specially preferred to the
others by Kant and the Kantians, and are even proclaimed by some as the
only fundamental concepts, so also the principles of relation have an
established reputation for special importance. The leading ideas in the
proofs of the "Analogies of Experience"--for in spite of their underivative
character the principles require, and are capable of, proof--may next be

The time determinations of phenomena, the knowledge of their duration,
their succession, and their coexistence, form an indispensable part of our
experience, not only of scientific experience, but of everyday experience
as well. How is the objective time-determination of things and events
possible? If the matter in hand is the determination of the particulars of
a fight with a bloody ending, the witnesses are questioned and testify:
We heard and saw how A began the quarrel by insulting B, and the latter
answered the insult with a blow, whereupon A drew his knife and wounded his
opponent. Here the succession of perceptions on the part of the persons
present is accepted as a true reproduction of the succession of the actual
events. But the succession of perceptions is not always the sure indication
of an actual succession: the trees along an avenue are perceived one after
the other, while they are in reality coexistent. We might now propose the
following statement: The representation of the manifold of phenomena is
always successive, I apprehend one part after another. I can decide whether
these parts succeed one another in the object also, or whether they
are coexistent, by the fact that, in the second case, the series of
my perceptions is reversible, while in the first it is not. I can, if I
choose, direct my glance along the avenue in such a way that I shall begin
the second time with the tree at which I left off the first time; if I wish
to assure myself that the parts of a house are coexistent, I cause my eye
to wander from the upper to the lower portions, from the right side to the
left, and then to perform the same motions in the opposite direction. On
the other hand, it is not left to my choice to hear the thunder either
before or after I see the lightning, or to see a passing wagon now here,
now there, but in these cases I am bound in the succession of my sensuous
representations. The possibility of interchange in the series of
perceptions proves an objective coexistence, the impossibility of this,
an objective succession. But this criterion is limited to the immediate
present, and fails us when a time relation between unobserved phenomena is
to be established. If I go at evening into the dining room and see a vessel
of bubbling water, which is to be used in making tea, over a burning spirit
lamp, whence do I derive the knowledge that the water began, and could
begin, to boil only after the alcohol had been lighted, and not before?
Because I have often seen the flame precede the boiling of the water, and
in this the irreversibility of the two perceptions has guaranteed to me the
succession of the events perceived? Then I may only assume that it is very
probable, not that it is certain, that in this case also the order of the
two events has been the same as I have observed several times before. As a
matter of fact, however, we all assert that the water could not have come
into a boiling condition unless the generation of heat had preceded; that
in every case the fire must be there before the boiling of the water can
commence. Whence do we derive this _must_? Simply and alone from the
thought of a causal connection between the two events. Every phenomenon
_must_ follow in time that phenomenon of which it is the effect, and must
precede that of which it is the cause. It is through the relation of
causality, and through this alone, that the objective time relation of
phenomena is determined. If nothing preceded an event on which it must
follow according to a rule,[1] then all succession in perception would be
subjective merely, and nothing whatever would be objectively determined by
it as to what was the antecedent and what the consequent in the phenomenon
itself. We should then have a mere play of representations without
significance for the real succession of events. Only the thought of a rule,
according to which the antecedent state contains the necessary condition of
the consequent state, justifies us in transferring the time order of our
representations to phenomena.[2] Nay, even the distinction between
the phenomenon itself, as the object of our representations, and our
representations of it, is effected only by subjecting the phenomenon to
this rule, which assigns to it its definite position in time after another
phenomenon by which it is caused, and thus forbids the inversion of the
perceptions. We can derive the rule of the understanding which produces the
objective time order of the manifold from experience, only because we have
put it into experience, and have first brought experience into being by
means of the rule. We recapitulate in Kant's own words: The objective
(time) relation of phenomena remains undetermined by mere perception (the
mere succession in my apprehension, if it is not determined by means of a
rule in relation to an antecedent, does not guarantee any succession in
the object). In order that this may be known as determined, the relation
between the two states must be so conceived (through the understanding's
concept of causality) that it is thereby determined with necessity which of
them must be taken as coming first, and which second, and not conversely.
Thus it is only by subjecting the succession of phenomena to the law of
causality that empirical knowledge of them is possible. Without the concept
of cause no objective time determination, and hence, without it, no

[Footnote 1: "A reality following on an empty time, that is, a beginning of
existence preceded by no state of things, can as little be apprehended as
empty time itself."]

[Footnote 2: "If phenomena were things in themselves no one would be able,
from the succession of the representations of their manifold, to tell how
this is connected in the object."]

That which the relation of cause and effect does for the succession[1] of
phenomena, the relation of reciprocity does for their coexistence, and that
of substance and accident for their duration. Since absolute time is not an
object of perception, the position of phenomena in time cannot be directly
determined, but only through a concept of the understanding. When I
conclude that two objects (the earth and the moon) must be coexistent,
because perceptions of them can follow upon one another in both ways, I
do this on the presupposition that the objects themselves reciprocally
determine their position in time, hence are not isolated, but stand in
causal community or a relation of reciprocal influence. It is only on the
condition of reciprocity between phenomena, through which they form a
whole, that I can represent them as coexistent.

[Footnote 1: Against the objection that cause and effect are frequently,
indeed in most cases, simultaneous (_e.g._ the heated stove and the warmth
of the room), Kant remarks that the question concerns the order of time
merely, and not the lapse of time. The ball lying on a soft cushion is
simultaneous, it is true, with its effect, the depression in the cushion.
"But I, nevertheless, distinguish the two by the time relation of dynamical
connection. For if I place the ball on the cushion, its previously smooth
surface is followed by a depression, but if there is a depression in the
cushion (I know not whence) a leaden ball does not follow from it."]

Coexistence and succession can be represented only in a permanent
substratum; they are merely the modes in which the permanent exists. Since
time (in which all change takes place, but which itself abides and does not
change) in itself cannot be perceived, the substratum of simultaneity and
succession must exist in phenomena themselves: the permanent in relation
to which alone all the time relations of phenomena can be determined, is
substance; that which alters is its determinations, accidents, or special
modes of existing. Alteration, _i.e._, origin and extinction, is true of
states only, which can begin and cease to be, and not of substances, which
change (_sich verändern_), i.e., pass from one mode of existence into
another, but do not alter (_wechseln_), i.e., pass from non-existence into
existence, or the reverse. It is the permanent alone that changes, and
its states alone that begin and cease to be. The origin and extinction of
substances, or the increase and diminution of their quantum, would remove
the sole condition of the empirical unity of time; for the time relations
of the coexistent and the successive can be perceived only in an identical
substratum, in a permanent, which exists always. The law "From nothing
nothing comes, and nothing can return to nothing," is everywhere assumed
and has been frequently advanced, but never yet proved, for, indeed, it is
impossible to prove it dogmatically. Here the only possible proof for it,
the critical proof, is given: the principle of permanence is a necessary
condition of experience. The same argument establishes the principle of
sufficient reason, and the principle of the community of substances,
together with the unity of the world to be inferred from this. The three
Analogies together assert: "All phenomena exist in one nature and must so
exist, because without such a unity _a priori_ no unity of experience,
and therefore no determination of objects in experience, would be
possible."--In connection with the Postulates the same transcendental proof
is given for a series of other laws of nature _a priori_, viz., that in the
course of the changes in the world--for the causal principle holds only for
effects in nature, not for the existence of things as substances--there
can be neither blind chance nor a blind necessity (but only a conditional,
hence an intelligible, necessity); and, further, that in the series of
phenomena, there can be neither leap, nor gap, nor break, and hence no
void--_in mundo non datur casus, non datur fatum, non datur saltus, non
datur hiatus_.

While the dynamical principles have to do with the relation of phenomena,
whether it be to one another (Analogies), or to our faculty of cognition
(Postulates), the mathematical relate to the quantity of intuitions and
sensations, and furnish the basis for the application of mathematics
to natural science.[1] An extensive quantity is one in which the
representation of the parts makes the representation of the whole possible,
and so precedes it. I cannot represent a line without drawing it in
thought, i.e., without producing all parts of it one after the other,
starting from a point. All phenomena are intuited as aggregates or as
collections of previously given parts. That which geometry asserts of
pure intuition (i.e., the infinite divisibility of lines) holds also of
empirical intuition. An intensive quantity is one which is apprehended only
as unity, and in which plurality can be represented only by approximation
to negation = 0. Every sensation, consequently every reality in phenomena,
has a degree, which, however small it may be, is never the smallest, but
can always be still more diminished; and between reality and negation there
exists a continuous connection of possible smaller intermediate sensations,
or an infinite series of ever decreasing degrees. The property of
quantities, according to which no part in them is the smallest possible
part, and no part is simple, is termed their continuity. All phenomena
are continuous quantities, i.e., all their parts are in turn (further
divisible) quantities. Hence it follows, first, that a proof for an empty
space or empty time can never be drawn from experience, and secondly, that
all change is also continuous. "It is remarkable," so Kant ends his proof
of the Anticipation, "that of quantities in general we can know one
_quality_ only _a priori_, namely, their continuity, while with regard to
quality (the real of phenomena) nothing is known to us _a priori_ but their
intensive _quantity_, that is, that they must have a degree. Everything
else is left to experience."

[Footnote 1: In each particular science of nature, science proper (i.e.,
apodictically certain science) is found only to the extent in which
mathematics can be applied therein. For this reason chemistry can never
be anything more than a systematic art or experimental doctrine; and
psychology not even this, but only a natural history of the inner sense or
natural description of the soul. That which Kant's _Metaphysical Elements
of Natural Science_, 1786--in four chapters, Phoronomy, Dynamics,
Mechanics, and Phenomenology--advances as pure physics or the metaphysics
of corporeal nature, is a doctrine of motion. The fundamental determination
of matter (of a somewhat which is to be the object of the external senses)
is motion, for it is only through motion that these senses can be affected,
and the understanding itself reduces all other predicates of matter to
this. The second and most valuable part of the work defines matter as the
movable, that which fills space by its moving force, and recognizes two
original forces, repulsive, expansive superficial force or force of
contact, by which a body resists the entrance of other bodies into its own
space, and attractive, penetrative force or the force which works at a
distance, in virtue of which all particles of matter attract one another.
In order to a determinate filling of space the co-operation of both
fundamental forces is required. In opposition to the mechanical theory of
the atomists, which explains forces from matter and makes them inhere in
it, Kant holds fast to the dynamical view which he had early adopted (cf.
p. 324), according to which forces are the primary factor and matter is
constituted by them.]

The outcome of the Analytic of Principles sounds bold enough. _The
understanding is the lawgiver of nature_: "It does not draw its laws _a
priori_ from nature, but prescribes them to it"; the principles of the pure
understanding are the most universal laws of nature, the empirical laws of
nature only particular determinations of these. All order and regularity
take their origin in the spirit, and are put into objects by this.
Universal and necessary knowledge remained inexplicable so long as it was
assumed that the understanding must conform itself to objects; it is at
once explained if, conversely, we make objects conform themselves to the
understanding. This is a reversal of philosophical opinion which may justly
be compared to the Copernican revolution in astronomy; it is just as
paradoxical as the latter, but just as incontestably true, and just as rich
in results. The sequel will show that this strangely sounding principle,
that things conform themselves to our representations and the laws of
nature are dependent on the understanding, is calculated to make us humble
rather than proud. Our understanding is lawgiver within the limits of its
knowledge, no doubt, but it knows only within the limits of its legislative
authority; nature, to which it dictates laws, is nothing but a totality of
phenomena; beyond the limits of the phenomenal, where its commands become
of no effect, its wishes also find no hearing.

In the second edition the Analytic of Principles contains as a supplement a
"Refutation of Idealism," which, in opposition to Descartes's position that
the only immediate experience is inner experience, from which we reach
outer experience by inference alone, argues that, conversely, it is only
through outer experience, which is immediate experience proper, that inner
experience--as the consciousness of my own existence in time--is possible.
For all time determination presupposes something permanent in perception,
and this permanent something cannot be in me (the mere representation of an
external thing), but only actually existing things which I perceive without
me. There is, further, a chapter on the "Ground of the Distinction of all
Objects in general into Phenomena and Noumena," with an appendix on the
Amphiboly (ambiguity) of the Concepts of Reflection. The latter shows
that the concepts of comparison: identity and difference, agreement and
opposition, the internal and the external, matter and form, acquire
entirely different meanings when they relate to phenomena and to things in
themselves (in other words, to things in their relation to the sensibility,
and in relation to the understanding merely); and further, in a criticism
of the philosophy of Leibnitz, reproaches him with having intellectualized
phenomena, while Locke is said to have sensationalized the concepts of the

The chapter on the distinction between phenomena and noumena very much
lessens the hopes, aroused, perchance, by the establishment of the
non-empirical origin of the categories, for an application of these not
confined to any experience. Although the categories, that is, are in their
origin entirely independent of all experience (so much so that they first
make experience possible), they are yet confined in their application
within the bounds of possible experience. They "serve only to spell
phenomena, that we may be able to read them as experience," and when
applied to things in themselves lose all significance.[1] Similarly the
principles which spring from them are "nothing more than principles of
possible experience," and can be referred to phenomena alone, beyond which
they are arbitrary combinations without objective reality. Things in
themselves may be thought, but they can never be known; for knowledge,
besides the empty thought of an object, implies intuitions which must be
subsumed under it or by which the object must be determined. In themselves
the pure concepts relate to all that is thinkable, not merely to that which
can be experienced, but the schemata, which assures their applicability in
the field of experience, at the same time limit them to this sphere. The
schematism makes the immanent use of the categories, and thus a metaphysics
of phenomena, possible, but the transcendent use of them, and consequently
the metaphysics of the suprasensible, impossible. The case would be
different if our intuition were intellectual instead of sensuous, or,
which is the same thing, if our understanding were intuitive instead of
discursive; then the objects which we think would not need to be given us
from another source (through sensuous intuition), but would be themselves
produced in the act by which we thought them. The divine spirit may be such
an archetypal, creative understanding (_intellectus archetypus_), which
generates objects by its thought; the human spirit is not such, and
therefore is confined, with its knowledge, within the circle of possible
perception.--The conception of "intellectual intuition" leads to a
distinction in regard to things in themselves: in its negative meaning
noumenon denotes a thing in so far as it is _not_ the object of our
_sensuous_ intuition, in its positive meaning a thing which is the
object of a _non-sensuous_ intuition. The positive thing in itself is a
problematical concept; its possibility depends on the existence of an
intuitive understanding, something about which we are ignorant. The
negative thing in itself cannot be known, indeed, but it can be thought;
and the representation of it is a possible concept, one which is not
self-contradictory[2] (a principle which is of great importance for
practical philosophy). Still further, it is an indispensable concept, which
shows that the boundary where our intuition ends is not the boundary of
the thinkable as well; and even if it affords no positive extension of
knowledge[3] it is, nevertheless, very useful, since it sets bounds to the
use of the understanding, and thus, as it were, negatively extends our
knowledge. That which lies beyond the boundary, the "how are they possible"
_(Wiemöglichkeit)_ of things in themselves is shrouded in darkness, but the
boundary itself, _i.e._, the "that they are possible" _(Dassmöglichkeit)_,
of things in themselves, and the unknowableness of their nature, belongs to
that which is within the boundary and lies in the light. In this way Kant
believed that the categories of causality and substance might be applied to
the relation of things in themselves to phenomena without offending against
the prohibition of their transcendent use, since here the boundary appeared
only to be touched, and not overstepped.

[Footnote 1: "A pure use of the categories is no doubt possible, that is,
not self-contradictory, but it has no kind of objective validity, because
it refers to no intuition to which it is meant to impart the unity of an
object. The categories remain forever mere functions of thought by which no
object can be given to me, but by which I can only think whatever may
be given to me in intuition" (_Critique of Pure Reason_, Max Müller's
translation, vol. ii. p. 220). Without the condition of sensuous intuition,
for which they supply the synthesis, the categories have no relation to any
definite object; for without this condition they contain nothing but the
logical function, or the form of the concept, by means of which alone
nothing can be known and distinguished as to any object belonging to it
(_Ibid_., pp. 213, 214).]

[Footnote 2: The thing in itself denotes the object in so far as it can
be thought by us, but not intuited, and consequently not determined by
intuitions, _i.e._, cannot be known. It is only through the schematism
that the categories are limited to phenomena. O. Liebmann (_Kant und die
Epigonen_, p. 27, and _passim_) overlooks or ignores this when he says:
Kant here allows himself to "recognize an object emancipated from the
forms of knowledge, therefore an irrational object, _i.e._, to represent
something which is not representable--wooden iron." The thing in itself is
insensible, but not irrational, and the forms of intuition and forms of
thought joined by Liebmann under the title forms of knowledge have in Kant
a by no means equal rank.]

[Footnote 3: A category by itself, freed from all conditions of intuition
(_e.g._, the representation of a substance which is thought without
permanence in time, or of a cause which should not act in time), can yield
no definite concept of an object.]

Though the concepts of the understanding possess a cognitive value in the
sphere of phenomena alone, the hope still remains of gaining an entrance
into the suprasensible sphere through the concepts of reason. It is
indubitable that our spirit is conscious of a far higher need than that for
the mere connection of phenomena into experience; it is that which cannot
be experienced, the Ideas God, freedom, and immortality, which form the
real end of its inquiry. Can this need be satisfied, and how? Can this end
be attained, and reality be given to the Ideas? This is the third question
of the Critique of Reason.

%(c) The Reason's Ideas of the Unconditioned (Transcendental
Dialectic).%--"All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds thence to
the understanding, and ends with reason." The understanding is the
faculty of rules, reason the faculty of principles. The categories of the
understanding are necessary concepts which make experience possible, and
which, therefore, can always be given in experience; the Ideas of reason
are necessary concepts to which no corresponding object can be given. Each
of the Ideas gives expression to an unconditioned. How does the concept of
the unconditioned arise, and what service does it perform for knowledge?

As perceptions are connected by the categories in the unity of the
understanding, and thus are elevated into experience, so the manifold
knowledge of experience needs a higher unity, the unity of reason, in order
to form a connected system. This is supplied to it by the Ideas--which,
consequently, do not relate directly to the objects of intuition, but only
to the understanding and its judgments--in order, through the concept
of the unconditioned, to give completion to the knowledge of the
understanding, which always moves in the sphere of the conditioned, _i.e._,
to give it the greatest possible unity together with the greatest possible
extension. The concept of the absolute grows out of the logical task which
is incumbent on reason, _i.e._, inference, and it may be best explained
from this as a starting point. In the syllogism the judgment asserted in
the conclusion is derived from a general rule, the major premise. The
validity of this general proposition is, however, itself conditional,
dependent on higher conditions. Then, as reason seeks the condition for
each conditioned moment, and always commands a further advance in
the series of conditions, it acts under the Idea of _the totality
of conditions_, which, nevertheless, since it can never be given in
experience, does not denote an object, but only an heuristic maxim for
knowledge, the maxim, namely, never to stop with any one condition as
ultimate, but always to continue the search further. The Idea of the
unconditioned or of the completeness of conditions is a goal which we never
attain, but which we are continually to approach. The categories and the
principles of the understanding were _constitutive_ principles, the Ideas
are _regulative_ merely; their function is to guide the understanding, to
give it a direction helpful for the connection of knowledge, not to inform
it concerning the actual character of things.

Since reason is the faculty of inference (as the understanding was found to
be the faculty of judgment), the forms of the syllogism perform the same
service for us in our search for the Ideas as the forms of judgment in
the discovery of the categories. To the categorical, hypothetical, and
disjunctive syllogisms correspond the three concepts of reason, the soul or
the thinking subject, the world or the totality of phenomena, and God, the
original being or the supreme condition of the possibility of all that can
be thought. By means of these we refer all inner phenomena to the ego as
their (unknown) common subject, think all beings and events in nature as
ordered under the comprehensive system of the (never to be experienced)
universe, and regard all things as the work of a supreme (unknowable)
intelligence. These Ideas are necessary concepts; not accidental products
nor mere fancies, but concepts sprung from the nature of reason; their
use is legitimate so long as we remember that we can have a problematical
concept of objects corresponding to them, but no knowledge of these; that
they are problems and rules for knowledge, never objects and instruments of
it. Nevertheless the temptation to regard these regulative principles as
constitutive and these problems as knowable objects is almost irresistible;
for the ground of the involuntary confusion of the required with the given
absolute lies not so much in the carelessness of the individual as in the
nature of our cognitive faculty. The Ideas carry with them an unavoidable
illusion of objective reality, and the sophistical inferences which spring
from them are not sophistications of men, but of pure reason itself, are
natural misunderstandings from which even the wisest cannot free himself.
At best we can succeed in avoiding the error, not in doing away with the
transcendental illusion from which it proceeds. We can see through the
illusion and avoid the erroneous conclusions built upon it, not shake off
the illusion itself.

On this erroneous objective use of the Ideas three so-called sciences are
based: speculative psychology, speculative cosmology, and speculative
theology, which, together with ontology, constitute the stately structure
of the (Wolffian) metaphysics. The Critique of Reason completes its work
of destruction when, as Dialectic (Logic cf. Illusion), it follows the
refutation of dogmatic ontology--developed in the Analytic--which
believed that it knew things in themselves through the concepts of
the understanding, with a refutation of rational psychology, rational
cosmology, and rational theology. It shows that the first is founded on
paralogisms, and the second entangled in irreconcilable contradictions,
while the third makes vain efforts to prove the existence of the Supreme

(i) _The Paralogisms of Rational Psychology_. The transcendental
self-consciousness or pure ego which accompanies and connects all my
representations, the subject of all judgments which I form, is, as the
Analytic recognized, the presupposition of all knowing (pp. 358-359), but
as such it can never become an object of knowledge. We must not make
a given object out of the subject which never can be a predicate, nor
substitute a real thinking substance for the logical subject of thought,
nor revamp the unity of self-consciousness into the simplicity and
identical personality of the soul. The rational psychology of the Wolffian
school is guilty of this error, and whatever of proof it advances for the
substantiality, simplicity, and personality of the soul, and, by way
of deduction, for its immateriality and immortality as well as for its
relation to the body, is based upon this substitution, this ambiguity of
the middle term, and therefore upon a _quaternio terminorum_,--all its
conclusions are fallacious. It is allowable and unavoidable to add in
thought an absolute subject, the unity of the ego, to inner phenomena;[1]
it is inadmissible to treat the Idea of the soul as a knowable thing. In
order to be able to apply the category of substance to it, we would have to
lay hold of a permanent in intuition such as cannot be found in the inner
sense. Empirical psychology, then, alone remains for the extension of our
knowledge of mental life, while rational psychology shrivels up from
a doctrine into a mere discipline, which watches that the limits of
experience are not overstepped. But even as a mere limiting determination
it has great value. For, along with the hope of proving the immateriality
and immortality of the soul, the fear of seeing them _disproved_ is also
dissipated; materialism is just as unfounded as spiritualism, and if the
conclusions of the latter concerning the soul as a simple, immaterial
substance which survives the death of the body, cannot be proved, yet we
need not, for that reason, regard them as erroneous, for the opposite is as
little susceptible of demonstration. The whole question belongs not in the
forum of knowledge, but in the forum of faith, and that which we gain by
the proof that nothing can be determined concerning it by theoretical
reasoning (viz., assurance against materialistic objections) is far more
valuable than what we lose.

[Footnote 1: The rational concept of the soul as a simple, independent
intelligence does not signify an actual being, but only expresses certain
principles of systematic unity in the explanation of psychical phenomena,
viz., "To regard all determinations as existing in one subject, all powers,
as far as possible, as derived from, one fundamental power, all change
as belonging to the states of one and the same permanent being, and
to represent all phenomena in space as totally distinct from acts of

(2) _The Antinomies of Rational Cosmology_. If in its endeavor to spin
metaphysical knowledge concerning the nature of the spirit and the
existence of the soul after death out of the concept of the thinking ego
the reason falls into the snare of an ambiguous _terminus medius_, the
difficulties which frustrate its attempts to use the Idea of the world
in the extension of its knowledge _a priori_ are of quite a different
character. Here the formal correctness of the method of inference is not
open to attack. It may be proved with absolute strictness (and in the
apagogical or indirect form, from the impossibility of the contrary) that
the world has a beginning in time, and also that it is _limited_ in space;
that every compound substance consists of _simple_ parts; that, besides the
causality according to the laws of nature, there is a causality through
_freedom_, and that an _absolutely necessary Being_ exists, either as a
part of the world or as the cause of it. But the contrary may be proved
with equal stringency (and indirectly, as before): The world is infinite in
space and time; there is nothing simple in the world; there is no freedom,
but everything in the world takes place entirely according to the laws of
nature; and there exists no absolutely necessary Being either within the
world or without it. This is the famous doctrine of the conflict of the
four cosmological theses and antitheses or of the Antinomy of Pure Reason,
the discovery of which indubitably exercised a determining influence upon
the whole course of the Kantian Critique of Reason, and which forms one of
its poles. The transcendental idealism, the distinction between phenomena
and noumena, and the limitation of knowledge to phenomena, all receive
significant confirmation from the Antithetic. Without the critical
idealism (that which is intuited in space and time, and known through
the categories, is merely the phenomenon of things, whose "in itself" is
unknowable), the antinomies would be insoluble. How is reason to act in
view of the conflict? The grounds for the antitheses are just as conclusive
as those for the theses; on neither side is there a preponderance which
could decide the result. Ought reason to agree with both parties or with

The solution distinguishes the first two antinomies, as the mathematical,
from the second two, as the dynamical antinomies; in the former, since it
is a question of the composition and division of quanta, the conditions may
be homogeneous with the conditioned, in the latter, heterogeneous. In the
former, thesis and antithesis are alike _false_, since both start from
the inadmissible assumption that the universe (the complete series of
phenomena) is given, while in fact it is only required of us (is an Idea).
The world does not exist in itself, but only in the empirical regress of
phenomenal conditions, in which we never can reach infinity and never the
limitation of the world by an empty space or an antecedent empty time, for
infinite space, like empty space (and the same holds in regard to time), is
not perceivable. Consequently the quantity of the world is neither finite
nor infinite. The question of the quantity of the world is unanswerable,
because the concept of a sense-world existing by itself _(before_ the
regress) is self-contradictory. Similarly the problem whether the composite
consists of simple elements is insoluble, because the assumption that
the phenomenon of body is a thing in itself, which, antecedent to all
experience, contains all the parts that can be reached in experience--in
other words, that representations exist outside of the representative
faculty--is absurd. Matter is infinitely divisible, no doubt, yet it does
not consist of infinitely numerous parts, and just as little of a definite
number of simple parts, but the parts exist merely in the representation
of them, in the division (decomposition), and this goes as far as possible
experience extends. The case is different with the dynamical antinomies,
where thesis and antithesis can both be _true_, in so far as the former
is referred to things in themselves and the latter to phenomena. The
contradiction vanishes if we take that which the thesis asserts and the
antithesis denies in different senses. The fact that in the world of
phenomena the causal nexus proceeds without interruption and without end,
so that there is no room in it either for an absolutely necessary Being or
for freedom, does not conflict with this other, that beyond the world of
sense there may exist an omnipotent, omniscient cause of the world, and an
intelligible freedom as the ground of our empirically necessary actions.
"May exist," since for the critical philosopher, who has learned that every
extension of knowledge beyond the limits of experience is impossible, the
question can concern only the conceivability of the world-ground and of
freedom. This possibility is amply sufficient to give a support for faith,
as, on the other hand, it is indispensable in order to satisfy at once the
demands of the understanding and of reason, especially to satisfy their
practical interests. For if it were not possible to resolve the apparent
contradiction, and to show its members capable of reconciliation, it would
be all over either with the possibility of experiential knowledge or with
the basis of ethics and religion. Without unbroken causal connection, no
nature; without freedom, no morality; and without a Deity, no religion.
Of special interest is the solution of the third antinomy, which is
accomplished by means of the valuable (though in the form in which it is
given by Kant, untenable) conception of the _intelligible character_.[1]
Man is a citizen of two worlds. As a being of the senses (phenomenon) he
is subject in his volition and action to the control of natural necessity,
while as a being of reason (thing in itself) he is free. For science his
acts are the inevitable results of precedent phenomena, which, in turn,
are themselves empirically caused; nevertheless moral judgment holds
him responsible for his acts. In the one case, they are referred to his
empirical character, in the other, to his intelligible character. Man
cannot act otherwise than he does act, if he be what he is, but he need not
be as he is; the moral constitution of the intelligible character, which
reflects itself in the empirical character, is his own work, and its
radical transformation (moral regeneration) his duty, the fulfillment of
which is demanded, and, hence, of necessity possible.

[Footnote 1: On the difficulties in the way of this theory and the
possibility of their removal cf. R. Falckenberg, _Ueber den intelligiblen
Character, zur Kritik der Kantischen Freiheitslehre_ (from the _Zeitschrift
für Philosophie_, vol. lxxv.), Halle, 1879.]

(3) _Speculative Theology_. The principle of complete determination,
according to which of all the possible predicates of things, as compared
with their opposites, one must belong to each thing, relates the thing to
be determined to the sum of all possible predicates or the _Idea of an ens
realissimum_, which, since it is the representation of a single being, may
be called the _Ideal_ of pure reason. From this prototype things, as its
imperfect copies, derive the material of their possibility; all their
manifold determinations are simply so many modes of limiting the concept of
the highest reality, which is their common substratum, just as all figures
are possible only as different ways of limiting infinite space. Or better:
the derivative beings are not related to the ideal of the original Being as
limitations to the sum of the highest reality (on which view the Supreme
Being would be conceived as an aggregate consisting of the derivative
beings, whereas these presuppose it, and hence cannot constitute it), but
as consequences to a ground. But reason does not remain content with this
entirely legitimate thought of the dependence of finite things on the ideal
of the Being of all beings, as a relation of concepts to the Idea, but,
dazzled by an irresistible illusion, proceeds to realize, to hypostatize,
and to personify this ideal, and, since she herself is dimly conscious of
the illegitimacy of such a transformation of the mere Idea into a given
object, devises _arguments for the existence of God_. Reason, moreover,
would scarcely be induced to regard a mere creation of its thought as a
real being, if it were not compelled from another direction to seek a
resting place somewhere in the regress of conditions, and to think the
empirical reality of the contingent world as founded upon the rock of
something absolutely necessary. There is no being, however, which appears
more fit for the prerogative of absolute necessity than that one the
concept of which contains the therefore to every wherefore, and is in no
respect defective; in other words, rational theology joins the rational
ideal of the most perfect Being with the fourth cosmological Idea of the
absolutely necessary Being.

The proof of the existence of God may be attempted in three ways: we may
argue the existence of a supreme cause either by starting from a definite
experience (the special constitution and order of the sense-world, that
is, its purposiveness), or from an indefinite experience (any existence
whatever), or, finally, abstracting from all experience, from mere concepts
_a priori_. But neither the empirical nor the transcendent nor the
intermediate line of thought leads to the goal. The most impressive and
popular of the proofs is the _physico-theological_ argument. But even if we
gratuitously admit the analogy of natural products with the works of human
art (for the argument is not able to prove that the purposive arrangement
of the things in the world, which we observe with admiration, is
contingent, and could only have been produced by an ordering, rational
principle, not self-produced by their own nature according to general
mechanical laws), this can yield an inference only to an intelligent author
of the purposive form of the world, and not to an author of its matter,
only, therefore, to a world-architect, not to a world-creator. Further,
since the cause must be proportionate to the effect, this argument can
prove only a very wise and wonderfully powerful, but not an omniscient
and omnipotent, designer, and so cannot give any definite concept of
the supreme cause of the world. In leaping from the contingency of the
purposive order of the world to the existence of something absolutely
necessary and thence to an all-comprehensive reality, the teleological
argument abandons the ground of experience and passes over into the
_cosmological argument_, which in its turn is merely a concealed
ontological argument (these two differ only in the fact that the
cosmological proof argues from the antecedently given absolute necessity
of a being to its unlimited reality, and the ontological, conversely, from
supreme reality to necessary existence). The weaknesses of the cosmological
argument in its first half consist in the fact that, in the inference
from the contingent to a cause for it, it oversteps the boundary of the
sense-world, and, in the inference from the impossibility of an infinite
series of conditions to a first cause, it employs the subjective principle
of investigation--to assume hypothetically a necessary ultimate ground in
behalf of the systematic unity of knowledge--as an objective principle
applying to things in themselves. The _ontological argument_, finally,
which the two nominally empirical arguments hoped to avoid, but in which in
the end they were forced to take refuge, goes to wreck on the impossibility
of dragging out of an idea the existence of the object corresponding to it.
Existence denotes nothing further than the position of the subject with all
the marks which are thought in its concept--that is, its relation to our
knowledge, but does not itself belong to the predicates of the concept, and
hence cannot be analytically derived from the latter. The content of the
concept is not enriched by the addition of being; a hundred real dollars do
not contain a penny more than a hundred conceived dollars. All existential
propositions are synthetic; hence the existence of God cannot be
demonstrated from the concept of God. It is a contradiction, to be sure, to
say that God is not almighty, just as it is a contradiction to deny that
a triangle has three angles: _if_ posit the concept I must not remove
the predicate which necessarily belongs to it. If I remove the subject,
however, together with its predicate (the almighty God is not), no
contradiction arises, for in that case nothing remains to be contradicted.

Thus all the proofs for the existence of a necessary being are shown to be
illusory, and the basis of speculative theology uncertain. Nevertheless the
idea of God retains its validity, and the perception of the inability of
reason to demonstrate its objective reality on theoretical grounds has
great value. For though the existence of God cannot be proved, it is true,
by way of recompense, that it cannot be disproved; the same grounds which
show us that the assertion of his existence is based on a weak foundation
suffice also to prove every contrary assertion unfounded. And should
practical motives present themselves to turn the scale in favor of the
assumption of a supreme and all-sufficient Being, reason would be obliged
to take sides and to follow these grounds, which, it is true, are not
objectively sufficient,[1] but still preponderant, and than which we know
none better. After, however, the objective reality of the idea of God is
guaranteed from the standpoint of ethics, there remains for transcendental
theology the important negative duty ("censorship," _Censor_) of exactly
determining the concept of the most perfect Being (as a being which through
understanding and freedom contains the first ground of all other things),
of removing from it all impure elements, and of putting an end to all
opposite assertions, whether atheistic, deistic (deism maintains the
possibility of knowing the existence of an original being, but declares all
further determination of this being impossible), or (in the dogmatic
sense) anthropomorphic. Theism is entirely possible apart from a mistaken
anthropomorphism, in so far as through the predicates which we take from
inner experience (understanding and will) we do not determine the concept
of God as he is in himself, but only _analogically_[2] in his relation to
the world. That concept serves only to aid us in our contemplation of
the world,[3] not as a means of knowing the Supreme Being himself. For
speculative purposes it remains a mere ideal, yet a perfectly faultless
one, which completes and crowns the whole of human knowledge.

[Footnote 1: "They need favor to supply their lack of legitimate claims."
Of themselves alone, therefore, they are unable to yield any theological
knowledge, but they are fitted to prepare the understanding for it, and to
give emphasis to other possible (moral) proofs.]

[Footnote 2: We halt _at_ the boundary of the legitimate use of reason,
without overstepping it, when we limit our judgment to the relation of
the world to the Supreme Being, and in this allow ourselves a symbolical
anthropomorphism only, which in reality has reference to our language alone
and not to the object.]

[Footnote 3: We are compelled to _look on_ the world _as if_ it were the
work of a supreme intelligence and will. "We may confidently derive the
phenomena of the world and their existence from other (phenomena), as if no
necessary being existed, and yet unceasingly strive after completeness
in the derivation, as though such a being were presupposed as a supreme
ground." In short, physical (mechanical) _explanation_, and a theistic
point of view or teleological _judgment_.]

Thus the value of the Ideas is twofold. By showing the untenable ness of
atheism, fatalism, and naturalism, they I clear the way for the objects of
faith. By providing natural science with the standpoint of a systematical
unity through teleological connection, they make an extension of the use of
the understanding possible within the realm of experience,[1] though not
beyond it. The systematic development of the Kantian teleology, which is
here indicated in general outlines only, is found in the second part of the
_Critique of Judgment_; while the practical philosophy, which furnishes the
only possible proof, the moral proof, for the reality of the Ideas, erects
on the site left free by the removal of the airy summer-houses of dogmatic
metaphysics the solid mansion of critical metaphysics, that is, the
metaphysics of duties and of hopes. "I was obliged to destroy knowledge
in order to make room for faith." The transition from the impossible
theoretical or speculative knowledge of things in themselves to the
possible "practical knowledge" of them (the belief that there is a God and
a future world) is given in the _Doctrine of Method_, which is divided into
four parts (the Discipline, the Canon, the Architectonic, and the History
of Pure Reason), in its second chapter. There, in the ideal of the _Summum
Bonum_, the proof is brought forward for the validity of the Ideas God,
freedom, and immortality, as postulates inseparable from moral obligation;
and by a cautious investigation of the three stages of assent (opinion,
knowledge, and belief) both doctrinal and moral belief are assigned their
places in the system of the kinds of knowledge.

[Footnote 1: The principle to regard all order in the world (_e.g._, the
shape of the earth, mountains, and seas, the members of animal bodies) as
if it proceeded from the design of a supreme reason leads the investigator
on to various discoveries.]

We may now sum up the results of the three parts of Kant's theoretical
philosophy. The pure intuitions, the categories, and the Ideas are
functions of the spirit, and afford non-empirical _(erfahrungsfreie)_
knowledge concerning the objects of possible experience (and concerning the
possibility of knowledge). The first make universal and necessary knowledge
possible in relation to the forms under which objects can be given to us;
the second make a similarly apodictic knowledge possible in relation to
the forms under which phenomena must be thought; the third make possible a
judgment of phenomena differing from this knowledge, yet not in conflict
with it. The categories and the Ideas, moreover, yield problematical
concepts of objects which are not given to us in intuition, but which may
exist outside of space and time: things in themselves cannot be known, it
is true, but they can be thought, a fact of importance in case we should be
assured of their existence in some other way than by sensuous intuition.

The determination of the limits of speculative reason is finished.
All knowing and all demonstration is limited to phenomena or possible
experience. But the boundary of that which can be experienced is not the
boundary of that which is, still less of that which ought to be; the
boundary of theoretical reason is not the boundary of practical reason. We
_ought_ to act morally; in order to be able to do this we must ascribe to
ourselves the power to initiate a series of events; and, in general, we are
warranted in assuming everything the non-assumption of which makes moral
action impossible. If we were merely theoretical, merely experiential
beings, we should lack all occasion to suppose a second, intelligible world
behind and above the world of phenomena; but we are volitional and active
beings under laws of reason, and though we are unable to know things in
themselves, yet we may and must _postulate_ them--our freedom, God, and
immortality. For not only that which is a condition of experience is true
and necessary, but that, also, which is a condition of morality. The
discovery of the laws and conditions of morality is the mission of
practical philosophy.

%2. Theory of Ethics.%

The investigation now turns from the laws of nature, which express a
"must," to the laws of will, in which an "ought" is expressed, and by which
certain actions are not compelled, but prescribed. (If we were merely
rational, and not at the same time sensuous beings, the moral law would
determine the will in the form of a natural law; since, however, the
constant possibility of deviation is given in the sensibility, or, rather,
the moral standpoint can only be attained by conquering the sensuous
impulses, therefore the moral law speaks to us in the form of an "ought,"
of an imperative.) Among the laws of the will or imperatives, also,
there are some which possess the character of absolute necessity and
universality, and which, consequently, are _a priori_. As the understanding
dictates laws to the phenomenal world, so practical reason gives a law to
itself, is _autonomous_; and as the _a priori_ laws of nature relate only
to the form of the objects of experience, so the moral law determines not
the content, but only the form of volition: "Act only on that maxim whereby
thou canst at the same time will that it should become a universal law."
The law of practical reason is a "categorical imperative." What does this
designation mean, and what is the basis of the formula of the moral law
which has just been given?

Practical principles are either subjectively valid, in which case they are
termed maxims (volitional principles of the individual), or objectively
valid, when they are called imperatives or precepts. The latter are either
valid under certain conditions (If you wish to become a clergyman you must
study theology; he who would prosper as a merchant must not cheat his
customers), or unconditionally valid (Thou shalt not lie). All prudential
or technical rules are hypothetical imperatives, the moral law is a
categorical imperative. The injunction to be truthful is not connected with
the condition that we intend to act morally, but this general purpose,
together with all the special purposes belonging to it, to avoid lying,
etc., is demanded unconditionally and of everyone--as surely as we are
rational beings we are under moral obligation, not in order to reputation
here below and happiness above, but without all "ifs" and "in order to's."
Thou shalt unconditionally, whatever be the outcome. And as the moral law
is independent of every end to be attained, so it suffers neither increase
nor diminution in its binding force, whether men obey it or not. It has
absolute authority, no matter whether it is fulfilled frequently or seldom,
nay, whether it is fulfilled anywhere or at any time whatsoever in the

There is an important difference between the good which we are under
obligation to do and the evil which we are under obligation not to do, and
the goods and ills which we seek and avoid. The goods are always relatively
good only, _good for something_--as means to ends--and a bad use can be
made of all that nature and fortune give us as well as a good one. That
which duty commands is an end in itself, in itself good, absolutely
worthful, and no misuse of it is possible. It might be supposed that
pleasure, that happiness is an ultimate end. But men have very different
opinions in regard to what is pleasant, one holding one thing pleasurable
and another another. It is impossible to discover by empirical methods what
duty demands of all men alike and under all circumstances; the appeal is to
our reason, not to our sensibility. If happiness were the end of rational
beings, then nature had endowed us but poorly for it, since instead of an
unfailing instinct she has given us the weak and deceitful reason as a
guide, which, with its train, culture, science, art, and luxury, has
brought more trouble than satisfaction to mankind. Man has a destiny other
than well-being, and a higher one--the formation of good dispositions: here
we have the only thing in the whole world that can never be used for evil,
the only thing that does not borrow its value from a higher end, but itself
originally and inalienably contains it, and that gives value to all else
that merits esteem. "Nothing can possibly be conceived in the world, or
even out of it, which can be called good without qualification, except a
_good will_." Understanding, courage, moderation, and whatever other mental
gifts or praiseworthy qualities of temperament may be cited, as also the
gifts of fortune, "are undoubtedly good and desirable in many respects, but
they may also become extremely evil and mischievous, if the will which is
to make use of them is not good." These are the classic words with which
Kant commences the _Foundation of the Metaphysics of Ethics_.

When does the will deserve the predicate "good"? Let us listen to the
popular moral consciousness, which distinguishes three grades of moral
recognition. He who refrains from that which is contrary to duty, no matter
from what motives--as, for example, the shopkeeper who does not cheat
because he knows that honesty is the best policy--receives moderate
praise for irreproachable outward behavior. We bestow warmer praise and
encouragement on him whom ambition impels to industry, kind feeling to
beneficence, and pity to render assistance. But he alone earns our esteem
who does his duty for duty's sake. Only in this third case, where not
merely the external action, nor merely the impulse of a happy disposition,
but the will itself, the maxim, is in harmony with the moral law, where
the good is done for the sake of the good, do we find true morality, that
unconditioned, self-grounded worth. The man who does that which is in
accordance with duty out of reflection on its advantages, and he who does
it from immediate--always unreliable--inclination, acts _legally_; he alone
acts _morally_ who, without listening to advantage and inclination, takes
up the law into his disposition, and does his duty because it is duty. The
sole moral motive is the consciousness of duty, _respect for the moral

[Footnote 1: The respect or reverence which the law, and, derivatively, the
person in whom it is realized, compel from us, is, as self-produced through
a concept of reason and as the only feeling which can be known _a priori_,
specifically different from all feelings of inclination or fear awakened by
sensuous influences. As it strengthens and raises our rational nature, the
consciousness of our freedom and of our high destination, but, at the same
time, humbles our sensibility, there is mingled with the joy of exaltation
a certain pain, which permits no intimate affection for the stern and
sublime law. It is not quite willingly that we pay our respect--just
because of the depressing effect which this feeling exerts on our

Here Kant is threatened by a danger which he does not succeed in escaping.
The moral law demands perfect purity in our maxims; only the idea of duty,
not an inclination, is to determine the will. Quite right. Further, the one
judging is himself never absolutely certain, even when his own volition is
concerned, that no motives of pleasure have mingled with the feeling of
duty in contributing to the right action, unless that which was morally
demanded has been contrary to all his inclinations. When a person who is
not in need and who is free from cupidity leaves the money-box intrusted
to his care untouched, or when a man who loves life overcomes thoughts of
suicide, I may assume that the former was sufficiently protected
against the temptation by his moderation, and the other by his cheerful
disposition, and I rate their behavior as merely legal. When, on the other
hand, an official inclined to extravagance faithfully manages the funds
intrusted to him, or one who is oppressed by hopeless misery preserves his
life, although he does not love it, then I may ascribe the abstinence from
wrongdoing to moral principles. This, too, may be admitted. We are
certain of the morality of a resolution only when it can be shown that no
inclination was involved along with the maxim. The cases where the right
action is performed in opposition to inclination are the only ones in which
we may be certain that the moral quality of the action is unmixed--are
they, then, the only ones in which a moral disposition is present? Kant
rightly maintains that the admixture of egoistic motives beclouds the
purity of the disposition, and consequently diminishes its moral worth.
With equal correctness he draws attention to the possibility that, even
when we believe that we are acting from pure principles, a hidden sensuous
impulse may be involved. But he leaves unconsidered the possibility that,
even when the inclinations are favorable to right action, the action may be
performed, not from inclination, but because of the consciousness of duty.
Given that a man is naturally industrious, does this happy predisposition
protect him from fits of idleness? And if he resists them, must it always
be his inclination to activity and never moral principle which overcomes
the temptation? In yielding to the danger of confounding the limits of our
certain knowledge of the purity of motives with the limits of moral action,
and in admitting true morality only where action proceeds from principle
in opposition to the inclinations, Kant really deserves the reproach of
rigorism or exaggerated purism--sometimes groundlessly extended to the
justifiable strictness of his views--and the ridicule of the well-known
lines of Schiller ("Scruples of Conscience" and "Decision" at the
conclusion of his distich-group "The Philosophers"):

"The friends whom I love I gladly would serve, but to this inclination
        incites me;
 And so I am forced from virtue to swerve since my act, through affection,
        delights me.
 The friends whom thou lovest thou must first seek to scorn, for to no
        other way can I guide thee;
 'Tis alone with disgust thou canst rightly perform the acts to which
        duty would lead thee."

If we return from this necessary limitation of a groundless inference
(that true morality is present only when duty is performed against our
inclinations, when it is difficult for us, when a conflict with sensuous
motives has preceded), to the development of the fundamental ethical
conceptions, we find that important conclusions concerning the origin and
content of the moral law result from the principle obtained by the analysis
of moral judgment: this law commands with _unconditional authority_--for
every rational being and under all circumstances--what has _unconditioned
worth_--the disposition which corresponds to it. The universality and
necessity (_unconditionalness_) of the categorical imperative proves that
it springs from no other source than reason itself. Those who derive
the moral law from the will of God subject it to a condition, viz., the
immutability of the divine will. Those who find the source of moral
legislation in the pursuit of happiness make rational will dependent on a
natural law of the sensibility; it would be folly to enjoin by a moral law
that which everyone does of himself, and does superabundantly. Moreover,
the theories of the social inclinations and of moral sense fail of their
purpose, since they base morality on the uncertain ground of feeling. Even
the principle of perfection proves insufficient, inasmuch as it limits the
individual to himself, and, in the end, like those which have preceded,
amounts to a refined self-love. Theonomic ethics, egoistic ethics, the
ethics of sympathy, and the ethics of perfection are all eudemonistic, and
hence heteronomic. The practical reason[1] receives the law neither from
the will of God nor from natural impulse, but draws it out of its own
depths; it binds itself.

[Footnote 1: Will and practical reason are identical. The definition runs:
Will is the faculty of acting in accordance with the representation of

The grounds which establish the derivation of the moral law from the will
or reason itself exclude at the same time every material determination of
it. If the categorical imperative posited definite ends for the will, if it
prescribed a direction to definite objects, it could neither be known _a
priori_ nor be valid for all rational beings: its apodictic character
forbids the admission of empirical elements of every sort.[1] If we think
away all content from the law we retain the form of universal legality,[2]
and gain the formula: "Act so that the maxim of thy will can always at
the same time hold good as a principle of universal legislation." The
possibility of conceiving the principle of volition as a universal law of
nature is the criterion of morality. If you are in doubt concerning the
moral character of an action or motive simply ask yourself the question,
What would become of humanity if everyone were to act according to the same
principle? If no one could trust the word of another, or count on aid from
others, or be sure of his property and his life, then no social life would
be possible. Even a band of robbers cannot exist unless certain laws are
respected as inviolable duties.

[Footnote 1: The moral law, therefore, is independent of all experience in
three respects, as to its origin, its content, and its validity. It springs
from reason, it contains a formal precept only, and its validity is not
concerned, whether it meets with obedience or not. It declares what ought
to be done, even though this never should be done.]

[Footnote 2: The "formal principle" of the Kantian ethics has met very
varied criticism. Among others Edmund Pfleiderer (_Kantischer Kritizismus
und Englische Philosophie_, 1881) and Zeller express themselves
unfavorably, Fortlage and Liebmann (_Zur Analysis der Wirklichkeit_, 2d
ed., 1880, p. 671) favorably.]

It was indispensable to free the supreme formula of the moral law from all
material determinations, _i.e._, limitations. This does not prevent us,
however, from afterward giving the abstract outline a more concrete
coloring. First of all, the concept of the dignity of persons in contrast
to the utility of things offers itself as an aid to explanation and
specialization. Things are means whose worth is always relative, consisting
in the useful or pleasant effects which they exercise, in the satisfaction
of a need or of the taste, they can be replaced by other means, which
fulfill the same purpose, and they have a (market or fancy) _value_; while
that which is above all value and admits of no equivalent has an ultimate
worth or _dignity_, and is an object of respect. The legislation which
determines all worth, and with this the disposition which corresponds to
it, has a dignity, an unconditioned, incomparable worth, and lends its
subjects, rational beings framed for morality, the advantage of being ends
in themselves. "Therefore morality, and humanity so far as it is capable of
morality, is that which alone possesses dignity." Accordingly the following
formulation of the moral law may be held equivalent to the first: "So act
as to treat humanity, whether in thine own person or in that of any other,
in every case as an end, never as a means only."

A further addition to the abstract formula of the categorical imperative
results from the discussion of the question, What universal ends admit of
subsumption under it, _i.e._, stand the test of fitness to be principles of
a universal legislation? Here again Kant stands forth as an arbiter between
the contending parties, and, with a firm grasp, combines the useful
elements from both sides after winnowing them out from the worthless
principles. The majority of the eudemonistic systems, along with the
promotion of private welfare, prescribe the furtherance of universal good
without being able to indicate at what point the pursuit of personal
welfare should give way to regard for the good of others, while in the
perfectionist systems the social element is wanting or retreats unduly into
the background. The principle of happiness represents moral empiricism, the
principle of perfection moral rationalism. Kant resolves the antithesis
by restricting the theses of the respective parties within their proper
limits: "Make _thine own perfection_ and _the happiness of others_ the end
of thy actions;" these are the only ends which are at the same time duties.
The perfection of others is excluded by the fact that I cannot impart
to anyone a good disposition, for everyone must acquire it for himself;
personal happiness by the fact that everyone seeks it naturally.

This antithesis (which is crossed by the further distinction between
perfect, _i.e._, indispensable, and imperfect duties) serves as a basis for
the division of moral duties into duties toward ourselves and duties toward
other men.[1] The former enjoin the preservation and development of our
natural and moral powers, the latter are duties of obligation (of respect)
or of merit (of love). Since no one can obligate me to feel, we are to
understand by love not the pathological love of complacency, but only the
active love of benevolence or practical sympathy. Since it is just as
impossible that the increase of the evils in the world should be a duty,
the enervating and useless excitation of pity, which adds to the pain of
the sufferer the sympathetic pain of the spectator, is to be struck off
the list of virtues, and active readiness to aid put in its place. In
friendship love and respect unite in exact equipoise. Veracity is one of
the duties toward self; lying is an abandonment of human dignity and under
no conditions allowable, not even if life depends on it.

[Footnote 1: All duties are toward men, not toward supra-human or
infra-human beings. That which we commonly term duties toward animals,
likewise the so-called duties toward God, are in reality duties toward
ourselves. Cruelty to animals is immoral, because our sympathies are
blunted by it. To have religion is a duty to ourselves, because the view of
moral laws as laws of God is an aid to morality.]

After it has been settled what the categorical imperative enjoins, the
further problem awaits us of explaining how it is possible. The categorical
imperative is possible only on I the presupposition of our _freedom_. Only
a free being gives laws to itself, just as an autonomous being alone is
free. In theoretical philosophy the pure self-consciousness, the "I think,"
denoted a point where the thing in itself manifests to us not its nature,
indeed, but its existence. The same holds true in practical philosophy of
the moral law. The incontestable fact of the moral law empowers me to rank
myself in a higher order of things than the merely phenomenal order, and
in another causal relation than that of the merely necessary (mechanical)
causation of nature, to regard myself as a legislative member of an
intelligible world, and one independent of sensuous impulses--in short, to
regard myself as free. Freedom is the _ratio essendi_ of the self-given
moral law, the latter the _ratio cognoscendi_ of freedom. The law would
have no meaning if we did not possess the power to obey it: I can _because_
I ought. It is true that freedom is a mere Idea, whose object can never be
given to me in an experience, and whose reality, consequently, cannot
be objectively known and proved, but nevertheless, is required with
satisfactory subjective necessity as the condition of the moral law and of
the possibility of its fulfillment. I may not say it is certain, but, with
safety, I am certain that I am free. Freedom is not a dogmatic proposition
of theoretical reason, but a _postulate_ of practical reason; and the
latter holds the _primacy_ over the former to this extent, that it can
require the former to show that certain transcendent Ideas of the
suprasensible, which are most intimately connected with moral obligation,
are compatible with the principles of the understanding. It was just in
view of the practical interests involved in the rational concepts God,
freedom, immortality, that it was so important to establish, at least,
their possibility (their conceivability without contradiction). That,
therefore, which the Dialectic recognized as possible is in the Ethics
shown to be real: Whoever seeks to fulfill his moral destiny--and this is
the duty of every man--must not doubt concerning the conditions of its
possible fulfillment, must, in spite of their incomprehensibility,
_believe_ in freedom and a suprasensible world. They are both postulates
of practical reason, _i.e._, assumptions concerning that which is in behalf
of that which ought to be. Naturally the interests of the understanding
must not be infringed upon by those of the will. The principle of the
complete causal determination of events retains its validity unimpeached
for the sphere of the knowledge of the understanding, that is, for the
realm of phenomena; while, on the other hand, it remains permissible for
us to postulate another kind of causality for the realm of things in
themselves, although we can have no idea of its _how_, and to ascribe to
ourselves a free intelligible character.

While the Idea of freedom can be derived directly from the moral law as
a postulate thereof, the proof of the reality of the two other Ideas is
effected indirectly by means of the concept of the "highest good," in which
reason conceives a union of perfect virtue and perfect happiness. The
moral law requires absolute correspondence between the disposition and the
commands of reason, or holiness of will. But besides this supreme good
(_bonum supremum_) of completed morality, the highest good (_bonum
consummatum_) further contains a degree of happiness corresponding to the
degree of virtue. Everyone agrees in the judgment that, by rights, things
should go well with the virtuous and ill with the wicked, though this must
not imply any deduction from the principle previously announced that the
least impulse of self-interest causes the maxim to forfeit its worth: the
motive of the will must never be happiness, but always the being worthy of
happiness. The first element in the highest good yields the argument for
_immortality_, and the second the argument for the _existence of God_. (1)
Perfect correspondence between the will and the law never occurs in this
life, because the sensibility never allows us to attain a permanently good
disposition, armed against every temptation; our will can never be
holy, but at best virtuous, and our lawful disposition never escape the
consciousness of a constant tendency to transgression, or at least of
impurity. Since, nevertheless, the demands of the (Christian) moral law
continue in their unrelenting stringency to be the standard, we are
justified in the hope of an unlimited continuation of our existence,
in order that by constant progress in goodness we may draw nearer _in
infinitum_ to the ideal of holiness. (2) The establishment of a rational
proportion between happiness and virtue is also not to be expected until
the future life, for too often on earth it is the evil man who prospers,
while the good man suffers. A justly proportioned distribution of rewards
and punishment can only be expected from an infinite power, wisdom, and
goodness, which rules the moral world even as it has created the natural
world. Deity alone is able to bring the physical and moral realms into
harmony, and to establish the due relation between well-being and right
action. This, the moral argument, is the only possible proof for the
existence of God. Theology is not possible as speculative, but only as
moral theology. The certitude of faith, moreover, is only different from,
not less than, the certainty of knowledge, in so far as it brings with it
not an objective, but a subjective, although universally valid, necessity.
Hence it is better to speak of belief in God as a need of the reason than
as a duty; while a logical error, not a moral one, should be charged
against the atheist. The atheist is blind to the intimate connection which
exists between the highest good and the Ideas of the reason; he does not
see that God, freedom, and immortality are the indispensable conditions of
the realization of this ideal.

Thus faith is based upon duty without being itself duty: ethics is the
_basis of religion_, which consists in our regarding moral laws as
(_instar_, as if they were) divine commands. They are not valid or
obligatory because God has given them (this would be heteronomy), but they
should be regarded as divine because they are necessary laws of reason.
Religion differs from ethics only in its form, not in its content, in that
it adds to the conception of duty the idea of God as a moral lawgiver, and
thus increases the influence of this conception on the will; it is simply
a means for the promotion of morality. Since, however, besides natural
religion or the pure faith of reason (the moral law and the moral
postulates), the historical religions contain statutory determinations or a
doctrinal faith, it becomes the duty of the critical philosopher to inquire
how much of this positive admixture can be justified at the bar of reason.
In this investigation the question of the divine revelation of dogma
and ceremonial laws is neither supra-rationalistically affirmed nor
naturalistically derived, but rationalistically treated as an open

The four essays combined under the title _Religion within the Limits of
Reason Only_ treat of the Radical Evil in Human Nature, the Conflict of the
Good Principle with the Evil for the Mastery over Man, the Victory of the
Good Principle over the Evil and the Founding of a Kingdom of God upon
Earth, and, finally, Service and False Service under the Dominion of the
Good Principle, or Religion and Priestcraft; or more briefly, the fall, the
atonement (the Christ-idea), the Church, and true and false service of God.

(1) The individual evil deeds of the empirical character point to an
original fault of the intelligible character, a _propensity to evil_
dwelling in man and not further deducible. This, although it is
self-incurred, may be called natural and innate, and consists (not in the
sensibility merely, but) in a freely chosen reversal of the moral order
of our maxims, in virtue of which the maxim of duty or morality is
subordinated to that of well-being or self-love instead of being
placed above it, and that which should be the supreme condition of all
satisfaction is degraded into a mere means thereto. Morality is therefore a
_conversion_ from the evil to the good, and requires a complete revolution
in the disposition, the putting on of a new man, a "new birth,"
which, an act out of time, can manifest itself in the temporal world of
phenomena only as a gradual transformation in conduct, as a continuous
advance, but which, we may hope, is judged by him who knows the heart,
who regards the disposition instead of particular imperfect actions, as a
completed unity.

(2) By the eternal Son of God, for whose sake God created all things, we
are to understand the ideal of the perfect man, which in truth forms the
end of creation, and is come down from heaven, etc. To believe in Christ
means to resolve to realize in one's self the ideal of human nature which
is well pleasing to God, or to make the divine disposition of the Son of
God our own, not to believe that this ideal has appeared on earth as an
actual man, in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. The only saving faith is
the belief of reason in the ideal which Christ represents, and not the
historical belief in his person. The vicarious atonement of the ideal
man for those who believe on him is to be interpreted to mean that the
sufferings and sacrifices (crucifixion of the flesh) imposed by moral
conversion, which are due to the sinful man as punishment, are assumed by
the regenerate man: the new Adam bears the sufferings of the old. In the
same way as that in which Kant handles the history of Christ and the
doctrine of justification, all biblical narratives and ecclesiastical
doctrines are in public instruction (from the pulpit) to be interpreted
morally, even where the authors themselves had no such meaning in mind.

(3) The Church is a society based upon the laws of virtue, an ethical
community or a people of God, whose members confirm each other in the
performance of duty by example and by the profession of a common moral
conviction; we are all brothers, the children of one father. Ideally there
is only one (the universal, invisible) Church, and its foundation the pure
faith of reason; but in consequence of a weakness peculiar to human nature
the foundation of an actual church required the addition of a statutory
historical faith, with claims to a divine origin, from which a multitude of
visible churches and the antithesis of orthodox and heretics have sprung.
The history of the Church since the establishment of Christianity
represents the conflict between the historical faith and the faith of
reason; its goal is the submission of the former to the latter, as, indeed,
we have already begun to perceive that God does not require a special
service beyond the practice of virtue.

(4) The true service of God consists in a moral disposition and its
manifestation: "All that man supposes himself able to do in order to please
God, beyond living a good life, is _false service_" False service is the
false subordination of the pure faith of reason to the statutory faith, by
which the attainment of the goal of religious development is hindered
and the laity are brought into dangerous dependence upon the clergy.
Priestcraft, hypocrisy, and fanaticism enter in the train of fetich
service. The church-faith is destined little by little to make itself
superfluous. It has been necessary as a vehicle, as a means for the
introduction and extension of the pure religion of morality, and it still
remains useful for a time, until humanity shall become of age; with man's
entrance on the period of youth and manhood, however, the leading-string of
holy traditions, which in its time did good service, becomes unnecessary,
nay, finally, a fetter. (This relative appreciation of the positive element
in religion, in antithesis to the unthinking rejection of it by the
Illumination, resembles the view of Lessing; cf. pp. 306-309.) Moreover,
since it is a duty to be a co-worker in the transition from the historical
to the pure religious faith, the clergy must be free as scientific
theologians, as scholars and authors to examine the doctrines of faith
and to give expression to dissenting opinions, while, as preachers in the
pulpit, speaking under commission, they are bound to the creeds. To decide
the articles of belief unalterable would be a crime against human
nature, whose primal destination is just this--to progress. To renounce
illumination means to trample upon the divine rights of reason.

The "General Observations" appended to each division add to the four
principle discussions as many collateral inquiries concerning Operations
of Grace, Miracles, Mysteries, and Means of Grace, objects of transcendent
ideas, which do not properly belong in the sphere of religion within pure
reason itself, but which yet border on it. (1) We are entirely incapable of
calling forth works of grace, nay, even of indicating the marks by which
actual divine illuminations are distinguished from imaginary ones; the
supposed experience of heavenly influences belongs in the region of
superstitious religious illusion. But their impossibility is just as little
susceptible of proof as their reality. Nothing further can be said on the
question, save that works of grace may exist, and perhaps must exist in
order to supplement our imperfect efforts after virtue; and that everyone,
instead of waiting for divine assistance, should do for his own amendment
all that is in his power. (2) Kant judges more sharply in regard to the
belief in miracles, which contradict the laws of experience without in the
least furthering the performance of our duties. In practical life no one
regards miracles as possible; and their limitation to the past and to rare
instances does not make them more credible. (3) In so far as the Christian
mysteries actually represent impenetrable secrets they have no bearing on
moral conduct; so far as they are morally valuable they admit of rational
interpretation and thus cease to be mysteries. The Trinity signifies the
three moral qualities or powers united in the head of the moral state: the
one God as holy lawgiver, gracious governor, and just judge. (4) The
services of the Church have worth as ethical ceremonies, as emblems of the
moral disposition (prayer) and of moral fellowship (church attendance,
baptism, and the Lord's Supper); but to find in these symbolic ceremonies
means of grace and to seek to purchase the favor of God by them, is an
error of the same kind as sorcery and fetichism. The right way leads from
virtue to grace, not in the opposite direction; piety without morality is

The Kantian theory of religion is rationalistic and moralistic. The fact
that religion is based on morality should never be assailed. But the
foundation is not the building, the origin not the content and essence
of the thing itself. As far as the nature of religion is concerned,
the Kantian view does not exclude completion in the direction of
Schleiermacher's theory of feeling, just as by its speculative
interpretation of the Christian dogmas and its appreciation of the history
of religion as a gradual transformation of historical faith into a faith of
reason, it points out the path afterward followed by Hegel. The philosophy
of religion of the future must be, as some recent attempts aim to be (O.
Pfleiderer, Biedermann, Lipsius), a synthesis of Kant, Schleiermacher, and

While the moral law requires rightness not only of the action, but also of
the disposition, the law of right is satisfied when the act enjoined is
performed, no matter from what motives. Legal right, as the sum of the
conditions under which the will of the one can consist with the will of
others according to a universal law, relates only to enforceable actions,
without concerning itself about motives. Private right includes right in
things or property, personal right or right of contract, and real-personal
right (marriage right); public right is divided into the right of states,
of nations, and of citizens of the world. Kant's theory of punishment is
original and important. He bases it not upon prudential regard for the
protection of society, or the deterrence or reformation of the criminal,
but upon the exalted idea of retaliation (_jus talionis_), which demands
that everyone should meet with what his deeds deserve: Eye for eye, life
for life. In _politics_ Kant favors democratic theories, though less
decidedly than Rousseau and Fichte. As he followed with interest the
efforts after freedom manifested in the American and French Revolutions, so
he opposed an hereditary nobility as a hindrance to the natural equality of
rights, and demanded freedom for the public expression of opinion as the
surest means of guarding against revolutions. The only legitimate form of
the state is the republican, _i.e._, that in which the executive power is
separated from the legislative power, in contrast to despotism, where they
are united in one hand. The best guaranty for just government and civil
liberty is offered by constitutional monarchy, in which the people through
its representatives exercises the legislative power, the sovereign the
executive power, and judges chosen by the people the judicial power. The
contract from which we may conceive the state to have arisen is not to be
regarded as an historical fact, but as a rational idea or rule, by which
we may judge whether the laws are just or not: that which the people as a
whole cannot prescribe for itself, this cannot be prescribed for it by
the ruler (cf. p. 235). That there is a constant progress--not only of
individuals, but--of the race, not merely in technical and intellectual,
but also in moral respects, is supported both by rational grounds (without
faith in such progress we could not fulfill our duty as co-laborers in it)
and by experiential grounds (above all, the unselfish sympathy which all
the world gave to the French Revolution); and the never-ending complaint
that the times are growing worse proves only that mankind is continually
setting up stricter standards for itself. The beginning of _history_ is to
be placed at the point where man passes out of the condition of innocence,
in which instinct rules, and begins to subdue nature, which hitherto he has
obeyed. The goal of history, again, is the establishment of the perfect
form of the state. Nature itself co-operates with freedom in the gradual
transformation of the state based on necessity _(Notstaat)_ into a rational
state, inasmuch as selfish competition and the commercial spirit require
peace, order, and justice for their own security and help to bring them
about. And so, further, we need not doubt that humanity will constantly
draw nearer to the ideal condition of everlasting peace among the nations
(guaranteed by a league of states which shall as a mediator settle disputes
between individual states), however impracticable the idea may at present

If the bold declaration of Fortlage, that in Kant the system of absolute
truth appeared, is true of any one part of his philosophy, it is true of
the practical part, in which Christian morality has found its scientific
expression. If we may justly complain that on the basis of his sharp
distinction between legality and morality, between legal duty and
virtue-duty, Kant took into account only the legal side of the institutions
of marriage and of the state, overlooking the fact that besides these they
have a moral importance and purpose, if we may demand a social ethic as a
supplement to his ethics, which is directed to the duties of the individual
alone, yet these and other well-founded desiderata may be attained by
slight corrections and by the addition of another story to the Kantian
edifice, while the foundations are still retained. The bases are immovable.
Autonomy, absolute oughtness, the formal character of the law of reason,
and the incomparable worth of the pure, disinterested disposition--these
are the corner stones of the Kantian, nay, of all morals.

%3. Theory of the Beautiful and of Ends in Nature.%

We now know the laws which the understanding imposes upon nature and those
which reason imposes upon the will. If there is a field in which to be
(_Sein_) and ought to be (_Sollen_), nature and freedom, which we have thus
far been forced to consider antithetical, are reconciled--and that there
is such a field is already deducible from the doctrine of the religious
postulates (as practical truths or assumptions concerning what is, in
behalf of what ought to be), and from the hints concerning a progress in
history (in which both powers co-operate toward a common goal)--then the
source of its laws is evidently to be sought in that faculty which mediates
alike between understanding and reason and between knowing and feeling:
in _Judgment_, as the higher faculty of feeling. Judgment, in the general
sense, is the faculty of thinking a particular as contained in a universal,
and exercises a twofold function: as "determinant" judgment it subsumes the
particular under a given universal (a law), as "reflective" it seeks the
universal for a given particular. Since the former coincides with the
understanding, we are here concerned only with the reflective judgment,
judgment in the narrower sense, which does not cognize objects, but judges
them, and this according to the principle of purposiveness.[1]

[Footnote 1: The universal laws springing from the understanding, to
which every nature must conform to become an object of experience for us,
determine nothing concerning the particular form of the given reality;
we cannot deduce the special laws of nature from them. Nevertheless the
nature of our cognitive faculty does not allow us to accept the empirical
manifoldness of our world as contingent, but impels us to regard it as
purposive or adapted to our knowledge, and to look upon these special
laws as if an intelligence had given them in order to make a system of
experience possible.]

This, in turn, is of two kinds. An object is really or _objectively_
purposive (perfect) when it corresponds to its nature or its determination,
formally or _subjectively_ purposive (beautiful) when it is conformed to
the nature of our cognitive faculty. The perception of purpose is always
accompanied by a feeling of pleasure; in the first case, where the pleasure
is based on a concept of the object, it is a logical satisfaction, in the
second, where it springs only from the harmony of the object with our
cognitive powers, aesthetic satisfaction. The objects of the teleological
and the aesthetic judgment, the purposive and the beautiful products of
nature and art, constitute the desired intermediate field between nature
and freedom; and here again the critical question comes up, How, in
relation to these, synthetic judgments _a priori_ are possible?

%(a) Esthetic Judgment.%--The formula holds of Kant's aesthetics as well as
of his theoretical and practical philosophy, that his aim is to overcome
the opposition between the empirical and the rationalistic theories, and to
find a middle course of his own between the two extremes. Neither Burke
nor Baumgarten satisfied him. The English aesthetics was sensational, the
German, _i.e._, that of the Wolffian school, rationalistic. The former
identified the beautiful with the agreeable, the latter identified it with
the perfect or with the conformity of the object to its concept; in the one
case, aesthetic appreciation is treated as sensuous pleasure, in the other,
it is treated as a lower, confused kind of knowledge, its peculiar nature
being in both cases overlooked. In opposition to the sensualization of
aesthetic appreciation, its character as judgment must be maintained;
and in opposition to its rationalization, its character as feeling. This
relation of the Kantian aesthetics to that of his predecessors explains
both its fundamental tendency and the elements in it which appear defective
and erroneous. In any case, Kant shows himself in this field also an
unapproachable master of careful analysis.

The first task of aesthetics is the careful distinction of its object from
related phenomena. The beautiful has points of contact with the agreeable,
the good, the perfect, the useful, and the true. It is distinguished
from the true by the fact that it is not an object of knowledge, but
of satisfaction. If we inquire further into the difference between the
satisfaction in the beautiful and the satisfaction in the agreeable, in the
good (in itself), and in the (good for something, as a means, or in the)
useful, which latter three have this in common, that they are objects of
appetition--of sensuous want, of moral will, of prudential desire--it
becomes evident that the beautiful pleases through its mere representation
(that is, independently of the real existence of the object), and that
the delight in the beautiful is a contemplative pleasure. It is for
contemplation only, not to be sensuously enjoyed nor put to practical use;
and, further, its production is not a universal duty. Sensuous, prudential,
or moral appetition has always an "interest" in the actual existence of
the object; the beautiful, on the other hand, calls forth a disinterested

According to quality the beautiful is the object of a disinterested, free
(bound by no interest), and sportive satisfaction. According to quantity
and modality the judgment of taste claims universal and necessary validity,
without this being based upon concepts. This posits further differences
between the beautiful and the agreeable and the good. The good also pleases
universally, but it pleases through concepts; the agreeable as well as the
beautiful pleases without a concept, but it does not please universally.

That which pleases the reason through the concept is good; that which
pleases the senses in sensation is agreeable. That which pleases
_universally and necessarily without a concept_ is beautiful. Moral
judgment demands the assent of all, and its universal validity is
demonstrable. The judgment concerning the agreeable is not capable of
demonstration, but neither does it pretend to possess universal validity;
we readily acknowledge that what is pleasant to one need not be so to every
other man. In regard to the beautiful, on the contrary, we do not content
ourselves with saying that tastes differ, but we expect it to please all.
We expect everyone to assent to our judgment of taste, although it is able
to support itself by no proofs.

Here there is a difficulty: since the judgment of taste does not express
a characteristic of the object, but a state of mind in the observer, a
feeling, a satisfaction, it is purely subjective; and yet it puts forth a
claim to be universally communicable. The difficulty can be removed only on
the assumption of a common aesthetic sense, of a corresponding organization
of the powers of representation in all men, which yields the common
standard for the pleasurableness of the impression. The agreeable appeals
to that in man which is different in different individuals, the beautiful
to that which functions alike in all; the former addresses itself to
the passive sensibility, the latter to the active judgment. The
agreeable--because of the non-calculable differences in our sensuous
inclinations, which are in part conditioned by bodily states--possesses no
universality whatever, the good possesses an objective, and the beautiful
a subjective universality. The judgment concerning the agreeable has an
empirical, that concerning the beautiful an _a priori_, determining ground:
in the former case, the judgment follows the feeling, in the latter, it
precedes it.

An object is considered beautiful (for, strictly speaking, we may say only
this, not that it is beautiful) when its form puts the powers of the human
mind in a state of harmony, brings the intuitive and rational faculties
into concordant activity, and produces an agreeable proportion between the
imagination and the understanding. In giving the occasion for an harmonious
play of the cognitive activities (that is, for an easy combination of the
manifold into unity) the beautiful object is purposive for us, for our
function of apprehension; it is--here we obtain a determination of the
judgment of taste from the standpoint of relation--_purposive without a
definite purpose_. We know perfectly well that a landscape which attracts
us has not been specially arranged for the purpose of delighting us, and we
do not wish to find in a work of art anything of an intention to please.
An object is perfect when it is purposive for itself (corresponds to its
concept); useful when it is purposive for our desire (corresponds to a
practical intention of man); beautiful when the arrangement of its parts
is purposive for the relation between the fancy and understanding of
the beholder (corresponds in an unusual degree to the conditions of our
apprehension). Perfection is internal (real, objective) purposiveness, and
utility is external purposiveness, both for a definite purpose; beauty,
on the other hand, is purposiveness without a purpose, formal, subjective
purposiveness. The beautiful pleases by its mere form. The satisfaction in
the perfect is of a conceptual or intellectual kind, the satisfaction in
the beautiful, emotional or aesthetic in character.

The combination of these four determinations yields an exhaustive
definition of the beautiful: The beautiful is that which universally and
necessarily arouses disinterested satisfaction by its mere form
(purposiveness without the representation of a purpose).

Since the pleasurableness of the beautiful rests on the fact that
it establishes a pleasing harmony between the imagination and the
understanding, hence between sensuous and intellectual apprehension, the
aesthetic attitude is possible only in sensuous-rational beings. The
agreeable exists for the animal as well, and the good is an object of
approval for pure spirits; but the beautiful exists for humanity alone.
Kant succeeded in giving very delicate and felicitous verbal expression
to these distinctions: the agreeable gratifies _(vergnügt)_ and excites
inclination _(Neigung)_; the good is approved _(gebilligt)_ and arouses
respect _(Achtung)_; the beautiful "pleases" _(gefällt)_ and finds "favor"

In the progress of the investigation the principle that beauty depends on
the form alone, and that the concept, the purpose, the nature of the
object is not taken into account at all in aesthetic judgment, experiences
limitation. In its full strictness this applies only to a definite and, in
fact, a subordinate division of the beautiful, which Kant marks off under
the name of pure or _free_ beauty. With this he contrasts _adherent_
beauty, as that which presupposes a generic concept to which its form must
correspond and which it must adequately present. Too much a purist not
to mark the coming in of an intellectual pleasure as a beclouding of the
"purity" of the aesthetic satisfaction, he is still just enough to admit
the higher worth of adherent beauty. For almost the whole of artificial
beauty and a considerable part of natural beauty belong to this latter
division, which we to-day term ideal and characteristic beauty. Examples of
free or purely formal beauty are tapestry patterns, arabesques, fountains,
flowers, and landscapes, the pleasurableness of which rests simply on the
proportion of their form and relations, and not upon their conformity to a
presupposed significance and determination of the thing. A building, on the
contrary--a dwelling, a summer-house, a temple--is considered beautiful
only when we perceive in it not merely harmonious relations of the parts
one to another, but also an agreement between the form and the purpose or
generic concept: a church must not look like a chalet. Here the external
form is compared with an inner nature, and harmony is required between form
and content. Adherent beauty is significant and expressive beauty, which,
although the satisfaction in it is not "purely" aesthetic, nevertheless
stands higher than pure beauty, because it gives to the understanding also
something to think, and hence busies the whole spirit.

The analytical investigations concerning the nature of the beautiful
receive a valuable supplement in the classical definition of genius. Kant
gives two definitions of productive talent, one formal and one genetic.

Natural beauty is a beautiful thing; artificial beauty, a beautiful
representation of a thing. The gift of agreeably presenting a thing which
in itself, perhaps, is ugly, is called taste. To judge of the beautiful
it is sufficient to possess taste, but for its production there is still
another talent needed, spirit or genius. For an art product can fulfill
the demands of taste and yet not aesthetically satisfy; while formally
faultless, it may be spiritless.

While beautiful nature looks as though it were art (as though it were
calculated for our enjoyment), beautiful art should resemble nature, must
not appear to be intentional though, no doubt, it is so, must show a
careful but not an overnice adherence to rules (_i.e._, not one which
fetters the powers of the artist). This is the case when the artist bears
the rule in himself, that is, when he is gifted. Genius is the
innate disposition (through) which (nature) gives rules to art; its
characteristics are originality, exemplariness, and unreflectiveness. It
does not produce according to definite rules which can be learned, but
it is a law in itself, it is original. It creates instinctively without
consciousness of the rule, and cannot describe how it produces its results.
It creates typical works which impel others to follow, not to imitate. It
is only in art that there are geniuses, _i.e._, spirits who produce that
which absolutely cannot be learned, while the great men of science differ
only in degree, not in kind, from their imitators and pupils, and that
which they discover can be learned by rule.

This establishes the criteria by which genius may be recognized. If we ask
by what psychological factors it is produced the answer is as follows:
Genius presupposes a certain favorable relation between imagination and
reason. Genius is the faculty of aesthetic Ideas, but an aesthetic Idea is
a representation of the imagination which animates the mind, which adds to
a concept of the understanding much of ineffable thought, much that belongs
to the concept but which cannot be comprehended in a definite concept. With
the aid of this idea Kant solves the antinomy of the aesthetic judgment.
The thesis is: The judgment of taste is not based upon concepts; for
otherwise it would admit of controversy (would be determinable by proofs).
The antithesis is: It is based upon concepts; for otherwise we could not
contend about it (endeavor to obtain assent). The two principles are
reconcilable, for "concept" is understood differently in the two cases.
That which the thesis rightly seeks to exclude from the judgment of beauty
is the determinate concept of the understanding; that which the antithesis
with equal justice pronounces indispensable is the indeterminate concept,
the aesthetic Idea.

The freest play is afforded the imagination by poetry, the highest of
all arts, which, with rhetoric ("insidious," on account of its earnest
intention to deceive), forms the group termed arts of speech. To the class
of formative arts belong architecture, sculpture, and painting as the art
of design. A third group, the art of the beautiful play of sensations,
includes painting as the art of color, and music, which as a "fine" art is
placed immediately after poetry, as an "agreeable" art at the very foot of
the list, and as the play of tone in the vicinity of the entertaining play
of fortune [games of chance] and the witty play of thought. The explanation
of the comic (the ludicrous is based, according to Kant, on a sudden
transformation of strained expectation into nothing) lays great (indeed
exaggerated) weight on the resulting physiological phenomena, the
bodily shock which heightens vital feeling and favors health, and which
accompanies the alternating tension and relaxation of the mind.

Besides free and adherent beauty, there is still a third kind of aesthetic
effect, the Sublime. The beautiful pleases by its bounded form. But also
the boundless and formless can exert aesthetic effect: that which is great
beyond all comparison we judge sublime. Now this magnitude is either
extensive in space and time or intensive greatness of force or power;
accordingly there are two forms of the sublime. That phenomenon which mocks
the power of comprehension possessed by the human imagination or surpasses
every measure of our intuition, as the ocean and the starry heavens, is
mathematically sublime. That which overcomes all conceivable resistance,
as the terrible forces of nature, conflagrations, floods, earthquakes,
hurricanes, thunderstorms, is dynamically sublime or mighty. The former
is relative to the cognitive, the latter to the appetitive faculty. The
beautiful brings the imagination and the understanding into accord; by
the sublime the fancy is brought into a certain favorable relation, not
directly to be termed harmony, with reason. In the one case there arose a
restful, positively pleasurable mood; here a shock is produced, an indirect
and negative pleasure proceeding from pain. Since the sublime exceeds the
functional capability of our sensuous representations and does violence to
the imagination, we first feel small at the sight of the absolutely great,
and incapable of compassing it with our sensuous glance. The sensibility is
not equal to the impression; this at first seems contrary to purpose and
violent. This humiliating impression, however, is quickly followed by a
reaction, and the vital forces, which were at first checked, are stimulated
to the more lively activity. Moreover, it is the sensuous part of man
which is humbled and the spiritual part that is exalted: the overthrow of
sensibility becomes a triumph for reason. The sight of the sublime, that
is, awakens the _Idea of the unconditioned, of the infinite_. This Idea can
never be adequately presented by an intuition, but can be aroused only
by the inadequacy of all that is sensuous to present it; the infinite is
presented through the impossibility of presenting it. We cannot intuit the
infinite, but we can think it. In comparison with reason (as the faculty of
Ideas, the faculty of thinking the infinite) even the greatest thing that
can be given in the sense-world appears small; reason is the absolutely
great. "That is sublime the mere ability to think which proves a faculty
of the mind surpassing every standard of sense." "That is sublime which
pleases immediately through its opposition to the interest of the senses."
The conflict between phantasy and reason, the insufficiency of the former
for the attainment of the rational Idea, makes us conscious of the
superiority of reason. Just because we feel small as sensuous beings we
feel great as rational beings. The pleasure (related to the moral feeling
of respect and, like this, mingled with a certain pain) which accompanies
this consciousness of inner greatness is explained by the fact that the
imagination, in acknowledging reason superior, places itself in the
appropriate and purposive relation of subordination. It is evident from the
foregoing that the truly sublime is reason, the moral nature of man, his
predisposition and destination, which point beyond the present world.
Schiller declares that "in space the sublime does not dwell," and
Kant says, "Sublimity is contained in none of the things of nature, but
only in our mind, in so far as we are conscious of being superior to nature
within us and without us." Nevertheless, since in this contemplation we fix
our thoughts entirely on the object without reflecting on ourselves, we
transfer the admiration of right due to the reason and its Idea of the
infinite by subreption to the object by which the Idea is occasioned, and
call the object itself sublime, instead of the mood which it wakes in us.

If the sublime marks the point where the aesthetic touches on the boundary
of the moral, the beautiful is also not without some relation to the good.
By showing the agreement of sensibility and reason, which is demanded by
the moral law, realized in aesthetic intuition (as a voluntary yielding of
the imagination to the legitimacy of the understanding), it gives us the
inspiring consciousness that the antithesis is reconcilable, that the
rational can be presented in the sensuous, and so becomes a "symbol of the

%(b) Teleological Judgment.%--Teleological judgment is not knowledge, but
a way of looking at things which comes into play where the causal or
mechanical explanation fails us. This is not the case if the purposiveness
is external, relative to its utility for something else. The fact that the
sand of the sea-shore furnishes a good soil for the pine neither furthers
nor prevents a causal knowledge of it. Only inner purposiveness, as it
is manifested in the products of organic nature, brings the mechanical
explanation to a halt. Organisms are distinguished above inorganic forms by
the fact that of themselves they are at once cause and effect, that they
are self-productive and this both as a species (the oak springs from the
acorn, and in its turn bears acorns) and as individuals (self-preservation,
growth, and the replacement of dying parts by new ones), and also by the
fact that the reciprocally productive parts are in their form and their
existence all conditioned by the whole. This latter fact, that the whole is
the determining ground for the parts, is perfectly obvious in the products
of human art. For here it is the representation of the whole (the idea of
the work desired) which as the ground precedes the existence and the form
of the parts (of the machine). But where is the subject to construct
organisms according to its representations of ends? We may neither conceive
nature itself as endowed with forces acting in view of ends, nor a
praetermundane intelligence interfering in the course of nature. Either of
these suppositions would be the death of natural philosophy: the hylozoist
endows matter with a property which conflicts with its nature, and the
theist oversteps the boundary of possible experience. Above all, the
analogy of the products of organic nature with the products of human
technique is destroyed by the fact that machines do not reproduce
themselves and their parts cannot produce one another, while the organism
organizes itself.

For our discursive understanding an interaction between the whole and the
parts is completely incomprehensible. We understand when the parts precede
the whole (mechanically) or the representation of the whole precedes
the parts (teleologically); but to think the whole itself (not the Idea
thereof) as the ground of the parts, which is demanded by organic life,
is impossible for us. It would have been otherwise if an intuitive
understanding had been bestowed upon us. For a being possessing
intellectual intuition the antithesis between possibility and actuality,
between necessity and contingency, between mechanism and teleology, would
disappear along with that between thought and intuition. For such a being
everything possible (all that it thinks) would be at the same time
actual (present for intuition), and all that appears to us
contingent--intentionally selected from several possibilities and in order
to an end--would be necessary as well; with the whole would be given
the parts corresponding thereto, and consequently natural mechanism
and purposive connection would be identical, while for us, to whom the
intuitive understanding is denied, the two divide. Hence the teleological
view is a mere form of human representation, a subjective principle. We may
not say that a mechanical origin of living beings is impossible, but only
that we are unable to understand it. If we knew how a blade of grass or
a frog sprang from mechanical forces, we would also be in a position to
produce them.

The antinomy of the teleological judgment--thesis: all production of
material things and their forms must be judged to be possible according to
merely mechanical laws; antithesis: some products of material nature cannot
be judged to be possible according to merely mechanical laws, but to judge
them requires the causality of final causes--is insoluble so long as both
propositions are taken for constitutive principles; but it is soluble when
they are taken as regulative principles or standpoints for judgment. For it
is in no wise contradictory, on the one hand, to continue the search for
mechanical causes as far as this is in any way possible, and, on the other,
clearly to recognize that, at last, this will still leave a remainder which
we cannot make intelligible without calling to our aid the concept of ends.
Assuming that it were possible to carry the explanation of life from life,
from ancestral organisms (for the _generatio aequivoca_ is an absurd
theory) so far that the whole organic world should represent one great
family descended from one primitive form as the common mother, even
then the concept of final causes would only be pushed further back, not
eliminated: the origin of the first organization will always resist
mechanical explanation. Besides this mission of putting limits to causal
derivation and of filling the gap in knowledge by a necessary, although
subjective, way of looking at things, the Idea of ends has still another,
the direct promotion of knowledge from efficient causes through the
discovery of new causal problems. Thus, for example, physiology owes the
impulse to the discovery of previously unnoticed mechanical connections
(cf. also p. 382 note) to the question concerning the purpose of organs.
As doctrines mechanism and teleology are irreconcilable and impossible;
as rules or maxims of inquiry they are compatible, and the one as
indispensable as the other.

After the problem of life, which is insoluble by means of the mechanical
explanation, has necessitated the application of the concept of ends, the
teleological principle must, at least by way of experiment, be extended to
the whole of nature. This consideration culminates in the position that
man, as the subject of morality, must be held to be the final aim of the
world, for it is only in regard to a moral being that no further inquiry
can be raised as to the purpose of its existence. It also repeats the
moral argument for the existence of a supreme reason, thus supplementing
physico-theology, which is inadequate to the demonstration of one
absolutely perfect Deity; so that the third _Critique_, like the two
preceding, concludes with the Idea of God as an object of practical faith.

       *       *       *       *       *

There are three original and pregnant pairs of thoughts which cause Kant's
name to shine in the philosophical sky as a star of the first magnitude:
the demand for a critique of knowledge and the proof of _a priori_ forms
of knowledge; the moral autonomy and the categorical imperative; the
regulative validity of the Ideas of reason and the practical knowledge of
the transcendent world. No philosophical theory, no scientific hypothesis
can henceforth avoid the duty of examining the value and legitimacy of its
conclusions, as to whether they keep within the limits of the competency of
human reason; whether Kant's determination of the origin and the limits of
knowledge may count on continued favor or not, the fundamental critical
idea, that reflection upon the nature and range of our cognitive faculty is
indispensable, retains its validity for all cases and makes an end of all
philosophizing at random.[1] No ethical system will with impunity pass by
the autonomous legislation of reason and the unconditional imperative (the
admonition of conscience translated into conceptual language): the nature
and worth of moral will will be everywhere sought in vain if they are not
recognized where Kant has found them--in the unselfish disposition, in that
maxim which is fitted to become a general law for all rational beings.
The doctrine of the Ideas, finally, reveals to us, beyond the daylight of
phenomenal knowledge, the starlit landscape of another mode of looking at
things,[2] in which satisfaction is afforded for the hitherto unmet wishes
of the heart and demands of the reason.

[Footnote 1: "_Reason_ consists just in this, that we are able to give
account of all our concepts, opinions, and assertions, either on objective
or subjective grounds."]

[Footnote 2: Those who regard all future metaphysics as refuted by the
Critique of Reason are to be referred to the positive side of the Kantian
doctrine of Ideas. Kant admits that the mechanical explanation does not
satisfy reason, and that, besides it, a judgment according to Ideas is
legitimate. When, therefore, the speculation of the constructive school
gives an ideal interpretation of the world, it may be regarded as an
extended application of "regulative principles," which exceeds its
authority only when it professes to be "objective knowledge."]

The effect of the three _Critiques_ upon the public was very varied. The
first great work excited alarm by the sharpness of its negations and its
destruction of dogmatic metaphysics, which to its earliest readers appeared
to be the core of the matter; Kant was for them the universal destroyer.
Then the Science of Knowledge brought into prominence the positive,
boldly conquering side, the investigation of the conditions of empirical
knowledge. In later times the endeavor has been made to do justice to both
sides, but, in opposition to the overbold procedure of the constructive
thinkers, who had fallen into a revived dogmatism, more in the spirit of
caution and resignation. The second great work aroused glowing enthusiasm:
"Kant is no mundane luminary," writes Jean Paul in regard to the _Critique
of Practical Reason_, "but a whole solar system shining at once."
The third, because of its subject and by its purpose of synthetic
reconciliation between fields heretofore sharply separated, gained the
sympathy of our poet-heroes Schiller and Goethe, and awakened in a young,
speculative spirit Ideas for a Philosophy of Nature. Schelling reclaimed
the intuitive understanding, which Kant had problematically attributed to
the primal spirit, as the property of the philosopher, after Fichte had
drawn attention to the fact that the consciousness of the categorical
imperative, which Kant had not thoroughly investigated, could be nothing
else than intellectual intuition, because in it knowing and doing coincide.
Fichte, however, does not derive the material for his system from the
_Critique of Judgment_, though he also had a high appreciation of it, but
from the two earlier _Critiques_, the fundamental conceptions of which
he--following the hint that practical and theoretical reason are only
different applications of one and the same reason--brings into the closest
connection. He unites the central idea of the practical philosophy, the
freedom and autonomous legislation of the will, with the leading principle
of the theoretical philosophy, the spontaneity of the understanding, under
the original synthesis of the pure ego, in order to deduce from the
activity of the ego not only the _a priori_ forms of knowledge, but also,
rejecting the thing in itself, the whole content of empirical
consciousness. The thought which intervenes between the Kantian Critique
of Reason and the development of thoroughgoing idealism by Fichte, with
its criticisms of and additions to the former and its preparation for the
latter, may be glanced at in a few supplementary pages.

%4. From Kant to Fichte.%

To begin with the works which aided in the extension and recognition of the
Kantian philosophy, besides Kant's _Prolegomena_, the following stand
in the front rank: _Exposition of the Critique of Pure Reason_, by the
Königsberg court preacher, Johannes Schulz, 1784; the flowing _Letters
concerning the Kantian Philosophy_, by K.L. Reinhold in Wieland's
_Deutscher Merkur_, 1786-87; and the _Allgemeine Litteraturzeitung_, in
Jena, founded in 1785, and edited by the philologist Schütz and the jurist
Hufeland, which offered itself as the organ of the new doctrine. Jena
became the home and principal stronghold of Kantianism; while by the
beginning of the nineteenth century almost all German chairs belonged to
it, and the non-philosophical sciences as well received from it stimulation
and guiding ideas.

In the camp of the enemy there was no less of activity. The Wolffian,
Eberhard of Halle, founded a special journal for the purpose of opposing
the Kantian philosophy: the _Philosophisches Magazin_, 1789, continued from
1792 as the _Philosophisches Archiv_. The Illumination collected its forces
in the _Philosophische Bibliothek_, edited by Feder and Meiners. Nicolai
waved the banner of common sense in the _Allgemeine deutsche Bibliothek_,
and in satirical romances, and was handled as he deserved by the heroes
of poetry and philosophy (cf. the _Xenien_ of Goethe and Schiller, Kant's
_Letter on Bookmaking_, and Fichte's cutting disposal of him, _Nicolai's
Life and Peculiar Opinions_). The attacks of the faith-philosophers have
been already noticed (pp. 310-314).

The advance from Kant to Fichte was preparing alike among friends and
enemies, and this in two points. The demand was in part for a formal
complement (a first principle from which the Kantian results could be
deduced, and by which the dualism of sense and understanding could be
overcome), in part for material correction (the removal of the thing in
itself) and development (to radical idealism). Karl Leonhard Reinhold (born
at Vienna in 1758; fled from a college of the St. Barnabite order, 1783;
in 1787-94 professor in Jena, and then as the successor of Tetens in Kiel,
where he died in 1823) undertook the former task in his _Attempt at a New
Theory of the Human Faculty of Representation_, 1789. Kant's classical
theory of the faculty of cognition requires for its foundation a theory of
the faculty of representation, or an elementary philosophy, which shall
take for its object the deduction of the several functions of reason
(intuition, concept, Idea) from the original activity of representation.
The Kantian philosophy lacks a first principle, which, as first, cannot be
demonstrable, but only a fact immediately evident and admitted by everyone.
The primal fact, which we seek, is consciousness. No one can dispute that
every representation contains three things: the subject, the object, and,
between the two, the activity of representation. Accordingly the principle
of consciousness runs: "The representation is distinguished in
consciousness from the represented [object] and the representing [subject],
and is referred to both." From this first principle Reinhold endeavors to
deduce the well-known principles of the material manifold given by the
action of objects, and the forms of representation spontaneously produced
by the subject, which combine this manifold into unity. When, a few years
later, Fichte's Science of Knowledge brilliantly succeeded in bridging the
gap between sense and understanding by means of a first principle, thus
accomplishing what Reinhold had attempted, the latter became one of his
adherents, only to attach himself subsequently to Jacobi, and then to
Bardili (_Outlines of Logic_, 1800), and to end with a verbal philosophy
lacking both in influence and permanence.

In Reinhold's elementary philosophy the thing in itself was changed from a
problematical, negative, merely limiting concept into a positive element of
doctrine. Objections were raised against Kantianism, as thus dogmatically
modified in the direction of realism, by Schulze, Maimon, and Beck--by
the first for purposes of attack, by the second in order to further
development, and by the third with an exegetical purpose. Gottlob Ernst
Schulze, professor in Helmstädt, and from 1810 in Göttingen, in his
_Aenesidemus_ (1792, published anonymously), which was followed later by
psychological works, defended the skeptical position in opposition to
the Critique of Reason. Hume's skepticism remains unrefuted by Kant
and Reinhold. The thing in itself, which is to produce the material of
representation by affecting the senses, is a self-contradictory idea. The
application of the category of cause to things in themselves violates
the doctrine that the latter are unknowable and that the use of the pure
concepts of the understanding beyond the sphere of experience is
inadmissible. The transcendental philosophy has never proved that the
ground of the material of representation cannot, just as the form thereof,
reside in the subject itself.

Side by side with the anti-critical skepticism of Aenesidemus-Schulze,
Salomon Maimon (died 1800; cf. Witte, 1876), who was highly esteemed by the
greatest philosophers of his time, represents critical skepticism. With
Reinhold he holds consciousness (as the combination of a manifold into
objective unity) to be the common root of sensibility and understanding,
and with Schulze, the concept of the thing in itself to be an imaginary or
irrational quantity, a thought that cannot be carried out; it is not only
unknowable, but unthinkable. That alone is knowable which we ourselves
produce, hence only the form of representation. The matter of
representation is "given," but this does not mean that it arises from the
action of the thing in itself, but only that we do not know its origin.
Understanding and sense, or spontaneity and receptivity, do not differ
generically, but only in degree, viz., as complete and incomplete
consciousness. Sensation is an incomplete consciousness, because we do not
know how its object arises.

By the removal of the thing in itself Aenesidemus-Schulze sought to refute
the Kantian theory and Maimon to improve it. Sigismund Beck (1761-1840), in
his _Only Possible Standpoint from which the Critical Philosophy must be
Judged_, 1796,[1] seeks by it to elucidate the Kantian theory, holding up
idealism as its true meaning. In opposition to the usual opinion that a
representation is true when it agrees with its object, he points to the
impossibility of comparing the one with the other. Of objects out of
consciousness we can know nothing; after the removal of all that is
subjective there is nothing positive left of the representation. Everything
in it is produced by us; the matter arises together with the form through
the "original synthesis."

[Footnote 1: This book forms the third volume of his _Expository Abridgment
of the Critical Writings of Professor Kant_; in the same year appeared the
_Outlines of the Critical Philosophy_. Cf. on Beck, Dilthey in the _Archiv
für Geschichte der Philosophie_, vol. ii., 1889, pp. 592-650.]

The last mentioned attempts to develop the Kantian philosophy were so far
surpassed by Fichte's great achievement that they have received from their
own age and from posterity a less grateful appreciation and remembrance
than was essentially their due. A phenomenon of a different sort, which is
also to be placed at the threshold between Kant and Fichte, but which forms
rather a supplement to the noëtics and ethics of the latter than a link in
the transition to them, has, on the contrary, gained an honorable position
in the memory of the German people, viz., Schiller's aesthetics.[1] In
its center stand the Kantian antithesis of sensibility and reason and
the reconciliation of the two sides of human nature brought about by its
occupation with the beautiful. Artistic activity or the play-impulse
mediates between the lower, sensuous matter-impulse and the higher,
rational form-impulse, and unites the, two in harmonious co-operation.
Where appetite seeks after satisfaction, and where the strict idea of duty
rules, there only half the man is occupied; neither lust nor moral worth is
beautiful. In order that beauty and grace may arise, the matter-impulse
and the form-impulse, or sensibility and reason, must manifest themselves
uniformly and in harmony. Only when he "plays" is man wholly and entirely
man; only through art is the development of humanity possible. The
discernment of the fact that the beautiful brings into equilibrium the two
fundamental impulses, one or the other of which preponderates in sensuous
desire and in moral volition, does not of itself decide the relative rank
of artistic and moral activity. The recognition of this mediating position
of art may be connected with the view that it forms a transitional stage
toward and a means of education for morality, as well as with the other,
that in it human nature attains its completion. Evidence of both views can
be found in Schiller's writings. At first he favors the Kantian moralism,
which admits nothing higher than the good will, and sets art the task
of educating men up to morality by ennobling their natural impulses.
Gradually, however, aesthetic activity changes in his view from a
preparation for morality into the ultimate goal of human endeavor. Peaceful
reconciliation is of more worth than the spirit's hardly gained victory
in the conflict with the sensibility; fine feeling is more than rational
volition; the highest ideal is the beautiful soul, in which inclination not
merely obeys the command of duty, but anticipates it.

[Footnote 1: The most important of Schiller's aesthetic essays are those
_On Grace and Dignity_, 1793; _On Naïve and Sentimental Poetry_, 1795-96;
and the _Letters on Aesthetic Education_, intermediate between them. Cf.
Kuno Fischer, _Schiller als Philosoph_, 1858, 2d ed. (_Schillerschriften_,
iii., iv.) 1891-92.]



Fichte is a Kantian in about the same sense that Plato was a Socratic.
Instead of taking up and developing particular critical problems he
makes the vivifying kernel, the soul of criticism, his own. With the
self-activity of reason (as a real force and as a problem) for his
fundamental idea, he outlines with magnificent boldness a new view of the
world, in which the idealism concealed in Kant's philosophy under the
shell of cautious limitations was roused into vigorous life, and the great
Königsberger's noble words on the freedom, the position, and the power of
the spirit translated from the language of sober foresight into that of
vigorous enthusiasm. The world can be understood only from the standpoint
of spirit, the spirit only from the will. The ego is pure activity, and all
reality its product. Fichte's system is all life and action: its aim is not
to mediate knowledge, but to summon the hearer and reader to the production
of a new and pregnant fundamental view, in which the will is as much
a participant as the understanding; it begins not with a concept or a
proposition, but with a demand for action (posit thyself; do consciously
what thou hast done unconsciously so often as thou hast called thyself I;
analyze, then, the act of self-consciousness, and cognize in their elements
the forces from which all reality proceeds); its God is not a completed
absolute substance, but a self-realizing world-order. This inner vivacity
of the Fichtean principle, which recalls the pure actuality of Aristotle's
[Greek: nous] and the ceaseless becoming of Heraclitus, finds its complete
parallel in the fact that, although he was wanting neither in logical
consecutiveness nor in the talent for luminous and popular exposition,
Fichte felt continually driven to express his ideas in new forms, and, just
when he seemed to have succeeded in saying what he meant with the greatest
clearness, again unsatisfied, to seek still more exact and evident
renderings for his fundamental position, which proved so difficult to

The author of the _Wissenschaftslehre_ was the son of a poor ribbon maker,
and was born at Rammenau in Lusatia in 1762. The talents of the boy induced
the Freiherr von Miltiz to give him the advantage of a good education.
Fichte attended school in Meissen and in Pforta, and was a student of
theology at the universities of Jena and Leipsic. While a tutor in Zurich
he made the acquaintance of Lavater and Pestalozzi, as well as of his
future wife, Johanna Rahn, a niece of Klopstock. Returning to Leipsic, his
whole mode of thought was revolutionized by the Kantian philosophy, in
which it was his duty to instruct a pupil. This gives to the mind, as his
letters confess, an inconceivable elevation above all earthly things. "I
have adopted a nobler morality, and, instead of occupying myself with
things without me, have been occupied more with myself." "I now believe
with all my heart in human freedom, and am convinced that only on this
supposition duty and virtue of any kind are possible." "I live in a new
world since I have read the _Critique of Practical Reason_. Things which
I believed never could be proved to me, _e.g._, the idea of an absolute
freedom and duty, have been proved, and I feel the happier for it. It is
inconceivable what reverence for humanity, what power this philosophy gives
us, what a blessing it is for an age in which the citadels of morality
had been destroyed, and the idea of duty blotted out from all the
dictionaries!" A journey to Warsaw, whither he had been attracted by the
expectation of securing a position as a private tutor, soon afforded him
the opportunity of visiting at Königsberg the author of the system which
had effected so radical a transformation in his convictions. His rapidly
written treatise, _Essay toward a Critique of All Revelation_, attained the
end to which its inception was due by gaining for its author a favorable
reception from the honored master. Kant secured for Fichte a tutor's
position in Dantzic, and a publisher for his maiden work. When this
appeared, at Easter, 1792, the name of its author was by oversight omitted
from the title page, together with the preface, which had been furnished
after the rest of the book; and as the anonymous work was universally
ascribed to Kant (whose religious philosophy was at this time eagerly
looked for), the young writer became famous at a stroke as soon as the
error was explained. A second edition was issued as early as the following

After his marriage in Zurich, where he had completed several political
treatises (the address, _Reclamation of the Freedom of Thought from the
Princes of Europe, who have hitherto suppressed it, Heliopolis in the Last
Year of the Old Darkness_, and the two _Hefte, Contributions toward the
Correction of the Public Judgment on the French Revolution_, 1793), Fichte
accepted, in 1794, a call to Jena, in place of Reinhold, who had gone to
Kiel, and whose popularity was soon exceeded by his own. The same year saw
the birth of the _Wissenschaftslehre_. His stay in Jena was embittered by
conflicts with the clergy, who took offense at his ethical lectures (_On
the Vocation of the Scholar_) held on Sunday mornings (though not at an
hour which interfered with church service), and with the students, who,
after they had been untrue to their decision--which they had formed as a
result of these lectures--to dissolve their societies or orders, gave vent
to their spite by repeatedly smashing the windows of Fichte's residence.
Accordingly he took leave of absence, and spent the summer of 1795 in
Osmannstädt. The years 1796-98, in which, besides the two _Introductions to
the Science of Knowledge_, the _Natural Right_ and the _Science of Ethics_
(one of the most all important works in German philosophical literature)
appeared, mark the culmination of Fichte's famous labors. The so-called
atheistic controversy[1] resulted in Fichte's departure from Jena. The
_Philosophisches Journal_, which since 1797 had been edited by Fichte in
association with Niethammer, had published an article by Magister Forberg,
rector at Saalfeld, entitled "The Development of the Concept of Religion,"
and as a conciliating introduction to this a short essay by Fichte, "On the
Ground of our Belief in a Divine Government of the World."[2] For this
it was confiscated by the Dresden government on the charge of containing
atheistical matter, while other courts were summoned to take like action.
In Weimar hopes were entertained of an amicable adjustment of the matter.
But when Fichte, after publishing two vindications[3] couched in vehement
language, had in a private letter uttered the threat that he would answer
with his resignation any censure proceeding from the University Senate, not
only was censure for indiscretion actually imposed, but his (threatened)
resignation accepted.

[Footnote 1: Cf. Karl August Hase, _Jenaisches Fichtebüchlein_, 1856.]

[Footnote 2: It is a mistake, Fichte writes here, referring to the
conclusion of Forberg's article ("Is there a God? It is and remains
uncertain," etc.), to say that it is doubtful whether there is a God or
not. That there is a moral order of the world, which assigns to each
rational individual his determined place and counts on his work, is most
certain, nay, it is the ground of all other certitude. The living and
operative moral order _(ordo ordinans)_ is itself God; we need no other
God, and can conceive no other. There is no ground in reason for going
beyond this world order to postulate a particular being as its cause.
Whoever ascribes personality and consciousness to this particular being
makes it finite; consciousness belongs only to the individual, limited ego.
And it is allowable to state this frankly and to beat down the prattle of
the schools, in order that the true religion of joyous well-doing may lift
up its head.]

[Footnote 3: _Appeal to the Public_, and _Formal Defense against the Charge
of Atheism_, 1799. The first of these maintains that Fichte's standpoint
and that of his opponents are related as duty and advantage, sensible and
suprasensible, and that the substantial God of his accusers, to be derived
from the sensibility, is, as personified fate, as the distributer of all
happiness and unhappiness to finite beings, a miserable fetich.]

Going to Berlin, Fichte found a friendly government, a numerous public for
his lectures, and a stimulating circle of friends in the romanticists, the
brothers Schlegel, Tieck, Schleiermacher, etc. In the first years of
his Berlin residence there appeared _The Vocation of Man. The Exclusive
Commercial State_, 1800; _The Sun-clear Report to the Larger Public on the
Essential Nature of the New Philosophy_, and the _Answer to Reinhold_,
1801. Three works, which were the outcome of his lectures and were
published in the year 1806 _(Characteristics of the Present Age, The Nature
of the Scholar, Way to the Blessed Life or Doctrine of Religion)_, form a
connected whole. In the summer of 1805 Fichte filled a professorship at
Erlangen, and later, after the outbreak of the war, he occupied for a short
time a chair at Königsberg, finding a permanent university position at the
foundation of the University of Berlin in 1810. His glowing _Addresses to
the German Nation_, 1808, which essentially aided in arousing the national
spirit, have caused his name to live as one of the greatest of orators
and most ardent of patriots in circles of the German people where his
philosophical importance cannot be understood. His death in 1814 was also a
result of unselfish labor in the service of the Fatherland. He succumbed to
a nervous fever contracted from his wife, who, with self-sacrifice equal
to his own, had shared in the care of the wounded, and who had brought the
contagion back with her from the hospital. On his monument is inscribed
the beautiful text, "The teachers shall shine as the brightness of the
firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars that
shine forever and ever." Forberg in his journal records this estimate: The
leading trait in Fichte's character is his absolute integrity. All his
words are weighty and important. His principles are stern and little
modified by affability. The spirit of his philosophy is proud and
courageous, one which does not so much lead as possess us and carry us
along. His philosophemes are inquiries in which we see the truth arise
before our eyes, and which just for this reason lay the foundations of
science and conviction.

The philosopher's son, Immanuel Hermann Fichte (his own name was Johann
Gottlieb), wrote a biography of his father (1830; 2d ed., 1862), and
supervised the publication of both the _Posthumous Works_ (1834-35, 3
vols.) and the _Collected Works_ (1845-46, 8 vols.). The simple and
luminous _Facts of Consciousness_ of 1811, or 1817 (not the lecture of 1813
with the same title), is especially valuable as an introduction to the
system. Among the many redactions of the _Wissenschaftslehre_, the
epoch-making _Foundation of the whole Science of Knowledge_, 1794, with
the two _Introductions to the Science of Knowledge_, 1797, takes the first
rank, while of the practical works the most important are the _Foundation
of Natural Right according to the Principles of the Science of Knowledge_,
1796, and the _System of the Science of Ethics according to the Principles
of the_ _Science of Knowledge_, 1798, and next to these the _Lectures on
the Theory of the State_, 1820 (delivered in 1813).[1]

[Footnote 1: At the same time as J.H. Löwe's book _Die Philosophie
Fichtes_, 1862, there appeared in celebration of the centenary of Fichte's
birthyear, or birthday, a large number of minor essays and addresses by
Friedrich Harms, A.L. Kym, Trendelenburg, Franz Hoffman, Karl Heyder, F.C.
Lott, Karl Köstlin, J.B. Meyer, and others (cf. Reichlin-Meldegg in vol.
xlii. of the _Zeitschrift für Philosophie_). Lasson has written, 1863, on
Fichte's relation to Church and state, Zeller on Fichte as a political
thinker (_Vorträge und Abhandlungen_, 1865), and F. Zimmer on his
philosophy of religion. Among foreign works we may note Adamson's _Fichte_,
1881, and the English translations of several of Fichte's works by Kroeger
[_Science of Knowledge_, 1868; _Science of Rights_, 1869--both also, 1889]
and William Smith [_Popular Writings_, 4th ed., 1889; also Everett's
_Fichte's Science of Knowledge_ (Griggs's Philosophical Classics, 1884),
and several translations in the _Journal of Speculative Philosophy_,
including one of _The Facts of Consciousness_.--TR.]]

%1. The Science of Knowledge.%

%(a) The Problem.%--In Fichte's judgment Kant did not succeed in carrying
through the transformation in thought which it was his aim to effect,
because the age did not understand the spirit of his philosophy. This
spirit, and with it the great service of Kant, consists in _transcendental
idealism_, which by the doctrine that objects conform themselves to
representations, not representations to objects, draws philosophy away from
external objects and leads it back into ourselves. We have followed the
letter, he thinks, instead of the spirit of Kant, and because of a few
passages with a dogmatic ring, whose references to a given matter, the
thing in itself, and the like, were intended only as preliminary, have
overlooked the numberless others in which the contrary is distinctly
maintained. Thus the interpreters of Kant, using their own prejudices as a
criterion, have read into him exactly that which he sought to refute, and
have made the destroyer of all dogmatism himself a dogmatist; thus in the
Kantianism of the Kantians there has sprung up a marvelous combination of
crude dogmatism and uncompromising idealism. Though such an absurd
mingling of entirely heterogeneous elements may be excused in the case of
interpreters and successors, who have had to construct for themselves the
guiding principle of the whole from their study of the critical writings,
yet we cannot assume it in the author of the system, unless we believe the
_Critique of Pure Reason_ the result of the strangest chance, and not the
work of intellect. Two men only, Beck, the teacher of the Standpoint, and
Jacobi, the clearest mind of the century, are to be mentioned with respect
as having risen above the confusion of the time to the perception that Kant
teaches idealism, that, according to him, the object is not given, but

Besides the perspicuity which would have prevented these misunderstandings,
Fichte misses something further in Kant's work. Considered as a system
Kant's expositions were incomplete; and, on his own confession, his aim
was not to furnish the science itself, but only the foundation and the
materials for it. Therefore, although the Kantian philosophy is established
as far as its inner content is concerned, there is still need of earnest
work to systematize the fragments and results which he gives into a firmly
connected and impregnable whole. The _Wissenschaftslehre_ takes this
completion of idealism for its mission. It cannot solve the problem by a
commentary on the Kantian writings, nor by the correction and addition of
particulars, but only by restoring the whole at a stroke. He alone finds
the truth who new creates it in himself, independently and in his own way.
Thus Fichte's system contains the same view of the matter as the critical
system--the author is aware, runs the preface to the programme, _On the
Concept of the Science of Knowledge_, 1794, "that he never will be able to
say anything at which Kant has not hinted, immediately or mediately,
more or less clearly, before him,"--but in his procedure he is entirely
independent of the Kantian exposition. We shall first raise the question,
What in the Kantian philosophy is in need of completion? and, secondly,
What method must be adopted in completing it?

Kant discusses the laws of intelligence when they are already applied to
objects, without enlightening us concerning the ground of these laws. He
derived the pure concepts (the laws of substantiality, of causality, etc.)
from (logic, and thus mediately from) experience instead of deducing
them from the nature of intelligence; similarly he never furnished
this deduction for the forms of intuition, space and time. In order to
understand that intelligence, and why intelligence, must act in just this
way (must think just by means of these categories), we must prove, and not
merely, with Kant, assert, that these functions or forms are really laws of
thought--or, what amounts to the same thing, that they are conditions of
self-consciousness. Again, even if it be granted that Kant has explained
the properties and relations of things (that they appear in space and time,
and that their accidents must be referred to substances), the question
still remains unanswered, Whence comes the matter which is taken up into
these forms? So long as the whole object is not made to arise before the
eyes of the thinker, dogmatism is not driven out of its last corner. The
thing in itself is, like the rest, only a thought in the ego. If thus
the antithesis between the form and the matter of cognition undergoes
modification, so, further, the allied distinction between understanding and
sensibility must, as Reinhold accurately recognized, be reduced to a common
principle and receptivity be conceived as self-limiting spontaneity. In
his practical philosophy also Kant left much unfinished. The categorical
imperative is susceptible of further deduction, it is not the principle
itself, but a conclusion from the true principle, from the injunction to
absolute _self-dependence on the part of reason_; moreover, the nature of
our consciousness of the moral law must be more thoroughly discussed, and
in order to gain a real, instead of a merely formal, ethics the relation of
this law to natural impulse. Finally, Kant never discussed the foundation
of philosophy as a whole, but always separated its theoretical from its
practical side, and Reinhold also did nothing to remove this dualism. In
short, some things that Kant only asserted or presupposed can and must be
proved, some that he kept distinct must be united. In what way are both to
be accomplished?

Since correct inferences from correct premises yield correct results, and
correct inference is easy to secure, everything depends on the correct
point of departure. If we neglect this and consider only the process and
the results of inference, there are two consistent systems: the dogmatic
or realistic course of thought, which seeks to derive representations from
things; and the idealistic, which, conversely, seeks to derive being from
thought. Now, no matter how consistently dogmatism may proceed (and when it
does so it becomes, like the system of Spinoza, materialism and fatalism or
determinism, maintaining that all is nature, and all goes on mechanically;
treats the spirit as a thing among others, and denies its metaphysical and
moral independence, its immateriality and freedom), it may be shown to
be false, because it starts from a false principle. Thought can never be
derived from being, because it is not contained therein; from being only
being can proceed, and never representation. Being, however, can be derived
from thought, for consciousness is also being; nay, it is more than this,
it is conscious being. And as consciousness contains both being and a
knowledge of this being, idealism is superior to realism, because idealism
includes the latter as a moment in itself, and hence can explain it, though
it is not explicable by it. Dogmatism makes the mistake of going beyond
consciousness or the ego, and working with empty, merely formal concepts. A
concept is empty when nothing actual corresponds to it, or no intuition
can be subsumed under it (here it is to be noted that, besides sensuous
intuition, there is an intellectual intuition also; an example is found in
the ego as a self-intuiting being). Philosophy, indeed, may abstract and
must abstract, must rise above that which is given--for how could she
explain life and particular knowledge if she assumed no higher standpoint
than her object?--but true abstraction is nothing other than the separation
of factors which in experience always present themselves together; it
analyzes empirical consciousness in order to reconstruct it from its
elements, it causes empirical consciousness to arise before our eyes, it
is a pragmatic _history of consciousness_. Such abstraction, undertaken in
order to a genetic consideration of the ego, does not go beyond experience,
but penetrates into the depths of experience, is not transcendent, but
transcendental, and, since it remains in close touch with that which is
intuitable, yields a real philosophy in contrast to all merely formal

These theoretical advantages of idealism are supplemented by momentous
reasons of a practical kind, which determine the choice between the two
systems, besides which none other is possible. The moral law says: Thou
shalt be self-dependent. If I ought to be so I must be able to be so; but
if I were matter I would not be able. Thus idealism proves itself to be the
ethical mode of thought, while the opposite mode shows that those who favor
it have not raised themselves to that independence of all that is external
which is morally enjoined, for in order to be able to know ourselves free
we must have made ourselves free.[1] Thus the philosophy which a man
chooses depends on what sort of a man he is. If, on the other hand, the
categorical imperative calls for belief in the reality of the external
world and of other minds, this is nothing against idealism. For idealism
does not deny the realism of life, but explains it as a necessary, though
not a final, mode of intuition. The dogmatic mode of thought is merely an
explanation from the standpoint of common consciousness, and for idealism,
as the only view which is both scientifically and practically satisfactory,
this explanation itself needs explaining. Realism and idealism, like
natural impulse and moral will in the sphere of action, are both grounded
in reason. But idealism is the true standpoint, because it is able to
comprehend and explain the opposing theory, while the converse is not the

[Footnote 1: Cf. O. Liebmann (_Ueber den individuellen Beweis für die
Freiheit des Willens p, 131. 1866)_ "Here we discover the noteworthy point
where theoretical and practical philosophy actually pass over into each
other. For this principle results: In order to carry out the individual
proof for the freedom of the will, I must do my duty."]

The nature, the goal, and the methods of the Science of Knowledge have now
been determined. It is genuine, thoroughgoing idealism, which raises the
Kantian philosophy to the rank of an evident science by deducing its
premises from a first principle which is immediately certain, and by
removing the twofold dualism of intuition and thought, of knowledge and
volition, viz., by proving both contraries acts of one and the same ego.
While Reinhold had sought a supreme truth as a fundamental principle of
unity, without which the doctrine of knowledge would lack the systematic
form essential to science, while Beck had interpreted the spirit of the
Kantian philosophy in an idealistic sense, and Jacobi had demanded the
elimination of the thing in itself, all these desires combined are
fulfilled in Fichte's doctrine, and at the same time the results of the
Critique of Reason are given that evidence which Aenesidemus-Schulze had
missed in them. As an answer to the question, "How is knowledge brought
about?" (as well the knowledge of common sense as that given in the
particular sciences), "how is experience possible?", and as a construction
of common consciousness as this manifests itself in life and in the
particular sciences, Fichteanism adopts the name _Science of Knowledge_,
being distinguished from the particular sciences by the fact that they
discuss the voluntary, and it the necessary, representations or actions of
the spirit. (The representation of a triangle or a circle is a free one, it
may be omitted; the representation of space in general is a necessary one,
from which it is impossible for us to abstract.) How does intelligence
come to have sensations, to intuit space and time, and to form just such
categories (thing and property, cause and effect, and not others quite
different)? While Kant correctly described these functions of the intuiting
and thinking spirit, and showed them actual, they must further be proven,
be shown necessary or deduced. Deduced whence? From the "deed-acts"
(_Thathandlungen_) of the ego which lie at the basis of all consciousness,
and the highest of which are formulated in three principles.

%(b) The Three Principles.%--At the portal of the Science of Knowledge we
are met not by an assertion, but by a summons--a summons to
self-contemplation. Think anything whatever and observe what thou dost,
and of necessity must do, in thinking. Thou wilt discover that thou dost
never think an object without thinking thyself therewith, that it is
absolutely impossible for thee to abstract from thine ego. And second,
consider what thou dost when thou dost think thine "ego." This means
to affirm or posit one's self, to be a subject-object. The nature of
self-consciousness is the identity of the representing [subject] and
the represented [object]. The pure ego is not a fact, but an original
doing, the act of being for self (_Fürsichsein_), and the (philosophical,
or--as seems to be the case according to some passages--even the common)
consciousness of this doing an intellectual intuition; through this we
become conscious of the deed-act which is ever (though unconsciously)
performing. This is the meaning of the first of the principles: "The _ego_
posits originally and absolutely its own being," or, more briefly: The ego
posits itself; more briefly still: I am. The nature of the ego consists in
positing itself as existing.[1] Since, besides this self-cogitation of
the ego, an op-position is found among the facts of empirical
consciousness (think only of the principle of contradiction), and yet,
besides the ego, there is nothing which could be opposed, we must assume
as a second principle: To the ego there is absolutely opposited
a _non-ego_. These two principles must be united, and this can be
accomplished only by positing the contraries (ego and non-ego), since they
are both in the ego, as reciprocally limiting or partially sublating
one another, that is, each as _divisible_ (capable of quantitative
determination). Accordingly the third principle runs: "The ego opposes in
the ego a divisible non-ego to the divisible ego." From these principles
Fichte deduces the three laws of thought, identity, contradiction, and
sufficient reason, and the three categories of quality--reality, negation,
and limitation or determination. Instead of following him in these labors,
we may emphasize the significance of his view of the ego as pure activity
without an underlying substratum, with which he carries dynamism over from
the Kantian philosophy of nature to metaphysics. We must not conceive the
ego as something which must exist before it can put forth its activities.
Doing is not a property or consequence of being, but being is an accident
and effect of doing. All substantiality is derivative, activity is primal;
_being arises from doing_. The ego is nothing more than self-position; it
exists not only for itself (_für sich_), but also through itself (_durch

[Footnote 1: The ego spoken of in the first of the principles, the ego as
the object of intellectual intuition and as the ground and creator of all
being, is, as the second _Introduction to the Science of Knowledge_ clearly
announces, not the individual, but the I-ness _(Ichheit)_ (which is to be
presupposed as the prius of the manifold of representation, and which is
exalted above the opposition of subject and object), mentality in general,
eternal reason, which is common to all and the same in all, which is
present in all thinking and at the basis thereof, and to which particular
persons stand related merely as accidents, as instruments, as special
expressions, destined more and more to lose themselves in the universal
form of reason. But, further still, a distinction must be made between the
absolute ego as intuition (as the form of I-ness), from which the Science
of Knowledge starts, and the ego as Idea (as the supreme goal of practical
endeavor) with which it ends. In neither is the ego conceived as
individual; in the former the I-ness is not yet determined to the point of
individuality, in the latter individuality has disappeared, Fichte is right
when he thinks it remarkable that "a system whose beginning and end and
whole nature is aimed at forgetfulness of individuality in the theoretical
sphere and denial of it in the practical sphere" should be "called egoism."
And yet not only opponents, but even adherents of Fichte, as is shown by
_Friedrich Schlegel's_ philosophy of genius, have, by confusing the pure
and the empirical ego, been guilty of the mistake thus censured. On the
philosophy of the romanticists cf. Erdmann's _History_, vol. ii. §§ 314,
315; Zeller, p. 562 _seq_.; and R. Haym, _Die Romantische Schule_, 1870.]

The actions expressed in the three principles are never found pure in
experience, nor do they represent isolated acts of the ego. Intelligence
can think nothing without thinking itself therewith; it is equally
impossible for it to think "I am" without at the same time thinking
something else which is not itself; subject and object are inseparable.
It is rather true that the acts of position described are one single,
all-inclusive act, which forms only the first member in a connected system
of pre-conscious actions, through which consciousness is produced, and the
complete investigation of whose members constitutes the further business of
the Science of Knowledge as a theory of the nature of reason. In this the
Science of Knowledge employs a method which, by its rhythm of analysis and
synthesis, development and reconciliation of opposites, became the model of
Hegel's dialectic method. The synthesis described in the third principle,
although it balances thesis and antithesis and unites them in itself, still
contains contrary elements, in order to whose combination a new synthesis
must be sought. In this, in turn, the analytic discovery and the synthetic
adjustment of a contrariety is repeated, etc., etc. The original synthesis,
moreover, prescribes a division of the inquiry into two parts, one
theoretical and the other practical. For it contains the following
principles: The ego posits itself as limited by the non-ego--it functions
cognitively; and: The ego posits itself as determining the non-ego--it
functions volitionally and actively.

%(c) The Theoretical Ego.%--In positing itself as determined by the
non-ego, the ego is at once passive (affected by something other than
itself) and active (it posits its own limitation). This is possible only as
it posits reality in itself only in part, and transfers to the non-ego so
much as it does not posit in itself. Passivity is diminished activity,
negation of the totality of reality. From reflection on this relation
between ego and non-ego spring the categories of reciprocal determination,
of causality (the non-ego as the cause of the passion of the ego), and
substantiality (this passion merely the self-limitation of the ego).
The conflict between the causality of the non-ego (by which the ego is
affected) and the substantiality of the ego (in which and the activity of
which all reality is contained) is resolved only by the assumption of two
activities (or, rather, of two opposite directions of one activity) in the
ego, one of which (centrifugal, expansive) strives infinitely outward while
the other (centripetal or contractile) sets a bound to the former, and
drives the ego back into itself, whereupon another excursus follows, and a
new limitation and return, etc. With every repetition of this double act
of production and reflection a special class of representations arises.
Through the first limitation of the in itself unlimited activity
"sensation" arises (as a product of the "productive imagination"). Because
the ego produces this unconsciously, it appears to be given, brought about
by influence from without. The second stage, "intuition," is reached when
the ego reflects on sensation, when it opposes to itself something foreign
which limits it. Thirdly, by reflection on intuition an "image" of that
which is intuited is constructed, and, as such, distinguished from a real
thing to which the image corresponds; at this point the categories and the
forms of intuition, space and time, appear, which thus arise along with
the object.[1] The fourth stadium is "understanding," which steadies the
fluctuating intuition into a concept, realizes the object, and looks upon
it as the cause of the intuition. Fifthly, "judgment" makes its appearance
as the faculty of free reflection and abstraction, or the power to consider
a definite content or to abstract from it. As judgment is itself the
condition of the bound reflection of the understanding, so it points in
turn to its condition, to the sixth and highest stage of intelligence,
"reason," by means of which we are able to abstract from all objects
whatever, while reason itself, pure self-consciousness, is that from
which abstraction is never possible. It is only in the highest stage that
consciousness or a representation of representation takes place. And at the
culmination of the theoretical ego the point of transition to the practical
ego appears. Here the ego becomes aware that in positing itself as
determined by the non-ego it has only limited itself, and therefore is
itself the ground of the whole content of consciousness; here it apprehends
itself as determining the non-ego or as acting, and recognizes as its chief
mission to impress the form of the ego as far as possible on the non-ego,
and ever to extend the boundary further.

[Footnote 1: The object is a product of the ego only for the observer, not
for the observed ego itself, to which, from this standpoint of imagination,
it appears rather as a thing in itself independent of the ego and affecting
it. Further, it must so appear, because the ego, in its after reflection
on its productive activity, and just by this reflection, transforms the
productive action considered into a fixed and independent product found

The "deduction of representation" whose outline has just been given was the
first example (often imitated in the school of Schelling and Hegel) of a
_constructive psychology_, which, from the mission or the concept of the
soul--in this case from the nature of self-consciousness--deduces the
various psychical functions as a system of actions, each of which is in
its place implied by the rest, as it in turn presupposes them. This is
distinguished from the sensationalistic psychology, which is also genetic
(cf. pp. 245-250), as well as from the mechanical or associational
psychology, which likewise excludes the idea of an isolated coexistence of
mental faculties, by the fact that it demands a new manifestation of the
soul-ground in order to the ascent from one member of the series to
the next higher. It is also distinguished from sensationalism by its
teleological point of view. For no matter how much Fichte, too, may speak
of the mechanism of consciousness, it is plain to the reader of the
theoretical part of his system not only that he makes this mechanism work
in the service of an end, but also that he finds its origin in purposive
activity of the ego; while the practical part gives further and decisive
confirmation of the fact. The danger and the defect of such a constructive
treatment of psychology--as we may at once remark for all later
attempts--lies in imagining that the task of mental science has been
accomplished and all its problems solved when each particular activity of
the ego has been assigned its mission and work for the whole, and its place
in the system, without any indication of the means through which this
destination can be fulfilled.

%(d) The Practical Ego.%--The deduction of representation has shown
how (through what unconscious acts of the ego) the different stages of
cognition, the three sensuous and the three intellectual functions of
representation, come into being. It has proved incapable, however, of
giving any account of the way in which the ego comes at one point to arrest
its activity, which tends infinitely outward, and to turn it back upon
itself. We know, indeed, that this first limitation, through which
sensation arises, and on which as a basis the understanding, by continued
reflection constructs the objective world, was necessary in order that
consciousness and knowledge might arise. If the ego did not limit its
infinite activity neither representation nor an objective world
would exist. But why, then, are there such things as consciousness,
representation, and a world? From the standpoint of the theoretical ego
this problem, "Whence the original non-ego or opposition (_Anstoss_),
which impels the ego back upon itself?" cannot be solved, since it is
only through the opposition that it itself arises. The "deduction of the
opposition," which the theoretical part of the Science of Knowledge did
not furnish, is to be looked for from the practical part. The primacy of
practical reason, already emphasized by Kant, gives us the answer: _The
ego_ limits itself and _is theoretical, in order to be practical_. The
whole machinery of representation and the represented world exists only to
furnish us the possibility of fulfilling our duty. We are intelligence in
order that we may be able to be will.

Action, action--that is the end of our existence. Action is giving form to
matter, it is the alteration or elaboration of an object, the conquest of
an impediment, of a limitation. We cannot act unless we have something
in, on, and against which to act. The world of sensation and intuition is
nothing but a means for attaining our ethical destiny, it is "the material
of our duty under the form of sense." The theoretical ego posits an
object (_Gegenstand_) that the practical ego may experience resistance
(_Widerstand_). No action is possible without a world as the object of
action; no world is possible without a consciousness which represents it;
no consciousness possible without reflection of the ego on itself; no
reflection without limitation, without an opposition or non-ego. The
_Anstoss_ is deduced. The ego posits a limit (is theoretical) in order (as
practical) to overcome it. Our duty is the only _per se (Ansich)_ of
the phenomenal world, the only truly real element in it: "Things are in
themselves that which we ought to make of them." Objectivity exists only to
be more and more sublated, that is, to be so worked up that the activity
of the ego may in it become evident.--The same ground of explanation which
reveals the necessity of an external nature enables us to understand why
the one infinite ego (the universal life or the Deity, as Fichte puts it in
his later works) divides into the many empirical egos or individuals, why
it does not carry out its plan immediately, but through finite spirits as
its organs. Action is possible only under the form of the individual, only
in individuals are consciousness and morality possible. Without resistance,
no action; without conflict, no morality. Individuality, it is true, is to
be overcome and destroyed in moral endeavor; but in order to this it must
have existed. Virtue is a conquest over external _and internal_ nature.

A gradation of practical functions corresponding to the series of
theoretical activities leads from feeling and striving (longing and
desire) through the system of impulses (the impulse to representation or
reflection, to production, to satisfaction) up to moral will or the impulse
to harmony with self, which stands opposed to the natural impulses as the
categorical imperative. The practical ego mediates between the theoretical
and the absolute ego. The ego ought to be infinite and self-dependent, but
finds itself finite and dependent on a non-ego--a contradiction which is
resolved by the ego becoming practical, by the fact that in ever increasing
measure it subdues nature to itself, and by such increasing extension
of the boundary draws nearer and ever nearer to the realization of its
destination, to become absolute ego.

%2. The Science of Ethics and of Right.%

The moral law demands the control of the sensuous impulse by the pure
impulse. If the former aims at comfortable ease and enjoyme