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Title: A Beginner's History of Philosophy, Vol. 1 - Ancient and Mediæval Philosophy
Author: Cushman, Herbert Ernest
Language: English
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  Illustration: SOCRATES

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                         A BEGINNER’S HISTORY
                             OF PHILOSOPHY


                 HERBERT ERNEST CUSHMAN, LL.D., PH.D.

          _Sometime Professor of Philosophy in Tufts College_
              _Lecturer of Philosophy in Harvard College_
             _Lecturer of Philosophy in Dartmouth College_

                                VOL. I


                           _Revised Edition_

  Illustration: (‡ Colophon)

                       HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY
                      BOSTON · NEW YORK · CHICAGO
                        DALLAS · SAN FRANCISCO

                     The Riverside Press Cambridge



                          The Riverside Press
                       CAMBRIDGE · MASSACHUSETTS
                         PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.


                 GEORGE HERBERT PALMER, LITT.D., LL.D.
                         IN HARVARD UNIVERSITY
                      WHO HAS INTERPRETED LIFE TO
                       MANY YOUNG MEN BY MAKING
                          PHILOSOPHY A LIVING
                            SUBJECT TO THEM


This book is intended as a text-book for sketch-courses in the history
of philosophy. It is written for the student rather than for the
teacher. It is a history of philosophy upon the background of geography
and of literary and political history.

As a text-book for sketch-courses it employs summaries, tables,
and other generalizations as helps to the memory. The philosophical
teaching is presented as simply as possible, so as to bring into
prominence only the leading doctrines. My own personal criticism and
interpretation on the one hand, and explanations in technical language
on the other, have been avoided as far as possible. Sometimes I have
had to choose between interpretation and technicality, in which case
the limitations of space have determined my choice. Since the book
is intended for the student rather than for the teacher, it makes
the teacher all the more necessary; for it puts into the hands of the
student an outline and into the hands of the teacher the class-room
time for inspiring the student with his own interpretations. In making
use of geographical maps, contemporary literature, and political
history, this book is merely utilizing for pedagogical reasons the
stock of information with which the college student is furnished when
he begins the history of philosophy.

A good many years of experience in teaching the history of philosophy
to beginners have convinced me that students come to the subject
with four classes of ideas, with which they can correlate philosophic
doctrines: good geographical knowledge, some historical and some
literary knowledge, and many undefined personal philosophical
opinions. Of course, their personal philosophical opinions form the
most important group, but more as something to be clarified by the
civilizing influence of the subject than as an approach to the subject
itself. The only “memory-hooks” upon which the teacher may expect
to hang philosophic doctrines are the student’s ideas of history,
literature, and geography. If the history of philosophy is treated
only as a series of doctrines, the student beginning the subject feels
not only that the land is strange, but that he is a stranger in it.
Besides, to isolate the historical philosophical doctrines is to give
the student a wrong historical perspective, since philosophic thought
and contemporary events are two inseparable aspects of history. Each
interprets the other, and neither can be correctly understood without
the other. If the history of philosophy is to have any significance for
the beginner, it must be shown to give a meaning to history.

So far as the materials that form any history of philosophy are
concerned, I have merely tried to arrange and organize them with
reference to the student and with reference to the history of which
they form an integral part. I am therefore overwhelmingly indebted to
every good authority to whom I have had access, but in the main I have
followed the inspiring direction of the great Windelband. Many willing
friends have read parts of the manuscript and offered suggestions and
criticisms. I am particularly indebted to Professors C. P. Parker,
Ephraim Emerton, A. O. Norton, and J. H. Ropes, and Dr. B. A. G.
Fuller of Harvard University; to Professor Mary W. Calkins of Wellesley
College; to Professors C. S. Wade and D. L. Maulsby of Tufts College;
and to my wife, Abby B. Cushman. However, for all the faults of the
book, which has been many years in preparation, I am alone responsible.

Instead of lists of books for collateral reading, placed at the end
of chapters or of the book, the student will find references in the
footnotes to the exact pages of many helpful books. I should like to
call the student’s attention to an appendix to the discussion of Plato.
This is a complete selection of passages from Plato made by the late
Professor Jowett for English readers. This selection Professor Jowett
was accustomed to distribute to his Oxford class, of which I was once
fortunate to be a member.

Philosophical terms have been defined either in the text or in the
footnotes. Such definitions must necessarily have as their aim their
usefulness to the student, rather than their completeness.

TUFTS COLLEGE, June, 1910.


The only change which the reader will find in the revision of this
volume is in the form of presentation of the philosophies of the
earlier cosmologists (Chapter II).

                                                HERBERT E. CUSHMAN.

  WEST NEWTON, February, 1918.


        PHILOSOPHY,                                               1

                        BOOK I. ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY
                           (625 B. C.–476 A. D.)

    THE DIVISIONS OF ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY,                          5
    THE ENVIRONMENT OF THE EARLY GREEK,                           7
      1. His Geographical Environment                             7
      2. His Political Environment                                7
        (1) In the Development of his Religion, (2) in his
        Reflections upon Physical Events, and (3) in his
        Interest in Human Conduct,                             9–11
    THE THREE PERIODS OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY,                       12

        NATURE,                                                  15
        CARTHAGE,                                                15
    CHARACTERISTICS OF THE COSMOLOGISTS,                         18
    TABLE OF COSMOLOGISTS,                                       20
    HOW THE PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTION AROSE,                        20
      1. THE MILESIAN SCHOOL,                                    24
         THE MILESIAN PHILOSOPHY,                                25
      2. XENOPHANES, THE RELIGIOUS PHILOSOPHER,                  26
         THE PHILOSOPHY OF XENOPHANES,                           27
         a. Heracleitus’ Doctrine of Absolute and Universal
              Change,                                            28
         b. Fire is the Cosmic Substance,                        29
         c. The Definite Changes of Fire,                        30
         d. The Practical Philosophy of Heracleitus,             31
      4. THE ELEATIC SCHOOL,                                     32
         a. PARMENIDES,                                          32
            (1) The Cosmic Substance is Being,                   33
            (2) Other Things than the Cosmic Substance (Being)
                  have no Real Existence,                        34
         b. ZENO,                                                35
            THE PHILOSOPHY OF ZENO,                              36
        PARMENIDES,                                              37

  CHAPTER III. PLURALISM,                                        39
    EFFORTS TOWARD RECONCILIATION,                               39
        ELEMENT,                                                 40
        THE RECONCILERS,                                         41
        LEUCIPPUS, AND THE LATER PYTHAGOREANS,                   42
        AT ABDERA,                                               47
    THE LATER PYTHAGOREANS,                                      48
      1. The Pythagorean Conception of Being,                    49
      2. The Pythagorean Dualistic World,                        51
      3. Pythagorean Astronomy,                                  52
    HISTORICAL RETROSPECT,                                       53

      MAN,                                                       55
    THE PERSIAN WARS AND THE RISE OF ATHENS,                     56
    THE GREEK ENLIGHTENMENT,                                     58
      1. The Impulse for Learning,                               58
      2. The Practical Need of Knowledge,                        59
      3. The Critical Attitude of Mind,                          61
    THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SOPHISTS,                            64
    THE PROMINENT SOPHISTS,                                      67
    THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE SOPHISTS,                              68
      1. The Relativism of Protagoras,                           69
      2. The Nihilism of Gorgias, 70
        CRITICAL THEORY TO POLITICAL LIFE,                       71
    SUMMARY,                                                     73

  CHAPTER V. SOCRATES,                                           74
    SOCRATES AND ARISTOPHANES,                                   74
    THE PERSONALITY AND LIFE OF SOCRATES,                        75
    SOCRATES AND THE SOPHISTS,                                   80
    THE IDEAL OF SOCRATES,                                       83
    WHAT THE SOCRATIC IDEAL INVOLVES,                            85
    THE TWO STEPS OF THE METHOD OF SOCRATES,                     88
    SOCRATES AND ATHENS,                                         91
    THE LOGICAL EXPEDIENTS OF SOCRATES,                          92
    SOCRATES AND THE LESSER SOCRATICS,                           93
    THE CYNIC SCHOOL,                                            95
    THE CYRENAIC SCHOOL,                                         96

  CHAPTER VI. THE SYSTEMATIC PERIOD,                             98
    THE WANING OF THE GREEK NATIONAL SPIRIT,                     98
        HISTORY,                                                 98
    A SUMMARY OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY,                              102
    GREEK PHILOSOPHY (OBJECTIVE),                               103
    THE LIFE OF DEMOCRITUS,                                     106
        MATERIALISM,                                            109
        REALITY,                                                114
    THE ETHICAL THEORY OF DEMOCRITUS,                           116

  CHAPTER VII. PLATO,                                           119
    ABDERA AND ATHENS,                                          119
    THE LIFE AND WRITINGS OF PLATO,                             121
      1. Plato’s Student Life,                                  121
      2. Plato as Traveler,                                     122
      3. Plato as Teacher of the Academy,                       124
    CONCERNING THE DIALOGUES OF PLATO,                          126
      1. His Inherited Tendencies,                              128
      2. His Philosophical Sources,                             130
    THE DIVISIONS OF PLATO’S PHILOSOPHY,                        131
    SUMMARY OF PLATO’S DOCTRINE,                                132
    THE FORMATION OF PLATO’S METAPHYSICS,                       132
        OF PLATO’S IDEAS IN THE TWO DRAFTS,                     136
      1. The Number of Ideas in the Earlier and Later Drafts
          compared,                                             137
      2. The Relation of the Ideas and the World of Nature in
          the Two Drafts compared,                              138
      3. The Relation among the Ideas in the Two Drafts
          compared,                                             140
    PLATO’S CONCEPTION OF GOD,                                  141
    PLATO’S CONCEPTION OF PHYSICAL NATURE,                      142
    PLATO’S CONCEPTION OF MAN,                                  144
    PLATO’S DOCTRINE OF IMMORTALITY,                            146
      1. The Immortality of Pre-Existence,                      146
      2. The Immortality of Post-Existence,                     149
    THE TWO TENDENCIES IN PLATO,                                150
    PLATONIC LOVE,                                              151
    PLATO’S THEORY OF ETHICS,                                   153
      1. Development of Plato’s Theory of the Good,             153
      2. The Four Cardinal Virtues,                             154
      3. Plato’s Theory of Political Society,                   155
        ENGLISH READERS,                                        158

  CHAPTER VIII. ARISTOTLE,                                      166
    ARISTOTLE IN THE ACADEMY AND LYCEUM,                        166
    BIOGRAPHY OF ARISTOTLE,                                     168
    ARISTOTLE’S BIOGRAPHY IN DETAIL,                            169
      1. First Period――Early Influences,                        169
      2. Second Period――Traveler and Collector,                 171
      3. Third Period――Administrator of the Lyceum,             172
    THE WRITINGS OF ARISTOTLE,                                  173
      1. The Popular Writings, published by Aristotle himself,  174
      2. The Compilations,                                      175
      3. The Didactic Writings,                                 175
    ARISTOTLE’S STARTING-POINT,                                 176
    ARISTOTLE’S LOGIC,                                          180
    ARISTOTLE’S METAPHYSICS,                                    185
      1. Development is Purposeful,                             185
      2. Aristotle’s Two Different Conceptions of Purpose,      187
      3. Aristotle’s Conception of God,                         190
      4. Aristotle’s Conception of Matter,                      191
      5. Aristotle’s Conception of Nature,                      192
        PHENOMENA,                                              196
      1. The Psychology of Aristotle,                           196
      2. The Ethics of Aristotle,                               199
        (a) The Practical Virtues,                              200
        (b) The Dianoetic Virtues,                              201
    THE POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY OF ARISTOTLE,                      202

  CHAPTER IX. THE HELLENIC-ROMAN PERIOD,                        204
    ITS TIME LENGTH,                                            204
        CIVILIZATION,                                           204
        HELLENISM,                                              205
      1. The Ethical Period,                                    208
      2. The Religious Period,                                  208
        PERIOD,                                                 209
    THE CENTRES OF HELLENISM,                                   213
      1. Athens,                                                213
      2. Alexandria,                                            215
      1. The Abandonment of Metaphysical Speculation,           216
      2. The Growth of Science,                                 216
      3. Ethics became the Central Interest,                    217
    THE SCHOOLS,                                                218
      1. The Academy,                                           220
      2. The Lyceum,                                            221
        AND EPICUREANS,                                         225

  CHAPTER X. EPICUREANISM,                                      227
    THE LIFE OF EPICURUS,                                       227
    THE EPICUREANS,                                             228
        ROUSSEAU,                                               228
    THE EPICUREAN IDEAL,                                        230
    THE PLACE OF VIRTUE IN EPICUREANISM,                        233
    THE EPICUREAN WISE MAN,                                     234
    THE EPICUREAN WISE MAN IN SOCIETY,                          235
    THE GREAT OBSTACLES TO HAPPINESS,                           236
        ATOMISM,                                                238

  CHAPTER XI. STOICISM,                                         241
    THE POSITION OF STOICISM IN ANTIQUITY,                      241
    THE THREE PERIODS OF STOICISM,                              242
      1. Period of Formulation of the Doctrine,                 242
      2. Period of Modified Stoicism,                           242
      3. Period of Roman Stoicism,                              243
    THE STOIC LEADERS,                                          243
    THE STOIC WRITINGS,                                         246
    THE STOICS AND CYNICS,                                      246
    THE TWO PROMINENT STOIC CONCEPTIONS,                        247
    THE CONCEPTION OF PERSONALITY,                              248
      1. The Stoic Psychology,                                  248
      2. The Highest Good,                                      250
    THE CONCEPTION OF NATURE,                                   251
      1. Nature is an All-pervading World-Being,                253
      2. Nature is an All-compelling Law,                       253
      3. Nature is Matter,                                      254
        OTHER,                                                  256
    THE STOIC AND SOCIETY,                                      257
    DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY,                                    259
        PERIOD,                                                 261

      1. The First Phase of Philosophic Skepticism is called
          Pyrrhonism,                                           265
      2. The Second Period of Philosophic Skepticism――The
          Skepticism of the Academy,                            266
      3. The Third Period of Philosophic
          Skepticism――Sensationalistic Skepticism,              268
        ECLECTICISM,                                            269

  CHAPTER XIII. THE RELIGIOUS PERIOD,                           273
    THE NEED OF SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY,                            275
    THE REVIVAL OF PLATONISM,                                   279
    THE DIVISIONS OF THE RELIGIOUS PERIOD,                      280
    THE HELLENIC RELIGIOUS PHILOSOPHIES,                        282
      1. The Greek-Jewish Philosophy of Philo,                  282
      2. Neo-Pythagoreanism,                                    285
        PLATONISM AND NEO-PLATONISM,                            287
    NEO-PLATONISM AND CHRISTIANITY,                             288
    THE PERIODS OF NEO-PLATONISM,                               290
    THE MYSTIC GOD,                                             292
      1. The Supra-Consciousness of God,                        292
      2. The Conception of Dynamic Pantheism,                   293
        PLOTINUS,                                               294
    THE SPIRIT,                                                 294
    THE SOUL,                                                   295
    MATTER,                                                     295
        PLOTINUS,                                               297
        POLYTHEISMS.――JAMBLICHUS,                               298

    THE EARLY SITUATION OF CHRISTIANITY,                        302
    THE PERIODS OF EARLY CHRISTIANITY,                          306
    THE APOLOGISTS,                                             307
    THE GNOSTICS,                                               310
        THEOLOGIANS,                                            312
    ORIGEN AND THE SCHOOL OF CATECHISTS,                        314

                       BOOK II. THE MIDDLE AGES

      AGES,                                                     319
        AGES,                                                   319
    THE MEDIÆVAL MAN,                                           320
    MAPS OF THE PTOLEMAIC COSMOGRAPHY,                     323, 325
    THE MEDIÆVAL MAN AT SCHOOL,                                 325
    A MEDIÆVAL LIBRARY,                                         326
      1. Books most commonly read,                              327
      2. Books that the scholars might use,                     327
      3. The Books most influential philosophically upon the
          time,                                                 328
        MEDIÆVAL MAN,                                           330

    AN EARLY MEDIÆVAL GEOGRAPHICAL MAP,                         335
    THE HISTORICAL POSITION OF AUGUSTINE,                       335
    THE SECULAR SCIENCE,                                        339
    THE LIFE OF AUGUSTINE,                                      339
        CONSCIOUSNESS,                                          341
    THE DARK AGES,                                              347
    THE REVIVAL OF CHARLEMAGNE,                                 349
    JOHN SCOTUS ERIGENA: LIFE AND TEACHING,                     350
        MIDDLE AGES,                                            352
    THE LAST CENTURY OF THE EARLY PERIOD,                       353

  CHAPTER XVII. THE TRANSITIONAL PERIOD,                        354
    WHAT IS SCHOLASTICISM?                                      355
    ROSCELLINUS: LIFE AND TEACHING,                             361
    STORM AND STRESS,                                           362
    THE LIFE OF ABELARD,                                        363
        PARTICULARS,                                            364
        DOGMA,                                                  365

        MIDDLE AGES,                                            370
    THE REVIVAL OF LEARNING,                                    375
      1. The Strength of Aristotle to the Church,               378
      2. The Burden of Aristotle to the Church,                 379
    THE PREDECESSORS OF AQUINAS,                                379
        TRADITION,                                              380
        TRUTH,                                                  381
        AND UNIVERSALS,                                         383
        AND PHILOSOPHICAL POSITION,                             386
        SEPARATION OF SCIENCE AND RELIGION,                     387
    THE INSCRUTABLE WILL OF GOD,                                388
    THE PROBLEM OF INDIVIDUALITY,                               389
    AFTER DUNS SCOTUS,                                          390
    WILLIAM OF OCKAM: LIFE AND TEACHING,                        391
    AFTER OCKAM,                                                393

  INDEX,                                                        395


  SOCRATES,                                          _Frontispiece_


  THE EMPIRE OF ALEXANDER,                                      205


      INTO SPHERES,                                             323

      THE PLANETS,                                              325

  MEDIÆVAL GEOGRAPHY. THE COSMAS MAP, A. D. 547,                335






=The Comparative Lengths of the Three General Periods:=

Ancient Philosophy, 625 B. C.–476 A. D.

Mediæval Philosophy, 476 A. D.–1453 A. D.

Modern Philosophy, 1453 A. D.–the present time.

These are the three general periods into which the history of
philosophy naturally falls. The two dates that form the dividing lines
between these three periods are 476, the fall of old Rome, and 1453,
the fall of new Rome (Constantinople). From this it will be seen that
1000 years of mediæval life lie between antiquity on the one side and
450 years of modern times on the other. Whatever value may be put upon
the respective intellectual products of these three periods, it is
important to note the great difference in their time-lengths. It is
2500 years since philosophical reflection began in Europe. Only 450 of
these years belong to modern times. In other words, after the European
man grew to reflective manhood, two fifths of his life belong to what
is known as ancient civilization, two fifths to mediæval, and only one
fifth to modern civilization.

=The Real Differences of the Three General Periods.= The differences
between these three periods of the reflective life of the European
have been very real. They are not to be explained by merely political
shiftings or economic changes; nor are they fully expressed as
differences in literary or artistic productions. Their differences
lie deeper, for they are _differences of mental attitude_. The history
of philosophy is more profound, more difficult, and more human than
any other history, because it is the record of human points of view.
A good deal of sympathetic appreciation is demanded if the student
takes on the attitude of mind of ancient and mediæval times. One cannot
expect to be possessed of such appreciation until one has traversed
the history of thought through its entire length.

The history of philosophy is an organic development from an objective
to a subjective view of life, with a traditional middle period in which
subjective and objective mingle. Ancient thought is properly called
_objective_, the mediæval _traditional_, the modern _subjective_.
Can we briefly suggest what these abstract terms mean? By the
_objectivity of ancient thought_ is meant that the ancient, in making
his reflections upon life, starts from the universe as a whole. From
this outer point of view he tries to see the interconnections between
things. Nature is reality; men and gods are a part of nature. Man’s
mental processes even are a part of the totality of things. Even
ethically man is not an independent individual, but the member of a
state. When the ancient came to make distinctions between mind and
matter, he did not think of man as the knower in antithesis to matter
as the object known, but he thought of mind and matter as parts of one
cosmos. The antithesis in ancient thought is rather between appearances
and essence, between non-realities and realities with differing
emphasis. The ancient attempts speculatively to reconstruct his world,
but it is always from the point of view of the world.

By the _traditionalism of mediæval thought_ is meant that men are
controlled in their thinking by a set of authoritative doctrines
from the past. In the Middle Ages, as the mediæval period is called,
the independent thinking of antiquity had ceased. Men reflected and
reflected deeply, but they were constrained by a set of religious
traditions. Authority was placed above them and censored their thinking.
The objective Christian church and its authority took the place of the
objective Greek cosmos. That church had certain infallible dogma, and
thinking was allowed only in so far as it clarified dogma.

On the other hand, when we say that _modern thought is subjective_, we
refer to an entire change in the centre of intellectual gravity. The
starting-point is not the world, but the individual. The universe is
set over against mind (dualism), or is the creation of mind (idealism).
In any case the modern man looks upon the universe as his servant, the
standard of truth to be found in himself and not in something external.
The subject as knower is now placed in antithesis to the object
as known, and the object is not independent of the human thinking
process. Reality is man rather than the cosmos. The political state
is justifiable so long as it enforces the rights of the individual;
religious authority is the expression of the individual conscience;
physical nature is a human interpretation.[1]

Plato, Dante, and Goethe are good representatives of these three
different historical periods of the human mind. How can they be
understood without a philosophical appreciation of the periods in
which they lived?

        =Table of the Subdivisions of the Three General Periods
                            of Philosophy=

                    ┌                 ┌
                    │                 │ Cosmological, 625–480 (to
                    │ Greek, 625–322  │   Persian Wars).
                    │   B. C. (to     │
                    │   death of      ┤ Anthropological, 480–399 (to
                    │   Aristotle).   │   death of Socrates).
                    │                 │ Systematic, 399–322 (to death
                    │                 │   of Aristotle).
                    │                 └
  1. Ancient 625    ┤                 ┌
    B. C.–476 A. D. │ Hellenic-Roman  │
                    │   322 B. C.–476 │ Ethical, 322 B. C.–1 A. D.
                    │   A. D. (from   │   (to beginning of Christian
                    │   death of      ┤   era).
                    │   Aristotle to  │
                    │   fall of old   │ Religious, 100 B. C.–476 A. D.
                    │   Rome).        │
                    └                 └
                    │ Early Mediæval, 476–1000 (from the fall of old
                    │   Rome to the beginnings of modern Europe).
  2. Mediæval       ┤ Transitional Mediæval (1000–1200), (from
    476–1453        │   beginnings of modern Europe to Crusades).
                    │ Classic Mediæval, 1200–1453 (from the Crusades
                    │   to the fall of new Rome or Constantinople).
                    ┌                 ┌
                    │ Renaissance,    │
                    │   1453–1690     │ Humanistic, 1453–1600.
                    │   (to Locke’s   │
                    │   Essay and     ┤
                    │   the English   │ Natural Science, 1600–1690.
                    │   Revolution).  │
  3. Modern         │                 └
    1453–modern     ┤
    times           │ Enlightenment, 1690–1781 (from Locke’s Essay to
                    │   Kant’s Critique).
                    │ German Idealism, 1781–1831 (from Kant’s Critique
                    │  to the death of Hegel).
                    │ Evolution, 1820 to the present time.

                                BOOK I

               ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY (625 B. C.–476 A. D.)

                               CHAPTER I


=The Divisions of Ancient Philosophy.= The history of ancient
philosophy falls naturally into two large divisions: pure Greek
philosophy and Hellenic-Roman philosophy (or Greek philosophy in
the Roman world). The date, 322 B. C., the death of Aristotle, which
marks the line between these two periods, is one of the milestones of
history. Alexander the Great had died in 323 B. C. The coincidence of
the deaths of Aristotle and Alexander not only suggests their intimate
relations as teacher and pupil during their lives, but it throws into
contrast Greek civilization before and after them. Before Aristotle and
Alexander culture was the product entirely of the pure Greek spirit;
after them ancient culture was the complex product of many factors――of
Greek and Roman civilizations, and many Oriental religions, including
Christianity. Before Aristotle and Alexander, ancient culture was
characterized by a love of knowledge for its own sake, by freedom from
ulterior ends either of service or of use; after these great makers of
history, culture became attenuated to work in the special sciences and
enslaved to practical questions. Before Aristotle and Alexander, the
Greek city-states had arisen to political power; after Aristotle and
Alexander, Greece declined politically and was absorbed into the Roman

=The Literary Sources of Ancient Philosophy.[2]= The literary sources
of ancient philosophy are three: (1) the primary sources, or original
writings; (2) the secondary sources, or reports of the original writers
obtained indirectly, or through other writers; (3) the interpretations
of reliable modern historians of philosophy. The specialist in
philosophy will, of course, go to the first two sources for his
information. Other students will find many accurate modern histories
of ancient philosophy. The student should have at hand the translations
of the histories of Zeller, Windelband, Weber, Eucken, Ueberweg; those
of the Englishmen, Burnet and Fairbanks; of the Americans, Rogers and

“The writings of the early Greek philosophers of the pre-Socratic
period exist now only in fragments. The complete works of Plato are
still extant; so also are the most important works of Aristotle, and
certain others which belong to the Stoic, Epicurean, Skeptic, and
neo-Platonic schools. We possess the principal works of most of the
philosophers of the Christian period in sufficient completeness.”[3]
The secondary sources include quotations and comments upon earlier
philosophers found in the writings of Plato, Aristotle, the
Stoics, Skeptics, neo-Platonists, and the so-called doxographers.
Doxography――the commentating upon and collating of the works of former
times――developed enormously in Alexandria, Pergamos, and Rhodes just
after Aristotle. The founder of this work was Theophrastus, who was
a disciple of Aristotle and his successor in the Lyceum. Among the
important doxographers were Plutarch, Stobæus, and Aetios.

=The Environment of the Early Greek.= The biologist seeks to explain a
living creature by its previous environment and inherited instincts. So
if we know the environment and inherited instincts of the early Greek,
we shall be able to understand better firstly, why European philosophy
began with the Greeks and not with some other people; and secondly, why
Greek philosophy took certain lines that it did take.

(1). _His Geographical Environment._ The Greece into which philosophy
was born was much larger than the Greece of to-day. Ancient Greece
consisted of all the coasts and islands which were washed by the
Mediterranean Sea from Asia Minor to Sicily and southern Italy, and
from Cyrene to Thrace. The motherland, the peninsula of Greece, at
first played an insignificant rôle. The leadership was in the hands of
the Ionians, who had colonized the coasts of Asia Minor. In the seventh
century B. C., when the first Greek philosophy appears, these Ionians
commanded the world’s commerce among the three continents. Over the
coasts of the entire Mediterranean they had extended their trade and
established their colonies. Miletus became the wealthiest of these
colonies and the cradle of Greek science. Its wealth afforded leisure
to its people and therefore the opportunity for reflection.

(2). _His Political Environment._ An understanding of the Greek
political world, in which its first philosophy appeared, requires an
historical explanation of its rise. It takes us back four centuries to
the age of the Epic (1000–750 B. C.). During more than two centuries of
the age of the Epic two changes occurred which were to influence future
Greek civilization: (1) The oligarchy which had supplanted the ancient
patriarchal monarchy became firmly established; and (2) the Epic was
formed. The importance of the Epic of Homer lies not so much in the
fact that a great poem was constructed, as that it was the formulation
of the Greek religion, the Greek æsthetic polytheism. Its writing
indicates that the earlier unorganized, primitive, and savage forms
of religion had given way, among the ruling classes at least, to an
æsthetic polytheism, which in a general way was fixed by the Epic

The period of more than a century, from 750 to 625 B. C., lying
between the age of the Epic and Greek philosophy, may be called an
age of political disturbances. The oligarchy had become oppressive
to the rich and poor alike. There had grown up in Greece, especially
in the colonies, a class of citizens who had become wealthy through
commerce. The result of the misgovernment by the oligarchy was that
(1) migrations took place, and (2) many revolutions occurred. This was
particularly true of the colonies where the proletariat was powerful
and the cities were full of adventurers. Plutocracy was at war with
aristocracy, and this was the opportunity for bold men. These political
troubles took form from 650 B. C. on, and the history of the Greek
cities consists of the endeavor to establish popular government. About
the time of the first Greek philosophers there arose here and there
from the ruins of these civil struggles the so-called tyrants, of whom
Thrasybulus at Miletus, Pittacus at Lesbos, Periander at Corinth, and
Pisistratus at Athens are examples. The courts of these tyrants became
centres of intellectual life. They patronized poets, writers, and
artists. The universalism of the Epic had vanished, and in its place
came the individualism of the lyric and the satire. In many places the
aristocrat went into gloomy retirement, and often cultivated poetry,
science, and philosophy.

=The Native Tendencies of the Early Greek.= Why were the Greeks
the first philosophers of Europe? Their geographical surroundings
of sea and land had something to do with it. The passionate party
strife between the old, ruling ♦families of nobles and the newly rich
trading-class, which took place during the seventh century B. C.,
no doubt cultivated an early independence of opinion and strength of
personality. But, after all, genius was in the blood of the race, and
who can say that the true cause was not in the mixing of the blood
of the virile Aryan invaders with that of the aboriginal inhabitants?
Whatever may be the answer to that question, the Greek race in the
seventh century B. C. had an extraordinary curiosity about the world
of nature. It loved the concrete fact as no other race of the time
loved it, and it loved to give a clear and articulate expression to the
concrete fact that it saw. It had an artistic nature that was hostile
to all confusion. Let us point out three ways in which the Greek was
even in this early time organizing his experiences, reflecting upon the
workings of social and nature forces, and thus preparing the way for
consideration of the more ultimate questions of philosophy.

(1) This can be seen first in the development of his religion. The
first step in the organization of his religion we have already seen,
for the Homeric epic was the expression of a well-defined, poetic, and
æsthetic polytheism developed out of a primitive savage naturalism.
The Greek’s sense of measure was shown in the way both gods and men
were placed as a part of the world of nature. He could accomplish this
the more freely because he had no hierarchy of priests and no dogma of
belief to cramp his imagination. The Greek priests did not penetrate
into the private life nor teach religion. “They were not theologians
but sacristans and liturgical functionaries.” In the fifty years
before philosophy appeared, this tendency toward scientific religious
organizing showed the beginning of another advance. Monistic belief,
of which signs may be found even in the earlier Greek writings,
came to the surface. This monism[4] was expressed or implied by the
Gnomic poets, “wise poets,” so called, because they made sententious
utterances upon the principles of morality.

(2) The early genius of the Greek is shown in his reflections upon
physical events. The Greek had been accumulating for a long time
many kinds of information, but, what is more important, he had been
reflecting upon this information. The Ionian was a sea-faring man. He
had had much practical experience and had made many true observations
about the things he had seen. In his travels he had come in contact
with the Orientals and the Egyptians, and although his scientific
conceptions were probably in the main his own, his knowledge was
undoubtedly increased by his travels. In the seventh century B. C.,
the Greeks had a respectable body of physical science. It was mostly
inorganic science, however,――astronomy, geography, and meteorology.
The early Greek knowledge of organic phenomena was very meagre, as,
for example, medical and physiological knowledge. They also showed
little genuine research in the field of mathematics, although they had
picked up mathematical information here and there. Many of the first
philosophers were scientists.

(3) Not only did the Greek early bring a religious system out of the
chaos of his naturalism, not only did he early throw his physical
information into scientific form; but also early did he show an
especial interest in human conduct. This can be seen first in Homer
(800 B. C.), in a more developed form in Hesiod (700 B. C.), and with
still deeper reflection in the Gnomic poets. Although the Iliad is
a descriptive poem, it abounds in ethical observations. For example,
Hector says, “The best omen is to fight for one’s country”; and Nestor
in council says, “A wretch without the tie of kin, a lawless man
without a home, is he who delights in civil strife.” The poem by Hesiod
(_Works and Days_) is intended to teach morals. It is distinctly a
didactic poem. Hesiod stands at the beginning of a long line of Greek
ethical teachers. His moral observations are, however, incoherently
expressed. They are not wide generalizations, but are only comments
upon single experiences. The Gnomic poets appeared at the end of the
seventh century B. C., as the moral reformers in the age of political
disturbances. This period was called by the Greeks the age of the
Seven Wise Men; for among the men who were then exhorting the age to
come back to its senses, tradition early selected seven of the most
notable.[5] The spirit of Gnomic poetry was prominent in their reported
sayings. They were fearful because of the common disregard of the
conventions of the previous age, and because of the present excesses.
Their watchword was “moderation,” and they were ever repeating “nothing
too much.” By apothegm, riddle, epigram, and catchwords they tried to
reform society. The names of all seven are not certain, and only four
of them are known,――Thales, Solon, Pittacus, and Bias. Their ethical
reflections are not concerned, as in Hesiod, with the home, the village,
and the rules of convention, but with the individual’s general relation
to society. Their knowledge of ethical matters is remarkable for their
time. Some of their sayings are as follows:――

“No man is happy; all are full of trouble.” “Each thinks to do the
right, yet no one knows what will be the result of his doings, and no
one can escape his destiny.” “The people by their own injustice destroy
the city, which the gods would have protected.” “As opposed to these
evils the first necessity is law and order for the state, contentment
and moderation for the individual.” “Not wealth, but moderation, is the
highest good.” “Superfluity of possessions begets self-exaltation.”

=The Three Periods of Greek Philosophy=, 625–322 B. C. These are

    1. The Cosmological Period, 625–480 B. C.
    2. The Anthropological Period, 480–399 B. C.
    3. The Systematic Period, 399–322 B. C.

1. _The Cosmological Period_ begins with the birth of Greek
philosophical reflection (625 B. C.) and has a nominal ending with the
Persian wars (480 B. C.). This does not mean that the interest of the
Greeks in cosmology stopped in 480 B. C., but that it was no longer
their prominent interest. Cosmology is the study of the reality of the
physical universe (the cosmos). The particular cosmological question
occupying the minds of the Greeks in this period may be stated thus:
What, amid the changes of the physical world, is permanent? This will
be seen to be a philosophical question and not the same as a question
in natural science. The theatre of philosophical activity was the
colonies and not the motherland. Two important aspects of this period
must be considered besides the philosophical,――the political situation
and the religious mysteries.

2. _The Anthropological Period_ begins in the motherland before
the cosmological movement ended in the colonies. It starts with a
great social impulse just after the victories of the Persian wars
(480 B. C.) and ends with the death of Socrates (399 B. C.). Athens is
the centre. This period includes the most productive intellectual epoch
of Greece as a whole, although not its greatest philosophers. Socrates
is the most striking personality in the period. The period is called
anthropological, because its interest is in the study of man and not of
the physical universe. The word anthropology means the study of man.

3. _The Systematic Period_ begins with the death of Socrates (399
B. C.) and ends with the death of Aristotle (322 B. C.). Alexander
the Great died 323 B. C. The period is called systematic because
it contains the three great organizers or systematizers of Greek
philosophy. These were Democritus, Plato, and Aristotle. The spread of
Greek culture beyond its own limits through the conquests of Alexander
is of great importance for the history of thought in the Hellenic-Roman
Period, which follows this period.

                              CHAPTER II

               THE COSMOLOGICAL PERIOD (625–480 B. C.):
                       THE PHILOSOPHY OF NATURE

When we enter upon the one hundred and fifty years of philosophical
beginnings of Greece, which are called the Cosmological Period, we find
ourselves confronted with an extremely interesting social situation,
which has been brought about partly by the political and geographical
environment of the Greek, partly by his inherited genius. On the one
hand, during this century and a half, the political troubles of the
Greeks became increasingly aggravated by the growth of Persia on the
east and of Carthage on the west. On the other hand, we find that the
Greek religion took a sudden turn to mysticism, and by its side a slow
but increasing interest in philosophical questions. All through this
period Greek politics and Greek religion were a constant peril to Greek
life. Greek philosophy proved to be its safety.

=The Peril in the Greek Political Situation: Persia and Carthage.= It
must be remembered that the Greek cities never united into a nation.
They were always fighting among themselves. We have already pointed
out the civil disturbances between the oligarchy and the democracy
throughout the land. These internal troubles continued to the end
of Greek history. In this period there was added to these internal
troubles a critical external situation which threatened the existence
of Greece itself. The sixth century was a momentous one for Greece. In
both the east and the west there arose mighty empires that threatened
to wipe out its civilization. “The expansion of the Persian power (on
the one hand) had suspended a stone of Tantalus over Hellas, and it
seemed likely that Greek civilization might be submerged in an Oriental
monarchy.”[6] Cyrus had laid the foundation of Persia by taking Media
in 550 B. C., Lydia in 546 B. C., Babylonia in 538 B. C.; Egypt was
added by Cambyses in 528 B. C.; and Darius organized the great Persian
possessions in his long reign from 528 to 486 B. C. On the west,
Carthage was threatening the Greek cities of Sicily, and at the
close of this period was acting in conjunction with Persia to obtain
possession of the Mediterranean.

=The Peril in the New Religion: The Mysteries and Pythagoras.= Already
in the seventh century B. C. the political society of Greece felt that
it was under the wrath of the gods because of some unatoned guilt.
“The earth is full of ills, of ills the sea,” sang the poet. Religious
depression became universal. Dissatisfied with the old polytheism,
especially as expressed in the theogony of Hesiod, the Greek in the
sixth century B. C. began to interpret it according to his present need.
Among the masses there appeared the craving for immortality and for
personal knowledge of the supernatural. The desire to solve the mystery
of life by a short road became universal. Men looked to rites to purify
them from the guilt of the world and for gaining personal contact
with the world of shades. This new religion became pan-Hellenic. It is
called the Mysteries or the Orgia. By Mysteries is not meant societies
founded on some occult intellectual belief, as the name might suggest.
The Mysteries were based on cult (ceremony), and not on dogma. The
special ceremonies were those of initiation and purification. They
were supposed to purify the participant and put him in a new frame of
mind. The soul would then be protected from the malicious spirits to
which it was constantly exposed. The ceremonies are reported to have
been attended sometimes by more than thirty thousand people. They
consisted of processions, songs, dances, and dramatic spectacles. The
most important of the Mysteries were the Orphic and the Eleusinian.

The Mysteries were the basis of the society of Pythagoreans.
Pythagoras of Samos was a remarkable man, who went to Italy and settled
at Crotona. His sect is of double importance to us because in later
times it developed a philosophy on its mathematical and astronomical
sides. Pythagoras and his immediate following must be distinguished
from the later Pythagoreans. Pythagoras and the early Pythagoreans
were not philosophers, but a sect like the Orphic society of Mysteries,
yet the sect of Pythagoreans embraced much more in its scope. It tried
to control the public and private life of its members and to evolve
a common method of education.[7] Pythagoras was an exiled aristocrat,
and his sect was an aristocratic religious body in reaction against
the democratic excesses. The only doctrine upon which Pythagoras placed
any emphasis was that of immortality in the form of metempsychosis
(transmigration of the soul from one bodily form into another). The
sect was dispersed as a religious body about 450 B. C. The scattered
members formed a school of philosophy at Thebes until about 350 B. C.
Of these later philosophical Pythagoreans and their number theory, we
shall speak in the proper place.

At the time of the dispersion of the Pythagoreans there existed no
longer any peril from the new religion. The craze of the new religion
was passing away. During the sixth century B. C. it was a great peril
to the future intellectual life of Greece. Had it then gained a little
more power it would probably have been admitted by the priesthood to
the temples. In the exercise of such enormous sacerdotal power, the
priests would have enslaved the Greek mind to superstition, and the
priesthood in turn would have become an easy tool for tyrants. There
would then have been no Socrates, no Plato, and no Aristotle. The
Mysteries were a reaction toward asceticism as a religious salvation
from the political peril, but they were, however, equally as great
a peril to Greece. _The medium course along the line of a rational
philosophy, which the Greek genius actually took, proved its salvation._

=Characteristics of the Cosmologists.= There are certain
characteristics of this early philosophy that should be noted at the

(1) All the Cosmologists were physical scientists, and with few
exceptions their scientific views were noteworthy. Aristotle calls
them physicists in distinction from their predecessors, whom he calls

(2) They often worked together in schools. Tradition has been common
since Bacon that philosophy centres in individuals; but history
shows that frequently the Greeks worked in corporate bodies. These
philosophical scientists worked in schools; just as the Homeridæ
developed the epic; the Dædalidæ, a group of the earliest artists,
the secret of art; the Mysteries, religion. Philosophy now is in
the cloister, and the intellect of the time speaks from its retreat
from public life. While the Milesian school was undisturbed, owing to
the long peace that Miletus enjoyed, we shall find that most of the
philosophers of the Cosmological period were in retirement on account
of political persecution.

We must remember that by “school” is not necessarily meant a group of
pupils under the established instruction of a teacher. A school at this
early period is a group of learned men at work on the same problems.
Later on in history we shall find that one of the group more learned
than the others stands in the position of teacher: for example, Plato
in the Academy.

(3) All the Cosmologists were hylozoists. The etymological meaning of
hylozoism is its true one――matter is alive. This is the fundamental
characteristic of these pre-Socratics from Thales down to Anaxagoras,
although some authorities contend that those from the time of
Empedocles were not hylozoists. The meaning of hylozoism is simple
enough, but the conception is a difficult one for the modern mind;
for to-day we are accustomed to think of an impersonal nature
under mechanical laws. To the Greek of the Cosmological period
the substantial constitution of the universe is impersonal living
matter; to us it is impersonal dead matter. Both these views are to
be contrasted with the religious belief involved in Greek polytheism,
in which the cosmos is conceived to be living personal spirits; this
Homeric polytheism is again to be contrasted with the animism of
the tribal period, in that it had organized into an æsthetic unity
the early savage animism. These hylozoistic philosophers did not,
however, give up the Homeric gods, but they treated their existence in
a poetic way. They usually believed in their existence, but they always
subordinated them to the one living world-ground.

(4) In common with all ancient peoples these Greek philosophers did not
believe that the universe had unlimited space. On the contrary, they
believed that it was limited and in the shape of an egg.

=Table of Cosmologists.= The Cosmologists are divided into two classes:
(1) the earlier were monists――those who believe that the reality of
the universe is a simple, undifferentiated unity; (2) the later were
pluralists――those who believe that the reality of the universe consists
of several elements equally real. They are enumerated as follows:――

                              THE MONISTS

                           { Thales      }
    1. The Milesian school { Anaximander }  at Miletus.
                           { Anaximenes  }

    2. Xenophanes at Colophon and Elea.

                           { Parmenides  }
    3. The Eleatic school  { Zeno        }  at Elea.

    4. Heracleitus at Ephesus.

                            THE PLURALISTS

   5. Empedocles                            at Agrigentum.

   6. Anaxagoras                            at Clazomenæ.

   7. The later Pythagoreans         mainly at Thebes.

   8. Leucippus                             at Abdera.

=How the Philosophical Question Arose.= The interests of these
philosophical scientists sharply differentiate them from the preceding
theogonists, like Hesiod and Epimenides, as well as from the masses who
were absorbed in the religion of the Mysteries. They were, moreover,
the men of Greece to whom the emotional excitement of a religious
revival would not appeal as a refuge from the troubles of the time.
Their own experience in the political troubles had made paramount the
question as to the permanence of things. Nevertheless, its answer must
be found in nature and in an intellectual way. When they turned to
the traditional theogonies they found no answer to their question, for
there was only a mythical chronicle of a succession of gods beginning
with the unknown. The question of the Cosmologists was not, therefore,
what _was_ the original form of this changing world, but what _is_
fundamental in the world _always_. The time factor is no longer
important. Not the _temporal prius_ but the _real prius_ is what they
seek. The idea of a temporal origin of things gives place to that of
eternal being, and the question finally emerges, _What is the real
substance that constitutes the universe?_


    (None of the Cosmologists, except the later Pythagoreans,
    lived in the motherland of Greece. Philosophical activity
    during this period took place in the colonies. The map shows
    the cities which were the centres of philosophy and the homes
    of the philosophers as indicated.)

=The Greek Monistic Philosophies.= Turning back to our classification
on page 20, we see that the earliest Greek philosophers emphasized the
monistic tendency, which had become so prominent in Greek religion.
This group of monists was composed of the Milesians, Xenophanes, the
Eleatic School, and Heracleitus. The course of reasoning of these
early thinkers is naïvely simple, and like all naïve thought, it
contains such contradictions that the modern reader is likely to become
impatient with it. The value of the study of the philosophy of these
early Greeks is entirely historical. Its historical value, however, is
very great, for it is a revelation of the culture of the Greece of that
time, it throws light on many of the teachings of Plato and Aristotle,
and most of all it contains the germs of modern metaphysical problems.
These first Greek philosophers raised the question, What is the
constitution of the substance of the universe? Their answers are naïve
solutions to the historical metaphysical “riddle.”

The Milesians, who form the earliest philosophical school in European
history, seem to have assumed two facts as self-evident about the
substance of the universe: (1) There is a single cosmic substance
identical with itself, which is the basis of all the changes in
nature; (2) Moving matter is the same as life. The Milesians were
quite unconscious that these two assumptions were contradictory, but
the contradiction impressed their successors――Xenophanes, Heracleitus,
and the Eleatics; and divided them in their development of philosophy.
Matter which keeps identical with itself is the Unchanging[8] and is
brought into opposition with Life, the Changing, or matter which moves.
The question for Xenophanes, Heracleitus, and the Eleatics――and indeed
for all future philosophy――was: How can the changing processes of life
be explained by an unchanging substance?

Xenophanes, who was more of a religious reformer than a philosopher,
was so absorbed in the first of these assumptions that he developed
it for his purpose in his practical social reformation to the entire
neglect of the second assumption. The Eleatics, however, to whose city
Xenophanes had come, could not leave his doctrine in its one-sided
and undeveloped form. They accepted his teaching of the divine
Unchangingness of the universe, but this compelled these profounder
thinkers to offer some explanation of the natural processes of change.
Change to them cannot really exist. Heracleitus, on the other hand,
was impressed with the aspect of life that is expressed in the second
assumption of the Milesians――living matter is moving matter. He
therefore maintained in direct opposition to the Eleatics, that
the changing, living processes of nature alone are real. The two
contradictory assumptions that lay so mutually indifferent in the
Milesian doctrine thus became the basis of a sharp metaphysical
controversy between Heracleitus and the Eleatics. The substance of
the world is permanent, change is an illusion, said the Eleatics.
The substance of the world changes, permanence is an illusion, said
Heracleitus. Either all things are permanent or all things change.
These early philosophers had no wealth of empirical knowledge nor of
psychological reflection upon which to draw, and it is not strange
that they should take extreme positions and be blind to their practical

=1. The Milesian School.= Of all the Greek cities in the sixth century
B. C. Miletus was the wealthiest and most prosperous. It was one of
the Ionian colonies and was situated on the coast of Asia Minor, and
it alone was able to preserve its autonomy as neighbor of the warring
eastern empires. Not until the battle of Lade was it captured and
destroyed (494 B. C.). From two generations of philosophers history has
preserved three names,――Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes. The school
is called indifferently the Milesian or the Ionic school. The proximity
of Miletus to Ephesus, Colophon, and Clazomenæ (as a glance at the
map will show) explains the influence of the Milesian school upon the
doctrines of Heracleitus, Xenophanes, and Anaxagoras. Undoubtedly the
contact of the Milesians with the Orient and Egypt had brought to them
knowledge and correct scientific observations of many sorts, especially

Thales (b. 640 B. C.) was a member of one of the leading families of
Miletus, and lived during the flourishing period of the city under the
tyranny of Thrasybulus. He is counted among the seven Wise Men, and
belonged to the rich commercial class. He probably engaged in commerce
and traveled in Egypt. He was versed in the current learning, predicted
an eclipse, and was acute in mathematics and physics. Probably he never
committed anything to writing. Aristotle’s comments are the only data
about him.

Anaximander (611–545 B. C.?) was an astronomer and geographer; he made
an astronomical globe, a sundial, and a geographical map. He was an
intimate disciple of Thales and wrote _Concerning Nature_, which is
referred to as the first Greek philosophical treatise. Nothing is known
of his life.

Anaximenes (560–500 B. C.?) was the disciple of Anaximander. One
sentence is preserved of his writings.[9]

=The Milesian Philosophy.= The Milesians lived upon the seacoast, and
the changes of the sea and air must have deeply impressed them. They
had an intellectual curiosity to find the cosmic matter which remained
identical with itself and at the same time moved. (See p. 22.) They
were not, therefore, interested to discover the chemical composition
of matter, but to find what matter was most moving and therefore most
alive. Thales said that it was water; Anaximenes, air; and Anaximander,
the Apeiron, or the Unlimited. Their respective choices were determined
by what seemed to possess the most mobility and the greatest inner
vitality. Thales thought water possessed this quality. Water is
always moving. Thales saw it moving. It therefore has life in itself.
Anaximander felt that no object in our perceptual experience would
fully explain the ceaseless mobility of nature, and he called it
the Unlimited or the Indeterminate――the Apeiron. It is a mixture in
which all qualities are lost. The changes in nature are endless, and
therefore the single cosmic substance, from which they come, must be
endless as well, for “from whatever source things come, in that they
have their end.” We learn that this is just the reason for Anaximenes
choosing the air for the single underlying cosmic substance. The air is
the most changeable thing and is Unlimited.[9]

Both Thales and Anaximenes still held to the traditional polytheism
of the Greek Epic. Anaximander rises above them in this respect. This
conception of the Unlimited, to which his scientific search led him, is
regarded by him as Deity. He calls it “the divine” (τὸ θεῖον); although
he speaks of it in the neuter gender it is, nevertheless, the first
European _philosophical conception of God_. It is the first attempt to
conceive of God as purely physical and yet without any mythical dress.
In Anaximander the Milesian monism has a religious aspect.

=2. Xenophanes, the Religious Philosopher= (570 B. C.). The scientific
monism of Anaximander was after all only expressive of that religious
dissatisfaction, first voiced by the Wise Men, against the Hesiod
cosmogony and the immorality of the Homeric myths. Now for the first
time a positive conflict between religion and philosophy arose through
Xenophanes, the rhapsodist of Colophon. Colophon, an Ionian city near
Miletus, was noted for its obscene and cruel religious practices,
and when his native city capitulated to the Persians, Xenophanes
charged its feebleness to its immoral religion. He went to Magna
Græcia, and, disguised as a musician, he wandered about for sixty-seven
years through its length and breadth declaiming in song against
the anthropomorphism, the mystic ecstasies, and the general social
practices of the Greeks. He finally settled in Elea, southern Italy
(see map), and on this account he is sometimes called the founder of
the Eleatic school.

Xenophanes’ influence upon the thought of Greece was threefold:
(1) He preached the Milesian philosophical monism to the people of
Greece in the form of a religious monism; (2) He carried this doctrine
from eastern Greece (Asia Minor) to Western Greece (Magna Græcia);
(3) He was the connecting link between the Milesian and the following
Eleatic school.

=The Philosophy of Xenophanes.= Based on one of the Milesian
assumptions, viz., a single cosmic substance remains identical with
itself in nature, Xenophanes felt that he had a right to set down two
principles about nature.

1. The single primordial substance below the changes of nature is
God. The reality below nature which Thales conceived to be water,
Anaximander to be unlimited substance without a name, Anaximenes to be
air, was said by Xenophanes to be God. The important point here is that
Xenophanes has not given the Greeks a spiritualistic conception of God;
but that he has positively stated that the substance of the universe
is an object of religious devotion. He calls the cosmic substance
God instead of calling it water, Apeiron, or air. It is a material
thing, and yet it is an object of reverence. He ascribes to this God a
spherical form, and yet also mental power of omniscience. God is “one
and all” ἓν καὶ πᾶν, and yet he is “one god, the greatest among gods
and men, neither in form and thought like unto mortals.” The positive
conception of God hangs confused in the mind of Xenophanes. He is
scarcely a monotheist, nor yet a pantheist. He is a hylozoist, who
conceives the underlying cosmic substance to be an object of religious

2. The single cosmic substance below the changes of nature is
_un_changeable. To the Milesians the more moving is matter, the more
alive is it. Life and activity are the same thing. To Xenophanes
this is not the case, but, on the contrary, the opposite is true.
He conceives God to be a definite sphere that is unchangeable and
homogeneous. The material substance, God, always remains the same.
“He has no need of going about, now hither, now thither, in order to
carry out his wishes; but he governs all men without toil.” Xenophanes
thus becomes the forerunner of the Eleatic school.

=3. Heracleitus, “the Misanthropist” and “the Obscure”= (about
563–470 B. C.). Heracleitus was a native of Ephesus, belonged
to the aristocracy, and suffered at the hands of the democracy.
He wrote a treatise that was difficult to understand even by the
ancients, some fragments of which are preserved. He was called the
“weeping philosopher” because of his misanthropy, and also the “dark
philosopher” because of the obscurity of his writings. He was a
theorist rather than a physicist, and his doctrines foreshadow our
modern physical theories. His name is coupled with that of Parmenides
in the deep impression he made upon Greek thought. From his complacent
and gloomy retirement he looked forth upon the world around him with
profound contempt, as did the Stoics after him.

a. =Heracleitus’ Doctrine of Absolute and Universal Change.= The wonder
which the Ionians felt, that nature phenomena change into one another,
found its liveliest expression in Heracleitus. He not only found that
mutability was the primal aspect of nature phenomena, but he also
pointed out that human experiences also had their rapid and complete
transitions. Especially was he fond of citing the changes of opposites
into each other. But what shows his development over the early Milesian
doctrine was his isolation of the aspect of change from the Milesian
conception of the cosmic matter, thereby affirming that abiding
permanence is an illusion. It is one thing to affirm that reality is
essentially change; it is another to universalize change by affirming
that the permanent has no existence. The Milesian doctrine was too
naïve to go as far as that. Heracleitus piles up figures of speech
to show that there is no permanence whatever. All existing things are
only “becoming”-things, passing-away things. Being is always becoming,
about-to-be. The only unchanging thing is change. “You cannot step
into the same rivers, for fresh waters are ever flowing in upon you.”
“God is day and night, winter and summer, war and peace, satiety and
hunger.” “All things flow” (πάντα ῥεῖ). What abides and deserves the
name of Deity is not thing, but motion――Becoming.

b. =Fire is the Cosmic Substance.= Here we come to a difficulty in
explaining the doctrine of Heracleitus because of the confusion in his
own mind. He evidently goes a long way toward conceiving the cosmic
substance as an abstraction――as the process of change. But he could
not be wholly abstract. He stops and tells us that the cosmic substance
is fire, and he probably means by fire just the same sort of thing
as Anaximenes meant by air. Fire is the cosmic substance. It is the
essence of all material things because it is the most mobile. But,
after all, the fire of which Heracleitus is thinking is not a localized
thing, like the fire on the hearth. For the hearth fire in a sense is
ever identical with itself. The fire which Heracleitus means is ever
darting, ever transforming material. To sum up: Heracleitus does not
mean by fire an abstraction like the law of change; he does not mean,
on the other hand, a material ever remaining like itself: he does mean
a material, but a transforming material.

c. =The Definite Changes of Fire.= Heracleitus makes some acute
observations about the characteristics of the changing fire. The
Milesians had been content to observe atmospheric changes and to
name condensation and rarefaction as the forms of cosmic change.
Heracleitus goes farther and emphasizes definite relations of change.
The succession of changes always remains the same. Their definite
relation is the only permanence in the world, and Heracleitus’
conception foreshadows the modern conception of the uniformity of the
law of nature. The changes are (1) fateful, (2) rational, and (3) just.
They show that the world is a destiny, a reason, and a justice. This
identification of ethical and logical qualities with the physical
betrays the undeveloped condition of the thought of Heracleitus.

In general, there are two characteristics to be noted with reference
to Heracleitus’ conception of a definite succession of changes:
(1) the changes are always a harmony of opposites; (2) and the changes
are in a closed circuit. The process of change is not a flow in one
direction like a river over its bed, but it is a movement in two
opposite directions. By change Heracleitus means not only a passing
into something else but a passing into the opposite. Everything is the
union of opposites, and everything is the transition point of opposites
about to separate. The flux of things is thus poetically conceived as
a war of things, and this war is “the father of all things.” This unity
of opposites has an equilibrium that illudes us into thinking it is
permanent. The universe is an invisible harmony, divided into itself
and again united. Investigate life and there are antitheses everywhere.
War is life. The second general characteristic of the succession of
changes is their closed circuit. Fire changes into all things, and all
things are changing back into fire. These two movements are called the
“Upward Way” and the “Downward Way.” Downward, fire changes through
air and water into earth. Upward, earth changes back to water, air, and
fire. With every change, there is counter-change, action is accompanied
by a reaction. “Men do not know how that which is drawn in opposite
directions harmonizes with itself. The harmonious structure of the
world depends upon opposite tension, like that of the bow and the lyre.”

d. =The Practical Philosophy of Heracleitus.= Heracleitus was more
of a metaphysician than a physicist, and his chief concern was in the
formation and the practical application of his theory of change. He
looked upon man as a bit of cosmic fire struck off and imprisoned in a
body of earth, water, and air. After death this fiery soul is released
and absorbed in the cosmic fire. In his present state man has a divided
existence: the life of the soul, or the fire of the reason; and the
life of the senses of the imprisoning body. The reason retires from
the illusions of sense, and sees in its aristocratic isolation how
illusory the sensations are. For the senses tell us that their objects
are permanent, while the reason sees through this deception to the
changingness of the world. Thus the beginning is made by Heracleitus
in distinguishing the reflections of the reason from sensations. Truth
is for the first time systematically set over against opinion. The
reasonable Wise Man resigns himself to whatever happens because he
knows that it is fateful, wise, and just. The Wise Man recognizes
that all is change, and he is happy because he sees providence in the
vicissitudes of his own life. Thus in the aristocratic hate, which
Heracleitus holds against democracies, he makes conformity to law the
only way to happiness. The reason of Wise Men, and not the senses of
the multitude, must be the true guide of society.

Heracleitus was a profound observer and theorist. His physical theory
foreshadowed the modern theories of natural law and of relativity; his
practical theories reappear in the psychology of Protagoras and the
ethics of the Stoics.

=4. The Eleatic School.= The town of Elea to which Xenophanes came in
the course of his wanderings had been recently settled by the Ionian
refugees from Phocæa, a great maritime city in Asia Minor, which had
been conquered by the Persians (543 B. C.). Elea is now Castellamare
on the west coast of Italy. It is celebrated as the birthplace of
Parmenides and Zeno, who founded the so-called Eleatic school.

a. =Parmenides= (b. 515 B. C.).

Parmenides wrote about 470 B. C. He is represented as a serious and
influential man, with a high moral character. He exercised strong
influence upon such philosophers as Plato and Democritus, and was a
political power in the city of Elea, of which he was a native. He was
not a stranger to the Pythagoreans. The large fragment of his poem is
the most ancient monument extant of metaphysical speculation among the

Parmenides takes the doctrine of Xenophanes with great seriousness,
and what Xenophanes says about the Godhead, Parmenides says about all
things. Xenophanes’ religious weapon of an unchanging cosmic substance
becomes in the hands of Parmenides an academic doctrine of science
and the basis of logical controversy. Parmenides used the conception
of Xenophanes in his great didactic poem, _The Way of Truth and the
Way of Opinion_, with the evident purpose of refuting the theory of
Heracleitus. The fragment of the poem reveals the driest abstractions
dressed in rich poetry. As a thinker Parmenides is the most important
in this period. Zeno was the friend and pupil of Parmenides.

(1) =The Cosmic Substance is Being.= The first assumption in the
Milesian doctrine――that there is a single matter that ever remains
identical with itself――was so self-evident to Parmenides that he
does not attempt to prove it. He assumes it, as if it were cogent to
everybody. However, he explains what he means by Being in a negative
statement: Not-Being, or what is not, cannot be thought. Being and
thought are so correlated that they are the same. Thinking always
has Being as its content, and there is no Being that is not thought.
_Being_ = _Thought_. This explanation of Parmenides’ identification of
thought and Being may be put in this logical form:――

  All thinking refers to something thought, and therefore has Being
      for its content;
  Thinking that refers to nothing, and is therefore contentless,
      cannot be;
  Therefore, not-Being cannot be thought, much less can it be.

These propositions look very abstract, and make us believe that we are
to plunge immediately into a kind of German idealism. But Parmenides
leaves us in no doubt that he is one of the hylozoists of his time.
Being is indeed thought, but Being is also matter. We may therefore
amend our equation to _Being_ = _Thought_ = _Matter_. Being is what
fills space, and all Being has this and only this property. All Being
is therefore exactly alike, and there is only one, single Being. There
are no distinctions in Being. By not-Being Parmenides means empty space
or that which is not material. So that Parmenides’ assumption of Being
as the cosmic substance means this: all that exists, including thought,
fills space; and all that does not exist does not fill space.

Being, the cosmic substance, is one, eternal, imperishable, homogeneous,
unchangeable, and material. When men see the world as it really is,
when they see its cosmic substance, they see it to be one continuous
material block. The world is not made up of parts with intervals of
nothing between them, but it is a solid, homogeneous whole. The cosmic
Being is a timeless, spaceless Being with no distinctions. The form of
Being is spherical. It is cosmic-body and cosmic-thought. This is the
assumption of Parmenides, which is so self-evident and so cogent to him
that he does not attempt to prove but only to explain it.

(2) =Other Things than the Cosmic Substance (Being) have no Real
Existence.= If Being is space that is filled, not-Being is empty space.
However, empty space has no existence. But the existence of a plural
number of things depends upon the existence of empty spaces between
them. Furthermore, the motion of things and the change of things depend
upon the existence of empty spaces in which they can move and change.
Since empty space is not-Being and has no existence, the plurality of
things and the motion and change of things have also no existence. They
are illusions. The nature-world, with its richness of qualities and
variety of motions, before the logic of Parmenides “folds up its tents
like the Arabs and silently steals away.”

This logical drawing out of one of the aspects of the Milesian
conception of the cosmic matter has a curious result. The Milesians and
Xenophanes sought to explain by the cosmic substance the many nature
changes. But when in the hands of Parmenides the cosmic substance is
all of reality, then there is no reality to the changes. Consequently
the concept formed for the explanation of change has so developed as
to deny the existence of change. The cosmic substance excludes all
origination and decay, all space and time differences, all divisibility,
diversity, and movement. There is only one real, all else is illusion.

But what can we say of the varied world of nature as it appears to us?
Do we see, hear, and touch many things and motions? In Part II of his
poem he raises the question, Suppose man takes the world of change as
real how must he explain it? He answers by using the explanation of
Heracleitus. But these changes of eye and ear belong to the world of
sense, and Parmenides is talking, in Part I of his poem, about the real
world or that world known to thought. Parmenides insists as strongly
as did Heracleitus that the reason and not the sense shall be our guide
to what is real. Yet he arrives at exactly the opposite conclusion from
Heracleitus as to what the reason sees as real. The senses show us only
the many and the changing. The reason shows us nothing of the sort, but
only permanence and unchangingness.

b. =Zeno= (b. 490–430 B. C.).

Zeno was born in Elea. He was contemporary with those who tried to
reconcile the two sides of the metaphysical controversy,――Empedocles,
Anaxagoras, and the Atomists. He wrote in prose in the form of question
and answer. This is the beginning of the dialogue literature, which
in the time of the Sophists, Socrates and Plato, was richly developed
and became known as dialectic. On the Greek stage during the time of
Pericles it came forth in dramatic form through Æschylus, Sophocles,
and Euripides.

=The Philosophy of Zeno.= Zeno was the active controversialist of the
school of Elea, and he was not a constructive philosopher. He offered
no contribution to advance the thought of Parmenides. He appeared
rather as the master of logical argument in defense of his predecessor,
by tearing to pieces the arguments of his opponents. The opponents
that Zeno is attacking are the Atomists of Abdera, who were his
contemporaries, rather than Heracleitus. His contribution was negative
and formal, but it was nevertheless effective and searching. His
arguments and paradoxes will, however, lose their cogency unless
it be kept in mind that he is trying to show how absurd magnitude,
multiplicity, and change would be in discontinuous space such as the
Atomists describe. While his paradoxes have been attacked again and
again, they still have effectiveness against atomic theories.

His arguments are against magnitude, multiplicity, and motion. There
can be no magnitude, because a thing would then be both infinitely
small and infinitely great. There can be no multiplicity of things,
since they would be both limited and unlimited in number. There can be
no motion, because (1) it is impossible to go through a fixed space;
(2) it is impossible to go though a space that has movable limits; and
(3) because of the relativity of motion. The dilemmas which he proposed
of Achilles and the tortoise, the flying arrow at rest, and the bushel
of corn are classic.[10]

=The Results of the Conflict between Heracleitus and Parmenides.=
1. One important result of this final conflict between the inconsistent
motives in the Milesian teaching was that reason was contrasted with
sense, reflection with experience. The more fully the philosophers
developed their doctrines, the more their doctrines became contrasted
with the opinions of unreflecting people. At first the contrast
appeared in this naïve form: that what they thought was right, and
what others thought must be wrong, if others differed from them. Then
the contrast came in this form: that reflection gives the true and
sensations the false. Thus reflection came to have such conclusiveness
that it gained independence. The philosopher began to feel the
supremacy of reason, to assert that he has truth, to call unreasoned
belief by the opprobrious name of “opinion.” This is curiously
illustrated in the case of Heracleitus and Parmenides. Their opposing
conceptions of the cosmic substance are claimed to be the result of
reason, while each calls the other’s theory “opinion.”

2. Another result was that in the Greek thought the monistic theory was
found to be useless in the study of nature. These early monistic views
led up as necessary steps to pluralism, but they were not in themselves
serviceable. The imperfection in the Milesian teaching appeared in the
impassable gulf between Heracleitus and Parmenides. It now remained
for the last Cosmologists to see if, on the basis of pluralism, they
could not reconcile the preceding views and at the same time obtain a
satisfactory metaphysics of nature.

3. The third result of the controversy between the Eleatics
and Heracleitus was that the peril from the Orphic Mysteries was
averted,――not immediately, nor in a year’s time, but after many years.
Philosophy became established. The Greek reason now had an object
of interest, in a sharp scientific issue. Mystery was not crushed,
but subdued. The mental life of the future Greek had a topic for its
reflection which supplanted, when the time came, its emotional interest
in the supernatural.

                              CHAPTER III


=Efforts toward Reconciliation.= The theories of Heracleitus and
Parmenides were in part fantastic and in part abstract. They were the
two motives of the Milesian school that had been developed so far as to
reveal their inherent inconsistencies.

Physical theories now began to spring up which modified the
metaphysical theories; and these produced results which while not
so logical, were less distant from the facts of life. The Eleatics
had so conceived Being as to deny the existence of changing phenomena
perceived in the world of nature. On the other hand, Heracleitus had
so emphasized the universality of change that there was little reality
left in the particular changes. The later Heracleitans were Heracleitus
gone mad. “We not only cannot step into the same river twice, but
we cannot do it once.” All the preceding philosophers had been
monists. The time had therefore come for thinkers to abandon monism
if thought were to have any usefulness. Monism, whether in the form of
Heracleitus’ doctrine of universal change or of Parmenides’ doctrine of
universal permanence, had merely set aside the problem about the Many.
Of course, a more satisfactory solution of this problem could come only
when human life had become riper and had more experiences upon which to
draw. It was natural for the Greek philosopher to look now to pluralism
for his solution, when he turned away from monism. _At the outset
pluralism tried to reconcile the two extremes to which the Milesian
motifs had gone._ Its later development in the doctrine of Protagoras
was as extreme as that of the monists.

=The New Conception of Change of the Pluralists.= Facing the fact that
change has to be explained and cannot be denied, change is conceived
by the pluralists to be not a transformation but a transposition. It is
an alteration in position of the parts of a mass. Birth, growth, death,
are only such changes of transposition. Empedocles, to whom the origin
of the doctrine is attributed, says, “There is no coming into Being
of aught that perishes, nor any end for it in baneful death, but only
a mingling and a separation of what has been mingled. Just as when
painters are elaborating temple offerings,――they, when they have taken
the pigments of many colors in their hands, mix them in a harmony,――so
let not the error prevail in thy mind that there is any other source
of all the perishable creatures that appear in countless numbers.” All
origination, then, is a new combination, and every destruction only a
separation of the original parts. The Pluralists thus make Heracleitus’
conception useful in the explanation of nature.

=The New Conception of the Unchanging of the Pluralists――The Element.=
But there must be a permanence in order that there be change. This can
only be conceived by assuming that there are many original units that
in themselves do not change. The mass of the world is ever the same;
there is no new creation. Being consists in many elements, and not in a
single block. So to Empedocles in particular is accredited the priority
of forming the conception of the element, which has occupied an
important place in science. The element is conceived by the Pluralists
as unoriginated, imperishable, and unchanging. It has all the qualities
that Parmenides attributed to his single Being, only the elements may
change their place and suffer mechanical division. The Pluralists thus
make the Eleatic conception useful in the explanation of nature.

=The Introduction of the Conception of the Efficient Cause.= The
Eleatics had detached the quality of motion from Being. The Pluralists,
in reintroducing it, were obliged to make it a separate force in order
to get movement into their universe. The elements are changeless. How
can they move? They cannot move themselves. They are moved from without.
Here in Empedocles is made a differentiation of great importance――the
concept of the moving or efficient cause. However, this does not appear
in this early time in conceptual but in mythical-poetic and undefined
form. With this differentiated efficient cause, can Pluralism be
considered to be hylozoism? Authorities differ. Certainly this new
concept shows the beginning of the breaking up of hylozoism and
the beginning of the formation of a mechanistic conception of the
universe. But probably the Pluralists were as much hylozoists as their
predecessors, the monists. Their efficient causes are material like
the elements, and they are poetically and indefinitely described. They
are in every case conceived as the material which has a lively or an
originating motion. We must keep in mind that all the Cosmologists
except the Eleatics believed movement to be life.

=Summary of Similarities and Differences in the Theories of the

The general common characteristics of the theories of the Reconcilers:――

  1. A plurality of the elements.

  2. An efficient cause which explains the shifting of the elements
     in causing the origin, growth, and decay of the world of nature.

The general differences between the theories of the Reconcilers:――

  1. In the number and quality of the elements.

  2. In the number and quality of the causes.

=The Pluralistic Philosophers: Empedocles, Anaxagoras, Leucippus, and
the Later Pythagoreans.= With the Pluralists we pass completely out of
the sixth century B. C. The lives of the hylozoistic Pluralists span
the fifth century, and cosmological interest extends later. Even the
Eleatic Zeno lived from 490 to 430 B. C. Empedocles lived from 490 to
430 B. C., Anaxagoras from 500 to 425 B. C., and the Pythagoreans and
Leucippus later. When the cosmological movement was still virile in the
Grecian colonies, and even before it had reached its systematic form
in Democritus of Abdera, the anthropological movement had begun in the
motherland, in Athens. The Persian Wars are the dividing line between
the two periods, but only because they denote the beginning of the new
movement in Athens, not the end of the old movement in Asia Minor and
Magna Græcia. Contemporaneous with the Pluralists was the brilliant Age
of Pericles, when the Sophists were carrying education to the people
and Socrates was teaching in the Athenian market-place. By the middle
of the fifth century B. C. there was the liveliest interchange of
scientific ideas throughout Greek society, and the contemporaneousness
of the Pluralists with one another and with the Athenian philosophers
shows this in many similarities in their doctrines and in many
polemical references. There are four schools of Reconcilers, of which
Empedocles, Anaxagoras, Leucippus, and the later Pythagoreans are the

_Empedocles_[11] (490 to 430 B. C.) was the first Dorian philosopher, a
partisan of the democracy, and belonged to a rich family of Agrigentum.
He became a distinguished statesman, but he later fell from popular
favor. Then, in the garb of a magician, he traveled as physician and
priest through Magna Græcia. His political affiliations would prevent
his direct connection with the Pythagoreans, but he showed that the
Pythagoreans influenced him, and his career is an imitation of that of
Pythagoras. He was acquainted with the theory of Heracleitus, and he
knew Parmenides personally. He was one of the first rhetoricians, and
was probably connected with a large literary circle. He is the first
and most imperfect representative of the reconciliation. The story of
his suicide by leaping into Mt. Ætna is supposed to be a myth.

_Anaxagoras_ (500–425 B. C.), a man of wealthy antecedents, was much
esteemed, was born in Clazomenæ in a circle rich in Ionian culture,
but was isolated from practical life. He declared the heaven to be his
fatherland and the study of the heavenly bodies to be his life’s task.
He went to Athens about 450 B. C., where he formed one of a circle
of notable men of culture. He lived in Athens under the patronage of
Pericles, but in 434 B. C. he was expelled. In Athens he was intimate
with such men as Euripides, Thucydides, and Protagoras. He represents
the first appearance of philosophy in Athens.

The life of _Leucippus_ is almost unknown. He was probably born in
Miletus, visited Elea, and settled in Abdera.

_The Later Pythagoreans._ After the Pythagoreans as a religious and
political body had been defeated at Crotona, they lost their prestige
and were scattered to the four winds. They were beaten in the battle
of Crotona (510 B. C.) and dispersed about 450 B. C. Pythagoras died
504 B. C. His scattered followers, these later Pythagoreans, formed
a school of philosophy which had its centre at Thebes. Destroyed as a
religious body the members lost their superstitions and turned their
attention to philosophy, astronomy, mathematics, medicine, and physics.
As mathematicians and as astronomers they are the most notable among
the ancients. Philolaus is the probable originator of their philosophy
of numbers. This school disappeared about 350 B. C. Pythagoreanism
reappeared later under the name of neo-Pythagoreanism.

=The Philosophy of Empedocles.= Empedocles conceived the number of
elements to be four,――earth, air, fire, and water,――an arbitrary
enumeration, which nevertheless persisted in the popular imagination
throughout the Middle Ages. He chose this number of elements because
they included all the elements in his predecessors’ theories. By the
transposition and new arrangement of these elements he could account
for the variety of the world. The efficient causes that make these
different separations and mixtures are Love and Hate, two mythical and
sensuous entities. Love is the cause of the union of things, Hate of
their separation.

This is the general metaphysical theory that Empedocles uses to explain
the physical world and especially physiological phenomena; and he
is probably best known as the author of the aphorism, “Like attracts
Like.” For example, he conceives the physical world as continuously
repeating itself through four cosmic stages, each centuries long. The
world moves therefore in cyclical evolution, in which Love is bringing
like elements together only to be followed by stages of the separation
of the like elements by Hate,――an endless cosmic procession.

But Empedocles’ interest in cosmology was only a part of his dominating
interest in the organic world. He held some interesting evolution
theories. His special interest in human physiology led him to frame the
first theory of perception. Man is composed of the four elements, and
he can know the universe around himself because Like in him attracts
Like in the external world. The earth forms our solid parts, water the
liquid parts, air is the vital breath, and fire is the soul. The blood
contains the four elements, and is therefore the real carrier of life.
If we perceive anything, it is because we have qualities similar to
that thing. The element in us attracts the like element outside. He
fancifully explained how parts of each element pressed upon parts of
like elements――earth upon earth, air upon air; and how these clung
together until sundered by Hate. The senses have only a partial number
of elements, while the reason has them all; therefore sense knowledge
is partial when compared with rational knowledge.

=The Philosophy of Anaxagoras.= The pluralistic conception of the
nature-substance, that was originated by Empedocles in this crude
form, got a more complete character in the hands of Anaxagoras. For
Anaxagoras took exception to the arbitrary assumption of Empedocles
that the elements were only four in number. How could this world of
infinite variety be derived from only four elements? We must postulate
as many elements as there are qualities, if by merely shuffling
them――by various combinings and separatings of them――their infinite
number is to be explained. _There are a plural number of elements
qualitatively distinct._ Every perceptual thing is composed of these
heterogeneous parts or qualities or elements. But how do you know an
element when you find one? Always by the fact that when you divide
it, its parts are homogeneous. The elements are, therefore, those
substances that divide into parts that are like one another; while the
perceptual objects of nature can be divided into parts that are unlike
one another. They are called “seeds” by Anaxagoras, and designated
as “homoiomeriai” by Aristotle and later philosophy. This was a time,
it must be remembered, when chemical analysis had not developed, and
when mechanical division and change of temperature were the only means
of investigation. Form, color, and taste were the characteristics
that differentiated elements. So Anaxagoras was content to name as
elements such things as bones, muscles, flesh, marrow, metals, etc.
The countless elements or qualities are present in a finely divided
state throughout the universe. Every perceptual object has present
in it all elements, even opposite elements. It is, however, known and
named by the element that prevails in it at any particular instant. For
example, fire contains an element of cold but the fire element prevails.
Opposites attract, and the qualitative change in a thing consists in
the predominance of some other quality already present in it.

For the efficient cause of the combining and separating of the elements
_Anaxagoras selected one of the elements_. He called it the Nous, the
Greek word for mind or reason. Many historians have therefore concluded
that Anaxagoras is the author of an idealistic philosophy. Aristotle
says of Anaxagoras that he “stood out like a sober man among the random
talkers that had preceded him.” But both Plato[12] and Aristotle are
disappointed with the way in which Anaxagoras handles the conception
of Nous and, as a matter of fact, the Nous, as Anaxagoras uses it,
is not less hylozoistic than the Love and Hate of Empedocles. In the
Nous Anaxagoras threw out a thought that was too big for him. Its
introduction, however, marks the breaking up of pre-Socratic hylozoism.
Anaxagoras wrote down the word, Nous, from which comes the contrast
with matter. He stripped the mythical dress from the efficient cause
of Empedocles and substituted Nous, because he wished to emphasize the
unity of the cosmic process. The Nous is one of the elements; it is
“thought-stuff,” it is a corporeal substance. It differs from all the
other elements in that it is the finest, the most mobile, and has the
power of self-motion. If among the early schools motion is life, here
we find the new conception of self-motion as most alive. Instead of a
departure from hylozoism, this is a rehabilitation of hylozoism in more
perfect form. The Nous is the cause of the harmony and order of the

=The Philosophy of the Atomists――Leucippus and the School at Abdera.=
Only circumstantial evidence is left to testify to the early beginnings
of the school of atomists at Abdera. About 450 B. C., owing to the rise
of Athens and the great victory of Cimon over the Persians, the Ionian
civilization on the coasts of Asia Minor had a new lease of life, and
there was a renewal of scientific activity in the cities. The influence
of the Milesians appeared and Anaxagoras’ doctrine, which had been
widely disseminated, began to have great vigor. Among the philosophers
of this section was one about whom we know very little, except that
his name was Leucippus and that he was the father of atomism. Miletus
was probably his native place, and after visiting Elea he settled
in Abdera in Thrace. We know that the polemic of Zeno was directed
against contemporary atomism; and we know the theories of the pupils
of Leucippus, of Protagoras, and of Democritus, in whom the doctrine
of atomism culminated. Probably the theory of Leucippus was that
the cosmic substance is composed of _an infinite number of elements
quantitatively distinct_, in opposition to Empedocles’ theory of a
fourfold division as well as against Anaxagoras’ theory of an infinite
number of qualities. Atomism in this early form represents one of the
ways that Greek thought took in reconciling the conflicting claims of
Heracleitus and Parmenides. The doctrine of atomism will be presented
fully in its greatest representative, Democritus.

=The Later Pythagoreans.= Had the Pythagorean band remained what
Pythagoras had designed it, had it not had its political aspirations
crushed at the battle of Crotona and the members scattered far and wide,
it would probably have for the historian of to-day only the importance
of a local band of political and religious reformers. The adversity at
Crotona was, however, a blessing in disguise for the Pythagoreans and
for Greece, for it turned the Pythagoreans from religious politics to
science and metaphysics. _In the first place_, they became the authors
of an important metaphysical theory. This was the theory of numbers,
which influenced Plato, became the foundation of a vigorous school in
Alexandria in the Hellenic-Roman Period, flourished during the Middle
Ages, and united with the doctrines of the Jews in what is called the
Cabala. To-day the magic numbers persist in our superstitions. _In
the second place_, the Pythagoreans turned to science,――especially
to mathematics and astronomy,――and in these two branches became very
celebrated in ancient times. Their astronomical theory had a most
extraordinary history. With modifications it was preserved by Plato
and Aristotle, and later became the basis of the Ptolemaic system
of astronomy. This system was the scientifically accepted system
for fifteen hundred years, when it was supplanted by the Newtonian
theory. It is a most singular fact that the cosmological background
of the Epics of Dante and Milton is the astronomical system of the
Pythagoreans as expressed in the Ptolemaic system.

The Pythagoreans, be it remarked, were “Reconcilers,” but they were
more. The original ethical motive of Pythagoras influenced them as
scientists. They did not attempt to formulate a science of ethics, but
the ethical motive was always back of their mathematics and astronomy.

=1. The Pythagorean Conception of Being.= The Pythagorean conception
of reality is the most advanced of any cosmological theory in this
period. The Pythagoreans were hylozoists, but they come the nearest
to transcending the hylozoism of their time. The influence of the
later Pythagoreans, whom Plato met in Italy, upon Plato shows that
Pythagorean philosophy forms a link between the cosmology of the
colonies and the following comprehensive systems of thought.

The important position in the evolution of Greek thought occupied
by the Pythagoreans depends upon their conception of that Being that
abides amid all change. Pythagoreanism is usually spoken of as “the
number theory.” This is, however, only a suggestion of its import. For
numbers are not to the Pythagoreans what the different kinds of cosmic
matter were to the early monists, or what the several elements were to
the pluralists,――Empedocles, Anaxagoras, and the atomists. Neither are
they abstractions merely, such as we use in scientific reckoning. The
Pythagoreans were pluralists and hylozoists whose plural numbers look
beyond hylozoism.

There are two kinds of reality in the Pythagorean teaching: (1) numbers,
and (2) unlimited space. The essential nature of things, the Being
that abides, consists in the shaping of this unlimited space into
mathematical forms. The numbers or the forms are the limited aspect of
Being; space is the unlimited aspect of Being. Actual Being consists
in the union of the two aspects. Being therefore has two roots, each
being necessary to the other. The later Pythagoreans, indeed, called
attention to the fact that their numbers were not the same as the
different kinds of matter out of which the other Cosmologists conceived
the world to be fashioned. Numbers are not the stuff out of which
the world of nature-objects have arisen, but rather are forms of
nature-objects. Numbers are the patterns or models of things; things
are the copies or imitations of numbers. Unlimited space furnishes the
material; numbers or mathematical forms furnish the mould; the result
is a material thing. Here we find the early basis of Plato’s doctrine
of Ideas, and the correlation in Aristotle of Form and matter. If we
were to draw an analogy between the Pythagorean conception of numbers
and any part of the preceding cosmological teaching, we should find
the similarity between the numbers and the earlier efficient causes
and not between the numbers and the elements. For example, Pythagorean
numbers have a function more nearly like Love and Hate than like the
four elements in Empedocles’ teaching. On the other hand, Pythagorean
unlimited space is analogous to the Empedoclean elements.

=2. The Pythagorean Dualistic World.=[13] The Pythagoreans carried out
their conception of this twofold reality both in their mathematical
studies and in their conceptions of natural objects. It was from such
investigations that they were impressed by the dualism in everything
and so reached their principle. They observed in mathematics that
the number-series consists of alternate odd and even numbers. The
odd numbers are limited and the even unlimited (because they could
be divided). They explained the elements as determined by mathematical
forms: fire has the form of a tetrahedron; earth, of the cube; air,
of the octohedron; water, of the icosahedron; and an additional fifth
element, the æther, of the dodecahedron. They carried this dualism
further by identifying the limited form with the odd, with the perfect,
and with the good; while the unlimited was identified with the even,
the imperfect, and the bad. Some of the Pythagoreans even sought to
trace out this dualism in the many realms of experience, and they
originated a table of ten pairs of opposites: limited and unlimited;
odd and even; one and many; right and left; male and female; rest and
motion; straight and crooked; light and dark; good and bad; square and

There is a system in the Pythagorean theory not to be found in the
teaching of the other reconcilers. Although all the numbers, and with
them all the world, are divided into two opposing classes, these are,
nevertheless, united in a harmony. The harmony of a dualism reminds us
of Heracleitus’ harmony of antitheses. All series of numbers have their
unity and harmony in the odd-even number, One. To the Pythagorean the
opposites of life――the good and the bad, the limited and unlimited, the
perfect and imperfect, the odd and even――exist in an harmonious whole.

As the Pythagorean school grew in years, the realms to which it
applied its theory increased. While we have stated its metaphysical
theory first in order to give it prominence, the school came to the
formulation of its theory through its investigations in mathematics,
music, and astronomy. Then it applied the theory to geometrical
structures and to other fields with a procedure that was arbitrary and
unmethodical. Yet so universal was the application of the theory that
it lived to have superstitious authority for the human mind in the
Middle Ages.

=3. Pythagorean Astronomy.= The formation of the world-all began from
the One, or central fire, which attracted and limited the nearest
portions of the unlimited. This fire became the centre of the world-all,
which had the shape of a hollow globe. Around the central fire the
celestial bodies move in globular transparent shells. Their movements
are concentric to the fire. This is the beginning of the astronomical
theory of the crystalline spheres. The world-all is divided into three
concentric portions. The periphery or outer rim is Olympus, where all
is perfection and where the gods dwell. Between Olympus and the moon is
Cosmos, where all is orderly and all movements are in circles. Between
the moon and the central fire is the region called Uranus, where all
is disorderly and the movements are up and down. The earth is in this
lower section of disorder, and moves in a transparent globular shell
like the celestial bodies around the central fire. The number of the
heavenly bodies is the perfect number, ten. The world-all is conceived
as a heavenly heptachord, with the orbits of the seven planets as
the sounding strings. Upon this notion was founded the harmony of the
spheres, which harmony is not heard by man because it is constant.
In modifying this astronomical theory and then accepting it, the most
important change that Aristotle made was to conceive the earth as at
the centre of the world-all with the sun revolving about it. This was
the form in which the Ptolemaic astronomers received it.

=Historical Retrospect.= In these many searchings of the Cosmologists
for a reality amid the changes of nature, what result can be found
significant for the Cosmological Period and valuable as a bequest for
the following periods? Are these crude scientific speculations of the
early Greeks to be looked upon as out of connection with their own
age and the age to come? The Cosmological philosophy had two definite
results. _In the first place_, with reference to its own century and
a half, it saved the intellectual world of Greece from the slavery of
a mystic religion. When we started with Thales in 625 B. C., we saw
Greece confronted with two perils. One was political, and consisted
of internecine troubles and of danger from its warlike neighbors. This
peril grew still greater, until at the very end of the period it was
averted at the battle of Salamis. Greek arms banished this political
peril. But the other peril was subjective and therefore more menacing.
The mysteries of the Orphic religion would have quenched the Greek
genius had not its rational philosophy given the Greek intellectual
life new conceptions. _In the next place_, it bequeathed to the
succeeding period a fairly well-drawn contrast between a world of
intellectual order and a world of sensuous disorder. The thought of an
order in nature in conformity to law was developed into clearness in
the Cosmological Period. The order was obtained from the astronomical
studies of these scientists. Reasoning from the order that they saw, to
an ordering principle, Anaxagoras and the Pythagoreans almost, but not
quite, gave to that principle a teleological meaning. The principle of
permanence that these nature scientists sought was found in the great
and simple relations of the stars, whose revolutions are the expression
of order and constancy. Impregnated as they were with their elemental
hylozoism, the Greek Cosmologists were as yet not quite able to find
an orderly permanence in the terrestrial world with its manifold
and intersecting motions. Yet Greek thought was looking forward. The
Cosmologist had already contrasted the terrestrial as the imperfect
with the celestial as the perfect peace and permanence. The step was
but a short one from the contrast of the two realms to the effort to
bring them into a unity. Thus in this astronomical and concrete form
a distinction of value was obtained that had lasting ethical and
æsthetical significance, not only upon Plato and Aristotle, but upon
modern thought.

                              CHAPTER IV

              THE ANTHROPOLOGICAL PERIOD (490–399 B. C.):
                         THE PHILOSOPHY OF MAN

=An Historical Summary of the Anthropological Period.= The
Anthropological Period begins with the Persian Wars, 490 and
480 B. C. After the battle of Marathon there sprang up a distinct
impulse toward knowledge all over Greece; and detailed investigations
were begun in mathematics, astronomy, biology, medicine, history,
and physics. Science, which had up to this time been unorganized and
undifferentiated, now became sharply divided into the special sciences.
But what makes the Persian Wars of particular importance is that they
are the starting-point in the motherland of the movement in the study
of man and human relations. The battle of Marathon does not therefore
mark the end of the Cosmological movement and the waning of the Greeks’
interest in science; but it marks rather the beginning in Athens of
the Anthropological movement. The Cosmological and the Anthropological
Periods overlap.

The Anthropological Period easily divides itself into three epochs from
the point of view of its political affairs:――

  1. The Persian Wars, 490 and 480 B. C.
  2. The Age of Pericles, 467–428 B. C.
  3. The Peloponnesian Wars, 432–403 B. C.

The first epoch is the birth and the last epoch the decadence of pure
Greek civilization, while the thirty-nine years of the supremacy of
Pericles cover the ripest period of Greek life. In this connection
it is well to mention Hegel’s thought that nations do not ripen
intellectually until they begin to decay politically (“The owl of
Minerva does not start upon its flight until the evening twilight
has begun to fall”). Plato and Aristotle do not come until after this
period, when Greek political life had begun to wane.

The following table is a partial list of the notable men of the period,
with the date of their _birth_:――

  Æschylus, 525 (dramatist before Pericles).
  Sophocles, 495 (dramatist during Age of Pericles).
  Phidias, 490.
  Euripides, 480 (dramatist of the Sophistic and the new learning).
  Herodotus, 475.
  Thucydides, 471.
  Xenophon, 430?
  Aristophanes, 444.
  Anaxagoras, 500.
  Empedocles, 495.
  Protagoras, 480.
  Democritus, 470.
  Sophists (many), 450–350.
  Socrates, 469.
  Antisthenes, 440.
  Aristippus, 435.
  Plato, 427.

=The Persian Wars and the Rise of Athens.= The blow that had been
impending over Greece during the sixth century had been struck,
but had been averted in the Persian Wars of 490 B. C. and 480 B. C.
The powerful and splendidly organized “barbaric neighbor,” who had
threatened the civilization of the Greek cities of Asia Minor for so
many years, had swept over the Hellespont into Greece and had been
turned back. It has been pointed out[14] that the Persian Wars were
only one of a series of conflicts between Oriental and Occidental
civilizations; and that the strip of Asia Minor along the Mediterranean
has always been a disputed borderland between irreconcilable
hemispheres. First was the mythical invasion of Troy; then the Persian
Wars; then came the arms of Alexander conquering Persia; then the
invasion of the Mohammedans to the very walls of Tours; then the
Crusades; and to-day we still have the eternal Eastern question with
us. While each of these conflicts was momentous for Europe, none was
more important in its issues for the world than the Persian Wars. For
through those wars did Greece first come to a consciousness of herself.
Never before did she realize her united strength,――the greatness of
her inherited instincts. The fifth century B. C. was the most clearly
conscious moment of Greece, if not of the world. Classic Greece――the
Greece whose thought became fundamental to western civilization――was
born from the Persian Wars.

The centre of gravity of the Greek world was shifted after the Persian
Wars from Miletus to Athens, from the colonies to the motherland.
Indeed, the history of classic Greece is almost entirely the history
of Athens. Of the large cities of Greece,――Corinth, Ægina, Sparta, and
Thebes,――Athens was naturally the locality where Grecian civilization
would centre when the commercial and maritime colonies fell. The Ionian
race, by whom it had been settled, was a mixed race, and by nature very
versatile. Before the Persian Wars it had been under the wise tyranny
of Pisistratus, who took the first steps toward the founding of an
Athenian empire. In the period between the two wars, Themistocles had
built the Athenian fleet and thereby made Athens the great maritime
and naval centre of Greece. There was, indeed, every reason why Athens
and not some other Grecian city should become the new centre of classic
Greece. The Spartans were oligarchical, stern, unintellectual, and
offensive to strangers; the people of Thebes were held under a strict
aristocratic government, the people of Thessaly were aristocratic,
luxurious, and stagnant; but the Athenians were democratic, social to
strangers, literary, liberal, frugal, and alert. After the Persian Wars
the power of the Delian confederacy became more and more centralized
in the city of Athens. Controlling the fleet of the Confederacy for her
own defense and using the rich treasury of the Confederacy for her own
municipal improvements, Athens under the brilliant rule of Pericles,
who summoned scholars and artists from all Greece, was the only city
of Greece where the Renaissance of Greece was possible. Athens had
become the eye of Greece, and the following description of the Greek
Renaissance is especially significant in regard to her.

=The Greek Enlightenment.= Following the Persian Wars there arose
throughout Greece a great national intellectual movement. The years
mark the Greek Renaissance, the Age of Pericles, and the time when
the Greek masterpieces in literature and plastic art were produced.
Perhaps the greatest Greek production was Athens itself, whose cultural
influence was personified in the scholar-politician, Pericles.

1. _The Impulse for Learning._ In the first place there was a general
impulse throughout Greece for education. Everybody seemed to want to
know what the schools of Cosmologists had had to say about science. The
Greeks now had wealth and therefore leisure; they had come into contact
with the Oriental peoples and therefore they had their curiosity
excited. Learning, which had been confined in the Cosmological Period
to a few scholars in the schools, now came forth into the market place.
Learning in the fifth century B. C. was drawn from the schools into
publicity. The objects of interest had greatly widened and the learning
of the scholars began to filter into the general consciousness. Whereas
in the sixth century philosophy was a matter between learned men, in
the fifth century we find Socrates and the Sophists teaching whosoever
would listen.

2. _The Practical Need of Knowledge._ But mere curiosity will not
entirely explain the Greek intellectual movement. There had grown up
an imperative practical need for knowledge. In Athens and other Greek
cities the democracy of the fifth century B. C. had supplanted the
tyranny of the sixth century. Duty and inclination together forced
the citizen into active participation in public affairs. In these
democratic cities family tradition and character were no longer
sufficient for success; but it became generally recognized that the
most useful and successful man was the educated man. The complex
relations existing between states and between the citizens in the
states made education absolutely necessary for the politician. Nowhere
was the need of an education more imperative than in Athens; nowhere
was the need more easily filled. In a very short time after the Persian
Wars the social position of science changed to one of power; and the
inner character of science changed from the study of nature to the
study of ethical and political problems. Scientists became teachers of
eloquence, for the citizen now needed to be an orator and a rhetorician.
Statesmen and generals must know how to persuade. Courts of law were
public, their proceeding oral, and personal attendance was therefore
required. There was no man in Athens who might not be condemned, if
he could not personally in court refute falsehoods and disentangle
sophistries. Besides, to be beaten in debate was as disgraceful in the
eyes of the public as to lose one’s cause.

Two classes of men, with an importance hitherto unknown, appear in
Greek history,――the rhetoricians and the dialecticians. _Rhetoric_ was
public oratory, necessary for the public defense of one’s rights, or
for the maintenance of one’s dignity, or for the gratification of one’s
ambition. The _dialectic_ was, on the other hand, argument employed in
private between two persons, usually friends, to unravel an obscurity,
to reduce an opponent to silence, to exercise one’s self in the mastery
of a subject, or to sift evidence. The dialectic, therefore, became
a distinct mental pursuit for men who had a natural defect in public
speaking or rhetoric. Besides rhetoric and dialectic, there grew up
somewhat later what was called the eristic. _Eristic_ was polemical
argument consisting of catch-phrases and logical subtleties. It was
taught as an art of adroit argument.

The great Greek tragedies occupy a place in the development of
the dialectic and the satisfying of the need of knowledge. Science,
through the drama, transformed the old religious views and brought
its new interpretation to the common people. The development of the
fifth-century drama out of the epic of the sixth century was not merely
a change in architectonic, but a transformation of its ethical and
religious spirit. The germ was in the previous ethics, lyrics, and
gnomics, yet it was fully amplified in the drama. Instead of a summary
of deeds the tragic poet makes his characters talk, defend, refute,
accuse, lament, etc. This gives rise to exigencies that require the
dialectic. In the conflicting duties and in the justification of the
wrong done by the wrong suffered, dialectical skill is called for in
the drama to weigh the ethical motives in a manner that the epic does
not demand. Thus the drama of Æschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides was a
link between the lyric and gnomic poetry of the sixth century B. C. and
the dialogue literature of Plato.[15]

3. _The Critical Attitude of Mind._ The most important characteristic
of this period is neither the intensified social curiosity nor the
increased social needs. It is rather ethical in its character. It is
the “critical” or “individualistic” attitude of mind. This began with
the “free city feeling”――the consciousness of the free man in a free
state――in the first half of the fifth century B. C., and developed
rapidly into individualism and critical skepticism toward the end of
that century.

If one were to compare in a single word the history of Greece before
the Persian Wars with that after the Persian Wars, he would say that
the former was traditional and the latter was critical. Nevertheless,
at the beginning of the Cosmological Period Greek traditional customs
were being weakened by attacks upon them. Religious ideas were
threatened by the Cosmologists. The subordination of the gods to the
cosmic substance was an attack upon the established polytheism of the
Epic, and the attack became direct in the hands of Xenophanes. It was
“the divestiture of Nature of its gods by science.” The Mysteries were
a part of this departure from the traditional religion. But the new
and more critical scientific attitude toward traditional religion was
only incidental to the growing criticism of law. In the days of the
oligarchy there were two self-evident political assumptions: (1) that
law has validity because it is law; (2) that obedience to law is for
one’s advantage. When, however, the political disturbances began, a
self-conscious individualism developed among the Greeks. The Gnomic
Poets had been the first to appeal to the individual consciousness
of the people. All through the sixth century B. C. Greece had stern
experiences, and the individual found himself questioning the sanctity
of tradition and of time-honored laws. There was no longer a tacit
acquiescence in established order, and the claims of authority were no
longer, as formerly, unchallenged. Confidence in political assumptions
began to waver, and a critical attitude was taken toward laws which
changed from year to year. The appearance everywhere of the tyrant, the
vigorous personality who could set up his will against the will of a
traditional aristocracy, impressed the age with the power of individual
egoism. The seat of authority was shifted from tradition to the
individual reason, and all institutions were brought under individual

The Persian Wars mark the point of transition from the traditional
attitude to the critical attitude of the Greek mind. In themselves the
Persian Wars were a great moral uplift, and were a return for a time
to the traditional institutions. The changes long since begun were
suspended for a time in the united effort of the Greek nation. But
the tendencies became more insistent when the danger was past. The
Persian Wars had cleared the atmosphere of its pessimism and had given
freedom to the intellectual movement. Then later, in the heat of that
intellectual movement, individualism and criticism came to fullest
fruitage. Doubt grew into positive skepticism.

In the last part of the fifth century B. C., critical skepticism became
universal. In religion the anthropomorphism of the Epic passes under
ridicule. Critias declares that the gods are the invention of shrewd
statecraft. In literature the Epic, in which the gods interfere in all
human details, yields to the naturalistic descriptions of Herodotus
and Thucydides, and to the personal note of lyric and satirical poetry.
More important than all was the change of attitude toward the laws.
Instead of the law having a divine authority, the individual placed
himself above it and sat in judgment upon it. The tribal conception
of guilt, that when a member of a tribe sinned the whole tribe would
suffer at the hands of the gods, had given way at the time of the
Persian Wars to that of personal responsibility and retribution. It
was noted that laws change in the same state, that they differ in
different states, and that moral customs have a great variety. All laws
seem therefore to be made by man, and the question then arose, Is there
any law which has universal validity? Is there any real _prius_ or
“Nature” of laws? In the Anthropological Period, the important question
was about the real _prius_ or “Nature” of human institutions, just
as in the Cosmological Period the question was about the real _prius_
or “Nature” of the world of physical phenomena. Yet the question
of the Anthropologists was a part of the Cosmological problem. The
Cosmologists had called the real _prius_ or “Nature” (φύσις), that
which ever remains like itself, and it is now asked if “Nature” in
itself contains any unchanging and eternal politico-moral law. The
contrast is thus drawn for all time between natural law and statute law,
and the distinction dominates this period. Human legal institutions
were regarded as only makeshifts, and often even as contradicting the
divine law. The conflict between natural or divine law and human law
appears worked out in the _Antigone_ of Sophocles.

The same interest in the foundations of morality and moral relations
opened up the whole subject of the power of human consciousness to
discern such relations. It was a logical necessity that turned thought
from a review of man’s relations with his fellows to a criticism of his
own constitution. What is man? What are his faculties? Has he any that
give him the truth and the reality? Or do they all deceive him so that
he cannot detect the real from the sham of life? What are the mental
faculties used in disputation, and how are they to be trained so that
man may rise to an eminence of culture among his fellows? The Greek
thus turned to a criticism of his knowing faculties, and the positive
social and moral demands made such a criticism necessary to his
well-being. Greek science took a strong anthropological direction, and
logic, ethics, psychology, rhetoric, etc., took the place of natural
science subjects. The Greek in the fifth century B. C. was interested
in man――in his inner activities, his ideations and volitions. Of
this critical and individualistic attitude Euripides is the literary
exponent; Pericles is the political personification; Socrates and the
Sophists are its philosophical expression.

=The Significance of the Sophists.= The Sophists were the direct means
of bringing this intellectual change into Greek life. They were the
bearers of this Greek Enlightenment, and they were the missionaries
that spread its influence far and wide. This significance of the
Sophists to the culture of Greece was never understood by the historian
until Hegel set them in their true light. The dark side of their
character has been painted in blackest colors, so that the word
“Sophist” has carried an opprobrium with it. They were, however,
the exponents of the Greek illumination, and not the cause of it.
They therefore share all its weaknesses and its excellencies; and
any judgment upon them is a judgment upon the time itself. The most
accurate description of them is that they were the exponents of Greek
culture in the age of Pericles; the worst that can be said of them
is that they stimulated the Greek spirit in directions in which it
should have been controlled. Their true work was to carry the gospel
of Greek individualism everywhere; their fault lay in the fact that
too frequently they confused individualism with hypocrisy, and led
their hearers to believe that appearance knowledge is the same as true

The word “Sophist” had a development among the Greeks. It first
meant a wise man (the Cosmologists, from Thales to Anaxagoras, were
Sophists); then a teacher of wisdom; then a paid teacher of wisdom.
Moreover, among the Sophists there is a difference between the early
Sophists, who were inspired by a distinct desire to spread culture,
and the later Sophists, who were mercenary teachers, and had on that
account degenerated into mere quibblers. In general, the ground of
the contemporary hostility to the Sophists was the hatred of the
conservative and reactionary party, to which belonged Aristophanes
the satirist, Æschylus “the father of tragedy,” and the exponent of
institutional morals, and Xenophon, who stood for a complete return to
a patriarchal state. This party was very bitter against the exponents
of the new and radical spirit springing up in Greece. All the
philosophers of the new learning, including Socrates, suffered at the
hands of those who would conserve the old traditions. In particular,
the accusations against the Sophists of this period were: they were
cavilers; they taught for pay; they represented the universalizing of
education against the old aristocracy; they menaced institutions.

The Sophists were then primarily and, on the whole, the transmitters
to the people of the culture of the time. They were the teachers of
the humanities to that age. They were not technically philosophers,
but were interested in philosophical questions. Protagoras was the only
Sophist who was the author of any fruitful philosophical conceptions.
Gorgias made occasional essays into philosophy. But besides Protagoras
and Gorgias no other Sophists can be classed as philosophers, except
possibly Hippias and Prodicus.

The Sophists introduced a profusion of knowledge among the people. They
made investigations in language, logic, and the theory of cognition.
They taught literature, history, grammar, the principles of the
dialectic, the eristic, and rhetoric――all subjects concerned with the
art of human expression. They studied and taught the special subjects
concerned with human relations, like ethics, the theory of knowledge,
psychology, and politics. Anything that had a place in Greek culture
was systematically and skillfully presented by such men as Protagoras,
Gorgias, Hippias, and Prodicus, who were men of encyclopædic erudition.
The Sophist took the education of the Greek child at the age of sixteen,
after he had received his elementary training, first at home and then
at the hands of the teacher at school. The Greek boy’s education was
naturally divided into two parts: gymnastics for the body and music for
the soul. Under music was included geometry, performance on the lyre,
pronunciation, the chorus and poetry, astronomy, physics, and geography.
At the age of sixteen he got his instruction by meeting public men,
such as the Sophists, in the street, in the Agora, and other public
places. It was at this period of his life that the Sophist took
his education into those higher branches which were necessary for
his success in politics, society, and law. Thus the instruction of
the Sophist was usually for a specific purpose, and thus rhetoric,
dialectic, and the mental sciences were in great demand.

=The Prominent Sophists.= The list of Sophists is a long one. The first
to call himself a Sophist and a teacher of public virtue was, according
to Plato, Protagoras of Abdera. He was also probably the most eminent
of the number. He was born about 480 B. C. Polus and Thrasymachus
were the last; and Aristotle mentions the Sophists as in the past.
So that we may conclude that as a band they existed only one hundred
years (450–350 B. C.). Already at the beginning of the fourth century
(400 B. C.) their importance had greatly diminished. In this hundred
years we find some fourteen or fifteen prominent Sophists. There is,
first, Protagoras, whose theory of knowledge is not only in itself a
contribution to thought, but also of importance as a factor in forming
the materialist atomistic doctrine of the school of Abdera,――the
school of Leucippus and Democritus; Gorgias of Leontini, the head of
an embassy to Athens, a man of eloquence, whose style was imitated
by Thucydides and whom we might have studied in connection with the
Eleatic school, for he carried out still further the doctrines of Zeno;
Prodicus, the pupil of Protagoras and Gorgias, a brilliant man and a
traveler, whose method of instruction was used by Socrates; Hippias,
contemporary of Prodicus, remarkable for his mathematical, physical,
and historical erudition, and a man full of vanity; the brothers,
Euthydemus and Dionysiodorus, teachers of eristic; the rhetorician
Thrasymachus and the rhetoricians of the school of Gorgias, viz., Polus,
Lycophron, Protarchus, and Alcidamus; Evenus, rhetorician, moralist,
and poet; Critias, the leader of the thirty; Callicles and Hippodamus.

Many of these men were reformers. Some (as Alcidamus) were opposed
to the institution of slavery in Greece; some to marriage; some (as
Lycophron) to the nobility; some to the inequality of property; while
Hippodamus was the first to propose an ideal state.

The method of argumentation employed by the Sophists was first to
perplex and confuse their opponents as to what had been taken in the
past as valid. Then they made their opponents ridiculous by drawing out
consequences from their statements. Their conclusions were often verbal
and their witticisms vulgar.[16]

=The Philosophy of the Sophists.= The philosophy of the Sophists was
only the logical following out of the general attitude of the time
toward all traditions. The more the old physical theories fell into
disrepute, the more the changes of the world of politics seemed to
indicate instability everywhere, the more opinions differed on the same
subject,――so much the more did the possibility present itself to the
Sophists of taking two contradictories as equally true, and so much the
faster did the whole Greek world lose faith in any valid truth and in
any certain knowledge. The dogmatism of the Cosmological Period is thus
naturally followed by the skepticism of the Anthropological. Beginning
with the cautious and enlightened relativism of Protagoras, there grew
up a volume of criticism, until the later Sophists applied destructive
doctrines to everything. The best representatives of the philosophical
aspect of the Sophistic movement were Protagoras and Gorgias.

=1. The Relativism of Protagoras.= Although theoretically skepticism
is the centre and logical result of the Sophistic movement, the
teaching of the greatest Sophist, Protagoras, cannot be strictly called
skepticism. Philosophically, skepticism is not the denial of this
or that particular belief as true, but the denial of the existence
of any truth whatever. Protagoras refused to make any positive
statements――either in denial or affirmation――about ultimate truth,
because, as he said, we have no insight whatever into the nature of
absolute truth. Our knowledge is confined to motions and the phenomena
of motion. His teaching would be called in modern times relativism or
phenomenalism. The fundamental principle beneath such a doctrine is
that knowledge is human――never absolute, but always relative.

The relativism of Protagoras was based on two principles: the first
is that of universal change, which he borrowed from Heracleitus;
the second is, so far as we know, original with Protagoras,――that
sense-perception is the only source and only kind of knowledge. In
Heracleitus’ doctrine change is universal, each term of a series of
changes passing into another. The senses are a part of this flux, and
since they are, according to Protagoras, the only source of knowledge,
knowledge is ephemeral and unreal. Reason is extended and continued
sensation. A movement external to the organism stimulates an organ of
the body and is met by a reacting movement of the organ. The result is
perception. Perception being itself a process, each present moment of
perception is the only knowledge. We cannot know things as they are
in themselves; there is no insight into the Being of things over and
above our perceptions. On the contrary, reality is not only what it
perceptually appears for each individual, but also what it appears at
each individual momentary perception.

What is the result of such a theory of knowledge? Protagoras expresses
it well in his famous words, “Man is the measure of all things.” It is
absolute sensationalism. There is no truth except that of the present
moment. Each man sees the truth for himself at the moment of his
perception. It does not matter if another has a different perception.
It does not matter if at the next moment his perception differs. Each
perception exists at the moment, is true, and at that moment is the
only perception. There are as many truths as there are individuals,
as many as there are moments in an individual’s life. Each individual
is the measure of the true, the beautiful, and the good; for a thing
that is good or true to one man may be harmful or false to another.
Metaphysical discussions are vain, for the only reality to prove is
the content of the present moment. All causes and ultimate criteria are
impossible to be known.

=2. The Nihilism of Gorgias.= As the philosophy of Protagoras
teaches that everything is equally true, that of Gorgias teaches that
everything is equally false. Gorgias declared that Being, knowledge,
and the communication of knowledge are impossible. Starting from the
dialectic of the Eleatic, Zeno (as Protagoras started from that of
Heracleitus), Gorgias maintained: (1) Nothing is; (2) If anything
is, it cannot be thought; (3) Even if it can be thought, it cannot be
communicated. The knowledge of the thing is different from the thing;
the expression of the thought in words is different from the thought

=The Ethics of the Sophists.――The Application of their Critical
Theory to Political Life.= The ethical-political life was of paramount
importance to the Greek. When the later Sophists began to scrutinize
it from the point of view of the individual, their skepticism became
a direct menace to Greek political institutions. The individual became
a law unto himself, and the citizen set himself up as superior to
society. Since the time of the Gnomic poets the content of both moral
and political laws had become more and more a subject of reflection;
and at the time of the Sophists the whole foundation of law was called
in question. When the individual man is declared to be the measure
of all things, all legal and moral institutions hang in the balance.
All rules of conduct and all laws become then artificial and merely
conventional products; and just as there is no standard of truth or
error in knowledge, so there is no standard of good citizenship or
morality. The good man is the prudent man; the good citizen is the
successful and powerful man. Might is right.

Thus the Sophists came to teach such doctrines as these: Laws are
made by the strongest, represent their will, and must be obeyed if
they cannot be disobeyed; it takes a strong man to make a law, but a
stronger to break it; the laws are only conventions invented either
by the many to restrain the powerful few, or by the few to enslave the
many. Even religions are devices of the crafty to enchain the people.
Obedience to law is therefore a matter of personal interest. Happiness
is the most important consideration of the individual. Sometimes
personal interest conflicts with law and law does not then bring
happiness, for criminals are often the most happy. It is not obedience
to law that brings happiness but (Polus) a shrewd calculation of ends
with no regard to right or law. The Sophists made no attempt to put
their theories into execution. They expressed the sentiments of the
Greek people, and Greek public opinion then pointed to segregation and
individualism. Plato said that, after all, the Greek public was the
great Sophist.

It was thus that the distinction arose between positive law and natural
law. Reflecting upon the differences among the constitutions of the
Greek states and upon the constant alterations in these constitutions,
the Sophist concluded that the greater part of them were of human
invention. They were positive laws and were to be contrasted with
natural law, which was such law as is binding on all men equally.
Natural law is therefore of greater worth than positive law, and is
set in antithesis to it. Sir Henry Maine says in his _Ancient Law_ that
the Greeks did not found any system of jurisprudence, because natural
law was always referred to by them in arguing any question. The only
way to find natural law is to strip it of the mass of conventional laws.
The word “nature” has been in its history one of the most ambiguous
of words; and Protagoras’ teaching that “nature” consists of primary
ethical feelings is hardly a complete and satisfactory definition. The
more the theory of the Sophists limited “nature” to human nature, and
to human nature in its capricious and individual aspects, so much the
more did statute laws appear antagonistic to natural law and seem to be
detrimental to it.


1. Although a skepticism and a criticism, Sophistry was a relative
advance over the traditionalism and dogmatism of the Cosmologists.

2. Sophistry turned the attention to man and his interests as the
principal object of inquiry.

3. The Sophists stood for freedom of thought by pointing to individual
consciousness as the final court of appeal.

4. Although the Sophists differed very much in their teaching, they had
a mutual dependence and common presuppositions.

5. The Sophists disregarded the likenesses and emphasized the
differences among men.

6. The Sophists built up their doctrines upon the basis of a
sensationalist psychology.

                               CHAPTER V

                       SOCRATES (469–399 B. C.).

=Socrates and Aristophanes.= There were two ways in which the other
elements in Greek society tried to meet the Sophists. One was led by
Aristophanes, the other by Socrates. Aristophanes was a rich nobleman
who looked back with pride upon the good old times. He would have a
government of the best rather than of the many. He would destroy the
Sophistic movement, and he wrote many satires upon Greek life with that
end in view. His satire, _The Clouds_, is of especial interest in this
connection. Socrates represents the other way in which the Sophistic
movement was met. He accepted the Sophistic movement, but he read more
deeply into it than the Sophists themselves, and he tried to find its

The extraordinary personality of Socrates is the central figure in
this age of critical inquiry. For the first time do we find philosophy
centred in a great personality, and there is no more picturesque figure
in history. The exposition of his doctrines is essentially a biography.
He wrote nothing himself, and the literary sources of his life and
teaching are found in Xenophon’s _Memorabilia_ and _Symposium_, in
the writings of Plato, and in those of Aristotle. They throw different
lights upon his character, and together give a fairly complete picture.
Xenophon records the sober, practical, and popular side of Socrates,
caught in casual conversation. Plato idealizes Socrates, especially
in his later writings, and he reveals Socrates’ character on its
imaginative and spiritual sides. Aristotle is more discriminating
and less sympathetic, but always reliable because he is a generation

=The Personality and Life of Socrates.= Alcibiades described Socrates
as like the little cases sold upon the streets of Athens, which
were made in the shape of Silenus and contained a carved image. The
description was apt, for Socrates had a fine spiritual nature within
an astonishing shell. He was short, stout, and thick-set, with his
head set upon his shoulders. His eyes were bulging, his nose flat with
upturned nostrils, his mouth big and grinning, and his beard disordered.
His protruding belly was set upon slender legs, and his dress was
slovenly. Nevertheless his geniality, his fine humor, the unselfishness
which he manifested unstintedly toward his friends, exercised an
irresistible charm upon all the remarkable personalities of his time.
Over the Athenian youth his influence was very great, and he surrounded
himself with a large circle of admirers, to the neglect of his home
cares and his wife Xantippe. While the habit of the Sophists was to
talk in private and for pay, Socrates was distinguished from all his
contemporaries by the fact that he would talk in the public places with
any one, rich or poor, and without remuneration.

His life had its ascetic side. He was frugal in his needs. He went
barefoot, summer and winter, and his clothing was the scantiest. He was
abstemious in food and drink. While on occasion at the feast he would
drink more wine than any one else, yet he never was seen intoxicated.
The ascetic side of his nature is seen in his refusal to cultivate
gymnastics, because such training required much food. He tried to limit
his wants. He was a model of hardiness, self-denial, and self-mastery,
as many an anecdote will show. “No one ever saw or heard anything
wicked in Socrates,” said Xenophon. “So pious was he that he never did
anything without first consulting the Gods, so master of himself as
never to prefer pleasure to goodness, so sensible as never to err in
the choice between the better and the worse. In a word, he was the best
and the most happy of men.”

At times Socrates seems intellectually stiff and prosaic. This may
have been incidental to his asceticism, or the result of it. He was
indifferent to the sensuous, and he explained the beautiful in terms
of the useful. He refused to walk out because trees and flowers could
teach him nothing. Art offered no suggestions to him, for it is useless
even if it is inspired. His unpoetic and prosy nature was perhaps not
due so much to his lack of taste as to his original mind overflowing
with ideas. He was not perceptive, but reflective. He said that
astronomy is a mystery, geometry is land measuring, which any man
can do, arithmetic is merely permissible, and physics something to be
neglected. “Ye may judge how unprofitable these studies are by seeing
how men differ among themselves.” He was once found dancing at home
by himself when he was expected to be at a dance with others, and his
practical nature is also revealed in the fact that at the feast he was
reminded of its utility.

The influence of Socrates’ dæmon or divine voice upon him is very
interesting. He felt himself divinely called by his dæmon (_Apology_,
29, 33 f.) to unremitting labor in the moral perfecting of society
through an examination of himself and his fellows. Socrates was moved
by a deep religious feeling in all that he undertook. This divine
leading is what he designates as his dæmon. He speaks of it as “the
God” or “the gods” which speaks to other men through the oracles. This
divine voice was ever with him, but as to specific actions it only
warned him against the injudicious action, never incited him to the
correct action. Specifically it did not tell him what to do so much as
what not to do. When he was about to prepare a defense beforehand that
he should make to the judges, his dæmon interposed, and so he relied
upon the inspiration of the moment. On one of his campaigns he was
observed to stand in communion with the dæmon the whole day, unmindful
of the weather.

As to the education and intellectual training of Socrates, one must say
that it formed a factor of less importance in his life. The uniqueness
of Socrates’ character is only in small measure to be accounted for by
his environment. He was one of those men who would have been great in
any time. He got but little from his father, who was a sculptor, or
from his mother, who was a midwife. He was not strictly an educated
man, although he had the early education of an Athenian youth, and
of course no one could grow up a citizen of Athens in the time of
Pericles without absorbing its culture. His formal education probably
consisted of music and gymnastics, and he was certainly familiar
with the preceding schools of philosophy. Socrates lived a long life
of contented poverty, and he dedicated his life to the public. Two
inherited instincts were strong within him, which alone will account
for his career: (1) his strong religious persuasion that he was acting
under a mission from the gods; (2) his great intellectual originality,
as shown in his teaching and in his power over others.

There are few striking events in Socrates’ career, except his death. He
was born in Athens in 469 B. C. He began his divinely appointed work of
redeeming Athens from the dangerous tendencies of the Sophists at the
commencement of the Peloponnesian War. He served in three campaigns as
a soldier. He also acted, when called upon, as prytanis, or lawgiver,
although he stood aloof from political activity. At the advanced age
of seventy he was accused of corrupting the youth and denying the gods.
His life thus far would have seemed to be one of unimpeachable moral
and brilliant intellectual monotony. But his death illuminates his
life and makes it heroic, because his death shows what in reality his
life was,――the tragic epitome of the Athenian social situation. His
death was not due to himself, although he could have escaped, nor to
his judges, although they could have acquitted him. It represents the
inevitable conflict between the Greek ideal of universalism and Greek
individualism. Its value is therefore historic. His particular accusers
were actuated by personal animosity. Behind them were many others whom
his efforts at reform and his bitter irony had made hostile. Behind
all was the voice of Athenian conservatism against the Athenian culture
movement. The charges against Socrates were in part true, and besides
as a moral reformer he had been a public nuisance. Yet his death was a
judicial murder. He was found guilty by his judges. To the sentence of
death proposed by Meletus, one of his accusers, Socrates had the right
to propose an alternative sentence, and the judges must choose between
the two. Had Socrates proposed a small fine, it would probably have
been accepted by the judges. He proposed, however, that Athens provide
for him at the public expense, arrogant as he was in his complacent
sense of virtue. The judges then could do nothing else than pronounce
the sentence of death. This was delayed thirty days on account of the
sacrifice at Delos. Even then Socrates could have easily escaped from
jail. But he refused to do the law a wrong, and drank the hemlock in
May, 399 B. C.

Professor G. H. Palmer points out the irony that characterizes the
life and death of Socrates. He stands for the harmony of opposite
qualities. He devoted himself to the good of Athens, and yet Athens
put him to death. In the service of the eternal was he sacrificed.
His own personality is an exemplification of this irony. In appearance
his un-Greek physical ugliness is in contrast with his beautiful Greek
soul; he was the most austere and yet the most sensitive of men; he was
always a serious moralist and yet always a jester; he was scarcely out
of Athens and yet he was a world’s man; he was the world’s philosopher
and yet he had no system of thought and left no writings.

=Socrates and the Sophists.= _In his point of departure_ Socrates is
in entire agreement with the Sophists. He is a critical philosopher.
Criticism is the starting-point of his philosophy as a whole, and he
begins each particular argument afresh with a critical examination
of its grounds. This means that he, like the Sophists, turns to the
individual reason as the final court of appeal. Like them he refused
to accept any traditional dogma unexamined, and he commenced a critical
inquiry into all kinds of conceptions. Socrates and the Sophists are
one in the spirit of the Greek illumination in their critical attack
upon intellectual problems. Socrates’ famous saying that “virtue is
knowledge” could equally well be put into the mouth of Protagoras;
and the doctrine of Protagoras that “man is the measure of all things”
could be ascribed to Socrates without inconsistency.

_In his conclusions in one respect_ Socrates arrives at the same point
as the Sophists,――but in only one respect. He agrees with them as to
the worthlessness of the results of natural science. Natural science
cannot be worth while, because it does not lead to moral excellence.
The meagre results of the Cosmologists show the worthlessness of
natural science to man. In this one respect Socrates’ criticism leads
him to skepticism like the Sophists,――to a skepticism of natural

_But in his conclusions as to the value of human nature_, Socrates set
himself entirely against the outcome of the reflections of the Sophists,
and indeed of his time. In the absorbing anthropological topics of his
time, he laid the foundations of a constructive philosophy against the
skeptical conclusions of the Sophists. In human matters he maintained
that there is a validity to truth and a possibility of absolute
knowledge. He admitted with the Sophists that there are obscurities in
human thought, and that obviously the standard of truth does not belong
to any one man. But while the Sophists emphasized these contradictions
and reasoned therefore that no valid truth existed, Socrates cut
his way through such contradictions and obscurities, emphasized
the identity in men, and maintained that the truth is in all men
together,――in humanity. It exists as an ideal to be striven for by men
together. When Protagoras says that “man is the measure of all things,”
he means by “man” the individual man; while Socrates, if he had used
that expression, would have meant “humanity.” And Socrates means
by his principle “virtue is knowledge” that the knowledge of that
same humanity (_i. e._ insight, reason) is virtue; while Protagoras,
agreeing as he did formally with the maxim that “virtue is knowledge,”
would always define “knowledge” as the individual feelings. “The
individual man is the measure of all things,” Protagoras would say;
“Humanity is the measure of all things,” Socrates would reply. “Virtue
is knowledge gained by the feelings,” Protagoras would say; “Virtue
is knowledge gained by the reason,” Socrates would reply. Beneath the
changing capricious individual, beneath the variety of men, Socrates
believed that there was a common humanity, one unchanging man, who
contained the ultimate truth. There are many opinions, ideas, and
feelings, but only one knowledge. This knowledge is rational; and human
nature is a unity in the possession of this knowledge.

This is the principle that distinguishes Socrates from the other
leaders of the Greek Illumination. While he was imbued with the motives
of the Greek culture of his time,――curious about its results, feeling
its usefulness, and critical of all tradition,――he nevertheless
withheld himself from its skeptical conclusions. Any culture
illumination runs the danger of defeating itself and becoming skeptical
of its own powers. This is what actually happened in the Sophistic
philosophy. But when Socrates set himself against this superficial
and self-destructive outcome of his age, he became in his constructive
philosophy the clearest and most comprehensive expression of that age.
Because he grasped the principle of the Greek Enlightenment deeply
and formulated it constructively, his intellectual reign became
historically established. The fundamental principle of the philosophy
of Socrates was therefore the real principle of classic Greek
civilization, and by saving that principle he saved Greek civilization
for modern Europe.

=The Unsystematic Character of the Socratic Philosophy.= The casual
reader is often troubled to know for what precisely Socrates is
searching. The vagueness of the Socratic quest is partly due to the
fact that he had no system. Indeed, he had no groundwork for a system
of thought. His psychology or theory of the human mind was undefined.
He speaks of sensations and perceptions, but they, with the feelings
and the will, are considered by him to be unimportant factors in the
conscious life. On the whole, the mind was thought by him to be an
aggregation of conceptions or ideas. The feelings cloud the activity
of these conceptions, and the only feeling to which Socrates attached
any importance was his dæmon or divine voice. This grew to be his
mentor as he grew older. Socrates never made a scientific psychological
analysis. He began rather with three assumptions which amounted to
convictions. They were these: _that only by acquiring conceptions
is true knowledge to be found_; _that virtue consists in acting
according to conceptions_; _that the world has been designed according
to conceptions_. Conceptions were, so to speak, an obsession with
Socrates.[18] They were his postulates, his instruments, and his goal.
The other factors of the mind were neglected by him.

=The Ideal of Socrates.= The goal of the quest of Socrates is an
ideal, and in the nature of things had the vagueness of any ideal. The
content of an ideal has to remain undefined until it has been gained
by experience, and then of course it is no longer an ideal. Any ideal,
however, can be stated formally, and the formal and deductive side of
knowledge has had an important place both in practical conduct and in
the history of science. Socrates could state his ideal formally and to
some extent he could give it content; but it always remained for him
an object to be sought. He believed that the ideal lay in conceptions
and could be found if he got the truth of any one conception. So he
undertook to define such conceptions as friendship, courage, prudence,
etc., but his search was never satisfied. Nevertheless, the search
itself was scarcely less important to him than its accomplishment.

The ideal of Socrates was _Knowledge_ or _Wisdom_, and his formal
statement of the ideal was _Knowledge is Virtue_. The primal end to
be striven for is wisdom, that is, in conceptions and by conceptions.
But where are these conceptions to be found but in one’s own mind?
Therefore the region of the quest of Socrates was his own mind, and his
motto was, “Know thyself.” And what is this Virtue of which knowledge
or wisdom is the equivalent? It does not mean virtue in the narrow
modern meaning of the term, nor yet in the narrow original meaning, of
warlike prowess or valor. The Greek word which Socrates used was ἀρετή,
and is best translated excellence or ability. In the history of the
word it had a variety of meanings, like the Latin word _virtus_, whose
equivalent it is. It is derived from the same root as the word Ἄρης,
Ares (or Mars), the name of the god of war. While therefore originally
it meant military valor, it came to mean any kind of excellence.
In modern times there appeared a book called _The Greatest Thing in
the World_, which had as its aim to show that Christian love is the
“greatest thing in the world.” To Socrates not “Love” but “Wisdom”
is the “greatest thing in the world,” and Greek civilization is thus
contrasted with that of Christianity.

But now the question comes, What kind of knowledge or wisdom does
Socrates mean as the greatest excellence? In contrast to the Sophists,
who relied upon the sensations and impulses as wisdom, Socrates turned
to that element which had been the decisive factor of the culture of
the time. This was _insight_. The greatest excellence is insight. He
who acts according to his feelings is not sure of his knowledge, but he
who acts according to insight has the greatest excellence in the world.
But Socrates restricts the meaning of knowledge still further. Not only
is knowledge to Socrates insight, but it is _moral_ insight. For the
problems in which he was interested were the problems of human life and
principally the problem of self-examination. Thus we can translate the
conventional formal statement of Socrates, viz., _Knowledge is virtue_,
into this rather longer sentence, _Moral insight is the most excellent
thing in the world_. For the first time in the history of thought
philosophy is founded upon a moral postulate.

=What the Socratic Ideal involves.= We have now examined the meaning
of the formal statement of the Socratic ideal. A further question along
this same line concerns what that ideal involves.

1. In the first place, to possess knowledge is to act righteously.
Knowledge = righteous conduct. Socrates does not mean that knowledge
is merely the _condition_ of right conduct; he means that knowledge
actually _constitutes_ moral conduct. The development of the reason is
actually the same as the development of the will. Knowledge is virtue
and virtue is knowledge. Vice is ignorance and ignorance is vice. To
have an insight into the truth is the principle of living. Not only is
deficient insight the cause of evil, but it is itself the greatest evil.
Not only does a man act wrongly because he does not know the good, but
not to know the good is the greatest wrong that can happen to him.

2. Not only is moral insight the same as virtuous activity, but this
insight is always accompanied by happiness. The will follows the
recognition of the good, and the appropriate action makes man happy.
Happiness is the necessary result of moral excellence. The Wise Man
knows what is good for him and does it; thus in his performance he
becomes happy. Socrates would subscribe to the proverb “Be good and you
will be happy.” Such teaching on the part of Socrates implies that he
believed two things: (1) that man by unremitting earnest examination of
himself and others could gain such perfect happiness; and (2) that the
world is under providential guidance. Socrates never expressly denied
the existence of the Homeric gods and never expressly declared himself
a monotheist. He is, however, always referring to one over-ruling
wisdom. He had a personal conviction of immortality, but he never
attempted its proof. Although Socrates had little confidence in human
knowledge about the world of physical nature, he was animated by a
belief that amounted to a conviction in the providential arrangement
of the world. In such a divinely ordered world the good must be happy.
Only a perfect wisdom can, however, be certain that always the results
of his actions will gain happiness in the environment in which he lives;
but still man can be sure that happiness increases proportionately with
knowledge. Greek philosophy did go beyond this point in ethics, and
this is called, in technical language, _eudæmonism_. _Eudæmonism_ and
_hedonism_ are pleasure theories that are similar. Eudæmonism is the
theory that active well-being is the highest good in life and that that
good is always accompanied by pleasure. In hedonism pleasure _is_ the
good to be aimed at. In history eudæmonism has easily degenerated into

3. Socrates makes moral insight the same as virtuous activity, and
he says that its inevitable accompaniment is happiness. Does he also
make moral insight the same as utility? According to Xenophon, Socrates
regards moral excellence as that which is most useful. Indeed, in
some of the Platonic dialogues Socrates seems to define insight as
the art of measuring or prudence, and it is pointed out that Socrates
developed no virtue so fully as self-control. In the exigencies of
the argument Socrates also often resorted to the useful to define the
good. The question, What is the good? often resolves itself into the
other question, What is the thing good for? Indeed, the form of the
argument often assumes the vicious circle: Why is the act just? Because
it is useful? Why is it useful? Because it is just. For the purposes
of disputation, in which Socrates was always shrewd and not always
scrupulous, he so frequently refers the good to what is suitable to
men’s happiness and profit that his philosophy does not seem to rise
above the relativism of the Sophists. But it is certain that Socrates
strove to transcend this relativism, although not with full success and
although his formulated teaching does not always go beyond it. However,
that he believed in an absolute rather than a relative good appears
in many ways: in his doctrine that it is better to suffer wrong than
to do it; in his strict conformity to law rather than to save himself
from death by breaking the law; in his constant interpretation of life
as right-doing, ethical improvement, and participation in the good.
The utility that is always in the background of his thought is _the
usefulness for the soul_. We may conclude, therefore, that it was only
superficially for the purposes of argumentation that Socrates made the
useful an equivalent of moral insight.

The purpose of Socrates was, after all, not to teach men to think
correctly nor to become cultured but to become happy and useful
Athenians. Moral excellence is the Socratic goal; and knowledge,
happiness, and usefulness are only aspects of that goal. Knowledge is
the essential means, happiness the essential result, and usefulness
the essential sign of moral excellence. It follows as a corollary
from Socrates’ philosophical ideal that he should also teach: (1) that
virtue is teachable, and (2) that the virtues are one. Virtue is
obviously teachable if it is knowledge. It follows also, although not
so obviously, that all the virtues are fundamentally the same, and that
a man cannot be virtuous in one thing without being virtuous in all.
The really temperate man is also courageous, wise, and just.

=The Two Steps of the Method of Socrates.= The external form of the
method of Socrates was conversation. Thinking was to him an inner
conversation. The result of a conversation, external or internal, was
evolvement,――the implicit in thought made explicit. This was quite
opposed to the method of the Sophists, which was the supplying of
knowledge. Socrates did not propose to start from any kind of knowledge
except the ideal to be striven for. Starting with the presupposition
that man contained knowledge, the end which Socrates attempted to reach
by his method was a practical one. With so much in summary, let us
examine the two steps of the method of Socrates.

The first step that Socrates deems necessary for man in attaining
this ideal of moral excellence is negative. Indeed, it is more,――it
is complete abnegation on the part of the seeker for truth. One must
confess that he himself knows nothing, and come to a realization that
his untested individual opinions are not the truth. He must approach
the subject as a seeker and not as a teacher. This attitude of mind
is the beginning of wisdom. Plato relates how the Delphic oracle
amazed Socrates by announcing that he was the wisest of the Greeks. In
reflecting upon the statement of the oracle he came to agree with the
oracle because, as he said, he was ignorant and he knew it, while the
other Greeks were ignorant and did not know it. Before Socrates began
to examine any conception, he professed or assumed to profess absolute
ignorance of it. He is the modest inquirer. He is always described in
the rôle of the questioner who is seeking information and light.

He laid the same requirement upon others that he did upon himself. The
dialectic conversation could not be successfully carried on unless his
interlocutors had the same recognition of self-ignorance,――the same
measure of self-knowledge. The Sophists with whom he often carried on
his discussions laid claim to knowledge on every known subject under
the Greek sun and were ready to teach anything to the Greek youth. To
Socrates’ mind nothing could more impede his undertakings than such an
affectation of wisdom; to the Sophists nothing could be more repugnant
than such a confession which Socrates always obliged them to make.
Although professing to be only a seeker for knowledge, he tried first
by his questions to scrutinize and to break down with his exasperating
logic the half-formed conceptions of the egotist. This clear-cut
analysis for purely destructive purposes, which he used in preparation
for his later constructive conversation, is called the _Socratic irony_.
As he proved himself superior to any of his companions in the use of
the dialectic, he could begin his conversations in the most destructive
fashion. His method was destructive of all prejudice and preconceived
opinion that would in any way stand athwart perfectly free inquiry into
the truth. His wish was to begin _de novo_ with every one, so that all
traditional beliefs having been given up and the investigators having
confessed their ignorance, constructive study of the concept in hand
could be begun.

The second step in Socrates’ method of dialectical inquiry follows
upon the initial destructive criticism. It is in this part of the
conversation that we find his own constructive theory. The dialogue is,
of course, its necessary condition; for the truth is not in me nor in
thee, but in us all. It is latent in the mind and not on the surface
of any opinion. Let us rub our minds together. Let us sift our varied
concepts, unfold our real selves, and bring the unborn truth to the
light. Our ideas supplement one another and have a common ground.
Intellectual intercourse is an intellectual and a personal need, for
it reveals common sympathies and a oneness of life. Common love of
knowledge makes friends, and this mutual intellectual helpfulness he
calls by the mythical term _Eros_. Inquiry is indefinite in duration;
the quest of truth is endless; and Socrates acknowledges by his fresh
beginnings again and again his failure to reach the ideal. Thus the
theoretical self-abnegation of Socrates had a twofold significance in
his constructive philosophy. On the one hand, it was an invitation to
his countrymen to help him in his search for the universal truth; on
the other, it was an acknowledgment that he had failed to attain that
universal truth.

=Socrates and Athens.= Socrates had a religious reverence for his own
mission in the Athenian community. He was the “gad-fly of the Athenian
public”; he was the educator of the time; he was divinely appointed
to the Athenian people. He felt himself so necessary to the Athenian
State that at his trial he proudly suggested that instead of punishing
him the State keep him at the public expense in the Prytaneum. But the
educator creates nothing; he only awakens and develops the germs of
knowledge that lie latent. The human Athenian nature is big with truth;
Socrates was divinely appointed to bring it forth. He called his method,
after the profession of midwifery of his mother, the _maieutic method_.
It was intellectual midwifery, and he was the intellectual midwife
of Athens. Although he failed to find any concrete form of ultimate
truth, he never had any doubt about the correctness of his method
and of undertaking the problem afresh. He believed that his failure
was due to the inherent weakness of human discernment; and so far as
man’s discernment or insight is clear, so far will he know the true
significance of things.

Socrates believed in man, and he believed that in man were contained
all those elements that make up a firm, rational, and moral society.
Since he failed to justify this belief in a theoretical way, his belief
became largely a matter of faith. Humanity is something to be won,
something to be developed. He was personally the embodiment of his
faith, and his large influence was due to his unswerving confidence in
ethical ideals that did not allow the least paltering.

=The Logical Expedients of Socrates.= The examination of concepts
by Socrates was an attempt to find a logical “Nature,” just as the
Cosmologists had searched physical phenomena to find a physical
“Nature.” This makes Socrates the first to teach by induction and
one of the first to use definition effectively. In contrast to the
Sophists, he tried to give words exact meanings; for the Sophists fixed
artificial meanings to words with reference to particular objects. In
seeking for the exact meaning, Socrates was looking below the changing
particulars to the “Nature” of the fact and the universal principle.
Thus he was making his hearers conscious of the logical dependence
of the particular upon the universal. The universal is that which is
common to all particular conceptions or opinions. It lies beneath them
and binds them together. Thus, by logical analysis, Socrates is taking
steps in the educational process of gaining the universal. Provisional
definition would be given by him in some dialogue; this definition
would be tried by many facts; thus an advance would be made toward
a true definition and a universal principle. This process is that of
induction. It leads to generic concepts by comparison of particular
views and individual perceptions, by bringing together analogous cases
and allied relations. The subordination of the particular under the
universal thus became a principle of science. However imperfect and
childlike was Socrates’ method of procedure, whatever lack of caution
in generalization and in the collection of material, however hasty
oftentimes his judgments, he nevertheless made the subordination of the
particular to the universal a principle of logical procedure. Xenophon
says that Socrates was untiring in his efforts to examine and define
goodness and wickedness, justice and injustice, wisdom and folly,
courage and cowardice, the state and the citizen.

=Socrates and the Lesser Socratics.= The death of Socrates proved to
be his transfiguration. His influence, widespread and profound, came
more from his personality than from his formulated theory. He was a
revelator without a revelation. An absolutely true end of life, the
Good, he firmly believed to exist; but it was an ideal to be won by
each and all. After him, therefore, there was opportunity for various
interpretations of his doctrine, and several schools were founded by
his disciples. His truest and most discriminating pupil was Plato, who
is in a class by himself as developing the philosophy of Socrates to
a systematic perfectness. The philosophy of Plato stands with that of
Democritus and Aristotle as one of the three systematic philosophies
that Greek civilization produced. Besides Plato there were the Lesser
Socratics: Euclid (not the mathematician), Phædo, Aristippus, and
Antisthenes. Each of these was respectively the founder of a school.
These four Lesser-Socratic schools were that at Megara founded by
Euclid, the Elean-Eretrian founded by Phædo, the Cynic founded by
Antisthenes, and the Cyrenaic founded by Aristippus. The influence of
the Megarian and Elean-Eretrian schools was unimportant. It may suffice
to dismiss them by saying that Phædo was the favorite pupil of Socrates,
and that Plato was a member of the Megarian school for a short time
after the death of Socrates. The two other Lesser-Socratic schools had
an important influence upon contemporary and later civilization and
will be mentioned here. These are the Cynic and Cyrenaic schools. In
these two schools two great types of ethical theory that have since
existed were formulated. All four of the Lesser Socratics pretended to
be the true development of the teaching of Socrates; and these two, as
well as the other two, differ in the accentuation that they place on
some phase of the master’s doctrine.

Socrates’ own definition of ideal excellence being incomplete, the
Cynics and Cyrenaics tried to define it, to give it content and to show
a practical way of reaching it. They attempted

(1) to answer affirmatively that there is a universal validity;

(2) to show in what it consists;

(3) to show how man must prepare himself in order to reach it.

Both schools are individualistic and eudæmonistic. They maintained that
to affirm that the Good is good for its own sake is to leave the Good
contentless; and to affirm that the Good is insight into the Good is to
go in a circle. The one unambiguous answer to the question of Socrates,
What is ideal excellence or the Good? is this: Goodness is happiness.
This gives a content to the otherwise contentless ideal of Socrates.
The difference between the two schools consists in the ethical way in
which this happiness may be obtained.

It will appear, therefore, that the Lesser Socratics were more
Sophistic than Socratic. They were diametrically opposed to Socrates’
theory of the universality of truth. The excellent Good must be sought
by each in his own way. This is individualistic virtue, and not that
of humanity. Civilization was valued by them only as it satisfied
individual needs. The common problem of individualistic happiness
limited the efforts of both schools, while the results that they
reached in solving it were quite different.

There are two ways of achieving happiness; one is by satisfying the
desires, the other is by cutting off the desires. For happiness is
the perfect proportion of desire and satisfaction. A living creature
is happy if his desires are satisfied, whether those desires be few
or many. In the theory of the Cyrenaic school, happiness is gained
by increasing the satisfactions; in the theory of the Cynic school,
happiness is gained by decreasing the desires.

=The Cynic School= was founded by Antisthenes, and numbered among its
adherents Diogenes, about whom so many curious stories have been told,
Crates of Thebes, his wife Hipparchia, and her brother, Metrocles.
Virtue in the eudæmonistic sense is the only end, and this school
agreed with Socrates that this end is to be attained by knowledge. That
is to say, virtue or knowledge is only a means of gaining happiness,
and all other possessions the Cynics affected to despise. Virtue
as knowledge is therefore to be sought; ignorance is to be shunned;
all else is a matter of indifference. Riches, luxury, fame, honor,
sense-pleasure and pain, and later with logical consistency all shame,
convention, family, and country were objects of contempt. Man must
make himself independent by cutting off the desires which he cannot
satisfy or the desires that seem superfluous. He should keep alive
only such desires as are necessary to existence. In independence of all
outward circumstance the Cynic conceives himself to be the Wise Man,
in contrast to whom the mass of men are fools. The Cynic is, therefore,
the equal of the undesiring gods. He has independent lordship and
does not need the artificialities of civilization. Natural law was
contrasted by him in a Sophistic way with statutory law, and in the
midst of the refinements of society he preached a return to a state
of nature.

=The Cyrenaic School= was founded by Aristippus, who lived in Cyrene,
a luxurious city of northern Africa. Aristippus was a man of the
world. He was first a Sophist and later a disciple of Socrates. After
Socrates’ death he returned to Cyrene. Here he founded his school,
which included three generations of his own family. The prominent
members of it were Arete, his daughter; Aristippus, his grandson;
Theodorus, Hegesias, Anniceris, and Euhemerus, the author of so-called
Euhemerism, which taught that the gods were originally only great
men. In opposition to the brutal bareness of the Cynic school, the
Cyrenaics saw the true end of life in the pleasures of sense. Following
Protagoras, Aristippus said that the sensations are always true and
can be defined in terms of motion. The school developed an elaborate
psychology of sensation which summarizes its doctrine. It is as follows:
(1) The intensity and not the duration of a sensation determines its
value; (2) Bodily pleasures are of greater value than mental because
they are more intense; (3) I can know only my own sensations, and
therefore they are of greater value than another’s; (4) Man has a
reasonable insight which determines him in the choice of his sensations.

The practical problem of life for this, as it was for the Cynic school,
was how to become individually independent of the world. But the
Cyrenaic taught independence by enjoyment, in opposition to the Cynic’s
independence by renunciation. The Cyrenaic Wise Man knows all the
pleasures of life thoroughly, from animal satisfactions to spiritual
ecstasies. He uses them all, but never forgets himself. He is lord of
his appetites, never wishes the impossible, and has perfect and serene

It is an interesting fact that this pleasure-loving school drew
pessimism as the consequence of its theory. If life fails to give
enjoyment, it is a failure. That life alone is reprehensible that has
more pain than pleasure. It is on this ground that man should submit
to law and custom rather than give up his pleasures. Yet some members
of the school maintained that man is bound to be unhappy. While he
should have pleasure, he is so constituted that he cannot gain it. The
body of man is an inevitable sufferer. The highest that we can hope is

The Cynic and Cyrenaic schools occupy an important position in
the history of philosophy. The Cynic doctrine was the basis of the
teaching of the Stoic school, and the Cyrenaic was the legitimate
predecessor of the Epicurean school. These great schools were founded
in Athens seventy-five years later, and will be discussed under the
Hellenic-Roman Period.

                              CHAPTER VI

              THE SYSTEMATIC PERIOD (399 B. C.–322 B. C.)

=The Waning of the Greek National Spirit.= The Systematic Period
extends from the death of Socrates to the death of Aristotle. It
is only seventy-seven years long――about the same length as the
Anthropological and half as long as the Cosmological Period. It begins
with those sorry days after the Peloponnesian War and ends with the
supremacy of Macedonian power. The period was filled with ferocious
wars among the Grecian cities. First came the supremacy of Sparta, then
of Thebes (371–362 B. C.), then the invasion by Philip of Macedon and
the battle of Chæronea, 338 B. C. In 334 B. C. Alexander the Great
began the conquest of the Orient, which he accomplished in two years.
He thought by this that he could reunite the Greeks in a common cause.
He failed for two reasons. In the first place, as a Macedonian the
Greeks would not take him as a national representative. In the second
place, the Greek spirit was waning. The people had lost their glorious
ideals. Decay had set in. The worm was at the root of Greek life. Greek
art, literature, and statesmanship had passed.

=The Place of the Three Systematic Philosophers in Greek History.=
Nevertheless, when Greek national life was approaching dissolution,
science ripened its richest fruits and created its most comprehensive
systems of philosophy. These are connected with the names of Democritus,
Plato, and Aristotle. These great systems evidently cannot be accounted
for by the social conditions in which they appear. Neither the need nor
the demand of the disrupted Greece of these years would be a sufficient
cause to explain the appearance of a Plato or an Aristotle. The
interests of the Greek people became narrower as the interests of the
Greek philosophers became more broadly human. The intellectual tendency
of this short period was utilitarian and practical. The problems that
now interested the Athenians were the details of mechanics, physiology,
rhetoric, and politics. The field of science was now for the first time
systematized to logic, ethics, and physics――a classification which, we
shall find, will exist for many centuries. Sparta and Macedonia, not
Athens and Abdera, represent the spirit of the period.

If then Democritus, Plato, and Aristotle do not reflect the time in
which they live, what relation do they bear to Greek civilization?
They are not isolated and out of all relation to the life of the
Greek people. On the contrary, they are the most comprehensive and
the most profound expression of Greek life. One turns to them as the
most perfect representation of Greek culture. They are the intimate
expression of Greek thought, even if not of contemporaneous Greek
thought. They are the final statements of the two preceding periods,
projected into a time that had other interests. Democritus brought the
Cosmological movement to a close, was its final expression, and gave
it systematic form. Plato did the same for the Anthropological Period.
In Aristotle the systematic cosmology of Democritus and the systematic
ethics of Plato find a new meaning, in a closer union, under a more
coördinating principle. Aristotle was the last possible word of Greek
philosophy, for he systematized every branch known to the Greeks. He
not only evolved a speculative theory of the whole, but he organized
the special sciences. It must be further said that no one of these
three great Greeks could have produced the results each did produce, if
each had not been the leader of a school of many workers. Within each
school there must have been vigorous coöperation along lines according
to the inclination of the individual members. Thus each school
collected a vast amount of material which was worked over according to
the method and purpose of the leader.

=The Fundamental Principle of the Systematic Period.= At the beginning
of this book attention was called to the difference between Greek,
Mediæval, and Modern thought. Greek thought was characterized as
objective. It is important to reiterate this objective significance of
Greek thought at this point, when we are about to discuss the teachings
of Democritus, Plato, and Aristotle. Plato’s theory is often called
an idealism and Democritus’ theory materialism, but they are not the
idealism and materialism of modern times. No terms have fluctuated
in their meanings more than such philosophical terms as these, as
can be judged from the fact that in the Middle Ages Plato’s doctrine
was called realism. The Greeks were not idealists in the sense that
Berkeley and Hegel were idealists. In general, it should be remembered
that when we speak of Greek art, Greek politics, Greek philosophy as
idealistic, they are not idealistic in the modern sense.[19]

The open-minded Greek sought to picture, to ascertain, to present. He
was not dominated by the wish to show how things should be. To know and
to understand, to explain by understanding the abiding reason in things,
to find out the fundamental principle in things rather than to adjust
it to the personal desires――this was the objective attitude of mind of
the Greeks. The Greek saw before he reasoned; he visualized his thought
in form before he subjected the form to rational analysis. The cosmos
was a harmony and an art before which he stood in contemplation rather
than in criticism. Human elements were found in it everywhere, but only
as parts of that cosmos. “The unity of the spiritual and the natural,
which Greek thought demands and presupposes, is the direct unbroken
unity of the classic theory of the world.”[20]

By whatever names the great theories of the Systematic Period are
called, we must remember that they did not depart from this objective
Greek point of view. At certain times the moorings of Greek thought
seem about to be shifted, as when Plato passes beyond the ancient Greek
attitude and anticipates Christian morality by flight from the world of
sense, and when Aristotle elaborates his doctrine of a transcendent god.
But the tie never breaks, and the Systematic philosophers remain Greek
and not modern. They have the Greek objective attitude of mind. The
inner consciousness does not stand with its attestations over against
all other things. The greatest of these philosophers never thought of
himself but as “bone of the bone and flesh of the flesh” of the world
surrounding him. In art the classic Greek “could obey but not surpass
nature”; in religion he worshiped beings that were only superior human
beings; in politics he was a member of a social whole. To Æschylus,
Pericles, Socrates, Protagoras, Aristophanes, Democritus, Plato, and
Aristotle alike, human nature is a part of the world and not _vice
versa_. The Greek mind interpreted nature rather than recreated it.

What, then, is the nature of the development of Greek thought, and
in what respect does the Greek Systematic philosophy differ from
the philosophy of the Greek Cosmologists? Greek philosophy in the
Cosmological Period starts with a conception of an objective harmony
of nature and spirit which is called hylozoism. Step by step in the
Anthropological and Systematic Periods that harmony becomes broken
into a dualism of mind and matter. The philosophy of this Systematic
Period is a dualism of the parts of one objective world, not a
subjective-objective antithesis. The realm of spirit lies side by side
with that of nature, and the separation and alienation never reached
the complete form that it did in the Middle Ages. The great Greek
Systematizers in part represent this dualistic tendency, in part are
a scientific effort to overcome it. “In spite of this tendency [to
a dualism] the original presupposition [a harmony between nature and
spirit] asserts itself in decisive traits; and we shall find that
the true cause of its incapacity to reconcile these contradictions
satisfactorily lies in its refusal to abandon that presupposition.
When that [unity] is canceled, there remains to it no possible way
of filling up a chasm which, according to its own standpoint, cannot

=A Summary of Greek Philosophy.= At this point a summary of Greek
objective philosophy will be helpful. The philosophical problem
that had been working itself out since Thales had been this: How may
we think the Being that abides amid the changes of phenomena? The
Cosmologists scrutinized physical nature and, without differentiating
nature and spirit, conceived abiding Being to be living matter. The
Anthropologists (except Socrates) doubted if there is any abiding
Being. Among the Systematic Philosophers a dualism for the first time
appears. Nature and spirit are differentiated, but both remain entirely
objective. Democritus regarded the material universe as abiding Being,
but in so large a way as to be able to construct upon it a psychology
and an ethics. Plato found abiding Being in the realm of the spirit, in
a group of moral and æsthetic entities. Aristotle attempts to overcome
the opposition between materialism and Platonism. To him abiding Being
is neither physical nature nor the spirit apart from physical nature.
Abiding Being to Aristotle is the spirit _in_ nature.

=Greek Philosophy (objective).=

   1. The Cosmologists――Hylozoism.
      Abiding Being is living nature――some form of living matter.

   2. The Anthropologists――Relativism (except Socrates).
      Being is not abiding, but consists of transitory mental states.
      This is a form of what was called by the schoolmen Nominalism,
      and summed up by the phrase _Universalia post rem_.

   3. The Systematic Philosophers.
        Being consists in material atoms, but regarded in so large
        a way as to furnish a basis for a psychology and an ethics.

      Plato――Objective Idealism.
        Being consists of permanent moral and æsthetic concepts or
        types. In mediæval philosophy Platonism was called realism
        and was summed up by the phrase _Universalia ante rem_.

        The abiding Being does not consist of material atoms nor
        in spiritual types apart from matter, but is an unfolding
        essence _in_ matter. This was usually called conceptualism
        by the Schoolmen, and was summed up by the phrase
        _Universalia in re_. Aristotle’s conception was as
        difficult as it was important. He was not always clearly
        a conceptualist, but sometimes appeared in the rôle of an
        “objective realist.”

=Democritus and Plato――Their Similarities and Differences.= The
materialism of Democritus and the idealism of Plato were as opposed as
was possible within the realm of Greek thought. We must not exaggerate
their similarities, but they had at least four common characteristics.

_Their Similarities._

1. Both develop an outspoken rationalism,[22] which starts as a
reaction from the perception theory of Protagoras. They agree with
Protagoras that perception cannot yield truth, and so they turn away
from perception to the reason to find true knowledge.

2. Both develop a world of twofold reality. Perceptions are not
regarded by them as illusions, although perceptions are transitory.
Both make a new estimate of perceptions, and give to the world of
perceptions a relative value. There are therefore two kinds of reality:
the relative reality of the world of perceptions and the absolute
reality of the world of reason. The result in both is a broad theory
of knowledge.

3. In both, reality consists in a plural number of objective norms.
Both reach their conception of these norms in the same way. The
changing qualities of things are stripped away and the true reality
is discovered beneath. Both designate this true form by the same word,
idea (ἰδέα). To both, the forms are objective entities.

4. Both are attempts to overcome scientifically the dualism which had
emerged from the former hylozoism of Greek thought.

_Their Differences――The Development of the Meaning of Idea._ 1. But the
forms or ideas are so vitally different in the doctrines of these two
philosophers that they have nothing in common save the name. On the one
hand, Democritus took the word “idea” just as he found it in popular
speech. It is the shape of a visible thing, the geometrical form of
physical objects. It gets no new content in his hands, but is merely
the physical atom. With Plato, however, the word gets a new meaning. He
fills the form or idea with an ethical content. The idea as a quantity
becomes now a quality. The idea becomes an Idea. The forms of Plato are
logical species and teleological causes, while the forms of Democritus
are atom-complexes.[23] In both philosophers they are the norms of
reality. But while Democritus still keeps his forms as the realities
of physical nature, Plato conceives his forms to be true realities of
objective human nature.

2. This vital difference between the two philosophers may get some
explanation from the difference in the philosophical inheritance of
each. To be sure, they were contemporaries, both being born in the
Anthropological Period and both doing their most mature work in the
Systematic Period. Both, too, were acquainted with the philosophy of
the preceding time. But the ethical teaching of Socrates dominated
Plato, and through it he became the legitimate perfecter of the Greek
enlightenment and the anthropological movement. But what was the
influence of Socrates upon Democritus? It seems to have been nothing.
Why is Plato absolutely silent about Democritus when he mentions
other Greek philosophers? No one has yet been able to say. Democritus
stands at Abdera isolated from the ethical movement at Athens. The only
influence upon him from that movement came from Protagoras, who was
a member of the school at Abdera. Democritus is the finisher of the
Cosmological movement.

=The Life of Democritus= (460–370 B. C.). Democritus was twenty years
younger than Protagoras, about ten years younger than Socrates, and a
generation older than Plato. He was outlived by Plato; and Aristotle
was a young man when Democritus died. He was therefore contemporary
with the intellectual movement going on in Greece, with Athens as a
centre. While he does not appear to have come under the influence of
Socrates, he was well acquainted with the destructive epistemology of
the Sophists. Abdera, where he lived, is in Thrace, and seems to have
been outside the Anthropological movement at Athens. The school of
Leucippus was at Abdera; and Democritus was instructed in the Sophistic
doctrine directly from Protagoras, who was a member of the Atomistic
school before going to Athens. The three Systematic philosophers
were wide travelers, Democritus not less than Plato and Aristotle. He
traveled extensively through Greece, Egypt, and the Orient. He then
returned to Abdera and began his scientific activity. He remained five
years in Egypt, and came to know the greater part of western Asia.
He returned to Abdera about 420 B. C., and therefore did not begin
his teaching before he was forty years old. The length of time that
Democritus, Plato, and Aristotle took for their apprenticeship, and
the advanced age before they began their mastership, is remarkable.
Democritus was the greatest investigator of nature in antiquity, and
Aristotle used much of Democritus’ work for his own scientific writings.
The ancients admired the writings of Democritus, and the loss of them
in the fourth century after Christ is one of the most lamentable that
has happened to the literary documents of antiquity. His works were
extraordinary in number, and upon every known subject.

Democritus was the real exponent of the Atomistic school. The founder,
Leucippus, belonged to the Cosmological Period; Protagoras, the Sophist,
belonged to the Anthropological Period, and had great influence in the
development of the school at Abdera; but Democritus, in systematizing
the doctrines of Leucippus and in accepting the perception theory of
Protagoras, became its most notable representative. He was the great
systematizer of the Cosmologists, and yet he differed from all the
Cosmologists in embodying in his theory the results of the Sophistic

=The Comprehensiveness of the Aim of Democritus.= The reconstruction
of the philosophy of Democritus has always been difficult for the
historian because, from the originally great mass of his writings, only
fragments remain. The fragments show, however, many interesting things:
that he covered the entire range of experience in his investigations;
that he was quite as much interested in psychical as in physical
problems; that his contribution to epistemology was even greater than
to physics; and that he was interested in the atomic theory because
he believed that it was a working hypothesis for the explanation of
experience of every kind. This last characteristic shows the systematic
nature of his work and his right to stand with Plato and Aristotle.
Democritus fully realized that the task of science was to explain
experiences through a conception of reality. So he constructed his
conception of the atom in order that he might explain phenomena
intelligibly. He saw that no conception strange to experience or
against experience, like the Eleatic Being, would answer scientific
demands. A rational conception of absolute reality will have value only
as experience testifies to it and, on the other hand, as it explains
experience. Democritus valued his theory of the atoms because it seemed
to explain all phenomena. This construction of a single fundamental
rational principle for all kinds of phenomena shows how much more of
a systematic scientist he was than the Cosmologists.

=The Enriched Physics of Democritus――Hylozoism becomes Materialism.=
There is so great enrichment in elaboration and generalization in the
physical doctrine of Democritus over that of Leucippus that it amounts
to a change in principle. In all probability Leucippus, like other
Cosmologists, was a hylozoist, and did not differentiate matter and
life. He is to be grouped with the Reconcilers, or even with the
Eleatics, rather than with Democritus. Democritus was a materialist.
The period of forty years between himself and Leucippus had been the
rich period of the introduction of psychological investigation and of
the discrimination of psychical from physical processes. Materialism or
spiritualism is not possible in the historical development of the human
mind until it passes through just such a period of differentiation as
the Sophistic Enlightenment. Before such a period there is animism and
hylozoism; after such a period there is materialism and spiritualism of
various sorts. Matter must be discriminated from spirit before one of
the terms can be reduced to the other. So the hylozoistic pluralism of
Leucippus became in the hands of Democritus a realistic materialism,
pluralistic as well.

The reduction of all phenomena by Democritus to a _mechanics of
atoms_ was theoretically an enrichment of physics, for it anticipated
the underlying principle of modern physics. The apparent qualities
of things and the qualitative changes of things are conceived by
Democritus to be in truth only a quantitative relation of atoms. He
set before himself the task of explaining in detail how this or that
quality consists of atoms in mechanical motion. The mental life of
man must be explained in the same way. So too, wherever he could, he
emphasized more sharply than his predecessors the mechanical necessity
of the movement of atoms. Impact caused by contact of the atoms was
the cause of every occurrence and change. No event is to be explained
as the manifestation of some spirit, or referred to some spiritual
agency. Mechanical cause is behind every event; mechanical cause
is the unifying principle of the doctrine of Democritus; mechanical
cause is the reason for the chasm between the philosophy of Plato,
of Aristotle, and that of Democritus. It is the reason, too, why the
theory of Democritus was obscured until modern times. All teleological
conceptions and all hylozoistic and animistic ideas are expelled from
the theory of Democritus, on the assumption that spatial form and
motion are simpler and more comprehensible terms of explanation. Thus
for the first time we have a conscious _outspoken materialism_, and
for the first time the world is conceived to be a _universal reign of
mechanical law_.

The physical theory of Democritus also yielded a rich scientific
_explanation of the historical evolution of the universe_. The
universe, according to Democritus,――following the teaching of
Leucippus,――consists of two parts: the Plenum or self-moving,
qualitatively similar atoms; and the Void or empty space, in which the
atoms move. The Plenum, or the atoms, is Being; the Void is not-Being.
The atoms differ only in form and size;[24] they are infinite in number
and therefore are of an infinite number of forms and sizes; they are
imperceptibly small. The perceptible qualities do not belong to them,
but to their motions. Motion is an irreducible function of atoms,
and each atom, lawless in itself, is in flight through space. An
aggregation of atoms arises when the atoms meet in their cosmic flight.
The shock causes a vortex which draws more atoms into itself. Like
atoms are drawn together, and the heavy atoms press the fine fire-atoms
to the periphery. Thus innumerable worlds are formed, for any place
of the meeting of several atoms can be the beginning of a new world.
Sometimes small worlds are drawn into the vortices of large worlds,
and sometimes large worlds disintegrate in fatal collisions. The worlds
are therefore endless and in endless succession. The whole swings in
space like a ball; the rim of the whole consists of compact atoms; the
centre is filled with air. To much further length than we can go here
Democritus developed a theoretical description of cosmic evolution upon
the principle of mechanical necessity――and the description is almost

=The Materialistic Psychology of Democritus.= It is easy to understand
an explanation of the physical universe as atoms in motion; for our
modern scientific theories of nature are set in these terms, even if we
have transformed the Democritan static atom into a dynamic entity. It
is rather more interesting to follow such a materialist as Democritus
in his extension of the materialistic principle over upon the realm of
the mental life.

In the first place, Democritus conceives man to be part and parcel of
the world of atoms. Man is composed of all kinds of atoms. His body
consists of earth, water, and air atoms. His mind is made up of fire
atoms, which differ from the others in being the finest, smoothest,
and most mobile. On this account the fire atoms are the most perfect of
all. Psychical activity is the motion of fire atoms. They are scattered
throughout the universe, and wherever they are, there is life. They are
in plants and animals as well as in man. There is a larger collection
of them in man, and this shows his superiority over other living things.
In man there is a fire atom between every two other atoms, and the
whole is held together by breathing. The different forms of mental
activity are simply different forms of atomic motion.

In the next place, our atomic make-up involves the presence of other
atomic complexes, if we are to have any psychical activity. External
things must stimulate us. But these external things are atoms in action.
They can, however, influence us only by coming into contact with our
bodies. Only by impact on our bodies can they set in motion the fire
atoms which are scattered through our bodies. Every kind of knowledge
or mental life involves the participation of the fire atoms in us. Thus
mental activity involves two factors; the fire atoms within us and an
external group of atoms without us.

How did Democritus explain the varied mental life as the resultant of
these two factors? He employed the theory of effluxes, belief in which
he shared with his time. This is a purely physiological assumption,
originated by such Cosmologists as Empedocles, that somehow external
bodies send off emanations from themselves which strike upon our
bodies. Most objects in the world influence us at a distance and only
through the emission of these effluxes. Democritus conceived these
emanations to be little copies or “eidola” of the thing that sends them
off. To illustrate Democritus’ meaning: a tree is seen by me because
little trees, thrown off by it, hit my eye. This theory retained its
position in philosophical circles until after Locke. It persists in the
popular mind to-day. It is a general belief that a thought is a copy,
photograph, or image of the thing. The words “image” and “imagination”
betray their origin. It was believed by Democritus that such copies
set in motion the sense organs and through them the fire atoms. The
effluxes can, however, affect only those organs of the body that have
similar formation and similar atomic motions.

But the effluxes vary very much in the degree of fineness of their
atomic structure. There are all sorts, from very fine to very coarse.
Since the efflux must correspond to a particular sense if that sense
is to be affected by it, the effluxes that can affect the senses
vary respectively as to their fineness. Democritus was particularly
interested in the sensations of sight and hearing as examples of this.
None of the effluxes affecting the senses are as fine as those that
stimulate the reason. Unless they were the finest of all the effluxes,
they could not affect the fine motions of the fire atoms of the reason.
These finest “eidola” or effluxes are the true copies of things, and
the reason therefore alone knows things truly. Thought, on the one hand,
is precisely the atomic motion of the _direct_ impact of the finest
effluxes upon the fine fire-atoms of the soul. Sensation, on the other
hand, is atomic motion from the _indirect_ impact of the coarser grades
of effluxes upon the fire atoms. The reason knows reality directly.
Sensations are aroused in a roundabout way by the coarse effluxes
setting in motion the corresponding sense organ, which in turn sets
in motion the fire atoms. Thus does Democritus make the distinction
between thought and sensation in quantitative terms. Thus does he
reduce his psychology to a consistency with his metaphysical principle
of materialism.

=Democritus’ Theory of Knowledge――The World of Twofold Reality.=
Democritus would have been only one of the great Cosmologists, and he
would not have his place by the side of Plato and Aristotle, if his
materialism had illuminated no other subject than physics. Indeed, it
is doubtful if his physics would have been so grandly comprehensive
and unqualified had it not been strengthened by his discriminating
theory of twofold knowledge. He might have extended and systematized
his materialism so that it explained to the satisfaction of his time
both physical and psychical phenomena, and still have been a hylozoist,
like Leucippus, the founder of the Atomistic school. The problem
of knowledge――the problem of estimating our mental states――was as
incomprehensible to Leucippus as to the Eleatics. Democritus, however,
was a rationalist and realist like Plato and Aristotle. He recognized,
as did they, that there is a difference in epistemological values.
His universalized materialism did not prevent him from evaluating
our experiences from the same general point of view as the leader
of the Academy and the Stagirite. He felt that a twofold reality is
as consistent with materialistic principles as with idealism. So he
reduced all qualities to quantities, and then as quantities re-valued
and classified them. His chief contribution was to the subject of
epistemology and not to physics, and that is why he is treated among
the Greek Systematizers and not among the Cosmologists. Probably his
chief interest lay where he did his chief work.

The perception theory of Protagoras was the starting-point of both
Democritus and Plato. Both adopted it in order to transcend it and
make it of real significance. Democritus, upon the basis of his
materialistic psychology, admitted that sense-perception is only
a transitory process, and its knowledge must be as transitory. But
he did not agree with Protagoras that all knowledge is perceptual.
Sense-perception does yield only relative knowledge; but there is
another kind of knowledge that is not relative but absolute. This
is knowledge of the reason. Human beings have reason as well as
sense-perception. Thus is Democritus a rationalist, although a

The contribution of Democritus to the theory of knowledge consists
in just this turn which he gave to Protagoras’ doctrine of perception.
The relativity of perception becomes in the Democritan theory a
different thing from what it was in the doctrine of the great Sophist.
To Protagoras perceptual knowledge is relative, and therefore of no
value in determining what is real. To Democritus perceptual knowledge
is relative, but it has a value,――a relative value. It gets this
relative value from the fact that the reason can determine absolute
reality. Perception is the contributor to the reason, and also in
turn is illuminated by the reason. In the same breath we may say that
Protagoras was a contributor to the theory of Democritus, and in turn
that the Protagorean relativism was illuminated by the Democritan
rationalism. The result was a twofold knowledge――in the language of
Democritus, “genuine knowledge” and “obscure insight.”

The objects corresponding to these two kinds of knowledge must be of
two kinds. On the one hand, the objects of the reason, or “genuine
knowledge,” are the genuine, primary, or real properties of the
atoms――for the atoms are reality to Democritus. These are form, size,
inertia, density, and hardness.[25] A study of these properties of
things is, therefore, a study of real objects. On the other hand, the
objects of perception or “obscure insight” are the properties of atoms
as perceived obscurely by the senses. These are color, sound, taste,
smell. They are the qualities or relative properties of things. A study
of these is a study of only what is relatively real. When materialism
was revived by the Renaissance, the former group of objects were called
“primary qualities” and the latter “secondary qualities.” These terms
have become classic, and have rendered permanent Democritus’ evaluation
of the objects of the two kinds of knowledge. Out of the fragments of
the teaching of the Cosmologists and the one-sided epistemology of the
Sophists, Democritus constructed contemporaneously with Plato, perhaps
antecedently to him, a theory of twofold knowledge.

=The Ethical Theory of Democritus.= The ethics of Democritus is
another example of his general principle of a mechanism of atoms. His
attempt to reduce all qualitative to quantitative relations, which
gives his theory a unique place in Greek thought, reaches its highest
distinction in his ethics. The influence of his ethical doctrine upon
the Epicureans, and possibly upon the Cyrenaics, shows its importance
in history. Furthermore, its high quality proves that a materialism
can offer inspiring ethical doctrines. Some have placed the ethics of
Democritus upon a level with the ethics of Socrates because, as it is
pointed out, he placed it upon an intellectual basis. The basal ethical
principle of Democritus may be stated thus: As true knowledge is the
ideal object of the intellect, so true happiness is the ideal object
of our conduct. The ethics of Democritus is eudæmonistic, like that of

Pleasures have fundamental differences. They are in every case the
results of atomic motions; but the atomic motions of the intellect
differ from those of the senses, and those of the senses differ from
one another. The fire atoms of the intellect are small, and have a
gentle, peaceful motion; the atomic motions of the senses are coarse
and violent, caused by the coarse effluxes of the objects that excite
them. Sense-pleasures are relative, like the perceptions. As perception
is obscure insight and gains the appearance and not the true reality,
so the pleasures of sense are transitory, uncertain, violent, and
deceitful. Intellectual pleasures are, like the intellect, real, true,
permanent, gentle, and peaceful. True happiness, the goal of human
activity, attends upon that right insight――upon the gentle atomic
motions of the intellectual life. On the other hand, the coarse atomic
motions of the senses disturb the intellectual calm, and are often
violent explosions. Democritus believed that knowledge of the atoms,
as the true explanation of the world, will give to the soul a measure
and a harmony, will guard it from excitement and make it possessor
of a peace which――to use his happy simile――is like the ocean calm.
Two ideals seem to stand before Democritus, which he did not try to
reconcile. Sometimes before his mind’s eye the ideal happiness is
purely intellectual pleasure and points toward asceticism. Sometimes he
speaks of happiness as the life of perfect self-control and temperance.
He never positively denies all value to sense-pleasure, but he gives
to sense-pleasure the relative value that he gives to the senses
themselves. In every case the ground of happiness is intellectual
refinement, and the ground of unhappiness the lack of it. The majority
of men are sensualists and are to be contrasted with the Wise Man, who
finds his happiness either in his individual life or in his friendship
with other Wise Men.

                              CHAPTER VII

                         PLATO (427–347 B. C.)

=Abdera and Athens.= The materialism of Democritus was the natural
consummation of the thought of the Cosmological Period. The influence
of the Sophistic psychology only enriched it, widened it, and brought
its materialism into a systematic formulation. The Democritan system
from the isolated centre of Abdera points only to the past. Upon the
death of Democritus the school quickly disappeared. Its materialistic
doctrine reappeared from time to time in one form and another,――in
the Skeptics, the Epicureans, and the Stoics. It was reintroduced
as a system into Europe during the Renaissance. So far as Greece was
concerned, the school of Abdera was an early ripening and an early
dying branch.

The school of Athenian immaterialism, the principal tendency of Greek
thought, arose from the centre of Attic civilization and pointed to
the future. It drew its materials from practically the same sources
as the philosophy of Abdera, but the materials were polarized about
the ethical teaching of Socrates. The life of Plato coincides with the
unhappy history of Athens after the death of Pericles (429 B. C.). The
Peloponnesian War began in 431 B. C., two years before the death of
Pericles and four years before the birth of Plato; and it did not end
until 403 B. C. The event most disastrous to the Athenians during this
war was the Sicilian expedition in 413 B. C. Athens was captured by the
Spartans in 403 B. C., and the great walls of the city were destroyed.
The remainder of Plato’s life was contemporaneous with the devastating
wars among the Greek cities, for there was no city strong enough to
hold the balance of power after it left the hands of the Athenians.
In 359 B. C. Macedon began to loom up as a power in the north. The
life of Plato, the formulator of Athenian immaterialism, may be easily
remembered as covering that period between the rise of Sparta and the
rise of Macedon.

=The Difficulties in Understanding the Teaching of Plato.= The theory
of Plato is one of the most involved and one of the most difficult
to understand in the whole history of philosophy. This difficulty of
interpreting Plato as a philosopher depends upon many factors: upon
the artistic literary form of the dialogue in which his philosophy is
presented; upon the conflicting tendencies of thought in Plato himself;
upon the fact that the composition of his dialogues extended over a
period of more than half a century; upon the constant reshaping of the
content as well as the form of his thought; and upon the uncertainty
of the chronological order of his writings. This chronological
order of Plato’s dialogues is an important factor in determining his
teaching. Since the beginning of the nineteenth century a vast amount
of literature has been published on the subject, and many theories of
the dialogue-chronology have been proposed. There are three principal
groups of theories: (1) those based upon purely _a priori_ hypotheses,
as, for example, that of Hermann, that each dialogue is a stage in
the development of Plato’s thought; or that of Schleiermacher, that
Plato had a systematic plan from the beginning; (2) those based upon an
empirical study of the historical allusions in the dialogues themselves
(Zeller, Windelband, _et als._); (3) those recent theories based upon
the “stylometric test,” _i. e._ by an examination of the peculiarities
of the style of Plato. Lutoslawski is a prominent representative of
this method.

The result to the student is bewildering, on account of the differing
conclusions. But since some choice must be made, we shall follow
the order laid down by Windelband,[26] because it is fairly orthodox
and conservative. For convenience to the memory, the writings will
be grouped in the periods of Plato’s life. Our interpretation will
therefore follow Windelband in respect to the character of Plato’s
theory itself.

=The Life and Writings of Plato.= Two important events divide Plato’s
long life of eighty years into three periods. These events were the
death of his master, Socrates, in 399 B. C., and Plato’s return from
Sicily in 387 B. C., after having there come under the influence of the
Pythagoreans. His first period may be called his student life, and was
twenty-eight years long; the second period was that of the traveler,
and was twelve years long; the third period was that of teacher of the
Academy, and was forty years long. The first half of his life therefore
covers the first two periods, and the second half covers his period as
teacher. Probably he was engaged in the composition of the dialogues
during all these periods, and Cicero reports him to have died “pen in
hand” (_scribens est mortuus_).

=1. Plato’s Student Life= (427–399 B. C.). This period closes with the
death of Socrates. His acquaintance with Socrates began when he was
twenty years old, and therefore lasted eight years.

The dialogues written during this period are presentations of the
doctrine of Socrates and do not contain the constructive theory of
Plato. They are concerned either with Socratic subjects or with
Socrates personally, and were written in part during Socrates’ life,
in part directly after his death.

(a) Dialogues written under the influence of Socrates:

  _Lysis_, concerning friendship;
  _Laches_, concerning courage;
  _Charmides_, concerning moderation.

(b) Dialogues written in defense of Socrates:

  _Crito_, concerning Socrates’ fidelity to law;
  _Apology_, a general defense of Socrates;
  _Euthryphro_, concerning Socrates’ true piety.

=2. Plato as Traveler= (399–387 B. C.). During this period Plato made
one short and two long journeys, and after each he returned to Athens.
Upon the death of Socrates he went to Megara, where a former pupil
of Socrates had a school. Upon this journey he was accompanied by
other pupils of Socrates, who, as tradition has it, feared violence to
themselves after the death of their master. Plato remained in Megara
but a short time, and soon returned to Athens. Immediately upon his
return to Athens he went to Cyrene and Egypt, and was away from Athens
about four years (until 395 B. C.). The Egyptian journey had little
influence upon his thought, but must have stimulated his imagination.
He then remained at Athens four years (395–391 B. C.), and during
this time he taught a small circle and wrote his polemics against the

In 391 B. C. Plato made his first Italian journey――to Sicily and
southern Italy. This marks the second critical point in his mental
development. For at this time (1) he came under the influence of the
Italian Pythagoreans, and (2) he attempted and failed in connection
with Dion[27] and Dionysius to erect his ideal state in Syracuse. He
was sold as a slave by Dionysius, redeemed by a friend, and returned
to Athens in 387 B. C., having been away about four years.

It is to be noted that Democritus and Plato were wide travelers,
considering the difficulties of locomotion of the time. Both Democritus
and Plato went to Egypt, and Democritus spent several years in Asia
Minor (see p. 107).

The dialogues written during this period may be divided into (a) the
group of polemics against the Sophists, and (b) the _Meno_.

(a) The polemics against the Sophists (written between his return from
Egypt in 395 B. C. and his first Italian journey in 391 B. C.).

They are an attempt to present a solid front against the Sophists,
and to show the weakness of the Sophistic doctrines. These polemical
dialogues are:

  _Protagoras_, a criticism of the Sophistic assumption that virtue
    is teachable, because that assumption is incompatible with the
    Sophistic fundamental principle;

  _Gorgias_, showing how superficial the Sophistic rhetoric is when
    compared with true culture, which is the foundation of real

  _Euthydemus_, an exposition of the fallacies in the Sophistic

  _Cratylus_, a criticism of the philological attempts of the

  _Theætetus_, a criticism of the Sophistic theories of knowledge;

  The First Book of the _Republic_ (the “Dialogue concerning
    Justice”), a criticism of the Sophistic naturalistic theory of
    the state.

(b) _Meno_, which contains the first positive statement by Plato of
his own constructive theory. It is the first intimation of development
beyond the simple Socratic theory of knowledge. Plato states this,
however, rather timidly, by suggestions and after the manner of a

=3. Plato as Teacher of the Academy= (387–347 B. C.). These forty
years were spent by Plato in Athens as master and teacher of his
school, the Academy, with the exception of two journeys to Italy.
He undertook these journeys in the hope of realizing in a practical
way his political ideals. He made his second Italian journey upon the
invitation of Dion, in the hope of influencing the younger Dionysius,
and the third Italian journey in order to reconcile Dion and Dionysius.
This last journey brought him again into great personal danger.

What was the Academy? It was a public grove or garden in the suburbs of
Athens (see map, p. 219) that had been left to the city for gymnastics
by a public-spirited man named Academus. It had been surrounded by a
wall and had been adorned by olive trees, statues, and temples. Near
this inclosure Plato possessed by inheritance a small estate. It was
here that he opened his school, and few places could be more favorable
for the study of philosophy. Plato bequeathed this estate to the school,
which held the property in a corporate capacity for several centuries.
The leader of the school was called scholarch, and he appointed his own
successor. The school was a kind of religious brotherhood based upon
the worship of the Muses.

Note that Democritus, Plato, and Aristotle finished their education
at an age much beyond what is supposed to be the limit in modern time.
They were, in fact, mature men before they began their life work. Plato
was 32 before he began to teach in Athens and 40 before he set himself
about his real life task in the founding of the Academy. Democritus
was 40 before he returned to Abdera from his travels in Asia Minor.
Aristotle was 41 when he undertook to act as tutor of Alexander, and
49 when he began his administration of the Lyceum.

The dialogues of the third period of Plato’s life contain his
constructive theory, and are his masterpieces of art. The topics with
which they deal show the advance of his thought over the dialogues
of his first period. The purely Socratic dialogues were ethical
discussions; these are ethical, metaphysical, and physical.

  _Phædrus_, Plato’s delivery of his programme upon his entrance
    into active teaching in the Academy, in 386 B. C.

  _Symposium_, an exposition of his entire doctrine in “love
    speeches.” It is the most artistic of his writings, and
    represents the climax of his intellectual power (385 or
    384 B. C.).

  _Republic_ (major portion). The composition of the _Republic_
    extended over a long period. It is a discussion: (1) concerning
    justice (written in the second period, see above); (2) concerning
    the ideal state which shall realize justice; (3) concerning the
    Idea of the Good and in criticism of the constitutions of states.
    It is Plato’s masterpiece and his life work.

  _Parmenides_ and _Sophist_, written to express the objections to
    the theory of Ideas, and to discuss such objections. (Windelband
    holds these dialogues were not written by Plato, but by some
    member of his school. This is, however, not the consensus of

  _Politicus_, a discussion of the field of knowledge and of action
    for a statesman.

  _Phædo_, Plato’s final will and testament to the school, written
    shortly before his third Sicilian journey, in 361 B. C. It is
    his completed conception of the Idea of the Good and of the
    relation of other Ideas to it. It contains Anaxagorean and
    Pythagorean elements.

  _Philebus_, concerning the ingredients of the Idea of the Good.

  _Timæus_, Plato’s conception of physical nature, expressed in
    mythical form.

  _Laws_, the work of Plato’s old age, his revision of the ideal

=Concerning the Dialogues[28] of Plato.= The early philosophers
presented their philosophy in metrical form as poems “concerning
nature”; Socrates perpetuated his teachings through conversations
with men; Plato made his influence permanent by written dialogues;
Aristotle’s philosophy, in the works that have been preserved, stands
in the form of treatises whose sole purpose is that of exposition.
Plato’s dialogues therefore have a twofold place in the history of
literature. On the one hand, in the history of literature proper we
have already mentioned them as standing after the Greek drama in the
development of Greek dialectics; on the other hand, in the development
of philosophical instruction they stand between the conversations of
Socrates and the scientific expositions of Aristotle.

Plato was the first child of Fortune, and the complete preservation
of his works was the most remarkable proof of it. Æschylus was the
author of at least 70 writings, of which 7 are preserved; Euripides
was the author of 95 writings, of which 18 are preserved; Sophocles
had 123 writings, aside from his lyric works, of which 7 are preserved.
Shakespeare wrote 36 plays, Plato wrote 35 dialogues that are genuine.
All of Plato’s writings have come down to us. Why were the writings of
Plato preserved from the destroying hand of time? There are at least
three causes of their preservation: (1) they had intrinsic beauty;
(2) there was contemporary public interest in them; (3) the chief cause,
Plato’s school kept close guard over them.

By the dialogue Plato could employ the Socratic method, give dramatic
effect, and idealize Socrates. The _Republic_ is his crowning literary
effort, and the most complete statement of his mature political views.
Perhaps the _Philebus_ is the best expression of his idea of goodness,
and presents his most complete organization of the sciences. All
Plato’s dialogues have a transparent beauty and a purity of diction;
and they may be taken as a revelation of himself. All are dialogues
save the _Apology_, but the dialogue element grows less and less in
his later works. Socrates is usually the spokesman in them, and to
him is usually given the deciding word. Only a few have a fixed plan
of argument. One thread and then another is followed, and in many no
decision whatever is reached; for the dialogues must always be taken
as artistic products in which philosophical experiences are idealized.
Plato often employs myths or parables to illuminate his arguments. The
situations and the literary adornments show the human touch, and the
conversation often moves to a dramatic close.

In the _Republic_ Plato sought to formulate theoretically certain
political conceptions of the ideal State that were then in the air.
It is interesting to note that his conception influenced the political
idealism of later time, as, for example, Cicero’s _De Republica_,
Augustine’s _City of God_, More’s _Utopia_, Campanella’s _State of the
Sun_, Bacon’s _New Atlantis_, Macchiavelli’s _Il Principe_.

=The Factors in the Construction of Plato’s Doctrine.=

=1. His Inherited Tendencies.= (a) In the first place Plato was by
instinct an aristocrat. His family was one of the most distinguished
in Athens, and traced its descent from Solon and Codrus. In making
an estimate of his philosophy one must take account of the caste of
society in which he was born. His metaphysical theory of Ideas is
aristocratic, and in it he turns from all that is of the earth earthy
to what is above the life of “opinion.” His four cardinal virtues
are possible only to the few. His political attitude was peculiar. He
was hostile to the democracy, and yet his political idealism diverged
so far from the practical politics of Athenian aristocracy that he
completely abstained from public life. With Plato, philosophy once
more retires to the school. Here we have the strange juxtaposition of
Socrates, the teacher, who had been engaged in a practical reformation,
whose father was an artisan and whose mother a midwife, and Plato,
his adoring pupil and truest interpreter,――Plato, the idealist, “whose
speculation is not like the Philistine, whose life is spent in the
market place or the workshop, and whose world is measured by the narrow
boundaries of his native town; it is the lord of the manor, who retires
to his mansion, after having seen the world, and turns his gaze towards
the distant horizon; disdaining the noise of the cross-roads, he
mingles only in the best society, where is heard the most elegant, the
noblest, and the loftiest language that has ever been spoken in the
home of the Muses.”[29]

(b) In the next place Plato had an instinctive love for the beautiful,
and in this he was great, even in his time. Every Periclean Greek was
artistic, but Plato was more than this. He is to be ranked among the
great creators of the art of his day,――with Phidias and Sophocles. He
represented in his person everything ideally Greek. He was a man of
great beauty, a human Apollo, a man endowed with every physical and
mental talent, and his moral character was almost ideal in its purposes.
His real name was Aristocles, and he got his name Plato from his broad
frame. The artistic development of the time appealed to him in his
youth, and he was early interested in the writing of epic and dramatic
poetry. This artistic instinct determined in no small measure not
only the form of the presentation of his thought, but also the content
of the thought itself. It determined his principle of conceiving the
Ideas, the constitution of his State, his theory of pleasure, and his
conception of the highest Good. The artistic form of the presentation
of his writings was as important to him as the matter presented.

=2. His Philosophical Sources.= Plato had received a careful education
that made him familiar with all the scientific theories of current
interest to the Athenians. The elements of the earlier philosophies,
that were fundamental to the mechanical atomism of Democritus, were
recombined in a different way by Plato under the influence of Socrates’
ethical principle. Even Plato’s political and artistic ideals are
subordinate to his entire absorption in the personality and teaching of
Socrates. Heracleitus, Protagoras, Parmenides, and, later, Anaxagoras
and the Pythagoreans, furnished him with his philosophical materials.
We may point out three of the preceding philosophies that had an
especially powerful influence upon him: those of (1) Socrates;
(2) Parmenides; and (3) the Pythagoreans. His revered master, Socrates,
furnished Plato throughout with the conceptual principle, by which he
worked over all his material into his daring system. The influence of
Parmenides upon him was also very great. He speaks of the Eleatic as
“Parmenides, my father.” Plato betook himself to the Eleatic school at
Megara upon the death of Socrates, and this shows that he must already
have been hospitable to the philosophy which taught the conception of
an absolute and eternal essence of things known by the human reason.
The influence of the Pythagoreans was felt by Plato on his first visit
to Italy. This influence grew with him, and seems to dominate the
dialogue of his old age, the _Laws_. The Eleatic Oneness was a single,
immutable block. In the Pythagorean doctrine of numbers he found
the conceptual divisions of that Oneness, and he also found that
such conceptions would give a content to Socrates’ conception of
the Good. Indeed, the numbers seemed to be the conceptual models for
which Socrates was searching. Mathematical truths are independent
of perception. They are innate ideas. They are eternal and immutable
Forms. They were the weapons needed against the Protagorean doctrine of
perception. While Plato agreed with Heracleitus that the visible world
is a changing world, and with Protagoras that our sense-perceptions of
that world can yield only relative truth, he developed his philosophy
almost entirely on its conceptual side; and this is due to the
influence first of Socrates, second of Parmenides, and third of the
Pythagoreans. Plato’s completed philosophy was the theory of Ideas,
worked over in his mind a half-century or more, and is in itself a
history of the development of pure concepts.

=The Divisions of Plato’s Philosophy.= Plato himself had no clear
conception of an exact division of science, and did not confine
himself in a single dialogue to a single science. Aristotle, however,
distinguished in the philosophy of his master dialectic, ethics,
and physics, and these divisions of Plato’s teaching have been
traditionally adopted. The dialectic, as commonly used in his time,
meant “the dialogue or conversation employed as a means of scientific
investigation.” It was transformed by Plato to mean not logical but
metaphysical discussion. Plato was concerned with the laws of Being
rather than the laws of logic, and, as Being to him consisted of
Ideas, his dialectic interest was to reduce experience by division
and induction to some unity. Plato’s dialectic was not logical but
methodological,――logical operations taken as a whole,――by means of
which the Ideas and their relations to one another were to be found.
The physics of Plato is of little value. It was an afterthought to
satisfy the demands of his school. The world of nature phenomena could
never be for Plato the object of true knowledge. Unfortunately, the
teleological physics of Plato was regarded by the Hellenistic time
and the Middle Ages as Plato’s most important achievement. Plato wrote
entirely in the spirit of the Enlightenment, and his works show a
great interest in man as a moral being, but little interest in physical

=Summary of Plato’s Doctrine.= The interpretation of Plato as set forth
in what follows may be thus summarized: Plato began with the conceptual
form of idealism, suggested by the logical method of Socrates, with
the purpose of solving logical and ethical problems. He advanced to a
teleological idealism, conditioned by the doctrines of Anaxagoras and
the Pythagoreans, with the purpose of applying his doctrine to physical

=The Formation of Plato’s Metaphysics.= In his earliest period Plato
made these very clear statements: (1) virtue is knowledge; (2) by
knowledge is not meant sense-perceptions. In his final statement of
his philosophy, as he bequeathed it to posterity, he only gave a new
evaluation of these two early principles, although he expressed them in
a highly complex form. “Virtue is knowledge” is the basis of agreement
between Socrates and the Sophists; and “by knowledge is not meant
sense-perceptions” is the basis of their opposition. During Plato’s
early period he was acting as a faithful transcriber of Socrates in the
presentation of this first principle: virtue is knowledge, is teachable,
is one. During Plato’s second period he was called on to defend the
second statement against the Sophists. Plato’s formation of his own
theory begins at this point,――at the point where his defense of his
master was keenest. From this time, for a full half-century, Plato
developed the Socratic principles in a theory that went far beyond
Socrates, but that was never untrue to him.

The simplest way of stating Plato’s formation of his own doctrine
is this: he accepted the Protagorean doctrine of a perceptual world
of relative knowledge; he placed it beside the Socratic theory of
conceptual reality; and as a result he conceived the world to be
twofold. Both Being and Becoming share in reality. There are, on the
one side, the immutable concepts that compose true reality; there
are, on the other side, the changing perceptions that come and go. The
world of true reality _is_, but never _becomes_; the world of relative
reality _becomes_, but never _is_. These two worlds are by nature
separate; one is the object of the reason, the other is the object
of the senses; one is incorporeal, the other is corporeal. The first
world is the immutable One of the Eleatics presented by Plato as a
plural number of Socratic concepts; the other world is the Heracleitan
flux presented as perceivable things. There is true knowledge, but
Protagoras is right in saying that it cannot be found in the perception
of the material world. It is knowledge of an incorporeal world, and
that is precisely the world of Socratic concepts which now in Plato’s
hands become Ideas.

It would, however, be a mistake to suppose that Plato’s conception
of the world was an artificial eclecticism, obtained by putting two
worlds side by side. To be sure, he never was able to bring them into
an organic unity, and the dualism between them is often very marked.
But they do not lie like two drawers in a desk, each having no vital
influence on the character of the other. In the juxtaposition of the
two worlds each gets a new meaning, and the value of each becomes

In the first place, _perception[30] gets a new value_. The logic of
the Sophistic doctrine of perception was that perceptions are the only
form of knowledge, and even perceptions have no share of truthfulness.
Protagoras himself did not go so far as this absolute skepticism,
but this is the logic of his position. Perceptions can have no value,
because each is a standard to itself. Plato incorporates the perception
theory into his own, and immediately gives it a new value. Perceptions
do not, to be sure, yield true knowledge, but they have a relative
value. They have a value for the practical world, although the highest
they can give is Right Opinion. When we remember that the world of
that day was weary of its own speculations leading to nihilism, it is
remarkable that Plato did not turn away entirely from the doctrine of
the Sophists. On the contrary, he took up the Sophistic doctrine into
his own and gave to it a value which it had not possessed by itself.

In the second place, _conception gets a new value_. What was conception
to Socrates? It was the common content of opinions and perceptions;
it was the universal that was developed inductively out of many
particulars. Socrates brought many particulars together in order to
reveal their common qualities. The abode of conceptions was to Socrates
the half-formed individual opinions and experiences in which conception
lay, as in an envelope; and the conversation was needed to bring it
forth. The concept to Socrates was the logical “nature” of perceptions.
But now since Plato admitted the relative reality of all perceptions,
he was obliged to look elsewhere to account for conceptions. If
the conceptions are true reality, they cannot be the common quality
in opinions, nor the logical “nature” of changing perceptions. The
true conception cannot be contained in the perception. Accordingly
the conception must exist in an incorporeal world and possess an
independent reality. The concepts are hypostasized by Plato. They
become Ideas. Thus the Socratic concept became the Platonic Idea,
and _for the first time in European thought, reality is conceived
as immaterial_. The conceptual world grows under Plato’s hands to be
“other than” the perceptual world, and this was his first step beyond
Socrates. The conceptual world is the perfect reality that cannot be
contained in any material thing nor in the sum of all material things.
The immaterial Ideas are the object of thought, as nature phenomena
are the objects of perception. Ideas are not the abstractions of
perceptions, for the process of thought is not an analysis nor an
abstraction, but an intuition of reality presented in single instances.
Ideas are the reality of which perceptions are the copies or shadows.
Perceptions do not contain the truth. They are only the suggestions or
promptings by which the soul bethinks itself of the Ideas. Material
things merely hint to the soul of the existence of the Ideas.

It is important in this connection to point out that Plato’s conception
of immateriality is not to be taken as what we mean in modern times
by the spiritual or psychical; for, according to Plato, our psychical
functions belong to the world of Becoming, just as the functions of our
body and other perceptual things belong to it. Besides, even the Ideas
of sense qualities have reality. Plato does not identify the human
mind with the incorporeal world of Ideas, nor does he make the modern
dualistic division of the world into mind and matter. The immaterial
world is “other than” the world of perception, and bears the relation
to the material world of the unchanging to the changing, of the simple
to the manifold, of Being to Becoming.

=The Development of Plato’s Metaphysics――The Development of Plato’s
Ideas in the Two Drafts.= The twofold world with its new evaluation
of the Socratic conception and of the Protagorean perception was,
after all, only Plato’s point of departure for his constructive work.
It was his first and undeveloped apprehension of a theory of Ideas.
It appeared first in the _Meno_ in his doctrine of recollection and
immortality, which was written in his second period just after his
series of splendid polemics against the Sophists. From this time
for a full half-century Plato developed the conception of a twofold
world into a Theory of Ideas. In the course of time he found himself
confronted with three problems: (1) How many Ideas are there? (2) What
is the relation between Ideas and physical things? (3) What is the
relation of the Ideas to one another? Plato’s answers to these three
questions compose what is known as his Theory of Ideas. However, he
answers these three questions differently when he first considered
them than later, when his grasp upon the significance of his problem
became more mature. Plato’s Theory of Ideas, therefore, may be said to
have had a development in two stages. These two stages are called his
“two drafts” (Windelband) of the Ideas. We shall now present, first
in summary form and then in more detail, his answers to these three
questions in the two drafts, and thereby show how his theory developed
to its final formulation.

=Brief Comparison of the Two Drafts of the Ideas.=

=1. The Earlier Draft of Ideas.=

(a) _The Number of Ideas_ is infinite.

(b) _The Relation of Ideas to Physical Things_ is similarity. The Ideas
on their side are spoken of as having a “presence” in physical things,
but never fully appearing in them; the physical phenomena on their side
are spoken of as “participating” in the Ideas.

(c) _The Ideas are Related to One Another_ logically, as genera to
species, but they are only roughly classified by Plato.

=2. The Later Draft of Ideas――Plato’s Final Statement.=

(a) _The Number of Ideas_ is limited to those of worth, mathematical
relations, and nature-products, but Plato never arrived at any definite

(b) _The Relation of Ideas to Physical Things_ is teleological. The
Ideas are the ideal or purposeful ends of physical objects.

(c) _The Ideas are Related to One Another_ teleologically. The Idea of
the Good stands at the head, and is the purposeful end of all the other

=Comparison of the Two Drafts of Ideas in More Detail.=

=1. The Number of Ideas in the Earlier and Later Drafts compared.=
When Plato first presented the Theory of Ideas to himself, he conceived
their number to be infinite. There are Ideas of everything that is
thinkable. There are as many as there are class concepts, as there
are qualities of things in the universe, as there are common nouns
in the language. But it was pointed out to Plato that he had only
reproduced and paralleled in the immaterial world what exists in the
material world; that such a theory did not solve, but only doubled our
difficulties. Then there were technical difficulties in the conception
of the Ideas of everything――of things, qualities, relations,――good, bad,
and indifferent. But what probably appealed to him most cogently was
the raillery to which he found his theory subjected (see _Parmenides_),
that he as a Greek could think of ugly Ideas, like hair and filth,
as real. The result was that in the later drafting of his theory the
number of qualities worthy to be called Ideas becomes very much limited.
Plato makes the elimination from no avowed principle except that of
worth, because as a Greek it was absolutely repellent to him to regard
anything as real except worth. Consequently in his later dialogues
he speaks of (1) Ideas having an inherent value, like the Good and
the Beautiful, (2) Ideas corresponding to nature products, (3) Ideas
of mathematical relations. Norms of value thus take the place of
class-concepts, and in his selection of Ideas his choice is determined
more and more by their moral worth.

=2. The Relation of Ideas and the World of Nature in the Two Drafts
compared.= Plato did not construct his world of Ideas in order to
explain the world of physical nature. His original purpose was to find
an object for knowledge; and his Ideas were born out of his striving
to give a reality to the conceptions of Socrates. In his evaluation
of the doctrine of his master he had drawn a distinction between the
two worlds, but he had not thought of explaining one by the other. They
were related and distinguished, but one threw no light upon the other.
In Plato’s first draft of the Ideas he speaks of this relation as
_imitation_. The phenomena are an imitation of reality. The Ideas are
the originals and physical objects are copies. To state the relation
in modern terms, the laws of the growth of a tree are permanent, while
the tree changes. The lower world of Becoming has a similarity to the
higher world of Being. As the Pythagoreans had conceived things as
imitations of numbers, Plato, strongly influenced by the Pythagoreans,
thought that concrete things correspond to their class concepts only
in a degree. On the one hand, the individual thing partakes of the
universal of the Idea, and this is called “participation” in the Idea.
On the other hand, the word “presence” describes the way the Idea
exists in the thing, which means that the Idea is present in the thing
so long as the thing possesses the quality of the Idea. The Ideas are
present and then withdraw, and thus the perception changes.

In the second drafting of the Ideas, Plato has become conscious
of the need of explaining physical nature by the Ideas. He did not
at first think of explaining the nature of the physical world by his
metaphysical reality. It was an afterthought, and arose out of the
compulsion of having a systematic theory. His conception of the world
of Ideas as the world of true Being ultimately demanded that the world
of physical nature should be not merely “other than” but dependent upon
the Ideas. The Ideas are unchanging; the phenomena are changing. If
the Ideas are the reality of the changing world, in what other sense
can they be its reality than as its cause? The _Meno_, _Theætetus_,
_Symposium_, and _Phædrus_ do not discuss this problem. The _Sophist_
proposes it, and in the _Phædo_ the thought is first expressed that the
Ideas are the causes of physical phenomena appearing as they do appear.
But how can the Ideas be causes, when the very conception of them as
pure and immaterial realities denies to them all qualities of motion
and change? The Platonic theory reached its zenith in its solution
of this problem. The Ideas must be conceived as the causes of nature
phenomena, and still as not moving nor suffering change. They are
teleological causes. They are the realized ends of the phenomenal world.
The world of Ideas is the actual goal of perfection for _physical_
nature. The world of Ideas is not only the truth of all knowledge;
it is also the perfect teleological cause of all actual change. This
thought is developed in the _Philebus_ and the _Republic_, where the
Ideas as a whole, and in particular the Idea of the Good,――to which all
the other Ideas are means,――stand as the final cause of all occurrence.
The physical phenomena stand therefore in a teleological relation to
the Idea of the Good. From the Good all things get their meaning. It
permeates and explains all.

=3. The Relation among the Ideas in the Two Drafts compared.= It was
natural that the conception of a pluralism of Ideas should lead Plato
to a consideration of the law of their relationship. A systematic
theory of a multiplicity of reals involves their orderly relationship.
They cannot exist independently in the same world. What is the
relationship among the Ideas? In the earlier drafting of his theory
Plato was principally attentive to the relations of coördination and
subordination among the Ideas; in the possibility of the division of
class concepts into genera and species. The relationship that he sought
was logical relationship, the relationship that the scientist seeks to
find in the classification of plants or rocks. Just what result Plato
tried to reach by such a logical classification of his realities, it
is difficult to say. He was not successful. His attempt to erect a
logically arranged pyramid of conceptions with the most abstract at the
apex was not carried out.

In his second drafting of the Ideas, Plato felt the inadequacy of
a mere logical relationship among them, and conceived them to be
teleologically related. His reduction of the number of Ideas had
naturally brought about a new conception of their relationship. There
must be some principle for their elimination, for the rejecting of some
and the keeping of others. That principle was the principle of their
ethical worth. That is to say, the Idea of the Good, which had been the
standard for eliminating some concepts from the list of Ideas and for
retaining others, now became for him the principle of the relationship
of the Ideas among themselves. Plato turned from the logical to the
teleological relation among Ideas. The Idea of the Good embraces and
realizes all the others. It is therefore the absolute end of all the
other Ideas, and they bear the relation to it, not of particulars to a
general term, but of means to an end. The principle in their selection
becomes the principle of their arrangement.

=Plato’s Conception of God.= The above sketch of the formation and
development of Plato’s theory of Ideas shows how difficult it would
be to frame a short definition of them that would at the same time be
adequate. As he finally defined them, they are immaterial archetypes
or ideals, dominated by a moral purpose. This dominating moral purpose
in the Ideas is the highest Idea of all, the Idea of the Good, which
stands above all the others and gives to them and to everything else
their value and indeed their actuality.

Is this Idea of the Good the same as God? Plato calls the Good
“Deity” and the “World Reason,” and ascribes to it the name of Nous.
Nevertheless the Idea of the Good is not the same as the Christian God,
and Plato is only showing here the influence of Anaxagoras’ conception
upon him. (See p. 47.) The Idea of the Good is not a person or a
spiritual being. It is merely the absolute ethical end and purpose of
the world. Plato did not attempt to give it a content, any more than
did his master, Socrates; but Plato presupposed it, because it was in
itself the simplest and most comprehensible thing in the world.

=Plato’s Conception of Physical Nature.= Plato constructed a rough
sketch of the philosophy of nature in his later years, in compliance
with the needs of his School, and perhaps with the urging of his pupil,
Aristotle. In his earlier period, he would have nothing of physics,
and was in this respect quite in accord with the spirit of Socrates. To
the end of his life he maintained that there can be no true knowledge
of the physical world; for it is a world of change, and therefore all
scientific conclusions about it could be only probable. In a mythical
account in the _Timæus_ he drew a picture of the constitution of the
world. He conceived a Demiurge or world-forming God to exist, and he
thought that this God made the world out of not-Being or empty space
“with regard to the Ideas.” The world thus constructed is conceived
by Plato as a huge living thing, composed of a visible body and an
invisible soul. The world-soul sets the world-body in a circular motion,
which motion was considered by antiquity to be the most perfect of all
motions. In sharp opposition to the mechanical theory of the world,
Plato conceived the world to be endowed with knowledge, of which the
spherical motion in its return upon itself is the symbol. The world
is unitary and unique, the most perfect and most beautiful world, and
its origin can be traced only to a reason working toward ends. Plato’s
physics, of which the above is an abbreviated account, will be seen
to be of little importance; but it was unfortunately, as we have said,
this side of his doctrine that was emphasized in the Middle Ages.

This mythical account shows, however, the inherent dualism in Plato’s
doctrine. The Idea never fully realizes itself in corporeal things, and
Plato was called on to explain the cause of the evil and imperfection
of the physical world. Moreover, the imperfection of the physical world
got new emphasis in the influence upon him of the Pythagorean doctrine,
which had set the perfect and imperfect worlds in opposition. What
prevents the Idea from fully appearing in phenomena? The more Plato
conceived the world of Ideas as ethical Ideals and a kingdom of pure
worth, and the more teleological the Ideas became, the less could he
regard the Ideas as the cause of imperfection in nature. Ideas are
Being, and the essence of perfection. The cause of imperfection must
therefore be that which has no being whatsoever. The physical world as
“becoming” has participation, not only in that which has Being (Ideas),
but in that which has no Being (empty space). The physical world has a
composite character. It has sprung from the union of the Ideas and an
absolutely negative factor, which Plato calls empty space. This eternal
negative is formless and unfashioned, but it is capable of taking on
all possible forms. The physical universe is therefore neither Ideas
simply, nor matter simply, but a composition of the two. This non-Being
is not like the matter, “unformed stuff,” of Aristotle, from which all
sensible things are made; but it is that in which Ideas have to appear.
The Ideas are plunged into this empty non-Being, which they take on
as a veil. And just this is the origin of imperfection; non-Being
withholds the Ideas from perfect expression. Non-Being, or empty space,
is an indispensable auxiliary to the Ideas, for without it no physical
universe would be possible. But at the same time it is the eternal
foe and obstruction of the Ideas. Its coöperation with the Ideas is
at the same time a resistance to them. It is the perpetual negation of
Being, and the primary cause of imperfection, change, and instability.
On this account the universe can never be like the Ideas, but it
can approximate them. The soul of the world, for example,――which was
regarded by Plato in Pythagorean fashion as number subjecting chaotic
space to harmony,――is the most perfect reproduction of the Idea of the
Good. The existence of matter detracts from the perfection of the world,
but it does not detract from the majesty of the Ideas.

=Plato’s Conception of Man.= Plato needed a psychology of another sort
from that developed by the Cosmologists. His analysis of the mental
life of man stands or falls with his metaphysical theory of Ideas,
but it has this importance: it is the first attempt to understand the
psychical life from within.

The dualism of the two worlds appears in sharp outlines in the narrower
field of the life of man. The soul of man belongs to both worlds. On
the one hand, it belongs to the world of Becoming and partakes of that
world through its sense-perceptions, desires, and their pleasures. In
this lower world it is the principle of life and motion; it is that
which moves itself and other things. On the other hand, it shares in
the world of Being through its intuitive reason or knowledge. It shares
in the instability and change of psychical phenomena; it also possesses
the immutability of reality. Through its perceptions it constructs its
“opinions” or inferences of changing phenomena; through its reason it
has true knowledge of the eternal Ideas. Therefore the soul must bear
in itself traits that correspond to the two worlds. Plato conceives
man to have an irrational and a rational nature; and he divides the
irrational nature into two parts,――the noble irrational part and the
ignoble irrational part. The rational part of man is the reason, the
noble irrational part is the will, the ignoble irrational part is the
sensuous appetites.

          { Rational nature = reason
      Man { Irrational nature { Noble = will
          {                   { Ignoble = sensuous appetites

This is the celebrated doctrine of the “three parts” of the soul. Are
they three parts or three functions of the soul? Plato is not clear
as to this point. He sometimes speaks of them as three divisions, and
treats them as separable in such a way that only the reason is immortal
and the other two parts are mortal. Again, he speaks of the soul as
a unity, which carries with it in the next life all three functions.
In this latter meaning the three parts are three natures or three
different degrees of worth of the unitary soul.

=Plato’s Doctrine of Immortality.= Beginning with this conception of
the dual nature of the human soul, Plato reasons both backward and
forward from it: backward to its pre-existence, and forward from its
post-existence,――its existence after death. In the _Phædo_, Plato has
put into the mouth of what has become his Platonized Socrates his final
thought concerning the relation of this present life to its past and
its future. It is plainly the doctrine of the transmigration of souls,
which he got from the Pythagoreans. The soul has a reality that is
imperishable, and the soul is rewarded or punished for its conduct in
one existence by the kind of existence into which it is metamorphosed.
In prison, on that fatal day when he drank the poison, Socrates
explained to those around him why he was so cheerful at the thought of
death. Is not our present existence a kind of death? Is not the soul
in the present life deterred from true knowledge by the trammels of
the bodily desires? The true philosopher is he who turns away from his
body’s passions,――dies to them, and tries to live the reality of the
world of Ideas. We shall have full knowledge when we pass beyond the
grave and then we shall be rewarded, if we have striven truly. But
at present our body hampers and misleads us with its perceptions
of changing mortality around us, and with its transitory desires.
This life itself is the reward or punishment for our conduct in our
preceding state.

=1. The Immortality of Pre-existence.= What proof does Plato offer
for our existence before this life? The Ideas, these testimonies of
reality, form a part of the human soul. They are eternal, and have not
been created by the soul. Knowledge is not the origination of a new
truth, but is the recognition of Ideas, whose presence the mind merely
records. Greek psychology never got much farther than this. The modern
psychological conception of the soul as a dynamic something, which
creates its own content, was quite foreign to the Greeks. To Plato, as
to all other Greeks, the soul is as passive as the wax that receives
the impress of the seal. All Greek psychology was under this general
limitation: all ideas must be “given” to the soul. Therefore if the
Ideas are not “given” by perception, because perception is of the
changing; if nevertheless the soul finds itself in possession of the
Ideas on the occasion of perception; if the soul did not create the
Ideas, because the soul is by nature passive; the logical and only
conclusion is that the soul was already in possession of the Ideas in
a pre-existent state. Pre-existence is the only way of accounting for
the full-born knowledge of the soul, and it is interesting to note how
important was the pre-existent state to the imagination of the ancient

Plato therefore advanced the doctrine of reminiscence, or as he
called it, _Anamnesis_, as proof of our pre-existence. Knowledge is
recollection. The Ideas have always been present in the mind, and when
we recognize them we have knowledge. The Ideas have no past or future,
but they always exist. It is the mind that undergoes awakening――an
awakening to their existence in itself. When the mind sees the
objects of physical nature, it awakens in painful astonishment at the
contrast between the sense world and the Ideas of its native world of
immateriality. In a mythical representation in the _Phædrus_, Plato
supposes that before the present life our souls have beheld the pure
Ideas in their full reality, that the Ideas had been forgotten in
our birth into the present life, but that the perception of similar
corporeal things calls the soul back to the Ideas themselves. Then the
“Eros” is awakened――the native philosophical impulse or inborn love for
the Ideas, by which the soul is raised again to the knowledge of that
true reality. Only the pure Ideas themselves will satisfy this longing;
the embodiment of the Ideas in art or personalities is not adequate.
The Eros ties us to the Ideas. God does not have this longing, for He
fully knows the Good. The ignorant man does not have this longing, for
he does not suspect the existence of the Ideas in himself. The Eros is
the homesickness that the lover of the truth feels.

              Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting,
              The soul that rises in us, our life’s star,
              Hath had elsewhere its setting,
              And cometh from afar;
              Not in entire forgetfulness,
              And not in utter nakedness,
              But trailing clouds of glory do we come
              From God, who is our home.[31]

When, in the _Meno_, the Sophistic dilemma was proposed to Socrates,
“How can inquiry be made into what we know or into what we don’t know?”
Socrates pointed out that the only escape from the dilemma was the
process of recollecting, and that knowledge is the thing recalled.
Socrates then called a slave to him, and by skillfully questioning him
found that the slave recognized the mathematical relationship between
the square on the hypothenuse of a right triangle and the sums of
the squares on the other two sides. “The ignorant slave can only have
been recollecting,” says Socrates. Mathematical knowledge is extracted
from the sense-perception of the slave only because the slave has
through such perception the opportunity of recollecting Ideas present
in himself and not hitherto suspected by himself. In Plato’s system,
mathematical forms have an important place. They are the links by means
of which the Idea shapes space teleologically into the sense world.

=2. The Immortality of Post-Existence.= Plato’s ground for belief in
the existence of soul after death is practically the same as that for
its previous existence. Its destiny hereafter depends upon how far it
has freed itself in this earthly life from the sensuous appetite. As
proofs for future existence Plato mentions the soul’s possession of the
Ideas, the simplicity and unity of the soul, the soul as the principle
of life, and the goodness of God. However weak Plato’s arguments may
be for the existence of future immortality, his absolute belief in it
is one of the chief points in his teaching. It is interesting to note
that the modern western world seems to have no concern in the previous
state of the soul, but through the influence of the Christian religion
has focused its attention upon the future life. Oriental religions
contain the doctrine of pre-existence and the transmigration of souls,
but not in the same sense as Plato. In Plato the soul possesses an
identity that persists. It has all the qualities of the Ideas, but
is also an entity possessing these qualities. It has non-origination,
indestructibility, unity, and changelessness. The doctrine of the
immortality of post-existence had appeared in the Greek religion, but
this is the first time that we have found it as a part of philosophic
teaching. The student will, of course, feel the difficulties in Plato’s
conception as he has presented it. For how can the soul preserve its
individuality as a unity, when the soul belongs in part to a world
which is temporal?

=The Two Tendencies in Plato.= From the doctrine of the two worlds
there are two distinct tendencies running through the entire teaching
of Plato. These are (1) the tendency to glorify nature, and (2) the
tendency to turn away from nature to ascetic contemplation. On the one
hand, Plato felt within himself the light heart-beat of the artist, and
the Hellenic love of life was strong within him. He felt that the Idea
of the Good was realized even in the world of sense, that there was
pleasure in the sensuous imitation of the Idea, in practical artistic
skill, and in an intelligent understanding of mathematical orderings.
These were at least preparations for the highest Good, which consisted
in knowledge of the Ideas. On the other hand, one finds beside this
the ascetic tendency to be repelled by nature, a negative ethics
that would leave the world of sense and would spiritualize the life.
The _Theætetus_ sets up an ideal of retirement for the philosopher,
and points out that he should find refuge as soon as possible from
the evils of the world in the divine presence. The _Phædo_ pictures
the whole life of the philosopher as a dying, a purification of the
soul, an existence in prison, from which escape is only by virtue
and knowledge. This ascetic tendency seems very anti-Greek; and yet
is it foreign to Greek life? In Greek history do we not find, by the
side of the Epic and the glorification of nature, the Mysteries and
the withdrawal of the individual from the world? Both these historic
tendencies appear in Plato, and on the whole the ascetic tendency is
stronger. The Ideas are contrasted with the nature world more often
than they transfigure it. The dualism of Heaven and earth is emphasized,
and the contrast is strongly drawn between the reality of the Ideas and
the temporality of sense.

=Platonic Love.= Described in technical terms, in both Socrates and
Plato, Love (Eros) is the philosophic and not a purely intellectual
impulse. Its rather more didactic character in Socrates of an attempt
to engender knowledge and virtue in others appears in Plato in a larger
way as the personal and practical realization of the truth. Reduced to
its simplest terms, Platonic Love is the longing of the human being in
his imperfectness for perfectness and completeness. It is the innate
desire for immortality.

True love, according to Plato, takes its beginning in the astonishment
or pain at the presentment of the Ideas through remembrance, and the
starting-point of Love in an individual is the principle fundamental
in pre-existence. The philosophic impulse for the Ideas takes the form
of Love, because visible beauty has a special brightness and makes a
strong impression on the mind. Love belongs only to mortal natures;
for they, since they do not possess the divine unchangeableness, have
to propagate themselves continually. Love may be described therefore
as the propagative impulse. On the one side it may be viewed as an
inspiration from above, springing from the higher, divinely-related
nature in man; on the other hand it may be viewed as an aspiration from
below of the sensuous and human in man. On this side it is a yearning
and not a possession; and it presupposes a want. Analyzed in this way,
Love is the middle term between having and not having. It is the union
of the higher and lower natures in man, and throughout the universe
there stirs this longing for the eternal and imperishable.

What is the object of this Love,――of this desire of the finite to fill
itself with the eternal and to generate something enduring? That object
is the possession of the Good, which is happiness. The possession
of the Good is immortality. What is the external condition of Love’s
existence? The presence of Beauty; for this alone, by its harmonious
form, corresponds to our desire and awakens it. Does this Love appear
first in its complete realization? No; there are many kinds of beauty,
and Love is as various in degree and kind as beautiful objects. Love
rises step by step, and is realized in a graduated series of forms.
There is Love for beautiful shapes, sexual love; Love for beautiful
souls, and this appears in works of art, education, and legislation;
Love for beautiful sciences, the seeking of beauty wherever found; and
finally Love for the pure, shapeless, eternal, and unchangeable――the
Idea, which is immortality. All else is preliminary to the dialectical
knowledge of the Ideas. In all this, man is reaching out from his sense
of want for satisfaction, from his poverty to the completed riches of
life. Love bears him on from height to height until, in religion and
Love of the Good, man gains his immortality. In Platonic Love all kinds
of Love have place in pointing the soul onward to the divinely perfect.
Yet this Love for the divinely perfect is the soul’s aspiration from
the beginning, and all the preliminary stages are only the uncertain
attempts to seize the Idea in the copies. Love, therefore, is this
universal struggle of the finite to inform itself with the Idea; and
delight in any one object of beauty is a stage in the development of
this impulse.[32]

=Plato’s Theory of Ethics.= Plato’s Theory of Ideas is, after all,
fundamentally only an outspoken ethical metaphysics, and his Ethics
is his most fruitful accomplishment. Plato’s ethical teaching is
therefore involved in all that we have said about him up to this
point. An understanding of his ethics includes an understanding of the
formation and growth of his dialectic, an insight into his physical
theory, knowledge of the two tendencies which run through his teaching,
and especially an understanding of his doctrine of Love. If some of
the previous exposition is repeated, it will be only to bring out
more fully his ethical teaching as a special science. We shall speak
of three topics under this general subject of his ethics: (1) his
development of his theory of the Good; (2) the four cardinal virtues;
(3) his theory of political society.

=1. Development of Plato’s Theory of the Good.= Plato betrays his
ascetic tendency in his first drafting of the Ideas and, as we have
said, the double-world theory is the cause of this. Only one of the two
worlds is real and will appeal to the Wise Man. The soul belongs to the
supersensible world, and the knowledge, of which virtue consists, takes
man away from the sensible world. Since earthly life is full of evil,
the soul should die to it and turn away as soon as possible to the
divine presence. This ascetic aspect of morality is set forth in the
_Phædo_ and the _Theætetus_.

In the general development of his metaphysics in the second drafting
of his Ideas, Plato’s ethical theory developed also. He not only
went beyond the abstract statement of Socrates, but beyond his own
original asceticism. When he brought his two worlds into teleological
relationship, he was logically compelled to abandon his conception of
ascetic morals. The physical world has now a relative reality, and by
the same sign sense-life has a relative moral value. It was Plato’s
firm conviction that moral conduct makes man truly blessed, in this and
another world. He still held, too, that this blessedness, this complete
perfection of the soul, this sharing in the divine world of the Ideas,
is the Highest Good. Yet he now came to recognize other kinds of
happiness as steps toward the ideal Good. There are varieties of Goods,
as appeared in his doctrine of Love. Besides the intuition of knowledge
and its pleasures, there are physical Goods and their pleasures.
Intellectual pleasure may be unmixed with pain, but there are also
sensuous pleasures unmixed with pain. Here is indeed Plato, the Greek,
speaking; Plato, the Greek artist, impelled by the charm of the Greek
world around him. Strongly as he combated the Cyrenaic hedonism, and
closely as he was allied to Socrates, his Greek nature gave way before
the manifestations of the Idea of the Good in the physical world.
The pleasure in nature objects, in educational development, in the
practical and plastic arts, in mathematical sciences, and in the
orderliness of life――all these became for him preliminary stages in
the full participation in the ethical Good. They came to have for
him a relative value, as expressed in the _Philebus_, _Republic_, and

=2. The Four Cardinal Virtues.= But Plato went farther, and was not
content merely to point out the place of human conduct in the twofold
world. He developed his theory of ethics systematically. He classified
the virtues on the basis of his threefold division of the soul.
Naturally enough, in his first draft of his theory, Plato followed
Socrates in reducing the single virtues to one, viz., the virtue of
knowledge. In his second drafting, however, in the later dialogues,
he assumed their distinct independence, and he reflected upon their
respective spheres. A virtue corresponds to each part of the soul. Each
part has its own perfection, which is its virtue. Moreover, in so far
as one or another part of the soul preponderates in different men, so
far are they suited to developing the corresponding virtue.

                  { Rational nature――in brain (Wisdom)
  Soul (Justice)  { Irrational { Noble part――in heart (Courage)
                  {   nature   { Ignoble part――in liver (Temperance)

From the above scheme it will be observed that the rational nature has
the brain as its organ and reaches its perfection or virtue in Wisdom;
that the ignoble irrational nature has the liver as its organ, and
reaches its virtue in self-control or Temperance. Finally, since the
perfection of the whole soul consists in the orderly relation of its
single parts, so subordinated and regulated that the soul can reach its
highest perfection, the fourth and highest virtue is Justice. _The four
cardinal virtues are Temperance, Courage, Wisdom, and Justice._

=3. Plato’s Theory of Political Society.= The virtue, Justice, has
little meaning in individual ethics, and as an ethical perfection can
only be attained in society. There is no English word that is quite the
equivalent for the Greek term, but Justice is the usual translation.
Justice, however, does not contain the moral spirit of the Greek word.
Consistent with his conception of the Ideas in his metaphysics, Plato’s
ideal of moral perfection is to be found, not in the individual, but
in the species. Plato pictures less the perfect man than the perfect
society. Perfect happiness is rather that of the social whole than
of the individual, and this ideal of happiness can be reached only in
the ideal State. That is why the dialogue, the _Republic_, occupies
so important a place in Plato’s writings. It is an attempt to show how
the fourth and last virtue, Justice, can be attained. The first book
was written in Plato’s early period, and was perhaps called a “dialogue
concerning Justice.” Justice is distinctly the social virtue found
only in a perfect society, and it will make possible the fulfillment
of Wisdom, Courage, and Temperance. The individual man is a vital
being whose heart is the central organ, whose characteristic virtue is
courage. His courage is indeed a combination of wisdom and temperance.
The picture is of the individual man, not amenable to society, but in
“a state of warfare.” In such isolation Justice would not exist as a

The political state is necessary if the Idea of the Good is to be
manifested in human life. The state is the true educator in Justice,
and at the same time the ideal state will be the realization of Justice.
The task of the state everywhere is the same, to wit, to direct the
common life of man so that every one may be happy through virtue. The
result may be attained only by so ordering the relations of society
that Justice may prevail. Plato’s _Republic_ is a carefully worked-out
plan of such an ideal society. The author made several attempts at
Syracuse with the aid of Dion to get first the elder and then the
younger Dionysius to transform the tyranny into an ideal state. These
attempts resulted disastrously. In the disappointment of his old age
that his ideal scheme had never succeeded, he wrote the _Laws_, which
is a revised version of the _Republic_ with the Pythagorean number
theory as a basis.

The Spartan state is his model. The Platonic Republic is aristocratic.
There is paternal government in everything, censorship of everything.
Each individual’s course is marked out for him. When Greek political
life was undergoing dissolution, Plato raised the ideal of political
unity as necessary to individual happiness as against the anarchism of
segregation. Yet even in this he was reflecting the current distrust of
political institutions. The comparison of existing political conditions
with his own political ideal reinforced his aristocratic leanings,
and made him the more distrustful of the political possibilities
of a democracy. He believed that an intelligently worked out scheme
of government was practicable, and should be forced upon people, if
necessary. In no other way was political salvation possible.

Since the State is the man “writ large,” it has three parts,
corresponding to the three parts of the human soul. There is (1) the
working or peasant class, which corresponds to the appetitive part of
man; the only object of such a class is to furnish food for the State,
and the highest virtue of this class is temperance. The peasant can
only work, eat, and drink, and the highest praise of him is that he
controls his appetites. (2) The warrior class guards the State within
and without; and its characteristic virtue is courage. The will must
show its highest efficiency in guidance of the emotions. (3) Highest
of all is the cultured class of philosophers or rulers, who determine
by their insight the laws that should rule the State. The virtue of
this class is wisdom, for is this class not the brain of the State?
The perfection of the entire State exists when the three classes have
their proper distribution of power. Then does justice exist. The duty
of the rulers is therefore to have the highest wisdom possible, of the
warriors to be unflinching in their devotion to duty, of the peasants
to exercise self-control. Thus Plato’s Republic is an aristocracy in
the hands of the carefully cultured, which consists of the two upper
classes. By means of community of wives, the exposure of deformed
infants, and the State’s education of the children of the two upper
classes, a continuous selection can be made, the two upper classes can
be renewed, and all private ends can be renounced in favor of the State.
Thus the sole end of a community is moral education, and Plato arranges
his ideal community with reference to that. The two upper classes are
a great family, to whom this is intrusted. They have dedicated their
lives to the furthering of science and to its administration.


By Professor Benjamin Jowett, late Principal of Balliol College,

  The figures refer to the pages in the margin of Professor
    Jowett’s translation of Plato’s Dialogues; the letters
    (A, B, C, D, E) to the subdivisions of these pages.

                             FIRST VOLUME.


    Socrates prescribes for Charmides’ headache.
        156 D (... ‘Such, Charmides, is the nature of the charm’....)
          –157 C (... ‘my dear Charmides.’)


    We only trust those who appear to know more than ourselves.
        206 D (‘Upon entering’ ...)
          –210 B (‘He assented.’)


    (1) The art of fighting in armour is useless to the soldier.
        182 E (‘I should not like to maintain’ ...)
          –184 C (... ‘his opinion of the matter.’)

    (2) The harmony of words and deeds.
        188 C (‘I have but one feeling’ ...)
          –189 B (... ‘the difference of our ages.’)


    (1) The Sophists at the house of Callias.
        314 B (... ‘And now let us go’ ...)
          –316 A (... ‘rendered his words inaudible.’)

    (2) Protagoras tells the story of Prometheus and Epimetheus.
        320 D (‘Once upon a time’ ...)
          –322 D (... ‘a plague of the state.’)

    (3) The education of a Greek child.
        325 D (‘Education and admonition’ ...)
          –326 E (... ‘would be far more surprising.’)


    The doctrinaire politician and the true philosopher.
        304 B (‘Such was the discussion, Crito’ ...)
          –to end (... ‘and be of good cheer.’)


    The significations of the various letters.
        426 B (‘My first notions’ ...)
          –427 C (... ‘and out of them by imitation compounding
            other signs.’ ...)


    (1) The philosopher must study the nature of man.
        229 A (‘Let us turn aside,’ ...)
          –230 A (... ‘a diviner and lowlier destiny?’ ...)

    (2) The banks of the Ilissus.
        230 B (... ‘But let me ask you, friend,’ ...)
          –E (... ‘in which you can read best.’)

    (3) The soul in a figure and her transmigrations.
        245 C (‘The soul through all her being’ ...)
          –257 A (... ‘leave you a fool in the world below.’)

    (4) The true orator.
        269 E (‘I conceive Pericles’ ...)
          –272 C (... ‘and yet the creation of such an art is not

    (5) The tale of Thamus and Theuth.
        274 C (‘I have heard a tradition of the ancients’ ...)
          –275 C (... ‘that the Theban is right in his view about

    (6) Speech better than writing.
        275 C (‘I cannot help feeling’ ...)
          –277 A (... ‘to the utmost extent of human happiness.’)

    (7) The true art of composition.
        277 B (‘Until a man knows the truth’ ...)
          –278 D (... ‘poet or speech-maker or law-maker.’)


    The inspiration of the poet.
        533 C (‘I perceive, Ion,’ ...)
          –536 C (... ‘not by art, but by divine inspiration.’)

                     _The Character of Socrates._

    (1) His fit of abstraction in the porch.
        174 A (‘He said that he met Socrates’ ...)
          –175 C (... ‘Socrates entered.’ ...)

    (2) His strange appearance and marvellous power of influencing
        215 A (‘And now, my boys,’ ...)
          –216 G (... ‘so that I am at my wit’s end.’)

    (3) His endurance, eccentricity, and bravery.
        219 E (... ‘All this happened’ ...)
          –222 A (... ‘a good and honourable man.’)

                            SECOND VOLUME.


    Learning is only Recollection (ἀνάμνησις): The Immortality of
          the Soul proved out of Pindar.
        81 A (‘I will tell you why’ ...)
          –E (... ‘active and inquisitive.’ ...)


    The whole.

                     CRITO, OR SOCRATES IN PRISON.

    The whole.


    (1) Socrates in prison.
        57–60 C (... ‘pleasure appears to succeed.’)

    (2) Why the philosopher is willing to die, although he will not
          take his own life.
        60 C (‘Upon this Cebes said’ ...)
          –69 E (... ‘it will be well.’)

    (3) The Description of the Other Life.
        107 C (‘But then, O my friends,’ ...)
          –115 A (... ‘after I am dead.’)

    (4) The Death of Socrates.
        115 A (‘When he had done speaking’ ...)
          –to end.


    (1) The good man desires, not a long, but a virtuous, life.
        511 A (‘You always contrive’ ...)
          –513 A (... ‘their own perdition.’ ...)

    (2) The Judgment of the Dead.
        523 A (‘Listen, then,’ ...)
          –527 A (... ‘any sort of insult.’)

    (3) The Moral of the Tale.
        527 A (‘Perhaps this may appear’ ...)
          –to end.


                            I _Alcibiades._

    Socrates humiliates Alcibiades by shewing him his inferiority
          to the Kings of Lacedaemon and of Persia.
        120 A (‘Why, you surely know’ ...)
          –124 B (... ‘ever desired anything.’)

                           II _Alcibiades._

    The Gods approve of simple worship.
        148 C (‘The Lacedaemonians, too,’ ...)
          –150 B (... ‘for me to oppose.’)


    The nature of money.
        399 E (‘Then now we have to consider’ ...)
          –400 E (... ‘of no use to us ... True.’)

                             THIRD VOLUME.


  _Book i._
    The commencement of the Dialogue: Cephalus on Old Age.
        327–331 B (... ‘is, in my opinion, the greatest.’)

  _Book ii._
    (1) The argument of Adeimantus.
        362 E (... ‘But let me add something more’ ...)
          –367 E (... ‘seen or unseen by Gods and men.’)

    (2) The true nature of God.
        376 D (‘Come, then, and let us pass’ ...)
          –383 A (‘Your thoughts ... my own.’)

  _Book iii._
    (1) Grace and beauty in art and education.
        400 D (‘But there is no difficulty’ ...)
          –402 A (... ‘made him long familiar.’)

    (2) The good physician and the good judge.
        408 C (‘All that, Socrates, is excellent,’ ...)
          –409 E (‘And in mine also.’)

    (3) The true use of music and gymnastic.
        409 E (‘This is the sort of medicine’ ...)
          –412 A (‘You are quite right, Socrates.’)

  _Book iv._
    Virtue the health, Vice the disease, of the Soul.
        443 C (‘Then our dream has been realized’ ...)
          –444 E (‘Assuredly.’)

  _Book v._
    (1) The right treatment of enemies.
        469 A (‘Next, how shall our soldiers’ ...)
          –471 C (... ‘like all our previous enactments, are very

    (2) The last wave:――The Government of Philosophers.
        471 C (‘But still I must say, Socrates.’ ...)
          –473 E (... ‘is indeed a hard thing.’)

  _Book vi._
    (1) The Parable of the Pilot.
        487 A (‘Here Adeimantus interposed’ ...)
          –489 D (‘Precisely so, he said.’)
    (2) The low estimation in which Philosophy is held by the World.
        493 E (‘You recognize the truth of what I have been saying?’
          –497 A (... ‘as well as of himself.’)

  _Book vii._
    The Allegory of the Cave.
        514 A–520 E (... ‘present rulers of the State.’)

  _Book viii._
    Democracy and the Democratic Man.
        555 B (‘Next comes democracy’ ...)
          –562 A ( ... ‘the democratic man.’)

  _Book ix._
    { The Many-headed Monster.                            }
    { The City of which the Pattern is laid up in Heaven. }
        588 A (‘Well, I said, and now’ ...)
          –to the end of the book.

  _Book x._
    The Vision of Er.
      614 B (‘Well, I said, I will tell you a tale;’ ...)
        –to the end of the book.


    (1) The Tale of Solon.
        20 E (‘Then listen, Socrates’ ...)
          –26 D ( ... ‘these ancient Athenians.’ ...)

    (2) The Balance of Mind and Body.
        87 C (‘There is a corresponding enquiry’ ...)
          –90 D ( ... ‘the present and the future.’)


    The entire Dialogue.

                            FOURTH VOLUME.


    The meeting of Socrates and Parmenides at Athens. Criticism of
          the Ideas.
        126 A (‘We had come from our home’ ...)
          –136 C ( ... ‘and see the real truth.’)


    (1) Socrates, a midwife, and the son of a midwife.
        148 E (‘These are the pangs of labour’ ...)
         –151 E ( ... ‘by the help of God you will be able to tell.’)

    (2) The Lawyer and the Philosopher.
        172 B ( ... ‘Here arises a new question’ ...)
          –177 C ( ... ‘Let us go back to the argument.’)


    The Pre-Socratic Philosophers and their puzzles.
        241 D (‘Will you then forgive me’ ...)
          –246 D ( ... ‘but seekers after truth.’)


    The Reign of Cronos.
        269 A (‘Again, we have been often told’ ...)
         –274 E (... ‘and at another time in another.’ ...)


    { The first Taste of Logic. }
    { The Art of Dialectic.     }
        15 C (‘Good; and where shall we begin’ ...)
          –17 A (... ‘and true dialectic.’)

                             FIFTH VOLUME.


  _Book i._
    (1) The true nature of Education.
        643 A (‘You seem to be quite ready to listen’ ...)
          –644 B (... ‘of every man while he lives.’)

    (2) Man a puppet of the Gods.
        644 E (‘Let us look at the matter thus’ ...)
          –645 B (... ‘more clearly distinguished by us.’ ...)

  _Book iii._
    The Origin of Government.
        676 A (‘Enough of this’ ...)
          –679 E (‘Very true.’)

  _Book iv._
    (1) The virtuous Tyrant.
        709 C (‘And does not a like principle’ ...)
          –712 A (... ‘granting our supposition.’)

    (2) The life of Virtue.
      715 E (‘And now what is to be the next step?’ ...)
        –718 A (... ‘for the most part in good hope.’ ...)

  _Book v._
    (1) { The honour of the Soul.       }
        { Precepts for a virtuous life. }
        726 A–732 D (... ‘both in jest and earnest.’)

    (2) The best and second-best state.
        739 A (‘The next move’ ...)
         –741 A (... ‘to fight against necessity.’)

    (3) Riches and Godliness.
        742 D (... ‘The intention, as we affirm’ ...)
          –744 A (... ‘the work of legislation.’)

  _Book vii._
    (1) The good citizen must not lead an inactive life.
        806 D (‘What will be the manner of life’ ...)
          –808 C (... ‘to the whole state.’)

    (2) The education of the young.
          808 D (... ‘When the day breaks’ ...)
        {   –809 A (... ‘according to the law.’)  }
        { 810 A (... ‘A fair time’...)            }
        {   –812 A (... ‘come to an end.’)        }

  _Book viii._
    The evils of licentiousness.
        835 C (... ‘There is, however, another matter’ ...)
          –841 E (... ‘wrongly indulged.’)

  _Book x._
    (1) { The three classes of unbelievers. }
        { Advice to the young.              }
        885 B (... ‘For we have already said’ ...)
          –888 D (... ‘the truth of these matters.’)

    (2) God is not an idle ruler of the Universe; but orders all,
            even the smallest things, for our good.
        899 D (... ‘And now we are to address him’ ...)
          –905 D (... ‘any understanding whatsoever’ ...)

    (3) God cannot be propitiated by the gifts of the wicked.
        905 D (... ‘For I think that we have sufficiently proved’ ...)
          –907 D (... ‘will not discredit the lawgiver.’)

  _Book xi._
    (1) The evils of retail trade, and the cure of them.
        918 A (‘After the practices of adulteration’ ...)
          –919 C (... ‘shamelessness and meanness.’)

    (2) The honour of parents.
        930 E (‘Neither God, nor a man’ ...)
          –932 A (... ‘to what has now been said.’...)

  _Book xii._
    (1) The good state in its intercourse with the world.
        949 E (‘Now a state’ ...)
          –951 C (... ‘is ill-conducted.’)

    (2) The Burial of the Dead.
        958 C (‘Thus a man is born’ ...)
         –960 A (... ‘a fitting penalty.’...)

                             CHAPTER VIII

                       ARISTOTLE (384–322 B. C.)

=Aristotle in the Academy and Lyceum.= Many notable pupils gathered
around Plato during his mastership of more than forty years. Plato’s
nephew, Speusippus, succeeded him as leader of the Academy, and for
the next three hundred and fifty years the Academy is called by various
names. It is the Older Academy under Speusippus and later; then it is
known as the Middle Academy; and then, about 120 B. C., it is known as
the New Academy. The history of the Academy is, however, a part of the
Hellenic-Roman Period. It is sufficient to say here that the leaders
succeeding Plato in the Academy added but little to philosophical
speculation, although much to empirical research. The important fact is
that the sceptre in philosophy passed from the Academy when Plato died
and his greatest pupil Aristotle left it. Just as Plato stood among
the pupils of Socrates as Socrates’ most discriminating interpreter, so
among the pupils of Plato there was one preëminent pupil,――Aristotle.
Aristotle was too great a man to be subordinated to the leadership of
Speusippus. Upon the death of Plato he left the Academy, and fourteen
years later he returned to Athens and founded the Lyceum, which became
under his mastership the most influential Athenian school. The Lyceum
was an inclosed space of ground, like the Academy. It was situated just
outside the walls of Athens, on the right bank of the Ilissus. It was
dedicated to Apollo, decorated with fountains, gardens, and buildings,
and contained one of the great gymnasia of Athens. It was frequented
by philosophers, and is known to have been the favorite walk of
Aristotle and his pupils, whence they got their name of Peripatetics.
Theophrastus, the most eminent pupil of Aristotle, bought a property
near the grove and bequeathed it to the school. It was a religious
foundation, like the Academy. The method of choosing the scholarchs
varied at different times. The name Lyceum is from the same root as
Lycian, and was given to Aristotle’s school from the fact that the
grove was dedicated to the Lycian Apollo.

Here, in the Lyceum, Greek philosophy was brought to its most
complete expression. Here all the threads of Greek cosmological and
anthropological undertakings were finally woven together. Here an
adjustment was accomplished between Aristotle’s two great predecessors,
Plato and Democritus; and materialistic and idealistic realism
crystallized in a theory of development. The great form of Aristotle
rises to speak the final word of pure Greek civilization, at a time
when the custody of Greece had passed from the hands of the Athenians,
the Spartans, the Thebans in succession to the Macedonians. He was the
most influential thinker that history had seen. In his formative power
upon human thought he has scarcely a peer. Dante called him “the master
of those who know.” “In my opinion,” said Cicero, “Aristotle stands
almost alone in philosophy.” Eusebius said of him, “Aristotle, nature’s
private secretary, dipped his pen in thought.” Goethe remarked, “If
now in my quiet days I had youthful faculties at my command, I should
devote myself to Greek, in spite of all the difficulties I know. Nature
and Aristotle should be my sole study. It is beyond all conception what
that man espied, saw, beheld, remarked, observed.”

The portrait that we draw of Aristotle is very different from that
of Plato. Instead of the deeply poetic temper, the man who sees all
things in an ideal unity of infiniteness and vastness, we have before
us now the scientist in search of facts, the accurate man of good
sense, whose imagination does not soar above the clouds, but at the
same time has extraordinary fertility in historical and scientific
theoretical explanations. His was a life filled with the love of truth.
His learning took up into itself the entire range of human knowledge
in such a way as to include its earlier development. And what is more,
he showed an equal interest in all departments. Aristotle was more of
a scientist than Plato, for the theoretical rather than the ethical
interest was fundamental in his work. He is the personification and
completion of pure Greek learning.

=Biography of Aristotle=, 384–322 B. C.

=Brief Chronological Sketch of Aristotle’s Life.=

            First Period――Aristotle the Student――37 years.
                             384–347 B. C.

  384 Born in Stagira in Macedonia.
  367 Entered the Academy. Remained 19 years.
  347 Left the Academy upon the death of Plato.

           Second Period――Aristotle the Traveler――12 years.
                             347–335 B. C.

  347 Went to the courts at Atarneus and Mytilene in Asia Minor.
  343 Returned to the court of Macedon at Pella, in response to the
        summons of King Philip, to teach the young prince Alexander.
        Remained 4 years.
  340 Went from Pella to Stagira to engage in scientific work.
        Remained 5 years.

      Third Period――Aristotle the Leader of the Lyceum――13 years.
                             335–322 B. C.

  335 Founded the Lyceum in Athens. Taught and administered the
        school 12 years.
  323 Fled to Chalcis.
  322 Died in Chalcis.

=Aristotle’s Biography in Detail.=

=1. First Period=, 384–347 B. C.――=Early Influences=. Aristotle was
born in Stagira in Macedonia. His father was court physician to King
Amyntas, the founder of the Macedonian power and the father of King
Philip. He came from a long line of physicians (the caste, Asclepiad)
who traced their origin to Asclepius. Little is known about the early
years of Aristotle except that his father and mother died, leaving him
in the guardianship of Proxenus of Atarneus. (Atarneus is the state in
Asia Minor which he later visited.) It can scarcely be doubted that he
was destined by his family to be a physician, and that the empirical
works of Hippocrates and Democritus were the first elements of his
early education. Aristotle grew up in this atmosphere of medicine of
Macedonia, which explains his respect for the results of experience
and his accuracy in details,――all of which contrasts him with the Attic

He was sent by Proxenus to the Academy in 367 B. C., at the age
of eighteen, and he remained there for nineteen years, or until he
was thirty-seven. He was not merely a pupil in the school, but his
brilliancy won for him immediately a prominent position there. He
became a teacher, an attractive writer, and champion of the literary
spirit of the school. Even while he was a member of the Academy he
became a famous man. It is difficult to say just how much influence
the Academy had upon the casting of his thought. His scientific
inclinations were formed before he went to the Academy; he got his
immense scientific erudition in Asia Minor and in Stagira later, after
he left the Academy. Probably the spirit of the Platonic school turned
his attention to ethical and metaphysical theories, and probably it was
due to his stay in the Academy that he became interested in rhetorical
and purely cultural studies. At the same time his own influence must
have been very great in forming the policy of the Academy, and he
was probably responsible for its turning its attention to scientific

The sources from which Aristotle drew the material of his philosophical
science were therefore (1) his inherited taste for medicine and
empirical science; and (2) the influence of the Academy in ethical,
metaphysical, and cultural subjects. Both these factors appear
throughout the philosophical development of Aristotle. On the other
hand, it must not be forgotten that probably Aristotle’s influence
upon the Academy was as great as that of the Academy upon him. His
own persistence along the line of empirical science shows itself in
his period at Atarneus, Mitylene, and on his return to Stagira. Much
has been said about an estrangement between Aristotle and his teacher,
Plato. This is probably idle gossip. Aristotle held his master in
great esteem, as he himself testifies in his _Ethics_. Aristotle was an
independent and original mind, and probably even in the school he would
point out defects in Plato’s thought, when his aged teacher would lead
his theories upon mistaken lines. Plato said that his pupil Xenocrates
needed the spur, while Aristotle needed the bridle. Aristotle was
called the brain of the Academy.

=2. Second Period=, 347–335 B. C.――=Traveler and Collector=. When
Plato died, and his nephew Speusippus became scholarch of the Academy,
Aristotle, in company with Xenocrates, went to the court of Hermeias,
ruler of Atarneus and Mitylene. Hermeias was another pupil of Plato
at the Academy. Here Aristotle married twice, and here he resided for
six years. In 343 B. C. he obeyed the summons of King Philip to come
to Pella and become the tutor of Alexander. He acted in this capacity
for four years, and seems to have been more fortunate than Plato as
instructor of a king. His influence upon Alexander was very great.
Without losing himself in the impracticable, Aristotle seems to have
impressed high philosophical ideals upon the noble spirit of his kingly
ward. Alexander says of Aristotle, “To my father I owe my life, to
Aristotle the knowledge how to live worthily.” During the tedium of
the protracted campaign in Bactria, Alexander sent for the tragedies
of Euripides, Sophocles, and Æschylus. The _Ethics_ of his teacher
was always with him. The ideals of statesmanship, the wide purposes
in political control, the greatness of the aims of the young conqueror,
as well as his self-control, his aversion to meanness and petty
things, and his sublime moderation were due in part to the teachings
of Aristotle. Never was there a more fortunate conjunction of two great
minds than here.

In 340 B. C., when Alexander entered upon his administrative and
military duties, Aristotle became independent of the Macedonian court.
He spent the most of these four years (340–335 B. C.) in scientific
work at Stagira, in intimate companionship with his young friend
Theophrastus, who later succeeded him as scholarch of the Lyceum.
“Among the special subjects of study in the school of Mieza and Stagira,
natural history formed a part.... Alexander at one time contributed
eight hundred talents to forward his former teacher’s investigations
in zoölogy, placed at his disposal a thousand men throughout Asia
and Greece, with instructions to follow out Aristotle’s directions
in collecting and reporting details concerning the life, conditions,
and habits of animals, and in every way made his campaigns serve the
purpose of scientific investigation.”[33] The reports of the ancients
concerning the vast sums placed at Aristotle’s disposal for use in
scientific investigation are of course exaggerated. That he made large
collections during this period, as well as later, is certain. This was
possible to him, first, because he was a rich man himself, and second,
because of his relations to the courts at Atarneus and Macedonia.

=3. Third Period=, 335–322 B. C.――=Administrator of the Lyceum=.
When Alexander entered upon his campaigns in Asia, and Aristotle
felt himself free from immediate duty to him, he went to Athens and
founded the Lyceum. This school very soon arose above the Academy,
and became the model of later societies of scholars of antiquity. Its
greatness partook of the greatness of Aristotle,――in the universality
of its interests, in the orderliness of its administration, and
in methodical coöperation. For twelve years he was the executive,
teacher, administrator, and inspiration of this school――developing
his philosophy, accumulating materials, and instructing his pupils.
The enormous product of the school could not have been the work of
one pair of hands. Nevertheless the writings, the immense collections,
the ethical and political treatises, show a unity that speaks of one
master-mind that had them under direction. When the Athenians began
to rise against the Macedonian rule, Aristotle’s position in Athens
as a friend of Alexander became unsafe. He fled to Chalcis, excusing
himself, so the tradition goes, because he wished to spare the
Athenians a second crime against philosophy. He died in Chalcis the
next year (322 B. C.).

A comparison of these three periods of Aristotle’s life discloses
the uniformity of that life, from beginning to end. He was, from the
time he entered the Academy to the founding of the Lyceum, a teacher.
Even as pupil of Plato his original mind was influencing the Platonic
teaching into new channels. During his second period he was a traveler,
to be sure; but he was more,――a collector and a king’s tutor. He was
always Aristotle, the philosophical teacher. Hence the periods of his
life cannot be so sharply marked as Plato’s, and the lines that are
drawn point only to phases of a life that had unity, like his doctrine.
His life is a regular development from sources in his first period, and
with no later deviating influence.

=The Writings of Aristotle.= On every page of Plato’s dialogues you
meet Plato; in Aristotle’s writings the personality of the author is
subordinated to his science. The collections of writings transmitted
under the name of Aristotle do not give even an approximately complete
picture of the immense activity of the man. They form, indeed, a
stately memorial, even after the spurious writings have been omitted,
but their bulk is small compared with what we know was the product of
his literary workshop. Forty treatises have been preserved. A catalogue
of the library of Alexandria in 220 B. C. includes a list of one
hundred and forty-six others, which have since been lost. Aristotle
was writer, lecturer, teacher, and the administrator of the Lyceum.
His leadership of that school, his careful direction of his coöperators
in research and study, was not only an instruction but an impulsion
to independent scientific study for all time. His great collections
of scientific data can be explained only by their being the combined
efforts of many different forces, guided and schooled by a common
master. The world was ready to take an account of stock, and Aristotle
was the first encyclopædic philosopher.

=1. The Popular Writings, published by Aristotle himself.= These were
intended for a circle of readers wider than his own school. No one of
these works is extant in complete form. They were written by Aristotle
during his life in the Academy. They were dialogues in form; in content
they were discussions of justice, wealth, wisdom, rhetoric, politics,
love, conduct, prayer, generosity, education, government, etc. They
were less artistic than Plato’s dialogues, but more original and
striking; and they were full of happy inventions and rich thought,
expressed in florid diction. The ancients spoke often of Aristotle’s
“golden flow of thought,” but this cannot truthfully apply to any save
these lost writings.

=2. The Compilations.= These were excerpts from scientific works,
collections of zoölogical, literary, historical, and antiquarian data,
which Aristotle and his pupils had gathered together. Only a few
fragments of the total remain. There were critical notes upon the
Pythagoreans, reports of extracts of Plato’s dialogues, a descriptive
basis for zoölogy with illustrations, collections of previous
rhetorical theories and models, histories of tragedies and comedies,
discussions about Homer, Hesiod, Archilochus, Euripides, and other
poets; there were historical miscellanies and reports concerning one
hundred fifty-eight Greek state constitutions.

=3. The Didactic Writings.= These have in part been preserved, and
they make up the collection of what we have of Aristotle’s writings.
They have a consistently developed terminology, but they are wanting
in grace and beauty of presentation. The plan of the books is generally
the same: the problem is precisely stated; then follows a criticism of
various attempted solutions; then a discussion of the salient points of
the problem; then a marshaling of the facts; and, finally, an attempt
to get a conclusive result. The method is modern in its scientific
procedure and the contrast with Plato is striking. Yet it must not
be inferred that these books of Aristotle are orderly. There are
repetitions, haste, unequal development of parts, and unfulfilled
promises. These books were nothing else than the written notes which
he had made the basis of his lectures and had intended to form into
text-books in some future time. Only parts of the Logic seem to have
been completed for text-book purposes.

These didactic writings are simply arranged as follows (Wallace):

   1. The treatise on Logic called _Organon_.
   2. Speculative Philosophy.
        First Philosophy or Theology or Metaphysics.
        Mathematics (writings not extant).
        Physics (including the history of animals and the psychology).
   3. Practical Philosophy.
   4. Poetic Philosophy.

=Aristotle’s Starting-Point.= The two early influences in Aristotle’s
mental development offer an explanation for his philosophical point
of view. These influences were his empirical training in medicine and
his conceptual training in the moral ideals of the Academy. Plato had
convinced him that if there were to be any true science, it must be
founded on concepts that are unchanging. His own scientific training,
however, reinforced by the influence of Democritus, made him respect
the value of empirical facts. While the philosophical problem for
Aristotle was the same as that for Plato, the difference between
them was in the main a matter of emphasis due to their different
starting-points. Plato started with the refutation of the Protagorean
theory of perception, and consequently he emphasized the value of the
conceptual world; Aristotle, however, felt that Plato had overestimated
the conceptual world, and he emphasized the importance of empirical
facts. Both when a member of the Academy and later, he strongly
contended against Plato’s evaluation of the world of Ideas, because
they so transcended the sense world that they neither explained
nor illuminated it. Aristotle’s reaction against Plato’s theory
furthermore gives us a more correct notion of what Plato really taught.
If conceptions are to enter into knowledge, they must not exist in
the clouds of abstraction. He maintained that Plato had increased
the difficulty of the problem by adding a second world of entities
quite distinct from the world of nature. The same problem that Plato
confronted still exists unanswered, said Aristotle. It is the problem
of the twofold world. If Ideas are apart from things, we could not
know that they existed, we should not be able to know anything about
them, nor should we be able to explain the world through them. It
is true that Plato, in his later draft, had conceived Ideas to be
teleologically related to the physical things, but how could this be if
they were apart from things? Thus in his reaction from Plato’s theory
of Ideas, Aristotle reëstablished the world of perceptual fact. This is
the starting-point of Aristotle.

=The Fundamental Principle in Aristotle’s Philosophy.= The first
question then is, How did Aristotle reëstablish the perceptual fact?
What means did he employ to give the perceptual fact a reality?
The answer to this question will be the statement of Aristotle’s
fundamental principle. It will show his advance over Plato by
showing his new estimate of the perceptual world. Plato accepted
the Protagorean doctrine of perception, but also gave it a new value
by placing perceptions beside conceptions in the world of reality;
Aristotle developed Plato’s teaching about perceptions by linking them
inseparably with conceptions. Aristotle felt that Plato’s difficulties
arose from the lack of close relationship between conceptual Being
and perceptual fact. What is that linkage? What binds abiding reality
and changing phenomena so closely? _The linkage is development._
Development is the relation between conception and perception. It is
the fundamental principle in the philosophy of Aristotle throughout
and places a new estimate upon the value of perception. Perceptual
facts apart from conceptions have no reality; conceptions apart from
perceptions are mere abstractions. In the world of reality conceptual
Being resides in the perceptual facts, and the perceptual facts express
conceptions. They always exist together in a linkage or relationship
that is teleological, purposeful――the linkage of development. An
abstract statement of this relationship is, “Aristotle felt the
conceptual necessity of the empirically actual.” Perhaps the clearest
statement of this fundamental principle can be made in the terms of
evolution. It is this: _true reality is the essence which unfolds in
phenomena_. Notice that this sentence has two parts equally freighted:
_reality is an unfolding essence_; _reality is in phenomena_. The true
universal must be thought as realizing itself through its development
in particulars; the true concept as realizing itself through its
development in percepts; the true abiding Being as realizing itself in
its development through change. On the one hand, reality is the essence
of things; on the other, reality has existence only in things.

True reality is the individual.

The individual consists of two aspects: (1) conceptual being, and
(2) perceptual change.

These two aspects always stand in a relationship.

That relationship is developing purpose.

Here is the key to the teaching of Aristotle that seems to open
the doors of its many chambers. In his metaphysics reality is the
individual developing from possibility to actuality. In physics
individual phenomena get a reality through their development from
lower to higher types. In psychology the individual person is real when
the particulars, the physiological and psychological states, develop
toward the soul, which is their truth. So, too, in the great system of
logic in which Aristotle was pioneer, he is simply trying to give the
particular judgment a meaning by showing its linkage to the universal
judgment. Everywhere the starting-point of Aristotle is the perceptual
fact. Everywhere his purpose is to reëstablish it by showing its
relation to abiding conception in the individual.

It may be well to remark, however, that Aristotle does not altogether
succeed in constructing a consistent theory. In spite of his criticism
of Plato’s transcendent Ideas, in many places Aristotle does not
overcome Plato’s dualism. Frequently he differs from Plato more in
words than in meaning. We shall observe some of his inconsistencies
in their place. We shall see that Aristotle as he meant to be
was different from Aristotle as he was. Aristotle as he meant to
be――Aristotle as the opponent of Plato’s dualism――develops a philosophy
from a single fundamental principle. Aristotle as he was, reverts at
many critical points to Plato’s dualism.

Aristotle’s principle of development may appear at first blush very
much like the modern principle of evolution. As a matter of fact it
was very different. In all Greek philosophy after Socrates the study
of morals was fundamental. The ideal of Socrates, Democritus, Plato,
Aristotle, and the later Schools was a moral ideal. Being moral it was
fixed, and it fixed all the changes of life to it as a centre. Nature
was to the Greek a museum of types oscillating around a perfect form.
There was no evolution in the sense of progress. There was development
within the individual――the boy becomes a man, the seed becomes a flower;
but there was no evolution from genus to genus. Indeed, any variation
of the individual from its type was considered a defect.

=Aristotle’s Logic.= Aristotle felt that there must be a science of the
methods of science; and so successful was he in its formulation that it
has practically remained as he transmitted it. We are struck by the way
in which he divided science into the special sciences, each with its
well-defined field. It was perfectly natural that he should also, with
his great power of abstract reasoning, discuss the body of rules for
legitimate thinking. In science there must be an art of investigation,
just as in rhetoric there is an art of persuasion. At an early period
these logical writings were collected under the name _Organon_, because
the Lyceum regarded them so intimately connected with scientific
procedure as to be the instrument or “organ” of all knowledge. Certain
parts of Aristotle’s _Organon_ are of doubtful genuineness. The
important sections are the _Analytics_, a masterly logical groundwork
of the conclusion and proof, and the _Topics_, which treats of the
inductive methods of probability. Aristotle therefore made logic a
preliminary and separate study, as it should be. It became the preface
to his scientific work.

We shall briefly discuss Aristotle’s logic, because it is an
exemplification of his general philosophical principle. Among the
subjects in the history of philosophy, logic is perhaps the only
one that has had no internal history. Aristotle was the pioneer
in the subject. He left it so finished that scarcely any changes
of consequence could be made in it. The external history of the
Aristotelian logic has, however, been notable. A portion of the
_Categories_ and _De Interpretatione_ was most influential in the
history of the Middle Ages. The _Logic_ had been misunderstood and
misapplied by Aristotle’s own School, so that when it came into the
hands of the Schoolmen it had acquired the reputation of being only an
abstract formal logic. As thus interpreted it was used by the Schoolmen
and attacked by the philosophers of the Renaissance. Such a view of
Aristotle’s logic is unjust to the author. He had conceived logic
in its wholeness to be the true method to be used in investigating
practical scientific problems.

The Sophists had proposed rules of practical value in the study
of individual cases; Socrates had tried to fix upon some universal
principle as the basis of knowledge; Aristotle made a comprehensive
study of the regular forms of thought and the rules that govern the
arrangement of these forms in right thinking. In true Platonic fashion
he conceived physical events in nature to be due to some universal
cause. If, therefore, logical procedure be scientific, it must follow
the ways of nature: logic must deduce particular perceptions from
some universal idea. The necessary thought-relations in which the
particular stands will then appear. Deduction of the particular from
the universal is the true scientific method, used in the explanation
of nature-phenomena; so in proof the same deductive reasoning should
be used. In scientific study we are trying to show the conceptual
necessity of an empirical fact; in proof we are showing the conceptual
necessity of the particular term. Whether we are explaining an event
or proving a conclusion, we are employing the same logical process.
Aristotle thus regarded his logic as the true scientific method for
practical service, not as a merely abstract discipline in verbal

Socrates and Plato confined themselves to the study of the concept or
simple term. Aristotle also studied the concept. Indeed, he tried to
find out what concepts are fundamental in our thinking, so fundamental
that they are our thought reduced to its lowest terms. He names ten
of these fundamental concepts and calls them categories. But Aristotle
goes farther than Socrates and Plato, and makes his real point of
departure the judgment. A single term does not express truth. For
truth we must have two terms connected by the verb “is,” _i. e._ some
_relation_ must be shown between them. This is a judgment. Reasoning is
still more complex. It is the putting together or showing the relation
between two judgments. This process takes the form of the syllogism.
The first task of deduction is to present the laws of the syllogism.
These will then be the laws of scientific investigation. According
to these, particulars can be derived with certainty from universal
propositions, provided such universals are established. The syllogism
is in the form of two premises and a derived conclusion. It contains
three terms. The problem is to infer, from the relation that one
of these terms bears to the two other terms, what the two bear to
each other. The principle employed is that of subordination; and the
differentiations of the syllogism can be many, depending on the quality
and quantity of the premises and the distribution of the middle term.
The working of the syllogism in inference has a certainty so great that
Aristotle called it apodictic.

But there is another side to the syllogistic besides the deduction of
proof or the explanation of empirical fact. This is the establishment
of the premises. All deduction presupposes absolute premises. All
deduction is grounded on something not deduced; all proof on something
not proved; all explanation on something that has not been explained.
These presuppositions are universal propositions that can be known
only immediately through intuitions. Aristotle is not altogether
clear as to what these intuitions are. He names such axioms as the
law of contradiction and the law of the excluded middle, and some
special propositions which apply only to particular sciences. Since
the premises which we actually use are not open to proof, but only
strengthened as to the validity of their application, we must use the
method of induction in our search for them. We accumulate data from
opinions and varied experiences, and then we ascend to a generalization
which we take as a premise. The results of induction cannot therefore
be in themselves certain. The results are only probable, and can have
the character of knowledge only as they explain phenomena. Aristotle
means by induction something different from the present use of the
term. Induction in modern times means a kind of proof; Aristotle
means a method of discovery of _relatively_ universal terms where the
absolutely universal cannot be obtained.

There is an ideal involved in this conception of logic that is
interesting. In a perfectly intellectual society there would be a
perfect science in which all particular facts could be derived with
absolute certainty from premises absolutely known. Life and logic would
be identical. We should then be certain not only as to our proof but as
to our premises. Logic has sometimes been used very effectively in this
way. When the mediæval church conceived its dogmas to be the ultimate
premises of truth, it could deduce from them complete rules for living.
To the mediæval mind the perfect science was formulated by deducing it
from the dogma of the church. The dogmas were the absolute premises.
The Renaissance did not doubt the infallibility of the traditional
dogmas so much as the logical method, and Aristotle, who had been so
long artificially identified with the proof of ecclesiastical dogma,
was set aside.

Aristotle, moreover, showed great insight into the present relation
of thought and reality. The sequence of facts in our experience, he
pointed out, is exactly the reverse of what it is in reality. What
is first in reality comes last in our experience, and what is first
in our experience is last in reality. To illustrate: the mission of
the Athenian State in the eternity of things did not appear until
every event in its history had occurred. A perfect being would see the
universal ground before the historical particulars derived from it,
while we look from the particulars to their universal causes. Logic and
metaphysics agree; but they stand in inverted parallelism to historical
and psychological processes. Knowledge is a development from the senses
into the Ideas, and yet, on the other hand, Aristotle never fails to
remind us that this development is the expression of an idea which has
been present from the beginning.

=Aristotle’s Metaphysics.=

=1. Development is Purposeful.= The conception of relation is, of
course, quite as fundamental in Aristotle’s theory of metaphysics as
in his logic. In logic knowledge of the particular is possible through
its relationship to the universal; in metaphysics the relationship is
the relationship of development――the particular has significance and
value through the universal essence that unfolds from within it. If
Aristotle shows genius for abstract thinking by becoming the “Father of
Logic,” he shows equal genius for abstract thinking in his metaphysical
conception of development. He believed that metaphysics applies the
same conditions to things that logic discovers in thought. But in
metaphysics the relationship is not the abstract relationship that
Aristotle saw in Plato, but the vital relation of development in the
life and change of nature.

We have already stated the fundamental principle in Aristotle’s
teaching as _an unfolding essence in phenomena_. The unfolding is the
relationship of development. Reality does not consist in the particular
things of nature, nor in something outside nature, but in this
essential linkage of the perceptual and conceptual in nature. As the
world is spread out before us, it presents objects that are dynamic,
however much they may appear to be static. Everywhere matter is in the
process of forming. The world is a forming, not a formed nor a formless
world. So, also, if you undertook to describe any individual object in
the world, you would have to define it as a forming or developing thing.
A tree, for example, would not be adequately defined or described by
enumerating its parts at any one moment; but you must describe it as
a unitary organism developing from a seed. The reality of the world is
the development of its meaning in its history; the same is true of the
reality of any individual thing in the world. The world and the things
therein have an unfolding essence.

The next point to be observed about Aristotle’s conception is that the
_relationship of development is between two terms_. The individual must
have two aspects: there must be that out of which the development is
passing, and that into which it is passing. Aristotle calls these two
aspects of development respectively Matter and Form. Every object of
nature consists of Form and Matter, and these two terms have passed
into history. To Aristotle everything is Matter becoming Form, or, in
other words, Form realizing itself in Matter. The tree has its Matter
which is becoming Formed, and its Form into which the Matter is growing.
The principle which unites the two is development,――the principle
of the individual. Matter, then, is the possibility or potentiality
of an individual thing――it is the thing given potentially; Form is
its actuality or reality. If you emphasize merely the stages in the
development, you are regarding merely the _occurrences_; if, however,
you emphasize the stages of development as aspects of a unity, you see
its _essence_.

The relationship of development between two terms thus becomes under
Aristotle’s hands _the relation of purpose_. Aristotle calls this
self-realization of the essence in phenomena by the technical word
_entelechy_, _i. e._ in opposition to the earlier conceptions of nature
Aristotle conceived nature teleologically. Teleology or purpose we
found Plato using in his second draft of the Ideas, but more as a
postulate than as an efficient means of explanation. Aristotle uses
teleology as his positive fundamental principle of nature.

=2. Aristotle’s Two Different Conceptions of Purpose.= Aristotle
illustrated his conception of the purposeful relation in nature from
two very different types: (1) the development of organisms; (2) the
development that takes place when an artisan moulds plastic material.
Manifestly here are two different kinds of teleological activities.
In organic growth the Form that realizes itself in Matter is immanent
in the organism; the artist, on the other hand, superimposes the
Form upon the plastic material. In the case of organisms Matter and
Form are separable only by abstraction, and are only two aspects of
a development which is identical from the beginning to the end; in
the case of artistic construction the Matter is first a possibility
existing by itself, and the purpose of the artist is later added unto
it. In the case of organisms Aristotle speaks of two causes,――the
material and the formal; in the case of artistic construction he
employs four causes,――the material, the efficient, the formal, and
the final. Aristotle did not expressly formulate these two different
conceptions of purpose, but he completely applied them in practice.
On the one hand he regarded individual things as self-realizing, and
on the other he looked upon them as realized in other things. This
seemingly harmless difference is really very fundamental, for it is the
difference between Aristotle as he meant to be――Aristotle as the critic
of Plato’s dualism――and Aristotle who reverts to Plato’s teaching.
We find therefore two Aristotles; one a dynamic monist, the other
a transcendent dualist. We cannot say that Aristotle as he meant to
be is the true Aristotle, for he is a dualist in very many important

Aristotle’s conception of purpose as exemplified by organisms is his
original conception, and is what he intended to be the basis of his
philosophy. Here the truly real is the individual determined by its
own Form. It is the dynamic and not the artistic view of life. Activity
is directed to an end not without but _within itself_. The individual
is a complete organic unity at rest within itself. The individual
is primarily the essence or substance. Of the ten categories which
he enumerates, substance from this point of view is to Aristotle the
most important. The nine other categories only describe the states
or relations of the substance. The essence of the individual is the
substance; and Aristotle conceives the substance as the species or
universal in the thing. It is pointed out that even here Aristotle is
guilty of a dualism in the double meaning in which he uses substance.
But the conception of Aristotle here is of an immanent, dynamic reality.
He has in mind the self-contained unity of the individual, whether that
be a tree, a man, or the universe.

Aristotle’s conception of purpose as exemplified by artistic products
preponderates over his original conception of purpose. When he regards
the individual objects in the world, not as self-contained but as
relative to one another, he has a different conception of the world.
In this case the individuals are not realities but have reference to
a reality transcending them. The world is still a developing world,
but the essence that unfolds itself is not _in_ phenomena. It is a
goal for which phenomena strive. The fulfillment of the purpose is
beyond. Individual things are only a scale of values relative to some
transcendent standard. To illustrate: the bud, the blossom, the fruit,
have not their realization in themselves, but as food; again, the
growing tree, the timber lying on the ground, the timber in the house,
have their realization in the completed house; again, in the world at
large, the original nebulous matter of the universe, the first-formed
worlds, the early years of this earth, the succeeding centuries, the
20th century of this world, are only a scale of values for something
in the future.

In facing such facts, Aristotle had to depart from his original
conceptualistic standard of the world as an organic unity and of
individual things having their meaning in themselves. View a thing
by itself, and it seems to be a self-contained reality which unfolds
for itself alone. View a thing with reference to other things, and its
reality is in something else. Here is Aristotle no longer as he meant
to be, but as he really was. He is now Plato’s pupil. Each thing now
is to be regarded, not as containing in itself the two aspects of Form
and Matter, but as the possibility of something and the actuality of
something else. The blossom is the possibility or Matter of the fruit
and the Form or actuality of the bud. The nineteenth century is the
Form of the eighteenth and the Matter of the twentieth. But development
has a limit above and below, according to Aristotle: below, in Matter
that is without Form; above, in Form that is without Matter. Pure Form
is God, who excludes from Himself all Matter or possibility, because He
is perfect. Pure Matter is the lower limit, which is entire possibility,
and exists only to be formed. Here is a dualism as distinct as Plato’s,
which Aristotle not only did not overcome but which he developed. In
the same way that Plato contrasted Ideas and empty space, Aristotle
contrasted God as pure Form and Matter as pure possibility.

In this final dualistic form in which Aristotle left his teaching,
there are three specific doctrines which the student must consider
carefully. They are important because they had great influence in later
orthodox theology and in theories of nature. These special doctrines
are (1) Aristotle’s conception of God; (2) his conception of matter;
(3) his conception of nature.

=3. Aristotle’s Conception of God.= In the Aristotelian system the
assumption of an upper final term of pure Form was necessary, because
Matter as the possible and potential is not endowed with the power of
motion and generation. To Aristotle development is not a process with
temporal beginning and ending, but is a kind of closed circuit. Since
reality is in itself a developing essence, motion is as eternal as
reality. We should not ask, therefore, When did the world begin, and
when will it end? but we can legitimately ask, What is the nature of
reality that keeps motion alive? When we examine individual things, we
find, according to Aristotle’s explanation, that motion is the result
of the influence of Form upon Matter. There is inherent in matter an
impulse to be formed, and there is inherent in Form an active forming
purpose. But we may search individual things in vain for the causal
explanation of motion, since every Form is in turn the Matter for
a higher Form. The chain would be endless and not intelligible if
there did not exist a pure Form, which is unmoved. God as the unmoved
mover is the cause of the world-motion, but God must be the cause in
a different sense from the physical causes, which are themselves moved.
God operates as a cause upon Matter, not as a mechanical cause but as
pure Form,――as a final or teleological cause. God is the cause in the
sense that God excites in Matter the impulse to be actual, like God.

This prime mover is similar to Plato’s Idea of the Good. _As to its
form_ it is eternal, unmovable, unchangeable, wholly independent and
incorporeal, and yet the cause of all generation and change. God is the
perfect Being in whom all possibility is actuality. _As to its content_
God is pure thought. But in respect to his thought God is not like
human thought, which is concerned with external phenomena and changing
things. God is thought that has nothing else for its object than itself
and its own unchanging content. God is “thought of thought.” God’s
contemplation of himself is his own blessed life. Here in Aristotle
is a momentous conception formed for the first time in the history
of thought. Monotheism is for the first time conceptually framed and
scientifically grounded. The monism of Aristotle’s predecessors passes
over into a theism. God is not only immaterial in the sense that Plato
defined the Ideas, but he is spiritual. In Aristotle’s transcendent God,
conceived as pure self-consciousness, we have the ripest fruit of Greek

=4. Aristotle’s Conception of Matter.= The other and lower limit of
Aristotle’s dualism is Matter, “first Matter,” as Aristotle called it.
In itself it is wholly unformed and mere possibility. But it is unlike
pure Form in this respect,――it never exists in itself. God exists
apart from Matter, but since Matter is mere possibility, Matter never
exists apart from Form. Matter has a double character. On the one
hand Matter is that which as an accessory cause makes the world of
phenomena possible; on the other hand it is the source of the lawless
and purposeless in nature. Through its seeking to be formed it makes
the presentation of the Idea possible, and yet it stands as a deterrent
principle to the full presentation of the Form. On the one hand it is
the _sine qua non_ of physical nature, shows itself in real physical
effects, and is the basis of mechanical causation, motion, and impact.
On the other hand it stands in the way of the Forms actualizing
themselves fully, and it prevents the universe from perfecting itself
as God is perfect. While Matter is not an indifferent negative (as in
Plato’s teaching), but the necessary substratum of corporeal things,
it is however the indeterminate, and the ground of the accidental and
purposeless in nature. Matter is the infinite and unlimited, and is
the source of unusual phenomena, like monstrosities and abortions.
Both fate and accident are due to the retarding influence of Matter,
because it obstructs the successful working out of Form. Quite in
accord with Greek thought, Aristotle conceived necessity and chance to
be fundamentally the same, and the Greek custom of drawing lots shows
the universality of the notion.

=5. Aristotle’s Conception of Nature.= Nature is therefore to Aristotle
a far more complex world than Plato had conceived it. Nature has a
double character to Aristotle, as his twofold conception of causation
shows. Nature is composed of mechanical and teleological causes.
Purpose and necessity are the two principles of motion in the world,
and in this twofold conception of causation did Aristotle reconcile
Plato and Democritus. However much Aristotle concedes to the Democritan
idea of mechanical necessity, it is evident that in his conception of
nature the principle of teleology predominates over the mechanical.
The highest actuality is God, and he is a final or teleological cause;
and all results of value in nature come through final causes. Final
causes are primary causes; mechanical causes are secondary causes.
There would be no motion whatever in the universe but for the highest
final cause, God. Yet God is the unmoved mover, and matter cannot move
itself. Motion occurs because matter feels the impulse to form itself
like God. How different this Aristotelian conception of nature from our
modern scientific conception of an impersonal nature under a mechanical
causation that is universal! The teleological conception of nature and
natural events was very strongly intrenched in the human mind during
the Middle Ages, and was not dislodged easily by modern investigation.
Nature was a living thing to Aristotle. It was at once intrinsically
spontaneous, and self-determined and uniform. Its spontaneity was not
that of capricious chance. Its uniformity was that of purpose and end.
On the other hand, the Aristotelian conception of nature is not the
same as either the Christian doctrine of created nature or Darwin’s
theory of ♦evolution. The world of Aristotle had always existed; it
is a limited world in space, but not in time. Also the divine reason
always existed in it. Yet its evolution is not a progressive climbing
sort, like the Darwinian, in which new species evolve. It means only
that there is a relationship of rank and value among nature objects.
Nature is a unity. Teleological change occurs within it.

Nature is therefore a connected system of living beings in the process
of development from Form to Form, approximating the Deity and existing
as the potentiality of the Deity. There is a graded scale of things
of relative worth. But the double standard of estimating the worth of
nature-objects――that of mechanical necessity and that of teleological
cause――makes _two different series_, which find their union only at
the end in God. From our foregoing description of the nature of God,
it will be seen that he has two essential characteristics: he is Being
who ever rests within himself and remains like himself; and he is a
pure reason. He therefore combines in himself the two nature series in
their most ideal character. _Nature-objects in the series of mechanical
necessity_ have as their ideal character just that uniformity,
regularity, and order that we find in the abiding Being of God. The
greater the uniformity, the more nearly like God. _Nature-objects,
in the teleological series_, have as their ideal characteristic the
reason of God. The more nearly rational such a living being is, the
more nearly is it like God. In the one line the series of phenomena
ascends from the disorder of the terrestrial universe to the absolute
uniformity of the stars, which are close to God. In the other line
the series ascends in teleological values from the mechanical and
vegetative characteristics of organisms to their rational activity.
Both series terminate in God. The stars have rational intelligence and
the most uniform motions. Aristotle conceived Physics as the science
that includes the first series, and the second series he conceived to
be included by Psychology, Ethics, and Politics.

=The Mechanical Series,――Aristotle’s Theory of Physics.= The general
astronomical assumptions of the time determined Aristotle’s theory of
the physical world. He adopted the old Pythagorean conception of the
limited world-all: a hollow sphere made up of concentric crystalline
spheres. In opposition to the Pythagoreans, he conceived the earth at
the centre. It is spherical and stationary. Around it the crystalline
spheres revolve, in which the moon, sun, five planets, and fixed stars
are placed. The fixed stars are in the rim of the great sphere, are
outside all, and are nearest therefore to God, who animates all. God
as it were holds the world-all in the hollow of his hand. He moves the
whole, which in turn moves the fifty-five concentric crystal spheres
within. The principle of the movement of fixed stars is that of the
Deity, while the principle of the other spheres is that of the spirits
which reside in them. The movement of the planets have an influence
upon terrestrial life. Aristotle made the usual Pythagorean division
between the celestial and the terrestrial parts of the world-all, which
has had so much influence upon theology. The motion of the world-all is
most perfect, being a circle; its form is most perfect, being a sphere.
The celestial part of this world-all, which is the region lying near
the periphery, is most like God. The motion of this heaven is circular,
and it is the place of uniformity, perfectness, and changeableness.
The stars do not change nor pass away. They are superhuman beings, who
in their regularity are like the blessed gods. The terrestrial part of
the world-all below the moon has motions in straight lines. This is the
theatre of imperfection and irregularity, of increase and diminution.

There are many interesting discussions by Aristotle upon particular
physical matters, such as space, time, the elements. His conception of
motion shows how the series of uniform nature-motions lead up to the
second series of teleological values. In nature there are three kinds
of motion: change of place (mechanical); change in quality (chemical);
change in substance (organic). While change of place is the lowest
kind of motion, it is necessary to chemical and organic changes. Yet
Aristotle refuses to allow that qualitative changes can be reduced to
quantitative changes, but maintains that quality is self-subsistent.
Organic change, or change in substance, on the contrary, has a higher
Form of reality than the lower changes. This stand taken by Aristotle,
in refusing to reduce qualitative to quantitative determinations, shows
how comprehensive and sane a scientist he was. It introduces us to a
psychology and an ethics that are intimately linked to physics, and at
the same time have realms of their own. Let us now turn to the series
of qualitative nature changes, or to psychology, ethics, and politics.

=The Teleological Series: The Qualitative Changes of Phenomena.=

=1. The Psychology of Aristotle.= As the first experimental
psychologist, Aristotle intimately connected his studies in psychology
with his studies in biology and medicine. Man is a part of the world
of nature, and psychology is in part a comparative study. As we pass
upward from the mechanical changes, we find chemical changes of quality,
and then changes of organic life. Studying the organic realm, we
find ♦organisms to consist of souls of relative ranking. There are
vegetative souls, sensitive souls, and rational souls. Plants have
vegetative souls with the powers of assimilation and propagation;
besides vegetative souls animals have sensitive souls, with the powers
of appetition and locomotion; man possesses, besides both these souls,
the rational soul. Here is a series of teleological relationships,
where the purpose of the organism is explained only by the activity
of its soul. The soul builds up its body as a system of organs, and as
an organology the theory of Aristotle has great significance. Nature
strives ever upward, even in the inorganic processes, through an
unbroken series of creations to its highest Form in man. Each step in
the upward progress is the realization of an entelechy, or purpose, and
constitutes for the moment the goal of the impulse to strive. The whole
world is striving to realize the perfect Form. The lower ends, the
mechanical and vegetable and appetitive Forms, are not lost but are
utilized in the process; for they are the Matter upon which the Forms
higher than themselves are built. Every member is both Form and Matter
in the whole series.

The psychology has therefore two parts: (1) the general theory of
animal souls, which possesses rich suggestions; (2) the doctrine of the
Nous as the distinctive characteristic of man. These are the empirical
and speculative sides to Aristotle’s psychology.

Man is an epitome of all the changes in the universe. He has
vegetative, appetitive, and rational souls. Yet there is unity in man,
for the lower souls are subservient to the reason and exist for it.
The appetitive soul is the Form of the vegetative soul, the Matter of
the Rational soul, etc. Accordingly, Aristotle defines the soul as the
entelechy of the body, because bodily human activity is enlisted in the
service of the reason. Reality in man is an unfolding purpose, just as
it is in nature. The real self is this unfolding rational self, whose
possibility is the body; whose actuality is pure reason. The mind is
actualized body, the body is potential mind.

Aristotle made many contributions to psychology about the origin
and value of the several sensations, about the feelings of pleasure
and pain and the desires. He shows his remarkable genius in pointing
to the necessity of a unity of consciousness, which he calls the
“common-sensibility.” His discussion of the Nous, or reason, is of
importance for two reasons: first, because it leads to and illuminates
his ethical theory; and second, because it is an example of his
deviation from his original conceptual position. The reason, according
to his first intention, is the unfolding purpose of the body,――it
is the immanent essence of the body. As Aristotle finally left his
discussion of the Reason, it is as transcendent as his God, or as
any Idea of Plato. The Nous, or Reason, is not a Form of the body,
but a Form of the soul. It is purely immaterial, simple, unchangeable,
and incapable of suffering. It does not originate with the body as a
function. It comes from without as a godlike activity, and will remain
after the body passes away. Its fundamental activity is thought, and
its object is those ultimate principles of Being which are the ultimate
premises of logical thinking.

Aristotle’s theory of the Reason is considerably complicated by his
division of it into two parts,――the active and the passive Reason.
Within itself, the Reason is to be distinguished as Form and Matter.
The passive Reason is the Matter for the active Reason, and the active
Reason is the Form for the passive Reason. By the passive Reason
Aristotle evidently means the individual and developing man. The active
Reason can alone persist after death, but whether absorbed in the Deity
or not he does not say. Immortality to Aristotle in any case is not a
perpetuation of the individuality.

=2. The Ethics of Aristotle.= We have seen that nature phenomena are of
two classes,――those mechanically related, and those related as to their
purposes or ends. Physics is concerned with the first class; psychology
is concerned with the second class. But in a special way are ethics
and politics sciences of the phenomena of the second class――sciences
of teleologically related phenomena. Moral life is an unfolding essence
having a possibility and an actuality. The Possibility or Matter of
the ethical life is our feelings, temperament, disposition, impulses,
and perceptions――just those psychological factors that make up the
endowment of the human personality. The ultimate Form or actuality of
the ethical life is the reason. The reason as the goal of the moral
being determines its character. Man is distinctly a rational being.
Virtue is the process of the ethical life from its possibilities to
its actuality; it is the essence of the ethical life. Virtue is that
continuous state of mind that makes rational activity possible. So much
for the factors that make the ethical situation; the natural endowments
of the mind are its material, the reason is its goal, while the means
of developing the natural endowments into rational activity is virtue.

The situation would be simple enough for us as moral beings if, in our
striving, each had only himself and his own development to consider.
But man lives in a world of men, and his highest good is determined
somewhat by his environment,――by riches, bodily comforts, success.
These are not essentials but only accessories, and the lack of them
is only a limitation. The essential factor is the rational activity.
Nevertheless, these modify the definition of what we mean when we
define rational activity as the highest Good or Form of the moral life.
For the question which Aristotle proposes in his notable treatise of
Ethics is, What is the end or supreme good of human action? The highest
Good for a man among men is Happiness, or well-being; that includes
not only rational activity, but also the pleasures that accrue to
such activity. But what is happiness? It is an end in itself, and
not the means to anything else; it is the result of functioning, a
state of conscious vitality; it accords with the law of excellence of
that functioning. Perfect happiness is, therefore, partly the result
of one’s own individual effort, partly dependent on circumstance.
While virtue is the measure of the worth of different pleasures, yet
pleasures do not always attend our acts in our present society. The
greatest Good is happiness, but since this depends in part on external
goods, the goal to which we should directly attend――the factor within
our control――is rational activity.

There are two classes of virtues based on the two kinds of rational
life,――the practical virtues and the dianoetic virtues. The practical
virtues are those of conduct based upon the rational control of the
impulses; the dianoetic virtues are those of intellectual activity
based upon the development of the perceptions. The perfect moral
development of human nature will consist (1) in the perfect development
and true regulation of the feelings and desires in moral excellence;
and (2) a perfect development of the intellectual faculties for
rational culture.

(a) The Practical Virtues. The essential thing for the individual
to regard, therefore, is the training of his will by right rational
insight. He should seek to direct his impulses by reason, and not only
once but so many times that the impulses will become rational habits.
This is what Aristotle means by training in virtue. It is continuity in
rational activity; it is a permanent development toward reason; it is
the unfolding of the real Self. Aristotle had regard for the facts of
life when he differed from Socrates, who said that virtue is knowledge.
Aristotle did not conceive the will as psychological power independent
of the reason. He doubted if rational insight was more powerful than
the impulses, when the test comes. Experience often shows that although
we may know what is right, an impulse will often drive us into habits
not guided by reason. This presupposes for Aristotle a will that is
free to choose among the desires that one which will lead him along
the path that reason points out.

It is impossible to formulate a rule for the acquirement of the
particular virtues. Each virtue must be treated by itself. The only
principle for guidance is that the reason should always seek the
mean between two extremes. Thus courage is the mean between cowardice
and rashness; temperance between intemperance and insensibility;
friendliness between obsequiousness and brusqueness, etc. Moderation
is the watchword in the cultivation of the practical virtues.

(b) The Dianoetic Virtues are the means toward the attainment of pure
rationality for one’s self. The dianoetic virtues are higher than
the practical. They unfold the pure formal activity of the Nous, and
give the most noble and perfect pleasure. Man finds through them his
possible participation in the divine happiness. These intellectual
virtues may be either theoretical or practical insight; in the latter
case, Aristotle means knowledge of the right in art, and knowledge
of justice. But the purest is Wisdom (θεωρία), which is knowledge for
its own sake. It is the knowledge that God has of himself. Man may
approximate this.

In Aristotle’s ethical theory there appear three features that
are distinctly Greek. (1) The leading question that he asks at the
beginning of the Ethics, What is the end or Supreme Good of human
action? is Greek. The modern writer asks, What is the nature of duty?
(2) The emphasis on the “mean” is Greek. The idea of the “mean” was the
fundamental principle in Greek life, and appeared in such literature
as Gnomic poetry and Plato. (3) The subordination of individual ethical
conduct to the conception of the state is Greek. Aristotle says that
politics will have to settle the question of the Supreme Good, for the
Good of the state and that of the individual are identical.

=The Political Philosophy of Aristotle.= In the present real world
rational activity rather than happiness is the chief concern of man.
Happiness is, however, his highest Good, which he can attain if his
environment favors him. The political environment is a moral factor
to be considered. The state should be the fulfillment of the morals
of the individual, and should also be his ethical trainer. That State
is fulfilling its own possibilities most completely which brings to
the full its natural endowments. Every Constitution is right that has
the weal of the people at heart, so that we find Aristotle holding
this extraordinarily liberal position, that the external structure of
the State is not so much of consequence as that the State should be
the educator of its people and the actualization of its own inherent
possibilities. Aristotle did not construct an ideal state, like Plato.
He merely pointed out some essentials necessary to the well-being
of a state, like education and providence for the future life of the
State. Although the State is the offspring of necessity, and arises
out of the needs of utility, it is the Form or actuality of the inner
self-realization of man from his savagery. Race, blood, soil, and
geographical position are all the Matter of the State; the rational
perfection of these is the Form; the civic virtue is the permanent
means of the social development. The individual in Aristotle’s State is
subordinated, but not absorbed, in the State. He can participate in the
intellectual virtues. Since his own enjoyment in wisdom approximates
God’s, he himself has distinction. Aristotle was a stanch supporter
of marriage and the family relations. No philosopher in ancient times
so elevated the position of woman. He reluctantly consented to the
institution of slavery because it seemed to him a necessity.

                              CHAPTER IX

            THE HELLENIC-ROMAN PERIOD (322 B. C.–476 A. D.)

=Its Time Length.=

    Greek Period, 300 years.
    Hellenic-Roman Period, 800 years.
    Middle Ages, 1000 years.
    Modern Period, 450 years.

We ought to appreciate at the beginning the enormous time length
of this period. It seems long since modern thought began, but it was
only about 450 years ago. The Hellenic-Roman Period was 800 years
long, or nearly twice as long as modern times. It is, furthermore,
two and a half times as long as the period which we have just been
discussing,――the pure Greek period. Now the Hellenic-Roman Period
and the Middle Ages together form the epoch of human history that is
relatively uncreative. This is an extent of 1800 years, a long interval
when compared with the 750 years of creative history, which represents
the combined length of the pure Greek Period and modern times. In
European history the periods of productive thought have been less than
half as long as those of the unproductive. Yet we must not be misled by
such statistics. History is an organic growth. Its seedtime and growth
are long; its harvest is short.

=The Fall of the Greek Nation and the Persistence of its Civilization.=
The 800 years after the death of Aristotle are named the Hellenic-Roman
Period, because Greek civilization burst its own national boundaries
and became a part of Roman civilization. The Greek nation died;
its culture remained. It is no longer pure Greek, but Greek in the
environment of the Roman world――it becomes Hellenism. With the death
of Alexander in 323 B. C. the motherland of Greece became a prey to
revolutions for 200 years. It was often the battleground of foreigners
and the object of their contentions. Its government and population sank
into hopeless decay. It was incorporated into the Roman empire in 146
B. C. and shared in the depressing times of the Civil Wars of the first
century B. C. By becoming a part of Rome Greece lost its uniqueness
but the world gained its culture as a common heritage. Its autonomy
was forever gone, but its people became the teachers of mankind. In
political power Greece reached its height with Alexander, in creative
thought with Aristotle; then by its own momentum its civilization
persisted as a missionary force to the whole world.

  Illustration:         THE EMPIRE OF ALEXANDER

              (Showing the spread of Hellenism eastward,
            beginning 334 B. C. with Alexander’s Campaign)

The overflow of Greek civilization was first eastward, to the nations
of Asia. Alexander, with his military and administrative genius,
had only made a preliminary conquest of these Oriental peoples. The
conquest became permanent through Greek art, learning, and institutions.
In the century after Alexander the habits and customs of the East had
been Hellenized. Greek schools, theatres, and baths were to be found in
almost every city of the East. In the East and Egypt an inexhaustible
field was opened for the founding of new centres of culture. In the
kingdoms partitioned off from the old Alexandrian domain, the kings
were Greek, spoke Greek, adored Greek gods, and preserved Greek
fashions. Amid Asiatics they sought to maintain Greek courts, have
Greek administrative officers, and be surrounded with Greek scholars.
Greek colonists, soldiers, and merchants were attracted to these
kingdoms in such numbers that the natives adopted the costumes,
religions, manners, and even the language of the Greeks. The Orient
ceased to be Asiatic and became Hellenic. The Romans found there in
the first century B. C. peoples like the Greeks who spoke Greek.

Greek civilization began to overflow upon the western world when,
in the second century, Greece with all the other countries upon the
Mediterranean was absorbed by Rome. The conquest of Greece by Rome in
146 B. C. gave currency to Greek art, letters, and morals in Roman life.
That Greek civilization was not lost in this great amalgamation shows
how deep and fundamental it was. The secondary nations disappeared and
none remained to compete with the Greek and Latin. The result was the
superimposition of Greek culture upon Roman society. At the time of the
conquest of Greece, Greek scholars went to Rome in great numbers and
opened schools of eloquence and literature. Later the Roman youths
went to Athens to study. Art and science were gradually introduced into
Rome. The old Roman house got a Greek addition. Statues and paintings
were transported from Greece to Rome. Greek artists were commissioned.
By 100 B. C. the great Romans were living in Greek or Oriental style.
The coarsest Greeks, too, came into Italy and mingled with the Roman
proletariat. Thus, with the complete Latinizing of the peninsula of
Italy in the second century, an increasing Hellenism went hand in hand.

But the two civilizations never completely united. Roman adoption of
Greek culture was never more than a veneer. Greek art and learning were
rarely studied by the Roman except as a parade and luxury. As time went
on the Roman resorted less to the classic and more to the frivolous
modern products of the Greeks. For it must be remembered that when
Greece was conquered by Rome, the Romans were still only peasants,
soldiers, and merchants, without science, art, or philosophy. Before
150 B. C. the Roman children were taught nothing higher than reading,
writing, etc. But the Roman found a culture in Greece that he liked
and imitated. He kept his costume, language, and political laws, but
he adopted Greek letters, art, morals, and incorporated many elements
of the Greek religion into his own.

Two results came from this superimposition of Greek culture upon Roman
society. On the one hand the Greek sought to create a philosophy which
would make him a citizen of the world, since it was no longer an honor
to be a citizen of a Greek city. On the other hand, to the Roman there
came a mixed good. There was a gain to Roman literature and perhaps
to jurisprudence, but a fatal loss to Roman faith and morals. On the
whole Roman vulgarity was only concealed by Greek culture, except in
such spirits as Scipio, Paulus, and the Gracchi, in whom culture was
genuine. The Roman felt the need of rich intellectual life, and he
sought it in the rich treasures and the filth of later Greek culture.
The Greek culture that he found was no longer pure Greek, but Hellenism,
sometimes tinged with Orientalism. It acted as a poison on the Roman
and often was bitterly opposed.

=The Two Parts of the Hellenic-Roman Period.= We must not forget that,
excepting the first 175 years of this period, Rome is the background
upon which all philosophical movements of the time are to be traced.
Upon this background two general movements are prominent, which
divide the period into two parts: (1) the Ethical Period, and (2) the
Religious Period.

=1. The Ethical Period=, 322 B. C.–1 A. D., had its origin in the
Greek culture that was superimposed upon Roman civilization. This
epoch is notable for the rise and controversies of the four celebrated
philosophical Schools of Athens; the introduction of the teaching
of these Schools into Roman society; and the final merging and
reconciliation of these Schools in Eclecticism and Skepticism.

=2. The Religious Period=, 100 B. C.–476 A. D., arose out of
the Oriental religions that swept into Rome before the beginning
of this era. They were modified by their Roman environment,
and intellectualized and systematized by Hellenic culture.
Neo-Pythagoreanism, the Alexandrian-Judaic theosophies in the first
part, Christianity and neo-Platonism in the second part of this period,
are the most important philosophical results.

Note three things. (1) The spiritual life of Rome during these 800
years has its origin in imported foreign movements. The source of the
ethical movement is Greek, that of the religious movement is Oriental.
(2) The two movements overlap. Indeed, each from its beginning to its
end covers about 600 years. More precisely the ethical movement did not
disappear until about 200 A. D.; the religious movement began about 200
B. C. Ethical considerations dominate the first and religious impulses
the second period. (3) The century and a half from 150 B. C. to 1 A. D.
is a period of transition. It is the time when the emphasis changes
from ethics to religion. It is a period of unsettled conditions both
politically and intellectually. Politically it is the time of the Civil
wars and the formation of the empire. Intellectually it is the time of
Eclecticism and Skepticism.

=The Undercurrent of Skepticism in the Hellenic-Roman Period.= If we
go beneath the surface of the chronological divisions of this period,
which have been given above, we shall find their significance in
the undercurrent of Skepticism, which runs from the beginning to
the end of the period, and includes both its ethical and religious
phases. “Skepticism” is a word with a history of its own, but, as
philosophically used, it means the disbelief in the possibility of true
knowledge. Skepticism was the fundamental frame of mind that gradually
grew to conscious expression in the entire ancient world, although it
was entirely at variance with the spirit of the Greek culture that had
been superimposed upon that world. As an undercurrent――a widespread
feeling――Skepticism pervaded the whole period, while at different times
and places it appeared distinctly on the surface. These were 800 years
of lack of confidence in the power of the human reason, but the really
negative character of the time is often concealed by dogmatic teachings
of the philosophical Schools. Dogmatic Skepticism does not appear
except with reference to the positive teachings of the Schools, and
then it appears conspicuously. The successive stages of Skepticism
can have their clear outline, therefore, only after the positive
philosophical teachings, contemporary with it and opposed by it, have
been understood. This is the reason for treating the Skeptics after
and not before the Schools. The reader will, however, lose the whole
meaning of the Hellenic-Roman Period if he does not see that it is
fundamentally Skeptical; that in the Ethical Division the Schools
furnished the occasion of its appearance, and that in the Religious
Division religious faith rose because Skepticism had taken possession
of the field of knowledge. The ethical Schools stood as the last
representatives of the old Greek rationalism of the Systematic Period,
but even they yielded to the Skeptical spirit of the time. Stoicism,
Epicureanism, and Skepticism seek the same end,――the withdrawal of the
individual from the world and his exaltation above his environment.
All three valued science only so far as it would help ethical conduct.
Skepticism alone was avowedly antagonistic to intellectual ideals.
The strength of Skepticism appears more evident when we look at its
growth during this period. At the end of the Ethical Period the Schools
weakened and we find a century and a half (150 B. C.–1 A. D.) of
Skepticism and Eclecticism. There then followed at the beginning of
this era the Religious Period. Man then turned to religion because he
was profoundly skeptical of the trustworthiness of the reason――he felt
that it was so untrustworthy as to be unable to furnish him even a true
theory of moral conduct.

The Skeptical undercurrent of the Hellenic-Roman Period was the
concentration of all the negative results of the Greek Sophists. It
therefore had more than one point of departure,――the philosophies
of Protagoras, of the Megarian, Cynic, and Cyrenaic Schools. This
Sophistic undercurrent fed popular thought during the days of Plato
and Aristotle. It took its formal beginning contemporary with the rise
of the Stoic and Epicurean Schools; and in Athens, Alexandria, and
Rome there rose to the surface the problem of the possibility of human
knowledge. Formally it modified its sweeping negations, when it came in
contact with the pressing needs of morality and of spiritual retirement,
but it was ever present as the significant attitude of the time. While
the nature of the Skeptical teaching stood in the way of its formation
into a School, the doctrine itself, nevertheless, developed into a
system and had its historical growth and culmination. Weber points
out that the first appearance of Skepticism marks in Greece the
inauguration of the age of reason and its reappearance marks the
decline of the age of reason.

=The Fundamental Problem of the Hellenic-Roman Period.= The fundamental
attitude of this period being Skepticism, the fundamental problem
presented to it was therefore a practical one. While at heart the age
doubted the validity of the human reason, it was consciously engaged in
solving a very practical problem. The period had an external side that
was positive. No age can be merely skeptical, especially for so long
a time as 800 years. To doubt the power of the human reason is usually
the occasion of shunting human energies along other lines. The form of
the practical problem of this time was, _What is the highest wisdom for
practical life?_ This is consonant with the skeptical attitude of the
Greek as indicated by these two facts: (1) he had no longer an interest
in speculation except as it afforded a basis for practical wisdom, and
(2) he had no longer an interest in special sciences except as they
yielded practical results. To be sure, it will be found that theories
took to themselves airs of great importance during this period and that
empirical sciences made rapid advances; but it will also be found that
they were always in the service of practical living. The Wise Man of
this age is he who has a scientific doctrine of the purposes and ends
of human life.

For with his entrance into world-wide relations in the Ethical Period
the Athenian found himself confronted with a very different situation
from that which had engaged him during the age of Pericles. His
national existence had gone and could no longer arouse his devotion,
and with it his _ideal_ of a national life had crumbled to pieces.
His epic polytheism had become a dim thing of the distant past, and
there was no longer any external Greek institution to awaken his
slumbering energies. He might, of course, go into retirement and engage
in speculative inquiry, except that this was an age of pressing need.
He was forced to be awake and to adjust himself as an individual to
the many other peoples mixing and mingling in one common civilization.
His relations were enlarged, but his interests were circumscribed. His
philosophy was focused to one fundamental problem, _What, after all, is
the object of human life, and what can give happiness to the individual
amid the turmoil of the time?_ Philosophic studies were narrowed
to ethics, logic, and physics in their practical bearing. How much
narrower, then, the scope of the intellectual life of this time than
that of those men of retired leisure, Plato and Aristotle!

Nor is the fundamental problem different when in the second part of
this period we enter the great sweep of the religious current. The
rise of religious ideals and the shift from ethics to religion was only
the presentation of the practical problem of living with a different
emphasis. Man was now in the dazzling glory of the empire, but that
empire was unable to compensate the individual for the loss of his
political importance. Rome had given to its conquered peoples an
organized legal unity, but no spiritual ideal. It had none to offer.
The individual was the least important factor in the organization. The
present life offered little hope to the individual, except in the light
of a future life. Practical wisdom thus became that which took account
of the rewards and punishments that would come in the life beyond.

The Hellenic-Roman Period is kaleidoscopic and bewildering in its
shiftings; but amid them all is this one conscious problem: “_Show us
the man who is sure of his happiness, whatever the accidents of the
world may bring to him._”

=The Centres of Hellenism.=

=1. Athens.= With the overflow of Hellenism to the east and west the
active history of Athens had ceased, but she became venerated for
what she had been. Greece became hallowed and Athens became the shrine
of Greece in the imaginations of men. Although the city was brutally
ravished, she exercised a charm over the human mind for eight hundred
years after Alexander. Athens remained the intellectual centre through
the entire period. It became the conservative university town, where
philosophy and rhetoric were taught. It is remarkable how many Oriental
philosophers came to Athens to teach, how many youths from the whole
world came to be taught. The rhetorical schools, such as that of
Isocrates, did much toward making Athens the centre of culture, and
they offered for many years the highest practical training to Greek,
Roman, and Oriental. Besides the rhetorical were the philosophical or
dialectical schools, which debated privately questions of speculative
metaphysics. These did not offer public training, but groups of
students were taught in the grounds attached to gymnasia. Four
principal philosophical schools were thus formed,――the Academy of Plato,
the Lyceum of Aristotle, the Porch of the Stoics, and the Gardens
of Epicurus. In the first two we have had especial interest in the
previous period. All four, and especially the Stoic and Epicurean
schools, will engage our attention in this period. They are known in
history as “the Schools.” (See map for their location in Athens.) There
were many minor schools in Athens which later became religious cults.
These Schools lost their original interest in speculative inquiry, and
in this period devoted themselves to the exposition of the teaching of
their respective founders on ethical lines. The University of Athens
was built upon the four Schools. Its chairs were endowed by Hadrian and
the Antonines in the second century A. D. It grew to have an elaborate
organization. It was abolished by Justinian in 529 A. D.

=2. Alexandria.= There were many other centres of Hellenism and of
other learning at this time,――Rhodes, Antioch, Alexandria, ♦Pergamos,
Tarsus,――but none of these could be said to rival Athens in the
veneration of men. Some were much more active and creative than Athens.
Alexandria surpassed Athens and all other cities as the centre of
the natural sciences in the Ethical Period and of religions in the
Religious Period. Here, too, rather than at Athens, were to be found
the real interpreters of Plato and Aristotle. Nothing in ancient times
can be compared to the wonders of the museum of Alexandria, which was
its university. Scholars of every nation were entertained here at the
public expense. A vast botanical garden, a zoölogical collection, an
anatomical museum, an astronomical observatory, a library of seven
hundred thousand volumes were here. Here Euclid (290 B. C.) wrote his
geometry, Eratosthenes pursued his astronomical, geographical, and
historical labors, Apollonius wrote his treatise on conic sections;
and here were made the observations that led to the discovery of the
precession of the equinoxes. Here Ptolemy and his school formulated
the system of astronomy which was authoritative for fifteen hundred
years. Here the Christian theologians were educated, and from this
city neo-Platonism sprang. Literature and art, history, philology and
criticism flourished. The Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek. All
religions were welcomed. Buddhist, Jew, Greek, and Egyptian mingled,
and comparative theology rose to be a science.

=General Characteristics of the Ethical Period= (322 B. C.–1
A. D.)――On the death of Aristotle the hitherto compact body of Greek
thought disintegrated into its several elements. Theoretical and
practical knowledge, which had been so successfully fused in the great
systems of Democritus, Plato, and Aristotle, became separated. The
whole tendency of the time was toward segregation.

=1. The Abandonment of Metaphysical Speculation.= The theoretical
side of philosophy, which had been so successfully completed by the
great Greek masters, now became subordinated and almost completely lost
to view. _Metaphysical speculation was neglected_ except as it threw
light on the practical sciences――on ethics and the natural sciences.
Knowledge was no longer loved for its own sake.

=2. The Growth of Science.= Since theory was regarded as completed,
_attention was naturally turned upon the details of erudition and the
specializing of science_. The natural sciences survived the systems
of philosophy because of their usefulness. There was great interest
in investigations in mathematics, natural science, grammar, philology,
literary history and general history――and all with very rich results.
It was the time of commentaries, criticism, collaboration of the work
of the past and completion of the special work begun by the past. By
far the greater number of the so-called “philosophers” of this time are
connected with special science and literature, and not with metaphysics.

It was in the Greek Islands and Egypt (Alexandria) that this advance
was made. Nevertheless, it must be said that the advance in science
was a good deal restricted. The empirical sciences are dependent on
observation and experiment, and these opportunities were wanting at
this time. Good progress was, however, made in mathematics and the
sciences dependent on reasoning. Reasoning alone is incapable of
advancing a science like physics, for physics depends on investigation.
But even the prevalent skepticism of the time could not doubt the
truths of mathematics.

=3. Ethics became the Central Interest.= For the first time in the
history of European thought ethics was no longer a part of politics.
In the time of the autonomous Greek states ethics and politics were
two sides of the same question both in theory and practice. Ethics
and politics were not disjoined even by the Sophists, who nevertheless
paved the way for the divorce of the two. Now for the first time
ethical questions have become such that the individual must disregard
the iron-bound political situation and answer them entirely with
reference to himself. The decadent Greek state was no longer a moral
entity in the eyes of the people, nor could the concentration of
government in Rome raise the state to moral dignity. Moreover, life had
become cosmopolitan. The nations were commingling. Ethics must meet the
needs of men as human beings, and not as Athenians, Spartans, or Romans.
Vices had become cosmopolitan and virtues must needs be cosmopolitan
also. But cosmopolitanism is in the last analysis only individualism.
The man who conceives his duty so large that it embraces the whole
world is usually cold to any special interests except his own. The
Roman dictators and afterwards the emperor were the personification of
this cosmopolitan individualism which the subjects imitated so far as
they could.

Thus the public life was in danger of being swamped by private
interests and mere enjoyment, by gain and the struggle for existence.
The old belief in the gods, the vigorous political activity for great
ends, the pleasure in free scientific inquiry had disappeared. The
only refuge for the reflective mind was within itself and the study
of its own moral problems. Yet for this a definite science of ethics
was necessary, if the individual was to be systematically independent
of external things. Plato and Aristotle had prepared the way for such
retirement, and the tendency toward ethical separation from the world
of political events was an aspect of the cosmopolitanism of the time.
Ethical individuality and cosmopolitanism go together. The development
of the inner life belongs to those individuals who dwell together
in spiritual community. The same cosmopolitanism was sought by the
skeptics of the period through the abandonment of all knowledge.

=The Schools.= The beginning of the Ethical Period is marked by the
rise of the Schools into prominence, the end of that period by the
fusion of the Schools with one another through either eclecticism
or skepticism. At the beginning of the period each School had its
distinctive doctrine and was in open controversy with the others;
at the end their doctrines were much alike. The Epicurean School was
an exception, for it always remained isolated from the other Schools.
While each School had a host of notable representatives, it would be
difficult to find a creative thinker among them.


      (The Academy was three quarters of a mile from the city,
       the Lyceum just outside the city, while the Porch was a
       colonnade on the market place (Agora). The location of
       the Gardens is not precisely known, but it was on the
       road to the Academy, just inside the walls.)

We have already given the names of the four Schools: the Stoic or the
Porch, the Epicurean or the Gardens, the Aristotelian (Peripatetic)
or the Lyceum, the Platonic or the Academy. The Stoic and Epicurean
are called the New Schools in contrast with the Lyceum and the Academy,
which are called the Old Schools. The New Schools were of Asiatic
rather than Greek origin, and the Old Schools departed very much
from the teaching of their founders; so that we find a very different
kind of philosophy taught in all four Schools from that taught by the
great Greek Systematizers. All the Schools were Sophistic rather than
Socratic, and may be characterized as the revival of Greek Sophistry.
Besides these Schools there was the group of Skeptics, which cannot be
properly called a School, for from the nature of its doctrine it could
not form an organization. In influence upon the period, the Stoics,
Epicureans, and Skeptics are the most important. They eclipsed the
Academy and Lyceum because with partisan clearness they could formulate
the attitude of the age. The Stoic School made the most important
contribution to succeeding history. The Epicurean School had the most
numerous following. Although the four Schools were not endowed until
the Empire, their life was most vigorous before the Empire during
the Ethical Period. Succession in leadership of the Schools cannot
be completely traced――even that of the Academy shows great gaps. All
record of leadership in the Aristotelian, Stoic, and Epicurean Schools
stops at the close of this period.

=The Old Schools――The Academy and the Lyceum.= The Academy and Lyceum
have a history which in these respects is the same: (1) both abandoned
the ideal of an ethical society and turned to that of individual
happiness; (2) both deviated to Skepticism; (3) both afterward had
a reaction from Skepticism; (4) both developed the Sophistic teaching
rather than that of their founders; (5) both were in common opposition
to the New Schools.

=1. The Academy.= There were three Academies after Plato――called three,
because of the difference in their doctrines. Perhaps it is better to
say that there were three successive epochs of the Academy.

(a) _The Older Academy_, lasting about seventy years, from 347 B. C. to
280 B. C. The successive leaders of this were Speusippus, the nephew of
Plato (d. 339 B. C.), Heracleides of Pontus, Xenocrates (d. 314 B. C.),
Polemo, and Crates. This Academy emphasized at first the tendency
begun by Plato in the _Laws_ toward the Pythagorean numbers, and later
yielded to the contemporary interest in morals.

(b) _The Middle Academy_, lasting about one hundred and fifty years,
from 280 B. C. to 129 B. C. Of this epoch Arcesilaus and Carneades were
the most prominent leaders. This Academy was a form of Skepticism.

(c) _The New Academy_, lasting three hundred years from 120 B. C. to
200 A. D. Among its leaders were Philo of Larissa, who was at Rome in
87 B. C., and Antiochus of Ascalon, who had Cicero as a pupil in Athens
in 79 and 78 B. C. This epoch of the Academy represented a return to
the dogmatism of Plato, but it shows the contemporary eclectic tendency
by its including elements of Stoic and neo-Platonic teachings.

On the whole, the several epochs of the Academy failed to represent
Plato’s theory of the Ideas. The Academy was at first a School of
practical ethics, then a Skepticism, then an eclecticism. It was
related to Plato as the lesser-Socratic schools were to Socrates. The
true developer of Plato was Aristotle and not the Academies.

=2. The Lyceum.= From the death of Aristotle to 200 A. D. the
Lyceum was represented by individuals. The pupils of Aristotle were
distinguished from the master himself in being scientific specialists.
Theophrastus (370–287 B. C.), who followed Aristotle as leader of
the Lyceum, was the most complete representative of Aristotle, and
an attempt to drive out the Schools in Athens in 306 B. C. failed
solely by reason of the respect in which he was held. His significance
lay in natural science, and his two preserved botanical works are
of great importance. Eudemus of Rhodes studied history, mathematics,
and astronomy. Aristoxenes studied music, ethics, psychology, and
history. Dicæarchus showed the first yielding to the contemporary
ethical interest by writing history on its practical side. Science
was continued by the Aristotelians in Sicily, Alexandria, and the
Mediterranean islands. At Athens the School was most interested in
logic, dialectics, and eristics.

The history of the Lyceum was similar to that of the Academy. At
first it was centred in Theophrastus, the brilliant disciple of the
founder,――an administrator who knew how to give an eminent position
to the Lyceum in the intellectual life of Athens. This was followed by
the naturalism and pantheism of Strato. The following generations of
scholarchs were absorbed in empirical investigations. Then, as in the
Academy, came the reaction back to the original purpose of the founder
of the Lyceum. This occurred under Andronicus (about 70 B. C.), the
eleventh head of the School, and under him the original teachings
of Aristotle were reproduced and defended. This went on for several
centuries, until the School was merged in neo-Platonism.

=The New Schools――The Epicureans and the Stoics.= The Stoics,
Epicureans, and Skeptics represent the dogmatic side of this period
more truly than the Platonists and Aristotelians, for they give a
radical expression to its social aspects. The Epicureans had less
philosophical originality; but their doctrine had been born mature in
their founder, and had in consequence a unity and compactness. Stoicism,
on the other hand, was an eclecticism composed of the successive
philosophizings of its champions through many centuries. Stoicism
was represented by many independent and notable thinkers, while
Epicureanism had only one original thinker,――its founder, Epicurus.
Stoicism developed by changing its essentials, while Epicureanism could
change only in its unessentials. Stoicism may be said to have been the
characteristic philosophy of this period, from the fact that it was
created and developed in Athens on the principles of Attic philosophy
by men who had originated in the mixed races of the East, and by
the fact that it was easily accepted and developed by the Romans.
Consistent with the spirit of the Hellenic-Roman Period, it was by
nature an eclecticism that became more eclectic; and as time went on
its teaching approached that of the Academy and Lyceum (second century
B. C.). Epicureanism, however, always remained Epicureanism. Both
Stoicism and Epicureanism were centred at Athens. Epicurus opened his
School in the Gardens in 307 B. C., and Zeno began his lectures in the
Porch in 294 B. C. Both schools were introduced into Rome in the middle
of the second century B. C., or just before the end of the Ethical

Epicureanism in Rome could easily be perverted into an excuse for
the luxurious tendencies of the time, and since it advocated absolute
government it voiced the feeling of the new Empire――of the Emperor and
the people. As a philosophy it was opportune and popular and at the
same time easily misunderstood. It made no demands upon its disciples.
On the other hand, Stoicism was a discipline and demanded intellectual
acumen. Its insensibility to art and culture was an insuperable
obstacle to its progress in Greece, but on this account it found
congenial soil in Roman society. It made rapid progress among the
noble families, and was especially identified with those patrician
reactionaries who stood for the old régime of the Republic.

We are not surprised to find that the Stoics and Epicureans were
violently opposed to each other. They were the New Schools and
contesting the same ground for favor. They had the same aim and, with
so much in common, their differences were naturally accentuated. In an
age which Adam Smith has likened to the Thirty Years’ War in Germany,
they sought as rivals to offer as an ideal the individual independent
of his surroundings. The Stoic presented one means of attaining this
ideal and the Epicurean another. Both tried to substitute a philosophic
creed for the old religion. And the crowds that still went to the
Academy and Lyceum, and were taught the old dogmatism, must have
looked askance at these new dogmatic Schools. Those crowds had become
second-rate men. The New Schools had at first fewer numbers, but deeper
thinkers. The Greek pupils in the New Schools listened to foreigners
teaching strange creeds in strange tongues. But these new rivals made
their way. Not only at Athens, but at Corinth, Elis, Colophon, and
Heraclea in Pontus the elegant Platonic style was being superseded by
the crude aphorisms of Epicurus and the clumsy arguments of Zeno.

It will be asked, How far did these doctrines during these eight
hundred years permeate the people? Did the New Schools reach the rank
and file of the people to the same degree that the Sophistic teachings
reached the Greeks? Are we to suppose that Stoicism and Epicureanism
were common and popular philosophies? By no means. These philosophies
reached the people of the Roman world no farther than Greek culture
permeated Roman society. Stoicism was consciously taken up by the
large patrician class. The patricians were the cultivated Romans; and
Stoicism has so much in it like the Roman _gravitas_ that it formulated
for the patricians their attitude in this hopeless time. Epicureanism,
on the other hand, in its pure form as Epicurus taught it, or later
as Lucretius poetically expressed it, could find less favor in Rome.
But Epicureanism was easily perverted, and no doubt the educated
voluptuaries of Rome would find in the vitiated doctrine a support and
excuse for their excesses.

=A Summary of the Agreements and Differences of the Stoics and

                          _Their Agreements._

   1. Both subordinated theory to practice.
   2. Both had the same purpose in their practical philosophy:
      (a) to gain peace of mind for the individual,
      (b) to gain independence of the world for the individual.

                         _Their Differences._

             _The Stoics._               _The Epicureans._

   1. Universal law is supreme.     The individual is supreme.

   2. Man is a thinking being.      Man is a feeling being.

   3. Independence is obtained      Independence is obtained by
      by suppressing the personal   idealizing the feelings through
      feelings.                     serenity.

   4. The Stoics were religious,    The Epicureans were anti-religious,
              yet both schools accepted the popular gods.

   5. The world is a moral order.   The world is a mechanical order.

   6. The universal determines      The universal is the result of the
      the individual.               functioning of the individual.

   7. The world is the expression   The world is the combination of
      of an immanent reason.        atoms.

                               CHAPTER X


=The Life of Epicurus= (341–270 B. C.). Epicurus was born in Samos
in Asia Minor. He was a school-teacher in Mitylene and Lampsacus,
and in 307 B. C. he established in Athens his Philosophical School,
in a garden within the walls on the road to the Academy (see map).
His School was thereafter called the Gardens. He claimed to have been
self-taught, and he probably did not have a thorough education. He
did, however, possess great personal charm and, as his doctrine made
few demands upon its disciples and expressed the refined and delicate
hedonism of the time, it spread very wide. His disciples held him in
great reverence, and long after his death the image of his personality
was a living influence with them. Indeed, it was the personal work of
Epicurus that was the supreme influence with the sect. His formulas
passed on from generation to generation and were called “Golden
Maxims.”[34] He wrote three hundred separate treatises, and in the
amount of his writings was exceeded in antiquity only by the Stoic,
Chrysippus. His great work, _On Nature_, consisted of thirty-seven
books. The other Schools joined in a bitter attack upon him, and in
modern times he has been called _Socrate doublé d’un Voltaire_. Since
neither polytheism nor Christianity had any reason for preserving his
writings, they have been almost entirely lost. Some have been found in
Herculaneum, and many more are thought to be still in that buried city.
The mother of Epicurus was a priestess, and her superstitions probably
set him against the superstitions of his age. His later acquaintance
with the philosophy of Democritus gave him a scientific basis for his
aggression against all religions.

=The Epicureans.= The Epicurean body was a guild or sect that
seemed to have been little affected by the vicissitudes of time.
The Epicureans proselyted vigorously, closely organized their
society, and extended it throughout Greece. It was a state within
a state. With a fixed constitution it was held together by itinerant
preaching, correspondence, and material assistance. It had an _esprit
de corps_, and like religious communities it brought together into one
organization the individuals that had been scattered by the breaking
up of political institutions. The School had special protection from
the Roman emperors and existed as late as the fourth century A. D.,
having outlived all the other systems. It had some famous literary
representatives,――Metrodorus, Colotes, Philodemus,――but especially
the Roman poet Lucretius, who popularized the doctrine for the Romans.
Amafinius introduced Epicureanism into Rome during the middle of the
second century B. C., and the teaching was received with great favor.
Its numerous disciples in all antiquity changed the doctrine only in
its unessentials. The charges of immorality and licentiousness are not
true of the teaching or of the practices of the founder or of the early
members of the School.

=Some Types of Hedonism,――Aristippus, Epicurus, and Rousseau.=
Epicureanism was not a philosophy of pleasure for people without ideals
or who were merely seeking indulgence. The question that Epicurus asked
was this: What enduring pleasure is possible to a man in these days
of turmoil? He tried to give a rational answer to those of his day who
wished to live and enjoy. His aim was to free man from responsibility
in his share of the world’s work and to provide for him a life of
serenity. The pleasure theory of Aristippus, the Cyrenaic, was very
different. Aristippus, a voluptuary in a luxurious city, presented
a pleasure theory for the few who have fortunes. It is hardly more
than a grading of pleasures and the setting up of a criterion of their
selection. Epicurus goes deeper than that. His pleasure theory is for
the few, not because they are fortunate, but because they are wise; not
because they have fortunes to gratify their passions, but because they
are independent of all fortune. The Cyrenaic was a man of the world;
the Epicurean was in the world, but not of it.

There is a superficial resemblance between the teaching of Epicurus and
the message of Rousseau to the French people of the eighteenth century.
Both sought an ideal of enduring pleasure. Both would discard the
artificialities of society. But Rousseau was a political reformer and
attempted to find his ideal in a newly constructed society. Epicurus,
on the other hand, was no political reformer, but would find his ideal
in society as it existed. Rousseau appealed to the primitive feelings.
He felt “the call of the wild.” Epicurus appealed to the refined and
derivative feelings. He had no aggressive propaganda. He aimed at no
external reform. His ideal was peace, and not the sword.

=The Epicurean Ideal.= _The central principle of Epicurus is that
pleasure is a good and pain an evil._ In this he was in agreement with
Aristippus, and from this position he never receded. He offered no
proof of this, but rested his central principle upon the conviction
that men pursue pleasure and avoid pain. He was convinced of the
biological fact. But he was not unobservant from the beginning that the
subject was complex. He saw that the individual has to make a selection
of pleasure and often has to choose pain for the sake of a greater
pleasure. Pleasure is the only good, but Epicurus asks further, What is
pleasure? He finds that he must give a content to pleasure and evaluate
the pleasures in the interests of pleasure itself. This was to Epicurus
no moral appraisal, but with reference to the pleasantest possible life.

Of the two qualities of pleasure _Epicurus valued its duration_ and
showed his advance over the Cyrenaics, who had valued its intensity.
It was on this account that the Epicureans disclaimed all relationship
with the Cyrenaics, the earlier school. The difference is certainly
a radical one between them: to Epicurus true pleasure is that which
endures; to Aristippus it is that which is most intense, however
fleeting. There is this to be said of the Cyrenaic theory: it could
be easily understood. Aristippus could tell exactly what he meant by
pleasure. It is this or that gratification of sense. It includes every
positive pleasure, and that which is intensest is best. One always
knows when he is enjoying, and in flitting from pleasure to pleasure
he knows when he is intensely enjoying. But the Cyrenaic presented no
ideal. While the Epicurean theory is more difficult to understand, it
is more mature and more profound because it presents a well-conceived
ideal. Indeed, the farther we follow Epicurus along this line of his
pursuit of the ideal of lasting pleasure, the more are we impressed
with his contribution to our knowledge of the nature of pleasure.

In this connection Epicurus shows his comprehensive grasp of the
subject in determining what are the lasting pleasures. Although he
was a materialist he regarded the pleasures of the mind as superior
to those of the body. The inner pleasures, the spiritual joys, the
control of the mind so that it could enjoy without indulgence――these
were to Epicurus the enduring pleasures. The pleasures of sense are
primary, for, in the last analysis, the mental life is a combination
of sensations, and sensations are only material motions; nevertheless
the secondary and derivative pleasures of the mind were superior,
according to Epicurus, because they had duration. This estimate of
the superiority of the mental pleasures was probably reinforced by two
other reasons: such pleasures were possessed by Epicurus; and such a
doctrine was in accord with the Greek æsthetic ideal of self-enjoyment
of the refined egoist.

The most permanent state of mind is called by Epicurus _independence of
the world_, on the one hand, and _emotionlessness_, on the other. These
are the positive and negative sides of one and the same thing――the
Epicurean ideal of pleasure. In ancient times the conception of
the “affections,” “passions,” or “emotions” included all states of
feeling and will in which man is dependent on the outer world. To be
emotionless is to be independent of the world. The Epicurean word is
_ataraxia_, which is variously translated as serenity, peace, repose,
imperturbability. Since man has no control over the world without
him, he must control its effects within himself. These effects are the
feelings and desires which are by nature only mental disturbances. In
mastering these he becomes independent of the world.

If one will scrutinize his life, he will find, according to Epicurus,
that his experiences form a stream of mental disturbances. These may
be divided into two classes,――desires and positive pleasures. Desires
are wants and want is pain. Pain is therefore exciting. Positive
pleasure presupposes desire and want, and such pleasure is also an
excitement,――the excitement that accompanies the removal of want. The
positive pleasures are not, therefore, the goal of independence of
the outer world. There is another kind of pleasure――the pleasure of
repose. Epicurus recognizes therefore both the pleasure of motion and
the pleasure of repose, but they do not have the same importance in
his system. Repose is the goal of all our experiences. It is a neutral
state, a state of freedom from bodily pain and mental excitement.
There is nothing higher than such a neutral state. We cannot advance
beyond it. If we seek new pleasures by gratifying new desires, we are
only returning to the old round of want, desire, and the pleasurable
excitement of removing the want. The pleasure of repose is the only
escape from this round of experiences. Emotionlessness is the maximum
pleasure――it is the repose in independence of the world. Any deviation
from it may vary but it will not increase our pleasure.

This ideal of Epicurus looks very much like the Cynic doctrine of
absence of wants as constituting virtue and happiness. But Epicurus
is far from renouncing pleasure. He is no ascetic. On the contrary,
the repose of the Epicurean will be the greater in proportion to
the compass of his needs that are satisfied. But he needs insight
into any given situation to tell him what positive pleasures should
be encouraged. Epicurus thus distinguishes three kinds of wants
and their attendant positive pleasures: (1) wants natural and
indispensable――without the satisfaction of which we cannot exist;
(2) wants artificial and dispensable, which ought always to be
disregarded; (3) wants natural and dispensable――the great mass of wants
which lie between the two other classes. Insight is necessary to decide
about this third class. In case of necessity they can be renounced, but
since they give happiness, the Wise Man will seek to satisfy them as
far as possible.

There are three steps leading to Epicurean happiness: (1) the desire or
the pain of unsatisfied craving; (2) the positive pleasure that removes
the pain of unsatisfied desire; (3) ataraxia, the repose of the soul or
true happiness.

=The Place of Virtue in Epicureanism.= Epicurus agreed with the
strictest Greek moralists that virtue and happiness go together. His
opponents had to testify to the beneficial effects of his teaching
upon the character of his disciples. Yet his conception of the place
of virtue in life is in direct conflict with Stoicism. He felt that the
Stoic conception of virtue for its own sake is an ideal so imaginary
that it lacks all incentive to action. Pleasure, on the other hand,
seemed to him to be a concrete and real object. It can be given a
definite content. Virtue had for Epicurus a value only as a means to
happiness. Moreover, virtue by itself is not necessarily accompanied
by happiness, but only when it is employed as a condition to happiness.
Thus wisdom may be employed to gain the pleasure of liberation from
the fear of the gods; self-control may be employed in order to get the
maximum of happiness.

=The Epicurean Wise Man.= To what classes of people could this
Epicurean ideal appeal? Is it an ideal possible only to the favorites
of fortune, wealth, and rank? As presented by Epicurus it was not
conditioned by external circumstances of any sort and its aim was to
transcend all conditions. Nevertheless, it is obvious that the theory
was restricted to those who had the desire to adopt it. On the whole,
the unreflecting common people of that time were not as a matter of
fact influenced by the Epicurean philosophy. The proof of this is the
ease with which it was degraded into a simple pleasure theory without
an ideal. Epicureanism as presented by its author was not an excuse for
the voluptuary or the prodigal, although it was easily corrupted into
that. It was, however, a philosophy of the individual. The individual
must rely upon his own common sense as to what among the particular
satisfactions will give him independence of the world. Sometimes
repose is attained by the satisfaction of all wants; sometimes the
satisfactions needed are few because the wants are few. True pleasure
is possible to all reflective souls. “When you come,” says Seneca,
“to the gardens where the words are inscribed: Friend, here it will be
well for you to abide; here pleasure is the highest good;――there will
meet you the keeper of the place, a hospitable kindly man who will set
before you a dish of barley porridge and plenty of water and say, Have
you not been well entertained? These gardens do not provoke hunger,
but quench it; they do not cause a greater thirst by the drinks they
afford.... In this pleasure I have grown old.” Man can use much, but he
does not need much. Even life itself under extreme circumstances is not
necessary. The pleasures to be sought are the permanent and gentle. In
one place Epicurus says with a somewhat forced sentiment that the Wise
Man on the rack will smile in the midst of torture and say, “How sweet!”

The Wise Man accepts the established order and accommodates himself to
it. He is not like the Stoic Wise Man, indifferent to all pleasures,
but he is nevertheless independent of them. He is superior to the
world, a king and a god. Accidents cannot disturb him, for his virtuous
happiness lies within himself. He cannot control the world without, but
he can control the world within himself. He can be happy with few or
many satisfactions, and he is master over the world if he is master of
the effects of the world upon himself. To rest unmoved in one’s inner
self――that is the Epicurean ideal of the Wise Man. In contrast to the
Cyrenaic happiness, the Epicurean happiness seems passive; in contrast
to the Stoic happiness it is satisfaction.

=The Epicurean Wise Man in Society.= Nevertheless the Wise Man is
only a spectator of the world. He does not enter the world’s work nor
does he enlist as a soldier to fight its moral battles. His individual
independence gives a peculiar character to his social relations.
He will have no ties on account of their complications. Moreover,
his inner world offers him no compensation for his loss of social
relationship, except that the good within is strong and the evil weak.
He looks upon political government as a matter of selfish convenience.
He is opposed to civic life, and therefore a supporter of absolute
government. He refuses the responsibility of marriage, but accepts
friendship as the only worthy social relationship, and only because
friendship is of mutual advantage. Friendship means intellectual
intercourse, compassion, and forgiveness. While there were many famous
Epicurean friendships, one must admit that the Epicurean took an unfair
advantage of the state. His happiness presupposed a highly developed
civilization of refined tastes and noble sentiments. He is a parasite
upon the community and appropriates the labor of others. The Epicurean
ideal offers much to the individual, but nothing to society as a means
of spiritual productivity.

=The Great Obstacles to Happiness.= To universalize pleasure, however
paradoxical it may seem, is to set up an individualism. It is to
abandon all the claims of the society of other beings upon us. The
logic of any pleasure theory is anarchism. But Epicurus is no anarchist,
for anarchism would be too disturbing to repose. Epicurus stopped far
short of interfering with political conditions. His teaching did not
have as its end a logical theory, but a practical accomplishment. He
therefore accommodated his theory to the practical circumstances of his
time. He pointed out that in the seething times of the third century
B. C. the individual could be happy if he banished from his world two
obstacles. These were religion and culture.

To Epicurus the sorrow in man’s heart and the evil in his practices
are mainly due to religion. The chief source of the wretchedness of
the world is to be found in the crushing fears of religious belief.
Epicurus has in mind the exaggerated ceremonies and mystical beliefs of
the Orient, where his mother had been a priestess. From this memory he
was reacting. Religion pollutes men’s fancies, clouds the future with
superstitious fears, and puts repose and happiness beyond our reach. In
the first place, religion carries with it the fear of death. In modern
times the idea of life after death is an added consolation. In the time
of Epicurus death meant the giving up of the present life for a dim,
sunless region of flitting shades bordering on the edge of Tartarus. No
philosophical mind can be happy, according to Epicurus, if it contains
the religious conception of death and the future life. Again, religion
conceives the world of nature as created and operated by the gods. It
is forever explaining nature-phenomena as miraculous and supernatural.
The tranquil mind must believe in a nature world that is separated from
miraculous intervention, and freed from oversight. The world must be
a dependable world. Lastly, religion conceives of the gods as always
busying themselves with the affairs of men. Men must secure their favor
and avert their wrath by constant offerings. The religious man wastes
his time and consumes his peace in the fear that the gods are not
propitiated. The Epicurean seeks to build up the life of the individual.
He seeks a tranquillity that is independent of everything. Religious
belief with its interfering gods would thwart his ideal. Hence the
chief concern of the Epicurean was to banish from life every conception
of divine government. The gods exist, but they live quite apart from
men. Their dwelling is in inter-stellar space amid the numberless
worlds. They have nothing to do with the events of this world,
but are only glorified actualizations of the philosophic ideal of
soul-satisfying peace. The more the teleological conception of nature
became the common ground of the Academy, the Lyceum, and the Porch, the
more did the Epicureans isolate themselves by opposing the conception.

The other obstacle to the imperturbability of the soul is culture. The
Stoics subordinated theory to practice but Epicurus went so far as to
deprecate all culture. It was the philosophical protest of an Oriental
against all for which Greece had stood. All knowledge is superfluous
which does not promote happiness. Knowledge may indirectly promote
happiness, and that is the best you can say of it. Epicurus therefore
despised the researches of the grammarians, the lore of history, the
science of mathematics, the theory of music, poetry, rhetoric, oratory,
logic. Although he set greater store by the intellectual than the
physical pleasures, he placed as little value on knowledge for its
own sake as upon virtue for its own sake. This teaching of Epicurus in
Athens betrays the change that had come over Athenian society. Plato,
who had been the impersonation of Athenian culture, had been dead not
more than thirty years.

=Epicurus’ Conception of the Physical World.――Qualified Atomism.= To
the cursory reader the science of physics seems to occupy a large place
in the philosophy of Epicurus, and its presence appears inconsistent
with his polemic against culture. Upon further reading one finds
that physics, too, should be merely a servant of the happiness of
the individual. We need knowledge of physics because the knowledge of
natural causes will free us from the fears attending religion. Physics
has no independent importance.

Epicurus undertook to support his doctrine of individualism by the
scientific theory of Democritus. The materialistic theory of the
great Abderite seems to loom large in the exposition of Epicurus.
But Epicurus was not interested in the science of physics――not even
in the physics of Democritus. He did not build his theory on the
teaching of Democritus, but on the contrary he used the Democritan
doctrine to support his theory of moral conduct. Epicurus needed a
well-authenticated theory. On account of the influence of Lucretius’
poem, Epicurus has been called in modern times the scientist of
antiquity. But his only contribution to science was that, finding the
atomism of Democritus ready at hand although unpopular, he made it
popular by adjusting it to his own purposes.

The Democritan conception that Being is matter consisting of
innumerable uncreated and indestructible atoms furnished Epicurus this
support for his moral atomism. He followed Democritus in his analysis
of psychological, physiological, and astronomical phenomena――all
are atoms in combinations. But he lacked scientific insight and the
Democritan doctrine was emasculated in his hands. The central and
fundamental principle of Democritus’ theory was the universal reign
of law. This the Stoics adopted and this Epicurus neglected. Epicurus
was impressed by the changes of the atoms in the Democritan theory; the
Stoics by the law of such change.

This appears in the teaching of Epicurus in two ways. The first
example is in his explanation of the origin of the cosmos. Democritus
had conceived that irregular motion was an inherent quality of the
atoms and that the universe was produced by their combinations in a
purely mechanical way. Epicurus conceived that the original movement of
the atoms was in a straight line from above downwards. This he called
the “rain of atoms.” To explain their intermingling he conceived them
to be endowed with volition by which they arbitrarily deviated from
the direct fall. Secondly, this physical theory of Epicurus would be
unimportant except that it afforded him a basis for his theory of the
individual as possessing free will. The doctrine of freedom of the will
had been since Aristotle a presupposition indispensable to the doctrine
of moral accountability among the Greeks. The Stoic doctrine of fate
is an exception. But determinism was opposed to Epicurus’ conception
of the Wise Man as an independent individual. The human will is
self-determined, and Epicurus even said that he preferred the illusions
of religion to a belief in our slavery to fate. He classed freedom
and chance together as uncaused occurrence, and out of the combination
built his conception of freedom. The uncaused functioning of the will
in man is the same as the causeless deviation of the atoms. Freedom
is the choice between different possibilities and is determined by no
cause. The Stoics alone among the philosophers of this time are the
forerunners of the study of physics.

Epicurus introduced the conception of volition of the atoms to
account for the origin of the cosmos. From that point he conceived the
world to develop in a mechanical way. Teleology in the nature world
was repugnant to him. By modifying the Democritan physics, he thus
succeeded in establishing the independence of the individual in the
social world and, on the other hand, removing the gods from interfering
in the physical world. This seemed to Epicurus to afford an absolute
deliverance from superstition. The important points of the physical
theory of Epicurus are these: (1) the freedom of the atoms in motion;
(2) and yet their mechanical development; (3) the atomic character of
the gods; (4) the scattering of the atoms of the soul at death, which
frees us from the fear of Hades.

                              CHAPTER XI


=The Position of Stoicism in Antiquity.= The Stoic School had a long
history, and for five hundred years it was well-nigh the dominating
system of thought. Its importance is shown in the attacks on all sides
by which it was honored. It was subjected to a continued critical
testing by the Peripatetics, Epicureans, Skeptics, and the Academy. It
was without doubt the most comprehensive School of the Hellenic-Roman
Period, and numbered as its adherents the most brilliant personalities
of the time. In its importance to history its only rival was
neo-Platonism, which came after it. Stoicism accomplished much
toward solving the problem of life, for it is one of the great inner,
spiritual movements of humanity. It was a system of philosophy raised
upon the ruins of polytheism――a religion for the educated classes, who
tried to harmonize the old religion with the new philosophic needs. In
the early Christian centuries it led the moral reform by reviving the
classic ideals. It became a retreat into the invisible order, a solace
amid unrest. Particularly at that time the Stoic felt the emptiness
of human life, for his possession of eternity made earthly existence
seem as nothing. Yet it was a movement of subjective reflection and
individual motive; but as such it could not prove itself adequate when
the structure of Roman society broke down.

But we must not take the _Roman_ Stoics as the representatives of
the sect. The Stoics stood for more than moral reflection. The great
achievement came from the first three leaders――_the achievement
of giving a scientific basis to morals_. The Stoics made ethics an
independent science. Such an elaborate system of morals as that of
the Stoics had never before existed. Stoicism was morality with a
theoretical foundation, and the foundation was the most imposing part
of the edifice. This appeared in Roman jurisprudence, and in later
times in Grotius, Descartes, Spinoza, the Calvinists and Puritans,
and in Kant and Fichte. The writings of the individual Stoics have
become a part of the world’s literature, and the Stoic view of life
has maintained itself as a dignified and independent type.

=The Three Periods of Stoicism.= The five hundred years of the history
of the Stoic School are usually divided into three periods. The first
is about 90 years long, in which the doctrine was formulated; the
second is 200 years long, when the doctrine was modified; the third was
200 years long, when it became a popular moral philosophy. The first
two periods were theoretical, the third was practical.

=1. Period of Formulation of the Doctrine= (294 B. C.–206 B. C.),
sometimes called the period of Cynical Stoicism. This period contains
the three great leaders: Zeno (340–265 B. C.), Cleanthes, leader of
the School from 264 to 232 B. C., and Chrysippus (280–206 B. C.). Zeno
of Tarsus, Diogenes of Seleucia, and Antipater of Tarsus were other
important representatives.

=2. Period of Modified Stoicism= (206 B. C.–1 A. D.). This was the
period of transition. This period shows a modification of the original
severe Cynical character of the doctrine and also the spread of
Stoicism to Rome. This modification shows an approach to Plato and
Aristotle. The most important representative of this period is Panætius
(180–110 B. C.), who introduced the doctrine into Rome through his
friendship with Scipio Africanus. Other eminent Stoics of this period
were Posidonius and Boëthus of Sidon.

=3. Period of Roman Stoicism= (1–200 A. D.). During this period
Stoicism became a popular moral philosophy. The theoretic teachings
of the first two periods were successfully translated by the Roman
Stoics in an impressive way into practical observations. Furthermore,
Stoicism was being inspired with the rising religious feeling so that
it expressed the noblest moral sentiments of antiquity. The chief
representatives were Seneca (4–65 A. D.), Epictetus (living 90 A. D.)
the philosophic slave, and the emperor Marcus Aurelius (121–180 A. D.).
Other Stoics of this period were L. Annæus Cornutus, M. Annæus Lucanus,
Persius, and M. Musonius Rufus.

=The Stoic Leaders.= One of the striking features of the Stoic School
is that its leaders were not pure Greeks. Nearly all the members before
the Christian era belong by birth to the mixed races of Asia Minor and
the eastern archipelago. Moreover, the later Stoics were mainly Romans,
led by the Phrygian, Epictetus. The Stoics who were Greeks were third
or fourth rate men. The Stoic School contained so many eminent thinkers
that its doctrine was not framed once and for all, like the Epicurean
doctrine. During the five hundred years from Zeno to Marcus Aurelius,
theoretic changes went on within the School, and the changes were
rather modifications than development. Fundamentally, Stoicism remained
the same, for it was a religious attitude of mind.

Athens was the abiding-place of the Stoic School, but Athens of that
day had little to say to it except to receive it. The great Stoic
leaders, the first three Stoics, like the three tragic poets, formed
a group that is rarely equaled. They were Zeno, Cleanthes, and
Chrysippus. Zeno and Chrysippus came from Cyprus, and Cleanthes came
from Assos, not far from Troy. Cyprus, Lycia, and Pisidia showed a
strong inclination for the Stoic teaching. Tarsus, which is in Cilicia,
had a strong Stoic School, and its influence on the training of
St. Paul is seen in his theology.

The founding of the Stoic School was the result of the experiences of
Zeno of Citium. Having lost much of his wealth in commerce, he turned
to philosophy at Athens. Impressed with the character of Socrates,
he attached himself successively to the Cynic, Megarian, and Platonic
Schools, but without much satisfaction. He made himself master of
the teachings of these Schools, and then founded a School of his own.
It is said that when he asked for admittance to the Academy, Polemo,
the leader, replied, “I am no stranger to your Phœnician art, Zeno. I
perceive your design is to creep slyly into my garden and steal away my
fruit.” In 294 B. C. he began to teach in the Painted Porch (see map,
p. 219), a painted colonnade in the Athenian market-place. The School
thereafter went by the name of Stoa, or the Porch. His contemporary
antagonists were Arcesilaus in the Academy, and Epicurus. Zeno’s
reputation throughout Greece was very high and well deserved. He was
a parsimonious man, simple and rude spoken. He used a bad dialect,
foreign words, and taught a strange doctrine. He suffered a slight
wound and, taking it as a hint of destiny, committed suicide, saying,
“I am coming, Earth, why do you call me?”

Stoicism did not flourish under Cleanthes (who was leader of the School
for thirty-two years), although to-day he is the best known of these
three leaders on account of his _Hymn to Zeus_. He was originally a
pugilist, and was so poor that he had to work as a water-carrier by
night in order to attend the lectures of Zeno by day. He is said to
have had a heavy mind, but it was nevertheless the mind of an inspired
prophet and a thoughtful man of science. When Cleanthes received
the Stoic doctrines from Zeno, they were still plastic. He made them
monistic and pantheistic, and introduced the doctrine of “tension.”

Under Chrysippus (280–206 B. C.) Stoicism was revived and he saved
it from extinction. Chrysippus was the systematizer of the School and
its literary representative. He wrote five hundred and five separate
treatises, three hundred of which were on logical subjects. He is
said to have seldom let a day pass without writing five hundred lines.
He was the moderating influence of the School, mediating between
extremes and removing objections. He restated Zeno’s doctrines, but his
discourses abound in curious subtleties rather than argument. He was a
much more scholarly man than his predecessors, and passed for the most
learned man in antiquity. “Give me doctrines,” he said to Cleanthes,
“and I will find arguments for them.” His haughtiness created many
adversaries, both in the Academy and among the Epicureans, and he had
great contempt for men of rank. He said, “If I thought any philosopher
excelled me, I would myself become his pupil.” It was a common saying
in those days, “No Chrysippus, no Stoa.” In the hands of Chrysippus the
Stoic teaching became a well-rounded system.

=The Stoic Writings.= Nearly all the writings of the early Stoics
have been lost. Only fragments have been preserved from the writings
of other men like Cicero, Plutarch, Sextus Empiricus, and Diogenes
Laertius, and these men do not always distinguish between early and
later Stoicism. The principal source of our knowledge of early Stoicism
is Diogenes Laertius. The _Hymn to Zeus_ of Cleanthes is the most
noteworthy fragment extant of the early period. Of the later Stoics
of the Empire many writings have been saved: the ethical treatises and
epistles of Seneca, the _Diatribes_ and _Encheiridion_ of Epictetus,
and the _Meditations_ of Marcus Aurelius. The later Stoic writings
transmit the teaching of the earlier leaders modified by many foreign
influences. Such second-hand authorities as Cicero, Plutarch, Diogenes
Laertius and Sextus Empiricus, and the Aristotelian commentators give
reports so vitiated that it is doubtful if they report any element
belonging to the earlier teaching. The doctrine of the Stoics, since
the time of Chrysippus, however, is known beyond peradventure.

=The Stoics and Cynics.= The Stoics tried to build up the life of the
soul after the pattern of the virtuous Wise Man, whose outlines they
borrowed from the transfigured and lofty form of Socrates. (Noack.)
Their teaching is not merely a refinement and advance over the Cynic
School as Epicureanism had been to the Cyrenaic School. Stoicism and
Epicureanism used their sources in different ways. The Stoic would give
up more than the Epicurean, and the negative side of his teaching is
therefore greater; but in recompense he offers more in the shape of a
comprehensive metaphysics. The Cyrenaic doctrine of pleasure became the
corner stone of Epicureanism. The Cynic sensualistic rigorism became
in the Stoic teaching a negative and relatively unimportant doctrine.
While the Stoic distinction of virtue was not unproductive, the most
influential aspect of Stoicism was its dissemination of humane culture.
Thus, in contrast with the Cynics, the Stoics had a deep interest
in scientific theory. The Stoic, less than the Cynic, contrasted the
individual with the world. The Stoics have a more intelligent, freer,
and milder morality. To the Cynics, external things have no value; to
the Stoics, they have both a positive and a negative value. Beneath
these differences there is the same self-sufficiency in virtue, the
same withdrawal within, the same moral strength of will, the same
antithesis between good and evil. Stoicism was original, but not enough
so to mark the beginning of a new epoch.

=The Two Prominent Stoic Conceptions.= There are two Stoic conceptions
that rise prominently above all the rest of their teaching. One is
the conception of personality, the other is the conception of Nature.
Epicureanism built up the conception of personality, but it had no
need of an objective principle of Nature; and indeed the Epicurean
conception of personality seems to be only a clever adjustment and an
avoidance of the problems of life, compared to the clear-cut, heroic,
and vigorous Stoic conception of personality. Thus in Epicureanism
there is one prominent conception, in Stoicism there are two.

These two Stoic principles stand side by side. The Stoic builds them
up together, even though he fails to make them entirely compatible.
All the essential difficulties and all the excellencies of Stoicism
lie in the juxtaposition of the conceptions of personality and Nature.
In early Stoicism each conception is stated with great vigor. In later
Stoicism their harmony is approximated by the modification of each. The
result was an ethical dualism and a metaphysical monism.

=The Conception of Personality.= Against Epicureanism the Stoic fought
for the dignity of the soul. The ideal personality of the Wise Man
is the central point in Stoicism. Even more than Aristotle did the
Stoic emphasize the unity and independence of the individual soul as
contrasted to its particular states. For the first time in European
thought does the soul become an independent factor to be reckoned with.
The Stoic picture of the ideal personality is of a life completely
sundered from outward conditions, free from earthly trammels, but at
the same time the organ of universal law. Contemporaries asked the
Stoics, How can such an ideal be a person? How can he live among his
fellow men? How can he reconcile himself to human want? After setting
forth this ideal during the 175 years of their first period, it is
not strange that they were finally forced to modify it in response
to practical demands. At this point we shall consider the original
portrayal of the Wise Man.

=1. The Stoic Psychology.= The Stoic built his conception of
personality upon a deep psychological analysis. The soul in the body
is like the pneuma in the world (see p. 255). Not only does the soul
transform the excitations of the several sense organs into perceptions,
but its distinguishing faculty is its power of transforming the
excitations of the feelings into acts of will. This was called by the
Stoics _the assent of the reason, and is the distinguishing feature of
the Stoic conception of personality_. It established for the first time
in history the independence of the personal soul. The Stoic felt keenly
the antagonism between the reason and the senses, and he also felt
that by estimating the senses as merely relative in value they would
so much the more dignify the reason as the fundamental feature of the
personality. While, therefore, all knowledge comes from the senses, the
Stoic maintained that no knowledge exists in the senses by themselves.
The assent of the reason is necessary to transform the sensations into
true knowledge. The reason is not an aggregate of sensations, but an
independent function of the personality. It transforms the sensations
into perceptions, the perceptions into acts of will. The reason is
therefore a kind of generating power of consciousness and is free from
everything external. But in contrast to this free rational side is the
irrational nature of man; for the reason is liable to suffer failure,
when it allows itself to be hurried along to give assent to exciting
causes. Then emotions arise, and emotions are failures, mental
disturbances, and in chronic cases diseases. Man is not always able to
defend himself against the excitations of his environment, but he can
refuse to give the excitations his assent. He can refuse to allow the
excitations to become emotions and to pour forth his life in passion.
Man may be in the world and not of it. He may govern the world by
controlling himself. The Wise Man is free from the emotions, and virtue
consists in their absence. The virtuous man is self-sufficient in the
proud consciousness that he can look upon pleasure as not a good and
pain as not an evil.

What guide does the reason have in granting or refusing its assent
to its perceptions from without? What is the criterion of the truth?
The clearness of the perception――the clearness in the sense that the
presentation lays hold of the mind and extorts its assent. The truth
is the “irresistible presentation” or the “apprehending presentation.”
Who can know the truth? The Wise Man. By what means? By sensation and
preconception. By what sign? By the sign of its irresistible power. The
Wise Man is perfectly free and perfectly necessitated――he never gives
assent except to what constrains assent.

=2. The Highest Good.= What is then the Highest Good or happiness for
such a personality? After such an analysis, what would the Stoic be
likely to conceive to be the true ends of life? The very nature of the
personality gives the answer. Personality is fundamentally rational
activity which seeks to preserve itself and to gratify its own nature.
The Highest Good is the law of its own rationality, and virtue consists
in being rational. In reaching for the Highest Good man can transcend
his particular faculties in his free obedience to his own reason; and
the wholeness of his existence depends upon the wholeness of his deed.
Thus is the inner activity _whole_ in contrast to the partial outer
activities. Inwardness attains complete independence and finds the
depth of the soul. We are free and we are happy if the whole being
goes out in contemplation of the world reason which is our reason, and
if all the feelings that make us dependent on the world are excluded.
Since the emotions place a false value on things, happiness demands
a whole effort and ceaseless activity. We must not merely theorize,
but thought must become conduct. Thought-action yields happiness.
It does not matter whether man acts with reference to this or that,
for external objects are neither good nor bad. The whole question
is whether the reason controls the passions or not. If the reason
controls, the end is good; if the passions control, the end is evil;
all other ends are indifferent. The reason either does or does not rule,
and an act is either good or not. Good is not relative, but absolute;
and such relative matters as wealth, honor, and riches are matters of
indifference. Even life itself is one of the indifferent things and may
be taken when it does not serve the ends of reason. The Highest Good
is that inner unity――that disposition――which is governed by a single

The Stoic word for this ideal Good is apathy, just as the Epicurean
word was ataraxy or imperturbability. Positively defined, it is virtue.
Negatively defined, can we say it was passionlessness? This would not
be quite correct. By apathy the Stoic means not absence of all feeling,
but _absence of control by the feelings_. The Stoic was filled with joy,
gratitude, serene confidence, and unwavering submission in regard to
rational law. Apathy is not dull insensibility, but immovable firmness.
It is absence of the emotions that render the man dependent on the
world, but it is not absence of the reaching out of the soul for the
divine. The Highest Good or Apathy is (1) intellectual resignation to
the universe, (2) practical inner harmony, and (3) self-control. In
seeking to be rational, man is following an impulse,――the impulse of

=The Conception of Nature.= In comparison with the Epicurean
the position of the Stoic was peculiarly involved. The ideal
imperturbability of the Epicurean was simple in so far that it required
nothing beyond itself. It was an individual matter and varied with the
individual. But the Stoic ideal personality is based upon the reason,
that is eternally one and the same. What is this absolute principle
that gives to the human reason its absoluteness? What is the extent
of the law of the reason that the human reason itself implies? Thus
the Stoic needed to supplement his conception of personality and the
Epicurean did not. Because his individualism was more rigorous, it
needed the more to be supported. The Stoic principle of morality had to
have its foundation in the absolute nature of things. This foundation
could not be the politico-moral principle of Greek national life, for
that existed no longer. It could not be a transcendent, supersensuous,
or incorporeal principle, for his Cynic inheritance would forbid his
looking beyond experience. The supplementary absolute principle of the
Stoics must be an immanent principle, a living power in the world. A
pantheistic conception of Nature took its place side by side with the
Stoic conception of personality, and this conception of Nature became
the central point of the Stoic metaphysics. For this the Stoics adopted
the Logos doctrine of Heracleitus, which will be recalled as the
doctrine of primal matter as rational, just, and fateful changingness.
The Stoics were reinforced in this by Aristotle’s teleological
philosophy of nature. Yet they tried to overcome the dualism of matter
and Form as it existed in Aristotle’s teaching, and one feels that
the Stoic pantheism was a conscious and avowed pantheism. The Stoic
conception of Nature is that of a unitary, rational, and living whole,
having no parts, but only determinate forms. Yet it cannot be called a
hylozoism, like the doctrine of Heracleitus, for there Form and matter
had not been distinguished. In the intervening years Form and matter
had been separated, and the Stoic sought to put them together again. In
comparison with the doctrine of the Old Schools, the Stoic teaching was
(1) monistic, as against their dualism, (2) materialistic, as against
their idealism, but (3) like them, it was teleological.

1. In the first place, _Nature is an all-pervading World-Being_. It
is God, “in whom we live and move and have our being.” It contains in
itself all cosmic phenomena, and processes, past, present, and future.
It is the World-ground and the World-mind, and yet it is all-in-all.
It is the productive and formative power, the vitalizing principle.
In general, it is the creative and guiding reason; in particular,
it is Providence or divine government. It is the unswerving whole
in which the single events of history take place. To the Stoics the
cosmic Reason was so apparent in Nature that purpose appeared to them
in everything. In their hands the great teleological conception of
Aristotle’s immanent purposiveness sank to the petty purposiveness for
human beings and for the gods. Yet it is no wonder that this conception
of an all-pervasive deity became a religion to the Stoics and raised
their moral code to the region of the sublime. The world is Fate so far
as the minutest movements are determined. Nature is Providence so far
as those determinations are full of purpose. Nature is in every part
perfect and without blemish.

2. In the second place, _Nature is an all-compelling law_. Nature
is an inviolable necessity, an inevitable destiny, that holds all
phenomena in complete causal connection. Yet this destiny only proves
the complete purpose of the whole. The Stoic seized upon the central
principle of Democritus,――which the Epicureans had overlooked,――the
supremacy of law. “The doctrine of Democritus passed over to the
Epicureans only so far as it was atomism and mechanism; with regard to
the deeper and more valuable principle of the universal reign of law
in Nature, his legacy passed to the Stoics.”[35] There is no such thing
as chance; everything is caused. In Epicureanism one finds the doctrine
of necessity, but the necessity comes from the atoms themselves. In
Stoicism the necessity resides in the living activity of the whole.
A living activity! Herein the Stoic conception differs from the
Democritan teaching. The necessity is a living necessity, the destiny
a living destiny.

3. In the third place, _Nature is matter_. On the theoretical side
Stoicism agrees with Epicureanism only at one point,――both were
materialistic. The materialism of both these New Schools got a
disproportionate prominence because it had to be defended against
the attacks of the Academy and the Lyceum. The materialism of the
Epicureans was a mere adoption of a theory; the materialism of the
Stoics was only one aspect of its supplementary basis. Nevertheless,
to the Stoic matter alone is real, because _it alone acts and is acted
upon_. Everything is matter,――nature-objects, God and the soul, and
even the qualities, forces, and relations between material bodies. The
Stoics regarded the presence and interchange of the qualities of things
as the appearance and intermingling of bodies in these things.

There can be no doubt about the materialism of the Stoic teaching,
although both material and spiritual attributes are ascribed to God
in a way that is startling. The Heracleitan conception of fire as
the primary substance is the Stoic conception of God. God is fire,
air, ether, and most commonly the atmospheric currents which pervade
all things. But God is also the World-soul, the World-mind, the
Cosmic-reason, the universal Law, Nature, Destiny, Providence. He is a
perfect, happy, and kind Being. In single statements these aspects are
often combined and God is described as the Fiery Reason of the world,
the Mind in matter, the reasonable Air-currents. The Stoic equation is
Nature = Matter = Fire = Reason = Fate = Providence = God.

The Stoics followed Heracleitus also in their conception of the
development of the present world from the cosmic fire. “In all points
of detail their views on what we call physical science are contemptible.
They contained not one iota of scientific thinking.”[36] They followed
Aristotle, however, in their description of the elements and their
teleological arrangements.

The primitive substance changes by its own inner rational law into
force and matter. Force is the World-soul, the pneuma or warm breath,
which pervades all things. Matter is the World-body, and is water and
earth. In cosmic periods the primitive fire is destined to re-absorb
the world of variety into itself and then consume it in a universal

The most important feature in the Stoic materialism is the
conception of pneuma, or the force into which the original substance
is differentiated. This is the World-soul. Nature is thus conceived as
dynamical. The Stoic word for the World-soul is translated by various
expressions, as “creative reason,” “generative powers,” “formative
fire-mind.” It penetrates all things and dominates all as their active
principle. Through it the universe is one, not a plurality of parts.
The pneuma is the life of the universe. Its motion is spontaneous; its
development is teleological. The pneuma is an extraordinarily condensed
conception, containing as it does suggestions from Heracleitus’ Logos,
Anaxagoras’ Nous, Democritus’ fire-atoms, and Aristotle’s Energeia.

The human being has a constitution analogous to the universe. Man is
the microcosm and the universe the macrocosm. The soul of man is the
pneuma which holds his body together, and it is an emanation from the
divine pneuma. Mental states――thought and emotions――are air currents.
Virtue is the tension of the atmospheric substance of the soul. The
material, yet divine, pneuma constitutes man’s reason, causes his
activities, is seated in his breast. Since the pneuma is a body,
it disconnects itself from the human corpse at death, has a limited
immortality, and returns to the cosmic pneuma at the conflagration of
the world.

=The Conceptions of Nature and Personality supplement each other.=
Thus fundamentally the personality is identical with the cosmos――it is
reason. To turn the matter about, by reason or “nature” the Stoic means
two things that are essentially one. He means the reason of man, or the
reason of the world; to “live according to nature” is to live according
to the nature of man or according to the nature of the world. The life
of the Wise Man as a harmony with physical nature is a harmony with
itself as well. The antithesis to “nature” or “reason” is sensuous
nature. What we speak of as the natural impulses were not “natural”
at all in the Stoic teaching.

“Nature” as universal is the creative cosmic power acting for ends.
Coördination with this constitutes morality. It is a willing obedience
to eternal necessity. The “fool” acts according to his sensations
and impulses, and therefore against “nature.” But the Wise Man, by
withdrawing within himself, is his own independent master because he
is acting universally. “Nature” is the life-unity of the human soul
with the world reason. True individual morality is therefore universal
morality, complete humanity, universal rationality. To obey “nature” is
to develop the essential germ in one’s self.

Thus these two points of view were obtained of life-unity: a
universe rationally guiding in all its changes; the human individual
epitomizing this universe in himself as a rule for his conduct amid his

=The Stoic and Society.= Men are divided into two classes,――the
entirely wise and virtuous, or the entirely foolish and vicious. There
is no middle ground. If a man possesses a sound reason, he has all
the virtues; if he lacks this reason, he lacks all. There are only
a few Sages; the mass of men are fools. The Stoics were continually
lamenting with Pharisaical pessimism the great baseness of men. From
their sublime height they looked upon the Wise Man as incapable of
sin, upon the fool as incapable of virtue. In thus denying the ordinary
distinctions between good and evil, they were dangerous in politics.
Their political perspective was not reliable. In general, they did
not enter the politics of the democracies where they lived. They were,
however, often the advisers of tyrants, and often assisted in removing
them (as in the case of Julius Cæsar). The Stoic School of Musonius
Rufus made a splendid Puritan protest against Nero and Domitian,
and finally his disciples and friends controlled the empire for a
century (second century A. D.).[37] The Stoic regarded his Wise Man as
attaining the same independence that the Epicurean claimed for his Wise
Man. He is lord and king. He is inferior to no other rational being,
not even to Zeus himself.

The Stoic differs from the Epicurean in his attitude toward the
political state. The two Schools agree that the sufficient Wise Man
needs the state but little. The Epicurean teaches that society is
not natural and not inherent in human nature. The Stoic, however,
maintained that society is a divine institution, which gives way only
occasionally to man’s individual perfecting. Since man and the cosmic
reason are identical, all men are essentially identical. When men
therefore lead a life of reason, they lead a social life. This realm
of reason includes not Romans alone, but all men, gods, and slaves. But
the political government is only secondary, for the Stoic’s ideal is
a universal empire. The Stoic’s interest in practical politics was as
weak as his ideal of a rational society was transcendent. His teaching
of justice and love for man was, however, a forecasting of the coming
religious emancipation.

There are two antagonistic tendencies running through Stoicism. The
first is to seek society with its virtues,――justice, love of men,
sociability or cosmopolitanism. The second dispenses with society to
gain an inner freedom. Yet these two tendencies often coincide.

They may be presented as follows:――

      _To seek society._              _To dispense with society._
   1. Exaltation of justice and       Exaltation of inner freedom
        love.                           and happiness.
   2. World citizenship.              The Wise Man.
   3. Relations and degrees of        Absolute virtue and absolute
        virtue.                         vice.
   4. Virtue depends somewhat on      Knowledge alone is virtue.
   5. Individual should submit to     Individual should make fate.

=Duty and Responsibility.= The Stoic’s identity of human and cosmic
reason elevated the law of human conduct into a strict, universal law
of duty. It embodies, on the one hand, the Cynic’s protest against
external law, and on the other the construction of the inner moral
law. The backbone of Stoicism is sense of responsibility. The Stoics
brought out as never before the contrast between what is and what ought
to be. They were the most outspoken doctrinaires of antiquity, and
formed a school of character building in stubbornness. As time went on
they substituted human nature for cosmic nature, and then accentuated
human nature as conscience. The individual could then define the right
for himself, and this sort of individualism was developed with so
much skill that it admitted great laxity of morals. Duty commands
some things and forbids others, but there are left a great mass of
activities that are ethically indifferent. These indifferent matters
offered opportunity for these men of conscience to perform what in the
eyes of others were crimes (for example, Brutus). Baseness is only what
is unconditionally forbidden.

Yet it must not be supposed that the Stoics generally employed
the indifferent as an excuse for moral license. On the contrary,
the concept of life as a struggle originated with the Stoics, and
from them it passed into the common consciousness of man. There was
before them (1) the struggle with environment dominated by a false
evaluation, (2) the struggle with effete civilization, (3) the struggle
particularly with one’s self. The Stoic hero of inner courage and
greatness of soul rises above his fellows, not because he gains
dominion over the world, but because in indifference to it he isolates
himself. He exists in premeditation of doing rather than in the
actual doing in which his power would be spent. Still, in the absolute
contrast between the good and the evil, in making life a disjunctive,
an “Either――Or,” duty got a definite and distinct meaning. Duty,
according to the Stoics’ conception, had not so much the nature of
an imperative as of what is suitable,――an act adapted to nature, a
consistent and justifiable act. In a manner unknown to antiquity the
ethical nature of conduct was thus universalized in the new conceptions
of philanthropy, of the universality of God and man, in the tendency
to suppress slavery and care for the poor and sick. Nevertheless, as a
moral force Stoicism accepted the world as it found the world, and did
not attempt to make it over.

=The Problem of Evil and the Problem of Freedom.= On the questions
of moral freedom and evil, the Stoics suffered severe attacks from
the Academy and the Epicureans. Alone among the Schools of antiquity
the Stoics preached the doctrine of Fate. The demands of ethical
responsibility, however, required that the individual should determine
his own conduct. To suit these demands the Stoic did not modify his
fundamental conception of Nature, but he tried to justify his position
on the ground that the individual expressed the law of nature. His
argument may be stated thus: Man is like God; Man is one with God;
Man is free. It was also stated on psychological grounds. Man can have
one of two attitudes toward the world-law: (1) his performance may
be through blind compulsion; (2) his performance may be through an
intelligent understanding of the law, in which case he is free. The
occurrence of his act is fateful, but it makes great difference to the
man whether the occurrence is in spite of him or with his intelligent
acquiescence. The occurrence is not an evil in itself; for physical
evils are no evils, and things that appear to be moral evils are
(1) subservient to the good; (2) merely relative to good; or (3) show
that God’s ways are not our ways. My will is mine though necessary; my
will is mine though it be law. The soul is free when it fulfills its
own destiny. God works through man’s will. Outer circumstances are
only accessory causes, but the main cause is the assent of the will.
At the same time the Stoics did not shrink from the logic of their own
fatalism. Chrysippus said that only on the basis of determinism could
correct judgments of the future be made. Only on this ground could the
gods foreknow. Only the necessary can be known.

=The Modifications of the Stoic Doctrine after the First Period.= The
inherent difficulties in the Stoic doctrine and the attacks upon it
gave rise to later concession that only further complicated it. (1) The
moral ideal was lowered to make a set of rules for the mediocre man,
and thereby the Stoics became the originators of the dangerous doctrine
of a twofold morals.

(2) By admitting any supposition instead of strict scientific deduction
into their theory they introduced probabilism. An absolute personality!
An absolute Nature! In order to make either practical the Stoics had
to modify both. In the course of time, when new leaders represented the
School, there came compromises according to practical exigencies. The
teaching of the Wise Man was superseded by instruction how to become
wise. The moral idealism was not renounced but the idea of progress was

(3) The doctrine of Goods was modified. From out the Goods, esteemed
as indifferent, there appear Goods as desirable. Yet these were never
thought to be Goods in themselves, but were only adapted to further the
Good in itself. Such were, for example, the physical Good of health,
enjoyment of the senses, etc. On the side of its ideals Stoicism thus
was brought into touch with practical life.

(4) A distinction was made concerning those who were not Wise Men. It
was recognized that all “fools” are not the same distance from virtue.
There are then recognized progressive men,――men who are improving.
Apathy is thus modified by a state of progress. Even the Wise Man has
in common with others the affections of his senses, such as pain. The
Stoic ethical aristocracy became more humane. Nevertheless, the Stoic
never yielded this point, viz., that there is no gradual growth in
virtue. Virtue is not attained through a transition. It is a sudden
turning about.

(5) During the empire Stoicism became merely a moral philosophy, but
even in this form it was an impressive presentation of the noblest
convictions of antiquity. It prepared moral feeling for Christianity.
The more Stoicism became mere moralizing, the more the Cynic element in
it dominated it. In the first and second centuries Cynicism was revived
by wandering, garbed preachers, who went about affecting beggary and
teaching morals.

                              CHAPTER XII

                      SKEPTICISM AND ECLECTICISM

=The Appearances of Philosophic Skepticism.= We have now traced the
history of the positive and dogmatic aspect of the Hellenic-Roman
Period through its Ethical Division and far into the Religious Division
of the Period. The influence of the ethical movement did not disappear
until at least two centuries after the beginning of this era, and
the Schools themselves did not disappear until they were abolished
by Justinian in 529 A. D. But the Ethical Period may be said to close
at the beginning of this era, and even a century and a half before
that――about 150 B. C.――its positive and dogmatic character had been
lost. Eclecticism appeared in the Schools, and the last one hundred
and fifty years of the Ethical Period was in character transitional and
eclectic. This was caused by the growth and power of Skepticism, which
we have already pointed out as the undercurrent of the entire period.
Skepticism was the fundamental frame of mind of the eight hundred years
of this time. It was the negative side of the period in contrast with
the Schools. Philosophic Skepticism appeared contemporaneously with the
rise of the New Schools at the very beginning of the Period, and the
controversy between the Schools and Skepticism reached its height about
150 B. C. What was the result? Did philosophy turn, as in the Age of
Pericles, back to greater triumphs in speculation? No; the world was no
longer virile and no longer possessed the creative impulse. On account
of the attacks of Skepticism upon the Schools, philosophy dissolved
itself first into eclecticism, and then later by the introduction
of new elements from the East was superseded by religion. In the
philosophical sense, religion and eclecticism are both skeptical――both
have doubts of the ability of the reason to reach truth. Eclecticism
shows its Skepticism by doubting any one dogmatic scheme, and therefore
it constructs a compromise of all; religion crowns faith in place of

Philosophic Skepticism in these times did not appear except with
reference to the doctrines of the Schools. It arose as merely polemical
and antagonistic to the Schools’ teaching. While the Skepticism
of antiquity busied itself with the problem of knowledge, it was
superficial compared with modern Skepticism. Ancient Skepticism did
not doubt that the object of knowledge existed; it did not doubt that
the object of knowledge is external and even material. It assumed that
things exist which, to the modern Skeptic, is the problem at issue.

We shall look now at the appearances of philosophic Skepticism, and the
effect of this Skepticism upon the Schools in their turning to

=The Three Phases of Philosophic Skepticism.= These are three somewhat
loosely connected appearances of Skepticism, and are determined in
their character in large measure by the doctrines which they attacked.

=1. The First Phase of Philosophic Skepticism is called Pyrrhonism=
(from about 300 to 230 B. C.). This was a Skepticism _directed against
the assumptions of the philosophy of Aristotle_. From the dates above
it will be seen to be contemporary with the founding of the Stoic
and Epicurean Schools, at the very beginning of the period. The two
representatives were Pyrrho (365–275 B. C.) of Elis and his pupil Timon
(320–230 B. C.) of Phlius. When Zeno had begun to teach in the Painted
Porch and Epicurus in the Gardens, when Theophrastus had succeeded his
master in the Lyceum and Polemo led the Academy, the Skeptic Pyrrho
began his personal instruction in the city of Elis. Pyrrho had but
little influence. He left no writings, and his doctrine became known
to the ancients through his pupil, Timon, who was the literary exponent
of this Skepticism. The teaching may be stated in the three following
sentences: (1) We can know nothing of the nature of things, but
only of the states of feeling into which they put us; (2) The only
correct attitude of mind is to withhold all judgment and restrain all
action; (3) The result of this suspense of judgment is ataraxia or
imperturbability. The Skeptic therefore sought the same internal peace
for which Stoic and Epicurean were seeking, but he was skeptical of
the Aristotelian metaphysics as an instrument to gain it. The opposite
of any conclusion being equally plausible, suspense of judgment is the
only peace of mind.

Pyrrhonism reminded the age after Aristotle that the problem of the
certitude of knowledge is fundamental and must be settled before any
philosophy can be constructed. The School was short lived, and people
disposed to be skeptical joined the Academy.

=2. The Second Period of Philosophic Skepticism――The Skepticism of the
Academy= (280–129 B. C.). The Middle Academy and its Skepticism was
directed particularly against the Stoic teaching that an “apprehensive
presentation” guaranteed its own truth by the conviction of immediate
certainty. The two most distinguished representatives of this Skeptical
period of the Academy were Arcesilaus (315–241 B. C.) and Carneades
(214–129 B. C.). Carneades must be mentioned particularly as a genius
and a philosopher of great personal influence. “He was the greatest
philosopher of Greece in the four centuries from Chrysippus to Plotinus;
indeed, in ability and depth of thought he surpassed Chrysippus.”[38]
Carneades was the most formidable opponent of the Stoics. He had
listened to the Stoic lecturers, had studied their writings, and had
refuted them on their own grounds in brilliant lectures of his own.

The Skepticism of the Academy arose somewhat in this way. The rivalry
of the Porch and the Older Academy had grown apace and had been a
battle between two dogmatic Schools. The Academy was being worsted, its
ancient spirit was waning, and it had gradually deserted speculation
for ethics. Under Arcesilaus it was provoked to new life by the
aggressive dogmatism of the Stoics. Speculation, which it had ignored,
it now began to antagonize openly. Arcesilaus, in directing his attack
against the doctrine of “apprehensive presentation” of the Stoics,
came to conclusions but slightly different from Pyrrho. Carneades laid
out for himself a twofold task: (1) to refute all existing dogmas,
and (2) to evolve a theory of probability as the basis for practical
activity. He applied his Skepticism not only to speculation, like
Arcesilaus, but also to ethics and religion.[39]

The Academy did not fully adopt Skepticism, but used it as a weapon
against the Stoics. The Platonic tradition was kept alive within the
School, and Skepticism made no advance in the Academy after Carneades.
It did not even continue in the path marked out by him. In the next
generation the Academy became eclectic.

=3. The Third Period of Philosophic Skepticism――Sensationalistic
Skepticism= (during two centuries or more of the Christian era). The
chief representatives were Ænesidemus of Cnossus (first century A. D.),
Agrippa (about 200 A. D.), and Sextus Empiricus (about 200 A. D.).

This phase of Skepticism was represented mainly by physicians,
with arguments based upon empirical physiological grounds. When the
Academy passed from Skepticism to eclecticism, Skepticism became
centred in Alexandria. For two centuries before Galen (131–201 A. D.)
great discoveries had been made in medicine, but the meaning of the
discoveries had not been apprehended. There was a general feeling
among physicians of that time that there is no such thing as scientific
certainty; and skeptical arguments were constructed; based on the
empirical discoveries of the scientific circle of Alexandria. While
the arguments of the Academy were mostly formal attacks against the
Stoics, this Skeptical School of physicians returned to Pyrrhonism,
immensely reinforced with scientific material. It strove in vain to
disassociate itself from the Academy, for it used in one way or another
the formal arguments of the Skeptics of the Academy. In his eight books
on Pyrrhonism, Ænesidemus developed the reasons which induced Pyrrho
to call in question the possibility of knowledge. These are known in
philosophy as the ten “tropes,” or ten ways of justifying doubt.[40]
They were badly arranged by Ænesidemus and reduced to five by

=The Last Century and a Half of the Ethical Period.= (150 B. C.–1
A. D.). =Eclecticism.=――About 150 B. C. the Ethical Period became
eclectic. After 150 years of passionate controversy the Schools began
to compromise their differences and fuse into one another. They no
longer emphasized their differences, but began to point to their common
ground of unity. This tendency to fusion applies only to the Lyceum,
the Academy, and the Porch. The Epicurean School was never a party
to this eclecticism and always remained relatively stationary. The
fusion occurred only in the teaching of the Schools and not in their
organization. Externally the Schools remained separate bodies for six
hundred years longer. In the second century Hadrian and the Antonines
endowed separate chairs for them in the University of Athens. They
were not abolished as Schools until 529 A. D., by Justinian. Internally
their independent growth lasted only during the two centuries down
to the year 150 B. C. At this time their theoretic mission had been
completed. Their internal history from 100 B. C. to 529 A. D. was one
of compromise and adjustment. The year 150 B. C. is therefore important.
At this time the records of the Schools stop, controversy abates,
Stoicism and Epicureanism are introduced into Rome, and fusion of
doctrines begins.

The Stoic School was the first to incline to eclecticism. Its own
doctrine was a kind of fusion of incoherent parts, and among the
Schools it could most easily welcome new doctrines. About 150 B. C.,
under the lead of Panætius and Posidonius, it adopted many of
the Platonic and Aristotelian teachings, tempered its own ethical
rigorism, and extended its scientific interests. At the same time
the Peripatetics of the Lyceum united the pantheism of the Stoics to
their own theism. After the death of Carneades in 129 B. C. the Academy
turned from Skepticism back to the Platonic tradition, but it was a
meagre Platonism adulterated with many foreign elements. For example,
Antiochus of Ascalon taught Cicero from the Academy at Athens in the
winter of 79–78 B. C. that Platonism and Aristotelianism were only
different aspects of the same doctrine.

There were two factors that prepared an easy way for the rapid spread
of eclecticism. One was the growing Skepticism that was so fundamental
in Hellenism, and the other was the adoption of Hellenic culture by
the Romans. Eclecticism is, after all, only another form of Skepticism.
Both exhibit the spirit of undecided conviction. Neither has regard
for the bonds of tradition, for both regard the individual superior to
every tradition or system. Eclecticism, indeed, attempts to reconcile
differing systems; but in doing this it casts a doubt upon the
infallibility of them all only to a lesser degree than Skepticism. The
spread of eclecticism was therefore only an extension from Greece of
the skeptical spirit upon the world, and the Roman world gave a glad
welcome to such a spirit. The Roman character was naturally eclectic.
After his first aversion the Roman was hospitable to all philosophies
and religions. In his practical way, undisturbed by philosophical
hair-splittings, he selected from the different systems what was suited
to his practical needs. Eclecticism found fertile ground in Roman

In the Schools after the year 150 B. C. there appear many notable
names――notable not because they contributed to the theoretic advance
of philosophy, but for some other reason. In the Stoic School were
Panætius, Posidonius, and Boëthus; and later Seneca, Epictetus, and
Marcus Aurelius. Among the Academicians are Philo of Larissa and
Antiochus; among the Peripatetics of the same century is Andronicus;
and among the eclectic Platonists Plutarch is especially to be named;
these were all eclectics. The only one in this group of eclectics whom
we shall have time for a passing examination of is Cicero.

M. Tullius Cicero (106–43 B. C.) listened to Greek philosophy in
all the Schools in Athens and Rhodes. He read a good deal of Greek
literature, so that he had much philosophical material at his command.
He did not show much discretion in his selection of his material,
but he displayed a good deal of tact in using what the Roman people
would receive. The Greek mind spoke to the Roman through Cicero’s
voice almost as though the Roman were speaking for himself. It must
be admitted that Cicero’s acquaintance with Greek philosophy was on
the whole superficial, yet he was able to express certain aspects of
Greek philosophy with clearness for contemporary Latin readers and
for many generations succeeding them. He prided himself in his ability
to discuss both sides of a question without himself arriving at a
decision――after the manner of the Middle Academy, of which he inscribed
himself as a member. His books appeared in rather rapid succession.

Cicero does not therefore owe his prominence as a philosopher so
much to his own profound independence of thought as to his skill in
translating Greek thought to the Roman people. His metaphysics is an
eclecticism that is at bottom a skepticism. In view of the existing
philosophical warfare, he despaired of metaphysical or absolutely
complete knowledge. Yet upon ethical and religious questions he spoke
in no undecided manner, for in these realms he felt that we have more
than merely probable evidence. Since he was unable to refute Skepticism
in a scientific way, he took refuge in the immediate certainty of
consciousness in all matters that pertain to morals and religion. There
are certain ideas common to all men. These have not so much been taught
to all men by nature as they are inborn in all. They are convictions
implanted in us; there is a common human consciousness from which they
are derived, and they are confirmed by universal opinion. Ethical and
religious consciousness thus rests on immediate certainty. Man has
the innate ideas of duty, immortality, and God. Our belief in God’s
existence is supported by the teleological argument for Providence
and divine government. The high dignity of man rests upon this innate
conviction of freedom and immortality. Cicero shows his eclecticism
by moderating the Stoic doctrine of virtue: virtue in itself is _vita
beata_, but virtue plus happiness is _vita beatissima_. Unoriginal
and eclectic as Cicero’s philosophical position may be, it is of great
importance to the student of Roman history.

                             CHAPTER XIII

              THE RELIGIOUS PERIOD (100 B. C.–476 A. D.)

=The Two Causes of the Rise of Religious Feeling.= There were two
causes for the turn of the time from its interest in individual
practical ethics to religion. The first was an inner cause within
the nature of the ethical philosophy of the Schools. The rise of the
religious and the supernatural was the culmination of the undercurrent
of skepticism in the validity of reason, which we found growing
rapidly in the Ethical Period. The more the Schools grew alike in
their teaching, the less were they able to assure their disciples
of any certain insight into virtue and happiness. The Ethical Period
ended in eclecticism, and this was the impeachment of the authority
of each School. The Schools examined their dogmatic assumptions.
The fundamental inner conviction grew stronger that the intellect of
man is self-inconsistent: so inconsistent as to be undependable; so
inconsistent as not to vouchsafe man the virtue and happiness which the
Schools had promised. As Skepticism became more strongly intrenched,
the imperturbable self-certainty of the Wise Man became shaken, the
Ethical Period disappeared, and the Religious Period was born. Belief
in the authority of the supernatural superseded belief in the authority
of the reason.

The second cause may be called external, and was the introduction
of many eastern religions into the empire. It has been common to
exaggerate the vices of the Romans of the first Christian centuries,
and to point to the corruption of the times as the cause of the great
rise of religions.[42] No doubt, in the city of Rome and other large
cities the populations were very licentious and corrupt. But this
was not the case with the people in the small municipalities and the
country. The people were united in peace under one government. There
was great commercial prosperity and widespread travel. Education
prospered. The religion of the Romans, however, long since decadent,
had become an object of derision. All faith in it had been lost,
and magicians and romancers had a large patronage. The inner life of
man demanded some external spiritual authority to satisfy it, and,
finding it could not be satisfied in the realm of sense, turned to
the supersensuous. It was an age of universal superstitions, reported
miracles, and the multiplying of myths. In the realm of the religious
emotions everything was in flux. Even the Greek philosophies――the Stoic,
the Platonic, the Cynic, and the neo-Pythagorean――show it in their
emphasis upon renunciation in practical life. In place of the Grecian
love for earthly existence, a longing for the mysterious was growing
into a feverish desire for strange and mysterious cults. A great
religious movement possessed the nations of the empire, and into
Roman civilization of the first century A. D. there streamed many new
religions. From the Orient came the Mithra, Magna Mater, Star Worship,
Isis and Osiris, and many others. These mingled with the western
religions, and their rivalry was energetic for the possession of men’s
spirits. The Roman people were hospitable to all religions, and Rome
became a religious battleground. With the interest turned from earthly
to heavenly things, salvation from trouble seemed to lie in the

=The Need of Spiritual Authority.= Thus the complacent Ethical Period
gave way to the cry for some authority in morals and science. Man
was no longer confident that he could attain present happiness or his
soul’s salvation by his own strength. He turned for help both to the
religious tradition of the past and to the revelation that might come
to him in the present. The authority in either was practically the same;
for the past was only the crystallization of an ever-present divine
spirit. Yet present and past revelations differ in their credentials:
the present revelation is an immediate illumination of the spirit; the
past is presented in historic records. The Alexandrian school accepted
both forms of revelation as the highest source of knowledge.

The demand for supernatural authority found expression in many
curious ways. It is notorious that at this time the writings and oral
traditions of the past were greatly interpolated. The philosophers of
the first century thought that they themselves could get a hearing only
by inserting their own doctrines into the writings of Plato, Aristotle,
and other heroes of the past. Thus the neo-Pythagoreans invented
a halo of wisdom for Pythagoras in order to give their own sect its
credentials. The demand for authority culminated in the attempt to
trace the entire civilization of the time to some religious source.
Philo on the one side, and the Gnostics on the other, found that Greek
and Hebrew history have a common religious origin. Greek thought was
found in the Oriental writings. The Greek sages were placed by the
side of the Old Testament heroes. The canon of the Christians is full
of cross-references――the Old Testament giving historical authority to
the New Testament, the New Testament giving to the Old Testament the
support of immediate revelation. There came into vogue what was called
“allegorical interpretation,” according to which an historical document
could be given two interpretations (or more)――a literal interpretation
and a spiritual interpretation. The documents were supposed to have
a body and a soul. The literal interpretation was of the body of the
documents and suitable for the people; the spiritual interpretation
was the more liberal interpretation of the soul of the document and
suitable for philosophers.

At the same time a vast number of writings appeared as historical
revelations. It was necessary to separate the true from the false,
but this could not be done by the individual without injuring the very
principle upon which revelation was supposed to rest. Consequently all
knowledge was generally regarded as revelation. For example, Plutarch
and the Stoics divided revelation into three classes: poetry, law,
and philosophy. Although Plutarch disclaimed open superstitions, he
nevertheless accepted as true all sorts of miracles and prophecies.
The later neo-Platonists are also examples of the great body of those
who made no discrimination as to what revelation is true. The Christian
church may be said to have been alone in making a criticism of the
records, and in setting up as criteria tradition and historically
accredited authority. As a result of its criticism the Christian
canon was finally decided upon, and the Old and New Testaments were
accepted as alone inspired. The rivals of the church――the Alexandrian
philosophies, especially neo-Platonism――had no organization that could
decide upon a canon. They were consequently at a disadvantage, but they
felt no need of an infallible historical authority or of historical
criticism. Revelation to them was any immediate illumination of the
individual. The individual man who comes in contact with the Deity
has possession of the divine truth. Although only few attain the
truth, and these only at rare moments, there is nevertheless no way of
determining what is fictitious and what is true. This difference in the
conception of inspiration between the neo-Platonists and the Christians
is important to note, for it marks an important difference in the
two greatest intellectual movements of the next thousand years. The
church fixed revelation on the basis of historical authority, and this
revelation became the source of the scholasticism of the Middle Ages;
neo-Platonism left the individual man free to get revelation from any
source through his own personal contact with the divine, and this was
the basis of the mysticism of the Middle Ages.

=The Rise of the Conception of Spirituality.= We have seen that out
of the widespread cry for spiritual help came the demand for spiritual
authority. There is also another result,――the increased importance
in history of the spiritual personality. The men of the past became
heroes, the great men sanctified and surrounded with myths. Hero
worship, ancestor worship, the worship of the genius of the emperor
inaugurated by Augustus, were part of this movement. Disciples began
to have unconditional trust in their masters, and in neo-Platonism this
worship culminated in veneration for the leaders of the School. This
movement appears in the grandest form in history in the impression of
the wonderful personality of Jesus Christ.

The next step was to regard personality as the revelation of the
divine Logos. Personality is the cosmic reason. Nature and history
are kinds of general revelations, but special revelations require
great personalities――Moses, the prophets, the Greek scientists, and
especially Jesus who was the Messiah, the Son of God. The power that
these personalities exhibit must be a revelation, and not the working
of the human reason, for the human unaided reason deals only with
sensations, and is incapable of gaining divine truth. The reason needs
the divine to illuminate it. The great personalities are therefore
the repositories of powers that make them different from ordinary men.
Their revelations are above, and sometimes opposed to, the conclusions
of ordinary reason. Thus personalities themselves are divided by
religious dualism, and in them the human and divine are far apart.
Moreover, the more great personalities were apotheosized, the more
the common run of humanity was depreciated. Then distinction was
made between great personalities. At first, when authority was sought
everywhere, all great personalities were supposed to have divine
revelation; later, when the lines were drawn between the Christian
and other beliefs, only the Christian leaders were considered by the
Christians to be instruments of the divine.

This spiritualizing of historical personalities laid the emphasis
more than ever before upon the dualism in all human beings. All men
are ensnared in the world of sense, and they can attain knowledge
of the higher world only through the illumination of their higher
natures. Aristotle alone among the Greeks had had a clear conception
of spirituality, but he had conceived spirituality as applied solely to
God. He had not conceived God to be a person. But the Stoic antithesis
of reason and what is contrary to reason, and the Platonic antithesis
of the supersensuous and the sensuous, had marked off _in man_ the
inner personal nature of man as withdrawn into itself and set over
against his sensuous nature. The more this ethical dualism became a
religious dualism, the more the conception of spiritual personality was
extended to all human beings. Its most refined expression was in the
Christian conception of the soul.

=The Revival of Platonism.= The Platonism of the Academy had had
little influence in the Ethical Period and its tradition had been
barely kept alive. The Middle Academy had been skeptical and the
New Academy eclectic. The Religious Period, on the other hand, was
thoroughly Platonic, and Plato from this time until the Crusades became
the ruling philosophical power. For three hundred years his influence
had been nothing; for the next twelve hundred he dominated men’s
minds, so far as any philosopher could in religious times. When the
Wise Man vanished from philosophy, and the expectation of spiritual
blessedness took its place, when Skepticism drove men from ethics,
first to eclecticism and then to theology, when philosophy passed
to mysticism――then did Platonism, with its antithesis between the
sensible and the supersensible, come to its own. Of all the historical
philosophies it could best amalgamate all religions. Platonism
(1) absorbed Oriental religions, (2) furnished a didactic form for
Christianity, (3) recreated itself into the mystic neo-Platonism. The
world-longing for the supernatural found its best medium in Platonism.
When the Wise Man vanished, the mystic priest appeared.

=The Divisions of the Religious Period.= Out of the seething religious
times at the beginning of this era, there emerged two distinct currents
of thought that extended through the entire length of the Religious
Period, and carried down into the Middle Ages all the culture that
the mediæval possessed. The two movements were (1) the religious
philosophies of the still persistent Hellenic civilization, and
(2) the new-born Christian religion, which was destined to determine
the future of the western people. If we scrutinize these two movements
we shall find that each has its introductory and its development stages,
and at the point of division in each stands a great leader who was
instrumental in bringing about the transition. The great neo-Platonist,
Plotinus (204–269), marks the division line in the Hellenic movement;
the Christian, Origen (185–254), marks the division line in theological
Christianity. While these men were contemporaries, we shall take,
for various reasons, the year 200 as the date of division of the
Christian movement, and the year 250 as the date of division of the
Hellenic movement. The first stage of each movement we shall call its
Introductory Period, and the second its Development Period.

During their Introductory Periods the two movements tried to draw
together under the influence of the philosophical eclecticism which
colors this time. In their Development Periods the two movements
draw apart, become closed and mutually repellent. The historical
developments of the two movements from beginning to end are very
different. The tide of Hellenism floods with Plotinus, its greatest
representative, and after him there is a gradual ebb. On the other hand,
Christianity shows a continuous growth, both internally and externally,
and the mighty Origen only points to the mightier Augustine. Both
movements finally merge in Augustine.

  I. Hellenic Religious             II. Christianity.
    1. Introductory Period          Introductory Period
       (100 B. C.–250 A. D.).       (31 A. D.–200 A. D.).

       (1) Greek-Jewish philosophy  (1) Period of simple faith (until
           of Alexandria.               the 2d century A. D.).
           Philo (25 B. C.–50
           A. D.).

       (2) Neo-Pythagoreanism       (2) Period of Earlier Formulation
           (100 B. C.–150 A. D.).       of Doctrine.
                                        Apologists (2d century).
                                        Gnostics (2d century).
                                        Old Catholic Theologians
                                        (2d and 3d centuries).

    2. Development Period           Development Period (200–476).
       Neo-Platonism.               (1) Period of Actual Formulation
       Plotinus (204–269).              of Doctrine.
       Jamblichus (d. 330 about).       The School of Catechists.
       Proclus (410–485).               Origen (185–254).

                                    (2) The Œcumenical Councils and
                                        the establishment of dogma.

=The Hellenic Religious Philosophies.= Alexandria and not Athens was
now the intellectual centre of Hellenism. The position and history
of the city, as well as the character of its population, were most
favorable for the mingling of religions and philosophies. In the
“university” of this great commercial metropolis the treasures of Greek
culture were concentrated and scholastic work was vigorously pursued.
Here all philosophies met, and all religions and cults were tolerated.
Exhausted Greek philosophy here came in contact with those fresh
Oriental ideas which previously, at a distance, had excited the
imagination of the Greeks as something mysterious. The result was a new
phase of philosophy,――theosophy, comparative religion, or eclecticism
of philosophy and religion.

In no instance were the authors of these religious philosophies Greeks.
The philosophy of Philo was a Hellenism, but the Hellenism of a Jew.
Neo-Pythagoreanism seems to have had representatives from every country
except the motherland of Greece. The author of neo-Platonism was
born in Egypt. Of the two introductory movements, the Greek-Jewish
philosophy accorded more with Oriental life, neo-Pythagoreanism with
Greek life. Both go back to the principles that were fundamental in the
Pythagorean mysteries.

=The Introductory Period of Hellenic Religious Philosophy= (100
B. C.–250 A. D.). =The Turning to the Past for Spiritual Authority.=

=1. The Greek-Jewish Philosophy of Philo.= The Jews lived in great
numbers in Alexandria, and many of them were wealthy and influential.
In Alexandria the Old Testament had been translated into Greek, and
through it the Greeks had become acquainted with the religion of the
Jews. While the Old Testament contained the philosophy of the Jews,
these Alexandrian Jews had learned in Alexandria to admire greatly the
philosophy of the Greeks. So great was their admiration that they soon
conceived Plato to be in their Law and their Law in Plato. They argued
that since the Old Testament was their revelation, all the best Greek
philosophy must be in the Old Testament. The Alexandrian Jews used
Greek conceptions wherever they found them; and this tendency toward
eclecticism appeared as early as 160 B. C. in Aristobulus and Aristeas.
At that time these Jews used Greek philosophy in interpreting the Old
Testament and employed the “allegorical method of interpretation.”
This eclectic tendency was brought to completion by Philo (25 B. C.–50
A. D.), who was the most notable philosopher of this time. Philo was
guided in his eclecticism by some such rules as these: (1) Revelation
is the highest possible authority and includes the best of Greek
thought; (2) Greek philosophy is derived from the fundamental
principles of the Old Testament; (3) Jewish revelation is expressed
in symbols, while Greek philosophy is expressed in concepts.

Philo’s teaching contains, in unsymmetrical form, both Stoicism and
Platonism, and in it can be found the seeds of all that grew up in
Christian soil. His philosophy was a bridge from the philosophy of
Judaism to Christian theology. It has been called a “buffer” philosophy.

God is the ultimate cause of the world, but He is so transcendent that
He can be described only in negative terms. This method of defining God
got the name in later times of “negative theology.” It was the common
method in these Alexandrian days. God is absolutely inconceivable and
inexpressible to man; to Himself He is “I am who am.” The goodness of
God impelled Him, and His power enabled Him, to create the world. From
this point of view Philo is a monist. But in man reason and sense meet.
Man’s soul is from God, but his sense-body is from matter, and from
this point of view Philo is a dualist. Matter is outside God. God is
so transcendent that He cannot come in contact with matter, and so He
created the world and rules the world through mediators or “potencies.”
These “potencies” are the same as the Ideas of Plato, the “reasons”
of the Stoics, the numbers of the Pythagoreans, the angels of the Old
Testament, or the dæmons of popular mythology. The sum-total of God’s
activity in the world was called by Philo the Logos. Philo speaks of
the Logos in two ways: sometimes as the plural number of teleological
forces in the world; sometimes as the unity of these forces, “the
first begotten of God,” “the second God,” “the son of God.” The Logos
represents the first attempt to overcome the dualism between matter and
God. The Logos is the high priest standing between God and the world.
It is the everlasting revelation of God’s presence. Philo’s world is
made by God and not by others, and is the expression of God’s thought
in infinite forms and forces. God is not defiled by coming into contact
with matter. God gives orders, the Logos obeys. Philo believed in
transmigration of souls, and to him the most important problem is, How
the spirit can become like God. The answer is (1) by the acquirement of
the Stoic apathy, (2) by possessing the Aristotelian dianoetic virtues,
(3) by complete absorption in God.

=2. Neo-Pythagoreanism.= The history of Pythagoreanism is extremely
varied. Its body of doctrine from epoch to epoch was continually
changing. The only characteristic common to its entire history was
its practical tendency toward asceticism and its affiliation with the
Mysteries. Let us review the history of Pythagoreanism down to the
time of neo-Pythagoreanism. In 510 B. C., at the battle of Crotona,
the early band of Pythagoreans was dispersed, and about 504 B. C.
Pythagoras died. His scattered followers formed a school centring at
Thebes around the philosophy of numbers, and this school lasted until
350 B. C. In 350 B. C. Pythagoreanism no longer existed as a school,
for its members had either joined the Academy or formed one of the
Mysteries. In 100 B. C. Pythagoreanism again emerged under the name
of neo-Pythagoreanism, and this is the body which we meet in the
introductory stage of the Religious Period. Alexandria was its centre,
but it drew its disciples from every part of the earth. Among them
Apollonius alone rises as a distinct figure. He was widely known,
for he traveled everywhere as a religious teacher and wonder-worker.
Other neo-Pythagoreans were P. Nigidius Figulus, a friend of Cicero,
Sotion, a friend of the Sextians, Moderatus of Gades, and in later
times Nicomachus of Gerasa and Numenius of Apamea. Another, and rather
numerous group, allied to the neo-Pythagoreans, should be mentioned
here. These were the so-called Eclectic Platonists, the representatives
of whom were Plutarch (50–125 A. D.), and Celsus (about 200 A. D.),
the opponent of Christianity. The only important difference between
the neo-Pythagoreans and the Eclectic Platonists was that the former
referred to Pythagoras as their religious model, and the latter to
Plato. Both were mystical, ascetic, and eclectic.

Neo-Pythagoreanism first became noticeable in the first century
B. C., on account of the great number of writings appearing under the
names of Pythagoras and Philolaus. About these there arose a large
neo-Pythagorean literature,――about ninety treatises by fifty authors.
The writings under the name of Pythagoras were, for many centuries,
the cause of the misconception of the true teaching of the original
Pythagoras. The advent of the neo-Pythagorean literature marks
the return at Alexandria to the older systems of thought, and is
coincident with the learned literary investigations in the University
of Alexandria. The particular revival of Pythagoreanism in the form
of neo-Pythagoreanism came at the same time with the renewal of the
Homeric form of poetry.

Neo-Pythagoreanism, as its history shows, is the philosophy of
a half-religious sect with ascetic tendencies. Its transcendental
philosophy was better suited to a people under an autocratic government,
and ruled by Oriental traditions, than was the ethical teaching of the
four Schools. The system of the ethical Schools arose out of the needs
of the individual; but at this time the cry was for an absolute object
which transcends both the individual and nature. The demand was for a
god who could be served not by sacrifice, but by silent prayer, wisdom,
and virtue. There are many points of similarity between the doctrine of
Philo and neo-Pythagoreanism. The neo-Pythagoreans were monotheistic,
but at the same time they accepted within their monotheism the
hierarchy of the gods. They held to the commonly accepted doctrines of
their time, viz., the transmigration of the soul, the dualism of the
mind and body, the mediation of a graded series of celestial beings
between man and God. They interpreted God in a spiritual way, but they
conceived the ideas in God’s mind to be the Pythagorean numbers――just
as Philo conceived them to be the Old Testament angels.

=The Development Period of Hellenic Religious Philosophy= (250–476
A. D.). =The Turning to the Present for Spiritual Authority. Platonism
and Neo-Platonism.= Neo-Platonism is the final statement of Hellenic
culture, and the question may be asked, In what form did it present
Hellenism? The answer is, It sets forth the Hellenic feeling as
_mysticism_. The contribution of Plotinus was the destruction of
the classic Greek ideal with its definiteness of form, and was the
substitution of a new ideal of soaring spiritual exaltation. One has
only to look back to the art, science, and philosophy of the Periclean
Age to appreciate how far this last survival of Greek culture had
drifted from its original moorings. Nevertheless, neo-Platonism is
not so very far distant from that powerful ascetic principle in the
Greek mysteries which is one aspect of the doctrine of Plato himself.
Neo-Platonism was Platonism exaggerated on this mystic and ascetic
side. Plotinus said that he was ashamed that he had a body; that the
soul looks on and weeps at the sinfulness of the body; that it is not
enough to regulate the body, but that the body must be exterminated.
As the voice of Hellenism, neo-Platonism is speaking in an age when
consciousness is weighed down with the sense of the enormity of evil
and the need of salvation. Neo-Platonism feels that the moral conflict
in the human soul is repeated in the universe; that the eternal
struggle between matter and spirit goes on in the macrocosm as well
as the microcosm. Plotinus held to the ancient Greek conception of
the personification of the powers of nature, of the derivation of
happiness from activity, of the supremacy of the intellect over the
other faculties. But in accepting the ancient Greek doctrine of the
subordination of man to the universe, he conceived man to be absorbed
by the universe.

=Neo-Platonism and the Two Introductory Philosophies.= Neo-Platonism,
therefore, shares in the mysticism of the philosophies of Philo and
the neo-Pythagoreans. All three teach the transcendence of God; all
three were metaphysically monistic and ethically dualistic; all three
conceive the existence of intermediaries between God and man. The
introductory philosophies sought to build eclectic doctrines, while
neo-Platonism became eclectic only in its last phases. Plotinus
constructed a positive and original philosophy, and among the three
systems the teaching of Plotinus is carefully worked out. Indeed,
Plotinus is by far the greatest thinker of this religious period. In
the philosophy of Plotinus the relations between man and God are given
a more æsthetic character, and the doctrine of immediate experience
is more carefully discussed and has greater importance than in
neo-Pythagoreanism and the teaching of Philo.

=Neo-Platonism and Christianity.= Neo-Platonism and Christianity have
one thing at least in common. They have the same problem,――how to
spiritualize the universe. This was the problem that both Plotinus and
Origen attempted to work out. With the development of the consciousness
of spiritual personality and the need of a revelation, the Divine
seemed to both to be correspondingly farther away. God is unknown
and incomprehensible, and so pure that He cannot come in contact with
earthly existence. What, then, is the bond between the heavenly and
the earthly? From the point of view of cosmology and of ethics, neither
succeeded in overcoming the dualism. The sensuous was regarded as
alien to God, and as a thing from which the spirit must free itself.
Metaphysically their efforts to construct a spiritual monism were more
successful, but their efforts were along different lines. The Christian
conceived the universe of God and matter to be bound together by the
principle of love; the neo-Platonist, by a series of countless grades
of beings in diminishing perfections from the All-perfect. Then again,
to the neo-Platonist the question of the return of man to God was a
question of the personal inner experience of the individual; to the
Christian theologian it was included in the larger problem of the
historical process by which the whole human race is redeemed. Thus the
metaphysical solution of each works out differently and with different

Both neo-Platonic and Christian theology tried to prove that their
respective religious convictions were the only true source of salvation.
Both originated in the Alexandrian School. Christian theology was
preceded by the fantastic system of the Gnostics, as Plotinus was
preceded by the Pythagoreans and Philo. In their development the
differences between the two appear. Christianity was supported by a
church organization which had an internal vitality and a regulative
power; neo-Platonism was supported and regulated by individuals,
without organization, who had assimilated every faith. Christian
theology was founded on a faith that had already expanded, while
neo-Platonism was at the beginning an erudite religion that tried
to develop an extended faith and, incidentally, later to assimilate
other cults. Outwardly neo-Platonism, as the final stand of the pagan
world to save itself from destruction, was unsuccessful in that it
failed to perpetuate itself as an organization. Really it achieved a
marked success. Not only did it live a long life of two hundred and
fifty years, but it also lived in the development of its antagonist,
Christianity. For neo-Platonism, by the irony of fate, was one of the
important factors that entered into the building up and strengthening
of Christianity. In its lingering death-struggle Hellenism was creating
the conceptions that the Christian, Augustine, later employed in
shaping Christian theology for the Middle Ages.

=The Periods of Neo-Platonism.=

  (1) The Alexandrian School――about 240.
      Neo-Platonism presented as a Scientific Theory.
      The leader was Plotinus (204–269).
  (2) The Syrian School――about 310.
      The Attempt to Systematize all Polytheisms.
      The leader was Jamblichus (d. about 330).
  (3) The Athenian School――about 450.
      The Recapitulation of Greek Philosophy.
      The leader was Proclus (410–485).

=The Alexandrian School. The Scientific Theory of Neo-Platonism. The
Life and Writings of Plotinus= (204–269 A. D.). Plotinus was born in
Lycopolis in Egypt, and received his education in Alexandria, under
Ammonius Saccas, who was Origen’s teacher. He campaigned with the
emperor, Gordian, against the Persians, in order to pursue scientific
studies in the East. He was especially interested in the Persian
religion. In this way Plotinus became acquainted at first hand
with the mysticism of the Orient. In 244 he appeared at Rome as a
teacher, and was received with great éclat by the people, and in the
highest circles he gained the most reverent recognition. His school
contained representatives from all nations and from almost every
calling,――physicians, rhetoricians, poets, senators, an emperor and
empress. Plotinus lived in a country estate in Campania, and he almost
succeeded in inducing the emperor to found a city of philosophers
in Campania. It was to be called Platonopolis and, with Plato’s
Republic as a model, it was to be an Hellenic cloister for religious
contemplation. The literary activity of Plotinus occurred in his old
age, and he wrote nothing until after he was fifty. His works consisted
of fifty-four _Corpuscles_ which his pupil, Porphyry, combined into
six _Enneads_. For the next three hundred years his school became the
centre of the Hellenic movement――the centre of science, philosophy,
and literature. The literature of neo-Platonism was enormous, on
account of the many commentaries on the philosophy of Plato within the
neo-Platonic circle.

=The General Character of the Teaching of Plotinus.= There is a great
division of opinion about the value of the teaching of Plotinus,
for he drew his philosophy only in the broadest outlines, and he
made no attempt to advance from a general view of the world to exact
knowledge of it. Intellectually his philosophy is an abstraction; and
yet emotionally, in an intimate way, it touched deeply an age weary
with culture. Thus one can see how the actual achievement of Plotinus
was small, but how at the same time its force and influence was very
great. It was a religious teaching which rose to magnificent heights of
contemplation from miserable intellectual surroundings. Nevertheless,
the philosophy of Plotinus was an extreme form of intellectualism――it
was an intellectual ennobling and transforming of religion. The earlier
philosophy had supported the happiness of the individual by offers of
infinitude; but Plotinus thought of the individual as never isolated
from the Infinite, but as always longing for the Infinite. Fellowship
with God is knowledge of Him, but it is knowledge of a peculiar kind.
It is enthusiasm, intuition, ecstasy. There is a chasm between man and
God, which Plotinus would bridge by placing reality so deeply within
consciousness as to annihilate all antitheses and contradictions. Thus
this deep reality below consciousness is cosmic and not human; and the
religion of Plotinus is cosmocentric and not anthropocentric. Plotinus
intensifies and summarizes Greek culture in order to consolidate and
defend it. But in thus thinking out the Greek conceptions to their
logical completeness, those conceptions collapse.

=The Mystic God.= There are two characteristics that distinguish the
mystic God of Plotinus.

1. The first characteristic is the supra-consciousness of God. God
is the indefinable, original Being who is above all antitheses. He is
_supra_-everything, even _supra_-conscious. Nothing can be attributed
to Him, not even thought or will, for these imply two elements and God
is a unity. Any description of Him must be in negative terms (“negative
theology”). If we speak of Him as the One, the First, the Cosmic Cause,
Goodness, or as Light, we are only relatively and not really describing
Him. God is present in all, yet He is not divided; He is the source
of all, and yet He himself is perfectly finished. In his conception
of God as compared to the world, Plotinus added the realm of the
supra-conscious and the sub-conscious to the conscious.

2. In the second place Plotinus conceived God in His relation to the
world in the terms of _dynamic pantheism_. This is a pantheism of a
peculiar type. God does not create the world; the world is not the
act of His will; nor is the world the result of a transference of part
of His nature. In ordinary pantheism the world is a diffusion of the
substance of God and the whole is static. Not so in the teaching of
Plotinus! God permeates the world by His activity, and the world is
dynamic through and through. But this dynamic activity of God must not
be conceived as an historical or time process. _The process is timeless.
It is a process of essence or worth._ The grades in the process are
those of _significance or value_. All are within the all-embracing
unity of God and each particular draws its life from Him. _This is
called the theory of emanations._ Plotinus used the figure which
mystics have always employed in this connection,――the figure of the
sun and its rays of light in the darkness. The rays become less and
less intense with the increasing distance from the Godhead, until they
end in darkness. The process is an overflowing from the Godhead in
which the Godhead remains unchanged.

=The Two Problems of Plotinus.= Starting with this conception of the
Godhead as a dynamic contentless Being, Plotinus is bound to explain
the world of sense-phenomena. His problem is twofold: he must explain
the sequence of phenomena from the Godhead, which is the metaphysical
problem; he must explain how man, living in the world of sense, can
rise to communion with the Godhead, which is the ethical problem.
Metaphysics and ethics are to Plotinus in inverted parallelism.

=The World of Emanations.――The Metaphysical Problem of Plotinus.= The
aim of Plotinus in this is to construct a metaphysical monism out of
the dualistic factors which had so long been present in Greek thought.
The two fundamental principles upon which he raised his structure were
(1) his dynamic series of emanations, and (2) his conception of matter
as entirely negative. The highest Being, God, by an excess of energy
or goodness, has the natural impulse to create something similar to
himself. This creative impulse exists in each creature in turn and the
movement propagates itself. Stage is added to stage in a descending
series, until the impulse dies out in non-Being as the limit. The
ordinary pantheism of co-existence of phenomena is transformed into
a succession of stages of values, and all make up a harmony of more or
less distinct copies of God. There are three steps in which the process
of emanation proceeds,――spirit, soul, and matter.

_The Spirit or Nous_ is the first emanation from the One in point of
significance. It is the image of the One sent forth by its overflow of
energy. This image involuntarily turns toward its original, the One,
and in beholding it becomes Spirit, Nous, or intellectual consciousness.
It turns to the One and recognizes itself as the image of the One. Thus,
in the first degree away from God, the duality of thinker as subject,
and of the thing thought as object, appears. The unconsciousness of
the One is thus contrasted with consciousness, and the dual nature
of consciousness is thus brought out; and for the first time an exact
formulation of the psychological conception of consciousness is given.

The Nous is a unitary function of the One, like the Logos of Philo. At
the same time the Nous contains within itself, as content, the Platonic
Ideas or arch-types of individuals. These Ideas are not mere thoughts,
but have their own existence. The Nous is their unity, however, just
as a unity exists for the theorems of a science. These Ideas are pure
intellectual potencies and the final causes of the world of nature.

_The Soul_ is the second degree removed from the One. It stands in the
same relation to the Nous as the Nous to the Godhead. The Soul belongs
to the world of light, but it stands just on the boundaries of the
world of darkness. It is the image of an image and therefore doubly
dual,――it consists of a higher or world-soul and the lesser souls.
The world-soul is divided into two forces,――the formative power of the
world, and the body of the world. Individual souls are divided into the
supersensible or intellectual soul (the part that has pre-existence
and undergoes metamorphosis), and the sensible part which has built up
the body as an instrument of its working power. The soul is present in
all parts of its body. The individual souls are called _plastic forces_.

_Matter_ is the emanation which is most distant from the One. The
Nous is the emanation of the One, the world-soul is the emanation from
the Nous, individual souls are a kind of intermediate emanation from
the world-soul, and matter is the emanation of the individual souls.
That is to say, the world-soul, with the forces that are native to it,
generates matter and then, by uniting itself through its forces with
matter, produces the world of corporeal things. _What is the character
of matter_ with which the world-soul forms this union? _It is space._
Space conditions all earthly existence. It is the same as Plato’s
conception of the absolutely negative non-Being and the merely possible.
It is absolute sterility, entirely evil and devoid of good. Matter has
no dualistic independence of the One. _What is the character of the
nature world?_ It has the same character and quality as the formative
forces that unite with this negative matter――it is no more and no
less eternal. The world of nature to Plotinus is one of magic, and
not merely teleological. He says that the heavens are the union of a
perfect soul with matter; the stars are the visible gods united with
matter; the powers of the air and sky are dæmons, which mediate between
the stars and the souls of men, united with matter; the body of man
is the human soul united with matter; inorganic nature is the lowest
of the plastic forces united with matter. Wherever there is matter
(space), there is found imperfection and limitation and evil. Man as
an individual is sympathetically and mysteriously bound to all parts
of the universe. Scientific investigation of nature is entirely ruled
out by this neo-Platonic teaching. It never could be the instrument for
penetrating a magical universe. Faith and superstition take the place
of science, and prophecy alone undertakes to solve nature’s riddle.

The world of nature is thus broken in two. In one sense it is bad, ugly,
and irrational. In another sense it is good, beautiful, and rational,
because it is formed by the souls that enter into it. In opposition
to the Gnostics Plotinus praised the harmony and beauty of the world,
and promulgated his metaphysics of the beautiful as a last farewell of
Hellenic civilization. Beauty is not composite, but the simple Idea of
worth shining through the world of sense. Beauty is from the inner and
for the inner. Art does not imitate nature, but expresses the reason;
it supplements the defects of nature and creates something new. Yet the
world of nature is beautiful, because down to the lowest deeps it is
permeated by the divine.

=The Return of the Soul to God.――The Ethical Problem of Plotinus.=
In his discussion of moral conduct Plotinus started from the point
opposite to that of his metaphysics. He looked from the point of view
of man up the series which descended from the Godhead. Men immersed in
matter have nevertheless a share in the divine life, and their goal is
independence of the world. They must free themselves from sense. Man’s
ethical task is to separate the two worlds and to turn away from the
material, not only in its abnormalities but in every way. The practical
virtues have little value in such a sublimation of the soul, for these
only bind the soul more closely to the world of matter. The political
virtues are only a preparation by which the soul learns how to be free
from sense. The intellectual virtues are necessary, but the goal of
salvation is not reached by knowledge alone. “The wizard king builds
his tower of speculation by the hands of human workmen till he reaches
the top story, and then he summons his genii to fashion the battlements
of adamant and crown them with starry fire.” Out of the mental
condition of contemplation the soul will rise on the wings of ecstasy
to the God from whom it came. The call of Plotinus is to the ascetic
life. The development required is that of spirituality. Ethically
Plotinus’ doctrine is dualistic, because it requires the rejection
of matter as evil. The return is not an evolution nor an innovation
in which reform of the old world is demanded. There is no individual
progress, but a penetration into the foundation of things. But what
incentive has man to undertake this return? What arouses him from
his sleep? Not sense-perception nor reflection, but his love for the
beautiful. The innate impulse of Platonic love turns the soul away from
matter to the illuminating Idea. He who has an immediate recognition
of the pure Idea is gaining the higher perfection. Only when man is
in ecstasy――an ecstasy which transcends every subjective state――does
he get complete contact and union with God. In such a moment of
consecration he forgets himself and becomes God. This final step never
comes unless God himself illuminates the soul by a special light so
that it can see God. This final state comes only to few souls, and to
those but seldom.

=The Syrian School.――The Systematizing of Polytheisms.――Jamblichus.=
This school existed about a generation after the death of Plotinus.
Its founder was Jamblichus (d. about 330), whose teacher was Porphyry,
the pupil of Plotinus. Jamblichus was a Syrian, who got his instruction
from Porphyry at Rome, and then went back to his native country to set
up for himself a school of neo-Platonism. He soon became reverenced
as teacher, religious reformer, and worker of miracles. He wrote
commentaries on Plato, Aristotle, and the theological works of the
Orphics, Chaldeans, and the Pythagoreans. Among the crowd of his
enthusiastic disciples, one notes the names of the Emperor Julian and

The neo-Platonism of Jamblichus contained no new point of view.
Metaphysically and ethically his teaching was identical with that of
Plotinus. He tried to complete the religious movement by coördinating
all cults, excepting Christianity, into a unity. This was an
eclecticism by which Jamblichus came naturally, for Syria was a
land where eclecticism thrived. It was here that Gnosticism had its
stronghold. With free eclectic hand Jamblichus filled in all the
intermediary grades between the Godhead and man with the multitude
of gods of all religions. In his system he placed 10 supra-terrestrial
gods, 365 celestial beings, 72 orders of sub-celestial beings, and
42 orders of natural gods. To find places for them all, he had to
increase the number of intermediaries; and to systematize this complex
polytheism, he employed the Pythagorean numbers. His theory shows how
persistent was the Hellenic civilization.

=The Athenian School.――Recapitulation.――Proclus.= The Syrian school
failed to restore the old religions, and we find neo-Platonism, after
revivals here and there, again at Athens. The city that had been
the original sanctuary of Greek culture was the last stronghold of

The Athenian school made its appearance about 410, and its leading
representatives were Plutarch, Syrianus, and Proclus. Proclus
(410–485), the pupil of Syrianus, was the most important representative
of the Athenian school, and he may be said to have uttered the last
word of dying Hellenism. Born at Constantinople, of a Lycian family,
he received his education at Alexandria; and when he became leader
of the school at Athens, he received the extravagant worship of his
pupils. Connected with the Athenian school were the great commentators,
Philoponus and Simplicius, whose works on Aristotle became of great
value to later times. Their erudite compilations stand out sharply
against the imaginative speculations of their age. In connection with
this school Boëthius must not be overlooked. He was a neo-Platonist
who called himself a Christian, and he was an important figure in the
history of education. His translations and expositions of Aristotle’s
logic and of the _Isagoge_ of Porphyry were very influential in the
Middle Ages.

Proclus was a theologian like Jamblichus, excepting that he tried to
put theology upon a philosophical basis. By means of the dialectic
he sought to systematize the entire philosophical thought of the
Greeks. His insatiable desire for faith was accompanied by wonderful
dialectical ability, with the result that his teaching was an intricate
formalism united with mythology. He carried out his dialectical plans
to the minutest detail. He drew the materials of his system from both
barbarians and Greeks, and he himself had been initiated into all
the Mysteries. Every superstition of the past and present influenced
him, and in framing a universal system he did not feel satisfied until
every transmitted doctrine had found a place in that system. He was
the systematizer of paganism and its scholastic. He conceived that the
fundamental problem was that of the One and the Many, and that the One
is related to the Many in three stages,――permanence, going-forth, and
return. The Many as a manifold effect is similar to the unity of the
original cause and yet different from it. Development is the striving
of the effect to return to the original cause, and this strife for
a return to God was illustrated by Proclus in every realm of life,
and he repeated it again and again in application to every detail.
He conceived that the development of the world from the Godhead was
continually going through this triad system of change. His philosophy,
however, shows no originality other than being an ingenious formal
classification in which every polytheism found a place.

                              CHAPTER XIV


=The Early Situation of Christianity.= The Orient was the source
of the Gospel, as of the other religions of this time. The power
of Christianity lay in the spontaneous force of its pure religious
feeling, with which it entered the lists for the conquest of the world.
Christianity was not a philosophy, but a religion. It appealed to
a different class than did the Alexandrian schools. The lower class
received it first, and so the questions of science and philosophy
occupied the early Christians but little. They were neither the friends
nor the foes of Hellenism, and they took no interest in political
theories. The Christian society was a spiritual cosmopolitanism, which
was inspired and united by belief in God, faith in Christ, and in
immediate communion with Christ. Conviction of the Second Coming of
the Lord determined the conduct of the early Christians. Indeed, that
moral reformation and moral conduct were the dominating aims of the
Christian communities is proved by the following facts: the documents
dealing with Christian life of that time are almost wholly moral; the
discipline upon the members was for moral and not doctrinal reasons.
Still these early Christians had some simple doctrines, which were
seemingly taken for granted; and the danger is, to conceive the early
Christians as either (1) too simple or (2) too ignorant. They believed
that there is one God, that man has personal relations to God, that
history has a dramatic course, that right was God’s command and
absolutely different from wrong, that the Last Judgment would surely

But about the middle of the second century Christianity was obliged
to change its attitude towards both science and the State. Between 150
and 250 a great change took place among the Christians. The documentary
records are full of doctrinal struggles, so that little room was
left for recording the struggles for moral purity. Morality became
subordinated to belief, and the intellectual side of Christianity
was emphasized at the expense of the ethical. The Second Coming of
our Lord was less emphasized. This doctrine was either pushed into
the background or its realization was looked upon as not immediate.
Furthermore, the Christian sect had spread over the empire and had come
into positive relations both with circles of culture and with political
affairs. Various statistics of the numerical growth of the Christians
are given; among them is the following statement: in 30 A. D. they
numbered 500, in 100 A. D. 500,000, in 311 A. D. 30,000,000. In
the second century the self-justification of Christianity could no
longer be put upon the basis of the feelings and inner convictions.
It must justify itself to the world without, and to its own cultured
communicants as well. It was being attacked by philosophy, and, unless
its own further growth were to be thwarted, it found that it must use
the weapons of philosophy. Its increase of power antagonized both the
Roman state and Hellenistic culture, and from 150 to 300 the fight
between Christianity and the old world of things was to the death.
Christianity eventually conquered Rome and Hellenism; but this would
have been impossible if it had maintained its original attitude of
indifference to culture. Its success was due to the wisdom that it has
since so often shown. It adapted itself to its new situation by taking
over and making its own the culture of the old world, and by fighting
the old world with that culture. Christianity thereby shaped its own
constitution into such strength that it could obtain possession of the
state with Constantine in 300. From this impregnable political position,
it was able to deal with its rivals on an entirely different footing.
When old Rome fell in 476, the church did not fall with it, but on the
contrary it came into possession of the city.

But this political success was the result and not the cause of the
growth of Christianity. It could never have conquered so intrenched a
government as Rome, if it had not first been victorious over the more
persistent civilization of Greece. It made itself inherently strong
by Hellenizing itself――strong both for polemical and for constructive
purposes. But it is obvious that little philosophical originality may
be expected during this period. When the church fathers began to employ
Hellenistic philosophy, they took it on the whole as they found it.
They varied it only to suit their own legitimate purposes. Christianity
entered the religious controversies of the time when victory would
belong to the sect which could use Greek civilization most effectively
in defending itself against the hostility of other religions, and in
constantly renewing the confidence of its devotees.

But in the adoption of Hellenistic culture the church created a new
danger to itself. It must guard its own conceptions lest they be
smothered by this same Hellenism. It must keep its fundamental beliefs
in their integrity. Greek philosophy must be a servant so constrained
as to bring out only the implicit meaning of the fundamental Christian
doctrines. Philosophy must not corrupt these doctrines and transmute
them into Hellenism. The simple faith of the first century and its
doctrines must be so formulated by Hellenic wisdom that it would be
stated for all time. The church needed a dogmatic system, a creed that
could forestall any future innovations. The long series of œcumenical
councils of the church, beginning with the Council of Nicæa in 325,
were united efforts in this direction. After that first council, dogma
became more gradually fixed and, from time to time, this and that group
of men were separated from the church as heretical.

Patristics is this philosophical secularizing of the Gospel which
accompanied the internal and external development of the church body
during the two or three centuries after the year 150 A. D.

=The Philosophies influencing Christian Thought.= The Greek
philosophies most influential upon the development of Christian
doctrine were Stoicism and neo-Platonism. The philosophy of Philo was
also influential, but it was really only a bridge from philosophical
Judaism to Christian theology. It contained both Stoicism and Platonism
in an unsymmetrical form, and Philo’s writings “contain the seeds
of nearly all that afterwards grew up on Christian soil.”[44] Greek
philosophical influence upon the early Christian world was felt in two
ways: in ethical theory and practice; in the construction of theology.
During the fourth century Stoic ethics of a Cynic type replaced the
early Christian ethics. The basis of Christian society was no longer
the ethics of the Sermon on the Mount, but rather that of Roman
Stoicism. This is shown by the character of that book on morals (_De
Officiis Ministrorum_) by St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan (340–397). In
theology the Christian doctrine had no need to borrow from the Greeks
the conception of the unity of God or that of the creation of the world
by God. But the Greek influence is seen in the doctrines on subjects
allied to these: mainly on the questions of _the mode of creation_ and
_the relation of God to the material world_. In the discussion of these
questions the influence of the Stoic monism, tending toward dualism,
and the influence of Platonic dualism, tending toward a threefold
conception of God, Matter, and Form, will appear in the examples which
subsequently follow.

The most formidable opponent of Christianity during this time was
neo-Platonism, but neo-Platonism and Christianity were not, however,
long separated. Although neo-Platonism met its fate at the hands of
scholasticism, it influenced in a thousand ways both orthodox and
heretical Christianity. The rivalry of these two bodies ended――and with
it came the ending of the Hellenic-Roman period of philosophy――in a
complete and original theology. This was the theology of St. Augustine,
who marks the end of antiquity and the beginning of the Middle Ages.

=The Periods of Early Christianity= (30 A. D.–476 A. D.).

   1. Introductory Period, 30–200.
      (1) Period of Primitive Faith (during the 1st century A. D.).
          With great simplicity of doctrine and ceremonies the
          Christians were preparing through faith and the practice
          of virtue for the Second Coming of our Lord.
      (2) Period of the Earlier Formulation and Defense of Christian
          Doctrine (during the 2d century A. D.).
          (a) The Apologists (2d century).
          (b) The Gnostics (2d century).
          (c) The Old Catholic Theologians (2d and 3d centuries).

   2. Development Period (200–476).
      (1) The Period of Actual Formulation of Doctrine (200–325).
          The Catechetical School of Alexandria――Origen (3d century).
      (2) The Period of the Establishment of Dogma (325–modern
          times) as seen in the Council of Nicæa and other œcumenical
          councils. It was a period in which church dogma was
          developed on the basis of doctrine already established.

While the origin and development of the Christian church is an
interesting story in itself, only one aspect of it is germane to the
history of philosophy. That is the influence of Hellenism upon the
formation of the theology of the church. The origin and development of
the church organization lies beyond our field. Also the periods before
the influence of Hellenism――the Period of Primitive Faith during the
first century, and the period after dogma had become well established,
the time after the Council of Nicæa in 325――will be omitted from our
discussion here. Only the period of the Earlier Formulation and that
of the Actual Formulation of Doctrine, that is, the one hundred and
seventy-five years (150–325), are of interest to us. This time is known
in history by the name of the period of Patristics.

=The Apologists.= Only such Christians as were trained in Greek
philosophy could rally to the first defense of the Christian doctrine.
The new faith was, on the one hand, on the defensive against the
mockery of Greek wisdom, and, on the other hand, it was obliged to take
a positive stand to show that it was the fulfillment of the human need
of salvation. The Apologists tried to make the Christian teaching as
consistent as possible with the results of Greek philosophy and, at the
same time, to read into Greek philosophy Christian meanings. They did
not at all intend to Hellenize the Gospel, but they wanted to make it
seem a rational one to the cultured world. “Christianity is philosophy
and revelation. This is the thesis of every Apologist from Aristides
to Minucius Felix.”[45] Their very act of defense was unintentionally
the first step toward the incorporation of Greek philosophy as a
part of Christian teaching. The most important Apologists were Justin
Martyr (100–166), Athenagoras (d. 180), and among the Romans Minucius
Felix (about 200) and Lactantius (d. 320). The life of Justin Martyr is
characteristic. He was born in Sichem, Samaria, but was Greek in origin
and education. Having investigated several systems of philosophy and
religion, he came to the conclusion that the Christian religion was the
only true philosophy, and he died in defense of it at Rome.

To prove that Christianity is the only true philosophy, the Apologists
asserted that it alone guaranteed correct knowledge and true holiness
here and hereafter. They proclaimed its preëminence because it is a
perfect revelation of God through Jesus Christ. Since man is imprisoned
in the world of the senses and ruled by dæmons, he can never be saved
except through a perfect revelation. To be saved is to become rational,
and man can become rational only by divine aid. Revelation has not
been restricted to Christianity, but God’s inspiration has been at
work in all mankind. The truth in Socrates, Plato, and Pythagoras has
not been their own, but has sprung from this same divine inspiration,
for truth never is the product of man’s unaided reason. Socrates and
Plato got their truth in part from God’s direct revelation to them, in
part indirectly from reading the works of Moses and the prophets. But
revelation outside of Christianity has not been complete nor continuous.
The first perfect revelation was in Jesus Christ, for He is the first
to reveal the divine Logos completely. He is the first in whom the
Logos has become man. He is the Son of God because the complete essence
of the inexpressible Deity is unfolded in Him.

The Apologists thus identified reason and revelation. The Logos is the
same in revelation, nature, or history. The Stoic conception of the
Logos, which Philo had stripped of its materialistic character, was
identified with Christ and revelation. Justin could regard as inspired
what the Greeks had looked upon as natural in their own doctrines.
Christ is the world-reason, in whom the divine has been incarnated, and
the Apologists had the enormous advantage over the neo-Platonists of
being able to point to Jesus as the definite and historical incarnation
of God. The Apologists could summon the prevailing Platonic dualism of
God and matter to their aid in showing the need of such a revelation;
for matter is altogether without reason and goodness. Thus a summary of
their doctrine is as follows: the world is bad and needs a revelation;
the Logos of God has always been present in history, but has especially
appeared in Jesus Christ, the man, in order to redeem men from their
sin and establish the kingdom of God.

=The Gnostics.= Gnosticism is the name applied to a movement of hostile
reconstruction of Old Testament tradition instead of a spiritual
interpretation of it. It was a great syncretic movement in the second
and third centuries, which sought to form a world religion in which men
should be rated on the basis of what they intellectually and morally
knew. The Gnostics tried to transform the Christian faith in a large
way into knowledge that would still be Christian; and their efforts
show how strong the philosophical interest among the Christians
was beginning to be. The conditions for the development of such a
doctrine as Gnosticism were everywhere present in the empire, yet two
principal centres are pointed out: one at Alexandria and the other
in Syria. Gnosticism was a most fanciful mixture of Oriental and
Occidental cults and mythologies, very much more fantastic than either
neo-Pythagoreanism or neo-Platonism. It was a philosophy in which the
essential Christian principles were lost under the weight of esoteric
knowledge. The Gnostics themselves were steeped in Hellenic culture,
and in many localities formed only bands of Mysteries. They finally
lost all sympathy with the Christians, and were classed as heretics by
the church. The leading Gnostics were Saturninus, Carpocrates (about
130), Basilides, Valentinus (about 160), and Bardesanes (155–225). Only
a few fragments of their many writings remain, and about all that we
know of their doctrines is what their opponents say of them. Valentinus,
the most notable, was born at Rome and died at Cyprus. Bardesanes
was born in Mesopotamia. Carpocrates lived at Alexandria and was a
contemporary of Basilides, who was a Syrian. The records of their
careers are very meagre.

The Gnostics were the first philosophers of history.[46] They undertook
to make Christianity a world religion by conquering Hellenic culture
for Christianity and Christianity for Hellenic culture. The only way
they could do this was by dislodging Christianity from its historical
anchorage in the Old Testament. The Gnostics were in open hostility
to Judaism. They transformed every ethical problem into a cosmological
problem, they regarded human history as the continuation of natural
history, they viewed the Redemption as the last act in the cosmic drama.
This shows how closely related their teaching was to that of Philo
and Plotinus and how consistent with the theoretic spirit of the time.
Since the salvation of the world by Christ stands as the central point
of their philosophy of history, their philosophy of history amounted to
a philosophy of Christian history.

The victory of Christianity over paganism and Judaism was conceived
allegorically by the Gnostics as the battle of the gods of these
religions. The Redeemer was then conceived to appear at the
psychological moment and to win the victory; and this appearance of
Christ as Redeemer is not only the highest point in the development of
the human race, but it is the dénouement in the drama of the universe.
Nature was therefore conceived by them to be a battle-ground of the
gods and the strife to be waged between the forces of good and evil.
The good gets the victory by means of Christ. The battle was conceived
in the neo-Pythagorean form of the dualism of matter and spirit, but
was expressed in mythical terms. The heathen gods and the god of the
Old Testament, who took the form of the Platonic demiurge, were the
powers in the world which the highest God had to overcome.

The dualism of good and evil was conceived to be the same as between
spirit and matter, and was elaborated in a fashion true to the
Alexandrian school. The space between God and matter was conceived to
be filled in by a whole race of dæmons and angels, arranged according
to the Pythagorean numbers. The lowest was so far from the divine
perfectness as to be in touch with matter, and he is the demiurge who
formed the world. The battle then was between good and evil, light and
darkness, until the Logos, the Nous, Christ, the most perfect of the
intermediary beings, came down and by incarnation released from matter
the imprisoned spirits of men and even of the fallen angels, like the
demiurge. This is, in brief, the Gnostic explanation of history.

This dualism was quite consistent with contemporary Christian ethics,
which had then become Stoic. But this dualism was not consistent with
monotheism, the fundamental Christian principle. The internal danger
in Patristics――of swamping the fundamentals of Christianity through
Hellenizing them――appears thus early. The early Christian found at
the beginning an antagonism between his fundamental monotheistic
metaphysics and Greek dualistic ethics.

=The Reaction against Gnosticism.――The Old Catholic Theologians.=
We have seen that the original position of the Christians was one
of indifference to both politics and philosophy; that then came the
employment of Hellenism in the defense of the Gospel. This resulted
in the extreme attempt of the Gnostics to transform Christianity into
a factor in a cosmic theosophy. Gnosticism had tried to capture the
new religion by force and make it subserve the interests of Hellenic
and Oriental philosophy. This danger was averted only after years
of controversy. Gnosticism was the gravest danger that the early
church had to meet, and the Gnostics left their mark upon the church,
although they were expelled; for the church never returned to its
original simplicity of doctrine. Gnosticism, however, produced an
extreme reaction, for a time, against the use of philosophy, and was
represented by the “Old Catholic Theologians,”――Irenæus (140–200),
Tertullian (160–220), and Hippolytus. These theologians stood against
turning faith into a science and tried to limit dogma to the articles
of the baptismal confession interpreted as a rule of faith. Tatian (170)
saw in Hellenism the work of the devil. Irenæus conceived a unity in
the process of creation and redemption,――creation as a divine method of
bringing humanity up into the church by way of redemption. Tertullian
went so far as to affirm that the Gospel is confirmed by its being in
a certain sense contradictory to reason. _Credo quia absurdum._ By this
he means, not that faith rests in things absurd, but that faith rests
in things so far above reason as to make reason absurd. This reaction
was against Gnosticism and not against rationalism, for these men used
both philosophy and tradition to support their arguments.

The reaction against a systematic theology failed to establish itself,
for the need of Greek philosophy was found to be necessary. The result
was that a median position was taken by the help of Greek philosophy
in the formulation of the dogma of the church. This was scientifically
stated by the Alexandrian School of Catechists, of which Clement and
Origen were the leaders.

=Origen (185–254) and the School of Catechists.= Origen, whose surname
was Adamantine, was an early teacher in the School of Catechists, which
had been under the direction of Clement. Like Plotinus, Origen had been
a pupil of Ammonius Saccas. Origen endured much persecution on account
of his teaching, and had to flee from Alexandria to Cæsarea and Tyre,
where he spent his old age. He was the most influential theologian
of the Eastern church, and he was the father of Christian theological

In manner of life Origen was a Christian; in his thought he was a Greek.
He was the Christian Philo, although he was a rival to the neo-Platonic
philosophers. His Christian theology competed with the philosophical
systems of his time. It was founded on both Testaments, and it also
united in a peculiar way toward a practical end the theology of both
the Apologists and the Gnostics. He was convinced that Christianity
could be expressed only as a science, and that any form of Christianity
without scientific expression is not clear to itself. Although the
church was offended at some of his doctrines, it made his philosophical
principle and his theory of development its own. In trying to state
Christianity in terms of intellectual knowledge, Origen did not make
the mistake of burying its principles under philosophy or mythology,
as was the case with the Gnostics. The Gnostics had created a new
Christianity; Origen developed Christianity from within itself. He was
an orthodox traditionalist, a strong Biblical theologian and idealistic
philosopher. He maintained that there were several ways of interpreting
the Scriptures (allegorical interpretation). The masses see only
the somatic or outward meaning as it has been developed in history.
A deeper or moral interpretation gives a psychical meaning to the
Gospel truth. More profound still is the spiritual interpretation,
which gives to the Gospels a pneumatic or spiritually esoteric meaning.
Christianity is superior to all other religions because it is a
religion for all classes, even for the common man. Christianity is the
only religion which, without being polytheistic, can have its truth in
mythical dress.

The aim of Origen was less to show how the world came to be, than to
justify the ways of God to men in the world’s creation and history.
The central principle in his teaching is spiritual monotheism. God
is an unchanging spirit, the author of all things, and He transcends
human knowledge. What distinguishes Him most is the absolute causality
of His will. He is essentially creative, and this creative activity
is co-eternal with Himself. God can have no dealings with changing
individuals directly, since although creative He is unchanging. He has
direct connection only with the eternal revelation of His own image,
the Logos. The Logos is a person, a special hypostasis, the perfect
likeness of God with nothing corporeal about him. He is not _the_ God,
but still God, yet a second God, with no sharing of divinity.[47] The
Holy Spirit bears the same relation to the Logos as the Logos to the
Father. In his relation to the world the Logos is the Idea of Ideas,
the norm according to which things are created.

Origen followed Philo in believing that the original creation consists
of a world of beings that are pure intelligences, and that the cause
of creation is God’s goodness. He further believed that the Logos or
Wisdom of God is God’s Son. Both the creation of the ideal world of
intelligences and the existence of the Son is from eternity. The origin
of the visible world is to be contrasted with this eternal creation.
The visible world had its beginning in time and is only one of a series
of worlds. It will finally return to God, and has in God its beginning
and end. Thus man lives in a visible world of time with eternities on
either side. Creation, viewed as a whole, is everlasting, and consists
of an endless number of beings who are destined to become a part of
the divine holiness and to participate in the divine blessedness.
These beings are endowed with freedom of will, and they fall away from
God. The visible world of matter has been created to purify the fallen
spirits, and in consequence we find materialized spirits graded into
angels, stars, mankind, and evil dæmons.

In his emphasis on the will as the fundamental mental part of man,
Origen is distinctly Christian and opposed to Greek intellectualism.
The will of God and the will of man form the corner stone in his system.
The will of God is the eternal development of His being, but the will
of spirits is their temporal free choice. The will of God is reality
itself; the will of spirits is phenomenal and changing. Freedom of
the will of the spirits is the ground of their sin, and consequently
of their materiality. Thus it is by the freedom of the spirits that
Origen explains evil and the existence of imperfect matter without
impeaching the eternal purity of God. Origen thus reconciled the
ethical transcendence of God as creator with his immanence in the
material world. God is the creator without being the creator of
sin. _Through the conception of free-will Origen reconciled the two
antithetical principles of Christian metaphysics: faith in divine
omnipotence and consciousness of sin._

The function of the church is thus an important one in the divine plan.
For the fallen spirits try to rise by their own wills from the matter
to which they are condemned for purification. They never lose their
divine essence, however low they may fall. They cannot rise alone, nor
are they compelled to, but they always have the help of divine grace,
which is always active within man and has also been perfectly revealed
in Jesus Christ. After the manner of the Apologists, Origen makes use
of the Stoic and Platonic conceptions, for the eternal Logos takes
form in the divine-human unity of Jesus. Through His physical suffering
redemption is made possible to all believers, and through His essence
illumination has been brought to those especially inspired. There are
different grades of redemption: faith, or a religious understanding of
the perceptual world; knowledge of the Logos; final absorption in God.
All shall finally be saved through the combined forces of freedom and
Grace, and then shall all material existence disappear.

The controversies within the church during the succeeding centuries
over the theory of Origen are theological rather than philosophical,
and so our account of the relation of Greek philosophy to Christianity
in the Hellenic-Roman period closes here. Origen’s undertaking was
a private one, approved at first in only limited circles and on
the whole disapproved by the church. In his scientific dogmatics
the particular changes which he planned pertain especially to the
conception of salvation and the place of Christ in the universe. In
his teaching about Christ he emphasized more the cosmological than the
soteriological aspect, but neither was fully developed. The history of
the early church shows that Christianity seized the ideas of ancient
philosophy and insisted on revising them with its own religious
principle before it used them. We shall find that the next period is
introduced by a greater than Origen, in whom again the Christian and
the ancient worlds will meet in new and richer combination,――St.

                                BOOK II

                      THE MIDDLE AGES (476–1453)

                              CHAPTER XV


=Comparison of the Hellenic-Roman Period and the Middle Ages.= The
Middle Ages can be conveniently remembered as approximately the 1000
years between the fall of old Rome, in 476, and the fall of new Rome
(Constantinople) in 1453. Together these two periods make a long and
a philosophically unproductive stretch of 1800 years. The intellectual
materials which the two periods possessed, differ but little, although
during the first half of the Middle Ages such materials were very few.
There is, however, a decided difference in the way the two periods
look at things. The ancient had started with Aristotle’s interest
in knowledge for its own sake; the ancient had passed from that to
the need of knowledge in ethical conduct; he had finally made use of
knowledge only in formulating religion. On the other hand, the history
of thought in the Middle Ages was exactly the reverse. The mediæval
man starts satisfied with religion as thus formulated by the preceding
period, and seeks to regain pure knowledge. The perspective in the
two periods is therefore different. Hellenic thought began in freedom
and ended in tradition; mediæval thought begins in tradition and,
borne by the youthful German, who brings with him few original ideas,
pushes forward toward freedom. No doubt one can discover in mediæval
times many fresh transformations of ancient thought and a new Latin
terminology, but, on the whole, all the problems of the Middle Ages,
as well as their solutions, can be found in antiquity. One may find,
too, the germs of modern thought in the Middle Ages, but they come
from mediæval pupils and not from mediæval masters. In the Middle Ages
humanity is again at school; its problems appear in succession, but
they always are expressed in the conceptions of the ancients.

=The Mediæval Man.= Antiquity had brought together three
civilizations,――those of Greece, of Rome, and of Christianity. Greek
civilization in the form of an intellectual culture, called Hellenism,
had been superimposed upon Roman political society. The result
was a society with a twofold stratum, and in such a society the
Christian church had grown as an organization of controlling cultural
and political influence. It was into this society that the German
barbarians, by a series of invasions, entered during the first three
centuries of the Middle Ages.

The Middle Ages began and antiquity ended when these German tribes
finally broke down the barriers of the Roman empire. It was a new
period; for a new race had taken upon itself the responsibility of
bearing the burden of the future of western Europe. The German was of
course unconscious of the magnitude of his self-imposed burden, for the
German was young, vigorous, and moved by primitive instincts. He had
leaped into the world’s fields as a conqueror; he remained as a laborer.

At the beginning the German seemed likely to destroy the entire product
which antiquity had bequeathed. He was quite unprepared to assimilate
the rich fruits of that ancient civilization. He had, indeed, less
mind for the elaborate forms of Greek philosophy than for the lighter
forms of Greek art. In his first contact he could understand neither.
Moreover ancient society was so weak that it could not educate him,
who was its conqueror, into its culture. Nevertheless, there was one
element in that ancient society that did appeal to the German. That
was the spiritual power of the Christian church. Alone amid the ruins
of antiquity the power of the church had grown so strong that the men
of the north bowed before it, and religion accomplished through the
emotions of the Germans what art, philosophy, and statecraft failed to
achieve. The preaching of the Gospel laid hold of the feelings of these
primitive people, for the church in its pretensions, and sometimes in
fact, represented the old Roman political unity. Moreover the church
was also the repository of what was left of Greek science. The church
expressed for the German his own ideal of the personal inner life.
The Germans became the supporters of the church, and in this way the
protectors of ancient culture. Mediæval history in western Europe
is therefore the record of the development of the Germans under the
influence of the Christian church. In contrast with the development
of the Eastern church, which was the development of a state church,
the Western church was the development of an ecclesiastical state. The
Western church, and not the later empire, was the true successor of the
Roman empire. Thus the early beginnings of the Middle Ages rested with
the church, but the later development of the Middle Ages rested with
the German people.

=How the Universe appeared to the Mediæval Man.= The mediæval man had
very indistinct ideas about the world around him, since his interest
did not lie in the earthly realm, but in the spirit that controlled
it. He was content in his sciences with conclusions without their
demonstrations. Although it is said that relations of space and number
are never indistinct in the mind of the civilized man, the man of the
Middle Ages certainly did not possess such conceptions in so vigorous
a manner as to enable him to discover new truths. We must, furthermore,
make a sharper distinction between mediæval popular opinion and
mediæval scientific opinion than we should about popular and scientific
opinion of modern times; for the results of science did not reach the
people then as now. To the ordinary mediæval man the world in which he
lived was what it appeared to be to his eye. The earth was flat; the
sky was a material dome, which sustained the waters of the world above
it. Through this sky-floor the water sometimes breaks and the earth
receives showers of rain. These popular notions sometimes appeared in
the verse of the time.

The mediæval scientific opinion was based on the theory of Ptolemy and
his school of Alexandrian astronomers, who lived in the second century
A. D., some details to the theory having been added by the Arabians.
Ptolemy says, “The world is divided into two vast regions; the one
ethereal, the other elementary. The ethereal region begins with the
first mover, which accomplishes its journey from east to west in
twenty-four hours; ten skies participate in this motion, and their
totality comprises the double crystalline heaven, the firmament and
the seven planets.” (See diagram.) The mediæval man of science thought
that, inasmuch as he was upon the earth, he was therefore standing
at the centre of things. Directly above him was the cavity of the sky,
ruled by the moon; and below the moon were the four elements,――fire,
air, water, and earth. This region was the realm of imperfection.
But above the moon the scientist saw a series of nine other heavens,
each with an orderly revolution of its own; and beyond all is God.
The universe was therefore to Ptolemy a great but a limited sphere,
consisting of ten spheres one inside another (like the rings of an
onion). Each planet moved with the motion of its own heaven (or sphere),
which was sometimes called “crystalline” because it was transparent.
The movements of the heavenly bodies, each in its own revolving heaven,
were contained in the whole sphere, which revolved with a motion of
its own. By ascribing other movements to the planets within their
respective heavens, the mediæval astronomers were able to predict every
conjunction and eclipse to the minute. These separate movements of the
planets were called epicycles, the form of which is shown in the
diagram on the opposite page.

  Illustration:          PTOLEMAIC COSMOGRAPHY

            A diagram showing the division of the universe
                    into the ten spheres or heavens

         (From the private library of Professor R. W. Willson
                        of Harvard University)

Such a scientific astronomy would easily lend itself to the theological
conceptions of the time. The realm of perfection above the moon was
supposed to be under the direct supervision of God and to be inhabited
by spirits. Thus the conjunction and relation of the heavenly bodies
were thought to have influence upon human life, and they furnished
the basis of the astrology, necromancy, and spiritism so common in the
Middle Ages. The ninth heaven embraced all the others. It swept around
them all, without interfering with their own special motions, and
completed its revolution in twenty-four hours. The ninth heaven was
both the source and the limit of all motion and all change. Beyond it
lies the eternal peace of God, which the Christian astronomer regarded
as “the abode of the blessed.” This was called the tenth heaven or the
Empyrean. This, in Dante’s words, is “the heaven that is pure light;
light intellectual full of love, love of the good full of joy, joy that
transcends all sweetness.” The tenth heaven is Paradise and is within
the life of God. It is important to note that the Ptolemaic conception
of the universe is the background upon which Dante constructs his
_Divine Comedy_ (see diagram, p. 376),[48] and appears in part at
least as the cosmological basis of the _Paradise Lost_ of Milton. For
thirteen centuries――from 200 to 1500――conviction remained unshaken in
the Ptolemaic system of astronomy as an adequate explanation of the

  Illustration:          PTOLEMAIC COSMOGRAPHY

     (Showing the Epicyclic Movements of Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars
                       in respect to the Earth)

=The Mediæval Man at School.= In the eleventh and twelfth centuries
there was a revival in intellectual interests that was deep and broad,
and the characteristics of this revival will be discussed subsequently
(see Transitional Period, p. 329). Our curiosity, however, is aroused
upon our entrance into the Middle Ages, as to what the man of the early
Middle Ages studied and how much he learned. We must remind ourselves
at the outset of the oft-repeated fact that, on the whole, in western
Europe, for the first five hundred years of the Middle Ages, the only
people who had any book-learning were the churchmen. Furthermore,
with them the learning was very meagre. Their purpose in study will
show this, for it was to enable them “to understand and expound the
Canonical Scriptures, the Fathers, and other ecclesiastical writings.”
The training was as follows:――

1. Theological. Elementary instruction in the Psalms and church music,
but no systematic training in theology,――just enough training to enable
the priest to understand the Bible and the Church Fathers.

2. Secular training. Knowledge in the “Seven Liberal Arts,” _i. e._
the _trivium_――grammar, rhetoric, and dialectic; and the more advanced
_quadrivium_,――music, arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy. These names
are suggestive of a vast amount of knowledge, while, in truth, very
little was known or taught in these subjects. Astronomy and arithmetic
were employed to find the time of Easter. Geometry included some
propositions of Euclid without demonstrations. Music included plain
song and a mystic doctrine of number. More was made of grammar, the
study of rhetoric from Latin classics, and dialectics. Dialectics was
logic in the Middle Ages, and its mysteries fascinated the mediæval man.
But even in logic there were only some remnants of the Aristotelian
logic known.

=A Mediæval Library.= Here again is an interesting question: What did
this mediæval churchman read? But we must make a distinction between
books most commonly read, books that the scholars might use, and books
most influential upon thought.

=1. Books most commonly read.= These would be the text-books used in
instruction. They are as follows:――

  The _Psalms_.

  The _Grammar_ of Donatus.

  The Christian poets: Prudentius, _Psychomachia_; Juvencus, _Gospels
  in Verse_; Sedulius, _Easter Hymn_.

  Dionysius Cato, _Disticha de Moribus_, a collection of proverbs
  (moral maxims) in rhyming couplets.

  Virgil, Ovid, and the rhetorical works of Cicero.

  Æsop’s _Fables_ (in Latin).

=2. Books that the scholars might use.= It is difficult to say what any
particular scholar actually did read, for the libraries of monasteries
differed enormously in the character and number of their books; some
monasteries had several hundred books, some none at all. Some libraries
were composed almost entirely of works of the Fathers; some possessed
a good many works of ancient classical writers. One _might_ expect to
find any one or more of the following works in a scholar’s library:――

  Aristotle, _De Interpretatione_ and the _Categories_ in Boëthius’

This explains why the logical problems occupied the almost exclusive
attention of the first schoolmen.

  Plato, the _Timæus_.

This was known to the Irish monks perhaps in Greek, but on the
continent in a translation by Chalcidius. The only other sources
of knowledge of Plato were in the works of Augustine and the

  Commentaries on Aristotle,――The _Isagoge_ by Porphyry, in a
  translation into Latin by Boëthius, and some commentaries by
  Boëthius himself on Aristotle’s _De Interpretatione_ and

  Cicero, the rhetorical and dialectical treatises, such as the
  _Topica_, _De Officiis_.

  Seneca, _De Beneficiis_.

  Lucretius, _De Rerum Natura_.

  Augustine’s works and some pseudo-Augustinian writings.

  The works of the Church Fathers, Clement of Alexandria and Origen.

  The _Pseudo-Dionysius_, translated from the Greek by Erigena.

  The encyclopedic collections of some of the last of the scholars
  of antiquity, like Cassiodorus, Capella, Boëthius, and the
  _Etymologies_ of Isidore of Seville.

=3. The Books most influential philosophically upon the time.= These
were not necessarily the books most widely read, but the epoch-making
books, so to speak. They were as follows:――

  Augustine, _City of God_.

  Boëthius, _Consolation of Philosophy_.

  Aristotle, _De Interpretatione_ and the _Categories_ in translation
  by Boëthius.

  _Pseudo-Dionysius_, translated by Erigena.

  Porphyry, _Isagoge_ translated by Boëthius, an introduction to
  Aristotle’s _Categories_.

=The Three Periods of the Middle Ages.=

1. Early Period, 476–1000.

2. Transitional Period, 1000–1200.

3. Period of Classic Scholasticism, 1200–1453.

There is one great natural division line of the Middle Ages, the year
1200. At this time the surging of the western peoples eastward in the
Crusades was at its height, and the works of Aristotle were coming
into western Europe from the East. These events mark a change in the
political and intellectual situation in Europe. But this change did
not take place suddenly. There are intervening two centuries that are
indeed transitional, but at the same time are animated by a distinct
and independent philosophical motive. These two centuries may be set
apart as a period, different from the earlier and the later periods.
We shall call these three periods the Early Period, the Transitional
Period, and the Period of Classic Scholasticism.

The Early Period takes us from the fall of old Rome (476) to the birth
of modern political Europe (1000). It is a period of religious faith
governed by the theology of Augustine. Mysticism has no independent
following, but on the contrary rules within the church. The Christian
principle of individual personality and the Greek Platonic conception
of universal realities are not fused, but they are held without
arousing controversy. This is because the human reason has no standard
code, nor does it yet feel the need of one. The only two philosophers,
Augustine and Erigena, of the period are animated by neo-Platonism.

The Transitional Period extends from the birth of political Europe
(1000) to the arrival of the works of Aristotle (about 1200). This
epoch is one of logical controversy, in which the Christian and the
Greek motives conflict. This controversy gives rise to the first group
of great schoolmen, who discuss the reality of general ideas in their
application to dogma. Mysticism still rules the churchman, but now in a
modified form. Plato has become the standard of the reason in orthodox
circles and Aristotle in those inclined to heresy, but as yet only
fragments of the works of either are known.

The Period of Classic Scholasticism extends from 1200 to the end of
the Middle Ages (1453). It is a period when a theological metaphysics
arises by the side of the logical controversy and predominates over
that controversy. The problem now concerns the respective scopes of
the reason and faith. The period is Aristotelian, and Aristotle’s
philosophy is made the standard code for the churchman for all time.
Mysticism has now no place of authority in the church, but has an
independence. The period contains the greatest schoolmen of the Middle

            Summary of the Political and Educational Worlds
                         of the Mediæval Man.

                     I. _Early Period_, 476–1000.

  395 The Roman empire divided into     (_Augustine_, 354–430)
    Eastern and Western empires.

  476 Fall of the Western empire,       476–800 Disappearance of
    the Eastern empire lasting            municipal and imperial
    about 1000 years longer.              schools and rise of
                                          episcopal and monastic
  375–600 Northern barbarians overrun     schools.
    the Western empire in series of
    invasions.                          525 Boëthius died, the last
                                          notable Roman scholar who
                                          knew Greek.

                                        529 Closing of philosophical
                                          Schools at Athens; _founding
                                          of monastic school by
                                          St. Benedict_.

  600 Roman power almost entirely in
    hands of barbarians.

  622–732 Mohammedans conquer Arabia,
    Northern Africa, and Spain.
                                        476–800 Dark Ages.
  732 Mohammedans repulsed at the
    battle of Tours.

  600–800 Fusion took place among
    German and Roman peoples.

  800 Empire of Charlemagne founded.    800–1000 Benedictine Age: _only
    Civilization higher than the          period in Western Europe
    German, lower than the Roman.         when education is entirely
                                          in hands of monks_. The
                                          Palace school; episcopal,
                                          cathedral, and monastery
                                          (_Erigena_, 810–880,
                                          _the forerunner of

  900–1000 Empire of Charlemagne        900–1000 Dark century with
    broken up. _Demoralization_.          decline of learning.
    Invasions by Danes and Northmen
    from the north; Saracens            IN THE EARLY PERIOD AND THE
    from south by sea; Slavs,             TRANSITIONAL PERIOD LITTLE
    Hungarians, Russians, and Poles       OF PLATO WAS KNOWN EXCEPT
    by land. The church demoralized,      IN THE FORM OF NEO-PLATONISM
    Papacy temporarily disappears,        AND LITTLE OF ARISTOTLE
    feudalism replaces empire.            EXCEPT OF FRAGMENTS OF HIS

                 II. _Transitional Period_, 1000–1200.

  1000 France and Germany get their       _First Scholasticism._
    first form as nations just            (Anselm, 1033–1109)
    before this year; England just        (Roscellinus, d. 1110)
    after. _Beginning of new birth        (Abelard, 1079–1142)
    of Europe_, caused by
    conversions of northern nations,    1000 Passion for inquiry takes
    by enlightened rule of the            the place of the old routine.
    Ottos, by regeneration of
    Papacy, by development of civic     1160–1200 Traces of the
    life.                                 origination of the earliest
    _Beginning of political order,        universities.
    ecclesiastical discipline, and
    social tranquillity._               1150–1250 Translation into
    Revival of architecture               Latin directly from Greek
    followed by renewal of art. The       of the works of Aristotle,
    Romanesque appeared about 1000,       previously unknown in Western
    the Gothic about 1150. Poetry         Europe.
    of Trouvères in north and of
    Troubadours in south.

          III. _Period of Classic Scholasticism_, 1200–1453.

  1200 Crusades at their height.        1200 The Mendicant Friars.
                                          _Classic Scholasticism._
  1200–1453 Commerce of Europe with       (Thomas Aquinas, 1224–1274.)
    Asia begins to grow to large          (Duns Scotus, 1270–1308.)
    proportions in countries on the       (William of Ockam,
    Mediterranean. The Third Estate       1280–1349.)
    grows in strength, national
    governments prevail over the        1300–1453 The period is well
    feudal system.                        supplied with schools.

                                        1350–1453 Deterioration of

                              CHAPTER XVI

            THE EARLY PERIOD OF THE MIDDLE AGES (476–1000)

=The General Character of the Early Period.= It is no accident that
these five hundred years of the Middle Ages were spiritualistic. Both
the political disturbances and the intellectual inheritance from the
Hellenic-Roman period made the period such. The troubles during the
long death agony of the Roman empire had deprived the people of their
interest in this world. The world of kingdoms and material things
presented no ideals; and the age would have been pessimistic had not
the Church through Augustine presented a heavenly ideal and the means
to win that ideal. Both what the material world had taken away from
man and what the spiritual seemed to offer him, made the age an age
of faith. The principle of inner spirituality was moved to a central
position. All things pointed to the supernatural and the transcendent.
Men dwelt upon the nature of God, the number and rank of the angels,
the salvation of the soul. In this, as in the Transitional Period
following, little was known of Aristotle except some fragments
of his logic; and little was known of Plato except in the form of
neo-Platonism. But in this period (before the year 1000) the pupil was
instructed in both Aristotle and Plato, and held them both together
without controversy. Mysticism had little independence of church
doctrine, as appears in the case of Erigena, the consequences of whose
doctrine were not at first seen. The monastery became the fundamental
social organization and the central social force. Organized ascetic
life permitted an absorbing contemplation of heaven. Prayer superseded
thought; faith prescribed knowledge. The intellectual world was
dominated by neo-Platonic idealism, and the all-important topic in
men’s minds was that of God’s grace. Augustine stood at the beginning
of the period and organized its conception of grace for it. Erigena
stood near the end and stated the neo-Platonism of the period in
extreme form, presenting the issue for the scholasticism of the many
years to come. The presentation of the doctrine of these two men will
therefore be the philosophical exemplification of the attitude of the


              =From J. Keane’s _Evolution of Geography_=

    (Cosmas was an Egyptian monk who had once been a merchant
  and traveler. He did not use the records of his own travels to
  supplement the Greek and Roman plans, but he laid down as a fact
  that the earth is flat. Then he piously adduced evidence from
  the Scriptures to support his view. The maps drawn by Cosmas are
  the earliest Christian maps that have survived. Their crudeness,
  compared with the maps of the Romans and Arabs, reveals the low
  state of knowledge among the Christians.)

=The Historical Position of Augustine.= The Middle Ages were
inaugurated by a mind of the highest order,――Augustine.[49] If one were
to select the most influential figures in the history of philosophy,
Augustine might be chosen to stand with Plato, Aristotle, Spinoza,
and Kant. “In some respects Augustine stands nearer to us than Hegel
and Schopenhauer.”[50] For the church, but no less for the period, it
was a fortunate circumstance that Augustine should have lived just as
antiquity was closing and the mediæval period beginning. Through him
the various influences of the past were gathered up and presented in
a scientific statement for the Middle Ages. “The history of piety and
of dogma in the West was so thoroughly dominated by Augustine from the
beginning of the fifth century to the era of the Reformation, that we
must take this whole time as forming one period.”[51]

In his relation to antiquity Augustine drew especially upon the
fundamental teachings of St. Paul, the neo-Platonists, and the
Patristics for the presentation of his own doctrine. He was familiar
with a great number of the doctrines of antiquity, and was the medium
of their transmission to the Middle Ages. He does not seem to have
known the system of Aristotle, but the importance which he attached to
the dialectic in the explanation of the Scriptures contributed a good
deal to the use of the logic of Aristotle by the scholastics of the
Middle Ages. He had some knowledge of the Pythagoreans, the Stoics, and
the Epicureans through the writings of Cicero. But the most important
philosophical influence upon Augustine was the neo-Platonic teaching
of Plotinus and Porphyry. Neo-Platonism, the Pauline theology, and the
Patristic are the large factors in the doctrine of Augustine.

In his relation to the Middle Ages, what in brief was the position of
Augustine? By means of neo-Platonism and a discriminating psychological
analysis _he transformed the previous belief in God as a ♦judge into a
belief in the personal relations between God and man_. That is to say,
he carried out monotheism spiritually, and in doing this the influence
of neo-Platonism is very strong in him. Augustine made one of the
centres of his teaching the living relation of the soul to God. He took
religion out of the sphere of cosmological science, where it had been
placed by Origen and the Gnostics, and made it personal. Furthermore,
he offered with this new ideal a plan of salvation; for Augustine made
it his task to show (1) what God is, and (2) what the salvation of the
soul requires. Whereas before Augustine the only dogmatic scheme had
presented the place and function of _Christ_ in salvation, Augustine
was interested in the place of _man_ in salvation. Thus he elaborated
monotheism into spiritual monotheism and delineated the inward
processes of the Christian life, _i. e._ of sin and grace. This
important advance made by Augustine must be attributed to the influence
of philosophy――neo-Platonism――upon him.

But it must not be supposed that the total teaching of Augustine
and the total influence of his thought is contained in this single
change in Christian piety, as we have stated it. The various Pagan and
Christian elements, as they lie in his system, have little coherence;
and Augustine does not settle the rival claims between them. As
the mediæval period advanced, what in his teaching had been a mere
incoherence became in the hands of others positive discord. He gave
the church impulses of the highest spiritual quality, but he left no
well-organized capital. These impulses toward spiritual piety have
never been lost, but the profusion of ideas and views in Augustine,
unharmonized by himself, were also a permanent bequest to posterity
that produced both vital movements and violent controversies. The legal
and moral party of the church resisted his teaching at the beginning,
and in the sixth century, under the influence of Gregory the Great,
toned down Augustine’s teaching in the direction of a conception of
the church as a juristic organization.

Augustine was thus the beginner of a new line of development by his
incorporation of neo-Platonism into Christian doctrine and by his use
of the dialectic to present, defend, and develop the doctrine of the
church. Although the years of his life fall in antiquity, although he
is the collector of all the threads of the neo-Platonic and Christian
religions, he belongs in the Middle Ages as the teacher of the Middle
Ages. His doctrine acted as an authoritative spiritual guide for the
new German peoples. They took up the problems of antiquity from the
new point of view of individual spirituality, and created out of them
the philosophy of the future. But philosophically Augustine was far
in advance of his age, and in the intellectually torpid times that
followed him little philosophical development could be expected. Not
until after Charlemagne does philosophical development springing from
Augustine appear. Later Luther and the Reformation reverted to him, and
our modern philosophy is founded on the principle which he made central
in his conception of piety.

=The Secular Science.= At the same time it must not be supposed that
the teaching of Augustine was by any means the only source from which
this first period of the Middle Ages drew its materials of knowledge.
A glance at the list of books in a mediæval library (see p. 327)
will not confirm such a supposition. Augustine does not include in
his doctrine――massive as it is――all the factors that finally made
up mediæval civilization. Even at the beginning there was a tendency
toward secular science derived from Plato and Aristotle. Noticeable as
this was at first it became prominent later. Secular science tried at
first to modify scholasticism, and then later to gain an independence
for itself. The doctrine of Augustine did not contain the germs of
science. But at the start the Middle Ages had writings on science in
the inadequate compendiums of Capella, Cassiodorus, and Boëthius, and
in the fragments of the logic of Aristotle.

=The Life of Augustine= (354–430). Aurelius Augustine, often called
“the Plato of Christianity,” was born in Thagaste, Numidia. His
father was a Pagan, his mother a Christian; and it was his mother
who contributed chiefly to the formation of his character. He was
a boy of brilliant gifts, and was educated in the schools of Madaura
and Carthage. At Carthage his life was full of dissipation, which he
has described in his _Confessions_. He took up in succession all the
scientific and religious problems of his time. He gave up the teaching
of rhetoric, which he had practiced in several towns in Asia Minor and
Italy, and began to study theology. He was troubled by his religious
doubts and tried to find relief first in Manichæism, then in the
skepticism of the Academy, and then in neo-Platonism. He was converted
to Christianity through three influences: his study of Plato, the
eloquence of St. Ambrose, and the unremitting moral influence of his
mother. He became a priest, then a bishop, and was untiring in his
activity both in the practical organization of the church and in the
theoretical construction of its doctrines. He was especially active
in his literary attempts to refute the Pelagian and Manichæan heresies,
whose doctrines he had previously professed. His life falls at the time
when the barbarian invasions were beginning and when Rome was crumbling.
Moved by his Platonic idealism, he wrote his _City of God_, which, in
an elaborate philosophy of history, shows that God’s city is not on
earth, but in heaven.

=The Two Elements in Augustine’s Teaching.= The great masses of thought
in Augustine’s mind reveal motion in two directions. On the one hand,
he is the theologian who holds on high the conception of the authority
of the church. On the other hand, he is the philosopher who speaks
for the principle of immediate certainty for the individual. These
are two foci about which his thought is in constant flux and often
in contradiction. Augustine has, therefore, two criteria for truth:
the truth that comes from an authority without, and the truth that
comes from consciousness itself. _The authority of the church and the
authority of the immediate consciousness of the individual_――these are
the two central thoughts in Augustinianism. Augustine’s conception of
the authority of the church acted upon him as a lofty ideal which both
inspired and at the same time constrained his speculations. As he grew
older he gravitated more and more toward it, and thereby became more
conservative. But it was the other central thought――the authority of
immediate consciousness――which he made the basis of a philosophy of
original power. Through this he transcended his own time and became
himself a modern, leading the Middle Ages up to him.

Augustine did not define accurately the spheres of philosophy and
theology. He did not show whether reason or revelation had the
higher authority. He did not try to decide between the _intelligo ut
credam_ and _credo ut intelligam_, that is, between the respective
authorities of reason and faith. That became, in consequence, a central
philosophical problem for the schoolmen. Nevertheless, the great
inheritance which Augustine left the world was along the philosophical
line of _intelligo ut credam_ (of knowledge as the basis of faith
instead of faith as the basis of knowledge).

=The Neo-Platonic Element: the Inner Certainties of Consciousness.=
Augustine was not original in making the starting-point of his
philosophy the inner certainties of consciousness. That was the point
of view of his time, and the starting-point of the ascetic tendency
both of Christianity and of neo-Platonism. He was dissatisfied with
the world without, and turned away from it to the world within to find
reality. But this had been a growing tendency ever since the time of
Plato. Augustine’s originality lies in his psychological description
of these certainties. He is the master of self-observation and
introspection. He can describe inner experiences as well as analyze
them. He puts his philosophy upon a solid anthropological basis by
developing a psychology of the certainties of consciousness. In doing
this he placed the inner experience in the central position of control.
Thus he reached a well-defined position of “internality” for which
the Stoics, Epicureans, neo-Platonists, and the preceding Christian
theologians had been groping; thus he anticipated Descartes and modern

Man clings to life in spite of all its evils. This shows that there
is a reality for the soul. The material world may pass away, but the
reality of soul-life is assured. Man’s inner life is ever present and
cannot be imaginary. The fact that there is such a thing as probability
implies the existence of certainty. Where shall I look for certainty?
In myself. Certainty is there as a fact of inner observation. There are
my inner mental states――my sensations, feelings, etc., whose existence
cannot be doubted even if the existence of the objects to which they
correspond is doubted. I am certain also of my own consciousness
at that moment. To doubt my existence is to assert my existence. To
doubt also implies that I will remember, live――for doubt rests upon
these former ideas. The temporary character of the material world
only strengthens the reality of this inner world. The existence of the
material world cannot be demonstrated, and so man is driven inward to
find a basis for its reality. Thus by a deep insight, although without
much logical reasoning, Augustine transcends Aristotle, and anticipates
modern thought by finding reality in the _unitary personality_, whose
existence is an inner certainty.

But Augustine is driven farther inward; for the certainty of the
existence of God is involved in this inner certainty. My doubt about
the character of the world of material things implies that their truth
exists and that I have the capacity for measuring it. Such truths
are universal. They transcend the individual consciousness, and their
mutual agreement unites all rational beings in a common standard. On
the other hand, this unity of truths implies the existence of God.
Truths are the Ideas (Platonic) in God’s mind.[52]

Full knowledge of God is denied to man in this life, but, nevertheless,
all morality consists in love for God; all science is only an interest
in the working of God in nature; all the beauty in the world around
us points to the harmonious ordering of God; the history of the world
is only the free act of God. Thus, in brief, does Augustine centralize
the principle of inner spirituality――of “internality.” Thus does he put
into control the certainty of consciousness.

This was Augustine’s great contribution to the world both in the sphere
of philosophy and religion. We shall see how important this principle
is in our tracing of modern philosophy. Its importance upon the growth
of religion was so very great that we cannot pass it by without remark.
“Augustine was the reformer of Christian piety.” In the midst of
religion he discovered religion. He looked into the human heart and
found it to be the lower good; he looked to God and found Him to be
the higher good. In love for God, man becomes exalted to another being.
This is the “new birth.” By this personal religion nature and grace are
separated, but morality and religion are united. Sin is the disposition
to be independent by living in a state of unrest in the desires. Sin
is a state of lust and fear. All is sin in the heart of the natural
man――in the heart apart from God. The pre-Augustinian religion of
morality and baptism, animated by hope and fear, was supplanted by him
with the conception of the desire to be happy by sharing in the bliss
of God. Augustine passed from Christian pessimism to Christian optimism,
to a confidence in pardoning grace. By faith and love God calls us
back to himself and the soul acquires what God requires. Religion
is personal and a thing of the heart. “Love, unfeigned humility, and
strength to overcome the world, these are the elements of religion and
its blessedness; they spring from the actual possession of the loving
God. This message Augustine preached to the Christianity of his time
and of all times.”[53]

But Augustine philosophically breaks with his own Platonism at one
point, and finds not in the intellect, but in the will, the primary
characteristic of this consciousness of inner certainty. The will is
the inmost core of our being. All our mental states are formed under
the direction of the purposes of the will. The striking exception to
this is the cognition of the higher divine truth, in the presence of
which the mind can be only passive. Revelation cannot be the production
of the finite activity, but it is an act of grace before which the will
is expectant and passive. Knowledge of the divine truths of the reason
is the blessedness that results from the will of God and not of man.
The will of man is transformed into faith, and yet even then an element
of the human will is present, although passive, for the appropriation
of the truth is an act of will. Thus, in regard to this difficult
subject of the nature of the will, there are two observations to be
made: (1) Augustine conceives the will, memory, and intellect as so
intimately related as not to be faculties of the personality like the
properties of a substance. They rather form an indissoluble unity of
the substance of the soul. (2) The will is theoretically free, and
Augustine is one of the most forcible defenders of free-will because
he is also a defender of ethical responsibility and the justice of God.
Theoretically the will is a force existing above sensuous nature and
formally possesses the capacity of following or resisting inclination.
Actually it is never free to choose, but it has the higher function of
being determined by the Good. Only the good will is free.[54]

=The Authority of the Church according to Augustine.= With the fall
of ancient Rome, the church was hard pressed, for the young peoples
who came into the church were Arian and the only German Catholic nation
was the Franks. Augustine was a man of vigor, but he seemed to lack the
peculiar power of forcing the church to adopt as dogma the truths for
which he stood. He always submitted himself absolutely to the tradition
of the church, and yet in a general way he accomplished two things for
the church at large: (1) He established tradition as the authority and
law of the church; (2) He offered the church a scientifically
constructed plan of salvation.

There now appears in Augustine’s teaching the second centre
around which the masses of his thought group themselves. This
is his conception of the church in its authority and law. Here is
the principle of universality――and historical universality――and it
runs counter to the principle of spiritual individualism which his
psychological analysis had built up. Augustine is just as vigorous
a champion of the idea of the church as the means to salvation as he
is champion of the individual certainty of truth. The two antithetical
propositions lie together in his mind. As a pietist, he was an
individualist; as a priest, he was a loyal subject to dogma. We have
discussed his teaching as it centred about man; now the discussion
centres about God as represented by His church. In practical life the
will of man is important, but in the eternal life the central influence
is the grace of God. Between the will of man and the grace of God there
is a chasm. This is felt the more by Augustine, and the necessity of
a God-centred doctrine seems the greater, when he beholds the contrast
between the perfectness of God and the evil world of men. Evil now
appears to him as a great stream flowing through the world. Humanity
is by nature void of God. Theoretically man is free, but in the actual
world he is chained to his senses and to sin. Adam, the first man,
alone could have possessed freedom; but Adam in his freedom sinned, and
his sin was that of the whole human race. Sin is therefore original to
all men now living, and no man personally deserves salvation, however
meritorious his conduct. Moreover, as the result of Adam’s sin, all men
would be damned were it not for the grace of God. The God-man by death
brought power to replenish empty humanity with divine love. Divine love
is the beginning, middle, and end of salvation. Out of this love God
has sent His Son and founded His church. Universal man died, and only
universal man can save. Belief in Christ is the only means of salvation,
yet belief in Christ comes only by God’s grace, and divine grace is not
conditioned on human worthiness. Thus it is only by grace even now that
man is saved; and no injustice would be done to men were all damned. On
the other hand, divine justice demands that some men at least should be
excluded from salvation in order that the punishment for Adam’s sin be
permanently maintained. The choice of the favored ones depends entirely
upon the unsearchable decree of God. These are elected as monuments
of His loving grace, while the others are elected to be damned as
monuments of His justice. The apparent calamity to the majority of
mankind only shows the goodness of God the more. For, in the first
place, evil is not positive like the good. It is only negative and
primitive――the absence of the good. The condemnation of the wicked is
therefore no defect in this theocratic system. In the second place,
the wicked only receive justice, for the salvation of only a few is a
gratuitous act of love, which testifies to God’s mercy. But, after all,
it is the integrity of the whole spiritual imperial government of God
that is the important thing to consider. The King is law and goodness,
and all His subjects are testimonies of His magnificent power.

=The Dark Ages= (476–800). The traditional estimate of the Middle Ages
as altogether “dark” has been revised by modern scholars. The period
now called the Dark Ages has been restricted to the three hundred years
between the fall of old Rome (476) and the founding of the empire by
Charlemagne (800). Moreover, it is now thought that even in that period
the intellectual conditions were better in Italy than north of the
Alps. In northern Italy the lay teacher seems always to have existed;
and education never to have fallen entirely into the hands of the
monastery as it did in northern Europe between 800 and 1000. After
800 the content of education north and south of the Alps seems to have
been different. Everywhere, to be sure, education was comprised by the
“seven liberal arts,” but the emphasis in the two regions was different.
North of the Alps the dialectic was made important, and theology and
logic flourished. In Italy the emphasis was upon grammar and rhetoric,
and “literary Paganism” was always kept alive. Thus, when the revival
came in 1200, it appeared in the form of theological controversy north
of the Alps, while in Italy in the form of legal science. The analysis
in the summary of the Middle Ages given above (see p. 330) applies more
truthfully to the northern countries than to Italy. At the same time
it is more pertinent to the history of thought, for in these northern
regions, especially at Paris, mediæval philosophy was developed.

Nevertheless, it is easy for the modern scholar to go too far in trying
to play fair with the Middle Ages. The first three centuries of this
time were a Dark Age everywhere in Europe. Wave after wave of barbarian
invasion swept over the land. It is not so much a matter of surprise
that four hundred years lie between the first two philosophers,――but
the matter of surprise is that there were any philosophical fruits
whatever. In this respect the year 529 is significant――significant
both in pointing backward to ancient culture and also in pointing
forward to the feeble effort to retain some of that culture. In 529
Justinian abolished the philosophical Schools at Athens; in 529
also, St. Benedict founded his monastic school at Monte Cassino (near
Naples). These two events stand for the death of antiquity and the
birth of mediæval life. In this beginning of the monastic movement by
St. Benedict in western Europe was lodged, as it turned out, the hope
of education for the mediæval man. During the two hundred years between
the year 800 and the year 1000 mediæval education was entirely in the
hands of the monks.

=The Revival of Charlemagne= (800–900). The darkness of the
Early Period of the Middle Ages is broken by the somewhat abortive
renaissance of Charlemagne. Connected with this revival is the name
of John Scotus Erigena (810–880). Note that during these five hundred
years there are only two notable philosophers, Augustine and Erigena.
Note that a span of four hundred years lies between them. Also note
that the first philosopher, Augustine, was a Roman and the second,
Erigena, was an Irishman. Thereby hangs a tale. During all those long
centuries of the Dark Ages after Augustine and until Charlemagne,
the light of science shone scarcely in northwestern Europe. In the
whole western hemisphere there were only three places where learning
prospered: one was in the far east, among the Arabians; another was
at Constantinople; the third was in the far west, in Britain. Thus it
was from Britain that Charlemagne had to call his educators, Alcuin and
Clement, to promote learning among the Franks; and it was from Britain,
too, that his successor, Charles the Bald, called the Irishman, Erigena,
for the same purpose. During the renaissance of the great Charles
and his successors, Irish scholars could be found in every monastery
and cathedral in the empire. The teaching was soon called the “Irish
learning.” Still it must be said in qualification that the renaissance
at the court of Charlemagne was a rather childish attempt to unite
antiquity with theology. Excepting in the case of Scotus Erigena, the
revival was very feeble. It consisted of a new effort to understand
Augustine, to master the simplest rules of logic, and to think out
dogma by means of Hellenism. The period from 800 to 1000 is called
the Benedictine Age, because learning was entirely in the hands of the
Benedictine monks. From the impulse given by the Irish scholars many
celebrated monastic and cathedral schools originated, like those of
Tours, Fulda, Rheims, Chartres, and the school at Paris. From the many
monastic schools emerge the names of Alcuin of York, Rhabanus Maurus of
Fulda, and Gerbert at Rheims. But among these scholars the only one of
philosophical importance is John Scotus Erigena.

=John Scotus Erigena (810–880): Life and Teaching.= When his
contemporaries were only lisping at philosophy and his immediate
successors were absorbed in disconnected problems, Erigena worked
out a connected system. Like Augustine, Erigena stood far in advance
of his age. He was not only the one great thinker of the revival of
Charlemagne, but he was one of the most remarkable personalities of the
Middle Ages. Born in Ireland, he had the benefit of an education in the
schools of that centre of learning, which he could not have obtained
on the continent of Europe. In 853 he was called by Charles the Bald
to carry on the work begun by Alcuin under Charlemagne. Three centuries
after his death the church condemned him as a heretic (1209) on account
of his writings on predestination and transubstantiation. His learning
was so great that he has been called “the Origen of the North.” He
read Greek, and this was a rare accomplishment in those days, for even
Alcuin scarcely knew the Greek alphabet. His most notable original work
is _De Divisione Naturae_, which was neo-Platonism in Christian dress.
His most influential work was his translation of the _pseudo-Dionysius,
the Areopagite._ It proved, in fact, to be one of the most influential
books of this period, and was instrumental on account of its large
circulation in propagating neo-Platonism in the Middle Ages.

Erigena was neither a scholastic nor a dialectical theologian. He
neither assailed nor defended church doctrine. He calmly pushed
neo-Platonism to the borders of pantheism. He was an Irishman with
a Greek mind, a neo-Platonist under the veil of a Christian mystic.
No churchman ever expressed neo-Platonism so frankly. The writings
from which Erigena got his doctrine are called the _Pseudo-Dionysius_
writings because the authorship was falsely attributed to a companion
of St. Paul, Dionysius the Areopagite. They were, however, probably
written in the fifth century, for they are essentially neo-Platonic and
border on pantheism. Erigena translated them at the request of Charles
the Bald, and their appearance produced great astonishment in Europe
(858–860). Erigena’s own work, _De Divisione Naturae_, is an extreme
pantheistic statement of the doctrine in the _Pseudo-Dionysius_.
Briefly stated Erigena’s teaching is as follows. God is an
incomprehensible being and can be described only in negative terms
(negative theology). (See chapter on Philo.) God is the same as Being
or Nature, and He unfolds Himself as a fourfold series. These are:
God, the world in God, the world outside God, God after the world
has returned to Him. God contains in Himself through the Logos all
the primordial types of things formed before creation. Creation is
the logical unfolding of particulars from the universal. Immortality
consists in the particulars again becoming universal. In the types
of things God is creating Himself, and they are graded from God down
to concrete objects. But all will finally return to God, and Erigena
thought he found analogies of this return everywhere in nature.

=The Greek Principle which Erigena formulated for the Middle Ages.=
These details of the teaching of Erigena are unimportant except as they
throw light upon that Greek underlying principle which he formulated
for the Middle Ages. _The Real is the Universal. The more universal a
thing is, the more real and therefore the more perfect it is._ If we
have an idea of a universal, that universal has existence because it is
universal. The idea of God is universal, therefore God exists. The idea
of the world is a universal, but not so universal as the idea of God,
and therefore not so surely existent. But the idea of the world has
more reality than the idea of a tree. Mediæval philosophy becomes from
this time on _a logical theism_. In the case of Erigena it is a logical
pantheism. The world is a logical mosaic. Real dependence is logical
dependence, and what we in modern times call the causes and effects
between natural objects are regarded by the Middle Ages as sufficiently
explained if put in logical arrangement. This is the core of mediæval
thinking, and the student will fail to understand the civilization of
the Middle Ages unless he grasps this central principle.

But this realizing of the logical universal is Greek and betrays
the fundamentally Greek character of mediæval civilization. The
objective spiritual church has merely taken the place of objective
nature. Mediæval history is a conflict between Greek universalism
and the Christian conception of the individual. In Erigena the Greek
element appeared in overwhelming dominance. Erigena is a smaller
Augustine――Augustine uncontrolled by great masses of thought and
uninspired by practical ideals of building up the church. Erigena is
a “belated Gnostic.” Why was it that his neo-Platonic pantheism did
not overcome entirely the individualistic element in Christian dogma?
Why, on the contrary, did it bring out far-reaching issues of conflict
when a century later the significance of his teaching was understood?
Because inherently and fundamentally in the nature of the German
peoples, as appearing in their customs and laws, was the conviction
of the rights of the individual personality. In the teaching of the
Christian fathers the element of the spiritual personality found a deep
echo in the German nature. The German could tolerate and did actually
live under the later church doctrine of a moderate realism; but the
measured calm of the Greek pantheistic conception of Erigena deprived
the German of all his inherited ideals. Thus when intellectual activity
was aroused a century later, the conflict became hot over the issue in
Erigena’s doctrine. Erigena was the forerunner of the scholastics. It
was he who tossed the apple of discord among the thinkers of the Middle

=The Last Century of the Early Period= (900–1000). The century
following Erigena was one of demoralization. All learning declined with
the renewed invasions from the north, east, and west. The empire of
Charlemagne was broken up and the Papacy temporarily disappeared. There
is a persistent tradition that the Christians at this time believed the
end of the world to be near. This has been proved to be a legend, but
back of it lies the truth that there was a fresh rise of piety which
lasted until 1300. With this movement we enter upon the next period of
the Middle Ages.

                             CHAPTER XVII

                  THE TRANSITIONAL PERIOD (1000–1200)

=The General Character of the Transitional Period.= The first century
of the Transitional Period was as different from the last century of
the Early Period in its intellectual attitude and emotional tone as can
be imagined. It was the century of the new birth of Europe――a century
when the beginning of political order was accompanied by a passion for
inquiry. The spirit of pietism took possession of all institutions――and
in the thirteenth century the mediæval system seemed to have reached
its perfect form. The Transitional Period gives meaning to the Crusades.
“If ever ideals were carried out in the world and gained dominion
over souls, it happened then.”[55] “It was as if the world had cast
aside its old garment and clothed itself in the white robe of the
church.”[56] The ardor of the Crusades was the specific expression
of this religious revival. All the pent-up energies of the previous
mediæval life were passing through a rapid period of growth.

Philosophically this period is the time when neo-Platonic mysticism, as
elaborated by Erigena, came into conflict with the Christian conception
of the individual. These two motives had been held together without
controversy in the Early Period; now they develop into controversy. The
philosophical theories evolved by this controversy go by the name of
scholasticism. While theoretically secular studies were supposed to be
discarded and ancient literature was considered to be the temptation
of the devil, yet practically one is surprised to find a trained skill
in the use of dialectic, and the employment of many of the materials of
antiquity as a means of culture and the refutation of heresies. There
was a knowledge of the classics, of dialectic, of neo-Platonism, and
of Augustine. The spirit of Platonic realism prevailed among the group
of schoolmen of these two centuries. The problem before this group is
different from that presented to the schoolmen of the next period. The
scholastics or schoolmen of this period whom we shall consider in some
detail are,――

                      Anselm, 1033–1109.
                      Roscellinus, d. 1100 about.
                      Abelard, 1079–1142.

=What is Scholasticism?= In a general sense scholasticism is
philosophic thought, but historically the term is usually restricted
to the philosophic thinking of the Middle Ages. It has been pointed
out that scholastic philosophy does not differ from any other
philosophy. It had its prejudices, its dependence on authority, its
employment of deduction, its use of observation――like all philosophy.
The scholasticism of this time, however, is distinguished by its
general reference to church dogma as authority and its imperfect use
of experience. The scholasticism of the Middle Ages may therefore
be defined as the application of dialectic or logical methods to the
discussion of theological problems. It was the attempt to present the
doctrine of the church in a scientific system of philosophy. Sometimes
such an attempt resulted in heresy when the result was a changing of
dogma. Generally, however, the scholastic was not so ambitious, for
he usually sought to keep within the authoritative doctrines of the
church. He feared the anathema of the church. Scholasticism therefore,
in general, had two characteristics: (1) It assumed that church dogma
was unquestionable and infallible; (2) It tried to clarify dogma by
rational explanation, or to show that dogma was at least not contrary
to reason. Dogma may in some cases be explained by the reason. In some
cases it may be so far above reason that the only thing the reason
can say is, “The doctrine does not contradict me.” In the words
of an eminent churchman, “Dogma says, _Deus homo_ (God became man).
Scholasticism asks, _Cur deus homo?_ (Why did God become man?)”
Revelation is assumed; scholastic philosophy is permitted; independent
rational science is denied. The remainder of the history of the Middle
Ages shows no conscious attempt to form a new body of doctrine for the
church; and only here and there does there appear an effort to modify
the existing doctrine. The thinkers are employed in this scholastic
clarifying of the doctrine. In this period scholasticism takes the form
of the logical problem of the relation of universals and particulars.
In the period of Classic Scholasticism this logical problem changes
into the metaphysical one of the respective scopes of reason and faith.

The problem of the relation of universal conceptions to particular
experiences had become a central one to the Greeks after Socrates.
(See summary, p. 103.) It was natural that the same problem should
arise with the new mediæval man and should delight him as an
enigmatical question. But conditions were less favorable for the
mediæval scholastic than for the Greek. The mediæval had scanty
literary materials, no opportunity of testing his discussions by
empirical observations, and his mind was untrained. In the Early Period
scholasticism had the character of a mental game in logic. It consisted,
on the whole, in the subtle spinning out of logical questions with the
few fragments of Aristotle as a guide. This was dangerous to faith, but
the church could not prevent it, for it was the only mental diversion
open to monks of the schools of Charlemagne. The arguments often reveal
great mental acuteness, although they have the appearance of triviality.
The schools of the ninth century were given over to barren formalism,
and this threatened to submerge the vigorous movement inaugurated
by Erigena. “Can a prostitute become a virgin again through divine
omnipotence?” “Does a mouse that eats the sacrament eat the body of
God?” “How many angels can stand on the point of a needle?” These
are examples of the prevailing verbal gymnastics of that time, and
such problems can be found even in the works of Peter Lombard, Thomas
Aquinas, and Duns Scotus.

Logically stated the problem is that of the relation of particulars to
universals. It is usually called the problem of the reality of general
ideas. The question was started by a passage in that universally
used text-book of the time――the _Isagoge_ of Porphyry, which was
an introduction to Aristotle’s _Categories_. (See p. 102.) Porphyry
divides the problem into three parts: (1) Do genera and species exist
in nature, or do they exist as mere products of the intellect? (2) If
they are things apart from the mind, are they corporeal or incorporeal
things? (3) Do they exist outside the individual things of sense, or
are they realized in the latter? Upon the problem involved here the
thinkers of the Middle Ages were divided into three schools,――realists,
conceptualists, and nominalists.[57] The realist maintained that the
general idea had reality, while the particular was only a defective
imitation of it. The nominalist, on the contrary, held that the
universal is only a name (_nomen_) or an abstraction derived from the
real particular thing. The conceptualist tried to mediate between the
two by showing that reality exists only in the particular. To use the
mediæval phrases, realism is _universalia ante rem_; nominalism is
_universalia post rem_; conceptualism is _universalia in re_. (See
p. 103 for table of comparison with Protagoras, Plato, and Aristotle.)
The question was of great practical importance to the church. Is the
universal church real and therefore all its dogma authoritative, or are
the particular churches real and authoritative? This was a vital matter
to the churchman of that day who was trying to establish the primacy
of Rome among the separate churches. Furthermore, to show that humanity
was less real than the particular human beings would destroy the
church doctrine of sin and redemption, for these dogmas depended on the
assumption of the solidarity of the human race. The church universal
and its universal dogma were not mere names to the schoolmen, and that
is why the orthodox churchmen were nearly always realists. Religious
principles were universals, while particulars were secular. Dogma had
become fixed, with which traditionally the church had become identified.
To emphasize particular experiences would mean the continual correcting
of tradition and a substitution of private judgment for church decrees.
When nominalism is completely worked out, it will be found to conflict
with church dogma at every point. The result is skepticism. Still the
churchman later saw that there is great danger also in a thorough-going
realism like that of Erigena’s. It became pantheism. Both realism and
nominalism were dangerous doctrines for the church if they were driven
to their logical conclusions.

=Anselm (1033–1109): Life and Position in Mediæval Philosophy.=
Anselm lived during the monastic revival which had begun in the
tenth century. He was in fact the last of the monastic teachers, for
during his declining years occurred the first of the Crusades, and
the epoch following him witnessed the transference of learning from
the monasteries to the universities. He was born of a noble family
in Aosta, Lombardy, and entered in early life the monastery of Bec.
Here he succeeded Lanfranc as abbot, and again he succeeded Lanfranc
in the archbishopric of Canterbury. He was a man of genuine piety, of
speculative bent, and of unswerving faith in the dogma of the church.
As primate of England he resisted with much sagacity the encroachments
of the secular power. His _Cur Deus Homo_ was a treatise on the
doctrine of the redemption and atonement, and was one of the most
important books of the Middle Ages.

Anselm brought about a great change in theological teaching. Berengar
of Tours had but recently made an attack upon the doctrine of the real
presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and was the immediate cause of
the “storm and stress” period of scholasticism that followed. Anselm’s
teacher and predecessor, Lanfranc, had defended the doctrine. The
doctrine had not yet been settled, and each side claimed the basis of
authority. Anselm was therefore a witness of the first attempt to apply
philosophy to dogma, and he was the first to use dialectics with the
serious purpose of defending dogma. From this time on, dialectics
was no longer an intellectual diversion. He, the last of the monastic
teachers, was the first to employ dialectics with the new purpose of
instructing the believer. His entire life was animated by the desire
to add knowledge to faith by the means of philosophy.

Anselm’s scholasticism therefore circulates about the Patristic
theology as a centre; and his spirit and method is so similar to that
of Augustine and the Apologists, that he has been justly called “the
second Augustine” and “the last of the Fathers.” Beside the safe and
traditionally centralized teaching of Anselm, the imaginative pantheism
of Erigena seems like a body that had been loosened from its natural
place and was floating away beyond control. Both Erigena and Anselm
were inspired by the Platonism that until the year 1200 dominated
the Middle Ages. That is, both were realists. The realism of Erigena,
however, expressed in full the mystic element of Platonism. It
destroyed all grades of reality below God, and made unnecessary the
church and its offices. Erigena was an extreme realist; Anselm was
consistent with the attitude of the church in being a moderate realist.
The _credo ut intelligam_ (faith as the basis of intellectual belief)
was the anchor which saved him and became the safeguard of all future
orthodox scholastics. The world to Anselm is a hierarchy of universal
reals, such as the sacraments, the church, and the Trinity. To such
dogmas of the church he applied philosophy, not because they needed
support, but in order to make them clear by analysis. Philosophy shall
only clarify dogma.

=Anselm’s Arguments for the Existence of God.= The so-called “Anselmic
Arguments for the Existence of God” are the best known parts of
Anselm’s teaching, and in the eyes of the churchman place his theodicy
in the “status of a finished science.” To get their cogency we must
remember the underlying thought of mediæval realism; the more universal
a thing is, the more real it is――the more it exists and the more
perfect it is. (See p. 352.) In his _Monologium_ he developed the
so-called _cosmological argument_: A single perfect and universal being
must be assumed as the cause of all lesser beings. God’s essence must
involve his existence. Every other being can be thought as coming into
existence from some external cause, while God alone exists from the
necessity of his own nature. In his _Proslogium_ he elaborated his more
famous _ontological argument_: Man has the idea of a perfect being;
Perfection involves among other qualities that of existence, otherwise
we could think of a more perfect being or one who did possess existence;
Therefore God exists.

=Roscellinus= (d. 1100 about): =Life and Teaching=. Roscellinus,
a canon of Compiègne, was the first scholastic to attempt to modify
dogma by the dialectic,――not that there had not occurred throughout the
history of the church many theological controversies. Before this time
such controversies had on the whole arisen over doctrines that had not
yet become dogma. The particular object of the attack of Roscellinus
was the dogma of the Trinity, and the base of his attack was none other
than philosophy. Roscellinus completely failed in getting the church
to modify this particular doctrine, but he succeeded in a larger way
than he could have imagined. He brought out into distinctness the issue
between reason and revelation. The fundamental question thereafter
was as to the rights of the human reason and the rights of divine
revelation. Roscellinus supplied a powerful shock to faith and awakened
the schools to the consequences of questions which had seemed before to
be merely logical problems.

Roscellinus was a nominalist, and it was from the point of view of
nominalism that he attempted to change the dogma of the Trinity. He
made a life-long defense of the doctrine that the Godhead was three
different substances, agreeing only in certain qualities. This is
tritheism and not a Trinity. But this was only the most striking
example of his application of the general principle of nominalism.
In general, universals are only names and have an existence only in
the human mind. _Universalia post rem._ Individuals alone exist. The
groups formed out of many individuals by addition, or the parts of an
individual formed by division, are mental affairs and have no reality.
Roscellinus was opposed by Anselm, condemned by the church, and obliged
to recant. He fled to England, returned to France, and again preached
his doctrine.

=Storm and Stress.= After the issue was brought to a head by the
nominalism of Roscellinus, the twelfth century was torn in battle
over the reality of general ideas. The realists, on the one hand,
tried to grade universals and to show how universals are related to
particulars――all of which Anselm had left to faith. How do universals,
such as the persons in the Trinity, the church, the sacraments,
exist in one universal God? Grotesque explanations were offered, like
the imaginative work of Bernard of Chartres and the symbolic number
theory of his brother, Theodoric. William of Champeaux, a teacher of
Abelard, almost reduced realism to a pantheism. Nothing exists but
the universal; all individuals are accidental modifications of the
universal. Pantheism was so inherent in the blood of realism that it
was always appearing here and there.

Such pantheistic deductions by the realists brought out nominalism in
opposition, in spite of the repression of nominalism by the authorities
of the church. The nominalists sought protection and authority under
the name of Aristotle, for his conceptualist doctrine was not known
at this time. The few writings of Aristotle then known were very
imperfectly interpreted. One of the most ironical situations in
the history of the Middle Ages is that, up to the Period of Classic
Scholasticism, Plato was the authority of the orthodox and Aristotle
of the heterodox.

=The Life of Abelard= (1079–1142). Abelard had both Roscellinus and
William of Champeaux as teachers. He quarreled with them both and set
up a rival school of his own. He taught in various places and was, with
some interruptions, in Paris from 1108 to 1136. The university did not
exist until a generation after him, but he was its true founder, for
he inaugurated the movement out of which the early universities sprang.
His method was transferred from philosophy to theology and thence to
all studies. It was a _didactic method_ of drawing conclusions after an
empirical enumeration of the _pros_ and _cons_. Abelard was acquainted
with no Greek writings except in Latin translations. His great talent
as a teacher and his keen French intellect, that was impatient of all
restraint, made him, however, the most brilliant of the schoolmen. Two
synods condemned his teaching. Probably his modern popular reputation
rests upon his unfortunate love-relations with Heloise.

=Abelard’s Conceptualism. Universals exist in the Particulars.=
Abelard formed the storm-centre of the strife over the technical
relations between particulars and universals. His position has been
misunderstood because he, the pupil and opponent both of Roscellinus
and of William of Champeaux, fought each with the weapons of the other.
He was repelled from pantheism, which appears to him to be the logic
of realism, and he recoiled equally from the sensualistic outcome
of nominalism. Universals are the indispensable forms of knowledge,
and they must therefore have some existence in the nature of the
things which we know. This existence consists of the similarity of the
essential characteristic of things. This likeness is not a numerical
identity, but a unity which makes our knowledge of the particular
things possible. This likeness or similarity between things is the
same as the types created by God. Thus the universal has no independent
objective existence, and on the other hand it is not a mere word
out of all relation to things. The universals exist in three ways:
(1) they exist before the things only as Ideas in the mind of God;
(2) they coexist with the things as the essential likenesses of
things; (3) they exist after the things in the human mind, when it
has knowledge of things. Abelard developed his theory only polemically
and never worked it out systematically. On the technical side of this
question the preceding lines of thought come into an unsystematic
unity. His theory was accepted by the Arabian philosophers and is
practically that of Aquinas and Duns Scotus. With Abelard the problem
was not solved indeed, but it came to a preliminary stop in this
statement――universals have an equal significance, _ante rem_ in the
mind of God, _in re_ in nature, _post rem_ in human knowledge.

=Abelard’s Rationalism.――The Relation between Reason and Dogma.=
The proud, self-reliant, self-conscious Abelard could be nothing else
than a rationalist. He was the type of the controversial metaphysician.
He was the fighting dialectician,――intolerant of restraint, devoid
of respect for authority, seeking the prize of victory at any cost.
Erigena, as a mystic, harmonized reason and dogma because they are
equal; Anselm, as an orthodox scholastic, harmonized them because
reason is subordinate to dogma and conforms to it; Abelard, as a
rationalist, harmonized reason and dogma because dogma is subordinate
to reason and conforms to reason. To Anselm reason merely clarifies
dogma; to Abelard “dogma is only a provisional substitute for reason.”
Anselm never questions dogma, while Abelard calls dogma before the
bar of the reason and then acts as dogma’s advocate. We must try all
dogma in court, and, contrary to modern legal practice, we must doubt
it until it proves its innocence. For “it is through doubt we come to
investigation, and through investigation to the truth.” A good example
of Abelard’s attitude appears in his _Sic et Non_, a treatise in which
he sets the views of the Fathers over against one another so that the
reason may decide upon the truth. Another example of his method appears
in his examination of the doctrine of the Trinity, and in the third
book of _Christian Theology_ he cites twenty-three objections and
in the fourth book answers them. This rationalizing spirit led him
to advocate the doctrine of free-will, to place the responsibility of
moral conduct and theoretical belief upon the individual, to regard
Christianity as the consummation of all religions and not as the
presentation of anything new.

If in these discussions he was more brilliant than profound, if he
wrote upon many questions without solving any, if the weight of his
personality could not prevail in his controversies, it was because the
science of the twelfth century offered him little empirical support
against the actual power of the church and the mighty inward strength
of faith of the people. What means had Abelard to support his position
that rational science should determine faith? Nothing but the hollow
methods of scholastic logic and the traditions of the church――the
very things against which he was rebelling. Abelard set for himself
a problem, but he lacked the means of its solution. It was, however, a
problem that has never vanished from the memory of the European peoples.

The unrest in Abelard’s teaching is representative of the last century
of this period, which he brought to a close. There was growing a
general revolt from the unfruitful methods of the scholastic dialectic,
coupled with feverish desire for knowledge. There was, on the one
hand, a great reaction toward mysticism with the Victorines, Bernard
of Clairvaux and Bernard of Tours, and toward eclecticism with John
of Salisbury and Peter the Lombard. On the other hand, there was
an interesting growth in empirical science. But these theoretical
interests were but eddies in the great current of events. For Jerusalem
and the Holy Land, the memorials in earthly form of all the ideals
sacred to the mediæval mind, had fallen into the hands of the infidel!
The western world was preparing for the rescue, and the Crusades were
the last and the frenzied expression of the Platonic idealism of the
Middle Ages. They bring the first two periods to a spectacular climax.
Is it a mere coincidence that Abelard brings to a close the dominance
of idealism on the theoretic side at the time when earthly symbols of
that idealism were being destroyed?

                             CHAPTER XVIII


=The General Character of this Last Period.= The first one hundred
and fifty years of this period was the golden age of scholasticism;
the remaining one hundred years was a period of decline. The period
of Classic Scholasticism was a natural growth from the Transitional
Period. At the end of the Transitional Period the church, in spite of
Mohammedans, Jews, heretics, and the classics, outshone all else, and
its life and dogma were the most worth while. In this period appeared a
theology, adequate to its life and dogma,――a theology which was floated
by the wave of piety of the Mendicant Orders. Acquaintance with the
true Aristotle was the needed stimulus. The favorable conditions for
that stimulus were (1) the triumph of the church and papacy, (2) the
intense piety of the Mendicants, (3) the general culture derived from
an inner development of the church and from contact with the East in
Constantinople, Palestine, and Spain. Aristotle and the Mendicants were
the new forces, and they achieved their position against the hostility
of the old Orders, the universities, and the teachers. The triumph was
possible because the new forces contributed nothing really new, but
merely completed the old scheme of things. The new Aristotle, as it
was understood, taught metaphysics, epistemology, and politics in a way
to vindicate dogma as against the opposition of William of Champeaux
and Roscellinus. The Mendicants on their part vindicated all dogma by
blending it with faith on the one hand, and with reason on the other.

The scholasticism of the Transitional Period was predominantly
controversial, while the character of this period, which we are now
entering, is synthetic and constructive. The infusion of fresh blood
into culture, from not only the logical but the physical works of
Aristotle, resulted in the renewal of interest in the dialectic and in
the construction of systems of metaphysics and psychology. _The central
problem now concerns the respective scopes of reason and faith_, and
to its solution logic and psychology are applied. A complete solution
seemed to be made by Thomas Aquinas, which had its literary expression
in Dante. Without the introduction of any new philosophical principle
the world of nature, as interpreted by Aristotle, was apparently
brought by Thomas into theoretical harmony with the Augustinian
conception of the world of grace. But no sooner did Thomas seem to
have formulated scholastic philosophy for all time, than controversy
broke out afresh. For pantheistic mysticism gained its independence
through one of Thomas’s own brother Dominicans, Eckhart; then Duns
Scotus, a Franciscan, drew up a metaphysical programme based upon the
Augustinian theory of the will, and gave a new direction to philosophy;
and furthermore nominalism grew great upon Aristotle’s logic and the
new empirical psychology. For the churchman, philosophy reached its
completeness in Thomas Aquinas. The later tendencies are regarded by
the churchman as deteriorations, and even modern philosophy is looked
upon as but temporizing with the classic system of Thomas.


   The Conquests of the Mohammedans during the different epochs are
    shown by the different shading and the dates placed on the map.

=The Two Civilizations.= This is one of the periods of thought
resulting from the shiftings of distinct civilizations. We have already
noted the influence of the struggles of the Orient and the Occident in
the Persian wars and in the campaigns of Alexander; and we have lately
seen an entirely new epoch ushered in by the invasions of the northern
tribes into Rome. With the new epoch before us, we find ourselves
confronted with another new ethnic situation. The civilization of the
Mohammedan had grown in mighty strength in the East, had possessed
itself of Asia Minor, northern Africa, and Spain, and was now facing
Europe from the east, west, and south. All through the First Period
of the Middle Ages the Christian and Mohammedan civilizations had
been contestants for supremacy. Only as late as 732 the Mohammedan
claim upon Europe had been defeated at the battle of Tours. Mohammed
(570–632) converted the whole of Arabia to Islam during the ten years
between his Hegira (622) and his death. His successors took Palestine
(637), Syria (638), Egypt (647), Persia (710), all north Africa
(by 707), invaded Spain (711), and were repulsed at Tours (732).
All this occurred within a century, and for the next two hundred
years (800–1000) the Mohammedans harassed Rome and the islands of
the Mediterranean. With the two civilizations facing each other on
the Mediterranean, only mutual religious fanaticism could stand in
the way of their mutual cultural influence. In point of fact, because
of fanaticism the cultures of the two civilizations during the first
centuries of the Middle Ages touched each other but little. In those
first centuries of the Middle Ages, when western Europe was shrouded
in darkness, the schools of the Arabs at Bagdad, Basra, Kufa, and other
cities were enjoying a splendid intellectual life. From 850 to 1100
the centre of learning of the world was in the Arabian cities of the
East.[58] In 1100 the fanatical faction of the Arabians crushed this
intellectual movement in the East, the scholars fled to Spain, and for
a century longer Saracen learning flourished in Spain, especially in
Cordova. In 1200 the Arabian orthodoxy made itself felt in Spain, and
the Arabian scholars there had to find refuge among the Jews or

=The First Contact of the Two Civilizations.= From the beginning of
the Middle Ages the point of contact between the two civilizations was
either war or commerce. The Jew was the globe-trotter of that day, and
was constantly bringing into Europe reports of Arabian civilization.
He was a philosopher, a monotheist, a Semite, like the Arab, and he had
an interest in more than commercial matters. About the end of the Early
Period of the Middle Ages he found it profitable to make first Hebrew
and then Latin translations of Arabian learning, and to sell them in
Europe. In this form, between 1000 and 1100, medical and astronomical
knowledge entered Europe. Greek philosophical writings came next in
translations from the Arabic, which had previously been translated from
the Syriac. Thus for the two hundred years, between 1000 and 1200, the
Christian schools were beginning to read portions of Greek philosophy
in Latin, which had previously passed through Syriac and Arabian
(and sometimes Hebrew) translations. Before 1200, there were none
but these Arabic versions. A pertinent example of these was the works
of Aristotle. Before 1200 all of Aristotle’s writings, except the
_Organon_, appeared in Europe in this form, and the _Organon_ as a
whole was not known until 1150. In 1125 some of Aristotle’s physics was
known by the school of Chartres; in 1200 all the physics, metaphysics,
and ethics were known in translations from the Latin and Hebrew. These
were accompanied by Arabian commentaries, which interpreted Aristotle
as if he were a neo-Platonic pantheist. There were many churchmen
interested in the work of translation, as, for example, Gerbert,
and Raymond of Toledo. Roger II of Sicily (d. 1154) and Frederick II
(d. 1250) had their courts filled with Arabian philosophers. Frederick
had many translations made and presented to the Universities of Oxford,
Paris, and Bologna.

Thus the influence of the Arabian upon the Christian culture before the
Classic Period of the Middle Ages was not inconsiderable. But this must
be said of Arabian culture――it was mainly borrowed. Arabia[59] acted
merely as a transmitter of the materials of knowledge from the Greeks
and Hindoos; and so far as philosophy was concerned, the Arab was
returning to Europe, in a perverted form, the Aristotle which had been
deposited with him centuries before. The Mohammedans were the world’s
carriers of a considerable body of science and of many new agricultural
products; and of the amount which they introduced into Europe only
a small portion was their own. At the end of the twelfth century the
Christian at Rome and York was richer in the principles of discovery,
but poorer in the amount of traditional learning and of scientific
wealth, than the Mohammedan at Bagdad and Cordova.

=The Conflict between the Two Civilizations.――The Crusades.[60]=
The rivalry between the two civilizations became intensified into an
open conflict about the year 1100. Up to the year 1000 the Mohammedan
leaders were Arabians, but in the eleventh century these Arabians
were conquered by tribes of Turks or Mongolians from the north of
Asia. These became converted to Mohammedanism, but they had no love
for culture nor reverence for the places in Palestine, which were
sacred alike to the Christian and the Arab. From the fourth to the
twelfth century the pilgrimages of the Christians, individually or in
multitudes, largely increased, but in the eleventh century the new race
of Mohammedan Turks made the access to Jerusalem more difficult. They
began to subject the pilgrims to cruelties, so that the Christian was
beginning to find the door of his Holy Land closed to him. Then did
Platonic Christianity rush to the rescue of those sacred places that
symbolized its ideals. This onslaught upon the Mohammedans came in a
series of surges, traditionally spoken of as the eight Crusades.[61]
The Crusades resulted quite contrary to the expectations of the church,
for the Crusaders failed in permanently recapturing Jerusalem. But the
Crusades accomplished the unexpected thing――they awakened Europe. The
effect of the Crusades upon Europe was far greater than upon the Orient.
The results may be enumerated as follows:――

1. The dormant European intellect was shaken up by contact with the
heathen, whom the Europeans had previously despised, but whom they
found to be their superiors.

2. A new national rivalry was aroused among the Christian soldiers.
This national spirit was helped negatively by the losses among the
feudal lords.

3. Commercial activity was given an immense impulse. A new social
class was formed, which allied itself with the kings against the feudal
lords. Trade was opened with the East, revealing new luxuries and new
needs. Venice, Pisa, and Genoa, and in a secondary way also the German,
French, and English towns, became prosperous commercial centres.

4. The power of the Latin church was extended.

5. _The works of Aristotle were introduced in translations direct from
the original Greek._ In the fourth Crusade Constantinople was captured
by the Crusaders (1204), and in this way the treasures of the Greeks
were opened to the western scholars. The complete works of Aristotle
were introduced into western Europe at a time when Aristotle was being
interpreted as a pantheist by the Arabian commentators.

=The Revival of Learning.= The need of learning, that had been felt
in the twelfth century, was now being satisfied. The entire logic
of Aristotle and his entire natural science gave the new materials
for knowledge. These came into Europe within the century between
1150 and 1250, (1) through translations from the Arabic, and then
(2) directly through translations from the Greek. Aristotle’s logic
revived scholasticism and his science became the foundation of
metaphysics. Mediæval thought was ready for this and _there was a
complete readjustment without the introduction of a new philosophical
principle_. The side of Augustine’s teaching that emphasized the
intellect rather than the will, gained by being confirmed by the
systematic intellectualism of Aristotle. The founder of this was
Albert of Bollstaedt; the organizer and literary codifier was Thomas
Aquinas; the poetic expression was Dante. The new centres of learning
were Paris and Constantinople. The centres of teaching were transferred
from the monasteries to the new Universities (1100–1300). Salerno had
its beginnings in the latter part of the eleventh century. Bologna in
law, Oxford in general culture and theology, Paris in the same studies,
show traces of general organization between 1160 and 1200. There were
established seventy-nine of these universities between 1150 and 1500.
They were not “founded,” but grew up as part of this movement.[62]


                   From Rossetti’s _Shadow of Dante_

       (Showing its divisions of Hell (at centre of the earth),
       Purgatory, and the nine heavens. The evident plan beneath
                  this is the Ptolemaic cosmography.)

Nevertheless, the struggle was a full century long before official
recognition of Aristotle came. The name of Aristotle had been
associated with pantheism for many years, on account of the Arabian
versions of his teaching. The neo-Platonic doctrine of emanations,
with its pantheism in the Arabian versions, was a tendency of which
the church had been shy since the days of Erigena. Until the theistic
character of Aristotle’s teaching became assured by the direct Latin
translations from the Greek, there was a powerful reaction against
the whole of the new learning. The church had condemned the _Physics_
in 1209 and the _Metaphysics_ in 1215. But in 1254 Aristotle was
officially recognized, and fifty years later he became the guide of the
church, whom no one could contradict without being accused of heresy.

The Catholic church never showed its ability to greater advantage than
in its dealings with the new problems of this period. The people of
a purely religious epoch now came into possession of Aristotelianism.
For centuries the intellect had been starving on formal logic. An
intellectual revolution was imminent. Here in Aristotle was presented
a rich theory of nature that the church had never considered. Yet it
is doubtful if Aristotle would have been accepted, had the Mendicant
Friars――the Dominicans and Franciscans――not succeeded in establishing
chairs in the University of Paris. These monks did not love philosophy
in itself. They saw, however, that philosophy must be able to defend
itself against infidel philosophy by the weapons of philosophy.
But curiously enough, Aristotelianism, which was the spring of this
renaissance, became, by its incorporation into the church, the great
obstacle to the real Renaissance two hundred and fifty years later.

=The Strength and Burden of Aristotle to the Church.=

=1. The Strength of Aristotle to the Church:= (1) Aristotle elaborated
for the church, with great clearness, the conception of a transcendent
God. This was a weapon for the church against neo-Platonism and
mysticism. (2) Aristotle gave to the church a theory of nature that
supplemented its theory of grace. (3) Aristotle established a
philosophical standard for the truth of things. This proved of great
value to the church because it was under the control of the church.
In the first two periods of the Middle Ages philosophical thought had
a relative independence because it was without a recognized standard;
now philosophy could be controlled by the standard of Aristotle. For
example, with the coming of Aristotle there came certain standard
definitions of substance, person, nature, accident, mode, potency,
and act.

=2. The Burden of Aristotle to the Church:= (1) Aristotle encouraged
a taste for science and analysis. At first the Aristotelian influence
in this direction was very small, but its growth was only a question
of time. (2) Aristotle became for the church a second standard. The
problem for the churchman now became a double one: (a) Is my teaching
consistent with church dogma? (b) Is my teaching consistent with
Aristotle? “My son,” was the reply to a youth who thought he had
discovered spots on the sun, “I have read Aristotle many times and
I assure you there is nothing of the kind in him.” Dogma, not now the
only standard, is not infallible. The reason need not follow dogma, but
its own standard. Revelation became a realm of mystery which the reason
could not reach, but to which it pointed. A doctrine thus might be of
such a nature that it might be philosophically true, but theologically
not true.

=The Predecessors of Aquinas.= Many distinguished names stand at the
close of the Transitional Period and the beginning of the Classic
Period. These express the transitional character of the thought of
the threshold of this time. They show, like Abelard, the tendency
toward rationalism. Alexander of Hales (d. 1264), William of Aubergne
(d. 1249), Vincent of Beauvais (d. 1246), Albert of Bollstaedt, called
Albertus Magnus (d. 1280), show the influence of the new Aristotelian
science. Albert was the teacher of Thomas Aquinas. The attempt of
Thomas to form a theological system for the church was anticipated
by the so-called _Sums_ of the twelfth century, of which the work of
Peter the Lombard was the model. The four books of _Sums_ of Peter
were collections of opinions of the Fathers on questions of dogma. They
show the influence of Aristotle and the method of Abelard. The _Sums_
of Peter became for several centuries the text-book of the schools
and the subject of innumerable commentaries. It was the core of
Classic scholastic literature, and around it grew up the problems of
metaphysics and psychology.

=The Life of Thomas Aquinas (1224–1274).――The Founder of the Dominican
Tradition.= Thomas belonged to a noble house which was related to the
royal family. He studied in the University of Naples, but at the age of
nineteen, upon resolving to enter the Dominican order, he was captured
and kept a prisoner by his brothers. After two years he made his
escape, and, his family having consented to his taking orders, he went
to Cologne under the instruction of Albert. He was then sent to Paris,
where he obtained his degree in 1257. He was a successful lecturer at
Paris until 1261, when he was called by the Pope to teach philosophy
in Rome, Bologna, and Pisa. During this period he composed his greatest
work, _Summa Theologiae_. He declined preferment and finally resided
at Naples. He always enjoyed the highest consideration of the church

Thomas, the founder of the “Dominican tradition,” was the first to
formulate Christian Aristotelianism and to draw for the church the
line between the realms of reason and faith. He did not so much create
doctrine as he transformed and assimilated it. The sources from which
he drew were many: the Scriptures, the Fathers, Greek philosophy, and
the teaching of contemporary Arabians and Jews. If, as some historians
maintain, he was not a thinker of the first rank, he at least relieved
the church from a delicate situation by means of a conciliating
theology. Certainly his predecessors and contemporaries stand eclipsed
by him. He satisfied the mediæval demand for order and he prevented
deterioration in the church doctrine. He did not rise above his age,
although he stood at the head of its intellectual movement. He was,
on the contrary, the most perfect expression of scholasticism, and he
was affectionately regarded as _doctor angelicus_ and again as _doctor

=The Central Principle of Thomas’s Doctrine――The Twofold Truth.= The
life-purpose of Thomas was to bring Christianity into closer relation
with civilization and science. He sought to give all departments of
knowledge their rights and at the same time to protect the ascendency
of religion. This was to him the same as bringing Christianity and
Aristotle together, for Aristotle meant to him the entire product of
ancient civilization. To the mediæval world of grace he added a world
of nature, and, fully dominated by the mediæval love of order, he
unfolded so comprehensive a view of life that he included all its
problems. He felt that the natural and the revealed must not become
a contradiction.

To accomplish this Thomas found in Aristotle his own ideal estimate
of things. Looking at Aristotle through his own neo-Platonism, he
naturally found in Aristotle more of the inner and religious estimate
of nature than the facts will allow. Yet it was evident to Thomas that
there was in Aristotle a great interest in nature and a great reserve
on ultimate questions. Nature was, according to Aristotle, an essence
unfolding in a system of grades. This became the central principle of
Aquinas in this form: _Nature is a sketch in outline of the world of
grace_. Before the eye of the religious mind these two truths should
appear: (1) the world of faith and the world of nature are two properly
distinct worlds; (2) the world of faith is a continuation of the world
of nature. The world of grace and the world of nature are two grades of
the whole of existence. Nature is the lower stage of development, and
the point of contact between it and the world of grace is the soul of
man. Religion and philosophy thus have different spheres, but they are
not contradictory. Grace does not destroy, but it perfects nature.
Nature is subordinate to grace as man is subordinate to the Christian,
the state to the church, the Emperor to the Pope.[63]

The difference between philosophy and theology is not that theology
treats of God and divine truths, and philosophy does not. Philosophy
discusses divine truths. But the difference lies here, that theology
views truths in the light of revelation, while philosophy views them
in the light of reason. Yet there are truths that belong to philosophy,
truths that belong to theology, and truths that belong to both. The
problems of the existence of God, the immortality of the soul, and the
relation of the world to God are theological problems, yet they can
also be demonstrated by the reason of philosophy; but the mysteries of
the Trinity, the Incarnation, and the temporal creation are beyond the
scope of the reason and belong to theology. Philosophy and theology are
distinct, yet they are in harmony. Theology supplements philosophy with
faith; philosophy supplements theology by (1) establishing preliminary
motives, (2) supplying analogies, (3) answering objections. Thomas
accepts both propositions which had divided his predecessors: _credo
ut intelligam_ and _intelligo ut credam_.

Above historical revelation there is something even higher, which could
be called another realm, were it not more of a hope than a possession
of man. Its appearance in the doctrine of Thomas shows the influence
of Plato upon him. It is the immediate union of the individual with
God in mystic ecstasy.[64] It is the dome of the religious temple that
Thomas has built. But Thomas was careful to insist that this heavenly
glory could not be gained except through the offices of the church.
The individual cannot reach God through his own unaided efforts, but
the sacraments of the church form the mysterious background of the
religious life.

=The Problem of Individuality――The Relation of Particulars and
Universals.= The all-absorbing question of the Transitional Period,
of the relation of particulars and universals, became for Thomas and
his successors the problem of individuality. For the schoolman was
obliged to define the individual and fix his place in his Aristotelian
world, if he was to be successful against the pantheism of the Arabian
Aristotelianism. What is the nature and standing of the individual?
What constitutes the difference between individuals? The whole
theological edifice of Thomas would collapse in mystic unity, the
immortality of the soul would be lost and the offices of the church
would be nullified, unless Thomas showed the positive nature of the
individual. In this connection we must remember that on the whole
the Middle Ages had accepted Abelard’s analysis of the problem of the
relation of universals and particulars: the universals exist in three
ways, _ante rem_ or in God’s mind; _post rem_ or in man’s mind; _in re_
or in nature. To Thomas the universals as abstractions (_universalia
post rem_) in the human mind cannot be individuals, for they have no
real existence. To have real existence the universal must exist _in re_,
in the many, as the essence of things; not as abstraction _beside_ the

The question of individuality therefore to Thomas concerns properly
only objects _in re_, or objects in the corporeal world.[65] These
are objects of Form and Matter. The question is, whether the Form or
the matter of corporeal things is the principle of its individuality.
Thomas says that matter is this principle,――not indeterminate matter,
but matter with quantitative determinations. The difference between
earthly individuals is numerical――a difference of time and space
relations. The Forms of nature objects change continually according
to their material conditions, but these conditions do not change.
Nevertheless the quantitative determinations of individuals are not
the cause, but the condition, of their existence.

But the question about the status of beings in the spiritual world,
“separate Forms,” is a more difficult one for Thomas. This is the
problem about God, the angels, and the souls of men. They are evidently
not individualized by matter. What is the principle that distinguishes
them from one another? They are Forms without matter and they are
individualized through themselves, since they have no need of material
determinations. Thus God is distinguished from everything else as
pure Form or pure actuality. He is the unique individual in whom
all differences merge. But so also are the angels actualized through
themselves. What is the difference between God and the angels? God is
an absolute genus; the angel is a relative genus, _i. e._ it is the
only one of its kind. But what is the condition of the souls of men?
Are they all alike or do they have a principle of distinction? Yes,
they are distinguishable, for each soul upon separation from its body
carries with it a love for its former body, and that distinguishes it
from other souls.

=The Primacy of the Will or the Intellect.= Up to this time there
had been no psychological dispute as to which of the faculties was
fundamental. Now the question appears in full force. Much of the
literature of this period is upon the question of the primacy of
the will or the intellect, and it appears to be almost the leading
motive of the time. Augustine had placed the will in the foreground
of his teaching. His successors had never disputed the subject, but
had been engaged in discussing what products of the intellect are
real――the particulars or the universals. With the introduction of the
intellectualism of Aristotle, there almost immediately arose defenders
of Augustine. To them Aristotelianism was too rationalistic. Thomas
follows Aristotle unconditionally, and with him stand the German
mystics. Intellectualism becomes the central principle of what is known
as the “Dominican tradition.” Duns Scotus was a Franciscan monk. He
took up arms for the primacy of the will, and this became the central
principle of the “Franciscan tradition.” On this point the nominalists
were his allies.

The problem of the will arose first with reference to the human will.
Thomas contended against Duns Scotus that man is free so far as he
follows his knowledge of the good. The intellect is therefore primal,
for it determines the will by showing the will what the good is.

The question next arose as to the priority of the faculties in God.
Does God’s will dominate His intellect or His intellect dominate His
will? This was a vital point in the Augustinian theodicy. Does God will
the good to be good, or does His will act according to what He knows
to be good? Here lies the point at issue between the Dominican Thomas
and the Franciscan Scotus. Thomas maintained that the intellect of
God determines His will. The intellect is determined by the truth so
long as the intellect is true to itself. Why should not the will be
determined by the truth in the same way? With God this freedom for the
truth is God himself. The world is the best possible world, for God has
willed it out of himself.

The world is determined by goodness and man’s will is determined by
the same goodness. When the sense conquers the morally determined will,
there is sin. The senses, and not the will, are the cause of sin.

=Duns Scotus (1270–1308), the Founder of the Franciscan Tradition――Life
and Philosophical Position.= Thus the Middle Ages did not come to a
standstill with Thomas. A greater movement existed after him than is
often thought. The leading minds who succeeded Thomas refused to follow
the middle course which he had mapped out. New attempts were made to
relate the world of grace and the world of nature. One was mysticism,
represented by Eckhart (d. 1372). The other was the reaction of the
Augustinians against the intellectualism of the new Aristotelianism as
represented by Thomas. The leader in this was Duns Scotus. The seat of
this movement was Oxford.[66]

Duns Scotus was born in Ireland and at an early age he joined the
Franciscan order. He graduated from Oxford, which at that time was
anti-Thomistic. He then taught theology and philosophy at Oxford for
ten years. His lectures were largely attended and his fame spread over
Europe. He went to Paris in 1304, where he taught for four years. He
was then transferred to Cologne, where he died.

Scotus was the Kant of scholasticism. The time of construction of
scholasticism had passed, and the time of criticism and analysis had
come. Scotus was the intellectual knight-errant who refused to accept
any theory without subjecting it to criticism. He was the acutest mind
of the Middle Ages and was called the _doctor subtilis_.

=Duns Scotus’s Conception of the Twofold Truth.――The Separation of
Science and Religion.= The distinction between revelation, theology,
and philosophy, that appears in this period of Classic Scholasticism,
was sharply drawn by Scotus. In Thomas’s conception of a graded world
of development the distinction between theology and philosophy was
not emphasized. Philosophy now in the hands of Scotus becomes science,
having the marks of exactness that compel belief, but is, however,
restricted to its own realm. By philosophy Scotus means logic. In
matters of faith logic has nothing whatever to say, for at that extreme
stands revelation possessing the absolute truth that compels faith.
Between revelation and philosophy Scotus squeezes theology――the science
that his predecessors had used to clarify revelation. With Scotus it
becomes a domain that is poor indeed. Its objects are the highest, but
it can never reach them. It has not the divine assurance of revelation
nor the exactness of logical science. Its highest conclusions are only
probable, and it can help revelation only in a negative way. It cannot
prove the doctrine of the Trinity, incarnation, creation, immortality,
and even its proofs for the existence of God have no cogency.
Philosophy and revelation both profit at the expense of scholastic
theology. After Scotus scientific heresy frequently shielded itself
on the ground that its conclusions apply only to the realm of science,
while the opposite may be true in revelation.

=The Inscrutable Will of God.= Revelation is thus placed beyond the
reach of the human reason because it rests on the inscrutable will
of God. Revelation is God’s free act. God must be free. If Thomas’s
conception of God’s will as determined by his intellect were true, God
would not be free. The intellect in man or God must be the servant of
the will, if the will be free. In man consciousness produces at first
a number of indistinct and imperfect ideas. Those ideas become distinct
upon which the will fixes its attention, while the others cease to
exist because they are unsupported by the will.

God’s will is more fundamental than the good. God makes the good to
be good. Both Thomas and Scotus say that the moral law is the command
of God. Thomas conceives it to be God’s command because it is in
accord with the good; Scotus, for no other reason than that it is
God’s command. The good might be different if God so created it. In
opposition to Thomas, Scotus maintained that God does not have to
create what He does create, and that this is not the best possible
world. God creates what He wills; He can, therefore, grant dispensation,
and so can the church. If God’s will were determined by His intellect,
He would have no independence, He would not even exist, He would be
only nature or one of its causes, there could be no evil nor accident.
He can supersede the moral law by a new law, just as He superseded the
Mosaic law by the Gospel. Individuality, revelation, salvation, and
all objects of faith have their existence only in the groundless and
inscrutable will of God. For this reason there can be no rational

This founder of the “Franciscan tradition” of practical piety and
meritorious action could not have other than the freedom of the will
as his central principle. An Augustinian he refused, however, to follow
Augustine in centralizing freedom in God. The object of faith is the
will of God, the subject of faith is the will of man. Human freedom
consists in coöperation with divine grace. Man can help in the work
of God. His freedom is partly formal: he can will or not will. It is
partly material: he can will A or B. There is no ulterior ground to
determine the human will, and this undetermined freedom is the ground
for merit, provided the human will coincides with the divine.

=The Problem of Individuality.= The problem of individuation was
a favorite one with Scotus. While Scotus agrees with Thomas as
to the threefold existence of the universal, the individual and
not the universal is the ultimate fact. The individual cannot
be deduced from the universal, nor can it be constituted by the
quantitative determinations of matter. It is already individualized
and substantialized. Form, not matter, individualizes. The definite
individual form, the “thisness” (_hæcceitas_), is the ultimate fact.
The individual can only be verified as actual fact. The individual
is irreducible, and no further explanation can be made than to say
that it is an individual. Thus the inquiry into the _Principium
individuationis_ has no meaning.

=After Duns Scotus.= The church failed to canonize Scotus; for
though he claimed to be its most faithful son, he taught the dangerous
doctrine of freedom of the individual will. His doctrine also marks
the beginning of empirical investigation of nature and the decadence
of formal logic. Although a most faithful follower of the church, he
brought scholasticism to the point where it no longer served the church.
The result was ultrarationalism――not what Scotus intended. But when
revelation no longer rests upon rational ground, and when there exists
by its side a philosophical science whose basis is rational, it is
only a question of time when revelation shall lose its authority for
men. When philosophy passed from Scotus to Ockam, Ockam’s conception
of the individual as the ultimately real and of the unrationality of
revelation gave him the old name of nominalist. This is a misnomer,
for the doctrine of Ockam is quite different from the nominalism of
Roscellinus. The temper of the time was different from those days
when Roscellinus followed upon Anselm, for the superior minds were
now turning away from orthodoxy. Disciples of both Thomas and Scotus
were becoming nominalists. It was an epoch when scholasticism was being
discredited by the universities, when theology was less a study in the
curricula, when religion was being superseded by magic, when there were
rival claimants for the Pope’s chair, when there was strife between the
church and the state. The spirit of the age was toward nominalism in
every form. The command, in 1339, to the University of Paris not to use
Ockam’s works shows how powerful had become his following during his
lifetime. Dominicans and Augustinians went over in crowds to nominalism.
This beginning of nominalism betrays the growth of European national
life, modern languages, art, and the sciences. It shows the beginning
of Protestantism in all departments. The church attempted to crush it
in the way that it had crushed Roscellinus. But this nominalism had too
deep root.

=William of Ockam (1280–1349): Life and Teaching.= Ockam was called
_Doctor Invincibilis_. He was born in Ockam, England, and studied
at Oxford, where he probably had Scotus as a teacher. After teaching
in Paris (1320–1325), he left Paris and joined the opponents of the
temporal power of the Pope. He was imprisoned at Avignon, but escaped
to the court of Louis of Bavaria, where he died. To Louis he made his
celebrated promise, “If you will defend me with your sword, I will
defend you with my pen.” He has been called “the first Protestant.”

The nominalism of Ockam was more complex than that of Roscellinus, and
yet it was essentially a tendency to simplification by discarding all
metaphysics and psychology as useless. “Ockam’s razor” was the nickname
of his philosophy. He regarded concepts as subjective signs or “terms”
of actual facts. Hence his philosophy was also called terminism. There
was also in it a naturalistic tendency which was the result of the
scientific studies of the Aristotelian Arabians. With these logical and
naturalistic motives were united the Augustinian doctrine of the will.
These were the three factors of a nominalism that felt the conviction
of the importance of the inner life as well as the need of an extended
investigation of nature.

It is, moreover, no accident that Ockam was conservative, for he
belonged to the Franciscans, the most conservative of the monastic
bodies. This nominalism was a reaction against scholasticism, in order
to strengthen the supernatural character of dogma. Ockam felt that
scholasticism had waxed too great――that under the guise of serving
religion it had virtually subordinated religion. The reactionary
Franciscans proclaimed the entire separation of religion and philosophy
in order to make room for faith. Faith could be purified only by
renouncing scholasticism. The temporal power must be given up by the
church, the state and the church must be separated. No new knowledge
about faith can be obtained. The dogma must be left impregnable, even
though scientifically men become skeptics.

Consistent, therefore, was it for this movement to disjoin entirely
the parts of the twofold truth. Scotus had almost crowded out natural
theology; Ockam completed the work of Scotus. Scholasticism or natural
theology is a rubbish-heap of hypotheses. The church should abandon
speculation and emphasize faith. It should return to the simplicity
and holiness of the Apostolic church. Ockam was devoted to the true
upbuilding of the church and was a follower of St. Francis. It was his
love for the church that made him take sides against her pretensions to
temporal power.

Ockam was the natural precursor of his fellow countryman John Locke,
and the English empirical school. Individual things have the reality
of original Forms, for they come to us intuitively. Our ideas are
only signs of them. This is a relation of the “first intention.” As
individual ideas are related to individual things, so general ideas
are related to individual ideas. This is the relation of the “second
intention.” The general idea referring thus indirectly to an individual
thing is therefore arbitrary and capricious. Real science deals with
things intuitively observed; rational science only with the relations
between ideas. Nevertheless real science deals only with an inner
world, even if its material is intuitively known. Intuitions are only
representatives of the real world. How much less real must the world of
rational science then be, since it presupposes these inner intuitions
of real science. The universal, therefore, has no reality. It is a name,
a sign of many things, a term. Only the individual is real.

=After Ockam.= William of Ockam was the last schoolman. When his
doctrine of terminism was united with Augustine’s powerful doctrine
of the will,――forming an extreme individualism,――the glimmering of
the dawn of modern times appears. The movement was made still stronger
by the study of the history of development psychologically, and it
became a kind of idealism of the inner life. Already, too, there were
beginning investigations in natural science, based upon empirical study.
Modern subjectivism was at hand; scholasticism had run its course.
The representatives of the scholastic philosophy of the fifteenth and
sixteenth centuries forgot the principle of the Classic Schoolmen and
became mere commentators of the leaders of the tradition to which they
belonged. Their verbal subtleties were too refined to be understood.
The efforts of Nicolas Cusanus to bring secular science under a system
of scholastic mysticism only promoted the modern movement. Cusanus
therefore belongs to the next period, and of him we shall subsequently


    107, 119.
    _See_ Atomists.

    life of, 363;
    his conceptualism, 364;
    his rationalism, 365–367.

  Academy, the
    what it was, 124;
    after the death of Plato, 166;
    and Aristotle, 169–171;
    Older, Middle, and New, 220, 221;
    the skepticism of, 266–268;
    eclecticism in, 270.

  Adams, G. B.
    _Civilization during the Middle Ages_, 374 n.

  Adamson, Robert
    _The Development of Greek Philosophy_ quoted, 255.

    Skeptic, 268.

    Skeptic, 268, 269.

  Albertus Magnus
    _See_ Bollstaedt.

    Sophist, 68.

    349, 350.

  Alexander of Hales

    a centre of Hellenism, 215;
    in the Middle Ages, 282.

  Alexandrian School of neo-Platonism

  Ammonius Saccas
    290, 314.


    his life, 43;
    his philosophy, 45–47.

    24, 25.


  Ancient Philosophy
    length of, 1;
    underlying character of, 2;
    divisions of, 4, 5;
    literary sources of, 6.


    life and position in mediæval philosophy, 359–361;
    his arguments for the existence of God, 361;
    on reason and dogma, 365.

  Anthropological period of Greek philosophy
    12, 13;
    discussion of, 55–97;
    historical summary of, 55.


    defined, 13.

  Antiochus of Ascalon
    270, 271.

    founder of the Cynic school, 93, 95.

    Stoic, 251.

    neo-Pythagorean, 285.

  Apologists, the

  Aquinas, Thomas
    on the problem of reason and faith, 369, 377;
    the predecessors of, 379, 380;
    life of (founder of the Dominican tradition), 380, 381;
    the central principle of his doctrine, 381–383;
    the problem of individuality according to, 383–385;
    on the will and the intellect, 385, 386.

    schools, 371, 372;
    translations of Greek works, 372, 373.


    meaning of, 84.

    founder of the Cyrenaic school, 93, 96;
    and Epicurus, 229, 230.

    opposed the Sophists, 74.

    his place in Greek history, 98–100, 103;
    conceptualist, 104;
    advanced age at which he finished his education, 125;
    in the Academy and Lyceum, 166–168;
    chronological sketch of his life, 168, 169;
    his biography in detail, 169–173;
    the writings of, 173–176;
    his starting-point, 176, 177;
    the fundamental principle in his philosophy, 177–180;
    his logic, 180–185;
    his metaphysics, 185–194;
    development is purposeful, 185–187;
    his two different conceptions of purpose, 187–190;
    his conception of God, 190, 191;
    his conception of matter, 191, 192;
    his conception of nature, 192–194;
    his theory of physics, 194–196;
    his psychology, 196–199;
    his ethics, 199–202;
    his political philosophy, 202, 203;
    in the Middle Ages, 332, 363, 368, 369;
    Arabic versions of his works, 372, 373;
    works of, introduced into Western Europe, 375–378;
    the strength and burden of, to the church, 378, 379;
    and Thomas Aquinas, 380, 381.

  Arnold, Matthew
    43 n.

    of the Pythagoreans, 49–52, 53;
    Ptolemaic, 322–325.

    of Epicurus, 231, 233;
    of the Skeptics, 266.

  Athenian school of neo-Platonism
    290, 299–301.

    rise of, 57, 58;
    and Socrates, 91;
    and Abdera, 119;
    a centre of Hellenism, 213–215.

  Atomism of Epicurus, the

  Atomistic school, the

  Atomists, the
    philosophy of, 47, 48.

  Atoms of Democritus, the
    109–114, 116, 117.

    the historical position of, 306, 318, 335–338;
    the life of, 339, 340;
    the two elements in his teaching, 340, 341;
    the neo-Platonic element: the inner certainties of
        consciousness, 341–345;
    the authority of the church according to, 345–347.

  Aurelius, Marcus
    243, 246.

  Bacon, Francis
    _Essay on Love_, 153 n.

  Bacon, Roger
    387 n.

    Gnostic, 310.

    Gnostic, 310.

    word how used, 22;
    in Heracleitus’s doctrine, 29;
    according to Plato, 133, 136, 139.

    word how used, 22;
    in Parmenides’ doctrine, 33–35;
    Pythagorean conception of, 49–51;
    aspects under which it was conceived of, in Greek philosophy,
        103, 104;
    according to Plato, 133, 136, 139.

  Benedictine Age, the

  Berengar of Tours


  Bollstaedt, Albert
    377, 379.

    University of, 377.

  Burnet, John
    _Early Greek Philosophers_ cited, 17 n.

  Bury, J. B.
    _History of Greece_ cited, 12 n.;
    quoted, 16.


    Gnostic, 310.

    15, 16.

    the School of, 314–318.

  Catholic theologians
    the old, 312–314.

    teleological, final, mechanical, and efficient, 105 n.
    _See_ Final cause, Efficient cause.

    Aristotle’s, 187.

    Heracleitus’s doctrine of, 28, 29;
    has no existence in Parmenides’ philosophy, 34, 35;
    as conceived by the Pluralists, 40.

    the revival of, 349, 350.

    and neo-Platonism, difference in their conception of
        inspiration, 276, 277;
    rise of, 279, 280;
    summary of its history, 281;
    and neo-Platonism, 288–290;
    the Hellenizing of, 302–318;
    the early situation of, 302–305;
    the philosophies influencing, 305, 306;
    early, the periods of, 306, 307;
    the Apologists, 307–309;
    the Gnostics, 310–312;
    the reaction against Gnosticism (the old Catholic theologians),
    Origen and the School of Catechists, 314–318;
    and Mohammedanism, 371–375.

    242, 244, 245.

    authority of, according to Augustine, 345–347;
    strength and burden of Aristotle to, 378, 379;
    and state, Aquinas’s and Dante’s views of, 382.

    on Aristotle, 167;
    his work, 271, 272.

    Christian and Mohammedan, 369–372;
    the first contact of, 372, 373;
    the conflict between, 374, 375.

  Classic Scholasticism
    period of, 333, 368–394.

    242, 244–246.


    and perception, 83 n.;
    importance of, to Socrates, 83;
    according to Plato, 134, 135;
    in Aristotle, 177–179.

    of Aristotle, 104;
    in the Middle Ages, 358, 364, 365.

    formulation of the psychological conception of, 294;
    the inner certainties of, according to Augustine, 341–345.

    an intellectual centre, 372 n.

  Cosmas map, the

  Cosmological period of Greek philosophy
    12, 13;
    treated, 15–54.

    characteristics of the, 18–20;
    table of, 20;
    their philosophical question, 20, 21;
    where they lived, 21;
    results of their philosophy, 53, 54.

    defined, 13.

  Crates of Thebes

  Critical attitude of mind
    among the Greeks, 61–64;
    of Socrates, 80.

  Crusades, the
    374, 375.

  Cusanus, Nicolas

  Cynic school, the

  Cynics and Stoics
    246, 247.

  Cyrenaic school, the

    their teaching, and Epicureanism, 229, 230.

    on Aristotle, 167;
    used Ptolemaic conception of the universe, 324, 325;
    diagram of his poetic conception of the universe, 376;
    his view of the state and the church, 382 n.;
    placed the intellectual virtues above the practical, 383 n.

  Dark Ages, the


    Socrates one of the first to use it correctly, 92.

    his place in Greek history, 98–100, 103;
    and Plato, their similarities and differences, 104–106;
    life of, 106–108;
    comprehensiveness of his aim, 108;
    the enriched physics of, 109–111;
    the materialistic psychology of, 111–114;
    his theory of knowledge, 114–116;
    the ethical theory of, 116–118;
    a wide traveler, 123;
    advanced age at which he finished his education, 125.

    according to Aristotle, 178, 179, 185–187.

  De Wulf
    _History of Mediæval Philosophy_, 336 n., 384.

    defined, 60, 131.

  Dill, Samuel
    _Roman Society_ cited, 274 n.



    _See_ Reason.

  Dominican tradition
    Thomas Aquinas the founder of, 380, 381;
    intellectualism the central principle in, 385.


    the Greek, 60, 61.

    defined, 51 n.;
    the Pythagorean, 51, 52;
    of the Systematic period of Greek philosophy, 102, 103.

  Dynamic pantheism of Plotinus

    369, 386.

  Eclectic Platonists, the

    264, 265, 269–272.

  Efficient cause
    introduction of conception of, by the Pluralists, 41;
    defined, 105 n.;
    Aristotle’s conception of, 187.

  Elean-Eretrian school, the

  Eleatic school
    and Milesian school, Xenophanes the connecting link between, 26;
    lives of Parmenides and Zeno, 32, 35;
    teaching of, compared with that of the Milesians and
        Heracleitus, 22 f.;
    the philosophy of, 33–37;
    and Heracleitus, results of the conflict between, 37, 38.

  Element, the
    as conceived by the Pluralists, 40, 41.

    _See_ Mysteries.

    the world of, according to Plotinus, 294–297.

  Emerson, R. W.
    _Essay on Love_, 153 n.;
    _Initial, Dæmonic, and Celestial Love_, 153 n.

  Emerton, Ephraim
    _Mediæval Europe_, 374 n.

    his conception of change, 40;
    his conception of the element, 40;
    his doctrine of the efficient cause, 41;
    his life, 43;
    the philosophy of, 44, 45.

    104 n.

    defined, 105 n.


  Epic, Greek
    importance of the, 8–10.

    243, 246.

    one of the New Schools, 222–225;
    and Stoicism, summary of agreements and differences, 225, 226;
    and the teaching of Aristippus, 229;
    ideal of, 230–233;
    the place of virtue in, 233;
    the Wise Man of, 234–236.
    _See_ Epicurus.

  Epicureans, the

    life of, 227, 228;
    and Aristippus, 229;
    his ideal, 230–233;
    his conception of the physical world, 238–240.
    _See_ Epicureanism.

    Democritus’ contribution to, 114–116.

  Erigena, John Scotus
    349, 350;
    life and teaching of, 350–352;
    the Greek principle which he formulated for the Middle Ages,
        352, 353.

    defined, 60.

  Ethical period of the Hellenic-Roman period
    general characteristics of, 215–218.

    tendency toward, among early Greeks, 11, 12;
    of the Sophists, 71–73;
    of Democritus, 116–118;
    Plato’s theory of, 153–158;
    of Aristotle, 199–202;
    of Plotinus, 297, 298.

  Eucken, Rudolf
    _Problem of Human Life_, 336 n.

    founder of the school at Megara, 93.



    on Aristotle, 167.


    the problem of, according to Stoicism, 260, 261.

  Fairbanks, Arthur
    _First Philosophers of Greece_, 6 n.

  Falckenberg, Richard
    _History of Modern Philosophy_, 3 n.

  Final cause
    defined, 105 n.;
    according to Aristotle, 187.

    Heracleitus’s doctrine of, 30–32.

  Form and Matter
    in Aristotle, 186–192, 197–199;
    in Thomas Aquinas, 384.

  Formal cause

  Franciscan tradition, the

    the problem of, according to Epicurus, 240;
    according to Stoicism, 260, 261;
    according to Origen, 316, 317;
    according to Augustine, 345;
    according to Duns Scotus, 389.


    quoted, 354.

  Gnomic poets
    Greek, 10–12.

    the reaction against, 312–314.

    Plato’s conception of, 141, 142;
    Aristotle’s conception of, 190, 191;
    His will and His intellect, 386, 388, 389.

    quoted, 129, 167.

    Plato’s Idea of the, 140–142, 144;
    Plato’s theory of the, development of, 153, 154;
    the, of the Stoics, 250, 251.

    66, 67;
    the nihilism of, 70, 71.

    the Hellenizing of, 302–318.
    _See_ Christianity.

    after the Persian Wars, 57–64.

  Greek Enlightenment, the
    58–64, 82.

  Greek-Jewish philosophy of Philo
    and neo-Platonism, 288.

  Greek nation
    the fall of, and the persistence of its civilization, 204–208.

  Greek national spirit
    waning of, 98.

  Greek philosophy
    three periods of, 12–14;
    summary of, 102, 103.

  Greek thought
    was objective, 2, 100, 101.

  Greeks, early
    geographical environment of, 7;
    political environment of, 8, 9, 15, 16;
    native tendencies of, 9–12;
    perils to, in the new religion, 16–18;
    monistic philosophies, 22 f.

  Grote, George
    _History of Greece_, 61 n.;
    _Plato_, 267 n.

    according to Socrates, 86;
    according to the Cynics and the Cyrenaics, 94–97;
    according to Democritus, 117, 118;
    according to Aristotle, 200;
    according to Epicurus, 233–238.

  Harnack, Adolf
    _Outlines of the History of Dogma_ quoted, 308, 336, 344, 354;
    cited, 315 n., 345 n.

  Hatch, Edwin
    _Hibbert Lectures_ quoted, 305.

    and eudæmonism, 87;
    some types of, 228, 229.

  Hellenic-Roman period
    its time length, 204;
    the fall of the Greek nation and the persistence of its
        civilization, 204–208;
    the two parts of, 208, 209;
    the undercurrent of skepticism in, 209–211;
    the fundamental problem of, 211–213.

    the centres of, 213–215.

  Hellenizing of the Gospel

    life, 28;
    his teaching compared with that of the Milesians and Eleatics,
        22, 23;
    his philosophy, 28–31;
    and Parmenides, results of the conflict between, 37, 38;
    practical philosophy of, 31.


  Hicks, R. D.
    _Stoic and Epicurean_, 227 n.;
    cited, 267 n.


    66, 68.




  Human nature
    value set upon, by Socrates, 81.

    defined, 19;
    and Pluralism, 41;
    the breaking up of pre-Socratic, 47;
    becomes materialism with Democritus, 109–111.

    the Cosmologists were, 19.


    development of the meaning of (Democritus and Plato), 105.

  Ideal of Socrates, the
    what it involves, 85–88.

    of the Greeks, 100;
    objective, 104.

    of Plato, 133, 135;
    the development of, in the two drafts, 136, 137;
    brief comparison of the two drafts of 137;
    fuller comparison of the two drafts of, 137–141;
    in the doctrine of _anamnesis_, 147, 148.

    Plato’s doctrine of, 146–150.

    the problem of, according to Thomas Aquinas, 383–385;
    the problem of, in Duns Scotus, 389, 390.

    92, 183.

  Intellect or will
    the question of the primacy of, 385, 386, 388, 389.

  Ionic School
    _See_ Milesian school.


  Irish learning, the

    Socratic, 90.

  Jackson, H.
    article “Sophists,” in _Encyclopædia Britannica_, 68 n.

    298, 299.

  Jewish (Greek-) philosophy of Philo
    and neo-Platonism, 288.

  Julian, Emperor

  Justin Martyr

  Kingsley, Charles
    _Hypatia_, 298 n.

  Knight, William A.
    _Life and Teaching of Hume_, 3 n.

    in Socrates’ ideal, 83–86, 88;
    according to the Cynics, 95;
    Democritus’ theory of, 114–116.


    positive and natural, 72.

    the impulse for, among the Greeks, 58, 59;
    the Revival of, 375–378.

    his life, 43, 44;
    his philosophy, 47, 48, 109, 110;
    founder of the Atomistic school, 107.

    Aristotle’s, 180–185.

    Platonic, 151–153.

  Love and Hate
    Empedocles’ doctrine of, 44.


  Lyceum, the
    Aristotle in, 166, 167, 172, 173;
    after Aristotle, 220–222;
    eclecticism in, 270.


  Maine, Sir Henry
    cited, 72.

    the philosophy of, 13, 55–97;
    Plato’s conception of, 144–146.

  Material cause

    hylozoism becomes, with Democritus, 103, 109–111;
    Stoic, 254, 255.

  Materialistic psychology of Democritus

    and Form, in Aristotle, 186–192, 197–199, 384;
    of Plotinus, 295, 296.

  Mean, the
    Aristotle’s doctrine of, 201, 202.

  Mechanical series of Aristotle

  Mediæval geography

  Mediæval library, a

  Mediæval Man, the
    320, 321;
    how the universe appeared to, 322–325;
    at school, 325, 326;
    summary of the political and educational worlds of, 330–333.

  Mediæval philosophy
    length of, 1;
    underlying character of, 3;
    divisions of, 4;
    treated, 319–394.

  Megarian school

  Mendicants, the

  Metaphysical problem, the
    early formulation of, 22, 23.

    Plato’s, the formation of, 132–136;
    Plato’s, the development of, 136–141;
    Aristotle’s, 185–194;
    abandonment of, in Hellenic-Roman period, 216;
    of Plotinus, 294–297.


  Middle Ages
    characteristics and conditions of, 319–333;
    and the Hellenic-Roman period, comparison of, 319, 320;
    the mediæval man, 320, 321;
    how the universe appeared to the mediæval man, 322–325;
    the mediæval man at school, 325, 326;
    a mediæval library, 326–328;
    the three periods of, 328–330;
    summary of the political and educational worlds of the
        mediæval man, 330–333;
    the early period of, 330–332, 334–353;
    the transitional period of, 332, 354–367;
    the period of classic scholasticism, 333, 368–394.

  Milesian school
    the members of, 24, 25;
    the philosophy of, 25, 26
    the teaching of, compared with that of Heracleitus and the
        Eleatics, 22, 23.

  Milton, John

  Modern philosophy
    length of, 1;
    underlying character of, 3;
    divisions of, 4.

    growth of, during the Middle Ages, 370–372;
    first contact with Christianity, 372, 373;
    conflict with Christianity, 374, 375.

    defined, 10 n.;
    of the early Greeks, 10;
    displaced by pluralism in Greek philosophy, 39.

    list of early Cosmologists who were, 20;
    discussion of the, 22–38.

    defined, 10 n.;
    for the first time conceptually framed, 191.

  Monte Cassino
    founding of the monastic school at, 348.

  Moral postulate
    philosophy for the first time founded upon, 85;
    of Socrates, 85–88.

    according to Aristotle, 195, 196.

    Orphic and Eleusinian, 16–18, 38;
    Orphic, dangers of, averted by Cosmologists, 54.

    in neo-Platonism, 287.

  Natural Science
    _See_ Physics.

    the philosophy of, 15–38;
    the word as used by the Sophists, 72, 73;
    a logical, Socrates’ attempt to find, 92;
    physical, Plato’s conception of, 142–144;
    Aristotle’s conception of, 192–194;
    Stoic conception of, 251–257.

    and Christianity, difference in their conception of
        inspiration, 276, 277;
    rise of, 279, 280;
    summary of its history, 281;
    and Platonism, 287, 288;
    and the philosophies of Philo and the neo-Pythagoreans, 288;
    and Christianity, 288–290;
    the periods of, 290;
    the Alexandrian school (scientific theory of neo-Platonism,
        life and writings of Plotinus), 290–298;
    the Syrian school (the systematizing of polytheism, Jamblichus),
        290, 298, 299;
    the Athenian school (Proclus), 290, 299–301;
    its influence on Christianity, 306.

    281, 285–287;
    and neo-Platonism, 288.

    103, 358, 362–365, 391, 392.

  Norton, Arthur O.
    _Readings in the History of Education_, 377 n.

    Anaxagoras’ conception of, 47;
    of Plotinus, 294.

    Pythagorean conception of, 49–51.

  Objective character of Greek philosophy
    2, 100, 101.

  Objective Idealism

  Objective Realism

  Ockam, William of
    387 n., 390;
    the course of philosophy after, 393, 394.

    thought of, developed into clearness by Cosmologists, 54.

    280, 281, 314–318.

    _See_ Mysteries.

  Oxford, University of

  Palmer, G. H.
    on Socrates, 79.

    270, 271.

    defined, 10 n.;
    dynamic, of Plotinus, 293;
    of Erigena, 351–353;
    of the realists, 363.

  Paris, University of

  Parker, C. P.
    cited, 258 n.

    life, 32;
    develops the doctrine of Xenophanes, 32 f.;
    his philosophy, 33–35;
    and Heracleitus, results of the conflict between, 37, 38.
    _See_ Eleatic School.

  Particulars and Universals
    according to Thomas Aquinas, 383–385.

  Pater, Walter
    _Marius the Epicurean_, 227 n.

  Patmore, Coventry
    _Angel in the House_, 153 n.


    and conception, 83 n.;
    according to Plato, 134;
    in Aristotle, 177–179.


    of philosophy, the three general, 1–4;
    of Greek philosophy, 12–14.

    _See_ Lyceum.

    15, 16.

  Persian Wars
    their importance, 55–57, 62.

    spiritual, increased importance of, in history, 277–279.

    result of theory of Cyrenaics, 97.

  Peter the Lombard
    379, 380.

    founder of the Elean-Eretrian school, 93.

    Greek-Jewish philosophy of, 281–284;
    and neo-Platonism, 288.


  Philosophic skepticism
    _See_ Skepticism.

  Physical universe
    early Greek tendency toward scientific explanation of, 10, 11.

    Socrates’ view of, 80;
    enrichment of, under Democritus, 109–111;
    Plato’s conception of, 142–144;
    Aristotle’s theory of, 194–196;
    of Epicurus, 238–240.

    parts of works to be read, 75 n.;
    his place in Greek history, 93, 98–100, 103, 104;
    and Democritus, their similarities and differences, 104–106;
    the period of his life, 119, 120;
    the difficulties in understanding the teaching of, 120, 121;
    the chronology of his dialogues, 119, 120;
    the life and writings of, 121, 126;
    his student life, 121, 122;
    as traveler, 122–124;
    as teacher of the Academy, 124–126;
    concerning his dialogues, 126–128;
    the factors in the construction of his doctrine, 128–131;
    his inherited tendencies, 128–130;
    his philosophical sources, 130, 131;
    the divisions of his philosophy, 131, 132;
    summary of his doctrine, 132;
    the formation of his metaphysics, 132–136;
    the development of his metaphysics (the development of his
        ideas in the two drafts), 136–141;
    his conception of God, 141, 142;
    his conception of physical nature, 142–144;
    his conception of man, 144–146;
    his doctrine of immortality, 146–150;
    the two tendencies in, 150, 151;
    Platonic love, 151–153;
    his theory of ethics, 153–158;
    development of his theory of the Good, 153, 154;
    the four cardinal virtues, 154, 155;
    his theory of political society, 155–158;
    a selection of passages from, for English readers, 158–165;
    in the Middle Ages, 331, 337, 338, 360, 363.

    the revival of, 279;
    and neo-Platonism, 287, 288.

    Eclectic, 285.

    of Epicurus, 230–233.
    _See_ Happiness.

    280, 287, 288;
    life and writings of, 290, 291;
    general character of his teaching, 291, 292;
    the mystic God of, 292, 293;
    the two problems of, 293;
    the metaphysical problem of, 294–297;
    the ethical problem of, 297, 298.

    tried to reconcile extremes of Milesian school, 39, 40;
    and hylozoism, 41.

    list of later Cosmologists who were, 20;
    their new conception of change, 40;
    their new conception of the unchanging, 40, 41;
    introduction of conception of efficient cause by, 41;
    summary of similarities and differences in theories of,
        41, 42;
    their lives span the fifth century, 42.
    _See_ Empedocles, etc.

    neo-Platonist, 299.

  Political philosophy of Aristotle
    202, 203.

  Political society
    Plato’s theory of, 155–158.

    Homeric, 19.

    the systematizing of, 298, 299.

    291, 298, 357.

    270, 271.

  Primary and secondary qualities

  Probabilism in Stoicism


    66, 68.

    66, 67;
    the relativism of, 69, 70;
    his point of view compared with that of Socrates, 81.

    materialistic, of Democritus, 111–114;
    Plato’s, 144–146;
    of Aristotle, 196–199;
    the Stoic, 248–250.

    his cosmography, 322–325.

    Aristotle’s conceptions of, 186–190.


    265, 266.


    neo-, 281, 285–287;
    and neo-Platonism, 288.

    the early, 17;
    the later, 44, 48, 49;
    their conception of Being, 49–51;
    their astronomy, 49, 52, 53;
    their dualism, 51, 52.

  Qualitative changes of phenomena

    defined, 104 n.;
    of Plato and Democritus, 104;
    of Abelard, 365–367.

    100, 104, 358, 362–365;
    objective, 104.

  Reason and dogma
    the relation between, 355, 356, 360–362, 365–367.

    _See_ Pluralists.

    of Protagoras, 69, 70;
    represented by the anthropologists, 103.

    of the Greeks, organization of, 8, 9, 10;
    the new, perils of, 16–18;
    in Epicurus’s system, 236, 237;
    and science, the separation of, under Duns Scotus, 387, 388.

  Religious feeling
    two causes of the rise of, 272–274.

  Religious period of the Hellenic-Roman period
    208, 209;
    treated, 273–301;
    the divisions of, 280, 281.

  Religious philosophies
    Hellenic, rise of, 280, 282;
    summary of history of, 281;
    introductory period of, 281–287;
    development period of, 281, 287, 288.

  Revival of Learning, the

  Rhabanus Maurus

  Rhetoric among the Greeks

    their conquest of Greece, 205–208.

    life and teaching, 361, 362.

  Rossetti, Christina
    _Shadow of Dante_ cited, 325 n.

  Rousseau and Epicurus

  St. Ambrose

  Salerno, University of

    what it is, 355–359;
    of Anselm, 359–361;
    of Roscellinus, 361, 362;
    of Abelard, 363–367;
    classic, period of, 333, 368–394.

    in early Greek philosophy, meaning of, 19.

  Schools, the
    214, 218–226;
    fusion of doctrines in, 269;
    after 150 B. C., notable names in, 271.
    _See_ Academy, Lyceum, etc.

    early tendencies toward, among the Greeks, 10, 11;
    growth of, in Hellenic-Roman period, 216, 217;
    secular, of the age of Augustine, 339;
    and religion, the separation of, under Duns Scotus, 387, 388.

  Scotus, Duns
    gave a new direction to philosophy, 369;
    upheld the primacy of the Will, 385, 386;
    the founder of the Franciscan tradition (life and philosophical
        position of), 386, 387;
    his conception of the twofold truth, 387;
    the inscrutable will of God, according to, 388, 389;
    the problem of individuality, according to, 389, 390;
    the course of philosophy after, 390, 391.

  Secondary and primary qualities

  Secular science of the age of Augustine

  Seignobos, Charles
    _History of Mediæval Civilization_, 373 n.

    quoted, 234.

    defined, 104 n.

  Sensationalistic skepticism
    268, 269.

  Sextus Empiricus

    _The Two Aphrodites_, 153 n.


    what it is, 69;
    the undercurrent of, in the Hellenic-Roman period, 209–211;
    philosophic, the appearances of, 264, 265;
    the three phases of, 265–269;
    of the Academy, 266–268;
    sensationalistic, 268, 269.

  Socrates, and Aristophanes
    opposed the Sophists, 74;
    works on, for reading, 75;
    personality and life of, 75–80;
    his dæmon, 77, 83;
    and the Sophists, 80–82;
    unsystematic character of his philosophy, 82, 83;
    the ideal of, 83–85;
    what his ideal involves, 85–88;
    the two steps of his method, 88–91;
    and Athens, 91;
    the logical expedients of, 92, 93;
    and the Lesser Socratics, 93–95.

    the Lesser, and Socrates, 93–95.

    significance of, 64–67;
    the prominent, 67, 68;
    the philosophy of, 68–71;
    the ethics of, 71–73;
    summary of their work, 73;
    met in two ways by Socrates and Aristophanes, 74;
    and Socrates, 80–82.

    Plato’s doctrine of, 145–150;
    according to Aristotle, 196, 197;
    of Plotinus, 295, 297, 298.

  Spenser, Edmund
    _Hymn in Honor of Beauty_, 153 n.

  Spiritual authority
    the need of, 275–277;
    the turning to the present for, 287, 288.

    rise of the conception of, 277–279.

    Plato’s doctrine of, 155–158;
    and church, Aquinas’s and Dante’s views of, 382.

  Stoic school, the
    inclines to eclecticism, 269, 270.

    and Epicureanism, summary of agreements and differences,
        225, 226;
    position of, in antiquity, 241, 242;
    the three periods of, 242, 243;
    leaders of, 243–246;
    writings of, 246;
    the two prominent conceptions of, 247, 248;
    the conception of personality, 248;
    the psychology of, 248–250;
    the highest good, 250, 251;
    the conception of nature, 251–256;
    conceptions of nature and personality supplement each
        other, 256, 257;
    and society, 257–259;
    duty and responsibility, 259, 260;
    the problem of evil and the problem of freedom, 260, 261;
    modifications of, after the first period, 261–263;
    its influence on Christianity, 305.

  Stoics and Cynics
    246, 247.

  Storm and Stress
    362, 363.

    of Peter the Lombard, 379, 380.

  Syllogism, the

  Syrian school of neo-Platonism
    290, 298, 299.


  Systematic period of Greek philosophy
    treated, 98–203;
    the three philosophers of, their place in Greek history,
    the fundamental principle of, 100–102.


    defined, 105 n.



  Teuffel, W. S.
    _History of Roman Literature_, 227 n.

    24, 25.

  Theological series of Aristotle



  Transitional period of Middle Ages
    332, 354–357.

  Turner, William
    _History of Philosophy_, 336 n.

  Twofold reality
    world of, Democritus’ theory of, 114–116.

    _History of Philosophy_, quoted, 6;
    cited, 269 n.

  Unchanging, the
    as conceived by the Pluralists, 40, 41.

  _Universalia ante rem_
    104, 358, 362–365, 384.

  _Universalia in re_
    104, 358, 364, 365, 384.

  _Universalia post rem_
    103, 358, 362–365, 384.

  Universals and particulars
    according to Thomas Aquinas, 383–385.

    diagram of Dante’s conception of, 376.

    the establishment of, 377.

  Useful, the
    according to Socrates, 87, 88.

    Gnostic, 310.

  Vincent of Beauvais

    meaning of, 84;
    according to Socrates, 84–88;
    according to the Cynics, 95;
    according to Aristotle, 199–202;
    place of, in Epicureanism, 233.

    the four cardinal, in Plato, 154, 155.

    _History of Philosophy_ cited, 269 n.

  Wheeler, B. I.
    _Life of Alexander the Great_, cited, 56 n.;
    quoted, 172.

    freedom of. _See_ Freedom.

  Will or intellect
    the question of the primacy of, 385, 386, 388, 389.

  William of Aubergne

  William of Champeaux

    _History of Ancient Philosophy_, 37 n.;
    cited, 121 n., 311 n.;
    quoted, 254.

  Witte, Karl
    _Essays on Dante_, 325 n.

  Wordsworth, William
    _Dion_, 123 n.;
    _Ode on Intimations of Immortality_ quoted, 148.

    religious philosopher, 26 f.;
    philosophy of, 27 f.

    parts of works to be read, 75 n.;
    on Socrates, 76, 93.

  Zeller, Edward
    _Pre-Socratic Philosophy_, 3 n., 100 n.;
    quoted, 101, 102;
    _Greek Philosophy_, 37 n.

    Eleatic, his life, 35 f.;
    his philosophy, 36, 37.
    _See_ Eleatic school.

    Stoic, 242, 244, 245.


    1 – Read Knight, _Life and Teaching of Hume_, pp. 102 f.
        (Blackwood Series); Falckenberg, _Hist. Modern Phil._,
        p. 10; Zeller, _Pre-Socratic Phil._, vol. i, pp. 161 f.

    2 – Read Fairbanks, _First Philosophers of Greece_, pp. 263
        ff., especially the résumé.

    3 – Ueberweg, _Hist. of Phil._, vol. i, p. 7.

    4 – Monism is the belief that reality is a oneness without
        any necessary implication as to the character of that
        oneness. Monotheism is a kind of monism, in which some
        definite character is ascribed to the oneness, like the
        active principle in the world or the cause of the world.
        Pantheism, on the other hand, is a kind of monism in
        which the emphasis is upon the all-inclusive character of
        reality. In pantheism God and nature are two inseparable
        aspects of reality.

    5 – Bury, _Hist. of Greece_, p. 321, calls the tradition of
        the Wise Men a legend.

    6 – Bury, _History of Greece_, p. 311.

    7 – Burnet, _Early Greek Philosophers_, p. 104, for
        injunctions upon the private life of the early

    8 – Note further that in future philosophical discussions
        of this problem, the technical word “Being” is used for
        the Unchanging or the substance that remains forever like
        itself, and the technical word “Becoming” is used for the
        changing processes of Nature.

    9 – “Just as our soul, being air, holds us together, so do
        breath and air encompass the whole world.”

   10 – Read Windelband, _Hist. of Ancient Phil._, pp. 67 ff.;
        Zeller, _Greek Philosophy_, pp. 63 ff.

   11 – Read Matthew Arnold, _Empedocles_ (a poem).

   12 – Read Plato, _Phaedo_, 97, B.

   13 – Dualism: the belief that the world is to be explained by
        two independent and coexistent principles.

   14 – Wheeler, _History of Alexander the Great_.

   15 – Read Grote, _History of Greece_, vol. viii, pp. 334–347.

   16 – Read H. Jackson in _Encyclopædia Britannica_, article

   17 – The student should read the following references
        in Plato’s dialogues and Xenophon’s _Symposium_ and
        _Memorabilia_. The translations referred to here are
        Jowett’s Plato and Cooper, Spelman, etc., translation,
        _Whole Works of Xenophon_. (1851.)

        For the method of Socrates, read _Charmides_, _Lysis_, and

        For the personal appearance of Socrates, read Plato,
        _Symposium_, pp. 586 ff. and Xenophon, _Symposium_, p. 615.

        For the physical endurance of Socrates, read Plato,
        _Symposium_, p. 591.

        For Socrates’ dislike of nature, read Plato, _Phædrus_,
        p. 435, and Xenophon, _Memorabilia_, p. 521.

        For the charges, defense, and trial of Socrates, read
        Plato, _Apology_, pp. 116 and 129.

        For the confinement of Socrates in prison, read _Crito_,
        beginning and end of the dialogue.

        For description of the death scene of Socrates, read Plato,
        _Phædo_, beginning and end of the dialogue.

        For description of the dæmoniacal sign, read Plato,
        _Apology_, pp. 125–126, and Xenophon, _Memorabilia_,
        pp. 531 ff., 585 ff.

        For the oracle’s statement that Socrates is the wisest of
        men, read Plato, _Apology_, p. 114.

   18 – What is the difference between perception and conception?
        We have heard a good deal about perceptions in the
        doctrine of Protagoras. We have now reached a point
        where many of the theories will involve a comparison
        of perception with conception. An understanding of
        the difference between perception and conception will
        be necessary for an understanding of the doctrines,
        especially of Democritus, Plato, and Aristotle. In general,
        perception is the consciousness of an object in which some
        actual sensation of it is present; a conception is the
        consciousness of an object in which no actual sensation
        of it is present. Thus I perceive a tree, when my retina
        is actually stimulated; I conceive a tree, when I turn
        my head away and no sense organ is actually stimulated,
        _i. e._ I do not touch, see, hear the tree. To the Greek
        the perception was particular and transient; the conception
        was, on the other hand, universal or general and permanent.

   19 – Read Zeller, _Pre-Socratic Phil._, vol. i, pp. 138–149,
        concerning the objective character of Greek morality, art,
        and philosophy.

   20 – Zeller, _Pre-Socratic Phil._, vol. i, p. 162.

   21 – Zeller, _Pre-Socratic Phil._, vol. i, p. 162.

   22 – Rationalism and sensationalism refer to the sources
        from which knowledge is obtained. Rationalism is to be
        contrasted with sensationalism. Rationalism is the belief
        that the reason is an independent source of knowledge
        and has a higher authority than sense-perception.
        Sensationalism is the belief that all our knowledge
        originates in sensations. Empiricism is often used for

   23 – Teleology is the doctrine that things exist for some
        purpose. A teleological cause, which is the same as “final
        cause” or “end,” is the purpose involved in an action.
        It is contrasted with mechanical or efficient cause.
        A trolley car is moving and a man runs to catch it.
        Electricity is the mechanical cause of the movement of the
        car. The purpose of the man is the teleological cause of
        his running; the strength in his legs is the mechanical or
        efficient cause of his running.

   24 – Atoms differ primarily in form (ἰδέα); size is referred in
        part to form.

   25 – These all reduce to form,――see above.

   26 – Windelband, _Hist. of Ancient Phil._, pp. 183–189.

   27 – Read Wordsworth, _Dion_.

   28 – B. Jowett, _Dialogues of Plato_, trans. into English with
        analyses and introductions, 4 vols.

        See p. 158 for selections from the dialogues made by
        Jowett for English readers.

   29 – Goethe.

   30 – For the distinction between perception and conception, see
        p. 83.

   31 – Read Wordsworth’s _Ode on Intimations of Immortality_.

   32 – Read Edmund Spenser, _Hymn in Honor of Beauty_; Emerson,
        _Essay on Love_, also the poem on _Initial, Dæmonic, and
        Celestial Love_; Bacon, _Essay on Love_; Patmore, _Angel
        in the House_; Sill, _The Two Aphrodites_.

   33 – B. I. Wheeler, _Life of Alexander the Great_.

   34 – Read Walter Pater, _Marius the Epicurean_; Hicks,
        _Stoic and Epicurean_, p. 184, for the _Golden Maxims_
        of Epicurus; Teuffel, _History of Roman Literature_,
        pp. 83–86.

   35 – Windelband, _Hist. of Phil._, p. 183.

   36 – Adamson, _The Development of Greek Philosophy_, p. 267.

   37 – Professor C. P. Parker.

   38 – A. Hicks, _Stoic and Epicurean_, pp. 322 ff.

   39 – Read Grote, _Plato_, vol. iii, pp. 482–490, for the
        interesting sophistical problems of the Liar, the Person
        Disguised under a Veil, Electra, Sorites, Cornutus, and
        the Bald Man.

   40 – For a statement of these tropes, see Weber, _Hist. of
        Phil._, p. 153.

   41 – Ueberweg, _Hist. of Phil._, vol. i, p. 216.

   42 – Read Dill, _Roman Society_, first three chapters.

   43 – Read Charles Kingsley, _Hypatia_, a novel.

   44 – Hatch, _Hibbert Lectures_, 1888, p. 182.

   45 – Harnack, _Outlines of the Hist. of Dogma_, p. 120.

   46 – Windelband, _Hist. of Ancient Phil._, p. 357.

   47 – Harnack, _Outlines of the History of Dogma_, p. 159.

   48 – Read Rossetti, _Shadow of Dante_, pp. 9–14; Karl Witte,
        _Essays on Dante_, pp. 99 ff.

   49 – Read Eucken, _Problem of Human Life_, pp. 219–221, 232,
        236, 245–248; Turner, _Hist. of Philosophy_, p. 226;
        De Wulf, _Hist. of Mediæval Phil._, pp. 90–98; Harnack,
        _Hist. of Dogma_, vol. v, pp. 3–6.

   50 – Eucken, _Problem of Human Life_, p. 247.

   51 – Harnack, _Hist. of Dogma_, vol. v, p. 3.

   52 – There is this difference between Augustine’s position and
        that of Descartes. Augustine’s _Quod si fallor, sum_ is a
        refutation of the doctrine of probability of the Academy,
        not a demonstration; Descartes’ _Cogito, ergo sum_ is
        positive,――a subtle but an important difference between
        the two thinkers.

   53 – Harnack, _Hist. of Dogma_, vol. v, p. 337.

   54 – Harnack, _Hist. of Dogma_, vol. v, p. 112, n. 4.

   55 – Harnack, vol. vi, p. 7.

   56 – Glaber, _Hist._, lib. III, 4.

   57 – In this period the conceptualists were confused with
        nominalists and called nominalists.

   58 – Historians are attaching more importance than formerly to
        Constantinople as an intellectual centre of that time.

   59 – Read on this point Seignobos, _Hist. of Mediæval
        Civilization_, pp. 117 f.

   60 – Read Emerton, _Mediæval Europe_, pp. 358–397; Adams,
        _Civilization during the Middle Ages_, pp. 258–278.

   61 –                      THE CRUSADES

                           _Major Crusades_

                    First Crusade,        1096–1099
                    Second Crusade,       1147–1149
                    Third Crusade,        1189–1192
                    Fourth Crusade,       1202–1204
                    Children’s Crusade,   1212

                           _Minor Crusades_

                    Fifth Crusade,        1216–1220
                    Sixth Crusade,        1228–1229
                    Seventh Crusade,      1248–1254
                    Eighth Crusade,       1270–1272

        It will be noted that five of these nine Crusades occurred
        within thirty years of the year 1200. The First Crusade
        resulted in the capture of Jerusalem and the founding of
        a kingdom. The other Crusades were directly or indirectly
        concerned with the defense or recapture of that kingdom.

   62 – Read Norton, _Readings in the Hist. of Education_,
        pp. 102–103.

   63 – Dante in _De Monarchia_ did not share in Thomas’s
        subordination of the state to the church. Both Dante and
        Thomas believed that destiny lies in the race, but the
        great poet regarded man as destined equally for earthly
        and heavenly happiness. To Dante the church and the state
        are powers of like authority.

   64 – Dante follows Thomas in placing the intellectual virtues
        above the practical, and in pointing to the intellectual
        intuition of God as the goal of human attainment. Beatrice
        is Dante’s expression of this ideal.

   65 – De Wulf, _Hist. of Mediæval Phil._, p. 323.

   66 – Roger Bacon (1214–1292) lived at Oxford two generations
        before Scotus. He was so versatile that he was not able
        to dogmatize in any one field. He believed that theology
        was based on the will of God, all other science on the
        reason. He influenced both Scotus and Ockam to turn from
        authority to experience. Morality was to him the content
        of universal religion.

                         Transcriber’s Notes.

  The following corrections have been made in the text:

  Page 9:
    Sentence starting: The passionate party strife....
      – ‘familes’ replaced with ‘families’
        (old, ruling families of nobles)

  Page 193:
    Sentence starting: On the other hand,...
      – ‘evolulution’ replaced with ‘evolution’
        (Darwin’s theory of evolution.)

  Page 196:
    Sentence starting: Studying the organic realm,...
      – ‘organism’ replaced with ‘organisms’
        (we find organisms to consist of)

  Page 215:
    Sentence starting: There were many other....
      – ‘Pergamus’ replaced with ‘Pergamos’
        (Rhodes, Antioch, Alexandria, Pergamos, Tarsus,)

  Page 337:
    Sentence starting: By means of neo-Platonism....
      – ‘judye’ replaced with ‘judge’
        (God as a judge )

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