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Notwithstanding the radical error of Aristotle’s philosophy—the false abstraction and isolation of the intellectual from the material sphere in Nature and in human life—it may furnish a useful corrective to the much falser philosophy insinuated, if not inculcated, by some moralists of our own age and country. Taken altogether, the teaching of these writers seems to be that the industry which addresses itself to the satisfaction of our material wants is much more meritorious than the artistic work which gives us direct aesthetic enjoyment, or the literary work which stimulates and gratifies our intellectual cravings; while within the artistic sphere fidelity of portraiture is preferred to the creation of ideal beauty; and within the intellectual sphere, mere observation of facts is set above the theorising power by which facts are unified and explained. Some of the school to whom we allude are great enemies of materialism; but teaching like theirs is materialism of the worst description. Consistently carried400 out, it would first reduce Europe to the level of China, and then reduce the whole human race to the level of bees or beavers. They forget that when we were all comfortably clothed, housed, and fed, our true lives would have only just begun. The choice would then remain between some new refinement of animal appetite and the theorising activity which, according to Aristotle, is the absolute end, every other activity being only a means for its attainment. There is not, indeed, such a fundamental distinction as he supposed, for activities of every order are connected by a continual reciprocity of services; but this only amounts to saying that the highest knowledge is a means to every other end no less than an end in itself. Aristotle is also fully justified in urging the necessity of leisure as a condition of intellectual progress. We may add that it is a leisure which is amply earned, for without it industrial production could not be maintained at its present height. Nor should the same standard of perfection be imposed on spiritual as on material labour. The latter could not be carried on at all unless success, and not failure, were the rule. It is otherwise in the ideal sphere. There the proportions are necessarily reversed. We must be content if out of a thousand guesses and trials one should contribute something to the immortal heritage of truth. Yet we may hope that this will not always be so, that the great discoveries and creations wrought out through the waste of innumerable lives are not only the expiation of all error and suffering in the past, but are also the pledge of a future when such sacrifices shall no longer be required.We have seen how Plotinus establishes the spiritualistic basis of his philosophy. We have now to see how he works out from it in all directions, developing the results of his previous enquiries into a complete metaphysical system. It will have been observed that the whole method of reasoning by302 which materialism was overthrown, rested on the antithesis between the unity of consciousness and the divisibility of corporeal substance. Very much the same method was afterwards employed by Cartesianism to demonstrate the same conclusion. But with Descartes and his followers, the opposition between soul and body was absolute, the former being defined as pure thought, the latter as pure extension. Hence the extreme difficulty which they experienced in accounting for the evident connexion between the two. The spiritualism of Plotinus did not involve any such impassable chasm between consciousness and its object. According to him, although the soul is contained in or depends on an absolutely self-identical unity, she is not herself that unity, but in some degree shares the characters of divisibility and extension.447 If we conceive all existence as bounded at either extremity by two principles, the one extended and the other inextended, then soul will still stand midway between them; not divided in herself, but divided in respect to the bodies which she animates. Plotinus holds that such an assumption is necessitated by the facts of sensation. A feeling of pain, for example, is located in a particular point of the body, and is, at the same time, apprehended as my feeling, not as some one else’s. A similar synthesis obtains through the whole of Nature. The visible universe consists of many heterogeneous parts, held together by a single animating principle. And we can trace the same qualities and figures through a multitude of concrete individuals, their essential unity remaining unbroken, notwithstanding the dispersion of the objects in which they inhere.湖北快三官方彩票app魔尊 是巨 Our philosopher had, however, abundant opportunity for showing on a more modest scale that he was not destitute of practical ability. So high did his character stand, that many persons of distinction, when they felt their end approaching, brought their children to him to be taken care of, and entrusted their property to his keeping. As a result of the confidence thus reposed in him, his house was always filled with young people of both sexes, to whose education and material interests he paid the most scrupulous attention, observing that as long as his wards did not make a profession of philosophy, their estates and incomes ought to be preserved unimpaired. It is also mentioned that, although frequently chosen to arbitrate in disputes, he never made a single enemy among the Roman citizens—a piece of good fortune which is more than one could safely promise to anyone similarly circumstanced in an Italian city at the present day.413 Modern agnosticism occupies the same position with regard to the present foundation and possible future extension of human knowledge as was occupied by the ancient Sceptics with regard to the possibility of all knowledge. Its conclusions also are based on a very insufficient experience of what can be effected by experience, and on an analysis of cognition largely adopted from the system which it seeks to overthrow. Like Scepticism also, when logically thought out, it tends to issue in a self-contradiction, at one time affirming the consciousness of what is, by definition, beyond consciousness; and at another time dogmatically determining the points on which we must remain for ever ignorant. It may be that some problems, as stated by modern thinkers, are insoluble; but perhaps we may find our way our of them by transforming the question to be solved. Besides the revival of Platonism, three causes had conspired to overthrow the supremacy of Aristotle. The literary Renaissance with its adoration for beauty of form was alienated by the barbarous dialect of Scholasticism; the mystical theology of Luther saw in it an ally both of ecclesiastical authority and of human reason; and the new spirit of passionate revolt against all tradition attacked the accepted philosophy in common with every other branch of the official university curriculum. Before long, however, a reaction set in. The innovators discredited themselves by an extravagance, an ignorance, a credulity, and an intolerance worse than anything in the teaching which they decried. No sooner was the Reformation organised as a positive doctrine than it fell back for support on the only model of systematic thinking at that time to be found. The Humanists were conciliated by having the original text of Aristotle placed before them; and they readily believed, what was not true, that it contained a wisdom which had eluded mediaeval research. But the great scientific movement of the sixteenth century contributed, more than any other impulse, to bring about an Aristotelian reaction. After winning immortal triumphs in every branch of art and literature, the Italian intellect threw itself with equal vigour into the investigation of physical phenomena. Here Plato could give little help, whereas Aristotle supplied a methodised description of the whole field to be explored, and contributions of extraordinary value towards the under372standing of some, at least, among its infinite details. And we may measure the renewed popularity of his system not only by the fact that Cesalpino, the greatest naturalist of the age, professed himself its adherent, but also by the bitterness of the criticisms directed against it, and the involuntary homage offered by rival systems which were little more than meagre excerpts from the Peripatetic ontology and logic.
When the Academicians pass from the form to the matter of dogmatic philosophy, their criticisms acquire greater interest and greater weight. On this ground, their assaults are principally directed against the theology of their Stoic and Epicurean rivals. It is here in particular that151 Carneades reveals himself to us as the Hume of antiquity. Never has the case for agnosticism been more powerfully made out than by him or by the disciples whom he inspired. To the argument for the existence of supernatural beings derived from universal consent, he replies, first, that the opinion of the vulgar is worthless, and secondly, that men’s beliefs about the gods are hopelessly at variance with one another, even the same divinity being made the subject of numberless discordant legends.238 He reduces the polytheistic deification of natural objects to an absurdity by forcing it back through a series of insensible gradations into absolute fetichism.239 The personification of mental qualities is similarly treated, until an hypothesis is provided for every passing mood.240 Then, turning to the more philosophical deism of the Stoics, he assails their theory of the divine benevolence with instance after instance of the apparent malevolence and iniquity to be found in Nature; vividly reminding one of the facts adduced by Mr. Herbert Spencer in confutation of the similar views held by modern English theologians.241 As against the whole theory of final causes, Carneades argues after a method which, though logically sound, could not then present itself with the authority which advancing science has more recently shown it to possess. ‘What you Stoics,’ he says,152 ‘explain as the result of conscious purpose, other philosophers, like Strato for instance, explain with equal plausibility as the result of natural causation. And such is our ignorance of the forces at work in Nature that even where no mechanical cause can be assigned, it would be presumptuous to maintain that none can exist.242 The reign of law does not necessarily prove the presence of intelligence; it is merely the evidence of a uniform movement quite consistent with all that we know about the working of unconscious forces.243 To contend, with Socrates, that the human mind must be derived from a Universal Mind pervading all Nature would logically involve the transfer of every human attribute to its original source.244 And to say that the Supreme Being, because it surpasses man, must possess an intelligence like his, is no more rational than to make the same assumption with regard to a great city because it is superior to an ant.’2452分快乐十分要怎么玩才能赢钱里面 加倍 VI. But what had happened once before when philosophy was taken up by men of the world, repeated itself on this occasion. Attention was diverted from speculative to ethical problems, or at least to issues lying on the borderland between speculation and practice, such as those relating to the criterion of truth and the nature of the highest good. On neither of these topics had Epicureanism a consistent answer to give, especially when subjected to the cross-examination of rival schools eager to secure Roman favour for their own doctrines. Stated under any form, the Epicurean morality could not long satisfy the conquerors of the world. To some of them it would seem a shameful dereliction of duty, to others an irksome restraint on self-indulgence, while all would be alienated by its declared contempt for the general interests of culture and ambition. Add to this that the slightest acquaintance with astronomy, as it was then taught in Hellenic countries, would be fatal to a belief in the Epicurean physics, and we shall understand that the cause for which Lucretius contended was already lost before his great poem saw the light.
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二分幸运快艇要怎么玩才能赢钱意儿 紧我 We have endeavoured to show that Aristotle’s account of the syllogism is redundant on the one side and defective on the other, both errors being due to a false analysis of the reasoning process itself, combined with a false metaphysical philosophy. The same evil influences tell with much greater effect on his theory of applied reasoning. Here the fundamental division, corresponding to that between heaven and earth in the cosmos, is between demonstration and dialectic or experimental reasoning. The one starts with first principles of unquestionable validity, the other with principles the validity of which is to be tested by their consequences. Stated in its most abstract form, the distinction is sound, and very nearly prefigures the modern division between deduction and induction, the process by which general laws are applied, and the process by which they are established. Aristotle, however, committed two great mistakes; he thought that each method corresponded to an entirely different order of phenomena: and he thought that both were concerned for the most part with definitions. The Posterior Analytics, which contains his theory of demonstration, answers to the astronomical portion of his physics; it is the doctrine of eternal and necessary truth. And just as his ontology distinguishes between the Prime Mover himself unmoved and the eternal movement produced by his influence, so also his logic distinguishes between infallible first principles and the truths derived from them, the latter being, in his opinion, of inferior384 value. Now, according to Aristotle, these first principles are definitions, and it is to this fact that their self-evident certainty is due. At the same time they are not verbal but real definitions—that is to say, the universal forms of things in themselves as made manifest to the eye of reason, or rather, stamped upon it like the impression of a signet-ring on wax. And, by a further refinement, he seems to distinguish between the concept as a whole and the separate marks which make it up, these last being the ultimate elements of all existence, and as much beyond its complex forms as Nous is beyond reasoned truth. ”
时间:2020-07-26 07:13:22  来源:本站原创

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