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Volume 14 Number 1

Leo Strauss



Folk, Dialogues for Freemasons:




Chaninah Maschler





Kenneth Hart Green





Commerce in Anglo-American

Thought: the Social Adam Ferguson






S. T. Coleridge Replies to Adam Smith's "Pernicious Opinion":

Hermetic Social

Study Engineering


Review Essays
115 Will


Shakespeare Studies


his Roman Plays:

by Cantor,
the Seal



Stephen H. Balch


Marxist Criticism

Book Reviews





of the Beautiful:







with a

commentary 147


Seth Benardete



The Politics of Moderation: an Interpretation s Republic by John F. Wilson of


W. Warren Wagar

Arnold Toynbee

and the

Crisis of the West




Volume 14
number 1


Hilail Gildin Seth G. Benardete Gildin
Charles E. Butterworth



Robert Horwitz

Howard B.White (d. 1974)




Erich Hula

Cropsey John Hallowell Wilhelm Hennis Harry V. Jaffa David Lowenthal
Michael Oakeshott

Arnaldo Momigliano


Leo Strauss (d.1973)

Kenneth W.


Associate Editors

Fred Baumann Colmo Feder-Marcus
Jensen Rubin



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Joseph E.


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Conceivability Amnesia and Psychological Continuity Searle on Programs and Intentionality

William Lyons Bonnie Thurston & Sam Coval

Dennett, Functionalism and Introspection Sensation, Theory and Meaning
A Materialist's Misgivings about Eliminative Materialism On the Speculative Nature of our Self-conception:

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if they're sufficiently the and paragraph knowledgeable churchly matters to notice that paragraph 73 doctrine trinity. John s College. 489!!. I.2 1.107. Here throughout roman numerals refer to volume. take comfort from Lessing's From is I've seen of the secondary literature.' Since that essay claims that the Old Testa ment is superseded (paragraphs 51-53) and speaks more than slightingly of the people of Israel as the "crudest and least quite manageable of peoples all the more (paragraph 8). 2. still says about print. 106. 75 the doctrine of vicarious atonement through the Son. But readers notice resemblances what between what Lessing God as teacher original context the prefatory passage resemblances. Christian readers. true in respects and false in respects. arabic to page in the Carl Hanser in edi tion of Lessing's Werke (Munich. "saves" Jewish readers have found it about ofl-putting. I gather that neither kind of reader to pay attention to the warning superscript of the essay. and tend to overlook how enigmatic Lessing's essay is. 1979). Education of Mankind (viii. Annapolis Translator's Introduction I Lessing's Dialogues for Freemasons pretation should be of interest to readers of Inter for at least three reasons: Even if they have heard about Lessing's theological writings. too much about how the articles of their faith are saved or how Paul's words essay. those who know having read Hegel's Early Theo how greatly Hegel is indebted to Lessing's On the Education of Mankind for the idea of writing mankind's spiritual history as though it were a logical Writings gigantic Bildungsroman.Lessing's Ernst A Translation with and Ealk. a quotation from some Augustine's Soliloquies: "All these things are. ii. and Learned may Summa Theol. )." some And even supposedly less partisan "philo sophic" readers of the essay. as though to underwrite the Confessio Augustana of the Lutheran Church. not as its au- . they may be lieve that Lessing's thoughts on matters of religion are summed up in his On the I . for identical reasons. seeing that in its from Augustine's Soliloquies has Reason (Augustine's inter one to make of these is locutor) speak of histrionics? May one not suspect as Lessing himself of play-acting? All the more when one notices that Lessing identifies himself the mere publisher or editor of the essay. Henry Chadwick's Lessing's Theological Writings (Stan and ford University Press) contains a translation of the Education is. as of this writing. Dialogues for Freemasons Notes Chaninah Maschler St.Q. in Galatians what wont 3:23^ are put to work. if they don't paragraph care of the 74 the doctrine of original sin.



The Dialogues for Freemasons,
more above

deal openly in riddles,






Lessing, especially

his theological pieces,



roughly Leo Strauss. By this I do
rather, I
when mean


his aeuvre, is bound to illuminate the writings of mean that it is nice to know who influenced whom; for

that the

manner and motives







is taken


As far


I know, Strauss (The College,

refers to


at greatest

length in "A
p. 3).




Annapolis, Maryland, April



document I began

of the attack on a



fresh study


is Spinoza's Theologico-Political orthodoxy it. In this study I was greatly assisted by

Lessing, especially his

theological writings, some of them with



Lessing was always at my
the distinction between



that I



from him than I knew
out about

that time. As I came to see

later, Lessing had


exoteric and esoteric speech

everything I had found and its





present opinion of



rendering tise. The


title) is

it is



Education of the Human Race (Chadwick's culled from the Theologico-Political Trea

teacher is to

that Revelation is to Reason as being taken in hand by a analogy of the essay being self-taught is so sketchily made out that the issue whether Chance or Providence human history is left undecided: Are we being taught that some human




graciously provided the Bible as a that even duller students might acquire the
to think that there really is something





to arithmetic prob

art of calculation

(paragraph 76,



we meant

wonderful about an


Bible, because it


and promises

(Revelations 14:6; Jeremiah 31:31),
given the narrative

Eternal Gospel


records the spiritual travails through which a portion of mankind

Inwardness and, in the mean has passed so that we, the

heirs, by being

for study,

need not repeat

the experience of our


may more efficaciously advance to spiritual manhood? Or, finally, is there neither a Moses and Christ (or Mohammed) nor a tradition-under-God which for our betterment: The course that the

nations traveled

they had to travel, and the seemingly encouraging sayings that in everything, including our (Preface, vn.489) and that "the shortest line isn't necessarily the straight (paragraph 91. vm.509) means merely that the spiri tual and moral realms are as determined as the physical?
is the










11 of the

Translator's Introduction

gives some of

the passages to which

Strauss here cryp






seems as a


explaining why

important to supply the reader with the context of this citation. young man he believed that Heidegger's critique of Husserl had to

stand, reports that what made him turn away

from Heidegger







his disclaimer, he had

any indication as to what are the proper objects of In the next paragraph, Strauss brings up the resurgence, in Germany, of theology. The middle term, I take it, between the Heidegger and the theology para graphs, is supplied by essay on Carl Schmitt's The Concept of the Political (a translation of

such a

teaching. The


term is resoluteness, without


which appears as appendix

to the



edition of


vivid rhetoric of

the essay on

Schmitt is

gives even an

Spinoza's Critique of Religion). The as innocent American an experience of

appeal of




someone who


to feel that life


contemptible without


dedication but

who can no and with

longer take

religion seriously.


anew with


Spinoza's how the

critique of

That is, I imagine that Strauss took orthodoxy (Jewish and otherwise) because he
than philosophic answer to



examine whether and

religious rather



the Nazis


that people want to be "taken out of

Schmitt could Patriotism



Falk, Dialogues for Freemasons
in the "Correspondence




also mentioned

i. pp. 105L).


Karl Lowith (Independent Journal of Philosophy iv. ranked, with Swift, as "the greatest exponent of the

There he is

in the

between Ancients


Moderns"; Strauss

claims and

that the real theme of the quarrel

is antiquity

Lessing Christianity


Swift "knew


and that



Lessing held that "ancient, that is, genuine philosophy, is an eternal possi The Dialogues for Freemasons themselves are spoken of in Persecution
A third Art of Writing (see index entries under "Lessing"). reason for taking an interest in the Dialogues for Freemasons is is
another name

and the




for the international society
program of

of men of


which sought

to carry out Bacon's
of which


establishing "the kingdom of d'Alembert spoke in the Preliminary Dis


to the


and of which



Descartes had been

one of


leaders, is
over good

the Masonic conspiracy to undo the Middle
were also social

The fact that Masonic lodges






and good

drink, does
to the

take away from other

facts: Freema
true through


was a counter order



Jesus. (This


Thus, in Tolstoy's War and Peace, they're shown to split the territory: The Jesuits get Ellen, the Masons get Pierre!) Its leading intellectual
the nineteenth century. members, men like

Diderot, in serving

as advisors

to princes, hoped to exert the




over rulers

that the Jesuit father confessors to Catholic princes

in the

opinion of such as

Leibniz (Riley,



abused or and

failed to


The lodges




for the transmission








another; the search for truth a third. If religion is passe and the search for truth is

for the few, what is left except patriotism? The fact that Barth, who had the honor of being fired by Hitler, is mentioned in connection with orthodoxy, confirms this reading. Compare Kant's footnote


of the Metaphysics of Morals),

in the Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals (a title better pp. 17L of the Bobbs-Merrill LLA ed.

rendered as





Bobbs-Merrill LL A

p. 50:



be thought

of as a


of conspirators

who, before
a re


else, had the courage to rise against a despotic and arbitrary power and who, in preparing

sounding revolution, laid the foundations of a In Discourse was not able to see



happier government, which he himself (Gilson ed. p. 11), Descartes mentions that he did
over" emperor,"


had brought him. He also his meditating while in Germany, where the wars "that still are not without calling that mentions, in passing, that he was returning from the coronation of "the emperor by name. It was Frederick of Bohemia, the Protestant rival of the Catholic Duke Maximilian

Bavaria for the throne

of the


Roman Empire. The



Descartes is talking


is the


Years War. Isn't it his

queer that

young, Jesuit-educated Descartes left his Catholic



the Protestant heir to William the
offers services to

and settles

the Catholic

Silent, Maurice, as army Maximilian; yet later, he
the Princess

engineer, but then,
returns to

Protestant Holland

down in Leiden "in





of the


daugh dedi

ter of the unfortunate Elector Frederick"? Elizabeth

is the Princess to


the Principles



and who




with all

her titles in the Letter




I know that has tried to

The Rosicrucian Enlightenment (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1972) is the only book make sense of this queer string of facts (the facts themselves are reported in

Baillet's Vie de Monsieur Descartes). Frances Yates even wonders whether Descartes joined Queen Christian of Sweden's court in order to plead Elizabeth's case there.



Copernican astronomy, alchemical-chemical lore, mathematics, Newtonian mechanics. The Masonic lodges were used to collect funds for the
new sciences


of scientific projects.
writings of

Even though

a pantheist substitute religion was

brewed from the

Jakob Boehme


from Hermetic tracts


Ma be

auspices, nevertheless, the fight






was one of their grand undertakings.



the activities

are, in

sons also



direct hand in


selves participate

in the

overthrow of

broad sense, educational. Did the Ma uprisings, did they advocate and them rulers? They have been so

There is

no single

answer, partly because there

are all


of political turn

over yield

partly because, despite broad agreement among Masons the world that the Kingdom of Darkness (see Leviathan Part IV) must be made to

to the Kingdom of

Light, diiferent

tactics and even different
were endorsed at given

times in given

of what constitutes

the Kingdom


6. So


the title of a book


the Dutch author Balthasar



Lessing intended



have been


letter to Washington dated June 22, 1798, John Adams writes: "Many of my best friends Such examples would have been sufficient to induce me to hold the Institution
. . .



esteem and



favorable to the

support of civil authority.


public en

gagement of your utmost exertions

in the

cause of your



the offer of your services to pro

tect the

fair inheritance

of your ancestors are proofs
parts of

that you are

not chargeable

to those designs the


which, in other

the world [e.g.

mind with

the real views of your


Holland] has embarrassed the pub (quoted in Philip A. Roth, Masonry in the Formation of


and Government, Wisconsin, 1927, p. 51). On the differences between Freemasonry (roughly, George Washington vs. Tom Paine), see Margaret C. Jacob, The Radical Enlightenment: Pantheists, Freemasons, and Republicans (George Allen & Unwin, Boston, 198 1) and, for a brief summing up, Jasper Ridley, Garibaldi (Viking, New York, 1976), pp. 47f. For an

elaborate statement and



the thesis that the American as

well as

the French Revolutions

1800 (Little, by Freemasons, see Bernard Fay, Revolution and Freemasonry: Brown, 1935). That Freemasonry was involved in the Decembrist Uprising in Russia of 1825 is briefly indicated in J. N. Westwood's Endurance and Endeavor: Russian History, i8l2-ig8o (Ox ford University Press, 1981). That something like the communist party's "cell was attrib novel The Woman in White; cf. G. K. Chester uted to Masonic societies is shown by Wilkie


ton's short story,

"The Man
the Jew as


who was



how those intent


are one


Norman Cohn's Warrant for Genocide (Harper, fused fears of a Masonic with

older myths about



pseudo-document that was

held to




Christ, Freemasonry,


the so-called



such nonsense could

in the Middle East) have acquired so



Protocols of the Elders of Zion (which are blatant forgery. What needs explaining is the fact that
the imagination

much power over

Russians, Frenchmen,

Americans, Englishmen, Spaniards, Germans. Cohn's book

far toward


such an ex

But he does not, perhaps, sufficiently attend to the fact that it is quite true that the shared Masonic creed so dilutes Christian doctrine that the distance between Jew and Christian (or, for that

Moslem) is lessened "in Portrait of Newton (Harvard University Press, 1968,

Jew, Christian,



As Frank E. Manuel observes in his
are passages


373), "there

in the Irenicum



3, folio 5


Newton's theological

writings at the

King's College




latitudinarian that the distinction between the Mosaic

and the

Christian dispensation is


virtually 8. Certainly Edmund Burke,
tion vigorously and

who was a


thought so: He supported the


the French Revolution (see



American Revolu the Revolution in

France, Bobbs-Merrill,


the ruled for the those child. Problem" Doubleday. it was socially con designed the Masonic society were mindful of to any sort of and (in Shakespeare's Troilus Cressida i. Religion was deemed necessary to cultivate. in and rulers both.9 My is that early the society) of century British and Freemasonry (which is where. ter. Margaret C. I suspect. stories. restraints upon the passions. By "different interpretations of what constitutes the kingdom light" of I mean that some made a monarchist and others a republican choice. On the one hand the Masonic lodges fight fire Maimonides say Moses did ing superstitions for more sacrificial ram when with fire. . Dialogues for Freemasons diverse individual "Freemasonry. 1689- 1720 (Cornell University Press. after all. Everything I've said so far about the Masons sounds (whether one approves or disapproves) straightforwardly rational." choices the political and the socioeconomic were. 1947). are vision of inherently By at odds with politics. Spinoza. tactics" "different discussed by Hilail Gildin in "Spinoza I mean. includes human beings) is murky." But these two opinion. is "natural" no distinction between rulers and ruled. but also. 10. or any other) on the one hand. reached The Grand Masters behind the Grand Masters been back for spiritual exer of which cises. Cal vinist. But what about the rumor of all manner (in of mystery-mongering in Masonic lodges? What is one to make of the weird ini tiation rites that Goethe and others describe? How does the mumbo-jumbo of Isis and Osiris. but also. as some readers of and he substituted with less dangerous less debas the tabernacle empty throne for the calf. begin the history was royalist and socially It was royalist because the leaders the society were servative Ulysses' fearful of a return in that the speech men who Cromwell. 1976). This opinion is chiefly based on reading the Anderson Constitution of 1723. Heinrich Jacobs' The Newtoni Schneider's Quest for Mysteries (Cornell University Press. those differences between Hobbes and Spinoza that and the Political (Marjory Grene. those ambitions and that confidence.. Support gime of kingly rule would then mean support of a postfeudal centralized re sufficiently strong to prevent reversion to theocracy (Roman Catholic." 5 present opinion countries and at eighteenth words lodges. ed. fit in with the new science and superstition? The story becomes murky because the world (which . by men who thought they knew and were teaching that heaven and earth are made of the same "catholic mat as that just there is no so there "quintessential" difference between superlunar and sublunar bodies. hatred of which we the of hear in the Magic Flute. not just because information hasn't been thoroughly assimilated. or to the state of nature and perfect leveling death) on the other. in my made committed to and Hobbesian spirit.iii) about the conse quences of "shaking in a degree or taking it away.Ernst and Folk. in a certain sense of the of "begin" one must conservative. ans and the English Revolution. because they deemed the Christian man 9. without which there cannot be a stable social and political order. and symbols of non-Christian provenance made available (many had by Ficino's translations cause of their vivid memories Hermetic writings) partly be of the terrible sufferings caused by the Christian re of ligious wars. 1973). for instance.

You have Whether that will show. lovely orthodoxy I am acquiring among the Lutheran theologians here.6 Interpretation other On the Newton and hand.556L for Lessing's description in it between 1773 the Journal's purposes and V. his arrival in Wolfenbuttel. and in 1773 started a scholarly and journal Ducal Contributions to at History in the Literature: From he the Treasures of the Library Wolfenbuttel which would write answers to such que ries as well as make available large. So it seems to be much likely that he was. On 1770 he writes a which Vienna. famous A few days after throughout Europe. being a genuine scholar. from with letter to his fiancee (Eva Koenig). and second issue of the new journal. Catholic ate published an annotated edition of it in the fall of that year. You had better be prepared to hear me proclaimed a veritable pillar no of the church. claim Supper) Lessing October 25. and whether I may not soon lose their approval. the Herzog-August- Bibliothek.948L for a list of the materials published and 1781. he came upon the manuscript of a major medieval work on the sacrament of the eucharist Berengard of Tours 's De Sacra Coena port adversus Lanfrancum (ca. also believed that there is some religious truth other than the official II In 1770 Lessing had accepted a call from Duke Charles of Brunswick to come to Wolfenbuttel there to superintend the Ducal Library. time But more Lessing was hardly very clever in his own behalf. quite suits me. . excited to find so important a He took his job as manuscript. valued religion tics: But they one.1 library's manuscript holdings to the reading public at In the first "Theological 1. it seems also to be true that some in the of circle around who figured in the organization of the Grand Lodge London in 17 17 thereafter. outside scholars. were not uncomplicated atheists who strictly as an instrument of social control but complicated here kept the Church of England going because they held that it fostered they obedience and unanimity among the ruled and a sense of limitation in the rulers. 1070) which seemed to give sup to a Lutheran interpretation of the eucharist (though contemporary scholars that Berengard's was more nearly a Zwinglian understanding of the Lord's . including Newton himself. solicited their letters librarian seriously. then residing in some have inferred that Lessing sought to ingrati himself On the the religious authorities: of next Vienna Index idea what a Prohibited Books odor of you will no doubt find the title listed. he published some heretofore of unknown writings of Leibniz' Leibniz' dissenting "Preface" to Ernest Soner's the and Philosophical Demonstration that Eternal Punishments of See V. consistently so: He welcomed of inquiry.

like Cardanus (1501- His brother Karl reports with that Lessing intended pieces of to publish some of and Cardanus' along he now. if usual made citing of this famous passage transforms a choice that necessarily falls out rationally. and it is in this alone that proud.261). Observe that the Lessing's way. gians: now. like Jean Bodin. a Christian." direction of their "will" is hardly distinctive of Lessing. The place to begin is Republic 1 x (the description learn precisely bemuht. in possession of which a man is or deems himself to be." Wissowatius' "Critique the Doctrine of the Trinity").. Both have been misinter (vn. Campanella. The idea of identifying and ranking human beings in terms the of their their "ruling passion. 8). albeit for eternity err. If God held with truth in his right hand I would at and the addendum that any time would you devoutly alone" grasp his left hand and say: (from Lessing's first reply to Pastor Goeze.176). albeit reasonableness of their plans and of an open arguments.3 preted and misjudged It is Lessing's even-handedness that has confused his admirers: He judges men according to the writes. Giordano "endeavor. not so much to the truth that is being defended. several men mentioned wrote a dialogue in which a Pagan. is Lessing's brief in Leibniz's behalf against the liberal theolo 2. "pleas in 1576): his life had a penchant had in the 1750s begun to write what for protecting and defending "outsid he called Rettungen or ("rescues" defense") works of even wildly unorthodox authors. Because it is not the having but the the expansion of his powers seeking for truth that enlarges his powers. Cardanus.32f. a Jew. and a Mos lem discuss their of religions. . and the Hermetic Tradition.Ernst and Folk. his continually growing all perfection consists. inconclusively. Possession makes a man quiet. How might one in what erlosen" way this differs from Goethe's romantic "Wer immer strebend sich and from Heideggerian Entschlossenheif. For a splendid discussion of the works and hopes the three Bruno. Dialogues for Freemasons God's Justice but means of rather 1 Injustice" Leibniz' Impious do not prove His and "De fense of the Trinity by who all New Logical of Observations" (the latter a reply to Andreas ers. as to the man defending it. Diogenes Laertius' Lives. vm. not Leibniz: the out If results are taken to constitute the soul of appraised history. and Cardanus see Frances Yates. give! Truth unadulterate is for no one except in his left the and "Choose!" cf. 1969. which is why he in behalf heretic. 2 would selected Bruno's Campanella's in behalf of and argue The I am question may be answered in a preliminary way when Lessing writes: who is directing attention. publish Why Leibniz-in-the-role-of-bulwark of the old-time religion? (vn. den konnen wir of the tyrannic man and of the choice among the three ruling passions). by the outcome. if everything preceding might come is to be pense with history strictly (vii." Bruno 3. but the honest effort that he has vested in finding it out constitutes a human being's worth. one ever-active passion for truth. sluggish. 726). his attitude of mind and his reasons. into Sturm und Drang. in the 1770s. Vintage. Lessing. last a passage such as this from Lessing: Not the truth. why then we just as well dis Here. next comes Spinoza's On the Improvement of the Understanding. vm. and spake to me I "Father.

who natters the only in order to rule them tyrannically. on that account. in his firm for truth. On the contrary. He only wanted to protect against the reason. That would have gone too far: No didactic politics. true opinion until gible.8 Interpretation search Leibniz. and these consequences are the punishments can for sin. supported what by he wanted all believe. from have the courtesy to twist all the and tive and in some sense. But perspec some be embraced unless it were. for a moment. to make him come out orthodox? Neither! I admit that Leibniz treated the doctrine of eternal damnation very exoterically and that ently on the subject. I do not want Leibniz to be accused of self-contradiction con fessing to eternal punishment verbally and in public while secretly and at bottom denying it. having consequences? Jerusalem's essay "On vm. He didn't believe a word of majority. no sin can can pun lack consequences.'' stop . 'Surely he could 'have been unaware that reason stands with the small suppressed an in truth not' minority the the reigning church. defended by the exoteric arguments for it. Do I am to cast the worse suspicion upon him. . must . Leibniz didn't believe he. . no desire to be all things to all men. he would often turn an he succeeded in disclosing this perspective and making this ancient philosophers sense intelli exo He did no more and no less than did in their teric disquisitions: He had regard for the kind of caution for which our most recent phi losophers have become tried to want much too wise. then. nothing is without consequences.. to which he was (and I believe I can even cord with a great truth of willing to add. would have rendered it excusable. But to make sure he'd be he pleaded its case. not Why should himself believe! Suppose. I am convinced demonstrate) that Leibniz was willing to put up with the vulgar doctrine of damnation. self-seeking demagogue.' Believe! Did a thing. than the pregnant sentence that nothing in the is insulated. ac But I What indicate what great esoteric truth it was in consideration of which Leibniz believed that else support of the common doctrine of eternal world damnation is salutary.216). being as contradictory internally or with undeniable truths of He only are wanted to show that such a mystery (Geheimnis) can stand up against all sophistic attack so long it is treated to as a mystery: A supernaturally revealed truth which we unintelli- intended not understand gibility. that he was dissembling trying orthodoxy? Or I seriously. esoterically he would have expressed himself quite differ But I do not want this to be thought of as anything except a divers ity of didactic modes. and to the exasperation of our now philosophers. He willingly put his own system aside and lead any individual to the truth via the path on which he found him. ishment fail to be (vii. be less capable of considering the several as so opinions about Christ many different hypotheses according to which the several . world to be persuaded must they than with the . 1776). how eternal? the consequences ever Liberty. 180-8. never conviction that no opinion could from the deferred to prevailing opinions. published by Lessing in Leibniz wasn't in the least intending his to support the doctrine of the trinity by it means of new philosophic arguments of accusation of own. plebs They the turn him realm of they say rather obsequious. cf.427ff. One hardly into needs the is completely shielded from attack by its very dialectic strength and agility of a Leibniz to ward off the opponent's arrows by means of such a buckler (vn. nothing is How without eternal consequences? If. because he recognized that this doctrine was more nearly in his esoteric philosophy than was the contrary doctrine.. .

(Leibniz's) long answer to suggesting 4 of chapter xvi of Book IV must have weighed heavily with Lessing." Lessing pre with previously unavailable manuscript materials accompanying the texts editorial comments in his own name. Even Leibniz thought that Neuser had become a traitor to the Elector Palatine (Frederick). not and was that. 5 came out in 1765. but more intimate acquaintance with work. para. identified religious ruler. Deists. Adam Neuser vinced of was a sixteenth the falsity of century Lutheran pastor who had become con Trinitarianism and had come to doubt that Christian Sa Scripture is any more sacred than the Koran (vii. Riley. that. Neuser did actually defect the judi with But the court. the dramatist: The sense of fel lowship with Leibniz through this idea of perspectivalism may have opened Lessing's eyes to the logical difficulty of rationally persuading life. Lessing's implicit warning. 202." . heresy high treason against the state and case up the 4. including his sion behind-the-scenes political to the he the were fellow Catholic fold (vm. so Lessing its complains. from which he concluded the idea of political defection. 234^. and instruct our powers of sympathy by giving them opportunity to try out diverse "perspectives. whose min cred ister he was. Dialogues for Freemasons Christ are to 9 interpretation? Does these opinions scriptural passages that speak of be given a coherent as that prevent him from at issuing a reasoned judgment to which of is preferable.5 a believer in re vealed truth to let go of the mainstay of his year after The the Leibniz Rettung. the chief function of tragedy is to enlarge our moral imagination . on p. is especially Unknown Corre noteworthy. in Mars Christianissimus.219). least those of his writings that were composed after he had begun to immerse himself in the Leibniz papers which he found in the Wolfenbuttel generations or so earlier). because bottom he isn't convinced of any of them? (vn. the cial ruling. with and Leibniz had been head librarian three one time have shared the liberals' disgust distrust of may at Leibniz the diplo Leibniz' Library Lessing (where mat. the dominant Leibnizian metaphor of point of view must have been extremely congenial to Lessing. precisely men of conscience will be See Patrick Riley. of and reply to Locke's Essay on Human Understand for instance. ing. by going over to the Turk (vii. Lessing found a letter of Neuser's. Leibniz the courtier.4 Besides. study Theophilus' For Lessing . in taking that is (I Adam of think).543). though condemned for high until after treason. Neuser.269).267). dated Constantinople Neuser played with 1574. verdict was unjust." The Nouveaux Essais. workers for the education maneuvering to prevent Britain's rever brought Lessing to realize that Leibniz and of mankind but that Leibniz' might be wiser strategy. just- My at guess is that much of what Lessing trying says in Leibniz's behalf in the Lessing's own cited passages should be used when to explicate writings. refers to a book of Raymond Klibansky Leibniz' Leibniz' spondence with English Scholars cure the throne of as throwing light on Men of Letters Great Britain for the Electors of Hanover and to arrest the and Leibniz' Leibniz' efforts to "se expansionism of Louis XIV. I am Philalethes (Locke) in . description of Louis XIV's expansionist politics. Lessing "On published two further pieces bear ing on religion in his Wolfenbuttel Neuser" tion about Adam sents and Library Tolerating Journal "Some Reliable Informa As before. 1972). The Political Writings of Leibniz (Cambridge University Press.Ernst and Folk.

But as Li brarian to the Duke censors!7 Wolfenbuttel. After death. By which publishing Neuser's letter along with the I quoted. Lorenz Schmidt. the then Duke of Brunswick had man asylum: Schmidt died under an assumed name in Wolfenbuttel. the Hence the scheme to publish vealed Lessing Reimarus' detailed critique of Re Religion in an "fragments" After and interval of ostensibly found in the Ducal Library. three years. the fourth issue of Contributions to given over to History Pa- Literature appears. had seems to otherwise. The document exempting Lessing from the obligation to submit materials to the Censor prior to publication is copied at vii. of and somewhat distracting. Elise Rei showed the manuscript to whether at her initiative or Les marus.247f. entirely "Further Selections from the 6.316). Schmid (J." the essay runs "Fragment ambiguous as by author. to glorify the Ducal House was protected against by exhibiting its scholarly treasures to the world." of the Bible. an untitled manuscript of unknown provenance. 1702.799. . So far I have not mentioned an important. Reimarus left a daughter and a son. Only the daughter wanted her father's book published." an unidentified with the past participle (ungenannt) But in the from of to whether second paragraph of his Lessing won't or can't name the author. and Spinoza's Ethics. introductory editorial note. I give these de how conscientiously Lessing lies when he does lie: In terms of their opinions. namely. given the hunted tails to show 7. Lessing had Apology or Defense of Rational Worshippers of God. but had expressly days" Reimarus' advised against publication (as is truthfully admitted by Lessing in AntiGoeze vn. that strictly basis Schmid" internal evidence. fact: The subtitle Lessing of withholds the name of the author "On Tolerating Deists.1749) also translated what has been called the Bible of English Deism. Werke vm. Schmidt and Reimarus are very close.10 Interpretation strongly tempted to leave their intolerant fatherland for countries where they would not be obliged to hide their convictions from neighbors and relatives and where they are would not be obliged to send their children to schools where the young drilled on opinions that seem. he imagines "the Wertheimian translator must be the author.). Hermann Samuel Reimarus. Professor of Oriental Languages at the Gymnasium in Hamburg. Matthew Tindal's Christianity as Old as the Creation. plea "blind and corrupt super stition" (vm. been Wolfenbuttel. Lessing and. As Lessing mentions in the passage where Schmid's name is cited. more enlightened "until sing's. given The truth be Before coming to the manuscript for a book entitled allowed it to circulate privately. to their father. Berlin publishers refused to take on the of Brunswick- job. Lessing claims that the pages he publishes are culled on the that he has to guess at the author's identity. Schmidt is at peace. He example makes message of chapter xx of for tolerating deists from Spi because he uses noza's a it more vivid and historic to which he gives the immediacy drawing power of a tragedy. Lessing manages to convey the Theologico-Political Treatise. the two get of them (they became very close friends) paid seem to have plotted to the book published. his daughter. Its author (a friend of Lessing's father).

something Nollett or that exists." 11 against the Unnamed Author. God willing. In Lessing's view. explanations. in when I see that the author wanted to teach or give delight manuscript. had kept it safe and sound. was no sional Barth later fought) had become changed since reason's most wrote. 101). I never again even intend to stay cold and indifferent about certain issues. as I can see. be from like the following: propositions'' 8. .239). in the end. what does he right?" Franklin or neither of the ." "On the Resurrection As usual. but the "neologians" of his day (the lib eral protestantism against which potent enemies. but need the Christian be? Surely not! . . it may lead in the right direction. I admit. Still. the theologian would be perplexed to see the supports with which he wanted to uphold reli gion thus shaken." Believe on Rational Grounds. The tenor "Much might these "counter can even gathered a passage be said in reply learned theologian would supposing there could be no rebuttal. in reply to his critic. what follows? The perhaps. Dialogues for Freemasons Pulpit. But At most. But clearly. manifestly much affected by of revelation in the Theologico-Political Treatise." Written to Reveal He Religion. Reimarus' so sympathetic to Leibniz' ways. I available am prone ."8 immensely Spinoza's learned critique densely argued pieces. concerning Revelation": "On Ranting "On the Rea from the impossibility was not of a Revelation in which of All Men the Red and might Sea. times had Reimarus It longer fashionable openly to decry reason from the pulpit. to the New Testament. now publish outright attack on Holy Scripture? I do chief not think that Lessing is writes: merely being coy when. this is not a sufficient answer. be embarrassed." "On the Israelites' Crossing a "That the Old Testament Narrative. steer toward applying Spinoza's type secretive of critique Why does Lessing. I immediately react as would any human being deserving of the name if he came upon a foundling (vm. only to the world. Lessing the supplies editorial comments.Ernst pers of son and Folk. If a human being is not permitted to become warm and partisan when he perceives clearly that permitted reason and the written word are partisan? being manhandled. precisely in speaking personally and in terms of the passions: I promise. demonstrations? and For him it is a fact. The God-mongerers knew which side their bread is buttered on: "They only to put it to of sleep" profes elevate reason (vii. not the orthodox. when and where is he to be (vm. This may call for different different circumstances. he to an almost superstitiously high regard for any handwritten book. But what does the Christian care about that man's hypotheses. to find the buttresses cast down by which he. As far reason. In Lessing's judgment.461). this means that those who have an interest in the life of must take an tactics given who interest in protecting that life. When the care about whether paralytic experiences the beneficial shock of the electric spark. Reimarus' calls them "Counter and Prop ositions by Editor. Pastor Goeze. this Christianity which two is he feels to be true in which he feels blessed. stand on genuinely take their faith.

supposing Reimarus (in the it is justifiable. Who has the right to The issue of dig the soil away? strategy too is painfully "best" alive for Lessing. how is he subject to rebuttal? You may shrug your like. and which of the most probable claim. a Because what is a reve lation that discloses obedience of nothing? So there is on kind of imprisoning of reason to the faith that does not depend this or that scriptural passage but belongs to the very idea of revelation (vn. That's faithful to his principles. it appeared evident that faith moral and reason both The issue is that zestfulness of only the peace of the realm but the shapeliness and individual human lives may grow from their religious rootedness. impersonating the orthodox. is as good as sans religion.494). pp. 9. 8 above). who would rather the advantage had by a man who stays not so well be faithful to them. the passage where Lessing not declares himself are passions. sue of issues. but you will have to grant him his position. on (3) worry Lessing: issue of logic. Anyone who smooths out his so as to be rid of such things .472. ing via shielded from rational attack It became exacerbated when. Lessing has evidently decided (as he writes in the Preface to the final fragment "On the Objectives should of Jesus put and his Disciples") that "the fire (vn. seem to strategy. evidence further only has been found out. an though they can be distin they cannot in practice be separated. "dafi man den Israeliten und ihren Ochsen und Karren nur keine Flugel ("Now don't you be giv Lessing.12 Interpretation can Whether there be it has the ble and be and must be a revelation. Bollingen and paperback ed. of sounding much like the Moslem inventor of "critical Rosenthal's translation of the Muqaddimah. He jokingly. that calculates how vast a quantity of history. reason's champion. is. a short stretch of time if Galen were right) on the other proves the impossibility of men plus their women and children and cattle crossing the Red Sea in the allotted time. I distinguish questions of strategy from questions of morality when I speak of strategy." ing wings to the Israelites and their oxen and carts") as follows: But doesn't God himself say at Exodus 19:4 that he carried the Israelites from Egypt on eagle's wings? What if language provides no words to express the features of this wonderful swiftness ex cept this metaphor? Allow me to see more reality (Wirklichkeit) even in a metaphor used/needed by God than in continues: all your symbolic demonstrations. Hence his sympathetic reading of Leibniz.9 be furnished with air if it is to be out" this choice of policy. as much as you in this way. . made all the harder because. Three hard guished. replies to this pleasantry of Reimarus' gebe. and necessary. Lessing If an orthodox person replies shoulders at his answer.). reason can only for the truth of that revelation (rather than as an objection the right one reason can many which determine. This principles even if they're founded than not act and speak in accord with . I believe. in the sense of "most because I mean effective" In publishing the Reimarus fragments so as to provoke Goeze and the rest of the theologians.000 adds. (2) an issue of morality.46if." Ibn Khaldun (see on 1 1 - 13) the one hand produced Harvey argument blood would have to be from food in 600. But if revelation is claim to possi regard against it as it) if re it discerns ligion things in it that are beyond reason's grasp. (i) an is The logical issue I touched by translating the comment about mysteries be (p. The justification for given at vii.

that's how I an describe my sense of it. 1 15f . Dialogues for Freemasons he wants! 13 Lessing Pastor of gets what Johann Melchior Goeze (1717-1786). Chief shows Hamburg. What strikes me about this passage is that though Aristotelian "character" emphasis on 11 I 05*35) has been given a Kantian tinting. cross-eyed.Ernst and Folk. not. that if only people try to make clear to themselves what it is that they believe and act on these beliefs. St. namely. he publishes Finally. the first three thereafter the five Dialogues for Freemasons translated below. It is not supposed that error must be declared the side as can be 10. on account of which one can anticipate how a human be ing would speak and act in a given case. Character and a man act perseverance will. Goeze's fears that Reimarus same anarchy year seem war ranted. 1778. for instance. again of anonymously. then there is hope that error will be weeded out. the peace of the realm and the peace of heart and mind of the faithful. by his early play. John's Review. however. the On the Education of Mankind fifty-two. his from what the Pastor defending. 102. is what makes a man of a man. (vm. wavering orthodoxy must that is so dis Disgusting. repellent. in particular. in proceeding to the defense of his territory. the Mysogynist: Its butt was mar ried three times over and dropped his only when he was presented with proof positive of the error of the principle that the male is always recognizably the superior: His daughter-in-law-to-be the sense of self-correction "principle" dressed left equal of her brother when she turns out to be that very brother. 224L): Not truth." claims says the Pastor is defending. One wonder whether it is all that easy to distinguish what Lessing "territory. bound to notice whether you've got your multiplication tables right or So it is gusting. as her being her brother. of natural science and the next year he strating the possibility the impossibility of rational theol rational means natural. in time. realize thinking human being. "The Lost Conti nent . it is a certain vapid." Lessing is deprived his the manuscript of Reimarus' from censorship Apology. The Nathan the Wise.Winter argument. (Nic. acting consequently (translator's italics). Eth. anonymously. not orthodoxy. even correct ples without you're Because it is impossible that if they are his coming to their falsehood false: If you according to princi do lots of calculating. ostensibly demon appears. may. his colors by the Reimarus fragments and.10 That year. right side as herself makes undeniably plain. 73-84. but obedience are threatened . limping. in On 1780. Lessing publishes. prevented wholesale. it is conjoined with Peircian hopes for the self-corrective- principles. he is well by undermining belief in the Resurrection. That ogy. see Joel Carmichael." ness of conduct guided by "leading (That Lessing wasn't all that confident of progress in is shown. Since the thesis of exemption and must Reimarus' and longest fragment is that Jesus and his disciples were rebels against provokes the secular au thority of of his day.) The import of the pas sage I cited is. . if year died. For Reimarus' a recent setting out of Autumn. 1982/3. At least. what gives him character and perseverance the great excellences of a principles. Even before the publication of of "On the Objectives of Jesus and His Disci hand last over ples. to me. aged February 15 Kant's Critique of Pure Reason appeared.

To masons?" is probably tantamount to the question "why or. published in the United States. 1886). all over when he found out that just about ev the Brunswick court was a Mason. Joachim Kriiger. when it is rightly led by its superiors. better in the course of time But it seems to be a principle of certain preachers to stay put for . The people long been languishing: They are dying His of thirst. are Lessing's.234-36). but in the end the crowd tears itself away from them. this unless there are is a note to the contrary. ever in that moral and religious position won't in which their ancestors stood many hundreds of years earlier. I denominations want to the countless true nature* by that society gives a more should idea its But if Freemasons shown as of all welcome the perspective that is here the only one from supplied which sound The notes to the translation selectively incorporate -the information by von Olshausen. which I member of the society would give him pedagogic advantages. to whom the Dialogues are The man dedicated. Life and Works of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (Boston. and Heinrich Schneider in sing's Werke. the Carl Hanser edition. The Dialogues for Freemasons ask the only piece of writing of Mason?" Lessing's marked by a ded Free ication. more de cent. brother affairs. The Masonic path was the sought Germany. In short. leading members of the Lessing may have held that being a the to the reigning Duke. contains articles of consistently high intellectual calibre. *A11 italics 1. Particularly striking is the reference to the people's of an interpret in the light with important passage in Anti-Goeze V (vm. and in Schneider s Lessing: Zwolf biographische Studien (A. most obedient servant* Highness' If the ensuing be told exact which of of pages do not hold the true ontology writings occasioned of Freemasonry. book could v and elsewhere). had been foremost in Brunswick Masonic or It looks as though Lessing how to lead. "why bother to become a That Lessing asked to be because he expected to learn "saving dedication?" "why address "accepted" secrets" strikes me as incredible: Lessing was no Pierre Bezuhov (Tolstoy's War a and Peace. he men who counted (or hoped to one on which "found" audience he had to address in his earlier writings.14 Interpretation The Dialogues DEDICATION TO HIS SERENE stood whom HIGHNESS. is reminding him where thirst for truth (das Volk). Paul Peterson and von Olshausen edition of Les Rilla. His brother Karl thought needed Lessing became Mason because only thus he obtain information that he not to check out some scholarly guesses about the such history of the society. 1951) respectively. which comes to a head the following remark: meanest The crowd. Masons. DUKE FERDINAND / too by I the well of truth and wait to from have be given permission drew from it. The Lessing Yearbook. Francke. They tear themselves from the crowd. . the Aufbau edition of the Werke. I do think one need attribute singlemindedness so to Lessing: Schneider shows that life in Wolfenbuttel was very lonely for Lessing. How deeply. eryone at he may well have joined for conviviality. There is a fine biography of Lessing by Adolf Stahr. for that matter. Bern. becomes more enlightened. Duke Ferdinand. only he can judge to draw more deeply still. But count) not were only in Wolfenbuttel-Brunswick.

ask you I've been meaning to Ask away! Is it true."2 falk ernst falk I know those things. you If have had occurs your of taking in the fine morning. when. ernst friend. but they don't They don't? for much. But it would be hard to nearly like the one just uttered than this: Why up with a did it take Christian come systematically laid there been so many good Christians for so a rational account of their faith? Indeed. that you are a Freemason? falk That's the I believe question of one who is not a Mason. inevitable. then the question arises why it has taken so might long for someone to speak plainly. count and through whom you became "accepted. ernst falk That's the am. of course. answer of one who doesn't feel quite sure of But I ernst Then you must know whether. he is enjoying himself? And I am enjoying the lovely ernst falk You ' re quite right . FIRST CONVERSATION ernst falk What are you thinking about. Several things question more be said in reply. something for a long time. falk to be one. You're so quiet. when ernst falk morning. application of these remarks can be left to the reader. It gets worse in the Fourth and Fifth Dialogues. untutored nothing but a phantom).Ernst and Falk. placed elsewhere. . Dialogues for Freemasons 15 eyes catch sight of eyes glimpse something genuine (whereas. where. But myself give me a straight answer. friend? Nothing. fill pleasure com ernst falk I agree. Who thinks So . if something ernst falk to you. Masonic jargon is. If I were of thinking about pares with that thinking out something I'd be talking: No loud with a friend. ity so long to produce out manuals of instruction? Why have long such who neither could nor would give handbooks of Christianity as we now have might still be deemed little from them). why don't you talk. were it not expound the faith in an utterly The (since faith itself has probably gained that [certain?] Christians took it upon themselves to premature nonsensical way. Who doesn't What do "accept" and who isn't "accepted"? ernst you mean? 2. you a ernst Admittedly. . are Freemason? himself. .

16 Interpretation I believe that I am a falk cepted me into an official Freemason. Francke. something A nonentity. Lessing. you ernst falk were Others too have been But could you accepted and ? know everything believe they know. this indispensable Freemasonry? of which even As I indicated earlier. must grounded in the nature of man and of civil society.3 the few who do cannot say ernst falk others do not themselves know it. "I desecrate any secret knowledge. 1778. understand can put not ernst falk ers into words. and when and where what fosters and what ernst self And nevertheless you speak in hesitant tones "I believe my conviction to be one"? falk I've grown accustomed want to that tone. ernst falk Don't be hasty. these symbols. not because of lack of anyone's way. and often the idea I have exactly. ernst falk How? "accept" Because many who it. then. accepted without ernst falk have been knowing what you know? Yes. customs consequently. where the world had at last become tired of (Heinrich looking for The "it" did not them" Schneider. Stranger You or friend! accepted. 1951). but because I understand and appreciate what it has existed. ernst ernst falk people manage before Then tell me. Consequently be just as capable of upon it through one's own reflection as under external guidance. As Lessing wrote Duke Ferdinand on October 26. be falk arbitrary? Sure. in such a way that the words convey to oth ernst 3. Not always. I only tried to convince the world that truly great secrets con tinue to lie hidden there. But these words. did Freemasonry came on the scene? falk Freemasonry has always existed. what is this necessary. "Freemasonry is a necessity"? How. not because older Masons have ac lodge. but because I don't ernst falk to stand in You answer me as though I were a stranger. a superfluity. ernst "Freemasonry isn't anything arbitrary"? Doesn't it involve words and symbols and customs every one of which might have been different? Mustn't it. while But could you not? know what you know without having been accepted? Why Freemasonry coming isn't an arbitrary thing. hinders it. What I I those who know it cannot speak. but a ne one cessity. Approximately . wants to be impenetrable. if not exactly . such why Freemasonry is. Bern. then. . these do not constitute Freemasonry. unfortunately. A. Zwolf biographische Studien.

I can't deny on it.Ernst falk and Falk. so patriotic. multitude of multiplying incentives? Better to strengthen one motives is like a multitude of gears in a machine the more gears the falk more slips. and powerfully so. do they spread their order? their order can falk of more By deeds. support one another. callow disciples. be fair. ernst What is the to the utmost. the things that Brother Speaker not obviously doesn't talk out of school. those telling. allow good men and youths whom they deem worthy as much of intimate is association to surmise. work of apprentices. doubt what sort of is this that belittles best? all others. I'd almost call didn't they occur them shouting. gives itself out as strongest and falk Friend. ernst and songs falk by Freemasons? I only know of their speeches prettily printed normally than they are thought or recited. Don't judge by They're the You mean the exaggerations and confusions of idle songs and speeches. Flute: "Ich plauderte und das schlecht" war Papageno toward the . Why to me sooner. Dialogues for Freemasons less 17 or even Approximately conveys the same idea would be useless than the dangerous here: Useless if it bit more. They visible. and the rest of mankind. how. Who isn't falk friendly. idea. the rest? Supposed to be! (translator's italics) ernst Aren't there plenty of incentives and apart opportunities for such virtue from Masonry? falk Yes. dangerous if it holds of the least little ernst not Odd! If even the Freemasons who know the secret impart it verbally. then. charitable. but A the Masonic good of fellowship gives men an additional incentive. those deeds. new guess at. anyway? and they boasting human Nothing beyond what is ex every good being decent citizen that they're so friendly. ernst for are their deeds and since [whatever else you praising the Freemasons may say of him] he deeds speak for themselves. see their deeds them as The Masons' intimates find these deeds to their liking and do the same. deeds: as would Freemasons don't merely 4. casts them. As might be said of lots of other songs and speeches. "additional incentive" ernst Besides.4 I'm beginning to see what you are driving at. in its Masonic tinting end of the Lessing's word here is "plaudern. Are those virtues nothing? ernst Nothing supposed that would to be distinguish the Masons from charitable." familiar says from Mozart's Magic Act II. ernst Brother Speaker was talking nonsense? was falk I mean. falk so obedient. more Deeds? Deeds done ernst Or am I supposed to take the things they boast of in these songs as their deeds? If they What aren't are falk ernst pected of so just boasting? about.

didn't they foundling falk occasions. Basedow and started out as a student theology had Reimarus' come under influence. members of They work for the public good of whatever state they are members of.285ff. such assistance? Begrudge? Quite the Who is a stronger well-wisher of Base dow than I? ernst falk Well. to bring down the size of young girls as foundling hospital! who provide poor Ernst. Though the Philanthropin itself folded in 1793. hospital? I hope that the Freemasons of Stockholm showed their mettle at other ernst What other occasions? falk Just others. I all something ernst falk Freemasons. seriously. are. institute?5 What's wrong with that? ernst Or the Freemasons of Berlin.).i65ff. His ideas on education were also affected by Comenius (snatches such schools. He hoped it freundlichkeit und guter Kenntnisse fiir lernende undjunge a teacher prentice of would become "Schule der ("a school where Menschen- Lehrer" young and ap teachers would acquire philanthropia and good learning"). expresses strong reservations about Basedow (v. in the Literaturbriefe . consider the Freemasons of Brunswick. boys of poor talent with drawing lessons. crop up word for word in certain Masonic documents) and by Rousseau's Emile. You it in the And I'd newspaper? want I won't believe it till I see Basedow's handwritten receipt. to use scholastic jargon for brevity's sake. falk falk you who support The Masons support Basedow's teacher training Who told that fable? ernst falk It was all over read the newspaper.18 Interpretation any association. the Freemasons of Stockholm. then. who employ the lacemakers falk embroiderers. need I remind you of your name? Be serious! ernst Well. establish a ernst instance. the rest of their good Does that hold for all deeds as well? Perhaps. Perhaps How do the good deeds that you mentioned to me just now ad extra. falk For instance? I For want to be sure you're on the right track. albeit not as Anyway. ernst And the Freemasons and of Dresden. you won't ernst falk begrudge him contrary. don't Then you approve of Basedow's institute? financial Me? I approve wholeheartedly. their deeds that? ernst you mean 5. Basedow's Philanthropin. to be sure that it was made out to the Free masons. Even Freemasons may undertake I suppose so. You're becoming was unfair: incomprehensible. not just to some Freemasons in Berlin.. ernst falk Why. it served as a model for other of whose writings Lessing. Johann Bernhard Basedow (1723- 1790) was a German educational reformer who established training institute in Dessau in 1774. .

makes and authors of the works as pledges later the Encyclopedia) demanded in their own estimation palpable that power. note well. sounds mind This interpretation Falk's riddle overly ingenious.6 is to I'd make good That's and I to guess at rather stretch out beneath this tree the ants. But look there goes a butterfly that I want must have. work of charity of Christ. Christ and the My guess amounts to and ought Saints of this. note well. I'll be right back. Galileo. watch whose object riddles. 1964. can doing. I have gute not cracked the riddle. My guess depends on hearing the word opus underneath the German Tat. My guess is that in speaking of "Gute Taten welche darauf zielen Taten works of sacrifice Lessing's Falk covertly and ambiguously refers to: (a)human the charity (Wohltatigkeit). Des ing of the truth of words in any way lowering epistemic standards. Dialogues for Freemasons are 19 Perhaps these To the eye-catching things they do to draw the multi tude's attention. 1961) pp. (b)church sacraments. The writings of Frances Yates (Giordano Bruno Hermetic Tradi tion. when he speaks of the He is appropriating a word which. Opus is entbehrlich zu word machen" the operative ments. is felt to be what We shrink from passages like the Baconian is really real. London. But I real deeds are so can and am permitted to tell you this much: The pass good before it good ernst falk Indeed Come now. And it is not just a and the of tude through technology. Think Good deeds refuse about that bit. 58ff. Non in Luther's dispute with the Church what of Rome. (c)the supreme. one in Diderot's Encyclopedia (p. divine. And they continue to work for all the that is to be in the world. There is more to it than Pelagianism. deeds superfluous? ernst a riddle. What about their real ernst falk deeds then? You keep silent? Perhaps I have already answered you? Their real deeds are their secret. But aren't falcons known for their efficacy in the multi "bribing" far-sightedness and penetration? Call to the tremendous emphasis on works and modem philosophy. ernst Ha ha! Yet another one of those things that can't be put into words? falk great and of such long range that centuries may be said. and which ernst falk they do solely for this toleration? reason. were suggestion of some commentators that the men who (like Bacon. Stevin. gain respect and Could be. The Valois Tapestries. make me also doubt the cartes. ernst falk But these [the Masons' deeds] for a are themselves None better. of the place as an opus supererogatum: in the Second Dialogue. Routledge & Kegan Paul. so I quickly tell you just one aim at thing more: The true the Freemasons making true most of the deeds commonly good? called good superfluous.Ernst falk and Falk. Lessing refers himself introduces the Latin Masonic task context. in the world. virtii. "This was their Yet they have done everything in the world. Galileo's Dialogue Concern the Two Chief World Systems (Stillman Drake tr." Freemasons' Not very well. that the philosophes or Masons of highest degree eventually themselves to become superfluous. 6. in the traditional religious merit to the works of extraordinary done by Christ and the saints. in the world. 1959) and Edgar Wind's Pagan Mysteries of the Renaissance make me doubt the plausibility of separating the New Science from the New Politics. It's a Monarch! I deeds of to be off. 1972. you are pulling my leg. 158 Bobbs-Merrill . Opera is asks what Rome calls the Sacra opinionem sed opus esse cogitent used as is Bacon for in the selection from the Preface Critique of Pure to the Instauratio Magna that Kant frontispiece to the word second edition of the Reason. The Rosicrucian Enlightenment. Routledge & Kegan Paul.. University of California. upon which the rest re faithful draw. not.

5. prises as where technological inventions are sized up as harmless 4. but also an embracing. The Masons had the motto holding a pair of drawing compasses accompanies the motto. down to the brook. the article the on Art). my butterfly either. Just lie down beside falk look. talk about something else. Commerce be false to and pp. "prescientific" portion of Renaissance.20 Interpretation SECOND CONVERSATION ernst What's been me keeping you? You didn't catch your butterfly after all? falk It lured from bush to bush. What did you mean? or (translator's italics) all ernst Orthodox heretical Freemasons play with words. sometimes a picture of a man with a spade and a woman with a cross staff goes with old (I do not know how Bruno is is) "Par le that travail on vient a bout de and. rest of them. ernst falk There are such seducers! Have you thought it over? won't catch once ernst What? Your riddle? I now on. But this undermining of Christian doctrine is." These mottoes reading the of one portion of the seek hermetic tradition and right. provoke questions and then answer without falk me Is that so? Well. it was on the other side. from whom Descartes learned so much via Constantia as imprint for his books. and yet falk and such order! none Every one of them fetches and even carries and is in the other's way. because there midst is none in their to bind them together or to rule over them. Look. It is not just a rejec tion. Simon Stevin. Darkness to undermine the teaching that was held to undergird the power of the Kingdom of the teaching that the human stain can be washed away only through the ordained priest's power of administering the Sacraments.). as I see it. let's then. And that is falk I meant. Sometimes a picture of a it. Such busyness pushes. activity in of this ant At ernst At the life and and around and on top heap. away from my ernst pleasant really answering. if Frances Yates' tout. 17 of when compared to political enter (see also p. of nature as active. an expression of the new metaphysics as well. The rest of them? They ernst They don't? So there But heretics what are don't say the things I say. than getting you back into that since you tore Nothing is me and what? easier condition. Suddenly. 50 of the article on naive. heretics among the Masons too? And have something in common with you are one of them? always the ortho dox. . LLA ed. You're obviously just like the falk I tried to talk to you about Freemasonry. But I shan't worry about mine from That's enough. And theirs is a society more wonderful than the bees'. hand it used the motto Lahore et overwhelming interest in works. They strike us frighteningly The Dutch But it would contend that it was hatred of superstition or the love of man and not the love of truth that prompted the physicist and engineer Beeckman. they help each other! ernst Ants live in society just like bees. condition of mute avjxa (staunen).

though I won't deny that way that men would have had to invent polit ical 7. ernst falk would rather not that so loud. it I think seems.8 human devising. up. I mean the don't know your opinion on this at all. a shame. is a mere cover-up for tyranny. so too. ernst falk Hardly. want to maintain the former. I are said to have say to suffer. according to his Why? A truth which each construes ernst abused. Adeimantus in Republic n. 367 injustice. ernst falk On what? general. F a lk States unite human beings in order that through and in these associations enjoy his share bers is the happiness so-called matter every individual human being may better and more securely of happiness. Get Let's go: I want to ask you something. organization sooner or we would Cf. but the latter is proba bly truer. unsaid. ernst making fun And of me. Dialogues for Freemasons can exist even without government? rule 21 Order I ernst If every individual knows how to wonder whether himself. I don't to know about them anyway. . own situation is easily falk Do you realize. The totality of the shares of happiness of the mem of the state. But do I don't follow. Apart of this there is no happiness. you you consider it a means or an end? ernst falk Do think that men were made for the state or rather states for men? ernst Some. I They're going to crawl all over you.Ernst falk and Falk. The sage is unable to say things he had better leave As you wish. no how few. friend. Politics 1. Cf. What follows? falk nature Means only! means of has arranged things in such a later. fa lk about I beg your pardon. How do it ants. for human beings in ernst As a great good thing. ernst falk Yes. why not?7 falk human beings will ever reach that stage. but each would be his own best guardian. civil society and political orga nization of whatever sort are mere means to human happiness. but they could be spoken. you size up? Civil society. that you're already a demi-Freemason? ernst falk Who? Me? Yes. since you admit there are truths better not spoken. " not now be guarding against one another's 8. What ernst falk Indeed. You are But at least you see that I'm willing to tell you more them. Every other happiness of the state. falk No doubt. for the sake of which some of the members. All right. 1253a30. want ernst Let's not get back to the Freemasons.

infallible means. I believe that in Plato The and Aristotle agxiTEHTWv means something like the "superintendent works. and the state are ultimate ends of nature. Aristotle wanted to have it both ways Al Farabi Political Regime community who exists naturally in all" and also "there was someone who contrived of the community. and alone are exempt means of human invention. even supposing that the ship which sails out be Hercules on the frontispiece to Bacon's Novum Organum brings back science a new sci statecraft. because the bricks have no 6p\ir\ to assemble in this rather than that way. blatantly at odds with best may falk be undiscovered. why it are cheats so of of their happiness. from than what was America. 39 and p. The saying about politics being the architectonic art moves much closer to meaning that it is a produc tive art. one better their purpose. Cf. some very inadequate. the far-sighted one. they believed that natural end: Be As though natural teleol society were more inter ogy didn't bear on the production of means! As though nature (translator's such and fatherland abstractions like of ested in the happiness state.) this: than in the happiness of flesh and blood individuals. and Emst or Earnest. no matter how much better it is ." thus wrought the greatest of What kind community was it that he fashioned ? Accord cosmos at ing to becomes enized old Al Farabi. be considering is this: Whether. The Admitting that political constitutions would you next thing I want to ask you is (Staatsverfassungen) are means. Why this emphasis on the instrumental and status of political organization? Cf Summa contra Gen tiles 11. the efficacy of that had heretofore. There many types many individuals constitution. falk and navigation are means never toward distant lands. 1963) with the opening sen a dpur/ "toward this kind of tences of Hobbes Leviathan. Cornell University Press. 10. the pilot's governing art. You're meeting me half-way. Don't you think that even then. Republic and countless other texts about the ship of state. On the Attainment of Happiness (p. would. Suppose everybody the world over had accepted it. Medieval Political Philosophy. to yond the pillars of ence of friends.75." of etc. Forget about that.10 of one. example. the than the next. But what "natural" order within the political sphere when the new physics has homog heaven and earth? The artificiality of the social and political order becomes exacerbated. Falk or Falcon. question that I presume the two the serious one. and goods. always be limited. if you can think there. ital. human What do you say that they from the hu means?9 vicissitudes of ernst have in mind when you speak of "the vicissitudes of man means"? falk What makes them different from divine. yet known. they often produce results clean ernst Give Ships me an contrary to their design.22 Interpretation Which is why some ernst cause civil have held that civil everything our passions and our needs society is a leads there. things that are extremely disadvanta9. ernst Namely? are not falk That they infallible: Worse than being ineffectual. falk Fine. one that of this idea of a somehow mimes the rank order that exists in the large. under this best constitution. 61 in Lerner and Mahdi. Suppose the very best constitution imaginable were invented. but they are also to blame for many a man's ernst at. arriving Those who suffer shipwreck and drown? I see what you are driving But the reasons for are a constitution's failure.

suspi cious even ernst falk before they have had any personal dealings. he does not meet of him simply their shared of human being. me. Russians ernst falk and Swedes. unfortunately. You're right. prove Doesn't that that the means for uniting human beings. Aware these differences. falk human invention. must be flawed. wouldn't they. Dutchmen and Span ernst iards. they French. things of which men in the have been utterly ignorant? things occur under the supposedly best constitution I infer it isn't the best falk repeat after all. including political con I'm You I not just assuming it. consequently they will have quite different needs . and the members of each state have the interests of whatever state happens to be theirs? ernst falk now? Obviously. Assuming You that a better to one is possible? Well. these several states. So it would have to be divided into many smaller states. all governed with the same laws. just as they do So wouldn't the citizens of two different states be just as unable to encoun ter the one another without a burden of prejudice and suspicion best imaginable constitution as a German and a if they lived under Frenchman. each of or whatever they happen own to be called? Certainly. ernst falk One do for a start. meets a as a Frenchman or a a Frenchman an Englishman. Dialogues for Freemasons 23 human happiness If state of nature would ernst such would necessarily occur. also divide them? ERNST falk mates Suppose SO. national They meet as English. Such an immense state would be ungovernable. many of them. for assur ing their happiness I One step are through association. fellow German are man and to whom he is drawn because and nature. French cold. ernst falk Show want examples of the harm that comes necessarily of even the best constitution? could mention ten at will least.Ernst geous to and Falk. seem ernst sume all to me be disguising of with spurious subtlety that you as along that every instrument stitutions. take that better one and the question. Does that imply that all human beings in the world up one single state? Hardly. will have cli very different. these states Wouldn't have its interests. or a Frenchman and an Englishman today? ernst falk Very When a probably German . We are all mankind make live under supposing that the best constitution has been invented and that it. state-interests would often These clash. distant. that further. falk People would still be Germans and Frenchmen.

him. so one ought to suppose them of one religion. He meant not mean have construed that the very conception of a perfect world is self- contradictory "Pope as that ours is the best of the possible systems. is right" worth reading. Don't you think? ernst That's an enormous step! falk Wouldn't people still be Jews and Christians and Moslems and such? ernst falk with each I don't dare deny In that case. The steps of our argument were: One state. 633-70). the differences between Pope's "whatever is." nimmermehr einfallen is ambiguous. .11 for rights that ernst natural man could not possibly claim to be possessed It's very sad. rise to. Several states. several political constitutions. Christians. divide them without walls or digging ditches to keep ernst climb! Those chasms are so dreadful. those walls often so impossible to falk national I must add a third: and religious Civil society doesn't just divide human beings along lines. equally impossible. conse quently different religions. in "Rechte die dem brief naturlichen Menschen konnten. without quite at odds with its end. on ours Cf. same I can't imagine how they could be the falk Me neither. or neither. just as you supposed all the world's states to have one constitution politically. are studied. look. next That's how they nor Consider gives the second misfortune which civil society. and Lessing wrote a inconsequential Falk is speaking belongs to the past. 12. is there is also.Mendelssohn essay Metaphysician" (in. tian with a Jew. Such division into some few major parts each of a whole were which would for itself be surely better than no whole whatever. Anyway. I cal constitution politically without religious uniformity. as Inequality Voltaire his friend Mendelssohn translated that Discourse. them apart. a Jew to with a Moslem: Each will claim that men of his type are spiritually superior men of other type. but what you say is probably quite true. Leibniz seems to and being the best of all possible worlds. in which Theodicy is discussed. For instance. Several political that's how things are! constitutions. and they will thus lay the foundation of. Jews. proposed the hypothesis of the one best politi only to prevent your constitution].24 and Interpretation satisfactions. Strauss' "whole" 13. falk Only "probably I would true"? ernst think that. on and on within each such partial whole.12 possibility several of a perfect evading the issue [of the possibility or im Political and religious uniformity the world over are states. It is not clear whether the natural and man of whom the future. Leibniz' The Lessing.13 But civil ERNST 1 1 society divides Explain. Civil society erecting cannot unite men dividing them. but as a Chris it. consequently they will have different moral codes. Yes. the possibility that for every "progress" Leibniz' and dictum his "regress" is examined. "Nimmermehr" . review of Rousseau's Discourse on He did that it is perfect. way of using the word probably has something to do with affection for Lessing. and Moslems alike will continue to deal other as before. ernst falk several religions. not as one human being with another.

on the Magic Flute. of not letting them gain than is absolutely neces sary. anyway? To divide them. poorly administered estate need to be shared out a well-administered one. by far than the and there alone. keep them divided. have be an equal share Even if they all participate in legislative activity. prohibited? and ernst 14. ernst As the has it If you want to enjoy the fire you must expect to put up falk with the smoke. yet what be called an I was after. Rosicrucian. should one invention of chimneys? Is the fellow who invented them to enemy of fire? You see.14 If human beings of. Granted. therefore prohibit the Quite. are there many differentiation? (translator's italics) falk ernst unite that are not due to such social If only I human beings could contradict you! one must But why do I and want to. make falk Does it them sacred? ernst How do you mean that. ernst falk united And the image was most suitable. to upper and lower equal share in the state's And supposing that originally each citizen got an wealth. of cancelling their ill effects as much as possible. are bound to be rich ernst Evidently. at least. is my thesis. I would bless it ones mentioned. so that touching be prohibited. But granting that fire makes smoke unavoidable. and on Campanella. "sacred"? them ought to falk ernst I mean. Republic writings. That. closer or further from perfection. Masonic Think back Of course. and eco is impossible for nomic] all citizens to share the same [political. or among more heirs than and poor. But precisely. not an equal direct share. Dialogues for Freemasons you 25 of social classes Do believe that its a state without differentiation is conceivable? Let it be all a good or a bad state. what's ernst the point of dwelling on this conclusion? want me Are you trying to make civil conceived society hateful to me? Do you the idea of uniting into states? you to regret that people ever falk were even Do know me so little? If the only cultivated good gained from civil society that human reason can be if the evils it produced were greater proverb there. this distribution cannot be expected to last be man will yond a mere crease two generations: One a know better than may Soon there another how to in his property. that's What? I don't follow you. That's how it is. it social. fire and sun imagery proliferate in Hermetic. does that cannot be into states apart from such divisions as we spoke make the di visions good? ernst Why. no. It falk can't be otherwise. evils Consider now. they cannot in it. Touching with what end in view? more ground falk This.Ernst falk and Falk. conditions. Why should vn? that be Cf. So there are going classes. .

and what is can't falk since the civil wanted supererogatum is precisely something that crosses these. who do not believe that everything they regard as good and true must be good and true. ernst falk What's that you're saying? of That the Freemasons may be these very men who have taken on the job re-establishing human solidarity.26 Interpretation But it very well be enjoined either. further. merely a wish. . men in whose men who are not dazzled by high position and company the nobleman gladly stoops and the lowly confidently rise. ernst falk gize. . ernst May it be so. falk What if this I don't In wish of ours were fulfilled? there a man ernst falk Fulfilled? To be sure. that from now on there are always going to be such men? ernst falk Please God! not What if I told you. you say the Freemasons. ernst falk live ineffectually dis Happy get dream! point I'll right to the these men that we are speaking of are the Freemasons. law holds only within the boundaries of the state. popular May every state contain men who are not the creatures of the preju dices which of the religion they were raised in. including this in their proper business. certain epochs and certain regions falk What would you say if I told you that today men like this exist every where.? Our conversation brought me back to them matter We're bound to find crowd. more deserving against my will. May every state contain off by low. ernst falk not put May it be so. Wait a want to about them. see note 6] That the wisest and best of . it so. ernst falk ernst falk The Freemasons? Yes. at least not by the civil law. here mean and like that might turn up. I forgot that you don't we're being called for breakfast. I'm saying they The Masons? I count it as part of their business. So it can only be an opus [a work of supererogation. . that they do like the Church Invisible? persed. in every state who are beyond patriotism ceases to be virtuous. must remain men I believe May there be prejudice and who ernst falk I join you know exactly when in your wish. hear Look beg your pardon. there might even be several such ernst men. state freely undertake this task beyond the call of duty can only be wished ernst falk However ardent. I do apolo for conversation once we join the breakfast Come! . Let's go. every for. minute. just here and there and now and then.

Perhaps they're working in that vicinity. you say. secret ernst falk The You which. what about Well. That said me restores my peace of mind. Galileo. no one can give away? All right. I merely wanted to cure you of the prejudice that every spot fit for identified out. ernst falk ernst You're ridiculing my curiosity.. ernst falk Come on. That's why you were so absentminded with your men and women friends all day? ernst won't be able to get to sleep until you've answered at least one question of mine. 39ff. Wiggle as you please: From your speeches I conclude that the Free- See vm. ernst struck something think. But I've tracked you down to you bedroom. about the Freemasons that came unexpected. Perhaps your attention the Masons are working on it." Remember that Kant's Critique is the "Architectonic of Pure Rea That modern of firm foundations" epistemology is intimately connected with the "ruinously inapplicable metaphor (Bradley's phrase). made falk What was that? me. which you so were we artfully about piqued this morning. I it. Dialogues for Freemasons 27 THIRD CONVERSATION ernst All day long your you have been avoiding me in the crowd." like underbru "laying the design" "clearing away in the makers of the "setting the "city planning. falk The question? can you ernst masons How prove. I wanted to draw to something that deserves to be worked at. Curiosity? Yes. Now that Right. on them? I hope I didn't give the secret away when I tipsy the Pyrmont mineral water. or at least support. The frequency and centrality of architectural metaphors cornerstone. Newton. God is called an architect.Ernst and Falk. me. son. 117. falk What talking this morning? ernst falk was The Freemasons. it does come back to me." "architect's Observe that in Copernicus.15 and occupied and that all construction work has been building has been duly meted ernst 15. I your claim that the Free have these Did I when great and worthy aims? was not aware of falk at a speak to you of their aims? asked what might it." images. stop teasing you mention I'm sure you remember. 125 for some more architectural foundations. something that doesn't figure in the dreams of our clever political theorists (staatskluge Kopfe). to say to me? falk Do have something important I'm too tired for a mere chat. You were quite loss I be the Masons' true deeds. in Anderson's Constitution of 1723. and that this metaphor (which can be found equally in "worked" Descartes and Peirce!) seemed so natural and unavoidable. one section of as well as modernity deserves to be noticed. especially when in conjunction .

will seem irrefutable arguments discovery. and by allowing it to out germinate and send out shoots. Do include things that of don't belong. by clearing away may pass weeds thinning new plants. . Weigh their mutual influences. higher kind are the object of the efforts. centuries that. just those more which are ob most and vious even to the most nearsighted. if it is understood to These evils cannot be undone. who must venture and risk themselves according to their insight and Mason's be courage. Yes. by distantly stirring up this why I said perception people. by way of test.28 Interpretation have masons are people who freely chosen the responsibility of working against the unavoidable falk evils of the state. These the evils that cause citizens unhappiness. this illumination. But to to my question. just a few of the most uncontested and comprehensive. even being called a Freemason. the that go with this or that particular state of a given constitution. you put Right." may be too strong a word. Evils of a quite different. then. political. ernst no I understand. I . religious. because it ministered to all the shown moral. the Freemasons mean to how did it? work against the unavoidable evils. This study will reveal things to you which. I understand. called" ernst falk You say the words "being Because one may be something with so much emphasis. will give without against providence and virtue. scientific deserves to be pressing demands for in detail. not about We're talking evils the unavoidable evils of the state. Hold on to it. But understand about it right. you peace and make you [But] this happy. any state. and study these evils. But there are less comprehensive that are many just as sure such evils and less obvious. debatable. only rephrase: Since I now know the evils which Freemasonry combats falk ernst falk You know them? Didn't you enumerate them named a for me? I merely few of them." Fine! Go. Now do been you understand or not Freemasons have say "That is what always at work. Such a conception of their undertaking not will at least not dishonor them. need . It would destroy the state. inevitable. Without the are not evils that concern the Mason there could happy falk citizens. to those who do not yet perceive them as At most they the be mitigated. in days of de jection. be made apparent now can against" mean They in should not even evils. are and I now also understand the second part of the riddle deeds that falk to make good deeds superfluous. The healing citi and alleviating of evils native to a particular state the Freemason leaves to its citizen- zens. Get to know them all. which ernst All right. without return being called it. ernst falk "Work "undo them. with all the cognate architectural overhaul imagery. whether before one "good could they wrought"? ernst Yes.

the Harvard eighteenth century 14). by the Lessing is referring to the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of London. ligion in Men and which all true. leaving their particular opinions to themselves. runs: the Best Model of real author collection) may be its Government. for fact. yet it's now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that re Concerning god and R E L I G I o N . Show me that this is even falk or their objectives. of how readily he others. I know how easily deceives himself. That is. mean And that they I am glad to do this without threatening the individual state the continued existence of a plurality of states.Ernst and Falk. a clever person which No. Oddities. nor an irreligious Libertine. though Newton's friend and disciple. ernst I limit my about have Prove to me that the Freemasons have these in Not You are silent. he will never be a stupid Atheist. ostensibly drawn up Reverend James Anderson (Presbyterian) in 1723. by whatever Denominations or Persuasions they . their uncontested deeds done mean by fellowship they The to overcome the within divisions among men of which you spoke? unavoidable one of divisions the state and amongst states. Quest. to be good of Honour and Honesty. the Huguenot John Theophilus Desaguliers (who wrote an allegorical poem entitled ousted The New tonian System of the manuscript World. or Men Men agree. Dialogues for Freemasons question to the evils you mind. I am afraid you're a ernst selling me your own speculations falk Thanks I lot! you? ernst falk Did I insult suppose I ought to be grateful that you call "ingenuity" what might have been ernst given quite a different name. whatever it was.16 16. it is in (Schneider. But though in ancient Times Masons were charg'd in every Country to be of the Religion of that coun try or Nation. p. idiosyncracies You must that spring from or lead to union among would serve. But why do to know? ernst falk Will I you answer my question if I answer yours? Yes. But perhaps you will suspicious of me? doubt me less if I cite a constitutional principle of Freemasonry for you. Are you thinking? you want falk how to answer your question. attributes plans and intentions they never thought to falk But how do How we infer that several people have certain plans and intentions? Don't we reason from their else? deeds? back to my question from what indi Freemasons can it be inferred that in and by me ernst Which brings vidual. I am not necessarily asking you to tell me men of deeds. no. I promise. ernst cause asked and for evidence that the your Freemasons think as you say they do be I know fear ingenuity. have based is a your speculations on some such signs as I am asking for if your falk You continue "system" hypothesis. Only. ernst to hear it. falk My ingenuity? Yes. to obey the moral Law: and if he rightly understands the Art. Look. The "First Charge" of the Anderson Constitution A Mason is obliged by his Tenure. 29 yourself named.

and the Holy ance with the Jewish tradition (pp. ernst falk To wit? To accept into their ranks any worthy man of fit character. and give men to understand that their religion was human knowledge concerning but a thing of their own con trivance. falk And may the Freemasons some of have been resorting to a familiar ruse. 433L. Really? religion. In 1756 an an in print. as he did to those who came to his tri pod for instruction. 15L). so as to mislead such as. was fail to observe that Moses Seixas. Rhode Island (with SPOKEN the ringing sentence it is now no more that THE INDULGENCE OF ONE OF THEIR CLASS OF TOLERATION IS OF. At least these Jews sought to retain their own religious principles within thology of Masonic lodge meeting and dressed to the Father. THAT ANOTHER ENJOYED EXERCISE INHERENT NATURAL rights) sometimes a gation. neglects to report this fact). in Jews and Freemasons in Europe. 1970) does: as is. the Jewish prayers contained nothing at vari Historians who cite the remarkable exchange of of letters between George Washington BY and the Hebrew Congregation Newport. He invites comparing it to Mon taigne's How could that ancient God more clearly accuse the ignorance of the Divine Being. or civil condition.S. among them to be recited "at the opening of the Freemasons. and social distinctions. religious. There is universal no reason to assume that the authors of the provide English constitution intended. the principle was followed in practice. editor of the facsimile edition of the 1723 Constitution that I consulted. Lionel Vibert I.C. AS IF IT WAS THE PEOPLE. the Son.30 Interpretation Which? principle ernst falk A they have never kept secret and in accord with which they have always conducted themselves before the world's eyes. tutional principle itself does not raise up such But mustn't upon there be nitrogen in the for saltpeter [KN03 or NaN03] not to accumulate the walls? ernst Yes. shouldn't Why to allay the suspicion that he knows how to make it? may be distinguished. denies that there is any warrant in earlier Ma sonic charters for the sentence printed cursively in my citation. Past Master of the Lodge of Quatuor Coronati. useful as a bond to their society. to for Jewish candidates in the flesh. Yet ." the like. for the use of Jewish While the other prayers were ad prayers appeared Ghost. in ernst falk order Perhaps. make such a constitutional principle seems of to presuppose men already air light national. pp. whereby conciliating true The Masonry becomes the Center must of Unition. The consti men. Jacob Katz. driven by suspicion. (Re tired). and the Means of Friendship among Persons that have remain'd at a perpetual Distance. without dis tinction of ernst falk who fatherland. that of men openly practicing their secret objectives. the Warden of the Newport Hebrew Congre Mason (Annals of America. in their tolerance. that every one's true worship was that which he found in use in the place where he chanced to be (from the Apology of Raymond Sebond). . He does 1723- not comment on the 1723 charge 1939 (Cambridge. Admittedly. are always on the look-out for something different from what stares them in the face? the artisan who can make silver deal in silver scrap. when such candidates some of did apply for admission. than in declaring. the framework of the lodges.

By a curious co of these transcriptions fell into the hands of the present publisher. Lessing then. ready for print. names that were written out in the manuscript. the this continuation in author of the first three conversations had the manuscript for when hand. The two conversations trans in Lessing's lifetime (Frankfurt am Main. I do not know who is responsible for publishing them and for writing the no question. written about Freemasonry. What he thus learned. are you listening? You sound as though you were half asleep. fifth conversation. Then I shall be seeing you before you have finished yours. could no laudable. falk Already? Why so soon? ernst You know me and ask? How long will it be before you wind up your mineral water cure? falk ernst I only started it day before yesterday. and regretted that so many glorious truths should be suppressed zu decided. But I have had enough. . nothing Accepted Mason. that Lessing both wrote and published them. 1778: Since I most to deem the first three of the conversations question the weightiest. see spread more widely about matters so can important does in defense sufficiently that the reader of excuse liberty he not an except publisher is has taken. Of the three make so foregoing bold as conversations Lessing wrote Duke Ferdinand in on 19 October. Ernst went and became first. on the entreating hint not to publish . presumably incidence He one his permission. friend. had been held back by "Introduchimself. INTRODUCTION BY A THIRD PARTY As is known. 1780). notice that prudence and respect for a certain [Masonic] fraternity have prompted the publisher to delete some will. light the to let it be printed. Yet he had to some earlier shown manuscript of without fifth conversation friends who. in which there is a parting a of ways. Good night. Tomorrow very early I'm going back to town. NOTICE TO THE READER The at spark took. is the matter of a fourth and Freemason.Ernst and Falk. I . the fourth and Hoheren Orts). resist and truest things that may ever have been printed. There is lated below. had made copies of it. it reached him from the high (den bittenden Wink. No.1 i. Farewell. falk Goodnight. longer the temptation to have them (Schneider. sans hints (ohne Winke If the desire to not haben). Farewell. . Lessing . while published . Dialogues for Freemasons not? 31 ernst falk Why ernst Ernst. 14). be added The branch the however. enough for tonight.

not flames} wait for the smoke to clear. make themselves known to one another by special handshakes. I concluded my mineral water cure ages ago. Thereafter the flame will furnish light and ernst smoke will suffocate me able to before the flame will gives me light. have the benefit of its falk so long as you referring to those who positively relish the sting it rises from some rich kitchen that isn't their own? of the smoke ernst falk Then you admit of that you know these people? I've heard them. The damage surely cannot be so great. agreed with you? matter? I'm so glad.2 What's that falk You shrug your shoulders? That crowns it all! I tempted Perhaps you? without ernst falk meaning to. ernst falk crossly. Why? me ernst to do something silly. Ernst. 3. Here and throughout. But they were surrounded by smoke. Friedrich Nicolai Johann Hamann. and others. I you wilderness?4 notice that have been Then heat. I warmth. better Are bear the smoke. I'm supposed to have talked Freemasonry Party. Besides. The laboring among the graves of our forefathers . what prompted you ernst In that case. not to this promised land but through barren falk Come now. 5. You tempted you say? and very nearly with you. give me your hand. used the work done by Lessing's two friends. . people of a But I am still man of to blame? ernst The God tells the them not to land flowing with milk and honey. 4. Here And it you are at last. 15:22! forefathers" "The graves of the the and "flames" plained until brother there is reaches the degree of Lessing's seem to be Masonic symbols that aren't Master Mason.32 Interpretation FOURTH CONVERSATION falk Welcome." with you without giving you to understand in more than one tion by a Third Georg Masons Exodus Exodus Von Olshausen He reinserted the deleted names and made a few other corrections and in the 2. the shallowness falk about (Ungrund) of which you Your irritation makes you to lure me by a fine show of things knew very well? quite unfair. ernst falk Yes. Look. ever What's the I don't think I heard "I'm glad" said so ernst falk I do feel cross. believe. when and you expect yearn for it?3 Expect them not to murmur he leads them. pirated 1780 version. 13:5. italics ex are unless a note to the contrary.

because he is linked to the or even nection with eighteenth "re-Christianizing" this is not "Romanizing" that entirely lacking in interest is said to have been encour aged by the Catholic Stuarts to counteract the Protestant Hanoverian influence in Masonic circles. . harmful? ernst May be falk without you did. . Of what? You know Scottish Rites. Higher Degree ranks and Masonry (which. I would. Why you merely smile? What else can your I do? with ernst falk Show disgust these blockheads. they don't know any wants thing make of either? ernst They know plenty! They do have such high hopes. All must en that way. no exception could be made for you.Ernst way how and Falk. 167). the They? the order. why didn't me out of you tell me of your ernst falk cause intentions? you Would have tried to talk a them? me in leading strings merely be he occasionally stumbles! I won't flatter you: You were too far along for to hold you back. Even so. I blame you only of struggling for! Besides. reintroduced within the Masonic fellowship hierarchy merit qua progress many during due to genealogy or rank outside the Brotherhood instead of matching rank to in the craft) was brought to Germany by French army officers stationed in Ger the Seven Years War. Vain promises. You falk smile. The Scottish Knight's needing consolation may. know perfectly that when my fancy for showing it such luscious bait. . falk Bait that you soon got tired spreads its wings and takes off there is no stopping it. Dialogues for Freemasons it would 33 to become a pointless be for every decent man Mason. refer to the Stuart loss of the English throne. not just pointless. that the Lodges of Strict Observance tacked on. nothing but promises (Vertrostungen)\ falk Ah." beyond the third de Master. of course. then. (wessen hat ernst falk der schottische Ritter zu trostenf. vain promises.6 Yes. One to gold. ernst falk so they are already holding out promises to you. if any. I have no idea what connection. the Scottish Knight. . the third wants to revive the order Knights Templar. I imagine that the gree of promise refers to promotion to those "higher degrees. Certainly! Who'd put dapper boy back ter by ernst I would not be sorry to have entered upon it if I had higher expecta vain tions of the way remaining. According to Schneider (Lessing . I'd dearly like to know! other novices of Your comrades. But what does the Scottish Knight need consolation for sich . oddly enough. that the highest duties of I didn't tell the you Freemasonry can be well fulfilled bearing I name of Freemason? But you ernst remember that you said that. 6. ernst What? except that there is one thing that reconciles me to them. . Chevalier Ramsay (1681-1743) is sometimes mentioned in con and century Higher Degree Masonry. the other wants to summon spirits. there is between contemporary Higher Degree passage about the and the Masonry eighteenth-century variety.

. It's easier to tell how Free imagination than how they deal with real are beings. aphorisms "The advent of mechanical philosophies supposed to have sounded the death on knell (p. 1975. one could sure that at least one of them held true. There be only two alternatives. However. Whether gold can or can't be manufactured doesn't matter to me. either these would-be Templars you falk Ernst. Discours iv and v. Herman Boerhave process of formation. falk Yes. . If only either/or. p. toward the end 11. Kant (as far as either. Descartes. ernst falk can you say such things in so serious a tone? By that is sacred. but he still believed in trans"mutation Jo Teeter Dobbs. falk ernst I admit. become the Freemason. my tone is no more serious than the things them selves are. God theml you out! Heavens. I know) . because Knights Templar did succeeded at masons once exist." sufficient to cast grave doubt the proposition. book in the seventeenth century is usually . (Spot- then." 1734) is usually consid ered to be the first great rational chemist. fascinating study amply confirms Lessing's sense that occasional even frequent. ernst I've found You can't come up with anything to say. Press. 1. Isn't it bear this out? remarkable ports about alchemists alleged or real necromancers? ernst falk What about I'd say roughly the How all same of them spirits can't possibly listen to any human voice except that of a Freemason. and all these wrong tracks nonetheless indicate ernst Even the alchemy?7 the true way leads.34 Interpretation In all these reveries falk I detect where a straining after reality. stop before finish uttering yet another blasphemy on terei). ernst What do you mean? 7. Why don't you? For too long petty secrets have been made the mys tery. whereas there may never have been anyone who making gold or deal with creatures of the summoning spirits. ernst Can it be so? (Wenn das ware!) Where do willing? you stand on the issue of the new Knights falk Templar. . a thorough-going experimentalist and careful empiricist. . Indeed he was all of those things. that instant. . imbued with the Newtonian philosophy. of alchemy. Falk is often made to speak of Freemasonry as though it were natural science in sity Dobbs' Masons. on ac But I am positive that reasonable men will want to be able to make count of it only Freemasonry. Cf. Well. By my conscience. New Organon. the single example (1664- of Boerhave is Alchemy. And the one who should a lay hold of the philosopher's that all re stone would. are either the right reach it. 44). since asking for explanations. these.) and Bacon. path or else so ernst falk securely far from it that they should no longer even hope ever to I'll just listen. precisely these. chicanery should not make us deny the genuine questing for Wirklichkeit of the "Free Clearly. . 41 Gilson ed. I do not know why Lessing never mentions doesn't Lavoisier. The Foundations of Newton's (Betty Cambridge Univer also.

) resemblance in a footnote to the entry "Templars": was speaks to The Paris Temple Above it the centre of the world's money market. Its decision turns thing talking about: those Masons who today are big with all Knights Templar is well with see and feel the true point of likeness (diesen rechten Punkt). much harm may be done by keeping Much better if it were openly admitted and the pertinent respect in which the Knights Templar were the Freemasons likeness? of their day determined. work and upon all tive to it (jenen they Punkt). Perhaps there time when to take no notice of it a secret. held back because fear. supposing as I told before. the rumor that they were heretics somehow connected with Cathars and the teaching that all men are saved have not yet become the the vehicle in the end. I is why there for your becoming a Freemason. 8. if cross on and it was only the Free Mason who works at that great temple who reminded them of the Knights Templar. ernst For instance? matter of falk plar and For instance this the connection was a between the Knights Tem it was needful and good the Freemasons. In it popes and kings were not deposited their revenues. even if this for the Paraclete. their military power and strict discipline ensured the safe transmission of their reputation as monks guaranteed their treasure. The Encyclopedia Brittanica (eleventh ed. kept covert for prudential reasons. that we'll be I able Then I pray that Heaven to hold in our laughter. The when might mean metempsychosis thus. what point of resemblance between the Templars role as the Masons and Lessing Two things occur to me the Templars' international financiers the bankers. Freemasonry is. . indeed. and these vast sums all was hoarded but issued as loans on adequate security. ernst wish I among the books in my library! If I But to If guess right. that you are supply of ernst notice capable of anger and bitterness and after all. 595). it. to see how Armenia to they were the ideal bankers of the age. Today. I'd love to be told had in and mind. may bear out that Lessing was thinking of the Tem early critics the point of economic of Trinitarian Christianity. if then. especially taken together with Lessing's verbal endorsement of tempsychosis in On the Education of Mankind. Thus they became the prede cessors. Blessings upon all their from doing! But if they are blind and insensi themselves be seduced by a mere homonym. if they let that abstain them. something his wanting to do at certain of the so. their strongholds were scattered from Ireland. and later the rivals. . . that they are merely infatuated with the red after is fat prebends for themselves are grant us an ample the for their pity so friends. Dialogues for Freemasons of 35 you of The mystery utter. Mason cannot even the possibility Whereas little certain secrets are things perfectly sayable which times and in lands were concealed from envy. will you tell me? falk You won't on be needing the very such confirmation. ultimately. of the great Italian banking companies (xxvi. the Templars who made the exchange of money with the East possible. with for those who characterization of the Knight Templar in me Lessing's Nathan plars as Wise. contrary wise. while integrity.Ernst falk and Falk. we're return all to my either/or. if they all . You are bound to was no need it out. It is easy. while mantle.8 ernst May I hear of this point of of falk make Read the which history were the Knights Templar attentively. and with the world.

and England confiscated. may be touched by Enlightenment standards. as already said. and You didn't say that these alchemical or necroare mancing order. me so grow up. and Falk's not being 16. like you. Falk? . King of France dissolved by Pope early in the fourteenth century and the Templars' holdings in France. "A Jew? That will not do. Even without. What bothers me is that I neither see nor hear anything else. The order of Knights Templar was. the 9. satisfied p. I disregard it as a mere diversionary tactic. I'm in afraid. of course. the German Masons added bylaws when undesirables constructionists" Grand Lodge applied: Only for membership in our ehrwurdigen order. never and nowhere do I meet with about anything falk except blank silence when I try those themes. Lutheran.10 interpretation too. like ice. a Christian is or eligible Moslems. see ing that they've hit on the crazy major respect applies. that no one is the least bit interested in the kind of thing you raised my hope for. . So sponge what are least is way past it and no longer needs that sort of they after? Do they want to become the new absorbent squeeze?9 for the great to about what people am I asking? But why am I asking you these questions. 22). at the instance of Philip IV. did You couldn't have! Children hand. which you cited as a consti What I am are you ernst talking talking about equality. falk ernst Does it still exist? Did it Let an enlightened Jew ask for accep tance. ernst of the two conditions you described do you take to be that I of our gentleman? falk The latter. in these children's toys I see the weapons that grown men will some day wield with a sure what ernst Friend. Calvinist.36 Interpretation Quite capable. . Catholic. or Knight Templar-schemes taken up by the older members of the by anyone who you? isn't a child or else a man whom abuse." What sort of Christian is indifferent. I am cold again. No matter whom I talk to. Whereas (see of the note 69 above) the English and American Freemasons were "strict Constitution. Suffice it that. Clearly the candidate must be a of religious Christian. but on no account Jews Pagans. notion of reviving the Order of Knight Templar? That which at the Templars were the Freemasons of their day no longer Europe headstart. But how can be. The banning of Christian sectarianism in Masonic lodges great progress was. taking it as foreshadowing anything serious. "Regardless distinctions" merely means "without discriminating Roman among the three officially tolerated de Is that your nominations in the Holy Empire. Spain. 10. Which unfortunately. depresses isn't really this sort of childishness. that equality which seen filled my soul with the unfore get hope that I Well? breathe its air at last among men who know how to past social stratification without doing injury ever? to their neighbor. That equality about? might tutional principle of the order. The reason on by Jacob Katz (Jews and Freemasons for Ernst . falk Thank you for that remark. nothing stops from child Let them be. I wish I were mistaken. Lodges which have admitted any of these to their community have thereby clearly shown that they have no knowledge of the nature of Freemasonry.

Something 11. where all men are equal and have when one common interest." They'll say "That sort his coat. a ernst Suppose sufficient trusty cobbler comes along. if he be a Jacob Boehme . . Or imagine that a faith ful. 1576) is the shoemaker-poet who is the hero of Wagner's Master Singers Nuremberg. Things were different in my day. leisure to think many a good thought. somewhat recondite fact worth on written constitutions (state or recording is that it seems to me possi federal) is connected with Masonic do with respect p. John's College. have was me embarassed him. he. 1927) cites a remark of President Theodore Roosevelt in the issue of McClure Magazine which bears on the justice of Ernst's expectations: I violate no secret when men July 1909 tunity for in all walks of I say that one of the greatest values in Masonry is that it affords an oppor life to meet on common ground. "lodge" 13. after all. dukes. Dialogues for Freemasons see 37 No. a man who while his last has cepted. Compare Eva Brann. I It's been too long I was connected with not think there is a difference between being admitted can only any lodge. at More than Change of St. Annapolis. since his teachings these die Morgenrote im to Masonic spirituality. all these folk meet and greet each other the lodges without distinction of rank. p. B. becom . person. but from secondary literature I infer that there is a Boehme would be excluded from German lodges. is better known as the author of oder Hans Sachs (1494- the mystic treatises Aurora Theologia Germania. September 30. appendix on social franchise classes in England around 1648. call on me. For example. classes and See C. I could not call upon him when I came home.11 "A cobbler?" "why. clearly. artists.12 We are such good good company amongst falk Just how company? Nothing wrong with it at all.1624). Goldwin Mind. likewise a shoemaker. observation that not read Aufgang (Aurora or the Crack of Dawn) and books. lords. In the though I was President. much-tried manservant ask for acceptance. except that one gets tired of moving in nothing but the right social circles princes. and it was good for him and for (Roth. merchants. Jakob Boehme (1575. He me. But at bottom they all belong to the rank. Neither was over could Lodge it good different. Philip Roth. My guess is that stands for what people normally stands mean by Freemasonry. who is not at liberty is the to choose the colors of ourselves. a cobbler. Sure. Paradoxes of Education in a Repub and a lic. But don't you to a lodge for the time be ing One and being excluded from Freemasonryl " reason for my deeming this ble that the American emphasis experience. I was President. 102. of seasoned.Ernst falk and Falk. Still since I don't know. the Master was a worshipful brother Doughty. officers." to use Strauss' phrase and "economized" "politicized" ing 3 above). not entirely true that the raising up of men of a certain kind has nothing to for a written constitution. falk guess. MacPherson. The enigmatic sentences harmonize with this interpretation. even working at Let him ask to be ac or a They'll turn him down they'll say. for Philosophy "as about an eternal possi bility. 134). councillors ernst of at every variety. Political Theory of Possessive Individualism. I it differently. without embarassment." entitled "James Madison and the Bill of Rights: 1983. in Masonry in the Formation of Our Government (Wisconsin. which same social is. does not be long. I have sting in the contributed 12. lecture a by Robert A. It is. unfortunately. It would gardener of the estate of one of my neighbors and a most excellent public-spirited citi zen with whom I liked to maintain contact. p. Hans Sachs. Clearly. Freemasonry also for "philosophe" in the sense of Diderot (cited "Freemasonry" et al.

officiated the ceremony. the using of princely authority and might to brethren who observe rites different from the ones that some want to genuine turn into the only prophet. Scheme. . ernst Keep talking. . mem Indeed. this desire to buy into partnerships. husk. the prosperity of the church and the faith of been at odds with each . accumulating of capital. you Surely What don't suppose that Freemasonry has always played the Ma sonic part? ernst falk are you talking about? I'm asking you whether you hold that what Freemasonry is has always been called so? (translator's italics) But look. Nothing. absolutely nothing only the faith of the members can be inferred from the kind of church's external prosperity. . New at ton's friend apostle. but clearly I must. Perhaps Providence se lected precisely this Freemasonry. You'll stay. ernst I did me. that at since a twofold nourishment is waiting for falk Hush. from what I'm told. not intend to. this going after royal and suppress princely licenses. Good! falk Supposing that the Masons no longer need fear even the state. 14. come of it all? The state no longer interferes much. it's going won't you? on supper-time. . history bers have other.38 Interpretation How so? ernst falk stands Because of the analogy that lodge stands to about Freemasonry reverse: as church to faith. the one has always destroyed the And so I am afraid that. falk Although sure nothing lasts for ever. rites these things must end in fiasco. quite beyond This keeping accounts. was initiated into the Brunswick Lodge. other. these efforts to squeeze the last percentage of profit. . anyway. for example. ernst falk course of events to make an end of the present scheme of "Scheme I of Freemasonry"? guise. My guests are arriving. none of table. Quite the There is its a prosperity that would shows that always by miracle be compatible with genuine faith. how in where opinion. . ernst falk me. still ernst falk don't follow. John Theophilus Desaguliers (1683- 1744). . Frederick the Great and of Prussia. I hope I am a false ernst What's going to 14 . is this going to affect them? Doesn't it put them right back started? Doesn't it stop them from being what they mean to be? I'm they your not sure you quite understand me. out What? goings on at of The lodges today are. there are already too many Freemasons amongst those who make or maintain its laws for.

in Europe fight for the of as you may not have. "I 1828. 9. and the stone was laid into place. the United ac The Great Seal is imprinted States. for the men who speaks of political dreams. Masonic Opera (Knopf. that he is one of those who ernst falk Americans. must have been a touchy subject. hesitated only because he feared American Roman Catholics might be see Washington Post. congress He fancies that the American is a Masonic lodge and that the Freemasons ernst last establishing their realm That kind of dreamer exists as well? " by force of arms. speaks of scientific were at the books Margaret C. on that simply drops out of the equation. as in this passage. "I pronounce and Pennsylvania had well the stone suitable for use ceremony this stone formed. After three pronounced trusty" from the in the States Maryland. Masons have secret signs of recognition the special handshake at the beginning of the Fourth Conversation. second only to the signing of the Declaration Independence. if indeed it be second to that. The knocking reminds me of how. Delaware. the special knock here. I heard him. on the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence. At the opening of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. true. is empty. 1971). we used the of the Morse Code (and of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony!) to identify ourselves. Roth. Carroll had been one of the original projectors of the " Railroad and a heavy investor in its stock. King of England. designed in the eighteenth century (adopted Masonic insignia (which who are reproduced on our one-dollar bills at the June 20. From his harangues I gathered. would be a mistake. Duke Frederick.16 That's the least are there at his faults. The ceremony of lay ing the corner stone of the United States Capitol in Washington was under the auspices of the Grand of Lodge Maryland (a painting by Stanley Massey Arthurs depicting George Washington in full Ma sonic regalia while surance seum laying the corner stone used to hang company in Washington). were said. moved the first shovelful of earth with a silver spade at the cornerstone laying ceremony: consider this of among the most important acts of my life. Com Jacques Chailley.15 falk Yes. p. instance of Franklin D. The Magic Flute. Charles Carroll threw the in the gallery of the Acadia Mutual Life In plaque at the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Mu first symbolic spadeful of soil and members of the Grand Lodge of Maryland laid the first grand masters stone. Then benedictions said to a Charles Carroll. According of with to Bernard Fay (a professor of American Studies at the Sorbonne who sent thousands French Freemasons to their death in World War II the Germans at the generals were war's and was tried and convicted as a collaborator end) all the staff officers and General Washington trusted and all the lead see of ing army Masons (Revolution Freemasonry: 1689-1800. offended by this open declaration. to fill the Brunswick treasury. Masonry in the Formation of Our Government. Dialogues for Freemasons 39 FIFTH CONVERSATION ernst They've left didn't want at last. the Crown Prince all were pare also 16. 15. in World War it. But count. 17. What babblers! You that the one with seem not to have noticed perhaps you about to? the wart on his chin who cares his name? is a Mason. Where the Fourth Conversation dreams. 1761-1799. 1782). Roosevelt. had sold a substantial number of his male subjects to England to fight against the rebel American colonists. The American War for Independence Masons. no important public work was started in the United States of America without an appropriate Masonic ceremony. That these two least psychologically connected . He kept knocking. According to a in Baltimore. 1935. and General Washington! To claim. which was of first measured with the appropriate instruments. after anointed with oil and wine and scattered with grain. Duke Charles. Jacob). Little Brown. friend. he had. Nov.Ernst and Falk. that so were Freemasonry of with George III. since Duke Charles. July 4. the Fifth. D7). and also Philip A. 1982. New York.

Its heading is "Deutsche (German freedom). only fragments exist. with Aesopian a friend to animals. It is confirmed by the poem (if that is what it should be called). the revolution fails because non-citizens use it to course of events 20lf.724L That Lessing did not adore Frederick is shown by the report that he declined the post of Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Koenigsberg (Kant's university!) because it involved the obligation to deliver a yearly eulogy to the king. I. Obviously. "On the forthcoming Nathan. the Seven Years War. the major plays are on political themes: Emilia Galotti is a transformed. 1972). Nathan the Wise." even now. so far. than Frederick's Berlin. The other omitted find "To Mr.146): You [Gleim] know best how to sing for him [Frederick]. Then I this day the most slavish In the sentences Lessing indicates that he believes Catholic Vienna is a freeer place passage is from his private notes. but applicable to threeany of the hundred-odd courts of Germany. man ought is limited to silly tirades "of which an . then. Samuel a geois. protesting in Berlin raising his voice their being fleeced and against you'll [royal] despotism. infer Lessing's political about Dramaturgy. until as some and Denmark do Europe. deals with a failed revolution in the city of Bern. found only two (25 August. not only her The Rosicrucian Enlightenment (Routledge & Kegan Paul. The Freemason calmly waits for the sun to the lights on in the meantime." must answer Precisely the supposed where Lessing politically is not easy to make outright political statements: In a frequently cited letter to Nicolai honest Let's liberty of thought and publication in Frederick the against religion with I have. set in Italy. want. Potter. 1769) he pokes fun at Great's Berlin. . meanwhile." "modernity. learned by studying what staving it off amounted to. From a what do you conclude that he is given to such notions? From trait which will eventually become more conspicuous to you as ernst God.40 Interpretation Unavoidably. Von Olshausen uses Lessing here attributes the saying to Franklin. is. cal" the Correspondence all opinions. the Fables. "bour Livy's (m. help but somehow "deal with" in Bern is de Minna von Barnhelm can . For this purpose Henry Kamen's The Spanish Inquisition (Signet. . What wel coming modernity meant is. unfortunately. the plays. A Short History of Switzerland. trag edy of That. 44-58) Virginia theme. shown by the work of Frances Yates. chiefly from his Tragedy. but without explaining why. Gleim" (1. ernst will be no end of questions. The historic in Beaujour. allowing them to shine for as long and are able. achieve ends of private vengeance scribed not is worthy of note. falk ernst falk well. (The syntactic ambiguity of the second sentence is in the original). saying that this liberty out. version of Henzi. perhaps. to teach a more quiet wisdom a fable about the bloodthirsty tiger. . Freiheit" out what country is from the translation. timidity. to be ashamed. is very helpful." "Just try writing about other things in behalf of the rights of the same freedom! see someone against [Frederick's] in France land in subjects. as I urged earlier. if I knew that I have been so much deceived in the Freemasons! leaves to falk Don't fret. it to have Ernst declare himself an opponent of revolution by force. especially chapter 7. as I tried to show in a essay." Wisdom of is about not just about religious toleration." Properly read. 1965). V. That's how I it: "What costs blood is sure not deserve it. "aesthetic" works and the Hamburg (of course) the "theologi writings. which. I must answer you. made the modern world also Bruno book but 18. . according to Lessing's lay-out of the muthos. . stood I you."18 Excellent! Now Then there ask what you will. rise and as they want It's not his way to see snuff the candles and when they to are extinguished suddenly to ernst falk realize that the stubs must be relit or other light provided. One must. Offler. Hence Falk's enthusiastic response "Now ask what you will.

easily degenerate into of minds attuned who would civil ordinances. tolerate covertly. The two ciety isn't merely to the sun. of course. which has always so been the stronger association." word . willingly or not. Suffice it to say that the did not become applied to members of our secret brother the hood until beginning of this date century. that it de rives from the sun. which these. it depends another. You are ernst talking about the German version of the name. said that Freemasonry has its always existed I understood you that not only its essence present organization date back to hoary is falk As though both were in the same case! The essence of Freemasonry still as old as civil society. the fate of either civil has always affected that of the other. many. if indeed of Freemasonry: The flame at the focus is could not arise except civil so due ernst That's how it whether dimly looks to me too. were the forms each of of civil society. The name does not reliably occur printed work of earlier even and I dare anyone to show me an older in any document in handwritten form. society anywhere. Freemasonry? course. Dialogues for Freemasons you 41 Only don't know didn't I where to start? ernst Did I or understand you just before Because we were when interrupted? to Were you or weren't you you contradicting but also yourself? in an earlier con versation mean ages. it is hard to this passage otherwise than as saying of the light in the cave. political How way have imagined that the for it was tailor- name was older than the made?19 ruling of thought ernst falk name "Freemasonry" What is that ruling way of thought? I leave the question to your own investigation. it is to this day an unmistakeable sign of a state's weakness and timidity if it won't tolerate openly what it must. the city hearth. Despite the read comparative rarity of references to Platonic dialogues in Lessing's eeuvre. the cosmic hearth.) Thus the be a stand-in for philosophy-science's relation to politics. Whatever the condition of of versa. (Similar imagery can be found in Harvey's On the Circulation daughter or sisterly relation of Freemasonry and civil society would of the Blood. aren't you? 19. ernst To wit.Ernst falk and Falk. falk which so Of Because at bottom it does not depend on external ties. receiving a new name. about rather on the com munity feeling to one ernst And dare to legislate that! falk Which does been not take away from the fact that to accommodate Freemasonry has as were always and everywhere obliged itself to the format As many of civil soci ety. flourish and vice and strength of a state has Just always as it permitted Freemasonry to by its side. such too was the condition The most reliable indication of the soundness been whether or not Freemasonry. necessarily. the forms of could you Freemasonry. of mother and falk But their relation be that daughter or of sisters.19 an offshoot together. "Herrschende Denkungsart der motherStaate" sounds to me like the true original for Strauss' "regime.

Cf.42 Interpretation falk No. ernst work prior can't Reconsider. history. nothing but dust! be! of which I haven't heard. falk written Henry be an That It must Henry VI again? entirely new find. 1778. . The Acts of Parliament 1660- referred to allude to as semblies of stonemasons. ernst can't falk What would you call these word twistings and sham documents? gotten ernst How could they have away with such deception with all the world's eyes upon them? falk contradict persist. The in no printed to this century. King falk of Dust! And Locke? you ernst falk Which Locke do The in have in mind? ernst philosopher. ernst falk Some But In the dust that still hasn't settled got into the passage in. Enough if they don't let it to have nonsense foisted on the public at all would be bet most ter. after an acquire an air of of a the serious and sacred in the And so. despicable interval nonsense can. 22. thousand years people say: "Would this have been allowed to circulate in written form if it weren't true? No one con tradicted these ernst falk trustworthy men then. in the history not so of the building arts is given out as history of the Masonic order. . the fraud was easily detected. be serious. James Howell's Londinopolis (London. Besides.23 of Pembroke. 23. 1772). There never are enough sensible people around for those few to every piece of nonsense not Obviously. Perhaps it was good for something in its day. Henry's reign stretches from 1422 to 1461. 21. 1657) may be meant. See William Preston's Illustrations of Joachim Heinrich Campe of October. Lessing's letter to . Dust. VI' his letter to the Earl s own hand. being so despicable fight it. Easy. Masonry (London. . 1697. the notes of a hearing. . What are callow you want you? which to contradict them now?" Anderson's the rhapsody. But no. your eyes too? ernst what about falk Londinopolis?20 That's of what you mean. is bad. isn't it? Dust! under ernst How about the Acts Parliament Henry VI?21 falk Dust! And the Great Privileges Sweden?22 ernst granted to the Gothenberg Lodge by Charles XI. none? falk None! Yet I have of myself. Do Oh history. I You mean the original English "Freemason" name along name occurs with all sub sequent translations of it. . But that 20. Because precisely the that nobody bothers to course of time. from its inception.

When I told waiting for me to that Freemasonry has not ask? "masony." ernst falk Sure. ernst falk What question were you wasn't "Freemasonry. day Masonei was still familiar but its ernst falk good meaning became altered I know nothing about either a good or a bad sense of the word. you do know of the custom of our forefathers to deliberate about matters while at the most important table. but in in common that of the Goths and Franks as the word is German originally. have been a in the stocks if some mi nor civil matter had been ernst were mightn't more than of old just of play on words be involved? What if it preserved true that from the secret the order has chiefly been the homonymous falk by craft? were true! (translator's italics) Mustn't it be? Why else should the cisely from this craft. use. not masonry but masony. Mase meaning table? In what language? of In the language well. But not of the fact. Dialogues for Freemasons to 43 should main people should continue build on such tain in print what they'd be ashamed to say marshy ground. according to Kruger's note. the English name No. ernst falk the one I offered? No. worker ernst falk in stone." always borne that name. Mase refers to table and Masonei to a company" Maskopie means. Masgenosse.24 In Luther's to a worse. that to to keep a joke going a which should have been dropped would . ernst Am I supposed to guess or will falk was you tell me? If a while back you had asked me quite another question. deriving not from mason. the Latin mensa (still used at continental universi mass ties to refer to the student per of dining hall) is absent? in the background. that they viva voce to a serious man. one that I waiting for. ernst What other name it has had? Quite. another word for Tischgenosse as a company gathered for the meal. it only natural immediately to ask. falk You want to know what Freemasonry was called before it was called I answer. one of the or koinonia more broadly . so the Anglosaxons. but from mase. . . So I ask the question now. why not from some other? //it ernst order borrow its symbols pre falk ernst falk An appealing question! There must be an explanation There is. "trading understood. . the English name was . But is (the Lord's Supper sup fellowship) entirely . masleidig means "to lack an appetite". for in Maskopie. Surely. An entirely different one. you'd easily you come up with the answer now. . long put ago they even resort forgery. Masgenosse is 24. forgery But for which at they issue. Still. table or tablet.Ernst and Falk. Even are today a number of com pound words stance formed from it masleidig. or were till recently.

In case this isn't obvious Arthur's table was round to eliminate 25. the period which. To this fact the often old songbooks and histories testify. ernst falk Wasn't Arthur the one who established By no means. . connection. they were held in the highest regard. ernst What are you trying to tell falk All that I tions I promise to cess to some now say in brief and perhaps without the necessary qualifica document next time. At any rate. though undocumented in written tested to by a tradition so carefully preserved and marked history. as the name than likely that the Anglosaxons brought only such customs to England as they also left behind in their original fatherland? Besides. (which is how Agricola ernst falk understands the word)2S party turned into is easily seen. "Es gehet zu wie in Agricola's explanatory note to this entry ("They're carrying on as at King Ar thur's court") remarks that the assembly of knights used to be called the Round Table or Masony (die Tafelrunde oder die Messenei). Masonies had their aces of own buildings. Let curiosity be piqued rather than satisfied. not even according to the fable." ranking\ 26. Not a court in Germany. falk The story King Arthur may be fable but the it? round table is not. And isn't it more from the Anglosaxons. large or small. then. cites Artus' Krueger Hofe. adjoining to or near the castles and pal so often the ruling prince. when we are both in the city and have ac my books. despite the dissolution of the order. struck such deep root in in every once a whole rose hung on under all changes of flourishing condition. by is so many signs of Konig entry 668 of Johann Agricola's Anthology of Proverbs. . derived from this these supper clubs What more need the celebrity than that the society of the round table was the first and oldest. round of The table? That goes back to a a quite fabulous antiquity. from ernst which all others spring. but had one. main And here begins nevertheless at tained itself in London the end of the seventeenth century. hear me out as you would the first great event. before some masonies degenerated in this way and lost their good repute. today erroneously I say of attrib of uted. until Templar became especially famous. groups in the context of greater civil society. other Germanic nations of it "masony" over that day had the the same penchant for forming me? smaller. For the present.44 Interpretation How a private supper private supper party.and it thirteenth-century It was such a masonies of the Knights templar masony which. . There is Thanes of the masony regime and disagreement among were. "Thane" (as in Macbeth's "Thane of Cawdor") is in the German text. a drinking party italics) Is that what happened to the word "lodge"? (translator's But earlier. Arthur or his father took suggests. The twelfth. Where did you rumor of ernst leave off? custom which falk Masony. scholars on the question who the were Presumably they the new soil that to its nobles. more intimate. some Masony16 was a German the Saxons transplanted to England. The building's name.

were curators (see "Das Gebaude der Herzog-August-Biblio in W. to you and all who are your position. Republicans (London. afterwards. I imagine that the extraordinarily complicated history of the re-education of mankind would be greatly illuminated if a really knowledgeable student of architecture got going on it. (On Pico's influence I tried to comment briefly in a Note on Eva Brann's "Roots of Mo dernity. with Pico della Mirandola. Totok and C. Wren. and of Hanover. an Hadrian's Pantheon. Allow me to mention one other curious tidbit: The first English grammar school not un 1966). I feel justified. Trevelyan. in Italy. 5 above of the Translat zweiten or's Introduction. 1981). For what and Freemasons. The German of reads 28. see G. The London Mercers' Guild friend and mentor. Can there really in the United States. then undergoing . surrounding the Revolution of 1689." sisted" by a men who moved did Locke and office and establishing Wil 47 above). alteration. which ascended to the throne of England. 277. may have been "as the members of the Royal Society. "ft. out with ernst falk end of Well. Intellectual Origins of the English Revolution (Oxford. according to John Aubrey's Natural History of Wiltshire. see Margaret C. thek . I feel. Dean of St. At to documentary What in stands proof? falk in the Nothing. M. Paul's Cathe . See also three books of Christopher Hill. comes brief account of some of the circumstances 1978). 1966). The House der church or royal management stood by St. ' . The World Upside Down (Penguin. sein Wirken. Paul's was. p." Christopher Wren's sort of where "library Leibniz. liam For of the throne in his stead (cf saying. original design for the remodeling of London's St. According to Frederic Seebohm's The Oxford Reformers: John Colet. 1913). Longmans. . this templar masony was still in existence in London at the the seventeenth century. Green. The Pantheon may also have served as model for the first building designed to be a library: It used to stand in Wolfenbuttel. Clarendon Press. bloodlessly removing James "Franklin's in the same circles as II from p. later Lessing. Norton. Haase. I am told. trying to avert! See p.27 history that is ernst means of What stands in the way way? of turning this tradition at last into be history by for it. Erasmus and supported it. . George Allen & Unwin. Peter's Basilica in Rome. it. The Glorious Orange on Revolution. of Kirche der Welt. what the Founders were On my reading of the history of Freemasonry. Jacobs. precisely. 1691 Wren was indeed the designer of the new St. There is much to said lest. and on be much doubt that the wealth of neoclassical architecture the Continent has something to do architectural with the fact that Machiavelli's teaching to re-vive pre-Christian Rome "took"? Despite the fact that imagery is favored by Lessing too and that he picks an architect. 348ft. Paul's. Colet's educational mission (he gave his life and fortune to the school that he re-founded) was born of Colet's meeting. Hanover." ganzen The first Chris "church topher sonic the world" whole course. then. St. even obligated. Paul's Cathedral and headmaster. dedicated in 1626. The Century of Revolution (New York. as a of temple. England. Its meeting house stood in the vicinity of St. 1965). As I said. was adopted as a Ma brother on Monday. Erasmus' and Thomas More (London. to disclose this history. und seine Zeit. 1985). "radicalism" is. John's Review. and wrote a history of it. Dialogues for Freemasons 45 written trusworthiness that the tradition may substitute for the lacking. A Shortened History of England (Penguin). I am all ears. The Radical Enlightenment: Pantheists. It was to house the books and manuscripts of the Herzog-August-Bibliothek. and bore its name. pp. May 18. which was Paul's Cathedral. was its John Colet. dral in London. "Der Baumeister dieser was. The master builder of this second church of the entire world was 27. He imitation was also a vehement royalist. was a sprig of the House of Brunswick! I imagine that this is why Gibbon took an interest in the House of Brunswick. Leibniz: sein Leben. Leibniz is said to have conceived it.Ernst and Falk.

(retired). Duke of Montagu. who encouraged other arts. "masony" by The true meaning of the word the English people. though justly rivaled in England by our great Master Mason." (Consti Freemasons. where the prodigious geometrician Archimedes did flourish general. 1723: Reproduced in Facsimile with an Introduction by Lionel Vibert I. 38). Bacon. in clergyman's of dress. which thus became the center of learning. in St. and who apparently hoped to win Protestant cause. authored a perfectly delightful handbook on architecture. should we pictured. succeeding to the Crown of England. Past Master of the Lodge of Quatuor Coronati (Bernard Quaritch. named the creator of the whole of modern Freema sonry falk ! Him? put. ancient ernst Briefly Wren. of Scotland. has who an essay on buildings side way.. what they knew before being either mean or irregular. to Rome. 24f). the great care that the Scots took for the learned and magnanimous . . But upon her demise. But as they subdued the nations. regularly frequented a by the master builder. rubbish . she could not be made a Mason. and Asia the ancient Romans leamt both the science and the art. tution of the pp. I begin to else? smell a misunderstanding. in prompts me of James VI Essays. A masony hard by so What had been forgotten a so important building ven a ture. . . being a Mason King. Christopher Wren. is mentioned and by name as If Lessing had seen things history as a mere "rhapsody"? Anderson (or DesaDeputy Grand Master at the end of the Dedication to the by side with one on gardens. but the arts and sciences along with the most eminent professors and practi and was slain when Syracuse was taken For from Sicily as well as tioners. ernst falk You have just . the vicinity of which an extremely visited masony and used to assemble since time the immemorial. . Lessing did not. Augustus Caesar is chitecture given the whose reign was born God's title "Grand Master of the Lodge at Rome" and the Augustan style of ar is recommended as "the pattern and standard of true masonry in all future times. the great architect of the church).. the Roman from Greece. would he have written off Anderson's the guliers. until they advanced to their zenith of glory under Augustus Caesar (in Messiah. Queen Elizabeth. with whom Wren consulted about architectural problems? ernst A perfectly natural inference. was raised from its in . Some pages below the "history" continues as follows: of true masonry proved afterwards very useful to England. London. Egypt. that the for ar that seized hold of men since the Renaissance is to be taken as well as in a trans posed sense. . being a woman. King James VI. who has not yet been Italy duly imitated in Italy. What mat who served Venice to the the "my" to say this is. discouraged this because. the diplo Scotland. as Founder that buildings themselves were chitecture of the Masonic society. above all by the great Palladio. for instance. in the prefatory engraving) writes: Nor forget the learned island unhappily Sicily. . The Augustan style . later James I of England. and like wise men. the master builder of the Cathedral of St. not the body of the people. Inigo Jones (p.S. they led captive. by Marcellus.C. revived the English lodges and as he was the first King of Great Britain. Paul's. as well as of imperial power.46 Interpretation Christopher Wren. 1923. Paul's ernst falk was a member of this masony during thirty years of reconstruction he it regularly. he was also the first Prince of the world that recovered the Roman architecture from the ruins of Gothic ignorance. what else could it be than "masonry. appreciate passion meant to serve in the re-education of mankind. as far as I "straight" can see." society of men skilled in the art of architecture. they made mighty discoveries in both. the fact that Sir Henry Wotton. got lost.

how inventive of a scientific know Christopher Wren. POSTSCRIPT A sixth conversation between these friends does preceding. Farewell. Finally you he was. strike you? and thereby Free masonry sprang into being. Dialogues for Freemasons was 47 All London interested in getting progress reports on the construc tion of such a church. then." Since Lessing studied Diderot's how Bacon is ter than I ever spoken for the theatre. Let me reiterate.Ernst falk and Falk. Lessing's friend Nicolai is well aware of Bacon's stehen status as the new Moses: In his remarkably careful historical investigation. To get to possess any building in first hand information." Appendix to his Versuch available at uber die Beschuldigungen dem Templerorden many of gemacht worden (1782. Nicolai anticipates the discoveries of Frances Yates in her book works the Rosicrucian "enlightenment. I do not know what to make of the fact that Lessing does Ent- not mention Bacon's role in the "projecting" of that society. . . Now do you understand ernst city? beg you. "Uber das welche der Freymaurergesellschaft. ernst and seize hold. How does that ernst I am dazzled. Don't you have urgent business in the falk Is that where you want me to be? to. what sort of energetic. here what useful things are true. You must be off to the city. all who deemed themselves expertise would clamor for admission to the supposed and masonry. Farewell. I may have spoken too vaguely to satisfy you." terpart to it. man and ask vain. Yet Nicolai who can be presumed to know Lessing bet . The sun is going One sun is setting. . not lend itself to be such imitation as was furnished for the means Its essential matter will given in the form 29. relying on memory. Lessing the Royal Society. ernst falk Want? After you promised Well. it is impossible for me to believe that he did not know of in the Encyclopedia. "men would investigate what truths are useful. takes Lessing's straight. another rising.29 Then it occurred to him that a society that rose from the activities of daily life (Praxis des biigerlichen Lebens) to speculation would be a fitting coun "There. "history" shall. . the University on of Cincinnati). . What if I make some of the principles of masony exoteric? What if I hide the things that the cannot craft? be made exoteric under the hiero glyphics and symbols of building Why not enlarge what people now a take to be the sense which a of the "masonry" word participate?" so that it becomes Freemasonry in larger number can Thus thought Wren. no more. . he thought. there are a number of matters that require my attention there. including the bit about masonry and masonyl . But among my books you will see down. friend. falk Do you see a little light now? ernst falk A little? Too I much all of a sudden. Wren had earlier participated in the would make speculative truths more projecting efficacious society that directly in establishing the public good and in making civic life more commo dious.

p. on the obligatory the project of re indubitables. Hebrews 1 1:10). Luke 6:46f. in Plato's Statesman and in Aristotle's Politics. Eph . the metaphor of sors. constituting the public world of men awake (Heraclitus 237).48 Interpretation to the fifth conversation. I came found ing fathers tural modernity were deliberately deploying inherited uses of architec imagery. . shoulu ue probed. I owe the Carroll and Franklin D.g. that of we should doubt In wholesale and good enough believe retail.. Descartes. Ezekiel) the New Testament (Matthew 7:i5f. 104. Hobbes. he dreaded the tendency of doctrines mankind to 'swallow that for an innate principle them. accepting "basis" constituting 56^a this enterprise. that of "founding" imorn^r). perhaps.. 280: [Locke's] which noble zeal for liberty of thought. I Corinthians 3:1 if. the new Just when and Erkenntnistheorie had originally been the one enterprise of re politics. seemed to me that comparing the "natural" to a temple and the heav to believe that the to a cupola has something about it. Locke's nephew. Having become building imagery. Peter King. I came upon Ma sonic snatches the unfinished pyramid below the Eye of God on our one-dollar bills an and the portrait of Washington mentioned Freemasonry Harvey Flaumenhaft (to whom interest in in note 1 5 Thus I was led to take in Lessing's Dialogues.. Job 38. This made me notice that it was just one of a family of build "foundations" ing images that runs through and the writings of Bacon.' which might may suit gradually his purpose prepare who teacheth ") the conviction had taken hold of me that the new science. Roosevelt cita- . Ps. that the modality of matter in necessity. 78:67^. Ps. of critical notes withheld. Isaiah 51.. Peirce.. which I found to have had a fairly prominent place in the Old of Testament (2 Sam. I as permitted to report that the history of this undertaking is follows: For years I tried to understand the as of modern epistemological enterprise. Although it ens many others. These notes are for the time being Translator's Postscript After this may be many long and somewhat odd effort at translation and interpretation. is incoherent. Matthew i6:i5f. I reached the conclusion that intellectually which supposes that all trust needs legitimizing. I02:25f. eventually. but needs "grounding" fact is never an effort to learn why this intellectual obligation so gripped my predeces I took up the question whether.. writes in his Life Letters of John Locke.ians 2:19. Kant. The fact that and. Ps. 22. I and aware of the political and religious contexts was of the older as a thought it unlikely that epistemology "In his was intended value-neutral assignment (e. world Harrington.

finally. Dialogues for Freemasons my sense 49 modern world and shared that the story of the making of the the story Freemasonry formation as is contained in the of are intertwined notes. . John's College patiently away for materials only obtainable through interlibrary loan. who wrote .Ernst tions). at the St. who generously lent me books Library. and Falk. encouraged me to make available such in I also owe much to Cathy Berry. Thanks. are due to Gisela and Laurence Berns.


E. 1939. Lessing (and secondarily with F. it is for philosophers in itself. 22. and he men tioned it both in "A Accounts. est d'expliquer librement de la vie ses pensees. and rough loc. conscious of the debt he owed Lessing. in his letter of 3 (The College [Annapolis and Santa Fe] Vol. to decide statements of ancient writers. however number of ancient writers brief. silence of the silence of the leading encyclopedia cannot possibly be due to the the sources. sincere and appears with no changes to the text that could affect the meaning. H.' Concerning this intention. K. then. la le gouvernement. It deals primarily with G. 1971. was probably prepared shortly thereafter. Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt: Friedrich Frommann [Gunther Holzboog]. it is that influence cance while which prevents scholars philosophy from attaching on classical signifi to numerous. 1-5). The final typed version. 3 Part 1.' points are as clear today as they were Leo Strauss copy: following essay was discovered by the present writer in the Archive of the University of Chicago Library (final version: Box 9. Professor Jo due for his kind assistance. his handwritten corrections. This essay is seph published with the permission of the Cropsey. viii." closest thing we possess wanted to write. The classi cal scholar Zeller may have believed himself to have cogent reasons for rejecting the view that Aristotle "designedly chose for his scientific publications a style This essay was originally written by Leo Strauss in December. cit. Voltaire n'est qu'un The distinction between exoteric (or public) any and esoteric (or secret) teaching is not at present considered to be of significance thought of the past: the leading had encyclopedia of for the understanding of the classical antiquity does not con Since a considerable tain any article. 1974. religion et Celui qui n'ose regarder fixement les deux poles humaine. in order to present the of of be entitled 'Taking Leave to me Germany. the letter to Altmann in the that "the decisive 'Vorbemerkung. and doubt partly due to his reading Volumes to 2. The generous interest and assistance of of Estate Professor Alexander Altmann is also gratefully acknowledged. on exoteric or esoteric." Giving of and (April. 3 Part 2. thanks are Leo Strauss. Folder 18. Strauss was very p.) Per haps this essay is the mundo'. since and to 1937.. it must be due to the influence of modern scholarship. It was in the immediately preceding years with that Strauss had made his rediscovery of exotericism. p." Lessing's teaching "'de Deo et Strauss also said (Cf. . For it is for classical scholars whether and where the distinction be tween exoteric and esoteric to decide whether teaching is occurs that distinction significant in the sources. not a little to say about the distinction in question. Folder 2). 1970) in the pp. Schleiermacher). and this of was no Lessing in connection with his researches for the Moses Mendelssohn Jubildumsausgabe. to Alexander Altmann (published by him 'Vorbemerkung' to Volume 3 Part 2 of the Moses Mendelssohn Gesammelte Schriften: to the essay which Strauss said in 1971 that he had "Zentrum" Jubildumsausgabe. G. No. to whose executor.) The Box 12. 1 May 28. if not necessarily correct.Exoteric Teaching Kenneth Hart Green Leo Strauss edited by Le partage du brave homme lache. And modern philosophy is not favorable to an affirmative answer to this philosophic question.

2.. if he had not been assured rejected view by the philosopher Zeller that the "attributes to the philosopher a motive. eds. the necessary imperfection what of all political and he calls freemasonry. ernst. ."1 very childish sort of mystification. sagen. First dialogue (at the end) and third dialogue (p. p.6 1 . Gotthold Ephraim Lessing in himself in a unique way the so ques von divergent den it qualities of the philosopher and of the scholar. plications of by Gottfried Fittbogen. I. ja kann 5. a man must which know truths reason of of which ought view better to be concealed. life making necessary the existence of he does not hesitate to assert that freemasonry. who expresses himself every some evasively and sometimes enigmatically. Weisst du. He discussed as clearly and as fully as could be done of by someone who still accepted exoteri cism not merely as a strange fact the past. is necessary. London. was the last writer as a principle who guiding his while revealed. Petersen and 138-89 (the two other treatises mentioned (xxiv. Leipzig. loc. but it must be doubted whether these have appeared to him equally cogent. vi. In the reasons compelling wise men to hide the truth: he writing between the lines. it is explicitly stated that only such shortcomings of even the best political constitution have been explicitly mentioned as are evident even to the most shortsighted eye This implies that there are other shortcomings of political life as such which are not evident to "short eyes.I20ff. 146-53). He discussed the tion of exotericism clearly and Strafen" fully in three little Falk" writings of his: in "Leibniz ewigen Dreieinigkeit" (1773). above).3 for all times and. its essential implications united fully understood at by one man. pp. 3. tries to show that political constitution. but rather as an own intelligible necessity activity. 31). Aristotle and the Earlier Peripatetics (translated by Costelloe and Muirhead). Compare Aufgabe" Lessing's "Uber eine zeitige Lessing's his exotericism was recognized to a certain extent Lessings. dass du schon die man view of the ein halber Freimaurer bist? Aber doch sagen denn du falk erkennst Wahrheiten. the view that all the philosophers was still ancient had distinguished between their and exoteric and were their esoteric teaching least maintained. wholly destitute of any reasonable As late as the last third of the eighteenth century. schon Lessing is based Kantian meaning of philosophy. In the third dialogue (p. short. 6off. In "Ernst what Falk. cit. von Olshausen. Lessing therefore.52 Interpretation to the obscure and unintelligible reasons would lay mind". Der Weise verschweigt" (Second Dialogue. kdnnte. Werke. 40). and even the best political constitution. 21-60 also Falk") and xxi. Freund. "falk." sighted 6." between the lines about the art of und a character. 39). See Lessing. wrote literary hiding them. was always in existence and will always be. and in order to be a freemason. Falk himself is a freemason. if a heretical freemason. ("Ernst und 1897. and in "Ernst und (1777 and 1780). is necessarily imperfect. however see Die Religion 1923. since his interpretation of Kantian 4. in "Des Andreas Wissowatius Einwiirfe wider die 2 (1773). nicht was er besser besser verschweigt. called Falk. and 79ff.4 Which is then the imperfect?5 concealed his that all political life is of necessarily The intention and the good works the freemasons is to make good works superfluous. Fittbogen does not the most on a important im or post- valuable remarks.

In "Leibniz these views den Strafen" ewigen and Leibniz' in "Wissowatius."8 concealed reasons of the imperfection political life as such are the facts that or all practical or political life is essentially in is self-sufficient. and to supersede in practice. Somewhat later the Lessing indicates 7. in words. is higher. "society which The tice of civil life to speculation. 143 and 181. l8oc7-d5. then. the requirements of the sideration of that conflict is the ultimate reason why the Falk" wise or the men of contemplation) must conceal certain points out fundamental may be added that Lessing gions is due to the variety the problem of in "Ernst und that the variety of reli of political constitutions:9 the religious problem (i. The distinction "mysticism" between any sort exoteric and esoteric speech has then so little to do with on of that it is an outcome of prudence. 34ff. and that the requirements of the conflict lower are bound from time to time to "freemasons" with. other teaching. observed a sort of prudence our most recent philosophers have become much too wise." Lessing The applies to an explanation of attitude toward religion. Second dialogue (pp.Exoteric Teaching came 53 being."11 states peculiar way ceived opinions with "what all the ancient philosophers used assenting to re to do in asserts their exoteric By making that statement.e. 13. which reached. of an exoteric essential features of are Leibniz' exotericism to the exotericism of the exotericism? What. he two manners of not only that all and the ancient an esoteric philosophers made use of manner. 147. 146. it is true. Cf. motives and explicit which purpose of these two little treatises is to discuss "the certain orthodox reasons had induced Leibniz to defend nation and beliefs (the belief in Leibniz' eternal of the dam the belief in trinity). Lessing is identical speech. 12."13 for which.). loc. Con (i. von positive religion) is considered by him as part and par cel of the political problem. 11. he also bids us to trace back all ancients. as that all works. The contradiction between the statement made at existence and the statement made toward the end that of the eighteenth century enables us to see beginning that freemasonry is always in freemasonry came into being at the beginning that freemasonry is an ambiguous term. cit. xxi. Theaetetus. Werke. Cf. cit.. 10. cit. It ferior to are contemplative as life.e. 316C5-317C5 and 343b4-5- . Plato.10 While that defending Leibniz' defense of belief in eternal damnation. what are the essential fea motives and rea opinion?12 tures of Leibniz' Or. the truths.. "superfluous" far the level of theoretical life. Loc. the sons which guided Leibniz in his defense of the orthodox or received peculiar Lessing's first to received answer to this question is that with Leibniz' way of assenting to opinions is identical He "what all the ancient philosophers used do in their exoteric speech. end). historical.. 147.7 freemasonry scientific into when someone who society which should make conceived of a the speculative truths should raise originally had planned a useful for practical itself from the prac of and political life. Loc. Fifth dialogue (toward the 9. with Protagoras. and therefore also all good works. 8.

cret owes its necessary imperfection of all practical or po Some 14. I should not however for that should the question: why this counterques- frighten been with a mere possibility? have to expect tion: why not frighten with it. (4) Some be exoteric statements are addressed statements. In I53ff. (2) The exoteric presentation of the statements which are considered by the philosopher himself statements. And then he at this conception although it concerns reason raise the mere possibility." (Werke. increasing humanity shudders For I it wickedness of moral beings."15 view of exoteric teaching. statements facts. Loc. 187 and 189. 173). H. but what Lessing chooses to "a mere possibility": that statement he does not. as distinguished from truth makes use of not of its esoteric presentation." only be frightful to him who has never This implies that a philosopher not a who makes an exoteric call statement. although the obvious part of his view. 16. also the remarks about on pp. seine eigentliche zu ent160. I glance even shall omit all elements that view which are not noticed at a first by the most superficial reader of Lessing. of the statement that there is such a thing as eternally increas human beings which would ing wickedness of ishments). . believe in the truth of (e. conversation. Jacobi about Leibniz: "Es ist bei dem grossten Scharfsinn oft sehr schwer. Meinung xxiv. That and the exoteric reason enabling Leibniz to defend the ortho expressed in his de on fense of that of doctrine. litical life.e. Leibniz16 (i) Lessing asserts that all the ancient philosophers and made use of exoteric presentation of the truth. 15. he believed in them least to the ex tent that he considered it expedient to teach such punishments in terms which do not in any way arouse suspicion and which are most Before proceeding any further. Loc. The impression created by this summary. I must summarize Lessing's explicit. asserts. "believing" a private decken. such statements as would not and could not occur within the esoteric teaching) are made by the phi by such losopher for reasons of prudence or expediency. Cf. he asserts. to morally inferior people who ought to be are certain frightened (5) There best is political constitution or political to practical concealed.54 Interpretation reason the difference between the esoteric dox doctrine of eternal damnation. if taken by itself. cit. cit.. (6) Even the is bound to be imperfect. is somewhat enigmatic. fact. Lessing said to F. strictly speaking. is not misleading: existence to the which as such knows of se truths. but of mere possibilities. To avoid the danger of arbitrary of interpretation. (3) Exoteric (i." and practical life.g.14 exoteric reason. that there which must truths a close connection between exotericism and a peculiar attitude toward political "freemasonry. 184.. since can earnest about the betterment of himself. (7) Theoretical life is superior life. readers might be inclined to dismiss Lessing's whole teaching at once. is based the mere goes possibility on eternally to say: "It is true. This is indicated quotation by Lessing in the justify eternally increasing pun following remark introducing a at from the final part of Plato's Gorgias: "Socrates himself believed in such eternal punishments quite seriously. published only after his death.

considers it "a weak point of that writing that Plato has not made a more energetic use of the argument taken from Socrates' service old to refuting the charge that Socrates did not believe in the gods. passages name of philoso was For he knew the in Plato in in it is indicated that it the sophists who refused to conceal the truth. to my knowledge. one must point out sentence permits writers of a wholly unobjectionable interpretation: Lessing implicitly deserve the which denies that on philosophical phers. 185. he had to discuss in detail the kind view that there are two kinds of Platonic teaching. at least among scholars and philosophers elists. To warn such readers. 16.19 remarks the subtlety In has.17 speeches. 20. never been He surpassed or even rivalled since.. the perfectly trained student of Plato understands adequately. "polytheism and popular reli had used the less ambigu Schleiermacher if expression: is an ambiguous them. or merely philosophers have made use of exoteric that the incriminated traditional. remarks about important of which and true doing this. to that belief is clearly expressed in in his introduction to his translation of Plato's Apology of Socrates. a matter of fact. so that one can scarcely believe that his pupils might have information about Yet.Exoteric since Teaching all 55 it seems to be based on the assumption that the ancient obviously erroneous.18 topics who reject exotericism. Berlin. he made five or six extremely Plato's literary devices. F. p.2. Inhalts VII (Werke. 1805. an exoteric and an esoteric one. Stromata. 1804. an the teaching which in the dialogues of there is.. . Schleiermacher. 18. presented asserts that there is only one Platonic although teaching speak. 3rd ed.97ff. Lessing's way 1. Yet he failed to see the crucial question. 19. Loc."21 Compare Clemens Alexandrinus. Berlin. 3rded. the question of exotericism seems to have been lost as completely. identical student with teaching the perfectly trained actually understands? The distinction between Plato's exoteric and esoteric teaching had popular sometimes and been traced back to Plato's to the necessity in which religion" opposition to "polytheism and of he found himself this view read hiding that opposition. 1855. he Apollo. in which is based on the identification of the natural order of Platonic still dialogues the sequence of their elaboration. Berlin. so to infinite number of degrees the understanding of that teaching: it is the same teaching which the beginner understands inadequately. cit. Platons Werke. Platons Werke. 1855.). 128. antiquarischen . 12. Schleiermacher believes principles on he has refuted by asserting that "Plato's that topic are clear enough to needed still more gion" in his writings. p. After Lessing. who died in the year which Kant published his Critique of sight of almost nov Pure Reason."20 Athens. Cf . 1. expressing himself. and which with Platonic studies. 14. Berlin. 20. Berlin. distinguished from When Schleiermacher introduced that style of classical scholarship is still engaged. for a similar example of xvil. p." ous "belief in the have As existence of the gods worshipped by the city of he could not said that Plato's opposition his writings. his Briefe p. only But is then the the and which teaching which the beginner actually understands. for 17.. 58 of (365 Stahlin). 1855. 3rded. v. 1. 21.. p.

. die eigentliche Untersu- chung Haut iiberkleidet. it is well-known that. 12. i. tue is not genuine virtue. Republic 4l4b4ff. was beobachtet oder gefunden werden. Zusammenhang scharft und Loc. 24. 52ie. the morality of the beginners is of the Republic. verdeckt. a total break the attitude of the beginner: the beginner is a man who has not yet for one moment and left the cave. (ist) dem nur beziehungsweise so . who (if he is not of whereas the philosopher is the man who has left the cave compelled "the islands opher the blessed. eigentlich soil wird mit einer anderen. also Phaedo 69a-c. . dasjenige aber nur noch mine). Republic 430C3-5 and Phaedo 82aio-b8. Cf.e. sondern wie mit einer angewachsenen welche Unaufmerksamen. " ..23 cording to with Plato. nicht wie mit einem Schleier. but also morally.22 of the But did any those investigations which are merely the absolutely. statements which. but vulgar or political virtue a virtue based not on insight. on The difference between the beginner and the philos student of (for the perfectly trained a Plato is of no one else but the genuine philosopher) is difference not of degree."25 "Das geheime . or is the way between the two extremes interrupted by a chasm? Schleiermacher tacitly assumes that the way from the beginning to the end is continuous. 25. i. Cf. the "auxiliaries.e. believe "noble lies. . virtue is knowledge or science. cit. but not yet the morality of the the best among whom are the beginners. Now. therefore. lautert. requisite for a "skin" man in his senses ever assert that Plato wished to hide his secret teaching from all to carry any other readers or weight from all men? Did any man whose judgment esoteric can claim in this matter ever understand by Plato's teaching anything than that teaching of his dialogues which escapes the inattentive readers only? The only possible difference of opinion concerns exclusively the meaning of the distinction between inattentive and attentive readers: does a continuous way lead from the extremely inattentive reader to the extremely attentive reader. Laws 663d6ff." We may say. but only from the inattentive readers. the beginner is inferior to the perfectly trained student of Plato not only intellectually. but kind.56 Interpretation gods." aber auch nur diesem.i. 20 (the italics are Republic 5i8c-e. are nevertheless lies. not or that attention is the only pre full understanding of his real investigations as distinguished from former. while being useful for the po litical community. ." If Plato's Socrates believed in "the believed in them "polytheism Schleiermacher' old can one is not Plato himself likely to have as well? And how then say that Plato's opposition to religion" and popular as such s strongest argument against the assertion is clearly expressed in his writings? distinction of two teachings of real Plato appears to be his that Plato's investigations are hidden. And what holds true of the difference between truth and lies holds equally true of the difference between exoteric and must 22. and 6i9c-d. ac conversion." "auxiliaries" Now. That is to say.24 the morality of the "guardians. the morality on which of the beginners of has a basis essentially rests: their vir different from the basis the morality the philosophers only. but on customs or laws." to do otherwise) lives outside of the cave. whereas. And there is a difference not of degree but of kind between truth and lie or untruth. according to Plato. philosophy presupposes a real i. dem Aufmerksamen den Sinn fur den innern 23.

e.398). the remarks of the young Lessing 9. "Knowledge defensive of the essence of reason is ethics" and "The ordinary distinction between on offensive and wars is empty" quite (loc. to the difference rality which is at the bottom of the difference between exoteric and esoteric teaching.g.38).27 and to understand. 28. the crisis which Lessing underwent when he was about forty occurs in the Briefe 30.4iff. . after having had the what sacrifices it requires."29 that I shall have to get back That to passage has sometimes been ra understood to indicate that Lessing was about return from the intransigent tionalism of his earlier period toward a more positive view of the Bible and the ample evidence Biblical tradition.30 to show that this interpretation is The context of the passage makes and it clear that the things which Lessing had "thrown truths which away" before which. xxiv. 60 and 276). There is wrong. which is more or less familiar to every reader if not Plato. How about was Lessing led to notice. . i..5) in the tenth Literaturbrief (Werke. von of Olshausen in his introduction to Werke. the relevant passage in Gellius (xx. Nor does Falk" he. the philosophic men and men. is not even mentioned by Schleiermacher in his refutation of the view that there is a distinction between connection of Plato's allude exoteric and esoteric teaching. and therewith to the distinction between the two a ways of presenting the truth. cit.Exoteric esoteric Teaching 57 exoteric teaching. afar" in Ferguson's book "truths in the and we go on continual contradiction of happen to live reason can living continually following in the interest e. Jacobi) which come closer to the spirit Platonic dialogues A their technique than Schleiermacher' other modern work in the German language. For it is that experience of what philoso experience which leads in a straight way to the distinction between the two the unphilosophic groups of men. Werke. Jacobi. beinahe fur eine Palinodie angesehen wurde. the information the fact that "all the philosophers" ancient had distinguished had between their rediscovered exoteric and their esoteric teaching? If I am not mistaken. as much as conversation with and to Lessing's dialogues ("Ernst probably any und and Lessing's of F. reason26 I return to Lessing. 30th 1784. he ought to "fetch book by Ferguson. he afar" he descried "from in a were feels. H. Cf. of To Moses Mendelssohn. 29. in that context. I have thrown away a little too again. Another statement about January 1771. would s refutation of the view in question compar ison the of his Philosophic Ethics with the Nicomachean Ethics bring to light why he failed to pay any attention to the difference between the mo of the beginner and the morality of the philosopher. iv.250)." This of considerations. he that distinction the bearing of by his own exertion after having undergone phy is and his conversion. Compare also Jacobi's letter to Hamann von einigen sein December fur eine nicht unchristliche Als (Lessings) Erziehung des Menschengeschlechts Schrift. for Plato's teaching is identical with his "noble lies.28 he expresses his fear that much "by throwing away certain prejudices. antiquarischen Inhalts LIV (Werke. duly emphasized by all students of Plato. See e. 27.g.: of That be discovered by an analysis of the statements. Therefore is not convincing. " xvn. stieg Ergrimmen" Arger uber die Albemheit des Volkes bis zum (F. H.e. He also descried "from which we 26. In famous letter to a friend. as he believed on back" the basis of what he had seen in the table have to of contents of that book. i. 1.

son's Jacobi. Jacobi quotes in that article Fergu ." ternal 32. or to of fellow-citizens country men. gesagt hat").31 The "truths in the Lessing is Ferguson's Essay on the History of Civil which had been discussed by continual contradiction of which we have to between wisdom and prudence of prudence which had been observed live.34 Could Lessing have held the that ecclesiastical despotism is two or three times better than secu elsewhere says 44S. . may have been truths quietude. unopposed to those of alien and foreigner. as felt." their bonds of affection "The titles . it may be doubted whether the superior orders who are in possession of consideration and honours.33 carefully Lessing expressed his the ambiguous character of civilization some years later in these more precise terms: even the seems absolutely best civil then to have been the political turn away constitution problem is necessarily imperfect. H. in his own name but certainly in the spirit Cf . Werke. to which they refer. 11. i. is devoted to the explanation of a political According to Jacobi. loc. sense of union See also among themselves. It which gave Lessing's thought a decisive from the philosophy sort of enlightenment indeed.g. to set broken. How he ap parently lightenment to that Jacobi tells us came to certain romantic views on his way from the philosophy of en older type of philosophy. of in an remark made ments against or three by essay Lessing. following of headings of sections: "Of the professions" separation of arts and and "Of the 33. do not proportionately fail in the dignity which befits their " . it is vain to expect that we can give to the multitude of a people a use." Ferguson Essay.334 ("Etwas das Lessing Essay extensively. Ferguson in Part I. only teaches were its members at variance. e. and lose their meaning. section 2: if the lot of a slave among the ancients was really more wretched than that of the indigent labourer and the mechanic among the moderns. would fall into dis ". who however rejects this conclusion on the basis of "in reasons. corruption incident to nations. condition. the cit. his which we may learn from what F." 34.e.58 our Interpretation There may very well be a connection between the two kinds of truth: the truths which Lessing had thrown away formerly.32 and which are indicated to a certain extent in the table of contents of his the concerned the ambiguous character of civilization. without admitting hostility to those who oppose Part IV." them. . had view of in his youth enough. historical view of gov near ernment and religion but toward an older type of philosophy." contradictory to the truths generally and also accepted accepted by the philosophy of enlightenment later he by Lessing throughout his life. External evidence is in favor of the view that the book referred to by Society." section 3 and 4: "The mighty engine which we suppose continue their and to have after formed society. At any rate. the theme he perhaps of two famous early not considered writings of Rousseau. which Lessing. yet not toward romanticism of any toward what is called a deeper. two years openly rebuked the more recent philosophers who had evaded the contradiction by becoming much too wise to submit to the rule by Leibniz and all the ancient philoso phers. . Cf. or else they times as valid against the despotism of view princes. von Olshausen. lar despotism? Jacobi 31. Lessing once said that the argu are two Papal despotism are either no arguments at all.' polished The influence Ferguson's mitigated Rousseauism says on Lessing can be Falk" seen from a compari reasons of son of the following quotations with what Lessing in "Ernst says und on the obvious the necessary imperfection intercourse of all civil societies. .

Augen schlechter sein als die Augen der Alten: die Alten sahen iiberhaupt zu reden. Aristotle. m." on i. iv. first. mochten und doch durften wir. 14. hoc est. 35. however.218): "Wir sehen mehr als die Alten. und das Studium der Alten bis zu wodurch Leibniz der and Apollonius] getrieben. -J. and therewith with the rejection of exoter icism strictly speaking. even so bold a dogmata. But "despotism based exclusively superstition. as is shown above all by the teaching of the classic of en lightened despotism: the teaching of Hobbes. (The italics are mine. and later to understand the exotericism of all the ancient philosophers. Not to mention the prudent Spinoza had the necessity of "pia as Descartes. Lessing's "Gesprach iiber die Soldaten 20 Monche" und (Werke. understand The experience it in favor of the way leading to absolute truth. xxiv. ganze leicht scharfer gewesen sein als unsere. admitted was not the only seventeenth-century thinker who was writer as initiated. It was his that close man can in which a diligent and thinking study of become a precisely his intransigent the classics is the only way philosopher37 which had led him. cannot be maintained if the nonsupersti- tious "superstitious" minority does not voluntarily refrain from openly exposing and refuting the beliefs.35 Now.197). which he had in that moment enabled him to "prudence" Leibniz' the meaning of enlightened in a manner infinitely more ade quate Leibnizians among his contemporaries did and could do. vielleicht unsere weniger als aber ihre Augen.Exoteric of Teaching secular 59 which Lessing. Cap. after He writes in the 71st Literaturbrief (Werke. 36. Tractatus Theologico-Politicus. sondern vielmehr das Mittel. Archimedes Inhalts XLV (Werke. despotism could easily be allied the philosophy of enlightenment.) Ten years later (1769) he says in his Briefe antiquarischen ihm nahern k'ann. to on notice the exotericism of some ancient philosophers. and he rejected or of philosophy. diirfte."36 movent" animum ad obedientiam distinguished from "vera But the Lessing did tradition: classicism not he was have to rely on any familiar with its considered view modern or medieval representatives of sources. 159). Jacobi. Lessing had then not to wait for the experience of Robes pierre's against despotism to the realize the relative truth of what the romantics asserted principles of J. not at all on force. 469. (Bruder). Werke. talia quae dogmata. Rousseau who seems to have believed in a political solution of generation the problem of civilization: Lessing realized that relative truth one earlier. that that despotism is based secular "exclusively" on superstition. die Kritik von dieser Seite dieser Bekanntschaft [with Plato." "Gewiss. 37." Ich furchte. Leibniz is then that link in the chain of the tradition of exotericism which is than the nearest to Lessing. having quoted a statement of Leibniz in praise of criticism and the study of the classics: betrachtet. dass die Vergleichung der Alten und Neuern hierauf hinauslaufen . xvn. Leibniz. der er war. is less bad than with despotism.e. geworden ist. ist keine Pedanterei. G. fleissiger und denkender Mann ein welchen sich durch einzige der und Weg.


New York: of early Capricorn 1977). Adam Smith. Herbert W. From Hutcheson to Ferguson. American higher is fully examined in Douglas Sloan. Thomas Reid. 1971). wherein Wills at least as Jefferson originally attempts to interpret the philosophy embedded in the Declaration intended it ences. 1979)." Bailey Cutts. and social colonies. extremely popular in America ("The Enlightened Reader in xxvm[l976]:262-93). Pryde. booksellers' American library holdings were and lists bears out the conclusion that works by Scottish En America.. 203-361. . 1957). Influences of Aberdeen in and Seventeenth-Century Vir xv(i935):229-49. Lord Kames. A History of Philosophy in America (2 vols. including Francis Hutcheson. at theory. economics. See also ginia. Schneider has observed of the Scottish Enlightenment that it "was probably the potent single tradition in the American Enlightenment.. Murphey. pp. David Lundberg and Henry F.3 highly regarded on Among this group were the greatest philosophers then writing in the English language. p.2 writers who and together comprised the Scottish Enlightenment were well-known this side of the Atlantic. The relationship between Scotland and America in the eighteenth century has recently been the the Sources for Links subject of a brief study by William R. and Henry Home. 2d Ser. The Scottish Enlightenment and the American College Ideal (New York: Teachers College Press. The Scottish Universities 3. the imprint of Scottish thinking was substantial. It is true that some historians have recently exaggerated this influence to the was point where it has been claimed that American philosophy. The Scottish impact A. however. Scotus Americanus: A Survey of Between Scotland and America in the Eighteenth Century (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. David Hume. as exclusively the on product of Scottish Enlightenment thought. Adam Ferguson is today i. perhaps the least known and appreciated of these Perhaps the most extreme instance of this view is that contained in Garry Wills. May's survey lumbia given of American Philosophy [New York: Co the detailed discussion of the favorable reception Books. 246). Brock. 1946]. most and the Colleges of Colonial America (Glasgow: Jackson. Adam Ferguson. there is strong evidence ethics. came a body of philosophical literature that aroused men from their dog matic slumbers on both Atlantic" sides of the (A History University Press." lightenment thinkers American Quarterly. See also American intellectuals in eighteenth-century Scottish moral philosophy and epistemology by Elizabeth Flower and Murray G.1 revolutionary doctine primarily a product of Scottish political Notwithstanding least in the that. 1. Inventing America: Jefferson's Declaration of Independence (New York: Doubleday. including Hume and Adam Smith. "The Educational William and Mary Quarterly. George S. Not only did the Scottish universities serve as models for institutions of higher learning in the but the works of the various areas of these distortions.Progress and Commerce in Anglo-American Thought: of The Social Philosophy Adam Ferguson Ronald Hamowy University of Alberta There can be little doubt that the influence of the Scottish Enlightenment on late eighteenth-century American thought was as thorough and as extensive as on British and Continental philosophy. devoid education of Lockean influ 2.

(Princeton: Princeton student of son's writings.E.S. 42-82.A. and as esteemed by. Lectures on Moral Philosophy. "Biographical Sketch in the University of Edinburgh. entered the Divinity of St. at which his regiment. p. makes of it particularly appropriate quality at Ferguson's as political and social cially it touched the on questions philosophy be that interested both Britons assessed. and given the rank of both at and abroad. 1965). Thus. He his early education both at the parish school and at the grammar school in Perth. 1723. Witherspoon. The standard biographical essay . Although of lesser he made to eighteenth-century so than were his contemporaries Hume and Smith. which current and attempted appears Society in course political to impart to his students. May. degree in 1742 and. of XL(i979):235-50. University Press. he was sent to the University of St. in the same year." Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. See also John Witherspoon. F. 1745. Scottish Princeton in p. The Social and Political Thought of Adam Ferguson (Columbus: Ohio State University Press.5 20. Ameri both as familiar to. Ferguson was ordained in July. Ferguson took his Hall at M. Thompson. he gained a reputation for classical scholarship. in 1745. 1912). The youngest child of the parish minister. 5. principal chaplain. iv[i976]:528). xxm.R.D. Ferguson to Ferguson's reputation was appointed see to the post and With particular reference in America. with one of from Scotland to take up the position of president the more outspoken Evangelical ministers in the Church of Scotland. An where drews. The Enlightenment in America (New York: Oxford University Press. pp. .4 The recent resurgence of interest in the Scottish Enlighten that the character and examined and and ment. of Ferguson of remains Adam Ferguson. Gladys Bryson. James Madison seems to have been especially receptive to Fergu Madison's debt to Scottish Enlightenment thinking is discussed at some length in and the Roy Branson. "James Madison Scottish Enlightenment. Perthshire. 1976). "The Education of a Founding Father: The Reading Madison. brought he kept Civil him an intimate knowledge the work of the leading Scottish writers. Professor . Adam Ferguson was born on June the border of the Scottish Highlands. Henry F. and Inquiry of the Eighteenth Century (Princeton: Princeton University Press. Varnum Lansing Collins. despite the distinctive cial theory. who arrived philosophy was in the decisively colonies established in America through the mediation of John of of 1768. until 1754. Ferguson whose work was was a man of letters of international repute during his lifetime. Ferguson's Essay on the History of among the works comprising Witherspoon's recommended reading list for his theory (Dennis F. Moral Philosophy John Small. Part in (1864): 599-655. but his soon thereafter transferred to the University Edinburgh to Although having only completed two years of divinity Ferguson was offered the deputy chaplaincy of the Black Watch regiment school. He joined the regiment in Flanders and accompanied it at the Battle of theological studies.31 . as Taken by James Political The ory. 144. moral Witherspoon. espe the Americans close of eighteenth and the beginning on of the nineteenth centuries. therefore. Granted in part because home of his knowledge dispensation from further study by the General Assembly. help his friend David Hume. LL. time Ferguson resigned his com He remained with mission and quit the of clerical profession. See also the bio graphical chapter on Ferguson in David Kettler.62 Interpretation contributions stature thinkers. 343. A ed. of Gaelic. received at Logierait. An pursue drews. With the 4." List for John Witherspoon's Course in Political Theory. Man Society: The Scottish J945)> P. Witherspoon's." Journal of the History of Ideas. In 1738. most educated cans as to Britons. a Fontenoy. at the age of fifteen.

. 1778. in two year. in Jared Sparks. The Commission's official letter to Congress was accompanied by personal notes from both to Gen two of the Commissioners William Eden (later Lord Auckland) and George Johnstone eral Washington. having received permission from the University to temporarily ab sent himself. pp. Of Ferguson's principal Essay on the History of Civil Society or is 6. Brown. in Benjamin Franklin Stevens' Stevens. philosophy at in 1759. of Following the professor of natural to that chair University later. beg to recommend to your private civilities Issued only to subscribers and printed by Malby Johnstone's letter was even more generous. During his retire a ment Ferguson completed his major work in moral philosophy. Andrews. . (Johnstone . to be delivered by a junior professor. in and was his ninety-third St. . Secret History of the American Revolu (Garden City. in 1767. in inculcating to Washington. and Carl Van Doren. 1774-1783 (University. Brown. Boston: Little. in Edinburgh. In 1778. Ferguson transferred to the chair of pneumatics and moral philosophy. to be succeeded in the position by his one-time student. a synopsis of the Progress and his lectures on moral philosophy. 1 941). which moral It was during his tenure as professor of Essay philosophy that three of his four most important works were published: the on the History of Civil Society.: Garden City Publishing Co. Edinburgh. in the Failure of Reconciliation.7 Having been de feated at reaching pendence and late 1778. Ferguson served on the Conciliation Commission headed by the Earl nies. in fact. and the History of Termination of the Roman Republic. .6 These proved a complete failure. in the death of was named 1757. "He has been en my friend Dr. charged with at Upon arriving Philadelphia. (Eden to Washington. N.. negotiating a settlement with the American colo the Commission appointed Ferguson its sec retary and immediately attempted to enter into negotiations with several mem bers of Congress. in the 1778. 63-116. Extensive discussions dependence: tion a of the Carlisle Commission appear in Weldon A. s Facsimiles of Manuscripts in European Archives literary world Relating & Sons. having succeeded Hume to that the office. five years 1764. 244-92. London: 1889- facsimile 498). p. the Commission returned home in which point Ferguson resumed his chair at the University. at entitled which appeared volumes Principles of Moral and Political Science. Ferguson he held until 1785. warmly commending Ferguson. June 9. pp. at the age of sixty-two. the buried in the grounds of the cathedral there. v. a revision and expansion of his Institutes. University arranged that Ferguson continue to draw salary by awarding him the chair of mathematics as a sinecure. . p.: Louisiana State 1941).. Correspondence of the American Revolution [4 vols. . nor was the Commission any more successful through the American in prevailing upon Washington to grant Ferguson a passport lines to treat directly with Congress. Eden was entitled referred to the favorable reception to which Ferguson by virtue of his eminence . 11." practise" gaged from his early life. Ferguson resigned the professorship of moral philosophy in 1785. 18 16. Scotland.Progress of and Commerce in Anglo-American Thought Advocates' 63 keeper of the Library. in 1769. La. The agreement with the colonies short of recognizing their inde withdrawing all British troops. Empire In Study University Press. writings. in 1792. while Ferguson. "I he wrote. to mankind the virtuous principles you ed. of Carlisle. 136). June 10. all lectures in the field were. in 1783. 7. 401 vols. Dugald Stewart.Y. 1773-1783 [24 1895]. the Institutes of Moral Philoso phy. at Because of ill health. 1853]. ed. Ferguson died on February 22. to America.

.8 in editions during the author's translations. and an eighth edition. Data presented by Lundberg and May indicate that between 1777 and 1813 the Essay appeared in twenty-two percent of the catalogues and booklists examined Thus..1886]).C. January 4. entitled Versuch uber die Geschichte der bilrgerlichen Gesellschaft. Memoirs of the Life and Writings of the Honourable Henry Home of Karnes [2 vols.. published in Boston phia Robert Bell in 1773 (A Century of Printing: The Issues of the Press in Pennslyvania. comp." 283).). the title Saggio the circa la storia di civile societa. J. hereafter Essay. Millar and T. In addition between 1767 and 18 14. in The Letters of David Hume.. corrected. Essay ject.: Library of Congress. edition acquired included in the collection of books 1952- ("Enlightened Reader in 1 1 . America. J. Millicent Sowerby. E. Both Hugh Blair and Principal William Robertson thought highly of the work (letter from David Hume to Blair. and much original (letter from Lord Karnes to Mrs. 1789. p.12). Hutchinson the and William M. ed. 1885. Hildeburn's evidence for the exis by -1784 tence of such an edition is based on an advertising circular issued by Bell in that year. not employs some vigour less beautiful than interesting. German.. under the title Essai sur and Alexandre Meunier. Edinburgh: William Creech. the last during Ferguson's lifetime. edition. There appear Essay. London. 11. J. 11. 11. addition appearing in French. University Press. m. appeared Leipzig in 1768. 133 n. Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson [5 vols. [2 vols. state that the copy Essay obtained for James Madison by William Bradford in 1775 is that which Bell is reputed to have published in 1773 (William Bradford to Madison. in 1783 and 1796. Lord Woodhouselee. item 1857). 1807]. Cadell (E. thought" . 1968]. translated Claude Bergier in Paris. 1959]. 48).12 8. Two French editions were published T histoire de la lation in societe civile. I [Chicago: University of Chicago Press. in writing. February 1 1 1766. 20-1. The Papers of James Madison. Etheridge and Bliss in 1809. Grieg. The editors of the Madison papers. New York: Burt Franklin. item 2348). And Lord Karnes wrote of the that "the sub . The first to the edition was published seven authorized editions that appeared simultaneously in Edinburgh. [item 2878 originally published in 2 vols. F. announcing that the light. Toureisen. the first carrying Thurneysen. cited as edited by Duncan Forbes (Edinburgh: Edinburgh 9. the The variants edition used throughout this paper is a reprinting of the first edition.. certainly it has generated the greatest interest The to social scientists and through seven intellectual historians in the last twenty lifetime.11 was almost universally favorable. of printing by Hastings. in Alexander Fraser Tytler. T. pp. by Jefferson that appears in his manuscript catalogue and that was sold to the Library of Congress in 1815 is the second.9 years. 11." the imprint "Basil. Y. Hildeburn's bibliography of Pennsylvania imprints lists an edition of the Essay printed in Philadel was a There the seventh edition. Antonutti in under Venice. 1775. eds. 1767. and Dublin.. with a collation of in the seventh edition which appeared in 18 14.. p. 160. 1962]. Finley in 1819. "Basel. in William T." living Author of much Estimation whose elegant Performance will greatly de would be published by subscription in the fall of 1773 (Ibid. but it met Not only did his Scottish contemporaries think highly of the well. 164. poet London and on the Continent as The great success in Thomas with The Ferguson's essay work. In 1807 the work was published in an Italian translation done by P. published in London in 1768 by A. however. pp." and the second. Washington. Rachel. published in Philadelphia by A. D. Junger. 1932]. two pirated editions were ap issued. 1 79 parently 1. Edward Montagu.64 Interpretation most probably the among work went important. A German trans by C. March 6. p. Oxford: Clarendon Press. "by of a to be no copies of this edition extant. 12. 1685 [2 vols. and Italian prove that despite the ready availability of British ica10 So popular did the Essay Amer editions of the work in at least two American reception accorded editions appeared by 1819. Charles R. by 1966). Philadelphia: Press of Matlack & Harvey. 10.

Progress and Commerce in Anglo-American Thought strains of eloquence 65 re Gray found "uncommon it as in it"13 and Baron d'Holbach garded "answering completely ingenuity. ed. 1766. the Essay a year after its publication." on In 1759 Hume had ex amined it in this form it had then the met with his approval.. Biographical Sketch. wrote when the finished manuscript of Essay was offered to Hume for his critical evalua tion in 1766. Hume had different thoughts. The Works of Armstrong. 11. pp. in John Small. on account of my sincere Friendship for the Author. in Grieg. hi. in manuscript form. Letter from Gray to James Thomas Gray (4 vols. 1954). Letters of Hume. I may safely say. 11. which you mention. ibid. 1767. and in this Perswasion [sic] have several times taken it up and read Chapters of it: But to my great Mortification and Sorrow. once made. Kettler. The Life of David Hume (Edinburgh: Nelson. 1767.. Again writing to Blair. David Hume you of and was able write Ferguson: "It is had as of with sincere Pleasure I inform the general Success would of your Book. 1 1-12. gives me great Satisfaction. p. 17. that I was mistaken. C." Hume's plausible explanation is that Essay have not been recorded. 15. as this success was to me unexpected. he to Hugh Blair: I have been great put Ferguson's Papers [the ms. in Grieg. same opinion of of held the "The success the Sentiments" . 1759. p. in Raymond Klibansky and Ernest Campbell Mossner. I almost said universal as a Success. the Form the Matter. who Hurry Politics Faction. the Expression a have been proper. by their Reputation and Rank commonly the Tone these Occasions. been able to change my 18. But I am answer'd on my Expectation. New Letters of David Hume (Oxford: Clarendon Press. are set aside without further discussion despite their be- Beattie.. Hume to Ferguson. founded on my good Opinion of him [and] on a Small Specimen I perus'd had seen of them some Years ago. 1767.. p. he commented: Book. at his desire. amidst this far Book and can be suppos'd to be diffus'd in Fortnight. 14. 58-60. and these are the on People. June 15. Baron d'Holbach to Ferguson. and so much the rather. In February. 1767. ed. See also Hume's letter to Adam Smith. Ernest Campbell Mossner. New York: A. August 12. 1766. in Edmund Gosse. 125. and.18 style both unsystematic and Indeed. 52. p. 542."14 to the high opinion I had the conceived of your great abilities and weeks after So well received was Essay to that only two its appearance in London. and even to believe. March 10. 133). I sat down to read them with Prepossession. 1954). April 1. they have no-wise fit to be given to the Public. Hume still 13. I have since begun to hope. April 12. had circulated among Ferguson's was close Indeed. Hume to Blair. which had into my hands. that where it was espe to the cially important that Ferguson be clear and precise. some time ago. friends under the title "A Treatise and Refinement. ed. neither nor Reasoning."15 the only person who appears to have had reservations about the Essay Hume himself. A large part of the work had been completed by Ferguson some years earlier. that has read it. I have not (Hume to Blair. Thought of Adam Ferguson. 1885). 11. eds. of the Essay] more than once. but the most offered by David Kettler. p. 279. p..16 However. February n. I do account of the Style nor the specific objections not think them sorry to say it.. 16. that I have met with no body. who does not praise give it. pp. Letters of Hume. Hume found Ferguson's inexact. the Essay is filled with observa tions which. 611. Dear Dr.

Forbes edition of no Essay. form.66 Interpretation implications." Werner Sombart. Kincaid and W. Barnes. by University Edinburgh. ultimately. should be [2d ed. hereafter cited as Institutes). its "reasoning. Hume's own ing and pregnant with sociological and political disap pointment clearly extended to these aspects of the Essay. Institutes of Moral Philosophy p. "Ferguson omie und Soziologe. 265).. both as an functions. The man morality the son was by studying man within the context of his history. for example. (Adam Ferguson. characteristics Ferguson feared lxxxix[I984]:28o).D. ed. xxm(l9l7):234. "Die Angange der in Melchoir Palyi. with with the second statement appearing first! Rahe does again better the quotation from the follow Essay that prefaces his article statement (ibid. p. and Statistik. honorary LL. 9.. Once he has separated two sentences with ellipses. Ferguson certainly did not regard the quotation from Ferguson that Rahe fervor nor his contention has no bearing on the value of martial does it suggest that decline is inevitable. 22." American Journal of Sociol Jahrbiicher fiir NationalokonSoziologie. we can ascertain the rules of specific enjoyments and morality for mankind.21 It is because that of adoption of this empirical approach to the study of the founders man's nature sociology. Among "Before the many marks of favor the the publication of of the Essay conferred upon its author was the award of an 21 . Nor did Ferguson hold that "the emergence of commercial society would inevitably be accompanied by a decline in martial fervor that of freedom" was the ultimate guarantor of political (Paul A. to the cause of scholarship."23 "Mankind taken in groupes he wrote.22 Fergu has been credited with adherence being one of of Ferguson's to scientific notion of description. The second sentence forms part Ferguson's discussion society service earlier. always That society is coeval with man is confirmed by There is reaction no evidence whatever to support the assertion recently made by Paul A. the condition and history of man's nature. The the quotation consists of two sentences joined statements are taken out of context and are separated by no in reality the two less than thirty-five pages of text in the by ellipses. his dispositions. the weakening of these social bonds as ineluctable." See. Comte. In any case. 2. Rahe that Hume's to the Essay stemmed primitive societies displayed a vigor primarily from his differences over Ferguson's claim that absent in more polished nations. Essay.19 But despite these limitations. p.20 for Ferguson an international reputation as a man of Although the the work as Essay is a of ethics. his known" sufferings. with public-spiritedness and an active Rahe is here confusing "martial involvement in public affairs. "Sociology before als ogy." American Historical Review. 4. "The Primacy Politics in Classical fervor" Greece. was the study of the individual and in conjunction with other people.. then the only adequate method of gaining information about the rules of starting point primarily for any analysis an extension of study in the social history of man. 1. future prospects.. led him to man reject the state of in the sense of before the advent of society. and appears over 180 pages 20. factory. Harry E. "man in the are to man as he is actually ob nature. way notions of mans nature were to be rejected as unsatis aprioristic If. matter. might diminish in as societies became more commercial. The first in fact appears as part of Ferguson's part analysis of the dangers that might upon the of increasing division of labor and is from of the naturalness of five of the Essay. . 1772]." all of which were found wanting. his Creech. furthermore. Rahe. cxxm(i925):6o9-l2.TheodorBuddeberg. in part one. the Essay proved a remarkable success and gained letters." served. 1923). "as they have 19. Ferguson believed. offers support of Indeed. subsisted. Hauptprobleme der Soziologie: Erinnerungsgabe fiir Max Weber (2 vols. Munich and Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot. Ferguson regarded his researches into moral philosophy. Such distorted quotations can only do a dis to Ferguson's thought and. Edinburgh: A. 23.

28 It is a useless analytical tool. to modes of the idea of universal consent to what was. Hume's Theory of Justice sophical 28. Hume' s Philo Essay. to mix with the herd. together. pp. 172-89. in rules of action which fact. and the memory effects.24 men Society is the product of an array of natural. . 1975). but with men accustomed company. Oxford: Claren don Press. reckon. human life. as among the of brutes. "Soziale bei Adam Smith und Adam und Individualistische Auf- Ferguson. impelling the individual toward social interaction." the parental affection. Selby-Bigge. while he is possibly communicate admitted as opposed to employed in the exercise of recollection and fore sight.27 The establishment of formal rules enforceable by a per institution emerged. "We may he observed. Sadness melancholy men. ed. A Treatise of Human Nature. far from being the product of conscious de sign. its enjoyments sures or pains of and disappointments and are reckoned among the principal plea solitude. A.Progress the and Commerce in Anglo-American Thought of social 67 fact that the individual is the bearer dispositions and that regardless of where we remains.. L. Jahrhundert. pp. "becomes. The notion that government itself. Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. must his own sentiments. Essay. (Oxford: Clarendon Press.2* are connected with gladness and pleasure with the concourse of Ferguson lier rejected the social contract theory as a valid account of the origins of ear government with the same offered force and with arguments not dissimilar to those by Hume." Ferguson observed. 27." Staats. but rather in response to the abuses that had arisen from an imperfect distribution of justice. (Essay. 534-9. took its form gradually and without deliberate intent has led one commentator to refer to Ferguson's rejection of the social contract as the boldest attack on the contractarian theory of political obligation that had been made fassung im 18. in the earliest and ages which follow. and to be of all our made acquainted with those of others.25 find man. 122-6. and repre sent mankind as assembled one in troops companies. its early em braces more close. a principle of 24. 1978). 84-90. not from the desire to create a stronger so cial union. David Hume. 1981). p. he claimed. inclined to these facts 25. Ferguson held that a system of formal political arrange manent political ments did not rest on consent but was gradually shaped to meet the interests of justice with respect posit to securing private property. the grad ual emergence of formalized took their origin in earlier behavior. was and. together with a propensity its common to man and other of animals. 16-17. we find him gathered together with Montesquieu's dictum that man is bom in Quoting society and that there he Ferguson insisted that it was more than mere convenience that binds others. Useful analyses of Hume's views appear in Jonathan Harrison. p. one might almost say drives instinctive. "What was in one generation of propensity to herd with the species. without reflection. 3). and Duncan Forbes. in letter xciv of reasoning relative to Montesquieu's Lettres persanes. as it becomes mixed with esteem. vornehmlich up to that time (Herman Huth.und Sozial- wissenschaftliche Forschungen [Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot. "If both the the latest accounts collected from every quarter of the earth. instead of deserting the adult. What this propensity to in the first operation we know not. which. (2d ed. pp. 26. and the individual always joined by affection to party. be the foundation man" The statement appears pp. to follow the croud moment of his species. 46). 1907]. another.

"29 an alliance for common defence. Thus. than the first operation of sentiment and (Essay. Ferguson's law of perfection offers an explanation both for individual morality sense of and A for social progress. by its foliage in every successive season. "the cottage is no less. followed directly from he wrote.32 Ferguson's progress were conclusions respecting the character of society the nature of antithetical to those of Hobbes. not merely by its seed leaf. p. . by its acorn. "If the p. for Hobbes.30 losophy. but is distinguishable from the pine. in Essay. So that the effect of mankind should be the same. 30." hand. "the species man's progressive nature. hereafter cited as Principles.68 Interpretation What was national union. totally work towards these ends. the "state of that lies along this continuum of development is as much as is any other In his major work on moral phi point. Adam Ferguson. sure of "Man is his natural of the system a member of society. All acts generated by a desire for the preservation of what man most values and that are consonant with man's sense of fellow-feeling. from its description at the outset. palace be unnatural. I." wrote Ferguson in passage. 1792). with either of intention he must cher ish the love mankind. pp. p. Ferguson regarded a progression towards excellence or per the governing principle of all moral fection as life. they a succession build in every 29.. his perfection consists in the excellency or mea ability and dispositions or. becomes for a concerted plan of political The reader must turn to a consideration of Ferguson's nature" ethics a clear notion of what the term "state of in fact refers to within the structure of Fergus on's own thought. pass includes the varieties of form or dimension through it is known to in the course of its nature. his and benevolence. 121. are not more artificial in their kind. Principles of Moral and Political Science (2 vols. 8). it consists in his being an excellent part to which he belongs. as the most valuable part his character" (Institutes. subsequent age on foundations formerly laid. but by every successive aspect of its form. for Ferguson.. Ferguson The not noted: state of nature or the distinctive its character of at any progressive being is to be taken. by its lofty growth. And the state all of nature." Any man's point "state nature" of is. or any subsequent stage of from an accumulative view of movement throughout. Edinburgh: A. were easily determined by reference to the purposes which originally impelled man to enter into the social contract. "In the hu man has a progress as well as the individual. The oak its progress. and the highest refinements of political and moral apprehension. 192. an often-quoted and. at one and the same time. The natural development of the individual and the species towards perfection nature. The ends of society. Cadell. by nature dividual means to preserve of himself. or to preserve his community. relative to every tree in which the wood. 108-9). whether the in . of man solely in terms on the other kind. and the length of its period. 31. The ends of society for Ferguson.. by its spreading top. reason" 32. in other words. originally force. Strahan & T.31 parent this unending improvement of the individual and the species is ap from any study of the history of mankind. who understood progress acting against his basic nature.

. considerable time neglected. are subjects which en the in some of these particulars. 5. xiv. and the relative interests of states. Ferguson's rejection of the idea of progress in its extreme form did not entail his having repudiated the notion of man's natural civilization. Although portions of it are now somewhat dated. 43-4"Introduction. 153)- Johns Hopkins Press. states must decline. In the Princi ples. in particular. B. Forbes is guish Ferguson (and the ers who embraced an no doubt justified in wishing to distin Scottish Enlightenment writers) from those think uncritical faith in universal and inevitable progress directed other by conscious design.34 Ferguson did he held it gift of as not although the all towards which all men strive. commerce." of mankind.38 timism is far clearer and his predictions of unlimited progress In light of his comments sentiments expressed in the Essay. "Progression is the God to his intelligent lowest creatures. is the to measure of a national spirit. nations may be said languish. and to make intellectual ability of which it is has denied that the introductory comments to the 1966 edition of the Essay. though Ferguson the would have rejected such a blindly optimistic view of social man permeates development. Consider also the following The observation: "The public safety. long experience is required. the claim recently decline" are informed by the made that Ferguson "prophesied an inevitable once societies had passed from barbarism to 33. Ferguson devoted an extensive portion of the Essay to the possibilities of retrogression (pp. p. gage political establishments. Bury's study of the idea of progress remains the best general work on the subject (J. The Idea of Progress: An Inquiry into Its Origin and Growth [London: Macmillan. 34. and their people degener 36. his belief in and underpins all the progressive nature of Essay his moral philosophy. 236-80). 1934]. Primitivism Idea of Progress in English Popular Literature of the Eighteenth Century [Baltimore: The p. 211).Progress of of and Commerce in Anglo-American Thought of 69 to which the aid years. . 38.. he remarked.35 regard individual and social progress as natural end contemporaries. Essay. tend to a perfection in the application their faculties. . J. when When those to animate. Bury. and the pp. particularly as they in his Principles. Ferguson's op unambiguous." Essay. the pretensions of party. Lois Duncan Forbes. The ardour and vigour with which objects cease they are at any one time pursued. and to which many generations must have com bined their endeavours. advantages gained arts."36 ence and observation to the highest measure of improve its sagacity. B. "and is within the competence of the It is the nature of created mind in the course of experi continual approach to susceptible. 35. ate" they are during any (ibid. p. comes to mind. Whitney has called attention to this fact some fifty years ago (Lois Whitney. inasmuch as Ferguson devoted a lengthy section of the work to the dangers of luxury and to the irrecoverable loss of much primitive vigor brought about by However. Principles. p. and attention of nations. however formulated. where Ferguson's moral theory is spelled out in great detail. 37. But. Duncan Forbes Essay can properly be said to belong to the history of the idea of progress. 1920])."33 It is true that. 11.37 In his progress. unlike many of his French inevitable. Condorcet. determine the de gree of national prosperity.

and to return the offices of beneficence and of led to the study justice. be considered a proponent of natural progressive the idea progress Only a proponent of man's development to have concluded that the progress of mankind "in its continual approach the infinite perfection of what is eternal scribed can may be compared to that curve. in the very a progress with which and they arrive at the possession of equivalent wealth. p. 296. he is in we a great measure restrained. Edinburgh. eds. Kincaid & J. Lon don. not ungovernable own passion. Ferguson identified progressed: a higher degree of morality with the process by the mate rial progress that marks commercial societies emerges than with the more primitive cultures from which they "The cure: end of commercial art is. arts" 42. 295). in the conduct of life. p. Bell. to it never reach. decency of manners. suppose enjoyment. form to themselves taste of enjoyment. have occasion to experience.. Indeed. University Press. Principles. progressed from "rude" "polished" na tions. And. to be lodged in a palace. from which. that he at all. 44. or apart and situation.. pp. by Adam Smith. 1757]). Adam Ferguson and the Beginnings of Modern Sociology (New York: Co lumbia 43. amidst the wants and hardships of his to be the effect of mere wealth. 219-20. Donaldson. C. he would either have no permanent relish for such possessions. use of sobriety."43 All societies. Ferguson claimed. and a knowing how to use and enjoy them. but in its proper use. one might add. Edinburgh: Printed for A. development and their relation to changes in the property were adumbrated in slightly altered form by his fellow Scotsmen Sir John Dalrymple (Essay Towards a General History of Feudal Property in Great Britain [London: A. unattended with education. upon which happiness depends.70 Interpretation cannot stand commercialism39 travagant to assert up to that he posited "an examination. Fleming & A. p. which virtue and corruption" 40. indeed.. as wealth may pro this end to be obtained at once. as suprahuman logic of continual progress. "Such from the tainment: genius of are may pronounce virtues of industry. 254-5).44 the first two of omy. the industrious furnished with exercises improving to the man. frugality. sobriety. Ferguson's 1. and A. in his 1762. 1758] and the second edition of his Essays on the Princi ples of Morality and Natural Religion [2d ed. and without any effort. 1758]) and.42 to of deny. which an ample estate or revenue can bestow. no less in the highest. suppose the savage to be come suddenly rich. is there reason to accept Hont's conclusion that Hume's disappointment with the Essay was occasioned by Ferguson's play on "the Machiavellian chords" of "growth and decay. to a conviction that happiness does not consist in the measure of fortune. 149. in the these means. as in continual approach to a straight line. Nor. most evolving through three clearly distinct Country' stages..1763 lectures on jurisprudence (Lectures on . in particular. a condition. or any intermediate state into which nations are led in the pursuit of these. notion of private analysis of the stages of social Millar. which nature are has prescribed as the means of at But. 1.40 Although it is clearly ex inevitable. pp." Istvan Hont. (ibid. W. 184-5. would exhibit effects of gross or brutality of nature. thus. and furnished with all the accommodations or means of But. Wealth and Virtue: The Shaping of Political Econ omy in the Scottish Enlightenment (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. friendship. 41." spiritual as well as material does one commentator. Edinburgh: Printed for R. Lehmann. Kettler. Millar. such a supply of accommodation and pleasure. Lord Karnes (Historical Law-Tracts [2 vols. "The 'Rich Country-Poor Debate in Scottish Classical Political Econ in Istvan Hont and Michael Ignatieff. or. Thought of Adam Ferguson. than in the lowest.41 it is equally or questionable to claim that Ferguson held to a should cyclical view of history. pp. or any other (Principles. and good order. could as does Forbes. 1983). de which by geometers. 39. 1930).

see Andrew Skinner." property and distinct legal and this theory has been examined by Ronald L. one 1886). Lec end of which is to secure property there can be no government. pp. Classical and Marxian Political Economy: Essays in Honor of Ronald L.. eighteenth-century advocates of the four-stages theory. See his "Smith. 84-102). p. R. is now entitled to take rank as an ascertained primitive phenomenon. 1875]. "The Scottish Contribution to Marxist Sociology. (This essay originally appeared in slightly altered form under the same title in John Saville. and 'Four-Stages' Theory. L.Progress and Commerce in Anglo-American Thought Of the on 71 society. 46. discusses the the Iroquois same ownership as prevailing among the early Greeks (68-9). and that each of these stages reflected origin and differing of institutions. ed. Karnes. For a critical examination and the Ignoble Savage (Cambridge: Cambridge University the centrality of the four-stages theory to Adam Sociology?" 45. as well as Scottish. defined mercial political by their primary hunting. 34-50. the most which are pre-political. Social Science Press. "A Scottish Contribution to Marxist Michael Howard. 1976). pp. nistic household communities such as were still found by Caesar among the later by commu Family." Smith's in Ian Bradley and thought. except in its most rudimentary sense. property is close a concept common offered to the Scottish historical hunters. tion and our universally characterising those communities of mankind between whose civilisa there is any distinct connection or (Henry Sumner Maine. tures on Jurisprudence. Engels. most notably by Friedrich Engels. 1-2). 157-8). pp. agricultural. (The Origin of the 1884. observed. Raphael.46 system of subordination sav- and. in commenting on the communal control over reputed to exist among the early Germans. Turgot.. [Zurich.. the very Wealth of Nations (Adam Smith. these communities possess no government. societies progressed through and com Dalrymple. Meek. pastoral. 1-394)- and P. 1940]. (99). Lectures on the analogy" Early History of Institutions Property. that which first gave rise to regular government. p. or lieving or assuming that own they are so united. . D. 79-114. London. pp. of his book-length analysis. Meek (New York: St. and the Celts (149)- Tribal ownership pothesis of the great land in primitive societies appears scholar to have been so well accepted an noting: hy be that even the nineteenth-century legal Henry Maine felt easy in "The collective ownership once of the soil by groups of men either in fact united by blood-relationship. familiar with Ferguson's writings. and the History of Political Economy. Meek. Till there be (Adam Smith. and Smith had postulated the theory that mode of subsistence four stages. Stein.45 notion of pri property. m(ig-ji):g-2j. G. 1967). 335-61- "Where no profit attends dominion. [Oxford: Clarendon Press. first English edition. Lawrence & Wishart. Ferguson denominated Jurisprudence. "Among . 1902] [London: at other points Suevi" in the study. ed." Adam Smith's analysis is es pecially on to that by Ferguson. See also chapter x. 1978]. Democracy and the Labour Movement: Essays in Honour of Dona Torr [Lon don: Lawrence & Wishart. That the institution private of a formal the prior establishment of a system of school. 404). party is as much averse to the trouble of perpetual submission" command. in Ronald L. Economics and notions or Ideology and Other Essays: Studies in the Development of Economic Thought (London: Chapman & Hall. "It has been established that of primitive communities as and among almost all peoples the cultivated land was tilled collectively by the gens. no and in these the absent. Martin's Press. Similar sentiments appear in the wealth" . consequently. Smith commented in his and 1766 lectures which jurisprudence. 84). was The appropriation of herds flocks. Meek has since extended his researches to include a study of French. eds. 1981). "Classifi on Early Law and Custom (New York: Henry Holt. who was was property that exhibiting a form of tribal communism was century social theorists. as the other is to the mortification of perpetual political structure rests upon (Essay. The description taken up by a number of nineteenth Engels. 1954]. varieties of pre-commercial and primitive are vate those based hunting fishing. Private Property system of and the State pp. eds." [New York: cations of in Maine's Dissertations Henry Holt. D. is formal Such societies Lacking a con cept of property. introduced inequality of fortune. "there is an no regular government. pp. pp. The development Meek.

and to at stated reap."50 many At that point. S. the disparities of rank that mark barba a concerted plan of government rous states are not yet sufficiently formalized for An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. to plant.i. planted . H. but is not parcelled in lots to its members. in its naivete 50. 49. which in turn lays the foundation for a permanent subordination of rank. . 1964]. Oxford: Clarendon Press. however. in. "After they have which shared the toils of the seed-time.2]). 1(1938): 47.48 by the emergence of personal property Ferguson are called barian. The motive causes for this transition from savagery to barbarism emergence of private provision unclear. The Scottish Historical School 167-79. Ferguson added. Campbell and A. The harvest is shares gathered public and for the families" maintenance of separate (Essay. and simplicity. in QZuvres completes. 1976]. Just as savage societies appear to bear the crude outlines of tions resemble monarchies. a Although private have yet become institutionalized into principal object of formal system of property laws in these Soci bar The communities. parties to prepare the ground. is divided into 48. times. 82." society as nomic necessity. 51. [Bibliotheque de la Pleiade. the reader is reminded of Rousseau's analysis of the ori property that appears in his Discourse on Inequality (Jean. Essay. begin to pervade all members much from the desire to emulate and from jealousy as from eco for his personal fortune. For a valuable discussion of the relationship between property and the Scottish historical school. mon. Indeed. 82)..72 age. it is a eties thus marked individual and social concern. Paris: Librairie Gallimard. from thence. eds. 96. they enjoy the fruits of the harvest in com The field in they have into the . R. [2 vols. They go forth in granary. p. pp. pp. 100.49 for the property appears to center upon the parent's under desire for "better management of for his children than is found the promiscuous and skill of copartners. Barnard Gagnebin and Marcel Raymond. Sur I'origine de I'inegalite parmi les hommes. tains for of himself. 52. p. Interpretation when savage societies Even base their mode of subsistence on some communal. 709-10 [v.Jacques Rousseau. Skinner. the members other of the community can now be dis one from the by unequal possessions. Essay.47 form of agriculture. when they aim at exclusive "the individual no longer finds among his associates the same in to commit every subject to public use. Essay. 11. 96-7. and are likely to be those in which property has ceased to remain communal form of agricultural products or of a herd will not in which private wealth takes the of animals. pp. so. among the eds. see of government members of Roy Pascal's seminal article. p. their notion of property remains Most agrarian and pastoral societies. barbarous na However. is claimed as a property by the nation. gin of private Essay. 164. 171. when the labor some members of possession and clination the community are applied apart. Ferguson claimed." Modern "Property and Society: Quarterly (London).51 With the tinguished advent of property. the Eighteenth Century. p.52 democracies.b. he [too] is seized with concern and is alarmed by the cares which every person enter Such feelings.



Commerce in Anglo-American Thought
The distinction between leader
control, only brute






their pursuits and occupations remain the same, their minds are equally


There is

no civil

and power.

Yet, Ferguson


as well as an

no formal set of rules, only is noted, "property secure, because each has a enemy; and if the one is disposed to molest, the other is


ready to The chief threat to property in barbarous communities issues from outside the tribe, and war, whether offensive or defensive, is its main concern. While this
state of affairs

prevails, internal

usurpation of power

is impossible

and no


arrangement of are




systematic and




ongoing institutions to enforce them society has secured itself from its foreign
of what

enemies, "the individual

home bethinks him rights

he may

gain or

lose for

himself: the leader is disposed to

enlarge the advantages which


to his sta

tion; the follower becomes jealous
parties who united

which are open

to their

before, from

affection and






preservation, disagree in supporting their several claims to

precedence or



clash of


which emerges out of a

desire "to


the en


croachments of

the rights

to government restrained


origin a natural outgrowth of the conflict

gives property for was in its Government, Ferguson, of party in domestic struggle. And from


of the


this struggle, he contended, issued the earliest


which were


previously Two themes emerge



explicitly formulated rules. in Ferguson 's discussion of the rise of government that
not work and


are reiterated

throughout his

that are central to his social philosophy.

The first
53. 54. 55.

concerns the


value of social conflict and





p. p.

106. 125.

Essay, Essay,




the description of the origin

of political establishments



he wrote, "is born naked, defenceless, and exposed to greater hardships than any other species of animal; His society, also, prior to any manner of political establishment, we may imagine exposed to extreme disorder; and there, also, we may fancy the spur of necessity no less applied than in the urgency of his mere animal wants. From
at one point offered

in his Principles.

these motives, accordingly, originated,

we admit

the arts of

human life,

whether commercial or

political, to have

and suppose

that the consideration of necessity must have operated prior to that of

56. 57.

(1, Essay,

p. 239). p. 125.

The terminology that Ferguson here used is confusing. understood only in some metaphorical sense, since Ferguson's discussion
reference to 58.


are to


this point




societies prior to the establishment of government. evidence



find little




s contention that

"Ferguson differs politically
about power and the asser

from Hume


Smith because he believes that


life is primarily
satisfaction of

tion of will, and only secondarily about property and the

tory and Theory in Ferguson's Essay on the History of Civil Society: A Theory, v[i977]:453). Indeed, with respect to the ultimate purposes Hume, and Smith appear to differ in only minor particulars.


(David Kettler, "His Political





Interpretation has

to the role


instinct is


habit in shaping




Conflict, Ferguson


a natural phenomenon; our

and sports


of contention.

very games This fundamental desire to compete,
assures a vigorous and

when manifested society.

in the

animosities of



Without the

vigilance and spirit

that accompany the divisions of party,



becomes impossible further


went even

and claimed that war

despotism quickly follows. Indeed, itself gives rise to many of the



of which



In addition,




that shared




which cements social

life. "The



of a common


and the assaults of an

he wrote, "have been fre



to nations,

by uniting

their members more





preventing the secessions and actual
might otherwise



their civil






thus natural to men at all stages of social


and contribute war act

substantially to






to encourage social cohesion,

but the

struggle of



Not only does both
to the public

to the

original emergence of government constrained




spiritedness and vigilance which

forestalls the rise


despotism. Advanced

eties, Ferguson maintained,
as each




particularly his activities on the internal


to degenerate into despotism
private pursuit of

fortune. A


from foreign

attack and

strife and comprised of citizens

preoccupied with

their private

interests is easily


condition of political slavery.

and may fall into a Ferguson contended, "is maintained by




and oppositions of




their concurring


in behalf

of equitable

Duncan Forbes has


have found

society itself could scarcely any formal convention, but they cannot be safe without a national concert. The necessity of a public defence, has given rise to many departments of state, and the intellectual talents of men have found their busiest scene in wielding

"Without the rivalship


nations, and the practice of war,


object, or a form. Mankind

have traded


their national

forces. To overawe,



or, when we cannot

persuade with

reason, or resist


the occupations which give

animating exercise, and its greatest triumphs, his fellow-creatures, is
a stranger to


a vigorous

mind; and




never struggled with

half the


sentiments of


p. 24).

Adam Smith, in like vein, refers to the Moral Sentiments, D. D. Raphael and A. L. [m.2.35]).

"ennobling hardships and hazards of Macfie, eds. [Oxford: Clarendon Press,


(Theory of



60. Essay, 61

p. 22. commentators


have taken

note of

this apparent contradiction in Ferguson's thought:

that he could view man's hostile and contentious
same time

as of enormous social utility while at the advocating a system of ethics predicated on fellow-feelings of sympathy and benevolence. See, for example, Paul Janet, Histoire de la science politique dans ses rapports avec la morale (2 vols.; 3rd ed; Paris: Ancienne Librairie GermerBailliere, 1887), 11, pp. 565-6, and Duncan Forbes,



pp. xviii-xix.

62. "The


Ferguson wrote, "declines from the

abuse of that

very security





the supposed perfection of public
p. 128.


p. 223).

63. Essay,



Commerce in Anglo-American Thought


that Ferguson's discussion of the dangers of political



value of social


are a critical



running commentary on Hume's political did Ferguson more clearly distance himself from


politics than

in his treatment
his fellow Scots



between party faction



On this

issue, Ferguson's

views were at substantial vari

from those



tended to

those of



who wrote


that the existence of party divisions is in


from free


What is

somewhat more

difficult to


is Ferguson's

conclusion that the


of armed conflict plays a crucial role

in the

evolution and survival of civ



more palatable


exerted, as I'm sure

emphasis on the value of dissension can probably be made include among the forces against which the will should be he meant to, the hostility of nature itself. There is, after all, which and

drama in the way in
citizen whom no

the American West


tamed and settled


sheer strength of


its early settlers perhaps best reflect the active in Ferguson would have regarded with approval. There is,



that Ferguson saw in the


of nations a

device for
In the

cementing the
process of


for providing

an outlet


selfless action.


anomosities, Ferguson wrote,




p. xxxvi. sentiments

65. Consider the islators


from Hume's essay

on political parties:


much as


among men, as much ought the founders of sects and factions to be detested and hated; because the influence of faction is directly contrary to that of laws. Factions subvert government, render laws impotent, and beget the fiercest
of states ought


to be honoured and

animosities each other.


men of



nation, who ought to give mutual assistance and protection to


what should render when once

the founders of parties

more odious




of extirpat


these weeds,

they have

for many centuries, and seldom end but (David Hume, "Of Parties in


in any state. They naturally propagate themselves the total dissolution of that government, in which they are
Essays Moral, Political,


Literary, T. H. Green

T. H. Grose, eds. [2 vols.; new ed.; London: Longmans, Green, 1882], 1, pp. 127-8 [reprint ed.: Vol. Ill, The Philosophical Works (Darmstadt: Scientia Verlag Aalan, 1964)]). Smith too had grave reservations respecting the benefits of faction. See Donald Winch, Adam

Smith's Politics: An




in Historiographic Revision (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, references to the dangers inherent in the clash of political and reli

party that


in the


of Moral Sentiments,


155 (ill. 3. 43),

p. 170


p. 232


pp. 241-2

(vi. iii.

66. Edmund Burke, "Observations on 'The Present State of the p. 271. vols.; rev. ed.; Boston: Little, Brown, 1865-1867), 1,


(1769), in Works (12

Herta H. Jogland, in commenting on Ferguson's discussion of the benefits arising out of political faction, implies an analogue between Ferguson's view of the role of healthy competition in political and commercial life, on the other (Urspriinge und Grundlagen der Soziologie on the one



bei Adam Ferguson [Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 1959]: 67. Duncan Forbes has
ers of



of this aspect of Ferguson's thought: "None of the

leading think

the Scottish Enlightenment believed in


either as a practical






were well aware of the creative as well as



possibility or as an of war in the develop
glosses on the

ment of civilization.

But Ferguson's is the

most profound and

disturbing of these





of the


p. xviii).

in some instances. at once. without any sense of their general effect. extinguish the emulation which is excited from abroad.6* among themselves. 25. Tike those of result of a capacity to that of rude minds. the result of countless individual actions. als of the 625. that social institutions take their form not from deliberate calculation but from instinct and habit. are suggested by nature. that appeared "Ferguson cations Soziologe. and which they bring human with which affairs to a state of complica nature was ever tion. Those establishments arose from successive improvements that human carried made. Essay. none of which not intentionally aimed at rational contributing have to any preconceived plan.76 we we Interpretation may hope. and Roy Pascal. the ant. But it is vain to ex to the multitude of a people a sense of union admitting hostility to those who oppose them. Essay. selves. for example. we should proba bly break or weaken the bands of society at home. Such a theory is able to provide an explanation for com the presence of plex social phenomena without recourse a to descriptions requiring designer or coordinator. Buddeberg. and the bee. But the every animal. 1938-1939. namely." by See. that we can give and a disposition to humanity and justice. Rather. comprehended in its full conception nor even when the whole extent. to disarm the angry passions of jealousy and envy. There is no attempt to reduce social not provide according to laws that do theory of spontaneous order as institutions to products for the intervention of any human agency. p. School. may hope to instil into the breasts of private man sentiments of candour toward their pect fellow-creatures. New Ser. Those of polished nations are ascribed to them superior are ascribed to the wisdom of nature. Could we any nation.70 immediate private 68. and arrangements indeed is is. Society is formed from any calculation. in the case of The positive but unintended effects that Ferguson claimed characterizes social conflict are illustrative of a more general social principle that emerges throughout his writings. It is important to underscore the fact that the theory here expounded does not make the claim that social structures take their shape of independent of the action of individuals their intent. . were and are the instinct.69 is into execution." he observed. 69. "Herder and the Scottish Historical Publi English Goethe Society: Papers Read Before the Society." xiv(i938-i939):28. 70. and close the busiest scenes of without national occupations and virtues. the theory inherent in our social institutions can be. Regularities sphere need not provides and be the deliberate product of that the complex organization most often in the social orderly human design. 182. directed by the variety of situations in which mankind are placed. "The artifices of the beaver. it be The here offered that social structures are formed spontaneously is possibly the single most spectacular contribution to social philosophy of the Scottish Enlightenment. can could not have projected. It follows that the propounded by Ferguson and the other Scottish writers cannot legiti social evolution but only independent of arcane forces operating mately be regarded as a precursor to the anti-individualistic theories of in the nineteenth century. the greatest reach of capacity adorned. but spontaneously. as has been claimed some sociologists. its institutions as their objects more are the outcome of men's actions that ends. and are supposed to indicate establishments of men. p..

Scottish moral not limited to Fergu behind of this philosophers as well. Hume. inventors. This system. 'Tis self-love which of is their origin. xxxix(i978):263-9i. these several interested to adjust a manner as to concur in some system of conduct and behaviour. "Invisible-Hand Property. A. Social institutions it is. and Knud Haakonssen. pose them to men operate. ed. is intends the effect of any human wisdom. bridge University Press.Hume (Notre of a Notre Dame Press. of course. motives David Hume. 529. are self-coordinating and do not re quire conscious ordering. for example. and as the self-love of one person passions are oblig'd is naturally contrary to that themselves after such another. in Hume's social theory. pose they the argument from design dictates that when objects reach a certain order of intri and exceedingly intricate cacy. Hume. see F. we must sup The theory of spontaneously generated or ders explicitly denies this conclusion. This son account of appears the growth of but in the writings of the other examined institutions is. pp. especially phenomena. far from being the product of human such as the social arrangements under which a designer. 484-501. "The division not of Smith wrote. there fore. 72. tho' One of the most explicit presentations of economic the theory that complex social phe nomena. pp. right. the theory provides that these arrangements emerged as the unin adaptive tended and unanticipated result of human action through the process of evolution. "from which so many advantages are derived. served clearly in his account of There Hume conceded that they most the public good but denied that the public good was the motive for their adoption. which foresees and 71.72 the distinction between the actions and the emergence of general rules of justice in terms The principle perhaps presents itself the rights of property. "The Legal and Dame. at least at first blush. and obligation.'lnd. . 4-44p. Chappell." Synthese.. 335-6o. The Sci and Adam Smith (Cambridge: Cam Legislator: The Natural Jurisprudence of David Hume pp.71 have had contrivance. individual doctrine.Progress and Commerce in Anglo-American Thought nature of 11 The revolutionary are this explanation of the essential characteristics of most complex social patterns should not be underestimated. so that the laws of justice from natural principles real in a manner still more oblique and artificial. "Of of the Origin of Justice and role For discussion's the the theory of spontaneous order plays of Treatise of Human Nature." consequence of men's propensity to exchange goods. Indeed.: University ence Political of Philosophy David Hume.73 purpose by the that intended for not it be public. is of course advantageous to the comprehending the interest of each individual. was offered by Smith's thought connection with ample of such notions as "natural Adam Smith. "If men had been endow'd with such a strong regard for good. 73. Treatise of Human Nature. Hayek. on originally the general opulence The relation between invisible-hand explanations and Explanations." in V. C. public he wrote. Consider as an ex Smith's account of evolution of the division of labor as the unintended labour. 1968). counter-intuitive to sup their that take shape from anything other than conscious intent. they arise wou'd never have restrain'd themselves by these rules. Hence the centrality in in and the "invisible justice" hand" the self-regulating the mechanism of the market." the argument from design is touched in Edna Ullmann-Margalit. 1981).

Invisible Hand of 74.78 Interpretation to which it gives occasion.ii. in many other cases. 1] This is not. from not it" very common (1. provides an extensive list Smith. p. which would have been made. 75. when in the Wealth of Na he once again used it to de individual actions. 25 [i. each hand" the beneficial but unintended social outcome of end. every can.ii. and thus without intending it. led by an invisible hand By pursuing his own interest he frequently pro motes the society more effectually than when known much good done by those who affected and he really intends to promote it. correct. It with should be pointed out that Forbes 's law of the heterogeneity in this of ends is not quite synonymous emcompasses the principle of spontaneously generated orders as used essay.76 Smith tions. nor knows how much he is promoting it. he intends only his that of to promote an end which was no part he is in this.77 aiming at some distinct private Nor did Smith limit the scope to ated orders was applicable ployed which the doctrine of spontaneously gener to economic phenomena. Forbes 's law . of his intention. had the been divided into without equal portions knowing it. scribe again had recourse to the expression "invisible published some seventeen years later. Forbes . they divide produce of all their improvements. 184-5 [iv. With reference to the rich. though propose of little more mean than the poor. consequence of a certain extensive It is the necessary. the propensity to truck. By preferring the support of domestick to that of foreign industry." of Moral Sentiments. own security. Duncan Forbes. 2]. Theory 77. They led by an invisible hand to make nearly the same earth distri bution of the necessaries of life. 10]. p. It is an affectation. 456 among merchants. industry and in such a manner as as its produce may be of the greatest value." Cambridge Jour nal. therefore. Whiggism: Adam Smith and John Millar. "As every individual. pp. the poor be the the gratification their insatiable are desires. which was probably penned before his Theory of Moral Sentiments. and exchange one thing for of Moral distri another. and so to direct that industry that its produce may be of the greatest 76. Duncan Forbes has em ends" the phrase "the law and of the heterogeneity the of to describe this aspect of Scottish thought principle has pointed out issues.i. barter. he in observed: They consume pacity. the among all its inhabitants. though the sole end which the thousands whom they from the labours own vain and of all they with employ. "'Scientific' very few be employed in dissuading them 78. Wealth of Nations. individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he He generally. in words need deed. though very slow and in view propensity in human nature which has gradual no such utility. See Alec Macfie.78 pervasiveness of Smith's use of this in explicating social Indeed. strictly speaking. xxxn(l97l):595-9. [iv. vn(i954):643-70. The term appears in Smith's "History of [in. Astronomy" Jupiter. and spite of their natural selfishness and ra they only their own conveniency. "The Journal of the History of Ideas. neither intends to promote the publick interest."74 Smith first Sentiments15 employed the concept of the invisible hand in his the effects of Theory in the context of his examination of the uneven bution of wealth.9]). and by directing own that gain. and afford means to the multi plication of species. indeed. 1. he intends only his value. advance the interest of the society. endeavours as much as he can both to employ his capital in the support of domestick industry. I have never to trade for the publick good.

61). on the other hand. especially when they have reference to non-economic phenomena. p. much clearer and less ambiguous. 10-17). they spring up the season. p. 9. pp.iv. in his legislator. "No constitution. ." he observed. I. The prevalence of a particular species is often derived seeds of mingled by from imperceptible ingredient that in the soil. Ferguson's applications of the doctrine are. I. and The ripen an with easy transitions. the members of a greater. p. in the aggregate. 123. on 79 of examples where quences of employed the device to the explain the unplanned conse human Instances include the authority of "silent and insensible operation of foreign commerce" the feudal barons79 and the unintended whole of the effects on value of the political power of the nobility of their rents. 417- 18 (m. who delib le erately gal structured the consistency and symmetry that marks our political and institutions. iv. of spontaneous order. who. no government is copied from The members of a small for equality. 80. He new and perfect thus be in a position not only to the institutions by which men would be governed but to actually change the essential nature of the whole spectrum of human actions that issue in significant but unintended social consequences. D. They proceed from one form of gov state contend ernment to another. 79. For example. I. The doctrine patterns. result in social institutions or complex social The principle of spontaneous order thus refers to a narrower range of unplanned effects than does Forbes 's law.10).82 In contradistinction of discussion the to Ferguson. 418-22 (m. Ferguson explicitly Although there are fewer instances neous order than appear rejected the notion that the institutions we associate with government are the product of conscious design. is formed by concert. a plan." (Science of a Legislator. Wealth of Nations. for the most part. Wealth of Nations. 123. 81. one need only point to Rousseau.81 Ferguson concluded we need put no credence in the theory that social ar rangements are the creation of some original Lycurgus-like legislator. has specific reference only to those human ac tions the unintended effects of which. in discussing the role utility plays in shaping the rules of morality. 82. mainly the result of Ferguson's lack of interest in purely economic questions. And Haakonssen remarks of Smith's ethics that "the general rules of morality are thus the unintended outcome of a multitude of individual instances of natural moral eval and uation" Campbell Advice. Ross. Essay.Progress and Commerce in Anglo-American Thought Smith action. and frequently under old names adopt a new every form are lodged in human nature. Thus. xlii[i98i]:76). S. find themselves classed in a cer tain manner that lays a foundation for monarchy. constitution. "The Utilitarianism of Adam Smith's Policy Journal of the His tory of Ideas.80 consuming the their of Ferguson's use of the theory of sponta in Smith's writings. noted that he must possess an almost superhuman in telligence that would would allow him to stand above mold the ordinary human passions. pp. Essay. Campbell and Ross refer to "Smith's to demonstrate the unintended utilitarian consequences of non-utilitarian repeated attempts motiva (T. So embedded is this principle in Smith's thought that it has been seen as extending to his ethical theory as well.

de transformer chaque individu. who neither aim at nor are capable of comprehending the complexity that language displays. are possessed of them: soonest learned in childhood. of course. "was Enlightenment" perhaps the most original and daring coup the social science of the Scottish ("Introduction. haut ne durables. et que la force acquise le tout soit egale ou superieure a plus la des forces naturelles point la perfection qu'elle puisse pp. en un mot."85 of the natural Ferguson. The rudest cost the grammarian so much study. It can. appears so much 83. although the product of individual actions. be in Burke. suc cessfully to the undermined by origin and growth applying the theory of spontaneously of political institutions. la nature humaine. who improving instincts into morals. in addition.80 man. that we must suppose human nature. in atteindre" (Euvres completes. in Works. qui par lui-meme est un tout parfait et soli taire. which. without the intervention of un genius. Plus plus aussi que par ces forces naturelles sont mortes et est solide et parfaite: aneanties. en partie d'un plus grand tout dont cet individu recoive en quelque sorte sa vie et son etre. rhomme forces propres pour lui en donner qui lui soient etrangeres et II faut. de tous les individus. 1937). Language is ment one of the clearest examples of an intricately ordered social arrange not that. 311. peut rien. application generated orders Nor did Ferguson limit the development Ferguson of a this doctrine to explaining the of systems of government. therefore. 85. de substituer une existence partielle et morale a l'existence ote a physique et ses independante que nous avons tous recue de la nature. ages. 146-70. "Celui qui ose entreprendre d'instituer un peuple doit se sentir en etat de changer. are in practice familiar to the vulgar: They are common tribes. Parker. p. xxiv). in speculation. when raised to its height. which found such favor among of on a certain eighteenth-century intellectuals. competent in its lowest state. and. insomuch. les acquises sont grandes et n'est rien. 381-2). pour ainsi dire. even the idiot." Essay. lutionaries. The belief that it was within the power of the legislator to create social institu live tions of enormous complexity. p. m. and at grafting the virtues on the stock affections. v. surprisingly. together with the other Scottish moral philosophers. qu'il dont il ne puisse faire plus usage sans le secours d'autrui. "Letters Regicide Peace" (1796- 1797).83 Interpretation It is. in a succession of qualified to accomplish in detail fabric of language. who virtuous Lycurgus. observed that language was an particularly insightful comment. 84. somme l'institution En sorte que si chaque par Citoyen tous les autres. which. Duncan Forbes has remarked that the destruction of the Legislator myth. this amazing to the use of them." of Ferguson wrote. pp. . on peut dire que la legislation est au (Du contrat social [book 11. chapter vii]. especially good example of an institu In tion that takes its shape from the actions of countless individuals. was an adamant opponent of this view. d'alterer la constitution de I'homme pour la renforcer. which he. who wrote of "the wise legislators of all countries. and the insane. which. not surprising that Rousseau felt such a profound admira tion for Lycurgus. The Cult of Antiquity and the French Revolutionaries: A Study in the Development of the Revolutionary Spirit (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. passim* but esp. "Parts speech.84 was not an uncommon view all seem among the more radical French revo to have found their model of the ideal legislator in found even aimed at Nor did this belief stop at the Channel. mankind. is consciously de signed. See Harold T. would constrain men to lives.

82-95. 1967).. Individualism and See especially Hayek's "Individualism: True and pp. for example. pp. 87. Hayek. Every ened step and every are movement of the multitude. distant origin. the role played by the notion of spontaneous order by all but a handful of commentators. Ill. Despite the extensive literature dealing with Scottish Enlightenment social theory. and. long before from the speculations of men. in his own discussions of the origin and nature of lan See Stewart's Dissertation: Exhibiting the Progress the Revival of Letters in Europe (1815of Metaphysical. Hayek. twice quoted this passage with approval. "Kinds of (1967). guage. by the circumstances plan of in which they are placed. iv. Principles.. when wedded to his notions man's natural progress towards excellence. but not the execution of any Ferguson's theory respecting of spontaneous development. In a ments. 96-105. Essay. in F. particularly elegant passage of come we his Essay. p. Both Schneider and Salvucci expressly indebted to Hayek's in terpretation of this Scottish social philosophy. Pas (Urbino: quale Salvucci. in Sir William Hamilton. 27. Studies in Philos "The Results of Human Action but not of Human of Chicago Press. and Political Philosophy. Human Nature Society (Chicago: University of Louis Schneider." and. I. Adam Ferguson: Sociologia xxi(i970):i74. linguistic. and See. likely to have taken their form as the unintended consequence of the efforts of large numbers of actors. 1854). Alan Swingewood. Hayek. Ferguson not noted: Like the winds. are made with equal tablishments. The Collected Works (11 vols. 1967). 1-32. led him to conclude that social arrangements took their ultimate form in the institutions that mark com- 86. pp. Most complex social arrange he contended. Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind (1792-1827). A. the few who make to the relation between ordered arrangements and unintended outcomes appear to owe the structure of on their analysis to Hayek. that know whence. whose own work in po nonintentionalist aspects of Scottish thought. The Constitution of Liberty Kegan Routledge & 1949). i960).. economic. . Politics and Economics (Chicago: University (Chicago: Rationalism" University of Design" Of the intellectual historians reference who have recently discussed Ferguson's thought. Dugald Stewart. 365. 122. legal. aspect of e filosofia politico Argalia. ed. p.. Edinburgh: Thomas Constable. (Exception must in Scottish philosophy has been neglected be made for Friedrich Meinecke. Oldenbourg. 533~5. Vol. philosophy is explicitly indebted to the (1945). I. often acting over long periods of time. and blow whithersoever they list. which design. and.86 Ferguson's of application of the doctrine of spontaneous order as an explanation the development of institutions is extensive. p. The croud mankind. xxix-xlvii. pp.. Since 1827). Ethical. "Origins nal of sociology: the case of the Scottish are British Jour of Sociology. 43. ibid. A. are directed in their establishments and measures. and nations stumble upon es indeed the result of human action. Economic Order (London: and social False" (1965) and Chicago Press. or other are wise. Munich: R. pp. in F. whose Die at some Entstehung des Historismus [2 vols.) doctrine litical and its widespread implications through the writings of F. whether political.87 human blindness to the future. and seldom are turned from their way. from the instincts. The Scottish Moralists Chicago Press. Enlightenment. they arise. Paul. to follow the any single projector. even in what are termed enlight ages. p. most scholars appear to have become aware of the of field Outside the length. A. 54-70.Progress and Commerce in Anglo-American Thought be ascribed to 81 above what could prehensive any sirrfultaneous effort of the most sublime and com abilities. the forms the of of society are derived from an obscure and not date of philosophy. ophy. ed. 1972). 1936] discusses this theory economics proper.

Ferguson did most extended argued men back away from embracing a regime of commerce of the sort. contended that the forces that lead to an expansion lation. may serve as encouragements to population and commerce" (Essay."93 Further. "The object of as well as ties of wealth. mankind are enabled to subsist in growing numbers. 11. p. 252. 136). "in the prog and more im portant. tivity. 1. 235. the was. 92. and gratification." not satiated with any given measure of prog uniformly directed to And ambi and social tion. for Ferguson.92 even beneficence and friendship. p. despite Ferguson's references to its evolu the impetus towards private possession as uni as essential versal and its institutionalization was prepared to man's moral growth. served the essential function as a spur to the industry is to and an incentive to the labor the economic the great mass of that character population.89 The ultimate effect of inequality izes commercial societies encourage the production of ever-greater quanti the community. and as society. p. while they continue to op instinctive desires.94 Indeed. which Ferguson equated with social wealth. 93.88 Ferguson to concede that commercial societies. he noted. including industry. 371. "The dispositions in the manner of interest" 89. I. he not in his Principles that exercise of a active participation of in commercial life encouraged in the host virtues. Principles. inevitably display of an uneven of distribution acting the But this. u). they give rise to his apprehensions on the subject of property. in the re sult of commercial arts. required the successful which refer to the preservation of the individual. and in the choice of institutions. property protect and. 90."90 to wield their strength. p. "The laws p. with superior ease and learn to ply their resources. those based on the principle of private property. . made to secure the rights and liberties of the people. and make him acquainted with that object of care which he calls his (Essay. but in him they are sooner or later combined with reflection and foresight. that justice. 253. he contended. that is. "the prime motive force for individual ress was specific principle of advancement this end. 254. formal governmental organization necessary to it by implication. 1. of accommodation." life. despite what he regarded as its potential dangers. frugality. Ferguson as saw no conflict between those and social arrangements that acted an guarantees of individual he liberty those that encouraged increase in in popu pur- wealth. The examples Ferguson offered in this connection were Sparta and the Roman Republic.82 Interpretation The establishment of private mercial society. and "in the progress. so deeply tionary rooted in man's nature regarded character. erate 88. Principles. Principles. Indeed. 94.91 Although Ferguson contended civilization was not invariably accompanied high degree of commercial ac he did insist that the ambition. in the provision of subsistence. p." Ferguson. he that. Principles. success. p. Principles. 1. 254. thus commerce benefitting wrote all members of and is wealth. 91. ress of operated no less "in the its concerns of mere animal ornament. are nearly the same in man that they are in the other ani mals. in turn. p. would of wealth. by a sobriety.

Ideology. no less less indicative of man's never-ending movement toward perfection. "Liberalism." See Pocock's "The Machiavellian Moment Revisited: A Study in His Journal of Modern History. Politics. distortion of Ferguson's thought to con with that he shared the view that liberty"96 "commerce and culture were of incompatible that virtue and or. 1910). no than were 95. progress ultimately." individual rights. Ferguson tended to regard wealth and civic virtue as directly linked: "The effects of wealth. liii(I98i):49-72. It is of some interest that Pocock has recently referred to the civic humanist in terpretation of eighteenth-century Anglo-American political theory as simply a rather tory "paradigm. Pocock. Wealth Virtue. These see a sentiments cast grave antagonism philosophy. Although it is put for ward in its most fully peared and in "Civic Humanism Time: Essays developed form in The Machiavellian Moment. 1975). X(l977):8o9~ Edward J. "Hume's Political Science Canadian Journal of Political Science. p. Pocock's model attempt to assimilate questioned the writers of the Scottish Enlightenment into his civic humanist has been by earlier commentators. and to establish their are indeed the most effectual means to promote population." in Hont and Ignatieff. 140." Century" English Political Ideologies in the Eighteenth on guage and Political Thought also and History in J." See James Moore. G." American Political Science Review. 475-6. particularly. 98. "the aggrandizement and power of nations. ed. pp. are commonly the loss of these advantages. the more primitive social institutions they supplanted. Pocock's argument earlier ap and its Role in Anglo-American and "Machiavelli. while. The Machiavellian Moment. to growth of he wrote. "If the palace be p. J. Essai sur V histoire de Tidee de progres (Paris: Alcan & Guillaumin. for a summary of the controversy surrounding his thesis. p. is often a consequence of (Essay. p. Tradition. Pocock. and the Classical Republican 97. Commercial societies. Duncan Forbes has similarly noted: "It is pre ("Adam Ferguson and cisely community that is likely to be a casualty in the progress of the Idea of in Douglas Young. Lan (New York: Atheneum. vice" virtue. pp. 43). to secure their possessions. 96. A useful analysis of Ferguson's theory of progress appears in Jules Delvaille. associated to civilization. thus. 206). A." than as canonical description ("Cambridge Paradigms and Scotch Philosophers: A Study of the Rela tions Between the Civic Humanist and the Civil Jurisprudential and Interpretation of Eighteenth-Century Social Thought. et al. Civic Humanism. if not completely identified with civilization were. 235-52).. with respect to our social arrange takes the form of a transition from savagery to barbarism and. Edinburgh in the Age of Reason: A Commemora tion [Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press." he commented. as Pocock wrote specifically Ferguson. "the endeavours of men to extend their commerce. The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition (Princeton: Princeton University Press. pp. as an engine for the production and multiplication of goods was personality. Indeed. Harpham. . The ascent of man toward perfection represents the pri mary motive force ments. lxxviii(I984):764-74. Pocock. "The improve their arts. G. 1967] p. 492. G. I think. 39. 501. A. Essay.99 human action. doubt basic between It J."95 rights.Progress and Commerce in Anglo-American Thought defense of 83 suit of commerce coupled with a vigorous industry."97 "society inherently hos tile to Ferguson was neither society as the moral foundation of distrustful of wealth nor did he believe that it invariably retarded social virtue and a free The centrality of the notion of progress to Ferguson's society. which commercial society and a polity of free men in on a Ferguson's clude is. and the Case of Adam Smith. Pocock's conclusions. 1971). Harrington Thought." .98 thought bears repeating. 80- 103 and and pp. the 99. A. and. which Ferguson closely of natural. 104-47. civilization" Community.

of than the first to operations of sentiment and reason. Labour. of the peculiar advantage of ioo. while the tools he employs are ignorant of the system in which they are themselves combined. Manufactures.103 In elaborating the consequences of the would division of labor.101 rank. inevitably prove to be a Trojan horse whose ulti invariably be the destruction of a free and virtuous soci of Although the division the labor might well place strains upon the social fabric fa and make possible a permanent subordination of cilitates the many by the few. and the Division of 102. Essay. could lead to a sys tem of stratification in which thinking itself might become the in the detail limit the particular province of a privileged class: But if many quire no parts in the or practice of every art. length in pp. Adam Ferguson. Ferguson noted. to work on the peculiar rna- ioi some . xxxv(i968):249~59. and ignorance and is the mother of a industry of as well as of superstition. accordingly. p. but moving the hand. is independent is least con of either. 8." accompanies particularly valuable moral and social purpose." is so no less. Essay. 183. however. the genius of the master. p. Ferguson did not conclude that it mate social effect would ety. there and to enlargement of thought. The tend to contract and to views of the mind. and of every department. Ferguson feared. or the foot. Reflection fancy are subject to err. while the sol . These he regarded as subordination of chanical possessing the potential of producing despotism. any great effort of imagination. art of war. is cultivated. are others which actually lead to general reflections. pp. 103. Even in manufacture. statesman may have a wide comprehension of human affairs. are not more artificial kind. The general officer may be a great proficient in the ."100 All this is the not deny that Ferguson dealt extensively of with the harmful effects increasing effects division labor that marked advanced commercial societies.102 The ever-greater specialization of labor. perhaps. Ferguson's views respecting the dangers arising out of the division of labor are discussed at Community. may become a craft. and the highest in their refinements of political and moral apprehension. prosper most. . "every individual is enabled to avail himself. and thinking itself. and Ronald Hamowy. and where the workshop may. to the utmost. re abilities. while that of the inferior workman lies waste. dier is confined to a few motions of the hand and the foot. require no capacity. without where the mind sulted. thus allowing for the rise of a permanent "Many me arts." Forbes. Economica. The practitioner of man of every art and profession may afford matter of general specula of tion to the peculiar science. . in this age separations." he wrote. "the cottage unnatural. they succeed best habit under a total suppression of sentiment and reason. 182-83. his place. . .84 Interpretation Ferguson concluded." 40-7. Essay. the parts of which are men. [and the division of labor which naturally commerce. . it also fullest expression of each serves a individual's natural abilities and personal excellences and hence of "With the benefit it]. "Ferguson and the Idea of "Adam Smith. be considered as an engine.

to tell how which long their real decay of states might be suspended by the cultivation of arts on felicity and strength depend. 104. serious militia. Encourage the populace to actively participate in the civic and military affairs of the nation and tyranny can be averted. Militia Issue (Edinburgh: Essay. on published anonymously. Ferguson p. "endowed on with ingenuity. which enable them to take a share in defending Times may come. the plan put forward by Ferguson in his Reflections Previous to the Estab lishment of a Militia appears to have favored voluntary involvement. its rights. will. 1985). The stifling of public throttling of individual ca division of labor or out of an all-consuming for one's private wealth is. the community take an active role in civic affairs. but is chiefly . without great disadvantage. n." "Man is by nature an Ferguson noted. Man's ability to uncover the consequent on an extensive concern laws that determine his might otherwise must condition 107 provides him the opportunity to avoid what be regarded as that corruption to which all commercial societies descend. 107. be sep that military charac body of a people. to humour his genius or disposition. betake himself to the task in which he is peculiarly qualified to proceed. artist. More importantly. when that zeal for their country. was a strong supporter of a civilian consequent on a professional T756). open to the depreda against attack protected by a mercenary army from abroad. potism of while it is true that commercial societies bring with them the risks of des and a permanent system in the form of an over-specialization of function subordination. a decline into tyranny need not involvement in the pacity affairs of state either through the follow. were several and obvious. he contended. defend his and ter. "It is military he wrote.105 long as the members of long as they prevent the di difficult. such as the Game Laws. dangers army and had written tracts pointing out the military and calling for the establishment of a civilian See his Reflections Previous to the Establishment of a Militia (London: R. see John Robertson. concerned to and em- These faculties he is qualified to employ different materials. While a professional military force could act as the tool of a government intent would depriving the citizens of their rights and subjecting them to despotic measures. a civilian militia invariably thwart such designs. The benefits of a militia over a mercenary army. 227.106 In sum. 106."104 Ferguson's response to the question of whether the dangers inherent in com mercial societies could be averted was unambiguous. His proposal called for legisla tion ending certain restraints on the use of arms. the citizen who had abdicated from active a corrupt regime at civic and tions of military involvement in his community could home while incompetently not but be a poor citizen. For a detailed discussion of the militia question and the in eighteenth- century Scotland. and every free people maintain their own independence. which cannot. The Scottish Enlightenment John Donald. & J. so vision of life. While a number of his fellow Scots supported a variety of schemes for a militia which called for compulsory participation. 105. discernment. p. every proprietor must own possessions. Dodsley. 424. what makes despotism solely possible. in addition to permitting freeholders the right to arm one man. in the end. by cultivating in the higher ranks those the talents for the council and the arated. Principles.Progress and Commerce in Anglo-American Thought 85 terials with which nature and has furnished him. and in the field." So labor from embracing the possible more crucial aspects of political and it is to secure the nation against despotism.

109. Parties accordingly unite. 236). often so primitive sacred nations without in their fear or state. at on losing. Thought of Adam Ferguson. or the fear of unrestrained In such cases. come to be violated.109 with a tivity. Essay. and wrote Fergu son. p. the cottage ceases be a sanctuary for the among weak and the defenceless stranger. and rites of hospitality." matters of particular profession. Consider of or arts. the trade. a fortune. as he may know the law. like every other tie of humanity. scenes of the passions for wealth. that men in becoming civi they had lost. according to which his progress is effected. Study p. When the refined politician and grounds of lend hand. the most on and for dominion. These attempts. by conforming himself to it. 200). and that civilization. Kettler has concluded of Ferguson's discussions society" of commerce that "in the final analysis and the basis of the most central feature of the activist conception of virtue. But the fact is that Ferguson offered a basic animosity towards commercial ac strong defense of commercial soci could with ety throughout his Indeed. .. give him the pros pects of independence freedom. A number of commentators have confused Ferguson's fears regarding the dangers of political indifference writings. could not by forms. 242." and censure over the fate of the lized had gained much more than of primitive Indians. commercial societies present no risks than do those more primitive communities arts. by motives also the following: "Men are tempted to labour. ety especially among Americans. "What he notes. and to practise lu interest. are suffered to riot large. p. "In the lowest state of commercial Ferguson observed. the and to produce their entire effects. needed desparately to believe. even to by the sale of his own children. Press. p. in their feelings of pity over more primitive it. and (The Savages of something higher and greater in their the Idea of Civilization [rev. p. almost always wealth. Ferguson's position even tuated in a vindication of commercial with particular reference (Kettler. he may. and from others like demonstration from conjectural history of a proposition which Americans. he only multiplies interruptions complaint. it. or ser vility. "the would experienced practitioner an active is the master. And. to Ferguson's Essay. they sacrifice to interest the The parent supplies the market for slaves. and unawed by police. the procuring. Essay. for all of its put destruction America: A virtues. 144. has result" ten or secure the 108. I. "is a simple and clear generally emerges from Ferguson's Essay. ed. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins place" no. resulted improving in hindering industry. affections of human gang of robbers. on (Principles.86 With greater Interpretation respect to the dangers of despotism. founded exceed. tenderest maxims of a nature. the vices of men. . despite the social costs that might accompany civilization. Roy Harvey Pearce has observed that one reason for its popularity. the cowardly." that preceded them. or separate. . which finished desire arrogant. of the Indian 85). and the mer cenary."110 ploy them on himself: Over this subject his power is most immediate and most complete. the public has found a faithful minister in the acquisition of . was Ferguson's unambiguous defense of commercial soci cultures. crative 1965]. have exhibited corruption of the of oppression. his distrust on justice be said to center not on commercial society itself but with the various efforts by politicians to no mat production of intervene in "In economic life the end of ter how well-meaning. Secure to the workman the fruit of his labour. the act of civilizing.

"Commerce and and Character: The Anglo-American as New-Model Man. in the beginnings of com it is subject. of what one histo in man. the frauds to of which merce. he knows how to repress statesman in this. contemporary scholarship observations tends to emphasize at cer Ferguson's relating to his fears despotism and of the expense his conclusions respecting of man's moral perfectability the value. in enduring.Progress We live in phy and Commerce in Anglo-American Thought dominated 87 an age by sociology and of and politics. 3d ser.. and a faithful can steward in population itself. Ralph Lerner. it was Ferguson's thought were from Ferguson's not until the nineteenth century that these aspects of fully appreciated. 143)."111 having embraced a regime of com civic merce within a political system which citizens were active participants life. the unhampered activities of the market. when moral philoso and economics are less exciting less concern than often of they were two cen turies ago. Ferguson has labeled the "new-model in shared the attributes him. Nevertheless. Of slightly sequence is Ferguson's analysis of the lesser. The eighteenth works more positive elements there century was to derive discussed: the benefits of a citizenry society based as a bulwark on commerce. . is the The branch in m. it would be that Ferguson's most significant and lasting contri the his formulation theory of spontaneously-generated orders and of complex social the application of this theory to a whole range phenomena. as in the case of It is well. but unquestionably social effects of the increasing division labor. In this sense. xxxvi(l979):3-26. and the possibilities of unbounded progress to wards moral perfection to which mankind naturally inclined. the need for a public-spirited and vigilant against tyranny. these aspects of Ferguson's thought were of greater concern to at rian least to his contemporaries. From the hard to bution standpoint of current argue against was the view of scholarship in the social sciences. wealth. con of cluding law and language. if. do little more hoarding what he has gained. p. if continued." William Mary Quarterly. both moral and economic. However. are least apt to go wrong" (Es- say. which men committed to the effects their own experience. tain of of Accordingly. than avoid doing mischief. Commerce.


That an such a class progress of knowledge. p. 150. 1968. Coleridge Replies to Adam Smith's "Pernicious Opinion": A Hermetic Social David Levy George Mason Study Engineering in University A pernicious Opinion that of Dr Johnson's & Dryden's & Adam Smith's &c that profession are Authors by compulsion in the likely to be the best i. Adam Smith. 62. i . Essays on Ethics. 62: "Here it not must suffice sys to remark that wherever felt. How Mill's concern for moral reform unifies his work is stressed in J. revealing the calling men back to an awareness of spiritual shallowness of the reality. An Inquiry into the Nature and brary. Modern Li best endowed universities have been the . Toronto. to for diffusing its results among the community. Coleridge's influence and was p. 10 of The Collected Works. That Coleridge had an influence seems clear.S. conveying tematic doctrine. My difficulty is very simple: Smith's argument against endowments is a valid deduc tion from the first principles of economic analysis. The Improvement of Mankind. edited by J. 1969. New York. what economists today call In particular. for the cultivation of learning. we can expect less ex Smith's position hardly requires a long chain of and Thanks are due to Warren Wigutow. New York. 1966.3 for failure in intellectual pursuits. What troubles me is why.e. vol. Mill's reliance on Coleridge for the linkage between moral reform and social institutions is discussed in Raymond Williams. but quickening unenlivened understanding. Notebooks 66 1 be stated The problem can simply enough: How did Samuel Taylor Coleridge thinkers to share convince a generation and more of competent social his disap In probation of a free market in culture and to disregard Adam Smith's peers. instead of before. 1956. Culture and Society. Religion and Society. More Nineteenth-Century Studies. Toronto. is last two be behind. John Stuart Mill. Basil Willey ." cess and the penalties cellence to be forthcoming." 2. M. 727: "In general. M. the richest and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. p. and warming both heart and head. New York. 1937. professional musicians &c Coleridge. if an endowment reduces the rewards for suc "the law of demand. the induction erroneously drawn from the peculiar circum is likely stances of the centuries 2 .1 the consequences of the endowments of the intellectuals? The fact is that he history of economic theory Adam Smith has few testimony from one of them: We honour Coleridge for the English Church had involved everything connected cated against Bentham and Adam Smith and the whole ciple of an endowed having rescued from the discredit in which the corruptions of with it. Charles Griswold Kathleen Coburn for comments on earlier versions. and for having vindi eighteenth and century. it acted as a seminal force. the prin class. T. here is analysis of did. Robson. 3. p. Robson.

vol. New York. 1907. for example. I was surprised slowest the established plan of education. is scarcely If anything. 1954. I find little guidance from either the studies which deal with classical British economics or from those escape which consider the inference Coleridge's attention political philosophy. in his of this expla the importance the Scottish thinkers in come as no surprise eighteenth-century America. unique. of course. This possibility is not century discussion so it will not be further considered. Interpretations Market Society: Civilizing. glances at Coleridge. discusses Carlyle in some detail.6 a principle of great empirical power: Oxford and Cambridge is withdrawal of incentives to testimony to the disas Now. Inventing America. consequently. 6 The decay of the endowed Oxford . S. it ordinary praise in any man to have passed from innocence into virtue. all. of economics paid a good New York. vol. News corrup tion would. Modern historians of econom ics have lack paid little to the "romantic" critics of classical economics so expected. if the Smith- Johnson argument is valid and there evidence to substantiate the conclusion. rivals New York. Samuel Johnson made the more compelling case for the free market in the production of literature: A man (said he) who writes a book. There is some interest remaining in the critics of the classical British economists. there is the possibility that the wealth enhancing aspect wealth endowment. LL. and edited by Kathleen Coburn. p. Cambridge relative to their poorer.7 of guidance from this literature is Nonetheless. "To those who remember the will appear no Coleridge. Samuel Johnson as reported in James Boswell.D. unendowed in Scotland is nation of stressed by Garry Wills. Modern Library. #661. 116. pp. The Notebooks of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Shawcross. have ping around the muck. must. of 1978.d. to pay more attention to the current opinions of the of an world. edited by J. how did Coleridge they drew? What does the commentary say about this issue? Here. depending upon their reputation for the greater part of their were obliged subsistence. I. 47: to state of our public schools and universities some twenty years past. or ture 20(1982): 1463-84. 409-11. Coleridge. elasticity 5.90 Interpretation Smith's position technical reasoning. he supposes that after he instruct of or amuse them. History pp. Those poorer in adopting those improvements. in which the teachers. who praises Robert Southey for step Biographia Literaria." Technically. The Economist as Preacher and other Essays. .. Chicago. n. 175-6. Oxford. 7. can thinks himself wiser or wittier than the rest of mankind. 4.4 It should come as no surprise then that Smith and Johnson were coupled to to his position: gether in Coleridge's eyes as opponents A pernicious Opinion that in the of Dr Johnson's & Dryden's & Adam Smith's &c that Au thors cians by &c compulsion 5 profession are likely to be the best i. 1. p. "Rival Hirschman. Albert O. and the most averse to permit any considerable change in improvements were more easily introduced into some of the universities. Joseph Schumpeter. professional musi Not only is this trous effect of the analysis of endowments an easy inference from stood mute diligence. 1982. and the publick to whom he appeals. The older historians more attention to these critics. Stigler. of Feeble?" Journal of Economic Litera deal of Economic Analysis. as Mill writes. could dominate the substitution effect.. 1957. Destructive. The Life of Samuel Johnson. be the judges his pretensions. T. Garden City.e. A recent look at Robert Southey and Thomas Carlyle by a historian of economics is provided by George J. combined with a positive part of the 19th of intellectual output.

296. "S. pp. e. nor by R.11 for intellectuals he had problem of problem of converted Before we turn to the hard the mechanics of looking at what endowing intellectuals. 12 of The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Carbondale and Edwardsville. Orsini. In ets of philosophical materialism. Coleridge Replies to Adam Smith to discover that many even mention 91 political famous analyses of Coleridge's in the fact that Coleridge writes opposition to philosophy do Smith's one not analysis. Fruman.. The tradition is Coleridge's Church and State and the Idea of an Intellectual Ideas 9. says this. mechanics of ridge's response to Smith and Coleridge actually the egalitarian 1830s. 1956. "neoplatonist. nor by Charles Richard Sanders. Oxford. J. T. It is not accidental. 1980. 1966. " . Middletown. Coleridge and the endowed cultural class corroborating this interpretation. p. nor by John Colmer in his edition of Church and State in Collected Works. 62. Coleridge and the Broad Church Movement [1942].. The Collected Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. that those studies which emphasize Coleridge's debt to the or social political about little to economy say Kantian idealistic developments in Germany have very German Idealism. N. he subscribed to the ten By the time he proposed an endowed status to neoplatonism. G. 476: "The extreme overemphasis on the importance of the say about political economy. Ct. vol. In the Pantisocratic failure. e. thought 11. T. I shall argue. .8 In spite of the gap in the commentary on this particular issue. 46(i985):89- continued by Peter Allen.g. Germans. 1. 1 972. rates made two important proposals for institutional reform: Pantisocracy in the 1790s and the endowed cultural class in the Coleridge switched philosophical positions in the time period which sepa these proposed reforms.9 is his desire to course engender spiritual improvement through institutional re Of this raises a technical question: Just how is one supposed to go about making spiritual improvement through institutional illuminate the Johnson. Princeton. p." Coleridge Thought. New Haven. Calleo. Coleridge and Norman Coleridge. Coleridge's proposal for an discussed in relation to Smith or Johnson's claims by David P. 1969. who has nothing to 12. and Coleridge's explicit Notebook is not Idea of the Modern State. Culture and Society.10 his Pantisocratic days. edited by Earl Leslie Griggs. 137: "I go farther than Hartley and believe the corporeality of 10. 1970. 1971. p. The Damaged Archangel. policy. Williams. studies which emphasize Coleridge's use of both the German What dition often have a good deal to say about his proposals for social reform. 97-9. The case proposal shall be made that Coleridge's later came to grips with the lessons taught by the early of importance failure. In spite of explicit statement statement that there is a debate is between Smith and Coleridge. .g. More Studies. p. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. it not for Neoplatonists on Coleridge's intellectual development would be utterly inexplicable were On the other the the necessity of justifying Coleridge's assertions of independence from tradition and the neoplatonic tra hand." Journal of the History of 106. broad point of agreement which does emerge from various studies of Coleridge's social phi losophy form.S. postI think." Coleridge himself vol. Owen Barfield. seems to have coined the term Marginalia. 62. we shall deal with the easy wrecked Coleridge's Pantisocratic hopes. Coleridge discovers the creating new men and women to act as the founders of a new or be done will der. G. p. White in The Political Thought of Sam uel Taylor Coleridge [1939]. Establishment. New York. New York. London.12 look at the role that neopla engineering Mill's plays in the 8. Willey. How this tonic social can be examined when we argument. 1971. reform? Answering Cole this technical question can. Also. edited by George Whalley.

he hoped." Harold Beeley. The General Theory of Employment. Cambridge. second. London. from the speculations of those truth. lever by of which abstract philosophy operates on the political and economic circum and is the 'predominant in the hands the opinion. are long rived run by what he called 'Ideas. to collapse what he calls what occult premises "Ideas" Coleridge holds that the truths. I think. Idea of State.' notions dimly These comprehended but that by ultimately de few in society who concern themselves with philosophic 16.13 Second." Coleridge: Studies theory of the by Several Hands on the Hundredth Anniversary of His Death. of course. institutional from the Coleridge's reform can remake mankind itself." for a series of tional Choice History of Political Economy debates is discussed in David Levy.15 masses are dominated by the producers is of philosophical In this interpretation. Coleridge. why in the ideas would this bear on the future? to the Perhaps human nature has changed meantime. resting on some novel. Coleridge's 13. Libertarian Communists and J. 383: the ideas of economists and political philosophers. to the fu must proceed. This will tell us at case least in outline form how Cole is fixed. 169: "Coleridge insisted on the supreme importance of education because he believed in . John Maynard Keynes. . But there is nothing necessarily occult in such a Constitution. "Mal- thusians. judg ments marketplace of ideas for are systematically flawed. 1934.92 Interpretation we confront Before anyone who texts. Mill Who Was M ill News Letter 15 (i98o):2-i6. p. p. M. By this analysis we know what Coleridge requires to make his case. "current the world" opinions of the and Johnson speaks of how the judge "pretensions" of authors to instruct them. those ideas which which are masses of mankind can writings. a terrible shortcom be strangled at birth by the Smith-Johnson suffers The critical nature of this assumption and Morality. and posterity.' state of public that can only be controlled State. . S. dominating Ideas " . 1973. there inferential from the ture. Even if past endowments were failures. hardly troversial interpretation. Now the stances system 15. a rather con is. In this view. reform can remake institutional the human nature itself in some predictable First. "The Political Thought of Coleridge. or. the drew from their ridge ably. however. a recent attempt has been made to mechanize into public opinion. thus. vol. indeed. Keynes. 89: "Many of Coleridge's critics have treated the whole notion of the Idea as incomprehensible philosophical moonshine. it is necessary for Smith such an and Johnson that human path nature Without assumption. by contrast with the Marxian formula. Interest and Money. . 7 of Collected Works. we can consider the problem which confronts is to deflect the free market conclusion which Smith and Johnson analysis. Idea of State. "Ra i4(i982):i-36 and David Levy." by an educational Calleo. Coleridge's This interpretation argument would position as straightforward as that of J. from. Understanding what is no he had to press will help consider past First." what may be termed. it is necessary Smith refers public must that the judgments in the marketplace of are compelling. an fashion. We know. the metaphysical theory of history Existing evils he traced back through a chain of consequences to the atomism of Locke. I shall argue that Coleridge sue: relies upon the Hermetic to defend both the claims at is first. would similarly attribute its blessings to his own philosophical sys tem. what patterns to look for in Coleridge's Not to keep the reader in model of man suspense. edited by Edmund Blunden and Earl Leslie Griggs. pp. Both. Calleo. p.16 ing. 14. second. . and. ultimately important are not something about judge." nevertheless mold his thoughts and perceptions.14 Reading proposal constitutional reform as It is. 21-2: "Coleridge believed that that are often public opinion is dominated in the the average man.

" 17.19 our material concise self. 1949. Berkeley. . Kathleen Cobum. New York. tells us that human nature can in lawlike fashion. et permission lui en fut donnee par le Pere. are dis back. concerning For the knowledge of the things of matter. 1' son frere 19. Asclepius 22-3. D. i. edited by A. Nock and translated by A. mean Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 1977. by casting away material preoccupations 20. scribbler of a few years as hear voices in the air. il pergut les oeuvres de . New York. T. Kinsman." he spent Corpus Hermeticum. . Paris. and man of is 'brother' characterized as man takes on a mortal his own and in . second. who possess gnosis or are capable of receiving nous can escape " . edited by "the Hermetic texts declare that man was created as a di of the creating being a so doing he voluntarily submits demiurge volition." John G. . vol. Traite 1 13.S. "Hermetism as a Robert S. Dirkse and Douglas M. 1. God dominates statement of fate. The temptation to Coleridge if he wrote in modern traditions is a well-known prob lem. 1923.17 93 institutions Judging the performance of educational which by the accep tance in the gives marketplace of ideas is all the Keynes position author could izes the game to Smith and Johnson. don. p. Parrott. and. the de crees of as administered by the stars and ultimately return to the spiritual world View. 290: Lynn Thomdike. Etant done entre dans la sphere demiurgique. A "Only the chosen few fate History of Magic and Experimental Science. 40: "I do him. Nor do I philosophers 18. -J. that these ideas are both parts of meet the Smith-Johnson are worthwhile challenge. Robinson. Therefore wickedness remains among (the) many. 10. so we be come God to escape A Hermetic the relation be tween religious behavior and knowledge was within recovered from Nag Hammadi living memory: the pious who are counted are few.1 1 : "Or. important ideas These theses are within found in the Hermetic tradition two theses. body man can recover his divinity through a re to the domination of the stars and other celestial bodies generative experience. 1 . the received text is Corpus Hermeticum. passions which are ordained is truly the healing of the both when they are right from and when they . vol. Who deny the unendowed eighteenth Scottish century? universities dominated their endowed British rivals in the I shall argue that Coleridge that all the actualizing. Asclepius. 301. translated by James Brashler. lorsqu'il eut remarque la creation que le demiurge avait faconnee 1978. Peter A. are . oil il devait avoir plein pouvoir. Lon not wish to try to do for Coleridge what Ritter did for Plato. . p. pp. Burke. In a structural one part of Coleridge's answer to Smith and Johnson is the same as the answer which the Hermetic philosophers gave to those who claimed will that the world was governed answer by fate. divine creative power. in The Nag Hammadi Library in English. dans le feu. selfus. brother to the cre ator18 fate dominates fate. the sense. 101 : The Darker Vision of the Renaissance. Festugiere. vine Renaissance World 1974. who Indeed the world is ruled by little else tilling their frenzy some academic read Madmen in authority. James M." "Introduction. wrong. first. . How can we be? The Hermetic but while is to remember that we are possibly change what God. The modern edition of being . The Philosophical Lectures.20 since learning the things which are ordained does not exist among them. Homme voulut lui aussi produire une ceuvre. with . Coleridge Replies to Adam Smith analysis. p. The of first gives us a method of judging second what ideas independently be changed what the world thinks. p. are more powerful than is commonly understood. de-Platonize to commit the ironical error of making Coleridge out to be one of the naturalistic his life combating.e.

The all leading Idea of Pantisocracy all possible is to necessarily by removing Motives to Evil In his are emotional for I spiritual divorce from Southey. In Coleridge's Pantisocratic discussion in the 1790s. Hermetism provides the key to unlocking creativity because creativity results to open the door to the uncaused world. . and Abolition of Property: or in whatever respect this remove the selfish prevent might our children.21 must coerce the divine. In the materialist a matter tradition where of human nature is assumed fixed. in time (t) have Collected Letters 1:214. as demonstrate. My case that if Coleridge ment accepted the Hermetic presuppositions then his proposed endow verse is sensible. a we find him attending to fundamental issue which the vicious circle between personal immorality is mainly In a and evil institutions his endowment proposal seeks to evade. inside this tradition. Coleridge's endowment proposal. letter we The with real source of inconstancy. only inside this tradition is his argument compelling. The subtitle of perimental method David Hume's Treatise of Human Nature is "An attempt to introduce the ex of reasoning into moral subjects Without stability of human nature . virtuous some will be. essentially we from uncaused will contact the divine within and activity. is Property. & good prostitution. of all which mixes Evil. can be made on straightforward textual grounds. Coleridge read: Following property is the libertarian communism of William a claims barrier to moral conduct. moral reform incentives. be impracticable. and creativity will flour they ish. by an by such sim- 21 . conversely. " 22. What we might as we call Hermetic "social engineering" has a long history. There are thus two parts of the exercise. it in when we should Principle from ourselves. 24. the makes sense have been taught by various Warburg Institute I shall studies over last three decades.24 be vicious. The con only inside the Hermetic view of the worlds does Coleridge's proposal cannot of course make sense case be made on textual grounds. The texts are cited below. no bearing on experiments in time (r + 1).94 Interpretation thesis My is that Coleridge to answer works within the logical presuppositions of the Hermetic world view Smith and Johnson: Free an elite from material preoccupations.22 changing Godwin. the evidence . but it is a simple to make on history-of-philosophy grounds: Hermetism allows certain opera tions which no other ontological system allows.23 & poisons every thing of & is beyond doubt the Origin Coleridge's defense in the change his proposed communal experiment is clearly offered spirit of philosophical materialism to change behavior one must first incentives: can Wherever Men make men Temptations. Collected Letters 1:114. depravity. he improvement: states that his communistic hopes returned to Cambridge hot in the anticipation of that happy Season. from experiments 23. And.

in caused so doing. In conclusion. Reform first moralize an elite who then moral In my interpretation. to by Collected Letters Collected Letters Collected Letters Collected Letters 1:163.28 possessed your philosophy-dreamers from Tauth [Thoth] the Egyptian Taylor. 1:260. are my darling The burden the argument below is inside the Hermetic tradition. The stabil ity of the moralizing society would be undermined . reform confront problem of mutual individuals to causality act as founders Institutions corrupt people. institutions in people. 27. rest. uncorrupted what hope is there to purge vice? And. 28.26 In the same letter. Why did I never dare in my disputations with the Unconvinced to hint at this circumstance? Was it not. Coleridge's proposal to (the clerisy) in Constitution of Church and State an attempt 25. supposing Quantum Virtue and Genius in the first Individuals. these concerns are spelled out in graphic detail. Coleridge can breaks ize the out of a circle of vice. Accounts Studies.S. Metaphysics.e. 1:119-20. that it is subversive of rational Hopes of a permanent System? These children the little Flicker for instance and the prejudices and your Brothers deeply tinged with and errors of society? Are they not already Have they not learnt from their are Schoolfellows Fear Selfishness are we of which the necessary offspring Deceit. 26. I spelled out an awareness that the evil in institutions could be by at the evil in people. & Poetry. Coleridge's the delicate without virtuous earliest thoughts on institutional of evil. Cole ridge worried about the moral fiber of the founders of the new order and. our and desultory Hatred? How to prevent them from infecting the minds of Children?27 Consequently. 1:119. T. are Contrary to this. Abolition. the assigned Lushington & Edwards declared the System impregnable. as would amount to a moral Sameness. . create an endowed learned class According to the Idea of Each is create to rip apart the chains binding effects with material cause. where can we find those by their society? Coleridge is left world Archimedes' with problem: Where is there is a place outside the by Only a which to move it? writes little after he had discarded his Pantisocratic hopes. . & 'Facts tasms that ever to mind' of (i. there are of conviction. because I knew even to certainty . but of the new society. Coleridge Replies to Adam Smith 95 and answer all the purposes ilarity of of Property. is indeed the six universal Topic this University of A Discussion began and continued for hours. Coleridge neoplatonic of all that he has discovered the Hermetic branch of the tradition: the strange phan . (the English of Pagan). by immoral founders: Children going with us. In a letter to Southey he writes: which was challenged on the subject of Pantisocracy . even in the unambiguously the cause of moral evil midst of his Pantisocratic fever.15 In Godwin's account.

34. the Art with Yates. takes on meaning dition" within what we now know to be the "Hermetic tra spiritual where efforts monplace. a contradiction in terms to in necessitated. Walker ful in Yates' for this tradition are. the pictures on our tele the engineers at Cal Tech's Jet Propulsion Lab have to appear." fully the a remember the macrocosm. 333: 33. under paradigm-shift." 30. " .30 series of studies on school within engineering the broad Knowing engineering first-hand within so much of the excitement from the triumphs of modern our Einsteinian-Newtonian tradition in astrophysics and microelectronics. Pantheist Tradition.29 Sheltered from the reality. Thomas classic theater. It is. 1966. enigma. a kind the key of German he had this of prophetic or magician had. an instance of shall to endow a learned class what we would today call social en gineering. at least to some degree. proposal argue that Coleridge's In brief. he .31 Simons' vision of theorem-proving Jupiter and Saturn. 1964. 1969. 31. P. . above. from Charles Babbage's analytical-engine and programs. and other quoted in Thomas McFarland. Boston and New York.3* ture. demonstrate the necessity of the 147-8: "It is because he believes in the Trinity. Chicago. Aids to Reflection. Transcendentalisms and sat to the rising spirits of the girt dusky sublime character. He was thought to hold. 108: in the chain and mechanism of cause and effect. 176: "[Lull] believed that if he could persuade Jews and Muslims to do him. p. hold it within p. spiritual activity by this clerisy could create a new where no reality men no longer confound wealth with welfare. The Rosicrucian Enlightenment. of course p. A. The Art of Memory. as though he were God The microcosm mens or by looking down upon it from [man] can fully understand and memory. Paul." divinity of man that the divine Camillo stupendous claim of being can able to remember the universe . for the sort of result expected to flow from a neoplatonic memory to belabor. to expand the scope of personal activity are com Our guides Festugiere." young gen in mystery and pp. Thomas Carlyle. we can more easily empathize with the neoplatonic engineers. especially among young inquiring men. Life of John Sterling. Oxford.33 John Livingston Lowe's Samuel Taylor 1971 . . is said to be natural. . London. of course. John Livingston Lowes. spiritual and supernatural are clude synonymous. his divine 53. for causal where he to call the supernatural. they would become converted to Christianity Starting from premisses common . 1927. What I find most particularly help the Hermetic tradition is her reconstruction of an neoplatonic point of view. 1972. to all. from first causes. J. I through institutional change. in this the freewill. artificial intel ligence H. he alone in . In this sense. p. makes Art would Ibid. longer would the worse be chosen over the better. D. prepare us. Raymond Lull's symbolic constructs are only a world-view away.96 Interpretation in legal institutions authorizes us a change what a vacuum in time and space for spiritual activity. a nexus. Paul O. therefore.32 In broad ral brush. the 32. Kristeller. therefore. study Ancient and now 29. of which the verbal definition is that which originates an act or state of being. there as a kind of Magus. Memory. his pp. character. . which is the sense of St. 229-36. . Frances Yates. the scope of Coleridge's interest in the neoplatonic supernatu is too well-known Carlyle's of the icily contemptuous carica Mariner. Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition. and indeed of the New Testament throughout. Coleridge. edited by Henry Nelson Coleridge [1840]. and Frances Yates. which arranged Similarly.. A. Post Washington. "Whatever is comprised . The Road to Xanadu. Chicago. Coleridge and England. eration higher than literary.

" by smoke of pp. 1969. 71. 37. "Thomas Taylor in and Thomas Taylor The Platonist.36 tradition35 Kathleen Coburn's study same message: of the notebooks and margina all carry the the Coleridgean still view ventures into to neighborhoods where occult sympathy rules. p. Note book F. Robert Barth. Coleridge have ac historicity texts of some of the key texts of the Hermetic tradition. Huntington Library. sense of 1969." He glosses this as "an ecstasy induced revelation hemp. The occult is however rather hardy.37 fact. 29-54. in which Daniel as a Pupil of the Chaldean Sages had been initiated. Could Coleridge's rather impressive have given credence to the reality of the supernatural? Karen Vaughn made this suggestion. edited by Kathleen Raine toricity minish or George Mills Harper.39 For if the literal truth of the Bible as worth and then one could accept. who resided p. the philological of demonstration that the Hermetic treatises were contaminated heap. Coleridge Replies to Adam Smith in our 97 time Thomas and McFarland 's examination of Coleridge's world- place in the panthe istic lia. 42. . Zalmoxis: The p. 40." Cambridge. The More-Cudworth that the Corpus Hermeti- McFarland. Coleridge portant point about Christian Doctrine. pp. in the Manuscript Commonplace Book of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Huntington Library. Trask. Toronto. 82-3. In this charge against of Taylor's unhistorical point of view we hear an echo of a Isaac Casaubon's tradition. 1976. Today. . 39. hm 8195. is "those who in smoke.41 by frauds the Christian era. cf Mircea Eliade.S. 24: "It is highly probable that the origin of this Chromometry is to be sought for in the astronomical or astrological Sciences. either establish or di 'authenticity' the of the Hymns that bear his name. Coleridge. where ideas carry power bind and release.40 strategy. 1979. p. as a Note. Coleridge attributes some of the Old Testament to the Chaldean Sages [? = Oracles]. translated by Chicago. Marginalia. Kathleen Raine. pp. their authenticity [both] embody it is not upon their date but upon their content that rests." to the the statement of the Jewish Cabbala in the purest state. as Ralph Cud- Henry ash More did. . "The Occult and the Modern Occultism. Below. hm 17299. one takes as it is often neglected central modern studies of the occult. notes that the translation of one of traditional names of shamans Willard R. J. 45-6: "It will be obvious that the his otherwise of Orpheus would not. Witchcraft. 157: "With still less hesitation may was appended in Chaldea & say. Coleridge's opinion of the Bible as and is discussed in Sanders." . with the grounds for its existence before the that of Christian Agrippa. as we now should larly. 440: "The 52nd Chapter probably written by the Author of the Book of Kings. Mircea Eliade. we see he knew that a "false Dionyius" was responsible for the angel lore and he thought very poorly There is another consumption of opiates strategy which I shall not consider. Pantheist Tradition. era . Broad Church. walk 1972. The critical of obvious objection to my thesis revival must be first after considered." 41. the p. Experience into Thought. learned philologists still argue about the and religious traditions in the ancient world. makes the im "Coleridge's profound respect for the literal Bible. Chicago. Who took the in texts of the hermetic seriously In Issac Casaubon's demolition the Corpus light the Hermeticum' s claims of to antiquity? After all. 36. from the standpoint of metaphysics." 38. position yet still save Hermet ism from the 35. it is a very book.38 but I place no real weight on confusion of this. England. and Cultural Fashions. World. took the Bible such evidence can and although magical be waived because Coleridge in very seriously. Vanishing God. Kathleen Cobum. he is willing to assert the great antiquity of the Kabbala."I have not found his opinion of the Corpus Hermeticum itself. This is to my argumentative given. T. Simi Oracles. Princeton." There is was an interesting marginale on Jeremiah 52. Coleridge seems to wrote the clear cepted the nineteenth century. and 'discrediting' the Hermetica a century and a half earlier. For my purposes.

The Occult Sciences in the Renaissance. Oxford. in competi The magicians almost snakes. Exodus 8:5-7. 1972." This is. as translated and by James P. Conversion. it would be plain enough for Herod's associates to follow. the the first few rods exchanges are rather close. 1952) are such able astrologers that they can read the hidden hand of God in the a a Modern pictures of and the passage super-nova makes the guiding star is strip the Wise Men of all need for wisdom absolutely no sense. New York. simply corroborate the Mosaic account of the com of all possible or Egyptian magicians.' service of Exodus Exodus 7:10-12. cum apparatu critico D. thrice-greatest Hermes and Zoroaster 44. 1:308-30. Nock.44 God. A classic 1972. Exodus 8:12-15. there can . works. Plato formed but link in that Socrates 43. from the east who be little the or no doubt that he inserted it and that of it had been formulated in Jesus from that art or sci first place. The Platonic Renaissance in England. pp. Indeed. 47. of course. Hermes Trismegistus and which besides him includes Moses Zoroaster. as complicated "sorcery. God turning to snakes. about the extent of the salvage. 45. 210. For Jews the wonder-working passages petence of authority attests to the prowess of Christians reading the Corpus Hermeticum. it is impor tant for me to establish that the Bible gives credence to the Hermetic claims. The translation in the King James Version is worthy of note because when (Acts used to describe Simon "Magus" 8:9) the cognate is translated discussed by Arthur Darby is philology of the Persian Nock. p. edited by Zeph Stewart. 9: "For Cudworth and More.46 and generating dead heats exterminating While it is true that God removes the frogs first. golden chain of and divine revelation.42 fact is that in Exodus the highest the Egyptian magicians. stresses the importance esteem. reader will "Magi" Plotinus. not the only such appeal to occult authority in the Bible. If the star were obvious enough to show up on Hallmark card. Christ. sky. Essays on Religion and the Ancient World. rescues considerable Hermetism for Jews Christians. they cannot be incompetent. Pettegrove [1953]. Stuttgart. History. The continuity between the Florentine Academy and the Cambridge Platonists is stressed in Ernst Cas sirer. had the seen 1:385-479. Nock. Because my argument depends upon the seemingly incredible proposition that someone of Coleridge's dates and stature took Hermetism seriously. testimony for the majesty of God's compelling. 7:19-22." superhuman claims such point of Christianity's various for its early acceptance. p. "When the writer of the Gospel according to Matthew included the story of the wise men the star. 2:517: "though Egypt afforded no de depart as the story of the visit of the Magi to Bethlehem. study of the magical presuppositions of the Bible and Apocrypha is. although God had the larger fish45 God and frogs. Here I timidly disagreeing with Yates. Erwin Nestle. 1:471: Thorn- dike. for Ficino Pico della Mirandola. Eberhard Nestle and D. 210. any fair reading would magicians run consider this part of the contest called for lack of am vermin. Also. D. of of course. Here is what Thorndike writes about the Matthew verses. Bruno. were alike pressed into the Christianity. 46.47 At the beginning of 42. to secure appearance of support for the kingship ence of astrology which so many persons then held in high A. The James Version doubtless think Matthew 2:1-11 where the "Wise Men" in the King or in the Greek (Novum Testamentum Graece." The Cambridge.43 For their testimony to be are not. Essays. This they tion with matched provide independent. . one and 1970. in Exodus the Egyptian magicians hostile. Berkeley. p. 423-31 and Wayne Shumaker.98 cum Interpretation albeit contaminated with Christian era frauds contains genuine and Egyp The tian teachings. 1961. engineering albeit In fact.

of but they ** could lice upon man. Gloucester. God implicitly testifies for theirs.. and classes of men in the Prophet Daniel. Coleridge was not the only one who drew some interesting conclusions from this report and such contest standing." Enchantments the = Constellated Talismans Metallic in this Whalley for "Constellated Talismans" but cannot we read phrase Coleridge's respect for the powers of Zodiac. Mass." with each ..'" Paul Oskar Kristeller. This is the finger there is a simultaneity of prowess. 11] p. besides the hosts of evil spirits." 50. 1964. The critical presuppositions which we must accept to work within a neopla tonic world-view are these: 1. [Exodus 7. translated by Virginia Conant. all Ideas are identical with the essence of divine thought and therefore other. T. class And the Lord dust of the land. . 163: "According to the Neoplatonic doctrine it [Idea] is nothing but a concept of the divine mind. then all is not lost to the Hermetist. and I think I considered that it was 'the Prince of notice of intermediate beings that the Apocalypse spoke. Exodus 9: 1 1: "And the magicians could not sorcery during their stay in stand before Moses because of the boils. London. The Philosophy of Marsilio Ficino [1943]. for the boil was upon the magicians. noble or or Hermetic Governors? Plotinus. Because the power of natural or demonic Egyptian magic can be established independently. . God. daiuovia. celed in the perfect thought. But in so far as the difference between knowing and known is can 51. but the magicians Then. fourth tells: round God is ahead on points. Coleridge.50 If there is metic genuine Egyptian doctrine which can be extracted from the Her texts. by the best of all pos sible authority. in its 'the Angels of the Seven Churches. of course) as Origen as pointing out that the Egypt.44 with this. the only real problem is how to tap this power. God Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh. and and Thomdike. crafty. be. Marginalia. as the Persia' case might . To the extent that there is ancient Egyptian doctrine mixed with the mation frauds. While it is true that when the magicians are last seen. 419: "Hieroglyphice historical. Say unto Aaron. and upon all the Egyptians. then there is still infor to be gained from the Hermetic tradition.. And they did so And the magicians did not: so there were so with their enchantments to bring forth lice. Stretch out thy rod. Just as the magicians for God's explicitly testify power. Coleridge Replies to Adam Smith the 99 still stand. benevolent or malicious. neither in heaven. Ennead 4. These beings gave a sort of inspiration mention of such of I thought it countenanced by the intelligence to races. I consid ered there was a middle race. partially fallen. pp.S. True knowledge is found in Ideas (Plato's archetypes) thoughts of 48. nor in hell. Philology is not destiny. John Henry Cardinal Newman. capricious. p. wayward.51 which are the Exodus 8:16-19.15 Baculus Astronomicus provides no gloss to 8. and upon beast." charac "Egyp Moses the Hebrews the practice of 49. said unto Moses. 1964. History 1:437 with quotes terizing both Moses tians charge Jesus as wizards and at 1 438 quotes Celsus (via Origen. 29-30: "Also.49 In any others like it. nations. and smite the that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt. (cited in note 59 below) might be read in conjunction Apologia Pro Vita Sua. Pharaoh they are not would have been well advised to heed his Council of Occult Advisers. Predic- tiones Astrologicae Almanachs. Also.

Kristeller. 238: it has come to the point where none is deemed wise. and translated by Josephine L." is. Human beings rarely are able to achieve this contemplative feat because body. "Five Questions Concerning the roughs.' urges and encourages us to the investigation of all ' nature. the p. then immediately all will be set in order [Pythagoreans and Platon Hostanes.54 reality It follows self immediately that to of attain this True knowledge. no such Finis ultimus. . B. "Oration on the Dignity Man.10: 53. 235: "Then the saying yvaJOi oeaviov. that terms. from one object to another. are at a stand. 1948. and that it subsists between " ." body and of ex 54." they do not embrace the very discovery 160: spo are of "For there is ken at of Thomas Hobbes. so to speak. who both reason believe and philosophy for the truth for its own 56. 209. assert ists] duced say that the soul by an excessive is manifestly afflicted in the sensible world by so many ills because. Bur of " the Magi. as is of the old in the Books Morall Philosophers. p. (utmost ayme. . se desire for sensible goods. in particular pleasure and pain of the 4. Taylor. . MacPherson. Paul Oskar Kristeller and John Herman Randall. save those . moved. intellect. no quiet passionate storm in which to contem plate and reflect. in The Renaissance Philosophy of Man. Ficino. (greatest Good). of which the nature is both the connecting link and. in The Renaissance Philosophy of Man. the 'mixed bowl. is of a self-motive nature. and nearest to God are uttering the theologi cal greeting. p. everything that is very unhealthy and difficult befalls us. for our contemplation . edited by Ernst Cassirer. Oration. in which his essence consists. and nature. 1972. Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola. then he." of translated by Elizabeth Livermore Forbes. p. whose Desires any end. Nor can a man any more live. When we are finally lighted in this knowledge by natural philosophy.) nor Summum Bonum." Pico.' we shall likewise in bliss be addressing the true Apollo Mind. but. p. . if anyone should restore the soul to its previous condition. Leviathan. Human beings have them potentially to that them a divine spark these Ideas directly. followers Zoroaster something similar. . Penguin Books. it is one must free one from the lures after the flesh." Pico. it has imprudently lost the goods of the intelligible "But after we world. that no fee and no compensation openly declare that there should be no study have been fixed for philosophers. mind) which allows (Trivially.)52 in so doing. For he who knows himself in himself knows all things. as Zoroaster first wrote. which is immoveable both in now essence and energy. they cause itself. pp." on inti mate Marsilio Ficino. el. both voided lax desires anger and too abundant pleasures and pared away like nail-cuttings the sharp corners of the strings of wrath. certain p. whose Senses and Imagination the desire. that is 'Know of man thyself. Felicity is a continuall progresse of . who make . 'Thou art. only then may we begin to take part in the and to be free holy rites of our . a human being can contemplate God 3. contemplate (soul. the study of wisdom a mercenary profession I speak all these accusa tions of against the philosophers. Chicago. through the agency of moral philosophy. Oration. Ideas are self-actualizing.. 225: "The mind can therefore achieve the highest act of contemplation under conditions. which both moves and is 55.55 Equally immediately from the clear why the doctrine is such a challenge to this tradition: for Hobbes there life without striving. that since their whole life is set either on profit or on ambition sake.100 Interpretation within 2.53 they are distracted by Matter. Taylor. because of a certain old disease of the human mind.56 52. edited by C. and then Plato in his Alcibiades. but it is hindered from remaining in that state by the needs of the ternal life. alas. 443: "I believe that the rational part of man. Jr. 1 and 2 imply directly. 235: have. that one cannot attain union with the divine while lusting of no money Thomas Hobbes presents and fame. they are more than images of reality. They say that.

for he is one. in part.60 is a Hence every bewitchment: action look to. Platonic Renaissance. the Hermetic contri bution to the tradition is the startling means of a divine word can be changed by by a science. pp. Chilton. to that: what we Only the self-intent go free of source.. it is not essential man impulse.59 to be an empirical The critical difference to be between Plotinus escapes magic Plotinus' the Hermetist. how there can their fact in Nature that sity and is an agreement of efficacy be explained? By the reigning sympathy and by the like forces and an opposition of unlike. . 1956. that gives the way of life. Prayer will not work. asking the divine to do The first God Magic is prayer which not have to say "please. and by the diver of those multitudinous powers which converge in the one living universe. Cassirer. is of course can be by prayer and Plato's defini tion of the third type of atheism. 73-6. 4. Plotinus. and the which entire life of the practical man upon us. the founder discipline. translated by Stephen MacKenna and B. The Theory of Will in Classical Antiquity. Cf. its repulsions. Festugiere. is that for Plotinus one by turning inward. -J.40: "But magic spells.58 Belief that the supplication. translated by C. Chicago. Coleridge Replies to Adam Smith A particularly tonic 101 is found in The Pla lovely s statement of this neoplatonic vision Philosopher' Creed by Coleridge's contemporary Thomas Taylor: soul essentially contains all knowledge. 50. This seems to me claim that the activity of the formula taught to the not-so-gifted. 1982. its the so that his reason is not beguiled but holds the due course. Entrapment material world: by magic. because there is nism. prayer is a weak form does magic. draws us has magic as its only we move to that has wrought a fascination The life of the mind is immune to magic: Contemplation alone stands untouched by magic. but what about magic? no This is a complicated case to of neoplato make. Epicurus and His Gods. W. Cambridge. In what I take to be the majority neoplatonic view of the commentary. in a a critical distinction beween the orthodox neoplatonists and the Hermetic school.S. The Six Enneads. 58. There are two cases to consider: (1) Can prayer move the divine? of (2) Can magic move the divine? In this context such and such. S. and that in the present life is nothing more than a recovery whatever I believe that the human knowledge once she acquires of what she ." case is easy to moved answer tonic tradition. 444. it is not Taylor. seems to me metaphor for life in the For everything that looks to magically. Page. believed magic and doubt that Plotinus. as I read the texts. and which discipline evocates from its dormant retreats. another is under spell magic. T. the true discovered by men who tractions and. pp. 443. Ibid. In the 57. 1952. 2-3. Prayer cannot will of for any thinker within the broad orthodox Pla have an effect upon the divine. p. 59. Here is the primal mage and sorcerer another. p. its at spell-binding dependent on no interfering machination. other fashioning own career and accomplishing its task. A. . There is much drawing magic is internal to the All. and that unity is all he perceives. possessed." thenceforth turn those same ensorcellations and magic arts upon one 60. Berkeley. not less. no man self-gathered falls to a spell. Albrecht Dihle.

65. sui confoundu . ainsi lui donner est-il son nom le plus haut. regards the p. E. 286: "And as to the Plotinunio mystica. 4. 206. Ibid. la ressemblance de son visage. M."65 the Hermetic philosopher. and this is the first that condition of works as the Caring for children. il recoit le createur des dieux du ciel. 1971 p. principle. je ne se dire de la matiere qui a servi a mais celle qui est en deca de divine. what to immunity the to power can material world bring to bear?63 But there is plative claims as a purely contem Hermetism (in this reading) doctrine. but ian by discipline 64. In this interpretation enlightenment. pp. Admires-tu. 37) as an outlier. R. Life of Plotinus. Plotinus: The Road to Reality. In particular. pousse-t-elle a l'imitation de la divinite. il la donne rhomme l'auteur des dieux il qui resident dans les temples lumiere (vie). the unreasoning also acts as misfortune. that it is attained. leurs figures de bornent pas a la tete seule.6.9 or 6. 16-17. 63. Ibid. it must surely be clear to any careful reader of passages like Enn. Festugiere's translation: pour meme que le Seigneur et le Pere ou. -J. What I find to be critical are the passages in CH which describe the creation of power ful idols De est the Hermetic texts where knowledge of the divine is power."64 dissenting tradition Hermetism for one's own If this is so then the Hermetic there can philosopher no social of does not claim an ability to influence activity. as the Egyptian magicians are made to testify to to God's power in Exodus. planning marriage everything 61 value taking by dint of desire these all tug obviously Just so bait. Berkeley. ainsi I'homme faconne-t-il Veux-tu dire les statues.102 Interpretation a the reason. jusqu'en ceci qui toujours se souvient de sa nature et de son et origine. 1. Occult Sciences. ont un corps entier avec tous ses membres. encore et qui se satisfont du voisinage des humains: non seulement la mais a son tour. Ainsi l'humanite. 62. pour qu'ils comme le Pere Seigneur doue les ses dieux d'eternite propres dieux a lui fussent semblables. by the divine power within us. "his object is not power but correct of 1 don't think this is reading Knowledge of the divine drives magic. Dodds. it does not laugh the siege to scorn. quoted in J. not by any ritual of evocation or performance of prescribed an inward acts. magic. no power to operate on "the physical world or upon other human beings a which reads advantage. comme la plupart? . Rist. 6 Trismegiste que ou manques-tu de foi toi aussi. non seulement progresse vers Dieu. The Greeks and the Irrational. 1967.44.. les fabriquer.7. Shumaker "idol making" passage (Asclepius xiii. Dieu. les images des dieux qui est plus pure et veux faconne I'homme plus ont ete et formes des deux natures. . be engineering a claims made from a Hermetic framework. ." Shumaker. accord ingly gives it little weight in his interpretation. Cambridge. Here is A. Thus. que. akin to Plotinus'. Porphyry. mais il cree des dieux. de la divine infiniment ils rhomme. 6 Trismegiste? 6i. Asclepius.34.62 too an Egyptian magician is Plotinus' made When one can attain union with the testify Divine. en outre. Je . of the mind which involves no compulsive element and has nothing whatever to do with magic.

" Walker summarizes these traditions as follows: comprised two . the planetary the opposing principle may be described in any or all of three ways: demons. "Platonic Underground. la douleur et la Granting. another which emphasizes external possibilities neoplatonic research to contact the divine "out there. l'inspiration prophetique. the natural. The tradition. Agrippa music and Let me take it as demonstrated that tradition. mos set as in opposition to God. D. Pagan and Christian in an Age of Anxiety. 296. pleines de souffle vital. et qui accomplissent une infinite de merveilles. . 1968.S. R. recklessly unorthodox magic and Paracelsus. R. The Nag Hammadi Asclepius reads this "Just as God has that the inner man be created way man on earth creates gods passage which suggests according to his that working idols are created are likeness. 250.69 tion between the Hermetic tradition and neoplatonism The 66. des statues qui connaissent l'avenir et le predisent par les sorts. Traite I. Fate. Marginalia. the Keepers of the Seven Gates which cut off the .68 We can draw a consequence out of Coleridge has sympathy for the Hermetic this which can sharpen a distinc more generally. who thought and felt within the limits set by that tradition. . supported Dodds. Dillon. can p." according to his image. The tradition. 384-96 by Rist. Ithaca. Corpus Hermeticum. not necessarily mutually exclusive: one which emphasizes the possibility of con tacting divinity within us purely through meditation. Coleridge Replies to Adam Smith Oui. that I by the power within ourselves.66 merites. The spiritual magic tended to disolve into something else: poetry. Apologia. whose agents are " . which no rather tolerate. same p.9. 75. with his interpretation after all the passages our where we create gods by tricking demons. 302: 2:325-6 willed (Asclepius viii. Christian he indulged a liberty of speculation. kinds of magic. combined with mediaeval of planetary magic. 23-4). 12-13: E. world from God It is not clear whether this distinction could be made in the nineteenth century John because there was a tradition. ." 67. Walker. p. the technical tacting the world- view that men and women are in a world problem remains how to go about con divine? There seems to have been basically two points of view. E. could condemn the cosmos as a whole ' . . P. that Plotinus himself engaged in theurgy. Hermetic treatises describe divine origin. led to the overtly demonic.g. often . gnostic and p. pp. The 13. now pp. Notre Dame. selon nos joie. heathen than Christian. Corpus Hermeticum way. Paracelsus.K. sont statues. The Middle Platonists.. conscientes. in the very Shumaker has no trouble discarding a see. The fatal problem. Irrational. qui donnent. Vois comme toi-meme tu des statues pourvues qui envoient aux hommes les maladies et qui les guerissent. 1975. with Plato that this sublunar world 'is of necessity haunted by evil. the Hermetic sprinkled with divinity. Enne- ads. Plotinus. writes of "gross impieties in 68. yet after all 69. therefore was likely to grow in it did. One critical piece of evidence conflict is Plotinus' opinion of the gnostic philosophy. spiritual and the demonic magic which two divergent directions. Where we find the visible cos and no orthodox Platonist. then. p. les songes et bien d'autres methodes. They could recognise But no Stoic or Aristotelian. Plotinus and Palladas were men brought up in the by Greek tradition. The demonic magic. ." describes the Hermetic groups . Cam "Marcus Aurelius.. Plotinus. 2. les 103 manques de foi! Mais ce d'une ame. discredited. and advocated conclusions which were installed a higher philosophy into inquiring minds . T. 1977. 100: "while Coleridge. 283-311. e. This is stressed bridge. Dodds. as part of the Dodds' interpretation is pp. Asclepius. Spiritual and Demonic Magic [1958]. Newman. magic as Ficino left it. U.

occur. If Coleridge to make causal participates in the Hermetic tra dition. I and where circumstances told. 1974. A non- that is.104 Interpretation that it is possible non-Hermetic neoplatonist would claim to encounter the divine within without accepting the possibility that this can have any consequence upon the empirical world. Law Here we have a suggestion of what Coleridge found attractive in the proposal of an endowed cultural class: it would free the learned from the thrall of the ma terial world itself. and highest) am to select for themselves some . that the as the alone vast outward is determined must by the inward.b. This ideal is con trasted with the actual experience in England the only study undertaken is for the sake of mate rial reward: universities means "but in England it is the misery of our all-sucking all-whirling Money-Eddy that in our appreciate all knowledge as those. in 63 . . It but we have what no science We know to look for now.70 statements about the divine. Schools of Medicine. again. is becoming less and less the fashion where even in Germany. The importance Kathleen Cobum. besides their allowed. he is allowed statements about the divine. Ibid. Here Cole ridge contrasts work for reward with work own sake: But this is the worst sort of Slavery: for herein true Freedom consists. under such and such conditions so and so will neoplatonist needs probably Hermetic exists to make no causal to control it.. Any occultist will acknowledge a random component. to choose the latter with reference to the former. to Dodds' separation of Plotinus from the Hermetists. as men from the very commencement of &c?72 Universities. . we can operate on the di in the same way out we can operate the telephone in Paris. of appearance. all Freedom is namely. For if it can. We know that Coleridge ideal71 about things-in-themselves. to some finite and temporal end. our Freedom itself & overlaid as manifested in the Liberal Arts and Sciences. is to making money by his 72. London. Germany I find in the tendency (N. Reference note 70. The character of study for its own sake is apparent in the Notebook passages cited in Conscious Imagination. them in their examinations Profession. ." way exactly that for the Profession. Bread-earner But this. Hermetism makes causal statements about things-in-themselves. Divinity is clearly property of things-in-themselves. . . who are not idle or mistaking Verses for Poetry . We can bring the metaphysical difference if a we can temporarily adopt not Kantian terminology. this vine means we can coerce the divine. cited should be made. 49: "The noblest feature in the Self of so general of the young men in all but the lowest ranks favorite study or object of pursuit. then which will pass . 71.. self-determinating Principle of what then be the result. set about getting in the easiest sort and that and which quantity requisite knowledge. in stifled their career. . regards intellectual for its inquiry for its study of its own sake as an aspect of uncaused activity. the main value of which consists in its being itself a means to and another finite & common end Knowledge Profession Income of consequently se lecting their particular Profession in exclusive reference to the probability perhaps their acquiring a good income & ultimately of a Fortune thereby. the when in the majority and that class in which we are most entitled to expect conditions of Freedom. in Kantian own sake as an terms. Mystical union does not allow us to turn our neighbor into a frog. p.

75 In this definition same manuscript which Coleridge gives a very clear definition of the Idea. marginal comments on Ibid. Ibid. who wished to sacrifice a of neoplato as he distances himself from the daemonic tradition not in Philosophical Lectures." Names. which should teach us to look not only at what a man disbelieves. edited by Kathleen Coburn. ibid. Marginalia. and Christian. very fascinating. nism Taylor. redundant title.. between Eclectics and in my mind. those where Coleridge acknowledges that the "Plotian schoo The important passages are could tap the Christians. students of Cornelius Agrippa. which have resulted from its applications form too attempt palpable a warning not to have deferred me even from motives of common morality. pp. I cannot commence this subject more fitly than by disclaiming all wish and attempt of gratifying others. to the admirers of the false Dionyius. p. 243: "the great object of Eclectic philosophy was to persuade men Heaven was already practicable on earth. If Coleridge here distances himself from Thomas bull to Zeus. Virtues. but at what he believes beyond or besides it. On the Di have appeared in the last fifty years. especially as the Eclectic philosophy was connected with the boldest purposes for the extension of the human discussion of the importance of Coleridge's emphasis on Pythagoras is consistent with powers. Coleridge's Marcus Aurelius's "the God p. .. Fervours. 244: "Yet let me say this without acknowledging that truths are to be found in those writers. number hm 8195. however. neopy- is a fairer characterization of Divine Ideas. ibid. I leave the a speculative refinement heavenly and in myself. 295. but the significance of the with moral constraints which Coleridge puts on himself has gone unremarked. not to raise men up to God. This was. Dodds.] the fearful abuses. the degrad idolatrous superstitions. Energies with the long et cet Cabalists the obscure degenerated Platonists.S. 73. Ideas. John's Gospel. a locates him firmly in the neoplatonic tradition: An Idea is ceived: not a simply knowledge or perception as a it is realizing knowledge. Samuel Taylor Coleridge." Coleridge summarizes the differences and similarities and Christians and as a con were troversy not over whether Christ was God (freely admitted) but whether too. 1949. era of the and Powers. out wider literature. London. all approach to particu involves its own contradiction . Domina tions. awful truths. . T.73 its wonderfully revealing.: "This of Pythagoras Plotinus constituted them enemies Christianity. 76. p. 178: us" within point its resemblance to St. 23-4. or an idle presumptuous curiosity in hierarchies with all their distinctions "Thrones. Coleridge notes the engineering difference. and both Hermetic renounced tradi at has called our attention explicitly any tempt to engage in external daemonic magic." Dodds' Pythagorean themes in the thagorean 75. Coleridge Replies to Adam Smith It is important for tions that Walker us 105 of to recognize that Coleridge knew to. pp. Many references to the mss. Mss. The Philosophical Lec tures. . 74. knowledge causative of distinguished from the thing per its own reality. . 3-5. in it in Life . All pretence. p. (or principle of the Will. but by per same occult power as nicious practices and contrivances of not rites to bring God down to " man . "the Spirit. Princedoms. of the Huntington vine Library. 31.7* it is completely out of conviction that their approach will not work. for on that the nature of his belief and disbelief must depend. larize on such a subject Or had the evident contra diction implied in the ing failed in preventing it [. Pagan the tradition. Perhaps. if they were so.

She quotes one ing passage of new phaenomenon becoming real. appealed to the philosophers: John i : i "In the beginning was the Word. several of learned societies have chosen to remain. . have not. p. been made in universities. and the two were never severed from each other but seen al in some dynamic tension the word reconciliation.106 Interpretation we read Can this definition of an Idea self-actualizing knowledge. and the Word was doctrine Platonist in letters 77. interesting 78. where all things are bounded in intellectual measure." have taught of our us to call "spiritual Since the important truths self is a vastly more appealing route study ridge than study of the external The efficient creation and dissemination of new knowledge inner in us. Imagination. p. Thus. the Creator! [and the cited above in note 71.g. See the passage Symbol! It is Aoyog. modern times. 727. Taylor. smallest 138-9: "Where. regions of and which can see at what point in the universe wisdom first began? Since then there is end. Harris. have been greater part of in several different of philosophy. . knowl and edge which creates reality cording to the Idea of Each? If so. . 79. 28: "Thus we see that Cole ridge's poetry and prose. The new ideas which are produced under mate rial incentives are not as important as that which has been forgotten as a consequence. then we may have some insight why important. The Ideas are accessible through back into the Constitution of Church an endowed State Ac learned class was so and are meditation. as a Word." neoplatonic phi losophers obviously would have little to quarrel the Word was with God. p." of opposition or " . for a long time. but ways of external relations." .79 the us Conscience. Pagan and Christian. Wealth of Nations. is the microscope which can what is in nature? Where the no por telescope. took root in his minute inspection not only of the inner self. The for study ideas may lead people to forsake the old.." over atten tion given to experimental matters is not unique to Coleridge. The neoplatonic concern Evolved]. . 64: were the dim Awaking of a forgotten a I have always an of especially illuminat obscure feeling as if that still or hidden Truth my inner Nature/It is the cost of the pp. Coburn. in branches . Platonist. ibid. cited it with approval God. like his notebook memoranda. of is for Coleridge new a far from unmixed blessing. 104: "His Logosand a Amelius. one part of the Smiththe Johnson challenge is addressed. after they had been hunted out of every other corner of world. the sanctuaries in which exploded systems and obsolete prejudices found the shelter and pro tection. let us tion of matter which may not be the subject of experiments without betake ourselves to the mind.. where every divine. and Dodds. quoted of gold by Augustine thought that the opening words of St John's Gospel 'should be and set up to be read in the highest places of all churches' written The interest in the interrelations of truth within us and without us brought out in Coburn's summary of her findings from the notebooks." thing is permanent beautiful. and the Reason) he is fond this is noticeable /Something very like of considering [as God] & in many Texts of St John's with calls it [the] God The within Gospel. a claim which Smith uses to justify a competitive educational material reward system. discern e. the pupil of Plotinus.77 about the physical universe. knowledge for to Cole world. what Walker Yates astrology. says Mr. eternal and p.78 We gain insight into which what attracted presents Coleridge to both an endowed culture if we at tend to the facts Smith about the origin of the new ideas and the fate of the old in the competitive market for ideas: made The improvements which. the those them.

Hobbes. is not such Fame vain. the schools. as to his best and most authentic documents. Coleridge there" asserts that the new ideas are substituting study of what is "out for what is "in here": and attention. handling men the tools of . as noted in Church and State. T. provide evi p. Desire of Fame after . ranks. This qualification dence of a rather careless of p. Ibid. in our minds of those states of consciousness. . disposeth to laudable actions. the like. the teacher of In attention we keep the mind passive: in thought. Leviathan. occurs in a context which emphasizes Coleridge's from either contention that literature should be produced without motivation fame. .82 What remains to be demonstrated is that Coleridge thought better ideas chance of real an endowed cul tural class would offer a is uncaused activity) of for study for its own sake.81 classical antiquities. the angry aversion to think. nay. rouse the effort of attention requires the energy of thought. of those inward experiences. biblical theology. Aids to Reflection. (remember: this importance. Here it helps a great deal to re member that some critical passages in Church and State are explicitly repro duced from Biographia Literaria... .83 "immediate" money or This contention is a vital link in the neoplatonic chain.. developments in education stands in sharp to Smith's high He only thinks who reflects. or an insight into the laws and consti tution of the human mind and the grounds of religion and true morality. pp. This a clerisy. 83. if subtleties and sophisms composed the greater part of the of Metaphysicks or Pneumatics ogy.S. The preliminary sketch of the idea of is found in Biographia Literaria. to reputation could. the youthful literati. . we it into activity but self-knowledge. death does the same of 162: yet "Desire Praise. because have a present delight therein. Distinction between thought reproduction By thought is here meant the voluntary or . 82. 726. in addition to moral or religious truth refers us. 81. to which. Coleridge Replies to Adam Smith Smith's sorts of 107 gives a good picture of what previous discussion of school "systems" learning out: might have been hunted . grounded on own experience never pursue literature as a trade my Three hours 80. mechanical school. 69. [Note] The indisposition. 69-70. . . . as political economy. Ibid. Matter must not corrupt spiritual things: I would address an affectionate exhortation to . in the eyes of an of untender made critic. from the foresight it. 80 . even in persons who are most willing to attend. . is the phenomenon that of persons every time I enter into the society forces itself on my in the higher notice afresh. . they composed the whole of this cobweb science of Ontol The description new which Coleridge gives in Aids to Reflection of some of the contrast methodological opinion. p.. and on the subjects to which they are giving and studious attention.

perhaps. as weeks of 1:152-3. 717. We may feel indignant that there have been stability on the lan unworthy neglect. stun and stupify the mind or profession.. immediate reputation form only of increasing them by any but the necessity of acquiring given exertion will often prove a stimulant to industry. Biographia Literaria. Smith. cannot result from activity gener and Smith. 87. but productions.. Coleridge fession tive for the would of money or have been negligent if he did not suggest a pro and minimal mo which allowed a regular production of income. 182: "In 1756 Johnson found the great fame of his Dictionary had not set him above the necessity of 'making provision for the day that was him.. whose education and rank admit him to the land-holder. congratulate ourselves when rouse the natural we consider. of his constitution. sufficient leisure time. a neighbour and a mansion of the rich family-man. All these conditions could be satisfied by he working for the . Biographia Literaria.' passing should over No royal or noble patron extended a munificent guage of we hand to give independence to the man who had conferred such his country. The hope cess reverse their should very nature. Boswell. the facts of which are brought out by Fruman. across their political-religious that the production of fame. Coleridge simply confused what ought to be with what is.. and instead of exciting. Wealth of Nations. Biographia Literaria. p. appeared. 85. to and looked forward to a with delight as a change and recreation. than weeks of compulsion. operating to which indolence 1:154. both hold opinion" literature re quires substantial motivation: desire Of course. pp. must.. he devote his some known trade his genius to ob jects of his tranquil and unbiassed choice.85 divide. p. at the same time. also notes that the emoluments of the profession were quite hand and went on to suggest that the presence of an established clergyman pro vides social benefits to the neighborhood: . argues that all difficult choice requires strong motivation. Money. established church: man of the church presents to every cherish a rational learning to unite and genius a profession. In the next passage 84." we owe many valuable otherwise. literature. Two critical issues are clear: we contact the Ideas in which divinity is embodied are self-actualizing. 1:155. Johnson the "pernicious idealism. by any alien anxiety. in Coleridge's ated by material incentives. Life.. might never have 86. .84 True knowledge. and . 3-12? Perhaps. Coleridge. that to this very neglect. while his duties make him the frequent visitor of the farm-house and the cottage87 In Church less study and State Coleridge as uses ("thinking" defined in Aid Hermetic machinery to argue that motive to Reflection) will be co-extensive with the divine within us and religious study. talents to .108 of Interpretation unannoyed leisure. them will in all works of genius convert the stimulant into a narcotic. in which may with hope of being able the widest schemes of literary utility the strictest performance of professional duties86 Coleridge some. Is this hypothesis "three hours of leisure is of as productive compositional compulsion" the basis for Coleridge's systematic underreporting his difficulties. will suffice realize in literature and larger product of what is truly an genial. Motives by ex arbitrary and accidental end of literary labor.

the the and it was named. sciences. . nal intention comprehended the learned of all denominations.. will lead to religion. discipline were con prima tained [the scientia as substantive issues] and lastly. p. . p. On the Constitution of the Church and State. Princeton. because it unity and lating sap of life to all other sciences 90 When we recall the material conditions under which the Ideas can be contem plated. and of good right did it claim the the name of But why? Because Theology. The philosophical truths unearthed of contemplation are self-enforcing. The group who comprise the clerisy is defined: in its primary acceptation and origi the clerisy of the nation. individuals who have directed their meditations and their studies to nobler characters of our nature. was. 90.'9 Thus. 109 be clear is clear.S. T. because . what do we see? We see the divine. course. philosophy. pp. which constitute. . 47." tradition. of "study of god": [Theology] precedence. or national church. Coleridge Replies to Adam Smith the former passages. the links between own sake are connected theology and the pursuit of far more tightly than they are in of Biographia Literaria. Coleridge's elitism does not seem unnatural. the ground-knowledge. placed at under . vol. the self-actualizing property pealed to: the divine is ap The Theologians took the lead. the many are in no position to free themselves from through are material interests. or of ideas. 44specula between C's poetic explorations of the supernatural and his psychological and religious tions. in Church knowledge for its and State. with the mathematical as the common the preceding. that science.. . and distinguish the nobler selves and from the animal part of his own being. edited by John Colmer notes "a close connection Colmer. This is just another way saying they Ideas. although this too will in later That in the all ages. the man. doctrine or Divinity. simply a transliteration of the Greek for "Theology" is." 89. Finally. 46-7- Ibid. military ture. especially science. . io of The Collected Works. the latter is hinted. of the physical . and linked to the When we neoplatonic research ideas. at least separate him from the animal. . "the doctrine and discipline of look inside ourselves. of the sages and profes and civil architec organ of sors of the law medicine and physiology. to the cultivation of those powers and instincts in them M . indeed. and remain blended with it . Ibid. . Samuel Taylor Coleridge. the sci ence of Theology gave was the root and the circu the trunk of the knowledges that civilized man. which will be led by the supernatural to the contemplation of a power moral is likewise super -human. 1976. not simple opinions: 88. of music. the head of all.

(ii) "parson in and (iii) a "school-master in every makes explicit provi every sion for incentives in the lowest tier: the school-master "who in due time. 92. spenser." and years. the last 130 a history of of gloom caused origin of by the mechanic race. and losophy. the permanent 91 .. 96."98 By contrast Coleridge recalls the bright episodes be fore 1660. God. Ibid." the "moral history heart. natives of .."96 the the human general "hardness of political moral the "Guesswork of and consequences substituted consumed for and political philosophy. 97. The episodes worth remembering occurred when Hermetism was at the center of culture.. Ibid. educing.. the shaping And and informing pecial spirit. The critical text here is Coleridge's contains a re 7 of State. 91. should succeed to The formal argument now stands complete. and un parish. 94. endowment92 Coleridge's three-tiered church to be financed by the a national of the national (i) universities. Coleridge offers as evidence the history It of previous experiments chapter view of in Hermetic Church and social engineering. 98. pp. and the present use of the same word. trains them country free subjects of the realm importance is it to the objects here contemplated. pp. Ibid. between cultivation and civilization. It is an elegant. the magnificent son with of cosmo was wont to discourse ficino. 95." parish" der the condition of a pastorate. the soil . 48-9.e. . 68 Ibid. p. . 64 66. The obvious question whether this system actually do what it is supposed to do. We see how the Ideas material are recalled and how they proposal national are self-actualizing.. i. nity or which rulers is the basis of divinity. 52-3. the latent . the ide a of the beautiful: and the younger Algernon Soldier. and the occasional contrast."97 the "gin by paupers. Here is what he says about the remarkable contrast Ficino's social engineering: between the acceptation of the word. the which nisus formativus of national the body politic . or rightly appreciate."95 philosophy94 "Ouran in Outang theology economy. that only by the up to citizens of of es vital warmth phi diffused by these truths throughout the many."93 faithful performance of his arduous duties. Ibid. man in all the . Ibid. p. Idea. Each of the Hermetic premises enterprise has been is employed and the validity of the would is clear. p. can either the commu its fully comprehend. The free dom from incentives is obvious when we examine the details of the pro posed endowment. the eliciting.. . the communed star brillance in the on glorious constellation of Elizabeth's court.110 Interpretation education. "Regrets of Apprehensions. before the Res the princely toration. spare construc tion. Before 1660. distinction. sir philip Sidney. 93. Ibid. Ibid. politian and mirandula on the ideas of of serenest with Will. possessed by by the the guiding light from the few. Freedom.

Here we can contact the divine within us: . on masques to uplift court the depth of the Elizabethan court's ing. Here is some of their dis Inigo the contributions. Ibid. Stephen Orgel of the Century [1947]. have an extensive discussion cussion of "Platonic Jones' involved in the Stuart -. 312. London. of Ficino 's motive intellectuals freed from moral uplift to the masses. London. Politics" 1973. the source of Ideas. once the anatomy and of neo-Platonic politics has been completed. was a living demonstration the power of the mind to comprehend and art. Joe Dee. Coleridge proposes to free an elite from material motive. and control workings of nature. the universe is at the command. recalling to life the ancient mysteries in On the basis of what economists call seriously. and Roy Strong. of course Sidney's We can summarize our argument supported neoplatonic by independent passages one must from the be Philosophical Lectures. we must take this activity For instance. Thanks to deal historical work in many fields. 64-5. govern ment sponsored academies and masques an attempt to change the morals of people. has been of not inaptly called the microcosm of the world . man. both human elemental. pp. The Occult Philosophy in Lectures. Yates. on For details Sixteenth Ficino's Academy and its influence. 79-93- Philosophical . pp. .. the surprise that grand magus. King's able. we know a great about previous neoplatonic social engineering. the state: It seems clear that guise and on a national Coleridge's clerisy is the proposed rebirth. . the Hermetic in his use of the most famous of all Hermetic phrases: complex and the most the most individual of creatures. 1968.101 Moreover. taken in the idea 1M .103 is.102 morals. 1-13. Frances A. is At of once clear the divine. thus bringing about the and requisite purification.S. pp. which exists in all men potentially in its germ. mies Ibid." Orgel Strong provide a history of the expenses of this activity: it is consider 102. p. 100. Nendeln. tradition. Coleridge Replies to Adam Smith Patriot. this as a bright teacher. self-actualizing knowl Coleridge's debt to engineering neoplatonism. Frances A. the Elizabethan Age. through intellect And thus in Love's Triumph. Inigo Jones. In the world-view. 1:49-75. 104.. Yates has would see involvement in Hermetic Coleridge social engineer spot It is consequently no in history.55: court masques. 1979. T. though it without requires both effort from within and auspicious circumstances from to evolve it into effect by 99. in Christian Academy. be purified fore one can contemplate edge of real worth. his humanity. Yates. To break the thrall this material world. 1 "[he] realising and the royal ideas of by creating what were es sentially models of the universe.100 The vision of endowed scale. and 111 and nevil on the idea of Statesman with Harrington. revealed preference grounds. helps penetrating the divine as a technique to provide put what Coleridge found attractive in a clerisy modern into now much sharper focus. and caused others to spend vast amounts. 103. shown us British kings spent vast amounts of their money. milton. The French Acade 36-76- of the 101.



this third
plates all

higher power he


himself on the

same point as


and contem and

objects, himself included, in

permanent and universal



He tells



views on purification:

us that the mind of man purged of


an edifice not





which needs of

only to be

its idols



services to

become the temple

the true


These are,


course, "idols





the theatre,

and of

the market

Coleridge draws the

reader's attention

to the past glories of neoplatonic pol
within us was


to Ficino 's academy,

the divine



if in

a pa

gan context.


we are

led to believe,

were magical times:


yet there was the power


and and





the grace and the



the influence of Platonic



was under

the auspices of

Lorenzo the




the untractable

There the mighty spirit still coming from within had succeeded in matter and in reducing external form to a symbol of the inward




Ficino's academy seems to be the paradigm of Coleridge's social engineering. was an institution which quite literally worked magic. When Coleridge dis
the good


times, he is talking


Ficino. Yates


Walker have taught

to understand what this means.

Let have

me not pretend

that the

argument above accomplishes more than

it does. I


to demonstrate that Coleridge's argument against Smith's and

Johnson's What is

anti-endowment position



inside the Hermetic tradition.

special about

the Hermetic tradition

is the

that under


conditions we can control the


within us and

by so doing,


the mate



What I




Hermetic tradition, then institutional setting inside

is */ Coleridge were a social engineer in his argument follows. Coleridge proposes we create
which we can

let the divine



us. claim:

step in my


is to demonstrate the

Coleridge does

were not a social engineer a

if my in the Hermetic tradition, then his argument
converse to

follow. This is first.


not a


argument and we consider a spe

cial case

Suppose Coleridge







point of

Would the





individuals from incentives

105. 106.


Ibid., Ibid., Ibid.,

p. 333.
p. 332.

p. 193.

S. T. Coleridge Replies to Adam Smith

to break

them to obtain







For Kant, determinism is necessary to think about appearances; free will is only sensible for Obviously, in a Kantian framework we

cannot conduct social split

policy to determine things-in-themselves. The Kantian between the determined world and the free world will not support Cole


because Coleridge

needs to make causal statements about self-ac a

tualizing we free individuals from


be done in



the paradigm

is that if

material concern


will obtain gnosis and this event outside

take an






the chain of

cause and effect. would not suffice

I think it

clear that

Coleridge knew that Kant's

for his





able to

general case

now easy.

For Coleridge's
In particular,




we must


the divine

within us.

we want

to create an institu



setting in which We are the

all sorts of good



created outside material a

operators on the

divine. This is





the link between


the Chaldean Oracles is





back in the Hermetic tradition. This


lishes the
If the

converse as required.

above reconstruction of silence



break the


to grips


in the commentary Smith and Johnson. Further, debt to the



economy is correct, we State about how Cole




to believe

that Coleridge's



quite real and not a sham


willing to grant the Her first-rate. At bottom, how metic view, Coleridge's construction is absolutely whether there is reason ever, we must ask whether the game is worth the effect,
sand over

his debt to Kant. Indeed, if

we are

to believe that such social engineering

would work.


proper question was





great master:



Kant, Critique of Pure Reason,
appearances are




Kemp Smith,

New York, Nature




in themselves, freedom
cause of



then be the

complete and sufficient


every his

Coleridge, Biographia Literaria, believe, that it was possible for him
mere words express; or



spite therefore of

declarations, I


to have meant no more


his Noumenon,

or thing


itself than power

that in his own




whole plastic

to the forms of the

intellect, leaving for the
is doubtless


for the

materiale of our



a matter without



In his discussion Spirit Seer,


Swedenborg, Kant made an unsurprising claim, Immanuel Kant, Dreams of a nature can never be by John Manolesco, New York, 1969, p. 70: "the spiritual
and can never

known but only assumed to us in our total
those who know only the


thought of


a positive sense




are available



toward the occult



in terms that

might surprise

critiques, ibid., p. 66: "Perhaps the clever wind rattles through the in the riddle for us; according to his opinion, when a hypochondriac if up, it turns into an a f becomes it , takes: if direction it the down, depends on testines, it all

alone could


apparition or a ill.

pp. 283-4.

Dodds, Irrational,

1 14

can call spirits so can

glendower hotspur




or so can

vasty deep. any man; But will they come,

when you





And, it really makes no difference will they come when we call?


the spirits are

in here

or out




Henry IV,



spirits from the vasty






in Philosophical Lectures, p. 316, "call forth recalling only Milton's Paradise Lostl. 177, "vast and bound occurs in an illuminating context where he discusses magical opera
glosses a passage


) Rome tion.: 1976.: cloth $26. ago. moves.C. N. and Romans (Lanham. The first of these two pairs concerns men and their ways of life in Venice. the former as it changed from a republic to an empire. (Ithaca. By Michael Piatt.95. not as Creator-God 1.: cloth $25. 95 pp. Jaffa: Shakespeare' s Politics (New York: Basic Books. Othello. different kinds ' problems by depicting life different kinds of men and ways of One gimes sees of men and ways of by observing political re 'in action. Bloom and Jaffa move. com mercial republic. Drama serves as an political action.: Carolina Academic Press."1 study ary' authors regarded the or estheticist ment study of Shakespeare's writings as an example not of refine but of philistinism. 228 pp. From the the many to the one: the authors move as some philosophers move. ac tually blocks readers from seeing poetry clearly. from Shakespearean consideration of consideration of the rule of many to his the rule of one. 1964).95. Blits Will Morrisey Shakespeare's Rome: Republic N. a modern. Estheticism. Bloom and Jaffa consider especially four vivid and accurate of Shakespeare's dramas way to depict The Merchant of Venice. the second pair concerns men and their ways of life in ancient Rome and ancient as Britain. $12.Y.: Cornell and Empire. Over twenty years 1982. the latter a monarchy. again essays "intended first steps in the The enterprise of making Shakespeare merely 'liter the theme of philosophic reflection and a recognized source for the serious of moral and political problems.) Blits. that monument to exquisite perception.: cloth (Durham. Julius Caesar. 1983. Allan Bloom and Harry V. Md. Cantor. By Paul A." Shakespeare depicts these life. Jaffa wrote Shakespeare's Politics. on paper $13. Shakespeare intends not only to write beautifully but to depict something: "a whole series of fundamental human problems. University Press. .00. Revised edi University Press of America. Allan Bloom as and Harry V. 331 pp. By Jan H.00. then. Piatt.) of The End the Ancient Republic: Essays Julius Caesar.Review Essays Shakespeare Studies and his Roman Plays and by Cantor. According to Shakespeare. and King Lear as depictions of the kinds of men and ways of life political action reveals and cultivates.

became a god. to He was. and He is consequently distrusted hated. Bloom turns to Shakespeare's depiction with a memorable and who of ancient Rome in Julius Caesar. it desire nothing. tian is In The Merchant of Venice." words and even deeds insubstantial but in Othello's case. for "a upon nothing. and nothing more." to die for the Problems truth." All his thinking induce ends in the silence of nihilism. a drama whose characters have access to In Othello. Christian political man's cause of this bines the upon God' love. and of Shakespeare's politics. makes Commerce does not suffice for this it plain that classical philosophy can defeat Christianity utopia. he also makes it plain that it can only defeat them in a comedy. Bloom regards Shakespeare as pessimistic of modernity's the success strategy of distraction: Othello is about a man who tried to assimilate and failed. the clear-sighted Iago successfully corrodes faith. not an with perfect being would not love". not The modern commercial republic of Venice would "overcome the could hereafter. tragedy. with more than it can defeat Judaism. . "would be willing reason can be corrupted. may one to examine whose re ligions were civic. according to Bloom's Shakespeare. but only at the death to the villain's good wife. wants. cumstance. by "atBut the toleration for commerce commerce requires can survive content of only long as men care more than their religious faith. but "has no idea of what he His clear sight "cannot foresee that his wife. Shakespeare has his villain defeated. In The Merchant of Venice. wor shipped as His godliness was entirely a matter of human opinion. com desire for honor a desire that makes one dependent with an apolitical quest the opinions of others for universality." Emilia. depend suspicion of "Jealousy. is is even more important theme the Bible." The Chris mysti tian "attempt to do away cism which the superficiality of the old law leads to a to a cult of distant from the truth. and his soul is poisoned." a perplexing sentence: "Julius There is no evidence. a Chris inspired by Shakespeare justice a classical philosophy. but they never sink too may far beneath it." religious ques tion." the question of how men men of opposing faiths as tach[ing] for the about to the here and now rather than to the live in harmony. perhaps caused by religions not adapted to existing civil society. Religious matters move over the surface of these writings. Bloom regards Christian love as the disaster. A 'loving would is a contradiction in terms. In It becomes negativity. if he that Julius Caesar ever were one. of knowledge. the which goads itself into fidelity that finds believing the this cir frailest of signs presence of a handkerchief. we see the soul of a man who refused to assimilate.116 Interpretation sentence's comical afflatus calls attention s That last Shakespeare' to a serious feature of Politics. the emotion accompanying the outside infidelity. He begins Caesar is the story my of a man became god. justly by a merry wife). or the ancient polities to civil society as such. of that stops just short of comedy (the jealous husband is a stock victimized cost of figure tragedy fun. a comedy that stops just from both a Jew and a fellow-Christian 'saved' short of by a woman purpose. He reciprocates. course.

question "The important is. political. opinion. in his next sentence Caesar's the "greatest of political accomplish ments" ple who ever (emphasis added). vincing others that he was "the best of all men" ambition. political "Out of the constant competition for the rewards of citi zenship. but as two." and thereby all causing his "spirit" to rule Rome This apparent that came to be implied immortality and by the upon by "convey[ing] the sole title to the status of being the source of legitimacy "Caesar" legitimacy." by "appealing of writes that "the people. perplexing. But in doing con this. human heroes admired as human beings. who is an even more admit than Othello." great Seeds by nature grow into plants." soul even as its soul be entity wherein the body actually rules the this does Caesar body. Bloom considers Republic Rome." leading ered the world toward the circumstance Bloom's readers have already consid in Shakespeare's Venice." them. so political life aims at the end of emerged a victor who could subdue all of replacement of politics. the political at the moment an unusually pure example The Roman Republic was "the seed-bed of In Julius Caesar we see it is about to go out of existence. human one might 1 17 say. and plants by nature tend to crowd one another out. Did not Caesar. Julius "field of a action. The Senate. as seen in Shakespeare's one play about Re publican Rome. virtue flourish. a political god. in Rome of we can see the political clearly. and then calls the Romans "the greatest political peo When one considers Venice. if all Rome for exposes Caesar The poor city is Rome's body. "finally end of a aims at the heroism human Just as heroism. Antony is "the last which exalts faith a new "within that peace can be sown the seeds of peace. longer necessary. what were Caesar's talents and what was the one To understand Caesar's success.Review Essays He was. pity" fectly decent deserving but "when in it must control of they are the institutions. Christianity obscures the polit lived. sort of naturally that makes future heroism impossible." ical. Romans. winning lieves it rules the by "betray[ing] his own Although Bloom basest in to what is the poor to his side what it is: an class. Further." This too is For Bloom has shown Othello depends political animal reputation. representing would lose its virtue aristocratic were Romans equal. results?" the rich city." themselves") that made republican. "His appearance ended forever the age of heroes" that is. and when poor and held in check by the aristocrats. Caesar "brought to fulfillment the end implied in all heroic (emphasis added)." ponents. causes Bloom to call Julius that Caesar "self-sufficient. or even possible." The peaceful rule of one man ends external warfare and domestic faction ("undesirable in hero. Romans are no a remnant." godhood his op life. policy that brought about such must first consider the circumstances Caesar's talents and policy exploited." enemies of republican be said that the people's decency was . are per the state. the and the Republic the by the Empire. In Coriolanus." name. "nothing the of old world can work in the new. is city of the rich and a city of the poor. "the soul of Rome". Rome stands revealed not as one city. then. depend upon others even Bloom calls more? As if to this. By the time of Antony Cleopatra.

Bloom writes that "a man cannot become a god. in Rome at least. belief in the In this he is "Stoic" a political man. "sacrifice to the gods. joke. "To be Caesar is no solution to the leading a noble political "But. like Othello. the fewer men there are But as soon as he steps outside the city." Bloom immediately adds. [Caesar] was a failure"." Instead. which comes who can from men. worshipped. he is honored. men created was too great to be fulled by a man." Bloom titles this end all chapter pagan "The Morality the Pagan Caesar is the hero to heroes. political character of the very least. this is who cares so an unremarkable insight. deny it though he will. . his political nature requires honor. "no political man This leads to plot a consideration of the two political." The last point a joke ing to the human. else its corruption blame the aristocrats for misrule. honor him in a satisfying his nature. and They "saved him from the one with religious resonance errors of by his own assassins. once released from his of body. But. Antony. lacking self-delusion. Caesar. Cassius each other Epicurean decent" politi moral That is. Brutus is contradict not a Stoic politician. One might probably less than perfect. "As a man. and many others. he nonetheless would in a sense deify kill and perhaps order to convince himself of it. To modern readers. Roman religion at god. republican. men whose political character is an compromised by antipolitical cian. honest admira of tion of the best human beings problem of mental equal. Brutus cannot quite con which vince himself in his own morality." life that is not tragic." impossibility of truly aristocratic rule. The more godlike manner." However. the exis tence of his mother proves his humanity. rejects politics." his time. Cassius. Caesar Roman understood that one cannot go broke underestimating the taste of the people.118 Interpretation would be impossible. The izing also Brutus has "no other source of knowledge gods. if naughty. to possess not necessarily to possess no bility." weaknes humanity and from making the error of allowing himself to be called "The position he had henceforth shall call kings "Caesar. about what is than "the view. ranged over Hero. preventing him "king. tries to Caesar's sacrifice would assassination as an act of not enough." spirit. doctrines." popular namely. but Caesar's world. by no one. not rooted in funda is his who contradictions. they only but also themselves. heroism immolates the very morality upon which it depends for its meaning. on the patrician because "the phrase people's princ is of course love is necessary. Corio lanus demonstrates the tue to be independent." ity." But one such Other sacrifices have been of needed to make notably the sacrificing of Antony the conspiracy work. men lead the to kill Caesar. mere little for the nobility is conventional virtues. He "wants his vir but. piety. "capable of the highest ambition and the lowest is "saved" Bloom's very word. "What is re markable not is that this man. a god unworshipped is no either a bad blunder or a good. does nobil degenerate into self-indulgence. by Brutus' contrast. would Caesar. he did not receive the free. were it possible for them to truly rule. that he possesses the charms of the charms of deeds. Further. and But he present believes that is "morality is absolute" (his a side). even the whole Caesar.

her to play the he assigns might even reveal a would Machia vellian selfishness. On the deeper level. He re Jaffa's essay on titled "The Limits of shows a better to go beyond those King Lear. This is . who pursues neither wisdom city. The remainder of quite literally. the reputation nor strength of will and to impose his prudence on "Could type a man be both Stoic Epi curean. the "divine out to of conventional hierarchy. mediated and of each with the other's who virtues? Bloom . pushes so without ever knowing the Politics." seems to have been the most political man who ever of politics.' know. shows that the love test of i. (One might add that 'justice. The vine assistance. Lear which it had been his life's work to all "destroy construct" because the very professions of he he can never cannot authority impedes knowledge. and calls the political institutions of "di united as in no other Lear the of greatest king. know. demonstrates the old king's political greatness.Review Essays -119 lacking Brutus' hypocrisy. Lear can command love but not love itself. however." which application results it. he is said to embody justice. In Lear the problem is most striking. As king. scene government. but this seeming. as Great Britain is Shakespearean drama.') Among human beings. for political edifice character of he knows. far from being a blunder of Lear's dotage. then. way limits. the succession the greatest monarchy the best form Act I. as king. The wisdom of Jaffa's interpretation." one's conception of Neither Stoicism "Caesar nor Epicure for the political man. . monarchy's greatest regime requires di lemma. monarchy. Jaffa action. Lear has reached a political limit. he does." "a passion far more profound than the passion an political On one level. suggests could Cicero. he foresees the end of mains a creature of appearance. Godlike authority blocks Godlike knowledge. as we've seen. that at worst. Lear rages because Cordelia's truthful his plan swer to the love test does refusal not permit consummation of role for the succes sion. As the drama begins. but Without ceasing to rule.' and therefore love for him will no by ceasing to rule he will no longer embody longer be love of 'justice. dependent his reign and would provide perpetuation of for the succession. symbolic true." significance of what upon mere opinion. who truly loves 'justice." nor pleasure but something in between: beyond the limits Caesar does "glory through the lived." its most obvious any Jaffa reminds us. of a Great Britain that Jaffa was never greater. is "a Brutus' mean" golden "perhaps have between moral passion and Cassius' calculation." supplementing the defects that the philosopher. may be seen in his suggestion that Lear overrides his for own political greatness through success. which gives direct assistance to to say that philoso- those who would perpetuate political institutions. Shakespeare political shows the impossibility of the direct ap in attempts philosophy to to transform reality "to fit anism accounts affairs." "With Brutus plication of Cassius. Only little the natural hierarchy is assistance" rulers need to perpetuate political or no not institutions turns be the assistance of philosophy. . he has his fellow neither plotters. only presents this dilemma in aspect. As king. as Lear divests himself of the play presents a king's divestiture his clothing.

120 phy

useful, indirect assistance; philosophers are

cannot or will not give




sense, but


in every sense,

and certain political


perpetuated, may


them better than others. Lear's "attachment to to [the world

tice was at the root of





he had been


tragedy King Lear lies in the necessity of Lear to abandon even his at tachment to justice [which he himself was said to embody] when the claims of


and a

truth are brought to bear in all their uncompromising
one might








command and

truly know

Cordelia. But

would such a

God love her? The Bible teaches that He would,
that he is

leaving the

to wonder why.

Lear's love for Cordelia


not godlike.


needs not



one might turn to


religion, but

to ruler




the philosophic

Shakespeare to light


for this

study of politics as understood human need. Politics may shed


men, but it does generate a representative variety of men and places

them in revealing circumstances. Politics raises questions, sometimes perforce.


readies men

to be illuminated tellingly.

Since this first step taken by Bloom and Jaffa, many others have joined the ex ploration. Today, Shakespeare is indeed the theme of philosophic reflection and
a recognized source

for the






study of moral and political problems. The to date are those on ancient Rome, that excep


political city.

Paul A. Cantor


the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire as un


by Shakespeare,
republicanism of the

dates true institution its

pairing Coriolanus with Antony and Cleopatra. Cantor not from the expulsion of the Tarquin kings but from the

tribunate, "which

the plebeians a share in the power,


by introducing

the popular element into Roman sovereignty gave the Republic




the tribunate at its beginning.
not receive ex



which presents

the Empire at its

beginning, does


because Cantor found he "had little to

to what has


ready been

written on



Bloom. dramas
as parallel



Plutarch. Cantor

regards the two

lives: the

single-minded and arrogant
and generous



in victory; the


the love of his allies in defeat. Cantor then three on


chapters; three


Antony and Cleopatra,



introduction, "Romanness in Shakespeare finds "true
Romans to
succumb to





primarily in the Republic. The Empire customs and Greek doctrines, particu
tension between


Epicureanism. The Republic
a tension

causes a


virtue and


the Republic needs in order to survive. Undiluted heroic

associated with

austerity, anger, and pride, animates




the Republic. But commerce,

its tendency toward


Review Essays

needs at

ing defenselessness,





"Pride turns


to be the

only force that can be counted upon to make a man willing to die for his even if wounded pride may also make a man willing to kill his city. In the Em
political advancement comes with


of one's




self-assertion ergies of men



the public good. Thus the Empire "redirects the


to private

replaces thymos.

The two

most prominent



in the two dramas

this meta

Volumnia, "torn between love for her country

love for her

love for her

threatens her country, represents the Roman

matron at




"torn between her love for her


Antony, "and








but lacks


defend; her

two conflicting



provide no standard a spiritual



guide choices.

The Empire, though universal, lacks

hierarchy. Cantor
to suc

suggests ceed

that the presence of a standard or


enables mediators

in the spirited,


the absence of any public
without stable

standard predestines mediators

to fail in the erotic Empire. Eros


brings only "an endless succession of momentary awakening "immortal Longings that are immortal must eventually find objects


equally immortal, "there had to be a

whether real or

imagined. Cantor

sees what

Jaffa writes, that

polity, before there Shakespeare's Romans do not separate


a catholic


as moderns


or as

Christians. Romans




. .


courage as



they "make

room at

top for

ambitious and spirited


the tribunate

enables a

political ambition.
concerned about

few among the long-excluded plebeians to satisfy their Faced with rebellious, starving plebs, "the patricians are more
political ambitions of


the leaders of the rebellion than about


the desires
amounted get out of






In the Republic, Such




only to "a

matter of


austerity "can

even as plebeian appetites can. reason rules thymos

In the

most celebrated

in-speech, Plato's,

and, through







(Rome's Senate is only a belly, republic-in-deed is ruled by opinion (in particular,
"This is the
paradox of

according to the Senator






the Roman


the plebeians must accept
. .

the Senate's right to rule, and ceptance,
mere appetite will
would exhaust


dispute the way it


Without this








austerity Coriolanus

the city.


found Rome, but,

Romans. He would regarding warriors as the only true can be Lycurguses no "as Shakespeare discreetly hints,


in Rome. Rome came, stayed, lanus, "worshipped by both

and went more might








have been






Harry V.

Jaffa: "The





in John Alvis


Tragedy, Comedy, and History: An Interpretation of the Shake Thomas G. West, editors: Shakespeare as Political Thinker
p. 294.

(Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, 1981),


will not use rhetoric




the noble lies that bind the








distinctions between


and private

that ordinary men appreciate. His spiritedness



strong that he de

the highest







compacted almost

entirely of opinion, partakes of the mediocrity and changeableness of opinion. Coriolanus hates the fickle plebs for their very fickleness, without ceasing to
wish that



worship him


But the



could admire

Coriolanus for


reasons, the

the plebeians




rival, him.

His mother, Volumnia, shows Coriolanus that he cannot destroy the city in or der to punish it for dishonoring him, because he has no basis for independence from the



At times resembling a god, a machine, or a beast, Coriolanus deny he is of woman born, hence part of a family, hence part of a


he is





"needs Rome to




Shakespeare's Romans "lack







inwardness"; they "avoid think proverbs once defined by an


cynic as




teeth. "Republican Romans use rhet


oric even when



Nicanor the spy, the only man free of Roman opinions. Cantor is probably the first commentator to Nicanor Shakespeare suggests the presence of philosophy. "Rome

Their only counterpoint in the city is Republican Rome who is truly without a city, in



politicizing its citizens, with such success that Rome demands loyalty, denies "ac it can reveal the limits of the city as Truth is dangerous to Rome, to cess to wisdom, especially to


goal of



the opinions that make Rome Rome. Without

entirely seeing this, the patricians act as if they do, sacrificing the outstanding patrician in order to evade plebeian rage at the patrician class (and, one might suggest, to rid themselves of the




not an


plebeian vice).

still not


individual, Coriolanus,

learns that he is

self-sufficient, the city

learn. "It is

if Lear


to come through the scenes on the heath

think that storms

would peace at





learn, but








The Roman
makes exile

emperor rules


not citizens.


enemies now




A world-encompassing state and the men they kill are fighting. He
can even

fellow Romans. An Emperor
child, prefiguring

need not

do his



a religion

that worships a Child.

and peace obscures the public





Spiritedness is unnecessary Cantor observes that the




in Antony



not at all.




to the Senate

and other

institutions intermediate intentions

between Emperor

and subjects.


officers must guess the
pp. 292-4).

Contrast Cantor's treatment

Jaffa's (ibid.,



the distinction


public and private, whereas


the connection between partiotism and the Ro

man matriarchy.

and Ephesians 5:31. the Antony (according patra). 1 Corinthians 6:16. for it one enemies makes even his bond that comes and creates in his followers the deepened pity him from their feeling he is in need of This is not yet Chris . for "if life is worthless and death desirable" then suicide is merely "the prelude to new pleasures. and at "Paradoxically though. . is another way his great strength." without 11." moments of union and "Death the paradoxes of love. kind god. of eros ends politics. making them follow its lead just the way the tyrant The love and the rule of Antony and Cleopatra both 4. but the resemblance may strike With the liberation of eros.5 of fidelity in love no longer inspires comedy. Roelofs of Kenyon College for this observation. count most." nihilism" underlies this "mountainous passion." of Only a god. the problem us. overpowering attempt other desires . 123 remote" The "most rulers of all are the gods. regard politics as a It does not end publicity. because half her that she cannot "love my father to the love test might thus be seen as a corollary to / anticipation of the Jewish love must go to her future husband See Genesis 2:23. 20-31. sc."4 Foreign to Cleo or one's lovers. beloved is the are the moment fidelity to Antony Cleopatra self-indulgence. it or a have to be could a kind comedy." and forth between their who and "rustic" separation. crushes all opposition. gives way to superstition.) The new hero and heroine would "excel in love just eros. .Review Essays mote generals. into some new but undefined celebrity. and ." Suicide doesn't solve the problem. One "can gain more glory by losing than by such as secretly by only time in the Roman plays. and deified with gods ruled the patricians. one's and Eros takes on the seriousness of the means of salvation." Pride unites with impossible coupling in the Republic. The imperial individual's ambi not apolitical but transpolitical. "A boundless desire plays the same role that a tyrant plays in a man's soul in the city. Hollywood was profoundly right. winning Not deeds but intentions and women. them. . 5." am indebted to the late Professor Gerrit H. replaces patriotism. allowing his limitations as a man." tianity. a comedy. Tests of love become all-important to men "What is in others to see way Antony's weakness as a commander." (In casting Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in a movie version. tions an are as the Republican Romans want to excel in war.24. iii. 1 and Christian doctrine of "one Most notable all" Cordelia's response flesh. Personal fidelity to one's master. "to do law. but it can fix brings an underscores them in a final form for all Or can it? of The asp to Cleopatra doubts her would of vision. such as Bacchus." Neither lover can truly relinquish his identity as love "swings back cannot resolve time. Antony and Cleopatra "seem to springboard. "For personal deities are mentioned. know enough to smile at their story The liberation with justifiable confidence. Roman civic reli gion. ready to use the whole world as a measure of the value of their love. among these is a daimonian: Act II. lover. replace the old Roman gods. the world has come to seem worthless to them. and thus their ultimate sacrifice is reduced to a form of "[T]he bedrock of new worship. gods. "[T]he ending divine Antony Cantor Cleopatra the subjectivity of the lovers' expe "[F]or their story to be notes.

which exists neither solely for its and for its middle. a counterpart to Nicanor under the Empire ? If not. authority on Romantics." In the world. nobility only at the price of wisdom the Empire offers freedom in private life only at the for nobility." regim Roman transcends the regime. They differ in their judgment Perhaps Cantor the extent is the wrong word to which Roman heroes transcend the regime. drama. Cantor has himself . Piatt has made himself an authority on Nietzsche. with wonder. "a city and yet great because the kinds of human greatness it fosters." He emphasizes the Shakespeare 'Rome' means the Republic. which tion of the Republic in [The Rape of) Lucrece to its suicidal earth. "but in terested in the Romans the as he is in regime makes great something in them lives outside any Both Cantor and Piatt evidently agree that (in Piatt's words) "in Rome at least the problem of the city and man is They also agree that the occasional men also affect regime and insoluble. tragedy in Rome can "Ultimately Republic the source of be traced to the fact that the and self- seems to offer men while knowledge. such illusions injure others. readers to con the "problem of the relationship of the city and To what extent do Roman heroes transcend their and city? In the revised. And although Antony and Cleopatra are "the only ones who can be said to respond heroically to the challenge presented by the dissolution of the Republican regime. Is there 7. See his Creature and Creator: MythMaking and English Romanticism (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. that formidable critic of reductionists. perhaps slightly too hard to bring their pretensions Piatt considers all of Shakespeare's Roman works. in half-hearted it. for Piatt eschews what has come to be a conclusion and the conventional scholarly manner stating a an (called. "I Rome. Cantor Antony's militarily bizarre battle strategy.124 and Interpretation "to bring reality into public accord with their own desires . for the tensions of the the word 'drama. the an same year as Cantor's book. tragically invites at odds with the full and independent development of that sider greatness. if that. 1984). could Shakespeare be entirely neu tral on the question of republicanism versus tyranny? The first edition appeared in 1976." understand Shakespeare to be men. "transcend" although perhaps of for Nicanor. He proposes 'thesis' imitation of science and modesty. . ex panded version of Rome Romans According The to Shakespeare. made 8. "strictly speaking." Cantor does not find their response any thing more than heroic.1 Michael Piatt as contrasts the title he chose with Cantor's. 'thesis') defending in quiring into Shakespeare's meaning. inquiry that begins not with a but pre The inquiry is the scholarly genre nearest to Shakespeare's nor but for both with ferred genre. might toward romanticizing these heroes."6 price of a lasting and meaningful context of Shakespeare's Rome.8 say that Piatt leans slightly too far Piatt might reply that Cantor tries down to span "the founda in metamorphosis Titus Andronicus. without compro cites mise.' beginning middle its ending associate that we In choosing to write dramas." Republic because. Shakespeare most closely 6.

" Thus Piatt exemplifies "the tyrannic soul. Tarquin. I think. write dramas much They inferior to Shakespeare's. Piatt how Shakespeare Army. love and friendship". correspond to a movement poem's come a from classical In the first half. "the mark of a unteachable. Eleven. until Troy painting. quite properly characterizes and ends with whole story: Titus' and commit suicide. inequality." and in order to inspire her husband and his friends shows a with her own thymos for retributive justice. "The aim of this Shakespeare's works so as to learn from his Rome. too. kingships) and re and kingship.Review Essays imitates life: "Those 125 who think life is summed up will in its conclusion will." She fails." After his introduction. Lucrece king" uses rhetoric in to "persuade a tyrant to be with arguments identical to "those rapes made by the classical political tyrant is that he is philosophers. respectively. though distinct. both the Ili epics. like the Romans. and her action founds not a kingship but a republic. study to be of whom understood. and He first Piatt does something quite interesting tyranny has two opposites." The "eye the mind" must see the Achil the painter shows only a part." kingship republic. restating Her rapist." Only to revenge injustice does Lucrece succeed in overthrowing tyranny." "Shakespeare confirms both the Socratic view that politics is the soul writ large and its Aristotelian that "it seems elaboration that ethics and politics." Within it is describing can press a whole epic action onto a surface which "the abbreviating is so of that it requires whole long les. "The the plot of Lu crece seems to be guided by these distinctions: the distinction between a tyrant of and a king dominates the first half the narrative. This shift." a republic in that "both suppose But he then writes." are writes in his love own elaboration. who came. is to read him." Unlike the conquering and capacity to imperial Caesar. that inauspicious number. a history that begins with Lucrece's rape meatball pie. Symbolically. his Ro both the fall Aeneid' and of Encompassing ad's Troy and the founding is "an of a of Rome." Romans count. Lucrece "is a city and her rape a tyranny. Tarquin when she acts her. But Rome's inauspicious character isn't the the inquiry mans. might conflating tyranny to modern an attempt political philosophy." uses both narration and rhet of oric to mobilize readers "in Republican Lucrece's interpretation the painting serves as "a vivid example of art's action. honor also. inseparable. saw. in that "both suppose friendship resembles as equality. She commits suicide in order to show that "she loves honor more than she fears death. The Rape ofLucrece abbreviation of Within it is "something briefer still": a of description Troy and Lucrece's interpretation a stanza the painting painting of the fall of "a brief epic within a brief skill of the painter who compact epic. Piatt divides his book into three parts of one. from then on it gives way to the distinction between tyrannies (or publics" (emphasis added)." just resembles kingship "rape has two opposites. and four chapters." nique while his understanding of Shakespeare's artistic tech his own principles of interpretation. encourage virtuous and . six. and so does Shakespeare." theme and the s. "visible parts stand for restates imagined wholes.

"Progress toward his deeper elusiveness thoughts is also a liberation from his authority. "The souls of Romans are (except for Antony's).126 Interpretation conquered. except the apparently powerless protesting this in themselves: Corio The "ancient lanus begins for with strife precipitated by famine among the plebs. and acts. from either among the Senators). speaks. only in the Roman city does no one No one. In material things. ." all that he loved most and imitated with most exuberance in order to treat this Ro man and his city. Shakespeare's Rome has Rome scourges the weak. "is an does he want them to be Shakespeareans." serve side By no means lacking a private side. but to understand. Rome is autochthonous. Rome does not need to define itself against Greek models of and life. Senators. with no need of tells his story on his own authority. lacking a pri his poems side. politics is economics. Shakespeare prudently avoids using the word "re anywhere public" in the poem. Both classes assume that "life is owed to the (not alone To city" and or the life-giving city "is higher than man." "Banishment the body the city can lead only to death." Coriolanus tests this fundamental assumption of Romans. Shakespeare purposefully alters with Vergil's story It is not by replacing Aeneas Lucrece. Piatt Shakespeare does nor Having quite deliberately given us No city need teach. Piatt goes so heroism. he is "above or out Piatt turns next. which is to say that Rome al the unruly. myths. Unlike Shakespeare's natural Eng land. to Rome as it most contrasts with what is highest in Shakespeare. "Shakespeare seems to have put aside love" Rome. malice" of plebeians for patricians the and plebeians concerns issue of the complementary contempt of patricians distributive justice. vate Shakespeare does not merely "The early Romans are not individuals". the plebs care for their bodies. is to advocate. bears. the only and there is fire. Greek or Trojan. think. But Piatt "His aim next argues that not Shakespeare transcends not partisan regime-advocacy. thought." looking The imagine Shakespeare telling Vergil that Roman virtue. Shakespeare's deeds his thoughts. politics to a Creator-God). that is. not want his best readers to be Platonists or Machiavellians. Lucrece looks. ." to fear the gifts he Machiavellian one. to Rome at its most republi can. . As the Senator Menenius understands (perhaps not martial virtue. is "always to be self-consulting." ways verges on Anger is Rome's ruling passion. not a scion. far as to "while outward. either necessary for Rome to have its origin in the prestigious world of epic heroes. most of the plebs. receive no justice. ." modern epic poet Shakespeare is a republican. thing a fact that but does not encourage us. Piatt wryly no notes.. first a Platonic Shakespeare and then a leaves his reader in some confusion. that is. only pleases their funeral music partakes of discipline and honor. their thoughts serve their deeds. ." His image of the elusiveness of the things his thoughts advocate republicanism.. to most of the is war. "There is so little in Coriolanus. as Shakespeare does. Vergil is not." greenness. "[W]hile in both Lear Coriolanus the think of powerless quarter.

patrician and plebeian. from except that Judaism "describes Creation as a separation of creature Creator. "has everything but success in his friendship he esteems finds little honor in the city animated by appe stand envy. it is two cities?" cities." Volumnia to honor in her "The desire of the solutely unconditional wholly freedom is not spirited man representing in her person the inescapability like Coriolanus to achieve an ab possible. Both Coriolanus Volumnia assume that origins gives thing. this amounts to "the dismal best the city ascends Unlike does not regard Rome as "a temperate Shakespeare Polybius. that is. the enforced tribunes who exile. The vanity. It would also mean that he no guide have to know is honorable. tite. "he and tension between honor knows that it is very hard to have nobility and temperance together. fears. the destruction purpose of stays of him. Only his mother's appeal to honor honor he cares for is Roman honor. to have the glory of Rome regime." This teaching its resembles that of the Bible's them Creator-God. held together only not by threat of war a threat that reminds one that Rome is the only city. Having dissected the pretensions of the patrician Coriolanus. that enemies would destroy it. to have the valor of Rome and the temperance of Sparta together. It too has its limitations. this is tithe. goad Coriolanus to with a the speeches that provoke his When he marches on Rome foreign army." whereas Rome 'creates' citizens but does not separate from herself. His hatred the body "masks appeals of eros. "the distributive justice given a thus deserves Coriolanus can take all. regime". and equation of city and body the is not the only Roman assumption Romans ha and bitually rather fail to examine.Review Essays Rome honors him a 127 tenth of the spoils after his conquest of god with a Corioli. Rather. a condition that makes one's godliness at least half-suspect. as Bloom observes. would what To honor himself he would have to know himself. "Who but Rome and Volumnia has raised this destroyer of Rome is not even one city. Rome actually creates nothing. Menenius the dissuade him." and a allow temperately him to The mixed Menenius." Although Volumnia can "identify that of sexual generation. humbling fear and of political life itself. to." He too was born of a woman. As "the speech while incarnation of the body politic. made more pointed make by scheming cannot envy him. even city and the body at an even deeper "natural affections for his own family" cannot stay Coriolanus." partially outside the city." "[T]he necessity characterizes the Republic and provides its martial dynamism". Piatt turns to the city itself. Coriolanus hates the mortal the inconstant opinions and appetites of the plebe of ians." than ends "most reveal nature of a The city life to man 'therefore' and "can take life away. ruled a by their of bodies without seeing the immortal." in recognition that he gave all and no offense at this. fear" the body. because would the only the Rome destroy his thymos. "Rome denies the possibili- . But in both particulars he finds superior to the opinion of the city. whose intelligence and moderation favor. level.

the old believed to peoples. surviving all the traps in the world. Coriolanus wants to go from metamorphoses of the soul. must mother. ' Romans apparently lack lions and clever foxes.ii. whose "char of thymos would rule a activity" acteristic dead. founders cognizant of fully developed human nature. inasmuch as the ephemeral courtiers do not evidently de serve the protection Cordelia deserves. Or perhaps the details need still more work. the incident symbol soul. dragon. This is a somewhat puzzling interpretation. grow from the wilful destructiveness of a small boy little more than a beast toward the divine. it the city. then reproducing the cycle again. How is the soul ephemeral yet immortal? Perhaps it too can metamorphose. changing from egg to larva to pupa to adult.128 ties of old Interpretation thing. But "the immortal part of the soul. Certain (but not specimens of human nature are more to be scorned of seriously) than reminds us pitied. where "gilded butterflies" Romans' are ephemeral courtiers nature ephemeral and laughable men. Rome lacks soul. "The tyranny time. an ancestor or opinion of exists as merely "the reappearance of an Cyclical nature. Rome's equation of body and city contrasts with Plato's equation of city and At the same thymos. Piatt suggests that human "deserves protection" (according to Shakespeare's teaching in Lear). near the end of his im discussion edge Coriolanus. as Piatt soon not does. But now. he into a beast. iii. 14). that Romans that have souls but are ignorant of Piatt does discuss Menenius' assertion thing. the compulsion behind mature mand for wilful art. if it could. 17. Piatt that "to men of some classical knowl it was common knowledge that the butterfly is yet an image of the soul's mortality." The fox loves its self. in famous sentence They are spirited what many commentators see as a dramatization in Aristotle's Politics (i. a have to be to things that exist always. the intellect. precise 9." It is to say. Shakespeare does. but it receives not even pity in Rome. belying the opinion that the or Malice issues from unmoderated thymos. manhood to godhood. Earlier he had discussed the bitten by image of the "gilded son." Coriolanus. Worship of the origin prevents the nurturing of the founders Rome needs. Piatt recalled the only other 8occurrence of this image in Shakespeare: King Lear. At best it has that appearance of butterfly." recruit from eros". instead. not any soul. malice" igin can be simply in Rome." thing namely. nobility that wins honor. after metamorphosing into a Perhaps Menenius speaks ironically." "To be rid of fear and con more tempt. v." is killing. be good: this is of course the the ancient There is at least one problem with it: "ancient good. is exactly Roman would what Coriolanus attached lacks. is "more or perhaps than a creeping more than a mere grub." Coriolanus' de ized the Roman's predatory impulse. it would cunningly scheme to make that self immor tal. and their intolerance of frailty." any new regarding each birth parent." How is the butterfly ephemeral immortal? It metamorphoses. . Piatt now does something exceptionally interesting. incapable of creation. but "where reason is a shrewd and deceitful fox. "the rule of city of the being Rome "every warrior must come from a non-warrior therefore has no firm foundation. for the cannot be said to be in contact with reason in the cosmos above reason of the fox is not in love with immortal things.

rhetorical Shakespeare's "Et tu. order. he argues explicitly that Caesar incorporated it into his own plot." ques not answers. and sees die to Like goes Caesar.10 Caesar is "the most ambitious (or second most ambi lived" tious) would man who ever more rivaled only gests. although the reason for this is not immediately obvious. . would exemplified guided by Pros pero. as "would have cooled the ancient desire to be unnecessary Christian teaching that the This of in the Christian teaching." will to divinity manifests a explicit reintroduction of the Christian theme mortally sinful pride. Like Coriolanus. seem without ambition live. Piatt wittily (some say wickedly) observes that io. no re in believing "as Shakespeare demonstrates He does so without succeeded. there of no coherent republican plot founding that Rome. made it an instrument of Bloom. would not strive to become divine but appear to "be things. But Caesar does so with intelli gence. Piatt presents a Caesar whose life formidably a rivals the life a of questioning. 223-50." Interpretation. Vol. 2 & 3. pp. Julius Caesar is himself the most perfect expression of the regime he destroys. 129 Piatt suggests that the Shakespearean philosopher." to be ambitious. . Both Brutus to make a and follows from that killing. Piatt sug to Caesar's than the New Testament might have one think." by immortal Christianity divine when. Unlike Bloom. io. But Piatt knew his of the plot and only further." The fail to do this because Caesar's Cassius "are have unpolitical" liberty and killing is all they do. "The only the restoration of thing justify is the assassination of conspirators Caesar is that honor to Rome. must Brute?" itself question. one bespeaks the "political political. but one must observe scarcely cultivated these things. . Piatt that the republican plotters assist quest for divinity. divinization is "and pacified the tumults of the Roman Piatt omits the city." particularly epitomizes friendship and poetry. Caesar tests the limits of politics. bear marks of resemblance by Jesus. Shakespeare Republic nor preserves an openness which pleases neither partisans of who the reluctantly hail Caesar as a post-constitutional human beings "who live with Shakespeare "belongs to the very those few" ruler. but brilliantly genius" of a man who "must seem unpolitical to be . Whose methods. souls are immortal.Review Essays them. Nos. wish The Roman pursuit of honor is the to become a larger-than-life statue and secure the whose hundred bleeding spouts found sense] a political of dynasty divine im mortality [in Bloom's political its founder. His intelligence core of that serves his will to be honored. appear at rest to strive. "On the question of whether Caesar should be quite killed." sassination enough new political he knows how the republican plot might endorsing this better plot. Should he be killed? Caesar's rise "jeopardizes all things which claim some au tonomy from that the Rome he which can politics. precisely because he knows the limitations of both republicanism and Caesar. leads to the consideration Julius Caesar. See David Lowenthal: "Shakespeare's Caesar's Plan.

too. he is "no threat to monarch" (but. His knowledge of politics who is not such that he is a rival of those burn for its distinctions. (Is he. But he rules them in order to know them. Antony Cleopatra "a courtly after interior" has replaced civil streets of each Love prospers equality disappears. allies. conspire. ranks of Piatt agrees with Bloom in writing that "highest in the to take one's particular name as philosopher honor is not 'king' but to compel men title of legitimacy. at times "cruelty and and even patibility of political rule and knowledge. fails to philosophize. numb the fears The of mortal flesh. If "a friend is he ence or she I know myself best. dramatic terror. impression as a human A god.' 'great." poetry. the pleasures of warm motion and happiness find that of friend him be being Caesar becomes is 'Roman' fearless. The reasons why Shakespeare knows how to kill Caesar better than Brutus sons are connected with the rea why he would not desire to do so." issue from and a desire to become a god. in the I who submitting to Caesar. each. the Pax Augusta. truth. He imitates. more than Romans do because his will serves his intelli not vice-versa. but the Roman "does not want to be known or to know himself. nor interpretation could flour them to subjecting marrying them. presence of whom love adequately. senseless. "Without this sympathetic friendship. Shakespeare rules his characters. or and even a good wife. motionless. with rulership his "moder and a eye. Only "sympathetic intelligence. only the successfully resists Cicero. of passions Empire. "[I]n the play in [Cleopatra's] breast Antony . Although better than the plotters. he is not their rival." understood himself and his art as an image of the mysterious combination of wisdom (sympathetic in sight) and power exhibited not by the God of Shakespeare's imitation "the of God does In Rome." "Shakespeare Genesis. to a statue of He is a great disappointment to any or spectator who expected one can 'immortal. it is wise. Piatt knows Jaffa's (and Shakespeare's) teaching about the incom No sentimentalist. intelligence ish. after all." slave. "each and will be other's master. the each other's Courage." ate and skeptical culmination of the Republic?) Brutus. skillful." peace of activity have no place in redirects human energy into protoromantic love." what Brutus and his fellow Romans have little for friendship. "a exhaustion. self. he wants to ity be he admired. Both philosophy and friendship require the desire for knowl edge.' and also remain human. Though he is superior to political men. in whose pres or no capac I become am." enables one mind neither to understand another.130 Interpretation makes such a poor a god. to many tyrants?). Shakespeare knows gence. but this is only proof that he is very poor sort of human being. perhaps. but Whereas "Caesar's combination of ruling and speare's poetic rule is is not political rule." source of In the end. Caesar nearly to the ship." interpreting Shake "is more than skillful. the has answers (Stoic doctrine)." Shakespeare himself plots contrasts most dramatically a with the Romans . might make a being." akin to friendship.

Be that lie prepares souls moderns who offer a science more fruitful in as his modern world a number of it may. modernity itself lie in such we come "one might innovations. poetic philosopher and king. including all his 'romances'". This "happiest historical time in all of Shakespeare did not have to prayer of pass. Titus Andronicus "shows that Rome succumbed to what we now venged know as terrorism and nihilism by choice. Shakespeare's Rome." entirely virtuous as Lucrece "most gion . they on earth or tumult. Tempest." but the Romans chose to die. too. gram Lucrece-figure. Prospero. his Shakespeare would not cling to life but . Machiavelli. prefers to lose in order to display his virtue. not in practice. . "English and and virtue" triumphs over "modern Italian not as but England are reconciled because "Imogen is Tarquin. some might wonder who was who recognize the real realist." fact the drama counterpoints by its references to Herod. as Piatt reminds us. of the the man most obsessed by news of a childbirth. Italy. Shakespeare would do this only in by speech. of these plays neither ancient nor modern. By the end of The Tempest. "is well on his way to found ing a new would reunite uniting northern and southern Italy. Piatt writes for those die this question. But." virtue by making good men Against the critic who asserts that Shakespeare wrote not one good prayer. So do divergent to the question of generation. is re spectacularly but not politically. Piatt calls atten tion to the or more. raped. Iachimo is and not as vicious as condition The god who rules over this reli prosperous" happy . and others like it." without without fulfilling them. In Shakespeare lead to The the Rome" not to Rome or to England." Lavinia." Perhaps Piatt that impatience with than in sterility disputation." In Cymbeline. One say that name pun. Today we live in Machiavelli's empire. republican and opposite" pagan. for to "[B]y long for something beyond an means pleasures. two are set allude in the Roman Empire. a choice related might to but not determined Posthumus' by Christian is an obvi ity. rather than gloomy gods he appeals to are masters of life and death and nothing for the base. ically. "between Shakespeare's ancient and his plays. Rome Iachimo. one does not know the whether to compare him to a terrorist or a triumphs over saint. "is the roads of monarchic. and that Shakespeare intended it to be obvious. ous and by Stoicism before that. "all sexual abstinence exact before marriage. Both to the rape of Lucrece. modern Piatt suggests that adoration and Christ as child distinguishes even suggest that the origins of and from early Christianity. Divergent answers to the question of chosen death distinguish pagan answers antiquity specif from Christianity." Christian England." struggling to judge Rome cient politics and ancient antique works Egypt.Review Essays will -131 discover whole Cleopatra ings" never But the passions in and for early Republics of and beget nothing. whose name may be for Machiavelli. She awakens "immortal long satisfy. a in Heaven. "Natural supports human confident. On the questions of would death and generation. but Unless I am mistaken. Rome's best general. in world history is Jupiter." Imogen. an ana vice. Titus. "Both Rome and Egypt are children. as open." Posthumus: "His guilt is just and serious. He "so divorces virtue from the good.

"The repub a contest lican contest for love not is affectionate. for even fitting that Antony eulogizes considers him his moral opposite. not so because women lack strength. but because a woman tends to love want to be loved without loving. Brutus for his disinterestedness." in partial opposition individuals' Piatt. human excellence. allows no equality and must undermine republicanism. or because another instead of herself." Blits and observes that manly strife inheres in Rome's very foundation Blits by Romulus may be Remus fratricide. [the Romans] characteristically equate manliness and nist. pivotal. or in "republican It destroys them. fear too much. Blits concurs with Bloom and Piatt in their criticism of "ethics Brutus' tention. "Loving victory. "She has too liness to its limitations. not confide in her. Blits notes. emphasizes "the corruption. Emphasizing the theme of manliness. In regard to the lat his book with a reconsideration of the genre who he calls an and with praise of several path of contemporary inquirers helped him along the inquiry. Roman issue in patriotism. They are defeated before they begin. Brutus exalted a view of man have to see crush her. Brutus distrusts her would weakness." Blits then breaks Piatt's interpretation in denying that be Brutus' true friend. Antony proves to epitomize the . asks the same question Piatt asks: Should Caesar be killed? Unlike personal short Bloom. he emphasizes the importance of regime determining It is especially though Brutus thoughts and actions.132 Interpretation of our blessing life for the warmth ter Piatt quite properly ends "inquiry. but Marullus." the belief that one owes manliness loyalty to individual and not to one's is personalism. Brutus." bodies and for our speech. friend Portia by unmanning friendship writ could his heart. Portia sees that insofar as she is womanly. She fails to see that if she could be manly. including does not equality manly love. to the central. country. he adds observa tions to those of Bloom and Piatt. Blits predecessors returns us in calling Caesarism both the destruction fulfillment many of the republican regime. He agrees with his and the Jan H. dominance and honor." of in but he judges Brutus his more severely on moral rather than on contains intellectual disdain grounds." "[S]pirited. is much a misogy physical They regard women as women weak." Even Portia. principal an as distinguished from the This corruption of the Republic's defenders. . Not only Caesar and the plebeians. Roman play. Love. he comings. challenging them on several points while confirming their basic reading and endorsing their way of reading. although this emphasis con somewhat with his assessment of manly love). arguing that Brutus 's "Stoic ethics" "an antirepublican for the Cantor in flicts success of own political cause and even for the welfare of his (With a corruption and that reflects and reacts to "the rise of to imperial Rome. Thus both republic and empire seen in the origin of city. Romans . the not fraternity." proud manly manly love impels a Roman "to crush a "Rome's civil strife seems to be Roman with in manliness for the love of other large. and Cassius too succumb to personalism.

And Caesarism can be blotted out by the coming of a night. so that her very conquests eventually transformed her basic principle of universal than with As his predecessors saw. puts Romans." for martyr- "With the of imperial suffering Rome. hypocritical Brutus. Blits Caesar's confirms more Piatt's thesis. The fall simulates and prefigures the forming him the crowd's fear of ambition into "piteous which forgiveness" "providing] them with an interpretation for his death god. to the Romans. "names are most real. version of first." visible nearer 1 1 . "It would be difficult to in any exaggerate for honor. that Caesar tricate plot. the republican plotters part of in "[W]hat at first glance appear to be dull failures in Caesar's attempt to become a king are in fact disguised successes in his attempt to become a god.Review Essays 133 that one can gain more postrepublican notion Brutus' by losing politically Antony's than by winning. One might add that as with the twins present at Rome's founding. Roman manliness and. Caesar's apparent epileptic seizure after refusing the crown does assassination." As in with several other places. the Does Blits the sun. star. if Caesar is the the culmination of culmination of and the Re public. But the northern star. rather than due obser world nature." manly nobility issues from the triumph of the old. This does not mean not have been killed. Blits sees that the new force into love. is The image suggests at least two thoughts. Nothing as "can mediate between desire and in impe hu rial Rome." as a martyred The people exchange worship. Rome had to embrace everyone. the establishment "ancient malice. honor-loving Unfortunately. twinship does duty" not preclude violence. later inspires them to worship republican fear of greatness. or by Brutus' co-plotters. Blits revealingly contrasts Shakespeare's account Plutarch's. 'a good the world conquered the world sacrificed names for it." the play in ."11 brutish. sacrifice of one must Inasmuch the Republic was hardly take Blits to be criticizing. Some Romans the world name." universal He credits Machiavelli with this insight. "To conquer everyone. which the names of the other leading "are mentioned much more often than Shakespearean play. Force was could become love because the Roman motive for applying force was worth the desire to be loved or honored. glance at Christianity here? Incidentally." To the manly that is.' Honor. his 'idealism' "requires the pacifistic. trans and not occur in Plutarch. and Cicero culmination of standable." thing vance of what the exaltation of one's name. second. Caesar only at ism depends on darkness. . "Caesar claims to be in the the northern star is in the sky. Brutus is indeed man blood. others the importance of characters in Caesar. nobility rather comes to be associated with human love and piteous pride. Should Caesar be killed? Not that Caesar should makes by late. The name is the itself. this one such as it. virtuous self-denial are is of a piece with sensual self-indulgence. then Shakespeare's refusal of simple partisanship becomes . They the twin representatives of the new Rome. the great name at risk. if Jesus is the more under Empire. is somehow associated with the Republic. as Caesar seems to for get.


But every great move Marxist theory to provide. it sheds this guise of of a fantasy and in favor (though practice hardboiled. intelligibility. When that is also fully immerse themselves in distinguished by an unusual trenchancy. It is for these that the publication of Leszek paper- Kolakowski's Main Currents of Marxism in affordable.95 paper. its psychological appeal. as universal will ment requires its mysteries." . no less than anyone else. but techniques for gaining and exercising power. the deterministic certainties. three-volume . it to have a compelling. Without men of Marxism's awesome victories in the field few the patience ideas would bear its errors. Trans lated from the Polish by P. This striking status of by is no means unparalleled) disjuncture between the theory hardly accidental. Falla.Y. Still. C. Nonetheless. The vision. the converse is also true. particularly unable when in a form that is accessible and digestible for those criticism the an subject. S. does matter. Each volume $32. "The By Leszek Kolakowski. Volume I. power they have generally received. clear-eyed. it marks a major pedagogical event.50 cloth. if or falsification illusory. major Thus. ultrarealistic pragmatism. confusions and incoherence with scholars. and despots. and that is what enhanced by its it very intellectual decadence Whether our descendants as we recall and is fully equipped experience Marxism dogma.) Though Marxism has continues repeated long lack lost any of credible claim to the status of a science. Balch Jay College of Criminal Justice. to of unfailing logical rigor and an extraordinary breadth reasons an learning. despite theorems can still be in voked as talismans promising deliverance from an assortment of and justifying hand. the antinomianism. accept the Machiavellian all play essential roles in preparing believers to To be sure. It reflects the historical willingness of Marxism's most successful practitioners to accord a pious veneration to the hallowed formu lae. "The Age". On the other as a set of practi when Marxism-Leninism is considered not as theory. Main Currents Golden Marxism. the mythic stat the early Marxist fathers.N. For breeds respect. Utopian ure of "theory" as is not unimportant. Volume II. the their substance to meet the exigencies of political combat. 1981 of Breakdown.Setting John the Seal on Marxist Criticism Stephen H. core.U. or recall do with the contest of phrenology diplomats criticism the Albigensian heresy. (New York: Oxford University Press. $9. cal the ambitions of a variety of insurgents worldly ills. "The Founders". Fantasies have their use. Volume III. and generals than with probably have more to the state of Marxist criti it comes cism. while freely twisting noted.

Bloch). I believe. Falla). As tools these of graduate instruction (and reinstruction for established academics) volumes have several special assets. ments of once a Marxist himself. also Plek- hanov. "giants" giving extended coverage not only sig to all of the tradition's (Marx. little of tissue remains in the theory of labor value. This is particularly true emphasizes not merely the Hegelian roots of Marx's of the initial volume the extent ideas. they clearly place the origins larger which and development of Marxism within the context of Western thought. of much of what takes considerable pains to separate exposition from eval To be sure. and to those Marxist "heretics" whose work highlighted ruptures in the movement radicalism (Bernstein. and Mao). Korsch. providing con the author's intention cise. is value within the also capable of acknowledging intellectual tradition. But its primary use in accord. but to those lesser lights who added nificant nuance or represented new points of theoretical departure and (LaFargue. First. as well as of distinguishing . Kautsky. Trotsky Labriola. the ele hon- Kolakowski. demystifying introductions to the thought of the more significant members of the Marxist pantheon. partly because the meaning his heirs wrote is a subject of controversy in its own right. with is likely to be as an educational resource. Marcuse. and to the more prominent ship (such as Gramsci.136 back Interpretation is so edition important health not but for the This is overall of modern only for students and intellectual life. exponents of recent and the members of the Frankfurt School). Finally. Luxemburg. Kolakowski's general scrupulousness in this regard makes candidate to all become the acknowledged standard reference work Main Currents of Marxism in the a area strong for but true believers. Engels. Krzywicki. and only be "explained" partly because the basic incoherence of a good deal of their writing can by labeling it as incoherence. quasi-religious longing to recover lost state of wholeness and perfect freedom. Nonetheless. make his criticism at once understandable and con vincing. Following his dissections. historical materialism and other central tenets of the faith. S. scholars of political theory not to (Kolakowski modestly pressive work of say that Main Currents of Marxism is simply an outstanding text uses the term "handbook"): it is also an original and im interpretation. (assisted by a remark by P. scholar the Austro-Marxists. this is Marx and completely possible. Kolakowski is perhaps at his best as a teacher in tracing this me line of philosophic scholastics dieval continuity stretching from the Neoplatonists through the to the German Idealists of the early nineteenth century. affinities with non-Marxist strains of Second. never Third. Appropriately. Jaures) or suggested (Sorel. Lukacs. they are close to being encyclopedic. but well) to which Hegelian philosophy itself (and thus Marxism for mankind a as reflect that far older. the Russian Empiriocritics Marxist among others). and his complete familiarity with the subject. Lenin. Kolakowski uation. ably good the clarity of Kolakowski's translation from the original Polish expository style.

fantastic doctrine of blind confidence that a paradise of almost us and irrational universal satisfaction performs is awaiting just around the corner. pp. in Hegel. in favor of a single. Kolakowski m. Main Currents of Marxism. since it presents its temporal es- chatology system. m. and that this conducted what otherwise appears to be the largely years. while for the latter it is scientific theory. For his part Kolakowski argues that Marx tence on continuing debate among in tone between his early and mature never abandoned his insis re mained viewing thought as a function the framework within which he inductive analysis of of socially defined action. based Marxism is on an a self-contained and radically relativistic view of world epistemology derived from and. while champions of foremost among Hegelian relativism. Kautsky a vulgarized form.. In general. particularly in view of the change writings. and its efficacy is of a religious character. placed modern writers. the divergent lines along the concept evolved separate major schools of whom Marxist ma epistemology. in which forms of self and social awareness are ment. Gramsci and Lukacs are the Where Marx is to be has been a subject of scholars. ments. he somewhat truistic proposition literary and artistic phenomena can economic underpin only be fully understood through to a society's nings and social conflicts. But it is a caricature and a as a scientific bogus form of religion. basically Hegelian char- Leszek Kolakowski. Lenin represent Marxist positivism. For the a former. Engels. apologetic servility and out stresses Marx's critical role in establishing the now that political. being the result or proof of its ele is a Marxism is entirely due to its prophetic. and asserting the primacy of economic relationships in the explanation of human behavior. . the operation of capitalism notion that occupied his later Kolakowski thus and rejects the that one can usefully distinguish between I. 523.Review Essays 137 from empty pretentiousness. But the overall thrust of Kolakowski's review is to consign Marxism to greatest the status of epilogue: fantasy. denying the any reality other world of material phenomena."1 As he observes in his The influence that Marxism has achieved. On one side stand those Marxist thinkers for of historical terialism expresses a particular understanding consciousness the relationship between human all and practical existence. "the fantasy of our century. far from scientific character. . he also treats the representatives of nine teenth century Marxism with much greater respect than their post-Bolshevik epigoni. deemed to be dependent other are on the existing level of technical the term develop On the those for than the whom defines a type of positivism.. p.2 One This is of the most curious sides to Marxism's ingenious amalgam of notion science jar gon and religiosity is found in its to which which (or notions) the two of historical as materialism. "young" a "old Marx". In this sense Marxism the function of a religion. a subject Kolakowski must repeatedly return. 525-6. which religious mythologies do not purport to be. Thus. 2. reference est or ambitious error right cretinism.

Of this the classic statement is to be found in Marx's Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Econ omy (1859): In the social production which men carry on they enter into definite relations that are indispensable ular stage of and independent of their will. free markets on very definite conceptions of an underlying human been extraordinary. did whether explic the emerging liberal tradition who. axiomatic that human behavior workings of such as could Hobbes be through a mechanical analysis of the the thinkers within body and brain. on which rises a legal and political superstructure and to which corre spond particular forms of social consciousness.e. It is here. consideration of Following detailed human nature as an avoided. a level of the concrete and work his way upward. which is virtually oblivious to the possibilities of a human nature independent of the external environment. arguments itly materialist or not. based their for constitutions or nature. these relations correspond to a partic development of their material forces of production. intellectual lie processes on the in general. in to denote a mode of ex planation which finds the causation of phenomena physical agencies)? evolution of consciousness For Marx the (and hence and ultimate motive force behind the of history that as well) is the development of technology. jects in the While in Marx's time not much was specifically known tion. acterization of While Kolakowski's suggest a arguments are unlikely ide to settle this by controversy they Kolakowski) that perhaps deserves more long-standing further issue (unexplored scholars: can an attention from ology like Marxism. he did quite the reverse. His materialism. like them. for if Marx's (or at least the young relativistic would Marx's) other not been but positivist obliged as was that of most he. their social be ing that determines their one consciousness. it was already the about the biological underpinning of cognition and motiva a matter of lively medical speculation and research. had many of taken it as nineteenth-century materialism. 335. . but contrary. have been to begin his analysis at the such a course.138 Interpretation Marx's entire career. It is consciousness of men that determines their being. independent variable of some sig nificance could hardly have been 3.. of course. essentially rests is made by his tools. that the influence of his Hegelianism is epistemology had materialists most apparent.3 What impresses "tool" of that of production which social universe: in reading this passage is its exclusion from consideration is also the most palpable of all the material ob biological man. Certainly. in opting for the view that consciousness must be understood as a function of so cial context. technical of ability the technical division man on an assertion labor. So. The sum total of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society in the real foundation. Kolakowski 1. therefore. political and The mode of production material not the life determines the social. therefore. really be considered materialist in the sense that this word is generally used today (i. had Marx chosen to It would hardly have Yet adopt a similar position. and explained leading precursors of Holbach. too. p.

This has been particularly true for those within the more orthodox positivist grounded or tradition. Sociobiology on the Ethical and Scientific Issues 90. pp. sic side argued man was neither altruistic. Concerning Sociobiology. than a set of refractory tions of a human nature. he For this a needs a malleable substance plastic concept of from which to con struct his new order. he is inclined materialist to invert the common order of a purely brain in terms functions of of its abstracted products. influenced by Darwin egoistic or and one "naturally" ism. Marx have found the escape hatch of a relativistic epis temology. inevitably created systems that placed bounds on human possibilities. that the experience of visiting Soviet social ism has greatly accentuated. who have had either to dis cover an empirically to social that one theory of human nature compatible with the goal of an egalitarian amenable utopia. have been particularly convincing to outsiders. to the Plato of The Republic read literally): he is a Utopian. 1978). Arthur L. if anything. to establish was sufficient credentials. for self-preservation. rest have attempted their case on the "data". with its extreme contextualism. factually re-engineering. attitudes). whose impulses Liberal theorists. asserting that experience under socialist conditions Man. scholars and emigres suggests. (Indeed. starting might be redirected but the limita not redesigned. ready to more serviceable with respond to the progressive evolution of the environment. Marx substitutes the "rela distribution" tionships of production and for "ideal forms" ( or. this his "materialist" system. There may be a motive behind this omission. as the primary factors in his causative as well as in those of the more orthodox Hegelians. And in his view. The Sociobiological Debate: Readings Science for the People. a Nonetheless. most contemporary Marxists have shown unremitting hostility toward efforts to forge theories of human behavior based on comparative ethology and sociobiol ogy. for example. 280- . in contrast. his studied neglect of the biological is striking. for like Plato. of Another Biological Determinism. wholly consciousness. body of observation by journalists. is far psychic givens." demonstrates the emergence of an altruistic "New Soviet Neither of these approaches. Caplan (New York: Harper & Row.4 petition that be squared with radical As it is precisely in 4. Soviet sociologists. both in the realms of theory and practice. Accordingly. self-serving Finally. See. since two ba preservation. With quite must different objectives. explaining the activity of the rather than seeing those products as the properties of the brain. quite welcome. an enormous however. since these carry cannot within them suppositions about individual and group com equalitarianism.Review Essays Marx's than 139 this question has more in common with classical outlook on idealism it does with modern materialism. in Hegelian terms. "Mind"). for Marx bears yet another re semblance to Plato (or in any event. causality. To be sure. existed instincts. Socialism simply provided the opportunity for the coop achieve its full expression. Sociobiology Study Group ed. demonstrate that the human personality is Thus Karl Kautsky. for species by side within erative impulse to to him. particularly from twentieth century perspective. rather than reduced. Marxists have continued to find the concept of human nature a source of trou ble.

if any utopia thing. of human nature. while Utopian. was not totalitarian. Marx's of nineteenth sions bears more than a passing resemblance to the promised land conces to the realities century liberalism. for though it stifles over it also secures the Party's grip on power and guarantees the productivity. give it a true oppor tunity for creative of self-expression. Lenin elevated political action and will to the status of and nomics and ism. is there anything like the design for coerced uniformity that is so conspicuous in earlier Utopian literature. No in his works. Where capitalism of the life of the production. communism would individual. though in workers. not to economics.) Soviet Marx's where vision of mankind's future. but on wholesale regimentation through cases of conflict the irresistible force. and restore him to control over his own life. they were Marx. reducing him to a mere unit liberate him from the direction of impersonal forces. steady flow of resources to the military. for the first time. the prevailing Marxist prejudices only un ideology has drifted from a formulation of the concept that modern mind. a form compatible with a coopera tive society free Thus. It ultimately depends not on the manipulation of economic incentives to produce this or that form of desired mobilization of and political behavior. operational Marxism has meant the subordination of just about everything. Obviously. in the between economic sac needs. totalitarian systems always show a on strong tendency to rifice the former to tion of the all latter..e. Indeed. however. in Marx's idyllic phrasing (from The German . Without this de facto. far from suppressing individuality. in work being conducted by experimental psychologists neurologists. Engels relationships and most of the pre-Bolshevik Marxists did argue that economic determined others. but essentially complete. review of be intelligible to the Like any comprehensive fully documents Marxism's own sense of the subject must. that the major advances toward are "materialist" explanations of human behavior derscores how far the might likely to be made. And. coercive power to be replaced by a set of purely technical arrangements had "objectified" for the administration of production. Thus. working primary causative agents. reversal of roles between eco politics. and due to his success. it is hard to imagine the appearance of a Marxist totalitarian class. Kolakowski's survey eventual abandonment of materialism even in its the term (i.140 these and Interpretation as well as fields. Since his time. all as a theory of economic determinism). (It is only this basis that the colossal centraliza economic planning makes any sense. reversed this severing the connection between economic development and revo As a lutionary readiness. though as Kolakowski shows quickly reduced were to qualifying their determinism by noting that economic rela tionships orientation by only decisive in the "last resort". but to the demands of politics. for example. the new dispensation would. As withering away of though without liberalism's necessary pictured by Marx. postcapitalist society would witness a the state. substituting the activity of party cadres for that of the result. after all. Totalitarianism is. Lenin. a political rather than an economic conception.

. than they were being based on exactions of tribute and taxation. it is difficult to imagine how Marx's schema." Ideology [1846]). The system rests on the possibility of clearly distin of guishing between capitalism economic and political activity. industrial ex there was no such clear distinction to be a The transition. they technology to also helped to vastly and accelerate develop faster. to economics His revolution comes only when contradictions between the con forces of production and millennium the forms of property relationships require it. but as nent extension of majoritarian way of making democracy. "the notion that Marx regarded socialism as a system for de pressing individuals into one of a Comtean being deprived of all subjectivity is rise. ized them into universals of relaSo long as it was grounded in economic determinism Marxism remained 5. far more industrial invention." in Moreover."6 the absurdest aberrations to avoids which the study of his work has given Marx cords totalitarian advocacy precisely because of the centrality he ac . Kolakowski 1. but before the rise made. 6. p. Beguiled by both itself a product of politics. economic and quite different from modern socialists who view public ownership not as a means of banishing a perma politics economic life. 177. more in the sense of "political. In postrevolutionary society. . roles of either and criticize after without thereby being As Kola bound to the "hunter. Marx unwisely general realizing that the former was history. By the any distribution" token "the means of "economic. without fuss. The Portable Karl Marx (New York: 1983)." in imperial China or feudal Europe were no being based on market or customary exchange. with its postulate of economic determinism. economics more or less takes care itself. Eugene Kamenka. could have attained any plausibility whatever outside the world of liberal capitalism. His flict-free division of is attained only when technology ceases to demand a class labor. and not nected with social change. ed. administrative technique be included under those headings. rear socialist man could livestock in the evening. It secured for the mar was only during Marx's lifetime that liberal reforms finally ket a degree of autonomy greater than it had formerly (or has since) enjoyed. universal shepherd or critic. p. 311."5 kowski puts it. There is yet another with respect to the negative view century government and its social role that Marx shared with his liberal contempor world and aries. than any other factor con these transient phenomena. fish in the afternoon. unless weapons. On these levels Marx from was clearly a a child of his time. for worked ample. from a Rome of free farmers to Rome of latifundia by slaves certainly to do with a major transformation change in the mode of social production had little strat same egy and in the quality of technology or skill. dinner. There is an obvious parallel between this vision of economic automaticity in a of postrevolutionary nineteenth of the automaticity of the marketplace as conceived by liberals. trans. spurring visibly. and Penguin Books. fisherman. decisions Above all.Review Essays 141 "hunt in the morning. bother or political conflict.

always present in . Certainly. Marx's inten have been. but plane was on was manifest at both levels. As has been noted. without the dissolution the Russian Empire in the crucible of the First World War." bodying One a widening tendency the part variety of Marxist thinkers to treat major elements of the system with skepticism. unsure of the by a historically conscious class. is to raise a question that can have no meaningful answer. and often have little to do the uses to which his theories can be put. his tactical of during the summer and autumn of 19 17. which were implemented according to Kolakowski. by the Mensheviks. arguing be put on even in the the Czarist collapse that the revolution had to tice. it midst of also tended toward political accommoda tion. was to wait uses of power. For was a quite good reasons Kolakowski refuses to argue that despotic socialism direct consequence of movement appeared Marx's ideology. In prac to economic determinism seemed to entail a loss of revolution Marxism from ary nerve. how Marx have reacted to the reality of Soviet power. an emphasis on gradual economic reform. to would try as some do. Waiting for to based on accumulating contradictions. Finally. and not his ultimate tions. whatever they may and ask intentions. universaliza- tion of that best about bourgeois This had gone further in practice than in explicit preachment. be led that would never come. an acceptance of democratic political values. there would probably not was be many Marxists in the most successful. interpretation.142 Interpretation a revolution tively harmless. by 1914 Marxism an becoming politically domesticated. subscription hold pending the development of a mature Russian capitalism. the possibilities after for a totalitarian by the Bolsheviks 1917 were. revolutionary rhetoric. political world today. drifted in the political currents of the late nineteenth century. Especially em important on the theoretical the appearance of of a "revisionism. that are really at issue. doxy for something working Marxist ortho despite its Thus. Since it is the origin of Lenin's tactical principles. are also a bit besides the point. the assimilation of a nationalist outlook. The with Kolakowski's discusson sistence on this problem is particularly useful because of his in considering it as a matter of consequences rather than intentions of a theorist are sometimes ambiguous. None theless. particularly in This simultaneously involved on those countries where rapidly it was to base increasing willingness strategy contesting elections. Without Lenin's transformation ory into genius of a body of deterministic without the a set of operational precepts for the seizure of power. maneuver and trade unionism. the Marxist to be heading in quite a different direction as of 19 14. emerging con viction that socialism would not constitute which was the destruction but the culture. an openness and an to cooperation with other parties. In Germany it whiled away its time in parliamentary cumbing to a movement with as represented eventually suc truer instincts for the political jugular. or the means of charting its own course. Further east. intentions. of the thorniest issues in Marxist represents an extension or of Leninism scholarship is whether the emergence of a departure from the thought of Marx.

of course. or tolerate. 418-19. than to its philosophic content. Prometheanism only departure for charting the course from Marx to Lenin if some explanation can be offered for why the deterministic anchor was cut mastermind's command. Kolakowski 1. they have always resulted in activism of the most strenuous kind. but it has Traditional religions been at rest with dane art of the possible. if Marx the stage for Leninism he did it pp. If. In searching for this those quasi-religious explanation Kolakowski might better have returned to sources of the ideology's appeal (of which he is so clearly aware). . all unity manifestations of discontent are relics of the bourgeois past and should be treated accordingly. do. "Marx's dream of unity could despotic party oligarchy. why expect be any different from those produced by other intensely apocalyptic faiths? Promising a world to be won. the latter asserting that at the cli mactic moment of human history man would attain both the will and understand ing to totally remake himself and his thus take the appear form of a in the attempt surroundings. But taken principle the extreme expressions they always embody fully up by the zeal of ots of world revolution: transcendent objects Viewed from this Marx's his doctrine angle the wellsprings of demand transcending efforts. then the more conditions of unity there is. substance. Marx's Prometheanism is hitched to his deter minism and cannot be construed as a blank check either a world for revolutionary action or wholesale revolutionary suppression. if it the prospect not of less a theory than a improving but transcending the human condition. while his Prometheanism would to organize economic life by police methods. namely property. His is to be made over on sched ule. persuade? If Marxism have an intense religious appeal. placing the Marxist vice grace of redemption beyond the bounds of this thereby avoiding in their more seeking to turn human society inside out. by only determinism. He finds these in Marx's "Romantic" and a "Prome organic thean" tendencies. Leninism are to be found in Karl millennial promise rather than his theoretical plan. if it is vehicle of redemption. loose. this has often been of an inward nature (taking its effects to shape in unusual regimes of discipline and mortification) never rather than constituting the mun moral. then it is hardly surprising that it brand of activism should set eventually economic spawn a impatient with both the limitations forms. as Lenin's party did at the outset of its rule. as the have been the confiscation of bourgeois achieved. the former encompassing a desire to recover lost unity between the individual and the society. not through a serves as a point of additional Consequently. "if freedom equals social unity. temporize. Marxism is a form of religious fanaticism (at least for some). To be sure. political or military crusades." Moreover."7 'objective' But. have the saving world. offers after all.Review Essays the 143 possibilities doctrine. in the psychological appeal of set rather than its intellectual when Accordingly. the more freedom. as I have tried to argue. he fashioned a creed capable of fasci- 7. what and those can engendered by or constitutional With or stakes so high true believer can bear to wait.

144 Interpretation chiliasts nating those left high and dry by per the advance of modern secularism. This is surely as much as any historian of ideas can be expected to do. to do precisely that. emerging industrial class. in contrast. breaking its deterministic transforming it into The chiliasts. Thus. Whether or not he would fully accept these conclusions. under his auspices. ideas. or capable. Indeed. needed only a set of ical process within emotionally prepared formulae to subsume both working class and histor slippery their impatient revolutionary wills. Undoubtably. But none of these constraints and were and workers who saw were it as a means of of interested. he may well have closed the book on the entire subject. deftly interpreting its course and end result. politicians drawn by the prospects of material advancement. Lenin's genius lay in world-changing force. and through the power ful assist of an accident of war. his doctrine organizing with attracted other types as well: scholars impressed by the sweep and insight of the an theory se. for as Main Currents of Marxism amply of demonstrates. Marxism ceased to be the property of a school of thought and became the intellectual totem of a cult. the Marxist enterprise is no longer a genuine part the history of . Kolakowski superbly documents the underlying process. and a pre-Marxist creating these and combining them with organizational techniques inherited from Russian terrorists.

On the is to be idiomatic colloquial. Benardete here suggests that Socrates." On the hand it is to be literal strict. without failing to engage in dialogue as communication. One cannot engage in dialogue (to Siateyeoftca) and diairesis versa." original at it is in the original. They are then remarkably albeit roughly precise.Book Reviews The Being of the Beautiful: Plato's a Theaetetus. And Benardete himself has arguably come about as close as one can to satisfying both in his translations. it "appear to let the original shine other through and leave no tell-tale sign or its own unoriginality. the ugly discoverer of political philosophy. This dialogue may then provide a kind of transcendental guideline to Plato's trilogy. Annapolis This book each contains with a translations of Plato's Theaetetus. treats thematically of the beautiful itself apart from the lovely. for the sake of keeping the But translators cannot satisfy one of these condi other. (Chicago: University Chicago Press. and as an impossible kind. of Translated with commentary by Seth Benardete. and the like. and an introduction whose larger is a commentary on Plato's Hippias Major. however. together with Hippias. 450 pp. needs Hippias 's inarticulate vision of the . In it the beautiful comes to open mystery. Plato's Socrates evidently engages in both at practiced in his writing the two aforementioned principles once. part together commentary. 1984. or core of light as an both wonderful and perplexing. tions without failing to satisfy the This problem has a philosophical coun as terpart. and an index of names and things. Sophist. Readers of English will find them to be lively throughout and only occasionally awkward.) Stewart Umphrey St. a se Benardete introduces hand a translation a non-Quinean problem or regarding trans should of lation. vice In prac tice. Near the outset one sets of endnotes. "everything in the original [should] be its proper rendered as distance. as the speech-provoking ground intersubjectivity. It is in the Hippias Major that Socrates. Sophist and Statesman. It also contains lected bibliography. as a paradigm of indeterminate doubleness in that it transcends some given class union of magnitude with while remaining bound to it. Sophist and States linguistically thematically by the beautiful. grammatical details.: cloth $42. diagrams.50. those familiar with Attic Greek will find that from the English one can often infer the original. In the Introduction Benardete man are connected argues and that the Theaetetus. and Statesman. John's College. of Plato himself translation. The endnotes to each translation supply useful information about persons and things.

He begins moreover to defend Socrates or Plato against the plausible charge other poets of that he simply followed Homer and the Greek culture of in identi fying being the of beautiful the with the being of beings. I. for one. Their concision will also leave some readers dissatisfied on other grounds. then. In order to be precise about the Theaetetus. for one. The most Benardete's trilogy of commentaries is that in it truisms respecting the inseparability Socrates' of speeches and deeds in Plato's dialogues do not remain cal and merely deictic nature programmatic. Whether the being beings is the here a beautiful. but their unclarity is for the indicative the subject matter. that each Another very striking thing is their concision. for diagnosis and example. draws from its context. and it turns out that the stranger doesn't quite know his way about. other. even more about the extent to and in the Sophist the stranger departs from the distinction between dv when cpavraoLia which even Socrates introduces possibility of more about the posing his leading question. and a rare model of Platonic exegesis. Of these by Plato. and the extent to knowledge which Socrates' single claim which this alleged provides a measure of truth and falsity. wish that Benardete had written even more about in the Theaetetus to know (enioraoftai). It won't be surprising. if some readers judge Benar dete's writing to be needlessly obscure. The endnotes to each commentary supply references to relevant passages in works most are other works. Benardete has to of Socrates' explicate hardly me thodical Theaetetus 's nature which Theodorus misunderstands according to Socrates this requires some consideration of the nature of na ture. these works of moderation are like reflections in which we gradually see how such issues emerge in Plato's trilogy. in par ticular. They may enable some to see how such issues are to be settled in truth." between the doubleness beautiful can In any case. The Statesman commentary. makes abundantly clear. they are not much longer than the dialogues they accompany. following Plato. own The Index gives readers access to Benardete's workshop. for reasons that Benardete. since in mak- . according striking thing about to Plato or Benardete.146 Interpretation as a beautiful of being to complement his own criterial. So Benardete's most part commentaries are of in places unclear. or that the manifest is cleanly analyzable. and given the "unre and the oneness of the of the given the doubleness of whole and part and same and solved tension good. and the precise itself and of political science. remains little question. of is that the manifoldly hypotheti argumentation becomes evident. Nor will any reader who presumes that the immanifest is eliminable. And in the Sophist commentary he must follow the stranger following the sophist. or that there is no exegetical counterpart to the aforementioned problem regarding translation. Consequently reading them must be quite unlike a flowing of olive-oil. Another is result One commentary magnifies the others. Theodorus. It is the culmination of Benardete's trilogy. would never subject himself to it. broadly logical conception it.

argues.) Press of America. chapter. The Selected Bibliography contains lists of relevant editions. which is more real than physical pleasure. Wilson writes as a seri man. of a accommodating contenders. like Strauss and makes Wilson Strauss and Bloom. 146. The Politics of Moderation: An Interpretation of Plato's Republic. but the just city is ideal. . He devotes one chapter to each Bloom. there is in the commentaries a much fuller discussion of morality and the holy than the Index suggests.VII constitute a sort of introduction to the Republic's later books.95." "rests on four all of them that Plato that is a interests of philosophy heart". Benardete notes as much the outset.00." describes this ous man. and not wholly reliable. philosopher. are and to be headings? And if not. Book. this easy to do because.00. he respects the order of the dialogue. xxvii By John + 213 F. only. For example. Such emphasis. he argues. which is to be put under which? (He puts Cf. concluding.: cloth $22. In order "to sizes commentators have overemphasized the Republic's cen Republic. One reason. translations. Wilson.86. then adds an eleventh. 11. problem of "The fundamental the work is the relationship between justice serious problem of a serious and moderation". "presents. how and collect." restore the wholeness of the Wilson empha Books VIII. Wilson far as to say that Books I. ty rants exist less) more in actuality. Wilson challenges "the very interesting the one found in the central chapter of Leo Strauss's The Bloom interpretation. T47> T53f-> ni. 1984. "or has primarily the types as rhetoricians and human permanent such that from separate 'body' is 'soul'. and aims at reflects the nature of opposites or dialectic. of course. which and X. This interpretation These at are: "questionable. paper University $12.Book Reviews 147 'Same' 'Other' ing it he had to divide 'Other' separate under For example. 'Same' ever. and that truth is (nonethe In consid real than honor.: Will Morrisey In Wilson's opinion. and ogy at ontology can political philosophy. Accommodation suggests compromise and compromise suggests moderation. how little the Statesman in re decades. as "the Wilson StraussWith gentlemanly care." Common sense suggests that we look for this culminating accom goes so modation at the end dialogue. (Lanham. is the prevailing assumption that epistemol be cleanly separated not only from each other but also from Plato evidently thought otherwise. Md. tral books. and much of the best secondary literature. one should compare and contrast it with that of ering Wilson's interpretation. pp.) The access is limited. and proceeds accordingly. IX. the Theaetetus and the Surveying it one realizes on how much has been cent written on Sophist." City and Man and in Allan Bloom's edition of The Republic.

On the are gods. his reform of the and the gods. "Now." In describing at the entrance of Glaucon and Adeimantus into the the brothers' dialogue. He a disagreement with Bloom that he so necessity. this education culminates in the But Socrates asserts that rhythm and harmony. is not. Wilson Thrasymachus' blush him in a contradiction. and that there is Socrates. In discussing the complex inaudible to Bloom and. He sees the problematic ter of Socrates' analogy between the individual soul and the city. fundamentals" rather than an assertion Strauss anger at do not make." pointedly ne Wilson contends power is not its truth. saying only that argu ment contradicts "our experience. they discuss the lawgivers of Greece. one's fu ture love of wisdom depends in some way on the form of speaking. but he does Socrates catches of not mention. choice in turn opens the mind to reason. less explain." abandoned by quickly appealing to Adeimantus Socrates "with a mental retracts enough. Socrates and the brothers become something more than observers and chroniclers passing historical scene: they become tors. to Strauss. that ises" of albeit poetry men have souls. but what he eradicate and justice arises does the form "A young thing can't takes into his opinions speaking become judge what is hidden sense of at crucial.148 Interpretation Wilson briefly discusses the first three Books. especially the truth about itself". Wilson does not regard exploitation Socrates' this contradiction as logically problematic. Not only justice but wisdom more precisely. the of the legislators. "Thus. contends that the simple and so repellent sigh" to the erotic "city of Glaucon. a problem ." In becoming legisla poets: "Only when the question of Socrates in fact says. city demanded by Glaucon. Unless this assertion proves ironi cal. Leisure brings freedom from necessity. Wilson moves Whereas Strauss and Bloom ex tensively discuss theme of quickly to the as arguments. is a sigh probably. the setting. advantage of the observes that undercuts Thrasymachus' definition tionalism well." truth. He virtues a for searching that one can find jus that Socrates charac agrees gives all these distinctly political cast. of justice ("the appeal stronger") its own conven by its to nature. music education must a more complex and greater than Wil son suggests. Wilson agrees with Strauss that much Thrasymachus' Socrates is when faked. Strauss Wilson and first melds voices into one." and what that age has a tendency to become hard to (378e). but its to con the "noble lie. Wilson agrees with Strauss and Bloom that Socrates' procedure 'assuming' for justice tice by a process of elimination arbitrarily positing four virtues and is highly suspect. Bloom large details. Wilson tacitly acknowledges that Strauss and Bloom are at least partly unchangeable" right in arguing that Socrates separates body from soul glects the body: "in the just city. everything cares for the that "the great genius of ceal musical education and then soul. Be that as it may. can incline one to reasonable speech. to the strength of the artisan who does his job Socrates' Unlike Strauss and Bloom. he describes the Greek an convictions "that there afterlife" "unquestioned prem poets' teaching will be one of and details. while not themselves have "genius" rational. but of Wilson emphasizes the existence there not only of luxury leisure.

believing. This suggests that justice and moderation tension as Wilson claims. Wilson em phasizes the tension between moderation.Book Reviews Socrates himself of 149 Wilson correctly observes that statement noncontradiction (at 436c) comes during this discussion of the Socrates' points out. the first show books of the introduction because they quests the dangers of immoderation. implicitly. binds the city. in Wilson's reading. thinking. which convention." The tex tual support for this the just city's is weak. the that will serve appetites instead of reason if improperly holds the trained. the principle of soul's nature. and justice. shy admitting only very small amounts of it at image prepares the way for Wilson's claim that Soc ing variation of rates would send the young guardian-philosopher back to the cave in order to time. political justice requires the radical souls' what it is. for classification. especially when it is law. upon Language itself another meaning of the word Xoyog of depends the truth of this principle. specifically. Strauss part and Bloom emphasize the danger the spirited part of the soul. tivities of questions raised interesting questions concerning the tension between justice and phi by Strauss and Bloom. constitute an Thus. and appetites). justice more than it concerns won't law." the This edifying interpretation does concerns philosophy. understanding) (reason. which parts of both soul and city together." during an attempt to distinguish its parts. and Eyes narrow in the bright light. ergo. None of these commentators relation of adequately discusses the the soul Book VI's four-part division of the soul's ac (imagination. and claims that "political philosophy." "is distrustful of pure closed and truth. the soul defense most of moderation. and of decline" The "true cause of the the Beautiful City ruled by philosophers is . "law. in preparation for in the final three books. To say that "the the definition same thing sites with respect to the same be willing at the same time to do part and in relation to the same or suffer oppo thing" is to allude to of justice as each doing his/its own proper task. just city's immoderate politics "are the poli war. "makes each thing Untempered by moderation. Moreover. Wilson ignores the relative humaneness of defensive warmaking. spirit. changes sufficiently spectacular to cause Glaucon to forget that he earlier agreed that moderation. the for mulation gives the basis for making distinctions. which differentiates. a political including immoderate for justice science of moderation presented truth. not the community of bodily pleasures and pains." changes set down in Book V. making itself quite This charm any one Socrates' gain knowledge of "our ignorance" own a clever application of a seven famous So Republic cratic phrase. than must respect not quite reflect principle rather the passage. suggests a to the tripartite division Wilson that the image of the philosopher's ascent from the sun's cave con tains." tics of most unholy assertion a war "understood as a quest for justice." thing Wilson the claims that this new. But a city/body analogy would be even more suspect as common sensa than the analogy of city and soul. at Wilson calls this principle a likens the dialogue this point to closest to a trial. Wilson does not discuss the are not at such severe much more losophy. as "there is no such tion.

" "make the search the good possible" as long as moderation prevails. Remarking that in the later Books Soc most true. political. 1982. By the end the Repub lic. knowledge.150 not Interpretation theoretical not practical the failure of eugenics but "the fact that the rulers are allowed to of men vary the basic education in music and and gymnastic. distinguishing even the best imitation from the truth." rates shifts from a tripartite to a bipartite division of the soul. his Socrates has X contains a justice discussion of "no longer very Book imitation (poetic imitation in particular) because both and moderation distinct." sacrificing the many goods.25." The "politics not moderatio of in "the community" open a phrase Wilson does intend as an oxymo The open community's bases are wealth. Wilson suggests blending" that spiritedness spiritedness to results ron. good moral up for bringing." "an accurate sense of one's own the spark of philosophy." of reason.: cloth $19. therefore. after a complex whole of in tegrated by wisdom. Md. . most Here Wilson differs noble lie as particular and sharply from his predecessors. Choice is "the soul of the are put in their place by the science of the a "Necessity and fate practical. Toynbee of the nature and destiny Western Since the fate the West was always Toynbee's central concern. and tolerance. 138 pp. which differentiates the arts of use. late Arnold J. the image of the cave not Rightly describing as general and the human. "each thing in manifestation of Strauss' reality of being it imitates is more is a more evident the thing directly real.00.: University State Press America. (Lanham." soul. not a theoretical. privacy. The sgcog but to the egajg of appetites. has merged with practical of wisdom. By Marvin Perry. tyrannic sgcog achieves the opposite sort of unity. Tyranny in Xoyog nor in egog but in choice. only most authoritative is inhuman. decline. he believes the latter but Philosophy is all too human.) W." The tyrant "has lost his wisdom." practical made not theoretical wisdom. "a that enables become "the heart moderation. after sacrificing many goods. "the mindlessness of non-differentiation. which and perhaps even caused or by it"." above This contrasts with making. Wilson's Socrates prefers "the just and moderate person. Arnold Toynbee and of the Crisis of the West. imitation." "virtue and vice are somehow associated with a chain of imitation. paper $8. True humanity inheres neither soul. not to the egog would behold the Good. "subdued but evident These." The the "essence" regime of philosophers also philosophy "is that it remains partially is "always subject to change practical of reason ignorant"." strength.Warren Wagar University of New York at Binghamton Marvin Perry's object in this short book is to on provide a summary and analysis of of the views of the civilization. and the myth of Er as cosmic. and and Bloom's interpretation. "coupled with interests.

is said and method. but when all In benefit to Toynbee's matter reputation. who took the field left him in significant. in the spiritual insights of firmly cay of and Perry sees Toynbee as a cyclical philosopher of history who even jubilantly denied the inevitability of his cycles. No historian. it is His eclec not Toynbee's that condemned him to neglect but his tic. Perhaps. which chapters follow in of Perry expounds and Toynbee's basic and concepts and methods. The quantifiers. his hopes including the higher the possibility of a religions. Nonetheless. for the the to stage ordering of our them.Book Reviews 151 Perry has chosen a large theme. But writing book on Toynbee in the mental climate of the 1980s is a courageous act in any deed. peace and world order. The problems that Toynbee explored another alternative religion. if only as an index to the More than intellectual history that. Augustine have felt compelled to do: standing on the highest peaks. received more critical attention in the 1950s than Toynbee. world republic grounded fears for the future. The unity and we of outlook of has been shattered. I am less perilous The plight of Western civiliza since midcentury. he writes. however." The crisis by characterizing Toynbee as a historian "in which Perry refers is primarily spiritual and intel the Enlightenment lectual. Ironically. behaviorists. He argued. from Maritain and Teilhard de Chardin to Jaspers and Sorokin. to be sure. war. historical studies. an important theme. I well remember how he dazzled or exasperated nearly all of us. in the expressive phrase of his countrymen. how civilizations rise and of fall. have kept Toynbee before the scholarly Fernand Braudel and la longue duree has with no a historiography the vogue of distinctly Toynbeean resonance. as collective lives. it was a prodigious effort to do what certain historians of every age since St. proper But we need need constitutions and maps. Toynbee thought he had found its source in modern man's embrace of a secularism no longer fortified by religious faith. "are floundering in a sea of like so many prophets of his generation. cold mutton. Toynbee's of work remains its own time. merely by their discipline into a true social science. As a graduate student in those years. superficially positivist. Today. such visions of the whole are always partial. Although the de and faith the rise of such murderous substitute religions as nationalism and . and comparative civilizations should eye. It is. The emergence interdisciplinary futures. and econometricians their dust. quaint the as historians strove (not for the first time!) to 1960s. how they affect one studies of have remained topical. he is not quite sure." Sensing uncertainty unable to drop this profound disarray. and few scholars in other disciplines. anchor. Why tion this should not grown has be so. to survey the human experience as a whole. that only the restoration of our lost links with transcen dence Six would rescue us from Untergang. teenth century or in the seemed convert fundamentally have of won intuitive him and metaphysical approach to which might a secure following late in the nine his German forerunner Oswald Spengler. done. heyday neo-Marxists. his reading Western history. sociologizers. we Perry's first an age of chapter sets crisis.

But the fact remains interests me. and I that Toynbee held and often more can understand somewhat different views. world- observes. His book is marked by clarity. of the same gion. the higher to be "a barrier rather than an aid to world unity. Like many other men of foresight. All the same. Toynbee was never a paragon of consistency. his limitations. to the was not wrong to call attention to the spiritual poverty of modern hollowness of a culture grounded only in profit and the exploita- . he contended that its de cline might still be reversed. Toynbee did deplore the failings Hellenic Hellenic ality. not least the slavery the invention of the democratic welfare state." Perry science. strong emphasis on the role of religion in Toynbee's work. in a volume so brief. but Perry's virtual equation of culture with modern secularism well and distorts Toynbee's views." life. common sense. Muslims. in between 1934 and 1939. A more serious a subject that he knew discussed with shortcoming of the book is its tendency to homogenize Toyn bee's thought. but his impulse throughout is to reduce the ideas of his subject to a single.152 Interpretation showed that the technocracy abolition of West was in grave trouble. Of special value response is the eighth and final chapter. uniform system held together by common premises. He of notes vir correctly that Toynbee from a curious blindness to many the tues of Western civilization. in spite of mated his political liberalism. the first six volumes of his Study. and technology and it is doubtful that mindedness. Perry furnishes hints that Toynbee shifted his ground from time to time. "The tegration in the modern religions era. on subtlety and deep learning. and Signs of renewal were already visible. and body of Toyn His concision." gious revival will accelerate To judge from the current per reli formance gions of may Yet Toynbee and well prove fundamentalist Hindus. less tolerant. which appeared last years he also expressed serious reservations powerfully argued. suffered his achievements. even if he gives too little heed to the fluctuations in Toynbee's own religious beliefs. not and underesti the intrinsic divisiveness of the positive religions. Perry has read and taken into account the entire bee's work. and Christians. too. less hopeful. In his about the fate of democracy in his vision of a concert of any future world state and at the very higher religions with the suggestion of East Asian and rather end replaced a new pantheistic creed grounded in the faith than the "Judaic" world view. together with period as The World and the West and An who most such other Historian' important texts Approach to s Reli Per This is the Toynbee ry's preferences. tougher. There are un simplifications. "has growing world in been the creation of a reli but of business. The contrast that he has of the Toynbee draw between the "secular Hellenic heritage of and the faith of spiritu Christianity is exaggerated. in and which Perry reviews the scholarly quite to Toynbee. between 1954 and 1961. On the avoidable whole Perry delineates Toynbee's humanism" message quite fairly. is an interpre tive strategy that pays many dividends. Essentially. his Toynbee is the cosmopolitan prophet who wrote the published last six volumes of A Study of History.

Perry makes clear." its discontents.Book Reviews 153 men and women. tion of nature and our fellow gar materialism is as powerless as religious an age This. "In that has collapse seen reason and optimism soar and Perry concludes. "Toynbee has raised the essential . too. Vul fanaticism to rescue civilization from questions.

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