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COPYRIGHT,

ALL

IQIO

AND

RESERVED,

RIGHTS

THIS

BOOK

BY

IQl8,

HERBERT

THE

INCLUDING

OR

THEREOF

PARTS

"E"c fttoeraibe
CAMBRIDGE
PRINTED

.

MASSACHUSETTS
IN

THE

U.S.A.

TO

RIGHT

IN

$"**

CUSHMAN

ERNEST

ANY

FORM

REPRODUCE

TO

HERBERT

3EORGE
ALFORD

PALMER,
OF

PROFESSOR

IN

WHO

MANY

HARVARD
HAS

Lrrr.D.,
PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY

INTERPRETED

YOUNG

LIFE
BY

MEN

MAKING

I
PHILOSOPHY

SUBJECT

A

TO

LIVING
THEM

TO

LL.D"

PREFACE
text-book for sketchIt is written for
in the history of philosophy.
courses
the student rather than for the teacher. It is a history
THIS

book

is intended

as

a

and of
of geography
of philosophy upon the background
literary and political history.
sum
As a text-book for sketch-courses it employs
maries, tables, and other generalizations as helps to the
The

memory.

philosophical

simply as possible, so
the leading doctrines.
interpretation

on

the

as

teaching

into prominence

to bring

My
one

own

is presented

as

only

criticism and
explanations in

personal

hand,

and
on
the other, have been avoided as
technical language
far as possible. Sometimes I have had to choose between

interpretation and technicality, in which case the limita
tions of space have determined
my choice. Since the

for the student rather than for the
the teacher all the more
teacher, it makes
necessary ;
for it puts into the hands of the student an outline and
into the hands of the teacher the class-room time for

book

is intended

inspiring the student with

his

own

interpretations.

In

litera
of geographical maps, contemporary
ture, and political history, this book is merely utilizing
for pedagogical
the stock of information with
reasons

making

use

which the college student
the history of philosophy.

is furnished when

A

he begins

years of experience in teaching the
good many
history of philosophy to beginners have convinced me
to the
that students come
with four classes of

subject

PREFACE

vi

ideas, with which they can
correlate philosophic doc
historical
knowledge,
some
trines: good geographical
and

literary knowledge,

some

and many

undefined

per

their personal
sonal philosophical opinions. Of course,
important
group,
philosophical opinions form the most
to be clarified by the civilizing
but more
as
something
to the sub
influence of the
than as an approach
subject
jectitself. The only "memory-hooks"
upon which the
teacher may
expect to hang philosophic doctrines are

the student's ideas of history, literature, and geography.
If the history of philosophy is treated only as a series
feels not
of doctrines, the student beginning the

subject

only that the land is strange, but that he is a stranger
in it. Besides, to isolate the historical philosophical doc

trines is to give the student

a

wrong

historical perspec

tive, since philosophic thought and contemporary
events
interprets
two inseparable aspects of history. Each
are
be correctly understood with
the other, and neither can

If the history of philosophy is to have
be shown to
any significance for the beginner, it must
to history.
give a meaning
So far as the materials that form any history of phi

out

the other.

losophy

concerned, I have merely tried to arrange
and organize them
with reference to the student and
with reference to the history of which they form an in
indebted to
tegral part. I am
therefore overwhelmingly
are

but in
I have had access,
good authority to whom
the main I have followed the inspiring direction of the
Many
great Windelband.
willing friends have read

every

of the manuscript
and offered suggestions and
criticisms. I am
particularly indebted to Professors C.
parts

P. Parker, Ephraim

Emerton,

A. O. Norton,

Ropes, and Dr. B. A. G. Fuller
of Harvard

and

J. H.

University;

PREFACE

W.

to Professor Mary

vii

Calkins of Wellesley College ; to
and D. L. Maulsby of Tufts Col

Professors C. S. Wade

However,
B. Cushman.
lege ; and to my
wife, Abby
has been many
for all the faults of the book, which
years in preparation, I am
alone responsible.

Instead of listsof books
at the end

for collateral reading, placed
of the book, the student will

of chapters or
find references in the footnotes

to

the

exact

pages

of

helpful books.

many

attention
This is a

I should like to call the student's
to an
to the discussion of Plato.
appendix
from Plato
complete
selection of passages

made by the late Professor Jowett for English readers.
This selection Professor Jowett was
to dis
accustomed
fortu
tribute to his Oxford class, of which I was
once
to be

nate

a

member.
Philosophical terms

text

or

in the footnotes.

sarily have
rather than

as

Such

defined either in the
definitions must
neces

their usefulness to the student,

their completeness.

PREFACE
THE

their aim

COLLEGE,

TUFTS

been

have

June, 1910.

TO

THE

REVISED

EDITION

the reader
which
is in the form
revision of this volume

only change

of the philosophies
ter

will find in the
of presentation

of the earlier cosmologists

II).
HERBERT

WEST

NEWTON,

February,

1918.

E.

CUSHMAN.

(Chap-

CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION
OF

HISTORY

THE

THE

THREE

THE

"

PHILOSOPHY

OF

LENGTHS

COMPARATIVE

PERIODS

GENERAL

OF

1
THREE

THE

GENERAL

PERIODS

1
DIFFERENCES

REAL

THE

OF

THREE

THE

PE

GENERAL

1

RIODS

TABLE

OF

SUBDIVISIONS

THE

OF

GENERAL

THREE

THE

PERIODS

4

I.

BOOK

(625
CHAPTER

PHILOSOPHY

ANCIENT
B.

D.)

GREEK

EARLY

I. THE

A.

C.-476

ANCIENT

IN

PHI
5

LOSOPHY

ANCIENT

THE

DIVISIONS

OF

THE

LITERARY

SOURCES

THE

ENVIRONMENT

THE

PHILOSOPHY
ANCIENT

OF

OF

EARLY

THE

1. His

Geographical

2. His

Political Environment

(1) In

the

PHILOSOPHY

OF

GREEK

THREE

EARLY

CHAPTER

of his Religion,

PHILOSOPHY
THE

PERIL

PERSIA

THE
AND

PERIL

AS

(2) in

(3) in

his Inter

12

....

PERIOD

:

THE
15

GREEK

THE

POLITICAL

SITUATION

CARTHAGE

AND
IN

PYTHAGORAS

his

9-11

PHILOSOPHY

COSMOLOGICAL

SEEN

NATURE

OF
IN

GREEK

OF

THE

II.

7

GREEK,

Physical Events, and
Conduct

PERIODS

THE

NEW

6

7

Reflections upon

THE

.

7

THE

Development

est in Human

.

Environment

TENDENCIES

NATIVE

5

:

15
RELIGION

:

THE

MYSTERIES

16

CONTENTS

TABLE

18

COSMOLOGISTS

THE

OF

CHARACTERISTICS

COSMOLOGISTS

OF

.

QUESTION

PHILOSOPHICAL

How

THE

MAP

SHOWING

ClTIES

THE

AROSE

20
20

....

COSMOLOGISTS

THE

WHERE

.

91
LIVED

COMPARISON

SUMMARY

OF

22

PHILOSOPHIES

MONISTIC

THE

1. THE

MILESIAN

SCHOOL

24

THE

MILESIAN

PHILOSOPHY

25

2. XENOPHANES,

PHILOSOPHY

THE

27

MISANTHROPIST"

"THE

"THE

AND

28

"

OBSCURE

Doctrine

Heracleitus'

a.

26

...

XENOPHANES

OF

3. HERACLEITUS,

PHILOSOPHER

RELIGIOUS

THE

Absolute

of

and

Universal
28

Change

d. The

31

....

32

SCHOOL

ELEATIC

4. THE

of Heracleitus

Philosophy

Practical

30

of Fire

Definite Changes

The

c.

29

Substance

b. Fire is the Cosmic

32

PARMENIDES

a.

(2)Other
have

than the Cosmic

Tbiugs
no

33

is Being

Substance

Cosmic

(1)The

Substance

(Being)
34

Existence

Real

35

b. ZENO
THE

THE

PHILOSOPHY

RESULTS

OF

CHAPTER

III.

EFFORTS

37

"

CIENT

OF

THE

INTRODUCTION

CHANGE

OF

CONCEPTION

PLURALISTS

39

RECONCILIATION

CONCEPTION

NEW

39

PLURALISM

TOWARD

NEW

THE

THE

HERACLEITUS

BETWEEN

PARMENIDES

AND

THE

CONFLICT

THE

36

ZENO

OF

THE

OF

PLURALISTS

THE

UNCHANGING

OF

THE

40

ELEMENT
OF

THE

CONCEPTION

OF

EFFI

THE

41

CAUSE

SUMMARY
THEORIES

SIMILARITIES

OF
OF

40

THE

AND

RECONCILERS

DIFFERENCES
.

IN

THE

41

CONTENTS
PHILOSOPHERS

PLURALISTIC

THE

LEUCIPPUS,

GORAS,

xi

AND

LATER

THE

ANAXA-

EMPEDOCLES,

:

PYTHAGOREANS

.

42

THE

PHILOSOPHY

OF

EMPEDOCLES

44

THE

PHILOSOPHY

OF

ANAXAGORAS

45

THE

PHILOSOPHY

OF

SCHOOL

THE

THE

LEUCIPPUS

"

AND

ABDERA

AT

47

PYTHAGOREANS

LATER

48

1. The

Pythagorean

Conception

2. The

Pythagorean

Dualistic World

of Being

49

....

51

Astronomy

3. Pythagorean

52

RETROSPECT

HISTORICAL

CHAPTER

THE

IV.

PHILOSOPHY

53

ANTHROPOLOGICAL

THE

PERIOD:

MAN

OP

HISTORICAL

AN

ATOMISTS

THE

55

SUMMARY

OF

ANTHROPOLOGICAL

THE

PERIOD

55

THE

PERSIAN

THE

GREEK

WARS

AND

ATHENS

56

...

58

Impulse

2. The

Practical Need

3. The

Critical Attitude

THE

SIGNIFICANCE

THE

PROMINENT

THE

PHILOSOPHY

for Learning

OF

OF

Relativism

2. The

Nihilism

ETHICS

58

of Knowledge

THE

59

of Mind

61

SOPHISTS

64

SOPHISTS

1. The

OF

67

SOPHISTS

68

of Protagoras

69

THE

of Gorgias

70

SOPHISTS.

THE

CRITICAL

THEIR

OF

ENLIGHTENMENT

1. The

THE

RISE

THE

THEORY

THE

APPLICATION

POLITICAL

LIFE

"

TO

OF

71

...

SUMMARY

CHAPTER

V.

SOCRATES
THE

AND

SOCRATES

74

ARISTOPHANES

74

PERSONALITY

SOCRATES
THE

73

AND

AND
THE

UNSYSTEMATIC

LIFE

OF

SOCRATES

75

SOPHISTS

CHARACTER

80
OF

THE

SOCRATIC

PHI
82

LOSOPHY

THE

IDEAL

OF

SOCRATES

,

83

CONTENTS

xii

WHAT

STEPS

Two

THE

SOCRATES

SOCRATES

88

...

91

SOCRATES

OF

LESSER

THE

AND

92

SOCRATICS

93

SCHOOL

CYNIC

THE

CYRENAIC

THE

WANING

THE

PLACE

96

SYSTEMATIC

THE
OF

OF

GREEK

95

SCHOOL

VI.

CHAPTER

THREE

THE

PERIOD

NATIONAL

GREEK

THE

98

....

SPIRIT

98

...

PHILOSOPHERS

SYSTEMATIC

HISTORY

98

FUNDAMENTAL

THE

SOCRATES

OF

ATHENS

EXPEDIENTS

THE

IN

85

INVOLVES

METHOD

THE

OF

AND

LOGICAL

THE

IDEAL

SOCRATIC

THE

PRINCIPLE

OF

SYSTEMATIC

THE

PERIOD
A

100

SUMMARY

GREEK

PHILOSOPHY

DEMOCRITUS

PHILOSOPHY

102

(OBJECTIVE)

103

GREEK

OF

PLATO

AND

THEIR

"

SIMILARITIES

AND

DIF

104

FERENCES

THE

LIFE

THE

COMPREHENSIVENESS

DEMOCRITUS

OF

106
OF

AIM

THE

DEMOCRI

OF

108

TUS

THE

ENRICHED

MATERIALISTIC

DEMOCRITUS'

THE

CHAPTER

THE
OF

THE

PSYCHOLOGY
OF

OF

KNOWLEDGE

DEMOCRITUS
THE

"

.

.

114

THEORY

VII.

OF

DEMOCRITUS

116

PLATO

119

ATHENS

AND

DIFFICULTIES

119

UNDERSTANDING

IN

TEACHING

THE

PLATO
LIFE

120

WRITINGS

AND

1. Plato's Student
as

Traveler

3. Plato

as

Teacher

THE

OF

PLATO

121

Life

2. Plato

CONCERNING

Ill

WORLD

REALITY

ETHICAL

ABDERA

HYLOZOISM

"

109

THEORY

TWOFOLD

OF

DEMOCRITUS

OF

MATERIALISM

BECOMES

THE

PHYSICS

121
122

of the Academy

DIALOGUES

OF

PLATO

124
.

.

,

.

126

CONTENTS
FACTORS

THE

IN

liii

CONSTRUCTION

THE

DOC

PLATO'S

OF

128

TRINE

Tendencies

1. His

Inherited

2. His

Philosophical

DIVISIONS

THE

SUMMARY

FORMATION

THE

COMPARISON

BRIEF

METAPHYSICS

OF

IN

THE

THE

"

DRAFTS

Two

DRAFTS

Two

THE

132

METAPHYSICS

IDEAS

PLATO'S

OF

131
132

PLATO'S

OF

DEVELOPMENT

PHILOSOPHY

PLATO'S

OF

DEVELOPMENT

THE

130

DOCTRINE

PLATO'S

OF

Sources

PLATO'S

OF

128

OF

136

THE

IDEAS

137

COMPARISON

DRAFTS

Two

THE

OF

IDEAS

OF

IN

MORE

DETAIL

137
of Ideas

Number

1. The

Drafts

Later

and

137

of the Ideas and the World

in the Two
Relation

3. The

Earlier

compared

Relation

2. The

in the

Drafts

compared

among

the Ideas

of Nature
138

in the Two

Drafts
140

compared

PLATO'S

CONCEPTION

OF

GOD

PLATO'S

CONCEPTION

OF

PHYSICAL

PLATO'S

CONCEPTION

OF

MAN

PLATO'S

DOCTRINE

THE

OF

141

NATURE

142

....

144

IMMORTALITY

146

1. The

Immortality

of Pre-Existence

146

2. The

Immortality

of Post-Existence

149

Two

TENDENCIES

PLATONIC
PLATO'S

151

THEORY

ETHICS

OF

Four

2. The

Cardinal

CHAPTER
ARISTOTLE

BIOGRAPHY

ENGLISH

FOR

VIII.
IN

OF

THE

of the Good

.

.

.

Virtues

SELECTION

OF

PASSAGES

155
FROM

READERS

15"

ARISTOTLE

166

ACADEMY

ARISTOTLE

153

154

of Political Society

JOWETT'S

"

153

of Plato's Theory

3. Plato's Theory

PLATO

150

LOVE

1. Development

APPENDIX

PLATO

IN

AND
....

LYCEUM

166
.

168

CONTENTS

xiv

SKETCH

CHRONOLOGICAL

BRIEF

BIOGRAPHY

ARISTOTLE'S

1. First Period

Period

3. Third

1. The

Traveler

169

Collector

and

ARISTOTLE

Popular

Writings,

.

.

of the Lyceum

Administrator

"

OF

WRITINGS

THE

"

.

.171

.

.172

173
published

by Aristotle him
174

self
2. The

Compilations

3. The

Didactic

Writings

176
IN

ARISTOTLE'S

PHILO

SOPHY

.

ARISTOTLE'S

LOGIC

ARISTOTLE'S

METAPHYSICS

.

"

.

.

is Purposeful

Two

Different

Conceptions

of

Pur
187

3. Aristotle's Conception

of God

190

4. Aristotle's Conception

of Matter

191

5. Aristotle's Conception

of Nature

192

THE

MECHANICAL

SERIES,

THEORY

ARISTOTLE'S

"

OF

PHYSICS

THE

194

TELEOLOGICAL

SERIES

:

THE

QUALITATIVE CHANGES

PHENOMENA

OF

196

1. The

Psychology

2. The

Ethics

(a) The
(6) The
THE

THE

OF

OF
OF

Virtues

200

Virtues

PHILOSOPHY

THE

199

OF

201

ARISTOTLE

HELLENIC-ROMAN

202

PERIOD

.

.

LENGTH

FALL

ENCE

196

of Aristotle

Dianoetic

IX.

TIME

of Aristotle

Practical

POLITICAL

CHAPTER

MAP

185
185

pose

ITS

177
180

1. Development

2. Aristotle's

175
175

PRINCIPLE

FUNDAMENTAL

THE

.

STARTING-POINT

ARISTOTLE'S

168
169

Influences

Early

Period

2. Second

.

DETAIL

IN

"

LIFE

ARISTOTLE'S

OF

THE

THE

EXTENSION

204
GREEK

NATION

AND

THE

PERSIST

CIVILIZATION

ITS

EMPIRE
OF

204

OF

HELLENISM

204
ALEXANDER,
.

SHOWING

THE
.

205

CONTENTS

THE

PARTS

Two

OF

1. The

Ethical

2. The

Religious

.

208

Period

SKEPTICISM

OF

HELLENIC-

THE

IN

209
PROBLEM

FUNDAMENTAL

OF

THE

HELLENIC-ROMAN
211

PERIOD

THE

CENTRES

213

HELLENISM

OF

1. Athens

213

2. Alexandria

215

CHARACTERISTICS

GENERAL
1. The

Abandonment

2. The

Growth

3. Ethics

THE

SCHOOLS

MAP

OF

OF

PERIOD

.

215

Speculation

.

216

ETHICAL

THE

of Metaphysical

of Science

216

Interest

the Central

became

217
218

ATHENS,

LOCATION

THE

SHOWING

OF

FOUR

THE

SCHOOLS

THE

219

OLD

SCHOOLS

THE

"

ACADEMY

AND

LY

THE

220

CEUM

A

1. The

Academy

220

2. The

Lyceum

221

NEW

THE

SCHOOLS

SUMMARY
OF

THE

CHAPTER

OF

X.
LIFE

THE

EPICUREANS

THE

AND

EPICUREANS

AGREEMENTS

AND

THE

STOICS

DIFFERENCES

AND

EPICUREANS

225

EPICUREANISM

227

OF

227
228

HEDONISM,"

ARISTIPPUS,

EPICURUS,

AND

ROUSSEAU

.

THE

EPICUREAN

THE

PLACE

THE

EPICUREAN

WISE

MAN

THE

EPICUREAN

WISE

MAN

THE

GREAT

EPICURUS'

222

EPICURUS

OF

TYPES

"

THE

STOICS

THE

SOME

208
208

Period

PERIOD

ROMAN

THE

PERIOD

HELLENIC-ROMAN

THE

UNDERCURRENT

THE

XT

OF

IDEAL

VIRTUE

OBSTACLES

CONCEPTION

QUALIFIED

ATOMISM

228

230
IN

TO
OF

EPICUREANISM

233
234

IN

SOCIETY

235

HAPPINESS
THE

236

PHYSICAL

WORLD.
,

"

.

238

CONTENTS

xvi

STOICISM

XI.

CHAPTER
THE

POSITION

THE

THREE

STOICISM

OF

PERIODS

ANTIQUITY

IN

,

STOICISM

OF

"

of Formulation

2. Period

of Modified
Stoicism
of Roman

3. Period

"

.

.

,

,

,

.

243
.

THE

STOIC

WRITINGS

.

THE

STOICS

THE

Two

THE

CONCEPTION

CYNICS

-.

1. The

Stoic Psychology

2. The

Highest

CONCEPTION

THE

CONCEPTIONS

PERSONALITY

OF

NATURE.

World-Being

All-pervading

2. Nature

is

an

All-compelling

3. Nature

is Matter

THE
DUTY

.

247

*

""

248

.

.

.

.

251

.

253
253

Law

NATURE

PERSONALITY

AND

SUP

256
257

SOCIETY

259

RESPONSIBILITY

PROBLEM

EVIL

OF

THE

AND

PROBLEM

OF

FREE
260

DOM

THE

MODIFICATIONS
FIRST

THE

THE

APPEARANCES

THE

THREE
1. The

DOCTRINE

STOIC

THE

OF

AFTER

261

PERIOD

XII.

CHAPTER

SKEPTICISM

PHILOSOPHIC

OF

PHASES

AND

SKEPTICISM

of Philosophic

.

SKEPTICISM

PHILOSOPHIC

OF

First Phase

ECLECTICISM

Skepticism

.

.

264

.

.

264

.

.

265

is called

Pyrrhonism
2. The

Second

The

3. The

265
Period

Skepticism

Third

of

Philosophic

LAST

PERIOD.

ECLECTICISM

"

266

Period

CENTURY

Skepticism

of the Academy

of Philosophic
Sensationalistic Skepticism

THE

246

.

OTHER

AND

AND

THE

246

254

OF

EACH

STOIC

,

250
,

...

an

PLEMENT

243

"...

is

CONCEPTIONS

.

.

"

.

,

.

Good
OF

.

.

"

,

-

248

1. Nature

THE

*

.

.

.

241

.242
242

-"".-.

LEADERS

STOIC

.

"

e

...

r

.

STOIC

PROMINENT

.

242

THE

AND

241

........

of the Doctrine.
Stoicism

1. Period

.

AND

A

HALF

OF

Skepticism

"

268
THE

ETHICAL
.

269

CONTENTS

Two

THE

THE

XIII.

CHAPTER

CAUSES

xvu

PERIOD

RELIGIOUS

OF

RISE

THE

RELIGIOUS

OF

ING

273

....

FEEL
273

,

SPIRITUAL

THE

NEED

THE

RISE

THE

REVIVAL

THE

DIVISIONS

OF

THE

HELLENIC

RELIGIOUS

THE

OF

CONCEPTION

THE

OF

275

SPIRITUALITY

OF

.

.

.

PLATONISM

OF

THE

PERIOD

280

PHILOSOPHIES

282

PERIOD

OF

HELLENIC

TURNING

TO

THE

RELIGIOUS

PAST

SPIRIT

FOR

AUTHORITY

UAL

282

Philosophy

Greek-Jewish

1. The

of Philo

282

....

2. Neo-Pythagoreanism

THE

285

PERIOD

DEVELOPMENT
THE

PHILOSOPHY.

RELIGIOUS

HELLENIC

OF

TURNING

AUTHORITY.

SPIRITUAL

TO

PRESENT

THE

PLATONISM

FOR

NEO-PLATO

AND

287

NISM

NEO-PLATONISM

AND

INTRODUCTORY

Two

THE

PHILO

SOPHIES

t

NEO-PLATONISM

CHRISTIANITY

AND

THE

PERIODS

THE

ALEXANDRIAN

290

THE

SCHOOL.

THE

SCIENTIFIC

LIFE

AND

THEORY

WRITINGS

OF

PLOTINUS

2"
CHARACTER

GENERAL

OF

THE

TEACHING

OF

PLO

TINUS

THE

^

MYSTIC

GOD
Supra-Consciousness

2. The

Conception

Two

THE

WORLD

PROBLEMS

PROBLEM
THE

THE

OF

of God

of Dynamic
OF

292

Pantheism

293

....

PLOTINUS

EMANATIONS.

OF

291
292

1. The

THE

288
288

NEO-PLATONISM

OF

NEO-PLATONISM.

OF

THE

277
279

RELIGIOUS

THE

INTRODUCTORY

PHILOSOPHY.

AUTHORITY

"

293

METAPHYSICAL

THE

PLOTINUS

294

SPIRIT

^

SOUL

294
295

MATTER
.*295

THE

RETURN

PROBLEM

OF
OF

THE

PLOTINUS

SOUL

TO

GOD.

"

THE

ETHICAL
.

297

CONTENTS
THE

THEISMS.

THE

"THE
JAMBLICHUS

"

SCHOOL.

ATHENIAN

OF

POLY
298

RECAPITULATION.

"

PATRISTICS.

XIV.

CHAPTER
OF

SYSTEMATIZING

SCHOOL.

SYRIAN

"

THE

"

PROCLUS

299

HELLENIZING

GOSPEL

THE

302

SITUATION

CHRISTIANITY

302

THE

EARLY

THE

PHILOSOPHIES

THE

PERIODS

THE

APOLOGISTS

307

THE

GNOSTICS

310

THE

REACTION

OF

CHRISTIAN

INFLUENCING

305

.

CHRISTIANITY

EARLY

OF

THOUGHT

GNOSTICISM.

AGAINST

306

THE

"

CATH

OLD

THEOLOGIANS

OLIC

ORIGEN

AND

312

SCHOOL

THE

BOOK

OF

THE

II.

CATECHISTS

314

MIDDLE

AGES

(476-1453)
CHAPTER
OF

MIDDLE

THE

COMPARISON

How

CONDITIONS

AND

AGES

OF

319

HELLENIC-ROMAN

THE

PERIOD

AND

MIDDLE

AGES

319

MEDIEVAL

MAN

320

THE

THE

CHARACTERISTICS

XV.

UNIVERSE

THE

APPEARED

TO

MEDIAEVAL

THE

MAN

322

MAPS
THE

OF

THE

MEDIEVAL

MEDIAEVAL

A

PTOLEMAIC
MAN

COSMOGRAPHY

323, 325

....

SCHOOL

AT

325

LIBRARY

326

1. Books

most

2. Books

that the scholars

3. The

Books

commonly

327

read
might

327

use

influential philosophically

most

upon

the time

THE

THREE

SUMMARY
OF

THE

328

PERIODS
OF

THE

MEDIEVAL

OF

MIDDLE

THE

POLITICAL

MAN.

AND

AGES

EDUCATIONAL

328

....

WORLDS
.

330

CONTENTS

XVI.

CHAPTER

PERIOD

EARLY

THE

OF

MID-

THE

AGES

DLE

THE

334

CHARACTER

GENERAL

POSITION

HISTORICAL

I^THE
THE

SECULAR

OF

PERIOD

EARLY

THE

MAP

GEOGRAPHICAL

MEDIEVAL

EARLY

AN

xix

.

.

335

....

AUGUSTINE

OF

334

335

SCIENCE

339

AUGUSTINE

339

LIFE

OF

Two

ELEMENTS

^JHE
C-THE

ELEMENT

NEO-PLATONIC

THE

TEACHING

AUGUSTINE'S

IN

.

.

341

CONSCIOUSNESS

OF

AUTHORITY

THE

340

CERTAINTIES

INNER

: THE

.

OF

CHURCH

THE

ACCORDING

AUGUS

TO

v

345

TINE

THE

DARK

THE

REVIVAL

JOHN

THE

CENTURY

CHAPTER
GENERAL

WHAT
ANSELM

:

ROSCELLINUS

THE

AND

:

ABELARD'S

.

LIFE

PERIOD

TRANSITIONAL
OF

PERIOD

TRANSITIONAL

THE

354

.

.

354
355

?
IN

FOR
AND

MEDIAEVAL

PHILOSOPHY

EXISTENCE

THE

359

GOD

OF

.

362

363

CONCEPTUALISM.

UNIVERSALS

IN

EXIST

THE

364

PARTICULARS
RATIONALISM.

ABELARD'S

REASON

CHAPTER

361
361

TEACHING

ABELARD

OF

350

353

....

STRESS

AND

LIFE

.

FORMULATED

PERIOD

EARLY

THE

POSITION

ARGUMENTS

ANSELM'S

STORM

OF

CHARACTER

LIFE

.

352

SCHOLASTICISM

is

TEACHING

ERIGENA

WHICH

THE

XVII.

AND

AGES

MIDDLE

LAST

LIFE

:

PRINCIPLE

THE

349

CHARLEMAGNE

ERIGENA

GREEK

FOR

THE

OF

SCOTUS

THE

347

AGES

AND

"

THE

RELATION

BETWEEN

36"

DOGMA

XVIII.

THE

PERIOD

OF

CLASSIC

SCHO
368

LASTICISM

THE

GENERAL

THE

Two

CHARACTER

CIVILIZATIONS

OF

THIS

LAST

PERIOD

.

.

368

.

.

369

CONTENTS

xx

MAP

CONTACT

FIRST

THE

CONFLICT

THE

370

AGES
.

.

CIVILIZATIONS.

Two

THE

BETWEEN

CIVILIZATIONS

Two

THE

OF

CIVIL

MOHAMMEDAN

OF

MIDDLE

THE

IN

IZATION

GROWTH

THE

SHOWING

"

374

CRUSADES

THE

REVIVAL

THE

DIAGRAM

375

LEARNING

OF

CONCEPTION

POETIC

DANTE'S

OF

OF

UNI

THE

376

VERSE

STRENGTH

THE

BURDEN

AND

ARISTOTLE

OF

THE

TO

378

CHURCH
1. The

Strength

2. The

Burden

THE

LIFE

THE

THE

TWOFOLD

"

OF

THE

LIFE

INSCRUTABLE

THE

PROBLEM

WILLIAM
AFTER

INDEX

WILL

FOUNDER

OF

THOMAS'S

FOUNDER

OF

DOCTRINE

THE

"

RELATION

OF

383

OR

THE

INTELLECT

OF

THE

FRANCISCAN

OF

SCIENCE

OF

WILL
OF

"

POSITION

PHILOSOPHICAL

AND

SEPARATION

DUNS

THE

380
OF

CONCEPTION

THE

AFTER

.379
379

381

THE

THE

SCOTUS'S

DUNS

.

UNIVERSALS

AND

SCOTUS,
"

"

INDIVIDUALITY

OF

PRIMACY

DITION

.

TRUTH

PROBLEM

DUNS

AQUINAS.

PRINCIPLE

PARTICULARS

THE

.

TRADITION

CENTRAL

THE

378

....

AQUINAS

OF

DOMINICAN

THE

to the Church

of Aristotle

THOMAS

OF

to the Church

of Aristotle

PREDECESSORS

THE

372

OF

TWOFOLD

THE

AND

RELIGION

.

.

.

385

.

386

.

387

TRA
.

.

TRUTH.
.

GOD

388

INDIVIDUALITY

389

SCOTUS

OCKAM

390
:

LIFE

AND

TEACHING

391

OCKAM

,

393

.

395

ILLUSTRATIONS
Frontispiece

SOCRATES
MAP

SHOWING

THE

EMPIRE

MAP

OF

COSMOLOGISTS

THE

WHERE

LIVED.

21

...

ALEXANDER

OF

ATHENS

205
LOCATION

THE

SHOWING

OF

FOUR

THE

SCHOOLS

219

COSMOGRAPHY

PTOLEMAIC

UNIVERSE
PTOLEMAIC

OF

GROWTH

OF

SHOWING

DIAGRAM
VERSE

OF

THE

EPICYCLIC

MOVE

PLANETS

THE

325

THE

MOHAMMEDANISM
ITS

THE

323

SHOWING

GEOGRAPHY.

MEDIAEVAL

OF

SPHERES

INTO

COSMOGRAPHY

MENTS

DIVISION

THE

SHOWING

CONTACT

DURING
WITH

POETIC

DANTE'S
.

COSMAS

MAP,

THE

CHRISTIAN

CONCEPTION

A.D.
MIDDLE

547

.

AGES,

CIVILIZATION

OF

.

THE

335

370

UNI
.

37(?

A

OF

HISTORY

BEGINNER'S
PHILOSOPHY
INTRODUCTION
THE

PERIODS

GENERAL

THREE

HISTORY

of the

Three

C.-476

A.

Lengths

Comparative

THE

PHILOSOPHY

OF

The

OF

General

Periods:
Philosophy,

Ancient

Philosophy,

Medieval

Philosophy,

Modern

625
476

1453

B.

A.

D.-1453

D.
A.

D.

present time.
These are the three general periods into which
the
history of philosophy naturally falls. The two dates that
form the dividing lines between these three periods are
A.

D.-the

476, the fall of old Rome, and 1453, the fall of new
From
Rome
that
this it will be seen
(Constantinople).
1000
antiquity on
years of mediaeval life lie between
the

one

side and

450

years

of modern
be put upon

times

on

the

the respective
value may
other. Whatever
intellectual products of these three periods, it is impor
tant to note the great difference in their time-lengths.

It is 2500

years

Only

Europe.

since philosophical
450 of these years

reflection began in
belong to modern

man
words, after the European
two fifths of his life belong
reflective manhood,

times. In other
is known

as

and only
The

The

one

Real

grew

to

to what

ancient civilization,two fifths to mediaeval,
fifth to modern
civilization.
Differences

differences between

of the Three

General

Periods.

these three periods of the

re-

INTRODUCTION

been very real. They
merely
political shiftings
have

flective life of the European
are

to be

not

by

explained

changes ;
economic
differences in literary

or

nor

or

they fully expressed as
Their
artistic productions.
are

differences lie deeper, for they

differences
of mental

are

is more
history of philosophy
profound,
human
more
than any other history,
it is the record of human
points of view. A

attitude. The
difficult,and
more
because

is demanded
if
appreciation
good deal of sympathetic
the student takes on the attitude of mind of ancient and
expect to be possessed of
mediaeval times. One cannot
such

has traversed
until one
through its entire length.

appreciation

of thought
The history of philosophy
from an
to a

mingle.
objective
the
ubjectire,

ive.
mean

Can
?

we

By

in

period
Ancient

modiieval

is properly

traditional, the modern

called

subject

these abstract terms
ancient thought is meant

what

of
objectivity

that

the ancient~in
making
from
the universe as
starts

nis
a

life,

upon
reflections

this outer
whole. From
the interconnections be

point of view he tries to see
is reality ; men
tween
things. Nature
Man's mental processes
part of nature.

and
even

of the totality of things. Even ethically
individual, but the member
independent

are

a

part

is not

man

a

are

gods

ar

of a state,
distinctions between

When

to make
the ancient came
mind and matter, he did not think of
in antithesis to matter
as
the

as

man

the knower

known,

object

thought

The

a

subjectiveand

which

thought

briefly suggest
the

organic development
view of life, with

an

subjective

objective

traditional middle

is

the history

of mind

and

antithesis in ancient

appearances

and

essence,

as

parts of one
is rather
thought

matter

between

but

he

cosmos.

between

non-realities and

INTRODUCTION

3

The ancient attempts
realitieswith differing emphasis.
his world, but it is always
speculatively to reconstruct
from the point of view of the world.
By

the traditionalism

of mediaeval

thought

is meant

by a set of
controlled in their thinking
authoritative doctrines from the past. In the Middle
Ages, as the mediaeval period is called, the independent
that

are

men

of antiquity had ceased. Men
reflected and re
flected deeply, but they were
constrained by a set of
was
placed above them
religious traditions. Authority
thinking

and

censored

their thinking.

church and its authority
That
ive Greek cosmos.
dogma,

and thinking
clarified dogma.

took

had certain infallible
allowed only in so far as it

was

we
refer
subjective,

to

the

Christian
objective
place of the object

church

On the other hand, when
is

The

say that modern thought
entire change in the centre

we

an

of intellectual gravity. The starting-point is not
is set
universe
world, but the individual. The
against

(dualism),or

the
over

is the

creation of mind
looks upon
man
(idealism).In any case the modern
the universe as his servant, the standard of truth to be

found

mind

in himself

knower

as
subject
jectas known,

human

and

thinking

and not in something
external. The
is now
placed in antithesis to the ob
the

is not independent
of the
Reality is man
rather than the

object

process.

The

long as it
so
political state is justifiable
enforces the rights of the individual ; religious authority
is the expression of the individual
conscience ; physical

cosmos.

nature
*

'js

Read

(Blackwood
10

;

a

human

interpretation.

Knight,

*

Life and Teaching of
Hist.
; Falckenberg,
Series)

Zeller, Pre-Socratic

Phil,

pp. 102

Hume,
Modern

vol. i, pp. 161

f

.

f.

Phil., p.

INTRODUCTION

Plato, Dante, and Goethe are good representatives of
these three different historical periods of the human
they be understood without a philosophi
in which they lived ?
cal appreciation of the periods

mind.

How

Table

can

General

of the Subdivisions of the Three
Periods of Philosophy
Cosmological,

625-480

(to

Persian

Wars).
Greek, 625Anthropological, 480-399
(to
322 B. c. (to
death of Socrates).
death of
Systematic, 399-322 (todeath

Aristotle).

-476

A.

Aristotle).

of

1. Ancient
625 B. c.
D.

Hellenic-Ro
322 B.C.
man
-476

A.

Ethical, 322

c.-l A.
of Christian

beginning

B.

(to
era).
D.

D.

death

(from

of Aristotle
to fall of old

Rome).

Religious, 100

Early

476-1000
(from the fall
to the beginnings of modern

B.

C.-476

A.

D.

Mediaeval,

of old Rome

Europe).
2. Mediaeval
476-1453

Transitional

Mediaeval

beginnings

Classic

(1000-1200),(from
to Crusades).

Europe

of modern
1200-1453
Medieval,

Crusades

to the fall of

new

(from
Rome

or

the

Con

stantinople).
Renaissance,

1453-1600.

Humanistic,

1453-1690
(to Locke's
Essay

3. Modern
1453-modern

times

and

the English

Revolution)Natural
.

Enlightenment,

Science, 1600-1690.

1690-1781

(from Locke's
Kant's
to
Critique)
German
Idealism, 1781-1831
(from Kant'8
Critique to the death of Hegel).
Evolution, 1820 to the present time.
Essay

.

I

BOOK

(625 B.

PHILOSOPHY

ANCIENT

The

EARLY

IN

GREEK

D.)

I

CHAPTER
THE

A.

C.-476

PHILOSOPHY

ANCIENT

The history
of Ancient Philosophy.
philosophy falls naturally into two large di

Divisions

of ancient
:

visions

Greek

pure

philosophy

and Hellenic-Roman
in the Roman

philosophy (or Greek philosophy
world).
The date, 322 B. c., the death of Aristotle, which marks
the line between these two
periods, is one of the mile
stones

of

323

c.

B.

history.

The

tions

throws
them.

product

not

teacher

as

pupil

of Greek

in

was

during

their lives, but

it

civilization before and after
the
culture was
and Alexander

entirely of the pure

Greek

spirit ; after them
product of many factors

the complex
Roman
civilizations,and

and
tal religions, including
"

died

Greek

Aristotle

ancient culture

had

of the deaths of Aristotle
suggests their intimate rela

only

and

into contrast

Before

the Great

coincidence

Alexander

and

Alexander

Orien

many

Christianity. Before

Aristotle

and Alexander,
ancient culture was
characterized by a
love of knowledge
for its own
from
sake, by freedom
ulterior ends
great makers
work in the
questions.

either of service or of use
of history, culture became

;

attenuated

special sciences and enslaved
Before Aristotle and Alexander,

city-states had arisen to politicalpower

;

after these
to

to practical

the

Greek

after Aristotle

6

OF

HISTORY

Alexander,

and

absorbed

sources

primary

declined

into the Koman

of Ancient

of ancient
or

sources,

politically and

was

empire.

Literary Sources

The
erary

Greece

PHILOSOPHY

The lit

Philosophy.*
are

philosophy

three

:

(1) the

(2) the

original writings ;

secondary
sources,
or
reports of the original writers obtained indi
other writers ; (3) the interpreta
rectly, or through
historians of philosophy. The
tions of reliable modern
specialist in philosophy will, of course,
go to the first
for his information. Other students
two sources
will find
histories of ancient philosophy.
accurate
many
modern

The

student should have at hand the translations of the
histories of Zeller, Windelband,
Weber, Eucken, Ueberweg

;

those of the Englishmen,

Burnet

and

Fairbanks

;

of the Americans, Kogers and Turner.
"
The writings of the early Greek philosophers
of the
The
pre-Socratic period exist now
only in fragments.
complete works of Plato are stillextant ; so also are the
important works of Aristotle, and certain others
most
which belong to the Stoic, Epicurean, Skeptic, and neo-

Platonic

schools. We

possess

the

principal

works
of
most
of the philosophers of the Christian period in suf
1
ficient completeness."
The secondary sources
include
comments
quotations
and
found in the writings of

earlier philosophers
upon
Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics,

Skeptics, neo-Platonists, and the so-called doxographers.
Doxography
the commentating
upon and collating of
developed
the works of former
in
times
enormously
"

"

Alexandria, Pergamos,
*

Read

Fairbanks,

ff.,especially the
1

and

Rhodes

justafter

First Philosophers

of Greece,

re'sume'.

Ueberweg,

Hist,

of Phil., vol.

Aristotle,

i, p. 7.

pp. 263

IN

GREEK

EARLY

I

PHILOSOPHY

ANCIENT

Theophrastus, who was
a
of this work was
in the Lyceum.
disciple of Aristotle and his successor
Plutarch, Stowere
Among
the important doxographers

The

founder

baeus, and Aetios.
Environment
The

The biolo
of the Early Greek.
by its previous
gist seeks to explain a living creature
know the
and inherited instincts. So if we
environment
and inherited instincts of the early Greek,
environment
shall be able to understand
began with
pean philosophy
we

some

took

the Greeks

other people ; and secondly, why
certain lines that it did take.

(1). His
into which
the Greece
the coasts
terranean

Geographical
philosophy

was

Euro

better firstly,why

and not with
Greek philosophy

Greece

Environment.

The

born

larger

was

much

than

Greece consisted of all
of to-day. Ancient
washed by the Medi
and islands which were
Sea from Asia Minor to Sicily and southern

Italy, and

from

Gyrene

to

Thrace.

The

the peninsula of Greece, at first played
in the hands
role. The leadership was

an

motherland,
insignificant

of the Ionian s,
Minor.
In the
who had colonized the coasts of Asia
the first Greek philosophy
seventh century B. C., when
the world's commerce
appears, these lonians commanded

the three continents. Over the coasts of the en
among
they had extended
their trade and
tire Mediterranean
the wealth
established their colonies. Miletus became

iest of these colonies and the cradle of Greek
science.
Its wealth afforded leisure to its people and therefore
for reflection.
the opportunity

(2). His

Political

ing of the Greek

Environment.

An

understand
its first philo

politicalworld, in which
historical explanation of
sophy
appeared, requires an
its rise. It takes us back four centuries to the age of

Epic

the

centuries
were

which

PHILOSOPHY

OF

HISTORY

8

(1000-750

B.

c.).During

of the age of the Epic two
to influence future Greek

more

changes

than

two

occurred

civilization :

(1)

which had
became
monarchy

The

oligarchy

archal
the Epic

Homer
was

formed.

was

lies not

so

constructed,

supplanted the ancient patri
firmly established ; and (2)
The importance
of the Epic of
in the fact that

much
as

that it

was

a

great poem
the formulation
of the
Its
aBsthetic polytheism.

religion, the Greek
writing indicates that the earlier unorganized, primitive,
and savage forms of religion had given way, among

Greek

the ruling classes at least, to an a3sthetic polytheism,
fixed by the Epic itself.
which in a general way was
The period of more
than a century, from 750 to 625
the age of the Epic and Greek
B. c., lying between
philosophy, may be called an age of political disturb
The oligarchy had become oppressive to the rich
ances.
up in Greece, espe
and poor alike. There had grown
had be
cially in the colonies, a class of citizens who
come

wealthy

through

by the

misgovernment
tions took

This

place, and

oligarchy

(2)

particularly true

was

The

commerce.

many

result

that

was

revolutions

of the

colonies

(1)

of the
migra

occurred.
the
where

full of ad
powerful and the cities were
Plutocracy was
venturers.
at war
with aristocracy, and
These political
for bold men.
the opportunity
this was

proletariat

troubles

was

took

form

from

650

B.

C.

on,

and

the history

of the Greek

cities consists of the endeavor to establish
About the time of the first Greek
popular government.
here and there from the ruins
philosophers there arose

of these civil struggles the so-called tyrants, of whom
Thrasybulus
at Miletus, Pittacus at Lesbos, Periander
at

Corinth, and

Pisistratus at Athens

are

examples.

IN

GREEK

EARLY

ANCIENT

PHILOSOPHY

9

The courts of these tyrants became centres of intellect
They
patronized poets, writers, and artists.
ual life.
The universalism of the Epic had vanished, and in its
the individualism of the lyric and the satire.
place came
into gloomy
In many
retire
places the aristocrat went

cultivated

often

and

ment,

poetry, science, and

philo

sophy.

Why
of the Early Greek.
the first philosophers
were
the Greeks
of Europe?
Their geographical
surroundings
of sea and land had
to do with it. The
passionate party strife
something
Native

The

Tendencies

the old, ruling familes of nobles and the newly
rich trading-class, which took place during the seventh
century B. c., no doubt cultivated an early independence

between

and strength of personality. But, after all,
in the blood of the race,
can
and who
say
genius was
was
that the true cause
not in the mixing of the blood
invaders with that of the aborigi
of the virile Aryan
of opinion

be the answer
may
nal inhabitants ? Whatever
question, the Greek race in the seventh century

to that
B.

c.

had

It
extraordinary curiosity about the world of nature.
fact as no
loved the concrete
other race
of the time
loved it, and it loved to give a clear and articulate ex
fact that it saw.
It had an ar
pression to the concrete
an

tistic nature
point out
this early
upon
thus

that

was

three ways
time

organizing

the workings
preparing

ultimate

(1)

hostile to all confusion.
in which the Greek was

of

the way

his experiences,

seen,

more

development

for the

in

reflecting
forces, and

first step in the organization

already

us

even

social and nature
for consideration of the

questions of philosophy.
This can
first in the
be seen

his religion. The
have
religion we

Let

Homeric

of

of his

epic

OF

HISTORY

10

the expression of
polytheism developed
was

Greek's

ism. The
both

a

PHILOSOPHY

well-defined, poetic, and aesthetic
out

sense

a

primitive savage natural
in the
was
of measure
shown
of

were
and men
placed as a part of the
He could accomplish
this the more
world of nature.
freely because he had no hierarchy of priests and no

way

gods

his imagination.
The Greek
of belief to cramp
teach
priests did not penetrate into the private life nor
"
They
but sacristans
were
theologians
not
religion.

dogma

and liturgical functionaries." In the fifty years before
this tendency
toward
appeared,
philosophy
scientific
the beginning
showed
of another
religious organizing
advance. Monistic belief, of which signs may be found
in the earlier Greek writings, came
to the surface.
even
1
This monism
was
expressed or implied by the Gnomic
poets,

"

wise poets,"

so

called, because

they

made

sen

the principles of morality.
in his
of the Greek is shown
The Greek had been
reflections upon physical events.
kinds of informa
for a long time many
accumulating

tentious utterances
upon
(2) The early genius

tion, but, what

ing upon
He
man.
made
seen.

is

important,

this information.

he had

Ionian

The

was

been

reflect

a

sea-faring
had had much
practical experience and had
true observations about the things he had
many
In his travels he had come
in contact with the

Orientals and

the

tificconceptions
1

more

Monism^

implication

were

Egyptians,
probably

is the belief that reality is

his scien
and although
his
in the main his own,
a

oneness

to the

without any
Monatheism

necessary
is a kind

character
of that oneness.
definite
is ascribed tcTtlie
oneness,
of monism,
character
like the active principle in the world or the cause
of the world. Pan
in which
theism, on the other hand, is a kind of monism
the emphasis
as

in which

is upon
nature

the

ay

some

all-inclusive character
two inseparableaspects

of reality. In pantheism

of reality.

God

and

IN

GREEK

EARLY

knowledge

was

PHILOSOPHY

ANCIENT

increased

undoubtedly

by

11

his travels.

In the seventh century B. c., the Greeks had
mostly
able body of physical science. It was

a

respect
inorganic

and meteor
astronomy,
geography,
science, however,
knowledge
of organic pheno
early Greek
ology. The
for example,
as,
was
mena
medical and
very meagre,
"

They also showed littlegenu
physiological knowledge.
ine research in the field of mathematics,
although they
information
here and
mathematical
scientists.
of the first philosophers were

had

up

picked
there. Many

only did the Greek early bring a religious
system out of the chaos of his naturalism, not only did
into scientific
he early throw his physical information

(3)

form

Not

; but

in human

(800
(700

also early did he
conduct. This can

C.),in
c.),and

B.
B.

Gnomic

a

more

show
be

an
seen

developed

especial interest
first in Homer
form

in

Hesiod

with still deeper reflection in the
Although
the Iliad is a descriptive

poets.

poem, it abounds in ethical observations. For example,
"
is to fight for one's
The
best omen
Hector
says,
"
in council says, " A
Nestor
; and
country
wretch

without
without the tie of kin, a lawless man
is he who delights in civil strife." The poem
siod ( Works
and Days) is intended to teach

It is distinctly

home,

a

by

He

morals.

didactic poem.
Hesiod stands at the
beginning of a long line of Greek ethical teachers. His
moral observations are, however, incoherently expressed.

They
ments

peared

are

upon

a

generalizations, but are
single experiences. The Gnomic

not

wide

at the end

only

com

poets ap

of the seventh century B. c., as the
in the age of political disturbances.

moral reformers
This period was
called by the Greeks
Seven Wise Men ; for among
the men

the age

who

were

of the

then

OF

HISTORY

12

the age

exhorting

early selected

to

PHILOSOPHY

back

come

to its

notable.1 The

of the most

seven

tradition

senses,

spirit of

in their reported sayings.
prominent
poetry was
They were
fearful because of the common
disregard of
the conventions of the previous age, and because of the

Gnomic

they

and

Their

excesses.

present

ever

were

repeating

riddle, epigram,
society. The names

"

nothing

"

moderation,"
By
too much."

and catchwords

apothegm,
reform

was

watchword

of all
known,

seven

they tried to

are

certain,
Thales, Solon, Pitnot

only four of them are
tacus, and Bias. Their ethical reflections are
not con
the village, and
cerned, as in Hesiod, with the home,
the rules of convention, but with the individual's gen
and

"

relation to society. Their knowledge
of ethical
for their time. Some
is remarkable
matters
of their
sayings are as follows :

eral

"

No

"

is happy

man

;

all

are

full of trouble."
knows what
one

do the right, yet no
the result of his doings, and no
tiny." " The
people by their own

thinks

to

one

"

Each

will be
can
escape his des
destroy the
injustice

"As op
would have protected."
posed to these evils the first necessity is law and order
for the state, contentment
for the
and
moderation
city, which

the gods

individual."
est

"

"

good."

Not wealth, but moderation,

Superfluity of

possessions

is the high

begets

self-

exaltation."

B. c.

1
a

Periods

Three

The

These

of Greek

are

1. The

Cosmological

2. The

Anthropological

3. The

Systematic

Bury,

legend.

Hist,

625-322

Philosophy,

of Greece, p.

Period, 625-480

B.

Period, 480-399

Period, 399-322

B.

c.
B.

c.

c.

321, calls the tradition of the Wise

Men

GREEK

EARLY

IN

1. T/ie Cosmological
of Greek

philosophical

a

ending
nominal
This does not mean

with

PHILOSOPHY

ANCIENT

13

begins with the birth
reflection (625 B.
and has

Period

the Persian

that

the

c.)
(480

wars

B.

c.).

interest of the Greeks
c., but
that it was

stopped in 480 B.
cosmology
interest. Cosmology
longer their prominent

in
no

is the study

of the reality of the physical universe (the cosmos).
The
the
occupying
particular cosmological question
minds of the Greeks in this period may be stated thus :
What, amid the changes of the physical world, is per
? This

manent

tion and

The
and

not

will be

the

same

to

seen
as

theatre

a

be

a

philosophical ques
in natural science.

question

the colonies
activity was
important
aspects of this
besides the philosophical,

of philosophical
Two
not the motherland.

period must

be considered

"

the political situation and
2. The Anthropological

the religious mysteries.
Period
begins in the

before

movement

therland

the

cosmological

mo

ended in
social impulse just

the colonies. It starts with a great
after the victories of the Persian wars

(480

B.

c.) and

ends with the death of Socrates (399 B. c.). Athens is
This period includes the most
the centre.
productive
intellectual epoch of Greece as a
not
whole, although
its greatest philosophers.
Socrates is the most

striking

persjmality_in the L perjpjL Tha

is called anthro
.period
pological, because itsjnterest
jsin the studv^of maiLand
not of the physical universe. The word
anthropology
the study
3. The

means

of

man.

begins with the death
o"
Socrates (399 B.
death
Arisof
c.) and ends with the
totle (322 B.
c.)"Alexander the Great died 323 B. c.

/Systematic

The

Period

period is called systematic

three great organizers

or

because

systematizers

it contains the

of Greek

philo-

14

HISTORY

OF

PHILOSOPHY

Plato, and Aristotle.
Democritus,
sophy. These were
its own
limits
The
culture beyond
spread of Greek
is of great impor
through the conquests of Alexander
for the history of thought in the Hellenic-Roman
Period, which follows this period.
tance

II

CHAPTER
THE

PERIOD

COSMOLOGICAL

OF

PHILOSOPHY

WHEN

we

enter upon

(625-180

the

one

B.

C.) : THE

'NATURE

hundred

and fiftyyears

of philosophical beginnings of Greece, which are called
the Cosmological Period, we find ourselves confronted
has
with an extremely interesting social situation, which
been brought about partly by the politicaland geograph

ical environment
of the Greek, partly by his inherited
half,
genius. On the one hand, during this century and a
the political troubles of the Greeks became increasingly
aggravated by the growth of Persia on the east and of

Carthage
the
and

on

the west.

On

the other hand,

we

find that

Greek

religion took a sudden turn to mysticism,
by its side a slow but increasing interest in philo

sophical questions.
tics and Greek

All through

religion

were

a

this period Greek
constant

poli

peril to Greek

philosophy proved to be its safety.
Peril in the Greek
Political Situation : Persia

life. Greek
The

It must be remembered
that the Greek
were
always
cities never
united into a nation. They
fighting among
have already pointed
themselves. We

and

Carthage.

the civil disturbances
the democracy
throughout

out

between

the oligarchy and
internal,/
the land. These

troubles continued to the end of Greek history. In this
to these internal troubles a
period there was
added
criticalexternal situation which threatened the existence
a
momentous
of Greece itself.The sixth century was
for Greece. In both the east and the west there
one

OF

HISTORY

16

PHILOSOPHY

to wipe out its
that threatened
empires
"
The
expansion
of the Persian power
civilization.
(on the one hand) had suspended a stone of Tantalus

arose

mighty

Hellas, and it seemed likely that Greek
civiliza
1
in an Oriental monarchy."
be submerged
tion might
Cyrus had laid the foundation of Persia by taking Media
over

in 550

B.

a,

in 546

Lydia

B.

c.,

Babylonia

in 538

B. c.;

by Carnbyses in 528 B. c. ; and
added
Darius organized the great Persian possessions in his
long reign from 528 to 486 B. c. On
the west, Car
Egypt

thage

was

was

cities of Sicily,and at
acting in
with

the Greek

threatening

the close of this period was
conjunction
Mediterranean.
Persia to obtain possession of the

Religion : The Mysteries
Peril in the New
and
Pythagoras. Already in the seventh century B. c. the po
liticalsociety of Greece felt that it was
under the wrath
The

"
The earth
guilt.
unatoned
of the gods because of some
is full of ills,of illsthe sea,"
sang the poet. Keligious
depression became
universal. Dissatisfied with the old

in the theogony of
polytheism, especially as expressed
Hesiod, the Greek in the sixth century B. c. began to
interpret it according to his present need. Among
the
masses

there appeared

for immortality

the craving

The
of the supernatural.
of life by a short road became
from
to rites to purify them

for personal knowledge
to solve the mystery

versal. Men

looked

and
desire
uni
the

for gaining personal contact with
the world of shades. This new
panreligion became
Hellenic. It is called the Mysteries or the Orgia. By

guilt of the world

and

Mysteries

is not meant
intellectual belief, as

Mysteries

based

were
1

Bury,

societies founded
the
on

History

name

cult

might

on

some

occult
The
suggest.

(ceremony),and

of Greece,

p. 311.

not

on

NATURE

OF

PHILOSOPHY

THE

17

those of initiation
special ceremonies were
They were
supposed to purify the par
and purification.
frame of mind. The soul
ticipant and put him in a new
from the malicious spirits to
would then be protected

The

dogma.

The ceremonies
are
constantly exposed.
by more
than
reported to have been attended sometimes
thirty thousand
people. They consisted of processions,
it

which

was

songs, dances, and dramatic
tant

of the

Mysteries

were

impor
spectacles. The most
the Orphic and the Eleu-

sinian.

Mysteries

The

thagoreans.

the basis of the

were

Pythagoras, of Samos

society of Py
a

was

remarkable
Crotona. His sect
man,
who went to Italy and settled at
to us because in later times it
is of double importance
developed
a
and astro
philosophy on its mathematical

following
and his immediate
nomical sides. Pythagoras
from
the later Pythagoreans.
be distinguished
must
were
the early Pythagoreans
not philo
Myster
sophers, but a sect like the Orphic society of
more
ies, yet the sect of Pythagoreans
much
embraced
in its scope. It tried to control the public and private

Pythagoras

and

life of its members
and
Pythagoras
education.1
his sect

was

against

the

to evolve

common

a

exiled aristocrat, and
in reaction
an
aristocratic religious body
The
democratic
excesses.
only doctrine
was

an

placed any emphasis
upon
which Pythagoras
in the form of metempsychosis
of immortality
bodily form
of the soul from one
migration

other).

The

sect

The

450

school

of philosophy

C.

Early

Greek

that

was

(trans
into

an

religious body
formed
a
members

as

a

scattered
at Thebes
until about

Philosophers, p. 104, for
life of the early Pythagoreans.

Burnet,

private

B.

dispersed

was

about

1

of

method

350

B.

injunctions
upon

C.

thj

OF

PHILOSOPHY

18

HISTORY

Of

these later philosophical

Pythagoreans

and

their

theory, we shall speak in the proper place.
number
At the time of the dispersion of the Pythagoreans
there existed no longer any peril from the new
religion.
During
The craze
passing away.
religion was
of the new
a great peril to the future
the sixth century B. c. it was
it then gained a little
intellectual life of Greece. Had
more

it would

power

sacerdotal power,

enormous

admitted

by

In the

to the temples.

the priesthood

been

have

probably

the

exercise of such
priests would have en

slaved the Greek mind to superstition, and the priest
hood in turn would have become an easy tool for tyrants.
There would then have been no Socrates, no Plato, and
Mysteries were
Aristotle. The
a
no
reaction toward
religious salvation from the politicalperil,
however,
were,
equally as great a peril to
Greece. The medium
a rational
course
along the line

asceticism
but they

a

as

of

the
which
philosophy,
proved its salvation.

Greek

genius

actually

took,

There are
cer
of the Cosmologists.
tain characteristics of this early philosophy that should
Characteristics

be noted at the beginning.
(1) All the Cosmologists
"

were

physical

scientists,

note
with few exceptions their scientificviews were
Aristotle calls them
worthy.
physicists in distinction
he calls theologians.
from their predecessors, whom

and

(2)

They

often worked

tion has been

together

in

schools. Tradi

since Bacon that philosophy cen
tres in individuals ; but history shows that frequently

the Greeks

common

bodies. These
corporate
philo
sophical scientists worked in schools ; justas the Homerworked

idae developed

in

the epic ; the Dsedalida?,

earliest artists, the

secret

of the
of art ; the Mysteries, relia

group

THE

gion. Philosophy
of the time

While

now

speaks
Milesian

the

the long peace

OF

PHILOSOPHY

NATURE

19

is in the cloister,and the intellect
from its retreat from
public life.

school
that Miletus

was

owing to
shall find that

undisturbed,

enjoyed,we

of the Cosmological period
of the philosophers
in retirement on account
were
of political persecution.
"
is not necessa
We must remember
that by " school
a group
of pupils under the established in
rily meant
most

struction of a teacher.
a group
of learned men

Later

in history

on

teacher

(3)

:

school at this early period is
on
the same
at work
problems.
shall find that one of the group

the others stands in the
for example, Plato in the Academy.

learned

more

we

A

than

All the Cosmologists

were

position of

hylozoists. The

ety

matter
of hylozoism is its true one
mological meaning
is alive. This is the fundamental
characteristic of these
Anaxagoras,
down
from Thales
to
al
"

pre-Socratics

that those from
the
authorities contend
were
time of Empedocles
not hylozoists. The meaning
is simple enough, but the conception is a
of hylozoism
though

some

mind ; for to-day we are ac
to think of an impersonal
nature
under me
customed
chanical laws. To the Greek of the Cosmological period
the substantial constitution of the universe is imper
difficultone

sonal

for the modern

living

matter

;

to

us

it is impersonal

dead

to be contrasted witL
views are
the religious belief involved in Greek
polytheism, in
is conceived to be living personal
which the cosmos
matter.

Both

these

spirits ; this Homeric

polytheism

is again

to

be

con

trasted with the animism
of the tribal period, in that it
had organized into an aesthetic unity the early savage
These
hylozoistic philosophers did not, how
animism.
ever,

give up the Homeric

gods, but they treated their

PHILOSOPHY

OF

HISTORY

20

in

usually believed
poetic way. They
their existence, but they always subordinated them
living world-ground.
the one
existence

In

(4)

in

a

with all ancient peoples these Greek
did not believe that the universe had un

common

philosophers
limited space.

On

the contrary, they believed that it was

limited and in the shape
Table

to

of

of

Cosmologists.

an

egg.

Cosmologists

The

di

are

monists
vided into two classes : (1) the earlier were
is a
those who believe that the reality of the universe
plusimple, undifferentiated unity ; (2) the later were
those who believe that the reality of the uni
ralists
"

"

verse

are

of several elements
follows :
as
enumerated
consists

equally real. They

"

MONISTS

THE

(
1. The

Milesian

school

""

(

Thales

)

Anaximander

"

Anaximenes

)

2. Xenophanes

at Miletus.

Colophon

at

and

3. The

Parmenides
\
\ Zeno

Eleatic school

\

^^

J
at Ephesus.

4. Heraclaitus
THE

Elea.

PLURALISTS

5. Empedocles

at Agrigentum.

6. Anaxagoras

at

7. The

later Pythagoreans

mainly

8. Leucippus

How

Clazomense.

at Thebes.
at Abdera.

the Philosophical

Question Arose. The interests

of these philosophical scientists sharply differentiate
them from the preceding
theogonists, like Hesiod
and
Epimenides, as well as from the masses
ab
who were
sorbed
moreover,

in the

the

religion of the
men

of

Mysteries.

Greece to whom

They

the

were,

emotional

THE

NATURE

OF

PHILOSOPHY

21

excitement of a religious revival would not appeal
Their own
refuge from the troubles of the time.
in the political troubles had

perience

the question
less, its answer

(None
of
map

of

as

the

the

shows

losophers

as

there

was

Cosmologists,

110

the
during

were

the

to the

traditional

LIVED

COSMOLOGISTS

later

Pythagoreans,

this period

took

of philosophy

centres

made

to their question, for

answer

THE

except

activity

cities which

Cosmologists

lived
place

and

in the

in the

the

motherland
The

colonies.
homes
of the

phi

was

chronicle of a succession of
The question of the
with the unknown.
the original
not, therefore, what was

a

mythical

world, but what is fundamental
The time factor is no longer im

of this changing

in the world always.
portant. Not the temporal
what

ex

indicated.)

only
gods beginning

form

they turned

WHERE

SHOWING

Philosophical

Greece.

a

paramount
to the permanence
of things. Neverthe
be found in nature and in an in
must

When
tellectual way.
theogonies they found

MAP

as

they

seek. The

but the real prius is
temporal origin of things

prius

idea of

a

gives place to that of eternal being, and the question
is the real substance
finally emerges,
What
that con

stitutes the universe f

OF

HISTORY

22

PHILOSOPHY

Monistic Philosophies. Turning back to
our
classificationon page 20, we see that the earliest
Greek philosophers emphasized the monistic tendency,
The

Greek

which had become

so

prominent

in Greek religion. This
of the Milesians, Xenoph-

group of monists was composed
the Eleatic School, and Heracleitus. The course
anes,
of reasoning of these early thinkers is naively simple,
thought, it contains such contradic
and like all naive
tions that the modern
reader is likely to become im
patient with it. The value of the study of the philos
ophy of these early Greeks is entirely historical.Its
historicalvalue, however, is very great, for it is a rev
elation of the culture of the Greece of that time, it

of the teachings of Plato and
Aristotle,and most of all it contains the germs of mod
ern
metaphysical problems. These first Greek philos
throws

light

on

many

is the constitution
raised the question, What
are
of the substance of the universe ? Their answers
nai've solutions to the historicalmetaphysical "riddle."

ophers

The

Milesians, who form the earliest philosophical
to have assumed two
school in European history, seem
facts as self-evidentabout the substance of the universe :

(1) There

is a single cosmic substance identical with
itself,
which is the basis of allthe changes in nature ; (2)

Moving

matter

is the

same

as

life. The

Milesians

were

con
quite unconscious that these two assumptions were
tradictory, but the contradiction impressed their succes

sors

"

Xenophanes,

divided them

Heracleitus, and the Eleatics ; and
in their development of philosophy. Mat-

IX'ter which keeps identicalwith itselfis the Unchanging

*

1

Note further that in future philosophical discussions of this prob
lem, the technical word " Being" is used for the Unchanging
or
the
substance
*'

Becoming

forever like itself, and the technical -word
remains
is used for the changing processes of Nature.

that
"

THE

PHILOSOPHY

NATURE

OF

23

into opposition with Life, the Changingt
The question for Xenophanes,
which moves.

and is brought
or

matter

the Eleatics

Heracleitus, and

: How
was
philosophy
esses
of life be explained by an
XejiopLajifiS, who was
more

ture

"

than

and

"

indeed

the

can

a

proc
substance ?

changing

unchanging

of

for all fu

religious reformer
in the firstof these

so
absorbed
philosopher, was
that he developed it for his purpose
assumptions

a

in his

practical social reformation to the entire neglect of the
The Eleatics, however, to whose
second assumption.
had come,
could not leave his doctrine
city Xenophanes
form. They accepted
in its one-sided and undeveloped
his teaching of the divine Unchangingness
of the uni

but this compelled

verse,

offer some
change.

explanation
Change to them

thinkers to
these prof ounder
of the natural processes of
cannot
really exist. Heraclei

impressed with the aspect
the other hand, was
of life that is expressed in the second assumption
of
is moving
living matter
He
the Milesians
matter.
tus,

on

"

therefore maintained

in direct opposition to the Eleatics,
living processes of nature alone are

that the changing,
contradictory
real. The two

that lay so
assumptions
indifferent in the Milesian doctrine thus be

mutually

the basis of
Heracleitus
tween
came

the world

sharp metaphysical controversy be
and the Eleatics. The substance "f
is permanent,
change is an illusion, said the
a

Eleatics. The
nence

are

substance of the world changes, perma
is an illusion,said Heracleitus. Either all things
These early philos
or all things change.
permanent

ophers

had

psychological
not

strange

no

wealth

of empirical

reflection upon
that they

which
should take

knowledge
to

nor

draw, and

extreme

and be blind to their practical consequences.

of
it is

positions

The

I.

B.

It

prosperous.

situated

alone was
of the warring
of Lade

From

all the Greek cities
Miletus was
the wealthiest

c.
was

one

of the Ionian colonies
of Asia Minor, and it

the coast
able to preserve its autonomy

was

and

Of

School.

Milesian

in the sixth century
and most

PHILOSOPHY

OF

HISTORY

24

was

two

on

as

neighbor
eastern
empires. Not until the battle
it captured and destroyed (494 B.

c.).

generations

of philosophers history has pre
Thales, Anaximander,
and An-

served three names,
aximenes. The school is called indifferently the Milesian
or
the Ionic school. The proximity of Miletus to Ephe"

Colophon, and Clazomenae

(asa

glance at the map
will show) explains the influence of the Milesian school
the doctrines of Heracleitus, Xenophanes,
upon
and
Undoubtedly
Anaxagoras.
Milesians
the contact of the
sus,

with the Orient and Egypt

edge and

correct

had brought to them

scientificobservations of many

especially astronomical.
Jhales(b.640 B.

knowl
sorts,

member
of one of the
leading families of Miletus, and lived during the flour
ishing period of the city under the tyranny of Thrasybulus. He is counted among
Wise Men, and
the seven
a

c.)was

belonged
engaged
versed
and

he

was
never

comments

to

in

class. He probably
traveled in Egypt. He was

the rich commercial
commerce

and
in the current
learning, predicted an eclipse,
in mathematics
acute
and physics. Probably
committed
anything to writing. Aristotle'?
are
the only data about him.

Anaximander
"

*

(611-545

B.

c.

?)
*

was

an

astronomer

and geographer ; he made an astronomical globe, a sun
dial, and a geographical map. He was
intimate dis
an
Concerning Nature, which
ciple of Thales and wrote
is referred to

as

Nothing is known

the first Greek

of his life.

philosophical treatise.

(560-500

es

One

Anaximander.

NATURE

OF

PHILOSOPHY

THE

B.

sentence

?)

c.

was

25

the

is preserved

disciple of
of his writ

ings,i

Milesians lived upon
the seacoast, and the changes
of the sea and air must
intellec
They
had an
have deeply impressed
them.
Milesian

The

Philosophy.

The

tual curiosity to find the cosmic
identical with itself and at the

22.)

p.

the

They

was

said that

most

it

which

remained

time moved.
(See
were
not, therefore, interested to discover
of matter, but to find what
composition

chemical

matter

matter

moving

was

water

same

and therefore most alive. Thales
; Anaximenes,
air ; and Anaxi

Their respec
mander, the Apeiron, or the Unlimitedby what seemed to possess
determined
tive choices were
the most mobility and the greatest inner vitality. Thalea
is always
thought water possessed this quality. Water
It therefore has life in
it moving.
Thales saw
moving.
itself. Anaximander

felt that

no

in

object

our

percep

tual experience would fully explain the ceaseless mobil
ity of nature, and he called it the Unlimited
or
the
It is a mixture in which
Indeterminate
the Apeiron.
"

in nature
are
end
all qualities are lost. The changes
less, and therefore the single cosmic substance, from
be endless as well, for "from
they come,
must
which
source

whatever

things

in that they have

come,

their

for Anax
learn that this is justthe reason
end." We
imenes choosing the air for the single underlying cosmic
substance. The air is the most changeable thing and is

Unlimited.1
still held to the tra
and Anaximenes
ditional polytheism of the Greek Epic. Anaximander

Both

1

"

Just

encompass

Thales

as

our

soul, being air, holds

the whole

world."

us

together,

so

do breath and ail

HISTORY

26

OF

PHILOSOPHY

in this respect. This conception
rises above them
of
the Unlimited, to which his scientific search led him, is
"
"
the divine
regarded by him as Deity. He calls it
he speaks of it in the neuter gender
\t is,nevertheless, the first European
philosophical con
God. It is the first attempt to conceive of
ception
; although
(TOOCLOV)

of

God

as

purely physical and yet without any mythical
dress. In Anaximander
has a reli
the Milesian monism

gious aspect.
Xenophanes,
2.

c.).The

the

Religious

Philosopher

(570

was
of Anaximander
after
all only expressive of that religious dissatisfaction,first
voiced by the Wise Men, against the Hesiod cosmogony

B.

scientificmonism

myths. Now for the
and the immorality of the Homeric
firsttime a positive conflict between religion and phi

losophy

arose

Colophon.
noted
when

Xenophanes,

through

Colophon,

an

the rhapsodist of
Ionian city near
Miletus, was

for its obscene and cruel religious practices, and
his native city capitulated to the Persians, Xe

nophanes charged
He went toMagna

its feebleness to its immoral

Gra3cia, and, disguised

as

religion.

a

musician,
through its

about for sixty-seven years
wandered
in song against the
length and breadth declaiming
the mystic ecstasies, and the gen
anthropomorphism,
He finally settled
eral social practices of the Greeks.
he

in Elea,
count

Italy (see
southern
map), and on this ac
he is sometimes called the founder of the Eleatic

school.
Xenophanes'

influence upon the thought of Greece
was
threefold : (1) He preached the Milesian philosoph
ical monism
to the people of Greece in the form of a reli
"

(2) He carried this doctrine from east
Greece (Asia Minor) to Western Greece (Magna

gious monism
ern

;

Milesian and

He

27

was

Based

of Xenophanes.

Philosophy

Milesian

NATURE

the connecting link between
the following Eleatic school.

Graecia)
; (3)
The

OF

PHILOSOPHY

THE

one

on

the

of the

assumptions,
viz., a_^in^le_cojniic_siihstance
felt
identical with itself in nature, Xenophanes

remains

l;hat"he had

right to set down

a

two

principles about

qature.

1. The sin^lejprhnordial substance below the changes
of nature is God. The reality below nature which Thales
to be unlimited
conceived to be water, Anaximander
substance without
said by Xenophanes

a

Anaximenes

name,

to be God.

has

is that Xenophanes

here

of God;

spiritualisticconception
tively stated that

It is

a

religious

su^s^c_e_^Ohe^

devotion.

ascribes to this God

also mental
"

given the Greeks a
but that he has posi
universe is an

He

object

He

ence.

air, was
important
point

calls the cosmic sub
God instead of calling it water, Apeiron, or air.
of rever
material thing, and yet it is an

objectof
stance

the

not

The

to be

spherical forjm,and yet
God is " one
power of omniscience.
and
"
and yet he is one god, the greatest
a

(ei/
KO.Iirav),

all

neither in form

and thought like
The positive conception of God
hangs
unto mortals."
He is scarcely a
confused in the mind of Xenophanes.
monotheist, nor yet a pantheist. He is a hylozoist, who

among

gods and

conceives

objectof
2. The
nature

moving
ity are

the

case,

the

men,

underlying

religious

is ^changeable.
is matter, the
same

but,

on

substance

to

be

an

reverence.

single cosmic

the

cosmic

substance belp_w_the_"hanges of
To the Milesians the more

more

thing.

alive is it. Life and activ
To Xenophanes
this is not

the contrary, the opposite

a definite sher
conceiYfia_Iio4_tobe

is true.

He

OF

HISTORY

28

able andhomogenequs.
always remains the

PHILOSOPHY

God,
ThemaJeriaLmibstanfifi^

"Hehas

same.

no

need

of going
hither, now
thither, in order to carry out his
about, now
Xeall men
without toil."
wishes ; but he governs
the forerunner of the Eleatic
thus becomes
nophanes
school.
3. Heracleitus,
"

scure

(about

"the

and "the Ob
Heracleitus
was

Misanthropist"

563-470

B.

c.).

a

native of Ephesus, belonged to the aristocracy, and suf
He wrote a treatise
fered at the hands of the democracy.
by the ancients, some
that was difficultto understand even
He was
fragments
of which are
preserved.
called the

because of his misanthropy,
philosopher"
"
dark philosopher " because of the obscurity
and also the
a theorist rather than
a phys
of his writings. He was
"weeping

icist,and his doctrines foreshadow our
modern
physical
is
His
Parmenides
name
theories.
coupled with that of
in the deep impression he made
upon Greek thought.

From

gloomy
retirement he looked
forth upon the world around him with profound
con
tempt, as did the Stoics after him.
a.

his complacent

Heracleitus'

sal Change.

The

and

of Absolute and Univer
which the lonians felt, that

Doctrine

wonder

into one
phenomena
change
liveliest expression in Heracleitus.

nature

another, found its
He not only found

that mutability was
the primal aspect of nature pheno
but he also pointed out that human
mena,
experiences
also had their rapid and complete transitions. Espe
he fond of citing the changes of opposites into
But what shows his development
over
the
other.

cially was
each

early Milesian
of change
matter,

from

thereby

doctrine

was

the Milpsi^n

his isolation of the aspect

of the cosmic'
f*rmp.fiptjon

affirming that

THE

OF

PHILOSOPHY

NATURE

29

It is one
tially change

;

thing to affirm that reality is essen"
it is another to universalize change
by

affirming that the permanent
Milesian doctrine was
too naive

has

no

to go

existence.

The

far

that.

as

as

Heracleitus
is

piles up figures of speech to show that there
All existing things are
permanence
whatever.

no

becoming

"-things, passing-away
becoming,
about-to-be. The

"

only

always

things.

Being

is

only unchanging
"
You cannot
step into the same
rivers,
"
flowing
in upon you."
God
are
ever

for fresh waters
is day and night, winter and summer,
war
"
All things flow "
satiety and hunger."
deserves

What

abides and
thing, but motion

the

and

(?ravTapet).

of Deity

name

peace,
is not

Becoming.

"

"".Fire is the Cosmic

Here

Substance.

we

to

come

difficulty in explaining the doctrine of Heracleitus
because of the confusion in his own
mind. He evidently
goes a long way toward conceiving the cosmic substance
a

But he
as
the process of change.
abstraction
could not be wholly abstract. He stops and tells us that
the cosmic substance is fire,and he probably means
by
as

an

"

fire justthe

same

sort

of thing

as

Anaximenes

meant

by air. Fire is the cosmic

substance. It is the essence
bp^qiise it is the
most_mobile.
oj_ajlmaterial things
But, after all, the fire of which Heracleitus is thinking

is not

a

localized thing, like the fire

the hearth

The

fire in

fire which

a

sense

Heracleitus

mean

ever

means

material. To sum
by fire an abstraction

transforming
not

is

he does not

on

remaining
transforming

on

material.

For

identical with itself.
is ever
darting, ever
up : Heracleitus does
like the law of change ;

the other hand,
like_Jj^elf
a
; he does mean
mean,

the hearth.

a

material

ever

material, but

a

OF

HISTORY

30
c.
some

PHILOSOPHY

of Fire. Heracleitus makes
observations about the characteristics of
fire. The Milesians had been content to

Definite Changes

The

acute

the changing

condensa
and to name
changes
observe atmospheric
tion and rarefaction as the forms of cosmic change.
Heracleitus goes farther and emphasizes definite rela
The
tions of change.
succession of changes
always
remains

the

same.

Their definite relation is the

in the world, and

permanence

conception
.Heracleitus'
conception of the uniformity

foreshadows

the modern
The changes
of the law of nature.
They show
rational, and (3) just.
destiny,

a

only

reason,

and

a

are

(1)

fateful,

\

(2)

that the world is a
This identification of
justice.

betrays the
ethical and logical qualitieswith the physical
Undeveloped
condition of the thought of Heracleitus.

In general, there are two characteristics to be noted
with reference to Heracleitus' conception of a definite
succession of changes

harmony

:

(IX^Ilfi-cbangesjire
always_a
(2) ancMjhe changes are in a

of opposites_;
is not a flow in
closed circuit. The process of change
its bed, but it is a move
direction like a river over
one
opposite directions.
means
else
not only a passing into something
is the union of
passing into the opposite. Everything
is the transition point of opopposite*, and everything
is thus
posites about to separate. The flux of things
is
of things, and this war
poetically conceived as a war
"the father of all things." This unity of opposites has
ment

in two

equilibrium that illudes us into thinking it is per
The universe is an invisible harmony, divided
manent.
an

into itself and again united.
are

antitheses

everywhere.

Investigate life and there
is life. The second
War

general characteristic of the succession of changes

is

(

OF

PHILOSOPHY

THE

NATURE

31

their closed circuit.Fire changes into all things, and
fire.These two move"
all things are changing back into
Way"
are
and the "Down
ments
called the "Upward
ward

fire changes

Downward,

Way."

through

air and

earth changes back to water,
every change, there is counterair, and fire. With
do
change, action is accompanied by a reaction. "Men
in opposite direc
not know how that which is drawn
water

into earth. Upward,

tions harmonizes with itself.The harmonious structure
like that of
of the world depends upon opposite tension,
the bow and the lyre."

d. The Practical Philosophy of Heracleitus. Heramore
of a metaphysician than a phys
cleitus was
in the formation and
was
icist,and his chief concern
the practical application of his theory of change. He
looked upon man
as a bit of cosmic fire struck off and

body of earth, water, and air. After
death this fiery soul is released and absorbed in the
has a divided ex
cosmic fire. In his present state man
istence: the lifeof the soul, or the fire of the reason
;
and the lifeof the senses of the imprisoning body. The

imprisoned in

a

retiresfrom the illusionsof sense, and sees in its
aristocraticisolation how illusory the sensations are.

reason

For

th"j"ejtt3ejjjbejl^^

this deception,to the
changingness of the world. Thus the beginning is made
by Heracleitus in distinguishing the reflections of
from sensations. Truth is for the firsttime
the reason
while the

sees

reason

through

systematically set over
against opinion. The reason
able Wise Man resigns himself to whatever happens
The
that it is fateful,wise, and just.
recognizes that all is change, and he is happy

because he knows

Wise Man

because he

sees

providence in the vicissitudesof his own

U^r^

PHILOSOPHY

OF

HISTORY

32

in the aristocratic hate, which Heracleitus
to law
holds against democracies, he makes
conformity
The reason
the only way to happiness.
of Wise Men,

life. Thus

not

and

the

of the multitude, must

senses

guide of society.
Heracleitus was

be the true

profound
observer and theorist.
His physical theory foreshadowed
th^riim
the modern
of natural law and of relativity; his practical theories
reappear

a

in the psychology

of Protagoras

and

the ethics

of the Stoics.

The

of Elea to which
in the course
Xenophanes
had
came
of his wanderings
been recently settled by the Ionian refugees from Phohad
a
caea,
great maritime city in Asia Minor, which
4. The

been

Eleatic

School.

by the

conquered

town

Persians

(543

B.

c.).Elea

is

of Italy. It is cele
brated as the birthplace of Parmenides
and Zeno, who
founded the so-called Eleatic school.

Castellamare

now

a.

Parmenides

Parmenides
as

on

the west

(b. 515

B.

coast

c.).

about 470 B.
influential man,

wrote

a

He

is represented
with a high moral
influence upon
such
c.

serious and
He
character.
exercised strong
philosophers as Plato and Democritus,

and was
he was

a

politi

a native.
cal power in the city of Elea, of which
He was
The large
not a stranger to the Pythagoreans.
fragment
ex
of his poem is the most ancient monument

tant

the Greeks.
speculation among
takes the doctrine of Xenophanes
with

of metaphysical

Parmenides

great seriousness, and what Xenophanes
says about the
Godhead, Parmenides
says about all things. Xenoph
anes'

of an
religious weapon
unchanging
in the hands of Parmenides
stance becomes

cosmic
an

sub

academic

doctrine of science and the basis of logical controversy.

THE

PHILOSOPHY

NATURE

OF

Parmenides

33

in his
of Xenophanes
of Truth and the Way

used the conception
Way
great didactic poem, The

Opinion,

with the evident purpose
of refuting the
theory of Heracleitus. The fragment
re
of the poem
veals the driest abstractions dressed in rich poetry. As

of

a

Parmenides

thinker

Zeno

period.

(1)

The

in the

so

tempt

Substance

Milesian

pupil of Parmenides.
is Being. The first as

doctrine

"

that

there

is

in

a

ever

a

"

However,

he explains what he
: Not-Being,
statement

to everybody.

Being

in this

remains identical with itself
that he does not at
self-evident to Parmenides
to prove it. He assumes
it, as if it were
cogent
that

single matter
was

important

most

the friend and

was

Cosmic

sumption

is the

negative
be thought.

by

means
or

what

is

Being

and thought are so cor
Thinking
the same.
related that they are
always has
Being as its content, and there is no Being that is
not
Thought.
This explanation
thought. Being =
of Par
menides' identification of thought and Being
may be
not, cannot

put in this logical form

:

"

All thinking

refers to something
fore has Being for its content

Thinking

that

thought, and there
;

refers to nothing,
be;
contentless, cannot

Therefore, not-Being
it be.
can
These

cannot

and

is therefore

be thought,

much

less

look very abstract, and
us
make
immediately
to plunge
into a kind

propositions

believe that

we

are

idealism. But Parmenides
leaves us in no
of German
doubt that he is one
of the hylozoists of his time.
Being is indeed thought, but Being is
We
also matter.
may

therefore amend

our

equation to Being

=

Thought

OF

HISTORY

34

fillsspace, and all Being has
this and only this property. All Being is therefore ex
single Being. There
actly alike, and there is only one,
=

Being

PHILOSOPHY

Matter.

are

no

means

is what

distinctions in Being.
space

empty

that Parmenides'

substance means
fillsspace; and

or

By not-Being

that which

is not

Parmenides
material.

So

as
the cosmic
assumption
of Being
this : all that exists, including thought,
all that does not exist does not fill

space.
Being, the cosmic substance, is one, eternal, imper
ishable, homogeneous,
unchangeable,
and
material.
When
men
see
the world as it really is, when
they see
its cosmic

continuous
substance, they see it to be one
material block. The world is not made up of parts with
intervals of nothing between
them, but it is a solid,

whole. The cosmic Being is a timeless,
spaceless Being with no distinctions. The form of Be
ing is spherical. It is cosmic-body and cosmic-thought.
homogeneous

This is the assumption

of Parmenides, which is so selfevident and so cogent to him that he does not attempt
to prove but only to explain it.

(2) Other
ing) have no

Things
Real

is filled,not-Being
has

than the Cosmic
Existence.

is empty
existence. But

Substance

(Be

If Being
space.

is space that
However,
empty

the existence of a plural
number
of things depends upon the existence of empty
spaces between them. Furthermore, the motion of things
space

no

of things depend upon the existence of
move
they can
empty
spaces in which
and change.
Since empty space is not-Being and has no existence,
and

the change

the plurality of things and the motion
and change
of
things have also no existence. They are illusions. The

nature-world,

with its richness of qualities and variety

NATURE

OF

PHILOSOPHY

THE

35

logic of Parmenides
"folds up
of motions, before the
its tents like the Arabs and silently steals away."
This logical drawing
out of one
of the aspects of the

has a curious
Milesian conception of the cosmic matter
Xenophanes
sought to ex
result. The Milesians and
plain by the cosmic substance the many nature changes.
the cosmic sub
when in the hands of Parmenides
is all of reality, then there is no reality to the
stance
Consequently the concept formed for the exchanges.

But

deny
of change Jias_
pla.naijnn
.to
.sa_daYeiepei__as
The

the

cosmic substance excludes all
existence of change,.
origination and decay, all space and time differences,
There is only
all divisibility,diversity, and movement.
one
real, all else is illusion.

But

say of the varied world of nature
it appears to us ? Do we see, hear, and touch many
as
he raises
things and motions ? In Part II of his poem

what

we

can

man
takes the world
question, Suppose
real how must he explain it? He answers

the
as

of change
by using

explanation of Heracleitus. But these changes of
belong to the world of sense,
and Par
eye and ear
is talking, in Part I of his poem,
about the
menides
to thought. Parmenides
real world or that world known
the

insists
and

as

strongly
the

not

sense

as

Heracleitus

did

shall be

our

guide

that the

is real.
conclusion from
to what

Yet he arrives at exactly the opposite
Heracleitus as to what the reason
sees
senses
reason

only the many

us

show

shows

us

nothing

and

of the

reason

real. The
The
the changing.

sort, but

as

only perma

nence

and unchangingness.
6. Zeno (b. 490-430
B.

a).

Zeno

He

was

those who

born

in Elea.

was

tried to reconcile the two

contemporary

with

sides of the meta-

OF

HISTORY

36

PHILOSOPHY

Empedocles,
Anaxagoras,
and
physical controversy,
He wrote in prose in the form of ques
the Atomists.
This is the beginning of the dialogue
tion and answer.
"

literature,which in the time of the Sophists, Socrates
known
as
richly developed and became
and Plato, was
dialectic. On the Greek stage during the time of Peri
forth in dramatic form through ^Eschylus,
cles it came
Sophocles, and
The

Euripides.
Zeno

of Zeno.

Philosophy

was

the

active

con

not a
school of Elea, and he was
He
contribution
offered no
constructive philosopher.
He
the thought
to advance
of Parmenides.
appeared
in defense of
of logical argument
rather as the master

troversialist of the

his predecessor, by tearing to pieces the arguments
of
is attacking
The opponents
his opponents.
that Zeno
his contempora
are
the Atomists of Abdera,
who were
neg
ries,rather than Heracleitus. His contribution was
nevertheless effective and
ative and formal, but it was
and paradoxes will, however,
searching. His arguments

lose their cogency
trying to show

how

be
change
would
Atomists describe.

tacked

again

unless it be kept in mind

that he is

absurd magnitude, multiplicity, and
in discontinuous
space such as the
have been at
his paradoxes
again, they still have effectiveness

While

and
against atomic theories.
His arguments
are
against

magnitude, multiplicity,
magnitude, because a thing

and motion. There can be no
would then be both infinitely small and infinitely great.
There can be no multiplicity of things, since they would
There can be
be both limited and unlimited in number.
motion, because (1) it is impossible to go through a
fixed space ; (2) it is impossible to go though
a space

no

that has

movable

limits ; and

(3) because

of the rela-

THE

37

NATURE

OF

PHILOSOPHY

The dilemmas which he proposed of
tivity of motion.
Achilles and the tortoise, the flying arrow
at rest, and
are
the bushel of corn
classic.*

Heracleitus
of the Conflict between
important
1. One
Parmenides.
result of this
and
final conflict between the inconsistent motives in the
Results

The

Milesian teaching

that

was

was

reason

contrasted with
The more
fully the

sense,

reflection with experience.
philosophers developed their doctrines, the

doctrines became

contrasted with the opinions of unre
At first the contrast appeared in this

flecting people.
form : that what
naive
what

thought

others

from them.

their

more

Then

they

thought

be wrong,

must

the contrast

was

right, and
if others differed

in this form

came

:

that

reflection gives the true and sensations the false. Thus
to have such conclusiveness that it gained
reflection came

The

independence.
premacy

of

reason,

philosopher
to assert

began

su

has truth, to call

that he

unreasoned belief by the opprobrious
This is curiously illustrated in the

to feel the

name

case

"

of opinion."
of Heracleitus

Their opposing conceptions of the cos-\
mic substance are claimed to be the result of reason,/
"
opinion."
while each calls the other's theory

and Parmenides.

2. Another

result

was

in the

that

found

Greek

thought

be

useless in the
These early monistic views led up as
study of nature.
necessary steps to pluralism, but they were
not in them
imperfection
in the Milesian
selves serviceable. The
the monistic

theory

was

to

appeared in the impassable gulf between Hera
It now
cleitus and Parmenides.
remained for the last
Cosmologists to see if, on the basis of pluralism, they

teaching

*

Read

Windelband,

Zeller, Greek

Philosophy,

Hist,

of

Ancient

pp. 63 ff.

Phil., pp. 67 ff.;

OF

HISTORY

38

PHILOSOPHY

could not reconcile the preceding

views and at the

same

time

of nature.
obtain a satisfactory metaphysics
between
3. The third result of the controversy
Eleatics and Heracleitus was
that the peril from
Mysteries

Orphic
nor

in

became

a

was

averted,

"

not

the
the

immediately?

years. Philosophy
year's time, but after many
had an
reason
now
established. The Greek
interest, in

scientific issue. Mystery
The mental
life of the
was
not crushed, but subdued.
future Greek had a topic for its reflection which sup

objectof

a

the time
planted, when
the supernatural.

sharp

came,

its emotional

interest in

III

CHAPTER
PLURALISM

Efforts toward Reconciliation. The theories of Herain part fantastic and in
were
cleitus and Parmenides
the two motives of the Mile
part abstract. They were
sian school that had been developed
their inherent inconsistencies.

Physical

theories

began

now

the metaphysical

modified

to

to reveal

as

spring

so

which

up

conceived Being

as

the existence of changing

phenomena
perceived
the other hand, Heracleitus

On
in the world of nature.
had
the universality
so
emphasized

of

change

that

little reality left in the particular changes.
Heracleitus gone mad.
later Heracleitans were

there

The

"We
but

far

theories ; and these produced
less distant from
logical, were

results which while not so
the facts of life. The Eleatics had
to deny

so

was

not
we

only

cannot

step into the same
river twice,
All the preceding philoso
it once."

cannot

do

phers had been monists. The time had therefore come
for thinkers to abandon
if thought were
to
monism
in the form of
have any usefulness. Monism,
whether
Heracleitus' doctrine of universal change
or
of Par

menides'
set

aside

doctrine
the

had merely
of universal permanence,
Of course,
a
problem about the Many.

could come
satisfactory solution of this problem
life had become
only when human
riper and had more
experiences upon which to draw. It was
natural for the
more

Greek

philosopher
he
solution, when

to

look

turned

now

away

to

from

pluralism

for his

monism.

At the

OF

HISTORY

40

PHILOSOPHY

to
tried to reconcile the two extremes
pluralism
had gone. Its later develop
which the Milesian motifs
in the doctrine of Protagoras was
as
as
extreme
ment
outset

that of the monists.
The New Conception

of Change of the Pluralists. Fac
ing the fact that change has to be explained and cannot
be denied, change is conceived by the pluralists to be not
but a transposition. It is an alteration
a transformation
Birth, growth, death,
in position of the parts of a mass.
to
are
only such changes of transposition. Empedocles,
the origin of the doctrine is attributed, says,
whom
"
into Being of aught that perishes,
There is no coming
nor
any end for it in baneful death, but only a min

gling and
as

when

a

separation of what

painters

are

has been mingled.

elaborating temple offerings,
taken the pigments of many
colors
"

they, when they have
in their hands, mix them in
the error
prevail in thy mind

a

harmony,
that

so

"

other
in
appear

that
of all the perishable creatures
All origination, then, is
countless numbers."

and

a

new

a

separation
Pluralists thus make
Hera-

The

of the original parts.
cleitus' conception

destruction

every

let not

there is any

source

combination,

Just

only

useful in the explanation

of nature.

of the
of the Unchanging
But there must
be a per
Pluralists
The Element.
in order that there be change. This can
manence
only
be conceived by assuming that there are many
original
The
do not change.
mass
units that in themselves
of
The

New

Conception

"

the world is ever
new
the same
; there is no
creation.
Being consists in many
elements, and not in a single
block. So to Empedoclesn
_

the pnOTity^oFtormmg
which has occupied

^

of th
the^onception

anTmportant

place

in

science.

'

PLURALISM

The

element is conceived
ginated, imperishable, and

41

Pluralists

by the

as

unori-

It has all the
qualities that Parmenides
attributed to his single Being,
their place and suffer
only the elements may
change
division. The
Pluralists thus make
the
mechanical

Eleatic conception

unchanging.

useful in the explanation

of nature.

of the Efficient
of the Conception
The Eleatics had detached the quality of mo
Cause.
tion from Being. The Pluralists, in reintroducing it,
The

Introduction

obliged to make it a separate force in order to get
into their universe. The elements are change
movement
less. How
They cannot
can
move
them
they move?
were

are
selves. They
pedocles is made

Here in Emfrom
moved
without.
importance
a differentiation of great

How
the concept
or
of the moving
efficient cause.
ever,
this does not appear in this early time in concep
tual but in mythical-poetic and undefined form.
With
Pluralism be con
this differentiated efficient cause,
can
"

sidered to be hylozoism ? Authorities differ. Certainly
this new
concept shows the beginning
of the breaking
up of hylozoism and the beginning of the formation of
mechanistic conception of the universe.
hylozoists
the Pluralists were
as
much
a

cessors,

Their

the monists.

like the elements, and
nitely described. They

efficient causes

they
are

are

But
as

probably

their prede
are

material
poetically and indefi

in every
lively or

case

conceived

as

the material which has a
an
originating mo
keep in mind that all the Cosmologists
tion. We
must
to be life.
except the Eleatics believed movement
Summary
Theories

of Similarities
of the Reconcilers.

The

general common
of the Reconcilers :

and

Differences

in

the

characteristics of the theories
"

OF

HISTORY

42

PHILOSOPHY

1. A

plurality of the elements.

2. An

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

general differences between

The

Reconcilers

:

"

1. In the number
2. In the number
goras, Leucippus,
the Pluralists we
tury

and
and

quality of the elements.
quality of the causes.

Pluralistic Philosophers

The

The

B. C.

the theories of the

and

the Later

:

Anaxa-

Empedocles,

With

Pythagoreans.

pass completely out of the sixth cen
lives of the hylozoistic Pluralists span the

and cosmological interest extends
the Eleatic Zeno lived from 490 to 430 B.

fifth century,

Even

later.
c.

Em

from
pedocles lived from 490 to 430 B. c., Anaxagoras
500 to 425 B. c., and the Pythagoreans
and Leucippus
later. When
the cosmological movement
was
stillvirile

in the Grecian colonies, and even
before it had reached
its systematic form in Democritus
the an
of Abdera,
in the motherland,
had begun
thropological movement

The

in Athens.

between
the

Persian

Wars

dividing

the

are

line

periods, but only because they denote
in Athens, not
movement
of the new

the two

beginning

the

end of the old movement
Magna
Gra3cia. Contemporaneous

in

Asia

with

Minor

and
the Pluralists

was

the brilliant Age

the

Sophists

were

carrying education to the people and
in the Athenian
teaching
market-place.

Socrates

was

of Pericles, when

By

the

the liveliest
middle of the fifth century B. c. there was
interchange of scientificideas throughout Greek society,
and the contemporaneousness
of the Pluralists with one
another

in many

with the Athenian
philosophers shows this
similarities in their doctrines and in many

and

PLURALISM

43

four schools of Recon*
Anaxagoras,
Leucippus,

polemical references. There
Empedocles,
cilers, of which

are

are
the representatives.
and the later Pythagoreans
Empedocles*
(490 to 430 B. c.)was the first Dorian

philosopher, a partisan of the democracy,
and belonged
He
dis
became
to a rich family
a
of Agrigentum.
tinguished

but

statesman,

favor. Then,

in the garb

he
a

of

later fell from

popular

magician, he traveled as
Magna
Graecia. His po

physician and priest through
litical affiliationswould
his direct connection
prevent
that the Pytha
with the Pythagoreans, but he showed

is an imitation
him, and his career
He was
acquainted
with the
of that of Pythagoras.
Parmenides
theory of Heracleitus, and he knew
per
goreans

influenced

sonally. He

was

first rhetoricians, and was
large literary circle. He is

of the

one

probably connected with a
imperfect
the first and most

representative of the re
conciliation. The story of his suicide by leaping into
Mt. JStna is supposed to be a myth.

Anaxagoras

(500-425

B.

c.), a

man

of wealthy
born in Clazo-

esteemed, was
much
antecedents, was
in a circle rich in Ionian culture, but was
iso
mense
lated from practical life. He declared the heaven to be
his fatherland

and the study of the heavenly bodies to
be his life'stask. He went
to Athens
about 450 B, c.,
of a circle of notable men
where he formed one
of cul
ture. He lived in Athens
under the patronage of Per

icles,but in 434
was

and

B.

C.

he

was

intimate with such men
as
Protagoras.
He represents

expelled. In Athens he
Euripides, Thucydides,
the first appearance

of

in Athens.

philosophy
The life of Leucippus
*

Read

Matthew

is almost unknown.

Arnold,

Empedocles

He

(a poem).

was

probably
Abdera.

The

PHILOSOPHY

OF

HISTORY

44

in Miletus, visited Elea, and

born

After the Pythagoreans

Pythagoreans.

Later

religious and political body had
Crotona, they lost their prestige and
They
beaten
were
the four winds.
as

been

a

Crotona

(510

B.

c.) and

died 504

Pythagoras

c.

B.

defeated

at

scattered to
in the battle of

were

about 450 B. c.
His scattered followers, these
dispersed

formed

later Pythagoreans,

settled in

a

school of philosophy

Destroyed

had its centre

at Thebes.

the members

lost their superstitions

which
religious body

a

as

turned

and

their

mathematics,
medi
attention to philosophy, astronomy,
and as astrono
cine, and physics. As mathematicians
they

mers

the

are

most

notable

the

among

ancients.

Philolaus is the probable originator of their philosophy
This school disappeared
about 350 B. c.
of numbers.
Pythagoreanism

reappeared

later under

the

name

of

neo-Pythagoreanism.

Empedocles
con
of Empedocles.
earth, air,
of elements to be four,

Philosophy

The

ceived the number
fire,and water,

"

an

which never
arbitrary enumeration,
theless persisted in the popular imagination throughout
He chose this number
Ages.
the Middle
of elements
"

because
sors'

they included

theories.

By

the

all the elements
transposition

in his predeces

and

new

arrange

for the variety
of these elements he could account
these dif
that make
of the world. The efficientcauses
ferent separations and mixtures are Love and Hate, two
ment

mythical

and

sensuous

entities. Love

is the

cause

of the

union of things, Hate of their separation.
This is the general metaphysical theory that Empedo
to explain

the physical world and especially
; and he is probably best known
physiological phenomena

cles

uses

PLURALISM

45

the author of the aphorism, " Like attracts
For example, he conceives the physical world
four cosmic
tinuously repeating itself through

Like.'*

as

each

long.

centuries

The

cosmic

con

stages,
therefore in

world moves
Love
is bringing

cyclical evolution, in which
together only to be followed
ments
separation

as

by

by Hate,

of the like elements

like ele

stages
"

an

of the

endless

procession.
Empedocles'

interest in cosmology
was
only a
interest in the organic world.
part of his dominating
He held some
interesting evolution theories. His special
But

physiology led him to frame the first
is composed
theory of perception. Man
of the four ele
know
himself
the universe around
ments,
and he can
interest in human

Like

in the external world.
The earth forms our solid parts, water the liquid parts,
air is the vital breath, and fire is the soul. The blood
contains the four elements, and is therefore the real car
because Like in him

attracts

rier of life. If we perceive anything, it is because
have qualities similar to that thing. The element
us
attracts the like element
outside. He fancifully
plained how parts
of like elements
"

how
senses
reason

these clung
have only

has them

of each

element

pressed upon

we

in
ex

parts

earth, air upon air ; and
The
together until sundered by Hate.

a

earth upon

partial number

all ; therefore

of elements, while the
knowledge
is par
sense

with rational knowledge.
The pluralistic con
The Philosophy
of Anaxagoras.
ception of the nature-substance, that was
originated by
Empedocles
in this crude form, got a more
complete
tial when

compared

character

in the hands

took exception

of Anaxagoras.

For Anaxagoras

to the arbitrary assumption

cles that the elements

were

of Empedo

only four in number.

How

HISTORY

46

PHILOSOPHY

OF

could this world of infinitevariety be derived from only
four elements ? We must postulate as many elements as
by
there are
qualities, if by merely shuffling them
"

various combinings and separatings of them
is to be explained.
finite number
There,

"

are

their in
a

plural
number of elements qualitatively distinct. Every per
ceptual thing is composed
of these heterogeneous
parts
or
qualities or elements. But how do you know an ele

you

when you find one
divide it, its parts

are,

therefore, those

that

are

ment

like

of nature

can

? Always

by the fact that when
homogeneous.
The elements

are

that

substances

divide into parts

while the perceptual objects
be divided into parts that are unlike one

one

another

;

"
"
by Anaxagoras,
called
seeds
and
designated as " homoiomeriai
by Aristotle and later
This was
be remembered,
a time, it must
philosophy.
when
chemical analysis had not developed, and when

another.

They

are

"

division and change of temperature
were
the
only means
of investigation. Form, color, and taste were
the characteristics that differentiated elements. So An
mechanical

to name
content
axagoras was
bones, muscles, flesh,marrow,
as

less elements

or

qualities

are

as

elements

such things

metals, etc. The count
present in a finely divided

the universe. Every perceptual
object
has present in it all elements, even
opposite elements.
It is, however, known
by the element that
and named
state

throughout

prevails in it at any particular instant. For example,
fire contains an
element of cold but the fire element
prevails. Opposites attract, and the qualitative change
in a thing consists in the predominance
of some
other
quality already present in it.

For the efficient cause
of the combining and separat
ing of the elements Anaxagoras
selected one
of the

PLURALISM

elements.

reason.

or

mind

He

47

called it the Nous, the Greek word
historians have therefore
Many

for
con

that Anaxagoras

is the author of an idealistic
that he " stood
philosophy. 'Aristotle says of Anaxagoras
the random
talkers that had
out like a sober man
among

cluded

preceded
appointed

him."
with

the

and Aristotle are dis
in which Anaxagoras
handles
and, as a matter
of fact, the

the way
of Nous

conception
Nous, as Anaxagoras

than the Love

and

threw

*

both Plato

But

it, is not less hylozoistic
In the Nous
of Empedocles.
too big for
that was
thought

uses

Hate
out

a

/Anaxagoras
him.

Its introduction, however,

of pre-Socratic hylozoism.
word, Nous, from which comes

marks
Anaxagoras

the breaking
wrote

the contrast

down

up
the

with matter.

stripped the mythical dress from the efficient cause
and substituted Nous, because he wished
of Empedocles
to emphasize
the unity of the cosmic process. The Nous

He

is

one

of the elements

;

it is

"

thought-stuff,"

it is

a

It differs from all the other ele
corporeal substance.
in that it is the finest, the most
ments
mobile, and has
the early schools
the power
of self-motion. If among
is life,here

find the

we

new

conception of selffrom
as
most
alive. Instead of a departure
motion
hylozoism, this is a rehabilitation of hylozoism in more
The Nous is the cause
perfect form.
of the harmony
motion

order of the cosmos.
The
Philosophy
of

and

the School

at Abdera.

the Atomists

"

Leucippus

Only

and
evidence is

circumstantial
left to testify to the early beginnings
of the school of
About
450 B. c., owing to the rise
atomists at Abdera.
of Athens

the Per
and the great victory of Cimon over
sians, the Ionian civilization on the coasts of Asia Minor
*

Read

Plato, Phaedo,

97, B.

OF

HISTORY

48

PHILOSOPHY

lease of life,and there was a renewal of sci"
entificactivity in the cities.The influence of the Mile
had

a

new

sians appeared and Anaxagoras' doctrine, which had
been widely disseminated, began to have great vigor.
Among
one
the philosophers of this section was
about
little,
know
his
name
we
was
except that
very
whom

Leucippus

that he

and

the father of atomism.

was

probably his native place, and after visit
ing Elea he settled in Abdera in Thrace. We know

Miletus

was

that the pqlemic of Zeno

was

directed against contemthe theories of the pupils

porary atomism ; and we know
of Leucippus, of Protagoras, and of Democritus, in whom
the doctrine of atomism culminated. Probably the the

ory of Leucippus

that the cosmic substance is com

was

posed of an infinite
number of elements quantitatively
distinct,in opposition to Empedocles' theory of a four
fold division as well as against Anaxagoras' theory of
infinite number

an

form

of qualities.Atomism in this early
of the ways that Greek thought

represents one
took in reconciling the conflicting claims of Heracleitus
and Parmenides. The doctrine of atomism will be pre
sented fully in its greatest representative, Democritus.
The

Later

Had

Pythagoreans.

the

Pythagorean

band remained what Pythagoras had designed it,had it
not had its politicalaspirations crushed at the battleof
Crotona and the members
scattered far and wide, it
would probably have for the historian of to-day only the
importance of a local band of politicaland religious
however, a
reformers. The adversity at Crotona was,

blessing in disguise for the Pythagoreans

and for Greece,

for it turned the Pythagoreans
to science and metaphysics.
came

the authors of

an

from religious politics
In the first
place, they be

important metaphysical theory.

^

7
"'

"

49

PLURALISM

the theory of numbers
which influenced Plato,
became
the foundation of a vigorous school in Alexan
Period, flourished during
dria in the Hellenic-Roman

This

was

Ages, and united with the doctrines of the
Jews in what is called the Cabala. To-day the magic
superstitions. In the second
persist in our
numbers
turned to science,
especially
place, the Pythagoreans
the Middle

"

to

mathematics
branches became

and

astronomy,

"

and

in these

two

Their
very celebrated in ancient times.
history.
extraordinary
astronomical theory had a most
With modifications it was
preserved by Plato and Aris
the basis of the Ptolemaic sys
totle, and later became
This system was
the scientifically
of astronomy.
it was
years, when
accepted system for fifteen hundred
by the Newtonian
theory. It is a most sin
supplanted

tem

of the Epics
gular fact that the cosmological background
of Dante and Milton is the astronomical system of the
Pythagoreans
as
expressed in the Ptolemaic system.

The
ers,"

Pythagoreans,
but they

were

of Pythagoras

_

to

attempt

not

"
Reconcil
be it remarked,
were
The original ethical motive
more.

ethical motive

jnfl n

mi

scientists. They
n*(\_$\Gm_sui

formulate
was

a

always

did

science of ethics, but the
back of their mathematics

and astronomy.
of Being. The Py
thagorean
conception jrf^reality is the most
advanced
of any cosmological theory in this period. The Pythago
i.

reans

The

Pythagorean

were

Conception

hylozoists, but

transcending

the hylozoism

they

come

the

of their time. The

Plato met
of the later Pythagoreans,
whom
Plato shows that Pythagorean
upon

nearest

to

influence
in Italy,

philosophy forms

a

link between

the

oJLthe- colonies and the
systems of thought.

cosmology

following comprehensive

.

OF

HISTORY

50

PHILOSOPHY

position, in the evolution of Greek
depends upon
thought occupied by the Pythagoreans
their conception
of that Being that abides amid
all
"
is usually spoken of as
the
Change. Pythagoreanism

The

important

theory." This is,however, only a suggestion of
number
its import. For numbers
are
not to the Pythagoreans
to the
were
what the different kinds of cosmic matter
to the
early monists, or what the several elements were
Empedocles,
Anaxagoras, and the atomists.
pluralists,
Neither are they abstractions merely, such as we use in sci
"

entific reckoning.
hylozoists whose
There"

are

ThePythagoreans

pluraTnumbers

two

kinds

were

pluralists and
look beyond hylozoism.

of_realityin the Pythagorean

and (2) unlimited space. The
essential nature
of things, the Being that abides, con
sists in the shaping of this unlimited space into mathe
teaching:

(1)

numbers,

or
the forms are the lim
matical forms. The
numbers
ited aspect of Being;
aspect of
space is the unlimited
Being. Actual Being
consists in the union of the two

Being

aspects.

therefore has two

roots, each

being

ne

indeed,
other. The later Pythagoreans,
were
not
called attention to the fact that their numbers
the same
as
the different kinds of matter
out of which
the other Cosmologists conceived the world to be fash
cessary

ioned.

world
forms

to

the

Numbers
of
of

the stuff out of which
have
arisen, but rather
nature-objects
are

not

Numbers
nature-objects.

things ; things are
Unlimited
of numbers.
space
forms
or mathematical
numbers
models

of

are

the
are

the

patterns or
the copies or imitations
furnishes the material ;

furnish the mould ; the
Here we find the early basis

result is a material thing.
of Plato's doctrine of Ideas, and the correlation in Aris
totle of Form
If we were
to draw an anaand matter.

51

PLURALISM

the Pythagorean

logy between

conception

of numbers
teaching, we

and any part of the preceding cosmological
and the
should find the similarity between the numbers
the numbers
earlier efficient causes
and not between
numbers
and the elements. For example, Pythagorean
have

a

function

nearly like Love and Hate than
in Empedocles' teaching. On the

more

like the four elements
other hand, Pythagorean
to the Empedoclean

space

is analogous

elements.

Dualistic

Pythagorean

The

2.

unlimited

World.1

The

Pytha

of this twofold
carried out their conception
reality both in their mathematical
studies and in their
It was
from such inves
conceptions of natural

goreans

objects.

tigations

that

they

were

impressed

everything
and so reached
that
served in mathematics

by the

their principle.

number-series
The odd
numbers.

mined

by mathematical

They

the

of alternate odd and even
limited and the even
are
unlimited
be divided).They
the
explained
forms:

in

dualism

consists
numbers

(becausethey

elements
fire has the

ob

as

could
deter

form

of

a

earth, of the cube ; air, of the octohedron ;
water, "of the icosahedron ; and an additional fifth ele
They carried this
the a3ther,of the dodecahedron.
ment,

tetrahedron

;

further

dualism

the odd, with

by identifying

the

limited form

with

the perfect, and

with the good ; while the
the imperfect,
unlimited was
identified with the even,
even
and the bad. Some of the Pythagoreans
sought to
in the many realms of experience,
trace out this dualism
and they originated a table of ten pairs of opposites :
limited and unlimited ; odd and even
; one
and many ;
right and left ; male and female ; rest
and motion ;
1

Dualism

pendent

and

:

the belief that the world

coexistent

principles.

is to be explained

by two

mde*

PHILOSOPHY

OF

HISTORY

62

;

straight and crooked

light and dark ; good

bad

and

;

square and oblong.
There is a system in the Pythagorean
theory not to
be found in the teaching of the other reconcilers. Al

all the numbers, and with them all the world, are
jivided into two opposing classes, these are, neverthe
The harmony
less,united in a harmony.
of a dualism
though

of Heracleitus' harmony
of antitheses. All
in the
have their unity and harmony
series of numbers
One. To the Pythagorean
the oppoodd-even number,
us

reminds

the good and the bad, the limited and
sites of life
unlimited, the perfect and imperfect, the odd and even
whole.
exist in an harmonious
"

"

As the Pythagorean
to

it applied
stated its metaphysical

which

have

school grew in years, the realms
its theory increased. While
we
theory

first in order to
to the formulation

the school came
give it prominence,
of its theory through its investigations in mathematics,
Then
it applied the theory to
music, and astronomy.

geometrical
cedure

that

structures
was

and

arbitrary

to other

fields with

and

a

pro
Yet so

unmethodical.
the application of the theory that it lived
universal was
to have superstitious authority for the human
mind in
the Middle

Ages.

3. Pythagorean

The

Astronomy.

from
the One,
world-all began
attracted and limited the nearest

ited. This fire became
had

or

formation
central

of the
fire, which

portions of the unlim

of the world-all, which
the central
globe. Around

the centre

the shape of a hollow
fire the celestial bodies move

in globular

transparent

are
shells. Their movements
concentric to the fire. This
is the beginning of the astronomical theory of the crys
The world-all is divided into three
talline spheres.

53

PLURALISM

ia
The
periphery or outer rim
concentric portions.
Olympus, where all is perfection and where the gods
is Cosmos,
Olympus
dwell. Between
and the moon
in circles.
are
all movements
Between the moon
and the central fire is the region
called Uranus, where all is disorderly and the move
where

all is orderly and

The earth is in this lower
up and down.
in a transparent globular
section of disorder, and moves
fire.
shell like the celestial bodies around the central
are

ments

of the heavenly bodies is the perfect num
number
ber, ten. The world-all is conceived as a heavenly hep
tachord, with the orbits of the seven
planets as the
The

sounding
harmony

by

man

founded
the
this notion was
is not heard
of the spheres, which harmony
In modifying this astro
because it is constant.
strings. Upon

theory and then accepting
tant change
that Aristotle made

nomical

it, the
was

most

impor

to conceive

of the world-all with the
the form in which
revolving about it. This was
Ptolemaic astronomers
received it.
earth

as

at

the

centre

the
sua

the

In these many
searchings of
the changes
the Cosmologists for a reality amid
of
be found significantfor the Cosnature, what result can
mological Period and valuable as a bequest for the
Historical Retrospect.

following

periods?

Are

tions of the early Greeks
connection with their own

The Cosmological

these

crude scientific specula
to be looked upon
as
out of

?
age and the age to come
philosophy had two definite results. In

the first
century and a
place, with reference to its own
half, it saved the intellectual world
ol_Qieece from the

W^hen
slavery of a mystio. rfiliginn.
Thales in 625 B. C., we
Greece
saw
two perils. One

was

we

started

with

confronted with
and consisted of internecine
political,

HISTORY

54

OF

PHILOSOPHY

troubles and of danger from its warlike neighbors.
This peril grew stillgreater, until at the very end of
the period it was
averted at the battle of Salamis.

Greek

arms

peril was

banished this politicalperil. But the other
and therefore more
menacing. The

subjective

the Onhio
mysteries_flf

religion would have qnp.Tio.Tipd
the Greek genius had not its rational philosophy given
the Greek intellectuallifenew
conceptions. In the next

place, itJap^uejit^_J"^^
between
well-drawn contrast

a

world

of

intellectual

disorder.
T"TEeTh6ugIit z"f \
of sensuous
developed /
Mature irTconformityTo^aw was

6rder~an3Ta world
an

order

in

into clearness in the Cosmological Period. The order
was
obtained from the astronomical studies of these
scientists.Reasoning from the order that they saw, to an

^

and the Pythagoreans
ordering principle, Anaxagoras
almost, but not quite, gave to that principle a teleological
The principle of permanence
that these nature
meaning.

found in the great and simple re
lationsof the stars, whose revolutions are the expression
of order and constancy. Impregnated as they were
with
scientists sought

was

their elemental hylozoism, the Greek Cosmologists
as yet not
quite able to find an orderly permanence

were

in

the terrestrialworld with its manifold and intersecting
looking forward. The
motions. Yet Greek thought was

Cosmologist had

already contrasted the terrestrial asu
the imperfect with the celestialas the perfect peace
The step was
from the
but a short one
permanence.

and]

contrast

into
form

a
a

of the two realms to the effort to bring them
unity. Thus in this astronomical and concrete
distinction of value was obtained that had last

ing ethical and assthetical significance, not only upon
Plato and Aristotle, but upon modern thought.

IV

CHAPTER
THE

PHILOSOPHY

An

OF

Historical Summary
The

riod.
Persian

Marathon

490

there

and

480

sprang

MAN

of the Anthropological
Period begins with

Anthropological

Wars,

(490-399 B. C.): THE

PERIOD

ANTHROPOLOGICAL

up

the

After

the battle of
distinct impulse
toward

B.
a

Pe

C.

Greece ; and detailed investigations
all over
biology, medi
begun in mathematics,
were
astronomy,
cine, history, and physics. Science, which had up to this
became
time been unorganized and undifferentiated, now

knowledge

into the

divided

sharply

the Persian

makes

Wars

special sciences. But what
is
of particular importance

the starting-point in the motherland
of the
in the study of man
movement
and human
relations.
The battle of Marathon
does not therefore mark
the

that they

are

end of the Cosmological movement
and the waning
of
the Greeks' interest in science ; but it marks rather the
beginning in Athens of the Anthropological
movement.

The

Cosmological

and

the

Anthropological

Periods

overlap.
The Anthropological
three

epochs

affairs :
1. The

from

Period easily divides itselfinto
the point of view of its political

"

2. The
3. The

The

Persian

490

and 480
Age of Pericles, 467-428
B.
Peloponnesian
Wars, 432-403

first epoch

cadence

Wars,

is the birth and

of pure Greek

B.

c.

c.
B.

c.

the last epoch

the de

civilization,while the thirty-nin*

OF

HISTORY

66

PHILOSOPHY

the ripest
of Pericles cover
supremacy
In this connection it is well to
period of Greek life.
Hegel's thought that nations do not ripen in
mention
tellectually until they begin to decay politically (" The
of the

years

does not start upon its flight until the
owl of Minerva
twilight has begun to fall "). Plato and Aris
evening
totle do not

Greek

until after this period, when
begun to wane.

come

political life had
The following

table is

partial list of the notable
men
of the period, with the date of their birth :
500.
Anaxagoras,
JEschylus, 525
a

"

(dramatistbefore Pericles). Empedocles,
Sophocles, 495
during
(dramatist

Age

of Peri-

Phidias, 490.

480.

Democritus,

470.

y

(many),

450-350.

Socrates, 469.

Euripides, 480

(dramatist
of the Sophistic and
the new
learning).
Herodotus,

Protagoras,

Sophists

cles).

495.

Antisthenes, 440,
Aristippus,

435.

Plato, 427.

475.

471.

Thucydides,
Xenophon,

430 ?

Aristophanes, 444.
The

Persian

blow that had

Wars

been

sixth century had
the Persian Wars

Tho
and the Rise of Athens.
impending
Greece during the
over

been struck, but had
of 490 B. c. and 480

been
B.

c.

averted in
The power

ful and splendidly organized " barbaric neighbor," who
had threatened the civilization of the Greek cities of
Asia Minor for so many years, had swept over the Helles

pont into Greece and had been turned
been pointed out1 that the Persian Wars
1

Wheeler, History

It has

back.
were

of Alexander the Great.

only

one

MAN

OF

PHILOSOPHY

THE

57

Oriental and Occidental
series of conflicts between
Asia Minor
along
civilizations ; and that the strip of

of

a

has always been a disputed border
First was
irreconcilable hemispheres.
the

the Mediterranean

land between
mythical

invasion

then
of Troy;
of Alexander

the

Persian

Wars;

Persia ;
conquering
to the very walls
then the invasion of the Mohammedans
have
of Tours ; then the Crusades ; and to-day we still
While each of
the eternal Eastern question with us.
the

then

came

these

for Europe, none
was
momentous
conflicts was
important in its issues for the world than the Per
first
did Greece
wflTS
For
Wars.

more

sian

arms

*J1"U"[LJJIP^

to

come

a

Neyej

consciousness

ofjiejrself..

before did

strmigtfr, the greatness
inherited instincts*.TheJlfi^cautui^UBL^^
nnit.pfl

"

of her

Greece^ if not of the world.
became
Greece whose
thought

ioHS.niomentjof

Classic Greece

the

"

fundamental

to

the Persian

Wars.

civilization

western

"

was

born

from

shifted
of gravity of the Greek world was
from Miletus to Athens, from
after the Persian Wars
Indeed, the history of
the colonies to the motherland.
The

centre

classic Greece is almost entirely the history of Athens.
Corinth, ^Egina, Sparta,
Of the large citiesof Greece,
"

and

Thebes,

"

Athens

was

Grecian civilization would

naturally the locality where
centre

when
Ionian

the commercial
it
by whom
race,

and maritime colonies fell. The
had been settled, was
a mixed
race,
and by nature very
it had been under
versatile. Before the Persian Wars
took the first steps
the wise tyranny of

^Pislstratna^gko
In the
toward_tlie_jfoundiijgjof
.^n__Aih"maj^jejn^ire.

Themis tocles had built the
period between the two wars,
Athenian fleet and thereby made Athens the great mari-

OF

HISTORY

58

PHILOSOPHY

time and naval centre of Greece. There was, indeed, every
reason
other Grecian city
and not some
why Athens
the new
centre of classic Greece. The
should become

Spartans

oligarchical, stern, unintellectual, and
held
offensive to strangers ; the people of Thebes were
the people of
under a strict aristocratic government,
were

Thessaly

were

the Athenians

aristocratic,luxurious, and stagnant ; but
democratic, social to strangers, lit
were

erary, liberal,frugal, and alert. After the Persian Wars

of the Delian confederacy became more
and
centralized in the city of Athens. Controlling the

the power
more

fleet of the Confederacy

for her

defense and using
the rich treasury of the Confederacy for her own
munici
Athens
pal improvements,
under the brilliant rule of
Pericles, who summoned
scholars and artists from all
own

the only city of Greece where the Renais
had become the
sance
possible. Athens
of Greece was
eye of Greece, and the following description of the Greek
Renaissance is especially significant in regard to her.

Greece,

The

was

Greek

Wars

there

Enlightenment.
arose

throughout
The

intellectual movement.

Following the Persian
Greece
years mark

a

great

national
the Greek Re

of Pericles, and the time when
in literature and plastic art
Greek masterpieces
the greatest Greek production
produced. Perhaps
naissance, the Age

Athens

cultural influence
in the scholar-politician,Pericles.
itself,whose

Impulse

1. The
there

was

a

general
Everybody

for

was

the
were
was

personified

In the first place
throughout Greece for edu

Learning.

impulse

to know
what the
seemed to want
schools of Cosmologists had had to say about science.
The Greeks now
had wealth and therefore leisure ; they

cation.

had

come

into contact

with the Oriental peoples and

therefore

they

OF

PHILOSOPHY

THE

MAN

59

their curiosity excited. Learning,
confined in the Cosmological Period to

had

which had been
forth into the
in the schools, now
came
a few scholars
in the fifth century B. c. was
market
place. Learning

the schools into publicity. The
objectsof
interest had greatly widened
and the learning of the

from

drawn

to filterinto the general consciousness.
scholars began
in the sixth century philosophy
Whereas
a matter
was
in the fifth century we find Soc
between learned men,

and the Sophists teaching whosoever
would listen.
But mere
Knowledge.
2. TJie Practical Need
curi
of
intellectual
osity will not entirely explain the Greek
rates

There

had grown up an imperative practical
In Athens and other Greek cities
need for knowledge.
the democracy
of the fifth century B. c. had supplanted
movement.

of the sixth century. Duty and inclination
together forced the citizen into active participation in
cities family tradi
public affairs. In these democratic

the tyranny

longer sufficient for success
no
tion and character were
;
but it became
generally recognized that the most useful
The
was
man.
the educated
com
and successful man

plex relations existing between states
citizens in the states made education
was
sary for the politician. Nowhere

was

imperative

more

education

than

and

between

absolutely
the need

in Athens

the

neces

of

an

; nowhere

easily filled. In a very short time
Wars
the social position of science
of power ; and the inner character of

the

need more
after the Persian
to

changed
science
of

must

from

changed

the study of nature

to the study

Scientists became
political problems.
of eloquence, for the citizen now
needed to be

ethical and

teachers
an

one

orator

and
know
how

a

rhetorician.
to persuade.

Statesmen

and generals
Courts of law were
pub-

PHILOSOPHY

OF

HISTORY

60

lie,their proceeding

oral, and personal attendance was
in Athens who
man
no
therefore required. There was
if he could not personally in
not be condemned,
might
disentangle
court
sophistries.
refute falsehoods and
Besides, to be beaten

in debate

as

was

disgraceful in

cause.
the eyes of the public as to lose one's
hitherto un
Two classes of men,
with an importance
known, appear in Greek history,
the rhetoricians and
the dialecticians. Rhetoric was
public oratory, necessary
"

for the public defense of
dignity, or
tenance of one's

rights, or for the main
for the gratification of one's
on
the other hand, argument

one's

ambition. The dialectic was,
wo
persons, usually friends,
employed in private..b.etagfi"gLt
to re_duce an ppppnent_tp_silence,
to unraYel^ji-ribacurity,
to exercise one's
or_loself in the mastery of a subject,.

siftevidence, The
mental

pursuit

dialectic,therefore, became

for

men

who

had

a

natural

a

distinct

defect in

public speaking or rhetoric. Besides rhetoric and dia
later what was
lectic, there grew up somewhat
called
the eristic. Juristic was
consisting
polemical argument
taught as
of catch-phrases and logical subtleties. It was
an

art of adroit argument.

great Greek tragedies occupy a place in the de
velopment of the dialectic and the satisfying of the need
Science, through the drama, transformed
of knowledge.

The

interpreta
the old religious views and brought its new
tion to the common
of the
people. The development
fifth-century drama out of the epic of the sixth century
in architectonic, but a trans
was
not
merely a change
formation of its ethical and religious spirit. The germ
in the previous ethics, lyrics,and gnomics, yet it was
was
Instead of a summary
fully amplified in the drama.
of

deeds the tragic poet makes

his characters talk, defend,

THE

OF

PHILOSOPHY

lament,

61

MAN

This

gives rise to exigen
duties
cies that require the dialectic. In the conflicting
of the wrong done by the wrong
and in the justification
for in the drama to
suffered, dialectical skill is called
in a manner
that the epic
the ethical motives
weigh
accuse,

refute,

etc.

of -ZEschylus, Sopho
link between
the lyric and

the drama

Thus
does not demand.
cles, and Euripides was

a

poetry of the sixth century
gnomic
logue literature of Plato.*

3. The, Critical Attitude

of

B.

Mind.

c.

and

The

the

most

dia

im

in
characteristic of this period is neither the
tensified social curiosity nor the increased social needs.

portant

It is rather ethical in its character. It is the "critical"
individualistic " attitude of mind. This began with
"
the consciousness of the free
the " free city feeling
in the first half of the fifth cen
in a free state
man
"

or

"

"

and developed rapidly into individualism and
critical skepticism toward the end of that century.
If one
in a single word the history
to compare
were
tury

B.

c.,

of Greece before the Persian Wars
with that after the
Persian Wars, he would say that the former was
tra
ditional and the latter was
critical.Nevertheless, at the
beginning of the Cosinological Period Greek traditional
customs

Religious
The

were

being

ideas

threatened

were

subordination

by

weakened

of the gods

them.
attacks upon
by the Cosmologists.

to the cosmic

substance
was
an
the established polytheism
attack upon
of the
Epic, and the attack became
direct in the hands of
Xenophanes.

It

was

"

the divestiture of Nature

of its

Mysteries were
a
gods by science." The
part of this
departure from the traditional religion. But the new
and
*

more

Read

critical scientific attitude toward traditional
Greece, vol. viii,pp. 334-347.
Grote, History

of

PHILOSOPHY

OF

HISTORY

62

criticism of
only incidental to the growing
religion was
two
law. In the days of the oligarchy there were
selfevident political assumptions : (1) that law has validity
because it is law ; (2) that obedience to law is for one's
however,
the political disturbances
advantage. When,
began, a self-conscious individualism developed among
The

the Greeks.

Gnomic

Poets

had

been

the first to

appeal to the individual consciousness
of the people.
All through the sixth century B. c. Greece had stern ex
periences, and the individual found himself questioning
the

sanctity

There

was

no

laws.
of tradition and of time-honored
longer a tacit acquiescence in established

order, and the claims of authority
Confidence
formerly, unchallenged.
tions began

to

longer,

no

were

as

in politicalassump

taken
critical attitude was
laws which
from
toward
year to year. The
changed
everywhere
appearance
of the tyrant, the vigorous per
waver,

and

a

his will against the will of
a
the age with the
traditional aristocracy, impressed
power of individual egoism. The seat of authority was
sonality who

shifted from
institutions

could

set

up

tradition to the individual

reason,

and

all

under individual criticism.
The Persian Wars
mark the point of transition from
the traditional attitude to the critical attitude of the

Greek

mind.

were

brought

In themselves

uplift, and were
traditional institutions. The
great moral

Wars

the Persian
a

return

for

a

time

were

a

to the

long since begun
changes
were
suspended for a time in the united effort of the
insist
Greek nation. But the tendencies became
more
had
the danger was
ent when
past. The Persian Wars
cleared the atmosphere
of its pessimism
freedom to the intellectual movement.

and had given
later, in
Then

the heat of that intellectual movement,

individualism

THE

and

MAN

fullest fruitage.

to

came

criticism

OF

PHILOSOPHY

63

Doubt

grew

into positive skepticism.
In the last part of the fifth century B. c., criticalskep
ticism became universal. In religion the anthropomor
phism of the Epic passes under ridicule. Critias declares
the invention
that the gods are
In literature the Epic, in which

of shrewd
the

gods

statecraft.
interfere in

details, yields to the naturalistic descrip
tions of Herodotus
and to the per
and Thucydides,
More
impor
sonal note of lyric and satirical poetry.
tant than
the change
of attitude toward the
all was

all human

laws. Instead of the law having a divine authority, vhtf
individual placed himself above it and sat in judgmenc
it. The tribal conception
a
of guilt, that when
upon
of a tribe sinned the whole tribe would
suffer
at the hands of the gods, had given way at the time of
to that of personal
the Persian Wars
responsibility

member

It

in
noted that laws change
the same
state, that they differ in different states, and
have a great variety. All laws seem
that moral customs
and

retribution.

therefore
arose,

to

be

Is there

was

by man,
made
any law which

Is there any real prius or "
Period, the
Anthropological

and the question then
has universal validity ?
Nature " of laws? In the
important

question was
"
Nature " of human
institu
about the real prius or
tions,^just as in the Cosmological Period the question
about

pologists

was

Cosmologists

"

Nature

"

of the world of
the question of the Anthro
The
a part of the Cosmological
problem.
had called the real prius or " Nature "

the real prius
Yet
physical phenomena.

was

or

like itself,and it is
remains
in itself contains any unchang
now
asked
ing and eternal politico-moral law. The contrast is thus
that
(""uVis),

which ever
if " Nature

"

64

OP

HISTORY

PHILOSOPHY

for all time between
natural law and statute
law, and the distinction dominates this period. Human

drawn

legal institutions
often even
conflict between

and

appears
The

were

regarded

as

as

only makeshifts,
the divine law. The

contradicting
natural or divine law and human
out in the Antigone
of Sophocles.

worked
interest in the foundations
same

law

of morality and
of the

up the whole
relations opened
subject
human
discern
to
consciousness
such relations.
of
from a
a logical necessity that
turned thought

moral
power
It was
review

of man's
of his own

relations

with

his fellows to

a

criti
What

is man?
cism
constitution. What
his faculties ? Has he any that give him the truth
are
and the reality? Or do they all deceive him so that he

detect the real from the sham
of life? What
the mental faculties used in disputation, and how

cannot
are

they to be trained

are
nence

so

may
rise to an
his fellows ? The Greek

that

of culture among

man

emi
thus

faculties, and the
criticism of his knowing
made such a criti
positive social and moral demands
cism necessary to his well-being. Greek
science took
turned

a

to

strong

a

psychology,
ence

direction, and logic, ethics,
rhetoric, etc., took the place of natural sci
The Greek in the fifth century B. c. was

anthropological

subjects.

interested in

man

"

in his inner activities,his ideations
this critical and individualistic atti

volitions. Of
tude Euripides is the literary exponent

and

;

Pericles is the

political personification ; Socrates and the Sophists
its philosophical expression.

are

Significance of the Sophists. The Sophists were
the direct means
of bringing this intellectual change
into Greek life. They were
the bearers of this Greek
The

Enlightenment,

and

they

were

the missionaries

that

OF

PHILOSOPHY

THE

MAN

65

wide. This significance of
never
the Sophists to the culture of Greece was
under
in their
set them
stood by the historian until Hegel
has been
true light. The dark side of their character
spread

its influence far and

painted in blackest colors,
has carried an
opprobrium

so

that the word
with it. They

"

Sophist

were,

"

how

the exponents
of the Greek illumination, and not
the cause
of it. They therefore share all its weaknesses
and its excellencies ; and any judgment upon them is a
judgmentupon the time itself. The most accurate de
ever,

is that they were
the exponents
of
scription of them
that can
QlgejLCulturein the age of Perjcleg.
; the worst
be said of them is that they stimulated the Greek spirit

in directions in which it should have been controlled.
Their true work was
to carry the gospel of Greek indi
; their fault lay in the fact that
vidualism everywhere
frequently they confused individualism with hypoc
risy, and led their hearers to believe that appearance
is the same
knowledge
true knowledge.
as
too

The

"
Sophist" had a development
the
among
word
Greeks. It first meant
a
(the Cosmologists,
wise man
from Thales to Anaxagoras,
were
Sophists); then a

of wisdom ; then a paid teacher of wisdom.
Moreover, among
the Sophists there is a difference be
inspired by a distinct
tween
the early Sophists, who were
teacher

desire to
were

culture, and

the

teachers, and

had

spread

mercenary
generated into

mere

later Sophists, who
de
on
that account

quibblers. In general, the
hostility to the Sophists

ground
was
the

of the contemporary
hatred of the conservative and reactionary party, to
Aristophanes
belonged
the satirist, 2Eschylus
which
the father of tragedy," and
tional morals, and Xenophon,
"

the

exponent

who

stood for

of institu
a

complete

HISTORY

66

to

return

a

ter against

OF

This

state.

patriarchal

party

was

very bit"

of the new
and radical spirit
All the philosophers of the
Socrates, suffered at the hands

the exponents
up in Greece.

springing
learning, including
new

of those who

would

ticular, the

accusations

were

period

PHILOSOPHY

:

they

conserve

were

the old traditions. In par
against the Sophists of this

cavilers ; they taught

for pay ;

the universalizing of education against
institutions.
the old aristocracy; they menaced
The Sophists were
then primarily and, on the whole,
the transmitters to the people of the culture of the
they represented

time. They

the teachers

were

age. They
interested

were

in

of the humanities

to that

technically philosophers, but
philosophical questions. Protagoras
not

the only Sophist

who

the

was

author

of any

were
was

fruitful

Gorgias
philosophical
conceptions.
made
occasional
But
besides Protagoras
essays into philosophy.
and

Gorgias

no

other

Sophists

be

can

phers, except possibly Hippias
The Sophists introduced a

and

classed as
Prodicus.

philoso

profusion of knowledge
investigations in lan
made

people. They
logic, and the theory
the

among

guage,
of cognition. They taught
literature, history, grammar,
the principles of the dia
lectic,the eristic,and rhetoric
all subjects
concerned
with the art of human
expression. They studied and
taught
the special
re
concerned with human
"

subjects

lations, like ethics, the theory of knowledge,
psychology,
that had a place in Greek cul
and politics. Anything
ture was
systematically and skillfullypresented by such
men

who

as
were

Protagoras,
men

Gorgias,

of encyclopedic

Hippias,

and Prodicus,
erudition. The Sophist

the education of the Greek child at the age of six
teen, after he had received his
elementary training, first

took

THE

at home

The

and

Greek

two

parts :
soul. Under

then at the hands

the lyre, pronunciation,

on

and music

included geometry,

was

67

of the teacher at school.
naturally divided into

boy's education was
for the body
gymnastics
music

MAN"

OF

PHILOSOPHY

the

chorus

for

the

performance

and

poetry,

as

At the age of sixteen
physics, and geography.
he got his instruction by meeting public men,
such as the
Sophists, in the street, in the Agora, and other public

tronomy,

at this period of his life that the Sophist
places. It was
into those higher branches which
took his education
were

for his

necessary

law. Thus

the

success

instruction

in politics, society, and

of the

Sophist

was

usually
for a specific purpose, and thus rhetoric, dialectic, and
in great demand.
the mental sciences were
list of Sophists is
The first to call himself a Sophist and a
one.
a long
to Plato, Pro
teacher of public virtue was,
according
He
the most
tagoras of Abdera.
was
also probably
He was
born about 480 B. c.
the number.
eminent
The

Prominent

Sophists.

The

of

Polus and Thrasymachus
mentions the Sophists

were

the last ; and

in the past. So that

as

Aristotle
we

may
hun

conclude that as a band they existed only one
dred years (450-350 B. c.).Already at the beginning
of the fourth century (400 B. c.)their importance
greatly diminished. In this hundred years we find
fourteen

or

fifteen prominent

Sophists. There

had
some

is,first,

Protagoras, whose
is not only in
theory of knowledge
itselfa contribution to thought, but also of importance
as a factor in forming
the materialist atomistic doctrine
the school of Leucippus and
of the school of Abdera,
Democritus
; Gorgias of Leontini, the head
of an em
bassy T6~ Athens, a man
of eloquence, whose
style was
imitated by Thucydides
we
and whom
might have stud"

OF

HISTORY

68

PHILOSOPHY

with the Eleatic school, for he carried
out still further the doctrines of Zeno ; Prodicus, the
pupil of Protagoras and Gorgias, a brilliant man
and a

ied in connection

traveler, whose method
of instruction was
used by Soc
rates ; Hippias, contemporary
of Prodicus, remarkable
for his mathematical, physical, and historical erudition,
"nd
and

full of vanity ; the brothers, Euthydemus
Dionysiodorus, teachers of eristic ; the rhetorician
a

man

Thrasymachus

and the rhetoricians of the school of
Protarchus, and AlGorgias, viz., Polus, Lycophron,
cidamus ; Evenus, rhetorician, moralist, and poet ; Crithirty ; Callicles and

tias, the leader of the

Hippoda-

mus.

Many

of these

amus)

were

Greece

;

were

opposed

to marriage

some

nobility ;
Hippodamus

reformers. Some (as Alcidjto the institution of slavery in

men

to

some
was

the

;

some

(as Lycophron) to

the

inequality

of property ; while
the first to propose an ideal state.

by the Soph
The method of argumentation
employed
ists was
first to perplex and confuse their opponents
as

had been taken

to what

in the past as valid. Then they
ridiculous by drawing out conse

their opponents
quences from their statements.

made

Their

conclusions

were

often verbal and their witticisms vulgar.*
The philosophy of
The Philosophy
of the Sophists.
the Sophists was
only the logical following out of the
general attitude of the time toward all traditions. The
more
the old physical theories fell into disrepute, the
the changes of the world of politics seemed to in
dicate instabilityeverywhere, the more
opinions differed
more

the

on
*
"

same

Read

subject,
"

H. Jackson

Sophists."

so

much

the

in Encyclopedia

more

did the possi-

Britannica,

article

MAN

69

itself to the Sophists of taking two conthe faster did
equally true, and so much

bilitypresent
tradictories

OF

PHILOSOPHY

THE

as

the whole Greek world lose faith in any valid truth and
The dogmatism
in any certain knowledge.
of the Cosnaturally followed by the
Beginning with the
skepticism of the Anthropological.
cautious and enlightened relativism of Protagoras, there

inological Period

grew

volume of criticism, until the later Sophists
The best
destructive doctrines to everything.
a

up

applied

of the philosophical aspect of the So
Protagoras and Gorgias.
were

representatives

phistic movement
i.

is thus

The

Relativism

retically skepticism

of Protagoras.
is the centre and

Sophistic movement,
Sophist, Protagoras, cannot

be

strictly called skepti
Philosophically, skepticism is not the denial of
that particular belief as true, but the denial of

the existence of any truth whatever.
to make

theo

logical result of
the teaching of the greatest

the

cism.
this or

Although

any

Protagoras refused
either in denial or

positive statements
about ultimate truth, because,
"

he said,
as
affirmation
have no insight whatever into the nature of absolute
we
is confined to motions and the
truth. Our knowledge
"

phenomena
of motion. His teaching would be called in
The funda
modern times relativism or phenomenalism.
mental principle beneath
such a doctrine is that know
ledge is human

absolute, but always relative.
The relativism of Protagoras was
based on two prin
ciples : the first is that of universal change, which he
borrowed from Heracleitus ; the second is,so far as we
know,
is the

"

never

original with Protagoras,
only

source

that sense-perception
kind of knowledge.
In
"

and only
Heracleitus' doctrine change is universal, each term
series of changes passing into another. The senses

of
are

a

a

PHILOSOPHY

OF

HISTORY

70

part of this flux, and since they are, according to Protag
is ephem
knowledge
oras,
the only source
of knowledge,
eral and unreal. Reason is extended and continued sen
external to the organism stimulates
sation. A movement
of the body and is met by a reacting movement
of the organ. The result is perception. Perception being
itself a process, each present moment
of perception is
an

organ

the
are

know
We
things as they
cannot
only knowledge.
in themselves ; there is no insight into the Being of

things

over

our

and above

perceptions.

On

the contrary,
appears for each

reality is not only what it perceptually
individual, but also what it appears at each individual
momentary

perception.

?
is the result of such a theory of knowledge
Protagoras expresses it well in his famous words, " Man

What

is the

There

ism.

has

a

is

Each

ment.
moment

of all things."

measure

no

It is absolute sensational
that of the present
truth for himself at

truth except

man

sees

the

mo

the

if another
of his perception. It does not matter
if at the
different perception. It does not matter

differs. Each
his perception
perception
is the
is true, and at that moment
exists at the moment,
truths as there are
only perception. There are as many

next

moment

in an indi
there are moments
as
many
of the true,
vidual's life. Each individual is the measure
the beautiful, and the good ; for a thing that is good or

individuals,

as

false to another.
be harmful
or
may
Metaphysical
discussions are vain, for the only reality
is the content
All
to prove
of the present moment.

true

to

one

man

and ultimate criteria are impossible to be known.
As the philosophy
Nihilism
The
2.
of
of Gorgias.
Protagoras teaches that everything is equally true, that

causes

of Gorgias

teaches

that

everything

is equally

false.

THE

OF

PHILOSOPHY

MAN

71

Gorgias declared that Being, knowledge,

and the com
Starting from

impossible.
are
of knowledge
munication
the dialectic of the Eleatic, Zeno (asProtagoras
from

that

if it

Even

(3)

Gorgias maintained:
Heracleitus),
(1)
(2) If anything is, it cannot be thought ;

of

is ;

Nothing

started

be thought,

can

it cannot

be communi
of the thing is different from the
of the thought in words is differ

cated. The knowledge

the expression
from the thought itself.

thing
ent

;

The
their

Ethics

Sophists.

of the

Critical Theory

political life
Greek. When
it from

Political Life.

of paramount
later Sophists began

the

point
became

skepticism
ical institutions.

The

of
a

The

view
direct

the

of

to

the

to

scrutinize
individual, their

Greek

to

menace

individual

of

ethical-

importance

was.

the

to

Application

The

"

became

law

a

polit
unto

citizen set himself up as superior to
society. Since the time of the Gnomic
poets the con
tent of both moral and political laws had become
more
himself, and

and

a

more

the

subjectof

reflection ; and at the time of
foundation of law was
called in

the Sophists the whole
the individual
question. When

is declared

man

to

be

of all things, all legal and moral institu
tions hang in the balance. All rules of conduct and all
laws become
then artificial and merely conventional

the

measure

and justas there is no
in knowledge,
so
there is

products
error

;

standard
no

of truth

standard of good
is the prudent
man

The good
citizenship or morality.
man
; the good
citizen is the successful and
Might is right.
man.

Thus
these

:

the

Laws

will, and must

Sophists
are

made

came

to

teach

such

powerful

doctrines

by the strongest, represent

be obeyed

or

if they cannot

as

their

be disobeyed ;

72

OF

HISTORY

PHILOSOPHY

to make
to
a law, but a stronger
strong man
break it; the laws are only conventions invented either
by the many
to restrain the powerful few, or by the few

it takes

a

Even

to enslave the many.

religions

are

devices of the
to law is there

crafty to enchain the people. Obedience
fore a matter
of personal interest. Happiness
important consideration of the individual.
most

is the

Some

times personal interest conflicts with law and law does
not then bring happiness, for criminals are
often the
It is not obedience to law that brings
happy.
most

but

happiness
no

with

attempt

(Polus) a

calculation of ends
shrewd
no
regard to right or law. The Sophists made
They ex
to put their theories into execution.

pressed the sentiments of the Greek people, and Greek
public opinion then pointed to segregation and indi
vidualism. Plato said that, after all, the Greek public
the great

was

It

was

law and

Sophist.

thus that the distinction arose

law.

between

positive
the differences

Reflecting upon
the constitutions of the Greek
states and upon
among
the constant
alterations in these constitutions, the
natural

Sophist concluded

that the greater part of them were
invention. They were
of human
positive laws and were
to be contrasted with natural law, which
was
such law
as

is binding

on

all

men

fore of greater worth than
antithesis to it. Sir Henry

Law

that

the Greeks

because
jurisprudence,

Natural

equally.

positive law, and is set in
Maine says in his Ancient

did not

found

natural law

to by them

was

in arguing any question.
find natural law is to strip it of the
"
"
has
tional laws. The word
nature
tory

one

of the most

law is there

ambiguous

any

system

of

always referred
The only way to
mass

of conven
been in its his

of words;

and Protag-

THE

eras'

OF

PHILOSOPHY

feelings is hardly

a

73

"

"

teaching that

MAN

nature

complete

consists of primary ethical
and satisfactory definition.

"
"
nature
of the Sophists limited
in its capricious
to human
nature, and to human
nature
did statute
the more
and individual aspects, so much

The

the theory

more

laws appear antagonistic to natural law and
detrimental to it.

to be

seem

Summary.
skepticism and a criticism, Sophistry
over
was
a relative advance
the traditionalism and dog
matism
of the Cosmologists.
2. Sophistry turned the attention to man
and his

1. Although

interests as
3. The
pointing

a

the principal

objectof

inquiry.

Sophists stood for freedom
to individual consciousness
as

of appeal.
4. Although

of thought by
the final court

the Sophists differed very much
dependence
teaching, they had a mutual
and
presuppositions.
5. The Sophists disregarded

in their
common

the likenesses and

men.
phasized the differences among
6. The
Sophists built up their doctrines upon

basis of

a

sensationalist psychology.

em*

the

CHAPTER
SOCRATES

Socrates
in which

V

(469-399 B.C.).
There

Aristophanes.

and

the other

elements

other

by Socrates. Aristophanes
looked

He

would

of the
ment,

back
have

He
many.
and he wrote

was

a

rich nobleman

the good old times.
government
of the best rather than
would destroy the Sophistic move

with
a

ways

society tried to
led by Aristophanes,
the

the Sophists. One

who

two

in Greek

meet

was

were

pride

upon

Greek life with
satires upon
many
His satire, The Clouds, is of especial

that end in view.
interest in this connection.
Socrates represents
the
was
met.
other way in which the Sophistic movement

He

but he read more
accepted the Sophistic movement,
deeply into it than the Sophists themselves, and he tried
to find its truth.

The

extraordinary personality of Socrates is the cen
tral figure in this age of critical inquiry. For the first
find philosophy centred in a great person
time do we
ality, and
tory. The

biography.

there

is

no

exposition
He wrote

figure in his
picturesque
of his doctrines is essentially a
nothing himself, and the literary
more

found
in Xenoof his life and teaching are
in the writings
phon's Memorabilia
and Symposium,
of Plato, and in those of Aristotle. They throw differ
sources

lights upon

his character, and together give a fairly
complete
picture. Xenophon
records the sober, practi
cal, and popular side of Socrates, caught in casual con
Plato idealizes Socrates, especially in his
versation.

ent

SOCRATES

75

later writings, and he reveals Socrates' character
imaginative and spiritual sides. Aristotle is more
and less sympathetic, but
criminating
because he is a generation removed. *

always

on

its
dis

reliable

and Life of Socrates. Alcibiades
described Socrates as like the littlecases
sold upon the
in the shape of
were
streets of Athens, which
made
Silenus and contained a carved image. The description
Personality

The

apt, for Socrates had a fine spiritual nature within
an
short, stout, and thick-set,
astonishing shell. He was
his shoulders. His eyes were
with his head set upon
was

*

in
references
student should read the following
Symposium
Plato's dialogues and Xenophon's
and Memora
bilia. The
translations referred to here are Jowett's Plato

The

and Cooper, Spelman,
Xenophon.
(1851.)

For

the

method

etc., translation,

of Socrates, read

Whole

Charmides,

Works

of

Lysis, and

Laches.
the personal appearance
of Socrates, read Plato, Sym"
Symposium,
posium, pp. 586 ff. and Xenophon,
p. 615.
For the physical endurance
of Socrates, read Plato, Sym*

For

posium, p. 591.
For Socrates' dislike of nature,
Memorabilia,
435, and Xenophon,

read Plato, Phcedrus,
p. 521.

pe

the charges, defense, and trial of Socrates, read Plato,
Apology, pp. 116 and 129.

For

of Socrates in prison, read Crito,
beginning and end of the dialogue.
For description of the death scene
of Socrates, read Plato,
Phcedo, beginning and end of the dialogue.

For

the

confinement

For description of the daemoniacal sign, read Plato, Apology ;
Xenophon,
Memorabilia,
ff.,
pp. 125-126,
and
pp. 531
585 ff.
For
men,

the oracle's statement

read Plato, Apology,

that Socrates is the wisest of

p. 114.

OF

HISTORY

76

PHILOSOPHY

flat with upturned nostrils,his mouth
grinning, and his beard disordered. His pro
belly was
set upon
slender legs, and his dress

bulging, his
big and
truding

nose

slovenly. Nevertheless his geniality, his fine humor,
the unselfishness which he manifested unstintedly toward
was

his friends, exercised

irresistible charm

an

all the
the Athe

upon

personalities of his time. Over
his influence was
very great, and he sur
nian youth
rounded himself with a large circle of admirers, to the

remarkable

While
cares
and his wife Xantippe.
neglect of his home
to talk in private and for
the habit of the Sophists was
distinguished from all his contempo
pay, Socrates was
raries by

fact that

the

ation.
His

life had

needs.

He

clothing was
and drink.

drink

one,

any

places with

he

rich

or

would

talk

in the

poor, and without

public

remuner

its ascetic side. He was
frugal in his
barefoot, summer
went
and winter, and his
the scantiest. He was
abstemious in food

While

on

occasion

feast he would
was
else, yet he never
at

the

wine than any one
intoxicated. The ascetic side of his nature is seen
seen
because
in his refusal to cultivate gymnastics,
such
more

training

much

required
He was
a

food.

He

tried to

limit his

of hardiness,

self-denial,and
"
No one
an
anecdote will show.
self-mastery, as many
in Socrates," said
heard anything wicked
or
saw
ever

wants.

Xenophon.
thing

"

without
himself as never
as

never

and the

worse.

sible

model

So

he
pious was
first consulting

that

In

err

a

did any

never

the Gods,

to prefer pleasure

to

he

so

master

to goodness,

so

of
sen

in the choice between
the better
the best and the most
word, he was

happy

of men."
At times Socrates

seems

intellectually stiffand

pro-

77

SOCRATES

incidental to his asceticism,
saic. This may have been
indifferent to the sensuous,
or
the result of it. He was
in terms of the useful.
and he explained the beautiful
He

refused to walk
teach him
nothing.
for it is useless even

and flowers could
suggestions to him,

because

trees

Art

offered no
if it is inspired. His unpoetic and
to his lack
not due so much
perhaps

was

prosy nature

out

overflowing with ideas.
of taste as to his original mind
He said that as
He was
not perceptive, but reflective.
is a mystery, geometry is land measuring,
tronomy
which
man

any

physics

do, arithmetic is merely permissible, and
to be neglected. " Ye may judgehow
something
can

unprofitable these studies
He
themselves."
among

are
was

differ
by seeing how men
dancing
found
once
at

he was
by himself when
expected to be at a dance
is also revealed in
with others, and his practical nature
the fact that at the feast he was
reminded of its utility.
home

divine voice
or
of Socrates' daemon
felt himself divinely
upon him is very interesting. He
called by his daemon (Apology, 29, 33 f.)to unremit
ting labor in the moral perfecting of society through
influence

The

an
was

of himself and his fellows. Socrates
deep religious feeling in all that he
a
he designates
This divine leading is what

examination
by
moved

undertook.
his daemon.
as

He

of it

speaks

as

"

the God

"

or

"

the

"

the oracles.
through
gods
which speaks to other men
This divine voice was
ever
with him, but as to specific
him
ac
actions it only warned
against the injudicious
tion,

incited him

never

to

the

correct

cally it did not tell him what to
he was
not to do. When
about

beforehand

daemon

that

he

should

interposed, and

so

do
to

so

action. Specifi
as

much

prepare

a

what
defense

to the judges,his
make
he relied upon
the inspira*

OF

HISTORY

78

tion of the moment.

On

PHILOSOPHY

he
of his campaigns
in communion
with the daemon
one

to stand
observed
whole day, unmindful

was

the

of the weather.
As to the education and intellectual training of Soc
a factor
rates, one
must
say that it formed
of less im
in his life. The
portance
uniqueness
of Socrates'
character is only in small
He
by his environment.
have been great
would
from his father, who was

who

was

in any
a

accounted

for

of those men
who
time. He got but little

one

sculptor,

or

from his mother,

not
midwife. He was
strictly an
educated
Athe
although he had the early education of an

was

man,

to be

measure

a

no
one
youth, and of course
could grow up a citi
zen
of Athens in the time of Pericles without absorbing
its culture. His formal
education probably
consisted
of music and gymnastics, and he was
certainly familiar

nian

Socrates
schools of philosophy.
with the preceding
lived a long life of contented poverty, and he dedicated
his life to the public.
Two
inherited instincts were
for his
alone will account
within him, which
career
: (1) his strong
religious persuasion that he was
from the gods ; (2) his great
a
acting under
mission
intellectual originality, as shown
in his teaching and in
strong

his power
There

over
are

others.
few striking

events

in Socrates'

career,

born in Athens
in 469 B. c.
except his death. He was
his divinely appointed
He began
work
of redeeming
Athens from the dangerous
tendencies of the Sophists

War.
He
of the Peloponnesian
as
a soldier. He
served in three campaigns
also acted,
when
called upon, as prytanis, or lawgiver, although

at the commencement

he stood aloof from political activity. At the advanced
age of seventy he was
accused of corrupting the youth

SOCRATES

denying

and

the gods.

79

far would have
moral and brilliant

His

life thus

to be one
of unimpeachable
seemed
But his death
intellectual monotony.

it heroic, because his death
makes
in reality his life was,
the tragic epitome

life and

"

social situation. His death was
self,although he could have escaped,

not

nian

his

illuminates
shows

what
of the Athe
due to him
to his

nor

judges,

they could have acquitted him. It represents
although
the Greek ideal of unithe inevitable conflict between
Its value is there
versalism and Greek individualism.
were
fore historic. His particular accusers
actuated by

Behind

personal animosity.
his efforts at
whom

against

conservatism

The

charges

sides

Yet

as

moral
his death

the
all was
the Athenian

Socrates

against

a

reformer
was

and

reform

hostile. Behind

made

them

a

were

were

many
others
his bitter irony had

voice

of

Athenian

culture movement.
in part true, and be

he had been

a

judicial
murder.

public nuisance.
He
found
was

To the sentence
of death proposed
guilty by his judges.
Socrates had the right
by Meletus, one of his accusers,
alternative sentence,
and the judgesmust
Had Socrates proposed a small
between the two.
.choose
fine, it would probably have been accepted by the judges.
to propose

He
at

an

however,

proposed,
the

from
drank

sense

Even

then

But
jail.

he

the hemlock

Professor

provide for
he was
in his

as
arrogant
judges then
of virtue. The

thing else than pronounce
delayed thirty days
was

Delos.

Athens

expense,

public

placent

that

G.

H.

the sentence

him
com

could do no
of death. This

of the sacrifice at
Socrates could have easily escaped
refused to do the law a wrong, and
in May,
399 B. c.
on

Palmer

characterizes the life and

account

points out the irony that
death of Socrates. He
stands

80

HISTORY

for the

harmony

OF

PHILOSOPHY

devoted
opposite qualities. He
himself to the good of Athens, and yet Athens
put him
to death. In the service of the eternal was
he sacrificed,,
His

of

personality is an exemplification of this irony.
In appearance
his un-Greek physical ugliness is in con
own

trast

with

austere

his beautiful Greek

and

yet the most

soul ; he

sensitive of

the

was

men

;

he

was

most

al

serious moralist and yet always a jester
; he was
a
scarcely out of Athens and yet he was
;
world's man
he was
the world's philosopher and yet he had no system
of thought and left no writings.
ways

a

Socrates

and the Sophists.
Socrates is in entire agreement

In his point
of departure
with the Sophists. He is

critical philosopher. Criticism is the starting-point of
his philosophy as a whole, and he begins each
particular
argument
afresh with a
critical examination
of its
a

grounds. This means
to the individual

he, like the

that
reason

as

Sophists, turns

final court

the

of appeal.
he
them
refused to accept any traditional dogma
a critical inquiry
into
unexamined,
and he commenced
all kinds of conceptions. Socrates and the Sophists are

Like

in the spirit of the Greek
illumination in their
intellectual problems.
Socrates'
critical attack upon
"
famous
that " virtue js_ knowledge
saying
could
one

equally well be put into the mouth
the doctrine of Protagoras
that "
"
of all things
could be ascribed

of Protagoras ; and
is the measure
man
to

Socrates without

inconsistency.

In his conclusions
the

same

point as
spect. He_agrees

in

the

with

respect Socrates arrives at
Sophists,
but in only one
re
one

"

them

as
..

worthlessness

_tp_the
results of naturaLscifiiLce.Natural science can
^pfjhe
be worth while, because it does not lead to
not
moral
i

SOCRATES

81

The meagre results of the Cosmologists show
excellence..
In this one
the worthlessness of natural science to man.
Socrates' criticism leads him to skepticism like

respect

the Sophists,

But

in

to

"

skepticism

Jiis conclusions

Socrates

nature,

a

set

as

himself

of natural science.
human
to the value

of

the

entirely against

out

indeed of
of the reflections of the Sophists, and
his time. In the absorbing anthropological topics of his
time, he laid the foundations of a constructive philoso^
come

against the skeptical conclusions of the Sophists.
he maintained
In human
that there is a validity
matters
He
to truth and a possibility of absolute knowledge.
phy

admitted with the Sophists that there are obscurities in
human
thought, and that obviously the standard of truth
But while the Sophists
does not belong to any one man.
reasoned therefore
valid truth existed, Socrates cut his way through

emphasized
that

no

these contradictions and

and

contradictions
such
identity in men,
and
men

together,

obscurities, emphasized^Jbhe
that the truth is in all
maintained

It exists as an ideal to
Protagoras says
together. When

in humanity.

"

be striven for by men
is the measure
that " man
"

"

man

the

of all things," he

individual

man

; while

by

means

Socrates, if he had

"
have meant
humanity."
that expression, would
by his principle " virtue is know
Socrates means
ledge " that the knowledge
humanity
(".e.
of that same

used
And

insight,

is virtue

while Protagoras, agreeing as
he did formally with the maxim
that " virtue is know
"
ledge," would always define " knowledge
as
the in

reason)

dividual feelings.

"

The

;

individual

of all things," Protagoras
the
"

measure

of all
Virtue is knowledge

would

things,"

is the

man

say ;

"

measure

Humanity

Socrates would

is

reply.

gained by the feelings," Protag-

HISTORY

82

OF

PHILOSOPHY

"
Virtue is knowledge
would say ;
gained by the
Socrates would
reason,"
reply. Beneath the changing
Soc
the variety of men,
capricious individual, beneath

oras

rates

believed that there

a

was

humanity,

common

one

contained the ultimate truth.
There are many
opinions, ideas, and feelings, but only
This knowledge
knowledge.
is rational ; and human
one
man,

unchanging

is

nature

who

unity in the possession of this knowledge.
is the principle that distinguishes Socrates from

This

a

he
the other leaders of the Greek Illumination. While
imbued with the motives of the Greek
was
culture of
his time,
curious about its results, feeling its useful
"

ness,

and

withheld

critical of all tradition,
himself from
its skeptical
"

he

nevertheless
conclusions. Any

the danger of defeating itself
culture illumination runs
This is what
and becoming
skeptical of its own
powers.
in the Sophistic philosophy.
But
actually happened

Socrates set himself against this superficial and
in his
self-destructive outcome
of his age, he became

when

the clearest and most
constructive
compre
philosophy
hensive expression of that age. Because he grasped the
Enlightenment
deeply and for
principle of the Greek

mulated it constructively, his intellectual reign became
historically established. The fundamental
principle of
the philosophy

of Socrates

therefore the real prin
civilization,and by saving that

classic Greek
Greek
saved
principle he

ciple of

was

civilization for

modern

Europe.
The

Unsystematic

of the Socratic Philo
is often troubled
to know

Character

sophy. The casual reader
for what
precisely Socrates is searching. The
vague
ness
of the Socratic quest is partly due to the fact that

he had

no

system.

Indeed, he had

no

groundwork

for

83

SOCRATES

His psychology
or
theory of the
system of thought.
human
speaks of sensations
undefined. He
mind was
feelings and the
and perceptions, but they, with the
a

factors
considered by him to be unimportant
will, are
was
the whole, the mind
in the conscious life. On
thought by him to be an aggregation
of conceptions or

feelings cloud the activity of these concep
tions, and the only feeling to which Socrates attached
divine voice. This
his daemon
or
was
any importance
he grew older. Socrates never
as
grew to be his mentor
began
a
analysis. He
scientific psychological
made
to con
which amounted
rather with three assumptions
ideas. The

these : that only by acquiring con
victions. They were
to be found ; that virtue,
ceptions is true knowledge
to conceptions;
that the
consists in acting according
has been designed according to conceptions. Con
world
*
obsession with Socrates.
his postulates, his instruments, and his goal.
by him.
The other factors of the mind were
neglected
The goal of the quest of Soc
The Ideal of Socrates.
ideal, and in the nature
rates is an
of things had the

were,

ceptions
They were

of any

vagueness
*

heard
have

We
a

is the

What

have

a

an

ideal. The

a

content

some

general,
actual

an

ideal has to

perception
and conception ? We
perceptions in the doctrine of Protagoras.

point

where

many

of the

with conception.
of perception
between
and conception
perception
of the

of

between

deal about

reached

understanding
Aristotle. In
which

to speak,

difference

good

now

comparison

difference

so

theories will involve

An

understandingwill be necessary

doctrines, especially of Democritus,
is the consciousness
perception
of

sensation of
in which

it is present

;

a

conception

an

of the
for an

Plato, and
in

object

is the

con

sensation
of it is present.
is
tree, when
a
; I
my
actually
retina
stimulated
head away
is
I turn
tree, when
a
sense
my
conceive
organ
and no
To the
t. e. I do
touch, see, hear the tree.
not
actually stimulated,
Greek the perception was
was,
particular and transient ; the conception

sciousness

Thus

on

of

an

object

no

actual

I perceive

the other

hand,

universal

or

general

anil permanent.

OF

HISTORY

84

PHILOSOPHY

remain undefined until it has been gained by experience,
it is no longer an ideal. Any
ideal,
and then of course

however,

be

can

deductive

stated formally, and the formal and
important
has had an
of knowledge

side
place both in practical conduct and in the history
science. Socrates could state his ideal formally and

of
to

he could give it content ; but it always
re
for him an
He
to be sought.
believed
mained
object
that the ideal lay in conceptions and could be found if
some

extent

So he under
the truth of any one
conception.
took to define such conceptions as friendship, courage,
his search
was
never
etc., but
satisfied.
prudence,

he got

Nevertheless, the search itself was
scarcely less impor
tant to him than its accomplishment.
The

ideal of
_

ideal

andjiisLJo.imal.j8tateinfiDJi.QlJlie__
is Virtue. The

primal

that is, in conceptions
are

these

end

to be striven for is wisdom,

and

by conceptions.
But where
be found
but in one's
own

to

conceptions
? Therefore the

was

region of the quest of Socrates
"
Know
his own
was,
was
thyself."
mind, and his motto
And
or
wisdom
what is this Virtue of which knowledge
It does not mean
is the equivalent?
virtue in the nar

mind

row

modern

original

Greek

meaning

meaning,

word

which

of the term,
of

warlike

yet in the

nor

prowess

Socrates used

was

or

narrow

valor. The
and is best

apcrrj,

excellence or
ability. In the history of the
like the Latin word
word it had a variety of meanings,
the
equivalent it is. It is derived from
virtus, whose
translated

the word "Api??, Ares (or Mars), the name
While therefore originally it meant
of the god of war.
to mean
military valor, it came
any kind of excellence.
same

root

In modern

as

times

there

appeared

a

book

called

The

SOCRATES

Greatest Thing

world."

World,

in the

which

To

Socrates

not

had

its aim

as

to

greatest thing in the
"
Love " but " Wisdom
is

Christian love is the

that

show

85

"

"

in the world," and Greek civiliza
greatest thing
tion is thus contrasted with that of Christianity.
What
kind of know
comes,
But now
the question

the

"

ledge

wisdom
excellence ? In

Socrates

does

or

mean

as

the

greatest

Sophists^jwho
contrasj^to_the
rejied^upon

the sensations and

impulses

as

wisdom,

Socrates turned

which had been the decisive factor oi
insight. The great
the culture of the time. This was
to his
acts according
est excellence is insight. He who

to that element

feelings is not sure
acts
of his knowledge, but he who
according to insight has the greatest excellence in the
of knowledge
world. But Socrates restricts the meaning
to Socrates insight,
stillfurther. Not only is knowledge
but it is moral insight. For the problems in which he
life and
interested were
the problems
was
of human

principally the
can

translate

self-examination. Thus
formal
statement
conventional
of

problem
the

we

of

Socrates, viz., Knowledge

is virtue, into this rather
Moral
longer sentence,
insight is the most
excellent
thing in the world. For the first time in the history of
thought

What

philosophy
the

is founded

Socratic

Ideal

upon

a

moral
AVe
involves.

postulate.
have
now

the meaning
statement
of the formal
of the
Socratic ideal. A further question along this same
line
concerns
what that ideal involves.

examined

1. In the first place, to possess knowledge
is to act
righteously. Knowledge
righteous conduct. Socrates
does not mean
is
that knowledge
merely the condition
that knowledge
of right conduct ; he means
actually
=

constitutes

moral

conduct.

The

development

of the

HISTORY

86

is actually the

reason

OF
same

PHILOSOPHY
as

the development

of the
is knowledge.

is virtue and virtue
Vice is ignorance and ignorance is vice. To have an
insight into the truth is the principle of living. Not
will.

Knowledge

only is deficient insight the cause
the greatest evil. Not only does

a

of evil,but it is itself
be
man
act wrongly

he does not know the good, but not to know
the
to him.
that can happen
good is the greatest wrong
insight the same
2. Not only is moral
as
virtuous
by hap
activity, but this insight is always accompanied
cause

piness. The
the

will follows the recognition of the good, and
Happiness
happy.
man
action makes
appropriate

is the necessary result of moral excellence. The Wise
Man
knows
what is good for him and does it ; thus in
his performance
he becomes happy.
Socrates would sub
"
Be good and you will be happy."
scribe to the proverb
of Socrates implies that he
by unremitting
believed two
things : (1) that man
earnest
examination
of himself and others could gain
such perfect happiness ; and (2) that the world is under

Such

teaching

on

the part

Socrates never
expressly denied
guidance.
the existence of the Homeric
gods and never
expressly
He is, however, always
declared himself a monotheist.

providential

He had a personal
over-ruling wisdom.
its
attempted
conviction of immortality, but he never
Socrates had littleconfidence in human
proof. Although
referring to

one

knowledge

about the world of physical nature, he was
by a belief that amounted
to a conviction in
animated
In such a
the providential arrangement
of the world.

Only
the good must be happy.
however,
be certain that always
can,
a perfect wisdom
the results of his actions will gain happiness in the en
in which he lives ; but stillman
be sure
can
vironment
divinely ordered

world

SOCRATES

87

proportionately with know
did go beyond
ledge. Greek
this point in
philosophy
ethics, and this is called, in technical language, eudceEudcemonism
hedonism
are
and
pleasure
monism.
is the theory
theories that are
similar. Eudaemonism
happiness

that

increases

that active well-being is the highest good in life and
by pleasure. In
that that good is always accompanied
hedonism
pleasure is the good to be aimed at. In his
has easily degenerated
into hedonism.
tory eudaemonism

3. Socrates makes moral insight the same
as virtuous
activity, and he says that its inevitable accompaniment
he also make moral insight the same
Socrates regards
to Xenophon,
as
utility? According
moral excellence as that which is most useful. Indeed,

is happiness.

Does

to
of the Platonic dialogues Socrates seems
define insight as the art of measuring
or
prudence, and
it is pointed out that Socrates developed
no
virtue so

in

some

self-control. In the exigencies of the argument
Socrates also often resorted to the useful to define the
fully

as

is the good ? often resolves
good. The question, What
itself into the other question, What
is the thing good
for ? Indeed, the form of the argument
often assumes
is the act
the vicious circle : Why
is it useful? Because
useful? Why
purposes

of disputation, in which

just?
it is

Because

just.For

Socrates

it is
the

was

always
frequently re

shrewd and not always scrupulous, he so
fers the good to what is suitable to men's
happiness and
to rise above
profit that his philosophy does not seem
the relativism of the Sophists. But it is certain that

Socrates strove to transcend this
relativism, although
not with full success
and although his formulated teach
ing does not
it. However,
that he
always go beyond
believed in

an

absolute rather

than

a

relative good ap-

pears in many

ways

PHILOSOPHY

OF

HISTORY

88

:

in his doctrine that it is better to

than to do it ; in his strict conformity to
suffer wrong
himself from death by breaking
law rather than to save

interpretation

the law ; in his constant

of life as

rightin the

and participation
ethical improvement,
in the background
good. The utility that is always
his thought is the
for the soul. We may

doing,

of
con

usefulness

clude, therefore, that

it

only superficially for the

was

that Socrates made
purposes of argumentation
ful an equivalent of moral insight.
The purpose
after all, not
of Socrates was,
to think

men

become
is the

correctly

to become

nor

useful Athenians.
Socratic goal ; and knowledge,
happy

and

the

use

to teach

cultured but to
Moral excellence
happiness,

and
is
usefulness are only aspects of that goal. Knowledge
happiness
the essential result, and
the essential means,
usefulness the essential sign of moral excellence. It fol
lows as a corollary from Socrates' philosophical ideal
that he should also teach : (1) that virtue is teachable,
and

(2)

the virtues are
if it is knowledge.

that

one.

Virtue

is obviously

It follows also, although
not so obviously, that all the virtues are fundamentally
be virtuous in one
the same,
cannot
and that a man
thing without being virtuous in all. The really temper

teachable

ate

man

The

is also courageous,
Two

Steps

wise, and

of the Method

just.

of Socrates.

The

ex

conversation.
of the method of Socrates was
The result
Thinking was
to him an inner conversation.
evolvement,
of a conversation, external or internal, was

ternal form

"

the implicit in thought

made

explicit. This

was

quite

the
method
of the Sophists, which was
Socrates did not propose to
supplying
of knowledge.
start from
except the ideal to
any kind of knowledge

opposed

to the

SOCRATES

89

be striven for. Starting with the presupposition that
the end which Socrates at
man
contained knowledge,
reach by his method
let
in summary,
much

to

tempted

With

so

a

was
us

practical

one.

the two

examine

of Socrates.
steps of the method
The first step that Socrates deems

necessary for man
excellence is negative.

in attaining this ideal of moral
it is complete
on
Indeed, it is more,
the
abnegation
confess that he
part of the seeker for truth. One must
"

himself knows
his untested

to

nothing, and come
individual opinions
the

approach
This
teacher.
must

are
a

subjectas

realization that
not the truth. He
a

seeker
is the

and not
beginning

as

a

of
of mind
Plato relates how the Delphic oracle amazed
wisdom.
Socrates by announcing
the wisest of the
that he was
Greeks. In reflecting upon the statement
of the oracle
attitude

he said, he
with the oracle because, as
it, while the other Greeks
ignorant and he knew
it. Before Socrates
ignorant and did not know

he

to agree

came

was

were

conception, he professed or as
to profess absolute ignorance
of it. He is the
sumed
modest inquirer. He is always described in the role of
the questioner who is seeking information and light.

began

to

examine

any

upon
others that he
requirement
did upon himself. The dialectic conversation could not
be successfully carried on unless his interlocutors had

He

laid the

same

meas
the same
of self-ignorance,
he often
ure
of self-knowledge. The Sophists with whom
on
carried 011 his discussions laid claim to knowledge

the

same

recognition

every known
to

teach

mind
such

an

under
subject

anything

nothing

"

could

to
more

the

the Greek

Greek
impede

affectation of wisdom

sun

and
youth. To

were

Socrates'

his undertakings

; to the

ready

than

Sophists nothing

HISTORY

90

could be

more

OF

PHILOSOPHY

than

repugnant

such

a

confession which

Socrates always obliged them to make. Although pro
fessing to be only a seeker for knowledge, he tried first
by his questions to scrutinize and to break down with
his exasperating logic the half
the
-formed conceptions of
egotist. This clear-cut analysis for purely destructive
purposes, which he used in preparation for his later con
structive conversation, is called the Socratic irony. As
he proved himself superior to any of his companions
in
the use of the dialectic,he could begin his conversations
in the

destructive

most

fashion.

His

method

was

de

and preconceived opinion that
structive of all prejudice
would in any way stand athwart perfectly free inquiry
into the truth. His wish was
to begin
de novo
with
all traditional beliefs having been
given up and the investigators having confessed their
ignorance, constructive study of the concept in hand
every

one,

so

that

could be begun.
The
second step in Socrates' method
of dialectical
inquiry follows upon the initialdestructive criticism. It
is in this part of the conversation that we find his own
constructive

The

dialogue is, of course,
for the truth is not in me nor

theory.

its

ne

in thee,
cessary condition ;
but in us all. It is latent in the mind and not on the
surface of any opinion. Let us rub our
minds together.

Let

sift our
varied concepts, unfold our real selves,
and briug the unborn truth to the light. Our ideas sup
plement one
another and have a common
ground. In
us

tellectual intercourse

is

an

intellectual and

a

personal

need, for it reveals common
sympathies
and a oneness
love of knowledge
friends, and
of life. Common
makes

this mutual

mythical term

intellectual helpfulness

Eros.

he

calls by the
Inquiry is indefinite in duration ;

SOCRATES

91

quest of truth is endless ; and Socrates acknow
ledges by his fresh beginnings again and again his fail
to reach the ideal. Thus
the theoretical self-abne
ure

the

of

gation

Socrates

had

a

twofold

On
constructive philosophy.
invitation to his countrymen

the

one

significance in his
hand, it was
an
in his search

help him

to

for the universal truth ; on the other, it was
an
acknow
ledgment
that he had failed to attain that universal
truth.

Socrates

Socrates had

Athens.

a

religious rever
Athenian
community.

mission in the
the "gad-fly of the Athenian

for his

ence

He

and

was

the educator
the Athenian

own

of the time
people. He

;

he

"
; he was
public
divinely appointed to

was

felt himself

so

necessary

to the

State that at his trial he proudly suggested
him the State keep him at the
that instead of punishing
Athenian

public
creates

germs

expense

in the

Prytaneum.

But

and
nothing ; he only awakens
that lie latent. The
of knowledge

the

educator
develops the

Athe

human

is big with truth ; Socrates was divinely ap
called his method, after
pointed to bring it forth. He
the profession of midwifery
of his mother, the maieutic
nian nature

It was
intellectual midwifery, and he was
the
method.
Although
he failed to
intellectual midwife of Athens.
form of ultimate truth, he never
had
find any concrete
of his method
and of
believed that his
the problem
afresh. He
undertaking
due to the inherent weakness
failure was
dis
of human
any

doubt

cernment

is clear,

about

;
so

the correctness

and so far as man's
far will he know

discernment
the true

insight

or

significance of

things.

Socrates believed
man

were

contained

in

man,

and

he

all those elements

believed

that

that make

up

in
a

OF

HISTORY

92

PHILOSOPHY

firm, rational, and moral society. Since he failed to justify
this belief in a theoretical way, his belief became largely
a

matter

something
bodiment

is something
to be won,
of faith. Humanity
He was
to be developed.
personally the em
due to
of his faith, and his large influence was

his unswerving
confidence
allow the least paltering.
The

Logical

Expedients

in ethical ideals that did not

of Socrates.

The

examina
to find

an
tion of concepts by Socrates was
a
attempt
logical " Nature," justas the Cosmologists had searched
This
to find a physical " Nature."
physical phenomena

makes

Socrates the first to teach

by induction

and

one

definition effectively. In contrast to
of the first to use
the Sophists, he tried to give words
exact meanings;
for the Sophists fixed artificialmeanings
to words with
In seeking for the exact
reference to particular

objects.

meaning,

Socrates

looking

Nature

"

ticulars to the

was

principle. Thus he was
the logical dependence

"

below

of the

making

the changing

par

fact and the universal
his hearers conscious of

of the particular upon the uni
is common
to all
versal. The universal is that which
particular conceptions or opinions. It liesbeneath them
Thus, by logical analysis,
together.
and binds them

Socrates is taking
gaining the
given by him

be

tried by

steps in the educational process of
universal. Provisional definition would be
in

some

many

dialogue ; this definition would
facts ; thus an
be
advance
would

definition and a universal principle.
process is that of induction. It leads to generic
by comparison
concepts
of particular views and indi
vidual perceptions, by bringing together analogous cases
made
This

toward

a

true

and allied relations. The

under

subordination of the particular
the universal thus became a principle of science.

SOCRATES

93

Socrates' method
childlike was
lack of caution in generalization
of procedure, whatever
hasty often
and in the collection of material, however
he nevertheless made the subordi
times his judgments,
imperfect

However

and

nation of the particular to the universal
logical procedure. Xeriophon
says that

untiring in his efforts to
and

wickedness,

courage

Socrates proved
widespread
than from

the

and

principle of

Socrates

was

define goodness
injustice,
wisdom and folly,

and

examine

justice
and

the citizen^
The death
Socratics.

the state and

and cowardice,

Socrates

a

Lesser

of
His influence,

to be his transfiguration.

and profound,
his formulated

came

from his personality
He was
a
revelator

more

theory.

without a revelation. An absolutely true end of life,the
ideal to
Good, he firmly believed to exist ; but it was
an
be won
by each and all. After him, therefore, there was

and

several

truest

in

a

and

interpretations

founded
schools were
discriminating pupil
most

class by

Socrates to

of his doctrine,
by his disciples. His

for various

opportunity

a

himself

as

developing

systematic

Plato stands with

perfectness.
that of Democritus

of the three systematic
ization produced.
Besides
one

Socratics : Euclid

the philosophy
The philosophy
and

Aristotle

Phsedo,
(notthe mathematician),

founded

is

of
of
as

philosophies that Greek civil
Plato there were
the Lesser

Each of these
tippus, and Antisthenes.
four
the founder
of a school. These
founded
that at Megara
schools were

Elean-Eretrian

Plato, who

was

by Phaedo,

Aris-

was

respectively
Lesser-Socratic
by

Euclid,

the Cynic

the

founded

by Antisthenes,

and the Cyrenaic founded by Aristippus.
The
influence of the Megarian
Elean-Eretrian
and
It may suffice to dismiss them
schools was
unimportant.

by saying that Phaedo

was

the favorite pupil of Socrates,

OF

HISTORY

04

and
for

of the Megarian
member
school
after the death of Socrates. The two

that Plato

was

short time

a

PHILOSOPHY

a

Lesser-Socratic schools had

other

important

an

influ*

contemporary
and later civilization and will
here. These are the Cynic and Cyrenaic
be mentioned
schools. In these two schools two great types of ethical
ence

upon

theory

that

have

since

existed

were

formulated.

All

four of the Lesser Socratics pretended
to be the true
development
of the teaching of Socrates ; and these two,
as
well as the other two, differ in the accentuation that
they place

on

some

Socrates' own

doctrine.
phase of the master's
definition of ideal excellence being

in

complete, the Cynics and Cyrenaics tried to define it,
to give it content
and to show a practical way of reach
ing it. They attempted

(1)

to

affirmatively that there is

answer

a

universal

validity ;

(2)
(3)

to show

to reach

Both

in what
how man

to show

it consists
must

;

himself in order

prepare

it.
schools

are

individualistic and

They

that to affirm that
maintained
for its own
sake is to leave the Good
affirm that the Good
to go in a circle. The one
to

eudsemonistic.
the Good is good

contentless ; and
is insight into the Good
is

to the
answer
unambiguous
is ideal excellence or the
question
of Socrates, What
This gives a
is happiness.
Good ? is this : Goodness
to the otherwise contentless ideal of Socrates.
content

The

difference between

schools consists in the
be obtained.
ethical way in which this happiness
may
It will appear, therefore, that the Lesser Socratics
diametri
Sophistic than Socratic. They were
were
more
cally opposed

to

the two

Socrates' theory of the universality of

SOCRATES

95

be sought by each in
must
excellent Good
his own
way. This is individualistic virtue, and not that
by them
Civilization was
only
valued
of humanity.

The

truth.

it satisfied individual needs. The common
problem
limited the efforts of both
of individualistic happiness
schools, while the results that they reached in solving
as

it

quite different.

were

of achieving happiness ; one is
by satisfying the desires, the other is by cutting off the
is the perfect proportion
desires. For happiness
of
is happy if his
desire and satisfaction. A living creature

There

desires

two

are

are

ways

desires be

those

satisfied,whether

few

or

In the theory of the Cyrenaic school, happiness
many.
is gained by increasing the satisfactions ; in the theory
is gained by decreasing
of the Cynic school, happiness
the desires.
The

many

Thebes,

was

founded

its adherents
stories have

among

numbered
so

School

Cynic

curious
his wife Hipparchia,

by Antisthenes, and
Diogenes, about whom
been

of
her brother, Metro-

and

cles. Virtue in the eudsemonistic

told, Crates

sense

is the only end,
that this end is

and this school agreed with Socrates
That is to say, virtue or
to be attained by knowledge.
is only a means
knowledge
of gaining happiness, and all
other possessions the Cynics affected to despise. Virtue
as

knowledge

is therefore to be sought ; ignorance is to
; all else is a matter
of indifference. Riches,

be shunned
luxury, fame,

with logical consistency
and

country

were

He

all shame,

of
objects

himself independent
cannot

pain, and later
convention, family,

honor, sense-pleasure and

contempt.

Man

must

make
by cutting off the desires which he
the desires that seem
superfluous.

satisfy or
should keep alive only such desires

as

are

necessary

OF

HISTORY

96

to existence.

In independence

the Cynic

stance

PHILOSOPHY

conceives

of all outward
circum.
himself to be the Wise Man,

fools. The
in contrast to whom
the mass
are
of men
Cynic is,therefore, the equal of the undesiring gods. He
lordship and does not need the artifi
has independent
Natural law was
by
contrasted
cialitiesof civilization.
in

him

a

Sophistic way

midst of the refinements
to

a

state

of nature.

School

Cyrenaic

The

statutory law, and in the
of society he preached a return

with

lived in Cyrene,
who
Africa. Aristippus was

was
a

founded

luxurious

by

Aristippus,

city of

northern
a
man
of the world. He was
first a Sophist and later a disciple of Socrates. After
Socrates' death he returned to Cyrene. Here he founded
his school, which included three generations of his own

Arete, his
members
of it were
prominent
Hegedaughter ; Aristippus, his grandson
; Theodorus,
the author of so-called
sias, Anniceris, and Euhemerus,

family.

The

Euhemerism,

originally
which taught that the gods were
In opposition to the brutal bareness of
only great men.
the true end of life
the Cynic school, the Cyrenaics saw
Protagoras, Aris
Following
in the pleasures of sense.

said that the sensations are always true and
be defined in terms of motion. The school developed
tippus

can
an

its
elaborate psychology of sensation which summarizes
doctrine. It is as follows : (1) The intensity and not
its value ; (2)
the duration of a sensation determines

Bodily
cause
own

pleasures

they

are

are

more

sensations, and

of greater value than mental be
know only my
intense ; (3) I can
therefore they

are

of greater value
reasonable insight which

than another's ; (4) Man has a
determines him in the choice of his sensations.
The practical problem
of life for this, as it

was

for

97

SOCRATES

the Cynic
pendent

individually inde
how to become
school, was
of the world. But the Cyrenaic taught inde

in opposition to the Cynic's in
pendence by enjoyment,
by renunciation.
The Cyrenaic Wise Man
dependence
knows all the pleasures of life thoroughly, from animal
satisfactions to spiritual ecstasies. He uses them all, but
forgets himself. He is lord of his appetites, never
never
peace.
wishes the impossible, and has perfect and serene
interesting fact that this pleasure-loving
It is an
as
the consequence
of its theory.
school drew pessimism
it is a failure. That life
If life fails to give
enjoyment,
pain than plea
alone is reprehensible that has more
It is on this ground
sure.
that man
should submit to

law and

custom

rather than

give up

his pleasures.

Yet

is
that man
maintained
While he should have pleasure,
bound to be unhappy.
he is so constituted that he cannot
gain it. The body
is an inevitable sufferer. The highest that we
of man
hope is painlessness.
can
some

members

of the

school

and Cyrenaic schools occupy an important
The Cynic doc
position in the history of philosophy.
the basis of the teaching of the Stoic school,
trine was
the legitimate predecessor of the
and the Cyrenaic was

The

Cynic

Epicurean
Athens

school. These

seventy-five

founded in
great schools were
years later, and will be discussed

under the Hellenic-Roman

Period.

VI

CHAPTER
THE

(399 B. C.-322

PERIOD

SYSTEMATIC

B. C.)

Spirit. The
National
of the Greek
Systematic Period extends from the death of Socrates
to the death of Aristotle. It is only seventy-seven years
The

Waning

^

long
and

about the
half as long as
"

those

with
and
The

ends

sorry

with
was

period

same

length

as

the Anthropological

the Cosmological

days

after the

Period.

It begins

Peloponnesian

War

power.
supremacy
of Macedonian
filled with ferocious wars
the
among

the

the supremacy
cities. First came
of Sparta,
then of Thebes
(371-362 B. c.),then the invasion by
Philip of Macedon
and the battle of Chjeronea, 338 B. c.
In 334 B. c. Alexander
the Great began the conquest

Grecian

in two years. He
of the Orient, which he accomplished
by this that he could reunite the Greeks in a
thought
In the first
He failed for two reasons.
cause.
common

would not take him
In the second place, the
a national
as
representative.
The
Greek spirit was
people had lost their
waning.
had set in. The worm
was
at
glorious ideals. Decay
place,

as

a

Macedonian

the Greeks

the root of Greek life. Greek
had passed.
manship
The

of the Three

History.

Greek

life

Place

was

art, literature, and states

Systematic

Philosophers

in

Greek
national
when
dissolution, science ripened its

Nevertheless,

approaching
sys
richest fruits and created its most
comprehensive
These
tems
are
connected
of philosophy.
with the
Plato, and Aristotle. These
names
'of Democritus,

THE

PERIOD

SYSTEMATIC

99

be accounted for by the
evidently cannot
Neither the
in which
they appear.
social conditions
the demand
of the disrupted Greece of these
need nor
great systems

be

to explain the appear
sufficient cause
Aristotle. The interests of the
ance
of a Plato or an
narrower
as the interests of the
Greek people became

years would

a

became

Greek

philosophers
intellectual tendency

more

human.

broadly

of this short period

was

utilitarian
interested the

that now
and practical. The problems
Athenians
the details of mechanics,
were
The field of science
rhetoric, and politics.
the first time
"

a

systematized

classification which,

physiology,
for
was
now

to logic, ethics, and

physics
we
shall find, will exist for
not Athens
and Macedonia,

centuries. Sparta
and Abdera, represent the spirit of the period.
Plato, and Aristotle do
If then Democritus,

many

The

re

not

they live, what relation do they
bear to Greek civilization? They are not isolated and
out of all relation to the life of the Greek
people. On
flect the time

in which

the contrary,

they

most

profound

them

as

the most

comprehensive
of Greek life. One

expression

the

and
turns

to

perfect representation of Greek cul
are
the intimate expression
of Greek
Greek thought.
if not of contemporaneous

the most

They

ture.

are

thought,

even

final statements
of the two preceding
into a time that had other interests.
periods, projected

They

are

the

to

its final jx^ression^and,
close, was
form. ~Plato
for the
did the same

Period.
mocritus

meaning,

In Aristotle the

-a,

Anthropological

cosmology
of De
and the systematic ethics of Plato find a new
in a closer union, under a more
coordinating

principle. Aristotle

was

systematic

the last possible word

of Greek

100

HISTORY

OF

PHILOSOPHY

for he systematized every branch known
to
He not only evolved a speculative theory
the Greeks.
philosophy,

of the whole, but he organized
be further said that no
must

the special sciences. It
one
of these three great

Greeks

the results each did pro
could have produced
duce, if each had not been the leader
of a school of
Within
have
many
workers.
each school there must

been vigorous cooperation along lines according to the
inclination of the individual members.
Thus each school
collected
over

a

vast

according
The

amount

of material

to the method

Fundamental

which

and purpose

was

worked
of the leader.

Principle

Systematic
of the
At the beginning
Period.
of this book attention was
Greek, Mediaeval, and
called to the difference between

Modern

thought.

It
objective.

Greek

is important

thought

was

characterized

to reiterate this

sig
objective

nificance of Greek thought at this point, when
about to discuss the teachings of Democritus,
and Aristotle. Plato's theory is often called an
ism

and

Democritus'

theory

the idealism and materialism
have fluctuated in their
terms
such
from
was

the

but

Plato,
ideal
are

of modern

times.

No

meanings

more

than

be judged
as
these, as can
philosophical terms
the fact that in the Middle Ages Plato's doctrine

called realism. The
sense
that Berkeley

Greeks
and

were

Hegel

general, it should be remembered

idealists in

not
were

idealists. In

that when

we

of Greek art, Greek politics,Greek philosophy as
istic,they are not idealisticin the modern
sense.*
The open-minded
Greek sought to picture, to
*

are

we

they

materialism,

not

as

Read

cerning

Zeller, Pre-Socratic Phil,

the

philosophy.

character
objective

speak
ideal

ascer-

vol. i,pp. 138-149,

of Greek

con-

morality, art, and

THE

PERIOD

SYSTEMATIC

101

by the wish to
tain, to present. He was
not dominated
how things should be. To know
and to under
show
the abiding reason
stand, to explain by understanding
in things, to find out the fundamental
principle in
things
"

rather

this

Greeks.

than

the personal
adjust
attitude of mind
objective

the

was

Greek

The

ized his thought

it to

to

before he reasoned
in form before he
saw

;

desires
of

the

he visual
the form

subjected

The

to rational analysis.

cosmos

was

a

harmony

and

rather
which he stood in contemplation
found in it
were
than in criticism. Human
elements
"
The
but only as parts of that cosmos.
everywhere,
an

before

art

of the spiritual and the natural, which Greek
is the direct un
demands
thought
and presupposes,
broken unity of the classic theory of the world." 1
unity

the great theories of the System
whatever names
that they
must
atic Period are called, we
remember
did not depart from this
Greek point of view.
objective
At certain times the moorings of Greek
thought seem

By

about

to be shifted,

as

when

Plato passes

beyond

the

ancient Greek
attitude and anticipates Christian mo
rality by flight from the world of sense,
and when Aris
totle elaborates his doctrine of a transcendent
god. But
the tie
remain

breaks,

never

Greek

and

Systematic philosophers
They have the Greek
modern.

and
not

the

The
inner consciousness
of mind.
does not stand with its attestations over
against all
other things. The greatest of these philosophers never
thought of himself but as " bone of the bone and flesh

attitude
objective

"
of the flesh

him. In art the
surrounding
"
classic Greek " could obey but not surpass nature
; in
beings that were
religion he worshiped
only superior
1

of the world

Zeller, Pre-Socratic Phil., vol. i, p. 162.

OF

HISTORY

102

PHILOSOPHY

in politics he was
a
member, of a social
Pericles, Socrates, Protagoras,
whole. To
-ZEschylus,
Plato, and Aristotle alike,
Aristophanes, Democritus,

human

beings

human

nature

is

Greek

The

;

a

mind

part of the world and not vice

interpreted

versa*

rather than

nature

re

created it.
then, is the nature

What,

of the development
of Greek
respect does the Greek System

in what
atic philosophy differ from the philosophy
Cosmologists ? Greek philosophy in the
thought,

and

of the Greek

Cosmological

har
of an objective
mony
and spirit which is called hylozoism.
of nature
Step by step in the Anthropological
and Systematic

Period

starts

with

a

conception

that harmony

Periods

becomes

broken

into

a

dualism

The philosophy of this Systematic
and matter.
Period is a dualism of the parts of one
world,
objective
a
not
antithesis. The
realm
of

of mind

subjective-objective

spirit lies side by side with that of nature, and the sep
aration and alienation never
reached the complete form

tematizers
part

a

are

in part represent
scientific effort to

overcome

Ages.

it.

"

In spite of

[toa dualism]the

this tendency
tion

The

Sysgreat Greek
this dualistic tendency, in

that it did in the Middle

[aharmony

between

original presupposi
asserts itself
and

nature

spirit]

in decisive traits ; and we shall find that the true cause
of its incapacity to reconcile these contradictions satis
factorily lies in its refusal to abandon
that presupposi

When

tion.
to

it

no

cording

that

canceled, there remains
of filling up a chasm which, ac

possible way
to its own
standpoint, cannot

A Summary
summary

[unity]is

of Greek

of Greek
1

exist."

*

At this point a
philosophy will be help-

Philosophy.

objective

Zeller, Pre-Socratic Phil., vol. i, p. 162.

THE

SYSTEMATIC

PERIOD

103

philosophical problem that had been working
itself out since Thales had been this: How
may we
think the Being that abides amid the changes
of phe
? The Cosmologists scrutinized physical nature
nomena

ful. The

differentiating nature
and spirit, con
The An
ceived abiding Being to be living matter.
doubted if there is any
thropologists (exceptSocrates)
the Systematic Philosophers
abiding Being. Among
without

and,

a

for

dualism

spirit

the first time

appears.
differentiated,but both remain

are

Nature

and

entirely ob

Democritus
jective.

regarded the material universe as
abiding Being, but in so large a way as to be able to
it a psychology and an
construct
upon
ethics. Plato
found
a

of moral

group

to

tempts

and

Being

abiding

spirit apart from physical nature.
to Aristotle is the spirit m
nature.
the

Philosophy

1. The

(objective).

Cosmologists
Being

Abiding

realm

the opposition between materialism
him abiding Being is neither physi

To

cal nature nor
Abiding Being

Greek

of the spirit, in
aestheticentities. Aristotle at

and

overcome

Platonism.

in the

"

Hylozoism.

is living nature

living matter.
2. The Anthropologists

"

"

Relativism

some

form

of

(exceptSoc

rates)
.

is not

abiding, but consists of transitory
mental states. This is a form of what was
called
by the schoolmen Nominalism,
and summed
up by
Being

the phrase Unwersalia post rem.
3. The Systematic Philosophers.

Democritus
Being
in

so

"

Materialism.

consists in material atoms,
large a way as to furnish

psychology

and

an

ethics.

but regarded
basis for a
a

OF

HISTORY

104

Plato

PHILOSOPHY

Idealism.
Objective

"

Being

consists of permanent
moral and aesthetic
concepts or types. In mediaeval philosophy Platonism

was

called realism

by the phrase Universalia
Aristotle
Conceptualism.

was

and

summed

up

rem.

ante

"

The

abiding Being does not consist of material
in spiritual types apart from matter,
nor
atoms
but is an unfolding essence
This was
in matter.
usually

and was
in re.

by the Schoolmen,
called conceptualism
up by the phrase Universalia
summed
Aristotle's conception was as difficultas it

important.

was

He

was

conceptualist, but sometimes
an

of

"

not

always

appeared

clearly a
in the role

realist."
objective

Democritus

Plato
Their
Similarities and
and
The materialism
Differences.
of Democritus
and the
idealism of Plato were
as was
as opposed
possible within
"

We
not exaggerate
must
of Greek thought.
their similarities,but they had at least four common

the realm

characteristics.

Their Similarities.
1. Both
starts

as

develop

an

reaction from
They agree with

a

tagoras.

rationalism,1 which
the perception theory of Pro

outspoken

Protagoras

that

yield truth, and so they turn away
to find true knowledge.
tion to the reason
cannot

2. Both
1

develop

Rationalism

knowledge
alism.

and

a

world

sensationalism

is obtained. Rationalism
Rationalism
is the belief

of twofold

perception
from percep

reality. Percep-

from which
refer to the sources
is to be contrasted with sensation
is an independent
that the reason

and has a higher authority than sense-perception.
of knowledge
Sensationalism
is the belief that all our
knowledge
originates in sensa*
is often used for sensationalism.
tions. Empiricism
source

tions

are

PERIOD

SYSTEMATIC

THE

regarded by them
are
transitory. Both

perceptions

illusions, although

as

not

105

a

make

new

estimate

and give to the world of perceptions a
relative value. There are therefore two kinds of reality :
the relative reality of the world of perceptions and the
of perceptions,

The result in
absolute reality of the world of reason.
both is a broad theory of knowledge.
3. In both, reality consists in a plural number
of
Both reach their conception of these
norms.

objective

in the

norms

same

The

way.

qualities of things
reality is discovered be

changing

stripped away and the true
neath. Both designate this true form
are

idea

To
(iSe'a).

4. Both
dualism

are

which

both, the forms

are

by the

to overcome
scientificallythe
attempts
from the former hylozoism
had emerged

of the

"

of

Idea.

word,

entities.
objective

of Greek thought.
TJieir Differences The Development

ing

same

1. But

different in the

the forms

doctrines

ideas

or

two

these

of

are

so

Mean
vitally

philosophers

that they have

On
the name.
save
nothing in common
"
the one hand, Democritus
took the word " idea
justas
he found it in popular speech. It is the shape of a vis
ible thing, the geometrical
form of physical

objects.

It gets

no

physical

new

atom.

new

meaning.
The
content.

The

idea

of Democritus
1

Teleology

teleological
purpose

content

With
He
idea

are

is the

cause,

involved

as

a

an

and

is merely

Plato, however,

fillsthe form

becomes

logical species

in his hands, but

the word
idea with an

or

quantity becomes
Idea. The forms

teleological

doctrine
is the

that things
"

same

In

as
which
in an action. It ia contrasted

a

ethical

a

both

exist for

final

gets

quality.
of Plato are
while the forms

causes,

atom-complexes.1

now

the

some
"

"

cause

or

philosoA
purpose.
is
the
end,"

with mechanical

or

efli-

OF

HISTORY

106

PHILOSOPHY

of reality. But while Democritus still keeps his forms as the realities of physical
Plato conceives his forms to be true realitiesof
nature,

pliers they

are

the

human

nature.

objective
2. This
phers may

norms

the two
philoso
vital difference between
explanation from the difference in
get some

they
the philosophical inheritance of each. To be sure,
were
contemporaries, both being born in the Anthro

pological Period and both doing their most
in the Systematic Period. Both, too,
work

mature
ac

were

time.
of the preceding
quainted with the philosophy
Plato,
But the ethical teaching of Socrates dominated
it he became
the legitimate perfecter of
and through
the Greek enlightenment
and the anthropological move

But

ment.

Democritus

what
? It

the

was

to

seems

influence
have

Socrates

of

upon
is
Why

been

nothing.
Democritus
when

Plato absolutely silent about
tions other Greek philosophers ? No one
stands at Abdera
able to say. Democritus

he

men

yet been
isolated from

has

The only influence
at Athens.
ethical movement
from Protagoras,
came
upon him from that movement
Democ
a
of the school at Abdera.
who was
member

the

ritus is the finisher of the Cosmological movement.
The

ritus
about

Life of Democritus
was
twenty
years
ten

years

younger

than
younger
Plato. He was

tion older than
Aristotle was
a
young
was

(460-370

man

therefore contemporary

B.

than

c.). Democ
Protagoras,

Socrates, and

a

genera

outlived by Plato ; and
Democritus
died. He
when
with the intellectual move-

to catch it. Elec
runs
and a man
The pur
cause
tricity is the mechanical
of the car.
of the movement
is the teleological cause
; the strength
of his running
pose of the man
in his legs is the mechanical
or
of his running.
efficient cause

cient

cause.

A trolley

car

is moving

THE

PERIOD

SYSTEMATIC

101

in Greece, with Athens
as
a
centre.
going on
While he does not appear to have come
under the in
fluence of Socrates, he was
with the
well acquainted
destructive epistemology of the Sophists. Abdera, where
ment

he lived, is in Thrace,
the Anthropological

and

seems

movement

to

have

at Athens.

been

The

outside

school
in
was

Democritus
was
; and
at Abdera
of Leucippus
structed in the Sophistic doctrine directly from
tagoras,

was

a

member
The
to Athens.

who

of the Atomistic

Pro

school

three Systematic philoso
travelers, Democritus
not less than

before going

phers were
wide
Plato and Aristotle. He traveled extensively through
Greece, Egypt, and the Orient. He then returned to

He remained
and began his scientificactivity.
to know
five years in Egypt, and came
the greater part
Asia. He returned to Abdera about 420 B.C.,
of western
Abdera

and therefore did not begin his teaching before he was
forty years old. The length of time that Democritus,
Plato, and Aristotle took for their apprenticeship, and
the advanced
age before they began
Democritus
is remarkable.
was
the

their mastership,
greatest investi

in antiquity, and Aristotle used much
for his own
scientific writings.
work
the writings of Democritus,
and
ancients admired
in the fourth century after Christ
loss of them

gator of nature
of Democritus'

The
the

lamentable
to
that has happened
of the most
the literary documents
of antiquity. His works were
extraordinary in number,
sub
and upon every known

is

one

ject.
Democritus

the real exponent
of the Atomistic
founder, Leucippus, belonged to the Cosmo-

school. The
logical Period

was

;

Anthropological

Protagoras, the Sophist, belonged
Period, and

to the

had great influence in the

HISTORY

108

OF

PHILOSOPHY

of the school at Abdera ; but Democritus,
in systematizing
the doctrines of Leucippus
and in
accepting the perception theory of Protagoras, became

development

its most
tematizer

all the

notable

representative.

He

of the Cosmologists, and
Cosmologists in embodying

the great sysyet he differed from
was

in his theory

the

results of the Sophistic movement.
TheComprehensiveness

of the

Aim

The

of Democritus.
of Democritus

of the philosophy
reconstruction
has always been difficultfor the historian because, from
the originally great mass
The fragments
remain.

of his writings, only fragments
interest
show, however,
many

that he covered the entire range of experi
in his investigations; that he was
ence
quite as much
interested in psychical as in physical problems ; that his

ing things

:

contribution

to epistemology

was

even

greater

than

to

interested in the atomic theory
physics ; and that he was
hypothesis
because he believed that it was
a working
for the explanation of experience of every kind. This
last characteristic shows
the systematic nature
of his
and his right to stand with Plato and Aristotle.
work
fully realized that the task of science was
Democritus
a conception
to explain experiences through
of reality.

So he constructed
that he might

his conception

explain phenomena

in order
of the atom
intelligibly. He saw

strange to experience or against ex
conception
scientific
perience, like the Eleatic Being, would answer
A rational conception of absolute reality will
demands.
have value only as experience testifies to it and, on the
that

no

other hand, as it explains experience. Democritus
valued
because it seemed
his theory of the atoms
to explain
This construction of a single funda
all phenomena.
mental rational principle for all kinds of phenomena

THE

shows

how

much

SYSTEMATIC
more

of

a

PERIOD

systematic scientist he

The

Enriched

becomes

Physics

of
There

Materialism.

Democritus
is

"

Hylozoism

in
great enrichment
in the physical doctrine
so

elaboration and generalization
over
that of Leucippus
of Democritus
a

was

the Cosmologists.

than

to

109

that it amounts

In all probability Leucippus,
Cosmologists, was
hylozoist, and did not
a
in principle.

change

like other
differentiate matter
the Reconcilers, or

and

life. He

is to be grouped with
the Eleatics, rather than

even

with
Democritus_was[

with Democritus.
period of forty years between

^

materialist.
himself and Leucippus

The

had

been

the rich period of the introduction of psychologi
cal investigation and of the discrimination of psychical
from physical processes.
Materialism or spiritualism is

possible in the historical development
of the human
mind until it passes through justsuch a period of differ

not

entiation

the Sophistic Enlightenment.

as

Before

such

period there is animism
and hylozoism ; after such a
period there is materialism
and spiritualism of various
be discriminated from spirit before
sorts. Matter
must
a

be reduced to the other. So the
of the terms can
hylozoistic pluralism of Leucippus
in the hands
became
a realisticmaterialism,
of Democritus
pluralistic as well.
The reduction of all phenomena
by Democritus
to a
one

was
theoretically an enrichment
mechanics of atoms
of
for
it
physics,
anticipated the underlying
principle of
modern
physics. The apparent qualities of things and
the qualitative changes
of things are
conceived by

Democritus

to be in

He

of atoms.
in detail how

mechanical

truth

only
set before himself
this

or

motion.

a

quantitative relation
the task of explaining

that quality consists of atoms

The

mental

life of

man

must

in

be

HISTORY

110

OF

PHILOSOPHY

way. So too, wherever he could,
explained in the same
he emphasized
more
sharply than his predecessors the
Im
necessity of the movement
mechanical
of atoms.

pact caused by contact
occurrence

every

plained
to

and

of the

spiritual agency.

some

No

change.

the manifestation

as

was

atoms

event

the

cause

is to

be

of
ex

of some
spirit,or referred
Mechanical
is behind
cause

every event ; mechanical cause
of the doctrine of Democritus

is the unifying
;

mechanical

principle
is the
cause

for the chasm between the philosophy of Plato, of
Aristotle, and that of Democritus.
It is the reason,
too,
was
why the theory of Democritus
obscured until mod
ern
times. All teleological conceptions
and all hylozoreason

isticand animistic ideas are expelled from the theory of
Democritus, on the assumption
that spatial form and
are

simpler and more
for the
explanation. Thus
motion

terms
comprehensible
of
first time we
have a con

and for the first time
outspoken materialism,
the world is conceived to be a universal reign
of me
chanical law.

scious

physical theory of Democritus also yielded
the historical evolution
scientificexplanation
The

of

The

universe.

parts

the Plenum

:

atoms

;

atoms

move.

and

rich
of the

to Democritus,
according
consists of two
of Leucippus,

universe,

following the teaching

a

"

"

or

self-moving, qualitatively similar
or
the Void
the
empty
space, in which
The Plenum, or the atoms, is Being ; the

differ only in form and
is not-Being. The atoms
*
and therefore are of
size ; they are infinite in number
infinite number
an
of forms and sizes ; they are imper

Void

ceptibly small. The
1

Atoms

form.

perceptible qualities do not

differ primarily

in form

; size
(tSe'a)

is referred

belong
in part tc

THE

PERIOD

SYSTEMATIC

to them, but to their motions.

Motion

1H

is

an

irreducible

function of atoms, and each atom, lawless in itself,is in
flight through space. An aggregation
arises
of atoms
in their cosmic flight. The shock
meet
when the atoms
into itself.
causes
a
atoms
vortex
which draws more
together, and the heavy atoms
innu
press the fine fire-atoms to the periphery. Thus
merable worlds are formed, for any place of the meeting

Like

are

atoms

of several atoms

Sometimes

drawn

can

be the beginning
are

small worlds

of a new
world.
drawn into the vortices of
large worlds disintegrate

large worlds, and sometimes
in fatal collisions. The
worlds

are

therefore

endless
in space

and in endless succession. The whole swings
like a ball ; the rim of the whole consists of compact
further
is filled with air. To much
; the centre
atoms
developed a
go here Democritus
the
theoretical description of cosmic evolution upon

length

than

we

can

principle of mechanical
is almost modern.
Materialistic

The

necessity
Psychology

"

and the description
It is

of Democritus.

an
explanation of the physical uni
easy to understand
in motion ; for our
as
verse
atoms
scientific
modern
if we
are
theories of nature
set in these terms, even

have

transformed

the

Democritan

entity. It is rather more
materialist as Democritus

dynamic
such

a

materialistic principle
tal life.

over

upon

into a
static atom
interesting to follow

in his extension
the realm

of the

In the first place, Democritus
conceives man
Man
part and parcel of the world of atoms.
posed of all kinds of atoms.
His
water,
and air atoms.
atoms,

which

differ from

of the
men

to be

is

com

His body consists of earth,
is made
up of fire
mind

the others in being the finest,

PHILOSOPHY

OF

HISTORY

112

On

this account
the fire
the most perfect of all. Psychical activity is
are
atoms
They are scattered throughout
the motion of fire atoms.
the universe, and wherever they are, there is life. They
most

smoothest, and

mobile.

There is
in plants and animals as well as in man.
in man,
a larger collection of them
and this shows his
there is a
other living things. In man
superiority over
are

between

fire atom

every two

other atoms, and the whole
by breathing. The different forms of

is held together
mental

activity

are

simply

different forms

of atomic

motion.

In the next

place,

our

atomic

make-up
complexes, if we

atomic
activity. External

presence of other

involves the
are

to have

things must stimulate
psychical
But these external things are atoms in action. They
us.
into contact
however, influence us only by coming
can,
bodies can
bodies. Only by impact
on
our
with our
any

they set in motion the fire atoms
which are
through our bodies. Every kind of knowledge

scattered
or

men

tal life involves the participation of the fire atoms in us.
Thus mental activity involves two factors ; the fire atoms

and an external group of atoms without
did Democritus
explain the varied mental
the resultant of these two factors ? He employed

within
How
as

us

us.

life
the

theory of effluxes, belief in which he shared with his
time. This is a purely physiological assumption,
origi
that some
nated by such Cosmologists as Empedocles,

how external bodies send off emanations
bodies. Most
our
strike upon
which
influence

distance

from themselves
in the

objects

and only through the
conceived these
emission of these effluxes. Democritus
"
to be little copies or " eidola
of the thing
emanations
that sends them off. To illustrateDemocritus' meaning :
world

us

at

a

PERIOD

SYSTEMATIC

THE

113

off by
it, hit my eye? This theory retained its position in phi
losophical circles until after Locke. It persists in the
to-day. It is a general belief that a
mind
popular
a

tree is

by

seen

littletrees, thrown

because

me

is a copy, photograph, or image
"
image " and " imagination
words

thought

The

origin. It was
set in motion

believed by Democritus

"

of the thing.
betray their

that such copies

organs and through them the
The effluxes can, however, affect only those
fire atoms.
and
organs of the body that have similar formation
the

sense

similar atomic motions.
in the degree of
But the effluxes vary very much
There are
fineness of their atomic structure.
all sorts,
Since the efflux must
from very fine to very coarse.
is to be
if that sense
correspond to a particular sense
vary
affected by it,the effluxes that can affect the senses
was
par
respectively as to their fineness. Democritus
ticularly interested in the sensations of sight and hear

ing

as

the

senses

Unless

examples
are

they

as
were

of this. None of the effluxes affecting
fine as those that stimulate the reason.
the finest of all the effluxes, they

could not affect the fine motions of the fire atoms of the
These finest "eidola" or effluxes are the true
reason.
copies of things, and the
things truly. Thought, on

therefore

reason

alone

knows

hand, is precisely the
atomic motion of the direct impact of the finest effluxes
the fine fire-atoms of the soul. Sensation, on the
upon

other hand, is atomic
the
reason

a

coarser

knows

roundabout

the

motion

one

from

the indirect impact

of
The

of effluxes upon the fire atoms.
reality directly. Sensations are aroused

grades

way

by the

in

effluxes setting in motion
in turn sets in
organ, which

coarse

sense
the corresponding
Thus
motion the fire atoms.

does Democritus

make

the

OF

HISTORY

114

distinction between
tive terms.

Thus

PHILOSOPHY

sensation in quantita
does he reduce his psychology to a con
thought

and

sistency with his metaphysical

Theory

Democritus'

of Knowledge
Democritus
would

Reality.

Twofold

principle of materialism.

The

"

World

have

been

of

only

he would
not
of the great Cosmologists, and
have his place by the side of Plato and Aristotle, if his
had
illuminated no
materialism
other subjectthan
physics. Indeed, it is doubtful if his physics would have
one

been
not

so

comprehensive
and unqualified had
strengthened by his discriminating theory

grandly

been

twofold

knowledge.

He

might

his materialism
so
satisfaction of his time both

tematized

it
of

have

extended and sys
that it explained to the

physical and psychical
been a hylozoist, like Leu-

and still have
cippus, the founder of the Atomistic school. The prob
lem of knowledge
our
the problem
of estimating
incomprehensible
to Leucippus
as
was
mental states
phenomena,

"

"

as

to the

Eleatics. Democritus,

however,

was

a

ration

realist like Plato and Aristotle. He recog
nized, as did they, that there is a difference in episteHis universalized materialism
did
mological values.
not prevent him from
evaluating our
experiences from
alist and

the

same

general point of view
and the Stagirite. He

Academy

as

the

leader

felt that

a

of the

twofold

reality is as consistent with materialistic principles as
So he reduced all qualities to quan
with idealism.
tities,and then as quantities re-valued and
His chief contribution was
to the
them.

epistemology
and
is treated among
among

not

the

to physics, and

Greek

the Cosmologists.

lay where

subjectof

that is why

Systematizers

Probably

he did his chief work.

classified
he

and not
his chief interest

THE

SYSTEMATIC

PERIOD

Hi

The perception theory of Protagoras was the starting,
point of both Democritus
and Plato. Both
adopted
it in order to transcend
it and make
it of real signifi
Democritus,

cance.

psychology,

the basis of his materialistic
is only a
that sense-perception

upon

admitted

be as transi
transitory process, and its knowledge
must
tory. But he did not agree with Protagoras
that all
knowledge
is perceptual. Sense-perception_ does
yield
only relative knowledge ; Hut there is another kind of
knowledge

that

knowledge
as

of the
as

well

is not
reason.

relative but absolute. This is
Human
beings have reason

sense-perception.

rationalist, although
The
contribution

a

Thus

is Democritus

materialist.
of Democritus

to

the

a

theory

of

knowledge

consists in justthis turn which he gave to
Protagoras' doctrine of perception.
The relativity of
theory a differ
perception becomes in the Democritan
ent

thing from

Sophist. To

in the doctrine of the great
what it was
Protagoras
is rela
perceptual knowledge

therefore of no value in determining
what is
is relative,
real. To Democritus
perceptual knowledge
but it has a value,
a
relative value. It gets this rela
tive, and

"

tive value from

the fact that the

reason

can

determine

reason,

reality. Perception is the contributor
and also in turn is illuminated by the

In the

same

absolute

breath

we

may

knowledge

knowledge
The

"

"

must

be of two

reason.

illuminated

was

result was
in the language of Democritus,
"
and
obscure insight."

objectscorresponding

knowledge

the

was
say that Protagoras
of Democritus, and in turn

contributor to the theory
that the Protagorean
relativism
the Democritan
rationalism. The
a

to

to

kinds.

these

On

two

the

twofold

a
"

by

genuine
kinds

one

of
hand,

the
the
"

OF

HISTORY

116

of
objects

tbejgason.

PHILOSOPHY
or

"

genuine knowledge,"

are,.

atoms
genuine, primary, or real properties of^jjhe
These are
for the atoms are reality to Democritus.

size, inertia,density, and hardness^1 A study of
.form,
these properties of things is, therefore, a study of real
On the other hand, the
objectsof perception
objects.
"are
insight
as
or
the properties of atoms
"obscure

perceived

obscurely by

the

These

senses.

the qualities
study of these is
are

are
or

color,,

relative

a
of things. A
study of
^properties is
was
materialism
relatively real. When
only what
revived by the Renaissance, the former group of objects
"
were
called "^primary ^qualities
and the latter "^ec-

ondar^j^ualities.'' These

have

terms

become

classic,

Democritus'
evaluation
rendered permanent
Out of
of the two kinds of knowledge.
objects
the fragments of the teaching of the Cosmologists and
and have
of the

of the Sophists, Democritus
with Plato, perhaps an
constructed contemporaneously
tecedently to him, a theory of twofold knowledge.

the one-sided epistemology

The ethics of
of Democritus.
Democritus is another example of his general principle
His attempt to reduce all
of atoms.
of a mechanism
qualitative to quantitative relations, which gives his
The

Ethical Theory

unique place in Greek thought, reaches its
highest distinction in his ethics. The influence of his
ethical doctrine upon the Epicureans, and possibly upon
theory

a

the Cyrenaics, shows its importance in history. Further
its high quality proves that a materialism can
more,
offer inspiring ethical doctrines. Some have placed the
ethics of Democritus

Socrates because,
1

as

a level with
the ethics of
upon
it is pointed out, he placed it upon

These all reduce to form,

"

see

above.

THE
an

intellectual basis.

117

PERIOD

SYSTEMATIC

The

basal ethical principle of
is
may be stated thus : As true knowledge
of the intellect, so true happiness is the

Deraocritus
the ideal

object
objectof our

conduct. The ethics of Democritus
is eudaemonistic, like that of Socrates.
differences. They are in
Pleasures have fundamental

ideal

the results of atomic motions ; but the atomic
motions of the intellect differ from those of the senses,
The
differ from one
another.
and those of the senses
fire atoms
of the intellect are small, and have a gentle,
every

case

are
atomic motions of the senses
effluxes of the
and violent, caused by the coarse
that excite them. Sense-pleasures are relative,

; the

peaceful motion
coarse

objects
like the
and

perceptions.

As

the appearance

gains

is obscure

perception

and

insight

the true reality, so

not

are
the pleasures of sense
transitory, uncertain, violent,
and deceitful. Intellectual pleasures are, like the intel

lect, real, true, permanent,
happiness, the goal of human

True

gentle, and peaceful.

that

activity, attends upon

right insight
upon
intellectual life. On

the gentle atomic motions of the
the other hand, the coarse
atomic
disturb the intellectual calm,
senses

"

of the

motions

believed
often violent explosions. Democritus
that knowledge
of the atoms, as the true explanation of
the world, will give to the soul a measure
and a har
and

mony,
sessor

are

will guard

of
like the

a

it from

peace

ocean

which
calm. Two
"

it pos
excitement and make
is
to use his happy
simile
"

ideals

seem

to stand

before

Democritus,

which he did not try to reconcile. Some
times before his mind's eye the ideal happiness is purely

intellectual pleasure
Sometimes he speaks

points
and
of happiness

self-control and temperance.

He

toward
as

never

asceticism.
the life of perfect

positively denies

118

OF

HISTORY

PHILOSOPHY

all value to sense-pleasure, but he gives to sense-pleas
the relative value that he gives to the senses
ure
them
is intel
the ground of happiness
selves. In every case
lectual refinement,
lack of it. The

and the ground

of
majority

men

of

with other Wise

Men.

the

are

sensualists and are
Man, who finds his hap

with the Wise
piness either in his individual life or
to be contrasted

unhappiness

in his friendship

VII

CHAPTER
PLATO

B. C.)

(427-347

materialism of Democritus was
the natural consummation
of the thought of the
Cosmological Period. The influence of the Sophistic

Abdera

and

The

Athens.

it, and brought
psychology only enriched it, widened
The
its materialism
into a systematic formulation.
Democritan
system from the isolated centre of Abdera
the death of Democritus
points only to the past. Upon
the school quickly disappeared. Its materialistic doc
from time to time in one
form and
trine reappeared
another,

in the

"

Stoics. It
during

Skeptics, the Epicureans,

was

the

reintroduced
Renaissance. So

cerned, the school of Abdera
an
early dying branch.

The

school of Athenian

tendency

of

Greek

as

a

system

far

as

an

was

Greece

arose

the

ethical teaching

con

the principal

from

the centre

of
to the future. It drew

Attic civilization and pointed
its materials from practically the same
philosophy of Abdera, but the materials
about

was

early ripening and

immaterialism,

thought,

and the
into Europe

of

sources

as

the

were

polarized
Socrates. The life of

Plato coincides with the unhappy
history of Athens
after the death of Pericles (429 B. C.).The Peloponbegan in 431 B. c., two years before the
nesian War
death

of Pericles and
Plato ; and it did not
most
was

disastrous
the

to

four

years

before

the birth of
The event
c.

end until 403 B.
during
the Athenians

Sicilian expedition

in 413

B.

c.

this

Athens

war

was

OF

HISTORY

120

PHILOSOPHY

in 403

by the Spartans

captured

B.

c.,

and the great

destroyed. The remainder
of the city were
of
Plato's life was
contemporaneous
with the devastating
the Greek cities,for there was
no
wars
among
city

walls

hold

to

strong

enough
left the hands

the balance

of

power

after it
Macedon

In 359 B. c.
of the Athenians.
began to loom up as a power in the north. The life of
immaterialism,
Plato, the formulator of Athenian
may
be easily remembered
as
covering that period between
the rise of Sparta and the rise of Macedon.
The Difficulties in Understanding
the Teaching

of
is
one
Plato. The theory of Plato
of the most involved
in the
difficult to understand
and one
of the most
history of philosophy. This difficulty of inter
upon
many
preting Plato as a philosopher depends
factors : upon the artistic literary form of the dialogue
whole

is presented ; upon
in which his philosophy
the con
flicting tendencies of thought in Plato himself ; upon
the fact that the composition of his dialogues extended
a

over

stant

period of
reshaping

his thought

than

more

of the

half
content

a

century
as

well

; upon
as

the

con

the form

of

upon the uncertainty of the chrono
logical order of his writings. This chronological order
of Plato's dialogues is an important factor in determin
;

and

ing his teaching.
century
on

the

nology

a

Since the beginning

of the nineteenth
vast amount
of literature has been published
theories of the dialogue-chro
and many

subject,
have

been

proposed.

There

are

three principal

groups of theories : (1) those based upon purely a pri
that
ori hypotheses, as, for example, that of Hermann,
each dialogue is a stage in the development
of Plato's
that of Schleiermacher, that Plato
systematic plan from the beginning ; (2) those

thought

;

or

had

a

based

121

PLATO

historicalallusions in the
upon an empirical study of the
Windelband, et als.*);
dialogues themselves (Zeller,
(3)
"
those recent theories based upon the
stylometric test,"
i.e. by an examination of the peculiarities of the style
representative of
of Plato. Lutoslawski is a prominent

this method.
The result to the student is bewildering, on
But since some
of the differing conclusions.
must

be made,

Windelband,1

account

choice
laid down by

shall follow the order
because it is fairly orthodox
we

and

con

the writings
servative. For convenience to the memory,
Plato's life. Our in
will be grouped in the periods of
in respect
terpretation will therefore follow Windelband
to the character of Plato's theory

itself.

important
Two
of Plato.
and Writings
divide Plato's long life of eighty years into three
events
the death of his master, Soc
periods. These events were
in 387
rates, in 399 B. c., and Plato's return from Sicily
The

Life

after having there come
under the influence of the
Pythagoreans. His firstperiod may be called his student
life,and was
twenty-eight years long ; the second period
B.

c.,

twelve years long ; the
that of the traveler, and was
that of teacher of the Academy,
third period was
and
forty years long. The firsthalf of his lifetherefore
was

was

covers

periods, and the second half covers
teacher. Probably he was
engaged in the
of the dialogues during all these periods,

the first two

his period

as

composition

and Cicero reports him

to have

died

"

pen

in hand

"

(scribensest mortuus).
i.

Plato's Student

Life

(427-399 B.C.).This

period

closeswith the death of Socrates. His acquaintance with
Socrates began when he was twenty years old, and there*
fore lasted eight years.
1

Windelband,

Hist,

of Ancient Phil., pp.

183-189.

HISTORY

122

OF

PHILOSOPHY

The dialogues written during this period are presenta
tions of the doctrine of Socrates and do not contain the
constructive theory of Plato. They

are

concerned

either

or
with Socratic subjects
with Socrates personally, and
were
written in part during Socrates' life, in part di

rectly after his death.
(a) Dialogues written
rates

under

the influence of Soc

:

Lysis, concerning friendship ;
Laches, concerning
courage ;

Charmides,

concerning moderation.
5) Dialogues written in defense of Socrates :
Crito, concerning Socrates' fidelity to law ;

Apology,

general defense of Socrates ;

a

Euthryphro,
2.

Plato

as

Socrates' true piety.
(399-387 B. c.).During this

concerning

Traveler

period Plato made one
short and two long
Upon
after each he returned to Athens.

journeys,
and

the death of
former pupil of

Socrates he went to Megara, where a
he
Socrates had a school. Upon this journey

was

accom

panied by other pupils of Socrates, who, as tradition
has it, feared violence to themselves after the death of
but a short
in Megara
Plato remained
their master.
time, and
his return
was

Immediately
upon
returned to Athens.
he went to Cyrene and Egypt, and
to Athens
from Athens about four years (until
395 B. c.).
soon

away
Egyptian
The

journeyhad

thought, but must

have

little influence

stimulated
four years (395-391
then remained
at Athens
and during this time he taught a small circle and
his polemics against the Sophists.

In 391

Sicily and

his

upon
his imagination.

He

B.

c.),

wrote

Plato made his first Italian journey to
southern Italy. This marks the second criti-

B.

c.

"

PLATO

123

For at this time
in his mental development.
cal point
under the influence of the Italian Pythag
(1) he came
oreans,
and failed in connection
and (2) he attempted
with Dion

and Dionysius
He was
sold as

*

to

erect

his ideal state

slave by Dionysius,
by a friend, and returned to Athens in 387 B.
been away about four years.

Syracuse.
deemed
having

a

in
re

c.,

It is to be noted that Democritus
and Plato were
wide
travelers, considering the difficultiesof locomotion of
Plato went to Egypt,
(see
spent several years in Asia Minor
Democritus

Both

the time.

and Democritus
p.

and

107).
dialogues

The

divided

into

tween

The

polemics against
from Egypt
his return

Italian
They

during

(a) the group
(6) the Meno.

Sophists, and

(a)

written

journeyin
are

an

391

B.

may

be

of polemics

against

the

the Sophists

(writtenbe

in 395

and his first

the Sophists, and to show
These polemical
Doctrines.

B.

c.

C.).
solid front against
the weakness of the Sophistic.

to present

attempt

this period

a

dialogues

are

:

criticism of the Sophistic assumption
that virtue is teachable, because that assumption
is incompatible with the Sophistic fundamental

Protagoras,

a

principle ;

superficial the Sophistic rhet
compared
with true culture, which is
how

Gorgias, showing
oric is when
the foundation

Euthydemus,

an

of real statecraft ;

exposition

of the

fallacies in the

Sophistic eristic;
,

Cratylus,

a

criticism of the philological attempts

the Sophists ;
*

Read

Wordsworth,

Dion.

of

124

HISTORY

Thecetetus,

a

knowledge

The

OF

PHILOSOPHY

criticism of the Sophistic theories of
;

First Book

concerning

(the "Dialogue
of the Republic
Justice "), a criticism of the Sophistic

naturalistic theory of the state.
(b) MenO) which contains the first positive state
by Plato of his own
ment
constructive theory. It is
the first intimation

beyond
the simple
of development
Socratic theory of knowledge.
Plato states this, how
ever,
rather timidly, by suggestions and after the man
ner

of

a

mathematician.

3. Plato
B.

as

c.).These

as

and

master

Teacher

the

(387-347

Academy

spent by Plato in Athens
of his school, the Academy,
with

forty years
teacher

of
were

of two journeysto Italy. He
journeysin the hope of realizing in

the exception

these

his political ideals. He
made
journeyupon the invitation of Dion,
way

fluencing

the younger

Dionysius,

and

undertook
a

practical
his second Italian
in the hope
the

of in
third Italian

reconcile Dion and Dionysius. This
him again into great personal danger.
What
? It was
a public
was
the Academy
grove or
garden in the suburbs of Athens (seemap, p. 219) that
had been left to the city for gymnastics
by a public-

journeyin order to
last journey
brought

It had been surrounded
named Academus.
wall and had been adorned by olive trees, statues,
Near this inclosure Plato possessed by
temples.

spirited

by

a

man

and
inheritance

here that he opened
small estate. It was
favorable for
his school, and few places could be more
Plato bequeathed
the study of philosophy.
this estate
a

held the property in a corporate
capacity for several centuries. The leader of the school
was
successor.
called scholarch, and he appointed his own
to the school, which

PLATO

125

kind of religious brotherhood based
a
school was
upon the worship of the Muses.
Note that Democritus, Plato, and Aristotle finished

The

their education at an age much beyond what is supposed
in fact,mature
to be the limit in modern
time. They were,
before

men

they began

Plato was
32
their life work.
to teach in Athens
and 40 before he

before he began

about his real life task in the founding of
Democritus was
40 before he returned to
the Academy.
set himself

his travels in Asia

from

Abdera

Minor.

Aristotle

was

he undertook
to act as tutor of Alexander,
and
he began his administration of the Lyceum.
The dialogues of the third period of Plato's life con^
tain his constructive theory, and are his masterpieces o"

41 when
49 when

The

topics with which they deal show the advance
over
the dialogues of his first period.
of his thought
The purely Socratic dialogues were
ethical discussions ;
art.

these

are

ethical, metaphysical, and physical.
Plato's delivery of his programme
Phcedrus,
upon
into active teaching in the Academy,
his entrance

in 386

B.

c.

Symposium,
"

exposition of his entire doctrine in
love speeches."
It is the most artistic of his writ

ings, and

an

represents

the climax

(385 or 384 B. c.).
The
Republic (major
portion).

of his intellectual

power

Republic
discussion

extended
:

(1)

second period,
ideal state which

ing

of the
It is a

justice
(writtenin
see
above) ; (2) concerning
; (3) concern
shall realize justice
concerning

the Idea of the Good

constitutions

and

a

over

composition
long period.

of states.

his life work.

the
the

and in criticism of the
It is Plato's masterpiece

OF

HISTORY

126

PHILOSOPHY

and Sophist, written to express the ol"
to the theory of Ideas, and to discuss such
jections
(Windelband holds these dialogues

Parmenides

objections.

written by Plato, but by
of his school. This is, however, not

were

of

not

some

member

the

consensus

opinion.)

Politicus, a

discussion of

the

field of knowledge

of action for a statesman.
Phcedo, Plato's final will and testament
and

to the school,

shortly before his third Sicilian journey,
It is his completed conception of the
B. c.
Idea of the Good
and of the relation of other
Ideas to it. It contains Anaxagorean
and Pythago

written
in 361

rean

elements.

Philebus, concerning

the ingredients of the Idea of

the Good.

Plato's conception of physical nature, ex
pressed in mythical form.
Laws,
the work of Plato's old age, his revision of
the ideal State.

Timceus,

Concerning

the

Dialogues1

of

Plato.

The

early

in metrical
their philosophy
philosophers
presented
"
"
form
as
; Socrates per
nature
poems
concerning
j
petuated his teachings through conversations with men

Plato

his influence permanent
by written
dia
made
logues ; Aristotle's philosophy, in the works that have
been preserved, stands in the form of treatises whose

is that of exposition. Plato's dialogues
sole purpose
therefore have a twofold place in the history of litera1

B. Jowett,

Dialogues

of Plato,

and introductions, 4 vols.
See p. 158 for selections from

lish readers.

trans,

into English

the dialogues made

with

analyses

by Jowett for Eng

PLATO

ture.

On

the

hand, in the

one

have

127

history of literature

as
them
standing
mentioned
in the development
of Greek
after the Greek
dialectics; on
the other hand, in the development
of
the con
philosophical instruction they stand between

proper

we

versations of
of Aristotle.

already
drama

Socrates

and

the scientific expositions

the first child of Fortune, and the com
the most
remark
plete preservation of his works was
the author of at least
able proof of it. ^Eschylus was

Plato

was

7 are
70 writings, of which
preserved ; Euripides was
18 are
the author of 95 writings, of which
preserved ;
Sophocles had 123 writings, aside from his lyric works,
of which 7 are preserved. Shakespeare wrote 36 plays,

Plato

35

wrote

dialogues

that

are

genuine.

All

of

down to us. Why
Plato's writings have come
were
the
writings of Plato preserved from the destroying hand
of

time?

preservation

There
:

(1)

are

at

they had

least three

of their

causes

intrinsic beauty

;

(2) there
; (3) the

public interest in them
contemporary
Plato's school kept close guard over
them.
chief cause,
By the dialogue Plato could employ
the Socratio
was

give
method,
The Republic

effect, and idealize Socrates.
is his crowning
literary effort, and the

dramatic

statement
political views.
of his mature
complete
is the best expression
Perhaps
the Philebus
of his

most

idea of goodness, and presents his most
or
complete
ganization of the sciences. All Plato's dialogues have
beauty and a purity of diction ; and they
a transparent
dia
may be taken as a revelation of himself. All are

logues

save

the

Apology,

but

the

dialogue

element
Socrates is usu

less and less in his later works.
in them, and to him is usually given
ally the spokesman
grows

PHILOSOPHY

OF

HISTORY

128

Only

few have

fixed plan of ar
One thread and then another is followed, and
gument.
decision whatever is reached ; for the dia
in many
no
logues must
in
always be taken as artistic products
idealized. Plato
are
philosophical experiences
which
myths or parables to illuminate his ar
often employs
the deciding word.

The
guments.
show the human
to

dramatic

a

In

the

a

the

situations and

a

literary adornments

touch, and the conversation often

moves

close.

Plato

Republic

sought

to

formulate

theo

retically certain political conceptions of the ideal State
then in the air. It is interesting to note that
that were

his conception influenced the political idealism of later
time, as, for example, Cicero's De Rcpublica, August

ine's City

of God,

Bacon's

the Sun,

of

More's

New

Utopia, Campanella's

State

Atlantis, Macchiavelli's

11

Principe.
The
i.

in the Construction

Factors

Inherited

His

Tendencies,

by instinct

of Plato's Doctrine.
(a) In the first

aristocrat. His family
one
was
of the most distinguished in Athens, and traced
its descent from Solon and Codrus. In making
an
esti
take account
must
mate
of the
of his philosophy one

place Plato

was

an

born. His metaphysi
of society in which he was
cal theory of Ideas is aristocratic, and in it he turns
from all that is of the earth earthy to what is above
caste

the

life of

"

opinion."

His

four

cardinal

virtues

are

only to the few. His political attitude was
hostile to the democracy, and yet his
peculiar. He was
far from the practical
so
political idealism diverged

possible

aristocracy that he completely ab
politics of Athenian
stained from public life. With Plato, philosophy once
have the strange
more
retires to the school. Here we

129

PLATO

of
juxtaposition
in

engaged
an

a

practical reformation,

and

pupil

whose

had

been

father

was

midwife, and Plato, his
Plato, the
interpreter,
a

mother

whose

artisan and

adoring

Socrates, the teacher, who

truest

"

speculation is not like the Philistine,
life is spent in the market
place or the work
whose
by the narrow
world is measured
shop, and whose
boundaries
of his native town ; it is the lord of the

idealist," whose

seen
retires to his mansion, after having
the world, and turns his gaze towards the distant hori
zon
; disdaining the noise of the cross-roads, he mingles

manor,

who

is heard the most
only in the best society, where
that
gant, the noblest, and the loftiest language

ele
has

1

of the Muses."
(b) In the next place Plato had an instinctive love
in his
for the beautiful, and in this he was
great, even
ever

been

Every

time.
was

spoken

Greek

Periclean
this. He

than

more

in the home

artistic, but

was

is to be

Plato

the
among
with Phidias and

ranked

great creators of the art of his day,
Sophocles. He represented in his person
everything
ideally Greek. He was
a man
of great beauty, a human
"

Apollo,

a

man

with every physical and mental
character was
almost ideal in its

endowed

talent, and his moral
purposes. His real name
name

opment
he was

Plato from

was

his broad

Aristocles, and he got his
frame. The artistic devel

of the time appealed to him in his youth, and
early interested in the writing of epic and dra

in no
artistic instinct determined
small measure
not only the form of the presentation of
his thought, but also the content
of the thought itself.

matic

poetry.

This

It determined

his principle of conceiving the Ideas, the
constitution of his State, his theory of pleasure, and his
1

Goethe.

HISTORY

130

OF

PHILOSOPHY

of the highest Good. The
presentation of his writings was

conception
the

him

as

His

2.
a

the matter

artistic form
important
as

of
to

presented.

Philosophical

Sources.

Plato

had

received

him familiar with all
education that made
interest to the Athe
scientific theories of current

careful

the

nians.
were

The

of the earlier philosophies, that
the mechanical
atomism
of Dein a different way by Plato
recombined

elements
fundamental
to

inocritus,

were

under the influence of Socrates' ethical principle. Even
Plato's political and artistic ideals are subordinate to
his entire absorption in the personality and teaching of
Socrates. Heracleitus, Protagoras, Parmenides,
and,

later, Anaxagoras
him

with

out

three

and

the

his philosophical

Pythagoreans,
materials.

We

the

of

furnished
may

point
that had an

preceding
philosophies
influence upon
him:
those of (1)
especially powerful
Socrates ; (2) Parmenides
; and (3) the Pythagoreans.

His revered master,

Socrates, furnished

Plato through

the conceptual principle, by which he worked
over
all his material into his daring system. The influ
him was
ence
of Parmenides
upon
also very great. He
"
Parmenides,
father."
speaks
of the Eleatic as
my
out

with

Plato
upon
must

betook

Eleatic school at Megara
the death of Socrates, and this shows
that he
already have been hospitable to the philosophy
himself

to the

taught

the conception of an absolute and eternal
by the human
The in
essence
reason.
of things known
fluence of the Pythagoreans
felt by Plato on
his
was
which

first visit to Italy. This
seems

Laws.

to

dominate

The

block. In

the

influence

dialogue

Eleatic Oneness
the

Pythagorean

was

grew with him, and
of his old age, the
a
single, immutable

doctrine

of

numbers

he

PLATO

131

found the conceptual divisions of that Oneness, and he
also found that such conceptions would give a content
to Socrates' conception of the Good. Indeed, the num
bers seemed to be the conceptual models for which

Socrates

was

searching.

Mathematical

of perception. They
eternal and immutable

pendent
are

are

truths

are

inde

innate ideas. They

Forms.

They

were

the

doctrine of
needed against the Protagorean
Heracleitus that
perception. While Plato agreed with
the visible world is a changing
world, and with Pro
tagoras that our
sense-perceptions of that world can
weapons

he developed his philosophy
yield only relative truth,
is due
almost entirely on its conceptual side ; and this
to the influence firstof Socrates, second of Parmenides,
Plato's completed
and third of the Pythagoreans.
in his
the theory of Ideas.,worked over
was

philosophy
mind

a

half-century

or

more,

and

is in itselfa history

of pure concepts.
of the development
Plato himself
The Divisions of Plato's Philosophy.
had no clear conception of an exact division of science,
and did not confine himself in a single dialogue to a
single science. Aristotle, however, distinguished in the
dialectic,ethics, and physics,
philosophy of his master
and these divisions of Plato's teaching have been tra

The dialectic,as commonly
used in 1
"
his time, meant
)
the dialogue or conversation employed
I
transas
a means
of scientificinvestigation." It was
formed by Plato to mean
not logical but metaphysical

ditionally adopted.

concerned with the laws of Being
rather than the laws of logic, and, as Being to him
to reduce
consisted of Ideas, his dialectic interest was
unity.
experience by division and induction to some

discussion. Plato

was

Plato's dialecticwas

not logical but methodological,

"

OF

HISTORY

132

logical operations

taken

PHILOSOPHY
as

a

whole,

"

by

means

of

another were
which the Ideas and their relations to one
to be found. The
physics of Plato is of littlevalue. It
was
an
of his school.
afterthought to satisfy the demands
The world of nature phenomena
be for Plato
could never
the

objectof

true

knowledge.

Unfortunately,

the teleo-

logical physics of Plato was
regarded by the Hellen
istic time and the Middle
Ages
im
Plato's most
as
portant

achievement.
of the Enlightenment,
as a moral
est in man

Plato wrote entirely in the spirit
and his works show a great inter
being, but littleinterest in physi

cal nature.
Summary

Plato

as

of Plato's Doctrine. The interpretation of
follows may be thus sum
set forth in what
Plato began with the conceptual form of ideal

marized :
ism, suggested

by the logical method
of Socrates, with
the purpose of solving logical and ethical problems. He
by the
to a teleological idealism, conditioned
advanced

doctrines of Anaxagoras
and the Pythagoreans, with the
purpose of applying his doctrine to physical problems.
The

Formation

liest period

Plato

of Plato's

made

(1) virtue is knowledge;

Metaphysics.

In his

ear

these

very clear statements:
(2) by knowledge is not meant

sense-perceptions. In his final statement
ofTus philo
it to posterity, he only gave a
sophy, as he bequeathed
new

of these two early principles, although
form. " Virtue
them in a highly complex

evaluation

he expressed
is knowledge

"

is the basis of agreement
between Socra
is not meant
tes and the Sophists ; and " by knowledge
"
is the basis of their opposition.
sense-perceptions

During

Plato's early period he was
acting
transcriber of Socrates in the presentation
principle

:

virtue is knowledge,

as

a

faithful

of this first
is teachable, is one. Dur-

PLATO

133

ing Plato's second period he was
called on to defend the
against the Sophists. Plato's formation
second statement
of his
where

begins at this point,
at the point
keenest. From this
his defense of his master
was
theory

own

time, for

Plato developed the Socra-

full half

a

tic principles in

but that

"

a

-century,
theory that went

never

was

untrue

Socrates,

far beyond

to him.

simplest way of stating Plato's formation of his
doctrine is this : he accepted the Protagorean doc
own
trine of a perceptual world of relative knowledge ; he

The

"

placed it beside the Socratic theory of conceptual reality ;
and as a result be conceived the world to be twofold.
Both Being and Becoming share in reality^.There are, on

thejjnejside, the immutable
reality ; there

are"

on

concepts that compose

the other

sjde^lbechanging

true

ppr-

ceptions that come
and govThe
world of true "eality_is,
but never
becomes ; the world of relative reality becomes,
but never
is. These two worlds are by nature separate ;
one

is the

the other is the
object*
is incorporeal, the other is corporeal.

of
object

the

reason,

; one
of the senses
The first world is the immutable

One

of the Eleatics

presented by Plato as a plural number
of Socratic con
cepts ; the other world is the Heracleitan flux presented
but
as
perceivable things. There is true knowledge,

Protagoras is right in saying that it cannot be found in
the perception of the material world. It is knowledge
of an incorporeal world, and that is precisely the world
of Socratic concepts which

now

in Plato's hands become

Ideas.
It would, however, be a mistake to suppose that
Plato's conception of the world was
an
artificialeclec
ticism, obtained by putting two worlds side by side. To
be

sure,

he

never

was

able to bring them

into

an

organic

""

-

HISTORY

134

OF

PHILOSOPHY

them
unity, and the dualism between
But they do not lie like two
marked.

desk, each having
the other. In the
gets

a

new

is often very
drawers in a

vital influence on the character of
juxtaposition
of the two worlds each
meaning, and the value of each becomes
no

greater.
In the firstplace,perception l gets a new
value. The
logic of the Sophistic doctrine of perception was
that
perceptions are the only form of knowledge, and even
perceptions have no share of truthfulness. Protagoras
himself did not go so far as this absolute skepticism,
but this is the logic of his position. Perceptions can

have

value, because each is a standard to itself.
Plato incorporates the perception theory into his cwn,
no

immediately

and

gives it a

new

value. Perceptions do
font thfty havg q

I
\

have a value for the practical \
relative_jvalue. They
world, although the highest they can give is Right Opin
ion. When
we
that the world of that day was
remember
of its own

speculations leading to nihilism, it is
that Plato did not turn away entirely from
remarkable
the doctrine of the Sophists. On the contrary, he took

weary

and gave to it a
up the Sophistic doctrine into his own
value which it had not possessed by itself.

In the second place, conception gets
What
was
conception to Socrates ? It was

a

new

the

value.
common

the uni
of opinions and perceptions ; it was
developed inductively out of many
par
versal that was
ticulars. Socrates brought many particulars together in
order to reveal their common
qualities. The abode of
content

conceptions

was

to

Socrates the half

opinions and experiences in which
1

For the distinction between

perception

-formed
conception

individual

and conception,

lay, as
see

in

p. 83.

135

PLATO

envelope ; and the conversation was needed to bring
it forth. The concept to Socrates was
the logical " na
"
ture
since Plato admitted the
of perceptions. But now

an

obliged to look
relative realityof allperceptions, he was
elsewhere to account for conceptions. If the conceptions
be the common
true reality,they cannot
are
quality in
"
"
of changing percep
opinions, nor the logical nature
conception cannot be contained in the
in an
perception. Accordingly the conception must exist
incorporeal world and possess an independent reality.
tions. The

true

\

concepts are hypostasized by Plato. They become
Ideas. Thus the Socratic concept became the Platonic

The

in T^tivfvnp.ftfrt.
ti,vn.p.
tJi-QUdJlt*
and foT tJinfirst.
TCdlimmaterial* The conceptual world
\ty is conceived as
the
than"
grows under Plato's hands to be "other

Idea

his first step beyond
perceptual world, and this was
Socrates. The_ conceptual world Jsjfcheperfect reality
in (
in any material thing nor
jhaj^annotj^contained
the sum
of all material things. The immaterial Ideas
.

of thought, as
object
of perception. Ideas
objects

are
the
phenomena
are
not the abstractions of
perceptions, for the process of thought is not an ana
lysis nor an abstraction, but an intuition of reality pre
sented in single instances. Ideas are the reality of which

are

the

nature

the copies or shadows. Perceptions do
not contain the truth. They are only the suggestions or
by which the soul bethinks itself of the
promptings
Ideas. Material things merely hint to the soul of the

perceptions

are

existence of the Ideas.
It is important in this connection to point out that
Plato's conception of immateriality is not to be taken
in modern

times by the spiritual or
psychical ; for, according to Plato, our psychical funo
as

what

we

mean

OF

136

HISTORY

tions belong

to the world

PHILOSOPHY

of Becoming,

justas

the funo.

body and other perceptual things belong
tions of our
to it. Besides, even
the Ideas of sense
qualities have
reality. Plato does not identify the human
mind with

does he make
the
world of Ideas, nor
dualistic division of the world into mind and
"
"
immaterial
The
the
other than
world is

the incorporeal
modern
matter.

and bears the relation to the mate
to the changing,
rial world of the unchanging
of the
simple to the manifold, of Being to Becoming.
Development
The
The
of Plato's Metaphysics
world

of perception,

"

Drafts. The
of Plato's Ideas in the Two
evaluation of the Socratic
world with its new

Development
twofold

conception and of the Protagorean perception was, after
all, only Plato's point of departure for his constructive
his first and undeveloped
It was
work.
apprehension
first in the Meno
in
of a theory of Ideas. It appeared
his doctrine of recollection and immortality, which was
written in his second period justafter his series of
this time
splendid polemics against the Sophists. From

for

a

full half-century

Plato

developed

the

conception

twofold world into a Theory of Ideas. In the course
of time he found himself confronted with three prob
Ideas are
lems : (1) How
is
there ? (2) What
many
of

a

Ideas and physical things ? (3)
the relation between
What
is the relation of the Ideas to one
another ?
Plato's answers
to these three questions compose
what
is known

his Theory

he answers
of Ideas. However,
he first consid
these three questions differently when
his grasp upon the signifi
ered them than later, when
as

became
of his problem
Theory of Ideas, therefore, may

cance

development

in two

more

be

stages. These

Plato's

mature.

said to have had
two

stages

are

a

called

PLATO

137

of the Ideas. We
form and then in
present, first in summary
shall now
to these three questions in the
detail, his answers
more
drafts"

his "two

(Windelband)

drafts, and thereby
to its final formulation.
two

how

show

his theory

developed

Drafts of the Ideas.
of the Two
1. The Earlier Draft of Ideas.
Ideas is infinite.
(a) The Number

Brief Comparison

Relation

The

(6)

of
of Ideas

to Physical

Things

their side are
spoken
similarity. The Ideas on
"
in physical things, but never
having a " presence
in them ; the physical phenomena
on
appearing

side

are

spoken

as

of

Ideas

(c) The

"

"

Related

to

ally, as genera to species, but they
sified by Plato.
2. The

Draft of Ideas

Later

One
are

of as
fully
their

in the Ideas.

participating

are

is

Another

logic

only roughly

clas

Plato's Final State-

"

ment.

The

(")

Number

of Ideas

is limited to those

worth, mathematical

Plato

relations.,and nature-products,
arrived at any definite selection.
Relation of Ideas to Physical Things

never

(5) The
Ideas
tejejplo^icaLjrhe
of physical
(c) The

are

the ideal

or

of
but

is

purposeful ends

objects,.

ically. The

Ideas
Idea

is the purposeful
Comparison

are

Related to One Another

of the Good

stands

teleolog-

at the Lead,

and

end of all the other Ideas.

of the

Two

Drafts

of Ideas

in More

Detail.
i.

Drafts

Theory
to be

of Ideas in the Earlier and Later
Plato first presented
When
the
compared.
of Ideas to himself, he conceived their number

The

Number

infinite. There

are

Ideas of everything

that is

OF

HISTORY

138

thinkable. There
cepts,

there

as

there

as

it

was

are

are
common

are

many

as

there

are

class

con"

qualities of things in the universe,
in the language.
But
nouns
to

out

pointed

as

PHILOSOPHY

Plato

that

he

had

only

repro

and paralleled in the immaterial
world
what
in
the material world ; that such a theory did
exists
difficulties. Then there
not solve, but only doubled our
duced

technical difficultiesin the conception

were

of the Ideas

of things, qualities, relations,
of everything
good,
bad, and indifferent. But what probably
to
appealed
him most cogently was
the raillery to which he found
"

his theory

"

subjected(seeParmenides),

that

he

as

a

Greek

could think of ugly Ideas, like hair and filth,as
that in the later drafting of his
real. The result was
to be called
theory the number
of qualities worthy
Ideas

becomes

very

from
elimination
as
worth, because
lent to him

limited.

much

no

avowed
a

Greek

Plato

makes

the

principle except that of
it was
absolutely repel

to regard

as
anything
real except worth.
Consequently in his later dialogues he speaks of (1)
Ideas having an inherent value, like the Good arid the
Beautiful, (2) Ideas corresponding
to nature
products,

Ideas

relations. Norms
of value
thus take the place of class-concepts, and in his selec
tion of Ideas his choice is determined more
and more

(3)

of mathematical

by their moral worth.
The Relation of Ideas
2.

and

the World

of Nature

Plato did not con
compared.
struct his world of Ideas in order to explain the world
His original purpose
to find
was
of physical nature.
in

the

an

object

Two

Drafts

for knowledge

;

and

his Ideas

were

born

out

of his striving to give a reality to the conceptions of
Socrates. In his evaluation of the doctrine of his mas-

PLATO
ter he had

but he had
They

were

lightupon

drawn

a

distinction between

thought

not

139

the two

of explaining one
distinguished, but

worlds,

by the other.

one
threw no
related and
the other. In Plato's first draft of the Ideas

The
pheno
of this relation as imitation.
imitation of reality. The Ideas are
the
an
are
mena
are
copies. To state the
originals and physical objects
terms, the laws of the growth
of a
relation in modern
he

tree

speaks

are

permanent,
of Becoming

world
of Being.

As

the

The lower
while the tree changes.
has a similarity to the higher world
had conceived things!
Pythagoreans

Plato, strongly influenced by\
imitations of numbers,
things corre
thought that concrete
the Pythagoreans,
as

in a degree. On the
spond to their class concepts only
hand, the individual thing partakes of the universal
one
in the
is called "participation"
of the Idea, and this
de
Idea.
On the other hand, the word " presence
"

scribes
means

exists in the thing, which
that the Idea is present in the thing so long as
the way

the

Idea

the thing possesses the quality of the Idea.
are

present

and then withdraw,

The

Ideas

and thus the perception

changes.
In the second drafting of the Ideas, Plato has become
conscious
of the need
by the Ideas. He did

of explaining physical nature
not
at first think of explain

of the physical world by his metaphysi
an
out of
cal reality. It was
afterthought, and arose
a
theory. Hi?
the compulsion
systematic
of having

ing the nature

conception of the world of Ideas as the world of true
Being ultimately demanded
that the world of physical
"
"
but depend
nature
other than
should be not merely
ent

upon

phenomena

the Ideas.
are

The

changing.

Ideas

the
unchanging;
If the Ideas are the reality
are

140

OF

HISTORY

PHILOSOPHY

can
they
of the changing
world, in what other sense
be its reality than as its cause
? The Meno,
Thecetedo not discuss this
tus, Symposium,
and Phcedrus

The

problem.

is first expressed

thought

the

it, and

/Sophist proposes

causes

of physical
But how
appear.

in the Phcedo

that the

Ideas

are

the

as

they

do

phenomena
appearing
can
the Ideas be causes,

the
when
as
of them
very conception
pure and immaterial real
ities denies to them all qualities of motion and change ?
The

Platonic

of this problem.

reached its zenith in its solution
The Ideas must
be conceived as the

causes

phenomena,

theory

of nature

and

still as

not

moving

They are
teleological causes.
suffering change.
They are the realized ends of the phenomenal
world.
The world of Ideas is the actual goal of perfection for
The world of Ideas is not only the
physical nature.

nor

truth of all knowledge

cal

cause

oped

of all actual
in the Philebus

Ideas

as

Good,

"

a

whole,

to

which
the final

it is also the perfect teleologi
This thought is devel
change.

;

and

the
and the Republic, where
in particular the Idea of the

all the other

Ideas

are

means,

"

The physical
of all occurrence.
phenomena
stand therefore in a teleological relation to
From
the Idea of the Good.
the Good
all things get
It permeates
their meaning.
and explains all.
stand

as

3. The

Relation

It

cause

among

the Ideas

in the Two

Drafts

natural that the conception
of a
pluralism of Ideas should lead Plato to a consideration
of the law of their relationship. A systematic theory
compared.

was

multiplicity of reals involves their orderly relation
They
in the same
cannot
ship.
exist independently
is the relationship among
the Ideas ? In
world. What

of

a

the earlier drafting of his theory Plato

was

principally

PLATO

141

attentive to the relations of coordination and subordi
the Ideas ; in the possibility of the divi
nation among
into genera
and species. The
class concepts
logical relationship, the
relationship that he sought was
sion of

that the

relationship

scientist seeks to find in the clas
or
result Plato
rocks. Just what

sification of plants
tried to reach by such a logical classification of his
not
successful.
realities,it is difficult to say. He was
His attempt
to erect a logically arranged
pyramid
of
abstract at the apex

with the most

conceptions

was

not

carried out.
In his second

drafting of the Ideas, Plato felt the
logical relationship among
inadequacy
them,
of a mere
to be teleologically related. His
and conceived them
of Ideas had naturally brought
reduction of the number
of their relationship. There
be some
must
principle for their elimination, for the
That
and the keeping
of others.
of some
rejecting
the principle of their ethical worth. That
principle was
about

a

new

conception

is to say, the Idea of the Good, which
some
concepts
standard for eliminating
of Ideas and
the

principle

themselves.

for retaining

others,

had
from

became

now

been
the

the
list

for him

of the relationship of the Ideas among
Plato turned from the logical to the teleo-

logical relation among

Ideas.

The

Idea

of the Good
It is therefore the

realizes all the others.
absolute end of all the other Ideas, and they bear the
relation to it, not of particulars to a general term, but;
to an
end. The
principle in their selection
of means

embraces

and

becomes

the principle of their arrangement.
The above sketch of the
Plato's Conception
of God.
formation and development
of Plato's theory of Ideaa

shows

how

difficultit would

be to frame

a

short defini-

OF

HISTORY

142

PHILOSOPHY

tion of them that would at the same
time be adequate.
As he finally defined them, they are immaterial
arche
types

ideals, dominated

or

dominating

by

This
purpose.
moral
in the Ideas is the highest
a

moral
purpose
Idea of all, the Idea of the Good,

stands

which

above

all the others and gives to them and to everything
their value and indeed their actuality.

else

Is this Idea

Plato
God?
as
the same
of the Good
"
"
"
Deity
Reason," and
World
calls the Good
and the
ascribes to it the name
of Nous. Nevertheless the Idea
as
the Christian God, and
of the Good is not the same
Plato is only showing
here the influence of Anaxagoras'
him.
conception
upon
Good is not a person

(See
or

a

p.

47.)

The

Idea

of the

It is merely

spiritual being.

the

absolute ethical end and
purpose
of the world.
Plato did not attempt
to give it a content,
any more
Socrates ; but Plato presupposed
than did his master,
it, because

it

in itself the simplest
thing in the world.

prehensible
Plato's

was

Conception

structed a rough
his later years,

of Physical

and

Nature.

sketch of the philosophy
in compliance
with the

com

most

Plato
of nature

con

in

needs of his
School, and perhaps with the urging of his pupil, Aris
totle. In his earlier period, he would have nothing
of
physics,

the

spirit of

maintained

in this respect
Socrates. To the

was

and

that there

can

be

no

quite in accord with
end
of his life he
true

knowledge

of the

physical world ; for it is a world of change, and there
fore all scientific conclusions about it could be only
in the Timceus he drew
probable. In a mythical account
a
a

picture of the constitution of the world. He conceived
Demiurge
God
to exist, and
he
or
world-forming

thought

that this God

made

the world out

of not-Being

143

PLATO
or

space

empty

with regard to the Ideas." The world
is conceived by Plato as a huge living

"

thus constructed

thing, composed
of a visible body and an invisible soul.
The world-soul sets the world-body in a circular motion,
considered by antiquity to be the most
which motion was

In sharp opposition to the me
perfect of all motions.
chanical theory of the world, Plato conceived the world
to be endowed
of which the spherical
with knowledge,
motion in its return upon itselfis the symbol. The
is unitary and unique, the most perfect and most
tiful world, and its origin can be traced only to a

toward

working
above

is

ends.

an

abbreviated
littleimportance ; but it

world
beau
reason

Plato's physics, of which the
to be of
account,
will be seen

unfortunately, as we have
in
emphasized
said, this side of his doctrine that was
Ages.
the Middle
was

This mythical account
the inherent
shows, however,
dualism in Plato's doctrine. The Idea never
fully real
izes itself in corporeal
to

the

explain

the physical

cause

world.

things, and

Plato

was

called on
of the evil and imperfection
of
Moreover,
the imperfection of the

in the influence upon
emphasis
doctrine, which had set the per
worlds in opposition. What
prevent!

physical world got new
him of the Pythagorean

fect and imperfect
in phenomena
? The more
the Idea from fully appearing
Plato conceived the world of Ideas as ethical Ideals
teleological
and a kingdom
of pure worth, and the more
the Ideas

became,

perfection

must

less could he regard the Ideas
as
Ideas are Be
the cause
of imperfection in nature.
ing, and the essence
of perfection. The cause
of im
The

the

therefore be that which

has

no

being

has
physical world as "becoming"
participation, not only in that which has Being (Ideas),
whatsoever.

OF

HISTORY

144

in that which
physical world has

but

has

PHILOSOPHY

Being

no

(empty space). The

composite character. It has sprung
from the union of the Ideas and an absolutely negative
Plato calls empty
factor, which
space. This eternal
negative is formless and unfashioned, but it is capable
a

of taking on all possible forms. The physical universe
is therefore neither Ideas simply, nor
matter
simply,
This non-Being
but a composition
is not
of the two.

like the matter,
which

stuff," of Aristotle, from
made ; but it is that in

"unformed

all sensible things are
Ideas have to appear.

The

which
into this empty

Ideas

non-Being, which they take
justthis is the origin of imperfection

And

the

withholds
Being, or

Ideas

from

are
on

plunged
as

a

veil.

;

non-Being
expression. Non-

perfect
indispensable

empty
space, is an
auxiliary to
the Ideas, for without it no physical universe would be
time it is the eternal foe and
possible. But at the same
obstruction of the Ideas. Its cooperation with the Ideas

It is the
resistance to them.
perpetual negation of Being, and the primary cause
of
imperfection, change, and instability. On this account
is at

the

the

universe

as

which

was

number

can

a

be

never

them.

approximate
"

time

same

The

regarded

like the Ideas, but

it

can

soul of the world, for example,
fashion
by Plato in Pythagorean

chaotic
subjecting

space

to

harmony,

"

is

perfect reproduction of the Idea of the Good.
The existence of matter
detracts from the perfection of
the world, but it does not detract from the

the most

majestyof

the Ideas.
Plato's

Conception

of Man.
from
that

Plato needed a psycho
developed by the Cos-

logy of another sort
mologists. His analysis of the mental life of man
stands
falls with his metaphysical
or
theory of Ideas, but it

PLATO

145

it is the first attempt to under
life from within.
stand the psychical
The dualism of the two worlds appears in sharp out
The soul
field of the life of man.
lines in the narrower
has this importance

of man
belongs

world

:

On

to both

belongs

worlds.
of Becoming

the

hand,

one

it

and partakes of that
its sense-perceptions, desires, and their

to the world

through

it is the principle of
pleasures. In this lower world
itself and other
life and motion ; it is that which moves
things. On

the

Being

through

shares

in the

nomena

Through
or
son

;

other hand, it shares in the world
knowledge.
its intuitive reason
or

of
It

instability and

change of psychical phe
the immutability
of reality.

it also possesses
it constructs
its perceptions

inferences of changing
it has true knowledge

its

"

"

opinions
its rea
; through

phenomena
of the eternal Ideas. There

bear in itself traits that correspond
ir
to have an
to the two worlds. Plato conceives man
rational and a rational nature ; and he divides the irra
the noble irrational part
tional nature into two parts,
fore the soul must

"

and the ignoble irrational part. The rational part of
is the reason,
man
the noble irrational part is the will,
the ignoble irrational part is the sensuous
appetites.
( Rational

Man

nature

|

=

reason.

( Noble

( Irrational nature

"

will

=

Ignoble

=

sensuous

appe-

(tites.
This is the celebrated doctrine of the " three parts "
of the soul. Are they three parts or three functions of
the soul ? Plato is not clear as to this point. He some
times

as

as

a

speaks of them
separable in such

mortal

three divisions, and treats them
is im
way that only the reason

and the other two

parts

are

mortal.

Again,

he

HISTORY

146

OF

PHILOSOPHY

of the soul as a unity, which carries with it in
the next life all three functions. In this latter meaning

speaks

the three parts
grees of worth

three natures

are

of the unitary

or

three different de

soul.

Beginning
with
of Immortality.
this conception
of the dual nature
soul,
of the human
both backward
Plato reasons
from
it:
and forward
Doctrine

Plato's

to its pre-existence,

backward
existence,
Plato has

"

to its postand forward
In the JPhcedo,
after death.

its existence
put into the mouth

Socrates

Platonized

of what

has become

his

his final thought

relation of this present
is plainly the doctrine

the
concerning
life to its past and its future. It

of the transmigration
The
the Pythagoreans.

of

souls,
soul has a

he got from
reality that is imperishable, and the soul is rewarded
or
punished for its conduct in one existence by the kind
In prison,
of existence into which it is metamorphosed.
which

that fatal day

on

when

he

drank

the

poison, Socrates

he was
so
around him why
cheerful
at the thought
of death. Is not our present existence a
kind of death ? Is not the soul in the present life de
knowledge
by the trammels
true
terred from
of the

explained

to those

bodily desires ? The

philosopher is he who turns
from his body's passions,
dies to them, and
away
tries to live the reality of the world of Ideas. We
shall
have full knowledge
we
the grave
pass beyond
when
true

"

shall be rewarded, if we have striven truly.
body hampers
at present our
and misleads us with

then

and

But

we

its perceptions
us,
of changing
mortality around
and
with its transitory desires. This life itselfis the reward
or

punishment
i.

The

for

our

conduct

Immortality

does Plato offer for

our

in

our

preceding state.
What
proof
of Pre-existence.
existence before this life ? The

PLATO

Ideas, these testimonies
soul. They

human

are

147

of reality, form
eternal, and have

part of the
not been ere

a

Knowledge
is not the origination of
ated by the soul.
truth, but is the recognition of Ideas, whose
a
new
psychology
merely records. Greek
mind
farther than this. The modern
never
psycho
got much
logical conception of the soul as a dynamic
something,
presence

the

quite foreign to the
Greeks. To Plato, as to all other Greeks, the soul is as
that receives the impress of the seal.
passive as the wax
All Greek
was
this general limita
under
psychology
"
to the soul. There
be " given
tion : all ideas must
its

creates

which

own

content,

was

"

by perception, be
is of the changing ; if nevertheless
cause
perception
the
the soul finds itself in possession of the Ideas on
fore if the

Ideas

are

"

not

given

if the soul did not create
the
occasion of perception ;
Ideas, because the soul is by nature
passive ; the logi
already in
cal and only conclusion is that the soul was
Prepossession of the Ideas in a pre-existent state.

for the fullexistence is the only way of accounting
born knowledge
of the soul, and it is interesting to note
how important was
the pre-existent state to the imagi
nation of the ancient world.

the doctrine of reminis
advanced
he called it, Anamnesis,
as
or
as
cence,
proof of our
is recollection. The
Ideas
Knowledge
pre-existence.
been present in the mind, and when
have always
we

Plato

recognize
past

or

therefore

them
future,

we

have

but

they

that

awakening
undergoes
existence in itself. When
physical

nature,

the contrast

it awakens

between

The

knowledge.

the

exist. It is the

always
"

Ideas have

an

awakening

to

no

mind
their

the mind sees the
of
objects
in painful astonishment
at
sense

world

and

the Ideas

of

148

HISTORY

OF

PHILOSOPHY

its native world of immateriality. In a
mythical repre"
Plato supposes
that be
sentation in the Phcedrus,
fore the

life our
present
souls have beheld
Ideas in their full reality, that the Ideas had
in

gotten

birth into the

our

the pure
been for

life,but

present

that

the

perception
of similar corporeal things calls the soul
"
back to the Ideas themselves.
Then
is
the " Eros
the native philosophical impulse or inborn
awakened
love for the Ideas, by which the
soul is raised again to
the knowledge
of that true reality. Only the pure Ideas
"

will satisfy this longing ; the embodiment
of
Ideas
in art or personalities is not
the
adequate. The
Eros ties us to the Ideas. God does not have this long
themselves

ing, for He

fully knows

does not have

the Good.

The

ignorant

man

this longing,

for he does not suspect the
in himself. The
Eros is the

existence of the Ideas
homesickness
that the lover of the truth feels.
Our

birth is but

And
Not

from afar ;
cometh
in entire forgetfulness,

And

not

sleep and a forgetting,
The soul that rises in us, our
life's star,
Hath had elsewhere its
setting,

in utter

a

nakedness,

But

trailing clouds of glory do
From
God, who is our home.*

When,

in the Meno,

to Socrates,

posed
know
we
pointed

"

How

can

Wordsworth's

him

Ode

on

was

pro
inquiry be made into what
don't know ? " Socrates

into what we
out that the only escape
or

by skillfully questioning
Read

come

the Sophistic dilemma

from

the process of recollecting, and that
thing recalled. Socrates then called

*

we

found

the dilemma
knowledge

a

was

is the

slave to him, and
that

Intimations

the slave

re-

ofImmortality.

PLATO

cognized
square

on

149

the
relationship between
of a right triangle and the

the

mathematical
the hypothenuse

the other two sides. " The igno
rant slave can
only have been recollecting," says Soc
is extracted from the
knowledge
rates. Mathematical
sense-perception of the slave only because the slave has

of the squares

sums

on

such perception the opportunity of recollecting
Ideas present in himself and not hitherto suspected by
forms have an
himself. In Plato's system, mathematical
through

important

place. They

the Idea shapes space
The

2.

are

the links by

means

teleologically into the

Immortality

of

of which
sense

Post-Existence.

world.
Plato's

for belief in the existence of soul after death is
as
that for its previous existence.
practically the same

ground

Its destiny

hereafter

depends

upon

how

far it has

freed itselfin this earthly life from the sensuous
appe
tite. As proofs for future existence Plato mentions
the
soul's possession of the Ideas, the simplicity and unity
of the soul, the

soul as the
God. However

principle of life, and t^he
Plato's arguments
weak

goodness
of
be for the existence of future immortality, his ab
may
solute belief in it is one of the chief points in his teach

ing. It is interesting to note that the modern
western
in the previous state of
to have no concern
world seems
the soul, but through
the influence of the Christian
its attention upon the future life.
Oriental religions contain the doctrine of pre-existence
and the transmigration
of souls, but not in the same
Plato. In Plato the soul possesses an identity
sense
as

religion has focused

that

persists. It has all the qualities of the

is also

Ideas, but

entity possessing these qualities. It has nonorigination, indestructibility, unity, and changelessness.

The

an

doctrine of the immortality

of post-existence

had

in the Greek

appeared
that

OF

HISTORY

150

found

have

we

it

PHILOSOPHY

religion, but this is the firsttime
as

The

a

part of philosophic teaching.
feel the difficultiesin Plato's

student will,of course,
he has presented
as
conception

soul preserve its individuality as
belongs in part to a world which
Two

The
the two
ning

there

worlds

through

(1) the

in Plato.

Tendencies

the

tendency

are

entire

two

it. For

how

a

unity, when
is temporal?

From

the soul

the doctrine of

distinct tendencies

teaching

to glorify nature,

the

can

run

of Plato. These

and

(2) the

are

tendency

On
to ascetic contemplation.
away from nature
hand, Plato felt within himself the light heart
the one
beat of the artist, and the Hellenic love of life was
strong within him. He felt that the Idea of the Good
to turn

in the world of sense,
that there was
realized even
imitation of the Idea, in prac
pleasure in the sensuous
tical artistic skill,and in an intelligent understanding
at least prepa
of mathematical
orderings. These were
was

rations for the highest
ledge of the Ideas. On

this the

Good,

which consisted in know
finds beside
the other hand, one

ascetic tendency

to

be

repelled

by nature,

a

ethics that would leave the world of sense
and
spiritualize the life. The Theaztetus sets up an
would
ideal of retirement for the philosopher, and points out

negative

that he should

find refuge as soon
as
possible from the
evils of the world in the divine presence. The Phcedo
pictures the whole life of the philosopher as a dying, a
existence in prison, from
of the soul, an
This
escape is only by virtue and knowledge.
which
seems
ascetic tendency
very anti-Greek ; and yet is it
foreign to Greek
life? In Greek
history do we
not
purification

find, by the
nature,

side of the Epic and the glorification of
the Mysteries and the withdrawal
of the indi'

151

PLATO

historic tendencies
vidual from the world ? Both these
appear in Plato, and on the whole the ascetic tendencyis stronger. The Ideas are
contrasted with the nature
often than they transfigure it. The dualism
world more
and the contrast
and earth is emphasized,
of Heaven
the reality of the Ideas and

between
is strongly drawn
the temporality of sense.
Love.

Platonic

Socrates and

Described

(Eros) is the

Plato, Love

philosophic and
Its rather more
didac

purely intellectual impulse.
tic character in Socrates of an
attempt
knowledge
and virtue in others appears
a

not

larger way
the truth.

as

to

engender
in Plato in a

the

personal and practical realization of
Platonic Love
to its simplest terms,
Reduced

of the human

is the longing

being

for perfectness and completeness.
sire for immortality.

love, according

True

in both

in technical terms,

in his imperfectness

It is the innate

de

to Plato, takes its beginning

in

or
of the
pain at the presentment
astonishment
Ideas through remembrance,
and the starting-point of
in
individual is the principle fundamental
in an
Love

the

impulse
for the
philosophic
pre-existence. The
takes the form of Love, because visible beauty
impression
special brightness and makes a strong

mind.

Love

belongs

only to mortal
possess the divine

natures

;

Ideas
has
on

a

the

for they,

unchangeableness,
since they do not
have to propagate
themselves continually. Love may be
impulse. On the
described therefore as the propagative
be viewed as an inspiration from above,
in
the higher, divinely-related nature
the other hand it may be viewed as an aspira

side it may
from
springing

one

man

; on

tion from

On

below

this side it is

of the
a

sensuous

yearning

human

and

and not

a

in

man.

possession ; and

152

HISTORY

it presupposes
the middle

a

want.

between

term

of the higher

the union

OF

PHILOSOPHY

Analyzed
having
and

in this way, Love is
and not having. It is

lower

natures

in

man,

and

the universe there stirs this longing for the
eternal and imperishable.
is the
What
of this Love,
of this desire of the

throughout

object

"

finite to fillitself with the eternal and to generate some
That
is
thing enduring?
object the possession of the
Good, which is happiness. The possession of the Good
is the external condition of Love's
presence of Beauty ; for this alone, by
form, corresponds
desire and
to our

What

is immortality.
existence ? The
its harmonious

this Love

appear first in its complete
kinds of beauty, and
realization? No; there are many
Love is as various in degree and kind as beautiful ob
it. Does

awakens

rises step by step, and is realized in a gradu
ated series of forms. There is Love for beautiful shapes,
sexual love ; Love for beautiful souls, and this appears

Love
jects.

in works
of art, education, and legislation ; Love for
beautiful sciences, the seeking of beauty wherever found;
for the pure, shapeless, eternal, and
and finally Love
All else
the Idea, which is immortality.
unchangeable
"

is preliminary

to the dialectical knowledge

of the Ideas.

is reaching out from his sense
In all this, man
of want
for satisfaction, from his poverty to the completed riches
of life. Love bears him on from height to height until,
in religion and Love of the Good, man
gains his immor
tality. In Platonic Love all kinds of Love have place

in pointing the soul onward
to the divinely perfect.
Yet this Love for the divinely perfect is the soul's as
piration from the beginning, and all the preliminary
attempts to seize the Idea
in the copies. Love, therefore, is this universal struggle
stages

are

only the uncertain

153

PLATO

itself with the Idea; and delight
of the finite to inform
in any one
of beauty is a stage in the development
object
of this impulse.*
Theory of Ideas is,
of Ethics. Plato's
only an outspoken ethical meta
after all,fundamentally
physics, and his Ethics is his most fruitful accomplish
Plato's Theory

Plato's ethical teaching is therefore involved in
An
all that we have said about him up to this point.
understanding of his ethics includes an understanding
ment.

of the formation and growth of his dialectic,an insight
into his physical theory, knowledge of the two tenden
through his teaching, and especially an
cies which run

of the
of his doctrine of Love. If some
pravious exposition is repeated, it will be only to bring
fully his ethical teaching as a special science.
out more

understanding

We

shall speak of three topics under this general subjactof his ethics: (1) his development of his theory of
the Good; (2) the four cardinal virtues; (3) his theory
of political society.

Plato
of Plato's Theory of the Good.
betrays his ascetic tendency in his first drafting of the
Ideas and, as we
have said, the double-world theory is
the cause
of this. Only one
of the two worlds is real
i.

Development

The soul belongs to
and will appeal to the Wise Man.
the supersensible world, and the knowledge, of which
away from the sensible world.
virtue consists,takes man
Since earthly life is full of evil, the soul should die to
it and turn away as soon
as
possible to the divine pres
This ascetic aspect of morality is set forth in the
ence.
Phcedo and the Thecetetus.
*

Read

Emerson,

Spenser, Hymn

Edmund
Essay

in Honor

of

Beauty

Love, also the poem on Initial, Daemonic,
ond CelestialLove ; Bacon, Essay on Love ; Patmore, Angel
in the House ; Sill,The Two Aphrodites.
on

;

HISTORY

154

OF

PHILOSOPHY

In the general development
of his metaphysics in the
second drafting of his Ideas, Plato's ethical theory de
beyond
the abstract
not only went
veloped also. He
statement

Socrates, but

of

beyond

his

own

he brought his two worlds
asceticism. When
logically compelled
logical relationship, he was

original
into teleoto aban

don his conception of ascetic morals. The physical world
has now
a
relative reality, and by the same
sign sense-

life has

a

relative moral

value. It

was

Plato's

firm

truly blessed,
conviction that moral conduct makes man
in this and another world. He
still held, too, that this
blessedness, this complete
perfection of the soul, this
sharing

Good.

in the divine world of the Ideas, is the Highest
Yet he now
to recognize
came
other kinds of

happiness

steps toward

as

the ideal Good.

There

are

in his doctrine of Love.
varieties of Goods, as appeared
Besides the intuition of knowledge
and its pleasures,
there are physical Goods and their pleasures. Intellectual

be unmixed

pleasure may
sensuous

pleasures

Plato, the

Greek,

with

pain, but

there

are

also
is indeed

with pain. Here
Plato, the Greek
speaking;

unmixed

artist,
around him.

impelled

by the charm
of the Greek world
Strongly as he combated
the Cyrenaic hedonism,
he

and

allied to Socrates, his Greek nature
gave way before the manifestations of the Idea of the
Good in the physical world. The pleasure in nature ob
closely

as

was

in
jects,

development,
in the practical and
educational
plastic arts, in mathematical
sciences, and in the order
liness of life
for him preliminary
all these became
"

stages in the fullparticipation in the ethical Good. They
to have
for him a relative value, as expressed in
came
the Philebus, Republic, and Symposium.
2.

The

Four

Cardinal

Virtues.

But

Plato

went

PLATO

155

merely to point out the
conduct in the twofold world. He de
place of human
He classified
veloped his theory of ethics systematically.
the virtues on the basis of his threefold division of the

farther, and

was

content

not

in his first draft of his theory,
Socrates in reducing the single virtues
In his second
to one,
viz., the virtue of knowledge.
drafting, however, in the later dialogues, he assumed

soul. Naturally
Plato followed

enough,

and he reflected upon

their distinct independence,

their

to each part
spheres. A virtue corresponds
perfection, which is
of the soul. Each part has its own
in so far as one
its virtue. Moreover,
or
another
part

respective

of the soul preponderates
they suited to developing

in different

men,

so

the corresponding
nature

in

far

are

virtue.

brain

( Wis

"

{Rationa
dom)

Irrational na-

f Noble part
I (CW^e)

1

ture

in heart

"

Ignoble part

"

in liver

(^ (Temperance)
it will be observed that the
the above scheme
has the brain as its organ and reaches
rational nature
its perfection or virtue in Wisdom
; that the ignoble

From

has the liver as its organ, and reaches
irrational nature
Finally, since
its virtue in self-control or Temperance.
the perfection of the whole soul consists in the orderly
relation of its single parts, so subordinated and regu
lated that the soul can
reach its highest perfection, the

fourth

and

nal virtues
Justice.

highest
are

virtue is Justice. The

Temperance,

Courage,

four

cardi

Wisdom,

and

of Political Society. The virtue,
Justice, has little meaning
in individual ethics, and as
3. Plato's

an

Theory

ethical perfection

can

only be attained

in society.

156

HISTORY

There

is no

OF

PHILOSOPHY

English

word that is quite the equivalent
for the Greek term, but Justice is the usual translation.
Justice, however, does not contain the moral spirit of
word. Consistent with his conception of the
Ideas in his metaphysics, Plato's ideal of moral perfec
tion is to be found, not in the individual, but in the
the Greek

species. Plato

than the
pictures less the perfect man
perfect society. Perfect happiness is rather that of the
social whole than of the individual, and this ideal of

happiness
is why

the

be reached only in the ideal State. That
dialogue, the Republic, occupies so impor

can

to
place in Plato's writings. It is an attempt
how the fourth and last virtue, Justice, can
be
show
attained. The first book was
written in Plato's early

tant

a

"
dialogue concerning
perhaps called a
period, and was
Justice." Justice is distinctly the social virtue found
only in a perfect society, and it will make
possible the

fulfillment of Wisdom,
The
Courage, and Temperance.
individual man
is a vital being whose heart is the cen
tral organ, whose
characteristic virtue is courage. His
courage is indeed a combination
of wisdom and temper
The picture is of the individual man,
ance.
not amen
"
In such
a
state of warfare."
able to society, but in

isolation Justice would not exist as a virtue.
The political state is necessary if the Idea of the
Good is to be manifested in human
life. The state is
the true educator in Justice, and at the same
time the
ideal state will be the realization of Justice. The task
is the same,
to wit, to direct the
of the state everywhere
life of man
be happy
common
so
that every one
may
virtue. The result may be attained only by so
ordering the relations of society that Justice may pre
vail. Plato's Republic is a carefully worked-out
plan

through

157

PLATO

ideal society. The author made
several at
first
tempts
at Syracuse
with the aid of Dion to get
Dionysius to transform
the elder and then the younger
ideal state. These attempts
re
into an
the tyranny
an

of such

sulted

disastrously. In

the

of his old
succeeded, he wrote

disappointment

age that his ideal scheme had never
the Laws,
which is a revised version
theory
with the Pythagorean
number

of the Republic
a basis.
as

Platonic Re
is his model. The
in
public is aristocratic. There is paternal government
Each individual's
everything, censorship of everything.
The

course

Spartan

state

is marked

for him.

Greek

When

political
dissolution, Plato raised the ideal
life was
undergoing
of politicalunity as necessary to individual happiness as
in this
against the anarchism
of segregation. Yet even
out

distrust of political institu
reflecting the current
tions. The comparison
of existing polit cal conditions
with his own
political ideal reinforced his aristocratic
he

was

leanings,

and

made

him

the

distrustful of the
He
believed that

more

political possibilitiesof a democracy.
intelligently worked
was
an
out scheme
of government
practicable, and should be forced upon people, if neces
sary. In no other way was
political salvation possible.

Since the State is the

man

writ large," it has three
three parts of the human
"

to the
parts, corresponding
is (1) the working
soul. There

corresponds

or

class, which

peasant

to the appetitive part of

man

;

the only ob

such a class is to furnish food for the State, and
The peas
the highest virtue of this class is temperance.
ant can
only work, eat, and drink, and the highest praise

jectof

of him

is that he controls his appetites.

class guards

(2) The

the State within and without

acteristic virtue is courage.

The

will must

;

and

show

warrior
itschar

its high-

OF

HISTORY

158

est efficiency in guidance

PHILOSOPHY

of the emotions.

(3)

of all is the cultured class of philosophers or
by their insight the laws that
determine
who

Highest
rulers,

should
The virtue of this class is wisdom, for
rule the State.
is this class not the brain of the State ? The perfection
the three classes have
of the entire State exists when
Then does justice
their proper distribution of power.
exist. The duty of the rulers is therefore to have the
highest wisdom
possible, of the warriors to be unflinch
ing in their devotion to duty, of the peasants to exercise
is an
Plato's Republic
aristocracy
self-control. Thus
in the

hands

of the

two

of the
upper

wives, the exposure

carefully cultured, which consists
of
classes. By means
of community
infants, and the State's
of deformed
of the

education of the children

two

upper

classes, a

be made, the two upper classes
continuous selection can
be renounced
be renewed, and all private ends can
can
in favor of the State. Thus the sole end of a commu
his ideal
nity is moral education, and Plato arranges

classes are
They have
ence

two
upper
reference to that. The
family, to whom
this is intrusted.
a great
dedicated their lives to the furthering of sci

with

community

and to its administration.

A

Professor

Benjamin Jowett,

FROM

PLATO

READERS.

ENGLISH

FOR

By

PASSAGES

OF

SELECTION

late Principal of Balliol College, Oxford.

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

FIRST

VOLUME.

CHABMIDBS.

Socrates prescribes
156 D

-157

(.
C

'
.

.

(.

.

for Charmides'

Such, Charmides,
'my
.

dear

headache.
is the nature

Charmides.')

of the charm

'
.

.

.)

159

PLATO
LYSIS.

We

to know

only trust those who appear
206 D ('Upon entering'
.

B

-210

('He

than

more

ourselvef.

.

.)

assented.')
LACHES.

art of fighting in

(1) The

is useless to the soldier.
armour
'
like
I
to
(' should not
maintain
.)
'
his opinion of the
C (.
matter.')
-184

182 E

.

.

.

of "words and deeds.
feeling '
188 C ('I have but one

(2) The

.

harmony

B

-189

(.

'the difference of

.

.

.

.

.)
our

ages.')

PROTAGORAS.

(1) The

at the house

Sophists

314 B

(

'
.

.

A

-316

And

.

(.

now

of Callias.
let us go'
.

'
.

his words

rendered

.

.

.)
inaudible.')

(2) Protagoras tells the story of Prometheus
and
D
Once
320
a time
('
upon
.)
D (.
a plague
of the state.')
-322

Epimetheua.

'

.

.

'

.

.

of a Greek child.
education
325 D ('Education
and admonition
'
E (.
would be far more

(3) The

-326

'
.

.)

surprising.')

.

.

.

EOTHYDEMOS.

The

doctrinaire politician and the true philosopher.
'
304 B ('Such was
the discussion, Crito
.

.

(

end

-to

'
.

.

and

.

be of good

.)

cheer.')

CRATYLUS.
The

significations of the various
'
426 B ('My first notions

letters.
.

.

.)

'

C (.
and
-427
other signs.'
.

.

.

out

them

of

by imitation

compounding

.

.)
PHAEDRUS.

(1) The

must

philosopher
229 A ('Let us

A

-230

(2) The

(.

banks

230 B
-E

(3) The
245

(
(.

...

.

.

turn
'

a

.

.

study

the nature

aside,'
diviner and
.

.

man.

of

.)

lowlier destiny

of the Ilissus.
'But let me
ask you, friend,'
'in which you can
read best.')

.

?'...)

.

.)

soul in a figure and her transmigrations.
C ('The soul through all her being '
.)
'
leave you a fool in the world below.')
A (.

'257

.

.

.

.

(4) The

true

(.

C

-272

,

orator.

Pericles'

('I conceive

269 E

PHILOSOPHY

OF

HISTORY

160

'

.

.)

yet the creation of such

and

.

.

.

an

art is not

easy.'J

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

.

.

better than

(6) Speech

writing-.
help feeling

275 C ('I cannot
A (.
-277
.

(7) The

.

true

.

.

.)

of human

extent

happiness.')

art of composition.

D

-278

'

to the utmost

.

('Until

277 B

'

(.

a

knows

man

'

the truth

.

.

.)
law-maker.')

'

or

poet

.

.

or

speech-maker

ION.
The

inspiration of the poet.
533 C ('Iperceive, Ion,'

(.

C

-536

'
.

.

.)

by art, but by divine

not

.

.

inspiration.')

SYMPOSIUM.
The Character

of Socrates.

fit of abstraction in the porch.
174 A ('He said that he met Socrates'

(1) His

.

.

'Socrates entered.'
C (.
-175
.)
and marvellous
(2) His strange appearance
others.
215 A ('And

C

-216

(

now,

that I

so

.

.

.

boys,'

my
'

.

A

-222

at my

.

end.')

bravery.
.

.

.)

honourable

and

good

.

wit's

'

.

(.

influencing

.)
am

eccentricity, and
endurance,
'All this happened
219 E (.
'a

of

power

.

(3) His

.

.)

.

.

.

.

man.')

VOLUME.

SECOND

MENO.
is only Recollection (""dfa^vu)
Soul proved out of Pindar.

Learning
81 A

('I will tell you

-E

(.

'
.

.

why'
.)
active and inquisitive.'

APOLOGY,

The

OR

Immortality

.

DEFENCE

THE

The

.

.

.)
OF

SOCRATES

whole.

CRITO,

The

.

:

OR

SOCRATES

IN

PRISON.

whole.

PHAEDO,

(1) Socrates
57-60 C

OR

THE

LAST

DAY

OF

SOCRATES'

in prison.

(.

'
.

.

pleasure

appears

to

succeed.')

LIFE.

of the

161

PLATO

(2)Why

('Upon
E (.
-69

'

this Cebes

60 C

(
.

said

.

.

.)
well.')

it will be

.

he will not take

is willing to die, although

the philosopher
life.
his own

of the Other Life.
friends,'
then, O my

Description

(3) The

('But
A (.
-115

107 C

'
.

.

after I

.

.

.)

dead.')

am

of Socrates.
('When he had done

Death

(4) The

115 A

'

speaking

.

.

.)

-to end.

GORGIAS.
desires, not a long, but
good man
511 A ('You always contrive'
.)
*
A (.
their own
perdition.'
-513

(1) The

.

.

.

.

.

.

of the Dead.
('Listen, then,'

virtuous, life.

a

.)

Judgment

(2) The

523 A

.

A

-527

(3) The

(.

.

'
.

any

.

.)
insult.')

sort of

of the Tale.
('Perhaps this may

Moral

527 A

appear'

.

.

.)

end.

-to

[Appendix.]
I Alcibiades.

Alcibiades

Socrates humiliates

of Lacedaemon
you surely know

the Kings

120 A
-124

('Why,
B (.

by

*
.

ever

.

desired

him
shewing
and of Persia.

his inferiority to

'
.

.

.)

anything.')

II Alcibiades.

The

Gods

of simple

approve

worship.

too,'
('The Lacedaemonians,
.)
'for me
to
B (.
oppose.')
-150

148 C

.

.

.

.

Eryxias.

The

nature

399 E

of money.
('Then now

400 E

(.

we

have

'

.

of

.

no

to

use

THIRD

to consider
us

...

'
.

.

.)
True.')

VOLUME.

REPUBLIC.
Book

i.

The commencement
327-331 B

(.

.

.

of the Dialogue : Cephalus
*
is, in my opinion, the

on

Old Age.

greatest.')

Book

PHILOSOPHY

OF

HISTORY

162
ii.

(1) The

argument

362 E

(.

.

E

-367

(2) The

'

true

.

(.

of Adeimantus.
But let me
add

'

'

unseen

or

seen

.

.

.

.

.)
men.')

and

of God.

nature

('Come, then, and let
A ( Your thoughts
-383

'

376 D

us

pass

.

my

...

.

.)
own.')

'

Book

more

something1
by Gods

iii.

(1) Grace
400 D

in art and education.
'
there is no difficulty

beauty

and

('But
A

-402

(.

.

'
.

him

made

.

long

.

.)
familiar.')

good physician and the good judge.
408 C ('All that, Socrates, is excellent,'
E ('And in mine
-409
also.')

(2) The

(3) The

.

.)

true

409 E
-412

Book

.

use
of music and gymnastic.
is the sort of medicine '
This
('
.)
A ('You are quite right, Socrates.')
.

.

iv.

Virtue the health, Vice the disease, of the Soul.
443 C

('Then

has been

realized'

.

E(' Assuredly.')

-444

Book

dream

our

.

.)

v.

(1) The

right treatment
469 A ('Next, how

(.

C

-471

'

soldiers
shall our
'like all our
previous

.

.

of enemies.
.

.

.)
enactments,

are

very

good.')
of Philosophers.
471 C ('But still I must
say, Socrates.'
.)
"
E (.
is indeed a hard thing.')
-473

(2) The

last

wave:

The

"

Government

.

.

.

.

Book

vi.
(1)The

of the Pilot.
('Here Adeimantus

Parable

487 A
-489

(2) The
493

E('
ing

-497
Book
The

'
.

.

.)

he
so,
('Precisely
said.')

D

low

interposed

is held by the World.
estimation in which Philosophy
I have
been
You
sav
recognize the truth of what

?'...)
(.

A

.

"

as

.

well

as

of

himself.')

vii.
Allegory

of the Cave.
'
514 A-520 E (.
present
.

.

rulers of the

State.')

PLATO
Book

viii.
Man.
and the Democratic
democracy'
('Next comes

Democracy
555

B

A

-562

Book

163

'

(.

.

the democratic

.

.

.

.)
man.')

ix.

Monster.

Many-headed

j The

I

( The City of which the Pattern is laid up in Heaven.
'
588 A ('Well, I said, and now
.)
book.
-to the end of the
.

Book
The

)

.

x.

Vision of Er.
614 B ('Well, I said, I will tell you

tale

a

;'...)

of the book.

-to the end

TIMAEUS.

(1) The

of Solon.
('Then listen, Socrates'

Tale

20 E
-26

(2) The

D

(.

'

of Mind

Balance

('There
D (.
-90

87 C

is
'

.

a

.)

and

corresponding

OB

.

.

.)

Body.

the present

.

CRITIAS,

The

.

these ancient Athenians.'

.

.

.

and

enquiry'
.)
the future.')
.

ISLAND

THE

.

ATLANTIS.

OF

entire Dialogue.

VOLUME.

FOURTH

PARMENIDES.

The

meeting
of Socrates
Ideas.

126 A
-136

('We
C

had

(.

from

come
'

.

and

.

at Athens.

Parmenidea

and

our

the real

see

Criticism of the

'

home

.

.

truth.')

.)

THEAETETUS.

(1)Socrates, a midwife, and the
148 E ('These are the pangs
E (.
by the help
-151
'

.

(2) The

Lawyer

172 B

(.

.

.

C (.
-177

.

of a midwife.
'
labour
of

son

.

of God

.)

will be able to

you

and the Philosopher.
'
Here arises a new
question'
'
.

.

Let

us

go

back

.

.

.

.)
argument.')

to the

SOPHIST.

The Pre-Socratic Philosophers
241 D

-246

('Will you
D

(.

.

'
.

and their puzzles.
'
then forgive me
.

but seekers after

.

.)
truth.')

tell.')

OF

HISTORY

164

PHILOSOPHY

STATESMAN.
Reign

The

of Cronos.
('Again, we

269 A

E

-274

(.

have

.

and

.

'

been

often told
.)
time in another.'
at another

'

.

.

.

.

.)

PHILEBUS.
of Logic, )
Art of Dialectic.
J
15 C ('Good ; and where shall we begin
*
A (.
and true dialectic.')
-17
first Taste

5 The

f The

'
.

.

.)

.

.

FIFTH

VOLUME.
LAWS.

Book i.

(1) The

true

643 A

B

-644

(2) Man

a

of Education.
'
to be quite ready to listen
seem
'of every man
while he lives.')

nature

('You

.

(.

.

puppet

644 E
-645

('Let
B (.

.

.)

.

of the Gods.
look at the matter
us
'

.

.

.)

clearly distinguished

more

.

.

'

thus

by

us.'

.

.

.)

Book iii.
Origin of Government.
676 A ('Enough of this'

The

-679

Book

E

.

.

.)

('Very true.')

iv.

(1) The

Tyrant.

virtuous
709 C ('And

-712

A

does

(.

a

not

like principle

'
.

.

.)

'
.

our

granting

.

supposition.')

life of Virtue.
715 E ('And now
what

(2) The

-718

Book

A

(.

'
.

is to be the next step ?'...)
for the most part in good hope.'
.

.

v.

(1)

( The
(

of the Soul.
for a virtuous life.

honour

Precepts

726 A-732

(.

D

'
.

.

both

(2) The

best and second-best
739 A ('The next move'

-741

(3) Riches
742 D

-744

A

(.

A

.

*
.

.

')

earnest.

state.
.

.

.)

fight against

necessity.')

Godliness.

and

(.

'to

in ]'est and

.

(.

The
'

.

.

intention,

the work

'

as

of

we

affirm

.

.

.)
legislation.')

.

.)

166

PLATO
Book

vii.
inactive life.
not lead an
good citizen must
'
806 D ('What
of life
will be the manner
.)
'
to the whole
C (.
state.')
-808

(1) The

.

.

.

(2) The

education of the young.
'
When
D (.
the day

808
/

A

-809
A

)S10

I
Book

.

.

an

.

.

.)
law.')
}

.

.)
end.')

evils of licentiousness.
'
There is, however,
835 C (.

)

E

-841

'

'

(.

.

.

.

.)

indulged.'),

wrongly

.

matter

another

.

.

x.

(1)

( The

three

I Advice
885 B
-888

(2) God

(.

'

D

(.

.

)
'

have

already said
.)
the truth of these matters.')
we

.

.

idle ruler of the Universe ; but orders all, even
things, for our
good.
*

And

(.

to

are

we

now

'any

.

.

address

.

.

whatsoever'

understanding

.

.

.

.)
.)

.

D

.

.

xi.

of them.
evils of retail trade, and the cure
'
918 A ('After the practices of adulteration
.)
'
C (.
and meanness.')
shamelessness
-919

(1) The

.

.

.

.

honour

(2) The

930 E
-932

Book

of parents.
God,

('Neither
A (.

'to

.

.

*

a

nor

man

has

what

.

.

been

now

.)
said.'

.

.

xii.

good state in its intercourse
'
949 E ('Now
a state

(1) The

.

-951

C

(.

'
.

.

is

.)
ill-conducted.')

of the Dead.
is born
958 C ('Thus a man

(2) The

with the world.

.

Burial

960 A

(.

'a
.

.

'
.

.

fitting penalty.'

.)
.

.

.)

tha

'

him

be propitiated by the gifts of the wicked.
'
For I think that we have sufficiently proved
'will not discredit the lawgiver.')
(.

cannot

-907

.

.

D

(.

'

an

.

905 D

For

.

.

smallest
D (.

-905

(3) God

I

classes of unbelievers.

to the young.

is not

899

Book

to

come

.

.

'

viii.

The

Book

'

(.

to the

according
fair time'

.

'A

.

.

A

-812

'

(.

(.

breaks

.

.

.

.)

'
.

.

.)

CHAPTER
ARISTOTLE

VIII
(384-322 B. C.)

Many
nota
and Lyceum.
ble pupils gathered around Plato during his mastership
Speusippus,
than forty years. Plato's nephew,
of more
Aristotle in the Academy

him

leader of the Academy,
and for the
is
three hundred
next
and fifty years the Academy
It is the Older Academy
called by various names.
as
the
under Speusippus and later ; then it is known
succeeded

Middle

Academy;

known

the New

as

is, however,

emy

as

a

120 B. C., it is
then, about
and
Academy.
The history of the Acad
Period.
part of the Hellenic-Roman

It is sufficient to say here that the leaders succeed
ing Plato in the Academy
added but littleto philosoph
ical speculation, although much
to empirical research.
The important
fact is that the sceptre in philosophy
from
the Academy
passed
when Plato died and his
greatest

pupil

Aristotle

left it. Just

as

Plato

stood
dis
the pupils of Socrates as Socrates' most
among
interpreter, so among
the pupils of Plato
criminating
Aristotle. Aris
one
there was
preeminent
pupil,
too great a man
to be subordinated
to the
totle was
"

leadership

of Speusippus. Upon
left the Academy,
and fourteen
to

Athens
his

and

founded

the

of Plato he
years later he returned
Lyceum,
became
which
the

death

influential Athenian
the most
mastership
inclosed space of ground,
an
was
school. The Lyceum
like the Academy.
It was
situated justoutside the
the right bank of the Ilissus. It
walls of Athens, on
under

ARISTOTLE

dedicated

was

Apollo,

to

167

decorated

fountains,

with

buildings, and contained one of the great
gymnasia of Athens. It was frequented by philosophers,
been the favorite walk of Aris
to have
and is known
gardens, and

they got their
totle and his pupils, whence
Peripatetics. Theophrastus,
the most
eminent

Aristotle, bought

a

property
it to the school. It was

queathed
like the Academy.

near
a

name

of

pupil of
and be

the grove
religious foundation,

The

method

the

fact that the

of choosing the scholLyceum
is
archs varied at different times. The name
from the same
root as Lycian, and was
given to Aris
totle's school

from

was

grove

dedi

cated to the Lycian Apollo.
Here, in the Lyceum,
Greek
its most

to

of Greek
ings were

brought
philosophy was
expression. Here all the threads

complete
cosmological
finally woven

was

accomplished
Plato and
cessors,

and anthropological
together. Here an

between

Aristotle's two

Democritus

undertak

adjustment

great prede

;

and materialistic and
idealistic realism crystallized in a theory of develop
The great form of Aristotle rises to speak the
ment.
final word of pure Greek
civilization,at a time when
had passed from
the custody of Greece
the Athenians, the Spartans, the Thebans
to the Macedonians.

that history had
thought

man
"

the master

He

seen.

was

the most

the

In his formative

power upon hu
Dante called him

opinion," said
in philosophy."

Cicero, "Aristotle stands almost alone
Eusebius said of him, " Aristotle, nature's
"

my

If

now

in my

command,

his pen

in thought."

of

in succession
influential thinker

he has scarcely a peer.
"
In my
of those who know."

retary, dipped

hands

Goethe

private

sec

remarked,
faculties at

quiet days I had youthful
I should devote myself to Greek, in spite

OF

HISTORY

168

PHILOSOPHY

Nature
all the difficultiesI know.
should be my sole study. It is beyond
beheld,
that man
espied, saw,
what

and Aristotle

of

served."
The portrait

all conception
remarked,

ob

of Aristotle is very dif
ferent from that of Plato. Instead of the deeply poetic
ideal unity
the man
temper,
who sees all things in an
that

we

draw

have before
of infiniteness and vastness, we
the scientist in search of facts, the accurate

us

now

man

of

imagination
does not soar
above
whose
time has extraordinary fer
the clouds, but at the same
tility in historical and
scientific theoretical explana

good

sense,

tions. His

the love of truth. His
learning took up into itself the entire range of human
in such a way as to include its earlier de
knowledge
was

a

life filled with

And
is more,
he showed
an
velopment.
what
equal
Aristotle was
interest in all departments.
more
of a
scientist than Plato, for the theoretical rather than the
ethical

interest

fundamental

was

the

personification
learning.

and

in his work.

completion

of

pure

He

is

Greek

B. c.
of Aristotle, 384-322
Brief Chronological
Sketch of Aristotle's Life.
Aristotle the Student
First Period
37 years.
384-347
B. c.

Biography

"

"

in Stagira in Macedonia.

384

Born

367

Entered

347

Left the Academy

the Academy.

Period

Second
years.

347

Went

upon
"

347-335

to the courts

Asia Minor.

19 years.
the death of Plato.

Kemained

Aristotle
B.

the

Traveler

"

12

c.

at Atarneus

and

Mytilene

in

ARISTOTLE

343

Returned

to

to

response
the

teach

340

the

169

at Pella, in
of Macedon
Philip, to
summons
of King

court

the

young

Alexander.

prince

4 years.
from
Went

Pella to Stagira to engage
Remained
5 years.

work.

Third

Period

ceum

13 years.
the Lyceum

"

335-322

B.

Athens.

323

administered the school 12 years.
Fled to Chalcis.

322

Died

physician
Macedonian

caste,

He

B.C.

"

Early

Influences.

born in Stagira in Macedonia.

was

court

Philip.

and

in Detail.

384-347

First Period,

of the

Taught

in Chalcis.

Aristotle's Biography

was

in

of the Ly

c.

Founded

Aristotle

in scientific

Aristotle the Leader

"

335

i.

Remained

came

to

King

Amyntas,

His father
founder

the

the father of
power
and
from a long line of physicians

Asclepiad) who

traced

their origin

King

(the
Ascle-

to

Little is known
the
early years
about
of
pius.
died, leav
Aristotle except that his father and mother
ing him in the guardianship
of Atarneus.
of Proxenus

(Atarneus is
It

state

in Asia

scarcely be
his family to be

visited.)
by

the

Minor

doubted

can

which
that he

he later
was

des

physician, and that the
were
empirical works
of Hippocrates
and Democritus
Aristotle
the first elements
of his early education.

tined

a

up in this atmosphere
of medicine of Macedonia,
which explains his respect for the results of experience
and his accuracy in details,
all of which contrasts him

grew

"

with the Attic philosophers.
He was sent by Proxenus to the Academy

in 367

Be

C..

OF

HISTORY

170

PHILOSOPHY

there for nine
and he remained
thirty-seven. He was
teen years, or until he was
not
for
merely a pupil in the school, but his brilliancy won
him immediately
a
prominent
position there. He be
at the age of eighteen,

teacher,

an

attractive writer, and champion
the literary spirit of the school. Even while he was
he became
man.
a famous
of the Academy
member
a

came

of
a

It

influence the Academy
is difficult to say justhow much
His scientific
had upon
the casting of his thought.
formed
before he went
to the Acad
inclinations were
;

emy

Minor

he got his immense
scientific erudition in Asia
and in Stagira later, after he left the Academy.

Probably

the

spirit of the

Platonic

school turned

his

theories, and prob
attention to ethical and metaphysical
due to his stay in the Academy
that he be
ably it was
interested in rhetorical and purely cultural studies.
have been
influence must
time his own
the same

came

At

the policy of the Academy,
and
very great in forming
he was
probably responsible for its turning its attention
to scientific matters.

The

from

sources

which

Aristotle drew

the material
therefore (1) his in

of his philosophical science were
herited taste for medicine and empirical science ; and
in ethical, meta
(2) the influence of the Academy
Both these factors ap
physical, and cultural

subjects.

pear

the philosophical development
of Aris
the other hand, it must
not be forgotten that

throughout

totle. On

the Academy
upon
His
him.
Academy
upon

Aristotle's influence

probably

that

was

own
of the
persistence along the line of empirical science shows
itself in his period at Atarneus, Mitylene, and on his

as

great

return

as

to

Stagira.

Estrangement

between

Much

has

been

Aristotle and

about an
his teacher, Plato.
said

ARISTOTLE

171

This is probably idle gossip.
in great esteem,
Aristotle was
an

as

Aristotle held his master
he himself testifies in his Ethics.

independent

original mind, and
in the school he would point out defects
probably even
his aged teacher would lead
in Plato's thought, when
his theories upon
pupil Xenocrates

mistaken

and

lines. Plato

said that his
Aristotle
while

the spur,
needed
the bridle. Aristotle was
called the brain

of

needed
the Academy.
2.

Period, 347-335

Second

lector.

became

B. c.

"

Traveler

and Col

Plato died, and his nephew
Speusippus
Aristotle, in com
scholarch of the Academy,

When

to the court of Hermeias,
with Xenocrates, went
Hermeias
was
another
and Mitylene.
ruler of Atarneus
Here Aristotle married
pupil of Plato at the Academy.

pany

twice, and
he obeyed

he resided for six years. In 343
Philip to come
the summons
of King

here

B.

c.

to

He acted in
Pella and become the tutor of Alexander.
been
to have
this capacity for four years, and seems
fortunate than Plato as instructor of a king. His
more
Alexander
was
very great.
upon
losing himself in the impracticable, Aristotle
influence

Without
seems

to

high philosophical ideals upon the noble
Alexander
says of Aristotle,
spirit of his kingly ward.
"
To my father I owe
my life,to Aristotle the know-

have impressed

ledge how

to live worthily."

During

the tedium

of the
in Bactria, Alexander
sent for the
protracted campaign
The
tragedies of Euripides, Sophocles, and ^Eschylus.

Ethics of his teacher was
The ideals
always with him.
in political con
the wide purposes
of statesmanship,
trol, the greatness of the aims of the young
conqueror,
as

and

his self-control, his aversion to
petty things, and his sublime moderation

well

as

meanness

were

due

OF

HISTORY

172

in part to the teachings
fortunate
more

PHILOSOPHY

of Aristotle. Never

of two
conjunction

In 340

was

great minds

there

a

than here.

Alexander

entered upon his admin
istrativeand military duties, Aristotle became independ
He spent the most of these
court.
ent of the Macedonian
B. c.,

when

four years (340-335 B.
c.) in scientificwork at Stagira,
in intimate companionship
with his young friend Theophrastus, who later succeeded him as scholarch of the
Lyceum.

"

Among

the special

study in the
history formed
a

of
subjects

school of Mieza and Stagira, natural
Alexander
time contributed
at one
part.
eight
hundred talents to forward his former teacher's inves
.

.

.

tigations in zoology, placed at his disposal a thousand
Asia and Greece, with instructions to
men
throughout
follow out Aristotle's directions in collecting and re
details concerning
the life, conditions,
porting
his
habits of animals, and in every way
made

and
cam

1
the purpose
of scientific investigation."
paigns serve
The reports of the ancients concerning
the vast sums
placed at Aristotle's disposal for use in scientificinves
tigation are of course
exaggerated. That he made large

collections during this period, as well as later, is cer
a
tain. This was
possible to him, first,because he was
himself, and second, because of his relations
rich man
to the courts at Atarneus
and Macedonia.
3. Third

the

Lyceum.

Period,

335-322

B.

c."

Administrator

Alexander

When

of
his

upon
entered
Aristotle felt himself free from

in Asia, and
duty to him, he went to Athens and founded
This school very soon
arose
the Lyceum.
above the
Academy,
the model
of later societies of
and became

campaigns
immediate

scholars of antiquity.

Its greatness partook

B. I. Wheeler,

Life of Alexander

of the great-

the Great.

ARISTOTLE

173

in the universality of its interests,
in the orderliness of its administration, and in method
ical cooperation. For twelve years he was
the execu

of Aristotle,

ness

"

administrator, and inspiration of
developing his philosophy, accumulating
school
terials, and instructing his pupils. The enormous

this

tive, teacher,

ma

"

pro

duct of the school could not have been the work of one
pair of hands. Nevertheless the writings, the immense
collections, the

ethical and

unity that speaks of
direction. When
under
against
Athens

one

the Athenians

friend of
fled to Chalcis, excusing
because
crime

year
A

as

a

he

to

wished

himself,
spare

against philosophy.

(322

B.

began

to

rise
rule, Aristotle's position in
Alexander became unsafe. He

Macedonian

the

political treatises, show a
that had them
master-mind

He

the

so

the tradition goes,

Athenians

a

second
died in Chalcis the next

c.).

comparison
of these three periods of Aristotle's
lifediscloses the uniformity of that life,from beginning
from the time he entered the Academy
to end. He was,
to the founding
as
a
teacher. Even
of the Lyceum,
influencing the
of Plato his original mind was
Platonic teaching into new
channels. During his second
a traveler, to be sure
more,
; but he was
period he was
pupil

"

a

collector and

a

king's tutor.

He

was

always

Aris

the periods of
totle, the philosophical teacher. Hence
his life cannot
Plato's, and
be so sharply marked
as
the lines that are drawn point only to phases of a life
that had unity, like his doctrine. His life is a regular

in his first period, and with
later deviating influence.

development
no

The

from

Writings

dialogues you

sources

of Aristotle. On
meet

every page

of Plato's

Plato ; in Aristotle's writings

the

HISTORY

174

OF

personality of the author

PHILOSOPHY

is subordinated

to his science.

The

collections of writings transmitted under the name
com
an
approximately
of Aristotle do not give even
They
plete picture of the immense
activity of the man.

indeed,

form,

stately memorial, even
after the spuri
ous
writings have been omitted, but their bulk is small
was
the product of his
compared
with what we know
a

literaryworkshop.

Forty treatises have been preserved.
A catalogue of the library of Alexandria in 220 B. c.
hundred
includes a list of one
and forty-six others,
writer, lec
His
turer, teacher, and the administrator of the Lyceum.
leadership of that school, his careful direction of his
not only an in
cooperators in research and study, was

have

which

struction

since been

but

lost. Aristotle

impulsion

an

to

was

independent

scientific

study for all time. His great collections of scientific
data can be explained only by their being the combined
different forces, guided and schooled
efforts of many

by

a

common

account

pedic
i.

of stock, and

world
Aristotle

was

was

The

Popular

These

than

by Aristotle
published
intended for a circle of readers

Writings,

were

his

own

school. No
form. They

one

in complete
were
totle during his life in the Academy.
extant

logues

ready to take an
the first encyclo

philosopher.

himself.
wider

The

master.

in form

;

in content

they

were

of these works is
written by Aris
They

were

dia

discussions

of

rhetoric, politics, love, conduct,
etc. They
prayer, generosity, education, government,
less artistic than Plato's dialogues, but more
were
ori

justice,
wealth,

wisdom,

full of happy inven
striking ; and they were
tions and rich thought, expressed in florid diction. The
flow of
ancients spoke often of Aristotle's "golden
ginal and

175

ARISTOTLE

thought,"

truthfully apply to any

but this cannot

save

these lost writings.
excerpts from scien
tificworks, collections of zoological, literary, historical,
data, which Aristotle and his pupils
and antiquarian
had gathered
together. Only a few fragments
of the
Compilations.

The

2.

These

were

criticalnotes upon the Pytha
of Plato's dialogues, a
goreans, reports of extracts
descriptive basis for zoology with illustrations,collec

total remain.

There

were

histo
rhetorical theories and models,
Homer,
ries of tragedies and comedies, discussions about
Euripides,
Hesiod, Archilochus,
poets ;
other
and

tions of previous

there

ing

historical miscellanies and reports concern
hundred fifty-eight Greek state constitutions.

were

one

3. The

Didactic

Writings.

These

have

in part been

up the collection of what we
preserved, and they make
have a consistently
have of Aristotle's writings. They
in grace
developed terminology, but they are wanting

of presentation. The plan of the books is
is precisely stated ;
: the
problem
generally the same
then follows a criticism of various attempted
solutions ;
then a discussion of the salient points of the problem ;
beauty

and

then
to

a

get

of the facts ; and, finally, an attempt
in
is modern
conclusive result. The method

marshaling
a

its scientificprocedure

and

the

contrast

with

Plato

is

not be inferred that these books
striking. Yet it must
are
orderly. There
repetitions, haste,
of Aristotle are

of parts, and unfulfilled promises.
unequal development
These books were
else than the written note?
nothing
the basis of his lectures and had
which he had made

intended

Only

to

parts

form
of the

into text-books in

Logic

for text-book purposes.

seem

some

to have

future time.

been completed

OF

HISTORY

176

These
lows
1.
2.

didactic writings

PHILOSOPHY
are

simply

fol

as

arranged

(Wallace) :
The

Logic

called Or g anon.
Speculative Philosophy.
treatise

on

First Philosophy

or

Theology

or

Metaphysics.

Mathematics

Physics

not extant).
(writings
(includingthe history of animals

and the

psychology).
3.

Practical Philosophy.

Ethics.
Economics.
Politics.
4.

Poetic Philosophy.

Art.
Poetry.
Rhetoric.
Aristotle's Starting-Point.

The

two

early influences

in Aristotle's mental development
offer an explanation
influences
for his philosophical point of view. These
his empirical training in medicine
were
and his con
ceptual training in the moral ideals of the Academy.
to be any
Plato had convinced him that if there were
be founded
that are
on
true science, it must
concepts

His own
unchanging.
scientific training, however,
him
inforced by the influence of Democritus,
made
spect

the

value

of empirical facts. While
for Aristotle was
the same

sophical problem
Plato, the difference between

them

was

re
re

the
as

in the

philo
that for
main

a

due to their different startingof emphasis
points. Plato started with the refutation of the Protagorean theory of perception, and consequently he em
phasized the value of the conceptual world ; Aristotle,
matter

however,

felt that Plato had

overestimated

the

con-

177

ARISTOTLE

the importance
world, and he emphasized
of
a member
empirical facts. Both when
of the Academy
and later, he strongly contended against Plato's evalu
ceptual

ation of the world of Ideas, because they so transcended
illumi
the sense
world that they neither explained nor
nated it. Aristotle's reaction against Plato's theory

furthermore

gives

a

us

more

correct

of what
into
enter

notion

to
really taught. If conceptions are
knowledge,
they must
not exist in the clouds of ab
that Plato had increased the
straction. He maintained

Plato

difficulty of the

problem by adding a second world of
The
entities quite distinct from the world of nature.
same
that Plato confronted stillexists unan
problem
swered, said Aristotle. It is the problem
of the two
fold world. If Ideas are apart from things, we could not
know that they existed, we should not be able to know
anything

about them,

nor

the world through them.
later draft, had conceived

should we
It is true

be able to explain
that Plato, in his

Ideas to be teleologically

re

lated to the physical things, but how could this be if
they were
apart from things ? Thus in his reaction from
Plato's theory of Ideas, Aristotle reestablished the
world of perceptual
Aristotle.
The

The

Fundamental

first question

lish the perceptual

fact. This is the starting-point

of

Principle in Aristotle's Philosophy.
then

is, How

fact ? What

did Aristotle reestab
did he employ
means

to
perceptual fact a reality? The answer
this question will be the statement
of Aristotle's funda
Plato
over
mental principle. It will show his advance

to

give the

by showing
his new
estimate of the perceptual world.
Plato accepted the Protagorean
doctrine of perception,
but also gave it a new
value by placing perceptions

HISTORY

178

OF

PHILOSOPHY

beside conceptions in the world of reality ; Aristotle
by linkPlato's teaching about perceptions
developed
inseparably with conceptions. Aristotle felt
ing them
from

the lack of close reBeing
and perceptuaf

that Plato's difficulties arose

lationship
fact. What

between

conceptual
is that linkage ? What

ity and changing
phenomena
is development. Development

so

binds abiding realclosely ? The linkage

relation between
It is the fundamental
prin

is the

conception and perception.
of Aristotle
ciple in the philosophy

throughout

and

the value of perception.
places a new
estimate upon
Perceptual facts apart from conceptions have no
real
ity; conceptions
mere
apart from perceptions are
ab
stractions. In the world of reality conceptual Being re
facts
sides in the perceptual facts, and the perceptual
express conceptions. They always exist together in a
linkage or relationship that is teleological, purposeful

An
the linkage of development.
abstract statement
"
of this relationship is, Aristotle felt the conceptual ne
cessity of the empirically actual." Perhaps the clearest

"

be made
of this fundamental
principle can
in the terms of evolution. It is this : true reality is the
Notice that this
in phenomena.
essence
statement

which unfolds
has two parts equally freighted
sentence

unfoldingessence
universal must
its development

reality is an
The true
; reality is in phenomena.
be thought as realizing itself through
:

in particulars ; the true concept
as
in percepts;
its development
realizing itself through
the true abiding Being as realizing itself in its devel
opment

the
ence

through

essence

change.

of things ;

on

hand, reality is
the other, reality has exist

On

the

only in things.
True reality is the individual.

one

ARISTOTLE

179

The

individual consists of two aspects : (1) concept
ual being, and (2) perceptual change.
These two aspects always
stand in a relationship.
That relationship is developing purpose.
is the

Here

to open

seems

metaphysics

key

to

the

of Aristotle that
In his
chambers.

teaching

the doors of its many
reality is the individual

developing

from

possibility to actuality. In physics individual phenom
from lower
ena
get a reality through their development
to higher

In psychology the individual person is
the particulars, the physiological and psycho

types.

real when
logical states, develop
truth.

So, too, in the great

Aristotle

was

the

is their
soul, which
system
of logic in which
the

pioneer, he

is simply trying
by showing
meaning

judgmenta
universal judgment. Everywhere

particular
to

toward

to give the

its linkage
the

startingfact. Everywhere

point of Aristotle is the perceptual
is to reestablish it by showing
his purpose
to abiding conception in the individual.

its relation

It may
be well to remark, however, that Aristotle
does not altogether succeed in constructing a consist
ent theory. In spite of his criticism of Plato's tran
scendent Ideas, in many
places Aristotle does not over
Plato's dualism. Frequently he differs from Plato
come
in words than in meaning.
We shall observe some
of his inconsistencies in their place. We
shall see that
Aristotle as he meant
different from Aris
to be was
more

totle

as

he

was.

Aristotle

as

he meant

to be

"

Aristotle

develops a philo
the opponent
of Plato's dualism
sophy from a single fundamental
principle. Aristotle
he was,
as
reverts
at many
critical points to Plato's
dualism.
as

"

Aristotle's

principle of development

may

appear

at

HISTORY

180

OF

PHILOSOPHY

first blush very much like the modern
principle of evo
lution. As a matter
of fact it was
very different. In all

Greek

after Socrates the study of morals
The ideal of Socrates, Democritus,
was
Plato, Aristotle, and the later Schools was
a
moral
philosophy
fundamental.

ideal. Being

moral it was
of life to it as

changes

Greek
form.

There
boy

a

fixed, and it fixed all the
Nature
to the
was
centre.

a

of types

museum

oscillating around a perfect
There was
no
evolution in the sense
of progress.
development
was
the individual
the
within
"

becomes

a

the

man,

seed

becomes

a

flower ; but

evolution from genus to genus. Indeed, any
variation of the individual from its type was considered
a defect.
there

was

no

Aristotle felt that there must

Aristotle's Logic.

be

science of the methods
of science ; and so successful
he in its formulation
was
that it has practically re
it. We
he transmitted
as
are
mained
struck by the
a

way

in

he

which

divided

science

into

the

special

sciences, each with its well-defined field. It was
per
fectly natural that he should also, with his great power
of abstract reasoning, discuss the body of rules for

legitimate thinking.

investigation,
suasion.

At

procedure
knowledge.

the

them
as

logical writings were
Organon, because the Lyceum

early period these

an

collected under
regarded

justas

In science there must
be an art of
in rhetoric there is an art of per

so

to

be

name

intimately

connected
the instrument
or

with
"

scientific
"

organ

of all

Certain parts

are
of Aristotle's Organon
The important
of doubtful genuineness.
sections are
the Analytics, a masterly logical groundwork
of the
treats of
conclusion and proof, and the Topics, which

the inductive methods

of probability. Aristotle there-

181

ARISTOTLE

logic a preliminary and separate study, as
fore made
it should be. It became
the preface to his scientific
work.
We

shall briefly discuss Aristotle's logic, because it
is an exemplification of his general philosophical prin
in the history of philosophy,
the
ciple. Among

subjects

logic is perhaps
the only one that has had
history. Aristotle was
the pioneer in the
left it

internal

no

He

subject.

finished that

scarcely any changes
of conse
quence could be made in it. The external history of the
been notable. A por
Aristotelian logic has, however,
so

Interpretation
was
of the Categories and De
Ages.
influential in the history of the Middle
most
The Logic had been misunderstood and misapplied
by
tion

into the
it came
that when
hands of the Schoolmen
it had acquired the reputation
of being only an abstract formal logic. As thus inter

Aristotle's

preted

School,

own

it was

used

so

by the Schoolmen

the philosophers
of the
Aristotle's logic is

Renaissance.

unjustto

and

attacked

Such

a

by

view of
had con--

the author. He
to be the true method

to
ceived logic in its wholeness
be used in investigating practical scientificproblems.
The Sophists had proposed rules of practical value

in the study of individual cases ; Socrates had tried to
fix upon some
universal principle as the basis of know
ledge ; Aristotle made a comprehensive
study of the reg
ular forms

of thought and the rules that govern the ar
rangement
of these forms in right thinking. In true
Platonic fashion he conceived physical events in nature

If, therefore, logical
universal cause.
procedure be scientific,ft must follow the ways of na
ture : logic must deduce particular perceptions from some

to be due

to

some

universal idea. The

necessary thought-relations in which

HISTORY

182

OF

PHILOSOPHY

the particular stands will then appear.
the particular from the universal is the

Deduction
true

of

scientific

:
method, used in the explanation of nature-phenomena
deductive reasoning should be
so in proof the same
used
In scientificstudy we are trying to show the conceptual

necessity of

an

empirical fact ; in proof

we

are

the conceptual necessity of the particular term.
we

are

explaining

an

showing
Whether

proving a conclusion, we
logical process. Aristotle thus

event

or

the same
employing
regarded his logic as the true scientific method for prac
tical service, not as a merely abstract discipline in verbal
hair-splitting.
are

Socrates and Plato confined themselves to the study of
Aristotle also studied the
the concept or simple term.
concept. Indeed, he tried to find out what concepts are
fundamental
in our
thinking, so fundamental
that they
are

our

ten

thought

reduced
fundamental

of these
gories. But Aristotle

to its lowest terms.

He

names

concepts and calls them cate
goes farther than Socrates and

Plato, and makes his real point of departure the judg
A single term does not express truth. For truth
ment.
have two terms
by the verb " is,'*
we
must
connected
i. e.

be shown between them. This
relation must
is a judgment.Reasoning
is stillmore
It is
complex.
the putting together or showing
the relation between
some

judgments.This

process takes the form of the syl
logism. The firsttask of deduction is to present the laws
of the syllogism. These will then be the laws of scien
two

tificinvestigation. According

be derived with

certainty from

to

these, particulars

universal

can

propositions,
provided such universals are established. The syllogism
is in the form of two premises and a derived conclusion.
It contains three terms. The problem is to infer, from

183

ARISTOTLE

bears to the two
of these terms
bear to each other. The prin
other terms, what the two
is that of subordination ; and the dif
ciple employed
ferentiations of the syllogism can be many, depending on
the relation that

one

the quality and quantity of the premises and the distri
The working of the syllogism
bution of the middle term.
in inference has a certainty so great that Aristotle called

it-apodictic.
But there is another side to the syllogistic besides
the deduction of proof or the explanation of empirical
fact. This is the establishment of the premises. All de

duction

is grounded

on

premises.
not deduced

absolute

presupposes

something

All deduction
;

all proof

on

on
not proved ; all explanation
something
something
that has not been explained. These presuppositions are
be known
only imme
universal propositions that can
diately through intuitions. Aristotle is not altogether
He names
these intuitions are.
such
clear as to what
law of the
axioms as the law of contradiction and the

apply
which

some

special propositions which
only to particular sciences. Since the premises
are
we
not open to proof, but only
actually use

excluded

middle, and

to the validity of their application, we
as
strengthened
the method
use
search for
of induction in our
must
data from opinions and varied
them. We
accumulate

experiences,
which

and

take

we

as

then
a

we

ascend
premise. The

therefore be in themselves

to

a

generalization
results of induction
certain.

The

results
have the character of know
are
only probable, and can
Aristotle means
ledge only as they explain phenomena.
different from the present use
by induction something

cannot

of the term.

of proof

,"

Induction

Aristotle

means

in modern
a

times

method

means

a

kind

of discovery

of

OF

HISTORY

184

relatively universal terms
be obtained.
cannot
There
that

is

PHILOSOPHY

where

the absolutely universal

ideal involved in this conception of logk
is interesting. In a perfectly intellectual society
an

there would be a perfect science in which all particular
facts could be derived with absolute certainty from pre

Life and logic would be iden
then be certain not only as to our
been
premises. Logic has sometimes

mises absolutely known.
tical. We
proof but

should
to

as

our

very effectively in this way.
to
church
conceived its dogmas

When

used

the mediaeval

be

the ultimate pre
from them
complete

of truth, it could deduce
the perfect
rules for living. To the mediaeval mind
formulated by deducing it from the dogma
science was
mises

were
of the church. The dogmas
The Renaissance did not doubt

traditional dogmas

Aristotle, who

had

so

much
been so

as

the absolute premises.
the infallibilityof the
the

long

logical method,

and
artificiallyidentified

with the proof of ecclesiasticaldogma,
Aristotle, moreover,
great
showed

was

set aside.

insight

into

the

present relation of thought and reality. The sequence
of facts in our
experience, he pointed out, is exactly
is first in
the reverse
of what it is in reality. What

last in our
reality comes
experience, and what is first
in our
experience is last in reality. To illustrate : the
State in the eternity of things
mission of the Athenian

did not appear until every event in its history had oc
curred. A perfect being would see the universal ground
before the historical particulars derived from it, while
we

look from

the

particulars to their universal
agree; but they stand
metaphysics

Logic

and

verted

parallelism
Knowledge

cesses.

to historical and

is

a

causes.

in in

psychological pro
from the senses
development

185

ARISTOTLE

into the Ideas, and

yet,

fails to

never

expression
beginning.

the other hand, Aristotle
is the
that this development

on

us
remind
of an idea which

has been

present from

the

Aristotle's Metaphysics.
is Purposeful.

Development

i.

is, of

relation

course,

quite

totle's theory of metaphysics
knowledge
of the particular

The

as

conception
of
fundamental
in Aris

as

in his logic. In logic

is possible through
its
the rela
relationship to the universal ; in metaphysics
the par
tionship is the relationship of development
ticular has significance and value through the universal
"

that unfolds from within it. If Aristotle shows
for abstract thinking by becoming
the " Father

essence

genius
of Logic,"

he shows

for abstract thinking
He be
of development.

equal genius

in his metaphysical
conception
lieved that metaphysics
applies the
things

same

that logic discovers in thought.

conditions to
But in meta

physics the relationship is not the abstract relationship
in Plato, but the vital relation of
that Aristotle saw
in the life and change of nature.
development

We

have

already stated the fundamental
Aristotle's teaching as an
essence

unfolding

ena.

The

Eeality

principle in
in phenom

unfolding is the relationship of development.
does not consist in the particular things of

in something
outside nature, but in this
essential linkage of the perceptual and conceptual in
As the world is spread out before us, it pre
nature.
nature,

nor

dynamic,

however

they may
much
is in the process
matter
appear to be static. Everywhere
of forming. The world is a forming, not a formed nor
sents

that
objects

formless world.
any individual
a

are

So, also, if you undertook

to describe

in the world, you would

object

have to

OF

HISTORY

186

define it as

a

forming

example, would
by enumerating
describe it

must

denned

adequately

its parts at any
as

thing. A

developing

or

be

not

PHILOSOPHY

or

tree, for

described

but you
developing from

one

moment

a

;

unitary organism
a seed. The
reality of the world is the development
of
its meaning
in itshistory ; the same
is true of the reality
of any individual thing in the world. The world and
the things therein have

The

an

essence.

unfolding

point to be observed about Aristotle's con
is beception is that the relationship of development
The individual must have two aspects :
tiveen two terms.
next

there must
ing, and

these two

is pass
be that out of which the development
that into which it is passing. Aristotle calls

aspects
Every

of development

and Form.
of nature
object
Matter, and these two terms
have
To

respectively Matter
consists of Form and
passed into history.
Form, or,
becoming

Aristotle everything
is Matter
in other words, Form
realizing itself in Matter. The
Formed,
tree has its Matter which is becoming
and its

Form

into which the Matter is growing.
The principle
the principle of
which unites the two is development,
the individual. Matter, then, is the possibility or poten
"

tiality of

an

individual thing

potentially ; Form

"

it is the

thing given
reality. If you

is its actuality or
emphasize merely the stages in the development, you are
; if, however,
regarding merely the occurrences
you em
as aspects of a unity,
phasize the stages of development
see

you

its

essence.

The

between
two terms
relationship of development
thus becomes
under Aristotle's hands the relation of
Aristotle calls this self-realization of the es
purpose.
sence

in phenomena

i.e. in opposition

by
to the

the

technical word

earlier conceptions

entelechy,
of nature

ARISTOTLE

187

Aristotle conceived nature
teleologically. Teleology or
purpose we found Plato using in his second draft of the
Ideas, but

more

postulate than as an efficient means
Aristotle uses
teleology as his positive

as

a

of explanation.
fundamental
principle of nature.
Different
Aristotle's Two
2.

Conceptions

of Pur
Aristotle illustrated his conception
of the pur
pose.
poseful relation in nature from two very different types

(1)
ment

the development
that

material.

takes

of organisms

place when
Manifestly here

an
are

;

(2)

:

the develop

artisan moulds
plastic
different kinds of
two

that
teleological activities. In organic growth the Form
in the organism ;
realizes itself in Matter is immanent
the Form
the artist, on the other hand, superimposes
the plastic material. In the case
upon
of organisms
Matter and Form
are
separable only by abstraction, and
are
only two aspects of a development
which is identical
from the beginning
to the end ; in the case
of artistic

construction the Matter is first a possibility existing by
itself,and the purpose of the artist is later added unto
Aristotle speaks of two
it. In the case
of organisms
the material and the formal ; in the case
of
the mate
artisticconstruction he employs four causes,
rial,the efficient,the formal, and the final. Aristotle did

causes,

"

"

expressly formulate these two different conceptions
of purpose, but he completely applied them in practice.
On the one hand he regarded individual things as selfnot

the other he looked upon
as
them
realizing, and on
realized in other things. This seemingly harmless dif

ference is really very fundamental,
between Aristotle as he meant
ence

for it is the differ
to

be

"

Aristotle

the critic of Plato's dualism
and Aristotle who
to Plato's teaching. We
find therefore two Arisreverts

as

"

OF

HISTORY

188

totles;

a

one

dualist. We

dynamic
cannot

PHILOSOPHY

monist, the other a transcendent
to
say that Aristotle as he meant

be is the true Aristotle, for he is
important

a

dualist in very many

doctrines.

Aristotle's conception of purpose
as
exemplified by
is his original conception, and is what he in
organisms
tended to be the basis of his philosophy. Here the truly

Form.
It
by its own
real is the individual determined
is the dynamic
and not the artistic view of life. Activ
ity is directed to

an

end

not

without

but within

itself.

individual is a complete organic unity at rest within
itself. The individual is primarily the essence
or
sub
Of the ten categories which he enumerates,
stance.

The

this point of view is to Aristotle the
The nine other categories only describe
of
relations of the substance. The essence

from
substance
important.
most
the states

or

the individual is the substance

;

and Aristotle conceives
universal in the thing.

the substance as the species or
here Aristotle is guilty of a
It is pointed out that even
he uses
in which
dualism in the double meaning
sub
But the conception
stance.
of Aristotle here is of an
dynamic
immanent,
the selfreality. He has in mind
contained
tree,

a

man,

of the

unity
or

individual, whether

that be

a

the universe.

Aristotle's conception

of purpose

exemplified by
his original con

as

over
preponderates
he regards the individual
When
ception of purpose.
in the world, not as self-contained but as rela

artistic products

objects

another, he has a different conception of the
the individuals are not realities but
world. In this case
The
have reference
to a reality transcending
them.

tive to

one

is still a developing world, but the essence
that
It is a goal for which
unfolds itselfis not in phenomena.

world

189

ARISTOTLE

is
strive. The fulfillment of the purpose,
phenomena
Individual things are only a scale of values
beyond.
To illustrate :
transcendent
standard.
relative to some
the bud, the blossom, the fruit, have not their realiza
tion in themselves, but

lying

food

as

;

again, the growing tree,
the timber in the house,

the ground,
have their realization in the completed

the timber

the world

on

house ; again, in

at large, the original nebulous

first-formed worlds,

the

matter

of the

the

early years
this earth, the succeeding centuries, the 20th century
this world, are only a scale of values for something
the future.

universe,

In

facing

such

facts, Aristotle had

to

depart

of
of
in

from

his original conceptualistic standard of the world as
having their
an
organic unity and of individual things
in themselves.

meaning

to be

seems

a

View

self-contained

a

thing

by itself,and

reality which

unfolds

it
for

itselfalone. View a thing with reference to other things,
else. Here is Aristotle
and its reality is in something
He
longer as he meant
to be, but as he really was.
no
is

now

not

as

Plato's pupil. Each thing
containing in itself the two

Matter, but

is to be regarded,
aspects of Form
and

now

the possibility of something
and the ac
tuality of something else. The blossom is the possibility
Matter of the fruit and the Form
or
or
actuality of

the bud.

as

The

nineteenth
the Matter

century

is the

Form

of the
But devel

of the twentieth.
eighteenth and
has a limit above and below, according to Aris
opment
totle : below, in Matter that is without Form ; above, in
Form that is without Matter. Pure Form is God, who
excludes from Himself all Matter or possibility,because
He is perfect. Pure Matter is the lower limit, which is

entire possibility, and

exists only to be formed.

Here

190

HISTORY

is a dualism

as

OF

distinct

PHILOSOPHY

Plato's, which

Aristotle not
he developed.
In the

as

but which
only did not overcome
same
way that Plato contrasted Ideas and empty space,
Aristotle contrasted God as pure Form
and Matter as

pure possibility.
In this final dualistic form
his teaching, there
student
because

are

in which Aristotle left
three specific doctrines which the

important
are
consider carefully. They
they had great influence in later orthodox the
must

These special doctrines
ology and in theories of nature.
are
(1) Aristotle's conception of God; (2) his concep
tion of matter ; (3) his conception of nature.
3. Aristotle's

ian system
pure Form

the

Conception

assumption

In the Aristotel

of God.

of an
because

final term

upper

of

Matter as the pos
necessary,
sible and potential is not endowed
with the power
of
is not
motion and generation. To Aristotle development
was

process with temporal beginning and ending, but is a
kind of closed circuit. Since reality is in itself a devel
oping essence,
motion is as eternal as reality. We should
a

ask, therefore, When
can
will it end? but we
not

did the world begin, and when
is the.
legitimately ask, What

we
of reality that keeps motion
alive? When
individual things, we find, according to Aris
examine
is the result of the in
totle's explanation, that motion

nature

fluence
matter

in Form

Matter.
of Form
upon
impulse to be formed,
an

There
and

is inherent

in

there is inherent

active forming purpose. But we may search
individual things in vain for the causal explanation of
for a
motion, since every Form is in turn the Matter
an

higher Form.

The

chain would

gible if there did not exist
moved.

God

as

the unmoved

a

be endless and not intelli
pure Form, which is un
mover

is the

cause

of the

191

ARISTOTLE

in a different
world-motion, but God must be the cause
from the physical causes,
sense
which are themselves
God operates as a cause
upon Matter, not as a
moved.
mechanical
logical cause.

as a final or teleopure Form,
in the sense
is the cause
that God

but

cause

God

excites in Matter

as

"

the impulse

to be actual, like

God.

is similar to Plato's Idea of the
mover
prime
Good. As to its form it is eternal, unmovable, unchange
and incorporeal, and yet the
able, wholly independent

This

of all generation and change. God is the perfect
Being in whom
all possibility is actuality. As to its con
is pure thought. But in respect to his thought
tent God

cause

God

is not like human

thought, which

is concerned

with

and changing things. God is thought
external phenomena
than itself and its
that has nothing else for its object
God is " thought of thought."
own
content.
unchanging
blessed life.
God's contemplation
of himself is his own
Here in Aristotle is a momentous
conception formed for
is
the first time in the history of thought. Monotheism
for the first time conceptually framed and scientifically
of Aristotle's predecessors passes
grounded. The monism
in the
into a theism. God is not only immaterial
over
Plato defined the Ideas, but he is spiritual.
In Aristotle's transcendent God, conceived as pure self-

sense

that

consciousness,

we

have

the ripest fruit of Greek

philo

sophy.

The other and
of Matter.
lower limit of Aristotle's dualism is Matter, " first Mat
ter," as Aristotle called it. In itselfitis wholly unformed
in this
and mere
possibility. But it is unlike pure Form
4. Aristotle's Conception

it never
exists in itself. God
respect,
exists apart
from Matter, but since Matter is mere
possibility, Mat
Matter has a double
ter never
exists apart from Form.
"

OF

HISTORY

192

On

character.

the

one

PHILOSOPHY

Matter

hand

is that which

as

the world of phenomena
makes
pos
sible; on the other hand it is the source
of the lawless
Through
its seeking to be
and purposeless in nature.
an

accessory

cause

formed
and

it makes
the presentation
yet it stands as a deterrent

presentation

of the

Form.

On

of the Idea

possible,
principle to the full
it is the
hand
the one

itself in real
of physical nature, shows
physical effects,and is the basis of mechanical causation,
motion, and impact. On the other hand it stands in the
fully, and it
way of the Forms
actualizing themselves
sine qua

prevents

non

is
the universe from perfecting itself as God
While Matter is not an indifferent negative

perfect.
(as in Plato's

but
teaching),

the necessary substratum
the indeterminate, and
of corporeal things, it is however
the ground of the accidental and purposeless in nature.
is the infinite and unlimited, and is the source
of
like monstrosities and abortions.
unusual
phenomena,
Both fate and accident are due to the retarding influence

Matter

of Matter, because it obstructs the successful working
Quitein accord with Greek thought, Aris
out of Form.
totle conceived

necessity and

tally the

and

shows

same,

the

Greek

chance
custom

to be

fundamen

of drawing

lots

the universality of the notion.

5. Aristotle's Conception
fore to Aristotle a far more

of Nature.

Nature

is there

complex
world than Plato
has a double character to Aris

had conceived it. Nature
totle, as his twofold
conception

of

causation

shows.

Nature is composed of mechanical and teleological causes.
Purpose and necessity are the two principles of motion
in the world, and in this twofold conception
of causa
How
tion did Aristotle reconcile Plato and Democritus.
Aristotle concedes to the Democritan
idea of
ever
much

ARISTOTLE

mechanical
of nature

193

necessity, it is evident that in his conception
over
the principle of teleology predominates

The highest actuality is God, and he
the mechanical.
is a final or teleological cause
; and all results of value
Final causes
in nature
come
are
through final causes.
; mechanical
primary causes
There would be no motion

for the highest final cause,
mover,

because

How

cannot

are

is the unmoved
itself. Motion
occurs

move

feels the impulse

matter

our

nature

modern

under

a

secondary causes.
in the universe but

whatever
God. Yet God

to form

different this Aristotelian

from

The

matter

and

causes

conception

scientific conception
mechanical

itselflike God.

causation

of nature
impersonal

of an
that is universal!

teleological conception

of nature and natural events
was
very strongly intrenched in the human
mind during
the Middle Ages, and was
not dislodged easily by mod
investigation. Nature
Aris
a living thing to
ern
was
totle. It

intrinsically spontaneous,
and selfdetermined and uniform. Its spontaneity was not that of
that of purpose
capricious chance. Its uniformity was
and end. On the other hand, the Aristotelian concep
was

at

once

either the Christian
Darwin's theory of evoluor
lution. The world of Aristotle had always existed ; it is
a limited
world in space, but not in time. Also the di

is not the
tion of nature
doctrine of created nature

same

as

always existed in it. Yet its evolution is not
a progressive
climbing sort, like the Darwinian, in which
new
only that there is a re
species evolve. It means
reason

vine

lationship

nature
and value among
objects.
Nature is a unity. Teleological change occurs
within it.
Nature
is therefore a connected
system
of living
beings in the process of development
from
Form
to

Form,

of rank

approximating

the

Deity

and

existing

as

the

HISTORY

194

OF

PHILOSOPHY

potentiality of the Deity. There is a graded scale of
things of relative worth. But the double standard of es
timating the worth of
that of mechan

nature-objects
"

ical necessity and
two

that of teleological cause
different
series, which find their union

"

makes

only at the
From
foregoing description of the
our
end in God.
that he has two essen
nature
of God, it will be seen
ever
tial characteristics : he is Being who
rests within
like himself ; and he is a pure
and remains
He therefore combines
in himself the two na
series in their most ideal character. Nature-objects

himself
reason.

ture

of mechanical necessity have as
justthat uniformity, regularity,

in the series

character
that we find in the abiding
the

their ideal

and order
The greater

Being

of God.
Naturethe more
uniformity,
nearly like God.
in the teleological series, have as their ideal

objects,

characteristic the reason
of God.
tional such a living being is, the

In the

God.

one

The

more

more

nearly ra
nearly is it like

line the

series of phenomena
ascends
from the disorder of the terrestrial universe to the abso
lute uniformity of the stars, which are close to God. In
the other line the

from

the

series ascends

mechanical

in teleological values

characteristics of
organisms to their rational activity. Both series termi
stars have rational intelligence and
nate in God. The

and

vegetative

motions. Aristotle conceived Physics
as
the science that includes the first series, and the sec
ond series he conceived to be included by Psychology,
the most

uniform

Ethics, and Politics.
The
Mechanical
Series,
Physics.
time

world.

"

Aristotle's

Theory

of

The

general astronomical assumptions
of the
determined
Aristotle's theory
of the physical

He

adopted

the old Pythagorean

conception

of

ARISTOTLE

the limited world-all :

195

hollow

a

centric crystalline spheres. In opposition
goreans, he conceived the earth at the

spherical and

stationary.
revolve, in which

spheres
and fixed stars

are

the

great

rim

moves

the

sphere,

It is

centre.

it the

crystalline
five planets,

sun,

moon,

The

fixed

are

outside

stars

are

all, and

in
are

therefore to God,

animates
all. God as it
who
holds the world-all in the hollow of his hand. He
in turn
moves
the whole, which
the fifty-five

nearest
were

of the

Around

placed.

up of con
to the Pytha

sphere made

concentric crystal spheres within. The principle of the
movement
of fixed stars is that of the Deity, while the
principle of the other spheres is that of the spirits
which
have

reside in them.
influence upon
an

The

of the planets
terrestrial life. Aristotle made
movement

division between
the celestial
usual Pythagorean
and the terrestrial parts of the world-all, which has
influence upon
had so much
theology. The motion of
the

perfect, being a circle ; its form is
The celestial part of this
a sphere.
is the region lying near
the periphery,

the world-all is most
most
perfect, being
world-all, which
is most like God.

The

motion

of this heaven

is circu

it is the place of uniformity, perfectness,
and
The stars do not change nor pass away.
changeableness.

lar, and
They

in their regularity
beings, who
superhuman
like the blessed gods. The terrestrial part of the
are
has motions in straight lines.
world-all below the moon
are

This is the theatre of imperfection
increase and diminution.
There

are

many

and irregularity, of

interesting discussions by Aristotle

upon

particular physical matters,
such
the elements. His conception of motion
series of uniform

nature-motions

space, time,
shows how the

as

lead up to the second

OF

HISTORY

196

PHILOSOPHY

series of teleological values. In nature there are three
kinds of motion : change of place (mechanical)
; change
in substance (organic).
in quality (chemical)
; change

While

of place is the lowest kind of motion, it is
to chemical
and organic changes. Yet Aris-

change

necessary

be
that qualitative changes can
that
reduced to quantitative changes, but maintains
quality is self-subsistent. Organic change, or change in
substance, on the contrary, has a higher Form of reality
to

iotle refuses

allow

This stand taken by Aristotle,
than the lower changes.
in refusing to reduce qualitative to quantitative deter
how comprehensive
a scien
and sane
minations, shows
tist he

It introduces

was.

ethics that

are

intimately

time have

same

realms

us

to

linked

of their

to the series of qualitative nature

logy, ethics, and
The

a

psychology

to physics, and
own.

Let

changes,

us
or

an

and

now

at the
turn

to psycho

politics.

Teleological

Series

:

The

Changes
Qualitative

of Phenomena.
Psychology
i. The

of Aristotle. As the firstexperi
mental psychologist, Aristotle intimately connected his
with his studies in biology and
studies in psychology
is a part of the world of nature,
and
medicine. Man
is in part a comparative
study. As we pass
psychology
from the mechanical changes, we find chemical
upward
of quality, and then changes
of organic life.
changes

find organism
to con
sist of souls of relative ranking. There are vegetative
souls, sensitive souls, and rational souls. Plants have

Studying

the

organic

realm,

we

souls with the powers
of assimilation and
propagation ; besides vegetative souls animals have sen
of appetition and locomo
sitive souls, with the powers

vegetative

tion;

man

possesses, besides both

these

souls, the

ra-

197

ARISTOTLE

tional soul. Here

is a series of teleologicalrelationships,
of the organism is explained only by
where the purpose
the activity of its soul. The
soul builds up its body as
the theory of
of organs, and as an organology
Aristotle has great significance. Nature
strives ever
in the inorganic processes, through
an
even
upward,

a

system

series of creations to its highest Form in man.
unbroken
Each step in the upward
progress is the realization of
for the mo
an
entelechy, or purpose, and constitutes
the goal of the impulse to strive. The whole world
ment
The

lower ends,
the mechanical and vegetable and appetitive Forms, are
not lost but are
utilized in the process ; for they are
higher than them
the Matter upon which the Forms
is striving to realize the perfect Form.

is both Form
selves are built. Every member
ter in the whole series.
has therefore two
The psychology
parts
general

and Mat

:

(1)

the

theory

suggestions;

souls, which possesses rich
of animal
(2) the doctrine of the Nous as the dis

tinctive characteristic of

man.

These

are

the empirical

and speculative sides to Aristotle's psychology.
is an epitome of all the changes in the universe.
Man
He has vegetative, appetitive, and rational souls. Yet
is unity in

there

to

the

man,

reason

for the lower

souls
exist for it. The

are

subser

appetitive
of the vegetative soul, the Matter of
soul is the Form
the Rational soul, etc. Accordingly, Aristotle defines the
vient

and

the entelechy of the body, because bodily human
Reality
activity is enlisted in the service of the reason.
is an unfolding purpose, justas it is in nature.
in man
soul

The

as

pos
real self is this unfolding rational self, whose
The
sibilityis the body ; whose actuality is pure reason.
mind is actualized body, the body is potential mind.

HISTORY

198

Aristotle made

OF

PHILOSOPHY

contributions to psychology
about the origin and value of the several sensations,
about the feelings of pleasure and pain and the desires.
He shows his remarkable
genius in pointing to the
many

consciousness, which he calls
His discussion of the Nous,
the " common-sensibility."
is of importance
for two reasons
or
reason,
: first,be
necessity

a

of

unity

it leads

of

and illuminates his ethical theory ;
and second, because it is an
example
of his deviation
from his original conceptual position. The reason,
ac
cause

cording

to

to his first intention, is the

purpose
it is the immanent
essence
of the body,
of the body.
As Aristotle finally left his discussion
of the Eeason, it
is as transcendent as his God, or as any Idea
of Plato.

unfolding

"

The

Nous,

Form

or

Reason,

is not

a

Form

of the body, but
immaterial, simple,

soul. It is purely
unchangeable,
and incapable of suffering. It does not
from
originate with the body as a function. It comes
a

of the

without as a godlike activity, and will remain
after
Its fundamental
the body passes away.
activity is
is those ultimate principles
thought, and its

object

of Being

the

are

which

ultimate

of logical

premises

thinking.

Aristotle's theory of the Reason is considerably com
the ac
plicated by his division of it into two parts,
tive and the passive Reason. Within itself,the Reason
"

is to be

distinguished

Form

The pas
and Matter.
is the Matter for the active Reason,
sive Reason
and
the active Reason is the Form
for the passive Reason.

By

the passive
individual and

as

Reason

Aristotle evidently means
the
developing
The
man.
active Reason

can

alone persist after death, but whether

in

the

Deity

to

or

not

he

does

not

say.

absorbed
Immortality

199

ARISTOTLE

Aristotle in any

is not

case

a

perpetuation

of the

individuality.
The

2.

nature

Ethics

of

Aristotle.

are

phenomena

of two

We

have

classes,

"

seen

that

those mechani

cally related, and those related as to their purposes or
ends. Physics is concerned
with the first class ; psy
chology is concerned with the second class. But in a
special way

are

ethics and

politics sciences of the phe

sciences of ideologically
of the second class
Moral life is an unfolding essence
related phenomena.
Possibility
having a possibility and an
actuality. The
nomena

"

feelings, tempera
of the ethical life is our
disposition, impulses, and perceptions
ment,
justthose
up the endowment
psychological factors that make
of
or

Matter

"

or
actuality
personality. The ultimate Form
The reason
as
the
of the ethical life is the reason.
goal of the moral being determines its character. Man

the human

rational being. Virtue is the process of
the ethical life from its possibilities to its actuality ; it
is the essence
of the ethical life. Virtue is that contin
is distinctly

a

that makes rational activity possible.
So much for the factors that make the ethical situation 5
its material,
are
the natural endowments
of the mind
is its goal, while the means
the reason
of developing
uous

state of mind

the natural endowments
The
situation would

into rational activity is virtue.
for us
be simple enough
as

moral beings if, in our
striving, each had only himself
lives
to consider. But man
development
and his own

and his highest good is determined
of men,
by riches, bodily com
by his environment,
somewhat
forts, success.
These are not essentials but only acces
in

a

world

"

sories, and the lack of them

is only

a

limitation.

The

essential factor is the rational activity. Nevertheless,

200

HISTORY

OF

PHILOSOPHY

these modify the definition of what we
mean
define rational activity as the highest Good
life. For

the moral
poses in his notable

end
Good

or

supreme
for a man

that includes
that

pleasures
happiness

?

of

question which Aristotle pro
is the
treatise of Ethics is, What

among

only

accrue

It is

we

the

good

not

or

when
Form

of human
action ? The highest
is Happiness, or well-being ;
men
rational activity, but
to such activity. But

also the
is
what

end in itself,and not the means
to anything
else ; it is the result of functioning, a state
of conscious vitality ; it accords with the law of excel
lence of that functioning.
Perfect happiness is, there
an

fore, partly the result of one's
individual effort,
own
While
on
partly dependent
circumstance.
virtue is
the measure
of the worth of different pleasures, yet
pleasures do not always attend our
acts in our
present
society. The greatest Good is happiness, but since this

depends

in part on
external goods, the goal to which
we
the factor within our
con^
should directly attend
is rational activity.
trol
"

"

There

the two
classes of virtues based on
kinds of rational life, the practical
virtues and the dianoetic virtues. The practical virtues are those of conduct
are

two

"

based upon
the rational control of the impulses ; the
dianoetic virtues are those of intellectual activity based
the development

of the perceptions. The perfect
moral development
nature
of human
will consist (1) in
the perfect development
and true regulation of the feel
upon

ings and desires in
moral excellence ; and (2) a perfect
development
of the intellectual faculties for rational
culture.
(a) The

Practical Virtues. The

essential thing for
the individual to regard, therefore, is the training of

201

ARISTOTLE

his will by right rational insight. He
should seek to
but
direct his impulses by reason,
and not only once
times that the impulses will become
so
rational
many
by training in
Aristotle means
habits. This is what
It

virtue.

is continuity in rational activity ; it is
development
reason
toward
; it is the un

a

permanent
folding of the real Self. Aristotle had regard for the
Socrates, who said
facts of life when he differed from
virtue is knowledge.

that

the will

as

He

reason.

ful than

Aristotle did

not

independent
power
psychological
doubted if rational insight was
more

the impulses, when

the test

conceive
the

of

power
Experience

comes.

know
may
what is right,
often shows that although we
impulse will often drive us into habits not guided
an
for Aristotle a will that
This presupposes
by reason.
is free to choose among
the desires that one
which will
lead him along the path that reason
points out.
It is impossible to formulate a rule for the acquire
be
ment
virtue must
of the particular virtues. Each

by itself. The

treated
that the
two

reason

extremes.

only

principle

should always seek
Thus courage is the

the
mean

for

is

guidance

mean

between

between

cow

between intemperance
ardice and rashness ; temperance
obsequiousness
and insensibility ; friendliness between
and

brusqueness,

etc.

Moderation

is the watchword

the cultivation of the practical virtues.
(6) The Dianoetic Virtues are the

means

in

toward

self. The diof pure rationality for one's
anoetic virtues are higher than the practical. They un
fold the pure formal activity of the Nous, and give the

the attainment

most

them

These

finds through
noble and perfect pleasure. Man
his possible participation in the divine happiness.

intellectual virtues may

be either theoretical

or

HISTORY

202

OF

PHILOSOPHY

Aristotle meant
practical insight ; in the latter case,
knowledge
of the right in art, and knowledge
of jus
tice. But the purest is Wisdom
(0ewpiV),
which is know
that God
sake. It is the knowledge
has of himself. Man
this.
may approximate
In Aristotle's ethical theory there appear three fea

ledge for its own

tures

that

distinctly Greek.

are

(1)

The

leading

ques

tion that he asks at the beginning of the Ethics, What
is the end or Supreme Good of human
action ? is Greek.
The modern
is the nature of duty ?
writer asks, What

(2)

The

of the

"

emphasis
"

mean

was

on

the

"

"

mean

the fundamental

is Greek.

The

idea

principle in Greek

in such literature as Gnomic
poetry
Plato.
The
individual
(3)
and
subordination of
ethical
conduct to the conception
of the state is Greek. Aris
totle says that politics will have to settle the question

life,and appeared

Good,
of the Supreme
that of the individual
The

are

of the state

and

identical.

of Aristotle. In the present
rational activity rather than happiness is the
Happiness
is, however, his high
of man.

Political Philosophy

real world
chief

for the Good

concern

Good, which he can attain if his environment
favors
him. The political environment
is a moral factor to
est

be considered. The state should be the fulfillment
of
individual,
be
his
the morals of the
and should also
State is fulfilling its own
ethical trainer. That
possi

bilitiesmost

brings to the full its
completely
which
Every Constitution is right that
endowments.

natural
has the weal of the people at heart, so that we find Aris
totle holding this extraordinarily liberal position, that

of the State is not so much of
that the State should be the educator
inand the actualization of its own

the external structure
as
consequence
of its people

ARISTOTLE

203

an
possibilities. Aristotle did not construct
ideal state, like Plato. He merely pointed out some
es
to the well-being of a state, like ed
sentials necessary
for the future life of the State.
ucation and providence

herent

Although

the

State is the offspring of necessity, and

or
needs of utility, it is the Form
from his
actuality of the inner self-realization of man
Race, blood, soil, and geographical position
savagery.
are
all the Matter of the State ; the rational perfection

arises out

of the

; the civic virtue is the permanent
of these is the Form
The
individual in
means
of the social development.
Aristotle's State is subordinated, but not absorbed, in

the State. He

participate in the intellectual virtues.
in wisdom
Since his own
approximates
enjoyment
God's, he himself has distinction. Aristotle was a stanch
can

of marriage
and the family relations. No
philosopher in ancient times so elevated the position of
He reluctantly consented to the institution
woman.
of
it
him
because
a necessity.
slavery
seemed to
supporter

CHAPTER
THE

IX
PERIOD

HELLENIC-ROMAN

A.

(322 B. C.^476

IX)

Length.

Its Time

Period, 300

Greek

Hellenic-Roman
Ages,

Middle

years.

Period, 800 years.
1000 years.

Period, 450

Modern

years.

ought to appreciate at the beginning the enor
long since
mous
time length of this period. It seems
began, but it was
450
thought
only about
modern
Period was
800 years
years ago. The Hellenic-Roman
long, or nearly twice as long as modern
times. It is,

We

furthermore,
we

which

and a half times as
justbeen discussing,

long

two

have

interval

have

been

Greek

the pure

"

Period and the Middle
history that
of human

period. Now the Hellenic-Roman
Ages together form the epoch
This
is relatively uncreative.
long

the period

as

is

an

extent

of

1800

compared
when
with the 750
represents the com
years of creative history, which
Period and modern
bined length of the pure Greek
history the periods of productive
times. In European
a

years,

thought

the unproductive.
statistics. History
and

growth

The

are

less than
Yet

Fall of the Greek

Greek

as

not

must

long

as

be

those of
by such

misled
Its seedtime
is an
organic growth.
long ; its harvest is short.

of its Civilization.
Aristotle are
named
cause

we

half

The

Nation

800

and

years

the

after the death

the Hellenic-Roman

civilizationburst its

own

Persistence

Period,

national

of
be

bound-

a
aries and became
died
Greek
nation

longer pure
the Roman

PERIOD

HELLENIC-ROMAN

THE

Greek,

205

part of Roman
civilization. The
It is no
; its culture
remained.
but Greek in the environment
of
Hellenism.
With
it becomes
the

world
in 323 B. c. the motherland
death of Alexander
Greece became a prey to revolutions for 200 years.
was
often the battleground of foreigners and the
"

of
It

object

and population
of their contentions. Its government
incorporated into the
sank into hopeless decay. It was

THE

EMPIRE

Of?
ALEXANDER

THE
(Showing

the

spread

of

OF

EMPIRE
Hellenism

eastward,

ALEXANDER
beginning

334

B.

c.

with

Alexander's

Campaign)

Roman

in 146

empire

B.

and shared in the depressing
of the first century B. c. By

c.

of the Civil Wars
becoming
Greece
a
part of Rome
but the world gained its culture as

times

Its autonomy

lost its uniqueness
heritage.
a common

forever gone, but its people became
In political power
Greece
the teachers of mankind.
reached its height with Alexander, in creative thought
with

Aristotle

tion persisted

was

;
as

then by its own
a

missionary

momentum

its civiliza

force to the whole

world.

HISTORY

206

The
ward,

OF

PHILOSOPHY

of Greek
civilization
to the nations of Asia. Alexander,
overflow

first east

was

with his mili

genius, had only made a prelim
inary conquest of these Oriental peoples. The conquest
became
Greek
through
art, learning, and
permanent
tary and administrative

institutions. In the century after Alexander the habits
and customs
of the East had been Hellenized. Greek
to be found in almost
schools, theatres, and baths were
in
an
every city of the East. In the East and Egypt
for the founding
exhaustible field was
opened
of new

of culture. In the kingdoms
from
domain,
the old Alexandrian
Greek, spoke
Greek, adored Greek
centres

served

Greek

Greek

maintain
cers,

fashions. Amid

and

be

have

courts,

surrounded

partitioned off
the kings
were
gods,

and

pre

Asiatics they sought to
Greek administrative offi

with

scholars. Greek

Greek

colonists, soldiers, and merchants
in such
these kingdoms
numbers

were

attracted

that

the

to

natives

the
and even
adopted the costumes,
religions, manners,
language
The Orient ceased to be
of the Greeks.
Hellenic. The Romans
found there
Asiatic and became
in the first century

B.

c.

peoples like the Greeks

who

Greek.

spoke

Greek

the west
civilizationbegan to overflow upon
ern
world when, in the second century, Greece with all
was
the other countries upon
the Mediterranean
ab
The conquest of Greece by Rome
in
sorbed by Rome.

146

B.

c.

gave

Greek
to
art, letters, and
currency
life. That Greek civilization was
not

morals in Roman
lost in this great

fundamental

it was.

and none
remained
Latin. The result

how deep and
shows
amalgamation
The secondary nations disappeared
to
was

compete
the

with

the

Greek

superiinposition of

and

Greek

PERIOD

HELLENIC-ROMAN

THE

207

society. At

Roman

the time of the con
in great
Rome
quest of Greece, Greek scholars went to
and litera
and opened
schools of eloquence
numbers
to studyr
to Athens
ture. Later the Roman
youths went

culture upon

Art

and

science
old Roman

The
and

great
The coarsest

were

Rome.

Greece

to

100

B.

By
commissioned.
living in Greek or

were

artists
Romans

from

transported

were

paintings

Greek

gradually introduced into Rome
house got a Greek
addition. Statues

were

c.

the

Oriental style.

into Italy and mingled
proletariat. Thus, with the complete
with the Roman
Latinizing
of Italy in the second
of the peninsula
hand in hand.
went
century, an increasing Hellenism
But the two
completely
united.
civilizations never

Roman
a

Greeks, too,

of Greek

adoption

Greek

veneer.

by the Roman

culture
learning

and

except
Roman

the

on

went

art

as

came

were

than

more

never

a

rarely studied
luxury. As time

parade and
resorted less to the

to the frivolous modern

more

was

products

classic and

of the

Greeks.

Greece was
For it must be remembered
con
that when
were
still only peasants,
quered by Rome, the Romans
soldiers, and
phy. Before

merchants,

150

c.

B.

without
the Roman

science, art,

or

were

children

philoso
taught

the
reading, writing, etc. But
found
a
culture in Greece that he liked and
languager and political
imitated. He kept his costume,

higher

nothing
Roman

laws, but

he

incorporated
his

Greek

adopted
many

elements

letters, art, morals,

of the Greek

and
religion into

own.

Two
culture

Greek

him

than

results
upon
sought

a

came

from this superimposition

Roman
to create

society.
a

On

philosophy

the

one

of Greek
hand
the

which would make
longer an
no
citizen of the world, since it was

HISTORY

208

honor
hand,

to

be

OF

a

citizen of
to the Roman
there

PHILOSOPHY

Greek

a

came

a

city. On

the other
good. There

mixed

Roman

literature and perhaps to juris
faith and morals.
prudence, but a fatal loss to Roman
On the whole Roman
vulgarity was
only concealed by
Greek
culture, except in such spirits as Scipio, Paua

was

to

gain

lus, and the Gracchi, in whom
culture was
genuine.
The Roman
felt the need of rich intellectual life,
and
he sought it in the rich treasures
and the filth of later

Greek

culture. The Greek culture that he found was
longer pure Greek, but Hellenism, sometimes
no
tinged
the Roman
with Orientalism. It acted as a poison on
and

often

The

was

Two

bitterly opposed.
Parts of the Hellenic-Roman

Period.

We

forget that, excepting the first 175 years of
is the background
this period, Rome
upon which all phi
losophical movements
of the time are to be traced. Upon
must

not

this background

two

general movements
divide the period into two parts

which
Period, and
1.

The

(2)

the Religious

Ethical

Period,

322

are

prominent,

(1) the

:

Ethical

Period.
B.

c.-l

A.

D.,

had

its

origin in the Greek culture that was
superimposed
upon
Roman
civilization. This epoch is notable for the rise
and controversies of the four celebrated philosophical

Schools of Athens; the introduction of the teaching of
these Schools into Roman
society ; and the final merg
ing and reconciliation of these Schools in Eclecticism
and
2.

Skepticism.
The

Religious

Period,

100

B.

C.-476

A.

D.,

into
of the Oriental religions that swept
before the beginning of this era.
Rome
They were
mod
ified by their Roman
environment,
and intellectualized
arose

and

out

systematized

by

Hellenic culture.

Neo-Pythagore-

PERIOD

HELLENIC-ROMAN

THE

209

theosophies in the first
anism, the Alexandrian-Judaic
in the second part
part, Christianity and neo-Platonisin
important philosophical re
of this period, are the most

sults.
Note three things.

spirituallifeof Rome dur
foreign
ing these 800 years has its origin in imported
is
The source
of the ethical movement
movements.

(1) The

is Oriental. (2)
Greek, that of the religious movement
its be
The two movements
overlap. Indeed, each from
pre
about 600 years. More
did not disappear until about
cisely the ethical movement
began about 200 B. C.
200 A. D. ; the religious movement
Ethical considerations dominate the first and religious
to its end

ginning

covers

the second period. (3) The century and a half
150 B. C. to 1 A. D. is a period of transition. It

impulses
from

is the time when
the emphasis
changes from ethics to
religion. It is a period of unsettled conditions both
politically and intellectually. Politicallyit is the time

and the formation of the empire. In
tellectually it is the time of Eclecticism and Skepti
of the Civil

wars

cism.
in the Hellenicof Skepticism
the surface of the
Roman
Period. If we
go beneath
chronological divisions of this period, which have been

Undercurrent

The

given above, we shall find their significance in the un
from the begin
dercurrent of Skepticism, which
runs
ning

to

the

end

of the period, and

ethical and religious phases.
but,
with a history of its own,
means

Skepticism

"

both

is

its

a

word
as philosophically
used, it
the disbelief in the possibility of true knowledge.

Skepticism

was

gradually grew
ancient

"

includes

world,

the
to

fundamental

frame

that
of mind
in the entire

conscious expression
entirely at
although it was

variance

"

HISTORY

210

OF

PHILOSOPHY

with the spirit of the Greek culture that had been
that world. As an
perimposed
upon
undercurrent
a

widespread

feeling

"

Skepticism

su^
"

the whole
places it appeared
800 years of lack

pervaded

period, while at different times and
distinctly on the surface. These were
of confidence in the power

but the
reason,
of the human
really negative character of the time is often concealed
by dogmatic
teachings of the philosophical Schools.
Dogmatic

Skepticism

does

not

appear

except

with

reference to the positive teachings of the Schools, and
then it appears conspicuously. The successive stages of
Skepticism can have their clear outline, therefore, only
after the positive philosophical teachings, contemporary
This
with it and opposed by it, have been understood.

is the

the Skeptics after and not
reader will, however, lose the

for treating

reason

before the Schools. The

Period
if he
whole
meaning
of the Hellenic-Roman
does not see that it is fundamentally
Skeptical ; that
in the Ethical Division the Schools furnished the occa
sion of its appearance,
and that in the Religious Division
because Skepticism had taken pos
religious faith rose
The ethical Schools
session of the field of knowledge.

the last representatives of the old Greek ration
they yielded
alism of the Systematic Period, but even
to the Skeptical spiritof the time. Stoicism, Epicurean

stood

as

ism, and Skepticism seek the same
the with
end,
drawal of the individual from the world and his exalta
All three valued science
tion above his environment.
"

only

so

far

cism alone
ideals. The

as
was

it would

help ethical conduct. Skepti
avowedly
antagonistic to intellectual

strength of Skepticism appears more
evi
look at its growth
during this period.

dent when we
At the end of the Ethical Period the Schools weakened

THE

PERIOD

HELLENIC-ROMAN

211

1 A. D.)
find a century and a half (150 B. c.
and we
of Skepticism and Eclecticism. There then followed at
the Religious Period. Man
the beginning
of this era
-

turned

then

to religion because he

profoundly skep
he felt
of the reason
to be unable to furnish
as

tical of the trustworthiness
so untrustworthy
that it was
him even
a true
theory of moral

Skeptical undercurrent

The
Period

was

"

conduct.
of the Hellenic-Roman

the concentration
of all the negative results
than one
of the Greek Sophists. It therefore had more
the philosophies of Protagoras,
point of departure,
was

"

Cynic, and Cyrenaic

Megarian,

of the

Schools. This

fed popular thought during the
Sophistic undercurrent
days of Plato and Aristotle. It took its formal begin
with the rise of the Stoic and Epicu
Schools ; and in Athens, Alexandria,
and Rome

ning contemporary
rean

there

rose

of the possibility
it modified its sweep

to the surface the problem

Formally
knowledge.
of human
in contact
ing negations, when it came
of morality

needs
was

ever

present

as

with the pressing
and of spiritual retirement, but it
the significant attitude of the time.

the nature of the Skeptical teaching stood in the
way of its formation into a School, the doctrine itself,
into a system
and had its his
nevertheless, developed

While

Weber
torical growth and culmination.
points out that
in Greece the
the first appearance
of Skepticism marks
inauguration
and its reappearance
of the age of reason
the decline of the age of

marks

The
Period.

Fundamental

The

was

therefore

doubted

the

of the Hellenic-Roman
attitude of this period being

Problem

fundamental

Skepticism, the

fundamental
a

reason.

practical

one.

problem
While

validity of the human

presented to it
at heart the age

reason,

it was

con-

OF

HISTORY

212

can

time

as

in solving

a

practical problem.
an
positive. No
external side that was
be merely skeptical, especially for so long a
800 years. To doubt the power
of the human

sciously engaged
The period had
age

PHILOSOPHY

very

is usually the occasion of shunting human
ener
gies along other lines. The form of the practical prob
lem of this time was,
What is the highest wisdom for
reason

practical

life?

This

attitude of the Greek
(1) he had no longer
as

it afforded

had

no

a

longer

an

is consonant
indicated
as
an

with the skeptical
by these two facts :

interest in speculation

except

basis for practical wisdom, and (2) he
interest in special sciences except as

it will be
they yielded practical results. To be sure,
found that theories took to themselves airs of great im
portance during this period and that empirical sciences
advances ; but it will also be found that
they were
always in the service of practical living. The
Wise Man of this age is he who has a scientific doc

made

rapid

life.
ends of human
into world-wide
relations in
found himself con
the Athenian

trine of the purposes and
For with his entrance
the

Ethical

Period

fronted with
had engaged

a

very different situation from that which
him during the age of Pericles. His na

longer arouse
tional existence had gone and could no
his devotion, and with it his ideal of a national life
had be
had crumbled
to pieces. His epic polytheism
dim thing of the distant past, and there was
come
a
his
external Greek institution to awaken
go into re
slumbering
energies. He might, of course,
tirement and engage in speculative inquiry, except that
forced to be
an
this was
age of pressing need. He was
no

longer any

awake

and to

individual to the many
civ"
and mingling in one common

himself
adjust

other peoples mixing

as

an

PERIOD

HELLENIC-ROMAN

THE

213

ilization. His relations were
enlarged, but his interests
His philosophy was
focused to one
were
circumscribed.

fundamental

problem,

human

life,
and

vidual

amid

what

the

What,
can

turmoil

afterall, is

the

give happiness

of

object
of

to the

indi

Philosophic

the time?

to ethics, logic, and physics in
narrowed
narrower,
then, the
their practical bearing. How
much
scope of the intellectual life of this time than that of
were

studies

of retired leisure, Plato and Aristotle!
Nor is the fundamental
different when in
problem
the second part of this period we enter the great sweep
The
of the religious current.
rise of religious ideals
those

and

men

the shift from

ethics to religion

was

only the pre
living with a

sentation of the practical problem
of
Man
different emphasis.
in the dazzling glory
was
now
of the empire, but that empire was
unable to compen

the individual for the loss of his political impor
had given to its conquered
Rome
tance.
peoples an
sate

legal unity, but no
to offer. The individual

organized
none

factor

spiritual ideal. It had
was
the least important

in the

The present
life offered
organization.
littlehope to the individual, except in the light
of a
future life. Practical wisdom
thus became
that which
took

account

would
The

come

of the rewards
in the life beyond.

Hellenic-Roman

wildering

and

Period

in its shiftings

;

is kaleidoscopic and be
but amid them all is this one

"
Show us the man
conscious problem :
his happiness,
whatever the accidents
bring to him."

The
I.

east

Centres
Athens.

and

west

that

punishments

of Hellenism.
With
the overflow

who

is

sure

of the world

of
may

to the
of Hellenism
had ceased,
the active history of Athens

HISTORY

214

OF

PHILOSOPHY

but she became venerated for what she had been. Greece
became
hallowed
became
the shrine of
and Athens
Although
Greece in the imaginations of men.
the city
brutally ravished, she exercised a charm
over
thft
for eight hundred
human
years after Alexander*
mind
Athens
the intellectual centre
through
the
remained

was

entire period.
town,

It became

philosophy
how
many

where

remarkable
Athens to teach, how

and

the

conservative

rhetoric

were

university
taught. It is

Oriental philosophers

to

came

many
youths from the whole world
to be taught. The rhetorical schools, such as that
came
of Isocrates, did much toward making Athens the centre

they offered for many
years the highest
and Oriental. Be
practical training to Greek, Roman,
the philosophical or dialectical
sides the rhetorical were

of culture, and

debated

privately questions of speculative
These did not offer public training, but
metaphysics.
taught in the grounds attached
groups of students were
Four principal philosophical schools were
to gymnasia.
schools, which

thus formed,

"

the Academy

of Plato, the Lyceum

of

of the Stoics, and the Gardens of
Epicurus. In the first two we have had especial interest
in the previous period. All four, and especially the Stoic

Aristotle, the Porch

and Epicurean
period. They

(See

map

schools, will engage our attention in this
in history as " the Schools."
known
are

for their location in

Athens.) There

were

reli
schools in Athens which later became
Schools lost their original interest
gious cults. These
in speculative inquiry, and in this period devoted them
many

minor

selves to the exposition of the teaching of their respective
founders on ethical lines. The University of Athens was
by
built upon the four Schools. Its chairs were
endowed
Hadrian and the Antonines in the second century A. D.

PERIOD

HELLENIC-ROMAN

THE

It grew to have an elaborate organization.
ished by Justinian in 529 A. D.
2.

There

Alexandria.

were

215

It

abol

centres

other

many

was

of

Rhodes,
and of other learning at this time,
Tarsus,
but none
Antioch, Alexandria, Pergamus,
of
in the veneration
these could be said to rival Athens

Hellenism

"

"

Some

active and creative than
Athens
Alexandria
surpassed
and all other
cities as the centre of the natural sciences in the Ethical
Period and of religions in the Religious Period. Here,

of men.
Athens.

were

more

much

to be found
the real
rather than at Athens, were
interpreters of Plato and Aristotle. Nothing in ancient
too,

be compared
of Alexandria, which
times

every

nation

Euclid

an

museum,

anatomical
library of seven

museum

its university. Scholars
entertained here at the public

were

an

of the

was

A vast botanical garden,

pense.

Here

to the wonders

can

hundred

a

of
ex

zoological collection,
observatory, a
here.
volumes were

astronomical

thousand

(290 B. c.) wrote

his geometry,

Eratosthe

pursued his astronomical, geographical, and historical
labors, Apollonius wrote his treatise on conic sections;
made the observations that led to the dis
and here were
nes

covery of the precession of the equinoxes. Here Ptolemy
which
and his school formulated the system of astronomy
was

authoritative

for fifteen hundred

Christian theologians

were

educated,
Literature and

sprang.
neo-Platonism
lology and criticism flourished. The

translated

years. Here the
and from this city

into Greek.

art, history, phi

Hebrew

Bible

was

All

religions were
welcomed.
Buddhist, Jew, Greek, and Egyptian mingled, and com
to be a science.
parative theology rose
General
B.

c.-l

A.

of the Ethical Period (322
the death of Aristotle the hitherto

Characteristics

D.)

"

On

OF

HISTORY

216

PHILOSOPHY

disintegrated into its
"body of Greek
thought
several elements. Theoretical and practical knowledge,
which had been so successfully fused in the great sys
compact

Plato, and Aristotle, became
of Democritus,
rated. The whole tendency of the time was toward

tems

sepa
segre

gation.
i.

The
so
now

The

Abandonment

theoretical

side of

successfully completed
became
subordinated

view. Metaphysical
it threw light on
as
and the natural
loved for its own
2o

The

Growth

Speculation*

of Metaphysical

had been
philosophy,
which
by the great Greek
masters,
and

almost

completely

speculation was
neglected
on
the practical sciences
"

sciences. Knowledge

no

was

lost to
except
ethics
longer

sake.
of

Science.

Since theory

was

re

naturally turned
completed, attention was
upon the details of erudition and the specializing of
science. The
natural sciences survived the systems of
as

garded

philosophy because of their usefulness. There was great
interest in investigations in mathematics,
natural sci
ence,
grammar,
philology, literary history and general
history

"

and all with very rich results. It

was

the time

criticism, collaboration of the work of
begun by
completion of the special work

of commentaries,

the past and
the past. By

far the greater

number

of the

so-called

of this time are connected with special
science and literature, and not with metaphysics.
in the Greek Islands and Egypt (Alexandria)
It was
"philosophers"

Nevertheless, it must be
made.
in science was
a
good deal re
said that the advance
on
ob
stricted. The empirical sciences are dependent
servation and experiment, and these opportunities were
wanting at this time. Good progress was, however, made

that this advance

was

PERIOD

HELLENIC-ROMAN

THE

217

on
reason
the sciences dependent
alone is incapable of advancing a science
like physics, for physics depends on investigation. But

in mathematics
ing. Reasoning

and

the prevalent

even

doubt

skepticism

of the

time

could

not

the truths of mathematics.

the Central Interest. For the first
3. Ethics became
no
thought
time in the history of European
ethics was

longer

a

Greek

part of politics. In the time of the autonomous
two

sides of the same
question both in theory and practice. Ethics and politics
by the Sophists, who neverthe
were
even
not disjoined
states ethics and politicswere

for
less paved the way for the divorce of the two. Now
the first time ethical questions have become
such that
disregard the iron-bound political
the individual must
situation and
himself. The

answer

them

entirely with

Greek

decadent

state

was

reference to
longer a
no

entity in the eyes

could the
of the people, nor
in Rome
concentration of government
raise the state to
moral dignity. Moreover, lifehad become cosmopolitan.
moral

The
needs

nations

of

men

Spartans,

or

Ethics must
the
meet
commingling.
human
beings, and not as Athenians,
as
Vices had become
Romans.
cosmopolitan

were

also. But cos^
virtues must
needs be cosmopolitan
is in the last analysis only individualism.
mopolitanism
The man
conceives his duty so large that it em
who

and

braces the

whole

interests except
afterwards

world is usually cold to any special
his own.
The
Roman
dictators and

the emperor

the personification of this
imitated
which the

were

cosmopolitan individualism
far as they could.
so

Thus

the public life was
by private interests and

subjects

in danger
mere

the struggle for existence. The

of being swamped
by gain and

enjoyment,

old belief in the gods,

OF

HISTORY

218

PHILOSOPHY

the vigorous political activity for great ends, the pleas
in free scientificinquiry had disappeared.
The only
ure
refuge for the reflective mind was
within itself and the

study of its own
science of ethics
be systematically
and

and

moral
was

Yet for this

problems.

necessary,

definite

a

if the individual

was

to

independent

of external things. Plato
Aristotle had prepared the way for such retirement,
the tendency toward
ethical separation from the

world of political events was an aspect of the cosmopoli
tanism of the time. Ethical individuality and cosmopoli
tanism go together. The development
of the inner life
belongs to those individuals who dwell together in spirit
The same
was
cosmopolitanism
sought
ual community.
by the skeptics of the period through the abandonment
of all knowledge.
of the Ethical Period is
by the rise of the Schools into prominence,
the
marked
end of that period by the fusion of the Schools with one
another through either eclecticism or skepticism. At the
The

Schools.

The

beginning

of the period each School had its distinctive
doctrine and was
in open controversy
with the others ;
at the end their doctrines were
alike. The Epicu
much
beginning

School

rean

was

an

exception, for it always

remained
isolated from the other Schools. While each School had
a host of notable
representatives, it would be difficult
to find a creative thinker among
them.
have already given the names
of the four Schools :
or
the Gardens,
the Stoic or the Porch, the Epicurean

We

the Aristotelian
tonic

or

or
(Peripatetic)

the Academy.

The

the Lyceum,

Stoic and

the Pla

Epicurean

are

Schools in contrast with the Lyceum
called the New
and the Academy,
which are called the Old Schools. The
New
Schools were
of Asiatic rather than Greek origin,

THE

PERIOD

HELLENIC-ROMAN

219

and the Old Schools departed very much from the teachingkind of
of their founders ; so that we find a very different
philosophy taught in allfour Schools from that taught by
the great Greek

Systematizers. All the Schools

were

So

phistic rather than Socratic, and may be characterized as
Sophistry. Besides these Schools
the revival of Greek
there

the group of Skeptics, which cannot

was

OF

MAP

ATHENS,

SHOWING
FOUR

THE

LOCATION

OF

THE

SCHOOLS

Academy
three quarters
the
was
of a mile from
the Porch
a colonnade
the market
on
was
city, while
is not precisely
known,
but it was
the
on
of the Gardens
aide the walls.)

(The

the

be properly

city, the Lyceum
(Agora).
place

road

to the

just outside
The

Academy,

location

ju"t

in-

the nature of its doctrine it
could not form an organization. In influence upon the
period, the Stoics,Epicureans, and Skeptics are the most

called

a

School, for from

be
and Lyceum
eclipsed the Academy
cause
the
with partisan clearness they could formulate
the most
attitude of the age. The Stoic School made

important.

They

HISTORY

220

OF

PHILOSOPHY

important
curean

contribution to succeeding
School had the most
numerous

though

the

Empire,
during
the

Schools

four

their life was

the Ethical Period.

Schools

be

cannot

following.

Al"

endowed
until the
vigorous before the Empire
Succession in leadership of

were

most

history. The Epi*

not

completely

traced

that

even

"

shows great gaps. All record of leader
of the Academy
Schools
ship in the Aristotelian, Stoic, and Epicurean
stops at the close of this period.

Old

The

Schools

The

Academy

and the Lyceum.
The Academy
have a history which
in
and Lyceum
these respects is the same
:
(1) both abandoned the ideal
of an
ethical society and turned to that of individual
happiness; (2) both deviated to Skepticism; (3) both
afterward

had

a

"

Skepticism

reaction from

;

(4)

both de

veloped the Sophistic teaching rather than that of their
founders ; (5) both were
in common
opposition to the
New Schools.
i.

Plato

The

Academy.

There

were

three Academies

after

called three, because of the difference in their
doctrines. Perhaps it is better to say that there were
"

three successive epochs of the Academy.
(a) The Older Academy, lasting about seventy years,
from 347 B. c. to 280 B. c. The successive leaders of this
Speusippus, the nephew
were
of Plato (d. 339 B. c.),

Heracleides

(d. 314
of Pontus, Xenocrates
lemo, and Crates. This Academy
emphasized
tendency begun by Plato in the Laws
toward
gorean

numbers,
and
interest in morals.

(5)
dred

The

Middle

c.),Po-

at first the

the Pytha

later yielded to the contemporary

Academy,

fifty years, from
this epoch Arcesilaus and

and

B.

280

lasting about
B.

c.

Carneades

to

129

were

one

B.

the

hun"
c.

Of

most

HELLENIC-ROMAN

THE

PERIOD

leaders. This Academy

prominent

a

was

221

form of Skepti

cism.

120

from

Academy,

New

The

(c)

B.

c.

to

200

of Larissa, who
Antiochus of Ascalon,
Athens in 79 and 78

lasting three hundred

A.

Philo

Among

D.

was

in 87

Cicero

had

who

its leaders

Rome

at

years?

B.
a

as

were

c.,

and
pupil in

This

epoch of the Acad
emy
of Plato,
represented a return to the dogmatism
but it shows the contemporary
eclectic tendency by its
including elements
of Stoic and neo-Platonic teach
B.

c.

ings.

On

the several epochs of the Academyfailed to represent
Plato's theory of the Ideas. The
the

Academy
a

whole,

was

Skepticism,

Plato
The

as

true

the

at first

then

School of practical ethics, then
eclecticism. It was
related to

a

an

lesser-Socratic schools

developer

Plato

of

was

to

were

Aristotle

Socrates.
and

not

the Academies.
2.

200

The
A.

D.

Lyceum.

From

the Lyceum

was

The

pupils of Aristotle
himself in being
master
phrastus
(370-287 B.
leader of the Lyceum,

the

death

of Aristotle to
by individuals.

represented
distinguished
were

from

the

scientific specialists. Theofollowed Aristotle as
who

c.),

the

was

sentative of Aristotle, and
Schools in Athens in 306

an

most

complete
repre
to drive out the

attempt
B. c. failed solely by reason
he was
held. His significance

of the respect in which
lay in natural science, and his two preserved
Eudemus
are
works
of great importance.

botanical

of Rhodes
Aristoxstudied history, mathematics,
and astronomy.
enes
history.
studied music, ethics, psychology,
and
Dicaearchus
the first yielding to the contem
showed

porary ethical interest by writing history

on

its practi'

HISTORY

222

OF

PHILOSOPHY

cal side. Science was
continued by the Aristotelians in
Sicily, Alexandria, and the Mediterranean
islands. At

Athens

the School

was

interested in logic, dialec

most

tics, and

eristics.
history of the

The

the Academy.

Lyceum

At first it was

similar to that of
centred in Theophrastus,
was

the brilliant disciple of the founder,
an
administrator
who knew how to give an eminent
position to the Ly
in the intellectual life of Athens.
This was
fol
ceum
"

lowed

by the naturalism and pantheism
of Strato. The
following generations of scholarchs were
absorbed in
Then, as in the Academy,
empirical investigations.
the reaction back to the original purpose of the
founder
This occurred
Anof the Lyceum.
under
dronicus (about 70 B.
the eleventh head of the
came

c.),

School, and under
totle

were

him

reproduced

original teachings of Aris
defended.
This went on for

the

and

several centuries, until the School
Platonism.
New

The

The

Schools

"

The

Stoics, Epicureans,

was

Epicureans
and

in

merged

and

Skeptics

neo-

the Stoics.

represent

the

dogmatic

truly than the Plaside of this period more
tonists and Aristotelians, for they give a radical ex
pression to its social aspects. The Epicureans had less
philosophical originality ; but their doctrine had been
born mature
in their founder, and had in consequence
a unity and
Stoicism, on the other hand,
compactness.
was

an

eclecticism composed
sophizings of its champions

Stoicism
notable

of the
through

by many
represented
thinkers, while Epicureanism
was

successive

philo-

many
centuries.
independent

and

had

only

one

its founder, Epicurus.
Stoicism de
original thinker,
veloped by changing its essentials, while Epicureanism
"

could change
said to have
period, from

PERIOD

HELLENIC-ROMAN

THE

223

only in its unessentials. Stoicism may be
been the characteristic philosophy of this
the fact that it was
created and developed

the principles of Attic philosophy by men
had originated in the mixed
races
of the East,
by the fact that it was
easily accepted and devel

in Athens
who

and

on

Consistent with the spirit of the
oped by the Romans.
Period, it was by nature an eclecticism
Hellenic-Roman
that

became

teaching

more

approached

(secondcentury

B.

centred at
School in the Gardens

his lectures in the

century
Period.

B.

C.,

Epicureanism
into

an

excuse

its

Stoicism

Both

Athens.

Porch

in

his
opened
Zeno began

Epicurus

in 307

B.

294

c.,
B.

and
c.

Epicure

and

Both

schools

in the middle of the second
justbefore the end of the Ethical

into Rome

introduced

were

on

c.).

were

anism

went

that of the Academy
and Lyceum
Epicureanism, however, always

Epicureanism.

remained

time

as

eclectic ; and

or

could easily be perverted
for the luxurious tendencies of the time,
in

Rome

it voiced
absolute government
since it advocated
Empire
the feeling of the new
of the Emperor
and
the people. As a philosophy it was
opportune
and pop
It made
time easily misunderstood.
ular and at the same

and

"

no

demands

upon its disciples. On
discipline and demanded

a
cism was
Its insensibility to art

the other hand, Stoi
intellectual acumen

insuperablo
an
and culture was
obstacle to its progress in Greece, but on this account
it found congenial soil in Roman
society. It made rapid
progress among
identified with

the

those

noble

families, and

was

especially

patrician reactionaries who stood
for the old regime of the Republic.
We
are
not surprised to find that the Stoics and

HISTORY

224

Epicureans

were

PHILOSOPHY

violently opposed
had the

for favor. They

same

their differences

common,

to each other. They

Schools and contesting

the New

were

OF

aim
were

an

Stoic presented

ings. The

same

and, with

so

ground
much in

naturally accentuated.
has likened to the Thirty

Smith
age which Adam
Years' War in Germany, they sought
ideal the individual independent
an
as

In

the

one

rivals to offer
of his surround-

as

of attaining this

means

the Epicurean

another. Both tried to substi
tute a philosophic creed for the old religion. And
the
and Lyceum,
crowds that stillwent to the Academy
and
have looked ask
taught the old dogmatism,
were
must

ideal and

ance

at these

become
fewer

new

Schools. Those

dogmatic

crowds had
Schools had at first

The New
second-rate men.
numbers, but deeper thinkers. The

Schools

New

in the

listened

to

Greek

foreigners

pupils

teaching

creeds in strange tongues. But these new
rivals
their way. Not only at Athens, but at Corinth,
made
Elis, Colophon, and Heraclea in Pontus the elegant Pla
tonic style was being superseded by the crude aphorisms
strange

of Zeno.
of Epicurus and the clumsy arguments
far did these doctrines during
It will be asked, How
these eight hundred years permeate the people ? Did the

New
same

Schools reach the rank and file of the people to the
degree that the Sophistic teachings reached the

Greeks?
anism
means.

Roman

Are

were

we

to suppose

common

and

These

that Stoicism and

philosophies ? By no
reached the people of the

popular

philosophies
world no farther than Greek

society. Stoicism was
the large patrician class. The

Roman

vated Romans

Roman

Epicure

gramtas

;

and

culture permeated
consciously taken up by

patricians
Stoicism has so much

that it formulated

the culti
in it like the

were

for the patricians

THE

PERIOD

HELLENIC-ROMAN

225

their attitude in this hopeless time. Epicureanism,
the other hand, in its pure form as Epicurus taught

on

it,

poetically expressed it, could find
But Epicureanism
less favor in Rome.
was
easily per
verted, and no doubt the educated voluptuaries of Rome
would find in the vitiated doctrine a support and excuse

later

or

Lucretius

as

for their

excesses.

of the Agreements
Epicureans.

A Summary
the

Stoics and

Their

1. Both

Differences

of

Agreements.

subordinated theory to practice.
in their
had the same
purpose

2. Both

practical

:

philosophy

(a)
(5)

and

for the individual,

to gain

peace of mind
to gain independence
individual.

Their

preme.
is
2. Man

a

for

the

The Epicureans.
su-

The

thinking

Man

law

world

Differences.

The Stoics.

1. Universal

the

of

is

individual is supreme.
is

a

feeling being.

being.
is

3. Independence
tained
ing

ob-

by suppressthe

personal

is obtained
idealizing the feel

Independence
by

ings through

serenity,

feelings.
4. The

Stoics

ligious,

5. The

were

re-

The

Epicureans

were

anti-

religious,

yet both schools accepted the popular gods.
The world is a mechanical
world is a moral

order.

order.

226

HISTORY

OF

6. The

universal deterthe individmines
ual.

I

7. The

world

is the

pression of
manent

an

reason.

ex-

im-

PHILOSOPHY

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

world is the combina*
tion of atoms,

X

CHAPTER
EPICUREANISM

The

(341-270 B.
of Epicurus
He
in Asia Minor.
in Samos

Life

born

was

Lampsacus,

in Mitylene

teacher

and
his Philosophical

and
he established in Athens
garden within the walls

(see map).
dens.

His

claimed
ably did not have
ever,

possess great
few demands

made

on

the

road

to

was

a

school
in 307 B. c.

School, in

a

the Academy

called the Gar
to have been self-taught, and he prob
a thorough
education. He did, how

School

He

c.). Epicurus

thereafter

was

and, as his doctrine
personal charm
upon its disciples and expressed the

of the time, it spread
in great reverence,
very wide. His disciples held him
and long after his death the image of his personality
Indeed, it was
the per
a living influence with them.
was
refilled and

delicate hedonism

influence
the supreme
of Epicurus that was
from generation
with the sect. His formulas passed on
"
He
Golden Maxims."*
to generation and were
called
in the
treatises, and
three hundred
wrote
separate
sonal work

amount

of his writings

was

by the Stoic, Chrysippus.
consisted
in
joined

in antiquity only
exceeded
His great work, On Nature,
The
books.
other Schools

of thirty-seven
a bitter attack upon

him, and in modern

times

Since
called Socrate double d'un Voltaire.
for
Christianity had any reason
neither polytheism nor
he has been

*

Read

Walter

Pater,

Marius

the

Epicurean;

Hicks,

Maxims
Stoic and Epicurean,
of
p. 184, for the Golden
83-86.
Literature, pp.
Epicurus ; Teuffel, History ofRoman

OF

HISTORY

228

his writings, they have been almost entirely
have been found in Herculaneum,
and many

preserving
lost. Some

thought

are

more

be

to

of Epicurus

mother

PHILOSOPHY

still in that buried city. The
a
priestess, and her supersti

was

tions probably set him against the superstitions of his
with the philosophy
age. His later acquaintance
of
him
basis
Democritus
for
his
a scientific
gave
aggression
against all religions.

The

Epicureans.

The

Epicurean

body

was

a

guild
to have been little affected by the
or
sect that seemed
The Epicureans
proselyted vigor
vicissitudes of time.
their society, and
extended
ously, closely organized

Greece.

it throughout

With

a

It

a

was

it

fixed constitution

was

state

held

within

a

state.

together by itin

and material assis^preaching, correspondence,
It had an esprit de corps, and like religious com
ance.
together into one
organization the
munities it brought
erant

scattered by the breaking up
of political institutions. The School had special protec
tion from the Roman
emperors
and existed as late as
individuals that had been

the fourth century
systems.

It had

Metrodorus,

some

A.

D.,

having

outlived all the other
literary representatives,

famous

"

Colotes, Philodemus,

Roman

poet Lucretius, who
Amafinius
for the Romans.

into Rome
and

the

but especially the
popularized the doctrine
"

introduced

Epicureanism

during the middle of the second century B. C.,
teaching was
received with great favor. Its

disciples in allantiquity changed the doctrine
only in its unessentials. The charges of immorality and
licentiousness are
true of the teaching
or
not
of the
numerous

practices of the founder

or

of the early members

of the

School.
Some

Types

of Hedonism,

"

Aristippus, Epicurus,

229

EPICUREANISM

and

Rousseau.

Epicureanism

was

not

a

philosophy of

merely
pleasure for people without ideals or who were
Epicurus asked
seeking indulgence. The question that
this

was

:

What

enduring

"
pleasure is possible to a man
He tried to give a rational

in these days of turmoil?
to those of his day who wished to live and
answer
enjoy.
his
in
from responsibility
His aim was
to free man
the world's work and to provide for him a life
"share of
pleasure theory of Aristippus, the
of serenity. The
Cyrenaic, was very different. Aristippus, a voluptuary

luxurious city,presented a pleasure theory for the
than a grad
few who have fortunes. It is hardly more
ing of pleasures and the setting up of a criterion of
in

a

their selection. Epicurus goes deeper than that. His
for
pleasure theory is for the few, not because they are
tunate, but because they are
wise ; not because they
they
was

gratify their passions, but because
The Cyrenaic
independent
of all fortune.
in the
of the world; the Epicurean was

fortunes

have

are
a

man

to

world, but not of it.
There is a superficialresemblance between the teach
to the
ing of Epicurus and the message
of Rousseau
French people of the eighteenth century. Both sought
ideal of enduring plea"ure. Both would discard the
an

of society. But
artificialities

Rousseau

was

a

to find his ideal in

political
a

newly
on
the other hand, was
constructed
no
political reformer, but would find his ideal in society
it existed. Rousseau
as
appealed to the primitive feel

reformer

and

attempted
society. Epicurus,

ings. He felt " the call of the wild." Epicurus appealed
to the refined and derivative feelings. He had no ag
He aimed at no external reform.
gressive propaganda.
His ideal was
peace, and not the sword.

""

HISTORY

230

OF

PHILOSOPHY

The central principle
Epicurean Ideal.
of
Epicurus is that pleasure is a good and pain an
in agreement with Aristippus, and
evil. In this he was
from this position he never
receded. He offered no
The

proof of this, but rested his central principle upon the
pursue pleasure and avoid pain.
conviction that men
He was
convinced of the biological fact. But he was
not unobservant

that the

subject

that the individual has to make
complex.
a selection of pleasure and often has to choose pain for
the sake of a greater pleasure. Pleasure is the only

He

was

r

from the beginning
saw

is pleasure ?
good, but Epicurus asks further, What
He finds that he must give a content to pleasure and
evaluate the pleasures in the interests of pleasure it

self. This

was

to Epicurus

moral appraisal, but with
possible life.

no

reference to the
^pleasantest
Of the two qualities of pleasure Epicurus valued
its duration and showed his advance over
the Cyreon
this ac
naics, who had valued its intensity. It was
disclaimed all relationship
count that the Epicureans
with the Cyrenaics,the earlier school. The difference

between them : to Epicurus
radical one
true pleasure is that which endures ; to Aristippus it
fleeting. There
is that which is most intense, however
is this to be said of the Cyrenaic theory : it could be

is certainly

a

easily understood. Aristippus could tell exactly what
he meant by pleasure. It is this or that gratificationof
It includes every positive pleasure, and that
sense.
which
is

is intensest is best. One

always

knows

when

he

in flittingfrom pleasure to pleasure he
But the Cyrenaic
he is intensely

and
enjoying,

knows when

enjoying.

the Epicurean theory is more
presented
difficult
to understand, it is more
mature and more
prono

ideal. While

EPICUREANISM

231

found because it presents a well-conceived ideal. Indeed,
follow Epicurus
the farther we
along this line of his
are
pursuit of the ideal of lasting pleasure, the more
knowledge
impressed with his contribution to our
we

of the nature
of pleasure.
In this connection Epicurus

shows his comprehensive
in determining
the last
what are
jrasp of the subject
he was
ing pleasures. Although
a
materialist he re

pleasures of the mind as superior to those
the
of the body. The inner pleasures, the spiritual joys,
in
without
control of the mind so that it could
the

garded

enjoy

dulgence
ures.

"

The

these

to Epicurus

were

pleasures of

last analysis, the mental

sense

are

life is

a

the enduring pleas
primary, for, in the

combination

of

sen

only material motions ; nev
and derivative pleasures of the
ertheless the secondary
superior, according to Epicurus, because they
mind were
had duration. This estimate of the superiority of the
sations, and

are

sensations

mental

pleasures

reasons

:

was

probably

such pleasures
and such a doctrine was
thetic ideal of self

The
curus

were

reinforced by two other
possessed by Epicurus ;

in accord

with

the Greek

aes

the refined egoist.
state of mind is called by Epi
hand, and
the world on the one

-enjoymentof

most

permanent

independence

emotionlessness,

on

of

the

^

other. These

are

the positive

thing
and the same
and negative sides of one
Epicurean ideal of pleasure. In ancient times the
"

the
con
"

"
"
"
ception of the
emotions
affections," passions," or
included all states of feeling and will in which
man
is dependent
on
the outer world. To be emotionless is

of the world. The Epicurean
word
is gtaraxia^
is variously translated as serenity,
which
has no conpeace, repose, imperturbability. Since man
to be

independent

OF

HISTORY

232

PHILOSOPHY

the world without him, he must
control ite
effects within himself. These effects are the feelings and
by nature
desires which are
disturbances.
only mental
trol

over

In mastering

he

these

becomes

independent

of the

world.
If one

will scrutinize his life,he will find, according
to Epicurus, that his experiences form a stream
of men
tal disturbances. These may be divided into two classes,
desires and positive pleasures. Desires are
wants
and want is pain. Pain is therefore exciting. Positive
desire and want, and such pleasure
pleasure presupposes
"

is also

an

excitement,

the removal

of want.

"

the excitement that accompanies
The
positive pleasures are not,

therefore, the goal of independence
of the outer world.
There is another kind of pleasure
the pleasure of re
pose. Epicurus recognizes therefore both the pleasure of
"

and the pleasure of repose, but they do not have
in his system. Repose is the goal of
importance
the same
all our experiences. It is a neutral state, a state of free
dom from bodily pain and mental excitement. There is
motion

cannot
such a neutral state. We
beyond it. If we seek new
advance
pleasures by grati
to the old
fying new
desires, we
are
only returning

nothing

higher

than

desire, and the pleasurable excitement
The pleasure of repose is the
the want.
of removing
only escape from this round of experiences. Emotion
it is the repose in
lessness is the maximum
pleasure
of want,

round

"

independence

deviation from

vary

pleasure.

of the world. Any
but it will not increase our

it may

ideal of Epicurus
looks very much
like the
Cynic doctrine of absence of wants
as
constituting
is far from re
virtue and happiness. But Epicurus
nouncing pleasure. He is no ascetic. On the contrary,
This

233

EPICUREANISM

in pro*
will be the greater
of the Epicurean
of his needs that are satisfied.
portion to the compass
But he needs insight into any given situation to tell him
the repose

Epicuruf
be encouraged.
positive pleasures should
thus distinguishes three kinds of wants and their attend*
ant positive pleasures : (1)wants
natural and indispensa
ble
without the satisfaction of which we cannot exist ;
what

"

artificialand dispensable, which ought always
to be disregarded ; (3)wantsnatural and dispensable
lie between
the two
the great mass
which
of wants

(2)wants

"

other classes. Insight is necessary to
third class. In case of necessity they

decide about this
be renounced,
can

but since they give happiness, the Wise
far as possible.
to satisfy them
as

:

will seek

happi
three steps leading to Epicurean
(1) the desire or the pain of unsatisfied craving ;

There
ness

Man

are

the pain of un
positive pleasure that removes
satisfied desire ; (3)ataraxia, the repose of the soul or
true happiness.

(2) the

Epicurus
of Virtue in Epicureanism.
moralists that virtue
agreed with the strictest Greek
had to tes
and happiness go together. His opponents
the
tify to the beneficial effects of his teaching upon
The

Place

of the
of his disciples. Yet his conception
place of virtue in life is in direct conflict with Stoicism.
He felt that the Stoic conception of virtue for its own
character

that it lacks all incentive to
sake is an ideal so imaginary
action. Pleasure, on the other hand, seemed to him to be
It can be given a definite con
a concrete
and real object.
tent. Virtue had for Epicurus
a
value only as a means

virtue by itself is not necessa
it is em
by happiness, but only when
rily accompanied
may
ployed as a condition to happiness. Thus wisdom
to happiness.

Moreover,

OF

HISTORY

234

PHILOSOPHY

be employed to gain the pleasure of liberation from
the fear of the gods ; self-controlmay be employed in
of happiness.
order to get the maximum
To what classes of people
Wise Man.
could this Epicurean ideal appeal ? Is it an ideal pos
sible only to the favorites of fortune, wealth, and rank ?
The Epicurean

As presented by Epicurus itwas

conditioned by exkernal circumstances of any sort and its aim was to tran
scend all conditions. Nevertheless, it is obvious that
not

restricted to those who had the desire
to adopt it. On the whole, the unreflecting common
not as a matter of fact influenced
people of that time were
by the Epicurean philosophy. The proof of this is the
the theory

was

degraded into
with which it was
theory without an ideaL Epicureanism
ease

its author

v

was

an

not

prodigal, although
however,
It was,
individual must

excuse

it

was

a

simple pleasure
as presented by

for the voluptuary or the
easily corrupted into that.

philosophy of the individual. The
common
sense
as
rely upon his own
a

the particular satisfactions will give
what among
him independence
of the world. Sometimes repose is
attained by the satisfaction of all wants ; sometimes the
to

satisfactionsneeded are few because the wants are few.
True pleasure ispossible to all reflectivesouls. " When
"
says Seneca, to the gardens where the words
you come,"

Friend, here it will be well for you to
there will
abide ; here pleasure is the highest good ;
meet you the keeper of the place, a hospitable kindly
are

inscribed

:

"

dish of barley porridge
and plenty of water and say, Have you not been well
entertained ? These gardens do not provoke hunger, but
quench it; they do not cause a greater thirstby the drinks

man

who

will set before you

they afford.

...

a

In this pleasure I have grown

old."

235

EPICUREANISM

Man

use

can

Even
need much.
is not necessary.
extreme
circumstances
the permanent
to be sought
are
and
but he does not

much,

life itselfunder

The

pleasures
gentle. In one

Epicurus

place

says with

a

somewhat

Man
the rack will
on
sentiment that the Wise
"
!'
How
torture
in
sweet
the
say,
and
midst of
smile
The Wise Man
accepts the established order and ac

forced

himself to it. He is not like the Stoic Wise
commodates
Man, indifferent to all pleasures, but he is nevertheless
to the world, a king
independent
of them. He is superior

and

a

tuous

disturb him, for his vir
god. Accidents cannot
happiness lies within himself. He cannot
control

the world without, but he can
control the world within
be happy with few or many
himself. He can
satisfac
over
the world if he is master
of
tions, and he is master
the effects of the world upon himself. To rest unmoved
ideal of the
inner self
in one's
that is the Epicurean
"

Wise

In contrast

Man.

happiness

Epicurean

passive ; in contrast

seems

to

the
the

it is satisfaction.

Stoic happiness
The

happiness,

Cyrenaic

to the

Epicurean

Man

Wise

Society.

in

Nevertheless

He does
spectator of the world.
does he enlist as a soldier
not enter the world's work nor
to fight its moral battles. His individual independence
his social relations. He will
gives a peculiar character to
have no ties on account of their complications. Moreover,
the Wise

Man

his inner world

is only

a

offers him

no

of social relationship, except
He
strong and the evil weak.
ernment

posed

as

a

matter

to civic life,and

compensation
that

the

good

for his loss
within

is

looks upon

of selfish

therefore

political gov
He is op
convenience.
a

supporter

of absolute

He refuses the responsibility of marriage,
government.
but accepts friendship as the only worthy social relation-

HISTORY

236

PHILOSOPHY

OF

ship, and only because
means
tage. Friendship

friendship is of mutual
advan
intellectual intercourse, com

many famous
passion, and forgiveness. While there were
Epicurean friendships, one must admit that the Epicu
rean
took an unfair advantage of the state. His happiness

tastes

and

community

Epicurean

highly developed

a

presupposed

noble sentiments.

He

and appropriates
ideal offers much

the labor of others. The
to the individual, but no

thing to society
The

civilization of. refined
is a parasite upon the

Great

as

a

means

Obstacles

of spiritual productivity.
To universalize
to Happiness.

is to set up
paradoxical it may seem,
It is to abandon all the claims of the
society of other beings upon us. The logic of any pleas
But Epicurus is no anarchist,
ure
theory is anarchism.
pleasure, however
individualism.
an

would be too disturbing to repose. Epi
curus
stopped far short of interfering with politicalcon
ditions. His teaching did not have as its end a logical

for anarchism

theory, but

a

accommodated
of his time.

He
therefore
practical accomplishment.
his theory to the practical circumstances
He pointed out that in the seething times

of the third century B. C. the individual could be happy
his world two obstacles. These
from
if he banished
were

religion and culture.
To Epicurus the sorrow

in his practices

are

mainly

in

heart and the evil
to religion. The
chief

man's

due

of the wretchedness
of the world is to be found
has
in the crushing fears of religious belief. Epicurus

source

in mind the exaggerated
liefs of the Orient, where
ess.

From

lutes

men's

fears, and

ceremonies
his mother

and mystical be
had been a priest

he was
this memory
reacting. Keligion pol
fancies, clouds the future with superstitious
puts repose and happiness beyond our
reach.

237

EPICUREANISM

""

In the first place, religion carries with it the fear of
death. In modern times the idea of life after death i"
an
added consolation. In the time of Epicurus death
the giving up of the present life for a dim, sun
less region of flittingshades bordering on the edge of
meant

Tartarus. No philosophical mind can be happy, accord
ing to Epicurus, if it contains the religious conception
of death and the future life. Again, religion conceives
the world of nature as created and operated by the gods.
It is forever explaining nature-phenomena
as miraculous

and supernatural. The tranquil mind must believe in a
nature
world that is separated from miraculous inter
vention, and freed from oversight. The world must be a
dependable world. Lastly, religion conceives of the gods
as
always busying themselves with the affairs of men.
Men must secure
their favor and avert their wrath by
his time
wastes
offerings. The religious man
his peace in the fear that the gods are
and consumes
not propitiated. The Epicurean
seeks to build up the
constant

life of the individual. He

dependent of everything.
fering gods would thwart

seeks a tranquillity that is in
Religious belief with its inter

his ideal. Hence

the chief
to banish from lifeevery

of the Epicurean was
conception of divine government.
concern

The

gods exist, but
Their dwelling is in in

they live quite apart from men.
ter-stellarspace amid the numberless worlds. They have
nothing to do with the events of this world, but are
only glorified actualizations of the philosophic ideal of
soul-satisfying peace.
tion of nature became

The

more

the

common

the teleologicalconcep
ground of the Acad

did the Epi
emy, the Lyceum, and the Porch, the more
isolate themselves by opposing the conception.
cureans
The other obstacle to the imperturbability
of the soul

HISTORY

238

is culture. The
but Epicurus

It

OF

PHILOSOPHY

Stoics subordinated

went

so

far

as

theory to practice^
to deprecate
all culture.

the philosophical protest of an Oriental against
is su
all for which Greece had stood. All knowledge
happiness. Know
perfluous which does not promote
was

indirectly promote

ledge may
best you

happiness, and that is the
can
therefore despised the
say of it. Epicurus
the lore of history, the
researches of the grammarians,
the theory of music, poetry,
of mathematics,
he set greater store by
rhetoric, oratory, logic. Although
the intellectual than the physical pleasures, he placed as

science

for its own
littlevalue on knowledge
sake as upon virtue
for its own
in Athens
sake. This teaching of Epicurus
betrays the change that had come
Athenian
over
society.
had
Plato, who
been the impersonation
of Athenian
cul
ture,

had

been

Epicurus'

dead

not

more

than

thirty years.

Conception

World.
of the Physical
To the cursory reader the science
QualifiedAtomism.
to occupy a large place in the philosophy
of physics seems
of Epicurus, and its presence appears inconsistent with
"

his polemic against culture. Upon
further reading one
finds that physics, too, should be merely a servant
of the
happiness
of the individual. We
need knowledge
of
physics because the knowledge
of natural causes
will

free
no

the fears attending
independent
importance.
us

from

Epicurus

religion. Physics

has

his doctrine of indi
The
vidualism by the scientific theory of Democritus.
to
seems
materialistic theory of the great Abderite
loom large in the exposition of Epicurus. But Epicurus
was

not

in the
theory

undertook

to support

interested in the science of physics
He
did not
physics of Democritus.
"

on

the teaching

of Democritus,

but

on

not

build
the

even

his
con-

EPICUREANISM

23*

doctrine to support his
trary he used the Democritan
a
theory of moral conduct. Epicurus
well-au
needed
thenticated theory. On account
of the influence of Lu
Epicurus

has been called in modern
times
the scientist of antiquity. But his only contribution to
that, finding the atomism
science was
of Democritus

cretius' poem,

at hand

ready
by

although unpopular, he made
it to his own
purposes.

it popular

adjusting

The

Democritan

is matter
that Being
conception
consisting of innumerable
uncreated and indestructible
furnished Epicurus
for his moral
this support
atoms
He

atomism.

followed

Democritus

in his analysis

of

psychological, physiological, and astronomical
phenom
in combinations.
But he lacked
ena
atoms
all are
"

doctrine was
the Democritan
scientific insight and
in his hands. The central and fundamental
emasculated
principle of Democritus' theory was
of law. This the Stoics adopted
neglected.

Epicurus

was

impressed

in the Democritan

the atoms

the universal reign
this Epicurus
and

by the changes
of
theory ; the Stoics by the

law of such change.
This appears
in the teaching of Epicurus
The first example
is in his explanation
ways.
origin of the cosmos.
irregular motion was
and that the universe
tions in

a

purely

Democritus

had

in two

conceived

of the
that

inherent

quality of the atoms
by their combina
was
produced
Epicurus
mechanical
way.
conceived
an

in a
was
original movement
of the atoms
This he called the
straight line from above downwards.
To explain their intermingling
he
"rain of atoms."

that

the

be

endowed
with volition by which
they arbitrarily deviated from the direct fall. Secondly,
this physical theory of Epicurus would be unimportant
conceived

them

to

HISTORY

240

OF

PHILOSOPHY

that it afforded him a basis for his theory of the
individual as possessing free will. The doctrine of free
dom of the will had been since Aristotle a presupposi
except

tion indispensable

bility among

is

an

the

Greeks.
But

exception.

the doctrine

to

of moral accounta
Stoic doctrine of fate

The

determinism

opposed to Epi
independent
an

was

as
conception of the Wise Man
individual. The human
will is self-determined, and Epi
even
curus
said that he preferred the illusions of re
curus'

a

belief in

and

chance

ligion to
freedom

our

slavery

together

to

fate. He

classed

as

uncaused occurrence,
built his conception of free

of the combination
is
dom. The uncaused functioning of the will in man
Free
as
the causeless deviation of the atoms.
the same
different possibilitiesand is
dom is the choice between
and

out

by

determined

no

of this time

philosophers

study of physics.
Epicurus
introduced
the

to account

atoms

are

the

for

the

the
among
forerunners of the

conception
the

origin

of volition of
of the cosmos.

that point he conceived
way. Teleology
mechanical

the world to develop IR
in the nature
world was
By modifying the Democritan
phys

From
a

Stoics alone

The

cause.

to him.
repugnant
ics, he thus succeeded

in establishing the independence

of the individual in the social world and, on the other
hand, removing the gods from interfering in the physical
to Epicurus
to afford an
absolute
world. This seemed
superstition. The
theory of Epicurus

from

deliverance
the

physical
freedom of the atoms
chanical development
gods ;

(4)

the

death, which

important
are

these

points of
:

(1)

the

in motion ; (2) and yet their me
; (3) the atomic character of the

of the soul at
scattering of the atoms
frees us from the fear of Hades.

XI

CHAPTER
STOICISM

The Stoic
in Antiquity.
of Stoicism
School had a long history, and for five hundred years
it was
system of thought. Its
well-nigh the dominating
is shown
in the attacks on
importance
all sides by
The

which

Position

it

was

It

honored.

to
subjected

was

a

continued
the Peripatetics, Epicureans, Skep

critical testing by
tics, and the Academy.

It

was

doubt

without

comprehensive

School of the Hellenic-Roman

and

as

numbered

its adherents

the most

sonalities of the time.

In its importance

was

which

only rival

neo-Platonism,

cism accomplished
of life,for it is one
ments

upon

of the great

It was

of humanity.

a

the ruins of polytheism

system
"

brilliant per
to history its

after it. Stoi

solving the problem
inner, spiritual move

toward

much

came

the most
Period,

a

of philosophy raised
religion for the edu

the old religion
cated classes, who tried to harmonize
with the new
philosophic needs. In the early Christian
centuries it led the moral reform by reviving the classic

ideals. It became

a

into the invisible order, a
Particularly at that time the Stoic
retreat

solace amid unrest.
felt the emptiness of human

life, for his possession

eternity made earthly existence
it was
a
movement
of

seem

as

nothing.

reflection
subjective

of
Yet

and indi
itself ade

such it could not prove
quate when the structure
society broke down.
of Roman
But we must not take the Roman
Stoics as the repre
than
sentatives of the sect. The Stoics stood for more

vidual motive

;

but

as

OF

HISTORY

242

PHILOSOPHY

moral reflection. The great achievement
first three leaders
the achievement
to morals.

The

science. Such an
that of the Stoics had

pendent
as

from

of giving

"

basis
tific

came

Stoics made

ethics

a
an

the

scien
inde

elaborate system of morals
before existed. Stoi
never

cism was
morality with a theoretical foundation, and the
foundation was
imposing
the most
part of the edifice.
This appeared
in Roman
jurisprudence,
and in later
times in Grotius, Descartes, Spinoza, the Calvinists and
Puritans, and in Kant and Fichte. The writings of the

Stoics have

individual

become

part of the world's
literature, and the Stoic view of life has maintained
itself as a dignified and independent
type.
a

The five hundred
of Stoicism.
years of the history of the Stoic School are usually di
vided into three periods. The first is about 90 years
long, in which the doctrine was
formulated ; the second
The

Three

Periods

is 200

years long, when the doctrine was
modified ; the
200 years long, when
it became
a
third was
popular
theoretical,
moral philosophy. The first two periods were

the third

was

practical.

of the Doctrine (294 B. c.
B.
called the period of Cynical
c.),sometimes
-206
Stoicism. This period contains the three great leaders :
Zeno (340-265 B.
Clean thes, leader of the School
1.

Period

of Formulation

c.),

and Chrysippus (280-206 B. c.).
Zeno of Tarsus, Diogenes of Seleucia, and Antipater of
Tarsus were
other important representatives.

from

2.

This

264

to 232

B. c.,

Period

(206 B.c.-l A.D.).

was

This period shows

Stoicism
of Modified
the period of transition.

a

Cynical character
modification of the original severe
of the doctrine and also the spread of Stoicism to Rome.
This modification shows an approach to Plato and Aris-

243

STOICISM

totle. The

important

most

is Panaetius

representative of this period
who introduced the doctrine

(180-110 B. C.),

his friendship with Scipio Africanus.
Posidonius and
Stoics of this period were

into Rome

through

Other eminent
Boethus of Sidon.

Stoicism (1-200 A. D.).During
of Roman
a popular
this period Stoicism became
moral philosophy.
The theoretic teachings of the first two
periods were
3. Period

Stoics in an im
successfully translated by the Roman
pressive way into practical observations. Furthermore,
being inspired with the rising religious
Stoicism was
that it expressed the noblest moral sentiments
Seneca
The
were
chief representatives
of antiquity.
Epictetus (living90 A.
the philo
(4-65 A.

feeling

so

D.)

D.),

Marcus

Aurelius

(121"
sophic slave, and the emperor
L. Annaeus
180 A.
D.). Other Stoics of this period were
Cornutus, M. Annaaus Lucanus, Persius, and M. Musonius Rufus.

One

of the striking features of
the Stoic School is that its leaders were
not
pure
before the Christian
Greeks. Nearly all the members
Stoic Leaders.

The

era

and
were

The
men.

mainly

Romans,

the Phrygian,

led by

Epictetus.

Greeks were
Stoics who were
third or fourth rate
The
Stoic School contained so many
eminent
not

framed

doctrine.

During

thinkers that its doctrine
all, like the Epicurean
dred years from Zeno
changes
were

of Asia Minor
the later Stoics

by birth to the mixed
races
the eastern
archipelago. Moreover,

belong

went

on

within

rather

was

to

Marcus

Aurelius,

theoretic

School, and the changes
Funda
than development.

the

modifications
Stoicism remained

mentally,
ligious attitude of mind.

and for
the five hun

once

the

same,

for it

was

a

re

244

HISTORY

Athens

OF

PHILOSOPHY

abiding-place of the Stoic School,
but Athens of that day had littleto say to it except to
it. The
receive
great Stoic leaders, the first three
the

was

Stoics, like the three tragic poets, formed a group that
is rarely equaled. They
Zeno, Cleanthes, and
were
Chrysippus.

Zeno

Cleanthes

and

and

Chrysippus
from

came

from

came

Assos, not

Cyprus,

far from

Troy.

Cyprus, Lycia, and Pisidia showed a strong inclination
for the Stoic teaching. Tarsus, which is in Cilicia,had a
Stoic School, and its influence
in his theology.
St. Paul is seen

strong

The

on

the training of

founding

the result of
of the Stoic School was
lost much
the experiences of Zeno of Citium. Having
he turned to philosophy at
of his wealth in commerce,

Athens.

Impressed

with the character of Socrates, he
successively to the Cynic, Megarian,

attached himself
and Platonic Schools, but
He

made

himself

Schools, and

then

master

of

founded

much

without

a

the

satisfaction.

teachings

School

of his

of
own.

these

It is

he asked for admittance
to the Acad
said that when
"
I am
no
emy, Polemo, the leader, replied,
stranger to
your Phoenician art, Zeno. I perceive your design is to
creep slyly into my garden and steal away my fruit." In
294 B. c. he began to teach in the Painted Porch (see
p. 219),a painted colonnade in the Athenian
ket-place. The School thereafter went by the name
map,

Stoa,

mar

of

His contemporary
antagonists were
Arcesilaus in the Academy,
and Epicurus. Zeno's re
or

the Porch.

putation throughout
deserved.
He was

rude
and

wound

spoken.
taught
a

Greece

was

very

high and

well

man,
simple and
parsimonious
He used a bad dialect, foreign words,
strange doctrine. He suffered a slight

and, taking

a

it

as

a

hint

of destiny, committed

245

STOICISM

suicide, saying,

"

I

am

coming,

Earth, why

do you

call

me?"

Stoicism did not flourish under Cleanthes
leader of the School for thirty-two

(who

was

years),although

of these three leaders on
He
Zeus.
to
was
account
originally
of his Hymn
as
a
so
was
a pugilist, and
poor that he had to work
lectures
water-carrier by night in order to attend the
of Zeno by day. He is said to have had a heavy mind,
to-day he is the best known

of an inspired prophet
Cleanthes re
of science. When
and a thoughtful man
still
ceived the Stoic doctrines from Zeno, they were
plastic. He
made them monistic and pantheistic, and

but it

was

introduced

nevertheless the mind

the doctrine of

Chrysippus

Under

"

tension."

(280-206

B.

c.) Stoicism

was

re

extinction. Chrysippus was
the systematizer of the School and its literary repre
five hundred
wrote
and five separate
sentative. He
logical sub
on
treatises, three hundred
of which were
vived and

he saved it from

is said to have seldom
lines. He
five hundred

He
jects.

let

day pass without
in
the moderating
a

was
writing
between extremes
fluence of the School, mediating
and
He restated Zeno's doctrines, but
removing

objections.

his discourses abound in curious subtleties rather than
He was
than his
more
a much
scholarly man
argument.
in
predecessors, and passed for the most learned man
"
Give me doctrines," he said to Cleanthes,
antiquity.
"
His haughti
for them."
and I will find arguments
ness
adversaries, both in the Academy
created many

and he had great contempt
"
men
of rank. He said, If I thought any philoso
I would myself become his pupil." It
pher excelled me,
"
No Chrysippus,
was
a common
saying in those days,
and
for

among

the Epicureans,

OF

HISTORY

246

of Chrysippus

Stoa." In the hands

no

ing became

PHILOSOPHY

the Stoic teach

a

well-rounded system.
The Stoic Writings. Nearly all the writings of the
early Stoics have been lost. Only fragments have been
like Cicero,
preserved from the writings of other men
Laertius,
and Diogenes
do not always distinguish between early
and these men
and later Stoicism. The principal source
of our know
Laertius. The
ledge of early Stoicism is Diogenes

Plutarch,

Sextus

Hymn

Zeus

to

fragment

extant

Empire

Empiricus,

of Cleanthes is the most noteworthy
of the early period. Of the later Stoics
have

been

saved : the
ethical treatises and epistles of Seneca, the Diatribes
Encheiridion
the Medita
and
and
of Epictetus,

of the

many

writings

later Stoic writings
transmit the teaching of the earlier leaders modified by
foreign influences. Such second-hand
authorities
many
tions of Marcus

Aurelius.

Cicero, Plutarch,

as

so

element

Diogenes

Laertius

and

Sextus

the Aristotelian commentators
give re
vitiated that it is doubtful if they report any
belonging to the earlier teaching. The doctrine

Empiricus,
ports

The

and

of the Stoics, since the time of Chrysippus, however, is
beyond peradventure.
known
The
Stoics tried to build
The Stoics and Cynics.
life of the soul after the pattern of the vir
from
Man, whose
tuous Wise
outlines they borrowed
the transfigured and lofty form of Socrates. (Noack.)
the

up

Their
vance

teaching
over

is not

merely

the Cynic School

as

a

refinement
Epicureanism

and ad
had been

and Epicureanism
in different ways. The
Stoic would
used their sources
than the Epicurean, and the negative side
give up more
of his teaching is therefore greater ; but in recompense

to

the Cyrenaic

School.

Stoicism

247

STOICISM

in the shape of a comprehensive
meta
the
physics. The Cyrenaic doctrine of pleasure became
The Cynic sensualistic
corner
stone
of Epicureanism.
he offers

more

became

rigorism

in the

Stoic teaching
doctrine.

relatively unimportant

While

a

and
the Stoic dis
negative

tinction of virtue was
not unproductive, the most
its dissemination
fluential aspect of Stoicism was

in

of
Thus,
in
humane
contrast
culture.
with the Cynics, the
Stoics had a deep interest in scientific theory. The

Stoic, less than

the

Cynic,

the individ
contrasted
Stoics have a more
intelligent,

ual with the world. The
freer, and milder morality. To the Cynics, external
things have no value ; to the Stoics, they have both a
positive and
there is the
withdrawal

negative value. Beneath these differences
same
self-sufficiency in virtue, the same
within, the same
moral strength of will,the
a

antithesis between
original, but not enough
same

new

good
so

and

to mark

evil. Stoicism was
the beginning of

a

epoch.

Prominent

Two

The

Stoic Conceptions.

There

are

Stoic conceptions
that rise prominently
above all
the rest of their teaching. One is the conception of per
sonality, the other is the conception of Nature. Epicure

two

built up the conception

of personality, but it had
no
need of an objective
principle of Nature ; and in
deed the Epicurean
to
conception
of personality seems
anism

be only

a

problems
vigorous
cureanism
there

are

These

clever adjustmentand an
avoidance of the
to the clear-cut, heroic,
of life,compared
and
Stoic conception of personality. Thus in Epi
there is one

prominent

conception, in Stoicism

two.

two

Stoic principles stand side by side. The

Stoic builds them

up together,

even

though

he fails to

OF

HISTORY

248

PHILOSOPHY

All the essential diffi
culties and all the excellencies of Stoicism lie in the
juxtaposition
of the conceptions of personality and Na
ture. In early Stoicism each conception is stated with
them

make

entirely compatible.

is approx
great vigor. In later Stoicism their harmony
imated by the modification of each. The result was
an
ethical dualism and a metaphysical
monism.

Against Epicurean
of Personality.
ism the Stoic fought for the dignity of the soul. The
Man
is the central point
ideal personality of the Wise
The

Conception

in Stoicism. Even

more

than

Aristotle did the Stoic

the unity and independence
of the individual
contrasted to itsparticular states. For the first

emphasize
soul

as

in
does the soul become
an
factor to be reckoned with. The Stoic picture
dependent
of the ideal personality is of a life completely sundered

time in European

from

thought

conditions, free from

earthly trammels,
but at the same
time the organ of universal law. Con
ideal
can
temporaries
such an
asked the Stoics, How
outward

he live among
his fellow men
?
can
person ? How
? After
he reconcile himself to human
How
can
want
setting forth this ideal during the 175 years of their

be

a

finally forced
firstperiod, it is not strange that they were
At this
to modify it in response to practical demands.
point

we

Wise

Man.

i.

The

shall consider

the original portrayal

Stoic Psychology.

The

of the

Stoic built his

con

ception of personality upon a deep psychological analy
in the
sis. The soul in the body is like the pneuma
world (seep. 255). Not only does the soul transform the
organs into perceptions,
excitations of the several sense
but its distinguishing faculty is its power
of trans
forming the excitations of the feelings into acts of will.

249

STOICISM

called by the Stoics the assent of the reason,
and is the distinguishing feature of the Stoic concep
It established for the first time
tion of personality.
The
in history the independence
of the personal soul.
This

was

Stoic felt keenly

between
the reason
the antagonism
and the senses,
and he also felt that by estimating the
senses
as
merely relative in value they would so much
feature
dignify the reason
the more
as
the fundamental

of the
comes

While,
personality.
from the senses,
the

knowledge

exists

in

the

therefore,

all knowledge

Stoic maintained
that no
by themselves. The
senses

is necessary to transform the sen
of the reason
is not an aggre
The reason
sations into true knowledge.
function of the
gate of sensations, but an independent
assent

personality.

It transforms

into percep
is
of will. The reason

the sensations

perceptions into acts
therefore a kind of generating power of consciousness
and is free from everything
external. But in contrast

tions, the

to this free rational side is the irrational nature

for the

reason

itself to

be

Then

causes.

;
of man
it allows

is liable to suffer failure, when
hurried along to give assent to exciting
emotions arise, and emotions are failures,

diseases. Man
mental disturbances, and in chronic cases
is not always able to defend himself against the excita
but he can refuse to give the
tions of his environment,

excitations his assent. He can
refuse to allow the ex
citations to become
and to pour forth his life
emotions
in passion. Man
be in the world and not of it.
may

He

the world by controlling himself. The
govern
Wise Man
is free from the emotions, and virtue consists
in their absence. The virtuous man
is self-sufficientin
may

the proud
as

not

a

consciousness

good

and

pain

that he
as

not

an

can

look upon

evil.

pleasure

250

OF

HISTORY

PHILOSOPHY

What

have in granting or re
guide does the reason
fusing its assent to its perceptions from without ? What

is the criterion of the truth? The clearness of the per
the clearness in the sense
that the presenta
ception
"

tion lays hold of the mind and extorts
truth is the "irresistible presentation"
hending

Wise

presentation."
By what
Man.

Who

can

know

its assent.
or

the

"

The

appre

the truth ? The

? By

means

sensation and pre
By what sign ? By the sign
of its irresistible
Wise Man
is perfectly free and perfectly

conception.
The
power.

necessitated

"

he

never

gives assent

except

to

what

constrains assent.
2.

The

Good

Highest
happiness

What

Good.
for such

is then

the Highest

personality ? After such
an
analysis, what would the Stoic be likely to conceive
to be the true ends of life ? The very nature
of the per
or

sonality gives the

answer.

Personality is fundamentally

rational activity which seeks
The
nature.
gratify its own
of its

a

preserve itself and to
Highest Good is the law
to

rationality, and virtue consists in being
for the Highest
Good man
can
rational. In reaching
transcend his particular faculties in his free obedience
to his own
reason
the wholeness of his existence
; and

depends

own

is the
the wholeness of his deed. Thus
inner activity whole, in contrast
to the partial outer
independence
activities. Inwardness
attains complete
upon

finds the

depth

free and we
are
of the soul. We
happy if the whole being goes out in contemplation
are
of the world reason
which is our reason,
and if all the
feelings that make
dependent
us
on
the world are ex
and

cluded. Since the emotions place a false value on things,
happiness demands
a whole
effort and ceaseless activity.
We
must
not merely theorize, but thought must become

251

STOICISM

whether

matter

for external

man

It does not

yields happiness.

Thought-action

conduct.

with reference to this or that,
neither good nor bad. The whole

acts

are
objects

is whether
If the reason

controls the passions
or
not.
controls, the end is good ; if the
passions control, the end is evil ; all other ends are in
different. The reason
either does or does not rule, and
question

act is either

an

the

good

or

reason

not.

Good

is not

relative, but
wealth, honor, and

absolute ; and such relative matters as
matters
of indifference. Even
riches are

life itself is

it
of the indifferent things and may be taken when
The Highest
Good
does not serve
the ends of reason.
one

is that inner unity
that disposition
erned by a single principle.
"

Stoic word for this ideal Good
Epicurean
or
ataraxy
word was

The
the

which

"

is apathy,

is gov

justas

imperturbability.

Positively defined, it is virtue. Negatively defined, can
we
passionlessness? This would not be quite
say it was
By apathy the Stoic means
not absence of all
correct.

by

feeling, but

of

Stoic

joy,gratitude,

absence
filled with

was

control

the

feelings.The

serene

confidence,
to rational law.

in regard
submission
and unwavering
Apathy is not dull insensibility,but immovable

firmness.

de
that render the man
emotions
pendent on the world, but it is not absence of the reach
Good
ing out of the soul for the divine. The Highest
Apathy
is (1) intellectual resignation to the uni
or

It is absence

verse,

of the

practical inner harmony,
seeking to be rational, man

(2)

trol. In
impulse,
The

"

Conception

of

of self-preservation.
In comparison
Nature.

with

the

the position of the Stoic was
peculiarly in
The ideal imperturbability of the Epicurean was

Epicurean
volved.

the impulse

and (3) self-con
is following an

OF

HISTORY

252

in

simple
It was

an

ual. But

far that it required nothing beyond itself.
individual matter
and varied with the individ
the Stoic ideal personality is based upon the
so

that is eternally

reason,

PHILOSOPHY

one

and the

same.

What

is this

reason
principle that gives to the human
is the extent of the law of the
absoluteness ? What
Thus
itself implies?
son
reason
that the human

absolute

its
rea

the

his conception of personal
Stoic needed to supplement
ity and the Epicurean did not. Because his individualism
was

The

rigorous, it needed

more

the

Stoic principle of morality

more

had

to be supported.
to have its founda

tion in the absolute nature of things. This foundation
could not be the politico-moral principle of Greek
national life,for that existed no longer. It could not
incorporeal prin
be a transcendent, supersensuous,
or
ciple, for his Cynic inheritance would forbid his look
ing beyond
supplementary
absolute
experience. The
immanent
be an
principle of the Stoics must
prin
ciple,

a

ception

living power in the world. A pantheistic
took its place side by side with
of Nature

con

the

Stoic conception of personality, and this conception of
Nature became
the central point of the Stoic meta
physics. For this the Stoics adopted the Logos doctrine
of Heracleitus, which will be recalled as the doctrine of
as
primal matter
rational, just,and fateful changingness.

The

Stoics

were

teleological philosophy
come

the dualism

reinforced in this by Aristotle's
of nature. Yet they tried to over*

of matter

Aristotle's teaching, and

one

it existed in
as
and Form
feels that the Stoic pan

The
pantheism.
conscious and avowed
Stoic conception of Nature is that of a unitary, ra
tional, and living whole, having no parts, but only de
theism

was

terminate

a

forms.

Yet

it cannot

be called

a

hylozoism,

STOICISM

253

like the doctrine of Heracleitus, for there Form
and
had not been distinguished. In the interven
matter
ing years

Form

and

the Stoic sought
parison

to put

been

had

matter

together

them

with the doctrine of the Old

teaching

(1)

was

separated,
again. In

and
com

Schools, the Stoic

against their dualism,
against their idealism, but (3) like

monistic,

(2)

as

materialistic, as
them, it was
teleological.

first place, Nature
is an
all-pervading
live and move
World- Be ing. It is God, u in whom
we
being." It contains in itself all cosmic
and have our

1. In the

phenomena,
and processes, past, present, and future. It
is the World-ground
and yet it is
and the World-mind,
power,
all-in-all. It is the productive
and formative
the vitalizing principle. In general, it is the creative
in particular, it is Providence
or
in
It is the unswerving
whole
the single events of history take place. To the
which
in Nature
Stoics the cosmic Reason was
so
apparent

reason
and guiding
divine government.

;

In their
in everything.
to them
that purpose
appeared
hands the great teleological conception
of Aristotle's
immanent

to the petty purposivesank
purposiveness
for human
beings and for the gods. Yet it is no
ness
that this conception of an
all-pervasive deity
wonder

became

a

code to
far
so

Nature

religion to

the region
as

of the

the

minutest
is Providence
so

full of purpose.
without blemish.

are

2. In

law.

the Stoics and

the second
Nature
is an

destiny, that

holds

Nature

sublime.

raised their moral
The world is Fate
are

movements

far

as

those

determined.

determinations

is in every part perfect and

place, Nature is an all-compelling
inviolable necessity, an inevitable
all phenomena

in complete

causal

HISTOKY

254

OF

PHILOSOPHY

Yet

this destiny only proves the complete
purpose of the whole. The Stoic seized upon the cen
tral principle of Democritus,
which the Epicureans
connection.

"

"
had overlooked,
The doctrine
the supremacy
of law.
to the Epicureans
of Democritus
passed over
only so
far as it was
; with regard to
atomism
and mechanism
the deeper and more
valuable principle of the universal
"

l
reign of law in Nature, his legacy passed to the Stoics."
There is no such thing as chance ; everything is caused.
In Epicureanism
finds the doctrine of necessity, but
one

the

comes

necessity

from

the

atoms

themselves.

In

Stoicism the necessity resides in the living activity of
I the whole. A living activity ! Herein the Stoic concep
I

tion differsfrom the Democritan

teaching. The necessity
is a living necessity, the destiny a living destiny.
3. In the third place, Nature, is matter. On the the

oretical side Stoicism agrees with Epicureanism only at
both were
one
point,
materialistic. The materialism
"

of both

these New

Schools got a disproportionate pro
because it had to be defended against the at

minence
tacks of the Academy

and the Lyceum.

The

material
ism of the Epicureans was
a mere
adoption of a theory ;
the materialism of the Stoics was
aspect of its
only one
basis. Nevertheless, to the Stoic matter
supplementary
alone is real, because it alone
Everything
is matter,
"

acts

and

is acted upon.
God and the

nature-objects,

the qualities,forces, and relations between
soul, and
material bodies. The Stoics regarded the presence and
interchange of the qualities of things as the appearance
even

and intermingling of bodies in these things.
There can be no doubt about the materialism of the
Stoic teaching, although both material and spiritual
i

Windelband, Hist,

of Phil., p" 183.

255

STOICISM

is start
attributes are ascribed to God in a way that
ling. The Heracleitan conception of fire as the primary
substance is the Stoic conception of God. God is fire"
the atmospheric
currents
commonly
is also the Worldall things. But God

air, ether, and most

pervade
the Cosmic-reason, the universal
soul, the World-mind,
He
is a perfect,
Law,
Nature, Destiny, Providence.
happy, and kind Being. In single statements
these as
which

often combined
and God is described as the
in matter, the
Reason
of the world, the Mind
reasonable Air-currents. The Stoic equation is Nature =
are

pects
Fiery

Matter

Fire

=

=

Reason

=

Fate

Providence

=

God.

=

Stoics followed Heracleitus also in their concep
tion of the development
of the present world from the
"
In all points of detail their views on what
cosmic fire.
The

contemptible.
call physical science are
iota of scientific thinking."
tained not one

They

we

Aristotle, however,

lowed

1

con

They

in their description

fol

of the

elements and their teleological arrangements.
inner
by its own
The primitive substance changes
Force is the Worldrational law into force and matter.
soul, the

or

breath, which

warm

pervades all
is the World-body,
things. Matter
and is water
and
earth. In cosmic periods the primitive fire is destined
to re-absorb the world of variety into itself and then
pneuma

it in

consume

a

universal catastrophe.
The most important
feature in the Stoic materialism
is the conception of pneuma,
or
the force into which the
original substance is differentiated. This is the Worldsoul. Nature is thus conceived as dynamical. The Stoic
for the World-soul
is translated by various ex
word
pressions,
1

as

Adarason,

"

creative

reason,"

The Development

"

generative

of Greek Philosophy,

powers,"

p. 267.

HISTORY

256

PHILOSOPHY

OF

formative fire-mind." It penetrates all things and dom
inates all as their active principle. Through
it the uni
44

is one,

is the
plurality of parts. The pneuma
lifeof the universe. Its motion is spontaneous
; its devel
is teleological.The pneuma
is an extraordinarily
opment
verse

a

not

conception, containing as it does suggestions
condensed
from Heracleitus' Logos, Anaxagoras'
Nous, Democri-

Aristotle's Energeia.

tus' fire-atoms, and

The

human

being has

Man

universe.

| macrocosm.

a

constitution analogous

is the microcosm
The
soul of man

to the

and the universe the
is the pneuma
which

holds his body together, and it is an emanation
from the
divine pneuma.
Mental states
thought and emotions
Virtue is the tension of the atmos
are
i
air currents.
'

"

.

"

of the soul. The

pheric substance

material, yet divine,
his activities,
causes

reason,
pneuma
constitutes man's
is seated in his breast. Since the pneuma
is a body, it
disconnects itselffrom the human
corpse at death, has
a limited immortality,
and returns to the cosmic pneuma

at the conflagration of the world.

Conceptions

of Nature and Personality supple
Thus fundamentally
the personality
ment
each other.
is identical with the cosmos
it is reason.
To turn the
The

"

"
or
nature
about, by reason
things that are essentially one.

"

matter
two
son

of

man,

cording to nature
man

or

"

according
as
of the Wise Man
is a harmony
with
"

"

nature

or

"

He

Stoic

means

the

means

rea

"
live ac
of the world ; to
is to live according to the nature of
to the nature
of the world. The life

the

or

the

reason

reason

a

harmony

physical nature
itself as
well. The antithesis to
"
is sensuous
What
we
nature.

speak of as the natural impulses
at all in the Stoic teaching.

with

were

not

"

"

natural

STOICISM

Nature

207

"

universal is the creative cosmic power
acting for ends. Coordination with this constitutes mo
rality. It is a willing obedience to eternal necessity.
The " fool " acts according
to his sensations
and im
"

as

pulses, and therefore
Man, by withdrawing
pendent
ture

"

world

reason.

"

But

nature."

the Wise

within himself, is his own
because he is acting universally.

master

is the

against

life-unity of the
True
individual

morality, complete
"
tionality. To obey " nature
universal

inde
"

Na

human

soul with the
morality is therefore

humanity,

universal

is to develop

ra

the essential

germ in one's
self.
Thus
these two
points of view were
obtained of
life-unity: a universe
in all its
rationally guiding
individual epitomizing this uni
changes ; the human
verse

in himself

as

a

rule for his conduct

amid

his

vicissitudes.

divided into two
are
Stoic and Society. Men
the entirely wise and virtuous, or the entirely
classes,
foolish and vicious. There is no middle ground.
If a
The

"

he has all the virtues ; if
possesses a sound reason,
he lacks this reason,
he lacks all. There are only a few
Sages ; the mass
fools. The
Stoics were
are
of men
man

continually lamenting
great baseness of men.

looked upon
the fool as

the Wise
incapable

the
with Pharisaical pessimism
From
their sublime height they
Man
incapable of sin, upon
as
of virtue. In thus denying the

ordinary distinctions between
dangerous
in politics. Their
not reliable. In general, they

of the democracies

where

good

and

evil, they

were

political perspective was
did not enter the politics
how
they lived. They were,

often the advisers of tyrants, and often assisted in
them (as in the case of Julius Cresar). The
removing

ever,

OF

HISTORY

258

PHILOSOPHY

Rufus

Stoic School of Musonius

made
Domitian,

a

protest against Nero and
disciples and friends controlled
tan

(second century

tury

Man

Wise

king.

He

for a
the empire
The
Stoic regarded

A.

attaining the same
claimed for his Wise
is inferior to

independence

Man.

his

that the

He

is lord and
other rational being, not even

no

himself.

to Zeus

the Epicurean

Stoic differs from

The

cen"

D.).1

as

Epicurean

splendid Puri
and finally his

in his attitude
Schools agree that

the political state. The two
the sufficient Wise Man
needs the state but little.The

toward

Epicurean
inherent
tained
way

society is

that

only

Since

teaches that society is not natural and not
The Stoic, however, main
in human
nature.

occasionally

a

divine

to

man's

institution, which

gives

individual

perfecting.
identical, all men

are
the cosmic reason
men
therefore lead a
are
essentially identical. When
life of reason,
they lead a social life. This realm of rea
includes not Romans
son
alone, but all men,
gods, and
man

and

is only secondary,
slaves. But the political government
The Stoic's
for the Stoic's ideal is a universal empire.
as
interest in practical politics was
weak as his ideal
a

rational society
justice
and love for
of

of the coming
There
are
through

"

was,

man

The

however,

first is to

love
justice,

The
second
mopolitanism.
Yet
gain an inner freedom.
coincide.
They may

His teaching

transcendent.

a

of
forecasting

religious emancipation.
two
tendencies
antagonistic

Stoicism.

its virtues,

was

be presented
1

Professor

seek

running

society with

sociability or cos
of men,
dispenses with society to

as

these two

follows

C. P. Parker.

:

tendencies

"

often

STOICISM

To seek society.
1. Exaltation
of

To dispense with society.
of inner freedom
happiness.

justiceExaltation

and love.
2. World
citizenship.

3. Relations and
of virtue.
4. Virtue depends

259

and
The Wise

degrees

Absolute

Man.
virtue

and

abso-

lute vice.

Knowledge

some-

what on conditions.
5. Individual should sub-

alone

is virtue,

Individual should make

fate,

mit to fate.
Duty

and

Responsibility.

Stoic's identity

The

or

elevated the law of human
and cosmic reason
into a strict, universal law of duty. It em
conduct
hand, the Cynic's protest against
bodies, on
the one
human

external law, and on the other the construction of the
inner moral law. The backbone
of Stoicism is sense
of
before
responsibility. The Stoics brought out as never

is and what ought
to be.
They were
the most outspoken doctrinaires of antiquity,
and formed a school of character building in stubborn
As time went
on
they substituted human
ness.
nature

the

between

contrast

for cosmic

what

nature
and then accentuated human
The
individual could then define the

nature,

as

conscience.
right for himself, and

de
this sort of individualism was
veloped with so much skill that it admitted great laxity
some
things and forbids
commands
of morals. Duty
others, but there are left a great
are
ethically indifferent. These

of activities that
indifferent matters

mass

for these men
offered opportunity
of conscience to per
in the eyes of others were
form what
crimes (forex
ample, Brutus). Baseness is only what is uncondition
ally forbidden.

Yet it must

not

be supposed

that the Stoics generally

HISTORY

260

OF

PHILOSOPHY

for moral license.
employed the indifferent as an excuse
On the contrary, the concept of life as a struggle origi
with the Stoics, and

nated
common

consciousness

of

from
man.

it passed into the
There was
before them
them

dominated
by a
with environment
false evaluation, (2) the struggle with effete civilization,
(3) the struggle particularly with one's self. The Stoic

(1)

the

struggle

hero of inner courage and greatness of soul rises above
his fellows, not because he gains dominion
over
the

world, but because in indifference to it he isolates him
self. He exists in premeditation
of doing rather than
in the actual doing in which his power would be spent.

Still,in the absolute contrast

between

the good and the
"
Either
Or,"
an
disjunctive,

life a
evil, in making
duty got a definite and distinct meaning.
Duty, accord
ing to the Stoics'conception, had not so much the nature
an
act adapted
of an imperative as of what is suitable,
"

"

to nature,

unknown

a

consistent

to antiquity

and

act.
justifiable

the ethical nature

In

a

manner

of conduct

was

conceptions
universalized in the new
of philan
in the ten
thropy, of the universality of God and man,
for the poor and
dency to suppress
slavery and care
thus

sick. Nevertheless, as a moral force Stoicism accepted
the world as it found the world, and did not attempt to
make it over.
The

of Evil and the Problem
of Freedom.
On the questions of moral freedom and evil, the Stoics
attacks from the Academy
suffered severe
and the Epi

Problem

Alone

the Schools of antiquity the
among
Stoics preached the doctrine of Fate. The demands
of
ethical responsibility, however, required that the indi

cureans.

vidual should determine his own
conduct. To suit these
demands
his fundamental
the Stoic did not modify

2G1

STOICISM

his position
but he tried to justify
of Nature,
that the individual expressed the law of
on
the ground
Man is like
His argument
may be stated thus :
nature.
conception

God

;

is

Man

one

with

God

;

Man

is free. It

Man
psychological grounds.
the world-law :
attitudes toward

stated
two

on

be

through

blind

can

was

have

also
one

of

his perform
; (2) his per

(1)

compulsion
intelligent understanding
may be through an
he is free. The occurrence
of
of the law, in which case
his act is fateful, but it makes
great difference to the
ance

may
formance

the occurrence
whether
his intelligent acquiescence.
man

is in spite of him or with
is not an
The occurrence

evil in itself; for physical evils are no evils, and things
that appear to be moral evils are (1) subservient to the
good ; (2) merely relative to good ; or (3) show that
will is mine though
it be law. The soul
necessary ; my will is mine though
destiny. God
it fulfills its own
is free when
works

God's ways

are

our

not

ways.

My

are
only ac
will. Outer circumstances
is the assent of the
but the main cause
cessory causes,
time the Stoics did not shrink from
will. At the same

through

man's

fatalism. Chrysippus
logic of their own
said that
the basis of determinism
could correct judg
only on
Only on
this ground
ments
of the future be made.
be
Only the necessary can
could the gods foreknow.
known.

the

The

of the Stoic Doctrine after the
inherent difficultiesin the Stoic doc

Modifications

First Period.

The

the attacks upon it gave rise to later conces
it. (1) The moral
sion that only further complicated
ideal was
lowered to make a set of rules for the medi

trine and

and thereby the Stoics became the originators
of the dangerous doctrine of a twofold morals.
ocre

man,

OF

HISTORY

262

PHILOSOPHY

By

admitting any supposition instead of strict
into their theory they introduced
scientific deduction
An
absolute personality ! An
absolute
probabilism.

(2)

In order to make
either practical the Stoics
had to modify both. In the course
of time, when new
leaders represented the School, there came
compromises

Nature!

Man

Wise

exigencies. The teaching
by instruction how
superseded

of the
to be

to practical

according

was

not renounced
wise. The moral idealism was
introduced.
the idea of progress was
(3) The doctrine of Goods was modified. From
come

but

out

the Goods, esteemed as indifferent, there appear Goods
desirable. Yet these were
as
thought to be Goods
never
in themselves,

Good

but

were

in itself. Such

to further the
only adapted
for example,
the physical
were,

Good

of health, enjoymentof the
side of its ideals Stoicism thus was
wfth practical life.

(4)
were
are

A

not
not

distinction

Wise
the

same

Men.

was

It

was

distance

senses,
more

etc.

those who
"
that all " fools

men
a

the

into touch

brought

recognized
from virtue. There
"

On

concerning

made

recognized progressive men,
Apathy
is thus modified
by
has in common
the Wise Man
of his
became

senses,

who

state of

are

are

then

improving.

progress.

Even

with others the affections

such as pain. The Stoic ethical aristocracy
humane.
Nevertheless, the Stoic never

yielded this point, viz., that there is no gradual growth
in virtue. Virtue is not attained through
a transition.

It is

a

(5)
moral

sudden
During

turning
the

about.

empire
but even

philosophy,
impressive presentation
antiquity. It prepared

Stoicism

became

in this form

merely
it was

a
an

of the noblest convictions of
moral feeling for Christianity.

263

STOICISM

The

Stoicism

more

the Cynic

second

garbed

element

centuries
preachers,

became

mere

in it dominated

Cynicism
who

and teaching morals.

went

was

moralizing, the more
it. In the first and

by wandering,
affecting beggary

revived

about

CHAPTER
SKEPTICISM

XII

AND

ECLECTICISM

We
Skepticism.
of Philosophic
have now
traced the history of the positive and dogmatic
Period through its Ethi
aspect of the Hellenic-Roman
cal Division and far into the Religious Division of the
Period. The influence of the ethical movement
did not
The

Appearances

disappear

until at least two

ning of this era, and
disappear
until they

529

A.

But

D.

half before
dogmatic

that

abolished by Justinian in
Period may be said to close

were

of this

Skepticism, which

and
150 B.

even

c.

a

"

century and a
its positive and

lost. Eclecticism appeared
hundred
the last one
and fifty years

in the Schools, and
of the Ethical Period
was

era,

about
had been

"

character

eclectic. This

Schools

the

the Ethical

at the beginning

after the begin
did not
themselves

centuries

in character transitional and
caused by the growth
and power of
have already pointed out as the
we
was

the
of the entire period. Skepticism was
frame of mind of the eight hundred
years
the negative side of the period in
of this time. It was
Skepticism ap
contrast
with the Schools. Philosophic
undercurrent
fundamental

contemporaneously
with the rise of the New
Schools at the very beginning of the Period, and the con
troversy between
the Schools and Skepticism reached
its height about 150 B. c. What
was
the result? Did

peared

Age

of Pericles, back to
in speculation ? No ; the world was
no
longer possessed the creative imlonger virile and no

turn,
philosophy
greater triumphs

as

in the

AND

SKEPTICISM

ECLECTICISM

265

of the attacks of Skepticism upon
the Schools, philosophy dissolved itself first into eclecti

pulse. On

account

elements
cism, and then later by the introduction of new
from the East was
superseded by religion. In the philo
sophical sense,
religion and eclecticism are both skepti
cal

both have

doubts

to
of the ability of the reason
Eclecticism shows its Skepticism by doubt

"

reach truth.
ing any one dogmatic
a

of all ;

compromise

and therefore it constructs
faith in place of
religion crowns

scheme,

reason.

Philosophic
except with
It arose
as

Skepticism

itself with

superficial compared
Skepticism did not

with
doubt

existed ; it did not doubt

We

Skepticism.

modern

that the

and

Three

three

are

objectof
knowledge
objectof

measure

The

i.

is

even

Phases

somewhat

Skepticism, and
large

Ancient

knowledge

that the

Skepticism, and the effect of this Skepticism
Schools in their turning to eclecticism.
The

Schools.

that things exist
material. It assumed
Skeptic, is the problem at issue.
to the modern
at the appearances
shall look now
of philosophic

external
which,

the doctrines of the

appear

polemical and antagonistic to the
While
the Skepticism of antiquity
it was
the problem
of knowledge,

merely

Schools' teaching.
busied

to

reference

in these times did not

are

called Pyrrhonism

Skepticism

the

These
Skepticism.
of Philosophic
loosely connected
appearances
of
determined
in their character in

by the doctrines which
First

upon

they attacked.

is
Skepticism
of Philosophic
This
(from about 300 to 230 B.

Phase

a).

directed against the assumptions
of
Aristotle. From
the philosophy
the dates above it
of
to be contemporary
will be seen
with the founding
of
Schools, at the very beginning
the Stoic and Epicurean

was

a

HISTORY

266

OF

The

PHILOSOPHY

Pyrrho
representatives were
(365-275 B. c.)of Elis and his pupil Timori (320-230
Zeno had begun
to teach in
B.
of Phlius. When

of the period.

two

c.)

the Painted

Porch

and

Epicurus

in the Gardens,

when
in the Lyceum

and

had succeeded his master
Polenio led the Academy,
the Skeptic Pyrrho

gan
had

his personal instruction in the city of Elis. Pyrrho
but little influence. He left no writings, and his

Theophrastus

doctrine

known

became

be

his
ancients through
was
the literary exponent
pupil, Timon,
who
of this
Skepticism. The teaching may be stated in the three

following sentences

to

the

(1)

We

The

Skeptic therefore

know

nothing of the
nature
of things, but only of the states of feeling into
they put us ; (2) The only correct
which
attitude of
mind is to withhold all judgmentand restrain all action ;
(3) The result of this suspense of judgment is ataraxia
:

imperturbability.

or

can

internal

sought the
Epicurean

Stoic and
peace for which
were
seeking, but he was
skeptical of the Aristotelian
instrument
to gain it. The opposite
an
as
metaphysics
same

conclusion being equally plausible, suspense of
judgmentis the only peace of mind.
Pyrrhonism
the age after Aristotle that
reminded
of any

is fundamen
of the certitude of knowledge
be
be settled before any philosophy
can
must

the problem

tal and

The School was
constructed.
short lived, and
disposed to be skeptical joinedthe Academy.
2.

The

The

Second

Skepticism

Middle

Academy

Period

of Philosophic

people

Skepticism

"

(280-129 B. c.). The
of the Academy
directed par
and its Skepticism was

"
ticularly against the Stoic teaching that an
appre
"
hensive presentation
its own
truth by the
guaranteed
conviction of immediate certainty. The two most distin-

ECLECTICISM

AND

SKEPTICISM

2tt

representatives of this Skeptical period of the
Arcesilaus (315-241 B.
were
c.) and Carnebe mentioned
Carneades must
(214-129 B.

guished
Academy

c.).

ades

particularly as a genius
"
He
personal influence.

and

a

philosopher

of great

the greatest philosopher
Chrysippus to
centuries from
was

of Greece in the four
Plotinus ; indeed, in ability and depth
l
Carneades was
surpassed Chrysippus."

he
of thought
for
the most

of the Stoics. He had listened to the
midable opponent
Stoic lecturers, had studied their writings, and had re
futed them on their own
grounds in brilliant lectures of

his

own.

Skepticism of the Academy

The

rivalry of the Porch and
apace and had been
grown
The

this way.
had
emy
two

in
somewhat
the Older Acad

arose

dogmatic

Schools. The Academy

a

battle between

being worsted,
it had gradually de

its ancient spirit was
waning, and
serted speculation for ethics. Under

was

Arcesilaus

it

life by

the aggressive dogmatism
the Stoics. Speculation, which it had ignored, it
to

provoked

new

was

of
now

openly. Arcesilaus, in directing
his attack against the doctrine of " apprehensive
pre
"
to conclusions
but
sentation
of the Stoics, came
Carneades laid out for
slightly different from Pyrrho.

began

to

himself

a

antagonize

twofold

task

:

(1)

to refute all existing dog

and (2) to evolve a theory of probability as the
basis for practical activity. He applied his Skepticism
not only to speculation, like Arcesilaus, but also to
mas,

ethics and

religion.*
1

*

A. Hicks, Stoic and

Epicurean,

pp. 322 ff.

Read

Grote, Plato, vol. iii,pp. 482-490, for the interest
ing sophistical problems
Disguised
of the Liar, the Person
under

a

Veil, Electra, Sorites, Cornutus, and

the Bald

Mao-

OF

HISTORY

268

The
used

Academy
it

as

tradition

a

him.

In

did not

fully adopt Skepticism, but
Platonic
against the Stoics. The

weapon
kept alive within the School, and Skepti
advance in the Academy
after Carneades.

was

cism made
It did not

PHILOSOPHY

no

even

the

continue
next

in the

generation

path marked
the Academy

out

by

became

eclectic.
Period

Skepticism
of Philosophic
Sensationalistic Skepticism
(during two centuries or
The chief representatives
more
of the Christian
3. The

Third

"

era).

^Enesidemus

were

Agrippa

(about

(about 200
This
by

A.

(firstcentury A. D.),
of Cnossus
200 A.
D.), and Sextus Empiricus

D.).
of Skepticism

phase

physicians,

with

physiological grounds.

arguments

When

was

represented mainly
based upon
empirical

the Academy

passed from
became centred in

Skepticism to eclecticism, Skepticism
Alexandria. For two centuries before Galen
A.

D.) great

of the
meaning
hended. There was
a
time

been made in medicine, but
discoveries had not been appre
general feeling among
physicians

discoveries had

the

of that

(131-201

that

there is

no

such

thing

as

scientific

were
certainty ; and skeptical arguments
constructed^
based on the empirical discoveries of the scientificcircle
the arguments
of the Academy
of Alexandria. While
were
mostly formal attacks against the Stoics, this

Skeptical School of physicians returned to Pyrrhonism,
immensely reinforced with scientificmaterial. It strove
for it
in vain to disassociate itself from the Academy,
the formal arguments
way or another
used in one
of
In his eight books on
the Skeptics of the Academy.

Pyrrhonism,
induced

developed the reasons
which
.ZEnesidemus
Pyrrho to call in question the possibility of

AND

SKEPTICISM

ECLECTICISM

269

in philosophjr as the ten
"
doubt.1 They were
tropes," or ten ways of justifying
badly arranged by JEnesidemus
and reduced to five by

These

knowledge.

known

are

Agrippa.2
and a Half of the Ethical Period.
About 150 B. c. the
D.).Eclecticism.

Century

Last

The

(150 B.

c.-l A.
Ethical Period

"

became

passionate controversy
their differences and

After

eclectic.

the Schools began

150

of

years

to compromise

no
another. They
longer emphasized
their differences, but began to point
to their common
ground of unity. This tendency to fu

fuse into

one

sion applies only to the Lyceum, the Academy,
and the
Porch. The Epicurean School was
a
never
party to this
eclecticism and always remained
relatively stationary.
The fusion occurred only in the teaching of the Schools
and not in their organization. Externally the Schools
remained

In the second
dowed
separate
Athens.
A.

bodies for six hundred years longer.
century Hadrian
and the Anton ines en

separate

They

chairs for them

University of
Schools until 529

in the

abolished as
by Justinian. Internally their independent

D.,

were

not

growth
to the year

lasted only during the two centuries down
150 B. c. At this time their theoretic mission
been completed. Their internal history from 100
529

to

The

A.

year

D.

150

one

was

B.

c.

had
B.

C.

and adjustment.
of compromise
is therefore important.
At
this

time the records of the Schools stop, controversy abates,
introduced into Rome,
Stoicism and Epicureanism
are
and fusion of doctrines begins.
The Stoic School was
the first to incline to eclecti
doctrine was
a kind of fusion of incohercism. Its own
1

For

"

Ueberweg,

a

of these tropes, see Weber,
Hist,
Phil., vol. i, p. 216.

statement

of

Hist,

of Phil., p. 153.

PHILOSOPHY

OF

HISTORY

270

the Schools it could most easily
parts, and among
doctrines. About
150 B. c., under the lead
welcome new
many
of the
of Pansetius and Posidonius, it adopted
ent

Aristotelian

Platonic and

teachings, tempered

its own

ethical rigorism, and extended its scientific interests. At
time the Peripatetics of the Lyceum
the same
united
the pantheism
theism. After
of the Stoics to their own
the

death

turned

Carneades

of

in 129

B.

C.

the

Academy

Skepticism back to the Platonic tradition,

from

Platonism adulterated with many
meagre
For example, Antiochus
foreign elements.
of Ascalon
in the win
taught Cicero from the Academy
at Athens

but

it

was

a

ter of 79-78

c.

B.

that

Platonism

and

Aristotelianism

doctrine.
only different aspects of the same
There were
factors that prepared
two
an
easy way
for the rapid spread of eclecticism. One was
the grow
were

ing Skepticism

that

was

so

fundamental

in Hellenism,

the other was
the adoption of Hellenic culture by
Eclecticism is,after all, only another form
the Romans.
of Skepticism. Both exhibit the spirit of undecided
and

conviction. Neither has regard for the bonds of tradi
tion, for both regard the individual superior to every
tradition or system. Eclecticism, indeed, attempts to re
concile differing systems ; but in doing this it casts a
doubt upon the infallibilityof them all only to a lesser
degree than Skepticism. The spread of eclecticism was

Greece of the skepti
cal spirit upon the world, and the Roman
world gave a
Roman
to such a spirit. The
character
glad welcome
was
naturally eclectic. After his first aversion the Ro
hospitable to all philosophies arid religions.
man
was
therefore only

an

extension

from

In his practical way, undisturbed by philosophical hair
splittings, he selected from the different systems what

SKEPTICISM

ECLECTICISM

AND

271

suited to his practical needs. Eclecticism found fer
tile ground in Roman
civilization.
was

In the Schools after the year 150 B. c. there appear
many
notable not because they contrib
notable names
uted to the theoretic advance
of philosophy, but for
"

some

reason.

other

In the Stoic School

were

Panaetius,

Posidonius, and Boethus ; and later Seneca, Epictetus,
Aurelius. Among
the Academicians
are
and Marcus
Philo of Larissa and Antiochus ; among
the Peripatet
ics of the same
the
; and among
century is Andronicus
eclectic Platonists Plutarch is especially to be named ;
all eclectics. The only one
we
shall have time for
eclectics whom
these

in this group

were

ation of is Cicero.
M. Tullius Cicero

(106-43

B.

a

of

passing examin

c.) listened

to

Greek

Rhodes.
philosophy in all the Schools in Athens and
He read a good deal of Greek literature, so that he had
He did
much
philosophical material at his command.
discretion in his selection of his mate
show much
rial, but he displayed a good deal of tact in using what
the Roman
people would receive. The Greek mind spoke
Cicero's voice almost as though
to the Roman
through
not

the

Roman
that

mitted
sophy

was

for himself. It must be ad
speaking
Cicero's acquaintance
with Greek
philo
the whole superficial, yet he was
able to

were

on

express certain aspects of Greek philosophy with clearLatin readers and for many
for contemporary
ness
gen
them. He
erations succeeding
prided himself in his

ability to discuss both sides of a question without him
after the manner
self arriving at a decision
of the
Middle
Academy,
of which he inscribed himself as a
"

member.

sion.

His

books

appeared

in rather rapid

succes

OF

HISTORY

272

Cicero does
philosopher

so

as
of thought
to the Koman

not

PHILOSOPHY

therefore

owe

his prominence
as
profound independence

a

to his own
much
to his skill in translating Greek thought
is an eclecticism
people. His metaphysics

skepticism. In view of the existing
philosophical warfare, he despaired of metaphysical or
Yet upon ethical and re
absolutely complete knowledge.
that is at bottom

a

ligious questions he spoke in no undecided
in these realms he felt that we have more

for

manner,

than

merely

unable to refute Skep
probable evidence. Since he was
ticism in a scientificway, he took refuge in the im
in all matters
that
certainty of consciousness
pertain to morals and religion. There are certain ideas
been
These have not so much
to all men.
common

mediate

taught

They

by nature
as
convictions implanted

to all
are

mon

human

and

they

men

consciousness
are

confirmed

they
in

are

us

from which
by universal

;

in all.

inborn
there is

they

are

a

com

derived,

opinion. Ethical
immediate
rests on

religious consciousness thus
has the innate ideas of duty, immortal
certainty. Man
ity, and God. Our belief in God's existence is sup

and

for Providence and
ported by the teleological argument
The high dignity of man
divine government.
rests upon
immortality.
this innate conviction of freedom
and

Cicero shows his eclecticism by moderating
the Stoic
doctrine of virtue : virtue in itself is vita beata, but vir
tue

plus

happiness

is vita beatissima.

Unoriginal

and
be, it is

Cicero's philosophical position may
history.
of great importance to the student of Roman

eclectic

as

XIII

CHAPTER
THE

(100 B. C.-476

PERIOD

RELIGIOUS

A.

D.)

of the Rise of Religious Feeling.
for the turn of the time from
There were
two causes
its interest in individual practical ethics to religion.

The

The

Two

first was

Causes

an

inner

the nature
of the
Schools. The rise of the re

cause

within

ethical philosophy of the
ligious and the supernatural

was

the

culmination

of

the undercurrent of skepticism in the validity of reason,
which we found growing rapidly in the Ethical Period.
The more
the Schools grew alike in their teaching, the
their disciples of any cer
they able to assure
The Ethical
insight into virtue and happiness.

less were
tain

Period ended in eclecticism, and this was
the impeach
ment
of the authority of each School. The Schools ex
The fundamental
their dogmatic
amined
assumptions.
inner conviction grew
is self-inconsistent :
able

;

so

inconsistent

stronger that the intellect of man
inconsistent as to be undependso
as

not

to vouchsafe

man

the virtue

As
the Schools had promised.
and happiness
which
Skepticism became
more
strongly intrenched, the im
Man
became
perturbable
self-certainty of the Wise
shaken, the Ethical Period disappeared, and the Reli
born. Belief in the authority of the
gious Period was
supernatural
superseded belief in the authority of the
reason.

the
may be called external, and was
second cause
introduction of many
eastern
religions into the empire.
It has been common
to exaggerate
the vices of the

The

OF

HISTORY

274

PHILOSOPHY

of the first Christian centuries, and to point to
the corruption of the times as the cause
of the great rise

Romans

and other
of religions.* No doubt, in the city of Rome
large cities the populations were
very licentious and
not the case
corrupt. But this was
with the people in
the small

municipalities and
united in peace under

were

the country.
one

The

government.

people
There

travel.
prosperity and widespread
Education prospered. The religion of the Romans, how
de
long since decadent, had become
an
ever,
objectof
rision. All faith in it had been lost,and magicians and
was

great commercial

had

romancers

a

demanded

large

patronage.

The

inner

life of

external spiritual authority to
satisfy it, and, finding it could not be satisfied in the
It was
an
turned to the supersensuous.
realm of sense,
man

some

superstitions, reported miracles, and
In the realm of the reli
the multiplying
of myths.
in flux. Even the Greek
gious emotions everything was
age of universal

the Stoic, the Platonic, the Cynic, and
the neo-Pythagorean
show it in their emphasis
upon
philosophies

"

"

renunciation in practical life. In place of the Grecian
love for earthly existence, a longing for the mysterious
into a feverish desire for strange
was
and
growing

possessed
cults. A great religious movement
the nations of the empire, and into Roman
civilization
new
many
of the first century A. D. there streamed
the Mithra, Magna
the Orient came
religions. From

mysterious

Mater,

Star Worship,

These

mingled

with

Isis and Osiris,and many
the

western

others.

religions, and

their

for the possession of men's
spirits.
hospitable to all religions, and
people were
With
became
a religious battleground.
the in-

rivalry was
The Roman

Rome
*

Read

energetic

Dill, Roman

Society, firstthree chapters.

THE

RELIGIOUS

275

PERIOD

earthly to heavenly things, salvation from trouble seemed to lie in the supernatural.
Thus
the com
The
Need
of Spiritual Authority.
for some
placent Ethical Period gave way to the cry
longer
no
was
authority in morals and science. Man
his
confident that he could attain present happiness or

turned

terest

from

He turned for
strength.
soul's salvation by his own
help both to the religious tradition of the past and to
to him in the present.
the revelation that might come
The authority in either was
; for
practically the same
the past was
only the crystallization of an ever-present
divine spirit. Yet present and past revelations differ in
their credentials : the present revelation is an immedi
ate illumination of the spirit ; the past is presented in
historic records. The Alexandrian school accepted both

of revelation as the highest
for supernatural
The demand

forms

pression

in many

curious

ways.

of knowledge.
ex
authority found

source

It is notorious

that

writings and oral traditions of the
greatly interpolated. The philosophers of the
past were
first century thought
that they themselves
could get a
at

this time

the

doctrines into the
only by inserting their own
heroes of the
writings of Plato, Aristotle, and other
halo of
invented
a
the neo-Pythagoreans
past. Thus
for Pythagoras in order to give their own
sect
wisdom
for authority culminated
its credentials. The demand
to trace the entire civilization of the
in the attempt
hearing

time

Philo
religious source.
the other, found
the Gnostics on
to

and
Hebrew

thought

some

on

the

that

one

side,

Greek

and
history have a common
religious origin. Greek
found in the Oriental writings. The Greek
was

sages were
placed by the side of the Old Testament
heroes. The
canon
of the Christians is full of cross-

HISTORY

276

references

the Old

"

thority to

the

New

OF

PHILOSOPHY

Testament
Testament,

giving historical au
Testament
the New

the support of immediate
giving to the Old Testament
into vogue
came
was
revelation. There
what
called
"
allegorical interpretation," according to which an his
torical document

interpretations
could be given two
(ormore) a literalinterpretation and a spiritual inter
were
supposed to have a body
pretation. The documents
and a soul. The literal interpretation was of the body of
"

and suitable for the people ; the spiritual
liberal interpretation of
interpretation was
the more
the documents

the soul of the document
At the same
time a
peared

as

suitable for philosophers.

and
vast

number
historical revelations. It

of writings
was

necessary

ap
to

separate the true from the false, but this could not be
done by the individual without injuring
the very prin

which revelation was
supposed to rest. Con
was
generally regarded as reve
sequently all knowledge
lation. For example, Plutarch and the Stoics divided
ciple upon

revelation into three classes : poetry, law, and philosophy.
disclaimed open superstitions, he
Plutarch
Although
accepted as true all sorts of miracles and
also examples
prophecies. The later neo-Platonists are
of the great body of those who made no discrimination
nevertheless

what
revelation is true. The Christian church
be said to have been alone in making
a criticism
may
of the records, and in setting up as criteria tradition
and historically accredited authority. As a result of
as

to

its criticism the Christian
upon, and the Old and New
as

alone inspired. The

andrian
no

philosophies,

canon

was

finally decided

Testaments

rivals of the church

were
"

accepted
the Alex

especially neo-Platonism
organization that could decide upon a canon.

"

had

They

THE

RELIGIOUS

PERIOD

277

at a disadvantage, but they felt no
consequently
historical authority or of histori
need of an infallible
to them
was
any immediate
cal criticism. Revelation
were

individual man
of the individual. The
in contact with the Deity has possession of
"vho comes
the divine truth. Although
only few attain the truth,
there is nevertheless
moments,
and these only at rare
is
is fictitious and what
no
what
way of determining

illumination

This difference in the conception
of inspiration
between the neo-Platonists and the Christians is im
true.

important
difference
an
portant to note, for it marks
in the two greatest intellectual movements
of the next
the
thousand years. The
church fixed revelation on

be
of historical authority, and this revelation
came
the source
of the scholasticism of the Middle
free to
left the individual man
Ages ; neo-Platonism
his own
through
per
any source
get revelation from
basis of
sonal contact with the divine, and this was the
basis

the mysticism

of the Middle

Ages.

We have
Rise of the Conception
of Spirituality.
seen
that out of the widespread
cry for spiritual help
for spiritual authority. There is also
came
the demand
in history of
the increased importance
another result,
the spiritual personality. The men
of the past became
heroes, the great men
with
sanctified and surrounded
The

"

myths.
the

Hero

genius

worship, the worship of
worship, ancestor
by Augustus,
of the emperor inaugurated

Disciples began to have un
part of this movement.
in neo-Platonism
conditional trust in their masters, and
in veneration for the leaders
this worship
culminated
in the grand
appears
of the School. This movement
were

est form

in history in the

impression

personality of Jesus Christ.

of the wonderful

HISTORY

278

The

reason.

Nature

PHILOSOPHY

to regard

personality as the reve
Logos. Personality is the cosmic
and history are kinds of general revela

step was
lation of the divine
next

OF

tions, but special revelations require great personalities
Moses, the prophets, the Greek scientists, and es
"

the Messiah, the Son of God.
pecially Jesus who was
The power that these personalities exhibit must
be a
reason,
revelation, and not the working
of the human

for the human

unaided reason
is incapable of gaining

and

deals only with sensations,
divine truth. The reason

needs the divine to illuminate it. The great personali
ties are therefore the repositories of powers that make
Their revelations
different from ordinary men.
them
are

above,

and

sometimes
Thus
reason.

opposed

to, the

conclusions

of ordinary
personalities themselves are
divided by religious dualism, and in them. the human
far apart. Moreover,
the more
and divine are
great
the common
personalities were
apotheosized, the more

depreciated. Then distinction was
was
of humanity
between
first, when
au
made
great personalities. At
thority was
sought everywhere, all great personalities
run

supposed to have divine revelation ; later, when
drawn between
the Christian and other
the lines were
were

beliefs,only the Christian leaders were
considered by the
Christians to be instruments of the divine.

This spiritualizing of historical personalities laid the
before upon the dualism in all
than ever
emphasis more
human
beings. All men
are
ensnared in the world of
sense,
they can
and
attain knowledge
of the higher
the illumination of their higher
only through
Aristotle alone among
the Greeks had had a
natures.
clear conception of spirituality,but he had conceived
world

spiritualityas

applied solely to God.

He

had

not

con-

THE

ceived God
reason

and

to be

what

PERIOD

RELIGIOUS
a

person.

is contrary

279

the Stoic antithesis of
to reason,
and the Platonic

But

had
and the sensuous,
antithesis of the supersensuous
as
the inner personal nature of man
marked off in man
into itself and set over against his sensuous
withdrawn
a
this ethical dualism became
reli
the conception of spiritual per
gious dualism, the more
beings. Its most
to all human
sonality was
extended

nature.

The

more

refined expression

was

in the Christian conception

of

the soul.
The

Academy

The Platonism of the
of Platonism.
had had littleinfluence in the Ethical Period

Revival

and its tradition had been barely kept alive. The Middle
had been skeptical and the New Academy
Academy
eclec
thor
tic. The Religious Period, on the other hand, was
Platonic, and Plato from this time until the
Crusades became
the ruling philosophical power. For
three hundred
years his influence had been nothing;

oughly

for the next twelve hundred he dominated men's
minds,
so far as any philosopher could in religious times. When
Man
the Wise
vanished from philosophy, and the ex
pectation of spiritual blessedness took its place, when
from ethics, first to eclecticism
Skepticism drove men
then to theology, when philosophy passed to mysti
then did Platonism, with its antithesis between
cism
to its own.
Of
the sensible and the supersensible, come
and

"

all the historical philosophies it could best amalgamate
all religions. Platonism (1) absorbed Oriental religions,

(2)

furnished

a

didactic form

for Christianity,(3)

re

created itselfinto the mystic neo-Platonism. The worldin
longing for the supernatural found its best medium
Platonism. When
Man vanished, the mystic
the Wise

priest appeared.

OF

HISTORY

280

PHILOSOPHY

of the Religious Period. Out of the
seething religious times at the beginning of this era,
distinct currents
two
there emerged
that
of thought
The

Divisions

the entire length of the Religious
through
extended
Period, and carried down into the Middle Ages all the
possessed. The two move
culture that the medieval
the religious philosophies of the still
persistent Hellenic civilization,and (2) the new-born
Christian religion, which was
destined to determine the

ments

(1)

were

people. If we scrutinize these two
we
movements
shall find that each has its introductory
stages, and at the point of division
and its development
in each stands a great leader who was
instrumental in

future of the western

bringing about the transition. The great neo-Platonist,
Plotinus (204-269), marks
the division line in the
Hellenic movement
; the Christian, Origen (185-254),
the division line in theological Christianity.
marks

While

these

for various

men

reasons,

we
contemporaries,
shall take,
the year 200 as the date of division

were

of the Christian movement,
and the year
date of division of the Hellenic movement.

250

as

The

the
first

shall call its Introductory
Period.
Period, and the second its Development
During their Introductory Periods the two movements
stage of each movement

tried to draw

we

together under

the influence of the philo
colors this time. In their

sophical eclecticism which
Development
Periods the two

movements

draw

apart,
historicalde

closed and mutually repellent. The
from beginning to end
velopments of the two movements
are
very different. The tide of Hellenism floods with

become

Plotinus, its greatest representative, and after him there
is a gradual ebb. On the other hand, Christianity shows
a continuous
growth, both internally and externally, and

THE

the mighty
tine. Both

RELIGIOUS

PERIOD

281

only points to the mightier Augus
finally merge
in Augustine.
movements

Origen

Hellenic

Religious Phi

II. Christianity.

losophy.

Period

1. Introductory

(100 B. C.-250A.D.).
(1) Greek-Jewish phi
of Alex

losophy

andria.
Philo (25

50

A.

B.

Period

(31 A. D. -200 A. D.).
(1) Period of simple
faith (until the 2d
century

A.

D.).

c.-

D.).

(2) Neo-Pythagoreauism (100 B. c.150

1. Introductory

A.

(2)

Period of Earlier
Formulation
of
Doctrine.

D.).

Apologists

(2d

century).
Gnostics

(2d cen

tury).
Old Catholic The
ologians
3d

(2d

and

centuries).

2. Development

Period

(250-476).
Neo-Platon ism

.

2. Development

Period

(200-476).
(1) Period of

Actual

(204-269).
Jamblichus
(d. 330

Formulation

about).

The

Plotinus

Proclus

of

Doctrine.

School

Catechists.

(410-485).
(2)

gen
The

of
Ori

(185-254).
CEcumenical

Councils and the
establishment

dosmuL

of

OF

HISTORY

282

PHILOSOPHY

Alexandria

Hellenic Religious Philosophies.

The

and
of Hellen

character

the intellectual centre
position and history of the city, as well as the
favorable for the
most
of its population, were

mingling

of religions and

Athens

not

ism. The

"

was

of Greek
was

work

In

the "uni

metropolis

the treas

philosophies.

of this great commercial

versity
ures

now

were

concentrated and scholastic
pursued. Here all philosophies

culture

vigorously

tolerated. Ex

met,

and all religions and cults were
hausted Greek philosophy here came

in contact

with
dis

those fresh Oriental ideas which previously, at a
tance, had excited the imagination
of the Greeks
something

The

mysterious.

philosophy,

theosophy,

"

result

was

comparative

a

new

phase

as

of

religion,or eclec

ticism of philosophy and religion.
In no instance were
the authors of these religious
a
philosophies Greeks. The philosophy of Philo was
but the Hellenism

Hellenism,

seems

country

except

losophy

Greek-Jewish

the

in the Pythagorean

Introductory

The

Neo-Pythago-

philosophy

ac

with Oriental life, neo-Pythagoreanism
life. Both go back to the principles that

fundamental

were

Jew.

representatives from every
the motherland
of Greece. The author
born in Egypt. Of the two intro
was

of neo-Platonism
ductory movements,

corded more
with Greek

a

had

to have

reanism

of

(100

B.

Period
A.

C.-250

mysteries.

of Hellenic Religious Phi
D.). The Turning to the

Past for Spiritual Authority.
I.

The

Greek-

lived in great
them

Old

of Philo. The Jews
in Alexandria, and many
of
influential. In Alexandria
the

Jewish Philosophy
numbers

were

wealthy and
Testament
had been

through

it the Greeks

translated into Greek,

had become

acquainted

and

with the

283

PERIOD

RELIGIOUS

THE

conthe Old Testament
religion of the Jews. While
tained the philosophy of the Jews, these Alexandrian
Jews had learned in Alexandria to admire greatly the

of the Greeks.

philosophy
that they

soon

their Law

conceived
in Plato. They

Testament

was

losophy

since the Old
their revelation, all the best Greek phi
The Alexan
be in the Old Testament.

must

drian

Jews

found

them
as

peared

So great was their admiration
Plato to be in their Law and

used
;

as

160

B.

that

conceptions

this tendency

and

early

Greek

argued

c.

wherever

they

toward

eclecticism ap
in Aristobulus and Aris-

used Greek philosophy
the
in interpreting the Old Testament
and employed
"allegorical method
of interpretation." This eclectic
brought to completion by Philo (25 B. c.
tendency was
teas.

At

that

A.

time

D.),who
-50
this time. Philo
such

rules

possible
thought;

as

these Jews

the most
of
notable philosopher
was
guided in his eclecticism by some
these:
(1) Revelation is the highest
was

and includes
Greek philosophy

authority

(2)

of Greek
is derived from the
the

best

principles of the Old Testament ; (3)
Jewish revelation is expressed in symbols, while Greek
philosophy is expressed in concepts.

fundamental

form,
contains, in unsymmetrical
be found
both Stoicism and Platonism, and in it can
Christian soil. His
the seeds of all that grew
up m
bridge from the philosophy of Juda
a
philosophy was

Philo's teaching

ism to Christian theology.

philosophy.
God is the ultimate
transcendent that He

It has been called

a

"

buffer

"

of the world, but He is so
be described only in negative
can
in
This method
terms.
got the name
of defining God
later times of " negative theology." It was the common
cause

284

HISTORY

OF

PHILOSOPHY

in these Alexandrian
days.
method
inconceivable
and inexpressible to

He

is

Him,

From

I

"

God
man

is absolutely
; to Himself

The

goodness of God impelled
and His power enabled Him, to create the world.
this point of view Philo is a monist. But in man

reason

am

and

sense-body
Philo is a
transcendent
ter, and

through

so

am."

who

Man's

soul is from God, but his
is from matter,
and from this point of view
dualist. Matter
is outside God. God
is so
sense

meet.

that He

He

cannot

or

in contact

with mat

the world

and rules the world
"potencies." These "potencies"

created

mediators

come

"
Ideas of Plato, the " reasons
of
Stoics,
the
the numbers
of the Pythagoreans, the angels
or the demons
of the Old Testament,
of popular myth
ology. The sum-total of God's activity in the world was

are

the

same

as

the

called by Philo the Logos. Philo speaks of the Logos
in two ways : sometimes
as
the plural number
of teleas
the unity of
ological forces in the world ; sometimes
"
these forces,
the first begotten of God," " the second
God," " the son of God." The Logos represents the first
to overcome
between
the dualism
attempt
matter
and
God. The Logos is the high priest standing between
God and the world. It is the everlasting revelation of
God's presence. Philo's world is made by God and not

by others, and is the expression of God's thought in
infinite forms and forces. God is not defiled by
coming
into contact with matter.
God gives orders, the Logos
obeys. Philo believed in transmigration
of souls, and
to him

important

is, How
the spirit
problem
become like God. The answer
is (1) by the acquire
can
ment
of the Stoic apathy, (2) by possessing the Aris
totelian dianoetic virtues, (3) by complete absorption

in God.

the most

2.

of Pythagodoctrine from
varied. Its body of
The
onlj
continually changing.
its
to its entire history was
The

Neo-Pythagoreanism.
is extremely

reanism
epoch

to

epoch

285

PERIOD

RELIGIOUS

THE

was

characteristic common
practical tendency toward
Let
with the Mysteries.
to the
down
goreanism

us

history

asceticism and its affiliation
Pythareview the history of

time

of neo-Pythagoreanism.
Crotona, the early band

the battle of
dispersed, and about
was
of Pythagoreans
died. His scattered followers
Pythagoras

In 510

B.

c., at

504

B.

c.

formed

a

Thebes around the philosophy of num
school centring at
bers, and this school lasted until 350 B. C. In 350 B. C.
longer existed as a school, for its
Pythagoreanism
no
formed one
or
had either joined
the Academy
members
In 100 B. C. Pythagoreanism
again
of the Mysteries.
and
of neo-Pythagoreanism,
under the name
emerged
in the introductory
this is the body which we
meet
its
Alexandria
was
of the Religious Period.
centre, but it drew its disciples from every part of the
them Apollonius alone rises as a distinct
earth. Among
for he traveled every
figure. He was
widely known,
stage

Other
religious teacher and wonder-worker.
P. Nigidius Figulus, a friend
were
neo-Pythagoreans
friend of the Sextians, Moderatus
of Cicero, Sotion, a
Nicomachus
of Gerasa and
of Gades, and in later times

where

as

Numenius

a

of Apamea.

Another,

and

rather

numerous

should be men
allied to the neo-Pythagoreans,
the so-called Eclectic Platontioned here. These were
Plutarch (50"125
were
ists,the representatives of whom
A.
of
and Celsus (about 200 A. D.),the opponent
group,

D.),

Christianity. The

only

important

difference between

the neo-Pythagoreans
and the Eclectic Platonists was
that the former referred to Pythagoras as their religious

OF

HISTORY

286

model,

PHILOSOPHY

the latter to Plato.

and

Both

were

mystical,

ascetic, and

eclectic.
Neo-Pythagoreanism

first century

B.

c.,

first became

on

of writings appearing
and Philolaus. About

noticeable in the
account
of the great number
under the names
of Pythagoras
these

there

arose

a

large

neo-

literature,

Pythagorean

about ninety treatises by fifty
authors. The writings under the name
of Pythagoras
for many
were,
centuries, the cause
of the misconcep
tion of the true teaching of the original Pythagoras.
"

The advent of the neo-Pythagorean
literature marks the
to the older systems of thought,
at Alexandria
return
and is coincident with the learned literary investigations
of Alexandria. The particular revival
in the form of neo-Pythagoreanism
of Pythagoreanism
came
time with the renewal of the Homeric
at the same

in the University

form

of poetry.
Neo-Pythagoreanism,

as

its history shows, is the phi

half-religious sect with ascetic tendencies.
better suited to a
Its transcendental
philosophy was

losophy

of

a

and ruled by
under an autocratic government,
Oriental traditions, than was the ethical teaching of the
four Schools. The system of the ethical Schools arose
people

of the needs of the individual ; but at this time the
for an absolute
cry was
objectwhich transcends both
for a god
The demand
was
the individual and nature.
out

sacrifice, but by silent
prayer, wisdom,
points of
and virtue. There are many
similarity between the doctrine of Philo and neo-Pytha
The
were
goreanism.
monotheistic,
neo-Pythagoreans
who

could

but at the

be

same

served

time

not

by

they accepted within their mono
of the gods. They held to the com

theism

the hierarchy

monly

accepted doctrines of their time, viz., the trans-

THE

PERIOD

RELIGIOUS

281

of the soul, the dualism of the mind and
migration
body, the mediation of a graded series of celestial beings
in a
They
interpreted God
between
man
and God.
ideas in God's
spiritual way, but they conceived the
to be the Pythagorean
justas Philo
numbers
mind
Testament
angels.
conceived them to be the Old
Religious
Period
Development
The
of Hellenic
"

Philosophy
Present

(250-476

A.

D.).

for Spiritual Authority.

The

Turning

Platonism

to

and

the

Neo-

final statement
of
Hellenic culture, and the question may be asked, In what
is, It sets
form did it present Hellenism ? The answer
Platonism.

is the

Neo-Platonism

forth the Hellenic

The contribu
mysticism.
the destruction of the classic Greek

feeling

as

tion of Plotinus was
ideal with itsdefiniteness of form, and was the substitu
ideal of soaring spiritual exaltation. One
tion of a new

has only to look back to the art, science, and philosophy
how far this last sur
of the Periclean Age to appreciate
had drifted from its original
vival of Greek culture
Nevertheless, neo-Platonism is not so very far
moorings.
distant from that powerful ascetic principle in the Greek
mysteries which is one
himself. Neo-Platonism

aspect of the doctrine of Plato
Platonism exaggerated on
was

this mystic and ascetic side. Plotinus said that he was
that he had a body; that the soul looks on and
ashamed
body ; that it is not enough
weeps at the sinfulness of the
be ex
to regulate the body, but that the body
must
terminated.

As

is speaking

in

down

the voice of Hellenism,
an

age

when

neo-Platonism
consciousness is weighed

of the enormity of evil and the
feels that the moral
need of salvation. Neo-Platonism
conflict in the human
soul is repeated in the universe;
that the eternal struggle between matter and spiritgoes
with the

sense

on

OF

HISTORY

288

in the

PHILOSOPHY

Plotinus
well as the microcosm.
Greek conception of the personifica
as

macrocosm

held to the ancient

tion of the powers of nature, of the derivation of happi
from activity, of the supremacy
ness
of the intellectover
the other faculties. But in accepting the ancient Greek
doctrine of the subordination of man
to the universe, he
man

conceived

to be absorbed

Neo-Platonism

and
Neo-Platonism,

the Two

by the universe.
Introductory

Philoso

therefore, shares in the mysti
cism of the philosophies of Philo and the neo-PythagoAll three teach the transcendence
reans.
of God ; all

phies.

three

were

monistic and ethically dualthe existence of intermediaries

metaphysically

istic; all three conceive
between God and man.

The

introductory

philosophies

to build

eclectic doctrines, while neo-Platonism
eclectic only in its last phases. Plotinus con

sought
became

a

positive and original philosophy, and among
the three systems the teaching of Plotinus is carefully
out. Indeed, Plotinus is by far the greatest
worked
structed

of this religious period. In the philosophy of
Plotinus the relations between man
and God are given
a
more
aesthetic character, and the doctrine of imme

thinker

diate experience is more
carefully discussed
greater importance than in neo-Pythagoreanism
teaching of Philo.
Neo-Platonism

Christianity have

and

has

and the

Neo-Platonism and
and Christianity.
They
one
thing at least in common.

how to spiritualize the uni
problem,
This was
that both Plotinus and
the problem
verse.
Origen attempted to work out. With the development

have

the

of the

same

"

of spiritual personality and the
need of a revelation, the Divine seemed to both to be
farther away.
God is unknown
correspondingly
and
consciousness

THE

incomprehensible,

RELIGIOUS

and

so

pure

PERIOD

that He

289

cannot

come

in

with earthly existence. What, then, is the bond
between the heavenly and the earthly ? From
the point
of view of cosmology and of ethics, neither succeeded in
contact

overcoming

the dualism.

The

sensuous

was

regarded

as

alien to God, and as a thing from which the spirit must
free itself. Metaphysically
a
their efforts to construct
were
more
spiritual monism
successful, but their efforts
along different lines. The Christian conceived the
to be bound
together by
universe of God and matter
were

the principle of love ; the neo-Platonist, by a series of
countless grades of beings in diminishing
perfections
from the All-perfect. Then again, to the neo-Platonist
to God
a
was
ques
of the return
of man
tion of the personal inner experience of the individual;
it was
included in the
to the Christian theologian

the question

larger problem of the historical process by which the
is redeemed.
Thus the metaphysical
race
whole human
solution of each works out differently and with different
factors.

neo-Platonic and Christian theology tried to
prove that their respective religious convictions were
the only true source
of salvation. Both originated in the
Alexandrian
School. Christian theology was
preceded
Both

the fantastic system
of the Gnostics, as Plotinus
was
and Philo. In their
preceded by the Pythagoreans
development
the differences between
the two appear.
by a church organization
Christianity was
supported

by

which

had

an

internal vitality and

a

regulative power ;
supported and regulated by individ
neo-Platonism was
had assimilated every
uals, without organization, who
founded on a faith that
faith. Christian theology was

had already expanded,

while neo-Platonism

was

at the

PHILOSOPHY

OF

HISTORY

290

erudite religion that tried to develop an
extended faith and, incidentally, later to assimilate other
cults. Outwardly
neo-Platonism, as the final stand of

beginning

an

itself from destruction, was
world to save
unsuccessful in that it failed to perpetuate itselfas an
Not
success.
organization. Really it achieved a marked
the pagan

long life of two hundred
and fifty
years, but it also lived in the development
of its antag
onist, Christianity. For neo-Platonism, by the irony of
fate, was
one
of the important factors that entered into

did it live

only

a

of Christianity. In
up and strengthening
its lingering death-struggle Hellenism was
creating the
that the Christian, Augustine, later em
conceptions

the building

ployed
Ages.

Christian theology

in shaping

of Neo-Platonism.
Alexandrian
School

The

Periods

(1)

The

Neo-Platonism

(2)

,

(3)

The

leader

The

Syrian School

The

Attempt

The

leader

The

Athenian

The

Recapitulation

The

leader

Neo-Platonism.

was

(204-269

A.

about 240.
a ScientificTheory.

(204-269).

about 310.
to Systematize all Polytheisms.
Jamblichus
(d.about 330).

was

"

School

about

"

450.

of Greek Philosophy.
Proclus (410-485).

was

The

as

presented
Plotinus

The

Alexandrian

"

for the Middle

School.
Life

D.). Plotinus

The

and
was

Scientific Theory

of
Writings
of Plotinus
born in Lycopolis in

Egypt,

and received his education in Alexandria, under
Ammonius
Saccas, who was Origen's teacher. He cam
Gordian, against the Per
paigned with the emperor,
sians, in order to pursue

He

was

scientificstudies in the East.
especially interested in the Persian religion. In

THE

PERIOD

RELIGIOUS

291

acquainted at first hand with
the mysticism
at
of the Orient. In 244 he appeared
Rome
as a teacher, and
was
received with great eclat by

Plotinus became

this way

the people,
most

and

reverent

highest

in the

recognition.

His

circles he

gained

the

school contained repre
from almost every call

sentatives from all nations and
ing,
physicians, rhetoricians, poets, senators, an em
Plotinus lived in a country estate
peror and empress.
in Campania, and he almost succeeded in inducing the
"

It

found

to

emperor

a

in Campania.

city of philosophers

called Platonopolis and, with Plato's BeHellenic cloister for
it was
to be an
a model,
The literary activity of Plo
contemplation.

to be

was

public

as

religious
tinus occurred

in his old age, and he wrote nothing until
fifty. His works
consisted of fifty-four
after he was
into
Corpuscles which his pupil, Porphyry,
combined
For the next three hundred
years his
six Enneads.
Hellenic movement
school became the centre of the
"

the centre

of science, philosophy,

literature of neo-Platonism
of the many

commentaries

was
on

and

literature. The

enormous,

on

the philosophy

within the neo-Platonic circle.
The General Character of the Teaching

account

of Plato

of Plotinus.
the value of

great division of opinion about
the teaching of Plotinus, for he drew his philosophy
only in the broadest outlines, and he made no attempt

There

is

a

advance from a general view of the world to exact
knowledge of it. Intellectually his philosophy is an ab
straction ; and yet emotionally, in an intimate way, it
to

touched

deeply

can

how

see

small, but how
was

an

the actual
at the

very great. It

one
culture. Thus
of Plotinus was
achievement
time its force and influence

age weary

was

same

a

with

religious teaching which

rose

HISTORY

292

OF

PHILOSOPHY

heights of contemplation from miserable
Nevertheless, the philosophy
intellectual surroundings.
form of intellectualism
an
extreme
of Plotinus was
to magnificent

"

intellectual ennobling and transforming
of
had
the
earlier philosophy
religion. The
supported
happiness of the individual by offers of infinitude ; but

it

an

was

Plotinus

isolated
of the individual as never
from the Infinite,but as always longing for the Infinite.
Fellowship with God is knowledge
of Him, but it is
thought

knowledge

peculiar kind. It is enthusiasm, intui
tion, ecstasy. There is a chasm between man
and God,
Plotinus would bridge by placing reality so
which
deeply within consciousness as to annihilate all anti
of

a

this deep reality be
contradictions. Thus
low consciousness is cosmic and not human
the
;
.and
and not anthroporeligion of Plotinus is cosmocentric
Greek cul
centric. Plotinus intensifies and summarizes
ture in order to consolidate and defend it. But in thus
theses

and

thinking

out

the

Greek

conceptions

to

their logical

those conceptions collapse.
Mystic God. There are two characteristics that

completeness,
The

distinguish the mystic God of Plotinus,
1. The first characteristic is the supra-consciousness
of God.

God

indefinable, original Being who is
is swpnz-everything,
even
above
all antitheses. He
Nothing can be attributed to Him, not
supra-conscious.
will, for these imply two elements and
be in
must
unity. Any description of Him
terms
("negativetheology").If we speak of

even

thought

God

is

a

is the

or

negative
Him
as
the One, the
ness,

or

as

Light,

we

First, the Cosmic
are

Cause, Good

only relatively and not really
describing Him.
God is present in all, yet He is not
divided ; He is the source
of all,and yet He himself is

THE

PERIOD

RELIGIOUS

293

In his conception of God as compared
perfectly finished.
to the world, Plotinus added the realm of the supra-con
scious and the sub-conscious to the conscious.
2. In the second place Plotinus conceived God in His
dynamic
panthe
relation to the world in the terms of
ism. This is a pantheism
of a peculiar type. God does
not create the world ; the world

is not the act of His will ;

is the world the result of a transference of part of
In ordinary pantheism
His nature.
the world is a diffu
and the whole is static.
sion of the substance of God
nor

of Plotinus ! God permeates the
is dynamic through
world by His activity, and the world
activity of God must
and through. But this dynamic
historical or time process. The
an
not be conceived as
or worth.
essence
process is timeless. It is a process
Not

so

in the teaching

of

The

grades
value. All

in the process

are

those of

or
significance

within the all-embracing
particular draws its life from

and each

are

called the theory

unity of God
Him.
This is

Plotinus used
emanations.
in this
have always employed

of

figure which

the

con
mystics
the figure of the sun and its rays of light in
nection,
less and less intense
the darkness. The rays become
"

with the

increasing distance

from

the Godhead,

they end in darkness. The process is an
in which the Godhead
from the Godhead

until

overflowing
remains

un

changed.

of Plotinus. Starting with this
dynamic
a
as
coiitentless
conception
of the Godhead
Being, Plotinus is bound to explain the world of senseThe

Two

phenomena.
the sequence

Problems

His problem
of phenomena

is twofold

:

he

must

from the Godhead,

explain
which is

the metaphysical problem ; he must explain how man,
ing in the world of sense,
can
rise to communion

liv

with

294

HISTORY

the Godhead,

which is the ethical problem. Metaphysics
to Plotinus in inverted parallelism.

and ethics are
The
World
Problem
construct

two

PHILOSOPHY

The
Metaphysical
of Emanations.
of Plotinus. The aim of Plotinus in this is to
a
out of the dualistic
metaphysical
monism
"

had

factors which
The

OF

so

fundamental

long been present in Greek

thought.

principles upon which he raised
his dynamic series of emanations,

his structure were
(1)
and (2) his conception of matter
The highest Being, God, by an

as

entirely negative.

excess

or

of energy

the natural impulse to create something
similar to himself. This creative impulse exists in each
in turn and the movement
itself.
creature
propagates

goodness,

has

Stage is added

to stage in

a

impulse dies out in non-Being

descending
as

series,until the
the limit. The ordinary

is transformed
pantheism
of co-existence of phenomena
into a succession of stages of values, and all make up a
less distinct copies of God. There
harmony
or
of more
are
three steps in which the process of emanation
pro
spirit, soul, and matter.
from the
Spirit or Nous is the first emanation
One in point of significance. It is the image of the One
in
sent forth by its overflow of energy. This image
its original, the One, and in
voluntarily turns toward

ceeds,
The

"

beholding

it becomes

Spirit, Nous,

or

intellectual

con

sciousness. It turns to the One and recognizes itself as
the image of the One. Thus, in the first degree away
from God, the duality of thinker as
and of the
subject,
thing thought as
appears. The unconsciousness

object,

of the One
the dual nature

is thus

contrasted with consciousness, and
of consciousness is thus brought out ; and
for the first time an exact formulation of the psychologi
cal conception of consciousness is given.

THE

Nous

The

is

RELIGIOUS

PERIOD

295

unitary function of the One, like the
Logos of Philo. At the same
time the Nous
contains
the Platonic Ideas or archwithin itself,as content,
types of individuals. These Ideas are not mere
thoughts,

but have their

a

existence. The Nous is their unity,
however, justas a unity exists for the theorems
of a
science. These Ideas are pure intellectual potencies and
the final causes
of the world of nature.
own

The Soul is the second degree removed
It stands in the
to the Godhead.

from the One.

relation to the Nous as the Nous
The Soul belongs to the world of
light, but it stands juston the boundaries of the world
same

of darkness. It is the image of an image and therefore
it consists of a higher or world-soul and
doubly dual,
the lesser souls. The world-soul is divided into two
"

forces,

the formative

of the world, and the body
of the world. Individual souls are divided into the super
sensible or intellectual soul (thepart that has pre-exist"

power

and undergoes
metamorphosis),and the sensible
instrument
part which has built up the body as an
of
The
its working
power.
soul is present in all parts
ence

of its body.

The

individual

souls

are

called plastic

forces.
is the emanation which is most
distant from
is the emanation
the One. The Nous
of the One, the
from the Nous, individual
world-soul is the emanation

Matter

souls

are

a

from the
of intermediate emanation
is the emanation
matter
of the individ

kind

world-soul, and
ual souls. That

is to say, the world-soul, with the forces
that are
native to it, generates matter
and then, by
its forces with matter, produces
uniting itselfthrough
is the character
the world of corporeal things. What

of matter

with which

the world-soul forms this union?

OF

HISTORY

296

PHILOSOPHY

It is space. Space conditions all earthly existence. It
Plato's conception of the absolutely nega
is the same
as
and the merely possible. It is absolute
has
sterility,entirely evil and devoid of good. Matter
tive non-Being

of the One. What is the char
acter of the nature
character
world ? It has the same
and quality as the formative forces that unite with this
dualistic independence

no

it is no more
negative matter
The world of nature to Plotinus
"

not

teleological. He

merely

the union of

a

less eternal.
and no
is one of magic, and
says that the heavens are

perfect soul with matter

;

the stars

are

the

visible gods united with matter ; the powers of the air
between the stars
and sky are daemons, which
mediate
the souls of
is the human

and
man

nature
matter.

found

men,

united with matter

; the

body

of
inorganic

soul united with matter;
is the lowest of the plastic forces united with
Wherever
there is matter
(space),there is

imperfection

and limitation and evil. Man

individual

is sympathetically

a

universe.

as

an

and mysteriously bound
to all parts of the universe. Scientific investigation of
is entirely ruled out by this neo-Platonic teach
nature
ing. It never
for penetrating
could be the instrument
magical

place

of

science, and

Faith

and

prophecy

take

the

undertakes

to

superstition

alone

solve nature's riddle.
The world of nature is thus broken in two. In
it is bad, ugly, and irrational. In another sense
sense
is good, beautiful, and rational, because it is formed

one

it

by

into it. In opposition to the Gnos
tics Plotinus praised the harmony
and beauty of the
his metaphysics of the beautiful
world, and promulgated
the souls that enter

last farewell of Hellenic civilization. Beauty is not
composite, but the simple Idea of worth shining through
as

a

THE

PERIOD

RELIGIOUS

297

Beauty is from the inner and for
the world of sense.
but expresses
the inner. Art does not imitate nature,
the defects of nature and
the reason
; it supplements
Yet the world of nature is beau
something new.
tiful, because down to the lowest deeps it is permeated

creates

by the divine.
The Ethical Prob
of the Soul to God.
lem of Plotinus. In his discussion of moral
conduct
Plotinus started from the point opposite to that of his
The

Return

metaphysics.

"

He

looked from

up the series which
immersed
in matter

descended

the point of view of man
Men
from the Godhead.

nevertheless a share in the di
vine life,and their goal is independence
of the world.
They must
Man's ethical
free themselves from sense.
is to separate

have

worlds and to turn away
from the material, not only in its abnormalities but in
every way. The
practical virtues have little value in
such a sublimation of the soul, for these only bind the

task

the two

The political
of matter.
virtues are only a preparation by which the soul learns
The intellectual virtues are
how to be free from sense.

soul

closely to the world

more

necessary,

knowledge

but the goal of salvation is not reached by
alone. "The
wizard king builds his tower

till he
workmen
of speculation by the hands of human
his genii
reaches the top story, and then he summons
to fashion the battlements of adamant
them
and crown
with starry fire." Out

condition of con
of the mental
templation the soul will rise on the wings of ecstasy to
The call of Plotinus is to
it came.
the God from whom
the

ascetic life. The

spirituality. Ethically
because it requires the
return

is not

an

required is that of
Plotinus' doctrine is dualistic,

development

of
rejection

evolution

nor

an

evil. The
innovation in which
matter

as

OF

HISTORY

298

PHILOSOPHY

There is no indi"
of the old world is demanded.
vidual progress, but a penetration into the foundation
to undertake
of things. But what incentive has man
him from his sleep ? Not
arouses
this return ? What
reform

nor
reflection, but his love for the
3ense-perception
beautiful. The innate impulse of Platonic love turns
from matter
to the illuminating Idea,
the soul away

lie who has an immediate recognition of the pure
is gaining the higher perfection. Only when man
an
ecstasy which transcends every
ecstasy

and union with God.
he forgets himself
of consecration
This final step never
comes
unless

does he get complete contact

"

In such a moment
God.
and becomes

God

is in

subjective

"

state

Idea

himself
.

that it can

see

illuminates the soul by
God. This final state

special light so
comes
only to few
a

souls, and to those but seldom.
The
Systematizing
The Syrian School.

of Poly

"

theisms.

Jamblichus. This school existed about

"

a

after the death of Plotinus. Its founder was
Jamblichus
(d. about 330), whose teacher was Por
generation

phyry, the pupil of Plotinus. Jamblichus
got his instruction from Porphyry
who

was

a

Syrian,

at Rome,

and
then went back to his native country to set up for him
became
rever
self a school of neo-Platonism. He soon
as
teacher, religious reformer, and worker
enced
of
miracles.

and
and

He

wrote

commentaries

Plato, Aristotle,

on

theological works of the Orphics, Chaldeans,
Among
the Pythagoreans.
the crowd of his enthu
the

notes
siastic disciples, one
Julian and Hypatia.*

the

names

of the Emperor

contained no new
neo-Platonism
of Jamblichus
and ethically his teachpoint of view. Metaphysically
The

*

Read

Charles Kingsley, Hypatia,

a

novel.

THE

PERIOD

RELIGIOUS

299

tried to
of Plotinus. He
by coordinating all
the religious movement
complete
an
cults, excepting Christianity, into a unity. This was
ing

identical with

was

that

Jamblichus
came
eclecticism by which
naturally, for
here
Syria was
a land where
eclecticism thrived. It was
that Gnosticism

hand

its stronghold. With free eclectic
filled in all the intermediary grades

had

Jamblichus

the Godhead

between

and man
with the multitude
of
gods of all religions. In his system he placed 10 supraterrestrial gods, 365 celestial beings, 72 orders of subcelestial beings, and 42 orders of natural gods. To find
places for them all, he had to increase the number
of
intermediaries ; and to systematize this complex
poly
His
the Pythagorean
theism, he employed
numbers.
theory

shows

how

persistent

the

was

Hellenic

civiliza

tion.
The

The
we

Athenian

School.

Recapitulation.

"

Proclus.

"

Syrian school failed to restore the old religions, and
find neo-Platonism, after revivals here and there,

again

The

at Athens.

of Greek

sanctuary

city that had

culture

was

been

the original

the last stronghold

of

Hellenism.
The

Athenian

school made

its appearance

about 410,
Plutarch, Syrianus,

its leading representatives were
and Proclus. Proclus (410-485),the pupil of Syrianus,
was
the most important representative of the Athenian

and

school, and he may be said to have uttered the last word
Born at Constantinople, of a Lyof dying Hellenism.
cian family, he received his education at Alexandria ;
and

when

received

he became

leader of the school at Athens, he
the extravagant worship of his pupils. Con

nected with
mentators,

the Athenian
Philoponus

school

were

the

great

and Simplicius, whose

com

works

on

OF

HISTORY

300

Aristotle became

PHILOSOPHY

of great value

to later times. Theii

stand out sharply against the im
aginative speculations of their age. In connection with
this school Boethius
not be overlooked. He was
must
erudite compilations

neo-Platonist who called himself a Christian, and he
figure in the history of education.
important
an
was
a

His translations and expositions of Aristotle's logic and
were
very influential in the
of the Isagoge of Porphyry
Middle Ages.
Proclus

a

was

theologian like Jamblichus,

that he tried to put theology upon a
By means
of the dialectic he sought

excepting
philosophical basis.
to systematize

the

entire philosophical thought of the Greeks. His insati
by wonderful
accompanied
able desire for faith was
dialectical ability, with the result that his teaching was

He
united with mythology.
carried out his dialectical plans to the minutest detail.
from both bar
He drew the materials of his system

an

intricate formalism

barians and Greeks, and he himself had been initiated
into all the Mysteries. Every superstition of the past
and present influenced him, and in framing a universal
system he did not feel satisfied until every transmitted
the
place in that system. He was
con
systematizer of paganism
and its scholastic. He
problem was that of the One
ceived that the fundamental

doctrine had found

a

and that the One is related to the Many

and the Many,
three stages,

in

permanence,
going-forth, and return. The
manifold effect is similar to the unity of the ori
"

Many

as

a

is the
and yet different from it. Development
striving of the effect to return to the original cause,
and
this strife for a return to God was illustrated by Proclus

ginal

cause

in every realm of life,and he repeated itagain and again
in application to every detail. He conceived that the de*

THE

RELIGIOUS

PERIOD

301

was
continu
of the world from the Godhead
through
this triad system
ally going
of change. His
no
shows
originality other than
philosophy, however,
being an ingenious formal classificationin which every

velopment

polytheism found

a

place.

CHAPTER
PATRIST1CS.-THE

The
the

XIV

HELLENIZING

OF

THE

GOSPEL

Situation of Christianity. The Orient was
of the Gospel, as of the other religions of
The power of Christianity lay in the sponta

Early

source

this time.

force of its pure religious feeling, with which it
entered the lists for the conquest of the world. Chris
tianity was not a philosophy, but a religion. It appealed
neous

different class than did the Alexandrian
schools.
The lower class received it first,and so the questions of
science and philosophy occupied the early Christians
to

a

but little.They
of Hellenism,
theories. The

were

and

the foes
neither the friends nor
interest in political
they took no

Christian society was
a spiritual cosmo
inspired and united by belief in
politanism, which was
God, faith in Christ, and in immediate communion
with
of the Lord
determined the conduct of the early Christians. Indeed,
the dom
that moral reformation and moral conduct were
is proved by
inating aims of the Christian communities

Christ. Conviction of the Second

the following facts

tian life of

that

:

the documents

time

are

Coming

dealing with Chris
wholly moral ; the

almost
for moral and not doc
discipline upon the members
was
Stillthese early Christians had some
trinal reasons.
sim
ple doctrines, which were
seemingly taken for granted;
and

the danger

is, to conceive

the early Christians as
be
too ignorant. They

either (1) too sample or (2)
lieved that there is one
God, that

lations to God, that history has

a

has personal re
dramatic course,
that
man

THE

right

was

wrong,

But

OF

HELLENIZING

THE

GOSPEL

303

God's command
and absolutely different from
that the Last Judgment
would surely come.
Chris
about the middle of the second century

obliged to change its attitude towards both
150 and 250 a great
science and the State. Between
the Christians. The docu
took place among
change
mentary
records are full of doctrinal struggles, so that

tianity

was

left for recording the struggles for moral
purity. Morality became subordinated to belief, and the
intellectual side of Christianity was
at the
emphasized

littleroom

was

Second Coming
of our
of the ethical. The
This doctrine was
less emphasized.
Lord
was
either
its realization was
looked
or
pushed into the background
Furthermore,
the Christian
as
not immediate.
upon
expense

spread over the empire and had come
tive relations both with circles of culture and
sect had

ical affairs. Various
of the Christians are
ing statement
: in 30
A.

D.

500,000,

in 311

into posi

with polit

statistics of the numerical growth
them is the follow
given ; among
A.

D.

A.

D.

500, in 100
they numbered
In the second
30,000,000.

of Christianity could no
century the self
-justification
longer be put upon the basis of the feelings and inner
itself to the world without,
convictions. It must justify
as
well. It was
cultured communicants
fur
by philosophy, and, unless its own
to be thwarted, it found that it must
ther growth were
use
the weapons
of philosophy. Its increase of power
Hellenistic cul
state and
antagonized both the Roman

and to its own
being attacked

ture, and

from

150

to 300

the fight between

ity and the old world of things was
Rome
tianity eventually conquered

Christian

to the death.

Chris

and Hellenism ; but
this would have been impossible if it had maintained
its original attitude of indifference to culture. Its suo

OF

HISTORY

304

PHILOSOPHY

due to the wisdom
that it has since so often
It adapted itself to its new
situation by taking
shown.
its own
the culture of the old world,
over
and making
cess

was

by fighting the old world with that culture. Chris
tianity thereby shaped its own
constitution into such

and

strength that it could obtain possession of the state with
Constantine in 300. From
this impregnable
political
position, it was able to deal with its rivals on an entirely

When

fell in 476, the
old Rome
church did not fall with it,but on the contrary it came
into possession of the city.
But this political success
the result and not the
was
different footing.

of the growth of Christianity. It could never
intrenched a government
Rome,
so
as
conquered

cause

had

have

if it

first been

the more
victorious over
persistent
civilization of Greece. It made itself inherently strong
by Hellenizing itself
strong both for polemical and
not

"

for constructive purposes.

But

it is obvious that little
be expected during this

philosophical originality may
the church fathers began to employ
period. When
lenistic philosophy, they took it on
the whole as
found
mate

it. They
purposes.

Hel
they

it only to suit their own
legiti
Christianity entered the religious con

varied

troversies of the time when

victory would

belong

to the

could use Greek civilizationmost effectively
in defending itself against the hostility of other reli
gions, and in constantly renewing the confidence of its

sect which

devotees.
in the adoption of Hellenistic culture the church
danger to itself. It must
created a new
guard its own
But

by this same
Hel
conceptions lest they be smothered
lenism. It must
keep its fundamental
beliefs in their
integrity. Greek philosophy must be a servant
so con-

THE

OF

HELLENIZING

THE

GOSPEL

305

strained as to bring out only the implicit meaning of
Christian doctrines. Philosophy must
the fundamental
into
them
corrupt these doctrines and transmute
Hellenism. The simple faith of the first century and its
by Hellenic wisdom
be so formulated
doctrines must
that it would be stated for all time. The church needed
a dogmatic
system, a creed that could forestall any fu
not

ture innovations. The

long series of O3cumenical councils
of the church, beginning with the Council of Nica?a in
325, were
united efforts in this direction. After that
first council, dogma
from

became

more

gradually

fixed and,

were
time, this and that group of men
separated from the church as heretical.
Patristics is this philosophical secularizing of the
Gospel which accompanied
the internal and external

time

to

of the church body during the two
centuries after the year 150 A. D.
development

Philosophies

The

influencing

Christian

or

three

Thought.

philosophies most influential upon the de
Stoicism and neovelopment of Christian doctrine were
Platonism. The philosophy of Philo was also influential,

The

Greek

really only a bridge from philosophical Ju
daism to Christian theology. It contained both Stoicism
form, and Philo's
in an unsymmetrical
and Platonism

but it

was

writings

"contain

the seeds of nearly

all that

after

wards grew up on Christian soil." Greek philosophi
felt
cal influence upon the early Christian world was
in two ways : in ethical theory and practice ; in the
l

the fourth century
of theology. During
Stoic ethics of a Cynic type replaced the early Chris
tian ethics. The basis of Christian society was no longer
construction

the ethics of the Sermon
i

Hatch,

on

the Mount,

but rather that

Hibbert Lectures, 1888, p. 182.

PHILOSOPHY

OF

HISTORY

306

by the character of
Ministrorum) by
Officiis

Stoicism. This is shown

of Roman
that book

(De
morals
Bishop of Milan

on

St. Ambrose,

In theology

(340-397).

need to borrow from the
Greeks the conception of the unity of God or that of
the creation of the world by God. But the Greek in
the Christian doctrine had

fluence
these

:

is

in the

seen

mainly

no

doctrines

the questions

on

allied to
subjects
the mode of creation

on

of

and the relation of God to the material world. In the
discussion of these questions the influence of the Stoic

toward

tending

monism,

dualism, and

Platonic dualism, tending toward
of God, Matter, and Form,
which subsequently follow.

The

ing this time

was

Christianitywere

influence of

threefold conception
will appear in the examples
a

of Christianity dur
neo-Platonism, but neo-Platonism and
not, however, long separated. Although

formidable

most

the

opponent

its fate at the hands of scholasticism,
both orthodox
in a thousand
and
ways
heretical Christianity. The rivalry of these two bodies

neo-Platonism
it influenced

met

the ending of the Hellenicin a complete and ori
period of philosophy
ginal theology. This was the theology of St. Augustine,
the end of antiquity and the beginning of
who marks
ended
Roman

"

and

with

it

came

"

Ages.

the Middle

of Early Christianity (30
1. Introductory Period, 30-200.

The

Periods

(1)

Period
century

of
A.

Primitive

D.). With

Faith

A.

D.

-476

A.

D.).

(during the 1st

great simplicity of doc

trine and ceremonies the Christians were
pre
paring through faith and the practice of vir
Lord.
tue for the Second Coming
of our

(2)

Period

of the Earlier Formulation

and

De*

THE

fense

(a)
(6)
(c)

THE

GOSPEL

Christian Doctrine

of
A.

century

The

307

(duringthe 2d

D.).
Apologists

The

(2d century).
Gnostics (2d
century).

The

Old

8d

Catholic

Theologians

(2d

and

centuries).
(200-476).

Period

2. Development

(1)

OF

HELLENIZING

Formulation
of Doo
of Actual
(200-325). The Catechetical School

Period

The
trine

Origen (3d
of Alexandria
century).
Establishment
The
Period of the
of Dogma
"

(2)

(325-modern times)as

seen

Nicaea and
a
on

in the Council of
councils. It was

other ecumenical
period in which church dogma
the basis of doctrine already

was

developed

established.
While the origin and development
of the Christian
itself,only one
aspect
church is an interesting story in
That is
to the history of philosophy.
of it is germane
the formation of the
the influence of Hellenism upon
theology of the church. The origin and development
of

field. Also the
the church organization lies beyond our
the Period
periods before the influence of Hellenism
"

of Primitive

Faith

period after dogma
after the Council

during
had become

the first century,

and

the

well established, the time
in 325
will be omitted

of Nicsea
from our discussion here. Only the period of the Earlier
Formulation and that of the Actual Formulation of Doc
hundred
trine, that is, the one
and seventy-five years
"

of interest to us. This time is known
in history by the name
of the period of Patristics.
The Apologists. Only such Christians as were
trained

(150-325), are

in Greek

philosophy could rally to the first defense of
faith was,
on
the one
the Christian doctrine. The new

HISTORY

SOS

PHILOSOPHY

OF

against the mockery
of Greek
wisdom, and, on the other hand, it was
obliged to take
that it was
a positive stand to show
the fulfillment of
the human
need of salvation. The Apologists tried to

hand,

the defensive

on

Christian teaching

the

make

as

consistent

as

possible

with the results of Greek philosophy and, at the same
time, to read into Greek philosophy Christian meanings.

did not at all intend to Hellenize the Gospel, but
they wanted to make it seem
a
rational one to the cul
tured world. " Christianity is philosophy and revela
tion. This is the thesis of every Apologist from Aris-

They

Felix."

Their very act of defense
was
unintentionally the first step toward the incorpora
tion of Greek philosophy as a part of Christian teach
tides to Minucius

ing. The

most

l

Apologists

important

Justin Mar

were

(100-166), Athenagoras (d.180), and among the
Felix (about 200) and Lactantius
Minucius
Romans
(d. 320). The life of Justin Martyr is characteristic.

tyr

He

born

was

in Sichem,

origin and education.

Samaria, but

was

Greek

in

investigated several sys
to the con
religion, he came

Having

tems

of philosophy and
the only true
clusion that the Christian religion was
philosophy, and he died in defense of it at Rome.

To prove that Christianity is the only true philosophy,
the Apologists asserted that italone guaranteed
correct
knowledge

holiness here

and hereafter. They
because it is a perfect reve
proclaimed its preeminence
lation of God through Jesus Christ. Since man
is im
and true

prisoned in the world of the senses
he can never
be saved except
mons,
revelation. To be saved is to become
can

become
1

ruled by dae
through a perfect
and

rational, and man
rational only by divine aid. Revelation has

Harnack,

Outlines

of the

Hist,

of Dogma,

p. 120.

THE

OF

HELLENIZING

THE

GOSPEL

309

been restricted to Christianity,but God's inspira
The truth in
in all mankind.
tion has been at work
Socrates, Plato, and Pythagoras has not been their own,
divine inspiration, for
from this same
but has sprung
not

is the

unaided reason.
of man's
product
Socrates and Plato got their truth in part from God's
direct revelation to them, in part indirectly from read
ing the works of Moses and the prophets. But revela
tion outside of Christianity has not been complete nor
truth

never

in Jesus
continuous. The first perfect revelation was
Christ, for He is the firstto reveal the divine Logos com

the Logos has become
pletely. He is the first in whom
He is the Son of God because the complete essence
man.
Him.
of the inexpressible Deity is unfolded in
The Apologists thus identified reason
and revelation.

The

Logos

The

Stoic conception

is the

same

in revelation, nature,
of the Logos, which

or

history.

Philo

had

identified
stripped of its materialistic character, was
in
with Christ and revelation. Justin could regard as
in
spired what the Greeks had looked upon as natural
doctrines. Christ is the world-reason, in whom
the divine has been incarnated, and the Apologists had
the enormous
advantage over the neo-Platonists of being
their

own

able to point to Jesus
carnation of God. The

as

historical in

the definite and
Apologists could

summon

the

prevailing Platonic dualism of God and matter to their
aid in showing the need of such a revelation ; for mat
ter is altogether without
reason
and goodness. Thus a
summary

of their doctrine is

as

follows

the world is
of God has al
:

bad and needs a revelation ; the Logos
ways been present in history, but has especially appeared
from
in order to redeem men
in Jesus Christ, the man,
their sin and establish the kingdom

of God.

HISTORY

310

The

Gnostics.

OF

PHILOSOPHY

Gnosticism

is the

applied to a
movement
of hostile reconstruction of Old Testament
tradition instead of a spiritual interpretation of it. It
in the second and third
was
a great syncretic movement
name

centuries, which sought to form a world religion in which
men
should be rated on the basis of what they intellect

The
ually and morally knew.
form the Christian faith in

Gnostics tried to trans
a

large way

into know

ledge that would
show how strong

Christians

was

development
everywhere
centres

other

are

still be Christian ; and their efforts
the philosophical interest among
the
beginning to be. The conditions for the

of such
present

pointed

a

doctrine

Gnosticism

as

in the empire, yet two
out : one
at Alexandria

in Syria. Gnosticism

was

a

most

were

principal
and the

fanciful mix

of Oriental and Occidental cults and mythologies,
fantastic than either neo-Pythagoreanmore
very much
ism or neo-Platonism.
It was
in which
a
philosophy
ture

the essential Christian principles
The
weight of esoteric knowledge.

lost under the
Gnostics themselves

were

steeped in Hellenic culture, and in many localities
formed only bands of Mysteries. They finally lost all
were

sympathy
with the Christians, and were
classed as here
Saturnitics by the church. The leading Gnostics were
nus,

Carpocrates

(about160), and

(about 130), Basilides, Valentinus
Bardesanes (155-225). Only a few

fragments

of their many
writings remain, and about all
that we know of their doctrines is what their opponents
born
say of them. Valentinus, the most
notable, was
born in
at Rome
and died at Cyprus. Bardesanes was

Carpocrates lived at Alexandria and was
Syrian. The
a
contemporary
of Basilides, who was

Mesopotamia.
a

records of their

careers

are

very meagre.

The
They

Gnostics
undertook

were

THE

OF

HELLENIZING

THE

GOSPEL

the first philosophers

Christianity

to make

a

311

of history.1
religion

world

Hellenic culture for Christianity and
conquering
Christianity for Hellenic culture. The only way they
by dislodging Christianity from its
could do this was
by

The
in the Old Testament.
historical anchorage
They
hostility to Judaism.
in open
tics were

Gnos
trans

ethical problem into a cosmological prob
history as the continuation
lem, they regarded human
formed

every

as
the
of natural history, they viewed the Redemption
last act in the cosmic drama. This shows how closely
to that of Philo and Plotinus
related their teaching was
and how consistent with the theoretic spirit of the

time.

Since the salvation of the world by Christ stands

the central point of their philosophy of history, their
to a philosophy
of history amounted
of
philosophy
Christian history.
as

paganism
and Ju
victory of Christianity over
daism was
conceived allegoricallyby the Gnostics as the

The

Redeemer
of these religions. The
was
then conceived to appear at the psychological mo
ment
and to win the victory ; and this appearance
of
is not only the highest point in
Christ as Redeemer

battle of the gods

the development

of the
in the drama

human

race,

but

it is the

de

of the universe. Nature was
by them to be a battle-ground of

nouement

therefore

conceived
between the forces
the gods and the strife to be waged
of good and evil. The good gets the victory by means

conceived in the neo-Pyform of the dualism of matter and spirit,
thagorean
heathen
but was
The
expressed in mythical terms.
of

Christ. The

gods and

battle

was

the god of the Old Testament,
1

Windelband,

Hist,

ofAncient

who

Phil., p. 357.

took the

HISTORY

312

OF

PHILOSOPHY

the powers in the
of the Platonic demiurge, were
had to overcome.
world which the highest God
The dualism of good and evil was
conceived to be
between
as
the same
spirit and matter, and was
elabo
rated in a fashion true to the Alexandrian
school. The

form

space between God
filled in by a whole

ranged
lowest

and

matter

race

was

conceived

of daemons
Pythagorean

and

according to the
far from the
so
was

to

angels,

numbers.

be
ar

The

divine perfectness as to be
in touch with matter, and he is the demiurge
who
between good
formed the world. The battle then was
and evil, light and darkness, until the Logos, the Nous,

Christ, the

most

down

came

perfect of the intermediary
by incarnation released from

beings,

matter
and
the imprisoned
and even
spirits of men
of the fallen
This is,in brief, the Gnostic
angels, like the demiurge.

explanation of history.
This dualism was
quite consistent with contemporary
Stoic. But
Christian ethics, which had then become
this dualism

fundamental

the
consistent with monotheism,
Christian principle. The internal danger

was

not

the fundamentals
of swamping
of
Christianity through Hellenizing them
appears thus

in

Patristics

"

"

an
early Christian found at the beginning
antagonism between his fundamental
monotheistic meta
physics and Greek dualistic ethics.
Reaction
The
Gnosticism.
The
Old
against

early. The

"

Catholic Theologians.
position of the

We

Christians

have
was

seen
one

that the original
of indifference to

both

the em
politics and philosophy ; that then came
ployment
of Hellenism in the defense of the Gospel.

This resulted in the extreme
attempt
of the Gnostics
to transform Christianity into a factor in a cosmic the-

THE

OF

HELLENIZING

THE

GOSPEL

313

osophy. Gnosticism
ligion by force and

Hellenic

and

had tried to capture the new
re
make it subserve the interests of
danger was
Oriental philosophy. This

Gnosticism
averted only after years of controversy.
had to
was
the gravest danger
that the early church
meet, and the Gnostics left their mark upon the church,
re
although they were
expelled ; for the church never
turned to its original simplicity of doctrine. Gnosticism,
however,
an
extreme
produced
reaction, for a time,
by
against the use of philosophy, and was
represented

the"Old

Catholic Theologians,"

Tertullian

"

Iremeus

(140-200),

These theo
and Hippolytus.
logians stood against turning faith into a science and
to the articles of the baptismal
tried to limit dogma

(160-220),

confession interpreted as a rule of faith. Tatian (170)
in Hellenism
saw
the work of the devil. Irenseus con
ceived a unity in the process of creation and redemp

tion,

"

creation
up into

as

a

divine

method
by way

the church
manity
Tertullian went
far as to affirm
so
confirmed by its being in a certain

Credo

of

bringing

hu

of redemption.
that the Gospel is

sense

contradictory
this he means,

By
quid dbsurdum.
not that faith rests in things absurd, but that faith
to make
as
reason
rests in things so far above reason
absurd. This reaction was
against Gnosticism and not
to

reason.

against rationalism, for these

men

used both philosophy

and tradition to support their arguments.
The reaction against a systematic theology failed to
establish itself,for the need of Greek philosophy was
found to be necessary. The result was
that a median
taken
position was
in the formulation
was

by

the help

of

Greek

philosophy
of the church. This

of the dogma
scientificallystated by the Alexandrian

School of

OF

HISTORY

314

PHILOSOPHY

Clement

Catechists, of which
leaders.

(185-254) and

Origen

Origen, whose

Origen

were

the

of Catechists.

School

the

was

surname

and

Adamantine,

an

was

early
had been

School of Catechists, which
under the direction of Clement. Like Plotinus, Origen
had been a pupil of Ammonius
Saccas. Origen endured
teacher

in the

persecution on account
much
of his teaching, and had
he
to Caesarea and Tyre, where
to flee from Alexandria
the most influential theolo
spent his old age. He was

of the Eastern

gian

church, and

Christian theological science.
In manner
of life Origen
thought

he

was

a

Greek.

He

was

was

he

a

the father of

was

Christian; in his

the Christian Philo,

a rival to the
although he was
neo-Platonic philosophers.
His Christian theology competed with the philosophical
founded on both Testa
systems
of his time. It was

it also united in a peculiar way toward a
practical end the theology of both the Apologists and the
Gnostics. He was
convinced that Christianity could

ments,

and

be expressed only as a science, and that any form of
Christianity without scientificexpression is not clear tc
itself. Although
the church was
offended at some
of
his philosophical principle and
his doctrines, it made

In trying
its own.
of development
Christianity in terms of intellectual knowledge,

his theory

did not

the

make

under

philosophy
the Gnostics. The

ity ; Origen
He

was

an

theologian
that there

mistake

a

new

Christianity from

traditionalist, a
orthodox
and idealistic philosopher.
were

the

or

developed

several ways

state

Origen

its principles

of burying

was
as
mythology,
Gnostics had created

to

with
Christian

within

strong

He

case

itself.

Biblical

maintained
of interpreting the Scrip-

THE

OF

HELLENIZING

THE

The
interpretation).
(allegorical

tures

GOSPEL

315

masses

see

only
devel

it has been
as
the somatic or outward
meaning
oped in history. A deeper or moral interpretation gives
to the Gospel truth. More
a
pro
psychical meaning
found

stillis the spiritual interpretation, which

the Gospels

gives to

pneumatic or spiritually esoteric meaning.
Christianity is superior to all other religions because it
for the common
is a religion for all classes, even
man.
a

Christianity is the only religion which, without being
have its truth in mythical dress.
polytheistic, can
less to show how
aim of Origen was
to be, than to justify
the ways of God

The
came

the world
in
to men

the world's creation and history. The central principle
God is an un
in his teaching is spiritual monotheism.

changing
spirit, the author of all things, and He
knowledge. What distinguishes Him
scends human

tran

most

is the absolute causality of His will. He is essentially
creative, and this creative activity is co-eternal with Him
have no dealings with changing individ
self. God can
uals directly,since although creative He is unchanging.
He has direct connection only with the eternal revela
image, the Logos. The Logos is a per
tion of His own
son,

special hypostasis, the perfect likeness of God
nothing corporeal about him. He is not the God,

a

with
but still God, yet a
divinity.1 The Holy
the Logos

as

second God, with no
Spirit bears the same

the Logos

to the Father.

sharing

of

relation to
In his relation

is the Idea of Ideas, the
to the world the Logos
according to which things are created.

norm

Origen followed Philo

in believing that the original
world of beings that are pure

consists of a
intelligences,and that the

creation

1

Harnack,

Outlines

cause

of creation is God'a

of the History of Dogma,

p. 159.

HISTORY

316

OF

PHILOSOPHY

goodness. He further believed that the Logos or Wis"
is God's Son. Both the creation of the
dom
of God
ideal world of intelligences and the existence of the Son
is from eternity. The origin of the visible world is to be
contrasted with this eternal creation. The visible world
had

its beginning

in time and is only one of a series of
It will finally return to God, and has in God its

worlds.
beginning

and

end.

Thus

man

lives in

a

visible world

of time with eternities on either side. Creation, viewed
a
as
whole, is everlasting, and consists of an endless
a part
of beings who are destined to become
number
of the divine holiness and to participate in the divine
blessedness. These beings are endowed with freedom of
will, and they fall away from God. The visibleworld of
has been created to purify the fallen spirits,
and
in consequence
find materialized spirits graded into
we
angels, stars, mankind, and evil demons.
matter

In

his emphasis

mental

opposed

part of
to

man,

will as the fundamental
Origen is distinctly Christian and
intellectualism. The will of God and

Greek

on

form

the

in his system.
The will of God
is the eternal development
of His
being, but the will of spirits is their temporal
free
choice. The will of God is reality itself; the will of

the

will of

man

the

corner

stone

Freedom
spirits is phenomenal
and changing.
of the
will of the spirits is the ground of their sin, and con
sequently of their materiality. Thus it is by the free
of the spirits that Origen explains evil and
existence of imperfect matter
without impeaching

dom

the

the

eternal purity of God. Origen thus reconciled the ethi
as
creator
cal transcendence
with his imma
of God
in the material world. God is the creator without
nence

being the creator

of sin. Through

the conception

of

HELLENIZING

THE

OF

THE

GOSPEL

317

Origen reconciled the two antithetical princi
free-will
in divine omni
ples,of Christian metaphysics : faith
potence and consciousness of sin.
function of the church is thus an important one
in the divine plan. For the fallen spirits try to rise bj
their own
wills from the matter to which they are con

The

demned
essence,

for purification. They
low they may
however

never

lose their divine

falL They

cannot

rise
have

are
they compelled to, but they always
alone, nor
the help of divine grace, which is always active within
in Jesus
man
and has also been perfectly revealed
Christ. After the manner
of the Apologists, Origen

use
makes
of the Stoic and Platonic conceptions, for
the eternal Logos takes form in the divine-human
unity

His physical suffering redemption is
made possible to all believers, and through His essence
illumination has been brought to those especially in

of Jesus. Through

spired. There

different grades of redemption : faith,
a religious understanding
or
of the perceptual world ;
knowledge of the Logos ; final absorption in God. All
are

forces of
shall finally be saved through the combined
freedom and Grace, and then shall all material existence
disappear.

The

controversies within the church during the suc
the theory of Origen are theo
ceeding centuries over
logical rather than philosophical, and so our account
of
the relation of Greek philosophy to Christianity in the
Hellenic-Roman
period closes here. Origen's under
taking was
a private one,
approved at first in only lim

ited circles and on the whole disapproved by the church.
In his scientificdogmatics the particular changes which
he planned pertain especially to the conception of sal
vation and

the place of Christ in the universe.

In his

318

HISTORY

OF

PHILOSOPHY

more
the cosmo*
about Christ he emphasized
logical than the soteriological aspect, but neither was
fully developed. The history of the early church shows

teaching

that Christianity seized the ideas of ancient philosophy
with its own
religious
and insisted on revising them
shall find that the
principle before it used them. We

period is introduced by a greater than Origen, in
whom
again the Christian and the ancient worlds will
St. Augustine.
meet in new
and richer combination,
next

"

BOOK
THE

MIDDLE

II
AGES

XV

CHAPTER
AND

CHARACTERISTICS

MIDDLE

CONDITIONS

OF

THE

AGES

of the Hellenic-Roman
Middle Ages can
The

Comparison

Middle

(476-1453)

Period and the

be conveniently
1000 years between

Ages.

as
the
approximately
remembered
Rome
the fall of old Rome, in 476, and the fall of new
in 1453. Together these two period*
(Constantinople)
a
a long and
philosophically unproductive stretch
make

intellectual materials which the two
periods possessed, differ but little,although during the
first half of the Middle Ages such materials were
very

of 1800

The

years.

decided difference in the way
the two periods look at things. The ancient had started
for its own
sake ;
with Aristotle's interest in knowledge
few.

There

is, however,

a

from that to the need of
had
passed
ancient
in ethical conduct ; he had finally made use
knowledge
of knowledge only in formulating religion. On the other
in the Middle Ages was
hand, the history of thought
the

exactly the
with

reverse.

religion

The
thus

as

man

starts

satisfied
by the preceding pe
knowledge.
The perspec

medieval
formulated

riod, and seeks to regain pure
tive in the two periods is therefore different. Hellenic
in tradition ; me
thought began in freedom and ended

diaeval thought

begins

youthful German,

who

in tradition and, borne by the
brings with him few original

OF

HISTORY

820

forward

ideas, pushes

PHILOSOPHY

freedom.

toward

No

doubt

one

fresh transforma
discover in mediaeval times many
Latin terminology,
tions of ancient thought and a new

can

the whole, all the problems of the Middle Ages,
be found in antiquity.
as
well as their solutions, can
One may find, too, the germs of modern thought in the

but,

on

Ages, but they

Middle
not

from

mediaeval

from

come

mediaeval pupils and
In the Middle Ages hu

masters.

is again at school ; its problems appear in suc
cession, but they always are expressed in the conceptions
manity

of the ancients.
The Mediaeval

Antiquity had brought

Man.

three civilizations,
Christianity. Greek
"

together

those of Greece, of Rome, and of
in
civilization in the form of an

tellectual culture, called Hellenism, had been superim
Roman
posed upon
political society. The result was
society with

a

Christian church

had

vasions, entered during
Middle Ages.

Middle

these German
the Roman

Ages

as

a

society the

an

organization of con
politicalinfluence. It was into this
grown

trolling cultural and
society that the German

The

and in such

twofold stratum,

a

barbarians, by

a

series of in

the first three centuries of the

began

and antiquity ended when
tribes finally broke down the barriers of

empire.

It

was

a

new

period

;

for

a

new

had taken upon itselfthe responsibility of bearing
Europe. The Ger
the burden of the future of western
race

of his
unconscious of the magnitude
young, vigor
self-imposed burden, for the German was
ous,
and moved by primitive instincts. He had leaped
man

was

of

course

into the world's fields as
a laborer.

At

the beginning

a

conqueror

the German

; he

seemed

remained

as

likely to de"

OF

CONDITIONS

THE

MIDDLE

AGES

321

had bequeathed.
stroy the entire product which antiquity
to assimilate the rich fruits of
He was
quite unprepared
that ancient civilization. He had, indeed, less mind for
the elaborate forms of Greek philosophy than for the
lighter forms of Greek art. In his firstcontact he could
so
ancient society was
neither. Moreover
its con
that it could not educate him, who was
weak
one
ele
queror, into its culture. Nevertheless, there was
in that ancient society that did appeal to the
ment

understand

That

German.
church.

Alone

was

the spiritual power

of the Christian

the ruins of antiquity the power of
so
of the
strong that the men
grown

amid

had
the church
north bowed before it,and religion accomplished

through

the emotions of the Germans
what art, philosophy, and
Gos
statecraft failed to achieve. The preaching of the
pel laid hold of the feelings of these primitive people,
in fact,
for the church in its pretensions, and sometimes
political unity. Moreover
represented the old Koman
left of
also the repository of what was
science. The church expressed for the German
ideal of the personal inner life. The Germans

the church

Greek
his

own

was

of the church, and in this way
the protectors of ancient culture. Mediaeval history in
Europe is therefore the record of the develop
western

became

the supporters

under the influence of the Chris
of the Germans
tian church. In contrast with the development
of the
Eastern church, which was
the development
of a state
ment

the development
of an
church was
church, and not the
ecclesiastical state. The Western
later empire, was
the true successor
of the Roman

church, the Western

the early beginnings of the Middle Ages
of the
rested with the church, but the later development
Middle Ages rested with the German
people.

empire.

Thus

HISTORY

322

OF

PHILOSOPHY

the Universe

How

Man.
appeared to the Mediaeval
had very indistinct ideas about the
The mediaeval man
him, since his interest did not lie in the
world around
earthly realm, but in the spirit that controlled it. He
in his sciences with conclusions without
Although
it is said that relations
their demonstrations.
indistinct in the mind
are
never
of space and number
was

content

the man
of the civilized man,
tainly did not possess such

must,

to enable

as

a manner

furthermore,

him

make

a

of the

Middle

Ages

cer

conceptions in so vigorous
to discover new
truths. We
distinction between

sharper

mediaeval popular opinion and mediaeval scientificopin
ion than we should about popular and scientificopinion
times ; for the results of science did not
of modern
To the ordinary mediaeval
reach the people then as now.
man
the world in which he lived was what it appeared to
be to his eye. The earth was
flat ; the sky was
a mate
rial dome, which sustained the waters
it. Through
this sky-floor the water

of the world above
sometimes breaks

the earth receives showers of rain. These popular
notions sometimes
appeared in the verse
of the time.
The mediaeval scientific opinion was
based on
the

and

theory of Ptolemy and his school of Alexandrian
astro
de
nomers,
who lived in the second century A. D., some
tails to the theory having

Ptolemy

added
is divided

by the Arabians.

into two vast re
world
gions ; the one ethereal, the other elementary. The ethe
real region begins with the first mover,
which accom
says,

plishes its
hours ; ten

"

The

been

journey from

east

to

west

in twenty-four

skies participate in this motion, and their
totality comprises the double crystalline heaven, the fir
mament
and the seven
planets." (See diagram.) The

mediaeval

man

of science thought

that, inasmuch

as

he

CONDITIONS

OF

MIDDLE

THE

AGES

323

the earth, he was
therefore standing at the
him was
the cavity of
centre of things. Directly above
the sky, ruled by the moon
were
; and below the moon
was

upon

the four

region

elements,

"

the realm

was

and earth. This
But above the
of imperfection.
fire, air, water,

M

?

PTOLEMAIC
A

diagram

showing
(From the

moon

the

private

division

of the universe

library of Profetaor

R.

W.

into

Willion

the

ten

of Harrard

spheres

or

heaven"

Unitenitj)

series of nine other heavens,
; and beyond
orderly revolution of its own
The
a
therefore to Ptolemy
universe was

the scientist

each with an
all is God.

COSMOGRAPHY

saw

a

great but a limited sphere, consisting of ten spheres
Each
inside another (likethe rings of an
one
onion).

OF

HISTORY

324

planet

moved

was

sphere),which
it was

cause

the

with

PHILOSOPHY

motion

sometimes

The

transparent.

of its own
called

heaven

(on
"

"

crystalline

movements

be

of the heav
heaven, were

bodies, each in its own
revolving
contained in the whole sphere, which revolved with a
By ascribing other movements
to
motion
of its own.
enly

the planets within their respective heavens, the medieval

able to predict every conjunction
and
eclipse to the minute. These separate movements
of the
planets were
called epicycles, the form of which is
were

astronomers

shown

in the diagram

on

the opposite page.

easily lend itself
would
to the theological conceptions of the time. The realm of
to be under
was
perfection above the moon
supposed
the direct supervision of God
and to be inhabited by

Such

a

scientificastronomy

and relation of the heavenly
spirits.Thus the conjunction
life,
bodies were
thought to have influence upon human
and

they furnished

mancy,

and

The

the

basis of the astrology, necro
in the Middle
Ages.
common

spiritism so
heaven
embraced

ninth
them
around

all, without

all the others. It swept
interfering with their own

special motions, and completed its revolution
both the
four hours. The ninth heaven was
the limit of all motion and all change. Beyond

in twentysource

and
it lies the

eternal peace of God, which the Christian astronomer
"
the abode of the blessed." This was called
regarded as
the tenth

heaven

or

the

Empyrean.

This, in Dante's

"
words, is the heaven that is pure light ; light intellect
ual full of love, love of the good full of joy,joythat
The tenth heaven is Paradise
transcends all sweetness."

is within the life of God. It is important
to note
that the Ptolemaic
of the universe is the
conception
his Divine
background
upon which Dante constructs

and

CONDITIONS

(seediagram,

Comedy
least

at

Lost

of
to 1500
maic

OF

as

MIDDLE

THE

p.

appears in part
basis of the Paradise

376),* and

the

cosmological
Milton.
For thirteen centuries
conviction remained

"

system

as

of astronomy

325

AGES

unshaken
an

adequate

from

"

in the

200
Ptole

explanation

of the universe.

PTOLEMAIC

(Showing

The

the Epicyclic

Mediaeval

COSMOGRAPHY

Movements
of Saturn,
to the Earth)

Man

Read

Essays

on

Rossetti, Shadow

Dante,

Mars

in respect

In the eleventh and
revival in intellectual in

at School.

twelfth centuries there was
deep and
terests that was
*

Jupiter, and

a

broad, and
"

of Dante

pp. 99 ff.

",

the characteris-

pp. 9-14

;

Karl Witte,

326

HISTORY

OF

PHILOSOPHY

tics of this revival will be discussed subsequently (see
Transitional Period, p. 329). Our curiosity, however, is
into the Middle Ages, as to
aroused upon our entrance
of the early Middle Ages studied and how
he learned. We
must remind ourselves at the out

the

what
much

man

set of the oft-repeated fact that,

the whole, in west
Europe, for the first five hundred
ern
years of the
Middle Ages, the only people who had any book-learning
Furthermore, with them the learn
were
the churchmen.

ing

on

Their purpose in study will show
very meagre.
to enable them " to understand
this, for it was
and ex
pound the Canonical Scriptures, the Fathers, and other
was

ecclesiastical writings." The training was as follows :
1. Theological. Elementary instruction in the Psalms
"

and church music, but no systematic training in theo
logy,
justenough training to enable the priest to
"

Fathers.

understand the Bible and the Church
2. Secular training. Knowledge

Liberal
and

Arts," i. e. the trivium,

dialectic ; and

music,

arithmetic,

the

more

geometry,

"

in

grammar,

advanced

and

"

the

Seven

rhetoric,

quadrivium,
astronomy.

"

These

of knowledge,
suggestive of a vast amount
known
in these
or taught
while, in truth, very littlewas
Astronomy
to
and arithmetic were
employed

names

are

subjects.

find the time of Easter. Geometry included
positions of Euclid without demonstrations.

some

pro
Music in

cluded plain song and a mystic doctrine of number.
More was
the study of rhetoric from
made of grammar,
Latin classics, and dialectics. Dialectics was
logic in
the

Middle

mediaeval

man.

Ages,
But

and
even

its mysteries
in logic there

fascinated
were

of the Aristotelian logic known.
A Mediaeval
Library. Here again is

only

the
some

remnants

an

interesting

CONDITIONS

OF

THE

MIDDLE

AGES

327

did this mediaeval churchman
question: What
read?
But we must
make a distinction between books most
commonly
read, books that the scholars might use, and
books most influential upon thought.
1. Books
most
commonly
read. These would be the
text-books used in instruction. They are as follows :
"

The

Psalms.

The

of Donatus.
Christian poets : Prudentius,

The

Grammar

Gospels in Verse

vencus,

Dionysius

Cato, Disticha

;

Psycliomachia

Sedulius, Easter

de Moribus^

proverbs (moralmaxims) in rhyming
Virgil, Ovid, and the rhetorical works
M sop's Fables (inLatin).
2.

Books

that the scholars might

a

Ju-

;

Hymn.

collection of

couplets.

of Cicero.

It is difficult

use.

any particular scholar actually did read, for
in the
the libraries of monasteries differed enormously
to say what

character and number of their books ; some
monasteries
had several hundred books, some
none
at all. Some libra
ries

were

Fathers

composed

almost

entirely of works

of the

possessed a good many works of ancient
classical writers. One might expect to find any one or
more
of the following works in a scholar's library :
;

some

"

Aristotle, De

Interpretatione

and

the

Categories in

Boethius' translation.
the logical problems occupied
the almost exclusive attention of the first schoolmen.
Plato, the Timceus.

This

This

explains why

known

was

Greek, but

on

to the

Irish monks

the continent in

a

in
perhaps
translation by Chal-

cidius. The only other sources
of Plato
of knowledge
in the works of Augustine and the neo-Platonwere
ists.

328

HISTORY

Commentaries
phyry, in
some

De

a

on

OF

PHILOSOPHY

Aristotle,

Isagoge

The

"

For-

by

translation into Latin

commentaries
Interpretation

by Boethius

by Boethius, and
himself on Aristotle's

Categories.

and

Cicero, the rhetorical and dialectical treatises, such
the Topica, De Officiis.
Seneca, De

as

Beneficiis.

Lucretius, De
Augustine's

Rerum

works

Natura.
some

and

pseudo-Augustinian

writ

ings.

The

works of the Church
dria and Origen.

The

Pseudo-Dionysius,

Fathers, Clement

translated from

of Alexan

the Greek

by

Erigena.

The

collections of some
of the last of the
scholars of antiquity, like Cassiodorus, Capella, Boe
thius, and the Etymologies
of Isidore of Seville.
encyclopedic

3. The

the

time.

Books

most

These

were

influential philosophically
not necessarily the books

widely read, but the epoch-making
They were
as follows :

books,

so

upon
most

to speak.

"

Augustine,

Boethius,

of God.
Consolation
of Philosophy.
City

Aristotle, De

Interpretations

the

and

Categories in

translation by Boethius.

Pseudo-Dionysius,

Porphyry,

Isagoge

translated by Erigena.
translated by Boethius,

an

introduc

tion to Aristotle's Categories.
The

Three

Periods

of the Middle

Ages.

1. Early Period, 476-1000.
2. Transitional Period, 1000-1200.
3. Period of Classic Scholasticism, 1200-1453.
There isone great natural division line of the Middle

CONDITIONS

1200.

Ages, the year

OF

THE

At

this time the

MIDDLE

AGES

surging

329

of the
at its

in the Crusades was
eastward
height, and the works of Aristotle were
coming into west
from the East. These events mark a change
Europe
ern
peoples

western

in the politicaland intellectual situation in Europe. But
this change did not take place suddenly. There are in
tervening
at the

two

same

centuries that

time

are

are

indeed transitional, but
by

animated

a

distinct and

inde

pendent philosophical motive. These two centuries may
be set apart as a period, different from the earlier and
the later periods. We
shall call these three periods the
Early Period, the Transitional Period, and the Period
of Classic Scholasticism.
The Early Period takes

(476)

us

to the birth of modern

from the fall of old Eome
political Europe (1000).

by the theo*
period of religious faith governed
has no independent fol
Mysticism
logy of Augustine.

It is

a

lowing, but

rules within the church.
The Christian principle of individual personality and
the Greek Platonic conception of universal realitiesare
on

the contrary

held without
arousing contra
has no stand
reason
versy. This is because the human
The only
ard code, nor does it yet feel the need of one.
two philosophers, Augustine
and Erigena, of the
not

fused, but they

are

period

are

animated by neo-Platonism.
The Transitional Period extends

from, the birth of
to the arrival of the works of

(1000)
politicalEurope
Aristotle (about 1200). This epoch is one
of logical
controversy, in which the Christian and the Greek mo
tives conflict. This

gives rise to the first
group of great schoolmen, who discuss the reality of
Mysticism
general ideas in their application to dogma.
controversy

stillrules the churchman,

but

now

in

a

modified

form,

330

HISTORY

OF

PHILOSOPHY

Plato has become

in orthodox
the standard of the reason
Aristotle in those inclined to heresy, but

circles and

yet only fragments

as

The

1200

of the works

of either

are

known.

Period

of Classic Scholasticism extends from
Ages (1453). It is a
to the end of the Middle

period

when

a

theological

arises by

metaphysics

the

over
side of the logical controversy and predominates
that controversy. The problem
now
concerns
the re
spective scopes of the reason
and faith. The period is

Aristotelian, and Aristotle's philosophy is made
the
for all time. Mysticism
standard code for the churchman
has now
no
place of authority in the church, but has an
The period contains the greatest school
independence.
men

of the Middle

Summary

Ages.

of the Political and
the Mediaeval

I. Early

395

Period,

The Koman

empire diinto Eastern

Educational

Worlds

of

Man.

476-1000.

354-430)
(Augustine,

vided
and Western

476

empires.
Fall of the Western
empire, the Eastern

476-800

of municipal

empire lasting about
1000 years longer.

375-600

Northern

rians

Disappearance

perial schools and rise

of episcopal

barba-

and

the

monastic

overrun

and im-

schools.

Western

600

in
empire
series of invasions.
Koman
power almost

entirely in hands
barbarians.

525

Boethius died, the last
notable
lar who

of

529

Roman
knew

scho-

Greek.

Closing of philosophi
cal Schools at Athens

;

OF

CONDITIOl^

Mohammedans

622-732

Northern

331

founding of monastic
school by St. Benedict.

Arabia,

conquer

AGES

MIDDLE

THE

Africa, and

Spain.
732

Mohammedans
pulsed at
of Tours.

600-800

re

Fusion

took

Empire

Ages.

peoples.

Charle
of
founded. Civ

magne
ilization higher

the

Dark

476-800

German

place among
and Roman

800

battle

the

Age

We

than

only period in
JZurope
stern
:

is
education
in hands
entirely
The
Pal
monks.

lower

German,

Benedictine

800-1000

when

than the Roman.

of
ace

school ; episcopal,

cathedral, and
tery schools.

monas

(Erigena, 810-88V,
the
forerunner of
Scholasticism.)
900-1000

Empire

of
broken

Charlemagne
up.

900-1000

century
with decline of learn
ing.

Demoralization.

Invasions

by

Danes

and

Northmen

from

the

north;

Dark

Saracens

south by sea;
Slavs, Hungarians,

from

and Poles
by land. The church
demoralized, Papacy

Russians,

IN

THE

EARLY
THE

PERIOD

PLATO

AND

PERIOD

TRANSITIONAL

OP

LITTLE

WAS

KNOWN

PHILOSOPHY

OF

HISTORY

332

temporarily

EXCEPT

feudalism

pears,

AND

places empire.

1000

Period,

Ger
and
get their first

France
many
form

as

nations

THE

LITTLE

OF

ARIS-

1000-1200.
TOTLE

OF

EXCEPT

OF

FRAGMENTS

just

FORM

NEO-PLATONISM

OF

re-

II. Transitional

IN

HIS

LOGIC.

before this year ; Eng
land just after. Be

birth
ginning of new
Europe, caused by

First

of

(Anselm, 1033-1109)

of north
nations, by en

conversions
ern

(Roscellinus,d.lllO)
(Abelard,1079-1142)

lightened rule of the
Ottos, by regenera
by
of Papacy,
development
of civic
life.

Scholasticism.

tion

Beginning

of politi

cal order, ecclesiasti
cal discipline, and
social tranquillity.
Revival of architec
ture

followed

by

about

Gothic
Poetry

Passion

for inquiry

takes the place of the

old routine.
Traces
1160-1200
origination

of the

of

the

earliest universities.

re

newal of art. The Ro
manesque

1000

appeared
1000,
the
1150.
about
of Trouveres

in north and of Trou
badours in south.

1150-1250

Translation

into

Latin

from

Greek

works

of

previously
in Western

directly
of the
Aristotle,
unknown
Europe.

III. Period

1200

THE

OF

CONDITIONS

of

Crusades

1200

their

at

Mendicant

The

Friars.

Classic Scholasticism*

Commerce

of
Europe with Asia be
gins to grow to large
in coun
proportions
tries

333

Classic Scholasticism, 1200-1453.

height.

1200-1453

AGES

MIDDLE

on

ranean.

Estate

(T h o m a s Aquinas,
1224-1274.)
(Duns Scotus, 12701308.)
(William of Ockam,
1280-1349.)

the Mediter

The

Third

grows

in

national

1300-1453

governments
prevail
over
the feudal system

well

strength,

.

The

period

supplied

is

with

schools.
Deterioration
1350-1453
of Scholasticism,

CHAPTER
EARLY

THE

PERIOD

OF

THE

XVI
MIDDLE

AGES

(476-1000)

It is no
of the Early Period.
accident that these five hundred
years of the Middle
Ages were
spiritualistic.Both the politicaldisturbances
The

and

General

Character

the intellectual inheritance from

the Hellenic-Ro

period made the period such. The troubles during
had de
the long death agony of the Roman
empire
prived the people of their interest in this world. The
world of kingdoms
and material things presented no
man

ideals

would have been pessimistic had
not the Church through Augustine presented a heavenly
ideal and the means
to win that ideal. Both what
the
;

and

the age

material world had taken

away from man
and what the
the age an age of
spiritual seemed to offer him, made
faith. The principle of inner spirituality was
moved to

central position. All things
natural and the transcendent.

pointed to the super
Men
dwelt upon
the
nature
of God, the number
and rank of the angels, the
salvation of the soul. In this, as in the Transitional
Period following, littlewas
known
of Aristotle except
a

some

fragments

Plato except

of his logic ; and littlewas
in the form of neo-Platonism.

known

But

of
in this

instructed
period (beforethe year 1000) the pupil was
in both Aristotle and Plato, and held them
both to
gether without controversy. Mysticism had littleinde
pendence of church doctrine, as appears in the case of
Erigena, the consequences
not
of whose doctrine were
The monastery became
the fundamental
at first seen.

EARLY

PERIOD

THE

O*

AGES

MIDDLE

335

social organization and the central social force. Organ
ized ascetic life permitted an absorbing
contemplation
of heaven. Prayer superseded thought ; faith prescribed
knowledge.

The

intellectual world

dominated

was

by

neo-

Platonic idealism, and the all-important topic in men's
was
that of God's grace. Augustine
minds
stood at
the beginning of the period and organized its concep
tion of grace for it. Erigena

the end and stated
form, pre
the neo-Platonism of the period in extreme
senting the issue for the scholasticism of the many years

MEDLEVAL

THE

GEOGRAPHY.
from

stood

1. KCMM'I

Evolution

near

COSMAS
of

was

the

A.

D.

647

Gtograp\y

been
Egyptian
had once
an
monk
who
travels
to supplement
of his own
records
is flat. Then
laid down
the earth
as
a fact that

(Cosmas
did not use

MAP,

a

merchant
the Oreek

traveler. He
Roman
plans,
adduced
evidence
and

and

he piously
drawn
his view.
The maps
by Cosmas
the earliest
are
Their crudeness,
Christian maps
that have
compared
with the maps
survived.
of the
Romans
the Christians.)
reveals the low state of knowledge
among
and Arabs,

but

from

he

the

Scriptures

to

support

The

presentation of the doctrine of these two
men
will therefore be the philosophical exemplification
of the attitude of the time.
The Middle
The Historical Position of Augustine.

to

come.

Ages

were

inaugurated

by

a

mind

of the highest order,

HISTORY

336

If

Augustine.*

" "

OF

one

were

PHILOSOPHY
to select the most

influential

figures in the history of philosophy, Augustine
might
be chosen to stand with Plato, Aristotle, Spinoza, and

Kant.

"

than

us

but

no

stance

In

respects Augustine

some

Hegel

and Schopenhauer."
less for the period, it was
that Augustine should have

1

a

to
stands nearer
For the church,

fortunate circum
lived justas anti

closing and the medieval period beginning.
him the various influences of the past were
for
gathered up and presented in a scientificstatement
the Middle Ages. " The history of piety and of dogma
quity was
Through

in the West
tine from

dominated

thoroughly

so

was

by Augus

the beginning

of the fifth century to the era
that we must
take this whole time

of the Reformation,
one
as forming
period."

2

In his relation to antiquity Augustine drew especially
teachings of St. Paul, the neoupon the fundamental
Platonists,and the Patristics for the presentation of his
doctrine. He

familiar with a great number
of
the medium
the doctrines of antiquity, and was
of their
to
transmission to the Middle Ages. He does not seem
own

was

the system of Aristotle, but the importance
he attached to the dialectic in the explanation of

have known

which
the Scriptures contributed

deal to the

of the
logic of Aristotle by the scholasticsof the Middle Ages.
He had some
knowledge of the Pythagoreans, the Stoics,

and
But
*

the Epicureans
the most
Read

232, 236, 245-248
Wulf

,

Hist,

of Dogma,

Problem
;

good

Turner,

v,

the

Life,pp. 219-221,
of Human
Hist,
ofPhilosophy, p. 226 ; De

of Mediceval Phil.,

vol.

pp. 90-98

;

Harnack,

pp. 3"6.

1

Eucken,

2

Harnack,

use

writings of Cicero.
philosophical influence upon

through

important

Eucken,

a

Problem

of Human

Hist,

of Dogma,

Life,p. 247.
vol.

v,

p. 3.

Hist,

Augustine
and

OF

PERIOD

EARLY
was

Porphyry.

THE

the neo-Platonic

Neo-Platonism,

and the Patristic
of Augustine.

are

AGES

MIDDLE

337

of Plotinus
Pauline theology,

teaching
the

the large factors in the doctrine

In his relation to the Middle Ages, what in brief was
the position of Augustine ? By means
of neo-Platonism
and a discriminating psychological analysis he trans

formed the

previous

beliefin God

as

a

judye into

a

the personal relations between God and man.
That is to say, he carried out monotheism
spiritually,
is very
and in doing this the influence of neo-Platonism
of the centres of
strong in him. Augustine
made one
in
belief

the living relation of the soul to God. He
took religion out of the sphere of cosmological science,
where it had been placed by Origen and the Gnostics,

his teaching

and made it personal. Furthermore, he offered with this
it
ideal a plan of salvation ; for Augustine made
new
his task to show (1) what
God is, and (2) what the
before Augus
salvation of the soul requires. Whereas
tine the only dogmatic
scheme had presented the place
in
was
and function of Christ in salvation, Augustine
in salvation. Thus
he
of man
into spiritual monotheism
elaborated monotheism
and
delineated the inward processes of the Christian life,i. e.
terested

in the

place

by
advance
made
of sin and grace. This important
be attributed to the influence of philo
Augustine
must
sophy
upon him.
neo-Platonism
"

"

But

it must

not

be supposed that the total teaching
the total influence of his thought is

of Augustine and
in Christian piety, as
contained in this single change
have stated it. The
we
various Pagan
and Christian
elements, as they liein his system, have littlecoherence;

and Augustine

does not settle the rival claims between

HISTORY

338

them.

As

teaching

OF

PHILOSOPHY

the mediaeval period advanced, what in his
in the
incoherence became
had been a mere

of others positive discord. He gave the church
impulses of the highest spiritual quality, but he left no
well-organized capital. These impulses toward spiritual

hands

piety have

never

been

lost,but

the profusion of ideas
by himself, were
unharmonized

and views in Augustine,
bequest
also a permanent

posterity that produced
both vital movements
and violent controversies. The le
gal and moral party of the church resisted his teaching
at the beginning, and in the sixth century, under the
to

influence of Gregory the Great, toned down Augustine's
teaching in the direction of a conception of the church
as

a

juristic
organization.

line of
development by his incorporation of neo-Platonism into
Christian doctrine and by his use of the dialectic to

Augustine

was

thus

the beginner

of

a

new

present, defend, and develop the doctrine of the church.
Although the years of his lifefall in antiquity, although
he is the collector of all the threads of the neo-Platonic

and Christian religions, he belongs in the Middle Ages
as
the teacher of the Middle Ages. His doctrine acted
German
an
as
authoritative spiritual guide for the new

peoples. They took up the problems of antiquity from
the new
point of view of individual spirituality, and
created out of them the philosophy of the future. But
philosophically Augustine was far in advance of his age,
and in the intellectuallytorpid times that followed him
littlephilosophical development could be expected. Not
until after Charlemagne does philosophical development
appear. Later Luther
modern
reverted to him, and our
losophy is founded on the principle which he made
tral in his conception of piety.
springing from
the Reformation

Augustine

and
phi
cen

EARLY

OF

PERIOD

THE

MIDDLE

AGES

339

time it must
not
by any
be supposed that the teaching of Augustine was
from which
this first period of
means
the only source
A
the Middle Ages drew its materials of knowledge.
library (see
glance at the list of books in a mediaeval
Augustine
p. 327) will not confirm such a supposition.
does not include in his doctrine
massive as it is
all

At

Science.

Secular

The

the

same

"

"

the factors that finally made
up mediaeval civilization.
Even
a
tendency
there was
toward
at the beginning

Plato and Aristotle. No
later.
at first it became
prominent

secular

science derived

ticeable

as

this

was

from

Secular science tried at first to modify

scholasticism,
for itself. The

and then later to gain an independence
did not contain the germs of sci
doctrine of Augustine
Ages had writings
But at the start the Middle
ence.
on
compendiums
of Capella,
science in the inadequate

Cassiodorus, and Boethius, and in the fragments
logic of Aristotle.

of the

(354-430). Aurelius Au
of Augustine
"
the Plato of Christianity," was
gustine, often called
His father was
Pagan,
born in Thagaste, Numidia.
a
The

Life

his mother who con
and it was
tributed chiefly to the formation of his character. He
a boy
was
of brilliant gifts, and was
educated in the

his mother

a

Christian

;

and Carthage. At Carthage his life
schools of Madaura
full of dissipation, which he has described in his
was

He
Confessions.

took up in succession all the scientific
of his time. He
and religious problems
gave up the
teaching of rhetoric, which he had practiced in several

and Italy, and began to study
theology. He was
troubled by his religious doubts and
tried to find relief first in Manichasism,
then in the

towns

in Asia

skepticism

Minor

of the Academy,

and

then in neo-Platonism.

HISTORY

340

He

was

ences

:

OF

PHILOSOPHY

three influ
converted to Christianity through
his study of Plato, the eloquence of St. Ambrose,

and the unremitting moral influence of his mother. He
became a priest, then a bishop, and was
untiring in his
activity both in the practical organization of the church
and
was

in the theoretical construction of its doctrines. He
especially active in his literary attempts to refute the

Pelagian

ManichaBan

and

heresies, whose
doctrines he
His lifefallsat the time when

had previously professed.
the barbarian invasions were
was

crumbling.

his City

which, in

elaborate philosophy of his
that God's city is not on earth, but in heaven.

tory, shows

The

and when Rome
by his Platonic idealism, he wrote

Moved

of God,

beginning

Two

an

in Augustine's

Elements

Teaching.

The

in Augustine's
of thought
mind
reveal
in two directions. On the one
hand, he is the

masses

great
motion

theologian
authority

holds

who

on

of the church.

high

the

conception
of the
the other hand, he is the

On

philosopher who speaks for the principle of immediate
certainty for the individual. These are two foci about
which his thought is in constant flux and often in con
tradiction. Augustine
truth
and
The

:

the truth that

the

that

truth

has, therefore, two
from

comes

an

authority without,
itself.
consciousness

from

comes

criteria for

authority of the church and the authority of the
immediate consciousness
these are
the individual

of

the

two

central

thoughts

"

in Augustinianism.

Augus

tine's conception of the authority of the church acted
upon him as a lofty ideal which both inspired and at
the same
time constrained his speculations. As he grew

older he gravitated
thereby became more

central thought

"

more

and

more

conservative.

toward

But it was

the authority of immediate

it, and
the other

conscious-

PERIOD

EARLY
ness

"

he

which

original power.
time and became

OF

THE

MIDDLE

AGES

341

the basis of a philosophy
made
of
Through
his own
this he transcended

himself

a

modern,

leading the Middle

up to him.
Augustine
did not

Ages

define accurately the spheres of
did not show whether
philosophy and theology. He
or
reason
revelation had the higher authority. He did
not

try to decide between

credo ut

the intelligo ut credam and
the respective
that is, between

intelligam,

authorities of

reason

and

faith. That

became,

in

conse

for the school
quence, a central philosophical problem
Nevertheless, the great inheritance which Augus
men.
tine left the world
intelligo ut credam

instead of faith
The

as

along the philosophical line of
(of knowledge as the basis of faith
the basis of knowledge).
was

Neo-Platonic

Element

:

the Inner

Certainties

Augustine was not original in making
of Consciousness.
the starting-point of his philosophy the inner certainties
of consciousness. That was the point of view of his time,

and the starting-point of the ascetic tendency both of
dissatisfied
Christianity and of neo-Platonism. He was
with the world without, and turned away from it to the
world within to find reality. But this had been a grow
ing tendency ever
since the time of Plato. Augustine's

originality lies in his psychological description of these
certainties. He is the master
of self-observation and
introspection. He can describe inner experiences as well
as

analyze

them.

anthropological

He

puts his philosophy upon
basis by developing a psychology

a

solid
of the

certainties of consciousness. In doing this he placed the
inner experience in the central position of control. Thus
he reached a well-defined position of " internality " for

which

the Stoics, Epicureans,

neo-Platonists, and

the

HISTORY

542

OF

PHILOSOPHY

preceding Christian theologians had been groping ; thus
he anticipated Descartes and modern philosophy.
Man
clings to life in spite of all its evils. This shows
that there is a reality for the soul. The material world
may pass away, but the reality of soul-life is assured.
Man's

inner life is ever

ary. The

be imagin

present and cannot
fact that there is such a thing as

implies the existence of certainty. Where
for certainty ? In myself. Certainty is there

probability
shall I look
as

a

fact of

inner observation. There are my inner mental states
be
my sensations, feelings, etc., whose existence cannot
doubted even
if the existence of the
to which
objects
they correspond is doubted. I am
certain also of my
"

To doubt my exist
consciousness at that moment.
is to assert my existence. To doubt also implies
ence
live
for doubt rests upon these
that I will remember,
own

"

former

ideas. The

temporary

of the material
world only strengthens the reality of this inner world.
The existence of the material world cannot
be demon
character

is driven inward to find a basis for
strated, and so man
its reality. Thus
by a deep insight, although without
much logical reasoning, Augustine transcends Aristotle,
thought
and anticipates modern
the unitary personality^ whose
certainty.
But Augustine

by finding

reality in
is an inner

existence

is driven farther inward

;

for the

cer

tainty of the existence of God is involved in this inner
doubt about the character of the world
certainty. My
of material things implies that their truth exists and
that I have the capacity for measuring it. Such truths
are

universal. They

transcend

the individual conscious

agreement
and their mutual
beings in a common
standard. On
ness,

unites

all rational
the other hand, this

OF

PERIOD

EARLY

THE

MIDDLE

AGES

343

of truths implies the existence of God. Truths
in God's mind.1
the Ideas (Platonic)
in this life,
Full knowledge
of God is denied to man

unity
are

but, nevertheless, all morality consists in love for God ;
all science is only an interest in the working of God in
nature
; all the beauty in the world around us points to
ordering of God ; the history of the
world is only the free act of God. Thus, in brief, does
Augustine
centralize the principle of inner spirituality
"
internality." Thus does he put into control the
of
the

harmonious

"

certainty of consciousness.
Augustine's
This was
great contribution to the
world both in the sphere of philosophy and religion.
We
this principle is in our
shall see how important

tracing of modern
growth

Its importance

philosophy.

of religion
it by without

pass
former

was

so

very
"

remark.

upon

great that we
Augustine
was

the

cannot

the

re

of Christian piety." In the midst of religion he
heart
looked into the human
discovered religion. He
he looked to God
and found it to be the lower good ;

and found
God, man
the

"

new

are

grace

Him

to

be

In love for
good.
being. This is
to another

the higher

becomes

exalted
birth." By this personal religion nature
and
and religion are
separated, but morality

be independent by liv
united. Sin is the disposition to
in the desires. Sin is a state of
ing in a state of unrest
lust and fear. All is sin in the heart of the natural
man

apart from

in the heart

"

tinian religion of morality
i

There

is this difference

between

God.

The

pre-Augusby
and baptism, animated
Augustine's

that of
is a refutation of the doctrine
Descartes. Augustine's
sum
Quod sifallor,
; Descartes' Cogito,
not a demonstration
of probability of the Academy,
ergo

sum

^he two

is positive,

thinkers.

"

a

subtle but

an

important

position and

difference between

OF

HISTORY

344

PHILOSOPHY

hope and fear, was
supplanted
tion of the desire to be happy
of God.

by him

with the concep
by sharing in the bliss

passed from

Augustine

Christian pessimism

to

Christian optimism, to a confidence in pardoning grace.
By faith and love God calls us back to himself and the
soul acquires what God requires. Religion is personal
Love, unfeigned humility,
the world, these are the ele
and strength to overcome
ments
of religion and its blessedness ; they spring from
the actual possession of the loving God. This message
and

a

thing of the heart.

"

preached to the Christianityof his time and
l
of all times."
But Augustine
philosophically breaks with his own
Augustine

Platonism

at

one

point, and

in the intellect,

finds not

but in the will, the primary
sciousness

characteristic of this con
will is the inmost
of inner certainty. The
being. All our
states are formed
mental

of our
under the direction

core

of the purposes of the will. The
striking exception to this is the cognition of the higher
divine truth, in the presence of which the mind can be
be the production of
only passive. Revelation cannot
the finite activity,but it is an act of grace before which
the will is expectant
of the
and passive. Knowledge
Is the blessedness that re
divine truths of the reason

The will of
sults from the will of God and not of man.
into faith, and yet even
is transformed
then an
man
will is present, although passive,
element of the human

for the appropriation of the truth
Thus, in regard to this difficult

is

an

of
subject

act of will.

the nature

of the will,there are two observations to be made : (1)
Augustine conceives the will, memory,
and intellect ag
so intimately related as not to be faculties of the per1

Harnack,

Hist,

of Dogma,

vol.

v,

p. 337.

EARLY

PERIOD

OF

MIDDLE

THE

AGES

345

sonality like the properties of a substance. They rather
form an indissoluble unity of the substance of the soul.
is one
will is theoretically free, and Augustine
of the most forcible defenders of free-will because he is
also a defender of ethical responsibility and the justice

(2) The

Theoretically the will is a force existing above
nature
and formally possesses the capacity of

of God.
sensuous

resisting inclination. Actually it is never
free to choose, but it has the higher function of being
following

or

determined
The

Only the good will is free.1
to Augus
according
of the Church

by the Good.

Authority

tine. With

the fall of ancient Rome, the church was
into the
hard pressed, for the young
peoples who came
Catholic na
Arian and the only German
church were
tion

the Franks.

was

Augustine

a

was

man

of vigor,
but he seemed to lack the peculiar power of forcing the
church to adopt as dogma the truths for which he stood.
He always submitted
himself absolutely to the tradi

tion of the church, and yet in a general way he accom
plished two things for the church at large : (1) He
established tradition as the authority and law of the

church

;

(2)

He

offered the church

structed plan of salvation.
There
in
now
appears

a

scientificallycon

Augustine's

teaching

the

around which the masses
of his thought
group themselves. This is his conception of the church
in its authority and law. Here is the principle of uni
second centre

and it runs
and historical universality
to the principle of spiritual individualism which
counter
his psychological analysis had built up. Augustine is
versality

justas
as

the

"

"

vigorous
means
1

a

champion

to salvation
Harnack,

Hist,

as

of the idea of the church
he is champion
of the indi-

of Dogma,

vol.

v,

p. 112,

n.

4.

HISTORY

346

OF

PHILOSOPHY

vidual certainty of truth. The two antithetical proposi
tions lie together in his mind. Asa
an
pietist, he was
loyal
individualist ; as a priest, he was
to
a

subject

We

dogma.

have

discussed

his teaching

as

it centred

discussion centres
as
about God
represented by His church. In practical lifethe will of
is important, but in the eternal life the central in
man

about

man

;

the

now

fluence is the grace of God. Between
and the grace of God there is a chasm.
by Augustine,

more

doctrine

the necessity of a God-centred
the greater, when he beholds the contrast

seems

and

between

the perfectness of God
Evil now
appears to him

men.

ing through

God.

the will of man
This is felt the

the world.
Theoretically man

he is chained

to his

and
as

Humanity

senses

the

evil world of
flow
a great
stream
is by nature void of

is free, but in the actual world
the first
and to sin. Adam,

alone could have possessed freedom ; but Adam
in his freedom sinned, and his sin was that of the whole
human
Sin is therefore original to all men
race.
now
man,

living, and

no

ever

man

personally deserves salvation, how
his conduct. Moreover, as the result

meritorious
it not
were
sin, all men
would be damned
of Adam's
for the grace of God. The God-man
by death brought

humanity
power to replenish empty
with divine love.
Divine love is the beginning, middle, and end of salva
has sent His Son and
tion. Out
of this love God

founded

His

Universal

died, and only
Belief in Christ is the only
can
save.
universal man
means
of salvation, yet belief in Christ comes
only by
God's grace, and divine grace is not conditioned on
human
that
to

men

man

church.

man

now
worthiness. Thus it is only by grace even
is saved ; and no
be done
injustice
would
On the other hand, divine
were
all damned.

EARLY

PERIOD

demands
justice

OF

that

some

THE
men

MIDDLE

AGES

347

least should be ex
that the punishment

at

cluded from
salvation in order
for Adam's
sin be permanently
maintained. The choice
depends entirely upon the unsearch
of the favored ones
These are
able decree of God.
elected as monuments
of His loving grace, while the others are elected to be
damned
The
as
monuments
apparent
of His justice.
the
calamity to the
only shows
of mankind

majority

of God

For, in the first place, evil is
not positive like the good. It is only negative and prim
itive the absence of the good. The condemnation
of the
goodness

the

more.

"

wicked is therefore no defect in this theocratic system.
In the second place, the wicked only receive justice,
for the salvation of only a few is a gratuitous act of
love, which testifiesto God's mercy. But, after all,it is
the integrity of the whole spiritual imperial govern
thing to consider.
ment
of God that is the important

The
are

King

is law

and goodness, and all His subjects
testimonies of His magnificent power.
The Dark Ages (476-800). The traditional estimate

"
dark
of the Middle Ages as altogether
scholars. The period
vised by modern

Dark

"

has been

re

called the
Ages
has been restricted to the three hundred
between
the fall of old Rome
(476) and the
now

years
founding

(800). More
of the empire by Charlemagne
it is now
in that period the
over,
thought that even
intellectual conditions were
better in Italy than north
Italy the lay teacher seems
of the Alps. In northern
to have
always to have existed ; and education never
fallen entirely into the hands of the monastery
it did
as
in northern

between

800

and

1000.

After

800

of education north and south of the Alps
to have been different. Everywhere,
to be sure,

the content
seems

Europe

OF

HISTORY

348

PHILOSOPHY

by the
seven
comprised
education was
in the two
but the emphasis
regions
North of the Alps the dialectic was
made
"

liberal arts,"
different.
was
important,

and

theology and logic flourished. In Italy the emphasis was
"
literary Paganism
and rhetoric, and
upon grammar

"

in
always kept alive. Thus, when the revival came
1200, it appeared in the form of theological controversy
north of the Alps, while in Italy in the form of legal
was

analysis in the summary
science. The
of the Middle
Ages given above (seep. 330) applies more
truthfully to
the northern countries than to Italy. At the same
time
it is
these

more

to

pertinent

the

history of thought,

regions, especially at
developed.

northern

for in

Paris, medieval

philosophy was
Nevertheless, it is easy for the modern
scholar to go
Ages.
too far in trying to play fair with the Middle
The

first three centuries of this time were
in Europe.
Wave
everywhere
after wave

Dark

a

Age

of barbarian

It is not so much
a mat
ter of surprise that four hundred
the
years lie between
but the matter
first two philosophers,
of surprise is
invasion swept

the land.

over

"

that

there

In
philosophical fruits whatever.
year 529 is significant
significant

were

any

this respect the
both in pointing backward

in pointing

forward

"

to ancient

culture and

to the feeble effort to retain

of that culture.

In 529

Naples). These

two

also
some

Justinian abolished the philo
in 529 also, St. Benedict
sophical Schools at Athens;
his monastic
Cassino (near
founded
school at Monte
events

stand

for the death

of an
this begin

the birth of mediaeval life. In
by St. Benedict in
movement
ning
of the monastic
Europe
lodged, as it turned out, the hope
was
western

tiquity and

of education

for the

mediaeval

man.

During

the two

EARLY

hundred

PERIOD

years between

mediaeval

THE

OF

was

education

MIDDLE

AGES

519

the year 800 and the year 1000
entirely in the hands of the

monks.

(800-900). The darkof Charlemagne
of the Early Period of the Middle Ages is broken

The
ness

Revival

by the somewhat

abortive renaissance of Charlemagne.
Connected with this revival is the name
of John Scotus
Erigena (810-880). Note that during these five hun

dred

only two
notable philosophers,
Augustine
Note that a span of four hun
and Erigena.
dred years lies between them. Also note that the first
Roman
a
philosopher, Augustine, was
and the second,
years

Erigena,

was

there

an

are

Irishman.

Thereby

hangs

tale. Dur

a

ing all those long centuries of the Dark
Ages after
Augustine
the light of science
and until Charlemagne,
scarcely in northwestern
hemisphere
there were
western

shone

learning prospered
Arabians ; another

:

one

that Charlemagne

had

Clement, to promote
it

Constantinople

at

in the far west, in Britain. Thus

was

from

was

In the whole

only three places where
in the far east, among
the

was

was

Europe.

it was

;

the

third

from Britain

to call his educators, Alcuin

learning

Britain, too,

among
that his

the Franks
successor,

and
;

and
Charles

Bald, called the Irishman, Erigena, for the same
the renaissance of the great Charles
purpose. During
Irish scholars could be found in
and his successors,
the

every

monastery

teaching
must

was

soon

The
cathedral in the empire.
"
Irish learning." Still it
called the

and

be said in qualification that the renaissance
of Charlemagne

at the

rather childish attempt to
in the case of
unite antiquity with theology. Excepting
Scotus Erigena, the revival was very feeble. It consisted
court

of

a

new

was

a

effort to understand

Augustine,

to master

the

HISTORY

350

OF

PHILOSOPHY

simplest rules of logic, and to think out dogma by means
The period from 800 to 1000 is called the
of Hellenism.
Benedictine Age, because learning was
entirely in the
hands
From
the impulse
of the Benedictine
monks.

by the

given

Irish scholars many

and

cathedral
Fulda, Rheims,
the many
of York,

celebrated monastic
schools originated, like those of Tours,
Chartres, and the school at Paris. From

monastic
Rhabanus

the
schools emerge
Maurus
of Fulda,

of Alcuin

names

Gerbert at

and

But

Rheims.

these scholars the only one
among
is John Scotus Erigena.
losophical importance

John Scotus
When
phy

Erigena

(810-880):

his contemporaries
were
successors
and his immediate

connected

of phi

Life and Teaching.
only lisping at philoso
were
absorbed in dis

out a connected
problems, Erigena
worked
Like Augustine, Erigena stood far in advance

system.
of his age.

He

only the one
great thinker of
one
the revival of Charlemagne, but he was
of the most
personalities of the Middle Ages. Born in
remarkable
Ireland, he had the benefit of an
education in the
was

not

schools of that centre of learning, which he could not
have obtained on the continent of Europe. In 853 he
was
the work
called by Charles the Bald to carry on

by Alcuin

under Charlemagne.
after his death the church condemned
(1209) on account of his writings

begun

Three
him
on

as

centuries
a heretic

predestination

so
and tr an substantiation. His learning was
great that
he has been called " the Origen of the North." He read
in those days,
Greek, and this was a rare accomplishment

for

even

Alcuin

scarcely knew

the Greek

alphabet. His
Divisione Naturae,

original work is De
in Christian dress. His most
which was
neo-Platonism
his translation of the pseudo-Dio
influential work was
most

notable

THE

OF

PERIOD

EARLY

AGES

MIDDLE

351

be one of
nysius, the Areopagite. It proved, in fact, to
in
influential books of this period, and was
the most
of its large circulation in propa
strumental on account
in the Middle Ages.
gating neo-Platonism

Erigena

was

theologian. He
doctrine. He

neither

a

neither

assailed

calmly

ders of pantheism.
a

mind,

mystic.
frankly.
trine

are

pushed
He was

neo-Platonist
No churchman

scholastic

defended

nor

church
to the bor

neo-Platonism
Irishman with
an

under
ever

the

veil of

a

Greek

Christian

a

expressed neo-Platonism so
which Erigena got his doc

writings from
called the Pseudo-Dionysius

The

dialectical

a

nor

writings because

falsely attributed to a companion
was
authorship
how
Areopagite. They were,
of St. Paul, Dionysius the
ever,
probably
written in the fifth century, for they
the

essentially neo-Platonic and border on pantheism.
Erigena translated them at the request of Charles the

are

Bald, and their appearance
produced great astonishment
in Europe
work, De Divi(858-860). Erigena's own
of
pantheistic statement
sione Naturae, is an extreme
Briefly stated
the doctrine in the Pseudo-Dionysius.
Erigena's teaching is as follows. God is an incompre
hensible

can

be described

only in negative

(negativetheology).(See

terms

God

being and

is the

Himself
world
world
through

formed

as

same
a

as

Being

fourfold

in God,

or

chapter
Nature, and

series. These

the world outside
God
has returned to Him.

are:

Philo.)

on

He

unfolds
God, the

God, God

after the
contains in Himself

the Logos

all the primordial types of things
before creation. Creation is the logical unfold

ing of particulars from the universal. Immortality con
universal. In
sists in the particulars again becoming
the types of things God is creating Himself, and they

OF

HISTORY

PHILOSOPHY

But all
graded from God down to concrete objects.
will finally return to God, and Erigena thought he found
in nature.
analogies of this return everywhere
are

Greek

The

the

Middle

Erigena

are

formulated
for
which Erigena
These
details of the teaching of
Ages.
except as they throw light
unimportant
Principle

upon that Greek underlying principle which he formu
lated for the Middle Ages. The Heal is the Universal.

Tlie more

thing is, the

real and there
fore the more perfectit is. If we have an idea of a uni
versal, that universal has existence because it is uni
is universal, therefore God
versal. The idea of God
universal

a

more

idea of the world is a universal, but not so
universal as the idea of God, and therefore not so surely
existent. But the idea of the world has more
reality
than the idea of a tree. Mediaeval philosophy becomes

exists. The

from

this time

Erigena
mosaic.
what

we

tween

on

a

logical theism.

In

the

case

of
logical

The world is a
it is a logical pantheism.
is logical dependence,
Keal dependence
in modern

natural

and
times call the causes
and effects be
are
regarded by the Middle Ages

objects

sufficiently explained if put in logical arrangement.
This is the core of medieval
thinking, and the student
the civilization of the Middle
will fail to understand

as

Ages

unless he grasps this central principle.
But this realizing of the logical universal is Greek
Greek character of me
and betrays the fundamentally

spiritual church has
civilization. The objective
Mediaeval
nature.
merely taken the place of objective
history is a conflict between
Greek universalism and

dieval

the Christian conception

the
nance.

of the individual. In Erigena
in overwhelming
domi
appeared

Greek

element
Erigena
is

a

smaller

Augustine

"

Augustine

EARLY

OF

PERIOD

THE

AGES

MIDDLE

353

of thought and uninspired
uncontrolled by great masses
by practical ideals of building up the church. Erigena
it that his nee-Pla
was
is a " belated Gnostic." Why

tonic pantheism

entirely the individ
in Christian dogma ? Why, on the con
did not

ualistic element
trary, did it bring

overcome

issues of conflict
his teaching
when a century later the significance of
inherently and fundamentally
was
understood ? Because
in
in the nature
peoples, as appearing
of the German
out

far-reaching

the conviction of the rights
their customs
and lawss was
In the teaching of the
of the individual personality.
Christian fathers the element of the spiritual personal
The Ger
ity found a deep echo in the German
nature.
live under the later
man
could tolerate and did actually
but the meas
church doctrine of a moderate realism ;
Greek pantheistic conception of Eri
ured calm of the
ideals.
German
of all his inherited
gena deprived the
intellectual activity was
Thus when
aroused a century
the issue in Erigena's
later, the conflict became hot over
the forerunner of the scholastics.
doctrine. Erigena was
the
tossed the apple of discord among
thinkers of the Middle Ages.
The Last Century
of the Early Period (900-1000).
one
The century following Erigena was
of demoraliza
tion. All learning declined with the renewed invasions

It

was

he who

the north, east, and west. The empire of Charle
Papacy temporarily dis
broken
was
up and the
magne
that the Chris
appeared. There is a persistent tradition

from

tians at this time believed the end of the world to be
This has been proved to be a legend, but back of it
near.
a fresh rise of piety which
lies the truth that there was

ksted

until 1300.

the next

With

this movement
Ages.
period of the Middle

we

enter

upon

CHAPTER
THE

The

TRANSITIONAL

XVII
PERIOD

(1000-1200)

Character

General

of the Transitional Period.
The first century of the Transitional Period was
as dif
ferent from the last century of the Early Period in its
intellectual attitude and emotional tone as can
be im
birth of Europe
the century of the new
agined. It was
a century
when the beginning of political order was

"

by

accompanied

a

passion

for inquiry.

The

spirit of
and in the

pietism took possession of all institutions
thirteenth century the mediaeval system seemed to have
reached its perfect form. The Transitional Period gives
to the Crusades. "If ever
ideals were
meaning
carried
"

out in the world

then." l
pened
its old garment

The

ardor of the Crusades wars the speci
of this religious revival. All the pent-up
of the previous
mediaeval life were
passing

the church."
fic expression
energies

through

2

and gained dominion over
souls, it hap"
It was
if the world had cast aside
as
and clothed itself in the v;1 ite robe of

a

rapid period of growth.
Philosophically this period is the time when
Platonic mysticism, as elaborated by Erigena, came

neo-

into

conflict with the Christian conception of the individual.
These two motives had been held together without con
troversy

in the

controversy.

controversy

The
go

Early

Period

;

now

they develop

into

philosophical theories evolved by this
by the name
of scholasticism. While
1
2

Harnack,

vol. vi, p. 7.
Glaber, Hist., lib, III, 4.

THE

TRANSITIONAL

PERIOD

theoretically secular studies were
carded and ancient literature was

355

supposed

be dis

to

considered to be the
is surprised
temptation of the devil, yet practically one
to find a trained skill in the use
of dialectic, and the
of the materials of antiquity as a
of culture and the refutation of heresies. There
knowledge
of the classics,of dialectic, of neo-

employment
means

was

a

of many

of Augustine.
the
prevailed among

Platonism,
realism

The

and

spirit of Platonic

of schoolmen
group
before this group
problem

of
is

centuries. The
different from that presented to the schoolmen
of the
next period. The scholastics or schoolmen
of this period
detail are,
we
whom
shall consider in some
these two

"

Anselm,

1033-1109.

Roscellinus, d. 1100
Abelard,

What

is Scholasticism?

about.

1079-1142.
In

a

general sense
scholas
but historically the term

ticism is philosophic thought,
is usually restricted to the philosophic thinking of the
It has been pointed out that scholastic
Middle Agr
not differ from
any other philosophy.
philosophy does
.

authority, its
like
of deduction, its use of observation
employment
The scholasticism of this time, however,
all philosophy.
is distinguished by its general reference to church dogma

It had

its

its dependence

prejudices,

on

"

as

authority

and

its imperfect

use

of experience. The
therefore be de
may

scholasticism of the Middle Ages
fined as the application of dialectic or logical methods
It was
to the discussion of theological problems.
the
attempt

to present the doctrine of the church

in

a

scien

of philosophy. Sometimes such an attempt
a
the result was
of
changing
resulted in heresy when
Generally, however, the scholastic was
dogma.
not so
tific system

HISTORY

356

ambitious,

OF

PHILOSOPHY

usually sought to keep
doctrines of the church. He

for he

authoritative

within
feared

the
the

Scholasticism therefore, in
of the church.
that
characteristics: (1) It assumed
general, had two
was
and infallible ; (2)
unquestionable
church dogma

anathema

by rational explanation, or to
It tried to clarify dogma
was
that dogma
at least not contrary to reason.
show
be explained by the reason.
Dogma
cases
may in some
it may be so far above reason
In some
that the
cases
only thing the
not
man,

reason

can

say is,

"

The

doctrine does

In the words of an eminent church
homo (God became
says, Deus

me."

contradict
"
Dogma

man).

Scholasticism asks, Cur deus homo ?
become man
?) Revelation is assumed

(Why

did

God

"

scholastic phi
rational science is
;

independent
is permitted;
denied. The remainder
of the history of the Middle
body
Ages shows no conscious attempt to form a new

losophy

of doctrine for the church ; and only here and there
does there appear an effort to modify the existing doc
in this scholastic
are
thinkers
trine. The
employed
clarifying of the doctrine. In this period scholasticism
takes the form of the logical problem
of the relation of
universals and particulars. In the period of Classic

Scholasticism
metaphysical
faith.
The

this logical problem
changes
one
of the respective scopes of

into the
reason

and

of the relation of universal conceptions
to
experiences had become a central one

problem

to particular

p. 103.) It
after Socrates. (See summary,
problem should arise with the
natural that the same
and should delight him as an enig
mediaeval man

the Greeks
was

new

less favorable for
matical question. But conditions were
the medieval scholastic than for the Greek. The mediae-

THE

TRANSITIONAL

357

PERIOD

test
val had scanty literary materials, no opportunity of
ing his discussions by empirical observations, and his
untrained. In the Early Period scholasticism
mind was

in logic. It con
game
of a mental
sisted, on the whole, in the subtle spinning out of logical
questions with the few fragments of Aristotle as a guide.
This was
dangerous to faith, but the church could not

had the

character

diversion open to
The arguments
monks
of the schools of Charlemagne.
although they have
often reveal great mental acuteness,
the appearance
schools of the ninth
of triviality. The
it, for it

prevent

were

century

the only mental

was

given

over

to submerge

threatened

to barren

formalism,

the vigorous

movement

"
Can a prostitute become
rated by Erigena.
divine omnipotence?"
"Does
again through
that eats the sacrament
eat the body of God?"

and this
inaugu
a
a

virgin
mouse

"How

the point of a needle?"
stand on
These are examples of the prevailing verbal gymnastics
in
of that time, and such problems can be found even
Thomas
Aquinas, and
the works
of Peter Lombard,
can

many

angels

Duns

Scotus.

is that of the relation
Logically stated the problem
of particulars to universals. It is usually called the prob
lem of the reality of general ideas. The question was
started by

a

of the time
introduction

"

passage in that universally used text-book
an
the Isagoge
of Porphyry, which was
to Aristotle's Categories.
(See p. 102.)

into three parts: (1)
problem
Do genera and species exist in nature, or do they exist
as
mere
products of the intellect? (2) If they are

Porphyry

divides the

the mind, are they corporeal or incor
poreal things? (3) Do they exist outside the individ
or
are
they realized in the latter ?
ual things of sense,

things apart from

OF

HISTORY

358

PHILOSOPHY

involved here the thinkers of the
the problem
divided into three schools,
Middle Ages were
realists,

Upon

"

conceptualists, and nominalists.1 The realistmaintained
that the general idea had reality, while the particular

defective imitation of it. The nominalist, on
the contrary, held that the universal is only a name

was

only

a

the real par
abstraction derived from
ticular thing. The conceptualist tried to mediate be
tween
the two by showing that reality exists only in the

(nomen)

an

or

particular. To

the mediaeval

use

rem

versalia ante

; nominalism

is universalia

conceptualism

of comparison
The question

with
was

in

phrases, realism is uniis universalia post rem ;
re.

(See p.

103 for table

Protagoras,

of great

Plato, and Aristotle.)
to the
practical importance

church. Is the universal church real and therefore all
its dogma
the particular churches
authoritative, or are
a
real and authoritative ? This was
vital matter to the
trying to establish the
of that day who was
the separate churches. Fur
among
primacy of Rome
less real than the
was
thermore, to show that humanity

churchman

beings would destroy the church doc
particular human
trine of sin and redemption, for these dogmas depended
on
the assumption
race.
of the solidarity of the human
The
mere

dox

were
not
universal and its universal dogma
to the schoolmen, and that is why the ortho
names
were
churchmen
nearly always realists. Religious

church

principles
lar. Dogma
the

church

were

secu
universals, while particulars were
had become
fixed, with which traditional!]

become

had

identified. To

emphasize

par

ticular experiences would mean
the continual correcting
of tradition and a substitution of private judgment for
1

In this period

the

and called nominalists.

conceptualists

were

confused

with

nominalist!

THE

PERIOD

TRANSITIONAL

359
.

nominalism is completely worked
church decrees. When
to conflict with church dogma
at
out, it will be found
every
man

point. The result is skepticism. Stillthe church
later saw
that there is great danger also in a thor

realism like that of Erigena's. It became
danger
Both realism and nominalism
were
pantheism.
driven to their
doctrines for the church if they were
ous

ough-going

logical conclusions.
Anselm

(1033-1109): Life and

aeval Philosophy.
revival which had

Anselm

Position

lived during

in Medi

the

monastic
begun in the tenth century. He was
in fact the last of the monastic teachers, for during his
declining years occurred the first of the Crusades, and
the epoch following him witnessed the transference of
to the universities. He
the monasteries
born of a noble family in Aosta, Lornbardy, and
was
of Bee. Here he
entered in early life the monastery
as
abbot, and again he succeeded
succeeded Lanfranc
He was a
Lanfranc in the archbishopric of Canterbury.

learning

from

of genuine piety, of speculative bent, and of un
swerving faith in the dogma of the church. As primate
he resisted with much sagacity the encroach
of England
man

was
of the secular power. His Cur Deus Homo
the doctrine of the redemption
a treatise on
and atone
one
ment, and was
of the most important books of the
Middle Ages.

ments

about a great change in theological
teaching. Berengar
of Tours had but recently made an
attack upon the doctrine of the real presence of Christ
Anselm

brought

in the Eucharist,
"

and
"

was

the immediate

cause

of the
that fol

period of scholasticism
and stress
lowed. Anselm's teacher and predecessor, Lanfranc, had
defended the doctrine. The doctrine had not yet been
storm

HISTORY

360

OF

PHILOSOPHY

side claimed the basis of
.authority.
therefore a witness of the first attempt to
the first to use
philosophy to dogma, and he was
each

settled, and
Anselm
was
apply

dialectics with the serious purpose
From
this time on, dialectics was

of defending
longer
no

lectual diversion. He, the last of the monastic
was
the first to employ dialectics with the new

dogma.
an

intel

teachers,
purpose

animated
of instructing the believer. His entire life was
by the desire to add knowledge
to faith by the means
of philosophy.
Anselm's
scholasticism therefore circulates about the
Patristic theology as a centre ; and his spirit and method
and the Apologists,
similar to that of Augustine
that he has been justly
called "the second Augustine"
"
the last of the Fathers." Beside the safe and tra
and

is

so

ditionally centralized teaching of Anselm, the imagina
like a body that had
tive pantheism
of Erigena seems

been

from

loosened

away beyond
inspired by

dominated

its natural

control. Both
the Platonism

the Middle

floating
place and was
Erigena and Anselm
were

Ages.

until the year 1200
That is,both were
realists.

that

realism of Erigena, however, expressed in full the
mystic element of Platonism. It destroyed all grades of

The

reality below God, and
and its offices. Erigena

unnecessary

the

church
an
was
extreme
realist ; Anselm
was
consistent with the attitude of the church in being
a moderate
realist. The credo ut intelligam (faithas
the anchor which
was
the basis of intellectual belief)
the safeguard of all future or
is a hierarchy
scholastics. The world to Anselm

saved him

thodox

made

and

became

the church,
of universal reals, such as the sacraments,
of the church he ap
and the Trinity. To such dogmas
plied philosophy, not because they needed support, but

THE

in order

to

PERIOD

TRANSITIONAL

clear by analysis. Philosophy

them

make

361
.

shall only clarify dogma.
for the Existence
Anselm's Arguments

so-called
"

Anselmic

"

of God. The
for the Existence of

Arguments

teaching,
parts of Anselm's
place his theodicy in
and in the eyes of the churchman
the " status of a finished science." To get their cogency

God

are

the best known

the underlying thought of mediaeval
remember
real it
universal a thing is,the more
realism ; the more
it exists and the more
is
the more
perfect it is. (See
he developed the so-called
p. 352.) In his Monologium
we

must

"

: A
single perfect and univer
cosmologlcal
argument
be assumed
as
ths cause
of all lesser
sal being must
beings. God's essence
must involve his existence. Every

other

from

being

be

can

some

external
the necessity of his

elaborated his more
has the idea of a

thought
cause,
own

as

while
nature.

into existence
alone exists from

coming

God

In his Proslogium

he

Man
ontological argument:
perfect being; Perfection involves
famous

qualities that of existence, otherwise we
could think of a more
perfect being or one who did pos
sess
existence ; Therefore God exists.
among

other

(d. 1100

Roscellinus

Roscellinus,

a

tic to attempt
that there had
the church

about):

Life and Teaching.
was
the firstscholas

of Compiegne,
by the dialectic,
to modify dogma

canon

many

"

not

the history ot
theological controversies. Before thk

not

occurred

throughout

the whole arisen over
such controversies had on
The particu
dogma.
doctrines that had not yet become

time

the dogma
the attack of Roscellinus was
none
of the Trinity, and the base of his attack was
Roscellinus completely failed in
other than philosophy.

lar

objectof

getting the church

to modify

this particular doctrine,

HISTORY

862

OF

PHILOSOPHY

have
but lie succeeded in a larger way than he
,could
imagined. He brought
out into distinctness the issue
and revelation. The fundamental
ques
as to the rights of the human
rea
tion thereafter was
Roscellinus
son
and the rights of divine revelation.

between

reason

supplied

a

schools

to

powerful

shock

to

faith and

awakened

the

consequences
of questions which
seemed before to be merely logical problems.
Roscellinus was
from
a
nominalist, and it was

the

had

the

to
that he attempted
of view of nominalism
change the dogma
of the Trinity. He made a life-long
defense of the doctrine that the Godhead
was
three

point

different substances, agreeing only in certain qualities.
This is tritheism and not a Trinity. But this was
only
the most striking example of his application of the gen

In general, universals are
eral principle of nominalism.
and have an existence only in the human
only names

Universalia post
mind.
The groups formed out
tion,

or

the parts of

an

rem.

Individuals

alone exist.
individuals by addi
of many
individual formed by division,

mental affairs and have no reality. Roscellinus was
by Anselm,
by the church, and
opposed
condemned
fled to England,
to
returned
obliged to recant. He
are

France, and again preached his doctrine.
Storm and Stress. After the issue was
head

by the nominalism
tury was torn in battle

brought

to

a

of Roscellinus, the twelfth cen
over
the reality of general ideas.

The

realists,on the one hand, tried to grade universals
and to show how universals are related to particulars
do uni
had left to faith. How
all of which Anselm

"

versals, such as the persons in the Trinity, the church,
Grotesque
the sacraments,
exist in one universal God?
explanations were
offered, like the imaginative work of

363

PERIOD

TRANSITIONAL

THE

.

theory
of Chartres and the symbolic number
a
Theodoric. William
of Champeaux,
of his brother,
teacher of Abelard, almost reduced realism to a pan

Bernard

the universal ; all individ
Pan
accidental modifications of the universal.
inherent in the blood of realism that it
so
was

are

uals

theism
was

exists but

Nothing

theism.

here and

appearing

always

there.

by the realists brought
pantheistic deductions
in opposition, in spite of the repression
out nominalism
The
by the authorities of the church.
of nominalism
the
nominalists sought protection and authority under
for his conceptualist doctrine was
not
name
of Aristotle,
few writings of Aristotle then
known
at this time. The

Such

known

were

very

interpreted.

imperfectly

One

of the
Middle

ironical situations in the history of the
is that, up to the Period of Classic Scholasti
Ages
the authority of the orthodox and Aris
cism, Plato was
totle of the heterodox.
Life of Abelard
(1079-1142). Abelard had
The
as
teach
both Roscellinus and William of Champeaux

most

both and set up a rival
quarreled with them
He taught in various places and was,
school of his own.
to 1136
interruptions, in Paris from 1108
with some
The university did not exist until a generation
after
its true founder, for he inaugurated
him, but he was

ers.

He

,

the movement

His method
and thence

drawing

talent
was

was

to all studies. It

conclusions

the pros

Greek

the early universities sprang.
transferred from philosophy to theology

out of which

and

writings
as

a

cons.

except

teacher

impatient

after an
Abelard

and

was

a

didactic method

empirical
was

in Latin
his keen

enumeration

of
of

with no
translations. His great

acquainted

French

of all restraint, made

intellect, that

him, however,

the

PHILOSOPHY

OF

HISTORY

364

Two synods
brilliant of the schoolmen.
condemned
his modern
his teaching. Probably
popular reputation
love-relations with Heloise.
his unfortunate
rests upon

most

Universals

Conceptualism.

Abelard's

Abelard

Particulars.

formed

the

exist

in the
of the

storm-centre

relations between
particulars
and universals. His position has been misunderstood
both of Roscellinus
because he, the pupil and opponent
fought each with the
of Champeaux,
and of William
repelled from pantheism,
of the other. He was
weapons
the technical

strife

over

which

appears

recoiled equally from
inalism. Universals
knowledge,
ence

to be the logic of realism, and

to him

they

and

in the nature

the sensualistic outcome
the indispensable
are
therefore

must

of the

have

things which

we

he

of nom
forms
of

some

exist
know. This

consists of the similarity of the essential char
acteristic of things. This likeness is not a numerical

existence

of the
makes our knowledge
particular things possible. This likeness or similarity
by God.
between
as the types created
things is the same

identity, but

a

unity

which

Thus

the universal has

ence,

and

on

the other

no

independent

hand

it is not

exist
objective
a

mere

word out
exist in three

of all relation to things. The universals
ways : (1) they exist before the things only

as

Ideas in

of God ; (2) they coexist with the things as
the essential likenesses of things ; (3) they exist after the
it has knowledge
things in the human
of
mind, when
the mind

things.

Abelard

developed

his theory

only polemically

worked it out systematically. On the techni
lines of thought
cal side of this question the preceding
into an
ac
come
unity. His theory was
unsystematic
and

never

and is practically
philosophers
cepted by the Arabian
Scotus. With Abelard the
that of Aquinas
and Duns

THE

problem
liminary

was

PERIOD

TRANSITIONAL

solved indeed, but it

not

365

to

came

a

pre

in this statement
universals have
in the mind of God, in
equal significance, ante rem
in human
knowledge.
in nature, post rem
stop

"

Rationalism.

AbelarcTs

The

"

Relation

an

re

between

The proud, self-reliant,self-con
and Dogma.
scious Abelard could be nothing else than a rationalist.
He
He was the type of the controversial metaphysician.

Reason

was

the fighting dialectician,
"

intolerant of restraint,

for authority, seeking the prize of
victory at any cost. Erigena, as a mystic, harmonized
because they are equal; Anselm, as
reason
and dogma
an
orthodox scholastic, harmonized them because reason
devoid

of respect

and conforms to it ; Abelard,
because
as
a rationalist, harmonized
reason
and dogma
is subordinate to reason
dogma
and conforms to reason.

is subordinate

To" Anselm
"dogma

Anselm

to dogma

reason

merely

clarifies dogma

; to

Abelard

provisional substitute for reason."
calls
questions dogma,
while Abelard

is only
never

a

before the bar of the reason
and then acts as
dogma's advocate. We must try all dogma in court, and,
doubt it
legal practice, we
must
contrary to modern
dogma

"
it is through doubt
until it proves its innocence. For
investigation to
to investigation, and through
come
we

example of Abelard's attitude ap
pears in his Sic et Non, a treatise in which he sets the
against one another so that
views of the Fathers over
the reason
may decide upon the truth. Another example
the truth."

A

good

of the doo
of his method
appears in his examination
trine of the Trinity, and in the third book of Chris
tian Theology he cites twenty-three
and^ in

objections

This rationalizing spirit
led him to advocate the doctrine of free-will,to place the

the fourth book

answers

them.

OF

HISTORY

366

PHILOSOPHY

responsibility of moral conduct and theoretical belief
upon the individual, to regard Christianity as the con
of all religions and not as the presentation
summation
new.
of anything
If in these discussions

if he

wrote

he

was

brilliant than

more

many
questions
without
solving any, if the weight of his personality could not
because the science
prevail in his controversies, it was
of the twelfth century offered him littleempirical sup

profound,

upon

against the actual
inward
mighty
strength

power
of the church and the
of faith of the people. What

had Abelard

his position that rational
faith ? Nothing but the hollow

port

means

to support

science should determine

of scholastic logic and the traditions of the
the very things against which he was
church
rebel
ling. Abelard set for himself a problem, but he lacked
methods

"

however,
a
problem
of its solution. It was,
that has never
of the Euro
vanished from the memory
the

means

pean peoples.
The unrest

in Abelard's

is representative
of the last century of this period, which he brought to a
a general
growing
close. There was
revolt from the un
fruitful methods of the scholastic dialectic,coupled with
teaching

feverish desire for knowledge.

There

was,

on

the

one

great reaction toward mysticism with the Victoof Tours, and
rines, Bernard
of Clairvaux and Bernard

hand,

a

eclecticism with John of Salisbury and Peter
On the other hand, there was an interest
the Lombard.
toward

ing growth in empirical science. But these theoretical
but eddies in the great current of events.
interests were
in
For Jerusalem and the Holy Land, the memorials
earthly form of all the ideals sacred to the mediae va]

mind,

had

fallen into the hands

of the infidel ! The

THE

western

Crusades

the Platonic
the first two

periods

coincidence that
dominance
of idealism
earthly
stroyed ?

367

was

mere

when

PERIOD

for the rescue,
and the
preparing
the last and the frenzied expression of
idealism of the Middle Ages. They bring

world
were

TRANSITIONAL

symbols

spectacular climax. Is it a
Abelard
brings to a close the

to

a

the theoretic side at the time
being de
of that idealism were

on

CHAPTER

XVIII
SCHOLASTICISM

THE

PERIOD

The

of this Last Period. The
hundred
the
and fifty years of this period was
hundred
one
age of scholasticism ; the remaining
General

first one
golden

years

OF

a

was

(1200-1453)

Character

of decline. The

period

Scholasticism

a

was

growth

natural

period of Classic
from
the Transi

the end of the Transitional Period
in spite of Mohammedans,
Jews, heretics,

At

tional Period.
the

CLASSIC

church,

all else,and its life and dogma
a
were
the most
worth while. In this period appeared
a theology
theology, adequate to its life and dogma,

and the classics, outshone

"

which
cant

floated by the

was

of piety of the Mendi
with the true Aristotle was

wave

Orders. Acquaintance

the needed

stimulus.

(1) the

The

favorable

conditions

for that

triumph

of the church and papacy,
(2) the intense piety of the Mendicants, (3) the genof the
eral culture derived from an inner development
contact
church and from
with the East in Constanti

stimulus

were

nople, Palestine, and

Spain.

Aristotle and

the Mendi

forces, and they achieved
their
position against the hostility of the old Orders, the uni
was
possible
versities, and the teachers. The triumph
cants

were

because

but
new

the

the

new

new

forces contributed

and

really

new,

of things. The
old scheme
understood, taught metaphysics,
politics in a way to vindicate dogma

merely completed
Aristotle, as it was

epistemology,

nothing

the

and
against the opposition of William of Champeaux
Roscellinus. The Mendicants
on
their part vindicated

as

OF

PERIOD

THE

by blending

all dogma

369

SCHOLASTICISM

CLASSIC

it with

faith

the

on

one

hand,

on
the other.
and with reason
The scholasticism of the Transitional Period was
this
controversial, while the character of
predominantly

period, which
structive. The

entering, is synthetic and con
infusion of fresh blood into culture, from

we

are

now

but the physical works of Aristotle,
only the logical
interest in the dialectic and
resulted in the renewal of
in the construction
and
of metaphysics
of systems

not

psychology.

The

central problem

spective scopes of reason
are
logic and psychology

and

now

concerns

faith,and

the

re

to its solution

applied. A complete solution
Aquinas, which had its
by Thomas

to be made
seemed
literary expression in Dante.

Without

the introduction

philosophical principle th