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succinct gives ^HIS book of thethe unprofessional reader a German * notion of classic
Technical details are to E[egel. while the ideas that are significant for the omitted, history of culture are emphasized.
philosophy from Kant
shows how German thought took shape in the struggle for German nationality against the Napoleonic menace, and how profoundly that crisis affected the philosophy of morals, of the state, and of history which
has since that time penetrated into the sciousness of Germany.
superficial is the
current accounting for the contemporary attitude of intellectual Germany by reference to Nietzsche, etc.,
since that attitude
basis in the
older idealistic philosophy.
Charles Edward Rugh
Professor of Education University of California
GERMAN PHILOSOPHY AND POLITICS BY JOHN DEWEY Professor of Philosophy in Columbia University NEW YORK HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY 1915 .
BY HENRY HOLT AND . PRESS N. Copyright. J. CO.COMPANY THE QUINN A 80DEN RAHWAY.6*7?/ tone. OB7. 1915. .
. D. J. This book contains three lectures which were given in is February of this year upon this Foundation. Columbia University. 1915. New York City. It a pleasure to acknowledge the many courtesies enjoyed during my brief stay at Chapel Hill. April.PREFACE The will of John Calvin McNair established a Foundation at the University of North Carolina upon which public lectures are to be given from time to time to the members of the University. the seat of the University.
CONTENTS PAGE I German Philosophy losophy : The Two Worlds Phi- 3 II German Moral and Political 47 91 III The Germanic Philosophy of History Index 133 .
GERMAN PHILOSOPHY AND POLITICS .
nature of the influence of general ideas affairs is upon practical a troubled question. a pilgrim in an alien dislikes to find itself A discovery that the belief in the influis ence of thought upon action leave an illusion would men profoundly saddened with themselves and with the world. was not it engrafted by scholasticism upon science .GERMAN PHILOSOPHY: THE TWO WORLDS The Mind world. The strange thing is that when men had affairs. The doctrine that nature does nothing is in vain. 8 And if the doctrine . lates formu- an instinctive tendency. that it directed by purpose. least control over nature and their own they were most sure of the efficacy of thought. Were it not that the doctrine any discovery influencing affairs since the discovery would be an idea we should say that the discovery of the wholly ex post facto and idle forbids — — character of ideas would profoundly influence subsequent affairs.
turns out. to a casual reader. for the future: — as if there were hope and consolation in bidding us trust . have found ways of making their thoughts effective. panorama long ago rolled up on a cosmic Even Bergson. Our notions in physical science tend to reduce mind to a bare its spectator of a machine-like nature grinding unrelenting way. by means of inventions and political arrangements. human thought for a Yet just in the degree men. pathos has a noble quality. or something akin to instinct. and bids us trust to instinct. who. not as a force in its making. It testifies to the longing of world of in which its own texture. upon to regard intellect (everything which in the past has gone by the name of observation and tion) reflec- as but an evolutionary deposit whose imis portance confined to the conservation of a life already achieved. apcareful study.4/ 1 ••' " THE TWO WORLDS its be fallacious. The vogue of evolutionary ideas has led many to regard intelligence as a deposit from history. pears to reveal vast unexplored vistas of genuinely novel possibilities. forward we seem to see but a further unrolling of a reel. We look backward rather than forward and when we look . they have come to question is whether any thinking efficacious.
art and literature.THE TWO WORLDS to that which. 5 intelligently any case. comes out at a different place. of which state and church. I refer to the doctrine of the economic interpretation of history in its extreme form —which. But no. which prides upon its hard-headed and scientific character. and that descriptions and explanations have been correspondingly superficial. we cannot I do not see that the school of history which finds itself Bergson mystic and romantic. tell easy to follow them when they us that past historians have ig- nored the great part played by economic forces. our it strictly scientific economic interpreters will have that economic forces pre- sent an inevitable evolution. science and philosophy . so It its is adherents tell us. in direct or control. is its only logical form. one might even take the doctrine as a half-hearted confession that historians are really engaged in con- struing the past in terms of the problems and an impending future. When one reflects that the great problems of the present day are those attending economic reorganization. instead of reporting a past in order to discover some mathematical curve which future events are bound to interests of describe.
. and infected with a belief that ideas. we positively take heart. no intention of entering upon this controversy. they are human. The dogma forbids any connection. These writers do not seem to mean just what they say. much less of trying to settle it. his materialistic interpretation of history away that was but upside history the Hegelian idealistic turned all. it But when we note that Marx gave dialectic Is it. after we are dealing with or another philosophy of history? And when we discover that the great importance of the doctrine is urged upon us. down. Like the rest of us. yet nevertheless the in- dustrial the eighteenth century comes after the scientific revolution of the seventeenth. I have. while useless to suggest that modern industry has given an immense stimrevolution of ulus to scientific inquiry. when we find that we are told that the general recog- nition of its truth helps us out of our present troubles and indicates a path for future effort.6 THE TWO WORLDS It is are by-products. are of efficacy in the conduct of is human affairs influencing the history which yet to be. even highly abstract theories. however. we may grow wary.
for the sake of emotional satisfaction. the statement is frankly a personal one. in- tended to make known the prepossessions with which I approach the discussion of the political bearings of one phase of modern philosophy. and is not a genuine discovery of the practical influence of ideas. that pure ideas. human I believe that very much of what has is been presented as philosophic reflection in effect simply an idealization. Every tiving thought represents a gesture made toward the . I believe it to be esthetic in type even when sadly lacking in esthetic form. In other words. of the brutely given state of affairs. thought with practical social forth And if I set my own position in the controversy in ques- tion. then. And I believe it is easy to exag- gerate the practical influence of even »the more vital and genuine ideas of which I am about to speak. But as I also believe that there are no such things pure ideas or pure reason.THE TWO WORLDS tion of 7 These remarks are but preliminary to a considera- some of the practical the affiliations of por- tions of modern history of philosophical affairs. ever exercised any influence upon action. I do not believe. or pure thought.
bodies Education. they condense into a dramatic type of action. superficial as compared with those in which more business of primitive instincts are embodied. they are written and others read. marry- ing and being given in marriage. indeed. formal and informal.8 THE TWO WORLDS we are implicated. an attitude taken to some practical situation in which Most of these gestures are ephemeral. they reveal the state of him who makes them rather than alteration of conditions. buying and selling. They . Even emotional and esthetic systems may breed a disposition toward the world and take overt effect. and afford sustenance to conduct they are in the muscles and men strike or retire. Not all ideas perish with the momentary response. They then form what we call the " great " systems of thought. gets somehow carried on along with any and . emin other men's minds as them not so much in their permanent dispositions of action. effect a significant But at some times they in are congenial to a situation in which men masses are acting and suffering. The eating and drinking. are in the blood. They are voiced and others hear. making war and peace. world. The reactions thus engendered are. They supply a model for the attitudes of others.
However it may be with a few specialized schools of men. Yet there is a purpose in this insistence. almost everybody takes influence action it as a matter of course that ideas and help determine the subsequent course of events.THE TWO WORLDS But how. in moments of relief from pretake the occupation with affairs. and when and where and do even these things is 9 every system of ideas which the world has known. Above all. They are especially prone to regard the ideas which constitute philosophic theories as practically innocuous — as more or less amiable speculations significant at the most for moments of leisure. men particular general ideas which happen to affect their own conduct of life as normal and inevitable. for what men tremendously affected by the abstract ideas which get into circulation. I take it that I may seem to be engaged in an emphatic urging of the obvious. which reflective channels by multitudes of non- has infiltrated into their habits . Pray what other ideas would any sensible man have ? They forget the extent to which these ideas originated as parts of a remote and technical theoretical system. Most persons draw the line at a certain kind of general ideas.
or lack of influence. my friends. Bergson or Browning to whom you yield conscious allegiance. indeed. essential natures And in this aspect that they have mostly fancied seeing themselves. in the make-up of the ideas by which you are habitually swayed. and find Platonic and Aristotelian organs from St. own They have been as to taken mostly at their own word what they from what were doing. Philosophers themselves are naturally chiefly responsible for the ordinary estimate of their influence. that they and other thinkers of whose names you have never heard constitute a larger part of your mental structure than does the Calvin or Kant. and what for the most part they have pretended to do is radically different they have actually done. They have told about nature and life and society in terms of collective human desire and aspiration . Darwin or Spencer. Locke and Descartes. Augustine and St. might dissect you tissues. or the it is and reporters of ultimate of things. as seers They are quite negligible reality. Hegel or Emerson. lectual anatomist. Their actual office has been quite other. and find.10 THE TWO WORLDS An expert intel- of imagination and behavior. Thomas Aquinas.
But we might is as well face the dilemma. its . be irrel- evant to the guidance of action. even if it existed. But it is of the nature of ideas to be abstract: that is to say. and place must always be of a mixed quality.THE TWO WORLDS as these were determined ficulties 11 dif- by contemporary if and struggles. In part. acts only where it happens. It goes against the grain to attribute evil to the workings of intelligence. an earthquake or conflagration. it will —even own period as necesdesir- as intrinsically The traits which give thinking effectiveness for it potency for harm. severed from the circumstances of their origin. While its effects enthe good give also dure. it passes away. thought freed from the empirical contingencies of life. and through . A physical catastrophe. it will detect and hold fast to more permanent tendencies and arrangements take the limitations of sary and universal able. For the latter always operates amid the circumstance of continAnd thinking which is colored by time gencies. What called pure thought. would. the influence of I have spoken thus far as general ideas upon action were likely to be beneficial. in part.
And in the past the danger has been the greater because philosophers have purported to be concerned not with contemporary problems of living. physical ravages. and to give and to oppose He sees move- ments which might have passed away with change of circumstance as casually as they arose. alleged eternal truths to progress. acquire persistence and dignity because thought has taken cognizance of them and given them intellectual names. but evils it Time heals may only accentuate the of an intellectual catastrophe — for by no lesser name can we call is a systematic intellectual error. figuring in foreign contexts so as to formulate defects as virtues rational sanction to brute facts. but with essenso largely . To one who professionally preoccupied is with philosophy there is much in its history which profoundly depressing. He sees ideas which were not only natural but useful in their native time and place. it beyond the situations in which they were born and charges them with we know not what elevates ideas menace for the future. The witness of history is is that to think in general and abstract terms dangerous.12 THE TWO WORLDS in embodiment language capable of operating in remote climes and alien situations.
that his chief work is modern lish times. the great period of philes losophy. and the . or the most complete was he who defined philosophy as and no accident " termed the Republic. For in spite of the mystic and transcendental coloring it of his thought. for the is sake of brevity.THE TWO WORLDS tial 13 Truth and Reality viewed under the form of eternity. was the time which were forged the ideas which connect in particular with the French Revolution and in general with the conceptions which spread so rapidly through the fectibility of civilized world." In it is organized whole known to man. I face an embarrassment. the period of in philosophes. we are struck by the fact that Engphilosophy from Bacon to John Stuart Mill has been cultivated by men of affairs rather than by professors. I must choose some particular period of intellectual history for more concrete illustration of the mutual relation- ship of philosophy and practical social affairs — which latter. the science of the State. One tempted to choose Plato. and with a direct outlook upon social interests. In bringing these general considerations to a close. In France. I term Politics. of the indefinite per- humanity. the rights of man.
the Germans. professorial and predominantly a priori character there is close offers to the proposition that connection between abstract thought collective life. and the tendencies of point. the creative period of continental largely in the eighteenth century. based upon allegiance to reason. who said that all the leading ideas of the present day were produced in Germany be- tween 1780 and 1830. Somewhat arbitrarily I have. Partly. because its one is piqued by the apparent challenge which highly technical. probably. is More to the the fact that the heroic age lies of German thought while lies almost within the last cen- tury.14 THE TWO WORLDS promotion of a society as wide as humanity. Now Germany is the modern state which pro- vides the greatest facilities for general ideas to take effect through social inculcation. we say. Its sys- . selected some aspects of classic German thought for my illustrative material. however. I suppose. Such about phrases generally mean something not hereditary qualities. and still earlier. but about the social conditions under which ideas propagate and circulate. It was Taine. as Above all. have philosophy in their blood. thought that of British thought the Frenchman.
not just nominally. is Membership in this bureaucracy dependent upon university training. in determining the selection of teachers in subjects that had a direct bearing upon of dis- political policies. if you please. The faculty of law does not chiefly aim at the preparation of practicing lawyers. the theology . tial Philosophies of jurisprudence are essen. losophy of Law and Moreover. universities in Germany are life. civil service. one of the chief funcis tions of the universities officials. in the theological faculties. Philosophy. the preparation is future state Legislative activity tinctly subordinate to that of administration con- ducted by a trained bureaucracy.THE TWO WORLDS tem of 15 education is adapted to that end. or. at critical junctures. which are also organic parts of state-controlled institutions. both directly and indirectly. plays an unusually large role in the training. state under the control In of the and part of the state spite of freedom of academic instruction when is once a teacher installed in office. parts of the law teaching and every one of the classic philosophers took a hand in writing a phiof the State. the political authorities have always taken a hand. Moreover. Higher schools and really.
16 THE TWO WORLDS criticism of Protestant and higher Germany have been developed. for our pur- at least to Luther. In- articulate expression. In short. All . we should then rather turn to the past history in which the ideas erated. So far as its it ex- the universities may it be said to be chief They. Great Britain or this country. rather than the newspapers. Schleiermacher and Hegel. what he actually did and taught is not so important as the more recent tradition concerning peculiarly his Germanic status and office. and developed also in close connection with philosophical systems — like those of Kant. now uttered were gen- In an account of German intellectual history sufficiently extensive we should have to go back Fortunately. in the sense in which it obtains in France. crystallize it and give organs. poses. stead of expressing surprise at the characteristic utterances of university men with reference to the great war. the educational and administrative agencies of Ger- many provide ready-made channels through which philosophic ideas tical affairs. may flow on their way to prac- Political public opinion hardly exists in Ger- many ists.
he knew how estimable they are his lips that uttered the famous maxim — . . Yet he was fully acquainted with the glories of this earth . full of self-sacrificing devotion to the Holy Spirit. . it was . . . . word-sifter and an inspired God-drunk prophet. A belief in the universal character of his genius thus naturally is converted into a belief of the essentially quality of universal the people who produced him. their great proud of itself rather for prohim as a Germanic prodinevitable. . " Luther German man in . he could lose himself entirely in pure spirituality. . uct quite is of Luther as its greatest national hero. Heine was not disposed by birth or temperament to overestimate the significance of Luther.THE TWO WORLDS peoples are proud of is 17 all their great men. — He man was at once a dreamy mystic and a practical of action. He was full of the awful reverence of God. that we usually find in the most hostile antagonism. He was both a cold scholastic . But here is what he said: is not only the greatest but the most our history. He possessed qualities that we seldom see associated nay. Germany proud But while most nations are proud of men. It finds natural—nay. Germany ducing Luther.
Remains a fool his whole life long. therefore. In his It is. a genuine national hero and type. Protestant Germany name is almost always associated with that of Luther. I might say an absolute man.18 THE TWO WORLDS " ' Who loves not woman. Eternal praise to the man whom we have to thank . wine and song. the decisions of rea- Thought became a right and son legitimate. or as it is Germany spiritual called. To call him a spiritualist would be as erroneous as to call him a sensualist. . . and Luther. in whom there was no discord between matter and spirit. however.' He was a complete man. freedom of thought. with Kant that I commence. for the deliverance of our most precious posses- And again speaking of Luther's work : in " Thus was established freedom. That he brought to consciousness the true meaning of the Lutheran ." The specific correctness of the above is of slight importance as compared with the universality of the tradition which made these ideas peculiarly Germanic.
till But Kant must always be reckoned tion unlike his should be taken No posi- up Kant has been reverently disposed of. To scoff at him is fair In a genuine sense. For only in this way can we get a clew to those general ideas with which Germany char- acteristically prefers to connect the aspirations and convictions that animate its deeds. he marks the end of the older age. few who read acquaintance my with the attempt will have sufficient tomes of Kantian in- terpretation and exposition to appreciate the full enormity of my offense. . sacrilege.THE TWO WORLDS reformation torian. or that the professed Far from it. For I cannot avoid the effort to seize from out his highly technical writ- ings a single idea and to label that his germinal idea. tively He if the transition to distinc- modern thought. shrinks at the attempt to compress even his One leading ideas into an hour. is 19 a commonplace of the German his- One can hardly convey a sense of the unique position he occupies in the German thought of the last two generations. Fortunately for me. literally to his text. with. It is not that every philosopher is Kantians stick a Kantian. and the new position evaluated in his terms.
the discovery application is is as simple as its science far-reaching. what and freedom. the noumenal world. necessity In the domain of science causal deis is purpose. brute fact and ideal and what ought to be. in space . is the supersensible. while freedom It is lord of moral action. flict Every cultivated man is familiar with the conof science and religion. there of is the world of sense.20 THE TWO WORLDS Adventuring without further preface into this I find that Kant's decisive contribution is field. pendence is sovereign. the are Kantian in spirit proud boast of those who that Kant discovered laws deep in the very nature of things and of human experience whose recognition puts an end forever to all possibility of conflict. its Each of these two realms has own final and authoritative constitution: On is one hand. Both and moral obligation is Analysis shows that each based upon laws supplied by one and the same . exist. In principle. the world of moral duty and moral freedom. the world and time in which science phenomena at home on the other hand. the idea of a dual legislation of reason marked off two distinct realms —that by which are of science and that of morals.
predoomed to is The effort of reason to do these things contrary to the very nature of reason is itself: it self-contradictory. as he is 21 is fond of saying.THE TWO WORLDS reason (of which. The material for the legislation of reason in the is natural world sense. In this sensible : world of is space and time. suicidal. one realizes the scope of the revolution wrought by Kant. to draw support is for man's moral aspirations in nature. such the find freedom. or departures from the order of nature . failure. but laws of such a nature that their respective jurisdictions can never compete. to locate Every attempt to ideals. reason the legislator) . causal necessity reigns decree of reason itself. When one considers the extent in which religion has been bound up with belief in miracles. how morals have been tied up with man's natural tendencies to seek happiness consequences in the and with way of reward of virtue and punishment of vice . provided his philosophy be . how history has been explained as a play of moral forces — in short. the extent to which both the grounds and the sanctions for morality have been sought within the time and space world. when one notes how support for morals has been sought in natural law.
it brings it home not as a pious wish. every event in time. This fact the Kantian philosophy brings home to man once for all. THE TWO WORLDS Add to this the fact that men in the past exist- have not taken seriously the idea that every ence in space.22 true. but as an indubitable fact necessary to the existence of any cognitive experience at all. How is the late appearance of science in counted for? human history to be ac- How are we to understand the comstill paratively slight influence which science has upon the conduct of life? Men. have failed to bring home to themselves that nature is a scene of the legislative activity of rea- son in the material of sense. when they have not ca- consciously looked upon nature as a scene of price. nor as a precarious hope confirmed empirically here and there by victories won by a Galileo or a Newton. Thus the acceptance of the Kantian philosophy not only frees man at a single stroke from superstition. The reign of law in nature is the work of the same reason which proceeds empirically and haltingly to the discovery of law here and there. and consequently have had no motive for the systematic pursuit of science. is connected by bonds of causal necessity with other existences and events. sentimentalism .
and read in its constitution its an " Science and express provision that are free " ? teaching But Reason this expresses is only half of Kant's work.THE TWO WORLDS 23 and moral and theological romanticism. as a sovereign above his subjects. Kant proclaimed to be science manifestation as a of the essential constitution man the knowing being. Giving law to the it material of sense and so constituting nature. Kantian philosophy. is in itself is above sense and nature. it) of scientific For those who accept is accordingly the magna charta work: the adequate formulation of the constitution which directs and justifies their scientific inquiries. What sparse groups of men of natural the of had been doing for the three preceding centuries. It is a truism to say that among the Germans as nowhere else has developed a positive reverence for science. itself supersensible. In what other land does one find in the organic law mention of Science. but gives at the same stroke authorization and stimulation to the detailed efforts of man to wrest from nature her secrets of causal law. . The field supersensible world its legislative is thus a more congenial for activ- ity than the physical world of space and time.
thus proin from a source man above reason. as far concerned. is as much a fact as the existence of knowledge of the physical world. What is cannot introduce be. and thus impose its own opposite upon him. Nature only enmeshes men in its relentless machine-like movement. No.24 THE TWO WORLDS is But open to human experience? Has not Kant himself closed and locked the gates any such field in his assertion that the entire operation of man's knowing powers as knowledge is confined to the realm of sense in which causal necessity dominates? is Yes. command and no matter what the pressure of physical sur- roundings or the incitation of animal inclinations. The fact of duty. It is token of his membership as a moral being in a . indeed. The man to what ought to very existence of a command in the sake of what ought to actually is — be—no matter man to act for what is thus of itself final proof of the operation of supersensible reason within human experience: not. the law of obligation. the to act thus existence of a categorical so. within theoretical or cognitive experience. but within moral experience. Such a command cannot proceed from nature. as far as moral obligation is concerned. The moral ceeds law.
Only men already sophisticated by who are seeking an excuse for their viciousness ever try to deny. how- freedom is an absolute stranger to the natural and sensible world. But. is 25 But it is also directed to something in it man which equally above nature: appeals to and demands freedom. tellectual warrant for it is impossible or self- . so Reason is incapable of anything so irra- self-contradictory. Since. even in words. to accept or reject this truth as It is may see a principle of reason which In denying it involved in every exercise of reason. The freedom of the moral will is the is answer to the unqualified demand of duty. it in name. once more. tional.THE TWO WORLDS kingdom of absolute ends above nature. the response which freedom makes to the voice of duty. ever. as imposing a law of action to which no faculty of action corresponds. The existence of an ideal or spiritual realm with its certified to own laws own is thus by the fact of man's citizenship within it. is man's possession of moral free- dom in the final sign and seal of his membership a supersensible world. this citizenship and Scientific or in- this certification are solely moral. not open to he is It man fit. man none the less acknowledges vice in fact.
since that confined to the sensible world of time and space. From points of view of natural theology and historic Kant was greeted by his contemporaries the " all-shattering. the doors to the supersensible world now it is but a short step to religion. for science works by the law of causal necessity with respect to what igno- rant of any law of freedom referring to what should be. contradictory. of the creation of nature. Of the negative traits of true religion in advance. freedom and . Proofs of the existence of God. as to moral proofs of religious ideas and ideals. They is transgress the limits of knowledge. all historic facts as For the such fall within the realm of time which is sensibly conditioned. of the existence of an terial soul all imma- from the standpoint of knowledge are of them impossible. we may be sure It will not be based upon intellectual grounds. In Kant's own words : " I have found it necessary to deny knowledge of God. Neither will true reli- gion be based upon historic facts such as those of Jewish history or the life of Jesus or the author- ity of a historic institution like a church. religions however." as Quite otherwise is it. With open.26 THE TWO WORLDS is.
" It is a precarious undertaking to single out some one thing importance in German philosophy understanding German in as of typical national life.THE TWO WORLDS " immortality in order to find a place for faith faith being 27 — a moral act. yet he ascribes transitional value to them in that they have symbolized ultimate moral truths. yet may be good for us " to continue to pay reverence to the outward vesture since that has served to bring to general acceptance a doctrine which really rests upon an authority within the soul of man. Then he proceeds principle the estantism. to reinterpret in terms of the sensuous natural principle and the ideal rational main doctrines of Lutheran Protdoctrines of incarnation. are symbols of the dual nature of man. justification by faith and sanctifi- cation. upon external rewards and punishments. and which. while baseless literally and historically. needs no miracle to commend it. original The atonement. as phenomenal and noumenal. And while Kant scourges have ecclesi- astical religions so far as they relied upon ceremonies and external authority. therefore. Although dogmas are but it the external vesture of inner truths. sin. Yet I am committed to the venture. My convic- .
primarily. the primacy always with the inner. one outer. I am totally at it. ideal and free. mark of distinctively German civilization is its combination of self-conscious idealism with unsur- passed technical varied fields efficiency and organization is in the of action. to which so many resort at the present time for explanation of what seems to them otherwise inexplicable. lies As compared with this. in spite of their separateness and independence. Such a claim would be absurd.28 tion I THE TWO WORLDS is that we have its root idea in the doctrine of Kant concerning ical the two realms. trade. that Kant formulated the direction in which the German . civic administration and indus- trial organization. education. phys- and necessary. for a name by which to characterize I do not mean that conscious adherence to the philoso- phy and of Kant has been the cause of the marvelous advances made in Germany in the natural sciences in the systematic application of the fruits of intelligence to industry. is If this in not a realization in fact of loss what found Kant. the other inner. commerce. military affairs. is but a superficial Surely the chief and transitory wave of opinion. To this we must add that. the philosophy of a Nietzsche. detected and But I do mean.
wealth and happi- ness. his formulation and its influence aids us to understand why the German its conscious- ness has never been ficiency swamped by technical efself- and devotion. that his formulation has furnished a banner and a conscious creed which in solid and definite fashion has intensified and deepened the work actually undertaken. Above and beyond an end. not to say self-righteously. for the sake of which all technical achieve- ments. the teaching it Kant had put mechanism forever place at the very time in its subordinate inculcated devotion to as mechanism in its place. idealistic. but has remained consciously. all promotion of health. But no. In bringing to an imaginative synthesis what might have remained an immense diversity of enterprises. so that his philosophy is 29 of immense prophetic significance. Kantianism has helped formulate a sense of a national mission and destiny. Such a work as Germany has undertaken might well seem calculated to generate attachment to a positivistic or even materialistic philosophy and of to a utilitarian ethics. exist. secondarily. lies the realm of inner freedom.THE TWO WORLDS genius was moving. and. of the . Over and above this.
definite subjection and control. Each soul feeds and reinforces the other. every external conquest affords the greater warrant for dwelling in an inner region where mechanism does not intrude. the more they are conscious of fulfilling an ideal mission. The more the Ger- mans accomplish in the way of material conquest. Obedience. there no people so hostile to the spirit of a pragmatic philosophy. Realized in the common temper of a people it might well seem invincible. The combination organization in of devotion to mechanism and affairs outward and of loyalty to freedom and consciousness in the inner realm has its obvious attractions. Thus it turns out that while the Germans have been. Freedom of in and subordination of action dwell harmony. to employ a catchword of recent thought.SO ideal THE TWO WORLDS and the supersensible. Ended split is the paralysis of action arising from the between science and useful achievements on one side and spiritual and ideal aspirations on the other. the most technically pragmatic of all is peoples in their actual conduct of affairs. detailed organization is the lesson en- forced by the rule of causal necessity in the outer world of space and time in which action takes .
to the three hours devoted to these lectures with quotations from representative German authors to the supreme regard for the inner meaning effect that of things. of deciding influence. is the distinguishing mark of the German Latin spirit as against. Speaking of the Germanic lan- guages. a quotainclina- I content myself with one quotation. the Germanic tribes show a remarkable and intentional transition to an internal principle of ac- . say. sheer reveling in noble law of the inner world.THE TWO WORLDS place. such as the quantity of " While the syllables and euphony. ask? difficult. an historian of German civilization says: all other Indo-European languages allow a wide liberty in placing the accent and make external considerations. the heightening of con- sciousness for its ideals. What more fill can mortal It man would not be I imagine. reverence for inner truth in disregard of external consequences of advantage or disad- vantage. the own sake. the externality of the spirit or the utilitarianism of Anglo-Saxondom. SI Unlimited freedom. tion which also indicates the same tion to treat historic facts as symbolic of great truths which is found in Kant's treatment of church dogmas.
accentuation of the real substance of things. conviction gained by countless unfruitful efforts. a certain stubbornness and obstinacy. hence the thoroughness of German science. and the ever-present impulse to give expression to this inner reality which has become the conHence the trolling trait of the Germanic soul. on the part that gives it its There is hardly an ethnological fact meaning. hence the tendency to mysticism. hence a great many of the qualities that explain Germanic successes and failures. that reason alone will never get at the true foundation of things . and to evolve a principle which indicates a power of discrimination far in advance of anything we are used to attribute to the lower stages of civilization? Cir- had become out of their own minds cumstances of which we are not now aware must have compelled them to distinguish the inner essence of things from their external form. Of all related peoples What leads these people to give it up a habit which must have been so old that instinctive.. indeed as of sole. importance. hence. and must have taught them to appreciate the former as of It is this higher. THE TWO WORLDS . hence that con- .. extant which gives so much food for thought as this. perhaps. the ever-powerful desire to discover this real substance. that is. the unwillingness to give up a conviction once formed .32 centuation. the Germanic alone puts the accent on the root syllable of the word.
" The division established between fall. and to satisfy at the same time the requirements of esthetic elegance and beauty. over beauty of form whenever it appears deceitful . the struggle to give to the contents — powerful and adequate expression. as the doer of right deeds for their own sake and not for any reward beyond the natural outcome of the deed itself. the outer realm. hence the faith of the German in his mission among the nations as a bringer of truth. hence the part played by music as the only ex- pression of those imponderable vibrations of the soul for which language seems to have no words . in which of course acts and the inner is realm of consciousness explains what so paradoxical to a foreigner in otherwise writings : German The constant ciple of assertion that Germany brought to the world the conscious recognition of the prin- freedom coupled with the assertion of the incompetency of the relative German folk en masse for political self-direction. as a recognizer of the real value of things as against the hollow shell of beautiful form.THE TWO WORLDS 33 tinuous struggle which marks the history of German art. a struggle in which the victory is ever on the side of truth. though it be homely. To one saturated by the English tradition which identifies .
" We find him to supporting his teachings not by appeal Nietzsche. that the Germans have " always been the standard bearers of free thought. henceforth. of complete intellectual self-determination . and at the same time pointed out the way in which knowl- . combination seems self-con- tradictory. and the Critique of Pure Reason which put a stop to the caprice of philosophic speculation by limitations of defining for the human mind the its capacities for knowledge. Read- who have been by newspaper quotations to regard Bernhardi as preaching simply a gospel of superior force will find in his writings a continual assertion that the German spirit is the spirit of freedom. which checked all free progress." It is Bernhardi who says : " Two man rest: intellectual life.34 THE TWO WORLDS one's freedom with power to act upon one's ideas. ers To German led it is natural. but by the Kantian distinction between the " empirical and rational ego. all the intellectual progress —The Reformation and of and moral mankind must the critical philoso- phy. great movements were born from the Geron which. The Reformation that broke the intellectual yoke imposed by the Church. to make public purposes effective in regulation of the the affairs.
"Germany and the Next War. pared to be the leader in this . . It is this position. cept the German inner self that which has it been given to enjoy in is its given to mankind as a quality which especially fits us for leadership in the intellectual domain and imposes upon us the obligation to maintain that whole. . rare. Outside of Italics •Bernhardi." pp. and thus to lay a foundation for the harmonious organization of mankind. cavalry to bring generals who employ philosophy home practical lessons are. . tions of this great struggle for a harmonious devel- opment of humanity but took the lead in it. whose developed the attempt to reconcile the result of free inquiry with the reli- deepest significance consists in gious needs of the heart." * More who significant than the words themselves are their occasion and the occupation of the one utters them. 73-74. must be precampaign which is .' . Outside of Germany. the intellectual life of our time. . .THE TWO WORLDS edge is 35 On this substructure was really possible. We are thus incurring an obligation for the future from which we cannot shrink. We being fought for the highest stake that has been To no nation exoffered to human efforts. . The German nation not only laid the founda. not in the original text. I think.
more all than any other nation.36 THE TWO WORLDS Germany. German philosophic By the side of this motif the glorifica- tion of war as a biologic necessity. The main thing is that Germany. a secondary detail. in a sense alone of tions. forced is by in- crease of population. but " n embody the universalism of humanity itself. giving its a totally false impression when isolated from context. it would be hard to find an audience where an appeal for military preparedness would be reinforced by allusions to the Critique of Pure Reason. discipline and subordina- . When the philosopher Eucken (who received a Nobel prize for contributing to the idealistic literature of the world) justifies the part taken by Germany in a world war because the Germans alone do not represent a particularistic and nationalistic spirit. Yet only by taking such statements seriously can one understand the temper in which opinion in Germany meets a national crisis. na: embodies the essential principle of humanity spirit. he utters a conviction bred in German thought by the ruling interpretation of idealism. freedom of tailed combined with thorough and dewhere reigns causal work in the outer sphere law. where obedience.
taught and died in Konigsberg. the king who combined a regime of freedom of thought and complete religious toleration with the most extraordinary display known in history of administrative and military efficiency. in one of his minor essays. perhaps worth while to recall that Kant lived. and that Konigsberg was the chief city of east Prussia. of reason its own power this of underfree use The growth of is power of the sole hope of progress in human . His life- work in philosophy coincides essentially with the political work of Frederick the Great. Fortunately for our present purposes.THE TWO WORLDS It is 37 tion are the necessities of successful organization. an island still cut off in his early years from western Prussia. Kant. a titular capital for the Prussian kings where they went for their coronations. " What is essay in question is that entitled " His the Enlightenment ? reply in substance is stated its The that it is the coming of age on the part of human- ity: the transition from a state of minority or infancy wherein man does not dare to think freely to that period of majority or maturity in which mankind dares to use standing. has touched upon this combination and philosophy in terms of his own thought.
38 affairs. Kant illustrates the na- ture of the two by the position of a military sub- ordinate who is given an order to execute which his reason tells him is unwise. To a sin against the very nature of man. the prin- and obedience or subordination to constituted authority. the primary law of which consists in just the advance in rational enlightenment." In contrast with stands that of ciple of which civil is this realm of inner freedom political action. the realm of practice is to obey —to do His sole duty in his duty. he has the right of free inquiry publication. True freedom inner freedom. THE TWO WORLDS External revolutions which are not the natural expression of an inner or intellectual revolution are of little significance. But as a member not of the State but of the king- dom and of science. freedom of thought together it of teaching and check this rational freedom " is with the liberty consequent upon publication. is Genuine growth and philosogrowth and in the gradual diffusion throughout the phy mass of the discoveries and conclusions of those in the slow found of science who are superior is in intelligence. the campaign in Later he might write upon which this event took place and .
the legisla- a non-rational This determining work of reason forms not merely the Idealism of the Kantian philosophy but determines its emphasis upon the a priori. the mistake No wonder that Kant prois claims that the age of the enlightenment the age of Frederick the Great. The functions of reason through which nature is rendered a knowable ob- . 39 point out. the habits of a nation will finally become elevated to rationality. with twofold moral law of freedom and obedience. not as cogs in a machine.THE TWO WORLDS involved in the order. but in accord with the dignity of rational creatures. Before leaving this theme. Nature. and the spread of reason will it should make make possible for the government to treat men. as a knowable object. injustice to this dualism Yet we should do Kant if we inferred that he expected its of spheres of action. to endure forever. upon intellectual grounds. constituted tive is. and by publication and the education which its results permeate the whole state. by work of reason. the sensible world of space and time. I must point out one aspect of the work of reason thus far passed over. By its the exercise of freedom of thought. although constituted out of sensible stuff.
Kant was an economical soul and got along with only two a priori forms and twelve a priori categories. or generic. expressing as it common noun does the universal deference. has bred an intellectual One may fancy a whole nation italized of readers rever- ently bowing their heads at each successively cap- word. for they are necessary to the existence of experience. of what it . One might fancy that the dignity of the substantive. details of this a priori apparatus lie far outside our present concern.40 THE TWO WORLDS The ject cannot be derived from experience. In such fashion one might arrive its at a picture. If one were to follow the suggestion involved in the lately quoted passage as to the significant symbolism of the place of the accent in speech. not without truth. together with the richness of the language in abstract nouns. Suffice it to say that as compared with some of his successors. The mental habitudes generated by attachment to a priori categories cannot however be entirely neglected in even such a cursory discussion as the present. one might discourse German upon the deep meaning of the Capitalization of Nouns in the written form of the German language.
Thus has come about that no moral. He is probably a crass empiric who thinks in terms of material consequences in- stead of upon the it basis of antecedent informing principles of reason. If one is in possession of antecedent rational con- cepts which are legislative for experience. is Or if the material too obviously empirical to allow of such deduc- . 41 means to be devoted to a priori rational princi- number of times during the course of the world war I have heard someone remark that he would not so did if it A much mind what the Germans in its were not for the reasons assigned justification. If the outsider does not see the applicability of the concept to the event. his it may be argued that blindness shows his ineptness for truly uni- versal thinking. It only remains to its subsume each empirical event under proper category. social is or political question adequately discussed in Ger- many until the matter in hand has been properly its deduced from an exhaustive determination of fundamental Begriff or Wesen. But to rationalize such a tangled is skein as human experience a difficult task.THE TWO WORLDS ples. the task is much simplified.
What approa convenience. a rational form is To put them under but to subdue their irrational opposition to reason. what a weapon is the Kantian distinction of a priori rational form and a posteriori empirical matter. or to invade their lukewarm neutrality. recalcitrant. ity. But an a priori conception evidence. Yet there are certain disadvantages attached to a priori categories.t the latter be as as brutely as chaotic you please. nay. are subject to revision. The claims the support of experience subject to modification when experience testifies against it. It only shows how empirical they are. what under its a resource. diversified. . it THE TWO WORLDS must at least be placed priate rational form.42 tion. Le. Any by violence done them is more than indemnified the favor of bringing them under the sway of a priori reason. There always it exists a form of unity under which If the empirical facts are may be brought. appalling to those They have a certain rigidwho have not learned to Empirical matters strongest belief that is identify stiffness with force. so much the worse for them. There is is not open to adverse no court having jurisdiction. the incarnation of the Absolute on earth.
to think of themselves as special in- struments and organs of Deity. 43 an unfortunate mortal should happen to be imposed upon so that he was led to regard a prejudice or predilection as an a priori truth. History proves what a dangerous thing it has been for men. of es- caping from the arbitrament of reasoning. equally great The danger is is when an a priori Reason Divine Providence." of Weapons forged human in the smithy the Absolute become brutal and cruel when confronted by merely resistance. substi- tuted for a Empirically grounded truths do not have a wide scope. only to become. con- trary experience would have a tendency to make him the more obstinate in his belief.THE TWO WORLDS If. they have a humane and social quality. from reason But they are discussable. in the " phrase of a recent writer. They evade the logic of experience. The stiffly constrained character of an a priori itself in Reason manifests another way. they do not inspire such violent loyalty to themselves as ideas supposed to proceed directly itself. while truths of pure reason have a paradoxical way. in the end. when they try to impose their will upon other men. A cate- . the spoil of a logic of fanaticism. then.
a story to the effect that the good townspeople of Konigsberg were accustomed to is There . as everywhere. while a flexible democratic society exhibit loose ends. is and every mother's son of a German his respective hole —tagged. speaking before the hole. to diseneffect.44 THE TWO WORLDS gory of pure reason is suspiciously like a pigeonAn American writer. will. pointed out long ago the undoubted historic fact that the whole modern liberal social and political movement has piricism. labeled and Germany is a huge human check-room." John Locke's deepest objection to the older form of the a priori philosophy. was the readiness with which such ideas become strongholds behind which authority shelAnd John Morley ters itself from questioning. tangle cause and But one can at least say with considerable assurance that a hierarchically ordered and subordered State will feel an affinity for a philosophy of fixed categories. allied itself with philosophic em- It is hard here. and in its the government carries the checks pocket. present war. remarked with witty exaggeration that " Germany is a monstrous set of pigeonholes. in its crude empiricism. pigeoned in ticketed. the doctrine of innate ideas.
. can readily be externalized because the outer world is in truth their abiding home. efficiency and organization in the other. with its lesson of freedom and idealism in one realm. tender lyric. as such) is not completely justi- But it does seem to be true that the Germans. more readily than other peoples. seems boundless fully and which can rarely be successuttered save through music. one may wonder whether Gerits man thought intellectual has not since Kant's time set and spiritual clocks by the Kantian standard: the separation of the inner and the outer. His accusation (though I am not it sure he meant fied. sometimes but always ideas. But technical ideas about means and instru- ments.THE TWO WORLDS their watches 45 upon his by the time at which Kant passed walks so uniform was he. can withdraw themselves from the exigencies and contingencies of life into a region of Irmerlichkeit which at least . the live in the Germans live in the infinite and ineffable. and of mechanism. of mysterious charm. sometimes full domestic. Yielding to — the Teutonic temptation to find an inner meaning in the outer event. A German professor of phi- losophy has said that while the Latins present moment. and a frail and poetry.
But I venture upon the quotation of one sentence which may serve the purpose of at once recalling the main lesson of the previous lecture and furnishing a transition to the theme of the present hour. if an immeasurable gulf is fixed between the sensible realm of the concept of nature and the supersensible realm of the concept of freedom.n GERMAN MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY It is difficult to select sentences from Kant his which are intelligible to those not trained in vocabulary. unless the selection is accompanied by an almost word-by-word commentary. " Even so that it is not possible to go from the first to the second (at least by means of the theoretical use of reason) any more than if they were two separate worlds of which the first could have no influence upon the second. His writings have proved an admirable terrain for the display of German Grundlichkeit. 47 —yet the second is .
It first is a claim of the admirers of Kant that he brought to recognition the true and infinite nature of the principle of Personality. This fact fixes the chief features of Kant's philosophy of Morals and of the State. the individual is homo phenomenon But —a part of the scheme of nature. On one side. in He is a Peris in- whom the purpose of Humanity In English and American writings the . That the relation between the world of space and time where physical causality reigns and the moral world of freedom and duty is not a symmetrical one. its object to realize the purposes of free rational action within the sense world.. the latter. no longer a mere occurrence. governed by its laws as much his as any stone or plant.48 MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY influence meant to have an upon the first. He is son— one carnate. he elevated to true universality. The concept of freedom is meant to actualize in the world of sense the purpose proposed by its laws. is. The former cannot it is intrude into But the very nature of moral legislation that it is meant to influence the world is of sense. in in virtue of citizenship the kingdom of supersensible is Laws and Ends." ..
found the universal within and having setting to work to recreate itself in what had been the external world. the mystic and the romantic phases of this Subjectivism. Subjectivism means recognition of the principle of free personality: the self as creative. This sets the age of subjectivism. coincides with the influence of Kantian thought. as well as to a prior period of subordination to external authority. itself. roughly speaking. isolation. Free as was Kant from the sentimental. we shall do well to bear it in mind in thinking of his ethical theory. Personality means that man as a rational .MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY with them a disparaging color. and by its own creative expansion in industry. but. in sharp opposition to the age of individualism. its own self-conscious- finding a world within itself. looks at things quantitatively. whose commencement. it Individualism means means external relations of human it beings with one another and with the world. in terms of wholes and parts. art and politics to transform what had been mere limiting material into a work of its own. occupied not with an external world which limits it from without. through ness. is 49 terms subjective and subjectivism usually carry Quite otherwise it in German literature.
man. invigorating ring. from God. whether from Na- ture.50 MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY his action being does not receive the end which forms the law of from without. phrase the sentence quoted The gospel of duty has an It is easy to present it as the most noble and subis lime of all moral doctrines. supranatural self. upon the lower empirical by the rational . humanity. Thus we may parafrom Kant. the State or self. pains and penalties and of subservience to an external authority who issues the commands. is an end in itself. but from his own Morality is autonomous. than desire the will to subordinate selfish inclination to the and individual commands com- of stern and lofty duty ? And if the idea of mand (which inevitably goes with the notion of duty) carries a sinister suggestion of legal authority. Obedience to the self-imposed law will transform all social the ties sensible world (within which falls so far as they spring from natural instinct desire) into a form appro- priate to universal reason. what better marks the separation of man from brute. Moral com- mands are imposed by self the higher. What more worthy of humanity. Kant seems to have provided a final corrective in insisting that duty is self-imposed.
however. he in logic bound to do. the balance cannot be maintained in practice. in pure a world where men's acts take place wholly in the external and empirical region. combination internality The I of these two features of and pure formalism leads. to serious consequences. German philosophy is attached to antitheses and their reconciliation in a higher synthesis. moreover. is that the motive which measures duty inner . Kant's Unfortunately. is silent what men's duties insists. faithful logic is compels him to insist that the concept of duty empty and formal. wholly it is purely a matter of inner consciousness be taken into ac- C To admit that consequences can l \ count in deciding what duty is in a particular case would be to make concessions to the empirical and /sensible world which are fatal to the scheme. The dangerous character of these consequences . as Kant. duty as to is It tells men that to do their is their supreme law of action. The Kantian principle of Duty the reconciliation is a striking case of conflicting of the seemingly ideas of freedom and authority. but specifically are.MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY self 51 upon the self of passions and inclinations.
in opposition to this view. by means of only a comma. of course. he gave the clearest expression to the idea of the State." * The sudden jump. .52 MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY be best gathered indirectly by means may perhaps of a quotation. another quite different revolution was working in Prussia their chains the revolution of duty. taught. from the gospel of moral duty to universal military service is much more logical than the shock which cate. The assertion of the rights of the individual leads ultimately to individual irresponsibility and to a repudiation of the State. and created a sound basis on which the claims to individual rights might rest. Immanuel Kant. it gives to an American reader would indi- I do not mean. 63-64. the founder of the critical philosophy. " While the French people in savage revolt and secular despotism had broken against spiritual — and proclaimed their rights. the gospel of moral duty. that Kant's teaching was the cause of Prussia's adoption of universal military service and of the thorough* Bernhardi." pp. and Scharnhorst grasped the idea of universal military service. By calling upon which life individual to sacrifice property and for the good of the community. " Germany and the Next War.
MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
going subordination of individual happiness and
liberty of action to that capitalized entity, the
mean that when
for universal military
service in order to
support and expand the
ing state, the gospel of a
devoid of con-
tent naturally lent itself to the consecration and
idealization of such specific duties as the existing
order might prescribe.
duty must gets
subject-matter somewhere, and
was to revert to anarchic or
romantic individualism (which
hardly in the
spirit of obedience to authoritative law) its
commands of a
Concretely what the State commands
the congenial outer filling of a purely inner
sense of duty.
the despotism of Frederick
the Great and of the Hohenzollerns
true to his policy was at least that hitherto un-
an enlightened despotism, made the
Individuals have at
epochs of stress, offered their supreme sacrifice In
to their country's good.
times of peace as well as of war has been
by an inner mystic
MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
to the plane of the uni-
In short, the sublime gospel of duty has
Outside of the theological and the Kantian
moral traditions, men have generally agreed that
duties are relative to ends.
but some purpose, some good, which the
ment of duty
the principle of morals.
business of reason
to see that the end, the
good, for which one acts
a reasonable one
to say, as wide and as equitable in
working out as the situation permits.
which are based upon consideration of good and
consequences not only allow, g but imperiously
the exercise of a discriminating intelli-
A gospel of duty separated from
results tends to
substitutes for the
of reason displayed in
a wide and distributed survey of consequences in
order to determine where duty
an inner con-
of content, which clothes with
the form of rationality the demands of existing
not based upon and checked by consideration of actual results upon human welfare is none
MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
Professor Eucken represents a type of idealistic
hardly acceptable to strict
Yet only where the fundamental Kant-
ian ideas were current would such ethical ideas as
the following flourish:
When justice is cdnsidered as a mere means of securing man's welfare, and is treated accordwhether it be the welfare of individuals or ingly
of society as a whole makes no essential difference No it loses all its characteristic features.
compel us to see life from its own no longer can it change the existing standpoint; condition of things; no longer can it sway our hearts with the force of a primitive passion, and oppose to all consideration of consequences an
It degenerates compulsion. rather into the complaisant servant of utility; it adopts herself to her demands, and in so doing
It can maintain itself
comes as a unique revelation of the Life within our human world, as a lofty Spiritual Presence transcending all considerations of ex*
The Meaning and Value
of Life," translated
MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
capable of arousing emotional
reverberations in the breasts of
But they are emotions which, if given headway, smother intelligence, and undermine its responsibility for
promoting the actual goods of
justice loses all its characteristic features
means (the word " mere " inserted " before " means speaks volumes ) of the welfare
regarded as a
of society as a whole, then there
and responsible criterion for justice at
justice which, irrespective
of the determination
of social well-being, proclaims itself as an irresistible
a primitive passion clothed with a spiritual
protected from having to render an
During an ordinary course of
passes for but an emotional indulgence
a time of
strain, it exhibits itself
as surrender of intelligence to passion.
The passage (from Bernhardi) quoted earlier puts the German principle of duty in opposition
to the French principle of rights
—a favorite conJeremy Ben-
found the Revolutionary Rights of
promotes agreement. Put in a less abstract form than the revolutionary theory stated them. in which each gives up something which he wants toget someis thing which he wants more. instead of being adopted as empirical expedients to further progress and happiness. less. being derived from the supposed nature or essence of man. social and sociable in accord with the spirit of French philosophy. But at least evokes a picture of merchants bargain- ing. the conception of duty is But one-sided. like Duty. They admit of more and justment. but at least " as far as it not the noblest kind socially responsible it it is goes. — intelligent self- This it is hardly an ultimate idea. of compromise and ad- So also does the characteristic moral contribution of English thought interest. It . expressing command on one side and obedience on the other. Give so that may be given to you in " has return at least some tendency to it bring men together. Rights are while rights are at least reciprocal. while the categorical imperative calls drill sergeant. up the Trafficking ethics. of morals. they are things to be discussed and measured. These Rights were a priori.MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY doctrinaire 57 and conducing to tyranny rather than to freedom.
" When Nietzsche says. it is the one unforgiveable The morals satisfaction of bargaining. in behalf of an unsullied moral idealism. This is just what the authoritative voice of a superior will sin. But persons who profess no regard for happiness as a test of action have an unfortunate way of living up to their principle by making others wwhappy. not tolerate. But when an carries aggressive and commercial nation on commerce and war simply is from the motive of obedience to duty. one might understand the display of contempt." we laugh at the fair hit. pours upon a theory which takes cognizance of In a highly esthetic people practical motives. I should entertain some suspicion of the complete sincerity of those who profess disregard for their own hap- . the mutual of wants may up be outlived in some the remote future. To me there something uncanny in the scorn which German ethics. exchange. there awakened an unpleasant suspicion of a suppressed " psychic •^ complex.58 MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY deliberation requires and discussion. " Man does not desire happiness . but to present they is play an important part in life. only the Englishman does that.
son put an end to the radically dual nature of the legislation of Reaits complacent optimism. the itself harmony . His breach with the enlightenment his denial that nowhere as marked as in nature good. his philosophical rendering of the doctrine of original sin. Not that the passions. but an ideal to be won through a battle with the natural forces is of man. appetites and senses are of themselves but they .MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY cerity piness. evil man is by —that On the contrary. it is The a harmony remains. Leibniz was the great German lightenment. It is in no way a work of the achievement of the self-conscious reason of ideal of man through final conquest of nature. man is by nature is. but I should be quite certain of their sin- when it comes to a question of my hap- is Within the Kantian philosophy of morals there an idea which conducts necessarily to a philosoof society phy and the State. is Ac- cording to Kant. 59 piness. and with the harmony of nature with the moral ends of humanity. morality nature. Although Kant his doctrine of was a true son of the enlightenment. source of the philosophy of the en- Harmony was intelligence the dominant thought of nature with of this philosophy. evil.
together than disintegrating Union with avarice his fellows give a stimulus to vanity. The natural men man to man are those of an unsocial sociableness. which so many have sought the basis of both morality and organized society.60 MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY human action. They are human self-love: the unlawful tendency make happiness the controlling purpose of acrelations of tion. however. As natural desires. tend to usurp the sovereignty of duty as the motivating force of is Hence morality all a ceaseless battle to transform of the natural desires man into willing servants of the law and purpose of reason. and gaining power over others traits which cannot show in themselves in individuals — when they are isolated. more of a force in evolving man from savagery to civilization than are the kindly and sociable instincts. . But no sooner do they come tendencies set in. are forced together by natural Only in social relations can individuals develop their capacities. fall under Kant's condemnation. they aspire to in an illegitimate control parts of to man's motives. Even the kindly and sociable in instincts of man. This mutual antagonism is. On the one ties* hand.
MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY 61 " Without these unlovely qualities which set man over against man in strife. " Thanks then be to nature for the unsociableness. Rousseau was wrong. individuals would have lived on in perfect harmony." These quotations." is But since the condition of civilization but an intermediary between the natural state and the truly or rational moral condition to which is man to rise. the spiteful competition of vanity. the in- satiate desires for power and gain. with all their distinctive abilities latent and undeveloped." In short. selected from Kant's little " Idea for a Universal essay on an History. they would have remained in Rousseau's paradise of a state of nature. contentment and mutual love. the distinctions made between Society and the . and perhaps Rousseau was right when he preferred the savage state to the state of civilization provided we leave out of account the last stage to which our species is " yet destined to rise." are precious for understanding two of the most characteristic traits of subsequent German thought.
a natural and largely unconscious or involuntary growth. in short. but of natural motives which have been transformed by the inner spirit. It is. a fruit not of men's natural motives. prieties. so to speak. It is deliberate and conscious. while morality. needs engendered when people It is is external. on the other. And the real significance of the term " culture " becomes it more obvious when he adds that slow toil involves the of education of the Inner Life. Culture. to civilization in sharply antithetical Civilization is its meaning. social meant simply decencies and elegancies and outward prosince civilization is. Kant made the distinction when he said that Rousseau was not so far wrong in preferring savagery to civilization. that the rule of the end of Reason. a by-product of the live close together. and that the attainment of culture on the part of an indi- vidual depends upon long effort by the com- . of the trouble which has been experienced in re- spect to the recent use of Kultur might have been allayed by a knowledge that Kultur has little in common with the English word " culture " save Kultur is a likeness in sound.62 MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY Much State and between Civilization and Culture. is necessary to culture.
It is not primarily an individual trait or possession. conventional manners or etiquette. commerce pursued not as means of enriching individuals but as a condition of the de- velopment of national cially in life. for was conceived as embodying a struggle between different philosophies of life. Culture has been given even a more sharply technical distinc- tion from Civilization even more acter. philosophy (espe" Weltthat untranslatable thing. two radically the Ro- . Kultwr language in comprises language used for purposes of higher literature. art. that ties in activi- education and the army. religion. The legislation of Bismarck with reference to certain Roman is Catholic orders it nicknamed Kultwr-kampf. and the police activities of government. Anschauung ") science. trade. and the activities of the state in the nurture and expansion of the is.MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY 63 munity to which he belongs." In recent German literature. its and one which emphasizes collective and nationalistic charand uncontrolled Civilization as external by self-conscious its purpose includes such things as more spontaneous colloquial expression. its other forms of national genius. but a conquest of the community won through devotion to " duty. the .
MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
and the true Germanic, not simply
as a measure of political expediency.
that a trading and military post like Kiao-Chou
" monument of Teuspoken of as a
The war now raging
of as an outer manifestation of a great spiritual
struggle, in which
really at stake
supreme value of the Germanic attitude in philosophy, science and social questions generally, the
habits of feeling
similar motives are at
in the disis
tinction between society
and the State, which
almost a commonplace of
English and American writings the State
most always used to denote society in its more organized aspects, or it may be identified with
government as a special agency operating for the
collective interests of
a technical term and
means something empirical and, so to speak, external ; while the State,
not avowedly something
mystic and transcendental,
at least a moral
entity, the creation of self-conscious reason operat-
ing in behalf of the spiritual and ideal interests
MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
Its function is cultural, educait
intervenes in material interests,
does in regulating lawsuits, poor laws, pro-
tective tariffs, etc., etc., its action has ultimately
an ethical significance: its purpose is the furthering of an ideal community. The same thing is to be said of wars when they are really national
wars, and not merely dynastic or accidental.
an expression of man's
ture; his natural seeking for personal advantage
Its typical manifestation is in
petitive economic struggle
in the struggle for
honor and recognized social status. These have proper place ; but with respect even to them
the duty of the State to intervene so that
contribute to ideal ends which
the force or power of the State.
forms of force,
has a sort of sacred import, for
represents force consecrated to the assertion
and expansion of
goods which are spiritual,
maintained only in struggle against man's individualistic
law of morals everywhere.
MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
In Kant we find only the beginnings of
individualism of the eighteenth century.
external and hence outside the strictly moral realm
of inner motivation.
not content to leave
the State and
law as a wholly unmoral matter.
are, according to
The natural motives of man
power, love of gain, love of glory.
are egoistic; they issue in strife
Hobbes), love of These motives
While such a
state of affairs does
not and cannot invade the inner realm of duty, the realm of the moral motive, it evidently presents a regime in which the conquest of the world
by the law of reason cannot be
in his rational or universal capacity must,
therefore, will an outward order of
at least possible for acts dictated
rational freedom to get a footing.
by Such an outer
Its province is
moral freedom directly only the moral will can do that. But its business is to hinder the hindrances to freedom: to establish a social condition
not to promote
much expediency. of the first to proclaim the possibility of endur- . of And so necessary its the State to hu- manity's realization of moral purpose that there can be no right of revolution. not nationalistic.MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY acts ity. it does have a moral basis and an ultimate moral function." Kant was enough his feeling. The over- throw and execution of the sovereign (Kant evidently had the French Revolution and Louis XVI " an immortal and in mind is sin like ) inexpiable Holy Ghost spoken of by theologians. " holy and inviolable. he was one versality of reason. of a child of the eighteenth century to be cosmopolitan. which can never be forgiven in this the sin against the world or in the next." which impels man to the institution of the State. in its universality. It is the law of reason. alone truly corresponds to the uni- he upheld the ideal of an ultimate republican federation of states. 67 may gradually evolve a kingdom of humanwhile Thus the State does not have a directly cion of motive moral scope of action (since the coeris a moral absurdity). less considerations is not natural sociability. in Since humanity as a whole.
Since Germany was the greatest sufferer from these wars. the doctrine sity almost calls for a theory which shall make the State the supreme moral entity. was the great source of her weakness. in his writings. Fichte marks the beginning of the transformation.68 MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY among nations on the basis of such a ing peace federated union of mankind. when in the battle . the division of Germany into a multitude of petty states. the one strong and centralized power it among the German states. all was the only thing which saved them from national extinction. it is easy to detect a marked difference of attitude toward the national- istic state before and after 1806. and since it was obvious that the lack of national unity. however. to cosmopolitanism. and. The threatened domination of Europe by Na- poleon following on the wars waged by republican France put an end. ambiguous moral position in which Kant had left Since a state which is an absolute moral neces- and whose actions are nevertheless lacking in inherent moral quality is an anomaly. since was equally obvious that Prussia. subsequent political philosophy in Germany res- cued the idea of the State from the somewhat it.
. Fichte had a longing afflict for an absolute unity which did not to Kant. I have already mentioned the fact that Kant relaxes the separation of the moral realm of free- dom from latter the sensuous realm of nature sufficiently is to assert that the former meant it. whose very temperament as- sured him of the subordination of theoretical knowledge to moral action. sense must be regarded from the very start as material which the free.MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY of Jena 69 Germany went down its to inglorious defeat. whom. and I shall not try rigidly to maintain the division of themes. in short space. ardently active soul. rational. Fichte of rewrites the Kantian philosophy. save for the concession just referred a complete separation of the two operations of Fichte was also an legislative reason sufficed. to. the German philosophy philosophy of his- of the State blends with tory. so that my reservation of the latter topic for is the next section somewhat arbitrary. It would be as difficult to give. moral created in order to have material for its Ego has own ade- quate realization of will. From the time of Fichte. to influence the and finally to subjugate By means The world of the little crack thus introduced into nature.
If the world of nature and of human relations is an expression of reason. Hence his " reason was a Will which. however. posited then " posited " its antithesis in order. having itself. reason was the expres- an adequate sketch of Fichte's philosophy as of Kant's. no matter how far away this conception of reason takes us from the usual meaning of the term.70 MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY To him. To Fichte the formula which best described such aspects of the world and of life as he was interested in was effort at selfrealization through struggle with difficulties and overcoming opposition. to con- formula for " quer its own freedom. sion of the will. The doctrine of the primacy of the Deed. then reason must be the sort of thing. Kant continued the usual significance of the term Reason (with only such modifications as the rationalism of his century had made current). Fichte began the transformation which consummated in later German idealism. and . Im Anfang While war die That " is good Fichteanism. not (as with Kant) the " will an application of reason to action. and have the sort of attributes by means of which the world may be construed. through further action subjugating this opposite.
with more or rived less plausibility. His final " science of knowlbrought the German people alone of the peoples of the world into the possession of the idea edge " and Hence the peculiar destiny of the German scholar and the German State. Men who ness of the absolute freedom and self-activity must necessarily desire to see around them similar free . after are there only to further this self-assertion) was one which could. Kant had already taught that the acts of men were to become gradually permeated by a spirit of rationality till there should be an equation of inner freedom of mind and outer freedom of action. It was the duty and mission of German ideal of absolute freedom. assertion against obstacles (which. More to our present point.MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY of the 71 Duty to achieve freedom through moral selfall. it was a doctrine which could be preached with noble moral fervor in connection with the difficulties and needs of a divided and conquered Germany. Fichte's doctrine demanded an acceleration of the have attained to a conscious- process. Fichte saw himself as the continuator of the work of Luther and Kant. be de- from Kant. science and philosophy to contribute to the cause of the spiritual emancipation of humanity.
worse because the Germans. more than any other people. the direct manifestation of God in the world — the true priest. to political unity was to be sought in devotion to moral unity. Fichte made a specific application of this idea to his own country and time. condition of contemporary The humiliating to Germany was due the prevalence of egoism. lying at the very basis of all things. Such is the dignity of education as conducted by those who have attained true philosophic insight. in And his priestly function consists bringing other in its men to recognize moral free- dom creative operation. amid political division. Hence he is. In this . were by nature and history conscious of the ideal and spiritual principle. The key to the political regeneration of Germany was to be found in a moral and spiritual regeneration effected by means of education. who is truly a scholar not merely knows. selfishness and particular- ism: to the fact that men had lowered themselves The fall was the to the plane of sensuous life. The key. but he knows the nature of knowledge — its place and function as a manifestation of the Absolute.72 MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY The scholar beings. in a peculiar sense. the principle of freedom.
humanity toward Education is the work of the But in State. The syllogism completes itself. prop- . con- cerned with property. outside of its educational mission. The business of the is State. men must live before they can live nobly. Moreover. To adopt Aristotle's phrase.MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY spirit Fichte 73 preached In his " Addresses to the Ger- man Nation. Without this. tion of a secure life live is The primary condi- that everyone be able to by his own is labor. and this business means insuring property to everyone as well as protecting him in what he already possesses. its order that the State it may carry on must not only possess organization and commensurate power. and promoted all the educational reforms introduced by Stein and Humboldt into Prussian life." this spirit he collaborated in the foundation of the University of Berlin. zealously The conception of the State as an essential moral Being charged with an indispensable moral function lay close to these ideas. Education is the means of the advancement of realization of its divine perfection. moral self- determination a mockery. but it must also control the conditions which secure educational or moral mission the possibility offered to the individuals composing it.
based grounds. It an expression not of individual egotism but of the universal will. " The Closed Industrial State. Hence it is essential to the very idea all of property and of the State that the members of society have an equal opportunity for property. their moral personThis right to labor and to adequate living. but a right recognized and validated by society itself. Hence it is the duty of the State to secure to its every member the right to work and the his reward of work. for it It has a profound moral means the subIt is jugation of physical things to will. on moral and considerations. significance." idealistic State Socialism. not on economic In order that men may have a real opportunity to develop their alities. a neces- sary part of the realization of moral personality: the conquest of the non-ego by the ego.74 erty MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY is not mere physical possession. as expressed in his essay on is The outcome. is property has a social basis and aim. Since is property does not mean mere appropriation. in return for their labor must be assured. Industry must be completely regulated by the State if these indispensable rights to labor and resulting com- . cannot happen in a competitive society.
and by means of a circle of egos or personalities does a human being attain the moral reason and freedom which Kant Only in bestowed upon him as his birthright. is necessary to secure is its own citi- The ultimate goal a universal state as wide as humanity. must therefore regulate or even eliminate foreign com- merce so far as zens. without state-secured and state-imposed obligations. The moral individualism of the latter has become an ethical socialism. But before cosmopolitan and philosophically anarchic condition can be reached. we must pass through a period of the nationalistic closed state. and a state in which each individual rights this will act freely. Only through the educational activities of the State and its complete regulation of the industrial activities of its members does the potential moral freedom of individuals become an established reality. But a state engaged in its unrestricted foreign trade will leave workingIt men at the mercy of foreign conditions.MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY fort 75 and security of life as means to moral voli- tion are to be achieved. If I have devoted so much space direct to Fichte it is not because of his influence upon . at the end a wide gulf separates Fichte Thus from Kant.
the full ." his reply was that programme was a distinctively philosophic utterance. which." And Fichte's thought infiltrated through many crevices.76 MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY or even upon thought. the socialists. therefore. the unity and cooperation of The ultimate . Its function is to work out the true end of man. and hence protected by the conhis stitutional provision for freedom of science and of its teaching. Rodbertus and Lasalle. Heine. And this is his philosophy the State: " The State is individuals in a moral whole. and intrinsic end of the State is. that is to say. to further the positive unfolding. . he expressed ideas and too formal. the progressive de- velopment of human life. . removed from their special context in his system. profoundly affected by him. were taken up into the thought of culti- vated Germany. says with profound truth that " nations have an instinctive presentiment of what they require to fulfill their mission. were. speaking of the vogue of systems of thought. His system was at once too personal Nevertheless. When the latter was prosecuted in a criminal suit for his " Programme of Workingmen. affairs He did not found a school. for example.
the designation may be highly significant in refer- ence to the spiritual temper of the the first part of the nineteenth century. of. it is but is in the assertion that since the laboring class the one whom the need most directly appeals. not to say free much that is But with interpretation. it is work- ingmen who must take the Pantheism a lead in the development of the true functions of the State." And to he differs from Fichte. so also should the term Monism. is philosophic nickname which should be sparingly employed. Germany For of it gives a key to the presentiment of what Germany historians that needed to It its is fulfill its mission. a commonplace German unity and expansion to a great state powerful . To call Fichte's is system an ethical pantheism and monism enlightening.MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY degree of culture of which ble." 77 human nature is capa- And he quotes with approval the words: " The concept of the State must be broadened so as to make the State the contrivance whereby all human if virtue is to be realized to the full.
You recall the bitter word that. It was well known that the wild fancies of the Conqueror hovered about the utter annihilation of Prussia. externally. when finally conquered and Europe partitioned. from within out- ward. Spiritual and ideal realistic Germany made common cause with and practical Prussia. unlike that of any other people. then east as well as west of the Elbe. As says Von Founding of the Ger" : " Sybel. not only if this . But this aerial and tenuous kingdom Napoleon was became a mighty power. the historian of the man Empire " Germany had been ruined through its own disintegration and had dragged Prussia with it into the abyss. prosperous was wrought.78 MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY internally. " our national development started from the most ideal and approxi- mated more and more to the Heine agree that in and the Napoleonic career were paralleled by a philosophic revolution and an intellectual lution Hegel and Germany the French Revoreal. to Germany was assigned the kingdom of the clouds. should take place. In Lange's words. working with and in the statesmen of Prussia and the scholars of Germany to found a kingdom on the solid earth." empire.
had been admiring Faust. the German language and German art and learning everything would be wiped out by the foreigners. there was no safety possible for Prussia unless all Germany was free. and that. " What a remarkable providence it was that brought together. as in the Middle Ages. But this fatal danger was perceived just at the time when everybody had been looking up to Kant and Schiller. and had recognized that Alexander von Humboldt's cosmological studies and Niebuhr's " Roman History " had created a new era in European science and learning. too. Fichte's stirring adGerman people. on this ancient colonial ground. while dresses to the Scharnhorst's recruits and militia were devoted to the defense of toms. Everyone German honor and German cusfelt that German nationality its was lost if Prussia did not come to rescue. 79 but every trace of a Ger- man spirit. a throng of the most . Humboldt's glorious of the Berlin University. Schleiermacher's patriotic sermons. served to augfounding ment the resisting power of Prussia. and so the political interests of Prussia and the salvation of the Ger- man nationality exactly coincided. In such intellectual attainments the Germans felt that they were far superior to the vanquisher of the world and his great nation.MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY political independence. — customs. the world-embracing masterpiece of Goethe's.
nor the generals. For neither Stein nor his follower. " Thus on the most eastern frontier of in the midst of troubles German which seemed hopelife. F. Hardenberg. blotted from the political map of Europe." What I have called the ethical pantheism and monistic idealism of Fichte (a type of philosophy reigning almost unchallenged in Germany till al- most the middle of the century) was an effective . But it was easier to deyounger generation. Scharnhorst. but birth. Bluecher and Gneisenau. Niebuhr. the spirit of national unity. the idea dormant for centuries. nor many others who might be mentioned. Fichte and K. of German unity. nor the authors. which had lain less. Eichorn. now sprang up in a new At first this idea was held exclusively by the great men of the times and remained the invaluable possession of the cultivated classes.80 MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY energetic men from all districts of Germany. . they had become The name Germany had been loyal Prussians. feat the mighty Napoleon than to bend the German sentiments of dualism and individualism to . once started it spread far and wide among the . were born in Prussia. yet because their thoughts centered in Germany. but never had so many hearts thrilled at the thought of being German.
coinciding. national consciousness are common enough in the ear- But nowhere save in Germany. made the Ego of Germany the noblest contemporary object of contemplation. facts. had developed an exasperated introspection. in " Seized by a strange fancy at the ball on the 6th. philosophy. lier feeling." It is a temptation to find in this passage a symbol both of German philosophy and of the temper of Germany at the time.MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY weapon battle. Its outer defeats. nineteenth century. history. I imagine myself looking at my own Ego through a kaleidoscope. philology and philosophy. with the Von Sybel points bloom of Germany in art. national yet one surrounded with other Egos who offended by what they did Patriotism. its weakness in the world of action. national and what they did not do. as out. This outer weakness. All the forms moving around me are Egos and annoy me by what they do and leave undone. have these sentiments and . 81 in fighting In his and winning this more difficult volume on the " Romantic School Germany." Brandes quotes from the diary of Hoffman a passage written in 1809.
cially is Espe- the human ego the authorized and cre- ative agent of absolute purpose. but philology. it The science of social psy- chology derives from at one remove. mind the kind of idealism At this point the pantheistic allusion be- comes significant. Not merely poetry was affected by it. and (quite in accord with German idealism) it formed a body for period came itself —the it German State While the as a unified Empire. and especially of the State. The embodiand ideal is ment of the divine and absolute will the existing world of nature and of men. impulses been transformed by deliberate nurture into a mystic cult. first. . history and jurisprudence. The idealism in question was this not an idealism of another world but of world. however. was born and the idea lost no time in becoming a fact. needed a body. The so-called historic school is its offspring. it is idealistic im- portant to bear in was. The soul.82 MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY This was the time when the . idea of the Volks-seele. the Volks-geist. The significance German philosophy was precisely to make men aware of their nature and destiny as the of direct and active representatives of absolute and creative purpose.
it is 83 because. Heine was a thought that this false prophet. On the contrary. . In man Deity reaches self-consciousness. . who is capable of distinguishing his own individuality from objective nature. the conof his divinity will inspire man with enthusiasm for its manifestation. but in and through collective huwhich comprehends and represents . an error to suppose that this religion leads . he had an intimate sense of its human meaning.MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY If I again quote Heine. He philosophy would in the end . " God is . individual manity in idea . who feels and thinks at the same time. and this self-consciousness God revelation But this again reveals through man. It is and in reality the whole God-universe. But he manifests himself most gloriously in man. whose intellect already bears within itself the ideas that present themselves to him in the phenomenal world. with his contempt for technical philosophy. does not take place in and through man. sciousness moment the really noble achievements of true hero- ism glorify the earth. . ." In one respect. and from this men to indifference. he wrote in still 1833 while it was in its prime: identical with the world. . Of German pantheistic idealism.
. The his- a complicated matter. and . Most of all to be feared would be the phi. must begin with the reformation. such as we. who as matter had little vogue. Then will come upon the scene armed Fichteans. But his words may not unjustly be transferred to the naturalistic schools. which have since affected German thought. who will mercilessly upturn with sword and axe the soil of our European life to extirpate the last remnants of the past. little . in general to say that the honey the libertarians hived the party of authority. the republican and revolutionary party tory of German liberalism Suffice it Germany. His essay closes with fol- burning words. from which I extract the lowing " It seems to : me that a methodical people. . only after their completion pass to the political revolution.* were they actively to min* He of fact refers to the followers of Schelling. was appropriated in the end by In Heine's assurance that these ideas would in due time issue in action he was profoundly right. . as tolerant of piety in the world of deeds as in the world of ideas. must then occupy ourselves with systems of philosophy. . for they live in the spirit. Then will appear Kantians.84 MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY in is accrue to the profit of the radical. whose is fanaticism of will to be restrained neither by fear nor self-interest. losophers of nature.
" In my preoccupation with Heine. he writes: republican. . and having done so. In fact his sympathies were largely French and Before Jena. But the necessity of the or- ganized State to care for the moral interests of mankind was an inherent part of Fichte's thought. what state was a matter of indifference. . . . if the Fichtean courageously defies every danger. . since for him danger has in reality no existence. The thought precedes the deed as The hour will the lightning the thunder. dreamer. . As on the steps of an amphitheater. Smile not at my counsel as at the counsel of a . . witness the terrible combat. I seem to have wandered somewhat from our immediate topic: the connection of the idealistic philosophy with the development state and organization of the national of Germany. .MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY gle. in that he can conjure up the demoniac forces of old German pantheism. . the nations will group themselves around Germany to . . At first. aroused — in him that ancient Germanic eagerness whicR . 85 For if the hand of the Kantian strikes with strong unerring blow. the Philosopher of Nature will be terrible in that he has allied himself with the primitive powers of nature. come. combats for the joy of the combat itself.
. " Addresses to the German Nation. Features of the Present Age " had taught that the end of humanity on earth of a kingdom in which all is the establishment relations of humanity are determined with freedom or according to Rea- son —according to Reason as conceived by the In his Fichtean formula. With this cos- mopolitan sense." : In 1807 he writes " The distinction between Prussia and the rest Germany is external." of fortuitous." of is in 1807-08.86 MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY " What is the nation for a truly civilized Chris- tian European ? More In a general way. . Europe itself. the unique mission Germany in the establishment of this kingdom urged as a motive for securing national unity and the overthrow of the conqueror. arbitrary and The distinction between Germany and Europe is founded in nature. the rest of The seeming gulf between the two ideas is easily The " Addresses on the Fundamental bridged. we can be tranquil before the vicissitudes and catastrophes of history. The Germans are the sole people who recognize the prin- . at the head of civilization. particularly at any time the State which is .
great promise of a kingdom of to win right reason and truth on earth must not become a is vain and empty phantom . with- out hope of future restoration. First. for Germany no selfish gain. Moreover. and " saying the : We in our time saved Germany from " But yours is the Roman World Empire." to He personifies their ancestors speaking them." You greater fortune. making Nation the regenerator. of freedom won by action in accord with reason." And this antithesis of the Germanic and the Roman principles has become a commonplace in the German is imagination.MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY ciples 87 of spiritual freedom. the present iron age but a transition to a better estate. so sinks humanity entire with you. Faithfulness to this mission will " elevate the German name to that of the most glorious this among all the peoples." The premises of the historic syllogism are plain. the German Luther who saved for mankind . It is an advantage to all " The nations." concluding words : Hence the " There is no middle road : If you sink. all may establish once for the Kingdom of the Spirit and of Reason. and restorer of the world. bringing to naught corporeal might as the ruling thing in the world.
As past history . who wrought out the principle into a philosophy of science. morals and the State. the German nation organized in order to win the world to recognition of the principle. and one yielding to no other people in industrial and commercial prosperity. Ideas produced when Germany was divided and broken were retained and cherished after it became a unified State of supreme military power. Let mentalists sing the praises of an ideal to which no actual force corresponds. The military senti- arm is part of this moral embodiment.88 MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY then the principle of spiritual freedom against Latin externalism . Kant and final Fichte. that might makes structed right. Germany has not held But it has been init is by a long line of philosophers that the business of ideal right to gather might to itself in order that it may cease to be merely ideal. The Germans are patient. Prussian faith in the reality and enforcement among men of the ideal is of a more solid character. as conclusion. In the grosser sense of the words. and thereby to establish the rule of freedom and science in humanity as a whole. The State represents exactly this incarnation of ideal law and right in effective might. they have a long memory.
the without mask. For any philosophy which is not consistently experimental will always traffic in absolutes no matter litical in how disguised a form. and war is its overt manifestation. and one which is frankly experimental. For the philosophy stands or falls with the conWhether a philosophy ception of an Absolute. future history must uphold and expand what has been accomplished. . traffic is In German po- philosophy. But that philosoph- ical absolutism may be practically as dangerous as testi- matter of fact political absolutism history fies. The situation puts in relief what is finally is at issue between a theory which belief in an Absolute pinned to a beyond history and behind experience. the final seal of devotion to the extension of the kingdom of the Absolute on earth. of absolutes is theoretically sound or unsound is none of my present concern. That war demands proof of self-sacrifice is its but the more convincing It is profound morality. Diplomacy is the veiled display of law clothed with force in behalf of this realization.MORAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY is 89 the record of the gradual realization in the Germanic State of the divine idea.
Rous- seau's deification of Nature was the occasion for conception of Culture.m THE GERMANIC PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY The unity of the German people longed It for and dreamed of after 1807 became an established fact through the war of 1870 with France. is easy to assign symbolic significance to this fact. since the time of the fore — German thought has taken shape French Revolution — Ever not be- if in conflict with ideas that were characteristically French and in sharp and conscious antithesis to them. The cosmopolitanism self-conscious of the French En- lightenment was transformed by into German of thinkers a assertion nationalism. the development of the His condemnation of science and art as socially corrupting and socially divisive worked across the Rhine to produce the notion that science and art are the forces which moralize and unify humanity. The abstract Rights of Man 91 of the French Revo- .
the attempt (foreshadowed in the philosophy of Descartes) to make a tabula rasa of the fortuitous assemblage of traditions and institutions which history offers. from medieval . deliberate breach of the revolutionary philosophy with the past. That is incarnate reason. that history infinitely more rational than the formal abstract- individual ing and generalizing reason of individuals. was origo of all evil. that mind becomes rational only through the absorption and assimilation of the universal reason embodied in historic institutions and historic development. It is hardly an exag- geration to say that for almost a century the characteristic philosophy of Germany has been a philosophy of history even when not such in ap- parent form. Yet the meaning of this appeal to history is lost unless we bear in mind that the Enlightenment after all transmitted to Germany. became the articles of faith of the German intellectual creed.92 PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY by The lution were set in antithesis to the principle of the rights of the citizen secured to him solely the power of the politically organized nation. in order to sub- stitute a social structure built envisaged as the fons et history is itself upon Reason.
nor yet because history bequeathes to us stubborn institutions which must be reckoned with. human his- Recourse to tory was required because not of any empirical lessons it has to teach. our sepulchers and our tars. but because history is the dynamic and evolving realization of immanent reason. But his appeal is to experience and to practical consequences." He has the same suspicion of abstract rights of man. but al- about " our hearths. but from analytic " thought (henceforth condemned to be merely Un" " derstanding Verstand") to an absolute and — universal Reason (Vernunft) partially revealed in nature and more adequately manifested in history as an organic process.PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY thought. centers The continuity of political life not about an inner evolving Idea. " inheritance " beits institutions are an " collected wisdom " of queathed to us from the our forefathers. its 93 foundation principle. The appeal was not from reason to experience. Since " circum- . The contrast of the German attitude with that of Edmund Burke is instructive. But his objection was not that the past is but that an embodiment of transcendent reason. The latter had the same profound hostility to cutting loose from the past.
the Germans." there is no soundness in " any principle when all it stands stripped of every relation in the nakedness and solitude of metaphysical abstraction. of imaginative thought in which live. the sub- stance of the doctrines of Protestant Christianity is identical with the truths of absolute philosophy. as dogmas. In established rights point of fact. most men The disposition to philosophize Christianity . political or religious. the English protested because of interference with empirically and privileges. the form. because they perceived in the Revolution a radical error as to the nature and work of reason. namely. except that in religion they are expressed in a form not adequate to their meaning. already referred to Kant's disposition to regard church dogmas (of which. the Germans never made that break I have with tradition. To Hegel. he disap- proved) as vehicles of eternal spiritual truths husks to preserve an inner grain.94 PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY stances give in reality to every principle its dis- tinguishing color and discriminating effect. of which the French Revolution is an emphatic symbol. All of the great — German idealists gave further expression to this disposition." According to the German view. for example.
an inability to reconcile the spiritual and absolute essence of deals with science reality with which religion the detailed work of intelligence in and politics. The Germans.PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY is 95 too widely shown in Germany to be dismissed as a cowardly desire at established. The " spirit finds the goal of its struggle. Hegel finds that the char- acteristic weakness of Romance thought was an inner split. predestined to be the bearers of the Christian principle and to carry out the Idea as the absolutely Rational end. the spiritual and the worldly. on the con" were trary. surely. Whatever is to be said of this . — made the object of it finds that secular pursuits are a " spiritual occupation . —a discovery. which unites simplicity with comprehensiveness and one which does not lead to criticism of the secular pursuits carried on. its in that very sphere which it resistance. but by realizing that the Christian principle is in itself that of the unity of the subjective and the objective. its harmony. They accomplished not by a flight away from the secular world." this. accommodation with things It shows rather an intellectual piety among a people where freedom of thought and conscience had been achieved without a violent political upheaval.
a somewhat similar The painful transition from feudalism to the modern era was. More than other countries. for the most part. expresses. notably in the Latin countries. and accomplished under the guidance of established political authorities instead of by revolt against them. the quality of and thought. least to Germans. in a way. to be a satisfying degree of po- . Germany has had the fortune to pre- German life serve as food for its imaginative life and as emoIt tional sanction the great ideas of the past. Under and mainly at their initiative. out of the doand guild restrictions which themselves so long held economic activity in corporate bonds. has carried over their reinforcement into the pursuit of science and into politics — into the very things which in other countries. Germany has passed in less than a century to the regime of modern capitalistic competitive their supervision. enterprise. have been used as weapons of attack upon tradition.96 PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY it as philosophy. accomplished recently in Germany. Political development tells tale. The governing powers members of the secured at to State what seems. moderated minion of those local by the State.
been peculiarly sensitive to the idea of historic continuity. why it has been prone to seek for an original implicit essence which has progressively unfolded take ficial itself in a single development. which takes the form of a unity achieved through conflict and the conquest of an opposing principle. that every step in the development of as a unified political Germany power has been effected by war with some of the neighbors by which it is hemmed in.PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY litical 97 Along with this absence of internal disturbance and revolution. but the rebound of external struggle upon the achieving of internal unity. 1864. we must put the fact freedom. It would much more than an hour to give even a supersci- account of the growth of the historical ences and historic methods of Germany during . Such scattering comments as these prove nothBut they suggest why German thought has ing. 1870. And the significant thing about these wars is not that external territory was annexed as their consequence. No wonder the German imagination has been impressed with the idea of an organic evolution from within. 1866. There stands the unfolding sequence : 1815 (not to go back to Frederick the Great).
Fichte sketched the stages already traversed on road and located the point at which mankind stands. The us. the significance . Mommsen and Ranke remade the methods of studying the past. that when Taine made the the remark (quoted earlier) that we owe to 1830 all Germany of the half century before our distinctively modern ideas. much more significantly. and the philological methods which go by the name of higher criticism. effective historical technique that men achieved respectable results. as a progress from a reign of natural instinct to a final freedom won through adherence to this the law of reason. of the historic schools of jurisprudence and political economy. now In his later writings.98 the first PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY half of the eighteenth century. I can only say here that Germany devel- oped such an even mediocre and. It would involve an account of the creation of philology. his remarks apply above all to the disciplines concerned with the historical development of mankind. bases of this philosophy are already before in Even Kant we find the idea of a single continuous development of humanity. as well as of the ways in which such men as Niebuhr. of their extension to archeology.
and that this achievement thence spread over the entire Since the State otism is is an organ of divinity. Along with this growing deification of history is the increased significance attached to nationalism in general and the Ger- man crete nation in particular. It and it only is the revela- tion of the Absolute. individual The State is the con- interposed between generic hu- manity and particular beings. patriotism is the will that this end be first realized in the particular nation to which we ourselves belong. He " While cosmopolitanism is the dominant will that the purpose of the existence of humanity be actually realized in humanity. life History it the continuous in fact of a divine Ego by which realizes what it is in idea or destiny. the life the channel of divine finite as it pours into particular says: human beings. As the Germans are the .PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY is is 99 of history as the realization of the absolute pur- pose increasingly emphasized. Its phases are successive stages in the founding of the King- dom of God on earth. patri- religion. national folk is In his words.
not a proves that selfhood gift of circumstance. they have no self-formed Self. due to general convenis In Germany there a self which is self- wrought and self-owned. The very is fact that Ger- many for centuries its has had no external unity metaphysical. Hegel attributes the inner disharmony characteristic of Romance peoples ficial cult to the fact that they are of mixed Germanic and Latin blood. European nations are a pure They alone have preserved unalloyed the original divine deposit. tional Language is the expression of the nasoul. In the . A purely arti- of race has so flourished in Germany social that —and some many movements — like anti-Semitism of Germany's political ambitions can- not be understood apart from the mystic identification of Race. and only the Germans have kept their In like vein. they alone are truly capable of patriotism. This conception of the German mission has been combined with a kind of anthropological metaphysics which has become the rage in Germany.100 PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY Other peoples are products only truly religious people. native speech in its purity. of external causes . existing The Germans alone of all race. Culture and the State. self but only an acquired tion.
a paradise without knowledge.* is of people reading scientific the same sober fact compared At the beginning of history Fichte placed an Urvolk. To one thing he remains consistent: By the very essence of race. the Semites represent a metaphysical principle inherently hostile to the grand Germanic principle. the potency of the German blood is such that cross-breeding strengthens it. It p«rhaps seems absurd to dignify the vagaries of this garrulous writer. ." has had august approval and much vogue. this is 101 so mythological that the remark of an American periodical that race means a number newspapers with " it.PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY light of actual science." His account of it seems an attempt to rationalize at one stroke the legends of the Golden Age. Chamberlain. labor or art. Quite aware that there is much Slav blood in northern Germany and Romance blood in southern Germany. he explains that while with other peoples crossing produces a mongrel race. for example. While at one time he explains the historic strength of the Jew on the ground that he has kept his race pure. but according to all report the volumes in which such expressions occur. holds that Jesus must have been of Teutonic birth a perfect logical conclusion from * — the received philosophy of the State and religion. the Biblical account of man before " state of nathe Fall and Rousseau's primitive ture. "The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century." The Urvolk lived in a paradise of inno- cence. another place he allows his indignation at the Jews to lead him to include them among the most mongrel of all peoples.
all subsequent history is but a return to this primitive condition. In a sense. sciousness of itself. own true being. found themselves in a state of perfectly developed reason. Reason self- could not have been appropriated conscious effort of man. humanity does not reit has no real life. like all true self-consciousness. humanity could not exist at Yet in the first stage of the manifestation. being divided between the Normal Folk . . was once without If its own cooperating labor. not. won by morally creative it Rational in substance. struggle. without science and art. create its . by " the mere fact of their existence." 'While philosophy compels us to assume a Normal People who." Thus the original state of humanity would have existing as a been one of the greatest possible inequality. in form was but feeling or instinct." there is no ground \ for not admitting the existence at the same time of " timid and rude earth-born savages.102 PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY is The philosophy which demands such a Folk paratively simple. com- Except as a manifestation of all. Absolute Reason. But " humanity must make the journey on its own feet . for it by the It existed without con- was given. by its own strength it must bring itself back to that state in which it .
termined that the present age —the Europe He had de- of the is the from the external authority in which Reason had presented itself in the second Hence it is inherently negative : " an age of absolute indifference toward the Truth. an age of entire and unrestrained licentiousness. but these I doubt if it is possible to exag- gerate the extent to which German history has . which may Since redeem. The Fichtean ideas persisted. therefore. 103 manifestation of Reason and the wild and savage In his later period of inflamed patriotism this innocuous speculation grew a sting. the else- corrupt and rebellious modes of humanity where existing. they are the Urvolk.PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY races of barbarism. the Germans are this saving remnant. the Nor- mal Nation. point history its From to this on." But the further evolution of the Divine Idea demands a Folk which has retained the primitive principle of Reason. idealization of the past nation over Germanic realize and appeal calling to unique by victory Napoleon blend. of the modern period. — Enlightenment and the French Revolution age of liberation age. scaffolding tumbled.
Actually the detailed facts have been depicted by use of the palette of Ro- manticism. the Romantic movescien- ment may have passed away and an age of tific history dawned. The Ger- mans. Tacitus called his account of an unfortuthe northern barbarians Germania — nate title in view of later developments. Space permits but one illustration it which would be but a literary curiosity were not fairly typical. in etc. had that psychological experience now known as mana. hundred Technically speaking.104 PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY last been systematically idealized for the years. for example. and over again these (which Tacitus ideal- ized as Cooper. . Tacitus' phrase. say. assigned by him to the The characteristics German Yet over tribes are such as any anthropologist could duplitraits cate from any warlike barbaric tribe." This turns out to be the germinal deposit of spiritual-mindedness which later showed itself in Luther and in the peculiar genius of the Germans for religious experience. idealized the North American Indian traits) are made the basis of the philosophic history of the German people. manitou. They identified their gods. tabu. with " that mystery which they perceive by experiencing sacred fear.
this sense of mystery is a prophetic anticipation of the Kantian thing-in-itself. Treue. A similar treatment has been accorded to the personal and voluntary bond by which individuals attached themselves to a chieftain. like tribes still among our Indians carried the system further. which scorns to drag down the sublime mystery of the unknowable to the vulgar distinctness of earthly things? The fact that the Germans attached but little importance to reli- gious ceremonies accords with this view. I can allow myself but one in example of the way which the philosophic so- phistication of history has worked. Thus early was marked out the which is fidelity uniquely Germanic —although some warmore or loyalty.PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY The ity than Pfleiderer: 105 following words are from no less an author- " Cannot we recognize in this point that truly German characteristic of Iimerlichkeit which scorns to fix for sensuous perception the divine something which makes itself felt in the depths of the sensitive soul." To others. No historian \ can be unconscious of the extent to which Eu- ropean culture has been genuinely the extent to which it European— I derives itself from a common .
however. but only the Germans have apprehended him in universality so that he is now more he is his spiritual his — England's and own than respect to so on. As to Germany. from its Romanized petri- The principle of Reason which French its enlightenment laid hold of only in destructive aspect. these obvious facts have to be accommodated to the doctrine of an original racial deposit steadily evolving from within. Through itself universality. and rescued essential Christianity faction. Shakespeare happened to be born in England. Consequently. As ese cultural borrowings respects Germany. similar borrowings reveal only their . consciously appropriates and assimilates what other peoples in- have produced by a kind of blind unconscious stinct.106 PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY heritage of the ancient world and the extent to which intermixtures and borrowings of culture have gone on ever since. Thus it was German thought which re- vealed the truth of Hellenic culture. But with other peoples. the its negative and German spirit grasped in positive and constructive form. and crosses represent its the intrinsic universality of this genius. the German spirit finds it home everywhere. is The method 4 at simple.
solute. Its chief difference. I have intimated that Fichte's actual influence was limited. he the greatest reaUst known to phi- losophy. an Aband his is which merely ought to be and which only going to be realized after a period of time. Shakespeare universal because he not English. In the inquiry Bourdon carried on in Germany a few " Geryears ago (published under the title of the He man Enigma "). aside from Hegel's encyclopedic knowledge. the is actuating and movement of Idealist. his greater concrete historic interest ment. To set forth the ground principles of his " absolute idealism " would be only to repeat what has already been said. is 107 While Luther is universal because he is is German. " The t* Actual it Actual " force call —and is the Rational and the Rational the the actual means things.PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY lack of inner and essential selfhood. and Hegel for a considerable period absolutely dominated German thinking. might be called a Brutalist. is his more conservative temperabottomless scorn for an Idea. But his basic ideas of the State and of history were absorbed in the philosophy of Hegel. him an customary to In one sense of much abused It terms. he records a conversation with a .
however. he would say. In fell his earlier ethical writings. em- phasis upon conscious moral personality by the — upon the will of its deliberate identification individual career and destiny with the purpose of the Absolute. In his later patriotic philosophy. fication of facts He had is formulas for the justibe. This assimilation involved. and that the I could German opportunity not far off. As against this he appeals to the realistic sense of Hegel. And what did he teach? That the hour has sounded for the third act in the drama is of humanity. show you throughout the nineteenth century the torrent of political and social ideas which had their source here. who. ." I have said that the essential points of the Fichtean philosophy of history were taken up into the Hegelian system. " in opposi- tion to the idealism which had lifted Germany on wings. a rectification of an inconsistency be- tween the earlier and the later moral theories of Fichte... arrayed and marshaled the maxims of an unflinching realism. whatever they might That which is.108 PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY deplores the tendency of the German who Germans to forsake the solid bone of things in behalf of a romantic shadow. . reason realized.
PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY 1 he asserts that the organized nation is 109 the channel by which a finite ego acquires moral personality." attack. At and the same time he appeals to the resolute will consciously chosen self-sacrifice of individuals to overthrow the enemy and re-establish the Prussian state. the war of Independence has been suc- cessfully waged. since the nation alone transmits to individuals the generic principle of God working in humanity. its impotent that realization must depend upon the effort of private selves. he sticks in politics . The necessity of emphasizing individual self-assertion had given way to the need of subordinating the individual to the established state in order to check the disintegrating tendencies of liberalism. last to But Hegel himself should have been the With his scorn for an Ideal so object. Haym fect has said that Hegel's " Philosophy of for its task the exhibition as the per- Law " had " work of Absolute Reason up to date of the practical and political condition existing in This was meant as a hostile Prussia in 1821. When Hegel writes that victory has been obtained. an Absolute so inconsequential that it must wait upon the accidents of future time for manifestation.
" . But Hegel says that nature only an ex- ternalized. the divine showed but its posterior side." It is a commonplace of a manifestation of is theism that nature is God. after flight only at the close of the issue.110 PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY the rational. more than elsewhere to the conviction that the actual is is If " The task of philosophy is. To it belongs supreme right in respect to individfirst . to acknowledge what has happened. and so incomplete expresless. as Jehovah to Moses on Mt. . Human the bird of Minerva which takes its day. is —just to be members of the State. truth and morality only in his capacity as a member idealistic oi. to comprehend that which for that which is. The State " is the absolute real- ity and the individual himself has objective existence." Alleged philosophies which try to tell what the State should be or even what a state idle fan- ought in the future to come to be. the rational in itself and for itself. Sinai. are tasies. not objective real- *Marx said of the historic schools of politics. unconscious sion. uals whose duty . the State. Reason. wisdom is like Such attempts come too late. law and economics that to them." * It comes. The State has more. " The State is Its substantial unity is an absolute end in itself.
bursts it to pieces. their foundation is the power of reason realizing itself as state. " The march of God in history is the cause of the existence of states. his theory of great world heroes seems inconsistent with his disregard of individuals. from that inner spirit hidden their calling not beneath the surface. great toric epochs." human State * art. participates in the is divine essence. of the divine right of kings.PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY ity 111 than physical nature. Every whatever it be. which. doctrine presents an extreme The not form of the idea. men initiate new his- They derive " their purposes and from the calm regular course of things sanctioned by the existing order. While the morality of most men consists simply in assimilating into their own habits the customs already found in the institutions about them. At first sight. only Reason could produce The is God on earth. for it is a realization of Absolute spirit in the realm of consciousness. will. The State not the work of it. His depreciation of the individual as an individual appears in every theme of his Philosophy of Right and History. but of the divine right of States. striking the outer world as a shell." The heroes . but from a concealed fount.
written decades of the eighteenth century. combined . of God in his further march. are not sur- prised to see that Alexander. Caesar and Napoleon are the characters he prefers to One can only regret that he died before his contemplative piety could behold Bismarck. is Such men may even treat other great and sacred interests inconsiderately. .112 PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY They while they seem to be seek- are thus the exception which proves the rule. is a progressive education of humanis This idea. Herder holds that history ity. In his chief work (" Ideas for a Philosophy of the in the closing History of Humanity "). In his identification with the Absolute. are world characters . A large part of the intellectual machinery by which Hegel overcame the remnants of individualism found in prior philosophy came from the idea of organic development which in had been active German thought since the time of Herder. . ing personal interests they are really acting as organs of a universal will. had from Lessing." We cite. the world-149o can have but one aim to which " he devoted regardless of all else. But so mighty a form must tramflower ple down many an innocent in its —crush to pieces many an object path. .
The notion was " mak- set in sharp antithesis to the conception of ing" or manufacturing institutions and constitutions. literature and institutions. Struggle for existence (or realization) was thus an "organic" part of German .PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY with the idea of Leibniz that change is 113 evolution. A combination of this notion of universal organic growth with the technique of prior idealism may fairly be said to have determined Hegel's whole philosophy. This idea of organic growth was then applied to language. and with the idea of Spinoza of an all-comprehensive substance. While Leibniz and Herder had em- phasized the notion of harmony as an essential factor of the working of organic forces. It soon obtained rein- from the rising science of biology." and overcoming an opposite. the idea of evolution had been a commonplace of Gerforcement man thought with respect to everything concern- ing the history of humanity. Long before the days of Darwin or Spencer. which was treated as one of the fallacies of the French philosophy of the Enlightenment. by means of an internal force. Hegel took from Fichte the notion of a unity or syn" thesis arrived at by positing. of powers originally implicit in existence.
passed upon When a recent German argues that for Germany to surrender any terri- . usually treated by German writers as giving a rather superficial empirical expression to an idea which they had already grasped in universal speculative form. history is he says the " world " he means the world judgment judg- When ment in the sense of victory of assize. he surmises that America.114 PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY is thinking long before the teaching of Darwin. It is its characteristic of the extent in which Hegel thought in terms of struggle and overcoming that after stating it why was as yet impossible to include the Americas of history. No philosopher has ever thought so so wholly in terms of strife consistently and and overcoming as Hegel. and judgment as one and defeat of another —victory being the final proof that the world spirit has now from one nation to take up its residence in passed To be defeated in a way which causes another. who. in fact. the nation to take a secondary position among writer nations is a sign that divine judgment has been it. in his philosophy and after saying that in the future the burden of world history will it may take the " contest " between North and South form of a reveal itself there.
has made itself its own object. reason. for law subjective reflection. not as mere its but in manifestation as supreme over and in particulars. he writes in na- terms the entire history of humanity. he speaks quite in the Hegelian Although the phenomenon of nationalism was very recent when Hegel wrote. History gives us the progressive realization or evolution of the Absolute. the universal. pression in history means that Thought has progressively become conscious of itself.PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY tory which it 115 has conquered during the present sacrilegious. Freedom Its ex- always understood in terms of Reason. indeed practically contemporary with tionalistic his own day. which makes is the State a State. moving from one National Individual It is law. that is. is The State the Individual of history . On this account. it is to his- tory what a given man is to biography. Freedom is the conr . to another. Hegel's statement that the fundamental principle of history is the progressive realization of free- dom does not reader would naturally take is mean what an uninstructed English it to mean. history. since it war would be refuse to would be to of acknowledge the workings God in human vein.
is its own They appropriate as their reason the objective own personal and absolute Reason em- bodied perforce in law and custom. they attain the best possible substitute for a reason which object. organizing under and within itself all particular arrangements of social and personal life. After this detour. to do with Obviously idealistic system Hegel himself —that —particularly citizens of only in the German in the system of this has fully taken place.116 PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY Liberty of action has it is little it. Some other peoples —particularly the Latin this is constitutions. when a state (especially of the state in which this philosophic insight has been achieved) take the laws of their state as their own ends and motives of action. . or at least that the form of their constitution was But merely setting up the private conceit of individuals against the work of Absolute Reason. we are led back to the fact that the Germans possess the greatest freedom yet attained by humanity. sciousness of freedom. for the Prussian political organization most fully exemplifies Law. —have thought they could make a matter of choice. and thus marks the disintegration of a state rather than its existence. or the Universal. Meantime.
having as its classes (which main function communication between " are to an " indispensable organic state) and the real government. efficacious he says: "By tive liberty and can show themselves palpably and enjoy the satisfaction of feeling themselves to count for something. peoples have made a parliament or representative body the essential thing in is sophic reality this government. the specific realiza- tion of Reason. unwitting of the fact that it is the government. As his philosophy of history ignores the past in seiz- ing upon the national state as the unit and focus . is The chief func- tion of parliament social classes to give the opinion of the feel it is an opportunity to being considered and to enable the real government to take advantage of whatever wisdom be expressed. with their general opinion. the State becomes wholly in its and completely an organized Individual only external relations." Finally. which is makes a state out of what Other otherwise an anarchic mass of individuals. may chance to Hegel seems quite prophetic when virtue of this participation subjecconceit. in philoonly a consultative body.PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY 117 Other peoples have tried to found the government on the consent of the governed. its relations to other states.
follows inevi- Philosophical justification of war tably from a philosophy of history composed in nationalistic terms. It " of the divine Idea. so ignores all future possibility of iso- a genuinely international federation to which lated nationalism shall be subordinated. the time." the effectively displays irony It is to national life what the winds are to the sea. realization War the is explicit of " dialectic.118 PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY it of history. War The is the signally visible occurrence of such a flight of the divine spirit in its onward movement. . Bern- hardi writes wholly in the Hegelian sense when he says that to expand the idea of the State into the idea of humanity is a Utopian error. march of God on earth through fullest realization of Only one of nation at a time can be the latest and hence the God. for life. The movement God in history is thus particularly manifest in those changes by which unique place passes from one nation to another. History is the movement. it would exclude the essential principle of struggle. idea that friendly inis tercourse among all the peoples of the earth a legitimate aim of human effort is in basic con- tradiction of such a philosophy." of negation by which a higher synthesis of reason is assured.
PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY " preserving mankind 119 from the corruption engendered by immobility. World history is the world's For a period Hegelian thought was almost supreme in Germany. After various shiftings. The latter." War is the most effective preacher of the vanity of all merely finite interests ." Since they are al- ready passed over from the standpoint of the divine idea. it Inter- national law not properly law. judgment seat." Kant's greater . count no longer in universal history. war can do no more than exhibit the fact that their day has come and gone. the spirits of the other nations are absolutely without right. expresses simply certain usages which are accepted so long as they do not of a state —a come into conflict with the purpose purpose which always gives the life. the trend of philosophic thought was definitely " Back to Kant. it puts an end to that selfish egoism of life the individual by which he would claim his his and property as his is own or as his family's. Particularly against " the absolute right of the present bearer of the supreme law of national world spirit. Then its rule passed away almost as rapidly as it had been achieved. just like the nations whose epochs have passed.
German history has lost nothing in the Expressions which a bewildered world has sought since the beginning of the war to explain through the influence of a Darwinian struggle for existence and survival of the fittest. commended him after the pretensions of unbridled Hegelian absolutism. Since his day. histories of philosophy. loosed from the technical apparatus with which he surrounded them. or religion. have their roots in the classic idealistic philosophy culminating in Hegel. Kant still remains the philosopher of Germany. And the idea of a peculiar mission and destiny of operation. Upon the historical disciplines his influence was peculiarly deep and abiding. or through the influence of a Nietzschean philosophy of power. the sharp distinction he drew between the ideal and science and the noumenal world.120 PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY realm of phenomena sobriety. Nevertheless his ideas. For more than a generation Hegel was spoken of with almost universal contempt. or institutions have all been treated as developments through necessary stages of an inner implicit idea or purpose according to an indwelling law. persisted. . He fixed the ideas of Fichte and fastened them together with the pin of evolution.
historically But. successors were not so fortunate. purpose and freedom are one was axiomatic to them . Kant bequeathed to the world an intellect devoted to the congenial task of discovering causal law in external nature.PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY The division of life between the world of sense 121 and of mechanism and the world of the supersensible and purpose. the The attempts set of his successors to bridge unified philosophy gap and up a wholly speaking. they contributed an indispensable ingredient to contemporary German spirit. nevertheless. they could its exist- no longer busy themselves with proving . is more congenial than a complete monism. Consequently he was not troubled by being obliged to engage in the unremunerative task of spending his time gazing into a blank void. had nothing to look at except the bare form of an empty law of duty. His The existence of this ideal realm in which reason. they helped people the Kantian void of the supersensible with the the substantial figures of the State and torical Evolution its His- and Mission. Kant was kept busy in proving the existence of this supernal but empty region. failed. in spite of its sublim- ity. the world of necessity and the world of freedom. and an inner intuition which.
with less ghostly forms of Law and the unfolding in History of Absolute Value and Purpose. dark because of excess of light. The two worlds of Kant were too far away from each other. called the ideal- philosophers. more or less poetic. to is their lasting con- present German culture. The later idealistic world constructions crumbled.122 ence. it PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY Some of them. tribution This. rather than human. istic Others. filled in the void. In the first lecture we set out with the sug- gestion of an inquiry into the influence of general ideas upon practical affairs. which frankly in revolt at the limita- drew their substance from an imagination inflamed by emotional aspiration tions of outward action. filling Where in Kantianism has not received a the from it philosophy of in history and the as State. called the Romanticists. upon those larger . a its critique the importance has methodology of been professional science. has remained of Germany. elsewhere. filled with visions. but their debris supplied material with which to fill in the middle regions between the Kantian worlds of sense and of reason. I repeat.
we should have to add that seeing one's self in a is mirror a definite practical aid in carrying on one's undertaking to its completion. 123 We appear to have concluded with a conviction that (in the instance before us at least) politics has rather been the controlling factor in the formation of philosophic ideas and in deciding their vogue. Outside of Germany. Yet we are well within limits when we say that ideas which were evoked in correspondence with concrete social conditions served to articulate and consolidate the latter. Even if we went so far as to say that reigning philosophies simply reflect as in a mirror contemporary social struggles. its in- . England and Beyond professorial circles. upon the France. It has exercised considerable influence teaching of philosophy in this country. When what looking glass a people sees in its intellectual its is its own organization and own historic evolution as an organic instrument of the accomplishment of an Absolute Will and Law. the career of the German idealistic phi- losophy has been mainly professional and literary.PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY practical affairs called politics. the articulating and consolidating efficacy of the reflection is immensely intensified.
is In Europe. A crisis like the present forces upon thoughtful persons a consideration of the value for the general aims of civilization of a philosophy of the a priori. But the Gerboth mans are quite right in feeling that only in Gerthis many is form of idealistic thinking in- digenous and widely applied. " Americanism " a synonym for crude empiricism and a ma- . has modulated for many persons the transition from a supernatural to a spiritual religion. and of their immanent evolution through the medium is of an experience which as just experience vehicle only a superficial and and negligible of transcendent Laws Ends. speaking generally. it fluence has been considerable in theological directions. the Absolute. It forces a consideration of is general ideas what type of available for the articulation and guidance of our looking own life in case we find ourselves scene as upon the present world an a priori and an absolutistic philosophy gone into bankruptcy. it has enabled historical them to give up indifferent and miraculous elements as accretions and to retain the moral substance and emotional values of Christianity.124 PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY Without doubt.
mits us to this philosophy of principle is Our working to try: to find out by trying." lative To us they are the cumu- result of a multitude of daily and ever- renewed choices. which American and therefore philosophy It is difficult to see in America. Psychologists error or success.PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY tenalistic utilitarianism. That such an experimental philosophy of life means a dangerous experiment goes without say- . Hegel found it " superficial and absurd to . and to measure the worth of the ideas and theories tried by the success with which they meet the application in test of practice. how any beyond a priori philosophy. at least narrow and professorial talk about learning circles. is to get a footing among us. or any systematic absolutism. " regard as objects of choice to him " were they social constitutions necessary structures in the path of development. must meet. Concrete consequences rather than a priori rules supply our guiding principles. It is 125 no part of my pres- ent task to try to show is how largely this accusation It is due to misunderstanding. by the method of trial and Our social organization comlife. simpler to inquire how far the charge points to the problem life.
PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY It permits. it is itself a theory to be tested all kinds. to failure. it is doomed.126 ing. it is From the standpoint of a priorism. Historical empiricisms . sooner or later it may require. experience. of social the only application ? which procures complete generalization An ously experimental philosophy differs from em- pirical philosophy as empiricism has been previ- formulated. hopelessly anarchic its . a priori. by Now experiments are of varying from those generated by blind impulse and appetite to those guided by intelligently formed ideas. into a philosophy of that is matters— to say. They are as diverse as the attempt of a savage to get rain by sprinkling water and scattering thistledown. From own standpoint. The truth and falsity of these . and that control of electricity in the laboratory from which issue wireless teleg- raphy and success rapid traction. Is it not likely that in this distinction we have the key to the failure or of the experimental method generalized life. every alleged sacrosanct principle to submit to ordeal by fire — to trial by service rendered. have been stated in terms of precedents izations have been their general- summaries of what has previ- ously happened.
and no theory or standard that it may be accepted simply on the basis of past performance. on a state whose organ- ization is such as to determine in advance the main activities of classes of individuals.PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY generalizations depended then 127 upon the accuracy with which they catalogued. of precedents. of origins. to guidance and control amid future possibilities. a multiplicity of past occurrences. and to utilize . philosophy has worked at cause it all in Germany be- stitution —that has been based on an a priori social conis to say. They were perforce lacking in directive power except so far as the future might be a routine repetition of the past. the question of the past. Any scheme or project it may have is a fair hearing provided promise amelioration in the so sacred future. Consequences rather than antecedents measure the worth of theories. under appropriate heads. But this difference between a radically experi- mental philosophy and an empiristic philosophy only emphasizes the demand for careful and comprehensive reflection with respect to the ideas If an a priori it is which are to be tested in practice. In an experimental philosophy of life. is quite subordinate to prevision.
to score an undue proportion of ures. devote itself as well to construction of the ends to be acted upon. to say that a commonplace Germany is a monument to what can be done by means of conscious method and organization. if the aiming done in a happy-go-lucky all way instead of by bringing to bear the resources of inquiry locating the target.128 PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY by linking It is their particular activities them up with one another in definite ways. There is no possibility of disguising the fact that an experimental philosophy of life means it a hit-and-miss philosophy in the end. but more. But instead of confining to the technical means intelligence of realizing ends which are predetermined by the State (or by something called the historic Evolution of the Idea). We . if of trial and error or success is not directed by a trained and informed fail- imagination. upon constructing propulsive ma- chinery and figuring out the curve of trajectory. must learn from Germany what methodic and organized work means. intelligence must. The method likely. An experimental philosophy of less life in order to succeed must not set store upon methodic and organized intelligence. But means missing rather than is hitting. . with us.
We have said long . patching up here and there some old piece to down by reason must have system. springing from a widely inof machinery which has broken its of We ventive imagination. however. next time it means that we can do still better if we are and sufficiently attentive to the causes of success failure this time. but hypothetical and tentative from thought into action does not mean that it might as well be random it issue guesswork. too obviously future. after all. and how : opportunity be achieved ? I can but think that the present European situation forces home . conantiquity. America is too new to render con- genial to our imagination an evolutionary phi- losophy of the German type. to enable us to trust an empirical philosophy of muddling along. America is too new to afford a foundation for an a priori philosophy. structive method. we have not the requisite background of law. now begin shall the enough that America means opportunity we must to ask Opportunity for what. a method checked up at each turn by results achieved. institutions and achieved social organization.PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY That this 129 work till is. For our history is Our country is too big and too unformed.
130 PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY for constructive planning. schemes of international disarmament. Arbitration treaties. it does encourage us to believe that a philosophy which should articulate and consolidate the ideas to which our social practice com- mits us would clarify and guide our future en- deavor. But the situation calls for . in the present demon- We in a have borrowed the older philosophy of isolated national sovereignty and have lived upon it more or less half-hearted way. racial and cultural. In our internal constitution we are actu- ally interracial see and international. The pres- ent situation presents the spectacle of the break- down of the whole philosophy of Nationalism. international judicial councils. It is by the acci- dent of position rather than any virtue of our own that we are not sharers stration of failure. political. it upon us the need I can but think that while gives no reason for officio supposing that creative power attaches ex to general ideas. It remains to whether we have the courage to face this fact and the wisdom to think out the plan of action which it indicates. peace funds and peace movements. are all well in their way. Time permits of but one illustration.
the idea of peace is a negative idea. We have to recognize that furtherance of the depth and width of tercourse is human in- the measure of civilization. In and of it is itself.PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY in 131 more radical thinking than that which terminates such proposals. a police idea. an as upon which we may conduct our foreign as our domestic policy. not because peace disturbed. We nation have no right to cast stones at any warring till we have asked ourselves whether we are and to submit af- willing to forego this principle fairs which limited imagination and sense have led us to consider strictly national to an international legislature. An international judicial tribunal will break in the end upon the principle of national sovereignty. but because the fruitful processes of cooperation in the great experiment of living together are disturbed. peace is Disturbing the is bad. we have to apply without as well as within our national of idea well We must make the accident into our internal composition an idea. and this fact life. There are things more important than keeping one's body whole and one's property intact. It is futile to work for the negative end of peace unless we are committed to the positive .
THE END . An intelligent and courageous philosophy of practice would devise means by which the operation of these forces would be extended and assured in the future. geographical and national limits. Any philosophy which should penetrate and particulate our present social practice would find at work the forces which unify human intercourse. a future in which is freedom and fullness of human companionship the aim. and intelligent cooperative experimentation the method. An American philosophy of history must perforce its be a philosophy for future. racial.132 PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY Promoting the efficacy ideal which it cloaks: of human intercourse irrespective of class.
Absolutism, 89, 112, 115, 124 America, philosophy in, 123132 "Americanism," 124 Anti-Semitism, 100-101. A priori, 39-44, 126, 129 Authority, 52-54
Germania, 104 Germany, 14-16, 28, 29-31, 3233, 36, 71, 78-81, 84-85, 88, 91-93, 94-98, 106-107
Hegel, 94-95, 107-120, 125 Heine, 17, 18, 76, 83, 84-85 Herder, 112 5-6, 59-67, 98-102, History, 107-119, 121 Hoffman, 81
Idealism, 28, 39, 70, 82,
Bentham, 56 4
Bernhardi, 34-35, 52, 118
Bourdon, 107-108 Burke, 93-94
Chamberlain, 101 Cosmopolitanism, 99 Culture, 91
Ideas and action, 3-15, 123132 Individualism, 49, 72 Intelligence, 54-56, 126-128 Jena, 68
Descartes, 92 Despotism enlightened, 53
Dialectic, 70, 118 Duty, 24, 50-57
Kant, 19-40, 47-58, 59-67, 119121 Kultur, 62-64
Education, 14, 72, 73 Empiricism, 41, 43, 126-129 Enlightenment, the, 37-39, 59, 92, 103 Eucken, 36, 55 Evolution, 112
Lange, 78 Lasalle, 77
20-25, 116 Leibniz, 59, 112
Luther, 16, 27, 71, 87
Formalism, 51 Freedom, 18, 25, 30, 33-35, 47,
6, 110 n. Militarism, 52
French Revolution, 57, 94, 103 French thought, 52, 91-94, 95, 100
Napoleon, 67, 78-79 Nationalism, 67, 81, 115 Nietzsche, 28, 34, 58
Pantheism, 77, 82 Parliaments, 117 Personality, 48 Pfleiderer, 105 Philosophy, 7-18, 123-132 Property, 74 Psychology, Social, 82
Religion, 20-21, 26-27, 95 Rights, 52, 57 Romanticism, 81, 104, 122
Society, 64-65 State, 64-65, 66-67, 73-77, 110-
Subjectivism, 49, 81 Supersensible, 23-25 v. Sybel, 78-80
Tacitus, 104 Taine, 14
Universalism of Germany, 36,
106-107 Urvolk, 101-102 Utilitarianism, 57-58
Rousseau, 61, 91
Schelling, 82 n. Scholar, 72 Science, 21-23, 28 Socialism, 74-75 Social motives, 60-61
35-36, 89, 97, 118-120
H. for college use that has yet appeared.DEWEY AND By John Dewey. Twenty years ago the book could not have been written. and that he will carry away from his reading as much enjoyment as instruction. To trace the growth of morality. for texts. 8vo. it is.) 618 pp. from no other book would a general reader obtain in so brief a compass so wide a view of the moral work of to-day. $2. Certainly no more valuable fruit of the recent ethical revival has Professor Norman Wilde in Journal of Philosophy. Professor in Harvard University. Tufts. On the contrary. with a view to their application to present social conditions and problems for progressive moral development. G. a very good substitute for it. The moral life is presented as a reality about which there can be no more question tnan about the reality of the physical life. I see that whoever wishes to comprehend the deeper social tendencies of recent years will do well to study this book. at least. as that in which the latter finds its completion and explanation. The many ethical questions raised by present economic conditions are treated with admirable fulness and perspicacity. for into it have gone the spoils of all the ethical battles of our time. : especially for the ample treatment given to ethics in the world of action in civil society. Indeed. and James H. It nor one which will itself produce more bound to be but the first of a new type of marks the end of the abstract. and family life. . The Outlook In several respects this work. I think. it is the beginning of the positive studies of established human values. and. he can not but realize that it is the origin and solution of the problems of his own life with which he is here concerned. . is the proper aim of ethical science as here unfolded. speculative treatises and this. While I often find myself in dissent from its opinions. Professor in the University of Chi- (American Science Series. Psychology and been produced than future good. Theories and systems are strictly subordinated to the facts and are not presented until the facts are clearly given. Palmer. economic. is eminently valuable. admidst the relations of political. among the many of its kind appearing in recent years.00. of the University of Minnesota Scientific Methods: If this is not the ideal text -book in ethics for which we have been waiting so many years. the best. It is a scholarly and stimulating production. lucid and interesting a fashion. set forth in so positive. TUFTS'S ETHICS Professor in Columbia University. No student can rise from the study of this book feeling that he has been engaged with questions of purely academic interest. . cago. Reality is the dominant note of the book. indeed. HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY NEW YORK . and to discover its laws and principles.
It is a miracle and he a real magician.17 "Bergson's resources in the way of erudition are remarkand in the way of expression they are simply pheIf anything can make hard things easy to nomenal. Than upon the field as a well-armed and militant philosophy there have been not many more memorable occurdistinctive . by mail $3. "A its entrance ences in the history of ideas. . root in modern fruit in In his great work literature and science have descended.00 net.BERGSON'S CREATIVE EVOLUTION Translated from the French by 1>r. . . follow it is — and trenchant piece of dialectic. Probably no other writer of our time has possessed in the same measure the three gifts."—John Burroughs in the Atlantic Monthly.. ualized Herbert Spencer." William James. Arthur Sffltchett $3. Open Bergson and new horizons open on every page you read. and the Bergson is a kind of chastened and spiritphilosophical. . he touches the materialism of science to finer issues." —Nation.'"— Hibbert Journal "Creative Evolution is destined. HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY PUBLISHERS NEW YORK .. but it blooms and bears the spirit to a degree quite unprecedented. . Bergson is a new star in the intellectual firmament of our He is a philosopher upon whom the spirits of both day. It tells of reality itself instead of reiterating what dusty-minded professors have written about what other previous professors have thought. I believe. The work has its physical science. a style like Bergson's. able. Nothing in Bergson is shopworn or at second-hand. the scientific. . the literary. "To bring out in an adequate manner the effect which Bergson's philsophy has on those who are attracted by it let us try to imagine what it would have been like to have lived when Kant produced his 'Critique of Pure Reason. to mark an epoch in the history of modern thought.
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