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Iprofessor iFre&erlcF? xrrac? 

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(The Puttrich'sche Portrait of Kant was printed m the Kinil-Stiidien in 1906 and 
is said by Professor Vaihinfjer to be one of the best likenesses of the Kiinigsberg 
philosopher. The name of the artist was I'uttnch, and the original paintinf,' goes 
back before 1798. It is interesting to note that this portrait of Kant was used by the 
sculptor, Kauch, as his model for the statue of Kant upon the memorial monument 
of Frederick the Great.) 





Sometime Professor of Philosophy in Tufts College 
Lecturer of Philosophy in Harvard College 
Lecturer of Philosophy in Dartmouth College 




(C{)e miteri^ibe ^xzH Cambciboe 



The pedagogical purpose of this history of philo- 
sophy is stated in the Preface to the first volume. It 
may be desirable in this place to restate what that pur- 
pose is. 

This book is intended as a text-book for sketch-courses 
in the history of philosophy. It is written for the student 
rather than for the teacher. It is a history of pliiloso- 
phy upon the background of geography and of literary 
and political history. Since the book is intended for 
the student, it makes the teacher all the more neces- 
sary ; for it puts into the hands of the student an out- 
line of the history of philosophy and into the hands of 
the teacher the class-room time for inspiring the student 
with his own interpretations. In making use of geo- 
graphical maps, contemporary literature, and political 
history, this book is merely employing for pedagogical 
reasons the stock of information with which the student 
is furnished, when he begins the history of philosophy. 
The summaries, tables, and other generalizations are 
employed, as in text-books in other subjects, as helps to 
the memory. Therefore the book has the single purpose 
of arranging and organizing the material of the history 
of philosophy for the beginner. 

The student will be impressed with the short time- 
length of the modern period compared with the tre- 
mendously long stretches of the periods of antiquity. 
The modern period is only four hundred and fifty years 


in length, if we take the date 1453 as its beginning. 
Compared to the twenty-two hundred years of ancient 
and mediaeval life, the period of modern life seems very 
short. Furthermore the student who has followed the 
philosophy of antiquity must have observed how often 
philosophy arose out of ethnic situations in which whole 
civilizations were involved. He will find that modern 
philosophy in this I'espect stands in contrast with the 
philosophy of ancient times. With the decentralizing of 
modern Europe, philosophy has also become decentral- 
ized. This does not mean that philosophical movements 
have included fewer people in their sweep, but that the 
movements have had shorter life, the transitions have 
been quicker, and the epochs have been briefer. Modern 
civilization is subjective ; and its philosophy is thereby 
more technical, and more difficult to understand and to 
interpret than the philosophy of antiquity. 

There are many helpful books in English on the his- 
tory of modern philosophy, and the student should have 
them at hand. I call attention especially to Rand, 3Iod- 
ern Classical Philosophers, for its judicious selection 
from the original sources ; toRoyce, Spirit of Modern 
Philosophy, chapters iii to x ; to Eucken, The Proh- 
lem of Human Life, pp. 303 to 518 ; and to the Sum- 
maries in Windelband, ^is^or?/ of Philosoj^hy, Parts 
IV to VII. Besides these there are valuable histories 
of modern philosophy by Falckenberg, Hoffding (2 
vols.), Weber, Ueberweg (vol. ii). Calkins, Dewing, 
and Rogers. 

To friends who have read parts of the manuscript, I 
desire to acknowledge my indebtedness for many wise 
criticisms and suggestions ; especially to Professor W. 
A. Neilson, Professor R. B. Perry, Dr. B. A. G. Fuller, 


and Dr. J, H. Woods of Harvard University ; to Pro- 
fessor Mary W. Calkins of Wellesley College ; to Pro- 
fessor W. P. Montague of Columbia University ; and 
to Professor S. P. Capen of Clark College. 

Tufts College, December, 1910. 


(1453 TO THE Present Time) 

CHAPTER I. The Characteristics and Divisions 

OF THE Modern Period 1 

The Difficulty in the Study of Modern Philosophy 1 

The Periods of Modern Philosophy 2 

The Causes of the Decay of the Civilization of 

THE Middle Ages 4 

(a) The Internal Causes 4 

(1) The Intellectual Methods were Self-Destructive 4 

(2) The Standard of Truth became a Double Stand- 

ard 5 

(3) The Development of Mysticism 5 

(4) The Doctrine of Nominalism 5 

(6) The External Causes 6 

CHAPTER II. The Renaissance (1453-1690) . . 8 

The General Character of the Renaissance . . 8 

(a) The New Man of the Renaissance 8 

(h) The New Universe of the Renaissance 9 

(1) The Transformation of the Physical Universe . 9 

(2) The Restoration of the World of Antiquity . 10 
The Significance of the Renaissance in History . 11 
Map showing the Decentralization of Europe . . 13 
The Two Periods of the Renaissance : The Human- 
istic (1453-1600) ; The Natural Science (1600-1690) 15 

(a) The Similarities of the Two Periods 16 

(6) The Differences of the Two Periods 16 

(1) The Countries which participate iu the Re- 
naissance differ in the Two Periods .... 16 


(2) The Intellectual Standards differ in the Two 

Periods 17 

(3) The Scientific Methods in the Two Periods were 

Different 18 

(4) The Attitude of the Church toward Science 

differs in the Two Periods 19 

A Brief Contrast of the Two Periods — A Summary 

OF THE Discussion above 21 

CHAPTER III. The Humanistic Period of the 

Renaissance (1453-1600) 22 

The Long List of Representatives of the Human- 
istic Period 22 

Nicolas of Cusa (1401-1464) 24 

Paracelsus (1493-1541) ■ .... 25 

Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) 27 

Map showing the Birthplaces of the Chief Philoso- 
phers of the Renaissance 30 

CHAPTER IV. The Natural Science Period of 

THE Renaissance (1600-1690) 31 

The Philosophers of the Natural Science Period 31 

The Mathematical Astronomers 32 

Galileo Galilei (1564-1641) 36 

The Life of Francis Bacon, Baron Verulam (1561- 

1626) 39 

The Position of Bacon in Philosophy 39 

The Aim of Bacon 42 

The Method of Bacon 43 

(a) Bacon^s Criticism of the Past 44 

(6) Bacon's Positive Construction 45 

The English Natural Science Movement .... 46 

Thomas Hobbes and his Contemporaries .... 47 

The Life and Writings of Hobbes (1588-1679) . . 49 

1. As a Classical Scholar (1588-1628) 49 

2. As Mathematician (1628-1638) 49 


3. As Philosopher (1638-1651) 50 

4. As Controversialist (1651-1668) 50 

5. As Classical Scholar (1668-1679) 50 

The Influences upon the Thought of Hobbes . . 50 

1. His Premature Birth 50 

2. His Father 51 

3. The New Mathematical Science 52 

The Fundamental Principle in the Teaching of 

Hobbes 52 

The Method of Hobbes 54 

The Kinds of Bodies 55 

Hobbes's Application of the Mathematical Theory 

to Psychology 66 

Hobbes's Application of the Mathematical Theory 

to Politics 58 

The Renaissance in England after Hobbes ... 61 

CHAPTER V. The Rationalism of the Natural 

Science Period of the Renaissance 62 

The Nature of Rationalism 62 

The Mental Conflict in Descartes 65 

The Life and Philosophical Writings of Des- 
cartes (1596-1650) 66 

1. As Child and Student (1596-1613) 66 

2. As Traveler (1613-1628) 66 

3. As Writer (1629-1650) 67 

4. In Stockholm (1649-1050) 67 

The Two Conflicting Influences upon the Thought 

OF Descartes 67 

The Method of Descartes 69 

Induction — Provisional Doubt — The Ultimate 

Certainty of Consciousness 70 

Deduction — The Implications of Consciousness . 72 

The Existence of God 73 

The Reality of Matter 75 

God and the World 77 


The Relation of God to Matter . „ 77 

The Relation of God to Minds 78 

The Relation of Mind and Body 78 

The Influence of Descartes 80 

The Relation of the Occasionalists and Spinoza 

to Descartes 81 

Portrait of Spinoza 84 

The Historical Place of Spinoza 84 

The Influences upon Spinoza 86 

1. His Jewish Training 86 

2. His Impulse from the New Science — Descartes' 

Influence 86 

3. His Acquaintance with the Collegiants .... 87 
The Life and Philosophical Writings of Spinoza 

(1632-1677) 88 

1. In Israel (1632-1656) 88 

2. In Retirement (1656-1663) 89 

3. In the Public Eye (1663-1677) 90 

The Method of Spinoza 90 

The Fundamental Principle of Spinoza's Philoso- 
phy 91 

Three Central Problems in Spinoza's Teaching . 93 
The Pantheism of Spinoza — The All-Inclusiveness 

OF God 94 

The Mysticism of Spinoza 98 

Spinoza's Doctrine of Salvation 102 

% Summary of Splnoza's Teaching 106 

Leibnitz as the Finisher of the Renaissance and 

the Forerunner of the Enlightenment .... 107 
The Life and Writings of Leibnitz (1646-1716) . 108 

1. Leipsic and University Life (1646-1666) .... Ill 

2. Mainz and Diplomacy (1666-1672) Ill 

3. Paris and Science (1672-1676) Ill 

4. Hanover and Philosophy (1676-1716) 112 

The Three Influences upon the Thought of Leib- 
nitz 112 

(1) His Early Classical Studies 112 


(2) The New Science and his own Discoveries . . , 113 

(3) Political Pressure for Religious Reconciliation . 114 

The Method of Leibnitz 115 

The Immediate Problem for Leibnitz 118 

The Result of Leibnitz's Examination of the Prin- 
ciples OF Science — A Plurality of Metaphysical 
Substances 119 

1. Leibnitz first scrutinized the Scientific Conception 

of Motion 119 

2. Leibnitz next examined the Scientific Conception 

of the Atom 120 

3. Leibnitz then identified Force with the Metaphys- 

ical Atom i_121 

The Double Nature of the Monads 122 

The Two Forms of Leibnitz's Conception of the 

Unity of Substances 125 

The Intrinsic Unity of the Monads — The Philo- 
sophical Unity 125 

The Superimposed Unity of the Monads — The 
Theological Unity 129 

CHAPTER VI. The Enlightenment (1690-1781) . 132 

The Emergence 'OF the "New Man" — Individual- 
ism 132 

The Practical Presupposition of the Enlighten- 
ment — The Independence of the Individual . . 134 

The Metaphysical Presupposition of the Enlight- 
enment 135 

The Problems of the Enlightenment 135 

(a) Utilitarian Problems 136 

(b) Questions of Criticism 138 

A Comparison of the Enlightenment in England, 

France, and Germany 140 

The Many Groups of Philosophers of the Enught- 


Map showing the Birthplaces of some of the Influ- 
ential Thinkers of the Enlightenment .... 144 


CHAPTER VII. John Locke 145 

The Enlightenment in Great Britain 145 

John Locke, Life and Writings (1632-1704) . . . 147 

1. Student Life (1632-1666) 147 

2. As Politician (1666-1683) 148 

3. As Philosophical Author (1683-1691) 149 

4. As Controversialist (1691-1704) 149 

The Sources of Locke's Thought 150 

1. His Puritan Ancestry 150 

2. His Training in Tolerance . • 150 

3. The Scientific Influence 151 

4. The Political Influence 152 

Summary 153 

The Purpose of Locke 153 

Two Sides of Locke's Philosophy 155 

(a) The Negative Side — Locke and Scholasticism . . 156 

(b) The Positive Side — The New Psychology and 

Epistemology 157 

Locke's Psychology 158 

Locke's Theory of Knowledge 160 

Locke's Practical Philosophy 162 

The Influence of Locke 163 

The English Deists 164 

The English Moralists 166 

Chronological Table of the English Moralists . 168 

CHAPTER Vin. Berkeley and Hume 169 

The Life and Writings of George Berkbley (1685- 
1753) 169 

1. His Early Training (1685-1707) 169 

2. As Author (1707-1721) 170 

3. As Priest and Missionary (1721-1753) .... 171 
The Influences upon the Thought of Berkeley . 172 

The Purpose of Berkeley 173 

Berkeley's General Relation to Locke and Hume 174 
Berkeley's Points of Agreement with Locke . . 175 


The Negative Side of Berkeley's Philosophy . . 176 

1. As shown in General in his Analysis of Abstract 

Ideas 177 

2. As shown in Particular in his Analysis of Matter 177 
The Positive Side of Berkeley's Philosophy . . . 179 

1. Esse est Percipi 179 

2. The Existence of Mind is assumed by Berkeley . 180 

3. Spiritual Substances are Sufficient to explain all 

Ideas 181 

The Life and Writings of David Hume (1711-1776) 183 

1. Period of Training (1711-1734) 184 

2. Period of Philosopher (1734-1752) 185 

3. Period of Politician (1752-1776) 185 

Influences upon the Thought of Hume 186 

Dogmatism, Phenomenalism, and Skepticism . . . 187 

The Origin of Ideas 189 

The Association of Ideas 191 

The Association of Contiguity 193 

The Association of Resemblance 194 

1. Mathematics 194 

2. The Conception of Substance: Hume's Attack on 

Theology 195 

The Association of Causation: Hume's Attack on 

Science 196 

The Extent and Limits of Human Knowledge . . 199 

Hume's Theory of Religion and Ethics 200 

The Scottish School 201 

CHAPTER IX. The Enlightenment in France 
and Germany 203 

The Situation in France in the Enlightenment . 203 

The English Influence in France 206 

The Two Periods of the French Enlightenment . 207 
The Intellectual Enlightenment (1729-1762) — 
Voltaire, Montesquieu, and the Encyclopedists 208 

Voltaire (1694-1778) 209 



The Social Enlightenment (1762-1789) 213 

Rousseau (1712-1778) 213 

The German Enlightenment (1740-1781) .... 216 
The Introductoky Period (1648-1740). Absolutism 217 

1. The Rise of Prussia 218 

2. The Early German Literature 219 

3.. The Pietistic Movement 219 

4. The Transformation of Leibnitz's Rationalism . . 220 

Summary of the Literary Enlightenment of Ger- 
many (1740-1781) 223 

The Political Enlightenment of Germany — Fred- 
erick THE Great 224 

The Course of the German Enlightenment . . . 226 

Lessing 228 

CHAPTER X. Kai^t ' .... 230 

The Convergence of Philosophical Influences in 

Germany 230 

The Three Characteristics of German Philosophy 231 
The Two Periods of German Philosophy .... 232 
The Influences upon Kant 233 

1. Pietism 233 

2. The Leibnitz- Wolffian Philosophy 233 

3. The Physics of Newton 234 

4. The Humanitarianism of Rousseau 234 

5. The Skepticism of Hume 235 

The Life and Writings of Kant (1724-1804) ... 235 

The Problem of Kant 238 

The Method of Kant 239 

The Threefold World of Kant — Subjective 

States, Things-in-Themselves, and Phenomena . 240 

The World of Knowledge 243 

The Place of Synthesis in Knowledge 245 

The Judgments Indispensable to Human Knowledge 248 
The Proof of the Validity of Human Knowledge 252 
1. In what does the Validity of Sense-Perscep- 
tion consist ? 253 



2. In what does the Validity op the Under- 
standing CONSIST ? 255 

Has THE Reason by itself any Validity ? . . . . 260 

The Idea of the Soul 262 

The Idea of the Universe 264 

The Idea of God 265 

Conclusion 268 

The Problem of the Critique of Practical Reason : 

The Ethics of Kant 269 

The Moral Law and the Two Questions concerning it 271 

1. The First Question concerning the Moral Law . . 272 

2. The Second Question concerning the Moral Law . 273 
The Moral Postulates 275 

1. The Postulate of Freedom 276 

2. The Postulate of the Immortality of the Soul . . 276 

3. The Postulate of the Existence of God .... 276 

CHAPTER XI. The German Idealists .... 278 

Idealism after Kant 278 

Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel 279 

Map showing the University Towns and other 
Important Places connected with the German 

Idealists 280 

The Life and Writings of Fichte (1762-1814) . . 282 

1. His Education (1762-1790) . 283 

2. Discipleship of Kant (1790-1794) 283 

3. His Life at Jena (1794-1799) 284 

4. His Life at Berlin (1799-1814) . • 284 

The Influences upon Fichte's Teaching .... 285 

Why we Philosophize 286 

The Moral Awakening 287 

The Central Principle in Fichte's Philosophy . . 288 

The Moral World 290 

God and Man 292 

What a Moral Reality involves 293 

1. It involves the Consciousness of Something Else . 293 

2. It involves a Contradiction 294 


Romanticism 295 

Goethe as a Romanticist 297 

Romanticism in Philosophy 299 

The Life and Writings of Schelling (1775-1854) . 300 

1. Earlier Period (1775-1797) . 302 

2. The Pliilosophy of Nature (1797-1800) . . . .302 

3. The Transcendental Philosophy (1800-1801) . . 302 

4. The Philosophy of Identity (1801-1804) . . . ,303 
6. The Philosophy of Freedom and God (1804-1809) . 303 
6. The Philosophy of Mythology and Revelation (1809- 

1854) 303 

A Brief Comparison of Fichte and Schelling as 

Philosophers 303 

Schelling's Philosophy of Nature ....... 305 

Schelling's Transcendental Philosophy .... 307 

The System of Identity » . . . . 310 

Schelling's Religious Philosophy 311 

Hegel and the Culmination of Idealism .... 312 
Why Hegel remains to-day the Representative of 

Kant 314 

The Life and Writings of Hegel (1770-1831) . . 315 

1. Formative Period (1770-1796) 317 

2. Formulation of his Philosophy (1796-1806) . . .317 

3. Development of his Philosophy (1806-1831) . . .317 

Realism, Mysticism, and Idealism 318 

The Fundamental Principles of Hegel's Idealism . 321 

The Cosmic Unity 322 

The Cosmic Law . 326 

Hegel's Application of his Theory , 328 

CHAPTER XII. The Philosophy of the Thing- 

in-Itself 330 

Herbart and Schopenhauer 330 

JoHANN Friedrich Herbart 332 

The Life and Writings of Herbart (1776-1841) . 333 

The Contradictions of Experience 334 

The Argument for Realism 334 


The Many Reals and Nature Phenomena .... 337 

The Soul and Mental Phenomena 338 

Arthur Schopenhauer and his Philosophical Re- 
lations 340 

The Life and Writings of Schopenhauer (1788-1860) 342 

1. Period of Education (1788-1813) 343 

2. Period of Literary Production (1813-1831) . . .343 

3. Period of Retirement (1831-1860) 343 

The Influences upon Schopenhauer's Thought . . 343 
The World as Will and the World as Idea . . 345 

The Will as Irrational Reality 347 

The Misery of the World as Idea — Pessimism . . 348 
The Way of Deliverance 349 

CHAPTER XIII. The Philosophy of the Nine- 
teenth Century . 352 

The Return to Realism 352 

The Character of the Realism of the Nineteenth 

Century 353 

Modern Philosophy and German Idealism .... 355 
The Philosophical Problems of the Nineteenth 

Century 356 

1. The Problem of the Functioning of the Soul 357 

2. The Problem of the Conception of History . 360 
INDEX 365 


Immanuel Kant Frontispiece 

Map showing the Decentralization of Europe . . 13 

Map showing the Birthplaces of the Chief Philo- 
sophers OF THE Renaissance 30 

Baruch de Spinoza 84 

Map showing the Birthplaces of some of the Influ- 
ential Thinkers of the Enlightenment .... 144 

Map showing the Universitt Towns and other Im- 
portant Places connected with the German 
Idealists 280 






The Difficulty in the Study of Modern Philosophy. 
Beside the great spans of ancient and mediaeval civili- 
zations, the 450 years of the modern period seem brief. 
The road is indeed relatively short from mediaeval times 
to the century in which we live, and yet it proves diffi- 
cult to the student who travels it for the first time. 
Even for the modern mind the study of modern phi- 
losophy is inherently more difficult than that of the 
ancient and mediaeval. The preceding periods present 
new points of view, but these, once attained, lead along 
comparatively easy ways. The chief difficulty of the 
preceding periods is overcome when their peculiar view 
of things is gained ; but the student of modern philoso- 
phy is confronted with difficulties all along the way. 
In the first place, modern philosophy is very comjilex 
because it is a conflict of various aspirations. It bus 
neither the objectivity of ancient thought nor the logi- 
cal consistency of mediaeval thought. It arises from 


subjective motives, whose shadings are difficult to trace. 
The task is rendered harder by the fact that intima- 
tions of the problems in the history of modern philoso- 
phy are on the whole present in the beginner's mind ; 
and yet at the same time his mind possesses, besides 
these, many mediaeval notions as well. For the student 
to pass successfully through the entire length of modern 
thought from Cusanus to Spencer means, therefore, two 
things for him : (1) he must gain an insight into the 
depth and significance of his own half-formed ideas ; 
(2) he must transcend or give up entirely his mediaeval 
notions. If therefore philosophy represents the epoch 
that produces it, — either as the central principle or as 
the marginal and ulterior development of that epoch, 
— the modern can come to an understanding of the his- 
tory of modern philosophy only by coming to an under- 
standing; of himself and his own inner reflections. 

This will explain why the short period of modem 
thought is traditionally divided into comparatively many 
periods. These subordinate periods ring out the changes 
through which the modern man feels that he himself has 
blindly passed in his inner life. Modern philosophy is 
no more local and temporary than the ancient ; it is no 
less a part of a social movement ; but the modern man 
is more alive to the differentiations of modern thought 
than he is to those of antiquity. 

The Periods of Modem Philosophy. The divisions 
of the history of modern philosophy are as follows : — 

1. The Renaissance (1453-1690) — from the end 
of the Middle Ages to the publication of Locke's 
Essay on the Human Understanding. 

2. The Enlightenment (1690-1781) —to the pub- 
lication of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. 


3. German Philosophy (1781-1831) — to the death 
of Hegel. 

4. The Nineteenth Century Philosophy (1820— the 
present time.) 

The Renaissance, the first period, covers more than 
half of the length of modern times. It is sometimes 
called the springtime of modern history, although it is 
longer than all the other seasons together. It is to 
be noted that two epoch-making books form the divid- 
ing lines between the first three periods. The tran- 
sition from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment is 
signalized by Locke's great Essay on the Human Un- 
derstanding^ which expressed for one hundred years the 
political and philosophical opinions of western Europe. 
The transition from the Enlightenment to German 
Philosophy was in its turn signalized by the appear- 
ance of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason^ and this book 
may be said to have been fundamental to human think- 
ing ever since. There is one point further to be noticed 
in these divisions, and that is the overlapping of the last 
two periods. German philosophy ends practically with 
the death of Hegel in 1831, and the modern Evolution 
movement began at least ten years before, about 1820. 
No great philosophical treatise marks the division here, 
for the Evolution movement had its beginnings in Ger- 
man philosophy and in the discoveries and practical 
inventions of natural science. Evolution, however, be- 
came a reaction upon the last phases of German philo- 
sophy, and then formed a distinct movement. The book 
that formulated the Evolution movement most fully 
appeared several years after the theory was under way. 
This was Darwin's Origin of Species^ published in 
1859. Locke's Essay and Kant's Critique are therefore 


the most influential philosophical interpretations of the 
history of modern times since its early beginnings in 
the Renaissance. 

The Causes of the Decay of the Civilization of the 
Middle Ages. The social structure of the mediaeval 
time weakened and broke apart, in the first place be- 
cause of certain inherent defects in its organism ; in the 
second place because of some remarkable discoveries, 
inventions, and historical changes. We may call these 
(1) the, internal causes and (2) the external causes of 
the fall of the civilization of the Middle Ages. 

Ca) 27ie Internal Causes were inherent weaknesses 
in mediaeval intellectual life, and alone would have been 
sufficient to bring mediaeval society to an end. 

(1) The intellectnal methods of the Middle Ages 
were self-destructive methods. We may take scholasti- 
cism as the best expression of the intellectual life of the 
Middle Ages, and scholasticism even in its ripest period 
used the method of deductive logic. Scholasticism did 
not employ induction from observation and experiment, 
but proceeded on the principle that the more universal 
logically a conception is, the more real it is. (See vol. i, 
p. 355.) On this principle scholasticism set as its only 
task to penetrate and clai-ify dogma. Its theism was a 
logical theism. Even Thomas Aquinas, the great classic 
schoolman, used formal logic (dialectics) as the method 
of obtaining the truth. After him in the latter part of 
the Middle Ages, logic instead of being a method be- 
came an end. It was studied for its own sake. This 
naturally degenerated into word-splitting and quibbling, 
into the commenting upon the texts of this master and 
that, into arid verbal discussions. The religious orders 
frittered away their time on verbal questions of trifling 


importance. The lifetime of such intellectual employ- 
ment is always a limited one. 

(2) The standard of the truth of things in the ]\Iid- 
dle Ages became a double standard, and was therefore 
self -destructive. Ostensibly there was only one standard, 
— infallible dogma. Really there were two standards, — 
reason and dogma. The employment of logical methods 
implied the human reason as a valid standard. Logic is 
the method of human reasoning. To use logic to clarify 
dogma, to employ the philosophy of Aristotle to supple- 
ment the Bible, to defend faith by argument, amounted 
in effect to supporting revelation by reason. It was the 
same as defending the Infallible and revealed by the 
fallible and secular. It was the erecting of a double 
standard. It called the infallible into question. It was 
the offering of excuses for what is supposedly beyond 
suspicion. The scholastic made faith the object of 
thought, and thereby encouraged the spirit of free In- 

(3) The development of 3fysticism In the Middle 
Ages was a powerful factor that led to its dissolution. 
There is, of course, an element of mysticism in the doc- 
trine of the church from St. Augustine onwards, and 
in the Early Period of the Middle Ages mysticism had 
no independence. But mysticism is essentially the direct 
communion with God on the part of the individual. The 
intermediary offices of the church are contradictory to 
the spirit of mysticism. It Is not surprising, therefore, 
to find in the last period of scholasticism numerous inde- 
pendent mystics as representatives of the tendency of 
individualistic religion, which was to result in the Pro- 
testantism of the Renaissance. 

(4) TJie doctrine of Nominalism was the fourth 


important element to be mentioned that led to the dis- 
solution of the civilization of the Middle Ages. This 
was easily suppressed by the church authorities in the 
early mediaeval centuries, when it was a purely logical 
doctrine and had no empirical scientific basis. In the 
later years, however, nominalism gained great strength 
with the acquisition of knowledge of the nature world. 
Nominalism turned man's attention away from the af- 
fairs of the spirit. It incited him to modify the realism 
of dogma. It pointed out the importance of practical 
experience. It emphasized individual opinion, neglected 
tradition, and placed its hope in the possibilities of sci- 
ence rather than in the spiritual actualities of religion. 

(6) The External Causes consisted o1 certain im- 
portant events that brought the Middle Ages to a close 
and introduced the Renaissance. These events caused 
great social changes by demolishing the geographical 
and astronomical conceptions of mediaeval time which 
had become a part of church tradition. 

First to be mentioned are the inventions which belong 
to the Middle Ages, but which came into common use 
not before the beginning of the Renaissance. These 
played an important part in the total change of the 
society which followed. They were the magnetic needle, 
gunpowder, which was influential in destroying the 
feudal system, and printing, which would have failed 
in its effect had not at the same time the manufacture 
of paper been improved. Moreover at the end of the 
fifteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth century 
occurred the following events : — 

1453. Constantinople fell and its Greek scholars 
migrated to Italy. 

1492. Columbus discovered America, an achieve- 


ment which was made possible by the use of the mag- 
netic needle. 

1498. Vasco da Gama discovered the all-sea route 
to India and thereby changed the course of the world's 

1518. The Protestant Reformation was begun by 

1530. Copernicus wrote his De revolutionihus or- 
hium, in which he maintained that the earth moved 
around the sun. 


THE RENAISSANCE* (1453-1690) 

The General Character of the Renaissance. The 

causes that led to the decline of the society of the 
Middle Ages were of course the same that ushered in 
the period of the Renaissance, — the first, the longest, 
and the most hopeful period of modern times. The 
general characterization of this period may be expressed 
in a single phrase, — a New Man in a New Universe. 
This, however, needs explanation. 

(a) The Neio Man of the Renaissance was dis- 
tinctly a man with a country. The fusion of the Ger- 
man and Roman peoples in the Dark Ages before 
Charlemagne (800) was now completed. The fusion did 
not result in a homogenous whole, but in groups which 
formed the nations of Europe. The time when this 
grouping was practically finished is a difficult problem, 
into which we will not inquire. In a real sense it never 
was nor will be ended. We know that the nations 
began to form about the year 1000, and when we ex- 
amine the history of the Renaissance we find Italians, 
Germans, French, Dutch, and English with distinctive 
national characteristics. We find the Renaissance first 
centralized among the Italians and Germans, and then 
later among the English, the people of the Low Coun- 
tries, and the French. The Italian is a new Roman and 

* Read Eucken, Problem of Human Life, pp. 303-321"; 
"Windelband, History of Philosophy, pp. 348-351; Dewing, 
Introduction to Modern Philosophy, pp. 52-54. 


the German a new Teuton. The undefined nationalities 
of the Middle Ages now become clear-cut. Philosophy 
also becomes now more or less of a national concern. 

(6) A Ne^v Universe is now opened to the " New 
Man " of the Renaissance. Not only in mental equip- 
ment, but in scope for his activity, does the European 
of the Renaissance differ from the mediaBval man. The 
world is actually a new world — new in its geographical 
outlines and its astronomical relations ; new in its 
intellectual stores from the past. The physical world 
that supported his body and the intellectual world that 
refreshed his mind were newly discovered by the man 
of the Renaissance. We must examine these two new 
worlds more in detail. 

1. The physical universe bad undergone a wonderful 
transformation for man. Our nineteenth century has 
often been looked upon as a period of extraordinary dis- 
coveries ; but no discoveries have ever so revolutionized 
the human mind as those enumerated above as " the 
external causes of the fall of the society of the Middle 
Ages." Think how new that old world must have 
seemed to the common people who had supposed it to 
be flat, as well as to the scientists who had hypotheti- 
cally supposed it to be solid — how new it must have 
seemed when they found that it had been actually cir- 
cumnavigated ! How the horizon of men's minds must 
have widened when new continents were discovered by 
sailors and new celestial worlds were found by the tele- 
scope of the astronomers ! Discovery led to experiment, 
and the whole new physical world was transformed by 
the new physical science of Galileo into a mechanical 
order. It was a wonderful new material world that was 
discovered and scientifically reorganized at the begin- 


ning of the Renaissance. Whereas the common man in 
mediaeval time had found little joy in living, the com- 
mon man now looked upon the world as a magnificent 
opportunity. Whereas the mediaeval man had turned 
from the disorders of this wicked world to contempla- 
tion of the blessedness of heaven, the man of the Re- 
naissance came forth from the cloister and engaged in 
trade and adventure. The earth and the things therein 
had suddenly become objects of emotional interest. 

2. Not only was a new geographical and physical 
world discovered at this time, but also the intellectual 
world of antiquity was restored. For more than a thou- 
sand years in western Europe the literature of the Greeks 
and Romans had been a thing of shreds and patches, 
and even then read only in Latin translations. Now the 
European had come into possession of a large part of it 
and was reading it in the original. He was aroused to 
the wonderful intellectual life of the Age of Pericles. 
The interest in ancient literature, which had been started 
by Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio in the thirteenth and 
fourteenth centuries, became an absorbing and control- 
ling force at this time. The real interest began with the 
stimulus received by the coming of the Greek scholars to 
Italy from the East : first the ecclesiastical embassy in 
1438, and afterward in 1453 the large number of refu- 
gees from Constantinople at the time of its capture by 
the Turks. Upon these refugees the patronage of the 
great Italian nobles — chiefly perhaps in Florence — was 
lavishly bestowed. The Platonic Academy was founded. 
Learned expounders of the new learning arose, — Pletho, 
the two Picos, Fincinus, Reuchlin. Of all the philoso- 
phies of antiquity Platonism was favored, and it was 
interpreted in a mystical manner. Aristotle and Chris- 


tianity were looked upon as mere interpretations of 
Plato. Nevertheless the Renaissance scholars were in- 
terested in all the new literary material from the East. 
They studied the Jewish Cabala and its mystic numbers. 
They revived Skepticism, Eclecticism, Stoicism, and Epi- 
cureanism. Aristotle was represented by two antago- 
nistic schools ; and Taurellus opposed both and appealed 
to the scholarly world to return to Christianity. 

The Significance of the Renaissance in History. We 
have above characterized the Renaissance as a time in 
which a " new man " found himself living in a " new 
imiverse." But the old world of mediaeval science, cul- 
ture, and conventional manners had by no means been 
entirely outgrown and discarded. Periods of history do 
not " leave their low- vaulted past " as easily as a man 
may throw away his coat. Mediaeval science and theo- 
logy still remained, not only as a background but also as 
an aggressive social factor everywhere. Mediaeval scho- 
lasticism was something with which the Renaissance had 
always to reckon. Scholasticism modified, frequently 
restricted, and even directed the thought of the Renais- 
sance. Consequently when we form our final estimate 
of the place of the Renaissance in the modern move- 
ment, we must not overlook the conservative force of 
the mediaeval institutions existing during the period. 
The " new man " lived in a " new universe " ; and his 
problem was how to explain the relatio7i of that " new 
universe" to himself so that his explanation ivould not 
antagonize the time-honored traditions of the church. 
This was the constructive problem that gave the Renais- 
sance its place in history. 

The first impression, however, of the Renaissance upon 
the reader is that it stands for no constructive problem 


whatever. The changes that usher in the Renaissance 
seem to speak of an epoch that is entirely negative, de- 
structive, and revolutionary. The period seems from one 
side to be a declaration against time-honored traditions. 
The " new man " had risen superior to dogma and to 
Aristotle. Intellectual fermentation had set in, and never 
had so many attempts at innovation been so strenuously 
sought. The love for novelty filled the human mind, and 
the imagination ran riot. The movement toward modern 
individualism appeared in the decentralization that at 
this time was everywhere taking place. Latin, for ex- 
ample, ceased to be the one language for educated men, 
and the modern languages came into use. Eome ceased 
to be the only religious centre, and Wittenberg, London, 
and Geneva became centres. There was no longer one 
church, but many sects. Scientific centres became nu- 
merous. Many of the universities had arisen independ- 
ently, and now Oxford, Vienna, Heidelberg, Prague, 
and numerous universities in Italy and Germany af- 
forded opportunities for study equal to those of Paris. 
To the man who looks upon the Classic Period of Scho- 
lasticism in the Middle Ages as the golden age of united 
faith, — to that man the Renaissance will appear only as 
the beginning of the disintegration and revolution that 
he sees in modern times. 

But a deeper insight into the Renaissance shows that 
its revolutionary, negative, and spectacular aspect is not 
its whole significance. No doubt a strong, universal, and 
well-centralized government and a unity of faith are 
social ideals. The reverence in which the name of Rome 
was held long after the empire had been destroyed, and 
the reluctance with which the first Protestants separated 
themselves from the Catholic church, show that the loss 


of such a unity is a real loss. But the church of the 
Middle Ages was not the carrier of all the treasure of 
the past, nor could the church with its own inherent 
limitations stand as representative of modern times. 
The new problem which the Renaissance faced might 
be destructive of much of the traditional past, but it 
contained many new elements. The " new man " found 
himself in a " new universe." He was obliged to under- 
take the solution of a far deeper problem than antiquity 
had ever attempted. He must orient himseK in a larger 
world than the past had ever imagined. He must do 
this in the very presence of mediseval institutions, which 
had not lost their spiritual nor their temporal power. 
The constructive problem before the man of the Renais- 
sance was therefore an exceedingly complex one. How 
should he explain his relation to the " new universe " 
in a way that would not antagonize tradition ? It was a 
new problem, a real problem in which the traditional 
factor was always persistently present. 

There were two motifs which give to the problem of 
the Renaissance its constructive character. These were 
naturalism and suhjectivism.. In the first place, the 
Renaissance is the j^eriod when the naturalism of the 
Greeks was recovered. By naturalism is meant the love 
for earthly life. Of this the mediaeval church and the 
mediseval time had little or nothing. The church had 
been born out of the revulsion from the earthly, and 
it rose on the aspiration for the supernatural. The 
Renaissance was, on the contrary, born out of a passion- 
ate joy in nature, which joy was intensified by the un 
expected possession of the literature of the past and by 
the discovery of new lands beyond the seas. Man felt 
now the happiness and dignity of earthly living and the 


wortli of tlie body as well as the soul. In the next place^ 
the Renaissance is marked by the rise of subjectivism. 
At the beginning of our book we have already given the 
meaning of subjectivism (see vol. i, p. 2), and we have 
characterized modern civilization as subjective in distinc- 
tion from the ancient as objective and the Middle Ages 
as traditional. We have also found, as we have gone on, 
the beginnings of subjectivism in the Sophists, Stoics, 
and Christians. But in the Renaissance for the first 
time does the individual as a rational self gain the 
central position. This is subjectivism : the individual 
is not only the interpreter of the universe, but also its 
mental creator. Of the subjective motif in modern 
times the Renaissance marks the inauguration, and Ger- 
man Idealism the culmination. While the world of the 
ancients was cosmo-centric and the mediaeval world was 
theo-centric, the world of the modern man is ego-centric. 
The love of life, and the love of life because the indi- 
vidual feels his own capacity for life — this is the situa- 
tion presented to the man of the Renaissance. Thus in 
the restoration of naturalism and in the construction 
of subjectivism did the Renaissance stand for positive 
upbuilding, in spite of the fact that in all this the 
period was constrained by the powerful tradition of 
the church. 

The Two Periods of the Renaissance: The Hu- 
manistic (1453-lGOO); The Natural Science (1000- 
1690). The Renaissance is divided into two periods at 
the year 1600. The reason for taking this date as a 
division line will soon appear. The period before 1600 
we call the Humanistic, or the period of the Humani- 
ties ; the period after this date the Natural Science 


(a) The Similarities of the Two Periods. These two 
periods are alike in having the same motives. Both feel 
the same urgent need (1) for new knowledge, (2) for 
a new standard by which to measure their new know- 
ledge, (3) for a new method of gaining knowledge. 
From the beginning to the end of the Renaissance the 
" new man " was feeling his way about, was trying to 
orient and readjust himself in his " new universe." He 
was seeking new acquisitions to his rich stores of know- 
ledge, to systematize his knowledge by some correct 
method, and to set up some standard by which his know- 
ledge might be tested. 

(6) The Differences of the Two Periods. There are, 
however, some marked differences in the carrying out 
of these motives by each period, and to these we must 
give our attention. 

(1) The Countries v:)hic1i participate in the Renais- 
sance differ in the Two Periods. In the Humanistic 
Period Italy and Germany were chiefly concerned. 
There are two reasons for this. In the first place, these 
countries had been engaged in commerce with the Ori- 
ent, had become prosperous and more or less acquainted 
with the culture of the Orient. In the second place, 
Italy had been the refuge of the Greek scholars ; when 
the colony of Greek refugees in Florence had died out 
in 1520, northerners like Erasmus, Agricola, Reuchlin, 
the Stephani, and Budseus had luckily already made 
themselves masters of the Greek language and liter- 
ature, and had carried their learning into Germany. 

In the Natural Science Period the Renaissance had 
practically become dead both in Germanj'^ and in Italy. 
The reason for this is not far to seek. In Italy, in 1563, 
the Council of Trent had fixed the dogma of the church 


and had made it impossible for the church to assimilate 
anything more from antiquity. The so-called Counter- 
Reformation set in, and Italy became dumb under the 
persecutions of the Inquisition. Furthermore, the dis- 
covei'y of the sea-route to the East had turned com- 
merce away from Italy. When we look to Germany, 
we find a similar situation. The Thirty Years' War 
(1618-1648) had devastated the laud and had made 
intellectual life wholly impossible. 

On the other hand, England, France, and the Low 
Countries represent the Natural Science Period in the 
Renaissance. By the War of Liberation (1568-1648) 
Holland became the European country where the great- 
est freedom of thought was granted, and it proved itself 
an asylum for thinkers and scholars. France, through 
the influence of the University of Paris, was the centre 
of mathematical research. In England the brilliant 
Elizabethan era had already begun. 

(2) The Intellectual Standards differ in the Two 
Periods. The Humanistic Period has been well char- 
acterized as the time of " the struggle of traditions." 
Naturally enough, with the revival of Greek learning the 
thinkers of the first period of the Renaissance would 
try to solve the new problems by the standards Avhicb 
they found in antiquity. What did Aristotle, Plato, 
the Epicureans say in matters of science ? What stand- 
ards did they yield for solving the new problems of the 
" new universe " ? The traditions of antiquity were 
therefore revived ; and the contention was, Which 
should be taken as a standard? Among all the ancient 
systems neo-Platonism became the most prominent. It 
dominated the Humanistic Period because its aesthetic 
character and its mystical explanations appealed to the 


susceptible mind of that time. Nevertheless, the sway 
of neo-Platonism was not absolute. The " struggle of 
traditions " continued throughout the period, as appears 
in the schisms of the church and in the literary and 
philosophical contentions. 

The Natural Science Period, in its hope of finding a 
standard to explain the problems of the " new universe," 
discovered a new standard within the " new universe " 
itself. No tradition of antiquity had proved itself ade- 
quate to the situation. Nothing could be found in Plato 
and Aristotle to give a theoretic standard for the new 
discoveries and inventions. Nature disclosed its own 
standard within itself. The Natural Science Period 
said nature facts rmist he explained hy nature facts. 
But the question will naturally be asked. Why did the 
thinkers of this period, when the theories of antiquity 
were found to be inadequate, turn to nature rather 
than elsewhere for an explanation of nature ? The an- 
swer to this is found in the great successes of the physi- 
cal astronomers, who had started their investigations at 
the beginningof the Humanistic Period, and had reached 
the zenith of their glory at the beginning of the Natural 
Science Period. The discoveries of Galileo were especially 

(3) The Scientific Methods in the Two Periods were 
Different. The method usually employed in the Hu- 
manistic Period was magic. This first period tried to 
explain nature facts of the " new universe " by refer- 
ring them to agencies in the spiritual world. In their 
neo-Platonic nature-worship the scholars of this period 
imacfined tliat the control of nature was to be obtained 
by a fanciful linking of the parts of nature to the spirits 
supposed to be in nature. The Bible is the product of 


the spiritual world, so why is not the "new nature- 
world " inspired from the same source ? God is the first 
cause of all things ; He is in all things and each finite 
thing mirrors Him. All things have souls. To gain con- 
trol over nature, some all-controlling formula must be 
found which will reveal the secret of the control of 
spirits over nature ; and to master the spirits that con- 
trol nature is to control nature herself. Hence arose, as 
the methods of this first period, magic, trance-medium- 
ship, necromancy, alchemy, conjurations, and astrology. 
Antiquity could offer (and especially is this true of Pla- 
tonism) only spiritual causes for nature facts, — hence 
the search in this time for the philosopher's stone. 
There was never a blinder groping after a method. 

The scientific method used in the Natural Science 
Period was the mathematical. The world of experience 
was found to coincide with the number systewi, and 
therefore mathematics was used as the symbol to deter- 
mine the form of nature events. Incluclion and. deduc- 
tion wp.r ^ nsftfl ^' p fliffpTzenf . n nm lt t-w afinns The period 
has been characterized as the time of " the strife of 
methods." Induction and deduction became in fact the 
new methods of finding the truth about the " new 
world." Whatever is clear and distinct, like the axioms, 
must be taken as true. All other knowledge must be 
deduced from these axiomatic certainties. In contrast 
with the magical methods of the Humanistic Period, 
which point beyond nature for an explanation of na- 
ture, here in the Natural Science Period mathematics 
need not lead the explanation farther than nature her- 

(4) Tlie Attitude of the Church toward Science 
differs in. the Two Periods. In the Humanistic Period 


the attitude of the church toward the new leaiiuug was 
not yet defined. This was because the bearing of the 
new learning upon dogma was not yet understood. On 
the one hand, on matters upon which the church had 
clearly declared itself, it was easily seen what could and 
what could not be believed. But, on the other hand, the 
significance of much of the wealth of the newly acquired 
learning could not at first be fully determined. The en- 
thusiasm for science was so widespread, and the new 
discoveries were so many, that the church was unable 
to know what was consistent with dogma and what was 
not. At the outset the church was inclined to treat the 
new science with contemptuous toleration. Nevertheless, 
in spite of the new intellectual intoxication there was 
no real freedom of thought. The position of science 
was merely precarious, uncertain, and undefined. 

In the Natural Science Period this uncertainty was 
dispelled because dogma came into violent conflict with 
science. It was soon found that questions in physics 
involved metaphysics, and that the new science touched 
the church doctrines at every point. In 15G3 the church 
authorities at the Council of Trent settled dogma for 
all time. Great conflicts arose between the church and 
the secularizing spirit. The scientist became wary. He 
tried to avoid any intrusion upon the field of theology, 
and he insisted that his own field existed quite inde- 
pendent of theological dogma. But practically it was 
impossible for science not to take heretical positions, 
and this was especially true of the Rationalistic School, 
which tried to construct a new scholasticism. Safe in- 
dependence of thought was not gained until the next 
period (the Enlightenment), and this was brought to 
pass by political changes. 


A Brief Contrast of the Two Periods — A Summary 
of the Discussion above. 
The Humanistic Period. 

(1) The Time — 1453-1600. 

(2) Tlie Countries Concerned — Italy and Ger- 

(3) The Intellectual Standards — Neo-Platonism 
and other theories of antiquity. 

(4) The Method — magic. 

(5) The Relation of Science to the Church — 
precarious and uncertain. 

The Natural Science Period. 

(1) The Time — 1600-1690. 

(2) The Countries Concerned — England, France, 
and the Low Countries. 

(3) The Intellectual Standard — the mechanism 
of nature facts. 

(4) The Method — induction and mathematical 
deduction in various combinations. 

(5) The Relation of Science to the Church — so 
definitely stated as to be placed in conflict 
with dogma. 



The Long List of Representatives of the Human- 
istic Period. There was a revival of scholasticism^ — 
Paulus Barbus Socinas (cl. 1494), Cajetan (d. 1534), 
Ferrariensis (d. 1528), Melchior Cano (d. 1560), Do- 
minicus de Soto (d, 1560), Dominicus Banez (d. 1604), 
John of St. Thomas (d. 1644), Vasquez (d. 1604), 
Toletus (d. 1596), Fonseca (d. 1599), Suarez (d. 
1617), John the Englishman (d. 1483), Johannes 
Magistri (d. 1482), Antonius Trombetta (d. 1518), 
Maurice the Irishman (d. 1513). Among the Human- 
ists were Pletho, Bessarion (d. 1472), Lorenzo Valla 
(d. 1457), Marsilio Ficino (d. 1499), Giovanni Pico 
della Mirandola (d. 1494), Francesco Pico della Mi- 
randola (d. 1533), Theodore of Gaza (d. 1478), Agric- 
ola (d. 1485), George of Trebizond (d. 1484), Justus 
Lipsius (d. 1606), Schoppe (b. 1562), Paracelsus 
(d. 1541), Reuchlin (d. 1522), Fludd (d. 1637), 
Montaigne (d. 1592), Charron (d. 1603), Sanchez 
(d. 1632), Pomponatius (d. 1530), Achillini (d. 1518), 
Nifo (d. 1546), Petrus Ramus (d. 1572), Scaliger 
(d. 1558). The Italian nature philosophers were Car- 
dano (d. 1576), Telesio (d. 1588), Patrizzi (d. 1597), 
Bruno (d. 1600), Campanella (d. 1639). The notable 
scientists were Cusanus (d. 1464), Copernicus (d. 
1543), Tycho Brahe (d. 1601), Kepler (d. 1631). 


Tne Protestant 3fystics were Luther (d. 1546), 
ZwingH (d. 1531), Franck (d. 1545), Weigel (d. 
1588), Boehme (d. 1624). The political jihilosophers 
were Macchiavelli (d. 1527), Thomas More (d. 1535), 
Jean Bodin (d. 1597), Gentilis (d. 1611), Althusius 
(d. 1638), Hugo Grotius (d. 1645). 

As examples of the first epoch of the Renaissance * 
we have selected Cusanus (1401-1464), Paracelsus 
(1493-1541), and Bruno (1548-1600). These three 
men will represent fairly well the wide interests of this 
epoch, and more especiaEy its neo-Platonic spirit and 
its methods. The reader will see from their dates that 
the lives of these three philosophers nearly cover the 
Humanistic Period. Cusanus lived during the last half 
century of the Middle Ages and the first decade of the 
Humanistic Period ; Paracelsus's life covers the middle 
of the Humanistic Period ; Bruno lived during the last 
part of the period, and his death (1600) coincides with 
the last year of the period. All three were neo-Plato- 
nists. They had been so impressed with the nature- 
world that had opened before them that they were mystic 
nature- worshipers — pantheists, to whom neo-Platonism 
became the truest philosophical standard. All three 
were scientists in different degrees. Yet Cusanus, the 
cardinal of the church, and Bruno, the speculative phi- 
losopher, contributed more to science than Paracelsus, 
who aspired to medical science. This seeming incon- 
sistency in their lives is not difficult to explain. Para- 
celsus merely reflects the science of the time ; while 
Cusanus and Bruno anticipate the Natural Science 
Period — the one by his empirical discoveries, the 

* Read Eiicken, Problem of Human Life, jjp. 323-331 ; 
Windelband, Hist, of Phil., pp. 352-354. 


other by his mystic speculations which were almost 

Nicolas of Cusa (1401-1464). Modern German 
scholars place Nicolas of Cusa (Nicolas Cusanus) with 
Bacon and Descartes, as the leaders of the modern philo- 
sophical movement. Nicolas lived two hundred years be- 
fore Descartes and one hundred j'^ears before Bacon. The 
German estimate of him shews at least that he was 
modern in his thought, although he belongs in time to 
the Middle Ages for the most part. He lived when the 
Middle Ages were passing over into the Renaissance. 
His principal work, the Idiota, was published in 1450, 
when the Renaissance was on the threshold. He was 
certainly a forerunner of modern times. He was a Ger- 
man, a cardinal, and is now reverenced by liberal Cath- 
olics as one of their deepest thinkers. 

Cusanus was a scientist of no small merit. He died 
before the great discoveries were made ; but he antici- 
pated Copernicus in his belief that the earth rotated 
on its axis ; he anticipated Bruno in conceiving space 
to be boundless and time unending ; he proposed a re- 
form in the calendar ; he was the first to have a map 
of Germany engraved. He condemned the prevalent 
superstitions of the church and the use of magic in 
explaining nature events. Thus he anticipated the sci- 
ence of the time of Bacon, Hobbes, and Descartes, and 
transcended his own period. 

In other respects Cusanus belongs in this j^eriod with 
Bruno and Paracelsus. He did not seek to discover a new 
method ; but he turned back to the revived traditional 
Greek systems for an explanation of the " new world." 
He found in the mystic numbers of Plato and the 
Pythagoreans the principle of all scientific investiga- 


tion. The world of nature phenomena must be ac- 
counted for by the spiritual world. Cusanus uses almost 
the identical language of Bruno, when he says that the 
world is the mirror of God and that man is an epitome 
of the universe. In the neo-Platonic spirit of the Hu- 
manists, he regarded the world as a soul-possessing and 
articulate Oneness. Although a scientist, he conceived 
science to be only a conjecture, which in its unreality 
reveals the inner interconnections of the real world — 
the world of the spirit. 

Paracelsus (1493-1541). Paracelsus did not tran- 
scend his time as did Cusanus. He merely expressed it. 
He was the exponent of its science as Bruno was the 
representative of its poetic speculation. Paracelsus was 
a much-traveled Swiss, who tried to reform the prac- 
tice of medicine by a kind of magical chemistry. The 
poet Browning makes his adventures the basis of a 
poem. As a physician Paracelsus could employ the 
magic arts without much danger of the charge of her- 
esy, for the practice of the magic art was theoretically 
justified by the neo-Platonism of the time. The Faust 
of Goethe is at first a Paracelsus. The universal spirit 
behind nature presents itself in an infinite niamber of 
spiritual individuals. Nature facts are to be understood 
and mastered by luiderstanding the activities of these 
spiritual forces. In this way medicine became a brew- 
ing of tinctures, magical drinks, and secret remedies. 
It was an alchemy which grew to the proportions of a 
science. The alchemists of the time expected to discover 
a panacea against disease, which would give them the 
highest power. This is the meaning of the " philoso- 
pher's stone," which was to heal all diseases, transmute 
everything into gold, and bring all spirits into the power 


of its possessor. Paracelsus thus turned back to Greek 
hylozoism for the truth about physiology and the cure 
of disease ; and he met with some degree of personal 
success, for his physics had many adherents both in 
theory and in practice.* 

In the neo-Platonic manner Paracelsus conceived the 
world as fundamentally a developing vital principle 
(Vulcanus). Man is this cosmic force individualized 
(Archaeus). The laws that operate in the world are the 
same as in man, except that in man they are hidden. 
The study of nature's laws, as they lie open, will reveal 
how those same laws operate in a human being. Now 
the vital principle in nature manifests itself in three 
realms : the terrestrial, the astral or celestial, and the 
spiritual or divine. The Archseus or vital principle in 
man must have the same realms of activity. There is 
man's body, which gets its strength from the terrestrial 
realm of nature ; man's mind, which is nourished by the 
stars ; man's soul, that feeds on faith in Christ. Perfect 
health, therefore, consists in the sympathetic interaction 
of these three realms in man. A complete medicine cor 
sists of physics, astronomy, and theology. 

But Paracelsus was a chemist, and the terrestrial na- 
ture of man was his peculiar interest. The theologian 
may prescribe for the human soul, and it is the duty of 
the astronomer to care for the human intellect ; but the 
practical physician must understand the human body. 
Here is the Archaeus imprisoned in the gi-oss terrestrial 
body ! It is in continual warfare with that body. What 
is the nature of that body which is so hostile to the 
human vital principle ? Here Paracelsus introduces his 

* Read Falckenberg, Hist, of Modern Phil., pp. 27-28 ; 
Browning, Paracelsus ; Goethe, Fanst, lines 1-165. 


strange chemical analysis which characterizes him as a 
Renaissance physician. Nature has three essences of 
which all bodies are composed : (1) mercury, that makes 
bodies liquid ; (2) sulphur, that makes them combusti- 
ble ; (3) salt, that makes them rigid. These essences 
are compounded in such a way that from them the four 
elements — earth, air, water, and fire — are derived. 
Each one of these elements is controlled by elemental 
spirits. The earth is controlled by gnomes, the water by 
undines, the air by sylphs, and the fire by salamanders. 
Thus the chemical analysis of Paracelsus discovers four 
sets of spirits with which the physician is obliged to 
deal. Gnomes, sylphs, undines, and salamanders are in 
warfare with the human vital principle for control. 
When the Archaeus is in any way checked by these, 
there is disease ; when the Archaeus has them under 
control, the man has health. The medicines that the 
physician administers are determined by their effective- 
ness in helping the Archaeus in its battle against the 
hostile spirits. This makes medicine a field for the 
magician in the control of spirits. 

Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) , The neo-Platonic spirit 
of the Humanistic Period reached its most complete 
development in the aesthetic philosophy of Giordano 
Bruno. He sang the world-joy of the aesthetic Renais- 
sance. Italy ordained him priest, exiled him as heretic, 
and then burned him at the stake as recalcitrant. Italy 
has produced very few great speculators since his day. 
The Council of Trent met when he was fifteen years 
old ; already the counter-Reformation had begun in Italy, 
and Italy was soon to become an intellectually arid waste. 
The influence of Bruno appears in Spinoza and perhaps 
in Leibnitz. His one contribution to modern science was 


in Iiis inspired conception that because God is infinite, 
the world is infinite in space and time. The philosophers 
who influenced his thought were Pythagoras, Plato, 
Plotinus, and Lucretius. 

The fundamental thought of the Humanistic Period 
was expressed by Bruno in his imaginative conception 
of the divine beauty of the living All. Poet as well as 
philosopher, he was consumed by a love for nature as a 
beautiful religious object. He revolted from all asceti- 
cism and scholasticism. The *•' new world " in which he 
found himself was to him the emblem of God. The 
thought of that chief of neo-Platonists, Plotinus, of the 
beauty of the universe had never been so sympathetically 
regarded as by the Renaissance; in the hands of Bruno 
this beauty became the manifestation of the divine Idea. 
Philosophy, aesthetics, and religion were identical to him. 
To express his thought he employed the usual neo- 
Platonic symbol of the all-forming and all-animating 
light. Bruno was no patient student of natural phe- 
nomena as such, but a lover of the great illumination of 
nature facts by the great soul behind them. He was not 
interested in any single group of phenomena, as was 
Paracelsus ; but he loved them all as a religion. Not 
only externally but internally is the universe an eternal 
harmony. When one gazes upon it with the enthusiasm 
of a poet, its apparent defects will vanish in the har- 
mony of the whole. Man needs no special theology, for 
the world is perfect because it is the life of God. Bruno 
is a universalistic optimist and a mystic poet. Before 
this cosmic harmony man should never utter complaint, 
but should bow in reverence. True science is religion 
and morality. 

Since Bruno conceived no theodicy (proof of the 


goodness and justice of God) to be necessary, he did 
not define in exact terms his conception of God. Never- 
theless, to escape the charge of atheism, he distinguished 
between the universe and the world. For him God = the 
universe = nature = matter = the principle immanent 
in the world. The " world," on the other hand, = the 
sum-total of nature phenomena. The " world " is the 
body of God, and God is the soul of the " world." God 
is natura naturans ; the w^orld is natura naturata.^ 
Just as the sum of the parts of man's body does not 
equal the man himself, so to identify God with the 
totality of objects of nature is atheism in the true 
sense. It is to make God a finite being, although very 
big. In opposition to this, Bruno conceives God as the 
one substance manifesting himself through all things. 
This is to magnify God and to make him really omni- 

Nevertheless, Bruno is involved in all the inconsist- 
encies of the Mystic. In a neo-Platonic fashion he fre- 
quently speaks of God as if he were a plural number 
of atoms. God is not only the world unity, but in every 
particle of the world is He writ small. The elements 
of the world are monads, and each is the mirror of the 
All. The Absolute is the primal unity ; and yet in 
the paradoxical fashion in which the neo-Platonist is 
so successful, Bruno says that all creation is unfolded 
out of God and is included in him. The speculative 
poet is so in love with the world that he does not 
stop to make consistent the distinctions which he has 

' These two phrases will be found ag'ain in the philosophy of Spi- 
noza. Nature is conceived as having' two aspects : one is natura natu- 
rans, or God as the nniiiiatiiifj principle of nature ; the other is natura 
naturata, or the world as materialized forms or effects. 



drawn. The natura naturans and the natura natu- 
rata^ the unity and plurality of the world, are the two 
aspects of the reality in his own life — and that reality 
is God. 


(The names of the philosophers are given in brackets beneath tlie towns In which they 
were born) 


RENAISSANCE (1600-1690)* 

The Philosophers of the Natural Science Period. 

1. Galileo, 1564-1641, and the group of scientists. 

2. Bacon, 1561-1626. 

3. Hobbes, 1588-1679. 

4. The Rationalists. 

Descartes, 1596-1650, 

Spinoza, 1632-1677. 

Leibnitz, 1646-1716. 
Countries other than Italy and Germany come upon 
the philosophic stage during the eighty-nine years of 
the period of teeming natural science. England is re- 
presented by Bacon and Hobbes, France by Descartes, 
Holland by the Jew, Spinoza, and, at the end of. the 
period, Germany by Leibnitz. Still Italy yields the 
most influential thinker of them all, — Galileo, who is 
the most prominent of a long series of astronomers 
coming from many countries. The most completely re- 
presentative is Descartes, who was the founder of the 
Rationalistic school ; for he was not only interested in 
mathematics itself, but in the application of mathema- 
tics to metaph3'sical questions. Neither as influential as 
Galileo, nor as comprehensive as Descartes, the Eng- 
lishmen, Bacon and Hobbes, were nevertheless import- 
ant as the forerunners of the English empirical school. 
Spinoza is more of a " world's philosopher " than any 
of the others, and he joins in his doctrine the scholasti- 

* Read Windelband, Hist, of Phil, pp. 378-379. 


cisra of the Middle Ages and the mathematics of the 
lienaissance ; while Leibnitz occupies the jDOsition be- 
tween the Enlightenment and the Renaissance. 

The Mathematical Astronomers. After enthusias- 
tically canvassing the traditional theories of antiquity, 
the Humanists had been unable to find one which 
would explain and organize the newly accumulated ma- 
terials of their " new world." But working in more or 
less narrow circles, natural science had already made 
a beginning in the midst of the Humanists. Beginning 
with Copernicus, an interest in physics and astronomy 
had been aroused, but in these early days it was more 
speculative than empirical. The speculations of the 
astronomers had but little influence upon their own 
time. However, when the ancient theories proved in- 
adequate to explain the facts of the " new world," 
and especially when the empirical researches of Galileo 
confirmed the speculations of his predecessors, the Re- 
naissance turned away from antiquity to nature herself 
for an explanation. This was about the year 1600, the 
year of the beginning of the Natural Science period. 
The most prominent of these astronomers were — 

Copernicus, 1473-1543, a Pole. 

Bruno, 1548-1600, an Italian. 

Tycho Brahe, 1546-1601, a Dane. 

Kepler, 1571—1630, a German. 

Galileo, 1564-1641, an Italian. 

Huyghens, 1629-1695, a Hollander. 

Newton, 1642-1722, an Englishman. 

While the greatest of these scientists is Newton, who 
belongs to the next period, the most influential is Gal- 
ileo. Modern methods in science began with Galileo. 
Of the four predecessors of Galileo three — Coperni- 


cus, Tyclio Bralie, and Bruno — are in spirit Human- 
ists ; for their final explanation of nature is the world 
of spirits. Kepler belongs to both the Humanistic and 
Natural Science periods ; for at first he constructed 
his natural science by an amalgamation of the doctrine 
of spirits and the Copernican theory ; but in the latter 
part of his life he adopted completely the mechanical 
view of nature. The above scientists maybe divided for 
convenience into two groups : (1) the speculative scf 
entists before Galileo ; (2) Galileo and the following 
empirical investigators. 

For fourteen centuries the ancient Ptolemaic astro- 
nomy had been regarded by the learned as beyond ques- 
tion. Although complex and unwieldy, it explained all 
phenomena satisfactorily enough as they appeared to tlie 
senses ; and it brought phenomena into a system. (The 
Ptolemaic system has been fully described in vol. i, 
pp. 322 ff.) To recapitulate it : the world-all was 
conceived as a hollow sphere with the earth as the cen- 
tre and the fixed stars in the periphery, while the planets 
were supposed to move in epic} cles. The universe was 
divided into the heavenly and terrestrial realms, which 
were occupied by various spirits. God resided outside 
this hollow sphere and held it, as it were, in his lap. 

The history of the changes leading up to our modern 
astronomical conception makes a vivid chapter. How 
Copernicus contributed the idea of placing the sun at 
the centre of things, Kepler the idea of the orbits of 
the planets as ellipses, Bruno tlie idea of the boundless- 
ness of space and time, and how Galileo, corroborating 
these tlieories by empirical investigations, was put un- 
der the ban of the church — all this shows what heroism 
must have been required to tear down a time-honored 


and firmly intrenched traditional conception. Probably 
the speculative astronomers were not conscious that 
they were undermining the whole astronomical struc- 
ture, and probably their sole motive was to simplify the 
Ptolemaic conception, not to destroy it. For Copernicus 
accepted the Ptolemaic system, except that he put the 
sun instead of the earth at the centre, and thereby sim- 
plified it by making- many of the epicycles unnecessary ; 
and Kepler simplified it further by supplantins' the epi- 
cycles with ellipses. However, the result was inevitably 
an entirely new conception of the universe, and with it 
a new conception of the relation among particular ma- 
terial things. It was in this way that new scientific 
methods arose. 

The universe now comes to be regarded as a me- 
chanism, and what was formerly looked upon as the 
influence of spirits or as Providential guidance becomes 
an impersonal law of causal necessity. In the heavens 
above and the earth beneath there are no longer vital 
forces and supernatural influences. The universe he- 
comes a homogeneotis whole throughout, in which 
there is no difference between the fall of an apple and 
the revolution of the planets, no distinction between 
terrestrial and celestial spheres. The Christian heaven 
is nowhere in it ; the Mediaeval spirits are banished 
from it. The Greek gods have been pushed out, and 
the Christian God has been made to stand aside. 

The demand that the new conception of the universe 
be verified in concrete experiments, if it were to replace 
the old Ptolemaic system, the revival of the study of 
Archimedes, the rivalry in trade and inventions among 
the Italian towns, were three causes for the demand for 
greater exactness. Investigation, experiment, and inven- 


tion came into vogue. Magic, alchemy, astrology, and 
conjurations were no longer accepted as serious methods. 
In the Middle Ages deduction had been purely the logical 
employment of the syllogism in theological discussions, 
while induction, so far as it was used at all, had been the 
reference of nature phenomena to spiritual forces. Now 
deduction and induction ^ come to be used for other 
purposes, and mathematics is necessarily conjoined with 
both. The new Natural Science period is essentially a 
" strife of methods " ; it is the period when the true 
plan of scientific procedure is being determined. It is 
here that the importance and influence of Galileo is seen 
upon modern science and philosophy. 

The influence of mathematics in modern times grew 
up from these astronomical beginnings among the 
Humanists ; and the Natural Science period with its 
contention as to methods was the immediate result. 
Bacon, for example, regarded final causes as one of the 
" idols." Hobbes maintained that physics has only to 
do with efficient causes ; Descartes held that it is auda- 
cious in man to think of reading the purposes of God in 
nature ; while Spinoza thought it absurd to attribute di- 
vine purpose to nature. By degrees everything in nature 
came to be regarded as a mechanism, and there was no 
distinction between the animate and the inanimate. 
The discovery of the mechanical circulation of the 
blood by Harvey, in 1626, became a vigorous impulse 
toward the mechanical study of animal life. Descartes 
regarded animals as complex automata and on this line 
he published essays on dioptrics, musical law, and the 

^ Induction and deduction are methods of reasoning'. Induction is 
the method of beginning with particular cases and inferring from them 
a general conclusion. Deduction is the opposite metliod of reasoning. 


fcetiis. Hobbes applied mechanical law to psycbologi- 
cal phenomena. The study of reflex action was carried 
on with great vigor in the Low Countries and France. 
The mechanical theory was rendered complete in this 
early time by the exclusion of the soul from the ex- 
planation of the body of man, just as God had been 
pushed into the background of the universe. 

Galileo GaUlei (1564-1641).* The dates of the life 
of Galileo show him to have been a younger contem- 
porary of Bruno, and, like Bruno, to have been a victim 
of the ecclesiastical reaction that was sweeping away all 
scientific freedom in Italy. But while Bruno belonged 
both chronologically and in spirit to the first period of 
the Renaissance, Galileo is the true beginner of the sec- 
ond period. Bruno was a philosopher of nature, while 
Galileo was a true scientist. Galileo gave to all future 
thought a wisely formulated method of dealing ivith 
the new materials of the nature world. His laws of 
projectiles, falling bodies, and the pendulum created a 
new theory of motion. He set the hypothesis of Coper- 
nicus upon an experimental basis and made the future 
work of Newton possible. He was professor at the Uni- 
versities of Padua and Pisa, and he was mathemati- 
cian and philosopher at the court of Tuscany. That he 
perjured himself and thereby saved his life fi'om the 
Inquisition, there is no doubt ; but instead of death 
he had an old age of great bitterness. He gave open 
adherence to the Copernican system in 1610, when he 
constructed a telescope and discovered the satellites of 
Jupiter ; and after this there followed discovery after 

* Read HofiPding, Hist, of Phil., vol. i, p. 175 ; Ball, 
Hist, of Math., pp. 249 ff. ; Falckeubeig, Hist, of Mod. 
Phil, pp. 59 fe. 


discovery, like the spots on tlie sun and the phases of 
Venus, which latter discovery confirmed the Coj)ernican 
hypothesis. He invented the hydrostatic balance, the 
proportional compass, the thermoscope, microscope, and 
telescope. His two most noteworthy writings are The 
Dialogue concerning the Two Most Important Worlcl- 
Systems, and Investigations into Tioo New Sciences. 

As to method^ Galileo objected to formal logic, that 
it is not a means of discovering new truth, although 
valuable as a corrective of thought. New truth is dis- 
covered when we frame an hypothesis from certain ex- 
periences, and then infer the truth of other cases from 
that hypothesis. The hypothesis is first formed by in- 
duction from a few characteristic cases ; the inference 
to other cases is made by deduction. He therefore linked 
induction and deduction closely together, and conceived 
them as necessarily complementary in scientific inves- 
tigation. Either induction or deduction alone is absurd 
and impossible. By induction alone we should be obliged 
to examine all cases, an impossible undertaking. By 
deduction alone we should be in the same straits as the 
Scholastics, and never discover new laws. We must be- 
gin with our perceptual experiences and make an induc- 
tion from them ; then we must bring mathematics into 
use in constructing the hypothesis from which to deduce 
(calculate) new cases. This is the true, modern method 
and reveals the great genius of Galileo. 

A mathematical law never exactly coincides with any 
particular concrete relations. A mathematical law is an 
hypothesis or ideal construction. What value, then, has 
a mathematical law for science ? The orbits of planets i 

^ An example used by Galileo is the law of the velocity of falling 
bodies in empty space. 


are described as ellipses, but no actual planet moves in a 
perfect ellipse. The ellipse is an hypothetical, mathe- 
matical orbit for a planet which has no disturbing influ- 
ences upon it. We get at such a law by the method of 
concomitant variations ; ^ and the value of it consists in 
the simplification and system that it gives the facts. 
For example, knowing that a planet would move in an 
ellipse if it suffered no perturbations, and then knowing 
the influences upon any particular planet, we can cal- 
culate its orbit. Mathematical law, although ideal, is the 
common rule under which all nature phenomena can 
be brought. However, only by measurements founded 
on the tests of observation and experiment can we 
know how far the claims of such deduction are sup- 
ported. Measure everything measurable, and calcu- 
late the measurement of those things not directly 

Nature, therefore, must be called ujDon to explain 
her own phenomena. Since the laws of nature are found 
by investigating nature phenomena as we experience 
them, the laws must be a part of nature and can be 
found nowhere else. To explain nature phenomena by 
referring them to spiritual influence is no real exj^lana- 
tion. To say that God moves the planets is to involve 
the subject in mystery. Here is where Galileo shows 
that he does not belong to the Scholastics or the Mystics 
or the Humanists. He searched for some constant ele- 
ment, and not for a " vital force " behind nature phe- 
nomena. He declared this constant element to be motion 
— measurable motion. He is the author of the tlieory 
that mechanics is the mathematical tlieory of motion. 

1 The name, "concomitant variations," was later given by John 
Stuart Mill. 


Science was therefore taken by him out of the paralyz- 
ing grip of the theologian. 

The Life of Francis Bacon, Baron Verulam (1561- 
162G). Francis Bacon was a native of London and re- 
ceived his university education at Cambridge. He was 
in the English diplomatic service at an early age, but he 
later returned to London and took up the legal profes- 
sion. At the age of tliirty-two he entered Parliament 
and became immediately distinguished as a debater. At 
forty-three he became legal adviser of the crown, and 
when he was fifty-six he was made Lord Chancellor. 
After a brilliant career in public office he was accused 
and convicted of bribery and corruption, deposed from 
office, and heavily fined. His most notable writings are 
his Essays^ two parts of his uncompleted Instauratio 
Magna^ viz., De Dignitate et Aitgmentls Scientiarum 
and Nov^im Organum., and his New Atlantis, a Uto- 
pian fragment. 

The Position of Bacon in Philosophy. Tradition has 
frequently placed Bacon as the founder of modern phi- 
losophy. This estimate is due to a remark by Diderot, 
which was repeated by many French writers. The esti- 
mate, however, rests on a misapprehension of Bacon's 
influence. Bacon was more of a Humanist than a tech- 
nical philosopher, and in his constructive philosophy 
he seems not only to have had no influence upon his 
contemporaries, but also to have been uninfluenced by 
them. He was unconscious of the influence of Kepler 
and Galileo and their mighty scientific constructions. 
Bacon's Novum Organum, which embodies his scientific 
methods, had no influence upon his own time, nor was 
it read in the seventeenth century. Its influence was 
first felt in the eighteenth century. However, all this 


must be qualified in one respect. Bacon's New Atlan- 
tis did have an immediate influence. The ideal of a 
college of science, which Bacon presented in his New 
Atlantis, was not only the cause of the work of Diderot 
in his JEncyclopedia in the eighteenth century, but what 
is more important, it had effect in his own time. It led 
to the founding of the Royal Society, thirty-six years 
after Bacon's death, and later to the founding of similar 
academies abroad. While the reader may be confused 
by the conflicting estimates of Bacon, the words of his 
own countryman, Sir David Brewster, may be accepted 
as embodying the truth : " Had Bacon never lived, the 
student of nature would have found in the works and 
writings of Galileo not only the principles of inductive 
philosophy, but also its practical application to the no- 
blest efforts of invention and discovery." So far from 
being the founder of modern science, Bacon developed 
only one side of it, the inductive side, and that without 
success. He identified deduction with the Aristotelian 
syllogism, and he was therefore unaware of the import- 
ance of the use of mathematics in the method of deduc- 
tion. He did not seem to have the slightest idea that 
mathematics was going to be the scientific method ; 
consequently science has gone much further than Bacon 
dreamed it would go. Bacon's importance in the Renais- 
sance does not consist in his contribution to the content 
of philosophy or to his successful formulation of the 
scientific method. 

Wherein then lies the value of Bacon's work as a 
philosopher?* Bacon was the first in England to col- 

* Read Ball, Hist, of Math., pp. 253 ff. ; HoflEdini,^, Hist, 
of Mod. Phil, \u\. i, I'p. 184-186 ; Macaulay, Essay on 
Bacon; Bacon, Essays, — Studies, Truth, Friendship, 


lect the fruits of the Renaissance and give them a secu- 
lar character. Taking them out of the hands of the theo- 
logian, he, a lawyer, " gave them a legal existence by 
the most eloquent plea that has ever been made for 
them." It was a time when philosophy and science were 
passing out of the hands of the theologian ; and Bacon, 
feeling that science, including philosophy, should be secu- 
larized, drew a sharp line between the work of science 
and that of theology. Out of his great contempt for 
antiquity. Bacon voiced for England the contemporary 
reaction against the old scholastic methods. He set uj) 
the ideal and gave directions for following it. He issued 
the call to go from abstractions back to things. A man 
of worldly wisdom and pungency, his nature was buoy- 
ant in its belief in the coming age. He had confidence 
amounting to an optimism that final principles would 
be found to explain all the particulars of the " new 
world." He was a prophet who outlined his prophecy. 
He felt that not only nature but all the activities of man 
would be reduced to some simple principles. He shared 
and expressed the confidence of his time that wonderful 
things were to be revealed ; that nothing is impossible 
to man, provided man hits upon the right key to nature's 
secrets. Just as every age, that feels itself upon the 
threshold of a new epoch, writes Utopias, i so Bacon 
wrote the New Atlantis^ the Utopian fragment, for his 
age. This is the literary expression of his optimism 

Simulation, and Dissimulation ; Abbott, Francis Bacon; 
Eucken, Problem of Human Life, pp. 336-344 ; Rand, 
Modern Classical Philosophers, pp. 24-56. 

1 Bacon wrote his New Atlantis in 1G23. The same year Campanella 
wrote liis State of the Sun, and the preceding year Thomas More wrote 
his Utopia. 


about the future of a distinctively secular science. The 
world of the New Atlantis is the world of new ma- 
chines. Bacon's most ambitious scientific contribution 
to the same end is his Instauratio Magna. Of this only 
two parts were completed : De Dignitaie et Aitgtnen- 
tis Scientiarum and Novum Organum. Bacon is best 
known in philosophy by the second part, which was 
thus named to contrast it with the "old" Organum of 

The high influence that Bacon gained later among 
philosophers may therefore be accounted for by the 
association of his eminent position and wonderful per- 
sonality with his bold expression of this congenial utili- 
tarianism. Even in that rich Elizabethan age of English 
literature, he was prominent as a writer and politician. 
He had occupied high political positions luider James I ; 
but his peculiar personality would in itself have at- 
tracted attention, for his genius was such that any of 
the products of that age — even the pla3^s of Shake- 
speare — have seemed possible to him. Pope describes 
him as " the wisest, brightest, meanest of mankind." 
Macaulay says in his essay. Bacon., that there were 
many things that he loved more than virtue and many 
that he feared more than guilt. His career shows that 
he loved himself, wealth, and learning. His unusual love 
for learning may be safely taken as his excuse for his 
unscrupulous lust for wealth. His great versatility pre- 
vented his success in any one direction, but he had the 
power of expressing the feeling of his impressive age 
and of becoming its personal representative. 

The Aim of Bacon. Bacon sought to secularize phi- 
losophy by making it the same as science. It was the 
age when Nature was conceived to be identical with the 


world of the natural sciences. Bacon stood in this age us 
the formulator of the scientific usefulness of philosophy. 
Philosophy is to ameliorate social conditions and enrich 
human life by bringing nature under control. Ancient 
and mediaeval times had not been occupied with the im- 
provement of human society, but Bacon was inspired 
with the feeling of the modern statesman for such im- 
provement. The true test of philosophy, according to 
Bacon, is what it will do. That philosophy is worth 
while which will effectively remove the weighing condi- 
tions upon human society, so that there are no longer 
two classes, — those that sacrifice and those that satisfy 
their ambitions. This dominant utilitarian motive in 
Bacon sets hun in opposition to pure theoretical and 
contemplative knowledge, and makes him the father 
of utilitarianism and positivism ^ in England.* Know- 
ledge is the only kind of permanent power, and man 
can master the world when he gives up verbal discus- 
sions and belief in magic. Man must gain a positive 
insight into nature. Science and philosophy must be 
separated from theology, and philosophy must be re- 
duced to science. Thus while aiming to give a tangible 
form to the scholastic doctrine of the " twofold truth," 
Bacon through his utilitarianism missed the goal reached 
by Galileo and Descartes. 

The Method of Bacon. Bacon says that the method 
of the scientist should not be like that of the spider 

^ Utilitarianism regards adaptation to general happiness as the ideal 
of society. Positivism, broadly used, is that philosophy which limits the 
scope of thought to the observation of facts, although the observations 
are inferior to the facts. The data and methods of positivism are the 
same as those of natural science, and opposed to the a priori methods 
of metaphysics. 

* In this connection read Herbert Spencer, Education. 


that spins a web out of himself, nor like that of the ant 
which merely collects material, but like that of the bee 
which collects, assimilates, and transforms. Bacon's 
original inspiration had been his respect for method, 
and this grew more pronounced. Philosophy, i. e. sci- 
ence, is method. With Bacon we see the beginning of 
philosophy cut loose from personality and over-valued 
because it had mechanical accuracy. Nevertheless, the 
method of Bacon was very comprehensive. It included 
on the one hand a critical survey of the past, and on 
the other an anticipatory programme for the science of 
the future. Let us now turn to these two aspects of his 

(a) Bacori's criticism of the past was a trenchant 
criticism of prevailing philosophy, and amounted to a 
break with the past. Bacon felt that what passed for 
science i n his day was but a pretence . In the presence 
of the facts of life traditional science was b ut empty 
word^ . The early thinkers are not the ancients. We 
are the ancients, for we embody in ourselves all the 
preceding centuries. Thus does Bacon swing from the 
mediaeval blin d acceptance of the pas t to an equally 
blind rejection of the past j_ But why did the ancient 
thinkers err ? Not because they were not men of talent, 
nor because they lacked in intellectual opportunity^; 
but because their method of procedure led them astray. 
The early thinkers followed wrong paths, and their re- 
sults, which we now possess, are vain. 

What must be our attitude in the presence of this 
traditional philosophy? We must dispossess o urselves 
of th e prejudices that have misled th e past, for they 
form the obstacfeK-tt rmir true kn owledge of the world. 
The roots of the errors that have infected philosophy 


are " fantastic, contentious, and delicate learning." We 
must not, indeed, trust to our every-day perceptions; 
for although science is based on our perceptions, our 
every-day perceptions are corrupted by our uncritical 
habits of thought. Thus there have arisen perversions 
and falsifications, of which we must first of all be rid. 
Bacon calls these Idols.* Idols are false images, that 
intervene between us and the truth and are mistaken for 
reality. Bacon makes four general classes of Idols : — 

(1) The Idols of the Tribe, or the presuppositions 
common to the human race. 

(2) The Idols of the Cave,2 or individual preju- 
dices due to natural individual disposition, situation in 
life, etc. 

(3) The Idols of the Forum, or the traditional mean- 
ings of words, by which we substitute the word for the 
idea. These are the worst illusions. 

(4) The Idols of the Theatre,^ the theories or philo- 
sophic dogma, which command discipleship from groups 
of men and have not been subjected to our own criti- 

Bacon's classification of our prejudices as Idols is a 
critical attempt to separate, in what passes for know- 
ledge, the subjective, which has become traditional, 
fi-om the real. Logic, religion, and poetry have had a 
bad effect on science, as is especially shown in the 
theatrical character of philosophy. 

(6) Having dispossessed ourselves of our prejudices or 

^ Bacon chooses the word Idols, because it is the same as the Greek 
■word for false forms (eidola, efSouAa). 

- Bacon ia here alluding- to Plato's myth of the cave. Read Plato, 
Republic (Jowett's trans.), Bk. VII, 514 A-520 E. 

^ Bacon is satirical here and is likening philosophical systems to stage- 
playa. ' 


Idols, we are ready to proceed to a positive construc- 
tion of a scientific method of work. By what, in gen- 
eral, ought science to be guided? By induction and 
experience. Bacon suggests the following steps for the 
science of the future : — 

(1) There must be an exhaustive collection of par- 
ticular instances. 

(2) There must then be an analj^sis and comparison of 
these instances, for to Bacon induction was not a mere 
enumeration of single instances. Negative instances, and 
instances of difference of degree, must be taken into 
account. Hasty generalizations must be avoided, and we 
must ascend gradually from the particular to the gen- 

(3) The simple " form " of the phenomenon must be 
discovered. Of the four causes of Aristotle, Bacon em- 
phasizes the " formal." By " form " Bacon means the 
nature that is always present when the phenomenon is 
present, absent when the phenomenon is absent, and in- 
creases or decreases with the phenomenon. The " form " 
is the abiding essence of the phenomenon. 

The English Natural Science Movement, The natu- 
ral science movement in England thus received at the 
start the impression of the sober Anglo-Saxon mind. 
Through its entire history English philosophy differed 
from that of the Continent. Here at the outset the 
Englishman is skeptical, not only of scholastic deduc- 
tions from dogma, but also of deductions of all kinds. ^ 
He prefers the slow road of patient empirical discovery. 
Even pure contemplative knowledge and the deductions 
of mathematics have little charm for him. To be stire, 
induction even in the hands of an Englishman demands 
^ But see the contradiction in the theory of Hobbes. 


by its nature the establishment of a general principle, 
but Bacon would have refused to use such a deduction 
to establish a new truth in the way that Galileo used 
his mathematical hypotheses. According to Bacon, an 
hypothesis is true only so far as it has already received 
the indispensable sanction of experience. 

Thomas Hobbes * and his Contemporaries. During 
a certain period Bacon had under him a secretary by 
the name of Thomas Hobbes. Here was an obscure 
man turning to philosophy because of his interest in 
politics; whose point of attachment to philosophy was 
the mechanical theory of nature, so universally accepted 
by the scientists of that time. No contemporary of 
Hobbes — neither Bacon, Descartes, nor Galileo — had 
so systematic a philosophy. No other man succeeded 
better in expressing all that was in h is mind. Hobbes 
was one of a large group of political theoris ts of the 
Renaissance. When the mediaeval idea of the universal 
Christian state, such as was embodied in Augustine's 
City of God^ was no longer held, many of the Human- 
ists tried to construct theoretical systems of politieal 
government that would meet the demands of the time> 
Macchiavelli, Thomas More, Bodin, Althusius, and Gro- 
tius ^ belong to this group. Hobbes is best known 
in modern times as a writer on this aspect of morals 

* Read Robertson, Hobbes (Blackwood's Phil. Classics), 
pp. 204-206; Falckenberg, Hist. Mod. Phil., ^\). 11-12; 
Encyclopcedia Britannica, article, " Hobbes " ; Leslie Ste- 
phen, Hobbes ; Watson, Hedonistic Theories, pp. 73-94 ; 
Turner, Hist. Phil, pp. 443-446 ; Windelband, Hist. Phil, 
p. 389 ; Eucken, Problem of Human Life, pp. 359-360 ; 
Rand, Modern Classical Philosophers, pp. 57-69, 80-84. 

1 See also the ideal States of Campanella and Bacon, p. 41. 


and politics ; but politics is only a part of his gen- 
eral mechanical system of the universe. He is the 
forerunner of modern materialism, and his peculiar 
theory of society is only an exemplification of this 

In passing from Bacon to Hobbes we come to a very 
different type of man. Bacon had risen to fame by his 
own genius, in spite of the hostility of his powerful 
relatives ; Hobbes was a hard-headed man, with a nar- 
row outlook, but with undoubted talents, which were 
fostered all his life under the patronage of the Devon- 
shire family. Bacon was a practical politician ; Hobbes 
was a doctrinaire and theoretical political writer. Of 
the voluminous literary remains of Bacon his philosophy 
forms but a small part ; Hobbes had a general philo- 
sophical system, with which his classical and theological 
studies have connection. 

In the succeeding chapter we shall review the philo- 
sophy of the rationalist, Descartes, who was a contem- 
porai-y of Hobbes. We shall find that Descartes and 
Hobbes are alike in this: that both employed Galileo's 
mathematical theory as authoritative. They differed, 
however, in the way in which they used Galileo's theory. 
Descartes reduced mathematics to the rational, and con- 
ceived it to be the instrument of the reason ; Hobbes 
reduced the rational to the mathematical, and conceived 
the reason as a form of mechanics. The starting-point 
of Descartes was the subjective, and he was held at a 
standstill until the relation of thought and mechanics 
was solved by him. The point of view of Hobbes was 
objective, and since all was mechanical, he discussed 
only incidentally the relation between thought and me- 
chanical existence. Hobbes conceived the world in the 


terms of only one series, the mechanical. Descartes' 
main motive was to preserve the rational ; and, conse- 
quently, the world to him consisted of a double or dual- 
Istic series of terms. We therefore place Descartes, 
with Spinoza and Leibnitz, in a group called Rational- 
ists. Hobbes was a materialist, and his greatness" con- 
sisted in going the full length of materialism : he went 
beyond all the scientists of his time by extending the 
mechanical theory to the mental life. 

The Life and Writings of Hobbes (1588-1679). The 
life of Hobbes falls into five natural periods. In his 
first and last periods he was the classical scholar. Dur- 
ing his middle period of about thirteen years he waa 
the philosopher. Furthermore, at one time he was ab- 
sorbed in mathematics and at another in controversy. 
His period as mathematician was begun not until he 
was forty years old, and was preparatory to his creative 
philosophical period, which was begun when he was 
about fifty. 

1. Asa Classical Scholar (including his early years) 
(1588-1628) — the first forty years of his life. At 
Oxford (1603-1608) ; first journey abroad (1608- 
1612) ; beginning of his relations with the Devonshire 
family and also of his acquaintance with the "new 
science" ; time of leisurely study (1612-1628) and ac- 
quaintance with Bacon, Herbert of Cherbury, and Ben 
Jonson ; translation of Thucydides (1628). 

2. As Mathematician (1628-1638). Second jour- 
ney abroad (1629-1631) for eighteen months as tutor 
to the son of Sir Gervase Clifton ; reads Euclid while 
abroad ; third journey abroad (1634-1637), when he 
meets Galileo ; begins to develop the conception of mo- 
tion and sensation ; by 1638 he is counted among the 


notable philosophers and he meets the Parisian scien- 
tists, Mersenne and Gassendi. 

3. As Philosopher (1638-1651). Plans his philo- 
sophy under title of Elements of Philosophy : De 
Corpore^ De Homine, and De Cive, which is inter- 
rupted by the English Revolution ; Elements of Law 
(" little treatise ") written in 1640, read by a few in 
manuscript, published without his consent in 1650 in 
two parts: Human Nature and De Corpore Poli- 
tico ; flees to Paris (1640) and enters again the scien- 
tific circle at Paris ; criticises Descartes' Meditations ; 
De Cive published (1642), which is De Corpore 
Politico enlarged ; acts for a time as tutor to Charles 
II in Paris; engages upon his general philosophical 
theory (1642-1645) ; Liberty and Necessity, writ- 
ten (1646), pubHshed (1654) ; Leviathan published 

4. As Controversialist (1651-1668). Flees back to 
London (1651); De Corpore, published (1655); 
Behemoth, written (1668), proscribed and not pub- 
lished until after his death ; controversies with Bram- 
hall. Ward, Wallis, and Boyle ; De Homine, published 

6. As Classical Scholar (1668-1679). Translation 
of Iliad and Odyssey (1675). 

In Molesworth's edition (1839-1845), Hobbes' 
Latin works occupy five volumes, the English eleven. 
The Elements of Philosophy — the De Corpore, De 
Homine, and De Cive — were not published in the 
sequence in which they were planned, but, on account 
of political exigencies, in the above order. 

The Influences upon the Thought of Hobbes. 1. The 
premature birth of Hobbes had no inconsiderable influ- 


ence upon his life. When his mother was carrying him, 
she had suffered a great fright, at the announcement 
of the approach of the Spanish Armada. Was it in 
consequence of this that Hobbes's life was a series of 
panics and controversies ? He was extremely conserva- 
tive in politics. He saw the new changes without sym- 
pathy with either party, and he had no political ideals 
— only fear. The time in which he lived reinforced 
this natural conservatism. When he was translating 
Thucydides, Buckingham was assassinated and the 
Petition of Rights was presented. Henry IV of France 
had been assassinated not many years before, and the 
Puritan element had become a disturbing factor in 
England. His study and his alliance with the Devon- 
shire family confirmed him in his conservative position. 
All signs of the time pointed toward decentralization of 
government, toward war and rebellion. In fear he was 
" the first that fled " to France at the beginning of the 
troubles of Charles I ; in fear he fled back to London 
eleven years later, lest the Roman Catholics, whom his 
Leviathan had offended, should murder him. Hobbes 
was again in great panic over the London fire and 
looked upon it as a divine penalty, on account of the 
impurity of the English court. Hobbes was always in 
fright lest he might not have peace. 

2. The father of Hobbes was one of the unworthy 
clergymen of the English Established Church in the 
reign of Elizabeth. He was a dissolute man, and after 
many escapades he abandoned his family. In conse- 
quence of this Hobbes always had an antipathy toward 
the offices of the church and toward theology. Although 
he claimed to be a communicant, his allegiance was only 
nominal, as his theory will show. 


3. Hobbes was very much influenced by the new 
mathematical science. His years at Oxford left little 
impression upon him, and he was but little interested 
in the scholasticism which was taught there. Yet his 
twenty years on the Continent brought him into the 
midst of the scientific circles of Italy and France. He 
was well along into maturity when he felt this influence. 
On his second journey, he read Euclid for the first 
time. He was then forty-three. On his third journey, 
he met Galileo and the French scientists, Mersenne 
and Gassendi, and it was then that he began his reflec- 
tions concerning motion and sensation. The writings of 
Kepler, Descartes, and Galileo influenced him mightily. 
Although he acted as Bacon's secretary after the lat- 
ter's fall. Bacon's influence upon him was little and has 
been overestimated. The mental powers of Bacon and 
his secretary were different, and Bacon knew nothing 
of the mathematical method. Hobbes shows to some 
degree the empirical tendency of his nationality, and 
he believed that knowledge must spring from experi- 
ence. Further than this, the method that Bacon pur- 
sued does not appear in him. The mission of Hobbes 
was to construct a mechaiiical view of the loorld. 

Of the three influences upon Hobbes, his inherited 
timidity is seen in his conservative political theory ; the 
influence of his father is seen in his theory of religion ; 
the influence of the " new " mathematical science is 
seen in his whole philosophy, especially in his psy- 

The Fundamental Principle in the Teaching of 
Hobbes. The assumption from which Hobbes deduced 
his entire philosoj)hy was the mechanical conception of 
the physical world, — the characteristic philosophical 


assumption of lils age. Hobbes's contemporaries, both 
the natural scientists and the philosophers, had, how- 
ever, on the whole, restricted the conception of mechan- 
ism to the physical world. Hobbes differed from them 
all in universalizing the conception. He extended its 
application from the physical over upon the mental 
realm, and thereby reduced the mental world to physics. 
He stated this mechanical principle in two parts : all 
that exists is body ; all that occurs is motion. Hobbes 
applies this assumption to the physical world and it 
gives him materialism ; ^ he applies it to knowledge 
and it gives him sensationalism ; 2 he applies it to the 
will and it gives him determinism ; 3 he applies it 
to morals and politics and it gives him naturalism.'* 
Body is nature ; body is everything. Body is the first 
term leading through man up to the State. With 
Hobbes, as with others of his time, the political field 
was the whole ground to be penetrated. The funda- 
mental principle, by which Hobbes thought the whole 
field was to be explained, is body in motion. The men- 
tal world became drawn into the physical, and thereby 
his mechanical conception became the more natural. 

There was one realm which Hobbes left untouched 
by his principle : the realm of the spirit, i. e. God, 
souls, angels. The science of bodies cannot deal with 

^ The theory that the assumption of extended, impenetrable, eternal, 
and moving bodies explains the universe. 

^ The theory that all knowledge originates in sensations ; that all 
complex mental states (like memory, reason, etc.) are only combina- 
tions of elementary sensations. 

^ The theory that between alternative courses of conduct the choice 
decided upon is fully accounted for by psychological and other pre- 

* The theory sometimes meaning materialism, sometimes positivism, 
but sometimes, as liere, meaning that man in all his operations is a 
product of his environment- 


the supernatural, for the supernatural does not consist 
of bodies in motion. Matter and mind are homogeneous ; 
matter and spirit are not. The contrast in Hobbes is not 
between matter and mind, the material and the psychical, 
but between matter and spirit, the material and the supra- 

The Method of Hobbes. Hobbes made the method 
of Galileo his own. He believed that all knowledge is 
rooted in mathematics. There is one true method of 
treating all subjects : the _ mathematical c alculation of 
them as motions of bodies. Knowledge consists in using 
words as the signs of experience and in reckoning with 
them. Scientific ^thought is the combination of signs. 
It is the rationalizing of our experiences. Science has 
a truth in itself and stands as a rationally organized 
world, quite different from the world of experience 
which it has organized. The world of bodies in causally 
related motions is such an organized world, the most 
systematized and most simply constructed world that 
science can devise. But how does the scientist pro- 
ceed? He begins with a phenomenon, which is a body 
in motion, and finds out the causes of the phenome- 
non, which causes are nothing more nor less than the 
elements of the phenomenon in question. Then the 
scientist proceeds from the causes to other phenomenal 
effects. These new effects are like the original phe- 
nomenon and its causes, — bodies in motion. Thus the 
world of the scientist is a world of causes and effects, 
for " the natural reason of man is busily flying up and 
down among the creatures, and bringing back a true 
report of their order, causes, and effects." Thus we 
find Hobbes to be a nominalist (see vol. i, p. 358) 
who, nevertheless, used the deductive method — rather 


a strange combination. Like all his English successors, 
he employed induction and deduction, but the two pro- 
cesses never became fused.* Moreover for induction he 
has no method. 

The order in which the wiitings of Hobbes appeared 
seems to have been the sport of outward events, for 
they were not written according to his original plan. 
On his return from his third journey to the Continent 
(1638), Hobbes, then fifty years old, had adopted the 
mechanical theory and had planned his philosophy. His 
comprehensive work was to be calleid the Elements of 
Philosoiihy, and was to be divided\into three parts : 
De Corpore^ treating physical bodies;. De Homine^ 
treating man as a psychological individual ; De Civey 
treating man as the citizen of a State. .Hobbes's philo- 
sophy was therefore to be a universal philosophy, and 
he intended to bring his works out in logical order — 
first, the science of physics, then of human nature, and 
last of society. However, the growing disturbances in 
the political world at that time moved him to publish 
several treatises on politics first, and his physics and 
psychology more than fifteen years later. 

The Kinds of Bodies. There are two kinds of bodies, 
natural and artificial. Natural bodies are those belong- 
ing to the physical world. The artificial bodies are the 
institutions of society, of which the most important is 
the State. Man belongs to both classes of bodies — 
he has a physical nature and he is a member of the 
State. Man is the connecting link between natural and 
artificial bodies. Philosophy is therefore divided into 

* Read Falckenberg, Hist. Mod. Phil, p. 72, for his 
quotation from Grimm's criticism of the irreconcilable con- 
tradiction of the empirical and the rational in Hobbes. 


three parts: physics^ wbich treats of purely natural 
bodies ; psychology, which treats of man in his role as 
a natural individual ; politics, which treats of man in 
social congregations with his fellows. Looking at the 
situation from the other end, political bodies are decom- 
posable into men, men are in turn decomposable into 
physical bodies. Political bodies are dependent on the 
psychical nature of men, and the psychical nature of 
men is dependent on the nature of physical bodies, i. e. 
on bodies and their motions. Thus all bodies, natural 
and artificial, must be explained in terms of motion, if 
they are explained scientifically. Physical bodies are 
the first term leading up through man to the last term 
in the series, which is the State. 

Hobbes's Application of the Mathematical Theory to 
Psychology. Although the prime interest of Hobbes 
lay in the political life of man, he nevertheless made an 
original contribution to psychology. He snatched the 
science of mental phenomena from the hands of the 
scholastic theologian and made it for the first time an 
independent science. Psychology had been based upon 
the assumptions of the theologian ; for these Hobbes 
substituted the assumptions of the mathematician. Con- 
sciousness became in his hands not a soul, but the mo- 
tion of bodies. It is described by him as " the movement 
of certain parts of the organic body " The states of 
consciousness, such as sensations, perceptions, etc., are 
brain movements or the refined movements of atoms in 
the nervous system. Me p jior y and imagination are " de- 
ca ying sensations" ; thought is the sum of seYaral sen- 
sati ons ; experience is the totality of sensation^^ ound 
together by the rigid laws of associatio n. Hobbes was 
the father of what is known as the Associational Psy- 


ecology, or the the ory that consciousness is composed 
of mental atoms under fixed laws g f association. 

But although Hobbes took psychology out of the 
hands of the theologian and made it a mechanical sci- 
ence, he did not identify it with physics. It is still psy- 
chology. The menta l states are the physical mot ion of 
bo dies, bu t th(;>y ai-pi nnt py ternal motions, nor ^ re they 
the copies of the external motions of bodies. Mental 
states a re br? ^in mnvf>me,nts ; they are the result of ex- 
ternal motions. They come about in this way. A mov- 
ing body in the outer world makes an impression on 
the sense organ, and this motion is transmitted by the 
nerves to the heart and brain. A reaction is effected 
in the brain, and this is a mental state. The brain trans- 
formations, and not the movement of the external object, 
is that of which we are conscious. The mental state is 
an " apparition " of the actual fact in the external 
world ; it is an effect in a causal series. Our perception 
of light is, for example, a modification of the cerebral 
substance, and not of the external body itself. We de- 
ceive ourselves when we think that the sensations of 
light, sound, heat are outside us. These qualities of 
things are modifications of ourselves. There is nothing 
external to us, except the motions of bodies which are 
the causes of these modifications. The external world 
is no doubt real, but we have no knowledge of it — no 
knowledge of aught save the motions of bodies within 
ourselves. Tliis is the point of view oj" all subsequent 
English philosophy : the substance of things is quite 
different from our knowledge of them. The substance 
of things is real ; but is not the object of our know- 
ledge. The object of our knowledge is a modification 
of ourselves. 


The independence of knowledge with reference to 
theology on the one side, and to physical reality on the 
other, is well illustrated in Hobbes's discussion of lan- 
guage. Speech consists of words, which are only the 
counters of things. Words are markers by which men 
may know a thing as " seamen mark a rock." Science 
consists in their manipulation. Science combines them 
by addition and subtraction into judgments and syl- 
logisms, and thereby constructs a body of demonstrated 
principles. Words are only counters, and he is a fool 
who mistakes the counter for the coin of reality. Words 
only represent reality, and the law of their use is mathe- 
matics. Truth and falsity are terms that are concerned 
with the correct or incorrect manipulation of these ver- 
bal counters and not with real things. 

Hobbes's Application of the Mathematical Theory 
to Politics. In the same way that material bodies in 
motion give rise to mental states, and mental states as 
bodies in motion give rise to the human consciousnGiSS, 
so men as individuals are the source of the artificial 
body, — the State. In every individual man the impulse 
to self-preservation is innate, and is, in fact, his abso- 
lute and universal characteristic. Just as the law of 
the mechanical association of ideas is the fundamental 
principle of the human mind, so the mechanical law of 
self-preservation is the principle of man's ethical and 
political life. All our political institutions are the re- 
sult of the striving of men for self-preservation. In his 
natural state — when, as Hobbes conceived, man lived 
without social organization — man had no other stand- 
ard for conduct than his own self-interest ; in the arti- 
ficial political state, which man has constructed, self- 
interest is still his motive. Egoism is the sole working 


principle of human beings both before and after they 
live in societies ; but the political state is the most in- 
genious contrivance which egoism has hit upon for its 
own profit, flobbes conceived that the original state of 
man, which under the name of " state of nature " was 
a common problem in the Renaissance, was a condition 
in which every man was making war against every 
other man. (Compare Locke and Rousseau.) But such 
a condition of things was obviously self-destructive. 
Consequently man arbitrarily and artificially formed 
the political State to avoid this self-destructive, inter- 
necine warfare. Under the circumstances it was the 
most effective way in which man could gain his per- 
sonal ends, for the political State was the only possible 
means to peace. In the " state of nature " the right of 
every man to everything was the equivalent of the right 
of every man to nothing. So men made a compact with 
one another under which each relinquished a portion 
of his rights in order that each might have a portion of 
them secure. But what gives security to this compact? 
The sovereign to which the powers of the many have 
thus been delegated. What is the sovereign ? It is the 
soul of the State, the general will, — represented by a 
single person in a monarchy, by an assembly in a re- 
public. This sovereign, in whom the contract is vested, 
is absolute ; for the sovereign was not a party to the 
original contract, since he did not then exist. The 
contract was made among the individuals, at that time 
in a " state of nature." So long as the State preserves 
its power among the people, the people must render their 
obedience to the State, — to the sovereign in whom the 
contract was vested. The might of the political State 
makes right. Whatever the State commands is right; 


whatever is forbidden is wrong. There was no right 
and wrong in the " state of nature," only the possible 
and the impossible. An act is a crime when it breaks 
the contract, and thus the ground of morality is politi- 
cal legislation. Even the religion of the people is de- 
termined by the State. Any political State is better 
than a revolution. Here was philosophical justification 
of Charles I. A reversion to war is a reversion to the 
" state of nature." 

When Hobbes was in France as a refugee he wrote the 
Leviathan, which contained this doctrine of political so- 
ciety. He presented a vellum-bound copy to Charles II, 
hoping to gain favor with that prince. However, the Le- 
viathan, unfortunately for Hobbes's purpose, contained 
two paragraphs that antagonized the royalists and the 
Catholics. One was, that when a commonwealth is un- 
able to protect its citizens in peace, that commonwealth is 
dissolved and a new sovereign commonwealth is formed. 
The second was, that while the sovereign state shall de- 
cide what the religion of its people shall be, no religion 
is infallible — neither Anglican, Catholic, nor Puritan, 
The religion that the sovereign makes legal is only a 
temporary one ; the true religion wiU come not until the 
Last Judgment. The church is subordinate to the State, 
like everything else, and it does not matter much what 
the State religion shall be, provided there be peace. 
Religion is only a superstition resting on a defective 
knowledge of nature, and it is of little consequence what 
particular religion the State makes binding. 

It hardly need be said that the Leviathan pleased 
neither Charles II nor the Catholics. The sequel of its 
publication was that Hobbes fled back to England from 
fear of assassination. 


The Renaissance in England after Hobbes. The 
philosophies of Bacon and Hobbes do not exhaust, but 
merely represent the philosophy of England during the 
Renaissance. Empiricism i had to wait for Locke in the 
next period before it became dominant. After Hobbes 
Scholasticism was narrowly confined to limited circles 
and appeared under the form of Skepticism or of Pla- 
tonism, neo-Platonism, or Mysticism. The reaction 
toward Platonism was centred in a group of ethical 
scholars, called the Cambridge School. It included 
Culverwell, Cudworth, Henry More, and Cumberland. 
This Platonic movement was short-lived. The scientific 
spirit, represented in the Renaissance by Bacon and 
Hobbes, dominated the next period, — the Enlighten- 
ment, — and we shall find it spreading its influence 
over France and Germany in the form that Locke 
gave to it. 

But the history of the philosophy of the Renaissance 
is not yet completed. Contemporary with Bacon and 
Hobbes, there was a movement on the Continent which 
was more characteristic of the Renaissance, and indeed 
more important to it than the movement in England. 
This was the school of Rationalists, to which we now 

^ Empiricism and Rationalism have reference to the source of truth. 
Empiricism is the theory that truth is to be found in immediate sense 
experience. The opposite theory is Rationalism, which declares that the 
reason is an independent source of knowledge, distinct from sensation, 
and having a higher authority. 



The Nature of Rationalism. Although the new science 
grew apace, it was not altogether a safe vocation. Na- 
tural science involves metaphysical questions at every 
point. The scientist at this time, therefore, found him- 
self often in delicate relations with the jealous church 
guardians. A scientific explanation of the universe 
might antagonize the church dogma concerning God, 
creation, and the final outcome of the world. The church 
doctrine concerning the soul, too, its nature and its im- 
mortality, its relation to the body, might be antagonized 
by physiological and psychological discussions. In such 
dilemmas as these the natural scientist was not success- 
ful in pretending to isolate himself entirely from the- 
ology and in assuming an attitude of aloofness to it. 
Galileo might declare that, whatever the results of his 
investigations in physics might be, they had nothing to 
do with the Bible; but he sorrowfully found that the 
Inquisition thought otherwise. Copernicus found that his 
astronomical theories came into conflict with church 
dogma, and he was tormented by his bishop. Kepler 
spent his later years in a deadly struggle with both Pro- 
testantism and Catholicism. Bacon and Hobbes lived in 
a country where their personal safety was fairly secure, 
nevertheless Bacon disguised his position by using large 
words and Hobbes was untroubled because he accepted 
the religion of his sovereign. 


If the position of those was difficult who tried to keep 
themselves strictly within the limits of science, how 
much more fraught with personal danger was the posi- 
tion of those who openly constructed a new metaphysics ? 
It would mean that a challenge was issued to the old 
Scholasticism by the same human reason that had al- 
ready challenged and overthrown the old science. The 
group of men who did this were the Rationalists. The 
Rationalists were interested in science, but they were 
more interested in the metaphysical problems that sci- 
ence aroused. The human reason had been successful 
in the reconstruction of physics by the use of mathemat- 
ics. Why should it not also be able to reconstruct meta- 
physics and set it, too, upon a mathematical basis ? The 
leaders of this school were Descartes, Spinoza, Leibnitz, 
and the Occasionalists, — Malebranche and Geulincx. 
The Rationalists advanced a new conception not only of 
nature, but of God ; new theories not only of the human 
body, but of the soul. Their task was the dangerous one 
of bravely invading the hitherto impregnable realms of 
the spirit. 

The task of the Rationalists was rendered the more 
difficult because, for the first time in the history of Eu- 
ropean thought, the inner and outer worlds had been 
completely sundered. For the first time do we meet 
with a clear-cut and positive dualism. The history of 
the growth of this dualism had been a long one, and to it 
the Greek Sophist, the Stoic, and the Christian had each 
contributed his share. However, Galileo and his fellow 
scientists in this period of the Renaissance had so recon- 
structed the old " world of nature " that it had become 
irreconcilable to the " world of grace." These scientists 
believed that nature must be made to explain itself; 


its events must be conceived as necessitated ; its pro- 
cesses as having the inevitableness of a machine. From 
the revolutions of the planets to the circulation of the 
blood, the movements of nature can be measured. The 
law of nature, that is conceived to underlie all this 
science, is mechanical causation. The researches of the 
scientists of t he Renaissance had y ield ed''arrTch world of 
brute, inevitable, and scientific fa cts, and these stood in 
absolute fundamental co ntrast to the world of spiritual 
facts which were embodied in the church dogma. Appar- 
ently the problem of reconciling the " world of nature " 
and the " world of grace " had been solved by St. Thomas 
Aquinas in mediaeval times. Now, however, the "world 
of nature " had been so reconstructed that the question 
was re-opened. How is the new " world of nature" to 
be brought into harmonious relation with that old, per- 
sistent, and settled do gma of thft chjiiolt ? How can the 
newly conceived mechanism of nature be harmonized 
with the realm of free conscious spirits, without giving 
up the conception of God as a rational being, and also 
without depriving the soul of its power of initiation ? 
The new science had therefore made it especially diffi- 
cult on the one hand to reconcile a mechanical universe 
with an omnipotent God, and on the other to reconcile 
the mechanical human body with the free soul. 

The struggle of the Renaissance with the Middle Ages 
is therefore concentrated in the development of the doc- 
trine of this Rationalist School. It is studied here even 
better than by reading the two periods side by side. In 
Rationalism the Scholasticism of the Middle Ages and 
the Science of the Renaissance meet. Rationalism was a 
new science, but it was a new theology as well. It was 
a new scholastic philosophy ; for, while the Rationalists 


thought that they were giving the death blow to medi- 
asval philosophy, they were instead only replacing it 
with another scholasticism. In their attempt, by means 
of the mechanical theory, to get an absolute system of 
knowledge upon which thought can rest, the Rationalists 
were acting in the spirit of the schoolmen. In fact, no 
schoolman ever showed more vigor or more dogmatic 
confidence in his philosophy. T o th e mathematical eye 
of the Rationalist there_wa§_aJbsol n tel y n oth ing my steri- 
ous in t£e"phYsical universe or in the spiritual, realm. 
AU things in heaven and earth could be made clear. 
The declaration of the Rationalists was the call of free- 
dom, but it was as hazardous as it was ambitious ; and 
the church with its assured revelations always stood 
opposed to the realization of freedom. So we shall find 
Descartes spending his whole life trying to trim his sails 
that he may not offend the Inquisition ; Spinoza saving 
himself from both the Jews and the Christians by living 
in obscurity and publishing nothing ; Leibnitz construct- 
ing philosophy with the avowed purpose of reconciling 
science and religion. 

The Mental Conflict in Descartes. The strife be- 
tween the spirit of the Middle Ages and that of the 
Renaissance appears in Descartes more strikingly than 
in any other thinker of this time. He shows, on the 
one hand, all the conservatism of a churchman of medi- 
aeval time in his respect for institutional authority ; on 
the other hand, his intellectual activity places him among 
the leading scientists of the Renaissance. In no other 
thinker does the conflict between the Old and the New 
appear so unsettling ; in none does the antagonism be- 
tween the scholastic world of spiritual things and the 
mechanical world of science appear so irreconcilable. 


He suffered a life-long mental strife, for within himself 
mediaevalism and science were engaged in an unending 
dramatic struggle. The philosophy of Descartes was a 
compromise between his traditions and his scientific 
genius ; and his philosophy never overcame his con- 
flicting motives. The admirers of Descartes have called 
him the father of modern thought, and this is partly 
true. The father of the modern scientific method was 
Galileo. Descartes, on the other hand, pointed out the 
incontestable principle from which modern thought has 
proceeded ; he won his place in the history of philosophy 
by attempting to harmonize the old scholasticism jyith 
the new_science under this _singie. principle. 

The Life and Philosophical Writings of Descartes 

(1) As Child and Student (1596-1613). 

At home until he was eight years old (1596-1604). 
At the Jesuit school at La Fleche until he was seven- 
teen (1604-1613). 

(2) As Traveler (1613-1628). Descartes studies 
" the book of the world." 

At Paris (1613-1617), in retirement and study. 

In Holland (1617-1619), nominally attached to the 
army of Maurice. 

First Journey (1619-1621), going through Bavaria, 
Austria, north to the shores of the Baltic and back to 
Holland. The greater part of these two years were spent 
in Bohemia, enrolled in the army of the Emperor. He 
was on this journey when his mental crisis occurred, — 

* Read Robertson, Hohhes (Blackwood Phil. Classics), 
p. 40 ; Rand, Modern Classical Philosophers, pp. 117-147 ; 
Eucken, Problem of Human Life, pp. 351-362 ; Calkins, 
Persistent Problems, pp. 459-463. 


at Neuberg, in Austria, in 1619. It was then that he 
discovered either analytical geometry or the fundamental 
principle of his philosophy. 

In Paris again, 1623. 

Second Journey (1623-1625), to Switzerland and 
Italy, making a pilgrimage to the shrine of Loretto. 

(3) As Writer (1629-1650). 

In Holland (1629-1649). For the sake of absolute 
seclusion from inquisitive visitors, Descartes changed 
his residence in Holland twenty-four times and lived in 
thirteen places. All his correspondence passed through 
Mersenne. During these twenty years he made three 
journeys to France. Thus this period of absolute retire- 
ment became his period of literary production, chiefly 
between the years 1635 and 1644. He wrote his 

Ilethod (1635-1637). 

Meditations (1629-1641). 

Le Monde (1630-1632), published posthumously. 

Principles (1641-1644). 

Passions (1646-1649). 

(4) In Stockhobn, Sweden (1649-1650). The ro- 
mantic side of the life of Descartes appears in his book 
on the Passions, which he wrote for the Princess Eliza- 
beth, and also in his acceptance of the invitation of the 
Queen of Sweden to reside at her court and become 
her tutor. He died there from the rigors of the climate 
after a residence of one year. 

The Two Conflicting Influences upon the Thought 
of Descartes. On the one hand, all the ties of inherit- 
ance, family influence, and early education allied Des- 
cartes with the spirit of the Middle Ages. A delicate 
constitution made him shrink from public controversy 
and the public eye. He even made a half apology for 


his pursuit of science by saying that he was seeking to 
reform his own life, and that it was absurd for an in- 
dividual to attempt to reform a state. His family on 
• both sides belonged to the landed gentry, and he was 
therefore bound by caste to the support of institutional 
authority. He was educated in the Jesuit school of La 
Fleche, and this most conservative of ecclesiastical in- 
fluences restrained him from following the logical con- 
clusions of his own thought. He was therefore both 
physically timid and intellectually aloof. In 1632 he 
was about to publish Le Monde^ which was a scientific 
description of the origin and nature of the universe, 
and agrees in part with the Copernican theory. It was 
a treatise which would naturally conflict with the teach- 
ing of the church. He learned of the trial of Galileo at 
Rome, and he never dared to publish the book. 

The rival spirit speaking in Descartes was the new 
scientific spirit of the Renaissance. He had a genius 
for mathematics even when he was at school at La 
Fleche. On his going to Paris he became the centre 
of the most notable scientific circle in France — a 
circle composed of such men as the Abbe Claude Picot, 
the physician Villebressieux, the optician Ferrier, the 
mathematician Mersenne, and many other scientists 
and theologians. But he became dissatisfied and made 
some long journeys in order to study " the book of the 
world." His discovery of his method and his philoso- 
phical principle was the result. In mathematics he was 
the discoverer j)f analytical geometry and was the_fi rst 
to represent powers by exponents; in physics he stated 
the principle~of the refraction oflight,in trigonQgi^etrical. 
form ; he explained the rainbow ; he w^eighed the air. 
The same industrious ajjplication of the new scientific 


methods that yielded great results in science, also re- 
sulted in his development of his philosophy. Love for 
original discovery made Descartes disdainful of all sci- 
entific authorities and even contemptuous of his notable 
contemporaries, Galileo and Harvey. He mentions By 
name Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Campanella, Telesio, 
and Bruno, but he claimed that he learned nothing 
from any one except Kepler. He felt himself to be 
above criticism, and in his self-arrogating dogmatism 
he is the type of the modern practical individualist. 
He defined truth as candor to one's self, and both in 
his practical life and in his theoretical ideal there is an 
entire absence of utilitarianism. 

The Method of Descartes. Both science and scho- 
lasticism show themselves in the method of Descartes. 
He attemp ted to construct a philosophical method en- 
tirel y in the scientific spirit of the Renaissanc e, but in 
the application of it he showed his scholastic training. 
Surfeited with inadequate and traditional methods he 
felt the need of some single principle by which all 
knowledge might be systematized, and he was sure that 
mathematics would furnish the key. li ational s pieucg 
was to Descartes only m athematics. Truth is to be 
found not in metaphysics, nor in empirical science. 
Descartes' philosophica l aim was to esta blish a imi- 
versal mathematics. Descartes was not entirely faitliful 
to GaliTeo's mathematical principle in his employment 
of it, and his influence in metaphysics was thereby all 
the greater ; for in the development of his method he 
found assistance in the traditional scholastic methods. 
. Descartes was original in insisting upon finding the 
existence of an absolute and undeniable principle be- 
fore any progTcss coiild be made. Such an absolute 


principle can be obtained only by an i7iductive_£i^ing 
of al l idea s. From this all further truths must be 
nbtm'npfl h j f7pf7yc firkin .. Every true philosophy must 
therefore be an induction or analysis of ideas, and 
secondly, a deduction or synthesis. The great contri- 
bution of Descartes was therefore this : to the induc- 
tive method of Bacon and the deductive method of 
Galileo, he added an absolute principle which must 
he taken as the basis of both induction and deduc- 

Induction — Provisional Doubt — The Ultimate Cer- 
tainty of Consciousness. The philosophical proclama- 
tion of Descartes was characteristically French, for he 
demanded the same return to an uncorrupted nature for 
the understanding that Rousseau many years later de- 
manded for the heart. The first step of Descartes was 
also French in its demand for absolute clearness, which 
from his youth had shown him to be so passionately fond 
of mathematics. The way to such clearness is through 
provisional doubt. Let us purify the understanding by 
delivering it of the rubbish of traditional opinions, taken 
upon the say-so of others. By this negative in duction 
of rece ived knowledg e, let us see if there is anything 
positive and_certain. In Descartes's Meditations, in 
"a dramatic dialogue with himself," he portrays his 
own intellectual struggle to gain uncontaminated truth. 

* Read Descartes, Method, MeditoMons, for the dramatic 
struggle of his inner life ; Falckenberg, Hist. Modern Phil., 
pp. 86-88 ; Fischer, Descartes and his School, p. 199 ; 
Blackwood Classics, Descartes, pp. 144-149 ; Windelband, 
Hist. Phil, pp. 389 £E. ; Hofeding, Hist. Modern Phil, pp. 
219 ff. ; Weber, Hist. Phil, pp. 306 ff., for an opposing 
opinion about the place of Descartes. 


He makes an i nduction of all kinds of knowled ge and 

cliallen^eseach as it ap^ars. No thing is to be ac cepted 

as true un til it has prov ed itself true. All facts are 

subjected to rigid scrutiny. Descartes doubts the testi- 

mo ny of the senses , the existenc e of the material world, 

the exis tence of God . But this induction is provisional, 

even if it is radical. While none of the usually accepted 

truths are found by him to be undeniable and absolute, 

yet Descartes has an ulterior purpose in challenging 

them. Greek skepticism had no further end than doubt, 

while at the other extreme Anselm and the orthodox 

scholastics had refused to doubt at all. The method of '' 

Descartes is contrasted both with that of Anselm and ^ 

with that of the Skeptics, for he doubts in order that he > 

ma^[J^rH^w^ Dijilto ut infAUgam. JDoubt is necessary, 

but only as a means to an end ; and that end is know- 

ledofe. Descartes proclaimed for the modern individual 

. . . . / 

the privilege and the duty of rationalizing his own 


In such an inductive sifting of traditional beliefs, are 
there any that can be called knowledge ? Is there one 
whose reliability cannot be successfully doubted ? Not 
a single one, except the thinking process itself. I am 
certa in that I am consci ous. Even when in my uni- 
versal doubt I say that nothing is certain, I am at l east 
ce rtain that I doub t. I am, therefore, contradicting my 
universal skepticism. To ^Igubt is to think ; in doubt- 
ing, consciousness is asserting its existen ce. Skepticism 
is self-contradictory. An induction of our ideas reveals 
at least this one absolutely certain principle : I, as 
thinking, am. Cogito ergo sum . My own existence is 
an intuitive truth that accompanies every state of mind. 
This is the best known portion of Descartes's philoso- 


phy, and perhaps it is in part to the Latin formula of 
it that it owes its widespread acceptance. It is criti- 
cised as trifling, even if it be true ; and as reasoning in 
a circle. Yet it must be remembered that Descartes 
does not intend the ergo sum (" therefore I am ") 
to be a conclusion of a syllogism of which Cogito Q^ 
th iiik") is the^minor premjse. This formula is not an in- 
ference, but an intuition, which is revealed by induction 
as the certain background of all knowledge. 

Three things are to be learned from this fundamental 
principle, said Descartes : (1) The first is that man 
has gained a criterion of truth. The characteristic of 
this principle that makes it reliable and certain is its 
clearness and distinctness. Cleai^^ss (nid-jdisiiiictness 
of i deas is the proof' of their truth. All true ideas will 
therefore have the mathematical and intuitive certainty 
that the idea of the existence of the self has. (2) The 
second lesson from this fundamental principle is that 
the existence of the soul is more certain than that of 
the body. The s oul is more important and independent 
thQ2^_the_b2dy. This is the subjective point of view 
of modern times. The modern man views the world as 
the representation or the creation of his thinking soul. 
(3) The third lesson from this principle concerns the 
nature of the soul. How long do you exist ? As long as 
you think. (^Sum cogitans.') True existence is rational 
thinking, and God alone has it. Feelings and passions 
are obscure ideas. 

Deduction — The Implications of Consciousness. 
For Descartes r eality lies within the Self ; and the next 
question before him is how to get out of the Self. 
Knowledge that is confined to the Self and its states is 
called, technically, solipsism. Such knowledge amounts 


to little ; indeed, it is not knowledge at all. Certainty 
of self-existence is the minimum amount of knowledg-e 
— merely the starting jjoint of kuowleilge. Descartes 
proposes to escape from this solipsism by the use of 
logic. His method from this point on is ostensibly de- 
ductive, although he introduces by the side door other 
idteasthan the idea of Self to make his proof complete. 
Descartes maintains that any idea will be as true as the 
consciousness that accompanies it, just as a proposition 
i n geometry partakes~of the truth ot the axioms f rom 
which it is derived. Now my consciousness contains 
many ideas ; some of them seem to be the product of 
my imagination ; some seem to be adventitious ; some 
are innate. It is upon the innate ideas that Descartes 
depends to get hiin out of his soirpsisiii, for they are 
not created by the Self and they have the qualities of 
truth — a conscious clearness and distinctness. Among 
these innate ideas is the idea of God as a perfect being. 
The Existence of God.* As a deduction from con- 
sciousness, the idea of God would prove to be a very 
useful one to Descartes, provided it had reality. For it 
is evident that consciousness can testify only to the ex 
istence of itself and its own states. How do I know 
the reality of anything else ? Am I confined within the 
circle of my own thinking? Is all that I can say of 
this or that, "It is real to me"? Are all things only 
the phantasmagoria of my own brain, testifying only to 
the existence of myself ? Descartes thought that the idea 

* Read Falckenberg, Hist, of Modern Phil, pp. 92-94 ; 
Blackwood's Classics, Descartes, pp. 151-153 ; Weber, Hist, 
of Phil., p. 310; Calkins, Persistent Problems in Philoso- 
phy, pp. 25-30 ; Turner, Hist, of Phil., pp. 451 f., which 
presents Descartes' arguments as reduced to two. 


of God relieved him of this solipsism. If he could de- 
monstrate God's existence, he would then be able to 
demonstrate the existence of the material universe. The 
problem was so highly important to Descartes that he 
threw it into several different arguments. The compli- 
cations with which these arguments are filled must be 
passed over here, and the arguments stated in their 
simplest forms. 

(a) Two are ontological arguments, that is, argu- 
ments from the character of the conception of God's 

(1) -4 Simple Deduction. If I have in my conscious- 
ness any idea as clear and distinct as my idea of Myself, 
it must have existence like Myself. My idea of JGuDd has 
just that clearness and distinc tness ; and the rgface God 

(2) The Geometrical Argument^ so called by Des- 
cartes. Some ideas have properties so immutable that, 
when we think the ideas, we necessarily think their 
properties. Such is the idea of a triangle ; when I think 
of a triangle, I must think of it as having its three 
angles equal to two right angles. Such is also my idea 
of God ; I must think of him as perfect and existing. 
He would not be God, i. e. a perfect Being, if He did 
not exist. 

The reader will recognize this as a re-statement of the 
argument by St. Anselin^ As such it raised a tempest 
of controversy in Descartes' time, and was attacked from 
all sides. 

(6) Two are causal arguments, that is, based on the 
assumption of the equality of cause and effect. Only one 
of these arguments will be cited here. This is known as 

The Cartesian Argument. I have an idea of a per- 


feet Being. This idea must have an adequate cause. 
Therefore God must exist, for only He, and no im- 
perfect being, can be the adequate cause of my idea of 

The ontological arguments given by Descartes are evi- 
dently deductions from the certainty of self-conscious- 
ness. The question which we immediately raise con- 
cerning them is. Are they true ? As to the causal argu- 
ments, Descartes is breaking away from his original 
assumption, viz., that self-consciousness is the only cer- 
tainty, and is introducing another assumption, viz., the 
certainty of the law of cause. The question, then, that 
the thoughtful student asks, is. Does Descartes really 
escape from his solipsism? 

The Reality of Matter. It will be seen that Des- 
cartes is trying to deduce from the certainty of the 
idea of self-consciousness the certainty of other ideas, 
as propositions are deduced in geometry from axioms. 
The existence of Go d is an implication of hu man con- 
sciousness. JnJow Descartes points out that the exist- 
ence of matter is implied in the existence of God. 
Descartes is interested in material science, and it is 
important for hjyn ^o prnvp f.bp rpality of matter. Here 
again his scholastic training comes into play. Since 
God has all the attributes of a perfect being, He must 
be veracious. If there were no God, but only a deceiv- 
ing Devil, th e external world might b^ ""^y a fiction, 
created to deceive us. But God exists, and we can trust 
that He would not continually deceive men about the 
existence of nature. An atheist could have no science, 
but to Descartes, 

" God 's in His heaven — 
All 's right with the world." 


Of course, man is constantly in error about the char- 
acter of physical things, bu t these errors a rise from his 
mi sinterpretation of th em. Natu re in s ome form lies be- 
fore man^r else God in His truthfulness does nQt exist. 
The essence of matter is extension (see below), and 
whatever my interpretation of it, something extended 
lies before me to be interpreted. 

This is the skeleton upon which Descartes constructs 
his theory. Even this cursory examination of it shows 
the obvious attempt to explain " the world of grace " 
by the method of mathematics, and it is quite consistent 
with the spirit of the Renaissance. The existence of God 
and the existence of matter are deduced in turn from the 
axiom of all thought, the Self ; while matter is further 
described as the extended or the measurable. Thus 
Descartes has tried to construct a bridge between the 
scholastic concepts and the science of the Renaissance. 
The three realities, the Self, God, and matter, which 
Descartes often speaks of as intuitively certain, have 
obviously a differing cogency. The reality of conscious- 
ness is the gro und^ f rom which the other two_are de- 
rived. In asserting its primacy, he is voicing the spirit 
of the Renaissance even more clearly than did Galileo 
and Bacon. For Descartes in this h as gone b ack-of the 
obj ective fa cts to a single subjec^ ivf. p rinpJ plpi ; whereas 
the deductive princip les of Galileo were object ive. In 
this respect Descartes is the founder of the subjective 
method of modern thought, and in identifying the Self 
as the reason he became the founder of rationalism. In 
any case he established a background for epistemology, 
or the theory of knowledge. But in his derivation of 
the other two realities — God and matter — he shows 
how persistent was the scholastic current in his thought. 


Although he declared them to be intuitively known, 
they evidently are not so in the same sense that self- 
consciousness is ; and he felt obliged to support them 
by traditional scholastic arguments^ ~-^ 

God and the World. Leaving these fundamental ' 
principles of Descartes, we now come to a consideration 
of a few of the details of his philosophy. Descartes' 
world is a dualism in which conscious being stands in 
cont rast with s pace objects^. God is related to the 
world of mind o n the one hand and to the world_of 
matter on the other. The order in which Descartes came 
upon the three substances — the Self, God, and matter 
— is, however, not the order of their reality. In reality 
G nH IS thft 'primary RiihRta nca^ for He depends only 
upon Himself. Mat ter and the Self are relative or cre- 
ated substances, for they depend upon God. J^a,tter 
and mmd have different modes of appearing: the 
modes of matter are form, size, position, and motion. 
The modes of mind are ideas, judgments, and will. Thus 
mind is so essentially different from matter, as can be 
seen in their respective modes, that God stands in a 
different relation to each. 

The Relation of God to Matter. Descartes here in- 
vestigates the realm in which he has the deepest inter- 
est ; but he makes a concession at the very beginning. 
He divests things of their qualities and finds the essence 
of matter to be extension. Qualities are not resident 
in things, but are the result of our sensations. Sense- 
perception is knowledge of qualities, and therefore 
obscure knowledge ; while clear or intellectual know- 
ledge is of quantities. But there is one quality common 
to matter, — extension. Space, extension, and matter 
are the same. There is no space that is empty, no 


matter that is not extended. An extended or material 
body has, however, in itself no principle of motion. It 
cannot move itself. It must be moved by an external 
cause, and the whole universe must be a mechanism 
whose movements have their first cause in God. Matter 
in its modes of motion and rest has God as its first cause 
or unmoved mover ; and under matter is included every- 
thing extended, — inanimate objects, the lower animals, 
and the bodies of men. To this world of matter God 
stands in the relation of an inventor to his machine. 

The Relation of God to Minds. The esse ntial natu re 
of minds is th ought. Mind is therefore different from 
matter because it is unextended and jree. The two rela- 
tive substances have nothing in common except that 
they are related to God. The relation of God to minds 
is, however, very different from His relation to matter. 
God is not the unmoved mover of minds, but He is the 
perfect and infinite mind to which our finite minds turn 
as their ideal. God thinks and wills perfectly what we 
think and will imperfectly. He is not the mechanical 
but the teleological cause of minds, their ens perfectis- 
simuvi, the goal of all mental aspiration. 

The Relation of Mind and Body. In proportion as 
Descartes clearly defined mind and body, and referred 
each back to its own principle, the impossibility of con- 
necting the two became apparent. Descartes intended 
that his theory should, above everything else, clear phi- 
losophy of all obscurities. So he divided the world into 
two relative substances, — mind and matter, — each 
operating in its own realm, each exclusive of the other. 
The intention of Descartes is to be a consistent dualist. 
But there was one point where, with one eye on the 
church, he had to qualify for ethical considerations his 


scientific principle of matter. That is the point where 
the human body acts upon the soul and the soul acts 
upon the body. 

There was little trouble for Descartes in conceiving 
the movements of inanimate bodies, plants, and aD the 
lower animals as purely mechanical and automatic, with 
their first cause in God. From his own investigations 
he felt obliged to regard many of the human functions 
as automatic also. But his ethical and theological in- 
terests compelled him to think of man as exalted above 
the rest of creation. Theology has always been in a sense 
aristocratic, and has drawn a line between man and 
other things. Man alone has a soul in his body . The soul 
of man is immortal and free, and must therefore have 
control over the body ; nevertheless the soul of man must 
be conscious of the impressions that come through the 
body. Here the science of the Renaissance and the 
scholasticism of the Middle Ages refuse to be reconciled 
in the philosophy of Descartes. When it became a ques- 
tion between Descartes' scientific theory of matter oper- 
ating itself mechanically and the church doctrine of a 
spiritual will operating the matter of the human body, 
the scientific theory had to yield. How does Descartes 
yield gracefully to the theological requirements and 
bring; tosrether the two unlike worlds of matter and 
mind in the human personality ? 

Descartes' explanation of the relation of human 
mind and body reminds us of the mythical explanations 
of Paracelsus. The soul is united to all parts of the 
body, but its point of contact with the body is the pineal 
gland, and this contact is made possible through the ani- 
mal spirits (^spiritus anlmales) or the fire atoms in the 
blood, a revived Greek conception. The pineal gland 


is a ganglion in the centre of the brain, which biolo- 
gists tell us is a defunct eye, but which Descartes con- 
ceived to be the seat of the soul. Descartes maintained 
that the animal spirits, having been distilled by the 
heart, ascend by mechanical laws from the heart to the 
brain, and then descend to the nerves and muscles. 
When they pass through the pineal gland, they come in 
contact with the soul. The soul exercises influence on 
the body by slightly moving the gland and diverting the 
animal spirits. In this way the emotions and sensations 
are to be explained. The movement of the pineal gland 
by the animal spirits causes sensations in the soul ; the 
movement of the gland by the soul changes the move- 
ment of the animal spirits, and is an exhibition of free 
action. But this does not add to or subtract from the 
lenergy. It merely changes the direction of energy. 

The Influence of Descartes. Although the philosophy 
of Descartes was forbidden in the University of Oxford, 
was proscribed by the Calvinists in Holland, and his 
works were placed upon the Index by the Catholics, it 
created a profound impression on the theology, science, 
and literature of the seventeenth century. It spread over 
Europe in a somewhat similar way to the Darwinian 
evolution theory in modern times. Its success was im- 
mense, many standard men rallied to its support, and 
everything before Descartes was considered to be anti- 
quated. Among philosophers his doctrine had an inter- 
nal development in a natural way along the lines of the 
problems which he had left unsolved. A philosophical 
development, the source of which can be traced directly 
back to Descartes, went on until Kant published his 
Critique in 1781. This has later been called the School 
of KatioualisQi iu Germany, France, and Holland. The 


most important members of this school — the Occasion- 
alists, Spinoza, Leibnitz, and Wolff — we shall consider 
in their place. Descartes had an important immediate 
following in the group, who go by the name of Occasion- 
alists ; but his most important successor, who can hardly 
be called his disciple, was Spinoza. 

Descartes' method had a peculiar fate. His followers 
misunderstood it, exactly reversed it, and obtained very 
fruitful results. Descartes himself had hoped to see in- 
duction employed in most metaphysical problems. He 
regarded deduction as of use only in proceeding from 
one self-evident fact to another. But the following Ra- 
tionalists used the deductive method entirely and tried 
to systematize ethics after the manner of Euclid. They 
deduced their systems from some assumed principle. 
This tendency was first seen in the Port Royal logic, 
and was completed by Spinoza. 

The Relation of the Occasionalists and Spinoza to 
Descartes. JThe development of the doctrines of the 
Occasionalists and Spinoza from Descartes was an at- 
tempt to make clear the conception of siihstance. Since 
substance was the most important scholastic category, it 
is easy to see why Spinoza's teaching became thoroughly 
scholastic. Descartes had used the term " substance " 
in a very loose way to apply to God as infinite, and to 
minds and bodies as finite. He speaks of God as the 
only substance, and yet of consciousness and bodies as 
created substances. Such ambiguity must be overcome, 
if a philosophy which prided itself on making everything 
" clear and distinct " was to stand. Descartes had fallen 
short of justifying his attempt to put metaphysics com- 
pletely upon a mathematical basis, although this had 
been his original problem. The obscurity of the spiritual 


world still remained, because Descartes had left the con- 
cept of the spiritual substance undefined. The world 
of the spirit was still an unknown country. The spirit- 
ual substance had not been made clear and distinct, 
and there still remained the ontological problem of the 
relation between mind and matter, and the psychological 
problem of the relation between the individual soul and 
its body. 

Descartes had, however, defined clearly the concept 
of the substance of matter — the substance with which 
the natural scientist works. He had accomplished this, 
to be sure, by destroying the essential distinctions be- 
tween material things. A "thing" is essentially a s ub- 
stance in which many qualities inhere, e. g. a piece of 
sugdTr having whiteness, sweetness, etc. Material sub- 
stances were alike in that all were essentially extension. 
All else besides extension in any particular finite thing 
was a modification of extension. A lump of sugar was 
essentially the same as a lump of salt in that both were 
extension ; the saltness, sweetness, etc., were secondary. 
Now this makes the nature of bodies very clear ; and 
Descartes proposed to reduce the substance of the states 
of mind to the same clearness, butjb e did not _4o, it. He 
was interested in natural science and he developed his 
rationalism only with reference to matter. Bodies are 
parts of space or corpuscles, which are mathematically 
infinitely divisible, but perceptually are not further divis- 
ible. As far as he went, Descartes was clear enough. 

The Occasionalists and Spinoza represent the second 
stage in the development of Rationalism. Both tried 
by making clear the meaning of spiritual substance to 
define the relationship of God to the material world. 
Both tried to state the problem in other words, to over- 


come the dualism between mind and matter, and to re- 
construct the old " world of grace " so that it would be 
consistent with the new world of science. The Occa- 
sionalists, whose chief exponents were Malebranche and 
Geulincx, we shall dismiss with only a few words, while 
considerable attention must be given to the teaching of 
Spinoza. Malebranche tried to do for the mental world 
what Descartes had done for the world of matter. Since 
no knowledge is possible except in God, he claimed 
that the modes of finite minds — our ideas, judgments, 
imaginations — are alike in essence in being modifica- 
tions of the universal reason of God. God is so far the 
" place of minds " as space is the place of bodies. All 
our ideas participate in God's reason, and all our voli- 
tions are the modifications of the will of the Divine, 
just as bodies are modifications of extension. / What 
then is the relation, asked Geulincx, between bodily 
movement and the states of consciousness ? Why does 
my arm move when I wish to move it ? By the media- 
tory power of God. The thought in my mind is the 
" occasional cause " of the movement of my arm, while 
God is the true cause of the movement. The move- 
ment of the human body is therefore, like the movement 
of all matter, a continuous miracle caused by an ever 
watchful Deity, who keeps body and mind in harmony. 
Spinoza completed his pantheism before Malebranche 
had prepared the way. T'^'^or^iib^p^l « pmnplpiPi doc- 
trine _o^__substance, conceiving material bodies to be 
essen tially the same in bem^ modes of extension, and 
mental phenomena to be essentially alike in being modes 
of thought. But more important was his further teach- 
ing that on that account the two series have no rela- 
tion to each other. That is to say, Spinoza reduced the 


whole difficulty to clearness and distinctness by reduc- 
ing the thre e substances of Descartes to^ne. For this 
reason Spinoza was a more complete Rationalist than 
Descartes ; and he was assisted in this construction of 
a mathematical Rationalism by two facts : hejheldjiim- 
self str ictly to the deductive method, ^nd he was free 
from social and ecclesiastical ties. Spinoza is the 
truest utterance of his time in its effort to make all 
things clear ; and this is not contradicted by the fact 
that he had little influence in shaping contemporary 

The Historical Place of Spinoza.* Spinoza did not 
get full standing nor was he widely read, until Lessing, 
one hundred years later, resurrected his teaching and 
Goethe adopted it. He produced what the Renaissance 
was striving for, but what the Renaissance could not 
yet grasp, — the complete logical formulation of its 
deepest thought. Spinoza produced the only great con- 
ception of the world during this period, and it excited 
the hostility of contemporary Catholics, Protestants, 
and free-thinkers alike. The product of his thinking 
was a new systematic scholasticism, which, if the time 
had been ready for it, would have entirely superseded 
the mediaeval. He su cceeded in p lacing_metgj)hysics 
upon a^ scientific and mathematicaL basis, for his phi- 
losophy was not only logical in its content but_mathe- 
matical in its form, Spinoza's philosophy is the Re- 
naissance expression of mediaeval scholasticism, — the 
expression of that rationalism that underlies both the 

* Read Royce, Spirit of Modern Phil., chap, iii ; Bald- 
win, Fragments in Philosophy, pp. 24-42 ; Rand, Modern 
Classical Philosophers, pp. 148-166 ; Eucken, Problem of 
Human Life, pp. 362-380. 


(Pollock (Spinoza, His Lrfe and Pliilosoji/ij/, p. xxvi) says that only three of 
the portraits of Spinoza may reasonably be considered authentic. One is a minia- 
ture of the pliilosopher in the Summer Palai'e at the Ilatjue ; the second is a paint- 
ing in the Town Museum at the Ilajjue; the third is tlie one given here, which is 
an entjravinn found in copies of the original edition of Spinoza's Posthumous 
Works (1677). Tliis portrait seems to be somewhat idealized, but of the three it iB 
the most artistic and lifelike.) 


thought of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. It 
is as if Thomas Aquinas had been transported into the 
Renaissance, and finding that science would not sup- 
port and explain dogma, had conformed dogma sys- 
tematically to the new science. Mathematically science 
w as the ne w dognLa. Spinoza is the last word of medi- 
aevalism, although his language is the science of the 
Renaissance. The utterance of Spinoza sounds strange 
because, while his thought is mediaeval, his expression 
and form are scientific. 

Spinozism had a revival in the eighteenth cen- 
tury.* It formed the background of the philosophy 
of Herder and that of the author of the Wolffenhuttel 
Fragments. The connection of Lessing and Spinoza 
was a matter of active controversy at that time. Spi- 
noza was the great influence upon Goethe. In the nine- 
teenth century in England Coleridge reproduced from 
Spinoza's Ethics the doctrine of an all-pervading love 
and reason. 

Spinoza strove before everything else f or a unitar y 
s ystem , and yet it is interesting to see how much he has 
been honored from different quarters. Artists, religious 
devotees, poets, idealists, materialists, and scientists 
have found in him their truest expression. This is not 
only because each has found something different, but 
because his philosophy had actually a many-sided char- 
acter. His teaching had the advantage of being thor- 
oughly radical. Bad systems of philosophy are impos- 
sible, because they are contradictory. While no one 
knows that any system corresponds to fact, still it is 
possible that a radical system may have such correspond- 

* See page 279. Read Goethe, Geheimnisse, in this con- 


ence. Spinoza's system is comprehensive, and therefore 
has struck sympathetic chords in differing thinkers. 

The Influences upon Spinoza, i. His Jewish Train- 
ing. Spinoza was born a Jew and remained a member 
of the Synagogue until he was excommunicated at the 
age of twenty-four. Although he was the original gen- 
ius who transcends his limitations, his young mind was 
moulded after the Jewish type. He received the strictly 
religious training of the Jewish boy in the Jewish 
academy at Amsterdam, where he learned a trade in 
connection with his studies. He studied the Talmud, 
mediaeval Jewish philosophy, especially the writings of 
Maimonides (twelfth century), and the Cabalistic litera- 
ture. In a Jewish curriculum the classical languages 
had no place ; and mathematics, except arithmetic, was 
generally overlooked. His early instruction emphasized 
above ever3^hing else the unity and the supremely 
transcendent, theistic character of God. 

However, his separation from the Synagogue at this 
early age could not but modify his theology. It made 
him a free Jew. He was no longer under the restraints 
of Jewish traditions. While he never abandoned his 
belief in God as a unity, he gave up his belief in the 
transcendent theistic God of the Hebrew prophets ; and 
he differed from the contemporary Jewish Cabalistic 
teaching of emanations from God. He seems to have 
so modified the orthodox Hebrew conception of God 
that it rather resembles that of the mediaeval mystic 
Christian. Perhaps the influence of Bruno upon his 
thought may account for its final shape. 

2. His Impulse from the New Science — Descartes* 
Influence. The " free thinking " for which Spinoza was 
excommunicated by the .Synagogue was obtained first 


from his instruction in the school of Van der Ende, a 
physician of daring naturalistic tendencies. This was 
when he was eighteen. Spinoza had already learned 
Italian and French ; Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, and 
Hebrew were his native tongues ; Van der Ende taught 
Mm German and Latin, and introduced him to the sci- 
ence of the time. It was then that he read Descartes, 
whose philosophy he made the basis of his own. Spinoza 
was not an inventive genius like Descartes and Leib- 
nitz, but he was more rigidly systematic than either. 
He was by nature a thinker who was obliged to carry 
his thought through to its logical conclusions. He had 
already, at this early age of eighteen, begun to make 
independent theological excursions. Consequently the 
mathematical methods of Descartes furnished him a 
method, and Van der Ende gave him the encourage- 
ment for carrying out his independent thinking unre- 
lentingly to its logical end. To state his modified Jewish 
conception of God in mathematical terms became his 
task, and his success in thus stating it, with Descartes 
as a starting point, made him the most complete repre- 
sentative of Rationalism. 

3. His Acquaintance with the Collegiants. After his 
expulsion from his kindred, he lived for seven years 
with a sect of Baptist Quakers called Collegiants. This 
was a dissenting religious body without priests or set 
forms of worship. The members were simple, pious 
people, who regarded moral living as superior to creed ; 
and Spinoza's life in their midst must have determined 
to some degree the lines of his thought. To a man of 
Spinoza's simplicity of mind and kindly disposition, the 
Collegiants would prove to be not only congenial com- 
panions in his hours of distress, but they would confirm 


his own love for the ethical as an ideal. Spinoza says 
that the motive of his philosophy is a practical one ; 
that he is seeking that which would " enable me to en- 
joy continuous and supreme and unending happiness." 
He is seeking a theory of life that would aid in allaying 
the unrest of his time ; and he is the only philosopher 
who has called his metaphysics Ethics. The humane- 
ness of his doctrine, the practical purpose of his writ- 
ings, and the ethical ideal that informed his whole life 
had at least their reinforcement, and perhaps their ori- 
gin, in his contact with the CoUegiants during this criti- 
cal period. His life with this sect influenced him in his 
refusal to accept the chair of philosophy at the Uni- 
versity of Heidelberg, and to remain content to be the 
obscure grinder of optical lenses. 

The Life and Philosophical Writings of Spinoza * 
(1632-1677). The history of philosoiDliy presents in the 
person of Spinoza a lovable, interesting, and striking 
character, as well as the author of one of the profoundest 
of philosophical systems. His life was one of social iso- 
lation and retirement rather than of solitude. The Jews 
to whom he belonged lived a kind of double exile — they 
were exiled from their home in Spain, and they lived by 
themselves apart from the people of Amsterdam. When 
Spinoza was excommunicated by his brethren, he suf- 
fered, therefore, a threefold exile. Moreover, Spinoza 
was not only excommunicated by his people, but he was 
hated by the contemporary Catholics, Protestants, and 
the prevailing Cartesian school. Even the free-thinker, 
Hiune, spoke of him as " the infamous Spinoza," and 
another philosoj)her described his philosophy as " the 
hideous hypothesis of Spinoza." But his isolation was 
* Bead Auerbacb, Spinoza, an historical romance. 


far from solitude, and he had many eminent and faith- 
ful friends and a notable correspondence. Of his short 
life of forty-five years, he spent twenty-four, or more 
than half, as a member of the Jewish synagogue. Dur- 
ing the next seven years he found refuge among the 
Collegiants. In the last fourteen years of his life he 
became widely known, mainly through the Theological- 
Political Tract, published in 1670, the only one of his 
writings which he himself published. This brought him 
the call to the University of Heidelberg, which he de- 
clined. His life may be conveniently divided into three 
periods, as follows : — 

1. In Israel (1632-1656). Spinoza was educated at 
the Jewish academy at Amsterdam, where he studied 
theology and learned a trade, according to the Jewish 
custom. This trade was the grinding of optical lenses ; 
that is, he became an optician, and this required some 
knowledge of mathematics and physics. During these 
years he got instruction from Van der Ende in science 
and Latin. He also read Descartes and learned many 
languages. He wrote a compendium of a Hebrew Gram- 
mar, of which the date is doubtful. In 1656 he was ex- 
communicated by the synagogue. The charges brought 
against him were that : (1) he denied that the Old 
Testament taught the doctrine of immortality ; (2) he 
affirmed that angels may be only phantoms or ideas 
in men's minds ; (3) he affirmed that God may have a 

2. In Retirement (1656-1663). Spinoza spent this 
time with the CoUegiants, and this was his most fruitful 
intellectual period. He brought his ontology, ethics, 
politics, and physics into a unified system ; and he for- 
mulated his theory of determinism and his mathematical 


method. In 1658-1661 he was writing his so-called Short 
Treatise, " concerning God, man and his well-being." 
This was the first draft of his Ethics. In 1656-1662 
he was writing his Imiirovernent of the Understanding. 
In 1662-1663 he wrote a summary of the principles of 

3. In the Public Eye (1663-1677). During this 
period Spinoza lived at or near the Hague, where he 
had many visitors and a large correspondence.* He was 
an intimate friend of the brothers DeWitte, who made 
so large a part of the political history of the country. 
In 1662-1665 he was writing his Ethics, his monu- 
mental work. In 1663-1670 he wrote and published 
the Theological-Political Treatise, the only work pub- 
lished during his life. Although received with horror, 
it was widely read. It aimed to show that the Bible is 
history. In 1673 he declined the call to the University 
of Heidelberg. Just before his death, in 1677, he wrote 
the fragment of the Political Treatise. 

The Method of Spinoza. The method which Spinoza 
employed in writing his Ethics must not be regarded by 
the reader as a fantastic dress that he capriciously chose. 
It had for Spinoza a real and not merely an external 
significance. On taking up the book, one finds philoso - 
phy treated_exactly as Euclid t.reatpfl his gpnmptry. Be- 
ginning with a number of definitions and axioms, there 
are ded uced, step by step, propositions with app ended 
scholia and corollaries. To Spinoza this was not press- 
ing philosophy into an artificial and rigid form, but was 
only the natural mode of philosophical expression, j^ov, 
in the first place, if the new method of science had proved 

* Read Bohn's Libraries, Spinoza, vol. ii, -pp. 275 S., for 
Spinoza's interesting correspondence with notable men. 


itself successful in treating physical phenomena, why 
should not the same method have the same success with 
problems of the , world of the spirit — and in this way 
bring the two worlds into harmony ? By deduct ion one 
co uld then arrive at a bsoluta-Cartaintv-ajid. unassailable 
proof of the solutions of metaphysical problems that had 
long vexed the Middle Ages. With the perfect geomet- 
rical method all problems in heaven and earth could 
be solved. In the second pla ce, the religious conviction 
of Spinoza that a ll things come from God required the 
ded uctive meth od to expl ain the m. The order in which 
we should study phenomena should correspond to the real 
order in which they stand to God. God is the gro upd or 
re ason of thing^ s, and all are derived from Him as con- 
sequents. The deduction of the relation of finite things 
to God will correspond to the real relation in which 
God stands to them. 

The Fundamental Principle in Spinoza's Philosophy. 
The philosophy of Spinoza seem s to Joe jCartesian in 
every respect except one; and that one difference was 
like the leaven in the lump — it transformed his phi- 
losophy into a radically different one from that of Des- 
cartes. Spinoza's point of departure was the philosophy 
of Descartes, all his presuppositions are the fundamen- 
tal principles of Descartes, and the structure of his 
system seems to be that of Descartes. He has the same 
respect for the power of the reason to know all truth, 
the same faith in the omnipotence of the mathemati- 
cal method, the same general conception of substance, 
the same idea of the qualitative dijBference between 
the worlds of thought and extension, the same belief 
in the mechanical structure of the world of nature. 
He made these his own and accentuated them. But he 


added to these a new and transforming principle : he 
conceived that the substance, God, is not merely one 
ob ject of knowle dge, but He is the only object of know- 
ledge He is the only substance, and finite things are 
only modifications of Him. Finite things are alike at 
oottom, and to know them truly is to know God. 

This new principle transforms all the Cartesian ele- 
ments in Spinoza's teaching. It changes the Cartesian 
theism^iotcLajpantheism ; it supplants Descartes' theo- 
logical orthodoxy with a naturalism and Descartes' 
doctrine of freedom with a determinism ; and it turns 
the cultured aloofness of Descartes into a benevolent 
mysticism. This new principle becomes " the head of 
the corner." The oneness and universality of God is 
the single proposition from which Spinoza deduced 
his wholejjhilosqpliy. God is the ultimate ground whose 
existence must be real, be cause it is conceived . The 
int rinsic scholasticism of the philosophy of Sp inoza 
ap pears in his definition of substanc e, for it is only 
a condensed statement of St. Anselm's argument for 
the existence of God. Spinoza says, " T^y_si ^ e I 
meanjthat which is in itself and conceived through it- 
self alone." There are, therefore, two kinds of things : 
the thing that has existence in itself and the things 
that have existence in gpmething else. God stands 
alone in the first class_;_all_xither things make up 
the second -i slass. Spinoza's world is divided into two 
parts : God and the modes of Go d. God is self-explana- 
tory and self-existent, while everything else is ex- 
plained through Him. The only object of knowledge 
and the single presupposition of existence is God. In 
a phrase that has become classic, Novalis described 
Spinoza as a " God-iutoxicated mau." 


Three Central Problems in Spinoza's Teaching. We 
have already noted that Spinoza was the chief expo- 
nent of " clearness and distinctness " in this epoch when 
all mysteries were to be revealed. He sought to articu- 
late a metaphysics that would spread out the plan of 
the world like a demonstration in geometry. His defi- 
nition of substance is perfectly intelligible ; he accepted 
the mathematical analysis of the material world into 
a world of extension, and that of the world of con 
scions states into one of thought — all this for the sake 
of simplification and clearness. How simple such a phi- 
losophy at the first blush appears — the world is God 
and his modifications. As a matter of fact it is one 
of the many examples of the irony of history that the 
philosophy of Spinoza is one of the most difficult to 
interpret. Its difficulties do not arise from its having a 
novel point of view, for on the contrary it is one that 
appeals strongly to the popular imagination. Its diffi- 
culties arise from its very simplicity, for, after all, hu- 
man life is so rich and varied that a simple formula 
will hardly express it. From beginning to end Spino- 
za's thought has a vagueness for which the beginner 
in vain strives to find the cause. The cause lies i n the 
seemin gly simple principle tha t^God is all that really 
exist s^ and yet th p wo rld consists of God and other 
t hings^ 

From Spinoza's effort to simplify matters emerged 
three central problems : (1) The problem of the all- 
inclusiveness of God — the problem of pantheism ; (2) 
The problem of the unity of God — the problem of 
mysticism ; (3) The problem of the salvation of man — 
an ethical problem. We shall now consider these prob- 
lems in order. 


The Pantheism of Spinoza — The All-Inclusiveness 
of God. That Spinoza's philosophy is a pantheism ap- 
pears at the outset in his conception of substance ; for 
the substance is ail that really is. Descartes had con- 
ceived of three substances, — God as the absolute sub- 
stance, and nxj iid an d matter as the two relative sub- 
stances. But to Spinoza there can be only one substance ; 
for if there were two or more, no one would be sub- 
stance, since each would be conceived through the 
others. If we think at all, we must think of substance 
as all-inclusive. One might suppose that this preliminary 
statement would be all that Spinoza could say about 
life : all that real ly is, is subs tance ; other things do not 
exist. But that would be a misinterpretation of Spinoza. 
He does not mean that finite things are mere nothings. 
Theyjexist as unrealities ; they exist as negations of 
the substance. If you prick into the finite world, it 
does not collapse, like a balloon. It still exists as an 

No person ever had the idea of infinity so prof oundly 
as did Spinoza. His idea of infinity is not merely that 
of the infinity of time and space, which indeed affords 
a tremendous variety of possible constructions, since 
space and time are each infinite. To Spinoza the in- 
finity of the substance is much more than these possible 
combinations of time and space, for corresponding to 
the time and space series is a series of mental states. 
Every event has a reason. Every one of the infyiity 
of event§__inthe world of extension is paralleled by 
so m^ state of tho ught. But this is by no means the 
whole story about Spinoza's conception of infinity. Be- 
sides the infinite world of time and space and the in- 
finite world of corresponding thought, the substance to 


Spinoza possesses an infinity of other attributes, each 
of which is infinite. Spinoza piles up infinities upon in- 
finities, and thus <^.nnppTypg tliP gnhatqiiPf^ ^a qn infinity'' 
in ajQ_overwhelming sense. Ouly__two of the infinite 
m odes aj )peagJajmr..JUmited- huim discernmenj; : the 
infinity of the mode of extension, and the infinity of 
the mode o f thought. 

Spinoza begins at once to tell us about the forms in 
which the all-inclusive God appears to us. First, the 
substance has t wo attribut es, thought and extension. 
An attribute is " that which the intellect perceives as 
constituting the essence of the substance." Each attri- 
bute in its turn manifests itself in modes : thought 
appears in the modes of intellect and will, extension in 
the modes of rest and motion. 

Substance = God. 


Attributes= Thought Extension. 

I \ I \ 

Modes = Intellect Will Motion Rest. 
This bare skeleton of our rich and varied world ap- 
pears very much the same as that which one might find 
beneath Descartes' philosophy. However, Spinoza's con- 
ception of substance transforms it into a framework 
of a very different kind of philosophy. Since God is 
the inclusive reality of it all, we have here a panthe- 
ism instead of a dualism. The antithesis which in Des- 
cartes' philosophy was between extension and thought, 
now in Spinoza's teaching is between God and other 

What is the place of the attributes and modes in the 
all-embracing and real substance ? As to the attributes, 
Spinoza maintained that we, as finite beings, do not 


know God in His character as substance, but that He 
always appears to us through His attributes of thought 
and extension. There are only these two attributes that 
the human mind can know, although God as an in finite 
be ing mus t possess an infi nite number of such attri- 
butes. In our human world all things are either thought- 
tmngs or extension-things. Each of these two attributes 
is infinite after its kind. Each fully expresses an aspect 
of God without depreciating the value of the other. 
Each is fully adequate, just as a table may be both 
white and hard without either quality infringing upon 
the other. The attributes are the substance made more 
concrete. The modes are in turn modifications of the 
attributes and more concrete expressions of them and 
of the substance. Each mode is infinite after its kind. 
Since God exists only in reality, He would not suppos- 
ably see from His point of view the world laid out in 
attributes and modes ; for these are only human ways 
of interpreting Him. While the critics agree that the 
modes are human interpretations of the attributes and 
therefore unreal, they disagree about the relation of 
the attributes to God. Some maintain that the attri- 
butes are merely human ways of seeing the substance, 
analogously to the modes — as if we saw God now as 
thought and now as extension ; others maintain that 
God is nothing other than the sum of the attributes ; 
of extension, thought, and the unknown, infinite, other 
attributes. The difficulty lays bare the nerve of the 
problem of pantheism, and probably Spinoza was not 
clear in his own mind about the relation of the attri- 
butes to the substance. 

Spinoza speaks more definitely upon this same prob- 
lem of the relation of the modes to God. Is God the 


sum-total of all existent things, or is He the principle 
behind them? Spinoza says that God is both. God^ is 
th e cause of the world, not cause in the way that the 
ter m is common ly used nor in the sense that Descartes 
usedj-t. God is not to existent things the first cause or 
the unmoved mover of matter, or the teleological cause 
of thought, as in Descartes. He is cause in the sense 
that a triangle is the caAise_of its own ^hree^sides. He 
is the rational ground (ratio essendi) or the logical 
reason for the being of things. In this sense God may 
be resrarded as the cause both in the sense that He is 
the sum-total of existent things or modes (natura natiir 
ratd)^ and in the sense that He is the immanent and 
energizing principle of existent things (natura natu- 
rans). These conceptions as well as their phrases Spi- 
noza probably got from Bruno. 

The world is, therefore, related to God in that it fol- 
lows directly from the nature of God ; God is related 
to the world in that He is the logical ground of the 
world. Is God the creator of the world ? No, He is the 
world. Is God a person ? Is He a self-conscious being 
like ourselves, — an individual ? No. The thought- 
aspect of God includes our thought, but it is the very 
different infinite thought ; the extension-aspect of God 
includes our body, but it is the very different infinite 
body. God has soul and body and an infinite number 
of other aspects. God is — an unchanging, self-depend- 
ent being, whose modifications are necessarily deter- 
mined in their relation to Him and to one another. 
Spinoza conceived the character of God exactly from 
the nature of geometry. Just as all geometrical con- 
clusions follow from the nature of space and exist in 
determined and fixed relations to one another, so every* 


thing finite follows from the nature of the Infinite, and 
each finite thing is in a rigid chain of finite things of 
its own kind — a chain without beginning or end. The 
necessity of the divine nature appears in all, not as a 
series of emanations :^rom God, but in a series, each 
member of which is determined equally by Him. 

The Mysticism of Spinoza. From the point of view 
of man^ mysticism in speculative or religious thought 
has reference to the immediate apprehension of God. 
Mysticism frequently accompanies pantheism, and /Vom 
the 'point of view of God refers to the oneness of His 
all-inclusive nature. Spinoza's pantheism is also a 
mysticism which involves the immediate apprehension 
of the divine by the human ; it involves the oneness 
of God and man. More often than otherwise mysti- 
cism is animated by a religious motive, and Spinoza's 
philosophy is profoundly religious. We have already 
seen similar mysticism in the Orphic-Pythagorean sect 
which formed so great a peril to Greek culture in 
the sixth century B. C, in the neo-Pythagoreans and 
neo-Platonists at the beginning of this era, in many 
of the churchmen of the Middle Ages, especially Scotus 
Erigena and Meister Eckhart. Bruno and many of the 
Humanists were mystics, and if we should wish to go 
outside our field, we should find mysticism to be the 
prevailing attitude of mind of the great Oriental peo- 
ples. Mysticism frequently is accompanied by belief in 
occult spiritual appearances, but that is not necessarily 
the case ; nor was it the case with Spinoza. Spinoza's 
mysticism was purely intellectual. Although a religious 
philosophy with an immediate ethical bearing upon con- 
duct, it was a scientific relationalism that could not 
tolerate the miraculous and the abnormal psychological 


phenomena (such as clairvoyance, hallucinations, etc.). 
Spinoza is, on the contrary, distinguished as a mystic be- 
cause he interpreted the universe in entirely non-human 
terms. His great service to mysticism lies in divesting 
the reality of life of every human attribution and lay- 
ing bare a mathematical skeleton. The desire of the 
period to find a greater unity in life was responded to 
by him in a mathematical mysticism. To him the uni- 
verse is not only divided into parts, not only is there 
no opposition between God and the world, but life is so 
completely a rational thing that no exceptional phe- 
nomena can occur. He believed that any description of 
God or of nature in anthropomorphic terms disunites 
life. Spinoza dehumanized the universe, conceiving 
matter to consist of elements, and conceiving spirit to 
consist of simple ideas. He resolved the personality of 
man into parts for the sake of the unity of the universe, 
and he obtained scientific clearness at the expense of 
humanity. Thus, instead of being able to say with Des- 
cartes, "I think and therefore I am," Spinoza could 
say, and wished only to say, "God thinks" (^Deus 

Like the usual speculative mystic, Spinoza described 
his God in the terms of formal deductive logic. God is 
the most real being, ens realissimuin. What is the most 
real being to a mystic ? Would reality contain any finite 
quality such as the world around us contains ? Can you 
say that God has this particular faculty, or is endowed 
with that concrete attribute? Does God enjoy, love, 
hate ; does He create and destroy ? But how can God 
be the real unity of the world unless He contains in 
Himself everything in the finite world? We approach 
here the threshold of the problem of the concrete iini- 


versal, which has engaged the attention of so much of 
modern philosophy. A concrete universal is all-inclusive 
of finite existence, but at the same time is a self -con- 
sistent unity. In contrast with the concrete universal 
is the abstract universal, which is a unity, but outside 
of which all finite existence falls. While it was un- 
doubtedly the concrete universal that Spinoza sought, 
his method could lead to nothing more concrete than 
the abstract universals of Plato and the Schoolmen. 
The world of finite things is included by Spinoza's God 
in the same way that blocks are included by a string 
which has been tied around them. 

Spinoza's God is the most abstract entity which it is 
possible to conceive. All finite things fall outside Him. 
No quality can be predicated of Him, for to define Him 
is to limit Him. After the manner of the "negative 
theology " (see vol. i, p. 283), Spinoza refused to ascribe 
any quality to God. He does not feel, think, or will as we 
do, nor can extension be ascribed to Him in the sense 
of finite spaces. We can say only that He is not this 
and not this. Spinoza's conception of God is reached 
by dropping off all determinate qualities, until the most 
general and most abstract term is gained. The barren- 
ness of this logical conception, its absolute emptiness 
and abstractness, makes all description of it impossible. 
God is a bloodless entity, an absolute logical necessity 
and the most abstract universal. Outside of Him falls 
all that we call life. If this is God's character, is He 
everything or nothing? If the process of abstraction 
rises so far above every limitation to an ens realissimum 
et generalissimum, — to the most real and most gen- 
eral entity, — if all content falls away from God, what 
does such an empty form amount to? The paradox in 


Spinoza's philosophy appears here as in the case of all 
mysticism — for the mystic revels in paradoxes. This 
empty generality is all that really is. God is every- 
thing, and Spinoza points out empirical proof of this 
by insisting that the transitory life of man has its only 
meaning in such a substance. God is not this particular 
thing nor again that finite determination, but He is aU 
these. He is the timeless reality of the temporal world, 
the infinity of finite things, the necessity of contingent 
nature. When therefore Spinoza speaks of God as hav- 
ing an intellectual love for Himself, and when he says 
that the attributes of thought and extension constitute 
the essence of the substance, he is not giving finite 
characteristics to God. He is struggling with language 
to express the inherent paradox of his philosophy. 

Moreover, the delineation of the finite world with 
God as a background, as it appears from the point of 
view of a human being, is an inadequate presentation 
of Spinoza's profound conception of God. For the sub- 
stance is not merely a neutral point nor the central 
point of the universe. The substance is all. All things 
have neither their explanation nor their existence in 
themselves. God alone has an existence that explains 
itself, and He is the reality and essence of all finite 
things. God is immanent in the world. Just as the sides 
of a triangle get their meaning from the triangle itself, 
80 the significance of the attributes and modes of the 
substance lies in the substance. 

The unity of Spinoza's God is further suggested by 
the relation of the attributes of thought and extension, 
however separate they must appear in their quality and 
causal dependence. Both are aspects of the same sub- 
stance, in the one case in the form of extension, and 


in the otlier in tlie form of thought. In the all-inclu- 
sive nature of God, presumably each moment has an in- 
finite number of correlative moments corresponding to 
the infinite number of the attributes of God. Since to 
human beings only two of these worlds lie in sight, only 
two corresponding modes appear, but always two. This 
correspondence of the physical and psychical throughout 
natui-e is called in later times pan2ysychism ; in the rela- 
tion of the body and mind of a human being it is called 
psycho-physical parallelism. This correspondence helped 
Spinoza to solve the apparent dualism of the two worlds. 
While ideas are determined only by ideas, and motions 
by motions, both series point below to the divine sub- 
stance which is the significance of both. They are like 
the top and bottom sides of a piece of paper, neither 
side constituting the piece of paper, but both being 
necessary to it. The substance is immanent in thought 
as well as in extension. Both thought and extension 
are aspects of God. The relation of thought and ex- 
tension through the Deity discloses the monistic char- 
acter of Spinoza's philosophy and seems to prove that 
he cannot be a materialist, although some critics have 
said that he is. The same reality is seen, now as con- 
sciousness and now as extension. 

Spinoza's Doctrine of Salvation. Spinoza divided his 
Ethics into five parts. The first is a treatment of the 
nature of God ; the second, of the nature and origin of 
the mind ; the third, of the emotions ; the fourth, of 
human bondage ; the fifth, of human freedom. This 
most important writing of Spinoza, the only treatise on 
metaphysics which has been called Ethics, is a practical 
philosophy of life and redemption. The divisions of it, 
as they appear above, show that the philosophy of life 


is looked at from two points of view : with reference to 
the nature of God, and with reference to the nature of 
man. We have above discussed the first point, — Spi- 
noza's conception of God, whom he regards as pantheistic 
and mystic. But Spinoza's conception of the nature of 
the human being in relation to such a God is the other 
pole of this subject. The problem of life from the 
human point of view involves primarily the question of 
human freedom. Human freedom and human bondage 
are conditions that depend upon the human as well as 
the divine nature. By Spinoza's eliminating the hu- 
man element from the nature of God, man himself has 
been reduced by Spinoza to an insignificant detail in 
a machine-like universe. Yet for man in his littleness 
Spinoza hews out a way to God in His greatness by 
his mystic reconstruction of the universe. Existence in 
Spinoza's pantheistic mysticism is, after all, a sphere of 
wonderful grandeur for man, — more wonderful and of 
wider utility than the existence which man is ordinarily 
supposed to possess. Since God is the reality of every- 
thing, man is deified ; even the loss of man's essential 
humanity is the apotheosis of man. 

Himian salvation and freedom consist in being like 
God ; bondage consists in being unlike Him, in mistaking 
the unreality of life for His reality. We are endowed 
with the ability of forming an adequate idea of God by 
means of our reason, but we are also endowed with the 
faculties of sensation, emotion, and imagination. The 
latter faculties make man a passive creature, for they 
bring him into dependence upon the things that act upon 
him and into bondage to them. We are passive when 
our activities are limited by such limited objects. While 
a passion seems to be the moit active and turbulent 


of our faculties, if we look at it more closely, we find 
that instead of being active ourselves during a passion, 
we are being acted upon by an external object. Only as 
we are purely rational, — only through the reason, — 
are we purely active. It is then that we are like God, 
free like Him, and then do we rise from insignificance 
to greatness. Then we transcend our false ideas of free- 
dom and become necessary beings, for in God freedom is 

To be free from the passions and the finite things of 
the world we must understand their nature ; for to un- 
derstand a thing is to be delivered from it. An illusion 
is not an illusion when we know it to be such. To see 
that all the passions, sensations, imaginations, and all 
the other modes of thought are human limitations, is 
to dwell within the reason. Spinoza's freedom is not, 
as will be seen, freedom in the ordinary psychological 
meaning of the term, but is the metaphysical freedom 
of being identical with the deity and determined by 
no finite thing. Freedom is rational knowledge. Never- 
theless, freedom is ethical also, for it consists in over- 
coming the passions by reason. Freedom, therefore, 
has two sides : an escape from the emotions and an 
escape from obscure ideas — the goal in both cases 
being the life of reason. To attain freedom is to see the 
world as God sees it, which is the same as the reason sees 
it. This is to see each finite thing as eternal. Any con- 
crete thing may be regarded by the human being as 
a finite and isolated thing out of all relation to other 
objects ; or the same thing may be regarded as a detail 
of infinity. Looked at by itself, a thing is seen partially 
and falsely, for no finite thing has its explanation in 
itself. It is, however, seen truly when it is regarded, to 


use Spinoza's own celebrated phrase, " under a certain 
form of eternity" (suh specie aetei'nitatis). This con- 
ception of eternity is one of the most admirable in 
Sjiinoza's teaching. When man rises through the rea- 
son to the consciousness of the eternity of the truth of a 
thing, the thing itself is transformed, and the man him- 
self has gained salvation. Any circle that I may draw is 
imperfect, every leaf upon the forest trees is defective, 
all moral activities are wanting, if regarded in their 
time-limitations. But below all the imperfections of the 
universe is its absolute mathematical perfectness. There 
is nothing so abortive and evil that it does not have its 
aspect of eternity. Side by side with Spinoza's concep- 
tion of infinity is his conception of eternity. Infinity is 
everlastingness, eternity is quality of being. Eternity 
has no reference to time. One minute may be eternal. 
The infinity of the substance is one aspect ; the eternity of 
the substance is another. That eternity gained through 
the reason is salvation and immortality. God is reason, 
and by the act of the reason do we become one with 
Him. Our knowledge is, therefore, the measure of our 
morality. Knowledge and morality are the same ; and 
whatever increases our understanding is morally good ; 
whatever diminishes our understanding is morally 

Nevertheless, from the point of view of the philoso- 
pher, there is nothing in the world that is morally good 
or bad, — nothing which merits his hatred, love, fear, 
contempt, or pity, — since all that occurs is necessary. 
The philosopher's knowledge of the determinism of the 
world lifts him above the usually conceived world of 
finite things to this mystic world, reconstructed by his 
intellectual love of nature or God. Love for God will 


give to everything its proper value. It is the highest 
form of human activity. Love for God is an absolutely 
disinterested feeling, and is not therefore like human 
love, which is the passing from a less state to a greater. 
Love for God is peace, resignation, and contentment, 
for it is oneness with God. In fact, the love of man 
for God is the love of God for man ; it is the love of 
God for Himself, since man cannot love God without 
becoming God. Thus man intellectually recognizes 
his oneness with God, and rejoices. Immortality is 
absorption in the eternal and necessary substance of 
the world. It is a common misconception that immor- 
tality is duration after death; immortality consists in 
looking at things under the aspect of eternity. The 
finite man perishes, but man's real self, which is God, 

Summary of Spinoza's Teaching. The rationalism of 
Spinoza is the final word of scholastic realism. It is a 
mathematical scholasticism in which the attempt is to 
make clear by the method of deduction all metaphysical 
problems. That the philosophical teaching of Spinoza 
is inspiring and ennobling, no one will gainsay. That 
his philosophy is not clear, is also true. In the begin- 
ning of his discussion, spirit is subordinated to na- 
ture ; at the end, nature is subordinated to spirit. The 
result is that under the hands of Spinoza God has 
become a pui-e abstraction and without content, the 
world is an illusion, dualism is superseded by a mo- 
nistic parallelism, individual activity gives way and 
becomes a pantheistic determinism. Yet amid all this 
a reconstructed world arises in wliich man is recom- 
pensed for all his losses by his participation in infinity 
and eternity. 


Leibnitz * as the Finisher of the Renaissance and 
the Forerunner of the Enlightenment. Leibnitz is the 
last of the remarkable group of Kationalists of the 
Renaissance, who so fully represent the spirit of its 
Natural Science epoch. But Leibnitz also carries us 
into the next period of modern philosophy — the En- 
lightenment. He is the transition philosopher. If the 
reader will examine the dates of his life, he will ob- 
serve that Leibnitz lived until twenty-five years after 
the Enlightenment was ushered in by Locke's Essay 
on the Human Understanding (1690). But as Leib- 
nitz had already formed his own philosophy by the 
year 1686, even so versatile a mind as his could not 
then renounce the Rationalistic point of view for a new 
one. Some of his writings, such as his Correspondence 
with Clarh and Bayle, his Theodicy, and his New 
Essays, show that he participated in the new movement 
of the next period. Yet the majority of his philosophi- 
cal writings show him to be a Rationalist. Although 
he may be called the " father of the Enlightenment,' 
the body of his thought belongs to the Renaissance. 
His main motive was that which animated all Ration- 
alists — of stating theology m scientific terms. The im- 
mediate occasion for his doing this was the political ne- 
cessity of peace among the religious bodies of German3^ 

The effort of Leibnitz to restore the individual to his 
central place in the universe was a secondary motive. 
It nevertheless makes him the forerunner of the En- 
lightenment. Of the Rationalists, Leibnitz speaks for 

* Read Ranrl, Modern Classical Philosophers, pp. 199- 
21 4 ; Euckeii, Problem of Human Life, ])p. 388-405 ; Weber, 
History of Philosophy, pp. 343-369 ; Hibben, Phil, of En- 
lightenment, pp. 161-193. 


the future, just as Spinoza for the past. Leibnitz unites 
the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, just as Spi- 
noza joins the Renaissance and the Middle Ages. Spi- 
noza is the Rationalist who utters the final word of 
scholastic realism, while Leibnitz presages the coming 
individualism. Spinoza's philosophy is science buried in 
traditionalism; Leibnitz's is science breaking through 
traditionalism. Spinoza harks back to universals and 
particulars, substance and forms ; Leibnitz points for- 
ward to vortex rings, energy, and dynamics. From 
Leibnitz's original purpose to rationalize theology, and 
to succeed where Descartes and Spinoza had failed, 
there emerges a new motive. He no longer lays the 
emphasis entirely upon the universal, but he shifts it in 
part to the particular. The pantheism of Spinoza had 
systematized the individual out of its reality. Leibnitz's 
conception of the individual as dynamic and his con- 
ception of the importance of the infinitesimal redeem 
the individual and bring Leibnitz into more modem 
times. To classify Leibnitz as a Rationalist is, there- 
fore, not to describe him fully. 

The Life and Writings of Leibnitz (1646-1716). 
Compared with Descartes and Spinoza, Leibnitz had a 
life that was long in time and rich in experience. Des- 
cartes died at 54 and Spinoza at 45, while Leibnitz lived 
to be 70. In striking contrast with Spinoza's career, there 
was no time in the life of Leibnitz after his gradua- 
tion from the university that he was not in public ser- 
vice. He held the offices that would naturally go to the 
hanger-on of princes — some of them grandiose ones. 
While theoretically the interests of the three Rational- 
ists were the same, Leibnitz differed from his prede- 
cessors in that his study of philosophical problems al- 


ways grew out of some practical problem or political 
occasion. L/eibnitz was not an academic thinker, and 
his " writings were called forth to estimate some re- 
cent book, to outline the system for the use of a 
friend, to meet some special difficulty, or to answer 
some definite criticism." Philosg£hy_was^qnly_QBie of 
the interests of Leibnitz. He was jurist, historian, dip- 
lomat, mathematician,'physical scientist, theologian, and 
philologist. Leibnitz was as much at home with the 
theor jes of Plato and Aristotl e of ancient time, with 
those of St. Thomas and Duns Scotus of mediaeval time, 
as with the science of Descartes and Galileo. He was 
precocious, had a prodigious memory and a reactive 
mind. Li the wealth of his information and the pro- 
ductiveness of his genius, he stands with Aristotle as 
unequaled. Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibnitz belonged 
to the inner circle of scholars of the time, but Leibnitz 
was also in personal touch with political affairs and in 
intimate acquaintance with many of the important rul- 
ers. He was in the service of the Elector of Mainz and 
later of George I of England when George was only 
Elector of Hanover. He was distinguished by Peter the 
Great of Russia and Ernst August, Emperor of Ger- 
many. He corresponded with Eugene of Savoy and he 
was ambassador to Louis XIV of France. Sophie Char- 
lotte of Hanover, who married the King of Prussia, 
was especially interested in him, and he wrote for her 
his Theodicy. The three great Rationalists came from 
different strata of society. Descartes was a nobleman's 
son, and he voluntarily relinquished the life that Leib- 
nitz was ambitious to enjoy. Spinoza came from the 
lower class. Leibnitz was the son of a college professor 
and belonged to the upper middle class. The ambitions 


of Leibnitz reached for large ends, as often happens 
among educated people in the middle walks of life. 
Among other things, he tried to reconcile the Catholics 
and Protestants, and he tried to universalize language 
by getting universal characters for all languages. 

The literary production of Leibnitz was enormous, 
consisting of some lengthy works, but mainly of corre- 
spondence (at one time with a thousand persons) and of 
dissertations to learned journals and societies. No one 
book contains his philosophy — the Monadolorjy com- 
ing the nearest to doing so. His most considerable work 
is his Theodicy. He himself published in book form 
only two works : his university dissertation on Individ- 
uation and the TJieodicy.* 

In spite of his many successes, the life of Leibnitz 
was not happy. From death or other causes his noble 
patrons changed, until he was left without a patron. 
His life went from bad to worse, and his death occurred 
almost unnoticed. 

The seventy years of Leibnitz's life fall into four 
periods. That he passed through three of these periods 
by the time he was thirty shows the voracity and ver- 
satility of his mental powers during their formative and 
acquisitive state. It also reveals the unusual length of 
his productive period, — from his thirtieth to his seven- 
tieth year. Ten years after his productive period be- 
gan, when he was forty, he had completed his philo- 

* A good selection of Leibnitz's works for the student to 
read is : Discourse on Metaphysics (1690), Letters to Ar- 
nauld, Monadology (1714), New System of Nature (1695), 
Principles of Nature and Grace (1714), Introduction to 
New Essays (1704), and the Theodicy {1110). See Calkins, 
Persistent Problems in Phil., p. 74, note. 


sophical theory, so that the last thirty years of his life 
were free for its elaboration and elucidation, and in 
part for his departure from it. The details of Leibnitz's 
life are as follows : — 

1. Leipsic and University Life (1646-1666). 
Leibnitz was the son of a professor of the University 

of Leipsic. He entered the University at the age of fif- 
teen ; received his bachelor's degree at seventeen, and 
his doctor's degree at Altdorf at the age of twenty. 
He was offered a professorship on account of his thesis, 
but he declined. He published as his bachelor's thesis, 
The Principle of Individuation (1663). 

2. Mainz and Diplomacy (1666-1672). 
Meeting Baron John of Boineburg, who became his 

patron, Leibnitz went with him to Mainz, and entered 
the service of the Elector of Mainz. At this time Leib- 
nitz wrote many pamphlets at the Elector's request, 
on the religious and political questions of the day. He 
wrote A New Physical Hypothesis in 1671. 

3. Paris and Science (1672-1676). 

Leibnitz began this period with a diplomatic mission 
to the court of Louis XIV in 1672 ; but during the 
year both Boineburg and the Elector died, and Mainz 
was no longer his home nor diplomacy his interest. 

He remained in Paris (and London) three years 
longer, and spent the time in acquiring the " new sci- 
ence." In Paris he met Arnauld the Cartesian, Tschirn- 
hausen the German mathematician, logician, and most 
discriminating critic of Spinoza, and he studied with 
Huyghens the Dutch mathematician. In London he 
met Boyle, the chemist, Oldenburg, secretary of the 
Academy of Science, Collins, the mathematician, and 
he corresponded with Newton. On his return to Han- 


over he called on Spinoza, who showed him the manu- 
script of the Ethics. 

4. Hanover and Philosophy (1676-1716). 

Leibnitz became court councilor and librarian to the 
Duke of Hanover (Brunswick-Liineburg). He was in- 
volved in a multitude of administrative, historical, and 
political tasks, and he carried on an enormous corre- 
spondence. Among other things he wrote the history 
of the reigning family, which necessitated his going to 
Eome and Vienna. In 1684 he published his discovery 
of the differential calculus, over which arose the cele- 
brated controversy as to whether he or Newton made 
the prior discovery. In 1686, in his fortieth year, he con- 
structed his philosophical system. However, he showed 
his affiliation to the coming age by introducing into his 
system in 1697 the term "monad." Nearly all his im- 
portant works were produced in this period. In 1700 
he founded the Academy of Sciences in Berlin. He 
was instrumental in the founding of an academy at St. 
Petersburg, and he planned academies at Dresden and 

The Three Influences upon the Thought of Leibnitz. 

(1) His Early Classical Studies. The father of 
Leibnitz, who was a professor of moral philosophy at 
Leipsic, died when his son was young. Left much to 
himself, the boy spent his time in his father's library. 
At eight years he had acquired Latin ; at twelve he 
had read Seneca, Pliny, Quintilian, Herodotus, Xeno- 
phon, Cicero, Plato, the Roman historians, the Greek 
and Latin fathers. He became so absorbed in scholastic 
studies that his friends feared that he would not leave 
them, " not knowing that my mind coiild not be satis- 
fied with only one kind of thing." There can be no 


question that this scholastic training gave him a first 
hand and sympathetic appreciation of scholastic philo- 
sophy. The Aristotelian conception of cosmic purpose, 
which he got at this time, never left him. Among the 
writers of the Natural Science Period he alone returned 
to Aristotle. He made Aristotle's teleological cause an 
integral part of his doctrine. His motto finally became, 
in his Theodicy^ "Everything is best in this best of 
possible worlds." While for a time he turned from 
Aristotle to Descartes, in his final construction of his 
theory he borrowed more from Aristotle. 

(2) The New Science and His Own Discoveries. 
Leibnitz was more fortunate than many of his contem- 
poraries in that his university had already included in 
its curriculum the study of mathematics. At the age of 
fifteen he was devoting himself to mathematics at Jena, 
and he said that the study of Kepler, Galileo, and Des- 
cartes made him feel as though " transported into a 
different world." Later in life he said of himself, that 
at fifteen he had decided to give up the scholastic the- 
ory of Forms for the mathematical explanation of the 
world. He became acquainted with the theories of 
Hobbes and Gassendi in 1670, when he was at Mainz. 
In 1672, at the age of twenty-six, when he was in Paris, 
he made himself possessor of all that the celebrated circle 
of Parisian scientists had to teach. He had gone to Paris 
a dualist ; he returned to his native land with the Aris- 
totelian teleology side by side in his mind with the 
Spinozistic conception of identity and necessity, the Spi- 
nozistic method, and the mathematical theory of the 
significance of infinitely small particles. The next ten 
years (1676-1686) were spent in overcoming his own 
dualism by systematizing these new theories acquired 


from so many sources. In 1680 he had universalized the 
concept of force so as to apply it to both souls and bodies. 
In 1684 he published his discovery of the differential 
calculus, in which he has had to share honors with New- 
ton. In 1685 he asserted that the centres of force have 
individuality. He was led to this conclusion on account 
of the discovery of small organisms by the microscopes 
of Swammerdam and Leeuwenhook. In 1686 he suc- 
cessfully organized his collected material into his final 
system, although it was not until eleven years later 
(1697) that he called these centres " monads." Prob- 
ably he got the term " monad " not from Bruno, but 
from the mystic chemist, Van Helmont. 

Not only the content, but the form of his philosophy 
was determined by his mathematical studies. His philo- 
sophical diction is remarkably lucid. Mathematics re- 
inforced his early resolve " in words to attain clearness 
and in matter usefulness." His later discussions con- 
tain many terms that he had borrowed directly from 

(3) Political Pressure for Religious Reconcilia- 
tion. When Frederick the Wise of Saxony in 1519 
refused the crown of Emperor, Germany was thrown 
into internal strife that in one hundred and thirty 
years destroyed all its material wealth and depopulated 
the country. This terminated in the Thirty Years' War 
(1618-1648) and the Peace of Westphalia. Leibnitz 
was born two years before peace was declared. He was 
the first German scientist in two hundred years. Both 
Catholics and Protestants were weary of strife, and 
there was a general movement toward religious recon- 
ciliation. Thus religious amity was the most urgent 
public question. 


Pietism had been one of the movements in Germany 
during the recovery of the country from the Thirty 
Years' War, and it represented the best side of Ger- 
man civilization at that time. It was a reaction on the 
one side against the mechanical theory of the scientists, 
and on the other against the destructive strife of the 
old and new confessions. The mother of Leibnitz was 
not only a Protestant, but also a Pietist, so that the 
subject of religion early formed an important part of 
her son's training. When he entered the diplomatic 
service of the Elector of Mainz the question of religious 
reconciliation took practical form for him. No doubt 
his philosophy as a theory of reconciliation grew out of 
such practical issues, as they were presented to him at 
Mainz. Leibnitz had, therefore, a part in the religious 
reaction in Germany in the last of the seventeenth 
century, which aimed to reconcile the divergent inter- 
ests of religion and science. He tried to effect this in 
no external way, by patching together irreconcilable 
elements, but in an internal way, by an examination 
of fundamental principles. With his early training, his 
theological reading, and his wide public experience, 
Leibnitz was fitted to take a prominent part in the 
movement for reconciliation. 

The Method of Leibnitz. Although the philosophers 
who immediately followed Spinoza did not dare to 
accept his philosophical conclusions, they adopted his 
method. They unitedjt jvith the syllogistic pr ocesses of 
formal logic for the deductio n of all k nowledge. This 
method became very prevalent, as is seen in the prac- 
tices of the German Cartesians and in the preparation 
of academic text-books. Examples of this are Jung, 
Weigel, who was Leibnitz's teacher, and Puffendorf, 


who tried to deduce by the geometrical method the 
entire system of natural right from a single principle 
of human need. In the next century Wolff used this 
method in writing his Latin text-books. 

When this aspect of Spinoza's teaching was gaining 
a foothold in Germany, Leibnitz came into sympathy 
with it through his teacher, Weigel, and at first was 
one of its most ardent supporters. In jest he showed 
by this geometrical, syllogistic method in sixty propo- 
sitions that the Count Palatine of Neuberg miist be 
elected King of the Poles. In seriousness he believed 
that all philosophical controversies would cease jwhen 
philo sophy should be stated like a math ematical cal- 

Hobb es's th eory of words as counters to be used in 
conce ptual rec koning, the universal formulas of the Art 
of Lull and the pains which Bruno had taken for its 
improvement, the Cartesian belief that the geometriqal 
method would prove to be an art of_ invention — all 
these~were influences upon Leibnitz^ that comfiiitted 
him to the method of Spinoza and made hini^ pursue 
that method energetically. Leibnitz was part of the 
widespread movement of the time to form a Lingua 
Adamica — a imiversal language, which should discover 
fundamental philosophical conceptions and the logical 
operations of their combinations. In brief, Leibnitz 
hoped to form a philosophical calculus. 

What, asked Leibnitz, are the highest truths which 
in their combination yield all knowledge ? What are 
the truths, so immediately and intuitively certain, that 
they force themselves upon the mind as self-evident and 
thereby form the ground for the deduction of all know- 
ledge ? They are of two classes : (1) The universal 


truths of the reason, and (2) The facts of experience. 
The truths of the reason are forever true ; the facts of 
experience have a truth for that single instance. But 
both are true in themselves and. not from deduction 
from anything else. They are " first truths," for a thing 
is true if it can be deduced from the reason or tested 
as an experienced fact. The two kinds of truth are the 
rational or a j)m)_7'i^ and-the empirical or a posteriorL-y^ 
The difference between the starting point of the Ra- 
tionalism of Leibnitz and the Enlightenment of Locke 
appears here. Locke said, " There is nothing in the 
mind that does not come from the senses." " Except 
the mind itself and its operations," added Leibnitz in 

But there is a difference between these two kinds of 
truth. The truths of the reason ate clear and^ distinct ; 
the truths of experience are clear but jiot distinct. 
Leibnitz is, be it observed, making a distinction be- 
tween the two terms of the pet phrase of the Rational- 
ists — "clear and distinct ideas." He means that ra- 
tional truth is so transparent that it is impossible to 
conceive its opposite ; that empirical truth is only clear, 
and its opposite is thinkable. It is impossible to think 
that the three angles of a triangle equal anything but 
two right angles, but it is possible to think that its side, 
which is now two inches, may be four inches. Thus 
emerge the two logical principles upon which Leibnitz 
founded his philosophy : rational truths depend upon 
the Prhi^ijilf, nf Cnnt.raflirtinnj empirical truths de- 
pend upon the Principle of Svfficient Reason. At first 
Leibnitz conceived thaFthis distinction between truths 
did not apply to God, but only to man. Man must re- 
joice in the few rational truths in his possession and 


be content with merely establishing the actuality of his 
experiences. The divine reason can, however, see the 
impossibility of the opposite both in rational and in 
empirical truth. Later on Leibnitz conceived the dis- 
tinction between the two kinds of truth to be absolute. 
That is, in the nature of things the two truths differ. 
The rational truth has no opposite, but is a necessary 
truth ; the empirical truth has an opposite, and is a 
contingent truth. 

Leibnitz thus shows the fundamental principles upon 
which knowledge is based, but what does he say about 
the logical method of their combination ? Nothing. No 
one would ever suspect from Leibnitz's philosophical 
remains that he had planned a system of philosophy 
according to the method of Spinoza. The many pam- 
phlets of Leibnitz on many scattered subjects show 
how far short he fell of his ideal of a universal philo- 
sophical calculus. He was too versatile, his interests 
were too diversified, to carry through so slow and plod- 
ding a task. He merely stated the principles upon 
which a systematic symbolic philosophy might rest, with- 
out developing these principles in a logical way. Like 
Bacon, Leibnitz conceived a method that was more of 
a hope than an accomplishment. 

The Immediate Problem for Leibnitz, Perhaps 
Leibnitz was called away from this purely theoretical 
problem of method by the practical problem of recon- 
ciling science and religion, which problem in his day 
had become particularly acute. For science had made 
rapid strides since the days of Descartes, had drawn 
very far away from religion, and Leibnitz's attempt to 
reconcile science and reli^gion was much more difficult 
than that of the preceding Rationalists. Leibnitz had 


accepted the most radical results of science, but he saw 
that science had yielded only a mechanical view of the 
world. Politics demanded in the exigencies of that 
hour some principle of unity. He sought to find some 
philosophical principle for the living., religiou s char- 
acter ofjhe universe, and a principle that at the same 
time would preserve the results of science. He there- 
fore sought to leave the conception of mechanical na- 
ture intact and go behind it for a teleological princijDle. 
He examined the mechanical principles of the science 
of his day and found them embedded in a deeper meta- 
physical principle. 

The Result of Leibnitz's Examination of the Princi- 
ples of Science * — A Plurality of Metaphysical Sub- 
stances. What was the developed scientific principle 
of Leibnitz's time ? And what was the result of his 
analysis of it ? The principle was the mathematical prin- 
ciple of Galileo in more complex form, for there had been 
added to it since Galileo's day the concept of the atom. 
That is to say, the fundamental scientific principle was 
that nature consists of the measurable movements of 
atoms. From his analysis of this, Leibnitz obtained as 
follows his conception of a plural number of sub stances, 
which he called monads.^ 

1. Leibnitz first scrutinized the scientific conception 
of motion. His analysis of motion into infinitely small 
impulses by the method employed by Galileo, Huy- 
ghens, and Newton had already led him to one im- 
portant discovery — the differential calculus. Now he 
scrutinizes it further and discovers that the funda- 
mental ground_oL.naotion isybrce^ While Leibnitz was 

* Read Hibben, Phil, of Enlightenment, ch. vii ; Windel- 
band, Hist, of Phil, PP- 420-425. 



in entire agreement with other scientists in their effort 
to reduce all phenomena to motion, he insisted that 
motion was not by any means the fundamental thing. 
He calls the Cai'tesian conception of motion the ante- 
chamber of true philosophy. There is no absolute mo- 
tion nor absolute rest. Motion and rest. ^e rela tive to 
e ach oth er. Descartes' theory that there is conserva- 
tion of motion is incorrect. Motion and rest are the 
phen omena l changes of ^orce. Force alone is constant 
and conserved. Physics points beneath itself to meta- 
physics; motion points to force. Force is what is fun- 
damental in nature. Force is " that which in the pre- 
sent state of things brings about a change in the fu- 
ture." Therefore force as the substance of nature is 
super-spatial and immaterial, and therefore the basis 
of the new physics ought to be dynamic metaphysical 

2. Leibnitz next examined the scientific conception 
of the atom. Gassendi, one of that celebrated group of 
Parisian scientists, had been the author of the introduc- 
tion of Greek atomism into modern thought. It had 
been generally accepted by scientists and combined with 
the mathematical hypothesis of Galileo. Leibnitz had 
known Gassendi in Paris, and he took the hard, inelastic 
atoms of Gassendi under examination. He agreed that 
the atomist was perfectly correct in saying that material 
bodies consist of simple parts or atoms. But Leibnitz 
insisted that the atomist erred in thinking such simple 
parts to be physical. However simple the parts might 
physically appear to be, they were not really simple. 
However small a bit of matter may be, it fSay be divided 
again, an d the dividin g proc ess may g o onto in finity. The 
atom is the extended, and the extended cannot be simple 


' ^pr real. Substance must be unextended, and the ma- 
terialists were wrong in attributing substance to the ex- 
tended. Is there anything simple that has a qualitative 
character ? Is there anything real below the physical 
atoms ? Yes, the metaphysical atoms. TheJndivisible,- 
immateri al unit^ lies^beneath the physical atom, and in 
order to reach it we must pass ^ene ath~the_pliYsi£al into 
the metaphysical. This immater ial or niptaphyt^i p^^ atom 
is called by Leibnitz th e mo yiac?; a nd thus is Leibnitz's 

theory ca lled m onqdoLo^J/ 

^ There are three kinds of points, or units, or " simples." 

^ There is t he mathe matical point, whioh is simple enough, 

but it is only imaginary. The re is tne physical point, or 

Oatom, which is real but not simple. There is, lastly, the 
metaphysical point, or monad, which is both real and 
siimple. The metaphysical point is the only true point. 
To call the material atoms real, only shows " the feeble- 
ness of the imagination, which is glad to rest, and 
is, therefore, in haste to make an end of division and 

3. Leibnitz then identified f orce, as the substa nce of 
motion^ with the metaphysical atom, as the substance 
of the material atom. The result was the monad, as he 
conceived it. The monads are the principles of active 
working. They are the super-spatial and immaterial 
principles in which the mechanical principles of the 
universe have their roots and meaning. Nature is not 
dead; it is not merely extended. It is alive, resistant, 
and reproductive. If, as Spinoza taught, there were only 
one substance, nature would be non-resistant and pas- 
sive. But as a matter of fact there are many substances 
acting for themselves, many bodies resisting other 
bodies. They are the centres of separate activity, and 


there are as many forces as there are things. There is 
no body without movement, no movement without forcg. 
Thus does Leibnitz reintroduce vitalism in a maturer 
form than is seen in neo-Platonism. Life^becomes the 
principle of nature. Purpose is placed at the centre of 

The Double Nature of the Monads. The student will 
find that the philosophy of Leibnitz is spoken of as a 
pluralism, but the student will also find that Leibnitz 
devoted nearly all his strength to prove that the world 
is after all a unity. Leibnitz analyzed the world into a 
plural number of parts, and the question then with him 
was, how to put these parts together again in an organic 
unity. This accomplishment would depend a good deal 
upon his conception of the nature of the parts, 
r- The monads have a double character. Leibnitz con- 
) ceived the monad (1) as a force centre and (2) as an 
^immaterial soul. This makes an equivalence of psychical 
and physical attributes which reminds us of the Stoics' 
♦' fiery reason " of God. The word " force," as Leibnitz 
uses it, squints both toward physics and toward psycho- 
logy. But such ambiguity about the monads, the corner- 
stones in Leibnitz's philosophy, assists Leibnitz's recon- 
.ciliation at the start. Here, inja miniature, the physical 
land spiritual lie in unity. The monad is- conceived as a 
\ soul -atom. 

* Leibnitz came to philosophy with a mind saturated 
with the mathematical ideas of the continuous, the infin- 
itesimal, and the possible. He thought of the monads as 
potentialities or possibilities. He looked upon the world 
as essentially a developing world. Behind the facts that 
seem to us inflexible, lies the great world of generating 
force. Explanation of the actual can be made only in 


view of.:ffliat the actuaLmay be and has been. Let us 
enlarge the scope of man by so widening his conception 
of the actual that it w ill include the ^ possible. Leibnitz 
also spoke of the monads as infinitesimal. He thereby 
lifted the conception of the infinitesimal from the realm 
of mathematics into that of metaphysics, just as Hobbes 
universalized the conception of mechanics by lifting it 
to metaphysics. Leibnitz, therefore, did not regard the 
limits of perception as the limits of nature : the reality 
of a nature object must be too small to be the object of 
perception. In the same way he made use of hi s math e- 
matical conception of ^^ontinui ty. Leibnitz's conception 
of nature-continuity is one of his contributions to phi- 
losophy. Within itself the world of nature consists of a 
continuous gradation from the lower to the higher forms ; 
and also the world of nature is continuous with the 
world of the spirit. There are no leaps in the series 
from matterto God. Seeming differences in kind are 
only differences in degree ; for example,_evil is Qiily the 
absence of good ; matter is onl y an obscure idea of spirit. 
But this Leibnitzian atomism consists of soul-atoms. 
These monads, these force-centres are souls, and the 
mathematical qualities have a place in Leibnitz's de- 
scription of the psychical powers of the monad. The 
monad is a soul, for soul is the only substance in the 
universe that may pass through many changes and it, 
itself, not change. The self is the only subject of which 
many predicates may be asserted, while it, itself, may 
not be the predicate of any other subject.^ The idea of 
myself underlies all my mental states.^ The monad is 
an entelechy, or an entity having its purpose witliin 
itself. All its attributes are contained within itself, and 
it is, therefore, by nature, sufficient unto itself. It is an 


individual which passes from one state to another, moved 
by its " constitutional appetition." 

Among the psychical powers none is more important 
in Leibnitz's description of the monad than its power 
of representation. Representation is the general func- 
tion of the monad — from the lowest to the highest 
monad. This means that each monad is the world force, 
yet in a particular form, — a world substance, but in some 
peculiar aspect. Every monad is a microcosm. Each 
represents the world so far as it is conscious of its own 
activity. But it is evident that all things in the universe 
are not conscious, and therefore all soul-monads are not 
conscious. In souls there are, therefore, more than con- 
scious thoughts — there are thoughts that are uncon- 
scious. Among the Rationalists Leibnitz is the first to 
give significance to the so-called unconscious states that 
form so important a place in modern psychology. (But 
see Plotinus.) As a wave is composed of small particles 
of water, so the mind is made up of a myriad of un- 
conscious states. The conscious state is the general effect 
of the whole. A soul-monad contains in itself at all 
times representations of the whole world, some obscure, 
some clear. This power of universal representation 
makes the monad a microcosm. What we call knowledge 
of the external world is our representation of it within 
ourselves. This representation is possible to us because 
we reproduce it in miniature. Since the monad directly 
perceives only itself and its own states, it follows that 
the more clearly and distinctly it is conscious of its own 
activities, the more adequately does it represent the cos- 
mos. The converse is also true — that the more a monad 
represents the cosmos, the more truly does it represent 


In his development of his description of the monad, 
Leibnitz hits upon two catch-phrases, one of which pre- 
sents his doctrine of the physical isolation of the monad, 
the other presents the doctrine of its ideal psychical 
unity. These phrases are : " the monads are windowless " 
and " the monads mirror the universe." By " window- 
less " Leibnitz means that each monad is " like a sepa- 
rate world, self-sufficient, independent of every other 
creature." " Having no windows by which anything can 
enter or depart," the monad can perceive only its own 
states. Whatever happens to it comes from itself alone 
as a purely internal principle. The monad's develop- 
ment is self-development and not the result of external 
chansres. Nevertheless the monad is a " mirror of the 
universe." In this psychical qualification of the nature 
of the monad, its physical isolation vanishes and the 
way is open for a unity of monads, which would have 
otherwise seemed to be physically hopelessly sundered. 
How is it possible for each of the numberless monads, 
all so different, to " mirror the universe " ? The answer 
is found in their psychical power of representation. 

The Two Forms of Leibnitz's Conception of the 
Unity of the Substances. The principle of unity 
among the monads is called by Leibnitz a preestahlished 
harmony. He presented this principle of harmony in 
two ways. In part the harmony comes out of their 
constitution, as he conceived it to be. In part Leibnitz 
artificially superimposed it upon the monads for theo- 
logical reasons. In either case it is preestahlished. 

The Intrinsic Unity of the Monads — The Philo- 
sophical Unity. There is a family resemblance among 
the monads. The lowest reproduces the universe in 
obscure and elementary representations. Minerals and 


plants are sleeping monads with entirely unconscious 
ideas. Animals are dreaming monads. Man is a waking 
monad. The highest monad is God, who reproduces tha 
universe in clear and distinct ideas. Between God and 
matter there is a series of monads, graded as to the 
clearness of their ideas. All contain the universe by 
representation. All are bound together according to the 
principle of continuity; plants are lower animals and 
animals are less perfect men. Man is a monad whose 
conscious activity has risen to the height of self-con- 
sciousness, with the cognate power of reason. There is 
no inert matter ; no soul-less bodies nor body-less souls. 
The smallest portion of dust is the habiliment of ani- 
malculae. Nothing is dead, and nature is a gradation of 
monads in differing degrees of activity. 

Metaphysically the monads are isolated, yet in na- 
ture as we see them, they live in groups, and compose 
the things which we call plants, animals, and men. An 
organic thing is a combination of monads with a central 
ruling monad. This central monad is the soul of the 
group ; the subordinate ones form the body of the organ- 
ism. The influence of the soul or ruling monad upon 
the body-monads is purely ideal. They all strive for the 
same end, which the soul represents more clearly. The 
group acts spontaneously and together, not from any 
outside influence. An inanimate object differs from such 
a living organism, inasmuch as it is a group of monads 
without a soul or a ruling, central monad ; and there- 
fore such a monad is both soul and body. There is 
therefore no dualism between soul and body in any 
creatures, for body is only obscure or unconscious ac- 
tivity. The body consists of monads having a confused 
sense of their activity. 


This continuity and unity within the world, as Leib- 
nitz sees it, is only the logical development of the unity 
with which he originally endowed his monads. Although 
he starts the monads as " windowless," he also says 
that " they mirror the universe." They are so conceived 
as to be originally physically separated, but psycholog- 
ically and ideally united. " Their natural harmony re- 
sides in an ideal of perfect activity, while in actual ex- 
istence they are independent." The ideal which unites 
them is God, the last term in the graded series of the 
monads. He is the monad of monads, because He is 
perfect, conscious activity. Just as the various groups 
of monads are ruled by a central soul-monad, so the 
world of these groups is an hierarchy, which derives its 
unitary and harmonious character from this dominating 
monad. The world may be likened to a pyramid with 
God at the apex. The world is like a machine which 
differs from other machines, in that its parts are little 
machines. Although the parts seem to operate sepa- 
rately, they are under the dominating control of God. 
God is their intrinsic unity and the universe is a pre- 
established harmony. 

A comparison with Spinoza's conception of the world 
of nature brings out Leibnitz's meaning effectively. 
Both philosophers conceive nature phenomena to be 
under the law of mechanical causation. To Spinoza, 
however, all phenomena are qualitatively alike ; there 
are no grades or distinctions of value between them. 
All are modes of substance and all illusions in the sight 
of God. To Spinoza phenomena are homogeneous. Leib- 
nitz's estimate of the world of nature is quite different, 
and for him nature has a far richer endowment. The 
phenomena of nature are not homogeneous. Their 


difference does not consist in their content, but in the 
degree in which they represent the universe. The law 
of nature is a unifying principle that gives unitary in- 
dividuality to the members under the law. The indi- 
viduality of the terms of the nature-series is implied 
in the very nature of the law of necessity, and on the 
other hand, the individual terms, for their part, trans- 
form the law of necessity into a principle of unity that 
is higher than bare necessity. In a necessitated series, 
Leibnitz points out, each term is determined by the pre- 
ceding, and in turn each term determines the events 
that follow. Thus, while nature phenomena are a series 
and a necessitated series, it is a series whose existence 
depends upon each event having not only its place, but 
its unique place. No other event can fill that place, and 
the conditions that give the event its place constitute 
its individuality. Every finite event has, so to speak, 
its formula, and this gives individuality to each term 
of the series, which appeared to Spinoza only as a homo- 
geneous, mathematical, and characterless mode. Life is 
meaningful to Leibnitz, because each member of the 
necessitated series of events has its unique part to play. 
The changes of life are to Spinoza void of meaning, be- 
cause he conceives them to be undifferentiated. The law 
of mechanical necessity became under Leibnitz's hands 
a principle of harmony, a teleological principle. Even 
in the necessitated mathematical series, such as Spi- 
noza conceived the world to be, Leibnitz believed that 
necessity implies individuality and individuality implies 

How vital, therefore, does life now appear, with its 
mechanical members transformed into living units ! 
Universal striving or force fills nature, and the surging 


of individual forces gives a new meaning to the unity 
of the whole. The mechanical series — the physiological , 
changes of our bodies and the efficient causes in nature^ 
— are only the expression of the inner teleological de- 
velopment. Leibnitz points out several pregnant prin- 
ciples that are aspects of this preestablished but in- 
trinsic harmony. In the first place, nature has no breaks 
and abhors a vacuum ; and the series is a continuous 
one, — the law of continuity. Member follows mem- 
ber in continuous and graded order. Their qualitative 
differences are differences of quality of activity. Rest 
and motion, good and evil, are differences of degree/ In 
the second place, there is nothing superfluous ; no two 
things in nature are alike. If they were alike, they 
would be identical — the law of the identity of indis- 
cernihles. Although there is no absolute antithesis or 
contrast between things, thei-e is no absolute likeness. 
Every monad must be differentiated from every other 
intrinsically, i. e. according to its perfected activity/' 
Therefore, in the third place, every member has an ex- 
cuse for being — the law of sufficient reason. Every 
member has its part to perform and no other can act as 
an understudy for it. However insignificant any member 
may appear to be, it is as unique as its bigger neighboiU'^-* 

The Superimposed Unity of the Monads — The 
Theological Unity. The intrinsic unity of the monads 
is derived naturally from the monads themselves, but 
itjs an unattained ideal for which they strive. When 
Leibnitz turns his philosophy into a theodicy, or justi- 
fication of the nature of God, this unity of the world 
takes on a different form and assumes a theological im- 
portance. The unity is no longer an intrinsic unity, with 
no actual but only ideal existence depending upon the 


highest monad in the series, but is an actual personality 
who exists apart from the world. The world is his eter- 
nal purpose. Probably this conception was always in 
the background of Leibnitz's thought, but it cannot be 
deduced from his philosophy. It is a conception after- 
wards superimposed upon his philosophy. Leibnitz now 
conceives God not as an ideal goal, but as a perfect and 
actual person, whose reason impelled Him to construct 
the best possible world. The world in which we live is 
the world He chose. It is perfectly conceivable that the 
world could be different. Why, among all the pos- 
sible worlds, did God choose to construct this world ? 
There is no reason in logic, but in fact. There was no 
necessity for its construction. The fact is the excel- 
lence of the world. Spinoza said that aU possible worlds 
exist. Leibnitz said this best possible world exists. 
Look about you ; is it not so ? 

The best possible world is a world of free agents, 
whose acts are rewarded or punished according to their 
deserts. If we discover what seems to be inexplicable 
evil, we must regard it as an incident in the harmony 
of the whole. The world would be less good without 
evil. There is no more evil than there ought to be. The 
world which God conceived to be the best possible — 
this world — is a world of lights and shades. Evil comes 
from the free agency of man, and God is not responsible 
for it. It is better to have evil and free agency than no 
evil and no free agency. Evil after all is not positive, 
and is only due to the indistinct ideas of man. It is the 
absence of good, as cold is the absence of heat. 

Thus a preestablished harmony was constructed by 
Leibnitz that does not come out of his original philo- 
sophical premises. Leibnitz used his celebrated figure of 


the two clocks to illustrate the harmony of the monads. 
Two clocks keep the same time, not because they influ- 
ence one another (interaction), nor because the maker 
moves the hands of one (Occasionalism), but because 
they have been thus constructed" by ah intelligent Cre- 
ator. Thus the harmony of the world implies a personal 
God. Leibnitz's philosophical Rationalism here passed 
into theology, and his metaphysics became an ethics. 
Leibnitz began with a monadology, and by means of the 
conception of harmony passed to an optimism. 


THE ENLIGHTENMENT" (1690-1781) * 

The Emergence of the " New Man," — Individual- 
ism. In passing to this period we should recall the two 
objects of interest that distinguish modern from me- 
diaeval thought : the " new man " of modern Europe ; 
and the " new universe " — new in its geographical out- 
lines and in its intellectual materials. We have already 
found that the two hundred and more years of the 
Renaissance, the first period of modern thought, was 
absorbed in exploiting the second of these objects — 
the "new universe." In fact the "new man" had been 
so interested in the " new universe " that he had not 
thought of studying himself. He had systematized the 
great wealth of his acquisitions and had constructed 
great systems of science and metaphysics. 

This second period of modern thought — the En- 
lightenment — begins when the " new man " turns 
away from his intellectual struggles with his environ- 
ment and attempts to understand his own nature. Thus 
the more important of the two objects emerges last ; 
and this turn to self-reflection constitutes the century 
of the Enlightenment. The Renaissance had been sub- 
jective and spectacular ; the Enlightenment was sub- 
jective and tragic. The mental activity of the Renais- 
sance had been vital, spontaneous, and unconscious, like 
the awakening from sleep ; that of the Enlightenment 

* Read Windelband, Hist, of Phil, pp. 437-440, 447^49, 
600-502; Hibben, Phil, of Enlightenment, pp. 3-13,18-20. 


was self-conscious and attitudinizing. The man of the 
Renaissance had been in love with nature ; the man of 
the Enlightenment was in love with himself. Like the 
Greek Sophistic Illumination, which is its parallel in 
ancient history, the Enlightenment turned away from 
cosmological and metaphysical problems. On the other 
hand, the philosophy of the Enlightenment penetrated 
all departments of life and found expression in practi- 
cal questions. Erdmann has well expressed the mean- 
ing of these nine decades of the Enlightenment as " an 
effort to raise man, so far as he is a rational individual, 
into a position of supremacy over everything." It was 
during this period, which we are now about to enter, 
that Herder brought into currency in Germany the 
word " humanity." In England the same sentiment was 
uttered by Pope in 1732 in his Essay on Man: — 

" Know then thyself, presume not God to s^an; 
The proper study of mankind is man." 

The Enlightenment marks, therefore, the rise of 
modern individualism ; and the concerns of the indi- 
vidual become the important object of consideration. 
The novelty of the great discoveries and inventions of 
the Renaissance had lost its lustre. The " new uni- 
verse " had become old and familiar, but through his 
accomplishments the " new man " had begun to feel the 
strength of his liberated powers. For had not the won- 
derful world of the Renaissance been his own accom- 
plishment? Had not all its notable constructions been 
the creations of his powers ? The " struggle of tradi- 
tions " to revive antiquity and to incorporate the " new 
universe " upon an old basis ; the " strife of methods " 
to reorganize the *' new world " upon a new basis — re- 


vealed this great fact : that man has " world wisdom." 
Man in his supremacy occupies the entire foreground, 
and interest in the " new universe " fades away. The 
" new universe " is now seen in the light of one's per- 
sonal interests. Man is supreme, and to his word there 
can be no exception. There is constant reference dur- 
ing this time to the " light of reason " — to a bright in- 
ner, rational illumination in contrast to the vagaries of 
mysticism and the obscurities of dogmatism. The wor- 
ship of genius arises and with it a contempt for the 
unenlightened. " Thus would I speak, were I Christ," 
said Bahrdt. No wonder that Goethe described the En- 
lightenment as an age of self-conceit ! 

The Practical Presupposition of the Enlightenment — 
The Independence of the Individual. The " new man " 
emerged from the Renaissance as the most important 
object of consideration, and during the Enlightenment 
there was never the slightest question about his inde- 
pendence. The individual became the original datum 
of this period into which we are now entering ; he was 
considered to be the only thing that is self-intelligible ; 
he was the starting-point from which all social relation- 
ships were to be explained. Among the many problems 
that arose, the independent existence of the individual 
remained unquestioned. It was the period of " liberty, 
equality, and fraternity." The problems were about the 
relations of the individual ; never about the individual 
himself, for concerning the individual no problem could 
arise. The individual rejoicing in the exuberance of 
his own powers, the " monad enjoying himself," domi- 
nated everything. The monadology of the Renaissance 
became an atomism in the Enlightenment. The in- 
dividual was the practical assumption of the period. 


The Metaphysical Presupposition of the Enlighten- 
ment. There was a metaphysical background to this 
practical assumption of the individual. This was the 
Cartesian dualism of mind and matter. Although the 
eighteenth century despaired of a successful metaphysi- 
cal construction of the " new universe," and although 
its attention was riveted on an analysis of human rela- 
tionships, it must not be supposed that the period was 
without its metaphysical bias. Such is not the nature 
of human history ; and if an epoch refuses to discuss 
metaphysical questions, it is because it assumes some 
metaphysics as true. The assumption of the independent 
individual implies the independent existence of matter. 
The Enlightenment assumed the Cartesian theory as cor- 
rect. While many were the polemics against metaphysi- 
cal speculation, the Cartesian dualism was nevertheless 
in control. Here within is the independent existence of 
mind ; and it would naturally follow that there without is 
the equally independent existence of matter. The concep- 
tion might fade into a ghost-like dualism, as in Berkeley 
and Hume, but the dualism never entirely vanished. 
This has since been known as the philosophy of "com- 
mon sense," and is to-day the easy attitude of those 
not interested in metaphysical discussions. " Common 
sense" means the opinion of the majority as to truth. 
Most people to-day, as then, accept without question 
some sort of dualism, usually the dualism of mind and 

The Problems of the Enlightenment. The area of 
inquiry was thus very much restricted during this pe- 
riod. Nature lies beyond our ken. God is still more 
incomprehensible. From the study of nature and God, 
let us turn to a study of the problems of the inner life. 


Yet while the field of study was restricted, the prob- 
lems within it were multitudinous, and there was an 
astonishing breadth and universality, a tenacity of 
everything, a disdainfulness of nothing. Within its 
own field the Enlightenment sought to systematize and 
to stand by any idea in spite of all opposition. The im- 
agination took bold flights and, from the standpoint 
of the inner individual life, tried to transform its world. 
Overloaded with ballast, it tried to reconcile the irre- 
concilable and to overlook the brute facts of existence. 
The problems arise from an age that is self-opinionated, 
self-tormenting, and subjective. 

The problems of this age may be divided into two 
classes, — utilitarian and critical, — both having refer- 
ence to the individual man in his relations. These 
include the problems of psychology, epistemology, soci- 
ology, economics, politics, etc. There was, for example, 
the problem of our knowledge of the external world, 
of the validity of innate ideas as the basis of knowledge, 
of the rational basis of religion. Thought was very alert 
at this time, as is always the case in times of great in- 
dividualism, and thought could move with great rapid- 
ity over the wide range of such subjects. 

(«) Utilitarian Problems. The Enlightenment was 
curious about the interests, the happiness, and the many 
powers of the individual. Empirical psychologists and 
brilliant ethical scholars appeared. How much can man 
know, and what are the limits and extent of his know- 
ledge? The Rationalists of the Kenaissance liad ac- 
cepted without question the mediaeval teaching that a 
group of our ideas is innate and therefore God-given. 
The Middle Ages had been built up on revealed know- 
ledge. But to the thinkers of the Enlightenment the 


most important ideas — yea, the only ideas of service 
to us — are those derived from experience. We should 
be happier if we confined ourselves to the facts of 
every-day life, and did not try to deal with things be- 
yond experience. Let us give metaphysical theories to 
the Churchman. Empirical psychology thus took the 
place of metaphysics, and became known as philosophy. 
It was the favorite science of the time, and the basis of 
ethics and epistemology. Philosophy thus came out of 
the school, and became a public utility. It was based, 
to be sure, upon theological preconceptions, but it was 
to be put to the service of man. It was to be an instru- 
ment of discovery as well as a means of grace. With 
this psychological incentive great schools of moralists 
arose, especially in England : studying morality as 
based on the intellect, on the feelings, on authority, 
on the association of ideas. 

Emj)irical psychology led to self -inspection, and this 
is the age when self-inspection was universal. It is the 
age of the founding of " societies for the observation 
of man." It is the age of sentimental diary writing. 
Rousseau wrote his autobiography in France, and it was 
followed by a flood of autobiographies in Germany. 
Even memoirs of such scoundrels as Laukhardt were 
written and read as matters of public interest. Reli- 
gion, too, took the form of personal experiences and 
individual conversions ; and the church was more inter- 
ested in the experiences of the saved than in the dogma 
of salvation. The Methodist movement arose in Eng- 
land and spread over the continent and to America. 
Individual opinions were more important than conven- 
tions ; friendships than marriage ; societies than cor- 
porations. The historical was lost to view because the 


personal and particular occupied the foreground. Gib- 
bon said, " All ideas were equally true in the eyes of 
the people, equally false in the eyes of the philosophers, 
equally useful in the eyes of the magistrates." 

(&) Questions of Criticism. In the second place, 
the Enlightenment is a period of criticism and stands 
in contrast with the constructive Rationalism of the 
Renaissance. From Locke's invective against innate 
ideas to Hume's skepticism of the law of cause, from 
Voltaire's examination of the foundations of religion 
to Rousseau's polemic against society, the age was one 
of the criticism of authority. The psychologists, moral- 
ists, deists, and sociologists were revolutionists — all 
striking directly or indirectly at absolute political sov- 
ereignty, against the theoretical dogmatism and the 
ceremonious morality in which the Renaissance was 
complacent. The revolution began in the realm of the 
intellect and spread to political society. It was natural 
that the beginnings should be made in the apparently 
harmless theoretical examination of the grounds of 
knowledge and the principles of morality ; but the out- 
come was a general sweep of historical criticism, in 
which authority and science, the church, the state, and 
education came under censure. The spirit of man was im- 
patient. Man became indifferent to " learning." In con- 
trast with the Renaissance, this was a time when books 
were little read, proper names infrequently appeared ir 
writings, authorities were little cited. Let man study 
himself if he would learn about history and understand 
the world. Man stands above the scholar, the Chris- 
tian, the German. He is independent of tradition, and 
should substitute the useful for the historical. Cosmo- 
politanism takes the place of patriotism. The Enlight- 


enment is practical and yet imaginative. Its criticism 
aims to strip man of all his artificialities and to find his 
natural state. Its emphasis is negative and destructive. 

The revolt of the Enlightenment against the past ap- 
peared in remarkable changes in the political map of 
Europe. Mediaeval Europe was breaking to pieces. The 
Renaissance had been a period of social absolutism in 
which the despotic powers of Macchiavelli and Riche- 
lieu were typical of its political life. In this period 
new-comers forced their way into politics and the En- 
lightenment was marked by the rise of Russia, Prussia, 
and the American colonies. France and Austria, repre- 
senting the past, were arrayed against England and 
Prussia, representing the future of Europe. The con- 
flict between them was that of the old idea of military 
despotism, non-commerce, and non-toleration against 
the new spirit of individual freedom. From the Peace 
of Westphalia (1648) to the Seven Years' War (1756- 
1763) occurred many conflicts which presaged the break- 
ing down of the old boundaries. The old regime received 
its death-blow at the hands of Frederick the Great 
in the Seven Years' War ; and a half-century later 
(1806) the Holy Roman Empire came to an end. 

In all countries there were vigorous political move- 
ments in support of the rights of the individual. In 
England the House of Commons began to rise to power 
and the colonies in America to assert their independ- 
ence. In France the Bourbon family was fast losing 
its grip, to be completely overthrown in the French 
Revolution (1789). The current was entirely in the 
same direction in Germany. This was the time of Adam 
Smith and the rise of economic theories. It is a matter 
of no little significance that this period from the point 


of view of philosophy begins with Locke's psychologi- 
cal £Jssay and ends with Kant's Critique ; and from 
the point of view of politics it begins with the Revolu- 
tion of 1688 in England, and ends with a revolution in 
France and another in the American colonies. 

A Comparison of the Enlightenment in England, 
France, and Germany. The individualism of the En- 
lightenment expressed itself as a rationalism in Ger- 
many, as a sensationalism and deism in France, and as 
a deism and an empiricism in England. Nevertheless 
all its phases may be found in each one of these coun- 
tries. The outcome of the movement in the three coun- 
tries is, however, very different. In England the En- 
lightenment passed into a philosophical reaction in the 
so-called Scottish School ; in France, it resulted in 
a political revolution ; in Germany, it merged with a 
great literary movement and resulted in a creative 

The Many Groups of Philosophers of the Enlighten- 
ment. A comparison of the lists of philosophers of this 
with those of other periods reveals an extraordinary 
number of names. The Renaissance, for example, shows 
about half as many names of consequence, although it 
is about twice as long. The Enlightenment teems with 
philosophers, for its secular life was permeated with 
the reflective spirit. The philosophers are also often 
notable men, whose names are familiar to the modern 
reader. Nevertheless the number of constructive phi- 
losophers was exceedingly few. Only Locke, Berkeley, 
and Hume can be found whose importance equals that 
of Bacon, Hobbes, Galileo, Descartes, Spinoza, and 
Leibnitz. In personal talents and importance to their 
age the others seem to go in groups or to be part of 


the secular spirit. On the whole the history of the 
Enlightenment is that of social movements, and the 
philosophers seem to be the exponents of such move- 

Some of these important groups are as follows : — 

In England. 

1. Associationallst Psychologists : Peter Brown (d. 
1735), Hartley (1704-1757), Search (1705-1774), 
Priestley (1733-1804), Tooke (1736-1812), Erasmus 
Darwin (1731-1802), Thomas Brown (1778-1820). 

2. Moral Philosophers : Shaftesbury (1671-1713) ; 
morality based on intellect, Samuel Clarke (1675- 
1729) ; Wollaston (1659-1724) ; morality based on 
feeling, Hutcheson (1694-1747) ; Home (1696- 
1782); Burke (1730-1797); Ferguson (1724-1816) ; 
Adam Smith (1723-1790) ; morality based on author- 
ity, Butler (1692-1752) ; Paley (1743-1805) ; ethics 
based on associational psychology, Bentham (1748- 
1832) ; in an isolated ethical position, Mandeville 
(1670-1733) ; the Platonist, Price (1723-1791). 

3. The Deists: Toland (1670-1722), CoUins 
(1676-1729), Tindal (1656-1733), Chubb (1679- 
1747), Morgan (d. 1743), Bolingbroke (1678-1751). 

4. The Scottish School of Philosoj)hy : Thomas 
Reid (1710-1796), Oswald (d. 1793), Beattie (d. 
1805), Dugald Stewart (1753-1828). 

In France. 

1. Skeptics : Bayle (1647-1706), Voltaire (1694- 
1778), Maupertuis (1698-1759), d'Alembert (1717- 
1783), BufPon (1707-1788), Robinet (1735-1820). 

2. The Sensualists : La Mettrie (1709-1751), Bon- 
net (1720-1793), CondiUac (1715-1780), Cabanis 


3. The Encyclopedists : Diderot (1713-1784), Vol- 
taire, d'Alembert, Rousseau (1712-1778), Turgot, Jau- 
court, Duclos, Grimm (1723-1807), Holbach (1723- 
1789), Helvetius (1715-1771). 

4. The Political Economists and Constitutional- 
ists: Montesquieu (1689-1755), Quesnay, Turgot, 
Morelly, Mably. 

5. The Sentimentalist: Rousseau (1712-1778), the 
most notable figure of France during the Enlighten- 

6. Philosophical Revolutionists : St. Lambert 
(1716-1803), Volney (1757-1820), Condorcet (1743- 
1794), Garat (1749-1833). 

In Germany. * 

1. Thomasiiis (1655-1728), the first of the En- 

2. The Wolffians: Wolif (1679-1754), Bilfinger, 
Knutzen (d. 1751), Gottsched (1700-1766), Baum- 
garten (1714-1762). 

3. The Geometrical Method and its Opponents : 
Hansch, Ploucquet, Crousaz, Riidiger (1671-1731), 
Crusius (1712-1775), Budde, Brucker, Tiedemann, 
Lossius, Platner. 

4. The Psychologists and Related Philosophers : 
Kruger, Hentsch, Weiss, Irwing, Moritz (1757-1793), 
Basedow (1723-1790), Pestalozzi, and Sulzer. 

5. The Independent Philosophers: Lambert (1728- 
1777), Tetens (1736-1805). 

6. The Deists : Schmidt, Semler (1725-1791), Rei- 
marus (1699-1768), Edelmann. 

7. TJie Pietists: Spener (1635-1705), Francke 
(1663-1727), Arnold, Dippel. 

8. The Popular Philosophers : Mendelssohn (1729- 



1786), Nicolai (1733-1811), Basedow, Abbt, Engel, 
Feder, Meiners, Garve. 

9. The Writer on Philosophical Religion : Lessing 

10. The Writer on Faith Philosophy : Herder 

The philosophers of greatest importance in this pe- 
riod are given below. To help the reader keep in mind 
contemporary philosophical influences other names are 
given with them in a parallel table. 











1679 Berkeley 

Voltaire 1685 
















The Enlightenment in Great Britain. The history of 
the philosophy of Great Britain includes the teachings 
of Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and the Scottish School. 
With the exception of the teachings of the reactionary 
Scottish School, all the important philosophical teach- 
ings appear in the first half of the eighteenth century. 
We need to understand, first, the philosophical position 
of Locke, who was the father of the Enlightenment. We 
shall then see how his doctrine developed in three differ- 
ent directions: (1) as Deism, — a rational Christianity, 
(2) as an associational psychology in ethics, (3) as a 
theory of knowledge in the philosophies of Berkeley and 

Our discussion of the philosophy of Bacon and Hobbes 
has been followed by that of Rationalism. It would, 
however, be a mistake for the reader to infer, as we are 
about to take up the study of Locke, that a long period 
of time intervened between Hobbes and Locke. A 
chronological comparison of their lives shows that they 
were contemporaries for forty-seven years. Both lived 
through the reign of Charles I, during the Commonwealth 
and the Restoration. Hobbes died eleven years before 
Locke published his only philosophical essay. We must 
remember, too, that the English empirical philosophers 
of the Enlightenment were not insulated from the Ra- 
tionalists of the Continent. On the contrary, there was a 
lively interchange of ideas. Descartes influenced Hobbes 


and Hobbes influenced Spinoza. The influence of Des- 
cartes upon Locke was not inconsiderable, and Leibniz 
felt the influence of Locke. Berkeley and Leibnitz ar- 
rived at idealistic conclusions from independent points 
of view. Bacon alone seems to stand apart both from 
his contemporaries and from his immediate followers. 

The English Enlightenment was the natural develop- 
ment of the English Renaissance. Locke was the suc- 
cessor of Bacon and Hobbes. On the other hand, the 
English Enlightenment is similar to what went on in 
France and Germany. The first half of the English 
Enlightenment — from 1690 to 1750 — was absorbed 
in philosophical discussions ; during the second half, the 
period abandoned philosophy, and was engaged entirely 
in politics. The classes that won in the Revolution of 
1688 had little trouble in maintaining their place of 
power. The peaceful coming of William and Mary gave 
well-ordered conditions for intellectual development and 
for a powerful literary movement. The Jacobites were 
crushed, and there ensued a period of political peace. 
In the latter half of the century, however, another set 
of topics came to the front. After 1750 politics super- 
seded philosophy ; and whereas the keenest English 
minds had been employed upon the theoretical " study 
of mankind" in literature and philosophy, they now be- 
came engaged in practical political questions. Political 
parties developed. The Court was arrayed against the 
families of the Revolution, the American trouble, and 
the Wilkite agitations were looming large. England was 
sucked into the political maelstrom that was involving 
all Europe. Instead of deistic controversies with the 
theological orthodoxy, dangerous political questions were 
appearing. Instead of Hume's Essay and Butler's Ana- 


logy we have Burke's speeches, Adam Smith's Wealth 
of Nations^ Junius's Letters, and political pamphlets. 
In the first half of the period Bolingbroke had left poli- 
tics for philosophy ; in the second half Priestley left his 
laboratory for politics. The great change in English in- 
tellectual interests is shown in Hume himseK. In 1752 
he turned from philosophy, because there was so little 
interest in the subject, to the writing of his history of 
England. Theology was paralyzed ; deism was no longer 
ridiculed ; orthodoxy slumbered in its victory. The only 
philosophic tones came from France, where Voltaire, the 
Encyclopaedists, and Rousseau were carrying out a move- 
ment that had its origin in England ; and, on the other 
hand, from Scotland and its reactionary school. But the 
political movement always remained political in England, 
because its institutions were not inflexible and because 
the English people are by nature constitutional. In 
England there has never been a revolution, in the true 
sense, but England's progress has always been con- 
trolled by tradition. Even the revolution in the English 
colonies in America was caused by an abridgment of con- 
stitutional rights, and not by political theory, although 
the formal Declaration of Independence was framed 
under the influence of French philosophers. 

John Locke, Life and Writings (1632-1704).* The 
life of Locke falls into four periods. 

1. Student Life (1632-1666). Locke passed his 
first fourteen years at home, which were the troublesome 
years of the Civil War. The next six years were spent 
at the Westminster School in London. The last four- 

* Read Rand, Modern Classical Philosophers, pp. 215- 
217, 248-262 ; Eucken, Problem of Human Life, pp. 380- 


teen years of this period were spent, first as student and 
then as lecturer in Oxford. He took his Oxford degrees 
in 1660, the year of the Restoration and the year in 
which the British Royal Society was founded at Oxford. 
His dislike for the classics, which was begun at the West- 
minster School, was confirmed by his Oxford studies. 
Consequently, during the years of his perfunctory lec- 
turing at Oxford (1660-1666), his main interest was 
in physics. He was engaged in chemical, meteorological, 
and especially medical observations. He was also en- 
gaged in an amateur medical practice, in partnership 
with an old physician. 

The first turning point in his life came in 1666, when 
he was called to attend the first Lord Shaf ter>bury, who 
had fallen ill at Oxford. This accidental meeting was 
the beginning of a lasting friendship with the Shaftes- 
bury family, sustained by their common love for polit- 
ical, religious, and intellectual liberty. The first Lord 
Shaftesbury was the most notable statesman in the reign 
of Charles II ; the third Lord Shaftesbury was the 
greatest of English ethical scholars. Locke was the 
trusted friend and beneficiary of the first Lord Shaftes- 
bury, the tutor of the second, and influenced, more than 
any one else, the ethical productions of the third. Locke 
wrote some notes in this period on the Roman Common- 
wealth, an essay on toleration, and made records of 
physical observations. 

2. As Politician (1666-1683). During these 
seventeen years Locke's outward fortunes were inti- 
mately connected with the political career of Shaftesbury. 
He held public office. He was made a member of the 
Royal Society in 1668. The winter of 1670-1671 was 
important for his intellectual fortunes and marks another 


turning point in his life. It was then that he started 
the inquiry that led to his famous Essay. ^ The Essay 
was in the process of development during the next nine- 
teen years. He passed four years in retirement and in 
study in France (1675-1679). He also at this time 
first conceived his Essays on Government. Shaftesbury 
fled to Holland in November, 1682, and Locke a few 
months later followed him. 

3. As Philosophical Author (1Q8S-1691}. The year 
1689 divides this period into two important parts. 
The first part (1683-1689) is not only the period 
of his exile in Holland, but it is the time in which he 
is composing and completing his three most important 
literary works, — Essay on the Human Understanding^ 
the two Treatises on Government, the three Epistles 
on Tolerance. During the second part (1689-1691) he 
published these, which was the time immediately follow- 
ing his return to England. Newton's Principia was 
published in 1687, and Locke's Essay in 1690 — the one 
the foundation of modern physical science, the other the 
beginning of modern psychology. The appearance of 
these two works together with the Revolution in 1688 
makes this point of time an important one in the history 
of the world. 

4. As Controversialist (1691-1704). Locke then 
began to write upon almost every conceivable subject, 
— the coining of silver money, the raising of the value 
of money, the culture of olives, etc. He was also very 
busy in defending his philosophy against attacks. For 
him, until 1700 the period was one of controversy. At 
that time he retired from all activity, and after four years 
of failing health died in 1704. His period of produc- 

* See Essay, introductory epistle to the reader. 


tion was confined to the eleven years between 1689 and 

The Sources of Locke's Thought. 1. His Puritan 
Ancestry. The ancestry of Locke is little known, and 
not much that appears in his personality can be ex- 
plained by it. Both his father and mother were Puri- 
tans, and he seems to have inherited the severe piety, 
prudent, self-reliant industry, and love of liberty, that 
were common in English Puritan families of the middle 
class in the seventeenth century. During the first four- 
teen years he was schooled by his parents. 

2. His Training in Tolerance. If Locke inherited 
in the least degree any temper of intolerance from his 
Puritan ancestry it entirely disappeared with his expe- 
riences before and during his life at the University of 
Oxford. In 1646, at the Westminster School, his mind 
revolted at the cruel intolerance on both sides in the 
events just succeeding the Civil War. He also rebelled 
at the stern scholastic training which he received. These 
negative influences were supplemented by positive in- 
centives to freedom and toleration during his university 
life. John Owen was the liberal Vice-Chancellor of 
Oxford at that time, and the university granted freedom 
of thought to all Protestants. Locke felt Owen's influ- 
ence throughout his whole life. The fact that Locke's 
intimate friend at Oxford was Professor Pococke, the 
most outspoken Royalist in the university, shows that 
whatever Puritanism there was in Locke's nature had 
been ameliorated. Tolerance and liberty of opinion be- 
came now the key-note in the life of John Locke. " A 
gentle disposition, great love for his friends, an honest 
seeking after truth, and a firm faith in the importance 
of personal and political freedom are the ti'aits most 


remarkable in Locke as we know him from his books 
and letters." His toleration was not of the same sort as 
that of his contemporary Leibnitz. Leibnitz sought to 
reconcile discordant elements by combining them into 
a new dogmatic theory ; Locke neglected disagreements, 
sought no perfect harmony, but pointed out a via media 
that any individual might take. Leibnitz set forth a 
metaphysical system ; Locke gave a practical method. 
He had great directness, and was a man of honesty of 
thought. Not being a partisan he had no side to defend ; 
and he was not a partisan because philosophy was not 
his trade. Philosophy was to Locke the accomplishment 
of a gentleman who was interested in the puzzles of life. 
His diction is for ordinary people ; it is simple and ex- 
pressed in short Anglo-Saxon words. He shows no logic 
of thought ; and while any sentence is admirable, the par- 
agraph and the page are dull. His Essay is a chaos of 
plain truths, only here and there illuminated by imagin- 
ation. He shows no poetic power, and the world in which 
he lived never fired his imagination. He studied the 
human mind as he would read the thermometer. To our 
fathers his Essay was a philosophical Bible. To us the 
Essay stands, not like a completely planned building, 
but like an enlarged cottage, very habitable, but making 
no single impression. 

3. Tlie Scientific Influence. As a fellow-country- 
man of Ockam and the two Bacons, Locke shows the 
same anti-mystical and positivist tendencies. He was 
a thorough Englishman in taste and temperament. 
When the " new philosophy " v/as finding its way into 
the Oxford circle, he was one of the first to welcome it. 
It came to the University through books ; the lecturers 
were still true to Aristotle. Descartes, Hobbes, and 


Bacon were widely read, as was also Gassendi's exposi- 
tion of Epicurus. Locke himself writes concerning the 
influence of Descartes upon him. He gave up all 
thought of becoming a clergyman ; and his personal 
friendship for Bayle, a famous chemist, and for Syden- 
ham, a no less famous physician, interested him in the 
empirical method as they applied it to chemistry and 
therapeutics. He owed his philosophical awakening to 
Descartes and the Port Royal logic. The lucidity of 
Descartes came to him as an inspiration of intellectual 
liberty ; although he afterwards used the principles that 
Descartes had taught him to controvert his teacher's 

During the first period of Locke's life (1632-1666) 
he was nothing more than a student of medicine and a 
meteorological observer. He was the retired scholar 
who led so placid a life that it portended nothing note- 
worthy. He was a creditable scholar and teacher, but 
his life was negative in character. He had passed 
through stirring times, and they did not stir him. 

4. The Political Infiuence. Locke's interest in poli- 
tics began when he was thirty-four years old — when 
he met Lord Ashley at Oxford. For fifteen years he 
shared the home and fortune of this most remarkable 
man of affairs in the reign of Charles II. This Lord 
Ashley (Earl of Shaftesbury) fled to Holland in 1682, 
and died there the next year. After the death of his 
patron Locke left England for exile in Holland until 
1689, when he returned to England with WiUiam and 
Mary. In Holland he found a brilliant company, exiled 
from all countries ; and he formed an intimate friend- 
ship with Limborch, the leader of liberal theology in 
Holland. Some of the time he lived with a Quaker. 


Locke's friendship with Shaftesbury and his residence 
in Holland confirmed him in his belief in political lib- 
erty. So when William entered England and needed 
literary justification for the Revolution, he got it in 
Locke's two Treatises on Government. Locke thus be- 
came the philosophical defender and intellectual repre- 
sentative of the Revolution that now after fifty years 
had reached its culmination. 

Summary. On the whole, the inherited Puritanism 
of Locke was easily modified not only by his own mod- 
erate disposition, but also by his scientific interests and 
by his large political experiences. He naturally grew 
to be the apostle of the via media between traditional- 
ism and empiricism. He published practically nothing 
before he was sixty years old. After his return from 
exile his principal works appeared in swift succession. 
Two accidents formed turning-points in his life. His 
accidental meeting with Shaftesbury in 1666 turned 
him to politics ; and secondly, at an informal meeting 
of friends in the winter of 1670—1671 the question 
about the nature of sensations was accidentally raised, 
out of which gre\y his great Essay. His life was pri- 
marily one of affairs and of large acquaintance with men 
and things. To him life was the first thing, his interest 
in politics came second, and his philosophy third. That 
his ideas should have been the basis of extreme phi- 
losophical and political beliefs on the Continent is na- 
tural enough when one remembers the perils of misin- 
terpretation to the man who preaches the doctrine of 
the via media. 

The Purpose of Locke. In the historical perspective 
of two centuries we to-day see Locke in his Essay 
on the Human Understanding delivering the inaugural 


address of the eighteenth century. He is making the 
first formal declaration of the intellectual rights of the 
individual in a lengthy, dry, and erudite psychological 
dissertation. Of course he never knew^ the historical 
importance of his own work. It grew out of the need 
of the hour. He would have been astonished to find 
himself the spokesman of the century of French Ency- 
clopaedists, materialists, and revolutionists, of English 
deists, of German lUuminati, of Hume, and of Voltaii-e. 
He had in mind to answer the restrictions of the liicrh 
churchman on the one hand, and the arrogant claims 
of the atheists on the other, as to the power of the hu- 
man intellect. He states that his design is to "inquire 
into the original certainty and extent of human know- 
ledge." In this declaration Locke foreshadows Kant, 
but he falls short of the insight of Kant. For Locke 
speaks for the spirit of the eighteenth and not the 
nineteenth century, and (1) he must keep within the 
range of concrete facts ; (2) he must state only what 
can be stated clearly ; and (3) he must be practical. 
It was, however, in its larger meaning a declaration of 
human freedom. Locke shows what limitations the hu- 
man intellect has, what it can and what it cannot know. 
When the Enlightenment got momentum, it forgot the 
limitations to knowledge that the sober Locke had set 
down, and read in his words only a declaration of license. 
The Essay differs from any previous modern philoso- 
phical writing. M an and not the universe is the s ub- 
ject. For the first time we find an examination of the 
laws of mind, and not of the laws of the universe. 

But it is the via media for which Locke stands, and 
not the lawless excesses of the eighteenth century. The 
human reason is not all-knowing — cannot solve all 


problems, is not endowed with divine ideas; on the 
other hand, the human reason is not merely a string of 
sensations. The human reason is just this : it is liumon. 
It stands midway between divine intuition and animal 
sensation. Man is free, but free under his own limita- 
tions. " If by this inquiry it may be of use to prevail 
with the busy mind of man to be more cautious in med- 
dling with things beyond its comprehension — we should 
then not be so forward, out of affection for universal 
knowledge, to perplex ourselves and others with dis- 
putes about things, to which our understandings are 
not suited and of which we have not any notions at all." 
Human freedom stands between the absolute freedom 
of God and the absolute necessity of the animal. Hu- 
man freedom lies w^ithin the limits and bounds of human 
ideas — the via media ; and analysis of those ideas will 
show what those limits and bounds are. There can be 
no knowledge without ideas._ Some ideas may be erro- 
neous and out of all relation to reality. On the other 
hand, there may be ideas to which no experiences fit. 
Intellectual freedom cons ists in havi ng n ot isolated 
ide as, but ideas in their relation s, tliat ^Jn the form 
of judgments. Locke was moved in making his analysis 
of ideas by a general moral purpose to correct the faults 
and fallacies in mankind and in himself. " Man's facul- 
ties were given him to procure the happiness which this 
world is capable of," says Locke, and it might have 
been Bacon who had said it. The search for the via 
media is justified by its practical and utilitarian ends. 
The via media is the way of freedom. 

Two Sides of Locke's Philosophy. The search for 
the via media is an attempt to find " the limits and 
extent of human knowledge." This involved Locke in a 


discrimination as to what should be accepted and what 
rejected of the past. It gives his philosophy a positive 
and a negative aspect. In brief, on its negative side he 
makes a show of rejecting the entire past by rejecting 
aU innate ideas, but really he inconsistently accepted 
from the past its conception of substance and of indi- 
viduality. On it s positive side he builds up from e xpe- 
ri ence a theory of knowledge which he divides into 
intui tive, demonstrative^ and probab le. That is to say, 
while Locke affirms that all our knowledge must be 
derived from experience, it never occurs to him to 
do ubt the trad ^iti onal C artesian tbftnr y nf the e xistejio.ft 
of Go d, man, and matt er. 

(a) The Negative Side — Locke and Scholasticism. 
Locke issued an avowed defiance to scholasticism in 
the introduction of his Essay. Of the four books into 
which the Essay is divided, the first was composed last 
and added as an introductory declaration of independ- 
ence. If it had been the only part ever written, the 
anarchism of the eighteenth century would have been 
right in finding its justification in the Essay. To a 
modern mind this first book looks harmless enough, but 
in Locke's time it had a deep sociological and political 
meaning. It expresses his practical moral defiance of 
trad itional mediaevalism. " There exist no innate ideas," 
says Locke. Innate ideas mean to him the tyr anny of 
t raditi on — unexamined and unsubstantiated beliefs, 
conceptions unverified by fact. They stand for church 
dogma imposed upon the unthinking masses, the abso- 
lutis m of monarchy an^^ft HiviTift rfaTif. nf Irinjrg the 
inherited superstitions about nature. Spinoza had de^ 
duced his entire philosophy from the innate idea of sub- > 
stance ; Descartes had found at least three innate ideas ; \ 


I Leibnitz believed all ideas innate. Locke pleads for the 
personal right to examine all ideas. Locke's critics 
have claimed that no philosopher ever maintained the 
existence of innate ideas in the sense in which Locke 
attacked them. Locke was aiming at something more 
vulnerable than innate ideas themselves — he was at- 
tacking the medisBval habit of the individual who takes 
a thing as true because the thing has the weight of tra- 
ditional authority. 

(6) The Positive Side — The New Psychology and 
Epistemology. If inherited ideas have no weight for 
Locke, he was bound to show the kind of ideas upon 
which we can rely. Tlie mind enters upon life with no 
stock of ideas in trade ; how do they arise ? The logical 
outcome of Locke's disclaimer of scholastic psychology 
obliged him to construct a new psychology and theory 
of knowledge. He must offer a psychology as a con- 
structive programme for the individualism of the En- 
lightenment. In his second book Locke states the posi- 
tive side of his doctrine by saying that the mind is like 
a white paper without any original markings ; that it 
gets its markings from the impressions made upon it. 
Thus to deny innate ideas and to affirm that all id eas 
are empi rically aroused, are the negative and positive 
side s of the same doctrine of individualism . They are 
two ways of saying that the mind of the individual is 
free to judge for itseK of the truth or falseness of its 

In his denial of the existence of innate ideas, in his 
use of the formula that " nothing is in the intellect that 
has not been first in the sense," or in his employment 
of the figure of the " white piece of paper," Locke does 
not intend to state anything further than that the mind 


is free. He merely means that the individual starts 
without trammels and prejudices. He does not mean 
that the mind is completely passive and at the mercy 
of its environment, as his French followers interpreted 
him. Loc ke is a sensationalist , but he does not belong 
to that class who believe that our mental states are 
merely translated sensations, and that the m ind itself 
is merely passive. He beli eves that the mind does not 
create its i deas^^but that they are presented to i t. The 
mind has original powers upon which it can reflect. 
The mind can operate with its ideas and make them 
into compounds. Thus one must read Locke's Essay 
to the end to get his double point of view. In the sec- 
ond and third books he frequently discusses the con- 
tents of the mind as if the mind were passive, in the 
manner of modern psychologists. In the fourth book 
he develops an epistemology on the assumption that the 
mind is active and free. 

Locke's Psychology. The second and third books of 
the Essay are a discussion of the empirical sources of 
our ideas. One notes the Cartesian du alism of mind 
and matter in the background. All ideas have their 
source either externally in the . impressions upon the 
bodil y sens es, or internally in the operatio ns oi the 
mind itself. The sources of ideas are either se njatir >ns 
or reflectio ns, or, as Locke calls them, " outer and inner 
perceptions." Locke also calls them " simple ideas," 
being the units out of which the complex ideas are con- 
structed. We understand easily enough what Locke 
means by sensations, but " reflections " is a word pecu- 
liar to him, which has not been taken up by philosophy. 
He means by " reflections " a consciousness of the ma- 
chinery of the mind. We are, that is to say, conscious 


of our willing, loving, remembering, etc. As to the 
order of their appearance in the mind, the sensations 
are p rior to the r eflections and are the occasion for the 
appearance of the reflections. The reflections are not 
the process of transmitting the sensations, but they are 
the lateran d mechanical t rans mutation of the sensatio ns. 
It is important to note that throughout Locke's psy- 
chological analysis, he regards_the mind as passive, even 
with respect to the ideas of -reflection. The reflections, 
as faculties of the mind, are dependent on the sensa- 
tions, and both sensations and reflections make impres- 
sions upon a passive mind. 

These " simple " ideas come into the crucible of the 
mind and form "complex" ideas of various sorts. There 
are three general classes of these co mplex idea s : sub- 
stances^ modes, and relations. The construction of "com- 
plex ideas " out of " simple ideas " and the objects to 
which the complex ideas refer receive a great variety 
of illustration at Locke's hands, but the details of his 
lengthy discussion need not detain us. He is very pains- 
taking ; he shows hard common sense ; but he is defi- 
cient in logical classification and he often betrays much 
indecision. His Essay is of encyclopajdic character in 
its derivation of all common notions from " simple 
ideas." The laws of association form the chemistry by 
which he welds the " simple ideas " together. 

Thus far Locke is empirical and consistent. How- 
ever, the dualistic background of the thought of his age 
makes him deviate from his avowed empiricism. Be- 
sides the clear and simple ideas of sensation and reflec- 
tion Locke introduces the idea of the Self. What is the 
idea of Self? It is not a sensation nor a reflection. It 
is not a complex idea, derived from sensations and re- 


flections. "It is an internal, infallible perception that 
we are ." It is an accompaniment of tEe processes of 
thought. It stands beside the ideas, which are empiri- 
cal ly derivg d. as an unexplained remainder. The result 
of Locke's psychological analysis is therefore that the 
inner world of the mind consists of the combination of 
the simple ideas of sensation and reflection plus the 
unexplained idea of the Self. 

Locke's Theory of Knowledge. Although Locke says 
that the purpose of his Essay is to show the limits and 
extent of human knowledge, he does not reach this un- 
til the last book. The first three books form a long in- 
troduction to the fourth book and his real theme. Here 
for the first time he treats the mind as active ; and here 
for the first time in the history of thought the attempt 
is made to show what questions man can answer with 
certainty, what with probability, and what are beyond 
man's knowledge. 

All the difficulties in the assumptions of the En- 
lightenment come out in Locke's treatment of his main 
theme. Locke defines knowledge as the " perc eption of 
the ati^eement or disagreement of o ur ideas," and yet 
he says that knowledge is real only as ideas agree with 
things. That is to say, Locke had assumed (in Book II 
of the Essay^ the existence of the material substance 
of things of the outer world, just as he assumed the ex- 
istence of the spiritual Self-substance of the inner world. 
What is the nature of the outer material substance? 
Locke hesitates, and the best he can answer is, " It is 
the unknown support and cause of the union of several 
distinct, simple ideas." Substance, t o Locke, is a w ord 
for something unknown. But does the mind know no- 
thing about substance ? What information do our ideas 


convey to us of substance ? We have this knowledge : 
we know thepri mary or constant, uncha ngeable qualities 
of s ubstance s, and the second ary or variable qu alities 
of substanc es. The primary qualities of bodies are the 
same as their effects in us, such as the extension of 
bodies, their solidity, movement and rest, duration and 
position in time. The secondary " are nothing in the 
objects themselves but powers to produce various sen- a 
sations in us by their primary qualities." Secondary 
qualities are sounds, colors, etc. In this confused state- 
ment it would seem that substance stands as merely the 
nominal support of the primary qualities, and the pri- 
mary qualities are the cause of the secondary qualities. 
Thus the individual stands forth free in the develop- 
ment of his ideas, but he is an individual circumscribed 
by his dualistic world. He belongs to the world of an 
unexplained spiritual substance on the one hand, and 
he is surrounded by a world of an unknown material 
substance on the other. There are three kinds of know- 
le dge ; intuitive, demonstrative^ and probable. Locke 
says that the individual is in tuitively certain of his ow n 
ideaSj. The indivi dual has also demonstrative kn owledge 
— he can reason logically and mathematically. But 
Locke's real problem does not lie with intuitive and de- 
monstrative knowledge. The question that concerned 
him was rather. What is the character of our knowledge 
of the external world ? The individual in the Enlighten- 
ment lived in a spiritual independence of matter, yet 
he had a feeling of uncertainty about his hold upon 
a world of matter so different from himself. It was a 
world foreign to his spiritual essence. With the deep- 
ening of the mind within itself and with its growing 
independence, the equally independent material world 



grew more difficult and distant. Locke feels this diffi. 
culty. How can man know this external world ? How 
can the individual, with all his freedom, bring the ex- 
ternal world under his control ? 

Besides the certainty of intuitive and demonstrative 
knowledge, there is a third kind according to Locke. 
This is the j jj^obable knowledge of the natu re w orld. 
We are certain of our sensations, but we are not cer- 
tain of what our sensations repor t. The highest degree 
which our knowledge of the external world can attain 
is prob^ ility. or an inference from many sources. Such 
kno wledge is mere opinion, which supplements certain 
knowledge and operates in the large field of our daily 
existence. The spiritual individual stands in a kind of 
twilight region with the dull wall of the material world 
of probable existence looming up before him, the out- 
lines of which he can barely discern. On either side of 
this twilight existence lies the broad daylight of intui- 
tive and demonstrative knowledge, and around it all the 
absolute darkness of ignorance. Our knowledge is much 
less than our ignorance because our knowledge is lim- 
ited to our ideas and their combinations. 

Locke's Practical Philosophy. Locke pursued the 
via media in his discussion of the practical problems 
that were at that time of burning importance in Eng- 
lish society. He always kept in mind the spiritual man 
who is circumscribed by his own limitations. Moral ly, 
religiously, and politically the individual ha s to conform 
to the cond itions in which he live s. But morality, reli- 
gion, and government cannot get their authority from 
ideas inborn in the mind. All ar e the outgrow ths of ex- 
perience . The mo ral law^ for example, is a law of n ature, 
although at the same time it is a law of God. It arises 



from exp erience, and at the same time it has its root in 
God. To obey it is to be happy, to disobey it is to be 
unhappy. The revelation of religion, too, may transcend 
experience, but it must not contradict experience. In 
both religion and morality the individual must be the 
final judge, for he is the arbiter of his own happiness. 
Individual happiness is of more value than all else. Re- 
ligious toleration is therefore one of the first principles 
of go vern ment, and between the church and the state 
there should be no conflict. 

Locke's political philosophy is along the same via 
media. In his Treatises on Government he seeks to 
make good the title of King William to the British 
throne. He justifies the right of the individual to re- 
volt jinder certain conditions. Political government is 
not a sacred innate idea, but has arisen out of experi- 
ence as conducive to the happiness of man. The indi- 
viduals and the government make a contract to serve 
each other. When either violates the contract, the 
State is at an end. To the advocates of the divine 
rights of kings, like Filmer, political law antedated 
" nature " ; to Hobbes, law came after " nature " ; to 
Locke, law is " nature." To Filmer " nature " was a 
golden age ; to Hobbes it was a shocking state to be 
got rid of ; to Locke " nature " is harmony. Thus ac- 
cording to Locke the individual has through his expe- 
riences constructed his morality, his religion, and his 
government because they are conducive to his happi- 
ness, and at the same time they have their ground in 
the " nature " of things. The individual stands free 
among them, the central figure in the world. 

The Influence of Locke. The philosophy of Locke 
became the fountain-head of the many divergent schools 


of thought of the Enlightenment. His Essay did not 
contain anything fundamentally new, and its present- 
ation has little originality ; but it voiced the thought of 
the eighteenth century so easily, and with such skillfid 
avoidance of pitfalls, that it made Locke the most 
widely read and the most influential philosopher of his 
time. Four separate movements had their source in him : 
(1) From his theory of knowledge, in which the empha- 
sis is laid upon the mind as actiye,_came_ihg_empicical 
ide alism o f^Berkeley_a3ad Hume ; (2) from his psycho- 
logical analysis in the second and third books of the 
Essay, in which the mind is regarded as passive, came 
the sensationalism of the French ; (3) fromhis theory 
of r eligion came Deisni ; (4) from his association al- 
istic ethics came the utilitarian ethical theories of the 
English moralists. The most constructive followers of 
Locke were Berkeley and Himie. The others may be 
called the lesser Lockian schools ; for although they 
may have exercised a much greater influence upon their 
own time, they were nevertheless only partial inter- 
preters of Locke. We shall deal briefly with Deism 
and Ethics in England, next consider at length the 
philosophies of Berkeley and Hume, and then present 
in a summary but articulate way the development of 
the Enlightenment in France and Germany. 

The English Deists. We have seen how Rationalism, 
especially in the case of Descartes, tried at the begin- 
ning to reconstruct theology without breaking with es- 
tablished dogma. Gradually, however, rationalism and 
revealed religion showed signs of divorce. Some of the 
rationalists came to take the stand that if reason can 
understand the nature of God, revelation is either in- 
credible or superfluous. The revealed religions differ. 


The god of the mediaeval people is not the same as the 
god of the heathen nor as the Jehovah of the Jews. 
There are many religions and many sects in each reli- 
gion. There must be to them all a common basis, which 
is the true religion. This was the creed of Deism or 
Natural Religion. Positive religions are only the cor- 
ruptions of natural religion, or the religion of reason. 
Deism sought to separate religion from special revela- 
tions, which were looked upon as the irrational elements 
of religion. Bacon and Descartes had freed natural 
science from church dogma ; Hobbes had freed psycho- 
logy from the same dogma ; Grotius had freed the con- 
ception of law from dogma. The Deists would free 
religion from dogma. 

Deism was founded on three principles ; (1) the origin 
and truth of religion may be scientifically investigated ; 
(2) the origin of religion is the conscience ; (3) positive 
religions are degenerate forms of natural religion. The 
tendency of the Enlightenment was deistical, and the 
movement was powerful in England, France, and Ger- 
many. Deism was quite consistent with the central 
principle of this period — the self-sufficiency of the in- 

In England the first deist was Herbert of Cherbury 
(1581-1648), with his "five fundamental propositions of 
religion." The body of English deists, however, got their 
cue from Locke's identification of the moral law with 
the law of nature ; but Locke himself was not a deist. 
The literature of deism coincides for the most part with 
the English moral philosophy of the period, but usually 
the group of English deists is supposed to include only 
Toland, Chubb, Tindal, Collins, Morgan, and Boling- 
broke. These men lived in the first half of the Enlight- 


enment. They were much despised by the scholars of 
the time as being mere dabblers in letters. " They were 
but a ragged regiment whose whole ammunition of learn- 
ing was a trifle when compared with the abundant 
stores of a single light of orthodoxy ; whilst in specula- 
tive ability they were children by the side of their an- 

The English deists passed from view at the end of 
the first half of the eighteenth century, crushed by the 
weight of the attack upon them. The more powerful 
orthodoxy, with its greater talent, was itself rationalistic, 
and could beat them on their own ground. The church- 
men showed that the objections against the God of 
revelation would be equally effective against the deistic 
God of nature. The classic argument along this line 
against the deists is Bishop Butler's Analogy of Re- 
lic/ion. The battle was unequal, and the character of 
the books published during the controversy reveals the 
inequality of the contest. The deistic publications were 
small and shabby octavos, and were published anony- 
mously. The orthodox publications were solid octavos 
and quartos in handsome bindings, with the credentials 
of powerful signatures. Even if the orthodoxy had not 
employed the arm of the law against the deists, the 
deists would have been broken by the intellectual force 
against them. 

The English Moralists. Just as the motive of the 
deists was to free religion from the authority of theo- 
logy, so the motive of the celebrated group of English 
moralists of the Enlightenment was to find a basis for 
morality outside of church dogma. Many of the English 

* Read Leslie Stephen, History of English Thought^ vol. 
i, pp. 86-88. 


moralists were also deists in belief. Their number is 
legion, as the list given below will show. The greatest 
among them was Shaftesbury. 

The school began with Hobbes and received mo- 
mentum from the associational psychology of Locke. 
All the members of this group sought to find an ulti- 
mate basis for morality — some seeking it with Locke 
in experience, others in innate ideas. Yet the starting- 
point with each of these moralists seems to be Hobbes 
and his selfish ethics, for nearly all ethical scholars 
have his ethics in mind, either to attack or to defend. 
For many years Hobbes was regarded by ethical schol- 
ars either as an evil spirit or as an inspired genius. In 
any case, his influence was felt in ethical discussion for 
a long time. 


Chronological Table of the English Moralists. 

1500 1600 



TTnlihp«j «« 7Q . 

XJ.UUUCS .••••••• 

Cud worth 


Cumberland. . . 


Mandeville .... 

1 7 88 



32 . 


nQ 94. 



Shaftesbury . . . 

. 71 13 














Hutcheson .... 






Hartley . 





74 ... 



36 ... 



76 ... 



m ... 



91 ... 



05 . 



32 . 



28 . 


95 ..66 




06 73 



The Life and Writings of George Berlieley (1685- 
1753). In Bishop Berkeley we have the finest type of 
Irish mind. In his brilliant mental powers and idealistic 
theory he reminds us of that wonderful Irish scholar 
of the Middle Ages, John Scotus Erigena. Berkeley was 
acutely critical, and yet he possessed a childlike reli- 
gious faith. He combined an insatiable longing for know- 
ledge with an ardent missionary zeal. " Berkeley was a 
born chi ld of Plat o, a lineal descendant of a race whose 
origin is afar off and is divine." * He was one of those 
exceptional minds that begin to bring forth their intel- 
lectual offspring when they are young. Berkeley began 
to publish at the age of twenty-four, Hume at twenty- 
eight, Descartes at forty-one, Locke at fifty-eight. 

We shall divide the life of Berkeley into three pe- 

1. His Early Training (1685-1707). Nothing is 
known of Berkeley's early years, except that he was 
born in Kilkenny, Ireland. He was educated at the 
Eton of Ireland, the Kilkenny school, where Swift had 
been a pupil ; and it is known that one of Berkeley's 
schoolmates was Thomas Prior. Berkeley entered Trin- 
ity College, Dublin, at fifteen, and graduated at nine- 
teen. Scholasticism was still influential at Trinity, but 
new sciences, such as botany, chemistry, and anatomy, 

* Read Royce, Spirit of Modern Philosophy, p. 8G ; Rand, 
Modern Classical Philosophers, pp. 263-277. 


had been added to the curriculum. There, too, the 
young Berkeley found that Locke's Essay was much 
discussed, and that Newton, Boyle, Malebranche, Des- 
cartes, and Leibnitz were widely read. From this early 
date Berkeley began to keep a book of his own philo- 
sophical reflections, calling it his Commonjilace Book. 
From it and from his philosophy it would appear that 
Locke and Malebranche were the most powerful philo- 
sophical influences upon him. 

2. As Author (1707-1721). 

Berkeley remained at Dublin as tutor and fellow 
five years after his graduation. In 1709 he was ordained 
deacon in the English church. He published two mathe- 
matical tracts in 1707, his Theory of Vision in 1709, 
his Princii^es of Human Knowledge in 1710. The 
Theory of Vision and the Principles of Human 
Knowledge were practically a statement of his philo- 
sophy. They have been compared thus : the Theory of 
Vision teaches that " all that we see is our sensation " ; 
the Principles of Human Knowledge teaches that " all 
that exists is our knowledge." Berkeley then went to 
London, where he was admitted to the court of Queen 
Anne and also to the circle that included Steele, Swift, 
Addison, and Pope. Berkeley showed himself humble, 
wise, considerate, and unselfish, and although he was 
shocked at the court life, he on his side charmed every 
one whom he met. He wanted to make his idealism 
better understood, and so he published it in the form 
of a dialogue between a realist and an idealist. This 
publication was called Three Dialogues between Hylas 
and Philonous (1713). He then made two journeys 
to the Continent — 1713-1714 and 1716-1720 — and 
spent much of the time in Italy, where he absorbed 


its literature. The South Sea swindle turned him to 
economics, and in 1721 he published an Essay toward 
Preventing the Ruin of Great Britain. 

3. As Priest and Missio7iary (1721-1753). 

Berkeley was appointed Dean of Derry in 1721 at a 
salary of XllOO. Although he threw himself into his 
work with his accustomed zeal, there had already ap- 
peared in his mind the conception of an ideal society, 
where church and state would be united. He was dis- 
gusted with the worn-out European society, and wanted 
to remove the youth to a colony where there would be 
no temptations. He raised a large sum of money for 
this purpose, and obtained the promise of a grant from 
the government of £20,000, gave up his deanery, and 
sailed for America. He intended to settle in Bermuda 
and there to found an ideal State, which should also be 
a centre for the conversion of the American Indians to 
Christianity. The promised grant from the English 
government did not come, and Berkeley got no farther 
than Newport, R. I., where he lived three years. While 
at Newport he wrote Aldphron, the Minute Philoso- 
pher, and published it in England in 1732. The re- 
cords of Trinity Church in Newport show that he 
preached there many Sundays. He gave several books 
to Harvard and Yale Colleges. At Newport he was 
visited by Samuel Johnson, an Episcopal missionary, 
who afterwards became president of King's College in 
New York. Johnson was converted to Berkeley's ideal- 
ism, and through Johnson the doctrine was received by 
Jonathan Edwards, his pupil. 

From 1734 to 1752 Berkeley was Bishop of Cloyne. 
He was devoted to missionary work among the poor, 
and many of his people being afflicted with an epidemic 


of influenza, he treated them effectively with tar-water 
— a remedy he had learned from the Indians. He pub- 
lished Siris, an essay on the philosophical virtues of 
tar- water, in 1744. In 1752 he went to Oxford to live, 
and in 1753 he died. 

The Influences upon the Thought of Berkeley. 
Berkeley's philosophy shows little development after 
his first publications. With the exception of Sirls, 
which contains much Platonic idealism, the later works 
of Berkeley are scarcely more than an elaboration of 
his early thought in the Theory of Vision and the 
Principles of Human Nature. We should infer, there- 
fore, that the only philosophical influences upon Berke- 
ley were the original springs at which ho drank as a 
youth. Moreover, he always speaks with the dogmatic 
certainty of one who has drawn his material from but 
few sources. Never does he exhibit the indecision of a 
man who is embarrassed by many points of view. The 
two chief influences upon h im were Locke and MaJ e- 
branche. The influence of Locke was partly of the na- 
ture of a reaction : Ber keley accepted Locke's psy cho- 
l ogical analysis, b ut reacted from Locke's "common 
sense " dualism as early as the time of his student life 
at Trinity. Malebranche, with his theory of " occasional 
causes," reinforced his opinion along the line that his 
reaction took. But Berkeley's own incisive genius had 
a relatively greater influence in dictating the course of 
his philosophy than is usually the case. His mind was 
precocious, fertile, and continuously versatile. Further- 
more, Berkeley's simple religious nature seems to have 
been an important factor in determining his intellectual 
belief. His peculiar idealism could take root only in a 
mind inspired by faith. 


The Purpose of Berkeley. The life and teaching of 
Berkeley were dedicated to the true interests of reli- 
gion. He may be called the religious Enlightener. He 
would not, like the deists, strip religion bare of dogma, 
but he would unlimber dogma aud rational philosophy 
so that they would be of service to religion. His pur- 
pose was to fr ee scholasticism on the one handj and 
rationalism on the other, from abstractions aiid obscure 
terms, and thereby bring about a imion of faith and 
kn owledg e. .Berkeley looked upon himself as a crusader 
who would retake the Holy Land for the spiritual indi- 

We have remarked that one of the presuppositions 
of this period of the Enlightenment is the independence 
of the individual. The individual around which Berke- 
ley's philosophy centres is the spiritual individual, and 
is therefore unique even for this period. Such an indi- 
vidual is superior to his environment because he be- 
longs not to a material world, but to a community of 
religious beings who can talk and walk with God. The 
English Enlightenment passed from Locke to Berkeley. 
The inner life came into complete ascendency and the 
spiritual individual emerged. From the Lockian phi- 
losophy, with its many contradictory motives, there ap- 
peared the audacious one-sided philosophy of Berkeley, 
with its proclamation of the reign of spirituality. It 
stood in marked contrast with the development of the 
Enlightenment in France — a development of material- 
ism and material atoms. The spectral although stub- 
born boundaries of the unknowable material world, 
which Locke supposed to shut around the powers of 
the human intellect, crumbled before the hand of 


The casual reader of the history of thought is, how- 
ever, often disconcerted at the appearance of such a 
philosophy as Berkeley's in this period of empiricism, 
and especially as the immediate follower of Locke. The 
English school is called the empirical school, and yet 
Berkeley is also called an idealist. But we must re- 
member that empiricism and idealism are not antitligti- 
caJL Empiricism refers to the source of our knowledge ; 
it means that all our knowledge is primarily derived 
from sens^perceptions. These sense-perceptions may 
be of two kinds : they may be (1) psychological facts. 
or ^2^_material facts. Berkeley was, like Locke and 
Hume, an empiricist of the first class ; and yet because 
he denied the independent existence of material f acts, 
he was also an idea list. He was an empirical idealist, 
just as the French philosophers of the Enlightenment 
were empirical materialists. The critic may find that 
Berkeley is not a consistent empiricist, to be sure, but 
neither was Locke. Berkeley started out by affirming 
the testimony of experience against scholastic specula- 
lation and abstraction ; yet all along he assumed the 
scholastic conception of mind. Nevertheless, this as- 
sumption of the individual makes Berkeley a true child 
of the Enlightenment.* 

Berkeley's General Relation to Locke and Hume. 
The growth of this English school from Locke to Hume 
is nbt difficult to understand or to remember. It is 
not so much a page in the history of metaphysics (the 
nature of reality) as in epistemology (the theory of 

^ Berkeley a nd Hum e were really also dualists, lik e Locke an d all 
other Enlig^hteners. i'he ideas were sxiDstituied by them for material 
substances. As objects of knowledg'e the ideas were antithetical to the 
knowing process. Hume tried to overcome this dualism, but he was not 
Buccessful in hia attempt. 


knowledge). Locke asks, What can we know? And he 
replies to his own question, th at we can know o ur 
iiitlsas." At the same time he assumes the existence 
of a sp iritual substance on the one side, and a material 
su bstance o n the other. Neither of these is an idea, in 
the sense that it is an object of knowledge. The advance 
of Berkeley from Locke and of Hume from Berkeley 
was one of cancellation. Ber keley cancelled the m aterial 
substance, bec ause the material substance is not an id ea, 
Hume then consistently enough asked. Why not for 
the same reason cancel the spiritual substance ? The 
spiritual substance is not an idea or object of knowledge. 
We have no more right to assume it than the material 
substance. The only things we know to exist are our 
ideas. The development of the English school may be 
briefly put as follows : — 

Locke, Spiritual substance — ideas — material 

Berkeley, Spiritual substance — ideas 

Hume, ideas. 

Hume is Locke made logically consistent. Berkeley 
went only halfway. PImiie among these three was the 
only self-consistent empiricist. On the assumption that 
all knowledge is derived from sense-perception the his- 
tory of the English empirical school was a history of 
the restriction of knowledge. 

Berkeley's Points of Agreement with Locke. Berke- 
ley starts from Locke's ps ychological analysis as the 
basis of his own theory. The purely scientific aspect 
of the contents of mind as classified by Locke does not 
call for particular criticism from him. Logical classifica- 
tion does not seem to concern him very much, and while 
he accepts Locko's analysis, he often calls Locke's classes 


by other names. He commits himself to Locke's psycho- 
logical empiricism in the first sentence in \ub Principles : 
" It is evident to any one who takes a survey of the ob- 
jects of knowledge, that they are either ideas actually 
imprinted on the senses ; or else such as are perceived 
by attending to the passions and operations of the mind ; 
or, lastly, ideas formed by the help of memory and 
imagination — either compounding, dividing, or barely 
representing those originally perceived in the aforesaid 
ways." Our knowledge, therefore, deals only with ideas. 
There are the simple ideas of sensation and reflection, 
and ideas compounded from these. 

Besides accepting the psychological analysis of Locke, 
Berkeley also adopts without question the assumpjtion 
common to Locke and all the philosop hers of the En- 
li ghtenm entj^ — the assumption of the independence^ 
t he individua LsQjjl. " But besides all the endless variety 
of ideas or objects of knowledge, there is likewise some- 
thing that knows or perceives them — what I call mind, 
sp ijit, soul, or self . By which I do not denote any one 
of my ideas, but a thing entirely distinct from them, 
wherein they exist, or, which is the same thing, whereby 
they are perceived." 

Berkeley, therefore, (1) agrees with Locke that all 
knowledge is derived from sense-perception, i. e. he 
agrees with Locke's empirical psychology, and (2) he 
also agrees with one of Locke's assumptions, viz., that 
the spiritual substances exist. 

The Negative Side of Berkeley's Philosophy. We 
have now pointed out Berkeley's general relation to 
Locke and Hume, and more in particular his agree- 
ments with Locke. We are now prepared to examine 
the teaching of Berkeley by itself. 


Berkeley was obliged to devote a good deal of time 
to the negative side of his philosophy. Just as Locke 
could not construct an empirical psychology until he 
had disclaimed all allegiance to innate ideas, so Berke- 
ley could not construct an idealism until he had 
brought to bear in a polemical fashion all his forces 
against abstract ideas. Of his two masterpieces he de- 
votes the entire essay on the Theory of Vision and a 
good part of his Princijjles of Human Nature to this 

1. In proof of this he advances his analysis of ab- 
stract ideas. He not only denies that abstract ideas 
have a corre sponding external real ity, but he even de- 
nies that abstract ideas exist in the mind itself. The 
deception m abstract ideas arises from the use oi words 
as general terms. Word s are always general ; id eas are 
alwa ys pa rticular. There is never an idea that exactly 
corresponds to a word. Words ^ are useful not as a con- 
veyance of ideas, but for inciting men to action and 
a rousiTi g- tlr^ pQccJ^^no Whenever a word is used, what 
we think of is the particular sense, idea, or group of 
sense objects that give rise to it. For example, the word 
"yellow" cannot be employed by us except in connec- 
tion with the thought of some particular yellow thing. 
Berk eley is a nom inalist of the extremest type. 

2. Again Berkeley seeks to show, by demolishing the 
distin ction between primary and seco ndary qualitfes, 
that matter as an abstract idea has no existence. This 
distinction was as old as the Greek, Democritus, and 
was accepted by Locke. We have already described 
it : of a thing like a lump of sugar, the sense qualities 
of whiteness, roughness, sweetness, etc., are secondary 
because they depend upon our sensations for their ex- 


istence ; they are the ways in which our organisms are 
affected, and not true copies of things ; the mathemati- 
cal qualities, form, size, density, impenetrability, are pi-i- 
mary because they exist independent of our senses and 
are true copies of things. Hobbes had already shown 
that such a distinction is erroneous, and Berkeley fol- 
lowed him by maintaining that all qualities are second- 
ary. The siz e and impen et rability of a body de pends 
as mu ch on sense-perception as its sweetnes s and color. 
At some length in his Theory of Vision Berkeley takes 
up the question of the solidity, or third dimension, of 
a material body, and shows that it is an inference 
depenHinglJn'sensations arising from the convergence 
of the two eyes and complicated by the sensations of 

Berkeley professed to be pleading the cause of the 
man in the street who wants a philosophy that is real 
" common sense." He maintained that the conception 
of matter IS only a philosopMcal isubtlety for those phi- 
losophers who seeETor'sonie thing beyond pere^eption. 
The man in thestreet wishes to explain things as he 
finds them, and not to seek mysterious abstractions 
which philosophers say in one breath that we know, 
and in another that we cannot know. 

Therefore, while Berkeley agreed with Locke's as- 
sumption of the existence of the spiritual substance, he 
departed from Locke in denying the existence of a m a- 
terial substance. Berkeley accepted, therefore, one of the 
two assumptions common to the Enlightenment, but he 
denied the other. Now Berkeley was trying to prove a 
thesis. He was controlled by the ideal of his ardent re- 
ligious nature to free religion from false philosophy. He 
felt that the foes of relijjion — atheism and materialism 


— had employed effectively abstract ideas, which had 
been one of the weapons of religion, against religion 
itseK. Berkeley concentrated his attack against the 
traditional scholastic conception of abstract ideas in 
general and the abstract idea of matter in particular. 
Ab stract ideas have no exi stence ; th e idea of a mate rial 
su bstance is a n abstract idea and therefore has no ex- 
istence. Berkeley was bound from the beginning of 
his religious crusade to explain away the existence of 
material substance. 

The Positive Side of Berkeley's Philosophy.* In 
the construction of his theory in a positive way Berke- 
ley abridged the dualism of " common sense," and as- 
serted that the abridged form was better. He converted 
the dualism into a religious hypothesis, but it was a 
dualism still, — a dualism of minds and their ideas. 
Berkeley then set to work to show how much better 
his theory would explain the problems of knowledge. 
♦' Berkeley sought to humanize science." He set the 
spirit free by relieving it of the falsities of the old 
dualistic assumption, but the usefulness of his abridg- 
ment lay in its solution not of metaphysical, but of 
epistemological problems. 

1. Berkeley's theory may be summed up in his own 
abbreviated statement of it, — Esse est perc ipi (to be 
is to be perceived). Or it may be stated in that figura- 
tive and oft-quoted paragraph, " Some truths there are 
so near and obvio us to the mind t hat a man need only 
open hi s eyes to see them . Such I take this important 
one to be, viz., that all the choir of heaven and the fur- 
niture of the earth, in a word all those bodies which 

* Read Hibben, The Philosophy of the Enlightenment, 
chap. iii. 


compose the mighty frame of the world, have not any 
subsistence without a mind — that their being is to be 
perceived or known." Or we may state Berkeley's posi- 
tion in the terms of a modern interpreter * of him : *■'■ AH 
objects are mentally di scerned; all objects are men- 
tally" constituted. " Berkeley means that the existence 
and character of all objects are within the confines of 
consciousness, and the re are no objects outside of co n- 
s ciousnes s. As sense j)erceptions they ha ve_£fiality ; as 
memories they lose their warmth and distinctness; but 
they are not objects at all when neither perceived nor 
remembered. These objects are always colored by the 
sense-perception. They are received through the con- 
sciousness, and constituted by theconsciousress. Minds 
an d their ideas a^ <? nil t^'^^ PYJat, 

2. Berkeley does not try to prove the existence of 
the mind or soul, nor does he attempt to show that we 
perceive the soul. But in the spirit of the Enlightenment 
he hardly questions its reality. He takes its existence 
for granted, and like the philosophers of the period he 
makes a direct appeal to consciousness. " I know J am 
conscio us of my own be ing." Like Locke and Descartes 
he alleges the direct intuition of the self. In the Prin- 
ciples he speaks of " a notion of our own minds or 
spirits." Sin ce the ideas are copies of other ijj eas, there 
ca n be no idea of the so ul ; but the " notion is like the 
spirit that knows it." We have therefore direct know- 
ledg e or notion of ourselves m knowm g our ideas ; we 
have direct knowledge of something superior to the 
ideas, an activity whose reality consists not in being 
perceived, but in perceiving. Indeed, he made the as- 
sertion in his Commonplace Book, which he began in 

1 Hibben, Phil, of Enlightenment, p. 64. 


college, that nothing properly does exist but conscious 
persons. All other things are not so much existences as 
signs of the existences of persons. One is absolutely- 
certain of what one means by "I." 

3. Spiritual substances are sufficient and adequate 
to explain all ideas. There is no difficulty in expl ain- 
in g the images of our own minds, for our min ds con- 
t rol them . But what explains the existence of our per- 
cepts over which we have no control ? What substantial 
support have they if we remove the " material hypothe- 
sis " ? Suppose I grant that I exist and have control of 
my imaginative ideas, and that other minds exist and 
have control of their imaginative ideas, how then, I ask 
Berkeley, am I to explain the great world of percep- 
tions over which neither I nor other men have control ? 

Berkeley's general psychological position must be sum- 
marized here in order to answer this important question. 
It is as follows : (1) All things are nothing more than 
perceptions. (2) All ideas, both perceptions and images, 
are passive, and must be caused by something in itself 
active. (3) Souls are active and the cause of ideas. The 
question then is. What soul is the cause of our percep- 
tions? Perceptions are ideas, are passive, but they are 
the ideas o f whom ? Re pudiate the material sub stance, 
and w hat is the cause of perceptio ns ? 

Perceptions are not originated by me ; they cannot be 
self -originated, because they are passive and not active ; 
they cannot be originated by a material substance, be- 
cause it does not exist. Their origin must be sought in 
the infinite spirit, or God. If you will examine the ideas 
which constitute what we call nature objects, you will 
observe these significant characteristics about them, to 
which attention has already been called. They have, as 


we have said, a strength, liveliness, distinctness, and 
orderliness that distinguish them from imaginations. 
They are God speaking to us in His orderly w ay. Na- 
ture objects are the language of God. The regularity 
and dependability of the world of nature reveal the char- 
acter of the Being whose language the world of nature 
is. They reveal a Being who is intelligent, infinite, om- 
nip o,tent, a nd benevolent. ^The re gularity of the cha ng- 
ing seasons, thejconstancy ofthe heavenly bodies to 
their or bits, the provision of the earth for man — all 
the laws of nature are the language of an orderly Being. 

Now we see the importance of Berkeley's deviation 
from Locke in his (Berkeley's) conception of all ideas 
as passive. All ideas being passive, there must be a 
cause of them. The only active causes are spirits. I am 
the cause or perceiver of my own imaginations. I per- 
ceive another's movements and know that another person 
or spirit must be the cause. When nature speaks in its 
invariable and purposive harmony, I know that an in- 
finite spirit is the cause. We are indeed living in a 
society of spirits, who speak to one another in their own 

The doctrine of Berkeley strikes beginners and people 
who temperamentally cannot understand it, as absurd. 
The reduction of the trees, sky, etc., to ideas is a theory 
that has brought down all kinds of ridicule upon it. 
When Dr. Johnson heard of it, he is said to have stamped 
his foot upon the ground, and thereby refuted it. Byron 
is quoted as saying, " If there is no matter, and Berkeley 
has proved it, it is no matter what he said." Others 
have asked if we eat and drink ideas and are clothed 
with ideas. But Berkeley never doubted the existence 
of material objects, and the point of his theory is missed 


if we think that he did. What he denied is the exist- 
ence of an unknown substance, matt er, behind external 
objects . " The table i write on exists, that is, I see and 
feel it ; and if I were out of my study I should say it 
existed, meaning thereby that if I were in my study I 
might perceive it or that some other person does per- 
ceive it." 

Another question has been asked of Berkeley wliich 
goes deeper. If to be is to be perceived, what existence 
has a tree in the forest that no one has ever perceived. 
What existence ^ave past events that are forgo tten? 
Berkeley has considered this objection and has answered 
it. When he says that existence depends upon per- 
ception, he does not mean merely my own perception. 
Berkeley is not what in philosophy is called a solipsist 
(^solus and ipse)^ i. e. one who believes that nothing 
exists but himself and his modifications. A thing m ay 
hav e existence in the mind of some one else . If the 
thing has never been perceived by any human being, it 
is perceived, if the thing exists, Jpy the mind of God . 
The modern scientist assumes the existence of matter in 
the whole universe. Berkeley assumes the existence of a 
perceiving God. One is the materialistic and the other 
the religious explanation of the universe. 

The Life and Writings of David Hume * (1711-1776). 
Hume's life bears some marks of external resemblance 
to Berkeley's. After periods of training that differed 
very greatly in point of discipline, but were almost the 
same in point of time, both produced, at about the age 
of twenty-five, their most important philosophical works. 

* Read Rand, Modern Classical Philosophers, pp. 326- 
342 ; Eucken, Problem of Human Life, pp. 420-422 ; Win- 
delband, Hist, of Phil, pp. 472-476. 


Both turned from philosophy to other pursuits — 
Berkeley to missionary work at the age of thirty-six, 
and Hume to politics at the age of forty-one. There 
the resemblance between the two men ceases ; for they 
were antipodal by nature, and animated by different 
purposes. The enthusiastic nature of Berkeley is in 
marked contrast with the unimpassioned natiu-e of the 
Scot. Hume was unimaginative to the last. He was 
unimpressed by the legends of the border where he 
lived ; he had no love for nature and no appreciation 
of art. " While Hume's intellect was imperial, his sym- 
pathies were provincial." Berkeley's sympathies were 
imperial and his intellect was in their service. Hume 
was a man of kindly disposition and of moderate temper, 
yet he was vain, and interested above everything else 
in his own reputation. No object seemed worth while 
to him, unless it made for the improvement of his tal- 
ents in literature. The failure of the Treatise was a 
blow from which he never recovered. Always afterward 
he had an eye to popularity, and this is important in 
making up our judgment about him. All his works after 
the Treatise were written to please his readers and for 
personal success. Locke the Englishman, Berkeley the 
Irishman, and Hume the Scotchman came from the 
same middle class of society, had university training, 
were engaged in public service, and are to be classed in 
the same empirical school of philosophy. But they were 
personally very different kinds of men, and were types, 
although perhaps not representatives, of their nation- 

1. Period of Training (1711-1734). Hume was 
born in Edinburgh and lived there and at Ninewells on 
the border. He was a student at Edinburgh University 


(1723-1726) and studied law the next year. He was 
in business in Bristol in 1734. In aU the occupations 
of this period he was unhappy. 

2. Period of Philosopher (1734-1752). From 
1734 to 1737 Hume was in retirement in France, 
especially at La Fleche, where he wrote his Treatise 
on Human Nature. He returned to Edinburgh in 
1737 and pubhshed his Treatise (1739-1740). It was 
read by nobody and was an absolute failure. So he re- 
wrote Book I in 1748 and called it the Enquiry con- 
cerning Human Understanding. Hume's full statement 
of his theory of knowledge is contained in the Treatise 
and not in the Enquiry. He rewrote Book III in 1751 
and called it the Enquiry concerning Princijjles of 
Morals, " of all my writings, incomparably the best," 
and in 1757 he published Book II as an Essay on 
the Passions in Four Dissertations. He became ac- 
quainted with Adam Smith in 1740 ; he published 
Essays, Moral and Political, in 1741-1742, and was 
a tutor in 1745, because he needed money. In 1746— 
1748 he became secretary in the English military em- 
bassy to Vienna. In 1751, the same year that he was 
recasting the third book of the Treatise, he wrote his 
Dialogues concerning Natural Peligion, which was 
not published until 1779. His autobiography was also 
published posthumously. 

3. Period of Politician (1752-1776). In 1752 
Hume published his Political Discourses, " the only 
work of mine that was successful on its first pub- 
lication." In 1754-1761, while Librarian at Edin- 
burgh, he wrote and published his History of England. 
This woi'k was the first serious attempt since the lievo- 
lution to give an impartial account of the earlier strug-- 


gles against the Stuarts. Through it he at last got great 
fame, and fortune followed in its wake. In 1757 came 
his restatement of Book II of the Treatise. In 1763- 
1765 Hume was secretary of the English Embassy at 
Paris, and he was made much of by French society. 
The thought of the French Enlightenment had advanced 
far enough to entertain him and his doctrines. Hume 
met Kousseau at this time. Later Hume was visited 
by Rousseau in England and was badly treated by the 
eccentric Frenchman. He says that Rousseau sins at 
the foundation. Hume was appointed Under Secretary 
of State in 1766 ; he returned to Edinburgh in 1769, 
and died in 1776. 

Influences upon the Thought of Hume. The writ- 
ings of Hume show no erudition, and for that reason 
it is uncertain what were all the sources from which he 
drew. He does not mention Descartes, for example, 
although he wrote his Treatise at La Fleche in the 
shadow of the school where Descartes was educated. It 
is probable, however, that Hume was influenc ed at least 
by the G reek philosophers of the Hellenic-Roman Pe- 
ri od, and by Locke. During the years after Hume's stu- 
dent life at the university, he pored over the writings 
of the Roman Stoics in the library at Ninewells, and 
he felt the influence of Cicero, Seneca, and Plutarch. 
Hume read extensively, and he reacted from his reading. 
He became so dissatisfied with the past that he put it 
aside, in the belief that the true phi losop hy had not 
yet , been wr itten. In this reaction from the past he 
was influenced along the lines of Locke and Berke- 
ley. He admired the_advancg.jLliat.-EfirkelayJjad made 
ove r Lock e, and naturally took a further step in the 
same direction. Hume was also acquainted with the 


writings of Hobbes and with the history of the English 
theories of morals. 

In 1740 he became acquainted with Adam Smith, 
the political economist, and Hume's Political Discourses 
(1752) anticipated Smith's classic Wealth of Nations. 
At this time (1762) he turned with all other English- 
men from the discussion of philosophical to political 
topics. There are many points of resemblance between 
Smith and Hume, especially in their ethical doctrine. 

Dogmatism, Phenomenalism, and Skepticism. 
Hume liked to speak of himself as a skeptic, but philo- 
sophically speaking he was skeptical only of the dogmatic 
R ationalism of th^ "Rpnaisi^nnp.p, which had made un- 
limited claims for the human reason. Hume maintained 
in the spirit of the Enlightenment that^he human mind 
deals with ideas and not with reality. Human know- 
ledge has therefore its limits. More consistently than 
Locke or any one else in the Enlightenment, he tried 
to show the limits and extent of human knowledge. 

Pur e skepticism is the denial that there is any such 
th ing as tr uth ; pure dogmatism would be the deductive 
explanation of all problems from a set of infallible prin- 
ciples. It would be hard to find an absolutely true ex- 
ample of skepticism or dogmatism, for generally phi- 
losophical theories are a mixture of dogmatism and 
skepticism. Pyrrho is often given as an example of the 
pure skeptic, but Pyrrho, like all other Greeks, never 
for a moment doubted the existence of an external, ma- 
terial object (vol. i, chapter xii). Spinoza is a fairly 
good example of a pure dogmatist, but he developed his 
Ethics by means of interpolated principles not in his 
original assumptions. A thorough-going skeptic would 
have to be a modern — not a Greek — who would deny 


that truth can be known and that things exist. This was 
not Hume's contention. He a ffirmed the validity CL) of 
mathe matical re asoning (2) and of matter s of fact, and 
r3')^th e probabil ity of the natural sciances. Hume may 
correctly be called a. phenomenalist, a positivist, or an 
agnostic. So far as he maintained that there are some 
things which the reason cannot know, he is an agnostic. 
In his affirmation that we can know ideas and only 
id eas, he is a positi vist. In his affirmation t hat id eas are 
the only existences, he is a ph enomenalist. Are external 
objects the cause of sensations? Expei-ience is dumb. 
Have external objects an existence? Experience is 
dumb. Are souls the substance of our thoughts ? Expe- \ 
rience is dumb. But mathematics has truth, experience j 
is beyond question, and the workings of nature are J 

We shall find Hume to be the keenest critical mind 
of this critical period of the Enlightenment. He is pro- 
foundly serious in his examination of the roots of the 
intellectual life. He is past-master in the art of raising 
questions. He not only shows that the fundamental 
theoretical problems are still unsolved, but he also calls 
to account the hitherto untested assumptions of practi- 
cal life. But this is criticism, positivism, phenomenalism, 
or agnosticism, and not skepticism. He speaks of his 
doctrine as like that of the Middle Academy, in contrast 
with that of Pyrrho. He says that excessive skepticism 
upsets activity, employment, and common occupations. 
The conclusions of the intellect never agree with our 
natural instincts. Every time positive skepticism ap- 
pears, nature destroys it. 

Hume's conclusion as to the practical attitude of the 
positivist toward life can best be stated in his own words 


(Treatise^ Book I, Conclusion) : " Shall we then estab- 
lish it for a general maxim, that no refined or elaborate 
reasoning is ever to be received? If we embrace this 
principle, we run into the most manifest absurdities. 
If we reject it in favor of those reasonings, we subvert 
entirely the human understanding. Wejiavei. therefore, 
n o choice left, but b etwf^t^n a- fals e reason and none at 
all. Most fortunately it happens that since reason is 
incapable of dispelling these clouds, nature suffices to 
that pui'pose, and cures me of this philosophical melan- 
choly. I dine, I play a game of backgammon, I converse, 
and am merry with my friends. — No : If I must be a 
fool, as all who reason or believe anything certainly are, 
my follies shall at least be natural and agreeable. In all 
the incidents of life we ought still to preserve our skep- 
ticism. Where reason is lively and mixes itself with 
some propensity it ought to be assented to." 

The Origin of Ideas. Locke did not proceed to the 
construction of his theory of knowledge until he had 
disclaimed at length his belief in the existence of in- 
nate ideas. Berkeley went further and made his polemic 
against the existence of all abstract ideas. Hume went 
still further and denied t hat any ideas existed ex cept 
thos£ _derived from im pression s. Locke's attack upon 
innate ideas was an attack upon unverified tradition ; 
Berkeley's attack upon abstract ideas was an attack 
upon materialism ; Hume mad e a general attack u pon 
rat ionalism . The psychology of Hume is thus made 
simple. It is a cancellation of the factors incompatible 
with strict empiricism — the factors which he found 
in Locke and Berkeley. Hume's empirical psychology 
is simply this : every idea Is the image or copy of an 



What is an impression? Impressions are of two 
classes : (1) sensations or outer impressions ; (2) feel- 
ings or emotions or inner impressions. Impressions are 
never mistaken, because they always have a very lively 
and vivid character. What is an idea ? It is the copy 
of an impression. An idea should never be mistaken for 
an impression, because it is fainter and more feeble than 
the impression of which it is the copy. For example, 
the sensation of yellow is more vigorous than the thought 
of yeUow ; the feeling of anger more vivid than the 
thought of anger. Impressions are simple and elemental. 
Can we go back of them and find their origin ? We can- 
not. We receive impressions ; echoes of impressions 
linger as ideas ; ideas may be compounded with other 
ideas. Hume deals in his criticism mostly with the com- 
pounding or combining of ideas, but this is the sum and 
substance of his psychological analysis of our mental 
life. The following table will help us. 

(= mental 

Sensations or outer impres- 
Impressions J sions 

(= original) Feelings or inner impres- 
L sions 
Memories or an exact re- 
production of an impres- 
sion or of a combination of 
Ideas impressions 

(= derived) Imagination or a combina- 
tion, separation, and trans- 
position of impressions ac- 
cording to the imagina- 
tion's own laws. 

It should be noted, however, that the above classes 
are not coordinate according to Hume. Impressions are 


prior to ideas, and of the impressions the feelings or 
inner impressions are " posterior to the sensations and 
derived from them." Hume is a sensationalist, for the 
most original of the impressions are sensations. 

The Association of Ideas. Since nothing can enter 
the mind except through the two portals of outer and 
inner impressions, every idea in the mind is the copy 
of one or several impressions. How then can there be 
any such thing as error ? Error arises from the under- 
standing and imagination in their manipulation of the 
impressions — from the faculties of the mind combin- 
ing, separating, and transposing the mipressions and 
their memories. An idea resulting from such transposi- 
tion may and often is referred to an impression different 
from the one of which it is the copy. 

What does Hume mean by the faculties and powers 
of the mind ? He does not mean that the mind with 
its functions exists as a reality, since all that exist 
are impressions and the copies of impressions or ideas. 
Hume means by mental faculties and powers the va- 
rious modes by which ideas combine. Hume makes no 
distinction between memory, imagination, judgment, 
conception, etc., except (1) as different groupings of 
ideas and (2) as accompanied by different feelings. 
The whole mental life and the faculties of the mental 
life are nothing hut an association of ideas. Isolated 
ideas are explained as copies of isolated impressions ; 
and from these ideas are derived groups of ideas which 
we call trains of thought. Why do ideas group them- 
selves together ? The only answer is that it is the na- 
ture of ideas. Hume frequently speaks of these associa- 
tive relations as "the manner of conceiving ideas." He 
also says that there is a " gentle force " or " determina- 


tion " of the ideas to relate themselves with other ideas. 
Given the impressions and their relations, and Hume 
will explain the whole knowing process. Associative 
relations take an important place in Hume's theory, 
but some critics say that they are interlopers ; that he 
has introduced them by a back door ; that they are not 
mentioned in his psychological inventory. 

But to Hume there is nothing mysterious about the 
association of ideas. They are combined, transposed, 
augmented, and d iminislied~according to fixed rules un- 
der mechanical laws. Their relationship takes place with- 
out freedom. Impressions occur in the way they happen 
to occur. Ideas combine in the way they happen to com- 
bine. Relations between ideas are accidental and ex- 
ternal. There is only one quality of ideas that does not 
depend on its accidental relation to other ideas. This is 
the quality of non-contradiction. This is the necessary 
property of an impression. An impression must be what 
it is, and cannot be conceived as having properties con- 
trary to its own nature. The quality of identity in an 
impression is intrinsic and necessary. 

According to Hume, there are three fundamental 
ways in which ideas associate, called the three laws of 
association. (1) There is the law of resemhlance or 
contrast, by which the occurrence of a thing calls up 
a similar thing or its opposite. Mathematics is based 
upon this law of the resemblance, the contrariety, and 
the quantitative relations of ideas. (2) There is the 
law of contiguity in time and space, by which things 
happening together in time and space are recalled to- 
gether. Upon this law are based the descriptive and ex- 
perimental sciences. (3) There is the law of causation, 
upon which religion and the metaphysics of the world of 



nature are based. The question with Hume is, How is 
he to explain all these laws of association as derived from 
impressions ? If they cannot be derived from impres- 
sions, then his theory that all knowledge is derived 
from impressions goes to the wall. The Rationalists and 
even his predecessors, Locke and Berkeley, had con- 
ceived mathematical propositions and causation as un- 
derived and in the nature of things. If Hume is to es- 
tablish his doctrine of complete sensational empiricism, 
here is his test. 

These associations, and not isolated impressions, are 
the objects of human interest, inquiry, and investiga- 
tion. Hume makes a further reduction of associations 
by his well-known classification of them as either *' re- 
lations of ideas " or " matters of fact." Associations of 
contiguity and associations of causation are " matters 
of fact," while associations of resemblance are " rela- 
tions of ideas." Furthermore, Hume looks upon asso- 
ciations of contiguity as those of outer impressions, asso- 
ciations of resemblance as those of inner impressions, 
while associations of causation are not what they are 
alleged to be, but are derived from some inner impres- 

f 1- 

Objects of 

Matters of 


2. Causation 
association ^ 

Relations j 3, Resemblance 
of Ideas ( association 







The Association of Contiguity. This is the most ele- 
mentary of the three classes of association, and concerns 
the spatial and temporal order in which impressions 

1 Causal events are to Hume merely alleged matters of fact. 


come to us. Two impressions come at the same time or 
in succession, and when one of them is remembered, 
the other is likely to be remembered also. We see a 
man and hear his name ; when we remember the man's 
face, we may remember his name also. Hume main- 
tains that this association of succession or coexistence 
is given with the impressions themselves. It is the order 
of the outer impressions. We perceive the order of the 
outer impressions with the same certainty that we per- 
ceive the contents of the impressions. This is the only 
certainty we have about '''•matters of fact^^ — a cer- 
tainty of the exact order of our immediate outer im- 
pressions. We know the order in which our impressions 
do occur, but, as we shall see, when we argue from this 
that our impressions must recur in the same order we 
are involved in a fallacy. Any order may recur. The fact 
that the sun rises in the east to-day does not make cer- 
tain that it will rise in the east to-morrow. It is only a 
matter of probability, however many times repeated. 
There is no certain science of " matters of fact." 

The Association of Resemblance. This is a clear 
and distinct association which is given with the impres- 
sions. When we have an impression, we see intuitively 
its similarity or difference to other impressions, and the 
degrees of likeness and unlikeness. The face of one man 
reminds us of another man, or we contrast it with a 
brute's face. This association concerns only inner im- 
pressions, while the association of contiguity concerns 
outer impressions. This has to do with the " relation of 
ideas," while the association of contiguity has to do with 
"matters of fact." 

I. Mathematics. But there is this difference be- 
tween the association of resemblance and that of con- 


tiguity — upon resemblance is founded a demonstrative 
science. This is mathematics — the sole demonstrative 
science. The subject-matter of mathematics consists of 
the possible relations between the contents of our ideas 
— the possible relations between our inner impressions. 
These relations are intuitively known by us, and out of 
them we get a science of complete certainty. We make 
a comparison between the magnitudes in the contents 
of ideas, and we analyze their regularity. This is mathe- 
matics, and it is a perfectly legitimate science. Because 
it confines itself to the relations between ideas, and has 
nothing to do with "matters of fact," it can be a de- 
monstrative science. All mathematical knowledge is 
restricted to the study and verification of ideas, and 
has therefore nothing to do with the external world. 

2. The Conception of Substance: Hume's Attack 
on Theology. But the association of resemblance has 
been made the basis of a common illusion. It has been 
made to transcend its proper sphere of a relationship 
among inner impressions ; and resemblance between 
ideas has been taken by people generally to mean meta- 
physical identity or substance. It has been transformed 
from a relationship between ideas to a relationship 
between " matters of fact." Now substance is evi- 
dently not an association given with the impressions, 
like their temporal and spatial order in the asso- 
ciation of contiguity, nor is it mere impression of re- 
semblance. Substance is the conception of an un- 
known, indescribable something back of impressions. 
There is the conception of the material substance or 
matter, and the spiritual substance or the soul. How 
did such illusory conceptions arise? If Hume rejects 
them as matters of real knowledge, he must neverthe- 


less explain their psychological origin. The illusory 
idea of substance originates from the similarity of the 
frequent conjoining of certain impressions. The impres- 
sions — sweet, rough, white, etc. — occur together so 
often that the imagination creates the conception of 
the substance of sugar behind them. This arises not 
from the first experience, but after the association of 
impressions has been observed a large number of times. 
From the frequent association of ideas arises the feeling 
of their necessary coexistence. Thus do we come to have 
the idea of a material substance. 

Hume, evidently follows Berkeley in his criticism of 
material substance. But Berkeley went only halfway. 
Berkeley had found that bodies were only conjunctions 
of sensations, and he had rejected as meaningless the 
unknown substance behind them. He did not see that 
the same attack could be made upon spiritual sub- 
stances. Berkeley's argument against the substance of 
the cherry could be used against the Ego or the Soul. 
Have I the impression of my Ego? Can I touch it or 
see it? The simple test shows that I know nothing 
about it, and I cannot affirm whether or not it exists. 
But if the conception of the Soul has no reality as an 
object of knowledge, how can it be psychologically ex- 
plained ? How does it arise in the mind ? The idea of 
the Soul is due to the frequent reappearance of the 
same trains of thought in my mind. Their similarity 
gives rise to the feeling that a metaphysical identity, or 
Soul, exists behind them. 

The Association of Causation: Hume's Attack on 
Science. Among the many traditional conceptions upon 
which Hume turned his critical examination, that of 
causation occupies the most of his attention. He dis- 


cusses it both in the Treatise and in the Enquiry. He 
is the first philosopher since Aristotle to give it compre- 
hensive treatment. He saw that all philosophical, theo- 
logical, and indeed scientific knowledge rests upon this 
conception of causation. It was accepted without ques- 
tion by the Scholastics of the Middle Ages, the Ration- 
alists of the Renaissance, and the scientists of his own 
time. If the conception is valid, Hume's criticism goes 
for naught ; for " by means of that relation we can go 
beyond the evidence of our memory and senses." In 
that case what becomes of Hume's psychological analy- 
sis that all knowledge consists of impressions and ideas? 
And if Hume's psychology falls, all his criticism of the 
spiritual and the material substance falls also. Upon 
the validity of the concept of cause depend many of 
the scholastic arguments for the existence of God, whose 
existence we can demonstrate although He is not an 
object of sense impression. Imagination can then go on 
unrestricted ; for God is accepted not only as cause, but 
as first or uncaused cause. Descartes, Leibnitz, and even 
Berkeley and Locke had accepted the causal argument 
for the existence of God, although the latter two had 
pretended to restrict knowledge to sense-perceptions 
and ideas. Again, the causal concept has been the 
foundation for the belief in a functioning soul behind 
the mental and physical activities of a human being; 
and on the same causal concept man has argued from 
sensations to their material substrate. All this is un- 
warranted and unrestricted knowledge because it " goes 
beyond the memory and senses." Not only theology, 
but science itself has gone " beyoncTThe memory and 
senses. ^.TTume dares to doiibt the certainly of the 
causal principle even in scientific knowledge. Is there 


any necessary connection among events so that with 
certainty we can predict the occurrence of one event 
if another is given ? Is there in nature and history any 
causal law so binding that every event is a necessary 
result of what has gone before and a necessary cause 
of what will come ? The question of cause is, therefore, 
paramount with Hiune. If he is successful in impeach- 
ing cause as he has been in the case of substance, scien- 
tific theory must fall with theological dogma. 

In his review of the conceptions of time and space 
(association by contiguity), Hume had found succes- 
sion to be a quality of impressions and to be given with 
them. But that is aU that can be said — the relation is 
one of time order, but not a relation that is necessary. 
The outer impressions happen to occur thus and thus ; 
they need not have occurred thus, and may never occur 
in this order again. This temporal order is not by any 
means a causal order. The idea of cause is that of 
power transferi-ed, but we have no impression of power. 
Impressions come as sequences, not as consequences 
or as powers. Sequences of impressions are the only 
" matters of fact " ; consequences are not " matters of 
fact." They must, therefore, be only " relations between 
ideas " and have no objective reality. From Hume's 
point of view this is sufficient to show that cause is not 
valid and real. 

To deny that we have the concept of cause would, 
however, be nonsense. We do have the concept, and 
how is its psychological origin to be explained ? How 
does the idea arise? It does not originate (1) as an 
a priori concept, i. e. by an analysis of ideas, nor (2) 
as an outer impression, t. e. a sensation, nor (3) as 
memory, since memories are images of impressions. The 


idea of cause originates from an inner impression — a 
strong and lively feeling connected with the imagina- 
tion. But how does it happen that the feeling is so 
strong that it makes us believe the idea, with which it 
is connected, is a reality ? The feeling does not arise 
from a single instance of conjunction of two impres- 
sions, but from the conjunction of two ideas repeated 
many times. The hellefin cause is a feeling originating 
in the constant coiijunction of impressions. This ex- 
plains why the ideas that fire wiU burn, that poison will 
kill, that water will wet — are so lively. The conjunc- 
tion occurs many times, and an inner necessity or com- 
pulsion arises to imagine the second impression after 
the first. Given the first idea, we learn to expect the 
second. Repetition produces nothing new in objects, 
but it produces in the mind a new feeling to pass from 
one idea to the idea usually attending it. Necessity ex- 
ists in the mind and not in the objects. 

The Extent and Limits of Human Knowledge. 
What remnants of knowledge remain after Hume has 
applied his destructive criticism ? His critics would an- 
swer that, if Hume had been consistent, no knowledge 
whatever would remain. Upon the basis of pure posi- 
tivism, that all knowledge is composed of impressions 
and their copies, knowledge is an impossibility. But 
he introduced an additional element, " relations," that 
made knowledge possible because it afforded synthesis 
and allowed distinctions. 

Taking Hume's doctrine as it stands, his results are 
these. There are two classes of sciences, the formal and 
the empirical. The formal includes logic and mathe- 
matics, and consists of knowledge of relations between 
ideas. Such knowledge has certainty and validity. Em- 


pirical sciences consist in knowledge of matters of fact. 
Such knowledge never amounts to more than probability. 
There is no certainty or demonstration in natural sci- 
ence. Its results call forth not conviction, bnt belief. 
Beyond these subjects we have no knowledge whatever. 
Metaphysics and theology are only fictions. Beyond im- 
pressions and the copies of impressions we can make no 
assertions. The tendency of thought to trench beyond 
its own territory is the cause of all our metaphysical 
difficulties. It tries to do what it was not intended to 
do, and the result is abstract ideas. Eeason and the 
relation of resemblance give us the erroneous idea of 
spiritual and material substance ; imagination and the 
relation of cause give the erroneous idea of the funda- 
mental principle of nature. 

Hume's Theory of Religion and Ethics. Hume is 
so true an empiricist to the end that he is a remarkable 
exception among the philosophers of the Enlightenment. 
He alone among philosophers shows the historical sense 
in the application of his positivism to religion and mor- 
als. In general the Enlightenment took no account of 
the past ; in this Hume differs from his contemporaries. 

Hume was the destroyer of deism because he ad' 
vanced historical evidence against deism. Deism had 
three principles : that religion is the object of scientific 
investigation ; that religion had its origin in the reason : 
and that " natural religion " is the oldest form. Hume 
agreed to the first proposition, but he revealed his his- 
torical instinct by showing that religion did not originate 
in the reason, but in the feelings ; and that not " natural 
religion," but idolatry, etc., is the oldest form. Further- 
more, he stood almost alone among philosophers of the 
period in building ethics upon the feelings rather than 


upon the intellect. The ethical motives of man are pleas- 
ure and pain, and not an idea of the reason. Hume's his- 
toric sense led him to this conclusion. 

Both morals and religion should be empirically inves- 
tigated. As in science, so in them the most cogent con- 
clusions are only probable and not intuitive. Our moral 
activities are under the same kind of law of cause that 
exists in the world of nature-phenomena. The will is 
determined by the feelings, and the reason is the slave 
of the passions. Our moral judgment is based on the 
feeling of sympathy (Adam Smith). It is practically 
probable that there is a purpose in the world and there- 
fore a God. But this cannot be established. On the 
same principle of probability the world may have grown 
up mechanically or by chance. Religion is naturally 
reasonable enough, but its doctrines cannot be proved. 

The Scottish School. This school represents in Great 
Britain the reaction from the sensualism of the Enlight- 
enment. The Scottish School was the British reply to 
Hume, just as Kant was the German reply. They were 
the late eighteenth century reactions in two countries to 
the Enlightenment. The teaching of Kant was, however, 
also the beginning of a new movement and a new period. 
The Scottish School has no such importance. 

Thomas Reid (1710-1796) was the founder. Reid ad- 
mitted that Berkeley and Hume drew legitimate conclu- 
sions from Locke's general assumption that the objects of 
thought are not things, but ideas. Therefore Reid main- 
tained that Locke's position must be given up. Still 
empiricism remains tenable and must be applied to the 
phenomena of mind. What are the data of conscious- 
ness? Not individual ideas, as Locke said, but complex 
ideas or judgments. The elements will be discovered 


later by analysis of these complex states which are first 
given. The mind is not a blank piece of paper upon 
which simple characters are first inscribed, and then 
later the understanding introduced to form judgments 
and the reflection to add belief in the existence of ob- 
jects. Our knowledge starts rather from judgments, which 
involve certain original truths or "natural judgments." 
Mankind possesses the faculty of " common sense," and 
this faculty makes these truths a common possession. 
Among the principles that " common sense " includes 
are self-consciousness, the reality of objects perceived, 
and the principle of cause. 

The Scottish School called attention to the impor- 
tance of self-observation. The members of the school 
made their attack upon sensualism from the point of 
empirical psychology. Philosophy became in their hands 
the perfecting of psychology as a science of inner ob- 
servation. Thus they were in accord with the school 
of the Enlightenment, although opposed to its sensual- 
istic outcome. The prominent members of the school 
were Reid, Dugald Stewart, Brown, and Sir William 



The Situation in France in the Enlightenment. 
The historian of the French Enlightenment has to take 
account of the reign of two kings ; that of Louis XIV 
(1643-1715) ; and that of Louis XV (1715-1774). 
Together they cover the long period of one hundred 
and thirty-one years. The reign of Louis XV marks the 
actual development of the Enlightenment, while that 
of Louis XIV contains the causes. The long reign of 
seventy-two years of Louis XIV had been an absolute, 
arbitrary, and personal government. It had been an age 
unsurpassed in literature and eloquence, but also an 
age in which all those subjects that did not redound to 
the glory of the church were suppressed. It had been 
the age of Moliere, Corneille, Racine, La Fontaine, and 
Fenelon ; an age when art was encouraged, but also 
an age in which political and philosophical originality 
would not presume to breathe. Between Descartes' 
death in 1650 and the death of Louis XIV in 1715, 
one finds a single philosopher, Pierre Bayle, and he had 
to leave France. The Newtonian physics was not ac- 
cepted in France until 1732 — forty-five years after its 
publication in England. Upon the death of Louis XIV 
the artistic glories of his reign lost all their value for 
the nation. In their place was set the problem of the 
material misery of the nation, which had been caused 

* Read Eucken, Problem of Human Life, pp. 415-420. 


by the long wars and the extravagance of paternal gov- 

The reign of Louis XV seethes with the struggle of 
social forces. It is a period in which the individual is 
striving to gain his rights under the institutions that 
have so long repressed him. The development of the 
French Enlightenment is identical with the struggle 
for political liberty. In no other period of history — 
except perhaps the Age of Pericles — is the history of 
philosophic thought so intimately connected with politi- 
cal history. The fifty-nine years of the reign of Louis 
XV are filled with exciting events which interest both 
the philosopher and the historian. The French Enlight- 
enment is the " reaction against that protective and 
interfering spirit which reached its zenith under Louis 
XIV." With Louis XV the magnificence and the util- 
ity of ecclesiastical and political absolutism could not 
be maintained. For the hierarchy of the church was 
unable longer to keep up its claim of independence and 
morality; and the State was rapidly exhausting its 
power by exhausting its financial resources. Each event 
in the history of France in the eighteenth century had 
therefore two aspects — each led to the Revolution, and 
each was a step in the development of the Enlighten- 
ment of the individual. The pioneers in the movement 
could not have been conscious of the end to which their 
criticism would lead ; but to us looking back upon the 
century the result seems inevitable. A comparison with 
the situation in England is interesting. While in Eng- 
land the political and ecclesiastical institutions were so 
elastic that they could without disintegrating absorb the 
movement of the Enlightenment, and while they were so 
little bound to traditional institutions t>at the growth 


in individualism would be constitutional, the situation in 
France was exactly opposite. (1) In France the church 
and the political institutions had become inelastic bodies 
under Louis XIV. They had reached the limit of their 
development. So deeply rooted in absolutism and spe- 
cial privileges were they that they were not open to in- 
novation or reform. During the reign of Louis XV 
the only question was, which would be crushed — the 
new individualism or the old institutions. No compro- 
mise was possible. The institutions, having survived 
their usefulness, gave way. (2) In the next place the 
French church and state had for many years been iden- 
tified with oppression and tyranny, while the English 
people had within a century gained many needed re- 
forms by beheading one king and forcing out another. 
Consequently the English government of the eighteenth 
century was identified with tlie liberty of the individual. 
In England political and religious speculation followed 
and did not precede political reforms. In France the op- 
posite was true. To the mind of the French people the 
church represented only superstition, and the state only 
profligacy and tyranny. The more they seemed to sup- 
port each other in one social structure, the more rapid, 
virulent, and excessive would naturally be the reaction 
against both when once individualism got a footing. 

The result was that while in England the Enlighten- 
ment always remained critical and negative, in France 
it became an obstinate and positive dogmatism. Behind 
French criticism was developing a philosophical creed. 
The French Enlightenment was a social cause and a 
self-sustaining idea. The French philosophers of the 
eighteenth century, on the whole, were not superior men 
intellectually, for they were inclined to make the small 


look large and the large great. But although their per- 
spective was inaccurate, they had an enthusiastic faith 
in progress and humanity. 

The English Influence in France. Louis XIV and 
his two predecessors had made Paris the intellectual 
centre of Europe, and up to 1690 it had no rival. The 
French language had taken its place beside the Latin 
as the language of science. The circle of scientists ex- 
isting just before and at the beginning of Louis XIV's 
reign had its equal nowhere in Europe. We remem- 
ber how Hobbes found Euclid in Paris, Locke spent 
four years at or near Paris, Leibnitz gained there aU 
his mathematical erudition and training. During the 
seventeenth century Paris was the centre of scholastic 
influence, and this is seen directly or indirectly in the 
writings of all seventeenth century philosophers. The 
English had taken their cue from the French ; but on 
the other hand, it is doubtful if as late as the death of 
Louis there were a half dozen Frenchmen that knew 
the English language. 

About the time of the publication of Locke's Essay 
the intellectual centre of gravity began to move from 
Paris to London. The founding of the Royal Society 
in Oxford in 1660 was the beginning of the organiza- 
tion of British scientific influence. Newton's physics 
(1687) then began to supplant the Cartesian physics, 
and Locke's psychological doctrines the dogmatism of 
the Rationalists, among the thinkers of western Europe. 
Newtonian physics and English empiricism became the 
scientific watchwords of the eighteenth century ; and 
although the French were late in accepting them, it is 
said that at the end of the Enlightenment there was no 
cultured Frenchman who could not read English. We 


find that such notable Frenchmen as Voltaire, Montes- 
quieu, Buffon, Brissot, Helvetius, Gournay, Jussieu, 
Lafayette, Maupertuis, Mirabeau, Koland, and Kous- 
seau visited England during the period from the death 
of Louis XIV to the Revolution. Poets, mathematicians, 
historians, naturalists, philologists, philosophers, and 
essayists all agreed to the necessity of studying the 
language and people on whom their fathers had not 
deigned to waste thought except in contempt. 

But perhaps the j)olitical motive was quite as strong 
as the scientific in turning the French of the eighteenth 
century toward England, The English government was 
the example of political liberty of that time. The rising 
inquisitive thinkers of France had no alternative but to 
turn to free England for spiritual support against their 
own decrepit tyranny. The first French visitors were 
amazed at English prosperity, even though the crown 
had decreased in power — amazed at the liberty of the 
press and Parliament, amazed at the control of the re- 
venues by the representative body. England thus became 
the school for all the thinkers of Europe, and through 
her literature taught the lesson of political liberty first 
to France, and then to all Europe. 

The Two Periods of the French Enlightenment. The 
eighteenth century divides itself in France much the 
same as it does in England. There are two periods : 
the first extending to the middle of the century, when 
the Enlightenment of the individual is thought to lie in 
intellectual cultivation ; the second, when his salvation 
becomes social and practical. The first period is domi- 
nated by Voltaire, and advanced by Montesquieu and 
the Encyclopsedists ; the second is dominated by Rous- 
seau, and results in the Revolution. 


The two periods have a common fundamental motive, 
although the means used are radically different. Both 
represent a gradual progression toward the elevation of 
the individual in his reaction against the institutions of 
the seventeenth century. But the first was an intellectual 
Enlightenment and all that this means, while the sec- 
ond was emotional and social. The first was aristocratic, 
while the second was democratic. Yet the whole move- 
ment was a gradual filtering of the doctrine of individ- 
ualism from the upper to the lower classes. It naturally 
took the form, first, of intellectual culture, and then of 
an appeal to spontaneity. The intellectual theories of 
the first period were bound to find practical expression 
in the second. In the first period the champions of the 
ancient monarchy were forced to defend it on their op- 
ponents' own ground — that of rationality. In the sec- 
ond period, the monarchists had to change their battle- 
ground and make some practical reforms. In the first, 
the attack was made principally on the church, in the 
second on society. While the attack on the state began 
early, it attained significance not until the middle of the 

The Intellectual Enlightenment (1729-1762). Vol- 
taire, Montesquieu, and the Encyclopaedists. The first 
representatives of the French Enlightenment were Vol- 
taire and Montesquieu. Voltaire went to England in 
1726, and Montesquieu in 1728, and they both returned 
to France in 1729. Voltaire published his Letters on 
the English in 1734 and his Elements of the Philosophy 
of Newton in 1738.^ Montesquieu had published a fierce 

^ Voltaire's Letters on the English were written in 1728, published first 
in London, and appeared in France in 1734. His Elements of the Philo- 
sophy of Newton was published in Amsterdam in 1738, but was not allowed 
to be publifihed in France until 1741. 


invective against the political institutions of France in 
1721, a discussion of the decadence of the Romans in 
1734, and his famous Spirit of the Laws in 1748, selling 
twenty-two editions in eighteen months. Voltaire intro- 
duced and espoused the religious theory of Locke in 
deistic form, and Montesquieu expounded Locke's theory 
of government. Their writings were widely read by the 
upper classes, and this theoretical revolutionary move- 
ment against all existing institutions got momentum 
about 1735. 

The aim of this movement was entirely aristocratic. 
The solution of the existing predicament in France lay 
for them in the greater care of the masses by an en- 
lightened tyranny. The dualism of the classes was always 
assumed. The few are to be cultured ; for them reason 
is to take the place of dogma. The masses are not amen- 
able to reason, have no capacity for education, and for 
them religion suffices. To free the individual from terror 
of the supernatural, to release his morality from Jesu- 
itical dominance, to give him intellectual independence 
of state and church — this was the working idea of the 
intellectual Enlightenment. Thought should be free, 
and the conscience of the individual should be untram- 
meled, because the reason is a sufficient guide. Being 
thus rationalistic, the movement was aristocratic. A 
new aristocracy should be substituted for the old — an 
aristocracy of the cultured instead of the corrupt and 
ignorant, who were then the dominant French classes in 
church and state. The illuniinati should participate in 
the existing political privileges. 

Voltaire (1694-1778).* Voltaire was a deist when 
he went to England, and he was therefore very much 

* Read Ueberweg, Hist, of Phil., vol. ii, pp. 124-125. 


impressed by the prevalent English deism. Among 
the English deists, Bolingbroke had the greatest influ- 
ence over him, and he was the " direct progenitor of 
Voltaire's religious opinions." Bolingbroke's light and 
supercilious infidelity of the man of the world was 
suited to Voltaire. A universal genius, Voltaire wrote on 
every subject ; but " not one of his books but bears marks 
of his sojourn in England." He read with familiar- 
ity all the English philosophers, — Hobbes, Berkeley, 
Cudworth, Locke ; but always returning to Locke. 
" Harassed, wearied, ashamed of having sought so many 
truths and found so many chimeras, I returned like a 
prodigal son to his father and threw myself into the 
arms of that modest man who never pretends to know 
what he does not know ; who in truth has no enormous 
possessions, but whose substance is well assured." 

In his Philosophical Letters Voltaire makes invidi- 
ous comparisons between Locke's Empiricism and Des- 
cartes' Rationalism, between English Deism and French 
Catholicism, and between the English government and 
the French government. Toward Christianity, as he 
saw it in his own country, his hatred amounted to fa- 
naticism. His strictures were so scathing that Chris- 
tians have looked upon him as an atheist. He was, 
however, a deist, who believed that, while we can know 
God's existence, we cannot know his nature. He was 
fond of bringing all dogma under criticism, and " while 
he denied nothing, he cast suspicion upon everything." 
He called himself the " ignorant philosopher." To him 
atheism was preferable to dogma and superstition. His 
passion for invective against the French clergy was so 
great that his constructive statements about God and 
immortality were cold and impersonal. 


The Encyclopaedists.* In modern times the French 
have been unequaled in their encyclopaedias and dic- 
tionaries. The famous Encydopedie or Dictionnaire 
Ralsonne was what its name imphes. It was published 
in seventeen volumes during the years from 1751 to 
1766, and had an addition of eleven volumes of plates 
(1766-1772). Thirty thousand copies were printed in 
the first instance, and in 1774 it was translated into 
four foreign languages. The moving spirit and editor- 
in-chief was Diderot (1713-1784) and his chief as- 
sistant d'Alembert. They were assisted by many not- 
able French writers like Voltaire, Rousseau, Grimm, 
von Holbach, etc., who wrote separate articles. There 
was a host of unsolicited contributors. Two years be- 
fore the Encyclopcedia, Buffon had begun to publish 
his Natural History in forty-three volumes, the last 
volume appearing in 1789. The Encydojocedia had 
two predecessors, — Bacon's chapter on Experimental 
History and Chambers's Encydopmdia. The articles in 
the Encydopcedia were presumably scientific explana- 
tions alphabetically arranged, such as would appear in 
any work of the sort. Frequently they were disguised 
attacks upon existing French institutions. Often a 
detailed description, as on the subject " Taxes " or 
" God," would reveal existing French conditions. As 
Comte says, " The Encydopmdia furnished a rallying 
ground for the most divergent efforts without any sacri- 
fice of essential independence, and made a mass of in- 
coherent speculation appear like a coherent system." 
The two successive periods of the movement of the 
Enlightenment unite in the Encydopcedia against the 
common enemy of authority. 

* Read Morley, Diderot, vol. i, ch. v, pp. 113-171. 


There are two things to be noticed in connection 
v,-ith the Encyclopedia : the men who wrote it went 
much further toward individualism and skepticism than 
did Voltaire ; and the Encyclopcedia reached a wider 
circle and different classes than did the works of Voltaire. 
Instead of the deism of Voltaire we find contributions 
from skeptics, atheists, and materialists, — men who 
are becoming more negative in their opinions as the 
century advances. The thorough-going agnosticism of 
the Encyclopjedist group reached a point where it 
ceased to be a philosophy, Diderot had said that the 
first step in philosophy is unbelief, and his associates 
went so far as to think that unbelief is all of philo- 
sophy. Their extreme sensationalism, naturalism, and 
materialism sometimes appeared in disguised form in 
the Encyclopaedia^ but more often in independent writ- 
ings. The Encyclopcedia became the source of inform- 
ation for everybody. It spread information among all 
classes and undermined their reverence for French in- 
stitutions. The result was that what had been sacred 
to the court and the laborer because it was traditional, 
now became the object of scorn to all. 

The most profound of the sensationalists of this time 
was Condillac (1715-1780),* who does not, however, 
appear to be connected with the Encyclopcedia. He pub- 
lished his Treatise on Sensations in 1754, which reduced 
Locke's psychological analysis to a pure sensationalism. 
The well-known figurative statue endowed only with 
the sense of smell was conceived by him. He introduced 
Locke's psychology into France, whence it was carried 
into Germany. 

* Read Rand, Modem Classical Philosophers, pp. 347- 


The Social Enlightenment (1762-1789). The second 
period of the French Enlightenment begins with the 
publication of Rousseau's Contrat Social in 1762 and 
culminates in the Revolution. The influence of Rousseau 
dominates the second period as that of Voltaire domi- 
nated the first. Voltaire had never aimed at a social 
revolution. His objective point was to reinstate the un- 
derstanding, to emancipate the individual by self -culture 
and by freedom of thought. He was not historian enough 
to see that he could not revolutionize intellectual France 
without pulling down the social structure. He did not 
realize that in striking at the tyranny of the church he 
was dealing a fatal blow at the structure of French so- 
ciety. The literary fencing between Voltaire and the 
adroit churchmen might have been amusing, had the issue 
not been so serious. But although superficial and vain, 
Voltaire was downright in earnest. At one time it seemed 
as if the intellectual Enlightenment would work itself out 
in the church. But the causes of the revolt were too 
deeply social, the malady against which Voltaire was aim- 
ing was too vital ; and besides, at that moment attention 
was being directed to the character of the State itself. 

Rousseau (1712—1778).* Rousseau began at the 
point where Voltaire left off. He was under the influ- 
ence of Voltaire at the first and received from Vol- 
taire his original productive impulse. But the concrete 
right of individuals, and not their abstract intellectual 
freedom, was what appealed to Rousseau. Strict mod- 
eration and literary freedom were too negative, half- 
hearted, for a reformer of Rousseau's type. Public 
opinion was not to be found in Versailles, as Voltaire 
thought, but in the streets of Paris. The Revolution 

* Read Eucken, Problem of Human Life, pp. 423—433. 


then came to a head, and we find the schools of Voltaire 
and Rousseau locking horns. Voltaire's theory of modera- 
tion was represented in the Constituent Assembly and 
the ujjper and middle classes, while Rousseau's radical- 
ism was introduced in the Convention and fully ex- 
pounded in the sections of the Commune of Paris which 
attacked the Convention. History shows how impossi- 
ble the aim of each school was, and how the contest had 
to be fought over again in the nineteenth century. 

Rousseau lived a wandering and adventurous life, 
full of hallucinations and self -created trouble. He made 
many friends, only to quarrel with them. He was half 
insane, and his career inspires both disgust and admir- 
ation. His numerous works fill twenty-two volumes, the 
most important ones being two prize essays published 
in 1750 and 1773, which represent the negative side 
of his doctrine ; Helo'ise^ 1761 ; Emile^ 1762 ; Le Con- 
trat Social, 1762; and his Confessions, which contain 
his constructive thought. 

Rousseau was at first a contributor to the Encyclo- 
pcedia, but at heart he cared nothing for the diffusion 
of knowledge and art. He did not understand the com- 
prehensive intellectual ambition of Diderot ; he resented 
the utilitarianism of Helvetius and the materialism of 
Holbach. When he wrote his prize essay in 1750, he 
suddenly perceived how absurd the intellectual Enlight- 
enment was amid the distressing social state of France. 
He turned against both the existing order and the 
would-be intellectual reformers. The temporal order of 
things was to him awry. Study, knowledge, and culti- 
vation were to him only a gloss over the deep-lying 
degradation. Society, as it is constructed, is artificial, 
and all organization is a tyranny. God exists, and He 


18 good. Man was good until civilization and art invaded 
his simplicity, corrupted his virtues, and transformed 
him into a suffering and a sinful being. Rousseau's call 
was that of anarchism. It was a condemnation of the 
entire past. Sweep all the so-called civilization away, and 
level inequalities. Go back to nature ; and in the sim- 
plicity of that idyllic state let children grow up undi- 
rected except by their own un corrupted instinct, — that 
" immortal and celestial voice." 

In an age tired of oppression and corruption Rous- 
seau struck a sympathetic chord which made the intel- 
lectual Enlightenment sound false. His contemporaries 
did not inquire into the motives of the mean lunatic. 
They did not then see that he was a doctrinaire hold- 
ing up an unpractical ideal in contrast with their present 
state. He alone in all France was the one to appeal to 
man's self-respect. He alone appealed to the only mo- 
tives that wiU result in action, — the human emotions. 
His plea was for every Frenchman, and his words for 
the unfortunate were given with such eloquence that 
the fortunate were compelled to listen. They were a ma- 
jestic language of wide compassion and sympathy. He 
saw in the French monarchy the greatest misery for the 
greatest number, and no one of its supporters appeared 
to the people so generous and true as he. His influence 
not only upon his own time but upon the nineteenth 
century was extraordinary, and some have said that he 
is the greatest modern. At all events he sounded the 
keynote of our own civilization, especially in art, litera- 
ture, and education; for he showed the fundamental 
correlation between Nature and the passions. Rousseau 
taught a sentimental deism, in which sentiment is the 
essential part. 


The Revolution was the natural consummation of the 
Enliohtenment in France. The immediate issues out of 
which it grew were the practical ones of finance, legisla- 
tion, economics, and policy. The growth in the physical 
sciences (beginning 1760), in the study of political 
science, in the theory of government, as well as the 
financial distress of the French government, the success 
of the American Revolution, the advance of the French 
middle class to a position of power, the foolish and half- 
hearted measures of the French statesmen — all these 
were factors that at the end brought on the crisis. Yet^ 
the words of Rousseau, falling on fruitful soil, were the 
real cause. In the years immediately preceding the 
Revolution there was a world-wide agitation, an enthu- 
siasm for nature, an exaltation of man, and a contempt 
for the age and for the society then existing. There was 
a vague presentiment of impending change, which most 
people were prepared to welcome. Thinkers were full 
of illusions. Even such despots as Frederick the Great, 
Catherine of Russia, and Joseph of Austria affected a 
radicalism, and Spain, Portugal, and Tuscany, as well 
as England, France, and Germany, were moved with 
great humanitarian sentiments. The debate was univer- 
sal as to the condition of the human race. Rousseau was 
the eloquent expression of this world-wide movement. 

The German Enlightenment (1740-1781). As the 
Enlightenment in France, so the Enlightenment in 
Germany had its introductory period. The history of 
Germany from the end of the Thirty Years' War (1648) 
to the publication of Kant's Critique (1781), or 133 
years, is divided into two periods at the year 1740, 
when Frederick the Great was crowned. The period 
from 1740 to 1781, or forty-one years, is the German 


Enlightenment. The period from 1648 to 1740, or 
ninety-two years, is introductory to the Enlightenment, 
and, as in France, a period of absolutism. 

The Introductory Period (1648-1740). Absolutism. 
The spirit of absolutism, both politically and intel- 
lectually, dominated Germany from the end of the 
Thirty Years' War (1648) to the crowning of Fred- 
erick the Great (1740). Absolutism dominated Ger- 
many and France a full one hundred years. There are 
some differences between the two countries, however. 
It began and ended in Germany about thirty-five years 
later than in France. Again, in France it grew in 
splendor from the efforts of Richelieu and Louis XIII 
(1610) to the great protective idea of Louis XIV, who 
for seventy-two years ruled as absolute political and 
intellectual dictator. In Germany, on the other hand, it 
was a spectre hovering over a disintegrating and decay- 
ing nation once known as the Holy Roman Empire, but 
since the Thirty Years' War only a collection of states 
under a nominal central government. The idea of ab- 
solutism prevailed none the less, for within the several 
states each monarch was dictator as to the religious, in- 
tellectual, and political opinions of his subjects. 

Politically and socially the Holy Roman Empire was 
in striking contrast to the power and splendor of con- 
temporaneous France. The Thirty Years' War had left 
the empire absolutely desolate. The land was impov- 
erished, the nation disrupted, and the population re- 
duced from seventeen millions before the war to five 
millions after the war. The war had been a generation 
long and it had degraded the nation. It had settled 
nothing. It left the people poor and the princes abso- 
lute within their respective states. The upper classes 


everywhere, except at Weimar, had become profligate. 
The universities were reduced to a position below what 
they were in the Renaissance. The prince of each state 
established the religion for his state, so that practi- 
cally no religious liberty had been gained. Lutherans, 
Calviiiists, and Catholics were exhausted, but wei'e still 
antagonistic. There was no moral activity among the 
Orthodox ; often they set their own immorality up to 
prove the absolutism of their respective dogma. The 
war left Germany politically prostrate and intellectu- 
ally stagnant. 

In the years that follow the Thirty Years' War it is 
possible to detect movements that are the beginnings 
of the Enlightenment. It is an important point that 
Germany was resuscitated from sources that lay within 
her own civilization. The French Enlightenment and 
the intellectual freedom of modern France were due 
largely to the influence of foreign ideas from England. 
The seeds of the German intellectual revival were de- 
veloped on her own soil. Those beginnings are (1) the 
rise of Prussia ; (2) the early German literature ; (3) 
the Pietistic movement; (4) the transformation of 
Leibnitz's rationalism. 

1. The rise of the little electorate of Brandenburg 
to the powerful kingdom of Prussia in 1740 was the 
political basis of the Enlightenment that followed. 
No state had suffered more during the Thirty Years' 
War. The entire population was reduced to less than 
a million, and Berlin, the capital, had only three hun- 
dred citizens. The government was as harshly absolute 
as elsewhere. The rights of the citizens were entirely 
taken away by the three princes who ruled over Prussia 
between 1648 and 1740. But a powerful kingdom 


was built up, with a strong and patriotic army. It ex- 
tended its dominions and was a refuge for Protest- 
ants, who fled to it in large numbers. It came to be 
feared by all the German states, and in the latter part 
of this period it had to be reckoned with in the coun- 
cils of Europe. Itself an absolutism, it was the vigor- 
ous political body that alone could destroy the tradi- 
tional absolutism of the Hapsburgs and the Holy Roman 
Empire. Puffendorf declared that the old Empire with 
its feeble sovereignties was a monster. It was a mon- 
ster spectre — a stubborn political idea that hovered 
over Europe. Frederick the Great's mission in the next 
period was to destroy it. 

2. The meagre German literature of this early pe- 
riod was also an important factor in the development 
of the Enlightenment. Poor, indeed, it was. Never was 
German literary production so low. Before the war 
the Germans had taken Greek as their model ; after 
the war they copied the language, manners, and meth- 
ods of the French of Louis XIV. The early literature 
was ruled in the same spirit of absolutism by Opitz un- 
til 1700, and after him by Gottsched, esjjecially in the 
years from 1730 to 1740. It was for only a small frac- 
tion of the people, and was in the interests of the de- 
praved aristocrats of the courts. Such pedantic abso- 
lutism was the basis of the reaction in the next period 
of the literary Enlightenment, which proved the redemp- 
tion of Germany. 

3. The Pietistic movement was the third factor that 
went to make up the German Enlightenment. It was 
a positive expression of religious individualism, similar 
in its position to the Prussian state in its independent 
growth in politics. It was a religious movement outside 


the church. Its two leaders were Spener (1635-1705) 
and Francke (1663-1727). The movement entered 
Germany from the Netherlands ; and the members 
were devout and holy men consecrated to good deeds. 
The Pietists were not heroic figures like the early Lu- 
therans, but they stood for what Luther had in his 
early period taught. They opposed ecclesiastical formal- 
ism, and they proclaimed the need of personal regen- 
eration and of the universal priesthood. They stood for 
religious freedom. They made no onslaught upon the 
church, but they were content with saving individuals. 
Pietism united at first with Rationalism — of which we 
shall next speak — against orthodoxy, but when the 
two had won their victory they quarreled. Although 
the Pietistic movement later became itself conventional, 
it furnished the ground for the religious freedom of the 
Enlightenment. During these hundred years of German 
religious absolutism, the Pietists represent the moral 
activity among religious bodies. 

4 The chief source of the Enlightenment was the 
philosophy of Leibnitz. In turning back to the life of 
this distinguished German the reader will remember 
that he was the " first scientist in two hundred years," 
and that he was the Rationalist who presaged the 
Enlightenment. Leibnitz was born in 1646, just two 
years before the war closed, and he died in 1716, one 
year after the death of Louis XIV. He lived during 
those unfruitful years after the war and before the 
Enlightenment ; and his philosophy stands out promi- 
nently from the low plane of the intellectual activity of 
that time. In 1686 he completed the construction of his 
philosophy by introducing the conception of the indi- 
vidual as a dynamic centre. 


Many German philosophers, about the time of Leib- 
nitz, had later tried to free philosophy from its tech- 
nical difficulties and make it readable for the people as 
the French Encyclopaedia was for the French people. 
Among these were Tschirnhausen (1651-1708), Men- 
delssohn (1729-1786), and Tetens (1736-1805), but 
the German Enlightenment for many reasons did not 
come about like the French in the popularizing of phi- 
losophy. The philosophy of Leibnitz did reach the peo- 
ple directly, but the people were stirred through the 
medium of literature rather than of philosophy. Leib- 
nitz's philosophy became the dominant thought only in 
the universities and academic circles, and remained so 
until the publication of Kant's Critique in 1781. The 
HaUe professor, Wolff (1679-1754), developed and 
transformed it, not to its advantage, into an absolutism, 
and under the name of the Leibnitz- Wolffian philosophy 
it was the canon for the German schools. Once estab- 
lished in the universities it remained unchanged there 
even by the invasion of French thought that penetrated 
other German circles. Even Voltaire's residence at the 
court at Berlin (1750) had no influence upon the Leib- 
nitz- Wolffian philosophy of the Berlin Academy. The 
dogmatic absolutism of this philosophy remained impreg- 
nable in academic circles and was the last to be dislodged 
— and then only by a German. There was little progress 
among these Rationalists, once their doctrine had been 
cast, except in incorporating in an eclectic fashion the 
doctrine of others. 

Wolff systematized the unordered and desultory doc- 
trines of Leibnitz for the purpose of teaching them log- 
ically. This was in 1706, when by the aid of Leibnitz 


he obtained the professorship of mathematics at Halle. 
He met with instant success. The rationalism of his doc- 
trine is seen from the title of many of his works, which 
are Reasonable Thoughts on God^ Reasonahle Thoughts 
on the Powers of the Human Understanding, etc. He 
lectured at Halle until 1723, when he was expelled by 
the theological influence. His return to Halle in 1740 
was coincident with the crowning of Frederick the Great 
and the beginning of the German Enlightenment. We 
can note a few general aspects of his teaching. He em. 
ployed the German language in his lectures, following 
Thomasius, who was the first to do it. Leibnitz had writ- 
ten in letters and treatises for the few, and had used 
either Latin or French. Wolff expanded Leibnitz's doc- 
trine, broadly and superficially, for a larger public, in 
the German tongue. He systematized Leibnitz's teach- 
ing, and thereby could disseminate it. But in doing this 
he so toned down Leibnitz's leading ideas that they lost 
all their peculiar force. For instance, he taught that 
only the human mind has the power of representation ; 
and again, that preestablished harmony applies only to 
the relation of the soul and body of the human monad. 
In general, he so extended the Leibnitz principle of suf- 
ficient reason that it applied to all departments, and was 
reduced to the principle of identity. The world is a huge 
mechanism designed for divine ends. Rationality is as- 
sumed to be everywhere, and knowledge of its existence 
is to be obtained only by deduction from evident prin- 
ciples. The result was that the philosophy of Leibnitz 
was reduced to a commonplace and empty rationalism 
— a purely deductive affair. Wolff undertook to demon- 
strate everything, and to make intelligible what is above 
reason. The Wolffian philosophy was a reversion to 


mediaeval scholasticism, since it solved all problems by- 
proof through the cogency of mathematical and logical 
processes. Truth is a matter of definition and classifica- 
tion. Thus Wolff prodjiced a philosophy that was pe- 
dantic and formal, clear but shallow. It was Leibnitzian 
with Leibnitz omitted ; it was a thorough-going dogma- 
tism, because no problem was difficult to it ; it was a 
rationalism, because to it all truth is the deliverance of 
the reason and none is derived from experience. 

The Wolffian Rationalism became a factor in the 
German Enlightenment on the one hand by combining 
with Pietism, and on the other through its translation 
into the new German literature. In itself the Wolffian 
Rationalism was a dogmatism that merely supplanted 
the dogmatic scholasticism of Melanchthon and Luther. 
It lost its absolutism in its combination with Pietism, 
and became a personal and individualistic religion. It 
also lost its absolutism and became more like the philo- 
sophy of Leibnitz through its translation into the liter- 
ary writings of Lessing and Herder ; and thus was 
subordinated to an incident in individual culture. 

Summary of the Literary Enlightenment of Ger- 
many (1740-1781). The German Enlightenment was 
thus made possible by the political growth of Prussia, 
by the development of a meagre literature, by the rise 
of Pietism, and by the Wolffian interpretation of Leib- 
nitz's philosophy. All these were important features of 
the century following tlie Thirty Years' War. The year 
1740 is the beginning of the German Enlightenment. 
It marks the crowning of Frederick the Great, the de- 
cline of the influence of Gottsched in literature, and 
Wolff's return to Halle. The arrival of Voltaire in Ber- 
lin (1750) is an important factor in the rise of the 


German Enlightenment. The spirit of the Enlighten- 
ment was at its height twenty years later (1760), con- 
temporaneous with the Seven Years' War (1756-1763) 
and with the publication by Lessing in 1759 of his Let- 
ters concerning the most Modern Literature. In these 
Letters Lessing gave the death-blow to Gottschedism, 
and established the Enlightenment on a firm basis. 
This was followed by the Storm and Stress movement 
(1773-1787), which brought the Enlightenment proper 
to an end. 

1730-1750 Period of Experimentation — Gottsched, 
the Swiss, the Anacreonticists, etc. 

1740 The Enlightenment inaugurated — the crown- 
ing of Frederick the Great, the decline of Gottsched- 
ism, the return of Wolff to Halle. 

1750 The coming of Voltaire to Berlin. 

1751-1780 Lessing and the Enlightenment. 

1773-1787 Storm and Stress Period. — The En- 
lightenment proper at an end.^ 

1787-1805 Classicism. (SchiUer d. 1805). 

1795-1850 (approximately) The Romantic Move- 

1850- The Realistic Movement. 

The Political Enlightenment of Germany — Fred- 
erick the Great. Political changes preceded and did not 
follow philosophical theories in the German Enlighten- 
ment. Germany was therefore like England and unlike 
France in this respect. The coming of Frederick to the 
throne of the now powerful Prussia, the reforms that 
he inaugurated, the religious toleration that he granted, 
his recall of Wolff to Ilalle, his avowed support of in- 

^ In a real sense the German Enlightenment has never come to an 
end. Classicism and the Romantic movement were a continuation of it. 


tellectual things, and especially the Seven Years' War 
(1756-1763) were the political groundwork that made 
possible the Enlightenment in Germany. Frederick 
himself is the great figure in the German Enlighten- 
ment, just as Voltaire is in the French. Frederick ac- 
complished in concrete acts for political Europe what 
Voltaire accomplished for ecclesiastical Europe. Vol- 
taire destroyed the ecclesiastical absolutism of the spir- 
itual power, while Frederick destroyed the absolutism 
so long connected with the name of the Holy Roman 
Empire and the House of Hapsburg. Before he died, 
he had freed the German states from the dominance of 
Austria, and had given to the Empire its death-blow. 
In the Seven Years' War he had given to modern Eu- 
rope an example of a new political ideal in an autocrat 
who professed to be the servant of the State. His whole 
thought was upon the advancement of his State. He set 
up the principle of the equality of his subjects before 
the law, and the principle of religious and philosophical 
liberty. In his external struggles with Austria and in 
the internal construction of his kingdom Frederick is 
the protest of the Enlightenment against the arbitrary 
despotism of political Europe. The example of Fred- 
erick was an inspiration to all Germany. Kant calls the 
eighteenth century the Age of Frederick the Great. 
Frederick had made his subjects feel that they were 
Prussians, or, as Goethe puts it, " Fritzche " (Fritz's 
men) ; that the great foe of the German people was 
the German Empire as personified by the Austrians 
and Saxons. When he had conducted to a successful 
issue a deadly war of seven years single handed against 
the combined force of more than half of Europe, — 
Austria, Russia, and France, all representing political 


absolutism, — he inspired patriotism not only in his 
own subjects, but in the people of many other German 
states. Reforms were undertaken in Bavaria, Baden, 
Saxony, Brunswick, etc., and by Catherine of Russia 
and Joseph of Austria. 

Furthermore, Frederick himself was personally en- 
lightened ; he looked upon himself as the greatest 
among those of enlightened intellects. He had become 
denationalized by his early training. His father was 
fond of what was German, his mother of what was 
English, and he himself of what was French. He had 
studied Bayle, read French philosophy, and become 
acquainted with the rationalism of Wolff and the em- 
piricism of Locke. He was at one time an atheist and 
materialist ; but deism was his natural attitude of mind, 
for he emphasized morality above speculation. Con- 
ceiving himself, as the most enlightened, to be the 
great servant of the State, he undertook the enlighten- 
ment of his people. All Prussia must be enlightened 
by him, and therefore no restrictive institutions, such 
as guilds and corporations, could be permitted. The 
best man should rule, and he was the best man. Since 
the people are incapable of looking after themselves, 
they must be compelled under his benevolent autocracy 
to be enlightened, rational, and happy. 

The Course of the German Enlightenment. Why 
did not the movement become as in France a polit- 
ical revolution? There are three reasons why it did 
not: (1) the reforms that the German princes adopted 
were wise ; (2) Germany was composed of segregated 
states in which concerted action was difficult ; (3) a 
new intellectual and aesthetic current was begun by 
Lessing, of whom we shall speak. There is no doubt 


that the Enlightenment in Germany pointed to the 
same result as in France. From 1760 to 1780 it looked 
as if Germany as well as France would witness a tre- 
mendous social upheaval. From 1773 to 1787, Ger- 
many was stirred by the Storm and Stress movement. 
Frederick himself had pointed to the English parlia- 
mentary government as the " model for our days." The 
most of the German thinkers were at heart republicans, 
— Klopstock, Schiller, Kant. Every man in Germany 
became a little Frederick, and tried to enlighten those 
who were inferior to him. The movement extended to 
the schoolroom. Secret societies were formed of kindred 
enlightened souls to enlighten the world. The most im- 
portant of these societies was the Illuminati. The aim 
of these was to free men from national and civil ties, 
from pedantry, intolerance, political and theological 
slavery. The human heart is the basis of society, and 
the only worthy object of study. The Illuminati included 
even princes among its members. It was established in 
1776 and prohibited in 1786. There was a distinctive 
Storm and Stress literature. This was set in motion by 
Rousseau's Helo'ise and Eniile, which were widely read 
in Germany. Writers glorified the individual, called men 
back to primitive and uncorrupted nature, denounced 
civilization, and for twenty years it almost seemed as if 
the German Enlightenment had turned from the intel- 
lectual achievements of Lessing, and would follow the 
sentimental appeal of Rousseau. Herder was particularly 
prominent in this movement, also Goethe and Schiller 
in their early writings. 

Of the three factors that saved Germany from a po- 
litical revolution, perhaps the most potent was the new, 
fresh, literary ideas of Lessing. If Frederick is the 


originator of the German Enlightenment, Lessing is 
the savior of it. The Enlightenment in England stopped 
with the phenomenalism of Hume, in France with the 
Kevolution, but in Germany it has in a sense continued 
even to the present day. The classic period of Goethe 
and Schiller, the modern scientific achievements of the 
Germans, have their perpetual source in Lessing. He 
not only gave the death-blow to the pedantic absolutism 
of the intellectual past, but he set the movement upon 
a permanent intellectual basis, upon which it has stood 
against the assaults of sentimentalism for a hundred 
and fifty years. 

Lessing. G. E. Lessing (1729-1781) was not only 
a sound scholar, but a polished man of the social world. 
He was a writer of epigrams, fables, and comedies, a 
dramatic and literary critic, a translator and essay- 
ist, a student of philosophy and ecclesiastical history, 
and a writer upon art. His Nathan the Wise is, after 
Goethe's Faust, the greatest literary production of Ger- 
man thought. With him German literature begins. He 
rejected the French models accepted by Gottsched ; he 
introduced Shakespeare to the Germans ; and he sur- 
passed all his contemporaries in literary and artistic 
reform, social enlightenment, and religious emancipa- 
tion. Lessing and Winckelmann were the first to spread 
a love for the past by a critical study of it. Lessing 
was not a violent iconoclast like Voltaire, but a dis- 
criminating critic. He said that if Leibnitz had wished 
for an interpreter, he would not have chosen Wolff. 
The new literary writers, Lessing and Herder, in their 
insistence upon subjectivity and intuition, rather than 
Wolff, were the true interpreters of Leibnitz. Lessing 
differed from the Enlightenment in his conception of 


the present in its continuity with the past. Herder, too, 
was interested in development. Lessing pointed to the 
perfect models in the past ; Herder to the origins of 
things. Both believed in an immanent God and the 
harmony of the universe. At this time the problems 
in aesthetics came to light, and with them the creation 
of " world literature," which drew from all historical 
thought — from antiquity, the Renaissance, and the 
Enlightenment. The Pietists, the Wolffians, and the 
literary writers agreed in taking the subjective point 
for their view of life. Thus Leibnitz appears through 
Lessing as a motive power in the German Enlighten- 
ment. Lessing's doctrine of individuality so transcended 
that of the Storm and Stress Period that he was not 
understood by it. His enlightened individual suppresses 
his individuality. But his principles were so funda- 
mental that the Storm and Stress Period proved to be 
only an interruption, and the German Enlightenment 
was perpetuated. He thus projected himself beyond the 
eighteenth century by the instruments of that century. 



The Convergence of PhUosophical Influences in 
Germany. The intellectual thoroughfare from the past 
into our modern times does not pass in the eighteenth 
century through England, nor yet through France, but 
by way of Germany. Traditional France ended with the 
French political revolution, while the English empir- 
ical movement proved its own inconsistency in the phe- 
nomenalism of Hume. In Germany alone, at the close 
of the eighteenth century, there was a renewed and 
brilliant intellectual life. In its creative productions it 
has been compared by the Germans to the Systematic 
Period of Greek thought (from the death of Socrates 
to that of Aristotle). Both periods appeared when the 
political fortunes of the respective countries were at 
their lowest ebb. 

There were six large influences that converged upon 
this epoch, some of which we have already noted as 
beginning even as far back as the period introductory 
to the Enlightenment (1648-1740) (see pp. 217 ff.). 
Some are later in their origin or come from a foreign 
source. Let us merely enumerate them here. 

(1) Pietism, the religious influence that began with 
Spener (1635) and swept Germany in the eighteenth 
century ; (2) The sentimentalism of Rousseau ; (3) 
The empirical psychology of Locke among the younger 

* Read Windelband, Hist, of Phil, pp. 529-531. 

KANT 231 

Germans ; (4) The Rationalism of the Leibnitz- Wolffian 
philosophy, which was most powerful in academic cir- 
cles ; (5) The mathematical rigorism of the nature- 
philosophy of Newton ; (6) The new literary writers in 
their insistence upon subjectivity and intuition. 

The Three Characteristics of German Philosophy. 
German philosophy will be seen to have three charac- 
teristics. (1) It is scholastic or academic. It is the phi- 
losophy of the professors of universities. At the same 
time it must be said to be the expression of the so- 
cial genius of the German people. Napoleon testified 
to this when he said, " The English inhabit the sea, 
the French the laud, the Germans the air." (2) This 
German philosophy is mystical. It is profound rather 
than external. It is not founded upon external experi- 
ence, but upon a questioning of the inner and spiritual 
life. It is inward, religious, and spiritual, like the phi- 
losophy of Plato. One of the most accurate interpre- 
ters of Kant has pointed out the many similarities be- 
tween Kant and Plato (see Paulsen, Imrtianuel Kant). 
(3) German philosophy was nevertheless cosmic, or a 
description of the world. These men whom we are now 
to study were not ignorant of the world or of science. 
Political life offered them no attractions. The soul of 
man was regarded by them as too noble to be engrossed 
in external things. As Madame De Stael said of the 
time, " There was nothing to do save for him whose 
concern was with the universe." Men, however, took 
the inner point of view, and regarded all things with 
reference to it. The Germans tried to humanize the 
universe. They looked upon nature as working out 
unconsciously those processes which consciously took 
place in man. The contemplation of beauty is not that 


of an external world, but of the inmost nature of reality. 
Thus individuality and cosmic reality are one and the 
same. Life has a joyful outlook, not because our tasks 
are easy, but because our strength is equal to them ; 
for is not God in us ? 

The Two Periods of German Philosophy. German 
philosophy is divided into two epochs : (1) the period 
of the formation of the critical theory of knowledge by 
Kant ; (2) the period of the metaphysical development 
of Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Herbart, and Schopenhauer. 
Kant belongs both to the Enlightenment and to Ger- 
man idealism. He is the point of convergence of the 
intellectual forces that preceded him and the point of 
departure of the idealists who followed him. For this 
reason historians differ as to the period in which he is 
to be placed. In one sense he is the transition from the 
Enlightenment, in another sense he is the introduction 
of German idealism. But in reality he forms an epoch 
between the two. Although the dualism, which was al- 
ways the background of the philosophy of the Enlight- 
enment, formed too the background of his thought, al- 
though he on the other hand looked upon his Critique 
of Pure Reason as only an introduction to a meta- 
physics, which he never wrote, nevertheless he occupies 
a unique place in drawing up for his time and for the 
future a new conceptual standard by which the new 
problems might be criticised. The problem that Kant 
set before himself was epistemological and not one of 

After Kant there appeared a growth of metaphysics. 
The great German idealistic systems appeared. At 
first the Kantian theory was misunderstood, but at 
Jena, then the chief intellectual centre in Germany, 

KANT 233 

there was formed a little group of Kantians under the 
leadership of Rheinhold. Jena is near Weimar (see 
map p. 280), which was the main literary city of Ger- 
many, and the residence of Goethe. The poetry of 
Weimar and the philosophy of Jena stimulated each 
other. Schiller is a notable example of the influence of 
Kant upon the literature of the time. In philosoj^hy 
Kant was followed by the various systems of Fichte, 
Schelling, Hegel, Herbart, and Schopenhauer, which 
built a metaphysical superstructure upon the Kantian 

The Influences upon Kant. The development of 
Kant's thought was modified by influences from at least 
five different sources. 

1. Pietism. This was the earliest influence upon his 
life, and was due to his parents and to F. A. Schultze, 
the teacher of the high school of Konigsberg. It will be 
remembered that this ethical Puritanism was a moral 
reaction against the formalism of the churches in the 
period after the Thirty Years' War. Kant never lost his 
attachment for the Pietists ; and his later rigoristic 
ethical theory, as well as his own personal life, sprang 
from his early Pietistic training. Schiller wrote to 
Goethe,- " There is always something about Kant, as 
about Luther, which reminds one of the monk, who 
has indeed quitted his cloister, but who can never quite 
rid himself of its traces." 

2. The Leihnitz- Wolffian Philosophy. This influ- 
ence came during his academic training in the Univer- 
sity of Konigsberg, which he entered upon at the age 
of sixteen years. This was in 1740, the same year in 
which Frederick was crowned and Wolff was recalled 
to Halle, — the time when the Leibnitz- Wolffian philo- 


sophy was at the fullness of control of Germany. It 
must not be forgotten that this philosophy remained 
dominant in German academic circles until Kant's own 
theory supplanted it in the nineties. Kant was an 
avowed disciple of the Wolffian school for the next 
twenty years (until 1760), and he never shook off the 
Wolffian metaphysical dualism. 

3. The Physics of Newton. To his university train- 
ing Kant was indebted also for his acquaintance with 
Newton. The antagonism between the metaphysics 
of Wolff and the physics of Newton was, at least at 
the beginning of Kant's career, of decisive importance 
in his development. One of Kant's teachers at the uni- 
versity was Martin Knutzen, whose lectures included 
philosophy, mathematics, and natural science. Through 
personal intercourse with Knutzen, the young Kant 
was introduced to the Wolffian philosophy, and also to 
the Newtonian mathematics and physics. During his 
activity as a teacher Kant showed, even into his later 
period, a predilection for natural science, especially for 
physical geography and anthropology. The same year 
in which he entered upon his career as teacher in the 
University of Konigsberg (1755), he published his 
celebrated TJieory of the Heavens^ in which he antici- 
pated Laplace by forty years in the formulation of the 
nebular hypothesis. 

4. The Humanitarianism of Rousseau. Kant got 
from Rousseau a new evaluation of man. Kant had the 
advantage of a prolonged youthful development. He 
was well into his thirties when the movement, begun by 
Lessing, became a social force in Germany. A new po- 
litical consciousness appeared among the German people, 
due to the influence of Frederick the Great and to that 

KANT 235 

of the Frenchmen, Voltaire and Rousseau. Kant was 
thirty-eight (in 1762) when he read Rousseau's Emile. 
Kant had been brought up in the common teaching of 
the early part of the Enlightenment to despise the igno- 
rant masses of people. Through Rousseau he received 
in words of authority the conception of the inherent 
dignity of the individual man. Through this conception 
science and speculation came to have a new value to 
Kant. They were no longer ends in themselves, but the 
means for moral development. T he moral in its primacy 
over the intellectual- came-to-be-a permanent feature in 
Kant's doctrine. His early Pietism was confirmed, and 
Rousseau replaced Newton in his regard. 

5. The Skepticism of Hume. The influence of 
Hume's skepticism was felt by Kant just before his 
eleven years of silence, when he became engaged in 
his construction of his critical problem. But Hume in- 
fluenced Kant in a negative way. The classic and oft- 
quoted expression of Kant, that Hume awoke him from 
his " dogmatic slumber," refers to the dogmatism of the 
empirical school to which Hume belonged, and not to 
that of the rationalistic school of Wolff. To Kant_both 
empiricism and rationalism were dogmatic ; the one 
because it assumed th e vali dity of sens ations, the other 
because it assumed the ex istence of innate ide as. Thus 
Hume effected a reaction in Kant against Hume's own 
doctrine. But in thus reacting from Hume, Kant saw 
that the answer was to be found not in the rationalism 
of Wolff, but in an ideal conception of space and time. 
Hume's influence was the last before Kant firmly estab- 
lished his theory of knowledge in his Critique of Pure 

The Life and Writings of Kant (1724-1804). The 


external changes in the life of Immanuel Kant were the 
fewest possible. He was born at Konigsberg in 1724 ; 
he went to the school of that city and then to its uni- 
versity, and then acted in the capacity of tutor in fami- 
lies in the province of Konigsberg. He became privat- 
docent in the university at the age of thirty-one, and 
professor of logic and metaphysics at the age of forty- 
four. He was called to the University of Halle in 1778, 
but he refused to leave Konigsberg. In fact, Kant 
never went outside the province, and but little outside 
the city. Nevertheless, in the eighties he saw himself 
become the most imjjortant figure in Konigsberg, and 
in the nineties the most important power in German 
academic circles. In 1794 he came under the censure 
of the reactionary government of Frederick William II 
and '* was obliged to refrain in the future from all 
public addresses on religion." This was the only outer 
conflict in his life. In 1804, at the age of eighty, he 
died. The externals of his life were from the begin- 
ning to the end an undeviating routine, — his lectures, 
his daily walk, his dinner with friends, his hours of 
reflection upon his great problem. These have been 
made the subject of many descriptions.* 

The life of Kant is notable because it is the history 
of an unusual singleness of devotion to the solution of 
a speculative problem. His youthful jjoint of departure 
was the rationalism of Wolff ; his point of attainment 

* Read the quotation from Heine in E. Caivd, Phil, of 
Kant, vol. i, p. 63 ; Stirling, Textbook to Kant, Biographical 
Sketch ; Royce, Spirit of Modern Philosophy, chap, iv ; 
Whidelband, Hist, of Phil., pp. 532-534 ; Rand, Modern 
Classical Philosophers, pp. 376-405, 420-424; Eucken, 
Problem of Human Life, pp. 435-452. 

KANT 237 

was the Critique of Pure Reason. Between these two 
points his history was a series of mental reversals. Kant 
spoke of his life as divided into two parts at the year 
1770 ; his pre-critical and his critical periods. At that 
time there was a change in the form as well as the con- 
tent of his writings. His pre-critical writings possess 
a graceful, flowing style ; his critical works are heavy 
and artificial in their structure, and reveal the labor 
with which his thought tried to reconcile contending 
motifs. So far as the content of Kant's thought is con- 
cerned the pre-critical period will be seen to fall into 
two subdivisions at the year 1760. Kant's life may there- 
fore be divided into three epochs : (1) 1724-1760, the 
period when he was a Wolffian rationalist ; (2) 1760- 
1770, the period when he was an empirical skeptic ; 
(3) 1770-1804, the period when he was a critical 

In the first period he accepted the rationalism of 
Wolff, but his main interest, as shown by his writings, 
was in natural science. He was inspired by the natural 
philosophy of Newton, which, in the latter part of this 
period, led him to mistrust the metaphysics of Wolff. 
That is to say, he began to suspect that the mere logical 
operation of concepts by the " pure reason "could not be 
a statement about things in the real world. In the next 
ten years — his second period — he became convinced 
that the metaphysics of the rationali sts was impossible, 
and yet that the metaphysics of the empirical school of 
the EngU gh was equally absurd. His writings during this 
time are more strictly devoted to questions of metaphysics 
and epistemology. Then came his critical period. This 
was inaugurated by his celebrated Dissertation of 1770, 
followed by a period of eleven years of literary silence, 


a silence broken by the publication of his Critique of 
Pure Reason in 1781. Between 1781 and 1790 ap- 
peared the more mature works from Kant's pen. Among 
them were the Critique of Practical Reason (1788) and 
the Critique of Judgment (1790), formed on the model 
of the Critique of Pure Reason. Besides these, his 
minor writings were very numerous, and one notes an 
essay by him in the last year of his life. But the writ- 
ings of Kant after 1790 treat in the main of the phi- 
losophy of law and conduct, and show themselves to be 
the writings of his declining years. 

The Problem of Kant. The problem which Kant 
placed before himself was that of epistemology. Episte- 
mology is t he theory of knowledge, and Kant set to 
work to investigate the knowing process. The pecu- 
liar significance of Kant rests upon the fact that out 
of the various influences converging upon him and 
his time he matured a new conception of the problem 
and of the method of procedure of philosophy. He 
was convi nced that the problem of his time was no t one 
of metaphysical S23ecidation, although he felt the value 
of such spe culation in the regions of religio n andjnorals. 
Yet he saw that the metaphysical rationalism of Wolff 
had proved itself inadequate because it was merely the 
logical operation of concepts, and had not dealt with 
real relations. He was equally sure that the empirical 
metaphysics of the Englishmen was inadequate because 
it was never certain of any truth. Rational metaphysics 
was log ically true, but not re al ; empiric al metaph vsics 
was r eal enough, but never tru e. So Kant determined 
to find out the re lation between theologica l proce ss of 
tho ught and the reality of things . He felt that the first 
problem in his time to be faced and settled was the prob- 

KANT 239 

lem of knowledge, — the epistemological problem. He 
planned to face later tlie metaphysical problem, but he 
delayed this until too late in his old age. The problem 
of Kant can be put in the simple question, W jjat o.^ p 
w e know ? The metaphysical problem that he deferred 
was. What is rea l? Yet his problem was not nearly so 
simple as this statement would seem to make it ; for the 
epistemological problem which he set himself was com- 
plicated by the Wolffian metaphysical dualism which 
he always presujjposed. Since Kant agreed with the 
Wolffian dualism — the theory^that a great gulf sgpa- 
rat es mind and matter — his query about knowledge was 
not the simple question. What can we know ? but the 
longer question. What can we know about the external 
world ? 

The Method of Kant. There is bound up with the 
epistemological problem a new method of procedure in 
solvingf it. How shall we find out what we can know ? 
Kant calls his metho d the critj cal_methQ,d. It is not only 
a criticism in a genera l sense, in that it w eigh s carefully 
the con ditions of knowledg e. It is also criticism in the 
special sense of co nfining its elf to a restrid;,ed_field. 
Kant pointed out that^^wo methods may be employed, 
the aogmatiii and the treinscendental. He asserted that 
the dogmatic method had been employed in the past 
and had proved itself fallacious. What is the dogmatic 
method? All philosophy was dogmatic to Kant which 
sought to find out what knowledge is true by sho\v[ing 
how it originated and developed. Dogmatism is no solu- 
tion ; it is merely a psychological tracing of ideas to 
their sources. These sources will be either innate ideas, 
if we are rationalists, or sensations, if we are empiri- 
cists. The true method is the transcendental or critical 


method. What is this method? It is a study of the 
nature of the reason i tse lf. It is an examin ation of jthe 
" pu re reason " to see if its judgments have in any 
instance a universality beyond human experience, and 
yet are necessary to human experience. The logic of 
such judgments must be absolutely reliable ; and yet at 
the same time the judgments must be applicable to the 
world of things. The method being transcendental, such 
judgments are transcendental ; not because they tran- 
scend our experience, but because they are necessary to 
experience. The transcendental is not what is chronologi- 
cally but what is rationally ^rior. The transcendental is 
the i ndispensable to knowled ge. The critica l m ethod is 
the findin g of this indispensable condition . Kant would 
search the whole field of the reason for this. Since to 
Kant th inking, f e eling, a nd willin g are the fundam ental 
forms of the reason, he sought the realm of thought for 
the transcendentaT principles of knowle dge, that of the 
will for the transcendental princi ples of mor ality, that 
of feeling for the transcendental princi ples of beauty. 

The Threefold World * of Kant— Subjective States, 
Things-in-Themselves, and Phenomena. In his search 
for those indispensable conditions of knowledge of the 
external world, Kant unfolds the threefold character 
of the realm of human life. To Wolff the world had 
been twofold. In other words, Wolff had conceived the 
world as dual, in which there was a correspondence, 
part by part, of independent reality to the states of 
consciousness. To Wolff reality is independent of con- 
sciousness, and yet we are conscious of that reality. 

'The word "world"' is used for lack of a better. The reader is, 
however, again reminded that Kant's problem is one of epistemology 
aud not of metaphysics. 

KANT 241 

Now Kant never gave up entirely the Wolffian dualism, 
but he came to see that in such a situation there could 
be no knowledge. For how can we be conscious of what 
is absolutely independent of us? Consequently Kant 
plundered the Wolffian worlds of independent realities 
to build up an intermediate world, — a world of phe- 
nomena. He dissolved the sharpness of Wolff's dualism 
into a world wi th three divisip ps ] ^riA ha gave to each 
divisi on a new epistemological v alue. These were the 
realm of the subjective states or the inner conscious- 
ness of the individual, the world of phenomena or the 
realm of knowledge, and the world of absolute reality 
or that of things-in-themselves. The value of the world 
of phenomena consists in its being the realm of know- 
ledge. The other two realms have values of their own, 
which we shall describe below. 

Wolff's twofold world may be thus compared with 
Kant's threefold world : — 

Wolff. Kant. 

1. Mind. 1. Subjective states. 

2. Phenomena — the realm 
of knowledge. 

2. Matter. 3. Things-in-themselves. iM' 
1. The realm of subjective states evidently is not a 

realm of knowledge. For it is the realm of in tuition 
and imm ediate a p prehension of the indi viduals own 
ide as and sensation s ; and this is not what we mean by 
knowledge. This subjective world is that in which I 
live alone. It is a realm of which nobody else is con- 
scious, a realm which gives to me my individuali ty. 
The only connecting linkage between my various purely 
subjective states is the accidental order of time in which, 
empirically or by association, they occur. Animal intel- 


ligence possesses only such sense-perceptions and sensa- 
tions, and these are modifications of its subjective con- 
sciousness. Such a mental constitution has not the 
capacity for knowledge, but only the haphazard associa- 
tion of ideas. Kant looked upon the content of subjective 
consciousness as the object only of psychological inves- 

2. The realm of things-in-themselves is not to Kant 
the realm of knowledge. By things-in-themselves Kant 
distinctly does not mean things-for-us, not material 
bodies, not nature objects. It must be remembered that 
Kant has plundered the material realm of the dualist. 
The things-in-themselves which are left behind as a 
residuum lie outside all sense-perception and so beyond 
all knowledge. A divine intelligence might have the 
things-in-themselves as objects of knowledge, but not 
we human beings. The t h^ing--in-itself is the unk nown 
and unknowab le. But if this realm of things-in-them- 
selves is so absolutely independent of us that we can- 
not in any way know it, how can we say that it exists ? 
Kant replies to this: while we cannot say ickat a th'mg- 
in-itself is, we are obliged to say thq,t it is. For although 
beyond even our sense-perception, it stands as a ne- 
cessary jjostulate to perception, as a mere " problem." 
Kant also calls things-in-themselves Noumena,. and re- 
gards them as " limiting concepts " to the divine non- 
sensuous intelligence. Their reality is as little to be 
denied as affirmed. 

3. Kant pointed out that between or beside the 
realm of subjectivity and that of the things-in-them- 
selves lies the realm of human knowledge, which we in 
our every-day speech call physical nature, and to which 
he gave the name " the world of phenomena " or " the 

KANT 243 

world of experience." The subjective world is appre- 
hended by the individual alone, the world of things-in- 
themselves is known by no human being, but the world 
of phenomena is the connnon object of knowledge of 
humanity. Phenomena are not things-in-themselves, but 
tliings-for-us ; they are physical nature, an interrelated 
totality for us. They constitute not absolute reality, 
but a reality relative to us. Phenomena are experiences 
in their relations ; such related experiences are objects 
of knowledge, and in their thoroughly organized and 
systematic form they constitute nature. 

Thus the dualism which we ordinarily meet, like the 
" two world " theory of Wolff, has many differences 
from this critical theory of Kant with its threefold 
divisions of one world. One of the most important is 
that in Kant's theory the correspondence between states 
of consciousness and reality has disappeared. Reality 
touches consciousness only at one point, — at that point 
where sensations arise. Sensations mark the boundary 
between unknown reality and conscious life. On the side 
of reality all is darkness ; on the side of conscious life 
all is the creation of our complex synthetic activity. 
With the boundary line of sensation as a base, the two 
realms extend in opposite directions. In value the realm 
of our conscious life is only relative ; that of reality or 
things-in-themselves is absolute. 

The World of Knowledge. There is this to be ob- 
served about the threefold realm of Kant : the realm of 
subjectivity and that of knowledge together make up 
our conscious life. One is the realm of the conscious 
individual, and the other the realm of the consciousness 
of humanity. Kant conceived this further distinction 
between the two realms : in a purely subjective state 


the mind is entirely passive and its content is without 
control ; in a state of knowing the mind is actively en- 
gaged in collecting and relating its ideas. This is called 
by Kant synthesis. 

When Kant was formulating his problem, there 
gradually came to him in clearer outline the synthetic 
nature of the activity of the human reason. He felt 
more and more that the secret of the knowing pro- 
cess was to be explained by its function of combin- 
ing many experiences into a unity. This conception 
of synthesis is what separates the Critique of Pure 
Reason from all the previous writings of Kant. Fur- 
thermore, the three books of the Critique are exposi- 
tions of the different stages in which mental synthesis 
completes itseK: in (1) perception, (2) understand- 
ing, and (3) reason. The knowing activity of man de- 
velops in these three different forms of synthesis, in 
which each lower stage is the content of the higher. 

What, then, is the central factor in knowledge? It 
is the synthetic_power of the mind. The mind is not 
merely passively aware of its sensations as they come 
seriatim, but it actively relates them and holds them 
together. The mind is a dynamic agent wliose_activity 
consistsij n synthesizing in the presen t_moment its ex- 
peri ences of t he past. The human mind is not like a 
curtain upon which stereopticon pictures appear and 
then disappear in turn. It retains its pictures, although 
they are no longer being thrown upon the screen. Sup- 
pose we hear the ticking of a clock. Now if we had no 
synthetic power, all we should apprehend would be 
one, one, one, — and so on. But we do have synthetic 
power, and we say one, two, three, and so on. We count 
in a series in which each term includes the preceding 

KANT 245 

term. Two includes one, and three includes two, etc. 
This is knowledge. It is cumulative experience. The ex- 
perience of twenty animals, each having one experience, 
is not the same as the experience of one man having 
twenty experiences. In vain would nature act on man 
if the mind of man through memory and imagination 
did not carry over experiences. So the important thing 
is not what happens, but what power the human mind 
has. Knowledge, then, to Kant is the unifying of the 

There are, therefore, t wo aspe cta^to^Jaiowledge .Lihe 
p assive sensations . and th e active power of synthesis. 
Sensations, on the one hand, are the raw material out 
of which reason through its various forms creates the 
finished fabric of knowledge. Sensations are the content 
of knowledge. On the other hand, there is the active 
unifying power of the reason. Knowledge consists of 
sensations and synthesis in conjunction. Reason alone 
deals with " thought relations " or imaginations, when- 
ever it tries to treat objects of which sensations are not 
the raw material. Sensations alone, however, are only 
subjective states. The oft-quoted sayings of Kant, that 
" Only in experience is the truth," and that " Concep- 
tion without perception is empty, perception without 
conception is blind," refer to the restriction of know- 
ledge to the sense-materials and to the synthetic func- 
tion of the reason. 

The Place of Synthesis in Knowledge. What posi- 
tion does synthesis occupy in the total process of 
knowledge? Is synthesis one of the factors or elements 
of knowledge ? Is synthesis on the same level with the 
sensations, the feelings, the imaginations? No, it ia 
very different. The synthesis that Kant is describing is 


not the product or conclusion from an inference. Kant 
does not mean by synthesis the combination of facts as 
a result, such as a biologist might make in framing the 
law of the habits of animals from his observation of 
them. The synthesis that Kant is talking about is not 
so much the result of combining experiences as the act 
of comhini ng th em. The frame of the unified manifold, 
the law of its unification, the act of binding the isolated 
experiences together is synthesis. Synthesis occupies a 
higher level than the elements of knowledge or know- 
ledge itself. Synthesis is the knowing process rather 
than the known product. It is constitutive ; it is creative; 
it conditions experience and puts the material of experi- 
ence together. It must not be thought to be a voluntary 
act of the mind, which the mind will or will not do, as it 
pleases. When the mind acts, it synthesizes. 

Furthermore, the synthetic functioning of aU human 
sninds everywhere is the same. However much their sen- 
sations differ, they combine and orderly arrange their 
sense-materials in the same ways. The synthesis of the 
human mind is the source of the universality belonging 
to knowledge; the sensations, the "given," are the source 
of the difference in knowledge. Knowledge is the result 
of minds that function in absolutely the same ways ; 
and we should never have knowledge if the order and 
linkage of the world depended on the accident of expe- 
rience. Take, for example, such laws as those of mathe- 
matics or the physical law of cause. These are the same 
for everybody. They are universal laws. The ordinary 
conception of them as independent principles of an inde- 
pendent nature world will not account for their neces- 
sity for everybody and their universality. As independ- 
ent principles they would differ for different peoples just 

KANT 247 

as sensations differ. In that case we should have no 
knowledge. Human beings could not then think about 
the same things, nor reason under the same guiding 
principles. However, we do think alike, we have the 
same geometry, the same physical laws, the same time- 
estimates; and simply because we function alike syn- 
thetically. Knowledge is thus the common possession 
of humanity because the synthetic functioning of the 
different individual men is identically the same. 

A very good way to get at Kant's central principle 
of synthesis is to draw this picture. Suppose that be- 
sides the race of human beings with its own peculiar 
way of ordering its world, there were a race of angels 
endowed with its own powers, another of hobgoblins 
likewise endowed with its own powers, and so on to x, 
y, and z races — any number you please. What would 
be the situation ? In the first place, each one of the 
groups would be absolutely isolated from each of the 
others. No one would have the power to know even the 
existence of the others. No one race would even have 
anything in common with the others. The world of each 
would be different. In the next place each would be 
trying to interpret reality, and in doing so, each would 
construct and order a world of reality of its own. The 
members of each race would have a world in common 
and the members would know one another. But that is 
all. The members of each race would not be able to get 
outside their own powers of synthesis. In Holy Writ 
the home of the angels has been sometimes described as 
having no time and space, but this means only that space 
and time are aspects of our mental synthesis and not of 
theirs. We live in our world of our interpretative con- 
struction of reality, and they in theirs. The same would 


have to be said of x, y, and z. None would live in a 
world of absolute reality. But each would live in a 
world made different from all the other worlds by the 
differing mental powers of each race. Yet the members 
of each race would inhabit a world in common because 
the individuals of each had common mental powers. The 
particular world that human beings inhabit is called 
physical nature, whose laws are known as the laws of 
science. How can it be one world in which so many 
millions of different human beings live ? Because these 
millions of human beings are under the same funda- 
mental rational laws, and they construct the world in a 
common fashion. The laws of nature are, after all, the 
laws of our own minds. They are the laws of reason. 
The l9,vvs of nature are not the laws of absolute reality, 
but the laws of the human interpretation of realit y. All 
the linkage of facts, all the law and order of our uni- 
verse, all the combination of the variety of objects of 
knowledge — in a word, the entire body of science or 
the world of physical nature is a human mental syn- 
thesis. Does independent absolute reality exist ? Yes ; 
but it exists behind the scenes for us as for the angels. 
Mental synthesis is constitutive of the world in which 
we are actually engaged — mental synthesis is shot 
through and through all our experiences. Mental syn- 
thesis is the framework of the universe, and therefore 
Kant says, " The world is my representation." 

The Judgments Indispensable to Human Know- 
ledge. It will be seen from the above discussion that 
Kant does not believe that an idea or a sensation taken 
by itself constitutes knowledge. Knowledge consists of 
sensations framed together in a synthesis. That is, 
ideas must be taken together with other ideas. This is 

KANT 249 

called in grammar a proposition, having a subject and 
a predicate. In logic it is called a judgment. The only 
way a human being can express knowledge is in the 
form of judgments, but all judgments of human beings 
are not necessarily knowledge. 

Judgments are divided by Kant into two large 
classes, — analytic and synthetic. The large class of 
analytic judgments are not expressions of knowledge. 
What is an analytic judgment ? An analytic judgment 
merely expresses in the predicate something that is con- 
tained in the usual meaning of the subject. Such a 
judgment articulates the meaning of an idea by empha- 
sizing some of its well-known attributes. Thus we say, 
" Gold is yellow." Such a statement about " gold " does 
not show any knowledge. It is called sometimes an ex- 
plicative statement. It is tautologous, but not on that 
account trivial. Let us look then to synthetic judg- 
ments to see if they express knowledge. But first, what 
is a synthetic judgment? A synthetic judgment is one 
in which the predicate is not contained in the usual 
meaning of the subject. It is a statement of something 
new about the subject in hand. For example, the judg- 
ment, " The watch is yellow " is a synthetic judgment 
because the predicate " yellow " is not a necessary part 
of the meaning of " watch." A synthetic judgment 
therefore brings two ideas together in a new relation. 
It thereby enriches knowledge and is the expression of 
discovery. The synthetic judgment is often called am- 
pliative. (The double meaning which Kant gives the 
term " synthetic" need not confuse us. Synthesis is used 
by Kant to mean the framing constitution of the mind, 
and also as one of the results of the activity of the 
mind, i. e. a class of judgments. In the first, sense all 


judgments, both analytic and synthetic, are expressions 
of synthesis.) 

Are all synthetic judgments expressions of know- 
ledge? Kant replies that they certainly are not. He 
points out that there are two classes of synthetic judg- 
ments : one class he calls a posteriori and the other a 
priori. By aposteriori he means judgments founded in 
some sense-perception, which are particular judgments 
or judgments that are inferences from a greater or less 
induction of sense-perceptions. For example, if I say, 
" To-day is warm," or that " Swans, so far as I have 
observed, are white," I am making a synthetic judg- 
ment, because I am joining two ideas in a new relation, 
and I am also making an a posteriori judgment, because 
it is a statement founded upon sense-perception. Now 
Kant rules such judgments out from those that consti- 
tute true knowledge. This would rule out even empiri- 
cal generalizations of high probability, such as " The 
sun rises in the east." A poster^iori judgments, or those 
founded on experience, however large, do not give us 
knowledge, but merely probability. The cases upon 
which such judgments are founded are always limited, 
and there may be exceptions beyond our observation. 

The only kind of judgments that are the expression of 
true knowledge must, therefore, be synthetic judgments 
that are a priori. That is to say, they must express some 
new relation between ideas that is also universally and 
necessarily true. By a priori Kant means the universal 
and necessary ; and, furthermore, he maintains that 
the universal and necessary, and nothing else, consti- 
tutes knowledge. He points out that we make such 
judgments. When we say that the three angles of a tri- 
angle equal two right angles, or that every event has a 

KANT 251 

cause, we are saying something universal and necessary, 
something not founded on experience. No one would 
admit that there were exceptions to these proposi- 
tions. The question, then, that Kant tries to answer in 
his Critique of Pure Reason is, How are synthetic 
judgments a pi'iori possible? Or since to Kant know- 
ledge consists of synthetic judgments a priori^ under 
what conditions is knowledge possible ? ^ 

For the sake of clearness, let us state this problem of 
Kant in another way. It is the nature of man to try by 
mere thinking to discover the nature of reality. The 
dogmatic school of Rationalists had attempted, without 
calling in experience to its aid, to weave out of pure 
thought answers to the questions about God, immortal- 
ity, and nature. It had maintained that clear and dis- 
tinct notions have a reality corresponding to them, and 
are therefore real. Judgments formed in this way are 
analytic a priori ; but it is evident that while such 
analyses of thought have a cogency for thought, they 
do not necessarily have a corresponding reality. On the 
other hand, conclusions based on experience have a kind 
of validity for the real world, but they yield no certain 
truth about it. These are synthetic judgments a poste- 
riori. If Hume is right in saying that these are the 
only judgments dealing with nature, then we have no 
certain truth about nature. They give generalizations 
that are useful on the whole, but their conclusions range 
only from possibility to high probability, and never 

^ Paulsen says {Immanuel Kant, His Life and Teaching, p. 135) that 
this formula of synthetic judgments a /^ri'ort appears only in the intro- 
duction to the Critique and in Kant's later writings, and it would liave 
been no misfortune if Kant had never discovered it. But Windelband 
{Hist, of Phil., p. 533, n. 2) says, " No one who does not make thig 
•lear to himself has any hope of understanding Kant." 


reach certainty. Besides (1) conceptual knowledge and 
(2) " knowledge of matters of fact," Kant pointed out 
that there is a third kind. This is the only valid kind. 
This knowledge is based on synthetic judgments a pri- 
ori. Such linowledge arises independently of experience, 
i. e. is a priori, and yet is valid for experience, i. e. is 
synthetic. Hume's statement that such knowledge is 
synthetic a posteriori is not accepted by Kant. Kant 
is, therefore, bound to show how this third class of syn- 
thetic judgments a priori is possible, and how pure 
thought can be binding on experience. 

The Proof of the Validity of Human Knowledge. If 
we turn now to review what we have said about Kant, 
we find that he undertakes to solve the problem, Hbto 
can we know f by a critical study of the forms of the 
reason. We have found that the reason is essentially a 
synthetic power, and is the framework of the world of 
phenomena to which knowledge is limited. Knowledge 
is the complex thing, consisting of sensations as its 
woof and synthesis as its warp. To answer the question, 
Under what conditions is knowledge possible ? we must 
study not sensations, but synthesis in its several forms. 
If Kant can show that the mind furnishes the a priori^ 
that is, the universal and necessary forms to knowledge, 
he thinks he has proved his case. He has then explained 
why human knowledge is valid and thus proved that 
human knowledge is valid. Now Kant tries to show 
what the special a priori forms of knowledge are and in 
what the validity of such forms consists. In the first 
book of the Critique of Pure Reason, the JEsthetic, he 
undertakes to show what the a priori forms of mathe- 
matics are and how they make knowledge valid by being 
forms of mental synthesis. In the next part of the 

KANT 253 

Critique^ the Analytic^ he tries to show what the a pri- 
ori forms of the knowledge of physical science are and 
how they make physical science valid and objective. In 
the last part, the Dialectic^ he discusses the a priori 
forms of the reason and shows why they have no validity 
in knowledge. These are three stages in which the 
knowing activity develops as three different forms of 
synthesis. The stages are perception, understanding, 
and reason. Each higher stage has the lower as its con- 
tent. Finished knowledge involves perceptions, repro- 
ductions in the understanding, and a recognition of the 
whole by a thinking subject. Perception, understand- 
ing, and reason are not separate acts, but different levels 
of one consciousness. These will be taken up in suc- 

I. In What does the Validity of Sense-Perception 
Consist ? Kant points out : 

(1) Sense-perception has (a) a content of sense 
qualities, like sound, color, etc., and (5) the relations 
of space and time. 

(2) Space and time originally belong to the subject 
as its forms of sense-perception, and are not introduced 
from without by experience. 

(3) By means of space and time a priori knowledge 
is possible. 

If there is any validity in perceptual knowledge, it 
depends upon the constitution of space and time ; not 
upon the character of the empirical content, or the sensa- 
tions. The questionaboutthe validity of sense-perception, 
then, is a question about the reliability of mathematics. 

There are two elements in sense-perception : a neces- 
sary and constant, and a changing and accidental. Space 
and time are the constant element. They are homogene- 


ous, and always one and the same in quality. They are 
unities, for there is only one space and one time, and the 
many spaces and times are only divisions of this oneness. 
All the differences in space and time are due to the re- 
lation and movements of bodies, and are not inherent 
in space and time themselves. How is this unity and 
homogeneity of space and time to be explained ? By 
assuming that space and time are original and uniform 
functions of perception, the forms of perception, the 
ways of apprehension, the " prehensile organs of our 
sensibility." They are the ways in which we synthesize 
on the lower level of consciousness. If they were given 
in experience, there is no reason why the several 
spaces and times should not be intrinsically differ- 
ent, like different bodies with different qualities. How- 
ever, by conceiving them to be mental syntheses in 
the level of perception, they explain the universality 
of the laws of mathematics. They are the colored 
spectacles that all human beings wear ; or, to use an- 
other figure, they are the mould into which all sensa- 
tions are run. Being the unchangeable forms of our 
sensuous receptivity, they have a validity for the entire 
compass of perception. The y are univers al because one 
experience of space and time is valid for all spaces 
and times ; they_are necessary because we cannot think 
of objects apart from them ; they are p^rce^tual sjti- 
theses because they increase knowledge. Of course we 
are unconscious of this perceptual synthesis of the sen- 
sory elements in space and time. The process takes 
place automatically. We can nevertheless analyze the 
process after it has taken place, and speak of the sensa- 
tions as the materials of knowledge, and the forms of 
space and time as the a jJ't^iori elements. But in actual 

KANT 255 

conscious experience, sensations never come to us in 
their rawness. They are never turned over to the un- 
derstanding unless they bear the stamp of space and 
time. The process of knowledge, therefore, starts with 
complex material — complex because it has been synthe- 
sized below consciousness. In other words, perceptions 
come into the process of knowledge with two aspects : 
(1) their permanent and necessary form ; and (2) their 
accidental and changing content. 

2. In What does the Validity of the Understanding 
Consist ? Kant's discussion of the synthesis of the 
understanding is given in the Analytic, the second 
part of his Critique. His treatment of the understand- 
ing is similar to that of perception. The understanding, 
be it remembered, is regarded by Kant as the second 
stage in the process of a complete synthesis of know- 
ledge. It is synthesis on a higher level than perception. 
Indeed, perception is the matei'ial which the under- 
standing synthesizes. As in the j:Esthetic Kant seeks 
to show : (1) the a priori factors of the understanding 
and (2) that these a priori factors give to knowledge 
its validity. The unifying principle of perception is the 
mathematical ; but physical nature, which is the sub- 
ject-matter of the study of the understanding, is more 
than mathematical, more than an aggregate of space 
and time forms, more than shapes and motions. Nature 
exists as a connected system of substances, causes, etc. 
Natural science possesses besides its mathematical basis 
a number of general a priori principles for the validity 
of its conclusions. 

Kant's task was therefore only begun by showing 
that perception possesses the universal and synthetic 
principles of space and time. Perception is only the 


beginning of knowledge. It is not knowledge, but only 
subjective consciousness. On the other hand, the un- 
derstanding is the faculty of knowledge, and therefore 
Kant seeks to point out its a priori or universal ele- 
ments, and by their presence prove its validity. 

Since the days of Aristotle the general terms used 
in reasoning have been called categories. Any class- 
term or genus may be called a category. There are 
certain S2/mma genera, the most extensive classes or 
classes with the lowest connotation, that have been 
traditionally known as categories, because everything 
that can be affirmed in a judgment must come under 
some one or other of them. Aristotle names ten, — 
substance, quality, quantity, etc. But these Aristotelian 
categories are classes of analytical relations, such as 
formal logic treats. They are the classes of the attri- 
butes and relations into which objects may be analyzed. 
These evidently are not what Kant is seeking. He is in 
search of synthetic categories. He is looking for the 
synthetic forms of the understanding itself, which trans- 
form perceptions into objects of knowledge. He is not 
looking merely for abstract conceptions. For ideas 
become nature objects only when they are thought as 
things with qualities universal to every human mind. 
The understanding creates out of the perceptions the 
objects of thought which form the nature-world ; and 
the categories of the understanding are the constitutive 
principles of such objects. The categories are the re- 
lating forms of synthesis through which objects arise. 
The most difficult part of the Critique is called the 
" Deduction of the Categories," in which Kant attempts 
to derive the synthetic forms of the understanding from 
the various kinds of judgment. Kant's list is curious 

KANT 257 

but unimportant, and only two of these categories are 
useful, — substance and cause. He divides the categories 
into four general kinds and enumerates three categories 
of each of these kinds, as follows : — 

Categories of Quantity, — Unity, Plurality, Totality. 

Categories of Quality, — Reality, Negation, Limita- 

Categories of Relation, — Substance, Cause, Reci- 

Categories of Modality, — Possibility, Existence, 

These categories occupy the same position in the un- 
derstanding that space and time do in the perception, 
— they are the a priori principles. In respect to them 
the perceptions are the a posteriori material. The cate- 
gories are pure, innate, and transcendental. They are 
the inner nature of the understanding. Thus the ob- 
jects of the understanding contain both a priori and 
a posteriori factors, and are syntheses of manifolds. 
Perception synthesizes sensations, while the under- 
standing synthesizes perceptions, and states the synthe- 
sis in the form of a judgment. 

Having named the a priori forms of the understand- 
ing, how does Kant show that by their means our 
knowledge of nature has validity? Because when the 
understanding functions, it prescribes these forms to 
perception. Impressions would remain vague and form- 
less, if we did not think them ; by _nTeans of thought 
we weld impressions into objects and give them a co- 
he rent reality. T his is exactly what is meant by under- 
standing. If nature were an independent thing and 
prefici-ibed laws to the understanding, the laws would 
never be universal and necessary. The universality of 


the laws of nature can be explained only by supposing 
that the understanding prescribes its laws to nature, 
not to nature as a Thing-in-Itself, but only so far as it 
appears in sense-perception. Universal and necessary 
knowledge of nature is possible only if the connections 
and relations of nature are absolutely identical with the 
modes of thought. The categories of the understanding 
have objective validity, therefore, because the laws of 
the understanding are the fundamental laws of nature. 
The understanding has given such laws to nature. A 
priori and therefore universal and necessary, synthetic 
and therefore creative, the world consists of objects 
under laws of the understanding. There are as many 
kinds of natural objects as there are categories of the 

If we will examine what we call the world of nature, 
we shall find that many of its objects have never been 
perceived. Man has only partly explored the earth, and 
there are vast regions in space that he has never seen. 
He has never seen the South Pole, and the North Pole 
only recently ; he has never seen the other side of the 
moon, and there are myriads of stars beyond even the 
reach of his telescope. These are not perceptible things, 
and yet they are the objects of the understanding — 
objects of knowledge. How is it possible ? It would not 
be possible if the laws of nature were limited to the em- 
pirically perceived facts. It is possible because the laws 
of the understanding are the laws of nature and apply 
everywhere, whether the thing is actually perceived or 
not. The moon must have another side because the hu- 
man understanding conceives all substances in this way ; 
the law of cause and effect obtains beyond the stars, and 
at the South Pole, even though they have never been 

KANT 259 

perceived. The world of physical objects, or in other 
words the world of objects of the understanding, con- 
sists of both possible and actually perceived objects. If 
the laws of nature were prescribed by nature to the 
mind, then the world of objects would consist only of 
actually perceived objects. 

But look at the world of nature a little more closely. 
It is one whole world with very many things in it. Why 
is this the case ? Would it ever be so if our knowledge 
of the world was simply a reproduction of what the 
world presented to us ? Of course not. There would be 
as many different worlds as there are human beings. 
The wholeness, the oneness of our world of many things 
to many individuals indicates not only that the under- 
standing is the source of the laws of the world, but also 
that the faculties of understanding in all the millions of 
human beings have a transcendental unity. Knowledge 
has therefore a stronger proof of its validity, since what 
is knowledge for one human being is knowledge for all. 
Every individual man is conscious of the contrast be- 
tween his own subjective world and the world of know- 
ledge which he shares with other men. His own ideas 
have a movement of their own and have no validity be- 
yond themselves ; the ideas which he shares with others, 
however, are valid for all others because these ideas are 
beyond the control of any one man. Each individual 
man has to acknowledge this control of his knowledge 
as residing in something beyond himself. The categories 
of each man's understanding cooperate exactly with 
those of every other man. The individual man is not 
actually conscious of this process of cooperation in ex- 
perience, but he accepts the objective necessity of it. 

The individual consciousness is not therefore the 


creator of the objects of knowledge ; rather conscious- 
ness in general — the consciousness of humanity — is the 
creator. Kant is not a solipsist, but an idealist. A 
higher consciousness, a super-conscious SeK, must be as- 
sumed to explain the compactness of human knowledge. 
Kant does not call this super-conscious Self the "soul" 
or "spirit," but the "I think" or the "transcendental 
ego," or by the more clumsy phrase " the transcendental 
unity of apperception." He contrasts it with what he 
calls the "empirical ego" on the ground that it is the 
ego always identical with itself, rather than the Self at 
this or that particular moment. It is the Self as thinker 
rather than the Self as thought about. The super-con- 
scious SeK is always self-active and never dependent 
upon empirical conditions. It must be accepted as the 
postulate of all knowledge. It is the universal Self, and 
through it the categories of the human understanding 
become universalized. Just as space and time are the 
unifying forms of synthetic consciousness on its lower 
level ; just as the categories of the understanding are 
the unifying forms of the synthetic consciousness on a 
higher level ; so the universal Self must be postulated to 
explain the universality of the categories. It is a postu- 
late only because it, not known in experience, is neces- 
sary to explain the unity of knowledge. This theoretical 
conception of the Self by Kant is thus very different 
from the traditional notion of the soul. 

Has the Reason by Itself any Validity ? When Kant 
calls his criticism the Critique of Pure Heason, he uses 
the term " Reason " in a wide sense as the whole know- 
ing process. In the Dialectic he treats the Reason in a 
narrow sense, as if it were a special faculty like the 
perception or understanding. This is, of course, a con- 

KANT 261 

fusing use of terms, like his use of the term " Synthesis "; 
but it should cause no difficulty provided the two uses 
are known beforehand. The term " Ideas " is also used 
in two senses. In this place it has a special use. While 
usually an idea means any thought, here it means the 
synthetic form of the special faculty of the reason, just 
as the categories are the foi-m of the understanding, and 
space and time the form of sense-perception. The syn- 
thetic forms of the Reason are the three Ideas, viz., 
God, the soul, and the totality of the universe. 

What is the office of this special faculty of the Rea- 
son and its Idea-forms ? They represent Kant's way of 
stating the natural tendency of the human mind to get 
from its knowledge the greatest possible unity with the 
greatest possible extension. Consciousness is a synthesis 
which is never satisfied in being partial and incomplete. 
The partial syntheses of its faculties of perception and 
understanding do not satisfy it. Perception and under- 
standing tell us nothing about God, about the soul, and 
about the totality of the universe, for these faculties are 
fettered to experience. Yet God, the soul, and the total- 
ity of the universe are very important matters. So the 
Reason leaps over the boundaries of experience, and 
thinks it is justified in poaching in the territory for- 
bidden to knowledge. The Reason is not content with 
the partial and relational knowledge of mathematics and 
of physical science, but it would deal with the unrelated 
and the unconditioned. Indeed, we need only search 
our own minds to see how true Kant is to fact. We 
find that we ourselves are not satisfied with conditioned 
things, which must be explained by other conditioned 
things. On the contrary, we long to know the absolutely 
unconditioned, which alone will explain all conditions. 


We are forever seeking to make our synthesis complete, 
and to render a rational and complete account of what 
is nevertheless impossible to our knowledge. 

Now it is evident that the Ideas of the Reason are not 
indispensable to knowledge in the sense that the cate- 
gories of the understanding and the forms of sense per- 
ception are indispensable. Cause, time, and space enter 
into all knowledge. Physical and mathematical laws 
exist as facts, and need no proof for their existence. 
Kant asked about them, " How are synthetic a i^riori 
judgments possible ? " But concerning the judgments 
of the Reason, he asks a different question : not How 
are they possible, but Are they possible? 

The Reason and its three Ideas give what Kant calls 
transcendent knowledge in distinction from the tran- 
scendental knowledge of the understanding and its cate- 
gories. By transcendent knowledge he means that 
which is beyond the limits of possible experience ; while 
transcendental knowledge refers to knowledge about 
the necessary principles of experience. Kant, however, 
is willing to acknowledge that the Ideas of the Reason 
have a legitimate use. They are " regulative principles " 
in that, by showing what our limitations are, they also 
show that human knowledge is not the final goal. Their 
illegitimate use appears when they make a show of be- 
ing true knowledge. Both science and theology wiU be 
the gainers when the Ideas are no longer used illegiti- 
mately. Kant says that he has destroyed knowledge of 
God and the soul " in order to make room for faith." 

The Idea of the Soul. Rational psychology had 
taught that the soul had direct and intuitive knowledge 
of itself. From the time when Descartes formulated 
his famous ^'•Cogito ergo sum,'' this conception of self- 

KANT 263 

consciousness has been popular. I can have myself as 
the direct object of my own thought. Upon the basis 
of such assumed intuitive knowledge that each soid has 
of itself, the Rationalists had ascribed the qualities of 
simplicity, substantiality, spirituality, and immortality 
to the soul. 

Kant denies that we have any such self-knowledge. 
If we turn back to his definition of knowledge we find 
it to be a synthesis of a manifold. Knowledge, to be 
knowledge, must (1) be based upon sensations, and on 
that account (2) consist only of phenomena. The soul 
is not phenomenal, but the deepest kind of reality. 
How can I have knowledge of my soul ? The soul is 
spiritual and not phenomenal, even according to the 
Rationalistic philosophy. Therefore the soul is pre- 
cluded from being an object of knowledge. Further- 
more the Rationalists' conception of the soul as simple 
and iuunortal would make it an impossible object of 
knowledge. An object of knowledge is not simple, but 
is the unity of a manifold. The imifying or synthesiz- 
ing function is not an object to itself. Sensations are 
synthesized by space and time into perceptions ; but 
space and time are not objects for the sensations. In 
understanding, therefore, the " I think," which synthe- 
sizes the perceptions into judgment, cannot be an ob- 
ject for the understanding. 

Kant points out that we must be careful to distin- 
guish between the transcendental and the empirical ego. 
We have referred to this distinction already. In Kant's 
criticism of knowledge he maintained that there must 
be postulated a " synthetic imity of apperception," if 
knowledge is possible. But such an ego is only a postu- 
late ; we can have no knowledge of it nor can we say 


what it is. We know that the immediacy of experience 
or the sameness of knowledge from moment to moment 
demands this. This is the transcendental ego, a kind of 
universal synthetic background. 

But this is different from the empirical ego, which I 
can know as an object of experience. Tlie empirical 
ego is what I can know of myself at any time — a group 
of sensations, feelings, or thoughts. Now such groups 
change from moment to moment. My knowledge of 
myself consists only of my momentary, changing self. 
This changing self is not the immortal, simple, and 
identical soul of which the Rationalists have been speak- 
ing. The empirical self is complex and transitory ; it is 
an object of knowledge, and it is not therefore the same 
as the immortal soul. " I think I " is impossible. " I 
think me" is possible. To make the "I" an object is 
to commit a fallacy. 

The Idea of the Universe. The contradiction in rea- 
soning about matters beyond the test of experience 
appears sharply with reference to problems about the 
world as a totality. The inherent self-contradiction of 
the reason attracted Kant's attention very early with 
reference to the problems of infinity. Such self-contra- 
dictions were put into final shape by Kant in the Cri- 
tique in the four following so-called antinomies : — 

(1) The antinomy of creation. Thesis: The world 
must have a beginning in time and be inclosed in finite 
space. Antithesis : The world is eternal and infinite. 

(2) The antinomy of immortality (or the simple). 
Thesis : The world is ultimately divisible into simple 
parts which cannot be further divided. Antithesis : The 
world is composed of parts subject to further division, 
and no simple thing exists in the world. 

KANT 265 

(3) The antinomy of freedom. Thesis : There is free- 
dom ; there are phenomena that cannot be accounted 
for by necessity. Antithesis : There is no freedom, but 
everything takes place entirely according to the neces- 
sary laws of nature. 

(4) The antinomy of theology. Thesis : There is a 
necessary being either as part or as cause of the world. 
Antithesis : There exists neither within nor without the 
world an absolutely necessary being. 

Critics have pointed out that these problems as thus 
stated by Kant are not altogether cosmological prob- 
lems, but include the contradictions of psychology and 
theology ; that is, all the contradictions of the Reason 
when it is used dialectically. They show how both Ra- 
tionalis m and Empiricism^ a»-meta{»hy^ieal theories, are 
in their nature contradictory. When the universe is 
treated as an object of knowledge, contradictory propo- 
sitions can be maintained. The contradictories are both 
proved and refuted. In respect to the first two antino- 
mies, both theses and antitheses are false ; in respect 
to the last two, both theses and antitheses may be true, 
if they refer to different worlds. If the Ideas are ap- 
plied only to the world of phenomena, they involve in- 
explicable contradiction. The Idea of free will and un- 
conditioned being may apply to the world of Noumena ; 
while the Idea of necessity and conditioned being may 
apply to the world of phenomena. 

The Idea of God. The Idea of the soul involves us 
in a paralogism, the Idea of the universe as a whole 
involves us in inextricable difficulties and contradic- 
tions ; the Idea of God cannot be demonstrated. Kant 
does not deny that God exists. He merely maintains 
that we cannot make God an object of knowledge. The 


Idea of God is to Kant the expression of the need of 
the Reason for a perfect unity. 

In one of his earlier writings Kant had constructed 
a conception of God, which is the same as appears in 
the Critique. God, purely as a conception, is constructed 
by Kant as the sum total of reality, the ens realissi- 
mum^ who so includes all finite qualities in Himself 
that they do not limit Him. He is the primal cause of 
the possibility of all being. Now, can such an Idea 
have objective validity ? No ; the Idea of a sum total 
of all that is conceivable is not an object of possible 
experience. Only particular things or phenomena are 
realities for us. God as the transcending total of par- 
ticular things can have only a conceptual reality and a 
validity for thought. The total has the reality that any 
idea has. This is Kant's general criticism of the dia- 
lectic Idea of God. 

But the general conception of God had played so 
important a part in traditional philosophy that Kant 
felt it necessary to examine the three important intel- 
lectual proofs for His existence in order to show their 

He takes up first the ontological proof of God's 
existence, which originated with St. Anselm and had 
been accepted by the Rationalists. The Idea of God is 
the idea of a perfect being. A being would not be per- 
fect who did not exist. Therefore the Idea of a perfect 
being must include the quality " existence " among its 
predicates. The essence of God must involve His ex- 
istence, because the unreality of the ens realissimum 
cannot be thought. Kant replies thus : " Being is no 
real predicate." It is not a quality like love, power, 
or goodness, for it adds nothing to the content of the 

KANT 267 

subject. "A hundred dollars contains no more content 
than a hundred possible or conceptual dollars." We 
cannot reason from the concept of the actual to its 
existence. The only test of actuality is perception. 

The cosmological proof, which Kant examines next, 
is an argument from the existence of contingent phe- 
nomena to the existence of an unconditioned reality. 
There must be some uncaused cause of existing caused 
phenomena. Kant's reply is this : Cause has no mean- 
ing if it is applied beyond the bounds of experience. 
Within experience all causes are the results of causes, 
and therefore an uncaused cause is a contradiction in 
terms. Every existing thing is contingent. A necessary 
being can be only a thought, and would not be power- 
ful. It would not be as powerful as a very great finite 
being which had existence. 

The physico-teleological argument comes next under 
Kant's criticism. This argmnent is based upon the in- 
ference that intelligent design found in nature implies 
an intelligent designer of nature. Kant replies as fol- 
lows : Even granting that the world exhibits the design 
of beauty, goodness, and purpose in its construction, such 
a beautiful, good, and purposeful world would only prove 
the existence of an architect and not the existence of a 
creator. Kant points out, however, that this proof is the 
oldest, clearest, and the most popular ; and he thinks it 
deserves to be treated with respect on that account. The 
wonder and magnificence of nature must free man from 
the oppression of any subtle argument against the sig- 
nificance of nature. Nevertheless Kant feels that this 
proof lacks intellectual cogency ; for it is possible that 
nature is freely acting and has power within itself. 

The conclusion of the Dialectic, in which the Keason 


attempts through its Ideas to soar beyond experience, 
is that such speculation has never added to our know- 
ledge. Mere conceptual thought cannot be knowledge 
of the reality of the soul, God, and the world. Still, 
the Ideas of the reason are an integral part of the hu- 
man mind, and they must have their purpose. They can- 
not be verified by experience, in which alone is truth, 
but they can regulate experience. They are " regulative 
Ideas " in that our experience is better governed if we 
act as if there were a soul, as if God existed, and as if 
the woi-ld were a totality of related things. Moreover, 
whj le specu lation cannot jprove the existence of God, 
the immortality of the soul, and the freedom of the will, 
atheistic speculation is unable to prove tin? contrary of 
all these propositions. The Ideas of the Reason clear th e 
way for faith based on mo rality. 

Conclusion. The Critique of Pure Reason is what 
its name implies, — a criticism of our c_Q nscio us powers. 
It points_out the limits anxL.£xi£jit_jQ£.Jiiiinau, knpw- 
l edge. In one sense, it is constructive ; for it establishes 
against skepticism the conclusion that kno^^dge_has a 
validity within it^s own limits. In another sense, it is 
destructive ; for it shows against dogmatism how futile 
our intellectual striving is to explore many regions that 
have been considered the proper realm of knowledge. 
No knowledge is possible..,Jtliat_is^ transcendent =- no 
knowledge beyond the limits of experience.^ Experience 
ties our mental powers to itself. Experience is the 
boundary of the understanding. Reality, the Things-in- 
Themselves, are unknown and unknowable. But tran- 
scendental knowledge is possible. Within experience 
there are the transcendental factors that on the one 
hand transform sensations into phenomena, and on the 

KANT 269 

other give to these phenomena a validity for all man- 
kind. These transcendental factors make knowledge 
reliable, but they add not one whit to its content. On 
account of these transcendental factors we can be ra- 
tional with one another and members of one world of 
humanity. The value of knowledge is not lessened, but 
is defined. Our world of phenomenal existence is now 
accurately assessed as a world of relative reality. It is 
placed in its proper perspective. It is seen as our own 
interjjretation of what is really real. This is very impor- 
tant ; for although the restricted form of our mental 
powers withholds us from knowing reality, we may 
nevertheless think it. The pure intellection of reality 
will be of value, if in some other way its contents can 
be assured. Kant now points out that this assurance is 
found in the moral will. 

The Problem of the Critique of Practical Reason: 
The Ethics of Kant. " Two things fill the mind with 
ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener 
and the longer we reflect upon them : the starry heavens 
above and the moral law within." In this classic sen- 
tence Kant showed that he had no desire to humiliate 
the theoretical reason, which is the understanding. He 
was merely assigning it to its place among the powers 
of man, in order that it might do its proper work more 
efficiently. The world of morality and the starry heaven 
impressed Kant equally. Kant would not have the un- 
derstanding chasing will-o'-the-wisps. After his criticism 
of the understanding he turned to the will, or as he calls 
it the practical reason, and criticized its functions and 
scope. This ethical teaching of Kant appears in his 
Metaphyslc of Morality and in the Critique of Practi- 
cal Reason. His early Pietistic education, his reading 


of Eousseau, his study of the English moralists, influ- 
enced his theory of morals ; while his investigations 
into the history of civilization, his theoretical philoso- 
phy, and his independent analysis of the ethical feeling 
marked the route which his ethical development took. 
The world of morality to Kant has primacy. In his 
theory it is the real world, for compared to it the world 
of scientific phenomena, the world of the theoretical 
reason, is relative. 

The central idea in Kant's theory of morals is that 
rational spontaneity is exactly the same as freedom. 
This contrasts his theory with Hedonism. The value of 
man's life depends on what he does spontaneously, not 
on what happens to him. This idea of fi'eedom is the 
central thought in all Kant's discussions of society. In 
his theory of government the republic is to.^e preferred 
to the monarchy, because of the opportunity to its citi- 
zens of spontaneous freedom ; in religion the true church 
is composed of free beings worshiping God freely ; in 
education self-activity is the sole principle of growth. 
Ethics is a system of the pure rational laws of freedom, 
just as science is a system of the pure rational laws of 
nature. If ethics has real validity its laws must be, as 
in science, a priori or derived from the reason itself, and 
synthetic or applicable to experience everywhere. If the 
moral law be valid it must be indifferent as to its content, 
and yet valid for all content irrespectively. The source 
of the principle of morals is thus the same as that of 
science : it is a priori. The principle of morals is uni- 
versal in its application to experience, just as the a priori 
synthesis of knowledge is. However, just at that point 
the difference is to be seen between the foundation of 
science and that of morajls — between the reason as 


KANT 271 

pure and the reason as practical. Reason in the form 
of knowledge is restricted to experience ; but reason 
in the^form^t the will, while applicable to experience, 
is not restricted to experience. If the understanding^^ 
without the content of experience, it is empty and use- 
less. The understanding must always be a synthesis of 
a manifold. On the other hand, the practical reason 
needs no content. It is sufficient in itself. It need not 
be obeyed anywhere nor have any concrete content in 
the phenomenal world. It has no reference to what is 
but to what 07/ffht to he. The world of morality and 
the world of phenomena are different worlds. The 
world of morality is absolute reality, while the world 
of knowledge is only relative. The world of morality is 
the unconditioned, while that of knowledge is condi- 
tioned by experience. Morality applies not only to hu- 

man beings, but to all rational beings, if any other ra^ 
tional beings exist. Knowledge, however, belongs to 
human beings alone. The moral law has not its home in 
the empirical, but in the transcendent, intelligible world, 
which to knowledge would be the world of Things-in- 

The Moral Law and the Two Questions concern- 
ing It. The questions of the Critique of Pi^actical 
Reason are the same as those of the Dialectic: (1) Is 
there any a priori synthesis ? This is not the question 
of the Analytic^ which is. How is an a priori synthesis 
possible ? (2) Can the human being be moral and still 
be a part of the world of phenomena and necessity ? 
We shall now comment on the first of these problems. 
If the vnll has validity, it must be the expression of 
8(jme universal and necessary principle. Can we find 
any such a priori principle in our consciousness ? 


1. The First Question concerning the Moral Law. 
If we search our consciousness, we shall find that there 
are two classes of incentives to action. The first are 
called the inclinations, or perhaps better the impulses. 
We may will because we desire to gain something, 
of use, pleasure, perfection, etc. Such an act of wiU is 
dependent upon the object that arouses it. Such an 
act of will would not be an example for any one else ; 
for the circumstances that called it forth would be 
likely to be different in each case. For example, there 
is no consensus as to pleasure among individual men ; 
and what is pleasant to one is unpleasant to another. 
The same is true about objects of use and ambition. 
In all these matters judgment does not help us in mak- 
ing our selection, for people who are the most dis- 
criminating often are the most unhappy and useless. 
All these things are indeed goods, but they are goods 
for the moment — goods that are dependent on some- 
thing else, and not goods in themselves. They are 
legitimate ends enough, but they are so transitory that 
they cannot be valid. It is evident that when the wiU 
is governed by inclination, it is governed by an empiri- 
cal (a posteriori')^ and not by a universal and necessary^ 
(a priori) principle. Such empirical principles are 
called by Kant hypothetical imperatives. 

Let us look to the reason itself to see if the principle 
of its practice lies there ; for it is certain that we shall 
not find the principle of universal validity for our will 
among our impulses. The reason is a spontaneous syn- 
thesis. It is a fact that any one may verify "who will 
search his consciousness — that man may will from 
reason. The wi]! i^ay be inipt'lled from within, qjjid 
need not be compelled from without. The will may be 

KANT 273 

an imperative in itself, proclaiming its right because it 
is reasonable, justifying itself because it is reasonable, 
functioning because it is the function of reason. Then 
is the will the expression of reason. It is the reason in 
practice. The will is uiiconditioneT^and free because it 
is the unconHitioned reason acting. It is then autono- 
mous. It has then validity because the reason is univer- 
sal and necessary. This kind of willing Kant calls the 
categorical imperative. It is the moral law. It is a law 
unto itself, and it is the only basis for morality because 
it is the universally valid reason. 

The categorical imperative is unique — there is no- 
thing like it in human nature. It is the one kind of will- 
ing that has absolute validity ; and that is because it is 
unique in having itself for its own end. The conscience 
may be said to be its expression in the individual. 
Kant formulates the valid command of the moral law 
as, " Act as if the maxim from which you act were to 
become through your will a universal law of nature." 
The various maxims of morality, like " Thou shalt not 
lie," occupy the same position to the will that the cate- 
gories do to the understanding. They are the forms of 
the moral will. Actions should proceed from maxim» 
rather than from impulses, and the moral maxims ar,e 
adapted for all beings who act rationally. A specific 
act may become good because the moral law, that inspires 
it, is good. Nevertheless " nothing can possibly be con- 
ceived in the world or even out of it, which can be 
called good without qualification, except a good will." 
The virtues or the gifts of fortune may be good and 
desirable ; they may also be evil and mischievous, if 
they are not the expression of the moral will. 

2. The Second Question concerning the Moral 


Law. This leads us to the answer to the second quea 
tion, How can such a purely necessary and universal 
principle be effective in human life ? Of what service 
to man is a principle so formal that if the incHnations 
coi5perate with it, the act is no longer moral? The 
moral law is not only transcendental, but it is tran- 
scendent, for it does not have experience as its content. 
It is its own content. It is independent of all expe- 
rience in three ways : (1) In origin, it contains only 
a formal principle ; (2) In content, it contains only a 
formal principle; (3) In validity, it is not concerned 
as to whether it is obeyed or not ; it declares what 
ought to be, even if what ought to be is never done. 
The question always arises about Kant's ethics, Of 
what service can such a remote and formal principle 
be ? Morality takes place in the world of experience ; 
and here is Kant's principle of morality existing in the 
world of unconditioned reality. Of the usefulness of 
such a principle Kant's explanation is not fully satis- 
factory. His ethics is fundamentally a rigorism, from 
which he is unable to escape. Duty and inclination are 
in antagonism. Only those acts of will are moral which 
are performed solely from the sense of duty. In them- 
selves the natural inclinations are indifferent ; when 
they oppose the moral will, they become bad ; only when 
they are inspired by the moral will are they of ethical 
service. Moral action is therefore narrowed to that in 
which the imperative of duty is consciously paramount. 
** The friends whom I love, I gladly would serve, but to this in- 
clination incites me; 
And so I am forced from virtue to swerve, since my act through 

affection delights me. 
The friends, whom thou lovest, thou must first seek to scorn, for 
to no other way can I guide thee; 

KANT 275 

' T is alone with disgust thou canst rightly perform the acts to 
which duty would lead thee." * 

The Moral Postulates. Kant's ethical theory points 
away from the phenomenal world rather than toward 
it. To be sure, the natural inclinations take the color 
of the moral law when they are inspired by it; but the 
moral law tells us of the world of reality rather than of 
the world of phenomena. The moral law shows to man 
that he is more a resident of the world of reality than 
of that of phenomena. Man's nature is dual. Of its two 
sides — the theoretical and the moral — the moral is 
primary. Fundamentally man is a willing agent rather 
than a thinking being. He is a phenoriienal being, 
bound to the laws of natural necessity ; but he is also 
a real unconditioned being, because the unconditioned 
reason is his real self. What was implicated in the 
Critique of Pnre Reason becomes explicit in the Crit- 
ique of Practical Reason. The understanding hints at 
what the will makes ])lain. Human knowledge is a mix- 
ture of transcendental understanding and empirical sen- 
sations. God's knowledge would be pure understanding ; 
the knowledge of the brutes is pure sensations. Human 
morality, however, contains a dualism ; for the practical 
morality of man consists of the formal moral law inspir- 
ing the sensibilities although not heeding them. The 
will as pure reason is the activity of God ; the will~as. 
pure impulses is Ihe activity of brutes. But the true 
realm of- man is this world of reason in which he is one 
with God, although he is at the same time hampered by 
being part of the world of phenomena. 

1 Quoted from Falckenberg, Hist, cf Modern Phil., p. 387. This is a 
paraphrase of some of Schiller's verses in The Philosophers, a satiiical 
poem of philosophical theories. 


I. The Postulate of Freedom. The unconditioned 
moral law is the basis of freedom for which all scientific 
knowledge seeks in vain. An unconditioned will is a 
free will. The will based upon the reason is based upon 
itself and is therefore free. The consciousness of the 
moral law within us implies freedom in its exercise. 
The " I ought " implies " I can." We can have no know- 
ledge of freedom, for in the eye of the understanding 
only causal necessity rules. But the reason commands 
as well as knows. It states what ought to be as well as 
what is. Its mandate implies freedom, as its knowledge 
states existence. When we will, we act as if we were 
free, and our freedom is a postulate which cannot be 
proved to the understanding. Freedom is not an object 
of knowledge, but an act of faith. Freedom as a postu; 
late is the condition of morality, and the primacy of the 
will over the pure reason is shown in the fact that it 
can guarantee what the understanding cannot prove. 

2. The Postulate of the Immortality of the Soul. 
The goal of the inclinations is happiness. The goal of 
the will is virtue. There is no relation or correspond- 
ence between the two in this world. A man may be 
happy and still not virtuous ; he may be virtuous and 
not happy. Since a man belongs to both the world of 
free spirits and the world of necessity, he is thwarted 
in reaching for his highest good in this life. His high- 
est good is the union of virtue and happiness. If this 
is to be attained, another life must be guaranteed. Yet 
this is only a postulate and not a proof. When man 
wills, he wills as if he were an immortal being. 

3. The Postulate of the Existence of God. Faith 
in reaching forward must postulate God, as alone able 
to vouchsafe future harmony between goodness and 

KANT 277 

happiness and alone able to distribute justly the rewards 
and punishments that are so disproportionate in this 
world. When I will, I will as if God existed. When 
I will, I create by my willing my freedom, my immor- 
tality, and God's existence. But because my will is an 
unconditioned law of my real being, my faith in these 
things is well founded.^ 

1 Kant's theory of Beauty, discussed in his Critique of Judgment, 
through which he tries to reconcile the antagonism of knowledge and 
morality, is omitted here. 



Idealism after Kant-* Kant's criticism had been a 
fine dissection of the processes of knowledge. He had 
laid scientific knowledge open and separated it into its 
parts. In doing this he had acted in the spirit of his 
time, which had been inauirurated bv Lessins:. His doc- 
trine became the point of departure of many differing 
systems. A modern German professor in the University 
of Berlin has been wont to say, - There are ten inter- 
pretations of Kant's Critique, which are the ten kinds 
of philosophy at the present time." The incoherence of 
Kant's philosophy made it famous. He represented the 
first stage of a social movement ; and like all social move- 
ments the world over, the fijst stage was critical, self- 
inconsistent, and destructive of tradition. The second 
stage is the one upon which we now enter, and we shall 
find it to be reconstructive along several lines. Criticism 
is always an inducement to new systematization. In 
Germany, after Kant, there was naturally, therefore, a 
great systematic movement which its intellectually virile 
and many-sided life was ready to express. Culture and 
philosophy went hand in hand. Jena was the centre of 
Kantianism and was in close proximity to Weimar, the 
centre of German cultare. 

At the time that the philosophy of Kant became 
popular, the teaching of Spinoza was resurrected from 
its long sleep and introduced into Germany. Kant was 
* Read Windelband, Hist, of PhiL, pp. 568-569. 


the "all-crusliing " critic; Spinoza was the dogmatic 
mystic. Their opposition did not amount to a con- 
tradiction, but was of the correlative sort. Kant and 
Spinoza became the two intellectual foci about which 
revolved the thought of the generation after Kant. All 
the succeeding philosophers show Kant's influence upon 
them, for they aU accept his epistemology. They show 
the influence of Spinoza in varying degrees. 

The philosophers whom we shall now meet may be 
divided into groups. The first group consists of Rhein- 
hold, Fichte, Schelling. and Hegel. These took the 
lead in destroying the Kantian conception of the thing- 
in-itself and in constructing a pure idealism. The 
second group consists of Herbart and Schopenhauer. 
These tried in different ways to develop a metaphy- 
sics of the thing-in-itself. A third group consisted of 
the old Wolffian rationalistic school, which was, how- 
ever, misuccessful in its opposition to the spread of the 
doctrines of Kant and Spinoza, A summary of the 
leaders of the German thought of this time would 
not be complete without mention, lastly, of the mis- 
cellaneous group of Kterary Romanticists, whose writ- 
ings partook of the philosophical spirit. The influence 
of Spinoza is especially prominent in this group. Jean 
Paul Richter (1763-1825) was the forerunner of this 
movement, and it included the names of Tieck. Wack- 
enroder, the two Schlegels. Xovalis, the two Romantic 
women. — Dorothea and Caroline, — Schiller, and Goe- 
the. The poet Schiller did much to popularize Kant's 
aesthetic and moral doctrines. 

Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel. This group of disciples 
of Kant can be imderstood sympathetically onlv in the 
light of their age. They were not philosophical adven- 


turers, otherwise the great representative of the age, 
Goethe, would not have associated with Schelling and 
Hegel on equal terms. They stood for the revulsion of 
the period against all external systems, and for the reali- 
zation of a spiritual realm of free spirits. They sought 
not a factitious and imaginary condition, but tried 
rather to discover the essentials of the spiritual life. 
They would reclaim reality spiritually, and their only 
defect was in their haste in carrying out their princi- 
ples. Fichte, ScheUing, and Hegel are sharers in one 
common movement. They tried systematically to pre- 
sent the evolution of the world as an unbroken evolu- 
tion of thought. They went back to Kant, but they were 
bolder than he. They sought to transcend the limita- 
tions of thought which he had laid down. They would 
set thought free, and, gazing in upon their own spirits, 
they would find there the whole infinite universe. The 
spiritual realm seemed to them to be wider than any 
one had supposed. It was a self-governing realm, quite 
different from the world of matter. History to them 
is cosmic and develops under one law of progression. 
It is an upward movement of assertions, negations, 
and syntheses. Life is cosmic spirituality. For Fichte 
the spirit is a cosmic battle for moral ends ; for 
Schelling the spirit is a cosmic artistic construction, 
which transforms the external and internal worlds 
into a work of living art ; for Hegel the cosmic spirit 
unfolds in a strict and rigorous logic, whose consumma- 
tion is thought of thought. But while Fichte, Schelling, 
and Hegel look at the world each in his own way, they 
are members of one common movement toward spirit- 
ual freedom, and toward the reestablishment of meta- 


The Life and Writings of Fichte (1762-1814).* 
Johann Gottlieb Fichte was the most notable of the 
immediate disciples of Kant. In contrast with the un- 
disturbed and uneventful scholastic retirement of his 
master, Fichte's life looms up as a series of conflicts, 
sometimes with extreme poverty and sometimes with 
hostile forces created by his own stubborn and irascible 
disposition. Fichte's external life was throughout one 
of curious contrasts, both of tragedy and romance. His 
love for the moral and theological appears in his early 
youth in his voluntary self-denial and in his sermons 
to the geese which he was herding. Again, he made 
preparation to become a preacher, but his intellectual 
training in the university drove him to abandon it. 
He became a necessitarian and tried to square his life 
with his philosophy, although it weighed his heart down. 
Then came the so-called " Atheistic Controversy " when 
he was professor at Jena, and his defiance of the au- 
thorities and his dismissal. In the tumultuous days at 
Berlin he turned his metaphysics into patriotic appeals, 
and would have joined the army, but his death inter- 
vened. The inner development of Fichte, too, was dif- 
ferent from that of Kant. Kant's inner development 
was coincident with his long life. Fichte, on the other 
hand, at the age of twenty-eight had read and accepted 
Kant's philosophy, and four years later had created his 
own. This was only slightly modified in his later years 
in the direction of the pantheism of Spinoza. Kant's 
life was apart from the political current of his time, 

* Read Royce, Spirit of Modern Phil., chap, v; Eucken, 
Problem of Hujnan Life, pp. 486-490 ; Rand, Modern 
Classical Philosophers, pp. 486-496, 516-535 ; Windelband, 
Hist, of Phil, ^^. bn-bSl. 


while his doctrine became fundamental for aU future 
philosophy. Fichte' s life and philosophy were more ex- 
pressive of his time, but less lasting in their influence. 
Fichte is the philosophic preacher to his time; Kant is 
the instructor of all time. 

Fichte's life may be divided into four periods, which 
are marked by certain external events. 

1. His Education (1762-1790). He was the son 
of a poor ribbon-maker. As a boy he worked for his 
father, and again at the equally humble employment of 
herding geese. It was during this latter occupation 
that his wonderful memory attracted the attention of 
a philanthropic nobleman, who gave him means for an 
education. Fichte studied theology, philosophy, and 
philology at Leipsic and Jena ; but he had to face ex- 
treme poverty again upon the death of his benefactor. 
In 1788 he got a position as tutor in Zurich, and here 
he met Pestalozzi, Lavater, and his future wife, a niece 
of the poet, Klopstock. During this period his philoso- 
phy was a necessitarianism, which he had evolved from 
the theology in which he was trained and his reading 
of certain books on Spinoza. 

2. Disdpleship of Kant (1790-1794). Fichte re- 
turned from Zurich to Leipsic, and in the capacity of 
tutor in philosophy he assisted a young man in the 
reading of Kant's Critique. He was at once converted 
heart and soul to the Kantian doctrine. In 1791 he 
called on Kant at Konigsberg and submitted to Kant 
his Critique of Revelation. The next year he published 
this work, and by some fortunate accident his name 
as author was omitted from the title-page. The work 
was attributed to Kant, and was widely read as a master- 
piece by Kant. Kant had to correct the mistake, which, 


however, made the real author, Fichte, famous. So he 
returned to Zurich in 1793 to marry Frjiulein Rahn, 
who was herself now in comfortable circumstances. 

3. His Life at Jena (1794-1799). The year 1794 
was another milestone in the biographj'^ of Fichte. In 
this year he was called to Jena, then the principal uni- 
versity of Germany, to succeed Rheinhold. In this 
year he published his philosojihy in his best known 
work, the Wissenschqftslehre. He remained at Jena 
only five years. At first his popularity exceeded that of 
the popular Rheinhold, but he soon filled his life with 
controversies. He quarreled with the students and the 
clergy, and in 1799 the so-called "Atheistic Contro- 
versy" arose, in which charges were brought against 
his teaching as atheism. Brooking no criticism either 
of his teaching or of his official position, he defied the 
authorities of the university and was dismissed. 

4. His Life at Berlin (11 99-lSU), In 1799 Fichte 
went to Berlin to live. At first he had no academic 
affiliations, but he found a large and sympathetic pub- 
lic, to whom he lectured. He was warmly received by 
the circle of Romanticists, — the Schlegels, Tieck, and 
Schleiermacher. His philosophical system got little de- 
velopment ; but the influence of Spinoza appeared in his 
teaching. He lectured upon the ethical and religious 
aspects of his philosophy, and upon political and social 
subjects. In 1808 he delivered his famous Addresses 
to the German People. In 1810 the University of Ber- 
lin was founded and he was called to the chair of phi- 
losophy, but he was connected with the university only 
two years. For in 1812 came the call to arms, and 
Fichte was with difficulty dissuaded from enlisting. He 
remained in Berlin and preached to the soldiers in 


camp. His wife volunteered as hospital nurse and con- 
tracted a fever, from which she recovered. Fichte, how- 
ever, who nursed her through her sickness, died of the 
disease in 1814. 

The Influences upon Fichte's Teaching. Any esti- 
mate of the influences upon Fichte would be distorted 
that did not recognize the calibre of the man himself. 
Fichte was essentially a puritan reformer. He was im- 
petuous and life-loving, but withal a simple-minded 
man. All the philosophical influences which he was ca- 
pable of feeling would naturally be turned by him into 
ethical and religious sermons to reach the life of men. 
He must be thought of as the crusader armed with ab- 
stract truths, which he wields with a giant's strength 
for the moral uplift of man. 

It was natural then that the two principal influences 
upon Fichte's doctrine should be Spinoza and Kant. 
To be sure, such writers as Lessing, Rousseau, and Pes- 
talozzi furnished him much material in his early years, 
and the Romanticists in his later years. His wife, 
Johanna Rahn, was also a source of power to him, and 
through her influence after their marriage his aim be- 
came clearer and his character lost much of its harsh- 
ness. But the two great influences upon Fichte were 
the two great philosophical forces of this time, Spinoza 
and Kant. Fichte's philosophy has been described as 
" Spinoza in terms of Kant," and also as " an inverted 
or idealistic Spinozism." The influence of Spinoza upon 
Fichte's thought is seen at both ends of his life. At the 
beginning he was an amateurish Spinozist. He found 
that the theological training of his boyhood was a neces- 
sitarianism like Spinozism. lie lost his faith in Chris- 
tianity, and he was unhappy because he found Spinoza's 


doctrine of necessity was intolerable and yet unanswer- 
able. Then he read Kant and found a solution of his 
difficulty without having to change the doctrine of 
Spinoza. For Kant had placed behind the necessitated 
world the free spirit. In the last period of Fichte's life 
the influence of the mystical side of Spinozism ap- 
peared, through Fichte's intercourse with the Eomanti- 
cists in Berlin. 

Why We Philosophize. To Fichte philosophy was 
distinctly a personal problem, and we feel in all his 
words that he is wrestling with his own nature. He 
found in his mind two very different classes of ideas, 
and he was certain that philosophical problems arise 
from their antagonism. On the one hand there are the 
ideas about the world of physical nature, which are only 
our experiences under the law of necessity. On the 
other hand there are the ideas of the individual con- 
sciousness, which are contingent and voluntary. Which 
of these two classes of ideas is primal ? Fichte felt that 
all philosophical curiosity arose from the contrast of 
these two classes ; the solution of philosophy and the 
satisfaction of our philosophical curiosity would be 
reached only by the reduction of one class to the other. 
Fichte calls the philosopher a dogmatist who seeks to re- 
duce voluntary ideas, which compose our individual con- 
sciousness, to the necessitated series. Spinoza sought to 
do this, and the philosophy of Spinoza depressed Fichte 
as intolerable. But there is the alternative to the phi- 
losopher to explain the necessitated series by voluntary 
consciousness. This is idi-alism. Tlie moment a man be- 
gins to reflect, he must choose between dogmatism, i. e. 
necessitarianism, and idealism. He is always confronted 
by an Either-Or, a choice between freedom and necessity. 


The Moral Awakening. In his early life Fichte saw 
to his despair no escape from the philosophy of neces- 
sity. When he read the Critique of Pure Reason a 
great light came to him. He flung himself immediately 
upon the side of idealism. He saw that necessitated 
events were phenomena, and therefore the creations of 
consciousness. Consciousness cannot be the slave of 
necessitated events. Kant's philosophy was to Fichte a 
work of art of the free spirit. The world cannot contain 
man and compel him. Man may be oppressed by the 
world, but he can see that such oppression is not real. In 
his Vocation of Man (1800) he gave in autobiographical 
terms the story of the awakening and development of 
the individual mind. At first one is ovei'whelmed by 
the sight of the necessitated events of the world. Next 
he comes to believe that all events are mere appear- 
ances, and he is weighed down by the still greater de- 
spair that no reality whatever exists. Finally he finds 
the rock of hope amid the sea of appearances. He finds 
an ultimate and irreducible fact in the categorical im- 
perative of duty. " Thou must " is above necessity, 
above the phenomena that are always reducible to other 
phenomena. Duty means the freedom of my inner life. 
That there is always lodged in me a duty to perform, 
shows that I am superior to phenomena, that I am a 
citizen of the supersensuous world. This " heaven does 
not lie beyond the grave, but already encompasses us, 
and its light dawns in every human heart." " That I 
myself am a freely acting individual must be the funda- 
mental thought of every true philosopher." 

Every one must therefore choose between dogmatism 
and idealism, if he would not fall a victim to skepti- 
cal despair. Two motives will determine one's choice : 


one theoretical, the other practical. The primary motive 
is the practical one, and since dogmatism and idealism 
are equally consistent systems, man's choice will depend 
mainly on the manner of man he is. If the individual 
has a high sense of duty, he will be disposed to believe 
in his moral control over all his experiences, however 
much they may seem to be necessitated. Conscious free- 
dom will seem to him to be the only satisfactory ex- 
planation of practical life. But then there will be the 
additional theoretical motive. The man that chooses 
either dogmatism or idealism must theoretically make 
his world consistent. The dogmatist cannot explain the 
conscious facts in terms of determinism ; but, Fichte 
thinks, the idealist can explain the necessitated facts in 
terms of consciousness. At any rate the idealist has the 
task of rethinking his scientific knowledge. 

The Central Principle in Fichte's Philosophy. How 
does Fichte attempt to draw up a consistent theory so 
that he can overcome the dualism between the necessi- 
tated facts of physical nature and the free states of con- 
sciousness? As an idealist he must rethink the know- 
ledge of science. But how is this to be done? What 
principle will he place at the central point of conscious- 
ness, so to illuminate the manifold problems of life that 
life's dualism will prove to be only apparent after all ? 
Here as answer we find the outcome of Fichte's struggle 
with his own nature. He believed that the principle of 
the true philosophy of life comes from the study of con- 
sciousness. The nature of the Ego is the subject for 
philosophical study. What is the essence of the Ego or 
the personality ? It is activity, will, vitality ; not intel- 
lect and changelessness. But can we not get beneath the 
activity of the personality and ask, Why does it act ? 


Yes, because it ought. When we have said this we have 
said all. The essence of the vitality of the Ego is moral 
obligation. Ought is the foundation of life ; it is ulti- 
mate ground of existence. If we ask why there is an 
ought, the only answer is, there ought to be. The duty 
exists that you and I shall have a duty. In order to be, 
the Ego must act ; and it acts in response to duty. This 
activity is free activity. The Ego is unconditioned because 
it is acting out its own nature. Thus when Fichte is talk- 
ing about the Ego, the ought, the moral law or freedom, 
he is talking about the same thing in different guises. 
Fichte placed moral freedom as the central principle of 
metaphysics and tried to rethink the world of necessi- 
tated experiences in terms of moral freedom. He at- 
tempted to construct a monistic view of life, of which 
the free moral personality should be its inner vitality. 
Monism and liberty was Fichte's war-cry. Reality is in 
us ; there can be no reality independent of us. The mor- 
ally free Ego is the central principle of life. 

Such a message to the German people would appeal 
to two sides of their nature. It would appeal as a meta- 
physics to the mysticism in their blood ; it would find 
also a practical response in the humanitarian and revo- 
lutionary spirit of that revolutionary time. Be up and 
be doing, for reality is not what people commonly think 
it is. Your environment is only apparently an independ- 
ent existence beyond your control. Reality is not static. 
Rethink it and make it dynamic. Not being, but acting, 
and free acting, is reality. Such was Fichte's sermon 
to the Germans of his day. His theory can be stated 
in the terms of the Greek Heracleitus, " All things 
change," provided the change be thought of as moral 
activity. To philosophize was to Fichte to think the 


universe as free moral activity, to see inactivity no- 
where, to free ourselves from dualism and to participate 
in the universal freedom. Freedom is higher than truth. 
Existence is derived from thought in action, and thus 
our existence and our environment may be shaped by 
us. Thought is essentially action, and we shall educate 
the world only through our own activity. 

The Moral World. Fichte had a jjhilosophy, the prin- 
ciples of which he repeated over and over again as a 
kind of habit. He was a man of few but great ideas. 
He was inspired by some general conceptions which he 
did not carefully elaborate. His philosophy can be ex- 
pressed in few words, and his point of view is not diffi- 
cult to feel. Nevertheless, there is great difficulty in re- 
stating his meaning. He maintained that Kant's early 
philosophy was not truly Kantian, and that he, Fichte, 
represented the true Kant. In taking this stand he was 
obliged to do two things : to explain away the thing-in- 
itself, and to rethink the world of necessitated nature in 
terms of the activity of the morally free Ego. 

If we start from the heart of existence — the active 
Ego — the world spreads out before us as a system of 
reason which has been created by the activity of the Ego. 
On this account Fichte's philosophy has been called sub- 
jective idealism. In such a scheme of things there is no 
place for the Kantian thing-in-itself. All Being is only 
an extended product of the active Ego and the object of 
its knowledge. The Ego acts because it must, and then 
reflects upon its activity. Its knowledge of its activity 
is in grades from sense-perception to complete know- 
ledge. Now Kant had referred sensations to the thing- 
in-itself as their source. But this is unnecessary, since 
sensations are only the activity of the Ego. Sensations 


are the groundless, free act of the Ego. They appear 
to be " given," because they appear to be foreign and 
coming from without. They are, however, only the low- 
est form of the activity of the personality — they are 
unconscious self-limitation of the Ego. The sensations 
have no ground that determines them, but as the lowest 
form of the activity of the Ego they are absolutely free. 
Thus the thing-in-itself becomes superfluous, since it is 
not necessary to account for sensations. 

The next task for Fichte is to rethink the series of 
necessitated events of physical nature. If we will look 
at these events from the point of view of the willing 
Ego, which is reality, they will be seen to be products 
of purposive action. Together they will make a world 
of connected rational activities rather than a mechanical 
system. The necessity in nature is not causal, but tele- 
ological. It is not the necessity linking the series of 
events together, but rather the linking of each event to 
the acting Ego, and thus the connecting of the whole series. 
Take the idealist's position and this illuminating thought 
will come to you : a thing is not because something else 
is, but in order that something else may be. As moral 
beings we have tasks. As moral beings we are the im- 
personation of duty, and duty is reality. These phe- 
nomena that so trouble us because we think them neces- 
sitated are only contingent upon the performance of our 
duty. The existence of one thing is not to be explained 
by the existence of another, but by the existence of me, 
an Ego. Phenomena are little steps toward great ends. 
When I rethink the world I see no causal relationship, 
but the teleological means for the achievement of pur- 
poses by striving souls. History and nature — these are 
the material created by human beings for their own 


activity. We not only create our human drama, but 
we create also the stage upon which it is performed. 
Being is not the cause of Doing, but Being is created 
for the sake of Doing. Whatever is, is to be explained by 
what ought to be. " The world is the theatre of moral 
action." "Nature is the sensible material of duty." 

God and Man. If Fichte regarded the human per- 
sonality from this moral height, he would naturally give 
a new meaning to God, the absolute reality. God is not 
a substance, a something that "is." God is the univer- 
sal moral process, the moral world-order. God is the 
Universal Ego, a free, world-creating activity. God was 
conceived by Fichte as Matthew Arnold's " something 
not ourselves that makes for righteousness." When I 
find in myself that duty is reality and net this or that 
fixed and crystallized tbing, when I find that my real 
self is moral functioning and not a tangible form of 
flesh and bones, then I take the next step. I then find 
that God is universal duty, universal moral functioning, 
in which I am participating. We are not only part of 
God — yea, we are He. As the Holy Writ says, " Ye 
are Gods." The absolute Ego manifests Itself in our 
poor finite Egos. How dignified our humble lot is made 
by thinking that in our acting, God is acting ! We are 
fighting God's battle, and His victory is not won ex- 
cept as we win. Duty in us is the clarion voice of God, 
and we are persons so far as we express that voice. It 
matters little whether I speak of my own duty or the 
moral purpose of the world. They are the same thing. 

This enjoined labor upon every rational soul to per- 
form his duty of reaching high ideals, through his hum- 
ble tasks, of " fighting the good fight and keeping the 
faith," is to Fichte the meaning of coming to a con- 


sciousuess of one's self. What is myself, my real self? 
It is not this phenomenal existence with its appearance 
of necessity. It is the eternal and everlasting duty within 
me. What is it to think myself ? It is to think my duty ; 
and to think duty is to think God. When I come to 
consciousness of myself, the cosmic order is coming so 
far to self-consciousness. Reality is so far attained. His- 
tory is the record of this process of the moral order 
coming to self-consciousness. 

In his later teaching Fichte succumbed to the victori- 
ous Spinozism of the period. He conceived God as an 
Ego whose infinite impulse is directed toward Himself ; he 
conceived finite things as products of this infinitely active 
consciousness. The finite products find their vocation in 
imitating the infuiite producer, which imitation consists 
not in the activity of producing other finite things 
through the categorical imperative, but in the " blessed 
life " of sinking into the infinite. 

What a Moral Reality involves. Since reality is this 
process of moral development, its conditions will arise 
out of itself and be its own creation. Since the world is 
reason coming to itself, it must develop its own condi- 
tions out of its original task. All the acts of history must 
be explained as the original " deed-act," as Fichte calls 
it. Fichte thought that the whole business of philoso- 
phy consists in showing what is involved in this original 
"deed-act" of consciousness, this attempt of conscious- 
ness to think itself. Since self-consciousness is reality, 
this will be the same as showing what reality involves. 

1. In the first place, consciousness always involves 
the consciousness of something else. To use Fichte's 
technical language, the Ego posits itself (since it is a 
moral process) and in the same act it posits a non-Ego 


(which is the necessary object of consciousness). " The 
absolute Ego asserts a distinguishable Ego against a 
distinguishable non-Ego." It is like a boy who feels 
the call to become a lawyer. He asserts himself in that 
call, and at the same time in that assertion he creates 
his life's career. His career in the law is his non-Ego. 
Both the Ego and the non-Ego are creations of that 
absolute Ego, which is the ever surging duty or God. 
While both the Ego and the non-Ego are the creations of 
that absolute Ego, which is cosmic duty or God, yet each 
limits the other. Ego and non-Ego are correlative terms ; 
both originate in the free act of God. The world is, 
therefore, the creation of the real self as the condition 
of its own activity. It even creates its sensations as the 
given materials of its knowledge. The world is the ma- 
terial of duty put into sense forms. While we create 
matter in order that we may be active in it, the spatial 
and temporal forms, its categories, limit our activities. 
2. In the second place, this awakening of the Ego to 
a consciousness of itself involves a curious contradiction. 
Duty is by nature contradictory. Duty calls me to know 
myself and to perform my task, and yet in that call duty 
prevents the task from being performed. In attempt- 
ing to know duty completely I am always under the 
condition of an opposing and limiting non-Ego. The 
non-Ego is essential to the Ego and at the same time 
thwarts the Ego's full knowledge of itself. So long as 
the non-Ego exists, no complete knowledge of myself is 
possible. A limiting non-Ego makes the Ego limited, and 
therefore prevents complete knowledge and fulfillment 
of duty. Duty calls upon us to perform a task, but under 
conditions such that it cannot be performed. So long as 
the boy strives in his legal profession, duty appears ; but 


BO long is duty rendered incomplete. Moral progress is 
endless, but that only shows how contented we must be 
with the process of striving and not with some static con- 
dition. To strive morally is reality ; the goal is nowhere. 
The contradiction is seen in the eternal contrast between 
what is and what ought to be, between the moral task 
and the actual performance. We are under the require- 
ment to perform, and in the requirement is the restraint. 
The dialectic process is endless. First there is the stage 
which Fichte caUs the Thesis in the call of the absolute 
Ego. The next stage is the Antithesis, seen in the mu- 
tually limiting Ego and non-Ego. The next stage is the 
Synthesis, in which some accomplishment is gained, but 
which becomes only the Thesis for another Antithesis; 
and so on infinitely. The terms Thesis, Antithesis, and 
Synthesis are important, for they are employed by 
Fichte's successors, Schelling and Hegel. 

Romanticism.* " We seek the plan of nature in the 
outside world. We ourselves are this plan. Why need 
we traverse the difficult roads through physical nature ? 
The better and purer road lies within our own mind." 

Romanticism was a great European movement which 
lasted about a century from 1750 to 1850 ; and it 
would be perfectly justifiable to speak of the intellect- 
ual period in Germany from Lessing to Heine as Ro- 
manticism. Rousseau and the French Revolutionists, 
Ossian, Scott, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, 
Keats, and Wagner were in the forefront of this world- 
wide movement. The Storm and Stress Period was a 

* Read Beers, History of Romanticism in Eighteenth 
Centtiry, pp. 1-25 ; Beers, History of Romanticism in Nine- 
teentli Century, pp. 132-139. 


phase of it ; and so even was the Period of Classicism 
that followed. Goethe and Schiller were Romanticists, 
and Classicism was only an episode in their lives. The 
Period of German Classicism (1787-1805) was differ- 
ent from the Classicism of the seventeenth century, be- 
cause it was thoroughly infected with Romantic germs. 
If one is to take account of the different phases of 
German thought after Lessing, one mentions first the 
Storm and Stress Period, then Classicism, and then the 
Romantic movement proper from 1795 to 1850. Some 
of the literary names connected with the Romantic move- 
ment have already been mentioned, — Richter, Tieck, 
Wackenrode, Novalis, the Schlegels, Schiller, and 
Goethe. Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel are the philoso- 
phers of this Romantic movement and embody its spirit 
in different degrees. The true philosophical exponent 
of it is Schelling. 

Romanticism is an accidental and inadequate name 
for this world-wide literary and philosophical move- 
ment. In general it means the exalting of the individ- 
ual, " who admits no law above himself." The Roman- 
tic individuality is dominated by unrestrained fancy, is 
animated by feeling and passion, and prefers the vague 
and mystical to the clear and defined. In literature 
Romanticism is contrasted with Classicism. The Class- 
icist emphasizes the type, the Romanticist the individ- 
ual. The Classicist defers to traditional form and law ; 
the Romanticist has no common canon even with other 
Romanticists except the right to disagree. The only 
common principle among Romanticists is subjective — 
the truth of the individual intuitions, which in the case 
of the historical Romanticists found expression in the 
play of fiercely egoistic wills seeking self-realization. 


The historical Romantic movement was a passionate and 
mighty reaction against the previous shallow intellectual 
life with its narrow conventions. Romanticism was a 
revolt against the period of the Enlightenment, which 
scorned what it could not define. These Romanticists 
were discontented with typical ideas and with logical 
reasoning about them. They challenged the universe, 
because it was not obedient to their egoistic cravings. 

It is very clear what the dangers as well as the great- 
ness of this German Romanticism were. The dangers of 
the movement lay within itself, in its aristocratic exclu- 
siveness, its reluctance to face the forces of evil, its lack 
of strength and of firmness of character. Yet the age 
itself may be largely responsible for these. Its strength 
lay also within, in its deepening of self-consciousness, 
in its rejuvenating and ennobling the whole expanse of 
being, in its intellectual conception of man's most inti- 
mate relations to himself, to his companions, and to the 
world around him. Sometimes, indeed, the spiritual 
force of this small band shows itself quite capable of 
strong action in the outer world. Napoleon himself as- 
cribed his downfall not primai'ily to diplomacy or to the 
bayonet, but to the resistance of the German Ideologists. 

Goethe as a Romanticist. We have already spoken 
of the resurrection of Spinoza's doctrine and its accept- 
ance as a model by this time. The Romanticists, fol- 
lowing Spinoza, conceived of nature as a unity in which 
the divine manifests itself in its fullness. Nature is 
Reason in Becoming. So fitting, indeed, for the time 
was Spinoza's pantheism that Goethe, the literary ex- 
ponent of the period, made it the central principle of 
his poetic thought. Goethe can be understood only as 
the Romantic Spinoza. The philosophy that underlies 


Goethe's work is noted here as an example of the Ro- 
mantic movement. 

Like all the Romantic philosophy, Goethe's philoso- 
phy was a personal revelation, and not a formulated 
doctrine for universal application. Like all the Ro- 
manticists, Goethe was a highly strung personality, and 
his philosophy was conceived to be true by himself only 
for himself. He did not look upon the trivialities and 
the conventions of life as mere limitations of his per- 
sonality, but as a fall from truth. Truth is realized by 
man when he is in vital interchayige with the universe. 
Therefore Goethe was in full agreement v/ith Spinoza 
in longing for emancipation from human littleness and 
in his desire for the infinite. Goethe differed from 
Spinoza's pantheism in his own way ; for Goethe con- 
ceived man to have an independent function in the in- 
finite. Man makes his contribution to history and does 
not merely passively appropriate the products of the 
world around himself. Man reacts vipon the world, he 
resists it, and becomes alive to the joy of it. 

To Goethe the world had a sotaI, because the world 
gives clearness to the human soul. Nature shows how 
closely she is related to us by disclosing to us her in- 
most sold. Here in Goethe is a mysticism in modern 
garb, an artistic view of life. Besides, the world ex- 
presses human experiences on a large scale, and the 
way to nature's heart is not to go behind nature-phe- 
nomena, but through them. The facts of nature are real, 
a,nd our own life is like nature. Both move in pre. 
scribed orbits, but both are empty if the connection be- 
tween them is severed. AVe find therefore the secret of 
our life by returning to nature, and this is a return to 
the spiritual whole of things. At different times Goethe 


was pantheist, naturalist, and tlieist. He believed that 
all finite life is divine, and is a synthesis of opposite 
forces, in which individuality has a place. Humanity is 
ruled by necessary types, yet within them the individual 
is free. Such free individuals take their objects from the 
world, spiritually endow these objects, and thus make 
art and ethics very close to nature. 

Romanticism in Philosophy.* The Romantic move- 
ment was intrinsically speculative and naturally had its 
representatives in philosophy, which is systematic spec- 
ulation. Fichte and Hegel, but especially Schelling, are 
the philosophical exponents of the revolutionary spirit 
of the age. All three were demonstrators in philosophy 
of the truths and dreams held by ardent souls, but Schel- 
ling's system reflected the spiritual upheaval. Fichte 
belongs to the Romantic movement inasmuch as he 
strives for the infinite, but Fichte separates himself 
from that movement by distinguishing between con- 
sciousness and its content. The true Romantic spirit ap- 
pears in Schelling — the impulse to revel in intuitions, 
in symbolism, to run riot first in nature and art, and 
afterwards in religion. The Romantic philosophers 
were friends and sympathizers of the Romanticists, 
living in the same city, sometimes in the same house, 
and were members of the same spiritual family. But it 
must be remembered that there was not one Roman- 
ticist leader with many imitators, but that each Ro- 
manticist followed out his own line. When we speak 
of Schelling as a Romantic philosopher we mean that 
he gives the speculative tendency of the many Roman- 
ticists his own clearer definition and formulation. The 
background of Schelling's philosophy is the source of 

* Read Royce, Spirit of Modern Philosophy, ch. vi. 


the Romanticists' motives. It may be stated under 
three headings : — 

(1) Man's ideal is to expand his soul until it becomes 
one with God. 

(2) There is no Thing-in-Itsel£. The finite world is 
only a limitation of the ego. 

(3) Man and the nature world are essentially one. 
Man has a knowledge of nature when he has a know- 
ledge of himself. In reading his own history he reads 
the history of nature. The Romanticist drew a veil from 
the face of nature and found there his own spirit. 

The Life and the Writings of Schelling (1775- 
1854).* Of Schelling's long life of seventy-nine years, 
the fifteen years from 1795 to 1810 were the most im- 
portant productive period. Like Berkeley, he was a 
many-sided genius, and began to write brilliantly in his 
early years. He published his first treatise at sixteen 
years, and before he was twenty he published several 
essays of distinct merit on Fichte's philosophy, the suc- 
cess of which led to his call to the chair of philosophy 
at Jena. All his technical works were written in an 
academic atmosphere. After 1812 he, so fond of writing, 
became silent. He even ceased to deHver lectures at the 
University of Berlin when he found that notes of them 
were published without his consent. Hegel, in comment- 
ing on Schelling, said that Schelling liked to carry on 
his thinking in public. 

Schelling and Fichte may be studied together because 
they are alike in developing one side of Kant's doc- 

* Read Eucken, Problem of Human Life, pp. 457-464, 
490-494 ; Wernaer, Romanticism and the Romantic School 
in Germany, pp. 132-143; Rand, Modern Classical Phi- 
losophers, pp. 535-568. 


trine. But their careers were very different. Contrasted 
with Fichte's life of poverty, struggle, self-created an- 
tagonisms, long-delayed victory, and devotion to rigorous 
morality, is Schelling's life of early academic success, 
prosperity, and romantic friendships. Tlie life of Kant 
was one of inner development and outward routine ; 
that of Fichte of early formulated thought and exter- 
nal warfare. Schelling's life, on the other hand, does 
not strike us as one of development, either externally 
or subjectively. It was rather a series of changes. He 
looked upon his own philosophy as a development, but 
its linkage is thread-like, due to his wonderful imagin- 
ation and mobility of thought. With his great suggestive 
power, he depended more upon analogy than logic ; his 
argument and his philosophy lie before us as if ever in 
process of continuous readaptation. Schelling possessed 
all the fervor and insight of the Romanticists, and all 
their egoism and caprice. It is even more difficult to 
characterize his philosophy than that of Spinoza. He was 
monist, pantheist, and evolutionist ; parallelist, theoso- 
phist, and believer in freedom ; he accepted the doctrine 
of the Trinity ; in all this he was the true Romanticist. 
Schelling's philosophy of nature is intelligible only in 
the light of the gi-eat artistic ferment of his time and 
as the expression of his strong artistic personality. His 
ideal of artistic insight into nature became for him his 
idea of science. Reality is nature, and nature is a work 
of art, self composed and self renewing. The endeavor 
of Schelling was to fashion all human existence into 
artistic form. At first he looked upon nature as rational, 
but later be was impressed with its irrationality. 

Schelling's life may be divided into six periods on 
the basis of the changes of his thought : — 


1. Earlier Period (1775-1797). Schelling was the 
son of the chaplain of a cloister school near Tiibin- 
gen, and was educated in history and speculative science 
in the university of that town. After his university 
education he held the position of tutor in a nobleman's 
family at Leipsic for two years. During this time he 
listened to lectures at the University of Leipsic on 
medicine and physics. Before he was twenty he had 
published several notable essays on speculative mat- 
ters, among them The Ego as a Erinciple in Philoso- 
phy; and in 1797 Ideas for a Philosophy of Nature. 
These led to his call to a chair in the University of 
Jena. Schelling was early acquainted with the doc- 
trine of Leibnitz, but the most powerful influences 
upon him at this time were Kant and, especially, 

2. The Philosophy of Nature (1797-1800). 
Schelling was called to Jena through the influence of 
Goethe, Schiller, and Fichte ; and it was here that he 
completed what he had begun at Leipsic — the supple- 
mentation of Fichte's philosophy with a Philosophy 
of Nature (written 1798). He was colleague of Fichte 
and afterwards a helpful friend of Hegel. Jena was 
then the centre of the Romantic movement, the moving 
spirit of which was Caroline, the wife of August Schle- 
gel. Schelling was very successful at Jena as lecturer, 
and his publications at this time were very many. 

3. The Transcendental Philosophy (1800-1801). 
While still at Jena he felt the influence of Schiller, 
who had united the ideas of Kant and Goethe into an 
Esthetic Idealism. Under this influence Schelling re- 
constructed the Fichtean philosophy of the Ego on a 
Romantic basis. 


4. The Philosojjhy of Identity (1S01-1S04:}. Schel- 
ling now undertook to put his recast philosophy of 
Fichte upon the basis of Spinozism. This caused a 
break between him and Fichte and Hegel. In 1803 he 
married Caroline, the divorced wife of August Schlegel 
and the idol of the Romantic circle, and the same year 
accepted a call to the University of Wurzburg, where 
he remained three years (1803-1806). 

5. The Philosophy of Freedom and God (1804- 
1809). The doctrine of ScheUing now became mystical 
and showed the influence of Boehme. In 1806 ScheUing 
was called to the Academy of Munich. 

6. The Philosophy of Mythology and Revelation 
(1809-1854). This may be well called Schelling's 
period of silence, so far as publication was concerned. 
He who had poured forth his thoughts in print now 
became averse to publishing anything. He accepted the 
call to Munich in 1806 and remained there, excepting 
his seven years at Erlangen, thirty-five years (until 
1841). During this time he was much under the influ- 
ence of Aristotle, neo-Platonism, and the Gnostics. He 
had first an official position at the Academy of Munich ; 
then he spent seven years as teacher at the University 
of Erlangen (1820-1827); and in 1827 he entered 
the newly founded University of Munich. In 1841 he 
was called to Berlin to counteract the Hegelian move- 
ment, and he became a member of the Academy with 
the privilege of lecturing at the University. He was 
now sixty-six, and he spent the remaining years in 
elaborating his system. He died in 1854. 

A Brief Comparison of Fichte and ScheUing as 
Philosophers. We have already spoken of the relation 
of Fichte and ScheUing to the Romantic movement. 


What is their relation as philosophers ? Fichte's ideal- 
ism is commonly called subjective because of his em- 
phasis upon the Ego at the expense of the non-Ego. In 
non-technical terms Fichte gave no adequate philosophy 
of nature ; for his assumption was that nature is only 
material for the reason. Nature to Fichte was only the 
stage upon which the reason could act. Fichte's keen 
insight into human affairs blinded him to the meaning 
of nature. The contribution of Schelling to the philo- 
sophy of nature was not therefore un welcomed by 
Fichte ; for he saw that such a philosophy could easily 
be developed from his point of view, provided nature 
be regarded as a unity in the service of the reason. In 
hriej\ the development of Schelling over Fichte was 
this: (1) Schelling added a science of nature to 
Fichte's science of mind ; (2) Then he transformed 
Fichte's philosophy of mind into an aesthetic philoso- 
phy of mind ; (3) Then he tried in several successive 
attempts to find a common metaphysical ground for his 
own philosophy of nature and his recast philosophy 
of mind. While the method of Schelling was not dif- 
ferent from that of Fichte, his general motive was dif- 
ferent ; for to Schelling the universe must not be re- 
garded as the creation of an active moral Ego, but as 
having an existence of its own. While for Fichte to 
think is to produce, for Schelling it is to reproduce. 
To the investigating mind of Schelling experience and 
observation are the sources of knowledge ; yet it must 
not be inferred that Schelling's philosophy was induc- 
tive or that he derived the Ego from the non-Ego, as 
if the Ego had been evolved from the non-Ego. These 
were the days before the modern theory of evolution. 
Mind does not have its source in nature ; on the con- 


trary, mind and nature have a common source in the 
Reason. They have a parallel existence and develop 
according to the same law. Nature is existing Reason, 
mind is thinking Reason. 

Schelling's Philosophy of Nature. Schelling started 
with Kant's early conception of nature as dynamic — 
that matter exists through the interplay of the forces 
of attraction and repulsion. The human organism is 
the highest expression of such dynamic activity. In the 
world there is nothing dead. Matter is the lowest ex- 
pression of dynamic activity ; the vegetable is next, the 
animal next, and the human brain is the consummation 
of this process of productivity. Thus matter on the 
one hand and mind on the other are the two poles of 
reason in nature. Everything is life movement ; every- 
thing is the oscillation between two extremes, the inter- 
play of contrary but correlative forces. In romantic 
terms, nature is the Self in Becoming. Nature is a liv- 
ing whole which manifests itself in an ascending scale 
of rich and varied forces between matter and mind. 

Such a conception met consistently the demands of 
this Romantic period.* The high expectations of the 
physicists of the previous century had been unfulfilled, 
for they had not succeeded in obtaining a purely me- 
chanical explanation of the derivation of life from mat- 
ter. Darwin was stiU to come. Medicine, which was at 
that time showing great progress, offered no argument 
for the mechanical conception of the world. There had, 
however, been many discoveries at this time in elec- 
tricity and magnetism ; and these mysterious qualities 
seemed to repudiate the mechanical theory. Vitalism 
thus usurped the place of mathematics. Spinoza rather 
* Read Shelley, Love's Philosophy. 


than Galileo was the model of the time. Nature must 
be conceived as a unity in which the Divine manifests 
itself in its fullness. 

All these influences appear in Schelling's first philo- 
sophical undertaking. He states philosophically what 
Goethe states poetically. Nature is not to be described 
in quantities nor measured by rule. It transcends 
measurement. It is to be truly understood only as 
productivity having organic life as its goal. Nature 
is rational life, not mechanism. Everything has its 
logically determined place. ScheUing used the natural 
science of his time to show how the connection of forces 
and their transformation into one another were the mani- 
festation of divine cosmic purpose. The gaps he filled 
in with teleological conceptions. He used morphology 
with the same purpose as Goethe. He felt the same 
need of a deeper meaning of nature than mathematics 
can give — the need of a rational purposeful meaning. 
Goethe shows this in his " Theory of Colors " when he 
looks upon colors not as atomic movements, but as 
something essentially qualitative. Schelling, too, was 
not an evolutionist in the modern sense, and he did not 
regard one species as derived from another. He thought 
of species in an ascending scale, to be sure ; but he saw 
in each only the preliminary stage to the next, and all 
as the divine expression. One accomplishment of na- 
ture merely precedes another in time. 

The nineteenth century looked back on this Romantic 
science as merely a fit of excessive sentiment that has 
impeded the modern work of serious investigation. Yet 
it may safely be said that the nineteenth century has 
not settled the question, and that nature will always 
need a rational as well as a mechanical explanation. 


Schelling's Transcendental Philosophy. The Phllo- 
sojyhy of Nature ends with the explanation of sensitivity ; 
and it is there for Schelling that the philosophy of know- 
ledge begins. When three years later Schelling was 
ready to reconstruct Fichte's philosophy of mind — 
when he was ready to break with Fichte — he was in- 
fluenced by the great change that had come over the 
thought of the Jena idealists. This change was due curi- 
ously enough to the philosophy of the intimate friend 
of Goethe, the poet Schiller. Here again the proximity 
of Weimar and Jena was the cause of the reciprocal 
influence of philosophy and literature. Schelling was 
the first to give this new thought its philosophical ex- 
pression. The theory of Schiller is an aesthetic idealism 
in which the artistic function supplants the moral law 
of Fichte and Kant, and is the fundamental reality of 

When Schiller * reshaped Kant's moral philosophy 
he was not concerned, as might be supposed, merely 
with aesthetic results, but with conduct, history, and the 
whole system of metaphysics. The problem always 
uppermost in Schiller's mind was the place of art and 
beauty in the whole system of things. So when he tried 
to reconcile Kant's theoretical reason and Kant's prac- 
tical reason, he naturally looked to art for such recon- 
ciliation. What is there that is both necessary and free ? 
Beauty ! " Beauty is freedom in phenomenal appear- 
ance." Esthetic contemplation apprehends the beauti- 
ful object, and yet in so doing it transcends all the 
trammels and bonds of experience. The artistic ecstasy 
is freedom in necessity. It is independent of moral as 
well as intellectual rules. Beauty is as little an object 
* Read Schiller, Artists; Letters on jEsthetic Education. 


of sense as of will. It does not have tlie quality of need 
that belongs to sense phenomena, nor of earnestness that 
accompanies morality. Sense is obliterated ; the stirrings 
of the will become silent. That which apjDcars was called 
by Schiller the " play impulse." Toward the education 
of man Schiller thus offered art, while Kant had pre- 
sented religion. Art refines the feelings, tempers the 
sensuous will, and makes room for the moral will. Yet 
the moral will is not the end ; for art is not only the 
means of education, but the goal as well. Complete life 
comes when the conflict between morality and sense 
disappears in artistic feeling. " Only as man plays is 
he truly man." The ideal that Schiller formulated for 
this Romantic age was the " schone Seele." While in 
the soul of man the Kantian rigoristic moral law exists 
when sense stands in opposition to duty, the " beautiful 
soul " does not know conflict because its nature is en- 
nobled by its own inclination. This aesthetic humanism 
Schiller expresses for his time in antithesis to Kant's 
and Fichte's rigorism. Goethe impersonated this ideal 
in his life and represented it in his works. The Roman- 
ticists carried this conception to its extreme both in their 
practice and in their literary productions. Thus they 
came to stand for an aristocracy of culture, and in them 
" ethical geniality " culminated. The Romanticist con- 
trasted himself with the " Philistine " who lives accord- 
ing to rules. The Romanticist would live out his own 
individuality as valuable in itself. He substituted the 
endless play of the imagination for Fichte's moral law, 
and was frequently very wayward and capricious. This 
is seen in Schlegel's Lucinde. Schleiermacher the 
preacher tried to preserve the purity of Schiller's doc- 


In his construction of his own philosophy of mind 
Schelling adopted completely Schiller's theory of the 
aesthetic reason in what he called Transcendental Ideal- 
ism. He looked upon the Fichtean antithesis between 
theoretical and practical reason as the same as that be- 
tween the unconscious and the conscious activity of the 
Self. Theoretically, or from the point of view of the 
understanding, consciousness is determined by the un- 
conscious ; practically, or from the point of view of the 
will, the unconscious is the creation of consciousness. 
The practical or willing Self re-shapes the products of 
the nature world. For a tliinking being is not merely a 
reflector or re-presenter of events as they occur in the 
nature world — as nature produces them. Thinking man 
is not merely passive. He re-shapes and transforms na- 
ture through the freedom of his morality. 

But neither the series of passively apprehended 
events, nor the series of events transformed by the 
active moral will, is ever complete. Neither as a passive 
product of nature nor as a moral will is man a perfected 
being. In either condition man perpetually feels the 
contradiction, since he is neither wholly passive nor 
wholly active. The antagonism between will and sense 
is ever present. Man realizes the fullness of his Ego, 
when he transcends both will and sense, both morality 
and science, in the conscious-unconscious activity of 
artistic genius. This is the highest synthesis. In Schel- 
ling's lectures delivered at Jena on the philosophy of 
art, after he had written his Transcendental Idealism^ 
he developed and applied this theory and it determined 
the subsequent development of aesthetics in the Jena 
circle. Kant had previously defined genius as intellect 
that works like nature ; Schiller had defined it as play- 


ing ; Schelling looked upon it as aesthetic reason and the 
climax of the philosophy of mind. Art, and not logic, 
is the instrument by which the reason develops. Artistic 
reason is the goal toward which the reason aims. 

The System of Identity. Schelling published his 
Transcendental Idealism in 1800. In the next year he 
published his System of Identity in the hope of finding 
some common ground for his two preceding points of 
view. For Nature is not absolute, but is a limited object- 
ive Ego ; and Mind is also not absolute, but is also 
limited, although subjective. The Self perceives the ob- 
ject as other than itself, and in subsequent reflection it 
sees the object as a form of its own deeper Self. Sub- 
ject and object, mind and nature, are one in reality. 
The question then is. Does the absolute Self exist? 
Yes, but outside the conditions of existence and beyond 
all contradictions. It is itself the highest condition, the 
unconditioned condition. But what is the basis of these 
two antithetical asjDects of life ? The most suitable name 
that Schelling could give it was Identity or Indiffer- 
ence ; for other names would imply conditions. In this 
attempt to construct an absolute Idealism, Schelling 
shows the influence of Spinoza. Identity reminds us 
of Spinoza's substance, — a reality that is absolutely 
indifferent to both mental and nature phenomena, and 
yet is the reality of both. It is absolute reason undeter- 
mined in its content. It was this turning to Spinozism 
on the part of Schelling, that made Hegel break with 
him and call his Identity " the night, in which all cows 
are black." Schelling even came so much under the 
influence of Spinoza as to imitate Sjiinoza's form of 
presentation in the Ethics. But Schelling regarded the 
objective and subjective worlds not after the manner of 


Spinoza as independent of each other. On the contrary 
he looked upon every phenomenon as both ideal and 
real, and as having its logical place according to the de- 
gree in which the two elements are combined. Differ- 
ences are what constitute phenomena ; the Absolute is 
the Indifferent. Schelling illustrates this by the magnet, 
which is itself an indifference of opposite poles of vary- 
ing intensity. 

In the nature series the objective factor predominates, 
and in the mental series the subjective factor. The uni- 
verse is the most perfect work of art, the most perfect 
organism, and the best expression of God. 

Schelling's Religious Philosophy. Romanticism took 
a religious turn at the beginning of the eighteenth cen- 
tury under the influence of Schleiermacher. ^ The mo- 
tive of this movement was the thought that religious 
feeling lies below art. Reason can be completed only 
in religion, by which is meant not dogma, nor morality, 
but an aesthetic relation to the world-ground, a pious 
feeling of absolute dependence. It is the feeling of be- 
ing permeated by the Absolute. Schleiermacher taught 
in the true Romantic spirit that religion is an individ- 
ual matter and is different from church organization. 
Thus in this time of quickly passing shades of imagin- 
ative thought Schiller idealized Greece and Schleier- 
macher the Middle Ages. Susceptible as he was to 
every idea of his time, Schelling embodied this teach- 
ing of Schleiermacher in his later teaching. With the 
other Romanticists he expected that the concept of re- 

1 F. E. D. Schleiermacher, b. 1708 ; educated in the Herrnhuten in- 
stitutions and at the University of Halle ; in 1796 preacher at the Berlin 
Charity ; in 1802 court preacher at Stolpe ; in 1804 professor extraordi- 
nary at Halle ; in 1809 preacher at a church in Berlin ; in 1810 professor 
in Berlin University. 


ligion would furnish a final basis for the solution of all 
problems, overcome all antitheses in an inner harmony, 
and bring about the eternal welfare of all. 

Schelling now no longer called the Absolute Indiffer- 
ence, but God or Infinity, and he conceived Him as 
possessing modes and potencies. In the development of 
this new line of thought he introduced the neo-Platonic 
doctrine of Ideas as God's intuitions of Himself, and as 
intermediaries with the world. Later Schelling passed 
through another change, and this doctrine grew under 
his hands into a theosophy and a theory of the irra- 
tional. The influence of Schelling was eclipsed by Hegel 
after ScheUing retired to Munich ; and Schelling saw 
his rival in control of German academic thought for 
many years. But he had the satisfaction in his old age 
of being called by the authorities to Berlin as the official 
spokesman against the Hegelian doctrine. 

Hegel and the Culmination of Idealism. We have 
divided the philosophers after Kant into two groups ; 

(1) Fichte, Schelling and the Romanticists, and Hegel ; 

(2) Herbart and Schopenhauer. In this first group, 
which we have at present under our eye, Fichte is the 
ethical exhorter, Schelling the Romantic nature-lover, 
and Hegel the intellectual systematizer. Fichte's con- 
ception of Reality is always an ethical ideal unrealized, 
in whose cause men are called to fight for conviction's 
sake. Schelling points to the beauty of nature's pro- 
ductivity as a reality that lies hidden in mystery. Both 
these theories show profound insight into life and both 
are expressive of the period in its attitude toward life. 
Fichte is the type of the Puritan idealist; ScheUing 
the type of the sentimentalist. Yet both, even from the 
point of view of the Idealism of the period, were par- 


tial expressions. Idealism was a social movement ; and 
like all social movements must run its course. It would 
not stop until it had culminated in a full and systematic 
formulation. This was found in the philosophy of Hegel. 
The social forces of the eighteenth century had been 
gathering a momentum, which naturally came to a 
magnificent climax. On its political side this move- 
ment culminated under the leadership of the greatest of 
all political idealists, Napoleon Bonaparte, in 1815 at 
Waterloo. On its intellectual side it reached its com- 
pletion in the philosophical system of Hegel. Hegel 
died in 1831, and his intellectual kingdom, like the po- 
litical kingdom of Napoleon, was immediately shattered. 
But the observer of the currents of history wiU find 
much significance in the stubborn persistence of the 
intellectual phase of the Idealistic movement long after 
its political dominance had gone. Hegel ruled the in- 
tellectual world of Germany from Berlin for sixteen 
years after the battle of Waterloo, and his philosophy 
was officially recognized by the Berlin authorities. This 
stubbornness of the realm of ideas can be exemplified 
throughout history, for it requires more than one politi- 
cal earthquake to demolish a well-organized intellectual 

Hegel may be said to have drawn the scattered 
threads of the preceding idealists into a system. Like 
them, he firmly grounded his philosophy on the Kant- 
ian epistemology. Like them also, he sought to find 
absolute reality by means of the conscious Ego. This 
only means that all three were idealists. But FIchte's 
conception of the Ego was only partially formed. It 
could not be an absolute reality, since it needed to be 
confronted by a non-Ego in order to assert itself and 


live. Hegel was discerning enough to see that Reason 
was more fundamental than either action, purpose, or 
consciousness itself. To him both the Ego and the non- 
Ego were in essence Reason. The Ego could not know 
that it had created the non-Ego unless the Ego was in 
the beginning rational. To distinguish the Ego from the 
non-Ego, there must be some ground of similarity upon 
which both are based. In his search for this ground 
Hegel at first allied himself with Schelling. The bril- 
liancy of Schelling's thought dazzled him. Then he saw 
that Schelling only led back to the abstract universal 
of Spinoza. A mystical "black night " Identity was not 
actual nor did it explain anything actual. It merely 
said that the Absolutely Real is unknowable. This is too 
easy a solution of the complexity of life. Having neither 
meaning nor actuality, it cannot explain the actual 
concrete and meaningful things. The Absolutely Real 
must be a universal, but it must also be concrete. His- 
tory has been the Reason in its toil and travail. The 
Absolutely Real must include history and it must be 
Reason. With Fichte the " deed act" had primacy, with 
Schelling the aesthetic feeling, with Hegel the Reason 
as an articulated series of concepts. 

Why Hegel remains to-day the Representative of 
Kant. There were several reasons why Hegel remains 
the representative of Kant : — 

1. He had more learning and ability than the other 

2. His own interpretation was an interpretation of 
facts. By the other post-Kantians things are not repre- 
sented as they are, but as they have been transformed. 
Hegel, however, was a respecter of things as they are. 
Hegel was possessed of no sentiment. He was a satirist ; 


although a romanticist, he was an encyclopaedic histo- 
rian as well. He was a philosopher in that old-time 
sense of wishing to know the nature of things. 

3. He was fortunate in his application of Kant's 
doctrine to evolution. It proved to be the beginning of 
the movement which appeared later in Darwin. People 
were going to be evolutionists in the nineteenth century, 
and Hegel played into their hands and helped evolution. 

4. Hegel gave to his philosophy the air of orthodoxy. 
In the nineteenth century there was a desire for Chris- 
tianity that was orthodox. Hegel offered no objection 
to allowing that interpretation to be placed upon his 

The Life and Writings of Hegel (1770-1831).* 
The slow movement of Hegel's diction is paralleled by 
his gradual development in thought. He was the most 
painstaking metaphysician that ever completed a philo- 
sophy. While he was lacking in the painful hesitation 
that made Kant consume so much time in introductions 
as to have little for the body of his discourses and none 
for the completion of his philosophy, he was neverthe- 
less a plodding, careful, and prosaic thinker. As a boy 
he showed these traits without showing any predominant 
taste or capacity. " He was that uninteresting charac- 
ter — the good boy who takes prizes in every class, in- 
cluding the prize for good conduct." As a man he was 
shrewd and reserved, overbearing to his inferiors and 
opponents, and even patronizing to his superiors. He 
was the type of the pedantic teacher who brooks no 

* Read Royce, Spirit of Modern Phil., chap, vii ; James, 
Hibbert Joiirval, 1908-09, pp. 63 ff.; Eucken, Problem of 
Human Life, p]i. 494-507 ; Rand, Modern Classical Phi- 
losophers, pp. 569-574, 583-592, 614-628. 


opposition. Like Kant's, his life was entirely academic, 
but unlike Kant's, his experience was in many university 
circles — Tiibingen, Jena, Heidelberg, and Berlin. His 
thirteen years at Berlin were remarkable, not only for 
his philosophical dominance, but for his influence in 
society and court. The official recognition of his phi- 
losophy by the Berlin authorities was a detriment 
in the end; for immediately after his death, in 1831, 
it lost its influence. Hegel had succeeded Fichte at 
Berlin, and by the irony of fate, Schelling, already an 
old man in Vienna, was called by the Berlin authorities 
to combat Hegel's influence. Hegel's followers, after 
his death, became engaged in angry disputes over their 
interpretations of their master's j^hilosophy. His philo- 
sophy was attacked by Herbart. The intellectual world 
turned away from him to empirical discoveries and the 
doctrine of evolution. In twenty years Hegel's influ- 
ence was insignificant, and to-day his name is scarcely 
mentioned in the lecture room of a German imiversity. 
His influence is, however, growing and powerful in Eng- 
land and the United States. Still it must be said that 
even in Germany no one has so dominated the direction 
of jurisprudence, sociology, theology, aesthetics, and his- 
tory (a science which Hegel himself created). Hegel's 
erudition, his ability to systematize, his power of dis- 
crimination, are sufficient to explain such influence. 
The illumination that his philosophy gives, lies less 
in his metaphysical theory than in his application of it 
to history and tradition. He won adherents, not by his 
abstruse arguments that so few can understand, but by 
illustration ; not by his demonstration of the Absolute, 
but by showing how that Absolute is what the religious 
devotee seeks, what the moralist presupposes and the 


historian recognizes. In carrying out his theory in 
detail he arbitrarily fitted his facts to his theory, espe- 
cially in the philosophy of nature, the history of philo- 
sophy, and history. In the realm of pure thought, where 
conceptual facts are dealt with, this is not so appar- 
ent. He was successful, for example, in the science of 

Hegel's literary style is difficult, and his technicahties 
are almost barbarous. He uses philosophical and com- 
mon terms with meanings to suit himself. He loves 
paradoxical phrases, and is pedantic in his insistence on 
systematic arrangement. 

1. Formatwe Period (1770-1796). Hegel was born 
at Stuttgart in 1770, and in the years between 1788 
and 1793 he studied philosophy, theology, and the class- 
ics in the University of Tiibingen. Among his compan- 
ions there were Schelling and Holderlin. From 1793 
to 1796 he was a tutor in Switzerland, where he made 
a further study of Kant. 

2. Formulation of his Philosophy (1796-1806). 
Hegel formulated his philosophy for the first time in 
the four years (1796-1800) of his life at Frankfort, 
where he was acting in the capacity of tutor. In 1801 
he became privat-docent at Jena through Schelling's 
recommendation. He edited a philosophical journal with 
Schelling, and the two were friends so long as Hegel 
found Schelling's assistance of value to himself. When, 
in 1803, Schelling left Jena, Hegel began to criticize 
his former friend's philosophy. Hegel was appointed 
professor of philosophy at Jena in 1805. 

3. Development of his Philosoj)hy (1806-1831). 
1806. He wrote the Phiinomenologie^ which was pub- 
lished in 1807. 


1807. The university was discontinued after the battle 
of Jena, and Hegel went to Bamberg to edit a news- 
1807-1815. Hegel was at Nuremberg as teacher in its 
gymnasium, and in 1811, at the age of forty-one, he 
1812-1813. He published his Logic. 
1816-1817. He was professor of philosophy at Heidel- 
berg. He published his JEncycloj^cedia, which con- 
sists of three parts : Logic, Philosophy of Nature, and 
Philosophy of Mind. This was enlarged in 1827. 
1818. Hegel succeeded Fichte at Berlin, where he met 
with marked success, and where he exercised a very 
wide influence. When Hegel came to Berlin his phi- 
losophical theory was already formulated, and his 
thirteen years at Berlin were spent in illustrating and 
verifying it in history. 
1831. At the height of his fame, he died of cholera. 

Realism, Mysticism, and Idealism. It will not be 
amiss at this point to contrast three of the great types 
of human thought, — Realism and Mysticism with the 
Idealism of which Hegel was the consummate expres- 
sion. The Idealistic Period of European thought is con- 
fined within the forty -one years between 1790 and 1831. 
Moreover it is a world-wide movement, the philosophical 
expression of which is restricted to the German peojjle. 
Mysticism and Realism represent the civilizations of 
longer periods and of many peoples. Mysticism is, for 
example, the attitude of mind frequently found in the 
IMiddle Ages in Euro})e, and may be roughty said to be 
the philosophy of the Oriental peoples. Sj^inoza was a 
belated mystic and its best European exponent ; and 
against the revival of Spinoza's Mysticism during this 


period Hegel as an idealist took his stand. Realism has 
been a popular philosophy in all civilizations at all 
times, and it was the irony of fate that Realism followed 
directly upon Hegel's long period of dominance as an 
idealist. Modern science is based on Realism, and so, on 
the whole, was Greek civilization. In contrast to Real- 
ism, Idealism represents a few years of history and has 
been confined to a limited civilization, yet for profund- 
ity of insight into the meaning of life Idealism is the 
consummation of human reflection. 

Since " philosophy lends itself to extended discourse," 
it is quite impossible to contrast these theories briefly 
in more than a crude way. From the mystic's point of 
view, absolute reality is that which can be immediately 
apprehended. However, since immediate intuition is 
always undetermined, the mystic's reality is a very vague 
and abstract thing, although for him it is none the less 
real. Such a reality is not usually sought in the "world 
of nature " ; for nature objects are very definite, besides 
being very transitory. The mystic's world of reality is 
within ; therefore God to the mystic is to be found 
within the soul and is to be contrasted with the unre- 
ality of the world of sense. There is only one reality, 
and that is within the soul ; all else is an illusion. Real- 
ity is gained by direct knowledge and never by the pro- 
cess of logical reflection. Mysticism is frequently allied 
with aesthetics ; the love of God is apparently the same 
as the love for a work of art ; the immediate intuition 
that the soul has of God apparently is the same psy- 
chological process as the artistic ecstasy over a thing of 
beauty. Both result in the absorption of the soul in its 
object, and in the presence of either all else seems illu- 
sory. Now Realism is a theory that is more easily defined 


than Mysticism. It is simply the conception of many 
realities independent of one another and of the thinking 
mind. Reality is not one, it is a plurality of independent 
things, all of which are independent of the thinking 
process. Such realities are not undefined. As in Ideal- 
ism, our knowledge of them is a definite matter of 
reflection ; but against Mysticism, such definite know- 
ledge is proof of their reality. 

This can be illustrated by the series 1 + |^+| + |...2. 
Let the number " 2 " represent the reality or meaning 
of the infinite series, which, however far extended, never 
reaches " 2." Let the series itself represent the definite 
processes of phenomenal nature. The Realist would say 
that only the increasing series is real, and the " 2 " is 
an unknowable. The Realist admits that the series is 
fragmentary and incomplete, but it is quite definite and 
certainly the best we can do. It is at least exact and 
scientific ; and the goal of scientific knowledge belongs 
to the reahn of the attainable. On the other hand the 
Mystic maintains that, since exact knowledge attains 
only the changing and phenomenal, exact knowledge is 
illusory. When we cannot attain the real by effort and 
sense knowledge, why waste our time in seeking to do 
so ? Reality is right at hand — in one's self. To the 
Mystic the infinite series of fractions is unreal, because 
it is and always will be incomplete. The ideal " 2 " can 
be got by direct and intuitive knowledge. Thus to the 
Realist the infinite series is real and the goal " 2 " is 
unreal, while to the Mystic the " 2 " is real and the 
fractions of experience are unreal. 

Hegel felt profoundly convinced that neither Realism 
with its definite realities nor Mysticism with its unde- 
fined goal was an adequate explanation of the world and 


life. The truly real must not only be definite, but it 
must also be all-inclusive. It must not on the one hand 
be incomplete, nor on the other must it be vague. It 
must be both the number " 2 " and the infinite series 
leading to " 2." A truly and absolutely real must be 
the explanation of everything that happens, — joy, evil, 
necessity in nature, every least event and change. In 
the light of the idealism of Hegel the solutions of the 
Mystic and the Realist seem to fade in importance, and 
the problem of life seems to grow in significance and 

The Fundamental Principles of Hegel's Idealism. 
In contrast with Mysticism and Realism, as well as with 
the doctrine of Fichte and Schelling, Hegel tried to 
formulate a conception of the universe that woidd in- 
clude everything and yet be an organic whole. In what 
terms can this world of richness and variety, of coordi- 
nations and contradictions, be conceived as a single 
whole ? How can it be one and stiU be many ? Hegel 
saw clearly that this was his problem. The truly abso- 
lute must be a unity, and still be absolute. 

There are two fundamental principles upon which his 
doctrine rests : (1) The world must he conceived in 
terms of consciousness. To any one who has studied 
the principles of psychology, or who has followed Kant's 
epistemological analysis, it is clear that the only real 
unities are conscious unities. The characteristic of con- 
sciousness is synthesis. This is what we mean by con- 
sciousness, and consciousness is unique in this, (2) The 
world as a conscious whole must he essentially a world 
of contradictions. We must accept contradiction and 
not consistency as the fundamental and explanatory 
principle of life. In science and our ordinary human 


problems we try to get results that are logically consist- 
ent. This is useful, but in doing so we do not get a full 
explanation. We omit in such calculations life's nega- 
tions and incongruities. But do not inconsistencies and 
negations and incongruities exist? They certainly do ; 
everything has its opposite ; and if we will take the 
pains to observe the processes of thought, we shall find 
that thought is fundamentally inconsistent. Why do 
we usually regard thought as a self -consistent process? 
Because our methods of formal logic are such. In formal 
logic we reason smoothly and consistently from the pre- 
mises to the conclusion. If we look more deeply into 
thought, we shall find that such consistency is made 
possible by ignoring the inconsistencies necessary to the 
very being of thought. The question therefore is not, 
Can the cosmic whole be conceived as consistent? but 
What is the law of its inconsistencies ? 

Let us consider these two principles of the Hegelian 
philosophy more in detail. 

The Cosmic Unity. Hegel insists on the old truth 
that thought is self-operating within us. Thought be- 
longs to our nature, yet it controls our nature. Thought 
develops consequences without regard to the will and 
demands that contradictions shall be solved. It is not 
correct to say that we think, but rather that thinking 
goes on within us. Thought is the life of the world. 
Thought is a process which embraces all things and pro- 
jects them. Hegel emancipates thought from all the 
limitations of human minds. He would make thought 
objective and transform reality into thought. 

Thus Hegel conceives that this self -operating thought 
within us is essentially the reality of the universe. 
Thought is the great cosmic undercurrent that includes 


all things in its sweep. Indeed, the universe cannot be 
conceived as a unity unless the universe is conceived as 
a cosmic consciousness or reason. The true study of the 
nature of the world is cosmic logic, and philosophy be- 
comes in Hegel's hands panlogism, — universal logic. 
Kant restricted the categories of thought to the hu- 
man understanding ; Hegel universalizes them and 
they become categories of the cosmos. For if the reality 
of the world is conscious reason, the categories are not 
only the forms of thought, but also the modes of being. 
The categories are, therefore, more comprehensive than 
Kant supposed. To use a term from the Middle Ages, 
they are " substantial forms." They are at one and the 
same time the forms that mould thought and the stages 
of eternal creation. The knowing process and the cosmic 
process are one and the same — one writ small and the 
other writ large. They are not separate from each other, 
but are the transformations of one Being. If we would 
study the cosmic forms, let us study thought-forms. 
Logic is really ontology ; the study of the genealogy of 
thought is the study of Being. The real is reason, and the 
reason is real. By reason Hegel does not mean intuition 
or even immediate perception, which Fichte and Schelling 
claimed to be the fundamental principle of the mind. The 
reason which Hegel is talking about is the concept or 
general notion. All actuality is the development of the 
general notion in a necessary and self-creative move- 
ment. History, matter, and thought are exhibitions of 
the divine Idea. " All Being is thought realized and 
all Becoming is a development of thought." 

Hegel's philosophy is a monism of reason, — a univer- 
salized concept, in which everything has its divine place. 
It is an all-embracing system, moulding every depart- 


ment. Mind and matter are not aspects of a reality which 
is behind them, but are the modes of that reality. The 
cosmic reason is successively mind and matter, and not 
the principle of mind and nature. In Schelling things 
proceed from the absolute. In Hegel they are the abso- 
lute. The absolute does not exceed things, but is whoUy 
in them as their organic unity. Everything is under 
the conceptual labor of thought. The important thing 
is to refer all our complex states to the unifying cosmic 
concept and have one illuminating idea. Absolute reason 
is absolute movement — the perpetual movement of life. 
Yet this absolute reason — the reason that refuses to 
change according to our likes and dislikes — is its own 
law and goal. The cosmos is the law of reason and has 
as its end its own unfolding self -consciousness. It is not 
the purpose of philosophy, according to Hegel, to tell 
what the world should be, but to recognize its nature 
as rational. 

We must, therefore, be careful to distinguish Hegel's 
conception of the unity of God from that other concep- 
tion of Him as a quantitative, single, and isolated unity. 
An isolated and single Being would imply the exists 
ence of other isolated Beings. Such an individual would 
be limited by others and dependent upon them. In 
technical terms sameness with one's self implies differ- 
ence from others. A good example of the conception of 
an isolated God can be found in modern theology ; such 
a God is a unity, but He is only the greatest of the 
several powers in the universe. Such an One is not an 
absolute, for the One to be absolute must be all that 
there is. Limitation implies something else. Das 
Wahre ist das Ganze. 

But Hegel does not mean by the Oneness of God an 


aggregation of parts, nor does he mean a system or 
arrangement of parts. An aggregation of parts, how- 
ever big, is never complete and cannot include all that 
there is. An aggregation, even if it includes the past 
and the present, is not Absolute. The temporal series 
points to something else to give it meaning ; and yet 
Reality must not stand outside any part of the temporal 
series. The Absolute Reality must include the temporal 
series, and yet the temporal series is not in itself Real- 
ity. Neither does Hegel mean that Reality is a system 
or society of individuals, whose knowledge and will im- 
ply one another; for such an organization of individuals 
also has its meaning in something below it. 

The Absolute Reality is a spiritual individual. It is 
a unifying consciousness, which is self-moving, subject- 
ive, and active. " It is the Idea that thinks itself and 
is completely self -identical in its otherness." It cannot 
be abstract thought like Spinoza's God, for the Abso- 
lute must be actual. Nor does Hegel mean by Reality 
merely life or vitality, as Haeckel has conceived it 
in modern times ; for these, too, are only abstract 
terms. " It is pure personality which alone through the 
absolute dialectic encloses all within itself." Reality is 
an Absolute Cosmic Spirit engaged in its self-discovery 
and self-appropriation by means of its own movement; 
and this movement is revealed in art, religion, and 
philosophy. The Absolute is, as Shelley makes the Earth 
picture man in Prometheus Unhound^ 

" One harmonious Soul of many a soul, 
Whose nature is its own divine control, 
Where all things flow to all, as rivers to the sea." 

The_panorama of history is the progressive knowledge 
of the Absolute appearing under successively more 


adequate forms. Morality is the Absolute in ever en- 
larging social relations. Religion is the Absolute in 
personal relations to man. Pliilo&ophy is the Absolute 
in reasoned apprehension of himself. The Absolute is 
not to be conceived in anthropomorphic terms, but is the 
world-process realized as an individual self-conscious- 
ness. It is cosmic consciousness become more significant. 
It is Being regarded as an individuality and including all 

The Cosmic Law. If the cosmic unity is a cosmic 
synthetic consciousness, it must be subject to the law of 
reason which is fundamental in consciousness. The pro- 
cess of consciousness is an unfolding. It is an evolution, 
but an evolution that is an unfolding. Ordinarily biologi- 
cal evolution restricts itself to the particular type under 
consideration. It does not take account of the fact that 
the growth of one type means the destruction of another. 
It does not view nature in a universal way and consider 
construction and destruction, action and reaction, equal. 
It looks upon development as a process along a tangent 
or like the infinite series of numbers. But the destruc- 
tions, the defeats, the reciprocal retrogressions, must be 
accounted for in a truly Absolute consciousness. Evolu- 
tion is not therefore an upward advance, but a closed 
circle. The Absolute is not therefore a consistency, but 
includes contradictions ; and evolution cannot truly be 
interpreted in quantitative but in qualitative terms, as 
the unfolding of consciousness. The only way to include 
everything in the Absolute is to think of the Absolute 
as coming to a consciousness of itself. The Absolute 
Reality is the same at any temporal beginning or end- 
ing. Its meaning is becoming clearer to itself alone. 
Such clearness appears in the clearness with which the 


categories which are the forms of any consciousness be- 
come related. The task of philosophy is not to under- 
stand these forms together or seriatim, but as moments 
of a unitary development. They are the links in the 
development of Spirit, God, the Idea, or the Absolute. 
What is this law of spiritual circular development ? 
What are the categories of the cosmic Ego ? How can 
the cosmic organism take account of the contradictions 
as well as the consistencies of life ? The three necessary 
categories or three fundamental conceptions of the cos- 
mic consciousness are " to be," "• to be denied," "to be 
transcended," — Thesis, its Antithesis, and the Synthe- 
sis of the two. In other words they are Assertion, Con- 
tradiction, and Return-to-itself. The cosmic law is the 
Law of Negativity. It is a dialectic process in the 
union of contradictories, of extremes meeting, of the 
equality of action and reaction. In Hegel's hands con- 
tradiction becomes the very principle of cosmic harmony. 
It is the struggle of thought to comprehend itself by 
using its own contradictory and created experiences for 
such comprehension. " The phenomenon is the arising 
and passing away which itself does not pass away, but 
exists in itself. It constitutes the movement and reality 
of the life of truth." The law of human consciousness is 
this : Assume the truth of any doctrine. Examine it and 
you will find it in some detail asserting not only its own 
contradiction or opposite, but also the relation between 
its assertion and its contradiction. The truth lies in the 
assertion that transcends the two opposites. The law of 
the cosmic consciousness is the same. Any stage of his- 
tory appears in the conscious assurance of the truth of 
the principles upon which history is founded. But any 
such assertion by any epoch arouses opposition ; and the 


next stage in historical development is the assertion of 
principles that synthesize the assertion of the previous 
epoch and the opposition to it. The law of conscious- 
ness drives history to oppose its own self-assertions and 
then to a deeper apprehension of itself in a higher asser- 
tion, until it finds rest in the knowledge of the Absolute 
Idea — that Absolute Truth is continuous contradic- 
tion. Perhaps Hegel's most notable contribution to 
modern thought was his emphasis upon the tremendous 
power of negation and the stimulating force in contra- 
diction. Spiritual advance is made through opposition. 
Hegel's Application of his Theory. Formulating his 
theory in 1800, Hegel spent the most of his literary 
career in exemplifying it. The Phanomenologie (1807) 
is an attempt to show the natural history of thought in 
experience. He shows there the series of stages through 
which the mind passes, — stages corresponding to logic, 
to the growth of the individual, and to society. In the 
dialectic movement, consciousness views the world in 
an external way until it becomes self-conscious ; then 
reason is evolved as a synthesis of the two : i. e. of 
external consciousness and self-consciousness. Reason 
then develops by continually turning back upon itself 
into an ethical, religious, and, lastly, an absolute reason. 
Hegel wrote his Logic (1812) as an application of his 
theory to thought — regarding thought as consisting of 
general concepts. Then came \i\B Encyclopoidia (1816), 
containing his Philosophy of Nature and Philosophy 
of Mind. In his Philosophy of Nature^ nature is re- 
garded as revealing the same dialectic as logic, but in 
the external world. Nature, therefore, stands to logic 
as its antithesis. The Philosophy of Mind places mind 
as the synthesis of logic and nature, and elaborates the 


subject as mind, objective mind, and the synthesis of 
the two, or Absolute mind. Thus the dialectic of the 
Logic is repeated and applied to the Philosojjhy of 
Mature and the Philoso2)hy of Sjnrit. Logic and his- 
tory are therefore parallel. The content is always the 
same in both ; and the development is always in logical 
forms. The Absolute Idea by differentiation with itself 
comes to itself: (1) in Logic through Being, Essence, 
and Idea ; (2) in Nature through matter, individual 
forms, and organism ; (3) in Spirit through conscious- 
ness, self-consciousness, reason, right, morality, social 
morality, art, religion, philosophy. Logic is the Spirit 
an-sich ; nature is the spirit fiir-sich ; mind is the 
Spirit an-und-fur-sich. 



Herbart and Schopenhauer. The main line of devel- 
opment of the critical Kantian movement was the ideal- 
ism of Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel. It was the most 
perfect expression of the period of German philosophy. 
There were, however, so many distinct elements in the 
Kantian doctrine, and these were so loosely tied together 
by Kant, that one is not surprised to find many diver- 
gent lines of its subsequent elaboration. It is difficult to 
classify all these later philosophers. But most prominent 
in this group stood Herbart and Schopenhauer. Her- 
bart was a Realist, and Schopenhauer a voluntarist and 
pessimist. They had a common ground and motive for 
their respective philosophies, and may be placed together 
in the second group of the disciples of Kant. They were 
allied (1) in their emphasis upon the importance of the 
thing-in-itself and (2) in their strong opposition to the 
idealist movement. While both published their principal 
writings before the death of Hegel in 1831, both lived to 
the middle of the nineteenth century and both represent 
the reaction against the period of idealism. They speak 
more for the subsequent nineteenth century than for 
German ideals and Romanticism. They represented a 
certain feeling of the time that Kant's doctrine had not 
received its due at the hands of the Idealists. 

Some philosophers had remained true to Kant, but 
they could not get the public ear until they were rein- 
forced by the positive science and historical criticism of 
the second quarter of the nineteenth century. Bands of 


men had gathered to study Kant even while Idealism 
was dominant. These were not professional philoso- 
phers, but politicians and others engaged in active ser- 
vice. Kant himself in his later years protested against 
his "false disciples." Fries and Herbart, even though 
pupils of Fichte, were true to Kant ; and turned atten- 
tion away from idealistic construction to an examin- 
ation of the psychological foundations upon which the 
Kantian criticism rested. Herbart was the most promi- 
nent of the empirical psychologists and physicists who 
turned away from the speculative tendency back to 
Kant. Schopenhauer was the early spokesman for that 
mysticism and pessimism which characterized the nine- 
teenth century and appeared in the music of Wagner, 
the literature of Ibsen, and the philosophy of Von 
Hartmann and Nietzsche. 

What discredited Hegelian ism in particular and philo- 
sophy in general in the eyes of the nineteenth century was 
(1) the errors of Hegelianism as to facts ; (2) the patron- 
izing tone of the Hegelians toward scientists like Coper- 
nicus, Newton, and Lavoisier ; and (3) the refusal of the 
Hegelians to test hypotheses by facts. The opposition 
against Hegel was against his principles, his method, 
and his conclusions. At the downfall of Napoleon the 
age gave up the hope of reconstructing the world either 
politically or philosophically. The new spirit was sci- 
entific and positive. It tried to accept the world as it 
found it, and to explain it mechanically so far as it 
could be done. Things are not the creation of thought, 
and thought cannot change the reality of things. We 
must observe and experiment, since we cannot construct. 
We must restore the boundaries of Kant. Yet both 
Herbart and Schopenhauer were true to the spirit that 


inspired German idealism, for they could not develop their 
philosophy of education, psychology, or art except upon 
a metaphysical background. Metaphysics was necessary. 
It was as necessary a foundation to the Germans as 
ethics to the Greeks.and psychology to the English. 

Johann Friedrich Herbart.* As " a Kantian of the 
year 1828 " Herbart clauned to have carried the Kant- 
ian doctrine a step further by disclosing its psycho- 
logical grounds. He insisted that analysis was the only 
true method ; and he contended against Fichte that it 
is impossible to deduce the theory of the world from a 
single principle. An all-inclusive prmciple may be the 
conclusion, but not the premise, of a philosophy. Thus 
his thought moved in exactly the opposite direction from 
the monism of the Idealists and Schleiermacher, with 
which he was in constant hostility. Experience proved 
to Herbart the existence of independent realities ; and 
he could not reconcile himself with the a priori doctrine 
of the idealists, which begins by denying the existence 
of the Thing-in-Itself. On the contrary, philosophy to 
Herbart had the Thing-in-Itself as its chief concern. 
Herbart did not see how paradoxical his position must 
be — how futile must be the results of attempting to 
know the unknowable. He was impressed with the 
depth of the problem of existence, and he felt that, if 
it was to be explained at all, it must be along scientific 
lines, especially in the fields of psychology and educa- 
tion. The scientific method of Herbart was mechanics ; 
his Realism was the result of his method. 

Herbart's programme at the beginning of his teach- 

* Read Ribot, German Psychology of To-day, pp. 24-67 ; 
Weber, History of Philosophy, pp. 536-543 ; Dewing, Intro- 
duction to Modern Philosoj)hy, pp. 230-235- 


ing at Gottingen in 1802 was as follows: He defined 
philosophy in a general way by simplifying the concepts 
that underlie the different sciences. Thus he (1) recon- 
structed Realism, (2) restored the principle of contra- 
diction, and (3) established philosophy on thesame basis 
as science. Of all the philosophical schools in the nine- 
teenth century the Herbartiau school was the most nu- 
merous and compact. Hegel's attitude had driven many 
thinkers into science, and the majority of them attached 
themselves to Herbart for want of something better. 

The Life and Writings of Herbart (1776-1841). 
Herbart was the typical scholar. He was a man of quiet 
and conservative tastes, and his life was never disturbed 
by dramatic situations arising out of contradictions in 
his character or environment. His days were spent in 
study, lecturing, and efforts for social education. The 
philosophical influences upon his thought were Leibnitz, 
Kant, and negatively the Idealists. In his early life he 
had read Leibnitz and Kant, and before he was eighteen 
he had read enough of Fichte to be repelled by his doc- 
trine. In 1796 he was a student at Jena. From Jena 
he went as tutor to Switzerland, where he met Pesta- 
lozzi and laid the foundation of his own philosophy. In 
1802 he was called to Gottingen, where he became 
full professor in 1805. In 1806 he published Principal 
Points in Iletaphysics. In 1809 he was called to Ko- 
nigsberg, where he published his chief works : — 
1813 Text-hook of the Introduction to Philosophy, 
1816 Text-hooh of Psychology. 
1822 Possibility and Necessity of Applying Mathe- 

matics to Psychology. 
1824-1825 Psychology as a Science. 
1828-1829 General Metaphysics. 


In 1830 he was called back to Gottingen, and he 
died in 1841. 

The Contradictions of Experience. AH the concep- 
tions of practical life are self-contradictory and are 
therefore vicious. This applies not only to the concep- 
tions of unreflecting minds, but also to those of scientists 
and philosophers. To philosophize is nothing else than 
this : to free our conceptions of their self-contradictions 
by simplifying and revising them. We think of the 
world as consisting of things, persons, relations, and 
laws ; but such a view of the world is founded upon the 
fallacy of thinking an object at the same time as one 
and as many. This general fallacy takes four specific 
forms: inherence, change, continuity, and selfhood. 
For example, it is contradictory to think of a plant as 
one thing in which many qualities inhere ; it is contra- 
dictory to think of a plant as the same when it passes 
through many changes ; it is contradictory to think of 
space as continuous and yet divided into parts ; and it 
is contradictory to think of the self as always the same 
and yet as a stream of conscious states.^ 

The Argument for Realism. This inherent contradic- 
tion in human conceptions had been a matter of ob- 
servation by philosophers for many centuries, but it had 
led to many divergent conclusions. The Greek Skep- 
tics had long ago observed it, and had concluded there- 
fore that there is no such thing as reality. To them 
thought is discredited because the contradictions of 
thought are insoluble. Truth does not exist. On the 
other hand Hegel develoj)ed his great dialectic system 
upon the basis of these contradictions. Is thought self- 

1 A discussion of these contradictions can be found in any text-book 
in metaphysics. 


contradictory? Yes. But is thought discredited because 
it is self-contradictory ? By no means. It is the nature 
of thought to be self-contradictory, and the highest 
truth is the knowledge of this. So Hegel, instead of 
rejecting the conception of reality because thought is 
contradictory, incorporated contradictions into his con- 
ception of the Being of the universe. Indeed, he made 
contradictions the " head of the corner " of his system. 
Contradiction to Hegel is cosmic law. However, in such 
a conception Hegel had to give up entirely the prin- 
ciple upon which formal logic was founded. This was 
the principle that a thing cannot be different from 
itself. To Hegel the highest truth was exactly the 
opposite — everything is self-contradictory. 

While Herbart agreed with the Skeptics and with 
Hegel that experience is self-contradictory, he differed 
from them in the inference which he drew from such 
contradictions. In acknowledging the contradictions of 
experience Herbart did not find himself driven to either 
one of these alternatives. Philosophy did not mean for 
him skepticism. On the other hand he was repelled by 
the turn that Hegel had given to logic, and he refused 
to accept reasoning as a self-contradictory process. He 
returned to the demands of formal logic and restored 
the principle of contradiction* to the place which it 
had occupied during the Enlightenment. Herbart took 
as his fundamental philosophical principle that ex- 
periences are not actual when they are self-contra- 

The self-contradictoriness of experiences shows that 
they are phenomena and not actualities. It also shows 

' The " principle of contradiction " iu logic is the prohibition to com- 
mit contradiction. 


that they have reality as their ground. Seeming things 
imply realities as the ground of their qualities ; seem- 
ing occurrences imply actual relations between the reals. 
Seeming is just so much an indication of Being. Con- 
sistency lies behind phenomena. The existence of ap- 
pearances must be admitted, but appearances are ap- 
pearances of something. If nothing existed, nothing 
would appear to exist ; and yet things are not in reality 
what they appear to be. 

Herbart agreed with Kant that we can experience 
only phenomena. There is also a similarity in the two 
theories as to the relationship between phenomena and 
the thing-in-itself. The similarity is, however, only su- 
perficial. Kant reasoned from the relativity of pheno- 
mena to the synthetic unity of apperception, i. e. to 
consciousness in general, while the thing-it-itself was 
to Kant an unknowable and irreducible remainder. To 
Kant phenomena pointed to consciousness rather than 
to things-in-them selves. On the other hand, Herbart 
reasoned from phenomena to the existence of things- 
in-themselves. Phenomena jjoint to an independent, 
objective reality rather than to a thinking subject. 
While in Kant's doctrine phenomena depend for their 
existence upon the creative power of consciousness, to 
Herbart consciousness has no creative power, but itself 
depends on the existence and independence of a plu- 
rality of independent Reals. Even the categories and the 
forms of space and time are not innate synthetic forms. 
All are the result of the relationships among independ- 
ent Reals, which are the spring of all activity and ex- 
istence. Herbart thus gave to the things-in-themselves 
all the independent functions that Kant attributed to 


The Many Reals and Nature Phenomena. We must 
remove the contradictions of experience, if we would 
get at a true conception of Reality and the meaning of 
phenomena. The true way is (1) to posit a plural num- 
ber of Reals, and (2) to interpret the phenomena as 
derived from the relation among these Reals. 

In the first place, a multiplicity of Reals, and not a 
single Real, is needed to explain the multij^licity of phe- 
nomena. Herbart's doctrine is therefore a pluralism. 
He conceives the many Reals to exist, not in phenome- 
nal, but in "intellectual space." They are not subject 
to any phenomenal limitations whatsoever; they may 
occupy one point of space at the same time. Their na- 
ture cannot be known, but we can say that they have 
" absolute position." They cannot be limited nor ne- 
gated, and even their plurality does not mean that they 
limit one another. 

In the second place, Herbart assumes a multiplicity 
of relations. Why do the Reals appear as phenomena? 
Why should the Reals appear to be the qualities that 
inhere in things, the continuities of things, and the 
changes of things? Herbart is not altogether satisfac- 
tory in his explanation of this problem. It is the prob- 
lem of the unity of the manifold, which Kant could 
explain as due to the synthetic power of conscious- 
ness ; but such an explanation was precluded from 
Herbart's Realism. Herbart speaks of two kinds of 
relations. There are the actual relations among the 
Reals. Although the Reals are conceived by Herbart 
as simple and unchangeable, he also thinks of them 
as " coming and going in intelligible space." We 
can never know what the nature of these actual rela- 
tions is. The actual relations between two Reals are 


not essential to either Real, nor can such relations have 
their basis in the Reals. All that we can know are the 
seeming relations among things. These are the rela- 
tions of phenomenal space — of inherence, continuity, 
and change. Herbart calls these phenomenal relations 
" contingent views " (zufallige Ansichten^, and looks 
upon them as having a semi-existence. That is to say, 
Herbart regards the world of experience as a world of 
relations which are not the actual relations among 
Realities, but merely the phenomenal relations, or re- 
lations as they appear to us. 

The Soul and Mental Phenomena. Each Real has 
one single function, viz., self-preservation ; and inas- 
much as the Reals " co-exist," they mutually disturb 
each other. The disturbances take the form of inner 
reactions on the part of the Real in its effort at self- 
preservation. Prominent among the Reals is the Soul- 
real. Like all the other Reals, it is unknowable. We 
have, however, immediate knowledge of its manifesta- 
tions in its self-preservation among the other Reals. 
Psychology is the science of the relations which the Soul- 
real bears to other Reals. From the conflict of the Soul 
with other Reals, mental phenomena take their rise. Con- 
sciousness is, therefore, not the same as the Soul ; it is 
the sum-total of the acts of the Soul in self-preservation. 
Consciousness is the aggregate mental states, and is not 
essential to the Soul. Nevertheless, isolated souls do not 
think ; they have no states of consciousness. Conscious- 
ness can arise only in a community of Reals. 

Our knowledge consists therefore of ideas, which are 
the results of the disturbance of the Soul-real by other 
Reals. These ideas live within the Soul, which is merely 
an indifference point where they are held together. The 


ideas in turn disturb and inhibit one another, and the 
description of our mental life is a description of the 
reciprocal tension of ideas. The tension among the ideas 
modifies the intensity of each, and consciousness of an 
idea is proportional to its intensity. An idea is just on 
the threshold of consciousness when it has the lowest 
degree of intensity, and is still actual. When it drops 
below that threshold it is changed into an impulse. The 
primary ideas are sensations. They are not the images 
of things, but the primary acts of the Soul in its attempt 
at self-preservation. All other mental states, like mem- 
ory, imagination, feeling, and will, are to be described 
as kinds of tension of the ideas. Feeling and will are 
kinds of inhibitive tension. The coming of sensations 
and the interplay of sensations can be reduced to a 
mechanical law. Therefore, according to Herbart, psy- 
chology is the " statics and mechanics of ideas," and 
must be treated mathematically. 

Herbart's contribution to modern thought lies in his 
psychology. Modern thought has not accepted his meta- 
physics, but it has been influenced to a not inconsider- 
able degree by his psychology. Herbart gave the death- 
blow to the old " faculty psychology," and he placed 
psychology upon the same basis as the natural sciences. 
The science of psychology was not to Herbart a dis- 
cussion of the nature of the soul, for that is unknow- 
able. It is the study of the aggregate of the contents of 
consciousness. It is not a study of psychical faculties, 
but of psychical elements. This reduces psychology to 
an atomism, like other sciences, and thereby frees it 
from the influence of theology. Thus was the so-called 
modern psychology made possible by Herbart. Her- 
bart's theory was also of incalculable value to modern 


educational theory. The conception of the influence of 
environment upon mental life, the theory of the devel- 
opment of mental life, the natural method of " prepa- 
ration, presentation, association, systematization, and 
application " of an educational subject, the theory of 
the correlation of subjects — all are founded upon his 
psychology. Herbart's attempt to apply mathematics to 
the laws of psychological phenomena was not so fortu- 
nate. At one time, during the nineteenth century, psy- 
chologists hoped much from mathematics in their sci- 
ence ; but the hope has been practically abandoned. In 
recent years the demand for exactness has been met in 
psycho-physics, which operates with mathematics in a 
different way. 

Arthur Schopenhauer * and his Philosophical Re- 
lations. Schopenhauer is grouped with Herbart because 
(1) both had an especial dislike for the idealistic devel- 
opment that the Kantian movement took ; and (2) both 
built their theories upon interpretations of the Kantian 
thing-in-itself. While Herbart was a Realist, Schopen- 
hauer was a Mystic •, which only shows how theories, 
seemingly very different, can have the same source. 
Herbart's Realism was an interpretation of Kant's 
thing-in-itself as many realities ; while Schopenhauer's 
Mysticism was an interpretation of it as one reality. In 
both theories the consciousness, and with it the reason, 
were conceived as derivations of the thing-in-itself. 

The best approach to Schopenhauer's doctrine can 
perhaps be made by contrasting it with his pet aversion 
— the doctrine of Hegel. Schopenhauer was to Ideal- 
ism what Mephistopheles was to Faust — he turned 

* Read Eucken, Problem of Human Life, pp. 510-518 ; 
Rand, Modern Classical Philosophers, pp. 629-671. 


Romanticism into pessimism. The theory of empirical 
evolution, which was to be^ highly developed in the nine- 
teenth century, lay in theoretical germ in the teaching 
of the immediate followers of Kant. To Hegel the his- 
torical development of the cosmos is the struggle of 
reason, which with all its essential contradictions is 
f utilely striving to come to itself. To Schopenhauer the 
history of the cosmos is also an endless struggle, although 
a struggle in which all reason is absent. Hegel could 
conceive the history of the cosmos as a development 
worthy of investigation. Schopenhauer, on the contrary, 
took no interest in history, because to him it could not 
be a development. To Hegel, phenomena form an in- 
timate part of the cosmic struggle, since they are the 
content of the cosmic-reason ; to Schopenhauer, phe- 
nomena are the surface illusions of an ebullient, unrea- 
soning Will. 

As the first theoretical pessimist of Europe, Schopen- 
hauer expressed for the nineteenth century one of its 
most essential characteristics. He got scant recognition 
during his lifetime on account of the vogue of Hegel ; 
but to-day it is Schopenhauer, rather than Hegel, who 
has a popular influence, and is widely read. This is 
partly on account of his masterly literary style and 
partly by reason of the content of his doctrine. The 
nineteenth century was carried along upon a strong cur- 
rent of pessimism because of (1) industrial problems, 
which involved many ethical considerations, and because 
of (2) its breaking away from traditional religious ties. 
So long as the unbounded optimism of Ideahsm pre- 
vailed, the world had little room for Schopenhauer's 
teaching ; but when Realism with its limitations took 
hold of the nineteenth century, then did Schopenhauer's 


day of recognition come. The popular mind has found 
in Schopenhauer its best philosophical expression, and 
representatives of his teaching have been numerous. 
Among them are Richard Wagner (1813-1883) with 
his music dramas ; Von Hartmann (b. 1842) with his 
theory of the unconscious; Nietzsche (1844-1900) with 
his extreme statement of egoism — that in view of uni- 
versal evil, the only hope is in the survival of the strong- 
est and in the virtue of selfishness. 

The Life and Writings of Schopenhauer (1788- 
1860). Schopenhauer was the kind of genius who is 
always an alien to the world of men. He lived a long, 
lonely, isolated life, in which his inherited emotional 
and brooding nature became more and more cynical and 
pessimistic. Even in his paternal home he found him- 
self a stranger. His father pushed him into mercantile 
business, which he hated ; and after the death of his 
father his brilliant mother told him that he was welcome 
to her Weimar home only as a visitor. The doors of all 
academic circles were closed to him ; and he, in com- 
menting on it, said that he had failed to get an academic 
hearing, because the German did not believe in a meta- 
physics which was so expressed as to be understood. But 
the cause of his isolation lay mainly in himself. He was 
neurasthenic and peculiar — the subject of ill-temper, 
night-terrors, causeless depressions and dreads. With the 
genealogy of Schopenhauer's family on his father's side 
before us, who could wonder ? — the grandmother insane, 
one uncle insane, one uncle idiotic, one neurotic, and his 
father a suicide. Schopenhauer's own peculiarities were 
not pathological. He had a genius that blossomed as 
early in his years as Hegel's blossomed late. He wrote 
his two important works before he was thirty. 


1. Period of Education (1788-1813). The parents 
of Schopenhauer were wealthy, and in 1803 he traveled 
with them in England, France, and Holland. In 1804 
he entered business, which he gave up the next year on 
the death of his father. In 1809 he was busy studying 
the classics, philosophy, and Hindu learning in Weimar, 
Gottingen, and Berlin. 

2. Period of Literary Production (1813-1831). 
In 1813 he wrote the Fourfold Root of the Principle 
of Sufficient Reason^ in the Thuringian forest, when 
other German young men were rallying to arms against 
Napoleon. This was accepted as a doctorate thesis at 
Jena. From 1814 to 1819 he lived in Dresden at work 
on TTie World as Will and Idea, which is the complete 
exposition of his doctrine. The work is divided into four 
parts : 1. Theory of Knowledge ; 2. Description of the 
Forms of the Will ; 3. Art as a Deliverance from the 
Will ; 4. Morality as a Deliverance from the Will. In 
1820 he got a position as Privat-docent in the Univer- 
sity of Berlin. This was the only year of his teaching 
and was an utter failure. 

3. Period of Retirement (18S1-18Q0}. In 1831 he 
went to Frankfort-on-the-Main to live alone and in re- 
tirement. Slowly he became known and gathered a little 
circle of disciples about him. He died in 1860. 

The Influences upon Schopenhauer's Thought. The 
principal influences upon Schopenhauer's thought were 
three: (1) Kant, from whom he got his transcendental 
theory of knowledge (he always considered himself 
to be Kant's true heir); (2) Plato, from whom he got 
his formulation of eternal Ideas as offering an escape 
from the Will ; (3) the Hindus, from whom he got his 
ethical-Mysticism and the confirmation of his pessimism. 


Schopenhauer is unique among the philosophers of 
Europe, because he denied all for which the Enlighten- 
ment stood. Even such reactionaries against the En- 
lightenment as liousseau were a part of its essential 
spirit ; for the presupposition of traditional theology 
and philosophy has been that existence is essentially a 
harmony. Schopenhauer, however, appealed to the dis- 
cordances and the sorrow of existence, and drew the in- 
ference that fundamentally existence is irrational. For 
the source of Schopenhauer's unique teaching we have 
to look, therefore, farther than modern Europe. The 
preceding modern European philosophers whom we have 
studied, developed their philosophies from purely Occi- 
dental sources. Schopenhauer drew from the Orient as 
well as from the Occident. The Romanticists had re-dis- 
covered Orientalism. The study of the Hindus had been 
interesting European scholars since the beginning of the 
nineteenth century. Schopenhauer, who was introduced 
to Indian philosophy by Goethe's friend, Fr. Mayer, 
read the Upanishads in a Latin translation ; and they 
contributed much to the development of the theory 
which his own emotional and cynical nature had pre- 
saged. The Hindus had long felt that the main problem 
of existence is moral and physical evil. Schopenhauer 
found in this teaching the statement of his own attitude. 

He esteemed the principles of Christianity and Bud- 
dhism because their central requirement was faith in a 
redeemer rather than a creator. Christianity had no 
original metaphysics, but Buddhism on account of its 
metaphysics had an especial importance in Schopen- 
hauer's eyes. It was not only a pessimism, but a phi- 
losophy of pessimism. Our existence is only a blind 
struggle for enlightenment and arises out of a flowing 


chain of perennial re-births. Man needs to be freed from 
the illusion of existence and released from re-birth. 

The World as Will and the World as Idea. In The 
Four-fold Hoot of the Principle of SuJ)iclent Reason^ 
Schopenhauer summarizes knowledge as, " The world 
is my presentation," which is Kant's theory of know- 
ledge. A conscious subject vitalizes all things. But the 
presentations have no corresponding reality in the outer 
world. They are created by my own subjectivity from 
the " principle of sufficient reason." This has a fourfold 
root : logic, cause, mathematics, and will-activity. " The 
world of phenomena is my idea," and in The World as 
Will and Idea Schopenhauer says, " This is a truth 
which holds good for everything that lives and knows." 
Man alone can reflect upon this truth. When man comes 
to the realizing sense that the world is an ideal construc- 
tion, he begins to philosophize as to the nature of the 
reality behind it. We remember that Herbart started 
from the same proposition. However, Schopenhauer 
departs from Kant's teaching in one important respect : 
although he agrees with Kant that the thing-in-itself 
cannot be understood by ideas or a chain of reasoning, 
he holds that the thing-in-itseK is knowable. The World 
as Idea is a world of appearances, but we can know the 
thing-in-itself by intuition — by " the look of genius." 
The certainty of this first-hand or immediate knowledge 
shows how poor our second-hand or mediate knowledge 
is. For even reasoned or mediate knowledge in its most 
perfect form, viz., science, is under the law of cause and 
can therefore reveal nothing absolute. Science never 
gets below phenomena. 

If reason reveals only the World as Idea, what 
revelation does intuition give of the thing-in-itself? 


Intuition reveals the thing-in-itself to be Will. Man 
finds, first, the Will to be in himself. He finds it object- 
ified in his own body and in its members. All the 
members of the body are structures of some function. 
Every part is the visible expression of some desire. 
Hunger, speech, locomotion, have their different instru- 
ments. Will is immediately known to us as the reality 
in us. In spite of the exaltation of the reason by the 
modern Enlightenment, is it not secondary to Will ? 

For behold ! Let me look beyond myself. The reve- 
lation of the reality within myself illuminates the reality 
of the outer world. My Will meets resistance in other 
things. The everlasting striving of the Will appears in 
all nature. It appears in the fall of a stone, the crys- 
tallizing of the diamond — in all the mechanical move- 
ments of matter. " The impulse with which waters 
hurry to the ocean," the persistence of the magnet for 
the pole, the perennial push of vegetation, the motiva- 
tion of animals, show by an analogy stronger than any 
proof that the reality of the world is fundamentally 
Will. All nature is in reality the " World as Will." 
This Will is always one and the same. Only in the 
" World as Idea " do differences appear. Will is com- 
mon to all and is the only reality. Differences are illu- 
sions, and the reason which exists only in man is one 
of those differences. 

The World as Will and the World as Idea do not 
stand in the relation of cause and effect, but the World 
as Idea is the objectification of the World as Will. 
WiU is to phenomena what essence is to expression. 
Will is the freedom that is within all things ; and yet all 
things are determined when they have the form of ideas. 
There is only one Will, and so the world is in reality 


a unity. In essence all things are the same — in appear- 
ance they are different. The Will has no content ; it 
wills to will — to live — to be actual. In the pantheism 
of the Will the World as Idea is an illusion. 

The Will as Irrational Reality. Before Schopen- 
hauer's time European mysticism had been of one gen- 
eral type. However universal the character of illusory 
appearances had been to the European mystics, there 
had always been supposed behind the veil a rational 
reality. Indeed, the illusions themselves had been proof 
of the existence elsewhere of a governing reason. The 
mediaeval churchman often preached a mysticism, and 
his exhortation to turn away from illusions of " the 
world, the flesh, and tlie Devil," was based upon the 
compensation to be found in Heaven and in God. The 
ineffable rest in the bosom of God was reason enough 
for averting the eyes from the passing show of sensuous 
things. Schopenhauer now presents to the Occident 
another type of mysticism, and in this there is no re- 
fuge from illusions. This conception had long been com- 
mon enough in the Orient. The Unhdiydt of Omar 
Khayyam, written about 1100, represents fundamentally 
the attitude of the Persians of his time. " He is said 
to have been especially hated by the Sufis, whose prac- 
tice he ridiculed, but whose faith amounts to little more 
than his own when stripped of the mysticism and formal 
recognition of Islamism." (FitzGerald.) But in Europe 
Schopenhauer's doctrine was unique, and he arrived at 
its construction by stripping mysticism of all its reli- 
gious elements. Faith and belief are eliminated because 
they have no reality as their object. Reason produces 
only a world of illusory ideas ; the Will is a reality, 
but it is a reality which is only a blind urgency — an 


instinctive blind force. The essence of things is undi- 
rected striving. Life is the expression of the absolute 
unreason of the WiU, It is a Will without an object. 
Nature is the objectification of the Will that perpetually 
creates itself and is forever unsatisfied, unresting, and 

" A Moment's Halt — a momentary taste 
Of Being from the Well amid the Waste — 
And Lo ! the phantom Caravan has reacht 
The Nothing it set out from — Oh, make haste ! " * 

The Misery of the World as Idea — Pessimism. 
The fundamental irrationality of the Will reveals the 
absolute misery of the World as Idea. The despair of 
pessimism follows from the very nature of the Will ; for 
it must be remembered that Schopenhauer's pessimism 
does not merely mean that the appearances of life are 
illusory, but that reality itself is irrational. The World 
as Idea is the objectification of such misery. Willing 
has its source in want, and want arises from suffering. 
Moreover the proportion of our wants that are satis- 
fied is very small. To one that is supplied there are 
many that are not. Furthermore, while our desires last 
long, their satisfaction is short and scanty, " like the alms 
thrown to a beggar that keeps him alive to-day that his 
misery may be prolonged to-morrow." Our ever-spring- 
ing wants make lasting peace impossible. The finite 
world is not adequate to the infinite craving which it 
contains, and there is no equation between the cares and 
the satisfactions of life. The greatest evil that can be- 

* Read Rubdiydt of Omar Khayyam, FitzGerald's trans- 
lation, 4th ed., quatrains xlvii-lxxiii ; Goethe, Sorrows of 
Werther,as an example of pessimism due mainly to environ- 


fall a creature is to have been born ; and this is a thou- 
sand-fold worse in man than in any other. To live is to 
go from willing to attaining and then to willing again. 
Attainment means new striving, and the WiU shows 
" the ache of the not-yet-satisfied." After all is said and 
done, satisfaction destroys not only the desire, but the 
satisfaction itself. There is no meaning in life. Pain is 
positive ; pleasure is negative, and is merely the absence 
of or respite from pain. 

The Way of Deliverance. The relief from misery 
that Schopenhauer offers is tinged with the grim de- 
spair of life itseK. It is an escape that he finds, rather 
than a haven — an escape that consists in giving up all 
that life means. Why not, then, give up life, since it is 
misery and torment ? But escape is not in suicide, for 
the act of taking one's own life is the performance 
of the greatest act of affirmation of the Will ; and in 
the Buddhistic doctrine the suicidal soul only passes by 
re-birth (metempsychosis) into another form of Will. 
Schopenhauer uses two phrases that have become classic 
in the description of the two attitudes possible to man : 
(1) if man is merely a part of the World as Idea he 
is "affirming the Will to life" ; and (2) if he seeks a 
way of deliverance he " is denying the Will to life." 
Suicide is an act of affirmation of the Will to life. 

How may the Will be denied ? and since we are in 
essence Will, the question takes this form. How may 
the Will deny the Will? This question presupposes a 
transcendental freedom which may be sought in two 
ways : one in which the freedom is temporary and the 
other in which it is permanent. 

1. The temporary deliverance of the Will may be 
found in artistic contemplation (Schiller's disinterested 


contemplation). Art deals not with particular forms, 
but eternal types (Platonic Ideas). Art isolates an 
eternal object from out the stream of the world's 
changes, and places it beyond all relations of time, 
place, and cause. Art not only removes its object from 
the World as Idea, but it removes the contemplator as 
well. The contemplating subject and the contemplated 
object thus become one, and the subject is temporarily 
saved, for he is elevated above all desire and pain. This, 
however, is possible not to the majority of men, but 
only to those few possessing aesthetic fancy, and for 
them only at intervals. Music is ranked by Schopen- 
hauer as the highest form of art, — even above poetry, 
— and it is not surprising therefore that among the 
Schopenhauerian worshipers have been many promi- 
nent musicians. 

2. But artistic ecstasy is too fleeting and restricted 
to offer lasting deliverance from the affirmation of the 
Will to life and the World as Idea. Another act of 
transcendental freedom will bring man into more com- 
plete freedom ; but this act is a viiracle and a mystery^ 
since it is the complete transformation of our nature. 
This act must be supernatural, and the church is right 
in calling it a new birth and a work of grace. Com- 
plete freedom from the Will comes through moral de- 

This lasting escape from the Will is open to the 
man who appreciates two facts : that all striving for 
happiness is vain ; and that all men are alike manifest- 
ations of the Will. To take this double view of life 
involves the feeling of sympathy with others in their 
misery. Sympathy is tlius the only true moral motive 
and the fundamental ethical feeling. The Will in us is 


moral if we feel another's hurt as our own. But sym- 
pathy is only a palliative, and it does not remove the 
cause of disease. The misery still exists, and our sym- 
pathy has only changed its form. Even though our 
sympathy goes out to the whole world, the endless 
tragedy would stiU pass on. 

In the moral deliverance sympathy can be made 
complete by absolute denial, and this will come by 
asceticism, mortification, and complete eradication of 
want and desire. The Hindu sannyasi shows the way. 
This is the mystery of the Will. But Schopenhauer is 
not quite sure that extreme asceticism can be made 
effective, since we are full of Will. At the close of his 
work he says that even if we could be completely 
ascetic the result would be Nothingness. "In thy 
Nothing I hope to find the all." Schopenhauer de- 
spairs of deliverance for himself, but does not count it 
unachievable by others. Absolute deliverance even by 
asceticism seems impossible to him. The only hope is 
that through art and science the Will may be some time 



The Return to Realism. If the history of mankind 
had terminated with the nineteenth century, the last 
tendency of thought to he recorded would have been 
the return to Realism. The abbreviated account which 
follows of the philosophy of the nineteenth century 
will explain and illustrate this tendency. Before we 
set this forth, however, it may be well to define again 
the nature of Realism. What is Realism ? In general 
it is the belief that reality or realities exist quite inde- 
pendent of anybody's knowing them. Moreover, Real- 
ism has the distinction of being one of the four great 
types of metaphysical thought. These types are Real- 
ism, Mysticism, Critical-rationalism, and Idealism.^ In 
other words. Realism is an attitude of mind possible to 
a whole civilization. This is what is meant by a great 
philosophical type. The Idealism of the period which 
we have just studied is such a type. Although Germany 
had been the leading representative of Idealism, the 
spread of philosophical and literary Idealism had been 
world-wide. All nations had shared in it. But when the 
great events and the romancing spirit of that period 

* 'Read^and, Modern Clasftical Philosophers, pp. 703-708; 
Weber, Hist, of Phil, §§ 69, 70 ; Eucken, Problem of Hu- 
man Life, pp. 518-523, 524-553, 559-573 ; Nietzsche, Also 
Sprach Zarathustra ; James, Pragmatism, Lectures I, IV, 
VII; Royce, Spirit of Mod. Phil., Lecture IX. 

^ Royce, The World and the Individual, vol. i, pp. 60 f. 


had passed, the reaction to Realism was likewise felt 
the world over. It is the period of this reaction that 
we are briefly to consider. 

The Character of the Realism of the Nineteenth 
Century. We have already discussed the nature of the 
Realism of ancient civilization as it appeared in Plato's 
theory of Ideas ; and we also have reviewed the varia- 
tion of Plato's doctrine in mediaeval times. Both ancient 
and mediaeval societies give expression through Plato to 
Realistic conceptions — ancient society to an aesthetic 
Realism, mediaeval to an ecclesiastical Realism. Now in 
the modern period we find a still different kind. The 
Realism of the nineteenth century has been that of 
natural science. The question of the nineteenth century 
has been. What degree of importance has the scientific 
conception of phenomena in our total conception of 
life ? German Idealism had taken up the natural science 
of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, and had 
made it a part of a world conceived as cosmic Reason. 
But in the nineteenth century the conception of the 
cosmic Reason and that of nature part company. The 
two conceptions begin to stand in antithesis. Nature is 
conceived as a reality existing in sublime independence. 
Democritus wins his victory over Spinoza. There are 
two reasons for this : (1) The ideas of science are ex- 
pressed with a clearness and distinctness that is in 
marked contrast with the ideas of German romanti- 
cism. Natural science is formulated mathematically and 
demonstrated in experience, and natural science more- 
over does not require the labor of interpretation. (2) 
Natural science proves its usefulness, thereby respond- 
ing to the imperative needs of the economic changes of 
the nineteenth century. 


In this modem period the attention of man has been 
riveted upon his environment. If at any time the man 
of the nineteenth century has seemed to be interested in 
man, the interest has really been in man's relation to his 
environment. The nineteenth century has championed 
the necessary laws and mechanical structure of the outer 
world against man himself. The universe has been 
enthroned ; man has become its serf. Human effort 
has become slave to its own progress. Work has been 
apotheosized — work in the outer world, work with the 
hands. Inventions in material things have multiplied. 
The nineteenth century has been the period of steam, 
of electricity, of machinery, of factories, of the enor- 
mous increase in the number and size of cities, of the 
minute division of labor. Social and economic rather 
than metaphysical problems have commanded attention. 
Not another and ideal world, but this present world, is 
the one in which the modern man has lived. The sci- 
ences have been specialized and man has become practi- 
cal. Hegel would have said of our time that the cosmic 
Reason had been so engaged in concrete and external 
realities, that it had had no time to turn within and 
scrutinize itself. If one wishes to turn back the leaves 
of history for centuries similar to the nineteenth in their 
spirit, one will find them in the third and second centu- 
ries B. C. and the fourteenth and fifteenth of the present 
era. Nevertheless, there is this to be said about modern 
Realism in comparison with the Realism of preceding 
periods — the preceding Realism had been critical, nega- 
tive in its practical results, and usually an opposition 
to tradition or a reaction from it ; modern Realism has 
been distinguished by its positive practical results, its 
ambition for supremacy, and its shaping of the whole 


direction of the life of man. It has assumed control of 
religion, art, and social morality, to the end of the well- 
being of the whole. 

Modern Philosophy and German Idealism. The 
nineteenth century has been remarkable in the extent 
of its historical, literary, and scientific productions. It 
has been poor in its philosophical ideas, when we com- 
pare it with the preceding romantic movement of the 
German Idealists. To be sure, there has been much 
philosophical literature with a great variety of doctrine, 
but the many personally impressive structures have on 
the whole been only the re-shaping of former thought. 
It has sometimes seemed as if some of the philosophic 
doctrines of this time were about to take original shape ; 
but none have ever reached it, with the possible excep- 
tion of the doctrine of historical evolution. 

The explanation of the uncreative character of mod- 
ern thought is found in its relation to the Idealism which 
preceded it. The German Idealists had conquered the 
world of the spirit, but in spite of all their efforts the 
realm of empirical facts remained stubborn to all their 
romancing. Even Hegel, the greatest among them, had 
not succeeded in completely penetrating history by his 
dialectic law. Already in the eighteenth century a Real- 
istic movement had been stirring in England and France, 
and had made notable achievements. So the Idealists 
turned to the study of the facts of life — partly in order 
to subordinate them to their Idealism, partly because a 
great interest had appeared in the study of the records of 
the past. The origin and history of religions, of law, of 
languages, of art, of institutions formed topics of study 
within the Romantic circle. A remarkable list of books 
was published by the Romanticists on these subjects 


between the date of the battle of Waterloo (1815) and 
that of the death of Hegel (1831). After Hegel died 
no adequate successors in speculative power came to 
take the place of the old Idealistic leaders, but the in- 
terest in empirical science was borne on by many men 
of genius. The study of empirical phenomena was ex- 
tended to all branches ; biology and geology, which 
were late in being studied historically, began to occupy 
the centre of the stage. In spite of the fact that the 
nearness of modern philosophical theories blinds us to 
their true perspective, yet even now we can see that in 
comparison with the German Idealism the philosophical 
doctrines of the nineteenth century are partial in their 
survey of the field. The whole problem of life was be- 
fore the eyes of the Idealists ; the modern world about 
1831 shifted its attention to a critical scrutiny of only 
one part of that problem. The philosophical problem to 
the Idealists was the problem of the cosmos ; the philo- 
sophical problem to the nineteenth century was con- 
cerned only with a reexamination of the environment 
of man. 

The Philosophical Problems of the Nineteenth Cen- 
tury. In summarizing what we have above said, we have 
before us a situation something as follows. Idealism 
had run its course as a social attitude of mind, and about 
1831 the leaders of Idealism had died with no one to 
fill their places. But within Idealism between 1815 and 
1831 there had arisen a great empirical interest in the 
origins of history, law, philology, etc. Side by side with 
this empirical interest there had come certain economic 
conditions that had called forth and rewarded genius in 
natural science. 

Thus we find even before the fourth decade of the 


nineteenth century two strong tendencies : (1) a new 
conception of the meaning of history as an evolution 
from origins ; and (2} a remarkable interest in the 
natural sciences. The two tendencies modified each 
other. The historical view of the world exercised a 
powerful influence upon natural science ; natural science 
had to be reckoned with in the writing of history. His- 
tory and natural science were drawn together, but with- 
out producing a new philosophical conception that would 
include them both. 

From the interaction of these two powerful tenden- 
cies the great variety of philosophical interests were 
grouped around two general problems. These were (1) 
The prohlem of the functioning of the soul ; (2) The 
'problem of the conception of history. 

I. The Problem of the Functioning of the Soul. 
With the decline of metaphysics and the reaction from 
speculation, psychology began to loosen from its an- 
chorage in philosophy. Psychology, which had been a 
study of mind, now became the study of the relation 
of mind and body. The tendency was strong to make 
psychology an empirical science, and by the use of the 
methods of science to become a part of physiology and 
biology. Philosophy has been a nest in which all the 
sciences have been brooded. Psychology has been the 
last to attempt to leave the nest , and to-day in some of 
our large universities it is coordinated in the curriculum 
with the natural sciences. Deprived of a basis in phi- 
losophy, psychology turned to natural science for sup- 
port. Concerning the relation of the soul to the body 
many solutions have been offered. 

Following the Sensationalist, Cabanis, who died in 
1808, sonie of the French Ideologists, so-called, con 


eluded that the soul is everywhere determined by phy- 
sical influences, such as age, sex, temperament, climate, 
etc. ; some said that the mind is a result of brain ac- 
tivity ; some developed the conception of phrenology, 
according to which the shape of the skull determines 
the faculties of the mind. The French Ideologists dif- 
fered widely in their interpretations, but on the whole the 
basis of the movement was materialism. The hypothesis 
of phrenology aroused great interest in England, but 
John Stuart Mill led the movement back to Hume's 
associational psychology. He conceived the psychical 
and the physical states as two separate realms, and he 
concluded that psychology as the study of the laws of 
mental states cannot reduce mental states to physical. 
So Sir William Hamilton, under the influence of Kant, 
championed the life of inner experience. 

Of course the materialistic challenge of the soul 
aroused great heat in theological circles. The person- 
ality of God and the nature of the soul became burn- 
ing questions, and led to the dissolution of the Hegelian 
school into "the right wing" and "the left wing." 
Hegel had always maintained his standing in orthodox 
circles as the Prussian " State philosopher." Those fol- 
lowers who composed the " right wing " tried to inter- 
pret his doctrine in accordance with the traditional 
theological conception of the soul ; the " left wing " in- 
terpreted Hegel as a pantheist, in whose doctrine the 
soul could not be considered as a substance with immor- 
tality. Feuerbach followed this by inverting Hegelianism 
into a nominalistic materialism, and conceived the soul 
as nature "in its otherness." In 1854, at a convention 
of naturalists in Germany, the materialistic conception 
of the soul was found to be widely spread among the 


German physicians and naturalists. But the contradic- 
tion between the inferences of science and " the needs of 
the heart " became a subject of controversy, and in 1860, 
under the leadership of Kuno Fischer, the " return to 
Kant" was begun, which lasted throughout the nine- 
teenth century. 

There are two names that stand out most prominently 
in relation to this controversy over the nature of the 
soul: they are those of Lotze (1817-1881) and Fech- 
ner (1801-1887). They are names that were conjured 
with by the generation of American scholars before the 
present. Lotze regarded the mechanical necessity of 
nature as the form in which the impulsive mental life 
of man realizes its purposes. Every soul therefore has 
a life that consists essentially in purposeful relations 
with other souls. And this is possible only if the lives 
of men are under an all-embracing Providence. Fech- 
ner chose another way to escape from the materialistic 
tendency. He regarded the soul and body as separate 
and qualitatively different, although exactly correspond- 
ing, manifestations of one unknown reality. There is a 
parallelism between the mental and the physical, in which 
the mental phenomena are known only to the individual 
perceiving them. As sensations are the surface waves 
of a total individual consciousness, so the conscious- 
nesses of human beings are the surface waves of a uni- 
versal consciousness. The mechanical activity of nature 
corresponds to the consciousness of God. We can inves- 
tigate this correspondence by studying the correspond- 
ence between our own mental states and physical states. 
This is the modern well-known psychological method 
of psycho-physics. We can measure psychical quantities 
by formulating mathematical laws of their occurrence. 


Out present psychology has seen a development from 
all these earlier explanations ; but this is a matter of 
contemporary writing and not of history. 

2. The Problem of the Conception of History. The 
contrast in the Kantian teaching between nature and 
mind became an antagonism in the nineteenth century. 
When psychology was no longer a purely mental sci- 
ence, social life in its historical development at first 
withstood the vigorous march of the natural science of 
the nineteenth century. But the inroads of science in 
psychology were duplicated in the field of sociology, and 
thus the problem of society was only the problem of the 
soul on a larger scale. 

The first form that this problem took arose from the 
opposition in France between the traditional conception 
of society and that of the philosophy of the Revolution. 
The nineteenth century French philosophy has, how- 
ever, a religious coloring that differentiates it from 
that of the Revolution. Auguste Comte * (1798-1857) 
stands as the chief representative of this scientific re- 
duction of society. He pushed the doctrines of Hume 
and Condillac to their extreme in his positivist system 
of social science. He maintained that human knowledge 
had as its objects phenomena in their reciprocal rela- 
tions, but that there is nothing absolute at the basis of 
these phenomena. The only absolute principle is, All is 
relative. There is a hierarchy of sciences in which soci- 
ology is highest. Sociology includes all the preceding 
sciences, and yet it is the original fact. The first social 
phenomenon is the family. The stages of the develop- 
ment of society are (1) theological, (2) metaphysical, 

* Read Rand, Modern Classical Philosophers, pp. 672- 


and (3) positivistic or scientific. All mental life in de- 
tail, and human history as a whole, are subject to these 
stages of growth. In the positivistic stage mankind will 
be the object of religious veneration, and the lives of 
great men will be justified because they have raised the 
lives of common men. The democracy to which Comte 
looks is one ruled by great minds, and is not a socialism. 
In contrast to Comte's theory is that of Buckle, who 
would study history by discovering the mechanical laws 
governing society. 

While human history was thus being invaded by nat- 
ural science and had to defend its autonomy against the 
naturahstic principle of science, natural science on the 
other hand was in the nineteenth century invaded by 
the historical principle of evolution. Natural science 
becomes a history. We have seen that in the Romantic 
circle there was great interest in the origin and devel- 
opment of law, philology, art, etc. In the beginning 
and middle of the nineteenth century this interest 
spread to an investigation of the origin of animal life. 
This investigation has been the most notable in this 
century, because (1) it included in its scope the source 
and means of progress of the human race ; and because 
(2) it advanced a new conception of development. De- 
velopment now becomes evolution. Up to the nineteenth 
century the world was looked upon as a graded series 
of types, but no type was supposed to evolve into an- 
other. (See vol. i, pp. 180, 193 ; vol. ii, p. 306.) The 
theory of historical evolution of the nineteenth century 
is notable because it advanced the conception, based 
upon empirical investigation, that types are changed 
into others. This theory, among those of the century, 


comes the nearest to an original philosophical doctrine. 
The book that became the centre of scientific interest 
for many years was Darwin's Origin of Species^ pub- 
lished in 1859. The name most prominently linked 
with that of Darwin is that of Herbert Spencer, who 
attempted to make universal the principle of develop- 
ment and to formulate its law. 

The modern theory of the historical evolution of 
animal life has reinforced the mechanical principle of 
nature, which had its origin in the minds of the phi- 
losophers of the Renaissance. It has antagonized the 
theological doctrine of creation ; it has related the an- 
imal and man by filling in the supposably impassable 
gulf between them ; it has advanced the doctrine of 
chemical synthesis against the hylozoistic notion of a 
vital principle ; it has pushed forward with great assur- 
ance its theories of transformation and equivalence of 
forces, and of the action of electricity as a substitute 
for thought-activity ; it has shown a wonderful parsi- 
mony in giving a value to all the facts of history which 
had hitherto been conceived as trivial ; and on the other 
hand it has reduced the conception of mighty cosmic 
cataclysms to a geological series of gradual gradations. 
Darwin's place in this movement of the nineteenth cen- 
tury was this : he tried to show that animal life can 
be explained without the aid of final causes. In other 
words, the adaptation of the structure of animals can 
be accounted for mechanically. The factors involved 
in the development of organic life upon the earth 
were, according to Darwin, infinite differentiation, 
adaptation, natural selection, and the survival of the 


Now at the beginning of the twentieth century there 
seems to be a reaction from the scientific positivism of 
the last century. This has taken the form of an extrava- 
gant mysticism, although at heart it is an optimism and 
an idealism. 


Abbott, E. A., Francis Bacon, 40 n. 

Absolute Reality of Hegel, 314, 316, 
321,323-326,328,329. 5ee Reality, 

Absolutism, spirit of, in Germany, 
from 1648 to 1740, 217-223; in 
France, 217, 225; destroyed by 
Frederick the Great and Lessing, 
225, 226, 228, 229. 

.SIsthetic Idealism of Schelling, 302, 
304, 307. 

Agnosticism of Hume, 188. 

Alchemists, the, 25. 

Alembert, Jean le Rond d', 211. 

Althusius, Johannes, 47. 

America, discoverj' of, 6. 

Anacreonticists, the, 224. 

Analysis. See Induction. 

Analytic judgments of Kant, 249- 

Antinomies of Kant, 264, 265. 

Antithesis, of Fichte, 295 ; of Hegel, 

A posteriori, judgments, of Kant, 
250-252 ; material, the perceptions, 
257; principle, in ethics, 271, 272. 

A priori, judgments, of Kant, 250- 
252 ; principles, categories, 257, 271, 

Archaeus, the, of Paracelsus, 26, 27. 

Aristotle, represented by two an- 
tagonistic schools in the Renais- 
sance, 11. 

Art, in Schelling's philosophy, 308 ; 
and in Schopenhauer's philosophy, 

Association of Ideas, according to 
Hume, 191-193; by law of contig- 
uity, 192-194; by law of resem- 
blance, 192-196; by law of causa- 
tion, 192, 193, 196-199. 

Associational Psychology, Hobbes 
the father of, 50. 

Associationalist Psychologists, 141. 

Astronomers, mathematical, 32-36. 

Atheistic controversy of Fichte, 282, 

Atoms, scientific conception of, ex- 
amined by Leibnitz, 119, 120, 121. 

Attributes, according to Spinoza, 95, 
96. See Qualities. 

Auerbach, Berthold, Spinoza, 88 n. 

Autobiographies, many of them 
written in the Enlightenment, 137. 

Bacon, Francis, 31, 35; life of, 39; 
position of, in philosophy, 39-42; 
his New Atlantis, 40-42; the aim 
of, 42, 43; his method, 43-46; com- 
pared with Hobbes, 48; seems to 
stand apart, 146. 

Baldwin, J. M., Fragrnents in Phi- 
losophy, 84 n. 

Ball, W. W. R., History of Mathe- 
matics, 36 n., 40 n. 

Bayle, Pierre, 203. 

Beauty in Schelling's philosophy, 

Beers, H. A., History of Romanti- 
cism in Eif/hteenth Century, 295 n. ; 
History of Romanticism, in Nine- 
teenth Century, 295 n. 

Berkeley, George, life and writings 
of, 109-172; the influences upon his 
thought, 172; the purpose of, 173, 
174; general relation of, to Locke 
and Hume, 174, 175; his points of 
agreement with Locke, 175, 170; 
the negative side of his philoso- 
phy, 176-179; denies existence of 
abstract ideas, 177-179; the posi- 
tive side of his philosophy, 179- 
183; and Hume, compared, 183, 

Blackwood Classics, Descartes, 70 n., 
73 n. 

Bodin, Jean, 47. 

Body, relation of mind and, accord- 
ing to Descartes, 78-80; in Leib- 
nitz's philosophy, 126. 

Bohn's Libraries, Spinoza, 90 n. 

r.rahe, Tycho, 32, 33. 

Brown, Thomas, 202. 



Browning, Robert, Paracelsus, 25, 
26 n. 

Bruno, Giordano, 25, 27-30, 32, 33. 

Buckle, H. T., 362. 

Buffon, G. L. L. de, 211. 

Butler, Joseph, hia Analogy of Re- 
ligion, 166. 

Byron, G. G.,Lord, on Berkeley, 182. 

Caird, E., Philosophy of Kant, 236 n. 

Calkins, M. W., Persistent Problems 
in Philosophy, iv, 66 n., 73 n., 

Cambridge School, the, 61. 

Campanella, Tommasso, his State of 
the Sun, 41 n. 

Cartesian argument, the, 74, 75. 

Categorical imperative, the, of Kant, 

Categories, Aristotelian and Kant- 
ian, 256, 257; of Hegel, 323, 327. 

Causation, association of, 192, 193, 

Chubb, Thomas, 165. 

Ohurch, mediseval, 14; attitude of, 
toward science, in the period of 
the Renaissance, 19-21, 62-65; ac- 
cording to Hobbes, 60. 

Civilization, of the Middle Ages, 
causes of the decay of, 4-7 ; mod- 
ern, is subjective, 15. 

Classicism, German, 224, 296. 

Coleridge, S. T., and Spinoza, 85. 

Collegiants, the, Spinoza's acquaint- 
ance with, 87-89. 

Collins, Anthony, 165. 

Columbus, Christopher, discovers 
America, 6. 

Comte, Auguste, quoted on the En- 
cyclopcedia, 211; his philosophy, 

Concomitant variations, the name, 
38 n. 

Condillac, E. B. de, 212. 

Consciousness, ultimate certainty 
of, according to Descartes, 70-72; 
implications of, according to Des- 
cartes, 72, 73 ; in Fichte's philoso- 
phy, 286-288, 293; in Schelling's 
philosophy, 309; in Hegel's philo- 
sophy, 321, 322, 326, 327; in Her- 
bart'8 philosophy, 336, 338 ; in 
Fechner's philosophy, 359. 

Constantinople, fall of, 6. 

Constitutionalists and Political 

Economists, the, of the Enlight- 
enment, 142. 

Contiguity, association of, 192-194. 

Continuity, law of, 129. 

Contradictious, the world a world 
of, according to Hegel, 321, 327, 
328, 335 ; of experience, according 
to Herbart, 334, 335. 

Copernicus, Nikolaus, 7, 32-34. 

Cosmic, unity, of Hegel, 322-326; 
law, of Hegel, 326-328. 

Counter-Revolution, the, 17. 

Criticism, the Enlightenment a pe- 
riod of, 138; Kant's method a, 239. 

Cusanus, Nicolas (Nicolas of Cusa), 

Darwin, Charles Robert, his Origin 
of Species formulated most fully 
the Evolution movement, 3, 362. 

Decentralization of Europe and of 
philosophy, iv, 12, 13. 

Deduction, in the Natural Science 
period, 19, 21, 35; defined, 35 n. ; 
use of, according to Galileo, 37; 
according to Bacon, 40, 46; accord- 
ing to Descartes, 70, 72, 73; use 
made of, by the followers of Des- 
cartes, 81. 

Deed-act of Fichte, 293. 

Deism, and Hume, 200; of Voltaire, 

Deists, the English, 141, 164-166; the 
German, 142. 

Descartes, Ren6, 31, 35; compared 
with Hobbes, 48, 49 ; the mental 
conflict in, 65, 66; life and philo- 
sophical writings of, 66, 67; the 
two conflicting influences upon 
the thought of, 67-69; the method 
of, 69, 70; the great contribution 
of, an absolute principle, 70; in- 
duction, provisional doubt, ulti- 
mate certainty of consciousness, 
according to, 70-72; deduction, im- 
plications of consciousness, ac- 
cording to, 70, 72, 73; his proofs of 
tlie existence of God, 73-75; the 
reality of matter, according to, 75- 
77; his view of the relation of God 
to the world, 77; of God to mat- 
ter, 77, 78; of God to minds, 78; of 
mind and body, 78-80; influence 
of, 80, 81; relation of the Occa- 
sionalists and Spinoza to, 81-84; 



his influence on Spinoza, 87; his 
influence on Locke, 145, 146, 152. 

Determinism, 53. 

Dewing, A. S., Introduction to Mod- 
ern Philosophy, iv, 8 n., 332 n. 

Diderot, Denis, 211. 

Difl'erential calculus, discovered by 
Leibnitz, 112, 114, 119. 

Discoveries. See Inventions. 

Dogmatism, defined, 187. 

Doubt, provisional, of Descartes, 

Dualism, Cartesian, of mind and 
matter, assumed in the Enlight- 
enment, 135; of Berkeley, 179; 
formed the background of Kant's 
thought, 232. 

Dualists, 174 n. 

Duty, according to Fichte, 289-295. 

Eclecticism revived by Renaissance 
scholars, 11. 

Edwards, Jonathan, 171. 

Ego, the, of Kant, 260, 263, 264; of 
Fichte, 288-295, 313; of Schelling, 
304, 309 ; of Hegel, 313, 314. 

Empiricism, begun by Locke, 61 ; de- 
fined, 61 n. ; in the Enlightenment, 
137; of Berkeley, 174; of Hume, 
189; of the nineteenth century, 
355-357, 361, 362. 

Encyclopaedists, the, of the Enlight- 
enment, 142, 211, 212. 

England, in the Natural Science 
period, 17, 21, 31 ; the Natural Sci- 
ence movement in, 46; the Renais- 
sance in, after Hobbes, 61; the 
Enlightenment in, 140, 145-147; 
comparison of the French Enlight- 
enment with the Enlightenment 
in, 204, 205; influence of, in France, 
in the Enlightenment, 206, 207. 

Enlightenment, the, the second pe- 
riod of modern philosophy, 2, 3; 
general treatment of, 132-143; be- 
gins when the " new man "tries to 
understand his own nature, 132; 
the practical presupposition of, 
134 ; the metaphysical presupposi- 
tion of, 135; the problems of, 135- 
140; the period of empirical psycho- 
logy, autobiographies, and Meth- 
odism, 137; a period of criticism, 
138; a period of remarkable 
changes in the political map of 

Europe, 139; a comparison of, in 
England, France, and Germany, 
140, 204, 205; the many groups of 
philosophers in. 140-143; birth- 
places of influential thinkers of 
(map),144 ; in Great Britain, 145-147 ; 
in France, 203-216; the situation 
in, in France, 203-206; the English 
influence in, in France, 206, 207; 
the two periods of, in France, 207, 
208; the intellectual (Voltaire, 
Montesquieu, the Encyclopae- 
dists), 208-212; the social (Rous- 
seau), 213-216 ; in Germany, 216-229 ; 
the inti'oductory period (absolut- 
ism), 217-223; sources of, 218-223; 
the literary, in Germany, summary 
of, 223, 224; the political (Freder- 
ick the Great), 224-226; the course 
of, in Germany, 226-228; Lessing, 
228, 229. 

Epicureanism revived by Renais- 
sance scholars, 11. 

Epistemology, of Locke, 155, 156, 158, 
160-162; of Kant, 238, 239. See 

Erdmann, J. E., on the Enlighten- 
ment, 133. 

Eternity in Spinoza's philosophy, 
105, 106. 

Ethics, of Spinoza, 102-106; of Hume, 
200, 201 ; of Kant, 269-277. 

Eucken, Rudolf, Problem of Human 
Life, iv, 8 n., 23 n., 40 n., 47 n., 66 n., 
84 n., 107 n., 147 n., 183 n., 203 n., 
223 n., 236 n., 282 n., 300 n., 315 n., 
340 n., 352 n. 

Evil in Leibnitz's philosophy, 130. 

Evolution, principle of, 3, 361, 362. 

Experience, contradictions of, ac- 
cording to Herbart, 3,34, 335. 

Extension, the essence of matter, 
according to Descartes, 77, 82; in 
Spinoza's philosophy, 93, 95, 96, 

Faith philosophy, Herder a writer 

on, 143. 
Falckenberg, Richard History of 

Modern Philosophy, iv, 26 n., 36 n., 

47 n., 55 n., 70 n., 73 n. ; quoted, 274, 

Fechncr, G. T., 359. 
Feuerbach, L. A., 358. 
Fichte, J. G., and Schelling and 



Hegel, what they sought, 279, 281, 
312; life and writings of, 282-285; 
the inilueuces upon his teaching, 
285, 28G; his two kinds of ideas, 
286; the moral awakening, accord- 
ing to, 287, 238 ; the central prin- 
ciple in his philosophy, 288-290; 
the moral world of, 290-292; God 
and man, in the philosophy of, 
292, 293; what a moral reality in- 
volves, according to, 293-295; his 
relation to Romanticism, 299; and 
Schelling, a brief comparison of, 
as philosophers, 303-305. 

Fischer, Kuno, Descartes and his 
School, 70 n.; leads the " return to 
Kant," 359. 

FitzGerald, Edward, his translation 
of the Jiubdnjdt, 347, 348. 

Force, fundamental ground of mo- 
tion, according to Leibnitz, 119, 
120; identified with the metaphys- 
ical atom by Leibnitz, 121 ; the 
word, as used by Leibnitz, squints 
toward physics and psychology, 

France, in the Natural Science pe- 
riod, 17, 21, 31 ; the Enlightenment 
in, 140, 203-216; the situation in, 
in the Enlightenment, 203-206; the 
English influence in, 206, 207; the 
two periods of the Enlightenment 
in, 207, 208; the intellectual En- 
lightenment (Voltaire, Montes- 
quieu, the Encyclopsedists) in, 
208-212; the social Enlightenment 
(Rousseau) in, 213-216; absolutism 
in, 217. 

Francke, A. H., 220. 

Frederick the Great, 223-226. 

Freedom, Spinoza's conception of, 
104 ; according to Locke, 154, 155 ; 
Kant's idea of, 270; the postulate 
of, according to Kant, 276; accord- 
ing to Fichte, 289, 290; and God, 
Schelling's philosophy of, 303; 
transcendental, of Schopenhauer, 

Galilei, Galileo, 31-33, 35-39. 

Gama, Vasco da, discovers all-sea 
route to India, 7. 

Gassendi, Pierre, was author of the 
introduction of Greek atomism 
into modern thought, 120. 

I Geneva, new religious centre in the 
Renaissance, 12. 

Geometrical Method and its Oppo- 
I nents in the Enlightenment, 142. 

German Idealism and modern phi- 
i losopliy, 355, 350. 
j German Idealists, places connected 
with (map), 280 ; treated, 278-.329. 

German literature a factor in the 
Enlightenment, 218, 210, 223. 

German Philosophy, the third period 
of modern philosophy, 3; treat- 
ment of, 230-329; the three charac- 
teristics of, 231, 232; the two pe- 
riods of, 232, 233. 

Germany, in the Renaissance, 12, 16, 
17, 21, 31 ; the Enlightenment in, 
140, 216-229; the introductory pe- 
riod (absolutism), 217-223; summary 
of the literary Enlightenment in, 
223, 224; the political Enlighten- 
ment in (Frederick the Great), 
224-226; the course of the Enlight- 
enment in, 22G-228; Lessing, 228, 
229; the convergence of philoso- 
phical influences in, 230, 231. 

Geulincx, Arnold, 63, 83. 

Gibbon, Edward, quoted, 138. 

God, in the philosophy of Cusanus, 
25; in Bruno's philosophy, 28-30; 
Descartes' proofs of the exist- 
ence of, 73-75; relation of, to the 
world, to matter, and to minds, 
according to Descartes, 77, 78; in 
the philosophy of the Occasion- 
alists, 83 ; in Spinoza's philosophy, 
91-106; in Leibnitz's philosop'hy, 
126. 127, 130, 131 ; in the Enlighten- 
ment, 135; in Berkeley's philoso- 
phy, 181-183; in Hume's philoso- 
phy, 200; in Voltaire's philosophy, 
210; the idea of, according to 
Kant. 261, 265-268 ; the ])ostulate of 
the existence of. according to 
Kant, 276, 277; iu Ficlite's j)hi!oso- 
phy, 292, 293; in Schelling's philo- 
sophy, 300; and freedom. Schel- 
ling's philosophy of. 3n. 312; of the 
Mystic, 319; in Hegel's philosophy, 
324; according to Fechner, 359. 

Goethe, J. W von, Faust, 25, 20 n., 
85 n.; and Spinoza, 84, 85; de- 
scribes the Enlightenment as an 
age of self-conceit, 134; prominent 
in the Storm and Stress movement, 



227; as a Romanticist, 297-299; and 
Scheliing, tiieir pliilosophy, 306. 

Gottsclied, J. C, 219, 22;i, 29-4. 

Grace, world of. See World of grace. 

Great Britain, the Enliglitenuieut 
in, 145-147. See England. 

Greek, language and literature, 
study of, before and in the Renais- 
sance, 10-14, 16. 

Greeks, the, naturalism of, recov- 
ered in the Renaissance, 14. 

Grotius, Hugo, 47. 

Gunpowder, discovery of, 6. 

Hamilton, Sir William, 202, 358. 

Hardenberg, Friedrich von (Nova- 
lis), on Spinoza, 92; quoted, 295. 

Hartmann, K. R. E. von, 342. 

Harvey, William, 35. 

Hegel, G. W. F., German philoso- 
phy ends with, 3 ; and Fichte 
and Scheliing, what they sought, 
279, 281, 312 ; comment of, on 
Scheliing, 299; and the culmina- 
tion of Idealism, 312-314; wliy 
he remains to-day the represent- 
ative of Kant, 314, 315; life and 
writings of, 315-318; the funda- 
mental principle of his idealism, 
321, 322 ; the cosmic unity of, 322- 
326; the cosmic law of, 326-328; 
his application of his theory, 328, 
329 ; basis of the opposition 
against, 331, 332; and Schopen- 
hauer, compared, 340, 341 ; liis 
philosophy, how interpreted by 
his followers, 358. 

Heidelberg, University of, 12. 

Herbart, J. F., as a follower of Kant, 
330-3.32 ; turns to the thing-in-itself , 
332; his programme at the begin- 
ning of his teaching, 332, 333; life 
and writings of, 333, 334; his con- 
tradictions of experience, 334 ; his 
argument for realism, .334-330 ; the 
many reals and nature p!ir>nomena, 
according to, 337, 333 ; the soul and 
mental phenomena, according to, 

Herbert of Cherbury, 1C5. 

Herder, J. G. von, brought into cur- 
rency the word " humanity," 133; 
promini/nt in the Storm and Stress 
movement, 227 ; true interpreter 
of Leibnitz, 228. 

Hibben, J. G., Philosophy of En- 
lightenment, 107 n., 119 n., 132 n., 
179 n. ; quoted on Berkeley, 180. 

History, conception of, in the nine- 
teenth century, 357, 360-363. 

Hobbes, Thomas, 31 , 35, 36 ; a political 
theorist, 47 ; forerunner of modern 
materialism, 48, 49 ; compared with 
Bacon, 48 ; compared with Des- 
cartes, 48; life and writings of, 49, 
50 ; the influences upon the thought 
of, 50-52 ; his mission, to construct 
a mechanical view of the world, 52 ; 
the fundamental principle in the 
teaching of, 52-54 ; the method of, 
54, 55 ; kinds of bodies, according 
to, 55, 56; his application of the 
mathematical theory to psycho- 
logy; 50-58 ; to politics, 58-00 ; his 
Leciathan, 60 ; and Descartes and 
Locke, 145, 146 ; began the school of 
English Moralists, 167, 108. 

Hoffding, Harold, History of Mod- 
ern Philosophy, iv, 36 n., 40 n., 
70 n. 

Holland in the Natural Science pe- 
riod, 17, 21, 31. 

Holy Roman Empire, 217, 225. 

Humanistic period, general charac- 
ter of, 15-21 ; hmg list of represent- 
atives of, 22, 23 ; consideration of 
representatives of (Cusanus, Para- 
celsus, Bruno), 23-30. 

Humanity, the word, brought into 
currency by Herder, 133. 

Hume, David, on Spinoza, 88 ; the 
change in English intellectual in- 
terests shown in, 147; general re- 
lation of Berkeley to, 174, 175 ; a 
dualist, 174 n. ; life and writings 
of, 183-186 ; compared with Berke- 
ley, 183, 184 ; influences ui)on the 
thought of, 186, 187 ; his Skepticism 
and Plienomenalism, 187-189 ; the 
origin of ideas, according to, 189- 
191 ; the association of ideas, ac- 
cording to, 191-193 ; association, by 
law of contiguity, 192-194 ; by law 
of resemblance, 192-19G; associa- 
tion of causation, 192, 103, 105-190 ; 
mathematics in his philosophy, 
104, 195; his conception of sui»- 
stance, 195, 196 ; his attack on the- 
ology, 195, 196 ; his attack on sci- 
ence, 196-199; the extent and limits 



of human knowledge, according 
to, 19'J, 'iOU ; his theory of religion 
and ethics, 200, 201 ; the skepticism 
of, iuHuenced Kant, 235. 
Huyghens, Christian, 32. 

Idea, the world as, and as Will, ac- 
cording to Schopenhauer, 345-347; 
the misery of the world as, accord- 
ing to Schopenhauer, 348, 349. 

Idealism, of Berkeley, 174; after 
Kant, 278, 279; subjective, of 
Fichte, 290, 304; aesthetic, of Schel- 
ling, 302, 304, 307; Transcendental, 
of Schelling, 309, 310 ; Hegel and the 
culmination of, 312-314; and Real- 
ism, and Mysticism, contrasted, 
318-321 ; Hegel's, the fundamental 
principle of, 321, 322 ; German, and 
modern i)hilosophy, 355, 356. 

Idealists, German, treated, 279-329. 

Ideas, the proof of their truth, ac- 
cording to Descartes, 72 ; innate, 
of Descartes, 73, 150 ; innate, of 
Spinoza, 15C ; innate, denied by 
Locke, 15G, 157, 189 ; innate, of 
Leibnitz, 157; source of, accord- 
ing to Locke, 157-159 ; in the philo- 
sophies of Locke, Berkeley, and 
Hume, 174, 175 ; abstract, in Berke- 
ley's philosophy, 177, 179, 189; 
source of, according to Berkeley, 
181-183 ; origin of, according to 
Hume, 187, 189-191 ; association of, 
according to Hume, 191-193 ; asso- 
ciation of, by law of contiguity, 
192-194 ; by law of resemblance, 
192-196; Kant's use of the term, 
2C1 ; the three, according to Kant 
(God, soul, totality of the uni- 
verse), 261-268; of Fichte, 286; 
neo-Platonic, in Schelling's philo- 
sophy, 312. 

Identity, of indiscernibles, 129 ; 
Schelling's philosophy of, 303, 310, 

Ideologists, French, 358. 

Idols, the, of Bacon, 45. 

Illuminati, the, 227. 

Immortality of the soul, the postu- 
late of, according to Kant, 276. 

Impressions, in Hume's philosophy, 

Inconsistencies of the world accord- 
ing to Hegel, 322. 

Independent Philosophers, the, of 
the Enlightenment, 142. 

Individual, independence of the, in 
the Enlightenment, 134. 

Individualism, movement toward, 
in the Renaissance, 12, 15 ; modern, 
the rise of, 132-134; in the Enlight- 
enment, its expression in England, 
France, and Germany, 140 ; in 
France, in the Enlightenment, 
207-209 ; in Germany, 219, 220, 223, 
225-229; of the Romantic move- 
ment, 296. 

Induction, in the Natural Science 
period, 19, 21, 35 ; defined, 35 n. ; 
use of, according to Galileo, 37; 
according to Bacon, 40, 46 ; accord- 
ing to Descartes, 70-72. 

Infinity, Spinoza's idea of, 94, 95, 
105, 106. 

Innate Ideas, of Descartes, 73, 156 ; 
of Spinoza, 156; existence of , de- 
nied by Locke, 156, 157, 189; of 
Leibnitz, 157. 

Intellectual Enlightenment in 
France, 207-212. 

Inventions, of the Middle Ages, 6, 9; 
in the nineteenth century, 354. 

Italian nature philosophers, 22. 

Italy in the Renaissance, 10, 12, 16, 
17, 21, 31. 

James, William, Hibbert Journal, 
315 n. ; Prafitnatitnn, 352 n. 

Jena. 233, 284, 302, 307. 

Jewish Cabala, the, 11. 

Johnson, Samuel, president of 
King's College in New York, 171. 

Judgments indispensable to know- 
ledge, according to Kant (analytic, 
synthetic, a posteriori, a priori), 

Kant, Immanuel, his Critique of 
Pure Ueason, marks the transi- 
tion from tlie Enlightenment to 
German Philosophy, 2-4, 232; the 
influences upon, 233-235 ; life and 
writings of, 235-2.3S; the problem 
of, 238^ 239; the method of, 239, 
240; the threefold world of (sub- 
jective states, things- in- them- 
selves, and i>henomi'na), 240-243 ; 
his world of knowledge, 243-245 ; 
place of synthesis in knowledge. 



According to, 245-248 ; the judg- 
ments indispensable to know- 
ledge, according to, 248-252 ; proof 
of the validity of liiiman know- 
ledge, according to, 252-260 ; valid- 
ity of sense-perception consists 
in space and time, 253-255 ; tlie 
validity of the understanding, 255- 
260; the question of the validity 
of the reason, 260-262 ; the idea of 
the soul, 261-264 ; the idea of the 
universe, 261, 264, 265 ; the idea of 
God, 261, 265-268 ; summary of the 
theory of knowledge contained in 
the Critique of Pure Reason, 268, 
269 ; the ethics of (the problem of 
the Critique of Practical Reason), 
269-271 ; the moral law and the 
two questions concerning it, 271- 
275; the moral postulates, 275-277; 
idealism after, 278, 279 ; his influ- 
ence upon Fichte, 285, 286 ; why 
Hegel remains to-day the repre- 
sentative of, 314, 315 ; followers of 
(Herbart and Schopenhauer), 330- 

Kepler, Johann, 32-34. 

Khayyam Omar, 347, 348. 

Knowledge, in Hobbes's philosophy, 
57 ; in Descartes 's philosophy, 77 ; 
God the only object of, according 
to Spinoza, 92 ; Locke's theory of, 
155, 156, 158, 160-162 ; in Berkeley's 
philosophy, 176 ; in Hume's philo- 
sophy, 187, 199, 200 ; in Reid's phi- 
losophy, 202 ; Kant's theory of, 
238, 239 ; Kant's world of, 243-245 ; 
the place of synthesis in, accord- 
ing to Kant, 245-248 ; the judg- 
ments indispensable to, according 
to Kant, 248-252; human, proof of 
the validity of, according to Kant, 
252-262 ; transcendent and tran- 
scendental, of Kant, 262; of the 
soul, 262-264 ; of the universe, 264, 
265 ; of God, 265-268 ; siunmary of 
Kant's theory of, contained in the 
Critique of Pure Reason, 268, 269 ; 
according to Schopenhauer, 345. 

Knutzen, Martin, teacher of Kant, 

Latin, before and in the Renais- 
sance, 10-12. 
Leibnitz, G. W. von, 31; as the fin- 

isher of the Renaissance and the 
forerunner of the Enlightenment, 
107, 108; life and writings of, 108- 
112; his early classical studies, 112, 
113; the new science and his dis- 
coveries, 113, 114; influenced by 
political pressure for religious re- 
conciliation, 114, 115; the method 
of, 115-118; the immediate problem 
for (that of reconciling science and 
religion), 118, 119; the result of his 
examination of the principles of 
science, a plurality of metaphysi- 
cal substances, 119-122; his exam- 
ination of the scientific couceptiou 
of motion, 119, 120 ; his examin- 
ation of the scientific conception 
of the atom, 120, 121 ; his theoi-y of 
monadology, 121 ; the double na- 
ture of his monads, 122-125; the 
two forms of his conception of the 
unity of the substances, 125: the 
intrinsic (philosophical) unity of 
his monads, 125-129; the superim- 
posed (theological) unity of his 
monads, 129-131 ; his toleration 
compared with that of Locke, 151; 
his philosophy, a source of the 
German Enlightenment, 220-223; 
his philosophy developed and 
transformed by Wolff and Thom- 
asius, 221-223 ; Lessing and Herder 
as interpreters of, 228; appears, 
through Lessing, as a motive 
power in German Enlightenment, 

Leibnitz-Wolffian philosophy, 221- 
223, 231 ; influenced Kant, 233, 234. 

Lessing, G. E., and Spinoza, con- 
nection of, 85; helped save Ger- 
many from a political revolution, 
226-228 ; gave the death-blow to pe- 
dantic absolutism, 228; German 
literature begins with, 228 ; as in- 
terpreter of Leibnitz, 228; his phi- 
losojihy, 229. 

Life, in Leibnitz's philosophy, 128. 

Locke, John, his Essay on the Hu- 
man Understanding marks the 
transition from the Renaissance 
to the Enlightenment, 2-4; his 
general position in the history of 
philosophy, 145-147; his life and 
writings, 147-150; the sources of 
his thought, 150-153; his Puritan 



ancestry, 150 ; his training in tol- 
erance, 150, 151; the scientific in- 
fluence on, 151, 152; the politi- 
cal influence on, 152, 153 ; the pur- 
pose of , 153-155; two sides of his 
philosophy, 155-158; and scholas- 
ticism, 156, 157 ; his psychology, 
157-160; his epistemology, 155, 156, 
158, 160-162 ; his practical philo- 
sophy, 162, 163; the influence of, 
163, 164; general relation of Berke- 
ley to, 174, 175; Berkeley's points 
of agreement with, 175, 17G. 

Logic, in the latter part of the Mid- 
dle Ages, studied for its own sake, 
4; in Hegel's philosophy, 323, 328. 

London, new religious centre in the 
Renaissance, 12; becomes an in- 
tellectual centre about the time of 
the publication of Locke's Essay, 

Lotze, R. H., 359. 

Louis XIV, French King, 203. 

Louis XV, French King, 204. 

Macaulay, T. B., Essay on Bacon, 
40 n.; on Bacon, 42. 

Macchiavelli, Niccol6, 47. 

Magic in the Humanistic period, 18, 
19, 21,25. 

Magnetic needle, discovery of, 6, 7. 

Malebranche, Xicolas de, G3, 83. 

Man, his relation to the universe 
in the Renaissance, 8-18; in the 
philosophy of Paracelsus, 26; in 
Hobbes's philosophy, 55, 58; in 
Descartes's philosophy, 79; in Spi- 
noza's philosophy, 103; in Leib- 
nitz's philosophy, 126; in Fichte's 
philosophy, 292, 293 ; in Schelling's 
philosophy, 300, 309. See Xew man. 

Materialism, of Hobbes, 48, 49, .53; 
defined, 53 n. ; of the nineteenth 
century, 358. 

Mathematical Astronomers, the, 32- 

Mathematical law, according to Gal- 
ileo, 37, 38. 

Mathematics, in the Natural Science 
period, 19, 21; modern influence 
of, grew from astronomical begin- 
nings among the Humanists, 35; 
of Hobbes, 48, 54, 50-60; of Des- 
cartes, 48, 68, 69, 74, 76; in Spi- 
noza's philosophy, 90, 91, 93, 99; 

differential calculus, discovered 
by Leibnitz, 112, 114, 119; in Leib- 
nitz's philosophy, 116, 122, 123 ; in 
Hume's philosophy, 194, 195. 
Matter, the reality of, according to 
Descartes, 75-77, 82; relation of 
God to, according to Descartes, 
77, 78; in Berkeley's philoso]ihy, 
177, 17S ; in Schelling's philosoi>hy, 
305; in Hegel's philosophy, 324. 
Mechanism of the world of Hobbes, 

Mediaeval, man, 9, 10 ; science, 11 ; 
institutions, 11 ; church, 14; world, 
Mendelssohn, Moses, 221. 
Metaphysics, Cartesian, assumed in 

the Enlightenment, 135. 
Methodism, rise of, 137. 
Middle Ages, the, causes of the de- 
cay of the civilization of, 4-7. 
Mill, J. S., 38 n., 358. 
Mind, relation of God to, according 
to Descartes, 78 ; relation of body 
and, according to Descartes, 78-80 ; 
in the philosophy of the Occasion- 
alists, 83; in the philosophy f)f 
Locke, 156-162 ; in Berkeley's philo- 
sophy, 176, 180; in Hume's philo- 
sophy, 191 ; in Reid's philosophy, 
202; of Fichte and Schelling, 304; 
in Hegel's philosophy, 324; phe- 
nomena of, according to Herbart, 
338-340, See Soul. 
Modern philosophy, comparative 
short time-length of, lii, iv; diffi- 
culty in the study of, 1, 2 ; periods 
of, 2-4; and German idealism, 355, 
Modes, of mind and matter, accord- 
ing to Descartes, 77 ; of thought 
and extension, according to Spi- 
noza, 95, 96. 
M(madology, Leibnitz's theory of, 

Monads, of Leibnitz, metaphysical 
atoms, 112, 114, 119, 121 ; the double 
nature of, 122-125; conceived as 
soul-atoms, 122, 123, 126; represent- 
ation the general function of, 
124 ; are windowless, and mirror 
the universe, 125, 127; the prin- 
ciple of unity among, called a pre- 
established harmony, 125 ; the in- 
trinsic (philosophical) unity of, 



125-129; the superimposed (theo- 
logical) unity of, 129-131. 

Montesquieu, C. de S. de. Baron, 208. 

Moral, awakening, the, according 
to Fichte, 287, 288 ; freedom, of 
Fichte, 289, 290; world, of Fichte, 
290-292; reality, a, what it involves, 
according to Fichte, 293-295. 

Moral Philosophers of the Enlight- 
enment, 141. 

Moralists, English, the, 1G6-168. 

Morality, according to Hegel, 326. 

Morals, Kant's theory of, 269-277. 

More, Thomas, his Utopia, 41 n., 47. 

Morley, John, Diderot, 211 n. 

Motion, in Galileo's philosophy, 38; 
in Hobbes's philosophy, 53; Leib- 
nitz's examination of the scien- 
tific conception of, 119, 120. 

Music according to Schopenhauer, 

Mysticism, self-destructive, 5 ; of 
Spinoza, 98-102; and Realism, and 
Idealism-, contrasted, 318-321 ; of 
Schopenhauer, 347 ; of twentieth 
centurj', 363. 

Mystics, Protestant, the, 23. 

Mythology and Revelation, Schel- 
ling's philosophy of, 303, 311, 312. 

Napoleon, quoted, 231. 

Natura natimin^i and nat^ira na- 
turata, 29, 30, 97. 

Natural Religion, the creed of, 165. 

Natural Science period, the, gen- 
eral facts about, 15-21 ; discussion 
of (Galileo, Bacon, Hobbes), 31-61 ; 
discussion of the Rationalism of, 

Naturalism, of the Greeks, recov- 
ered in the Renaissance, 14 ; in 
Hobbes, 53 ; detined, 53 n. 

Nature, in the Natural Science 
period, 18; in the philosophy of 
Paracelsus, 27; in Bruno's philo- 
sophy, 29, 30; its two aspects, na- 
ture natiu-aiis a,n(l natura natu- 
rata, 29, 30; in the philosophy of 
the Rationalists, 63, 64; continuity 
of, according to Leibnitz, 123, 126, 
128, 129; in the Enlightenment, 
135; in the philosophy of Locke, 
163 ; according to Kant, 248, 255, 
258, 259 ; as conceived by the Ro- 
manticists, 297; Schelling'3 philo- 

sophy of, 300, 304-306 ; phenomena 
of, and the many reals, according 
to Herbart, 337, 338; in Schopen- 
hauer, 348 ; how conceived, in the 
nineteenth century, 353; according 
to Fechner, 359. 

Nature philosophers, Italian, 22. 

Neo - Platonism dominated the 
Humanistic period, 17, 18, 21,23,25, 

New Man, in a New Universe, phrase 
characterizing first period of mod- 
ern philosophy, 8-18; the emer- 
gence of the, in the Enlightenment, 

Newton, Sir Isaac, 32; his physics, 
Kant influenced by, 234. 

Nietzsche, Friedrich, 342, 352 n. 

Nineteenth century, pessimistic, 
341, 342; the character of the real- 
ism of, 353-355 ; the barrenness of 
the philosophy of, and German 
idealism, 355, 356; the philosophi- 
cal problems of, 356-362. 

Nineteenth Century Philosophy, the 
fourth period of modern philoso- 
phy, 3, 352-363. 

Nominalism, doctrine of, led to the 
dissolution of the civilization of 
the Middle Ages, 6. 

Noumena of Kant, 242. 

Novalis. See Hardenberg. 

Occasionalists, the, 63, 81 ; their re- 
lation to Descartes, 81-83. 

Owen, John, Locke influenced by, 

Oxford University, 12. 

Panpsychism, 102. 

Pantheism, detined, 94; of Spinoza, 

Paracelsus, 23, 25-27. 
Paris, the centre of scholastic influ- 
ence in the seventeenth century, 

Paulsen, Friedrich, cited, 231; on 

Kant's synthetic judgments a 

priori, 251 n. 
Perceptions, of Berkeley, 181; of 

Hume, 190. See Sense-])erception. 
Periods of modern philosophy, 2-4. 
Pessimism, 341, 342, 344, 348-351. 
Phenomena, the world of, according 

to Kant, 242-243; realities implied 



by, according to Herbart, 336 ; na- 
ture, and the many reals, accord- 
ing to Herbart, 337, 338. 

Phenomenalism of Hume, 187-189. 

" rhilosoiiher's stone, the," 25. 

rhilosophical Religion, Lessing a 
writer on, 143. 

Philosophical Revolutionists, the, 
of the Enlightenment, 142. 

Philosophy, according to Hegel, 326; 
modern, barren of ideas, 355; and 
German Idealism, 355, 356. 

Phrenology, in the nineteenth cen- 
tury, 358. 

Physics, in Hobbes's philosophy, 56; 
of Descartes, 68. See Science. 

Pietism, and Leibnitz, 115; a factor 
in the German Enlightenment, 2iy, 
220, 223, 230; intluenced Kant, 

Pietists, the, of the Enlightenment, 

Plato, 45 n. 

Platonic Academy, the, of the Re- 
naissance, 10. 

Platonisra, reaction toward, after 
Hobbes, 61. 

Plotinus, 28. 

Pluralism of Leibnitz, 119-122. 

Political Economists and Constitu- 
tionalists, the, of the Enlighten- 
ment, 142. 

Political philosophers, 23, 

Politics according to Hobbes, 56, 58- 

Pope, Alexander, on Bacon, 42; Es- 
say on Man, quoted, 133. 

Popular Philosophers, the, of the 
Enlightenment, 142. 

Positivism, Bacon the father of, in 
England, 43; defined, 43 n.; of 
Hume, 18S, 180. 

Prague, University of, 12. 

Printing, discovery of, 6. 

Protestant Mystics, the, 23. 

Prussia, rise of, 218, 219, 223; and 
Frederick the Great, 224-226. 

Psychologists and related philoso- 
phers, of the Enlightenment, 142. 

Psychology, in Hobbes's philosophy, 
56-58; empirical, took the place of 
metaphysics in the Enlighten- 
ment, 137; of Locke, 157-160; of 
Hume, 189; of Herbart, 338-340; 
in the nineteenth century, 357. 

See Associational Psychology, As- 

sociational Psychologists. 

Psycho-physical parallelism of Spi- 
noza, 102. 

Ptolemaic system, the, 33. 

Pyrrho, Skeptic philosopher, 187. 

Qualities, primary and secondary, in 
Locke's philosophy, 161 ; in Berke- 
ley's philosophy, 177, 178. See At- 

Rand, Modern Classical Philoso- 
phers, iv, 40 n., 47 n., 66 n., 84 n., 
107 n., 147 n., 169 n., 183 n., 212 n., 
236 n., 282 n., 300 n., 315 n., 340 n.. 
352 n., 360 n. 

Rationalism, defined, 61 n. ; the na- 
ture of, 62-65; School of, in Ger- 
many, France, and Holland, 80; of 
AVolff and the Leibnitz-Wolffians, 
221-223, 231. 

Rationalists, the, 31, 63-65. See 
Descartes, Spinoza, Leibnitz. 

Realism, Mysticism, and Idealism, 
contrasted, 318-321; the argument 
for, according to Herbart, 334-330; 
multiple, according to Herbart, 
337, 338; the return to, in the nine- 
teenth century, 352, 353; of the 
nineteenth century, the charactei 
of, 353-355. 

Realistic Movement, the, 224. 

Reality, of Fichte, 287-295; of Real- 
ism, Mysticism, and Idealism, 320, 
321; implied by phenomena, ac- 
cording to Herbart, 336; irra- 
tional, the will as, according to 
Schopenhauer, 347, 348. See Abso- 
lute Reality. 

Reason, the question of its validity, 
according to Kant, 2G0-262; tlie 
will exerted from, 272, 273; in 
Hegel's philosophy, 314, 323. 

Reflections in Locke's philosophy, 
158, 159. 

Reformation, Protestant, the, 7. 

Reid, Thomas, 201, 202. 

Religion, according to Hobbes, 60; 
and science, Leibnitz's attempt to 
reconcile, 118. 119; in the Enlight- 
enment, 137; Philosophical, Less- 
ing a writer on, 143 ; of the Deists, 
164, 165; in Hume's philosophy, 
200, 201; according to Hegel, 326. 



Religious philosophy of Schelling, 
311, ai2. 

Renaissance, the, the first period of 
modern philosophy, 2-4; general 
character of, 8-11; significance of, 
in history, 11-15 ; the problem of, 
14 ; two periods of, 15-21 ; discus- 
sion of the Humanistic period of, 
22-30; birthplaces of the chief 
philosophers of (map), 30; discus- 
sion of the Natural Science period 
of (Galileo, Bacon, Hobbes), 31-Gl; 
in Kngland after Hobbes, 61; dis- 
cussion of the Rationalism of the 
Katural Science period of, G2-131. 

Representation, the general func- 
tion of Leibnitz's monads, 124, 12G. 

Resemblance, association by, 192-196. 

Revelation and Mythology, Schel- 
ling's Philosophy of, 303, 311, 312. 

Revolution, French, the, 213,214,216. 

Revolutionists, Philosophical, the, 
of the Enlightenment, 142. 

Ribot, Th6odule, German Psycho- 
'«;/.'/ of To-ddij, 332 n. 

Richter, J. P., forerunner of the lit- 
erary Romanticists, 279. 

Robertson, G. C, Hobbes, 47 n., 66 n. 

Romantic philosophers, the, 299. 

Romanticism, 224; the period of, 295, 
296; its meaning, 29G, 297 ; in philo- 
sophy, 299, 300 ; takes a religious 
turn at beginning of eighteenth 
century, 311. 

Romanticists, the, 284, 285 ; G-oethe 
as one of, 297-299; the aesthetic 
humanism of, 308. 

Rousseau, J. J., the most notable 
figure of France during the En- 
lightenment, 142 ; his philosophy, 
213-216 ; his influence, 216, 230, 234, 

Royal Society, the, 40. 

Royce, Josiah, Spirit of Modern 
Philosoiihy, iv, 84 n., 169 n., 236 n., 
282 n., 299 n., 315 n., 352 n. ; The 
World and the Individual, 352 n. 

Salvation, Spinoza's doctrine of, 

Schelling, F. W. J. von, and Fichte 
and Hegel, what they sought, 279, 
281,312; the true Romantic spirit 
appears in, 299; life and writings 
of, 300-303; his philosophy of Na- 

ture, 300, 304-306 ; his philosophy 
characterized, 301 ; his transcend- 
ental philosophy, 302, 307-310 ; his 
system of identity, 303, 310, 311 ; and 
Fichte, a brief comparison of, as 
philosophers, 303-305 ; his religious 
philosophy, 311, 312. 

Schiller, J. C. F. von, prominent in 
the Storm and Stress movement, 
227 ; notable example of the inllu- 
ence of Kant upon literature, 233 ; 
quoted on Kant, 233 ; Artists, Let- 
ters on Esthetic Education, 307 n. 

Schleiermacher, F. E. D., 308, 311. 

Scholasticism, a self-destructive 
method, 4 ; mediseval. Renaissance 
had to reckon with, 11 ; represent- 
atives of the revival of, 22 ; after 
Hobbes, 61 ; and Locke, 156, 157. 

Schopenhauer, Arthur, his relation 
to Kant, 330-332 ; and his philoso- 
phical relations, 340-342 ; and pes- 
simism, 341, 342, 344, 348, 349-351 ; 
life and writings of, 342, 343; the 
influences upon his thought, 343- 
345 ; the world as will and the 
world as idea, 345-347; the will as 
irrational reality, 347, 348 ; the mis- 
ery of the world as idea, 348, 349 ; 
the way of deliverance, 349-351. 

Schultze, F. A., teacher of Kant, 233. 

Science, attitude of the Church to- 
ward, in the period of the Renais- 
sance, 19 - 21 ; modern methods 
in, began with Galileo, 32, 37-39; 
in Bacon, 40-46 ; in Hobbes, 54, 58 ; 
and religion, Leibnitz's attempt 
to reconcile, 118, 119 ; Hume's at- 
tack on, 196-199 ; Hume's two 
classes of, 199, 200; in the nine- 
teenth century, 353-357; invaded 
by evolution, 361. See Natural 
Science period, Physics. 

Scientific methods in the Renais- 
sance, 18, 19. 

Scientists of the Natural Science 
period, 31-39, 62-65. See Descartes, 
Spinoza, Leibnitz. 

Scottish School of Philosophy, the, 
of the Enlightenment, 141, 201, 202. 

Self, idea of, in Locke's philosophy, 
159, IGO; of Kant, 260; of Fichte, 
293 ; of Schelling, 309, 310. See Ego. 

Sensationalism, 53. 

Sensationalists. See Sensualists. 



Sensations, of Locke, 158, 159; of 
Kant, 245; of Fichte, 290, 291; of 
Herbart, 339; of Fechner, 359. 

Sense - perception, in wliat its val- 
idity consists, according to Kiint, 
253-255. See Perceptions. 

Sensualists, the, of the Enlighten- 
ment, 141, 212. 

Sentimentalist, the, of the Enlight- 
enment (Rousseau), 142. 

Seven Years' War, 225. 

Shaftesbury, Lord, and Locke, 148, 
152, 153. 

Shelley, P. B., Love's Philosophy, 
305 n. ; Prometheus Unbound 
quoted, 325. 

Skepticism, revived by Renaissance 
scholars, 11 ; of Hunae, 187-189; of 
Hume, influenced Kant, 235. 

Skeptics, the, of the Enlightenment, 

Social Enlightenment in France, 213- 

Sociology according to Comte, 300. 

Solipsism, of Descartes, 72 ; defined, 

Soul, according to Descartes, 72, 79, 
the monad of Leibnitz conceived 
as, 122, 123, 126; according to Hume, 
196 ; the idea of the, according 
to Kant, 261-264 ; the postulate of 
the immortality of, according to 
Kant, 276 ; in Herbart's philoso- 
phy, 338-340 ; the problem of the 
functioning of, 357-360. See Mind. 

Space and time, knowledge possible 
by means of, according to Kant, 

Spencer, Herbert, Education, 43 n. ; 
and evolution, 362. 

Spener, P. J., 220, 230. 

Spinoza, Baruch de, 31, 35 ; his rela- 
tion to Descartes, 81-84; the his- 
torical place of, 84-86 ; influence of 
his Jewish training on, 86; his im- 
pulse from the new science, and 
Descartcs's influence upon, 86, 87; 
his acquaintance v'ith the Colle- 
giants, 87, 88 ; life and philosophi- 
cal writings of, 88-90 ; the method 
of, 90, 91; the fundanental princi- 
ple in his philosophy, 91, 92 ; three 
central problems in iiis teaching, 
93; his pantheism, 94-98 ; the mys- 
ticism of, 98-102 ; his doctrine of 

salvation, 102-106 ; summary of his 
teaching, 100; his conception of the 
world compared with Leibnitz's, 
127 ; and Kant, foci of the philoso- 
phy of the generation after Kant, 
278, 279 ; his influence upon Fichte, 

Spirit, See Mind, Soul. 

Spirituality of Fichte, Schelling, 
and Hegel, 281. 

Rtael, Madame de, quoted, 231. 

State, the, according to Hobbes, 55» 

States, ideal, 41, 47. 

Stephen, Leslie, Hobbes, 47 n. ; His- 
tory of English Thought, 166 n. 

Stewart, Dugald, 141, 202. 

Stirling, J. H., Textbook to Kant, 
236 n. 

Stoicism, revived by Renaissance 
scholars, 11. 

Storm and Stress movement, 224, 227, 
229, 295, 296. 

" Strife of methods, the," 19, 35. 

" Struggle of traditions, the," 17, 18. 

Subjective idealism of Fichte, 290, 

Subjective states, the world of, aC' 
cording to Kant, 240-242. 

Subjectivism, Renaissance marked 
by the rise of, 14, 15. 

Substance, in Descartes's philoso- 
phy, 77, 81, 82; in the philosophy 
of the Occasionalists and Spinoza, 
81-84, 91-95, 101; in Leibnitz's philo- 
sophy, 119-122; in Locke's philoso- 
phy, 160-162 ; according to Locke, 
Berkeley, and Hume, 174, 175 ; in 
Berkeley's philosojjhy, 176, 178 ; 
Hume's conception of, 195, 196. 

Sufficient reason, law of, 129. 

Suicide according to Schopenhauer, 

Sympathy according to Schopen- 
hauer, 350, 351. 

Synthesis, according, to Kant, 244, 
245; the place of, in knowledge, ac- 
cording to Kant, 245-248; ofVichte, 
295; of Hegel, 327. See Deduction. 

Syntlietic judgments of Kant, 249- 

Taurellus, 11. 

Tetens, J. N., 221. 

Theology, Hume's attack on, 195, 196. 



Thesis, of Fichte, 295; of Hegel, 327. 

Things-in-theiHselves, the world of, 
according' to Kiuit, 240-2'42, 33G; 
how ti-KUted by Fichte, 290, 291; 
how treated by Schelling, 300; 
the philosophy of, 330-351; the 
chief coucern of philosophy, ac- 
cording to Herbart, 332; implied 
by phenomena, according to Her- 
bart, 330; basis of Schopenhauer's 
philosophy, 340; according to 
Schopenhauer, 345, 346. 

Thirty Years' War, 217. 

Thoraasius, Christian, 142, 221. 

Thought, in Spinoza's philosophy, 
95, 101, 102; in Hegel's philosophy, 
322, 335. 

Time and space, knowledge possible 
by means of, according to Kant. 

Tindal, Matthew, 165. 

Tolaud, John, 165. 

Transcendental, method, of Kant, 
239, 240; philosophy, of Schelling, 
302, 307-310 ; freedom, of Schopen- 
hauer, 349-351. 

Trent, Council of, 16, 20. 

Truth, standard of, in the Middle 
Ages, self-destructive, 5; criterion 
of, according to Descartes, 72. 

Truths of Leibnitz, 116, 117. 

Tschirnhausen, E. W. von, 221. 

Turner, William, History of Philoso- 
phy, 73 n. 

Ueberweg, Friedrich, History of 
Philoso})hy, iv, 209 n. 

Understanding, in what its validity 
consists, according to Kant, 255- 

Unity, of Leibnitz, 122 ; a preestab- 
Ished harmony, 125; the intrinsic 
(philosophical), 125-129 ; the super- 
imposed (theological), 129-131 ; 
cosmic, of Hegel, 322-326. 

Universal, concrete and abstract, 99, 

Universe, Man's relation to, in the 
Renaissance, 8-18; according to the 
Ptolemaic system, 33; according to 
the Copernican system, 34 ; the idea 
of the, according to Kant, 261, 264, 

265 ; according to Schelling, 304, 

311. See New Man. 
Universities, in the Renaissance, 12; 

towns containing (map), 280. 
Utilitarianism, 43. 
Utopias, 41, 47. 

Van der Ende, his influence on 

Spinoza, 87, 89. 
Vienna, University of, 12. 
Voltaire, F. M. A. de, 20S-210, 223. 

Wagner, Richard, 342. 

Watson, John, Hedonistic Theories, 
47 n. 

Weber, E. A., History of Philoso'phy, 
iv, 70 n., 73 n., 107 n., 332 n., 352 n. 

Weimar, 233, 307. 

Wernaer, R. M., Romanticism and 
the Romantic School in Germany, 
300 n. 

Will, the, Kant's theory of, 269-277; 
the world as, and as idea, accord- 
ing to Schopenhauer, 345-347; as 
irrational reality, according to 
Schopenhauer, 347, 348 ; suicide 
and, according to Schopenhauer, 
349 ; the denial of, according to 
Schopenhauer, 349-351. 

Windelband, Wilhelm, History of 
Philosoj^hy, iv, 8 n., 23 n., 30 n., 
47 n., 70 n., 119 n., 132 n., 183 n., 
230 n., 236 n., 278 n., 282 n.; on 
Kant's synthetic judgments a pri- 
ori, 251 n. 

Wittenberg, new religious centre in 
the Renaissance, 12. 

WolfenhUttel Fragments, 85. 

Wolff, Christian, 221, 222, 228. 

Wolffians, the, 142. 

World, of grace, 63, 64, 76, 83 ; rela- 
tion of God to, according to Des- 
cartes, 77 ; in Spinoza's philosophy, 
97 ; the, Leibnitz's conception of, as 
the best possil)le, 130 ; according to 
Goethe, 298 ; in terms of conscious- 
ness, 321 ; a world of contradic- 
tions, 321 ; as will and as idea, ac- 
cording to Schopenhauer, 345-347 ; 
as idea, the misery of, according 
to Schopenhauer, 348, 349. See 




Cushman, Herbert Ernest 

A beginner's xhistozy cf