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HE following selection of pieces from the two volumes 
JL of Miscellaneous Essays, called by Schopenhauer 
"Parerga and Paralipomena," have been made with a 
view of meeting the taste alike of him that is specially in- 
terested in philosophy and of the " general realer." Some 
of the essays include f d in* this present volume have been 
translated before by Mr. Bailey launders, and published 
by Messrs. Swan Sonnenschein, & Co. I may state that 
the renderings here given have been made without any 
reference whatever to Mr. Saunders's work, which I have 
purposely abstained from consulting. In translating the 
German author, my aim has been to combine as strict a 
literality as was possible with a retention of the flavour 
of the original style in equivalent English idioms. At 
the same time I have always leant rather toward the side 
of over-literality than that of mere paraphrase. The 
introductory memoir and sketch of Schopenhauer's philo- 
sophy will, it is hoped, serve to render the meaning of 
some passages clearer than they would otherwise be to a 
reader who might take the, book up without any previous 
knowledge of the system to which they belong, in its 
general aspect. 



PREFACE .......... v 

The Life and Philosophy of Schopenhauer . . , . ix 


Sketch of a History of the Doctrine of the Ideal and Real . 1 

Fragments of the History of Philosophy .... 34 

On Philosophy and its Method 162 

Some Reflections on hV Antithesis of, Thing-in-itself and 

Phenomenon 182 

Some Words on Pantheism 191 

On Ethics 195 

On the Doctrine of the Indestructibility of our true Nature 

by Death 240 

On Suicide 257 

Contributions to the Doctrine of the Affirmation and Nega- 
tion of the Will-to-live 263 

On the Metaphysics of the Beautiful and on ^Esthetics. . 274 

On Thinking for Oneself 318 

On Reading and Books 329 

On Women 338 

INDEX ...,,,,,, 353 


THE great literary exponent of modern Western pessi- 
mism, as he is usually deemed, was born in the 
old Hanseatic town of Dantzic, the 22nd of February, 
1788. He was of Dutch descent on both sides. His 
mother, Johanna Schopenhauer, subsequently became a 
aovdist of considerable, though ephemeral, note. It was 
by a mere fluke that the subject of our sketch, Arthur 
Schopenhauer, was not born in England. His * father, a 
Dantzic merchant of considerable means, had all the 
eighteenth century enthusiasm for English institutions, 
and the additional connection with Englishmen, which re- 
sidence in the commercial towns of the Baltic brought with 
it, especially at that time. He was accordingly anxious 
that his son should be born on British soil, and to this end 
undertook a tour with his wife, having London as its goal, 
in the summer of 1787. Before the time of birth arrived, 
however, Johanna was seized with a violent longing to re- 
turn home; and accordingly the future philosopher was 
ushered into the world, by birth as well a by parentage, a 
German. The only revenge the old merchant could take 
upon fate was in the name of his son Arthur which was 
bestowed on account of its cosmopolitan character, at least as 
regards the three leading nationalities of Western Europe. 
In 1798 the old "free town " was annexed by Prussia, 
a circumstance which involved J tbe departure of thf 


Schopenhauers. For father Heinrich Schopenhauer was 
possessed with great ideas of Hanseatic independence, and 
the stern municipal republicanism which attached to it. 
They settled at Hamburg, where Heinrich set up a new 
business, which he conducted for twelve years. It was here 
that Arthur Schopenhauer spent his lehrjahre. Old Hein- 
rich Schopenhauer destined his son to follow his own call- 
ing. In pursuance of this idea young Schopenhauer was 
educated. In 1797 he was taken by his father to Paris, 
and subsequently boarded in the house of a merchant of 
Havre, Gr^goire by name, where he remained for two 
years, being educated in companionship with the son of his 
host. At the expiration of this time he returned to Ham- 
burg, attending a private school for three years. Schopen- 
hauer junior had, however, never taken kindly to the idea 
of a mercantile career, and his wishes now definitely 
turned towards literature, his tastes in this direction being 
fostered by the literary society he met at his father's 
house, and to which his mother was greatly addicted. His 
father, after much entreaty, gave his partial consent, and 
thought of purchasing a canonry for his son ; but the pro- 
ject fell through, and he reverted once more to his original 
idea, obtaining the son's reluctant acquiescence by the 
bribe of a lengthened sojourn in France and England, to 
be enjoyed first. 

Early in 1803, accordingly, the family took their de- 
parture from Hamburg for Calais and London. While 
in London, Schopenhauer was placed at the boarding- 
school of a clergyman at Wimbledon. He found the 
mechanical discipline extremely irksome to him, and, more 
than all, the religious training imparted in this establish- 
ment. There is a passage in one of his letters in which he 
indicates his disgust, in no measured language, of the 
atmosphere of cant and hypocrisy which at that time, and 
{or long after, permeated every department of English life. 


which concludes : " When will the light of truth burn 
through these darknesses ? " He recurs to the subject 
several times in the course of his miscellaneous writings, 
and always in the same strain of inexpressible loathing 
and contemptuous indignation. At the end of the year the 
family left England for Paris, touring their route, during 
the early part of 1804, through provincial France to 
Switzerland, and ultimately to Vienna. In September 
young Arthur found his way with his mother alone, his 
father having gone back to Hamburg, to his native place. 
Here he entered the office of a Dantzic merchant, and 
seriously endeavoured to fulfil his pledge to his father at 
the desk. After a few months, however, he rjianged the 
Dantzic office for a Hamburg one ; but every month made 
it more and more apparent that his heart was not in the 
ledger, the number of moments stolen from business 
during business hours, in the interest of his books (other 
than ledgers), were such as to lead to serious remonstrance 
on the part of his superiors. 

Just at this time an event occurred, however, which 
broke up the Schopenhauer household. On the fiftl* of 
April, 1805, his father, who had for some little time pre- 
viously shown signs of aberration or failing of intellect, 
was found in the canal, having precipitated himself from 
the upper story of an overhanging building, the universal 
suspicion being that the case was one of suicide. This 
was a great blow to Arthur, who, in spite of their disagree- 
ment on the knotty point as to the choice of a profession, 
was devotedly fond of his father. Though now more or 
less free to follow his own inclinations, he did not do so 
immediately, but went back to the drudgery he abhorred, 
solely, as it would seem, to show his respect for the dead. 
For two long years h^endured it. His mother after a few 
months the business complications tending the realiza- 
tion of the effects of her late husband having been settled, 


and being in consequence possessed of a sufficient income 
improved the situation bj retiring to Weimar, which was 
then at its zenith as the literary metropolis of Germany. 
She here became an associate of the circle which centred in 
Goethe, and began her career as a novelist. Differences 
between the mother and son became manifest in the course 
of correspondence, but did not prevent the former at length 
giving her consent to a final renunciation of the counting- 
house. At the beginning of 1807, therefore, Schopenhauer 
began to devote himself seriously to study. In June lie 
settled at Gotha, and, although in his twentieth year, did 
not disdain to take his place in the gymnasium of that 
town with f view to acquiring a thorough classical train- 
ing. A lampoon on one of the masters compelled tys 
retirement, however, and he went to join his mother at 
Weimar. In the latter place he pursued his classical 
studies, but became more than ever estranged from his 
mother. It soon became impossible for them to live in the 
same house. Arthur's inadaptability to the somewhat 
ceremonious efa juette of the Weimar salon did not tend to 
improve matters. The petty spite which only too often 
displayed itself at a later stage in his gibings at the 
academical philosophers of his time, at this period found 
vent in jealousy of the literary renown of his parent. 
The disgust at the frivolity which was indicated, as it 
seemed to him, in his mother's conduct, and more espe- 
cially at the ease with which he thought the memory of his 
father had been forgotten, no doubt contributed to this ; 
but we must in the main ascribe Schopenhauer's conduct 
to his constitutional failing. On attaining his majority, 
and with it the small income of some thousand thalers 
(d6150), Schopenhauer determined to enter the University 
of Gottingen. He here enrolled himself as a student of 
medicine, not so much with a view to practising, as for the 
sake of having a faculty. He attended for over a year 


most of the classes in physical science. It was nut .till 
some months later that his distinctive leaning towards 
philosophy showed itself, when he began to attend the 
lectures of Schulze, the author of " ^Enesidemus," and a 
great man in his day. 

Schulze advised him to study Plato and Kant, advice 
which he religiously followed for some time, to the neglect 
of other thinkers. In the summer of 1811 Schopenhauer 
went to the newly-established University of Berlin ; here 
he attended Schleiermacher's lectures on the History of 
Philosophy, the following year he also heard Fichte. 
Already at this time his hatred and jealousy of Academic 
Philosophy and philosophers began to show itself. Fichte 
especially came in for his attacks, as may be seen from his 
student's note-books of the lectures. These exhibit the 
silly petulance which too often disfigure his later work. 
In 1813 came the disastrous campaign of Napoleon in 
.Russia, and the attempt of North Germany to shake off 
the power of the invader. After the battle of Lutzen 
Schopenhauer left Berlin, reaching Rudolstadt, a small 
principality adjoining Weimar. Here he wrote his first 
book, " The Fourfold Boot of the Principle of Sufficient 
Season." Its appearance occasioned the joke on the part of 
his mother, that the title sounded as though it would only 
interest apothecaries, to which Arthur made the retort, 
that it would be read when all her romances were forgotten. 
It was a thin volume, and at the time created no notice. 
Shortly after the publication, Schopenhauer had the rash- 
ness to try the experiment once again of living with his 
mother at Weimar. This visit proved the occasion of a 
final rupture with Johanna Schopenhauer, whom he never 
saw again. At Weimar at this time, however, he entered 
upon a closer acquaintance or friendship with Goethe than 
he had done previously. The special occasion of it was his 
strongly expressed sympathy for Goethe in his squabble 


with the Newtonians on the subject of the celebrated 
" theory of colours " (Farben Wire). 

Proceeding northward to Dresden, Schopenhauer de- 
veloped his optical theories as well as his general philosophy 
in the latter town during the ensuing months. It was here 
' that his pessimism became accentuated and formulated. 
Schopenhauer claimed to be the first modern who had dealt 
philosophically with the sexual impulse, which was one of 
the turning points of his philosophy, the sexual act being 
the typical illustration of the affirmation o_f . theJWill-ia-liyeL 
But of this more anon, when we come to speak of Schopen- 
hauer's philosophy in general. The belief in the inherent 
possibility and the practical necessity of a philosophy 
had already begun to lead him to plan out a coherent 
system. It was of a different nature from the con- 
temporary academical systems of Fichte, Schelling, and 
Hegel, in that, while no less than theirs purporting to be 
a metaphysic, it was nevertheless not like theirs founded 
on a logical deduction, but claimed to have grown together 
piece by piece as the fruit of observation and reflection on 
the phenomena of nature and man. Schopenhauer, in 
other words, took his stand on a different side of the 
" critical " philosophy of Kant to that of his contemporaries 
of the chair. Kant's division of the first part of the 
" Critique of Pure Reason " into " The Transcendental 
JEsthetic," and " The Transcendental Dialectic," was the 
basis of a divergence of view in German philosophy, of 
which the antithesis between Schopenhauer and Hegel is 
the most salient expression. While the philosophers of the 
" chair " took their stand on the Transcendental Analytic 
and Transcendental Dialectic, Schopenhauer took his on 
the Transcendental ^Esthetic. For the former, the formal 
activity of thought the category or concept was the 
ultimate principle and starting-point of philosophy. With 


Schopenhauer, on the contrary, this was not ultimate, but 
derived from the, for him, deeper, non-logical principle of 
Will. Art thus, in a sense, stood nearer philosophy than 
science with Schopenhauer. " Art, 1 ' he writes at this time, 
" is not, like science, merely concerned with the reasoning 
powers, but with the innermost nature of man, in which 
each must count merely for what he is in reality. NOTV 
this will be the case with my philosophy, for it is intended 
to be philosophy as art." . . . . " The mere faculty of dis- 
covering the sequence of conceptions, the combining, in 
short, of antecedents and consequents, though it may make 
a great scholar and scientist, will never make a philosopher, 
just as little as it will make a poet, a painter, or i musician." 
Schopenhauer was at this time largely occupied with a 
perusal of the works of the French materialist writers of 
the last century, especially of Helvetius. The TJpanishada 
in a Latin version also absorbed a good deal of his time, 
and contributed much material towards his own philosophy. 
He speaks of it as the noblest reading in the world, and as 
his highest consolation. 

By 1818 the great philosophical work was already all 
but finished, and Schopenhauer wrote to the publisher 
Brockhaus, of Leipsic, offering it to him as the exposition 
of a new philosophical system. Terms were arranged, and 
an edition of eight hundred copies agreed upon. But 
Schopenhauer chafed at the delay of the printers, and this 
finally culminated in the writing of a discourteous and 
quasi-libellous letter to Brockhaus, demanding a portion 
of the honorarium, and calling upon him to name a date 
for the completion of the publication " with all the sincerity 
of which he was capable." Brockhaus declined to act 
otherwise than in accordance with the terms of the agree- 
ment. He also wrote further letters to Schopenhauer, 
abusing him in well-set terms for what he deemed his in- 
fiultmer conduct, which letters remained unanswered '-bv 


the latter. The volume saw the light towards the close of 
1818, being dated for the following year, and bearing the 
title, "The World as Will and Presentment, 1 ' in four 
books, with an appendix containing a criticism on the 
philosophy of Kant. The work proved a failure, as the 
" Fourfold Root " had done ; and Schopenhauer some years 
afterwards, on demanding an account as to the sale of his 
book, received a reply that a great part of the edition had 
been disposed of as waste paper. 

Before the book had issued from the press Schopenhauer 
was in Italy, refreshing himself with the southern sun, 
after his four years' labour on what he deemed his life- 
work. It was a time of all others when a re-awakened 
interest in archaeological research generally, and especially 
in that of the classical lands, was making itself felt the 
time of Niebuhr and of Von Humboldt, of Thorwaldsen 
and of Bunsen. But Schopenhauer sympathized with none 
of these. The researches into the origins of Christianity 
which occupied his college friend at Q-ottingen, Bunsen, 
had no attractions for him. Just as little did he care for 
the new conceptions of history which were dawning, and 
which found their first expression in Niebuhr's demoli- 
tion and partial reconstruction of the earlier Eornan history. 
To Schopenhauer, for whom the valley of the Q-anges was 
the one and only original source of the religious instinct, 
Christianity was unspeakably abhorrent. Historical re- 
search was uninteresting to him for the simple reason that 
he admitted no philosophy of history, no law in history, 
not even a tendency, but the mere fortuitous play of indi- 
vidual desire and caprice, substantially the same at one 
time as at another, and differing only in the superficial 
forms of its manifestation. For classical literature and 
art, on the other hand, he had a keen enthusiasm, an enthu- 
siasm which had its obverse side in the systematic deprecia- 
tion of mediaeval art, especially Gothic architecture. Italy 


was, just at this time, " the fair land of exiles " from the con- 
ventionalities of society in the more northern countries of 
Europe. Byron, Shelley, Scott, and other lesser lights of 
English imaginative literature, were languishing, rhapso- 
dizing, or sight-seeing in Venice, Florence, Rome, and else- 
where. Goethe had only recently been there, and there were 
plenty of other Germans, intoxicated with the " romantic " 
movement now springing into life, with whom Schopen- 
hauer had the opportunity of quarrelling. He kept a 
diary during all this time, in which were set down sundry 
reflections on life and things of the partly platitudinary 
and partly paradoxical nature, so characteristic of all the 
meditations of our Neo-Buddhist on things in general. 

At Naples he received a letter from his only sister, who 
was a few years his junior, containing a report of the 
publication of his book, and also the welcome information 
that Goethe, in spite of his general repulsion to purely 
speculative literature, had dipped into it, and discovered 
two passages to his liking, one in the fourth part, which 
contained Schopenhauer's views on art, and the other a 
passage in which he proclaims self-realization as the end 
of life. While at Milan, on his return home, a less welcome 
letter from his sister reached him, containing the informa- 
tion that the Dantzic house, in which his mother and sister 
had invested their means, had failed. Schopenhauer, who 
was himself involved to the extent of 8,000 thalers in the 
affair, was at first sympathetic, and prepared to stand by 
his relatives. But on hearing that they had precipitately 
agreed to accept the first offer made, of a composition of 
thirty per cent., he became disgusted, and not even the 
satisfaction he might have derived from seeing therein a 
confirmation of his theories as to the business incapacity 
of women, sufficed to prevent an enduring rupture. He 
himself resolutely stuck to his guns, refusing anything less 
than seventy per cent, down in settlement of claims. This 


he communicated to the firm indicated, in a letter, in which 
he states it to be his duty to defend his patrimony, at the 
same time justifying his attitude on quasi-philosophical 
grounds. He did not oppose the action of the other creditors, 
and hence the agreement with them was signed in the 
summer of 1821. The following month he sent in the first 
of his acceptances, and in less than a year all his three bills 
were paid up with interest. The amount gained or saved by 
his dexterous manipulation was partially lost afterwards, 
however, through an unlucky investment in Mexican Bonds. 
Schopenhauer next went to Heidelberg, and from thence 
to Dresden to arrange his affairs, the hope inspiring him 
all the time of obtaining a university appointment. Just 
now the universities were regarded by the governments of 
Germany, in the full flood of the reaction represented by 
the Holy Alliance, as hotbeds of sedition. This made little 
difference to Schopenhauer, whose want of appreciation of 
history was only equalled by his contempt for politics and 
all public movements. For him the individual was all in 
all. The political atmosphere therefore was no hindrance 
to his-applying, as he hoped with success, for a post of the 
kind. He first turned his attention to Berlin, and in 
writing to one of the professors there on the subject, he 
declares that what interests him alone are the things which 
concern every man at all times and in all places, and that 
so long as he has the means and opportunity of study, and 
of elaborating his ideas and communicating them to the 
world, he is satisfied, no matter what the outward circum- 
stances of his age and country may be. To Berlin accord- 
ingly he went, and after the usual formalities presentation 
of copies of his books, a lecture delivered before the Senate, 
followed by an oral examination he was admitted to the 
post of privat-docent or extraordinary professor. Thus 
empowered, in the summer semester of 1820 he began a 
course of lectures on uhilosophv. This, like his books. 


proved a complete and utter failure ; his audience dwindled 
to nothing before the end of the term, and Schopenhauer 
never again tried his luck in this direction. He was 
perhaps partly himself to blame for the so completely 
disastrous collapse of his scheme, inasmuch as he had tried 
conclusions with the great philosophical giant who was 
then at the height of his renown. Schopenhauer was 
literally crushed beneath the weight of Hegel. The former 
had had the temerity to choose the lecture hour of his 
famous colleague for his own course. From this time 
forward dates the bitter and malignant attitude of Schopen- 
hauer towards the great master of speculative thought. 
The silly ebullitions of spite which recur again and again, 
in season and out of season, marring the pages of Scho- 
penhauer's Essays, and more than one specimen of which 
will be found in the following pages, are so puerile as to 
excite nothing else than pity for the man of unquestion- 
able power who could descend to them. It is only fair to 
say that Schopenhauer, possessed as he was with a morbid 
mania of suspicion, probably really believed his failure to 
have been due to the machinations of his arch-enemy, as he 
considered the author of the " Phsenomenologie." As a matter 
of fact it is extremely improbable that Hegel ever once 
gave so much as a passing thought to the obscure privat- 
docent and his course, so far as jealousy was concerned. , 

A review of his book in the " Litterateur- zeitung " of 
Jena next drew Schopenhauer into a furious squabble with 
the editor. In the course of the year 1821 he fell into a 
dispute subsequently ending in an unsuccessful litigation, 
this time not with any academical or literary opponent, but 
with a friend of his landlady. He complained to the latter 
on one occasion of having found three strange women con- 
versing immediately outside the two rooms he occupied, 
and received the assurance that such a thing should not 
occur again. A few days afterwards, on returning home 


from his walk, he found the three women again in the 
same position. He ordered them to retire, but one of them, 
a seamstress, who occupied a room at the top of the stairs, 
refused. Schopenhauer thereupon went back into his 
room, and after waiting a few minutes returned to the 
charge, and finding her still in the same position, he seized 
her by the waist and violently flung her out, at the same 
time using an expression more energetic than parliamentary, 
and following up her ejection by flinging after her the 
work she was engaged on, together with the implements of 
her calling. The case, which came into court, and was de- 
fended by Schopenhauer himself, was decided in his 
favour aftt/r the lapse of some months. The plaintiff how- 
ever appealed, and Schopenhauer, who wished to get away 
to Switzerland and Italy, did not stop for the hearing, and 
was condemned undefended to a moderate fine. After 
being absent in Italy during the whole winter, he returned 
northwards, making a lengthened stay at Gastein, and in 
August he was back at Dresden, remaining there some 
eighteen months, and occupying himself the while with 
sundry literary projects, including a translation of Hume's 
philosophical works, albeit this never got beyond the 
preface. In the spring of 1825 he was recalled to Berlin 
to square accounts with the redoubtable spinster, who had 
recently set up a fresh claim against him, on the ground 
of permanent disablement from gaining her livelihood, 
having been a consequence of the assault committed three 
years previously. She now demanded a regular yearly 
allowance as indemnity. The case had gone against him, 
and the previous October he had been condemned in costs, 
and ordered to pay the woman fifteen thalers a quarter 
(about 9 a year) towards her maintenance. His im- 
mediate object in going to Berlin now was to get the 
verdict reversed. In this he was unsuccessful, and after 
some months of . litigious vexation the decree was made 


final in March of the following year. The woman herself, 
who was over fifty years of age at the time, might have 
furnished Schopenhauer with the theme for a dissertation 
on the toughness of constitution possessed by the sex, or 
as he might have put it, on the strength of the manifesta- 
tion of " The Will-to-live " enshrined in the female body. 
Among other illnesses, she was prostrated by the cholera 
when it appeared in North Germany a few years later, and 
while strong men around her were succumbing in some 
cases to what were apparently much lighter attacks, she 
recovered, and survived for many a long year to enjoy the 
receipt of the pension allotted to her by the law. But last 
of all this woman died also, and on receiving official inf ormar 
tion of the fact, Schopenhauer inscribed on the notice-paper 
the significant and appropriate words, Obit anus obit onus. 
Schopenhauer continued, notwithstanding his defeat in 
the law-courts, to reside in Berlin for some years, leading a 
solitary life, a favourite dog (he was devotedly attached to 
animals) his only companion. He dined regularly at the 
table d'hote of the Hotel de Eussie, music and the drama 
forming his chief relaxations during the time. Among 
various other literary projects, he entertained an idea of 
translating Kant's " Critique of Pure Keason," " Prole- 
gomena," and " Critique of Judgment " into English, his 
knowledge of which language was perfect. This too, how- 
ever, after the passage of sundry letters between Berlin 
and London, fell to the ground. In the summer of 1831 
the cholera appeared in Berlin, one of its victims being, as 
is well known, Schopenhauer's great rival Hegel. Schopen- 
hauer, who had a constitutional horror and terror of in- 
fection, fled precipitately from the capital on the approach 
of the enemy, and sought refuge in Frankfort-on-the- 
Maine, which he never again quitted for any length of 
time so long as he lived. Our thinker, who had a distinctly 
superstitious vein in him, which, moreover, in no way con- 


flicted with his philosophy, believed himself warned in a 
dream that he should die of cholera if he remained. 

On his arrival in Frankfort a feeling of isolation, and 
consequent melancholy, owing to the sudden change from 
familiar scenes, induced him to renew a correspondence 
with his sister. Both mother and daughter had now 
quitted Weimar, and Adele such was the name of the 
sister had taken, like her mother, to the production of light 
literature. But though a desultory correspondence was 
resumed, he none the less remained estranged as before 
from his two relatives as far as personal intercourse was 
concerned. The next year, 1832, Schopenhauer removed 
for a few months to Mannheim, which for some reason 
he thought he should prefer to Frankfort as a place 
of residence. The change, however, proved not to his 
liking, and he returned to Frankfort. Among his re- 
mains were found an accurately drawn up pro and contra 
account respecting the two places, in which Frankfort 
wins because of its greater life and facility of amusement, 
its able dentists and " less bad physicians," and last, but 
not least, its " more Englishmen." This, like many other 
of the memoranda and notes of Schopenhauer, is written in 
the English language. His life-work henceforward was 
amplifying, commentating on, and illustrating his philo- 
sophy as embodied in his " chief work," as he is fond of 
terming it. In his philosophy, as he repeatedly says, he 
found occupation, instruction, and recreation the fullness 
of life in short, his happiness, in so far as such was 
possible to him. 

For years his daily round was a perfectly regular one. 
He rose at half-past seven, took his bath, at that time a 
rare luxury in Germany, dressed, prepared and drank his 
coffee, gave instructions to his housekeeper not to inter- 
rupt him till noon, and settled down to three or four 
hours' work, which he considered enough for continuous 
intellectual application, whether in reading or writing. 


At twelve o'clock he knocked off, took a turn at practising 
on his flute, and at one o'clock dined at his hotel, which 
was at first the " Englischerhof," and in later years the 
hotel "Zum Schwanen." He seldom talked during or 
after dinner, except when an especially cultivated or ap- 
preciative guest happened to be sitting beside him. After 
dinner he returned to his domicile, took his coffee, and 
slept for an hour. He then read belles lettres till four 
o'clock, being widely versed in English and French novelists. 
At four, or a little after, Schopenhauer started for his 
constitutional, accompanied by his dog. There had been 
a succession of these dogs, mostly poodles, since his 
student days. The poodle used to be called L/ the chil- 
dren of the neighbourhood young Schopenhauer. Occasion- 
ally, though rarely, an acquaintance took part in these 
strolls. The philosopher walked rapidly, so rapidly that 
few could keep up with him, for two hours on end. When 
alone, he often stopped suddenly for a moment, if an idea 
struck him, in order to note it down. On his return at six 
o'clock, or thereabouts, he visited the reading-room, where 
he regularly perused " The Times." At half -past eight he 
took his supper, which consisted of a cold collation and 
half a bottle of light wine. He then lit his long German 
pipe, and read for an hour. Directly after he went to bed, 
always believing in a long night's rest. To the obvious 
taunt which might have been applied to him that he did 
not carry out his own ascetic ideal, he would have replied 
that this could with no more reason be required of the 
philosopher than of any other man. If the philosopher by 
his insight could intellectually grasp the ideal of life and 
set it down in theory, this did not imply any greater obli- 
gation to realize it in his own person than in the case of 
anyone else. He who drives fat oxen need not himself be 
fat. The sculptor who produces a beautiful form may 
himself be a Silenus. And conversely, we do not expect an 
Adonis, just because he is an Adonis, to be also a Phidias. 


Schopenhauer published in 1836 a small volume on 
" Will in Nature." This was his first literary production 
of any consequence since the completion of " The World as 
Will and Presentment " in 1818. In it he collected various 
recently discovered facts of physical science that he thought 
corroborated the central positions of his philosophy, which 
he always contended could be arrived at by an inductive 
process. The new work, like its predecessors, failed to 
arrest, much less to secure, public attention. He was much 
disgusted at being known as the son of the novelist 
Johanna Schopenhauer, rather than as the author of the 
great philosophical system which should for ever solve the 
riddle of li Ie. In 1838 a learned society at Drontheim, in 
Norway, offered a prize for the best essay on the question, 
" Whether the freedom of the Will could be proved on the 
testimony of consciousness ?" Schopenhauer at once com- 
peted, and early in the following year he received intimation 
that his essay had won the prize. His delight at having, 
after so many failures, at last secured a measure of success, 
if not with the greater public, at least with a learned body 
like the Swedish Academy, knew no bounds. So elated was 
he, that he at once set about competing for another prize 
for an essay on "The Foundations of Morality,' * which 
had been offered the previous year by the Royal Danish 
Academy of Copenhagen. The essay having been duly 
finished and sent in, its author confidently awaited the 
news of a second success, and was intensely disgusted 
when he was apprized of the fact that his work had been 
rejected on the grounds that it contained no adequate dis- 
cussion of the relation of metaphysics to ethics ; that the 
alleged proofs of sympathy being the Foundation of 
Morality were insufficient ; and lastly, which was worst of 
all, that eminent philosopers had been treated without due 
respect. Who these philosophers referred to were may be 
imagined. Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel became more 


than ever the incarnation, for him, of deceit, sophistry, and 
low conspiracy to ignore him. The existent professors of 
philosophy, who had mostly drunk at these fountain heads, 
were carrying on, he was sure, the work of the arch-villain 
Hegel. Both treatises were published in one volume in 
1841, at Frankfort, with the title " The Two Fundamental 
Problems of Ethics." Three years after this the second 
edition of "The World as Will and Presentment" was 
issued from the press, without much change, except in the 
appendix on the Kantian philosophy, where his views on 
the relative merits of the first and second editions of the 
" Critique " were for the first time set forth. The important 
new feature was the addition of a commentary o. . the whole 
in the form of a second volume, which actually exceeded 
the first in bulk. 

The days of 1848 brought Schopenhauer's anti-political 
and anti- social side into prominence. He was desperately 
frightened lest he should lose his means in a general 
overturn. His essentially individualist impulses, and his 
views as to the functions of the " superior person " in the 
economy of human life, naturally led him to hate the 
populace the sovereign canaille, as he called it. He saw 
from his window the erection of barricades on the bridge 
over the Maine, and his room was on one occasion used by 
a party of Austrian troops as a citadel from which to open 
fire on the insurgents in the street below. The disturbance 
in the even tenor of his life, caused by the events of the 
revolution, naturally intensified Schopenhauer's bitterness 
towards it ; for an egoist he was and remained, from first 
to last. We are not surprised, therefore, that he left a 
large part of his fortune to the surviving relatives of those 
who fell on the reactionary side. The general break-up, 
however, of the previous conditions of German life, both 
material and intellectual, of which the revolution of 1848 
was an indication, told in favour of Schopenhauer's literary 


claims. Disciples and admirers now began gradually to 
drop in. First of all came the old " councillor " of Mag- 
deburg, Dorguth by name, who was the earliest to call 
public attention to Schopenhauer in an exaggerated esti- 
mate of his claims, embodied in a pamphlet, the first of a 
series in the same style which ran on up to Dorguth's 
death in 1854. More imp6rtant was the acquisition of the 
popular writer on philosophical subjects, Julius Frauen- 
stadt. The latter became the most useful and enthusiastic 
exponent of Schopenhauer's views, as well as for many 
years his adviser in practical matters relating to publish- 
ing, <fec. In newspaper and review Frauenstadt was un- 
tiring in t iserting his master's claims to recognition, and 
in expounding and defending his philosophical positions. 
His chief literary work in this connection was his " Letters 
on Schopenhauer's Philosophy." But Schopenhauer, now 
advancing to old age, was more than ever difficult to get on 
with ; and a rupture of three years in the personal rela- 
tions between master and disciple occurred, which was only 
terminated a few months before the death of the former. 
Adam von Doss, a Bavarian lawyer, also entered upon a 
vigorous correspondence with Schopenhauer. Lintner, the 
assistant editor of the " Vossische Zeitung," was converted 
by a perusal of the " Parerga,"<,nd paid especial attention 
to the theory of music contained in Schopenhauer's 
system. He also collaborated with Frauenstadt, after 
Schopenhauer's death, in a work, the main object of which 
was to defend the personal character of the master against 
aspersions which had been thrown upon it. In 1853 the 
well-known article of John Oxenford, the English dramatic 
critic, entitled " Iconoclasm in German Philosophy," was 
published in the "Westminster Beview," and Schopen- 
hauer was for the first time introduced to the British 
public. Other friends there were whom Schopenhauer 
won, the most important being Dr. David Asher, who was 


attracted by the pessimist's musical speculations while, a 
teacher at Leipsic, and who subsequently became con- 
nected with the publishing firm of his name ; and last, but 
not least, his biographer, Dr. G-winner. 

It was the " Parerga and Paralipomena," which was pub- 
lished in 1851, that first gave Schopenhauer a reputation 
with the general public. This, his last important work, was 
the first to attain any immediate success. It was neverthe- 
less declined at the outset by three publishers in succession, 
and, as it was, his only payment for the copyright con- 
sisted in a dozen copies of the book. The strange conglo- 
meration of literary odds and ends on things in general 
" caught on " almost at once, and led to a repnMication of 
the essay on " Will in Nature" ; to a third edition of " The 
World as Will and Presentment " ; and shortly before his 
death, in 1860, to a re-issue of " The Two Fundamental 
Problems of Ethics." Schopenhauer's chief pleasure in 
his old age now became reading favourable notices of his 
own works. His appetite for public applause was vora- 
cious. Admirers were frequently attracted to the new 
philosophy by special points. To some it was his musical 
theories ; to others, those on sexual love ; to others, again, 
his views on mesmerism and hypnotism. But the incoming 
throng of adherents, admirers, and interested readers was 
almost entirely composed of the class known as " persons 
of general culture." The Universities still remained closed 
to him, and few of those specially trained in them took 
any interest in the new pessimism or its exponent. One 
day he received a visit from an officer stationed at Magde- 
burg, who informed him of the existence of a society 
of admirers among the military of that city. The officer 
stated that he himself had read nothing else but Schopen- 
hauer for the past three years. In fact, in the last few 
years of his life, Schopenhauer had become a celebrity 
whom the curious passing through Frankfort desired to 


see. In 1855 lie sat for his portrait to a French painter. 
The next year he was painted by a German artist, a native 
of Frankfort, while a little later his bust was modelled by 
a young lady artist of Berlin. Still the evidences he ob- 
tained of his renown did not keep pace with his vanity. He 
could never read enough about himself. He repeatedly 
laments that so much that had been written about him 
must be escaping his notice. The first indication of any 
academic interest in him was furnished by the University 
of Leipsic, which in 1857 offered a prize for the best 
critical essay on his system, j^bout this time Schopen- 
hauer saw his friend Bunsen for the last time. The short 
visit the letter paid to Frankfort seems to have been the 
occasion of a pleasant revival for both parties of old 
student memories. The summer of 1860 showed consider- 
able evidences of the results of old age. Schopenhauer's 
strong constitution no longer stood him in good stead. 
Palpitation of the heart forced him to modify his constitu- 
tionals. An attack of inflammation of the lungs, from 
which he but slowly recovered, left him for a long time 
prostrate. Recurrent seizures of faintness seemed to indi- 
cate something radically wrong with his heart. Finally, 
on the morning of the 21st of September, 1860, after having 
risen and partaken of his breakfast as usual, he was found 
lying back dead on the sofa by his medical attendant, who 
had come to pay what for some time now had been his 
regular morning visit, 

| Schopenhauer has attracted as much interest by his per- 
sonality as by his writings. As is sufficiently obvious, his 
was a character of peculiar inadaptability to circumstances. 
Few people could have got on with him, and, as a matter 
of fact, he scarcely had an intimate friend throughout his 
life. \ The least suggestion of derogation from the most 
extravagant of his personal claims sufficed, especially in his 
later years, to inspire him with the keenest resentment. 


Schopenhauer was, in short, as perfect a type as we could 
well have of the completely self-centred egoist. Not that 
he lacked genuine zeal for truth, or devotion to philosophy. 
But these things were inseparable with him from zeal for 
the applause and recognition of his own work, and devotion 
to his own personality as such. That Schopenhauer was 
not destitute of a certain sense of humour his writings 
show. But certainly there was something lacking in his 
feeling for the ridiculous, or otherwise he could never have 
penned the comically arrogant passages concerning him- 
self which he has done. It is a susceptibility to the comic 
side of things which alone saves the man of greater ability 
than the average from the expression of 'aggerated 
estimates of his own powers, t An excessive personal sensi- 
bility, leading at times to moroseness, an irritability of 
temper which exaggerated trifles, and a personal vanity of 
huge proportions, must, in short, be admitted as funda- 
mental characteristics of the founder of the neo-pessiraism. ' 
These things were associated with a timidity, a scenting ' 
of danger from afar, which, though it may have been, as it 
is with many, purely constitutional in its origin, yet was in 
his case unquestionably fostered and nourished by the 
excessive habit of self-concentration above alluded to. 
Schopenhauer was in a constant state of alarm as to his 
personal safety. He fled from the very name of an infec- 
tious disease. He was so afraid of fire that he would only 
live on the ground floor of the house; and his fear of 
reverse of fortune was so great that he was in the habit of 
concealing important business papers and other valuable 
property, lest it should be stolen, under the harmless 
label of " materia medica. 99 / Still there can be no doubt 
whatever as to the sincerity of Schopenhauer's belief in 
his own mission, as the exponent of a new philosophy, or 
rather as the expounder in the definite formulae of Western 
thought of the old semi-poetical philosophy of the East, 



As he is never tired of insisting, Schopenhauer's philo- 
sophy is based upon the criticism of Kant. As already 
hinted, there were two distinct possibilities of speculative 
development contained in the Kantian metaphysic. Kant 
had divided his system into Transcendental ^Esthetic, 
Transcendental Analytic, and Transcendental Dialectic. 
The first contained an exposition of the conditions of pure 
sensibility. These were for Kant the subsuming of the 
blind sense impression, the resultant of the unknown thing- 
in-itself u^ der the forms of space and time. But to the 
completed phenomenon of so-called common-sense reality 
to the object known as such another element was 
necessary, that, namely, of the pure activity of thought, 
working through certain categories tabulated by Kant, 
and deducible from the ultimate unity of the conscious- 
ness. The exposition of the pure thought-conditions as 
opposed to those of pure sense are set forth and discussed 
in the second part of the " Critique," which Kant terms 
" The Transcendental Analytic." These two first parts of 
the great work, since they deal, not with the completed 
reality as we find it, but with the conditions which that 
reality presupposes with the elements which go to the 
making of that reality rather than with the reality as a 
whole these two first parts of the " Critique " are called 
by Kant the "Theory of Elements" (" elementarlehre "). 
The remainder of the book consists in the so-called " Tran- 
scendental Dialectic." This no longer deals with the elements 
which go to the making or determination of reality in con- 
sciousness, but with the idea* or assumptions which the 
mind is compelled to super- impose on these, and which 
hinge on the conceptions of the soul as a simple substance, 
on the world as infinite in time and space, and on God as 


the self -containing principle of all reality and all possibility 
of reality. The Sensibility, therefore, the faculty of receiving 
impressions from without ; the Understanding, the faculty 
of working up these impressions into a coherent world 
of objects ; and the Reason, the faculty of carrying on 
the process of thought-activity beyond the given world of 
phenomena created by the synthesis of sensibility and 
understanding, constitute for Kant the tripartite division 
of consciousness in general, or knowledge, in the widest 
sense of the word. Kant designated his system, therefore, 
as "Theory of Knowledge," inasmuch as it was an investiga- 
tion into the conditions under which alone all knowledge 
is possible. 

Now while Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel, especially the 
first and third, had taken their stand in the main upon the 
element of direct thought-activity deducible from the syn- 
thetic unity of the consciousness, and had thus postulated 
thought or intelligence as the ultimate principle of all reality, 
Schopenhauer thought he was able 1 to deduce the active, 
formative principle of the world from something still deeper, 
from a principle which was itself alogical, non-conscious 
albeit the source of consciousness a principle he identified 
with the so-called thing-in-itself, and the sense-impression 
which, according to Kant, was its result. This principle he 
further identified with Will, understanding by Will all 
nisus, all impulse, of whatever character. /The intelligence 
is, therefore, a secondary principle, entirely subordinate to 
the thing-in-itself, or Will, which manifests itself in all 
Nature, being substantially the same whether in gravitation 
or in human desire.)- Will is for Schopenhauer the matter, the 
intelligence, the/orm of Reality, but the two elements are 
everywhere distinguishable in consciousness.^ In Schopen- 
hauer's first work, " The Fourfold Root," he had endea- 
voured to establish the proposition that all the Kantian 
categories are ultimately deducible from that of Cause, and THE LIFE AND 

that this is itself a mode of the Will. " Adequate Cause " is 
divided by Schopenhauer into a principle of being, doing, 
actig^jELnd-l^Qmng (es8endi,fiendi, agendi, and cognoscendi). 
The law of Adequate Cause expresses the ordered connection 
between all our presentments, as determinable a priori, by 
virtue of which nothing can be self -existent and indepen- 
dent of other things, but in order to be an object for our 
consciousness it must stand in connection with the totality 
of phenomena. But the manner of this connection differs 
according to the nature of the object. Every presentment 
which can become object for us falls under one or other of 
four classes. The first class of possible objects of present- 
ment is that of the completed empirical perception. The 
primary form of this perception Schopenhauer makes, fol- 
lowing Kant, to consist in space and time, the forms 
respectively of the outer and of the inner sense. In this 
class of objects it appears as the law of causality in the 
narrower sense of the word. Schopenhauer calls it the 
law of the adequate cause of .becoming (vrincipium rationia 
suffici&ntwfiendi). A change in any object or objects pre- 
supposes another, upon which it has followed, with absolute 
necessity. Such a sequence is what we commonly call cause 
and effect. TJ& JOKERS jof causality in this sense are 
mechanical cause, organic irritability, and psychical motive. 
The first form, in which action and reaction are equal to 
one another, governs the inorganic world with its mechani- 
cal processes, the second governs the organic world with 
its physiological processes, and the third governs the world 
of thought and conscious action. The second class of 
possible objects for a subject are constituted by concepts 
or abstract presentments. This is the class concerned with 
the adequate.oause of knoiinng(principium rationis sujficientis 
cognoscendi), which proclaims that if a judgment is to express 
an intelligent proposition it must have a sufficient reason, 
hence it is termed true, truth consisting either in the 


logical and formal correctness of judgments, or in their 
adequacy for expressing a sensuous perception, which, in 
so far as it is based on experience, constitutes empirical 
truth. The third class of objects for the presentative 
faculty is constituted by the formal element of the com- 
pleted presentments, namely, the a priori given intuitions 
of the forms of the external and the internal sense, space 
and time. As pure perceptions they are distinguishable from 
the completed objects of perception. They have the charac- 
teristic that all their parts stand in one relation to each 
other, in respect of which each of them is conditioned by 
the other. In space, this relation is called position ; in 
time, sequence. From the latter number is Jirectly de- 
ducible. The law according to which parts of time and 
space are determined is termed by Schopenhauer the law of 
the adequate cause of being (principium rationis sufficientis 
essendi). The fourth and last class of possible objects for the 
faculty of presentment has its basis in the immediate object 
of the internal sense, the subject which wills, but which is at 
the same time object for the faculty of presentment, though 
an object of a unique kind, being only given to the internal 
sense, and, therefore, manifesting itself, not in space, but 
in time alone. In respect of Willing, the law of cause pre- 
sents itself as the law of sufficient reason of action, or as 
the law of motivation (principium rationis sufficientis 
agendi). In so far as motive is the external condition of 
an action it belongs to causes of the same kind as those 
mechanical ones considered under the first class of objects 
of possible presentment. In this last class, therefore, the 
circle is complete, since in it the first class merely evinces 
itself as ultimately the same thing viewed from the external 
side only. For motives are known to us not only from 
without like other causes, but also from within, and in them, 
therefore, we have the key to the mystery of the innermost 
meaning of all other kinds of causation. Motivation is 


simply causation seen from within. Such is, in brief out- 
line, the subject-matter of Schopenhauer's first philoso- 
phical work. Those desirous of further information re- 
specting it may consult the English translation, which 
forms one of the volumes in Bonn's Philosophical Library. 

Schopenhauer's " chief work/' " The World as Will and 
Presentment," is divided into four sections, of which the 
first treats of The World as Presentment, in the sense of 
empirical reality, the object of science ; the second, of The 
World as Will, that is, the will-to-live ; the third, of The 
World as Presentment, so to say in its second intention, as 
Platonic Idea, the object of art ; the fourth, lastly, of The 
Will in ito second intention, as purified from the lust of 
life, and turned as it were against itself. The volumo 
ends with an appendix on the Kantian philosophy. 

"The World is my Presentment." This proposition, 
with which the first book begins, applies, says Schopenhauer, 
to every living and knowing being, albeit in man alone 
does it appear in the form of a reflective or abstract thought. 
The sundering of consciousness into object and subject is 
the only form under which any presentment, be it percep- 
tive or conceptive, is possible or thinkable. The world 
means simply the totality of objects existing in and for 
a subject, of perceptions for a perceiver, in short, of 
presentments ; the whole world and all that can possibly 
belong to it is subject to this condition ; it is only there for 
a subject, it is only a determination of a subject. The 
essential and universal forms of the object belong, how- 
ever, to the subject, as Schopenhauer with Kant insists, 
and may, therefore, be distinguished a priori in conscious- 
ness. The principle of adequate cause, as expounded by 
Schopenhauer in the book above noticed, and at less length 
here, is the general expression which embraces all forms 
of the object. Materialism errs, in that it ignores the fact 
in question. The only valid standpoint consists in tho 


recognition of the complete relativity involved in all pre- 
sentment and in all thought. From this complete rela- 
tivity, amounting with Schopenhauer to a dualism, Schopen 
hauer infers the prius, or root- principle, to be something 
other than intelligence or knowledge. The separation of 
subject and object, and the law of cause which it implies, 
involves us in an antinomy or contradiction. For although 
metaphysically the existence of the world is dependent on 
its being known by living beings, yet, physically, these 
latter are themselves just as dependent on a chain of phy- 
sical events, of causes and effects, into which they enter as 
a mere link. This antinomy finds its solution in the as- 
sumption that the World as Presentment, that Is, as sun- 
dered into subject and object and subordinated to the 
principle of cause, is only its external side, and that its 
innermost being, its kernel, its root, in short, the " thing- 
in-itself " of Kant, is what we term, with reference to its 
most direct and immediate manifestation, Will. 

The second book treats of the objectivation of the Will. 
The body is presented in a double manner to the subject 
of knowledge, first as a mediate presentment, or object 
among other objects, and subordinated to the law of causa- 
tion, and secondly as that immediately known to each. 
The act of the will and the movement of my body are not 
two different conditions standing in the relation to each 
other of cause and effect, but they are simply the same 
thing viewed from a double side. The action of the body 
is simply the act of will objectified. The question as to 
whether the remaining phenomena of the world, as known 
from the external side only, are acts of will or not, is 
really identical with the question as to whether they are 
reality or illusion. To answer it in the negative amounts 
to a solipsism. This is indeed a sceptical sophism which 
cannot be refuted, but?, on the other hand, it is a theory 
which no one holds outside a mad-house. Hence we aro 


perfectly justified in assuming that the phenomenon mani- 
fested in the being or action of our own body is a key to 
that of all other phenomena in nature, although they are 
only given in presentment from the outer side. This means, 
that could we strip off their character of presentments in an 
intelligence, of objects for a consciousness, what remained 
over would be identical with that which in the case of 
our body we term Will. \ The Will considered as thing-in- 
itself is entirely distinct from the same Will as phe- 
nomenalized, objectivized, or presented in consciousness, and 
is not subject to the conditions of the latter, winch condi- 
tions merely touch its objectivity. The will considered as 
thing-in-it/self is one and indivisible, though its objective 
manifestations in the phenomenal world are infinite. But 
these infinite manifestations, in so far as they are double- 
sided like our own organism, and therefore real, are of a 
mixed nature, and hence do not express the element of 
objectivity or outwardness in its purity. The latter is 
only to be found in the pure idea, which is at the root of 
every class of phenomena, that is, in the system of Ideal 
types, which constitute the successive stages in the objecti- 
vation of the Will, as more or less confusedly reproduced 
in the particular phenomena in which they express them- 
selves. The most general forces of matter, such as 
gravity, impenetrability, &c., represent the lowest phase 
of the objectivation of the Will. J Physical, chemical, and 
organic forces supervene on these, tod represent succes- 
sively higher stages in the objectivation. Each stage 
contests its place in space and time with the one below it 
This applies not only to the more important stages,- but 
also to the subordinate ones ; for example) every higher 
form of life has to battle for its place in nature with 
those below it.) As a consequence, it only expresses BO 
much of the idea as it has the force left in it to do 
after this conflict has been decided in its favour. Time 


and space as fheprincipia individiationis have no immediate 
influence on the ideas, which as pure objects stand over and 
above the particulars or individuals in time and space 
which more or less adequately, more or less inadequately, 
gmbody them. 

This doctrine is the basis of Schopenhauer's " theory of 
art," and is set forth in the third book of " The World as 
Will and Presentment." As wp have seen, at one pole is 
the Will as pure Subject; at the other is the Present- 
ment as pure Object. Between these two positions these 
two modes of the noumenon or thing-in-itself lies the 
phenomenal world, with its participation in both, undei 
the conditions of Time, Space, and Causation in its foui 
forms. The idea (the Platonic Idea, as Schopenhauer 
sometimes calls it), notwithstanding that it is not subject 
to the conditions of time and space, and the categories of 
cause, is nevertheless a form of knowledge -Indeed, the 
most universal form of knowledge it is Presentment in 
general. We can only attain through individual things to 
a knowledge of the ideas they represent, in so far as a 
change takes place in us i.e., in the percipient or subject 
of knowledge itself, by which the latter, in so far as it is 
absorbed in the apprehension of the idea, ceases, pro hac 
vice, to be individual, and becomes universal. This form 
of knowledge belongs exclusively to the objectivation of 
the will in its higher stages. In the first instance, the 
intellect, or faculty of knowledge, is entirely there in the 
service of the Will. But as the faculty of apprehending 
the idea it is emancipated from this service, the pleasure 
experienced in aesthetic contemplation being, Schopenhauer 
contends, will-less in its origin and nature. The capacity 
for abstracting the intellect from the service of the Will is 
the exclusive appanage of Man. With the animals the 
intellect always remains the slave of the appetites that 
is, under the complete sway of the Will-to-live. Hence they 


are incapable of aesthetic contemplation. For the ai-t-con- 
sciousness demands that we should regard the Object pre- 
sented apart from its why, its wherefore, its how, and its 
when. In doing so, we approach the pure Platonic idea 
the ideal type of the Object considered in itself. The Sub- 
ject for the nonce is emancipated from its ordinary desires 
and impulses, apprehensions and interests, and becomes, so 
to speak, raised to a higher potency of consciousness. It 
is conscious no longer of the individual thing, but of the 
eternal form. 

The different branches of the fine arts represent the 
different stages in the objectivation of the Will. The 
lowest stage is that of architecture, which embodies the 
idea of gravity, and the forces deducible from it in short, 
it expresses the Platonic idea of what appears in the phe 
nomenal world as mechanics. As we rise in the scale, the 
natural forces expressed become more complex, and the 
idea conveys with deeper meaning and greater precision 
the truth of human life. For example, painting, which 
deals directly with individuals or particulars, treats them 
only as the representatives of a class. They are for the 
artist not individuals, but types. \ The highest achieve- 
ments of painting are to be found in medieval catholic art, 
which portrays the figure of the saint in whom the Will- 
to-live has died, and who has therefore already attained to 
a foretaste of Nirvana. The same with poetry: the 
highest manifestation of the poetic art is in tragedy] 

Music stands on a different footing from the other arts, 
inasmuch as it does not represent any one stage of the 
Will's manifestation like them, but is the direct embodi- 
ment of the Will's objectivity in general. Hence the 
peculiar effect, unlike that of the other arts, which music 
produces on minds susceptible to it. In music we have the 
purest expression of the free play of emotion and impulse, 
undetermined to any specific subject-matter. Schopen- 


hauer carries this idea out with much ingenuity as regards 
both harmony and melody, the different registers, cadences, 
rhythms, &c. Joy and sorrow, pure and simple, is, in 
short, the burden of music. There is no material, as in the 
other arts, which covers this central fact up, overloading it 
with detail which obscures the real issue, but all is here 
directly and obviously reducible to the blind impulse 
which Schopenhauer terms " The Will-to-live." 

The fourth and last book of the " World as Will and 
Presentment" treats of the Will-to-live as turning against 
itself, as recognizing its own futility and denying itself. 
This can only be attained by means of the insight that all 
life issues in sorrow and pain ; that the evil o f the world 
outbalances the good, and does so not accidentally but 
necessarily.) All Willing, Schopenhauer is fond of pointing 
out, implies want, and all want implies suffering. 1 Hence 
so long as the Will is affirmed so long are evil and suffering 
affirmed. J The root of all life being Willing, and all Willing 
implying the want of something which is not, as soon as 
one want is satisfied another arising by the very necessities 
of the case, it follows that the Will in us must be destroyed 
annihilated, before the blessed state of the extinction of 
all Willing, ^nd of the consciousness, which is in the 
service of the Will, can be attained. A partial and tem- 
porary satisfaction may ^e acquired by the transforma- 
tion of the Will into pure objectivity, as in the art- con- 
sciousness. But this is not enduring. We cannot continue 
in this state for long, we are continually forced back into 
that world in which the intellect, the intelligence, is in 
the service of the Will. 

Hence the final solution of the problem of life is to 
be found, not in aesthetics, but in ethics; it is to be 
found, in short, in asceticism. The destruction of the 
individual life is one thing, that of the Will- to-live is an- 
other. In the first it is the phenomenon only which 


perishes, leaving the noumenon, the thing-in-itself, or 
Will, remaining intact, and continuing to realize itself 
immediately in another individual For this reason suicide 
is no solution of the difficulty, for the Will is affirmed in 
the very act by which the life is destroyed. On the other 
hand, once the Will is finally negated, the continuance of 
the mere phenomenonal life for a time is quite a secondary 
matter. The consequence of this, namely, self-starvation, 
the absention, as in the case of the Hindoo yogis, from all 
action on one's own behalf tending to preserve life as 
being the highest expression of an ascetic morality, is 
obvious, and Schopenhauer does not shrink from it. The 
great turning-point in the negation of the Will-to-live is 
the triumph over the sexual impulse, the impulse which 
directly leads to the affirmation of the Will in new indi- 
viduals. The final stage is the triumph over the Will-to- 
live as expressed in the instinct of self-preservation, that is, 
in the desire for the continuance of the immediate per- 
sonality concerned. The Hindoo ascetics above all, and 
after them the Trappists, are Schopenhauer's ideal. The 
end of Schopenhauer's philosophy is the complete extinction 
of Will, and, as a natural consequence, of life itself, in all 
human beings, which is, therefore, the ultimate goal of all 
existence. The Will perishes, and the root of conscious- 
ness being cut away, it withers and dies. The blessed 
state of consciousless, Will-less extinction, the great Nothing 
to which all Nature points, is then attained. Schopen- 
hauer speaks of " the dark impression of that Nothing, 
which looms as the final goal behind all virtue and holiness, 
which we fear like children the darkness." "Instead of 
seeking to evade it," he concludes, " as even the Indians 
do by myths and meaningless words, or the Nirvana of the 
Buddhists, we recognize the fact freely that what remains 
after the complete abolition of the Will is for all those 
who are immersed in the Will assuredly nothing. But 


conversely, for those in whom the Will has turned against 
and denied itself, this our so very real world, with all its 
suns and galaxies, is also nothing/' 

The above is a brief, and therefore necessarily extremely 
condensed, exposition of the leading principles of Schopen- 
hauer's philosophy. Its merits and its defects are not^far 
to seek for the philosophical student. Many, and some- 
times deep, are the insights which we come across in all 
Schopenhauer's writings. The ingenuity with which he 
fits his own acute observations on men and things, on 
Nature and art, into his system, is sometimes quite startling. 
This is especially noticeable in the third be )k of " The 
World as Will and Presentment," which contains his theory 
of art. It is, in fact, on the artistic side that Schopen- 
hauer has most directly influenced the world. His power 
in determining the theories of Richard Wagner, and thus 
indirectly in revolutionizing modern dramatic music, are 
well known, although it is curious to note that Schopenhauer 
himself did not appreciate the earlier works of Wagner, 
which were the only ones with which he was acquainted. 

The ethical side of Schopenhauer's system has mainly 
served as a quasi-philosophical stalking-horse for the 
somewhat nebulous fin de ti&cle pessimism which is the 
characteristic note of the modern " man of culture." It 
has been expanded and developed by many a litterateur' 
philosopher, its most systematic latter-day exponent being 
Eduard Von Hartmann. Schopenhauer's purely literary 
merits as a writer of German are so great, that his books 
have penetrated into circles where no other philosophical 
literature obtains access. He has remained what he was 
when he first began to be read, the popularizer of philosophy 
for the general reading public. His theory is comparatively 
easy of apprehension by the man of average general educa- 
tion, who is not altogether destitute of speculative faculty 


or cravings, but who does not want the trouble of the arduous 
and sustained labour necessary to the thinking out of the 
metaphysical problem in all its bearings, or to the adequate 
comprehension of a thinker like Hegel. Schopenhauer's 
boasted clearness, on the other hand, is often the mere 
clearness of superficiality. As it has been justly observed, 
a mere specious illustration often serves the purpose of an 
argument. It is a similar superficiality, wearing the ap- 
pearance of depth and knowledge of life, and taking its 
cue from the plausible but limited generalizations respect- 
ing what is known as " human nature " derived from 
observations of motives of men in the present day, and 
during the ^hort span of time we term history, which is 
responsible for the cynicism so fashionable nowadays with 
the man of the world. To the latter any other attitude 
than that of cynicism and disbelief in " human nature " is 
evidence of mere infatuation, enthusiasm, or some other 
amiable weakness. Your man of the world is just as little 
able to entertain the suspicion that his cynicism is merely 
a passing mood, having its origin in himself, and in the 
particular phase of society which has given him birth, as 
the anoients were to conceive the possibility of the anti- 
podes. To such an attitude of mind the pessimism of 
Schopenhauer is satisfactory, as supplying it with a quasi- 
philosophical justification. The denial of all progress 
and of any coherent development in human affairs, the 
natural consequence of the postulation of the individual 
as his own final telos, and the assertion in the most 
accentuated form of the introspective ethics, which has 
throughout history been the idealogical accompaniment of 
individualism in material things, all this is eminently con- 
genial to the modern " cultured " man of the world. 

In metaphysics Schopenhauer represents an important, 
and, as far as it goes, a well-grounded protest against one 
tendency of the contemporary philosophy of his time, and 


especially of Hegel the tendency, namely, to hypostatize 
the mere thought-form or category. Kant, in his deduction 
of the conditions under which all knowledge is possible, 
had started from the primitive " unity of apperception," as 
he termed it, as expressed in the self-conscious act, "I 
think." This, which with Kant was merely one side of a 
somewhat loosely connected theory, became with Fichte 
and with Hegel the keystone of the whole. While with 
Kant it had remained formal, with his successors it had 
become material as well the root-principle of the Concrete 
or Real. In the " I think,' 1 stress was laid with them', as 
with Kant, on the M think." This is most noticeable in 
Hegel, where the " I " is a mere determination of the Con- 
cept, i.e., of thinking. Now Schopenhauer caught at this 
one-sidedness, as it appeared to him, of the academic phi- 
losophy, and stoutly affirmed the principle that thought, or 
the logical, the " intelligible " principle in the constitution 
of reality, presupposed and was dependent on an alogical 
principle, which was identical with the thing-in-itself of 
Kant, which Hegel had eliminated from his system ; that 
this was further identical with the Subject or " I " from 
which concepts and the consciousness they bring with them 
proceed with the "I" which "thinks" and that this 
" I " itself was merely another name for what under its most 
generalized aspect we term Will. 

The above is really the special significance of Schopen- 
hauer's system from a purely metaphysical standpoint. 
His opposition to the principle with which Hegel started, 
combined with the general bent of his mind, induced 
Schopenhauer to reject the greatest of all results of the 
German classical philosophy a result to be found in 
germ in Kant, which was carried a step further by 
Fichte, and was perfected by Hegel namely, the dia- 
lectical method. He was deeply impressed with the ad- 
yantages of induction, which he believed could be applied 


to philosophy. This he had taken on as a part of his re- 
action against German thought, and of his prepossession 
in favour of the English empirical school. For him, there- 
fore, the method which traces the unfolding of reality 
through contradiction and its resolution, was nothing but 
sophistry and a juggle of words, designed with the object 
of throwing dust in the eyes of the German learned public. 
Schopenhauer's quasi-inductive method of supporting his 
main thesis gave him the opportunity of bidding for 
popular applause by that introduction of illustration and 
plausible analogy, which has already been alluded to. The 
severe logical analysis of the academic thinkers was alto- 
gether repugnant to Schopenhauer's turn of mind. When 
he believed he had hit upon a deep metaphysical truth, he 
cast about him for facts in Nature which he might use in 
support of it. As a consequence, to the philosophical 
student trained on another method, the continued reitera- 
tion of the one fundamental proposition, all things are 
Will, in a form but little varied in itself, and merely rein- 
forced from various sides, is somewhat wearisome, and is 
sometimes suggestive of Thales and his well-worn dictum, 
" all things are water." 

At the same time, one cannot deny to Schopenhauer a 
certain genuine impartiality in the pursuit of truth. This 
is proved by the fact that his independent thought some- 
times leads unconsciously to conclusions in flagrant opposi- 
tion to his own sentiments and antipathies. Take for in- 
stance his utterances respecting the existing social system 
to be found in odd corners of his essays, or his arguments 
against " prescription " in vol. i., page 380, of " The World 
as Will and Presentment," and remember the bitterly re- 
actionary sentiments of Schopenhauer in social and political 
matters generally. * Mood is also a powerful factor in in- 
fluencing Schopenhauer's utterances on various subjects of 
practical interest. He can sometimes work himself up 


into a state of vehement indignation, as when referring 
to English pietism and American negro slavery. 

Notwithstanding the metaphysical truth enshrined in 
Schopenhauer's rehabilitation of the alogical element in 
knowledge experience, or reality as against the panlogism 
of Hegel and the academical school, and notwithstanding 
the wonderful suggestiveness of many portions of his work, 
especially his theory of art, it will be soon apparent to 
the attentive student that the coherence of the system, 
as a system, is very superficial. There is a good deal of 
unexplained residuum in it. Schopenhauer never seems 
quite clear as to the distinction between abstract and con- 
crete, between element and whole or thing. For this reason, 
notwithstanding his protestations of Monism, his system 
really seems like a Dualism. According to his statement, 
the Willaajhin^^ would seem to be not merely a 

basal element, butitself a concrete, a thing in the literal 
sense of the word. On the other hand, Presentment as 
Presentment seems to have likewise an independent 
existence. Thus, in the Platonic idea, the obJeclTof art, 
ifexists apart from the Will, inasmuch as the element 
of Willing, as such, disappears, which would seem to 
contradict the assumption that the essence of the ihing- 
in-itself is Will. Then, again, ScEopenhauer never really 
gets over the difficulty involved in his ethical doctrine, ac- 
cording to which the Will-to-live can turn against and 
negate itself. This implies, look at it as we may, on 
Schopenhauer's principles, the destruction of a substance. 
The objection Schopenhauer himself was not unaware of, 
and in dealing with it he practically admits willing to be 
the mere attribute of a substratum in itself unknowable. 
Yet, again, the individualism of Schopenhauer's ethics in- 
volves some further difficulties. The one Will which is the 
soul of all things igjn itselfindivisible ; it is^merely as object 
or phenomenon, as realizing itself in the conscious indi- 


vidual, under the forms of space, time, and causation, that 
the element of number enters into it. If this be true it 
cuts away the root of Schopenhauer's introspective-indi- 
vidualist ethics. For it is either wholly present in each 
individual or not. In either case the negation of the Will- 
to-live within him, as conscious and deliberate act on the 
part of any one individual as individual, cannot possibly 
affect the noumenon or thing-in-itself, which is identical in 
all individuals. To admit that it could do so would be to 
admit that very solipsism, that denial of reality as ex- 
pressed in Willing to external things, against which 
Schopenhauer protests when discussing his theory of know- 
ledge. Nc act of the phenomenal, conscious individual, 
on the principles of Schopenhauer's metaphysics, can in 
the least affect the root-principle of the Will which ex 
hypothesi manifests itself equally in all individuals. So 
long as one is left who dies unconverted, that is, without 
having of definite purpose renounced the ffiill-to-live, all 
thingsjgmain as they werejbefore, since there can in this 
sentse be no question of degree as to the affirmation or 
denial of the Will. Either it is all there, or it is completely 
and absolutely abolished. Whether it survives and is 
affirmed in the consciousness of one individual or of a 
thousand trillions of individuals, cannot make the slightest 
difference in the case of that for which plurality in the last 
resort has no meaning. The only way out of this difficulty 
for Schopenhauer, and that a not very successful one it 
must be admitted, would have been to have postulated the 
act of renunciation as performed once for all by the delibe- 
rate and unanimous consent of all conscious beings, and 
to have held this out as the goal of history. But to have 
done so would have been to surrender the individualism 
which covers Schopenhauer's whole ethical theory, and to 
have got again into line, albeit in an opposite direction, 
with the notion of human evolution 3/nd historical pro,. 


gress, and for this the individualism of Schopenhauer's 
temperament was too strong. 

As regards the whole question of Pessimism versus 
Optimism, it is extremely difficult for the man of to-day to 
realize that the problem involves an antinomy, and is 
therefore unanswerable, simply because it is wrongly 
stated. The problem is stated in terms of individual 
feeling as measured by quantity, while its subject-matter 
really transcends individual feeling, and is incommen- 
surable. It is asked, Does the amount of pleasure expe- 
rienced by the organic individual an average individual 
being assumed exceed, on the whole, the sum of pain 
experienced by the same individual or not P It is further 
asked with reference to the said individual, Does this 
in the natural course of things tend to become greater 
or less? The question then arises as to quality, ex- 
pressed in the well-known conundrum whether the pig 
happy would be preferable to Socrates miserable. In all 
these ways of putting the problem, it is the organic indi- 
vidual, the present conscious unit, (and his immediate 
pleasures or pains,) which is alone taken into consideration. 
Looked at in this way the question is answered by different 
persons differently, according to character, circumstance, 
mood, &c., and each, whichever side he takes up, can find 
support in plausible illustrations. An array of facts can 
be adduced in favour of the one side or of the other. In 
all this, however, the real gist of the question is more often 
than not missed. All the time, moreover, the assumption 
is made that the organic individual is the self-sufficient 
and final arbiter in the matter. Viewed from this point of 
view it cannot be denied that pessimists have the best of 
it as a general rule, but their assumption, like that of the 
consistent sceptic as to the reality of the external world 
that solipsist who so often reappears in the history of phi. 
losophy is given the lie to by the facts of existence, not* 


withstanding plausible, and from one point of view unan- 
swerable, theoretical arguments. The average conscious 
being does prefer existence to non-existence. This is a fact 
which remains to be explained. The philosophical pessi- 
mist, like Schopenhauer, explains it on the theory of illusion. 
The illusion has first to be pierced and seen through by 
the intellectual insight before emancipation from the illu- 
sion is possible. The answer to Schopenhauer as regards 
such an explanation might be, that when it is seen through 
intellectually the illusion is clung to notwithstanding. 
Schopenhauer himself is a case in point, for judged of from 
his purely individualistic point of view it is no mere argu- 
mentum ad iwminem to taunt him with his own character 
and life as a disproof of his theory. It would surely not 
be unfair to assume that the man who, on his own showing, 
had more than any other man in Western Europe, by dint 
of intellectual insight, seen through the delusion as to the 
worth of life, and recognized self-destruction through 
ascetic privation as its highest end, ought to have prac- 
tically realized his doctrine in his own person. That 
precisely he of all men had perhaps more than usual regard 
for the preservation of his own life under conditions of the 
greatest material comfort he could obtain, while those who 
have followed out the ascetic ideal to its practical conse- 
quences have been in many cases, perhaps in most -cases, 
ignorant persons, actuated avowedly only by superstitious 
motives, certainly does not lend any colour or support to 
the theory on which Schopenhauer insists, to wit, that in- 
tellectual conviction of their futility tends to lead men to 
the renunciation of the pleasures of life, and ultimately 
life itself. 

May not the strength of the practical conviction that life 
is worth living, in defiance of all theoretical proofs that it 
is not, afford evidence of the inaccuracy of Schopenhauer's 
assumption that pain is positive and pleasure negative, and 


also some confirmation of the fact that the significance of 
the individual is not exhausted within the limits of his 
own personality? This latter point is brought out more 
particularly by a consideration of the question of quality 
in pleasure or happiness. From the standpoint of pure 
Hedonism, that is, of a theory which merely balances plea- 
sures and pains quantitatively, there can be no doubt 
whatever the choice must be in favour of being a contented 
swine rather than a discontented genius. Similarly a 
fortiori it must be quite plain that the greatest sum of 
animal enjoyment conceivable for the healthy man may 
possibly, nay, will probably, be greater in amount for the 
individual who experiences it than the highest amount of 
pleasure to be derived by the man of correspondingly 
vigorous intellectual powers and refined tastes from in- 
tellectual things. But yet we have an unshakable con- 
viction, the reverse of which is, in fact, taken seriously, 
unthinkable, that there is something preferable in the one 
to the other ; that the difference of quality upsets all cal- 
culations based on mere quantity in other words, that the 
question of mere pleasure and pain, taken in the abstract 
and referred to the individual also regarded abstractly, 
simply involves us in a circle from which there is no escape, 
but which does not get us any further forward in the solu- 
tion of the problem of human life taken in the concrete. 
Mere pleasure or happiness, considered abstractly, may for 
practical purposes be regarded as a proximate end, and, in a 
similar way, the individual considered in himself, and apart 
from the social life and progress into which he enters, 
may also for practical purposes be regarded as a proximate 
end to himself. But we must never forget that so long 
as we regard things in this way we are dealing with 
abstractions which appear very differently when viewed 
from the standpoint of the meaning of the world and human 
nature considered as a real synthesis. In proportion as 


this proximate aim assumes the form for us of a supreme 
end, we are living on a lower plane, since we are un- 
mindful of the point of view from which the individual 
personality becomes a mere component or element of a 
larger whole. This position is most fully seen in the per- 
sonality which we describe as criminal, or immoral in the 
true sense of the word, that is, anti-social. But it is also 
characteristic in a lesser degree of the commonplace man 
of the world. The aim of the introspective morality, the 
morality, that is, whose sign-manual throughout history is 
the ideal of personal holiness, as attained through the mere 
negation of the individual, his impulses and desires, has 
been to change this per saltum by means of asceticism. 
But in asceticism the egoistic point of view is not really 
abandoned, but is merely inverted. Self-denial for self- 
denial's sake belongs intrinsically just as much to the 
egoistic attitude as the mere self-indulgence of the liber- 
tine. In both cases the individual is viewed as end, that 
is, he is considered abstractly. The really higher point of 
view which transcends both these attitudes alike, is that 
which recognizes the personality and its immediate plea- 
sure and pain as indeed constituting a proximate or 
immediate end, that is, a necessary stage, which, though 
not ultimate, is none the less an essential element in 
any higher end to which we may aspire ; and which further 
recognizes that the only lasting and effective manner in 
which what we may term the abstract egoistic instincts 
can be abolished is in the identification by the sheer neces- 
sity of circumstances of individual pleasure and pain in 
short, individual interest, in the narrower sense, with the 
interest of the whole of human society. The lower or 
anti-social impulses, then, so to speak, abolish themselves. 
To borrow Schopenhauer's phraseology, the affirmation of 
the Will-to-live in the individual becomes absorbed in, 
and identical with, the affirmation of the Will-to-live of 


humanity as a whole. The strain of antagonism between 
the two, which from the lower standpoint seemed absolute, 
disappears. This is a stage, however, at which the ethical 
&nd economical problems intersect. I merely refer to it 
here as indicating the fallacy of estimating pleasure and 
pain, happiness and unhappiness, in terms of quantity 
merely, and with exclusive reference to the individual. 
Whether the abolition by the transformation of social con- 
ditions of the antagonism at present existing between indi- 
vidual and social interest is the prelude to a cycle of evo- 
lution, the end of which will be the transference of the 
characteristics of personality from the organic individual 
to the social individual (as we may term it), understanding 
by this a given society in its collective capacity, is a ques- 
tion which, extravagant and even incomprehensible though 
it may seem to many, nevertheless forces itself irresistibly 
upon one in reflecting on the problem as to the meaning 
of human life as we know it, and which opens up a vista 
of unknown possibilities, before which arguments drawn 
from our own limited data shrink into nothing. 

On the question as to the tendency of progress towards 
an increase of happiness or the reverse, many reflections 
may be and have been made. The observation of the 
limited period passed through between the younger world 
and to-day, seems to indicate rather a change in the distri- 
bution of the relative happiness and misery of the world 
than any increase or diminution of either. The case seems 
to be expressed by such a fact as this, for example : the 
hardships of the mediaeval serf, the acute and devastating 
epidemics of the Middle Ages, the ever-present possibilities 
of fire and sword, the torture-chambers of the feudal castle 
and of the inquisition, the recurrent famines continually im- 
minent in one locality or another all these things have 
been mitigated, and some have passed away altogether. 
But they have been replaced by the ever-present mass of 


misery of the present day, as represented by the proletariat 
of our large towns, and by all that our modern polariza- 
tion of the extremes of wealth and poverty implies. 
Similarly, the naive exuberance of animal spirits and un- 
restrained enjoyment of the Middle Ages, work-days and 
holidays alike, has vanished, and its place has been taken 
by the subdued bourgeois equanimity of the suburban 
villa, or the vapid inanities of the London season and its 
drawing-rooms. Still, all this affords us no valid grounds 
for the induction as regards future change, the conditions 
of which must necessarily be entirely diffcrem. 

The fact is, the antithesis between what in its most com- 
prehensive aspect we designate by the words good and 
evil must continue in some form or shape, since they are 
elements mutually implicated in every Real. As to the in- 
crease or decrease of the one relatively to the other, we can 
only judge indirectly ; the state of the case being, that all 
specific, that is, realized evil, necessarily passes away that 
what is permanent is merely, so to sa/, the abstract cate- 
gory, evU-in-general undetermined to any specific content. 
But although at first sight the same is true of the opposite, 
namely, of the good, yet the case is not precisely identical, foi 
while the preponderance of the specific or concrete evil to be 
eliminated appears at the beginning of a cycle of progress, 
or of a specific dialectical movement of evolution, the pre- 
ponderance of " the good " attained through its elimination, 
as expressed in the reality of the cycle in question, invariably 
appears as the end and completion of that cycle. This implies, 
as will be readily seen, a "point " in the evolutionary process, 
as always given in favour of the "good. It implies, that is, 
that the trend of progress is towards the "good," though the 
approximation may be entirely of an asymptotic character. 
A reflection of this kind may indeed destroy extravagant 
optimism, and cause the youthful enthusiasm of those who 
are satisfied with nothing less than a perfection, which, 


when closely viewed, is simply meaningless, because ab- 
stract, and hence in its nature unrealizable, to be " sicklied 
o'er with the pale cast of thought." Tet for the more sober- 
minded enthusiast it is none the less a consolation the more 
valuable as resting on a philosophical truth which cannot 
be taken away from him, to feel that the end of every 
evolutionary cycle implies an increase of happiness as 
against its beginning. This good, or happiness, it is true 
this victory of Onnuzd over Arhiman is not enduring, in- 
aynuch as its very conditions contain the nidus of a further 
and distinct evil of its own, unknown before, and which 
sooner or later makes its presence evident. But, neverthe- 
less, in spite of this, the fact remains that in the r .oment of 
realization there is a positive and real increment of good or 
of happiness over the opposing principle. The old " evil " 
is destroyed, the new is as yet unrealized. To this process 
of the continual absorption of specific evil or misery in 
infinitely changing shape, by good or happiness, also in 
infinitely changing shape and on a progressively higher 
level, we can assign no end. 

The foregoing are considerations which Schopenhauer 
might have seen but did not, and which, if he had seen, 
would certainly have modified his philosophico-ethical 


T^ESCARTES is rightly deemed the father of modern 
JLy philosophy, and this in a special, as well as a general 
sense, inasmuch as he placed the reason on its o ,vn feet by 
teaching men to use their own brains, in the place of which 
the Bible had previously served on the one hand, and 
Aristotle on the other. But in a more special and a nar- 
rower sense he was this also; since he was the first to 
bring the problem upon which philosophy has mainly 
turned to consciousness the problem of the Ideal and 
Real i.e., the question as to what in our knowledge is 
objective, and what is subjective; in other words, what 
might be ascribed by us to other things, and what we 
must ascribe to ourselves. Images do not arise in our 
brain as it were arbitrarily from within, nor do they pro- 
ceed from the connection of our own thoughts hence they 
must spring from an external cause. But these images 
are immediately known to us they are given. Now what 
relation do they have to things existing completely sepa- 
rate from, and independent of us, and which are* in some 
way the cause of these images ? Have we any certainty 
at all that such things exist ? or even if this be so, that 
the images afford us any clue to their nature ? This is 
the problem, and in consequence the main endeavour of 
philosophers has been for the two past hundred years to 
separate bv a correctly- drawn line of cleavage the Ideal, 



i.e., that which belongs solely to our knowledge as such, 
from the Eeal, i.e., that which exists independently of it, 
and thus to determine the relation of each to the other. 

Certainly neither the philosophers of antiquity, nor yet 
the schoolmen seem to have arrived at a clear conscious- 
ness of this fundamental problem of philosophy, although 
we find a trace of it, as Idealism, and even as the doctrine 
of the Ideality of time, in Plotinus, in Enneas III., 
Lib. VII., ex., where he teaches that the soul has made 
the world by its transition from eternity into time. He 
there says, for instance, ov yap TIG CIVTOV TOVTOV TOV TTCLVTOG 
roTToc, ^i>x# (Neque datur alius hujus universi locus, 
quam anima) also del Se ov% ?/<>$ y rrjfc ^v\ijc \afiftctvstv 
Toy xpovov tiairip ovde TOV ai&va t\fi efoi TOV OVTOQ. (Oportet 
auteni nequaquam extra animam tempus accipere, quem- 
admodum neque aeternitatem ibi extra id, quod ens appel- 
latur.) Here it will be seen we have a distinct statement 
even of Kant's ideality of time. And in the following 
chapter O'VTOQ 6 ftioc TOV yporor jerry* lio xal etpqrat &p.a 
rg>3c T icavTi yeyoviraij VTI ^v^>) avrov jueTct TovSe. TOV ITCLVTOQ 
kyfrrrjffev. (Haec vita nostra tempus gignit : quamobrem 
dictum est, tempus simul cum hoc universo factum esse : 
quia anima tempus una cam hoc uni verso progenuit.) Never- 
theless, this problem clearly recognized, became the specially 
characteristic subject of modern philosophy after the neces- 
sary reflection had been awakened in Descartes, who was 
impressed with the truth that we are immediately limited 
to our own consciousness, and that the world is given us 
merely as presentment (Vorstcllvng). With his well-known 
dubito, cogito, ergo sum, he sought to accentuate the sole 
certainty of the subjective consciousness in contradistinc- 
tion to the problematical nature of everything else, and to 
declare the great truth that the only real, and uncondi- 
tionally given, is self-consciousness. Strictly considered, 
his celebrated proposition is the equivalent of that from 


which I started, " The world is my presentment." The 
only difference is, that his proposition accentuates the im- 
mediateness of the subject ; mine, the mediateness of the 
object. Both propositions express the same thing from 
two sides. They are the "reverses" of each other, stand- 
ing in much the same relation as the Jaw of inertia and 
that of causality, as expounded by me in the preface to 
my " Ethics/' (" The two ground-problems of ' Ethics/ 
treated in two academical prize essays by Dr. Arthur 
Schopenhauer." Frankfurt-am-Main, 1841, p. xxiv ; 2nd 
edition, Liepzig, 1860, p. xxiv.) Certainly, since his time, 
Descartes' proposition has been often enough repeated, 
owing to the mere feeling of its importance, and without a 
clear understanding of its special sense and purport. (See 
Descartes' "Meditationes," Med. ii. p. 14.) He it was, then, 
who discovered the chasm which lies between the Subjec- 
tive or Ideal, and the Objective or Eeal. This insight he 
clothed in the form of a doubt as to the existence of the 
outer world ; but by his inadequate solution of this doubt 
to wit, that the good God would not deceive us he 
showed how deep and difficult to solve the problem was. 
Meantime, this scruple had been introduced into philo- 
sophy by him, and could not fail to continue to work dis- 
turbingly till its final settlement. The consciousness that 
without thorough knowledge and understanding of the 
distinction which had been discovered, no certain and suffi- 
cient system would be possible, has been from that time 
ever present, and the question could no longer be shirked. 
In order to solve it, Malebranche invented his system of 
occasional causes. He grasped the problem in its whole 
range more clearly, seriously, and deeply than Descartes 
(" Recherche de la V^rite," Livre III., seconde partie). The 
latter had accepted the reality of the outer world on the 
credit of Q-od ; and it was curious enough that while the 
other theistic philosophers sought to demonstrate the 


existence of God from the existence of the world, Descartes, 
on the contrary, determines the . existence of the world 
from the existence and trustworthiness of God it is the 
cosmological demonstration turned round. Even here, 
going a step farther, Malebranche teaches that we see 
all things immediately in God. This is certainly to ex- 
plain an unknown by a still more unknown. Moreover, 
according to him, we not only see all things in God, but 
God is the sole activity therein, so that physical causes arc 
only apparently such they are mere "causes occasionnelles" 
(" Eech. d. 1. Ver.," Liv. VI., seconde partie, ch. iii.) We 
have here, therefore, in all essentials, the Pantheism of 
Spinoza, who seems to have learnt more from Malebranche 
than he did from Descartes. 

Altogether, one might wonder that Pantheism did not 
gain a complete victory over Theism even in the seven- 
teenth century, seeing that the most original, the most 
beautiful, and the most thorough- going European presenta- 
tions of it (for assuredly none of them will bear com- 
parison with the Upani shads of the Vedas) all saw the 
light in that age, to wit, Bruno, Malebranche, Spinoza, and 
Scotus Erigena, the last of whom, after he had remained 
for many centuries lost and forgotten, was recovered at 
Oxford, and in 1681, four years, that is, after Spinoza's 
death, for the first time saw the light in print. This 
seems to prove that the insight of individuals cannot pro- 
duce its effect, so long as the spirit of the time is unripe 
for its acceptance, for in our days, Pantheism, although 
only presented in the eclectic and confused rechauffe of 
Schelling, has become the dominant mode of thought with 
scholars, and even with persons of ordinary culture. This 
is because Kant had preceded, and with his overthrow of 
theistic dogmatism, had prepared the ground, in conse- 
quence of which the spirit of the time was ready for it, as 
a ploughed field is ready for the seed. In the seventeenth 


century, on the other hand, philosophy forsook this path, 
and arrived accordingly on the one side, at Locke, for 
whom Bacon and Hobbes had prepared the way, and on 
the other at Christian Wolff, through Leibnitz. These two 
were dominant therefore in the eighteenth century, espe- 
cially in Germany, although latterly only in so far as they 
had been absorbed by syncretistic eclecticism. 

The profound conception of Malebranche gave the im- 
mediate occasion to Leibnitz's system of harmonia praesta- 
bilita, the widely extended fame and high consideration of 
which in his time, affords a confirmation of the fact that 
it is the absurd which makes the easiest success in the 
world. Although I cannot pretend to have a clear notion 
of the monads of Leibnitz, which are at once mathe- 
matical points, corporate atoms, and souls, yet it seems to 
me unquestionable that such an assumption once decided 
upon might serve to spare us all further hypothesis for 
the explanation of the connection between Ideal and Real, 
and to settle the question in the sense that both are 
already fully identified in the monads (for which reason, 
in our days, Schelling, as originator of the system of 
identity, has displayed a particular relish for it). Never- 
theless, it did not please the eminent philosophizing 
mathematician, polyhistor, and politician to use it for the 
purpose ; but he saw fit to specially formulate a pre-esta- 
blished harmony to this end. The latter furnishes us with 
two totally distinct worlds, each incapable of acting in any 
way on the other (" Principia Philos," 84, and " Examen 
du Sentiment du P. Malebranche," p. 500, sq. of the 
" CEuvres de Leibnitz," published P. Kaspe), each the en- 
tirely superfluous duplicate of the other, but both of 
which, once for all there, run exactly parallel, and keep 
time with each other to a hair ; the originator of both 
having from the first established the exactest harmony 
between them, so that thev proceed thenceforward in the 


most beautiful manner. We may observe, by the way f 
that the harmonia praestabihia may perhaps be best made 
comprehensible by a comparison with the stage, where 
very often the " influxus physicus " is only apparently pre- 
sent, since cause and effect are connected simply by means 
of a pre-established harmony of the stage-manager ; as, 
for instance, when the one shoots and the other falls 
a tempo. Leibnitz has presented the matter in its mon- 
strous absurdity in the crassest manner, and in brief, 
62, 63 of his " Theodicy." And yet with the whole 
dogma he does not even have the merit of originality, 
since Spinoza had already clearly enough presented the 
harmonia praestabilita in the second part of his " Ethics," 
i.e., in the 6th and 7th propositions, together with their 
corollaries, and again in P. V., prop. 1, after he had in 
the 5th proposition of P. IL, stated in his own manner 
the so very cognate doctrine of Malebranche, that we see 
all in God. 1 

Malebranche is, therefore, alone the originator of this 
whole line of thought which Spinoza as well as Leibnitz, 
each in his own way, has utilized and modified. Leibnitz, 
indeed, might very well have dispensed with it alto- 
gether, since he has already forsaken the simple fact 
which constitutes the problem, i.e., that the world is given 
us immediately as our presentment, in order to substitute 
for it the dogma of a corporeal world and a spiritual 
world, between which no bridge is possible ; at the same 
time interweaving the question of the relation of our pre- 
sentment to the things in themselves with that of the 
possibility of the motion of the body by the will, and then 

1 "Eth.," P. II., prop. 7 : Ordo et connexio idearwm idem est t 
ac or do et conneocio rerum. P. V., prop. 1 : Prout cogitationes 
rerumque ideae concatenantur in Mente, ita corporis affectiones, 
sen rerum imagines ad amussim ordinantur et concatenantur in 
Corpora Also P. II., prop. 5. 


solving both together by means of his harmonia praesta- 
lilita. ("Systeme nouveau de la Nature," in Leibnitz; 
" Opp. ed. Edmann," p. 123 ; Brucker, " Hist. Ph./' torn, iv., 
p. ii. 425.) The monstrous absurdity of his assumption 
was placed in the clearest light even by his own contem- 
poraries, particularly by Bayle, who showed the conse- 
quences which flowed from it (see also in Leibnitz* s smaller 
writings, translated by Huth, anno 1740, the observation 
on page 79, where even Leibnitz himself is obliged to 
expose the preposterous consequences of his own doctrine). 
Nevertheless, the very absurdity of the assumption to 
which a thinking head was driven by the problem in 
hand, proves the magnitude, the difficulty, the perplexity 
of it, and how little it can be got rid of, and the knot be 
cut, by its mere repudiation, such as has been ventured 
upon in our days. 

Spinoza again starts immediately from Descartes, hence, 
at first in his character of Cartesian he even retains 
the dualism of his teacher and assumes accordingly a 
substantia cogitans and a substantia extensa, the one as sub- 
ject the other as object of knowledge. But later, when he 
stood on his own feet, he found that both were one and the 
same substance viewed from different sides ; on the one 
side conceived as a substantia extensa on the other as a 
substantia cogitans. This is as much as to say that the 
distinction of the thinking and extended, or soul and body, 
is an unfounded one and therefore inadmissible ; so that 
nothing more ought to be said about it. He nevertheless 
retains it, since he is untiring in repeating that both are 
one. To this he adds, as it were by a mere sic etiam that 
Modus extensionis et idea illius modi una eademque eat res 
(" Eth." P. II., prop. 7, schol.) ; by which he means that our 
presentment of bodies and these bodies themselves are one 
and the same. The sic etiam, however, is an insufficient 
transition to this, since it does not by any means follow 


from the fact that the distinction between mind and body 
or between the presenting and the presented is unfounded, 
that the distinction between our presentment and an 
objective and real, existing outside the same the main 
problem, that is, that was started by Descartes is also 
unfounded. The presenting and the presented may be 
perfectly well homogeneous, and yet still the question re- 
mains how I am with certainty to infer from presentments 
in my head as to the existence of beings in themselves that 
are independent of the former. The difficulty is not that on 
which Leibnitz (e.g., " Theodic," Part I. 59) would make it 
mainly turn, to wit, that between the assumed souls and the 
corporeal world as between two wholly heterogeneous kinds 
of substances no sort of reciprocal action could take place 
for which reason he denied physical influence ; for this 
difficulty is merely a consequence of rational psychology 
and only requires to be discarded as a fiction, as is done by 
Spinoza ; and besides this, there is the argumentum ad 
hominem against the maintainers of this doctrine, that their 
own dogma that Grod, who is a spirit, has created and 
continuously governs the corporeal world implies that 
spirit can act immediately on bodies. The abiding diffi- 
culty is rather the Cartesian, that the world, which is only 
given us immediately, is simply an ideal world, a world, 
that is, consisting of presentments in our brain ; while we, 
over and above this, undertake to judge of a real world 
existing independently of our presentment. Spinoza 
then, in so far as he abolishes the distinction between sub- 
stantial cogitans and substantia extensa has not solved the 
problem but, at most, rendered physical influence again 
admissible. But this is insufficient to solve the difficulty 
for the law of causality is demonstratively of subjective 
origin. But even if it sprang from external experience it 
would still merely appertain to the ideally given world that 
is in question. Hence, in no case can it furnish a bridge be- 


tween the absolutely objective and the subjective, but it 
is rather, merely the band which connects phenomena with 
one another. (See " Welt als Wille und Vorstellung," 
vol. ii. p. 12.) And nevertheless, in order more nearly to 
explain the above adduced identity of extension and pre- 
sentment, Spin 3za postulates something which is contained 
alike in the view of Malebranche and Leibnitz. In accor- 
dance with Malebranche, namely, we see all things in God : 
rerum singularium ideae non ipsa ideata, sive res perceptas, 
pro causa agnoscunt, sed ipsum Deum, quatenus est res 
cogitans, (" Eth." P. II., pr. 5) ; and this God is also at the 
same time the real and active principle therein, even with 
Malebranche. The mere fact, however, of Spinoza affixing 
to the world the name Deus explains nothing, in the last 
resort. But at the same time there is with him, as with 
Leibnitz, an exact parallelism between the extended and the 
presented world : or do et connexio idearum idem eat ac or do et 
connexio rerum (P. H. pr. 7), and other similar passages. 
This is the harmonia praestabilita of Leibnitz ; only that 
here the objectively existing world and the presented world 
are not entirely separated as with the last mentioned, 
merely corresponding to one another by virtue of a harmonia 
regulated in advance and from outside, but they are really 
one and the same. We have here, therefore, in the first 
place, a thorough- going Realism in so far as the existence 
of the things exactly corresponds to their presentment in 
us, both being one ; we cognize accordingly the things in 
themselves they are in themselves extensa as they appear 
as cogitata ; in other words ,^in our presentment of them, 
they appear as extensa (here, too, it may be remarked, by the 
way, is the origin of Schelling's identity of the Real and 
Ideal). All this is, properly speaking, based on mere 
assertion. The exposition is already rendered unclear by 
the ambiguity of the word Deus which is used in a wholly 
improper sense; hence, it loses itself in obscurity and 


comes in the end to nee impraesentiarum haec clarius possum 
explicare. But the want of clearness in the exposition 
arises always from a want of clearness in the understanding 
and thinking out of the philosopher. Yauvenargues said 
very truly, la clarte est la bonne foi dee philosophes (see 
"KeVue des deux Mondes," 1853, 15 Aout, p. 635). What 
in music is the " pure section " is in philosophy complete 
clearness, which is the conditio sine qua non without the 
fulfilling of which everything loses its value, and we are 
compelled to say quodcumque ostendis mihi sic incredulus 
odi. If, in the ordinary affairs of practical life one has to 
carefully avoid misunderstanding by clearness, how much 
the less ought one to express oneself incomprehensibly in 
the very abstruse, difficult, and wellnigh impenetrable 
subjects of thought, which constitute the problems of 
philosophy ? The obscurity complained of in the doctrine 
of Spinoza, is owing to his not proceeding in a straight- 
forward manner from the nature of things as he finds 
them; but from Cartesianism, and accordingly from all 
sorts of traditional conceptions, such as Deus, substantia, 
perfectio, etc., which he was concerned to bring in a round- 
about way into harmony with truth. He often expresses the 
best ideas only indirectly, continually speaking per ambages 
and almost allegoric-ally, as in the 2nd part of the " Ethics." 
On the other hand, Spinoza expresses an uiimistakable 
transcendental idealism amounting to, at least, a general 
recognition of the truth clearly expounded by Locke and 
still more by Kant, as to the real distinction between the 
phenomenon and the thing itself, and the recognition that 
only the first is knowable by us. As instances of this may 
be consulted, " Eth.," P. II. prop. 16, with the 2nd corollary ; 
prop. 17, schol. ; prop. 18, schol. ; prop. 19; prop. 23, 
where it is extended to self-knowledge ; prop. 25, which 
expresses it clearly, and finally as resume, the corollary to 
prop, 29,\which distinctly says that we can neither know 


ourselves nor the things, as they are in themselves, but only 
as they appear.^ The demonstration of prop. 27, P. III., ex- 
presses the matter the clearest, at least in the beginning. 
Respecting the relation of the doctrines of Spinoza to those 
of Descartes I may recall here what I have said on the sub- 
ject in the World as Will and Presentment : vol. ii., p. 639 
(3rd ed. p. 739). The fact of his starting from the con- 
ceptions of the Cartesian philosophy, has not only been the 
occasion of much obscurity and misunderstanding in the 
exposition of Spinoza, but he has thereby been led into 
many flagrant paradoxes, obvious fallacies, and indeed 
absurdities and contradictions. In this way his doctrine 
which contains so much that is true and excellent has 
acquired a highly undesirable addition of simply indigest- 
able matter, so that the reader is divided within himself 
between admiration and vexation. But, in the aspect con- 
sidered here, the chief fault of Spinoza is that he has drawn 
his line of cleavage between the Ideal and Real, or the Sub- 
jective and Objective world, from a false standpoint. I Ex- 
tension, namely,! is in no wise the opposite of presentment, 
but lies wholly within the latter.^ 

\We perceive things as extended, and, in so far as they are 
extended, they are our presentment. But whether, inde- 
pendently of our presentment, anything is extended, or 
indeed whether anything exists at all is the question and 
the original problem. This was solved later by Kant, and 
in so far, with indisputable accuracy, in the seuse that ex- 
tension or space lies entirely in the presentment ; in other 
words, that it depends on the latter, inasmuch as the whole 
of space is its mere form ; and therefore, independently of 
our presentment, no extended can exist, and most certainly 
does not exist. 

Spinoza's line of cleavage is accordingly drawn wholly on 
the ideal side ; he has taken his stand on the presented 
world, regarding the latter, indicated by its form of exten- 


sion, as the Eeal, and therefore as existing independently 
of its possibility of presentment, i.e., in itself. He is 
on this ground, therefore, quite right in saying, that 
that which is extended and that which is presented i.e., 
our presentment of bodies and these bodies themselves 
are one and the same (P. II., prop. 7, schol.). ^For 
assuredly the things are presented as extended and are only 
as extended, presentable the world as presentment and the 
world in space is una eademque res ; this we can fully admit. 
But were the extension, quality of the things-in-themselves, 
our perception would then be a knowledge of things-in- 
themselves, which is what he assumes, and in which con- 
sists his EC ilism. Since, however, he does not ground or 
prove this, to wit, that our perception of a spacial world 
involves a spacial world independent of this perception, the 
fundamental problem remains unsolved. This arises, how- 
ever, from the fact, that the line of cleavage between the Real 
and Ideal, the Objective and the Subjective, the Thing-in- 
itself and the Phenomenon, is not correctly drawn. On 
the contrary, as has been said, the cleavage, being in the 
middle of the Ideal, Subjective, Phenomenal side of the 
world that is, drawn through the world as presentment 
splits the latter into the extended or spacial and our pre- 
sentment of the same, whereupon much trouble is taken 
to show that both are only one, as indeed they are. 

Just because Spinoza holds entirely by the Ideal side of 
the world, inasmuch as he thought to find the Real in the 
extended belonging thereto, and as, in consequence, the 
perceivable is the only Real without us, and the knowing 
(cogitans) is the only Real within us, so he, from another 
side, easts the only true Real, the Will, into the Ideal, 
which he makes a mere modus coyitandi, even identifying 
it with the judgment. As to this consult " Eth." P. II., the 
proofs of the props. 48 et 49, where we read : Per volun- 
tatem intelligo ajfflrmandi et negandi faculfatem ; and again: 


Concipiamus singularem aliquam volitionem, nempe modum 
cogitandi, quo mens affirmat, tres angulos trianguli cequales 
esse duobus rectis, whereupon the corollary follows: Voluntas 
et intellectus unum et idem sunt. 

Spinoza has, generally, the great fault of purposely mis- 
using words for the designation of conceptions which 
throughout all the world bear other names, and of taking 
from these the meaning which they everywhere have. 
Thus he calls "Gk>d" what is everywhere termed "World;" 
" Justice " what is everywhere termed " Power/' and 
" Will " what is everywhere termed " Judgment." We 
are fully justified as regards this, in recalling the Hetman 
of the Cossacks in Kotzebue's " Benjowskij." 

Berkeley, although certainly later, and with the know- 
ledge of Locke, went logically farther in this problem than 
the Cartesians, and was thereby the originator of the proper 
and true Idealism, that is, of the knowledge, that that in 
space which is extended and which fills it, in short/ the 
perceivable world generally, can only have an existence as 
such, in our presentment ; and that it is absurd, and even 
contradictory, to attribute to it a further existence outside 
of all presentment, and independently of the knowing sub- 
ject, and thereby to assume a matter existing in itself. 1 

1 With laymen in philosophy, to whom many doctors of the 
same belong, one ought never to use the word " Idealism," 
because they do not know what it means, and carry on with it all 
sorts of nonsense. They understand by " Idealism " at times 
"Spiritualism," and at times something or other which is opposed 
to Philistinism, and are confirmed and strengthened in this view 
by ordinary men of letters. The words ( ' Idealism " and ' ' Realism ' ' 
are not anything and everything, but have their fixed philoso- 
phical meaning. Those who mean something else should employ 
another word. 

The opposition of "Idealism" and "Realism" concerns the 
Known, the Object, while that between Spiritualism and Mate- 
rialism, concerns the Knowing, the Subject. (Modern ignorant 
muddlers confound Idealism and Spiritualism.) 


This is, indeed, a true and deep insight, but his 
whole philosophy consists in nothing else. He hit upon 
the Ideal and separated it completely ; but he did not 
know where to find the Keal, about which he troubled 
himself but little, expressing himself respecting it only 
occasionally, piecemeal, and inadequately. God's Will 
and Omnipotence is with him the immediate cause of the 
phenomena of the perceivable world, t.e., of all our present- 
ments. Real existence only accrues to knowing and willing 
beings, such as we ourselves are ; hence these constitute, 
together with Q-od, the Real. They are spirits, that is, 
knowing and willing beings, for willing and knowing he 
regarded a, inseparable. He has this also in common 
with his predecessors, that he regards Q-od as better known 
than the present world, and deems a reduction to him an 
explanation. His clerical, and, indeed, episcopal position 
laid altogether too heavy chains on him, and limited him 
to a narrow circle of thought with which he could never 
come into conflict. Hence he could go no farther, but 
true and false had to learn to mutually accommodate them- 
selves in his head as well as they could. This remark, 
indeed, may be extended to the works of all these philoso- 
phers, with the exception of Spinoza. The Jewish Theism, 
unamenable to any test, dead to all research, and henco 
appearing really as a fixed idea, planting itself in the way 
of truth at every step, vitiates them all ; so that the evil 
which it produces here in the theoretical sphere, may be 
taken as a pendant to that which it has produced through- 
out a thousand years in the practical I mean in the shape 
of religious wars, inquisitions, and conversions of nations 
by the sword. The closest affinity between Malebranche, 
Spinoza, and Berkeley is unmistakable. We see them all 
proceeding from Descartes, in so far as they retain and 
seek to solve the fundamental problem presented by him 
in the form of a doubt as to the existence of the outer 


world ; concerned as they are to investigate the se] aration 
and connection of the world which is Ideal, subjective or 
given solely in our presentment, and the Real or objective, 
which is independent of it, and, therefore, existing in itself. 
As we have said, therefore, this problem is the axis on 
which the whole of modern philosophy tui ns. Locke dis- 
tinguishes himself from these philosophers in that, probably 
because he stands under the influence of Hobbes and 
Bacon, he attaches himself as closely as possible to ex- 
perience and the common understanding, avoiding as far 
as may be hyperphysical hypotheses. The Real is for him 
Matter ; and without turning his attention to the Leibnitzean 
scruple as to the impossibility of a causal connection 
between the immaterial, thinking, and the material, ex- 
tended substance, he at once assumes physical influence 
between matter and the knowing- subject. In this he pro- 
ceeds with rare deliberation and honesty so far as to confess 
that possibly knowing and thinking substance itself might 
also be matter (" On the Human Understanding," L. IV., c. 
3, 6). This it was, which procured for him later the 
repeated praise of the great Voltaire, and in his own time, 
on the other hand, the malicious attacks of a cunning 
Anglican priest, the Bishop of Worcester. 1 With him the 

1 There is no church which dreads the light more than the 
English, because no other has such great pecuniary interests at 
stake, its incomes representing 5,000,000 sterling, which is more 
by 40,000 than those of the whole of the remaining Christian 
clergy in both hemispheres taken together. On the other hand, 
there is no nation which it is so painful to see thus methodistically 
stupefied by this most degrading superstition than the English, 
who outstrip all the rest in intelligence. The root of the evil 
is that in England there is no ministry of public instruction, 
for whJ'*]! reason the latter has remained hitherto in the hands of 
parsondom, which has taken care that two-thirds of the nation 
shall not be able to read and write ; and which even from time to 
time ventures with the most ludicrous impudence to yelp at 
natural science. It is, therefore, a human duty to infuse into 


Keal, i.e., Matter, generates in the knowing subject by 
" Im pulse,' * that is, contact, presentments, or the Ideal 
(Ibid., L. I., c. 8, 11). We have here, therefore, a 
thoroughly massive Eealism, calling forth contradiction by 
its very exorbitance, and giving occasion to the Berkeleyan 
Idealism, whose special origination is, perhaps, to be 
found when Locke at the end of 2 of the 31st chapter 
of the 2nd book with such a surprising absence of 
reflection, says, among other things : Solidity, Extension, 
Figure, Motion and Rest, would be really in the world, as 
they are, whether there were any sensible being to perceive 
them or not. For as soon as one considers the matter one 
must recognize the above as false, in which case the 
Berkeleyan Idealism stands there and is undeniable. In 
the meantime Locke does not overlook the chasm between" 
the presentments in us and the things existing inde- 
pendently of us, in short, the distinction of Ideal and Real ; 
in the end, however, he disposes of it by arguments of 
sound but rough common sense, and by appealing to the 
sufficiency of our knowledge of things for practical purposes 
(Ibid., L. IV., c. 4 et 9), which obviously has nothing to 
do with the question, and only shows how very inadequate 
to the problem Empiricism remains. But even his Eealism 

England light, rationalism, and science, through all conceivable 
channels, in order that these best fed of all priests may have their 
handiwork put an end to. When Englishmen of culture, on the 
continent, display their Jewish Sabbatarian superstition and other 
stupid bigotry, we ought to meet it with unconcealed mockery 
until they be shamed into common sense. For it is a scandal for 
Europe, and should be tolerated no longer. Hence one ought 
never, even in ordinary life, to make the least concession to the 
English ecclesiastical superstition ; but, wherever it puts in an 
appearance, to meet it immediately with a most energetic protest. 
For the effrontery of the Anglican priests and their votaries is 
even, at the present day, quite incredible, and must be banished to 
its own island, that it may thus be compelled to play the r61e of the 
owl by day whenever it ventures to let itself be seen on the continent. 


leads him to limit that in our knowledge which involves 
Jie Real, to the qualities inhering in the things as they 
Are in themselves, and to distinguish these from our mere 
knowledge of them or from that which merely pertains to 
the Ideal terming the latter accordingly secondary, but 
the former primary qualities. This is the origin of the 
distinction between thing-in-itself and phenomenon, which 
becomes so important later on in the Kantian philosophy. 
In Locke, then, we have the true genetic point of connection 
between the Kantian doctrines and the earlier philosophy. 
The former were stimulated and more immediately occa- 
sioned by Hume's sceptical criticisms of Locke's doctrines ; 
while, on the other hand, they have only polemical 
relation to the Leibnitz- Wolffian philosophy. 

The above primary qualities, which are exclusively the 
determinations of the things-in-themselves, and which 
hence appertain to these outside and independently of 
our presentment, resolve themselves entirely into such as 
cannot be thought away, namely, extension, impenetra- 
bility, figure, motion or rest, and number. All the re- 
mainder are recognized as^j secondary, that is, as creations 
of the action of those primary qualities on our organs of 
sense, and consequently as mere feelings in these ; such 
are colour, tone, taste, smell, hardness, softness, smooth- 
ness, roughness, etc. These, therefore, have no similarity 
whatever with the quality in the thing-in-itself which 
excites them, but are reducible to the primary qualities as 
fcheir causes, such alone being purely objective and really 
part of the existing things (Ibid., L. I., c. 8, 7, seqq.). 
Our conceptions of these latter are therefore really true 
copies, which accurately reproduce the qualities that are 
present in the things-in-themselves (I.e. 15). I wish 
the reader joy who really feels here the reductio ad absur- 
dum of Realism. We see then that Locke deduces from 
the nature of the things-in-themselves, whose present* 


ments we receive from without, that which accrues to the 
action of the nerves of the sense-organs, an easy, compre- 
hensible, and indisputable consideration. But Kant later 
on made the immeasurably greater step of also deducing 
what belongs to the action of our brain (that incomparably 
greater nervous mass) ; whereby all the above pretended 
primary qualities sink into secondary ones, and the as- 
sumed things themselves into mere phenomena, but the 
real thing-in-itself, now stripped of these qualities, re- 
mains over as an entirely unknown quantity, a mere \. 
This assuredly requires a difficult and deep analysis, and 
one which has long to be defended against the attacks 
alike of rr ! sunders tan ding and lack of understanding. 

Locke does not deduce his primary qualities of things, 
and (Joes not give any further ground why only these and 
no others are purely objective, except that they are in- 
destructible. Now if we investigate for ourselves why he 
declares some qualities of things which work immediately 
on the sensibility, and consequently come directly from 
without, not to be present objectively, while he concedes 
objectivity to those which, as has since been recognized, pro- 
ceed from the special functions of our intellect, we find the 
reason to be that the objectively-perceiving consciousness 
(the consciousness of other things) necessarily requires a 
complex apparatus, as the function of which it appears, 
and consequently that its most essential ground- determi- 
nations are fixed from within. In this way the universal 
form or mode of perception from which alone the a priori 
knowable can proceed, presents itself as the warp of the 
perceived world, and accordingly appears as that which is 
absolutely necessary, unexceptional, and in no way to be 
got rid of ; so that it stands as the condition of everything 
else in its manifold variety. This is admitted to be, im- 
mediately, time and space, and tha,t which follows from 
them, and is only possible through them. In themselves 


time and space are empty. If anything is to come within 
them, it must appear as matter, that is, as an activity ; in 
other words, as causality, for matter is through and through 
simply causality ; its being consists in its action, and vice 
versa; it is but the objectively- conceived form of the 
understanding for causality itself. (" On the Fourfold Root 
of the Principle of Cause," 2nd ed., p. 77 ; 3rd ed., p. 82 ; as 
also " World as Will and Presentment," 2nd ed., vol. i., 
p. 9, and vol. ii., pp. 48, 49 ; 3rd ed., vol. i., p. 10, and 
vol. ii., p. 52.) Hence it comes that Locke's primary 
qualities are merely such as cannot be thought away a 
fact which itself clearly enough indicates their subjective 
origin, as proceeding immediately from the construction 
of the perceiving apparatus and he therefore holds for 
absolutely objective precisely that which, as function of 
the brain, is much more subjective than the sense-feel- 
ing, which is occasioned, or at least more directly deter- 
mined, from without. 

In the meantime it is interesting to see how through all 
these various conceptions and explanations, the problem 
started by Descartes respecting the relation between the 
Ideal and the Eeal becomes ever more developed and 
clarified, and the truth thus promoted. It is true this 
was favoured by the circumstances of the time, or, more 
correctly, of nature, which, in the short space of two cen- 
turies, gave birth to and ripened half-a-dozen thinking 
heads in Europe. By the gift of fortune, in addition, they 
were enabled, in the midst of a grovelling world struggling 
after advantage and pleasure, to follow their noble calling 
undisturbed by the yelping of priests, or the foolish talk 
and caballing of the contemporary professors of philo- 

Now Locke, in accordance with his strict empiricism, 
had deduced the knowledge of the causal relation from 
experience, while Hume did not dispute, as he ought to 


have done, this false assumption, but immediately over- 
shot the mark by the observation, correct in itself, that 
experience can never give us anything more than a mere 
sequence of things upon one another, sensibly and imme- 
diately, and never a proper consequence and action i.e., a 
necessary interconnection. It is well known how the 
sceptical objection of Hume was the occasion of Kant's 
incomparably deeper investigations into the subject, which 
led him to the result that space and time, no less than 
causality, are known by us a priori, that is, lie in us 
before all experience, and hence belong to the subjective 
side of knowledge. From this it follows farther, that all 
those primary, that is, absolute qualities of things, which 
Locke had assigned to them, since they are all composed 
of pure determinations of time, of space, and of causality, 
cannot belong to the things-in-themselves, but to our 
mode of knowledge of the same, and consequently are to 
be counted to the Ideal and not to the Eeal. The final 
consequence of this is that we know the things in no 
respect as they are in themselves, but solely in their pheno- 
mena. The Eeal, the thing-in-itself, therefore remains 
something wholly unknown, a mere ^, and the whole 
perceivable world accrues to the Ideal as a mere present- 
ment, a phenomenon, which nevertheless, even as such, in 
some way involves the Eeal, as thing-in-itself. 

From this standpoint I, finally, have made a step, and 
believe that it will be the last ; because I have solved the 
problem upon which, since Descartes, all philosophizing 
turns, in that I reduce all being and knowledge to the two 
elements of our self-consciousness, in other words, to some- 
thing beyond which there can be no further principle of 
explanation, since it is the most immediate and therefore 
ultimate. I have called to mind, what indeed results from 
the researches of all my predecessors, which I have here 
noticed, to wit, that the absolute Eeal or the thing-in-itself 


can never be given us directly from without, in the way of 
mere presentment, since it is inevitably in the nature of 
the latter only to furnish the Ideal ; while, on the contrary, 
since we ourselves are indisputably Real, the knowledge of 
the Keal must in some way or other be derivable from 
within our own nature. And in fact it here appears, in an 
immediate manner in consciousness, as will. The line of 
cleavage between the Eeal and the Ideal falls therefore, 
with me, in such wise that the whole perceivable and 
objectively-presented world, including every man's body, 
together with time, space, and causality, in other words, 
together with the extended of Spinoza, and the matter of 
Locke, belongs as presentment to the Ideal. Z^ut in this 
case the Will alone remains as the Keal, and this the whole of 
my predecessors, thoughtlessly and without reflection, had 
thrown into the Ideal as a mere result of presentment and 
of thought, Descartes and Spinoza having even identified 
it with the judgment. 1 Ethics is therefore with me directly 
and incomparably more closely knit to metaphysics than 
in any other system, and thus the moral significance of 
the world and of existence is more firmly fixed than ever. 
But Will and Presentment are fundamentally distinct, 
inasmuch as they constitute the ultimate and basal opposi- 
tion in all things in the world and leave nothing remain- 
ing over. The presented thing and the presentment of it are 
the same, but only the presented thing, and not the thing 
in itself. The latter is always Will, it matters not in what 
form it may appear in presentment. 

1 Spinoza, I.e. ; Descartes, " In meditationibus de prima jjhilo- 
eophia," Medit. 4, p. 28. 



READERS who are familiar with what has passed foi 
philosophy in Germany, in the course of the present 
century t may perhaps be surprised not to find mentioned in 
the period between Kant and myself, either the Fichtean 
Idealism or the system of the Absolute Identity of the Real 
and Ideal, since they seem specially to belong to oitr 
subject. But I have not been able to include them, simply 
because, i * my opinion, Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel are no 
philosophers, inasmuch as they fail in the first requirement 
of the philosopher, earnestness and honesty of research. 
They are mere sophists ; they wanted to seem and not to 
be, and have sought, not the truth, but their own interest 
and advancement in the world. Places from governments, 
honoraria from students and booksellers, and as means to 
this end as much sensation and effect as possible from their 
sham_philosophy such were the guiding stars and in- 
spiring genii of these disciples of wisdom. Hence they 
have not passed the entrance-examination, and so cannot be 
admitted into the honorable company of the thinkers of the 
human race. 

Meanwhile, they have excelled in one thing, and that is, 
in the art of turning the head of the public and of making 
themselves pass for what they were not, which requires 
talent, indeed, but not philosophical talent. That they 
were incapable of effecting anything solid in philosophy 
was owing, in the last resort, to the fact that their intellect 
was not free, but remained in the service of the Will ; and 
in this case, though the intellect can indeed achieve much 
for this or that purpose, it can do nothing for philosophy 
any more than for art. For these lay down as their first 


condition, that the intellect should act on its own account, 
and during the time of this activity should cease to be in 
the service of the will, that is, to have the objects of one's 
own personality in view ; but when it is itself active, simply 
of its own motion, it, in accordance with its nature, knows 
no other purpose than the truth. Hence it does not suffice, 
in order to be a philosopher, which means lover of wisdom 
(this being nothing else than truth) ^ to love the truth in so 
far as it harmonizes with one's own interest, or with the 
will of superiors, or the dogmas of the church, or the preju- 
dices or tastes of contemporaries ; as long as one remains in 
this position, one is only a 0/Xauroc and no <f>i\6croipog. For 
this title of honour is well and wisely conceived, in that it 
implies that one jjhould love the truth earnestly and with 
one's whole heart, and therefore unconditionally, without 
reserve before everything, and in case of necessity even to 
the defiance of every thing. 1 The reason is to be found in 
the fact above indicated that the inteUecjUias^bec^me/ree, 
in which case it does not even know or understand any 
other interest than that of truth ; the consequence being, 
that one then acquires an irreconcilable hatred against all 
lying and deception, no matter what garb they may wear. In 
this way we are not very likely to get on well in the world, 
but all the more in philosophy. On the other hand, it is a 
bad auspice for the latter, if. proceeding avowedly from the 
investigation of truth, we begin, thereupon, to say farewell 
to all uprightness, honesty, and thoroughness, and are only 
concerned to make ourselves appear what we are not. In 
this case one assumes, like the above three sophists, now a 
false pathos, nowan artificially high earnestness, now a 
mien of infinite superiority, in order to dazzle where one 
despairs of being able to convince ; one writes without con- 
sideration, because, only thinking of writing, one saves one's 
thought up for the purpose of writing ; one seeks now to 
inculcate palpable sophisms as demonstrations, now to 


propound hollow and senseless logomachy for deep 
thoughts; one invokes intellectual intuition or the abso- 
lute thought and self-movement of conceptions ; one 
challenges expressly the standpoint of "reflection," that 
is, of rational thought, straightforward consideration, and 
honest presentation, in other words, the proper and normal 
use of the reason generally ; one expresses a boundless 
contempt for the "philosophy of reflection," by which 
name is designated every connected course of thought 
which deduces consequences from principles, such as has 
constituted every earlier philosophy; and accordingly, if 
one is only provided with sufficient audacity, and en- 
couraged by the pitiable spirit of the age, one expresses 
oneself in some such manner as follows : " It is not 
difficult to see that the mode of stating a proposition, 
adducing reasons for it and refuting its opposite in the 
same way, by reason, is not the form which truth can 
assume. Truth is the movement of itself within itself," 
etc. (Hegel, preface to the " Phenomenology of the Mind," 
p. Ivii., in the complete edition, p. 36.) I think it is not 
difficult to see that whoever puts forward anything like 
this, is a shameless charlatan, who is anxious to befool 
simpletons, and who observes that he has found his people 
in the Germans of the nineteenth century. 

If accordingly, under pretence of hurrying to the temple 
of truth, one hands over the bridle to the interests of one's 
own person, which looks sideways towards altogether diffe- 
rent guiding stars, such for instance as the tastes and 
foibles of contemporaries, the religion of the land, but 
especially toward the purposes and hints of the governing 
powers Oh, how then can one expect to reach the high, 
abrupt, bald rock on which stands the temple of truth? 
One may easily attach to oneself, by the sure bond of 
interest, a crowd of genuinely hopeful disciples, hopeful, 
that is, for protection and places, who may apparently 


form a sect, but really a faction, and by whose united 
stentorian voices one may be proclaimed to all the four 
winds as a sage without parallel the interest of the person 
is satisfied, that of truth betrayed. 

All this explains the painful feeling which seizes one, 
when, after the study of real thinkers, such as have been 
above described, one turns to the writings of Fichte and 
Sehelling, or indeed to the audaciously daubed nonsense 
of Hegel, produced as it is with a boundless, though justi- 
fied, confidence in German folly. 1 With the former one 
had always found an honest investigation of truth, and as 
honest an endeavour to communicate their thoughts to 
others. Hence he who reads Locke, Kant, Hume, Male- 
branche, Spinoza, Descartes, feels himself elevated and 
pleasurably impressed. This is effected by contact with a 
noble mind, which has thoughts and awakens thoughts. 
The reverse of this takes place in reading the above-men- 
tioned three German sophists. A straightforward person 
who opens one of their books and then asks himself 
whether this is the tone of a thinker who would teach 
or of a charlatan who would deceive, cannot remain five 
minutes in doubt about it ; so much does everything here 

1 The Hegelian sham wisdom is the true millstone in the head 
of the student in " Faust." If one wishes intentionally to make a 
youth stupid and completely incapable of all thought, there is no 
more approved means than the industrious study of the original 
works of Hegel ; for these monstrous piecings together of words, 
which abolish and contradict one another, so that the mind tor- 
ments itself in vain to think anything thereby, till it finally 
collapses exhausted, gradually destroys its capacity of thinking PO 
completely that from that time forward hollow phrases count with 
it for thoughts. Add to this, the fancy accredited to the youth fry 
the word and example of all persons in authority that the above 
logomachy is true and lofty wisdom. Should a guardian ever be 
concerned lest his wards should become too clever for his plans, he 
may avert this misfortune by inculcating an industrious study of the 
Hegelian philosophy. 


breathe of dishonesty. The tone of quiet investigation 
characterizing all previous philosophy is exchanged for that 
of unshakable certainty such as is common to charlatanry 
of every kind in all time, but which in this case claims to 
rest on immediate intellectual intuition, or on thought 
which is absolute, that is, independent of the subject and 
its fallibility. From every page, from every line, speaks 
the endeavour to hoodwink, to deceive, the reader, now by 
dazzling to disconcert him, now by incomprehensible 
phrases and flagrant nonsense to stun him, now by 
audacity of assertion to befool him, in short, in every 
possible way to throw dust in his eyes and to mystify him. 
Hence th^ feeling which discovers itself in the transition 
in question in respect of the theoretical, may be compared 
with that which in respect of the practical he has, who 
coming from a society of honourable men, finds himself in 
a haunt of swindlers. How worthy a man, in comparison 
with such, is that Christian Wolff, so undervalued and 
ridiculed by th$se three sophists ! He had, and furnished 
real thoughts, but they only word-images, and phrases for 
the purpose of deceiving. The truly distinguishing character 
of the philosophy of this whole, so-called, Post-Kantian 
school, is dishonesty, its element is the blue ether and 
personal ends its goal. Its exponents are concerned to 
seem, not to be, they are therefore sophists, not philo- 
sophers. The mockery of future generations, extending 
itself to their votaries, and then oblivion, awaits them. 
With the tendency of these persons, as above indicated, is 
connected, we may say in passing, the scolding and abusive 
tone which, as an obligato accompaniment, pervades all 
Schelling's writings. If this were not so, if honesty rather 
than pretentiousness and emptiness had been at work, 
Schelling, who is without doubt the most gifted of the 
three, might at least have occupied the subordinate rank in 
philosophy of an eclectic of passing service. The amalgam 


which he prepared from the doctrines of Plotinos, of 
Spinoza, of Jakob Bohme, of Kant, and of the natural 
science of modern times, might for a while have filled the 
vacancy produced by the negative results of the Kantian 
philosophy, until a really new philosophy had come forward 
and properly afforded the satisfaction required by the 
former. He has more particularly used the natural science 
of our century to revive the abstract pantheism of Spinoza, 
Spinoza had, without any knowledge of nature, philo- 
sophized out of abstract conceptions, and, without knowing 
the things themselves properly, had erected the edifice of 
his doctrines. To clothe this dry skeleton with flesh and 
blood, and, as well as might be, to communicate; life and 
motion to it by the application of the natural science 
which has since then developed, although often done with 
a false application, is the undeniable service of Schellingin 
his philosophy of nature, which is also the best of his 
multifarious attempts and new departures. 

Just as children play with weapons intended for serious 
purposes, or other tools of grown-up persons, so the three 
sophists we have under consideration have dealt with the 
subject here treated of, thus furnishing the grotesque 
pendant to two centuries of laborious investigations on the 
part of serious philosophers. After Kant had more than 
ever accentuated the great problem of the relation between 
the self -existent and our presentments, and thereby brought 
it much nearer its solution, Fichte starts up with the as- 
sertion that there is nothing behind the presentments, 
these being no more than products of the knowing sub- 
jects, of the Ego. While seeking in this way to outbid 
Kant, he produced a mere caricature of the latter* s philo- 
sophy, inasmuch as, by the continuous application of the 
method so much vaunted by these three pseudo-philo- 
sophers, he abolished the Real altogether, and left nothing 
but the Ideal remaining. Then camo Schelling, who, in 


his system of the absolute identity of the Eeal and Ideal, 
declared the whole distinction of no account, and main- 
tained the Ideal to be also the Eeal, that both were one. 
In this way he attempted to throw again into confusion 
what had been so carefully, and, by a process of such slow 
and gradually developed reflection, separated. (Schelling, 
" On the Eolation of the Philosophy of Nature to the 
Fichtean," pp. 14-21.) The distinction of Ideal and Eeal 
is crudely denied, in imitation of the above criticised error 
of Spinoza. At the same time, even the monads of Leib- 
nitz, that monstrous identification of two absurdities, 
namely, of the atoms and of the indivisible original and 
essential!^ knowing individuals, termed souls are again 
brought forward, pompously apotheosized, and pressed 
into the service. (Schelling, " Ideas for the Philosophy of 
Nature," 2nd ed., pp. 38, 82.) Sclielling's philosophy of 
nature bears the name of the philosophy of identity, be- 
cause, walking in the footsteps of Spinoza, it does away 
with three distinctions which the latter had also done 
away with, to wit, that between God and the world, that 
between body and soul, and, finally, that between Ideal and 
Eeal, in the perceived world. The last distinction, how- 
ever, as has been above shown, in the consideration of 
Spinoza, in no way depends on the two others. On the 
contrary, the more it is brought into prominence, by so 
much the more the two others are rendered doubtful, for 
while it is based on a simple act of reflection, they are 
based on dogmatic demonstrations, which Kant has over- 
thrown. In accordance with all this, metaphysic was 
identified by Schelling with physic, and hence, to a mere 
physical-chemical diatribe, the high-sounding title of 
"concerning the world-soul" was affixed. All those pro- 
perly metaphysical problems, which untiringly impress 
themselves upon the human consciousness, were to be 
silenced by a crude denial clothed in strong assertions. 


Nature is here just because it is, of itself and through it- 
self ; we bestow upon it the title Grod, and therewith it is 
disposed of, and he who asks for anything more is a fool. 
The distinction between subjective and objective is a mere 
invention of the schools, like the whole Kantian philo- 
sophy, whose distinction of a priori and a posteriori is also 
of no account, our empirical perception of itself supplying 
us with the things-in- the in selves, etc. Let the reader con- 
sult " On the Relation of the Philosophy of Nature with 
the Fichteaii," pp. 51*and 57, as also p. 61, where ridicule 
is expressly heaped on those " who are astounded to find 
that not is nothing, and cannot sufficiently wonder that 
anything really exists." We see, therefore, that .ath Herr 
von Schelling everything seems to explain itself. At 
bottom, however, this sort of talk is only a veiled appeal 
in pompous phraseology k> the so-called sound, but more 
correctly rough, understanding. For the rest, I may recall 
here what I have said in the second volume of my chief 
work, at the beginning of chapter xvii. Significant for 
our subject and very na'ive is the passage on p. 69, in the 
book of Schelling' s just quoted from : " Had empiricism 
completely attained its object, its opposition to philo- 
sophy, and therewith philosophy itself, as special sphere or 
kind of science, would disappear; all abstractions would 
dissolve themselves in the direct, * friendly/ perception ; 
the highest would be the sport of pleasure and innocence, 
the most difficult easy, the most senseless sensible, and 
man might read joyfully and freely in the book of nature." 
This would certainly be very nice ! but it is not the case 
with us. Thought does not let itself be shown the door 
in this manner. The serious old Sphinx with its riddle 
lies immovably there, and does not dash itself off the rock 
because you explain that it is a spectre. As, therefore, 
Schelling himself observed later that the -metaphysical 
problem cannot be got rid of by dictatorial assertions, he 


gives us a genuinely metaphysical essay in his treatise on 
freedom, which is, however, a mere piece of imagination, a 
conte bleu, whence it comes that the style, whenever it 
assumes the tone of demonstration, has a decidedly comical 

By his doctrine of the identity of the Ideal and the Real, 
Schelling has accordingly sought to solve the problem, set 
going by Descartes, dealt with by all great thinkers, and 
finally accentuated in the strongest manner by Kant, by 
cutting the knot, that is, by denying the opposition be- 
tween the two. With Kant, from whom he professed to 
start, he came in consequence into direct contradiction. 
MeanwhLo he had at least held fast the original and 
special sense of the problem, which concerns the relation 
between our perception and the being and essence in 
themselves of the things which present themselves in the 
former. But because he got his doctrines chiefly out of 
Spinoza, he adopted from the latter the expressions thought 
and being, which designated the problem very badly, 
and gave occasion later on to the maddest monstrosities. 
Spinoza had attempted, with his doctrine that substantia 
cogitans et substantia extensa una eademque est substantia, 
quce jam sub hoc jam sub illo attributo comprehenditur (ii. 7, 
Sch.), or, scilicet mens et corpus una eademque est res, quce 
jam sub cogitatfonis, jam sub extensionis attributo concipitur 
(iii. 2, Sch.), to abolish the Cartesian opposition of body 
and soul ; he may also have recognized that the empirical 
object is not distinct from our presentment of it. Schel- 
ling adopted from him the expressions thought and being, 
which he gradually substituted for those of intuition 
(perception), or rather intuited (perceived), and the thing- 
in-itself (" New Journal of Speculative Physic," vol. i., 1st 
article, " Further expositions," etc.). For the relation of 
our perception of things to their being and essence in them- 
selves is the great problem whose history I have here 


sketched ; that of our thoughts, i.e. conceptions, is a dif- 
ferent one, for these are, quite obviously and undeniably, 
mere abstractions from that which is perceptively known, 
having arisen through the arbitrary thinking away, or 
letting fall, of some qualities, and retention of others ; and 
to doubt that this is so would ever occur to any reason- 
able man. 1 These conceptions and thoughts, which con- 
stitute the class of non-perceptive presentments, never have 
therefore an immediate relation to the nature and being 
of the things-in-themselves, but are always mediate, that 
is, under the mediation of perception ; it is the last-men- 
tioned which on the one side furnishes for them the 
matter, and on the other stands related to the Jiings-in- 
themselves, that is, to the unknown true nature of the 
things which is objectivized in perception. 

The inexact expression borrowed by Schelling from 
Spinoza was used subsequently by the spiritless and taste- 
less charlatan Hegel, who in this respect appears as 
Schelling's hanswurst, and distorted, so far as to make 
thought itself, in the narrower sense, namely, as concep- 
tion, identical with the nature of the things-in-themselves. 
That, therefore, which is thought in abstracto, should, as 
such and immediately, be one with that which is objectively 
present in itself, and logic should, accordingly, be the true 
metaphysic ; in which case we should only require to 
think or to let our conception have free course in order to 
know how the world without is absolutely constituted, Asa 
natural consequence, every brain-phantasm would be at once 
true and real. Since, therefore, " the madder the better" was 
the motto of the philosophasters of this period, the absur- 
dity in question was supported by a second, to wit, that it 
was not we who thought, but that the conception alone 
and without our help completed the thought-process, which 

1 *' On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Cause," 20. 


is therefore called the dialectical self -movement of the 
conception, and counts for a revelation of all things in et 
extra naturam. But this humbug was based upon another, 
equally resting on the misuse of words, and which was, 
indeed, never clearly stated, though it undoubtedly lies 
behind. Schelling had, according to Spinoza's procedure, 
entitled the world " G-od." Hegel took this in its literal 
sense. Now since this word properly signifies a personal 
being, embracing, together with other qualities altogether 
incompatible with the world, that of omniscience, this was 
also transferred by him to the world, in which it could 
naturally obtain no other place thun in the empty head of 
men who only require to give their thoughts free play 
(dialectical self -movement) in order to reveal all the 
mysteries of heaven and earth, as in the absolute galli- 
mathias of the Hegelian dialectic. One art this Hegel has 
certainly understood, namely, how to lead the G-ermans by 
the nose. But that is no very great one. We see with 
what tricks he was able to hold the learned world of Ger- 
many for thirty years. That the professors of philosophy 
still treat these three sophists seriously, and hold it for 
important to assign them a place in the history of philo- 
sophy, happens only because it belongs to their gagne-pain, 
in that they obtain thereby material for elaborate disserta- 
tions, verbal and written, on the history of the so-called 
Post- Kantian philosophy, in which the opinions of the said 
sophists are elaborately expounded and seriously considered. 
From a reasonable point of view, one has no business to 
concern oneself at all with what these persons, in order to 
seem something, brought to market, unless it were that it 
should be deemed desirable for the scribblings of Hegel to 
be kept in the chemists' shops as a physically active 
vomitive, the disgust they excite being really quite peculiar, 
But enough of them and their originator, whose glorifica- 
tion we will leave to the Danish Academy of Sciences,. 


which has recognized in him a summus philosophua, in its 
sense of the word, and hence requires him to be treated 
with respect, a fact brought out in the judgment appended 
to my prize essay on the foundations of morality, as a 
lasting memorial, and which, no less on account of its 
acuteness than of its memorable honesty, deserves to be 
rescued from oblivion, if only that it furnishes a remarkable 
confirmation of Labruyere's beautiful saying : Du meme 
fonds, dont on neglige un homme de merits, Von sail encore 
admirer un sot. 


On the Same. 

TO read, instead of the original works of philosophers, 
all sorts of expositions of their doctrines, or history 
of philosophy generally, is as though one should get some 
one else to masticate one's food. Would anyone read the 
history of the world if it were possible for him to behold 
the interesting events of ancient times with his own eyes ? 
But, as regards the history of philosophy, such an autopsy 
of the subject is really possible for him, to wit, the original 
writings of philosophers ; in which he may none the less, 
for the sake of shortness, limit himself to well- chosen 
leading chapters, especially inasmuch as they all teem 
with repetitions, which one may just as well spare one- 
self. In this way, then, he will learn to know the essential 
in their doctrines, in an authentic and unfalsified form, 
while from the half-dozen histories of philosophy annually 
appearing he merely receives as much of it as has entered 
the head of a professor of philosophy, and, indeed, as it 
appears there. Now it is obvious of itself, that the thoughts 
of a great mind must shrink up considerably in order to 
find a place in the three-pound brain of a parasite of 
philosophy, from which they emerge again clothed in the 


contemporary jargon of the day, and accompanied by his 
sapient reflections. Besides this, it must be considered 
that the money-making history -writer of philosophy can 
hardly have read a tenth part of the writings which he 
reports. Their real study demands the whole of a long 
and laborious life, such as formerly, in the old industrious 
times, the brave Brucker devoted to them. But what can 
such persons, who are detained by continuous lectures, 
official duties, vacation tours and dissipations, and who, for 
the most part, come forward with their histories of philo- 
sophy in their earlier years, have thoroughly investigated ? 
Add to this, that they are anxious to be pragmatical, and 
claim to have fathomed and to expound the necessity of 
the origin and the sequence of systems, and even to judge, 
correct, and dominate over the earnest and genuine philo- 
sophers of former times. How could it be otherwise than that 
they should copy the older ones, and each other, and then, 
in order to hide this, make matters worse by endeavouring 
to give them the modern tournure of the current quin- 
quennium, pronouncing upon them, likewise, in the same 
spirit ? On the contrary, a collection of important passages 
and essential chapters of all the leading philosophers, 
made by honest and intelligent scholars, conscientiously 
and in common, arranged in a chronologically-pragmatic 
order, much in the same way as formerly Godicke, and, 
after him, Eitter and Preller, have done with the philosophy 
of antiquity, although much more completely in short, a 
universal chrestomathy accomplished with care and a know- 
ledge of the subject would be very useful. 

The fragments which I here give are at least not 
traditional, that is, copied; they are, rather, thoughts 
occasioned by my own study of the original works, 


Pre-Solcratic Philosophy. 

The Eleatic philosophers are the first who became con- 
scious of the opposition between the perceived and the 
thought, (f>atv6/jiva and voovfieva. The latter alone was 
for them the true being, the OVTWS ov. Respecting this, 
they maintain that it is one, unchangeable and immovable ; 
not so, however, with the ^cuvo/icVoie, that is, with the per- 
ceived, appearing, empirically given, of which it would 
have been absurd to maintain anything of the kind hence 
the so misunderstood proposition refuted by Diogenes in 
his well-known manner. They already distinguished, there- 
fore, between appearance, 0atj>o/ivoi>, and the thing-in-itself, 
ovrog or. The last-mentioned could not be sensuously per- 
ceived, but only comprehended by thought, and was accord- 
ingly known as voovptvov (Arist., " Metaph.," i., 5, p. 986, et 
" Scholia," edit. Berol.,pp. 429,430, et 509). In the"Scholia 
to Aristotle" (pp. 460, 536, 544, et 798), the work of Par- 
menides, TO. Kara lolav is mentioned. This, then, would 
have been the doctrine of the phenomenon, physics, which 
would, without doubt, have implied another work, ra ear 
d\ri$elav, the doctrine of the thing-in-itself, or metaphysic. 
Respecting Melissos, indeed, a scholium of Philoponos 
says : iv roig TT/OOC dXtjStiav iv elvat \eyvv TO or, eV ro*c fl"/ooe 
3ocrv ovo (should be TroXXa) <f>riolv tfvat. The opposition to 
the Eleatics, and probably called forth by them, is Hera- 
kleitos, who taught the ceaseless movement of all things, as 
they taught their absolute immobility. He took his stand, 
therefore, on the Qatvtpevov (" Arist. d. Ccelo," iii. 1, p. 298, 
edit. BeroL ). He called forth thereby as his opposite, Plato's 
doctrine of Ideas, as appears from the statement of Aristotle 
("Metaph.," p. 1078). 

It is noteworthy that we find the comparatively few 


main propositions of the Pre-Sokratic philosophers which 
have been preserved, numberless times repeated in the 
writings of the ancients, but very little beyond them ; as, 
for instance, the doctrines of Anaxagoras, of the VQVQ and 
of the opotojjiepiat ; that of Empedokles, of <f>i\ia mi 
velKog and the four elements; that of Demokritos and 
Lukippos, of the atoms, eiti&Xoif ; that of Herakleitos, 6f the 
continuous flux of all things ; that of the Eleatics as above 
explained ; that of the Pythagoreans, of the numbers, of 
metempsychosis, &c. It may well be, therefore, that this 
was the sum of all their. philosophizing ; for we find also in 
the works of the moderns, e.g., of Descartes, Spinoza, Leib- 
nitz, and even Kant, the few fundamental proportions of 
their philosophies numberless times repeated ; so that all 
these philosophers would seem to have adopted the motto 
of Empedokles, who may also have been a lover of the sign 
of repetition, &e *al rplc TO ica\6y (see Sturz., " Empedocl. 
Agrigent.," p. 504). 

The two dogmas Anaxagoras started stand in close con- 
nection. vdvTo. iv Kaffir is, namely, a symbolical designa- 
tion of the dogma of the homoiomeroi. In the primal 
chaotic mass, accordingly, the paries similares (in the phy- 
siological sense) of all things were present in their com- 
pleteness. In order to their differentiation, and to their 
combination into specifically distinct things (paries dis- 
similares), it required a vovg to arrange and to form them, 
who, by a selection of the elements, reduced confusion 
to order, since this chaos contained the most complete 
mixture of all substances (" Scholia in Aristot.," p. 337). 
Nevertheless the vovs had not brought the first separation 
to complete perfection, and therefore in everything was 
contained the elements of everything else, although in a 
lesser degree : wa'Xiv yap vav cV ircim pefiitcrat (Ibid.). 

Empedokles, on the other hand, instead of the number- 
less homoion^eroi, had only four elements, f rom which tfye 


things proceeded as products, not as with Anaxagoras as 
educts. The negating and separating, that is ordering, 
role of the VOVQ is, according to him, played by <t>t\a Kttl 
TWOS, love and hate. Both of these are very much better. 
For here not the intellect (VOVQ) but the will (<t>i\(a ical 
vtlKoc) has the ordering of things assigned to it, and the 
variety of substances are not, as with Anaxagoras, mere 
educts, but real products. While Anaxagoras makes 
them realized by a separating understanding, Empedokles 
does so by a blind impulse, i.e., a knowledgeless will. 

Empedokles is altogether a thorough man, and his 
</)t\ia Kal vctKoc has for its basis a deep and true apper$u. 
Even in inorganic nature we see the elements unite and 
separate, seek or flee from each other, according to the laws 
of elective affinity. But those that show the strongest 
disposition to unite themselves chemically, which can only 
be effected in a state of fluidity, assume an attitude of the 
most decisive electrical antagonism when they come into 
contact with one another in a solid state now they 
separate in opposed and mutually hostile polarities, now 
they again seek and embrace each other ; and what, I ask, is 
that polar antagonism which appears throughout all nature 
in the most diverse forms, other than a continually renewed 
quarrel, upon which the earnestly-desired reconciliation 
follows ? So (piXta Kal vtiKog is everywhere present, and, 
according to circumstances, first one and then the other 
displays itself at different times. We ourselves even may 
be immediately impressed in a friendly or a hostile sense 
with any human being that comes near us the disposi- 
tion to either is there and waits on circumstances. It 
is only prudence that induces us to tarry on the indifference- 
point of impartiality, which is also, be it said, the freezing- 
point. In the same way, the strange dog which we approach 
is ready at once to adopt the friendly or the hostile key, and 
Ranges easily from barking and growling to wagging, an4 


vice versd. What lies at the foundation of this all-pene- 
trating phenomenon of the 0<\/a *cat vtlKog is assuredly, at 
bottom, the great primal opposition between the unity of 
all natures, according to their being in themselves and 
their complete distinction in the phenomenon, which has for 
its form the principium individuationis. Similarly, Empe- 
dokles recognized the doctrine of atoms, already known to 
him, as false, and taught on the contrary the infinite 
divisibility of bodies, as Lucretius tells us (lib. L, v., 
747, &c.). 

But above all things in the doctrines of Empedokles, his 
decided pessimism is noteworthy. He has fully recognized 
the misery of our existence, and the world is for him as 
much as for the true Christian a vale of sorrows," A riyt \ftpwv. 
He compares it, indeed, like Plato later, to a dark cavern, in 
which we are immured. In our earthly existence he sees a 
state of banishment and misery, and the body is the prison of 
the soul. These souls were once in a state of infinite happi- 
ness, and have through their own fault and sins reached the 
present wretchedness, wherein they, by sinful conduct, more 
and more entangle themselves, getting involved in the 
circle of metempsychosis ; while, on the contrary, by virtue 
and moral purity, to which the abstinence from animal 
food belongs, and by renunciation of earthly enjoyments 
and wishes, they may again attain to their previous condi- 
tion. Thus the same primal wisdom which constitutes 
the basal thought of Brahmanism and Buddhism, and even 
of true Christianity (by which is not to be understood the 
optimistic Jewish-Protestant rationalism), was also brought 
into consciousness by this ancient Greek, who completes 
the consensus gentium on the subject. That Empedokles, 
whom the ancients throughout designated a Pythagorean, 
received this view from Pythagoras is probable, particularly 
as at bottom it is shared by Plato, who was also under 
the influence of Pythagoras. Empedokles declares his 


adherence most distinctly to the doctrine of metempsy- 
chosis, which is connected with this view of the world. 
The passages in the ancients which, together with his own 
verses, bear witness to this conception of Empedokles, are 
to be found collected, with great industry, in Sturzzi, 
" Empedocles Agrigentinus," pp. 448-458. The opinion 
that the body is a prison and life a condition of suffering 
and purification from which we are released by death, if 
we are but quit of the soul- wandering, is shared by 
Egyptians, Pythagoreans, and Empedokles, together with 
the Hindoos and Buddhists. With the exception of 
metempsychosis it is also contained in Christianity. 
Diodorus Siculus and Cicero also bear witness to the 
above views of the ancients. (See " Wernsdorf de nietem- 
psychosi veterum," p. 31, and " Cicero f ragmen ta," p. 299 
[" Somn. Scip.," 310, 319, ed. Bip.]) Cicero does not indi- 
cate in these passages to what philosophical school they 
belong, but they would seem to be remains of Pythagorean 

In the remaining doctrines of these Pre-Sokratic philo- 
sophers there is also much that is true to be pointed out, of 
which I will give some illustrations. 

According to the cosmogony of Kant and Laplace which 
has received a practical confirmation, a posteriori, in the 
observations of Herschel, and which Lord Boss is con- 
cerned, to the consolation of English clericalism, again to 
render doubtful by means of his giant telescope the 
planetary systems form themselves by the condensation of 
slowly coagulating and then revolving luminous nebulae, 
and thus, after thousands of years, Anaximenes is justified 
when he declared air and vapour for the primal elements of 
all things (" Schol. in Arist.," p. 514). At the same time, 
also, Empedokles and Demokritos received confirmation, 
for they, like Laplace, explained the origin and constitution 
of the world from a vortex livri (" Arist. Op." ed. Berol., p. 


295, et " Scholia," p. 351), at which Aristophanes (" Nubes," 
v. 820) mocks as a blasphemy; just as do the English priests 
to-day over the Laplacian theory, they being anxious re- 
specting their benefices, as they always are when a new truth 
conies to light. Our modern chemistry indeed carries us 
back to the Pythagorean philosophy of numbers : ra yhp 
Kal ai ec TWV a.piQp.&v T&V iv roig ovtri iraStiv re KCII 
curia, olov TO ^i7r\d<rcov, ro cir/rpcroi', TO fj/nioXioy ("Schol. 
in Arist,," p. 543 et 829). That the Kopernicau system was 
anticipated by the Pythagoreans is well known ; it was 
even known to Kopernicus himself, who drew his chief ideas 
from the well-known passage on Hiketas, in Cicero's "Ques- 
tionibus Acad." (ii., 39), and from Philolaos in Plutarch, 
" De placitis Philosophorum " (lib. iii., c. 13). This important 
insight was afterwards rejected by Aristotle, in order that 
he might put his whims in the place of it, as to which, see 
below, 5 (compare " World as Will and Presentment," ii., 
p. 342 of the 2nd ed. ; ii., p. 390, 3rd ed.). Even Fourier's 
and Cordier's discoveries on the heat in the interior of the 
earth are confirmations of the doctrines of the ancient * 
l\tyov ol riv$ayoy0640i irvp Vai SrHuiovpytKov TrtyOt TO p.ioov KQ-, 
KevTpov rijfc yifc ro dva$a\irov TYJV yfjv xal faoirotovv (" Schol. in 
Arist.," p. 504). And in consequence of these discoveries, 
the crust of the earth to-day is looked upon as a thin layer 
between two media (atmosphere and hot fluid metals and 
metalloids) whose contact would occasion a conflagration 
that would annihilate that crust, also confirming the 
opinion in which all the ancient philosophers agree, and 
which is shared even by the Hindoos (" Lettres ^difiantes," 
dit. de 1819, vol. vii., p. 114) that the world will finally be 
consumed by fire. It is also deserving of mention that, as 
may be seen from Aristotle ("Metaph.," i., 5, p. 986), the 
Pythagoreans, under the name of <5e'ica o/t>x al ' had conceived 
the yn and yang of the Chinese. . 

That the metaphysics of music, as explained by me in 


my chief work (vol. i., 52, and vol. ii., chap. 39), must bo 
regarded as an exposition of the Pythagorean philosophy 
of numbers, I have already shortly indicated, and will here 
somewhat further explain presupposing, at the same 
time, in the reader an acquaintance with the passages re- 
ferred to. In accordance with the above, melody expresses 
all movements of the will such as are made known in 
human consciousness, that is, all affections, feelings, &c. ; 
harmony, again, denotes the ladder of the objectivation of 
the will in the rest of nature. Music is, in this sense, a 
second reality, which runs entirely parallel with the first, 
although it is of quite another kind and character, so that 
while it has a complete analogy it has no similarity with 
it music, as such, existing only in our auditory nerves and 
brain. Outside these, or in itself (understood in the 
Lockean sense), it consists in mere relations of tones, directly, 
that is, in respect of quantity, in rhythm, and in respect 
of quality, in the intervals of the scales, which rest on 
the arithmetical relations of vibrations ; in other words, 
numerical as it is in its rhythmical element, so is it also 
in its harmonic element. 

The whole nature of the world, therefore, as well of the 
microcosm as of the macrocosm, may be certainly expressed 
by mere numerical relations, and is, therefore, reducible to 
these. And in this sense Pythagoras was right in placing 
the proper nature of things in numbers. But what now 
are numbers? Relations of succession whose possibility 
is based on time. 

When one reads what is said about the number-philo- 
sophy of the Pythagoreans in the " Scholia to Aristotle " 
(p. 829, ed. Berol.), one might be led to the supposition, 
that the use of the word Xoyoe in the introduction to the 
gospel ascribed to John, so strange and mysterious and 
verging on the absurd, as also the earlier and analogous 
passages in Philo, originate in the Pythagorean philosophy 


of numbers, from the signification, that is, of the word 
Xoyoe in the arithmetical sense, as numerical relation, 
ratio numerica. Such a relation constitutes, with the 
Pythagoreans, the innermost and indestructible essence of 
every being ; in other words, its first and original principle 
^ > whence of everything might be said, lv dpxj? Jjy o 
It should be noted also that Aristotle says (" De 

Anima," i. 1): ra rrd^rj Xdyoi evv\oi dcri, et mox : 6/uev yap 
Aoyoc cl^oc rov 7r/>ay/iaroc. One is also reminded here of 
the Xoyoc ffTtpfiarucoc of the Stoics, to which I shall shortly 

According to Jamblichos' biography of Pythagoras, the 
latter owed his education chiefly to Egypt, where he re- 
mained from his twenty-second to his fifty-sixth year, and, 
indeed, to the Egyptian priests. Returning in his fifty- 
sixth year, he had conceived the project of founding a kind 
of priestly state, in imitation of the Egyptian temple 
hierarchies, of course, with the modifications necessary to 
Greeks ; and though he did not succeed in this in his father- 
land, Samos, he did, to a certain extent, in Krotona. Now, 
as Egyptian culture and religion, without doubt, came 
from India, as is proved by the sanctity of the cow, together 
with a hundred other things (" Herod.," ii., 41), this 
would also explain the regulation of Pythagoras respecting 
abstinence from animal nourishment, especially the prohibi- 
tion of slaughtering oxen (JambL, " Vit. Puith.," c. 28, 
150), as also the consideration for all animals which is 
enjoined ; similarly, also, his doctrine of metempsychosis, 
his white robes, his eternal mystification, which gave rise 
to symbolical modes of speech, and even extended itself to 
mathematical theorems; yet, again, the foundation of a 
priestly caste, strict discipline and much ceremonial, the 
worship of the sun (c. 85, 256), and many other things. 1 

1 It may be well to remind the reader that Schopenhauer's 
statements as to the origin of Egyptian civilization are in no way 


His most important astronomical principles he had also 
from the Egyptians. Hence the priority of his doct rine of 
the inclination of the ecliptic was disputed by (Eiiopides, 
who had been with him in Egypt. (Consult, as to this, 
the conclusion of the 24th chapter of the 1st book of the 
"Eklogues of Stobseos," with Heeren's note from Dio- 
dorus.) For the rest, when one looks through the elemen- 
tary notions of astronomy collected by Stobaeos from all 
the Greek philosophers (especially lib. i., c. 25), one finds 
that they have produced mere absurdities, with the single 
exception of the Pythagoreans, who, as a rule, are quite 
correct. That this is not their own invention, but comes 
from Egypt, is not to be doubted. The well-known pro- 
hibition of Pythagoras respecting beans is of purely 
Egyptian origin, and merely a superstition derived from 
thence, since Herodotus (ii., 37), relates that in Egypt the 
bean is considered unclean and abhorred, so that the priests 
will not even tolerate the sight of it. 

That the doctrine of Pythagoras is a decided pantheism 
is proved as conclusively as briefly by a sentence of the 
Pythagoreans, preserved by Clement of Alexandria, con- 
tained in the " Hortatw ad gentes," the Doric dialect of 
which points to its genuineness : OitK diroKpbirTtov ovde roue 
a/u<pi roi'IlvSayopav,/ <t>affiv'*O per S'foc /c* y^ovroQ^e ou)^, we 
nvtg virovoovfftVy SKTOG rag SiuKovpfiffiOQ, aXV iv avr^t, oXoc cv 
oX^> T f KiftfXw, iiriffKOTroc vaaag ytvioTOQ, Kpavig T&V oXwv* ntl 
<Ji', Kdl IpyardQ rdtv avrov ^vyaptuv Kal fpyiuv 
ovpavy fyuarrip, Kal TTVLVTM TTCLTTJP, VOVQ teal ^ 
KVK\$>, irdvruv Kivaaig. (See " Clem. Alex. Opera," torn, i., 

borne out by the results of recent research. The coincidences 
mentioned by Schopenhauer might be extended to most early 
civilizations, and do not by any means give colour to the far- 
fetched hypothesis of the borrowing of the ancient Egyptian cul- 
ture from India. The Egyptian civilization is Undoubtedly of 
greater antiquity than the Indian. TR. 


p. 118, in " Sanctorum Patrum Oper. Polem.," vol. iv., 
Wirceburgi, 1778.) It is good, namely, to convince one- 
self at every opportunity that, properly speaking, Theism 
and Judaism are exchangeable terms. 

According to Apuleius, Pythagoras got as far as India, 
and was even instructed by the Brahmins. (See Apuleius, 
" Florida," p. 130, ed. Bip.) I believe, nevertheless, that the 
assuredly considerable wisdom and knowledge of Pytha- 
goras consisted, not so much in what he thought, as in 
what he learnt, was not so much his own, that is, as of 
foreign origin. This is confirmed by a saying of Hera- 
kleitos (" Diog. Laert.," lib. viii., c. 1, 5). Otherwise he 
would have written it down in order to rescue his thoughts 
from oblivion ; while, on the other hand, what was learnt 
from abroad was safe enough at the fountain-head. 


The wisdom of Sokrates is an article of philosophic 
faith. That the Platonic Sokrates was an ideal and there- 
fore poetical person, who enunciated Platonic thoughts, is 
perfectly clear, but in the Xenophontic Socrates there is 
not precisely very much wisdom to be found. According 
to Lukian ("Philo. Pseudes," 24), Sokrates had a fat 
belly, which does not belong to the signs of genius. But 
it is just as doubtful as to the high mental powers of all 
those who have not written, and hence also of Pythagoras. 
A great mind must gradually recognize his calling and 
his position toward humanity, and consequently attain to 
the conviction that he does not belong to the flock, but to 
the shepherds to the educators, that is, of the human 
race. But from this the obligation becomes clear not to 


limit his immediate and certain action to the few which 
chance brings into his neighbourhood, but to extend it to 
humanity, in order that it may reach the exceptions, the 
elect, in the latter. But the only organ with which one 
speaks to humanity is writing ; verbally one addresses 
only a number of individuals, and therefore anything so 
said, remains, as far as the human race is concerned, a 
private matter. For such individuals are generally a bad 
soil for the best seed, which either does not influence 
them at all, or else what it produces rapidly degenerates, 
The seed itself, therefore, must be preserved, and this 
cannot be done through tradition, which is falsified at 
every ste^, but solely through writing, the only true pre- 
server of thoughts. Add to this, that every deep-thinking 
mind necessarily has the impulse, for the sake of its own 
satisfaction, to retain its thoughts and reduce them to the 
greatest possible clearness and definition, and consequently 
to embody them in words. But this is only perfectly at- 
tained in writing, for the written delivery is essentially 
different from the verbal, since it alone admits the highest 
precision, concision, and the most pregnant brevity, thus 
becoming a pure ektypos of thought. In consequence of 
all this, it would be a marvellous conceit in any thinker to 
wish to leave the most important invention of the human 
race unutilized. For this reason, it is hard for me to 
believe in the really great intellect of those who have 
not written. I am rather disposed to hold them to have 
been mainly practical heroes, who effected more by their 
character than by their bruins. The majestic authors of 
the " Upanishads of the Yedas " have written, though the 
" Sanhita of the Vedas," consisting as it does merely of 
prayers, may originally have been only verbally propa* 

Between Sokrates and Kant many parallels may be 
drawn. Both reject all dogmatism j both profess a com- 


plete ignorance in matters of metaphysic, and make their 
speciality the clear consciousness of this ignorance. Both 
maintain that the practical, that which man has to do and 
to forbear, is, on the other hand, perfectly certain of itself 
without any further theoretical foundation. Both had the 
fortune, that their immediate successors and declared dis- 
ciples broke away from them precisely on these principles, 
and, elaborating a metaphysic, established thoroughly 
dogmatic systems ; and further, that these systems turned 
out very diverse, and yet all agreed in maintaining that 
they started from the doctrines of Sokrates or Kant, as 
the case might be. As I am myself a Kantian, I will here 
notify my relation to him in one word. Kant teaches that 
we cannot know anything beyond experience and its pos- 
sibility. I admit this, but maintain that experience itself, 
in its totality, is susceptible of an explanation which I 
have endeavoured to give by deciphering it like a 
writing, and not, as with all earlier philosophers, by under- 
taking to transcend it by means of its mere forms, a 
method Kant had proved to be invalid. 

The advantage of the SoJcratic method, as we learn it 
from Plato, consists in that the foundation of the proposi- 
tions, which are intended to be proved by the collocutor 
or opponent, are admitted singly before their consequences 
are seen. Since, however, in a didactic delivery in con- 
tinuous speech, consequences and grounds are able to be 
seen at once, one would attack them if they did not please 
one. Meanwhile, among the things which Plato would 
impose upon us is this to wit, that by means of the appli- 
cation of this method, the Sophists and other fools had in 
all innocence let Sokrates prove to them that they were 
such. This is incredible ; it is much more likely that, at the 
last quarter of the way, or as soon as they noticed what he 
was driving at, they would, by manoeuvres denying what 
had previously been said, intentional misunderstanding* 


and such other tricks and dodges as are employed instinc* 
tively by dishonesty desirous of justifying itself, have 
spoilt the artificially-planned game of Sokrates and torn 
his net, or they would have become so rude and insulting, 
that he would have found it advisable to save his skin 
betimes. For why should not the Sophists have under- 
stood the method by which everyone can make himself 
equal to everyone else, and for the moment bring himself 
to the level of the greatest intellectual eminence namely, 
insult ? The low nature indeed feels an instinctive inclina- 
tion to this as soon as it begins to detect intellectual 


Already in Plato we find the origin of a certain false 
dianoiology, which is put forward with a secret meta- 
physical purpose, namely, for the behoof of a rational 
psychology and a doctrine of immortality- depending on 
it. It has proved itself again and again as a deceptive 
doctrine of the toughest vitality, dragging on its existence 
as it has throughout the whole of ancient, mediaeval, and 
modern philosophy, till Kant, the all-destroyer, finally 
knocked it on the head. The doctrine here referred to is 
the rationalism of theory of knowledge with its meta- 
physical purpose. It may be summed up shortly as fol- 
lows : That which knows in us is an immaterial substance, 
fundamentally distinct from the body, called Soul; the 
body being a hindrance to knowledge. Hence all know- 
ledge through the senses is deceptive, the only true, accu- 
rate, and certain knowledge being that which is free and 
removed from all sensibility (i.e. from all perception), in 
other words, pure thought, or that which functions exclu- 


eively by means of abstract conceptions. For this instructs 
the soul entirely by its own methods, and consequently 
will work best after it is separated from the body, that is, 
after we are dead. In such wise, therefore, dianoiology 
plays into the hands of rational psychology to the benefit 
of its doctrine of immortality. This doctrine which I have 
here summed up, we find fully and clearly in the " Phsedo," 
chap. x. It is somewhat differently conceived in the 
"Timaeus," from which Sextus Empiricus expounds it 
very precisely and clearly in the following words : DaXma 
nc Trapa role 0i/<Ti<cotcl tcvXlercn oa irspl TOV TO. oftota r&v 
o^olujy ffrai yvtopiaruca. Mox: IlXarwv ^, iv T$ TI/IO/^, 
Trapacrracnv row dow/iaroj/ ttvai rjyi> I//VK;I', rw avry yzvct 
2 yap ^ pfy opa<r(c, <t>*l0t) 
rt ^>a)rofSiyc> ^ & ctKorj 
pivov Kpfvouffa, oTTfp tort rt)y 0wn/v, evSve aepo 

yvMf)iov<ja Trcivrwc ian a.T/uioei$r)G t jcai 

Xafifiavovcra, KaSdirep rac ev rolj; apiSpoie Kal rap iv 
rotg iripaai T&V awpaTuv (that is, pure mathematics) yivtral 
TIC dffwfjiaTOQ (" Adv. Math.," vii., 116 et 119). (Vetus qucc. 
dam, a physicis usque probata, versatur opinio, quod similia 
similibus cognoscantur. Mox: Plato, in Timceo, ad pro- 
bandum, animam esse incorpoream, usus est eodem genere 
demonstrationis : " nam si visio," inquit, " apprehendens 
lucem atatim est luminosa, auditus autem aerem percussum 
judicans 1 , nempe vocem, protinus cernitur ad aeris accedens 
speriem, odoratus autem cognoscens vapores, est omnino va 
ports aliquam habens formam, et gustus, qui humores, 
humoris habens speciem; necessario et anima, ideas susci- 
piens incorporeas, ut quce sunt in numeris et in finibus 
corporum, est incorporeal) 

Even Aristotle admits this argument, at least hypotheti- 
caliy, where, in the first book of the "De Anima" (c. i.), 
he says that the separate existence of the soul would be 


thereby constituted if any manifestation in which the body 
had no part accrued to it, and that such a manifestation 
seemed above all things to be Thought. But if even this 
is not possible without perception and imagination, it can- 
not obtain without the body (a e lari KHI TO voiiv (ftavrafria 
rc> */ /*>/ nvev <j>avTafflag, OVK ii'de^oir* ay vvde rovro avtv 
autparog eiVcu). Yet Aristotle does not even admit tho 
above conditions, which are the premisses of the argu- 
mentation, in so far, namely, as he teaches, what was later 
formulated in the proposition, nihil est in intellects,, quod 
non prius fuerit in sensibus. (See, as to this, " De Anima," 
iii., 8.) Even he saw, therefore, that all that is purely and 
abstractly thought has first borrowed its entire material 
and content from the perceived. This also disturbed the 
Schoolmen, and hence, even in the middle ages, men en- 
deavoured to prove that there are pure cognitions of 
reason that is, thoughts having no reference to any 
images ; in other words, a thought which draws all its 
material from itself. The efforts and controversies on this 
point are to be found collected in Pomponasius, who de- 
rives his main argument from them. In order to answer 
the requirement spoken of, the universalia and the cogni- 
tions a priori, conceived as ceternce veritates, had to servo. 
The development which the matter received through Des- 
cartes and his school I have already explained in tho 
elaborate observation appended to the 6 of my pri/x) 
essay on the foundation of morals, in which I have ad- 
duced the valuable original words of the Cartesian De la 
Forge for one finds the false doctrines of a philosopher as 
a rule expressed the clearest by his disciples, since these 
are not, like the master himself, concerned to keep in the 
background as much as possible those sides of his system 
which might betray its weakness, inasmuch as they have 
no fear about it. But Spinoza opposed to the whole 
Cartesian dualism his doctrine eubstantia cogitans et sub" 


stantia extensa una eademque est substantia, quce jam sub 
hoc, jam sub illo attribute comprehenditur, thereby showing 
his great superiority. Leibnitz, on the other hand, re- 
mained exquisitely on the path of Descartes and ortho- 
doxy. But this again called out the, for philosophy, so 
thoroughly healthy endeavour of the excellent Locke, who 
finally plunged into the investigation of the origin of con- 
ceptions, and made the phrase no innate ideas, after he had 
carefully expounded it, the foundation of his philosophy. 
The French, for whom his system was worked out by 
Condillac, proceeded much farther in the matter on the 
same basis, inasmuch as they put forward and urged the 
proposition, penser, c'est sentir. Taken absolately, this 
proposition is false, but there lies this truth in it, that 
all thought in part presupposes feeling as ingredient of 
the perception which furnishes for it its material ; in part 
it is no more than feeling conditioned by corporeal organs. 
As the latter, namely, is conditioned by the nerves of 
sense, so is the former by the brain, and both consist in 
nervous activity. Yet even the French school does not 
hold closely by this proposition, but only with a meta- 
physical in this case a materialistic purpose, just as 
their Platonic, Cartesian, Leibnitzian opponents had only 
held the false proposition that the only accurate know- 
ledge of things consists in pure thought, also with a 
metaphysical object, in order thereby to prove the imma- 
teriality of the soul. Kant alone leads us away from both 
these false paths, and from a quarrel in which neither 
party, properly speaking, proceeds honestly to the truth. 
The two sides both profess dianoiology, but their attention 
is really turned to metaphysic, and hence they falsify the 
dianoiology. Kant says : " Certainly there is a pure know- 
ledge from reason, that is, cognitions a priori, which pre- 
cede all experience, and consequently also a Thought, 
which does not owe its material to any knowledge by 


means of the senses." But even this knowledge a priori, 
although not drawn from experience, has only worth and 
validity for the sake of experience ; for it is nothing else 
but the awareness of our own knowledge-apparatus and its 
modus operandi (brain-function), or, as Kant expresses it, 
the form of the knowing consciousness itself, which re- 
ceives its material primarily through the empirical know- 
ledge, with which it is connected by means of the sense 
feeling, and without which it is empty and useless ; whence 
his philosophy is termed the " Critique of pure Reason." 
Therewith all the above metaphysical psychology falls to 
the ground, and with it falls all Plato's pure activity of 
the soul. For we see that knowledge without the per- 
ception which is brought about through the body has no 
material, and that therefore the knowing subject, as such, 
is nothing but a mere empty form without the presuppo- 
sition of the body, even setting aside the fact that all 
thought is a mere physiological function of the brain as 
digestion is of the stomach. 

If then, accordingly, Plato's doctrine of isolating know- 
ledge and keeping it pure from all communication with 
the body, the senses and perception, is shown to be pur- 
poseless, mistaken, and even impossible, we may, notwith- 
standing, regard my doctrine, that only the intuitive 
knowledge kept pure from all community with the will 
attains the highest objectivity, and therefore perfection, as 
the true analogue of the same. Respecting this I refer 
the reader to the third book of my chief work. 



The main characteristic of Aristotle may be said to have 
been pre-eminent acuteness, combined with circumspection, 
power of observation, many-sidedness, and want of depth. 
His conception of the world is tame, although acutely 
worked out. Depth of thought finds its material in our- 
selves ; acuteness has to receive it from without if it is to 
have any data. But at that time the empirical data were, 
on the one hand few, and on the other false. For this 
reason the study of Aristotle is nowadays not very profit- 
able, while that of Plato remains so in the highest degree. 
The want of depth complained of in Aristotle is naturally 
most apparent in his " Metaphysic," where mere acuteness 
will not, as elsewhere, suffice ; hence, in the latter, he is 
least satisfactory. His " Metaphysic " is, for the most part, 
a conversation as to the philosophies of his predecessors, 
which he criticises and refutes from his standpoint, mostly 
from isolated sayings, without penetrating their meaning, 
and somewhat like one who breaks windows from the out- 
side. He propounds few or no dogmas of his own, or at 
least not in a connected manner. That we are indebted to 
his polemic for a great part of our knowledge of the older 
philosophies, is an accidental service. He is most hostile 
to Plato precisely where Plato is entirely right. The 
" ideas " of the latter return like something which he can- 
not digest again and again into his mouth ; he is resolved 
not to admit their validity. Acuteness suffices in the 
empirical sciences; hence Aristotle has a pre-eminently 
empirical bent. But inasmuch as, since his time, expe- 
rience has made such progress as to stand to its then state 
in the relation of adult age to childhood, the empirical 


sciences cannot, to-day, be directly very much advanced 
by the method and the specially scientific attitude which 
characterized him and was started by him, though indi- 
rectly they may be. In zoology, however, he is still, at 
least in some respects, of direct use. His empirical bent 
in general gives him the disposition to continually dissi- 
pate himself. He is apt, accordingly, to spring so easily 
aside from the line of thought which he had begun, as to 
be almost incapable of following out any line of thought 
for long and to the end, in the capacity for which consists 
precisely the faculty of deep thought. On the contrary, 
he is always starting problems, but only touching them, 
and proceeding at once, without solving them or even 
thoroughly discussing them, to something else. Hence 
his reader often thinks, " Now it's coming/' but it does 
not come ; and hence it often appears, when he has stirred 
a problem and followed it out a short way, that the truth 
has been hanging upon his lips, when suddenly he is off 
to something else and leaves us in doubt. For he cannot 
keep to anything, but springs from that which he intended 
to something different which occurs to him at the moment, 
as a child lets a toy fall in order to seize another it has 
just seen. This is the weak side of his intellect ; it is the 
vivacity of superficiality. It is the explanation of why, 
although Aristotle was a highly systematic head, since 
from him proceeded the separation and classification of 
the sciences, nevertheless his exposition is throughout 
deficient in systematic arrangement, and we miss therein 
a methodical progress, namely, the separation of the dis- 
similar and collocation of the similar. He deals with 
things as they occur to him without having previously 
thought them out and sketched a clear plan of them ; he 
thinks with a pen in his hand, a method which, though it 
is a great facility for the writer, is a great grievance for 
the reader. Hence the planlessness and insufficiency of 


his exposition ; hence the reason why he comes back a hun- 
dred times to the same thing, simply because something 
foreign to it had come in between ; hence the reason why ho 
cannot keep to a subject, but goes from the hundredth to 
the thousandth; hence it is that he leads, as above de- 
scribed, the reader, anxious for the solution of the problem 
mooted, about by the nose ; hence it is that, after having 
devoted several pages to a subject, he begins his investiga- 
tion suddenly from the beginning with Xaftwpw ovv aXXyv 
dp\*lt> ri/e <m'\//6>e, and this six times in one work ; hence 
the motto, quid feret hie tanto dignum promissor hiatu, 
applies to so many of the exordiums of his books and 
chapters; hence, in a word,* is he so often confused and 
unsatisfactory. In exceptional cases he has certainly done 
things differently, as, for instance, the three books of 
" Khetoric," which are throughout a model of scientific 
method, and indeed exhibit an architectonic symmetry 
which may well have been the original of the Kantian. 

The radical antithesis of Aristotle, alike in his mode of 
thought as also in his exposition, is Plato. The latter 
holds fast to his leading thought as if with an iron hand, 
follows out its thread, be it never so thin, in all its ramifi- 
cations, through the labyrinths of the longest dialogues, 
and finds it again after all episodes. One sees from this 
that he had fully and ripely thought out his subject, and 
had planned an artistic arrangement for its exposition, be- 
fore he started to write. Hence, every dialogue is a planned 
work of art, all of whose parts have a well-thought-out 
connection, though it is often purposely hidden for a time, 
and whose frequent episodes often lead back, unexpectedly 
and of themselves, to the leading idea, after it has been 
made c^oar by them. Plato always knew, in the full sense 
of the word, what he wanted and intended ; although for 
the most part he does not carry through the problems to a 
decisive issue, but ia satisfied with their thorough-going 


discussion. We need not much wonder, therefore, if some 
accounts, especially in Lilian (" Var. Hist.," iii., 19, iv., 9, 
&c.), state that between Plato and Aristotle considerable 
personal want of harmony was displayed ; also that Plato 
now and then spoke somewhat disparagingly of Aristotle, 
whose unsteadiness, flashiness, and levity, though it was 
connected with his polymathy, was quite antipathetic to 
Plato. Schiller's poem, " Breadth and Depth," may be 
applied to the antithesis between Aristotle and Plato. 

In spite of this empirical mental attitude, Aristotle was, 
nevertheless, no logical and methodical empiricist ; hence 
he had to be overthrown and driven out by the true father 
of empirici&m, Bacon of Verillam. Anyone who wants to 
properly understand in what sense and why the latter was 
the opponent and conqueror of Aristotle and his method, 
has only to read the books of Aristotle, " De degeneratione et 
corruptione." Here he will find a true a priori treatment of 
nature, one which seeks to understand and explain its pro- 
cesses from mere conceptions ; a particularly bad instance 
is furnished in 1. ii., c. 4, where a chemistry is constructed 
a priori. Bacon, on the other hand, appeared with the 
advice not to make the abstract, but the perceptual ex- 
perience, the source of the knowledge of nature. The 
brilliant result of this is the present high state of the 
natural sciences, from which we look down, with a piteous 
smile, on these Aristotelian vexations of spirit. In this 
respect it is very remarkable that the above-mentioned 
books of Aristotle disclose, quite plainly even, the origin of 
scholasticism ; indeed the quibbling, word-juggling method 
of the latter is already to be met with there. For the 
same purpose the books " De coelo" are also very useful, and 
therefore wprthy of being read. Even the first chapters 
are a good sample of the method of seeking to determine 
and to know the essence of nature from mere conceptions, 
and the failure is here obvious. It is there proved to us in 


chap, viii., from mere conception and locis communibu8> 
that there are not several worlds, and in chap. xii. it is 
similarly speculated as to the course of the stars. It is a 
logical reasoning from false conceptions, a quite special 
nature-dialectic, which undertakes, from certain universal 
axioms, which are supposed to express what is reasonable 
and proper, to decide a priori what nature is and bow it 
must act. In seeing such a great, indeed stupendous, in- 
tellect such as, after all said and done, Aristotle remains, 
entangled so thickly in errors of this sort, which main- 
tained their validity till a few hundred years ago, it is pre- 
eminently plain to us how very much humanity owes to 
Kopernicus, Kepler, Galilei, Bacon, Robert Hook, and 
Newton. In chaps, vii. and viii. of the second book, Aris- 
totle expounds to us his whole absurd arrangement of the 
heavens : The stars cleave fast to the revolving hollow 
globe ; sun and planets to similar nearer ones ; the friction 
of revolving produces light and heat ; the earth stands, it is 
expressly said, still. All this might pass if there had not 
already been something better ; but when he himself, in 
chap, xiii., presents to us the entirely correct views of the 
Pythagoreans on the form, place, and motion of the earth 
in order to reject them, it can hardly fail to arouse our in- 
dignation. This will rise when we see from his frequent 
polemic against Empedokles, Herakleitos, and Demokritos, 
how all these had much more correct insight into nature, 
and had even attended to experience better, than the barren 
talker that we have before us. Empedokles had, indeed, 
already taught a tangential force arising from revolution 
and acting in opposition to gravity (ii., 1 et 13, also the 
" Scholia," p. 491). Far removed from being able to estimate 
this at its true value, Aristotle does not even admit the 
correct views of these ancients on the true significance of 
above and below, but here also takes his stand on the 
vulgar opinion which follows the superficial appearance 


(iv., 2). But we have further to bear in mind that these 
his views found recognition and circulation, superseding 
all that was earlier and better, and so became, later on, 
the foundation of Hipparchus, and afterwards of the 
Ptolemaic cosmology, with which mankind had to content 
itself till the beginning of the sixteenth century, to the 
great advantage, doubtless, of the Jewish-Christian religious 
dogmas, which are at bottom incompatible with the Koper- 
nican cosmology. (For how should there be a God in 
heaven when there is no heaven ?) Theism, when seriously 
meant, necessarily presupposes the division of the world 
into heaven and earth ; on the latter men run about, in 
the former sits the God who rules them. But if astronomy 
takes the heaven away, it has taken the God with it also ; 
it has, that is to say, so extended the world that there is 
no room left for God. But a personal being, such as every 
God must necessarily be, who has no place, but is every- 
where and nowhere, can merely be spoken of, but not 
imagined, and therefore not believed in. To the extent, ac- 
cordingly, to which physical astronomy is popularized, 
theism must wane, however much it may have been im- 
pressed upon men by an unceasing and pompous preaching. 
The Catholic Church rightly recognized this at once, and 
accordingly persecuted the Kopernican system ; as regards 
which it is childish to wonder and shriek over the crushing 
of Galilei, for omnis natura vult esse conservatrix sui. 
Who knows whether a secret knowledge, or at least pre- 
sentiment, of this congeniality of Aristotle to the doctrines of 
the Church, and of the danger averted by him, did not con- 
tribute to the overweening adoration of him in the middle 
ages ? Who knows whether many a one, stimulated by his 
accounts of the older astronomical systems, had not secretly 
penetrated these truths long before Kopernicus, who, after 
many years of hesitation, and with the intention of separating 
himself from the world, finally ventured to proclaim them ? 



A very beautiful and pregnant conception with the 
Stoics, is that of the Xoyoc o-Trep/icmfco'c, although more 
complete accounts respecting it than those which have 
come down to us might be desired (" Diog. Laert.," vii., 
136 ; Plut. de Plac. Phil.," i., 7 ; " Stob. Eel.," i., p. 372). 
Thus much is clear, however, that what was understood 
thereby was that which in the successive individuals of a 
kind asserted and preserved its identical form, inasmuch 
as it passes over from the one to the other ; as, for in- 
stance, the conception of the species embodied in the seed. 
The Logos spermaticus is accordingly the indestructible 
element in the individual, that, namely, through which it 
is one of a species representing and maintaining it. It is 
that by virtue of which the death which annihilates the 
individual does not touch the kind, which makes the indi- 
vidual continuously present in spite of death. Hence we 
might translate \6yog ffireppaTiKog as the magical formula 
which at all times calls this form into the phenomenon. 
Nearly related to it is the conception of the forma sub- 
stantialis of the Schoolmen, through which the inner prin- 
ciple of the complex of all the qualities of every natural 
being is thought ; its antithesis is the materia prima, the 
pure matter, destitute of all form and quality. The soul 
of man is just his forma substantialis. What distinguishes 
both conceptions is, that the Xoyoc tnrtppaTtKOQ accrues 
solely to living and procreating beings, but the forma sub- 
stantialis to inorganic beings also. The one refers, more- 
over, directly to the individual, the other directly to the 
kind ; both, on the other hand, are obviously related to 
the Platonic idea. Explanations of the forma substan- 


tialis are to be seen in " Scotus Erigena de Divis. Nat., H 
lib. iii., p. 139 of the Oxford edition ; in " Giordano Bruno, 
della Cosa," dial. 3, p. 252 seqq, and developed at length 
in the "DisputationibusMetaphysicis'' of Suarez (disp. 15, 
sect. 1), that genuine compendium of the whole scholastic 
wisdom, where one should seek its acquaintance rather 
than in the bald placidity of soulless German professors 
of philosophy, the quintessence of all shallowness and 

One chief source of our knowledge of the Stoic ethics is 
the very complete presentation of them preserved for us 
by Stobseus (" Eel. Eth.," 1. 2, c. vii.), in which one may 
flatter oneself that one possesses, for the most part, 
verbal extracts from Zeno and Chrysippos. If this bo 
correct, it is not calculated to give us a high opinion of the 
spirit of these philosophers, seeing that it is a pedantic, 
pedagogic, eminently bald, incredibly empty, flat and spirit- 
less exposition of the Stoic morality, without force and 
life, and without valuable, striking, or noble thoughts. 
Everything in it is deduced from mere conceptions, and 
not drawn from reality and experience. Mankind is ac- 
cordingly divided into awovfaloi and <j>av\oi t virtuous and 
vicious ; to the former is attributed everything good, to the 
latter everything bad, all things appearing in consequence 
black and white, like a Prussian sentry-box. Assuredly 
these dull school-exercises will not bear comparison with 
the energetic, powerful, and well-thought-out paragraphs 
of Seneca. 

The dissertations of Arrian on the philosophy of Epicte- 
tus, composed some four hundred years after the origin of 
the Stoa, give us no reliable information as to the true 
spirit and the special principles of the Stoic ethics, for the 
book is unsatisfactory both as to form and content. 
Firstly, as regards the form, one misses in it every trace 
of method, of systematic treatment, and even of orderly 


progression. In chapters tacked on to one another without 
order and connection, it is untiringly repeated that one 
should pay no attention to anything that is not the ex- 
pression of our own will, and that therefore everything 
that otherwise moves men should be regarded completely 
without interest ; this is the Stoic drapalia. That, namely, 
which is not ty ^tv would also not be Trpog fyuae. This 
colossal paradox, however, is not deduced from any prin- 
ciples at all, but the most extraordinary opinion of the 
world is required of us without any ground being given 
for it. Instead of this we find endless declamations in 
ceaselessly recurring phrases and turns of expression. 
For the consequences of these wonderful maxims are ex- 
pounded in the most complete and vivid manner, and we 
accordingly have described how the Stoics make something 
from nothing at all. Meanwhile, everyone who thinks 
differently is unceasingly abused as a slave and a fool. 
But one hopes in vain for the indication of any clear and 
adequate ground for the assumption of this remarkable 
mode of thought, although such would have more effect 
than all the abuse and declamations of the whole thick 
book. As it is, it is a true Capuchin's sermon, with its 
hyperbolic descriptions of the Stoic apathy, its incessantly 
repeated panegyrics of the holy fathers Kleanthes, Chry- 
sippos, Zeno, Krates, Diogenes, Sokrates, and its abuse of 
all who differ from them. To such a book is certainly suited 
the planless and desultory nature of the whole contents. 
What the heading of a chapter indicates is only the sub- 
ject of its beginning ; at the first opportunity a jump is 
made, and, as far as the nexus idearum is concerned, we 
pass from the hundredth to the thousandth. So much as 
to form. 

As regards the content, it is the same ; and even if we 
overlook the fact that the foundation is entirely wanting, 
it i9 at all events not genuine and thoroughly Stoical, but 


has a strong foreign admixture, which smacks of a Chris- 
tian-Jewish source. The most undeniable proof of this is 
the theism which is to be found on every side and is also 
the support of the ethics ; the Cynics and the Stoics act 
here on behalf of God, whose will is their guiding- star ; 
they are devoted to him, hope in him, &c. The genuine 
original Stoa is quite foreign to all this; God and the 
world are there one, and nothing is known of a God who 
thinks, wills, commands, and provides for men. Not alone 
in Arrian, however, but in most of the heathen philosophic 
writers of the first Christian century, we see the Jewish 
theism, destined ere long to become a popular creed in 
Christianity, already peering through, just as to-day there 
peers through the writings of scholars the pantheism 
native to India, which is also destined hereafter to pass 
over into the popular belief. Ex oriente lux. 

For the reasons above given, the ethic here expounded 
is not purely Stoical. Many of its maxims are, indeed, 
mutually incompatible, hence no ground- principles common 
to it can be mentioned. In the same way Cynicism is 
entirely falsified by the doctrine that the Cynic should bo 
such chiefly for the sake of others, namely, in order to act 
upon them by his example as commissioned by God, and 
in order by mixing in their affairs to guide them. Hence 
it is said, " In a city where there were only wise men, no 
Cynic would be necessary ; " and, in the same way, that he 
should be healthy, strong, and cleanly, in order not to repel 
people. How far is this from the self-satisfaction of the 
old genuine Cynics ? It is true Diogenes and Krates were 
the domestic friends and advisers of many families ; but 
that was secondary and accidental, and in no wise the 
purpose of Cynicism. 

Arrian has therefore entirely lost sight of the properly 
fundamental idea of Cynicism as of the Stoic ethics; 
indeed be does not even seem to have felt the need of 


them. He preaches self-renunciation because it pleases 
him, and perhaps it only pleases him because it is difficult 
and opposed to human nature, while in the meantime the 
preaching is easy. He did not seek for the grounds of 
self-renunciation ; hence one thinks, now one is listening to 
a Christian ascetic, now again to a Stoic. For the maxims 
of both often concur, but the principles on which they rest 
are quite different. I refer the reader in this matter to 
my chief work (vol. i., 16, and vol. ii., chap, xvi.), where 
for the first time the true spirit of Cynicism as of tho 
Stoa is systematically expounded. 

The inconsistency of Arrian presents itself, indeed, in a 
ridiculous manner, in that he, with his countless times re- 
peated description of the Stoic, always says : " He blames 
no one, complains neither of Gods nor of men, scolds no 
one," while at the same time his whole book is throughout 
conceived in a scolding tone, which often descends to 

Notwithstanding all this, there are here and there 
genuine Stoic thoughts to be met with in the book, which 
Arrian or Epictetus had derived from the ancient Stoics ; 
and similarly Cynicism is in some of its features tellingly 
and vividly depicted. In places there is also much sound 
common sense, as well as descriptions, drawn from life, of 
man and his doings. The style is easy and flowing, but 
very bald. 

That Epictetus' " Encheiridion " is also composed by 
Arrian, as A. Wolf assured us in his lectures, I do not believe. 
It has much more spirit in fewer words than the disserta- 
tions, is instinct throughout with sound sense, has no empty 
declamations, no ostentation, is concise to the point, and 
moreover written in the tone of a well-meaning friend 
giving his advice ; while, on the other hand, the disserta- 
tions speak mostly in a scolding and execrating tone. The 
content of both books is, on the whole, the same ; only 


that the " Encheiridion " has very little of the theism of the 
dissertations. Perhaps the " Encheiridion " was Epictetus* 
own compendium, which he dictated to his hearers, but 
the dissertations the manuscript copied from the free dis- 
course by his commentator Arrian. 


The reading of the Neoplatonists requires muck patience, 
since they fail entirely as regards form and style. Far 
better than the others in this respect is Porphyry. He is 
the only one who writes clearly and connectedly, so that 
one reads him without repulsion. 

The worst, on the contrary, is lamblichos, in his book "De 
Mysteriis Egyptiorum," which is full of crass superstition 
and crude demonology, besides being conceited. He has, 
it is true, another as it were esoteric opinion on magic and 
theurgy, but his statements concerning this are only flat 
and insignificant. On the whole, he is a bad and turgid 
writer, limited, distorted, grossly superstitious, confused, 
and unclear. One sees plainly that what he teaches has by 
no means arisen from his own reflection, but that they are 
foreign, often only half-understood, but all the more 
strenuously asserted dogmas; hence, also, he is full of 
contradictions. But the book in question is now denied to 
be by lamblichos, and I am inclined to agree with this 
opinion when I read the long extracts from his lost works 
preserved by Stobaeus, and which are incomparably better 
than the book " De Mysteriis," containing as they do many 
good thoughts of the Neoplatonic school. 

Proklos, again, is a dry, bald, insipid talker ; his com- 
mentary to Plato's " Alkibiades," one of the worst of the 


Platonic dialogues, which, moreover, may be ungenuine, is 
the baldest, most diffuse piece of insipidity in the world. 
Over every, even the most ms.gnificant, word of Plato's 
there is endless talk, and. a deep meaning is sought therein. 
What by Plato was said mythically and allegorically is 
taken in its literal sense and in a spirit of rigid dogmatism, 
everything being twisted into the superstitious and the 
theosophical. It is, nevertheless, not to be denied, that in 
the first half of this commentary some very good ideas are 
to be met with, though they probably more strictly belong 
to the school than to Proklos himself. It is a highly im- 
portant proposition that closes fhefasciculumprimum partis 
primce : at TWV ^v\G)v ItyiaziQ TO. ptyitrra oi/vrcXouo-t TT/OOC 
rove /3/oi/r, Kal ov TrXciTTOjbLevoiQ %(i)$ tr loiKapev, dXV 0' 
iavT&v Tr^o/3d\\Ofjiv rac alpiffEtq^ Kaft'ag ^ta^wpEf (animoruwi 
appetitus [ante hanc vitam concept i] plurimam vimhabentin 
vitas eligendas, nee extrinsecus fictis similes surmts, sed 
nostra sponte facimus electiones, secundum quas delude 
vitas transigimus). This certainly has its root in Plato, 
and approaches Lato's doctrine of intelligible character, 
standing high above the dull and narrow theories of the 
freedom of the individual will, that can always do thus and 
otherwise, with which our professors of philosophy the 
catechism for ever before their eyes content themselves 
up to the present day. Augustine and Luther, for their 
part, had called in aid election by grace. That was good 
enough for those Q-od-given times, when people were ready, 
if it pleased God, to go to the devil in God's name ; but in 
our time refuge can only be taken in the aseity of the will, 
and it must be acknowledged that, as Proklos has it, ov 

Plotinos, finally, the most important of all, is very un- 
equal, and the various " Enneads " are of extremely diverse 
value and content ; the fourth is excellent. Exposition 
and style are, however, for the most part, very bad with 


him; his thoughts are not ordered nor previously con- 
sidered, but he writes them down just as they come. 
Porphyry in his biography tells us of the loose careless 
way in which he set to work. . Hence his bald tedious 
diffuseness and confusion often overcomes all patience, so 
that one wonders how such stuff could have come down to 
the modern world. He usually has the style of a pulpit 
preacher, and as the latter sets forth the gospel, so he sets 
forth the Platonic doctrines. At the same time, what 
Plato has said mythically or half metaphorically, he drags 
down to .intentional prosaic seriousness, and chews at the 
same thought for hours without adding anything to it from 
his own resources. In this he proceeds authoritatively, and 
not demonstratively, speaking throughout ex tripode ; ex- 
plains the matter as he thinks it to be, without attempting 
to lay any foundation for it. And yet there are great, im- 
portant, and pregnant truths to be found in his works, and 
these he certainly understood himself, for he is by no 
means without insight ; for which reason he undoubtedly 
deserves to be read, and richly rewards the patience neces- 
sary thereto. 

The explanation of these characteristics of Plotinos I 
find in the fact that he and the Neoplatonists generally are 
not properly philosophers, are not original thinkers, but 
that what they expound is an alien, traditional doctrine, 
notwithstanding that it has been well digested and assimi- 
lated by them. It is, namely, Indo-Egyptian wisdom, 
which they sought to embody in the Greek philosophy, and 
as a suitable connective tissue a conduit or menstruum 
for this they use the Platonic philosophy, especially those 
parts of it which branch off into the mystical. To the 
Indian origin, through Egypt, of the Neoplatonic dogmas, 
the All-One doctrine of Plotinos testifies directly and un- 
mistakably, as we find it admirably presented in the fourth 
" Ennead." Even the first chapter of the first book of the 


latter, ircpl oMac ^i/x^c, gives in great brevity the ground- 
doctrines of his whole philosophy of the ^v\rj 9 which is 
originally one, and is only sundered into many by means 
of the corporeal world. Particularly interesting is the 
eighth book of this " Ennead," which shows how the ^v\ii 
has reached this state of multiplicity by a sinful striving. 
It carries, accordingly, a double guilt ; firstly, that of its 
descent into this world, and secondly, that of its sinful 
deeds in the same ; the former it expiates by its temporal 
existence generally, the latter, which is the less important, 
by transmigration (c. 5). This is obviously the same 
thought as the Christian original sin and particular sin. 
But above all worthy of being read is the ninth book, 
where, in chap, iii., ii Trao-eu a/ 'fyvyal /u/a,from the unity of 
the above world-soul, among other things, the wonders of 
animal magnetism are explained, especially the phenomenon 
even now observed, that the somnambule hears a softly 
spoken word at the greatest distance, though this, of course, 
requires a chain of persons standing en rapport with her. 
With Plotinos, moreover, there appears, probably for the 
first time in Western philosophy, the Idealism already long 
current in the East, inasmuch as it is taught (" Enn.," iii., 
1. 7, c. 10) that the soul has made the world in its process 
from eternity into time with the explanation : o\j yap ny 
avrov rovde TOV iravroq ro?roc, / ^"X 1 ' (neque est alter hujus 
universi locus, quam anima), while the ideality of time is 
expressed in the words : Set fie OVK ev$ev TIJQ ^ V X^ ^a/ufiavetv 
roy yjpovov, Acnrtp oi/e TOV ai&va eV7 c<*> TOV OITOC (oportet 
autem nequaquam extra animam tempus accipere). That 
IKS! (hereafter), is the opposite of IvSdh (here), and a very 
favourite conception with him. which he more nearly ex- 
plains by KoffpoQ vorjroG and KOITHOC ala^roe, mundus intelli- 
gibilis et sensibilis, also by ra &*"** ical ra K<iru>. The ideality 
of time receives, in chapters xi. and xii., very good elucida- 
tion. Attached thereto is the beautiful explanation, that 


we, in our temporal condition, are not what we ought to be 
and might be ; hence, that we always expect better things 
of the future, and look towards the fulfilment of h at which 
is wanting to us, whence arises the future ana its condition 
time (c. 2 et 3). A further confirmation of the Indian 
origin is afforded us by lamblichos (" De My sterns," sect. 4, 
c. 4 et 5), in his exposition of the doctrine of Metempsy- 
chosis, where also may be found (sect. 5, c. 6), the doctrine 
of the finite liberation and salvation from the bonds of 
birth and death, \^V^Q KaSapotc, KO.I rcXf/wortc, Kal fj aVo TIJQ 
yfieVcwg aVuXXay/y, and (c. 12) TO iv rcug QvaictiQ irvp ?jf/ude 
aVoXi/a roiv rffe yevtVcwe eW/.iaij', in other words, the promise 
contained in all Indian religious books, which is designated 
in English by final emancipation or salvation. In addition 
to this there is, lastly (a. a. o., sect. 7, c. 2), the account of 
an Egyptian symbol which represents a creative God sitting 
on the lotus ; obviously the world-creating Brahma sitting 
on the lotus -flower, corresponding to the navel of Vishnu, 
as he is frequently represented, e.g., in Langles, " Monu- 
ments de I'Hindoustan," vol. i., ad p. 175 ; in Coleman's 
" Mythology of the Hindus," tab. 5, &c. This symbol is 
extremely important as a sure proof of the Hindu origin of 
the Egyptian religion, as, in the same respect, is the report 
also given by Porphyry " De Abstinentia," lib. ii., that in 
Egypt the cow was holy, and might not be slaughtered, 
Even the circumstance related by Porphyry in his life of 
Plotinos, that the latter, after he had been for many years 
the disciple of Ammonius Saccas, had intended going with 
the army of Q-ordian to Persia and India, but was. prevented 
by the overthrow and death of Gordian, indicates that the 
doctrines of Ammonms were of Indian origin, and that 
Plotinos had intended, at last, to acquire them more purely 
from their source. The same Porphyry furnished a com- 
plete theory on Metempsychosis, which is conceived entirely 
in the Indian spirit, although impregnated with the 


Platonic Psychology ; it is given in the Stobseos " Eclogues," 
1. i., c. 52, 54 

The Gnostics. 

The Cabalistic and GTnostic philosophies, with whose 
originators, as Jews and Christians, Monotheism stood in 
the forefront, are attempts to get rid of the flagrant con- 
tradiction between the production of this world by an al- 
mighty, all-good, and all- wise being, and the sadly deficient 
construction of the same world. They introduce, therefore, 
between the world and the world-cause a series of inter- 
mediate beings, by whose fault a decline, and thereby the 
world, has arisen ; hence they roll off the fault, as it were, 
from the sovereign on to his ministers. This proceeding 
had already been indicated in the myth of the fall, which 
is in every way the culminating point of Judaism. These 
beings are, with the Gnostics, the 7rXi?/>^ua, the seons, the 
v\rj, the deiniurgos, &c. The series was lengthened at 
pleasure by each Gnostic. 

The whole proceeding is analogous to that whereby, in 
order to modify the contradiction involved in the assumed 
connection and reciprocal action of a material and imma- 
terial substance in man, physiological philosophers have 
sought to interpose mediate essences, such as nervous 
fluidity, nervous ether, vital spirits, and so forth. Both 
seek to hide what they are not able to abolish. 


Scotus Erigena. 

This remarkable man affords us the interesting spectacle 
of the struggle between recognized and apprehended truth 
and local dogmas, fixed by early indoctrination and grown 
beyond the r$ach of all doubt, or at least of all direct 
attack, side by side with the endeavour proceeding from a 
noble nature to reduce to harmony, by some means or 
other, the dissonance which had thus arisen. This can 
indeed only happen, in so far as the dogmas are turned, 
twisted, and where necessary distorted, until nolentes vo- 
lentes they fit into the recognized truth, which remains the 
dominating principle, but is, notwithstanding, obliged to 
go about in a strange and uncomfortable garb. Erigena 
knows how to carry out this method, and his great work, "De 
Divisione Naturss," is a complete success until at last he 
has to make up his account with the origin of evil and of 
sin, together with the threatened pains of hell, when he 
comes to grief, more particularly in the optimism which is 
a consequence of his Jewish Monotheism. He teaches in 
the fifth book the return of all things to God, and the 
metaphysical unity and indivisibility of all humanity, and 
even of all nature. The question now arises, where does 
sin remain P It cannot be with Q-od. Where is hell, with 
its endless pains, such as have been promised ? Who is to 
go there? Humanity is saved, and that in its entirety. 
The dogma here remains unconquerable. Erigena writhes 
miserably through diffuse sophisms, which turn in the end 
on words, and is finally driven to contradiction and absur- 
dity, especially since the question as to the origin of sin 
has inevitably crept in, and yet the latter can neither lie in 
God nor in the will created by him, since otherwise God 


would be the originator of sin, which last point he sees 
clearly (see p. 287 of the Oxford editio princeps of 1681). 
He is now driven to absurdities : sin must have neither a 
cause nor a subject : malwm incausale est . . . penitus in- 
causale et insiibstantiale est (Ibid.). The true cause of this 
stumbling-block is, that the doctrine of the emancipation 
of humanity and the world, which is obviously of Indian 
origin, presupposes the Indian doctrine according to which 
the origin of the world (this Sansara of the Buddhists) is 
itself evil, proceeding, namely, from a sinful act of Brahma, 
which Brahma, again, we ourselves are, for the Indian 
mythology is everywhere transparent. On the contrary, in 
Christianity this doctrine of the emancipation 01 the world 
had to be based on the Jewish Theism, where the Lord 
not only made the world, but afterwards found it very 
good : irdrra taXa \(av. Hinc illce lacrimCB : hence arise 
those difficulties which Erigena fully recognized, although 
he, in his age, did not venture to attack the evil by the 
root. Meanwhile he has the Hindustanic mildness. He 
rejects the eternal damnation and punishment asserted by 
Christianity. All creatures rational, animal, vegetable, 
and lifeless must, according to their inner essence, in the 
necessary course of nature, attain to eternal happiness, for 
they have proceeded from the eternally good. But only 
for the saints and righteous is the complete unity with 
Q-od, Deificatio. For the rest, Erigena is sufficiently 
honest as not to hide the great embarrassment in which 
the origin of evil places him ; he expounds it clearly in the 
passage quoted in the fifth book. As a matter of fact, the 
origin of evil is the rock on which Theism, no less than 
Pantheism, splits, for both imply Optimism. But evil and 
sin, both in their fearful magnitude, are not to be explained 
away, while the threatened punishments for the latter 
only increase the former. Whence all this, now, in a world 
which is either itself a God, or the well-intentioned work 


of a God? If the theistic opponents of Pantheism exclaim 
against it, " What ! all evil, terrible, abominable entities 
are God ? " the Pantheists may reply : " How ! all these 
evil, terrible, abominable entities have been produced by a 
God de gaiete de cceur" We find Erigena in the same 
difficulty in the other work of his which has come down to 
us, viz., in the book, "De Predestinatione," which neverthe- 
less is far inferior to the "De Divisione Naturae," and 
where he appears, not in the character of philosopher, but 
of theologian. Here also he plagues himself miserably 
with contradictions having their ultimate ground in the 
fact that Christianity is founded on Judaism. But his 
endeavours place them only in a still clearer light. God 
is all, all and in all, and has made all; thus much is 
fixed, " consequently also sin and evil." This inevitable 
consequence has to be got rid of, and Erigena finds him- 
self necessitated to put forward the most miserable word- 
juggles. If evil and sin are not, then nothing is not 
even the devil ! Or else free-will is to blame for it. God 
has indeed created this, but created it free, and therefore 
it concerns him not what it does afterwards. For it was 
free, that is, it could act so and otherwise ; it might there- 
fore be just as well good as bad. Bravo ! but the truth is 
that free being and created being are two mutually de- 
structive and therefore contradictory qualities ; hence the 
assumption that God has created beings, and has at the 
same time imparted to them freedom of will, is as much as 
to say that he has created them, and at the same time he 
has not created them. For operari sequitwr ease, i.e. the 
effects or actions of any possible thing can never be any- 
thing else than the consequences of its nature, which is 
only known through them. Hence a being, in order to be 
free in the sense here required, must have no nature, that 
is, must be nothing, or, in other words, must both be and 
not be at once. For what is must also be something ; an 


existence without essence cannot even be thought. If a 
being is created, it is created as it is created, and therefore 
it is badly created if it is badly created, and badly created 
if it acts badly, i.e., its effects are bad. As a consequence 
the guilt of the world, which is just as little to be ex- 
plained away as its evil, always shifts itself back on its 
originator, and Scotus Erigena, like Augustine before him, is 
pitiably occupied in endeavouring to relieve him of it. 

If, on the other hand, a being is morally free, it cannot 
have been created, but must have aseity, that is, must be 
an original thing existing by virtue of its own power and 
completeness, and not referable to another. Its existence 
is then its own act of creation, which unfolds and expands 
itself in time, exhibiting once for all the distinct character 
of this being, which is, nevertheless, its own work, for all 
of whose manifestations the responsibility rests upon itself 
alone. If, now, a being is responsible for its action if it 
is to be accountable it must be free. Thus, from the 
responsibility and imputability which our conscience de- 
clares, it follows very certainly that the will is free, but 
from this, again, that it is the original thing itself, and 
hence, that not merely the action, but also the existence 
and essence of man are his own work. Eespecting ail this 
I refer the reader to my treatise on the freedom of the 
will, where it will be found completely and irrefutably 
expounded. For this reason the professors of philosophy 
have sought, by the most complete silence, to boycott this 
crowned prize-essay of mine. The guilt of sin and evil 
necessarily falls from nature back on its author. But if 
the latter is Will manifesting itself in all its phenomena, 
the guilt has come back to the right man ; if, on the con- 
trary, it is a Q-od, the origin of sin and evil contradict his 

In reading Dionysius Areopagita, to whom Erigena 
so often refers, I have found that the former is in every 


respect his prototype. The pantheism of Erigena, a8 well 
as his theory of sin and evil, are to be found, in their main 
features at least, already in Dionysius,' although Dionysius 
only indicates what Erigena has developed, expressed with 
boldness, and expounded with fire. Erigena had infinitely 
more genius than Dionysius, but Dionysius had given him 
the material and the direction of his reflections, and con- 
sequently prepared the way for him. That Dionysius is 
ungenuine does not affect the question, since it is indiffe- 
rent what the author of the book " De Divinis Nominibus " 
was called. As he, in the meantime, probably lived in 
Alexandria, I believe that, in a roundabout way unknown 
to us, he was the channel through which a drop of Indian 
wisdom may have reached Erigena, since, as Colebrooke 
has observed in his treatise on the philosophy of the 
Hindus (in Colebrooke's "Miscellaneous Essays," vol. i., 
p. 244), the proposition III. of the " Karika of Kapila " is to 
be found in Erigena. 


I should place the properly distinctive character of 
Scholasticism in that its chief criterion of truth is Scrip- 
ture, to which one may always appeal from every con- 
clusion of reason. To its specialities belongs, that its 
style has throughout a polemical character. Every investi- 
gation is soon transformed into a controversy, whose pro 
et contra generate new pro et contra, and thereby furnish 
its material, which without it would soon run dry. The 
hidden ultimate root of this speciality consists, however, in 
the antagonism between Reason and Revelation. 

The reciprocal justification of Realism and Nominalism. 


and thereby the possibility of the so long and obstinately 
fought-out quarrel, may be rendered intelligible in the 
following way. 

I call the most diverse things red if they have this 
colour. Obviously red is a mere name by which I de- 
signate this phenomenon, no matter where it appears. 
In the same way all common notions are mere names to 
designate qualities appearing in diverse things. These 
things, on the contrary, are the actual and real, so that 
Nominalism is obviously right. 

On the other hand, when we observe that all those 
actual things, of which alone reality can be predicated, 
are temporal, and consequently pass away while the 
qualities, as red, hard, soft, life, plant, horse, man, which 
these names signify, continue to exist irrespective of this, 
and consequently are always there, we find that the quali- 
ties which these names designate by means of common 
conceptions, are conceived through their indestructible 
existence, and therefore have reality, which is consequently 
to be attributed to the conceptions, and not to the par- 
ticular being, \\hence it follows that Realism is right. 

Nominalism leads directly to Materialism, for after the 
removal of all qualities matter alone remains in the last 
resort. If conceptions are mere names, and the singular 
things the Real, their qualities as partaking of theii 
singular nature*would be transient. There remains, there- 
fore, as that which continues, which, is real, only matter. 
But, strictly speaking, the justification of realism above 
given does not belong to it, Jpt to the Platonic doctrine of 
ideas, of which it is the extension. The eternal forms and 
qualities of natural things, ctd/, it is which subsist through 
all change, and to which therefore a reality of a higher 
kind is to be attributed than to the individuals in whicl 
they display themselves. On the contrary, this cannot be 
conceded to the mere abstractions, which are not per 


ceivable. What, for example, is the Real in such con- 
ceptions as " relation, difference, separation, injury, inde- 
terminateness," &c. ? 

A certain relation, or at least a parallelism, of apposi- 
tions is discernible when one places Plato against Aristotle, 
Augustine against Pelagius, the Eealists against the 
Nominalists. One might even assert that there is a cer- 
tain kind of polar repulsion of thought manifested here, 
which, by a most extraordinary coincidence, expressed itself 
for the first time, and most decisively, in two very great 
men, who happened to be contemporary, and to live near 
each other. 

Bacon of Verulam. 

In another and more specially definite sense than that 
indicated, the express and intentional antithesis to Aristotle 
was Bacon of Verulam. The former, namely, had for the 
first time systematically expounded the correct method of 
attaining from universal to particular truths, in other 
words, the way downwards, which is the same as the 
syllogism, the organum Aristotelis. On the other hand, 
Bacon exhibited the way upwards, in so far as he ex- 
pounded the method of attaining from special to general 
truths. This is induction in contradistinction to deduc- 
tion, and its exposition is the novum organum, which 
expression, chosen in opposijjpn to Aristotle, says in effect, 
" It is quite a different manner of attacking the subject." 
The error of Aristotle, or rather the error of the Aris- 
totelians, lay in the assumption that they already pos- 
sessed all truth that truth, namely, is contained in their 
axioms, to wit, in certain a priori propositions, or proposi- 
tions which count for such, and that, in order to gain 


particular truths, deduction from the former is all that is 
necessary. An Aristotelian instance of this is given in the 
books "De Coalo." Bacon shows, on the contrary, with 
justice, that the above axioms did not have such a content, 
that the truth did not lie at all in the system of human know- 
ledge at that time in vogue, but rather outside it, and that 
therefore it was not to be developed from it, but had to be 
introduced into it, and that as a consequence universal 
and true propositions of a great and rich content had first 
to be won through induction. 

The Schoolmen, led by Aristotle, thought, we will in 
the first place establish the universal ; the particular will 
flow therefrom, or may afterwards find a place therein as 
it can. We will, therefore, first of all establish what 
accrues to the ens, to the thing in general. The speciality 
of particular things may afterwards be gradually added, 
and of course through experience, but the latter can never 
alter anything in the universal. Bacon said, rather, we 
will in the first instance learn to know the individual 
things as completely as possible, then we shall at last 
know what the thing in general is. 

Meanwhile, Bacon is inferior to Aristotle in so far as 
his method, leading upwards, is never so accurate, certain, 
and infallible as that of Aristotle, leading downwards. 
Indeed, Bacon himself has, in his physical investiga- 
tions, set aside the rules of his method as given in the 
" New Organon." 

Bacon* s attention was chiefly turned to physical science. 
What he did for this, to wit, beginning from the be- 
ginning, Descartes did immediately afterwards for meta- 


The Philosophy of the Moderns. 

In the arithmetic books the accuracy of the solution of 
an example is wont to be announced by the balancing of 
the same, that is, by the fact that no remainder is left. 
With the resolution of the riddle of the world it is similar. 
All systems are sums which do not balance ; they leave a 
remainder, or, if a chemical simile be preferred, an unre- 
solved deposit. This consists in that, if one draws a 
correct conclusion from their premisses, the results do not 
answer to the, real world lying before us, but rather that 
many sides of it remain on the hypothesis quite inex- 
plicable. Thus, for example, with the materialistic 
systems, which make the world arise from a matter pos- 
sessed of simply mechanical qualities and in accordance 
with their laws, neither the complete and remarkable adapta- 
bility of ends to means in nature, nor the existence of 
consciousness in which this same matter is first presented, 
agree. This then is their remainder. With the theistic 
systems, on the contrary, and not more so with the pan- 
theistic, the overweening physical evils and the moral 
obliquity of the world cannot be brought into harmony. 
These, therefore, stand over as a remainder, or lie as an 
unresolved deposit. It is true that in such cases there is 
no lack of sophisms, or, where necessary, of mere words 
and phrases in order to cover up such remainders, but 
such devices will not hold water for long. Individual 
errors in the reckoning are then sought for, since the sum 
will not balance, until finally it is obliged to be confessed 
that the starting-point has been wrong. If, again, the 
thorough -going consequence and harmony of all the pro- 
positions of a system be accompanied at every step by a 


similar thorough-going harmony with the world of expe- 
rience, without any discord being audible between the two, 
this is the criterion of its truth, the required balancing of 
the arithmetical sum. In the same way, if the starting- 
point has been false, it is as much as to say that from the 
beginning the matter has not been seized by the right end, 
whereby one is afterwards led from error to error, for in 
philosophy, as in many other things, everything turns on 
whether one seizes it by the right end. But the pheno- 
mena of the world which have to be explained present 
countless ends to us, of which one only can be the right 
one; they resemble an intricate tangle of thread, with 
many false end-threads hanging from it. He who finds 
out the right one can disentangle the whole. But one 
there is which disentangles itself easily from the others, 
and from this it may be known that it is the right end. 
One may also compare it to a labyrinth, which offers a 
hundred entrances, opening out into corridors, all of 
which, after various long and intricate windings, finally 
lead out again, with the exception of a single one, whose 
windings really take us to the centre, where the idol 
stands. If one has hit upon this entrance one will not 
fail to find the way, but one can never attain to the goal 
by any other. I do not conceal my opinion that only the 
Will in us is the right end of the thread-tangle, the true 
entrance to the labyrinth. 

Now Descartes proceeded on the example of the meta- 
physics of Aristotle and the conception of substance, and 
therewith we see also all his successors accommodate them- 
selves. He assumed, however, two kinds of substance, the 
thinking and the extended. These were supposed to act 
on one another through the influxus physicus, which soon 
proved itself to be his remainder. It took place, namely, 
not merely from without inwards, in the presentment of 
the corporeal world, but also from within outwards, be* 


tween the Will (which was unhesitatingly assigned to 
thought) and the actions of the body. The closer rela- 
tions between these two kinds of substance were the main 
problem on account of which such great difficulties arose, 
and in consequence of which men were driven to the system 
of causes occasionelles and of the harmonia prsest abilita, 
after the spiritus animales, which had sufficed for the 
matter with Descartes, would no longer serve. 1 Male- 
branche, for instance, holds the influxm physicus for un- 
thinkable ; but in this he does not take into consideration 
that the same thing is assumed without question in the 
creation and direction of the corporeal world by a God 
who is air a a spirit. He replaces it therefore by the cause 
causionelle and nous voyons tout en Dieu here lies his re- 
mainder. Spinoza, also, treading in the footsteps of his 
teacher, proceeded from the above conception of substance 
just as though it were a given thing. He nevertheless 
declared both kinds of substance, the thinking and ex- 
tended, for one and the same, whereby the old difficulty 
was avoided. For this reason, however, his philosophy 
was chiefly negative, hinging on a mere negation of the 
two great Cartesian antitheses, for he also extended his 
identification to the other antithesis erected by Descartes, 
G-od and the World. The latter was nevertheless, properly 
speaking, a mere mode of teaching or form of presentation. 
It would have been too offensive to have said straight out : 
" It is not true that God has made this world, but it exists 
by its own perfection of power ; " hence he chose an indi- 
rect phrase, and said : " The world itself is God ; " to main- 

1 For the rest, the spiritus animales occur already with Vanini, 
"De Naturae Arcanis," dial. 49, as a well-known thing. Perhaps 
then* originator is Willisius (" De Animse Brutorum," Geneva, 1680, 
p. 35^.)- Fleuron, "De la vie," ii., p. 72, ascribes them to Galen. 
Even lamblichos in Stobseos ("Eclog.," 1. i., c. 62, 29) quotes 
them pretty clearly as a doctrine of the Stoics. 


tain which would never have occurred to him, if, instead 
of proceeding from Judaism, he had started straightfor- 
wardly from nature itself. This phrase served at the same 
time to give his doctrines the appearance of positivity, 
though they are at bottom merely negative ; and he there- 
fore leaves the world unexplained, in that his doctrines 
issue in: "The world is because it is; and is as it is 
because it so is." (With this phrase Fichte was accus- 
tomed to mystify his students.) The deification of the 
world, arisen in the above manner, did not admit of any 
true ethics, and was, besides, in flagrant contradiction with 
the physical evils and the moral recklessness of this world. 
Here, then, is Spinoza's remainder. 

The conception of substance from which Spinoza starts, 
he regards, as already said, as something given. He, in- 
deed, defines it according to its ends, but he does not 
trouble himself as to its origin. For it was Locke who, 
shortly after him, propounded the great doctrine that a 
philosopher, who wishes to deduce or demonstrate any- 
thing from conceptions, has in the first place to investigate 
the origin of such conception; for its content and what 
follows therefrom is determined entirely by its origin, as 
the source of all knowledge attainable by means of the 
same. But had Spinoza investigated the origin of this 
conception of substance, he must have found at last that 
it is simply matter, and therefore that the true content of 
the conception is nothing other than its essential and a 
priori assignable qualities. Indeed, everything attributed 
by Spinoza to his substance finds its confirmation in 
matter, and only there ; it is uncaused, that is, causeless, 
eternal, singular, and unique, and its modifications are 
extension and consciousness, the latter, of course, as the 
exclusive quality of the brain. Spinoza is therefore an 
unconscious materialist, yet the matter, which, when 
carried out, realizes and empirically confirms his con- 


ceptions, is not the falsely-assumed and atomistic matter 
of Demokritos and of the later French materialists, which 
has none but mechanical qualities, but a correctly-con- 
ceived matter, with all its inexplicable qualities attached 
to it ; for this distinction I refer the reader to my chief 
work, vol. ii., chap, xxiv., p. 315 sqq. (3rd ed., p. 357 sqq.). 
This method of assuming the conception of substance un- 
noticed, in order to make it the starting-point, we find 
already with the Eleatics, as may especially be seen from the 
Aristotelean book " De Xenophane," &c. For Xenophanes 
also proceeds from the ov, that is, from substance, and 
its qualities are demonstrated without its previously being 
questioned or its being asked whence he has his know- 
ledge of such a thing. If this had been done it would 
clearly Jiave appeared what he was really speaking about, 
that is, what perception ultimately lies at the foundation 
of his conception and imparts to it reality, and in the end 
it would have been seen to be matter only, of which all 
that he says is true. In the following chapters on Zeno 
the coincidence with Spinoza extends itself even to the 
style and the expression. One can therefore scarcely refrain 
from assuming that Spinoza had known and used this 
work, since at his time Aristotle, even though attacked by 
Bacon, still stood in high reputation, and good editions 
with Latin version were to be had. In this case Spinoza 
would be a mere resuscitator of the Eleatics as Gassendi 
was of Epicurus. We see once more, then, how extremely 
rare in any department of thought or knowledge is the 
really new and wholly original. 

The above procedure of Spinoza on the conception of 
substance, moreover, rests, especially in its formal aspect, 
on the false assumption which he had taken over from his 
teacher Descartes, and he in his turn from Anselm of Can- 
terbury, to wit that existentia could proceed from esaentia, 
t.e., that from mere conception an existence could be de- 


duced which would accordingly be a necessary one ; or, in 
other words, that by virtue of the nature or definition of 
something merely thought, it should be necessary that it 
should be no longer something merely thought, but some- 
thing really existent. Descartes had applied this false 
assumption to the conception of the ens perfectissimum ; 
but Spinoza took that of substantia or causa sui (which 
latter expresses a contradictio in adjecto) ; see his first 
definition, which is his irpwrov \fsevdog in the introduction of 
the "Ethics," and then proposition 7 of the first book. 
The difference between the basal conceptions of both 
philosophers consists almost entirely in expression, but 
their employment as starting-points, that is a^ given, is 
with the one as with the other founded on the mistake of 
making a perceptual arise out of an abstract presentment ; 
while in truth all abstract presentment arises from the 
perceptual, and is therefore based on the latter. We have 
here, therefore, a fundamental vorpov wporfpov. 

Spinoza encumbered himself with a special difficulty by 
calling his one and only substance Dews, for since this 
word was already in use for the designation of quite 
another conception, he had continually to fight against 
misunderstandings which arose from it; the reader, in- 
stead of the conception assigned to it by Spinoza's first 
explanations, always attaching to it that which it other- 
wise signifies. If he had not employed the word he would 
have been relieved of long and tedious expositions in the 
first book. But he did so in order that his doctrines might 
find less opposition, an object in which he nevertheless 
failed. In consequence, a certain "double sense pervades 
his whole exposition, which one might in a manner term 
allegorical, especially as he adopts the same plan with one 
or two other notions, as already observed (in the first 
essay). How much clearer, and consequently better, 
would his so-called Ethics have turned out if he had 


spoken straightf orwardly what was in his mind, and called 
things by their name ; and if he had presented his thoughts, 
together with their grounds, in an upright and natural 
manner, instead of making them appear laced- up in the 
Spanish boots of propositions, demonstrations, scholia and 
corollaries, in a garb borrowed from geometry, which, in- 
stead of giving to philosophy the certainty of the former, 
loses all significance as soon as geometry, with its con- 
struction of conceptions, ceases to stand inside it, whence 
the motto here applies, cucullus nonfacit monachum. 

In the second book he expounds the two modes of his 
one substance as extension and presentment (extensio et 
cogitatio\ which is obviously a false division, since exten- 
sion exists only for and in presentment, and ought there- 
fore to have been, not opposed, but subordinated, to the 

Spinoza everywhere expressly and emphatically sounds 
the praises of Icetitia, and sets it up as condition and 
sign of every praiseworthy action, while he rejects uncon- 
ditionally all tristitia although his Old Testament might 
have told him, " Sorrow is better than laughter, for by 
the sadness of the countenance the heart is made glad " 
(Ecclesiastes vii. 3) he does all this merely for love of 
logicality, for if this world is a God, it is an end to itself, 
and must glorify and rejoice at its own existence saute 
marquis! Semper merry, nunquam sad! Pantheism is 
essentially and necessarily optimism. This compulsory 
optimism forces Spinoza to many other false consequences, 
among which the absurd and very often monstrous results 
of his moral philosophy take the first rank, rising indeed 
in the sixteenth chapter of his "Tractatus Theologico- 
Politicus" to true infamy. On the other hand, at times 
he leaves the consequences out of sight, where they would 
have led to correct views, as for instance in his as un- 
worthy as false deliverances about animals. (" Eth.," pars 


IV., appendices, cap. 26, et ejusdem partis, prop. 87, 
Scholiori). He speaks here, as a Jew knows how, according 
to the first and ninth chapters of Genesis, so that we, who 
are accustomed to purer and worthier doctrines, are over- 
powered by the fcetor judaicus. Dogs he seems not to 
have known at all. To the monstrous proposition with 
which the twenty- sixth chapter referred to opens, prceter 
homines nihil singulars in natura novimus, cujus mente 
gaudere et quod nobis amicitia, aut aliquo consuetudinis 
genere jungere possumus, the best answer is given by a 
Spanish literateur of our day (Larra, pseudonym Figaro 
in " Doncel," c. 33), el que no ha tenido unperro f no sabe lo 
que es querer y ser querido (He who has never kej b a dog 
does not know what it is to love and be loved). The 
cruelties which, according to Colerus, Spinoza for his 
amusement and amid hearty laughter was accustomed to 
practise on spiders and flies, coincide only too well with 
the propositions here attacked, as also with the chapters 
of Genesis referred to. Notwithstanding all this, Spinoza's 
" Ethica " is without doubt a mixture of false and true, 
of the admirable and the bad. Towards the end, in the 
!=jecond half of the last part, we see him in vain endea- 
vouring to make himself clear to himself. He cannot do 
it, and therefore nothing remains for him but to become 
mystical, as happens here. But in order not to be unjust 
to this certainly great mind we must consider that he had 
too little before him, hardly more than Descartes, Male- 
branche, Hobbes, and Giordano Bruno. The basal philoso- 
phical conceptions were as yet insufficiently worked out, 
the problems inadequately ventilated. 

Leibnitz started similarly from the conception of sub- 
stance as a given thing, but kept chiefly before him the 
fact that it must be indestructible. For this purpose it 
must be simple, since everything extended is divisible, and 
hence destructible; it was, consequently, without exten- 


sion, and therefore immaterial. There remains then no 
other predicates for his substance than the spiritual ones 
of perception, thought, and desire. He assumed a number 
of such simple, spiritual substances, which, although they 
are themselves unextetided, lie at the foundation of the 
phenomenon of extension ; hence he defines them as formal 
atoms and simple substances, and bestows upon them the 
name monads. These, therefore, lie at the foundation of 
the phenomenon of the corporeal world, which is, accord- 
ingly, a mere appearance without proper and immediate 
reality, such merely accruing to the monads, that remain 
within and behind it. The phenomenon of the corporeal 
world n, notwithstanding, on the other side, in the per- 
ception of the monads (i.e., those that really perceive, 
which are very few, most of them continuously sleeping) 
brought about by virtue of the pre-established harmony, 
which the central monad produces entirely alone and at 
its own cost. We here get somewhat into the dark. But, 
however this may be, the connection between the mere 
thoughts of these substances and the really and in itself 
extended, is regulated by a pre-established harmony of tHe 
central monad. Here one might say all is remainder. 
Meanwhile, in order to deal justly with Leibnitz, we must 
remind the reader of the way of regarding matter, which 
Locke and Newton had made current, whereby namely 
matter exists as absolutely dead, purely passive, and 
will-less, merely endowed with mechanical forces, and only 
subordinated to mathematical laws. Now Leibnitz rejects 
the atoms and the purely mechanical physics in order to 
put in its place a dynamical, in all of which he prepared 
the way for Kant. (See " Opera," edit. Erdmann, p. 694.) 
He recalls in the first place iheformas substantiates of the 
schoolmen, and attains accordingly to the insight, that 
even the merely mechanical forces of matter, besides 
which, at that time, scarcely any others were known or 


admitted, must have something spiritual at their founda- 
tion. But he did not know how to make this clear to 
himself otherwise than by the extremely unhappy fiction 
that matter consisted of simple souls, which were at the 
same time formal atoms, and which, although existing for 
the most part in a state of unconsciousness, nevertheless 
possessed an analogon of the perceptio and the appetitus. 
This consequently misled him, so that he, like all the rest, 
made Knowledge the foundation and conditio sine qua non 
of everything spiritual rather than Will, the priority due 
to which I have been the first to vindicate, everything in 
philosophy being thereby turned round. In the meantime 
Leibnitz's endeavour to base spirit and matter on one and 
the same principle deserves recognition. One might even 
find therein a presentiment as well of the Kantian as of 
my own doctrines, but quas velut trans nebulam vidit. For 
his Monadology is based on the idea that matter is no- 
thing in itself, but merely phenomenon, and that therefore 
the ultimate ground of even its mechanical action must 
not be sought in the purely geometrical, that is in what 
belongs to the phenomenon, such as extension, motion, 
figure, &c., and hence that impenetrability is not a mere 
negative quality, but the manifestation of a positive force. 
The opinion of Leibnitz we have praised is expressed most 
clearly in some of his smaller French writings, as the 
Syeteme nowoeau de la nature, &c., which are collected from 
the " Journal des Savans " in the edition of Diitens, in the 
edition of Erdmann, and in the letters, &c. (Erdmann, 
pp. 681-95.) There is also to be found a well-chosen col- 
lection of cognate passages of Leibnitz on pp. 335-40 of 
his " Smaller philosophical writings, translated by Kohler 
and revised by Huth," Jena, 1740. 

But we see throughout this whole chain of strange dog- 
matic theories one fiction continually being brought to the 
support of another, just as in practical life one lie makes 


many others necessary. At the bottom of it lies Descartes' 
division of all existence into G-od and world, and of man 
into spirit and matter, to the last of which everything else 
is counted. To this must be added the error, common to 
him and to all philosophers who have ever yet been, of 
placing the final ground of our being in knowledge rather 
than in will, in other words, in making the latter the 
secondary, and the former the primary. These, then, were 
the original errors against which nature and the reality of 
things protested at every step, and to save which, the 
8piritu8 animates, the materiality of animals, the occasional 
causes, the seeing all things in God, the pre-established 
harmony, the monads, optimism, and all the rest of it, had 
to be invented. With me, on the contrary, where things 
are seized by the right end, everything fits in of itself, 
everything appears in its proper light, no fictions are re- 
quired, and simplex sigillum veri. 

Kant was not directly touched by the substance pro- 
blem he had got beyond it. With him the conception of 
substance is a category, that is, a mere form of thought 
a priori. By this, in its necessary application to sensible 
perception, nothing is known as it is in itself ; hence the 
being which is at the foundation of bodies no less than of 
souls is in itself one and the same. This is his doctrine. 
It paved the way for me to the insight that each one's 
body is only the perception of his will arising in his brain, 
a relation which, extended afterwards to all bodies, re- 
sulted in the resolution of the world into Will and Pre- 

The conception of substance, however, which Descartes, 
true to Aristotle, had constituted the leading conception of his 
philosophy, and with whose definition, accordingly (although 
in the fashion of the Eleatics), Spinoza also starts, pro- 
claims itself, when subjected to more rigorous and honest 
investigation, as a higher but unjustified abstractum of 


the conception of matter, which, by the way, also includes 
the supposititious child, immaterial substance, as I have 
already explained in my " Criticisms of the Kantian Philo- 
sophy," pp. 550 sqq. of the 2nd ed. (3rd ed. 528-31 sqq.). 
But apart from this the conception of substance is invalid 
as the starting-point of philosophy, because it is in all 
cases an objective one. Nothing objective is, for us, more 
than mediate ; the subjective alone is the immediate. This 
must not be passed over, therefore, but must be made the 
absolute starting-point. Descartes has certainly done 
this ; indeed, he was the first who recognized it, and hence 
with him a new epoch in philosophy opens. But he does 
it merely preliminarily at the first starting off, after which 
he at once assumes the absolute objective reality of the 
world on the credit of the veracity of God, and from this 
time forward philosophises in an entirely objective manner. 
In this he is guilty, in addition, of a noteworthy circulua 
vitiosus. He demonstrates the objective reality of the ob- 
jects of all our perpetual presentments from the existence 
of God as their author, whose veracity does not admit of 
his deceiving us. But the existence of God himself he de- 
monstrates from the innate presentment which we are sup- 
posed to have of him as the all-perfect being. "17 com- 
mence par douter de tout, et finit par tout croire" says one 
of his countrymen of him. 

It was Berkeley who first showed himself in true earnest 
with the subjective starting-point, and who irrefutably ex- 
plained the indispensable necessity of it. He is the father 
of Idealism, which is the foundation of all true philosophy, 
and which has since then at least been universally retained 
as a starting-point, although every successive philosopher 
has made his own modifications and variations of it. Thus 
even Locke started from the subjective, in that he ascribed 
a great part of the qualities of bodies to our sense-impres- 
sion. It is to be observed, however, that his reduction of 


all qualitative difference, as secondary qualities, to merely 
quantitative, to wit, to size, figure, position, <&c., as the sole 
primary or objective qualities, is at bottom the doctrine of 
Demokritos, who similarly reduced all qualities to the 
figure, composition, and position of atoms; as may be 
clearly seen from Aristotle's " Metaphysics," book i., chap. 
4, and from Theophrastus' " De Sensu," chap. 61-65. Locke 
was, in so far, a resuscitator of the Demokritean philosophy, 
as Spinoza was that of the Eleatics. He also really paved the 
way for the succeeding French materialism. By his pre- 
liminary distinction between subjective and objective ele- 
ments in perception, he led directly up to Kant, who, 
following his direction and track in a much higher sense, 
was enabled to sunder the subjective purely from the ob- 
jective, by which process indeed so much accrued to the 
subjective, that the objective only remained as a kind of 
dark point, a something not farther recognisable the thing 
in itself. I have now reduced this to the being which we 
discover in our self -consciousness as Will, and I have 
therefore again returned to the subjective source of know- 
ledge. It could not happen otherwise, for, as already said, 
the objective is never more than the secondary, namely a 
presentment. Hence, therefore, we must not seek the 
innermost kernel of our being, the thing in itself, without 
us, but within us, in other words, in the subjective side, as 
the only immediate. To this must be added that with the 
objective we can never attain to a point of rest, to an ulti- 
mate and original point, because we are there in the domain 
of presentments, and these are altogether and essentially 
subordinated to, and have for their form, the law of causa- 
tion in its four aspects, for which reason every object falls 
under and presupposes the requirements of the former. 
For instance, an assumed objective absolute carries with 
it the destructive questions, Whence? and Why? before 
which it must give way and fall. It is otherwise when we 


sink ourselves in the still, albeit obscure, depths of the 
subject. Here we are certainly threatened with the danger 
of falling into mysticism, and we must therefore only draw 
from this source what is actually true, compassable by each 
and all, and consequently undeniable. 

The Dianoiology, which, as the result of investigations 
since Descartes, was current until Kant, may be found en 
resume and expounded with naive clearness in Muratori, 
" Delia Fantasia," chaps. 1-4 and 13 ; Locke there appears 
as a heretic. The whole is a nest of errors, by which it 
may be seen how very differently I have conceived and pre- 
sented it, after having had Kant and Cabanis for p^Jeces- 
sors. The above entire Dianoiology and Psychology is based 
on the false Cartesian dualism. Everything must now in 
the whole work, per fas et nefas, be reduced to it, including 
many correct and interesting facts which are introduced. 
The whole procedure is interesting as a type. 

Some further observations on tJie Kantian Philosophy. 

There is a passage in Pope which would be very suit- 
able as a motto for a critique of pure reason. It was 
written about eighty years earlier, and says : " Since it is 
reasonable to doubt most things, we should most of all 
doubt that reason of ours which would demonstrate all 
things.' 1 

The true spirit of the Kantian philosophy, its leading 
idea and true sense, may be conceived and presented in 
many ways. Such various modes of expressing the matter 
are adapted, according to the variety of mind, to open out 
to this one or that the true understanding of these deep 
and therefore difficult doctrines. The following is one 


more attempt of this nature, in which I seek to infuse my 
clearness into Kant's depth. 1 

Mathematics is based on perceptions, on which its de- 
monstrations support themselves ; but because these per- 
ceptions are not empirical, but are a priori, its doctrines 
are apodeictic. Philosophy, on the contrary, has, as the 
given element from which it proceeds, and which imparts 
to its demonstrations necessity (apodeicticity), mere con- 
cepts. For it cannot at once stand on the footing of simple 
empirical perception, inasmuch as it undertakes to explain 
the universal, not the particular, of things, its object being 
to leacl beyond the empirically given. There remains 
nothing for it, then, but universal concepts, in so far as 
these are not perceptual or purely empirical. Such con- 
cepts must then furnish the foundation of its doctrines 
and demonstrations, and it must start from them as from 
something present and given. Philosophy is accordingly 
a science from mere concepts, while mathematics is a science 
from the construction (perceptual presentment) of its con- 
cepts. Strictly speaking, however, it is only the demon- 
strations of philosophy which proceed from mere concepts. 
This cannot, like the mathematical, proceed from a percep- 
tion, because such would have to be either purely a priori 
or empirical ; but the latter gives no apodeicticity, and the 
former furnishes only mathematics. If it intends, there- 
fore, to support its doctrines by any sort of demonstration, 
this must consist in the correct logical consequence from 
concepts at its foundation. Things had gone quite smoothly 
in this direction throughout the long period of Scholas- 
ticism, and even in the new epoch founded by Descartes, 
so that we see Spinoza and Leibnitz pursuing this method. 
At last it occurred to Locke to investigate the origin of 

1 I remark here, once for all, that the pagination of the first 
edition of the " Critique of Pure Reason " which I here quote 
from, is also appended to the Rosenkrantz edition. 


concepts, the result he arrived at being that all universal 
concepts, however abstract they may be, are derived from 
experience, that is, from the existent, sensuously perceivable, 
empirically real world, or else through inward experience 
such as the empirical self-observation of each offers, in 
short, that their whole content is derived from these two, 
and consequently can never furnish more than what outer 
or inner experience has placed there. From the fore- 
going it ought in strictness to have been inferred that 
they can never transcend experience, that is, can never 
lead to the goal ; but Locke went, with the principles de- 
rived from experience, beyond experience. 

In elaborate antithesis to his predecessors, and* by way 
of correction of the Lockean doctrines, Kant showed that 
there are indeed some conceptions which make an excep- 
tion to the above rule, that is, which do not spring from 
experience. But that these are at the same time partly 
derived from the pure, that is a priori given intuition 
of space and time, and partly constitute the special func- 
tions of our understanding itself, for the sake of their 
use in the experience which regulates itself according to 
them. Their validity only extends accordingly to possible 
experience of which sense is always the medium, inasmuch 
as they are only determined to generate this in us, together 
with its regular course ; in other words they, themselves 
contentless, receive all material and content solely from 
sensibility, in order thereby to produce experience but 
apart therefrom have neither content nor significance, in- 
asmuch as they are only valid under the pre-supposition of 
perception resting on sense-feeling, and refer essentially to 
this. It follows from the above that they cannot supply 
us with clues to lead us beyond all possibility of experience, 
and from this again that metaphysics as the science of that 
which lies beyond nature, that is, beyond the possibility of 
experience, is impossible. 


As now tlie one element of experience, namely, the uni- 
versal, formal, and regulative, is knowable a priori, and 
therefore rests on the essential and regulative functions of 
our own intellect, while the other, namely the particular, 
material, and accidental, arises from sense-feeling, it follows 
that both are of subjective origin. Hence it also follows 
that experience, in its totality, together with the world 
presented therein, is a mere phenomenon, that is, something 
which, directly and immediately, is only existent for the 
subject knowing it. But this phenomenon, nevertheless, 
points to a thing in itself lying at its foundation, but which, 
as such, is absolutely unknowable. These are the negative 
results of the Kantian philosophy. 

I must here call attention to the fact, that Kant speaks 
as though we were only perceiving subjects, and had no 
datum outside the presentment, while we certainly possess 
another in the Will: within us, which is toto genere distinct 
from the former. It is true he also took this into con- 
sideration, yet not in the theoretical, but only in the prac- 
tical philosophy, f roin which with him it is quite separated, 
in other words, simply and solely in order to establish the 
fact of the pure and moral significance of our action, and 
thereupon to found a moral faith, to counterbalance our 
theoretical ignorance and the impossibility of all theology 
which follows therefrom. 

Kant's philosophy in contradistinction, and indeed in 
antithesis to all others, is also designated as transcendental 
philosophy, or more accurately, transcendental idealism. 
The expression "transcendent" is not of mathematical, 
but of philosophical origin, since it was familiar to the 
scholastics. It was first introduced into mathematics by 
Leibnitz, in order to designate quod algebrae vires trans- 
cendit, that is all operations, which common arithmetic 
and algebra do not suffice to complete, as, for instance, to 
e logarithm of a number, or vice versa, or to find the 


trigonometric functions of an arc, purely arithmetically, or 
vice versa, and generally for all problems which are only to 
be solved by a calculus carried out to infinity. But the 
schoolmen designate as transcendent, such concepts as were 
more universal than the ten categories of Aristotle, and 
even Spinoza uses the word in this sense. Giordano 
Bruno (" De la Causa/' &c., dial, iv.), calls those predicates 
transcendent which are more universal than the distinction 
of corporeal and incorporeal substance pertaining to sub- 
stance generally. They concern, according to him, those 
common roots in which the corporeal is one with the in- 
corporeal, and which is the true original substance ; he 
even sees in this a proof that such must exist. Now Kant 
understands by transcendental, in the first place, the recog- 
nition of the a priori, and therefore the merely formal in 
our knowledge as such, i.e., the insight that such know- 
ledge is independent of experience ; indeed that this pre- 
scribes the unalterable rule, according to which it must 
proceed such insight being at the same time bound up 
with the understanding why such knowledge is and ac- 
complishes this, to wit, because it constitutes the form of 
our intellect, and is, in consequence, of subjective origin. 
Only Criticism of Pure Reason is, accordingly, transcen- 
dental. In opposition to this he calls transcendent the use, 
or rather the misuse, of the above purely formal element in 
our knowledge outside the possibility of experience ; which 
he also terms hyperphysical. Transcendental, therefore, 
means in short, " before all experience," transcendent, " be- 
yond all experience." Kant it will be seen only admits 
Metaphysic as Transcendental Philosophy, that is, as the 
doctrine of the form contained in our knowing conscious- 
ness as such, and of the limitation thereby disclosed, by 
virtue of which the knowledge of things in themselves is 
impossible for us, since experience can furnish nothing but 
mere phenomena. The word " metaphysical " is, however. 


not synonymous with " transcendental/' Everything that 
is a priori certain, but which concerns experience, is termed 
by him metaphysical, whereas the doctrine that it is only 
on account of its subjective origin, and as purely formal, 
that it is a priori certain, is alone called transcendental. 
Transcendental is the philosophy which brings to one's 
consciousness that the primary and most essential laws of 
this world which is presented to us have their root in our 
brain, and for this reason can be known a priori. It is 
called transcendental, because it passes beyond the whole 
given phantasmagoria to its origin. Hence, as already 
said, the criticism of pure reason, and especially the 
Critical (i.e., Kantian), philosophy, is alone transcendental; ] 
metaphysical, on the other hand, are the " foundations of 
natural science," also those of the " doctrine of Virtue," &c. 
The conception of a transcendental philosophy, however, 
may be taken in a deeper sense, if one undertakes to con- 
centrate therein the innermost spirit of the Kantian philo- 
sophy, and somewhat in the following manner. That the 
whole world is only given us, in a secondary manner, as 
presentment or image in our head, as brain -phenomenon, 
while our own Will is given immediately in self-conscious- 
ness, and hence a separation, or indeed an opposition exists 
between our own existence and that of the world all this 
is a mere consequence of our individual and mere animal 
existence, with the abolition of which it falls away. But 
until then it is impossible for us to get rid in thought of 
that fundamental and original form of our consciousness, 
which is implied in the separation of subject and object, 
since all thinking and presenting presupposes it. Hence 
we count it for the all-essential and fundamental nature of 
the world, while it is in reality only the form of our animal 

The " Critique of Pure Reason " has transformed ontology into 


consciousness and the phenomena occasioned by the same. 
But from this arise all those questions, as to beginning, 
end, boundary, and origin of the world, our own continu- 
ance after death, <fcc. They rest accordingly on a false 
assumption, which attributes to the thing-iu-itself what 
are only presentments occasioned by an animal, cerebral 
consciousness, and assumes this to be the original and ulti- 
mate nature of the world. Such is the sense of the Kantian 
expression " all such questions are transcendent." They 
are, indeed, not merely subjectively, but in and for them- 
selves, that is objectively, susceptible of no answer. For 
they are problems which wholly disappear with the aboli- 
tion of our cerebral consciousness and the opposition based 
upon it, and are, nevertheless, stated as though they were 
independent of it. For example, he who asks whether he 
continues after his death, sets aside, in hypothesi, his animal 
brain- consciousness, and asks, notwithstanding, as to the 
existence of something which presupposes this, inasmuch 
as ifc rests on its form, namely, subject and object, space 
and time to wit as to his individual continuance. Now 
philosophy, which brings all these conditions and limita- 
tions, as such, to distinct consciousness, is transcendental, 
and, in so far as it vindicates for the subject, the universal 
ground determinations of the objective world, it is transcen- 
dental Idealism. It will gradually be seen that the pro- 
blems of Metaphysics are only in so far insoluble, as a 
contradiction is contained in the questions themselves. 

Transcendental Idealism, in the meantime, does not dis- 
pute the empirical reality of the existing world, but says 
only that it is not unconditioned, since it has our brain- 
function, from which the forms of perception, time, space, 
and causality arise, for its condition, and that therefore this 
empirical reality itself is only the reality of an appearance. 
If a multitude of existences manifest themselves therein, of 
which one is always passing away and another is arising, 


and we know, that only by means of the percept-form of 
space, plurality, and only by means of that of time, de- 
struction arid origination, is possible, we recognize that such 
a process has no absolute reality, i.e., that it does not be- 
long to the beings-in-themselves, which manifest them- 
selves in that appearance. If we could withdraw these 
forms of knowledge, as glass from the kaleidoscope, we 
should have, to our astonishment, a single and enduring 
world before us, untransitory, unalterable, and amid all 
apparent change, perhaps even right down to its indivi- 
dual determination, identical. In accordance with this 
opinion, the following three propositions may be stated : 

(1) The sole form of reality is the actual ; in it alone the 
real is immediately met with and contained in its complete, 
ness and fulness. 

(2) The true Eeal is independent of time and therefore, 
in every point of time, one and the same. 

(3) Time is the percept-form of our intellect, and hence 
foreign to the things-in-themselves. 

These three propositions are at bottom identical. He 
who clearly sees their identity, no less than their truth, has 
made great progress in philosophy, inasmuch as he has 
grasped the spirit of transcendental Idealism. 

How rich indeed in consequences is Kant's doctrine 
of the ideality of space and time, dryly and tastelessly as 
he has expounded it. On the contrary, nothing results 
from the pompous, pretentious and purposely incompre- 
hensible jargon of the three notorious sophists, who have 
drawn off from Kant the attention of a public that was 
unworthy of him. Before Kant, it may be said, we were 
in time, now time is in us. In the first case time is Real, 
and we, like everything else that falls within it, are con- 
sumed by it. In the second case time is Ideal, but lies in 
us. The question respecting the future after death thus 
at once collapses. For if I am not, time is no more. It is 


only a deceptive illusion which shows me a time proceeding 
without me, after my death. All three divisions of time, 
past, present and future, are similarly my product, belong 
to me and not I to one any more than to another of them. 
Again, another consequence which may be drawn from the 
proposition that time does not belong to the essence of the 
things-in-themselves, would be this, that in one sense the 
past is not past, but that everything which has ever really, 
ever truly been, must still be, since time only resembles a 
stage- waterfall, which seems to stream down, but, being 
simply a wheel, never moves from its place. I have already 
in my chief work long ago compared, in a manner analogous 
to this, space to a glass cut into facets, which shows us that 
which exists singly in countless reproduction. If unde- 
terred by the danger of becoming visionary, we plunge 
still deeper into the matter, it might appear to us as though, 
by a very vivid presentation of our own remote past, we 
received an immediate confirmation of the fact, that time 
doos not touch the true being of things, but is only inter- 
polated between their being and us as a mere medium of 
perception, after the removal of which all would again be 
there ; as also, on the other hand, our true and living faculty 
of memory, in which this long past maintains an un withered 
existence, bears witness to something within us that does 
not alter, and consequently, which is not within the domain 
of time. 

The main tendency of the Kantian philosophy is to place 
before us the complete diversity of the Ideal and Real after 
Locke had already broken ground. In the first place one 
can say, the Ideal is the perceptual figure displaying itself 
spacially, with all the qualities perceivable in it, while the 
Real is the thing by, in, and for itself, independent of its 
being presented in the head of another or its own. But 
the boundary between them is difficult to be drawn, and 
yet it is precisely this upon which the question turns. 


Locke had shown that everything in the former which is 
figure, colour, sound, smoothness, roughness, hardness, 
softness, cold, heat, <fcc. (secondary qualities) are merely 
Ideal, and therefore do not belong to the thing in itself, 
inasmuch as the being and nature of the thing is not given 
therein, but only its action, and indeed a very one-sided 
definite action, an action, namely, on the quite specifically 
determined receptivity of our five sense-organs, by virtue 
of which, for instance, sound does not act on the eye, nor 
light on the ear. The action of bodies on the organs of 
sense consists in that it sets the latter in a state of activity 
peculiar to them, almost in the same way as when I pull a 
thread which sets a mechanism in play. As the Real, 
which belonged to the thing in itself, Locke left standing, 
extension, form, impenetrability, motion, or rest,"and num- 
ber, which he therefore termed primary qualities. Now 
Kant demonstrated, subsequently, with infinitely superior 
insight, that even these qualities do not belong to the ob- 
jective nature of the things or to the things in themselves, 
and therefore cannot be absolutely Real, since they are con- 
ditioned by space, time and causality, and that these in 
their turn, according to their whole order and construction, 
are given us before all experience, and are exactly known ; 
and hence that they most reside in us preformed, as much 
as the specific kind of the receptivity and activity of each 
of our senses. In accordance with this I have said that 
these forms are the part taken by the brain in perception 
as the specific sense-feelings are of the respective sense- 
organs. 1 Even according to Kant the purely objective, the 
nature of things which is independent of our presentment 
and its apparatus, which he calls the thing-in-itself , that 

1 As it is our eye which produces green, red, and blue, so it is 
our brain which produces time, space, and causality (whose ob- 
jectivised abstraction is matter). My perception of a body in 
space is the product of my sense and brain function with # 


is, the properly Eeal in contradistinction to the Ideal, is 
something totally distinct from the figure which presents 
itself to us in perception and to which, inasmuch as it is 
independent of space and time, properly speaking, neither 
extension nor duration is to be attributed, although it im- 
parts the power of existence to all that possesses extension 
and duration. Spinoza has comprehended the subject in 
its general aspect, as may be seen from " Eth.," p. ii., prop. 
16, with the 2nd coroll. ; also prop. 18, Schol. 

The Lockean Real, in opposition to the Ideal, is at 
bottom matter, stripped indeed of all its qualities, which 
he casts on one side as secondary, that is as conditioned by 
our sense-organs, for it is, perse, an extended, &c., existent, 
of which the presentment in us is the mere reflex or copy. 
As to this, I may recall that I (in the " Fourfold Boot," 
2nd ed., p. 77 ; 3rd ed, p. 82, and at less length in " The 
World as Will," &c., Presentment, 2nd ed., vol. i., p. 9, and 
vol. ii., p. 48 ; 3rd ed., vol. i., p. 10 ; vol. ii., p. 52) have 
explained that the nature of matter consists simply in its 
action, that matter is nothing but causality, and that con- 
ceived as such every special quality, that is, every specific 
kind of action, is abstracted from it, so that it remains 
action or pure causality, deprived of all the other defini- 
tions, causality in abstracto; to which place, for a more 
thorough understanding of the matter, I ask the reader to 
refer. But Kant had already taught, although it was I 
who gave the first correct demonstration of it, that all 
causality is only a form of our understanding, and there- 
fore, only exists for the understanding and in the under- 
standing. We see then the supposed Keal of Locke, matter, 
in this way retreats entirely into the Ideal, and therewith 
into the subject, that is, exists only in the presentment and 
for the presentment. Kant, by his presentment, certainly 
deprived the Eeal, or thing-in-itself , of its materiality, but 
with him it remained a completely unknown ^. I have at 


last demonstrated the true Real, or the thing-in-itself, 
which alone has a real existence independent of the pre- 
sentment and its forms, to be the Will in us, which had 
been hitherto inconsiderately reckoned to the Ideal. It 
will be seen, therefore, that Locke, Kant and I stand in 
close connection, inasmuch as we represent in the space of 
nearly two hundred years, the gradual development of a 
coherent, unified, process of thought. David Hume may be 
considered as a connecting link in this chain, although 
properly speaking, only so far as the law of causality is 
concerned. In respect of his influence I have to complete 
the above exposition with the following. 

Locke, no less than Condillac, and the disciples who trod 
in his footsteps, have elaborated the fact that the feeling 
which enters into an organ of sense requires a cause of the 
same outside of our body, and that the differences of such 
action (sense-impression) also presuppose differences in the 
cause, whatever these may be ; whence the above indicated 
distinction between primary and secondary qualities pro- 
ceeds. With this they end, and an objective world in 
space stands ready made for them, composed of things in 
themselves, but which are colourless, odourless, soundless, 
neither warm nor cold, <fec., and nevertheless, extended, 
figured, impenetrable, movable and numerical. But the 
axiom itself, by virtue of which the transition from the 
inner to the outer, and accordingly the whole derivation 
and installation of the things-in- themselves has taken 
place, namely, the law of causality, they, like all earlier 
philosophers, have assumed to be self-evident, and re- 
quiring no proof of its validity. Upon this point Hume 
directed his sceptical attack, inasmuch as he placed the 
validity of this law in doubt. For experience, from which, 
according to this philosophy, all our cognitions are derived, 
can never supply us with the causal connection itself, but 
only with the mere succession of states in time, in other 


words, never with a consequence, but only with a mere 
sequence, which, as such, must always be accidental, and 
never necessary. This argument, so antagonistic to common 
sense, jet not easily to be refuted, occasioned Kant to in- 
vestigate the true origin of causality, which he found to 
lie in the essential and innate form of our understanding 
itself, that is, in the subject and not in the object, since it 
was not first brought to us from without. But by this the 
whole objective world of Locke and Condillac was drawn 
back into the subject, since Kant had shown the clue to it 
to be of subjective origin. For the rule is now found to 
be just as subjective as the sense-impression, according to 
which it is to be conceived as the effect of a cause, which 
cause it alone is, that is, perceived as the objective world. 
For the subject merely assumes an object without itself in 
consequence of the peculiar characteristic of its intellect, 
which to every change presupposes a cause, and therefore 
only projects it, as it were, out of itself in a space prepared 
for this purpose, this in its turn being a product of its own 
original construction, as well as of the specific impression 
on the sense-organs, at the instance of which the whole 
procedure takes place. The above Lockean objective world 
of things-of-themselves, had therefore been changed by 
Kant into a world of mere phenomena in our knowledge- 
apparatus, and this the more completely, since the space in 
which they present themselves, as also the time in which 
they pass, was proved by him to be undeniably of subjec- 
tive origin. 

But with all this, Kant, no less than Locke, allowed the 
thing-in-itself to exist, i.e., admits something to exist inde- 
pendent of our presentments, which only furnish us with 
phenomena, and which lies at the foundation of these 
phenomena. Here, then, lay the Achilles' heel of his 
philosophy, which had, by the demonstration of its incon- 
sequence, to forfeit the recognition it had already obtained 


as being of unconditioned validity and truth ; but in the 
last resort it was, nevertheless, unjustly treated in this 
respect. For certainly the assumption of a thing in itself 
behind the phenomena, of a real kernel under so many shells, 
is in no wise untrue. The denial of it would be indeed 
absurd. It is only the way in which Kant introduced this 
thing-in-itself, and sought to unite it with his principles, 
which was faulty; at bottom it was only his exposition 
(this word taken in its most comprehensive sense) of the 
matter, and not the matter itself, which succumbed to his 
adversaries. In this sense it might be maintained that 
the argumentation made valid against him was, strictly 
speaking, addressed only ad hominem, not ad rem. As- 
suredly the Indian proverb finds an application here : " No 
lotus without a thorn." Kant was guided by the deeply- 
felt truth that behind every phenomenon a being in itself 
lies, from which it receives its subsistence ; in other words, 
that behind the presentment something presented lies. 
But he undertook to deduce this from a given presentment 
itself by the addition of certain laws known to us a priori, 
and which, because they are a priori, cannot be deduced 
from something independent and distinct from the pheno- 
menon or presentment; and hence for this purpose one 
must strike out another way. The inconsistencies in 
which Kant involved himself by the fallacious path he had 
taken in this respect, were demonstrated to him by G-. E. 
Schultze, who, in a clumsy and diffuse manner, expounded 
the matter, at first anonymously in " Aenesidemus " (espe- 
cially pp. 374-81), and subsequently in his " Critique of 
Theoretical Philosophy" (vol. ii., p. 205), against which 
Eeinhold took up Kant's vindication, although without 
any special result ; so that haec potuisse did, et non potuisse 
refelli has its application. 

I will here clearly set forth once for all in my way the 
truly essential of the matter that which lies at the root of 


the whole controversy independently of Schultze's way of 
conceiving it. A strict deduction of the thing-in-itself 
Kant has never given, but he has inherited it from his 
predecessors, especially Locke, and has retained it as some- 
thing, the existence of which was not to be doubted, since 
it was strictly self-evident; indeed, he was bound to do 
this to a certain extent. According to Kant's discoveries 
our empirical knowledge contains an element which is 
demon strably of subjective origin, and another element of 
which this is not the case; the latter remains therefore 
objective, there being no ground for holding it to be sub- 
jective. Kant's transcendental Idealism denies, accord- 
ingly, the objective nature of things or their reality as 
independent of our perception, in so far as the a priori in 
our knowledge extends, but not farther, because the ground 
for the denial does not reach farther. What lies outside 
he allows to remain, that is, all such qualities of things as 
cannot be constructed a priori. For the whole nature of 
the given phenomena, namely, of the corporeal world, is 
in no wise determinable by us a priori, but is merely the 
universal form of its phenomenon, and this may be re- 
duced to space, time, and causality, together with the 
totality of the laws of these three forms. On the other 
hand, the indeterminate residuum present throughout all 
these a priori existent forms, in other words, that which 
pertains to chance, is precisely the manifestation of the 
thing-in-itself. Now the empirical content of the pheno- 
mena, i.e., every closer determination of the same, every 
physical quality appearing in them, cannot be known 
otherwise than as a posteriori. These empirical qualities 
(or rather their common source) remain therefore the 
thing-in-itself, as the manifestation of its special nature 
through the medium of the above a priori forms. This 
a posteriori, which in every phenomenon appears, as it 
were, clothed in the a priori, but yet imparting to every 


being its special and individual character, is accordingly 
the matter of the phenomenal world in contradistinction to 
its form. Now, since this matter is in no way deducible 
from the forms of the phenomenon inherent in the subject, 
so carefully sought out by Kant and so certainly demon- 
strated by the sign of a priority, but rather remains after 
the abstraction of everything flowing from these, thereby 
proving itself a second perfectly distinct element of the 
empirical phenomenon, and a foreign addition to these 
forms ; and at the same time, since it proceeds in no wise 
from the caprice of the knowing subject, but rather stands 
in opposition thereto for these reasons, Kant did not 
hesitate to leave the matter of the phenomenon to the 
thing itself, and therefore to regard it as coming wholly 
from without, on the assumption that it must come from 
somewhere, or as Kant expressed it, have some ground. 
But as we cannot isolate such qualities as are known only 
a posteriori, nor conceive them as separated and purified 
from those which are certain a priori, but on the other 
hand, as they always appear enveloped in these latter, 
Kant teaches that we can know the existence of things in 
themselves, but nothing else about them ; we can know 
that they are, but not what they are. The nature of things 
in themselves remains therefore, for him, an unknown 
quantity, an %. For the form of the phenomenon clothes 
and hides the nature of the thing-in-itself in all cases. 
We can say this at most since the above a priori forms 
accrue to all things as phenomena, without distinction, 
proceeding as they do from our intellect, but the things at 
the same time show considerable diversity that which 
determines this difference, that is, the specific variety of 
things, is the thing-in-itself. 

Looked at in this way, Kant's assumption and presup- 
position of the things in themselves, notwithstanding the 
subjectivity of all our forms of knowledge, seems to be 


perfectly justified and well grounded. It is, nevertheless, 
shown to be untenable when its only argument, namely, 
the empirical content in all phenomena, is narrowly tested 
and traced back to its origin. It is certain that in em- 
pirical knowledge and its source, perceptual presentment, 
there is a matter which is independent of its form, which 
is known to us a priori. The next question is, as to 
whether this matter is of objective or subjective origin, 
since only in the first case can it ensure for us the thing- 
in-itself . If we pursue it, therefore, to its origin, we find 
this nowhere else but in our sense-impression. For it is a 
change occurring in the retina of the eye, in the nerves of 
the ear, or at the ends of the fingers, which Induces the 
perceptual presentment, and thus first sets in play the 
whole apparatus of our forms of knowledge, which lie 
ready a priori, the result being fche perception of an ex- 
ternal object. On the change being felt in the sense- 
organ, the law of causality is at once applied by means of 
a necessary and indispensable function of the understand- 
ing a priori. The above, with its a priori certainty and 
necessity, points to a cause of this change which, since it 
does not stand in the arbitrary power of the subject, 
appears to it as something external. This quality receives 
its significance primarily by means of a form of space, 
which is added by the intellect itself for the purpose, the 
necessarily presupposed cause thereby appearing percep- 
tually as an object in space bearing the alterations effected 
by it in our sense-organs, as though they were properties 
of the thing-in-itself. This whole process may be found 
adequately and thoroughly expounded in my treatise on 
the "Law of Cause," 21. But the sense-impression, 
which constitutes the starting-point of the process and 
furnishes undeniably the whole matter of empirical per- 
ception, is something altogether subjective, and as the entire 
knowledge-forms, by means of which the objective per- 


cepiual presentment arises out of this matter and is pro- 
jected externally in accordance with Kant's correct demon- 
stration, are no less of subjective origin, it is clear that 
the matter, as well as the form of perceptual presentment, 
arises from the subject. Our whole empirical knowledge 
is accordingly resolved into two elements, both of which 
have their origin in ourselves, namely, in the sense-impres- 
sion and in the forms given a priori, that is, in the forms 
embedded in the functions of our intellect or brain, time, 
space, and causality, to which Kant had added eleven 
other categories of the understanding, demonstrated by 
me, however, as superfluous and inadmissible. If the 
above be correct, perceptual presentment and our empirical 
knowledge resting on it, in truth furnish no data for con- 
clusions as to things in themselves, and Kant was not 
justified on his principles in assuming such. The Lockean 
philosophy, like all earlier philosophies, had taken the law 
of causality as absolute, and was thereby justified in con- 
cluding from the sense-impression to the existence of real 
things external to and independent of us. This passage 
from the effect to the cause is, however, the only way to 
attain from the internal and subjectively given to the ex- 
ternal and objectively existent. Kant therefore, after he 
had vindicated the law of causality for the knowledge form 
of the subject, found this way no longer open to him. 
He had himself, moreover, often enough warned us against 
making a transcendent use of the category of causality, 
that is, a use extending beyond experience and its possibility. 
In point of fact the thing-in-itself is never to be arrived 
at in this way, nor otherwise by that of pure objective 
knowledge, which always remains presentment, and as such 
has its root in the subject, and can never furnish anything 
really distinct from the presentment. But the thing-in- 
itself can only be arrived at by shifting the standpoint, 
that is, by instead of, as previously, starting from that 


which presents, once for all starting from that which is 
presented. But this is only possible in one single thing 
which is attainable by us all from within as well as from 
without, and is thereby given in a double manner : it is 
our own body which, in the objective world, exists as pre- 
sentment in space, and at the same time proclaims itself 
as Will in our own self-consciousness. Thereby is furnished 
the key at once to the understanding of all its actions and 
motions produced by external causes (here motives), which 
without this internal and immediate insight into its essence, 
would remain just as incomprehensible and inexplicable as 
the changes occurring according to natural laws and as 
manifestations of natural forces, in those other bodies which 
are only given to us in objective perception ; and hence to 
that of the permanent substratum of these actions, that 
wherein these forces have root, to wit the body itself. This 
immediate knowledge, which each one has of the nature 
of his own phenomenon, given him like all others only in ob- 
jective perception, must thereupon be transferred analogi- 
cally to the remaining phenomena, which are really the only 
ones that can properly be said to be given, and becomes 
then the key to the knowledge of the inner nature of things, 
or, in other words, of the things-in-themselves. One could 
only attain to this by a way quite different from pure ob- 
jective knowledge, which remains mere presentment, by 
taking the self -consciousness of the subject, which always 
appears as animal individual, to aid, and by making it the 
exponent of the consciousness of other things, i.e., of the per- 
ceptive intellect. This is the way which I have followed, 
and it is the only right one, the narrow gate to truth. 

But instead of men striking out this way, Kant's expo- 
sition was confounded with the essence of the subject, and 
it was believed that with the former the latter was refuted ; 
what in reality were mere arguments ad hominem, were 
believed accordingly to be argumenta ad rem, and in con- 


sequence of these Schultzian attacks Kant's philosophy was 
declared untenable. The field was now open for the sophists 
and wind-bags. The first to set up in this line was Fichte, 
who, because the thing-in-itself had come into discredit, 
straightway proceeded to construct a system without any 
thing-in-itself, and therefore rejected the assumption of 
anything but what was our presentment pure and simple, 
making the knowing subject all in all, or at least making 
it produce everything from its own resources. For this 
purpose he did away at once with the essential and valuable 
in Kant's doctrines, the distinction between a priori and a 
posteriori, and thereby that between the phenomenon and 
the thing-in-itself, inasmuch as he declared everything to 
be a priori, while being naturally without any proof of 
such a monstrous assumption, he offered us partly sophis- 
tical and partly absurd sham demonstrations, whose futility 
hid itself under the garb of depth and of the assumed in- 
comprehensibility arising therefrom. He laid claim, more- 
over, openly and audaciously, to intellectual intuition, in 
other words, to inspiration. For a public destitute of all 
power of judgment, and unworthy of Kant, this certainly 
sufficed. Such a public held self-assumption for excellence, 
and immediately declared Fichte to be a much greater 
philosopher than Kant. At the present day, indeed, there 
are not wanting philosophical writers who are anxious to 
foist the false fame of Fichte, now become traditional, on 
to the new generation, and quite seriously assure us that 
what Kant merely attempted Fichte had accomplished, 
and that he was properly the right man. These gentle- 
men, by their Midas- judgment, expose their entire incapa- 
city to understand Kant, and indeed lay bare so palpably 
their deplorable ignorance, that it is to be hoped the rising 
and finally disillusionised generation will guard themselves 
from destroying their time and brains with the countless 
histories of philosophy and other writings produced by 


them. I take this opportunity of recalling a little work, 
from which it may be seen what impression Fichte's per- 
sonal appearance and ways made on an unprejudiced con- 
temporary. It is called the " Cabinet of Berlin Characters," 
and appeared in 1808 without indication of place of print- 
ing ; it is said to be by Buchholz, but as to this I am not 
certain. With it may be compared what the jurist Anselm 
Von Feuerbach, in the letters issued in 1852 by his son, 
says about Fichte ; as also " Schiller's and Fichte's Corre- 
spondence," 1847 ; from all of which a correct idea may be 
formed of this sham philosopher. 

It was not long before Schelling, worthy of his prede- 
cessor, trod in Fichte's footsteps, which he nevertheless 
forsook in order to proclaim his own invention, the absolute 
identity of the objective and subjective, or the Ideal and 
Real, which would imply that all which great minds like 
Locke and Kant, had, with incredible expenditure of acute- 
ness and consideration, separated, should be again dissolved 
in the broth of his said absolute identity. For the doctrines 
of the two former thinkers may be very suitably designated 
as those of the absolute diversity of the Ideal and Real, or of 
the subjective and objective. But now things went farther 
from confusion to confusion, by Fichte having introduced 
incomprehensibility of speech, and having put the appear- 
ance of depth in the place of thought, the seeds being 
scattered which were to result in one corruption after 
another, and finally in that total demoralisation of philo- 
sophy, an4, through philosophy, of all literature which has 
appeared in our day. 

After Schelling followed a philosophical creature of 
ministers, the great philosopher Hegel, manufactured 
from above with a political but miscalculated purpose, a 
flat, commonplace, repulsive, ignorant charlatan, who, with 
unparalleled presumption, conceit, and absurdity, pasted 
together a system which was trumpeted by his venal ad- 


herents as immortal wisdom, and by blockheads really 
taken for it, whereby such a perfect chorus of admira- 
tion arose as had never before been known. 1 The extended 
intellectual influence thus violently acquired by such a 
man had as its consequence the ruination of the learning 
of a whole generation. The admirer of this pseudo-philo- 
sophy has the mockery of posterity in store for him, a 
mockery which is already preluded by the delightfully 
audible laughter of neighbours. For should it not sound 
delightful to my ears when the nation, whose learned caste 
has for thirty years spurned my labours as worth nothing 
and less than nothing, not even a passing glance, should 
have the r 3putation among its neighbours of having revered 
and even deified throughout these thirty years, as the 
highest and most unheard-of wisdom, what is wholly bad, 
absurd, nonsensical, and subservient merely to material 
ends ? I ought, I suppose as a good patriot, to go my 
way in the praise of the Germans and of Germanism, and 
rejoice to have belonged to them and to no other nation ? 
But it is as the Spanish proverb says : Cada uno cuenta de 
laferia, como le va en ella (Everyone reports respecting the 
fair, accordicg as it has fared with him there). Go to the 
Democolacs and get yourself praised. Well-developed, un- 
wieldly, minister-bepuffed, nonsense-mongering charlatans, 
without intellect and without merit, such as these belong 
to the Germans, not men like myself ! Such is the testi- 
mony which I have to give them in parting. Wieland 
(Letters to Merck, p. 239) calls it a misfortune to be born 
a German; Burger, Mozart, Beethoven, and others would 
have agreed with him ; I also. It rests upon the fact 
that aotyov eivai 3ei TOV liriyvwaGptvov TQV aotyov, or il n'y a 
que V esprit qui sent V esprit? 

1 The reader may refer to the preface to my "Fundamental 
Problems of Ethics." 
a Nowadays the study of the Kantian philosophy is of especial 


To the most brilliant and meritorious sides of the Kan- 
tian philosophy, belongs incontestably the Transcendental 
Dialectic, by which he has so far rased speculative theology 
and psychology from their foundations, that since then no 
one has been able, even with the best intentions, to set 
them up again. What a blessing for the human mind ! 
For do we not see, throughout the whole period from the 
revival of the sciences to Kant, that the thoughts of even 
the greatest men receive a twist, indeed are often com- 
pletely distorted, in consequence of these two absolutely 
sacred presuppositions, which cripple all intellect, which 
are removed from all investigation, and therefore dead 
to it? Are not the first and most essential convictions 
respecting ourselves and all things twisted and falsified, 
if we start with the presupposition that everything is 
produced and ordered from without, according to the 
notions and preconceived purposes of a personal and there- 
fore individual being P In the same way the fundamental 
essence of man is assumed to be a thinking essence, and to 
consist of two wholly heterogeneous parts, which have 
come together and been soldered together without know- 
ing how, and had to accommodate themselves to each 
other as weir as they could, in order to be again for 
ever severed, nolentes volentes ? How powerfully Kant's 
critique of these fancies and of their grounds has acted 
upon all the sciences, is obvious from the fact that since 
then, at least in the higher German literature, these pre- 
suppositions appear only in a figurative sense, and are no 
longer seriously made, being left for popular literature 
and for the professors of philosophy, who earn their bread 

use in teaching us how low, since the " Critique of Pure Reason," 
philosophical literature has sunk in Germany so much do his pro- 
found investigations shame the recent crude twaddle, in perusing 
which one might fancy one saw on the one side hopeful theological 
candidates and on the other barbers' assistants. 


by them. Our works on natural science keep themselves 
especially free from them, while, on the contrary, the 
English, by aiming at them in their modes of expression 
and diatribes, or else by apologies, lower themselves in our 
eyes. 1 Immediately before Kant, indeed, things were 
quite different in this respect ; we see, for instance, even 
the eminent Lichtenberg, whose early education was pro- 
Kantian, in his treatise on physiognomy, earnestly and 
with evident conviction adhering to this antithesis of soul 
and body, and thereby injuring his cause. 

He who has estimated the high value of the Transcendental 
Dialectic, will not find it superfluous if I here deal with it 
somewhat more in detail. In the first place, therefore, I 
lay before those who know and interest themselves in the 
critique, of reason, the following essay on the critique of 
rational psychology, as it is presented in its entirety in 
the first edition for in the following editions it appears 
castrated. The argument which is there criticized, p. 361, 
sqq. under the title "paralogism of the personality," 
ought to be quite otherwise conceived and therefore criti- 
cised. For Kant's certainly profound exposition is not' 
only too subtle and difficult to be understood, but it may 
also be objected to it, that it assumes the object of self- 
consciousness, or in Kant's language, of the internal sense, 

1 Since the above was written things have changed with us. In 
consequence of the resuscitation of the time-honoured and already 
ten times exploded materialism, philosophers from the druggist's 
shop and dispensary have appeared, people who have learnt 
nothing but what belongs to their trade, and who quite inno- 
cently and naively, as though Kant had just been born, dispute 
over "body and soul " and their relation to each other, and indeed 
(credite posteri /) prove the seat of the said soul to be in the brain. 
Their audacity deserves the retort, that one must have learnt 
something to be justified in entering on such discussions, and that 
they would do more wisely not to expose themselves to unpleasant 
references to apothecaiies 1 shops and catechism. 


suddenly and without further justification, as the object 
of an alien consciousness, or indeed of an external percep- 
tion, in order thereupon to judge it according to the laws 
and analogies of the corporeal world. Two distinct times 
are even allowed to be assumed (p. 363), the one in the 
consciousness of the judged, the other in that of the 
judging subject, which do not coincide. I would give the 
argument in question, from the personality, quite another 
turn, and present it accordingly in the two following 
propositions : 

1. One can establish a priori respecting all motion in 
general, no matter of whatever kind it may be, that it is 
primarily perceptible by the comparison with something 
resting ; whence it follows that the course of time, with all 
that is in it, could not be perceived were it not for some- 
thing that has no part in it, and with whose rest we com- 
pare its motion. It is quite true that we here judge 
according to the analogy of motion in space ; but space 
and time must always serve mutually to explain each 
other. For this reason also we have to imagine time 
under the figure of a straight line in order to apprehend it 
perceptually, to construct it a priori. In accordance there- 
with, we cannot imagine that if everything in our con- 
sciousness at once and together moved forward in the flux 
of time, that this forward movement would nevertheless 
be perceptible, but in order to this we must assume some- 
thing fixed, past which time with its content flows. For 
the perception of the external sense, this is accomplished 
by matter as the enduring substance under the change of 
accidents, as Kant also explains in the demonstration to 
the " first analogy ftf experience," p. 183 of the 1st edit. 
In this veiy place, however, he commits the insupportable 
blunder, already criticised by me elsewhere, and which 
contradicts, moreover, his own doctrine, of saying that it is 
not time that flows, but only the phenomena in time. 


That this is fundamentally false is proved by the fixed 
certainty implanted in us all, that if all things in heaven 
and on earth suddenly stood still, time would continue 
its course undisturbed thereby; so that if nature were 
later on again to get under way, the question as to the 
length of the previous pause would be capable in itself of 
a perfectly exact answer. Were it otherwise, time would 
have to stand still with the watch, or when the latter got 
too fast, go along with it. But precisely this relation, 
together with our certainty a priori respecting it, proves 
incontrovertibly that time has its course, and therefore its 
essence, in our head and not outside of us. In the realm 
of exterial intuition, as I have said, the enduring is 
matter ; with our argument from the personality the argu- 
ment is on the other hand respecting the perception of the 
internal sense, in which that of the external is again taken 
up. I said, therefore, that if our conciousness with its 
entire content moved forward uniformly in the stream of 
time, we could not be aware of this motion. For this, then, 
there must be something in the consciousness that is itself 
immovable. But this cannot be anything other than the 
knowing subject itself which contemplates, unmoved and 
unaltered, the course of time and the change of its content. 
Before its gaze life pursues its course like a drama. We 
shall be sensible how little part it has itself in this course 
if in old age we recall vividly to ourselves the scenes of 
youth and childhood. 

2. Internally in self -consciousness, or to speak with Kant, 
through the internal sense, I only know in time. But ob- 
jectively considered, nothing permanent can exist in mere 
time, since such implies a duration, bttt this a simultaneity 
and this again space. (The justification of this proposition 
will be found in my treatise on " The Law of Cause," 18, 
besides in " The World as Will and Presentment," 2nd ed., 
vol. i., 4, pp. 10 and 11, and p. 531 ; 3rd ed., pp. 10 and 


11, and 560.) Notwithstanding all this, I find myself as 
a matter of fact as the substratum of the same, which 
endures, that is, which ever remains, in spite of all change 
in my presentments, which is related to the presentments 
as matter is to its changing accidents, and consequently 
no less than the latter deserves the name of substance, and 
since it is not spacial and therefore unextended, that of simple 
substance. Since now, as already said, no permanency can 
take place in mere time by itself alone, but the substance in 
question is perceived on the other hand, not by the exter- 
nal sense and consequently not in space, we must, in order 
as against the flux of time to think it as permanent, 
assume it as something lying outside time and say accord- 
ingly, all object lies in time, but the specially knowing 
subject, not. As now outside time there is no cessation or 
end, we should have in the. knowing subject a permanent, 
albeit neither spacial nor temporal, and therefore inde- 
structible, substance. 

In order then to demonstrate the argument from the 
personality, as thus stated, to be a paralogism, one should 
have to say that the second proposition of the same takes 
an empirical act to aid to which this other may be 
opposed that the knowing subject is bound up with life, 
and indeed with waking, that its continuance during both 
in nowise proves that it can exist apart from them. For 
this actual permanence, during the period of the conscious 
state, is far removed, even toto genere distinct, from the per- 
manence of matter (the origin and sole realization of the 
conception substance), which we know in perception, and 
in which we discern a priori not merely its actual duration, 
but its necessary indestructibility, and the impossibility of 
its annihilation. Yet it is according to the analogy of this 
truly indestructible substance that we would wish to assume 
a thinking substance in ourselves, which would then be 
certain of an endless continuance. But apart from the 


fact that this latter would be an analogy with a mere 
phenomenon (matter), the error which the dialectical reason, 
in the above demonstration, commits, consists in that it 
treats the permanence of the subject, throughout the change 
of all its presentments in time, like the permanence of the 
matter given to us in perception, and accordingly includes 
both under the conception of substance. Everything which 
it, although under the condition of perception, can pre- 
dicate of matter a priori, especially continuance through 
all time, can be attributed to the pretended immaterial 
substance, and this although the permanence of the latter 
only rests upon the fact that it is assumed as existing in 
no time at all, let alone in all times, and as a result the 
conditions of perception, in consequence of which inde- 
structibility is predicated of matter a priori, are here ex- 
pressly abolished, especially the spatial. But on this 
precisely rests (as has been shown in the above quoted 
passages of my writings), the permanence of the same. 

As to the demonstrations of the immortality of the soul, 
from its assumed simplicity and consequent indissolubility, 
by which the only possible kind of decay, the dissolution of 
the parts, is excluded ; it may be said generally that all 
laws respecting origination, dissolution, change, continu- 
ance, &c., which we know either a priori or a posteriori, are 
only valid of the corporeal world given us objectively, and 
also conditioned by our intellect. As soon, therefore, as we 
depart from this, and talk of immaterial essences, we have 
no longer any justification for applying those laws and rules 
in order to maintain whether the origination and dissolution 
of such essences is possible or not, for here every clue fails 
us. In this connection, all such proofs of immortality 
from the simplicity of the thinking substance are invalid. 
For the amphiboly lies in that an immaterial substance ifi 
spoken of, and then the laws of material substance are ii> 
terpolated in order to be applied to it. 


In the meantime the paralogism of the personality, as I 
have apprehended it, gives in its first argument the demon- 
stration a priori that something permanent must lie in our 
consciousness ; and in the second argument it proves the 
same thing a posteriori. Taken altogether, it will seem that 
the truth which, according to the rule, lies at the foundation 
of every error, rational psychology included, has its root in 
the above. This truth is, that even in our empirical con- 
sciousness an eternal point can assuredly be shown, but 
only a point, and only shown to be, without the material for 
any further demonstration being derived from it. I refer 
here to my own doctrines, according to which that is the 
knowing subject which knows all, but is not itself known. 
We therefore conceive it as the fixed point past which 
time, with its presentments, flows, the very course of time 
being only known in opposition to something permanent. 
I have called this the point of contact of the object with 
the subject. The subject of knowledge is, with me, like 
the body whose brain-function it objectively presents, a 
phenomenon of the will, which, as the only thing-in-itself, 
is here the substratum of a correlate of all phenomena, 
that is, of the subject of knowledge. 

If we now turn to rational cosmology we find pregnant 
expressions, in its antinomies, of the perplexity arising 
from the law of cause, perplexities which have from time 
immemorial forced men to philosophize. To emphasize 
this in another, clearer, and less complex manner than has 
been done by Kant, is the object of the following exposition, 
which, unlike the Kantian, is not merely dialectical, opera- 
ting with abstract concepts, but which applies itself imme- 
diately to the perceptive consciousness. 

Time can have no beginning, and no cause can be primal. 
Both are a priori certain, and therefore undeniable, for all 
beginning is in time, and therefore presupposes time, and 
every cause must ha^ve a previous one behind it, whose 


effect it is. How, then, could a first beginning of the world 
and the things therein have ever taken place ? (The first 
verse of the Pentateuch would seem a petitio principii, and 
this in the most literal sense of the term.) On the contrary, 
if a first beginning had not been, the real present would 
not be now, but would be long past, for between it and the 
first beginning we must assume some time, however 
limited, but which if we deny the beginning, in other 
words, if we push it back to infinity is also pushed back 
to infinity. But even if we assume a first beginning, this 
does not assist us in the last resort, for we have thereby 
arbitrarily cut off the causal chain, after which we shall im- 
mediatuy find mere time itself a difficulty. The ever- re- 
newed question, namely, " why this first beginning did not 
take place earlier ? " will follow it up farther and farther 
through time, whereby the chain of causes lying between 
it and us is carried up higher and higher, so that it can 
never be long enough to reach down to the actual present, 
and accordingly it will have always not yet reached the 
present. But this is contradicted by the fact that the pre- 
sent is really there, and constitutes indeed our only datum 
for the reckoning. The justification of the foregoing in- 
convenient question arises from the fact that the first be- 
ginning as such, implies no preceding cause, and therefore 
might just as well have occurred trillions of years earlier. 
For if it required no cause for its occurrence, it did not 
have to wait for any, and must accordingly have taken 
place infinitely sooner, since there existed nothing to prevent 
it. For as nothing need precede the first beginning as its 
cause, so nothing need precede it as its hindrance ; it has, 
therefore, to wait for nothing, and never comes soon 
enough. It matters not in what point of time we fix it, 
we can never see why it should not have existed much 
sooner. This, therefore, pushes it ever farther back, for 
since time itself can have no beginning, there is always an 


infinite time elapsed up to the present moment, so that the 
throwing backward of the beginning of the world is always 
endless, every causal chain from it to us proving too short, 
the consequence being that we never reach from it to the 
present time. Hence it comes that a given fixed point of 
connection (point d' attache), fails us, and therefore we have 
to assume such a one arbitrarily, but it always vanishes 
before our hands backwards into infinity. And so it also 
happens that when we posit a first beginning and proceed 
therefrom we never attain from it to the present time. 

If, on the other hand, we start from the really given 
present we never attain, as already indicated, to the first 
beginning. For every cause to which we proceed must 
always be the effect of a previous one, which finds itself in 
the same case and can reach no end. The world is there- 
fore now beginningless, like infinite time itself, in the 
contemplation of which our imaginative faculty is wearied, 
and our understanding receives no satisfaction. 

These two opposite views may be compared to a stick 
of which one end, it matters not which, may be easily 
grasped, while the other extends itself for ever into infinity. 
The essential of the matter may be resumed in the propo- 
sition that time, which is absolutely infinite, must always 
be too great for a world conceived as finite. But at bottom 
the truth of the " antithesis " of the Kantian antinomy is 
confirmed thereby, for if we proceed from that which is 
alone certain and really given, the beginninglessness of 
time results. On the other hand, the first beginning is 
merely an arbitrary assumption, which cannot be united 
as such, with what we have said is the only certain 
and real, the present. For the rest we must regard these 
considerations as disclosing the absurdities ensuing from 
the assumption of the absolute reality of time, and conse- 
quently as confirmations of the main thesis of Kant. 

The question as to whether the world is bounded in 


space or is unbounded, is not per se transcendent, but 
rather empirical, since the question always lies within the 
realm of possible experience, the reduction of it to reality 
being only forbidden us by our own physical conformation. 
A priori there is here no demonstrably certain argument, 
either for the one or for the other alternative, so that the 
question really resembles an antinomy, inasmuch as with 
the one as with the other assumption considerable difficul- 
ties present themselves. A bounded world in infinite space 
vanishes, let it be ever so large, to an infinitely small 
quantity, and one asks what is the remaining space there 
for ? On the other hand, one cannot conceive that no 
fixed star should be the farthest in space. It may be 
observed, by the way, that the planets of such a star would 
only have a starry heaven at night during a half of their 
year, during the other half a starless heaven, which would 
certainly make a very uncanny impression on the inhabi- 
tants. The foregoing question, therefore, may be thus ex- 
pressed, " Is there a fixed star whose planets stand in this 
predicament or not ? " Here it evinces itself as obviously 

In my critique of the Kantian philosophy, I have shown 
the whole assumption of the antinomies to be false and 
illusory. With due consideration, however, every one 
will at once recognize it as impossible that concep- 
tions, correctly drawn from phenomena and their a priori 
certain laws, should, when combined according to the 
laws of logic into judgments and conclusions, lead to 
contradictions. For if this were the case, contradic- 
tions would have to lie in the perceptually-given phe- 
nomenon itself, or in the regulative connection of its 
members, which is an impossible assumption. For the 
perceptual, as such, knows no contradiction at all ; the 
latter term has in respect of it no meaning or significance, 
since it exists merely in abstract knowledge or reflection. 


One can perfectly well, either openly or covertly, assume 
something and at the same time not assume it, in other 
words, contradict one's-self, but something real cannot at 
the same time both be and not be. The opposite of the 
foregoing, Zeno the eleatic certainly sought to prove with 
his well-known sophisms, as also Kant with his antinomies. 
I therefore refer the reader to my critique of the latter. 

Kant's service to speculative theology has already been 
generally touched upon. In order to emphasize it still more 
I will now as shortly as may be, endeavour to make the essen- 
tial of the matter as comprehensible as possible in my way. 

In the Christian religion the existence of God is a thing 
pre-supposed and raised above all discussion. This is only 
natural, for it is essential thereto, and is in this case based 
upon revelation. I regard it therefore as a blunder of the 
Rationalists when they attempt in their dogmas to demon- 
strate the existence of G-od otherwise than from the Scrip- 
tures. They in their innocence do not know how dan- 
gerous is this amusement. Philosophy, on the other hand, 
is a science, and as such has no articles of faith. In 
philosophy, therefore, nothing may be assumed as existent, 
except either what is directly given in experience, or what 
is demonstrated by indubitable arguments. The latter 
people certainly long believed themselves to be in the pos- 
session of, when Kant disillusionized the world on this 
point, and so decisively demonstrated the impossibility of 
such proofs, that since then no philosopher in Germany 
has again attempted to resuscitate them. Herein Kant 
was perfectly justified, and what he did was of the highest 
service, for a theoretical dogma which presumes to stamp 
every one who refuses to admit its validity as a rogue, 
deserves once for all to be seriously put to the test. 

The case of the assumed demonstration is as follows. 
Inasmuch as the reality of the existence of God cannot be 
shown by empirical reasoning, the next step should pro- 


perly be to establish its possibility, in the course of doing 
which one would encounter enough difficulties. But, in- 
stead of this, its necessity was undertaken to be proved, 
i.e. it was undertaken to demonstrate God as necessary 

Now necessity, as I have often shown, is never anything 
more than the dependence of a consequence on its cause, 
in other words, the appearance or positing of the effect 
because the cause is given. To this end accordingly the 
choice lay between the four forms of the principle of cause 
demonstrated by me, and of these the two first only were 
found to be admissible. There arose therefore two theo- 
logical demonstrations, the cosmological and the ontologi- 
cal, the first derived from the principle of the ground of 
Becoming (cause), the other from that of the ground of 
Knowing. The first seeks to establish the necessity re- 
ferred to .as physical according to the law of causality, 
inasmuch as the world is conceived as an effect which 
must have a cause. To this cosmological demonstration 
the assistance and support of the physico-theological is 
added. The cosmological argument is most powerfully 
expressed in the Wolffian version of it, which is as follows : 
"If any thing at all exists, there exists an absolutely 
necessary Being." By this is to be understood either that 
which is itself given, or the first of the causes through 
which it attains to existence. The latter is then assumed. 
This demonstration has obviously the weakness of being a 
conclusion from the consequence to the cause, to which 
form of conclusion logic refuses all claim to certainty. It 
ignores the fact which I have often pointed out, that we 
can only think any thing as necessary in so far as it is 
effect, not in as far as it is cause of another given thing. 
Besides, the law of causality when applied in this way 
proves too much. For if it would carry us from the world 
back to its cause, it does not allow us to remain by this, 


but leads us further back still to the cause of the cause, 
and so onward and remorselessly onward in infinitum. 
This is involved in its very nature. We are in the posi- 
tion of G-oethe's magician's apprentice, whose imp began 
indeed at command, but refused to leave off again. Add 
to this that the force and validity of the law of causality 
only extends to the form of things and not to their matter. 
It is the clue to the change of forms and nothing more ; 
the matter remains untouched by all their coming and 
going, a fact which we discern before all experience, and 
therefore know with certainty. Finally, the cosmological 
demonstration is upset by the transcendental argument 
that the law of causality is demonstrably of subjective 
origin, and therefore merely applicable by our intellect to 
phenomena, and not to things in themselves. 1 

As already said, the physico-theological demonstration 
is given as a subsidiary aid to the cosmological, in order 

1 Looking at things realistically and objectively, it is as clear 
as the noonday that the world maintains itself. Organic beings 
subsist and propagate themselves by virtue of their own inward 
and original vital force. Inorganic bodies bear in themselves the 
forces of which physics and chemistry are the mere description, 
and the planets proceed in their course from inward powers by 
virtue of their inertia and gravitation. The world, therefore, re- 
quires no one outside itself for its subsistence, for it is Vishnu; 
but to say that this world in time with all its indwelling forces has 
not always been, but has been produced from nothing by a foreign 
power existing outside it, is a wholly superfluous supposition 
which nothing can confirm, more particularly as all its forces are 
bound up with matter, the origination and the destruction of which 
we cannot even so much as think. This conception of the world 
reaches back to Spinozism. That men in then* uttermost need 
have everywhere conceived beings which control the forces of 
nature and their course, in order to appeal to such, is perfectly 
natural. Greeks and Romans, however, were content to leave 
the matter with the control of its own sphere by each divinity ; it 
never occurred to them to assert that any one of them had made 
the world and the forces of nature. 


that it should afford confirmation, substantiation, plausi* 
bilitj, colour, and form to the assumption introduced by 
the former. But it can only come in with the presupposi- 
tion of the first demonstration, the explanation and ampli- 
fication of which it is. Its procedure consists in that it 
raises the already presupposed cause of the world to a 
knowing and willing being, inasmuch as by induction from 
the many effects which may be explained by such a cause 
it seeks to establish this cause. But induction can at most 
afford strong probability, certainty never. Besides, as 
already said, this whole demonstration is conditioned by 
the previous one. But if one goes more closely and 
seriously into this favourite physico- theology, and tests it 
in the light of my philosophy, it is seen to be the carrying- 
out of a fundamentally false view of nature, which degrades 
the immediate phenomenon or objectivation of the will to 
a mere mediate one, and thus instead of recognizing ill 
natural existences the original, primarily powerful, know- 
ingless, and therefore infallibly certain action of the will, 
it explains it as something merely secondary, only pro- 
duced by the light of knowledge and the clue of motives ; 
and accordingly it conceives that which has been produced 
from within outwards as something becarpentered, be- 
modelled, and moulded from the outside. For if the Will 
as thing in itself, which is not in any sense Presentment, 
emerges in the act of its objectivation from its originality 
into Presentment, and we assume that what displays itself 
in this presentment is something brought about in the 
world of presentment itself ; in other words, in consequence 
of knowledge, then certainly it appears only possible by 
means of an immeasurably perfect knowledge, a knowledge 
which comprehends at once all objects and their connec- 
tion in short, as a work of the highest wisdom. As to 
this point I refer the reader to my treatise on " Will in 
Nature/' especially pp. 43-62 of the 1st ed. (pp. 35-54 


2nd ed., pp. 37-58 3rd ed.), under the heading " Com- 
parative Anatomy," and to my chief work, vol. ii., be- 
ginning of cap. 26. 

The second theological demonstration, the ontological, 
as stated, does not take the law of causality, but the 
principle of the ground of knowledge as its clue, whereby 
the necessity of the existence of Gk>d becomes here a 
logical one. It is sought here, namely, to deduce the 
existence from the conception of Q-od by a mere analytical 
judgment, in such wise that it is not possible to make this 
conception the subject of a proposition in which this 
existence is denied, by making such denial contradict the 
subject of the proposition. This is logically correct, but 
it is also a very obvious and only too transparent con- 
juror's trick. After having by using the concept "per- 
fection " or " reality " as a handle to be employed as ter- 
minus medius, the predicate of existence is introduced into 
the subject it cannot fail that it is afterwards found there 
again, and is exposed by means of an analytical judgment. 
But the justification for establishing the whole concept is 
in nowise proved thereby; on the contrary, it is either 
excogitated in a purely arbitrary manner, or introduced 
through the cosmological demonstration, according to which 
everything turns on purely physical necessity. Christian 
Wolff seems indeed to have seen this, for in his metaphysics 
he has only made use of the cosmological argument, and 
expressly takes note of the fact. The ontological demon- 
stration will be found carefully investigated and estimated 
in the second and third edition of my treatise on the 
" Fourfold Root of the Principle of Adequate Cause," 7, 
and to this I refer the reader. 

The two theological demonstrations mutually support 
each other, but cannot stand any the more on that ac- 
count. The cosmological has the advantage that it takes 
account how it has come by the conception of a God, and 


by its adjunct the physico- theological demonstration seeics 
to make this demonstration probable. The ontological, 
on the other hand, is quite unable to prove how it has 
come by its conception of the most real of all essences, 
and in consequence either alleges it to be innate or bor- 
rows it from the cosmological demonstration, and seeks to 
uphold it by imposing-sounding talk of the Being which 
cannot be thought of except as existing, whose existence 
lies already in its conception, &c. 

In the meantime, we shall not deny the merit of acute- 
ness and subtlety to the invention of the ontological 
demonstration if we consider the following. In order to 
explain a given existence, we point to its cause, in respect 
of which it then appears as something necessary, and this 
serves as its explanation. But this way leads, as already 
sufficiently shown, to a " regressus in infinitum," and can 
never, therefore, attain the something final which would fur- 
nish a fundamental ground of explanation. The case would 
be otherwise if the existence of any being could be really 
deduced from its essence, that is, from its mere concept or 
definition. For then, indeed, it would be known as some- 
thing necessary (by which here as elsewhere is only meant 
that "which follows from its cause") without thereby 
being bound to any thing other than its own concept in 
other words, without its necessity being merely transitory 
and momentary, itself being again conditioned, and so on, 
leading to an infinite series as is always the case with 
causal necessity. The mere ground of knowledge would 
then have transformed itself into a ground of reality, that 
is, into a cause, thereby excellently qualifying itself to 
serve as the final, and hence certain, point of attachment 
for all causal series, in which case we should have what 
we sought. 

But we have seen above that all this is illusory, and it looks 
as if Aristotle himself had been desirous of avoiding such 


a sophistication when he said, TO de etvat OVK ovaia 

ad nullius rei essentiam pertinet existentia (Analyt. post. 

ii. 7). 

Without troubling himself about this, Descartes, follow- 
ing Anselm of Canterbury, who had already led the way to 
a similar line of thought, posited the conception of G-od as 
one which fulfilled the requirement Spinoza, however, that 
of the world as the only existing substance which could be 
causa sui, i.e., quae per se est et per se concipitur quamobrem 
nulla alia re eget ad existendum, conferring on the world 
so established the title God, honoris causa, in order to 
satisfy everyone. But it is always the same tour de passe- 
passe, which endeavours to palm off the logically necessary 
as a real necessary, and which, together with other similar 
deceptions, at last gave occasion to Locke's great investiga- 
tion into the origin of concepts, with which the foundation 
of the critical philosophy was laid. A more detailed ex- 
position of the procedure of both dogmatists is contained 
in my treatise on the " Principle of Cause," 2nd and 3rd 
ed., 7 and 8. 

After Kant by his critique of speculative theology had 
given the latter its death blow, 1 he had to seek to modify the 
impression produced by this, and to apply, as it were, a 
soothing medicine or anodyne ; the procedure of Hume was 
analogous, who in the last of his, as readable as irrefutable, 
" Dialogues on Natural Religion," explains to us that the 
whole thing has merely been a joke, an exercitium logicum. 
In the same way Kant gave as substitute for the demon- 
stration for the existence of G-od, his postulate of the 
practical reason, and the moral theology arising therefrom 
which without any claim to objective validity, so far as 
knowledge or the theoretical reason was concerned, should 
have complete validity in respect of conduct, or for the 

1 Kant discovered, namely, the alarming truth that philosophy 
must be something other than Jewish mythology. 


practical reason, whereby a belief without knowledge might 
be founded so that at all events people should have 
something in hand. His exposition, properly understood, 
says nothing else than that the assumption of a just Q-od 
rewarding and punishing after death is a useful and suffi- 
cient regulative scheme for the explanation of the serious 
ethical significance felt to belong to our conduct, as also 
for the regulation of this conduct itself. He set up, as it 
were, an allegory of the truth, so that in this respect, which 
alone has any significance in the last resort, his assump- 
tion might take the place of the truth, even though theo- 
retically or objectively it was not to be justified. An 
analogous scheme of similar tendency, but of much 
greater validity, stronger plausibility, and consequently 
more immediate worth, is the dogma of Brahminism of a 
rewarding or punishing Metempsychosis, according to 
which we must at some time be reborn in the form of every 
being that has been injured by us, in order to suffer the 
same injury. Kant's moral theology must be taken in the 
sense indicated, remembering at the same time that he 
himself dare not express himself so plainly as is here done 
on the real state of affairs, but in setting up the monstrosity 
of a theoretical doctrine of merely practical validity reckoned 
on the granum ealis of the wiser sort. The theological and 
theosophical writers of a later time far removed from the 
Kantian philosophy, have endeavoured for the most part 
to give the matter the appearance as though Kant's moral 
theology were a real dogmatic Theism, a new proof of the 
existence of God. Yet it is not so by any means, but is 
only valid inside the moral sphere, merely for the assistance 
of morality, and not a straw's breadth further. 

Not even the professors of philosophy allowed themselves 
to be satisfied with this for long, although they were placed 
in conspicuous embarrassment by Kant's critique of specu- 
lative theology, for they had from of old recognized it as 


their special calling to demonstrate the existence and attri- 
butes of God, and to make Him the chief subject of their 
philosophising. When, therefore, Scripture teaches that 
God nourishes the ravens in the field, I must also add, 
and the professors of philosophy in their chairs. Even 
now-a-days, they assert with perfect coolness that the 
Absolute (well-known as the new-fangled title for God) 
and its relation to the world is the proper subject of philo- 
sophy, and to define this more closely, and to paint it with 
their imagination, exercises them now as before, for as- 
suredly the governments which provide money for such 
philosophising desire to see good Christians and zealous 
Church-goers come out of the philosophical class-rooms. 
How must it then have suited these gentlemen of the 
lucrative philosophy when Kant upset the concept by the 
proof that all demonstrations of speculative theology are 
untenable, and that all cognitions concerning their chosen 
theme were simply impossible for our intellect ? At first 
they tried to help themselves by their well-known method 
of ignoring, and afterwards by contesting, but this did not 
answer in the long run. They next threw themselves upon 
the assertion that the existence of God was indeed in- 
capable of any demonstration, but that it did not require 
any ; for it was obvious, indeed the most established fact 
of the world, which we could not doubt since we had a 
" divine consciousness " within us, our reason being the 
organ for the immediate knowledge of supernatural things, 
and our instruction on this point being derived immediately 
from it, whence it was therefore called Reason ! (I earnestly 
beg the reader to consult respecting this my treatise on the 
" Principle of Cause," 2nd and 3rd edit., 34, as also my 
" Fundamental Problems of Ethics," pp. 148-154, finally 
also my " Criticism of the Kantian Philosophy," 2nd ed., 
pp, 584-584, 3rd. ed., pp. 617-618.) 

JLS regards the genesis of this divine consciousness we 


have recently received a remarkable pictorial illustration, 
to wit, an engraving displaying a mother placing her three- 
year old child with folded hands and in a kneeling position 
against the bed, for the purpose of praying, certainly a 
frequent occurrence constituting the genesis of the divine 
consciousness. For it is not doubtful that when the brain 
in the earliest stages of its growth, and at the tenderest 
age is so moulded, the " divine consciousness " will grow as 
firmly imbedded in it as though it were really inborn. 
According to others the reason merely furnishes suggestions 
while others again possess intellectual intuitions. There 
were, still further, those who invented Absolute Thought, 
i.e., a Thought by which man did not require to look 
around him at the things, but which determined in Divine 
Omniscience how they were to be once for all. This is un- 
doubtedly the most convenient of all the foregoing inven- 
tions. They one and all seized upon the word " absolute " 
which is nothing but the cosmological demonstration in 
nuce, or rather so strongly compressed that it has become 
microscopic and invisible, and thus is allowed to pass un- 
noticed, and as such is proclaimed as something requiring 
no explanation. For in its true form it dare no longer 
show itself after the Kantian exa/men rigorosum as I have 
already shown at greater length in the 2nd edition of my 
treatise on " The Principle of Cause," p. 36 (3rd ed., 
p. 37), and also in my criticism of the Kantian philosophy, 
2nd. ed., p. 544 (3rd ed., p. 574). I do not know who 
was the first who fifty years ago made use of the trick of 
smuggling in under this comprehensive word Absolute the 
exploded and proscribed cosmological demonstration, in- 
cognito, but the dodge was well suited to the capacities of 
the public, for up to this day the word " absolute " passes 
current as true coin. 1 

1 Schopenhauer in this and similar passages forgets that his own 
"Will," which IB continually realising itself in the phenomenal 


In short, in spite of the critique of the reason and its de- 
monstrations, the professors of philosophy have never failed 
in authentic accounts of the existence of God and his rela- 
tion to the world in the detailed exposition of which in their 
eyes philosophy properly consists. But in the words of 
the proverb, " copper money, copper wares ; " this God re- 
quiring no explanation of theirs has neither hand nor 
foot, and for this reason they keep Him hidden behind a 
mountain, or rather behind a noisy edifice of words, so 
that scarcely a sign of Him is visible. If one could only 
compel them to explain themselves clearly as to what is to 
be understood by the word God we should be able to see 
whether it required no explanation. Not even a natura 
naturans (into which their God often appears to pass) re- 
quires no explanation since we find Leukippus, Demokritos, 
Epikurus, and Lukretius constructed a world without any 
such ; and these men, with all their errors, were worth a 
great deal more than a legion of weather-cocks whose trade- 
philosopliy turns round with the wind. But a natura 
naturans is a long way from being G6*d. In the conception 
of such the truth is merely contained that behind the 
ever-fleeting and restlessly changing phenomena of the 
natura naturata an imperishable and untiring force must 
lie hidden by virtue of which the former is continually re- 
newing itself, since it remains untouched by the dissolution 
of things. As the natura naturata is the subject of physics, 
so is the natura naturans that of metaphysics. This shows 
us that we ourselves ultimately belong to nature, and con- 
sequently, know less of natura naturata than of natura 
naturans that we are the nearest and the clearest, and 

world, is itself as much the "Absolute" as the "Idea" was to 
Hegel, the "Identity" to Schelling, or the "Universal Ego" to 
Fichte. His diatribes against the word "absolute" are merely 
illustrations of his frequent outbursts of somewhat childish spleen 
against the academical philosophers. [Tn.1 


indeed that we possess in ourselves the only specimen of 
it to which access can be obtained from within. Now in- 
asmuch as a serious and exact reflection upon ourselves 
discloses the Will as the core of our being, we ha vein this 
an immediate revelation of the natura naturans, which we 
are accordingly justified in transferring to all other beings 
which are only one-sidedly known to us. We attain thereby 
to the great truth that the natura naturans, or the thing- 
in-itself is the Will in our own heart, while the natura 
naturata, or the phenomenon, is the presentment in our 
head. But even apart from this result it is sufficiently 
obvious that the mere distinguishing of a natura naturans 
and a natura naturata is not only not Theism, but is not even 
Pantheism ; for even to the latter, if it is not to be a mere 
manner of speaking, the addition of certain moral qualities 
is necessary, which clearly do not accrue to the world, e.g., 
goodness, wisdom, blessedness, &c. 

For the rest, Pantheism is a conception which destroys 
itself, for the conception of a God presupposes as its essen- 
tial correlate that of a world distinct from him. If, on 
the other hand, the world takes over his role, there remains 
an absolute world without God, and hence Pantheism is 
only a euphemism for Atheism. But this last expression 
in its turn also contains a subreption, since it assumes at 
the outset that Theism requires no explanation, whereby 
it dexterously evades the affirmanti incumbit probatio, while 
it is rather the so-called Atheism that has the just primi 
occupantis, and has therefore to be first driven out of the 
field by Theism. I allow myself here the observation that 
men came into the world uncircumcised, and therefore not 
as Jews. But even the assumption of some cause of the 
world distinct therefrom is not Theism. Theism requires 
not only a cause distinct from the world, but an intelligent, 
a knowing and willing, that is a personal, in short, an indivi- 
dual cause j such a cause alone does the word God connote, 


An impersonal God is no God at all, but merely a mis- 
applied word, a misconception, a contradiction in adjecto, a 
shibboleth for professors of philosophy who, after having 
given up the thing, are anxious fo smuggle in the word. 
The personality, on the contrary, that is, the self-conscious 
individuality which first knows, and then in accordance 
with the knowledge wills, is a phenomenon known to us 
solely from the animal nature which is present on our 
small planet, and is so intimately connected with this that 
we are not only not justified in thinking it as separate and 
independent, but are not even capable of doing so. But to 
assume a being of such a kind, as the origin of nature her- 
self and of all existence is a colossal and daring conception 
which would startle us if we heard it for the first time, and 
if it had not by dint of earliest teaching and continuous 
repetition become familiar to us as a second nature, I 
might also say a fixed idea. Hence I may observe, by 
the way, that nothing has so well accredited to me the 
genuineness of Caspar Hauser as the statement that the 
so-called natural theology which was expounded to him 
did not seem to enlighten him as much as was expected. 
To which may be added that he (according to the " Letters 
of Count Stanhope to the schoolmaster Meyer ") exhibited 
an extraordinary reverence for the sun. But to teach in 
philosophy that this theological notion requires no explana- 
tion, and that the reason, is only the capacity immediately 
to comprehend the same and recognize it as true, is a 
shameless proceeding. Not only has philosophy no right 
to assume such a conception without the fullest demon- 
stration, but it is by no means essential even to religion. 
This is attested by the religion which counts the largest 
number of adherents on earth, the ancient, highly moral, 
indeed ascetic Buddhism, whose adherents now number 
three hundred and seventy millions, a religion which also 
maintains the most numerous body of clergy of any in- 


asmuch as it does not admit such a conception, but rather 
expressly stigmatizes it, and is thus ex professo, according 
to our notions, atheistic. 1 

According to the foregoing, Anthropomorphism is an 
essential characteristic of Theism, and it is expressed not 
merely in the human form nor even in human affections 
and passions, but in the fundamental phenomenon itself, 
to wit, in the one will furnished with an intellect for its 
guidance, which phenomenon, as already said, is known to 
us only in animal nature and most perfectly in human 
nature, which is only thinkable as Individuality, and which 
when it is endowed with reason is called Personality. This 

1 The Zaradobura, the high priest of the Buddhists in Ara, in a 
treatise on his religion which he gave to a Catholic Bishop, reckons 
among the six damnable heresies the doctrine that a Being exists 
who has created the world and all things in the world, and who is 
alone worthy of worship. (" Francis Buchanan on the Religion of 
the Burmas," in "Asiatic Researches," vol. vi., p. 2G8.) It is 
mentioned in the same series, vol. xv., page 148, viz., that the 
Buddhists bow their head before no idol, giving as their reason 
that the Primal Being interpenetrates all nature and consequently 
is also in their heads. Similarly the learned Orientalist and 
member of the St. Petersburg Academy, J. J. Schmidt, in his 
"Researches in the domain of the Ancient History of Central 
Asiatic Culture " (Petersburg, 1848), p. 180, says: "The system 
of Buddhism knows no eternal uncroated single divine being exis- 
tent before all time, and who created all things visible and in- 
visible. This idea is quite foreign to it, and there is not the 
slightest trace of it to be found in the Buddhist books. Just as 
little is there a creation." Where, then, is the " divine conscious- 
ness " of Kant and those professors of philosophy who pervert the 
truth ? How is it to be explained that the language of the Chinese, 
who constitute about two-fifths of the whole human race, has no 
expressions for God and creation ? For this reason the first verse 
of the Pentateuch could not be translated into Chinese to the 
great perplexity of the missionaries whom Sir George Staunton 
tried to assist by means of a book which he entitled, '* An inquiry 
into the proper mode of rendering the word * God * in translating 
the Sacred Scriptures into the Chinese language." London, 1848. 


is confirmed by the expression, " as truly as God lives ; " 
He is indeed a living being, that is, one willing with know- 
ledge. Hence a God requires a heaven in which he is 
enthroned and whence he governs. Much more on this 
account than because of the expression in the Book of 
Joshua was the Kopernican system at once received with 
distrust by the Church, and we find accordingly a hundred 
years later Giordano Bruno as the champion at once of this 
system and of Pantheism. The attempts to purify Theisin 
from Anthropomorphism, notwithstanding that they are 
only meant to touch the shell, really strike at the inner- 
most core. In their endeavour to conceive its object ab- 
stractly they sublimate it to a dim cloud- shape whose out- 
line gradually disappears entirely in the effort to avoid the 
human figure; so that at last the whole childish idea 
becomes attenuated -to nothing. But besides all this the 
rationalistic theologians, who are especially fond of these 
attempts, may be reproached with contradicting the Holy 
Scriptures, which say, " God created man in his own image; 
in the image of God created he him." Let us then away 
with the jargon of the professors of philosophy ! There is 
no other God than God, and the Old Testament is his 
revelation especially the book of Joshua. From the God 
who was originally Jehovah, philosophers and theologians 
have stripped off one coating after the other, until at last 
nothing but the word is left. 

One might certainly, with Kant, call Theism a practical 
postulate, although in quite another sense to that which he 
meant it. Theism is indeed no product of the Understand- 
ing but of the Will. If it were originally theoretical, how 
could all its proofs be so untenable ? But it arises from 
the Will in the following manner : the continual need with 
which the heart (Will) of man is now heavily oppressed, 
now violently moved, and which keeps him perpetually in 
a state of fear and hope, while the things of which he 


hopes and fears are not in his power the very connection 
of the chain of causes which produce them only being 
traceable for a short distance by his intelligence this 
need, this constant fear and hope, causes him to frame the 
hypothesis of personal beings on whom everything depends. 
It is assumed of such that they, like other persons, are 
susceptible to request and flattery, service and gift in other 
words, that they are more tractable than the iron Necessity, 
the unbending, the unfeeling forces of nature, and the 
mysterious powers of the world-order. At first, as is 
natural, and as was very logically carried out by the 
ancients, these Gods were many, according to diversity of 
circumstances. Later on, owing to the necessity of bringing 
sequence, order, and unity into knowledge, these Gods were 
subordinated to one, which, as Goethe once remarked to me, 
is very undramatic, since with a solitary person one can do 
nothing. The essential, however, is the impulse of anxious 
humanity to throw itself down and pray for help in its 
frequent, bitter, and great distress and also in its concern 
for its eternal happiness. Man relies rather on external 
grace than on his own merit. This is one of the chief 
supports of Theism. In order therefore that his heart 
(Will) may have the relief of prayer and the consolation 
of hope, his intellect must create a God ; and not conversely, 
because his intellect has deduced a God, does he pray. Let 
him be left without needs, wishes, and requirements, a 
mere intellectual will-less being, and he requires no God 
and makes none. The heart, that is the Will, has in its 
bitter distress the need to call for almighty and conse- 
quently supernatural assistance. Hence, because a God is 
wanted to be prayed to he is hypostatised, and not con- 
versely. For this reason the theoretical side of the theology 
of all nations is very different as to the number and 
character of their gods ; but that they can and do help 
when they are served and prayed to, thus much is common 


to them all, since it is the point upon which everything de- 
pends. It is at the same time the birth-mark by which 
the descent of all theology is recognizable, to wit, that it 
proceeds from the Will, from the heart, and not from the 
head or the intelligence, as is pretended. This is implied 
also in that the true reason why Constantine the Great, as 
also Chlodowig, the king of the Pranks, changed their 
religion, was that they hoped from their new god better 
support in war. There are some few races which, pre- 
ferring the minor to the major, instead of gods possess 
mere spirits, who are prevented from doing harm by sacri- 
fice and prayer. But the final result shows no great 
difference. The original inhabitants of the Indian penin- 
sula and Ceylon, before the introduction of Brahminism 
and Buddhism, appear to have been such races, and their 
descendants would seem to have in part even now a similar 
cacodsemonological religion, like many other savage peoples. 
From this source springs the Kappuism which is mixed 
with the Cinghalese religion, Buddhism. In the same way 
the devil- worshippers of Mesopotamia, visited by Layard, 
seem to belong to this category. Intimately connected 
with the true origin of all Theism, as here expounded, and 
equally proceeding from the nature of man, is the impulse 
to bring sacrifices to his gods in order to purchase their 
favour, or if they have already shown such, to ensure its 
continuance or to buy off evils from them. (" Sancho- 
niathonis fragmenta," ed. Orelli, Lips., 1826, p. 42.) This 
is the meaning of every sacrifice, and he|!ce the origin and 
support of every god ; so that it may be said with truth 
the Gods live upon sacrifice. For precisely because the 
impulse to appeal to and to purchase the assistance of 
supernatural beings, as the child of need and intellectual 
limitation, is natural to man, for its satisfaction and re- 
quirement he creates God for himself. Hence the univer- 
sality of sacrifice in all ages and with the most diverse 


races, and its identity amid the greatest difference of 
circumstance and of intellectual development. Thus, for 
example, Herodotus relates that a ship from Samos through 
the exceptionally advantageous sale of its cargo in Tartessus, 
had acquired an unprecedented fortune, whereupon the 
Samians expended the tenth part of it to the amount of 
six talents on a large brazen and artistically worked vase, 
which they presented in the Temple of Here. And as a 
counterpart to these Greeks, we see in our days the 
miserable nomad reindeer Lapp, with figure shrunk to the 
dimensions of a dwarf, hiding his spare money in various 
secret recesses of the rocks and glens, which he makes known 
to no one except it be in his dying hour to his heir, and 
even to him there is one such hiding-place which he never 
reveals that namely wherein he has secreted a treasure 
brought as a sacrifice to the genius loci, the protecting 
God of his territory (S. Albrecht Paucritius Hiigringar, 
" B.eise durch Schweden, Lappland, Norwegen, und Dane- 
mark im Jahre I860," Konigsberg, 1852, p. 162). The 
belief in gods thus has its roots in egoism. In Christianity 
alone has the sacrifice proper disappeared, although in the 
form of masses for souls, of cloister, church and chapel- 
building, it is still there. For the rest, and especially with 
Protestants, praise and thanksgiving have to serve as the 
surrogate of sacrifice, and hence they are carried to the 
extremest superlative even on occasions which to the out- 
sider seem little suited thereto a proceeding analogous to 
that of the State which also does not always reward merit 
with gifts, but sometimes with mere testimonials of honour, 
thereby maintaining its continuance. In this respect 
what the great David Hume says deserves to be recalled : 
" Whether this god, therefore, be considered as their pecu- 
liar patron, or as the general sovereign of heaven, his 
votaries will endeavour by every art to insinuate them- 
selves into his favour j and supposing him to be pleased, 


like themselves, with praise and flattery, there is no eulogy 
or exaggeration which will be spared in their addresses to 
him. In proportion as men's fears or distresses become 
more urgent, they will invent new strains of adulation ; 
and even he who outdoes his predecessors in swelling up 
the titles of his divinity, is sure to be outdone by his 
successors in newer and more pompous epithets of praise- 
Thus they proceed, till at last they arrive at infinity itself' 
beyond which there is no farther progress." ("Essays 
and Treatises on several Subjects," London, 1777, vol. ii., 
p. 429.) And again : " It appears certain that, though the 
original notions of the vulgar represent the divinity as a 
limited being, and consider him only as the particular 
cause of health or sickness, plenty or want, prosperity or 
adversity, yet when more magnificent ideas are urged upon 
them, they esteem it dangerous to refuse their assent. Will 
you say that your deity is finite and bounded in his perfec- 
tion ; may be overcome by a greater force ; is subject to 
human passions, pains, and infirmities ; has a beginning, 
and may have an end ? This they dare not affirm, but 
thinking it safest to comply with the higher enconivms, they 
endeavour, by an affected ravishment and devotion to ingra^ 
tiate themselves with him. As a confirmation of this we 
may observe that the assent of the vulgar is, in this case, 
merely verbal, and that they are incapable of conceiving 
those sublime qualities which they seemingly attribute to 
the Deity. * Their real idea of him, notwithstanding their 
pompous language, is still as poor and frivolous as ever." 
(Ibid., p. 432.) 

In order to mitigate the heterodoxy of his " Critique of all 
Speculative Theology," Kant added thereto not only moral 
theology, but also the assurance that even though the 
existence of God had to remain unproven, it would be just 
as impossible to prove the opposite, an assurance with which 
many have consoled themselves, without observing that he, 


with pretended simplicity, ignored the affirmanti incumbit 
probatio, as also that the number of things whose existence 
cannot be proved is infinite. He has naturally taken still 
more care not to bring forward the arguments which might 
be employed for an apagogic counter-demonstration when 
once one ceased to adopt a merely defensive attitude, and 
began to act on the aggressive. The proceeding would be 
somewhat as follows : 

1. In the first place the unhappy constitution of a world 
in which living beings subsist by mutually devouring each 
other, the consequent distress and dread of all that has life, 
the multitude and colossal magnitude of evil, the variety 
and inevitability of grief often attaining to horror, the 
burden of life itself hurrying forward to the bitterness of 
death cannot honestly be reconciled with its being the work 
of a united All-Goodness, All- Wisdom, and All-Power. 
To raise an outcry against what is here said is just as easy 
as it is difficult to meet the case with solid reasons. 

2. There are two points which not only occupy every 
thinking man, but also which the adherents of every reli- 
gion have most at heart, and on which the strength and 
persistence of religion is based ; firstly, the transcendent 
moral significance of our conduct ; and secondly, our con- 
tinuance after death. When once a religion has taken care 
of these two points everything else is secondary. I will 
therefore test Theism here in respect of the first, and later 
on in that of the second point. 

With the morality of our conduct Theism has a double 
connection, viz., one a parte ante, and one aparte post, that 
is, with respect to the causes and consequences of our 
action. To take the last point first ; Theism indeed gives 
morality a support, albeit one of the roughest kind, one 
indeed by which the true and pure morality of conduct is 
fundamentally abolished, inasmuch as every disinterested 
action is at once transformed into an interested one by 


means of a very long dated but assured bill of exchange 
which is received as payment for it. The G-od, viz., who 
was in the beginning the Creator, appears in the end as an 
avenger and paymaster. Regard for such an one can cer- 
tainly call forth virtuous actions, but these are not purely 
moral since fear of punishment, or hope of reward are their 
motive, the significance of such virtue being reducible 
rather to a wise and well-considered egoism. In the last 
resort it turns solely on the strength of belief in unde- 
monstrable things ; if this is present no one will certainly 
stick at accepting a short period of sorrow for an eternity 
of joy, and the really guiding principle of morality will be 
" we can wait." But every one who seeks a reward for his 
deeds, either in this or in a future world, is an egoist. If 
the hoped-for reward escape him, it is the same thing, 
whether this happens by the chance which dominates this 
world, or by the emptiness of the illusion which builds for 
him the future one. For these reasons Kant's Moral 
Theology, properly speaking, undermines morality. 

Again, a parte ante, Theism is equally in contradiction 
with morality, since it abolishes freedom and responsibility. 
For with a being which in its existentia and essentia alike, 
is the work of another, neither fault nor merit can be con- 
ceived. Yauvenargues says very rightly : " Un etre, qui a 
tout requ, ne pent agir que par ce qui lui a ete donne; et tout la 
puissance divine qui est infinie, ne saurait le rendre indepen- 
dant" ("Discours sur la LiberteY' see "(Euvres completes," 
Paris, 1823, torn, ii., p. 331). Like every other thinkable 
being it cannot operate otherwise than according to its 
nature, and make known this nature in its operations ; it is 
created as we here find it If it acts badly this comes from 
the fact that it is bad, in which case the fault is not its 
own, but His who made it. The originator of its existence 
and its nature, to which we may add the circumstances in 
which it has been placed, is inevitably the originator of its 


conduct and its deeds, which are as certainly determined 
by the former as the triangle is by two angles and a line. 
The correctness of this argumentation has been very well 
recognized and admitted by St. Augustine, by Hume, and 
by Kant, while others have glossed over and timidly ignored 
it, a point I have fully dealt with in my prize essay on the 
" Freedom of the Will," p. 67, sq. (2nd ed., p. 66, sq.) In 
order to elude this fearful and exterminating difficulty the 
freedom of the Will, the liberum arbitrium indifferentice, 
was invented, a theory which contains an utterly monstrous 
fiction, and was therefore long ago discarded by all thinking 
minds, but has perhaps never been so systematically and 
thoroughly refuted as in the work just quoted. If, not- 
withstanding, the common herd content themselves with 
freedom of the Will even the literary, the philosophical, 
common herd what matters that to us ? The assertion 
that a given being is free, that is, under given circumstances 
can act thus and also otherwise, implies that it has an exis- 
tentia without any essentia, i.e., that it can be without being 
something, in short, that it at the same time is and is not. 
This, of course, is the acme of absurdity, but none the 
less, good enough for people who seek not the truth but 
their fodder, and hence will never allow anything to obtain 
which does not suit the stuff, the fable convenu, on which 
they live ; ignoring suits their obtuseness better than re- 
futing. And ought we to attach any weight to the opinions 
of such fioffKi'inara, in terram prona et ventri obedientia ? 
All that is is also something, has an essence, a nature, a 
character, in accordance with which it must operate. It 
must conduct itself (that is, act according to motive), when 
the external occasions arise which call out its particular 
manifestations. Whence it gets its actuality, its existentia, 
there also it gets its construction, its essentia, since the 
two, although distinguishable in conception, are not sepa- 
rable in reality. But that which has an essentia, that is, a 


nature, a character, a construction, can only act in accor- 
dance therewith, and never otherwise. It is merely the 
precise moment, and special form and manner of the 
individual actions which are determined by the incoming 
motive. That the creator made man/ree, that he gave him 
an existentia without an essentia, in other words, an exis- 
tence merely in abstracto, inasmuch as he left it to him to 
be what he would, is an impossible proposition. On this 
point I beg the reader to refer to 20 of my treatise on the 
" Foundations of Morality." Moral freedom and responsi- 
bility, or accountability, necessarily presupposes Aseity. 
Actions are always based on character, that is, they proceed 
with necessity from the peculiar, and therefore unchange- 
able structure of a being under the influence and according 
to the measure of motive. Hence, if it is to be responsible, 
it must exist originally by virtue of its own power. It 
must, as regards its existentia and essentia, be its own work, 
and the creator of itself, if it is to be the true creator of its 
acts. Or, as I have expressed it in my two Prize Essays, 
its freedom cannot consist in its Operari, but must reside 
in its esse, for there it certainly is. 

Since all this is not merely demonstrable a priori, but is 
clearly taught us by daily experience, to wit, that every 
one brings his moral character already complete into the 
world with him, and remains unchangeably true to it to 
the end, and since this truth is presupposed tacitly but 
certainly in our practical life, inasmuch as everyone bases 
his confidence or his misconfidence in another, once for all 
on the traits of character that other has manifested this 
being so, one might wonder how, for about sixteen hundred 
years, the opposite has been theoretically asserted and 
taught, namely, that all men are in respect of morality 
originally the same, and that the great diversity of their 
conduct arises not from innate disposition and character, 
and just as little from accidental circumstances and causes, 


but, properly speaking, from nothing at all which nothing 
at all receives the name of free-will. But this absur^ 
doctrine is made necessary by another, in the same way, 
purely theoretical assumption with which it exactly hangs 
together, namely, that the birth of man is the absolute 
beginning of his existence, since he is created out of no- 
thing (a terminus ad hoc) . If now, under this presupposition, 
life is to retain a moral significance and tendency, these 
must have their origin in the course of it, and must indeed 
originate from nothing, just as the supposed man himself 
is from nothing; for every connection with a preceding 
condition, a previous existence or a timeless act to which, 
nevertheless, the immeasurable original and innate variety 
of moral characters clearly points, remains once for all 
excluded. Hence the absurd fiction of a free will. Truths, 
it is well known, all stand in mutual connection; but 
errors also are necessary to each other, just as one lie 
requires a second, or as two cards stood up against one 
another reciprocally support each other so long as nothing 
overturns them both. 

3. On the assumption of Theism it does not fare much 
better with our continuance after death than with the 
freedom of the will. That which has been created by 
another has had a beginning of existence. Now that that 
which for an infinite time has not been, should from all 
eternity continue to be, is an outrageously bold assump- 
tion. If at my birth I have come from nothing and been 
created out of nothing, then it is the highest probability 
that at death I shall again become nothing. Endless 
continuance a parte post, and nothing a parte cmte, do not 
go together. Only that which is itself original, eternal, 
uncreated, can be indestructable. (" Aristoteles de Coelo," 
i. 12, 282, a, 25 fg., and Priestley, on "Matter and Spirit/' 
Birmingham, 1782, vol. i. p. 234.) 

Those, therefore, may certainly be anxious in death who 


believe that before thirty or sixty years they were a pure 
nothing, and out of this nothing have proceeded as the 
work of another, for they have the difficult task of as- 
suming that an existence so arisen, notwithstanding its 
late beginning, which has come about after the lapse of 
an infinite time, will, nevertheless, be of infinite duration. 
On the other hand, why should he fear death who re- 
cognizes himself as the original and eternal being, the 
very source of all existence, who knows that outside him 
nothing, properly speaking, exists at all he who closes 
his individual existence with the saying of the Holy 
Upanishads, hce omnes creatwrce in totum ego sitm, et prceter 
me ens aliud non est, on his lips or even in his heart. He 
alone, can with logical consistency, die peacefully. For, as 
already said, aseity is the condition of immortality as of 
accountability. In accordance with the foregoing, con- 
tempt of death and the most complete indifference to, or 
even joy in dying, is thoroughly at home in India. 
Judaism, on the contrary, originally the sole and only 
pure monotheistic religion, teaching a real God-creator of 
heaven and the earth, has with perfect logicality no doc- 
trine of immortality, and hence no recompense after death, 
but only temporal punishments and rewards, whereby it dis- 
tinguishes itself from all other religions, though possibly 
not to its advantage. The two religions sprung from 
Judaism, in so far as they took up the doctrine of immor- 
tality, which had become known to them from other and 
better religious teaching, and at the same time retained 
the God-creator, acted illogically in doing so. 1 

1 The Jewish religion proper, as it is presented and taught in 
Genesis and all historical books up to the end of Chronicles is the 
coarsest of all religions, because it is the only one which has abso- 
lutely no doctrine of immortality, not even a trace of it. Each 
king, and each hero or prophet, when he died was buried with his 
fathers, and therewith everything was finished. There is no trace 
?f eny existence after death, every thought of the kind being as if 


That, as already said, Judaism is the only pure mono, 
theistic religion, i.e., one teaching that a God-creator is the 

purposely banished. For instance, Jehovah's long eulogy on King 
Josiah closes with a promise of reward. This is as follows : iflod 
TrpoffTi^rjfii <rt TrpOQ roi) irar'tpag aov, icai Trpoare&rjcry Tfpog ra nvrjfJiaTa 
(jov iv iiprjvy (2 Chron. xxxiv. 28). And hence that he shall not 
live to see Nebuchadnezzar. But there is no idea of another 
existence after death, and thereby of a positive reward ; instead 
of this it is a merely negative one to die and to suffer no further 
sorrow. When Jehovah had sufficiently utilized and tormented 
his handiwork and plaything, he throws it away on to the dung- 
heap that is its reward. Precisely because the Jewish religion 
has no immortality, and consequently knows no punishments after 
death, Jehovah can threaten the sinner who prospers on earth 
with nothing else except that he will punish his misdeeds in the 
persons of his children and children's children to the fourth gene- 
ration, as may he seen from Exodus xxxiv. 7 ; and Numbers xiv. 
18. This proves the absence of any doctrine of immortality. 
Similarly a passage in Tobias, iii. 6, where the latter begs Jehovah 
that he may die, OTTWC dTroXvdw KCII ykvw^iai yij. Nothing more, 
there is no idea of an existence after death. In the Old Testa- 
ment the reward promised to virtue is to live long on the earth 
(e.g. Deut v. 16 and 33) ; in the Veda, on the contrary, it is not to 
be born again. The contempt in which the Jews always stood 
among contemporary peoples may in great measure have been 
based on the poor character of their religion. What the Kohaleth 
says, ch. iii. v. 19, 20, is the true sentiment of Jewish religion. 
If sometimes, as in Daniel xii. 2, immortality is indicated, it is as 
an imported foreign doctrine, as is evident from Daniel i. 4 and 6. 
In the 2nd Book of Maccabees, ch. vii. , the doctrine of immortality 
appears plainly as of Babylonian origin. All other religions, those 
of the Hindoos, as well Brahman as Buddhist, of the Egyptians, 
Persians, even of the Druids teach immortality, and also, with 
the exception of the Persian Zendavesta, metempsychosis. Even 
Greeks and Romans had something post letum, Tartarus *nd 
Elysium, and said : 

"Sunt aliquid manes, letum non omnia finit 
Luridaque evictos effugit umbra rogos. " 

Propert. Eieg. iv. 7, v. 1 and 2. 

The essential element of religion, as such, properly consists in the 


origin of all things, is a service which for unknown reasons 
it has been sought to conceal by continually maintaining 

assurance which it gives us that ou: true existence is not limited 
to our life, but is infinite. This miserable Jewish religion not only 
does not do this, but does not even attempt it. For this reason it 
is the coarsest and worst of all religions, and consists merely of an 
absurd and irritating Theism which has, as its outcome, that the 
KvjOiot; who has created the world, desires to be honoured ; hence 
he is above all things jealous of other Gods, and if sacrifices are 
made to them he gets enraged, and it goes badly with his Jews. 
All these other religions and their Gods are stigmatized in the 
Septuagint as fidtXvyfia ; but it is the immortality less, coarser 
Judaism which rather deserves this name. For it is a religion 
without any metaphysical tendency. While all other religions 
seek to illustrate to the people by symbols and parables the meta- 
physical significance of life, the Jewish religion is entirely im- 
manent, and furnishes nothing but a mere war-cry in fighting 
other nations. The Jews are the chosen people of their God, and 
he is the chosen God of his people. And that need trouble no one 
else. On the other hand, the reputation cannot be denied to 
Judaism of being the only really monotheistic religion in the 
world; for no other can show an objective God the Creator of 
Heaven and earth. When I observe, however, that the modern 
European nations regard themselves to a certain extent as the heirs 
of this chosen people of God, I can no longer conceal my contempt. 

For the rest, the impression the study of the LXX. has left 
upon me is a genuine love and inmost reverence for the ntyaQ 
BaaiXevQTfapovxwdovoaop, even though he acted perhaps too leniently 
towards a people which had a God who gave or promised the terri- 
tories of its neighbours, into the possession of which it caine by 
robbery and murder, and afterwards built for this God a temple 
therein. Would that every people which has a God who makes 
" Lands of Promise " of its neighbours* territories, might speedily 
find its Nebuchadnezzar, and its Antiochus Epiphanes too, and 
that it might be dealt with without compunction 1 

[It may be desirable to remind the reader that much in the 
above note is based upon what we now know to be a fundamen- 
tally erroneous conception of the nature and meaning of early 
religion. So far from its being true, as Schopenhauer implies, that 
the essence of all other religions, except that of the Hebrews, lay 
in a doctrine of personal immortality all modern research goes to 


and teaching that all nations reverence the true God, al- 
though under other names. There is not merely much 
wanting in this procedure, but everything. That Buddhism, 
that is, the religion which, by possessing the greatest 
number of adherents is the most important on earth, is 
throughout expressly atheistic, is placed beyond a doubt 
by the agreement of all unf alsified testimonies and original 
documents. The Vedas also teach no G-od- creator, but a 
world- soul called Brahm (neuter), of which the Brahma 
sprung from the navel of Vishnu, with the four faces, and 
forming part of the trimurti, is merely a popular personifi- 
cation, in the very lucid manner of Hindoo mythology. It 
represents obviously the generation, the arising of beings, 
as Vishnu does their acme, and as Shiva does their de- 
show that it is a notion which in all the most ancient forms of reli- 
gion is either altogether absent, or at least entirely unimportant. 
The Jewish religion was by no means peculiar in this respect. It 
may be true, as Schopenhauer says, that the religious sentiment 
is largely based on the idea that the significance of the individual 
is not limited to his natural life, but Schopenhauer ignores the 
fact that early ethics and religion were social, not personal. The 
immortality, the true significance of the primitive man, lay hi the 
larger whole of his clan, tribe, people, of which he formed an ele- 
ment. It was in this kinship, or group-society, that he in a special 
sense lived, moved, and had his being. " Future life" for him lay 
in the continuance and prosperity of the society. If he thought at 
all of any after existence of himself, it was only in a vague way, 
as "going down to his fathers," i.e., joining the band of ancestral 
spirits who after death watched over the interest of the society 
as they had done in life. The belief in, much more the importance 
attached to individual immortality for its own sake, was of much 
later growth, and even among the oriental races is seldom trace- 
able at all farther back than the sixth or seventh, or at most 
eighth century B.C. The Jews acquired it rather later than some 
other of these races, but that is all that can be said of them in 
this respect. Schopenhauer is also utterly unhistorical in assuming 
the later post-exilian monotheism of the Jews as belonging to 
them from the beginning.] 


struction. The generation of the world is moreover a sinful 
act, like the world-incarnation of Brahm. The Ormuzd of 
the Zendavesta has, as we know, Ahriman as his counter- 
part, and both have proceeded from the immeasurable 
time Zervane Akerene (if the ordinary view of this be cor- 
rect). Similarly, in the very beautiful cosmogony of ihe 
Phoenicians, written by Sanchoniathon, and preserved for 
us by Philo Byblius, which is perhaps the original of the 
Mosaic Cosmogony, we find no trace of Theism or world- 
creation by a personal being. We see here, also, as in the 
Mosaic Genesis, the original chaos sunk in night, but no 
God appears commanding, " Let there be light ! let there be 
this, and let there be that ! " Oh, no ! but //pu^Si; TO Trvfvpa 
TWV Idiwv apxwr. The spirit fermenting in the mass em- 
bodies itself in its own being, whereby a mixture of those 
original elements of the world arises (and arises, indeed, 
very effectively and significantly), from which, in conse- 
quence of the longing, ir6$o t which, as the commentator 
correctly observes, is the Eros of the Greeks, it develops 
itself from the primeval slime, and out of this proceed, 
finally, plants, and last of all intelligent beings, that is, 
animals. For tip to this time, as it is expressly stated, 
everything went on without intelligence ; avro dc UVK 
iyiyvaaKt rriv kavrov Kricnv. Thus does it stand, adds 
Sanchoniathon, in the Cosmogony written by Taaut, the 
Egyptian. A more detailed Zoogony then follows upon 
his Cosmogony. Certain atmospheric and terrestrial occur- 
rences are described which really suggest the correct as- 
sumptions of our modern geology. At last, after heavy 
floods of rain, comes thunder and lightning, startled by the 
crashing of which intelligent animals awake into existence. 
" And there moves now on the earth and in the sea, male 
and female." Eusebius, whom we have to thank for this 
fragment of Philo Byblius (" Prseparat. Evangel./' 1. ii., c. 
1 0), justly accuses this cosmogony of atheism, which it is, 


incontestably, like all and every theory of the origin of 
the world, with the single exception of the Jewish. In the 
mythology of the Greeks and Romans we find, indeed, God 
as father of Gods, and sometimes also of men (although 
these were rather the potter's- work of Prometheus), butno 
God-creator. For that later a few philosophers to whom 
Judaism had become known, wanted to transform father 
Zeus into such, does not affect the matter ; just as little as 
that Dante, without having sought his permission, identifies 
him without scruple in his hell with Domeneddio, whose 
unparalleled vengeance and cruelty is stigmatised and 
pictured (e.g., c. 14, 70 ; c. 31, 92). Finally (for everything 
has been brought into requisition), the endlessly repeated 
statement that the North American Indians worshipped 
God, the Creator of heaven and earth, under the name of 
the Great Spirit, and hence were pure Theists, is entirely 
incorrect. This error has recently been refuted in a treatise 
on the North American Indians, which John Scouler read 
before a sitting of the London Ethnographical Society in 
1846, and of which "Tlnstitut, Journal des Socidte's 
Savantes," sect. 2, Juillet, 1847, gives an extract. It says, 
" When we are told in reports on the superstitions of the 
Indians, about the Great Spirit, we are apt to assume that 
it designates a conception agreeing with that which we 
associate with it, and that their belief is a simple natural 
Theism. But this interpretation is very far from correct. 
The religion of these Indians is rather a pure Fetishism, 
which consists in magical practices and incantations. In 
the report of Tanner, who lived among them from child- 
hood, the facts are trustworthy and remarkable, albeit very 
different from the inventions of certain writers. One sees 
from it namely, that the religion of the Indians is only a 
Fetishism similar to that which was formerly met with 
among the Finns, and is still among the Siberian tribes. 
With the Indians dwelling eastward of the Mountains the 


Fetish consists simply of any object, it matters not what, 
to which mysterious qualities are attributed," &c. 

In accordance with all this, the opinion here in question 
has to make way for its opposite, to wit, that only one very 
small and unimportant nation, despised by all contempo- 
rary nations, and living alone amongst them all without the 
belief in a continued existence after death, but nevertheless 
selected for the purpose, has possessed a pure monotheism, 
or the knowledge of the true God ; and this, moreover, not 
through philosophy, but only through revelation, as was 
indeed suitable ; for what value would a revelation have 
which only taught one what one knew without it ? That 
no other nation has ever conceived such an idea must accor- 
dingly contribute to our estimate of the revelation. 

Some Observations on my own Philosophy. 

There is scarcely any philosophical system so simple and 
constructed out of such few elements as my own ; a fact 
rendering it readily comprehensible at a glance. This results 
from the complete unity and consistency of its fundamental 
positions, and is certainly a favourable augury for its truth, 
truth being allied to simplicity dirXovg 6 rijg a.XrjS'das Xo'yoc 
<tyv. Simplex sigillum veri. My system might be signalized 
as immanent dogmatism, since its doctrines, although dog- 
matic, do not transcend the given world of experience, 
but merely explain what the latter is, by analyzing it into 
its ultimate elements. The old dogmatism overturned 
by Kant (and not less the air-bubbles of the three modern 
University -Sophists), is transcendent in that it passes be- 
yond the world, to explain it by something foreign thereto s 


it makes the world the consequence of a cause which is 
inferred from itself. My philosophy, on the other hand, 
began with the doctrine that cause and effect possess 
meaning solely within the world, and that only under the 
pre- supposition of it are there causes and effects; inas- 
much as the principle of cause in its four modes is merely 
the most universal form of the intellect, and that in this 
alone, as its true locus mundi, the objective world exists. 

In oilier philosophical systems, the consequence is reached 
through a chain of propositions. But this necessarily de- 
mands that the special content of the system be present in 
the very earliest of these propositions ; whereby the rest, as 
derived from them, can scarcely appear otherwise than 
monotonous, poor, empty, and tedious, being simply a 
development and repetition of what was contained in the 
original premises. This unhappy consequence of demon- 
strative deduction is most felt in Christian Wolf ; but even 
Spinoza, who strictly followed this method, was unable en- 
tirely to escape its drawbacks, although his genius knew 
how to compensate for them. My doctrines, on the othei 
hand, do not, for the most part, rest on a chain of syllo- 
gisms, but immediately on the sensible world itself, and 
the strict consequence, as visible in my own, as in any other 
system, is, as a rule, not simply arrived at by a logical 
process, but is rather the natural agreement of doctrines, 
necessarily resulting from their being based, in their en- 
tirety, on intuitive cognition, i.e., on the sensible perception 
of the one object, successively contemplated from different 
sides, or in other words, on the real world, which in all its 
phenomena is subject to the consciousness wherein it pre- 
sents itself. 

For this reason I have never had a care as to the mutual 
consistency of my doctrines ; not even when some of these 
appeared to me inconsistent, as was the case for some time ; 
for the agreement came afterwards of itself in proportion 


to the numerical completeness of the doctrines ; consistency 
in my case being nothing more than the consistency of 
reality with itself, which, of course, can never fail. This is 
analogous to when, on looking at a building for the first 
time on one side only, we fail to understand the symmetry 
of its parts, yet feel perfectly sure that it is not wanting, but 
will be visible to us on the completion of our view. But 
the above consistency is a perfectly certain one, because of 
its origination, and because it stands under the continual 
control of experience ; while that which is deduced, and 
whose validity is derived from syllogisms, may easily bo 
found false in some particular ; should, for instance, a 
member of the long chain be ungenuine, loosely fitted, or 
otherwise faulty in its construction. My philosophy ac- 
cordingly has a wide basis, on which everything stands 
immediately and, therefore, firmly ; while other systems 
resemble lofty towers, where if one support breaks, the 
whole edifice falls to the ground. The foregoing may be 
summed up in the statement that my philosophy has arisen, 
and is presented, in an analytic rather than a synthetic 

I may adduce as a special characteristic of my philoso- 
phizing, that I seek everywhere to arrive at the foundation 
of things, and that I am not satisfied till I have found the 
ultimate given reality. This is in accordance with the 
natural bent of my mind, which renders it wellnigh im- 
possible for me to rest in any more general and abstract 
and, therefore, undetermined knowledge, in mere concep- 
tions, least of all in mere words ; but drives nie forward 
till I have the final basis of all conceptions and propositions 
which is always an intuitive one, exposed before me, and 
which I then must either leave as an ultimate phenomenon, 
or, if possible, resolve it into its elements, but either way, 
follow out the essential nature of the thing to its utter- 
most. On this account, it will bo recognized one day 


(though certainly not during my lifetime) that the hand- 
ling of the same subject by any earlier philosopher is tame 
as compared with mine. Mankind has learnt much from me 
that will never be forgotten, and my writings will not pass 
into oblivion. 

Theism also assumes the world to be the production of 
a Will a Will that guides the planets in their orbits, and 
caJls forth nature upon their surface. But theism, in 
childish fashion, places this Will outside the Universe, 
and only allows it to operate indirectly on the things, 
namely, through the medium of cognition and matter, in a 
Human manner ; while with me the Will works not so 
much on things, as in them ; they themselves being indeed 
naught else but its visible manifestation. 

This agreement proves, however, that we cannot regard 
the original of things in any other light than as Will. 
Pantheism calls this ever-active Will that is in things by 
the name of Grod ; an absurdity frequently and strongly 
enough exposed by me. I have designated it the Will to 
live; because this expresses the finality of our knowledge 
on the subject. The above relation of the Mediate to the 
Immediate presents itself also in the sphere of Morals. 
The Theists would have a reconcilation between what one 
does and what one suffers, and so would I. But they make 
this take place through the medium of time, and the inter- 
position of a Judge and Avenger. I, on the other hand, 
immediately, since I demonstrate the same being in the 
actor and the sufferer. The moral consequences of Chris- 
tianity to the most extreme Asceticism are present with 
me, but based on the reason and the connection of things ; 
while in Christianity they are supported by mere fables. 
The belief in these is daily waning ; people will, therefore, 
be forced to turn to my philosophy. The Pantheists can 
have no seriously-meant morality, since they regard every 
"Shi og as equally divine and excellent. It has often been 


made a reproach to me that in philosophy, namely theo- 
retically, I have represented life as miserable and no way 
to be desired ; it should be remembered, however, that 
practically, he who lays little store by his life is praised, 
nay admired, and he who is careful and troubled as to its 
preservation is despised. My writings had scarcely begun 
to awaken the curiosity of some persons before the ques- 
tion of priority arose with reference to ray fundamental 
thought, it being represented that Schelling had once said, 
" Will is Being; " and anything else of this kind which 
could be adduced. With regard to this matter, it may be 
observed that the root of my philosophy is already present 
in the Kantian, especially in Kant's doctrine of empirical 
and intelligible character, but above all, in that whenever 
Kant brings the thing-in-itself nearer the light, it always 
appears through its veil as Will ; a point to which I have 
expressly called attention in my " Critique of the Kantian 
Philosophy/' and have said accordingly that my philosophy 
is no more than its complete thinking-out. It is not to be 
wondered at then, if the philosophizings of Fichte and 
Schelling, who equally started from Kant, also show traces 
of the same fundamental idea ; although they there appear 
without consequence, connection, or development, and there- 
fore may be regarded as a mere foretaste of my doctrines. 
But, in general, as regards this point, it may be remarked 
that every great truth before its discovery is announced 
by a previous feeling, a presentiment, a faint outline as in 
fog, and an unavailing attempt to grasp it ; simply because 
the progress of the time has prepared it. It is, therefore, 
preluded by disjointed utterances. But he alone, who has 
recognized a truth from its causes, and thought it out to 
its consequences, developed its whole content, cast his eyes 
over the extent of its domain, and after this, with a full 
consciousness of its value and importance, clearly and con- 
nectedly expounded it, he alone is its originator. When, 


on the other hand, it happens on some occasion or other, 
to have been expressed either in ancient or modern times, 
with a half consciousness, almost as an utterance in sleep, 
and is hence to be found only if expressly looked for, it 
has little further significance, even though it stand there 
totidem verbis, than if it were there merely totidem litteris. 
Just as the finder of a thing is he, who knowing its value, 
picks it up and keeps it ; and not he who chances to take it 
into his hand, and let it fall again ; or, once more, Columbus 
is the discoverer of America, and not the first shipwrecked 
Bailor the waves cast up there. This is precisely the 
meaning of theDouatian pereant qui ante nos nostra dixerunt. 
Had my critics desired to establish an effective priority 
against me on the strength of such chance sayings, they 
should have sought farther back when, for instance, they 
might have adduced Clemens Alexandrinus (Strom. II., c. 
17) : irporj-yelrat roivvv TcavTuv TO /3ov\t(T$af al yap \oyiKal 
$vvaf*et TOV fiovXecrSai Siaxovot TrttyvKaai (Velle ergo omnia 
antecedit : rationales enim facilitates sunt voluntatis minis- 
tree (" Sanctorum Patrum Opera Polemica," vol. v. Weiss- 
burghi, 1779 ; " dementis Alex. Opera," torn, ii., p. 304) ; 
as also Spinoza : Cupiditas est ipsa unius cujusque natura, 
seue88entia("'Et]}. 9 " p,iii., prop. 57) and before: Hicconatus, 
cum ad mentem solam refertur, Voluntas appellatur ; sed 
cum ad mentem et corpus simul refertur, vocatur Appetitus, 
qui proinde nihil aliud est, quam ipsa hominis essentia (p. 
iii., prop. 9, schol., and finally, p. iii, Defin. I., explic.) 
Hevetius remarks with great justice : H n'est point de 
moyens que I'envieux, sous Vapparence de la justice, n'emploie 
pour degrader le merite. . . . C'est Venvie seule qui nous 
fait trouver dans les anciens toutcs les decouvertes modernes. 
Une phrase vide de sens, ou du moins iniutellicfible avant cea 
decouvertes, sufftt pour fair e crier au plagiat (" Del'Esprit," 
iv. 7). There is one more passage in Helvctius I shall 
take the liberty of recalling, having rel'oience to the matter 


in question, the quotation of which I must beg the reader 
not to lay down to vanity and arrogance, but simply to 
bear in mind the justice of the thought expressed and con- 
sider whether or not something in it will be found capable 
of application to myself. Quiconque se plait a considi'rer 
V esprit humain voit, dans chaque siccle, cinq ou six homines 
d? esprit tourner autour de la decouverte que fait Vhomme de 
genie. Si Vhonneur eu reste a ce dernier, c j est que cette 
decouverte est, entre ses mains, plus f^conde que dans les mains 
de tout autre ; c'est qu'il rend ses idres avecplus deforce et de 
nettete ; et qu'enfin on voit toujuurs a la maniere differcnte, 
dont les homines tirent parti dun principe ou d'une decou- 
verte a qui ce principe au cettc decouverte apparticnt (" De 
1'Esprit," iv. 1). 

As a consequence of the old, irreconcilable war, that has 
everywhere and always been waged by incapacity and stu- 
pidity against intellect and understanding by legions on 
the one side against individuals on the other he who 
brings to light anything valuable and genuine has to fight 
a hard battle with incompetence, dulness, depraved taste, 
private interests and envy, all in that worthy alliance, re- 
specting which Chamfort says : en examinant la ligne des 
sots contre les gens d esprit on croirait voir une conjuration de 
valets pour ccarter les maitres. In my case there was, in 
addition, an unusual enemy engaged ; the greater part of 
those, whose business it was to guide public opinion in my 
department, were appointed and paid to propagate and to 
laud to the very skies that worst of all systems the 
Hegelian. But this cannot succeed if one is determined 
that the good shall produce its effect, even though it bo 
only in a measure. The above may explain to my future 
readers the, to them, otherwise unaccountable fact, that I 
have remained as unknown to my own contemporaries as 
the man in the moon. It must be acknowledged, notwith- 
standing, that a system of thought which, in the absence 


o any participation on the part of others, has been able to 
engage its originator throughout a long life unceasingly 
and cheerfully, and to spur him onto unremitting and un- 
rewarded labour, possesses in itself a testimony to its value 
and its truth. Destitute of any encouragement from out- 
side, the love of my work alone has through the many days 
of my life upheld my endeavours, and not allowed me to 
tire. I have, therefore, looked with contempt on the noisy 
celebrity of the worthless. For upon nay entry upon life 
iny genius laid before me this choice, either to acknowledge 
the truth, but therewith to please no one ; or, like others, 
to teach falsehood with support and applause ; and the 
choice was not difficult for me. Accordingly, the fortune 
of my philosophy was the opposite of that of the Hegelian, 
so entirely so, indeed, that one may regard them both as 
the opposite sides of the same sheet, according to the con- 
struction of both philosophies. Hegelianism, devoid alike 
of truth, clearness, and intelligence, nay, of human under- 
standing, and in addition appearing in the shape of the 
most sickening Grallimathias that had ever been heard of, 
was a subsidized and privileged academical philosophy, 
consequently a species of nonsense which supported its 
author. My philosophy appearing simultaneously with it 
had, indeed, all the qualities which it lacked ; but it was 
not cut out for any ulterior purposes, was not at all suited 
at that time for the chair, and, therefore, as the expression 
is, there was nothing to be made out of it. It followed 
then, as day follows night, that Hegelianism was the flag to 
which all ran, while my philosophy found neither applause 
nor adherents; but was rather with a uniform purpose 
completely ignored, treated with silence, and where possible 
smothered, because through its presence the above miser- 
able game would have been spoilt, as shadows on the wall 
are by the incoming daylight. TTonce I became the Iron 
Mask, or as the excellent Dorguth says, the Kaspar-Hausor 


of the professors of philosophy : shut out from air and 
light that no one might see me, and that my natural 
claims might not be recognized. Now, however, the Man 
who should have been killed by the silence of the pro- 
fessors of philosophy is again risen from the dead, to the 
great consternation of the professors of philosophy, who 
do not know at all what face they shall assume. 


THE ultimate basis on which all our cognitions and 
sciences rest, is the inexplicable. Every explanation 
leads back to this by means of more or less intermediate 
stages ; as in the sea the plummet finds the bottom, now 
in greater, now in lesser depths, but must nevertheless 
everywhere reach it at last. This inexplicable falls to the 
share of Metaphysics. 

Almost all men unceasingly think they are this and this 
man (TIQ avSpioiroo), together with the corollaries which re- 
sult therefrom. On the other hand, that they are Man in 
general (6 uvSpuiroc), and the corollaries which follow from 
this, scarcely ever occurs to them, but is nevertheless the 
main point. The few who pay more attention to the latter 
than to the former proposition are philosophers. But the 
tendency of the others is reducible to the fact that they 
never see anything in the things except the particular and 
individual, and not their universality. Only the more 
highly gifted see more or less, according to the degree of 
their intelligence, the universal in particular things. This 
important distinction interpenetrates the whole faculty of 
knowledge so far indeed that it extends itself down to the 
intuition of the most every-day objects ; hence, in the highly 

1 The following essays are from the second volume of the 
(< L'arerga and Paralipomcna," and are headed "Detached yet 
systematically arranged thoughts on many different subjects." 


gifted head these are other than in the ordinary head. 
This grasp of the universal in the particular, which always 
pi esents itself, is coincident with that which I have called 
the pure Will-less Subject of Knowledge, and have postu- 
lated as the subjective correlate of the Platonic Idea. This 
is proved because, when directed on the universal, the intel- 
ligence may remain will-less, while, on the contrary, the 
objects of the Will lie in particular things ; for which reason 
the intelligence of animals is strictly limited to these par- 
ticulars, and accordingly their intellect remains exclusively 
in the service of their will. The above direction of the 
mind to the universal is the indispensable condition of 
genuine achievements in philosophy, poetry, and in the arts 
and sciences generally. 

For the intellect in the service of the Will, that is, in 
practical use, there are only particular things. For the 
intellect which pursues art and science, in other words, 
which is active for its own sake, there are only universalities, 
whole kinds, species, classes, Ideas, of things, for even the 
creative artist wishes to present the Idea, that is, the kind 
in the individual. This comes about because the Will is 
turned directly merely to individual things ; these are, 
properly speaking, its objects, for these alone have empiri- 
cal reality. Concepts, classes, species, can, 011 the contrary, 
become objects only very indirectly. Hence the common 
man has no sense for universal truths. But genius over- 
looks and misses the individual element. The compulsory 
occupation with the particular, as such, in so far as it- 
constitutes the matter of practical life, is an irksome 

The two first conditions of philosophizing are these: 
firstly, to have the courage to set one's heart upon no 
question ; and, secondly, to 1 ring all that which is obvious 
in itself to clear consciousness in order to comprehend it as 


problem. Finally, in order, properly- speaking, to philoso- 
phize, the mind must be truly at leisure. It must pursue 
no purposes, and thus not be led by the Will, but give 
itself over undivided ly to the teaching which the perceptive 
world and its own consciousness impart to it. Now pro- 
fessors of philosophy are concerned as to their personal 
use and advantage, and what leads thereto ; there the 
serious point for them lies. For this reason they fail 
altogether to see so many obvious things, indeed do not 
so much as once come to reflection on the problems of 

The poet brings pictures of life, human character, and 
situations before the imagination, sets everything in motion, 
and leaves it to everyone to think into these pictures, as 
much as his intellectual power will find for him therein. 
On this account he can satisfy men of the most diverse 
capacities, even fools and wise men at the same time. 
Now the philosopher does not bring in the same way life 
itself, but the completed thoughts which he has abstracted 
from it, and demands that his reader should think just in 
the same way, and just as far as he himself, and his public 
is, in consequence, very small. The poet may therefore 
be compared to him who brings the flowers, the philosopher 
to him who brings the quintessence. 

Another great advantage which poetical achievements 
have over philosophical is this, that all poetical works can 
stand without hindrance to each other side by side ; while 
a philosophical system has hardly come into the world, 
but it contemplates the destruction of all its brothers, like 
an Asiatic sultan on ascending the throne. For as there 
can only be one queen in a beehive, so there can only be 
one philosophy on the order of the day. Systems are of 
as unsociable a nature as spiders, of which each sits alone 
in its web, and sees how many flies will let themselves be 


caught in it, but only approaches another spider in ord<^ 
to fight it. Thus, while the works of poets pasture peace- 
fully next each other like lambs, those of philosophers are 
born ravening beasts, and their destructive impulses are 
even directed primarily against their own species, like those 
of scorpions, spiders, and the larvce of certain insects. 
They come into the world like the armed men from the 
seed of Jason's dragons' teeth, and have till now like 
these mutually exterminated each other. This battle has 
already lasted more than 2,000 years. Will a final victory 
and lasting peace ever result from it ? 

In consequence of its essentially polemical nature, this 
bellum omnium contra omnes of the philosophical systems, 
it is infinitely more difficult to obtain recognition as phi- 
losopher than as poet. The work of the poet demands 
nothing further from the reader than to enter into the 
series of the writings which amuse or elevate him, and the 
devotion of some few hours to them. The work of the 
philosopher, on the contrary, is intended to revolutionize 
his whole mode of thought; it requires of him that he 
shall acknowledge all he has learnt and believed in this 
department to be error, his time and trouble to be lost, 
and shall begin again from the beginning. It, at most, 
leaves some rudiments of its predecessor standing in order 
to build its foundation upon them. To this is added that, 
in every teacher of an already existing system, it has a 
professional opponent, and that sometimes even the state 
takes a philosophical system that pleases it under its pro- 
tection, and by the help of its powerful material resources 
prevents the success of any other. Again, one must con- 
sider that the size of the philosophical public is propor- 
tioned to that of the poetical, as the number of people who 
want to be taught to those who want to be amused, and 
one will be able to judge, quibus auspidis a philosopher 
makes tis entry, J\ is indeed true, on the other band, 


t>at it is the applause of thinkers of the elect of all periods 
and all countries without difference of nation which re- 
wards the philosopher ; the multitude gradually learns to 
reverence his name on the strength of authority. In ac- 
cordance with the foregoing, and on account of the slow 
but deep effect of the progress of philosophy on which the 
whole human race proceeds, since thousands of years the 
history of philosophers goes with that of kings, and counts 
a hundred times fewer names than the latter. Hence it is 
a great thing to procure for one's own name an enduring 
place therein. 

The philosophical writer is the guide, and his reader is 
the wanderer. If they are to arrive together they must, 
above all things, start together ; that is, the author must 
take his reader to a standpoint which they have in 
common ; but this can be no other than that of the em- 
pirical consciousness which is common to all of us. Let 
him, then, grasp him firmly by the hand, and see how 
high above the clouds he can attain, step by step, along 
the mountain path. This is how Kant proceeds. He 
starts from common experience, as well of one's own self 
as of other things. How mistaken it is, on the other hand, 
to seek to start from the standpoint of an assumed intel- 
lectual intuition of hyperphysical relations, or processes, 
or even of a reason which perceives the supersensible, or 
of an absolute, self -thinking Eeason. For all this means 
starting from the standpoint of not directly communicable 
cognitions, when therefore even at starting the reader does 
not know whether he is near his author, or miles distant 
fiom him. 

Conversation with another, and serious meditation and 
inward contemplation of the things, is as a machine to a 
living organism. For only in the latter case is everything 


cut from one piece, or as it were played in one key, wherebv 
alone it can acquire clearness, intelligibility, and true co- 
herence in fact, unity. Otherwise, heterogeneous pieces 
of very different origin are stuck together, and a certain 
unity of movement is forced, which often unexpectedly 
stops. It is only oneself that one understands perfectly ; 
others only half, for one can at most attain to community 
of concepts, but never to the perceptual point of view 
lying at their foundation. Hence deep philosophical truths 
are never brought to light by way of common thinking in 
dialogue. Such, however, is very serviceable as practice to 
the hunting up of problems, to their ventilation, and after- 
wards to the testing, controlling, and criticising of the 
proposed solution. Plato's dialogues are composed in this 
sense, and accordingly the second and third academies which 
issued from his school took on a more and more sceptical 
direction. As form for the communication of philosophical 
ideas the written dialogue is only serviceable where the 
subject admits of two or more wholly different or even 
opposite views respecting which the judgment of the reader 
shall either remain suspended or which, taken together, 
shall lead to a complete and accurate understanding of the 
matter. To the first case belongs the refutation of objec- 
tions raised. The dialogue form chosen for this purpose 
must, however, be genuinely dramatic ; in that the diffe- 
rences of opinion are laid bare to their foundations and 
thoroughly worked out. There must really be two speak- 
ing. Without this, it is, as is mostly the case, mere idle 

Neither our knowledge, nor our insight, will be ever 
specially increased by the comparison and discussion of 
what has been said by others ; .for that is always like 
pouring water from one vessel into another. Only by the 
contemplation things oneself, can insight and knowledge 


"be really increased ; for it alone is the living source, always 
ready, and always at hand. It is curious to see how would- 
be philosophers are for ever occupied with the first method, 
and seem not to know the other at all, being always con- 
cerned with what this one has said and with what that one 
may have meant. So that they are, as it were, perpetually 
turning old casks upside down in order to see whether 
some drop may not have remained behind, while the living 
well-spring lies neglected at their feet. Nothing so much 
as this betrays their incapacity, or gives the lie more to 
their assumed mien of importance, depth, and originality. 

Those who hope to become philosophers by the study of 
the history of philosophy ought to conclude from it that 
philosophers, like poets, are only born, and that, indeed, 
much more rarely. 

A curious and unworthy definition of philosophy which 
even Kant gives, is that it is a science of mere concepts. 
For the whole property of concepts is only what has been 
placed in them after it has been begged and borrowed from 
perceptual knowledge, the real and inexhaustible source of 
insight. Hence a true philosophy cannot be spun out of 
mere abstract concepts, but must be founded on observa- 
tion and experience, inner no less than outer. It is not by 
attempts at the combination of concepts such as has been 
so often practised, but especially by the sophists of our 
time, by Fichte and Schelling, and in its worst form by 
Hegel (in Morals also by Schleiermacher) that any good 
will be achieved in philosophy. Like art and poetry, it 
must have its source in our perceptual view of the world. 
Moreover, however much the head ought to have the 
upper hand, it must not* be treated so cold-bloodedly, but 
that at last the whole man with head and heart should 
come into action, and be stirred throughout. Philosophy 


is no algebraic formula. Yauvenargues is right when he 
says : Les grandes pensces viennent du coeur. 

Considered as a whole, the philosophy of all times may 
be conceived as a pendulum which swings from side to side 
between Eationalism and Illuininism, that is, between the 
employment of the objective and subjective sources of 

Rationalism, which has for its organ the intellect, origi- 
nally determined for the service of the Will, and therefore 
directed outwards, appears first as Dogmatism, as which it 
maintains a completely objective attitude. Then it changes 
to Scepticism, and becomes in consequence finally Criti- 
cism, which undertakes to settle the dispute by a con- 
sideration of the subject ; in other words, it becomes trans- 
cendental philosophy. I understand by this, every philo- 
sophy which starts from the proposition that its nearest 
and most immediate object is not the world of things, but 
only the human consciousness of the things, and that this, 
therefore, can never be left out of consideration. The 
French call this rather inexactly the methode psychologique, 
in opposition to the methode purement logique, by which 
they understand, without more ado, the philosophy pro- 
ceeding from objects, or objectively thought concepts, in 
short, Dogmatism. Having reached this point, Eationalism 
attains to the knowledge that its organon apprehends only 
the phenomenon, and does not reach the ultimate inner and 
original essence of things. 

At all its stages, but most of all here, Illuminism asserts 
itself as its antithesis. Illuminism, which essentially turned 
inwards has as its organon internal illumination, intellec- 
tual intuition, higher consciousness immediately- cognising 
Eeason, divine consciousness, &c., and which contemns 
Eationalism as the " light of nature." If a religion, it is 
Mysticism, its root-failing being that its knowledge is not 


.mediate ; partly because for the internal perception there 
is no criterion of the identity of the objects of different 
subjects ; partly because such a knowledge would have to 
be communicated by language, but the latter, which has 
arisen for the sake of the knowing faculty of the Intellect, 
as directed outwards by means of its own abstraction, is 
quite unsuited to express those internal states which are 
different from it, and which form the material of Illunii- 
nism. The latter must, therefore, construct a language 
of its own, which again, for the reason above given, does 
not work. Not being mediate a knowledge of this kind is 
unclenionstrablo, the consequence being that Rationalism 
again enters the field hand in hand with Scepticism. 
Ilhiininism is already discoverable in certain places in 
Plato ; but it appears more distinctly in the philosophy of 
the Neo-Platonists, the Gnostics, in that of Dionysius 
Areopagita, as also in Scotus Erigerui ; among the Mahom- 
medans in the doctrines of the Sufi ; in India it is domi- 
nant in the Yedanta and Mimansa ; but most distinctly of 
all in Jacob Bcehme, and all the Christian Mystics. It 
always appears when Rational ism has run its course with- 
out attaining its goal. Thus it came towards the end of 
the scholastic philosophy and in opposition thereto, espe- 
cially among the Germans, as the Mysticism of Tauler, and 
the author of the " German Theology " amongst others. 
And, similarly, in modern times as opposition to the Kan- 
tian philosophy in Jacob i and Schelling, also in Fichte's 
last period. Philosophy, however, must be mediate know- 
ledge, hence Rationalism. I have accordingly, at the close 
of my own philosophy, indicated the sphere of Illuminism 
as present, but have taken special care not to place so 
much as a foot upon it. On the contrary, I have not even 
attempted to give the final clues to the existence of the 
world, but only went as far as was possible 011 the objec- 
tive Rationalistic path. I have left the ground free for 


Illiiininism to solve all problems in its own fashion, with- 
out its coining in my way, or having to polemicize against 

Meanwhile a nidden Illuminism may often enough lie at 
the basis of Rationalism, to which the philosopher looks as 
to a hidden compass, while he only admits that he steers 
his course by the stars, that is, the external objects which 
lie clearly before him, and that he takes them alone into his 
reckoning. This is admissible, since he does not undertake 
to communicate the immediate knowledge, his communica- 
tions remaining purely objective and rational. Such may 
have been the case with Plato, Spinoza, Malebranche, and 
some others ; it does not concern any one, for it is the 
secret of their own breast. But the noisy invocation of 
intellectual intuition, and the barren narration of its con- 
tent, with the claim for its objective validity, as in the case 
of Fichte and Schelling, is shameless and abominable. 

For the rest, Illuminism is a natural, and in so far a 
legitimate, attempt to fathom the truth. For the intellect 
directed outwards, as mere organon for the purposes of the 
Will, and consequently merely secondary, is nevertheless 
only a part of our entire human nature. It belongs to the 
phenomenon, and its knowledge merely assumes the pheno- 
menon, which is there only for its own sake. What can 
be more natural than that when we have failed to succeed 
with the objectivity-knowing intellect we bring into play 
our whole remaining being which is also Thing-in-itsclf, 
and as such pertains to the true nature of the world, 
and consequently must bear within it the solution of all 
problems in order to seek help from it, just as the 
ancient Germans, when they had played away everything 
else, finally staked their own pe" sons. But the only correct 
and objectively- valid way of carrying this out is that we 
apprehend the empirical fact of a Will proclaiming itself 


in our inmost being, and constituting our only nature, 
aild apply it to the explanation of our objective, external 
knowledge, as I have accordingly done. The way of 
Illuminism, on the other hand, for the reasons above 
explained, does not lead to this goal. 

Mere cleverness suffices for the sceptic but not for the 
philosopher. Meanwhile scepticism is in philosophy what 
opposition is in Parliament ; it is as beneficial as it is 
necessary. It is always based on the fact that philosophy 
is not capable of evidence of such a kind as Mathematics ; 
just as little as the man is capable of the tricks of animal 
instinct which arc also certain a priori. Hence scepticism 
will ever be able, as against every system, to lay itself in 
the other scale. But its weight will at last become so little 
against the other that it will no more hurt it than the 
arithmetical quadrature of the circle, which is also only 

That which one knows has a double value, if at the same 
time one admits oneself not to know that which one does 
not know. For thereby the former is free from the sus- 
picion to which one exposes it if, like for instance the 
Schellingites, one proposes also to know what one does not 

Every one forms certain propositions which he holds for 
true without investigation, declarations of reason. Such 
propositions he could not bring himself seriously to test, 
since this would involve his calling them in question for 
the nonce. They have come into this unshakeable credit 
with him because ever since he began to speak and to 
think he has heard them perpetually spoken of, and they 
have thereby become indoctrinated into him. Hence his 
habit of thinking them is as old as his habit of thinking 
at all ; they have grown up into his brain. What is here 


said is so true that it would, on the one hand, be superfluous, 
and on the other, of doubtful desirability, to substantiate 
it with examples. 

No conception of the world which has arisen from an 
objective "perceptual apprehension of things, and which 
has been logically carried out, can be entirely false ; it is in 
the worst case only one-sided, as for instance complete 
Materialism, absolute Idealism, &c. They are all true, 
but they are equally so consequently their truth is only 
relative. Every such conception is true, namely, only from 
a particular standpoint; just as a picture only displays a 
landscape from one point of view. But if one lifts oneself 
above the standpoint of such a system one recognizes the 
relativity of its truth, that is, its onesidedness. Only the 
highest standpoint which overlooks and takes into account 
all, can furnish absolute truth. It is true accordingly 
when I, for example, conceive myself as a mere natural 
product arisen in time, and destined to complete destruc- 
tion after the manner of the Koheleth. 

But it is equally true that everything that was or will 
be, I am, and that nothing exists outside me. It is just as 
true when I, after the manner of Anakreon, place the 
highest happiness in the enjoyment of the present time, 
but it is equally true when I recognize the wholesonieness 
of sufferiug, and the nothingness, nay, the injuriousness of 
all pleasure, and conceive death as the object of my 

All this has its reason in that each view logically carried 
out is only a perceptual and objective apprehension of 
nature translated into concepts, and thereby fixated ; but 
nature, t.e, the perceptual, never lies nor contradicts itself 
since its essence excludes any sush thing. Where, there- 
fore, contradiction and lie are, there are thoughts which 
have not sprung from objective apprehension e.g., op- 


timisin. But an objective apprehension may be incomplete 
ajnd one-sided ; it then requires completion, not refutation. 

People are never tired of reproaching Metaphysics with 
its small progress in view of the great progress of the 
Physical sciences. Even Yoltaire exclaims : meta- 
plu/sique! nous sommes aussi avances que du terns des 
2>remiers Druides ("Mel. d. phil." ch. 9). But what 
other science has like it always had as a hindrance an 
antagonist, ex officio, a paid fiscal prosecutor, a king's 
champion in full armour, to attack it defenceless and 
weaponless ? It will never show its true powers, never be 
able to make its giant- strides, so long as it is required of 
it with threats, that it shall suit itself to dogmas cut out 
with a view to the small capacity of the great mass. They 
first bind our arms, and then mock us because we cannot 
accomplish any tiling. 

Eeligioiis have seized upon the metaphysical faculties of 
men, which they first of all lame by the early instilling of 
their dogmas, respecting which they taboo all free and un- 
prejudiced expressions of opinion, so that free research 
respecting the most important and interesting of problems, 
respecting mini's existence itself, is in part directly for- 
bidden, in part indirectly hindered, being rendered subjec- 
tively wellnigh impossible by mutilation, and thus the 
most noble of man's faculties lies in fetters. 

In order to make us patient under contradiction, and 
tolerant of views opposed to our own, nothing is, perhaps, 
more powerful than the remembrance how often we have 
successively held quite opposite views on the same subject, 
and have changed ther* repeatedly, sometimes indeed 
within a very short period, how we have rejected and 
again taken up, now this opinion, now its opposite, accord- 


ing as the subject presented itself to us, now in one, now 
in another light. 

In the same way there is no tiling more calculated to 
procure acceptance with another for our contradiction of 
his own opinion than the phrase, " I used to think the 
same myself, but/' &c. 

A fallacious doctrine, whether founded on a false opinion 
or sprung from a bad intention, is only designed for special 
circumstances, and consequently for a certain time ; but 
the truth is for all time, even though it may be misunder- 
stood or smothered for a while. For as soon as a little light 
comes from within, or a little air from without, someone 
will be found to proclaim or to defend it. For since it 
has not originated in the interests of any party, every 
superior mind will be its champion at any time. It 
resembles the magnet which always and everywhere points 
to an absolutely definite part of the compass ; the false 
doctrine, on the contrary, resembles a sfatue which points 
with the hand towards another statue, but once removed 
from it loses all significance. 

What stands most in the way of the discovery of truth 
is not the false appearance proceeding from the things and 
leading to error, nor even directly the weakness of the 
understanding; but it is the preconceived opinion, the 
prejudice which, as a bastard a priori, opposes itself to the 
truth, and then resembles a contrary wind which drives 
the ship back from the direction in which the land lies, so 
that rudder and sail work in vain. 

J comment as follows on Goethe's verse in " Faust": 

" What thon hast inherited from thy fathers 
Inherit it in order to possess iO 


That which thinkers have discovered before us, it is of 
Teat service and value for ourselves to discover by our own 
means, independently of them, and before we know them, 
for one understands what one has thought out for oneself 
much more thoroughly than what one has learnt, and 
when one afterwards finds it with these predecessors, one 
receives an unhoped-for confirmation, speaking strongly 
for its truth, from an independent and recognized authority. 
In this way one gains confidence and assurance to champion 
it against every opponent. 

When, on the other hand, one has found something first 
of all in books, and then attained the same result by one's 
own reflection, one never knows for certain that one has 
thought and reasoned this out oneself, and not merely 
been the echo in one's feelings, or one's speech, of these 
predecessors. But this makes a very great difference in 
respect to the certainty of the matter. For in the latter 
case it may happen that one has erred with one's prede- 
cessors owing to one's preoccupation with tliem, just as 
water readily takes to a ready-made course. If two persons, 
each for themselves, make a calculation and reach the 
same result, the result is certain, but not when the calcula- 
tion has merely been looked-through by the other. 

It is a consequence of the construction of our Intellect, 
sprung as it is from the Will, that we cannot help con- 
ceiving the world either as end or as means. The first 
would assert that its existence was justified by its essence, 
and was definitely preferable to its non-existence. But 
the knowledge that it is only a place of struggle for suffer- 
ing and dying beings renders this idea untenable. Again, 
the infinity of Time already passed does not admit of its 
being conceived as means, for every end to be obtained 
would long ago have been accomplished. From this it 
follows that the foregoing application of the natural pre- 


supposition of our intellect to the whole of things, or to 
the world, is transcendent, that is, it is valid in the world, 
but not of the world. This is explicable from the fact that 
it arises from the nature of an Intellect, which as I have 
shown has itself arisen for the service of an individual 
Will, i.e., for the attainment of its objects, and hence 
being exclusively concerned with ends and means, neither 
knows nor conceives of any thing else. 

When we look outwards, where the immeasurableness of 
the world and the countleasness of its beings display them- 
selves to us, oneself as mere individual shrinks up to no- 
thing and seems to vanish. Carried away by the immensity 
of mass and number, one thinks further that only the 
philosophy directed outward, that is, the objective philo- 
sophy, can be the right way, and to doubt as to this never 
occurred to the oldest Greek philosopher. 

Let us now look inwards. We find, in the first place, 
that every individual takes an immediate interest only in 
himself, indeed that his self he takes more to heart than 
all else put together ; which comes from the fact that he 
knows himself immediately but everything else only me- 
diately. If one adds to this that conscious and knowing 
beings are thinkable solely as individuals, and that beings 
without consciousness have only a half, a mere mediate exis- 
tence, it follows that all proper and true existence obtains 
only in the individual. If, finally, one considers that the 
object is conditioned by the subject, and that, therefore, 
this immeasurable outer world has its existence only in the 
consciousness of knowing beings and, consequently, is bound 
up with the existence of individuals which are its bearers, 
so much so that in a sense it may be looked upon as a 
mere equipment, an accident of th always individual con- 
sciousness ; if one, I say, keeps all this in view one is 
driven to the opinion that only the philosophy which is 


directed imvards proceeding from the subject as imme- 
diately given in other words, that of the modern, since 
Descartes is on the right way, and that the Ancients have 
overlooked the main points. But one first receives the 
complete conviction of this, when turning within upon 
oneself, one brings to one's consciousness the feeling of 
origination which lies in every knowing being. More than 
this, everyone, even the most insignificant human being, 
finds in his simple self-consciousness himself as the most 
real of all beings, and recognizes necessarily in himself 1he 
true centre of the world, the ultimate source of all real ity. 
And does this ultimate consciousness lie ? Its most power- 
ful expression is to be found in the words of the Upani- 
shad : hoe omnes creaturce in totum ego sum, et prater me 
ens aliud non est, et omnia ego creatafeci (" Oupnekh," i., p. 
122), which is certainly there the transition to Illuminisin, 
or indeed, to Mysticism. This is, therefore, the result of 
contemplation directed inwards ; while that directed out- 
wards shows us as the goal of our existence a heap of 
ashes. 1 

Respecting the division of philosophy, which is of special 
importance with regard to its exposition, it should, from 
my point of view, be treated as follows : 

Philosophy, indeed, has experience for its subject, but 
not, like the other sciences, this or that definite experience, 
but experience itself generally and as such, according to 
its possibility, its range, its essential content, its inner and 
outer element, its form and matter. That philosophy must 

1 Finite and infinite are concepts, having significance merely in 
respect of time and space, inasmuch as both these are infinite, i.e, 
endless, as also infinitely divisible. If we apply these two con- 
cepts to other things it must be to such things as fill space and 
time, and can participate in their qualities. From this it may be 
judged how great is the ahuse which philosophasters have in thia 
century carried on with these concepts. 


assuredly have empirical foundations, and not bo spun out 
of purely abstract conceptions, I have adequately explainer 
in the second volume of my chief work, chap, xvii., pp. 
180-185 (3rd ed., 199 seq.), and have given a short re- 
sumo of it above. Hence it follows further that the 
first thing which it has to contemplate must be the 
medium in which experience-in-genoral presents itself, 
together with its form and construction. This medium 
is presentment, knowledge, in short, intellect. For this 
reason every philosophy must begin with the investiga- 
tion of the faculty of knowledge, its forms and its laws, 
as also its validity and limits. Such an investigation 
will, therefore, be a Philosophia prima. It falls asunder 
into the consideration of the primary, i.e., perceptual pre- 
sentments, which part may be called Dianoiology, or doc- 
trine of the Understanding ; and into the consideration of 
the secondary, i.e., abstract presentments, together with 
the order of their treatment as logic, or doctrine of Eeason. 
This universal part conceives, or rather represents, that 
which was formerly termed Ontology, and which was put 
forward as the doctrine of the most universal and essential 
qualities of things in general, and as such ; inasmuch as 
what only accrues to things in consequence of the form and 
nature of our faculty of presentment since all essences to 
be apprehended by the latter must present themselves in 
accordance therewith, whereby they bear certain characteris- 
tics common to them all were held to be the qualities of 
the things in themselves. This may be compared to attri- 
buting the colour of a glass to the objects seen through it. 
The philosophy following upon such investigation is in 
the narrower sense of the word Metaphysics, since it not 
only teaches us to know that which is actually present, 
nature conceived in its order and connection, but it appre- 
hends it as a given, though in some way, conditioned phe- 
nomenon, in which a being distinct from itself, in other 


words, the thing-in-itself, displays itself. This it en- 
^ieavours to learn more closely, the means thereto being 
partly the bringing together of outer and inner experience ; 
partly the attainment of an understanding of the whole 
phenomenon by a discovery of its meaning and connection, 
to compare the reading of the hitherto indecipherable 
characters of an unknown writing. In this way it attains 
from the appearance to the thing appearing, to that which 
is hidden behind it, hence ra /uera ra tyvawa.. It may be 
divided in consequence into three parts : 

Metaphysic of Nature, 
Metaphysic of the Beautiful, 
Metaphysic of Morals. 

The deduction of this division, however, presupposes 
Metaphysics. For this points to the thing-in-itself, the 
inner and ultimate essence of the phenomenon, as our 
Will. Hence, after a consideration of it as presented in 
external nature, Metaphysic investigates its quite different 
and immediate manifestation in ourselves, whence proceed 
the Metaphysic of Morals. But, previously to this, the 
completest and purest apprehension of its external or ob- 
jective phenomenon is taken into consideration which 
gives us the Metaphysic of the Beautiful. 

Eational Psychology, or doctrine of the soul, there is 
not ; for, as Kant has proved, the soul is a transcendent, 
and as such, an undemonstrated and unjustified hypos- 
tasis, so that the antithesis of " spirit and nature " is left 
for the Philistines and Hegelians. The essence in itself 
of the human being can only be understood in conjunction 
with the essence in itself of all things, that is, of the 
world. Hence Plato, in the " Phsedrus " makes Socrates 
put the question in a negative sense : ^Fi/x^c olv $vaiv alac 
\6yov icaravojjf<7cu otei ^vvarov tivai avcv rrjg rov oXov (jtvcrewg 
(Animw vero naturam absque totius natura sufficienter cog- 


nosci posse existimas ?) The Microcosm and the Macrocosm 
reciprocally explain each other, whereby they evince them- 
selves as essentially the same. This consideration, con- 
nected with the inner side of man, interpenetrates and 
suffuses the whole of Metaphysic in all its parts, and can- 
iiot, such being the case, again appear separately as Psy- 
chology. Anthropology, on the other hand, as an empirical 
science has its justification, but it is partly anatomy and 
physiology, partly mere empirical Psychology, that is, a 
knowledge of the moral and intellectual manifestations and 
peculiarities of the human race, as also of the variation of 
individuals in this respect, derived from observation. The 
most important part of it is, nevertheless, necessary as 
empirical material to be taken up and worked out by the 
three parts of Metaphysic. What remains over requires 
fine observation and intelligent apprehension, indeed, a 
contemplation from a somewhat higher standpoint, I mean 
from that of a certain superiority, and is, therefore, only to 
be enjoyed in the writings of specially gifted minds, such as 
Theophrastus, Montaigne, Larochcfoucauld, Labruyere, 
Holvetius, Chamfort, Addison, Shaftesbury, Shenstone, 
Lichtenberg, &c., but is not to be sought nor to be endured 
in the compendiums of unintelligent, and therefore intelli- 
gence-hating, professors of philosophy. 


/ npHING--IN-ITSELF signifies the existent indepen- 
JL dentlj of our perception, in short, that which pro- 
perly is. This was, for Demokritus, formed matter. It 
was the same at bottom for Locke ; for Kant it was ~ x ; 
for me it is Will. 

How entirely Demokritus took the matter in the above 
sense, and hence belongs at the head of this exposition, is 
confirmed by the following passage from " Sextus Empi- 
ricus" (Adv. Math. 1. vii. 135), who had his works before 
him, and for the most part, cites verbally from them: 
Ar}/LioK()iTO Si OTI per avaipei TCL Qctit'ofjisva raig aivSiiviaiv, Kai 
rovrvv \lyet pySfv (paivfffSai tear dA//$eiav, aXAa povov Kara 
Sofay' a\Tj$tG de tv roiq ovaiv virap\eiv TO ar6jj.ov elvai 
Kai Kw6v, &G. (DemoJcritus autem ea quidem tollit, quce 
apparent sensibus, et ex Us dicit nihil ut vere est apparere, 
sed solwn, ex opinione ; verum autem esse in Us, quce sunt t 
atomos et inane.) I recommend the reader to look over 
the whole passage where also the following occurs: ererj 
vvv olov tKavTov liffTtv, rj OVK tanv, ov avvU^v' (vere quidem 
nos t quale sit vel non sit unumquodque, neutiquam intelli- 
gimus), also: trey olov tKaarov (tori) yiyvhaKtiv iv airopy 
tare (vere scire quale sit unum quodque, in dubio est). All 
this is as much as to say : " We do not know the things 
as they may be in themselves, but only as they appear," 
and opens up the series starting from the most decided 


Materialism but leading to Idealism, wliicli closes with 
me. A surprisingly clear and definite distinction between 
the thing-in-itself and the phenomenon, even in the Kantian 
sense, we find in a passage of Porphyry which Stobseos has 
preserved ("Eclog.," L. L, c. 43, Pragm. 3). It says, Ta 
rev at<r$i?rov Kal ivv\ov aXrjStig iorri raura, TO 
eivai SicnrttyopYijLiEi'ov, TO /ueTafiXrjTov sivat, &G. Tou $e 
OVTOQ Kal /ca$' CWTO vfyraTrjKOTOQ avrov, TO tlvai ael iv 
*MVT<jt> ifyvjjuit'ov' (paauTUQ TO Kara raura t^etK, &C. 

As we only know the surface of the earth, and not the 
great solid mass of the interior, so we know nothing what- 
ever empirically of things and the world, but only of their 
phenomenon, i.e., their surface. The exact knowledge of 
this is Physics taken in its widest sense. But that this 
surface presupposes an interior which is not mere surface, 
but has a cubic content, is, together with the conclusions 
as to its nature, the subject of Metaphysics. To attempt 
to construct the nature of things in themselves, according 
to the laws of the mere phenomenon, is an undertaking 
which may be compared to the attempt to construct from 
mere surfaces and their laws the stereometric body. Every 
transcendent dogmatic philosophy is an attempt to con- 
struct the thing-in-itself according to the laws of the 
phenomenon which results similarly to that of attempting 
to cover two absolutely dissimilar figures with one another, 
which must always miscarry, since turn them as one will 
now this, now that, corner projects. 

Inasmuch as every being in nature is at the same time 
a phenomenon and a thing-in-itself, that is, natura naturata, 
and natura naturans, it is capable of a double explanation, 
a physical and a metaphysical. The physical is always 
from the cause ; the metaphysical always from the Will ; 
for this it is which displays itself in consciousless nature 


as natural force, higher up as vital force, but in aniznal 
and man receives the name Will. Taken strictly, in a 
given human being the degree and the direction of his in- 
telligence, and the moral construction of his character, 
might possibly be purely physically produced, the first, 
viz., from the structure of his brain and nervous system, 
together with the circulation of the blood which affects it, 
the latter from the structure and combined action of his 
heart, cellular system, blood, lungs, liver, spleen, kidneys, 
intestines, genital organs, etc., but for this would certainly 
be requisite a much closer acquaintance with the laws 
which regulate the rapport du physique au moral than even 
Bichat and Cabanis possessed. Both would then be redu- 
cible to more distant physical causes, to wit, the structure of 
his parents, since these could only furnish the germ of a 
being like themselves, but not of a higher and better one. 
Metaphysically, on the other hand, the same human being 
must be explained as the phenomenon of his own perfectly 
free and original Will, which has created in him the corre- 
sponding intellect. Hence all his deeds, however neces- 
sarily they proceed from his character, in conflict with the 
given motive (and this again appears as the result of his 
corporisation), are nevertheless to be wholly attributed to 
him. Metaphysically, moreover, the distinction between 
him and his parents is not an absolute one. 

All understanding is an act of presenting, and remains, 
therefore, essentially within the domain of presentment ; 
but since this only furnishes phenomena it is limited to 
the phenomenon, where the thing-in-itself begins the 
phenomenon leaves off, consequently also the presentment, 
and with this the understanding. But its place is here 
taken by the existent itself, which is conscious of itself as 
Will. Were this self -consciousness immediate we should 
liave a completely adequate knowledge of the thing-in- 


itself. But because it is thereby rendered possible that 
the Will 'creates this organic body, and by means of part 
of the same an intellect, and finds and recognizes itself 
first through this, in self-consciousness as Will it follows 
that this knowledge of the thing-in-itself is primarily con- 
ditioned by the separation of a knowing and a known, and 
then by the form of time, which is inseparable from the 
cerebral self -consciousness, and that it is hence not completely 
exhausted and adequate. (Compare chap, xviii. in 2nd vol. 
of my chief work.) 1 

With this is connected the truth presented by me in my 

1 The distinction between the thing-in-itself and the phenomenon 
may be expressed as that between the subjective and objective 
essence of a thing. Its pure subjective essence is the thing-in- 
itself, but this is no object of knowledge. For in order to be such 
it is essential that it should always be present in a knowing con- 
sciousness as ita presentment, and what displays itself there is 
the objective essence of the thing. This is accordingly object of 
knowledge, but as such it is mere presentment, and as it can only 
become so by means of a presentment-apparatus which must have 
its own structure and the laws resulting therefrom, it is a mere 
phenomenon which must connect itself with the thing-in-itself. 
This obtains also where there exists a self-consciousness, that is, 
a self-cogni/ing I. For this also knows itself only in its intellect, 
i.e. its apparatus of presentment, and indeed through the external 
senses as organic form, by the internal as Will who^e acts it sees 
as simultaneously repeated by that form as the latter is by its 
shadow, whence it concludes as to the identity of both and terms 
the result I. But on account of this double knowledge, as well as 
on account of the great proximity in which the intellect here 
stands to its source or root, the Will, the knowledge of objective 
being, that is, of tjie phenomenon, differs here much less from the 
subjective or thing-in-itself than in the case of knowledge by 
means of the external sense or the consciousness of other things in 
opposition to self-consciousness. For to this, in so far as the in- 
ternal sense alone cognizes it, the form of time alone cleaves, arid 
no longer that of space and time together, time therefore and the 
separation of subject and object is all that divides it from the 


Essay on " Will in Nature/* under the heading " Physical 
Astronomy," p. 86 (2nd ed., p. 79 ; 3rd ed., p. 86) : that 
in proportion to the clearness with which a process or rela- 
tion may be comprehended, does it pertain to the mere 
phenomenon and not to the thing-in-itself. 

When we observe and contemplate any natural being, 
as for instance an animal, in its existence, life, and action, 
it stands before us, in spite of all that zoology and zootomy 
teach respecting it, as an impenetrable mystery. But does 
nature, then, from mere obstinacy remain eternally dumb 
to our questioning ? Is it not like everything great, open, 
communicative, and even naive ? Can its answer, there- 
fore, fail from any other reason than because the question 
was wrongly put, was onesided, proceeded from false 
assumptions, or, perhaps, even contained a contradiction? 
For is it easy to think that a connection of canses arid 
consequences could obtain where it must eternally and 
essentially remain undiscovered? That assuredly not. 
But it is unfathomable, because we search for causes and 
effects in a region to which this form is foreign, and hence 
we pursue the chain of causes and effects on an entirely 
wrong tack. We seek to attain the inner essence of nature, 
namely, which confronts us in every phenomenon on the 
lines of the principle of cause whereas this is the mere 
form with which our intellect apprehends the pheno- 
menon, i.e., the surface of things, and we expect by this 
means to get beyond the phenomenon. But within the 
range of the phenomenon it is useful and sufficient. For 
example, the actuality of a given animal may be explained 
from its generation. This in the last resort is no more 
mysterious than the sequence of any other, even the 
simplest effect, from itn cause, since even in such a case 
the explanation abuts ultimately upon the incomprehensible. 
The fact that in generation a few middle links in the chain 


of connection fail us makes no difference essentially, for 
even if we had them we should still come back to the in- 
comprehensible. All this is because the phenomenon 
remains phenomenon and does not become thing-in-itself. 
The inner essence of things is foreign to the principle of 
cause. It is the thing-in-itself, and that is pure Will. It 
is because it wills and it wills because it is. It is the 
simple Eeal in every being. 

The fundamental character of all things is perishability. 
We see everything in nature from the metal to the organism 
consuming and destroying itself, partly by its very exis- 
tence, partly by conflict with something else. How could 
nature endure the maintaining of its form, and the renew- 
ing of its individuals, the countless repetition of its life 
process throughout an endless time without tiring, if its 
own innermost core were not timeless, and hence completely 
indestructible, a thing-in-itself of a kind quite other than 
its phenomena a metaphysical thing quite distinct from 
the physical thing ? This is the Will in ourselves and in 
all things. 

We complain of the obscurity in which we live without 
understanding the connection of existence in the whole, and 
above all, not even of our own self with the whole ; so that 
not only is our life short, but our knowledge is exclusively 
limited to it, since we can neither look backward beyond 
our birth, nor forward beyond our death, and hence our 
consciousness is but a flash of lightning that momentarily 
illumines the night. It would seem, indeed, as though a 
spiteful demon had closed up for us all further knowledge 
that he might enjoy our embarrassment. But this com- 
plaint is, properly- speaking, unjustified, for it springs from 
an illusion which is brought about by the fallacious opinion 
that the totality of things has proceeded from an intellect, 


consequently, existed as mere presentment before it became 
real ; and that accordingly having arisen from knowledge, 
it must be also accessible to knowledge, and penetrable and 
exhaustible by it. But, in truth, the matter stands rather 
thus, that all that which we complain that we do not know 
is known to no one, is indeed in itself not knowable, i.e., 
not presentable. For the presentment in the domain of 
which all knowledge lies, and to which therefore all know- 
ledge refers, is only the external side of existence, a secon- 
dary added thing, something that is, which was not neces- 
sary to the maintenance of things generally, in other words, 
of the world- whole, but merely to the maintenance of indi- 
vidual animal beings. Hence the existence of things in 
general and as a whole, appears only per accident in know- 
ledge and, therefore, in a very limited manner; it only 
forms the background of the picture in the animal con- 
sciousness where the objects of the Will are the essential, 
and occupy the first place. There arises now, by means of 
this accident, the whole world in space and time, that is, 
the world as presentment, which has no existence of this 
kind outside knowledge. Its internal essence, on the other 
hand, that which is existent in itself, is quite independent 
of this kind of existence. But since, as already said, know, 
ledge is only there for the sake of the maintenance of each 
animal individual, so its whole structure, all its forms, as 
time, space, &c., are merely there for the purposes of such 
an individual. But the latter merely requires the knowledge 
of relations between particular phenomena, and in no way 
those of the nature of the thing and of the world -whole. 

Kant has proved that the problems of metaphysics which 
disturb every one more or less, are capable of no direct, of 
no sufficient solution whatever, but are based in the last 
resort on the fact that tkey have their origin in the forms 
of our intellect, time, space and causality, while this intel- 
lect is merely designed to supply the motives to the iudi- 


vidual will, i.e., to show it the objects of its willing together 
with the ways and means to attain them. When, however, 
this intellect is abusively turned to the nature of things-in- 
themsclves, to the totality and the complex of: the world, 
the aforesaid forms pertaining to it of the co-existence suc- 
cession and causation of all possible things give birth to 
the metaphysical problems as, for instance, of origin and 
purpose, beginning and end of the world, and of one's own 
self, of the destruction of the latter by death, or of its con- 
tinned duration in spite of it, of the freedom of the Will, 
&c. Let us conceive these forms as once abolished, and a 
consciousness of the things as, nevertheless, present these 
problems would then be not, indeed, solved, but would 
have entirely vanished, and their expression would have no 
more meaning. For they take their origin entirely from 
these forms, which are designed not for the understanding 
of the world and of existence, but merely for an under- 
standing of our personal ends. 

This whole consideration affords us an explanation and 
objective justification of the Kantian doctrines, which were 
only justified by their founder from the subjective side, 
viz., that the forms of the understanding are merely of 
immanent, not transcendent, application. One might, in- 
stead of the above, also say the intellect is physical, not 
metaphysical, i.e., as it has grown out of the Will as per- 
taining to its objectivation, it is there also only for its 
service ; that this merely obtains in nature, and not in any- 
thing lying outside of it. Every animal possesses (as 1 
have explained and substantiated in " Will in Nature ") 
its intellect obviously only for the purpose of finding and 
obtaining its food, and its degree is determined thereby. 
With Man it is not otherwise, only that the greater diffi- 
culty of his maintenance, and the infinitely greater number 
of his wants has here made a much higher degree of intellect 
necessary. It is only when this is exceeded, through aD 


abnormity, that the perfectly free surplus remains over which 
iV considerable, is called genius. In the first instance, such 
an intellect as this is truly objective only; but it can 
easily go so far that it may become to a certain extent 
even metaphysical, or at least endeavour to be so. For 
precisely in consequence of its objectivity, nature itself, the 
totality of things, becomes its object and its problem. For 
nature here first begins properly to perceive itself as some- 
thing which is and yet might not be, or which might be 
otliemvise, while in the ordinary, merely normal, intellect 
it does not clearly perceive itself, just as the miller does not 
hear his mill, nor the perfumer smell his shop. It seems 
to require no explanation ; the intellect is involved in it. 
Only in certain clearer moments is it aware of it, and be- 
comes almost frightened at it, but this soon passes off. 
How much such normal heads are ever likely to achieve in 
philosophy, however numerously they congregate, is easy 
to see. If, on the contrary, the intellect were originally 
and by constitution metaphysical, it could further philo- 
sophy like every other science, especial'/ with united 


ONE might illustrate allegorically and dramatically 
the controversy carried on at the present time 
among the professors of philosophy respecting Theism and 
Pantheism, by a dialogue which took place in the pit of a 
theatre at Milan during the performance. The one inter- 
locutor, convinced that he is in the great and celebrated 
Marionette Theatre of Girolamo, admired the art with 
which the director has arranged the marionettes and 
guides their play. The other says, on the contrary, "Not 
at all ! That they were in the Theatro della Scala, that 
the director and his associates were playing themselves, 
and were concealed really in the persons before them; 
and that the poet was also playing." 

It is delightful to see how the professors of philo- 
sophy coquet with Pantheism as with a forbidden thing 
which they have not the heart to seize. Their attitude in 
this respect I have already described in my essay on " The 
university-philosophy," which reminds one of Bottom the 
weaver in "The Midsummer Night's Dream." It is, in- 
deed, a sour piece of bread, the bread of the professors of 
philosophy ! One has first to dance to the pipe of ministers, 
and when one has done that satisfactorily, one may still be 
fallen upon from outside by those wild men-eaters the real 
philosophers, who are capable of p ocketing and running off 
with one, in order to produce one opportunely as a pocket- 
pulcinello to give zest to their expositions. 


Against Pantheism I have chiefly this objection only, 
f,hat it says nothing. To call the world God is not to ex- 
plain it, but only to enrich language with a superfluous 
synonym of the word " world." Whether it says " the world 
is God," or "the world is the world/' comes to the same 
thing. If indeed we start from God as the given thing to 
be explained, and say, " God is the world, " there we have 
to a certain extent an explanation, in so far as we return 
from the unknown to the known ; still it is only a verbal 
explanation. But if we start from the really given, viz., 
the world, and say " the world is God," it is as clear as 
daylight that we have said nothing thereby, or that at 
least ignotum is explained per iguotius ; hence Pantheism 
pre- supposes Theism as having preceded it. For only in 
so far as one starts with a God, and therefore has him 
already in advance, and is intimate with him, can one 
finally bring oneself to identify him with the world, in 
order to put him on one side in a decent manner. We 
have not started impartially from the world as the thing 
to be explained, but from God as the given thing ; after 
we did not know what to do with the former, the world 
had to take over his role. This is the origin of Pantheism. 
For on a first and impartial view it would never occur to 
anyone to regard the world as a God. It must obviously 
be a very ill-advised God who knew no better amusement 
than to transform himself into a world such as this : into 
a hungry world, in order there to endure misery, suffering, 
and death, without measure or end, in the shape of count- 
less millions of living, but anxious and tormented beings, 
who only maintain themselves for a while by mutually de- 
vouring each other: e.g., in the shape of six million Negro 
slaves, who daily on the average receive sixty million blows 
of the whip on their bar ( e bodies, and in the shape of three 
million European weavers who, amid hunger and misery, 
feebly vegetate in stuffy attics or wretched workshops, c. 


That would indeed be a pastime for a GTod ! who as such 
must be accustomed to things very different. 

The supposed great progress from Theism to Pantheism, 
if taken seriously and not merely as a masked negation, as 
above suggested, is accordingly, a progress from the un- 
proven, and hardly thinkable to the actually absurd. For 
however unclear, vacillating, and confused may be the con- 
ception which one associates with the word God, two pre- 
dicates are at all events inseparable from it the highest 
power and the highest wisdom. But that a being armed 
with this should have placed himself in the position above 
described, is an actually absurd idea ; for our position in 
the world is obviously such as no intelligent, let alone an 
all-wise being, would place himself in. Theism, on the 
other hand, is merely unproven, and even if it is difficult 
to conceive that the infinite world should be the work of a 
personal, and therefore individual being, such as we only 
know from animal nature, it is nevertheless not exactly 
absurd. For that an almighty and, at the same time, an 
all-wise being should create a tormented world is always 
conceivable, although we may not know the wherefore of 
it. Hence, even if we attribute to him the quality of the 
highest goodness, the incomprehensibility of his judgment 
is always the refuge by which such a doctrine escapes the 
reproach of absurdity. On the assumption of Pantheism, 
however, the creating God is himself the endlessly tormented, 
and on this small earth alone dies once in every second, and 
this of his own free will, which is absurd. It would be 
much more correct to identify the world with the devil, as 
has been actually done by the venerable author of " The 
German Theology," inasmuch as on p. 93 of his immortal 
work (according to the restored text, Stuttgart, 1851), he 
says : " Therefore are the evil spirit and nature one, and 
when nature is not overcome there also is the evil one not 


The Pantheists obviously give to the Sansara the name 
God. The Mystics, on the other hand, give the same name 
to the Nirwana. Of this, however, they relate more than 
they know, which the Buddhists do not do ; and hence 
their Nirwana is but a relative nothing. The Synagogue, 
the Church, and Islam use the word God in its proper and 
correct sense. 

The expression one often hears nowadays, " the world is 
end to itself," leaves undecided whether it is to be explained 
by Pantheism or by mere Fatalism, but allows it at all 
events only a physical and no moral significance, since on 
the assumption of this latter the world always presents 
itself as means to a higher end. But this notion that the 
world has only a physical and no moral significance is the 
most hopeless error that has ever sprung from the per~ 
versity of the human mind. 


~F)HYSICAL truths may have much external signifi- 
JL cance, but they are wanting in internal significance. 
The latter is the privilege of intellectual and moral truths, 
which have as their theme the highest stages of the ob- 
jectivation of the Will, while the former have only the 
lowest. For instance, if we attain to certainty as to what 
is now merely supposition, to wit, that the sun at the 
equator produces thermo-electricity, this the magnetism of 
the earth, and this again the polar light, these truths 
would be of much external significance, but internally 
poor. Examples of internal truths are not only furnished 
by high and truly spiritual philosophizings, but also by 
the catastrophe of every good tragedy ; also indeed by the 
observation of human conduct in the extreme expressions 
of its morality and immorality, in other words, of its evil 
and goodness. For in all this the essence appears whose 
phenomenon the world is, and at the highest stage of its 
objectivation brings to light its innermost core. 

That the world has merely a physical, and no moral 
significance, is the greatest, the most pernicious, the fun- 
damental error, the true perversity of opinion, and is at 
bottom that which faith has personified as Anti-Christ. 
Nevertheless, and despite all religions, which one and all 
maintain the contrary, and seek to explain it in their 
mythical fashion, this root-error never quite dies out, but 


ever and again raises its bead anew, till universal indigna- 
tion compels it once more to hide it. 

But certain as is the feeling of a moral significance of 
the world and of life, its explication and the unravelling 
of the contradiction between it and the course of the 
world is, nevertheless, so difficult, that it was reserved for 
me to expound the true only genuine and pure, and there- 
fore everywhere and at all times operative foundation of 
morality, together with the goal to which it leads. In 
this I have the reality of moral progress too much on my 
side, that I need fear ever again to be superseded and 
displaced by another. 

As long, however, as my Ethics remain unnoticed by 
the professors, the Kantian moral principle obtains at the 
universities, and among its various forms that of the 
" Dignity of Man " is now the most accepted. I have 
already exposed its emptiness in my essay on the " Foun- 
dation of Morality," 8, p. 169 (2nd ed., 166). For this 
reason we say only thus much here on this point. If one 
were to ask on what this pretended dignity of man rested, 
the answer would come to saying that it rested on his 
morality. Thus the morality rests on the dignity, and the 
dignity on the morality. But apart from this, the con- 
ception of dignity seems to me to be only ironically ap- 
plicable to a being so sinful in will, so limited in intellect, 
BO easily injured, and so feeble in body as man : 

44 Quid superbit homo ? cujus conceptio culpa, 
Nasci poena, labor vita, necesse mori I " 

I would therefore postulate the following rule in opposi- 
tion to the aforesaid form of the Kantian moral principle : 
Do not attempt in the case of any man with whom you 
come in contact an objective valuation of him as to worth 
and dignity ; hence do not take into consideration the 
badness of his will, nor the limitation of his under- 


standing, nor the perversity of his ideas, for the first can 
easily evoke hatred, the last contempt against him; bat 
bear in mind only his sufferings, his need, his anxiety, his 
pains. In this way we shall continually feel ourselves 
related to him, sympathize with him, and instead of 
hatred or contempt, experience that sympathy with him 
which is the only AyaTriy to which the Gospel admonishes 
us. The standpoint of sympathy is alone suited to pre- 
vent hatred or contempt arising towards him, and not 
certainly the opposite one of seeking after his pretended 

The Buddhists, in consequence of their deeper ethical 
and metaphysical insights, do not start from cardinal 
virtues, but from cardinal vices, as the antitheses or nega- 
tions of which the cardinal virtues first appear. According 
to J. J. Schmidt's " History of the Eastern Mongolians," 
p. 7, the cardinal vices of the Buddhists are lust, idleness, 
anger, and greed. But probably pride ought to stand in 
the place of idleness, as given in the " Lettres ^difiantes et 
curieuses," edit, de 1819, vol. vi., p. 372 ; envy or hatred 
being there added as a fifth. For my correction of the 
statement of the highly deserving J. J. Schmidt, its agree- 
ment with the doctrines of the Sufis, who were certainly 
under the influence of Brahmism and Buddhism, speaks 
strongly in favour. For these also postulate the same 
cardinal vices, and indeed very effectively, pairwise, so that 
lust appears related to greed, and anger to pride. (See 
Tholuck's " collection of blossoms from Oriental Mysticism," 
p. 206.) We already find lust, anger, and greed in the 
Bhagavat Q-ita (xvi. 21), postulated as cardinal vices, 
which attests the great age of the doctrine. Similarly in 
the " Prabodha-Chandrodaya," a, philosophico-allegorical 
drama, extremely important for the Vedanta-philosophy, 
these tbre cardinal vices also appear as the three generals 


of the King Passion in his war against King Reason. 1 As 
tLe cardinal virtues opposed to the above cardinal vices, 
modesty and generosity, together with mildness and hu- 
mility, would result. 

If we compare with these deeply -conceived oriental root- 
ideas of ethics the so-celebrated and so-many-thousand- 
times-repeated cardinal virtues of Plato, justice, bravery, 
moderation, and wisdom, we shall find them to be without 
a clear guiding root-conception, and therefore superficially 
chosen, and in part even clearly false. Virtues must be 
qualities of the Will, but wisdom belongs directly to the 
intellect. The <jo>$f>oavvr\> which is translated by Cicero 
Temperantia, and in German MdssigJceit (moderation), is a 
very indeterminate and ambiguous expression, under which 
many things may be brought, such as reflection, abstinence, 
holding one's head up ; it comes probably from <TWOV f\civ 
TO 0poj>lv, or as Hierax says in " Stobaeus " (Plor. tit. J., 
60, vol. i., p. 134, Q-aisf.) . . . TavTrjr rr)v aperrjy ffwQpo- 
a\)vi\v iicaXicrav ffwnjpiav ovffav Qpovrjaws. Bravery is no 
virtue at all, although it may sometimes be the servant or 
tool of virtue ; albeit it is equally ready to serve the cause 
of the greatest unworthiness, being, properly speaking, a 
mere characteristic of temperament. Geuliux (" Ethica, in 
prsefatione,") rejected the cardinal virtues of Plato and 
postulated these : diligentia, obedientia, justitia, humilitas ; 
obviously a bad selection. The Chinese name five cardinal 
virtues : sympathy, justice, politeness, knowledge, and up- 
rightness ("Journ. Asiatique," vol. ix., p. 62). "Sam. 
Kidd, China" (London, 1841, p. 197), calls them benevo- 
lence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, and sincerity, and 
gives an exhaustive commentary on each. Christianity 

1 "Krishna Micra, Prabodha-Chandiodaga, or, the Birth of 
the Conception, a theological -philosophical drama." Translated 
from the Sanskrit and introduced by a preface by Rosenkranz, 

Otf ETHICS. 199 

has no cardinal, but only theological virtues : faith, love, 
and hope. 

The point at which the moral virtues and vices of men 
first part is the above antithesis of our fundamental atti- 
tude towards others, which either takes on the character 
of envy or of sympathy. For these two diametrically 
opposite characteristics every man bears within himself, 
since they spring from the unavoidable comparison of his 
own state with that of another ; and accordingly, as the 
result affects his individual character, will the one or the 
other quality become his fundamental attitude of mind 
and the source of his conduct. Envy builds up the more 
firmly the wall between thou and I ; for sympathy it be- 
comes thin and transparent; sometimes, indeed, it is 
thrown down altogether, in which case the distinction be- 
tween I and not-I vanishes. 

Bravery, as discussed in the foregoing, or rather the 
courage which lies at its foundation (for courage is only 
bravery in war) deserves a closer investigation. The 
ancients reckoned courage among the virtues and cowardice 
among the vices ; but the Christian moral sense, which is 
directed towards well-wishing and suffering, and whose 
doctrine forbids all enmity, properly indeed all resistance, 
does not involve this, and hence it has disappeared with the 
moderns. We must nevertheless admit that cowardice is not 
easily compatible with a noble character if only on account of 
the excessive concern for one's person which betrays itself 
therein. Courage is reducible to the fact that one willingly 
encounters evils threatened at the present moment, in order 
to avoid greater ones looming in the future, while cowardice 
does the opposite. Now patience is of the former character, 
since it consists in the clear consciousness that there are 
greater evils than the present ones which might be brought 
on by the violent flying fiom or warding off of these. 


Courage would therefore be a form of patience, and because 
fa is this which enables us to endure privations and self- 
conquest of every kind, so, by means of it, courage is at least 
akin to virtue. 

But perhaps it admits of a higher mode of contemplation. 
One might reduce all fear of death to a want of that natural 
and therefore merely felt metaphysic by virtue of which 
man bears within himself the certainty that he exists just 
as much in all things, yes, in all things, as in his own person, 
the death of which need therefore little concern him. From 
this certainty, accordingly, arose the heroic courage and 
consequently (as the reader may remember from my 
Ethics) from the same source as the virtues of justice and 
human love. This certainly means seizing the matter from 
above ; nevertheless it is not easily to be explained other- 
wise why cowardice appears contemptible, and personal 
courage, on the contrary, noble and sublime. For one 
cannot see from any lower standpoint why a finite indivi- 
dual who is himself all is himself indeed the fundamental 
condition of the existence of the rest of the world should 
not put the maintenance of himself before all else. An 
exclusively immanent, that is purely empirical explanation, 
inasmuch as it could only be based on the utility of courage, 
would be insufficient. From this it may have arisen that 
Calderon pronounces a sceptical but significant view of 
courage, when he denies its reality, and does this indeed out 
of the mouth of an old wise minister as against his young 
King : 

" Que aunque el natural temor, . 

En tod os obra igualmente, 

No mostrale es ser valiente, 

Y esto es lo que hace el valor.' 

La hija del aire, P. II. torn. 2. 


" For although natural fear is active in the same way in all 
men, one is brave in so far as one does not let it be seen, 


and this indeed constitutes bravery." (" The Daughter of 
the Air/' part, ii., A. 2.) 

Respecting the above-mentioned differences between the 
estimation of courage among the ancients and among the 
moderns it must, however, be taken into consideration that 
the ancients understood by virtue, virtus, aperf), every 
excellence, every quality praiseworthy in itself, whether 
moral or intellectual, or, indeed, merely corporeal. But 
after that Christianity had demonstrated the ground- 
tendency of life to be moral, moral excellencies alone were 
thought of under the conception of virtue. Meanwhile we 
find the earlier sense in the older Latinists and even in the 
Italian, as is proved by the well-known meaning of the 
word virtuoso. Learners ought to have their attention 
especially directed to this extended range of the conception 
Virtue among the ancients, as otherwise it may easily give 
rise to a secret perplexity in them. To this end I particu- 
larly recommend two passages preserved for us by StobeBus ; 
the one apparently emanating from the Pythagorean Meto- 
pos in the first chap, of his " Florilegium," 64 (Vol.i.,p. 22, 
G-aisf .), where the capacity of each member of our body for 
apt) is explained, and the other in his "Eclog. eth." I. II., 
cap. 7, (p. 272, ed. Heeren). It there speaks as follows .... 

Ivvarat. (Sutoris virtus dicitur secundum quam probum 
calceum novit parare.) This explains why virtues and vices 
are spoken of in the Ethics of the ancients and find no place 
in our own. 

Just as the place of bravery among the Virtues is doubt- 
ful so is that of avarice among the Vices. Only one must 
not confound it with the greed which is directly expressed 
by the Latin word avaritia. We will therefore for the nonce 
allow the pro and contra to be brought forward and heard, 
so that the final judgment may be left to each reader. 


A. Avarice is not a vice, but its opposite, extravagance, 
which arises from an animal limitation to the present time 
against which the future, existing as it does merely in thought, 
can attain no power, and is based on the illusion of the 
positive and real value of sensuous pleasures. Future want 
and suffering are accordingly the price for which the spend- 
thrift purchases these vacuous, fleeting, and often imaginary 
pleasures, or feeds his empty, brainless conceit in the pos- 
turings of the parasites who laugh at him behind his back, 
and in the astonishment of the common people and of those 
envious of his magnificence. For this reason one ought to 
fly from him as from one plague- stricken, and after we have 
discovered his vice to break with him as soon as possible ; 
so that we may not have, later, when the consequences 
appear, either to help to bear them, or to play the role of 
the friends of Timon of Athens. In the same way it is not 
to be expected that he who has thoughtlessly run through 
his own fortune will leave untouched that of another when 
it comes into his hands ; but as Sallust has very rightly 
put it, sui profusus, alieni appetens (Catil. c. 5). Hence 
extravagance leads not merely to poverty but through this 
to crime ; the criminals from, the well-to-do classes have 
almost all become so in consequence of extravagance. 
Tij^y does the Koran say (Sure 17, v. 29) : " Spendthrifts 
areorothers of Satan." Avarice, on the contrary, has super- 
fluity in its train, and when is this undesirable ? But that 
must surely be a good vice that has good consequences. The 
avaricious man, namely, proceeds from the correct principle 
that all pleasures act merely negatively and that hence a 
happiness compounded of them is a chimera, and that on the 
contrary pains are positive and very real. Hence he denies 
for himself the former, in order the better to secure himself 
against the latter, so thUt sustine abstine are its maxims. 
And since he further knows how inexhaustible are the 
possibilities of misfortune, and how countless the paths of 


danger, he takes his measures against them, in order, 
if possible, to surround himself with a threefold wall of 
defence. Who could say then where precautions against 
accidents begin to be excessive ? Only he who knew where 
the tricks of fortune attain their end. And even if precau- 
tions are excessive, this mistake at most brings harm 
to himself, not to others. Will he never have need of the 
treasures he hoards up? In this case they will accrue 
at some time to the benefit of others to whom nature has 
given less forethought. That until then money has been 
withdrawn from circulation is no harm, for money is not an 
article of consumption ; it is a mere representative of real, 
useful goods, not such itself. Ducats are at bottom them- 
selves mere reckoning counters ; it is not they which have 
value, but that which they represent, and this cannot be 
withdrawn from circulation. Besides, through his reten- 
tion of the money, the value of that which remains in circu- 
lation is by so much raised. If, as is sometimes main- 
tained, many misers at last come to love money directly for 
its own sake, so, on the other hand, and just as certainly 
does many a spendthrift love the spending and wasting of 
money for its own sake. But friendship, or, indeed, 
relationship with the miser, is not only without danger but 
desirable, since it may bring the greatest advantages. For 
at all events those nearest to him reap the fruits of his 
self-restraint after his death. But even during his life 
there is, in cases of great need, something to be hoped 
from him more at least than from the penniless spend- 
thrift who is helpless and in debt. Mas da el dura, que el 
desnudo ("The hard-hearted man gives more than the 
naked") says a Spanish proverb. In consequence of all 
this, avarice is no vice. 

B. It is the quintessence of tBe vices ! If physical plea- 
sures seduce man from the right path, his sensuous nature, 
the animal within him, is to blame. Carried away by ex- 


citement, and overpowered by the impression of the 
moment, he acts without consideration. When, however, 
through bodily weakness or old age he has reached a stage 
at which the vices which he could never forsake, finally 
forsake him, in that his capacity for sensual enjoyments 
has died out, the intellectual appetite survives the fleshly, 
and he turns to avarice. Money, which is the representa- 
tive of all the good things of the world which is their 
abatractum is now the withered stem to which his dead 
appetites cling, as egoism in abstracto. They regenerate 
themselves henceforth in the love of mammon. Out of the 
fleeting sensuous appetite a well considered and calculating 
appetite for money has developed itself, which like its 
object is of symbolical nature, and like it also is indestruc- 
tible. It is the stiff-necked love of the enjoyments of the 
world, as it were outliving itself, the perfected inconverti- 
bility, the sublimated and spiritualized lust of the flesh, 
the abstract focus in which all lusts centre, to which it is, 
therefore, related as the universal concept to particular 
things. Avarice, accordingly, is the vice of age, as extra- 
vagance is that of youth. 

The disputatio in utramque partem just heard is as- 
suredly suited to force as to the juste milieu morality of 
Aristotle. The following consideration is also favourable 

Every human perfection is akin to a fault into which it 
threatens to pass over ; and conversely every fault is akin 
to a perfection. Hence the mistake respecting a man in 
which we are often landed, rests upon the fact that at the 
beginning of our acquaintance we confound his faults with 
their kindred perfections, or vice versa. The prudent man 
thus seems to us cowardly, the economical man avaricious ; 
the spendthrift seems liberUl, the discourteous man straight- 
forward and upright, the blockhead endowed with a noble 
self-confidence, <fcc. 

ON ETHIO. 205 

He who lives among men feels himself ever anew tempted 
to the assumption that moral badness and intellectual ii&- 
capacity are closely connected, since they spring directly 
from one root. But that this is not so, I have conclusively 
shown in the second volume of my chief work, chap, xix., 
No. 8. The foregoing illusion, which merely arises from 
the fact that both are often found together, is entirely to 
be explained from the very frequent appearance of both, 
in consequence of which it often happens to them that 
they have to dwell beneath the same roof. But it is 
not to be denied, however, that they play into one an- 
other's hands to reciprocal advantage, whence is brought 
about the so unedifying appearance which only too many 
men offer, and the world goes as it goes. Stupidity is 
especially favourable to the clccir exposure of falseness, 
meanness and malice ; while prudence understands better 
how to conceal this. And how often, on the other hand, 
the perversity of the heart prevents man from seeing truths 
to which his understanding would be quite equal. 

However, let no one be too proud, since every one, even 
the greatest genius, is unquestionably limited in some 
sphere of knowledge, and thereby proclaims his relationship 
with the essentially perverted and absurd human race. 
Each one bears something morally bad within him, and 
even the best, the noblest character, will surprise us at 
times by individual traits of badness, in order, as it were, 
to indicate its kinship with that human race in which 
every degree of unworthiness* and cruelty occurs. For pre- 
cisely owing to this bad within him, this evil principle, he 
was compelled to become a man. And for this same reason 
the world is exactly that which my true mirror of it has 
shown it to be. 

In spite of all, however, the t differences between men 
remain incalculably great, and many a one would be 
shocked if he saw another as he himself is. O for aii 


Asmodeus of morality who not alone made roofs and 
Trails transparent to his favoured one, but the veil of 
the Presentment spread out over all falseness, hypocrisy, 
double-facedness, lying and deception, and who would let 
him see how little true honesty is to be found in the world, 
and how often, even where one least expects it, behind all 
the virtuous outworks, secretly and iu the innermost recess 
unrighteousness sits at the helm. Hence come the four- 
footed friendships of so many of the better kiud of men, 
for on what indeed should one refresh oneself from the 
endless deceit, falseness, and cunning of men if it were 
not for the dogs into whose faithful countenance one may 
look without distrust ? Our civilized world is then only a 
great masquerade. One meets there knights, parsons, 
soldiers, doctors, advocates, priests, philosophers, and what 
not ! But they are not what they represent themselves ; 
they are mere masks under which are hidden as a rule 
money-makers. One will assume the mask of justice 
which he has borrowed from his advocate, merely in order 
to crush another ; a second, with the same object, chooses 
the mark of public weal and patriotism ; a third that of 
religion, of purity, of faith ; many a one has for a variety 
of purposes donned the mask of philosophy, of philan- 
throphy, etc. Women have less choice ; they mostly employ 
the mask of purity, of bashfulness, domesticity, and 
modesty. There are, moreover, universal masks with no 
special character, as it were, the dominos that one meets 
with everywhere. To this character belong strict integrity, 
politeness, disinterested sympathy, and grinning friend- 
ship. Manufacturers, commercial men, and speculators, 
only are, for the most part, hidden behind all these masks. 
In this respect the merchants constitute the only honour- 
able class, for they alon$ admit themselves to be what 
they are ; they go about unmasked, and, therefore, stand 
low in rank. It is very important to be taught early in 


you tli that one is living in a masquerade. For otherwise 
many things will be unable to be understood and come a^ ; 
but one will stand before them puzzled, and the longest 
he who cui ex meliori Into dedit prcecordia Titan. Such is 
the favour which baseness finds, the neglect which merit 
even the rarest and the greatest suffers from the men of 
its department, the detestation of the truth, and of great 
capacities, the ignorance of the learned in their own branch 
that genuine wares are almost always despised, and the 
merely apparent sought after. The youth should, there- 
fore, be taught that in this masquerade the apples are of 
wax, the flowers of silk, the fish of paste, and all is trifling 
and jesting ; and that of those yonder whom he sees so 
earnestly engaged with each other, the one gives nothing 
but false wares, and the other pays for them with counters. 
But more serious considerations are to be brought for- 
ward and worse things told. Man is at bottom a wild, 
horrible creature. We know him merely as broken in and 
tamed by what we call civilization, and hence the occasional 
outbreaks of his nature shock us. But where and when the 
padlock and chain of legal order fall off and anarchy enters, 
then he shows himself what he is. He who in the mean- 
time without this opportunity would like to inform himself 
thereupon, can acquire the conviction from hundreds of 
ancient and modern narratives, that man yields in cruelty 
and pitilessness to no tiger and no hyena. A* important 
instance from modern times is furnished by the answer 
which the British anti-slavery Society received to its ques- 
tions as to the treatment of the slaves in the slave-holding 
states of the North American Union from the North 
American Anti-Slavery Society in the year 1840 : " Slavery 
and the internal slave trade in the United States of North 
America, being replies to questions transmitted by the 
British Anti-Slavery Society to the American Anti-Slavery 
Society in London, 1841 ," This Book constitutes one of 


the heaviest indictments against human nature. No one 
will lay it aside without horror, few without tears. For 
what the reader has heard or imagined or may have dreamt, 
as to the unhappy state of the slaves or of human harshness 
and cruelty in general, will seem insignificant to him when 
he reads how those devils in human shape, those bigoted 
church-going, strict sabbath-observing scoundrels, espe- 
cially the Anglican parsons among them, treat their inno- 
cent black brethren who by injustice and violence have 
come into their devil's claws. This book, which consists of 
dry but authentic and substantiated accounts, inflames 
all human feeling to such a degree that with it in the hand 
one could preach a crusade for the conquest and punish- 
ment of the slave-holding States of North America. For 
they are a disgrace for all humanity. Another example 
from the present time for the past will not seem to many 
any longer valid is contained in Tschudi's " Travels in 
Peru," 1846. In the description of the treatment of the 
Peruvian soldiers by their officers. 1 But we do not require to 
seek for examples in the new world, that reverse side of the 
planet. In the year 1848 it came to light that in England 
within a short space of 'time, there had been not one, but a 
hundred cases in which a husband poisoned a wife, or a 
wife a husband, or both together their children, or slowly 
tortured their children to death by hunger or bad treat- 
ment, merely to receive from the burial clubs the funeral 
expenses guaranteed to them in case of death, for which 
purpose they bought a child into several, sometimes as 
many as twenty of such clubs. See on this matter' the 
"Times," 20th, 22nd, 23rd Sept., 1848, which journal 
merely on this account presses for the abolition of burial 

1 A most recent instance may be found in Macleod's " Travels 
in Eastern Africa" (2 vols., ISondon, 1860), where the unheard of, 
cold, calculating, and truly devilish cruelty with which the Por- 
tuguese in Mozambique treat their slaves is narrated* 


clubs. It repeats the same charge in the strongest manner 
on the 12th Dec., 1853. 

Keports of this kind certainly belong to the blackest 
pages in the criminal annals of the human race, but the 
source of them, and of everything similar, is nevertheless the 
inner and inborn nature of man, this k*ar' t o\riv, this God of 
the Pantheists. There rests directly in every one a colossal 
egoism which overleaps the boundaries of justice with the 
greatest ease, as daily life teaches on a small scale, 
and history at every page on a large scale. Does 
there not lie, indeed, in the recognized necessity of the so 
anxiously-watched European equilibrium, the confession 
that man is a wild beast, which as soon as it has espied a 
weaker one near it, infallibly falls upon it ? And do not we 
daily receive the confirmation of this in a small way ? But 
to the limitless egoism of our nature there allies itself yet 
again the store of hatred, anger, envy, rancour, and malice 
present more or less in every human breast, and collected 
like the poison in the gland of the snake's tooth and only 
awaiting the opportunity to free itself, and then like an un- 
chained demon to ramp and rage. If no great opportunity 
for it presents itself it will at last use the smallest, en- 
larging it by its imagination, 

' Quantulacunque adeo est occasio, sulficit irse." 

Juv. Sat., xiii. v. 183. 

and will then carry things as far as it can and dare. We 
see this in daily life where such eruptions are known under 
the expression " to pour out one's gall on something." It 
has been observed, moreover, that when it has met with 
no resistance the subject of it finds himself much better 
after it. That anger is not without pleasure Aristotle 
as observed: TO opyi&vSai tfv (" Bhet." I, 11, II., 2), 
where he also quotes the passage from Homer which 
declares anger to be sweeter than honey. But one does 
uot devote oneself con amore merely to anger, but also 


to hatred, which is related to it as the chronic to the acute 


" Now hatred is by far the longest pleasure : 
Men love in haste, but they detest at leisure. " 

BYRON, Don Juan, c. xiii. 6. 

Gobineau (" Des races humaines ") has called man 
r animal mediant par excellence, which people take offence at 
because they feel it touches them. But he is right, for man 
is the only animal which causes others pain without any 
further object than that of doing so. The other animals 
never do it otherwise than to satisfy their hunger or in the 
heat of conflict. Although it is said of the tiger that 
he kills more than he eats, yet he strangles everything with 
the intention of eating it so that it is a case merely to be 
expressed by the French phrase ses yeux sont plus grands 
que son estomac. No animal ever tortures for the sake of 
torturing but man, and this constitutes the devilish cha- 
racter in him which is far worse than the merely animal. 
We have already spoken of the matter on a great scale, but 
on the small it is no less clear, as everyone has daily oppor- 
tunity of observing. For instance, two young dogs are 
playing with one another a peaceful and pretty sight 
and a child of three or four years comes upon the scene ; 
the child will almost inevitably strike in violently with its 
whip or stick and thereby show it is already V animal 
mechant par excellence I Even constant purposeless teasing 
and mischief spring from this source. For example, if one 
has expressed one's dislike of something disturbing, or 
some other small unpleasantness, people will not be wanting 
who will bring it about for that very reason animal 
mechant par excellence ! This is indeed so certain, that one 
has to be careful of expressing one's annoyance at small 
discomforts ; as also onihe other hand, one's gratification 
at any trifle. Foj: in the latter case they are likely to do 
as the jailor who as soon as he discovered that his prisoner 


had completed the difficult task of taming a spider and 
found pleasure in it, at once crushed it : V animal mechartt 
par excellence! Hence all animals instinctively fear the 
look or indeed even the trace of man, the animal mediant 
par excellence. Instinct does not deceive here; for only 
man hunts prey which is neither useful to him nor injures 
him. 1 

There really resides in the heart of each of us a wild 
beast which only waits the opportunity to rage and rave in 
order to injure others, and which if they prevent it, would 
like to destroy them. Hence arises all the pleasure in 
fighting and war ; and it is this which gives the under- 
standing, its special keeper, always enough to do to over- 
come and to hold it in some measure within bounds. One 
may iideed call it the radical evil, with which those 
for v h ^m a word takes the place of an explanation may be 
contented. But I say it is the Will to live which, em- 
bittered more and more by the constant sorrows of existence, 
seeks to lighten its own suffering by causing the same to 
others. In this way it gradually develops genuine malice 
and cruelty. One may also observe in this connection that 
as, according to Kant, matter only obtains by the anta- 
gonism of expansive and contractive force, so human society 
only exists through that of hatred or anger or fear. 
For the ferocity of our nature would probably make every 
one a murderer at once were it not mingled with the neces- 

1 Schopenhauer might have instanced in this connection the ten* 
dency of officialism, which is always eager to snatch at any excuse 
some paltry abuse, real or imagined for depriving the public of 
some little privilege which may happen to have been accorded. 
If access to some building or private grounds has been permitted, 
those regulating them will be certain, sooner or later, to pretend 
that because a small boy has perhap^ on one occasion plucked a 
flower or scratched his name on a wall or a tree, that it is neces- 
sary the use of the building or grounds should be restricted or 
withdrawn. TK. 


sary dose of fear to hold it within bounds, and this again 
would make it the mock and plaything of every child 
if anger were not ready to hand, and keeping watch. 

But the worst trait in human nature is the malicious 
pleasure in mischief which is nearly akin to cruelty, and 
indeed distinguishes itself therefrom only as theory from 
practice, and which appears generally where sympathy 
ought to find a place, sympathy, as its opposite, being the 
only true source of all genuine righteousness and human 
love. In another sense envy is opposed to sympathy in so far 
namely as it is called forth by the opposite occasion. Hence 
its opposition to sympathy rests directly on opportunity, 
and displays itself in feeling also as a consequence of this. 
Hence moreover envy, although to be condemned, is at 
least capable of an excuse and eminently human, while the 
mere pleasure in mischief is diabolical and its mockery the 
laughter of hell. It presents itself, as already said, just 
where sympathy should appear ; envy, on the contrary, only 
there where no occasion for the latter exists, but rather for 
its opposite, and as this opposite it arises in the human 
breast, and is therefore in so far a human emotion ; I fear, 
indeed, that no one will be found entirely free from it. 
For that Man in looking upon alien enjoyment and posses- 
sion should feel his own want the more bitterly is natural 
and indeed inevitable; only it ought not to excite his 
hatred against the more fortunate, but precisely in this 
envy properly-speaking consists. But envy should least of 
all find a place where, not the gifts of fortune, or of chance, 
or the favour of others but where that of nature is the cause 
of them, since everything inborn rests upon a metaphysical 
basis, that is, has a justification of a higher kind, and is, so 
to say, of God's grace. But unfortunately with envy it is 
exactly opposite. To personal advantages it is most irre- 
concilable ; hence understanding, and even genius, have at 
first to beg for forgiveness of the world, wherever they are 

ON .ETHICS. 215 

not in a position to venture prouustice when we observe that 
the world. When, namely, envy ha?.al, and we shall begtn 
by riches, rank, or power, it is often d, pay the penalty of 
inasmuch as the latter sees, that in cert^h. The malam 
enjoyment, assistance, protection, advantage, <jsialam culpce. 
hoped for, or that at least by association with j\ inteUec- 
illumined by the reflection of its importance and ma^crusts 
enjoy honour. There is, moreover, always the hope of *<&, 
sometime or other attaining these good things oneself. On 
the other hand with natural gifts and personal excellences 
such as, with women beauty, with men intellect, the envy 
directed upon them derives no consolation of the one kind 
or hope of the other, so that nothing remains for it but to 
hate those so privileged, bitterly and irreconcilably. Hence 
its only wish is to take revenge on its object. But in this 
it finds itself in the unfortunate position that all its blows 
fall powerless as soon as it appears that they have pro- 
ceeded from it. Hence it hides itself as carefully as secret 
sins of lust, and is an inexhaustible inventor of devices, 
tricks, and dodges in order to mask and conceal itself so 
that it may wound its object unseen. The excellences, for 
example, which consume its heart it will ignore with the 
most innocent mien, it will not see them nor know them, it 
will never have noticed or heard of them, and will show 
itself a past master in dissimulation. With the greatest 
refinement it will entirely overlook the brilliant qualities 
which gnaw at his heart, seemingly as though they were in- 
significant, it will be quite unaware of them and have 
opportunely quite forgotten them. But it will above all 
things be concerned carefully to remove by secret machina- 
tion all opportunity for these excellences to show them- 
selves and become known. It will then eject from the 
darkness blame, mockery, conteir^t and calumny, like the 
toad that spits forth its poison from its hole. None the 
less will it enthusiastically praise insignificant men, or the 


mediocre, or the bad, in the same class of achievement. In 
short it becomes a Proteus in stratagem in order to wound 
without showing itself. But what does it avail ? The prac- 
tised eye recognizes it notwithstanding. Its fear and flight 
before its object already betrays it, the object which stands 
by so much the more alone, the more brilliant it is. For this 
reason pretty girls have no female friends. Its hate with- 
out any occasion betrays it, a hate which breaks out in the 
most violent explosion at the least, often indeed, a merely 
imaginary, occasion. For the rest, however widespread its 
family may be, one recognizes it in the universal praise of 
modesty, that sly virtue invented for the benefit of flat 
commonplaceness, which nevertheless by the necessity that 
displays itself of sparing mediocrity bi n ;s it rather into 
the light. There can assuredly be nothing more flattering 
for our conceit and our pride than the sight of envy lurk- 
ing and carrying on its machinations in its hiding-place. 
But one should never forget that where envy is, hate ac- 
companies it, and one should guard against allowing the 
envier to become a false friend. His discovery is therefore 
of importance for our safety. One should therefore study 
him in order to be up to his tricks, for he is everywhere to 
be found, and always goes about incognito, or, like the 
poisonous toad, lurks in dark holes. He deserves indeed 
neither consideration nor sympathy, but let the motto be : 

" No mortal envy can appease ; 
'Twere best to scorn her at your ease, 
Thy fame and fortune are her pain ; 
Thus in her torment find your gain 1 " 

If, as we have here done, we keep human badness before 
our mind's eye, and feel inclined to be horrified at it, one 
must cast a glance at the misery of human existence, and 
again at the former, if one is shocked at this. We shall 
then find that they keep each other in equilibrium, and 


shall become aware of eternal justice when we observe that 
the world itself is the world-tribunal, and we shall begtn 
to understand why all that lives must pay the penalty of 
its existence, first in life, and then in death. The malam 
pcene appears therefore in agreement with the malam culpce. 
From the same standpoint our indignation at the intellec- 
tual incapacity of the majority which so frequently disgusts 
us in life becomes dissipated. Hence miseria humana, 
nequitia humana and stultltia humana completely cover one 
another in this Sansara of the Buddhists, and are of equal 
amount. But if we once on special occasion keep one of 
these in mind and sample it specially, it then seems to 
exceed both the others in amount, but this is illusion and 
merely the consequence of their colossal range. 

Everything proclaims this Sansara, but more than any- 
thing the human world in which, morally, badness and 
baseness, intellectually, incapacity and stupidity, dominate 
to a frightful degree. Nevertheless, there appear in it, 
sporadically perhaps, but yet surprising us ever, anew, 
phenomena of honesty, of goodness, of nobility, as also of 
great understanding of the thinking intellect, and even of 
genius. These never become quite extinct, they glitter at 
us like isolated shining spots from out the great dark 
mass. We must take them as a pledge that a good and 
saving principle is hidden in this Sansara, which can mani- 
fest itself, and fill and free the whole. 

The readers of my Ethics know that the foundation of 
morals rests with me finally on the truth which has its ex- 
pression in the Veda and Vedanta in the established 
mystical formula Tat twam asi (this art thou), which is 
pronounced witk reference to every living thing, be it man 
or animal, and is there termed the Maha-vakya. 

One may, indeed, regard conduct in accordance there- 
with, as for instance benevolence, as the beginning of 


mysticism. Every benevolent action practised from a pure 
notive proclaims that he who practises it stands in direct 
contradiction to the phenomenal world in which other indi- 
viduals are entirely separate from himself, and recognizes 
himself as identical with them. Every quite disinterested 
service is accordingly a mysterious action, a mysterium; 
and hence in order to give an explanation of it men have had 
to take refuge in all sorts of fictions. After Kant had re- 
moved from Theism all other supports he merely left it this 
one, namely, that it afforded the best explanation of the above 
and all mysterious actions similar to it. He admitted it 
accordingly as a theoretically unprovable, but for practical 
purposes valid assumption. But that he was altogether 
serious in this I am inclined to doubt. For to support morals 
by means of Theism is equivalent to reducing them to egoism : 
although the English, like the lowest classes of society with 
us, do not see the possibility of any other foundation. 

The recognition above referred to, of one's own true 
essence in a strange individuality manifesting itself ob- 
jectively appears especially clear and beautiful in those 
cases where a human being already hopelessly sacrificed, 
concerns himself with anxious care and active zeal for the 
welfare and rescue of others. There is a well-known story 
in this connection of a servant girl, who at night, in the 
courtyard, being bitten by a mad dog, giving herself up 
for lost, seizes the dog, drags it into the stable, and locks 
it up there that no one else might become its victim. 
Similarly that incident in Naples which Tischbein has 
perpetuated in one of his water-colour drawings. Flying 
before the lava as it streams towards the sea, a son carries 
his old father on his back ; but as at last only a narrow 
strip of land divides the two destructive elements, the 
father tells his son to lay e him down in order that he may 
save himself by running, since otherwise both would be 
lost. The son obeys, and as lie goes throws a last parting 

Off ETHICS. 217 

look at the father. This is represented in the picture. Of 
this kind also is the historical fact which Walter Sco# 
depicts with masterly hand in " The Heart of Midlothian/' 
chapter ii., where of two delinquents condemned to death 
the one who by his clumsiness had been the cause of the 
capture of the other, successfully frees him in the church 
after the death sermon, by vigorously overpowering the watch 
without making any attempt for himself. We may reckon 
also in this connection, although it may offend the occi- 
dental reader, the often reprinted engraving of a soldier 
already kneeling to be shot zealously driving back his dog, 
who is running towards him, with a handkerchief. In all 
cases of this kind we see an individual who is approaching 
his immediate personal destruction with complete certainty, 
thinking no more of his own preservation and directing 
his whole care and endeavour to the preservation of another. 
How could the consciousness more clearly express itself 
that this destruction is only that of a phenomenon, and is 
therefore itself phenomenon, while the true essence of the 
perishing being remains untouched, continues in the other, 
in which even now, as its action shows, it so clearly recog- 
nizes itself ! For how, if this were not so, but if we had a 
being before us in the throes of real annihilation, could 
such a one by the supreme exertion of its last powers show 
such an intense interest in the welfare and continuance of 
another ? 

There are indeed two opposite ways in which to become 
conscious of one's own existence : firstly, in empirical in- 
tuition as displayed from the outside as an infinitely small 
being in a world limitless in time and space ; as one among 
the thousand millions of human beings which run to a,nd 
fro on this earth for a very short time, renewing them- 
selves every thirty years ; secondly, in so far as one sinks 
oneself within oneself and becomes conscious of being 
all in all and in very deed the only real being, which 


<sees itself again in the other given it from without, as in 
a., mirror. Now the first mode of knowledge embraces 
merely the phenomenon mediated through the principium 
individuationis, but the other is an immediate conscious- 
ness of itself as the thing-in-itself is a doctrine in which 
I, as regards the first part, have Kant with me, but in both 
the Yedas. The simple objection to the latter mode of 
knowledge is that it presupposes that one and the same 
being can be in different places at the same time. But 
although, from the empirical standpoint, this is the most 
palpable impossibility and, indeed, absurdity, it remains, 
notwithstanding, perfectly true of the thing-in-itself ; be- 
cause this impossibility and absurdity merely rests on the 
forms of the phenomenon which constitute the principium 
individuationia. For the thing-in-itself, the Will-to-live, 
is in every being, even the least is present whole and un- 
divided as completely as in all that ever were, are, and 
will be, taken together. On this is based the fact that 
every being, even the least, says to himself, Dum ego salvus 
sim pereat mundus. And in truth if all other beings 
perished, in this one that remained, the whole essence in 
itself of the world, uninjured and unlessened, would laugh 
at its destruction as at a play of jugglery. This is certainly 
a conclusion per impossibile to which one is equally justi- 
fied in opposing the opposite that if any being, even the 
least, were wholly destroyed the whole world would 
perish with it. In this sense the mystic Angelus Silesius 

" I know that not one moment can God live from me apart 
If I to nothingness am brought, His spirit must depart." 

But in order that this truth, or at least the possibility, 
that our own self may qxist in other beings whose con- 
sciousness is separate and distinct from ours, may be seen 
to some extent even from the empirical standpoint, we 


only require to recall to mind the magnetized somnambulea 
whose identical I after they are awakened knows nothing 
of all that which a moment before they have themselves 
said, done, and suffered. The individual consciousness 
therefore is so entirely phenomenal a point, that even in 
the same I, two such may arise, of which the one knows 
nothing of the other. 

Considerations, however, like the foregoing retain in our 
Judaized west a strange appearance; but not so in the 
fatherland of the human race, in that land where an 
entirely different faith dominates, a faith in accordance 
with which even to-day, after the burial, the priests before 
all the people and with the accompaniment of instruments 
chant the Veda Hymn which begins : 

" The embodied spirit which has a thousand heads, a thou- 
sand eyes, a thousand feet, has its root in the human breast and 
interpenetrates at once the whole earth. This being is the 
world and all that was and will be. It is that which grows 
by nourishment and which confers immortality. Such is 
its greatness, and hence it is the most noble embodied 
spirit. The elements of this world constitute one part of 
his being and three parts are immortality in heaven. 
These three parts have raised themselves from the world; 
but the one part has remained behind and is that which 
(by transmigration) enjoys and does not enjoy the fruits 
of good and evil deeds/' <fec. See Colebrookeon " Religious 
Ceremonies of the Hindoos/' in vol. v. " Asiatic Re- 
searches/' p. 345 of the Calcutta edition, also in his 
" Miscellaneous Essays/' vol. i., p. 167. 

If one compares such hymns with our hymn-books it 
will no longer be wondered at that the Anglican Mis- 
sionaries on the Ganges do such bad business, and with 
their sermons on their " maker " * made no impression 

1 " Maker " is the German " Macher," and like this appears 
often in composition, e.g., watchmaker, shoemaker &c f Qujr 


upon tlie Brahmin. Ho however who would enjoy the 
pleasure of seeing how forty-one years ago an English 
officer boldly and emphatically opposed himself to the 
absurd and shameless pretensions of these gentlemen should 

"maker "(in French it. would be rendered "notrefaiseur")i8in 
English writings, sermons, and in ordinary life a very usual and 
favourite expression for " God " which I beg the reader to note as 
supremely characteristic for the English conception of religion. 
But how the Brahmins trained in the doctrine of the holy Veda and 
the Vaisia which zealously follows it, as indeed the whole of the 
Indian people penetrated by the belief in Metempsychosis and 
mindful of it in every event of life how they must feel when such 
conceptions are endeavoured to be forced on them, the educated 
reader may easily judge ! To pass from the eternal Brahm which 
is in all and each, suffering, living and hoping for emancipation, to 
that "maker" out of nothing, is truly a severe requirement. 
They will indeed never be persuaded that the world and man are a 
machine made from nothing. With great justice the admirable 
author of the book eulogized below in the text, says on page 15 : 
" The endeavours of the missionaries will remain fruitless ; no 
Hindoo worthy of any respect will ever pay any attention to their 
exhortations ; " similarly p. 50, " To hope that they, penetrated by 
these opinions, in which they live and move and have their being, 
will ever give them up in order to accept the Christian doctrine is, 
according to my firm conviction, an idle expectation." Also page 
68 : " And if to this work the whole Synod of the English Church 
were to put its hand it would assuredly not succeed except by 
absolute compulsion in converting one man out of a thousand of 
the whole Indian population." How accurate this prophecy has 
been is proved now forty -one years later by a long letter in "The 
Times " of November 6th, 1849, signed " Civis," which, as appears 
from the contents/emanates from a man who has long lived in India. 
It says among other things : " Not a single instance has become 
known to me that a man in India of whom we could in any way 
be proud has been converted to Christianity. I have not known 
one case that was not calculated to serve as a reproach to the faith 
which he accepted and as a warning to the faith which he re- 
nounced. The proselytes which have hitherto been made, few as 
they are, have merely served therefore to frighten away others 
from following their example." After this letter had been contra-* 


read, " The Vindication of the Hindoos from the Asper- 
sions of the Rev. Claudius Buchanan, with a refutation of 
his arguments in favour of an ecclesiastical establishment 
in British India ; the whole tending to evince the excel- 
lence of the moral system of the Hindoos ; by a Bengal 
Officer. Lond. 1808." The author there explains with 
rare independence the advantages of the doctrines of the 
Hindoo faith over those of the European. The little work, 
which in German would fill about five sheets, deserves still 
to be translated, for it expounds better and more honestly 
than any other known to me the benevolent practical in- 
fluences of Brahminism, its effect on life and on the people 
very differently to the reports emanating from clerical 
pens which for that very reason deserve little credence, 
but agreeing notwithstanding with what I have heard 
verbally from English officers who have spent half their 
life in India. In order to know how jealous and furious is 
the Anglican Church, trembling for its benefices, at Brah- 
minism, one should have heard the loud bellowing which 
some years ago the bishops raised in Parliament, continued 

dieted there appeared in substantiation of it in " The Times " of 
November 20th a second signed " Sepaher," which stated : " I have 
served over twelve years in the Presidency of Madras, and during 
this long time I have never seen a single individual who had been 
converted even nominally from Hindooism or from Islam to the 
Protestant religion. I entirely agree therefore with ' Civis ' and 
believe that almost all officers of the army will bear a similar tes- 
timony. " Vehement contradiction followed this letter also, but 1 
believe that if it did not emanate from missionaries, it did at all 
events from their cousins ; at least the opponents were very godly. 
Hence if even all that they adduced was not without foundation, 
still I attach more faith to the unprejudiced witnesses quoted 
above. For with me as far as England is concerned the red coat 
obtains more confidence than the black, and everything which is 
there said in favour of the Church, that wealthy and comfortable 
sinecure of the penniless younger sons of the entire aristocracy, ia 
to ipso suspicious to me. 


for months together, and as the East Indian authorities, as 
usual on such occasions, showed themselves unyielding, set 
up again and again, and all merely because the English 
authorities, as was only fair in India, displayed some 
external signs of honour toward the ancient venerable 
religion of the country e.g., that when the procession of 
the gods passed by, the watch with the officer at its head 
came out and saluted with a roll of the drum ; also that 
a red cloth was furnished to cover the Car of Juggernaut, 
&c. The latter has really been done away with together 
with the pilgrim dues which were raised in connection with it 
in order to please these gentlemen. In the meantime the 
independent drivelling of these self-styling right-reverend 
holders of benefices and surplices over such things, together 
with the quite mediseval manner, which nowadays sounds 
so rough and brutal, in which they expressed themselves, 
also the bitter annoyance which it caused them that Lord 
Ellenborough, in 1845, brought back in a triumphal pro- 
cession to Bengal and gave up to the Brahmins the Gate 
of the Pagoda of Sumenaut destroyed by Mahmud the 
Guhzncwid ; all this, I say, lets us suppose that it is not 
unknown to them how much the majority of Europeans who 
live long in India are predisposed in their hearts towards 
Brahminism and how they only shrug their shoulders at the 
religion, as at the social prejudices, of Europe. " That 
all falls off like scales after one has lived two years in 
India/' said such a one to me on one occasion. Even a 
Frenchman, that very obliging and cultivated gentleman 
who about ten years accompanied the Dewardussi (vulgo 
Bayaderes) to Europe, as I was speaking with him respect- 
ing the religion of the country, exclaimed immediately 
with fiery enthusiasm, " Monsieur, c'est la vrai religion ! " 
It is nevertheless extremely droll, by the way, to see the 
comfortable smiling self-sufficiency with which certain 
servile German philosophasters, as also some cut and dried 

ox ETHICS. 223 

Orientalists, look down from the heights of their ratio- 
nalistic Judaism, upon Brahminisin and Buddhism. To 
such mediocrities I would seriously venture to propose an 
engagement with the apes' comedy at the Frankfort Fair, 
if indeed the successors of Hanuman would tolerate them 
amongst them. 

I think that if the Emperor of China or the King of 
Siam and other Asiatic monarchs concede to the European 
power the permission to send missionaries into their 
lands they would be quite justified in doing so, only under 
the condition that they might send exactly as many Buddhist 
priests with equal rights into the European land in ques- 
tion, choosing for this purpose naturally those who were 
previously wfcll instructed in the particular European lan- 
guage with which they had to do. We should then have 
before our eyes an interesting competition, and see which 
of them achieved the most. 

Even the fantastic and sometimes quaint Hindoo myth- 
ology as it to-day, no less than thousands of years ago, 
makes up the religion of the people, is, if one* goes to the 
root of the matter, only the allegorized (i.e., clad in 
images, and so personified and mythisized as to be suited 
to the capacity of the people) doctrine of the Upani- 
shads, which every Hindoo, according to the measure of 
his powers and education, either feels, or has a presenti- 
ment of, or seeing through it, clearly understands ; while 
the coarse and narrow-minded English reverend mocks 
and blasphemes it as idolatry, in the belief that he 
alone is in the right box. The purpose of the Buddha 
Sakya Muni, on the contrary, was to separate the kernel 
from the shell, to free the high doctrine itself from all 
admixture with images and gods, and to make its pure 
content accessible and comprehensible even to the peo- 
ple. In this he succeeded wonderfully, and hence his 
religion is most excellent, and represented by the greatest 


number of adherents upon earth. He can say with 

Sophocles : 

&eoTf fitv Kcir o fjirjdlv wv oftou 
KpaTO KaroK-n^aiT' eyw til Kcti di%a 

KBtVCJV TrkTTQ&a TOUT* tTTlffTrafftlV tfXfOf. 

Christian fanaticism, which seelcs to convert the whole 
world to its faith, is irresponsible. Sir James Brooke 
(Rajah of Borneo), who colonized and, for a time, ruled a 
portion of Borneo, delivered an address in September, 
1858, at Liverpool, before a meeting of the Society for the 
Propagation of the Gospel that is, the centre of Missions 
in which he said : " You have made no progress with the 
Mahomedans, and with the Hindoos you have made no 
progress at all, but are precisely at the point where you 
were on the first day on which you set foot in India" 
("Times," 29th September, 1858). The emissaries of the 
Christian faith have nevertheless shown themselves very 
useful and praiseworthy in another direction, since some of 
them have furnished us with excellent and complete reports 
on Brahmanism and Buddhism, and true and careful 
translations of the holy books such as could only have been 
possible to have been done con amore. I dedicate the fol- 
lowing rhyme to these worthy persons : 

" As teachers ye went thither, 
As pupils ye came hither, 
From the unveiled sense 
Fell what ye took from hence." 

We may, therefore, hope that there will be a time 
when all Europe will be purified from Jewish mythology. 
The century has perhaps come, in which the peoples of 
Asia springing from the Japhetic stem will again receive 
the holy religions of their home, for after long wandering 
from the path they are again ripe for them. 


After my prize essay on " Moral Freedom" it can remain 
doubtful to no thinking man that this is to be sought fc* 
nowhere in nature, but only outside of nature. It is 
a metaphysical fact, but in the physical world an impossi- 
bility. Nevertheless our individual acts are in no sense 
free. But the individual character of each is to be regarded 
as his free act. He himself is such, because he once for all 
wills to be such. For the Will exists in itself even in so far 
as it appears in an individual : it constitutes, that is to 
say, the original and fundamental Will of the same, inde- 
pendent of all knowledge, because preceding it. From 
knowledge it receives merely the motives by which it suc- 
cessively develops its essence, and makes itself known, or 
becomes visible ; but it is itself as lying outside time, un- 
changeable so long as it exists at all. Hence each one, 
since as such he exists only once, and under the circum- 
stances of his time, but which on their side appear with 
strict necessity, can never do anything else but precisely 
what he does now. The entire empirical course of the 
life of a man is accordingly, in all its events, great and 
small, as necessarily predetermined as the works of a 
clock. At bottom this arises from the fact that the manner 
in which the aforesaid metaphysically free act comes into 
the cognizing consciousness is a preception which has time 
and space for its form, by means of which the unity and 
indivisibility of that act displays itself as torn asunder into 
a series of states and events which follow the clue of the 
principle of cause in its four forms and this is termed 
necessity. But the result is a moral one, viz. this ; by that 
which we do we know what we are, in the same way that 
by that which we suffer we know what we deserve. 

From this it follows further that the individuality does 
not rest alone on the principio individuationis, and hence 
is not through and through mere phenomenon, but that it 
has its root in the thing-in-itself, in the will of the indi- 


vidual, for even his character is individual. How deeply 
ii/s roots penetrate here belongs to those questions whose 
answer I do not undertake; but it deserves here to be 
borne in mind that even Plato in his way presents the 
individuality of each as his own free act, since*he makes 
him to be born in consequence of his heart and character, 
such as he is, by means of Metempsychosis (" Phsedr.," 
p. 325 sq. vol. x. ed. Bip.; "De legib." x. p. 106, ed. Bip.). 
Even the Brahmins on their side express the unchange- 
able determination of the inborn character mythically, in 
that they say that Brahma has in the generation of every 
man impressed his action and his suffering in written 
characters upon his skull, in accordance with which his 
course of life must follow. They point to the notches of 
the sutures of the skull bones as this writing. The con- 
tent of it is a consequence of his previous life and conduct 
(see " Lettres Edifiantes," 1819, vol. vi. p. 149, and voL vii. 
p. 135). This insight appears to lie at the foundation 
of the Christian (even Pauline) dogma of salvation by 

Another consequence of the above, which entirely con- 
firms it empirically, is that all genuine merits, moral as 
well as intellectual, have not merely a physical, or other- 
wise empirical, but a metaphysical origin, are accordingly 
a priori and not a posteriori that is, are innate, and not 
acquired, and consequently have their root not in the mere 
phenomenon, but in the thing-in-itself. Hence each one 
only accomplishes that which at bottom already in his 
nature that is, in his innate nature is irrevocably fixed. 
Intellectual capacities, indeed, require cultivation as many 
natural products require direction in order to be enjoyable 
or otherwise useful. But as here no direction can replace 
the original material, there also not. For this reason all 
merely acquired, learnt, affected qualities in other words, 
qualities a posteriori, moral no less than intellectual are, 


properly speaking, ungenuine, empty appearance without 
content. Following as this does from a correct metaphysi<f, 
it is taught by a deeper glance into experience. It is 
evidenced, indeed, by the great weight which all lay on 
physiognomy and the external appearance that is, the 
innateness of every man in any way distinguished and 
hence by their eagerness to see him. The superficial, indeed, 
and for good reasons, the commonplace natures will be of the 
opposite opinion, in order to be able to console themselves 
in what they lack that it will come in good time. This 
world is, therefore, not merely a battle-ground for whose 
victories and defeats prizes will be distributed in the 
future, but it is itself already the last judgment in which 
each brings with him reward and shame according to his 
merits ; and Brahininism and Buddhism, in so far as they 
teach Metempsychosis, do not know any thing different. 

The question has been mooted as to what two men who had 
each grown up quite alone in the wilderness and who met 
each other for the first time would do. Hobbes, Pufendorf, 
and Rousseau have answered it in opposite senses. Pufen- 
dorf believed they would meet each other lovingly ; Hobbes, 
on the contrary, inimically ; Rousseau that they would pass 
each other by in silence. All three are right and wrong ; 
for here precisely the immeasurable diversity of the innate 
moral dispositions of individuals would show itself in so 
clear a light that we should here have, as it were, the rule 
And measure of them. For there are men with whom the 
look of man at once excites a hostile feeling, inasmuch as 
their innermost being expresses itself " not I ! " And others 
there are with whom this look at once excites friendly 
interest ; their innermost being says " I once more ! " In 
between there lie numberless degrees. But that we are in 
this chief point so fundamentally different is a great 
problem, indeed a mystery. Respecting this a priority of 


the moral character, the book of the Dane, Bastholm, " His- 
torical Contributions towards Knowledge of the Savage 
State " affords material for a variety of reflections. It 
surprises him that the intellectual culture and moral good- 
ness of nations exhibit themselves as quite independent of 
each other in that the one is often to be found without the 
other. We shall explain this from the fact that moral 
goodness does not in any sense arise from reflection, the 
development of which is dependent upon intellectual 
culture ; but directly from the Will itself, whose structure 
is innate and which is in itself incapable of any improve- 
ment through culture. Bastholm describes most nations 
as very vicious and bad. He has, on the other hand, from 
certain savage peoples the most generally excellent charac- 
teristics to report, as from the Orotchyses, the inhabitants 
of the island Sawu, the Tumguses, and the Pelew-Islanders. 
He then attempts to solve the problem whence it comes 
that particular races are so exceptionally good while all 
their neighbours are bad. It seems to me it may be 
explained from the fact that since the moral qualities of the 
father are hereditary, that in the above cases such an 
isolated race has arisen from one family and, therefore, 
sprung from the same ancestor, who happened to have 
been a good man, and has maintained itself unmixed. The 
English have often reminded the North Americans on the 
occasion of unpleasant incidents, such as repudiation of 
state debts, robber enterprises, &c., that they are descended 
from an English criminal colony, although this is only true 
of a small portion of them. 

It is wonderful how the individuality of every man (i.e., 
this determinate character with this determinate intellect) 
precisely determines li?ie a penetrating die, all his actions 
and thoughts down to the most insignificant; in conse- 
quence of which the whole course of life, that is, the ex- 


ternal and internal history of the one turns out so totally 
different from that of the other. As a botanist knows fhe 
whole plant from one leaf ; as Cuvier constructed the whole 
animal from one bone ; so from one characteristic action of 
a man one can attain to a correct knowledge of his 
character and thus, to a certain extent, construct him from 
it. Even if this action concerns a trifle it is possible, indeed 
it then often succeeds best, for in more important things 
people take more care, but in trifles they follow their na- 
ture without much consideration. Hence the accuracy of 
Seneca's saying: Argumenta morum ex minimis quoque licet 
capere (Ep. 52). If any one show in such things by an 
absolutely reckless egoistic conduct that just views of 
things are foreign to his heart, one ought not to trust him 
with a single groschen without adequate security. For 
who will believe that he who in all other matters which do 
not touch property shows himself daily unjust, that one 
whose boundless egoism everywhere peeps out from the 
small actions of ordinary life for which he is not called to 
account, like a dirty shirt out of the holes in a ragged 
jacket that such a one will be honourable in matters of 
meum and tuum without any other impulse than that of 
Justice ? He who is inconsiderate in small things will be 
without scruple also in great. He who leaves small traits 
of character unnoticed has himself to thank if he afterwards 
learns to know the character in question to his own disad- 
vantage from the great. On the same principle one should 
also at once break, even with so-called good friends, if they 
betray, be it only in trifles, a malicious or bad or low 
character, in order thereby to avoid their bad turns on a 
larger scale, which only await the opportunity to produce 
themselves. The same applies to servants. One should 
always think, " better alone than^among traitors." 

The foundation and propaedeutic of all knowledge of men 
is the conviction that the conduct of man as a whole and 


essentially is not guided by his reason and its dictates. 
Hbnce no one becomes this or that because he has the wish 
to be so, however strong it may be ; but his action proceeds 
from his innate and unchangeable character, is more closely 
and in detail determined by motives, and is consequently 
the necessary product of these two factors. One may 
accordingly compare the conduct of men to the course of a 
planet which is the result of the tangential and centripetal 
force which accrues to it by the operation of its sun, the 
former force representing the character, the latter the in- 
fluence of motives. This is almost more than a mere 
metaphor, inasmuch, namely, as the tangential force from 
which the motion properly proceeds while it is limited by 
gravitation is, taken metaphysically, the Will displaying 
itself in the body in question. 

He who has understood this will also see that we, pro- 
perly speaking, never have more than a supposition as to 
what we shall do in a future position of affairs, although 
we often regard this as an intention. If, for example, 
a man in consequence of a proposal has, with perfect 
honesty, and even quite willingly incurred the obligation 
upon the occurrence of certain events still in the future to 
do this or that, it is not by any means assured thereby that 
he will fulfil it unless he be of such a nature that his pro- 
mise given, of itself and as such, would be always and 
everywhere a sufficient motive for him, in that it, by means 
of his regard for his honour, acted upon him as a foreign 
compulsion. But apart from this what he will do on the 
occurrence of those circumstances may, nevertheless, be 
foreseen with perfect certainty solely from a correct and 
exact knowledge of his character and of the external cir- 
cumstances under whose operation he has come. This is 
indeed very easy if one has ever seen him once in a similar 
position ; for he will infallibly do the same a second time, 
pre- supposing that on the first occasion he had known the 


circumstances accurately and completely, for as I have often 
remarked : causa finalis non movet secundum suum esne 
reale, sed secundwm esse cognitum (Suarez, "disp. metaph. 
disp." xxiii., sect. 7 et 8), what, namely, he has not known 
or understood the first time could not operate upon his wilL 
Just as an electrical process stops, if some isolating body 
intercepts the action of a conductor. The unchange- 
ability of character and the necessity of action proceed- 
ing from it impresses itself with uncommon clearness 
upon him who on some occasion has not conducted himself 
as he ought, inasmuch as he has perhaps failed in decision 
or firmness, or courage, or other qualities demanded by the 
moment. Now after it is over he knows and honestly 
regrets his wrong conduct and thinks, perhaps, " If only 
that occurred to me again I would act differently ! " It does 
occur to him again, the same thing happens, and he acts 
again exactly as before, to his great astonishment. (Com- 
pare " World as Will and Presentment," ii.,p. 226, et seq. ; 
3rd ed. ii. p. 251, et seq.) By a long way the best expla- 
nation of the truth here under discussion is furnished 
us by Shakespeare's dramas. For he was penetrated by it 
and his intuitive wisdom speaks it in concrete on every 
side. I will, notwithstanding, here exemplify it in a 
case in which it stands out with special clearness, although 
without intention and affectation, since he as a true artist 
never starts from conceptions except obviously in order 
to satisfy the Psychological truth as he apprehended it 
perceptually and immediately, unconcerned that it would 
be by few rightly regarded and understood, and without 
any presentiment that in Germany dull and stupid persons 
were destined to appear who would elaborately explain that 
he had written his pieces in order to illustrate moral com- 
mon-places. What I here refer to, is the character of the 
Earl of Northumberland which we see carried through 
three tragedies, without his appearing as a leading per- 


sonage, but only in a few scenes which are distributed over 
fifteen acts, so that he who does not read with all his atten- 
tion the character displayed between such long intervals 
may easily lose sight of its moral identity, notwithstanding 
the firmness with which the poet has kept it in view. He 
makes this Earl everywhere enter with noble knightly mien, 
use a language suited thereto, and has even put into his 
mouth at times very beautiful and even sublime passages, 
since he is so far removed from doing as Schiller does who 
is fond of painting the devil black, and whose moral ap- 
proval or disapproval sounds through the very words of the 
characters portrayed by him. But with Shakespeare and 
also with Groethe each one, so long as he is present and 
speaks, is perfectly right even if he be the devil himself. 
Compare, in this respect, the Duke of Alva with Groethe 
and with Schiller. We make the acquaintance of the Earl 
of Northumberland already in " Richard II." where he is 
the first to stir up a conspiracy against the King in favour 
of Bolingbroke, afterwards Henry IV., whom he also (act 
ii., scene 3,) personally flatters. In the following act he 
suffers a correction because, speaking of the King, he simply 
said " Richard," but gives the assurance, however, that it was 
only done for the sake of brevity. Soon afterwards his 
cunning speech moves the King to capitulation. In the 
following act he treats him in the act of abdication with 
such hardness and contempt that the unhappy broken 
monarch for once loses patience and exclaims, "Devil! 
thou plaguest me already before I am in hell," At the 
conclusion he reports to the new King that he has sent the 
decapitated heads of the adherents of the former to London. 
In the following tragedy, " Henry IV.," he sets a con- 
spiracy on foot in the same way as before, against the new 
King. In the fourth act we see the rebels united, pre- 
paring themselves for the great battle of the following day 
and waiting impatiently for him and his army division* 


There comes finally a letter from him ; he is himself i^J 
and could not trust his men to any one else ; they should, 
however, courageously continue and proceed bravely to the 
attack. They do it, but are considerably weakened by his 
absence, are completely beaten, most of their leaders are 
taken, and his only son, the heroic Hotspur, falls by the hand 
of the Crown Prince. Again, in the following piece, the 
" Second Part of Henry IV.," we see him plunged into the 
wildest rage by the death of this son and madly breathing 
out revenge. Hence he stirs up the rebellion afresh ; the 
leaders of it assemble themselves once more. As these, in 
the fourth act, have to fight the decisive battle, and only 
await his joining himself to them, there comes a letter ; 
he has not been able to collect sufficient forces, and will 
therefore, for the present, seek his safety in Scotland, 
but wishes their heroic undertaking from his heart the 
best success. Upon this they surrender themselves to the 
King under an agreement which is not kept and they perish. 
So far, then, from the character being the work of rational 
choice and reflection, the intellect has nothing more to do 
with its conduct than to hold up motives before the will. 
But then it must, as mere onlooker and witness, observe 
how from its effect on the given character the course of 
life shapes itself, all the processes of which when correctly 
considered occur with the same necessity as the movements 
of a clock-work, on which point I refer my readers to my 
prize essay on " Freedom of the Will." The illusion of a 
complete freedom of the Will, which nevertheless obtains 
here, with every single action, I have there reduced to its 
true significance and its origin, and thereby indicated the 
active cause of it, to which I will only here add the final 
cause in the following teleological explanation of the above 
natural illusion. The freedom atod originality which in 
truth alone accrue to the intelligible character of a man, 
the mere apprehension of which by the intellect is his 


course of life, appear to attach to every particular action, 
and so the original work is for the empirical consciousness 
apparently repeated anew in every particular action. Our 
course of life receives thereby the greatest possible moral 
vovrlSrirTiG, since all the bad sides of our character become 
in this way first really perceptible to us. Conscience, 
namely, accompanies every action with the commentary, 
" thou mightest act differently/' although its real meaning 
is, "thou mightest be another man." Now since, on the 
one hand, by the unchangeability of character, on the other 
by the strict necessity whereby all the circumstances in 
which he is successively placed occur, the course of life of 
each is precisely denned from A to Z ; but notwithstand- 
ing one life will in all its conditions, subjective as well 
as objective, turn out incomparably happier, nobler, and 
worthier than the other. -This leads, if one does not wish 
to eliminate all justice, to the assumption axiomatic in 
Brahminism and Buddhism, that no less the subjective 
conditions with which, as the objective conditions under 
which each one is born, are the moral consequences of a 
previous existence. 

Macchiavelli, who does not seem by any means to have 
concerned himself with philosophical speculations, is by 
virtue of a penetrating acuteness of his so unique intellect 
led to the following truly deep-thinking utterance which 
presupposes an intuitive knowledge of the entire necessity 
by which with given characters and motives all actions 
take place. He begins the prologue " Clitia" with it : " Se nel 
mondo tomassino i medesimi uomini, come tornano i medesimi 
casi, non passarebbono mai cento anni, che noi non ci trovas- 
simo un altra volta insieme, a fare le medesime cose, che hora. 
(" If the same men re-appeared in the world as the same 
events re-appear, a hundred years would never pass with- 
out our finding ourselves again together, doing the same 
things as we are doing now?*) A reminiscence, however, of 


what Augustine says ("De Civitate Dei," libr. xii. c. 13) 
seems to have led him on to this. 

The Fate (the tlpappEvrj) of the ancients is nothing else 
than the assurance brought to consciousness, that all that 
happens is firmly bound by a causal chain, and therefore 
happens with strict necessity, and that accordingly the 
future is already perfectly fixed, is determined certainly 
and exactly, and that as little can be changed in it as in the 
past. It is only the foreknowledge of it that can be looked 
upon as fabulous in the fatalistic myths of the ancients, if 
we eliminate the possibility of clairvoyance and second 
sight. Instead of trying to set aside the fundamental 
verity of fatalism by stupid talk and empty evasions, one 
should rather try to recognize and to understand it clearly, 
for it is a demonstrable truth which furnishes us with an 
important datum for the understanding of our so enigma- 
tical existence. 

Predestination and fatalism are not in the main distinct, 
but only in that the given character and the determination 
of human action which comes from without, proceed, the 
former from a knowing, the latter from a kno wingless 
being. In the result they are the same: that happens 
which must happen. The conception of a moral freedom is, 
on the contrary, inseparable from that of origination. For 
that a being is the work of another, but in its willing 
and acting is free notwithstanding, may be said with words, 
but not comprehended in thought. He, namely, who called 
it into being from nothing has thereby also created and 
determined its nature, that is, all its qualities. For one can 
never create without creating something that is, a being 
precisely determined throughout, and in all its qualities. 
But from these qualities which are thereby determined flow 
afterwards with necessity its entire manifestations and de- 
fects, inasmuch as these are simply the same qualities 
brought into play, which only required a stimulation from 


without in order to manifest themselves. As man is so 
must he act, and thus fault and merit cleave not to his 
individual acts, but to his essence and being. Henco Theism 
and the moral responsibility of mac are incompatible, be- 
cause responsibility always falls back upon the author of 
the being as the place where it has its centre of gravity. 
It has been in vain attempted to throw a bridge between 
these two incompatibilities by means of the conception of 
the moral freedom of man, for it always breaks down 
again. The free being must also be the original being. If 
our will is free our primary nature is so also, and con- 
versely. Even the pre-Kantian dogmatism which would 
have kept these two predicaments asunder was compelled 
to assume two freedoms that, namely, of a first world-cause 
for Cosmology, and that of the human will for morals and 
theology. In accordance with this Kant also treats the 
third no less than the fourth antinomy of freedom. 

In my philosophy, on the other hand, the straight- 
forward recognition of the strict necessitation of actions 
involves the doctrine that, even in consciousless beings, 
that which manifests itself is Will, otherwise the action of 
this obvious necessitation would be placed in opposition to 
willing, if, namely, there were really such a freedom of 
individual action, and this were not rather as strictly 
necessitated as any other effect. On the other hand, the 
same doctrine of the necessitation of the act of Will renders 
it necessary that the existence and nature of man be itself 
the work of his freedom that is, of his Will and that the 
latter, therefore, has aseity. On the opposite assumption, 
all responsibility would, as already shown, be done away 
with ; and the moral, like the physical, world would be a 
mere machine, which its outside artificer made to work for 
his amusement. Truths thus all hang together, require 
each other, complete each ether, while error strikes itself 
against every corner. 


Of what kind the influence is which moral teaching can 
have on conduct, and what are its limits, I have sufficiently 
investigated in my treatise on the foundation of Morality, 
Essentially analogous to this is the influence of example, 
which is nevertheless more powerful than that of teaching, 
and therefore deserves a short analysis. 

Example acts directly, either hindering or promoting. 
The first when it determines the man to leave undone what 
he would willingly do. He sees, namely, that others do 
not do it, from which he infers in general that it is not 
advisable, in other words, that it must bring danger to his 
person, or his property, or his honour ; to this he holds 
and gladly sees himself relieved from independent investi- 
gation. Or he sees that another who has done it has 
suffered evil consequences from it. This is the terrifying 
example. Example acts advantageously in two ways : 
either in moving men to do what they would gladly leave 
undone by showing them that its omission would bring 
them into some danger or injure them in the opinion of 
others ; or it acts so as to encourage them to do what they 
would willingly do, but hitherto from fear of danger or 
disgrace have left undone ; this is the seductive example. 
Lastly, example may bring to a man's notice something 
which would otherwise not have occurred to him. In this 
case it obviously acts directly only on the intellect; the 
effect on the Will is secondary and is, when it occurs, 
brought about by an original act of judgment or by con- 
fidence in him who sets the example. The entire very 
powerful effect of example rests on the fact that the man 
as a rule has too little faculty of judgment, often also too 
little knowledge to explore his way himself, and hence he 
is glad to tread in the footsteps of others. Every one 
will therefore be the more open to the influence of ex- 
ample the more he lacks the above two qualifications. The 
guiding star of most men is, however, the example of others, 


Mid their whole conduct in great things as in small, is ve- 
dv.cible to mere imitation; they don't do the least thing 
on their own judgment. 1 The cause of this is their horror 
of every kind of reflection, and their well-grounded mis- 
trust of their own judgment. At the same time this 
bears witness to the surprisingly strong imitative tendency 
of man, as also to his relationship to the ape. But the 
mode in which the example acts is determined by the 
character of each ; hence the same example can act upon 
one seductively and on the other repellently. Certain 
social mispractices which, not previously existent, gradually 
force their way, readily give us the opportunity of observing 
this. On first noticing something of the kind, one thinks, 
" Ah, how can he do it ! How egoistic, how inconsiderate ! 
I will certainly take care that I will never do any such 
thing." But twenty others will think, " Aha ! he does that, 
I may do it also." 

In a moral respect, example, like teaching, though it in- 
deed promotes a civil or legal improvement, does not 
nevertheless further the inner, which is properly the moral, 
improvement. For it only acts as a personal motive, and 
consequently under the presupposition of receptivity for 
this class of motive. But it is precisely whether a character 
is more receptive for this or that class of motive which is 
decisive for its proper and true, but nevertheless always 
innate, morality. Example acts in general advantageously 
for the bringing into prominence of good and bad characte- 
ristics, but it does not create them, and hence Seneca's 
utterance, velle non discitwr, holds good here also. That the 
innateness of all genuine moral qualities, of the good as of 
the bad, suits the doctrine of Metempsychosis, of the Brah- 
minists* and Buddhists, according to which, " The good a,nd 
the bad actions of a man follow him from one existence 


1 Imitation and habit are the impelling motives of most of the 
actions of men. 


to another like his shadow/* better than Judaism, which 
rather requires that man should come into the world as a 
moral zero in order by virtue of an unthinkable liberi 
arbitri indifferenticr, that is, as a consequence of rational 
reflection, to decide whether he wills to be an angel or 
a devil, or whatever else may lie between them, this I 
know well enough, but do not trouble myself about it, for 
my standard is the truth. I am no professor of philosophy, 
and therefore do not recognize my calling to consist in, 
before all other things, making sure the fundamental ideas 
of Judaism even if these should block the way for ever to 
all and every philosophical cognition. Liberum arbitrium in- 
differentiae, under the name of " Moral Freedom," is a very 
favourite toy for the professors of philosophy which we 
must leave to them the deep-thinking, the honest and the 
upright I 


A LTHOUGrH I have treated this subject thoroughly 
JL\ and in its connection in my chief work, I nevertheless 
believe that a small selection of separate reflections upon 
it, which always throw back some light on an exposition, 
will not be without value for many. 

One must read Jean Paul's "Selina" in order to see how 
an eminently great mind becomes the victim of the absur- 
dities of a false conception, which he will not give up be- 
cause he has set his heart upon it, but is all the same 
perpetually disturbed by absurdities which he cannot digest. 
It is the conception of the individual continuance of our 
entire personal consciousness after death. Precisely tho 
fighting and struggling of Jean Paul proves that such con- 
cepts compounded of the false and true are not, as is alleged, 
wholesome errors, but are rather decidedly noxious. For 
not only is the true knowledge resting on the distinction 
between appearance and the thing-in-itself of the inde- 
structibility of our proper nature as untouched by time, 
causality, and change, made impossible by the false opposi- 
tion of soul and body, as also by the raising of the whole 
personality to a thing-in-iteelf which must eternally exist ; 
but this false conception cannot even be firmly held as the 


representative of the truth, since the reason ever anew 
rises indignant against the absurdity lying in it, and then 
lias to give up therewith the truth which is amalgamated 
with it. For in the long run truth can only subsist in its 
purity ; mixed up with errors it participates in their falli- 
bility as the granite crumbles when its felspar is decayed, 
although quartz and mica are not subject to such decay. 
It goes badly therefore with surrogates of the truth. 

When in daily intercourse it is asked by one of those 
many people who wish to know everything, but do not 
want to learn anything, as to continued existence after 
death, the most suitable and indeed, in the first instance, 
the most correct answer is : " After your death you will be 
what you were before your birth." For it implies the 
wrong-headedness of the demand that a species of exis- 
tence which has a beginning shall be without end, besides 
containing the implication that there may be two kinds 
of being and two kinds of nothing according with it. 
Similarly one might answer, " Whatever you will be after 
your death, even if it be nothing, will be just as natural 
and suitable to you as your individual organic existence is 
now, thus you will have at most to fear the moment of 
transition. Yes, since a mature consideration of the matter 
affords the result, that complete non-existence would be pre- 
ferable to an existence such as ours. Thus the thought of the 
cessation of our existence, or of a time when we shall no 
longer be, ought, as far as reason goes, to trouble us as little 
as the thought of the time when we were not. But since 
the existence is essentially a personal one the end of the 
personality is not to be regarded as a loss." 

To him, on the contrary, who on the objective and em- 
pirical path had pursued the plausible clue of materialism, 
and now full of alarm at complete destruction by death 
which confronts him therein, turns to us, we should perhaps 


procure for "him satisfaction in the shortest way and one 
most suited to his empirical mode of thought, if we de- 
monstrated to him the distinction between matter and the 
metaphysical force which is always temporarily taking 
possession of it ; as, for example, in birds, where the homo- 
geneous formless fluidity as soon as it attains the requisite 
temperature, assumes the complicated and exactly deter- 
mined shape of the genus and species of its bird. This is 
indeed, to a certain extent, a kind of generatio cequivoca, 
and it is exceedingly probable that the hierarchical series 
of animal forms arose from the fact that once in primitive 
times and in a happy hour it overleapt the type of animal 
to which the egg belonged, to a higher one. At all eventa 
something distinct from matter appears here most promi- 
nently, especially in that by the least unfavourable circum- 
stance it comes to nothing. In this way it becomes explicable 
that after an operation that has been completed or sub- 
sequently prevented it can deviate from it without injury, 
a fact which points to a totally different permanence than 
that of the persistence of matter in time. 

If we conceive of a being which knew, understood, and 
saw everything, the question whether we endure after 
death would probably have no meaning for such a one, 
since beyond our present temporal individual existence 
enduring and ceasing would have no significance, and 
would be indistinguishable conceptions. And accordingly 
neither the concept of destruction nor that of continuance, 
would have any application, since these are borrowed from 
time, which is merely the form of the phenomenon. In 
the meantime we can only think of the indestructibility of 
this core of our phenomenon as a continuance of it, and 
indeed, properly speaking, only according to the schema of 
matter which under all cnanges of its form maintains it- 
self in time. If we deny it this continuance we regard our 


temporal end as an annihilation according to the schema of 
form which vanishes when the matter in which it inheres 
is taken away from it. Both are nevertheless fjurapcifftg dt 
&\\o yeVof , that is, a transference of the forms of the pheno- 
menon to the thing-in-itself . But of an indestructibility 
which would be no continuance we can hardly form even 
an abstract idea, since all perception by which we might 
confirm it fails us. 

In truth however the constant arising of new beings and 
the perishing of those already existent is to be regarded as 
an illusion produced by the apparatus of two polished lenses 
(brain-functions), by which alone we can see anything. 
They are called space and time, and in their reciprocal 
interpenetration causality. For all that we perceive under 
these conditions is mere phenomenon ; but we do not know 
the things as they may be in themselves, that is indepen- 
dently of our perception. This is properly the kernel of 
the Kantian philosophy which, together with its content, 
one cannot too often catt to mind in a period when venal 
charlatanry has by its stupefying process driven philosophy 
from Germany with the willing assistance of people for 
whom truth and intelligence are the most indifferent things 
in the world, and wage and salary the most important. 

How can we suppose on beholding the death of a human 
being that a thing-in-itself here conies to nothing? That 
a phenomenon in time, that form of all phenomena, finds 
its end without the thing-in-itself being thereby affected is 
an immediate intuitive cognition of every man ; hence men 
have endeavoured to give utterance to it at all times, in 
the most diverse forms and expressions, but these are 
all derived from the phenomenon in its special sense and 
only have reference thereto. Everyone feels that he is 
something different from a being who has once been created 
.from nothing by another being. In this way the assurance 


arises within him that although death can make an end of 
his life it cannot make an end of his existence. Man is 
something else than an animated nothing ; and the animal 
also. He who thinks his existence is limited to his present 
life regards himself as an animated nothing. For thirty 
years ago he was nothing and thirty yeiirs hence he will be 
again nothing. 

The more clearly one is conscious of the transience, 
nothingness and dream-like nature of all things, by so 
much the more clearly is one conscious also of the eternity 
of one's own inner nature. For only in opposition to this 
is the foregoing structure of things known, as the rapid 
motion of the ship one is on, is only perceived when one 
looks towards the fixed shore and not when one looks at 
the ship itself. 

The present has two halves, an objective and a subjective. 
The objective alone has the percef^ion of time for its form, 
and hence rolls ceaselessly forward. From this arises our 
vivid recollection of what is very long past, and the con- 
sciousness of our imperishability, in spite of our knowledge 
of the transience of our existence. 

Everyone thinks that his innermost core is something 
that the present contains and carries about with it. When- 
ever we may happen to live we always stand with our con- 
sciousness in the centre of time, never at its terminations; 
and we might assume from this that everyone bore within 
himself the immovable centre of infinite time. This is, 
moreover, at bottom what gives him the confidence with 
which he lives on without continual fear of death. But 
whoever by virtue of the strength of his memory and 
imagination can recall the most vividly the long past of his 
own life, will become mofe clearly conscious than others 
of the identity of the now in all time. Perhaps, indeed, 


this proposition is more correct taken conversely. But at 
all events such a clearer consciousness of the identity of all 
now is an essential requirement of the philosophic mind. 
By means of it we apprehend that which is most fleeting 
the now as the only persistent. He who is in this in- 
tuitive way aware that the present moment, which is the 
only form of all reality in the narrowest sense, has its 
source in us, and springs, that is, from within and not from 
without, cannot doubt of the indestructibility of his own 
nature. He will rather understand that by his death the 
objective world, indeed, with the medium of its present- 
ment, the intellect, perishes for him, but that this does not 
touch his existence, for there was as much reality within as 
without. He will say with complete understanding : eyaj 
elfuLi TTO.V TO ytyovoQ) tcdi oi>, Kal effofjLerov ( u Stob. Floril. Tit." 
44, 42 ; vol. ii. p. 201). 

He who does not admit this to be true must maintain 
the opposite, and say: "Time is something purely objec- 
tive and real, which exists quite independently of me. I 
am only accidentally thrown into it, have only become 
participant in a small portion of it, whereby I have attained 
to a transient reality like thousands of others before me 
who are now no more, and I shall also very soon be 
nothing. Time, on the contrary, is the Eeal. Tt goes 
further without me.*' 

In accordance with all this, life may certainly be regarded 
as a dream and death as an awakening. But then the 
personality, the individual, belongs to the dreaming and 
not to the waking consciousness, for which reason death 
presents itself to the former as annihilation. It is still, at 
all events from this standpoint, not to be regarded as the 
transition to a state entirely new and strange to us, but 
rather only as the return to our original one, of which life 
was only a short episode. 

If in the meantime a philosopher snould, perhaps, think 


that he would find in dying a consolation peculiar to him 
alone, or at least a diversion, and that then a problem 
would be resolved for him which had so frequently occupied 
him, we can only say that it will probably fare with him as 
with one, who as he is about to find what he is seeking, has 
his lantern blown out. 

For in death the consciousness assuredly perishes, but 
not by any means that which till then had produced it. 
The consciousness namely rests immediately on the intel- 
lect, but the latter on the physiological process. For it is 
obviously the function of the brain, and hence conditioned 
by the co-operation of the nerve and cellular system, 
though more directly by the brain, which is nourished, 
animated, and continuously agitated by the heart. It is 
by the artistic and mysterious construction of the brain as 
described by anatomy, but which physiology does not 
understand, that the phenomenon of the objective world 
and the trend of our thoughts is brought about. An 
individual consciousness, that is, a consciousness as such, 
cannot be conceived in an incorporeal being, since know- 
*edge, the condition of every consciousness, is necessarily 
brain-function for the simple reason that the intellect 
objectively manifests itself as brain. Now as intellect 
appears physiologically that is, in empirical reality or in 
the phenomenon as a secondary, as a result of the process 
of life, so it is also psychologically secondary in opposition 
to the Will which is alone the primary and ever the original. 
The organism itself is really only the Will displaying itself 
perceptually and objectively in the brain, and therefore in 
its forms of space and time, as I have often explained, 
especially in "Will in Nature/' and in my chief work 
(vol. ii. chap. xx.). Since, then, the consciousness is not 
immediately dependent upon the Will, but this is con- 
ditioned by the intellect, and this again by the organism, 
there remains no doubt that consciousness is extinguished 


by death, as also by sleep and swoons. 1 But let us be con- 
soled ! For what kind of a consciousness is this ? A 
cerebral, an animal consciousness one a little more highly 
developed than that of the beasts, in so far as we have it 
as regards all essentials in common with the whole series 
of animals although it attains its summit in us. It is the 
same, as I have sufficiently demonstrated, with respect to its 
purpose and origin a mere wyavii of nature, a means of 
knowing how to help the animal nature to its requirements, 
The state, on the contrary, into which death throws us 
back is our original state that is, it is the state peculiar 
to our nature, whose original force displays itself in the 
production and maintenance of the life that is now ceasing. 
It is, in short, the state of the thing-in-itself in opposition 
to the phenomenon. Now in this primal state such an 
assistance as the cerebral, a cognition so extremely mediate, 
and for this reason merely supplying phenomena, is with- 
out doubt entirely superfluous; hence we lose it. Its dis- 
appearance is the same as the cessation of the phenomenal 
world for us, of which it was the mere medium, and can 
serve for nothing else. If in this our original state the re- 
tention of the animal consciousness were even offered us, 
we should reject it as the lame man who is cured does the 
crutch. He therefore who bemoans the loss in question of 
this cerebral consciousness, which is merely phenomenal 
and adapted to the phenomenal, is to be compared to the 
converted Greenlanders who did not wish for heaven when 
they heard that there were no seals there. 

Moreover, all that is here said rests on the assumption 
that we cannot even conceive of a now-conscious state ex- 
cept as a knowing one, which therefore bears the root-form 
of all knowledge the separation of subject and object, 

1 It would certainly be very pleasant if the intellect did not 
perish with death : one would then bring the Greek which one 
had learnt in this world all ready with one into the other. 


of a knowing and a known. But we have to consider that 
tiiis entire form of knowing and being known is conditioned 
merely by our animal, and hence very secondary and 
derived, nature, and is thus in no way the original state of 
all being and all existence, which may therefore be quite 
different, and yet not without consciousness. If then oui 
own present nature, so far as we are able to trace it to its core, 
is mere Will; and this in itself is a knowingless thing; 
when through death we sacrifice the intellect, we are only 
thereby transplanted into our original consciousless state, 
which is therefore not simply consciousless, but rather above 
and beyond this form a state in which the antithesis of sub- 
ject and object disappears, because here that which is to be 
known would be really and immediately one with the 
knowing, and thus the fundamental condition of all knowing 
(which is precisely this opposition) would be wanting. Here- 
with may be compared by way of elucidation " The World 
as Will and Presentment," vol. ii. p. 273 (3rd ed. 310). The 
utterance of Giordano Bruno (ed. Wagner, vol. i. p. 287) : 
" La divina mente, e la unit a assoluta, senza specie alcuna b 
ella medesimo lo che intende, e lo ch' e inteso." 

Perhaps every one is now and then aware in his inner- 
most heart of a consciousness that would be suited to an 
entirely different kind of existence than this so unspeak- 
ably beggarly, timely, individual one, occupied as it is al- 
together with misery ; on which occasions he thinks that 
death might lead him to such a one. 

If we now in opposition to this mode of contemplation 
fchich is directed inwards, again turn our attention out- 
wards and apprehend the world displaying itself objectively, 
death will then certainly appear to us a passage into no- 
thing : But birth also none the less as a proceeding out of 
nothing. The one like the other, however, cannot be un- 
conditionally true since it only has the reality of the phe- 


nomenon. That in some sense we should survive death is 
really no greater miracle than that of generation which we 
daily see before our eyes. What dies goes hence, where all 
life comes from, its own included. In this sense tho 
Egyptians called Orchus Amanthus, which, according to 
Plutarch (" de Is. et Osir," c. 29), signifies 6 \anfidvuv KOI 
<)t2oi>e, " the taker and giver," in order to express that 
it is the same source into which everything returns and 
from which everything proceeds. From^thisj^oint of viejfir 
our JifejnightL be regarded _as a loan received jErpmjdeathj 
sleep _wouldLthen. be the daily interest on this loan. Death 
announces itself without any concealment as the end 
of the individual, but in this individual lies the germ 
of a new being. Hence nothing of all that dies, dies 
for ever. But neither does anything that is born re- 
ceive a fundamentally new existence. The dying perishes 
but a germ remains over from which proceeds a new being 
which now enters into existence with out knowing whence it 
comes and why it is exactly such as it is. This is the mys- 
tery of the Palingenesis for the explanation of which the 
42nd chapter of the 2nd volume of my chief work may 
be consulted. It appears from this that all beings at this 
moment living contain the true germ of all that will live in 
the future, which are thus to a certain extent already there. 
Similarly every animal existing in its full perfection seems 
to cry out to us : " Why dost thou complain of the 
perishability of the living ? How could I exist if all those 
of my species which were before me had not died ? " 
However much, therefore, the pieces and the masks on the 
stage of the world change, the Actors remain the same in 
all. We sit together and talk and excite each other and 
eyes gleam and voices become louder ; exactly so others have 
sat thousands of years ago ; it was the same, and they were 
the same. Just so will it be thousands of years hence. The 
arrangement owing to which we are not aware of this, is time> 


One might very well distinguish Metempsychosis as the 
passage of the entire so-called soul into another body and 
Palingenesis as the decomposition and reformation of this 
individual, inasmuch as his Will persists and assuming the 
shape of a new being receives a new intellect. Thus the 
individual decomposes like a neutral salt, the basis of which 
combines itself with another acid JintcLJu Jlfi'SSL.salt. The 
difference between Metempsychosis and Palingenesis which 
Servius the commentator of Virgil assumes, and which is 
shortly indicated in " Wernsdorffii dissertat de Metempsy- 
chosi," p. 48, is obviously fallacious and nugatory. 

From Spencer Hardy's " Manual of Buddhism " (pp. 
394-96 with which may be compared pp. 429, 440, 445, in 
the same book), also from Sangermano's " Burmese Em- 
pire " as well as from the " Asiatic Kesearches," vol. vi., 
p. 179, and vol. ix., p. 256, it appears that in Buddhism 
an exoteric and esoteric doctrine obtains regarding con- 
tinuance after death. The former is Metempsychosis as in 
Brahminism but the latter is a Palingenesis much more 
difficult of comprehension, which is very much in agreement 
with my doctrine of the Metaphysical existence of the 
Will, of the merely physical structure of the intellect, and 
the perishability which accords with it. T\a\tyytvtaia 
occurs in the Old Testament. 

But if, in order to penetrate deeper into the mystery of 
Palingenesis we seek aid from the 43rd chapter of the 
2nd vol. of my chief work, the matter, more closelycon- 
sidered, will appear to be that throughout all time the 
male sex has been the bearer of the Will, the female of 
the Intellect of the human race, whereby it receives per- 
petual subsistence. Every one, therefore, has a paternal 
and a maternal element, and as these are united in genera- 
tion they are also separated in death, which is thus the end 
of the individual. This individual it is whose death we so 
much deplore with the feeling that it is really lost, since 


it was a mere combination which irrevocably ceases. 
But we must not forget in all this, that the trans- 
missability of the Intellect of the mother is not so de- 
cided and unconditioned as that of the Will of the father, 
on account of the secondary and merely physical nature 
of the intellect and its complete dependence on the organism, 
not only in respect of the brain but also otherwise, as has 
been shown by me in the chapter in question. I may 
mention here by the way that I so far agree with Plato in 
that he also distinguishes in his so-called soul, a mortal 
and an immortal part. But he comes into diametrical 
opposition with me and with the truth, in that he, after the 
manner of all philosophers who have preceded me, regards 
the intellect as the immortal, and the Will, that is, the seat 
of the appetites and passions, as the mortal part; as may 
be seen from the "Timams" (pp. 386, 387, 395, ed. Bip.). 
Aristotle has the same idea. 1 

But though the physical may strangely and wonderfully 
rule things by procreation and death, together with the 
visible combination of individuals out of Will and Intellect 
and their subsequent dissolution, yet the metaphysical prin- 
ciple lying at its basis is of so entirely heterogeneous a nature 
that it is not affected by it, so on this point we may be consoled. 

One can accordingly conceive every man from two oppo- 
site points of view:' from the one, he is an individual be- 
ginning and ending in time, fleeting and transitory, <mac 
ovap, besides being heavily burdened with failings and pains 
From the other, he is the indestructible original being 
which objectivises itself in everything existent, and may, 
as such, say, like the statue of Isis at Sais: yw el/ 

1 In the " De Aniina " (I. 4, p. 408), his real opinion escapes 
accidentally at the beginning that the VOVQ is the true and im- 
mortal soul which he confirms with fallacious assertions. Hatred 
and love belong not to the soul, but to their organ the perishable 


TO yiyovog, KOL oi>, teal IcrojuLtvov. Such a being might indeed 
do something better than manifest itself in a world like 
this. For this is the finite world of sorrow and of death. 
What is in it, and what comes out of it must end and die. 
But what is not of it, and what never will be of it, pierces 
through it, all-powerful like a flash of lightning, which 
strikes upward, and knows neither time nor death. To unite 
all these antitheses is properly the theme of my philosophy. 

Short Concluding Dialogue. 

Thrasymachos. To be brief, what am I after my death ? 
be clear and precise. 

Philalethes. Everything and nothing. 

Thrasy machos. There we have it ! as the solution of a 
problem, a contradiction. The trick is played out. 

Philalethes. To answer transcendent questions in the 
language created for immanent knowledge may certainly 
lead to contradictions. 

Thrasy machos. What do you call transcendent and what 
immanent knowledge ? These expressions are indeed 
known to me from my professor but only as predicates of 
Almighty G-od, with which his philosophy, as was only 
suitable, was exclusively concerned. If, namely, he remains 
in the world he is immanent, but if he sits anywhere out- 
side it he is transcendent. Only look, that is clear, that 
is comprehensible ! One knows what one has to hold by. 
But your old-fashioned Kantian artificial language no 
human being any longer understands. The time-conscious- 
ness of the modern world, from the metropolis of German 

Philalethes (aside). German philosophical windbaggery. 

Thrasymachos. through a whole sucession of great men, 
especially through the great Schleiermacher and the giant 
intellect Hegel has bee'n brought back from all that, or 


rather, has been brought so fa.r forwards that it has left it 
all behind and knows no more of it. So what do you mean 
by it? 

Philaletkes. Transcendent knowledge is that which pro- 
ceeding beyond all possibility of experience seeks to deter- 
mine the nature of things as they are in themselves. Im- 
manent knowledge, on the other hand, is that which keeps 
itself within the bounds of the possibility of experience, 
and therefore can speak of phenomena. You as individual 
end at your death, yet the individual is not your true and 
ultimate nature, but rather merely a manifestation of it. 
It is not the Thing-in-itself , but only its phenomenon which 
displays itself in the form of time, and accordingly has a 
beginning and end. Your true nature in itself knows 
neither time, nor beginning, nor end, nor the limits of a 
given individuality, and hence it can be excluded from no 
individuality, but is there in each and all. In the first 
sense you become by your death nothing ; in the second 
you are and remain all things. Hence I said that you, 
after your death, would be everything and nothing. Your 
question scarcely admits of a more correct answer in so 
short a compass than this one, which, however, certainly 
contains a contradiction ; because while your life is in time, 
your immortality is in eternity. This may be termed 
therefore an indestructibility without continuance, which 
again results in a contradiction. But so it is when the 
transcendent has to be brought into immanent knowledge, 
for it sustains thereby a kind of violence, since it is misused 
for that to which it was not born. 

Thrasymachos. Do you hear, without the continuance of 
my individuality, I would not give a single heller for all your 

Philalethes. But perhaps we may still do business to- 
gether. Granted I guaranteed you the continuance of your 
individuality but made it a condition that before its re- 


awakening there was to be a perfectly consciousless death- 
sleep of three months ? 

Thrasy machos. That would do. 

Philalethes. But since in a perfectly consciousless state 
we have no measurement of time it is quite the same to us 
whether while we lay in that death -sleep three months or 
ten thousand years had passed. For we must accept the 
one thing like the other on trust and faith, on awakening. 
It must therefore be indifferent to you whether your indi- 
viduality is given back to you after three months or after 
ten thousand years. 

Tkrasymachos. In the last resort that cannot be denied. 

Philalethes. But now if after the lapse of the ten thousand 
years you were forgotten to be awakened, I believe that when 
after so short an existence you had become accustomed to 
so long a non-existence the misfortune would not be great. 
But certain it is, that you could know nothing of it. And 
you would be quite consoled as regards the question if you 
knew that the secret machinery which maintains your 
present phenomenon in motion had not ceased one moment 
during those ten thousand years to produce and set in 
motion other phenomena of the same kind. 

Thrasymachos. So? And in this way you think to 
swindle me out of my individuality by smooth talk, without 
my noticing it ? I am not to be taken in in that way. I 
have stipulated for the continuance of my individuality, 
and no machinery and phenomena can console me for the 
loss of it. It lies closest to my heart, and I will not part 
from it. 

Philalethes. You regard your individuality then as so 
pleasant, excellent, perfect and incomparable that there 
could be nothing preferable to it, and hence you would not 
like to exchange it for any other, with which it might 
be asserted that it was possible to live better and more 


Thrasymachos. But surely my individuality, whatever it 
is, is myself, 

" Nothing in the world is above me, 
For God is God and I am I." 

I, I, I desire existence ! This it is which concerns me 
and not an existence which has first of all to be proved to 
me that it is mine. 

Philalethes. But consider the matter ! What is it that 
cries, " I, I, I desire existence," that is, not you alone, but 
everything, simply everything, that has a trace of conscious- 
ness. Consequently this wish in you is precisely that which 
is not individual, but common to all without distinction. 
It does not spring from the individuality but from existence 
generally, is essential to everything that exists, is indeed 
that whereby it exists, and will accordingly be satisfied by 
existence in general to which alone it refers, and not ex- 
clusively by any determinate individual existence. For it is 
not at all directed to the latter, although it always has the 
appearance of being so because it cannot attain to conscious- 
ness otherwise than in an individual being, and therefore 
always seems to "have reference to such. But this is a 
mere illusion, to which indeed the crudity of the individual 
cleaves, but which reflection can destroy and free us from. 
That, namely, which so madly desires existence is merely 
mediately the individual ! Immediately, and properly 
speaking, it is the Will to live in general, which is one and 
the same in all. Now since existence itself is its free 
work, is indeed its mere reflection it follows that existence 
cannot escape it, but it is provisionally satisfied by exis- 
tence in general, so far that is to say, as it, the eternally 
unsatisfied, can be satisfied. Individualities are the same 
to it, it does not really concern itself with them, although 
to the individual who immediately only perceives it in him- 
self, it seems to do so. In this way it is brought about 


that the individual watches over his own existence with a 
care which would not otherwise be, and thereby secures the 
maintenance of the species. Hence it follows that the 
individuality is no perfection but a limitation, and that 
to be quit of it is no loss but rather a gain. Do not 
cherish therefore an anxiety which would truly appear 
childish and altogether ridiculous if you knew your own 
nature thoroughly and to its foundation, to wit, as the 
universal Will to live, which you are ! 

Thrasymachos. You yourself and all philosophers are 
childish and quite ridiculous, and it is only for fun and 
pastime that a staid man like myself occupies himself for 
a quarter of an hour with this sort of fools. I have now 
more important things to do, so good-bye 1 


AS far as I see it is only the monotheistic, that is, the 
Jewish religions, whose votaries regard suicide as a 
crime. This is the more surprising as neither in the Old, 
nor in the New Testament is there to be found any prohi- 
bition, or even any decided disapproval of it. Teachers of 
religion, therefore, have to base their condemnation of 
suicide on philosophical grounds of their own, with which, 
however, it goes so badly, that they seek to supply what in 
their arguments lacks strength, by the vigour of their 
expressions of disgust, that is, by abuse. We have to hear, 
accordingly, that suicide is the greatest cowardice, that it is 
only possible in madness, and similar twaddle, or even the 
entirely senseless phrase that suicide is " wrong," whereas 
obviously no one has a greater right over anything in the 
world than over his own person and life. Suicide, as already 
remarked, is even accounted a crime, and with it is allied, 
especially in brutal, bigoted England, a shameful burial, 
and the invalidation of the testament, for which reason the 
jury almost always bring in a verdict of insanity. Let us 
before anything else allow moral feeling to decide in the 
matter and compare the impression which the report that 
an acquaintance had committed a crime, such as a murder, 
a cruelty, a fraud, a theft, makes upon us, with that of 
the report of his voluntary deata. While the first calls 
forth energetic indignation, the greatest disgust, a demand 


for punishment or for vengeance, the latter will excite only 
sorrow and sympathy, mingled more often with an admi- 
ration of his courage than with the moral disapproval 
which accompanies a bad action. Who has not had 
acquaintances, friends, or relations, who have willingly 
departed from the world? And are we to think with 
horror of each of these as of a criminal ? Nego ac pernego. 
I am rather of the opinion that the clergy should, once for 
all, be challenged to give an account, with what right they, 
without being able to show any biblical authority, or 
any valid philosophical arguments, stigmatize in the 
pulpit and in their writings an action committed by many 
men honoured and beloved by us, as a crime, and refuse 
those who voluntarily leave the world an honourable 
burial it should, however, be clearly understood that 
reasons are required, and that no mere empty phrases or 
abusive epithets will be accepted in place of them. The 
fact that criminal jurisprudence condemns suicide is no eccle- 
siastically valid reason, besides being extremely ridiculous. 
For what punishment can frighten him who seeks death ? 
If we punish the attempt at suicide, it is the clumsiness 
whereby it failed that we punish. 

The ancients, moreover, were a long way from regarding 
the matter in this light. Pliny (" Histor. Nat.," lib. 28, 
c. 1 ; vol. iv., p. 351 Ed. Bip.), says : Vitam quidem non 
adeo expetendam censemus, ut quoque modo trahenda sit. 
Quisquis es talis, aeque morier, etiam cum obscoenus vixeris, 
aut nefandus. Quapropter hoc primum quisque in remediis 
animi sui lidbeat : ex omnibus bonis, quae homini tribuit 
natura, nullum melius esse tempestiva morte : idque in ea 
optimum, quod illam sibi quisque praestare poterit" He also 
says (lib. 2, c. 7; vol. i., p. 125) : " Ne Deum quidem posse 
omnia. Namque nee sibi potent mortem consciscere; si velit, 
quod homini dedit optimum in tantis vitae poenis, etc. In 


Massillia, and in the island of Chios, indeed, the hemlock 
was publicly handed to him who could give sufficient 
reasons for leaving life (" Val. Max.," 1. ii. c. 6, 7 et 8). 1 
And how many heroes and wise men of antiquity have not 
ended their lives by a voluntary death ! Aristotle indeed 
says (" Eth. Nicom.," v. 15) that suicide is a wrong against 
the state,_ although not against one'.s._QWHperj3Qii. Stobaeus, 
however, in his exposition of the Ethics of the Peripatetics, 
quotes the proposition (Eel. eth. II., c. 7, p. 286) : 
$ TOV fllov ylyvsffSai rolg pev ayaSoIg Iv rait ayav 
roie $e KctKol? Kal Iv rate ayav evrv^faic. (Vitam autem re- 
linquendem esse bonis in nimiis quidem miseriis, prams vero 
in minium quoque secundis.) And in a similar way, p. 
312: Ato Kctt yafjtfifTfiv, KOI iraidoTrotria'eo'Sai, KCtliro\iTva'f(r3'at 
etc., Kal Kct$6\ov rr)i> 

, etc. (Ideoque et uxorem ducturum, et liberoa 
procreaturum, et ad civitatem accessurum, etc. Atque omnino 
virtutem colendo turn vitam servaturum, twm iterum, cogente 
necessitate, relictarwrn,, etc.). 

We find suicide celebrated by the Stoics as a noble 
ajid heroic deed, as might be confirmed by hundreds of 
extracts, the strongest being from Seneca, Again, with 
the Hindoo, as is well known, suicide often occurs as a 
religious action, especially as widow burning, also as im- 
molation beneath the wheels of the Car of Juggernaut, as 
self-sacrifice to the crocodiles of the Ganges, or of the 
holy pond of the temple, and otherwise. In the same way, 
at the theatre, that mirror of life, where we see for example 
in the celebrated Chinese piece " L'Orphelin de la Chine " 

1 On the Island of Chios it was also the custom that the aged 
should voluntarily put themselves to death. See " Valerius 
Maximus," lib. ii. c. 6; Heraclide^ Ponticus, "Fragmenta de 
Rebus Publicis," ix. ; .Elian, " Var. Hist.," iii. 37 ; Strabo, lib. 
X. cap. 5, 6, ed. Kramer, 


(trad. p. St. Julien, 1834,) almost all the noble characters 
end by suicide without its being anywhere indicated, or its 
occurring to the onlooker, that they have committed a 
crime. On our own stage, indeed, it is not otherwise, e.g., 
Pitlmira in Mahomet, Mortimer in Maria Stuart, Othello, 
the Countess Terzky. Is Hamlet's monologue the medita- 
tion of a crime ? It says certainly that if we were sure to 
bo absolutely destroyed by death it would, considering the 
structure of the world, be unconditionally to choose. " But 
there lies [sic tr.] the rub." The reasons, however, against 
suicide which have been put forward by the clergy of the 
monotheistic, that is, Jewish religion, and the philosophers 
who accommodate themselves to them, are feeble sophisms 
easy of refutation. (See my " Treatise on the Foundation 
of Morals/' 5.) Hume has furnished the most thorough- 
going refutation of them in his " Essay on Suicide," which 
first appeared after his death, and was immediately sup- 
pressed by the shameful bigotry and scandalous priestly 
tyranny of England, for which reason only a very few copies 
were sold, secretly and at a high price, so that for the pre- 
servation of this and of another treatise of the great man, 
we have to thank the Basel reprint : " Essays on Suicide 
and the Immortality of the Soul, by the late David Hume. 
Basel, 1799. Sold by James Decker, pp. 124, 8vo." But 
that a purely philosophical treatise coming from one of the 
first thinkers and writers of England, refuting the current 
reasons against suicide, had in its native land to be 
smuggled through like a forbidden thing, until it found 
refuge abroad, redounds to the greatest shame of the 
English nation. It shows at the same time the kind of 
good conscience the Church has on this question. I have 
pointed out the only valid moral reason against suicide in 
my chief work, vol. i. 69. It lies in that 

to the attainment of the highest jaoral Qal,j3i 

for the zeal exnancipatioa--frain l ,jfchis jgrprld of 


sorrow, a merely apparent one. But from this mistake to 
a crime, such as the Christian clergy seek to stamp it, is a 
very long way. 

Christianity bears in its innermost essence the truth 
that suffering (the Cross) is the true purpose of life; 
hence it rejects, as opposed to this, suicide, which antiquity, 
from a lower standpoint, approved and even honoured. 
The foregoing reason against suicide is, however, an ascetic 
one, and as such only applies to a much higher ethical 
standpoint than that which European moral philosophers 
have ever occupied. But if we descend from this very high 
standpoint there is no longer any valid moral reason for 
condemning suicide. The extraordinarily energetic zeal of 
the clergy of the monotheistic religions against it, which is 
supported neither by the Bible nor by valid reasons, must 
rest, it would seem, therefore, on a concealed basis. Might 
it not be that the voluntary surrender of life is a poor 
compliment for him who said navTa. KaXa Xiav ? Once more, 
then, it would be the obligatory optimism of these reli- 
gions which arraigns suicide in order not to be arraigned 
by it. 

We shall find on the whole that as soon as the terrors 
of life counterbalance the terrors of death man makes an 
end ofLiis- lif e*^ The resistance to these terrors is neverthe- 
less considerable ; they stand as it were as warders before 
the gate of exit. There is no one living perhaps who would 
not have made an end of his life if this end were some- 
thing purely negative, a sudden cessation of existence. 
But there is something positive in it the destruction of 
the body. This frightens men back simply because the 
body is the phenomenon of the Will-to-Live. 

Meanwhile the struggle with these warders is not so 
hard as $ rule 3,8 it may seem to us from afar, and indeed 


in consequence of the antagonism between intellectual and 
Corporeal sufferings. When, for instance, we suffer cor- 
poreal pain severely and continuously, we are indifferent to 
all other trouble ; our recovery alone seriously concerns us. 
Just in the same way severe mental sorrows make us un- 
susceptible to corporeal we despise them. Even if they 
acquire the preponderance, this is a welcome diversion to 
us, a pause in our mental suffering. It is this which makes 
suicide easier, inasmuch as the corporeal pain associated 
with it loses all importance in the eyes of one tortured by 
excessive mental suffering. The above is especially notice- 
able with those who are driven to suicide through a purely 
morbid but none the less intense melancholy. It does not 
cost such persons any self-conquest, they do not require to 
form any resolution, but as soon as the keepers provided 
for them leave them for two minutes they quickly make an 
end of their life. When in disturbed, horrible dreams, 
anxiety has reached its highest pitch, it brings us of itself 
to awakening, and therewith all these horrors of a night 
vanish. The same thing happens in the dream of life, 
where also the highest degree of anxiety compels us to 
break it off. 

v Suicide may also be regarded as an experiment, a ques- 
tion which we put to nature, and to which we wish to 
compel the answer, to wit, what change the existence and 
the knowledge of man experiences through death. But it 
is a clumsy one, for it abolishes the identity of the con- 
sciousness which should receive the answer 




IT is to a certain extent to be understood a priori, that is 
to say, it is obvious of itself, that that which now pro- 
duces the phenomenon of the world must also be capable of 
not doing so, and therefore of remaining at rest or, in 
other words, that to the present iiaoroXij there must also be 
a ffvffToXfi. If the first be the phenomenon of the Will-to- 
Live the other will be phenomenon of the non- Will-to-Live. 
This will be moreover essentially the same with the mag- 
num Sakhepat of the Veda doctrine (in the "Oupnekhat," 
vol. i., p. 163), with the Nirvana of the Buddhists, also 
with the iire^eiya of the Neo-Platonists. As against cer- 
tain silly objections I may observe that the negation of 
the Will-to-Live in no way involves the destruction of a 
substance, but the mere act of not- Willing that which 
hitherto has willed wills no more, since we know this Being, 
the Will, as thing-in-itself merely in and through the act 
of willing, it is impossible for us to say or to comprehend 
what it is or does after having given up this act. Hence 
the Negation is for us who are the phenomenon of the 
Will a passage into nothing. 

Between the ethics of the Greeks and the Hindoos there 
is a sharp opposition. The forme*- (with the exception of 
Plato) has for its object to facilitate the leading of a happy 


life, vitam leatam. The latter, on the contrary, the libera- 
tion and emancipation from life altogether as is directly 
enunciated in the very first proposition of the Sankhya 

A similar, and, owing to its operating by means of the 
senses, a stronger contrast will be perceived on contem- 
plating the beautiful antique sarcophagus of the gallery of 
Florence, whose reliefs represent the whole series of the 
ceremonies of a wedding from the first offer until the time 
when Hymen's torch lights the way to the Thorus, if one at 
the same time calls to mind the Christian coffin with its 
black hangings in token of grief, and with the crucifix on 
the top. The opposition is in the highest degree signifi- 
cant. Both wish to console in death, each in an opposite 
way, and each with justice. The one signifies the affirma- 
tion of the Will-to-Live which life throughout all time 
undoubtedly remains, however rapidly its forms may 
change. The other indicates by the symbols of sorrow 
and death the negation of the Will-to-Live, and the eman- 
cipation from the world where sorrow and death reign. 
Between the spirit of G-rseco-Roman heathenism and that 
of Christianity is the special opposition between the affirma- 
tion and negation of the Will-to-Live as regards which 
Christianity in the last resort is right. 

My philosophy stands in the same relation to all the 
ethics of European philosophy as that of the New Testa- 
ment to the Old, according to the ecclesiastical conception 
of this relation. The Old Testament, namely, places man 
under the domination of the Law which nevertheless does 
not lead to emancipation. The New Testament, on the 
other hand, declares the law insufficient, indeed breaks 
away from it Romans vii., Galatians ii. 3. It preaches, 
on the contrary, the dominion of Grace which is to be at- 
tained through faith, love of one's neighbour, and complete 
denial of oneself. This is the way to emancipation from 


evil and from the world, for assuredly, in spite of all 
rationalistic- protestant misrepresentations, asceticism is 
peculiarly the soul of the New Testament ; but this is pre- 
cisely the negation of the Will- to-Live, and the above 
transition from the Old Testament to the New, from the 
dominion of the law to the dominion of faith, from justifica- 
tion through works to salvation through the mediator, from 
the dominion of sin and death to eternal life in Christ, 
signifies sensu proprio, the transition from the merely 
moral virtues to the negation of the Will-to-Live. All 
the philosophical Ethics which have preceded me have re- 
tained the spirit of the Old Testament with its absolute 
(i.e., foundatiouless and goalless), moral law, and all its 
moral commandments and prohibitions to which tacitly 
the ruling Jehovah is added in thought, however diverse 
may be the forms and statements of the matter. My 
ethic, on the other hand, has basis, purpose, and goal. It 
first of all demonstrates theoretically the metaphysical 
basis of Justice and human love, and then points out the 
goal to which these, when fully accomplished, must finally 
lead. At the same time it admits straightforwardly the 
undesirability of the world, and indicates the negation of 
the Will as the way towards emancipation from the 
former. It is therefore really conceived in the spirit of the 
New Testament, while the rest hold in their entirety by 
that of the Old, and accordingly issue theoretically in 
mere Judaism "naked despotic theism." In this sense 
my doctrines might be called the true Christian Philosophy, 
however paradoxical this may seem to those who do not 
go to the root of the matter, but remain standing on the 

He who is capable of deeper thinking will soon see that 
human desires cannot first begin to be sinful at that point 
where they, fortuitously crossing one another in their in- 
dividual directions* occasion evil from the ono and malice 


from the other, side ; but that, if this be so, they must be 
^rigiually and in their very essence sinful and accursed, 
and that consequently the entire Will-to-Live must itself 
be accursed. The horrors and misery with which the world 
is full are then the necessary result of the sum of the 
characters in which the Will-to-Live objectifies itself, to 
which the circumstances occurring in the unbroken chain 
of necessity supply motives in other words, are the mere 
commentary on the affirmation of the Will-to-Live (com- 
pare " German Theology/' 1 p. 93). That our existence itself 
implies a fault is proved by death. 

A noble character will not readily complain of his fate, 
but rathej: what Hamlet boasts of Horatio will be true of 

him : </ 

" For thou hast been 
As one, in suffering all, that suffers nothing.' 

And this is explicable from the fact that such a one, recog- 
nizing his own being also in others, and therefore as 
sharing in their fate, beholds almost invariably round 
about him harder fate than his own, for which reason he 
cannot bring himself to complain of the latter. An ignoble 
egoist, on the other hand, who limits all reality to him- 
self, and regards others as mere wraiths and phantasms, 
will take no interest in their fate, but will devote his whole 
attention to his own, great sensitiveness and frequent com- 
plaints being the result. It is precisely this recognition of 
oneself in an alien phenomenon from which, as I have so 
often proved, justice and human love directly proceed, 
which leads finally to the surrender of the Will ; for the 
phenomenon in which this Will presents itself is so dis- 
tinctly in a position of suffering, that he who extends him- 
self to all such can no longer will its continuance just as 
one who takes all the tickets in a lottery must necessarily 

1 Deutsche Theologia, Edited by Franz Pfeiffer, Stuttgart, 1851. 


suffer great loss. The affirmation of the Will presupposes 
the limitation of self-conscientiousness to one's own person, 
and reckons on the possibility of a favourable career in life 
from the hand of fortune. 

If in our conception of the world we proceed from the 
thing-in-itself from the Will-to-Live we shall find as its 
kernel, as its greatest concentration, the act of generation 
which presents itself as the first thing, the point of depar- 
ture ; it is the punctum saliens of the world-egg, its main- 
spring. What a contrast, on the other hand, if one proceeds 
from the empirical world, the world of presentment, which 
is given us as phenomenon ! For here the aforesaid act pre- 
sents itself as an altogether individual and special one of 
subordinate importance indeed, as a covert and secret 
bye-concern which only creeps in ; a paradoxical anomaly, 
affording frequent material for laughter. It might even 
strike us that the devil only wanted to hide his game 
thereby, for coition is his currency, and the world his king- 
dom. For who has not remarked how illico post coitumcachin- 
nus auditur Didboli ? which, to speak seriously, rests on the 
fact that the sexual desire, especially when by fixation of a 
particular woman it is concentrated into the passion of 
love, is the quintessence of the whole rascality bf this 
noWe world, for it promises so unspeakably, infinitely, and 
extravagantly much, and performs so contemptibly little. 

The share of the woman in generation is, in a certain 
sense, more innocent than that of the man ; in so far, 
namely, as the latter gives the Will to the being about to 
be procreated, the Will which is the primal sin, and hence 
the source of all wickedness and evil, whilst the woman 
gives the knowing faculty which opens the way to emanci- 
pation. The act of generation is the World-focus, inas- 
much as it says: "The Will-to-Live has affirmed itself 
anew." In this sense a well-known Brahmanic saying 


laments: "Woe, woe! The Lingam is in the Yom." 
Conception and pregnancy tell us, on the other hand, " To 
the Will is given once more the light of the Intellect," by 
means of which, it can again find its way out, and thus the 
possibility of emancipation appears once more. 

From this is to be explained the significant phenomenon, 
that while any woman surprised in the act of generation 
would like to sink into the ground for shame, yet notwith- 
standing she will wear her pregnancy without a trace of 
shame, and even with a kind of pride. v 'Since in every 
other case an infallibly certain sign is regarded as equiva- 
lent to the thing signified, so here every other sign of the 
completed coitus shames the woman in the highest degree; 
pregnancy alone does not do so. This is to be explained 
in that, as above said, pregnancy in a certain sense brings 
with it, or at least affords the prospect of, a purgation 
from the guilt which has been contracted in the coitus. 
Hence the^coitus bears all the shame and disgrace in the 
matter, while the pregnancy which is so nearly related to 
it, remains pure and innocent, and indeed to a certain 
extent honourable, 

The coitus is chiefly the affair of the man, pregnancy 
wholly that of the woman. From the father the child re- 
ceives its Will, its character ; from the mother its Intellect. 
The latter is the emancipating principle, the former is the 
binding principle. The symbol of the continuous existence 
of the Will-to-Live, in time, in spite of all increase of light 
through the Intellect, is the coitus; the symbol of the 
light of the understanding, and indeed in the highest de- 
gree of its clearness, which is ever anew allied to this Will, 
keeping up the possibility of emancipation, is the renewed 
birth of the Will-to-Live as Man. The sign of this is preg- 
nancy, which goes about therefore in frankness and free- 
dom, and indeed in pride, while the coitus slinks away like 
a criminal. 


Some of the Church fathers have taught that even 
marital cohabitation should only be allowed when it occurs 
merely for the sake of the procreation of children, cVl fiorjj 
iraidoTToa'^ as ClemensAlex. (Strom. 1. iii. c. 11) says. (The 
passages referring to the subject will be found collected in 
P. E. Lind. de coelibatu Christianorum c. 1). Clemens 
(Strom, iii. c. 3) attributes this view to the Pythagoreans. 
This is, however, strictly speaking, incorrect. For if the 
coitus be no longer desired for its own sake, the negation 
of the Will-to-Live has already appeared, and the propaga- 
tion of the human raceis then superfluous and senseless, in- 
asmuch as its purposeis already attained. Besides, without 
any subjective passion, without lust and physical pressure, 
with sheer deliberation,and the cold-blooded purpose to place 
a human being in the world me rely in order that he should 
be there this would be such a very questionable moral 
action that few would take it upon themselves ; one might 
even say of it indeed that it stood in the same relation to 
generation from the mere sexual impulse as a cold-blooded 
deliberate murder does to a death-stroke given in anger. 

The condemnation of all unnatural sexual pleasures is 
based on the opposite ground ; since though by these the 
impulse is satisfied, that is, the Will-to-Live is affirmed, 
propagation is eliminated through which alone the possi- 
bility of the negation of the Will is maintained. Prom 
this is to be explained that it was not before the appear- 
ance of Christianity, whose tendency is ascetic, that pede- 
rasty was recognized as a deadly sin. 

A cloister is an assemblage of human beings who have 
embraced poverty, chastity, obedience (i.e., the surrender of 
the individual Will), and who seek through living together 
to lighten partly the existence itself, but still more this state 
of severe renunciation, since th3 sight of those holding like 
views and surrendering themselves in a similar manner 


strengthens their resolution and consoles them, inasmuch 
as the companionship of common living, within certain 
limits, is suited to human nature and affords innocent re- 
creation amid many severe sacrifices. This is the normal 
conception of the cloister. And who can call such a society 
a union of fools and idiots, as one must do according to any 
philosophy but mine ? 

The inner spirit and meaning of the genuine cloister-life, 
as of ascetism generally, is this : That one has recognized 
oneself as worthy and capable of a better existence than 
ours is, and desires to maintain and strengthen this con- 
viction by despising what this world offers, by casting 
away from us all its pleasures as worthless, by await- 
ing the end of this our life deprived of its empty bait in 
rest and confidence, in order that when at last the hour of 
death comes we may welcome it as that of emancipation. 
Saniassism has entirely the same tendency and significance, 
as also the raonasticism of the Buddhists. Certainly in no 
case does practice so seldom conform to theory as in that 
of Monasticism, simply because its f^damentaLi^ceptipn 
is so exalted, and abusus ojptimi pessimus. A true monk is 
a being in the highest degree honourable. But in by far 
the majority of cases the cowl is a mere mask, behind 
which there is as little of the real monk as there is in one 
at a masquerade. 

The notion of devoting and surrendering the individual 
Will entirely and without reserve to that of another is a 
physical means of facilitating the negation of one's own 
Will, and therefore a suitable allegorical vehicle of the 

The number of regular Trappists is indeed small, yet 
notwithstanding this the half of mankind consists of un- 
witting Trappiets. Poverty, obedience, lack of all enjoy- 


ments, or even of the most necessary comforts, often com- 
bined with compulsory chastity, or one brought about 
through defect, is their lotr The distinction is merely that 
the Trappists conduct the thing of their own free choice, 
methodically and without hope of betterment, while the 
other class are to be reckoned to that which I in my 
aesthetic chapters have designated by the expression Sevrtpoe 
TrXoiJe ; to effect which nature has already'sufficiently taken 
her measures through the fundamental principles of her 
order, particularly if one reckons to the evils directly 
springing from the latter those others which the dissension 
and malice of man produce in war and in peace. But pre- 
cisely this necessity of involuntary suffering for eternal 
salvation is expressed in that saying of the Saviour 
(Matth. xix. 24) : " tvKOTr&repov iffri fca'/iijXov &a r/ovTr^/xaroc 
pa(j)i$o<; iitXSeiVj rj TrXovaiov cic n/i> j3a<jrc\c'ay rov Seov ciVcX- 
3-f ty." (" Facilius est, funem ancorarium per foramen acus 
transire, quam divitem regnum divinum ingredi.") Those, 
there are who have taken their eternal salvation with 
great seriousness, have voluntarily chosen poverty when 
fate had denied it to them, and when they had been born 
in wealth. Thus Buddha, Sakya Muni who, born a prince, 
willingly took to the beggar's staff ; and Francis of Assisi, 
the founder of the mendicant orders, who as a young 
gallant at the ball where the daughters of the notables 
were sitting together, when asked : " Now Mr. Francis, will 
you not soon find a choice amongst these beauties ? " re- 
plied, " I have selected for myself one much more beau- 
tiful!" "Who?" " La poverta ! " Upon which he soon 
afterwards left everything, and wandered through the land 

He who through such considerations has realized how 
necessary to our salvation sorrow and suffering mostly are ; 
he will recognize that we should envy others not so much 
on account of their happiness as of their unhappiness. 


For the same reason the stoicism of the view which 
defies fate is indeed a good armour against the sorrows of 
life, and serviceable for making the present better to 
be borne ; but it stands opposed to the true salvation. 
For it hardens the heart. How shall this latter be 
bettered by suffering, if, covered by a strong coating, it 
does not feel it ? For the rest, a certain degree of stoicism 
is not very rare. It may be affected and turn out to be 
bonne mine au mauvaisjeu. Where, however, it is genuine, 
it arises mostly from mere feelinglessness, from a lack of 
energy, brightness, sensibility, and imagination, which are 
requisite to a heartfelt sorrow. The phlegma and heavi- 
ness of the Germans are especially favourable to this kind 
of stoicism. 

Unjust or malicious actions are, in respect of those who 
perform them, signs of the strength of the affirmation of 
their Will-to-Live, and accordingly of the distance which 
separates them from the true salvation which consists in 
its negation, and therewith in emancipation from the world ; 
and hence of the long school of understanding and of suf- 
fering which they have to pass through before they reach it. 
But in respect of him who has to suffer through the above 
actions, they are, although physically an evil, metaphysi- 
cally a good, and at bottom a benefit, since they help to 
lead him to his true salvation. 

World- Spirit. Here then is the measure of thy labour 
and thy suffering ; for this must thou exist as all other 
things exist. 

Man. But what have I from existence ? If I am occu- 
pied I have trouble ; if I am unoccupied tedium ; How 
canst thou offer me for so much labour and so much 
suffering such a miserable inward? 

World- Spirit. And yet it is an equivalent for all thy 


troubles and all thy sorrows ; and it is this precisely by 
reason of its emptiness. 

Man. Indeed ? That really exceeds my powers of com- 

World- Spirit. I know it. (Aside.) Ought I to tell him 
that the value of life consists exactly in that it teaches him 
not to wish for it ? For this highest dedication life itself 
must prepare him. 

If now, we can, through considerations such as the above, 
that is to say from a very high standpoint, see a justifi- 
cation for the sorrows of mankind, this does not extend to 
the animals, whose sorrows, caused indeed in great measure 
by human beings, but also without their co-operation, are 
considerable. (Compare " World as Will and Present- 
ment," 3rd ed., vol. ii., p. 404, seq.) The question there- 
fore arises : Wherefore this tormented anxious Will in 
such thousandfold shapes without the freedom of emanci- 
pation which is conditioned by reflection ? The suffering 
of the animal world is to be justified merely from the fact 
that the Will-to-live, because out of itself in the phe- 
nomenal world, finds nothing to hand, and since it is a 
hungry Will must devour its owti flesh. Hence the scale 
of its phenomena, each step of which lives at the cost ot 
another. For the rest I refer the reader to my " Contribu- 
tions to the Doctrine of the Suffering of the World/' in 
which will be found demonstrated that the capacity for 
suffering in the animal is much less than in the man. 
What might be added further than this might appear hypo- 
thetical or even mythical, and may thus belief t to the pri- 
vate speculation of the reader himself. 


AS I have entered with sufficient thoroughness in my 
chief work into the subject of the Platonic ideas, and 
their correlate the pure subject of knowledge, I should con- 
sider it superfluous to return to it again here did I not bear 
in mind that this is an investigation which has never been 
undertaken in the same sense before me, for which reason 
it is better to hold nothing back which might at some 
time be welcome by way of elucidation. In this I of 
course assume an acquaintance with the previous dis- 

The true problem of the Metaphysics of the Beautiful 
may be very simply expressed: How is satisfaction and 
pleasure in an object possible without any reference of the 
same to our Will ? 

Everyone feels that pleasure and satisfaction in a thing 
can only, properly speaking, arise in their relation to our 
Will, or, as people are fond of expressing it, to our purposes ; 
so that pleasure without excitement of the Will seems to 
be a contradiction. Nevertheless the Beautiful as such 
obviously excites our satisfaction, our pleasure, without 
having any reference to our personal ends, that is, to our 

My solution has been that in the Beautiful we always ap- 
prehend the essential and original forms of living and life- 
less nature, in other words, Plato's Ideas of it, and that 


this apprehension has for its condition, its essential corre- 
late, the Will-free Subject of Knowledge, i.e., a pure intelli- 
gence without objects and purposes. In this way the Will 
vanishes entirely out of the consciousness on the entry of an 
^Esthetic apprehension, and Will alone is the source of all 
our sorrows and sufferings. This is the origin of the satis- 
faction and the pleasure which accompanies the apprehen- 
sion of the Beautiful ; it rests therefore on the withdrawal 
of the whole possibility of suffering. Should it be objected 
that the possibility of pleasure would also be abolished 
thereby, it should be remembered that, as I have often ex- 
plained, jiappiness, ^cpntentjnent^ia. ja ^negative nature, 
merely the end. of a suffering, and that pain is, on the con- 
tra^positiyje^ There remains thereforeon the disappearance 
of all Willing from consciousness, the state of pleasure not- 
withstanding, that is, the absence of all pain, and here even 
the absence of the possibility of it, inasmuch as the individual 
is transformed into a pure knowing and no longer willing 
Subject, and, nevertheless, remains conscious of himself 
and his activity as such. As we know, the World as Will is 
the first (prdini prior) and the World as Presentment is 
the second World (ordini posterior). The former is the 
World of longing, and therefore of pain and thousandfold 
woe. But the latter is in itself essentially painless ; be- 
sides containing a noteworthy spectacle significant through- 
out and at least amusing. JEsthetic pleasure consists in 
its enjoyment. 1 To become pure subject of knowledge 
means to be quit of oneself. The pure subject of know- 
ledge enters in when one forgets oneself by sinking oneself 
entirely in the perceived objects, so that they alone remain 
in the consciousness. But because, for the most part, 

1 The complete satisfaction, the final quietude, the really desir- 
able state, is only presented to us in imagery, in the work of art, 
in the poem, in music. From this, however, one might acquire the 
confidence that it must be existent somewhere. 


men cannot do this, they are incapable of the purely objec- 
tive apprehension of things, which constitutes the gift of 
the artist. 

If, however, the individual Will leaves the faculty of 
presentment with which it is accompanied, free for a time, 
and dispenses it entirely for the nonce from the service for 
which it arose and exists, so that it leaves on one side 
its care for the Will or its own person, which alone is 
its natural theme, and hence its regular occupation, yet, 
notwithstanding this, does not cease to be energetically 
active and to clearly apprehend the perceptual with full 
attention, it will then become perfectly objective, that 
is, will become the true mirror of the object, or, more accu- 
rately, the medium of the objectivation of the Will, which 
presents itself in every object, whose innermost nature now* 
stands out in it the more completely and exhaustively as; 
the perception is longer kept up. In this way only arises 
with the pure subject the pure object, i.e., the completemani- 
festation of the Will appearing in the perceived object, 
which is precisely the Platonic idea of the same. But the 
apprehension of such, demands that, in the contemplation 
of an object, I should really abstract from its place in 
time and space, and thereby from its individuality. For 
it is this place, which is always determined by the law 
of causality, which places me as individual in some sort 
of relation to the said object ; hence only by getting rid of 
this place the object becomes idea, and at the same time I 
become pure subject of knowledge. For this reason every 
painting, by the very fact that it fixes for ever the fleeting 
moment, and thus takes it out of time, gives us not the in- 
dividual but the idea, that which endures amid all change. 
But the condition of the change supposed in subject-object, 
if not only that the knowing faculty is withdrawn from it& 
original servitude and is left entirely to itself, but also that 


it remains active notwithstanding with its whole energy, in 
spite of the fact that the natural spur of its activity, the 
impulse of the Will, now fails it. Here lies the difficulty, 
and in this the rarity of the thing ; because all our 
thinking and doing, our hearing and seeing, by its nature 
stands always mediately or immediately in the service 
of our countless personal ends, greater and smaller, and 
accordingly it is the Will which spurs on the knowing 
faculty to the carrying out of its function, without which 
impulse it is at once wearied. Moreover the knowledge 
awakened by this impulse is quite sufficient for practical 
life, and even for the special sciences, which are always 
directed to the relations of things and never to their special 
inner nature ; hence all their cognitions proceed on the 
clue of the principle of cause, which is the element of rela- 
tions. Everywhere, therefore, where the question hinges 
on the knowledge of cause and effect, or other forms of 
ground and consequence, that is, in all branches of natural 
science and of mathematics, as also of history or of in- 
ventions, etc., the knowledge sought for must be a, purpose 
of the Will, and the more eagerly it strives after it the 
sooner it will be attained. Similarly in affairs of State, in 
war, in the business of finance or trade, in intrigues of 
every kind, and so forth, the Will must first compel the 
intellect by the intensity of its longing to strain all 
its powers, in order, hi the case in question, to get on 
the exact track of all its grounds and consequences. It 
is indeed astonishing how far the spur of the Will can 
drive a given intellect beyond the accustomed measure 
of its powers. Hence, for all distinguished achievements in 
such things, not merely a clever or well-balanced head, but 
also an energetic Will is required, which must first impel 
the former to the laborious strain and restless activity with- 
out which such achievements aie not to be carried out. 
Quite otherwise is it with the apprehension of the objec- 


tive original nature of things which constitutes thei* 
Pla,tonic Idea, and must be at the foundation of every 
achievement in the fine arts. The Will, namely, which 
was there so requisite and, indeed, indispensable, must 
here remain entirely out of play ; for here that only is valid 
which the intellect achieves by itself, and out of its own 
resources, and which it produces as a free-will offering. 
Here everything must go of itself; the understanding 
must be active without purpose, and consequently without 
Will. For only in the state of pure cognition, where the 
Will and its purposes, and therewith the individuality, is 
quite removed from the man, can that purely objective 
perception arise in which the Platonic Ideas of things are 
apprehended. But it must always be such an apprehen- 
sion that precedes the conception, that is, the first intuitive 
knowledge, which afterwards constitutes, properly speak- 
ing, the true material and kernel, or as it were the soul, 
of the genuine work of art, of a poem, or, indeed, of a true 
philQSQpJiy. The unpurposed, unintentional, and, indeed, 
partly unconscious and instinctive character which has 
always been observed in works of genius, is the consequence 
of the fact that the primal artistic knowledge is separate 
and independent a Will- free, Will-less knowledge. And 
precisely because the Will is the true man, one ascribes this 
knowledge to a being distinct from him to wit, to a genius. 
A knowledge of this kind has, as has often been explained 
by me, not even the principle of cause for its clue, and is 
in this respect the antithesis of the first. By virtue of its 
objectivity the genius perceives by reflection all that which 
others do not see. This gives him the capacity as poet, of 
describing nature so realistically and vividly, or as painter 
of portraying it. 

In the carrying out of the work, on the other hand, 
where the communication and presentation of what is 
already known is the aim, the Will can and, indeed, must 


be again active, inasmuch as a purpose is present. Tbo 
principle of cause therefore dominates here once more, 
in accordance with which artistic means are properly sub- 
ordinated to artistic ends. Thus the painter is occupied 
with the correctness of his drawing and the treatment of 
his colours ; the poet with the arrangement of his plan, and 
subsequently with expression and metre. 

But because the intellect has sprung from the Will it 
presents itself objectively as brain that is, as a part of tho 
body which is the objectivation of the Will. Because the 
intellect is originally determined to the service of the Will 
the activity natural to it is of the kind above described, 
when it remains true to the natural form of its cog- 
nitions expressed by the principle of cause, and is 
brought into and maintained in activity by the Will, the 
original element in man. On the contrary, knowledge of 
the second kind is for it an unnatural and abnormal 
activity: it is conditioned, therefore, by a distinctly ab- 
normal and hence very rare excess of intellect, and of its 
objective phenomenon, the brain, over the rest of the 
organism, and beyond that which the purposes of the Will 
demand. Just because this excessive intellect is abnormal 
the phenomena arising from it at times resemble madness. 

The understanding is therefore untrue to its origin, the 
Will. The intellect which has arisen merely for the service 
of the Will, and with almost all men remains in that 
service, in which and in its product its life is consumed, 
is in all the arts and sciences illegitimately used; and 
in this use is placed the progress and the honour of the 
Human Race. In another way it can even turn itself 
against the Will, inasmuch as in the phenomena of holiness 
it abolishes the latter. 

For the rest, the above purely objective apprehension of 
the world and of things whicli, as their primal cognition 
lies at the foundation of every artistic, poetic, and purely 


philosophical conception is, as well on objective as on sub- 
jective grounds, only a passing one, partly because the requi- 
site strain of attention cannot be maintained, partly because 
the course of the world does not allow of our remaining 
throughout, like the philosopher, according to the definition 
of Pythagoras, passive and indifferent spectators therein, 
since each must co-operate in the gre&t puppet-play of life, 
and almost always feels the wire by means of which he is 
connected with it and is set in motion. 

As regards, however, the objective of such sesthetic per- 
ception in other words, the Platonic Idea this may be 
described as that which we should have before us if Time, 
the formal and subjective condition of our knowledge, were 
removed, like the glass out of a kaleidoscope. We see, for 
example, the development of bud, blossom, and fruit, and 
are astonished at the active force which rever wearies of 
carrying through this series anew. This astonishment 
would leave us if we could recognize that in all this change 
we only have the one and unalterable Idea of the plant 
before us, which, as a unity of bud, blossom, and fruit, we 
are incapable of perceiving, but are obliged to cognize by 
means of the form of time, whereby the Idea is expounded 
to our intellect in those successive states. 

If one considers, that poetry, no less than the plastic 
arts, invariably takes an individual for its theme, in order 
to portray such with the greatest exactness, with all the 
specialities of its individuality down to the most in- 
significant; and if we then look back on the sciences 
which work by means of conceptions, each of which is 
represented by countless individuals, inasmuch as it de- 
termines and indicates the speciality of its whole kind 
once for all, we might on tnis consideration be inclined to 
regard the pursuit of Art as insignificant, small, and even 


childish. But the essence of Art supposes tliat its one 
case answers for thousands, since what it intends by the 
careful and detailed portrayal of the individual is the 
revelation of the Idea of its kind. So that, for example, 
an event, a scene of human life described accurately and 
fully, that is, with complete presentment of the individuals 
involved therein, brings the Idea of humanity itself to our 
knowledge in all its clearness and depth. For,Jjis the 
botanist plucks a single flower from the infinite wealth of 
the plant-world, and then dissects it in order to demon- 
strate to us the nature of the plant as such ; so the poet 
takes from the endless confusion of the tide of human life, 
everywhere on-rushing with ceaseless motion, a single 
scene, and sometimes even merely a mood or feeling, in 
order to show us what the life and being of man isj For 
this reason we find the greatest minds Shakespeare and 
Goethe, Eaphael and Rembrandt esteem it not unworthy 
of themselves to present and realize for us a not even 
striking individual in his whole speciality, down to the 
smallest detail, with the greatest accuracy and the most 
careful industry. For only perceptually is the special and 
particular grasped. I have defined poetry, for the above 
reasonlas the art of setting the imagination in play through 

If one desires to feel immediately, and thereby to be- 
come conscious of what an advantage perceptual knowledge 
as the primary and fundamental has over the abstract, as 
Art reveals more to us than any science can do, one should 
contemplate either in nature, or through the medium of 
Art, a beautiful and mobile human countenance beaming 
with expression. What a much deeper insight than any 
words, or than the abstractions they indicate, into the es- 
sence of man, and indeed of nature generally, does not this 
give us? It may be remarked here, by the way, that 
what for a beautiful landscape is the sudden bursting 


forth of sunshine from the clouds, such for a beautiful 
face is the appearance of its laughter. Therefore, ridete, 
puellce, ridete I 

That, however, which makes a picture more readily than 
a reality convey to us the apprehension of a (Platonic) 
Idea, in other words, that by which the picture stands 
nearer the Idea than the reality does, is, generally speaking, 
this, that the work of Art is an object which has already 
passed through a subject, and is hence for the mind what 
animal nourishment the already assimilated vegetable 
is for the body. 

But more closely considered, the matter rests upon the 
fact that the work of plastic art does not, like the reality, 
show us something which'only once exists and never again, 
the combination, namely, of this matter with this form, 
which combination constitutes the concrete, the true indi- 
vidual, but that it shows us the form alone, which, if only 
given perfectly and on all its sides, is the Idea itself. The 
picture leads us, therefore, directly away from the indivi- 
dual to the mere form. This separation of the form from 
the matter of itself brings the presentment nearer the Idea. 
Every image is such a separation, whether it be picture or 
statue. Hence this separation, this severance of the form 
from the matter, belongs to the character of an aesthetic 
work of art, because its object is to bring us to a knowledge 
of a (Platonic) Idea. It is essential, therefore, to the work 
of art to give the form alone, without the matter, and to 
do this indeed openly and avowedly. Herein lies the true 
reason why wax figures make no aesthetic impression, and 
are therefore not works of art (in the aesthetic sense) ; 
although when well made they produce a hundred times 
greater illusion than the best picture or statue can do ; 
and hence, if illusive imitation of the Eeal were the 
purpose of Art, they would have to occupy the first rank. 


They seem, however, to give not merely the form, but the 
matter as well, and hence produce the illusion that one 
has the thing itself before one. Thus, unlike the true 
work of art, which leads us away from that which exists 
only once and never again, i.e., the individual, to that 
which is there continuously through endless times, and in 
endless number, in short, to the mere form or Idea ; the 
wax figure gives us apparently the individual itself, that, 
namely, which exists once and never again, yet without the 
only thing which lends to such a transitory existence its 
value to wit, without life. Hence the wax figure excites a 
shudder, its effect being that of a stiff corpse. 

One might imagine that it was only the statue which 
gave the form without the matter, but the painting the 
matter as well, inasmuch as by means of colour it imitates 
the matter and its structure. This would only mean, how- 
ever, the form understood in a purely geometrical sense, 
which is not what was here meant. For in a philoso- 
phical sense form J8_tjbe__inlltbfisis^ of matter^.ancL em- 
braces, therefore, colour, surface, texture, and, in shorVall 

The statue certainly is the only thing which gives the 
geometrical form alone, displaying it in an obviously 
foreign matter marble, thereby clearly isolating the form. 
But the painting, on the other hand, gives no matter at 
all, but the mere appearance of the form, not in the geo- 
metrical but in the philosophical sense above stated. The 
form itself is not even given by the painting, but the mere 
appearance of the form, to wit, the mere effect on one sense, 
that of sight, and even this only from one point of view. 
The painting, therefore, does not so much as produce the 
illusion that one has the thing itself, i.e., form and matter, 
before one, the deceptive truth of the painting always 
standing under certain admitted conditions of its mode of 
presentment. For example, the picture, through the un- 


avoidable falling away of the parallax of our two eyes, 
shows the things as a one-eyed person would see them. 
Thus even the painting only furnishes the form, while 
it only presents the effect of the latter one-sidedly, that 
is, for the eye alone. The above reasons why the work of 
art raises us more easily than the reality to the appre- 
hension of a (Platonic) Idea, will be found expounded in 
the second volume of my chief work (chap, xxx., p. 370 ; 
3rd ed., p. 420). 

The following is akin to the foregoing considerations, in 
which, in the meantime, the form is again to be understood 
in a geometrical sense. Black copper-plate engravings 
and etchings bespeak a nobler and more elevated taste 
than coloured engravings and water-colours, though the 
latter appeal more to the less cultivated taste. This is 
obviously on account of the fact that the black representa- 
tions give the form alone, as it were in abstracto, the ap- 
prehension of which is (as we know) intellectual, that 
is, a matter of the contemplative understanding. The 
colour, on the other hand, is merely a matter of the sense- 
organ, and, indeed, of a special arrangement in it (quali- 
tative divisibility of the activity of the retina). In this 
respect one may compare the coloured copper engraving 
to rhymed verses, the black to those merely metrical ; see 
as regards these, the relation between them given in my 
chief work (vol. ii., chap, xxxvii., p. 427 ; 3rd ed., p. 486). 

That the impressions which we acquire in youth are so 
significant, and that in the dawn of life everything appears 
so idealistically, arises from the fact that then the indivi- 
dual makes us first acquainted with its kind, which is quite 
new to us, and that in consequence every individual repre- 
sents its kind for us. We accordingly apprehend hi it the 
(Platonic) Idea of this kind, which beauty, as such, 
essentially is. 


"Beautiful" (" schdn") is undoubtedly connected with 
the English to show, and ought therefore to be showy, that 
which is to be seen, what shows well, what displays itself 
well ; in short, the strikingly visible, and therefore the clear 
expression of significant (Platonic) Ideas. 

" Picturesque (" malerisch ") means at bottom the same 
as " beautiful " (" schon ") ; for it is attributed to that 
which displays itself in such wise, that it clearly proclaims 
the Idea of its kind. It is for this reason suitable for the 
representation of the painter, which is directed towards 
the portrayal, the setting forth, of the Ideas which con- 
stitute the objective in the Beautiful. 

The Beauty and grace of the human form, in combina- 
tion, are the clearest visibility of the Will on the highest 
stage of its manifestation, and therefore the highest achieve- 
ment of the plastic art. Meanwhile, assuredly, as I have 
said ( Welt als Wille und Vorstellung, vol. i. , 41), every natural 
thing is beautiful ; for instance, every animal. If this does 
not appear obvious to us with some animals, it is because 
we are not in a position to consider them purely objectively, 
and thereby to apprehend their Idea, but are led away 
from it by some unavoidable association of thoughts, 
mostly in consequence of an obtrusive similarity, e.g., that 
of the apes with man, whereby we do not apprehend the 
Idea of the animal, but only the caricature of a man. In 
the same way the similarity of the toad with filth and 
slime seems to act. This does not, however, suffice to ex- 
plain the unbounded revulsion, the horror and loathing, 
which comes upon some persons at the sight of these 
animals, as with others at that of spiders ; which would 
seem rather to have its foundation in a much deeper 
and more mysterious metaphysical connection. The circum- 
stance that formerly these animals have been wont to be 
used for sympathetic cures (and evil charms), that is, for 


magical purposes, confirms this opinion. Thus the fever 
is driven away by a spider enclosed in a nut-shell, and 
worn round the neck of the patient till it is dead ; or, in 
the case of great danger of death, a toad is laid in the 
urine of the patient, in a well-closed receptacle, and at 
midday, precisely at the stroke of twelve, is buried in the 
cellar of the house. The slow torture of such animals de- 
mands, nevertheless, a punishment from eternal justice. 
This, again, affords an explanation of the assumption that 
he who practises magic makes himself over to the devil. 

Inorganic nature, in so far as it does not consist in water, 
when it displays itself without anything organic, has a 
very sad and depressing effect upon us. Instances of 
this are to be found in districts which merely afford 
barren rock-scenory, especially the long rocky plane without 
any vegetation near Toulon, through which the road to 
Marseilles leads; the African deserts furnish such in- 
stances on a larger scale and much more impressively. 
The sadness which this impression of the inorganic makes 
upon us arises from the fact that the inorganic mass 
exclusively obeys the law of gravity, according to the 
direction of which everything lies. On the other hand, 
the appearance of vegetation pleases us directly and in a 
very high degree ; but naturally the more, the richer, the 
more varied, the more extended, and the more it is left to 
itself. The most immediate ground of this lies in that in 
vegetation the law of gravity appears as superseded, inas- 
much as the plant-world lifts itself in an opposite direc- 
tion to that of gravitation. Therein the phenomenon of 
life proclaims itself as a new and higher order of things. 
We ourselves belong to it ; it is related to us, it is the 
element of our existence. Our heart is therefore opened 
by it. Primarily, then, it is its erect attitude which de- 
lights us at once in tfye plant-world ; hence a cluster of 


trees gains immensely if a pair of straight fir-trees shoot 
their tops out from its midst. On the other hand, a pollard 
has no longer such an effect upon us ; a tree grown crooked 
less than a straight one : the low-hanging branches of the 
weeping- willow, succumbing as they do to gravity, have 
procured it this name. Water does away with the sad- 
ness of its inorganic character, to a great extent, by its 
great mobility, which gives it an appearance of life, and 
by its continual play of light ; besides which, it is the 
primal condition of all life, In addition to this, what so 
delights us in the appearance of vegetable nature, is the 
expression of rest, peace, and satisfaction which it bears ; 
while animal nature mostly displays itself before us in a 
state of unrest, of distress, and indeed of conflict. Hence 
it is that it succeeds so readily in transforming us into the 
state of pure cognition which frees us from ourselves. 

It is surprising to see how vegetable nature, in itself of 
the most commonplace and insignificant character, imme- 
diately groups and displays itself beautifully and pictu- 
resquely, when once it is removed from the influence of 
Luman caprice. Thus it is with every spot which is re- 
moved from, or which has not yet been reached by, culti- 
vation, even though it only bears thistles, thorns, and the 
commonest meadow flowers. On the other hand, in corn- 
fields and market- gardens the aesthetic of the plant- world 
sinks to the minimum. 

It has long been recognized, that every work intended 
for human purposes thus every utensil and every build- 
ing in order t ) be beautiful, must bear a certain simi- 
larity to the ^ orks of Nature ; but the error lies in 
thinking that this must be a direct one, and must lie im- 
mediately in the forms, so that pillars should represent 
trees, or even human figures ; or vessels should be shaped 
like shells, or snails, or the calices of flowers, and that 


everywhere vegetable or animal forms should appear. The 
similarity ought, on the contrary, to be not a direct but an 
indirect one, i.e., should lie not in the forms, but in the 
character of the forms, which may be the same even with a 
complete difference in the forms themselves. Buildings 
and utensils should accordingly not be imitated from 
Nature, but created in the spirit of Nature. This is 
the case when every thing and every portion of a thing 
answers to its purpose so directly that it at once proclaims 
it; which occurs, insofar as it achieves it by the shortest 
route and in the most simple manner. This obvious adap- 
tation of means to ends is the character of the product of 
Nature ; the Will it is true, in this case, works from 
within outwards, and has mastered the whole of the 
matter ; while in the human work, acting from without, 
it attains its object and expresses itself through the 
medium of the perception, and even of a conception of the 
purpose of the thing, and then through the overcoming of 
an alien matter, a matter, that is, which originally expressed 
another Will ; but notwithstanding this, the given character 
of the product of Nature may be retained therein. Ancient 
architecture shows this in the exact proportion of its part 
or member to its immediate purpose, which it naively 
expresses in this manner, and in the absence of all pur- 
poselessness in direct opposition to the Grothic architec- 
ture, which owes its dark and mysterious appearance pre- 
cisely to its many purposeless ornaments and nick-nacks, 
inasmuch as we attribute to them a purpose unknown to 
us ; or, indeed, any completely decayed style of architec- 
ture which, affecting originality, plays with the means of 
art whose ends it does not understand by all sorts of un- 
necessary twists and arbitrary frivolities ; and the same 
applies to antique vases, whose beauty arises from the fact 
that they express in such a na'ive manner what they are in- 
tended to be and to achieve. The same with the other uten- 


sils of the ancients. One feels with them, that if Nature 
had produced vases, amphora, lamps, tables, chairs, hel- 
mets, shields, armour, &c., they would look like that. On 
the other hand, look at the richly- gilded porcelain vessels, 
together with the female dress, &c., of modern times, 
which, in that it has exchanged the style of antiquity, 
already introduced, for the miserable rococo style, has ex- 
posed its contemptible spirit, and branded itself on the 
forehead for all time. For this is by no means a small 
thing ; but it stamps the spirit of our age. A confirma- 
tion of it is given by its literature, the mutilation of the 
German language by ignorant ink-slingers, who, in their 
brazen impudence, treat it in the same way as Vandals 
works of art, and are allowed to do so unpunished. 

The origin of the fundamental idea for a work of art has 
been very accurately described as a conception, for just as 
procreation is to the origin of man, so is it the most 
essential to it. And like the latter, it requires not so much 
time as opportunity and mood. The Object in general, 
namely, exercises, as it were, as male, a continuous act of pro- 
creation on the Subject, the female. This is, however, only 
fruitful at particularly happy moments, and with favoured 
subjects. But when it is so, there arises out of it a new, 
original thought, which lives on. And just as with physical 
procreation, its fruitfulness depends much more on the 
female than on the male side. If the latter (the Subject) 
be in a receptive mood, almost every object now falling 
within its apperception will begin to speak to it, i.e., to 
create in it a vivid, penetrating, and original thought. 
Hence, at times, the aspect of an unimportant object or 
event has become the germ of a great and beautiful work. 
As, for example, Jacob Boehme, by the sudden glance at a 
tin vessel, was thrown into a state of illumination and intro- 
duced into the innermost depths of Nature. Everything 


turns at last everywhere on one's own force ; and as t/o 
food or medicine imparts vital force, or can replace it, so 
no book or study can supply the original mind. 

An improvisator is a man who omnibus horis sapit, inas- 
much as he carries about with him a complete and well- 
assorted magazine of commonplaces of every kind, which 
does prompt service for every want, according to the cir- 
cumstances of the case and the opportunity, and affords 
ducentos versos, stam pede in uno. 

A man who undertakes to live by the grace of the 
Muses, I mean from his poetical gifts, strikes me as being 
like a girl who lives by her charms. Both alike profane, 
for base livelihood, what should be the free gift of their 
innermost. Both alike suffer an exhaustion, and both will 
probably end disgracefully. Do not therefore degrade your 
muse to a whore, but let 

" I sing, as sings the bird 

Who in the branches dwells 

The song from his throat is heard, 

Reward that richly tells," 

be the motto of the poet. For poetic gifts belong to the 
holidays not to the working-days of life. Hence, even 
if they should be felt to be somewhat oppressed and 
limited by an occupation which the poet carries on at 
the same time, they may still prosper along with it ; for 
the poet does not need great acquirements and learning, 
like the philospher ; indeed, poetic gifts are condensed by 
the former just as they are diluted by too much leisure and 
by being carried on ex professo. The philosopher, on the 
contrary, cannot well carry on another occupation for the 
foregoing reason ; and since money-making has other and 
well-known drawbacks to philosophy, on which account the 
ancients made it the mark of the sophist in opposition to 


the philosopher, Solomon is to be praised when he says : 
" Wisdom is good with an inheritance, and rejoiceth a man 
under the sun." 

That we have the Classics of antiquity, i.e., minds whose 
writings pass down through thousands of years in the uii- 
diminished glow of youth, is largely attributable to the 
fact, that with the ancients the writing of books was not a 
livelihood occupation. But by this alone is the fact to be 
explained that there are no bad works of those Classics 
alongside of the good ones since they did not, like even 
the best of the moderns, after the spirit had evaporated, 
carry the phlegm to market, in order to turn it into 

Music is the true universal language everywhere under- 
stood. Hence it is ceaselessly spoken, with much serious- 
ness and zeal, and a significant and telling melody soon 
finds its way round the globe ; while one that is poor and 
says nothing is soon hushed, and dies out which proves 
that the content of melody is very easily comprehensible. 

It speaks, nevertheless, not of things, but simply of weal 
and woe, which are the sole realities for the Will. Hence 
it says so much to the heart, while to the head it has 
directly nothing to say, and it is an abuse if this is required 
of it, as happens in all programme-music, which is there- 
fore unconditionally to be rejected, even although Hadyn 
and Beethoven have been led astray by it which Mozart 
and Rossini, to my knowledge, never were. For expres- 
sion of the passions is one thing, painting of things 

The grammar of this universal language is also regulated 
in the most precise manner, although only since Eameau 
laid the foundation. On the other hand, to decipher the 
lexicon, I mean the undoubted significance of its content, 
above referred to, i.e., to make comprehensible to the 


.Reason, if only in general, what it is that music says, in 
melody and harmony, and what it is talking about, this no 
one has ever attempted to do, until I undertook it 
all which proves how extremely little men are disposed to 
reflection and thought, and with what absence of con- 
sideration they go through life. Their object is every- 
where simply to enjoy, and that with as little expenditure of 
thought as possible. Their nature is responsible for this. 
Hence it appears so comical when they think they must 
play the philosopher, as may be seen in the case of our 
professors of philosophy with their magnificent works, and 
the uprightness of their zeal for philosophy and truth. 

Speaking generally and popularly, one may venture to 
say music itself is melody, to which the world is the text. 
But its special meaning was first given in my exposition of 

The relation, however, of the musical art to the specific 
exterior always imposed upon it, such as text, action, march, 
dance, religious or secular festivity, &c., is analogous to 
the relation of architecture as fine art, that is, art directed 
to purely aesthetic purposes, with the real buildings which 
it has to erect, and with the utilitarian purposes of which, 
therefore, it has to attempt to combine its own. This it 
does, in that it accomplishes these under the conditions 
which the former impose upon it, and accordingly produces 
a temple, a palace, an emporium, a playhouse, &c., in such 
a way that it is at once beautiful in itself and suitable for 
its end, and indeed proclaims this end itself through its 
SBsthetic character. Music stands in an analogous though 
not equally unavoidable servitude to the text, or to the 
other realities imposed upon it. It must, in the first place, 
adapt itself to the text, although it does not require 
the latter, and indeed without it could move much more 
freely. Yet it must not only accommodate its every note 


to the length of its word and its meaning, but assume 
throughout a certain homogeneity therewith, and bear the 
character of the end arbitrarily, imposed upon it, and 
accordingly be ecclesiastical, operatic, military, dance 
music, &c. But all this is as foreign to its nature as 
human utilitarian considerations are to purely aesthetic 
architecture ; and hence both have to subordinate them- 
selves to the foreign conditions imposed upon them. This 
is almost always unavoidable in architecture, but not in 
music, which moves freely in the concerto, the sonata, 
and above all in the symphony, its noblest arena, on which 
it celebrates its saturnalia. 

The false path whereon our music is bent is analagous to 
that which was pursued by the Eoman architecture under 
the later emperors, where the overloading with decorations, 
partly concealed and partly perverted the simple and 
essential proportions. It offers, that is, much noise, many 
instruments, much art, but very few clear, penetrating, and 
comprehensive ideas, in the shallow, say-nothing, melody. 
less compositions of the present day; the same taste, 
again, allows itself to be pleased with the unclear, aimless, 
nebulous, incomprehensible and senseless literary style, the 
origin of which is to be sought chiefly in our miserable 
Hegelism and its charlatanry. In the compositions of the 
present time more account is taken of harmony than of 
melody. I am, on the contrary, of the opposite opinion, 
and hold melody to be the kernel of music, to which har- 
mony is related as the sauce to the roast meat. 

Grand opera is not properly a creation of the pure 
artistic sense, but rather of the somewhat barbaric notion of 
the production of aesthetic pleasure by means of a heaping 
up of appliances, by the simultaneity of totally distinct 
impressions, and the strengthening of the effect by the in- 
crease of the operative masses and forces. Music, on the 


contrary (as the most powerful of all the arts), is capable 
by itself of completely occupying the mind receptive to it. 
Its highest productions indeed, in order to be adequately 
apprehended and enjoyed, require the whole undivided 
and undistracted attention, in order that it may surrender 
itself to them, and sink itself in them, so that it may 
really understand the incredible inwardness of its language. 
Instead of this, during the performance of a highly compli- 
cated opera music, the mind is acted on through the 
eye by means of a brilliant spectacle, fantastic images, 
and gay impressions of light and colour, in addition to 
which the plot of the piece occupies it. By all this it is 
drawn away, distracted and deadened, and thus rendered 
as little as possible receptive for the holy, mysterious, in- 
ward language of tones. In this way, therefore, the attain- 
ment of the musical purpose is directly counteracted. 
In addition to these things comes the ballet, a spectacle 
often more directed to lasciviousness than to aesthetic 
pleasure, and which besides, by the narrow range of its 
materials, and the monotony arising therefrom, soon be- 
comes to the last degree tedious, and thereby contributes 
to exhaust the patience especially since by the wearisome 
repetition, often lasting a quarter of an hour, of the same 
inferior dance- melody, the musical sense is fatigued and 
deadened, so that, for the musical impressions of a more 
serious and higher character which follow, there is no 
more receptivity left. 

It is possible, although a purely musical mind does 
not require it, notwithstanding that the true language of 
tones is self-sufficient, and demands no outside help, that 
it may be associated with and superimposed upon words, 
or even an action, carried out visibly, in order that our 
perceptive and reflective intellect, which does not like to bo 
entirely idle, may obtain ai* easy and analogous occupation. 
In this way, indeed, the attention is more firmly riyetecj 


on the music, and follows it better; for a perceptual 
image is to that which the tones proclaim in their uni- 
versal imageless language of the heart, as the schema or as 
an example is to a universal concept; such indeed may 
enhance the impression of the music. It should never- 
theless be held within the limits of the greatest simplicity, 
for otherwise it directly counteracts the main musical 

The excessive heaping up of vocal and instrumental 
parts in the opera acts indeed in a musical way, yet the 
enhancement of the effect from the mere quartette to 
the orchestra with its hundred parts, does not bear any 
proportion to the increase of the means. For the chord 
cannot have more than three, or in one case four, notes, 
and the mind can never apprehend more at once, no matter 
by how many parts in different octaves these three or 
four notes may be given. From all this it is explicable 
how a beautiful well-rendered music of four parts often 
more deeply moves than the whole opera seria, whose 
quintessence it furnishes, just as the drawing is some- 
times more effective than the oil-painting. What, however, 
depresses the effect of the quartette chiefly is, that the 
extension of the harmony, that is, the distance of two or 
more octaves between the bass and the lowest of the three 
upper parts, such as from the depths of the double bass, 
is always at the service of the orchestra, is wanting, 
thougn the effect, even in this case, is immensely enhanced 
it -a powerful organ with a pedal reaching to the lowest 
point of audibility plays the ground bass throughout, as is 
the case in the Catholic church at Dresden. For only in 
this way does the harmony produce its full effect. But 
speaking generally, simplicity, which is usually attached 
to truth, is an essential law of all art, of all that is beau- 
tiful, of all intellectual representation ; at least it is always 
dangerous to depart from it. 


Strictly speaking, one might call the opera an unmusical 
irvention for the sake of unmusical minds, into which 
music has to be first impressed by a medium foreign to it ; 
for instance, as the accompaniment of a long spun-out 
vapid love story and its wishy-washy poetry; for the 
opera will not bear a condensed text full of intellect and 
thought, because the composition cannot attain to such. 
But to seek to make music merely the slave of bad poetry 
is a false path, which Gluck largely traversed, and hence 
his opera-music, if we except his overtures, is not at all 
enjoyable apart from the words. One might even say the 
opera has become the curse of music. For not only must 
the latter bend and accommodate itself in order to be 
suited to the course and regulated procedure of a tasteless 
fable ; not only is the mind withdrawn and distracted from 
the music by the childish and barbaric magnificence of the 
scenery and costumes, by the tricks of dancers, and the 
short skirts of ballet-girls ; no, but even the song itself often 
disturbs the harmony, inasmuch as the vox humana, which 
musically regarded is an instrument like any other, will 
not co-ordinate and accommodate itself to the other parts, 
but tries to dominate absolutely. In the case of the 
soprano or alto, indeed, this does very well, because in this 
case the melody accrues to it essentially, and by nature. 
But in bass and tenor solos, the leading melody belongs 
mostly to the high instruments, in relation to which the 
song stands out like, an unduly loud harmonic part which 
the melody seeks to outstrip. The accompaniment is 
con trapun tally transf erred to the upper register, quite 
against the nature of music, in order to impart the 
melody to the tenor or bass voice, the ear, notwithstanding, 
always following the highest notes, namely, the accom- 
paniment. I am really of the opinion that solo-arias with 
orchestral accompaniment are only suited to the alto or 
soprano, and that the men's voices should therefore only 


be employed in duet with the former, or in pieces of many 
parts, unless they sing without any, or with a mere bass, 
accompaniment. Melody is the natural privilege of the 
highest voices, and must remain so. Hence it is, that when 
in an opera a soprano- aria follows on a forced and artificial 
baritone, or bass-aria, we are sensible at once of a satis- 
faction at the accordance of the former with nature and art. 
That great masters like Mozart and Rossini know how to 
mitigate, or indeed to overcome, the above obstacle, does 
not get rid of it. 

The sung mass affords a much purer musical pleasure 
than the opera, because there the words are mostly un- 
perceived, or, by endlessly repeated hallelujahs, glorias, 
eleisons, amens, &c., are reduced to a mere solfeggio, in 
which the music, only retaining the general ecclesiastical 
character, moves freely, and does not, as in the operatic 
song, find itself compromised in its own sphere by miseries 
of every kind. For this reason it can here develop all its 
forces unhindered, inasmuch as it has not the depressing 
puritanical or methodistical character of Protestant church- 
music, which makes it, like the Protestant morality, crawl 
on the earth but soars freely with its great wings, like a 
seraph. Masses and symphonies alone give unalloyed 
and perfect musical enjoyment, while in the opera, musio 
tortures itself with the shallow drama and its pseudo- 
poetry, and seeks to get on as well as it can with the alien 
burden which has been laid upon it. The mocking scorn 
with which the great Eossini at times has treated the text, 
if not exactly to be commended, is genuinely musical. But 
grand opera altogether, inasmuch as with its three hours' 
duration it more and more blunts our musical suscepti- 
bility, while at the same time the snail' s course of a mostly 
very vapid action puts our patience to the test, is in itself 
essentially of a wearisome nature. This defect can only be 
overcome by the extraordinary excellence of the particular 


performance, and therefore in this department only the 
masterpieces are enjoyable, and everything mediocre is 
abominable. The endeavour ought to be made to concen- 
trate and contract the opera more, in order to limit it, 
wherever possible, to one act and one hour. In the full 
consciousness of this, they hit upon the bad device in the 
" Teatro della Yalle " in Eome, at the time I was there, 
of making the acts of an opera and a comedy alternate 
with each other. The longest duration of an opera ought 
to be two hours ; that of a drama three hours, because the 
attention and strain of mind required by the latter holds 
out longer, since it tires us much less than the ceaseless 
music, which at last becomes a nervous torture. For 
the foregoing reasons the last act of an opera is, as a 
rule, a penance to the audience, and a still greater one 
to the singers and musicians. One might accordingly 
think to have before one, here, a numerous assembly 
met together for the purpose of self-discipline, and fol- 
lowing it out with endurance to the end, for which 
each has long silently sighed, with the exception of the 

The overture ought to prepare us for the opera in 
announcing the character of the music, as well as the 
course of the action ; this however should not be done too 
explicitly and plainly, but only as we foresee coming events 
in a dream. 

A vaudeville may be compared to a man who parades in 
clothes which he has picked up second-hand ; every article 
has already been worn by another, for whom it was made, 
whom it fitted, and by which we notice, moreover, that 
they do not belong to each other. It is like a harlequin's 
jacket, made of rags cut from the coats of honest people 
and sewn together, a true jausical monstrosity which, ought 
tt be forbidden by the police. 


It is deserving of note, that in music the value of the 
composition outweighs that of the performance, while of 
tragedy it is exactly the converse which holds true. 
Thus a thoroughly good composition, if only moderately 
well (provided it be cleanly and correctly) performed, gives 
us more enjoyment than the most admirable rendering of 
a bad composition. On the other hand, a bad theatrical 
piece, executed by the very best players, has much more 
effect than the most admirable piece played by bunglers. 

The function of an actor is to portray human nature 
according to its most varied sides, in a thousand widely 
differing characters, all however resting on the common 
ground of his individuality, which is given once for all, and 
never quite to be extinguished. On this account he must 
be himself a capable and quite complete specimen of 
human nature, or at least not so defective or deteriorated 
that, as Hamlet's expression has it, " He would seem not 
to bo made by Nature herself, but by one of her journey- 
men." Notwithstanding this, an actor will better portray 
a character the nearer it stands to his own individuality, 
and best of all, one which coincides with the latter ; hence 
even the worst player has one role which he plays well, for 
in it he is like a living face among masks. 

A good actor requires (1) that he be a man who has the 
gift of being able to turn his inside outwards ; (2) that he 
has sufficient imagination to conceive fictitious circum- 
stances and events so vividly, that they move his innermost 
being; (3) that he possess intellect, experience, and edu- 
cation in a degree adequate to enable him sufficiently to 
understand human characters and relations. 

4 The struggle of man with Fate," which our vapid, 
hollow, puffed-up, and sickly-sweet modern aesthetes, for 
about fifty years past, have unanimously proclaimed as the 
universal theme of tragedy, has for its assumption the 


freedom of the will, that fad of all the ignorant, together 
with the categorical imperative whose moral purposes or 
commands have to be accomplished in spite of fate ; in all 
of which the aforesaid gentlemen find their edification. 
But besides this, the above-assumed theme of the tragedy 
is a ridiculous conception, if only because it would be a 
battle with an unseen opponent, a fight in a fog, against 
which, therefore, every blow struck would hit the air, and 
into whose arms one would fall in attempting to evade 
him, as happened to Lajus and (Edipus. Fate, moreover, 
is all-powerful, and hence to fight with it would be the 
most preposterous of all rashness, so that Byron is per- 
fectly justified in saying 

" To strive, too, with our fate, were such a strife 
As if the corn-sheaf should oppose the sickle. " 

Don Juan, r. 17 

Shakespeare also understands the matter so 

" Fate, show thy force : ourselves we do not owe < 
What is decreed 'must be, and be this so ! " 

Twelfth Night, act i., the close. 

Which verse it may be said, by the way, belongs to those 
extremely rare cases in which poetry gains by translation 

" Jetzt kannst du deine Macht, O Schicksal, zeigen; 
Was sein soil muss geschehn, uncl Keiner ist sein eigen. " 

With the ancients, the conception of fate is that of a 
necessity hidden in the totality of things, which without 
any consideration either for our wishes or prayers, our 
guilt or desert, guides human affairs, and draws together by 
its secret bond even things outwardly most independent 
of each other, in order to bring them whither it will, so 
that their apparently fortuitous coincidence is in a higher 
sense necessary. As now by virtue of this necessity every, 
thing is pre-ordained (/atfw), a foreknowledge of the same 
is possible through oracles, seers, dreams, &c. 


Providence is the Christianized fate, in other words, fate 
transformed into the purpose of God directed towards the 
good of the world. 

I regard the aesthetic purpose of the chorus in tragedy 
as, firstly, that side by side with the opinion which those 
chief persons who are agitated by the storm of passions 
have of things, that of quiet disinterested reflection 
should also come to a hearing; and secondly, that the 
essential moral of the piece displayed successively in con- 
creto throughout its action, should at the same time be 
proclaimed as a reflection thereupon in abstracto, and con- 
sequently in brief. Acting in this way, the chorus resem- 
bles the bass in music, which, as a continuous accom- 
paniment, allows us to perceive the fundamental note of 
each single chord of the progression. 

As the strata of the earth show us in their impressions 
the forms of life of a world long past, which preserve 
throughout countless thousands of years the trace of a 
short existence, so the ancients have left us in their 
comedies a true and lasting impression of th,eir bright 
life and activity, an impression so clear and exact, that it 
gives the appearance as though they had done it with the 
object of leaving as an inheritance to the latest posterity 
at least a lasting picture of the beautiful and noble exis- 
tence whose transitoriness they bewailed. If we again 
fill out these hulls and forms, which tradition has delivered 
to us, with flesh and bone by the presentation of Plautus 
and Terence on the stage, this brisk life of the long past 
will again rise up before us, in its freshness and bright- 
ness, just as ancient Mosaic floorings, when wetted, stand 
out again in their old colours. 

The only genuine German comedy which has proceeded 
from the nature and spirit of the nation, and which 


portrays it, is, with the exception of the isolated instance 
of Minna von Barnhelm, the drama of Iffland. The cha- 
racteristics of these pieces are, like those of the nation 
which they so truly depict, more moral than intellectual, 
while the opposite might be alleged of the English and 
French comedy. The Qerinans are so rarely original, that 
one ought not, when once in a way they are so, to pitch 
into them as Schiller and the Schlegels have done, who 
have been unjust to Iffland, and have even gone too far 
against Kotzebue. La the same way people are unjust to- 
day towards Raupach, while they spend their applause 
upon the trivialities of the most wretched twaddlers. 

The drama generally as the most complete mirror of 
human existence, has a three-fold climax in its manner of 
apprehending it, and hence in its purport and pretensions. 
At the first and the most frequent stage, it stops at the 
merely interesting. Persons require our sympathy in 
pursuing their own purposes which are similar to ours. 
The action proceeds by means of the intrigue, the charac- 
ters, and chance, wit and jest being the spice of the whole. 
At the second stage the drama is sentimental ; sympathy 
with the hero, and indirectly with ourselves, is excited ; the 
action becomes pathetic, but returns nevertheless to rest 
and satisf action at the conclusion. At the highest and 
most difficult stage the end is the tragical. Severe 
suffering, the misery of existence, is brought before us, and 
the nothingness of all human endeavour is here the final 
result. We are deeply moved, and the revulsion of the 
will from life is excited in us, either directly or as the 
accompanying harmonic note. 

The drama of political tendency coquetting with the 
momentary whims of the sweet populace, that favourite 
product of our modern litterateurs, I have naturally not 
taken into consideration ; such pieces soon lie, often in the 


following year, as dead as old almanacks. But this does 
not trouble the litterateur; for the appeal to his muse 
contains only one prayer : " Give us this day our daily 


Every beginning is difficult, it is said. In the dramatic 
art, however, the opposite holds good, every ending is 
difficult here. This is confirmed by the numberless dramas 
of which the first half goes well enough, but which then 
become obscure, halting, uncertain, especially in the noto- 
rious fourth act, and finally peter out either in a forced, or 
in an unsatisfactory nd, or in an end which everyone has 
long foreseen occasionally, indeed, as in "Emilia Galotti " 
in one which produces indignation and sends the onlooker 
home disgusted. This difficulty of the winding up rests 
partly on the fact that it is always easier to entangle affairs 
than to disentangle them ; but partly also upon the fact, 
that at the beginning we leave the poet carte blanche, while 
at the end we make definite demands upon him. It has 
that is, to be either altogether happy or altogether tragical 
whereas human affairs do not readily take so decisive a 
turn. Then, again, it must work out naturally, correctly, and 
in an unforced manner, and yet in one foreseen by nobody. 
The same applies to the epic and the romance. It is only 
more apparent in the drama, owing to the more compact 
nature of the latter, which increases the difficulty. 

The ex nihilo nihilfit applies also to the fine arts. Good 
painters have real human models to stand for their histo- 
rical pictures, and take for their heads real faces drawn 
from life, which they thereupon idealize, either according 
to their beauty, or their character. Good novelists, as I 
believe, do the same ; they base the persons of their fic- 
tions upon real human beings of their acquaintance, which 
serve them as schemata, which they idealize and complete 
in accordance with their purposes. 


A romance will be of a so much higher and nobler kind 
the more of inward and the less of outward life it portrays, 
an I this proportion will accompany all gradations of the 
romance, as a characteristic sign, from "Tristram Shandy" 
down to the roughest and most eventful knight or robber 
story. " Tristram Shandy," indeed, has hardly any action 
at all, but how very little has the " New Heloise " and 
" Wilhelm Meister " ! Even " Don Quixote " has com- 
paratively little, and that unimportant action, tending 
more particularly to jest; and these four romances are the 
crown of the whole department. Let us further consider 
the wonderful novels of Jean Paul, and see how much of 
Inward they make to move on the narrowest foundation of 
outward life. Even the romances of Walter Scott have a 
considerable overweight of inward over outward life ; and 
the latter, indeed, is only brought in with the object of 
setting the former in motion, while in bad romances it is. 
there for its own sake. Art consists in the fact, that with 
the smallest possible expenditure of outward life, the in- 
ward is brought out into the strongest relief, for the in- 
ward is properly the object of our interest. The task of 
the novelist is not to narrate great events, but to make 
small ones interesting. 

I confess candidly that the great reputation of the 
" Divina Commedia" seems to me exaggerated. The exces- 
sive absurdity of the fundamental conception certainly has 
great part in this, for in consequence of it, in the " In- 
ferno," the most repulsive side of the Christian Mythology 
is brought vividly before our eyes. Then, again, the ob- 
scurity of the style and of the allusions contribute their 
share : 

Omnia enim stolidi magis admirantur, amantque, 
Inversis quse sub verbis latitantia cernunt. 

At the same time, the often almost laconic terseness and 


energy of the expression, and still more, Dante's incom- 
parable strength of imagination, are in the highest degree 
remarkable. By virtue of this, he imparts to the descrip- 
tion of impossible things a realistic truth, which is akin to 
that of a dream ; for since he can have had no experience 
of these things, it would seem as though he must have 
dreamt them, in order to be able to paint them with 
such life-like and obvious exactness. On the other hand, 
what shall we say when, at the close of the eleventh canto 
of the " Inferno," Virgil describes the breaking of the day 
and the setting of the stars, forgetting all the while that 
he is in hell, and under the earth, and that not before the 
close of this section will he guindi uscire a riveder le etelle ? 
One finds, again, the same absurdity at the end of the 
twentieth canto. Are we to suppose that Virgil carries a 
wa,tch, and hence knows what at the moment is going on 
in heaven ? This seems to me a still more serious lapsus 
than the well-known one respecting the ass of Sancho 
Panza of which Cervantes allowed himself to be guilty. 

The title of the work of Dante is both original and 
striking, and scarcely admits of a doubt that it is ironical. 
A comedy ! Truly the world would be that a comedy for 
a god whose insatiable lust for revenge and studied cruelty 
glutted itself in the last act with the endless and purpose- 
less torture of the beings which he has wantonly called 
into existence, because, forsooth, they had not turned out 
according to his mind, and because in their short life 
they had done or believed otherwise than as he desired. 
As against his unspeakable cruelty, moreover, all the crimes 
so severely punished in the " Inferno " would not be worth 
talking about ; indeed, he himself would be far worse than 
all the devils which we encounter in the " Inferno," inas- 
much as these only act in his service, and by virtue of his 
power. Father Zeus, therefore, ,rill hardly covet the honour 
of being identified with him without ceremony, as strangely 


enough occurs in some places (e.g., c. 14, v. 70; c. 31, v. 
92) ; and indeed is reduced to absurdity in " H Purga- 
torio," c. 6, v. 118 : " O sommo Giove, clie fosti in terra 
per noi crocifisso." What indeed would Zeus say to it ? 
w TTOTTOI ! The Russo-Slav character of the subjection 
of Virgil, of Dante, and of everyone to his commands, and 
the trembling obedience with which his ukases are every- 
where received, is, to the last degree, repulsive. Tins 
slavish spirit is, however (c. 33, v. 109-150), carried so far 
by Dante himself in his own person, that he completely di- 
vests himself of honour and conscience in one case, which he 
notwithstanding relates with pride. Honour and conscience, 
namely, count for nothing with him so soon as they in any 
way interfere with the cruel decrees of Domeneddio. 
Hence the promise firmly and openly given by him, in 
order to obtain a confession, to pour a drop of assuagement 
into the pain of one of these deliberately-planned and 
cruelly-carried-out tortures ; after the tortured one has 
fulfilled the condition stipulated for by Dante, the latter, 
in a manner destitute of honour and conscience, openly and 
cynically breaks his promise in majorem Dei gloriam. 
This he does, considering that any lessening of the pain 
imposed by God, even where, as here, it only consists in 
the wiping away of a frozen tear (although it was not ex- 
pressly forbidden to him), would nevertheless be altogether 
inadmissible, and hence he omits to do it, notwithstanding 
the zeal with which only a moment before he had promised 
and vowed it. In heaven such things may be the custom, 
and may be praiseworthy, I know not, but on earth he who 
acted in this way would be termed a rascal. We may see 
here, let it be observed by the way, how badly it goes with 
any morality which has no other basis than the will of 
God, since then, as rapidly as the poles of an electro- 
magnet may be changed, e\ il may become good, and good 
evil. The whole " Inferno " of Dante is, properly speaking, 


an apotheosis of cruelty, and in the last canto but one lack 
of honour and conscience is celebrated in an outspo] r en 

" That which is true, in every place 
I speak with unashamed face." 

For the rest the matter would be, for the created, a 
Divina Tragedia, and indeed without any end. Even 
though the prelude which precedes it may be here and 
there merry, it is nevertheless an altogether vanishing 
quantity as against the endless duration of the tragical 
part. One can hardly fail to think, that for Dante him- 
self a secret satire lurks behind this doubtful world 
order, for otherwise it would require a quite peculiar taste 
to amuse itself with the painting of monstrous absurdities 
and never-ending hangman's scenes. 

For me, my beloved Petrarch goes before all other 
Italian poets. In depth and intensity of feeling, and in its 
direct expression, which goes to the very heart, no poet in 
the world has ever excelled him. Hence his sonnets, 
triumphs, and songs are incomparably dearer to me than 
the fantastic farces of Ariosto and the frightful trivialities 
of Dante. The natural flow of his language, coming 
straight from his heart, speaks quite otherwise to me than 
the studied, and indeed affected, word-parsimony of Dante. 
He has always been the poet of my heart, and will remain 
so. That the super-excellent " present day " undertakes to 
speak disparagingly of Petrarch, confirms me in my 
opinion. A superfluous confirmation of it may be obtained 
by comparing Dante and Petrarch, as it were, in their 
domestic attire, that is, in prose, if we place in juxtaposition 
the beautiful books, so rich in thought and in truth, of 
Petrarch, de vita solitaria, de contemtu mundi, consulatio 
utriusque fortunes, &c., togethei with his letters, with the 
fruitless and tedious scholasticism of Dante. Finally, 


Tasso seems to me not worthy to take his place as a fourth 
beside the three great poets of Italy. Let us endeavour as 
posterity to be just, even though we are unable to be so 
as contemporaries. 

That with Homer things always receive the predicates 
which pertain to them all round and absolutely, but not 
those which stand in any connection, or which have any 
analogy, with what is going forward that, for example, the 
Achaians always appear as the .armour-clad, the earth is 
always termed the life-nourishing, heaven the wide, the 
sea the wine-dark this is a trait of objectivity in which 
Homer stands alone. Like nature herself, he leaves the 
objects unaffected by human events and moods. Whether 
his hearers rejoice or grieve, nature goes her way undis- 
turbed. To subjective men, on the other hand, when they 
are sad, the whole of nature seems gloomy, &c. But it is 
not so with Homer. Amongst the poets of our time 
Goethe is the most objective, Byron the most subjective. 
The latter only speaks for himself ; and even in the most 
objective styles of poetry, such as the drama and the 
Epos, he describes himself in the hero. 

Goethe is related to Jean Paul as the positive pole to the 

Goethe's Egmont is a man who. takes life easily and 
must suffer for his error. But by way of compensation. 
the same character of mind allows him to take death 
easily. The people's scenes in " Egmont" are the chorus. 

Let me be permitted here a conjecture respecting the 
masterpiece of Shakespeare, a conjecture which is indeed 
very bold, but which I wish to lay before the judgment of 
real scholars. In the celebrated monologue, " To be, or 
not to be/' is the expression, "when we have shuffled off 
this mortal coil," which has been always found obscure 


and puzzling, and never been properly explained. Ought 
not " shuttled off " to have originally stood there ? This 
verb itself does not exist any longer ; but the sense would 
be, " when we have unravelled this coil of mortality, when 
we have worked it off." The slip of the pen might easily 

In Venice, in the Academy of Arts, there is a picture 
under the fresco, painted on linen, which represents the 
gods as enthroned upon clouds beside golden tables, and on 
golden seats, and below, the guests hurled down, despised 
and insulted, into the depths of night. Goethe certainly saw 
this picture at the time when, on his first Italian journey, 
he wrote " Iphigenia." 

History, which I always think of side by side with poetry 
as its opposite (Iffropov^irov TT7roirinivov) 9 is for time 
what geography is for space. The latter is, therefore, as 
little as the former, a science in the proper sense, inasmuch 
as it has for its object not universal truths, but only par- 
ticular things respecting which point I refer the reader to 
my chief work, vol. ii., chap, xxxviii. 

It has always been a favourite study with those who like 
to learn something without undergoing the strain demanded 
by the sciences properly so called, which bring the intellect 
into requisition. 

But it is more than ever beloved in our own time, 
as proved by the countless history books yearly appearing. 
He who, like myself, cannot avoid seeing in all history the 
same thing continually, just as in the kaleidoscope, at 
every turn the same things always recur under other con- 
figurations, will not be able to share this passionate 
interest, although he will not blame it. It is only the 
attempt of some to make hirtory a part of philosophy, 
or indeed to constitute it philosophy itself, in that they 


imagine it can occupy the same place, that is tasteless and 
absurd. As an explanation of the special attraction of 
history for the greater public of all times, social inter- 
course as it is current in the world may be regarded. It 
consists, namely, as a rule, in that someone narrates some- 
thing, and thereupon someone else narrates something else, 
under which condition everyone is certain of the attention 
of the rest. As here, so also in history, we see the mind 
occupied exclusively with the particular as such. As in 
science it raises itself, so also in every elevated conversation 
the mind raises itself to the universal. This however does 
not deprive history of its value, Human life is so short 
and fleeting, and spread over such countless millions of 
individuals, who plunge in crowds into the ever open maw 
of the monster, oblivion, ever awaiting them, that it is a 
very praiseworthy endeavour to save something of it, the 
memory of the most important and the most interesting, 
the leading events and prominent persons, from the general 
shipwreck of the world. 

From another point of view one might regard history as 
a continuation of zoology, for while with the entire series of 
animals the consideration of the species suffices, with man, 
on the contrary, because he has individual character, indi- 
viduals also, in conjunction with the individual events 
which condition them, have to be studied. From this the 
essential imperfection of history directly follows, as the 
individuals and events are countless and endless. By the 
study of them, the sum of that which is to be learnt is in 
no wise lessened by all that one has learnt. In all sciences, 
properly so called, a completeness of knowledge is at least 
to be looked forward to. If the history of China and India 
stood open before us, the endlessness of the material, the 
mistakenness of the way, would reveal itself, and would 
compel the student to see ohat one must recognize in the 
one, the many j in the single case, the rule ; in the know- 


ledge of mankind, the activity of peoples ; but not that one 
must heap together facts to infinity. 

History from one end to the other relates simply of wars, 
and the same theme is the subject of all the oldest works 
of art, as also of the newest. But the origin of all war is 
the desire to thieve; hence Yoltaire justly says, Dans 
toutes les guerres il ne s'agit que de voler. So soon, namely, 
as a people feels an excess of force, it falls upon its neigh- 
bours, in order that, instead of living by its own labour, it 
may appropriate the result of theirs, be it merely such as 
is already existing, or be it that of the future in addition, 
to be acquired by subjugating them. This furnishes the 
material for the world's history and its heroic deeds. In 
French dictionaries, under the word " gloire" artistic 
and literary fame should first be treated of, and then 
under " gloire militaire " there should merely stand voyex 

It would seem in the meantime, as though two very re- 
ligious peoples, the Hindoos and the Egyptians, when they 
felt an excess of force, did not for the most part employ it 
on robber campaigns, or heroic deeds, but on buildings 
which defy millerriums, and which make their memory 

To the essential imperfections of history above indi- 
cated must be added, that the historic muse Klio is as 
through and through infected with lying as a street pros- 
titute is with syphilis. The new critical investigation of 
history endeavours, indeed, to cure this, but only over- 
comes, by means of its local applications, particular symp- 
toms breaking out here and there, with which moreover 
much quackery is mixed up to increase the evil. This is 
the case more or less with all history the sacred excepted, 
as is obvious. I believe that the events and persons in 
history resemble those that have really existed about as 
jnuch as the portraits of writers on the title-pages of their 


books do for the most part, the authors themselves ; in 
short, that they have only something of the outline, so as 
to bear a feeble resemblance, often completely perverted 
by one false feature, there often being no likeness at all. 

Newspapers are the second hands of history. But the 
second hand is mostly not only of baser metal than the 
two others, but goes seldom correctly ; the so-called " lead- 
ing articles " are the the chorus to the drama of contem- 
porary events. Exaggeration of every kind is as essential 
to journalism as to the dramatic art, for as much as 
possible must be made out of every occurrence. Hence 
all journalists are, by virtue of their handicraft, alarmists; 
this is their way of making themselves interesting. They 
resemble therein little dogs, who when the slightest thing 
stirs immediately set up barking loudly. One has accord- 
ingly to measure the attention one pays to their alarm 
trumpet, so that they may not disturb our digestion, and 
we should know once for all that the newspaper is a mag- 
nifying- glass, and this even in the best case, for very often 
it is nothing more than a mere game of shadows on the 

In Europe the history of the world is even yet accom- 
panied by a quite peculiar chronological sun-dial, which in 
pictorial representations of events allows us to recognize 
every decade at the first glance. It stands under the 
leadership of the tailor. (For example, an alleged portrait 
of Mozart in his youthful years, displayed at Frankfort in 
1856, I at once recognized as ungenuine, because the 
costume belonged to a period twenty years earlier.) It is 
only in the present decade that it has got disturbed, simply 
because our own day does not possess originality enough 
in order, like every other, to invent a mode of dress peculiar 
to itself, but merely exhibits a masquerade in which 
people go about as living anachronisms in all sorts of 
costumes of previous periods long ago laid aside. Even 


the age immediately preceding had such originality as 
was necessary to invent the dress-coat. 

More closely viewed the matter stands thus. As every 
man has a physiognomy in accordance with which we pro- 
visionally judge him, so every age has one which is not 
less characteristic. l?or the spirit of every time resembles 
a sharp east wind, which blows through everything. Hence 
we find its trace in all action, thought, writing, music, and 
painting, and in the flourishing of this or that art. It im- 
presses its stamp upon anything and everything; thus, for 
example, we must have the age of phrases without sense, 
as also that of music without melody, and of forms without 
end and purpose. At best it is only the thick walls of a 
cloister which can prevent the ingress of this east wind, 
provided, that is, that it does not blow them down. Hence 
therefore the spirit of a time imparts to it its outward 
physiognomy. The architectural style always plays the 
ground-bass to this ; in accordance therewith all ornaments, . 
vessels, furniture, implements of every kind, are modelled ; 
and lastly, even the costume, together with the manner of 
trimming the hair and beard. 1 The present age, as has 
been said, bears upon it the stamp of characterlessness by 
its want of originality in all these things. But the most 
lamentable thing is, that it has chosen the rough, stupid, 
and ignorant Middle Ages chiefly as its model, from which 
it occasionally passes over into the time of Francis I. of 
France, and even of Louis XIV. 

1 The beard as a semi-mask ought to be legally prohibited. It 
is "besides, as an indication of sex in the fore-front of the face, 
obscene, and this is why it pleases women. It was always the 
barometer of mental culture with the Greeks and Romans. Among 
the latter Scipio Africanus was the first who shaved himself (Plin. 
N. Hist., 1. vii., c. 59), and under the Antonines the beard ventured 
to show itself again ; Charles the Great did not tolerate it ; but in 
the Middle Ages it culminated in Henry IV. inclusive. Louis XIV. 
abolished it. 


How will its external side, preserved in pictures and 
buildings, impress itself upon posterity ? Its commercial 
demokolaks dub it, with characteristic sounding name, 
" modern times/ 1 as if the present tear ^o^t)r were a 
present which had been prepared for by all the past, and 
finally attained. With what reverence will posterity regard 
our palaces and country-houses, erected in the most miser- 
able rococo style of the time of Louis XIV. ? But they 
will scarcely know what to make of the counterfeits and 
daguerreotypes of shoeblack-physiognomies with Socratic 
beards, and of the mashers in the costume of Jewish 
hucksters, which were current in my youth. 

To the thorough-going tastelcssness of this age may be 
reckoned that, in the monuments which are erected to 
great men, they are displayed in modern costume. For the 
monument is erected totheideaZ, not to the real person; to 
the hero as such ; to the bearer of this or that quality ; to 
the originator of such works or deeds; not to the man as 
he struggled in the world, with all the weaknesses and 
faults which belong to our nature clinging to him; and 
just as these should not be glorified, so also his coat and 
his trousers as he wore them should be as little com- 
memorated. But as ideal man let him stand there in 
human form, dressed simply in the manner of the ancients, 
that is, half naked. Thus only is he suitable for sculpture, 
which, since it turns upon the mere form, demands the 
complete and undeteriorated human form. 

And as I am talking of monuments, I will further 
observe that it is a striking want of taste, indeed an 
absurdity, to place the statue upon a pedestal from ten to 
twenty feet high, where no one can ever clearly see it, 
especially as it is generally of bronze, that is, blackish. 
For seen from a distance it is not distinct, but if one 
approaches, it rises so high up, that it has the clear sky 
for a background, which dazzles the eye. In the Italian 


towns, especially in Florence and Rome, the statues stand 
in great number in the open places and streets, but all on 
quite low pedestals, in order that they may be distinctly 
seen ; even the colossal statues on Monte Caballo stand on 
a low pedestal. Thus the good taste of the Italians main- 
tains itself here. The Germans, on the contrary, are fond 
of a high tradesman's stand, with reliefs in illustration of 
the hero represented. 

My opinion on the collection of paintings of the old 
Netherland school of Boisserce, now in Munich, may find a 
place at the conclusion of this sesthetic chapter. 

A genuine work of art does not require, in order to be 
enjoyable, the preamble of a history of art. With no class 
of paintings, however, is this so much the case, as with 
those here in question. We shall at all events first rightly 
estimate their value when we have seen what painting was 
before Johann van Eyck, the style, namely, which pro- 
ceeded from Byzantium, that is, on golden ground in 
distemper, the figures without life and motion, stiff and 
rigid, with massive aureoles containing the name of the 
saint. Van Eyck as a real genius returned to nature,' gave 
to the paintings a background, to the figures a life-like 
attitude, demeanour, and grouping, to the physiognomies 
expression and truth, and to the folds accuracy. In addi- 
tion to this, he introduced perspective, and attained in 
technical execution generally the highest possible perfec- 
tion. His successors remained partly on this path, as 
Schoreel and Hemling (or Memling), and partly returned 
to the old absurdities. Even he himself was obliged to 
retain as much of these absurdities as was, according to 
ecclesiastical opinion, obligatory ; he had, for instance, still 
to make aureoles and massive rays of light. But one sees 
he has eliminated as much ^s he could. His relation 
accordingly to the spirit of the time is always a fighting 


one, just as with Schoreel and Hemling. They are con 
seouently to be judged of with reference to their time. 
The latter is responsible for the fact that their productions 
are chiefly pointless, and often tasteless, always stale and ec- 
clesiastical, as for instance " The Three Kings," " The Dying 
Virgin," " St. Christopher," " St. Luke painting the 
Virgin Mary," &c. In the same way it is the fault of 
their time that their figures hardly ever have a free and 
true human attitude and mien, but throughout make the 
ecclesiastical gestures, to wit, the forced, studied, humble, 
crawling movements of the beggar. To this must be added, 
that the above painters did not know the antique; and 
hence their figures seldom have beautiful faces, mostly 
ugly ones, and never beautiful limbs. The perspective of 
the atmosphere is wanting ; the perspective of the line is 
for the most part correct. They have all drawn from 
nature, as it was known to them, for which reason the 
expression of their faces is always true and honest, but 
never has much point ; and not one of their saints has a 
trace of that sublime and preternatural expression on the 
countenance, of true holiness, which the Italians alone 
give before all, Eaphael, and Correggio in his earlier 

One might impartially criticise the paintings in question 
thus : they have for the most part great technical per- 
fection, in the representation of the real, of heads no less 
than of drapery and material, almost as much as was 
attained long afterwards, in the seventeenth century, by 
the Netherland school proper. On the other hand, the 
noblest expression, the highest beauty, and the truest 
grace, remain foreign to them. But since these are the 
end to which technical perfection is related as means, they 
are not art- works of the first rank ; indeed they are not un- 
conditionally to be enjoyed, for the imperfections adduced, 
together with the pointless subjects, and the completely 


ecclesiastical gestures, have always first of all to be de- 
ducted, and set to the account of the time. 

Their chief service, although only with Van Eyck and his 
best pupils, consists in their illusive imitation of reality, 
attained through a clear glance into nature, and an iron 
industry in elaboration, as also in the vividness of their 
colours, a service exclusively peculiar to them. With such 
colours no painting has been done either before them or 
after them ; they are burning, and display the highest 
energy of colour ; hence these pictures, after well-nigh four 
hundred years, look as if they were painted yesterday. If 
only Raphael and Correggio had known these colours! But 
they remained a mystery of the school, and are therefore 
lost. They ought to be chemically investigated. 


AS the richest library unarranged is not so useful as a 
very moderate one well arranged, so the greatest 
amount of erudition, if it has not been elaborated by one's 
own thought, is worth much less than a far smaller 
amount that has been well thought over. For it is 
through the combination on all sides of that which one 
knows, through the comparison of every truth with every 
other, that one assimilates one's own knowledge and gets it 
into one's power. One can only think out what one knows ; 
hence one should learn something; but one only knows 
what one has thought out. 

One can only apply oneself of set purpose to reading and 
learning, but not tq, thinking proper. The latter must, 
that is, be stimulated and maintained, like fire by a 
draught of air, by some interest in the subject itself, which 
may be either a purely objective or a merely subjective 
one. The latter is only present in the case of our personal 
interest, but the former only for thinking heads by nature, 
for which thought is as natural as breath, but which are 
very rare. For this reason it is so little the case with most 

The distinction between the effect which thinking for 
oneself, and that which reading has upon the mind, is 
inconceivably great, hence it perpetually increases the 
original diversity of heads, by virtue of which a man is 


driven to the one or to the other. Beading imposes 
thoughts upon the mind which are as foreign and hetero- 
geneous to the direction and mood which it has for the 
moment, as the seal is to the wax on which it impresses its 
stamp. The mind suffers thereby an entire compulsion 
from without, to think now this, now that, for which it has 
no desire, and no capacity. In thinking for itself, on the 
other hand, it follows its own natural impulse, as either 
external circumstance or some recollection has determined 
it for the moment. Perceptual surroundings, namely, do 
not impress one definite thought upon the mind as reading 
does, but merely give it material and occasion to think that 
which is according to its nature and present disposition. 
Hence much reading deprives the mind of all elasticity, as 
a weight continually pressing upon it does a spring, and 
fche most certain means of never having any original 
thoughts is to take a book in hand at once, at every spare 
moment. This practice is the reason why scholarship 
makes most men more unintelligent and stupid than they 
are by nature, and deprives their writings of all success ; 
they are, as Pope says 

" For ever reading, never to be read. " 

POPE, "Duiiciad,"iiL, 194. 

Scholars are those who have read in books ; but thinkeiy, 
geniuses, enlighteners of the world, and benefactors of tile 
human race, are those who have directly read in the book 
of the world. 

At bottom it is only our own fundamental conceptions 
which have truth and life, for it is they alone that one 
thoroughly and correctly understands. Alien thoughts 
that we read are the remnants of another's meal, the cast- 
off clothes of a strange guest. 

The alien thought arising within us is related to our ONVU 


as the impression in stone of a plant of the early world is 
to the blooming plant of spring. 

Eeading is a mere surrogate for original thought. In 
reading, one allows one's own thoughts to be guided by 
another in leading strings. Besides, many books are only 
good for showing how many false paths there are, and how 
seriously one may miss one's way if one allows oneself to 
be guided by them ; but he whom genius guides, he, that is, 
who thinks for himself, thinks of free will, thinks correctly 
he has the compass to find out the right way. One should 
only read when the source of original thoughts fails, which 
is often enough the case even with the best heads. But to 
scare away one's own original thoughts for the sake of 
taking a book in the hand is a sin against the Holy Ghost. 
In this case, one resembles a man who runs away from free 
nature in order to look at a herbarium, or to contemplate 
a beautiful landscape in an engraving. 

Even if sometimes one may find with ease in a book 
a truth or an insight already given, which one has worked 
out slowly, and with much trouble, by one's own thinking 
and combining ; it is yet worth a hundred times more 
when one has attained it through one's original thought. 
Only then does it become as integral part, as living 
member, one with the whole system, of our thoughts ; only 
then does it stand in complete and firm cohesion with them, 
is understood in all its grounds and consequences, bears 
the colour, the shade, the stamp of our whole mode of 
thought, and this because it has come at the precise time 
that the need for it was present, and therefore sits firmly, 
secure from dispossession. Here accordingly Goethe's verse, 

" What thou hast inherited from thy fathers 
Acquire it, in order to possess it," 

finds its most perfect application and explanation. The 


self-thinker, namely, learns the authorities for his opinions 
afterwards, when they serve merely to confirm him in them 
and for his own strengthening. The book-philosopher, on 
the other hand, starts from them, in that he constructs 
a whole for himself out of the alien opinions he has read 
up, which then resembles an automaton that has been put 
together of foreign material, while the former resembles a 
living man. For in this case it has arisen like the living 
man, since the outer world has impregnated the thinking 
mind which has carried it, and given it birth. 

Truth that has only been learnt cleaves to us like a limb 
that has been stuck on a false tooth, a waxen nose, or at 
best like a genuine one of alien flesh. But that which has 
been acquired by original thought resembles the natural 
limb; it alone really belongs to us. On this rests the dis- 
tinction between the thinker and the mere scholar. Hence 
the intellectual acquirement of the self-thinker is like a fine 
painting, which stands out life-like with accurate light 
and shade, well-balanced tone, and complete harmony of 
colour. The intellectual acquirement of the mere scholar, 
on the contrary, resembles a large palette full of bright 
colours, systematically arranged indeed, but without har- 
mony, cohesion, and significance. 

Reading means thinking with an alien head, not one's 
own. But to original thought, from which a coherent 
whole, even if not a strictly rounded-off system, seeks 
to develop itself, nothing is more injurious than too 
great an influx of foreign thoughts through continual 
reading. For these, each sprung from another mind 
belonging to another system, bearing another colour, never 
of themselves flow together to form a whole of thought, of 
knowledge, of insight, and conviction, but rather set up 
a Babylonion confusion of tongues in the head, and rob the 
mind which has been filled with them of all clear insight, 


and thus almost disorganize it. This state is noticeable 
with many scholars, and the result is that they are behind 
many unlearned persons in healthy understanding, accurate 
judgment, and practical tact, the latter having always 
subordinated to and incorporated with their own thought 
what has come to them from without, through experience, 
conversation, and a little reading. The scientific thinker 
does this in a greater degree. Although he needs much 
knowledge, and therefore must read much, his mind is 
nevertheless strong enough to master all this, to assimilate 
it, to incorporate it into the system of his thoughts, and so 
to subordinate it to the organically coherent whole of a 
magnificent insight, which is always growing. In this, his 
own thinking, like the ground bass of the organ, perpetually 
dominates all, and is never drowned by foreign tones, as is 
the case with merely poly-historical heads, in which, as 
it were, musical fragments from all keys run into one 
another, and the fundamental note is no more to be heard. 

People who have occupied their life with reading, and 
who have derived their wisdom from books, resemble those 
who have acquired a correct knowledge of a country irom 
many descriptions of travel. Such persons can give infor- 
mation about much, but at bottom they havb no coherent, 
clear, fundamental knowledge of the structure of the 
country. Those, on the contrary, who have occupied their 
life with thought, resemble persons who have themselves 
been in that country. They alone know, properly speaking, 
what is in question, since they know the things there in 
their connection, and are truly at home in them. 

The ordinary book-philosopher is related to the self- 
thinker as an historical investigator to an eye-witness. 
The latter speaks from hie own direct apprehension of the 
matter. Hence all self-thinkers agree in the last resort, 


and their diversity only arises from that of their stand- 
point ; and where this does not alter anything they all say 
the same. For they only put forward what they have ob- 
jectively apprehended. I have often found propositions 
which, on account of their paradoxical nature, I only brought 
before the public with hesitation, to my agreeable surprise 
repeated in the old works of great men. The book-philo- 
Bopher, on the contrary, reports what this one has said, and 
what that one has thought, and what another has objected, 
<fcc. This he compares, weighs, criticises, and thus seeks to 
get at the truth of things, a point in which he strongly 
resembles the critical historian. Thus, for example, he will 
institute investigations as to whether Leibnitz had ever 
been for a time at any period a Spinozist, <fec. Conspicuous 
instances of what is here said are furnished to the curious 
admirer in Herbart's "Analytical Explanation of Moral 
and Natural Eight," as also in his " Letters on Freedom." 
One might well wonder at the considerable trouble which 
such a one gives himself, for it seems as though, if he would 
only fix his eye on the subject itself, he would soon, by a 
little self -thought, attain to the goal. But as to this, there 
is one small hindrance, namely that it does not depend on our 
will. One can always sit down and read, but not always 
think as well. It is, namely, with thoughts as with men, 
one cannot always have them called up at one's pleasure, 
but must wait till they come. Thought on a subject must 
make an appearance of itself by a happy, harmonious con- 
currence of the outward occasion with the inward mood 
and interest ; and it is precisely this which will never occur to 
the foregoing persons. The above finds its explanation even 
in those thoughts which concern our personal interest. If 
we under certain circumstances have to form a decision, we 
cannot well sit down at any time we choose, think over the 
reasons, and then decide ; for o^ten our reflections on the 
subject will then precisely not hold, but wander to other 


things, for which sometimes even the disinclination for the 
circumstance is responsible. We should not therefore 
attempt to force it, but wait till the mood comes of itself ; it 
will often do so unexpectedly and repeatedly, and every 
different mood at a different time throws a new light on 
the subject. This slow procedure it is which is understood 
as maturity of judgment. For the thought must be dis- 
tributed ; much that has before been overlooked will thereby 
be clear to us, and the disinclination will thereby be lost, 
since things more clearly kept in view appear in general 
much more endurable. In the same way, in theoretical de- 
partments, the right time has to be waited for, and even 
the greatest mind is not always capable of thinking for 
itself. It will do well therefore to utilize the remainder of 
the time for reading, which is, as already said, a surrogate 
of original thought, and brings- material to the mind, in 
that another thinks for us, albeit invariably in a manner 
which is not our own. For this reason one ought not 
to read too much, in order that the mind may not become 
accustomed to the surrogate, and thereby forget the thing 
itself ; in other words, that it shall not accustom itself to an 
already trodden path, and by going along an alien track of 
thought become estranged from its own. Least of all 
ought one, for the sake of reading, to withdraw oneself en- 
tirely from the view of the real world. For the occasion 
and the disposition to original thought occur incomparably 
more often here than in reading. For the perpetual, the 
real, in its originality and power, is the natural object of the 
thinking mind, and is able most easily to move it deeply. 

If these considerations are correct, we shall not wonder 
that the self -thinker and the book-pbilosopher are easily 
to be recognized by their delivery ; the former by the stamp 
of earnestness, directness, and originality, in the idiosyn- 
crasy of all his thoughts and expressions ; the latter, on 
the contrary, in that everything is pieced together at 


second hand, out of traditional notions and stuff that has 
been raked up, and is tLu? lat and dull, like the impression 
of an impression. His sljle, consisting of conventional, 
banal phrases and current tags, resembles a small state 
whose circulation consists solely in foreign money, because 
it does not itself coin. 

Mere experience can replace thought just as little as 
reading. Pure empiricism is related to thinking as eating 
is to digestion and assimilation. When the former boasts 
that it alone, through its discoveries, has furthered human 
knowledge, it is as though the mouth should boast that the 
maintenance of the body was its work alone. 

The works of all really competent heads distinguish 
themselves from the rest by their character of decisiveness 
and definiteness, together with the distinctness and clear- 
ness springing therefrom, for such heads always know de- 
finitely and distinctly what they want to express, be it 
in prose, in verse, or in sounds. This decisiveness and 
clearness is wanting in the rest, and in this they may be 
at once recognized. 

The characteristic sign of minds of the first order is the 
immediateness of all their judgments. All that they bring 
forward is the result of their own thinking, and every- 
where proclaims itself as such by its delivery. They accor- 
dingly, like princes, have an imperial immediacy in the 
empire of mind ; the rest are all mediatized, as may be 
easily seen from their style, which has no original stamp. 

Every true self-thinker thus resembles pro tanto a 
monarch ; he is immediate, and recognizes no one above 
himself. His judgments, like the decisions of a monarch, 
spring from his own supreme power, proceed directly from 
himself. For just as little as f he monarch does he accept 
commands and authorizations, but lets nothing obtain that 


he has not confirmed himself. The common herd of heads, 
on the other hand, entangled in all sorts of opinions, 
authorities, and prejudices, resemble the people who silently 
obey his law and mandate. 

Those persons who are so zealous and hasty in deciding 
most questions by the quotation of authorities, are glad 
when, instead of their own understanding and insight, 
which is wanting, they can bring into the field someone 
else's. Their number is legion, for as Seneca says : " Unus 
quisque mavult credere, quam judicare" In their contro- 
versies, authorities are the universally chosen weapons. 
With them they attack each other, and he who happens to 
be mixed up in them is badly advised if he attempt to de- 
fend himself with reasons and arguments. For against 
these weapons they are horned Siegfrieds, dipped in the 
flood of incapacity to think and to judge. They will 
therefore hold up their authorities before him as an argu- 
mentum ad verecundiam, and then cry Victoria ! 

In the realm of reality, however beautiful, happy, and 
cheerful it may happen to be, we move ourselves con- 
tinuously under the influence of an oppression, which has 
ceaselessly to be overcome ; while in the realm of thought 
we are incorporeal spirits, without weight and without 
trouble. There is, therefore, no happiness on earth like 
that which a beautiful and fruitful mind in a happy hour 
finds in itself. 

The presence of a thought is like the presence of a loved 
one. We deem that we shall never forget this thought, 
and that this loved one can never become indifferent to us. 
^ut out of sight, out of mini ! The most beautiful thought 
the risk of being irrevocably forgotten if it is not 


Written down, and the loved one to be torn from us if she 
has\not been wedded. 

There are many thoughts which have a value for him 
who thinks them, but few only among them which possess 
the power of acting through re-percussion or reflection, 
that is, after they have been written down, to gain the 
reader's interest. 

But as regards this, that only has true worth which one 
has in the first instance thought out for oneself. One 
may divide thinkers into such as at first think for 
themselves, and such as at once think for others. The 
former are the genuine self-thinkers in the double sense of 
the word ; they are the true philosophers. For they alone 
take the matter seriously. The pleasure and happiness of 
their existence, indeed, consists in thinking. The others 
are the sophists ; they wish to appear and seek their happi- 
ness in that which they hope thereby to obtain from others ; 
herein lies their seriousness. To which of these two classes 
a writer belongs, may be easily recognized by his whole 
style and manner. Lichtenberg is an example of the first 
kind, Herder already belongs to the second. 

If one considers how great and how near us is the pro- 
Hem of existence, of this ambiguous, tormented, fleeting, 
dream-like existence ; so great and so near, that as soon 
as one is aware of it, all other problems and purposes are 
overshadowed and hidden by it ; and if one keeps before 
one's eyes how all men, with few and rare exceptions, are 
never clearly conscious of this problem, seeming indeed not 
to be possessed of it, but to trouble themselves rather 
about anything else than about it, and are concerned 
only for the present day, and for the scarcely longer span 
of their personal future, either expressly declining the 


problem in question, or willingly contenting themselves in 
respect of it with any system of popular metaphysics ; when 
one, I say, well considers this, one might almost be of the 
opinion that man could only in a very general sense be 
called a thinJcing being, and one might wonder at no trait of 
thoughtlessness or simplicity, but rather recognize that 
the intellectual scope of the average man, although it 
indeed transcends that of the animal (unconscious of its 
whole existence, future and past, and living, as it were, a 
single present), but yet not so incalculably removed as 
one is accustomed to imagine. 

It is in accordance with the above, that in conversa- 
tion one finds the thoughts of most men clipped as short 
as chopped straw, and therefore not admitting of any 
longer thread being spun out of them. 

It would be impossible, moreover, if this world were 
peopled by merely thinking beings, that noise of every 
kind should be allowed and given such unlimited scope, 
even the most horrible and purposeless. If nature had 
intended man for thinking, she would never have given 
him ears, or would at least, as with the bats, whom I envy 
on this account, have furnished him with air-tight covers. 
But he, like the rest, is in truth a poor creature, whose 
powers are merely directed to the maintenance of his exis- 
tence, for which reason he always requires open ears, which 
unsolicited, and by night as well as by day, announce the 
approach of the persecutor. 


I" GNORANCE first degrades a man when it is met with 
X in company with riches. The poor man is crushed by 
his poverty and distress; his work takes the place of 
knowledge with him, and occupies his thoughts. The rich, 
on the contrary, who are ignorant, live merely for their 
lusts, and resemble brutes, as may daily be seen. To this 
is to be added further, the reproach that they have not 
used their riches and leisure for that which gives them 
their greatest value. 

When we read, another thinks for us ; we merely repeat 
his mental process. It is as when in learning to write 
the pupil follows with his pen the strokes that have been 
made in pencil by the teacher. In reading, accordiDgly, 
we are relieved of the greater part of the work of thinking. 
Hence the perceptible relief when we pass from the occu- 
pation of our own thoughts to reading. But while we 
read, our head is, properly speaking, only the arena of 
alien thoughts. Hence it is, that he who reads very much 
and almost the whole day, amusing him self in the intervals 
of his reading with thoughtless pastime, gradually loses 
the capacity even to think, just as one who always rides 
at last forgets how to walk. But such is the case with 
many scholars; they have read themselves stupid. For 
perpetual reading recurred to immediately at every free 
moment cripples the mind more than perpetual work with 


the hands, for with the latter one can always follow one's 
own thoughts. Just as a spring by the continuous pres- 
sure of a foreign body loses its elasticity, so does the mind 
through the continuous pressure of foreign thoughts. Just 
as one injures the stomach by too much aliment, and 
thereby damages the whole body, so the mind may be 
clogged and suffocated by too much intellectual nourish- 
ment. For the more one reads the fewer traces does what 
is read leave on the mind. It is like a tablet on which 
many things have been written over one another. It never 
comes to rumination therefore ; but it is only by this 
that one makes what one reads one's own. If one reads 
incessantly, without afterwards thinking further upon it, 
it does not take root, and gets for the most part lost. For 
it is precisely the same with the intellectual nourishment 
as with the corporeal ; scarcely the fiftieth part of what 
we take is assimilated, the rest passes off through evapora- 
tion, respiration, or otherwise. 

In addition to all this, thoughts reduced to paper are 
nothing more than the footprint of a wayfarer in the sand ; 
one sees well enough the way which he has taken, but in 
order to know what he saw on the way we must use our 
own eyes. 

There is no literary quality, as, for example, persuasive 
power, wealth of imagery, the gift of comparison, bold- 
ness, or bitterness, or brevity, or grace, or facility of 
expression ; or again, wit, striking contrasts, a laconic 
style, naivetd, &c., which we can acquire by reading authors 
who possess such qualities. But we may nevertheless 
call forth thereby these qualities in ourselves if we already 
possess them as disposition, that is, in potentia, and bring 
them to our consciousness ; we can see all that is to be done 
with them, we can be strengthened in the inclination, or 


indeed in the courage to use them; we can judge by 
instances of the effect of their application, and so lean* the 
right employment of them, after which we assuredly first 
possess them in actu. This then is the only way in which 
reading educates to writing, inasmuch as it teaches us the 
use we can make of our own natural gifts, always suppos- 
ing of course that we possess these ; without them, on the 
contrary, we can learn nothing by reading but cold, dead 
mannerisms, and become arid imitators. 

As the strata of the earth preserve the living beings of 
past epochs in their order, so the shelves of libraries 
preserve in their order past errors and their expositions, 
which, like the former, in their time, were living enough 
and made much noise, but exist now stiff and petrified, 
only to be contemplated by the literary paleontologist. 

Xerxes, according to Herodotus, wepf at the sight of 
hid countless host, when he thought that of all these not 
one would be in life after a hundred years. Who would 
not weep at the sight of a thick catalogue, when he con- 
siders that of all these books, after ten years, none will any 
longer be alive ? 

In literature it is not otherwise than in life. Wherever 
one turns, one encounters immediately the incorrigible 
common herd of humanity present everywhere in legions, 
filling everything and defiling everything, like flies in 
summer. Hence the number of bad books, those rank 
weeds of literature, which withdraw the nourishment from 
the wheat and choke it. They absorb, namely, the time, 
the money, the attention of the public, which belong of 
right to the good books and their noble purposes, while 
they themselves are merely written with the intention of 
bringing in money or procuring places; hence they are not 


merely useless, but positively injurious. Nine-tenths of 
our whole modern literature has no other purpose than tot 
swindle the public of a few thalers out of its pocket. 
Author, publisher, and reviewer are in a conspiracy to do 

It is a mean and base, but not inconsiderable trick, which 
the litterateurs, bread-and-butter writers and scribblers, 
have succeeded in playing off on the good taste and the 
true culture of the period, in that they have brought 
things so far as to have the whole elegant world in lead- 
ing-strings, so that the latter has been condemned to 
read a tempo, to wit, that all must read the same thing, 
and that the newest, in order to have material for conver- 
sation in its circles. For to this end serve bad novels 
and similar productions from once celebrated pens, aB 
formerly those of Spindler, Bulwer, Eugene Sue, &c. But 
what can be more miserable than the fate of such a belle- 
tristiQ public, which deems itself in duty bound to read, 
always to read, the latest scribblings of the most ordinary 
heads who merely write for money, and are therefore 
invariably to be had in crowds, and, in consequence, to 
know the works of the rare and deep-thinking minds of all 
times and countries merely by name! The belletristic 
daily press is especially a cunningly devised plan to rob 
the aesthetic public of the time which it should devote for 
the sake of its culture to the genuine productions in this 
department, in order that it may accrue to the daily 
twaddlings of these everyday minds. 

Hence, in respect of our reading, the art not to read is 
extremely important. It consists in that, what at all times 
occupies the greater public, should for this very reason not 
be taken in hand, as, for instance, political or ecclesiastical 
pamphlets, novels, poems, &c., and this notwithstanding 
that they make much noise, and reach many editions in 
their first and last year of life. But rather let us remember 


that be who writes for fools will always find a large public, 
and let us turn the always comparatively short time we 
have for reading exclusively to the works of the great 
minds of all times and peoples, which tower above the rest 
of humanity, and which the voice of fame indicates as such. 
These only really educate and instruct. We can never 
read the bad too little, nor the good too often ; bad books 
are intellectual poison, they destroy the mind. Because 
people, instead of reading the best of all times, only read 
the newest, writers remain in the narrow circle of circu- 
lating ideas, and the age sinks ever deeper into the slough 
of its own filth. 

There are at all times two literatures which go along a 
parallel course tolerably independent of each other ; a real, 
and a merely apparent. The former grows to be enduring 
literature, carried on by persons who live for science or 
poetry; it goes its way seriously and quietly, but with 
exceeding slowness ; produces in Europe scarcely a dozen 
works in a century, which works however endure. The 
other, carried on by persons who live on science or poetry, 
goes in a gallop, amid the great noise and applause of those 
interested, and brings yearly many thousand works to 
market. But after a few years one asks, Where are they ? 
Where is their so early and so loud fame? One may 
therefore designate the latter as the floating, the former as 
the standing literature. 

In the history of the world, half a century is always con- 
siderable, since its material is always flowing on, inasmuch 
as something is always happening. In the history of 
literature, on the other hand, the same period of time is 
often not to be reckoned at all, since nothing has hap- 
pened, for clumsy attempts do not concern it. One is, in 
this case, where one was fifty years before. 

In order to make this dear, let us view the progress of 


knowledge in the human race tinder the figure of a plane- 
tary orbit. Let us then represent the deviations which it 
mostly acquires after every important progress, by Ptole- 
maic epicycles, after passing through each of which it is 
again where it was before the deviation began. The great 
heads, however, which really lead the race farther along 
this planetary orbit, do not participate in the recurring 
epicycle. From this is to be explained why the fame of 
posterity is generally paid for by the loss of the applau&a 
of contemporaries, and vice versd. Such an epicycle is, for 
example, the philosophy of Fichte and Schelling, crowned 
at its close by the Hegelian caricature of it. This epicycle 
began from the last circle described by Kant, which I have 
since again resumed in order to carry it farther. But in 
the meantime the above sham philosophers, together with 
sundry others, have passed through their epicycle, which is 
now just completed, the public which has gone with them 
having become aware that it finds itself precisely where it 
was at starting. 

With this progress of things is connected the fact that 
we see the scientific, literary, and artistic spirit of the 
age make a declaration of bankruptcy about every thirty 
years. During such a period, the recurring errors have so 
increased, that they collapse under the weight of their 
absurdity, and at the same time the opposition to them 
has strengthened. The position is now reversed; there 
often follows now an error in the opposite direction. To 
show this course of things in its periodical return would 
be the correct pragmatical material of literary history, but 
with that the latter troubles itself little. The data of 
such periods, moreover, are, on account of their comparative 
shortness, often difficult to bring together from distant 
ages ; and hence one can observe the matter most con- 
veniently in one's own age. If one requires an illustration 
from the real sciences, one might take Werner's " Geology 


of Neptune." But I stand by the illustration already given, 
which lies nearest to us. There followed in German philo- 
sophy upon the brilliant period of Kant, another imme- 
diately after, in which the endeavour was not to convince 
but to impress; instead of being deep and clear, to be bril- 
liant and hyperbolical, but especially to be incomprehen- 
sible; indeed, instead of seeking the truth, to intrigue. In 
this way philosophy could make no progress. Finally, there 
came the bankruptcy of this entire school and method. 
For in Hegel and his consorts, the barefacedness of non- 
sense on the one side, and of unconscientious glorification 
on the other, together with the obvious intention of the 
whole edifying procedure, reached such a colossal magni- 
tude, that at last the eyes of all were opened to the whole 
charlatanry ; and, as in consequence of certain disclosures, 
protection from above was withdrawn from the concern, so 
was also the applause. The Fichtian and Schellingian ante- 
cedents of this most miserable of all philosophizings that 
has ever been, were dragged by it into the abyss of dis- 
credit. Thereby appears the complete philosophical in- 
competence of Q-ermany, during the first half of the cen- 
tury following upon Kant, and yet, notwithstanding, we 
boast in the face of foreign nations of the philosophical 
gifts of the Germans, especially since an English writer 
has had the malicious irony to call them a nation of 

But he who desires to have confirmation from the 
history of art of the general theory of epicycles here put 
forward, need only consider the flourishing school of 
sculpture of Bernini, in the last century, especially in its 
French development, which represents, instead of antique 
beauty, common nature, and instead of antique simplicity 
and grace, French ball-room etiquette. It became bank- 
rupt when, after Winckelmarn's criticism, there followed 
the return to the school of the ancients. The first quarter 


of this century again furnishes a confirmation from 
painting, since it regarded the art as a mere means and 
installment of mediaeval religiosity, and hence chose eccle- 
siastical subjects for its exclusive theme. These were 
now treated by painters who lacked the true serious- 
ness of that belief, but who, nevertheless, in consequence 
of the delusion in question, took as models Francesco 
Francia, Pietro Perrugino, Angelo da Fiesole, and similar 
painters, and valued these even more highly than the 
really great masters who followed them. In connection 
with this craze, and because an analogous attempt had 
made itself apparent at the same time in poetry, Goethe 
wrote the parable " Priest-play." The latter school was 
thereupon seen to be based on whims, became bank- 
rupt, and there followed upon it the return to nature, 
announcing itself in genre pictures, and scenes from life of 
every kind, even though at times they ran into the common- 

In accordance with the course of human progress de- 
scribed, is literary -history, which is for the most part a 
catalogue of a cabinet of abortions. The spirit in which 
these preserve themselves the longest is swine-leather. 
On the other hand, one does not require to seek for the 
few successful births. They remain living, and one en- 
counters them everywhere in the world, where they go 
about immortal, in an ever-fresh youth. They alone con- 
stitute the real literature referred to in the preceding 
paragraph, a literature of whose history, poor in persona- 
lities, we learn from youth upwards from all educated 
persons, and not first of all from compendiums. Against 
the monomania for reading literary history dominant aow- 
a-days, in order to be able to gossip about everything, 
without properly knowing anything, I recommend an 
extremely readable passage from Lichtenberg, YO]. ii. t 
p* 302, of the old edition. 


I could wish, however, that someone would attempt once 
in a way a tragical literary-history, in which he would de- 
scribe how the different nations, each of which places its 
highest prize in the great writers and artists whom it has 
to show, have treated them during their lives. In this he 
would bring before our eyes that endless struggle which 
the good and genuine of all times and countries has had to 
wage against the mistaken and bad which is always domi- 
nant ; the martyrdom of almost all true enlighteners of man- 
kind, of almost all great masters, in every department and 
art, would be described ; he would bring before us how they, 
with few exceptions, have languished without recognition, 
without interest, without disciples, in poverty and misery, 
while fame, honour, and riches were the lot of the un- 
worthy in their calling ; how, in short, it has gone with 
them, as with Esau, who hunted and killed game for his 
father, while Jacob disguised in his cloak was at home 
stealing his father's blessing ; how, nevertheless, notwith- 
standing all this, love for their cause kept them upright, 
till at last the bitter struggle of such an educator of the 
human race was accomplished, the undying laurel beckoned 
to him, and the hour struck, which meant that for him 

" The heavy armour vanishes to a toy ; 
Short is the sorrow, endless is the joy. 1 ' 


BETTER than Schiller's well-meditated poem, "The 
Dignity of Woman/' effective though it be by means 
;> antithesis and contrast, these few words of Jouy's express 
in my opinion, the true praise of women : " Sans lesfemmes, 
le commencement de noire vie serait privS de secours, le milieu 
de plaisir, et la fin de consolation." Byron expresses the 
same more pathetically in his " Sardanapalus " (act 1, 

scene 2) 

"The very first 

Of human life must spring from woman's breast ; 
Your first small words are taught you from her lips, 
Your first tears quench'd by her, and your last sighs 
Too often breathed out in a woman's hearing, 
When men have shrunk from the ignoble care 
Of watching the last hour of him who led them."! 

Both indicate the correct point of view as to the value of 

The very look of the female form teaches us that woman 
is made neither for great intellectual nor corporeal labours. 
She bears the guilt of life, not in doing, but in suffering ; 
in the pains of childbirth, the care for the child, subordi- 
nation to the man, for whom she ought to be a patient and 
cheerful companion. The severest sorrows, joys, and mani- 
festations of power do not fall to her lot ; but her life 
should flow on more quietly, more insignificantly, and 
more mildly than that of the jnan, without its being essen- 
tially more happy or more unhappy. 

ON WOMEN. 839 

As nurses and educators of our first childhood, women 
ar? suited, precisely in that they are themselves chiHish, 
simple, and short-sighted, in a word, are their whole life 
grown-up children a kind of middle step between the 
child and the man, who is the true human being. Only 
look at a girl, how for days together she plays with a 
child, dances and sings with it, and think what a man 
with the best intentions could accomplish in her place. 
Nature has destined the girl to produce what in a dramatic 
sense is called a startling effect, inasmuch as it has fur- 
nished her for a few years with superabundant beauty, 
fascination, and fullness, at the cost of her whole remaining 
lifetime, in order that during these years she may be able to 
conquer the imagination of a man to the extent that he shall 
be so far carried away as to honourably undertake in some 
form or shape the care of her for life ; a step for which mere 
reasonable deliberation seems to give no adequate security. 
Nature has accordingly armed the woman, like every other 
creation of hers, with the weapons and instruments which 
she requires for the assurance of her subsistence, and at 
the time she requires it, a course in which she has pro- 
ceeded with her usual economy. For as the female ant 
after copulation loses the henceforth superfluous and, in- 
deed, as regards breeding, dangerous wings, so after one or 
two childbeds does the woman generally lose* her beauty, 
and probably for the same reason. 

In accordance with the above, young girls regard their 
domestic or business avocations in their hearts as a sub- 
ordinate matter, or even as a mere joke. They deem love, 
its conquests, and what stands in connection with them, 
such as toilette, dance, &c., to be their only serious 

The nobler and the more perfect a thing is, by so much 
the later and more slowly does it attain to maturity. The 


man hardly reaches the maturity of his reason and intelleo- 
tur 1 poAvers before his eiglit-and-twentieth year, the woman 
with her eighteenth. But she has a reason in accordance, 
a very circumscribed one. Hence women remain theil 
whole life long, children, never see more than what is 
nearest to them, cling to the present time, take the appear- 
ance of things for the reality, and prefer trivialities to the 
most important subjects. Reason is that, namely, by virtue 
of which man does not, like the animal, live merely in the 
present, but casts his eye over and considers the past and the 
future, whence arises his foresight, his care, and his frequent 
depression. The woman, in consequence of her weaker 
intellect, participates less in the advantages, as in the dis- 
advantages, which this brings with it. She is rather an in- 
tellectual myope whose intuitive understanding sees dis- 
tinctly what is near, but has a narrow range of vision, which 
does not embrace the distant. Hence all that is absent, 
past and future, affects women much more feebly than 
ourselves, whence arises the tendency to extravagance so. 
much more frequent with them, and sometimes appro^ch- 
ing insanity. Women think in their hearts the destiny of 
men to be to earn money, while their own is to get through 
it, if possible during the lifetime of the man, at all events 
after his death. That the man gives over to them his 
earnings for housekeeping, strengthens them in this belief. 
Notwithstanding the many disadvantages which it brings 
with it, it has nevertheless the good side, that the woman 
is more absorbed in the present than ourselves, and there- 
fore enjoys it better, if it is at all endurable, from which 
circumstance the special cheerfulness of woman proceeds, 
and makes her suited to the recreation, and, in case of 
need, consolation, of the man burdened with care. 

In difficult crises, to take women into counsel, in the. 
manner of the ancient Germans, is by no means unad- 
visable ; for their way of apprehending things is quite 

ON WOMEN. 34j 

different from ours, more especially in that they like to 
go the shortest way to the goal, and generally keep in 
view what lies nearest them, which we, just because it 
is immediately under our nose, generally overlook, in which 
case we have need to be led back to it, in order to re- 
gain the near and simple view. To this may be added 
that women are decidedly more objective than we are, and 
thus see no more in things than is really there; while 
we, when our passions are excited, easily magnify the 
existent, or add to it what is imaginary. 

We may trace to the same source the fact, that women 
have more pity, and therefore show more human love and 
sympathy for the unhappy, than men ; while in the matter 
of justice, honesty, and conscientiousness, they are behind 
them. For in consequence of their weak intellect, the 
actual, the perceptible, the immediately real, exercises a 
power over them against which abstract ideas, permanent 
maxims, firm determinations, consideration for the past 
and the future, for the absent and the distant, can seldom 
accomplish much. They have therefore the first and 
most essential requisite of virtue, but they lack the 
secondary and often necessary instrument. One might 
compare them in this respect to an organism which 
possessed indeed the liver but not the gall-bladder. I 
refer the reader as to this to 17 of my " Treatise on 
the Foundation of Morality." In accordance with the 
foregoing we find injustice as the fundamental failing of 
the female character. It arises immediately from the 
want of reason and reflection above alluded to, and is 
assisted by the fact that they, as the weaker, are driven 
by nature to have recourse not to force but to cunning ; 
hence their instinctive treachery, and their irremediable 
tendency to lying. For as nature has armed the lion with 
daws and teeth, the elephant and the wild boar with 
tusks, the bull with horns, and the sepia with ink which 


blackens water, so lias nature armed woman with power of 
deception for her protection, and all the force with which 
she has endowed the man, in the shape of corporeal strength 
and reason, has been diverted in the woman into the form 
of the above gift. Deception is therefore born in her, and is 
almost as much the property of the stupid as of the clever 
woman. To make use of it on every occasion is hence as 
natural to her as it is to the animals in question when 
attacked to employ their weapons, and she feels it, to a 
certain extent, as making use of her right. For this reason 
a perfectly true, unsophisticated woman is almost impos- 
sible. For the same reason they see through deception in 
others so easily, that it is not advisable to attempt it as 
regards them. But from the fundamental failing indicated 
and its accessories, arises falseness, disloyalty, treachery, 
ingratitude, <fcc. Women are much more often guilty of 
judicial perjury than men t indeed it may be fairly ques- 
tioned whether they ought to be allowed to take an oath. 
The case has repeated itself everywhere, from time to time, 
of ladies who wanted for nothing, going into a shop and 
secretly pocketing and stealing something. 

Young, strong, and fine men are called by nature for 
the propagation of the human race, in order that the race 
may not deteriorate. This is the fixed WILL of nature, 
and the passions of women are its expression. This law 
takes the precedence in age and force of every other. Woe 
therefore to him who so places his rights and interests that 
they stand in the way of it ; no matter what he says and 
does, they will be mercilessly crushed on the first important 
occasion. For the secret, unexpressed, and indeed uncon- 
scious but inborn morality of women is : " We are justified 
in deceiving those who, because they barely provide for 
us, the individual, think they have acquired a right over 
the species. The structure and Consequently the welfare of 

ON WOMEN. 843 

the species is placed in our hands by means of generation, 
which immediately proceeds from us, and is entrusted to our 
care; we will conscientiously manage it." Women however 
are by no means conscious of this first principle in abstract*), 
but merely in concrete, and have no other expression for it 
than their mode of action when the opportunity comes, in 
which their conscience allows them generally more rest 
than we might suppose, since they feel, in the darkest re- 
cesses of their heart, that by the breach of their duty to the 
individual, they have so much the better fulfilled that 
towards the species, whose right is infinitely greater. The 
more detailed discussion of this matter will be found in the 
44th chapter of the second volume of my chief work. 

Because in the last resort, women exist solely for the 
propagation of the race, in which their destiny is exhausted, 
they live altogether more in the species than in individuals ; 
in their heart they regard the affairs of the species as 
more serious than those of the individual. This gives to 
their whole being and action a certain frivolity, and 
altogether a fundamentally different direction from that 
of the man, from which cause arises the so frequent and 
almost normal want of agreement in marriage. 

Between men there is by nature merely indifference, but 
between women there is enmity even by nature. It cornea 
from the fact that the odium figulinum, which with men is 
limited to their particular guild, with women embraces the 
whole sex, since they have all only one trade. Even when 
they meet one another in the street, they look at each other 
like Guelfs and Ghibellines. Two women, moreover, on 
their first acquaintance, encounter each other with more 
embarrassment and dissimulation than two men in the like 
case. Hence the mutual complimenting of two women 
appears much more ridiculous than that of two men. 
Further, while the man as a rule speaks with a certain 


consideration and humanity, even to one who is far beneath 
him, it is unbearable to see how proudly and brutally, for 
the most part, an aristocratic woman conducts herself 
towards one in a lower position, even though not in her 
service, when she speaks to her. It may arise from the fact 
that all distinction of rank is much more precarious with 
them than with us, and can be altered and abolished much 
more rapidly ; since while with us a hundred things come 
into the scale, with them only one decides, to wit, which 
man they have pleased ; as also from the fact that they, be- 
cause of the onesidedness of their calling, stand much 
nearer to one another than men do, and for this reason 
seek to exaggerate class distinctions. \^,/ 

Only the male intellect befogged through the sexual 
impulse could call that undersized, narrow- shouldered, 
broad-hipped, and short-legged sex, fair ; for in the sexual 
impulse resides its whole beauty. With more justice than 
the fair sex, one might call the female the uncesthetic sex. 
Neither for music nor for poetry nor for the plastic arts have 
they really and truly any sense and receptivity, but they 
merely ape it for the sake of making themselves attractive, 
when they pretend and affect to have it. For they are capable 
of no purely objective interest in anything whatever, the 
reason of which is, as I take it, the following : The man 
strives in all for a direct mastery over the things, either by 
understanding them or by compelling them. But the 
woman is always and everywhere driven to a mere indirect 
mastery, namely, by means of the man, whom alone she has 
directly to master. It lies therefore in the nature of 
women to regard everything solely as a means to win the 
man, their interest in anything else whatever being never 
more than a simulated one, a mere detour, which ends 
iu coquetry and aping. Hen 36 Rousseau has truly said: 
" Lee femmes en general riaiment aucune <vrt t ne ee con- 


naissent d aucun, et n'ont aucun genie " (Letire a d'Alem- 
bert, note xx). Everyone indeed wha^jtas got beyond 
appearances will have long since observed it. One need 
only notice the direction and manner of their attention at 
a concert, an opera, and a play ; for instance, look at the 
childish innocence with which during the finest passages of 
the greatest masterpieces they continue their chatter. If 
the Greeks in reality did not admit their women to the 
drama they only did right ; one would at least have been 
able to heai something in their theatres. For our own time 
one ought to add to the taceat mulier in ecclesia a taceat 
mulier in theatro, or to substitute it and to place it in 
large letters on the curtain of the theatre. One can expect 
nothing else from women, when one considers that the 
most eminent heads of the whole sex have never been 
able to produce a single really great, genuine, and original 
achievement in the fine arts, and have never once given the 
world a work of lasting value. This is most striking as 
regards painting, the technique of which is at least as 
suited to them as it is to us, and which they pursue 
industriously enough, but nevertheless have no single 
great painting to show, for they are wanting in all 
objectivity of mind, a thing that painting most directly 
demands; they always remain in the subjective. This 
accounts for the fact that the general run of them have 
properly-speaking not even receptivity for it, for natura non 
fadt saltus. Huarte in his, for the last three hundred years, 
celebrated book, " Exainen de ingenios para las sciencias/' ' 

1 Juan Huarte, "Examen de ingenios para las sciencias ' (Am 
beres, 1603), Prohemio, p. 6: " La compostura natural, que la muger 
tiene en el celebro, no es capaz de mucho ingenio ni de mucha sabi- 
duria." Cap. 15 (p. 382) : " Quedando la muger en su disposition 
natural, todo genero de letras y sabiduria, es repugn an ta a su 
ingenio." Cap. 15 (pp. 397, 398) . " Las kembras (por razon de la 
frialdad y humedad de su sexo) no pueden alcur^ar ingenio pro 


denies to women all higher capacity. Individual and 
partial exceptions do not alter the fact that women are and 
remain, taken as a whole, the most inveterate and incurable 
of Philistines. Hence it is, that owing to the absurd 
arrangement that they share the position and title of the 
man, they are the continuous spurs of his ignoble ambi- 
tion ; and what is more, owing to the same quality their 
domination and influence is the ruination of modern 
society. In respect of the first, one should take the saying 
of Napoleon I. as a clue : " Lesfemmes n'ont pas de rang," 
and for the rest Charnf ort very rightly says : " Elles sont 
faites pour commercer avec nos faiblesses, avec noire folie, 
mais non avec noire raison. II existe enire elles et les 
hommes des sympathie d'epiderme, et tres-peu de sympathies 
d' esprit d'dme et de caractere" They are the sexus sequior, 
the, in every respect backward, secondary sex, whose 
weaknesses we should accordingly spare, but to show 
honour to which is, to the last degree, ridiculous, and 
lowers us in their own eyes. When nature split the human 
race into two halves she did not make the division quite 
through the middle. With all polarity, the distinction 
between the positive and the negative pole is no merely 
qualitative, but at the same time a quantitative one. It is 
thus that the ancients and the oriental peoples regarded 
women, and accordingly recognized much more correctly 
the place belonging to them than we, with our old French 
gallantry and tasteless woman- worship, that highest bloom 
of Germano-Chnstian stupidity, which has only served to 
make them arrogant and callous ; so much so that one is 
sometimes reminded of the holy apes in Benares, who, in the 
consciousness of their holiness and invulnerability, deem 
that anything and everything is permitted to them. 

Woman in the west, especially " the lady," finds herself 
fundo : solo veemos que hablan -,on alguna aparenciade habilidad, 
en materias livianas y faciles," &c. 

ON WOMEN. 347 

in a false position. For woman, rightly termed by the 
ancients the sexus sequior, is in no wise suited to be the 
object of our honour and veneration, to carry her head 
higher than the man or even to have equal rights with him. 
The consequences of this false position we sufficiently see. 
It would be very desirable therefore that even in Europe 
this number two of the human race should be again re 
ferred to her natural place, and that a term should be put 
to the lady-nonsense, at which not only all Asia laughs, 
but at which Greece and Rome would also have laughed. 
The consequence of this in a social, civil, and political 
connection, would be' inconceivably advantageous. The 
Salic Law as a superfluous truism, ought not to be at all ne- 
cessary. The essentially European " lady " is a being which 
ought not to exist at all; but there ought to be housewives, 
and girls who hope to become so, and who are therefore 
educated, not to arrogance, but to domesticity and subordi- 
nation. Precisely because there are ladies in Europe, the 
women of the lower classes, that is, the great majority of 
the sex, are much more unhappy than in the East. Even 
Lord Byron says (" Letters and Journals," by Th. Moore, 
vol. ii., p. 399) : " Thought of the state of women under the 
ancient Greeks convenient enough. Present state, a 
remnant of the barbarism of the chivalry of the feudal ages 
artificial and unnatural. They ought to mind home, 
and be well fed and clothed, but not mixed in society. 
Well educated, too, in religion, but to read neither poetry 
nor politics, nothing but books of piety and cookery. 
Music, drawing, dancing, also a little gardening and 
ploughing now and then. I have seen them mending the 
roads in Epirus with good success. Why not, as well as 
haymaking and milking ? " 

The European marriage laws treat the woman as the 
equal of the man, in other words, proceed on an incorrect 


assumption. In our monogamic continent marriage means 
to halve one's rights and to double one's duties. When 
the laws conceded equal rights to women with men, they 
ought to have endowed them with a male reason. The 
more, however, the rights and honours which the law 
concedes to the woman outweigh the natural proportion, 
by so much the more do they diminish the number of 
women who really participate in these privileges, and take 
from all the rest so much of their natural rights as they 
have given the others in excess of them. For with the 
unnaturally privileged position which the monogamic in- 
stitution and the marriage laws connected with it impart 
to the woman (inasmuch as they regard the woman through- 
out as the full equivalent of the man, which she in no 
respect is), prudent and judicious men are very often 
cautious in making so great a sacrifice and entering upon 
such an unequal compact. While, therefore, among the 
polygamic nations every woman is cared for, with our mono- 
gamic peoples the number of married women is limited, and 
there remains a mass of unsupported women, who in the 
higher classes vegetate as useless old maids, but in the 
lower are forced to heavy labour, which is unsuited to them,, 
or else to become street-walkers, who lead a life as joyless as' 
disgraceful, but who are under such circumstances necessary 
for the satisfaction of the male sex, and hence exist as a 
publicly recognized order, with the special object of pre- 
serving from seduction the women, favoured by fortune, 
who have found husbands or hope to find them. In London 
alone there are 80,000 of them. What else, then, are these 
than women who have suffered the most fearful privations 
in consequence of the monogamic institution real human 
sacrifices on the altar of monogamy? All the women 
above mentioned, who are placed in such a wretched posi- 
tion, are the inevitable counterpart of the European lady 
vith her pretension and arrogance For the female sex, 

ON WOMEN. 349 

considered as a whole, polygamy is therefore a real benefit. 
On the other hand, no valid reason can be seen why a man 
whose wife suffers from a chronic complaint, or remains 
barren, or has become gradually too old for him, should 
not take a second. What gains so many converts to the 
Mormons seems to be precisely the surrender of this un- 
natural monogamy. But besides the imparting of unnatural 
rights to the woman, it lays upon her unnatural duties, the 
neglect of which nevertheless makes her unhappy. For 
many a man, namely, considerations of class or of means, 
make marriage unadvisable, provided there are no brilliant 
conditions attached to it. He will then wish to obtain a 
wife under other circumstances which assure the lot of her 
and her children. Let these be as fair as they may, as 
reasonable, and as suited to the case, yet if she consents, 
just because she has no position in the disproportionate 
rights which marriage alone gives, she will, because 
marriage is the basis of civil society, be in a certain degree 
dishonoured, and have to lead an unhappy life, inasmuch 
as human nature implies that we attach an exaggerated 
value to the opinion of others. Supposing, on the other 
hand, she does not consent, she incurs the danger of either 
having to belong to a man who is repellant to her, or of 
drying up as an old maid, for the period of her availability 
is very short. As regards this side of our monogamic in- 
stitution, the learned treatise of Thorn asius, " JDe concubi- 
natu," is very well worth reading, inasmuch as one sees 
from it that with all cultured peoples and at all times, 
down to the Lutheran Reformation, the concubinate was 
admitted, and indeed, to a certain extent, was a legally re- 
cognized institution, which was merely overthrown from 
this position by the Lutheran Eeformation, which recog- 
nized in its abolition one more means for the justification 
of the marriage of the clergv, whereupon of course the 
Catholic side could not remain behindhand. 


Polygamy is therefore not to be argued about, but is to 
be taken as a fact everywhere present, the problem being 
merely that of its regulation. For where are there real 
monogamists ? We all live, at least for a time, and the 
most part always, in polygamy, for seeing that every man 
requires several women, there is nothing juster than that 
it should remain open to him, indeed that it should be his 
duty, to provide for several women. In this way the 
woman will be reduced to her just and natural stand- 
point, as a subordinate being, and the lady, that mon- 
strosity of European civilization and Q-ermano-Christian 
stupidity, with her ridiculous claims to respect and vene- 
ration, will disappear from the world; there will only 
exist women, but no more unfortunate women, of which 
Europe is now full. 

In Hindostan no woman is ever independent, but each 
one stands under the guardianship of her father, or her 
husband, or her brother, or her son, according to the laws 
of M&nu, chap, v., verse 148. That widows burn them- 
selves on the corpse of their husbands is indeed shocking, 
but that they should spend the fortune which the husband, 
consoling himself that he was working for his children, 
had acquired by the steady industry of his whole life, with 
their lovers, is also shocking. Mediam tenuere beati. The 
original mother's love, as with animals so with man, is 
purely instinctive, and hence ceases with the physical help- 
lessness of the children. Henceforth there should come 
in its place one based on habit and reason, but which 
is often lacking, especially when the mother has not loved 
the father. The love of the father for his children is of 
another kind, and more enduring. It rests on a recogni- 
tion of his own innermost self in them, and is therefore of 
metaphysical origin. With almost all the ancient and 

ON WOMEN. 851 

modern peoples of the earth, even with the Hottentots, 
property is inherited solely through the male descendants. 
In Europe only has this been departed from, and even there 
not with the nobility. That the property hardly acquired 
through great and long- continued labour and trouble by 
men, should afterwards get into the hands of women, who, in 
their foolishness, spend or otherwise waste it in a short time, 
is as great as it is frequent an enormity, which ought to 
be obviated by the limitation of the right of female inheri- 
tance. It seems to me that the best arrangement would 
be that women, whether as widows or as daughters, should 
only inherit an income assured, to them by hypothecation 
during their lifetime, but neither land nor capital, unless 
it were in the absence of all male descendants. The 
acquirers of fortunes are men, not women. The latter are 
therefore not entitled to the unconditioned possession of 
them, more especially as they are incapable of managing 
them. Women should never have the free disposal of in- 
herited property, in the true sense of the term, that is, 
capital, houses, and lands. They always require a guardian, 
and hence they ought in no case to receive the guardianship 
of their children. The vanity of women, even if it is not 
greater than that of men, has this bad quality, that it is 
entirely directed to material things, to wit, to their personal 
beauty, and secondly, to glitter, state, and show, on which 
account Society is so thoroughly their element. It makes 
them more particularly disposed to extravagance owing to 
their inferior intellect, for which reason an ancient writer 
has said : Yvvfi TO avvo\6v e<m ^airavripbv (pvvet (S. Brunck, 

1 "Chez les Hottentots tous les Liens d'un pere descendant a 
l'aln des fils, ou passent dans la menie famille au plus proches 
des males. Jamais ils ne sont divise's, jamais les femmes ne sent 
appeldes a la succession." Ch. G. Leroy, " Lettres philosophiques 
BUT 1'intelligence et la perfectibuite* des animaux, avec quelques 
lettres sur I'homme." Nouvollc edit., Paris, au X. (1802), p. 298. 


" Gnomici Poetae Graeci," v., 115). The vanity of men, on 
the contrary, is often directed to non-material advantages, 
sucii as intellect, learning, courage, &c. Aristotle, in 
Ms " Politics " (B. II., ch. ix.), explains what great dis- 
advantages to the Spartans had arisen from the fact that 
with them too much was conceded to the women, since 
they had the right of inheritance, of alienation, and generally 
great license, and how much this had contributed to the de- 
cline of Sparta. Was not the ever-growing influence of the 
women in France, from the time of Louis XIIL, responsible 
for the gradual deterioration of the court and government, 
that produced the first Revolution, of which all succeeding 
revolutions have been the consequences? In any case a 
false position of the female sex, such as has its most acute 
symptom in our ladydom, is a fundamental weakness in 
the social state which, proceeding from its heart, must 
spread its noxious influence over all parts. 

That woman according to her nature is meant to obey, 
may be recognized from the fact that every woman who 
is placed in the, to her, unnatural position of complete 
independence, at once attaches herself to some man, by 
whom she lets herself be led and ruled, for the obvious 
reason that she requires a master. If she is young it is a 
lover, if she is old it is a confessor. 


A BSOLUTE,the,"contempt 
/V for the expression, 132. 

Angelus Silesius, quotation from, 

Animal magnetism, 67. 

Antagonism between Reason and 
Revelation, 74. 

Aristotle, "De Anima," 49-50; 
his " Metaphysic," hostility to 
Plato, 53; want of systematic 
arrangement, 54 ; his theory of 
the solar system, 57 ; on the 
immortal part of man, 251 ; on 
suicide, 259. 

Arrian, his dissertations on phi- 
losophy of Epictetus, 60. 

Art reveals more than science to 
us, 281 ; adapts the forms of 
nature, 288. 

Astronomy, Greek notions of, col- 
lected by Stobseos, mere absur- 
dities, Pythagorean alone cor- 
rect, 44, 57. 

Authorship not a means of liveli- 
hood with the ancients, 291. 

Avarice the vice of age, 204. 

Bacon, true father of empiricism 
and opponent of Aristotle, 56 ; 
the expounder of inductive phi- 
losophy in opposition to Aris- 
totle, 76; he did for physical 

science what Descartes did for 
metaphysical, 77. 

Bastholm's historical contribu- 
tions towards knowledge of the 
savage state, 228. 

Beautiful, the, pleasure arising 
therefrom, 275. 

Beethoven, 291. 

Belief in God, the desire of man- 
kind for supreme help in dis- 
tress, 138. 

Berkeley, the originator of the 
true idealism, 13,89; God's will 
the cause of the phenomena of 
the world, follows Descartes, 14. 

Bernini's school of sculpture, 335. 

Boehme, Jacob, illurcinism in, 
170; an unimportant object 
becomes germ of a great work, 

Brahma, the world proceeding 
from a sinful act of, 71. 

Brooke, Sir James, Rajah of 
Borneo, address on Missions, 

"Buchanan, Rev. Claudius, a 
vindication of the Hindoos from 
the aspersions of," by a Bengal 
Officer, 221. 

Buddha " Sakya Muni " chooses 
poverty, 270. 

Buddhism does not admit the. 



conception of a personal God, 
135, 136 ; it is expressly atheis- 
tic, 150. 

Buddhist's ethical insight, 197. 

Byron, quotation from Sardana- 
palus, 338 ; quotation with 
reference to woman's position, 

Cabalistic and Gnostic philoso- 
phies, 69. 

Calderon, quotation from 
"Daughter of the Air," 201. 

Caspar Hause*-, 135, 100. 

Catholic Church, its opposition to 
system of Kopernicus, 58. 

Christian religion presupposes 
existence of God, 123; cca- 
demns suicide, 261. 

Circumstances define strictly the 
course of action, 234. 

Clemens Alexandrinus, quotation 
from, 158. 

Cloister, the life of the, 269. 

Condillac works out Locke's sys- 
tem, 51 ; feeling in organs of 
sense require an external cause, 

Constantino the Great and Chlo- 
do wig's change of religion, 139. 

Cordier and Fourier's discoveries 
of heat in centre of earth, 41. 

Correggio, sublime expression of 
countenance in, 316. 

Courage a form of patience, 200. 

Criticism of pure reason, 95. 

Cuvier constructed whole animal 
from one bone, 229. 

Cynicism, 62, 63. 

Death ends a man * life hut can- 
not end his existence, 244; con- 

sciousness assuredly perishes in, 

Descartes, father of modern phi- 
losophy, 1 ; his certainty of 
sub j ectiveconsciousness agains t 
the problematical nature of 
everything else, 2 ; discovered 
chasm between Ideal and Real, 
3 ; metaphysics, 79, 80 ; divi- 
sion of all existence into God 
and the world, 88; assumes the 
absolute objective reality of the 
world on the credit of the vera- 
city of God, 89. 

Demokritos reduced all qualities 
to position of atoms, 90; his 
views of matter, 182. 

Devil-worship, 139. 

" Dignity of man," 196. 

Dionysius Areopagita the proto 
type of Scotus Erigena, 73, 74. 

"Divina Commedia," 304-307. 

"Don Quixote, "304. 

" E-mont," Goethe's, 308. 

Egyptian wisdom embodied in 
Greek philosophy by the Nco- 
platonists, 66, 68. 

Eleatic philosophers first con- 
scious of opposition between 
" the perceived and the 
thought," 36. 

" Emilia Galotti," 303. 

Ernpedokles taught tangential 
force of revolving bodies oppo- 
sing gravity, 57 ; Pessimism, 
39 ; holds doctrine of metem- 
psychosis, 40. 

" Enneads " of Plotinos, 65, 66. 

Envy, 212. 

Epictetus, Arrian's dissertations 
on, 60 ; Encheiridion, 63. 



Ethics of Greeks and Hindoos 
opposed to one another, 263. 

Eusebius saved fragment of Philo 
Byblius, 151. 

Every age has its characteristics, 

Extravagance, a vice, " Spend- 
thrifts brothers of Satan," 202. 

" Fate" of the ancients, 235-300. 

Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel, 
mere sophists not true philoso- 
phers, 22, 25 ; abolishes Keal 
and leaves Ideal alone remain- 
ing, 27 ; his system, 110 ; con- 
temporary opinions, "Cabinet 
of Berlin Characters," Anselin 
von Feuerbach, " Schiller and 
Fichte's correspondence," 111. 

"Foundation of morality," 19G. 

Fourier's and Cordier'sdiscoveries 
of heat in interior of earth, 41. 

Free will, 73. 

Functions of an actor, 299. 

Generation, 267. 
German comedy, 301. 
"German Theology," Pfeiffer's 

edition, 1851, quotation from, 

193, 266. 
Giordano Bruno, his use of the 

word "transcendent," 95; the 

champion of the Kopernican 

system and Pantheism, 137 ; 

utterance concerning "La di- 

vina mente," etc., 248. 
Gliick, 296. 
Gobineau, "Des races humaines," 


Haydn, 291. 

Hegel's "Phenomenology of the 

Mind," 24 ; contempt for, 32, 
111, 160 ; Hegel, Schelling, and 
Fichte mere sophists, 22-25. 

Helve tius, quotation from, 158- 

Herakleitos in opposition to Ele- 
atics, 36. 

Herodotus relates that the Sa- 
mians paid tribute to Here, 

Heroism, instances of, in those 
approaching death, 216. 

History is for time what geo- 
graphy is for space, 309 ; cause 
of its attraction for the public, 

Hobbes believes men naturally 
inimical to one another, 227. 

Homer, like nature, unaffected by 
human events, 308. 

Hume's scepticism the occasion 
of Kant's deeper investigations, 
20; connecting link between 
Locke, Kant, and the author, 
102; "Dialogues on Natural 
Religion," 129; quotation from, 
140, 141; essay on suicide, 

Ideal and Real, attempts to sepa- 
rate them, the main problem 
of philosophy, 1, 19. 

Ideality of time doctrine in Plo- 
tinos and Kant, 2, 67. 

Iffland, the drama of, 302. 

"Illuminism" in philosophy of 
Neo - Platonists and Jacob 
Boehme, 170; a natural at- 
tempt to fathom the truth, 171. 

Intellect must be free, not sub- 
servient to the will, 22, 23. 



Jean Paul's "Selina, ' 240; 
novels, 304. 

Johann von Eyck, introduced per- 
spective, 315 ; Ids colours, 317. 

Judaism has no doctrine of im- 
mortality, 147 ; the only real 
monotheistic religion, 149. 

Juggernaut, car of, respect shown 
by East Indian Government to, 

[Cant's solution of question 
whether anything exists at all, 
11 ; distinction between thing- 
in-itself and phenomenon, 17 ; 
theories of pure knowledge, 
cognitions d priori, 51 ; the 
spirit of his philosophy, 91 ; 
opposes Locke with the theory 
^hat some conceptions do not 
arise from experience, 93 ; his 
philosophy designated as trans- 
cendental, 94 ; service to specu- 
lative theology, 123 ; his proof 
that all demonstrations of specu- 
lative theology are untenable, 
129 ; attempts to mitigate 
heterodoxy of " Critique of all 
Speculative Theology," 141, 
142 ; admits theism as a theo- 
retically unprovable but valid 
assumption, 216. 

Kopernican system anticipated 
by Pythagoras, 41; opposed 
by Catholic Church, 58. 

Kotzebue, injustice towards, 3021 

Laplace, his cosmogony, 40. 
Lapp hides his money as sacrifice 

to genius loci t 140. 
Leibnitz, his system of monads, in 

which Ideal and Real are fully 

identified, 5, 28, 86; Leibnitz- 
Wolffian philosophy, 17 ; con- 
ception of substance as a given 
thing, which must be inde- 
struct iltle t 85 ; prepares the way 
for Kant, 80. 

Li^hteriberg teaches antithesis of 
soul and body, 114. 

Life a loan from death, nothing 
that dies dies for ever, 249. 

Locke and Wolff dominant in 
eighteenth century, Locke in- 
fluenced by Ilobbes and Bacon, 
15 ; praised by Voltaire, 15 ; 
disposes of distinction between 
Ideal anil Real by rough common 
sense, 16 ; founds his philosophy 
on no innate ideas, 5 ; Condillac 
worked out Locke's system for, 
the French, 51 ; propounded 
doctrine of investigating the 
origin of conceptions, 81, 129; 
feeling in organs of sense re- 
quire an external cause, 102; 
reasons that all concepts are 
derived from experience, 93 ; 
at one with Demokritos, 90. 

" Logos " in Gospel of John, 42. 

Machiavelli on the entire neces- 
sity of all actions, 234. 

Malebranche, his system of occa- 
sional causes, 3 ; teaches that 
we see all things immediately 
in God, 4, 9 ; originator of line 
of thought adopted by Spinoza 
and Liebnitz, 6; follows Des- 
cartes, 14, 

Marriage laws in Europe, 347. 

Memling followed Van Eyck, 315. 

Metaphysics, slow progress of, 
174 ; what is taught by, 179. 



Metempsychosis, theory of, by 
Porphyry, 68, 130; held by 
Empedokles, 40; doctrine of, 
teaches innateness of all moral 
qualities, 238 ; passage of soul 
into another body, 250. 

Minna von Barnhelm, 302. 

Modern philosophy on the right 
way, 178. 

Mozart, 291, 297. 

Munich, collection of old Nether- 
land paintings at, 315. 

Muratori in " i)ella Fantasia" 
treats Locke as a heretic, 91. 

Music as explained by Pytha- 
gorean philosophy of numbers, 
41, 42 ; a universal language, 

Nature, depressing effect of inor- 
ganic, 286 ; her forms adapted 
to art, 288. 

Neoplatonists, Porphyry, Jain- 
blichos, Proklos, Plotinos, 64, 

New Heloise, 304. 

Newspapers second-hands of his- 
tory, 312. 

Nirvana of Buddhists, 263. 

Northumberland, Duke of, Shake- 

Opera, the, appeals to other than 

the musical sense, 293, 294. 
" L'Orphelin de la Chine," 259. 

Painting, 283, 284; Netherlands 
school of, 315. 

Pantheism in seventeenth cen- 
tury, 4 ; a euphemism for 
atheism, 134 ; Giordano .Bruno 

champion of, 137; objections 
against, 192. 

Petrarch, comparison of . with 
Dante and Ariosto, 307. 

Philo liyblius, preserved writing 
of, Sanchoniathon, 151. 

Philosophy, definition of, 168 ; 
scepticism necessary in, 172 ; 
conditions of mind for philo- 
sophical investigation, 163 ; 
philosopher and poet, 164; 
philosopher and sophist, 327. 

Physics, the exact knowledge of 
phenomena, 183. 

Plato, pure thought only source 
of knowledge, doctrine in 
" Phaedo," 49 ; the antithesis 
of Aristotle, 55 ; his ethics, 
198; " Dialogues," 167; Plato 
and Aristotle, their views as to 
the immortal part of man, 

Pliny, extract from, on suicide, 

Poet and philosopher, difference 
between, 164. 

Poetry, 280, 281. 

Polygamy advocated, 350, 

Pope, quotation from, 91. 

Porphyry, report of Egyptian re- 
ligion given by, 68; passage 
preserved by Stobseos, 183. 

Psychology, 180, 181. 

Pre-Socraticphilosophers, Anaxa- 
goras, Empedokles, Demokii- 
tos, Leukippos, Herakleitos, 

Prejudice, worst enemy of truth, 

Progress of human knowledge 
likened to Ptolemaic epicycles, 



Ptolemaic cosmology founded on 
theory of Aristotle and Hippar- 
chus 68. 

Pufendorf believed men to be 
naturally friendly, 227. 

Pythagoras, education of, in 
Egypt according to Jamblichos, 
43; his doctrine decided Pan- 
theism, 44. 

Rameau defined the "grammar" 
of music, 291. 

Rationalism, 169. 

Raupach, injustice towards, 302. 

Reading much deprives the mind 
of elasticity, 319. 

Realism and nominalism, 75. 

Rossini, 291, 297. 

Rousseau, believes men to be in- 
different to one another, 227. 

St. Francis d'Assisi chooses 
poverty, 270. 

Sanchoniathon, 139 ; wrote cos- 
mogony of Phoenicians, 151. 

" Sanhita of the Vedas," 46. 

Sansara of the Buddhists, 215. 

Schelling follows Fichte, 111; re- 
vives abstract pan-theism of 
Spinoza, 27 ; maintains identity 
of Real and Ideal, 28; " Will is 
Being " attributed to, 157. 

Schmidt, J. J., History of the 
eastern Mongolians, 197. 

Schooreel, successor of Van Eyck, 

Schultz demonstrates Kant's fal- 
lacies in "Aenesidemus" and 
" Critique of Theoretical Philo- 
sophy," 104. 

Scotus Erigena, recovered at Ox- 
ford, 1681, 4; "De Diviaione 

Naturse," 70; rejects eternal 
damnation, 71 ; " De Predesti- 
natione," 72. 

Scouler, John, refutes theory of 
North American Indians being 
theists, 152. 

Sculpture, 282, 283. 

Sextus Empiricus, quotation ex- 
pounding the teaching in " Ti- 
maeus," 49. 

Slavery in America, 207. 

Socrates, the platonic, a different 
person from the Xenophontic 
Socrates, 45 ; and Kant, paral- 
lel between, 46 ; Socratic 
method as it is in Plato, 47. 

Spinoza maintains that soul and 
body are one, 7, 30; his ob- 
scurity, 10 ; relations of his doc- 
trines to those of Descartes, 
his fallacies, 11 ; holds by the 
ideal side of the world, 12 ; his 
misuse of words, 13 ; his philo- 
sophy chiefly negative, 80, 81 j 
an unconscious materialist, 81 ; 
presumably acquainted with 
writings of Xenophanes, 82; 

' called his one and only sub- 
stance Deus, 83, 129; aresusci- 
tator of the Eleatics, 82, 90. 

Spirits and gods to be appeased 
by sacrifice, 139. 

Stobaeos, chief source of our 
knowledge of stoic ethics, 60; 
on suicide, 259. 

Stoics, their conception of the 
species embodied in the seed 
59 ; their ethics, 62. 

Sufferings of animals, 273. 

Suicide, a crime only in mono- 
theistic religion, 257 ; advocated 
by Stoics and Hindoos, 259. 



Taaut, cosmogony of, 151. 

Tasso, not worthy to rank as 
fourth great Italian poet, 308. 

Tastelessness of the age, 314. . 

Theism, visible in Arrian and 
other heathen philosophers of 
first century, A.D. 62; and 
Judaism, exchangeable terms, 

Thrasymachos and Philalethes, 
dialogue between, 252. 

Time can have no beginning, 119. 

" Tractatus Theologico Politicus" 
shows monstrous results of Spi- 
noza's moral philosophy, 84. 

Transcendental Dialectic, 113, 114. 

Transcendental Idealism, 97. 

Trappists, 270. 

Treatment of great men by their 
contemporaries, 337. 

"Tristram Shandy," 304. 

Tschudi's "Travels in Peru," 208. 

Upanishads of the Vedas, 4, 46, 
147, 178, 223. 

Value of thought above book- 
knowledge, 320-327. 

Vaudeville, a musical monstro- 
sity, 298. 

Vauvenargues, quotations from, 
10, 143, 169. 

Veda doctrine "magnum Sak- 
hepat," 263. 

Veda Hj'mn, 219. 

Voltaire, quotation from, 174. 

Walter Scott, 304. 

War, the origin of the desire to 
thieve, 311. 

Wickedness natural to man above 
all other animals, 210. 

" Wilhelm Meister," 304. 

Wolff and Locke dominant in 18th 
century, 5 ; Wolff's argument 
" if anything exists at all there 
exists an absolutely necessary 
Being," 124-127. 

Women should not be holders d 
property, 351 ; their influence 
cause of deterioration of France 
352 ; regarded as grown-ir; 
children, 339 ; their quick ap- 
prehension, 340 ; their powers 
of deception, 342; lack of artis- 
tic sense, 344. 

World considered as end or as 
means, 176. 

World, Spirit, and Man, dialogue, 

Will, alone real, 21 ; freedoir of, 
* 7?. 144 ; the originator of the 
will theory, 157 ; perishability 
of all things but, 187. 

Writing the only true preserve* 
of thought, 46. 

Zendavesca, 148, 151.