Parerga and Paralipomena: Short Philosophical Essays

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Parerga and Paralipomena: Short Philosophical Essays

Postby admin » Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:49 am

Parerga and Paralipomena: Short Philosophical Essays
by Arthur Schopenhauer
Translated from the German by E.F.J. Payne
© Oxford University Press 1974




Vitam impendere vero
juvenal, Sat. IV. 91
["Dedicate one's life to truth"]

Table of Contents:

o Translator's Introduction
o Preface
o Sketch of a History of the Doctrine of the Ideal and the Real
o Fragments for the History of Philosophy
o On Philosophy at the Universities
o Transcendent Speculation on the Apparent Deliberateness in the Fate of the Individual
o Essay on Spirit Seeing and everything connected therewith
o Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life
 Introduction
 1. Fundamental Division
 2. What a Man Is
 3. What a Man Has
 4. What a Man Represents
 5. Counsels and Maxims
 6. On the Different Periods of Life


Table of Contents:
o Stray yet systematically arranged thoughts on a variety of subjects
 1. On Philosophy and its Method
 2. On Logic and Dialectic
 3. Ideas concerning the Intellect generally and in all Respects
 4. Some Observations on the Antithesis of the Thing-in-Itself and the Phenomenon
 5. A few Words on Pantheism
 6. On Philosophy and Natural Science
 7. On the Theory of Colours
 8. On Ethics
 9. On Jurisprudence and Politics
 10. On the Doctrine of the Indestructibility of our True Nature by Death
 11. Additional Remarks on the Doctrine of the Vanity of Existence
 12. Additional Remarks on the Doctrine of the Suffering of the World
 13. On Suicide
 14. Additional Remarks on the Doctrine of the Affirmation and Denial of the Will-to-Live
 15. On Religion
 16. Some Remarks on Sanskrit Literature
 17. Some Archaeological Observations
 18. Some Mythological Observations
 19. On the Metaphysics of the Beautiful and Aesthetics
 20. On Judgement, Criticism, Approbation, and Fame
 21. On Learning and the Learned
 22. On Thinking for Oneself
 23. On Authorship and Style
 24. On Reading and Books
 25. On Language and Words
 26. Psychological Remarks
 27. On Women
 28. On Education
 29. On Physiognomy
 30. On Din and Noise
 31. Similes, Parables, and Fables
o Some Verses
o Selected Bibliography
o Index

Mysterious as is the effect of magnetization, it is nevertheless clear that it consists primarily in the suspension of animal functions in that the vital force is diverted from the brain, that mere pensioner or parasite of the organism, or rather is driven back to organic life as its primitive function; for now its undivided presence and effectiveness as vis medicatrix are required there. But within the nervous system and thus the exclusive seat of all sensuous life, organic life is represented and replaced by the guide and governor of its functions, the sympathetic nerve and its ganglia. Thus the event can also be regarded as a repression of the vital force from the brain to the sympathetic nerve; but generally the two can also be looked upon as mutually opposite poles; and so the brain, with the organs of movement attached thereto, can be regarded as the positive and conscious pole, and the sympathetic nerve, with its ganglionic networks, as the negative and unconscious. Now in this sense, the following hypothesis could be given concerning the course of events in magnetization. It is an action of the magnetizer's brain-pole (and hence of his external nerve-pole) on the homonymous pole of the patient; and so it acts on the latter by repulsion in accordance with the universal law of polarity, whereby the nervous force is driven back to the other pole of the nervous system, to the inner, the gastric ganglionic system. Therefore men in whom the brain-pole prevails are best fitted for magnetizing, whereas women in whom the ganglionic system predominates are most susceptible to being magnetized and to the consequences thereof. If it were possible for the female ganglionic system to be capable of acting in just the same way on the male and so also by repulsion, then through the reverse process an abnormally enhanced cerebral life, a temporary genius, would inevitably result. This is not feasible because the ganglionic system is not capable of acting outwards. On the other hand, the magnetizing bucket might well be regarded as an attracting magnetization through the action on each other of heteronymous or unlike poles, so that the sympathetic nerves of all the patients sitting round the bucket which are connected thereto by iron rods and woollen cords running to the pit of the stomach and which operate with united force enhanced by the inorganic mass of the bucket, would draw to themselves the individual brainpole of each of the patients, and so lower the potential of animal life, causing it to be submerged in the magnetic sleep of all. This could be compared to the lotus that is submerged every evening in the flood. In keeping also with this is the fact that, when the ladder of the bucket had once been laid on the head instead of on the pit of the stomach, violent congestion and headache were the result (Kieser, Tellurismus, 1st edn., Vol. i, p. 439). In the sidereal bucket, the bare unmagnetized metals exert the same force. This appears to be connected with the fact that metal is the simplest and most original thing, the lowest grade of the will's objectification, and consequently the very opposite to the brain as being the highest development of that objectification; and hence that it is the thing remotest from the brain. Moreover, metal offers the maximum mass in the minimum space. Accordingly, it recalls the will to its original nature and is related to the ganglionic system as, conversely, light is to the brain, and so somnambulists shun the contact of metals with the organs of the conscious pole. The sensitivity to metals and water of those so disposed can also be explained in this way. With the ordinary magnetized bucket, what operate are the ganglionic systems, connected thereto, of all the patients who are assembled round it and with their united force draw down the brain-poles. This also helps to explain the contagion of somnambulism generally as also the communication, akin to it, of the present activity of second sight through the mutual contact of those endowed with it, and the communication and consequently the communion of visions generally.

But if we wished to venture on an even bolder application of the above hypothesis which concerns the course of events in magnetization and starts from the laws of polarity, then it might be deduced from this, although only schematically, how, in the higher degrees of somnambulism, the relation can go to such lengths that the somnambulist shares all the ideas, knowledge, manners of speaking, and even the sensations of the magnetizer. She is thus present in his brain, whereas his will, on the other hand, has a direct influence on her and he is so completely her master that he can fix her by his spell. Thus with the galvanic apparatus, now most commonly used, where the two metals are immersed in two kinds of acids that are separated by earthenware partitions, the positive current flows through these liquids from the zinc to the copper, and then externally in the electrode from the copper back to the zinc. Hence by analogy, the positive current of vital force, as the will of the magnetizer, would flow from his brain to that of the somnambulist, controlling her and driving back to the sympathetic nerve and thus to the epigastric region, to her negative pole, her vital force that produces consciousness in the brain. But then the same current would again flow from here back into the magnetizer, to his positive pole, his brain, where it meets his ideas and sensations; and then in this way does the somnambulist share them. These, of course, are very bold assumptions, but with the extremely obscure matters that here constitute our problem every hypothesis is admissible which leads to some understanding, although such may be only schematic or analogical.


Woman is not destined for great work, either intellectual or physical ... Women are qualified to be the nurses and governesses of our earliest childhood by the very fact that they are themselves childish, trifling, and short-sighted, in a word, are all their lives grown-up children; a kind of intermediate stage between the child and the man, who is a human being in the real sense. ... With girls nature has had in view what in a dramaturgic sense is called a stage-effect or sensation. For she has endowed them for a few years with lavish beauty, charm, and fullness at the expense of the rest of their lives. This she has done so that, during those few years, they might capture a man's imagination to the extent that he is carried away into giving in some form an honourable undertaking to look after them for the rest of their lives....The nobler and more perfect a thing is, the later and more slowly does it come to maturity. A man does not arrive at a maturity of his rational faculty and mental powers much before his twenty-eighth year; woman attains it at the age of eighteen. But it is, in consequence, a very meagre and limited faculty of reason. And so throughout their lives women remain children, always see only what is nearest to them, cling to the present, take the appearance of things for the reality, and prefer trivialities to the most important affairs. Thus it is the faculty of reason by virtue whereof man does not, like the animal, live merely in the present, but surveys and considers the past and future; and from all this spring his foresight, wariness, care, anxiety, and frequent uneasiness....Injustice is the fundamental failing of the female character. It arises primarily from the above-mentioned want of reasonableness and reflection and is further supported by the fact that, as the weaker, they are by nature dependent not on force but cunning; hence their instinctive artfulness and ineradicable tendency to tell lies.... Women are much more often guilty of perjury than men; and in general it might be questioned whether they should be allowed to take the oath....Because, at bottom, women exist solely for the propagation of the race with which their destiny is identified, they live generally more in the species than in individuals. At heart, they take more seriously the affairs of the species than those of individuals. This gives to their whole nature and action a certain frivolity and generally an attitude which is fundamentally different from that of the man and gives rise to that discord and disharmony which are so frequent and almost normal in marriage....Only the male intellect, clouded by the sexual impulse, could call the undersized, narrow-shouldered, broad-hipped, and short-legged sex the fair sex; for in this impulse is to be found its whole beauty. The female sex could be more aptly called the unaesthetic. They really and truly have no bent and receptivity either for music, poetry, or the plastic arts ... We cannot expect anything else from women when we reflect that the most eminent minds of the whole sex have never been able to produce a single, really great, genuine, and original achievement in the fine arts, or to bring anywhere into the world a work of permanent value....Woman in the West, especially what is called the 'lady', finds herself in a fausse position; for woman, rightly called by the ancients the sexus sequior, ['Inferior sex'] is by no means qualified to be the object of our respect and veneration, to carry her head higher than man and have equal rights with him....As in animals, so in man, the original maternal love is purely instinctive and therefore ceases with the physical helplessness of the children....The father's love for his children is of a different kind and is more enduring. It rests on his again recognizing in them his own innermost self and is thus of metaphysical origin....Property acquired by the long and constant hard work of men subsequently passes into the hands of women who in their folly get through it or otherwise squander it in a short time. This is an enormity, as great as it is frequent, which should be prevented by restricting woman's right of inheritance. It seems that the best arrangement would be for women, whether as widows or daughters, always to inherit only a life annuity secured by mortgage, not landed property or capital, unless there are no male descendants at all. Those who earn and acquire wealth and property are men, not women; and therefore women are not entitled to their absolute possession, nor are they capable of managing them. At any rate, women should never be free to dispose of inherited property in the real sense, namely capital, houses, and land. They always need a guardian; and so in no case whatever should they receive the guardianship of their children.

-- Parerga and Paralipomena: Short Philosophical Essays, by Arthur Schopenhauer
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Re: Parerga and Paralipomena: Short Philosophical Essays

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Translator's Introduction

Arthur Schopenhauer in April 1859

COVERING more than the first half of the nineteenth century Schopenhauer's original and unorthodox opinions inevitably provoked a vigorous reaction of the scholars, thinkers, and theologians who at that time were the representatives of culture, art, science, and religion. More than any other philosopher of modern times he had to contend with fractious contemporaries who were ever ready to denigrate and denounce him, to secrete and suppress his works by the simple expedient of silence, and who did not scruple to misquote him blatantly and unblushingly from his own writings. Such denunciation over several decades was bound to result in a distorted image of the philosopher and a perverted presentation of his views even in the academic circles of the early years of the present century -- a presentation that has often been founded on a perfunctory acquaintance with the main tenets of his system.

But the pace and pressure of events in the first half of the twentieth century during which, in spite of an impressive advance in many branches of technology, there has been a steady decline in culture, have imposed on Western man the necessity to re-examine the thoughts of serious philosophers in general and those of Schopenhauer in particular. The easy and agreeable optimism of the years before 1914 with its confident belief in the perfectibility of man and in his steady advance to the millennium was rudely shaken by the outbreak of the First World War and finally shattered by the terrible episodes prior to and during the second war.

By 1945 all melioristic dreams had been dispelled and men in the Western hemisphere were constrained to reappraise the unpalatable truths of philosophical pessimism. In a mood of despair the present generation is evincing a growing interest in those systems of thought which do not shrink from presenting the stark realities of existence, but nevertheless offer a long-term prospect of final emancipation and salvation from the eternal thraldom of birth, life, suffering, death, and rebirth. It is therefore hardly surprising that in the quarter of a century since 1945 many have become increasingly concerned with realistic thinking, and all who have witnessed and experienced barbarism and brutality on a global scale are athirst for a philosophy of life which will facilitate a reconciliation between their rational and logical outlook and the sombre and ineluctable truths and precepts of New Testament Christianity and indeed of all genuine religion. A similar revulsion of feeling a century before may well have ushered in a revival of interest in serious philosophy after the momentous events of 1848, that year of revolutionary rumblings. In 1851 the Parerga and Paralipomena were published at a time when Europe was passing through a period of despondency and disillusionment.

Arthur Schopenhauer was born in Danzig in 1788 and at the early age of twenty-five published his first work On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, for which the University of Jena awarded him a doctor's degree. This essay soon attained the rank of a philosophical classic and even today is probably one of the best treatises on epistemology. In 1816 he wrote a short essay On Vision and Colours, and in 18I9 his chief work, The World as Will and Representation, was published in one volume in which he expounded his whole philosophical system and included in an appendix a masterly criticism of Kant's three Critiques. In 1830 he published in Latin a second essay on the theory of colours and in 1836 there appeared the essay On the Will in Nature, in which he discussed the corroborations which his philosophy had obtained from the empirical sciences since its first appearance. In 1839 and 1840 Schopenhauer wrote two prize-essays: (1) on the freedom of the human will and (2) on the basis of ethics. The first was awarded a prize by a Norwegian academy, but the second was rejected by a Danish academy, although Schopenhauer's was the only essay submitted. In 1841 the two essays, preceded by a long and caustic preface, were published in one volume with the title The Two Fundamental Problems of Ethics.

From his earliest years Schopenhauer was in the habit of noting down the many different observations and reflections which occurred to him during his frequent meditations on the mystery and riddle of existence. By 1844 he had amassed enough material and hoped that Brockhaus, the publisher of 1819, would accede to the proposal to publish a second and enlarged edition of The World as Will and Representation. But in view of the failure of the first edition of 1819 to impress the learned world of that year, the publisher showed little enthusiasm, but finally agreed reluctantly to publish in two volumes an augmented edition of the chief work, for which Schopenhauer received no honorarium. These two volumes likewise failed to stimulate any interest. Undaunted by such discouragement, Schopenhauer steadily pursued the dreary path of truth and turned his attention to other important subjects which had hitherto not come within the framework of his systematic writings. The elaboration and compilation of the many notes and drafts which had accumulated over more than a generation occupied some six years of unremitting daily toil. From Schopenhauer's posthumous notes we learn that these supplementary essays and observations do not enable the reader to become fully acquainted with the main tenets of his philosophical system. On the contrary, they were written for those readers who already subscribed to his earlier and more important works, and so he assumed an acquaintance with his teaching and addressed himself to those already conversant with it.

It may be stated generally that the first volume of Parerga and Paralipomena contains the parerga (supplementary works) whereas the second comprises the paralipomena (matters omitted from the main structure of Schopenhauer's ideas). These paralipomena were regarded by him as complementary to the supplements to his chief work, and this is especially true of chapters I-XIV of the second Parerga volume which therefore assume a knowledge of the author's philosophy. On the other hand, the remainder of the second Parerga volume together with the whole of the first can be understood without any such previous knowledge; yet those already familiar with the main tenets of his philosophy will discern many references to these and observe that they throw additional light on many of his arguments.

At the end of 1850 Schopenhauer was ready to approach a publisher with the manuscript of his last major work in two volumes. But only after long delay and much disappointment was Julius Frauenstadt, his close friend and disciple, able to persuade Hayn of Berlin to publish the two volumes in 1851 in an edition of 750 copies of which Schopenhauer received ten but no honorarium.

Shortly after their publication, the Parerga and Paralipomena came to the notice of John Oxenford, the translator of Goethe's conversations with Eckermann, who in 1852 wrote a review for the Westminster and Foreign Quarterly Review and in 1853 for the same journal an article entitled 'Iconoclasm in German Philosophy'. This article was read by Ernst Otto Lindner, a friend of Schopenhauer's, who arranged for the publication of a German translation in the Vossische Zeitung. The effect was dramatic and almost overnight Schopenhauer in his own country passed from obscurity to fame and from then till his death in 1860 he basked in the sunshine of belated recognition and eminence.
This sudden interest in his philosophy called for new editions of his other published works and the old sage's obvious pleasure at final acknowledgement was naive and childlike and in some measure compensated him for the many years of frustration and bitterness.

Of the early English translators of the Parerga and Paralipomena Thomas Bailey Saunders (1860-1928) and Ernest Belfort Bax (1854-1926) are the best-known who before the turn of the century had begun to make selections from the more popular essays. There was no collaboration between the two and a certain amount of duplication was therefore inevitable. Moreover, their styles and terminology were idiosyncratic, a factor which precluded the compilation of their combined efforts into a uniform and homogeneous translation. Bailey Saunders's renderings had indeed caught the piquancy and pungency of Schopenhauer's style, but in some instances they border on paraphrase, a practice of which the philosopher himself disapproved. Nevertheless these two distinguished scholars succeeded in introducing to English readers the many gems of Schopenhauer's genius at a time when it was fashionable to dismiss the philosopher as a crotchety, woman-hating old pessimist. Using the German text of the old and long since discarded Frauenstadt edition of Schopenhauer's works, they inevitably suffered from handicaps which do not burden the modern translator able to avail himself of a more accurate and scholarly text. The present translation is the first complete English rendering of the Parerga and Paralipomena and has been made from the German text of the Hubscher-Brockhaus edition, itself the outcome of more than a century of textual research and emendation. The immense range of Schopenhauer's erudition is reflected in the many quotations from Greek, Latin, English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish authors; translations of all foreign-language quotations are given in footnotes in the text.

No introduction can end without an expression of gratitude to the many friends who through their help and encouragement have greatly contributed to the completion of a long and arduous undertaking. In particular Arthur Hubscher, President of the Schopenhauer-Gesellschaft and the most eminent living authority on Schopenhauer and his philosophy, has for many years generously given valuable advice. Professor Richard Taylor of Rochester University, New York State has sedulously used his influence to bring Schopenhauer's philosophy to the notice of American readers, whilst Bryan Magee has rendered a similar service to students in this country. Finally to his wife Eileen the translator is grateful for her inexhaustible fund of patience and inspiration. Without the very real help and interest of these and many other friends, this translation could not have come to fruition.
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Re: Parerga and Paralipomena: Short Philosophical Essays

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THESE additional writings, that are subsidiary to my more important and systematic works, consist partly of a few essays on a wide variety of special topics and partly of isolated ideas on an even greater range of subjects. All have been brought together here since, by reason largely of the subject-matter, they could not find a place in those systematic works; some, however, are included here merely because they came too late for inclusion in their proper place in those works.

Here, of course, I have primarily had in mind those readers who are acquainted with my systematic and more comprehensive works, for perhaps they too will here find many a desired explanation. But on the whole, the contents of these volumes will, with the exception of a few passages, be intelligible and interesting even to those· who are unacquainted with my philosophy. But whoever is familiar with this, will yet have an advantage, since this always reflects its light, however remotely, on all that I think and write, just as, on the other hand, that philosophy itself always receives some further elucidation from everything that emanates from my mind.

Frankfurt am Main,
(December 1850)
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Re: Parerga and Paralipomena: Short Philosophical Essays

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Plurimi pertransibunt, et multiplex erit scientia.
[' Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.'

-- Daniel 12: 4.]

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

DESCARTES is rightly regarded as the father of modern philosophy primarily and generally because he helped the faculty of reason to stand on its own feet by teaching men to use their brains in place whereof the Bible, on the one hand, and Aristotle, on the other, had previously served. But he is the father in a special and narrower sense because he was the first to bring to our consciousness the problem whereon all philosophizing has since mainly turned, namely that of the ideal and the real. This is the question concerning what in our knowledge is objective and what subjective, and hence what eventually is to be ascribed by us to things different from us and what is to be attributed to ourselves. Thus in our head images arise not arbitrarily, as it were, from within, nor do they proceed from the connection of ideas; consequently, they arise from an external cause. But such images alone are what is immediately known to us, what is given. Now what relation may they have to things which exist quite separately from and independently of us and which would somehow become the cause of those images? Are we certain that such things generally exist at all, and in this case do the images give us any information as to their nature? This is the problem and in consequence thereof the main endeavour of philosophers for the last two hundred years has been clearly to separate by a line of cleavage correctly drawn the ideal, in other words, what belongs to our knowledge solely and as such, from the real, that is to say, what exists independently of our knowledge, and thus to determine the relation of the two to each other.

Neither the philosophers of antiquity nor even the Schoolmen really appear to have become clearly aware of this fundamental philosophical problem, although we find a trace of it, as idealism and even as the doctrine of the ideality of time, in Plotinus, and in fact in Enneads, lib. VII, c. 10, where he tells us that the soul made the world by emerging from eternity into time. He says there, for instance: [x] (neque datur alius hujus universi locus, quam anima.) [1] as also: [x] (oprortet autem nequaquam extra animam tempus accipere, quemadmodum neque aeternitatem ibi extra id, quod ens appellatur); [2] here is really expressed Kant's ideality of time. And in the following chapter: [x] (haec vita nostra tempus gignit: quamobrem dictum est, tempus simul cum hoc universo factum esse; quia anima tempus una cum hoc universo progenuit.) [3] Yet the clearly recognized and clearly expressed problem continues to be the characteristic theme of modern philosophy, after the necessary reflectiveness had first been awakened in Descartes. He was struck by the truth that we are above all restricted to our own consciousness and that the world is given to us only as representation or mental picture [Vorstellung). Through his well-known dubito, cogito, ergo sum, [4] he tried to lay stress on the only certain thing of subjective consciousness in contrast to the problematical nature of everything else, and to express the great truth that self-consciousness is the only thing really and unconditionally given. Closely considered, his famous proposition is the equivalent of that from which I started, namely: 'The world is my representation'. The only difference is that his proposition stresses the immediateness of the subject, whereas mine stresses the mediateness of the object. Both propositions express the same thing from two points of view. They are the reverse of each other and therefore stand in the same relation as the laws of inertia and causality, according to my discussion in the preface to my ethics. [ The Two Fundamental Problems of Ethics treated in two academical prize-essays by Dr. Arthur Schopenhauer. Frankfurt am Main, 1841, p. xxiv; 2nd edn., Leipzig, 1860, pp. xxivf.) Since the days of Descartes his proposition has been repeated innumerable times from a mere feeling of its importance and without a clear understanding of its real meaning and purport. (See Meditationes, Med. II, p. 15.) And so it was he who discovered the gulf between the subjective or ideal and the objective or real. He clothed this insight in the form of a doubt concerning the existence of the external world; but by his inadequate solution of such doubt, namely that God Almighty would surely not deceive us, he has shown how profound the problem is and how difficult it is to solve. Meanwhile through him this scruple had come into philosophy and was bound to continue to have a disturbing effect until it was thoroughly disposed of. The consciousness that, without thorough knowledge and an explanation of the distinction that had been discovered, no sure and satisfactory system was possible, had since existed and the question could no longer be shirked.

To dispose of it, Malebranche first devised the system of occasional causes. He grasped the problem itself in its whole range more clearly, seriously, and deeply than did Descartes. (Recherches de La veriti, Livre III, seconde partie.) The latter had assumed the reality of the external world on the credit of God; and here, of course, it seems strange that, whereas the other theistic philosophers endeavour to demonstrate the existence of God from that of the world, Descartes, on the contrary, proves the existence of the world first from the existence and trustworthiness of God; it is the cosmological proof the other way round. Here too Malebranche goes a step farther and teaches that we see all things immediately in God himself. This certainly is equivalent to explaining something unknown by something even more unknown. Moreover, according to him, we not only see all things in God, but God is also the sole activity therein, so that physical causes are so only apparently; they are mere causes occasionnelles. (Recherches de La veriti, Livre VI, seconde partie, chap. 3.) And so here we have essentially the pantheism of Spinoza who appears to have learnt more from Malebranche than from Descartes.

On the whole, one might be surprised that even in the seventeenth century pantheism did not gain a complete victory over theism; for the most original, finest, and most thorough European expositions of it (none of them, of course, will bear comparison with the Upanishads of the Vedas) all came to light at that period, namely through Bruno, Malebranche, Spinoza, and Scotus Erigena. Mter Scot us Erigena had been lost and forgotten for many centuries, he was again discovered at Oxford and in 1681, thus four years after Spinoza's death, his work first saw the light in print. This seems to prove that the insight of individuals cannot make itself felt so long as the spirit of the age is not. ripe to receive it. On the other hand, in our day pantheism, although presented only in Schelling's eclectic and confused revival thereof, has become the dominant mode of thought of scholars and even of educated people. This is because Kant had preceded it with his overthrow of theistic dogmatism and had cleared the way for it, whereby the spirit of the age was ready for it, just as a ploughed field is ready for the seed. In the seventeenth century, on the contrary, philosophy again forsook that path and accordingly arrived at Locke, on the one hand, for whom Bacon and Hobbes had paved the way, and at Christian Wolff, on the other, through Leibniz. These two were then dominant in the eighteenth century, especially in Germany, although ultimately only in so far as they had been initiated into syncretistic eclecticism.

Malebranche's profound ideas, however, first gave rise to Leibniz's system of harmonia praestabilita, and the widespread fame and high repute of this in his day furnish a proof of the fact that in the world the absurd most easily succeeds. Although I cannot boast of having a clear notion of Leibniz's monads, which are at the same time mathematical points, material atoms, and souls, yet it seems to me beyond doubt that such an assumption once settled could help to save us from all further hypotheses for explaining the connection between the ideal and the real, and to dispose of the question by the fact that both are already fully identified in the monads. (For this reason Schelling in our day, as the originator of the system of identity, has again relished it.) However, it did not please the famous philosophizing mathematician, polyhistor, and politician to employ them for this purpose, but to this end he expressly formulated the pre-established harmony. This now furnishes us with two entirely different worlds, each incapable of acting in any way on the other (Principia philos., § 84, and Examen du sentiment du P. Malebranche, pp. 500 ff. of the Oeuvres de Leibniz, publ. by Raspe), each the wholly superfluous duplicate of the other. But yet the two are now supposed to exist once for all, to run exactly parallel to each other, and to keep time with each other to a hair. Therefore at the very beginning, the originator of both established between them the precisest harmony wherein they now continue most beautifully to run side by side. Incidentally, the harmonia praestabilita might perhaps be best rendered comprehensible by a comparison with the stage. Here very often the influxus physicus [5] only apparently exists, since cause and effect are connected merely by means of a pre-established harmony of the stage manager, for example, when the one shoots and the other falls a tempo. In §§ 62, 63 of his Thlodicle, Leibniz has presented the matter in its monstrous absurdity in the crassest manner and in brief. And yet with the whole dogma he has not even the merit of originality, since Spinoza had already presented the harmonia praestabilita clearly enough in the second part of his Ethics, thus in the sixth and seventh propositions together with their corollaries, and again in the fifth part, first proposition, after he had expressed, in his own way in the fifth proposition of the second part, the very closely related doctrine of Malebranche, that we see everything in God. * Therefore Malebranche alone is the originator of this whole line of thought which both Spinoza and Leibniz have utilized and modified, each in his own way. Leibniz could very well have dispensed with the thing altogether, for here he had already given up the mere fact, constituting the problem, namely that the world is immediately given to us merely as our representation, in order to substitute for it the dogma of a corporeal world and a spiritual world between which no bridge is possible. For he interweaves the question concerning the relation of representations to things-in-themselves with that concerning the possibility of the movements of the body through the will, and now solves both together by means of his harmonia praestabilita. (See Systeme nouveau de la nature, in Leibniz's Works, ed. Erdmann, p. 125-Brucker, Hist. Ph., Tom. iv, Pt. II, p. 425.) The monstrous absurdity of his assumption was placed in the clearest light even by some of his contemporaries, especially by Bayle, who showed the consequences resulting from it. (See also in Leibniz's short works, translated by Huth, 1740, the note on page 79, where Leibniz himself is compelled to expose the revolting consequences of his contention.) Nevertheless, the very absurdity of the assumption, to which a thinking mind was driven by the problem before us, shows its magnitude, difficulty, and perplexity, and also how little we are able to brush it aside and thus cut the knot by merely repudiating it, as some in our day have ventured to do.

Spinoza starts again directly from Descartes; therefore, in his capacity as a Cartesian, he at first retained even the dualism of his teacher and accordingly assumed a substantia cogitans and a substantia extensa, [6] the former as subject, the latter as object, of knowledge. Later, however, when he stood on his own feet, he found that both were one and the same substance, viewed from different sides, and hence at one time conceived as substantia extensa, at another as substantia cogitans. Now this is really equivalent to saying that the distinction between the thinking and the extended, or between mind and body, is unfounded and therefore inadmissible, and hence that nothing more should have been said about it. But nevertheless he still retains it in so far as he is never tired of repeating that the two are one. Now in addition to this, he says by a mere sic etiam that modus extensionis et idea illius modi una eademque est res [7] (Ethics, Pt. II, prop. 7, schol.), by which is meant that our representation of bodies and these bodies themselves are one and the same. However, the sic etiam [8] is an insufficient transition to this, for although the distinction between mind and body or between what represents and what is exended is unfounded, it by no means follows that the distinction between our representation and something objective and real existing outside this, that fundamental problem raised by Descartes, is also unfounded. What represents and what is represented may still be homogeneous, yet the question remains whether I can infer with certainty from representations in my head the existence of entities, in themselves different from me, that is to say, entities that are independent of those representations. The difficulty is not the one into which Leibniz would prefer to distort it (e.g. Theodicle, Pt. I, § 59), namely that between the assumed souls or minds and the corporeal world, as between two wholly heterogeneous kinds of substances, absolutely no action and connection can take place, for which reason he denied physical influence. For this difficulty is merely a consequence of rational psychology and, therefore, needs only to be discarded as a fiction, as is done by Spinoza. Moreover, there is, as the argumentum ad hominem [9] against the upholders of rational psychology, their dogma that God, who is indeed a spirit, created the corporeal world and continues to govern it; and so a spirit can act immediately on bodies. On the contrary, the difficulty is and remains merely the Cartesian, namely that the world, which alone is given immediately to us, is only ideal, in other words, one that consists of mere representations in our head; whereas, over and above this, we undertake to judge of a real world, in other words, one that exists independently of our representations. Therefore by abolishing the difference between substantia cogitans and substantia extensa, Spinoza has still not solved this problem, but has at most again rendered physical influence admissible. This, however, does not suffice to solve the difficulty, for the law of causality is demonstrably of subjective origin. But even if that law sprang conversely from external experience, it would still belong to that world in question which is given to us only ideally. Hence in no case can the law of causality furnish a bridge between the absolutely objective and the subjective; on the contrary, it is merely the bond that connects phenomena with one another, (See World as Will and Representation, vol. II, chap. I.)

But to explain more fully the above-mentioned identity of extension and of the representation thereof, Spinoza furnishes something that at the same time includes the views of Malebranche and Leibniz. Thus, wholly in accordance with Malebranche, we see all things in God: rerum singularium ideae non ipsa ideata, sive res perceptas, pro causa agnoscunt, sed ipsum Deum, quatenys est res cogitans. [10] Ethics, Pt. II, prop. 5; and this God is also at the same time the real and active principle in them, just as he is with Malebranche. In the last resort, however, nothing is explained by Spinoza's designation of the world with the name Deus. But at the same time there is with him, as with Leibniz, an exact parallelism between the extended and the represented worlds: ordo et connexio idearum idem est, ac ordo et connexio rerum, [11] Pt. II, prop. 7 and many similar passages. This is the harmonia praestabilita of Leibniz; only that here the represented world and the objectively existing world do not remain wholly separated, as with Leibniz, corresponding to each other merely by virtue of a harmonia, regulated in advance and from without, but actually they are one and the same. Therefore we have here in the first place a complete and absolute realism, in so far as the existence of things corresponds exactly to their representation in us, since indeed both are one. * Accordingly, we know the things-in-themselves; they are in themselves extensa, just as they also manifest themselves as extensa, in so far as they appear as cogitata, that is to say, in our representation of them. (Incidentally, here is the origin of Schelling's identity of the real and the ideal.) Now all this, properly speaking, is based only on mere assertion. The exposition is difficult to understand through the ambiguity of the word Deus that is used in a wholly improper sense; and so it loses itself in obscurity and in the end amounts to saying: nee impraesemiarum haec clarius possum explicare. [12] But obscurity in the exposition always arises from obscurity of a philosopher's own understanding and study of his works. Vauvenargues has very aptly said: La clarte est la bonne foi des philosophes. [13] (See Revue des deux mondes, 15 August 1853, p. 635.) What in music is the 'pure phrase or movement' is in philosophy perfect clearness, in so far as it is the conditio sine qua non, [14] and without the fulfilment of this, everything loses its value and we have to say: quodcunque ostendis mihi sic incredulus odi. [15] If even in the affairs of ordinary practical life we have through clearness carefully to guard against possible misunderstandings, how can we dare to express ourselves indefinitely, or even unintelligently, in the most difficult, abstruse, and wellnigh impenetrable subject of thought, in the problems of philosophy? The obscurity I have censured in Spinoza's doctrine arises from his not proceeding impartially from the nature of things as he finds them, but from Cartesianism, and accordingly from all kinds of traditional concepts, such as Deus, substantia, perfectio, and so on, which he attempted in roundabout ways to bring into harmony with his notion of truth. Very often he expresses the best things only indirectly, especially in the second part of the Ethics, since he always speaks per ambages [16] and almost allegorically. On the other hand, Spinoza again evinces an unmistakable transcendental idealism, namely a knowledge, although only general, of the truths expounded by Locke and particularly by Kant, hence a real distinction between the phenomenon and the thing-in-itself, and a recognition that only the phenomenon is accessible to us. See, for example, Ethics, Pt. u, prop. 16, with the second corollary; prop. 17, schol.; prop. 18, schol.; prop. 19; prop. 23, which extends it to self- knowledge; prop. 25, which expresses it clearly, and finally, as a resume, the corollary to prop. 29, which clearly states that we do not know either ourselves or things as they are in themselves, but merely as they appear. The demonstration of Pt. III, prop. 27, expresses the matter most clearly at the very beginning. With regard to the relation of Spinoza's doctrine to Descartes's, I here recall what I have said in the World as Will and Representation, vol. ii, chap. 50. But by starting from the concepts of the Cartesian philosophy, Spinoza in his exposition not only gave rise to much obscurity and misunderstanding, but he was also led into many flagrant paradoxes, obvious fallacies, and indeed absurdities and contradictions. In this way, much that is true and admirable in his teaching has acquired an extremely unwelcome admixture of positively indigestible matter, and the reader is tossed between admiration and annoyance. But in the aspect here to be considered, Spinoza's fundamental fault is that from the wrong point he drew his line of intersection between the ideal and the real, or between the subjective and objective worlds. Thus extension is by no means the opposite of representation, but lies wholly within this. We represent things as extended and, in so far as they are extended, they are our representation. But the question and the original problem is whether, independently of our representing, anything is extended, or indeed whether anything exists at all. This problem was later solved by Kant, and so far with undeniable accuracy, by his stating that extension or spatiality lies simply and solely in the representation and hence that it is closely connected with and dependent on this, since the whole of space is the mere form of the representation; and, therefore, independently of our representing, nothing extended can exist and also quite certainly nothing does exist. Accordingly, Spinoza's line of intersection has been drawn entirely on the ideal side and he has stopped at the represented world. Indicated by its form of extension, this world is, therefore, regarded by him as the real and consequently as existing independently of its being represented in our heads, in other words, as existing in itself. He is then, of course, quite right in saying that what is extended and what is represented, in other words our representation of bodies and these bodies themselves, are one and the same (Pt. II, prop. 7, schol.). For naturally only as represented are things extended, and only as extended are they capable of representation; the world as representation and the world in space are una eademque res; [17] this we can fully admit. Now if extension were a quality of things-in-themselves, then our intuitive perception would be a knowledge of things-in- themselves. This is what he assumes, and therein consists his realism. But since he does not establish realism and does not prove that, corresponding to our intuitive perception of a spatial world, there is a spatial world independent of that perception, the fundamental problem remains unsolved. This, however, is simply due to the fact that the line of intersection is not correctly drawn between the real and the ideal, the objective and the subjective, the thing-in-itself and the phenomenon. On the contrary, he carries the intersection, as I have said, through the middle of the ideal, subjective, phenomenal side of the world and hence through the world as representation. He splits this world into the extended or spatial and our representation of the extended, and then takes a great deal of trouble to show that the two are identical, as in fact they are. Just because Spinoza remains entirely on the ideal side of the world, for he thought he would find the real in what is extended and belongs to the world; and as, in consequence, the world of intuitive perception is the sole reality outside us, and that which knows (cogitans) the sole reality within us, so, on the other hand, he shifts the only truly real, namely the will, into the ideal, for he represents it as being a mere modus cogitandi; in fact, he identifies it with the judgement. See Ethics, Pt II, the proofs of the propositions 48 and 49, where it says: per VOLUNTATEM intelligo affirmandi et negandi facultatem, and again: concipiamus singularem aliquam VOLITIONEM, nempe modum cogitandi, quo mens affirmat, tres angulos trianguli aequales esse duobus rectis, whereupon the corollary follows: Volunlas et intellectus unum et idem sunt. [18] In general Spinoza has the great fault of purposely misusing words for expressing concepts that in the entire world go by other names, and, on the other hand, of depriving them of the meaning which they everywhere have. Thus he calls 'God' that which is everywhere called 'the world'; 'justice' that which is everywhere called 'power'; and 'will' that which is everywhere called 'judgement'. Here we are fully justified in recalling the Hetman of the Cossacks in Kotzebue's Graf Benjowsky. [19]

Although coming later and already with the knowledge of Locke, Berkeley consistently went farther on this path of the Cartesians, and thus became the originator of the proper and true idealism, that is, of the knowledge that what is extended in and fills space, and thus the world of intuitive perception generally, can have its existence as such absolutely only in our representation, and that it is absurd and even contradictory to attribute to it, as such, another existence outside all representation and independently of the knowing subject, and accordingly to assume a matter existing in itself.* This is a very true and deep insight, but his whole philosophy consists in nothing but this. He had hit upon and clearly separated the ideal; but he did not know how to find the real, about which he did not trouble himself very much and expressed himself only occasionally, piecemeal, and incompletely. With him God's will and omnipotence are directly the cause of all the phenomena in the world of intuitive perception, that is to say, of all our representations. Real existence belongs only to knowing and willing beings, such as we ourselves are: hence these, together with God, constitute the real. They are spirits, that is, just knowing and willing beings; for willing and knowing are regarded by him as absolutely inseparable. Also in common with his predecessors, he regards God as better known than the actual world before us; and he therefore regards a reduction to him as an explanation. Speaking generally, his clerical and even episcopal position cramped and fettered him, and restricted him to a narrow circle of ideas against which he could never offend. He could, therefore, go no further, but in his head the true and the false had to learn as best they could to be compatible with each other. These remarks may be extended even to the works of all these philosophers, with the exception of Spinoza. They are all marred by that Jewish theism which is impervious to any investigation, dead to all research, and thus actually appears as a fixed idea. At every step, it plants itself in the path of truth, so that the harm it does here in the theoretical sphere appears as a counterpart to that which it has done in the practical in the course of a thousand years; I mean in religious wars, inquisitions, and conversions of nations by the sword.

The closest affinity between Malebranche, Spinoza, and Berkeley is unmistakable. We see them all start from Descartes in so far as they retain and try to solve the fundamental problem that is presented by him in the form of a doubt concerning the existence of the external world. For they are concerned to investigate the separation and connection of the ideal subjective world, given solely in our representation, and the real objective world, existing independently thereof and thus in itself. Therefore this problem is, as I have said, the axis on which the whole of modern philosophy turns.

Now Locke differs from those philosophers in that, probably because he is under the influence of Hobbes and Bacon, he attaches himself as closely as possible to experience and common sense, avoiding as far as possible hyperphysical hypotheses. For him the real is matter, and without paying any regard to Leibniz's scruple as to the impossibility of a causal connection between the immaterial thinking substance and the material extended substance, he at once assumes physical influence between matter and the knowing subject. Here, however, with rare deliberation and honesty, he goes so far as to confess that possibly that which knows and thinks can also be matter (On the Human Understanding, lib. IV, c. 3, § 6). Later this won for him the repeated praise of the great Voltaire; on the other hand, in his own day it exposed him to the malicious attacks of an artful Anglican priest, the Bishop of Worcester. [20] Now with him the real, i.e. matter, generates in the knower representations or the ideal through 'impulse', i.e. through push or thrust. (Ibid., lib. I, c. 8; § II.) Thus here we have a thoroughly massive realism which by its very exorbitance called forth contradiction and gave rise to Berkeley's idealism. The special point of origin of this is perhaps what Locke states at the end of § 2 of chapter 21 of the second book with so surprisingly little reflection. Among other things he says that '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'. Thus as soon as we reflect on this, we are bound to recognize it as false; but then Berkeleyan idealism stands there and is undeniable. However, even Locke does not overlook that fundamental problem, namely the gulf between the representations within us and the things existing independently of us and thus the distinction between the ideal and the real. But speaking generally, he disposes of it with arguments of sound but rough common sense, and by reference to the adequacy of our knowledge of things for practical purposes (ibid., lib. IV, c. 4 and 9), which obviously has nothing to do with the case and only shows how very inadequate to the problem empiricism remains. But now it is just his realism that leads him to restrict what corresponds to the real in our knowledge to qualities inherent in things, as thry are in themselves, and to distinguish these qualities from those that are connected merely with our knowledge of them, and thus only with the ideal. Accordingly, he calls the latter secondary qualities but the former primary. This is the origin of the distinction between thing-in-itself and phenomenon, which later on in the Kantian philosophy becomes so very important. Here, then, is the true genetic point of contact between the Kantian teaching and the earlier philosophy, namely in Locke. The former was provoked, and more immediately occasioned, by Hume's sceptical objections to Locke's teaching; on the other hand, it has only a polemical relation to the philosophy of Leibniz and Wolff.

Now those primary qualities, which are said to be exclusively determinations of things-in-themselves and consequently to belong thereto, even outside and independently of our representation, prove to be merely such as cannot be thought away, namely extension, impenetrability, form, motion or rest, and number. All the rest are recognized as secondary, that is, as creations of the action of those primary qualities on our organs of sense, consequently as mere sensations therein; such qualities are colour, tone, taste, smell, hardness, softness, smoothness, roughness, and so on. Accordingly, these have not the least resemblance to that quality in the things-in-themselves which excites them, but are reducible to those primary qualities as their causes, and these alone are purely objective and actually exist in things. (Ibid., lib. I, c. 8, §§ 7 seqq.) Our representations of these are, therefore, actually faithful copies of them, which reproduce exactly the qualities present in the things-in-themselves (loc. cit., § 15. I wish the reader luck who actually perceives here how ludicrous realism becomes). We see, therefore, that Locke takes away from the nature of things-in-themselves, whose 'representations we receive from without, that which is an action of the nerves of the sense organs, an easy, comprehensible, and indisputable observation. But on this path, Kant later took the immeasurably greater step of also taking away that which is an action of our brain (this incomparably greater mass of nerves). Thus all those ostensibly primary qualities sink into secondary ones, and the assumed things-in-themselves into mere phenomena. The real thing-in- itself, however, now divested even of those qualities, remains over as an entirely unknown quantity, a mere x. Now this, of course, called for a difficult and deep analysis that was long to be defended against the attacks of misunderstanding and of a want of understanding.

Locke does not deduce his primary qualities of things, nor does he state any further reason why just these and no others are purely objective, except to say that they are ineradicable. Now if we ourselves investigate why he declares as not objectively present those qualities of things which act immediately on sensation and which consequently come directly from without, whereas he concedes objective existence to those qualities which (as we have since recognized) spring from our intellect's own special functions, then the reason for this is that the objectively perceiving consciousness (the consciousness of other things) necessarily requires a complicated apparatus, and as the function of this it appears; consequently, its most essential fundamental determinations are already fixed from within. Therefore the universal form, i.e. the mode, of intuitive perception, from which alone the a priori knowable can result, presents itself as the basic fabric of the intuitively perceived world and accordingly appears as the absolutely necessary factor that is without exception and cannot in any way be removed so that, already in advance, it stands firm as the condition of all other things and of their manifold variety. We know that this is first of all time and space, and what follows from them and is possible only through them. In themselves, time and space are empty; if anything is to come into them, it must appear as matter, in other words, as something acting and consequently as causality; for matter is through and through pure causality. Its being consists in its acting and vice versa; it is simply the objectively apprehended form of the understanding for causality itself. (On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, §21; as also World as Will and Representation, vol. i, § 4, and vol. ii, chap. 4.) Hence it follows that Locke's primary qualities are merely such as cannot be thought away; and this indicates clearly enough their subjective origin, since they result directly from the nature and constitution of the perception-apparatus itself. Consequently, it follows that he regards as absolutely objective just that which, as a function of the brain, is much more subjective than is the sensation that is occasioned directly from without, or is at any rate more fully determined.

Meanwhile, it is fine to see how, through all these different conceptions and explanations, the problem, raised by Descartes, of the relation between the ideal and the real is ever more developed and clarified and thus truth is advanced. This, of course, took place under the favourable circumstances of the times or more correctly of nature which, in the brief interval of two centuries, gave birth to, and allowed to mature in Europe, half a dozen thinking minds. Moreover, as a gift from fate, they were permitted, in a vulgar-minded world that was slavishly abandoned to profit and pleasure, to follow their eminent and exalted calling, indifferent as they were to the yelping of priests and to the twaddle or deliberate activities of the contemporary professors of philosophy.

Now as, in accordance with his strict empiricism, Locke enabled us to know even the relation of causality only through experience, Hume did not dispute this false assumption, which would have been the correct thing to do. On the contrary, he at once overshot the mark, the reality of the causality relation itself, and in fact did this by the observation, correct in itself, that experience can never give, sensuously and directly, more than a mere succession of things, not an ensuing and effecting in the real sense, namely a necessary connection. We all know how this sceptical objection of Hume's gave rise to Kant's incomparably deeper investigations of the matter, which led him to the result that causality, and indeed also space and time, are known by us a priori, that is to say, lie within us prior to all experience, and hence belong to the subjective part of knowledge. From this it further follows that all those primary, i.e. absolute, qualities of things, which had been determined by Locke, cannot be peculiar to things-in-themselves, but are inherent in our way of knowing these, for all such qualities are composed of pure determinations of time, space, and causality, and consequently are to be reckoned as belonging not to the real, but to the ideal. Finally, it follows from this that we know things in no respect as they are in themselves, but simply and solely in their phenomenal appearance. But then the real, the thing-in-itself, remains as something wholly unknown, a mere x, and the whole world of intuitive perception accrues to the ideal as a mere representation, a phenomenon, to which, however, as such a real, a thing-in-itself, must somehow correspond.

From this point I have finally made a step that I believe will be the last because I have solved the problem whereon all philosophizing since Descartes has turned. Thus I have reduced all being and knowing to the two elements of our self-consciousness and hence to something beyond which there can no longer be any principle of explanation, since it is that which is most immediate and therefore ultimate. I have thus called to mind, as follows from the investigations of all my predecessors which are here discussed, that the absolutely real, or the thing-initself, can never be given to us directly from without on the path of the mere representation because it is inevitably in the nature of such representation always to furnish only the ideal. On the other hand, since we ourselves are indisputably real, it must be possible in some way to draw a knowledge of the real from the interior of our own true nature. In fact, it now appears here in an immediate way in consciousness, namely as will. Accordingly, with me the line of intersection now falls between the real and the ideal in such a way that the whole world of intuitive perception, presenting itself objectively, including everyone's own body, together with space, time, and causality, and consequently together with the extended of Spinoza and the matter of Locke, belongs as representation to the ideal. But in this case, only the will is left as the real and all my predecessors, thoughtlessly and without reflection, had cast this into the ideal, as a mere result of representation and thought; in fact, Descartes and Spinoza even identified it with the judgement. [21] Thus with me ethics is now directly and incomparably more closely connected with metaphysics than it is in any other system, and so the moral significance of the world and existence is more firmly established than ever. Will and representation alone are fundamentally different in so far as they constitute the ultimate and basic contrast in all things in the world and leave no remainder. The represented thing and the representation thereof are the same; but only the represented thing, not the thing-in-itself. The latter is always will, whatever be the form in which it appears in the representation.



1 ['For there is for this universe no other place than the mind.']

2 [' But we should not accept time outside the mind; and also we should not accept the eternity of the Beyond outside Being (i.e. the world of Ideas).']

3 ['This life produces time, which also means that time arose simultaneously with this universe; for the mind has produced it simultaneously with this universe.')

4 [' I doubt, that is to say, I think, consequently I am.')
* [Footnotes with an asterisk or dagger represent additions made by Schopenhauer in his interleaved copy between 1851 and his death in 1860.]
* Ethics, Pt. 11, prop. 7: Ordo et connexio idearum idem est, ac ordo et connexio rerum.-Pt. v, prop. 1: Prout cogitationes rerumque ideae concatenantur in Mente, ita corporis affectiones, seu rerum imagines ad amusim ordinantur et concatenantur in Corpore.-Pt. II, prop. 5: Esse formale idearum Deum, quatenus tantum ut res cogitans consideratur, pro causa agnoscit, et non quatenus alio attributo explicatur. Hoc est tam Dei attributorum, quam rerum singularium ideae non ipsa ideata, sive res perceptas pro causa efficiente agnoscunt: sed ipsum Deum, quatenus est res cogitans.

['The order and connection of ideas are the same as the order and connection of things... Just as the thoughts and ideas of things are linked in the mind, so are the affections of the body or the images of things arranged and linked in the body. . . . The formal existence of ideas has God as its cause, in so far as he is considered as a thinking being, and not in so far as he is evolved by another attribute. That is to say: the ideas of the attributes of God, as of individual things, have as their cause, not the objects of these ideas, i.e. perceived things, but God himself, in so far as he is a thinking being.']

5 ['Physical influence'. (Term used by Descartes.)]

6 [' A thinking substance' and 'an extended substance'.]

7 [' Likewise a mode of extension and the idea of this mode are also one and the same.']
8 (' Likewise'.]

9 [An irrelevant or malicious appeal to personal circumstances.)
* In the Treatise on the Improvement of the Understanding, pp. 414/25 he evinces a decided realism and indeed in such a way that idea vera est diversum quid a suo ideato; etc. ['A true idea is something different from its object.') Nevertheless, this treatise is undoubtedly older than his Ethics.

10 ['The ideas of particular things do not have as their cause the objects of these ideas, in other words, perceived things, but God himself, in so far as he is a thinking being.')

11 [' The order and connection of ideas are the same as the order and connection of things.')

12 [' And for the present I cannot explain this more clearly.']

13 [' Lucidity is the good faith of philosophers.']

14 [' Indispensable condition'.)

15 [' All that you show me is to me incredible and repulsive.' (Horace, Ars poetica, 188)]

16 [' Through circumlocutions'.)

17 [' One and the same thing'.]

18 ['By will I understand the ability to affirm and deny... Let us take a definite ad of will, namely the mode of thought whereby the mind affirms that the three angles of a triangle are equal to two right angles ... Will and intellect are one and the same.']

 * The uninitiated in philosophy, who include many doctors thereof, should be wholly deprived of the word Idealism because they do not know what it means and with it are up to all sorts of mischief. By idealism they understand first spiritualism, and then possibly the opposite of Philistinism, and in this view they are strengthened and confirmed by vulgar men of letters. The words' idealism' and ‘realism' are not ownerless and unappropriated, but have their fixed philosophical meaning. Those who mean something else, should simply use another word. The contrast between idealism and realism concerns what is known, the object; on the other hand, that between spiritualism and materialism concerns the knower, the subject. (The ignorant scribblers of today confuse idealism and spiritualism.)

19 (Kotzebue, A. F. F. v. (1761-1819). This early play has long since been forgotten. )

20 There is no Church that dreads the light more than does the English just because no other has at stake such great pecuniary interests, its income amounting to £5,000,000 sterling, which is said to be £40,000 more than the income of the whole of the remaining Christian clergy of both hemispheres taken together. On the other hand, there is no nation which it is so painful to see methodically stupefied by the most degrading blind faith than the English who surpass all others in intelligence. The root of the evil is that there is no ministry of public instruction and hence that this has hitherto remained entirely in the hands of the parsons. These have taken good care that two-thirds of the nation shall not be able to read and write; in fact, from time to time, they even have the audacity with the most ludicrous presumption to yelp at the natural sciences. It is, therefore, a human duty to smuggle into England, through every conceivable channel, light, liberal-mindedness, and science, so that those best-fed of all priests may have their business brought to an end. When Englishmen of education display on the Continent their Jewish sabbatarian superstition and other stupid bigotry, they should be treated with undisguised derision, until they be shamed into common sense (Schopenhauer's own English]. For such things are a scandal to Europe and should no longer be tolerated. Therefore even in the ordinary course of life, we should never make the least concession to the superstition of the English Church, but should at once stand up to it in the most caustic and trenchant manner wherever it puts in an appearance. For no arrogance exceeds that of Anglican parsons; on the Continent, therefore, this must suffer enough humiliation, so that a portion thereof is taken home, where there is a lack of it. For the audacity of Anglican parsons and of their slavish followers is quite incredible, even at the present time; it should, therefore, be confined to its island and, when it ventures to show itself on the Continent, it should at once be made to play the role of the owl by day. 

21 Spinoza, loc cit.-Descartes, Mediationes de prima philosophia, Med. IV, p. 28.
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Re: Parerga and Paralipomena: Short Philosophical Essays

Postby admin » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:35 am


Readers who are acquainted with what has passed for philosophy in Germany in the course of this [nineteenth] century, might perhaps wonder why they do not see mentioned in the interval between Kant and me either the idealism of Fichte, or the system of the absolute identity of the real and the ideal, as they quite properly appear to belong to our subject But I have not been able to include them because Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel are in my opinion not philosophers; for they lack the first requirement of a philosopher, namely a seriousness and honesty of inquiry. They are merely sophists who wanted to appear to be rather than to be something. They sought not truth, but their own interest and advancement in the world. Appointments from governments, fees and royalties from students and publishers, and, as a means to this end, the greatest possible show and sensation in their sham philosophy-such were the guiding stars and inspiring genii of those disciples of wisdom. And so they have not passed the entrance examination and cannot be admitted into the venerable company of thinkers for the human race.

Nevertheless they have excelled in one thing, in the art of beguiling the public and of passing themselves off for what they are not; and this undoubtedly requires talent, yet not philosophical. On the other hand, that they were unable to achieve in philosophy anything substantial was ultimately due to the fact that their intellect had not become free, but had remained in the service oft heir will. For it is true that the intellect can achieve an extraordinary amount for the will and its aims, yet it can do nothing for philosophy, any more than it can for art. For these lay down, as their very first condition, that the intellect acts only spontaneously and of its own accord and that, during the time of this activity, it ceases to submit to the will, that is, to have in view one's own personal aims. But when the intellect itself is of its own accord active, by its nature it knows of no other aim than truth. Hence to be a philosopher, that is to say, a lover of wisdom (for wisdom is nothing but truth), it is not enough for a man to love truth, in so far as it is compatible with his own interest, with the will of his superiors, with the dogmas of the Church, or with the prejudices and tastes of contemporaries; so long as he rests content with this position, he is only a [x], not a [x]. [1] For this title of honour is well and wisely conceived precisely by its stating that one should love the truth earnestly and with one's whole heart, and thus unconditionally and unreservedly, above all else, and, if need be, in defiance of all else. Now the reason for this is the one previously stated that the intellect has become free, and in this state it does not even know or understand any other interest than that of truth. The consequence, however, is that we then conceive an implacable hatred of all lying and deception, in whatever garb they may appear. In this way, of course, we shall not get on very well in the world, but we shall in philosophy. On the other hand, the auspices for philosophy are bad if, when proceeding ostensibly on the investigation of truth, we start saying farewell to all uprightness, honesty, and sincerity, and are intent only on passing ourselves off for what we are not. We then assume, like those three sophists, first a false pathos, then an affected and lofty earnestness, then an air of infinite superiority, in order to impose where we despair of ever being able to convince. One writes carelessly because, thinking only in order to write, one had saved up one's thoughts till the moment of writing. The attempt is made to smuggle in palpable sophisms as proofs, to give out hollow and senseless verbiage for profound ideas. A reference is made to intellectual intuition or to absolute thought and the self-movement of concepts. One expressly challenges the standpoint of' reflection', in other words, of rational deliberation, impartial consideration, and honest presentation, and thus the proper and normal use of the faculty of reason generally. Accordingly, an infinite contempt is expressed for the 'philosophy of reflection', by which name is designated every course of thought that deduces consequents from grounds, such as constitutes all previous philosophizing. If, therefore, one is provided with sufficient audacity and is encouraged by the pitiable spirit of the times, one will hold forth somewhat as follows: 'It is not difficult to see that the manner of stating a proposition, of adducing grounds or reasons for it, and likewise of refuting its opposite through grounds or reasons, is not the form in which truth can appear. Truth is the movement of itself within itself', and so on. (Hegel, Preface to the Phenomenology of the Mind, p. lvii, in the complete edition, p. 36.) I do not think that it is difficult to see that whoever puts forward anything like this is a shameless charlatan who wants to fool simpletons and observes that he has found his people in the Germans of the nineteenth century.

Accordingly if, while hurrying ostensibly to the temple of truth, we hand the reins over to our personal interests which look aside at very different guiding stars, for instance at the tastes and foibles of contemporaries, at the established religion, but in particular at the hints and suggestions of those at the head of affairs, then how shall we ever reach the high, precipitous, bare rock whereon stands the temple of truth? Then we may well attach to ourselves, through the sure bond of interest, a host of genuinely hopeful disciples, hopeful, that is, of protection and posts. These form in appearance a sect but in reality a faction, and by their united stentorian voices one is now 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 impression with which we are seized when, after studying the above-discussed genuine thinkers, we come to the writings of Fichte and Schelling, or even to the presumptuously scribbled nonsense of Hegel, produced as it was with a boundless, though justified, confidence in German stupidity. [2] With those genuine thinkers one always found an honest investigation of truth and just as honest an attempt to communicate their ideas to others. Therefore whoever reads Kant, Locke, Hume, Malebranche, Spinoza, and Descartes feels elevated and agreeably impressed. This is produced through communion with a noble mind which has and awakens ideas and which thinks and sets one thinking. The reverse of all this takes place when we read the above-mentioned three German sophists. An unbiased reader, opening one of their books and then asking himself whether this is the tone of a thinker wanting to instruct or that of a charlatan wanting to impress, cannot be five minutes in any doubt; here everything breathes so much of dishonesty. The tone of calm investigation, which had characterized all previous philosophy, is exchanged for that of unshakable certainty, such as is peculiar to charlatanry of every kind and at all times. Here, however, this certainty claims to rest on immediate intellectual intuition or on thought that is absolute, in other words, independent of the subject and thus of the fallibility thereof. From every page and every line, there speaks an endeavour to beguile and deceive the reader, first by producing an effect to dumbfound him, then by incomprehensible phrases and even sheer nonsense to stun and stupefy him, and again by audacity of assertion to puzzle him, in short, to throw dust in his eyes and mystify him as much as possible. Thus the impression felt by a man in the case of the transition in question as regards the theoretical, can be compared with that which he may have as regards the practical, ifhe found himself in a den of swindlers after coming from a community of men of honour. What an estimable man is Christian Wolff in comparison with them, a man so disparaged and ridiculed precisely by those three sophists! He had real thoughts and furnished them; they, on the other hand, had mere word structures and phrases for the purpose of deceiving. Accordingly, the true distinguishing character of the philosophy of the whole of this so-called post-Kantian school is dishonesty, its element mist and smoke, and its goal personal aims. Its exponents were concerned to appear, not to be; they are, therefore, sophists, not philosophers. The ridicule of posterity, extending to their admirers, and then oblivion awaits them. Incidentally, associated with the above-mentioned tendency of these men is the bickering and abusive tone which everywhere pervades Schelling's writings as an obligato accompaniment. Now if all this were not the case, and if Schelling had gone to work with honesty instead of with bluff and humbug, then, as being decidedly the most gifted of the three, he might at least have occupied in philosophy the subordinate position of an eclectic, useful for the time being. The amalgam prepared by him from the doctrines of Plotinus, Spinoza, Jacob Boehme, Kant, and of the natural sciences of modern times, could to this extent fill for the time being the great gap produced by the negative results of the Kantian philosophy, until a really new philosophy came along and properly afforded the satisfaction demanded by the former. In particular, he has used the natural science of our century to revive Spinoza's abstract pantheism. Thus without any knowledge of nature, Spinoza had philosophized at random merely from abstract concepts and, without properly knowing the things themselves, he had erected the structure of his system. To have clothed this bare skeleton with flesh and blood and to have imparted life and movement to it, as well as might be, by applying natural science that had in the meantime developed, although this was often falsely applied, is the undeniable merit of Schelling in his Naturphilosophie, which is also the best of his many different attempts and new departures.

Just as children play with weapons intended for serious purposes or with other implements belonging to adults, so have the three sophists we are considering dealt with the subject here discussed, in that they have furnished the grotesque pendant of two centuries of laborious investigations on the part of musing and meditating philosophers. Thus after Kant had more than ever accentuated the great problem of the relation between what exists in-itself and our representations, and so had brought it a great deal nearer to solution, Fichte came forward with the assertion that there is nothing more behind the representations and that these are simply products of the knowing subject, of the ego. While attempting in this way to outdo Kant, he produced merely a caricature of that philosopher's system since, by constantly applying the method of those three pseudo-philosophers which was already much vaunted, he entirely abolished the real and left over nothing but the ideal. Then came Schelling who, in his system of the absolute identity of the real and the ideal, declared that whole difference to be of no account and maintained that the ideal is also the real and that the two are identical. In this way, he attempted again to throw into confusion that which had been so laboriously separated by means of a slow and gradually developing process of reflection, and to mix up everything. (Schelling, Vom Verhaltniss tier Naturphilosophie zur Fichte'schen, pp. 14-21.) The distinction of the ideal and the real is just boldly denied in imitation of the above-censured errors of Spinoza. At the same time, even the monads of Leibniz, that monstrous identification of two absurdities, thus of the atoms and of the indivisible, originally and essentially knowing individuals called souls, are again fetched out, solemnly apotheosized, and made use of. (Schelling, Ideen zur Naturphilosophie, 2nd edn., pp. 38 and 82.) Schelling's philosophy of nature bears the name of the philosophy of identity because, following in Spinoza's footsteps, it abolishes three distinctions which he too had abolished, namely that between God and the world, that between body and soul, and finally also that between the ideal and the real in the intuitively perceived world. This last distinction, however, as was previously shown when we considered Spinoza, does not by any means depend on those other two. On the contrary, the more it was brought into prominence, the more were those other two rendered doubtful; for they are based on dogmatic proofs (overthrown by Kant), whereas it is based on a simple act of reflection. In keeping with all this, metaphysics was by Schelling identified with physics and accordingly the lofty title Von der Weltseele was given to a merely physico-chemical diatribe. All really metaphysical problems that untiringly force themselves on human consciousness were to be silenced through a flat denial by means of peremptory assertions. Nature is here just because it is, out of itself and through itself; we bestow on it the title of God, and with this it is disposed of; whoever asks for more is a fool. The distinction between subjective and objective is a mere trick of the schools, like the whole Kantian philosophy, and this philosophy's distinction of a priori and a posteriori is of no account. Our empirical intuitive perception quite properly furnishes us with the things-in- themselves, and so on. Let us see Ueber das Verhaltniss der Naturphilosophie zur Fichte'schen, pp. 51 and 67 and also p. 67, where those are expressly ridiculed 'who are really astonished that there is not nothing and who cannot be surprised enough that anything actually exists'. Thus to Herr von Schelling everything seems to be a matter of course. At bottom, however, such talk as this is a veiled appeal, in pompous phrases, to the so-called sound, i.e. crude, common sense. For the rest, I recall here what was said at the very beginning of chapter seventeen in the second volume of my chief work. Significant for our subject, and very naive, is the passage on page 69 of Schelling's, above-quoted book: 'If empiricism had completely attained its object, its opposition to philosophy, and therewith philosophy itself, would disappear as a particular sphere or species of science. All abstractions would dissolve themselves into direct, "friendly" intuitive perception; the highest would be a sport of pleasure and innocence; the most difficult would be easy, the most immaterial material, and man would be able to read gladly and freely in the book of nature.' That would, of course, be most delightful! But with us it is not like that; thinking cannot be shown the door in this way. The serious old sphinx with its riddle lies there motionless, and it does not plunge down from the rock because you declare it to be a ghost. Therefore when Schelling himself later observed that metaphysical problems cannot be dismissed by peremptory assertions, he gave us a really metaphysical essay in his treatise on freedom. This, however, is a mere piece of the imagination, a conte bleu, [3] a fairy-tale; and so it is that whenever the style assumes the tone of demonstration (e.g. pp. 453ff.), it has a decidedly comical effect.

Through his doctrine of the identity of the real and the ideal, Schelling had accordingly tried to solve the problem that was started by Descartes, dealt with by all great thinkers, and fina])y brought to a head by Kant. He attempted to solve this problem by cutting the knot, in that he denied the antithesis between the real and the ideal. In this way he really came into direct contradiction with Kant from whom he professed to start. Meanwhile he had firmly kept at any rate the original and proper meaning of the problem which concerns the relation between our intuitive perception and the being and essence-in-itself of the things that present themselves in that perception. But since he drew his doctrine mainly from Spinoza, he soon adopted from him the expressions thinking and being which state very badly the problem we are discussing and later gave rise to the absurdest monstrosities. With his doctrine that substantia cogitans et substantia extensa una eademque est substantia, quae am sub hoc jam sub illo attributo comprehenditur (Ethics, Pt. II, prop. 7, schol.); or scilicet mens et corpus una eademque est res, quae jam sub cogitationis, jam sub extensionis attributo concipitur [4] (Ethics, Pt. III, prop. 2, schol.), Spinoza had first tried to abolish the Cartesian antithesis of body and soul. He may also have recognized that the empirical object is not different from our representation thereof. Schelling now received from him the expressions thinking and being, which he gradually substituted for those of perceiving: or rather perceived and thing-in-itself. (Neue Zeitschrift fur spekulative Physik, vol. i, first article: 'Further expositions' and so on.) For the relation of our intuitive perception of things to their being and essence-in-itself is the great problem whose history I am here sketching; not, however, the relation of our thoughts or ideas, that is, of concepts. For quite obviously and undeniably these are mere abstractions from what is known through intuitive perception, and they have arisen from our arbitrarily thinking away or dropping of some qualities and our retention of others. To doubt this can never occur to any reasonable man. [5] Therefore these concepts and thoughts, constituting the class of non-perceptive representations, never have an immediate relation to the essence and being-in-itself of things. On the contrary, they have always only a mediate relation, that is, through the mediation of intuitive perception. It is this, that, on the one hand, furnishes them with the material and, on the other, stands in relation to the things-in- themselves, in other words, to the unknown, real, and true essence of things that objectifies itself in intuitive perception.

Now the inaccurate expression, borrowed by Schelling from Spinoza, was later used by that insipid and inane charlatan Hegel, who in this respect appears as Schelling's buffoon, and it was so distorted that thinking itself in the proper sense and hence concepts were to be identical with the essence-in-itself of things. Therefore what is thought in abstracto, as such and directly, was to be identical with what is objectively present in itself, and accordingly logic was at the same time to be the true metaphysics. In that case, we should need only to think, or put our trust in concepts, in order to know how the world outside is absolutely constituted. According to this, everything haunting a skull would at once be true and real. Now since 'the madder the better' was the motto of the philosophasters of this period, this absurdity was supported by a second, namely that we did not think, but the concepts, alone and without our assistance, completed the thought process, which was, therefore, called the dialectical self-movement of the concept, and was now to be a revelation of all things in et extra naturam. But this buffoonery was really based on yet another that likewise rested on a misuse of words, and indeed was never clearly expressed, although it is undoubtedly at the bottom thereof. Mter the manner of Spinoza, Schelling had given the world the title of God. Hegel took this in the literal sense. Now as the word really signifies a personal being who, together with other qualities absolutely incompatible with the world, has also that of omniscience, this too was now transferred by Hegel to the world. Naturally it could not find any other place than the simple mind of man, whereupon he needed only to give free play to his thoughts (dialectical self-movement) in order to reveal all the mysteries of heaven and earth, namely in the absolute gibberish of the Hegelian dialectic. There is one art that Hegel has really understood, and that is how to lead Germans by the nose. But it is not a great art; indeed, we see with what rubbish and nonsense he was able for thirty years to keep in its proper place the learned world of Germany. The professors of philosophy still take these three sophists seriously and consider it important to assign to them a place in the history of philosophy. This is only because it belongs to their gagne-pain, [6] since here they have material for elaborate dissertations, verbal and written, on the history of the so-called post-Kantian philosophy wherein the tenets and dogmas of these sophists are expounded in detail and seriously considered. But from a rational point of view, we should not bother about what these men brought to market in order to appear to be something, unless it were the intention to regard Hegel's scribblings as medicinal to be kept in chemists' shops as a psychically effective vomitive, for the disgust they excite is really quite specific. But enough of them and their author whose veneration we will leave to the Danish Academy of Scientific Studies. In him it recognized a summus philosophus in its sense of the term and therefore demands deference to him in its judgement that is appended as a lasting memorial to my prize-essay On the Basis of Ethics. This judgement merited rescue from oblivion no less on account of its discernment than of its remarkable honesty and also because it furnishes a striking confirmation of La Bruyere's fine saying: Du meme fonds dont on neglige un homme de merite, l'on sait encore admirer un sot. [7]


1 [' A friend of his own ego, not a friend of wisdom '.]

2 The Hegelian sham wisdom is really that millstone in the student's head in Faust. If our intention is to make a youth stupid and wholly incapable of all thinking, there is no means more approved than the laborious study of Hegel's original works. For these monstrous articulations of words that cancel and contradict one another, so that the mind vainly torments itself in trying through them to think of anything till it finally collapses with exhaustion, gradually destroy so completely his ability to think, that henceforth hollow, empty flourishes and phrases are regarded by him as thoughts. Now add to this the presumption, confirmed for the youth by the word and example of all in authority, that that hollow verbiage is true and lofty wisdom! If at any time a guardian should ever be afraid that his wards might become too clever for his plans, then such a misfortune could be prevented by a sedulous study of the Hegelian philosophy.
3 [' Fairy-tale'.]
4 ['The thinking substance and the extended substance are one and the same substance which is comprehended now under this attribute, now under that …. namely that mind and body are one and the same thing which is conceived at one moment under the attribute of thinking, at another under that of extension.']
5 On the Fourfold Root of thee Princuoke of Sufficient Reason, 2nd edn., §26.
6 [' Livelihood'.]
7 [' For the same reason that we neglect a man of merit we are capable of admiring a fool.' (La Bruyere, Les Caracteres.)]
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Re: Parerga and Paralipomena: Short Philosophical Essays

Postby admin » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:30 am

Part 1 of 6

Fragments for the History of Philosophy

§1. Concerning the History of Philosophy

To read all kinds of expositions of the doctrines of philosophers, or generally the history of philosophy instead of their own original works, is as if we wanted to have our food masticated by someone else. Would anyone read the history of the world if he were free to behold with his own eyes the interesting events of ancient times? Now as regards the history of philosophy, such an autopsy of its subject is actually accessible to him, thus in the original writings of philosophers wherein he may still limit himself, for the sake of brevity, to the main and well-chosen chapters, the more so as they all teem with repetitions which he can spare himself. In this way, he will become acquainted with the essentials of their doctrines in an authentic and unadulterated form, whereas from the half-dozen histories of philosophy that appear annually he obtains merely what has entered the head of a professor of philosophy, and indeed in the form in which it there appears. Now it is obvious that the thoughts of a great mind are bound to shrink considerably in order to find room in the three-pound brain of such a parasite of philosophy whence they are to emerge once more clothed in the particular jargon of the day and accompanied by his serious and solemn criticisms. Moreover, it may be reckoned that such a money-making writer of the history of philosophy can have read scarcely a tithe of the writings about which he furnishes a report. Their real study demands all of a long and studious life, such as the stout-hearted Brucker formerly devoted to them in the industrious times of old. On the other hand, what can have been thoroughly investigated by such little men who, detained by constant lecturing, official business, holiday tours, and amusements, appear for the most part in their early years with histories of philosophy? But in addition, they wish to be pragmatical and claim to have fathomed and to expound the necessity of the origin and sequence of systems, and even to criticize, correct, and find fault with the serious and genuine philosophers of antiquity. How can it be otherwise than that they copy the older ones and one another, but then, to conceal this, make matters worse by endeavouring to give them the modern cast of the current quinquennium, likewise pronouncing judgement on them in the spirit of this? On the other hand, a collection of the important passages and essential chapters of all the principal philosophers, made by honest scholars of insight conscientiously and in common, would be very appropriate. Such a collection could be arranged in a chronological pragmatical order, much in the same way first as Gedicke and later Ritter and Preller did with the philosophy of antiquity, yet in much greater detail; thus it would be a great and universal anthology, prepared with care and a knowledge of the subject.

The fragments, here given, are at any rate not traditional, that is, they are not copied down; on the contrary, they are ideas occasioned by my own study of the original works.

§2. Pre-Socratic Philosophy

The Eleatic philosophers were indeed the first to become aware of the contrast between the intuitively perceived and the conceived, between [x] and [x]. The latter alone was for them the truly existing, the [x]. Of this they asserted that it is one, unalterable, and immovable; but not so of the [x], i.e. of the intuitively perceived, that which appears, the empirically given. To assert of this anything of the kind would have been positively ludicrous; and so the proposition, so misunderstood, was once refuted by Diogenes in the well-known way. Thus they really distinguished between appearance [Erscheinung], [x] ,and thing-in-itself, [x]. The latter could not be perceived sensuously, but only comprehended through thought; accordingly it was [x]. (Aristotle, Metaphysics, I, 5, p. 986 et schol., Berlin edn., pp. 429, 430, and 509.) In the scholia to Aristotle (pp. 460, 536, 544, and 798), the work of Parmenides, [x], [1] is mentioned; and so this would have been the doctrine of the phenomenon and thus physics. In keeping with this, there would undoubtedly have been another work, [x] [2] the doctrine of the thing-in-itself and thus metaphysics. A scholium of Philoponus positively says of Melissus: [x]  (should be [x]) [x]. [3] In contrast to the Eleatics, and probably provoked by them, was Heraclitus, in so far as he taught the ceaseless movement of all things, whereas they taught their absolute immobility; he accordingly confined himself to the [x]. (Aristotle, De coelo, III, I, p. 298, Berlin edition.) Now in this way, he again evoked as his antithesis Plato's doctrine of Ideas, as follows from the statement of Aristotle (Metaphysics, p. 1078).

It is noteworthy that we find repeated innumerable times in the writings of the ancients, yet very little beyond them, the comparatively few main propositions of the pre-Socratic philosophers. Thus, for example, we have the doctrines of Anaxagoras of the [x] and the [x] [4] those of Empedocles of [x] [5] and of the four elements; those of Democritus and Leucippus of the atoms and the [x] [6] those of Heraclitus of the continuous flux of things; those of the Eleatics as previously explained; those of the Pythagoreans of numbers, metempsychosis, and so on. However, it may well be that this was the sum total of all their philosophizing, for we also find in the works of the moderns, for example in those of Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, and even Kant, the few fundamental propositions of their philosophies repeated innumerable times; so that all these philosophers seem to have adopted the motto of Empedocles who may also have been a lover of the sign of repetition, [x] [7] (See Sturz, Empedocles of Agrigentum, p. 504.)

Moreover, the above two dogmas of Anaxagoras are closely connected. Thus [x] [8] is his symbolic description of the dogma of the homoeomeries. Accordingly, in the primal chaotic mass the partes similares. (in the physiological sense) of all things were present and complete. To separate them out and combine, arrange, and form them into specifically different things (partes dissimilares), a [x] was needed which, by selecting the constituents, reduced confusion to order; for indeed the chaos contained the most complete mixture of all substances (schol. in Aristotle, p. 337). Yet the [x] had not completely brought about this first separation, and so in each thing there were still to be found the constituents of everything else, although to a lesser degree: [x] [9] (ibid.).

On the other hand, Empedocles had, instead of innumerable homoeomeries, only four elements whence things were now said to emerge as products, not as educts as with Anaxagoras. But the uniting and separating and hence regulating role of the vovs is with him played by [x], love and hatred. Both these are very much more sensible. Thus he assigns the ordering of things not to the intellect ([x]), but to the will ([x]), and the different kinds of substances are not, as with Anaxagoras, mere educts, but actual products. Whereas Anaxagoras represented them as being brought about by an understanding that separates, Empedocles represents them as being produced by a blind impulse, i.e. by a will that is devoid of knowledge.

On the whole, Empedocles is a thorough man and, underlying his [x] there is a profound and true apercu. Even in inorganic nature we see the elements seeking and avoiding one another, uniting and separating, according to the laws of elective affinity. But those that show the strongest tendency to unite chemically, a tendency that can be satisfied only in the state of fluidity, enter into the most definite electrical opposition when they come into contact with one another in the solid state; they now separate into opposite and hostile polarities in order again to seek and embrace one another. What else is that polar contrast, appearing generally in the whole of nature under the most varied forms, but a constantly renewed discord or variance on which the ardently desired reconciliation follows? Thus [x] are actually present everywhere, and only according to the circumstances will one or the other appear at any time. And so even we ourselves can be instantly friendly or hostile; the disposition to be either exists and awaits the circumstances. Only prudence bids us stop at the point of indifference, of unconcern, although this is at the same time the freezing-point. In the same way, a strange dog, approached by us, is at once ready to adopt a friendly or hostile tone and changes easily from barking and growling to tail-wagging and vice-versa. What lies at the basis of this universal phenomenon of the [x] is, of course, ultimately the great primal contrast between the unity of all beings according to their essence-in-itself and their complete diversity and variety in the phenomenon, which has for its form the principium individuationis. Similarly, Empedocles recognized as false the doctrine of atoms that was already known to him and, on the other hand, taught the infinite divisibility of bodies, as we are told by Lucretius, lib. I, vv. 749 seqq.

But above all, the decided pessimism of Empedocles is noticeable in his doctrines. He fully recognized the misery of our existence and for him, as for true Christians, the world is a vale of tears, [x] [10] He compares it, as did Plato later, to a dark cave wherein we are confined. In our earthly existence he sees a state of exile and misery and the body is the prison of the soul. These souls were once in a state of infinite bliss and reached the present perdition through their own fault and sins. Through sinful conduct they become ever more ensnared in this perdition and are involved in the circle of metempsychosis. On the other hand, through virtue and moral purity, which also included abstinence from animal food, and by turning away from earthly pleasures and desires, they can again reach their previous state. Hence the same fundamental wisdom, constituting the basic idea of Brahmanism and Buddhism and indeed of true Christianity (by which is not to be understood optimistic, Jewish- Protestant rationalism) was also brought home to us by this ancient Greek, whereby the consensus gentium [11] concerning it was rendered complete. It is probable that Empedocles, whom the ancients generally describe as a Pythagorean, obtained this view from Pythagoras, especially as at bottom it is shared even by Plato, who is likewise under the influence of Pythagoras. Empedocles adheres most definitely to the doctrine of metempsychosis which is associated with this view of the world. The| passages of the ancients which, together with his own verses, bear witness to that world conception of Empedocles, are found collected with great industry in Sturz's Empedocles Agrigentinus, pp. 448-58. The view that the body is a prison and life a condition of suffering and purification, from which we are released by death if we are quit of the transmigration of souls, is shared by Egyptians, Pythagoreans, Empedocles, along with Hindus and Buddhists. With the exception of metempsychosis, it is also contained in Christianity. Diodorus Siculus, Cicero, and others (see Wernsdorf, De metempsychosi veterum, p. 31, and Cicero, Fragmenta de philosophia, p. 299 (Somnium Scipionis) 316, 319, ed. Bip.) [12] bear witness to that view of the ancients. In these passages Cicero does not state to what school of philosophers they belong; yet they appear to be remnants of Pythagorean wisdom.

In the remaining dogmas of these pre-Socratic philosophers, there is also much that can be demonstrated as true, and of this I will give a few examples.

According to the cosmogony of Kant and Laplace, which has actually been confirmed a posteriori by Herschel's observations and which Lord Rosse with his giant telescope is trying again to render doubtful for the consolation of the English clergy, planetary systems are formed through condensation from luminous nebulae that slowly coagulate and then revolve. Thus after thousands of years, Anaximenes was right after all when he declared air and vapour to be the fundamental substance of all things (schol. in Aristotle, p. 514.). But at the same time, Empedocles and Democritus also obtain confirmation; for, like Laplace, they explained the origin and constitution of the world from a vortex, [x] (Aristotle, Opera, Berlin edition, p. 295, et schol., p. 351). Even Aristophanes (Nubes, l. 820) mocks at this as godlessness, just as the English parsons of today ridicule the theory of Laplace; for here, as with all truth that comes to light, they feel ill at ease, that is to say, they are concerned about their livings. Indeed, even our chemical stoicheiometry to a certain extent leads back to the Pythagorean philosophy of numbers: [x] [13] (Schol. in Aristotle, pp. 543 et 829.) It is well known that the Copernican system had been anticipated by the Pythagoreans; indeed it was known to Copernicus himself who drew his fundamental idea straight from the well-known passage on Hicetas in Cicero's Academicae quaestiones (n. 39), and on Philolaus in Plutarch, De placitis philosophorum, [14] lib. III, c. 13 (according to Maclaurin, On Newton, p. 45). This old and important knowledge was afterwards rejected by Aristotle so that in its place he could put his own humbug about which I shall have something to say in § 5. (Cf. World as Will and Representation, vol. ii, chap. 26 end.) But even Fourier's and Cordier's discoveries concerning the heat in the interior of the earth are confirmations of the doctrine of the ancients: [x] Schol. in Aristotle, p. 504. [15] If, in consequence of those very discoveries, the earth's crust is today regarded as a thin layer between two media (atmosphere and hot molten metals and metalloids), contact between which must occasion a conflagration destroying that crust, then this confirms the opinion that the world will ultimately be consumed by fire, an opinion wherein all the ancient philosophers agree and which is shared by the Hindus (Lettres edifiantes et curieuses, 1819 edn., vol. vii, p. 114). It is also worth noting that, as can be seen from Aristotle (Metaphysics, I. 5, p. 986), the Pythagoreans had correctly interpreted under the name [x] [16] the Yin and Yang of the Chinese.

That the metaphysics of music, as I have explained in my chief work (vol. I, § 52 and vol. ii, chap. 39), can be regarded as an exposition of the Pythagorean philosophy of numbers, has already been briefly alluded to by me in that work. Here I will explain the matter somewhat more fully, but assume that the reader has before him the foregoing passages. According to these, melody expresses all movements of the will as it makes itself known in man's self-consciousness; in other words, it expresses all emotions, feelings, and so on. Harmony, on the other hand, indicates the scale of the will's objectification in the rest of nature. In this sense, music is a second reality that runs entirely parallel with the first, yet it is of quite a different nature and character therefrom so that, while it has complete analogy, it has absolutely no similarity with it. But now, as such, music exists only in our auditory nerve and brain; apart from these or in itself (understood in the Lockean sense), it consists of mere numerical relations, first, according to their quantity, as regards measure or beat, and then, according to their quality, as regards the intervals of the scale, which rest on the arithmetical relations of vibrations. In other words, music consists of numerical relations in its rhythmic as well as its harmonic element. Accordingly, the whole nature of the world, both as microcosm and macrocosm, may certainly be expressed by mere numerical relations and thus to a certain extent be reduced thereto. In this sense, Pythagoras had been right in placing the true nature of things in numbers. But what are numbers? Relations of succession whose possibility rests on time.

When we read what is said in the scholia to Aristotle (p. 829, Berlin edition) about the Pythagoreans' philosophy of numbers, we may be led to suppose that the use of the word [x] at the beginning of the gospel ascribed to John, a use so strange, mysterious, and verging on the absurd, and also the earlier analogues thereof in Philo, are derived from the Pythagorean philosophy of numbers, that is, from the meaning of the word [x] in the arithmetical sense as numerical relation, ratio numenca. For according to the Pythagoreans, such a relation constitutes the innermost and indestructible essence of every being and hence is its first and original principle, [x] whereupon [x] [17] might be true of everything. It should also be noted that Aristotle says (De anima, I. I): [x] [18]. One is also reminded here of the [x] [19] of the Stoics to which I shall shortly return.

According to the biography of Pythagoras by Jamblichus, the former obtained his education mainly in Egypt where he stayed from his twenty-second to his fifty-sixth year, and indeed from the priests of that country. Returning in his fifty-sixth year, he really intended to found a kind of priest state in imitation of the Egyptian temple hierarchies, although with modifications necessary for the Greeks; in this he did not succeed in his native land Samos, but to some extent did in Croton. Now since Egyptian culture and religion undoubtedly came from India, as is proved by the sacredness of the cow and by a hundred other things (Herodotus, lib. II, c. 41), this explains Pythagoras' precept to abstain from animal food, especially the order not to slaughter horned cattle (Jamblichus, Life of Pythagoras, c. 28, § 150), as also the gentle treatment of all animals which is enjoined; similarly his doctrine of metempsychosis, his white robes, his eternal mysterious conduct giving rise to symbolic utterances and extending even to mathematical theorems; again the establishment of a kind of priestly caste with strict discipline and much ceremonial, worship of the sun (c. 35, § 256), and many other things. Even the more important of his fundamental astronomical conceptions were obtained from the Egyptians. Hence the prior claim of his doctrine of the obliquity of the ecliptic was disputed by Oenopides who had been with him in Egypt. (Concerning this, see the end of the twenty-fourth chapter of the first book of the Eclogues of Stobaeus with Heeren's note from Diodorus.) In general, when we look through the elementary conceptions of astronomy that have been gathered by Stobaeus from all the Greek philosophers (especially lib. I, cc. 25 seqq.), we find that they have usually produced absurdities, with the single exception of the Pythagoreans, who, as a rule, are quite right. There is no doubt that this comes not from their own resources but from Egypt.

The well-known prohibition of Pythagoras regarding beans is of purely Egyptian origin and is merely a superstition coming from that country, for Herodotus (lib. II, c. 37) relates that in Egypt the bean is considered unclean and is abhorred, so that the priests could not even bear the sight of it.

Moreover, that the doctrine of Pythagoras was a decided pantheism is testified, both conclusively and concisely, by a sentence of the Pythagoreans, preserved for us by Clement of Alexandria in the Cohortatio ad gentes whose Doric dialect points to its genuineness. It runs as follows: [x] [20] (See Clement of Alexandria, Opera, Tom. i, p. 118 in Sanctorum Patrum opera polemica vol. iv, Wurzburg, 1778). Thus it is a good thing at every opportunity to convince ourselves that theism proper and Judaism are convertible terms.

According to Apuleius, Pythagoras may have travelled as far as India and have been instructed even by the Brahmans themselves. (See Apuleius, Florida, p. 130, ed. Bip.) Accordingly, I believe that the wisdom and knowledge of Pythagoras, which are certainly to be highly rated, consisted not so much in what he thought as in what he had learnt and hence that they were less his own than that of others. This is confirmed by a saying of Heraclitus concerning him. (Diogenes Laertius, lib. VIII, c. I, § 5.) Otherwise he would have written them down in order to preserve his ideas from extinction; on the other hand, what had been learnt from others remained secure at the source.

§3. Socrates

The wisdom of Socrates is a philosophical article of faith. It is clear that the Socrates of Plato is an ideal and is therefore poetical, expressing Platonic thoughts, whereas in the Socrates of Xenophon there is not exactly much wisdom to be found. According to Lucian (Philopseudes, 24), Socrates had a fat belly, which is not one of the distinguishing marks of genius. Yet as regards high intellectual abilities, it is just as doubtful with all who have not written, and so too with Pythagoras. A great mind must gradually recognize his vocation and attitude to mankind; consequently, he is bound to become conscious of belonging not to the flock but to the shepherds, I mean to the educators of the human race. From this, however, it will clearly become his duty not to restrict his immediate and assured influence to the few whom chance brings near to him, but to extend it to humanity, so that it is able to reach the exceptions, the elect and hence the rare ones among mankind. But the organ whereby one speaks to humanity is only writing; verbally one addresses only a number of individuals, and so what is thus said remains in relation to the human race a private matter. For such individuals generally are a poor soil for a rich and noble seed; in such soil either it does not thrive at all, or it rapidly degenerates in what it produces; and so the seed itself must be preserved. Yet this is not done through tradition that is falsified at every step, but solely through writing, this one and only faithful preserver of thoughts. Moreover, every profound thinker necessarily has the impulse, for his own satisfaction, to fix and retain his ideas and to reduce them to the greatest possible clearness and precision, and consequently to embody them in words. But this is done to perfection only by writing; for the written report is essentially different from the verbal, since it alone admits of the highest precision, concision, and pregnant brevity, and consequently becomes the pure ectype of the thought. As a result of all this, it would be a strange presumption in a thinker to want to leave unused the most important invention of the human race. Accordingly, it is hard for me to believe in the really great intellect of those who have not written; on the contrary, I am inclined to regard them mainly as practical heroes who effected more by their character than by their brains. The sublime authors of the Upanishads of the Vedas have written, although the Sanhita of the Vedas, consisting of mere prayers, were at first propagated only verbally.

Very many parallels can be pointed out between Socrates and Kant. Both reject all dogmatism; both profess a complete ignorance in metaphysical matters, and their special characteristic lies in the clear awareness of such ignorance. On the other hand, both maintain that the practical, that which man has to do and suffer, is of itself perfectly certain without any further theoretical foundation. Both had the same fate in that their immediate successors and declared disciples nevertheless differed from them in those very principles and, elaborating metaphysics, established wholly dogmatic systems. Further, these systems proved to be utterly different and yet all agreed in maintaining that they had started from the doctrine of Socrates or Kant, as the case may be. As I am myself a Kantian, I wish here to express in a few words my relation to Kant. He teaches that we cannot know anything beyond experience and its possibility. I admit this, yet I maintain that in its totality experience itself is capable of an explanation, and I have endeavoured to give this by deciphering it like a handwriting, but not, like all previous philosophers, by undertaking to go beyond it by means of its mere forms, a method that Kant had shown to be inadmissible.

The advantage of the Socratic method, as we come to know it from Plato, consists in the fact that we arrange for the grounds of the propositions we intend to demonstrate to be admitted one at a time by the collocutor or opponent before he has surveyed their consequents. For from a didactic delivery in continuous speech he would have an opportunity to recognize at once consequents and grounds as such, and would thus attack them if they did not suit him. Meanwhile, one of the things that Plato might impose on us is that, by means of an application of this method, the sophists and other fools would quite calmly have let Socrates demonstrate to them that they were so. This is inconceivable; on the contrary, at about the last quarter of the way, or generally as soon as they noticed where it would lead to, they would have spoilt the cleverly planned game of Socrates and would have torn his net by digressions, or by denying what was previously said, by intentional misunderstandings, and by whatever else is instinctively applied as tricks and dodges by dogmatical dishonesty. Or again, they would have become so impolite and insulting that he would have found it prudent to save his skin betimes. For how could even the sophists fail to know the means whereby anyone can make himself the equal of anyone else and instantly remove even the greatest intellectual inequality, namely insult? A low and ignoble nature, therefore, feels even an instinctive urge to insult as soon as it begins to detect intellectual superiority.

§4. Plato

In Plato we find the origin of a certain false dianoiology that is put forward with a secret metaphysical intention, namely for the purpose of a rational psychology and of a doctrine of immortality attaching thereto. It afterwards proved itself to be a deceptive doctrine of the toughest vitality, for it prolonged its existence throughout the whole of ancient, mediaeval, and modern philosophy, until Kant, the crusher of everything, finally knocked it on the head. The doctrine, here referred to, is the rationalism of the theory of knowledge, with a metaphysical ultimate aim. It may briefly be summarized as follows. What knows in us is an immaterial substance, fundamentally different from the body and called soul; the body, on the other hand, is an obstacle to knowledge. Hence all knowledge brought about through the senses is deceptive; the only true, accurate, and sure knowledge, on the other hand, is that which is free and removed from all sensibility (thus from all intuitive perception), consequently pure thought, i.e. an operation exclusively with abstract concepts. For this is performed by the soul entirely from its own resources; consequently, it will succeed best after the soul is separated from the body and so when we are dead. In this way, therefore, dianoiology here plays into the hands of rational psychology for the purpose of its doctrine of immortality. This doctrine which I have here summarized, is found fully and clearly expounded in the Phaedo, chap. 10. It is conceived somewhat differently in the Timaeus, from which Sextus Empiricus expounds it very precisely and clearly in the following words: [x] (hence pure mathematics) [x] (Adversus mathematicos, VII. 116 et 119). (vetus quaedam, a physicis usque probata, versatur opinio quod similia similibus cognoscantur.-Mox: Plato, in Timaeo, ad probandum, animam esse incorpoream, usus est eodem genere demonstrationis : 'nam si visio " inquit, 'apprehendens lucem statim est luminosa, auditus autem aerem percussumjudicans, nempe vocem, protinus cemitur ad airis accedens speciem, odoratus autem cognoscens vapores, est omnino vaporis aliquam habens formam, et gustus, qui humores, humoris habens speciem; necessario et anima, ideas suscipiens incorporeas, ut quae sunt in numeris et in finibus corporum, est incorporea.') [21]

Even Aristotle admits this argument, at any rate hypothetically, for in the first book of De anima (c. I) he says that the separate existence of the soul could be determined accordingly if there accrued to it some manifestation in which the body had no part, and that first and foremost thinking appeared to be such a manifestation. But if even this should not be possible without intuitive perception and imagination, then it also cannot take place without the body. [x] [22] But now Aristotle does not admit the condition previously laid down and thus the premisses of the argument, namely in so far as he teaches what was later formulated in the proposition: nihil est in intellectu, quod non prius fuerit in sensibus. [23] (As to this, see De anima, III. 8.) Therefore even he saw that everything purely and abstractly conceived had borrowed the whole of its material and content first from the intuitively perceived. This also disturbed the Schoolmen and so, even in the Middle Ages, attempts were made to prove that there are pure cognitions of reason, that is to say, thoughts that have no reference to any images and hence a thinking that draws all its material from itself. The efforts and controversies on this point are found in Pomponatius, De immortalitate animi, for he derives his main argument therefrom. Now to satisfy the aforesaid requirement, the universalia and the cognitions a priori, conceived as aeternae veritates, [24]. had to be used. The development the matter received through Descartes and his school has already been discussed in the detailed observation appended to § 6 of my prize-essay On the Basis of Ethics, where I quoted the original words of the Cartesian de la Forge, which are worth reading. For, as a rule, we find precisely the false doctrines of every philosopher expressed most clearly by his disciples because they are not, like the master himself, concerned with keeping as dark as possible those aspects of his system which might betray its weakness; for here they act in good faith and have nothing to fear. Now Spinoza already opposed to the whole Cartesian dualism his doctrine that substantia cogitans et substantia extensa una eademque est substantia, quae jam sub hoc, jam sub illo attributo comprehenditur, [25] thereby showing his great superiority. Leibniz, on the other hand, remained astutely on the path of Descartes and orthodoxy. But then this evoked the endeavour of the admirable Locke which was so thoroughly wholesome for philosophy; he finally insisted on investigating the origin of concepts and made the sentence' no innate ideas' the basis of his philosophy, after he had discussed it at length. The French, for whom his philosophy was elaborated by Condillac, soon went too far in the matter, although for the same reason, since they put forward and urged the sentence penser est sentir. [26] Taken absolutely, this is false; yet in it is to be found the truth that all thinking partly presupposes feeling, as an ingredient of the intuitive perception that furnishes it with its material, and that thinking, like feeling, is itself partly conditioned by bodily organs. And thus just as feeling is conditioned by the nerves of sense, so is thinking by the brain, and the two are nervous activity. Now even the French school did not stick so firmly to this sentence for its own sake, but again with a metaphysical, and indeed a materialistic, purpose. In the same way, the Platonic, Cartesian, Leibnizian opponents had stuck to the false proposition that the only correct knowledge of things consists in pure thinking, likewise with a metaphysical intention, namely to prove from it the immateriality of the soul. Kant alone leads us to the truth from these two false paths and from a dispute wherein both parties do not really go to work honestly. For both profess dianoiology but are directed to metaphysics, and thus they falsify dianoiology. And so Kant says: 'Certainly there is a pure knowledge of reason [Vernunft], that is, cognitions a priori that precede all experience and consequently a thinking that does not owe its material to any knowledge that is produced by means of the senses.' But although not drawn from experience, this very knowledge a priori has value and validity only for the purpose of experience. For it is nothing but the awareness of our own knowledge-apparatus and of the structure and mechanism thereof (brain-function) or, as Kant expresses it, the form of the knowing consciousness itself. This form obtains its material primarily through empirical knowledge that is added by means of sensation; but without such knowledge it is empty and useless. Precisely on this account, his philosophy is called the Critique of Pure Reason. Now through this, all that metaphysical psychology falls down and with it all Plato's pure activity of the soul. For we see that knowledge without the intuitive perception that is brought about by the body has no material, and consequently that the knower as such, without the presupposition of the body, is nothing but an empty form; not to mention that all thinking is a physiological function of the brain, just as digestion is of the stomach.

Accordingly, if Plato's doctrine of withdrawing knowledge and keeping it clear from all connection with the body, the senses, and intuitive perception, proves to be purposeless, mistaken, and even impossible, we can nevertheless regard my doctrine as its corrected analogue. This doctrine says that only the intuitive knowledge, that is kept clear of all connection with the will, reaches the highest objectivity and hence perfection. With regard to this, I refer to the third book of my chief work.

§5. Aristotle

The fundamental characteristic of Aristotle might be said to be the greatest shrewdness and sagacity combined with circumspection, power of observation, versatility, and want of depth. His view of the world is shallow, although ingeniously elaborated. Depth of thought finds its material within ourselves; sagacity must obtain its material from without in order to have data. Now at that time, empirical data were to some extent scanty and poor and in part even false. Nowadays the study of Aristotle is, therefore, not very profitable, whereas that of Plato remains so in the highest degree. The want of depth, complained of in Aristotle, is naturally most obvious in the Metaphysics, where mere keenness is not sufficient, as it is elsewhere; and so in this work he is least satisfactory. His Metaphysics is for the most part a mere talk on the philosophemes of his predecessors whom he criticizes and refutes from his point of view, mostly in accordance with isolated utterances, without really penetrating their meaning; on the contrary, he is like a man who breaks windows from outside. He advances few or no dogmas of his own, at any rate not consistently. It is an accidental merit that we are indebted to his polemic for most of our knowledge of the older philosophemes. He is most hostile to Plato precisely where Plato is entirely right. Plato's 'Ideas' are always coming back in his mouth like something he cannot digest; he is resolved not to admit their validity. Keenness and ingenuity are adequate in the sciences of experience, and so Aristotle has a predominantly empirical turn of mind. But since his day empirical science has made such progress that its state at that time is related to it as the child to the adult. And so today the sciences of experience cannot be directly advanced very much by a study of him; but they can be indirectly by the method and the really scientific attitude which characterize him and were introduced by him. In zoology, however, he is still of direct use, at any rate in some respects. Now generally speaking, his empirical turn of mind gives him a tendency always to become prolix and diffuse. In this way, he digresses so readily and often from the line of thought taken up by him that he is almost incapable of pursuing any line for any length of time and to the end; but it is precisely in this that deep thinking consists. On the contrary, he starts up problems everywhere, but only touches on them; and without solving them or even thoroughly discussing them, he at once passes on to something else. Therefore his reader so often thinks' now it will come', but nothing comes; and so when he has raised a problem and has pursued it for a short distance, the truth so often appears to be on the tip of his tongue; but suddenly he is on to something else and leaves us in doubt. For he cannot stick to anything, but jumps from what he has in hand to something else that occurs to him, just as a child drops one toy in order to seize another that it has just seen. This is the weak side of his intellect; it is the vivacity of superficiality. This explains why, although Aristotle had an extremely systematic mind, for he originated the separation and classification of the sciences, his exposition nevertheless always lacks systematic arrangement and in it we miss the methodical progress, indeed the separation of the heterogeneous and the classification of the homogeneous. He discusses things as they occur to him, without having thought them out beforehand and sketched a clear scheme; he thinks with a pen in his hand, which is, of course, a great relief for the author but a great hardship for the reader. Hence the planlessness and inadequacy of his presentation; thus he comes back a hundred times to the same thing because something heterogeneous to it had come in between; and so he cannot stick to a subject, but goes from the hundredth to the thousandth; and hence, as I have previously described, he leads by the nose the reader who is anxious to have the solution to the problems raised. Therefore, after devoting several pages to a subject, he suddenly begins his investigation thereof at the beginning with [x] [27] and this six times in one work; hence the motto quid feret hic tanto dignum promissor hiatu [28] applies to so many exordiums of his books and chapters; in a word, he is so often confusing and unsatisfactory. As an exception, he has, of course, acted differently; for instance, the three books of Rhetoric are in every way a model of scientific method; indeed they show an architectonic symmetry that may have been the original of the Kantian.

The radical antithesis of Aristotle, both in his mode of thought and presentation, is Plato. This philosopher sticks to his main idea as with an iron hand, pursues its thread, however slender, in all Its ramifications, through the labyrinths of the longest dialogues, and again finds it after all the episodes. We see here that, before he started to write, he had thoroughly and maturely thought out his subject and had planned an artistic arrangement for its presentation. Hence every dialogue is a planned work of art all of whose parts have a well-thought-out connection, often intentionally concealed for a time, and whose frequent episodes lead back automatically and often unexpectedly to the main idea that is now made clear by them. Plato always knew, in the full sense of the word, what he wanted and what he intended, although in most cases he does not bring the problems to a definite solution, but rests content with their thorough discussion. Therefore we need not be very surprised if, as some accounts state, especially in Aelian (Variae historiae, III. 19, IV. 9, etc.), considerable want of personal harmony was displayed between Plato and Aristotle; also here and there Plato may have spoken somewhat disparagingly of Aristotle, whose wanderings, vagaries, and digressions connected with his polymathy, were quite antipathetic to Plato. Schiller's poem Breite und Tiefe can also be applied to the antithesis between Aristotle and Plato.

In spite of this empirical turn of mind, Aristotle was nevertheless no consistent and methodical empiricist; and so he had to be overthrown and driven out by the true father of empiricism, Bacon. Whoever really wants to understand in what sense and why Bacon is the opponent and subduer of Aristotle and his method should read the books of Aristotle De generatione et corruptione. Here he will find a reasoned a priori statement on nature, which endeavours to understand and explain her processes from mere concepts; a particularly glaring example is furnished in lib. II, c. 4, where a chemistry is constructed a priori. Bacon, on the other hand, appeared with the advice to make not abstract, but perceptual, experience the source of a knowledge of nature. The brilliant result of this is the present high state of the natural sciences whence we look down with a charitable smile on these Aristotelian vexations and annoyances. In this respect, it is noteworthy that the above-mentioned books of Aristotle quite clearly disclose even the origin of Scholasticism; indeed its hair-splitting, word-juggling method is already to be met with in them. For the same purpose, the books De coelo are also very useful and therefore worth reading. The very first chapters are a good specimen of the method of trying to know and determine the essence of nature from mere concepts, and here the failure to do so is obvious. There in chap. 8 it is demonstrated from mere concepts and loci communes [29] that there are not several worlds; and in chap. 12 there is likewise a speculation on the course of the stars. It is a consistent subtle reasoning from false concepts, a quite special nature-dialectic, undertaking to decide a priori from certain universal axioms that are supposed to express the rational and proper, how nature must exist and act. Now while we see such a great and indeed stupendous intellect, such as Aristotle had in spite of everything, so deeply ensnared in errors of this kind which maintained their validity till a few hundred years ago, it becomes pre-eminently plain how very much mankind owes to Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Bacon, Robert Hooke, and Newton. In chapters seven and eight of the second book, Aristotle expounds the whole of his absurd arrangement of the heavens. Thus he states that the stars are firmly attached to the revolving hollow sphere, sun and planets to similar nearer ones; that the friction of revolution causes light and heat; and that the earth positively stands still. All this might pass if previously there had not been something better. But when he himself in chap. 13 presents us with the entirely correct views of the Pythagoreans on the shape, position, and motion of the earth in order to reject them, this inevitably rouses our indignation. This will occur when from his frequent polemics against Empedocles, Heraclitus, and Democritus we see how all these had a very much more correct insight into nature and had also paid more attention to experience than had the shallow prattler now before us. Empedoc1es had indeed already taught about a tangential force arising from rotation and acting in opposition to gravity (II. I et. 13, and also schol. p. 491.) Far from being able to estimate such things at their true value, Aristotle does not even admit the correct views of those older philosophers concerning the true significance of above and below, but here he also takes his stand on the opinion of the common herd which follows the superficial appearance (IV. 2). But now it must be borne in mind that these views of his met with recognition and dissemination, superseded all that was earlier and better, and so later became the foundation of Hipparchus, and then of the Ptolemaic system of astronomy. Mankind had to be burdened with this system until the beginning of the sixteenth century, doubtless to the great advantage of the Jewish- Christian religious dogmas that are at bottom incompatible with the Copernican system of astronomy; for how can there be a God in heaven when no heaven exists? Theism seriously meant necessarily presupposes that the world is divided into heaven and earth; on the latter human beings run about, in the former sits the God who governs them. Now if astronomy takes away heaven, then with it it has taken away God; thus it has so extended the world that there is no room left for God. But a personal being, as every God inevitably is, who has no place, but is everywhere and nowhere, can merely be spoken of, not imagined, and thus not believed in. Accordingly, in so far as physical astronomy becomes popularized, theism must disappear, however firmly it may have been impressed on men by an incessant and most pompous preaching. The Catholic Church rightly recognized this at once and accordingly persecuted the Copernican system; and so as regards this, it is foolish to wonder at, and raise such an outcry over, the crushing of Galileo; for omnis natura vult esse conservatrix sui. [30] Who knows whether some secret knowledge or at any rate an inkling of this congeniality of Aristotle to the doctrine of the Church and of the danger averted by him has not contributed to the excessive admiration of him in the Middle Ages?* Who knows whether many a man, stimulated by Aristotle's accounts of the older astronomical systems, did not secretly examine these truths long before Copernicus? After many years of hesitation, and when on the point of quitting the world, Copernicus finally ventured to proclaim them.
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Re: Parerga and Paralipomena: Short Philosophical Essays

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Part 2 of 6

§6. Stoics

A very fine and profound conception with the Stoics is that of the [x] [31] although we should like to have fuller accounts of it than those that have come down to us. (Diogenes Laertius, lib. VII, c. 136; Plutarch, De placitis philosophorum, I. 7; Stobaeus, Eclogues, lib. I, c. 372.) Yet this much is clear, that through it we think of that which in the successive individuals of a species asserts and preserves the identical form thereof, since it passes from one individual to another; hence the concept of the species embodied in the seed, so to speak. Accordingly, the [x] is the indestructible element in the individual; it is that whereby the individual is one with the species, representing and maintaining it. It is that which prevents death, the destroyer of the individual, from attacking the species. By virtue of the species, the individual exists again and again, in spite of death. Hence [x] might be translated as the magical formula that at all times summons this form into the phenomenon. Very closely akin to it is the concept of the forma substantialis of the Schoolmen, by which is thought the inner principle of the complex of all the qualities of every natural being. Its antithesis is the materia prima, pure matter, without any form and quality. The soul of man is just his forma substantialis. What distinguishes both concepts is that the [x] accrues merely to living and propagating beings, but the forma substantialis also to inorganic bodies. Similarly, the forma substantialis is concerned primarily with the individual, the [x] with the species; yet both are obviously related to the Platonic Idea. Explanations of the forma substantialis are found in Scotus Erigena, De divisione naturae, lib. III, p. 139 of the Oxford edition; in Giordano Bruno, Della causa, Dial. 3, pp. 252ff:; and at great length in the Disputationes metaphysicae of Suarez (Disp. 15, sect. I), that genuine compendium of the whole of scholastic wisdom. An acquaintance thereof must be sought in that work rather than in the bombastic chatter of inane German professors of philosophy who are the quintessence of all platitudes and tediousness.

A principal source of our knowledge of Stoic ethics is its very detailed description preserved for us by Stobaeus (Eclogae ethicae, lib. II, c. 7) in which we flatter ourselves that we possess for the most part verbal extracts from Zeno and Chrysippus. If such be the case, this description is not calculated to give us a high opinion of the spirit and intellect of these philosophers. On the contrary, it is a pedantic, school masterly, thoroughly diffuse, incredibly dreary, flat, and spiritless exposition of the Stoic morality without force and life and without any valuable, striking, or penetrating ideas. In it everything is derived from mere concepts; nothing is drawn from reality and experience. Accordingly, mankind is divided into [x] and [x] virtuous and vicious. Everything good is attributed to the former, and everything bad to the latter; and so all things appear black and white, like a Prussian sentry box. These shallow school exercises, therefore, will not bear comparison with the energetic, spirited, and well-thought-out works of Seneca.

The dissertations of Arrian on the philosophy of Epictetus, which were written some four hundred years after the origin of the Stoa, do not give any sound information as to the true spirit and the real principles of the Stoic morality; on the contrary, this book in form and content is unsatisfactory. First as regards form, we miss in the book every trace of method, systematic treatment, and even orderly progress. In chapters that are tacked on to one another without any order and connection, it is incessantly repeated that we should think nothing of all that is not the expression of our own will and that, in consequence, we should regard with complete indifference all that usually moves man; this is the Stoic [x] [32] Namely that which is not [x] [33] would also not be [x] [34] This colossal paradox, however, is not derived from any principles, but the most extraordinary opinion of the world is expected of us without any reason being stated for this. Instead of it we find endless declamations in constantly recurring expressions and turns of phrase. For the conclusions and deductions from those strange maxims are expounded most fully and vividly, and accordingly many descriptions are given of how the Stoics make something out of absolutely nothing. Meanwhile, everyone who is of a different opinion is called a slave and a fool. But in vain do we hope for the statement of any clear and cogent reason for assuming that strange mode of thought; for such a reason would be much more effective than all the declamations and words of abuse in the whole bulky book. Yet with its hyperbolic descriptions of Stoic equanimity, its tirelessly repeated panegyrics of the patron saints Cleanthes, Chrysippus, Zeno, Crates, Diogenes, and Socrates, and its abuse of all who think differently, this book is a veritable capuchin's sermon. The planless and desultory nature of the whole exposition is, of course, in keeping with such a book. What the title of a chapter states is only the subject-matter of its beginning; at the first opportunity a digression is made and, according to the nexus idearum, [35] one passes from the hundredth to the thousandth. So much for the form.

Now as to the content, it is the same, even apart from the fact that the foundation is entirely lacking; it is by no means genuine and purely Stoic; on the contrary, there is a strong foreign admixture that smacks of a Christian-Jewish source. The most undeniable proof of this is the theism which is to be found on all sides and is also the supporter of morality. Here the Cynic and Stoic act on behalf of God whose will is their guidance; they submit to him, put their trust in him, and so on. Such things are quite foreign to the genuine original Stoa; here God and the world are one and there is absolutely no knowledge of a God who is a thinking, willing, commanding, and provident person. Not only in Arrian, however, but in most of the pagan philosophical authors of the first century of the Christian era, we see Jewish theism already shining dimly, which was soon to become the popular creed as Christianity, just as today there dimly shines in the writings of scholars the pantheism native to India, which is also destined later to pass into the popular creed. Ex oriente lux. [36]

For the reason stated, the morality itself here expounded is also not purely Stoic. Many of its precepts are even mutually incompatible; and so, of course, no common fundamental principles of it could be laid down. In the same way, Cynicism is also completely falsified by the doctrine that the Cynic should be such mainly for the sake of others, namely to act on them by his example as a messenger of God, and to guide them by intervening in their affairs. Hence it is said: 'In a city of none but sages, no Cynic would be necessary'; likewise that he should be healthy, strong, and cleanly in order not to repel people. How far removed this is from the self-sufficiency of the old genuine Cynics! Diogenes and Crates were certainly the friends and advisers of many families; but this was secondary and accidental and by no means the purpose of Cynicism.

Arrian has, therefore, entirely missed the really main idea of Cynicism as also of Stoic ethics; indeed he does not even appear to have felt the need for them. He preaches self-renunciation just because it pleases him; and possibly it pleases him merely because it is difficult and contrary to human nature, whereas preaching is easy. He did not look for the grounds of self-renunciation; and so we imagine we are listening now to a Christian ascetic and then again to a Stoic. For the maxims of both often coincide, it is true, but the principles whereon they rest are quite different. In this connection, I refer to my chief work, vol. i, § 16, and vol. ii, chap. 16, where the true spirit of Cynicism and the Stoa is thoroughly discussed, and indeed for the first time.

Arrian's inconsistency appears even in a ridiculous way since in his description of the perfect Stoic which is repeated innumerable times, he always says: 'he blames no one, complains neither of gods nor men~ rebukes no one', and yet his whole book is for the most part couched in scolding terms that often descend to abusive language.

In spite of all this, genuine Stoic ideas are to be met with here and there in the book, which Arrian or Epictetus drew from the ancient Stoics; and in the same way, Cynicism is clearly and vividly described in some of its features. In places there is likewise much sound common sense and there are also striking descriptions drawn from life of men and their actions. The style is easy and fluent, but very diffuse and prolix.

I do not believe that the Encheiridion of Epictetus is composed by Arrian, as F. A. Wolf assured us in his lectures. It has much more spirit in fewer words than have the dissertations; it has sound sense throughout, no empty declamations, and no ostentation; it is concise and to the point and is also written in the tone of a well-meaning friend who is giving advice. The dissertations, on the other hand, speak mostly in a scolding and reproachful tone. The contents of the two books are on the whole the same, only that the Encheiridion has extremely little of the theism that is found in the dissertations. Perhaps the Encheiridion was Epictetus' own compendium that he dictated to his hearers, whereas the dissertations were the notes, taken down by Arrian, of the free discourses that serve as a commentary to that work.

§7. Neoplatonists

Reading the Neoplatonists calls for much patience because they all lack form and style. Yet in this respect, Porphyry is far better than the rest, for he is the only one who writes clearly and coherently so that we read him without aversion.

On the other hand, the worst is Jamblichus in his book De mysteriis Aegyptiorum; he is full of crass superstition and gross demonology and is also obstinate and headstrong. It is true that he has a different, as it were, esoteric view on magic and theurgy, yet his explanations thereof are shallow and insignificant. On the whole, he is an inferior and vexatious writer, narrow, perverse, grossly superstitious, confused, and vague. We see clearly that what he teaches has not sprung at all from his own reflection, but that it consists of the dogmas of others which are often only half-understood but are the more obstinately asserted; and so he is full of contradictions. But the book in question is now said to be not by Jamblichus, and I am inclined to agree with this view when I read the long extracts from his lost works which have been preserved by Stobaeus and are incomparably better than that book De mysteriis, containing as they do many a good thought of the Neoplatonic school.

Again, Proclus is a shallow, diffuse, and insipid talker. His commentary to Plato's Alcibiades, one of the worst of the Platonic dialogues which may also not be genuine, is the most diffuse and prolix chatter in the world. For there is endless talk on every word of Plato, even the most insignificant, wherein a deep meaning is sought. What Plato said mythically and allegorically is taken in its real sense and strictly dogmatically, and everything is distorted into the superstitious and theosophical. Yet there is no denying that, in the first half of that commentary, some very good ideas are to be found which, of course, may belong to the school rather than to Proclus. It is an extremely important proposition that concludes the fasciculus primus partis primae: [x] (animorum appetitus (ante hanc vitam concepti) plurimam vim habent in vitas eligendas, nec extrinsecus fictis similes sumus, sed nostra sponte facimus electiones, secundum quas deinde vilas transigimus). [37] This, of course, has its root in Plato, but also approaches Kant's doctrine of the intelligible character. It stands far above the shallow and narrow doctrines of the freedom of the individual will that can always do one thing and likewise another. Even at the present time, our professors of philosophy, who always have in mind the catechism, labour under such doctrines. For their part, Augustine and Luther with predestination or election by grace had found a way out of the difficulty. That was good enough for those devout times, for one was still ready, if it pleased God, to go to the devil in God's name. But in our times refuge can be found only in the aseity [38] of the will, and it must be acknowledged that, as Proclus has it, [x]. [39]

Finally Plotinus, the most important of all, is changeable and inconsistent, and the individual Enneads are of extremely different value and content; the fourth is excellent. Yet even with him presentation and style are for the most part bad. His ideas are not arranged or previously considered, but have been written down at random just as they came. In his biography Porphyry speaks of the careless and inaccurate way in which Plotinus set to work. And so his diffuse and tedious prolixity and confusion often cause us to lose all patience, and we wonder how such stuff could have come down to posterity. He often has the style of a pulpit orator, and just as the latter preaches the gospel, so he sets forth Platonic doctrines. At the same time, what Plato has said mythically or indeed half metaphorically, is dragged down by him to positive prosaic seriousness. He chews for hours at the same idea without adding anything from his own resources. Here he proceeds as one who reveals without demonstrating; and thus he speaks throughout ex tripode and relates things as he imagines them to be, without undertaking to provide any foundation. Nevertheless, great, important, and profound truths are to be found in his works which he himself certainly understood, for he is by no means without insight. He, therefore, thoroughly deserves to be read and richly rewards the patience necessary for this.

I find the explanation for these contradictory characteristics of Plotinus in the fact that he and the Neoplatonists generally are not philosophers in the proper sense, are not original thinkers. On the contrary, what they expound is the teaching of others which was handed down to them) but was in most cases well digested and assimilated by them. Thus it is Indo-Egyptian wisdom which they tried to embody in Greek philosophy and, as a suitable connecting link, a means of transmission) or menstruum for this, they use the Platonic philosophy, especially that part which inclines to the mystical. The whole of the All-One doctrine of Plotinus primarily and undeniably testifies to this Indian origin, through Egypt, of the Neoplatonic dogmas) and we find this admirably presented in the fourth Ennead. The very first chapter of its first book, [x], [40] gives very briefly the fundamental teaching of his whole philosophy of a [x] that is originally one and is split up into many only by means of the corporeal world. Of special interest is the eighth book of this Ennead which explains how that [x] fell into this state of plurality through a sinful striving; accordingly, it bears a double guilt, namely that of its having descended into this world, and also of its sinful deeds therein. For the former guilt it atones through temporal existence in general; for the latter, which is less important, it atones through metempsychosis or the transmigration of souls (c. 5). This is obviously the same idea as the Christian original sin and particular sin. But the most readable of all is the ninth book, where in c. 3, [x] [41] from the unity of that world-soul) among other things) the marvels of animal magnetism are explained, especially the phenomenon, to be met with even now, where the somnambulist hears at the greatest distance a softly spoken word. This, of course, must be effected by means of a chain of persons standing in contact with her. With Plotinus there even appears, probably for the first time in Western philosophy, idealism that had long been current in the East even at that time, for it is taught (Enneads, iii, lib. VII, c. 10) that the soul has made the world by stepping from eternity into time, with the explanation: [x] (neque est alter hujus universi locus quam anima), [42] indeed the ideality of time is expressed in the words: [x] (oportet autem nequaquam extra animam tempus accipere). [43] That [x] (the life hereafter) is the opposite of the [x] (this life), and is a concept very familiar to him, which he explains more fully by [x] and [x] mundus intelligibilis et sensibilis, [44] also by [x] [45] In chapters 11 and 12 very good explanations are given for the ideality of time. Connected therewith is the fine explanation that in our temporal condition, we are not what we ought to be and might be. Thus we expect from the future always better things and look forward to the fulfilment of our shortcomings; and from this arise the future and its condition, namely time (c. 2 et c. 3). A further proof of the Indian origin is afforded by Jamblichus (De mysteriis, sect. 4, c. 4 et c. 5) in his exposition of the doctrine of metempsychosis, and also by the doctrine (sect. 5, c. 6) of the ultimate liberation and salvation from the bonds of birth and death, [x] and (c. 12 ) [x] [46] and hence that promise, stated in all Indian religious books and expressed in English as final emancipation or salvation. Finally, we have in addition (op. cit., sect. 7, c. 2) the account of the Egyptian symbol that shows a creative God sitting on the lotus. This is obviously the world-creating Brahma sitting on the lotus blossom that springs from the navel of Vishnu, as he is frequently depicted, for example in Langles, Monuments de l'Hindoustan, vol. i, p. 175; in Coleman's Mythology of the Hindus, Plate 5, and others. This symbol is extremely important as a sure proof of the Indian origin of the Egyptian religion, as is also in the same respect the account given by Porphyry, De abstinentia, lib. II, that in Egypt the cow was sacred and no one was allowed to slaughter it. It is related by Porphyry in his life of Plotinus that, after being for several years the disciple of Ammonius Saccus, Plotinus wanted to go to Persia and India with Gordian's army, but was prevented from so doing by the defeat and death of Gordian. Even this circumstance indicates that the doctrine of Ammonius was of Indian origin, and that Plotinus now intended to draw it more purely from its source. The same Porphyry furnished a detailed theory of metempsychosis which is wholly in the Indian spirit, although adorned with Platonic psychology. It is found in the Eclogues of Stobaeus, lib. I, c. 52, § 54.

§8. Gnostics

The Cabalistic and Gnostic philosophies with whose founders, as Jews and Christians, monotheism stood firmly in the forefront, are attempts to eliminate the flagrant contradiction between the production of the world by an almighty, infinitely good, and wise being and the dreary and defective state of this same world. Therefore between the world and that world-cause they introduce a series of intermediate beings through whose fault a decline occurred and thus the world first originated. And so they take the blame, as it were, off the shoulders of the sovereign and lay it on those of his ministers. Of course, this proceeding was already suggested by the myth of the Fall of Man which is generally the culminating point of Judaism. With the Gnostics, therefore, those beings are now the [x], the aeons, the [x], the demiurge, and so on. The series was lengthened at the discretion of each Gnostic.

The whole proceeding is analogous to that wherein physiological philosophers sought to interpose intermediate essences, such as nerve fluid, nerve ether, vital spirits, and the like, in order to lessen the contradiction entailed by the assumed connection and mutual influence in man of a material and an immaterial substance. Both cover up what they are unable to abolish.

§9. Scotus Erigena

This remarkable man affords the interesting spectacle of the struggle between the truth he has recognized and seen for himself, and local dogmas, fixed by early inculcation and grown beyond all doubt or at any rate beyond all direct attack, side by side with the endeavour, arising therefrom, of a noble nature somehow to reduce to harmony the dissonance that had thus resulted. This, of course, can be done only by his turning, twisting, and where necessary, distorting the dogmas until, nolentes volentes,47 they conform to the truth that he has recognized for himself. Such truth remains the dominating principle, yet it is forced to go about in a strange and even cumbersome attire. In his great work, De divisione naturae, Erigena knows how to carry out this method everywhere with success until at last he tries to square accounts with the origin of evil and sin together with the threatened tortures of hell. Here the method comes to grief, and indeed in the optimism that is a consequence of Jewish monotheism. In the fifth book he teaches the return of all things to God and the metaphysical unity and indivisibility of all mankind and even of all nature. The question now arises: where does sin remain? It cannot rest with God. Where is hell with its endless tortures, such as have been promised? Who is to go there? Mankind is saved, and indeed the whole of mankind. Here the dogma remains insurmountable. Erigena wriggles miserably through lengthy and diffuse sophisms that turn out to be mere words. In the end, he is forced into contradictions and absurdities, especially since the question concerning the origin of sin has inevitably crept in. But such origin cannot lie either in God or even in the will created by him, since God would otherwise be the originator of sin, a point that he understands perfectly (see p. 287 of the Oxford editio princeps of 1681). He is now driven to absurdities, for sin is not to have either a cause or a subject: malum incausale est, ... penitus incausale et insubstantiale est : [48] ibid. The deeper reason for these drawbacks is that the doctrine of the redemption of mankind and the world, which is obviously of Indian origin, also presupposes the Indian teaching according to which the origin of the world (this Samsara of the Buddhists) is itself based already on evil; that is to say, it is a sinful act of Brahma. Now we ourselves are again this Brahma, for Indian mythology is everywhere transparent. In Christianity, on the other hand, that doctrine of the redemption of the world had to be grafted on to Jewish theism, where the Lord not only made the world, but afterwards found it to be excellent: [x]. Hinc illae lacrimae. [49] From this arise the difficulties, fully recognized by Erigena, although in his day he did not dare to attack the evil at its root. However, he has Indian mildness; he rejects the eternal damnation and punishment laid down by Christianity. All creatures, rational, animal, vegetable, and inanimate, must, according to their inner essence, attain to eternal bliss through the necessary course of nature, for they have come from eternal goodness. But complete unity with God, Deificatio, is only for the saintly and righteous. For the rest, Erigena is honest enough not to conceal the great embarrassment in which he is placed by the origin of evil; he expounds it clearly in the above-quoted passage of the fifth book. In fact, the origin of evil is the rock whereon theism and pantheism split, for both imply optimism. Now evil and sin in their frightful magnitude are incontestable and cannot be argued away; indeed, the threatened punishments for the latter only increase the amount of the former. Now whence comes all this in a world that is either itself a God or is the well-meant work of a God? If the theistic opponents of pantheism cry out against it: 'What! are all the wicked, terrible, and hideous beings supposed to be God?' then the pantheists can answer: 'Why not? all those wicked, terrible, and hideous beings are supposed to have been created by a God de gaiete de coeur.' [50] We also find Erigena in the same difficulty in his other work that has come down to us, namely the book De praedestinatione which, however, is far inferior to the work De divisione naturae and in which he also appears not as a philosopher but as a theologian. Therefore here too he worries himself miserably with those contradictions which have as their ultimate ground the fact that Christianity is grafted on to Judaism. But his attempts merely put such contradictions in an even clearer light. God is said to have made everything, all and all in all; this is fixed; C therefore wickedness and evil as well'. This inevitable consequence has to be removed and Erigena sees himself forced to put forward miserable cavilling and hair-splitting. For evil and wickedness are said not to exist at all; and so they are supposed to be nothing, even the devil is! Or else free will is to blame; thus God has, it is true, created this will, yet he has created it free; he is, therefore, not concerned with what it afterwards decides to do; for it was free, that is to say, it could do this and also that and so could be good as well as bad. Excellent! However, the truth is that to be free and to be created are two mutually eliminating and therefore contradictory qualities; and hence the assertion that God has created beings and has at the same time given them freedom of the will is really equivalent to saying that he has created and at the same time has not created them. For operari sequitur esse, in other words, the effects or actions of any possible thing can never be anything but the consequence of its nature and constitution, and only in such actions is its nature known. For to be free in the sense here demanded, a being would have to have no nature at all; in other words, it would have to be nothing at all, and so would have to be and not to be at the same time. For what is must be something; an existence without an essence cannot even be conceived. Now if a being is created, then it is created as it is constituted; and so it is badly created if it is badly constituted, and it is badly constituted if it acts badly, in other words, if its effects are bad. Consequently, the guilt of the world as well as its evil, which is just as undeniable, is always shifted back on to the shoulders of the originator of the world and, like Augustine before him, Scotus Erigena wears himself out in an endeavour to exonerate the creator.

If, on the other hand, a being is to be morally free, it cannot be created but must have aseity, that is to say, it must be something original that exists by virtue of its own primary force and absolute power; and it must not refer to anything else. Its existence is then its own act of creation and this act unfolds and spreads itself in time, revealing once for all a decided character or disposition of that being. Nevertheless, such character or disposition is its own work and so the responsibility for all the manifestations of that character rests on the being itself. Now if a being is to be responsible for its actions, if it is to be accountable, it must be free. Therefore from the responsibility and imputability, which our conscience states, it certainly follows that the will is free; but from this again it follows that the will is the original thing itself. Consequently, not merely the actions, but also the existence and essence of man are his own work. Concerning all this, I refer to my essay 'On the Freedom of the Will', where it is to be found fully and irrefutably discussed. For this reason, the professors of philosophy have tried by the most inviolable silence to boycott this essay that was awarded a prize. The guilt of sin and evil always comes back from nature on to her creator. Now if that creator is the will itself, manifesting itself in all the phenomena of nature, that guilt has reached the right man; if, on the other hand, it is said to be a God, then the authorship of sin and evil contradict his divinity.

In reading Dionysius the Areopagite to whom Erigena so often refers, I have found that the former was in every respect the model of the latter. The pantheism of Erigena and also his theory of wickedness and evil are, as regards their main features, to be found in Dionysius; but of course he has only indicated what Erigena has developed, expressed with boldness, and discussed with fire. Erigena has infinitely more spirit and genius than has Dionysius, but the material and course of his reflections were given to him by Dionysius, who thus did for him an immense amount of preparatory work. That Dionysius is un genuine does not affect the case; it is immaterial what was the name of the author of the book De divinis nominibus. But as he probably lived in Alexandria, I believe that, in some other way unknown to us, he was also the channel whereby a drop of Indian wisdom may have reached Erigena. For, as Colebrooke has observed in his essay on the philosophy of the Hindus (in Colebrooke's Miscellaneous Essays, vol. i, p. 244), proposition 3 of the Karika of Kapila is to be found in Erigena.

§ 10. Scholasticism

I should look for the really distinctive characteristic of Scholasticism in the fact that for it the supreme criterion of truth is Holy Scripture to which we can, therefore, always appeal from every rational conclusion. One of its peculiarities is that its style has throughout a polemical character. Every investigation is soon transformed into a controversy whose pro et contra produce new pro et contra and thereby furnish it with the material that for it would otherwise soon run short. The hidden ultimate root of this peculiarity, however, is to be found in the antagonism between reason [Vernunft] and revelation.

The mutual claim of realism and nominalism and thus the possibility of so long and obstinate a dispute over them can be clearly understood from the following remarks.

I call the most heterogeneous things red if they have this colour. Obviously red is a mere name whereby I designate that phenomenon, no matter where it is to be found. Now in the same way, all common concepts are mere names for designating qualities that occur in different things. These things, however, are what is actual and real, so that nominalism is obviously right.

On the other hand, when we observe that all those actual things, to which alone reality was just now attributed, are temporal and consequently soon pass away, whereas qualities such as red, hard, soft, alive, plant, horse, human being, which are designated by those names, continue to exist regardless of this and accordingly are present at all times, we find that these qualities which are thought of precisely through common concepts whose designation are those names, have, by virtue of their ineradicable existence, much more reality. Consequently, such reality is to be attributed to concepts, not to individual entities; and so realism is right.

Nominalism really leads to materialism; for, after the elimination of all qualities, only matter in the last resort is left. Now if concepts are mere names, but individual things are real, their qualities being individually transient, then matter alone remains as that which continues to exist, and consequently as the real.

But strictly speaking, the above-mentioned claim of realism does not really belong to it, but to the Platonic doctrine of Ideas whereof it is the extension. The eternal forms and qualities of natural things, [x], continue to exist, in spite of all change. Thus there is attributable to them a reality of a higher kind than to the individuals in which they manifest themselves. On the other hand, this is not to be conceded to mere abstractions that cannot be supported by intuitive perception. For example, what is the real element in such concepts as 'relation, difference, separation, disadvantage, indefiniteness', and so on?

A certain affinity or at any rate a parallelism of contrasts is evident when we match Plato with Aristotle, Augustine with Pel agius, the realists with the nominalists. One could maintain that, to a certain extent, a polar divergence in the human way of thinking here shows itself. This has expressed itself in a most extraordinary way, for the first time and most definitely, in two very great men who lived at the same time and near to each other.
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Re: Parerga and Paralipomena: Short Philosophical Essays

Postby admin » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:34 am

Part 3 of 6

§11. Francis Bacon

In another and more specially definite sense than that just indicated, the express and deliberate antithesis to Aristotle was Bacon. Thus Aristotle had been the first to give a thorough exposition of the correct method for arriving at particular from universal truths and hence the way downwards; this is syllogistic reasoning, the Organum Aristotelis. On the other hand, Bacon exhibited the way upwards, in that he expounded the method for arriving at universal from particular truths; this is induction, as distinct from deduction, and its exposition is the Novum organum. This expression, chosen in opposition to Aristotle, says in effect: 'quite a different manner of attacking'. The error of Aristotle, or rather of Aristotelians, lay in the assumption that they really possessed all truth. Thus they asserted that the truth was contained in their axioms and so axioms in certain a priori propositions or in those regarded as such, and that, to obtain particular truths, only deduction from such propositions was needed. An Aristotelian example of this was given by the books De coelo. On the other hand, Bacon quite rightly showed that those axioms had no such content at all; that the truth was not to be found at all in the system of human knowledge at that time, but rather outside it; and hence that the truth could not be developed from that system, but had to be introduced into it; and that, in consequence, universal and true propositions of great and rich content had to be gained first through induction.

The Schoolmen, led by Aristotle, thought: first we wish to establish the universal: the particular will flow therefrom, or generally may afterwards find a place thereunder as best it can. Accordingly, we will first of all settle what accrues to the ens, to the thing in general. What is peculiar to particular things may afterwards be added gradually, possibly even through experience: this can never alter anything in the universal. Bacon, on the other hand, said: we will first become acquainted as thoroughly as possible with individual things: we shall then ultimately know what the thing in general is.

Nevertheless, Bacon is inferior to Aristotle in that his method, leading upwards, is by no means so correct, certain, and infallible as is Aristotle's that leads downwards. Indeed, in his physical investigations Bacon himself has set aside the rules of his method that are given in the New Organon.

Bacon turned his attention mainly to physics. What he did for this, namely to begin at the beginning, was done immediately afterwards for metaphysics by Descartes.

§ 12. The Philosophy of the Moderns

In books on arithmetic the correctness of the solution of an example usually shows itself through the balancing of the result, in other words, by the fact that no remainder is left. The position is similar with regard to the solution of the riddle of the world. All systems are sums that do not balance out; they leave a remainder, or if a chemical simile be preferred, an insoluble precipitate. Such remainder consists in the fact that, if we logically draw conclusions from their propositions, the results do not fit, do not harmonize with, the real world lying before us; on the contrary, many aspects thereof remain quite inexplicable. For instance with materialistic systems that represent the world as arising out of a matter endowed with merely mechanical properties and in accordance with the laws of such matter, neither the universal and marvellous appropriateness of nature, nor the existence of knowledge wherein even that matter is first exhibited, is in agreement; and so this is their remainder. Again with the theistic, and equally with the pan theistic, systems, the overwhelming physical evils and moral depravity of the world cannot be brought into harmony. Therefore these are left as a remainder or as an insoluble precipitate. It is true that, in such cases, there is no lack of sophisms or, where necessary, even of mere words and phrases, for covering up such remainders; but in the long run they are of no use. As the sum does not balance out, individual errors in the calculation are looked for until in the end it has to be admitted that the preliminary statement itself of the problem was wrong. On the other hand, if the general consistency and harmony of all the propositions of a system are accompanied at every step by just as universal an agreement with the world of experience, without any discord ever being heard between the two-then this is the criterion of its truth, the required balancing out of the arithmetical sum. Similarly, the preliminary statement of the problem was wrong, equivalent to saying that, even from the beginning, the matter had not been attacked from the right end, whereby one was afterwards led from error to error. For it is with philosophy as with very many things; everything depends on whether it is tackled at the right end. Now the phenomenon of the world to be explained presents innumerable ends of which only one can be right. It is like a tangled mass of thread with many false ends hanging therefrom. Only the man who discovers the actual end is able to unravel the whole. But then one thing is easily developed from another, and from this we know that it was the right end. It can also be compared to a labyrinth that presents a hundred entrances opening into corridors all of which, after various long and intricate windings, finally lead out again with the exception of a single one, whose windings actually lead to the centre where the idol stands. If we have hit upon this entrance, we shall not miss the way; but by no other path can we ever reach the goal. I do not conceal the fact that I am of the opinion that only the will in us is the right end of the tangle, the true entrance to the labyrinth.

On the other hand, Descartes started on the example of Aristotle's metaphysics from the concept of substance, and we also see all his successors burdened therewith. But he assumed two kinds of substance, the thinking and the extended. Now these were supposed to act on each other through influxus physicus, [51] which soon proved to be his remainder. This took place, namely not merely from without inwards in the representation of the corporeal world, but also from within outwards between the will (which was unhesitatingly assigned to thought) and the actions of the body. The closer relation between these two kinds of substance now became the main problem, whereby such great difficulties arose that in consequence thereof men were driven to the system of causes occasionnelles and of harmonia praestabilita, after the spiritus animales, which had settled the matter with Descartes himself, could be of no further use. * Thus Malebranche considered the influxus physicus to be unthinkable, yet here he did not take into consideration that this influxus physicus is assumed without question in the creation and direction of the corporeal world by a God who is a spirit. He therefore puts in its place the causes occasionnelles and nous voyons tout en Dieu; [52] here is to be found his remainder. Spinoza, following in the footsteps of his teacher, also started from that concept of substance just as though it were something given. Yet he declared the two kinds of substance, the thinking and the extended, to be one and the same, whereby the above-mentioned difficulty was avoided. But his philosophy now became in this way mainly negative, thus amounting to a mere negation of the two great Cartesian antitheses; for he also extended his identification to the other antithesis set up by Descartes, namely that of God and the world. This, however, was really a mere method of teaching or form of presentation. Thus it would have been much too offensive to say outright: 'It is not true that a God has made this world, but it exists by its own absolute power;' he therefore chose an indirect turn of phrase and said: 'The world itself is God;' and this would never have occurred to him if, instead of starting from Judaism, he had been able to start dispassionately from nature herself. This turn of phrase at the same time helps to give his doctrines the appearance of being positive, whereas at bottom they are merely negative. He therefore leaves the world really unexplained, since his teaching amounts to saying: 'The world is because it is; and it is as it is because it is so.' (With this phrase Fichte used to mystify his students. ) Yet the deification of the world that arose in the above manner did not admit of any true ethics; moreover, it was in flagrant contradiction with the physical evils and moral wickedness of this world. Here, then, is Spinoza's remainder.

As I have said, the concept of substance from which Spinoza also starts is taken by him as something given. It is true that he defines it in accordance with his purpose, but he does not concern himself as to its origin. For it was Locke who, shortly after him, propounded the great doctrine that a philosopher who wants to deduce or demonstrate anything from concepts has first to investigate the origin of every such concept, since its content and what may follow therefrom are determined entirely by its origin, as the source of all knowledge that is attainable by means of it. But if Spinoza had inquired into the origin of that concept of substance, he was bound ultimately to have found that this was simply and solely matter, and that the true content of the concept was nothing but just the essential and a priori assignable qualities of matter. Indeed everything attributed by Spinoza to his substance finds its confirmation in matter and only there; it is without origin and hence causeless, eternal, singular, and unique, and its modifications are extension and knowledge; the latter, of course, as the exclusive quality of the brain that is material. Accordingly, Spinoza is an unconscious materialist; yet when we go into the question, the matter that realizes and empirically confirms his concept is not the falsely understood and atomistic matter of Democritus and of the later French materialists which has none but mechanical properties, but the correctly understood matter that is endowed with all its inexplicable qualities. As regards this distinction, I refer to my chief work, vol. II, chap. 24. But even with the Eleatics we find this method of taking up unexamined the concept of substance in order to make it the starting-point, as can be seen particularly from the Aristotelian book De Xenophane, and so on. Thus Xenophanes also starts from the ov, i.e. from substance, and its properties are demonstrated without its being previously asked or stated whence he obtains his knowledge of such a thing. If this were done, one would clearly see what he was really talking about, in other words, what intuitive perception it ultimately was that was the basis of his concept and imparted reality thereto; and then in the end the result would be only matter, and all that he says is true of this. In the following chapters on Zeno, the agreement with Spinoza extends even to the style and expressions. And so we can scarcely refrain from assuming that Spinoza knew and used this work; for in his day Aristotle, although attacked by Bacon, was still always held in high esteem and good editions in Latin were available. Accordingly, Spinoza was a mere reviver of the Eleatics, as Gassendi was of Epicurus. Again, we see how extremely rare is the really new and wholly original in all branches of thought and knowledge.

Moreover, and especially in a formal respect, that starting from the concept of substarue on the part of Spinoza rests on a false fundamental idea that he obtained from his teacher Descartes, who in turn had obtained it from Anselm of Canterbury. This idea is that existentia could result from essentia, in other words, that from a mere concept there could be inferred an existence which would accordingly be a necessary one; or again that, by virtue of the nature or definition of a thing merely thought, it becomes necessary for the thing to be no longer merely thought, but actually to exist. Descartes had applied this false fundamental idea to the concept of the ens perfectissimum; [53] but Spinoza took that of substantia or causa sui, [54] (this latter expresses a contradictio in adjecto); [55] see his first definition which is his [x] [56] in the introduction to the Ethics, and then proposition 7 of the first book. The difference between the fundamental concepts of the two philosophers consists almost entirely in the expression; but underlying their use as starting-points, and hence as something given, there is with the one as with the other the mistake of making a representation of intuitive perception arise out of an abstract representation; whereas, in point off act, every abstract representation arises out of the representation of intuitive perception and so is based thereon. Thus we have here a fundamental [x] [57]

Spinoza burdened himself with a difficulty of a special kind by calling his one and only substance Deus; for this word was already used to designate quite a different concept, and he had continually to fight against misunderstandings that arose from the fact that the reader always associated with the word the concept usually designated thereby instead of the concept it was supposed to designate according to Spinoza's first explanations. If he had not used the word, he would have been spared long and distressing disquisitions in the first book. But he did this so that his teaching would meet with less opposition, an object in which he nevertheless failed. But then a certain ambiguity pervades his whole exposition which might, therefore, to some extent be called allegorical especially as he adopts the same course with one or two other concepts, as was previously observed (in the first essay). How much clearer and consequently better would his so-called Ethics have proved to be had he frankly expressed what was in his mind and had called things by their proper name! How much better it would have been if in general he had presented his ideas, together with their grounds, sincerely and naturally, instead of letting them appear laced up in the Spanish boots of propositions, demonstrations, scholia, and corollaries, in this garb borrowed from geometry. Instead of giving to philosophy the certainty of geometry, this garb rather loses all significance as soon as geometry with its constructions of concepts itself ceases to stand inside it. Hence the proverb also applies here: cucullus non facit monachum. [58]

In the second book he expounds the two modes of his one and only substance as extension and representation (extensio et cogitatio), which is obviously a false division, for extension exists simply and solely for and in the representation; and therefore it should not have been opposed but subordinated thereto.

Spinoza everywhere expressly and emphatically extols laetitia and sets it up as the condition and sign of every praiseworthy action, whereas he rejects absolutely 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 better' (Ecclesiastes 7: 3). All this he does merely out of love for consistency; for if this world is a God it is an end in itself and must glorify and rejoice at its own existence, hence saute Marquis! semper gay, nunquam sad! Pantheism is essentially and necessarily optimism. This obligatory optimism forces Spinoza to many other false conclusions, the most conspicuous being the absurd and often revolting propositions of his moral philosophy, which in the sixteen chapter of his Tractatus theologico-politicus rise to real infamies. On the other hand, he occasionally loses sight of the conclusion where it would have led to correct views, for instance in his propositions regarding animals, which are as unworthy as they are false. (Ethics, Pt. IV, Appendicis, c. 26, et ejusdem Partis prop. 37, schol.) Here he speaks in accordance with the first and ninth chapters of Genesis, just as a Jew knows how to, so that we others, who are accustomed to purer and worthier doctrines, are here overcome by the foetor judaicus. He appears not to have known dogs at all. The revolting proposition with which the above-mentioned twenty-sixth chapter begins: Praeter homines nihil singulare in natura novimus, cujus mente gaudere et quod nobis amicitia, aut aliquo consuetudinis genere jungere possumus, [59] is best answered by a Spanish man of letters of our day (Larra, pseudonym Figaro, in Doncel, c. 33) : El que no ha tenido un perro, no sabe lo que es querer y ser querido. (Whoever has never kept a dog does not know what it is to love and to be loved.) The deeds of cruelty which, according to Colerus, Spinoza was accustomed to practise on spiders and flies, for his own amusement and amid hearty laughter, correspond only too closely to his propositions that are here censured as well as to the aforesaid chapters of Genesis. By virtue of all this, Spinoza's Ethica is throughout a mixture of the false and the true, the admirable and the bad. Towards the end, in the second half of the last part, we see him vainly endeavouring to make things clear to himself. This he is unable to do, and so there is nothing left for him but to become mystical, as happens here. Not to be unjust to this undoubtedly great man, we must accordingly bear in mind that he still had too little at his disposal, hardly more than Descartes, Malebranche, Hobbes, and Giordano Bruno. The basic concepts of philosophy were not yet adequately elaborated, the problems not properly ventilated.

Leibniz too started from the concept of substance as something given, yet he kept mainly in view the fact that such a substance must be indestructible. For this purpose it had to be simple, since everything extended would be divisible and hence destructible; consequently it was .without extension and thus immaterial. There remained, then, no other predicates for his substance than the immaterial or spiritual and hence perception, thinking, and desiring. He now assumed an immense number of such simple immaterial substances. Although these themselves were not extended, they were supposed to be the basis of the phenomenon of extension. He therefore defines them as formal atoms and simple substances (Opera, ed. Erdmann, pp. 124, 676), and gives them the name monads. And so these are supposed to be the basis of the phenomenon of the corporeal world and accordingly this phenomenon is a mere appearance without proper and immediate reality, such reality belonging merely to the monads that are to be found in and behind it. On the other hand, that phenomenon of the corporeal world is now brought about in the perception of the monads (namely of those that actually perceive which are very few, the majority being always asleep) by virtue of the pre-established harmony which the central monad produces entirely alone and at its own expense. Here we are somewhat involved in obscurity; but be that as it may, the mediation between the mere thoughts of these substances and that which is really and in itself extended is effected through a harmony that is pre-established by the central monad. Here it might be said that all is remainder. But to do justice to Leibniz, we must call to mind the method of regarding matter which was at the time put forward by Locke and Newton and according to which matter exists as absolutely dead, purely passive and will-less, endowed merely with mechanical forces, and subject only to mathematical laws. On the other hand, Leibniz rejects atoms and purely mechanical physics in order to put in its place a dynamic physics, in all of which he prepared the way for Kant. (See Opera, ed. Erdmann, p. 694.) In the first place (Opera, p. 124), re recalled the formae substantiales of the Schoolmen and accordingly arrived at the view that even the merely mechanical forces of matter, besides which scarcely any others were known or admitted at that time, must have something spiritual or immaterial underlying them. But he did not know how to make this clear to himself except through the extremely awkward fiction that matter consists of nothing but little souls that are at the same time formal atoms and exist for the most part in a state of stupor and yet possess an analogue of perceptio and appetitus. Here he was led astray, for, like all the others, he made knowledge instead of the will the basis and conditio sine qua non [60] of everything spiritual. I was the first to vindicate for the will the primacy due to it and in this way everything in philosophy was transformed. However, the attempt of Leibniz to base spirit and matter on one and the same principle merits recognition. We might even find in it a presentiment of my own teaching as well as of the Kantian, but quos velut trans nebulam vidit. [61] For underlying his monadology is the idea that matter is not a thing-in-itself, but a mere phenomenon, and therefore that the ultimate ground of even its mechanical action must be sought not in the purely geometrical, that is to say, in what belongs merely to the phenomenon, such as extension, motion, form, and hence that impenetrability is not a merely negative quality, but the manifestation of a positive force. The fundamental view of Leibniz which is here commended is most clearly expressed in some shorter French works, such as Systeme nouveau de la nature, and others that are taken from the Journal des savans and the edition of Dutens into the Erdmann edition, and in the letters etc., Erdmann, Opera, pp. 681-95. There is also a choice collection of Leibniz's relevant passages on pages 335-40 of his Kleinere philosophische Schriften translated by Kohler and revised by Huth, Jena, 1740.

On the whole, we always see in connection with this entire concatenation of strange dogmatic theories one fiction dragging in another as its support, just as in practical life one lie renders many others necessary. At the root of all this is the Cartesian division of all that exists into God and the world, and of man into spirit and matter; accruing to the latter division is everything else. Moreover, there is the error, common to these philosophers and to all who have ever lived, of placing our fundamental nature in knowledge instead of in the will, and hence of representing the will as secondary and knowledge as primary. These, then, were the fundamental errors against which nature and the reality of things protested at every step and to save which the spiritus animales, the materiality of animals, the occasional cause, the seeing of all things in God, pre-established harmony, monads, optimism, and all the rest of it, had then to be invented. With me, on the other hand, where things are tackled at the right end, everything fits in automatically, each thing appears in its proper light, no fictions are required, and simplex sigillum veri. [62]

Kant was not directly concerned with the problem of substance; he went beyond it. With him the concept of substance is a category and hence a mere form of thought a priori. In the necessary application of this form to sensuous intuitive perception, nothing is known as it is in itself; therefore the fundamental essence at the root of bodies as of souls may in itself be one and the same. This is his teaching. For me it paved the way to the insight that everyone's own body is only the intuitive perception of his will, a perception arising in his brain. Extended afterwards to all bodies, this relation resulted in the analysis of the world into will and representation.

Now that concept of substance, which had been made the principal concept of philosophy by Descartes, true to Aristotle, and with the definition of which Spinoza accordingly begins, although after the manner of the Eleatics, appears on close and honest investigation to be a higher yet unjustified abstraction of the concept matter. Such abstraction together with matter was supposed also to include the supposititious child, immaterial substance, as I have explained in detail in my 'Criticism of the Kantian Philosophy' at the end of the first volume of my-chief work. But apart from this, the concept of substance is useless as the starting-point of philosophy because in any case it is objective. Thus everything objective is for us always only mediate; the subjective alone is the immediate; and so this must not be passed over, but must be made the absolute starting-point. Now this has also been done by Descartes; indeed he was the first to recognize and do it, and for this reason with him a new main epoch of philosophy begins. But he does this only as a preliminary at the very first rush, after which he at once assumes the objective absolute reality of the world on the credit of the trustworthiness of God, and from now on he philosophizes in a wholly objective manner. Moreover, in this respect he really makes himself guilty of a serious circulus vitiosus. [63] Thus he demonstrates the objective reality of the objects of all our representations of intuitive perception from the existence of God as their author whose trustworthiness does not admit of his deceiving us. But he demonstrates the existence of God himself from the innate representation we are supposed to have of him as the all-perfect being. Il commence par douter de tout, et finit par tout croire, [64] says one of his countrymen of him.

Berkeley was, therefore, the first to treat the subjective starting-point really seriously and to demonstrate irrefutably its absolute necessity. He is the father of idealism; but this is the foundation of all true philosophy which has since been retained generally, at any rate as the starting-point, although every subsequent philosopher has attempted different modulations and variations of it. Thus even Locke started from the subjective in that he conceded a great part of the properties of bodies to our sense-impression. It must be noted, however, that his reduction of all qualitative differences, as secondary qualities, to merely quantitative, namely of size, shape, position, and so on, as the only primary, i.e. objective qualities, is still basically the doctrine of Democritus, who likewise reduced all qualities to the form, composition, and position of atoms. This can be seen with special clearness from Aristotle's Metaphysics, Book I, chap. 4, and from the De sensu of Theophrastus, cc. 61-5. To this extent, Locke was a reviver of the Democritean philosophy, as Spinoza was of that of the Eleatics. He too really paved the way for the subsequent French materialism. Yet through this preliminary distinction of the subjective element from the objective in intuitive perception, he led directly up to Kant who, following his direction and track in a much higher sense, managed clearly to separate the subjective from the objective. In this process, of course, so much now accrued to the subjective, that the objective remained only as a wholly obscure point, as something that could not be further known-a thing-in-itself. Now I have again reduced this to the essential reality that we come across in our self-consciousness as the will; thus here also I have again returned to the subjective source of knowledge. But it could not have turned out otherwise just because, as I have said, everything objective is always only secondary, that is to say, a representation. Therefore we must look for the innermost kernel of beings, namely the thing-in-itself, certainly not outside us, but only within ourselves and hence in the subjective as that which alone is immediate. Moreover there is the fact that, with the objective, we can never reach a point of rest, something ultimate and original, because there we are in the domain of representations. But these all have as their essential form the principle of sufficient reason in its four aspects, whereupon every object at once falls under and submits to the demand of that principle. For example, an assumed objective absolute is at once besieged with the destructive questions Whence? and Why? before which it must give way and fall. It is different when we are immersed in the silent, though obscure, depths of the subject. But here, of course, we are threatened with the danger of falling into mysticism. We can, therefore, draw from this source only what is in fact true, accessible to each and all, and consequently absolutely undeniable.

The dianoiology which, as the result of investigations since Descartes, was current until Kant, is found en resume presented with naive distinctness in Muratori, Della fantasia, chaps. 1-4- and 13. Locke there appears as a heretic. The whole is a nest of errors whereby it can be seen how very differently I conceived and presented it after having Kant and Cabanis as predecessors. The whole of that dianoiology and psychology is built on the false Cartesian dualism; in the whole work everything must now be reduced to this dualism, per fas et nefas, [65] including many correct and interesting facts that are introduced, The whole procedure as a type is interesting.
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Re: Parerga and Paralipomena: Short Philosophical Essays

Postby admin » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:34 am

Part 4 of 6

§ 13. Some further Elucidations of the Kantian Philosophy

As the motto for the Critique of Pure Reason a passage from Pope would be very appropriate (Works, vol. VI, p. 374, Basel edn.). It was written some eighty years earlier and says: 'Since 'tis reasonable to doubt most things, we should most of all doubt that reason of ours which would demonstrate all things.'

The real spirit of the Kantian philosophy, its fundamental idea and true meaning, may be conceived and presented in many different ways. Such different turns of phrase and expressions of the matter will be suitable, some more than others according to the diversity of minds, for disclosing to this or that man a true understanding of that profound and therefore difficult teaching. The following is one more attempt of this kind wherein I undertake to shed some light on Kant's profundity. [66]

Mathematics is based on intuitive perceptions on which its proofs are supported; yet because such perceptions are not empirical but a priori, its theories are apodictic. Philosophy, on the other hand, has mere concepts as the given element from which it starts and which is to impart necessity (apodicticity) to its proofs. For it cannot rely directly on merely empirical intuitive perception because it undertakes to explain the universal of things not the particular, its purpose being to lead beyond what is empirically given. Now there remains for it nothing but universal concepts since these, of course, are not what appertains to intuitive perception and are not purely empirical. Such concepts must, therefore, furnish the foundation of its theories and proofs, and a start must be made from them as something present and given. Accordingly, philosophy is now a science from mere concepts, whereas mathematics is a science from the construction (intuitive presentation) of its concepts. Strictly speaking, however, it is only the demonstration or argumentation of philosophy that starts from mere concepts. Thus this demonstration cannot start, like the mathematical, from an intuitive perception because such would have to be either purely a priori or empirical; the latter gives no apodicticity and the former furnishes only mathematics. If, therefore, it tries somehow to support its doctrines by demonstration or argumentation, this must consist in the correct logical inference from concepts that are taken as a basis. Things had gone on quite well in this direction throughout the long period of Scholasticism and even in the new epoch established by Descartes, so that we see even Spinoza and Leibniz follow this method. But at last it had occurred to Locke to investigate the origin of concepts, and the result had been that all universal concepts, however, abstract they may be, are drawn from experience, in other words, from the actual existing, sensuously perceivable, empirically real world, or else from inner experience such as is afforded to everyone by empirical self-observation. Consequently, those concepts derive their whole content only from these two; and so they can never furnish more than what outer or inner experience has put there. Strictly speaking, it should have been inferred from this that they never lead beyond experience, that is, they never lead to the goal; but with the principles drawn from experience Locke went beyond experience.

In further opposition to his predecessors and for the purpose of correcting Locke's doctrine, Kant showed that there are in fact some concepts which form an exception to the above rule and therefore do not originate from experience. But at the same time, he also showed that these are drawn partly from the pure, i.e. a priori, given intuitive perception of space and time, and that in part they constitute the peculiar functions of our understanding itself for the purpose of their use in experience that is regulated by them. Consequently, he demonstrated that their validity extends only to possible experience which is to be produced at all times through the medium of the senses, since they themselves are merely destined, on the stimulation of sensation, to generate in us that experience, together with all its events that conform to law. In themselves devoid of content, they therefore obtain all their material and content solely from sensibility in order then to produce therewith experience. Apart from this, however, they have no content or significance since they are valid only on the assumption of an intuitive perception that rests on sensation and refer essentially to this. Now from this it follows that they cannot furnish us with the guides to lead us beyond all possibility of experience; and again that metaphysics is impossible as being the science of that which lies beyond nature, that is, beyond the possibility of experience.

Now as the one element of experience, namely the universal, the formal, and the one that conforms to law, is knowable a priori, but for that very reason depends on the essential and regular functions of our intellect, whereas the other element, namely the particular, the material, and the contingent, springs from sensation, it follows that both are of subjective origin. From this it follows that the whole of experience together with the world presenting itself therein is a mere phenomenon, in other words, something existing primarily and directly only for the subject that knows it. Yet this phenomenon points to a thing-in-itself that underlies it and, as such, is nevertheless absolutely unknowable. These, then, are the negative results of the Kantian philosophy.

Here I must call attention to the fact that Kant speaks as though we were merely knowing beings and thus had absolutely no datum except the representation, whereas we certainly possess another in the will within us that is toto genere different from the representation. It is true that he also took into consideration the will, yet not in theoretical but only in practical philosophy, which with him is quite separate from the former. This he did simply and solely to establish the fact of the purely moral significance of our conduct and to set up thereon a moral faith as a counterpoise to the theoretical ignorance and thus to the impossibility of all theology, to which we revert in virtue of the foregoing.

Kant's philosophy, as distinct from, and indeed opposed to all others, is also characterized as transcendental philosophy, or more accurately as transcendental idealism. The expression 'transcendent' is not of mathematical but philosophical origin, for it was already familiar to the Schoolmen. It was first introduced into mathematics by Leibniz in order to express quod Algebrae vires transcendit, [67] and so all operations that cannot be carried out by ordinary arithmetic and algebra, as for example finding the logarithm of a number or vice versa; or finding the trigonometrical functions of an arc purely arithmetically, or vice versa; and generally all problems that can be solved only by a calculus carried to infinity. The School men, however, characterized as transcendent the highest of all concepts, namely those that were even more universal than the ten categories of Aristotle; even Spinoza uses the word in this sense. Giordano Bruno (Della causa, etc., Dial. 4), describes as transcendent the predicates that are more universal than the distinction between corporeal and incorporeal substance and belong therefore to substance in general. According to him they concern that common root in which the corporeal is one with the incorporeal and which is the true original substance; in fact he even sees therein a proof that there must be such a substance. Now in the first place, Kant understands by transcendental the recognition of the a priori and thus merely formal element in our knowledge as such, in other words, the insight that such knowledge is independent of experience, indeed prescribes for this even the unalterable rule whereby it must turn out. Such insight is bound up with the understanding why such knowledge is this and has this power, namely because it constitutes the form of our intellect, and thus in consequence of its subjective origin. Therefore, properly speaking, only the Critique of Pure Reason is transcendental. In contrast thereto he describes as transcendent the use, or rather misuse, of that purely formal element in our knowledge beyond the possibility of experience; this he also terms hyperphysical. Accordingly, transcendental means briefly 'prior to all experience'; transcendent, on the other hand, means 'beyond all experience'. Therefore Kant approves of metaphysics only as transcendental philosophy, that is to say, as the doctrine of the formal, as such, that is contained in our knowing consciousness, and of the limitation thereby entailed by virtue whereof the knowledge of things-in-themselves is for us impossible, since experience can furnish nothing but mere phenomena. Yet the word 'metaphysical' is with him not entirely synonymous with 'transcendental'. Thus everything that is a priori certain but concerns experience is called by him metaphysical, whereas the teaching that it is a priori certain only on account of its subjective origin and as purely formal, is alone called transcendental. Transcendental is the philosophy that makes us aware of the fact that the first and essential laws of this world that are presented to us are rooted in our brain and are therefore known a priori. It is called transcendental because it goes beyond the whole given phantasmagoria to the origin thereof. Therefore, as I have said, only the Critique of Pure Reason and generally the critical (that is to say, Kantian) philosophy are transcendental.* On the other hand, the Anfangsgrunde der Naturwissenschaft as well as the Tugendlehre and others are metaphysical.

However, the notion of a transcendental philosophy may be taken in an even deeper sense if we undertake to concentrate therein the innermost spirit of the Kantian philosophy, somewhat in the following way. The whole world is given to us only in a secondary manner as representation, as a picture in our head, as a brain phenomenon, whereas our own will is given to us immediately in self-consciousness. Accordingly, there occurs a separation, indeed a contrast, between our own existence and that of the world. All this is a mere consequence of our individual and animal existence with the abolition of which it therefore falls away. But until then, it is for us impossible to eliminate in thought that fundamental and original form of our consciousness, which is what is described as the division into subject and object, since all thinking and representing presuppose it. We therefore always accept and leave untouched that form as the primarily essential and fundamental constitution of the world, whereas it is in fact only the form of our animal consciousness and of the phenomena brought about by means thereof. But from this there arise all those questions concerning the beginning, end, limits, and origin of the world, our own continued existence after death, and others. Accordingly, they all rest on a false assumption that attributes to the thing-in-itself, and thus proclaims as the primary and fundamental nature of the world, that which is only the form of the phenomenon, that is, of representations produced by means of an animal cerebral consciousness. This is the meaning of the Kantian expression 'all such questions are transcendent.' They are, therefore, absolutely incapable of any answer not merely subjectively, but in and by themselves, that is to say, objectively. For they are problems that disappear entirely with the abolition of our cerebral consciousness and of the antithesis resting thereon; and yet they were raised as though they were independent of it. For instance, whoever asks whether he continues to exist after his death, abolishes in hypothesi his animal brain-consciousness; yet he asks about something that exists only on the assumption thereof, since that something rests on the form of consciousness, thus on subject, object, space, and time; and so he asks about his individual existence. Now a philosophy that brings to distinct consciousness all these conditions and limitations as such, is transcendental and, in so far as it vindicates for the subject the universal fundamental determinations of the objective world, it is transcendental idealism. It will gradually be seen that the problems of metaphysics are insoluble only in so far as a contradiction is already contained in the questions themselves.

Nevertheless, transcendental idealism does not by any means question the empirical reality of the world actually before us. On the contrary, it states merely that it is not unconditioned, since it has as its condition our brain-functions whence the forms of intuitive perception, time, space, and causality, arise; consequently, it states that this empirical reality itself is only that of a phenomenal appearance. Now if in this appearance a plurality of beings manifest themselves to us one of which is always passing away and another arising, yet we know that plurality is possible only by means of the intuitive form of space, and arising and passing away are possible only by means of the intuitive form of time, then we recognize that such a source of events has no absolute reality. In other words, we recognize that this course does not belong to the essence-in-itself that manifests itself in that phenomenal appearance. On the contrary, if we could withdraw those forms of knowledge like the glass from the kaleidoscope, we should have to our astonishment that essence-in-itself before us as something single, unique, enduring, imperishable, unchangeable, and identical, in spite of all apparent change, perhaps even down to quite individual determinations. In accordance with this view, the following three propositions may be stated:

(1) The sole form of reality is the present; only in this is the real to be met with directly and is contained always entirely and completely.

(2) The truly real is independent of time and hence is one and the same in every point of time.

(3) Time is the intuitive form of our intellect and is, therefore, foreign to the thing-in-itself.

These three propositions are at bottom identical. Whoever clearly sees their truth as well as their identity has made great progress in philosophy, since he has grasped the spirit of transcendental idealism.

How pregnant in general is Kant's doctrine of the ideality of space and time which he has expounded so dryly and baldly! On the other hand, absolutely nothing results from the pompous, pretentious, and purposely incomprehensible twaddle of the three notorious sophists who have drawn from Kant on to themselves the attention of a public that is 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, like everything lying in time, we are consumed by it. In the second case, time is ideal; it lies within us. First of all, then, the question concerning the future after death falls to the ground. For if I am not, then time also is no more. It is only a deceptive delusion that shows me a time which after my death proceeds without me. All three divisions of time, past, present, and future, are likewise my product, belong to me, but not I to anyone of them in preference to another. Again another conclusion which might be drawn from the proposition that time does not belong to the essence-in-itself of things, is that, in some sense, the past is not past, but that everything, which has ever really and truly existed, must at bottom still exist, since time indeed is only like a stage waterfall that appears to flow downwards, whereas, being a mere wheel, it does not move from its place. Long ago in my chief work, I compared space analogously to a glass cut with many facets which enables us to see in countless reproduction that which exists singly. Indeed if at the risk of indulging in extravagant fancies we go still more deeply into the matter, it might appear to us as though, by a very vivid representation of our own very remote past, we were immediately convinced of the fact that time does not touch the real essence of things, but is only interpolated between this essence and ourselves, as a mere medium of perception after the removal of which all would again be there. On the other hand, our true and living faculty of memory wherein that remote past maintains an imperishable existence, testifies also to the fact that there is likewise in us something that does not grow old and consequently does not lie within the domain of time.

The main tendency of the Kantian philosophy is to demonstrate the complete diversity of the real and the ideal, after Locke had already made a start in this direction. Incidentally, we can say that the ideal is the form of intuitive perception that presents itself in space with all the qualities that are perceivable in it; whereas the real is the thing in and by itself, independent of its being represented in the head of another or in our own head. But the boundary between the two is difficult to draw, and yet it is precisely that whereon the question turns. Locke had shown that everything in that form which is colour, sound, smoothness, roughness, hardness, softness, cold, heat, and so on (secondary qualities), is merely ideal and hence does not belong to the thing-in-itself, since in those secondary qualities we are given not the being and essence, but merely the action of the thing. Indeed it is a very one-sided definite action, namely that on the quite specifically determined receptivity of our five sense-organs, by virtue whereof, for example, sound does not affect the eye, nor does light the ear. In fact, the action of bodies on the sense-organs consists merely in its putting them into a state of activity that is peculiar to them, almost in the same way as when I pull a thread that makes a musical clock play. On the other hand, Locke still left untouched extension, form, impenetrability, motion or rest, and number, as the real that belonged to the thing-in-itself-and he therefore called these primary qualities. Now with infinitely superior insight, Kant subsequently showed that even these qualities do not belong to the purely objective nature of things or to the thing-in-itself, and so cannot be absolutely real, since they are conditioned by space, time, and causality. But by their whole constitution and conformity to law, space, time and causality are given to us prior to all experience and are precisely known; and so they must lie preformed within us, as does the specific kind of receptivity and activity of each of our senses, Accordingly, I have stated plainly that those forms are the brain's share in intuitive perception, just as the specific sensations are the share of the receptive sense-organs. * And so according to Kant, the purely objective nature of things, which is independent of our representation and our representing apparatus and which he calls the thing-in- itself and hence the truly real as distinct from the ideal, is already something utterly different from the form that presents itself to us in intuitive perception. For, properly speaking, neither extension nor duration can be attributed to the thing-in- itself, as it is supposed to be independent of space and time, although it imparts the power to exist to everything that has extension and duration. Even Spinoza has comprehended the matter as a whole, as can be seen from Ethics, Pt. II, prop. 16 with the second corollary, also prop. 18, schol.

Locke's real as opposed to the ideal is at bottom matter, stripped it is true of all the qualities that he eliminates as secondary, that is to say, as conditioned through our sense-organs. But yet it is something, existing in and by itself as extended and so on, whose mere reflex or copy is the representation within us. Here I recall the Fourfold Root, para. 21, and the World as Will and Representation, vol. i, § 4, and vol. ii, chap. 4, the latter work in less detail, where I have explained that the essential nature of matter consists simply in its action and consequently that matter is through and through causality, and that, as every particular quality and hence every specific way of acting is disregarded when it is conceived as such, it is action or pure causality deprived of all specific determinations, causality in abstracto. For a thorough comprehension of this I ask the reader to refer to the above-quoted passages. But now Kant had already taught, although I was the first to give the correct proof of it, that all causality is only a form of our understanding and hence that it exists only for the understanding and in the understanding. Accordingly, we now see Locke's alleged real, namely matter, retreating in this way entirely into the ideal and thus into the subject, in other words, existing solely in the representation and for the representation. By his presentation Kant certainly deprived the real or thing-in-itself of materiality, but for him it also remained only a wholly unknown x. But I have at last demonstrated the truly real, the thing-in-itself, which alone has a real existence independent of the representation and its forms, to be the will within us, whereas hitherto this had been classed unquestionably with the ideal. Accordingly, it will be seen that Locke, Kant, and I are closely connected since in the interval of almost two hundred years we present the gradual development of a coherent, consistent, and uniform train of thought. David Hume may also be considered as a connecting link in this chain although, properly speaking, only with regard to the law of causality. With reference to him and his influence, I have to supplement the above discussion with the following remarks.

Locke, as well as Condillac and his disciples following in his footsteps, argue and indicate that a sensation entering a sense-organ must correspond to its cause outside our body, and also that the differences of such effect (sense-impression) must correspond to those of the causes, whatever these may ultimately be; from this results the distinction between primary and secondary qualities previously alluded to. With this they end and for them an objective world now stands out in space, a world consisting of nothing but things-in-themselves which are indeed colourless, odourless, noiseless, neither warm nor cold, and so on, but which are nevertheless extended, formed, impenetrable, movable, and countable. But the axiom itself, by virtue whereof that transition from the inner to the outer and that whole derivation and installation of things-in-themselves have taken place, thus the law of causaliry, has been assumed by them, as by all previous philosophers, to be self-evident, and its validity has been subjected to no investigation. Now Hume directed on to this his sceptical attack by doubting the validity of that law. For he stated that experience whence, according to that very philosophy, all our cognitions were said to be derived, could never furnish us with the causal connection itself but always only with the mere succession of states in time and thus never with a consequence but only with a mere sequence which, precisely as such, would always prove to be only contingent or accidental and never necessary. Now this argument, so opposed to common sense yet not easy to refute, induced Kant to investigate the true origin of the concept of causality. He found this to reside in the essential and innate form of our understanding itself and hence in the subject not the object, for it was not first brought to us from without. Now in this way, the whole of that objective world of Locke and Condillac was drawn back again into the subject, for Kant had shown the clue to it to be of subjective origin. For now the rule also is just as subjective as is the sense-impression and, in consequence of it, that impression is to be conceived as the effect of a cause; yet it is this cause alone that is intuitively perceived as the objective world. For the subject assumes an object outside itself merely in consequence of the peculiar characteristic of its intellect, namely that of presupposing a cause for every change. Thus the subject projects the object really out of itself into a space ready for the purpose, such space itself being likewise a product of the intellect's own and original constitution, and also the specific sensation in the sense-organs, at the instance of which the whole process occurs. Accordingly, Locke's objective world of things-in-themselves had been changed by Kant into a world of mere phenomena in our cognitive apparatus, and this the more completely in that the space in which they present themselves and also the time in which they pass were shown by him to be undeniably of subjective origin.

But in spite of all this, both Kant and Locke still allowed the thing-in-itself to continue, that is to say, something which would exist independently of our representations that furnish us with mere phenomena, and which would form the basis of such phenomena. Now to this extent Kant was here quite right; yet his justification for taking this view was not to be derived from principles laid down by him. Here, then, was the Achilles' heel of his philosophy, and when that inconsistency was demonstrated, it again had to forfeit the recognition it had obtained of absolute validity and truth; yet in the last resort it was in this respect unjustly treated. For it is quite certain that the assumption of a thing-in-itself behind phenomena, of a real kernel under so many shells, is by no means untrue; on the contrary, its denial would be absurd. It is only the way in which Kant introduced such a thing-in-itself and sought to unite it with his principles that was faulty. At bottom, therefore, it was only his presentation of the case (this word taken in the widest sense) and not the case itself that was overthrown by his opponents. In this sense, it could be asserted that the arguments used against him were really only ad hominem and not ad rem. In any case, the Indian proverb here again finds application: no lotus without a stem. Kant was guided by the truth certainly felt that there lies behind every phenomenon a being-in-itself whence such phenomenon obtains its existence; thus behind the representation there lies something represented. But he undertook to derive this from the given representation itself by the addition of its laws that are known to us a priori. Yet just because these are a priori, they cannot lead to something independent of, and different from, the phenomenon or representation; and so for this purpose we have to pursue an entirely different course. The inconsistencies in which Kant was involved through the faulty course taken by him in this respect were demonstrated to him by G. E. Schultze who in his ponderous and diffuse manner expounded the matter first anonymously in Aenesidemus (especially pp. 374-81), and then in his Kritik der theoretischen Philosophie (vol. II, pp. 205ff.). Against this Reinhold conducted Kant's defence, yet without any particular success so that the matter had to rest with the haec potuisse dici, et non potuisse refelli. [68]

Here I will clearly set forth once for all in my own way that which underlies the whole controversy and is really essential to the matter, independently of Schultze's conception thereof. A strict deduction of the thing-in-itself has never been given by Kant; on the contrary, he took it over from his predecessors, especially Locke, and retained it as something whose existence was not to be doubted since it was really self-evident; indeed to a certain extent, he had to do this. According to Kant's discoveries, therefore, our empirical knowledge contains one element that is demonstrably of subjective origin, and another whereof this is not the case. The latter element thus remains objective because there is no ground for regarding it as subjective.* Accordingly, Kant's transcendental idealism denies the objective essence of things or their reality that is independent of our apprehension in so far, of course, as the a priori in our knowledge extends yet no farther, just because the ground for denying does not go farther. Accordingly, he allows what lies beyond to remain and hence all such properties of things as cannot be constructed a priori. For the whole essential nature of the given phenomena, that is, of the corporeal world, is by no means a priori determinable by us; on the contrary, it is merely the universal form of its phenomenal appearance, and this may be reduced to space, time, and causality, together with the entire conformity to law of those three forms. On the other hand, what is left undetermined by all those a priori existing forms and thus is contingent or accidental with regard to them, is just the manifestation of the thing-in-itself. Now the empirical content of the phenomena, that is to say, every closer determination thereof, every physical quality appearing therein, cannot be known otherwise than a posteriori. These empirical qualities (or rather their common source) are accordingly left to the thing-in-itself, as manifestations of its own essential nature through the medium of all those a priori forms. This a posteriori which appears in every phenomenon shrouded as it were in the a priori but yet imparts to every being its special and individual character, is accordingly the material or substance [Stoff] of the phenomenal world as opposed to its form. Now this material is in no way to be derived from the forms of the phenomenon which attach to the subject; for these were most carefully investigated by Kant and were definitely shown to be a priori. On the contrary it is still left over after the abstraction of everything that flows from those forms, and so it is found as a second wholly distinct element of the empirical phenomenon and as an addition that is foreign to them. On the other hand, it by no means comes from the caprice of the knowing subject; indeed it often stands in opposition to this. And so in view of all this, Kant did not hesitate to leave this material or substance of the phenomenon to the thing-in-itself and thus to regard it as coming entirely from without, because it must come from somewhere or, as Kant expresses it, it must have some ground. Now as we cannot possibly isolate such qualities as are knowable only a posteriori, and conceive them as separated from and purified of those that are a priori certain, but they always appear enveloped in the latter, Kant teaches that we know the existence of things- in-themselves, but nothing beyond this. Thus we know only that they are, not what they are; and so the essential nature of things-in-themselves remains with him an unknown quantity, an x. For the form of the phenomenon everywhere clothes and conceals the essential nature of the thing-in-itself. At best we can say that those a priori forms belong without distinction to all things as phenomena since they come from our intellect, but that things at the same time show a very considerable diversity. Therefore what determines these differences and hence the specific variety of things is the thing-in-itself.

Looked at in this way, therefore, Kant's assumption and presupposition of things-in-themselves, notwithstanding the subjective nature of all our forms of knowledge, seem to be perfectly justified and well grounded. Yet this assumption is shown to be untenable when its only argument, namely the empirical content in all phenomena, is closely examined and traced back to its origin. Thus in empirical knowledge and its source, namely the representation of intuitive perception, there certainly exists a material or substance that is independent of the form of that knowledge, a form that is known to us a priori. The next question is whether this substance is of objective or subjective origin, since only in the first case can it guarantee the thing-in-itself. And so if we pursue it to its origin, we find this to be nowhere but in our sense-impression. For it is change that occurs in the retina of the eye, in the auditory nerve, or in the tips of the fingers, and it brings about the representation of intuitive perception; in other words, it first sets in motion the whole apparatus of our forms of knowledge which lie ready a priori, the result of this play being the perception of an external object. To that change that is felt in the sense-organ the law of causality is first applied by means of a necessary and infallible a priori function of the understanding. With its a priori sureness and certainty, that law leads to a cause of that change and as such a cause is not within the arbitrary power of the subject, it now presents itself as something external thereto. This quality obtains its significance first by means of the form of space; but for this purpose such form is also added immediately by our own intellect. In this way, that cause which is necessarily to be assumed, at once presents itself in intuitive perception as an object in space; and this object bears as its intrinsic properties those changes that are effected in our sense-organs by the cause. The reader will find this whole process thoroughly and fully discussed in § 21 of the second edition of my essay On the Principle of Sufficient Reason. But now the sense-impression that provides the starting-point for this process and unquestionably the whole material for empirical intuitive perception, is something entirely subjective. All the forms of knowledge by means whereof the objective representation of intuitive perception arises from that material and is projected outwards, according to Kant's absolutely correct demonstration, are also of subjective origin. It is clear, therefore, that both the material and the form of the representation of intuitive perception spring from the subject. Accordingly, the whole of our empirical knowledge is now resolved into two components both of which have their origin in ourselves; namely the sense-impression and the forms time, space, causality that are given a priori and hence are embedded in the functions of our intellect or brain. Kant, however, had added to these forms eleven other categories of the understanding which were shown by me to be superfluous and inadmissible. Consequently, the representation of intuitive perception and our empirical knowledge resting thereon really furnish no data for inferring things-in-themselves, and Kant was not entitled to assume such in accordance with his principles. Like all previous philosophies, Locke's had also taken the law of causality as absolute and so was justified in inferring from the sense-impression external things that actually exist independently of us. This passage from the effect to the cause, however, is the only way to reach directly from the internal and subjectively given to the external and objectively existing. But after Kant had conceded the law of causality to the subject's form of knowledge, this way was no longer left open to him. Moreover, he himself warned us often enough against making a transcendent use of the category of causality, that is to say, a use that goes beyond experience and its possibility.

In fact, the thing-in-itself is never to be arrived at in this way, and not at all on the path of purely objective knowledge. Such knowledge always remains representation, but as such it is rooted in the subject and can never furnish anything really different from the representation. But we can reach the thing-in-itself only by our shifting once for all the standpoint, that is to say, by starting from what is represented instead of, as hitherto, always merely from what represents. But for everyone this is possible with one thing only which is also accessible to him from within and is thus given to him in a twofold way. I refer to his own body which stands out in the objective world precisely as representation in space, but which at the same time proclaims itself to his own self-consciousness as will. But in this way, the will hands over the key first to a comprehension of all its actions and movements that are produced by external causes (here motives). Without that inner and direct insight into their essence, such actions and movements would remain just as incomprehensible and inexplicable to us as are the changes that occur in accordance with natural laws and as manifestations of natural forces in all the bodies that are given to us in objective intuitive perception alone. The will then furnishes the key to an understanding of the permanent substratum of all these actions in which all the forces for them are rooted, and hence to the body itself. This direct knowledge which everyone has of the inner essence of his own phenomenon, a phenomenon that is otherwise given to him, like all others, only in objective intuitive perception, must afterwards be transferred by analogy to all the other phenomena that are given in the latter way alone. Such knowledge then becomes the key to that of the inner essence of things, that is, of things-in-themselves. And so we can reach that knowledge only on a path that is entirely different from the purely objective knowledge that remains mere representation. Thus we can do so by availing ourselves of the self-consciousness of the subject of knowledge that appears always only as an animal individual, and by making it the exponent of the consciousness of other things, i.e. of the intuitively perceiving intellect. This is the path taken by me and is the only correct one, the narrow portal to truth.

Now instead of pursuing this course, men confused Kant's presentation with the essence of the matter; they believed that with the former the latter was refuted; they regarded as argumenta ad rem what were only argumenta ad hominem; and accordingly, as a result of Schultze's attacks, they declared Kant's philosophy to be untenable. Thus the field was now free for sophists and humbugs. The first of this class to appear on the scene was Fichte who, because the thing-in-itself had just been discredited, at once prepared a system without any thing-in-itself. Consequently, he rejected the assumption of anything that was not through and through merely our representation, and therefore let the knowing subject be all in all or at any rate produce everything from its own resources. For this purpose, he at once did away with the essential and most meritorious part of the Kantian doctrine, the distinction between a priori and a posteriori and thus that between the phenomenon and the thing-in-itself. For he declared everything to be a priori, naturally without any proofs for such a monstrous assertion; instead of these, he gave sophisms and even crazy sham demonstrations whose absurdity was concealed under the mask of profundity and of the incomprehensibility ostensibly arising therefrom. Moreover, he appealed boldly and openly to intellectual intuition, that is, really to inspiration. This, of course, sufficed for a public that lacked all power of judgement and was unworthy of Kant. It regarded excess as excellence and accordingly declared Fichte to be a philosopher far greater even than Kant. Indeed even today there is no lack of philosophical authors who endeavour to foist on to the new generation the false fame of Fichte which has now become traditional. They quite seriously assure us that what Kant merely attempted had been achieved by Fichte, and that he was really the right man. By their Midas-judgement in the second instance, these gentlemen betray their utter incapacity to understand anything of Kant. Indeed they reveal so palpably and clearly their deplorable want of understanding that it is to be hoped the rising and finally disillusioned generation will guard against wasting their time and ruining their minds on their numerous histories of philosophy and other writings. I wish to take this opportunity to call to mind a short work from which we can see the impression made on impartial and unprejudiced contemporaries by Fichte's personal appearance and conduct. It is called Kabinet Berliner Charactere and appeared in 1808 without indicating where it was printed; it is said to be by Buchholz, but of this I am not certain. We may compare this with what the lawyer Anselm von Feuerbach says about Fichte in the letters edited by his son in 1852, and also with Schillers und Fichtes Briefwechsel, 1847, and we shall obtain a more correct picture of this sham philosopher.

It was not long before Schelling, worthy of his predecessor, followed in Fichte's footsteps which, however, he forsook in order to proclaim his own invention, the absolute identity of the subjective and the objective, or of the ideal and the real. This implies that everything that rare minds like Locke and Kant had separated after an incredible amount of reflection and judgement, was to be again poured into the pap of that absolute identity. For the teaching of these two thinkers may be very appropriately described as the doctrine of the absolute diversity of the ideal and the real, or of the subjective and the objective. But now matters went farther from aberrations to aberrations. When once incomprehensibility of speech was introduced by Fichte and the semblance of profundity was put in place of thought, the seeds were scattered which were to result in one corruption after another and finally in the complete demoralization of philosophy and thus of the whole of literature, which has arisen in our day.*

Schelling was followed by a philosophical ministerial creature, to wit Hegel, who for political and indeed mistaken purposes was from above dubbed a great philosopher-a commonplace, inane, loathsome, repulsive, and ignorant charlatan, who with unparalleled effrontery compiled a system of crazy nonsense that was trumpeted abroad as immortal wisdom by his mercenary followers, and was actually regarded as such by blockheads, whereby such a complete chorus of admiration arose as had never before been known. [69] The extensive intellectual activity that was forcibly usurped by such a man resulted in the mental ruin of a whole generation of scholars. The admirer of this pseudo-philosophy has in store for him the ridicule of posterity, which is already preluded by the delightfully audible derision of neighbours. Or ought it not to sound melodious to my ears when the nation, whose learned caste has for thirty years thought nothing and less than nothing of my achievements and deemed them not worth a glance, obtains from neighbours the reputation of having throughout thirty years revered and even deified as the highest and most unheard-of wisdom, that which is thoroughly bad, absurd, and senseless and at the same time serves material ends? As a good patriot, I suppose I should indulge in praise of the Germans and of things German and be delighted at having belonged to this nation and to no other. But it is as the Spanish proverb says: cada uno cuenta de la feria, como le va en ella. (Everyone reports about the fair according as it fared with him.) Go to the Democolacs and get praised! Solid, unwieldy, ministerially puffed-up charlatans and scribblers of nonsense, without mind and without merit, are what belong to the Germans, not men like myself. This is the testimony I have to give to them on parting. Wieland (Briefe an Merck, p. 239) calls it a misfortune to be born a German; Burger, Mozart, Beethoven, and many others would have agreed with him; I also. It rests on the fact that [x], [70] or il n'y a que l'esprit qui sente l'esprit. [71]

One of the most brilliant and meritorious sides of the Kantian philosophy is unquestionably the Transcendental Dialectic whereby Kant undermined speculative theology and psychology to such an extent that no one has since been able, even with the best will in the world, to set them up again. What a benefit to the human mind! Or do we not see how, during the whole period from the revival of the sciences down to Kant, the thoughts of even the greatest men receive a twist and indeed are often put completely out of joint, as a consequence of those two absolutely inviolable assumptions that paralyse the whole mind, and are withdrawn from, and so are dead to, all investigation? Are not the primary and most essential views of ourselves and of all things confused and falsified when we start with the assumption that all this is produced and arranged from without according to notions and well-reflected designs by a personal and thus individual being? In the same way, man's fundamental essence is supposed to be one that thinks and he is said to consist of two wholly heterogeneous parts which have come together and have been welded without our knowing how, and which must now get on with each other as best they can in order soon to be separated again for ever nolentes volentes. [72] The powerful effect of Kant's critique of these notions and their grounds on all branches of knowledge is evident from the fact that, since then, at any rate in superior German literature, those assumptions appear at most only in a figurative sense and are no longer seriously made, being left for popular writings and professors of philosophy who earn their living by them. In particular, our works on natural science keep free from such things, whereas in our view the English ,works are degraded by their modes of expression and diatribes alluding to them, or by their apologies.* Immediately before Kant, things were, of course, in this respect quite different. Thus we see even the eminent Lichtenberg, whose early education was pre-Kantian, stick in his essay on physiognomy to that antithesis of soul and body earnestly and with conviction, and thereby mar his case.

Whoever reflects on this high value of the Transcendental Dialectic, will not find it superfluous if here I go into it somewhat more specifically. In the first instance, therefore, I present connoisseurs and admirers of the Critique of Reason with the following attempt to conceive quite differently and thus to criticize the argument in the critique of rational psychology, for only in the first edition does this appear complete, whereas in subsequent editions it appears castrated. On pages 361ff., this argument is criticized under the title 'Paralogism of Personality'. For Kant's undoubtedly profound presentation thereof is not only extremely subtle and difficult to understand, but it can also be reproached with assuming, suddenly and without further justification, the object of self-consciousness, or in Kant's language of the inner sense, to be the object of a foreign consciousness, even of an outer intuitive perception, in order then to judge it in accordance with the laws and analogies of the corporeal world. On page 363 it ventures to assume two different times, one in the consciousness of the judged and one in that of the judging subject, which do not harmonize. I should, therefore, give quite a different turn to the aforesaid argument of personality and accordingly present it in the two following propositions.

(1) With regard to all motion generally, whatever its nature, we can establish a priori that it is primarily perceivable by comparison with anything at rest. From this it follows that even the course of time with everything therein could not be perceived unless there were something having no part in it, whose rest or repose we compare with the motion of that course. Here we naturally judge in accordance with the analogy of motion in space; but space and time must always serve mutually to elucidate each other. We must, therefore, represent to ourselves even time under the image of a straight line in order to construct it a priori by apprehending it in intuitive perception. Consequently, we cannot imagine that, if everything in our consciousness moved forward simultaneously and together in the flux of time, this forward movement would nevertheless be perceivable, but for this purpose we must assume something fixed past which time with its content would flow. For the intuitive perception of the outer sense, this is done by matter as the permanent substance under the change of accidents, as Kant also explains in the proof to the 'first analogy of experience', p. 183 of the first edition. Yet it is precisely in this passage that he makes the intolerable mistake, elsewhere censured by me and contradicting his own doctrine, of saying that it is not time itself that flows but only the phenomena therein. That this is fundamentally false is proved by the absolute certainty, implanted in us all, that, even if all things in heaven and on earth suddenly stood still, time would nevertheless continue its course undisturbed thereby; so that if nature were later on again set in motion, the question of the length of the previously existing pause would in itself be capable of a perfectly precise answer. If it were otherwise, time would also have to stop with the clock or have to go with the clock when this goes. But it is precisely these facts, together with our a priori certainty about them, that incontestably prove that time has its course and hence its essence in our heads, not outside. In the sphere of outer intuitive perception, as I have said, matter is that which persists and endures. With our argument of personality, on the other hand, it is a question merely of the perception of the inner sense, and into such perception that of the outer sense is also again taken up. I therefore said that, if our consciousness with its entire content moved forward uniformly in the stream of time, we could not become conscious of this motion. For this, therefore, there must be in consciousness itself something that is immovable; yet this cannot be anything but the knowing subject itself which, unmoved and unaltered, contemplates the course of time and the change of its content. Before the eye of the knowing subject, life like a drama pursues its course to the end. We even feel how small a part the knowing subject itself has in this course when in old age we vividly conjure up in our minds the scenes of youth and childhood.

(2) Inwardly in self-consciousness, or in Kant's language through the inner sense, I know myself in time alone. Now objectively considered, there cannot be anything permanent and enduring in mere time alone because such a thing presupposes a duration, but this is simultaneity, and this again space. (The establishment of this proposition is found in my essay On the Principle of Sufficient Reason, § 18, and again in the World as Will and Representation, vol. i, § 4, and in my criticism of the Kantian philosophy.) Despite all this, however, I find myself actually as the permanent substratum of my representations which endures for ever, notwithstanding all the changes therein. This substratum is related to those representations precisely as matter is to its changing accidents, consequently it merits the name of substance just as does matter and, as it is not spatial and thus is not extended, it merits the name of simple substance. Now, as I have said, in mere time alone, nothing permanent can take place; yet on the other hand, the substance in question is perceived not by the outer sense and consequently not in space. Therefore to conceive this substance as something enduring in face of the flux of time, we must assume it as lying outside time and accordingly say that all object lies in time whereas the knowing subject proper does not. Now as there is also no cessation or end outside time, we should have in the knowing subject within us an enduring substance that is yet neither spatial nor temporal and consequently is indestructible.

Now to establish as a paralogism this argument of personality thus understood, we should have to say that its second proposition makes use of an empirical fact to which this other may be opposed, namely that the knowing subject is bound up with life and even with wakefulness, and that therefore its continuance during both these by no means proves that it can also exist apart therefrom. This actual permanence for the duration of the conscious state is still far removed, indeed toto genere different, from the permanence of matter (this source and sole realization of the concept substance). We know matter in intuitive perception and see a priori not merely its actual duration, but its necessary indestructibility and the impossibility of its annihilation. Yet it is on the analogy of this truly indestructible substance that we would fain assume in ourselves a thinking substance that would then be certain of an endless duration. Now apart from the fact that this latter would be the analogy with a mere phenomenon (with matter), the mistake, made by the dialectical reason in the above proof, consists in the fact that this reason now treats the permanence of the subject, in spite of the change of all the latter's representations in time, just like the permanence of matter that is given to us in intuitive perception and accordingly includes both under the concept of substance. This it does in order now to attribute to that so-called immaterial substance all that it can state of matter a priori, although under the conditions of intuitive perception, especially permanence throughout all time. Yet the permanence of this immaterial substance rather depends merely on the fact that it itself is assumed to exist in absolutely no time, let alone in all time, whereby the conditions of intuitive perception in consequence whereof the indestructibility of matter is stated a priori, are here expressly abolished, especially that of space. But precisely on this rests (according to the above-quoted passages in my works) the permanence of matter.

As regards the proofs of the immortality of the soul from its assumed simplicity and consequent indissolubility whereby the only possible kind of decay, the dissolution of the parts, is excluded, it may be said generally that all the laws concerning arising, passing away, change, permanence, and so on, which we know either a priori or a posteriori, apply solely to the corporeal world that is given to us objectively and is moreover conditioned by our intellect. Therefore as soon as we depart from this world and talk of immaterial beings or essences, we are no longer justified in applying those laws and rules in order to assert how the arising and passing away of such beings is possible or not, for here we lack all clues. Thus all such proofs of immortality from the simplicity of the thinking substance are ruled out. For the amphiboly lies in the fact that we talk of an immaterial substance and then introduce the laws of the material substance in order to apply them to it.

Nevertheless, the paralogism of personality, as I have conceived it, gives in its first argument the proof a priori that something permanent must reside in our consciousness, and in the second it demonstrates the same thing a posteriori. On the whole, the truth, as a rule underlying every error and also that of rational psychology, appears to have its root here. This truth is that, even in our empirical consciousness, an eternal point can certainly be shown, yet only a point, and moreover only shown and no more, without our obtaining therefrom material for further demonstration. Here I refer to my own teaching according to which the knowing subject is that which knows all but is not known. And so we regard it as the fixed point past which time with all the representations flows, since the very course of time can certainly be known only in contrast with something permanent. I have called this the point of contact of the object with the subject. With me the subject of knowledge, like the body, is a phenomenon of the will, and it objectively manifests itself as the brain-function of the body. As the sole thing-in-itself, the will is here the substratum of the correlative of all phenomena, i.e. of the subject of knowledge.

If we now turn to rational cosmology, we find in its antinomies pregnant expressions of the perplexity which arises from the principle of sufficient reason and has from time immemorial urged men to philosophize. Now the purpose of the following discussion is to emphasize this more clearly and plainly in a way somewhat different from that of Kant. Unlike the Kantian, this discussion does not operate merely dialectically with abstract concepts, but appeals directly to the intuitively perceiving consciousness.
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Re: Parerga and Paralipomena: Short Philosophical Essays

Postby admin » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:35 am

Part 5 of 6

Time can have no beginning and no cause can be the first. Both these are a priori certain and hence unquestionable; for all beginning is in time and therefore presupposes this; and every cause must have behind it one previous whereof it is the effect. How, then, could a first beginning of the world and things have ever taken place? (Accordingly, the first verse of the Pentateuch naturally appears to be a petitio principii, [73] and this in the most literal meaning of the term.) If, on the other hand, there had not been a first beginning, the actual present could not be just now, but would have already existed long ago; for between it and the first beginning we must assume some interval of time, yet definite and limited. But if we deny the beginning, that is to say, move it back into infinity, the interval of time also moves back. Yet even if we assume a first beginning, this in the last resort does not help us, for in this way we have arbitrarily cut off the causal chain and mere time will at once prove to be a difficulty. Thus the ever-renewed question: 'Why did not that first beginning occur even earlier?' will push it back more and more in beginningless time, whereby the chain of causes lying between it and us is then drawn up to such an extent that it can never become long enough to reach down to the actual present; accordingly, it would never yet have reached this. Now this is contradicted by the fact that the present actually exists now and even constitutes our only datum for the calculation. But the justification for the above very inconvenient question arises from the fact that the first beginning as such assumes no cause that preceded it and that for this reason it might just as well have occurred trillions of years earlier. Thus if the first beginning required no cause for its occurrence, it also did not have to wait for any; accordingly it was bound to have occurred infinitely earlier since nothing existed to prevent it. For as nothing need precede the first beginning as its cause, so nothing need precede it as its hindrance; and so it has absolutely nothing to wait for and never comes soon enough. Therefore in whatever point of time we put it, we can never see why it should not have existed much earlier. And so this pushes it back ever farther, and since time itself can have absolutely no beginning, an infinite time, an eternity, has always elapsed down to the present moment. Hence the pushing back of the world's beginning is also endless, so that every causal chain from it to us turns out to be too short, the result being that we never reach from it to the present moment. This comes from our lacking a given and fixed point of departure (point d'attache), and thus from our arbitrarily assuming somewhere such a point which, however, always retreats before our hands back into infinity. The result, then, is that, if we assume a first beginning and start therefrom, we never reach from it down to the present moment.

If, on the other hand, we start from the actually given present, then, as already stated, we never reach back to the first beginning. For every cause to which we proceed must always have been the effect of a previous cause which is again in the same case, and this cannot possibly come to an end. Therefore for us the world is now beginningless just as is infinite time itself; here our power of imagination is exhausted and our understanding obtains no satisfaction.

These two opposite views may accordingly be compared to a stick whose either end may be conveniently grasped while the other is prolonged for ever to infinity. However, the essence of the matter may be summed up in a sentence by saying that time, as being absolutely infinite, proves to be far too great for there to be in it a world that is assumed to be finite. But here at bottom the truth of the' antithesis' in the Kantian antinomy is again confirmed; for if we start from what is alone certain and actually given, the real present, the beginninglessness of time is the result. On the other hand, the first beginning is merely an arbitrary assumption which as such cannot be reconciled with what we have said is the only certain and actual thing, namely the present. For the rest, we have to regard these considerations as disclosing the absurdities that result from an assumption of the absolute reality of time, and consequently as confirming Kant's fundamental teaching.

The question whether the world is limited or unlimited in space is not absolutely transcendent, but rather in itself empirical. For the matter still always lies within the realm of possible experience, and it is only our own physical mode of existence that prevents us from reducing it to reality. A priori there is no demonstrably certain argument here either for the one alternative or the other, so that the matter really resembles an antinomy in so far as considerable drawbacks present themselves with the one assumption as with the other. Thus a limited world in unlimited space vanishes to an infinitely small size, be it ever so large, and we ask for what purpose the remaining space exists. On the other hand, we cannot conceive that no fixed star? should be the remotest in space. Incidentally, the planets of such a star would have at night a starry heaven during only one-half of their year, but one without stars during the other half; and this would inevitably make a very weird and uncanny impression on the inhabitants. Accordingly, that question may also be expressed by asking: 'Is there a fixed star whose planets are in this predicament or not?' Here it appears to be obviously empirical.

In my criticism of the Kantian philosophy, I have shown to be false and illusory the whole assumption of the antinomies. With due reflection, however, everyone will at once recognize as impossible that concepts which are correctly drawn from phenomena and from the a priori certain laws thereof, but are then combined into judgements and conclusions according to the laws of logic, should lead to contradictions. For in the phenomenon itself that is given in intuitive perception or in the regulative connection of its links, there would inevitably be contradictions; and this is an impossible assumption. For that which relates to intuitive perception as such knows no contradiction at all; with reference to it, the term contradiction has no meaning or significance. Such a term exists merely in the abstract knowledge of reflection; thus either openly or covertly we can simultaneously assume and not assume something, in other words, we can contradict ourselves; but something actual and real cannot simultaneously be and not be. Zeno the Eleatic with his well-known sophisms and Kant also with his antinomies naturally tried to demonstrate the opposite of the foregoing. I therefore refer the reader to my criticism of the Kantian philosophy.

Kant's service to speculative theology has already been touched on in general. To emphasize this still more, I will now attempt to make the essence of the matter comprehensible as briefly as possible and in my own way.

In the Christian religion the existence of God is an established fact beyond and above all investigation. This is as it should be; for here it properly belongs and is established by revelation. I therefore regard it as a mistake on the part of the rationalists, when they attempt in their dogmas to demonstrate the existence of God otherwise than from the Scriptures. In their innocence they do not know how dangerous is this pastime. Philosophy, on the other hand, is a science and as such has no articles of faith; accordingly in it nothing can be assumed as existing except what is either positively given empirically or demonstrated through indubitable conclusions. Now men naturally imagined that they had long been in possession of these when Kant disillusioned the world on this point and demonstrated so decisively even the impossibility of such proofs that no philosopher in Germany has again attempted to advance anything of the kind. Kant was perfectly justified in doing this; in fact he did something that was highly meritorious; for a dogma that presumes to stamp as a rogue everyone who refuses to accept it deserves once for all to be seriously put to the test.

Now as regards those so-called proofs, the position is as follows. Since the reality of the existence of God cannot be shown by empirical proof or evidence, the next step would really have been to establish its possibility in the course of which we should have encountered difficulties enough. Instead of this, the attempt was made to prove even its necessity and thus to demonstrate God as a necessary being. Now as I have shown often enough, necessity is never anything but the dependence of a consequent on its ground and hence the appearance or establishment of the consequents because the ground is given. Accordingly, for this purpose the choice lay between the four forms of the principle of sufficient reason, demonstrated by me, and it was found that only the first two could be used. Thus there arose two theological proofs, the cosmological and ontological, the one according to the principle of sufficient reason of becoming (cause), and the other according to the principle of sufficient reason of knowing. The first proof attempts to show that that necessity is physical according to the law of causality since it regards the world as an effect that must have a cause. This cosmological proof is then assisted and supported by the physico-theological. The cosmological argument is most strongly expressed in Wolff's version thereof which is as follows: 'If anything exists, there also exists an absolutely necessary being', by which is to be understood either the given thing itself or the first of the causes whereby it has attained to existence; the latter is then assumed. In the first place, this proof has the weakness of being a conclusion from the consequent to the ground, and to this form of conclusion logic denies all claims to certainty. It then ignores the fact, often pointed out by me, that we can think of something as necessary only in so far as it is the consequent and not the ground of another given thing. Moreover, applied in this way, the law of causality proves too much; for if it has had to carry us from the world back to the cause thereof, it does not allow us to stop here, but leads us further back to the cause of that cause, and so remorselessly on and on in infinitum. This is entailed in its very nature. Here we are in the same position as that of the magician's apprentice in Goethe, whose creature begins by order, it is true, but does not again stop. In addition, there is the fact that the force and validity of the law of causality extends only to the form of things, not to their matter. It is the clue to the change of forms and nothing more; matter remains untouched by all the arising and passing away of forms, a fact which we discern prior to all experience and therefore know with certainty. Finally, the cosmological proof is overthrown by the transcendental argument that the law of causality is demonstrably of subjective origin and is therefore applicable merely to phenomena for our intellect and not to the essence of things-in-themselves. * As I have said, the physico-theological proof is given as a subsidiary aid to the cosmological, and at the same time it tries to afford support, confirmation, plausibility, colour, and form to the assumption that is introduced by the cosmological proof. But it can always appear only on the assumption of that first proof of which it is the elucidation and amplification. Its method, then, consists in its raising that assumed first cause of the world to a being that knows and wills, since from the many consequents that might be explained by such a ground, it seeks to establish this ground by induction. But induction can at best give strong probability, never certainty; moreover, as I have said, the whole proof is one that is conditioned by the first. But now if we go into this favourite physico-theology more closely and seriously and test it in the light of my philosophy, it proves to be the working out of a fundamentally false view of nature. Such a view degrades and reduces the immediate phenomenon or objectification of the will to one that is merely mediate. Hence instead of recognizing in the beings of nature the original and primarily powerful action of the will which is without knowledge and is for that very reason infallibly certain, it explains it as something merely secondary that has happened only in the light of knowledge and on the clue of motives. Accordingly, it conceives that which has been urged outwards from within as something that has been cut, constructed, and modelled from without. For if, as a thing-in-itself which is certainly not representation, the will in the act of its objectification enters from its original nature into the representation, and we now proceed with the assumption that what exhibits itself in the representation is something brought about in the world of representation itself and thus in consequence of knowledge, then, of course, it presents itself as something possible only by means of an immeasurably perfect knowledge that takes in at a glance all objects and their concatenations, that is to say, as a work of supreme wisdom. On this point I refer to my essay On the Will in Nature, especially the chapter 'Comparative Anatomy', and to my chief work, vol. ii, chap. 26 at the beginning.

The second theological proof, the ontological, does not take, as I have said, the law of causality as its clue, but the principle of the ground or reason of knowing whereby the necessity of God's existence is here a logical one. Thus through a merely analytical judgement God's existence is here supposed to result from the concept of God, so that we cannot make this concept the subject of a proposition wherein he would be denied existence, namely because this would contradict the subject of the proposition. This is logically correct, but it is also very natural and a conjuring trick that is easily seen through. Thus after introducing the predicate of existence into the subject by means of the handle of the concept 'perfection' or even 'reality', which we used as terminus medius, we cannot fail subsequently to find it there again and now to expose it by an analytical judgement. But the justification for putting forward the whole concept is by no means demonstrated thereby; on the contrary, it was either invented quite arbitrarily, or was introduced by the cosmological proof whereby everything is reduced to physical necessity. Christian Wolff appears to have clearly seen this, for in his metaphysics he makes use of the cosmological argument alone and expressly mentions this. The ontological proof is found closely examined and assessed in the second edition of my essay On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, § 7, and to this I therefore refer.

The two theological proofs certainly support each other, but yet do not stand on that account. The cosmological has the advantage of giving an account of how it arrived at the concept of a God, and now by its adjunct, the physico-theological proof, it makes this plausible. The ontological, on the other hand, cannot prove at all how it arrived at its concept of the most real of all beings. Therefore either it alleges that this concept is innate, or it borrows it from the cosmological proof, and then tries to support it by lofty-sounding sentences about the being that cannot be conceived except as existing, whose existence lies already in its concept, and so on. However, we shall not deny the invention of the ontological proof the merit of ingenuity and subtlety if we consider the following. To explain a given existence, we indicate its cause in reference to which it then shows itself to be a necessary existence; and this is considered to be an explanation. But, as I have shown often enough, this way leads to a regressus in infinitum and can, therefore, never reach anything final that would furnish a fundamental ground of explanation. Now the case would be different if the existence of any being could be actually inferred from its essence and thus from its mere concept or definition. Thus it would then be known as something necessary (which here, as everywhere, simply says C something following from its ground ') without being tied thereby to anything other than its own concept and consequently without its necessity being merely transitory and momentary, namely one that is itself again conditioned and accordingly leads to an endless series, as is always the case with causal necessity. On the contrary, the mere reason or ground of knowledge would then have transformed itself into a ground of reality and so into a cause, being thus admirably suitable now to serve as the ultimate and therefore firm point of departure for all causal series; we should then have what we are looking for. But we have already seen that all this is illusory and it actually looks as if even Aristotle wished to avoid such a sophism when he said: [x] ad nullius rei essentiam pertinet existentia [75] (Posterior Analytics, II. 7). Unconcerned about this, Descartes later advanced the concept of God as one that fulfilled all that was required, after Anselm of Canterbury had paved the way to a similar line of thought. Spinoza, however, produced the concept of the world as the only existing substance, which would accordingly exist causa sui, i.e. quae per se est et per se concipitur, quamobrem nulla alia re eget ad existendum. [76] He then confers on this world that is so established the title Deus, honoris causa, in order to make everyone satisfied. But it is still always the same tour de passe-passe [77] that tries to smuggle into our hands the logically necessary as something really necessary. Together with other similar deceptions, it finally gave rise to Locke's great investigation of the origin of concepts whereby the foundation of critical philosophy was now laid. A more detailed description of the method of those two dogmatists is contained in my essay On the Principle of Sufficient Reason, second edition, §§ 7 and 8.

Now after Kant had given the death-blow to speculative theology by his criticism thereof, he had to attempt to mitigate the impression thereby produced and thus to apply a palliative as an anodyne. This was analogous to the method of Hume who, in the last of his Dialogues on Natural Religion, as readable as they are inexorable, informs us that all this had been merely a joke, a mere exercitium logicum. Accordingly, Kant gave, as a substitute for the proofs of God's existence, his postulate of practical reason [Vernunft] and the moral theology resulting therefrom which, without any claim to objective validity for knowledge or theoretical reason, was to have complete validity in respect of conduct or for practical reason, whereby a faith without knowledge was then established so that people would at any rate have something in their hands. Properly understood, his exposition states merely that the assumption of a just God who rewards and punishes after death, is a useful and adequate regulative scheme for the purpose of explaining the serious, deeply felt, and ethical significance of our conduct and also of directing this conduct itself. And so to a certain extent, he set up an allegory of the truth so that in this respect, which alone is ultimately the main point, that assumption can take the place of truth, although theoretically or objectively it cannot be justified. An analogous scheme of similar tendency, but containing very much more truth, of greater plausibility, and therefore of more immediate value, is the dogma of Brahmanism, of a rewarding and punishing metempsychosis. According to this, we must be reborn at some time in the form of every being that has been injured by us so that we may suffer the same injury. Therefore Kant's moral theology has to be taken in the sense indicated, since we must here bear in mind that he himself dare not speak as plainly as is done here about the real state of affairs. On the contrary, by setting up the monstrosity of a theoretical doctrine of merely practical validity, he reckoned on the granum salis [78] of the more intelligent and judicious. The theological and philosophical writers of this later period, which is far removed from the Kantian philosophy, have therefore usually tried to make it appear as though Kant's moral theology were a real dogmatic theism, a new proof of the existence of God. But Kant's moral theology is not so at all; on the contrary, it is valid solely within morality, merely for the purpose of morality, and not a hair's-breadth beyond.

Not even the professors of philosophy rested content with this for long, although they were greatly embarrassed by Kant's criticism of speculative theology. For they had recognized from early times that speculative theology was their special vocation for demonstrating the existence and attributes of God and for making him the main subject of their. philosophizing. And so when the Scriptures tell us that God feeds the ravens in the field, I must add that he feeds also the professors of philosophy in their chairs. Indeed even at the present day, they boldly assert that the Absolute (well known as the new-fangled title for God) and its relation to the world are the proper theme of philosophy, and now, as always, they are concerned with more closely defining this and with amplifying it in their imagination. For naturally governments, who provide the money for such philosophizing, would like to see coming from the philosophical lecture-rooms good Christians and keen church-goers. How, then, were the gentlemen of the lucrative philosophy bound to feel when Kant had so completely upset their concept by his demonstration that all the proofs of speculative theology are untenable, and that all cognitions concerning their chosen theme are absolutely inaccessible to our intellect? At first they had tried to help themselves by their well-known familiar method of ignoring and then of disputing; but in the long run this did not work. They then eagerly took up the assertion that the existence of God is assuredly incapable of any proof, nor is it in need of any; for, they said, it was self-evident, the most settled affair in the world which we could not possibly doubt since we had a 'divine consciousness'. * They asserted that our faculty of reason [Vernunft] was the organ for a direct knowledge of supra mundane things, and that information concerning them was immediately discerned [vernommen] by that faculty which was therefore called discernment or reason [Vernunft]! (Here I earnestly request the reader to refer to my essay On the Principle of Sufficient Reason, 2nd edn., § 34, also to my Fundamental Problems of Ethics, 'Basis of Ethics', para. 6 at end, and finally also to my 'Criticism of the Kantian Philosophy' at the end of the first volume of my chief work.) Yet according to others, the faculty of reason furnished mere surmises or presentiments; on the other hand, others again had even intellectual intuitions ! Yet again others invented absolute thought, i.e. one by which man need not look round at things, but in divine omniscience settles how they are once for all. This is unquestionably the most convenient of all those inventions. They one and all seized on the word 'Absolute', which is simply nothing but the cosmological proof in nuce, or rather so greatly contracted that, having become microscopic, it escapes the eye, slips through unnoticed, and is now palmed off as something self-evident. For since the Kantian examen rigorosum, it dare not appear again in its true form, as I have discussed at greater length in the second edition of my essay On the Principle of Sufficient Reason, para. 20 and also in my 'Criticism of the Kantian Philosophy' at the end of the first volume of my chief work. I am no longer able to state who was the first, some fifty years ago, to use the trick of smuggling in incognito, under this exclusive word absolute, the exploded and proscribed cosmological proof. The trick, however, was wholly in keeping with the abilities of the public, for even at the present time the word 'absolute' passes current as true coin, In short, despite the Critique of Reason and its proofs, the professors of philosophy have never yet lacked authentic accounts of God's existence and of his relation to the world. According to these men, philosophizing is really said to consist in a detailed statement of such accounts. But as we say, 'copper money, copper wares', so too is this self-evident God of theirs; he has neither hand nor foot. Therefore they keep him hidden behind a mountain or rather behind a noisy edifice of words, so that hardly a sign of him is visible. If only they could be compelled clearly to explain themselves as to what is really to be understood by the word God, we should then see whether he is self-evident. Not even a natura naturans [79] (into which their God often threatens to pass) is self-evident, for we see Leucippus, Democritus, Epicurus, and Lucretius construct the world without it. But despite all their errors, these men were much more estimable than a legion of weathercocks whose trade-philosophy turns with the wind. But a natura naturans is still far from being a God; on the contrary, there is contained in the concept of this simply the knowledge that, behind the ever-fleeting and restlessly changing phenomena of the natura naturata, [80] there must lie concealed an imperishable and untiring force by virtue whereof they constantly renewed themselves, since this force itself would not be affected by their decline and extinction. Just as the natura naturata is the subject of physics, so is the natura naturans that of metaphysics. This will ultimately lead us to see that even we ourselves form a part of nature and consequently possess in ourselves not only the nearest and clearest specimen of natura naturata as well as of natura naturans, but even the only one accessible to us from within. Now as a serious and careful reflection of ourselves discloses to us the will as the core of our true being, in this we have an immediate revelation of the natura naturans and are therefore justified in transferring this to all other beings that are only one-sidedly known to us. We thus arrive at the great truth that the natura naturans or thing-in-itself is the will in our heart, whereas the natura naturata or the phenomenon is the representation in our head. Yet even apart from this result, it is sufficiently obvious that the mere distinction between a natura naturans and a natura naturata is still far from being theism; indeed it is not even pantheism. For the addition of certain moral qualities to pantheism would be necessary (if this is not to be a mere mode of expression), qualities such as goodness, wisdom, bliss, and so on, which obviously do not belong to the world. Moreover, pantheism is a concept that invalidates itself, since the concept of a God presupposes as its essential correlative a world different from him. If, on the other hand, the world itself is to take over his role, there remains simply an absolute world without God, and so pantheism is only a euphemism for atheism. But this last expression in its turn contains something underhand since it assumes in advance that theism is self-evident, whereby it cunningly evades the affirmanti incumbit probatio, [81] whereas it is rather so-called atheism which has the jus primi occupantis [82] and has first to be driven from the field by theism. Here I venture to remark that men come into the world uncircumcised and thus not as Jews. But even the assumption of some cause of the world different therefrom is still not theism. For this demands a world-cause that is not only different from the world, but is intelligent, that is to say, knows and wills, and so is personal and consequently also individual; it is only such a cause that is indicated by the word God. An impersonal God is no God at all, but merely a word wrongly used, a misconception, a contradictio in adjecto, [83] a shibboleth for professors of philosophy, who, having had to give up the thing, are anxious to slip through with the word. On the other hand, personality, in other words, self-conscious individuality, which first knows and then wills in accordance with what is known, is a phenomenon known solely from the animal nature that exists on our small planet. It is so intimately associated with such nature that we are not only not justified in, but are also not even capable of, conceiving it as separate from, and independent of, that nature. But to assume a being of such a kind as the origin of nature herself, indeed of all existence generally, is a colossal and extremely bold idea. We should be astonished at it if we heard it for the first time and it had not become familiar indeed second nature to us, I might almost say a fixed idea, by dint of the earliest inculcation and constant repetition. And so I may mention incidentally that for me nothing has testified to the genuineness of Caspar Hauser84 so much as the statement that so-called natural theology, as expounded to him, did not appear to enlighten him as much as had been expected. Moreover (according to the Brief des Grafen Stanhope an den Schullehrer Meyer), he professed a peculiar awe for the sun. Now to teach in philosophy that that fundamental theological idea is self-evident and that the faculty of reason is merely the ability directly to grasp it and to recognize it as true, is a bold and shameless pretence. Not only have we no right, without the most valid proof, to assume such an idea in philosophy, but it is by no means essential even to religion. This is attested by the religion that has the greatest number of followers on earth, Buddhism, which is very ancient and now numbers three hundred and seventy million followers. It is a highly moral and even ascetic religion and supports the most numerous body of clergy; yet it does not accept such an idea at all; on the contrary, it expressly rejects this out of hand and is thus according to our notions ex professo atheistic. [85]

According to the foregoing, anthropomorphism is in every way an essential characteristic of theism. Indeed such anthropomorphism consists not merely in the human form or even only in human emotions and passions, but in the fundamental phenomenon itself, namely that of a will that is equipped with an intellect for its guidance. As I have said, such a phenomenon is known to us only from animal nature and most completely from human nature, and it is conceivable solely as individuality which, when it is rational, is called personality. This is also confirmed by the expression 'as true as God lives'; he is just a living being, that is, one who wills with knowledge. Precisely on this account, a God needs a heaven wherein he is enthroned and reigns. Much more for this reason than on account of the expression in the Book of Joshua was the Copernican system of the universe at once received by the Church with rage and anger; and accordingly a hundred years later, we find Giordano Bruno as the champion both of that system and of pantheism. Those who attempt to clear theism of anthropomorphism, while imagining that they touch only the shell, really strike at its innermost core. In their efforts to conceive its object in the abstract, they sublimate it to a vague, hazy form whose outline gradually vanishes entirely in the endeavour to avoid the human figure. In this way, the fundamental childlike idea itself is finally evaporated to nothing. But in addition to this, the rationalist theologians who are given to making such attempts can be reproached with flatly contradicting Holy Writ which says: 'God created man in his own image; in the image of God created he him.' Hence away with the jargon of the professors of philosophy! There is no other God than God, and the Old Testament is his revelation in particular the Book of Joshua.*

With Kant we could, of course, in a certain sense call theism a practical postulate, yet in a sense quite different from that meant by him. Thus theism is in fact a product not of knowledge but of the will. If it were originally theoretical how could all its proofs be so untenable? But it springs from the will in the following way. The constant need, now gravely oppressing and then violently agitating man's heart (will), keeps him in a permanent state of fearing and hoping, whereas the things about which he hopes and fears are not in his power; indeed the connection of the causal chains whereon such things are produced can be traced by his knowledge for only a short distance. This need, this constant fearing and hoping, cause him to hypostasize personal beings on whom everything depends. Of such it may now be assumed that, like other persons, they will be susceptible to entreaty and flattery, service and gift, and will therefore be more tractable than the rigid necessity, the inexorable and unfeeling forces of nature, and the mysterious powers of the course of the world. Now to begin with, as is natural and was very appropriately carried out by the ancients, there were several of these gods, according to the diversity of circumstances. Later on, through the need for bringing into knowledge consistency, order, and unity, these gods were subordinated or even reduced to one and, as Goethe once remarked to me, this one is very undramatic, for with only one person we can do nothing. The essential thing, however, is the intense desire of tormented man to throw himself down and cry out for help in his frequent, woeful, and great distress, and also in regard to his eternal happiness. A man relies rather on the grace of another than on his own merit. This is one of the main supports of theism. And so in order that his heart (will) may have the relief of prayer and the consolation of hope, his intellect must create for him a God; but not conversely, that is, he does not pray because his intellect has correctly and logically deduced a God. Let him be without needs, desires, and requirements, a merely intellectual will-less being, then he needs no God and makes none. In its grave affliction the heart, i.e. the will, needs to call for almighty and consequently supernatural assistance. And so because a prayer is to be offered up, a God is hypostasized and not conversely. Hence the theoretical element in the theology of all nations is very different as regards the number and nature of the gods; but they all have in common the fact that they can and do help when they are served and worshipped because this is the point on which everything depends. But this is at the same time the birthmark whereby we recognize the descent of all theology, namely that it has sprung from the will, from the heart not from the head or knowledge, as is pretended. In conformity with this, is also the fact that Constantine the Great and Chlodowig, King of the Franks, changed their religion because they hoped from the new god for better support in war. There are a few races who, as it were, prefer the minor key to the major and have, instead of gods, merely evil spirits; through sacrifice and prayer these are persuaded not to do harm. Speaking generally, there is no great difference in the result. Similar races appear also to have been the original inhabitants of the Indian peninsula and Ceylon before the introduction of Brahmanism and Buddhism; and even now their descendants are said to have to some extent such a cacodemonological religion, just as do many savage races. Hence springs the Cappuism that is mixed with Sinhalese Buddhism. Similarly the devil-worshippers of Mesopotamia visited by Layard belong to this category.

Intimately connected with the true origin, here discussed, of all theism and likewise proceeding from man's nature, is the impulse to make sacrifices to his gods in order to purchase their favour or, if they have already shown this, to ensure its continuance, or to buy off evils from them. (See Sanchuniathon's Fragmenta, ed. Orelli, Leipzig, 1826, p. 42.) This is the meaning of every sacrifice and thus the origin and support of the existence of all gods, so that it can be truly said that gods live on sacrifice. For just because the impulse to call and purchase the assistance of supernatural beings, although an offspring of want and intellectual narrowness, is natural to man and its satisfaction is a need, he creates gods for himself. Hence the universal nature of sacrifice in all ages and among the most diverse races and the identity of the thing in spite of the greatest difference in circumstances and degrees of culture. Thus Herodotus (lib. IV, c. 152) relates that a ship from Samos had acquired an unprecedented fortune through the extremely profitable sale of its cargo in Tartessus. These Samians then spent a tenth part of this fortune, amounting to six talents, on a large, brazen, and artistically worked vase and presented it to Hera in her temple. As a counterpart to those Greeks, we see in our own day the miserable, nomad, reindeer-breeding Laplander, with figure shrunk to that of a dwarf, hide his savings in various secret recesses of the rocks and ravines. He does not divulge these to anyone except to his heir in the hour of his dying; and even from this man he conceals one place because the money there deposited has been sacrificed by him to the genius loci, the tutelary god of his district. (See Albrecht Pancritius, Hagringar, Reise durch Schweden, Lappland, Norwegen, und Danemark im Jahre 1850, Konigsberg, 1852, p. 162.) The belief in gods is thus rooted in egoism. Only in Christianity has the sacrifice proper disappeared, although it still exists in the form of masses for. the dead and in the building of cloisters, churches, and chapels. For the rest and particularly with Protestants, praise, glory, and thanks have to serve as a substitute for sacrifice and these are, therefore, carried to the most extreme superlatives, even on occasions which to an impartial man seem little suited to them. This is analogous to the case where the State does not always reward merit with gifts but with mere testimonials of honour, and thus maintains its continuance. In this connection it is well worth recalling what the great David Hume has to say: 'Whether this god, therefore, be considered as their peculiar patron, or as the general sovereign of heaven, his votaries will endeavour, by every art, to insinuate themselves into his favour; 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 further 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 a 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 perfections; 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 encomiums, they endeavour, by an affected ravishment and devotion to ingratiate 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 objectionable aspect of his criticism of all speculative theology, Kant added to it not only moral theology, but also the assurance that, although God's existence must remain unproved, it is also just as impossible to prove the opposite. Many acquiesced in this, for they did not notice that, with pretended simplicity, he ignored the affirmanti incumbit probatio. [86] They also failed to notice that the number of things whose non-existence cannot be proved is infinite. Naturally he has been even more careful not to indicate the arguments that could actually be employed for an apagogic counter-proof, if one no longer wanted to maintain a merely defensive attitude, but wished to become aggressive. The following would be somewhat of this nature:

(1) In the first place, the melancholy constitution of a world whose living beings subsist by devouring one another, the consequent distress and dread of all that lives, the multitude and colossal magnitude of evils, the variety and inevitability of sufferings often swelling to the dreadful, the burden of life itself hurrying forward to the bitterness of death, all this cannot honestly be reconciled with the idea that the world is supposed to be the work of a united infinite goodness, wisdom, and power. To raise an outcry against what is here said is just as easy as it is difficult to meet the case with solid and convincing arguments.

(2) There are two points which not only concern every thinking man, but which also the followers of every religion have most at heart, and thus on which the strength and stability of religions rest. They are first the transcendent moral significance of our conduct, and secondly our continued existence after death. If a religion has taken care of these two points, everything else is secondary. I shall, therefore, test theism here in respect of the first point, but later in respect of the second.

Thus theism has a double connection with the morality of our conduct, one a parte ante and one a parte post, in other words, as regards the grounds and as regards the consequences of our actions. To take the last point first; theism, it is true, gives morality a support, yet one of the crudest kind, indeed one whereby the true and pure morality of conduct is fundamentally abolished, since every disinterested action is at once transformed into an interested by means of a very long-dated but safe bill of exchange that is received as payment for it. Thus the God who, to begin with, was the creator in the end appears as avenger and as one who repays. Regard for such a God can, of course, call forth virtuous actions, but these will not be purely moral, as fear of punishment or hope of reward is their motive. On the contrary, the essence of such a virtue will amount to a prudent and carefully calculating egoism. In the last resort, it is a question solely of the firmness of faith in indemonstrable things. If this exists, then we shall certainly not hesitate to accept a short period of suffering for an eternity of joy, and the really guiding principle of morality will be: 'we can wait.' But everyone seeking a reward for his deeds either in this or in a future world is an egoist. If the hoped-for reward escapes him, then it is immaterial whether this happens through chance that rules this world or through the emptiness of the illusion that built for him the future world. Properly speaking, this is why Kant's moral theology undermines morality.

Again a parte ante, theism is likewise in conflict with morality since it abolishes freedom and accountability. For neither guilt nor merit is conceivable in a being which, as regards its existentia and essentia, is the work of another. Vauvenargues very rightly says: Un etre qui a tout recu ne peut agir que par ce qui lui a ete donne, et toute la puissance divine qui est infinie ne saurait le rendre indipendant. [87] (Discours sur la liberti. See Oeuvres completes, Paris, 1823, Tom. ii, p. 331.) Like every other conceivable being, it cannot act except in accordance with its nature or disposition, and thereby make this known; but here it is created just as it is conditioned. If it acts badly, this comes from its being bad, and then the fault is not its, but of him who made it. The originator of its existence and of its nature, as well as of the circumstances in which it has been placed, is inevitably the author of its action and deeds; and these are determined by all this just as certainly as is the triangle by two angles and a line. The correctness of this argument has been fully acknowledged and admitted by St. Augustine, Hume, and Kant, while others have cunningly and timidly ignored it, a matter fully discussed by me in my prize-essay 'On the Freedom of the Will', chap. 4. Just to elude this terrible and exterminating difficulty, the freedom of the will, the liberum arbitrium indifferentiae, [88] was invented. This contains an utterly monstrous fiction and was therefore always disputed and discarded long ago by all thinking minds, but perhaps nowhere is it refuted so systematically and thoroughly as in the above-quoted work. Let the mob labour under the freedom of the will if it likes; even the literary, the philosophical mob; what does it matter to us? The assertion that a given being is free, that is to say, can act under given circumstances thus and also otherwise, implies that it has an existentia without any essentia, in other words, that it merely is without being something and hence that it is nothing, but yet is, consequently that it simultaneously is and is not. Therefore this is the height of absurdity, yet it is nevertheless good enough for those who are seeking not the truth but their fodder, and so will never admit anything that does not fit in with their stuff, the fable convenue by which they live. Their impotence is better served by ignoring than by refuting. And ought we to attach any importance to the opinions of such [x], in terram prona et ventri obedientia? [89] All that is, is also something, has an essence, a nature, a character; it must operate in accordance therewith, it must act (which means operate according to motives) when the external occasions arise that draw out its particular manifestations. Now it gets its character, its constitution, its essentia from the same quarter whence it obtains its existentia, since both are distinguishable in conception, it is true, yet not separable in reality. But that which has an essentia, that is to say, a nature, a character, a disposition, can always act only in accordance therewith and never otherwise. It is merely the point of time and the precise form and nature of the individual actions that are here determined each time by the motives that present themselves. That the creator created man free implies an impossibility, namely that he endowed him with an existentia without essentia and thus gave him existence merely in abstracto, in that man was left to be what he wanted to be. On this point I request the reader to refer to § 20 of my essay 'On the Basis of Ethics'. Moral freedom and responsibility or accountability absolutely presuppose aseiry.90 Actions always- arise from the character, i.e. from the peculiar and therefore unalterable constitution of a being, and they do so with necessity in accordance with, and under the influence of, the motives. If, therefore, it is to be responsible, it must exist originally and by virtue of its own absolute power. As regards its existentia and essentia, it must be its own work and the creator of itself, if it is to be the true creator of its deeds. Or, as I have expressed it in my two prize-essays, freedom cannot lie in the operari; it must therefore reside in the esse, for it certainly exists.

Now all this is not only demonstrable a priori, but even daily experience clearly teaches us that everyone brings with him into the world his moral character ready complete, and to the end remains unalterably true thereto. Moreover, this truth is tacitly but certainly assumed in real practical life, since every man bases his trust or mistrust in another once for all on the traits of character that are manifested by the other man. In view of all this, one might wonder how for some sixteen hundred years the opposite was theoretically asserted and accordingly taught, namely that from a moral point of view, all men are originally quite equal, and that the great difference in their conduct springs not from an original inborn difference of disposition and character, and just as little from the circumstances and occasions that occur, but really from nothing at all, such absolute nothing then receiving the name of 'free will'. But this absurd doctrine is rendered necessary by another assumption, also purely theoretical, with which it is closely connected, namely that man's birth is the absolute beginning of his existence, since he is created out of nothing (a terminus ad hoc). Now if on this assumption life is still to retain a moral significance and tendency, these must naturally find their origin in its course and indeed from nothing, just as this entire man thus conceived is from nothing. For every reference to a preceding condition, a previous existence, or an act outside time, to which the immeasurable, original, and inborn difference of moral characters nevertheless clearly points, is here excluded once for all. Hence the absurd fiction of a free will. It is well known that all truths are connected with one another, but errors also render one another necessary, just as one lie requires a second, or two cards on edge mutually support each other, so long as nothing upsets the two.

(3) On the assumption of theism, things are not much better with our continuance after death than they are with the freedom of the will. That which is created by another has a beginning to its existence. Now that this should henceforth continue to exist to all eternity after not having existed at all for an infinite time, is an exceedingly bold assumption. If at my birth I have first come from nothing and have been created out of nothing, then it is highly probable that at my death I shall again become nothing. Endless duration a parte post and nothing a parte ante do not go together. Only that which is itself original, eternal, and uncreated, can be indestructible. (See Aristotle, De coelo, I, c. 12, pp. 281-3, and Priestley, On Matter and Spirit, Birmingham, 1782, vol. I, p. 234.) And so perhaps those may be anxious in death who believe that thirty or sixty years ago they were a pure nothing and then came out of that nothing as the work of another. For they now have the difficult task of assuming that an existence so arisen will yet be of endless duration, despite its late beginning which came about after the lapse of an infinite time. On the other hand, how could anyone fear death who recognizes himself as the original and eternal essence, the source, of all existence itself, and knows that outside him nothing really exists, he who ends his individual existence with the words of the sacred Upanishad on his lips or even in his heart: hae omnes creaturae in totum ego sum, et praeter me aliud ens non est? [91] And so only he can with logical consistency die calmly and serenely. For, as I have said, aseity is the condition of immortality as also of accountability. In keeping with all this, contempt for death and the most complete calm and even joy in dying are thoroughly at home in India. Judaism, on the other hand, originally the one and only purely monotheistic religion that teaches an actual God creator of heaven and earth, has with perfect consistency no doctrine of immortality. Thus it has no reward or punishment after death, but only temporal punishments and rewards whereby it is distinguished from all other religions, though not to its advantage. The two religions that sprang from Judaism really became inconsistent, because they took up immortality that had become known to them from other and better doctrines, and yet retained the God creator. *

That Judaism is, as already stated, the only purely monotheistic religion, that is, one that teaches a God creator as the origin of all things, is a merit which, for reasons unknown, men have tried to conceal by always maintaining and teaching that all nations worshipped the true God, although under other names. Yet in this they are not only greatly mistaken, but quite wrong. Through the agreement of all genuine testimonies and original documents, it is put beyond all doubt that Buddhism, the religion that is the foremost on earth by virtue of the overwhelming number of its adherents, is absolutely and expressly atheistic. The Vedas also teach no God creator, but a world-soul called Brahm (in the neuter). Brahma, sprung from the navel of Vishnu with the four faces and as part of the Trimurti, is merely a popular personification of Brahm in the extremely transparent Indian mythology. He obviously represents the generation, the origin, of beings just as Vishnu does their acme, and Shiva their destruction and extinction. Moreover, his production of the world is a sinful act, just as is the world incarnation of Brahm. Then Ormuzd of the Zendavesta is, as we know, the compeer of Ahriman, and the two have emerged from immeasurable time, Zervane Akerene (if the statement is founded on fact). Similarly in the very fine and extremely readable cosmogony of the Phoenicians, written by Sanchuniathon and preserved for us by Philo Byblius, which is perhaps the prototype of the Mosaic cosmogony, we find no trace of theism or of world creation by a personal being. Thus here we also see, as in the Mosaic Genesis, the original chaos submerged in night; but no God appears commanding 'Let there be light! let there be this, and let there be that!' Oh no! but [x] [92] The spirit, fermenting in the mass, falls in love with its own essence or being, whereby a mixture of those primary constituents or elements of the world arises. From this is developed the primeval slime or ooze, and indeed very effectively and significantly, in consequence of that very longing or [x] which, as the commentator rightly observes, is the Eros of the Greeks. Finally from this slime plants proceed and last of all knowing beings, i.e. animals. For hitherto, as is expressly observed, everything occurred without knowledge: [x] [93] (It is thus, adds Sanchuniathon, in the cosmogony written by Taaut, the Egyptian.) His cosmogony is then followed by the more detailed zoogony. Certain atmospheric and terrestrial events are described which actually suggest the logical assumptions of our modern geology. At last thunder and lightning follow torrential rains and, startled by the crashing, animals with knowledge are awakened into existence, and 'now there move on the earth and in the sea male and female: Accordingly, Eusebius, to whom we are indebted for these fragments of Philo Byblius (See Praeparatio evangelica, lib. II, c. 10), quite rightly accuses this cosmogony of atheism; and this it unquestionably is, as are all theories of the origin of the world with the single exception of the Jewish. In the mythology of the Greeks and Romans, it is true that we find gods as fathers of gods and incidentally of men (although these are originally the potter's work of Prometheus), yet we find no God creator. For the fact that one or two philosophers, who had become acquainted with Judaism, later tried to regard Father Zeus as such a creator does not affect the matter which is also as little affected by the fact that Dante in his Inferno, without having sought his permission, summarily tries to identify him with Domeneddio, whose unheard-of thirst for vengeance and cruelty are there celebrated and depicted; e.g. can. 14, st. 70; can 31, st. 92. Finally (for everything has been grasped at), the endlessly repeated statement is quite wrong, that the North American savages worshipped God, the creator of heaven and earth, under the name of the Great Spirit, and were consequently pure theists. This error has recently been refuted in a paper on the North American savages which John Scouler read at a meeting of the London Ethnographical Society held in 1846, and of which l'Institut, Journal des societes savantes, sect. 2, July 1847, gives an extract. He says: 'When in reports on the superstitions of the Indians we are told about the Great Spirit, we are apt to assume that this expression indicates a conception consistent with the one we associate with it, and that their belief is a simple natural theism. But this interpretation is very far from correct; on the contrary, the religion of those Indians is a pure fetishism, consisting in charms, spells, and sorcery. In the report of Tanner who from childhood lived among them, the details are reliable and remarkable, yet far different from the inventions of certain authors. Thus from this we see that the religion of those Indians is really only a fetishism, similar to that formerly met with among the Finns and even now to be found among tribes in Siberia. Among the Indians dwelling east of the mountains the fetish consists merely of any object to which mysterious qualities are attributed', and so on.

In consequence of all this, the opinion here discussed should rather give way to its opposite, namely that only a unique, indeed very small and insignificant race, despised by all contemporary nations and living quite alone among them all without any belief in a continued existence after death but yet predestined for the purpose, has had pure monotheism or knowledge of the true God. Moreover, this it has not through philosophy, but simply through revelation, as is indeed appropriate; for what would be the value of a revelation that taught only what one knew without it? That no other nation has ever conceived such an idea must accordingly contribute to our regard for revelation.
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