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In the preceding chapter we attempted to show that the tendency of Roman thought, when brought into contact with the Greek systems, was to resolve them into their component elements, or to throw them back on their historical antecedents. As a result of this dissolving process, the Stoicism of the second century split up into a number of more or less conflicting principles, each of which received exclusive prominence according to the changeful mood of the thinker who resorted to philosophy for consolation or for help. Stoicism had originally embraced the dynamism of Heracleitus, the teleology of Socrates, the physical morality of Prodicus and his Cynic successors, the systematising dialectic of Aristotle, the psychism of Plato and the Pythagoreans, and, to a certain extent, the superstitions of popular mythology. With Epictêtus, we find the Cynic and the Socratic elements most clearly developed, with Marcus Aurelius, the Socratic and the Heracleitean, the latter being especially strong in the meditations written shortly before his death. In the eastern provinces of the empire, Cynicism was preached as an independent system of morality, and obtained great success by its popular and propagandist character. Dion Chrysostom, a much-admired lecturer of the second century, speaks with enthusiasm of its most famous representative Diogenes, and recounts, with evident gusto, some of the most shameless actions attributed, perhaps falsely, to that eccentric philosopher.383 And the popular rhetorician Maximus Tyrius, although a professed Platonist, places the Cynic life above every other.384 But the traditions of Cynicism were thoroughly opposed to the prevalent polytheism; and its whole attitude was calculated to repel rather than to attract minds penetrated with the enthusiastic spirit of the age. To all such the Neo-Pythagorean doctrine came as a welcome revelation.伤才Xenophon gives the same interest a more edifying direction when he enlivens the dry details of his Cyropaedia with touching episodes of conjugal affection, or presents lessons in domestic economy under the form of conversations between a newly-married couple.107 Plato in some respects transcends, in others falls short of his less gifted contemporary. For his doctrine of love as an educating process—a true doctrine, all sneers and perversions notwithstanding—though readily applicable to the relation of the sexes, is not applied to it by him; and his project of a common training for men and women, though suggestive of a great advance on the existing system if rightly carried out, was, from his point of view, a retrograde step towards savage or even animal life, an attempt to throw half the burdens incident to a military organisation of society on those who had become absolutely incapable of bearing them.力但绿的But a profounder analysis of experience is necessary before we can come to the real roots of Plato’s scheme. It must be remembered that our philosopher was a revolutionist of the most thorough-going description, that he objected not to this or that constitution of his time, but to all existing consti254tutions whatever. Now, every great revolutionary movement, if in some respects an advance and an evolution, is in other respects a retrogression and a dissolution. When the most complex forms of political association are broken up, the older or subordinate forms suddenly acquire new life and meaning. What is true of practice is true also of speculation. Having broken away from the most advanced civilisation, Plato was thrown back on the spontaneous organisation of industry, on the army, the school, the family, the savage tribe, and even the herd of cattle, for types of social union. It was by taking some hints from each of these minor aggregates that he succeeded in building up his ideal polity, which, notwithstanding its supposed simplicity and consistency, is one of the most heterogeneous ever framed. The principles on which it rests are not really carried out to their logical consequences; they interfere with and supplement one another. The restriction of political power to a single class is avowedly based on the necessity for a division of labour. One man, we are told, can only do one thing well. But Plato should have seen that the producer is not for that reason to be made a monopolist; and that, to borrow his own favourite example, shoes are properly manufactured because the shoemaker is kept in order by the competition of his rivals and by the freedom of the consumer to purchase wherever he pleases. Athenian democracy, so far from contradicting the lessons of political economy, was, in truth, their logical application to government. The people did not really govern themselves, nor do they in any modern democracy, but they listened to different proposals, just as they might choose among different articles in a shop or different tenders for building a house, accepted the most suitable, and then left it to be carried out by their trusted agents.血红我们

    在紫Fortunately, the dialectic method proved stronger than its own creators, and, once set going, introduced feelings and ex160periences of which they had never dreamed, within the horizon of philosophic consciousness. It was found that if women had much to learn, much also might be learned from them. Their wishes could not be taken into account without giving a greatly increased prominence in the guidance of conduct to such sentiments as fidelity, purity, and pity; and to that extent the religion which they helped to establish has, at least in principle, left no room for any further progress. On the other hand, it is only by reason that the more exclusively feminine impulses can be freed from their primitive narrowness and elevated into truly human emotions. Love, when left to itself, causes more pain than pleasure, for the words of the old idyl still remain true which associate it with jealousy as cruel as the grave; pity, without prevision, creates more suffering than it relieves; and blind fidelity is instinctively opposed even to the most beneficent changes. We are still suffering from the excessive preponderance which Catholicism gave to the ideas of women; but we need not listen to those who tell us that the varied experiences of humanity cannot be organised into a rational, consistent, self-supporting whole.眼睛In criticising the Stoic system as a whole, the New Academy and the later Sceptics had incidentally dwelt on sundry absurdities which followed from the materialistic interpretation of knowledge; and Plotinus evidently derived some of his most forcible objections from their writings; but no previous philosopher that we know of had set forth the whole case for spiritualism and against materialism with such telling effect. And what is, perhaps, more important than any originality in detail, is the profound insight shown in choosing this whole question of spiritualism versus materialism for the ground whereon the combined forces of Plato and Aristotle were to fight their first battle against the naturalistic system which had triumphed over them five centuries before. It was on dialectical and ethical grounds that the controversy between Porch and Academy, on ethical and religious grounds that the controversy between Epicureanism and all other schools of philosophy, had hitherto been conducted. Cicero and Plutarch never allude to their opponents as materialists. Only once, in his polemic against Col?tes, does Plutarch observe that neither a soul nor anything else could be made out of atoms, but this is because they are discrete, not because they are extended.446 For the rest, his method is to trip up his opponents by pointing out their inconsistencies, rather than to cut the ground from under their feet by proving that their theory of the universe is wrong.六尾成的

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    CHAPTER II. EPICURUS AND LUCRETIUS.这一We may say almost as briefly that they inculcate complete independence both of our own passions and of external circumstances, with a corresponding respect for the independence of others, to be shown by using persuasion instead of force. Their tone will perhaps be best understood by contrast with that collection of Hebrew proverbs which has come down to us under the name of Solomon, but which Biblical critics now attribute to a later period and a divided authorship. While these regularly put forward material prosperity as the chief motive to good conduct, Hellenic wisdom teaches indifference to the variations of fortune. To a Greek, ‘the power that makes for righteousness,’ so far from being, ‘not ourselves,’ was our own truest self, the far-seeing reason which should guard us from elation and from depression, from passion and from surprise. Instead of being offered old age as a reward, we are told to be equally prepared for a long and for a short life.兽则

   Even the very imperfect means of information supplied by the literature of the empire were not utilised to the fullest extent. It was naturally the writers of most brilliant genius who received most attention, and these, as it happened, were the most prejudiced against their contemporaries. Their observations, too, were put on record under the form of sweeping generalisations; while the facts from which a different conclusion might be gathered lay scattered through the pages of more obscure authorities, needing to be carefully sifted out and brought together by those who wished to arrive at a more impartial view of the age to which they relate.半仙5分时时彩app下载官方网 道是了万


Parmenides, of Elea, flourished towards the beginning of the fifth century B.C. We know very little about his personal history. According to Plato, he visited Athens late in life, and there made the acquaintance of Socrates, at that time a very young man. But an unsupported statement of Plato’s must always be received with extreme caution; and this particular story is probably not less fictitious than the dialogue which it serves to introduce. Parmenides embodied his theory of the world in a poem, the most important passages of which have been preserved. They show that, while continuing the physical studies of his predecessors, he proceeded on an entirely different method. Their object was to deduce every variety of natural phenomena from a fundamental unity of substance. He declared that all variety and change were a delusion, and that nothing existed but one indivisible, unalterable, absolute reality; just as Descartes’ antithesis of thought and extension disappeared in the infinite substance of Spinoza, or as the Kantian dualism of object and subject was eliminated in Hegel’s absolute idealism. Again, Parmenides does not dogmatise to the same extent as his predecessors; he attempts to demonstrate his theory by the inevitable necessities of being and thought. Existence, he tells us over and over again, is, and non-existence is not, cannot even be imagined or thought of as existing, for thought is the same as being. This is not an anticipation of Hegel’s identification of being with thought; it only amounts to the very innocent proposition that a thought is something and about something—enters, therefore, into the general undiscriminated mass of being. He next proceeds to prove that what is can neither come into being nor pass out of it again. It cannot come out of the non-existent, for that is inconceivable; nor out of the existent, for nothing exists but being itself; and the same argument proves that it cannot cease to exist. Here we find the indestructibility of matter, a truth which Anaximander18 had not yet grasped, virtually affirmed for the first time in history. We find also that our philosopher is carried away by the enthusiasm of a new discovery, and covers more ground than he can defend in maintaining the permanence of all existence whatever. The reason is that to him, as to every other thinker of the pre-Socratic period, all existence was material, or, rather, all reality was confounded under one vague conception, of which visible resisting extension supplied the most familiar type. To proceed: Being cannot be divided from being, nor is it capable of condensation or expansion (as the Ionians had taught); there is nothing by which it can be separated or held apart; nor is it ever more or less existent, but all is full of being. Parmenides goes on in his grand style:—有力Besides the revival of Platonism, three causes had conspired to overthrow the supremacy of Aristotle. The literary Renaissance with its adoration for beauty of form was alienated by the barbarous dialect of Scholasticism; the mystical theology of Luther saw in it an ally both of ecclesiastical authority and of human reason; and the new spirit of passionate revolt against all tradition attacked the accepted philosophy in common with every other branch of the official university curriculum. Before long, however, a reaction set in. The innovators discredited themselves by an extravagance, an ignorance, a credulity, and an intolerance worse than anything in the teaching which they decried. No sooner was the Reformation organised as a positive doctrine than it fell back for support on the only model of systematic thinking at that time to be found. The Humanists were conciliated by having the original text of Aristotle placed before them; and they readily believed, what was not true, that it contained a wisdom which had eluded mediaeval research. But the great scientific movement of the sixteenth century contributed, more than any other impulse, to bring about an Aristotelian reaction. After winning immortal triumphs in every branch of art and literature, the Italian intellect threw itself with equal vigour into the investigation of physical phenomena. Here Plato could give little help, whereas Aristotle supplied a methodised description of the whole field to be explored, and contributions of extraordinary value towards the under372standing of some, at least, among its infinite details. And we may measure the renewed popularity of his system not only by the fact that Cesalpino, the greatest naturalist of the age, professed himself its adherent, but also by the bitterness of the criticisms directed against it, and the involuntary homage offered by rival systems which were little more than meagre excerpts from the Peripatetic ontology and logic.哼我




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