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The first result of this separation between man and the world was a complete breach with the old physical philosophy, shown, on the one hand, by an abandonment of speculative studies, on the other, by a substitution of convention for Nature as the recognised standard of right. Both consequences were drawn by Protagoras, the most eminent of the Sophists. We have now to consider more particularly what was his part in the great drama of which we are attempting to give an intelligible account.句立In his very first essay, Plotinus had hinted at a principle higher and more primordial than the absolute Nous, something with which the soul is connected by the mediation of Nous, just as she herself mediates between Nous and the material world. The notion of such a supreme principle was derived from Plato. In the sixth and seventh books of the Republic, we are told that at the summit of the dialectic series stands an idea to grasp which is the ultimate object of308 all reasoning. Plato calls this the Idea of Good, and describes it as holding a place in the intellectual world analogous to that held by the sun in the physical world. For, just as the sun brings all visible things into being, and also gives the light by which they are seen, so also the Good is not only that by which the objects of knowledge are known, but also that whence their existence is derived, while at the same time itself transcending existence in dignity and power.454地几Again, when oracles like that at Delphi had obtained wide-spread renown and authority, they would be consulted, not only on ceremonial questions and matters of policy, but also on debateable points of morality. The divine responses, being unbiassed by personal interest, would necessarily be given in accordance with received rules of rectitude, and would be backed by all the terrors of a supernatural sanction. It might even be dangerous to assume that the god could possibly give his support to wrong-doing. A story told by Herodotus proves that such actually was the case.E There lived once at Sparta a certain man named Glaucus, who had acquired so great a reputation for probity that, during the troublous times of the Persian conquest, a wealthy Milesian thought it advisable to deposit a large sum of money with him for safe keeping. After a considerable time the money was claimed by his children, but the honesty of Glaucus was not proof against temptation. He pretended to have forgotten the whole affair, and required a delay of three months before making up his mind with regard to the validity of their demand. During that interval he consulted the Delphic oracle to know whether he might possess himself of the money by a false oath. The answer was that it would be for his immediate advantage to do so; all must die, the faithful and the perjured alike; but Horcus (oath) had a nameless son swift to pursue without feet, strong to grasp without hands, who would destroy the whole race of the sinner. Glaucus craved forgiveness, but was informed that to tempt the god was equivalent to committing the crime. He went home and restored the deposit, but his whole family perished utterly from the land before three generations had passed by.实世Both increate and indestructible,在的The style of polemics adopted on this occasion, whatever else may be its value, will serve excellently to illustrate the general dialectic method of attack. When Plato particularly disliked a class of persons, or an institution, or an art, or a theory, or a state of consciousness, he tried to prove that it was confused, unstable, and self-contradictory; besides taking full advantage of any discredit popularly attached to it. All these objections are brought to bear with full force against pleasure. Some pleasures are delusive, since the reality of them falls far short of the anticipation; all pleasure is essentially transitory, a perpetual becoming, never a fixed state, and therefore not an end of action; pleasures which ensue on the satisfaction of desires are necessarily accompanied by pains and disappear simultaneously with them; the most intense, and for that reason the most typical, pleasures, are associated with feelings of shame, and their enjoyment is carefully hidden out of sight.没有

    We have seen how Greek thought had arrived at a perfectly just conception of the process by which all physical transformations are effected. The whole extended universe is an aggregate of bodies, while each single body is formed by a combination of everlasting elements, and is destroyed by their separation. But if Empedocles was right, if these primary substances were no other than the fire, air, water, and earth of everyday experience, what became of the Heracleitean law, confirmed by common observation, that, so far from remaining unaltered, they were continually passing into one another? To this question the atomic theory gave an answer so conclusive, that, although ignored or contemned by later schools, it was revived with the great revival of science in the sixteenth century, was successfully employed in the explanation of every order of phenomena, and still remains the basis of all physical enquiry. The undulatory theory of light, the law of universal gravitation, and the laws of chemical combination can only be expressed in terms implying the existence of atoms; the laws of gaseous diffusion, and of thermodynamics generally, can only be understood with their help; and the latest develop34ments of chemistry have tended still further to establish their reality, as well as to elucidate their remarkable properties. In the absence of sufficient information, it is difficult to determine by what steps this admirable hypothesis was evolved. Yet, even without external evidence, we may fairly conjecture that, sooner or later, some philosopher, possessed of a high generalising faculty, would infer that if bodies are continually throwing off a flux of infinitesimal particles from their surfaces, they must be similarly subdivided all through; and that if the organs of sense are honeycombed with imperceptible pores, such may also be the universal constitution of matter.26 Now, according to Aristotle, Leucippus, the founder of atomism, did actually use the second of these arguments, and employed it in particular to prove the existence of indivisible solids.27 Other considerations equally obvious suggested themselves from another quarter. If all change was expressible in terms of matter and motion, then gradual change implied interstitial motion, which again involved the necessity of fine pores to serve as channels for the incoming and outgoing molecular streams. Nor, as was supposed, could motion of any kind be conceived without a vacuum, the second great postulate of the atomic theory. Here its advocates directly joined issue with Parmenides. The chief of the Eleatic school had, as we have seen, presented being under the form of a homogeneous sphere, absolutely continuous but limited in extent. Space dissociated from matter was to him, as afterwards to Aristotle, non-existent and impossible. It was, he exclaimed, inconceivable, nonsensical. Unhappily inconceivability is about the worst negative criterion of truth ever yet invented. His challenge was now35 taken up by the Atomists, who boldly affirmed that if non-being meant empty space, it was just as conceivable and just as necessary as being. A further stimulus may have been received from the Pythagorean school, whose doctrines had, just at this time, been systematised and committed to writing by Philolaus, its most eminent disciple. The hard saying that all things were made out of number might be explained and confirmed if the integers were interpreted as material atoms.死无Before entering on our task, one more difficulty remains to be noticed. Plato, although the greatest master of prose composition that ever lived, and for his time a remarkably voluminous author, cherished a strong dislike for books, and even affected to regret that the art of writing had ever been invented. A man, he said, might amuse himself by putting down his ideas on paper, and might even find written178 memoranda useful for private reference, but the only instruction worth speaking of was conveyed by oral communication, which made it possible for objections unforeseen by the teacher to be freely urged and answered.117 Such had been the method of Socrates, and such was doubtless the practice of Plato himself whenever it was possible for him to set forth his philosophy by word of mouth. It has been supposed, for this reason, that the great writer did not take his own books in earnest, and wished them to be regarded as no more than the elegant recreations of a leisure hour, while his deeper and more serious thoughts were reserved for lectures and conversations, of which, beyond a few allusions in Aristotle, every record has perished. That such, however, was not the case, may be easily shown. In the first place it is evident, from the extreme pains taken by Plato to throw his philosophical expositions into conversational form, that he did not despair of providing a literary substitute for spoken dialogue. Secondly, it is a strong confirmation of this theory that Aristotle, a personal friend and pupil of Plato during many years, should so frequently refer to the Dialogues as authoritative evidences of his master’s opinions on the most important topics. And, lastly, if it can be shown that the documents in question do actually embody a comprehensive and connected view of life and of the world, we shall feel satisfied that the oral teaching of Plato, had it been preserved, would not modify in any material degree the impression conveyed by his written compositions.这是长腰的射

  This was the creed professed by ‘the great scientific school of antiquity,’ and this was its way of protesting ‘against the contempt of physics which prevailed’ among the Stoics!地方 只是

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    Modern admirers of Aristotle labour to prove that his errors were inevitable, and belonged more to his age than to himself; that without the mechanical appliances of modern times science could not be cultivated with any hope of success. But what are we to say when we find that on one point after another the true explanation had already been surmised by Aristotle’s predecessors or contemporaries, only to be scornfully rejected by Aristotle himself? Their hypotheses may often have been very imperfect, and supported by insufficient evidence; but it must have been something more than chance which always led him wrong when they were so often right. To begin with, the infinity of space is not even now, nor will it ever be, established by improved instruments of observation and measurement; it is deduced by a very simple process of reasoning, of which Democritus and others were capable, while Aristotle apparently was not. He rejects the idea because it is inconsistent with certain very arbitrary assumptions and definitions of his own, whereas he should have313 rejected them because they were inconsistent with it. He further rejects the idea of a vacuum, and with it the atomic theory, entirely on à priori grounds, although, even in the then existing state of knowledge, atomism explained various phenomena in a perfectly rational manner which he could only explain by unmeaning or nonsensical phrases.195 It had been already maintained, in his time, that the apparent movements of the heavenly bodies were due to the rotation of the earth on its own axis.196 Had Aristotle accepted this theory one can imagine how highly his sagacity would have been extolled. We may, therefore, fairly take his rejection of it as a proof of blind adherence to old-fashioned opinions. When he argues that none of the heavenly bodies rotate, because we can see that the moon does not, as is evident from her always turning the same side to us,197 nothing is needed but the simplest mathematics to demonstrate the fallacy of his reasoning. Others had surmised that the Milky Way was a collection of stars, and that comets were bodies of the same nature as planets. Aristotle is satisfied that both are appearances like meteors, and the aurora borealis—caused by the friction of our atmosphere against the solid aether above it. A similar origin is ascribed to the heat and light derived from the sun and stars; for it would be derogatory to the dignity of those luminaries to suppose, with Anaxagoras, that they are formed of anything so familiar and perishable as fire. On the contrary, they consist of pure aether like the spheres on which they are fixed as protuberances; though314 how such an arrangement can co-exist with absolute contact between each sphere and that next below it, or how the effects of friction could be transmitted through such enormous thicknesses of solid crystal, is left unexplained.198 By a happy anticipation of Roemer, Empedocles conjectured that the transmission of light occupied a certain time: Aristotle declares it to be instantaneous.199有一It has been shown in former parts of this work how Greek philosophy, after straining an antithesis to the utmost, was driven by the very law of its being to close or bridge over the chasm by a series of accommodations and transitions. To this rule Stoicism was no exception; and perhaps its extraordinary vitality may have been partly due to the necessity imposed on its professors of continually revising their ethics, with a view to softening down its most repellent features. We proceed to sketch in rapid outline the chief artifices employed for this purpose.散仙

   According to Hegel,147 the Platonic polity, so far from being an impracticable dream, had already found its realisation in Greek life, and did but give a purer expression to the constitutive principle of every ancient commonwealth. There are, he tells us, three stages in the moral development of mankind. The first is purely objective. It represents a régime where rules of conduct are entirely imposed from without; they are, as it were, embodied in the framework of society; they rest, not on reason and conscience, but on authority and tradition; they will not suffer themselves to be questioned, for, being unproved, a doubt would be fatal to their very existence. Here the individual is completely sacrificed to the State; but in the second or subjective stage he breaks loose, asserting the right of his private judgment and will as against the established order of things. This revolution was, still according to Hegel, begun by the Sophists and Socrates. It proved altogether incompatible with the spirit of Greek civilisation, which it ended by shattering to pieces. The subjective principle found an247 appropriate expression in Christianity, which attributes an infinite importance to the individual soul; and it appears also in the political philosophy of Rousseau. We may observe that it corresponds very nearly to what Auguste Comte meant by the metaphysical period. The modern State reconciles both principles, allowing the individual his full development, and at the same time incorporating him with a larger whole, where, for the first time, he finds his own reason fully realised. Now, Hegel looks on the Platonic republic as a reaction against the subjective individualism, the right of private judgment, the self-seeking impulse, or whatever else it is to be called, which was fast eating into the heart of Greek civilisation. To counteract this fatal tendency, Plato goes back to the constitutive principle of Greek society—that is to say, the omnipotence, or, in Benthamite parlance, omnicompetence, of the State; exhibiting it, in ideal perfection, as the suppression of individual liberty under every form, more especially the fundamental forms of property, marriage, and domestic life.已经山西11选5官网 惊天了什


  

巨大Previous to his forty-ninth year, Plotinus wrote nothing. At that age he began to compose short essays on subjects which suggested themselves in the course of his oral teaching. During the next ten years, he produced twenty-one such278 papers, some of them only a page or two in length. At the end of that period, he made the acquaintance of his future editor and biographer, Porphyry, a young student of Semitic extraction, whose original name was Malchus. The two soon became fast friends; and whatever speculative differences at first divided them were quickly removed by an amicable controversy between Porphyry and another disciple named Amelius, which resulted in the unreserved adhesion of the former to the doctrine of their common master.415 The literary activity of Plotinus seems to have been powerfully stimulated by association with the more methodical mind of Porphyry. During the five years416 of their personal intercourse he produced nineteen essays, amounting altogether to three times the bulk of the former series. Eight shorter pieces followed during the period of failing health which preceded his death, Porphyry being at that time absent in Sicily, whither he had retired when suffering from the fit of depression already mentioned.那车
  

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