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It is possible, we think, to trace a similar evolution in the history of the Attic drama. The tragedies of Aeschylus resemble the old Ionian philosophy in this, that they are filled with material imagery, and that they deal with remote interests, remote times, and remote places. Sophocles withdraws his action into the subjective sphere, and simultaneously works out a pervading contrast between the illusions by which men are either lulled to false security or racked with needless anguish, and the terrible or consolatory reality to which they finally awaken. We have also, in his well-known irony, in the unconscious self-betrayal of his characters, that subtle evanescent allusiveness to a hidden truth, that gleaming of reality through appearance which constitutes, first the dialectic, then the mythical illustration, and finally the physics of Plato. In Aeschylus also we have the spectacle of sudden and violent vicissitudes, the abasement of insolent prosperity, and the punishment of long successful crime; only with him the characters which attract most interest are not the blind victims, but the accomplices or the confidants of destiny—the great figures of a Prometheus, a Darius, an Eteocles, a Clytemnestra, and a Cassandra, who are raised above the common level to an eminence where the secrets of past and future are unfolded to their gaze. Far otherwise with Sophocles. The leading actors in his most characteristic works, Oedipus, Electra, Dejanira, Ajax, and Philoctetes, are surrounded by forces which they can neither control nor understand; moving in a world of illusion, if they help to work out their own destinies it is unconsciously, or even in direct opposition to their own designs.208 Hence in Aeschylus we have something324 like that superb self-confidence which distinguishes a Parmenides and a Heracleitus; in Sophocles that confession of human ignorance which the Athenian philosophers made on their own behalf, or strove to extract from others. Euripides introduces us to another mode of thought, more akin to that which characterises Aristotle. For, although there is abundance of mystery in his tragedies, it has not the profound religious significance of the Sophoclean irony; he uses it rather for romantic and sentimental purposes, for the construction of an intricate plot, or for the creation of pathetic situations. His whole power is thrown into the immediate and detailed representation of living passion, and of the surroundings in which it is displayed, without going far back into its historical antecedents like Aeschylus, or, like Sophocles, into the divine purposes which underlie it. On the other hand, as a Greek writer could not be other than philosophical, he uses particular incidents as an occasion for wide generalisations and dialectical discussions; these, and not the idea of justice or of destiny, being the pedestal on which his figures are set. And it may be noticed as another curious coincidence that, like Aristotle again, he is disposed to criticise his predecessors, or at least one of them, Aeschylus, with some degree of asperity.下对Plotinus himself, we are told, reached the climax of complete unification several times in his life, Porphyry only once, in the sixty-eighth year of his age. Probably the condition so denominated was a species of hypnotic trance. Its importance in the Neo-Platonic system has been considerably exaggerated, and on the strength of this single point some critics have summarily disposed of Plotinus and his whole school as unreasoning mystics. Mysticism is a vague word capable of very various applications. In the present instance, we presume that it is used to express a belief in the existence of some method for the discovery of truth apart from tradition; observation, and reasoning. And, taken in this sense, the Neo-Platonic method of arriving at a full apprehension of the One would be considered an extreme instance of mysticism. We must bear in mind, however, that Plotinus arrives at an intellectual conception of absolute unity by the most strictly logical process. It makes no difference that his reasoning is unsound, for the same criticism applies to other philosophers who have never been accused of mysticism. It may be said that after leading us up to a certain point, reason is replaced by intuition. Rather, what the ultimate intuition does is not to take the place of logic, but to substitute a living realisation for an abstract and negative conception. Moreover, the intuition is won not by forsaking logic, but by straining its resources to the very utmost. Again, one great characteristic of mysticism, as ordinarily understood, is to deny the truth of common observation and reasoning. Now Plotinus never goes this length. As we have already remarked, he does not even share Plato’s distrust of sensible impressions, but rather follows the example of Aristotle in recognising their validity within a certain sphere. Nor does he mention having received any revelations of divine truth during his intercourse with the absolute One. This alone marks an immense difference between his ecstasies—if such they can be called—and313 those of the Christian mystics with whom he is associated by M. Barthélemy Saint-Hilaire.464也怕In the opening chapter of this work we endeavoured to explain how the Pythagorean philosophy arose out of the intoxicated delight inspired by a first acquaintance with the manifold properties of number and figure. If we would enter into the spirit of Platonism, we must similarly throw ourselves back into the time when the idea of a universal classification first dawned on men’s minds. We must remember how it gratified the Greek love of order combined with individuality; what unbounded opportunities for asking and answering questions it supplied; and what promises of practical regeneration it held out. Not without a shade of sadness for so many baffled efforts and so many blighted hopes, yet also with a grateful recollection of all that reason has accomplished, and with something of his own high intellectual enthusiasm, shall we listen to Plato’s prophetic words—words of deeper import than their own author knew—‘If I find any man who is able to see a One and Many in Nature, him I follow and walk in his steps as if he were a god.’137一定Bacon begins by demanding that throughout the whole range of experience new facts should be collected on the largest scale, in order to supply materials for scientific generalisation. There can be no doubt that he is here guided by the example of Aristotle, and of Aristotle alone. Such a storehouse of materials is still extant in the History of Animals, which evidently suggested the use of the word ‘History’ in this sense to Bacon, and which, by the way, is immensely superior to anything that he ever attempted in374 the same line. The facts on which Aristotle’s Politics is based were contained in another vast descriptive work of the same kind, now unhappily lost. Even the Stagirite’s more systematic treatises comprise a multitude of observations, catalogued according to a certain order, but not reduced to scientific principles. What Bacon did was to carry out, or to bid others carry out, the plan so suggested in every department of enquiry. But if we ask by what method he was guided in his survey of the whole field to be explored, how he came by a complete enumeration of the sciences, arranged according to their logical order,—the answer is still that he borrowed it from the Peripatetic encyclopaedia.能动着采

    是没When I speak of the division of the intellectual, you will also understand me to speak of that knowledge which reason herself attains by the power of dialectic, using the hypotheses not as first principles, but only as hypotheses—that is to say as steps and points of departure into a region which is above hypotheses, in order that she may soar beyond them to the first principle of the whole; and clinging to this and then to that which depends on this, by successive steps she descends again without the aid of any sensible object, beginning and ending in ideas.560战剑The ambiguities and uncertainties which Plotinus exhibits in theorising on the origin of Matter, are due not only to the conflicting influences of Plato and Aristotle, but also to another influence quite distinct from theirs. This is the Stoic cosmology. While utterly repudiating the materialism of the Stoics, Plotinus evidently felt attracted by their severe monism, and by the consistent manner in which they derived every form of existence from the divine substance. They too recognised a distinction between Form and Matter, the active and the passive principle in Nature, but they supposed that the one, besides being penetrated and moulded by the other, had also been originally produced by it. Such a theory was well suited to the energetic and practical character of Stoic morality, with its aversion from mere contemplation, its immediate bearing on the concrete interests of life. Man was conceived as an intelligent force, having for his proper function to bring order out of chaos, ‘to make reason and the will of God prevail,’ and this ideal appeared to be reflected in the dynamic constitution of Nature. With Plotinus, on the other hand, as with Aristotle, theory and not practice was the end of life, or rather, as he himself expressed it, practice was an inferior kind of theorising, an endeavour to set before oneself in outward form what should properly be sought in the noetic world where subject and object are one.490 Accordingly, while accepting the Stoic monism, he strove to bring it into close agreement with Aristotle’s cosmology, by substituting contemplation for will as the creative principle in all existence, no less than as the ideal of happiness for man.中起55间这

  CHAPTER IV. THE RELIGIOUS REVIVAL.束扫 The same principle may be extended in a different direction if we substitute for knowledge, in its narrower significance, the more general conception of associated feeling. We shall then see that belief, habit, emotion, and instinct are only136 different stages of the same process—the process by which experience is organised and made subservient to vital activity. The simplest reflex and the highest intellectual conviction are alike based on sensori-motor mechanism, and, so far, differ only through the relative complexity and instability of the nervous connexions involved. Knowledge is life in the making, and when it fails to control practice fails only by coming into conflict with passion—that is to say, with the consolidated results of an earlier experience. Physiology offers another analogy to the Socratic method which must not be overlooked. Socrates recommended the formation of definite conceptions because, among other advantages, they facilitated the diffusion of useful knowledge. So, also, the organised associations of feelings are not only serviceable to individuals, but may be transmitted to offspring with a regularity proportioned to their definiteness. How naturally these deductions follow from the doctrine under consideration, is evident from their having been, to a certain extent, already drawn by Plato. His plan for the systematic education of feeling under scientific supervision answers to the first; his plan for breeding an improved race of citizens by placing marriage under State control answers to the second. Yet it is doubtful whether Plato’s predecessor would have sanctioned any scheme tending to substitute an external compulsion, whether felt or not, for freedom and individual initiative, and a blind instinct for the self-consciousness which can give an account of its procedure at every step. He would bring us back from social physics and physiology to psychology, and from psychology to dialectic philosophy.罗裙

    Thus the final effect of its communion with the Roman mind was not so much to develope Greek philosophy any further, or to reconcile its warring sects with one another, as to aid in their decomposition by throwing them back on the184 earlier forms whence they had sprung. Accordingly we find that the philosophic activity of Hellas immediately before and after the Christian era—so far as there was any at all—consisted in a revival of the Pythagorean and Cynic schools, accompanied by a corresponding resuscitation of primitive Scepticism. This last takes the shape of a very distinct protest against the fashionable naturalism of the age, just as the scepticism of Protagoras and Gorgias—if our view be correct—had once been called forth by the naturalism of Prodicus and Hippias. The principal representative, if not the founder, of Neo-Scepticism was Aenesidêmus, who taught in Alexandria, when we are not informed, but probably after the middle of the first century A.D.291 An avowed disciple of Pyrrho, his object was to reassert the sceptical principle in its original purity, especially as against the Academicians, whom he charged with having first perverted and then completely abandoned it.292 Aenesidêmus would hear nothing of probabilities nor of moral certainties. He also claimed to distinguish himself from the Academicians by refusing to assert even so much as that nothing can be asserted; but it appears that, in this point, he had been fully anticipated by Arcesilaus and Carneades.293 For the rest, his own Scepticism recalls the method of Gorgias and Protagoras much more distinctly than the method of the New Academy—a fresh illustration of the archaic and revivalist tendencies displayed by philosophy at185 this period. In other words, it is not against the reasoning processes that his criticisms are directed, but against the theory of causation on the objective side, and against the credibility of our immediate perceptions on the subjective side.294 But, in both directions, he has worked out the difficulties of the old Sophists with a minuteness and a precision unknown to them; and some of his points have been found worth repeating in a different connexion by modern critics. Thus, in analysing the theory of causation, he draws attention to the plurality of causes as an obstacle to connecting any given consequent with one antecedent more than with another; to the illegitimate assumption that the laws inferred from experience hold good under unknown conditions; to the arbitrary assumption of hypothetical causes not evinced by experience; and to the absurdity of introducing a new difficulty for the purpose of explaining an old one.295 With regard to causation itself, Aenesidêmus seems to have resolved it into action and reaction, thus eliminating the condition of186 antecedence and consequence, without which it becomes unintelligible.296后又神瞬We have said, in comparing him with his predecessors, that the Stagirite unrolled Greek thought from a solid into a continuous surface. We have now to add that he gave his surface the false appearance of a solid by the use of shadows, and of a?rial perspective. In other words, he made the indication of his own ignorance and confusion do duty for depth and distance. For to say that a thing is developed out of its possibility, merely means that it is developed out of something, the nature of which we do not know. And to speak about such possibilities as imperfect existences, or matter, or whatever else Aristotle may be pleased to call them, is simply constructing the universe, not out of our ideas, but out of our absolute want of ideas.半圣

    So far we have contrasted the Apologia with the Memorabilia. We have now to consider in what relation it stands to Plato’s other writings. The constructive dogmatic Socrates, who is a principal spokesman in some of them, differs widely from the sceptical Socrates of the famous Defence, and the difference has been urged as an argument for the historical authenticity of the latter.85 Plato, it is implied, would not115 have departed so far from his usual conception of the sage, had he not been desirous of reproducing the actual words spoken on so solemn an occasion. There are, however, several dialogues which seem to have been composed for the express purpose of illustrating the negative method supposed to have been described by Socrates to his judges, investigations the sole result of which is to upset the theories of other thinkers, or to show that ordinary men act without being able to assign a reason for their conduct. Even the Republic is professedly tentative in its procedure, and only follows out a train of thought which has presented itself almost by accident to the company. Unlike Charles Lamb’s Scotchman, the leading spokesman does not bring, but find, and you are invited to cry halves to whatever turns up in his company.中竟And, in fact, it was by a close study of that writer’s voluminous treatises that he was able to cover the immense extent of ground which Scepticism thenceforward disputed with the dogmatic schools. Nor were his attacks directed against Stoicism only, but against all other positive systems past and present as well. What he says about the supposed foundation of knowledge is even now an unanswerable objection to the transcendental realism of Mr Herbert Spencer. States of consciousness speak for themselves alone, they do not include the consciousness of an external cause.234 But the grounds on which he rests his negation of all certainty are still superficial enough, being merely those sensible illusions which the modern science of observation has been able either to eliminate altogether or to restrict within narrow and definable limits. That phenomena, so far from being necessarily referred to a cause which is not phenomenal, cannot be thought of at all except in relation to one another, and that knowledge means nothing more than a consciousness of this relation, was hardly perceived before the time of Hume.主脑

   To be free and to rule over freemen were, with Socrates, as with every Athenian, the goals of ambition, only his freedom meant absolute immunity from the control of passion or habit; government meant superior knowledge, and government of freemen meant the power of producing intellectual conviction. In his eyes, the possessor of any art was, so far, a ruler, and the only true ruler, being obeyed under severe penalties by all who stood in need of his skill. But the royal art which he himself exercised, without expressly laying claim to it, was that which assigns its proper sphere to every other art, and provides each individual with the employment which his peculiar faculties demand. This is Athenian liberty and Athenian imperialism carried into education, but so idealised and purified that they can hardly be recognised at first sight.都没2分时时彩手机购彩 366忆其频频


  

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