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A History of Western Philosophy

2 Book One. Ancient Philosophy2.1 Chapter I. The Rise of Greek Civilization 2.2 Chapter III. Pythagoras 2.3 Chapter IV. Heraclitus 2.4 Chapter V. Parmenides 2.5 Chapter VIII. Anaxagoras 2.6 Chapter IX. The Atomists 2.7 Chapter XI. Socrates 2.8 Chapter XIII. The Sources of Platos Opinions 2.9 Chapter XIV. Platos Utopia 2.10 Chapter XV. The Theory of Ideas 2.11 Chapter XVI. Platos Theory of Immortality 2.12 Chapter XVII. Platos Cosmogony 2.13 Chapter XVIII. Knowledge and Perception in Plato 2.14 Chapter XIX. Aristotle’s Metaphysics 2.15 Chapter XXI. Aristotles Politics 2.16 Chapter XXV. The Hellenistic World 2.17 Chapter XXVI. Cynics and Skeptics 2.18 Chapter XXIX : The Roman Empire in Relation to Culture.
A History of Western Philosophy philosophy
4 Book Three. Modern Philosophy4.1 Chapter VII. Francis Bacon 4.2 Chapter X. Spinoza 4.3 Chapter XIII. Lockes Theory of Knowledge 4.4 Chapter XIV. Lockes Political Philosophy 4.5 Chapter XV. Lockes Influence 4.6 Chapter XVI. Berkeley 4.7 Chapter XVII. Hume 4.8 Chapter XVIII. The Romantic Movement 4.9 Chapter XIX. Rousseau 4.10 Chapter XX. Kant 4.11 Chapter XXI. Currents of Thought in the Nineteenth Century 4.12 Chapter XXII. Hegel 4.13 Chapter XXV. Nietzsche 4.14 Chapter XXVII. Karl Marx 4.15 Chapter XXX. John Dewey 4.16 Chapter XXXI. The Philosophy of Logical Analysis
A History of Western Philosophy philosophy
The conceptions of life and the world which we call philosophical are the product of two factors: one, inherited religious and ethical conceptions; the other, the sort of investigation which may be called scientific, using this word in its broadest sense.p. xiii.
A History of Western Philosophy life
Philosophy is something intermediate between theology and science. Like theology, it consists of speculations on matters as to which definite knowledge has, so far, been unascertainable; but like science, it appeals to human reason rather than authority, whether that of tradition or that of revelation.p. xiii.
A History of Western Philosophy philosophy
All definite knowledge—so I should contend—belongs to science; all dogma as to what surpasses definite knowledge belongs to theology. But between theology and science there is a No Man’s Land, exposed to attack by both sides; this No Man’s Land is philosophy.p. xiii.
A History of Western Philosophy philosophy
Uncertainty, in the presence of vivid hopes and fears, is painful, but must be endured if we wish to live without the support of comforting fairy tales. It is not good either to forget the questions that philosophy asks, or to persuade ourselves that we have found indubitable answers to them.p. xiv.
A History of Western Philosophy philosophy
To teach how to live without certainty, and yet without being paralyzed by hesitation, is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy, in our age, can still do for those who study it.p. xiv.
A History of Western Philosophy philosophy
The king had to share his power with the feudal aristocracy, but all alike expected to be allowed occasional outbursts of passion in the form of war, murder, pillage, or rape. Monarchs might repent, for they were sincerely pious and, after all, repentance was itself a form of passion. But the Church could never produce in them the quiet regularity of good behavior which a modern employer demands, and usually obtains, of his employees.p. xvii.
A History of Western Philosophy war
All the armed force was on the side of the kings, and yet the Church was victorious. The Church won, partly because it had almost a monopoly of education, partly because the kings were perpetually at war with each other, but mainly because The Church could decide whether a king should spend eternity in heaven or in hell; the Church could absolve subjects from the duty of allegiance, and so stimulate rebellion. The Church, moreover, represented order in place of anarchy, and consequently won the support of the rising mercantile class.p. xvii.
A History of Western Philosophy education
The national State progressively destroyed what remained of the Roman belief in the unity of civilization.p. xix.
A History of Western Philosophy belief
What happened in the great age of Greece happened again in Renaissance Italy: traditional moral restraints disappeared, because they were seen to be associated with superstition; the liberation from fetters made individuals energetic and creative, producing a rare florescence of genius; but the anarchy and treachery which inevitably resulted from the decay of morals made Italians collectively impotent, and they fell, like the Greeks, under domination of nations less civilized than themselves but not so destitute of social cohesion. The result, however, was less disastrous than in the case of Greece, because the newly powerful nations, with the exception of Spain, showed themselves as capable of great achievements as the Italians had been.p. xix.
A History of Western Philosophy pain
The Catholic Church was derived from three sources. Its sacred history was Jewish, its theology was Greek, its government and canon law were, at least indirectly, Roman. The Reformation rejected the Roman elements, softened the Greek elements, and greatly strengthened the Judaic elements. It thus co-operated with the nationalist forces which were undoing the work of social cohesion which had been effected first by the Roman Empire and then by the Roman Church.p. xx.
A History of Western Philosophy history
In Catholic doctrine, divine revelation did not end with the scriptures, but continued from age to age through the medium of the Church Protestants, on the contrary, rejected the Church as a vehicle of revelation; truth was to be sought only in the Bible, which each man could interpret for himself. In practice, the State claimed the right that had formerly belonged to the Church, but this was a usurpation. In Protestant theory, there should be no earthly intermediary between the soul and God.p. xx.
A History of Western Philosophy truth
There came to be not one Protestantism, but a multitude of sects; not one philosophy opposed to scholasticism, but as many as there were philosophers; not, as in the thirteenth century, one Emperor opposed to the Pope, but a large number of heretical kings. The result, in thought as in literature, was a continually deepening subjectivism, operating at first as a wholesome liberation from spiritual slavery, but advancing steadily towards a personal isolation inimical to sanity.p. xxi.
A History of Western Philosophy philosophy
Modern philosophy begins with Descartes, whose fundamental certainty is the existence of himself and his thoughts, from which the external world is to be inferred. This was only the first stage in a development, through Berkeley and Kant, to Fichte, for whom everything is only an emanation of the ego. This was insanity, and from this extreme, philosophy has been attempting, ever since, to escape into the world of every-day common sense.p. xxi.
A History of Western Philosophy philosophy
With subjectivism in philosophy, anarchism in politics goes hand in hand. Already during Luthers lifetime, unwelcome and unacknowledged disciples had developed the doctrine of Anabaptism The Anabaptists refuted all law, since they held that the good man will be guided at every moment by the Holy Spirit, who cannot be bound by formulas. From this premiss they arrive at communism and sexual promiscuity; they were therefore exterminated after a heroic resistance. But their doctrine, in softened forms, spread to Holland, England and America, historically, it is the source of Quakerism.p. xxi.
A History of Western Philosophy life
A fiercer form of anarchism, no longer connected with religion, arose in the nineteenth century. This modern form, though anti-religious, has still much of the spirit of early Protestantism; it differs mainly in directing against secular governments the hostility that Luther directed against the popes.p. xxi.
A History of Western Philosophy religion
In morals, the Protestant emphasis in the individual conscience was essentially anarchic. Habit and custom were so strong that, except in occasional outbreaks such as that of Münster, the disciples of individualism in ethics continued to act in a manner which was conventionally virtuous. But this was a precarious equilibrium.p. xxi.
A History of Western Philosophy science
The eighteenth-century cult of sensibility began to break down: an act was admired, not for its good consequences, or for its conformity to a moral code, but for the emotion that inspired it. Out of this attitude developed the cult of the hero, as it is expressed in Carlyle and Nietzsche, and the Byronic cult of violent passion of no matter what kind.p. xxi.
A History of Western Philosophy passion
Against the more insane forms of subjectivism in modern times, there have been various reactions. First, a half-way compromise philosophy, the doctrine of liberalism, which attempted to assign the respective spheres of government and the individual. This begins, in its modern forms, with Locke, who is as much opposed to enthusiasm - the individualism of the Anabaptists - as to absolute authority and blind subservience to tradition.p. xxii.
A History of Western Philosophy philosophy
A more thoroughgoing revolt leads to the doctrine of State worship, which assigns to the State the position that Catholicism gave to the Church, or even, sometimes, to God. Hobbes, Rousseau, and Hegel represent different phases of this theory, and their doctrines are embodied practically in Cromwell, Napoleon, and modern Germany. Communism, in theory, is far removed from such philosophies, but it is driven, in practice, to a type of community very similar to that which results from State worship.p. xxii.
A History of Western Philosophy god
from 600 B.C. to the present day, philosophers have been divided into those who wished to tighten social bonds and those who wished to relax them.p. xxii.
A History of Western Philosophy present
The libertarians with the exception of extreme anarchists, have tended to be scientific, utilitarian, rationalistic, hostile to violent passion, and enemies of all the more profound forms of religion.p. xxii.
A History of Western Philosophy religion
Every community is exposed to two opposite dangers: ossification through too much discipline and reverence for tradition, on the one hand; and on the other, dissolution, or subjugation to foreign conquest, through the growth of an individualism and personal independence that makes co-operation impossible. In general, important civilizations start with a rigid and superstitious system, gradually relaxed, and leading, at a certain stage, to a period of brilliant genius, while the good of the old traditional remains and the evil inherent in its dissolution has not yet developed. But as the evil unfolds, it leads to anarchy, thence, inevitably, to a new tyranny, producing a new synthesis secured by a new system of dogma.p. xxiii.
A History of Western Philosophy art
The doctrine of liberalism is an attempt to escape from this endless oscillation. The essence of liberalism is an attempt to secure a social order not based on irrational dogma, and insuring stability without involving more restraints than are necessary for the preservation of the community.p. xxiii.
A History of Western Philosophy community
Pythagoras was intellectually one of the most important men that ever lived Mathematics, in the sense of demonstrative deductive argument, begins with him, and in him is intimately connected with a peculiar form of mysticism. The influence of mathematics on philosophy, partly owing to him, has, ever since his time, been both profound and unfortunate.p. 29.
A History of Western Philosophy philosophy
He founded a religion, of which the main tenets were transmigration of souls and the sinfulness of eating beans. His religion was embodied in a religious order, which, here and there, acquired control of the State and established a rule of the saints. But the unregenerate hankered after beans and sooner or later rebelled.p. 31.
A History of Western Philosophy religion
In the society that he founded, men and women were admitted on equal terms; property was held in common, and there was a common way of life. Even scientific and mathematical discoveries were deemed collective, and in a mystical sense due to Pythagoras, even after his death.p. 32.
A History of Western Philosophy life
The influence of geometry upon philosophy and scientific method has been profound. Geometry, as established by the Greeks, starts with axioms which are or are deemed to be self-evident, and proceeds, by deductive reasoning, to arrive at theorems which are very far from self-evident. The axioms and theorems are held to be true of actual space, which is something given in experience. It thus appeared to be possible to discover things about the actual world by first noticing what is self-evident and then using deduction. This view influenced Plato and Kant, and most of the intermediate philosophers. The eighteenth century doctrine of natural rights is a search for Euclidean axioms in politics. The form of Newtons Principia, in spite of its admittedly empirical material, is entirely dominated by Euclid. Theology, in its exact scholastic forms, takes its style from the same source.p. 36.
A History of Western Philosophy philosophy
Personal religion is derived from ecstasy, theology from mathematics, and both are to be found in Pythagoras.p. 37.
A History of Western Philosophy religion
Mathematics is, I believe, the chief source of the belief in eternal and exact truth, as well as in a super-sensible world. Geometry deals with exact circles, but no sensible object is exactly circular; however carefully we use our compasses, there will be some imperfections and irregularities. This suggests the view that all exact reasoning applies to ideal as opposed to sensible objects; it is natural to go further, and to argue that thought is nobler than sense, and the objects of thought more real than that of sense-perception.p. 37.
A History of Western Philosophy truth
Mystical doctrines as to the relation of time to eternity are also reinforced by pure mathematics, for the mathematical objects, such as numbers, if real at all, are eternal and not in time. Such eternal objects can be conceived as Gods thoughts. Hence Platos doctrine that God is a geometer, and Sir James Jeans belief that He is addicted to arithmetic.p. 37.
A History of Western Philosophy god
Rationalistic as opposed to apocalyptic religion has been, ever since Pythagoras, and notably ever since Plato, very completely dominated by mathematics and mathematical method.p. 37.
A History of Western Philosophy religion
The combination of mathematics and theology, which began with Pythagoras, characterized religious philosophy in Greece, in the Middle Ages, and in modern times down to Kant. Orphism before Pythagoras was analogous to Asiatic mystery religions. But in Plato, Saint Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Descartes, Spinoza, and Kant there is an intimate blending of religion and reasoning, of moral aspiration with logical admiration of what is timeless, which comes from Pythagoras, and distinguishes the intellectualized theology of Europe from the more straightforward mysticism of Asia.p. 37.
A History of Western Philosophy philosophy
It is only in quite recent times that it has been possible to say clearly that Pythagoras was wrong.p. 37.
A History of Western Philosophy time
I do not know of any other man who has been as influential as he was in the sphere of thought. I say this because what appears as Platonism is, when analyzed, found to be in essence Pythagoreanism. The whole conception of an eternal world, revealed to the intellect but not to the senses, is derived from him. but for him, theologians would not have sought logical proofs of God and immortality.p. 37.
A History of Western Philosophy god
Progress in metaphysics, so far as it has existed, has consisted of gradual refinement of all these hypotheses, a development of their implications, and a reformulation of each to meet the objections urged by the adherents of rival hypotheses. To learn to conceive the universe according to each of these systems is an imaginative delight and an antidote to dogmatism.p. 38.
A History of Western Philosophy men
Now almost all the hypotheses that have dominated modern philosophy were first thought of by the Greeks I shall regard them as giving birth to theories which have had an independent life and growth, and which, though at first somewhat infantile, have proved capable of surviving and developing throughout more than two thousand years.p. 38.
A History of Western Philosophy life
The Greeks discovered mathematics and the art of deductive reasoning. Geometry, in particular, is a Greek invention, without which modern science would have been impossible.p. 39.
A History of Western Philosophy science
But in connection with mathematics the one-sidedness of the Greek genius appears: it reasoned deductively from what appeared self-evident, not inductively from what had been observed. Its amazing successes in the employment of this method misled not only the ancient world, but the greater part of the modern world also.p. 39.
A History of Western Philosophy success
It has only been very slowly that scientific method, which seeks to reach principles inductively from observation of particular facts, has replaced the Hellenic belief in deduction from luminous axioms derived from the mind of the philosopher.p. 39.
A History of Western Philosophy art
In studying a philosopher, the right attitude is nether reverence nor contempt, but first a kind of hypothetical sympathy, until it is possible to know what it feels like to believe in his theories, and only then a revival of the critical attitude, which should resemble, as far as possible, the state of mind of a person abandoning opinions which he has hitherto held. Contempt interferes with the first part of this process, and reverence with the second.p. 39.
A History of Western Philosophy art
Two things are to be remembered: that a man whose opinions and theories are worth studying may be presumed to have had some intelligence, but that no man is likely to have arrived at complete and final truth on any subject whatever. When an intelligent man expresses a view which seems to us obviously absurd, we should not attempt to prove that it is somehow true, but we should try to understand how it ever came to seem true. This exercise of historical and psychological imagination at once enlarges the scope of our thinking, and helps us to realize how foolish many of our own cherished prejudices will seem to an age which has a different temper of mind.p. 39.
A History of Western Philosophy truth
Heraclitus regarded fire as the fundamental substance; everything, like flame in a fire, is born by the death of something else. There is unity in the world, but it is a unity formed by the combination of opposites. All things come out of the one, and the one out of all things; but the many have less reality than the one, which is God.p. 41.
A History of Western Philosophy god
From what survives of his writings he does not appear to be an amiable character. He was much addicted to contempt, and was the reverse of a democrat. His contempt for mankind leads him to think that only force will compel them to act for their own good. As might be expected, Heraclitus believes in war We must know that war is common to all and strife is justice, and that all things come into being and pass away through strife.p. 41.
A History of Western Philosophy writing
Heraclitus believed fire to be the primordial element, out of which everything else had arisen. Thales, the reader will remember, thought everything was made of water; Anaximenes thought air was the primitive element; Heraclitus preferred fire. At last Empedocles suggested a statesmanlike compromise by allowing four elements, earth, air, fire and water. The chemistry of the ancients stopped dead at this point. No further progress was made in this science until the Mohammedan alchemists embarked upon their search for the philosophers stone, the elixir of life, and a method of transmuting base metals into gold.p. 43.
A History of Western Philosophy life
The metaphysics of Heraclitus are sufficiently dynamic to satisfy the most hustling of moderns: This world, which is the same for all, no one of the gods or men has made; but it was ever, is now, and ever shall be an ever-living Fire, with measures kindling and measures going out.p. 43.
A History of Western Philosophy god
His belief in strife is connected with this theory, for in strife opposites combine to produce a motion which is a harmony. There is a unity in the world, but it is a unity resulting from diversity This doctrine contains a germ of Hegels philosophy, which proceeds by a synthesizing of opposites. The metaphysics of Heraclitus, like that of Anaximander, is dominated by a conception of cosmic justice, which prevents the strife of the opposites from ever issuing in the complete victory of either.p. 43.
A History of Western Philosophy philosophy
Heraclitus repeatedly speaks of God as distinct from the gods. God, no doubt, is the embodiment of cosmic justice.p. 44.
A History of Western Philosophy god
When one thinks what would become of any modern philosopher if he were only known through the polemics of his rivals, one can see how admirable the pre-Socratics must have been, since even through the mist of malice spread by their enemies they still appear great.p. 45.
A History of Western Philosophy sin
The search for something permanent is one of the deepest of instincts leading men to philosophy. It is derived, no doubt, form love of home and desire for refuge from danger; we find, accordingly, that it is most passionate in those whose lives are most exposed to catastrophe. Religion seeks permanence in two forms, God and immortality. In God is no variableness neither shadow of turning; the life after death is eternal and unchanging.p. 45.
A History of Western Philosophy love
The cheerfulness of the nineteenth century turned men against these static conceptions, and modern liberal theology believes that there is progress in heaven and evolution in the Godhead. But even in this conception there is something permanent, namely progress itself and its immanent goal.p. 45.
A History of Western Philosophy god
A dose of disaster is likely to bring mens hopes back to their older super-terrestrial forms: if life on earth is dispaired of, it is only in heaven that peace can be sought.p. 45.
A History of Western Philosophy life
Philosophically inclined mystics, unable to deny that whatever is in time is transitory, have invented a conception of eternity as not persistence through endless time, but existence outside the whole temporal process.p. 46.
A History of Western Philosophy time
Heraclitus himself, for all his belief in change, allowed something everlasting. The conception of eternity as opposed to endless duration, which comes from Parmenides, is not to be found in Heraclitus, but in his philosophy the central fire never dies But fire is something continually changing, and its permanence is rather that of a process than that of a substance - though this view should not be attributed to Heraclitus.p. 46.
A History of Western Philosophy philosophy
Science, like philosophy, has sought to escape from the doctrine of perpetual flux by finding some permanent substratum amid changing phenomena. Chemistry seemed to satisfy this desire. It was found that fire, which appears to destroy, only transmutes: elements are recombined, but each atom that existed before combustion still exists when the process is completed. Accordingly it was supposed that atoms are indestructible, and that all change in the physical world consists merely in re-arrangement of persistent elements. This view prevailed until the discovery of radio-activity, when it was found that atoms could disintegrate.p. 46.
A History of Western Philosophy philosophy
Nothing daunted, the physicists invented new and smaller units, called electrons and protons, out of which atoms were composed; and these units were supposed, for a few years, to have the indestructibility formerly attributed to atoms. Unfortunately, it seemed that protons and electrons could meet and explode, forming, not new matter, but a wave of energy spreading through the universe at the velocity of light. Energy had to replace matter as what is permanent. But energy, unlike matter, is not a refinement of the common-sense notion of a thing; it is merely a characteristic of physical processes. It might be fancifully identified with the Heraclitean Fire, but it is the burning, not what burns. What burns has disappeared from modern physics.p. 47.
A History of Western Philosophy reading
Passing from that small to the large, astronomy no longer allows us to regard the heavenly bodies as everlasting.p. 47.
A History of Western Philosophy heaven
The doctrine of perpetual flux, as taught by Heraclitus, is painful, and science, as we have seen, can do nothing to refute it. One of the main ambitions of philosophers has been to revive hopes that science seemed to have killed. Philosophers, accordingly, have sought, with great persistence, for something not subject to the empire of Time. This search begins with Parmenides.p. 47.
A History of Western Philosophy hope
The south Italian and Sicilian philosophers were more inclined to mysticism and religion than those of Ionia, who were on the whole scientific and skeptical in their tendencies. But mathematics, under the influence of Pythagoras, flourished more in Magna Grecia than in Ionia; mathematics at that time, however, was entangled with mysticism. Parmenides was influenced by Pythagoras, but the extent of this influence is conjectural.p. 48.
A History of Western Philosophy religion
What makes Parmenides historically important is that he invented a form of metaphysical argument that, in one form or another, is to be found in most subsequent metaphysicians down to and including Hegel. He is often said to have invented logic, but what he really invented was metaphysics based on logic.p. 48.
A History of Western Philosophy men
The doctrine of Parmenides was set forth in a poem On Nature. He considered the senses deceptive, and condemned the multitude of sensible things as mere illusion. The only true being is the One, which is infinite and indivisible. It is not, as in Heraclitus, a union of opposites, since there are no opposites. He apparently thought, for instance, that cold means only not hot, and dark means only not light.p. 48.
A History of Western Philosophy nature
The One is not conceived by Parmenides as we conceive God; he seems to think of it as material and extended, for he speaks of it as a sphere. But it cannot be divided, because the whole of it is present everywhere.p. 48.
A History of Western Philosophy god
The essence of his argument is: When you think, you think of something; when you use a name, it must he the name of something. Therefore, both thought and language require objects outside themselves. And since you can think of a thing or speak of it at one time as well as another, whatever can be thought of or spoken of must exist at all times. This is the first example in philosophy of an argument from thought and language to the world at large. It cannot of course be accepted as valid, but it is worth while to see what element of truth it contains.p. 49.
A History of Western Philosophy truth
Philosophical theories, if they are important, can generally be revived in a new form after being refuted as originally stated. Refutations are seldom final; in most cases, they are only a prelude to further refinements.p. 52.
A History of Western Philosophy men
What subsequent philosophy, down to quite modern times, accepted from Parmenides, was not the impossibility of all change, which was too violent a paradox, but the indestructibility of substance. The word substance did not occur in his immediate successors, but the concept is already present in their speculations. A substance was supposed to be the persistent subject of varying predicates. As such it became, and remained for more than two thousand years, one of the fundamental concepts in philosophy, psychology, physics, and theology.p. 52.
A History of Western Philosophy philosophy
Anaxagoras held that everything is infinitely divisible, and that even the smallest portion of matter contains some of each element. Things appear to be that of which they contain the most. Like Empedocles, he argues against the void, saying that the clepsydra or an inflated skin shows that there is air where there seems to be nothing.p. 62.
A History of Western Philosophy men
In science he had great merit. It was he who first explained that the moon shines by reflected light, though there is a cryptic fragment in Parmenides suggesting that he also knew this. Anaxagoras gave the correct theory of eclipses, and knew that the moon was below the sun. The sun and stars, he said, are fiery stones, but we do not feel the heat of the stars because they are too distant. The sun is larger than the Peloponnesus. The moon has mountains, and he thought inhabitants.p. 63.
A History of Western Philosophy science
Leucippus, if not Democritus, was led to atomism in an attempt to mediate between monism and pluralism, as represented by Parmenides and Empedocles respectively. Their point of view was remarkably like that of modern science, and avoided most of the faults to which Greek speculation was prone. They believed that everything was composed of atoms, which are physically, but not geometrically, indivisible; that between the atoms there is empty space; that atoms are indestructible; that they always have been, and always will be, in motion; that there are an infinite number of atoms, the differences being as regards the shape and size.p. 65.
A History of Western Philosophy science
As a result of collisions, collections of atoms come to form vortices. The rest proceeded much as in Anaxagoras, but it was an advance to explain the vortices mechanically rather than as due to the action of the mind.p. 66.
A History of Western Philosophy mind
It was common in antiquity to reproach the atomists with attributing everything to chance. They were, on the contrary, strict determinists, who believed that everything happens in accordance with natural laws.p. 66.
A History of Western Philosophy believe
The atomists, unlike Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, sought to explain the world without introducing the notion of purpose or final cause.p. 66.
A History of Western Philosophy purpose
When we ask why? concerning an event, we may mean either of two things. We may mean: What purpose did this event serve? or we may mean: What earlier circumstances caused this event? The answer to the former question is a teleological explanation, or an explanation by final causes; the answer to the latter question is a mechanistic explanation. I do not see how it could have been known in advance which of these two questions science ought to ask, or whether it ought to ask both. But experience has shown that the mechanistic question leads to scientific knowledge, while the teleological question does not.p. 67.
A History of Western Philosophy knowledge
The atomists asked the mechanistic question, and gave a mechanistic answer. Their successors, until the Renaissance, were more interested in the teleological question, and thus led science up a blind alley. In regard to both questions alike, there is a limitation which is often ignored, both in popular thought and in philosophy. Neither question can be asked intelligibly about reality, as a whole including God, but only about parts of it. The conception of purpose, therefore, is only applicable within reality, not to reality as a whole.p. 67.
A History of Western Philosophy philosophy
All causal explanations must have an arbitrary beginning. That is why it is no defect in the theory of the atomists to have left the original movements of the atoms unaccounted for.p. 67.
A History of Western Philosophy men
Like the other philosophers of his time, Leucippus was concerned to find a way of reconciling the arguments of Parmenides with the obvious fact of motion and change.p. 68.
A History of Western Philosophy time
Leucippus conceded to the Monists that there could be no motion without a void. The result is a theory which he states as follows: The void is not-being, and no part of what is is not-being; for what is in the strict sense of the term is an absolute plenum. This plenum, however, is not one; on the contrary, it is a many infinite in number and invisible owing to the minuteness of their bulk. The many move in the void for there is a void: and by coming together they produce coming-to-be, while by separating they provide passing-away. Moreover, they act and suffer action whenever they chance to be in contact for there they are not one, and they generate by being put together and becoming intertwined. From the genuinely one, on the other hand, there could never have come to be a multiplicity, nor from the genuinely many a one; that is impossible.p. 68.
A History of Western Philosophy art
A stupid mans report of what a clever man says is never accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something that he can understand.p. 83.
A History of Western Philosophy man
The most important matters in Platos philosophy are: first, his Utopia, which was the earliest in a long series; second, his theory of ideas, which was a pioneer attempt to deal with the still unresolved problem of universals; third, his argument in favor of immortality; fourth, his cosmogony; fifth, his conception of knowledge as reminiscence rather than perception.p. 104.
A History of Western Philosophy philosophy
Plato possessed the art to dress up illiberal suggestions in such a way that they deceived future ages, which admired the Republic without ever becoming aware of what was involved in its proposals. It has always been correct to praise Plato, but not to understand him. This is the common fate of great men. My object is the opposite. I wish to understand him, but to treat him with as little reverence as if he were a contemporary English or American advocate of totalitarianism.p. 105.
A History of Western Philosophy war
The purely philosophical influences on Plato were also as to predispose him in favor of Sparta. These influences, speaking broadly, were: Pythagaros, Parmenides, Heraclitus, and Socrates.p. 105.
A History of Western Philosophy art
From Pythagoras whether by way of Socrates or not Plato derived the Orphic elements in his philosophy: the religious trend, the belief in immortality, the other-worldliness, the priestly tone, and all that is involved in the simile of the cave; also his respect for mathematics, and his intimate intermingling of the intellect and mysticism.p. 105.
A History of Western Philosophy philosophy
Plato, in common with most Greek philosphers, took the view that leisure is essential to wisdom, which will therefore not be found among those who have to work for their living, but only among those who have independent means, or who are relieved by the state from anxieties as to their subsistence. This point of view is essentially aristocratic.p. 106.
A History of Western Philosophy wisdom
But even if we suppose that there is such a thing as wisdom, is there any form of constitution which will give the government to the wise? It is clear that majorities, like general councils, may err, and in fact have erred. Aristocracies are not always wise; kings are often foolish; Popes, in spite of infallibility, have committed grievous errors. Would anybody advocate entrusting the government to university graduates, or even to doctors of divinity? Or to men who, having been born poor, have made great fortunes? It is clear that no legally definable selection of citizens is likely to be wiser, in practice, than the whole body.p. 107.
A History of Western Philosophy wisdom
The problem of finding a collection of wise men and leaving the government to them is thus an insoluble one. This is the ultimate reason for democracy.p. 107.
A History of Western Philosophy men
The first thing to consider is education. This is divided into two parts, music and gymnastics. Each has a wider meaning than at present: music means everything that is in the province of the muses, and gymnastics means everything concerned with physical training and fitness. Music is almost as wide as what we should call culture, and gymnastics is somewhat wider than what we would call athletics.p. 109.
A History of Western Philosophy education
Culture is to be devoted to making men gentlemen, in the sense which, largely owing to Plato, is familiar in England. The Athens of his day was, in one respect, analogous to England in the nineteenth century: there was in each an aristocracy enjoying wealth and social prestige, but having no monopoly of political power; and in each the aristocracy had to secure as much power as it could by means of impressive behavior. In Platos Utopia, however, the aristocracy rules unchecked.p. 109.
A History of Western Philosophy power
As for economics, Plato proposes a thoroughgoing communism for the guardians, and I think also for the soldiers, though this is not very clear. Gold and silver are to be forbidden. Though not rich, there is no reason why they should not be happy; but the purpose of the city is the good of the whole, not the happiness of one class. Both wealth and poverty are harmful, and in Platos city neither will exist. Friends, he says, should have all things in common, including women and children. girls are to have exactly the same education as boys, learning music, gymnastics, and the art of war along with the boys. Women are to have complete equality with men in all respects.p. 111.
A History of Western Philosophy happiness
There is to be one royal lie, which, Plato hopes, may deceive the rulers, but will at any rate deceive the rest of the city. This lie is set forth in considerable detail. The most important part of it is the dogma that God has created men of three kinds, the best made of gold, the second best of silver, and the common herd of brass and iron. Those made of gold are fit to be guardians; those made of silver should be soldiers; the others should do manual work. Usually, but by no means always, children will belong to the same grade as their parents; when they do not, they must be promoted or degraded accordingly. What Plato does not seem to understand is that the compulsory acceptance of such myths is incompatible with philosophy, and involves a kind of education which stunts intelligence.p. 113.
A History of Western Philosophy philosophy
The word justice, as still used in law, is more similar to Platos conception than it is as used in political speculation. Under the influence of democratic theory, we have come to associate justice with equality, while for Plato it has no such implication. Justice, in the sense in which it is almost synonymous with law - as when we speak of courts of justice - is concerned mainly with property rights, which have nothing to do with equality.p. 114.
A History of Western Philosophy justice
Although all the rulers are to be philosophers, there are to be no innovations: a philosopher is to be, for all time, a man who understands and agrees with Plato.p. 115.
A History of Western Philosophy time
When we ask: what will Platos Republic achieve? The answer is rather humdrum. It will achieve success in wars against roughly equal populations, and it will secure a livelihood for a certain small number of people. It will almost certainly produce no art or science, because of its rigidity; in this respect, as in others, it will be like Sparta. In spite of all the fine talk, skill in war and enough to eat is all that will be achieved. Plato had lived through famine and defeat in Athens; perhaps subconsciously, he thought the avoidance of these evils the best that statesmanship could accomplish.p. 115.
A History of Western Philosophy success
What makes the difference between an ideal and an ordinary object of desire is that the former is impersonal; it is something having at least ostensibly no special reference to the ego of the man who feels the desire, and therefore capable, theoretically, of being desired by everybody. Thus we might define an ideal as something desired, not egocentric, and such that the person desiring it wishes that every one else also desired it.p. 115.
A History of Western Philosophy desire
There may be conflict of purely impersonal ideals. How are we to decide between the two except by means of our own desires? Yet, if there is nothing further, an ethical disagreement can only be decided by emotional appeals, or by force - in the ultimate resort, by war. On the questions of fact, we can appeal to science and scientific methods of observation; but on ultimate questions of ethics there seems to be nothing analogous. Yet, if this is really the case, ethical disputes resolve themselves into contests for power - including propaganda power.p. 116.
A History of Western Philosophy science
Plato thinks he can prove that his ideal Republic is good; a democrat who accepts the objectivity of ethics may think that he can prove the Republic bad; but anyone agreeing with Thrasymachus will say: There is no question of proving or disproving; the only question is whether you like the kind of State that Plato desires. If you do, it is good for you; if you do not, it is bad for you. If many do and many do not, the decision cannot be made by reason, but only by force, actual or concealed. This is one of the issues of philosophy that are still open; on each side there are men who command respect. But for a very long time the opinion that Plato advocated remained almost undisputed.p. 118.
A History of Western Philosophy philosophy
The rule of philosophers had been attempted by Pythagoras, and in Platos time Archytas the Pythagorean was politically influential in Taras the modern Taranto when Plato visited Sicily and southern Italy. It was a common practice for cities to employ a sage to draw up their laws; Solon had done this for Athens, and Protagoras for Thurii. Colonies, in those days, were completely free from control by their parent cities, and it would have been quite feasible for a band of Platonists to establish the Republic on the shores of Spain or Gaul.p. 118.
A History of Western Philosophy time
Not only philosophers were influenced by Plato. Why did the Puritans object to the music and painting and gorgeous ritual of the Catholic Church? You will find the answer in the tenth book of the Republic. Why are children compelled to learn arithmetic? The reasons are given in the seventh book.p. 120.
A History of Western Philosophy music
Plato explains that, whenever a number of individuals have a common name, they have also a common idea or form. For instance, though there are many beds, there is only one idea or form of a bed. Just as a reflection of a bed in a mirror is only apparent and not real, so the various particular beds are unreal, being only copies of the idea, which is the one real bed, and is made by God. Of this one bed, made by God, there can be knowledge, but in respect of the many beds made by carpenters there can be only opinion. The philosopher, as such, will be interested only in the one ideal bed He will have a certain indifference to ordinary mundane affairsp. 122.
A History of Western Philosophy god
Adeimantus breaks in with a protest. whatever Socrates may say, it remains the case, as any one may see, that people who stick to philosophy become strange monsters, not to say utter rogues; even the best of them are made useless by philosophy. Socrates admits that this is true in the world as it is, but maintains that it is the other people who are to blame, not the philosophers; in a wise community the philosophers would not seem foolish; it is only among fools that the wise are judged to be destitute of wisdom.p. 122.
A History of Western Philosophy philosophy
Philosophy, for Plato, is a kind of vision, the vision of truth. It is not purely intellectual; it is not purely wisdom, but love of wisdom. Spinozas intellectual love of God is much the same intimate union of thought and feeling. Every one who had done any kind of creative work has experienced, in a greater or less degree, the state of mind in which, after long labor, truth, or beauty, appears, or seems to appear, in a sudden glory - it may only be about some small matter, or it may be about the universe. The experience is, at the moment, very convincing; doubt may come later, but at the time there is utter certainty. I think that most of the best creative work, in art, in science, in literature, and in philosophy, had been the result of such a moment.p. 122.
A History of Western Philosophy love

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