TRANSLATION BY LORD REDESDALE, 1914
VOLUME II, NOTES, p. 415—510
NOTES TO GOETHE
All three appeared in Königsberg in 1804 (when Kant died). A
in one volume, arranged by Alfons Hoffmann, was published in 1902, in
at 2 marks.
2. Over 2000 up to the time of Kant's death! What, then, may their
be to-day? (Cf. STUDIES ABOUT KANT,
I, 469, edited by Von Vaihinger.)
3. DE LA NATURE DE L'HOMME.
4. Cf. e.g. the Preface to the PROLEGOMENA.
5. Concrete examples which might be adduced are: the atomic theory, the
idea of gravitation, the metamorphic idea.
6. This leading position did not last long: Comte is a Polytechnic
Lotze a physician. Mill an official of the East India Company, Fechner
a biologist, Spenser an engineer and sociologist, Hartmann an artillery
officer, Wundt a physiologist, Nietzsche a Hellenist, etc.
7. Vide Chamberlain, FOUNDATIONS OF THE NINETEENTH
736 et seq. [English edition: vol.
ii, p. 241].
8. THOUGHTS ABOUT OPTIMISM.
9. WHAT IS THE MEANING OF
10. Various passages in ANTHROPOLOGY.
11. This and following passages are from EFFECT OF
12. Vide Weimar edition, part II, 11, 377.
13. “An attempt to establish a science of meteorology.“ See SELF-EXAMINATION,
and CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN GOETHE
14. CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN GOETHE
STATE COUNCILLOR SCHULTZ,
15. Otto Harnack makes a notable exception to this in his book, GOETHE
AT HIS ZENITH (1887). In Vaihinger's STUDIES
ABOUT KANT, vols. I and II (1897, 1898),
is an extremely careful and documentarily exact compilation by
entitled, HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT
GOETHE'S RELATION TO KANT.
I particularly recommend perusal of the Appendix (II, 221 et seq.),
where the exact allocation of
passages marked by Goethe in his
own copies shows how frequently and carefully he must have studied
He even corrected several printer's errors with his own hand!
16. LETTER TO JACOBI of
17. THE SORROWS OF WERTHER,
letter of 10th May, of the first year.
18. Conclusion of ANNALS, 1805.
19. In his OBSERVATIONS ON THE EMOTIONS
OF THE BEAUTIFUL AND SUBLIME,
Kant says: “The Barbarians introduced a certain perverted taste, called
the Gothic, which tended towards the grotesque.“ This prejudice was so
widespread at that time as to require the profound perception of such a
genius as Herder to penetrate the fog, and the enthusiasm of Goethe,
a youth, to defend Gothic art with success. Even Herder labelled
Gothic as “grimacing and old women's tales“ before he had come into
with Gothic art on his travels. (Cf. his DIARY OF
TRAVEL of 1769, towards the end.)
20. The splendid THIRD PILGRIMAGE
ERWIN'S TOMB IN JULY,
1775, must not, however, be overlooked: “How many mists have been
from before my sight, and yet thou hast not vacated thy throne in my
O all-pervading Love!“ (The MS. is in the series FROM
Weimar edition, 37, part I, 311 et seq.)
21. ON GERMAN ARCHITECTURE,
22. TRAVELS IN ITALY, 8th
23. OLD GERMAN PAINTINGS
IN LEIPZIG, 1814.
24. WEIMAR EDITION, part
25. TREASURES OF ART ON THE
MAIN, AND NECKAR,
26. ON GERMAN ARCHITECTURE,
27. VIEWS, PLANS, AND SOME
OF COLOGNE CATHEDRAL
on), 1823 to 1824.
28. Vide LETTER TO ZELTER
of 28, VIII, 1823, and the poem RECONCILIATION,
to the pianist, Frau von Szymanowska in the TRILOGY OF
29. ANNALS, 1805.
30. Part II, 173 et seq.
31. The statement, to be found in most biographies, viz. that Kant
studied theology, is erroneous. He seems, however, to have intended for
some time to study medicine. All the proofs have been collected in
Erdmann's MARTIN KNUTZEN AND HIS
TIME, 1876, p. 133 et seq.
32. SOME IDEAS ON THE REAL
APPRECIATION OF LIVING FORCES,
preface, § 7.
33. Westminster Bridge was completed in 1750, and its size and beauty
attention. It was demolished a century later, and replaced by another.
34. Cf. Jachmann, IMMANUEL KANT
IN HIS LETTERS, 1804, third letter.
35. Reicke, KANTIANA, pp. 115, 149.
36. THE HAPPY EVENT.
37. THE SENSE OF SIGHT,
38. CONTRIBUTION TO KNOWLEDGE OF
39. The second lecture treats of Thought and Perception in detail, and
the third one of the Senses and the Mind.
40. HISTORY OF BOTANICAL STUDIES,
41. Didactic portion of THE THEORY
COLOUR, § 181.
42. TENDENCY OF THIS WORK,
(in continuation of PLANT METAMORPHOSIS).
43. I do not know whether the number of caudal vertebrae varies; in his
admirable monograph, “The Cat, an introduction to the study of
animals,“ 1881, Mivart says the cat has “about 20“; my cat has
caudal vertebrae, which, together with 7 cervical, 13 dorsal, 7 lumbar,
and 3 pelvic vertebrae, total up to 46.
44. Anatomical specialists, as far as feasible, avoid the expression
vertebrae“ to-day, since this allegorical term so disturbs all
investigation of actual facts; they almost throughout use the words
45. Schiller to Goethe, 23, VIII, 94.
46. TIBIA AND FIBULA.
47. As Goethe, when discussing plants, principally employs the term
and, when treating of animals, the words “transformative change“ or
“comparative anatomy,“ it might possibly be objected that I had
things which bore no mutual relation. This objection would, however, be
quite unfounded; Goethe laid especial stress on the identical character
of his labours and the opinions he based thereon in all the departments
of life. Thus, for example, in the ELUCIDATION OF THE
APHORISTIC ESSAY 'NATURE,'
he draws particular attention to the fact that he had undertaken the
in the animal kingdom“ after “Plant Metamorphosis“; thus he makes a
note in a draft of
the HISTORY OF OSTEOLOGICAL
“Model for an Essay on Vegetable Metamorphosis“ (Weimar edition, II, 8,
362); thus in the essay REFLECTION AND RESULT,
he applies the idea of simultaneous and successive transformation quite
generally; thus, in § 3 of the LECTURES ON THE
FIRST CHAPTERS OF A DRAFT COMPARATIVE
ANATOMY, he elaborates the same parallelism
I have here attempted to draw, and illustrates it by the same example
the vertebrae. He also gives a comprehensive survey of his study of
in his SUPPLEMENT TO THE COLOUR
THEORY (first introduction), and partially
that the expression “metamorphosis“ should have been productive of some
misconceptions. In the absence of further adducible proofs, this is
48. In the course of the following demonstration we will only examine
plant in so far as it is an annual, and develops uninterruptedly from
seed to full fruitage (PLANT METAMORPHOSIS,
§ 6). The essential theme of the whole book consists only of the
“flower“ of the angiosperms, and proof that its component parts are
identical with their foliage, a fact much more satisfactorily
from the scientific point of view, thirty years earlier, by Caspar
Wolff, without the use of the misleading word “Metamorphosis.“ (Cf. his
THEORY OF GENERATION,
tractate, § II, 79, 80, 81, where the THEORIA
GENERATIONIS, of 1759, is further developed, and
is shown that “leaves, calices, blooms, pistils, seed-capsules, seeds,
... are essentially one and the same.“) The value of Goethe's little
does not — which is as often stupidly maintained as denied — consist in
its importance to science, but its immortal significance lies in being
the pioneer of the world of the eye. Goethe himself afterwards stated
the operculum was to be interpreted symbolically. (LETTER
TO ZELTER of 14.X.1816.)
49. Cf. Chamberlain, THE FOUNDATIONS
OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY,
781 et seq. [English edition: vol.
ii, p. 296], and the mathematical digression in the third
(infra) in this book.
50. PRINCIPES DE PHILOSOPHIE
51. THEORY OF COLOUR
portion), § 622.
52. PLANT METAMORPHOSIS,
53. Cf. Alfred Kirchhoff's valuable work, THE IDEA
OF PLANT METAMORPHOSIS
ACCORDING TO WOLFF AND GOETHE,
Berlin, 1867 (in the annual report of the Louisenstadt Technical
p. 20. Albert
Wiegaud's ANALYSIS AND HISTORY
THEORY OF PLANT METAMORPHOSIS,
Leipzig, 1846, supplies a philosophically shallow, yet useful, summary
of the historical matter.
54. ED. 1770, VINDOBONAE,
55. Goethe originally had the title HARMONIA PLANTARUM
in his mind for his thoughts on plants (LETTERS TO
56. ON FANTASTIC VISUAL
PHENOMENA, § 181.
57. PLANT METAMORPHOSIS.
58. TRAVELS IN ITALY
sojourn in Rome).
59. PLANT METAMORPHOSIS,
60. TRAVELS IN ITALY
sojourn in Rome, July, 1787, Account of).
61. THE GROWTH OF NATURAL
SCIENCE, sketch in the year 1821, Weimar
part II, 300.
62. IMPORTANT ADVANCE.
63. Kant discovers an analogy in the difference existing between “keen
vision“ and “discriminative“ vision, with that between a “keen“ and a
ear (REFLECTIONS, I, 84).
64. THEORY OF GENERATION,
tractate, § 5 et seq.
65. This is expressed somewhat too decisively; because, firstly,
developments are already hinted at by Grew, a century earlier than
and, moreover, a fully scientific basis for the said intuitive
was not established till a century afterwards by Hugo von Mohl (1908).
66. MORPHOLOGICAL STUDIES IN
ITALY, the original material for observation and
which was first made accessible in the Weimar edition, part II, 7, 282.
67. I quoted from TRAVELS IN ITALY;
the exact words were contained in a letter of 8th June, 1787, to Frau
Stein, with a request to forward them to Herder (1908).
68. In the only just published MS. material, Weimar edition, part II,
69. EFFECT OF MODERN PHILOSOPHY.
71. Actual “leaf-roots,“ so-called “Rhizoides,“ are actually present in
the vegetable kingdom, but they are different morphologically from
proper. (Cf. Goebel, ORGANOGRAPHY OF PLANTS,
1901, II, 444 et seq.).
72. LECTURES ON THE FIRST THREE CHAPTERS OF THE
A GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO
COMPARATIVE ANATOMY, II,
73. Cf. PURE REASON,
p. xviii, 29.
74. Goethe himself, who hates abstractions, admits: “Things are after
nothing but differences postulated and made by man“ (CONVERSATIONS,
75. PLANT METAMORPHOSIS,
76. PRINCIPES DE PHILOSOPHIE
77. For the sake of clearness of connection I here said “experience“
of “perceptions“ and was justified in doing so, because “perceptions
up the whole object of potential experience“ (PURE
REASON, I, 95).
78. LEÇONS SUR LES PHÉNOMÈNES
DE LA VIE, 1878, I, 24, 63.
79. FORMER INTRODUCTION TO
Weimar edition, part 2, § 6, 317.
80. In the edition of 1882, p. 3, Joh. Reinke, in his STUDIES
FOR THE COMPARATIVE HISTORY
THE EVOLUTION OF THE LAMINARACIAE
(p. 7), also says: “Why should we shrink from saying that 'Laminaria
consists of a simple stem attached at its inferior end and of a leaf
upright? ... I do not conceive the object of science to be the
up of blind belief, but the making of ascertained facts clearly
81. PURE REASON, V, 759.
twenty years earlier Kant had already said: “It is metaphysically so
of the mark to say that the first thing known about an object is its
that to say it is the last thing is the truer of the two.“ (INVESTIGATION
OF THE CLEARNESS OF THE PRINCIPLES
OF NATURAL THEOLOGY AND
ETHICS, 2nd observation.)
82. INVESTIGATION OF THE CLEARNESS,
ETC., 2nd obs., example.
83. The conditional success of this, and its sufficiency for practical
purposes only, can be gathered from Goebel's ORGANOGRAPHY
OF PLANTS, p. 10 et seq.
84. As early as 1849, Kölliker showed that in the cranium itself
are cutaneous osseous formations whose alleged similarity to vertebrae
is merely superficial: but Huxley then proved that the so-called
cranium,“ from which the remaining bones proceed, is always produced
and homogeneously. It is true that Gegenbaur's more recent segmental
afterwards reinstated Oken's
theory in a restricted sense, because some analogy with a vertebra must
necessarily be assumed to exist in every hypothetical segment
but he who gives careful attention to § 103 in Gegenbaur's COMPARATIVE
ANATOMY OF VERTEBRATE ANIMALS,
and then still believes that actual things, and not merely scientific
are the matters under discussion, possesses that faith by which
can be moved, and which must fill every Trappist's heart with envy.
85. THE LEPADS, 1824.
86. INTER ALlA, p. 560.
87. In the face of other authenticated sayings of Goethe's later years,
some of which have been and still are to be quoted, I do not think that
one mistake of Eckermann's can be altogether excluded. If, however,
actually said “discovered,“ this would prove that he was only able to
his inborn and incarnate idea amidst the absolutely peaceful reflection
consequent on literary effort.
88. LECTURES ON THE FIRST THREE CHAPTERS OF THE DRAFTS
OF THE GENERAL INTRODUCTION
COMPARATIVE ANATOMY, STARTING
FROM OSTEOLOGY, II (Weimar edition, A. 2,
89. Vide supra, p. 21.
90. THE PROBLEM AND THE REPLY.
Goethe seems to have often felt the danger of his idea. The works only
recently published contain some warnings at the most various times of
life. Thus Goethe, shortly after publication of the principal work, PLANT
METAMORPHOSIS, 1790, began a “second attempt“
this direct admonition: “The misuse of this idea will entirely mislead
us, and rather tend to retard than to advance the march of science.“
in the aphoristic remarks which Goethe, to which he was incited by
Decandolle's ORGANOGRAPHIE VÉGÉTALE,
he points out that “that first idea, which we consider so valuable, may
be of but little assistance, and might rather be a hindrance than a
with respect to the determination of many organisms“ (Weimar edition,
II, 6, 279 and 357.)
91. LETTER TO ZELTER of
92. Letter to Chancellor von Müller of 24.v.1828, as ELUCIDATION
OF THE APHORISTIC ESSAY
93. IMPORTANT ADVANCE THROUGH A
SINGLE WITTY AND SIGNIFICANT
94. THE PROBLEM AND THE REPLY.
95. THE KAMMERBERG NEAR EGER.
96. THE ONLY POSSIBLE REASON
FOR PROVING THE EXISTENCE
GOD, part II.
97. HISTORY OF MY BOTANICAL
98. MORE ABOUT MATHEMATICS AND
99 ANNALS, 1810.
NOTES TO LEONARDO
In several passages; e.g. THE WORLD
AS WILL AND PHENOMENON,
vol. I, § 36. Vol. II, chap. xiii; Parerga, II, § 35.
2. According to a note in Hoefer's HISTOIRE DES
MATHÉMATIQUES, 4 ed., p. 439, Roberval, a
of Descartes', and a well-known mathematician, was aimed at by the
saying. Of course, it is nothing but the spiteful invention of a joker.
3. Since writing these words (in 1900), fuller study of Schopenhauer's
methods of work has brought about very serious results. My attention
aroused by Hermann Cohen and August Stadler, I was convinced that
misquotation — although doubtless made under the influence of
suggestion, yet not on that account less successful — is an absolute
in his case; he makes prolific use of it in his criticism of Kantian
several proofs of this will be adduced in the last discourse. He goes
work in the same way in his disquisitions on mathematics, a fact of
Professor Alfred Pringsheim gave documentary proof in his academic
speech, “On the value and alleged worthlessness of mathematics“
1904, and with abridged references in the supplement to the Munich Allgemeine
Zeitung, 14th and 16th March, 1904). In order to obtain decisive
for his depreciation of mathematics, he falsifies Baillet (Descartes'
he falsifies Descartes, and also falsifies Georg Christian Lichtenberg.
In this way he cunningly manages to make Descartes — one of the
men of mathematical genius of all time — and Lichtenberg — an eminent
and astronomer — appear to speak slightingly of mathematics. After a
exposure in Descartes' case, Pringsheim comes to this conclusion, viz.:
“The fact that Schopenhauer, in spite of everything, dared to quote
great mathematician as one of his witnesses for the worthlessness of
must be said to be an unheard-of and in-
(p. 18). For fuller information I refer the reader to the aforesaid
speech and also call his attention to the fact that the words quoted in
Baillet's biography are almost word for word taken from Descartes RÈGLES
POUR LA DIRECTION DE L'ESPRIT
(éd. Cousin, XI, 218 et seq.), which neither
nor his authority, Hamilton, knew, and Pringsheim seems for the moment
4. INSTRUCTION IN MAKING MEASUREMENTS
WITH THE CIRCLE AND T-SQUARE,
1538, folio A. 1.
5. From Jean Paul Richter's edition of SCRITTI LETTERARI
DI LEONARDO DA VINCI,
§ 653. (Quoted in future as R.)
6. LEONARDO DA VINCI'S BOOK
ON PAINTING, edited, translated, and
by Heinrich Ludwig, 1882, § 16. (Quoted in future as L.) Here I
for all remark that I have in general taken the Italian text as I found
it in the copies to hand, and it is therefore sometimes modernized and
sometimes archaic and — according to the ideas of to-day —
7. LES MANUSCRITS DE LEONARD
DE VINCI DE LA BIBLIOTHÈQUE
DE L'INSTITUT, PUBLIÉS PAR CHARLES
recto. The various MSS. are marked from A to M. (Quoted in future as
8. R.M., F, folio 5 recto. “There are many stars which are many times
than the star which we call the earth.“ To the best of my knowledge no
one has so far called attention to the fact that the expression molte
stelle seems to prove that Leonardo believed not only in the actual
size of the planets but also of the fixed stars, and thus showed
greater in this respect than Copernicus.
9. Cf. R.M., A, folio 64 recto, F, folio 41 recto, R., § 858, etc.
10. R., §§ 848 and 850. Vide also the careful
of the interior anatomy of the heart in R.M., G, 1 verso, which prove
Leonardo's opinions were based on careful dissection.
11. Vide chiefly Gabriel Séailles, LEONARDO
DA VINCI L'ARTISTE ET LE
SAVANT, Paris, 1892. Recently Marie Hertzfeld's
LEONARDO DA VINCI, THINKER,
INVESTIGATOR, AND POET,
containing a selection of his writings, and said to have a
12. Vide L., § 831, and generally the whole of part 6, DE
LI ALBERI ET VERDURE,
where there are acute observa-
on many of the complex questions
with regard to ramifications, inflorescences, homodromy and
etc., with which the nineteenth century has been occupied.
TO LODOVICO IL MORO
MATHEMATICS AND THEIR ABUSE.
ABOUT MATHEMATICS AND MATHEMATICIANS.
Cf. supra, p.
ON NATURAL SCIENCE.
I advise those
who prefer to wander on different, concrete, paths, in order to arrive
the same result, to read Wilhelm Wundt's little book, AXIOMS
OF PHYSIOLOGY AND THEIR RELATION
TO THE PRINCIPLE OF CAUSALITY,
1886, where the historical origin and inevitable truth of the basic
“all natural causes are causes of motion,“ are expounded with amazing
The physiologist, Adolf Fick, also explains that the sense of space and
the sense of time in combined operation create “a sense of velocity,“
§ 13 of his TEXTBOOK OF THE ANATOMY
AND PHYSIOLOGY OF THE SENSE-ORGANS.
Empty space would
do just as well, if we only chose to conceive a continuity of
motions. — In a speech made at the Jubilee celebration of his fiftieth
of professorship, Lord Kelvin said: “I cannot suppress the conviction
that we are on the road to a comprehensive idea of matter in which all
its qualities will be regarded only as attributes of motion.“ (This
as well as the one from Armstrong's book, is taken from the certainly
reports of the English periodical NATURE.) The
led the way, and now the chemists are already following in their
Ostwald, with respect to theoretical problems, one of the ablest living
German chemists, defines as follows: “Matter is nothing but the sum of
magnitudes of energy distinguishable in space“ (STUDY OF
ENERGETICS, II, REPORTS AND
OF THE ROYAL SAXON
SOCIETY, 1892), and in his MAIN
LINES OF INORGANIC CHEMISTRY,
1900, p. 19 et seq., he repudiates the hitherto usual
“conservation of substance“ or “conservation of matter“ and substitutes
for these the idea “conservation of ponderability.“ For, as he says, by
“matter“ one understands vaguely something endowed with all corporeal
and this indeterminate something is better expressed by simple
of energy — that is, partly perceptible, and partly potential, motion.
§ 186 and § 188 (the latter is a misprint for 34).
21. GOETHE AS NATURALIST,
excellent work must be recommended to all Goethe students even to this
MECHANICS, vol. 59 of
of International Science, 3rd edition, 1897, p. 472 et seq.
My brother, Basil Hall
points out that Mach's explanations are in general based on ignorance
the facts; for Chinese writing is in reality not ideography, and it is
this script which, more than any other in the world, is very fertile in
suggestive side-values, and for its complete comprehension presupposes
thorough familiarity with an extremely rich form of culture (1908).
AND THEIR ABUSE.
LETTERS TO ZELTER
In KÜRSCHNER'S EDITION
vol. 35, preface, p. 30. The sentence: “Goethe starts just where
philosophy stopped short,“ is not perhaps very well chosen; natural
neither leads up to Goethe, nor Goethe to natural philosophy; the slip
of the pen might lead the inattentive to suppose so.
In the essay, ON ERNST
HANDBOOK OF PHYSIOLOGICAL
edition of 1867, p. 268.
Whewell, the historian of the
sciences, also confesses his belief that everything in physical science
depends principally on the definite and firm control of abstract ideas.
(HISTORY OF THE INDUCTIVE SCIENCES,
ed. 1857, I, 282).
PRINCIPLES OF MECHANICS,
pp. 1 and 2.
At the end of his days (towards
1830), Goethe expresses a similar view in his own way: “It will always
on strict examination be seen that one presupposes what one finds, and
finds that which is presupposed. The naturalist must not be ashamed as
a philosopher to move this way and that in this oscillating system, and
to make himself understood where the scientific world fails to come to
a definite conclusion.“ (Weimar edition, part II, 6, 351.)
TRAITÉ DE DYNAMIQUE, 1st paragraph.
The educated layman will find
scientific information about the theory of “electrons“ in Lorentz,
VI. Aether is still the effective agency according to this theory,
is based on the vibration of the electrons and not of the aether, so
the idea is actually quite new. But I am of opinion that it is also
artificial and coarse, and therefore inadequate. (1908. For exact
about the views at present held by the most eminent physicists, I
in particular P. Lenard's Nobel-lecture ON KATHODIC
Kant draws attention in his
simple way to the fact that “dull, limited intellects“ are just those
which, lacking a proper amount of understanding and original ideas,
aptitude for becoming fitted to be specialists (v. PURE REASON,
Notes). Therefore, he says, “it is not unusual to come across very
folk who allow their incorrigible want of power of judgment in the use
of their knowledge to be apparent.“ We ought to learn how to
between savant and savant as we do between priest and
our admiration and confidence only on the few truly eminent minds.
PRINCIPLES OF MECHANICS,
The quotation (and inter alia,
p. 31) is given literatim et verbatim;
not infrequently makes
use of such a peculiar construction as “Light differs from other light.“
In the most favourable case a normal
eye can discriminate from 160 to 165 shades within this limited scale.
(Cf. Arthur König, COLLECT. DISC. ON
PHYSIOLOG. OPTICS, 1903, p.
Cf. Höfler, PSYCHOLOGY,
1897, p. 115.
By Adolf Wüllner, Edition
Helmholtz, LECTURES AND
Edition of 1884, I, 279.
Cf. ON FANTASTIC
§§ 7, 10, 11.
Clearly the assertion
is length of vibration“ has not even as much value for knowledge of the
nature of colour as the well-known saying of the man who was born
that he imagined red to be like the sound of a trumpet.
This is also true of textiles.
The dazzlingly white cloaks of certain Austrian uniforms turn dirty
yellow directly freshly fallen snow covers the ground. Cf. Goethe,
THEORY, § 690.
LA VÉRITÉ PAR LES LUMIERES
NATURELLES, ed. Cousin, XI, 370.
45. THE ONLY
PROVING THE EXISTENCE OF GOD,
Goethe also hazarded the
that it might be “the same Ens,“ which now is manifest as light, now as
magnetism, now as electricity and again as chemical action; I only
from quoting it in the text, because the actual words as given by
seem doubtful. (LETTERS FROM AND TO GOETHE,
etc., p. 302).
Vide e.g. the splendid lecture
by the ophthalmologist, Jacob Stilling, in the STRASSBURG
1899 p. 147 et seq. Stilling
justly says that what is to-day held to be
most recent with respect to the colour-theory, means a return to
He says: “Goethe's theory of colour is more than saved“ [as also
in, ON KANT'S INFLUENCE UPON THE
THEORY OF SENSE-PERCEPTION,
exclaimed “the physiological portion absolutely contains the
on which the most recent views are based.“] For looking at the
Rudolf Magnus' book, GOETHE AS NATURALIST,
1906, lectures 7 and 8, on
258, one reads: “The physiological optical science of the nineteenth
traces directly its roots back to Goethe's theory of colour.“
THOUGHTS ON REASON,
The recklessness with which
Darwin frequently treats facts is beginning to be increasingly
I specially refer to Albert Fleischmann's book, THE THEORY
1901. And André Sanson's L'ESPÈCE ET LA RACE
GÉNÉRALE, 1900 (v. e.g. p. 124), contains
instances, not only of false conclusions, but of very serious
Cf. Descartes, in particular
PHILOSOPHIAE, 1664, Kant, METAPHYSICAL PRIMER
OF NATURAL SCIENCE,
and Hertz, TREATISE ON THE PRINCIPLES OF MECHANICS
IN THEIR NEW
1894. Hertz really occupies the same standpoint as Descartes plus the
of mathematical thought, and the increased experience which two and a
centuries have brought in their train. I am convinced that, in the
view, the mechanical will carry off the palm of victory from the
conception in the future as it has done in the past; for mediocre minds
are as little sensible of the absurdity of their assumptions as the
black is of his belief that the medicine man can make the
come, and the
former method has
the advantage of having, with a few exceptions, stripped itself of all
ideas, and being able to enjoy itself to the full in the field of
mathematical abstractions, where every average brain, which has learnt
to do some
is capable of following without the necessity actually thinking:
the dynamic conception is founded in geometrical ideas; however
the idea, it must needs still be real, and this — the spontaneous
before the inner eye — is a demand to which only the minority respond.
The energetic idea might, perhaps,
be left unmentioned, it is obviously only intermediate. It is clear
who form a third group, in
so far as they only assume space and motion but not substance, belong
the dynamic school of thought.
It is, however, always worth
noting that the assumption of the physicists, which explains the
of the prism from the assumed variation in velocity of vibratory
duration (or colour), does not correspond with an unalterable
to which the velocity of propagation cannot possibly be dependent on
wave-length. Such logical contradictions meet us in all the basic ideas
of the so-called “exact sciences“; science properly passes on to the
of the day“; but it is just here that the thinker finds the point of
for the weightiest intuitions with regard to the essential nature of
Were our spirit of invention not
so miserably undeveloped, and did not every happy inspiration act
on the birth of additional inspiration, many other facts than prismatic
calculation might be made the starting-point for a science of
optics; but they would all agree, in that they originated in
of motion and led to mathematical schemes.
In this place I did not consider
it suitable to mention “time“ as the second form of pure sensual
for reasons which can only be expounded at the close of the following
But, for the attentive reader's benefit, I will here interpolate that
can only be made clear much later on towards the end of the book, viz.:
that the idea of
perception“ is only
a scientific abstraction (Cohen, KANT'S THEORY
OF EXPERIENCE, part II, p. 320), or, in
words, a methodological assumption on which to base the comprehension
Reason. Pure perception can
reality no more take
and independently of experience than a sensual perception can take shape
than in terms of space. The
value of Kant's analysis is shown in its proved practical application,
e.g. eminently just here
and quite intelligible possibility of discrimination it affords between
Nature as Goethe saw her, and Nature as seen in the light of
This is obvious to anyone
familiar with the subject; I refer those in doubt to Classen, who, in
two books, PHYSIOLOGY OF THE SENSE
SIGHT, 1876, and ON KANT'S
INFLUENCE ON THE THEORY OF
1886 proves the point in several passages, in spite of the unqualified
respect he has for Helmholtz's
undying services to science; on page 68
of the latter work, he shows that Helmholtz never knew the real sense
which Kant used the expression a
priori; he confuses the “forms“ of
and thought, without which we could neither see nor think, with
knowledge and innate ideas. And, similarly, our entire psychological
— the highest reputations included — stands on the same level of a
want of understanding. And, in addition, I refer to Ludwig
KANT AND HELMHOLTZ, 1898, a book with
which I, to my regret, only
made acquaintance; those seriously interested will there find
TIBIA AND FIBULA.
Cf. the experimental
made by Shelford Bidwell and reported in the PROCEEDINGS OF THE
SOCIETY, vol. 60 et
SIEGE OF MAYENCE (towards
Leonardo, like the most modern
of us moderns, added black and white (with, however, explicit
to their use in practice). I quote the chief passage: “I semplici
sono sei, de' quali il primo è il bianco, benche alcuni
non accettino il bianco ne'l nero nel numero de colori, perche l'uno
causa de colori, e l'altro n'è privatione. Ma pure perche il
non po fare sensa questi, noi li meteremo nel numero degli altri, e
il bianco in questo ordine essere il primo ne' simplici, e il giallo il
secondo, e'l verde n'è'l terzo, l'azuro n'è'l quarto, e'l
rosso n'è'l quinto, e'l nero n'è'l sesto“ (L.,
This view and arrangement of genuine colours is in precise
with Goethe's theory. And, in
same way as Goethe
in his ATTEMPT
TO DISCOVER THE ELEMENTS OF A THEORY
OF COLOUR, §§
in Hempel's edition only, vol. XXXV, p. 49 et seq., and Weimar
part II, 5, 129 et seq.), set
forth the reasons why black and white
be taken as real colours, and thus classified, Leonardo also devotes
a particular section to “Perche'l
bianco non è colore ma
in potentia recettiva d'ogni colore“, (R.M., F folio, 75 recto),
which the colour of white is essentially distinguished from others. If
now, one considers the remaining numerous passages where
occasionally mentions green, for example, as a self or primary colour,
which is admittedly in practice produced by a mixture of yellow and
blue pigments, but solely because these already contain a certain
of green, and then, again, of red, and yellow, and blue, it cannot be
denied that, although he is writing for painters, and therefore
the practical side, yet — in his own way — he actually has the idea of
“primary colours“ and adheres to it very firmly. Professor
remarks in opposition to Leonardo's (in the former's ANALYSIS OF
2nd ed., 1900, p. 51) turn out to be the merest sophisms; because the
true thing in them is that Leonardo did not commit the same error as
viz. of placing black and white in the same category of values as the
colours, an error from which he was saved by the keen truthfulness of
sense of sight. Leonardo is specially reproached with “making a hobby“
of research. Is, then, the “winter of our discontent“ an indispensable
state of mind for the observation of Nature?
SEQUEL TO COLOUR
§ 705, etc.
introduction, § 696, etc. Even from the purely psychological point
of view Goethe is right. Arthur König's investigations prove that
the sensation of grey is caused by greatest dilution of visible Violet;
if the dilution is lessened, the result is the sensation of blue, or
nearest approach to complete obscurity or entire absence of light (v.
COLLECTED TREATISES ON PHYSIOLOGIC
OPTICS, p. 354 et seq.).
Ibid., § 793.
SOME GENERAL CHROMATIC
Weimar edition, part II, 5, 93.
68. COLOUR THEORY,
PHYSIOLOGY OF PLANTS, Weimar edition,
II, 6, 302.
All this is necessary for
the fuller comprehension of the term “mathematics.“ To-day the term
mathematics“ is meant to convey every kind of definable deductive
without the necessity for taking into account number or substance (v.
UNIVERSAL ALGEBRA, p. vi et seq.; details
in the Plato lecture).
The justification of this
is shown in the following utterance by the famous French chemist,
“C'est en vain que notre
pensée s'efforce de représenter
le monde par la superposition de lois simples, purement
mathématiques‚ qui dans la realité ne se superposent que
d'une façon incomplète, et ne se combinent jamais
absolument. Un tel à peu près n'est pas dans la nature;
il est dans la représentation
que nous nous en faisons.“ (Lecture at the French Academy of
CRITICISM OF HERDER'S
ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY.
Cf. Chamberlain, THE
OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY, p. 775
et seq., 884.
ii, p. 289 et seq., 420].
Walter Pater, THE
(ch. on Leonardo da Vinci, p. 106).
1. DE L'INFINITO,
UNIVERSO E MONDI,
Dialogue (Lagarde edition, p. 399). “The harvest of the mind was
nowhere else than from this our own mind itself!“
2. “No problem calls more
for a solution than the problem of the nature and the limitations of
knowledge.... To me nothing seems more laughable than boldly to
to explain the mysteries of Nature without having once found out
the mind of man is capable of receiving them.“ (RÈGLES
DE L'ESPRIT, § 8, XI, 245). Where not
otherwise stated, all
are from Cousin's French edition, in XI vols., of Descartes' collected
3. DISCOURS DE LA
MÉTHODE, part III, 1, 153.
DE LA MÉTHODE, near the close of
Cf. the preface to the PRINCIPIA.
If Kant, then, blames Descartes
for his “conclusion by inference“ (PURE REASON,
422 and I, 355) it is
to misapprehension. I needed not in my lecture to touch upon the fact
the specialist will disagree with Descartes as to the present
being about the “idea,“ whereas, strictly speaking, “perception“ is the
Cf. also I, 202: “L'obscurité
des distinctions et des principes dont ils se servent est cause
peuvent parler de toutes choses aussi hardiment que s'ils las savaient,
et soutenir tout ce qu'ils en disent contre les plus subtils et les
habiles, sans qu'on ait moyen de les convaincre.“
Cf. preface to the PRINCIPIA
LES ANCIENS ET LES MODERNES;
quoted from Sainte-Beuve, Port Royal, 4th ed., V, 354.
It is interesting to note
how this sworn foe to every philosophical world-concept, this
champion of an absolutely utilitarian, cut and dried, “Science,“ has
so dear to the hearts of our specialists in philosophy. He is still
extolled in every philosophical text-book
the founder of a New Era, whereas
the naturalists have long since proved; firstly, that the Baconian
is not the
method of exact natural
and secondly, that recent methods of natural science were already
in Bacon's times and led to brilliant results, but upon which —
to mind the life-work
of Copernicus, Galileo, Harvey, Gilbert, etc. — Bacon poured ridicule,
as he was, entirely incapable of so much as grasping even the essential
of natural science. One need only, on this point, specially compare
Liebig's three works of the years 1863 and 1864 (printed in his
AND TREATISES), to find them, once for all,
conclusive, no matter
our philosophers are satisfied or not. Goethe passed a delightful
on Francis Bacon: “He is the chief of all the Philistines, and, for
reason, they all agree with him“ (CONVERSATIONS 13.X.1907).
Vide e.g. the Oeuvres
published by Foucher de Careil, II, 171 et seq.
Cf. Letters (1631) VI, p.
204; (1638) VII, 436-437; (1642) VIII, 567, and IX, 113; on Pascal, X,
344, 351. I have
meanwhile been informed that in
the BULLETINS DE L'ACADÉMIE ROYALE
DE BELGIQUE, CLASSE DES
1889, pp. 632-644, G. Mouchamp drew attention to a hitherto unprinted
which incontestably proves that the idea of measuring barometric
emanated from Descartes, and that Pascal's experiment only followed the
suggestion made by Descartes (cf. DEUTSCHE LITERATUR
Collection 1975). An expert points out the following fact to me,
that, according to L. Edinger, LECTURES ON THE CONSTRUCTION
NERVE-ORGANS OF HUMAN BEINGS
AND OTHER ANIMALS, 5th edition, p. 13,
oldest pictures of cerebral convolutions and fibres are given in
TRACTATUS DE HOMINE, 1662.“
The fact that people exist,
who, like Mach (MECHANICS, 3rd edition, pp. 248, 275,
etc.), would fain
snatch this credit from Descartes, although even such narrow-minded
inveterate contemners of this great thinker such as Whewell (HISTORY
OF THE INDUCTIVE SCIENCES,
3rd ed., II, 20 et seq.)
would not have dared to commit such an outrage
on historical truth, only deserves to be mentioned because it proves
how little the real personality of Descartes, and its incomparable
and limitations are generally known. Nobody acquainted with Descartes'
individuality will dream of com-
his achievements in the
establishment of actual facts with Galileo's; but, if Mach imagines he
can wipe out Descartes' services to science with such a sentence as:
elaborated Galileo's ideas in his own fashion,“ he unconsciously
history. Descartes' book LE MONDE was
already ready for the press early
in 1633 (vide the letters to
Mersenne of March and April, and of 22nd
1633, VI, p. 224; 230, 236), and in this the so-called law of inertia
law of permanence is expressed with perfect clearness as the première
règle (IV, p. 254 et
seq.), as well as rectilinear motion
règle, p. 259 et seq.),
as the whole so-called “first Newtonian
law“ (cf. also Clerk Maxwell, MATTER AND MOTION,
§ XVI). The law,
too, of the quantity of motion (= mass multiplied by velocity) which
to-day continues to play so great a part in our mechanics, has its
in this early work (seconde
règle). But Galileo's DISCORSI
only appealed in 1638 and, as can be proved, Descartes only had his
about the Copernican system (published 1632) in his hands in August,
and then only once for a single day on loan (v. letter to Mersenne of
August, 1634, VI, 247). And, furthermore, we should note that Descartes
at least discovered the general principle of the law of gravitation
of Galileo; he did not know it in June, 1631 (VI, 185); yet he was
at it then, and rejoices in 1634 when he finds the assumptions he has
meanwhile made confirmed experimentally by Galileo (VI, 248). It is,
in the teeth of the aberrations of worthy men like Whewell and Mach,
to observe that every man of undoubted genius — in the ranks, too, of
and mechanicians — such as Clerk Maxwell and Heinrich Hertz, appreciate
undying importance of Descartes at its proper value.
I, 124; III, 21; and cf.
of 15th April, 1630, in which he hopes to compose his system of the
le pourra lire en une
dinée“ (VI, 101).
Even a Whewell admitted and
proved that this discovery was indisputably and inalienably his own (I,
ch. II, 280 et seq.) as
against the attempts which, dating from early
days, were made to snatch the fame of this achievement from him in
of some obscure specialist.
RÉFLEXIONS ET MAXIMES,
Vide, e.g. vol. I, 204; III,
31; IV, 264, etc.
Here I am only speaking of
of God; otherwise our thinker
a lifelong anti-fanatical, yet true, son of the Church to which his
Knowledge of the sections
dealing with stellar motion, such as the third book of the PRINCIPIA,
the 5th chap. of LE MONDE, etc., are not
sufficient for an
of Descartes' aetheric theory, which he sets up in full knowledge of
sharp opposition to atomism; the most important passages are those
which he treats of the nature of light, I mean the whole first section
the LA DIOPTRIQUE, and chap. XIV of LE
MONDE; many important passages
are contained in the correspondence, e.g. VI, 56, 104, 204 et seq.,
343 et seq., 355; VII, 241,
289; IX, 348, 351; vide also
XII,“ XI, 277.
Communicated by Foucher de
Careil, LETTRES INÉDITES DE DESCARTES,
Here the formula runs thus:
The quantity of energy in the universe is constant. Although we also
of an energy of position or potential energy, and differentiate this
kinetic energy or the energy of motion, this only shows that Descartes'
idea was so indispensable as to give us courage to confront all petty
and, as it were, to open an account with Nature as our banker; if now
skilfully operate with the “debit“ and “credit“ of the current account,
the balance is always a true one; the mind of man can ask no more. Far
as it may be from me to want, or even to be able, to write a learned
I would yet like to protect a remark like the above against anticipated
objections, and I do so by reference to the text-book on the PRINCIPLES
OF MECHANICS, which is more inspired by genius
than those of recent
written by Heinrich Hertz. Here we read in § 607: “The kinetic and
the potential energies of a conservative system are to be
not by a difference in their nature, but only by the standpoint
assumed by our idea or the involuntary limitation of our knowledge as
the substantial quantities contained in the system. The same energy
can be called potential it a certain stage of our knowledge may have to
be called kinetic when the point of view of our idea changes.“ Now, the
specialist may perhaps object that these words only apply to what in
are known as “conservative“ and not to “dissipative“ systems and that,
speaking, in Nature we only know the latter. But in that case I refer
to § 665: “And, furthermore,
the difference between conservative and dissipative systems and forces
does not consist
in Nature itself, but depends
solely upon the voluntary limitation of our idea and the involuntary
of our knowledge of natural systems. If we consider all substances in
to be visible substances, every difference ceases to exist, and all
forces can then be said to be 'conservative'. The latter assumption is
the foundation of the natural science of energy of to-day, and although
— pace the above — it is in
our own power to determine what we wish to
regard as being either potential or kinetic, the fact remains that in
idea 'energy' we must always understand two, and two quite different,
forms of energy, for which we shall never succeed in finding one
definition“ (vide the book
above referred to, § 26 of the
The idea of potential energy gains great clearness by Perrin's dictum:
“L'énergie potentielle doit
être regardée comme
dans l'éther“ (LES PRINCIPES,
1903, § 115).
III, 506 et seq., 525; IV,
313 et seq.; V, 6 et seq.; 271 et seq.; VI, 345; VII, 241, 280,
II, 356; III, 507 et seq.; V,
IX, 377 et seq., etc.
The hypothetical substance assumed
by Descartes which he sometimes names “éther“
and more often
subtile,“ filling all space, must not be confused with the
the ancients and the schoolmen — from Heraclitus to Bruno; in
case — and beginning with him — what is in question is a concrete
idea, and it corresponds in detail with Kant's definition of matter as
being “that which pervades, penetrates, and sets the entire universe in
motion.“ The most important passages in Descartes' works from which to
gather accurate knowledge of his idea of aether are: TRAITÉ
DE LA LUMIÈRE, chaps. II, XII,
DIOPTRIQUE, I. Discours (this passage is particularly
I. Discours, PRINCIPIA, II, § 18 et seq., III, from § 24
IV. There are also numerous enlightening remarks in the letters;
attention should be given to vols. VI, 278, 343 et seq.; VIII, 241,
IV, 348 et seq. It is
interesting in this place to note that Lord
latest expositions (at the British Association, Glasgow, 1901), with
to the entire imponderability of aether, coincide exactly with those of
Kant, whose doctrine was that aether must be thought of as being
incompressible, incohesive, and inexhaustible.“ “It must,“
Kant, “be a substance which has
the quality of rendering ponderability possible in practice
without itself having any weight, — compressibility, without being
to external pressure, — cohesion, without having any internal
— and, finally, an all-pervading substance which can neither be
nor diminished and which fills the whole of space“ (TRANSITION,
et seq.). Lord Kelvin does not
go quite so far as this, his whole attention
is centred on Imponderability, and he says: “One cannot refuse to call
ether matter, but it is not subject to the Newtonian law of
It is a distinct species of matter, which has inertia, rigidity,
compressibility, but not heaviness“ (Vide
NATURE of 24th October, 1901,
and also PHILOSOPHICAL MAGAZINE for
August, 1901). But this admission
necessary absolute imponderability signifies an important and decisive
step; a few years or perhaps, even a few months ago, laughter would
greeted a similar statement; all it meant was that aether was only very
light indeed, and the thirst for more exact information was quenched
this soothing reply: “fifteen trillion times lighter than atmospheric
the idea of absolutely weightless “matter“ would have seemed nonsense
our materialist friends. Now, however, the mathematical physicists have
spoken, and the other predicates postulated by Kant will soon follow;
only will aether really be “aether,“
for without this unsubstantial
the human brain must utterly fail to construct matter which is matter —
or in other words, a substantial universe. For the mind of man, as Kant
has taught us already (v. p.
224, vol. I), legislates for Nature.
HISTORY OF THE COLOUR
part IV, section “Renatus Cartesius.“
Vide Schlichting, GRAVITATION,
A RESULT OF ETHERIC MOTION,
1892; P. Gerber, THE VELOCITY
IN GRAVITATION, 1905, V. Wellmann in
148, and the ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL, 1902,
p. 282 et seq., and cf. F.
in the supplement to the ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG,
1901, No. 288. Perrin (in
passages, p. 24) says of J. J. Thomson and Lorentz's most recent
theories: “On se trouve avoir
expliqué l'attraction universelle comme
résidu d'actions électriques.“
Ch. I, p. 49. What Hertz means
to say is in complete
with the great basic
maxim: “Tous les corps qui sont au
monde s'entretouchent“ (III, 329).
In order to facilitate the
full comprehension of these expositions it may not be superfluous here
to quote the precise words of the three so-called “Newtonian Laws“ from
the PRINCIPIA MATHEMATICA PHILOSOPHIAE
NATURALIS. The first runs thus:
remains at rest, or continues at the same rate of rectilinear motion,
forced to alter its condition by forces operating outside it.“ The
thus: “Change of motion is proportional to the effect of the directing
force, and takes place in the direction of that straight line in which
that force acts.“ The third thus: “Reaction is always opposed and equal
to action, that is to say, the reciprocal actions of two bodies are
equal and in direct mutual opposition.“
Vide Clerk Maxwell, MATTER
AND MOTION, § 58.
Vide Heinrich Hertz,
OF MECHANICS, pp. 6—7, and cf. § 469 and
Cf. § 37 et seq. in Book
II of Descartes' PRINCIPIA, and especially LE
MONDE, chap. 7.
In discussing the law of
Mach arrives at the conclusion that, in spite of its seeming
“this is very complex in its nature, because,“ he says, “it rests on
and in fact, on never entirely conclusive, experience.“ This discovery
troubles him quite considerably; for if the law of inertia once failed
to adapt itself, the entire universe (or, at least, theoretical
and the professors destined to expound them) would explode, and so he
us “to practise a continual control of experience of this law.“
3rd ed. pp. 231—232). One example will suffice to show where these
anti-metaphysicians are likely to lead us; for, logically, Professor
have to demand the institution of a permanent State Commission (whose
would of course be Chinese, which would have “continuously to control“
or check the statements that two and two make four. The law of inertia
does not, however, in reality depend upon experience at all; it, on the
contrary, first creates experience (vide
p. 228, vol. I). As
(chap. I, p. 119) says: “L'expérience
ne peut ni confirmer cette
loi, ni la contredire.“ It is historically the spontaneous
a genius in the art of perception; it can never be demonstrated from
physical standpoint, but — as Clerk
one of the greatest men of
in physics of our century, has said — we must regard it as “the only
possible scheme of a consistently — logical doctrine, establishing a
between space and time, which the human mind has so far been able to
conceive“ (MATTER AND MOTION, § XLI). All
three of these basic
ideas — matter,
space, time — can only be arrived at on the metaphysical road.
Preface to Hertz's PRINCIPLES OF MECHANICS,
“Tempus, spatium, locum et motum, ut
omnibus notissima, non definio“ (quoted in German pace
The following note is not
directly connected with the above, and is not intended either to
or confirm: but I imagine that even at this early stage some reader
begin to get an inkling of Kant's metaphysical intuitive perception,
runs: “If space be regarded as a quality pertinent to things in
then space and everything thereby conditioned, is a 'no-thing' “ (PURE
REASON, 274). Additional light on the confusion of ideas
assumption of “absolute space“ and “relative spaces“ capable of motion
the former, is given in METAPHYS. PRIN. NAT.
SCI., I, 1, 2.
A pure “science of numbers“ — be
it said — can only be based on number in the abstract, i.e. algebra or
by means of an alphabet; for a number is in reality the birth of a
whereas really pure mathematics have for their object relative
which only exist in thought, not only without form, but also without
I ought, indeed, here to say “universal algebra“; but I would rather be
found guilty of some slight inconsistency of expression than scare the
reader by the use of phraseology unfamiliar to all but experts.
This was not the place to
enter into a war of words, and it is, moreover, always a pity to waste
time in fighting “clotted stupidity.“ No thoughtful mathematician ever
doubted the “apriority“ of the
geometrical view, and Descartes, who had
not arrived at the philosophic conception of the essential nature of
as the function of limitation (that is, limitation inwards, but not
and being possessed of a brilliantly mathematical brain, nevertheless
makes merry over the folly of those who maintain that geometrical
is a proof of experimental experience. “Lorsque nous avons la
fois aperçu en
enfance une figure
tracée sur le papier, cette figure n'a pu nous apprendre comme
fallait concevoir le triangle géométrique, parcequ'elle
ne le représentait pas mieux qu'un mauvais crayon une image
parfaite. Mais d'autant que l'idée véritable du triangle
déjà en nous, et que notre esprit la pouvait plus
concevoir que la figure moins simple on plus composée d'un
peint, de là vient qu'ayant vu cette figure composée
ne l'avons pas conçue elle-même, mais plutôt le
triangle“ (II, 290). Cf. especially the beginning of the fifth
and Gassendi's refutation of the objections thereto. A letter to
of 1st July, 1641, goes somewhat more deeply, and there Descartes
that mathematics are in no way “built up on the phantoms of sense
but solely “sur les notions claires
et distinctes de notre esprit; ce
savent assez ceux qui ont tant soit peu approfondi cette science“
529). H. Poincaré, the keenest-brained mathematical analyst of
our own day, says: “On voit que
l'expérience joue un rôle indispensable
dans la genèse de la géometrie; mais ce serait une
d'en conclure que la géométrie est une science
même en partie. Si elle était expérimentale, elle
qu'approximative et provisoire. Et quelle approximation
grossière! ... La notion de ces corps idéaux est
tirée de toutes
de notre esprit, et l'expérience n'est qu'une occasion qui nous
engage à l'en faire sortir“ (LA SCIENCE ET L'HYPOTHÈSE,
A small note, lest possible
verbal obscurity endanger full comprehension. It is customary to call
but one is much inclined
to give the name of “schemes“ to strictly geometrical figures — I did
myself above when speaking of painters. But from all that has been
said, I hope that the reason why it is so particularly difficult to
pure nomenclature in matters mathematical will be readily grasped.
a letter is a sign for a thought which can only become a “thing“ when
by a perception, and the geometrical figure is a perception which, as
so strikingly observes, remains “blind“ until dominated and controlled
ideas. What value would there be, for example, in the evidence of these
visible relations here given in the square of a+b, unless I
them in my thought? Here, in mathematics, the relations are so
unalloyed and spiritual, that, unless I symbolise my thoughts and
my perceptions, I can arrive at no
The use of the words
and “symbol“ as used in mathematics can to this extent be
but they must only be so used with a critical consciousness of this
Herrmann Grassmann's THEORY
OF EXTENSION in two revised editions, one of
which appeared in 1844
in 1894) and the other in 1862 (republished in 1895), is in all
the most weighty work of recent date which treats of the truth so
apprehended by Descartes.
Cf. XI, 278, as to the
relation between “intuition
évidente“ and “déduction
and its explanation.
A GASSENDI (I, 310 and II, 289).
There is not the least
doubt as to the absolute correctness of the above interpretation, for
(XI, 298) Descartes says: “L'utilité
des mathématiques est
si grande, pour acquérir une science plus haute, que je ne
pas de dire que cette partie de notre méthode n'a pas
inventée pour résoudre des problèmes
mathématiques, mais plutôt que les mathématiques ne
apprises que pour s'exercer à la pratique de cette
méthode.“ Thus mathematics are not the method, but the
Goethe also recommends the mathematical method for general imitation in
his essay EXPERIMENT AS THE MEDIUM BETWEEN
OBJECT AND SUBJECT (Weimar
II, 11, 33 et seq.).
Note also that Descartes
French translation of the above-mentioned work personally.
Letter to the Duchess Palatine
of 18th July, 1643, IX, 131.
Respecting this, the right
word has been said by Gibbon: “Syllogism is more effectual for the
detection of error than for the investigation of truth“ (ROMAN
The subsequent digression
into mathematics constituted an indispensable basis for the entire
and preceded the original lecture itself. Now, in working it out, I
tried my utmost to dispense with it. Those who feel an unconquerable
aversion to the “boundary,“ and yet cannot trust the “railed ladder,“
it is so constructed that every one can ascend it free from vertigo,
certainly skip what follows and make a connection again at p. 272.
consequence, however, would be a
sensible diminution in comprehension, although not a break in the
DISCOURS DE LA MÉTHODE,
18, ET SUIVANTES.
The close relationship is here shown with Leonardo da Vinci, who also
to symbolise all the operations of the science of numbers and prefers
with forms in place of figures. Leonardo's method of extracting the
root is pretty: “Divide a line of any length into as many parts as the
contains units; to these add a unit. Describe a circle of which this
line is the diameter; erect a line, which shall intersect the
of the circle, at right angles to the diameter at one end; the length
this line is the required square root.“ Vide Ravaisson-Mollien, LES
DE LEONARDO DA VINCI DE LA BIBLIOTHÈQUE
5 recto; and cf. MS. K fol., 75 et seq.
MAXIMS AND REFLECTIONS
LIVRE PREMIÈRE, V, 315.
Cf. the detailed explanation
in Rule XIV of RÈGLES POUR LA DIRECTION DE
L'ESPRIT, XI, 304.
LETTER OF 20TH
Much interesting matter
Descartes is to be found in Cantor's LECTURES ON THE HISTORY
second ed., particularly in II, 749 et
seq., 796 et seq., 856
appreciation of Descartes is neither to be expected nor found here;
each department the specialist speaks with a certain spitefulness of
services rendered by his “wonderful visitor.“
Naturally meaning all which
do not assume more than three dimensions in space.
RÉFLEXIONS SUR LA
DU CALCUL INFINITÉSIMAL,
4th ed., 1860, p. 7.
The reader is referred to
my FOUNDATIONS OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY,
p. 908 et
seq. [English edition: vol.
ii, p. 450].
“L'entendement pur“ often
occurs in the letters as, e.g. V, IX, 130, where he even anticipates
Kantian application of the imaginative faculty; the expression “raison
toute pure“ occurs in the first section of part III, 180, of the
it is true that this work first appeared in Latin, and the Latin text
has the word “ratio,“ yet the French translation appeared several years
before the death of Descartes, who revised it carefully, and which is
authentic. (Cf. e.g. letter
to the translator, Abbé Picot, of 17th February, 1654, which is
misprinted in Cousin as 1643).
Cf. PURE REASON,
V, I, 393: “This
gap in our knowledge (namely, the celebrated problem of the communion
which exists between that which thinks and its extension in thought)
never be filled.“
This is analysed with particular
clearness and simplicity by Kant in his ANTHROPOLOGY,
§ 7: “With
to the condition of ideas, my mind is either active and exercises
or it is passive and exists in a state of receptivity. An intuition
both these states of mind in combination.... Ideas, with respect to
the mind maintains an attitude of passivity, and by which, therefore,
the subject is affected ... belong to the sensual, but those which
mere action (thought), to the intellectual faculty of intuition.“
“Bathos,“ the Inane, not “Pathos“
For simplicity's sake, I here said,
“the higher mathematics,“ because the example I adduced is actually and
historically connected with the inauguration of the higher mathematics;
yet directly the matter is submitted to the test of metaphysics, it
obvious that there can be no mathematics independent of transcendental
relativity: we should not know that two and two is four without
and neither can we know it through perception alone.
The Greek word “categorie“
in no way denotes the relation which it is intended to cover. But in
manuscript preparations for the CRITIQUE OF PURE
REASON, we find the
expression, “Titel des Verstandes,“ or “title granted by Reason.“ His
note to this is: “Every perception must be subjected to a 'title
by Reason,' because otherwise it would not be an idea at all, and no
would be thereby conveyed. By means of such ideas we make use of
or, rather, ideas indicate the method by which we enlist phenomena into
our service as the materials for our thought“ (POSTHUMOUS
WORKS, I, 39
et seq.). I particularly
recommend this name and its explanation to the
Compiled (with some omissions)
from PURE REASON, pp. 305—306 and 161.
There is an important leading
on Kant's interpretation of the categories in the lengthy
to the preface of the METAPHYS.
PRIMER OF NAT. SCI.; this
passage should not escape the notice of any
desirous of knowing the true inwardness of the Kantian doctrine. I
the enumeration of the categories unnecessary and even disturbing in
lecture; for I should have been led into a purely metaphysical region,
whereas my object was to dwell upon the perceptive side of Kant's
of thought. Least of all concerned was I with the squabble about the
of pure abstract ideas. It is of no great consequence whether Goethe,
one time, distinguishes a single colour, and, at another, three or four
primary colours; the formative principle itself is the decisive factor;
the apparent contradictions in the evidence help the comprehension of a
thought which evades logical analysis — i.e. of an idea (cf. p. 156).
fact that Kant adhered to twelve as being the number of possible
may perhaps have been an integral part of his character, deserving no
attention than Goethe's varying statements; but it might with greater
be due to the accuracy and convenience of his method. The following
may be quite sufficient for the layman. The logical judgments — on
every one of our ideas is based — can be gathered in groups of three
with regard to “magnitude,“ “degree,“ “relativity,“ and “value.“ Kant's
idea was simply this, viz. that each one of these twelve species of
“inasmuch as applied to perceptions“ (!), must necessarily correspond
a special form of an ideal objective cognition, which form might be
a root concept, born of the “pan-idealising“ reasoning faculty, and
of further analysis: the ideas of unity, multitude, universality,
the idea of “magnitude“; those of reality, absence, limitation,
“degree“; those of persistence, causality, reciprocity that of
those of potentiality (and impotentiality), existence (and non
necessity (and accidentality), that of “value.“ The first six of these
twelve categories refer to objects, the other six to relations; the
three refer to objects in perception (extensive), the second three
to objects in conception (intensive); the third refer to mutual
of objects (physical); the fourth to their relation to ourselves
consequently the first group stands for three “pure,“ the second, for
“empiric,“ the third, for three “objective,“ and the fourth for three
abstract or root-ideas. The table
may possibly be of service in
the broad lines of the scheme perceptible.
§ 16, p.
134 et seq. (with omission of
two technical expressions which would
confuse the untrained reader).
As Schiller says: “Nature
is an idea in the mind itself, of which mind can form no idea“ (ON
USE OF THE CHORUS IN TRAGEDY).
This also corresponds with
history; for the thought: “the world is my own phenomenon“ (born of a
misconception of Kantian philosophy), is many years older than the
of the Will as a basic metaphysical dogma. In sketches dating from an
period, the former theory may be found completely developed; yet at the
side of the phenomenon stands, not the Will, but Consciousness. Then
this “consciousness“ grows the idea of an ordinary and a “better
which at first greatly resembles Goethe's terminological “higher
now, this double consciousness leads to a “duplicity of the Will,“ to
affirmation and a negation, and the ideal assumption of the Will as the
primary thing originates in these. Taken in connection with the
in the text, the following confession is especially valuable. On p. 724
of the MEMORABILIA, Schopenhauer says: “Thou shalt
thyself, not thyself through Nature. That is my revolutionary
This principle is word for word the repetition of Fichte's audacity.
as we have seen, according to Kant, the one is just as false as the
just as meaningless and unreasoning and uncritical; Nature and
Ego are not to be interpreted the
one through the other, but by both taken in conjunction. At all events,
this one short sentence proves that Schopenhauer is not among the true
disciples of Kant.
48, 54, etc. The “inner
sense“ as Kant uses the words (v.
Antimony II) is a special name for
Ego considered from the standpoint of perception, and therefore points,
not to the sensual, but intellectual, side of the understanding.
p. 48 (fragmentarily).
Very long ago, William Rowan
called algebra “the science of pure time.“
The following etymological fact
is not without interest. The genuine German word for “straight line“ is
“Zeile“ (Middle High German, Zil), and “Zeile“ has the same Germanic root
as “Zeit.“ The Indo-Germanic
root is “di,“ and it is an
that the name of the Indian Goddess of limitless space was A-diti, or
the “Time-less one“; space cannot be measured without Time; the
Immeasurable, in the view of a metaphysically disposed people, is not
but that which is beyond all possibility of measurement — that which
outside both “Zeile“ and “Zeit.“ (According to Kluge, ETYMOLOGICAL
and Wilke, GERMAN ETYMOLOGY.)
CONFESSIONS, XI, 25.
PRINCIPES, part I,
§ 57, p.
99. Tempus est nihil praeter modum
Vide vol. I, p. 242. Even a
like Schopenhauer's forms a similar judgment: “No human being has ever
succeeded in getting a clear notion of this marvellous masterpiece of
schematisation of pure abstract thought“; he then helps us to get over
the difficulty by assuring us that “the matter borders on the
and that Kant's schematic doctrine is “altogether undemonstrable, and
an arbitrary hypothesis“ (CRITICISM OF THE KANTIAN
532 et seq., of the Brockhaus
— and I, 573 et seq. of the
Vide vol. I, pp. 87, 148,
Kant himself uses the word
“symbol“ more or less in the same meaning as allegory, which was
not unusual (v. CRITIQUE
OF POWER OF JUDGMENT,
§ 59; other
OF PURE REASON,
end of 2nd chief part et seq.;
Hartenstein ed., 1868, VIII, 541).
Cf. the schematic diagram,
p. 261 (vide Lord Redesdale's
The chapter in THE
OF PURE REASON frequently
referred to and entitled “Concerning
Thus, e.g. Francis Bacon of
who, in chap. I, Book IV, of DE AUGMENTIS
SCIENTIARUM, rejects the
hypotheses as inconsistent with the “principiis
recte positis.“ More fully detailed in DESCRIPTIO
Vide DE L'INFINITO,
and first dialogue, where it is said that only the least part,
parte,“ of truth can be derived through sensual perception,
actual life was in the mind (“nel
mente in propria et viva forma“),
manifested in the syllogisms of the reason (“nell' intelletto per modo
di principio o di conclusione“), and takes an active part in the
of thought (“nella ragione per modo
di argumentatione e discorso“).
not otherwise stated, all the quotations from Bruno's works in Italian
are from the only authentic edition by Paul de Lagarde (Göttingen,
Vide chap. 2, Book I, of
Cf. RIGVEDA, 10, 39, 2nd
pace Geldner and Kaegi.
RIGVEDA, 3, 62, 10. The
“dhî,“ which is used in
the two passages quoted certainly does
mean simple intuitive conception or thought, but a reverential
a devotional thought, also contemplation, absorption in sacred things,
“Intuitive perception, wisdom, and piety conceived as a Unity.“ It is
however, open to doubt that this dependent connection as above
is legitimate; Agni, the real God of Light (the fire on the earth, the
lightning in the clouds, the sun in the heavens), is simply called
i.e. “The One Who causes Wisdom“ (RIGVEDA, 10, 91, 8).
find the synonymity of Light and Knowledge. (According to oral and
statements by Professor Leopold von Schroeder. For proof of the
genetic identity of the Hindu Agni and the Hellenic Apollo, the reader
is referred to the same learned authority's study, too little noticed
in the Journal of
Etymology N.F. IX, 3 and 4).
DE GL' HEROICI
FURORI, towards the end of 4th dialogue of the first edn.,
Cf. Deussen, THE
p. 128, and Çankara,
THE SÛTRAS OF
THE VEDÂNTA (in
edition), p. 40.
According to Zeller, PHILOSOPHY
OF THE GREEKS, 5 A., I, 1, 191, the saying
attributed to Aristotle:
“Θαλης ωηδη πάντα πλήρη θεών είναι,“
is undoubtedly genuine.
The quotations from Bruno's works
in Latin are always taken from the editions by Fiorentino and Tocco.
Vide THE DAY-VIEW
TO THE NIGHT-VIEW, 1879, pp. 16 et seq., 64 et
seq., etc., and cf.
excellent account of Fechner's life and doctrines given by Kurd
1896, pp. 104, 132 et seq.,
144 et seq., etc. The
expression “day-view“ is
meant to convey that all things are alive and “divinely inspired“ (or
of a soul), (p. 16), whereas the “night-view“ is the purely mechanical
one which is mainly professed by natural scientists; a differentiation
which reminds one of St. Augustin's “cognitio
matutina“ and “cognitio
For instance, in the CORRESPONDENCE,
VIII, 299, 581 et seq., 575,
etc., there are particularly clear and
precise passages (besides the familiar ones in PASSIONS,
and the MÉDITATIONS and RÉPONSES).
MOONLIGHT OF THE SÂMKHYA-TRUTH
German Translation by Richard
104 et seq.
Inter alia, p. 30.
Inter alia, principally p.
106 et seq.
DISCOURS DE LA MÉTHODE,
part IV, 1, 158.
Concerning the methodical importance
of consictently differentiating between “the things of the mind“ and
things,“ cf. PURE REASON, 708 et seq.
CATAPATHA-BRÂHMANA, 10, 3,
Many years ago, J. J. Weber proved
that this idea of the “Logos,“ so directly apparent in Heraclitus,
such a great part later in Neo-Platonism and Gnosticism, and taken up
Christianity, in which its presence everywhere makes the impression of
something exotic and unintellectualised, of something “not led up to“ —
incontestably reached us by way of India; because this thought of
of creation which “was
God“ and “was with God“ and “by which all things were made“ (Gospel
to St. John, 1, 1 et seq.),
is so characteristic of the Hindu mind as
to have had its place there from the Rigveda downwards until the
time, and persisted there, in spite of all the changes in philosophical
concepts which have taken place. What this Logos — God's associate and,
at the same time, God Himself, the Holy Ghost “who penetrates Heaven
Earth,“ and “bloweth as the wind, whither it listeth,“ “and no man
whence it cometh or whither it goeth“ (RIGVEDA, 10,
125) — what this
may possibly mean, no human being will ever learn from the history of
dogma; to know this presupposes the most intimate acquaintance with the
Hindu mind. History would be greatly simplified by this statement,
would be none the less entirely and literally true, viz. that the
but fatally one-sided, tendency of the Indo-Aryan mind finds its exact
expression in the “Vâc-Logos“ idea; the tendency to give
pride of place to perception; to prefer the “word“ above the “thing“;
“subject“ the subject to the object; and, translating this into terms
practical life, to put “speech“ above “action.“ The sublime conception
of the breath of life as the creative agent of the universe gradually
even the world by interpreting the naive mythological equation of
with “Being,“ which exists exclusively in thought alone. Hegel made
great efforts to impose a similar system of philosophy during the last
century. Cf. Weber's essay, INDIAN STUDIES,
IX, 473 et seq., with
to “Vâc“; also Deussen, GENERAL
PHILOSOPHY, I¹, 146 et
Cf. also Max Müller's opinion that originally Brahma was also
“the Word“: THREE LECTURES ON THE VEDÂNTA
PHILOSOPHY, 1894, p. 147 et
The first chapter of Genesis in “God said: Let there be,“ etc.,
a faint echo from the remotest past of the “Vâc-Logos“ myth, and
Genesis was only composed at a very late, namely, in the post-exilic,
Cf. Zeller, PHILOSOPHY OF
THE GREEKS, I, 665 et seq.,
yet without laying
the responsibility for
interpretation on this esteemed savant. The last passage: “εν το σοφον μουνον λέγεσθαι ουκ εθέλει και
εθέλαι Ζηυος ουνομα,“ is differently punctuated and
interpreted by the various
commentators on Heraclitus, yet Pfleiderer, Bernays, Schuster,
and recently also Patrick
FRAGMENTS OF THE WORK OF
OF EPHESUS, Baltimore, 1889, pp. 100 and 120)
and Diels (THE FRAGMENTS
OF THE PRE-SOCRATESIANS, 1903, p.
72) are in accord with the one thing
I wished to accentuate in my lecture, and only Teichmüller (NEW
FOR THE HISTORY OF IDEAS, 1876 I,
127) dissents by translating: “The
called Zeus would and would not only mean unity“ — not a very
rendering, whereas the other one fits the Ephesian philosopher's
spontaneously. And also because it is of interest with regard to modern
ideas, I will remark that another main scientific theory of Heraclitus,
viz. that universal struggle is the ruling and formative principle
directly from Iranian
Soon afterwards Empedocles, with unusual strength of perception,
this theory to one in which love and hate are the two leading
of all motion. We clothe precisely the same myths, only applying them
richer material, to-day in the words “struggle for existence“ and
Cf. RIGVEDA, X, 129.
Xenophon also somewhere
that Socrates “avoided going for walks, because nothing is to be learnt
from trees and landscapes.“
Cf. Schiaparelli, THE
OF COPERNICUS IN ANTIQUITY, in
the German translation appearing in the
ALTPREUSSISCHE MONATSSCHRIFT, yearly vol.
ACADEMICA, II, Book I, §
Vide chiefly METAPHYSICS,
XII, 8. Thomas of Aquinas gives his adhesion to every word of this
of thought. He also thinks God is first and foremost the Prime Mover:
primum movens esse et hoc dicimus Deum“; this is the “Nous“ of
and nothing more. But besides this he comes to the same conclusion as
Aristotle, namely, that every celestial body endowed with its proper
is moved with a special “spirit“ (here called “angelus“), and that as
many motions as there are in Heaven, so many motions — caused by the
— there must be on earth: “omnis
motus inferiorum a motibus corporum
causatur et ex virtute coelestium corporum haec inferiora formas et
consequentur“ (cf. COMPENDIUM, chap. 3 et seq., 126 et
“The circle is the original
line, because (!) it is the simplest and most perfect“ (Aristotle,
Strictly speaking, the
spheres, or so-called epicycles, are to be imagined as follows: A
describes a smaller orbit; the (ideal) centre of this smaller circle
moves along the circumference of a larger (ideal) circle; the centre of
this larger circle again moves along a still larger circumference, and
For “Varuna,“ cf. Leopold
von Schroeder, INDIA'S LITERATURE AND CULTURE,
p. 49 et seq., and the
learned man's so far unpublished work on ARYAN RELIGION
“Varuna“ is a
Aryan idea very nearly evanescent in RIGVEDA to make
room for more
images of God. For “asad,“ cf.
Deussen's GENERAL HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY,
I, 198, 202.
It will be observed that I
introduce the word “organicism“ to denote a philosophic conception of
world, because I felt compelled to oppose a single word of similar
to “atomism“ in order to express a theory which was just as opposed to
atomism as the idea of an organism is to that of an atom.
The method of discrimination
between “mechanical“ and “dynamical,“ described in Kant's LETTERS,
III, 33, is of great value.
The Darwinians have to-day
still further reduced their claims to logic. August Weismann, in his LECTURES
OF DESCENT, vol. I, p. 213, states that
with funnel-shaped petals have bred bees with elongated probosces, and,
on p. 217 of the same volume, he states that the said flowers “are
by such insects“; and on p. 221 makes both these statements at once:
may then, perhaps, say the flowers, in changing to this or that
produced certain kinds of visitors, but also conversely, that certain
of insects produced certain flowers.“ Of course one may “say“ what one
pleases; it is a case of “bonnet blanc, blanc bonnet,“ or, as the
irreverently express it, “you pays your money and you takes your
For example, ORIGIN
OF SPECIES, chapter 2, last § before
Summary: “a number of species are now manufacturing ... many of the
Inter alia, first §.
This natural law of all living
things, foreshadowed by Goethe, and called “the key of all formation“ in
his poem “Athroismos,“ was
first formulated explicitly by Cuvier in
DISCOURS SUR LES
DE LA SURFACE DU GLOBE (p. 25 of
the 1825 edition): “Tout être
forme un ensemble, un système unique et clos, dont les parties
correspondent mutuellement, et concurrent à la même action
définitive par une réaction réciproque. Aucune de
ses Parties ne peut changer sans que les autres changent aussi; et
chacune d'elles, prise séparément, indique et donne
These are those whom Goethe
calls “die Umfassenden“ or “the comprisers“ (Weimar edition, 6, 302).
OF A SENSITIVE SOUL.
Sequel, Section “Aphoristics.“
HISTORY OF RECENT
2nd ed., I, 77. In the HEROICI FURORI
(introduction), Bruno warns us
a too intensive absorption in the idea of unity at the expense of
one would grow blind, says he, “da
troppo alla contemplazione de
l'unitá, che ne fura alla moltitudine“ (p. 617).
On p. 163 of LA CENA DELLE
CENERI, Bruno explains that stars are moved by an
which is the soul itself,“ and this soul is not only a “sensible“ but
“intellectual“ one, more so even than the human soul. “Muoveresi
la terra et gli altri astri secondo le proprie differenze locali dal
intrinseco che è l'anima propria. Credete (disse Nundinio) che
sii sensitiva questa anima? Non solo sensitiva, rispose il Nolano, ma
anchè intellettiva; non solo intellettiva come la nostra,
membrum 3, § 36 (I³, p. 26). It is very remarkable how he
of the one Universal Being as a foundation of innumerable unities. “Non
igitur falsa, sed altior quam a triviali Peripaticorum sensu
fuit illa Xenophanis et Parmenidis sententia; 'Ens' unum, immobile,
quod in rei veritate idem et principium et principiatum; sicut
substantialiter praeter unitatem nihil est numerus; quod non est unum,
nihil est; ergo
est ens, unum et verum, multitudo vero relinquitur ut accidens, ut
ut non ens: ita intelliges ubi monadis vocem audies: 'sum quod es.' Ut
ergo praeter monadem nihil est, praeter atomos et puncta nullum est
quantum, ita et praeter minimi proportionem et definitionem nulla est
nullus est geometra et nulla consequenter philosophia.“ Truly,
dialectical genius! He assumes firstly that only absolute unity is
that multiplicity is a vain imagination,
and thence (ergo)
that “praeter atomos“ (atoms,
plural) there can be nothing. It is
talk of contradiction here, but
it is more interesting to note that such a sequence of thought
with mathematical certainty the exact point where the diagonal of his
inwardly directed thought intersects his, so to say, no less inwardly
unsymmetrical vision, and, in opposition consequently to his thought,
the mind of Bruno.
“Si ergo contemplatio naturae
vestigia persequitur, et in minimo speculando consistat, et in mininium
contemplando desinat oportet“ (DE TRIPLICE
MINIMO, I, 4, note; Tocco
ed., I³, p. 149). Bruno uses all kinds of terms for the atom which
his varying views of it: he names it “monas“
(monad, i.e. unity) when
considers it as something spiritual; “minimum“
when he wishes to say
least physical quantity; “punctum“
(a point) when discussing a
system; “Unum“ (One) when
treating of arithmetical computation ....
the differentiation is not very keenly maintained, and the idea of
(or, as Bruno writes it “atomus“)
is synonymous with the other terms as
is proved by the passage in DE MINIMO, I,
2, so frequently quoted, viz.
“Minimum substantia rerum est ...
hinc monas, hinc atomus.“
DE ANIMA, Book I, chap. 2, towards
... “censet imagines
praeditas inesse universitati rerum“ ... (Cicero, DE
NATURA DEORUM, I,
Cf. his ATOMIC THEORY.
Vide the whole work DE L'INFINITO;
e.g. p. 389: “Cotal spacio lo diciamo
infinito, perche non è
convenienza, possibilità, senso ò natura che debba
esso sono infiniti mondi,“ etc.
The passage in METAPHYSICS,
V, 17, where Aristotle makes limitation and form synonymous is
is the form of that which has
magnitude“ (as translated by Bonitz, p. 108).
Vide in particular PHYSICS,
III, 7. Bruno's contrary view is pithily expressed as follows:
et fundamentum errorum omnium, tum in physica tum in mathesi, est
continui in infinitum“ (DE TRIPLICI
MINIMO ET MENSURA, I, 6, Tocco ed.,
One passage only, instead of
on atoms and empty space: “ma
philosophie ne réfute rien autre
que cette philosophie creuse et subtile composée de vide et
a coutume d'attribuer à
Démocnite et à Epicure, ou quelques autres qui lui
et qui ne me regardent point du tout“ (letter of 27.xi.1637, VI,
In connection with this, cf. also especially § 202 of part 4 of
PRINCIPIA. Regarding the “forces,“ Descartes never tires
those “who in this way ascribe little souls to substances“ and, for
“attribute gravity to things in much the same way as thought is an
of the human being“ (cf. e.g. Book IX, pp 104, 133).
Cf. the fourth MEDITATION
(ed. Cousin, I, 303), where on this point he says: “Je suis
indifferent à le nier ou à l'assurer, ou bien même
à m'abstenir d'en donner aucun jugement.“ And should it
that this is only a preliminary admission, which is entirely withdrawn
in the sixth MEDITATION in favour of absolute dualism, I
objector to the beautiful letter in vol. VIII, p. 586 et seq., where
same idea is developed many years afterwards.
Haeckel's idea of the Universe
signifies a relapse of the clumsiest kind into unadulterated mythology,
clumsy, namely, because it goes to work not intuitively from force of
but from ratiocination, and because — unlike the mythologies of
natural races — the hair-raising audacity of his similes, which
no more with perception than they do with logic. This is neither poetry
nor science nor philosophy, but a stillborn bastard of this unity.
As against the assertion that
Descartes' thought was solely directed outwardly, a hypercritical
might object that he often spoke of Infinity in a manner more
of Bruno than of Aristotle. But real knowledge of Descartes shows that
he champions Infinity only as being a necessary attribute of God —
from a purely theological point of view — but on the other hand, he
sets up exactly the same distinction in science, which was afterwards
by Kant in such a masterly fashion and by him critically applied, to
the idea of an “Infintitum“
(Illimitable), and of an “Indefinitum“
Bruno is indebted to Cardinal Cusa for the doctrine of Infinity, which
he expounded with so much enthusiastic zeal, and it is precisely in
to Cusa that Descartes propounds his own contrary opinion: “Je ne dis
que le monde soit infini, mais indéfini seulement; en quoi il y
une différence assez remarquable; car pour dire qu'une chose est
avoir quelque raison qui la
connaître telle, ce qu'on ne peut avoir que de Dieu seul; mais
dire qu'elle est indéfinie, il suffit de n'avoir point de raison
par laquelle on puisse trouver qu'elle ait des bornes“ (letter of
X, 46. Cf. also OEUVRES INÉDITES,
HISTORY OF THE
COLOUR-THEORY, part I,
and part II, sec. 2.
HISTORY OF THE
Vol. I, number 1‚ of the said
periodical, p. 52.
Cf. LO SPACCIO, p. 407, and
in many other places.
thought it right to reproach me severely on account of this and some
similar passages, although the connection and the entire book quite
show that expressions such as “our mind is organised“ are only to be
MATERIALISM, Book II, sec. I, p. 376 of the 1881
Conclusion of preface to PROLEGOMENA.
The whole paragraph about the “indolence or stupidity“ of those who
the assurance to decide “metaphysical questions“ without even
the “true principles of criticism“ should be read.
HISTOIRE DU PEUPLE D'ISRAEL,
13th ed., I, 49.
Cf. LETTER TO LOUIS DE BALZAC
of March, 1631, VI, 199.
This connection was for long
unsuspected, because Bruno's works could nowhere be obtained; even
1810 Goethe complained that they were not to be found (VIII, 189 et
for a long while he seems only to have known that which was quoted in
DICTIONNAIRE, or six quite brief extracts in all (cf.
AND ESSAYS BY GOETHE, p. 101). An
edition compiled by Richard Wagner's
uncle, Adolf Wagner, of the works in Italian only appeared in 1830; in
Latin they have only been published within the last ten years.
Book 7, 525—527.
The fact that he treats only
parts I and II of the PRINCIPIA, leaving out the entire
upon which Descartes lays special stress, is extremely significant of
intellect. Kant, who cares but little for philosophers, did once give
in a note to his disgust for Spinoza's “arrogance, which knew no
and showed up the
of his mathematical
Spinoza's philosophy seems to Kant the pure type of a method of
which is in every particular opposed to genuine scientific critical
(Cf. WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THOUGHT
REGULATION?). Spinoza in general
to be the only person against whom Kant, always so temperate and ready
to recognise the merits of others, felt lifelong insuperable antipathy
(cf. Professor Friedrich Heman's book on KANT AND SPINOZA
vol. V, especially p. 291).
The English philosopher,
the famous translator of Plato, very pertinently remarks: “The
tenets of Spinoza taken in their entirety, may be described as the
religion translated into the regions of abstraction“ (PLATO'S
3rd ed., II, 21). Spinoza's most recent biographer, J. Freudenthal,
establishes the fact that the impressions made by the specifically
philosophy of religion adhered ineradicably in his mind (from an
of SPINOZA, HIS LIFE AND DOCTRINE,
1894, in the supplement of the
ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG, 26, 7 1904).
Cf. the AUTOBIOGRAPHY, ed.
1873, pp. 242 and 144.
DE IMMENSO ET INNUMERABILIBUS,
lib. V, cap. 12, v. 1 (Vol. 1², p. 154).
3rd ENNEAD, book 8, chap.
WORKS, 5th ed., 1837, III,
These excerpts from the
to the PRINCIPIA in the original Latin text run: “Facile
est in Magistellis ipsos per eam (meaning 'philosophia vulgaris')
rationis minus reddi capaces, quam forent si eam nunquam
.... Unde concluendum est, eos qui quamminimum didicerunt illorum
quae hactenus nomine Philosophiae insiquiri solent, ad veram
quammaxime esse idoneos ... quo plus in ea desudarunt, tanto solere ad
verum percipiendum ineptiores esse.“
DE LA CAUSA, p. 277. “It is
not formed nor capable of formation; it is not limited nor limitable;
can it give form or definite shape to anything else.“
Cf. ATTEMPT AT A GENERAL
THEORY, Weimar edition, II, 7, 223, and in APHORISMS
FOR MORPHOLOGY, 6,
I quote from Max Müller's
English text: “There is one eternal Thinker, thinking non-eternal
(THE UPANISHADS, II, 19). Cf. Max
Müller's remarks to the
verse of the
in the same vol., p. 264, note 4, as to the entirely
gloss of the Hindu commentators which Deussen also accepts in the
place in the UPANISHADS (5, Välli, strophe 13) (v. VEDANTIC
Analysed with special
in the first edition of the CRITIQUE OF PURE
REASON, first paragraph of
“The false subtilities of
the four syllogistic figures,“ § 5.
WHAT IS THE MEANING
As in contrast with the
the layman has to allege his proof of every statement, I here produce
passage referred to: “La
veritá é quella entitá che non è
inferiore á cosa alchuna; perche se vuoi fengere
qualche cosa avanti la
veritá, bisogna che stimi quella essere altro che veritá,
et se la
altro che veritá, necesseriamente la intenderai non haver
veritá in se
et essere senza veritá, non essere vera; onde consequentemente
falsa, é cosa de niente, é nulla, é non ente.
che niente puó essere prima che la veritá, se non
che quella via et sopra la veritá, et cotal vero essere non
essere se non per la veritá. Cossi non puó essere altro
con la veritá et essere
quel medesimo senza veritá; per cio
che se per
la veritá non
é vero, non é ente, é falso, é
non puó essere cosa appressa
la veritade; perche
se é dopo lei, é senza lei, se
senza lei, non é vero, perche non liá la veritá in se; sará dumque
falso, sará dumque
niente. Dumque la veritá é avanti tutte le
et con tutte le cose, é dopo tutte le cose,“ etc. These
the words of “Sophia“ or wisdom incarnate; I think this one passage
sufficiently indicate this intellect's “modernity“; one need perhaps
to place it side by side with Descartes' RÈGLES POUR LA
understand wherein the difference lies.
Vide the SUMMA TERMINORUM
METAPHYSICORUM in several places.
Art. XXI, 1¹,
117 et seq.
The reader is referred to
the index of names in Vorländer's edition of both these works.
(N.B. — A
in the CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON
about Hume is entered under “Skeptiker“
and with the erratum,
“p. 781,“ instead of 786.)
TO INTRODUCE THE
IDEA OF NEGATIVE MAGNITUDES INTO
COSMOLOGY, 3rd section, § 4.
Domenico Berti, VITA DI
BRUNO DA NOLA 1868, p. 362 et seq.
Original edition, 1804, p.
28; Alfons Hoffmann's edition, 1902, p. 17.
Vide preface and appendix
to the PROLEGOMENA (1783), “What is the meaning of
thought-regulation?“ (1786); “Concerning
a discovery by which
all fresh analysis of the reasoning faculty may be dispensed with by
the use of an older one“ (1790); “On the recent adoption of a
higher philosophical standard“ (1796); “Explanation with regard to
teaching of science“ (1799); “Letters,“
THE ONLY POSSIBLE REASON,
etc., part II, 5th consideration, § 2.
Reicke, KANTIANA, p. 164.
Also cf. the notes in the
preface to these lectures, p. 5.
REPORT OF THE
IN THE WINTER SESSION, 1765-1766.
INVESTIGATION OF THE
OF THE PRINCIPLES, etc. (Introduction and Second
In VIII, 624, of Hartenstein's
edition of 1868.
It is characteristic that
Kant, on reaching Descartes, in his BRIEF SKETCH
OF A HISTORY OF
(Logic, IV), makes no mention
of the “cogito, ergo sum“ and
which still “pad“ our textbooks, but only lays stress upon this single
thing, namely, that Descartes “contributed greatly to bring clearness
thinking by the establishment of the criterion of truth, which he
to consist in the clarity and manifestation of intuitive knowledge.“
Cf. e.g. SUMMA
METAPHYSICORUM, Tocco ed., 1¹,
p. 113 et seq.
Vide, inter alia, infra, and
specially, DE IMAGINUM, SIGNORUM ET
IDEARUM COMPOSITIONE, PRAEFATIO,
Tocco ed., 14, 104.
Bruno's connection with the
Neo-Platonists is so close that he sometimes follows Plotinus page for
page and simile for simile in his own finest works, of which fact one
be easily convinced by help of the notes to Lasson's German edition of
DE LA CAUSA; see also Bartholomess, JORDANO
BRUNO, II, 320: “Lorsqu'on
compare Bruno avec les néoplatoniciens d'Alexandrie, il faut
citer, parcequ'il faudrait noter chaque page.“ But at first
the Lucretian doctrine in regard
of spatial infinity and inhabited worlds without end, and with Cardinal
Cusa, the chief instructor of his early years (who died 1464, nine
before Copernicus was born. Cf. hereon the Cardinal's DE
Book 2, chap. 12, and the comprehensive book by J. F. Clemens, GIORDANO
BRUNO AND NICHOLAS OF CUSA
(1847, p. 142 et seq.). I
must take this
of calling attention to the fact that the books of Copernicus were not
placed on the Index during Bruno's lifetime, and that Cusa's were held
in the highest estimation. I therefore believe that Bruno was condemned
by the Inquisition for heresy, pantheism, and defending sorcery, but
for philosophy and natural science. Two pamphlets among the lately
OPERA INEDITA by Bruno treat fully of
magic and astrology; and these
are DE MAGIS ET THESES DE MAGIA,
and DE MAGIA MATHEMATICA.
Yet also in
the works longest known, both in Italian (vide specially DE LA
240, 237, and LO SPACCIO, pp. 530, 532)
and in Latin (vide specially
SIGILLORUM, pp. 165, 197—199), there are plenty of
passages in proof
Bruno's belief in magic, which is intimately connected with his entire
conception of Nature. In the DE IMAGINUM,
SIGNORUM ET IDEARUM
(Tocco ed., II³, 90), we read: “Ille
qui in se videt omnia, quique est
omnia idem .... Tunc ut possibile esset intelligere omnia, non esset
difficile omnia facere.“ In the SIGILLUS SIGILLORUM,
he advocates the “transfusio
virtutis ab una potentia in aliam“ (II², 176). Here it is
recall that Roger Bacon composed a work, DE NULLITATE MAGIAE,
earlier. None of those who know him will deny that Bruno was a “star“;
but in such traits as these the difference between morning stars and
of evening is brought to light. In this connection it is not
to notice that even although Bruno was a Catholic not altogether free
ecclesiastical censure, he shows still less sympathy with the doctrines
of the Reformation. In the great struggle about faith and works he
with the Pope against Luther, and calls the latter's conception “una
bovina et asina fiducia,“ an idle, bovine and asinine belief!
the Reformation, stock, lock and barrel, with the pet name “macchia del
mondo,“ the plague and scandal of the earth, and prays God thus:
le dissipe, disperda et annulle et spinga con qualsivolga forza,
et industria sino à la memoria del nome di
pestîfero germe,“ to
destroy, expel, and annihilate the Reformers, by any and every
force, weapons, and stratagems until even the memory of such a
brood is wiped out of existence (LO SPACClO,
2ndo dialogo, I parte,
pp. 462—468). This “religion of science“ evidently promised to be
“... si Dio non é la
natura istessa, certo é la natura de la natura (works in
Dio è vicino, con se et dentro
di se, piu ch'egli medesimo esser
non si possa; come quello ch'é anima de le anime, vita de le
(p. 700) abbiamo dottrina di non
cercar la divinitá rimossa da noi, se
l'abbiamo appresso di noi, anzi di dentro più che noi medesimi
(p. 128) .... Tutti sono
principalmente, realmente et finalmente uno
una cosa medesima (p. 483).“ The first and last of these
are from SPACCIO DE LA BESTIA TRIONFANTE
(3rd Dialogue, 2nd part, and 2nd Dialogue, 2nd part); the second from DE
GL' HEROICI FURORI (2nd
part, 1, 4), and the third from the CENA DELLE
CENERI (1st Dialogue).
“God is poured into the Reason
by means of Nature; Reason climbs upward through Nature to God“ (DE
MINIMO, 1³, 136). Cf. DE LA CAUSA,
PRINCIPIO ET UNO, p. 283 “...
una et medesima scala, per la quale la natura descende alla produttion
de le cose, et l'intelletto ascende alla cognition di quelle; l'uno et
l'altra da l'unitá procede all unitá....“
“L'anima de l'huomo é medesima
in essenza specifica et generica con quelle de le mosche,
marine et piante“ (CABALA DEL CAVALLO
PEGASEO, p. 585).
Vide all the beginning of
5th Dialogue of the DE LA CAUSA, where
all the hundred repetitions in
Italian and Latin
works are summarised and expounded
with magnificent vigour.
“Nomen unum omnia significans,
Ratio una omnia considerans, omnia unus desiderans Appetitus“ (DE
METAPHYSICORUM, 14, 117.
DE GL' HEROICI FURORI
2nd Dialogue, p. 634).
101. “... l'unitá é
uno infinito implicito et l'infinito é la unitá explicita“ (LO SPACCIO,
454, and in many other places).
“Nativitas est expansio centri,
vita consistentia sphaerae, mors contractio in centrum“ (DE TRIPLICI
MINIMO, 1, 3, note, Tocco ed.,
9. KHANDA. (Deussen, SIXTY VEDANTIC
UPANI5HADS, 1897, p. 797).
4, 4, 22 (inter alia, p. 479).
MEISTER ECKHART, Sermon 98
(Pfeiffer ed., p. 316).
106. “... dalla monade che é la
procede questa monade che é la natura, l'universo, il mondo,
si contempla et specchia come il sole nella luna“ (DE GL'HEROICI
FURORI, 2nd part, end of 2nd Dialogue, p. 724).
Cf. DE IMMENSO, LIBER
cap. 10 (1², 314); DE TRIPLICI MINIMO,
part I, canto 4, vv. 18-19, and
SUMMA TERMINORUM METAPHYSICORUM,
14, 73: “Deus
Sicut enim Natura est unicuique fundamentum entitatis, ita profundis
naturae unius cujusque fundamentum est Deus.“
Once we find Bruno treading the
Cartesian road: “evidens est, Deum
non decipere nec decipi ... ita ...
absque ulla haesitatione evidens esse censendum est, quidquid ille
proponit credendum esse verum,“ etc. (14,
100). But he deduces no conclusion
might be profitable for the intuitional theory, but only the abstract
that Nature, which either itself is God, or Divine power manifest in
(“aut Deus ipse, aut divina virtus in
rebus ipsis manifestata“), will
never be found out of harmony with the word of God or His will (“non
verbo Dei,“ etc.), whereby we have again got to what Kant calls
memb. 3, art. I, § 4, § 23. Kant, on the other hand, reminds
us: “The simple (i.e. then, the Indivisible) ceases to be matter“; it
also that it cannot supply any element for the construction of the
DE TRIPLICI MINIMO, notes
6 (1³, pp. 151, 154). This work in particular (and before all the
book, DE MINIMI EXISTENTIA,
and the third, INVENTIO MINIMI)
to be studied for Bruno's THEORY OF THE MINIMUM,
and DE MONADE NUMERO
FIGURA, as well as the above-mentioned ARTICULI
The reader will find the most illuminating elucidations on this problem
of infinite divisibility — a problem which, of course, only admits of
solution — in Kant, METAPHYS. PRIMER OF
NATURAL SCIENCE, 2nd chief
4th theorem, note 2.
“Omnium corporum vis est in sphaera,
omnis spherae vis est in circulo, omnis circuli vis in centro, vis
in invisibili. Minimum quantitate
est virtute maximum, sicut potentia totius ignis in virtute
ignis sita est. In minimo ergo, quod est absconditum ab oculis omnium,
etiam sapientum et fortasse Deorum, vis omnis est; ideo ipsum est
omnium“ (ARTICULI ADVERSOS MATHEMATICOS,
memb. 3, § 26. Tocco ed., 1³, 24).
Transition from ELEM. METAPHYS.,
etc., I, 125. Cf. Çankara's
expositions in the VEDANTIC
II, 1, 29.
I, V, and II, 730.
Kant himself briefly indicated the comparison of our reason with a
(in contrast with the one usually accepted, viz. “a wide plain of
extent“), inter alia, p. 790.
an intellect akin to Plato's and Kant's, who lived some thousand years
before, wrote this: “It is matter of common knowledge that some teach
thing and some another from their reflective intuitions, and they
contradict each other. For that which one thinker maintains is perfect
intuition is demolished by another, and the latter's again by a third,
as every one knows“ (THE VEDANTIC SÛTRAS,
translated by Paul Deussen,
Another remarkable passage runs
thus: “Non est Deus vel intelligentia
exterior circumrotans et
dignius enim illi — debet esse internum principium motus...“ (DE
12, note, ed. Fiorentino, 1², 158).
OF VIRTUE DOCTRINE,
III, note to theorem 2. And cf. PURE REASON,
404, 408, etc.
“The soul cannot be mingled with
the body...“ (DE ANIMA, 3, 4).
PROLEGOMENA (Appendix 15). The
reader will find the elementary distinction between the thing and the
adapted for the use of the inexperienced, in CONVERSATIONS,
3 title, on turning to § 7 of the ANTHROPOLOGY. The
has been aroused by the previous lecture is, for the purpose of
with Kant, also advised to read the former's 3rd MEDITATION.
is fully possessed of one-half of the intuitive analytical faculty:
la principale erreur et la plus ordinaire qui s'y puisse rencontrer
en ce que je juge que les idées qui sont en moi sont semblables
ou conformes à des choses qui sont hors de moi...“; but,
he lacks the complementary discrimination of the Ego as being equally
he once more relapses into abstractions and dogmatic assertions.
Cf. POSTHUMOUS PAPERS,
LETTERS, I, 129; PURE REASON,
533; idem, I, 359,
LETTER TO TIEFTRUNK of 5th April,
The decisive importance of the
“method“ of Kant's thought and system of philosophy will only be fully
discussed in the final lecture.
Cf. the preparation for this
perception and the quotation from Schiller at the end of the previous
Vide Jachmann, end of 8th
OBSERVATIONS ON THE FEELING
BEAUTIFUL AND SUBLIME, Sec. III, towards
the end and quite at the
of Sec. II. For “they“ read “he“ in four places in the first quotation.
From PHAEDRUS, 245 A.
“Εις μιαν τε ιδεαν
συνορωντα αχειν τα
(PHAEDRUS, 265 D).
“Plato is by nature a being possessed
by Love above all, he is so unswervingly from the cradle to the grave;
and as love is necessarily directed at first to visible things, this
in love' (his own expression is 'τα εροτικα') led to an
development of the senses“ (PLATO AND PLATONISM,
1910, p. 134). Vide
REPUBLIC for the “τα
του καλου εροτικα,“ 403 C.
In the work by Pater referred to,
cf. the entire chapter, THE GENIUS OF PLATO.
and cf. PHAEDRUS,
247 et seq. It is worthy of
note how the presence of Love is glorified
in the whole of Nature in the SYMPOSIUM, beginning with
Eryxmachos, his praise of the prevailing concord of lifeless elements
and forces, and ending with the premonitions of final intuitive truth
and procreation, which Socrates puts into Diotima's mouth. In this
every layman is strongly advised to read Rudolf Kassner's German
of these immortal masterpieces published by Diederich. This
in spite of some serious violence to the original, is so vivid and
in its literary style that it is more likely to inspire love and
than all the rest.
THE RISE OF
LATER AESTHETICISM, 1886,
p. 357. Stein was unaware of the actual existence of a type
and its wide dissemination; what interested him was the paradox that a
drunken Dionysus could have been taken for an image of Plato; now,
Egyptian records of
Emperor Hadrian's time have shown
that the Διονυσοπλατων was a
well-known statue, based on a
prevalent conception (cf. Supplement to the MUNICH ALLGEMEINE
More upon this point towards the
final lecture's close.
Cf. Eucken, HISTORY OF
TERMINOLOGY, 1879, p. 16 et seq.
LETTERS ON THE FURTHERANCE
No. 79; according to the original form which was afterwards altered by
Herder (COLLECTED WORKS, Suphan edition,
1804 edition, p. 193; von Hoffmann's
edition, 1902, p. 410.
249 C and D.
Cf. Biedermann, GOETHE'S
CONVERSATIONS, III, 200, and IX, 113. (Cf. also above,
preface, p. 6.)
Cf. POWER OF JUDGMENT,
for exact text.
Natorp, PLATO'S DOCTRINE OF THE
IDEAL, p. 370. The best verdict on Aristotle known to me
FRAGMENTS FOR A HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY,
§ 5: “The greatest
united to circumspection, power of observation, versatility and lack of
profundity, may be cited as the foundations of Aristotle's intellect.
philosophic view of the world is shallow, although carried out with
In Hartenstein's complete edition,
1867, VIII, 794.
Splendid proofs of his
in delicate shades of verbal meaning occur in many works, as, for
in the above-mentioned ESSAY ON DISEASES OF THE
stupid, dull, simple, foolish, etc.), and are particularly numerous in
OBSERVATIONS ON THE FEELINGS OF THE BEAUTIFUL,
etc., and in the
as well as in the REFLECTIONS, published by Benno
Cf. specially PHILEBOS,
A, in this connection.
“The Good is beautiful“
216 D, SYMPOSIUM, 201 B, and in many other places). In
the REPUBLIC, Book
METAPHYSICS, VII, 6,
Plato's “Ideal of the Good“ is not
a purely ethical abstraction, but this idea rather forms the central
of his metaphysics, and always increasingly so with the progress of his
thought towards maturity, and denotes the final, supreme law of
the point from which thought, if it
be called thought at all,
“αυτος ο λογος,“ must
originate; and yet these are metaphysical depths
cannot here be discussed. I refer the reader to Natorp, inter alia, pp. 183-196, although
these marvellous expositions about the Good firstly
as the finally ethical, secondly as the finally logical, and thirdly as
the finally cosmic principle, do not in coy opinion seem to reach the
lowest depths. With Plato “the Good“ frequently means the same as that
which we to-day would call “purposivity.“
THOUGHTS ABOUT GOETHE, 3rd
ed., p. 161.
“De mundi sensibilis atque
intelligibilis forma et principiis“ is generally translated
and the principles of the sensual and intellectual world“; I think the
above version gives the true sense better.
LETTERS, I, 117. The detailed
plan of the work referred to will be found on p. 124, and hence it is
that the “phenomenology“ (sic)
which certainly contained nothing but
critical analysis, was only considered to be the introductory part of
Cf. also my FOUNDATIONS, p.
887 et seq. [English
ii, p. 424].
Cf. PURE REASON, 2 Preface,
XXV, 9, 789, 823, 879, and REFLECTIONS, II, 40.
Abridged from the CHARMIDES,
THEAITETOS, 184 C, D; and
cf. Natorp, inter alia, p.
108. We read precisely the same thing in
KANSHITAKI-UPANISHAD, III, 8: “Not the
form should be desired, but he
sees should be perceived; not the tone should be sought, but he who
should be seen. (Deussen's version, p. 50.)
Abridged from the REPUBLIC,
31. It is significant that
for this passage — for this thought, which could only have been
by this one man in the course of thousands of years — the authenticity
of the SOPHIST should often have been, and still be,
by specialists. “Men of the most extensive learning can be very
“Quae sunt, interrogas? Propria
Platonis supellex est, ideas vocat....“ (EPISTOLA,
Vide ETHNOLOGICAL AND
JOURNAL, Vol. IV, pp. 403-464. The details, to which I
refer above, are
on p. 434 et seq.
As examples, vide the
213 E, and the SOPHIST, 235 D.
It may also well be that he
(as e.g. PHAEDRUS, 265) conceives the “Idea“ species as
the sum total
something clearly perceived and from that first separates the “Eide-genus,“
which caused some philologists, who were but little practised in
Nature, to translate Idea
with genus, and Eidos with
failed to grasp that although, logically, species is subordinate to
yet that in reality, as Plato here rightly says, firstly, “all things
are scattered must be comprised within a unity,“ before a separation
a particular genus can be undertaken. The method which is adopted in
research is to comprise the various species not perhaps too strictly
within a certain genus, and not the other way about.
“Eidos“ and “Idea“ are both
derived from the word ειδω
(resp. from eidemai and idein) which
the two meanings of “to see“ and “to know.“ This twofold meaning is
to the common Indo-Germanic root “wid,“
“which is probably latent from
the beginning in the notion that knowledge has its origin on the sense
of sight“; the original elemental quality of seeing is already very
in the Sanskrit “veda“ and the
German “wissen“ (to know, to
the Greek idiom the thought of vision predominates. Cf. Curtius,
OF GREEK ETYMOLOGY, I¹, 82,
Kluge, ETYM. DIC. OF THE GERMAN
under “wissen“). It is obvious
how from the very beginning of things
word has a duplicate, combining and differentiative, or, in a word, a
253 D. The words in square
brackets are auxiliary for the elucidation of the exact and undoubted
which all the united Grecian sages would fail to extract from the
made by Schleiermacher
and Hieronymus Müller.
The reader who is more
in thinking is advised to read PURE REASON,
680 et seq., and especially
682, with regard to the distinction between genus and species (Eidos
Plato naturally anticipated
this objection, and answered it in the PHAEDO, 100;
him — and
precisely in accord with Kant — we can, as a general proposition, only
that in the realm of thought of which we assume the existence.
The word “εμμετρια“
or balance) contains the idea “μετρον,“
the measure of confined
rhythm, a fact not to be
if the full beauty of the passage is to be understood.
The THEAITETOS abridged, but
literally so, from the three conjunctive passages, 157 A, 160 B, C, and
182 B. For the further comprehension of this leading idea of all
analysis, cf. Kant's differentiation between a “defining“ and a
ego (PURE REASON, 407 et seq., and I, 402).
Kant gives the example of
the dog in PURE REASON, 180.
Plato himself never succeeded
in clearly describing the idea of “appearance,“ yet he sometimes
it as “phantasia“ or paraphrases it by the use of a verb, and says: “we
say 'it appears' “ (“φαινεται ο
λεγομεν,“ the SOPHIST,
Cf. also in the THEAITETOS,
193 et seq.
Free, but actually accurate,
paraphrastic interpretation of the PHAEDO, 75.
The reader will find a further
and very beautiful passage on the general value of antinomy in critical
thought in the first paragraph of the Notes II to § 57 of THE
POWER OF JUDGMENT.
A modern zoologist with
empirical leanings writes: “Different sense-organs, when questioned
regard to the same object, give ... quite incommensurable answers. And
as a matter of fact closer investigation reveals that congregation of
our phenomenal material of quite heterogeneous and quite incomparable
which only acquires definition as a uniform object through apperception
(the Ego)“ (J. von
Uexküll, IN THE CONTEST
FOR THE SOUL IN
S.A. from THE RESULTS OF PHYSIOLOGY,
part II, 1902). I do not quote this
as an argument or a justification, but only as a psychologico-empirical
help for such as are still unpractised in critical thinking.
With regard to this, Paul
Natorp's epoch-making book, PLATO'S DOCTRINE OF
THE IDEAL, AN
TO IDEALISM, 1903, should be compared,
especially for the comprehension
of Plato. This work supplies a final conclusion, because it contains
entirely satisfactory conception of the leading metaphysical idea in
to the “acribie“ which is philologically so indispensable to the
treatment of the subject, the idea to which everything
and from which everything
It is true that the publication of this work during the time occupied
the preparation of this lecture did not induce me to alter my view, yet
I feel myself at the same time so enriched by having made its
that a mere occasional reference would not suffice to give expression
the great obligation thereby conferred on me; on the contrary, I feel
to beg all who care to know Plato truly, to drink for themselves at
well of information.
This is the exact literal meaning
of the phrase, which is purposely kept vague in the TIMAEUS,
LES DILEMMES DE LA
PURE (1901) contains a novel and interesting view of the
problem by Renouvier.
Kant says precisely the same
thing (but as is usual with him, negatively instead of positively
in a letter written in 1772. “The things of the world are neither
nor unalterable“ (LETTERS, I, 129).
I once for all remark that in the
following explanations I have in general used “force“ where, in
with the customary word employed to-day in the exact sciences, the more
appropriate word would have been “energy.“ I have done so because
taught me that an exotic term like “energy“ scares the layman, or
him to imagine some bogy with magical powers; an idea expressed by a
term at once becomes an abstraction, whereas I strive to invest every
with the greatest possible amount of perceptibility. And since, to the
best of my knowledge, Robert Mayer never used the word “energy,“ and
never saw any reason to change the title of his celebrated treatise ON
THE CONSERVATION OF FORCE (die
Erhaltung der Kraft) (published in
but, as a matter of fact, repeated the same title in the lectures
in his later years, I boldly break away from the adoption of the
expression, the general use of which is otherwise perfectly justified.
Strictly speaking, every single force is the effect and consequence of
the abstract conception of energy as a constant quantity (cf.
THE FORMS OF ENERGY).
Perhaps this formula may be more practical: “The
human mind operates with hypothetical atoms when thinking of 'force,'
when thinking of 'energy' (at all events as we regard it to-day), it
with this assumption.“
Newton in PRINCIPIA I,
8, says: ... has vires
(attractionem, impulsum, propensionem) non physice sed mathematice con
sidero. Unde caveat lector, ne per hujusmodi
cogitet me speciem vel modum actionis, causamve, aut rationem physicam
alicubi definire, vel centris vires vere et physice tribuere, si forte
“centra trahere,“ aut “vires centrorum esse dixero. In OPTICS
he says: “What I call attraction may be performed by impulse or by some
other means unknown to me. I use that word here to signify only in
any force by which bodies tend towards one another, whatsoever be the
Vide Weyhrauch's excellent
publication, “The mechanics of heat in Robert Mayer's collected works,
third edition revised and enlarged with historico-literary reports,“
p. 231 et seq.
None have done more than
Mayer for the advancement of modern science; but it is eminently
that all professed naturalists and laymen should themselves follow the
line of thought pursued by this great genius, instead of stamping their
minds with an article of faith extracted from textbooks, which consists
in the simultaneously mystic and materialistic dogma of the
of force“; for they would then clearly there recognise for themselves
basis of his creative thought. In this connection, Robert Mayer says in
the first essay, OBSERVATIONS ON THE FORCES OF
INANIMATE NATURE, 1842,
that it is impossible to prove that heat is transformed into motion or
motion into heat; “he, however, prefers the hypothesis that heat is the
result of motion, to the assumption of a cause without an effect and of
an effect without a cause.“ He “prefers the assumption“! Here is a
clear instance of an idea as an hypothesis for the explanation of
as taught by Plato and held in abhorrence by Aristotle. And the second
work in this connection, ORGANIC MOTION IN ITS
RELATION TO CHEMICAL
1845, where he wishes to convince his opponents of the impossibility of
the reduction of motion to nothing when its effect becomes
but that, on the contrary, it must necessarily have been transformed
another equal and indestructible force, Mayer “relies upon“ the “law of
thought“ as “an absolutely conclusive“ illustration; or, therefore, the
idea as the law — which, of course, is the fundamental idea of the
Platonic philosophy! This single example may stand for all
of the precedent idea in Galileo's view can be just as plainly seen
several passages in his DISCORSI.
Heinrich Hertz's Introduction
to the PRINCIPLES OF MECHANICS
is here especially recommended to all who desire to descend or ascend
This quotation from Helmholtz
occurs in the complete edition of LECTURES AND SPEECHES,
4th ed., I, 227. The sentence itself is explained by the addition:
change in Nature consists in this, viz. that the force at work changes
its form and place without any change taking place in its quantity. The
universe is endowed with a store of working force which can neither be
changed nor increased nor diminished by phenomenal transformation, and
which sustains all processes of change within it.“ Now this is both
reasoned and expressed; and yet I think that we laymen might well be
with a formula which seemed sufficient for a Helmholtz.
Here, too, in particular, cf. Hans
Driesch's little book, BIOLOGY AS AN INDEPENDENT
ELEMENTAL SCIENCE, 1893
this successful zoological experimentalist shows the current notion
life is the result of physico-chemical action, to be merely an empty
“But phrases are ever more handy tools than thoughts“ (p. 48). That
physicist, Professor Tait, declares that the endeavour to trace the
of life from matter and force is “simply unscientific“ and proves that
the attempt to do so either sets aside (although, perhaps,
all the Newtonian laws of motion as being false, and thus abolishes the
entire natural mechanical system, or attaches a meaning to “matter “,
would render exact physical science impossible (Lecture printed in the
CONTEMPORARY REVIEW, vol.
January, 1878, p. 298 et seq.).
ORIGIN OF THE FITTEST (1886), THE
PRIMARY FACTORS OF ORGANIC
The whole of the second lecture
in general may here be referred to. Vide
also my FOUNDATIONS,
ON SCIENCE, 2nd ed., p. 225.
DE L'ESPRIT, Discours I, cap. 4.
Similarly Descartes in many
places, e.g. PRINCIPIA II, § 16.
Jean Perrin maintains that
all the definitions hitherto
of the so greatly belauded “energy“
amount to no more than the statement: quelque
chose demeure constant,
something or other persists unchanged. (TREATISE ON PHYSICAL
pt. I, THE PRINCIPIA, 1903).
THE PRINCIPLES OF MECHANICS
(Introduction to), p. 9. This is entirely in the style of Platonic
alia, p. 265) thus condenses
Plato's doctrine in the PARMENIDES, “Postulation is
Turn, for instance, to C.
von Nägeli, MECHANICO-PHYSIOLOGICAL THEORY
OF THE DOCTRINE OF
1884, p. 83: “The origin of the organic from the inorganic is, in its
not a question of experience and experiment, but a fact based upon the
law of the conservation of matter and force.“ “Fact“ as opposed to
is distinctly precious in the mouth of a professional natural
the much-despised monks of the Middle Ages argued precisely thus. Max
on p. 125 of the 3rd ed., 1901, of his GENERAL PHYSIOLOGY,
similar view with regard to the hypothesis that life is not identical
matter; this, says he, is “a bit of mysticism,“ and with profound
adds: “Knowledge and mysticism are mutually exclusive.“ But if the
that life — the most evident to us of all phenomena — is an independent
idea, is “a bit of mysticism,“ then the assumption of the altogether
ideas of “matter“ and “force“ must at last be “religion.“ To such
incapacity for thinking and seeing our science of to-day has come! (Cf.
p. 89, vol. II.)
It is of importance to
clearly not only that a living being can only originate from a living
but also that within each individual living body all the constituent
of life — everything, therefore, which effects growth, nutrition, and
functions of life in general — are operative through the media of
and force, but are themselves in their turn produced by definitely
elements of life which again had their origin in identical elements.
not even within the body itself, is there any “alchemical“
of inorganic into organic substance. This fact was stated at the
Scientific Academy, as long ago as 6th June, 1890, by Julius Wiesner,
investigator of well-known empirical bent, who summed up the result of
all exact research as follows: “There is no such thing as spontaneous
from dead substance,“
science has disproved all assertions of such a method of origin within
an organised body itself“; on the contrary, “experience teaches us that
everything organic proceeds from the inorganic.“ Thus science, based on
sound observation, hunts spontaneous generation out of its last
(More on this point is to be found in Wiesner's THE ELEMENTAL
AND GROWTH OF LIVING MATTER,
published in 1893). And, finally, one of
greatest living physicists and cosmologists, Svante Arrhenius, has
had the sense and the courage to say, “... In my opinion, enquiry into
origin of the earliest form of life stands on the same level as the
as to the origin of matter. We must gradually grow accustomed to the
that forms of life have survived through all eternity, and could not
have had their origin in time ...“ (The UMSCHAU, or
Besides this, there are a
few specialists — not, of course, taken very seriously by serious
of science — who are just now busying themselves with the ad oculos
of the transition from crystallised forms into living organisms! The
of crystals giving birth to their “young“ has been now vouchsafed unto
us; the arrival upon the scene of the “homunculus“ cannot surely be now
much longer delayed!
All possible forms of
find their exhaustive mathematical expression in the single formula of
the “Bravaisian law.“
Cf. Tschermak's TEXTBOOK OF
MINERALOGY, § 11.
This even holds good of the
individual atoms composing the molecules. Professor Sir Oliver Lodge
the view in a lecture, given by him on 5.ii.1903, that every atom of
consists of 30,000 “electrons“ so infinitesimally small that — in
to their size — they are as far asunder from each other as the planets
from their central suns, and the central suns from each other. “Our
science grows more like astronomy from day to day,“ says this learned
“we begin to question whether absolute magnitude has any definite
at all ... and whether the entire solar system is not itself merely
“The elements,“ says Goethe,
“are to be regarded as colossal foes with whom we must do eternal
(Weimar edition, II, 12, 102).
Cf. especially METAPHYSIC.
PRIMER NAT. SCI., III,
Theorem 3. Here Kant most clearly proves that
possibility of establishing a science of Nature rests altogether on the
law of inertia (as well as that of persistence),“ and that “directly
departs therefrom but a single step, one falls into Hylozoism (matter
with life) and so, therefore, into the death of all natural
The adepts in the doctrines of an Ernst Haeckel should reflect that
acceptation would imply nothing less than completest renunciation of
all exact physical science.
Concerning the stern necessity
for such a reduction of all ideas (platonically speaking) to uniform
cf. p. 202-203 of the 1902 edition of SCIENCE AND HYPOTHESIS
by one of
most eminent contemporaneous mathematicians, namely, Poincaré:
l'histoire du développement de la physique, on distingue deux
inverses ... l'unité ... et la variété.... Si
qui l'emporte, la science est possible.“ The entire distinction
given by observation and the “unité“
demanded by the intellect in its search for knowledge (and science),
corresponds with Plato's discrimination and between, and correlation
of δοξα and διανοια.
Particularly clear in Heinrich
Hertz, who thus defines force as “the intermediary link of thought
two forms of motion“ (INTRODUCTION, p. 34). It is
observable that Hertz
would prefer simply to say “motion“ in the place of “force“; but still
the idea of transformation of one form of motion into another obtrudes
itself, which, therefore, is to say that motion itself is again subject
to impulse, and this thought is too essential not to require another
for its interpretation.
More will be said on this
point in the next lecture.
SIXTY VEDANTIC UPANISHADS,
translated by Paul Deussen, p. 851. Per
contra, Kuno Fischer's version,
subject is not in time, but time
is in him,“ is obviously wrong; time is a mode of knowledge, not
which can be contained in some other thing.
Kant probably anticipated
this when he said: “The principle of life seems to be of an immaterial
nature“ (DREAMS, I, i).
THE PRIMARY FACTORS OF ORGANIC
EVOLUTION, 1896 p. 482 et
seq. It is more probable that
death is a
of life than that the living is a product of the non-living. (A
and intuition thus attained by
of pure empiricism must not on any account be confused with Fechner's
and “All-Consciousness“ as some of the readers of the first edition of
1908 happened to do.)
And Alfred Wallace, the
of the theory of natural selection, with regard to the phenomenon of
also thinks: “There is in all this something quite beyond and apart
chemical changes....“ (DARWINISM, ed. 1889, p. 474 et
seq. A pamphlet
R. Neumeister, a professor of physiological chemistry, entitled,
OF THE ESSENTIALS OF THE PHENOMENA OF
LIFE; A CONTRIBUTION TO THE
OF PROTOPLASM, 1908, seems to me to deserve
attention on account of the
scientific profundity there displayed on the question which is here but
slightly entered into. Its strictly technical polemics against the
confused — and
in reality almost criminally amateurish — ideas of Ostwald and Verworn
are extremely gratifying. That genius, Otto Weininger, has condensed
all that need here be said into one paradoxical dictum: “Chemistry can
only be successfully encountered with the excrements of the living“
AND CHARACTER, 2nd edition, p. 429 et seq.).
The zoologist, Prof. Rud.
Burckhardt, recently spoke some words very well worth notice about the
necessity of overcoming the tyranny of the cellular theory and “the
generalisations of cellular phenomena“ (CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE
SYSTEMATISED BIOLOGY, 1903, p. sec. A.
Proceedings of Nat. Soc., in
XVI, 393. Vide also NATURE
ET SCIENCES NATURELLES,
1904, chap. II, by
Houssaye), 1908. In his GENERAL BIOLOGY,
1906, Oscar Hertwig says: “The
term 'cell' is really misleading; a speck of protoplasm, an 'elementary
organism' is all that is now left by this definition (cf. pp. 8 and 9).
Cf. THE PERCEPTION OF GREAT
ORGANISATION IN A
SPACE, 1836, and INFUSORIAE AS
COMPLETE ORGANISMS, 1838.
With regard to the
of the protozoa, the dissertations by Franz Leydig in 1864 (ON
OF THE ANIMAL BODY, p. 15 et
seq.), are still very well worth reading
Cf. Claus, ZOOLOGY, sixth ed., 1897, p. 235.
The pharynx is very
illustrated in the RECORDS OF PROTIST RESEARCH,
1903, II, plate 3, fig.
6e and 8e.
LECTURES ON THE THEORY OF
1902, I, 353.
Vide, in the above Record,
II, 73 et seq. ON THE
MORE DELICATE STRUCTURES OF THE CILIARY
OF THE INFUSORIAE.
Turning over the pages of
the RECORDS OF PROTIST RESEARCH
attentively will show that the
given above apply not only to Infusoriae, but to all unicellular life,
soon as this is submitted to more stringent investigations. (Vide e.g.
respecting the GREGARINAE — hitherto regarded as the ne plus ultra of
simplicity — ANNUAL,
1904, vol. III, No. 3, p. 340 et seq).
Cf. especially De Bary,
(Myxomycetes), in his book, COMPARATIVE
MORPHOLOGY AND BIOLOGY OF THE
FUNGI, 1884, p. 453 et
seq. Brief descriptions are found in every
Fritz Schaudinn, recognised as the
foremost investigator of unicellular organisms, who unfortunately died
prematurely, says in the ZOOLOGICAL YEAR-BOOKS,
SECTION, ANATOMY AND
OF ANIMALS, vol. XIII, 1899-1900, p. 281:
recent research about protozoa
has proved how greatly complicated the relations may here be, how
may be the differences here presented in organisms apparently closely
(i.e. mainly by organisms similar in external appearance; what, for
is not comprised within the Amoeba group!). Our astonishment
increases with what we perceive, the farther we penetrate into this
world, as regards the differentiation and transformation which the
cell presents to our view.“ The UMSCHAU, or Review, of
contains reports of experiments made with infusoriae, which show that
do not, as hitherto assumed, take
their food merely mechanically, but exercise a faculty of
in their nourishment. “This result of research,“ it is inter alia
“is also to be regarded as an uncommonly important contribution to the
fact that the organism of the protozoa is far more complex than
“To standardise the meaning
of cellular-growth ...“! Is this not mediaeval scholasticism to the
nth power? Holy St. Crispin, ora pro nobis!
Cf. also Lecture I, p. ? (58
CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE POWER
OF JUDGMENT, p. 315. I consider Ernst Mach's
contrary view (vide MECHANIC,
Ch. 5, § 1), to be mere hair-splitting; these
all schoolmen from crown to heel,
and differ from Occam and Duns Scotus only in the subjects of
and their appropriate terminology. It is as plain as the sun at noon
Kant does not use the word “mechanics“ in its restricted technical
but in its more extended meaning of everything which is motion or can
interpreted as motion, or — if one must needs insist on splitting hairs
— everything which is in any way capable of numerical expression.
Cf. the Bruno lecture, p.
368. The following explanations are complementary to what has there
Here, in view of the confusion
produced by the use of the word “complicated,“ it might be well to
Goethe's remark: “The most glorious thing in the mineralogical world is
the simplest, and in the organized world it is the most complex. One
therefore, that both worlds have quite different tendencies, and that
them there is no graduated progressive scale whatever“ (CONVERSATIONS
ECKERMANN of 2, II, 1831).
Formerly “organic“ and
an identical meaning (cf. Eucken, ABSTRACT IDEAS
OF THE PRESENT DAY, p.
156). Plato uses the term “organon“ to express “sense-instrumentality“
in the THEAITETOS (p. 185); in my opinion he attached no
idea to the word.
The great Buffon remarks:
“C'est l'organisation qui fait
proprement notre existence; la
considérée sous ce point de vue, en est moins le sujet
Concerning purposivity as
a “transcendental principle“ cf. POWER OF JUDGMENT,
A small book by the celebrated
physicist, Sir Oliver Lodge, entitled LIFE AND MATTER,
was published in
few weeks after the first edition
of the present book, which in almost the same words expressed the
here developed. In the German translation (p. 104) just published
1908) it says: “The view of life which I have attempted to utter above
is that it is neither matter nor energy, nor even a combined function
them both, but that it must be placed in quite another scientific
This exact investigator, therefore, arrived at a conclusion identical
my own, and his exposition supplements my own no less than mine forms a
necessary complement to his (1908).
Cf. ON THE POSITIONS OF
IN RELATION TO THEIR ILLUMINATION
(Reports of the German Botanical
1902) and specially ON THE
OF LEAF-DISPOSITION (Central Journal of Biology,
1903, vol. XXIII, 209
et seq., 1908. The large,
book by the natural scientist referred to, THE ENJOYMENT
OF LIGHT BY
has in the meantime appeared
The speech is printed in
extenso in NATURE of 24.vii.1902.
Vide THE STRUCTURE
AS EVIDENCE OF HIS PAST, 3rd ed.,
1902, p. 217 et seq.
I am indebted to Professor
Leopold von Schroeder's lectures on OLD ARYAN
RELIGION given at the
of Vienna, but which have not yet appeared in print, for this hint.
Cf. Maspero, LES PEUPLES
DE L'ORIENT CLASSIQUE, I, 155.
FOR THE HISTORY OF IDEAS, 1874,
p. 63 et seq., besides
None the less, Kant elsewhere calls
the usual evolutionary conception which is the modern scientific
of faith, “the vulgar, shallow method of presentation“ (ON THE
PRINCIPLES IN PHILOSOPHY, Rosenkranz
edition, VI, 369).
SUR UN ÉCRIT ANONYME,
In his excellent apologetic book,
ON THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE DARWINIAN
PRINCIPLE OF NATURAL SELECTION
edition, p. 227) one of the most capable and consistent champions of
Professor Ludwig Plate, says: “The essential nature of natural
... is to be seen in this, namely, that by the separation of bodies
and incapable of survival the purpose aimed at is progress towards
Literally, then, as much as to say a continuous creation of the more
the less, or of something out of nothing.
In this connection I point to
otherwise scarcely intelligible thought that its perfectibility is “the
quality which alone renders persistence possible“ (XII, 148). Of
the first necessity of all would be the scientific determination of
which is “like“ Nature and what not; we marvel to-day in childlike
of the baldest anthropomorphism at certain changes, — for instance,
pigeons — as at a miracle, albeit Nature herself instructs us that this
means nothing to her, and although we also overlook other changes
humanly speaking, seem to be minimal,
which Nature herself fails to
in aeons of time. Thus at this hour we are entirely unable to set up
based on scientific reasoning about persistence or alteration of living
forms; the necessary preparation is lacking, and is so because we are
in the dark about the problem itself.
See further down.
Plato already had this idea of
the “Oneness of Life,“ and says that all animals stood in a relation of
mutual reciprocity (the TIMAEUS, 30 D et seq.). It may seem
whether this unity will find its ideal expression in the mathematical
of a differential equation, but I am of opinion that the
of such a formula will sooner or later surely lead to its discovery.
is required is something which Kant calls a “regulative“ as opposed to
a “constitutive“ idea, that is to say, an idea which points out the way
for the inquisitive mind of man to take, and thus leads him on from
to discovery, but not an idea which claims the substantial weight of an
ascertained fact, whereby thought is irremovably nailed fast. (Cf. PURE
REASON, 715, and POWER OF
in many passages.)
Such was the impetus given
by his doctrine that, even in Plato's lifetime and within his own
of thought, attempts were made at a “division into species“
(διαιρεσις ειδων. PHIL.,
20 C). (Cf. Natorp, inter alia,
In his ORIGIN AND PRINCIPLE
OF SPECIES IN NATURAL HISTORY,
p. 4, Nägeli draws attention to the
fact that the earliest founders of systematisation — men like
and Tournefort — laid special stress on the importance of the genus,
treated species as a secondary thing; it was only later that any need
felt for precise definition of the idea “species.“ The entire question
of the connection between individual, species, genus, type, and so
and particularly as regarded the number of relative views and the
of abstraction, could not here be even suggested, much less gone into.
Should I be spared, I hope to achieve this later on in detail in a
ON PHILOSOPHY IN GENERAL.
In his still readable HISTORY
AND JUDGMENT OF ALL ZOOLOGICAL SYSTEMS
(1811), Spix pithily names him
cunning artist“ and opines: “He brings the light of day into the whole
world of natural history“ (p. 92 and XVII). And Spix is very far indeed
from being a follower of the system of the mighty Swede; he only speaks
of his services
determining the idea of “species.“
Yves Delage, too, a convinced evolutionist of our own times, refers to
incomparable merits of Linnaeus, and says that not a single present-day
naturalist is capable of a similar accomplishment
The most important of Linnaeus'
works appeared between 1735-1775.
Whereas, if properly put, the basic
question of all systemisation would run: How comes it that, in spite of
this idea of “species“ being a human invention, there are constant
I would here briefly draw the
attention to the following connection: “species“ is an abstract idea
est un mot abstrait,“ says Buffon, chap. L'ÂNE),
whereas “form“ is an
perception; therefore “conservation of the species“ is a metaphysical
and “persistence of form“ an idea.
The most recent formula runs thus:
“Thus our own day has seen the solution of the great problem of how
can be born without the co-operation of purposive forces“ (Weismann,
OF DESCENT, 1902, II, 441).
Keen-witted David Hume asks: “I
would fain know how an animal could subsist, unless its parts were so
(NATURAL RELIGION, 1st edition, p. 153).
The words in italics are
in a different fount of type in the original.
Vide SESSION OF THE
SCIENCES on 22, III, 1830, and cf. DISCOURS SUR
RÉVOLUTIONS DE LA SURFACE DE LA GLOBE.
THE FOUNDATIONS OF ZOOLOGY,
1898, p. 216. More than 10,000 species of animals alone are known from
the Silurian epoch.
One is involuntarily reminded of
how in no-thing
the first thing surged up from
It may perhaps be worth while to
draw the reader's attention to the fact that the “fundamental
law,“ so pompously blazoned forth to the wide world as Ernst Haeckel's
discovery — the alleged repetition of racial history in the development
of the individual — is a very old idea,
as an article of faith by most
of the eighteenth-century natural philosophers. Bonnet uses the same
“Palingenesis“ in 1768 as Gegenbaur does to-day; in this case
transmission“ — namely, of thoughts — is very apparent. Erasmus Darwin,
Schelling, Kielmeyer, and others express the same notion quite
Diderot at least hints at it in his PENSÉES SUR
DE LA NATURE, ch. 58 (published in 1754), when
he expounds the entire
doctrine. Meantime and independently of this enlightenment by dogma,
science was born. Karl Ernst von Baer, the founder of scientific
is the discoverer of all those series of facts which that speculative
Haeckel, recoined into his so-called “laws,“ whereas the indispensable
complementary corollary of palaeontological facts and ideas is almost
be placed exclusively to the credit of the greatest genius who ever
the whole ardour of an extraordinarily powerful intellect to the
of natural research, I mean — Louis Agassiz. Only it must be said that
these men (of whom one died only in 1876, and the other only in 1873)
disputed the correctness of the phantastic deductions drawn from the
and were never wearied of pointing out that in addition to the
of the hypothetical assumptions, an unconscious, perhaps, but none the
less complete, falsification step by step of the facts was the
(Cf. here also Karl Ernst von Baer's essay, ON THE DARWINIAN
than ever deserving of perusal to-day, in vol. II of his collected
and essays.) The layman desiring to know how Haeckel partly suppresses
and partly perverts facts in his famous genealogies, is particularly
to read sect. 7 of ch. 3 of Louis Agassiz's DE L'ÉSPÈCE
DE LA CLASSIFICATION EN ZOOLOGIE,
also published in English as ESSAY ON
CLASSIFICATION. Not less interesting is the classical
booklet by Milne
(the last of the race of great zoologists, deceased 1885), INTRODUCTION
À LA ZOOLOGIE GÉNÉRALE,
chap. VI of which contains a
of all pertinent embryological facts and exposes the frivolity with
the perversion of the truth is effected under the pressure of
paralysing the reason, and forms the foundation on which the entire
edifice rests. Karl Camillo Schneider's HISTOLOGY, p.
some interesting corrections and additions from the most recent
A characteristic symptom of our
is the increasing tendency to
relegate things to ever remoter and remoter origins. Thus, for
man was said to be descended from the ape; the anatomical impossibility
of this is established to-day by a thousand reasons; moreover, the
simian skeletons known to us belong to the so-called “higher“ apes,
the so-called “lower“ apes only appear at a later period (vide
in the NATURALIST CONGRESS, 1903); so now
the formula is: Man is not
descended from the ape, but both man and ape are descendants of a
ancestor unknown. And similar statements are made on every other page
we turn to Gegenbaur. We are always advised again and again to “assume
an origin yet more remote.“ Thus it is, for instance, impossible to
any connection between the mammalia and the reptilia; Gegenbaur, who
be better informed than any of his contemporaries, says so; but in
of all such trifles, although they are recurrent warnings at every
the pretty little logical story, which makes everything so nicely
is not willingly surrendered; all we need is the assumption of “primary
reptilian conditions of which we have no knowledge“ (vide I, 67). And
it goes from page to page. And all the textbooks of the present day
the same tale. Even professed Darwinians who have managed to keep some
freedom of thought, find things getting beyond them; NATURE
contains a keen criticism on Gegenbaur with a demonstration of the
in which his rage for proving the truth of evolution in and out of
involves him, written by the zoologist, H. Gadow. — 1908. The reader
find a highly interesting note by a specialist in Professor Karl
essay PALAEONTOLOGY AND THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION
in the “AUSTRIAN
1907, No. 3. “The extremely frequent uniformity of primitive
with those of an advanced specialised fossilised type has two
consequences for the evolutionary doctrinaire. It compels him on the
hand to eliminate those types — which are precisely the most
and striking — from the ancestral line of recent formative groups, and
to class them with extinct lateral branches, and on the other hand to
the departure of special formative groups from a common ancestral
in an increasingly remote period of time. In each one of Haeckel's
genealogies one may observe that in the ancestry of the higher mammalia
imaginary creatures almost always
the place of direct ancestors,
that, on the other hand, those animals known in a fossilised condition,
form the side branches, which become extinct, of that genealogical
It is most highly improbable that such genealogies should correspond
the relations actually existing in Nature.“
Vide Dreyer, PENEROPLIS,
TO BIOLOGICAL MORPHOLOGY AND THE PROBLEM
OF SPECIES, 1898, p. 107. It
worthy of special note that a man like Dreyer, who has observed and
more than 25,000 specimens of the microscopic Radiolariae (radicipeds)
their very great variability of form, considers “the tenacious
with which every living form asserts itself to be the basic phenomenon
of life (p. 119). It was the same with Louis Agassiz, who undertook the
task of carefully comparing 27,000 specimens of a snail singly, with
result that no two individuals out of the whole number were exactly
but also with the further undoubted result that the Linnaean conception
of the “species“ was absolutely justified (DE L'ESPÈCE,
But, to prevent misconception, it must here be said that the question
permanent change of form and the transformation of the so-called
“species“ remains an open one, although the nonsensical dogmas of the
on natural selection and descent may once for all be rejected. In this
work I could not as much as even hint at my own views.
Cf. e.g. Johannes Ranke's MAN,
2nd ed., II, from p. 471 to p. 483. Broca also says of certain races of
the stone age: “they had in some of their traits attained the loftiest
noblest stages of human development“ (quoted in ANTHROPOLOGICAL
1904, I, No. 4, p. 185). In this connection it is not perhaps quite
to state that Cuvier and Agassiz both had unusually large skulls and
intellectual features, whereas neither Lamarck nor Darwin were above
average in these respects.
An excellent compilation of
pertinent hereto is to be found in Auffahrt's THE PLATONIC
1883, p. 35 et seq.
In addition cf. the
THEAITETOS, 182 et seq.,
and the TIMAEUS, 27 et
In addition cf. PURE REASON, 266 et seq.,
where Kant proves that without the idea of “the
there can be no idea of time or even of change. “Only that which is
is subject to change.“
Vide the illustration given by
Hertz, p. 133.
In one passage Darwin refers to
this, but, unfortunately, had never read Buffon himself, and always
him at second hand, or otherwise he would probably have hesitated at
some of the conclusions arrived at.
This passage is in AMOEN. ACAD.,
VI, 296 (1763): “Suspicio est, quam
diu fovi neque jam pro veritate
venditare audeo; sed per modum hypotheseos propono: quod scilicet omnes
species ejusdem generis ab initio unam constituerit speciem ...“
from Von Baer, SPEECHES, II, 256, note, where the
passage is given in
Additional appropriate passages occur in Leydig's HORAE ZOOLOGICAE,
p. 219 et seq. Thus, for
instance, Linnaeus says of two kinds of
narcissus,“ which are still considered separate species, “una ex altera
orta.“ — 1908. I can now refer to my contribution to the
Souvenir, GOETHE, LINNAEUS, AND THE EXACT
SCIENCE OF NATURE (vide in
p. 233 et seq.).
THE SLOTHS. Plato also believes
in “infinite periods of time“ with infinite changes of form (vide LAWS,
676, and cf. with passage above quoted).
In particular vide Wolff's
regarding the regeneration of the ophthalmic lens, and also cf. K. C.
VITALISM, p. 18.
All the types extant to-day are
present in the palaeolithic formations (vertebrates included); all that
are wanting are the simplest, or, as one habitually says, the “lowest“
but these are not calculated for conservation in this way, so that
can be deduced from their absence; neither have other types of
than those now extant been found.
Persistence from the earliest ages
down to the present holds good not only of the few shells constantly
such as Lingula, Terebratula,
etc. — but of an ever-increasing number
newly discovered animals with an exceedingly complex anatomy. The
of the said species of shells is, indeed, all the more remarkable,
it is precisely this species of shells which change their form with
rapidity owing to the inconsiderable variations in the amount of salt,
carbonic acid, lime, and the other components of salt water, so that it
might almost be fair to assume that the palaeozoic ocean was identical
in composition with that of to-day; yet the persistence of more complex
forms of life is
greater interest. Thus, for
we find many varieties of scorpions in the Silurian, and in the
period there are numerous varieties of Arachnidae. According to an
given by Prof. Anton Fritsch at the Session of the Viennese Academy
on 7.xii.1903, 63 species of Arachnidae from palaeozoic strata are
to-day, belonging to 38 genera and 11 different families. In the year
I saw in the South Kensington Museum in London, a recently discovered
Leonian spider, Cryptostemma afzelii, which, in the opinion of
is almost quite identical with a specimen, Poliocherci punctata, from
coal strata of North America. Those who have any idea of the vast
complexity of these animals, which possess a completely developed
system and extremely differentiated sex organs — especially in view of
the ideas prevalent to-day — must necessarily be greatly surprised to
such an organised form as this persisting unchanged through the
ages which separate us from the Carboniferous periods. If, however, it
has not been persistent, but is of recent origin, this one fact
shatters every evolutionary hypothesis, because, obviously, no degree
similarity can justify the deduction of consanguinity.
The layman with a thirst
for knowledge will find an excellent illustration in Fleischmann's
TEXTBOOK, 1898, Plate III.
Turning to whatsoever book we may
on zoological anatomy, though couched in the most materialistic
we always come upon the expression “idea“ (Gedanke) or its paraphrase
“type,“ “constructive plan,“ and so on. “Typus“ is borrowed from the
and signifies “model“ or pattern (“the type,“ says Goethe, “is the
and unattainable pattern“). “Plan“ is French, and means “diagram or
In both words, therefore, there is an implication of a sharpened,
combined, process of thought, although the foreign words may in some
cause the basic fact of thought to escape the inattentive.
“On my theory, unity of type
is explained by unity of descent.“ (ORIGIN OF SPECIES,
“Conviction of a common organic descent has become the generally
starting-point for speculative research“ (Hugo
de Vries, THE THEORY OF MUTATION,
1903, II, 664). It can be proved that if the adherents of the evolution
allowed this dogma to be
— a dogma by whose side all the articles of faith of the Roman church
together are but child's play — the entire Tower of Babel of historic
would collapse; because, once admitting a plurality of original
the immediate consequence, owing to the paucity of existing prototypes,
is that community of origin cannot be deduced from similarity of
That pioneer in botany, Joh. von Hanstein, made some excellent
on this point twenty years ago on p. 303 et seq. of his little work
and Goethe's true instinct also rejected all such assumptions, because
Nature always shows herself to be generous and even wasteful; even the
human race, he says, is certainly not of common uniform origin
of 6.x.1828). — 1908. Cf. also Hermann Friedmann, THE CONVERGENCE
1904, and F. Reinke, THE PHILOSOPHY OF BOTANY,
p. 166, etc., for the
of kindred types through “convergence“ and not from a uniform origin.
The corresponding Greek word
is also derived from sta = to
Cf. Lecture II, p. 101 hereon.
525 B and
C, 527 B and D.E.
Hereon cf. especially Whitehead,
UNIVERSAL ALGEBRA, 1891:
in its widest signification is the development of all types of formal,
necessary, deductive reasoning.... The ideal of mathematics should be
a calculus to facilitate reasoning in connection with every province of
thought or external experience, in which the succession of thoughts or
events can be definitely ascertained and precisely stated. So that all
serious thought which is not philosophy or inductive reasoning or
literature, shall be mathematics developed by means of a calculus....
Algebras are mathematical sciences, which are essentially concerned
number or quantity ...“ (pp. vi-viii).
The brochure by Th. Zeiher,
THE BRAIN AND SPIRITUAL LIFE,
p. 5 et seq., contains an
survey of the various theories of the ancients.
MECHANISM AND VITALISM, 1902,
Cf. the statement on p. 153.
Aristotle bears witness that
Plato assigned “the intermediate place“ to mathematics (cf. Cohen, PLATO'S
IDEAL DOCTRINE AND MATHEMATICS,
1879, p. 7).
The most important
bearing on Plato's schematic construction (in a connected exposition)
occur at the close of Book VI of the REPUBLIC and the TIMAEUS,
51 D et
The technical expressions are partly divergent, but as the table
shows, correspond precisely in their division.
is a somewhat clearer
perception than “αισθησις,“ whereas with Plato “πιοτις“ always
the scientific edifice based
on hypothesis than “δοξα,“ which is often absorbed in
expresses the pure mathematical constituents of reason, whereas
rather conveys the general conformability of all intellectual ideas.
development of the same schematic idea in PHILEBOS (23
and 27) is very
remarkable, but not more so from the subjectively intuitive and
than from the objectively intuitive and critical point of view, and
results in the following series:
4. αιτια — ideas as the cause.
3. περας — that which defines.
ξυμμιξις — the mingling of the
with the unlimited.
απειρον — Infinity.
from the pure logical
so frequently preferred by Kant, the series would possibly be:
“Original and creative reason.“
SPACCIO (Preface to).
DE LA CAUSA, PRINCIPIO ET
UNO, Dialogue 5.
It is obvious that Plato
only speaks allegorically in the TIMAEUS in order to lay
on the “organistic“ side of the dynamic conception of Nature as opposed
to the idea of atomism. This differs essentially from what Kant in this
respect says of the Cosmos, namely, that it
be regarded as an organic body
of the very highest rank and kind“ (TRANSITION, etc.,
III, p. 85); for
the present question is one of transcendent (not transcendental)
speculations and an ordinance of abstract reason, not therefore of
science (cf. also POWER OF JUDGMENT,
Inter alia, p. v.
Cf. the SOPHIST, 250 B on the
“third“: τριτον αρα τι παρα ταυτα το
ον τη ψυχη τιθεν ...
ON A RECENT ELEVATION OF
TONE, etc. (Rosenkranz edition, I, 686; Hartenstein
edition, 1867, VI,
Cf. e.g. POWER OF JUDGMENT,
§ 91, p. 457 et seq.,
SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS AND
APHORISMS ABOUT NATURAL SCIENCE IN
GENERAL. Weimar edition, II, 131.
CRITIQUE OF POWER OF JUDGMENT,
II, p. xix. Cf. also p. liii.
Thus, for instance, Leo XIII,
in the Encyclical DE STUDIIS SCRIPTURAE
SACRE of the year 1893, and in
a hundred other places at all times.
Vide e.g. ETHICA,
4. ETHICA, I, prop. 15 and 18:
“omnia quae sunt per Deum concipi
That is to say, it is the
result to which the theoretic and the practical reason subjectively
For the extended definition
of the idea “fact“ vide POWER
§ 91, p. 456.
Kant's definition of
“Consciousness is the sole thing which turns phenomena into ideas“
REASON, I, 350).
Vide e.g. PURE REASON,
SEVEN SMALL ESSAYS,
and Schubert edition, IX¹, 269; Hartenstein edition, 1867, IV, 505.
Vide e.g. LETTERS,
ON NATURAL SCIENCE IN GENERAL,
edition, part II, XI, 161.
This subject has already been taken
into consideration from a more external point of view in the previous
(vide vol. I, p. 390).
TRANSITION, etc., III, 393.
The unabridged passage is: “Transcendental philosophy is the science of
forms whereby to constitute oneself into a synthetic unity, made up of
philosophy and thoughts“ (with the variation “to make oneself the
according to a principle“).
Here the word “accidental“
is beyond all price!
LETTRES, I, 157.
a History of Philosophy, § 3.
Repeated in both volumes of his
principal work and in the PARERGA.
In addition, interesting
are to be found in Classen, Stadler, Cohen, and other authors. Cohen
a severe sentence on chap. X, in particular in his book, KANT'S
EXPERIENCE, with the heading, “Schopenhauer's objections
deduction,“ and concludes with the following words, which should be
to heart: “In view of the esteem in which Schopenhauer is held, as
thoroughly conversant with, and an adherent of, the Kantian philosophy,
I have considered it incumbent on me to go through his analysis of it
so that the persuasive assurance with which those unfounded judgments
given forth may at first become suspect, and then, by exacter
of that heart-searching instruction, recognised for what it really is,
namely, mere obstinate wrangling about words of whose inner meaning
judge had not so much as an inkling.“ — 1908. To my regret I had not
of the existence of that meritorious brochure, SCHOPENHAUER'S
TO KANT, by Raoul Richter, 1893.
edition, II, 510; Griesenbach's ed., I, 551. Schopenhauer deserves
mention for once writing down this truth: “Kant was endowed with a
of clear and altogether individual circumspection such as has been
to no other mortal besides“ (ON “UNIVERSITY“
PHILOSOPHY). But it
an eternal puzzle how this statement is to be reconciled with the
assertions of “an incredible lack of reflective capacity.“
317; PURE REASON
(Preface to), 2nd ed., xxxviii.
It is possibly because “1788“
appears on the title page that this date is the one given for the
of the CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON
in all the works written upon it. Yet
has finished the book in the last days of June, 1787, and the publisher
sends out copies as early as the first days of December following. (Cf.
LETTERS, I, 467, 483, 487).
For negative numbers only
have their origin “through projection into space and linear
Whereas pure number is homologous with time, and therefore admits only
of a single direction with the exclusion of possible reversion
it is impossible to ascend
the present into the past, and only direction into the future is
— I can just as well proceed in space from right to left as from left
right, and I denote the one by the sign + and the other by the sign -.
(Cf. Conturat, DE L'INFINI MATHÉMATIQUE,
1896, p. 353 et seq.).
Kant used essentially the
same argument, though much more profoundly and clearly expressed,
in PURE REASON
Already a year before, in 1762,
Kant had pointed out the basic idea of “synthetic judgments,“ which he
judgments,“ and of these
he says: “Human intuition is full of such undemonstrable judgments“ (ON
THE FALSE SUBTLETIES OF THE FOUR
SYLLOGISTIC FIGURES, § 6, towards
Confirmation could have been
from many of the earlier works; I failed to adduce it, because what was
quoted sufficed for my purpose.
A young natural scientist
and philosopher, Hermann von Kesserling, recently wrote me: “The whole
of modern physical science is contained in Kant's TRANSITION,
in the Festival Number of the KANT STUDIES
of Feb. 12th, 1904, F. Heman
makes a strong appeal for the recognition of the vast importance of
fragments which superficial historians have brought into such
Karl Vogt compared the act
of thinking to a secretion, such as bile or saliva!
DE DOCTA IGNORANTIA, I, 2.
ETHICS, 1903, p. 827.
The explanation referred to
is on p. 116 et seq. of the
illustrated, and p. 158 et seq.
This incongruity in Spinoza's
basal assumption initially governs all the deductions supposed to be
Letter to Goethe of 28.x.1794.
QUESTION AND ANSWER.
Cf. FOUNDATIONS, p. 730 et seq. [English
ii, p. 233].
p. 793. [English
ii, p. 311].
REPORT OF THE ARRANGEMENT
OF THE LECTURES IN THE WINTER SESSION,
1765-1766; the words in leaded
are so leaded in the original.
Letter to Goethe of 9.vii.1796.
About PURE REASON, the
the PROLEGOMENA, the POLEMIC AGAINST EBERHARD,
OF NATURAL SCIENCE, the
TRANSITION FROM METAPHYSICS TO PHYSICS;
about PRACTICAL REASON, the
FOR ETHICAL METAPHYSICS, the PRIMER
FOR JURISPRUDENCE, and for the
OF VIRTUE, and the work on GOD, THE WORLD,
AND MAN, known only from
for it; about the POWER OF JUDGMENT, the
Works ON THE USE OF
PRINCIPLES, ON PHILOSOPHY IN
GENERAL, and — as more indirectly
— several others.
Kant's German rendering of
analytical and synthetical (vide
PURE REASON, II).
This fact is made very
clear in a definition of experience found in the posthumous papers:
is the continuous
of the sum total of empiric consciousness.“ (TRANSITION,
Cf. Plato lecture, p. 20. Our
have of late taken to praising an old idea currently known amongst the
schoolmen as “lex parsimoniae naturae“ as a new discovery under various
names. A shoddy idea, indeed! And this “economy of thought,“ of which
Mach, and others make such a fuss to-day, seems to me not, perhaps, an
altogether wrong, but a superficial and very “economic“ idea; it is
not Nature. And, moreover, Kant had already disposed of this obvious
(vide PURE REASON,
I here enter my caveat
possible misunderstanding, and refer to Heinrich Hertz: “We are neither
justified in demanding simplicity a
priori from Nature, nor in judging
of what, in our interpretation of her, may be simple. But we can
the images we form of her, inasmuch as these are our own individual
(PRINCIPLES OF MECHANICS, introduction,
p. 28). Yet it is not, however,
a question of what we may demand, but of what we find; Hertz had the
assumptions of mathematical physicists in his mind; but both the
and the poet simultaneously see both exuberance and simplicity as the
principles in the “style“ of Nature which is visible to the bodily eye.
DISCOURS DE RÉCEPTION
À L'ACADÉMIE FRANÇAISE.
DIARIES, unabridged edition,
TRANSITION, etc., III, 405.
The subject matter of the
is mathematics and philosophy,
conjointly make up the possibility of an exact mechanical science of
in the Newtonian sense, in so far as they are reciprocally conditional
— one as the abstract idea of pure perception, the other as the
idea of pure thought; yet what has been said is applicable without any
limitation. (I have amended the erroneous singular “makes up“ to “make
up“). Kant on the previous side of the same sheet says: “I entered
my 79th year on 22nd of April“; so that this important formula can with
certainty be dated as having been made between 22nd of April, 1802, and
22nd April, 1803.
Cf. previous lecture.
Vide Perrin, TRAITÉ
CHIMIE PHYSIQUE, I, 179.
In PURE REASON, p. 370, we
read as follows: “The transcendental idealist can be ... an empiric
and, as he is called, a dualist“; then on p. 371: “Therefore the
idealist is an empiric realist ...“ consequently the above phrase is a
literally exact expression of Kantian thought.
GENERAL HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY,
The aspect of the matter
unchanged in spite of the fact that the same man who teaches us (2 A,
377, of his SYSTEM): “There is absolutely
nothing outside or
a human being which he can fully and completely (!) call his own except
his Will,“ also assures us in his PHYSIOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY
Will“ is “a mere term,“ and “on being submitted to critical analysis
in nothingness.“ Is then “gravitation“ anything but a word, a symbol?
it intended to be anything else? Does not Newton expressly protect
against every materialist interpretation of the term (vide vol. II, p.
282), and does the word, therefore, convey no meaning?
RÉFLEXIONS SUR LA
DU CALCUL INFINITESIMAL, 4th ed.,
Kant raised an energetic
in advance against a “Philosophy of the Unknown.“ He concludes a
exposition with these words: “Therefore the idea that any being can
operate purposively, yet without a purpose or aim implied in itself or
its cause, is altogether imaginary sand vain, that is to say, devoid of
any foundation in an existing object to which such an idea can
(ON THE USE OF TELEOLOGICAL
Cf. in particular PURE
I, 118 et seq. § II
but still more strongly,
exactly the same, because Kant was rightly careful to try and avoid
the region of psychology, as now and again he happened to do in §
Cf. LA SCIENCE
1902, pp. 207 and 197.
Many passages in the CRITIQUE
OF PURE REASON but I, p. 706 et
seq., in particular.
PURE REASON in several
but specially I, 126 et seq.
Briefly summarised, these
judgments of the understanding on which all exact science is based are:
(1) all perceptions are extensive magnitudes; (2) all sensations are
magnitudes; (3) potential experience consists in the idea formed by
of a necessary connotation of perceptions.
One of the great services
rendered by Hermann Cohen is the incontestable demonstration of the
of the tables of categories. On the categories themselves, cf. the
lecture, p. 252.
The word “Nature“ is here
used in the wider sense of an all-embracing “universe“ and as it has
used in our diagram, where it is opposed in thought to the idea of the
“Ego“ as all-embracing reason (vide
third lecture, p. 268). But
as has just been shown, may signify the material as opposed to the
or — and this is by no means the same thing — “Nature“ may be an idea
the theoretical reason, an abstraction of all laws as opposed to
of the will.“ None but pedants can rail against this interchange of
terms, for not only has it a base in history, but the one meaning is
or incorporated with another; the word in this way — as before
remarked — becomes
an organ or instrument; it moves and carries us along with it. The same
may be said of the word “reason.“ Reason, if it comprises theoretical
practical reason, is an idea transcendentally opposed to the idea
it then embraces all things, it becomes the Platonic “Noesis,“ the
of science and religion. But in the CRITIQUE OF PURE
matter treated is almost always theoretical reason in the more
sense, and here the essential relation is altered. Here reason
denotes the idea of the inclusively “rational“ (or pure thought)
with the “empiric“ (PURE REASON, e.g.
863), and, consequently, comprises
the understanding, but at times
also the formal part of sensuality, but more frequently “reason“
to that complex unity,
— sensuality“; this is the meaning which must be assumed throughout in
this work, except where other definitions are expressedly given;
however, sensuality momentarily drops out of view, and the only
question is the distinction between the understanding which forms
and the reason which creates ideas. He who — like too many so-called
men — only looks at the life-work of a Kant now and then may, of
be easily misled by such things as these; but he who saturates himself
with it will soon acquire the wisdom of not degrading the word to an
sign — a proceeding which seems to be Professor Mach's ideal — but even
of preserving its meaning as a plastic living reality in an organic
with its entire contextual surroundings.
Kant further says, in §
91 of POWER OF JUDGMENT: “God, freedom of
the will, and the immortality
of the soul
those problems whose solution is
the final and sole aim of the entire armoury of metaphysics.“
THE ONLY POSSIBLE REASON FOR
PROVING THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
Here I naturally had only
to allude quite generally to the distinction between “metaphysical“ and
“transcendental.“ Attempted closer exposition would only have led to
most subtle processes of Kantian thought, especially in so far as Kant,
in discussing the fundamental considerations about the a priori method,
also discriminates between the pure formal “transcendental“ and the
disquisitions, which latter rather regard the content of thought. I
refer the reader to Cohen as the best guide for the explanation of
intricate relations. Cohen also admits that Kant's presentation
from the fundamental defect“ of not “surely and thoroughly“ sifting out
the transcendental and the metaphysical separately (cf. KANT'S
OF AN ETHICAL SYSTEM, 1877, p. 24
et seq., and KANT'S
1885, p. 253 et seq., as well
as 74, 99 et seq., 368, 583,
Vide e.g. Prof. Wenzel
very interesting brochure MOTION AND INERTIA,
LA SCIENCE ET
1902, p. 141.
Cf. the whole of the Leonardo
THE WORLD AS WILL AND
II, ch. 46.
ON PHILOSOPHY IN GENERAL,
Justice can only be done to
Wundt's great achievements
by getting rid of the false
conveyed in the title of his principal work; for in reality it does not
deal with that monstrosity of thought “physiological psychology,“ but
“psychological physiology,“ that is to say, scientifically anatomical
physiology, which gives appropriate and due weights to all phenomena of
the alleged soul in the form of a continuous commentary.
PRUSSIAN YEARBOOKS, February,
1904, p. 354.
CONCERNING A DISCOVERY BY
WHICH ALL FRESH ANALYSIS OF THE REASONING
FACULTY MAY BE DISPENSED
BY THE USE OF AN OLDER ONE,
Haberlandt, SENSE-ORGANS IN
THE VEGETABLE KINGDOM, 1901.
ANNALES, 1812; tome XIX, p.
76. It is common knowledge that the relations of the nervous system
the basis of his celebrated classification.
It is everywhere stated that
Descartes declared that the pineal gland was the seat of the soul. It
high time to put one's heel also on this confusion, engendered by
lazy, and stupid, pygmies, which has been hawked about for centuries.
is so far from declaring the pineal gland to be “the seat of the soul“
that he distinctly says: “Il est
besoin de savoir que l'âme est
jointe à tout le corps, et qu'on ne peut pas proprement dire
soit en quelqu'une de ses parties à l'exclusion des autres“
PASSIONS DE L'AME, art. XXX). That ought
to be sufficiently plain. In
31, 32, and 34, Descartes certainly develops
hypothesis that as the pineal gland
is the only unpaired cerebral organ, it probably performs the
function of creating uniformity, so that, perhaps (il me semble), the
“exerce ses fonctions plus
particulièrement que dans les autres
STUDIES OF THE PROTISTS, 1889.
Uexküll IN THE
CONTEST FOR THE ANIMAL-SOUL, 1902, p. 24.
Vide the Leonardo lecture,
“Weimar edition,“ 2nd sect.,
II, 162. The continuation of this significant dictum runs: “We are
'between the devil and the deep sea.' Either we must
the object a plus quantity and
forego our own subjective plus, or we must increase the subject by a
and not take this into account.“ This one saying sufficiently proves
far from Spinoza and how near to Kant Goethe really
I must note that Kant
and highly esteems a “rational psychology“ as being a means of exact
as soon as it relinquishes the brain-sick idea based on philosophic
of founding a systematic and critico-analytic philosophy, and arrives
the perception that, quite conversely, it must itself be based on the
analysis of intuition. For, as Kant remarks, it is ridiculous to
that anything whatever can be decided as to the origin of experience
it has been settled in what experience consists. What would astronomy
without an antecedent theory of the laws of motion? But if we are in
of a critical analysis and transcendental system of reason, then
may indeed be of some use, because “it can then search for the
elements, if not the principle of its potentiality, yet for the
causes of its procreation in experience itself“ (cf. PROLEGOMENA,
§ 21a, and PURE REASON, § 13,
et seq. The little book by
Natorp, INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY BY THE
CRITICAL METHOD, published by
Mohr, at Freiburg, 1888, is an excellent preliminary to the study of
so understood, and is herewith strongly recommended to the reader.
Every syllable of Kant's
careful attention, and I therefore here give the closer definition of
term “in Nature.“ If “substance“ is to be no more than a loose term for
chaos, for Plato's μη ον,
then its existence outside my own thought
be affirmed; but if “substance“ means a constituent part of a uniform
then its existence must be denied, for Nature is an idea of the reason,
a regulative, constructive idea.
The fine fellow who challenged
us to lay ourselves across the rails didn't for a moment think that
could be so hard, and objects so soft!
As far as it is intended to
affect Kant, among many passages sufficient to refute the constantly
and stupid assertion, it needs only this one from p. 663 et seq. of
REASON, viz.: “The principle of deducing a cause from
... as an effect of that cause is a principle of the intuitive
of Nature, not, however,
on speculation ... the idea of
a cause loses all meaning, when used merely speculatively, and no less
so than this is the case with the accidental, whose objective reality
could be intellectualised in concreto.“
Vide ante omnia Jean Perrin,
TRAITÉ DE CHIMIE PHYSIQUE,
I, 1903, p. xiii et 108 et seq.
PARERGA, On Philosophy, §
Cf. PURE REASON, 42 and
(especially 751). Kant — who in this respect always did too little
than too much — developed this extremely subtle distinction, scarcely
upon in his principal works, more fully towards the close of the first
section of the polemical pamphlet CONCERNING A DISCOVERY,
pays so little attention to the exact text in Kant as frequently to
words when quoting him and, indeed, important words which he alone
immaterial, and thus creates unintentionally false impressions. Every
of Schopenhauer's criticism of Kantian philosophy is earnestly advised
to submit all the references to word-for-word comparison with the
Vide in particular the
of ch. I, vol. II, of THE WORLD AS WILL
AND PHENOMENON. Here almost
sentence, almost every word, is a challenge thrown to the critical,
systematic Platonic and Kantian idealist in favour of a dogmatic
which is a combination of materialism and mysticism.
Regarding the idea of “law“
vide especially PURE
REASON, I, 126 et
A good expression which Mach
once employs (v. p. 472).
Considered thus, Plato's
in making space = substance (Timaeus)
is made clear.
Cf. many other passages, and in
particular § 24 of PURE REASON.
For further explanations cf.
p. 206 et seq.
The Schopenhauerian “Will“
as the thing per se and “root
of the intellect“ stands exactly here.
This idea, which is so very
important for the Kantian system, is developed with particular
in PURE REASON, 522 et seq.
The technical term
subject“ occurs also in Kant; it denotes the negative Ego per se, and
forms the exact counterpart to the transcendental object. Thus e.g.
REASON, 404, and I, 355.
Note on p. 1 of Preface to ON THE
IDEA OF A SCIENTIFIC DOCTRINE.
The following is textual: “A scientific
doctrine might in the future decide this dispute in the direction of
that our intuitive perception is not actually in direct relation
the medium of the idea, but perhaps indirectly through the medium of
caused by the thing in itself; that things are indeed idealised as
but felt as things in themselves.“
(The italicised words are italicised
in the original).
THE WORLD AS WILL AND
vol. I, § 24. “If, now, all these considerations, even in
result in the clear and assured perception which everyone directly
in concreto, i.e. in feeling,
namely, that the essence per se
phenomenon ... is the Will ... etc.“ It is only this application of
thought which hinders us from regarding the phenomenon as final, but it
forms the transition to the “thing in itself.“ The whole paragraph
be read; every word of it is a flat contradiction of all the basic
of critical analysis.
TRANSITION, etc., III,
554 and 555. In all these expressions the “thing in itself“ is
meant to convey the same idea as the “Ego per se.“ Cf. also in PURE
430: “It is impossible to see the Noumenon in oneself, because ...“
“Nature and freedom of the
Will are the two hinges of the portals of philosophy.“ (TRANSITION,
The Ego, in this sense of
an entirely indefinable perception, is neither perception nor thought
neither phenomenon nor “thing per se“;
neither is it, in any
logically intelligible sense of the word, an “Ego,“ but only a
an entity, akin as it were to an intangible element or “formless
from which perception and thought proceed, a perception and a thought
immediately bifurcate into “I am“ and “the world is.“ (Cf. hereon PURE
REASON, 422, and I, 381 et seq. and 402).
PROGRESS, etc. (conclusion
of No. II). The text has “Philodoxy“; yet as Kant himself translates
with “ratiocinator“ (“Vernunfts-Künstler“) (v. e.g. LOGIC,
iii) I felt justified in introducing the more vigorous German word
FRAGMENTS FROM THE POSTHUMOUS
(Von Hartenstein edition, 1868, VIII, 621).
FACTS AND COMMENTS.
Cf. the letter to Moses
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF
paragraph). In this connection
one of that interesting English mystic, Blake's, sayings deserves
viz.: “The fool shall not enter into
heaven be he ever so holy.“
Cf. Spencer's AUTOBIOGRAPHY,
ch. XVIII. The fact referred to above would be of but little intrinsic
interest with respect to a thinker who raised ignorance to the dignity
of a principle of life, and boasted of never once having had Locke's
ON THE HUMAN UNDERSTANDING in his
hands; yet a beneficent destiny
this active and sincere personality a lengthened term of life and,
he had survived his eightieth year, and the entire superb philosophic
in many volumes was complete, Spencer, in the repose and leisure of his
closing days, at last came to see that the problem of the nature of
was not by any means futile (the consideration in question begins, “Old
people must have many reflections in common“), and he now calls
ultimate question.“ And he now, with engaging simplicity, says: “There
is one aspect of the Great Enigma to which little attention seems
but which has of late years more frequently impressed me; I refer to
phenomena of Space“ (!) Then he appends a few short observations
incomprehensibility of mathematical relations to this great discovery
“to which little attention seems given“; “how does it happen that the
form of things presents us with truths as incomprehensible as do the
it contains?“ and he goes on to speculate on the attributes of
“innate, eternal, uncreated
in its own being“; although the cosmos and its evolution must
have had a beginning, there could have been no beginning of space, for
space must have existed from all eternity; this spatial magnitude is “a
thought too overwhelming to be dwelt upon“; and lastly this
late years the consciousness that without origin or cause infinite
has ever existed and must ever exist, produces in me a feeling from
I shrink...“ Comment would seem superfluous; but one might well
a wish that Spencer had gone on living for eighty years more, when it
probably have occurred to him that Time, too, of which he here speaks
such marvellous ingenuousness, is a problem which must be subjected to
the critical analysis of its mode of perception. One seems to hear the
stammering utterances of mankind in its infancy,
beginning to think, and only
dimly conscious that the basic problem of all philosophy is the nature
of intuitive perception itself. We may, however, from this example see
whither dogmatic empiricism will lead us, if a thinker is sufficiently
sincere and persistent to follow an empiric philosophic system
to the bitter end; he then, at the end of the nineteenth century,
at that point from which the earliest philosophers among the Hindus and
Hellenes started many thousands of years ago. It is odd that it is just
in the ranks of such people as these that we find such fanatical
they themselves are but poor witnesses to the evolution of the
in Man. (The above quotations are from ULTIMATE QUESTIONS
which make up the conclusion of Spencer's last book, FACTS
AND COMMENTS, published in 1902).
FRAGMENTS FROM THE
edition, XI, 237 et seq.,
Hartenstein edition, 1868, VIII, 622.
Where this is not the case,
as e.g. with that Nestor of the genuine appreciators of Kant's
Hermann Cohen (Marburg), and with minds such as Stadler, Wernicke, and
Hägerström, the form is so impenetrably scholastic as to meet
with but little attention beyond the narrowest circles of scholastic
Only one non-expert, Ludwig Goldschmidt, has been for many years busily
occupied in furthering a real comprehension of Kant in wider circles of
people of education; Georg Simmel has recently joined the ranks with
delightful little book, SIXTEEN LECTURES
ON KANT, 1904, and every one who honours
is earnestly advised to study it. And, of course, besides this Fr. A.
HISTORY OF MATERIALISM
be a constant book of reference; in spite of the fact that much of what
it contains about Kant is disputatious, this book none the less
its position as one of the most intellectual and instructive works in
range of German literature.
With my own ears I heard, no longer
ago than 1903, an “ordained public“ university professor announcing to
a crowd of young High School boys, eager to learn, that Kant, when an
man, had lowered himself to demonstrate the abstract existence of God,
freedom of the Will, and Immortality, under pressure brought to bear on
him by the civil and ecclesiastical authorities, and under the lasting
influence of his pietistic childhood and youthful schooldays,
this had been one of the duties
on a professor of philosophy since the beginning of the Middle Ages.“ This
last sentence may well show the
caricature of Kantian thought gambolling in the brain of this
instructor of youth, and what the riotous confusion of thought must
been in the brains of the gallant youths when the class broke up!
This passage occurs two pages later
than the one last quoted respecting the dangers of science.
If without mentality and sensuality
there could be such a thing as the faculty of reason, the distinction
a state of being and not-being would certainly not exist; yet Kant is
concerned with any such fantastic and unpresentable ideas, but only
still more clearly emphasising that which in reality does exist. The
of duty originates in the conflict between reason and inclination; this
conflict is a part of our essential nature; being, or life, leads us in
one direction, how we ought to be, or live (i.e. duty), in another (cf.
POWER OF JUDGMENT, § 76).
Cf. the first lecture, p. 69.
PURE REASON, 377, 383, and
Analysed subsequently most plainly of all in POWER OF JUDGMENT,
§ 57, note 1, with keener discrimination between “abstract reason“
META. PRIMER OF THE THEORY OF
part II, deduction.
POWER OF JUDGMENT, note to
§ 29. It has, since 24th April 1870, been a dogma of the Church of
Rome that God “can with certainty be recognised in the world created by
Him, by the natural light of human reason“ (Vatican Council,
DOGMATICA, CANONES II, 1). Kant, with
regard to such hierarchical
(which all confessions raise, but Rome alone clearly formulates)
“This is called championing God's cause, although at bottom it may be
nothing more than the cause of our overweening reason, which here
its own barriers.“ (ON THE
OF ALL PHILOSOPHIC ATTEMPTS
Vide notes 50 and 51.
DIALOGUES CONCERNING NATURAL
part IX. “Voluntary“ is, of course, wrong; such ideas are so
as to call for a high degree of philosophical training to recognise
as non-existent facts. One such
as this discloses the chasm
separates a Hume from a Kant. The attempts being made to-day to place
— who fully merits the warm words of great esteem and admiration which
Kant also repeatedly expressed as being deserved — above Kant as the
analyst of intuitive perception belong to that deliberate plan to
which calls for more than merely academic repudiation.
This is the place for reference
to the three possible kinds of Pantheism, which differ so greatly that
the use of a single term often causes great confusion. 1. The idea
is absorbed in the idea “God,“ the Universe is God (as the Indo-Aryans
think, where God, like a spider, has spun the world out of his own
2. The idea “world“ absorbs the idea “God“ (modern Monism). 3. The
“God“ and “world“ are fused together into one still more remote and
still more incomprehensible, and still more impossible, hyper-abstract
idea, which cannot be done without much painful infraction of logic as
well as of ethical doctrine. (Bruno and, after Bruno, Spinoza).
Hereon cf. the explanations on
p. 358, vol. II.
Cf. supra, p. 360, vol. II.
method is ever the same — the method of all exact science — je commence
par supposer trouvée la chose cherchée; the
be so constructed that all it includes is intelligible. Not to grasp
is not to have taken the first step necessary in every branch of
“Its“ refers to “causality
of freedom of the will.“
Meaning “unless we consider
our will as being free.“
CRITICISM OF SCHULZ'S
ESSAY FOR A GENERAL SYSTEM OF
Cf. METAPH. BASIS FOR ETHICS,
§ 2, I, in note to heading.
We observe that this theory is
maintained to-day by naturalists, e.g. by the zoologist, Karl Camillo
Cf. p. 296, vol. II, sqq.
ON NATURAL SCIENCE IN
Weimar edition, 2, § II, 145.
According to Kant “the
(of morality) from a divine Supreme Will leads to a system of ethics in
absolute opposition to morality“ (last heading of § 2 of METAPH.
In another passage (almost
at the close of METAPH.
OF ETHICS) it says that
beings are an end in themselves.
In METAPHYSICAL PRIMER OF
THE THEORY OF VIRTUE, § 3,
Kant instead of “person“ uses the term
“reasonable natural being“ (“homo
phenomenon“), and he denotes
“personality“ by “a being endowed with inner (or spiritual?) freedom“ (“homo
PRINCIPAL REASON, part I,
I.B., 3rd sect. The words “in so far as it depends on the personality
the same“ mean that God's will is only said by us to be holy, inasmuch
as he treats with his creatures as personalities, that is to say, as
FRAGMENTS, etc., Hartenstein
edition, 1868, VII, 662.
THE CONTEST OF THE FACULTIES,
sect. 2, § 6.
Cf. my FOUNDATIONS, pp. 44,
207 et seq.
Lessing says the same thing
word for word: “It is a superstition to say that historical belief is a
duty, and necessary to salvation; because a belief in a mere historical
statement is a belief devoid of the principle of life.“
Cf. in particular also PURE
REASON, 425 et seq.
In this connection the little work
THE BASIS OF FAITH IN THE KANTIAN
SYSTEM (monthly vol. of the Comenius
Society, 1901, No. 3) deserves notice, although so decidedly one-sided
in the stress laid upon the positive, and its depreciation of the
METAPH. BASIS OF ETHICS,
§ 2, 1, heading. The words in leaded type so appear in the
That freedom of the Will
is “in esse“ and not “in posse“ is the reason why it cannot be
ideally, and perceptibly grasped and represented. It is this intuitive
perception — but imperfectly and uncritically developed in thought —
led Fichte, Schelling, Schopenhauer, and the most recent of our
to formulate their doctrine of the Will as the essential constituent of
the Universe. Just as the theoretical reason makes itself objective in
intangible “things“ (or realities), practical reason does so in the
Fata Morgana of a so-called “Will.“ The desire to interpret the whole
the Universe from one moiety of it can never attain the wished-for aim;
moreover, in this attempted solution of the problem the cart is put
the horse; for to build up a philosophic conception of the universe
in the Will corresponds precisely to the attempt
construct it from “things“;
really goes to work in quite the same way as the materialists; he is
materialist of practical reason.
Cf. also pp. 372, 381, with
respect to God.
All these Kantian dicta are
taken from the last section of the POWER OF JUDGMENT.
DE LA RÉCHERCHE DE LA
livre 3, partie 2, ch. 9, iv. In Malebranche
the argument is directed
against the conception of God as “spirit.“
MEISTER ECKHARDT, 99th
Pfeiffer edition, p. 318 et seq.
Inter alia, 56th sermon.
RELIGION, etc., 4th St.,
part 2, § 3.
RECENT ELEVATION OF TONE,
In contrast, namely, with
the pseudo-Semitic mythologies of Haeckel and Co.
4th St., part 2, p. 329. In the THEORY OF VIRTUE
(deduction) it says: “Religion is the abstract idea of all duties as
The reader's attention is
drawn to the note made by Schiller on this passage.
AESTHETIC EDUCATION, 25th
Vide all the early part of
etc., preface to first edition, viii et
CONCERNING NATURAL RELIGION,
part I, towards the end.
etc., 4th St., part I, note to the first paragraph, for the exact text.
Vide supra for the
between person and personality, p. 402, vol. II.
Almost all of us are deprived
of the freedom of our personality in our childhood; such things as,
the exercises of the Jesuits have no other object than its deliberate
entire annihilation; and this is a far greater outrage on humanity than
either murder or rape.
OF ALL THINGS.
Cf. my FOUNDATIONS,
p. 195 et seq., p. 950 et seq.
POWER OF JUDGMENT,
etc., 4th St., part 2, § 2 and § 3, the latter with the
sub-title “OF PAPISTRY AS A
IN THE MOCK SERVICE OF THE
PRINCIPLE OF GOODNESS.“
ON THE PROVERBIAL
SAYING: “ALL VERY
WELL IN THEORY BUT NO GOOD
IN PRACTICE,“ III, a brochure published
the same year (1793) as RELIGION, etc.
Even now in the twentieth
century, not many miles from the gates of Catholic Vienna, when “the
winds do blow“ the peasantry offer up “food“ to appease them in the
of flour in great dishes, and similarly, on certain days in every year
sacrifices are made to fire, so that it may continue its beneficent
and do no harm.
Vide Garbe, CONTRIBUTIONS
TO THE HISTORY OF CIVILISATION
IN INDIA, 1st essay, and Rhys Davids, BUDDHIST
“Christ has brought the
of God nearer to earth; but he has been misunderstood; and in place of
God's kingdom, the kingdom of the Priest has been established in our
(REFLECTIONS, I, 213).
update August 14th, 2014