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History Of Modern Philosophy by Richard Falckenberg

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Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Lazar Liveanu and PG Distributed


From Nicolas of Cusa to the Present Time



_Professor of Philosophy in the University of Erlangen_


_Professor of Philosophy in Wesleyan University_



The aim of this translation is the same as that of the original work. Each
is the outcome of experience in university instruction in philosophy, and
is intended to furnish a manual which shall be at once scientific and
popular, one to stand midway between the exhaustive expositions of the
larger histories and the meager sketches of the compendiums. A pupil of
Kuno Fischer, Fortlage, J.E. Erdmann, Lotze, and Eucken among others,
Professor Falckenberg began his career as _Docent_ in the university of
Jena. In the year following the first edition of this work he became
_Extraordinarius_ in the same university, and in 1888 _Ordinarius_ at
Erlangen, choosing the latter call in preference to an invitation to Dorpat
as successor to Teichmüller. The chair at Erlangen he still holds. His work
as teacher and author has been chiefly in the history of modern philosophy.
Besides the present work and numerous minor articles, he has published the
following: _Ueber den intelligiblen Charakter, zur Kritik der Kantischen
Freiheitslehre_ 1879; _Grundzüge der Philosophie des Nicolaus Cusanus_,
1880-81; and _Ueber die gegenwärtige Lage der deutschen Philosophie_, 1890
(inaugural address at Erlangen). Since 1884-5 Professor Falckenberg has
also been an editor of the _Zeitschrift für Philosophie und philosophische
Kritik_, until 1888 in association with Krohn, and after the latter's
death, alone. At present he has in hand a treatise on Lotze for a German
series analogous to Blackwood's Philosophical Classics, which is to be
issued under his direction. Professor Falckenberg's general philosophical
position may be described as that of moderate idealism. His historical
method is strictly objective, the aim being a free reproduction of the
systems discussed, as far as possible in their original terminology and
historical connection, and without the intrusion of personal criticism.

The translation has been made from the second German edition (1892),
with still later additions and corrections communicated by the author in
manuscript. The translator has followed the original faithfully but
not slavishly. He has not felt free to modify Professor Falckenberg's
expositions, even in the rare cases where his own opinions would have led
him to dissent, but minor changes have been made wherever needed to fit the
book for the use of English-speaking students. Thus a few alterations have
been made in dates and titles, chiefly under the English systems and from
the latest authorities; and a few notes added in elucidation of portions
of the text. Thus again the balance of the bibliography has been somewhat
changed, including transfers from text to notes and _vice versa_ and a few
omissions, besides the introduction of a number of titles from our English
philosophical literature chosen on the plan referred to in the preface
to the first German edition. The glossary of terms foreign to the German
reader has been replaced by a revision and expansion of the index, with the
analyses of the glossary as a basis. Wherever possible, and this has been
true in all important cases, the changes have been indicated by the usual

The translator has further rewritten Chapter XV., Section 3, on recent
British and American Philosophy. In this so much of the author's
(historical) standpoint and treatment as proved compatible with the aim of
a manual in English has been retained, but the section as a whole has been
rearranged and much enlarged.

The labor of translation has been lightened by the example of previous
writers, especially of the translators of the standard treatises of
Ueberweg and Erdmann. The thanks of the translator are also due to several
friends who have kindly aided him by advice or assistance: in particular to
his friend and former pupil, Mr. C.M. Child, M.S., who participated in the
preparation of a portion of the translation; and above all to Professor
Falckenberg himself, who, by his willing sanction of the work and his
co-operation throughout its progress, has given a striking example of
scholarly courtesy.

A.C.A., Jr.

Wesleyan University, June, 1893.


Since the appearance of Eduard Zeller's _Grundriss der Geschichte der
griechischen Philosophie_ (1883; 3d ed. 1889) the need has become even more
apparent than before for a presentation of the history of modern philosophy
which should be correspondingly compact and correspondingly available for
purposes of instruction. It would have been an ambitious undertaking to
attempt to supply a counterpart to the compendium of this honored scholar,
with its clear and simple summation of the results of his much admired five
volumes on Greek philosophy; and it has been only in regard to practical
utility and careful consideration of the needs of students--concerning
which we have enjoyed opportunity for gaining accurate information in the
review exercises regularly held in this university--that we have ventured
to hope that we might not fall too far short of his example.

The predominantly practical aim of this _History_--it is intended to serve
as an aid in introductory work, in reviewing, and as a substitute for
dictations in academical lectures, as well as to be a guide for the
wider circle of cultivated readers--has enjoined self-restraint in the
development of personal views and the limitation of critical reflections
in favor of objective presentation. It is only now and then that critical
hints have been given. In the discussion of phenomena of minor importance
it has been impossible to avoid the _oratio obliqua_ of exposition; but,
wherever practicable, we have let the philosophers themselves develop their
doctrines and reasons, not so much by literal quotations from their
works, as by free, condensed reproductions of their leading ideas. If the
principiant view of the forces which control the history of philosophy, and
of the progress of modern philosophy, expressed in the Introduction and in
the Retrospect at the end of the book, have not been everywhere verified
in detail from the historical facts, this is due in part to the limits, in
part to the pedagogical aim, of the work. Thus, in particular, more space
has for pedagogical reasons been devoted to the "psychological" explanation
of systems, as being more popular, than in our opinion its intrinsic
importance would entitle it to demand. To satisfy every one in the choice
of subjects and in the extent of the discussion is impossible; but our hope
is that those who would have preferred a guide of this sort to be entirely
different will not prove too numerous. In the classification of movements
and schools, and in the arrangement of the contents of the various systems,
it has not been our aim to deviate at all hazards from previous accounts;
and as little to leave unutilized the benefits accruing to later comers
from the distinguished achievements of earlier workers in the field. In
particular we acknowledge with gratitude the assistance derived from the
renewed study of the works on the subject by Kuno Fischer, J.E. Erdmann,
Zeller, Windelband, Ueberweg-Heinze, Harms, Lange, Vorlãnder, and Pünjer.

The motive which induced us to take up the present work was the perception
that there was lacking a text-book in the history of modern philosophy,
which, more comprehensive, thorough, and precise than the sketches of
Schwegler and his successors, should stand between the fine but detailed
exposition of Windelband, and the substantial but--because of the division
of the text into paragraphs and notes and the interpolation of pages of
bibliographical references--rather dry outline of Ueberweg. While the
former refrains from all references to the literature of the subject and
the latter includes far too many, at least for purposes of instruction, and
J.B. Meyer's _Leitfaden_ (1882) is in general confined to biographical and
bibliographical notices; we have mentioned, in the text or the notes and
with the greatest possible regard for the progress of the exposition, both
the chief works of the philosophers themselves and some of the
treatises concerning them. The principles which have guided us in these
selections--to include only the more valuable works and those best adapted
for students' reading, and further to refer as far as possible to the most
recent works--will hardly be in danger of criticism. But we shall not
dispute the probability that many a book worthy of mention may have been

The explanation of a number of philosophical terms, which has been added as
an appendix at the suggestion of the publishers, deals almost entirely
with foreign expressions and gives the preference to the designations of
fundamental movements. It is arranged, as far as possible, so that it may
be used as a subject-index.

JENA, December 23, 1885.


The majority of the alterations and additions in this new edition are in
the first chapter and the last two; no departure from the general character
of the exposition has seemed to me necessary. I desire to return my
sincere thanks for the suggestions which have come to me alike from public
critiques and private communications. In some cases contradictory requests
have conflicted--thus, on the one hand, I have been urged to expand, on the
other, to cut down the sections on German idealism, especially those on
Hegel--and here I confess my inability to meet both demands. Among the
reviews, that by B. Erdmann in the first volume of the _Archiv für
Geschichte der Philosophie_, and, among the suggestions made by letter,
those of H. Heussler, have been of especial value. Since others commonly
see defects more clearly than one's self, it will be very welcome if I can
have my desire continually to make this _History_ more useful supported by
farther suggestions from the circle of its readers. In case it continues to
enjoy the favor of teachers and students, these will receive conscientious

For the sake of those who may complain of too much matter, I may remark
that the difficulty can easily be avoided by passing over Chapters I., V.
(§§ 1-3), VI., VIII., XII., XV., and XVI.

Professor A.C. Armstrong, Jr., is preparing an English translation. My
earnest thanks are due to Mr. Karl Niemann of Charlottenburg for his kind
participation in the labor of proof-reading.


ERLANGEN, June 11, 1892.

* * * * *





1. Nicolas of Cusa
2. The Revival of Ancient Philosophy and the Opposition to it
3. The Italian Philosophy of Nature
4. Philosophy of the State and of Law
5. Skepticism in France
6. German Mysticism
7. The Foundation of Modern Physics
8. Philosophy in England to the Middle of the Seventeenth Century
(_a_) Bacon's Predecessors
(_b_) Bacon
(_c_) Hobbes
(_d_) Lord Herbert of Cherbury
9. Preliminary Survey


%From Descartes to Kant.%



1. The Principles
2. Nature
3. Man



1. Occasionalism: Geulincx
2. Spinoza
_(a)_ Substance, Attributes, and Modes
_(b)_ Anthropology; Cognition and the Passions
_(c)_ Practical Philosophy
3. Pascal, Malebranche, Bayle



_(a)_ Theory of Knowledge
_(b)_ Practical Philosophy



1. Natural Philosophy and Psychology
2. Deism
3. Moral Philosophy
4. Theory of Knowledge
_(a)_ Berkeley
_(b)_ Hume
_(c)_ The Scottish School



1. The Entrance of English Doctrines
2. Theoretical and Practical Sensationalism
3. Skepticism and Materialism
4. Rousseau's Conflict with the Illumination



1. Metaphysics: the Monads, Representation, the Pre-established Harmony;
the Laws of Thought and of the World
2. The Organic World
3. Man: Cognition and Volition
4. Theology and Theodicy



1. The Contemporaries of Leibnitz
2. Christian Wolff
3. The Illumination as Scientific and as Popular Philosophy
4. The Faith Philosophy


%From Kant to the Present Time.%



1. Theory of Knowledge
_(a)_ The Pure Intuitions (Transcendental Aesthetic)
_(b)_ The Concepts and Principles of the Pure Understanding
(Transcendental Analytic)
_(c)_ The Reason's Ideas of the Unconditioned (Transcendental
2. Theory of Ethics
3. Theory of the Beautiful and of Ends in Nature
_(a)_ Aesthetic Judgment
_(b)_ Teleological Judgment
4. From Kant to Fichte



1. The Science of Knowledge
_(a)_ The Problem
_(b)_ The Three Principles
_(c)_ The Theoretical Ego
_(d)_ The Practical Ego
2. The Science of Ethics and of Right
3. Fichte's Second Period: his View of History and his Theory
of Religion



1_a_. Philosophy of Nature
1_b_. Transcendental Philosophy
2. System of Identity
3_a_. Doctrine of Freedom
3_b_. Philosophy of Mythology and Revelation



1. The Philosophers of Nature
2. The Philosophers of Identity (F. Krause)
3. The Philosophers of Religion (Baader and Schleiermacher)



1. Hegel's View of the World and his Method
2. The System
(_a_) Logic
(_b_) The Philosophy of Nature
(_c_) The Doctrine of Subjective Spirit
(_d_) The Doctrine of Objective Spirit
(_e_) Absolute Spirit



1. The Psychologists: Fries and Beneke
2. Realism: Herbart
3. Pessimism: Schopenhauer



1. Italy
2. France
3. Great Britain and America
4. Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Holland



1. From the Division of the Hegelian School to the Materialistic
2. New Systems: Trendelenburg, Fechner, Lotze, and Hartmann
3. From the Revival of the Kantian Philosophy to the Present Time
(_a_) Neo-Kantianism, Positivism, and Kindred Phenomena
(_b_) Idealistic Reaction against the Scientific Spirit
(_c_) The Special Philosophical Sciences
4. Retrospect


* * * * *


In no other department is a thorough knowledge of history so important as
in philosophy. Like historical science in general, philosophy is, on the
one hand, in touch with exact inquiry, while, on the other, it has a
certain relationship with art. With the former it has in common its
methodical procedure and its cognitive aim; with the latter, its intuitive
character and the endeavor to compass the whole of reality with a glance.
Metaphysical principles are less easily verified from experience than
physical hypotheses, but also less easily refuted. Systems of philosophy,
therefore, are not so dependent on our progressive knowledge of facts as
the theories of natural science, and change less quickly; notwithstanding
their mutual conflicts, and in spite of the talk about discarded
standpoints, they possess in a measure the permanence of classical works of
art, they retain for all time a certain relative validity. The thought of
Plato, of Aristotle, and of the heroes of modern philosophy is ever proving
anew its fructifying power. Nowhere do we find such instructive errors as
in the sphere of philosophy; nowhere is the new so essentially a completion
and development of the old, even though it deem itself the whole and assume
a hostile attitude toward its predecessors; nowhere is the inquiry so much
more important than the final result; nowhere the categories "true and
false" so inadequate. The spirit of the time and the spirit of the people,
the individuality of the thinker, disposition, will, fancy--all these exert
a far stronger influence on the development of philosophy, both by way of
promotion and by way of hindrance, than in any other department of thought.
If a system gives classical expression to the thought of an epoch, a
nation, or a great personality; if it seeks to attack the world-riddle from
a new direction, or brings us nearer its solution by important original
conceptions, by a subtler or a simpler comprehension of the problem, by a
wider outlook or a deeper insight; it has accomplished more than it could
have done by bringing forward a number of indisputably correct principles.
The variations in philosophy, which, on the assumption of the unity of
truth, are a rock of offense to many minds, may be explained, on the one
hand, by the combination of complex variety and limitation in the motives
which govern philosophical thought,--for it is the whole man that
philosophizes, not his understanding merely,--and, on the other, by the
inexhaustible extent of the field of philosophy. Back of the logical labor
of proof and inference stand, as inciting, guiding, and hindering agents,
psychical and historical forces, which are themselves in large measure
alogical, though stronger than all logic; while just before stretches
away the immeasurable domain of reality, at once inviting and resisting
conquest. The grave contradictions, so numerous in both the subjective
and the objective fields, make unanimity impossible concerning ultimate
problems; in fact, they render it difficult for the individual thinker to
combine his convictions into a self-consistent system. Each philosopher
sees limited sections of the world only, and these through his own eyes;
every system is one-sided. Yet it is this multiplicity and variety of
systems alone which makes the aim of philosophy practicable as it endeavors
to give a complete picture of the soul and of the universe. The history of
philosophy is the philosophy of humanity, that great individual, which,
with more extended vision than the instruments through which it works,
is able to entertain opposing principles, and which, reconciling old
contradictions as it discovers new ones, approaches by a necessary and
certain growth the knowledge of the one all-embracing truth, which is
rich and varied beyond our conception. In order to energetic labor in the
further progress of philosophy, it is necessary to imagine that the goddess
of truth is about to lift the veil which has for centuries concealed her.
The historian of philosophy, on the contrary, looks on each new system as
a stone, which, when shaped and fitted into its place, will help to raise
higher the pyramid of knowledge. Hegel's doctrine of the necessity
and motive force of contradictories, of the relative justification of
standpoints, and the systematic development of speculation, has great and
permanent value as a general point of view. It needs only to be guarded
from narrow scholastic application to become a safe canon for the
historical treatment of philosophy.

In speaking above of the worth of the philosophical doctrines of the past
as defying time, and as comparable to the standard character of finished
works of art, the special reference was to those elements in speculation
which proceed less from abstract thinking than from the fancy, the heart,
and the character of the individual, and even more directly from the
disposition of the people; and which to a certain degree may be divorced
from logical reasoning and the scientific treatment of particular
questions. These may be summed up under the phrase, views of the world. The
necessity for constant reconsideration of them is from this standpoint at
once evident. The Greek view of the world is as classic as the plastic art
of Phidias and the epic of Homer; the Christian, as eternally valid as the
architecture of the Middle Ages; the modern, as irrefutable as Goethe's
poetry and the music of Beethoven. The views of the world which proceed
from the spirits of different ages, as products of the general development
of culture, are not so much thoughts as rhythms in thinking, not theories
but modes of intuition saturated with feelings of worth. We may dispute
about them, it is true; we may argue against them or in their defense; but
they can neither be established nor overthrown by cogent proofs. It is not
only optimism and pessimism, determinism and indeterminism, that have their
ultimate roots in the affective side of our nature, but pantheism and
individualism, also idealism and materialism, even rationalism and
sensationalism. Even though they operate with the instruments of thought,
they remain in the last analysis matters of faith, of feeling, and of
resolution. The aesthetic view of the world held by the Greeks, the
transcendental-religious view of Christianity, the intellectual view of
Leibnitz and Hegel, the panthelistic views of Fichte I and Schopenhauer are
vital forces, not doctrines, postulates, not results of thought. One view
of the world is forced to yield its pre-eminence to another, which it has
itself helped to produce by its own one-sidedness; only to reconquer its
opponent later, when it has learned from her, when it has been purified,
corrected, and deepened by the struggle. But the elder contestant is no
more confuted by the younger than the drama of Sophocles by the drama of
Shakespeare, than youth by age or spring by autumn.

If it is thus indubitable that the views of the world held in earlier times
deserve to live on in the memory of man, and to live as something better
than mere reminders of the past--the history of philosophy is not a cabinet
of antiquities, but a museum of typical products of the mind--the value
and interest of the historical study of the past in relation to the exact
scientific side of philosophical inquiry is not less evident. In every
science it is useful to trace the origin and growth of problems and
theories, and doubly so in philosophy. With her it is by no means the
universal rule that progress shows itself by the result; the statement of
the question is often more important than the answer. The problem is more
sharply defined in a given direction; or it becomes more comprehensive,
is analyzed and refined; or if now it threatens to break up into subtle
details, some genius appears to simplify it and force our thoughts back
to the fundamental question. This advance in problems, which happily is
everywhere manifested by unmistakable signs, is, in the case of many of the
questions which irresistibly force themselves upon the human heart, the
only certain gain from centuries of endeavor. The labor here is of more
value than the result.

In treating the history of philosophy, two extremes must be avoided,
lawless individualism and abstract logical formalism. The history
of philosophy is neither a disconnected succession of arbitrary
individual opinions and clever guesses, nor a mechanically developed series
of typical standpoints and problems, which imply one another in just the
form and order historically assumed. The former supposition does violence
to the regularity of philosophical development, the latter to its vitality.
In the one case, the connection is conceived too loosely, in the other, too
rigidly and simply. One view underestimates the power of the logical Idea,
the other overestimates it. It is not easy to support the principle that
chance rules the destiny of philosophy, but it is more difficult to avoid
the opposite conviction of the one-sidedness of formalistic construction,
and to define the nature and limits of philosophical necessity. The
development of philosophy is, perhaps, one chief aim of the world-process,
but it is certainly not the only one; it is a part of the universal aim,
and it is not surprising that the instruments of its realization do not
work exclusively in its behalf, that their activity brings about results,
which seem unessential for philosophical ends or obstacles in their way.
Philosophical ideas do not think themselves, but are thought by living
spirits, which are something other and better than mere thought
machines--by spirits who live these thoughts, who fill them with personal
warmth and passionately defend them. There is often reason, no doubt, for
the complaint that the personality which has undertaken to develop some
great idea is inadequate to the task, that it carries its subjective
defects into the matter in hand, that it does too much or too little, or
the right thing in the wrong way, so that the spirit of philosophy seems
to have erred in the choice and the preparation of its instrument. But the
reverse side of the picture must also be taken into account. The thinking
spirit is more limited, it is true, than were desirable for the perfect
execution of a definite logical task; but, on the other hand, it is far
too rich as well. A soulless play of concepts would certainly not help
the cause, and there is no disadvantage in the failure of the history of
philosophy to proceed so directly and so scholastically, as, for instance,
in the system of Hegel. A graded series of interconnected general forces
mediate between the logical Idea and the individual thinker--the spirit of
the people, of the age, of the thinker's vocation, of his time of life,
which are felt by the individual as part of himself and whose impulses
he unconsciously obeys. In this way the modifying, furthering, hindering
correlation of higher and lower, of the ruler with his commands and the
servant with his more or less willing obedience, is twice repeated, the
situation being complicated further by the fact that the subject affected
by these historical forces himself helps to make history. The most
important factor in philosophical progress is, of course, the state of
inquiry at the time, the achievements of the thinkers of the immediately
preceding age; and in this relation of a philosopher to his predecessors,
again, a distinction must be made between a logical and a psychological
element. The successor often commences his support, his development, or his
refutation at a point quite unwelcome to the constructive historian. At all
events, if we may judge from the experience of the past, too much caution
cannot be exercised in setting up formal laws for the development of
thought. According to the law of contradiction and reconciliation, a
Schopenhauer must have followed directly after Leibnitz, to oppose his
pessimistic ethelism to the optimistic intellectualism of the latter; when,
in turn, a Schleiermacher, to give an harmonic resolution of the antithesis
into a concrete doctrine of feeling, would have made a fine third. But it
turned out otherwise, and we must be content.

* * * * *

The estimate of the value of the history of philosophy in general, given at
the start, is the more true of the history of modern philosophy, since the
movement introduced by the latter still goes on unfinished. We are still at
work on the problems which were brought forward by Descartes, Locke, and
Leibnitz, and which Kant gathered up into the critical or transcendental
question. The present continues to be governed by the ideal of culture
which Bacon proposed and Fichte exalted to a higher level; we all live
under the unweakened spell of that view of the world which was developed in
hostile opposition to Scholasticism, and through the enduring influence of
those mighty geographical and scientific discoveries and religious reforms
which marked the entrance of the modern period. It is true, indeed, that
the transition brought about by Kant's noëtical and ethical revolution was
of great significance,--more significant even than the Socratic period,
with which we are fond of comparing it; much that was new was woven on,
much of the old, weakened, broken, destroyed. And yet, if we take into
account the historical after-influence of Cartesianism, we shall find that
the thread was only knotted and twisted by Kantianism, not cut through. The
continued power of the pre-Kantian modes of thought is shown by the fact
that Spinoza has been revived in Fichte and Schelling, Leibnitz in Herbart
and Hegel, the sensationalism of the French Illuminati in Feuerbach; and
that even materialism, which had been struck down by the criticism of the
reason (one would have thought forever), has again raised its head. Even
that most narrow tendency of the early philosophy of the modern period, the
apotheosis of cognition is,--in spite of the moralistic counter-movement
of Kant and Fichte,--the controlling motive in the last of the great
idealistic systems, while it also continues to exercise a marvelously
powerful influence on the convictions of our Hegel-weary age, alike within
the sphere of philosophy and (still more) without it. In view of the
intimate relations between contemporary inquiry and the progress of thought
since the beginning of the modern period, acquaintance with the latter,
which it is the aim of this _History_ to facilitate, becomes a pressing
duty. To study the history of philosophy since Descartes is to study the
pre-conditions of contemporary philosophy.

We begin with an outline sketch of the general characteristics of modern
philosophy. These may be most conveniently described by comparing them with
the characteristics of ancient and of mediaeval philosophy. The character
of ancient philosophy or Greek philosophy,--for they are practically the
same,--is predominantly aesthetic. The Greek holds beauty and truth closely
akin and inseparable; "cosmos" is his common expression for the world and
for ornament. The universe is for him a harmony, an organism, a work of
art, before which he stands in admiration and reverential awe. In quiet
contemplation, as with the eye of a connoisseur, he looks upon the world or
the individual object as a well-ordered whole, more disposed to enjoy the
congruity of its parts than to study out its ultimate elements. He prefers
contemplation to analysis, his thought is plastic, not anatomical. He finds
the nature of the object in its form; and ends give him the key to the
comprehension of events. Discovering human elements everywhere, he is
always ready with judgments of worth--the stars move in circles because
circular motion is the most perfect; the right is better than left, upper
finer than lower, that which precedes more beautiful than that which
follows. Thinkers in whom this aesthetic reverence is weaker than the
analytic impulse--especially Democritus--seem half modern rather than
Greek. By the side of the Greek philosophy, in its sacred festal garb,
stands the modern in secular workday dress, in the laborer's blouse, with
the merciless chisel of analysis in its hand. This does not seek beauty,
but only the naked truth, no matter what it be. It holds it impossible to
satisfy at once the understanding and taste; nay, nakedness, ugliness,
and offensiveness seem to it to testify for, rather than against, the
genuineness of truth. In its anxiety not to read human elements into
nature, it goes so far as completely to read spirit out of nature. The
world is not a living whole, but a machine; not a work of art which is to
be viewed in its totality and enjoyed with reverence, but a clock-movement
to be taken apart in order to be understood. Nowhere are there ends in the
world, but everywhere mechanical causes. The character of modern thought
would appear to a Greek returned to earth very sober, unsplendid, undevout,
and intrusive. And, in fact, modern philosophy has a considerable amount
of prose about it, is not easily impressed, accepts no limitations from
feeling, and holds nothing too sacred to be attacked with the weapon of
analytic thought. And yet it combines penetration with intrusiveness;
acuteness, coolness, and logical courage with its soberness. Never before
has the demand for unprejudiced thought and certain knowledge been made
with equal earnestness. This interest in knowledge for its own sake
developed so suddenly and with such strength that, in presumptuous
gladness, men believed that no previous age had rightly understood what
truth and love for truth are. The natural consequence was a general
overestimation of cognition at the expense of all other mental activities.
Even among the Greek thinkers, thought was held by the majority to be the
noblest and most divine function. But their intellectualism was checked
by the aesthetic and eudaemonistic element, and preserved from the
one-sidedness which it manifests in the modern period, because of the
lack of an effective counterpoise. However eloquently Bacon commends the
advantages to be derived from the conquest of nature, he still understands
inquiry for inquiry's sake, and honors it as supreme; even the ethelistic
philosophers, Fichte and Schopenhauer, pay their tribute to the prejudice
in favor of intellectualism. The fact that the modern period can show
no one philosophic writer of the literary rank of Plato, even though it
includes such masters of style as Fichte, Schelling, Schopenhauer, and
Lotze, not to speak of lesser names, is an external proof of how noticeably
the aesthetic impulse has given way to one purely intellectual.

When we turn to the character of mediaeval thinking; we find, instead of
the aesthetic views of antiquity and the purely scientific tendency of the
modern era, a distinctively religious spirit. Faith prescribes the objects
and the limitations of knowledge; everything is referred to the hereafter,
thought becomes prayer. Men speculate concerning the attributes of God, on
the number and rank of the angels, on the immortality of man--all purely
transcendental subjects. Side by side with these, it is true, the world
receives loving attention, but always as the lower story merely,[1] above
which, with its own laws, rises the true fatherland, the kingdom of grace.
The most subtle acuteness is employed in the service of dogma, with the
task of fathoming the how and why of things whose existence is certified
elsewhere. The result is a formalism in thought side by side with profound
and fervent mysticism. Doubt and trust are strangely intermingled, and a
feeling of expectation stirs all hearts. On the one side stands sinful,
erring man, who, try as hard as he may, only half unravels the mysteries of
revealed truth; on the other, the God of grace, who, after our death, will
reveal himself to us as clearly as Adam knew him before the fall. God
alone, however, can comprehend himself--for the finite spirit, even
truth unveiled is mystery, and ecstasy, unresisting devotion to the
incomprehensible, the culmination of knowledge. In mediaeval philosophy
the subject looks longingly upward to the infinite object of his thought,
expecting that the latter will bend down toward him or lift him upward
toward itself; in Greek philosophy the spirit confronts its object, the
world, on a footing of equality; in modern philosophy the speculative
subject feels himself higher than the object, superior to nature. In
the conception of the Middle Ages, truth and mystery are identical; to
antiquity they appear reconcilable; modern thought holds them as mutually
exclusively as light and darkness. The unknown is the enemy of knowledge,
which must be chased out of its last hiding-place. It is, therefore, easy
to understand that the modern period stands in far sharper antithesis to
the mediaeval era than to the ancient, for the latter has furnished it many
principles which can be used as weapons against the former. Grandparents
and grandchildren make good friends.

[Footnote 1: On the separation and union of the three worlds, _natura,
gratia, gloria_, in Thomas Aquinas, cf. Rudolph Eucken, _Die Philosophie
des Thomas von Aquino und die Kultur der Neuzeit_, Halle. 1886.]

When a new movement is in preparation, but there is a lack of creative
force to give it form, a period of tumultuous disaffection with existing
principles ensues. What is wanted is not clearly perceived, but there is a
lively sense of that which is not wanted. Dissatisfaction prepares a place
for that which is to come by undermining the existent and making it
ripe for its fall. The old, the outgrown, the doctrine which had become
inadequate, was in this case Scholasticism; modern philosophy shows
throughout--and most clearly at the start--an anti-Scholastic character. If
up to this time Church dogma had ruled unchallenged in spiritual affairs,
and the Aristotelian philosophy in things temporal, war is now declared
against authority of every sort and freedom of thought is inscribed on
the banner.[1] "Modern philosophy is Protestantism in the sphere of the
thinking spirit" (Erdmann). Not that which has been considered true for
centuries, not that which another says, though he be Aristotle or Thomas
Aquinas, not that which flatters the desires of the heart, is true, but
that only which is demonstrated to my own understanding with convincing
force. Philosophy is no longer willing to be the handmaid of theology,
but must set up a house of her own. The watchword now becomes freedom and
independent thought, deliverance from every form of constraint, alike from
the bondage of ecclesiastical decrees and the inner servitude of prejudice
and cherished inclinations. But the adoption of a purpose leads to the
consideration of the means for attaining it. Thus the thirst for knowledge
raises questions concerning the method, the instruments, and the limits of
knowledge; the interest in noëtics and methodology vigorously develops,
remains a constant factor in modern inquiry, and culminates in Kant, not
again to die away.

[Footnote 1: The doctrine of twofold truth, under whose protecting cloak
the new liberal movements had hitherto taken refuge, was now disdainfully
repudiated. Cf. Freudenthal, _Zur Beurtheilung der Scholastik_, in vol.
iii. of the _Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie_, 1890. Also, H. Reuter,
_Geschichte der religiösen Aufklärung im Mittelalter_ 1875-77; and Dilthey,
_Einleitung in die Geisteswissenschaften_, 1883.]

This negative aspect of modern tendencies needs, however, a positive
supplement. The mediaeval mode of thought is discarded and the new one is
not yet found. What can more fittingly furnish a support, a preliminary
substitute, than antiquity? Thus philosophy, also, joins in that great
stream of culture, the Renaissance and humanism, which, starting from
Italy, poured forth over the whole civilized world. Plato and Neoplatonism,
Epicurus and the Stoa are opposed to Scholasticism, the real Aristotle to
the transformed Aristotle of the Church and the distorted Aristotle of the
schools. Back to the sources, is the cry. With the revival of the ancient
languages and ancient books, the spirit of antiquity is also revived. The
dust of the schools and the tyranny of the Church are thrown off, and the
classical ideal of a free and noble humanity gains enthusiastic adherents.
The man is not to be forgotten in the Christian, nor art and science, the
rights and the riches of individuality in the interest of piety; work for
the future must not blind us to the demands of the present nor lead us to
neglect the comprehensive cultivation of the natural capacities of the
spirit. The world and man are no longer viewed through Christian eyes, the
one as a realm of darkness and the other as a vessel of weakness and wrath,
but nature and life gleam before the new generation in joyous, hopeful
light. Humanism and optimism have always been allied.

This change in the spirit of thought is accompanied by a corresponding
change in the object of thought: theology must yield its supremacy to the
knowledge of nature. Weary of Christological and soteriological questions,
weary of disputes concerning the angels, the thinking spirit longs to
make himself at home in the world it has learned to love, demands real
knowledge,--knowledge which is of practical utility,--and no longer seeks
God outside the world, but in it and above it. Nature becomes the home, the
body of God. Transcendence gives place to immanence, not only in theology,
but elsewhere. Modern philosophy is naturalistic in spirit, not only
because it takes nature for its favorite object, but also because it
carries into other branches of knowledge the mathematical method so
successful in natural science, because it considers everything _sub ratione
naturae_ and insists on the "natural" explanation of all phenomena, even
those of ethics and politics.

In a word, the tendency of modern philosophy is anti-Scholastic,
humanistic, and naturalistic. This summary must suffice for preliminary
orientation, while the detailed division, particularization, modification,
and limitation of these general points must be left for later treatment.

Two further facts, however, may receive preliminary notice. The
indifference and hostility to the Church which have been cited among the
prominent characteristics of modern philosophy, do not necessarily mean
enmity to the Christian religion, much less to religion in general. In
part, it is merely a change in the object of religious feeling, which
blazes up especially strong and enthusiastic in the philosophy of the
sixteenth century, as it transfers its worship from a transcendent deity to
a universe indued with a soul; in part, the opposition is directed against
the mediaeval, ecclesiastical form of Christianity, with its monastic
abandonment of the world. It was often nothing but a very deep and strong
religious feeling that led thinkers into the conflict with the hierarchy.
Since the elements of permanent worth in the tendencies, doctrines, and
institutions of the Middle Ages are thus culled out from that which is
corrupt and effete, and preserved by incorporation into the new view of the
world and the new science, and as fruitful elements from antiquity enter
with them, the progress of philosophy shows a continuous enrichment in
its ideas, intuitions, and spirit. The old is not simply discarded and
destroyed, but purified, transformed, and assimilated. The same fact
forces itself into notice if we consider the relations of nationality and
philosophy in the three great eras. The Greek philosophy was entirely
national in its origin and its public, it was rooted in the character of
the people and addressed itself to fellow-countrymen; not until toward its
decline, and not until influenced by Christianity, were its cosmopolitan
inclinations aroused. The Middle Ages were indifferent to national
distinctions, as to everything earthly, and naught was of value in
comparison with man's transcendent destiny. Mediaeval philosophy is in its
aims un-national, cosmopolitan, catholic; it uses the Latin of the schools,
it seeks adherents in every land, it finds everywhere productive
spirits whose labors in its service remain unaffected by their national
peculiarities. The modern period returns to the nationalism of antiquity,
but does not relinquish the advantage gained by the extension of mediaeval
thought to the whole civilized world. The roots of modern philosophy are
sunk deep in the fruitful soil of nationality, while the top of the
tree spreads itself far beyond national limitations. It is national and
cosmopolitan together; it is international as the common property of the
various peoples, which exchange their philosophical gifts through an active
commerce of ideas. Latin is often retained for use abroad, as the
universal language of savants, but many a work is first published in the
mother-tongue--and thought in it. Thus it becomes possible for the ideas
of the wise to gain an entrance into the consciousness of the people, from
whose spirit they have really sprung, and to become a power beyond the
circle of the learned public. Philosophy as illumination, as a factor in
general culture, is an exclusively modern phenomenon. In this speculative
intercourse of nations, however, the French, the English, and the Germans
are most involved, both as producers and consumers. France gives the
initiative (in Descartes), then England assumes the leadership (in Locke),
with Leibnitz and Kant the hegemony passes over to Germany. Besides these
powers, Italy takes an eager part in the production of philosophical
ideas in the period of ferment before Descartes. Each of these nations
contributes elements to the total result which it alone is in a position
to furnish, and each is rewarded by gifts in return which it would be
incapable of producing out of its own store. This international exchange of
ideas, in which each gives and each receives, and the fact that the chief
modern thinkers, especially in the earlier half of the era, prior to Kant,
are in great part not philosophers by profession but soldiers, statesmen,
physicians, as well as natural scientists, historians, and priests, give
modern philosophy an unprofessional, worldly appearance, in striking
contrast to the clerical character of mediaeval, and the prophetic
character of ancient thinking.

Germany, England, and France claim the honor of having produced the first
_modern_ philosopher, presenting Nicolas of Cusa, Bacon of Verulam, and
René Descartes as their candidates, while Hobbes, Bruno, and Montaigne have
received only scattered votes. The claim of England is the weakest of all,
for, without intending to diminish Bacon's importance, it may be said that
the programme which he develops--and in essence his philosophy is nothing
more--was, in its leading principles, not first announced by him, and
not carried out with sufficient consistency. The dispute between the two
remaining contestants may be easily and equitably settled by making the
simple distinction between forerunner and beginner, between path-breaker
and founder. The entrance of a new historical era is not accompanied by an
audible click, like the beginning of a new piece on a music-box, but is
gradually effected. A considerable period may intervene between the point
when the new movement flashes up, not understood and half unconscious of
itself, and the time when it appears on the stage in full strength and
maturity, recognizing itself as new and so acknowledged by others: the
period of ferment between the Middle Ages and modern times lasted almost
two centuries. It is in the end little more than logomachy to discuss
whether this time of anticipation and desire, of endeavor and partial
success, in which the new struggles with the old without conquering it, and
the opposite tendencies in the conflicting views of the world interplay in
a way at once obscure and wayward, is to be classed as the epilogue of the
old era or the prologue of the new. The simple solution to take it as a
_transition period_, no longer mediaeval but not yet modern, has met with
fairly general acceptance. Nicolas of Cusa (1401-64) was the first to
announce _fundamental principles_ of modern philosophy--he is the leader in
this intermediate preparatory period. Descartes (1596-1650) brought forward
the first _system_--he is the father of modern philosophy.

A brief survey of the literature may be added in conclusion:

Heinrich Ritter's _Geschichte der neueren Philosophie_ (vols. ix.-xii. of
his _Geschichte der Philosophie_), 1850-53, to Wolff and Rousseau, has
been superseded by more recent works, J.E. Erdmann's able _Versuch einer
wissenschaftlichen Darstellung der neueren Philosophie_ (6 vols., 1834-53)
gives in appendices literal excerpts from non-German writers; the same
author's _Grundriss der Geschichte der Philosophie_ (2 vols., 1869; 3d ed.,
1878) contains at the end the first exposition of German Philosophy since
the Death of Hegel [English translation in 3 vols., edited by W. S. Hough,
1890.--TR.]. Ueberweg's _Grundriss_ (7th ed. by M. Heinze, 1888) is
indispensable for reference on account of the completeness of its
bibliographical notes, which, however, are confusing to the beginner
[English translation by G.S. Morris, with additions by the translator, Noah
Porter, and Vincenzo Botta, New York, 1872-74.--TR.]. The most detailed and
brilliant exposition has been given by Kuno Fischer (1854 seq.; 3d
ed., 1878 seq.; the same author's _Baco und seine Nachfolger_, 2d ed.,
1875,--English translation, 1857, by Oxenford,--supplements the first two
volumes of the _Geschichte der neueren Philosophie_). This work, which is
important also as a literary achievement, is better fitted than any other
to make the reader at home in the ideal world of the great philosophers,
which it reconstructs from its central point, and to prepare him for the
study (which, of course, even the best exposition cannot replace) of the
works of the thinkers themselves. Its excessive simplification of problems
is not of great moment in the first introduction to a system [English
translation of vol. iii. book 2 (1st ed.), _A Commentary on Kant's Critick
of the Pure Reason_, by J.P. Mahaffy, London, 1866; vol. i. part 1 and part
2, book 1, _Descartes and his School_, by J, P. Gordy, New York, 1887;
of vol. v. chaps, i.-v., _A Critique of Kant_, by W.S. Hough, London,
1888.--TR.]. Wilhelm Windelband _(Geschichte der neueren Philosophie_,
2 vols., 1878 and 1880, to Hegel and Herbart inclusive) accentuates the
connection of philosophy with general culture and the particular sciences,
and emphasizes philosophical method. This work is pleasant reading, yet, in
the interest of clearness, we could wish that the author had given more
of positive information concerning the content of the doctrines treated,
instead of merely advancing reflections on them. A projected third volume
is to trace the development of philosophy down to the present time.
Windelband's compendium, _Geschichte der Philosophie_, 1890-91, is
distinguished from other expositions by the fact that, for the most part,
it confines itself to a history of _problems_. Baumann's _Geschichte der
Philosophie_, 1890, aims to give a detailed account of those thinkers only
who have advanced views individual either in their content or in their
proof. Eduard Zeller has given his _Geschichte der deutschen Philosophie
seit Leibniz_ (1873; 2d ed., 1875) the benefit of the same thorough
and comprehensive knowledge and mature judgment which have made his
_Philosophie der Griechen_ a classic. [Bowen's _Modern Philosophy_,
New York, 1857 (6th ed., 1891); Royce's _Spirit of Modern Philosophy_,

Eugen Dühring's hypercritical _Kritische Geschichte der Philosophie_
(1869; 3d ed., 1878) can hardly be recommended to students. Lewes (German
translation, 1876) assumes a positivistic standpoint; Thilo (1874), a
position exclusively Herbartian; A. Stoeckl (3d ed., 1889) writes from the
standpoint of confessional Catholicism; Vincenz Knauer (2d ed., 1882) is
a Güntherian. With the philosophico-historical work of Chr. W. Sigwart
(1854), and one of the same date by Oischinger, we are not intimately

Expositions of philosophy since Kant have been given by the Hegelian, C.L.
Michelet (a larger one in 2 vols., 1837-38, and a smaller one, 1843); by
Chalybaeus (1837; 5th ed., 1860, formerly very popular and worthy of it,
English, 1854); by Fr. K. Biedermann (1842-43); by Carl Fortlage (1852,
Kantio-Fichtean standpoint); and by Friedrich Harms (1876). The last of
these writers unfortunately did not succeed in giving a sufficiently clear
and precise, not to say tasteful, form to the valuable ideas and original
conceptions in which his work is rich. The very popular exposition by an
anonymous author of Hegelian tendencies, _Deutschlands Denker seit Kant_
(Dessau, 1851), hardly deserves mention.

Further, we may mention some of the works which treat the historical
development of particular subjects: On the history of the _philosophy of
religion_, the first volume of Otto Pfleiderer's _Religionsphilosophie auf
geschichtlicher Grundlage_ (2d ed., 1883;--English translation by Alexander
Stewart and Allan Menzies, 1886-88.--TR.), and the very trustworthy
exposition by Bernhard Pünjer (2 vols., 1880, 1883; English translation by
W. Hastie, vol. i., 1887.--TR.). On the history of _practical philosophy_,
besides the first volume of I.H. Fichte's _Ethik_ (1850), Franz Vorländer's
_Geschichte der philosophischen Moral, Rechts- und Staatslehre der
Engländer und Franzosen_ (1855); Fr. Jodl, _Geschichte der Ethik in der
neueren Philosophie_ (2 vols., 1882, 1889), and Bluntschli, _Geschichte der
neueren Staatswissenschaft_ (3d ed., 1881); [Sidgwick's _Outlines of
the History of Ethics_, 3d ed., 1892, and Martineau's _Types of Ethical
Theory_, 3d ed., 1891.--TR.]. On the history of the _philosophy of
history_: Rocholl, _Die Philosophie der Geschichte_, 1878; Richard Fester,
_Rousseau und die deutsche Geschichtsphilosophie_, 1890 [Flint, _The
Philosophy of History in Europe_, vol. i., 1874, complete in 3 vols., 1893
_seq_.]. On the history of _aesthetics_, R. Zimmermann, 1858; H. Lotze,
1868; Max Schasler, 1871; Ed. von Hartmann (since Kant), 1886; Heinrich
von Stein, _Die Entstehung der neueren Aesthetik_ (1886); [Bosanquet, _A
History of Aesthetic_, 1892.--TR.]. Further, Fr. Alb. Lange, _Geschichte
des Materialismus_, 1866; 4th ed., 1882; [English translation by E.C.
Thomas, 3 vols., 1878-81.--TR.]; Jul. Baumann, _Die Lehren von Raum, Zeit
und Mathematik in der neueren Philosophie_, 1868-69; Edm. König, _Die
Entwickelung des Causalproblems von Cartesius bis Kant_, 1888, _seit
Kant_, 1890; Kurd Lasswitz, _Geschichte der Atomistik vom Mittelalter bis
Newton_, 2 vols., 1890; Ed. Grimm, _Zur Geschichte des Erkenntnissproblems,
von Bacon zu Hume_, 1890. The following works are to be recommended on the
period of transition: Moritz Carrière, _Die philosophische Weltanschauung
der Reformationszeit_, 1847; 2d ed., 1887; and Jacob Burckhardt, _Kultur
der Renaissance in Italien_, 4th ed., 1886. Reference may also be made to
A. Trendelenburg, _Historische Beiträge zur Philosophie_, 3 vols., 1846-67;
Rudolph Eucken, _Geschichte und Kritik der Grundbegriffe der Gegenwart_,
1878; [English translation by M. Stuart Phelps, 1880.--TR.]; the same,
_Geschichte der philosophischen Terminologie_, 1879; the same, _Beiträge
zur Geschichte der neueren Philosophie_, 1886 (including a valuable
paper on parties and party names in philosophy); the same, _Die
Lebensanschauungen der grossen Denker_, 1890; Ludwig Noack,
_Philosophiegeschichtliches Lexicon_, 1879; Ed. Zeller, _Vorträge und
Abhandlungen_, three series, 1865-84; Chr. von Sigwart, _Kleine Schriften_,
2 vols., 1881; 2d ed., 1889. R. Seydel's _Religion und Philosophie_, 1887,
contains papers on Luther, Schleiermacher, Schelling, Weisse, Fechner,
Lotze, Hartmann, Darwinism, etc., which are well worth reading.

Among the smaller compends Schwegler's (1848; recent editions revised
and supplemented by R. Koeber) remains still the least bad [English
translations by Seelye and Smith, revised edition with additions, New York,
1880; and J.H. Stirling, with annotations, 7th ed., 1879.--TR.]. The meager
sketches by Deter, Koeber, Kirchner, Kuhn, Rabus, Vogel, and others are
useful for review at least. Fritz Schultze's _Stammbaum der Philosophie_,
1890, gives skillfully constructed tabular outlines, but, unfortunately, in
a badly chosen form.



The essays at philosophy which made their appearance between the middle of
the fifteenth century and the middle of the seventeenth, exhibit mediaeval
and modern characteristics in such remarkable intermixture that they can
be assigned exclusively to neither of these two periods. There are eager
longings, lofty demands, magnificent plans, and promising outlooks in
abundance, but a lack of power to endure, a lack of calmness and maturity;
while the shackles against which the leading minds revolt still bind too
firmly both the leaders and those to whom they speak. Only here and there
are the fetters loosened and thrown off; if the hands are successfully
freed, the clanking chains still hamper the feet. It is a time just suited
for original thinkers, a remarkable number of whom in fact make their
appearance, side by side or in close succession. Further, however little
these are able to satisfy the demand for permanent results, they ever
arouse our interest anew by the boldness and depth of their brilliant
ideas, which alternate with quaint fancies or are pervaded by them; by the
youthful courage with which they attacked great questions; and not least
by the hard fate which rewarded their efforts with misinterpretation,
persecution, and death at the stake. We must quickly pass over the broad
threshold between modern philosophy and Scholastic philosophy, which is
bounded by the year 1450, in which Nicolas of Cusa wrote his chief
work, the _Idiota_, and 1644, when Descartes began the new era with
his _Principia Philosophiae_; and can touch, in passing, only the most
important factors. We shall begin our account of this transition period
with Nicolas, and end it with the Englishmen, Bacon, Hobbes, and Lord
Herbert of Cherbury. Between these we shall arrange the various figures
of the Philosophical Renaissance (in the broad sense) in six groups:
the Restorers of the Ancient Systems and their Opponents; the Italian
Philosophers of Nature; the Political and Legal Philosophers; the Skeptics;
the Mystics; the Founders of the Exact Investigation of Nature. In Italy
the new spiritual birth shows an aesthetic, scientific, and humanistic
tendency; in Germany it is pre-eminently religious emancipation--in the

%1. Nicolas of Cusa.%

Nicolas[1] was born in 1401, at Cues (Cusa) on the Moselle near Treves.
He early ran away from his stern father, a boatman and vine-dresser named
Chrypps (or Krebs), and was brought up by the Brothers of the Common Life
at Deventer. In Padua he studied law, mathematics, and philosophy, but the
loss of his first case at Mayence so disgusted him with his profession that
he turned to theology, and became a distinguished preacher. He took part
in the Council of Basle, was sent by Pope Eugen IV. as an ambassador to
Constantinople and to the Reichstag at Frankfort; was made Cardinal in
1448, and Bishop of Brixen in 1450. His feudal lord, the Count of Tyrol,
Archduke Sigismund, refused him recognition on account of certain quarrels
in which they had become engaged, and for a time held him prisoner.
Previous to this he had undertaken journeys to Germany and the Netherlands
on missionary business. During a second sojourn in Italy death overtook
him, in the year 1464, at Todi in Umbria. The first volume of the Paris
edition of his collected works (1514) contains the most important of his
philosophical writings; the second, among others, mathematical essays and
ten books of selections from his sermons; the third, the extended work, _De
Concordantia Catholica_, which he had completed at Basle. In 1440 (having
already written on the Reform of the Calendar) he began his imposing series
of philosophical writings with the _De Docta Ignorantia_, to which the
_De Conjecturis_ was added in the following year. These were succeeded by
smaller treatises entitled _De Quaerendo Deum, De Dato Patris Luminum, De
Filiatione Dei, De Genesi_, and a defense of the _De Docta Ignorantia_. His
most important work is the third of the four dialogues of the _Idiota_ ("On
the Mind"), 1450. He clothes in continually changing forms the one supreme
truth on which all depends, and which cannot be expressed in intelligible
language but only comprehended by living intuition. In many different ways
he endeavors to lead the reader on to a vision of the inexpressible, or
to draw him up to it, and to develop fruitfully the principle of the
coincidence of opposites, which had dawned upon him on his return journey
from Constantinople (_De Visione Dei, Dialogus de Possest, De Beryllo,
De Ludo Globi, De Venatione Sapientiae, De Apice Theoriae, Compendium_).
Sometimes he uses dialectical reasoning; sometimes he soars in mystical
exaltation; sometimes he writes with a simplicity level to the common mind,
and in connection with that which lies at hand; sometimes, with the most
comprehensive brevity. Besides these his philosophico-religious works
are of great value, _De Pace Fidei, De Cribratione Alchorani_. Liberal
Catholics reverence him as one of the deepest thinkers of the Church; but
the fame of Giordano Bruno, a more brilliant but much less original figure,
has hitherto stood in the way of the general recognition of his great
importance for modern philosophy.

[Footnote 1: R. Zimmermann, _Nikolaus Cusanus als Vorläufer Leibnizens_, in
vol. viii. of the _Sitzungsberichte der philosophisch-historischen Klasse
der Akademie der Wissenschaften_, Vienna, 1852, p. 306 seq. R. Falckenberg,
_Grundzüge der Philosophie des Nikolaus Cusanus mit besonderer
Berücksichtigung der Lehre vom Erkennen_, Breslau, 1880. R. Eucken,
_Beiträge zur Geschichte der neueren Philosophie_, Heidelberg, 1886, p. 6
seq.; Joh. Uebinger, _Die Gotteslehre des Nikolaus Cusanus_, Münster,
1888. Scharpff, _Des Nikolaus von Cusa wichtigste Schriften in deutscher
Uebersetzung, Freiburg i. Br_., 1862.]

Human knowledge and the relation of God to the world are the two poles of
the Cusan's system. He distinguishes four stages of knowledge. Lowest of
all stands sense (together with imagination), which yields only confused
images; next above, the understanding (_ratio_), whose functions comprise
analysis, the positing of time and space, numerical operations, and
denomination, and which keeps the opposites distinct under the law of
contradiction; third, the speculative reason (_intellectus_), which finds
the opposites reconcilable; and highest of all the mystical, supra-rational
intuition (_visio sine comprehensione, intuitio, unio, filiatio_),
for which the opposites coincide in the infinite unity. The intuitive
culmination of knowledge, in which the soul is united with God,--since
here even the antithesis of subject and object disappears,--is but seldom
attained; and it is difficult to keep out the disturbing symbols and images
of sense, which mingle themselves in the intuition. But it is just this
insight into the incomprehensibility of the infinite which gives us a true
knowledge of God; this is the meaning of the "learned ignorance," the
_docta ignorantia_. The distinctions between these several stages of
cognition are not, however, to be understood in any rigid sense, for
each higher function comprehends the lower, and is active therein. The
understanding can discriminate only when it is furnished by sensation with
images of that which is to be discriminated, the reason can combine only
when the understanding has supplied the results of analysis as material for
combination; while, on the other hand, it is the understanding which is
present in sense as consciousness, and the reason whose unity guides
the understanding in its work of separation. Thus the several modes of
cognition do not stand for independent fundamental faculties, but for
connected modifications of one fundamental power which work together and
mutually imply one another. The position that an intellectual function of
attention and discrimination is active in sensuous perception, is a view
entirely foreign to mediaeval modes of thought; for the Scholastics were
accustomed to make sharp divisions between the cognitive faculties, on the
principle that particulars are felt through sense and universals thought
through the understanding. The idea on which Nicolas bases his argument for
immortality has also an entirely modern sound: viz., that space and time
are products of the understanding, and, therefore, can have no power over
the spirit which produces them; for the author is higher and mightier than
the product.

The confession that all our knowledge is conjecture does not simply mean
that absolute and exact truth remains concealed from us; but is intended at
the same time to encourage us to draw as near as possible to the eternal
verity by ever truer conjectures. There are degrees of truth, and our
surmises are neither absolutely true nor entirely false. Conjecture becomes
error only when, forgetting the inadequacy of human knowledge, we rest
content with it as a final solution; the Socratic maxim, "I know that I
am ignorant," should not lead to despairing resignation but to courageous
further inquiry. The duty of speculation is to penetrate deeper and deeper
into the secrets of the divine, even though the ultimate revelation will
not be given us until the hereafter. The fittest instrument of speculation
is furnished by mathematics, in its conception of the infinite and the
wonders of numerical relations: as on the infinite sphere center and
circumference coincide, so God's essence is exalted above all opposites;
and as the other numbers are unfolded from the unit, so the finite proceeds
by explication from the infinite. A controlling significance in the serial
construction of the world is ascribed to the ten, as the sum of the first
four numbers--as reason, understanding, imagination, and sensibility are
related in human cognition, so God, spirit, soul, and body, or infinity,
thought, life, and being are related in the objective sphere; so, further,
the absolute necessity of God, the concrete necessity of the universe,
the actuality of individuals, and the possibility of matter. Beside the
quaternary the tern also exercises its power--the world divides into the
stages of eternity, imperishability, and the temporal world of sense,
or truth, probability, and confusion. The divine trinity is reflected
everywhere: in the world as creator, created, and love; in the mind as
creative force, concept, and will. The triunity of God is very variously
explained--as the subject, object, and act of cognition; as creative
spirit, wisdom, and goodness; as being, power, and deed; and, preferably,
as unity, equality, and the combination of the two.

God is related to the world as unity, identity, _complicatio_, to
otherness, diversity, _explicatio_, as necessity to contingency, as
completed actuality to mere possibility; yet, in such a way that the
otherness participates in the unity, and receives its reality from this,
and the unity does not have the otherness confronting it, outside it. God
is triune only as the Creator of the world, and in relation to it; in
himself he is absolute unity and infinity, to which nothing disparate
stands opposed, which is just as much all things as not all things, and
which, as the Areopagite had taught of old, is better comprehended by
negations than by affirmations. To deny that he is light, truth, spirit,
is more true than to affirm it, for he is infinitely greater than anything
which can be expressed in words; he is the Unutterable, the Unknowable,
the supremely one and the supremely absolute. In the world, each thing has
things greater and smaller by its side, but God is the absolutely greatest
and smallest; in accordance with the principle of the _coincidentia
oppositorum_, the absolute _maximum_ and the absolute _minimum_ coincide.
That which in the world exists as concretely determinate and particular,
is in God in a simple and universal way; and that which here is present
as incompleted striving, and as possibility realizing itself by gradual
development, is in God completed activity. He is the realization of all
possibility, the Can-be or Can-is (_possest_); and since this absolute
actuality is the presupposition and cause of all finite ability and action,
it may be unconditionally designated ability (_posse ipsum_), in antithesis
to all determinate manifestations of force; namely, to all ability to be,
live, feel, think, and will.

However much these definitions, conceived in harmony with the dualistic
view of Christianity, accentuate the antithesis between God and the world,
this is elsewhere much softened, nay directly denied, in favor of a
pantheistic view which points forward to the modern period. Side by side
with the assertion that there is no proportion whatever between the
infinite and the finite, the following naïvely presents itself, in open
contradiction to the former: God excels the reason just as much as
the latter is superior to the understanding, and the understanding to
sensibility, or he is related to thought as thought to life, and life to
being. Nay, Nicolas makes even bolder statements than these, when he calls
the universe a sensuous and mutable God, man a human God or a humanly
contracted infinity, the creation a created God or a limited infinity; thus
hinting that God and the world are at bottom essentially alike, differing
only in the form of their existence, that it is one and the same being
and action which manifests itself absolutely in God, relatively and in a
limited way in the system of creation. It was chiefly three modern ideas
which led the Cusan on from dualism to pantheism--the boundlessness of the
universe, the connection of all being, and the all-comprehensive richness
of individuality. Endlessness belongs to the universe as well as to God,
only its endlessness is not an absolute one, beyond space and time, but
weakened and concrete, namely unlimited extension in space and unending
duration in time. Similarly, the universe is unity, yet not a unity
absolutely above multiplicity and diversity, but one which is divided into
many members and obscured thereby. Even the individual is infinite in a
certain sense; for, in its own way, it bears in itself all that is, it
mirrors the whole world from its limited point of view, is an abridged,
compressed representation of the universe. As the members of the body, the
eye, the arm, the foot, interact in the closest possible way, and no one
of them can dispense with the rest, so each thing is connected with each,
different from it and yet in harmony with it, so each contains all the
others and is contained by them. All is in all, for all is in the universe
and in God, as the universe and God in all. In a still higher degree man is
a microcosm (_parvus mundus_), a mirror of the All, since he not merely,
like other beings, actually has in himself all that exists, but also has
a knowledge of this richness, is capable of developing it into conscious
images of things. And it is just this which constitutes the perfection of
the whole and of the parts, that the higher is in the lower, the cause in
the effect, the genus in the individual, the soul in the body, reason
in the senses, and conversely. To perfect, is simply to make active a
potential possession, to unfold capacities and to elevate the unconscious
into consciousness. Here we have the germ of the philosophy of Bruno and of

As we have noticed a struggle between two opposite tendencies, one
dualistic and Christian, one pantheistic and modern, in the theology of
Nicolas, so at many other points a conflict between the mediaeval and the
modern view of the world, of which our philosopher is himself unconscious,
becomes evident to the student. It is impossible to follow out the details
of this interesting opposition, so we shall only attempt to distinguish in
a rough way the beginnings of the new from the remnants of the old. Modern
is his interest in the ancient philosophers, of whom Pythagoras, Plato, and
the Neoplatonists especially attract him; modern, again, his interest in
natural science[1] (he teaches not only the boundlessness of the world, but
also the motion of the earth); his high estimation of mathematics, although
he often utilizes this merely in a fanciful symbolism of numbers; his
optimism (the world an image of the divine, everything perfect of its kind,
the bad simply a halt on the way to the good); his intellectualism (knowing
the primal function and chief mission of the spirit; faith an undeveloped
knowledge; volition and emotion, as is self-evident, incidental results of
thought; knowledge a leading back of the creature to God as its source,
hence the counterpart of creation); modern, finally, the form and
application given to the Stoic-Neoplatonic concept of individuality, and
the idealistic view which resolves the objects of thought into products
thereof.[2] This last position, indeed, is limited by the lingering
influence of nominalism, which holds the concepts of the mind to be merely
abstract copies, and not archetypes of things. Moreover, _explicatio,
evolutio_, unfolding, as yet does not always have the meaning of
development to-day, of progressive advance. It denotes, quite neutrally,
the production of a multiplicity from a unity, in which the former has lain
confined, no matter whether this multiplicity and its procession signify
enhancement or attenuation. For the most part, in fact, involution,
_complicatio_ (which, moreover, always means merely a primal, germinal
condition, never, as in Leibnitz, the return thereto) represents the more
perfect condition. The chief examples of the relation of involution and
evolution are the principles in which science is involved and out of which
it is unfolded; the unit, which is related to numbers in a similar way;
the spirit and the cognitive operations; God and his creatures. However
obscure and unskillful this application of the idea of development may
appear, yet it is indisputable that a discovery of great promise has been
made, accompanied by a joyful consciousness of its fruitfulness. Of the
numberless features which point backward to the Middle Ages, only one need
be mentioned, the large space taken up by speculations concerning the
God-man (the whole third book of the _De Docta Ignorantia_), and by those
concerning the angels. Yet even here a change is noticeable, for the
earthly and the divine are brought into most intimate relation, while in
Thomas Aquinas, for instance, they form two entirely separate worlds. In
short, the new view of the world appears in Nicolas still bound on every
hand by mediaeval conceptions. A century and a half passed before the
fetters, grown rusty in the meanwhile, broke under the bolder touch of
Giordano Bruno.

[Footnote 1: The attention of our philosopher was called to the natural
sciences, and thus also to geography, which at this time was springing into
new life, by his friend Paul Toscanelli, the Florentine. Nicolas was the
first to have the map of Germany engraved (cf. S. Ruge in _Globus_, vol.
lx., No. I, 1891), which, however, was not completed until long after his
death, and issued in 1491.]

[Footnote 2: On the modern elements in his theory of the state and of
right, cf. Gierke, _Das deutsche Genossenschaftsrecht_, vol. iii. § II,

%2. The Revival of Ancient Philosophy and the Opposition to it%.

Italy is the home of the Renaissance and the birthplace of important
new ideas which give the intellectual life of the sixteenth century its
character of brave endeavor after high and distant ends. The enthusiasm
for ancient literature already aroused by the native poets, Dante (1300),
Petrarch (1341), and Boccaccio (1350), was nourished by the influx of Greek
scholars, part of whom came in pursuance of an invitation to the Council of
Ferrara and Florence (1438) called in behalf of the union of the Churches
(among these were Pletho and his pupil Bessarion; Nicolas Cusanus was one
of the legates invited), while part were fugitives from Constantinople
after its capture by the Turks in 1453. The Platonic Academy, whose
most celebrated member, Marsilius Ficinus, translated Plato and the
Neoplatonists into Latin, was founded in 1440 on the suggestion of Georgius
Gemistus Pletho[1] under the patronage of Cosimo dei Medici. The writings
of Pletho ("On the Distinction between Plato and Aristotle"), of Bessarion
(_Adversus Calumniatorem Platonis_, 1469, in answer to the _Comparatio
Aristotelis et Platonis_, 1464, an attack by the Aristotelian, George of
Trebizond, on Pletho's work), and of Ficinus (_Theologia Platonica_, 1482),
show that the Platonism which they favored was colored by religious,
mystical, and Neoplatonic elements. If for Bessarion and Ficinus, just as
for the Eclectics of the later Academy, there was scarcely any essential
distinction between the teachings of Plato, of Aristotle, and of
Christianity; this confusion of heterogeneous elements was soon carried
much farther, when the two Picos (John Pico of Mirandola, died 1494, and
his nephew Francis, died 1533) and Johann Reuchlin (_De Verbo Mirifico_,
1494; _De Arte Cabbalistica_, 1517), who had been influenced by the former,
introduced the secret doctrines of the Jewish Cabala into the Platonic
philosophy, and Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim of Cologne (_De Occulta
Philosophia_, 1510; cf. Sigwart, _Kleine Schriften_, vol. i. p. 1 seq.)
made the mixture still worse by the addition of the magic art. The impulse
of the modern spirit to subdue nature is here already apparent, only that
it shows inexperience in the selection of its instruments; before long,
however, nature will willingly unveil to observation and calm reflection
the secrets which she does not yield to the compulsion of magic.

[Footnote 1: Pletho died at an advanced age in 1450. His chief work, the
[Greek: Nomoi], was given to the flames by his Aristotelian opponent,
Georgius Scholarius, surnamed Gennadius, Patriarch of Constantinople.
Portions of it only, which had previously become known, have been
preserved. On Pletho's life and teachings, cf. Fritz Schultze, _G.G.
Plethon_, Jena, 1874.]

A similar romantic figure was Phillipus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombast
Paracelsus[1] von Hohenheim (1493-1541), a traveled Swiss, who endeavored
to reform medicine from the standpoint of chemistry. Philosophy for
Paracelsus is knowledge of nature, in which observation and thought
must co-operate; speculation apart from experience and worship of the
paper-wisdom of the ancients lead to no result. The world is a living
whole, which, like man, the microcosm, in whom the whole content of
the macrocosm is concentrated as in an extract, runs its life course.
Originally all things were promiscuously intermingled in a unity, the
God-created _prima materia_, as though inclosed in a germ, whence the
manifold, with its various forms and colors, proceeded by separation.
The development then proceeds in such a way that in each genus that is
perfected which is posited therein, and does not cease until, at the last
day, all that is possible in nature and history shall have fulfilled
itself. But the one indwelling life of nature lives in all the manifold
forms; the same laws rule in the human body as in the universe; that which
works secretly in the former lies open to the view in the latter, and the
world gives the clew to the knowledge of man. Natural becoming is brought
about by the chemical separation and coming together of substances; the
ultimate constituents revealed by analysis are the three fundamental
substances or primitive essences, quicksilver, sulphur, and salt, by which,
however, something more principiant is understood than the empirical
substances bearing these names: _mercurius_ means that which makes bodies
liquid, _sulfur_, that which makes them combustible, _sal_, that which
makes them fixed and rigid. From these are compounded the four elements,
each of which is ruled by elemental spirits--earth by gnomes or pygmies,
water by undines or nymphs, air by sylphs, fire by salamanders (cf. with
this, and with Paracelsus's theory of the world as a whole, Faust's two
monologues in Goethe's drama); which are to be understood as forces
or sublimated substances, not as personal, demoniacal beings. To each
individual being there is ascribed a vital principle, the _Archeus_, an
individualization of the general force of nature, _Vulcanus_; so also to
men. Disease is a checking of this vital principle by contrary powers,
which are partly of a terrestrial and partly of a sidereal nature; and the
choice of medicines is to be determined by their ability to support the
Archeus against its enemies. Man is, however, superior to nature--he is not
merely the universal animal, inasmuch as he is completely that which other
beings are only in a fragmentary way; but, as the image of God, he has also
an eternal element in him, and is capable of attaining perfection through
the exercise of his rational judgment. Paracelsus distinguishes three
worlds: the elemental or terrestrial, the astral or celestial, and the
spiritual or divine. To the three worlds, which stand in relations of
sympathetic interaction, there correspond in man the body, which nourishes
itself on the elements, the spirit, whose imagination receives its food,
sense and thoughts, from the spirits of the stars, and, finally, the
immortal soul, which finds its nourishment in faith in Christ. Hence
natural philosophy, astronomy, and theology are the pillars of
anthropology, and ultimately of medicine. This fantastic physic of
Paracelsus found many adherents both in theory and in practice.[2] Among
those who accepted and developed it may be named R. Fludd (died 1637), and
the two Van Helmonts, father and son (died 1644 and 1699).

[Footnote 1: On Paracelsus cf. Sigwart, _Kleine Schriften_, vol. i. p. 25
seq.; Eucken, _Beiträge zur Geschichteder neueren Philosophie_, p. 32 seq.;
Lasswitz, _Geschichte der Atomistik_, vol. i. p. 294 seq.]

[Footnote 2: The influence of Paracelsus, as of Vives and Campanella, is
evident in the great educator, Amos Comenius (Komensky, 1592-1670), whose
pansophical treatises appeared in 1637-68. On Comenius cf. Pappenheim,
Berlin, 1871; Kvacsala, Doctor's Dissertation, Leipsic, 1886; Walter
Mueller, Dresden, 1887.]

Beside the Platonic philosophy, others of the ancient systems were also
revived. Stoicism was commended by Justus Lipsius (died 1606) and Caspar
Schoppe (Scioppius, born 1562); Epicureanism was revived by Gassendi
(1647), and rhetorizing logicians went back to Cicero and Quintilian. Among
the latter were Laurentius Valla (died 1457); R. Agricola (died 1485); the
Spaniard, Ludovicus Vives (1531), who referred inquiry from the authority
of Aristotle to the methodical utilization of experience; and Marius
Nizolius (1553), whose _Antibarbarus_ was reissued by Leibnitz in 1670.

The adherents of Aristotle were divided into two parties, one of which
relied on the naturalistic interpretation of the Greek exegete,
Alexander of Aphrodisias (about 200 A.D.), the other on the pantheistic
interpretation of the Arabian commentator, Averroës (died 1198). The
conflict over the question of immortality, carried on especially in Padua,
was the culmination of the battle. The Alexandrist asserted that, according
to Aristotle, the soul was mortal, the Averroists, that the rational part
which is common to all men was immortal; while to this were added the
further questions, if and how the Aristotelian view could be reconciled
with the Church doctrine, which demanded a continued personal existence.
The most eminent Aristotelian of the Renaissance, Petrus Pomponatius (_De
Immortalite Animae_, 1516; _De Fato, Libero Arbitrio, Providentia et
Praedestinatione_), was on the side of the Alexandrists. Achillini and
Niphus fought on the other side. Caesalpin (died 1603), Zabarella, and
Cremonini assumed an intermediate, or, at least, a less decided position.
Still others, as Faber Stapulensis in Paris (1500), and Desiderius Erasmus
(1520), were more interested in securing a correct text of Aristotle's
works than in his philosophical principles.

* * * * *

Among the Anti-Aristotelians only two famous names need be mentioned, that
of the influential Frenchman, Petrus Ramus, and the German, Taurellus.
Pierre de la Ramée (assassinated in the massacre of St. Bartholomew,
1572), attacked the (unnatural and useless) Aristotelian logic in his
_Aristotelicae Animadversiones_, 1543, objecting, with the Ciceronians
mentioned above, to the separation of logic and rhetoric; and attempted a
new logic of his own, in his _Institutiones Dialecticae_, which, in spite
of its formalism, gained acceptance, especially in Germany.[1] Nicolaus
Oechslein, Latinized Taurellus (born in 1547 at Mömpelgard; at his death,
in 1606, professor of medicine in the University of Altdorf), stood quite
alone because of his independent position in reference to all philosophical
and religious parties. His most important works were his _Philosophiae
Triumphus_, 1573; _Synopsis Aristotelis Metaphysicae_, 1596; _Alpes Caesae_
(against Caesalpin, and the title punning on his name), 1597; and _De Rerum
Aeternitate_, 1604.[2] The thought of Taurellus inclines toward the ideal of
a Christian philosophy; which, however, Scholasticism, in his view, did
not attain, inasmuch as its thought was heathen in its blind reverence
for Aristotle, even though its faith was Christian. In order to heal this
breach between the head and the heart, it is necessary in religion to
return from confessional distinctions to Christianity itself, and in
philosophy, to abandon authority for the reason. We should not seek to be
Lutherans or Calvinists, but simply Christians, and we should judge on
rational grounds, instead of following Aristotle, Averroës, or Thomas
Aquinas. Anyone who does not aim at the harmony of theology and philosophy,
is neither a Christian nor a philosopher. One and the same God is the
primal source of both rational and revealed truth. Philosophy is the basis
of theology, theology the criterion and complement of philosophy. The one
starts with effects evident to the senses and leads to the suprasensible,
to the First Cause; the other follows the reverse course. To philosophy
belongs all that Adam knew or could know before the fall; had there been no
sin, there would have been no other than philosophical knowledge. But after
the fall, the reason, which informs us, it is true, of the moral law, but
not of the divine purpose of salvation, would have led us to despair, since
neither punishment nor virtue could justify us, if revelation did not teach
us the wonders of grace and redemption. Although Taurellus thus softens the
opposition between theology and philosophy, which had been most sharply
expressed in the doctrine of "twofold truth" (that which is true in
philosophy may be false in theology, and conversely), and endeavors to
bring the two into harmony, the antithesis between God and the world still
remains for him immovably fixed. God is not things, though he is all. He
is pure affirmation; all without him is composed, as it were, of being and
nothing, and can neither be nor be known independently: _negatio non nihil
est, alias nec esset nec intelligeretur, sed limitatio est affirmationis_.
Simple being or simple affirmation is equivalent to infinity, eternity,
unity, uniqueness,--properties which do not belong to the world. He who
posits things as eternal, sublates God. God and the world are opposed to
each other as infinite cause and finite effect. Moreover, as it is our
spirit which philosophizes and not God's spirit in us, so the faith through
which man appropriates Christ's merit is a free action of the human spirit,
the capacity for which is inborn, not infused from above; in it, God acts
merely as an auxiliary or remote cause, by removing the obstacles which
hinder the operation of the power of faith. With this anti-pantheistic
tendency he combines an anti-intellectualistic one--being and production
precedes and stands higher than contemplation; God's activity does not
consist in thought but in production, and human blessedness, not in the
knowledge but the love of God, even though the latter presupposes the
former. While man, as an end in himself, is immortal--and the whole man,
not his soul merely--the world of sense, which has been created only for
the conservation of man (his procreation and probation), must disappear;
above this world, however, a higher rears its walls to subserve man's
eternal happiness.

[Footnote 1: On Ramus cf. Waddington's treatises, one in Latin, Paris,
1849, the other in French, Paris, 1855.]

[Footnote 2: Schmid Schwarzenburg has written on Taurellus, 1860, 2d ed.,

The high regard which Leibnitz expressed for Taurellus may be in part
explained by the many anticipations of his own thoughts to be found in
the earlier writer. The intimate relation into which sensibility and
understanding are brought is an instance of this from the theory of
knowledge. Receptivity is not passivity, but activity arrested (through the
body). All knowledge is inborn; all men are potential philosophers (and, so
far as they are loyal to conscience, Christians); the spirit is a thinking
and a thinkable universe. Taurellus's philosophy of nature, recognizing
the relative truth of atomism, makes the world consist of manifold simple
substances combined into formal unity: he calls it a well constructed
system of wholes. A discussion of the origin of evil is also given, with a
solution based on the existence and misuse of freedom. Finally, it is to
be mentioned to the great credit of Taurellus, that, like his younger
contemporaries, Galileo and Kepler, he vigorously opposed the Aristotelian
and Scholastic animation of the material world and the anthropomorphic
conception of its forces, thus preparing the way for the modern view of
nature to be perfected by Newton.

%3. The Italian Philosophy of Nature%.

We turn now from the restorers of ancient doctrines and their opponents to
the men who, continuing the opposition to the authority of Aristotle, point
out new paths for the study of nature. The physician, Hieronymus Cardanus
of Milan (1501-76), whose inclinations toward the fanciful were restrained,
though not suppressed, by his mathematical training, may be considered the
forerunner of the school. While the people should accept the dogmas of the
Church with submissive faith, the thinker may and should subordinate all
things to the truth. The wise man belongs to that rare class who neither
deceive nor are deceived; others are either deceivers or deceived, or both.
In his theory of nature, Cardanus advances two principles: one passive,
matter (the three cold and moist elements), and an active, formative one,
the world-soul, which, pervading the All and bringing it into unity,
appears as warmth and light. The causes of motion are attraction and
repulsion, which in higher beings become love and hate. Even superhuman
spirits, the demons, are subject to the mechanical laws of nature.

The standard bearer of the Italian philosophy of nature was Bernardinus
Telesius[1] of Cosenza (1508-88; _De Rerum Natura juxta Propria Principia_,
1565, enlarged 1586), the founder of a scientific society in Naples called
the Telesian, or after the name of his birthplace, the Cosentian Academy.
Telesius maintained that the Aristotelian doctrine must be replaced by an
unprejudiced empiricism; that nature must be explained from itself, and by
as few principles as possible. Beside inert matter, this requires only two
active forces, on whose interaction all becoming and all life depend. These
are warmth, which expands, and cold, which contracts; the former resides in
the sun and thence proceeds, the latter is situated in the earth. Although
Telesius acknowledges an immaterial, immortal soul, he puts the emphasis
on sensuous experience, without which the understanding is incapable of
attaining certain knowledge. He is a sensationalist both in the theory of
knowledge and in ethics, holding the functions of judgment and thought
deducible from the fundamental power of perception, and considering the
virtues different manifestations of the instinct of self-preservation
(which he ascribes to matter as well).

[Footnote 1: Cf. on Telesius, Florentine, 2 vols., Naples, 1872-74; K.
Heiland, _Erkenntnisslehre und Ethik des Telesius_, Doctor's Dissertation
at Leipsic, 1891. Further, Rixner and Siber, _Leben und Lehrmeinungen
berühmter Physiker am Ende des XVI. und am Anfang des XVII. Jahrhunderts_,
Sulzbach (1819-26), 7 Hefte, 2d ed., 1829. Hefte 2-6 discuss Cardanus,
Telesius, Patritius, Bruno, and Campanella; the first is devoted to
Paracelsus, and the seventh to the older Van Helmont (Joh. Bapt.).]

With the name of Telesius we usually associate that of Franciscus Patritius
(1529-97), professor of the Platonic philosophy in Ferrara and Rome
_(Discussiones Peripateticae,_ 1581; _Nova de Universis Philosophia_,
1591), who, combining Neoplatonic and Telesian principles, holds that the
incorporeal or spiritual light emanates from the divine original light, in
which all reality is seminally contained; the heavenly or ethereal
light from the incorporeal; and the earthly or corporeal, from the
heavenly--while the original light divides into three persons, the One and
All _(Unomnia)_, unity or life, and spirit.

The Italian philosophy of nature culminates in Bruno and Campanella, of
whom the former, although he is the earlier, appears the more advanced
because of his freer attitude toward the Church. Giordano Bruno was born
in 1548 at Nola, and educated at Naples; abandoning his membership in the
Dominican Order, he lived, with various changes of residence, in France,
England, and Germany. Returning to his native land, he was arrested in
Venice and imprisoned for seven years at Rome, where, on February 17, 1600,
he suffered death at the stake, refusing to recant. (The same fate overtook
his fellow-countryman, Vanini, in 1619, at Toulouse.) Besides three
didactic poems in Latin (Frankfort, 1591), the Italian dialogues, _Della
Causa, Principio ed Uno_, Venice, 1584 (German translation by Lasson,
1872), are of chief importance. The Italian treatises have been edited by
Wagner, Leipsic, 1829, and by De Lagarde, 2 vols., Göttingen, 1888; the
Latin appeared at Naples, in 3 vols., 1880, 1886, and 1891. Of a passionate
and imaginative nature, Bruno was not an essentially creative thinker, but
borrowed the ideas which he proclaimed with burning enthusiasm and lofty
eloquence, and through which he has exercised great influence on later
philosophy, from Telesius and Nicolas, complaining the while that the
priestly garb of the latter sometimes hindered the free movement of his
thought. Beside these thinkers he has a high regard for Pythagoras, Plato,
Lucretius, Raymundus Lullus, and Copernicus (died 1543).[1] He forms the
transition link between Nicolas of Cusa and Leibnitz, as also the link
between Cardanus and Spinoza. To Spinoza Bruno offered the naturalistic
conception of God (God is the "first cause" immanent in the universe, to
which self-manifestation or self-revelation is essential; He is _natura
naturans_, the numberless worlds are _natura naturata_); Leibnitz he
anticipated by his doctrine of the "monads," the individual, imperishable
elements of the existent, in which matter and form, incorrectly divorced by
Aristotle as though two antithetical principles, constitute one unity.
The characteristic traits of the philosophy of Bruno are the lack of
differentiation between pantheistic and individualistic elements, the
mediaeval animation and endlessness of the world, and, finally, the
religious relation to the universe or the extravagant deification of nature
(nature and the world are entirely synonymous, the All, the world-soul,
and God nearly so, while even matter is called a divine being).[2]

[Footnote 1: Nicolaus Copernicus (Koppernik; 1473-1543) was born at Thorn;
studied astronomy, law, and medicine at Cracow, Bologna, and Padua; and
died a Canon of Frauenberg. His treatise, _De Revolutionibus Orbium
Caelestium_, which was dedicated to Pope Paul III., appeared at Nuremberg
in 1543, with a preface added to it by the preacher, Andreas Osiander,
which calls the heliocentric system merely an hypothesis advanced as a
basis for astronomical calculations. Copernicus reached his theory rather
by speculation than by observation; its first suggestion came from the
Pythagorean doctrine of the motion of the earth. On Copernicus cf. Leop.
Prowe, vol. i. _Copernicus Leben_, vol. ii. (_Urkunden_), Berlin, 1883-84;
and K. Lohmeyer in Sybel's _Historische Zeitschrift_, vol. lvii., 1887.]

[Footnote 2: Cf. on Bruno, H. Brunnhofer (somewhat too enthusiastic),
Leipsic, 1882; also Sigwart, _Kleine Schriften_, vol. i. p. 49 _seq_.]

Bruno completes the Copernican picture of the world by doing away with the
motionless circle of fixed stars with which Copernicus, and even Kepler,
had thought our solar system surrounded, and by opening up the view into
the immeasurability of the world. With this the Aristotelian antithesis of
the terrestrial and the celestial is destroyed. The infinite space (filled
with the aether) is traversed by numberless bodies, no one of which
constitutes the center of the world. The fixed stars are suns, and, like
our own, surrounded by planets. The stars are formed of the same materials
as the earth, and are moved by their own souls or forms, each a living
being, each also the residence of infinitely numerous living beings of
various degrees of perfection, in whose ranks man by no means takes the
first place. All organisms are composed of minute elements, called _minima_
or monads; each monad is a mirror of the All; each at once corporeal and
soul-like, matter and form, each eternal; their combinations alone being
in constant change. The universe is boundless in time, as in space;
development never ceases, for the fullness of forms which slumber in the
womb of matter is inexhaustible. The Absolute is the primal unity, exalted
above all antitheses, from which all created being is unfolded and in which
it remains included. All is one, all is out of God and in God. In
the living unity of the universe, also, the two sides, the spiritual
(world-soul), and the corporeal (universal matter), are distinguishable,
but not separate. The world-reason pervades in its omnipresence the
greatest and the smallest, but in varying degrees. It weaves all into
one great system, so that if we consider the whole, the conflicts and
contradictions which rule in particulars disappear, resolved into the
most perfect harmony. Whoever thus regards the world, becomes filled with
reverence for the Infinite and bends his will to the divine law--from true
science proceed true religion and true morality, those of the spiritual
hero, of the heroic sage.

Thomas Campanella[1] (1568-1639) was no less dependent on Nicolas and
Telesius than Bruno. A Calabrian by birth like Telesius, whose writings
filled him with aversion to Aristotle, a Dominican like Bruno, he was
deprived of his freedom on an unfounded suspicion of conspiracy against the
Spanish rule, spent twenty-seven years in prison, and died in Paris after a
short period of quiet. Renewing an old idea, Campanella directed attention
from the written volume of Scripture to the living book of nature as being
also a divine revelation. Theology rests on faith (in theology, Campanella,
in accordance with the traditions of his order, follows Thomas Aquinas);
philosophy is based on perception, which in its instrumental part comprises
mathematics and logic, and in its real part, the doctrine of nature and of
morals, while metaphysics treats of the highest presuppositions and the
ultimate grounds,--the "pro-principles," Campanella starts, as Augustine
before him and Descartes in later times, from the indisputable certitude of
the spirit's own existence, from which he rises to the certitude of God's
existence. On this first certain truth of my own existence there follow
three others: my nature consists in the three functions of power,
knowledge, and volition; I am finite and limited, might, wisdom, and
love are in man constantly intermingled with their opposites, weakness,
foolishness, and hate; my power, knowledge, and volition do not extend
beyond the present. The being of God follows from the idea of God in us,
which can have been derived from no other than an infinite source. It would
be impossible for so small a part of the universe as man to produce from
himself the idea of a being incomparably greater than the whole universe.
I attain a knowledge of God's nature from my own by thinking away from
the latter, in which, as in everything finite, being and non-being are
intermingled, every limitation and negation, by raising to infinity
my positive fundamental powers, _posse, cognoscere_, and _velle_, or
_potentia, sapientia_, and _amor_, and by transferring them to him, who is
pure affirmation, _ens_ entirely without _non-ens_. Thus I reach as the
three pro-principles or primalities of the existent or the Godhead,
omnipotence, omniscience, and infinite love. But the infrahuman world may
also be judged after the analogy of our fundamental faculties. The
universe and all its parts possess souls; there is naught without
sensation; consciousness, it is true, is lacking in the lower creatures,
but they do not lack life, feeling, and desire, for it is impossible
for the animate to come from the inanimate. Everything loves and hates,
desires and avoids. Plants are motionless animals, and their roots,
mouths. Corporeal motion springs from an obscure, unconscious impulse of
self-preservation; the heavenly bodies circle about the sun as the center
of sympathy; space itself seeks a content _(horror vacui_).

[Footnote 1: Campanella's works have been edited by Al. d'Ancona, Turin,
1854, Cf. Sigwart, _Kleine Schriften_, vol. i. p. 125 _seq_.]

The more imperfect a thing is, the more weakened is the divine being in it
by non-being and contingency. The entrance of the naught into the divine
reality takes place by degrees. First God projects from himself the ideal
or archetypal world (_mundus archetypus_), _i.e._, the totality of the
possible. From this ideal world proceeds the metaphysical world of eternal
intelligences _(mundus mentalis)_, including the angels, the world-soul,
and human spirits. The third product is the mathematical world of space
_(mundus sempiternus_), the object of geometry; the fourth, the temporal
or corporeal world; the fifth, and last, the empirical world _(mundus
situalis_), in which everything appears at a definite point in space and
time. All things not only love themselves and seek the conservation of
their own being, but strive back toward the original source of their being,
to God; _i.e._, they possess religion. In man, natural and animal religion
are completed by rational religion, the limitations of which render a
revelation necessary. A religion can be considered divine only when it is
adapted to all, when it gains acceptance through miracles and virtue, and
when it contradicts neither natural ethics nor the reason. Religion is
union with God through knowledge, purity of will, and love. It is inborn,
a law of nature, not, as Machiavelli teaches, a political invention.

Campanella desired to see the unity in the divine government of the world
embodied in a pyramid of states with the papacy at the apex: above the
individual states was to come the province, then the kingdom, the empire,
the (Spanish) world-monarchy, and, finally, the universal dominion of the
Pope. The Church should be superior to the State, the vicegerent of God to
temporal rulers and to councils.

%4. Philosophy of the State and of Law%.

The originality of the modern doctrines of natural law was formerly
overestimated, as it was not known to how considerable an extent the way
had been prepared for them by the mediaeval philosophy of the state and of
law. It is evident from the equally rich and careful investigations of Otto
Gierke[1] that in the political and legal theories of a Bodin, a Grotius,
a Hobbes, a Rousseau, we have systematic developments of principles long
extant, rather than new principles produced with entire spontaneity. Their
merit consists in the principiant expression and accentuation and the
systematic development of ideas which the Middle Ages had produced, and
which in part belong to the common stock of Scholastic science, in part
constitute the weapons of attack for bold innovators. Marsilius of Padua
(_Defensor Pacis_, 1325), Occam (died 1347), Gerson (about 1400), and the
Cusan[2] _(Concordantia Catholica_, 1433) especially, are now seen in a
different light. "Under the husk of the mediaeval system there is revealed
a continuously growing antique-modern kernel, which draws all the living
constituents out of the husk, and finally bursts it" (Gierke, _Deutsches
Genossenschaftsrecht_, vol. iii. p. 312). Without going beyond the
boundaries of the theocratico-organic view of the state prevalent in
the Middle Ages, most of the conceptions whose full development was
accomplished by the natural law of modern times were already employed in
the Scholastic period. Here we already find the idea of a transition on the
part of man from a pre-political natural state of freedom and equality into
the state of citizenship; the idea of the origin of the state by a contract
(social and of submission); of the sovereignty of the ruler (_rex major
populo; plenitudo potestatis_), and of popular sovereignty[3] (_populus
major principe_); of the original and inalienable prerogatives of the
generality, and the innate and indestructible right of the individual to
freedom; the thought that the sovereign power is superior to positive
law _(princeps legibus solutus_), but subordinate to natural law; even
tendencies toward the division of powers (legislative and executive),
and the representative system. These are germs which, at the fall of
Scholasticism and the ecclesiastical reformation, gain light and air for
free development.

[Footnote 1: Gierke, _Johannes Althusius und die Entwickelung der
naturrechtlichen Staatstheorien_, Breslau, 1880; the same, _Deutsches
Genossenschaftsrecht_, vol. iii. § II, Berlin, 1881. Cf. further, Sigm.
Riezler, _Die literarischen Widersacher der Päpste_, Leipsic, 1874; A.
Franck, _Réformateurs et Publicistes de L'Europe_, Paris, 1864.]

[Footnote 2: Nicolas' political ideas are discussed by T. Stumpf, Cologne,

[Footnote 3: Cf. F. von Bezold, _Die Lehre von der Volkssouveränität im
Mittelalter_, (Sybel's _Historische Zeitschrift_, vol. xxxvi., 1876).]

The modern theory of natural law, of which Grotius was the most influential
representative, began with Bodin and Althusius. The former conceives
the contract by which the state is founded as an act of unconditional
submission on the part of the community to the ruler, the latter conceives
it merely as the issue of a (revocable) commission: in the view of the one,
the sovereignty of the people is entirely alienated, "transferred," in that
of the other, administrative authority alone is granted, "conceded," while
the sovereign prerogatives remain with the people. Bodin is the founder
of the theory of absolutism, to which Grotius and the school of Pufendorf
adhere, though in a more moderate form, and which Hobbes develops to the
last extreme. Althusius, on the other hand, by his systematic development
of the doctrine of social contract and the inalienable sovereignty of the
people, became the forerunner of Locke[1] and Rousseau.

[Footnote 1: Ulrich Huber (1674) may be called the first representative
of constitutionalism, and so the intermediate link between Althusius and
Locke. Cf. Gierke, _Althusius_, p. 290.]

The first independent political philosopher of the modern period was
Nicolo Machiavelli of Florence (1469-1527). Patriotism was the soul of his
thinking, questions of practical politics its subject, and historical fact
its basis.[1] He is entirely unscholastic and unecclesiastical. The power
and independence of the nation are for him of supreme importance, and the
greatness and unity of Italy, the goal of his political system. He
opposes the Church, the ecclesiastical state, and the papacy as the chief
hindrances to the attainment of these ends, and considers the means by
which help may be given to the Fatherland. In normal circumstances a
republican constitution, under which Sparta, Rome, and Venice have achieved
greatness, would be the best. But amid the corruption of the times, the
only hope of deliverance is from the absolute rule of a strong prince,
one not to be frightened back from severity and force. Should the ruler
endeavor to keep within the bounds of morality, he would inevitably be
ruined amid the general wickedness. Let him make himself liked, especially
make himself feared, by the people; let him be fox and lion together; let
him take care, when he must have recourse to bad means for the sake of the
Fatherland, that they are justified by the result, and still to preserve
the appearance of loyalty and honor when he is forced to act in their
despite--for the populace always judges by appearance and by results. The
worst thing of all is half-way measures, courses intermediate between good
and evil and vacillating between reason and force. Even Moses had to kill
the envious refractories, while Savonarola, the unarmed prophet, was
destroyed. God is the friend of the strong, energy the chief virtue; and
it is well when, as was the case with the ancient Romans, religion is
associated with it without paralyzing it. The current view of Christianity
as a religion of humility and sloth, which preaches only the courage
of endurance and makes its followers indifferent to worldly honor,
is unfavorable to the development of political vigor. The Italians have
been made irreligious by the Church and the priesthood; the nearer Rome,
the less pious the people. When Machiavelli, in his proposals looking
toward Lorenzo (II.) dei Medici (died 1519), approves any means for
restoring order, it must be remembered that he has an exceptional case
in mind, that he does not consider deceit and severity just, but only
unavoidable amid the anarchy and corruption of the time. But neither the
loftiness of the end by which he is inspired, nor the low condition of
moral views in his time, justifies his treatment of the laws as mere means
to political ends, and his unscrupulous subordination of morality to
calculating prudence. Machiavelli's general view of the world and of life
is by no means a comforting one. Men are simple, governed by their passions
and by insatiable desires, dissatisfied with what they have, and inclined
to evil. They do good only of necessity; it is hunger which makes them
industrious and laws that render them good. Everything rapidly degenerates:
power produces quiet, quiet, idleness, then disorder, and, finally, ruin,
until men learn by misfortune, and so order and power again arise. History
is a continual rising and falling, a circle of order and disorder.
Governmental forms, even, enjoy no stability; monarchy, when it has run out
into tyranny, is followed by aristocracy, which gradually passes over into
oligarchy; this in turn is replaced by democracy, until, finally, anarchy
becomes unendurable, and a prince again attains power. No state, however,
is so powerful as to escape succumbing to a rival before it completes the
circuit. Protection against the corruption of the state is possible only
through the maintenance of its principles, and its restoration only by a
return to the healthy source whence it originated. This is secured either
by some external peril compelling to reflection, or internally, by wise
thought, by good laws (framed in accordance with the general welfare, and
not according to the ambition of a minority), and by the example of good

[Footnote 1: In his _Essays on the First Decade of Livy (Discorsi)_,
Machiavelli investigates the conditions and the laws of the maintenance of
states; while in _The Prince (II Principe_, 1515), he gives the principles
for the restoration of a ruined state. Besides these he wrote a history
of Florence, and a work on the art of war, in which he recommended the
establishment of national armies.]

In the interval between Machiavelli and the system of natural law of
Grotius, the Netherlander (1625: _De Jure Belli et Pacis_), belong the
socialistic ideal state of the Englishman, Thomas More (_De Optimo
Reipublicae Statu deque Nova Insula Utopia_, 1516), the political theory of
the Frenchman, Jean Bodin (_Six Livres de la République_, 1577, Latin 1584;
also a philosophico-historical treatise, _Methodus ad Facilem Historiarum
Cognitionem_, and the _Colloquium Heptaplomeres_, edited by Noack, 1857),
and the law of war of the Italian, Albericus Gentilis, at his death
professor in Oxford (_De Jure Belli_, 1588). Common to these three was
the advocacy of religious tolerance, from which atheists alone were to
be excepted; common, also, their ethical standpoint in opposition to
Machiavelli, while they are at one with him in regard to the liberation of
political and legal science from theology and the Church. With Gentilis
(1551-1611) this separation assigns the first five commandments to divine,
and the remainder to human law, the latter being based on the laws of human
nature (especially the social impulse). In place of this derivation of law
and the state from the nature of man, Jean Bodin (1530-96) insists on an
historical interpretation; endeavors, though not always with success, to
give sharp definitions of political concepts;[1] rejects composite
state forms, and among the three pure forms, monarchy, aristocracy, and
democracy, rates (hereditary) monarchy the highest, in which the subjects
obey the laws of the monarch, and the latter the laws of God or of nature
by respecting the freedom and the property of the citizens. So far, no
one has correctly distinguished between forms of the state and modes of
administration. Even a democratic state may be governed in a monarchical
or aristocratic way. So far, also, there has been a failure to take into
account national peculiarities and differences of situation, conditions to
which legislation must be adjusted. The people of the temperate zone are
inferior to those of the North in physical power and inferior to those of
the South in speculative ability, but superior to both in political gifts
and in the sense of justice. The nations of the North are guided by
force, those of the South by religion, those between the two by reason.
Mountaineers love freedom. A fruitful soil enervates men, when less
fertile, it renders them temperate and industrious.

[Footnote 1: What is the state? What is sovereignty? The former is defined
as the rational and supremely empowered control over a number of families
and of whatever is common to them; the latter is absolute and continuous
authority over the state, with the right of imposing laws without being
bound by them. The prince, to whom the sovereignty has been unconditionally
relinquished by the people in the contract of submission, is accountable to
God alone.]

Attention has only recently been called (by O. Gierke, in the work already
mentioned, Heft vii. of his _Untersuchungen zur deutschen Staats- und
Rechtsgeschichte_, Breslau, 1880) to the Westphalian, Johannes Althusius
(Althusen or Althaus) as a legal philosopher worthy of notice. He was born,
1557, in the Grafschaft Witgenstein; was a teacher of law in Herborn and
Siegen from 1586, and Syndic in Emden from 1604 to his death in 1638. His
chief legal work was the _Dicaeologica_, 1617 (a recasting of a treatise
on Roman law which appeared in 1586), and his chief political work the
_Politica_, 1603 (altered and enlarged 1610, and reprinted, in addition,
three times before his death and thrice subsequently). Down to the
beginning of the eighteenth century he was esteemed or opposed as chief
among the _Monarchomachi_, so called by the Scotchman, Barclay (_De Regno
et Regali Potestate_, 1600); since that time he has fallen into undeserved
oblivion. The sovereign power (_majestas_) of the people is untransferable
and indivisible, the authority vested in the chosen wielder of the
administrative power is revocable, and the king is merely the chief
functionary; individuals are subjects, it is true, but the community
retains its sovereignty and has its rights represented over against the
chief magistrate by a college of ephors. If the prince violates the
compact, the ephors are authorized and bound to depose the tyrant, and to
banish or execute him. There is but one normal state-form; monarchy and
polyarchy are mere differences in administrative forms. Mention should
finally be made of his valuation of the social groups which mediate between
the individual and the state: the body politic is based on the narrower
associations of the family, the corporation, the commune, and the province.

While with Bodin the historical, and with Gentilis the _a priori_ method of
treatment predominates, Hugo Grotius[1] combines both standpoints. He bases
his system on the traditional distinction of two kinds of law. The origin
of positive law is historical, by voluntary enactment; natural law is
rooted in the nature of man, is eternal, unchangeable, and everywhere the
same. He begins by distinguishing with Gentilis the _jus humanum_ from the
_jus divinum_ given in the Scriptures. The former determines, on the one
hand, the legal relations of individuals, and, on the other, those of whole
nations; it is _jus personale_ and _jus gentium_.[2]

[Footnote 1: Hugo de Groot lived 1583-1645. He was born in Delft, became
Fiscal of Holland in 1607, and Syndic of Rotterdam and member of the States
General in 1613. A leader of the aristocratic party with Oldenbarneveld, he
adhered to the Arminians or Remonstrants, was thrown into prison, freed in
1621 through the address of his wife, and fled to Paris, where he lived
till 1631 as a private scholar, and, from 1635, as Swedish ambassador. Here
he composed his epoch-making work, _De Jure Belli et Pacis_, 1625. Previous
to this had appeared his treatise, _De Veritate Religionis Christianae_,
1619, and the _Mare Liberum_, 1609, the latter a chapter from his maiden
work, _De Jure Praedae_, which was not printed until 1868.]

[Footnote 2: The meaning which Grotius here gives to _jus gentium_
(=international law), departs from the customary usage of the Scholastics,
with whom it denotes the law uniformly acknowledged among all nations.
Thomas Aquinas understands by it, in distinction to _jus naturale_ proper,
the sum of the conclusions deduced from this as a result of the development
of human culture and its departure from primitive purity. Cf. Gierke,
_Althusius_, p. 273; _Deutsches Genossenschaftsrecht_, vol. iii. p. 612.
On the meaning of natural law cf. Gierke's Inaugural Address as Rector at
Breslau, _Naturrecht und Deutsches Recht_, Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1883.]

The distinction between natural and conventional law which has been already
mentioned, finds place within both: the positive law of persons is called
_jus civile_, and the positive law of nations, _jus gentium voluntarium_.
Positive law has its origin in regard for utility, while unwritten law
finds its source neither in this nor (directly) in the will of God,[1] but
in the rational nature of man. Man is by nature social, and, as a rational
being, possesses the impulse toward ordered association. Unlawful means
whatever renders such association of rational beings impossible, as the
violation of promises or the taking away and retention of the property
of others. In the (pre-social) state of nature, all belonged to all, but
through the act of taking possession _(occupatio)_ property arises (sea and
air are excluded from appropriation). In the state of nature everyone has

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