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History Of Modern Philosophy by Richard Falckenberg

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the divine working and the purposive harmony of creation reveal the wisdom
and goodness of the Almighty more clearly than "astonishing and exceptional
events." When we hear a man speak we reason from this activity to his
existence. How much less are we entitled to doubt the existence of God, who
speaks to us in the thousandfold works of nature.

The natural or created ideas which God impresses on us are copies of
the eternal ideas which he himself perceives, not, indeed, by passive
sensation, but through his creative reason. Accordingly when it was
maintained that things do not exist independently of perception, the
reference was not to the individual spirit, but to all spirits. When I
turn my eyes away from an object it continues to exist, indeed, after
my perception has ended--in the minds of other men and in that of the
Omnipresent One. The pantheistic conclusion of these principles, in the
sense of Geulincx and Malebranche,[1] which one expects, was really
suggested by Berkeley. Everything exists only in virtue of its
participation in the one, permanent, all-comprehensive spirit; individual
spirits are of the same nature with the universal reason, only they are
less perfect, limited, and not pure activity, while God is passionless
intelligence. But if, in the last analysis, God is the cause of all, this
does not hold of the free actions of men, least of all of wicked ones. The
freedom of the will must not be rejected because of the contradictions
which its acceptance involves; motion, also, and mathematical infinity
imply incomprehensible elements. In the philosophy of nature Berkeley
prefers the teleological to the mechanical view, since the latter is able
to discover the laws of phenomena only, but not their efficient and
final causes. Sense and experience acquaint us merely with the course
of phenomenal effects; the reason, which opens up to us the realm of
causation, of the spiritual, is the only sure guide to science and truth.
The understanding does not feel, the senses do not know. We have no
(sensuous) idea of other spirits, but only a notion of them; instead of
themselves we perceive their activities merely, from which we argue
to souls like ourselves, while we know our own mind by immediate

[Footnote 1: The example of Arthur Collier shows that the same results
which Berkeley reaches empirically can be obtained from the standpoint of
rationalism. Following Malebranche, and developing further the idealistic
tendencies of the latter, Collier had, independently of Berkeley, conceived
the doctrine of the "non-existence or impossibility of an external world ";
but had not worked it out in his _Clavis Universalis_, 1713, until after
the appearance of Berkeley's chief work, and not without consideration of
this. The general point of view and the arguments are the same: Existence
is equivalent to being perceived by God; the creation of a real world of
matter apart from the ideal world in God and from sensuous perceptions in
us would have been a superfluous device, etc.]

[Footnote 2: It should be remembered, however, that this immediate
knowledge of ourselves is also "not after the manner of an idea or
sensation." Our knowledge of spirits is always mediated by "notions" not by
"ideas" in the strict sense, that is, not by "images." Cf. _Principles_,
§§ 27, 135 _seq_., especially in the second edition.--TR.]

In contrast to the fearlessness with which Berkeley propounds his
spiritualism, his anxious endeavors to take away the appearance of paradox
from his immaterialistic doctrine, and to show its complete agreement with
common sense, excite surprise. Even the common man, he argues, desires
nothing more than that his perceptions be real; the distinction between
idea and object is an invention of philosophers. Here Berkeley cannot be
acquitted of a certain sophistical play upon the term "idea," which, in
fact, is ambiguous. He understands by it _that which_ the soul perceives
(its immediate, inner object), but the popular mind, _that through which_
the soul perceives an object. The reality of an idea in us is different
from the idea of a real thing, or from the reality of that which is
perceived without us by means of the idea, and it is just this last meaning
which common sense affirms and Berkeley denies. In any case it was a work
of great merit to have transferred the existence of objects beyond our
ideas, of things-in-themselves, out of the region of the self-evident into
the region of the problematical. We never get beyond the circle of our
ideas, and if we posit a thing-in-itself as the ground and object of the
idea, this also is simply a thought, an idea. For us there is no being
except that of the perceiver and the perceived. Later we shall meet two
other forms of idealism, in Leibnitz and Fichte. Both of these agree with
Berkeley that spiritual beings alone are active, and active beings alone
real, and that the being of the inactive consists in their being perceived.
But while in Berkeley the objective ideas are impressed upon finite spirits
by the Infinite Spirit from without and singly, with Leibnitz they appear
as a fullness of germs, which God implanted together in the monads at the
beginning, and which the individual develops into consciousness, and with
Fichte they become the unconscious productions of the Absolute Ego acting
in the individual egos. For the two former as many worlds exist as there
are individual spirits, their harmony being guaranteed, in the one case, by
the consistency of God's working, and, in the other, by his foresight. For
Fichte, on the other hand, there is but one world, for the absolute is not
outside the individual spirits, but the uniformly working force within

(b) Hume.--David Hume was born in Edinburgh in 1711, and died in the same
city, 1776. His position as librarian, which he held in the place of
his birth, 1752-57, gave the opportunity for his _History of England_(
1754-62). His chief work, the _Treatise on Human Nature_, which, however,
found few readers, was composed during his first residence in France in
1734-37. Later he worked over the first book of this work into his
_Enquiry concerning Human Understanding_ (1748); the second book into _A
Dissertation on the Passions_; and the third _into An Enquiry concerning
the Principles of Morals_. These, and others of his essays, found so much
favor that, during his second sojourn in France, as secretary to Lord
Hertford, in 1763-66, he was already honored as a philosopher of world-wide
renown. Then, after serving for some time as Under-Secretary of State, he
retired to private life at home (1769).

The three books of the _Treatise on Human Nature_, which appeared in
1739-40, are entitled _Of the Understanding, Of the Passions, Of Morals_.
Of the five volumes of the Essays, the first contains the _Essays Moral,
Political, and Literary_, 1741-42; the second, the _Enquiry concerning
Human Understanding_, 1748; the third, the _Enquiry concerning the
Principles of Morals_, 1751; the fourth, the _Political Discourses_, 1752;
the fifth, 1757, the _Four Dissertations_, including that _On the Passions_
and the _Natural History of Religion_. After Hume's death appeared the
_Autobiography_, 1777; the _Dialogues concerning Natural Religion_, 1779;
and the two small essays on _Suicide_ and the _Immortality of the Soul_,
1783.[1] The _Philosophical Works_ were published in 1827, and frequently

[Footnote 1: Or 1777, cf. Green and Grose's edition, vol. iii. p. 67

[Footnote 2: Among the works on Hume we may mention Jodl's prize treatise,
1872, and Huxley's _Hume_ (English Men of Letters), 1879. [The reader may
be referred also to Knight's _Hume_ (Blackwood's Philosophical Classics),
1886; to T.H. Green's "Introductions" in Green and Grose's edition of the
collected works in four volumes, 1874 (new ed. 1889-90), which is now
standard; and to Selby-Bigge's reprint of the original edition of the
_Treatise_, I vol., 1888, with a valuable Analytical Index.]]

Hume's object, like that of Berkeley, is the improvement of Locke's
doctrine of knowledge. In several respects he does not go so far as
Berkeley, in others very much farther. In agreement with Berkeley's
ultra-nominalism, which combats even the possibility of abstract ideas, he
yet does not follow him to the extent of denying external reality. On the
other hand, he carries out more consistently Berkeley's hint that immediate
sensation includes less than is ascribed to it (_e.g._, that by vision
we perceive colors only, and not distance, etc.), as well as his
principle--destructive to the certainty of our knowledge of nature--that
there is no causality among phenomena; and brings the question of substance
to, the negative conclusion, that there is no need whatever for a support
for groups of qualities, and, therefore, that substantiality is to be
denied to immaterial as well as to material beings. The points in Locke's
philosophy which seemed to Hume to need completion were different from
those at which Berkeley had struck in. The antithesis of rational and
empirical knowledge is more sharply conceived; the combination of ideas is
not left to the choice of the understanding but placed under the dominion
of psychological laws; and to the distinction between outer and inner
experience (to the former of which priority is conceded, on the ground that
we must have had an external sensation before we can, through reflection,
be conscious of it as an internal phenomenon), there is added a second, as
important as the other and crossing it, between impressions and ideas, of
which the former are likewise made prior to the latter.

Everyone will acknowledge the considerable difference between a sensation
actually present (of heat, for instance) and the mere idea of one
previously experienced, or shortly to come. This consists in the greater
force, liveliness, and vividness of the former. Although these two classes
of states (the idea of a landscape described by a poet and the perception
of a real one, anger and the thought of anger) are only quantitatively
distinct, they are scarcely ever in danger of being confused--the most
lively idea is always less so than the weakest perception. The actual,
outer or inner, sensations may be termed impressions; the weaker images of
memory or imagination, which they leave behind them, ideas. Since nothing
can gain entrance to the soul except through the two portals of outer and
inner experience, there is no idea which has not arisen from an impression
or several such; every idea is the image and copy of an impression. But
as the understanding and imagination variously combine, separate, and
transpose the elements furnished by the senses and lingering in memory, the
possibility of error arises. A hidden, and, therefore more dangerous source
of error consists in the reference of an idea to a different impression
than the one of which it is the copy. The concepts substance and causality
are examples of such false reference.

The combination of ideas takes place without freedom, in a purely
mechanical, way according to fixed rules, which in the last analysis
reduce to three fundamental laws of association: Ideas are associated
(1) according to their resemblance and contrast; (2) according to their
contiguity in space and time; (3) according to their causal connection.
Mathematics is based on the operation of the first of these laws, on
the immediate or mediate knowledge of the resemblance, contrariety, and
quantitative relations of ideas; the descriptive and experimental part of
the sciences of nature and of man on the second; religion, metaphysics, and
that part of physical and moral science which goes beyond mere observation
on the third. The theory of knowledge has to determine the boundaries of
human understanding and the degree of credibility to which these sciences
are entitled.

The objects of human thought and inquiry are either relations of ideas or
matters of fact. To the former class belong the objects of mathematics, the
truths of which, since they are analytic (_i. e_., merely explicate in the
predicate the characteristics already contained in the subject, and add
nothing new to this), and since they concern possible relations only,
not reality, possess intuitive or demonstrative certainty. It is only
propositions concerning quantity and number that are discoverable _a
priori_ by the mere operation of thought, without dependence on real
existence, and that can be proved from the impossibility of their
opposites--mathematics is the only demonstrative science.

We reach certainty in matters of fact by direct perception, or by
inferences from other facts, when they transcend the testimony of our
senses and memory. These arguments from experience are of an entirely
different sort from the rational demonstrations of mathematics; as the
contrary of a fact is always thinkable (the proposition that the sun will
not rise to-morrow implies no logical contradiction), they yield, strictly
speaking, probability only, no matter how strong our conviction of their
accuracy may be. Nevertheless it is advisable to separate this species of
inferences from experience--whose certainty is not doubted except by the
philosophers--from uncertain probabilities, as a class intermediate between
the latter and demonstrative truth (demonstrations--proofs--probabilities).
All reasonings concerning matters of fact are based on the relation of
cause and effect. Whence, then, do we obtain the knowledge of cause and
effect? Not by _a priori_ thought. Pure reason is able only to analyze
concepts into their elements, not to connect new predicates with them. All
its judgments are analytic, while synthetic judgments rest on experience.
Judgments concerning causation belong in this latter class, for effects are
entirely distinct from causes; the effect is not contained in the cause,
nor the latter in the former. In the case of a phenomenon previously
unknown we cannot tell from what causes it has proceeded, nor what
its effect will be. We argue that fire will warm us, and bread afford
nourishment, because we have often perceived these causal pairs closely
connected in space and time. But even experience does not vouchsafe all
that we desire. It shows nothing more than the coexistence and succession
of phenomena and events; while the judgment itself, _e. g_., that the
motion of one body stands in causal connection with that of another,
asserts more than mere contiguity in space and time, it affirms not merely
that the one precedes the other, but that it produces it--not merely that
the second follows the first, but that it results from it. The bond which
connects the two events, the force that puts forth the second from the
first, the necessary connection between the two is not perceived, but added
to perception by thought, construed into it.[1] What, then, is the occasion
and what the warrant for transforming perceived succession in time into
causal succession, for substituting _must_ for _is_, for interpreting the
observed connection of fact into a necessary connection which always eludes

[Footnote 1: The weakness of the concept of cause had been recognized
before Hume by the skeptic, J. Glanvil (1636-80). Causality itself cannot
be perceived; we infer it from the constant succession of two phenomena,
without being able to show warrant for the transformation of _thereafter_
into _thereby_.]

We do not causally connect every chance pair of successive events, but
those only which have been repeatedly observed together. The wonder is,
then, that through oft-repeated observation of certain objects we come to
believe that we know something about the behavior of other like objects,
and the further behavior of these same ones. From the fact that I have seen
a given apple fall ten times to the ground, I infer that all the apples in
the world do the same when loosened, instead of flying upward, which, in
itself, is quite as thinkable; I infer further that this has always
been the case, and will continue to be so to all eternity. Where is the
intermediate link between the proposition, "I have found that such an
object has always been attended with such an effect," and this other, "I
foresee that other objects which are, in appearance, similar, will be
attended with similar effects"? This postulate, that the future will be
like the past, and that like causes will have like effects, rests on a
purely psychological basis. In virtue of the laws of association the sight
of an object or event vividly recalls the image of a second, often observed
in connection with the former, and leads us involuntarily to expect its
appearance anew. The idea of causal connection is based on feeling (the
feeling of inner determination to pass from one idea to a second), not upon
insight; it is a product of the imagination, not of the understanding. From
the habitual perception of two events in connection (sunshine and heat)
arises the mental determination to think of the second when we perceive the
first, and, anticipating the senses, to count on its appearance. It is now
possible to state of what impression the idea of the causal nexus is the
copy: the impression on which it is based is the habitual transition from
the idea of a thing to its customary attendant. Hence the idea of causality
has a purely subjective significance, not the objective one which we
ascribe to it. It is impossible to determine whether there is a real
necessity of becoming corresponding to the felt necessity of thought.
In life we never doubt the fact, but for science our conviction of the
uniformity of nature remains a merely probable (though a very highly
probable) conviction. Complete certainty is vouchsafed only by rational
demonstration and immediate experience. The necessary bond which we
postulate between cause and effect can neither be demonstrated nor felt.

If all experiential reasonings depend on the idea of causality, and this
has no other support than subjective mental habit, it follows that all
knowledge of nature which goes beyond mere observed fact is not knowledge
(neither demonstrative knowledge nor knowledge of fact), but belief.[1] The
probability of our belief in the regularity of natural phenomena increases,
indeed, with every new verification of the assumptions based thereon; but,
as has been shown, it never rises to absolute certainty. Nevertheless
inferences from experience are trustworthy and entirely sufficient for
practical life, and the aim of the above skeptical deliverances was not
to shake belief--only a fool or a lunatic can doubt in earnest the
immutability of nature--but only to make it clear that it is mere belief,
and not, as hitherto held, demonstrative or factual knowledge. Our doubt
is intended to define the boundary between knowledge and belief, and to
destroy that absolute confidence which is a hindrance rather than a help to
investigation. We should recognize it as a wise provision of nature that
the regulation of our thoughts and the belief in the objective validity
of our anticipation of future events have not been confided to the weak,
inconstant, inert, and fallacious reason, but to a powerful instinct. In
life and action we are governed by this natural impulse, in spite of all
the scruples of the skeptical reason.

[Footnote 1: Hume distinguishes belief as a form of knowledge from
religious faith, both in fact and in name. In the _Treatise_--the passage
is wanting in the _Enquiry_--our conviction of the external existence of
the objects of perception is also ascribed to the former, which later
formed Jacobi's point of departure. Religious faith is referred to

In Hume's earlier work his destructive critique of the idea of cause
is accompanied by a deliverance in a similar strain on the concept of
substance, which is not included in the shorter revision. Substances are
not perceived through impressions, but only qualities and powers. The
unknown something which is supposed to have qualities, or in which these
are supposed to inhere, is an unnecessary fiction of the imagination. A
permanent similarity of attributes by no means requires a self-identical
support for these. A thing is nothing more than a collection of qualities,
to which we give a special name because they are always found together. The
idea of substance, like the idea of cause, is founded in a subjective habit
which we erroneously objectify. The impression from which it has arisen
is our inner perception that our thought remains constant in the repeated
experience of the same group of qualities (whenever I see sugar, _I do the
same thing_, that is, I combine the qualities white color, sweet taste,
hardness, etc., with one another), or the impression of a uniform
combination of ideas. The idea of substance becomes erroneous through the
fact that we refer it not to the inner activity of representation, to which
it rightly belongs, but to the external group of qualities, and make it
a real, permanent substratum for the latter. Mental substances disappear
along with material substances. The soul or mind is, in reality, nothing
more than the sum of our inner states, a collection of ideas which flow
on in a continuous and regular stream; it is like a stage, across which
feelings, perceptions, thoughts, and volitions are passing while it does
not itself come into sight. A permanent self or ego, as a substratum of
ideas, is not perceived; there is no invariable, permanent impression. That
which leads to the assumption of personal identity is only the frequent
repetition of similar trains of ideas, and the gradual succession of
our ideas, which is easily confused with constancy. Thus robbed of its
substantiality, the soul has no further claims to immateriality and
immortality, and suicide ceases to be a crime.[1]

[Footnote 1: Cf. the essays on _Suicide_ and the _Immortality of the Soul_,
1783, whose authorship by Hume, however, is not absolutely established [of.
Green and Grose, as above, p. 221, note first.--TR.]]

Is Hume roundly to be called a skeptic? [1] He never impugned the validity
of mathematical reasonings, nor experimental truths concerning matters of
fact; in regard to the former his thought is rationalistic, in regard to
the latter it is empirical or, more accurately, sensationalistic. His
attitude toward the empirical sciences of nature and of mind is that of a
semi-skeptic or probabilist, in so far as they go beyond the establishment
of facts to the proof of connections under law and to inferences concerning
the future. Habit is for him a safe guide for life, although it does not go
beyond probabilities; absolute knowledge is unattainable for us, but
not indispensable. Toward metaphysics, as an alleged science of the
suprasensible, he takes up an entirely negative attitude. If an argument
from experience is to be assured of merely that degree of probability which
is sufficient for belief, it must not only have a well-established fact (an
impression or memory-image) for its starting point, but, together with its
conclusion, it must keep within the limits of possible experience. The
limits of possible experience are also the limits of the knowable;
inferences to the continued existence of the soul after death and to the
being of God are vain sophistry and illusion. According to the famous
conclusion of the _Essay_, all volumes which contain anything other than
"abstract reasonings concerning quantity or number" or "experimental
reasonings concerning matter of fact and existence" deserve to be committed
to the flames. In view of this limitation of knowledge to that which is
capable of exact measurement and that which is present in experience, as
well of the principle that the elements added by thought are to be
sharply distinguished from the positively given (the immediate facts of
perception), we must agree with those who call Hume the father of modern

[Footnote 1: In the _Essay_, Hume describes his own standpoint as mitigated
or academical skepticism in antithesis to the Cartesian, which from doubt
and through doubt hopes to reach the indubitable, and to the excessive
skepticism of Pyrrhonism, which cripples the impulse to inquiry. This
moderate skepticism asks us only, after resisting the tendency to
unreflecting conclusions, to make a duty of deliberation and caution in
judging, and to restrain inquiry within those fields which are accessible
to our knowledge, _i.e._, the fields of mathematics and empirical fact. In
the _Treatise_ Hume had favored a sharper skepticism and extended his doubt
more widely, _e.g._, even to the trustworthiness of geometry. Cf. on this
point Ed. Grimm, _Zur Geschichte des Erkenntnissproblems_, 1890, p, 559

[Footnote 2: So Volkelt, _Erfahrung und Denken_, 1886, p. 105.]

* * * * *

As a philosopher of religion Hume is the finisher and destroyer of deism.
Of the three principles of the deists--religion, its origin and its truth
are objects of scientific investigation; religion has its origin in the
reason and the consciousness of duty; natural religion is the oldest, the
positive religions are degenerate or revived forms of natural religion--he
accepts the first, while rejecting the other two. Religion may correspond
to reason or contradict it, but not proceed from it. Religion has its basis
in human nature, yet not in its rational but its sensuous side; not in
the speculative desire for knowledge, but in practical needs; not in the
contemplation of nature, but in looking forward with fear or joy to the
changing events of human life. Anxiety and hope concerning future events
lead us to posit unseen powers as directing our destiny, and to seek their
favor. The capriciousness of fortune points to a plurality of gods;
the tendency to conceive all things like ourselves gives them human
characteristics; the powerful impression made by all that comes within the
sphere of the senses incites us to connect the divine power with visible
objects; the allegorical laudation and deification of eminent men leads to
a completed polytheism. That this and not (mono-) theism was the original
form of religion, Hume assumes to be a fact for historical times, and a
well-founded conjecture for prehistoric ages. Those who hold that humanity
began with a perfect religion find it difficult to explain the obscuration
of the truth, endow immature ages with a developed use of the reason which
they can scarcely have possessed, make error grow worse with increasing
culture, and contradict the historical progress upward which is everywhere
else observed. The philosophical knowledge of God is a very late product of
mature reflection; even monotheism, as a popular religion, did not arise
from rational reflection, although its chief principle is in agreement
with the results of philosophy, but from the same irrational motives
as polytheism. Its origin from polytheism is accomplished by the
transformation of the leading god (the king of the gods or the tutelary
deity of the nation) through the fear and emulous flattery of his votaries
into the one, infinite, spiritual ruler of the world. Amid the folly of the
superstitious herd, however, this refined idea is not long preserved in its
purity; the more exalted the conception entertained of the supreme deity,
the more imperatively the need makes itself felt for the interpolation
between this being and mankind of mediators and demi-gods, partaking more
of the human nature of the worshipers and more familiar to them. Later
a new purification takes place, so that the history of religion shows a
continuous alternation of the lower and higher forms.

After depriving theism of its prerogative of originality, Hume further
takes away from it its fame as in every respect the best religion. It is
disadvantageously distinguished from polytheism by the fact that it is more
intolerant, makes its followers pusillanimous, and, by its incomprehensible
dogmas, puts their faith to severer tests; while it is on a level with
polytheism in that most of its adherents exalt belief in foolish mysteries,
fanaticism, and the observance of useless customs above the practice of

The _Natural History of Religion_, which far outbids the conclusions of
the deists by its endeavors to explain religion, not on rational, but on
historical and psychological grounds, and to separate it entirely
from knowledge by relegating it to the sphere of practice, leaves the
possibility of a philosophical knowledge of God an open question. The
_Dialogues concerning Natural Religion_ greatly diminish this hope.
The most cogent argument for the intelligence of the world-ground, the
teleological argument, is a hypothesis which has grave weaknesses, and one
to which many other equally probable hypotheses may be opposed. The finite
world, with its defects and abounding misery amid all its order and
adaptation, can never yield an inference to an infinite, perfect
unit-cause, to an all-powerful, all-wise, and benevolent deity. To this
the eleventh section of the _Enquiry_ adds the argument, that it is
inadmissible to ascribe to the inferred cause other properties than those
which are necessary to explain the observed effect. The tenth section of
the same _Essay_ argues that there is no miracle supported by a sufficient
number of witnesses credible because of their intelligence and honesty, and
free from a preponderance of contradictory experiences and testimony of
greater probability. In short, the reason is neither capable of reaching
the existence of God by well-grounded inference nor of comprehending the
truth of the Christian religion with its accompanying miracles. That which
transcends experience cannot be proven and known, but only believed in.
Whoever is moved by faith to give assent to things which contradict all
custom and experience, is conscious of a continued miracle in his own

Hume never denied the existence of God, never directly impugned revelation.
His final word is doubt and uncertainty. It is certain that his counsel not
to follow the leadership of the reason in religious matters, but to submit
ourselves to the power of instinct and common opinion, was less earnest and
less in harmony with the nature of the philosopher than his other advice,
to take refuge from the strife of the various forms of superstition in the
more quiet, though dimmer regions of--naturally, the skeptical--philosophy.
Hume's originality and greatness in this field consist in his genetic view
of the historical religions. They are for him errors, but natural ones,
grounded in the nature of man, "sick men's dreams," whose origin and course
he searches out with frightful cold-bloodedness, with the dispassionate
interest of the dissector.

* * * * *

In his moral philosophy[1] Hume shows himself the empiricist only, not the
skeptic. The laws of human nature are capable of just as exact empirical
investigation as those of external nature; observation and analysis promise
even more brilliant success in this most important, and yet hitherto so
badly neglected, branch of science than in physics. As knowledge and
opinion have been found reducible to the associative play of ideas, and the
store of ideas, again, to original impressions and shown derivable from
these; so man's volition and action present themselves as results of the
mechanical working of the passions, which, in turn, point further back to
more primitive principles. The ultimate motives of all action are pleasure
and pain, to which we owe our ideas of good and evil. The direct passions,
desire and aversion, joy and sorrow, hope and fear, are the immediate
effects of these original elements. From the direct arise in certain
circumstances the indirect passions, pride and humility, love and hatred
(together with respect and contempt); the first two, if the objects which
excite feeling are immediately connected with ourselves, the latter, when
pleasure and pain are aroused by the accomplishments or the defects of
others. While love and hate are always conjoined with a readiness
for action, with benevolence or anger, pride and humility are pure,
self-centered, inactive emotions.

[Footnote 1: Cf. G. von Gizycki, _Die Ethik David Humes_, 1878.]

All moral phenomena, will, moral judgment, conscience, virtue, are not
simple and original data, but of a composite or derivative nature. They are
without exception products of the regular interaction of the passions. With
such views there can be, of course, no question of a freedom of the will.
If anyone objects to determinism, that virtues and vices, if they are
involuntary and necessary, are not praise-or blame-worthy, he is to be
referred to the applause paid to beauty and talent, which are considered
meritorious, although they are not dependent upon our choice. The legal
attitude of theology and law first caused all desert to be based upon
freedom, whereas the ancient philosophers spoke unhesitatingly of
intellectual virtues.

Hume does not, like nearly all his predecessors and contemporaries, find
the determining grounds of volition in ideas, but in the feelings. After
curtailing the rights of the reason in the theoretical field in favor of
custom and instinct, he dispossesses her also in the sphere of practice.
Impassive reason, judging only of truth and falsehood, is an inactive
faculty, which of itself can never inspire us with inclination and desire
toward an object, can never itself become a motive. It is only capable
of influencing the will indirectly, through the aid of some affection.
Abstract relations of ideas, and facts as well, leave us entirely
indifferent so long as they fail to acquire an emotional value through
their relation to our state of mind. When we speak of a victory of reason
over passion it is nothing but a conquest of one passion by another, _i.
e_., of a violent passion by a calm one. That which is commonly called
reason here is nothing but one of those general and calm affections _(e.
g_., the love of life) which direct the will to a distant good, without
exciting any sensible emotion in the mind; by passion we commonly
understand the violent passions only, which engender a marked disturbance
in the soul and the production of which requires a certain propinquity of
the object. A man is said to be industrious "from reason," when a calm
desire for money makes him laborious. It is a mistake to consider all
violent passions powerful, and all calm ones weak. The prevalence of calm
affections constitutes the essence of strength of mind.

As reason is thus degraded from a governor of the will to a "slave of the
passions," so, further, judgment concerning right and wrong is taken away
from her. Moral distinctions are determined by our sense of the agreeable
and the disagreeable. We pass an immediate judgment of taste on the actions
of our fellow-men; the good pleases, evil displeases. The sight of virtue
gives us satisfaction; that of vice repels us. Accordingly an action or
trait of mind is virtuous when it calls forth in the observer an agreeable,
disinterested sentiment of approbation.

What, then, are the actions which receive such general approval, and how is
the praise to be explained which the spectator bestows on them? We approve
such traits of character as are immediately agreeable or useful, either to
the person himself or to others. This yields four classes of praiseworthy
qualities. The first class, those which are agreeable to the possessor
(quite apart from any utility to himself or to others), includes
cheerfulness, greatness of mind, courage, tranquillity, and benevolence;
the second, those immediately agreeable to others, modesty, good manners,
politeness, and wit; the third, those useful to ourselves, strength of
will, industry, frugality, strength of body, intelligence and other mental
gifts. The fourth class comprises the highest virtues, the qualities useful
to others, benevolence and justice. Pleasure and utility are in all cases
the criterion of merit. The monkish virtues of humility and mortification
of the flesh, which bring no pleasure or advantage either to their
possessor or to society, are considered meritorious by no one who
understands the subject.

If the moral value of actions is thus made to depend on their effects, we
cannot dispense with the assistance of reason in judging moral questions,
since it alone can inform us concerning these results of action. Reason,
however, is not sufficient to determine us to praise or blame. Nothing but
a sentiment can induce us to give the preference to beneficial and useful
tendencies over pernicious ones. This feeling is evidently no other than
satisfaction in the happiness of men and uneasiness in view of their
misery--in short, it is sympathy. By means of the imagination we enter into
the experiences of others and participate in their joy and sorrow. Whatever
depresses or rejoices them, whatever inspires them with pride, fills us
with similar emotions. From the habit of sympathetically passing moral
judgment on the actions of others, and of seeing our own judged by them,
is developed the further one of keeping a constant watch over ourselves and
of considering our dispositions and deeds from the standpoint of the good
of others. This custom is called conscience. Allied to this is the love of
reputation, which continually leads us to ask, How will our behavior appear
in the eyes of those with whom we associate?

Within the fourth and most important class, the social virtues, Hume
distinguishes between the natural virtues of humanity and benevolence and
the artificial virtues of justice and fidelity. The former proceed from our
inborn sympathy with the good of others, while the latter, on the other
hand, are not to be derived from a natural passion, an instinctive love of
humanity, but are the product of reflection and art, and take their origin
in a social convention.

In order that an action may gain the approval of the spectator two other
things are required besides its salutary effects: it must be a mark
of character, of a permanent disposition, and it must proceed from
disinterested motives. Hume is obliged by this latter position to show that
disinterested benevolence actually exists, that the unselfish affections
do not secretly spring from self-love. To cite only one of the thousand
examples of benevolence in which no discernible interest is concerned,
we desire happiness for our friends even when we have no expectation
of participating in it. The accounts of human selfishness are greatly
overdrawn, and those who deduce all actions from it make the mistake of
taking the inevitable consequences of virtue--the pleasure of self-approval
and of being esteemed by others--for the only motives to virtue. Because
virtue, in the outcome, produces inner satisfaction and is praised by
others, it does not follow that it is practiced merely for the sake of
these agreeable consequences. Self-love is a secondary impulse, whose
appearance at all presupposes primary impulses. Only after we have
experienced the pleasure which comes from the satisfaction of such an
original impulse (_e. g_., ambition), can this become the object of a
conscious reflective search after pleasure, or of egoism. Power brings no
enjoyment to the man by nature devoid of ambition, and he who is naturally
ambitious does not desire fame because it affords him pleasure, but
conversely, fame affords him pleasure because he desires it. The natural
propensity which terminates directly on the object, without knowledge or
foresight of the pleasurable results, comes first, and egoistic reflection
directed toward the hoped-for enjoyment can develop only after this has
been satisfied. The case is the same with benevolence as with the love
of fame. It is implanted in the constitution of our minds as an original
impulse immediately directed toward the happiness of other men. After
it has been exercised and its exercise rewarded by self-satisfaction,
admiration, thanks, and reciprocation, it is indeed possible for the
expectation of such agreeable consequences to lead us to the repetition of
beneficent acts. But the original motive is not an egoistic, regard for
useful consequences. If, from the force of the passion alone, vengeance
may be so eagerly pursued that every consideration of personal quiet and
security is silenced, it may also be conceded that humanity causes us
to forget our own interests. Nay, further, the social affections, as
Shaftesbury has proven, are the strongest of all, and the man will rarely
be found in whom the sum of the benevolent impulses will not outweigh that
of the selfish ones.

In the section on justice Hume attacks the contract theory. Law, property,
and the sacredness of contracts exist first in society, but not first in
the state. The obligation to observe contracts is, indeed, made stronger by
the civil law and civil authority, but not created by them. Law arises from
convention, _i. e_., not from a formal contract, but a tacit agreement, a
sense of common interest, and this agreement, in turn, proceeds from an
original propensity to enter into social relations. The unsocial and
lawless state of nature is a philosophical fiction which has never existed;
men have always been social. They have all at least been born into the
society of the family, and they know no-more terrible punishment than
isolation. States are not created, however, by a voluntary act, but have
their roots in history. The question at issue between Hobbes and Hume was
thus adjusted at a later period by Kant: the state, it is true, has not
historically arisen from a contract, yet it is allowable and useful to
consider it under the aspect of a contract as a regulative idea.

Only once since David Hume, in Herbert Spencer, has the English nation
produced a mind of like comprehensive power. Hume and Locke form the
culminating points of English thought. They are national types, in that
in them the two fundamental tendencies of English thinking, clearness of
understanding and practical sense, were manifested in equal force. In Locke
these worked together in harmonious co-operation. In Hume the friendly
alliance is broken, the common labor ceases; each of the two demands its
full rights; a painful breach opens up between science and life. Reason
leads inevitably to doubt, to insight into its own weakness, while life
demands conviction. The doubter cannot act, the agent cannot know. It is
true that a substitute is found for defective knowledge in belief based
upon instinct and custom; but this is a makeshift, not a solution of the
problem, an acknowledgment of the evil, not a cure for it. Further, Hume's
greatness does not consist in the fact that he preached modesty to the
contending parties, that he banished the doubting reason into the study
and restricted life to belief in probabilities, but in the mental strength
which enabled him to endure sharp contradictions, and, instead of an
overhasty and easy reconciliation, to suspend the one impulse until the
other had made its demands thoroughly, completely, and regardlessly heard.
Though he is distinguished from other skeptics by the fact that he not
only shows the fundamental conceptions of our knowledge of nature and the
principles of religion uncertain and erroneous, but finds _necessary_
errors in them and acutely uncovers their origin in the lawful workings
of our inner life, yet his historical influence essentially rests on his
skepticism. In his own country it roused in the "Scottish School" the
reaction of common sense, while in Germany it helped to wake a kindred but
greater spirit from the bonds of his dogmatic slumbers, and to fortify him
for his critical achievements.

(c) %The Scottish School%.--Priestley's associational psychology,
Berkeley's idealism, and Hume's skepticism are legitimate deductions from
Locke's assumption that the immediate objects of thought are not things but
ideas, and that judgment or knowledge arises from the combination of ideas
originally separate. The absurdity of the consequences shows the falsity of
the premises. The true philosophy must not contradict common sense. It
is not correct to look upon the mind as a sheet of white paper on which
experience inscribes single characters, and then to make the understanding
combine these originally disconnected elements into judgments by means of
comparison, and the belief in the existence of the object come in as a
later result added to the ideas by reflection. It is rather true that the
elements discovered by the analysis of the cognitive processes are far from
being the originals from which these arise. It is not isolated ideas that
come first, but judgments, self-evident axioms of the understanding, which
form part of the mental constitution with which God has endowed us; and
sensation is accompanied by an immediate belief in the reality of the
object. Sensation guarantees the presence of an external thing possessing a
certain character, although it is not an image of this property, but merely
a sign for something in no wise resembling itself.

This is the standpoint of the founder[1] of the Scottish School, Thomas
Reid (1710-96, professor in Aberdeen and Glasgow; _An Inquiry into the
Human Mind on the Principles of Common Sense_, 1764; _Essays on the
Intellectual Powers of Man_, 1785, _Essays on the Active Powers_, 1788,
together under the title, _Essays on the Powers of the Human Mind.
Collected Works_, 1804, and often since, especially the edition by
Hamilton, with valuable notes and dissertations, 7th ed., 2 vols., 1872).
We may recognize in it a revival of the common notions of Herbert, as well
as a transfer of the innate faculty of judgment inculcated by the ethical
and aesthetic writers from the practical to the theoretical field; the
"common sense" of Reid is an original sense for truth, as the "taste"
of Shaftesbury and Hutcheson was a natural sense for the good and the
beautiful. Like Jacobi at a later period, Reid points out that mediate,
reasoned knowledge presupposes a knowledge which is immediate, and all
inference and demonstration, fixed, undemonstrable, immediately certain
fundamental truths. The fundamental judgments or principles of common
sense, which are true for us, even if [possibly] not true in themselves,
are discoverable by observation (empirical rationalism). In the enumeration
of them two dangers are to be avoided: we must neither raise contingent
principles to the position of axioms, nor, from an exaggerated endeavor
after unity, underestimate the number of these self-evident principles.
Reid himself is always more sparing with them than his disciples. He
distinguishes two classes: first principles of necessary truth, and first
principles of contingent truth or truth of fact. As first principles of
necessary truth he cites, besides the axioms of logic and mathematics,
grammatical, aesthetic, moral, and metaphysical principles (among the last
belong the principles: "That the qualities which we perceive by our senses
must have a subject, which we call body, and that the thoughts we are
conscious of must have a subject, which we call mind"; "that whatever
begins to exist, must have a cause which produced it"). He lays down twelve
principles as the basis of our knowledge of matters of fact, in which his
reference to the doubt of Berkeley and Hume is evident. The most important
of these are: "The existence of everything of which I am conscious"; "that
the thoughts of which I am conscious, are the thoughts of a being which I
call myself, my mind, my person"; "our own personal identity and continued
existence, as far back as we remember anything distinctly"; "that those
things do really exist which we distinctly perceive by our senses, and are
what we perceive them to be"; "that we have some degree of power over our
actions, and the determinations of our will"; "that there is life and
intelligence in our fellow-men"; "that there is a certain regard due... to
human authority in matters of opinion"; "that, in the phenomena of
nature, what is to be, will probably be like what has been in similar

[Footnote 1: In the sense of "chief founder"; cf. McCosh's _Scottish
Philosophy_, 1875, pp. 36, 68 _seq_., which is the standard authority on
the school as a whole.--TR.]

The widespread and lasting favor experienced by this theory, with its
invitation to forget all earnest work in the problems of philosophy
by taking refuge in common sense, shows that a general relaxation had
succeeded the energetic endeavors which Hume had demanded of himself and
of his readers. With this declaration of the infallibility of common
consciousness, the theory of knowledge, which had been so successfully
begun, was incontinently thrust aside, although, indeed, empirical
psychology gained by the industrious investigation of the inner life by
means of self-observation. James Beattie continued the attack on Hume
in his _Essay on the Nature and Immutability of Truth in Opposition to
Sophistry and Skepticism_, 1770, on the principle that wisdom must never
contradict nature, and that whatever our nature compels us to believe,
hence whatever all agree in, is true. In his briefer dissertations Beattie
discussed Memory and Imagination, Fable and Romance, the Effects of

Poetry and Music, Laughter, the Sublime, etc. While Beattie had given the
preference to psychological and aesthetic questions, James Oswald (1772)
appealed to common sense in matters of religion, describing it as an
instinctive faculty of judgment concerning truth and falsehood. The most
eminent among the followers of Reid was Dugald Stewart (professor in
Edinburgh; _Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind_, 1792-1827;
_Collected Works_, edited by Hamilton, 1854-58), who developed the
doctrines of the master and in some points modified them. Thomas
Brown (1778-1820), who is highly esteemed by Mill, Spencer, and Bain,
approximated the teachings of Reid and Stewart to those of Hume. The
philosophy of the Scottish School was long in favor both in England and in
France, where it was employed as a weapon against materialism.

By way of appendix we may mention the beginnings of a psychological
aesthetics in Henry Home (Lord Kames, 1696-1782), and Edmund Burke
(1728-97).[1] Home, in ethics a follower of Hutcheson, is fond of
supporting his aesthetic views by examples from Shakespeare. Beauty (chap.
iii.) appears to belong to the object itself, but in reality it is only an
effect, a "secondary quality," of the object; like color, it is nothing but
an idea in the mind, "for an object is said to be beautiful for no other
reason but that it appears so to the spectator." It arises from regularity,
proportion, order, simplicity--properties which belong to sublimity as well
(chap, iv.), but to which they are by no means so essential, since it is
satisfied with a less degree of them. While the beautiful excites emotions
of sweetness and gayety, the sublime rouses feelings which are agreeable,
it is true, but which are not sweet and gay, but strong and more serious.
Burke's explanation goes deeper. He derives the antithesis of the sublime
and the beautiful from the two fundamental impulses of human nature, the
instinct of self-preservation and the social impulse. Whatever is contrary
to the former makes a strong and terrible impression on the soul; whatever
favors the latter makes a weak but agreeable one. The terrible delights us
(first depressing and then exalting us), when we merely contemplate it,
without being ourselves affected by the danger or the pain--this is the
sublime. On the other hand, that is beautiful which inspires us with
tenderness and affection without our desiring to possess it. Sublimity
implies a certain greatness, beauty, a certain smallness. Delight in both
is based on bodily phenomena. Terror moderated exercises a beneficent
influence on the nerves by stimulating them and giving them tension;
the gentle impression of beauty exerts a quieting effect upon them. The
disturbances caused by the former, and the recovery induced by the latter,
are both conducive to health, and hence, experienced as pleasures.

[Footnote 1: Home, _Elements of Criticism_, 1762. Burke, _A Philosophical
Inquiry info the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful_,



In the last decade of the seventeenth century France had yielded the
leadership in philosophy to England. Whereas Hobbes had in Paris imbibed
the spirit of the Galilean and Cartesian inquiry, while Bacon, Locke, and
even Hume had also visited France with advantage, now French thinkers take
the watchword from the English. Montesquieu and Voltaire, returning from
England in the same year (1729), acquaint their countrymen with the ideas
of Locke and his contemporaries. These are eagerly caught up; are, step
by step, and with the logical courage characteristic of the French mind,
developed to their extreme conclusions; and, at the same time, spread
abroad in this heightened form among the people beyond the circles of the
learned, nay, even beyond the educated classes. The English temperament is
favorable neither to this advance to extreme revolutionary inferences nor
to this propagandist tendency. Locke combines a rationalistic ethics with
his semi-sensational theory of knowledge; Newton is far from finding in his
mechanical physics a danger for religious beliefs; the deists treat the
additions of positive religion rather as superfluous ballast than as
hateful unreason; Bolingbroke wishes at least to conceal from the people
the illuminating principles which he offers to the higher classes. Such
halting where farther progress threatens to become dangerous to moral
interests does more honor to the moral, than to the logical, character of
the philosopher. But with the transfer of these ideas to France, the wall
of separation is broken down between the theory of knowledge and the theory
of ethics, between natural philosophy and the philosophy of religion;
sensationalism forces its way from the region of theory into the sphere
of practice, and the mechanical theory is transformed from a principal
of physical interpretation into a metaphysical view of the world of an
atheistical character. Naturalism is everywhere determined to have its
own: if knowledge comes from the senses, then morality must be rooted
in self-interest; whoever confines natural science to the search for
mechanical causes must not postulate an intelligent Power working from
design, even to explain the origin of things and the beginning of
motion--has no right to speak of a free will, an immortal soul, and a deity
who has created the world. Further, as Bayle's proof that the dogmas of
the Church were in all points contradictory to reason had, contrary to its
author's own wishes, exerted an influence hostile to religion, and as,
moreover, the political and social conditions of the time incited to revolt
and to a break with all existing institutions, the philosophical ideas from
over the Channel and the condition of things at home alike pressed toward
a revolutionary intensification of modern principles, which found
comprehensive expression in the atheists' Bible, the _System of Nature_ of
Baron Holbach, 1770. The movement begins in the middle of the thirties,
when Montesquieu commences to naturalize Locke's political views in France,
and Voltaire does the same service for Locke's theory of knowledge,
and Newton's natural philosophy, which had already been commended by
Maupertuis. The year 1748, the year also of Hume's _Essay_, brings
Montesquieu's chief work and La Mettrie's _Man a Machine_. While the
_Encyclopedia_, the herald of the Illumination, begun in 1751, is advancing
to its completion (1772, or rather 1780), Condillac (1754) and Bonnet
(1755) develop theoretical sensationalism, and Helvetius (_On Mind_,
1758; in the same year, D'Alembert's _Elements of Philosophy_) practical
sensationalism. Rousseau, engaged in authorship from 1751 and a contributor
to the _Encyclopedia_ until 1757 comes into prominence, 1762, with his two
chief works, _Emile_ and the _Social Contract_. Parallel with these we
find interesting phenomena in the field of political economy: Morelly's
communistic _Code of Nature_ (1755), the works of Quesnay (1758), the
leader of the physiocrats, and those of Turgot, 1774.

Our discussion takes up, first, the introduction and popularization of
English ideas; then, the further development of these into a consistent
sensationalism, into the morality of interest, and into materialism;
finally, the reaction against the illumination of the understanding in
Rousseau's philosophy of feeling.[1]

[Footnote 1: On the whole chapter cf. Damiron, _Mémoires pour Servir à
l'Histoire de la Philosophie au XVIII. Siécle_, 3 vols., 1858-64; and
John Morley's _Voltaire_, 1872 [1886], _Rousseau_, 1873 [1886], and
_Diderot and the Encyclopedists_, 1878 [new ed., 1886].]

1. %The Entrance of English Doctrines%.

Montesquieu[1] (1689-1755) made Locke's doctrine of constitutional
monarchy and the division of powers (pp. 179-180), with which he joins the
historical point of view of Bodin and the naturalistic positions of the
time, the common property of the cultivated world. Laws must be adapted to
the character and spirit of the nation; the spirit of the people, again,
is the result of nature, of the past, of manners, of religion, and of
political institutions. Nature has bestowed many gifts on the Southern
peoples, but few on those of the North; hence the latter need freedom,
while the former readily dispense with it. Warm climates produce greater
sensibility and passionateness, cold ones, muscular vigor and industry; in
the temperate zones nations are less constant in their habits, their vices,
and their virtues. The laws of religion concern man as man, those of the
state concern him as a citizen; the former have for their object the moral
good of the individual, the latter, the welfare of society; the first aim
at immutable, the second at mutable good. Laws and manners are closely
interrelated. Right is older than the state, and the law of justice holds
even in the state of nature; but in order to assure peace positive right is
required in three forms, international, political, and civil.

[Footnote 1: Montesquieu, _Persian Letters_, 1721; _Considerations on
the Causes of the Greatness of the Romans and of their Decadence_, 1734;
_Spirit of Laws_, 1748.]

Each of the four political forms has a passion for its underlying
principle: despotism has fear; monarchy, honor (personal and class
prejudice); aristocracy, the moderation of the nobility; democracy,
political virtue, which subordinates personal to general welfare, and
especially the inclination to equality and frugality. While republics are
destroyed by extravagance, lust, and self-seeking, a monarchy can dispense
with civil virtue, patriotism, and moral disinterestedness, since in it
false honor, luxury, and wantonness subserve the public good. Great states
tend toward despotism; smaller ones toward aristocracy, or a democratic
republicanism; for those of medium size monarchy, which is intermediate
between the two former, is the best form of constitution. Although
Montesquieu, in his _Lettres Persanes_, shows himself enthusiastic for the
federal republics of Switzerland and the Netherlands, his opinions are
different after his return from England, and in his _Esprit des Lois_ he
praises the English form of government as the ideal of civil liberty.

Political freedom consists in liberty to do (not what we wish, but) what
we ought, or in doing that which the laws allow. Such lawful freedom is
possible only where the constitution of the state and criminal legislation
inspire the citizen with a sense of security. In order to prevent misuse of
the supreme power, the different authorities in the state must be divided
so that they shall hold one another in check. In particular Montesquieu
demands for the judicial power absolute independence of the executive power
(which Locke had termed the federative) as well as of the legislative
power. The last belongs to parliament, which includes in its two houses an
aristocratic and a democratic element.

Voltaire[1] (1694-1778)--he himself had made this anagram from his name,
Arouet l(e) j(eune)--seemed by his many-sided receptivity almost made to be
the interpreter of English ideas; in the words of Windelband, he "combines
Newton's mechanical philosophy of nature, Locke's noëtical empiricism, and
Shaftesbury's moral philosophy under the deistic point of view." The
same qualities which made him the first journalist, enabled him to free
philosophy from its scholastic garb, and, by concentrating it on the
problems which press most upon the lay mind (God, freedom, immortality),
to make it a living force among the people. His superficiality, as Erdmann
acutely remarks, was his strength. True religion, so reason teaches us,
consists in loving God and in being just and forbearing to our fellow-men
as to our brothers; morality is so natural and necessary that it is no
wonder that all philosophers since Zoroaster have inculcated the same
principles. The less of dogma the better the religion; atheism is not
so bad as superstition, which teaches men to commit crimes with an easy
conscience. He considered it the chief mission of his life to destroy these
two miserable errors. He endeavored to controvert atheism by rational
arguments, while with passionate hatred and contemptuous wit he attacked
positive Christianity and his persecutors, the priesthood. The existence
of God is for him not merely a moral postulate, but a result of scientific
reasoning. One of his famous sayings was: "If God did not exist it would be
necessary to invent him; but all nature cries out to us that he exists." He
defends immortality in spite of theoretical difficulties, because of its
practical necessity; his attitude toward the freedom of the will, which
he had energetically defended in the beginning, grows constantly more
skeptical with increasing age. His position in regard to the question
of evil experiences a similar change--the Lisbon earthquake made him an
opponent of optimism, though he had previously favored it.

[Footnote 1: David Friedrich Strauss, _Voltaire, sechs Vorträge_, 1870.]

%2. Theoretical and Practical Sensationalism.%

We turn next from the popular introduction and dissemination of Locke's
doctrines, which left their contents unchanged, to their principiant
development by the French sensationalists. Condillac (1715-80) always
thinks of his work as a completion of Locke's, whose _Essay_ he held not to
have gone down to the final root of the cognitive process. Locke did not
go far enough, Condillac thinks, in his rejection of innate elements; he
failed to trace out the origin of perception, reflection, cognition, and
volition, as also the relation between the external senses, the internal
sense, and the combining intellect, which he discussed as separate sources,
the two former of particular, and the last of complex, ideas; in short,
he omitted to inquire into the origin of the first function of the soul.
Berkeley was right in feeling that a simplification was needed here; but by
erroneously reducing outer perception to inner perception, he reached the
absurd conclusion of denying the external world. The true course is just
the opposite of this--the one already taken by the Bishop of Cork, Peter
Browne (died 1735; _The Procedure, Extent, and Limits of the Human
Understanding_, 1728): understanding and reflection must be reduced to
sensation. All psychical functions are transformed sensations. The soul has
only one original faculty, that of sensation; all the others, theoretical
and practical alike, are acquired, _i.e._, they have gradually developed
from the former. Condillac is related to Locke as Fichte to Kant; in
the former case the transition is mediated by Browne, in the latter
by Reinhold. Each crowns the work of his predecessor with a unifying
conclusion; each demands and offers a genetic psychology which finds the
origin of all the spiritual functions--from sensation and feelings of
pleasure and pain up to rational cognition and moral will--in a single
fundamental power of the soul. But there is a great difference, materially
as well as formally, between these kindred undertakings, a difference
corresponding to that between Locke's empiricism and Kant's idealism.
The idea of ends, which controls the course of thought in Fichte as in
Leibnitz, is entirely lacking in Condillac; that which is first in time,
sensation, is for the Science of Knowledge and the Monadology only the
beginning, not the essence, of psychical activity, while Condillac makes
no distinction between beginning and ground, but expressly identifies
_principe_ and _commencement_. With Fichte and Leibnitz sensation is
immature thought, with Condillac thought is refined sensation. The former
teach a teleological, the latter a mechanical mono-dynamism. The Science
of Knowledge, moreover, makes a very serious task of the deduction of the
particular psychical functions from the original power, while Condillac
takes it extraordinarily easy. Good illustrations of his way of effacing
distinctions instead of explaining them are given by such monotonously
recurring phrases as memory is "nothing but" modified sensation; comparison
and simultaneous attention to two ideas "are the same thing"; sensation
"gradually becomes" comparison and judgment; reflection is "in its origin"
attention itself; speech, thought, and the formation of general notions
are "at bottom the same"; the passions are "only" various kinds of desire;
understanding and will spring "from one root," etc.

The demand for a single fundamental psychical power comes from Descartes,
and Condillac does not hesitate to retain the word _penser_ itself as a
general designation for all mental functions. Similarly he holds fast to
the dualism between extension and sensation as reciprocally incompatible
properties, opposes the soul as the "simple" subject of thought to
"divisible" matter, and sees in the affections of the bodily organs merely
the "occasions" on which the soul of itself alone exercises its sensitive
activity. Even freedom--the supremacy of thought over the passions--is
maintained, in striking contrast to the whole tendency of his doctrine and
to the openly announced principle, that pleasure controls the attention and
governs all our actions. He has just as little intention of doubting the
existence of God. All is dependent on God. He is our lawgiver; it is in
virtue of his wisdom that from small beginnings--perception and need--the
most splendid results, science and morality, are developed under the hands
of man. Whoever undertakes to complain that He has concealed from us the
nature of things and granted us to know relations alone, forgets that we
need no more than this. We do not exist in order to know; to live is to

The theme of the _Treatise on the Sensations_, 1754, is: Memory,
comparison, judgment, abstraction, and reflection (in a word, cognition)
are nothing but different forms of attention; similarly the emotions, the
appetites, and the will, nothing but modifications of desire; while both
alike take their origin in sensation. Sensation is the sole source and the
sole content of the life of the mind as a whole. To prove these positions
Condillac makes use of the fiction of a statue, in which one sense awakes
after another, first the lowest of the senses, smell, and last the most
valuable, the sense of touch, which compels us (by its perception of
density or resistance) to project our sensations, and thus wakes in us the
idea of an external world. In themselves sensations are merely subjective
states, modes of our own being; without the sense of touch we would ascribe
odor, sound, and color to ourselves. Condillac distinguishes between
sensation and _ideas_ in a twofold sense, as mere ideas (the memory or
imagination of something not present), and as ideas of objective things
(the image, representative of a body); this latter sense is meant when he
says, touch sensations only are also ideas.

For the details of the deduction, which often makes very happy use of a
rich store of psychological material, the reader must be referred to the
more extended expositions. Here we can only cite as examples the chief
among the genetic definitions. Perceptions (impressions) and consciousness
are the same thing under different names. A lively sensation, in which the
mind is entirely occupied, becomes attention, without the necessity of
assuming an additional special faculty in the mind. Attention, by its
retentive effect on the sensation, becomes memory. Double attention--to
a new sensation, and to the lingering trace of the previous one--is
comparison; the recognition of a relation (resemblance or difference)
between two ideas is judgment; the separation of an idea from another
naturally connected with it, by the aid of voluntary linguistic symbols,
is abstraction; a series of judgments is reflection; and the sum total of
inner phenomena, that wherein ideas succeed one another, the ego or person.
All truths concern relations among ideas. The tactual idea of solidity
accustoms us to project the sensations of the other senses also, to
transfer them thither where they are not; hence arise the ideas of our
body, of external objects, and of space. If we perceive several such
projected qualities together, we refer them to a substratum--substance,
which we know to exist, although not what it is. By force we mean the
unknown, but indubitably existent, cause of motion.

There are no indifferent mental states; every sensation is accompanied by
pleasure or pain. Joy and pain give the determining law for the operation
of our faculties. The soul dwells longer on agreeable sensations; without
interest, ideas would pass away like shadows. The remembrance of past
impressions more agreeable than the present ones is need; from this
springs desire (_désir_) then the emotions of love, hate, hope, fear, and
astonishment; finally, the will as an unconditional desire accompanied by
the thought of its possible fulfillment. All inclinations, good and bad
alike, spring from self-love. The predicates "good" and "beautiful"
denote the pleasure-giving qualities of things, the former, that which is
agreeable to smell and taste (and the passions), the latter, that which
pleases sight, hearing, feeling (and the intellect). Morality is the
conformity of our actions to laws, which men have established by convention
with mutual obligations. In this way the good, which at first was the
servant of the passions, becomes their lord.

Man's superiority to the brute depends on the greater perfection of his
sense of touch; on the greater variety of his wants and his associations
of ideas; on the idea of death, which leads him to seek not merely the
avoidance of pain but also self-preservation; and the possession of
language. Without denomination no abstractions, no thought, no handing
down of knowledge. Although all that is mental has its origin, in the last
analysis, in simple sensations, its development requires emancipation from
the sensuous, and language is the means for freeing ourselves from the
pressure of sensations by the generalization and combination of ideas.

A more moderate representative of sensationalism was Charles Bonnet, who
later exercised a considerable influence in Germany, especially until
Tetens (1720-93; _Essay in Psychology, or Considerations on the Operations
of the Soul_, 1755; _Analytical Essay on the Faculties of the Soul_, 1760;
_Philosophical Palingenesis, or Ideas on the Past and the Future of Living
Beings_, 1769, including a defense of Christianity; _Collected Works_,
1779). Sensations, to which he, too, reduces all mental life, are, in his
view, reactions of the immaterial soul to sense stimuli, which operate
merely as occasional causes. On the other hand, he emphasizes more strongly
than Condillac the dependence of psychical phenomena on physiological
conditions, and endeavors to show definite brain vibrations as the basis
not only of habit, memory, and the association of ideas, but also of
the higher mental operations. In harmony with these views he adheres to
determinism, and finds the motive of all endeavor: in self-love, and
its ultimate aim in happiness. To the latter the hope of immortality is
indispensable. The link between Bonnet's theory of the thoroughgoing
dependence of the soul on the body and his orthodox convictions, is formed
by his idea of an imperishable ethereal body, which enables the soul in the
life to come to remember its life on earth and, after the dissolution of
the present material body, to acquire a new one. Animals as well as men
share in the continuance of existence and the transition to a higher stage.

The material earnestness of these thinkers is in sharp contrast to the
superficial and frivolous manner in which Helvetius (1715-71) carries out
sensationalism in the sphere of ethics. His chief work, _On Mind_, came out
in 1758; and a year after his death, the work _On Man, his Intellectual
Faculties and his Education_. The search for pleasure or self-love is, as
Helvetius thinks he has discovered for the first time,[1] the only motive
of action; the laws of interest reign in the moral world as the laws of
motion in the physical world; justice and love for our neighbors are
based on utility; we seek friends in order to be amused, aided, and, in
misfortune, compassionated by them; the philanthropist and the monster both
seek only their own pleasure.

[Footnote 1: In reality not only English moralists, but also some among his
countrymen, had anticipated him in the position that all actions proceed
from selfishness, and that virtue is merely a refined egoism. Thus La
Rochefoucauld in his _Maxims (Réflexions, ou Sentences et Maximes Morales_,
1665), La Bruyère _(Les Charactères et les Moeurs de ce Siécle_, 1687), and
La Mettrie (of. pp, 251-253).]

Helvetius draws the proof for these positions from Condillac. Recollection
and judgment are sensation. The soul is originally nothing more than the
capacity for sensation; it receives the stimulus to its development from
self-love, _i.e._, from powerful passions such as the love of fame, on the
one hand, and, on the other, from hatred of _ennui_, which induces man to
overcome the indolence natural to him and to submit himself to the irksome
effort of attention--without passion he would remain stupid. The sum of
ideas collected in him is called intellect. All distinctions among men
are acquired, and concern the intellect only, not the soul: that which is
innate--sensibility and self-love--is the same in all; differences arise
only through external circumstances, through education. Man is the pupil of
all that environs him, of his situation and his chance experience. The most
important instrument in education is the law; the function of the lawgiver
is to connect public and personal welfare by means of rewards and
punishments, and thus to elevate morality. A man is called virtuous when
his stronger passions harmonize with the general interest. Unfortunately
the virtues of prejudice, which do not contribute to the public good, are
more honored among most nations than the political virtues, to which alone
real merit belongs. And self-interest is always the one motive to just and
generous action; we serve only our own interests in furthering the welfare
of the community. As the promulgator of these doctrines was himself a kind
and generous man, Rousseau could make to him the apt reply: You endeavor in
vain to degrade yourself below your own level; your spirit gives evidence
against your principles; your benevolent heart discredits your doctrines.

The morality of enlightened self-love or "intelligent self-interest"
appears in a milder form in Maupertuis (_Works_, 1752), and Frederick the
Great,[1] to the latter of whom D'Alembert objected by letter that interest
could never generate the sense of duty and reverence for the law.

[Footnote 1: _Essay on Self-love as a Principle of Morals_, 1770, printed
in the proceedings of the Academy of Sciences. Cf. on Frederick, Ed.
Zeller, 1886.]

%3. Skepticism and Materialism.%

The ideas thus far developed move in a direction whose further pursuit
inevitably issues in materialism. Diderot, the editor of the _Encyclopedia
of the Sciences, Arts, and Trades_ (1751-72), which gathered all the
currents of the Illumination into one great stream and carried them to the
open sea of popular culture, reflects in his intellectual development
the dialectical movement from deism through skepticism to atheism and
materialism, and was a co-laborer in the work which brought the whole
movement to a conclusion, Holbach's _System of Nature_. Two decades,
however, before the latter work, the outcome of a long development of
thought, appeared, the physician La Mettrie[1] (1709-51) had promulgated
materialism, though rather in an anthropological form than as a
world-system, and with cynical satisfaction in the violation of traditional
beliefs--in his _Natural History of the Soul_, 1745, in a disguised form,
and, undisguised, in his _Man a Machine_, 1748--and at the same time
(_Anti-Seneca, or Discourse on Happiness_, 1748) had sketched out for
Helvetius the outlines of the sensationalistic morality of interest. While
ill with a violent fever he observed the influence of the heightened
circulation of the blood on his mental tone, and inferred that thought is
the result of the bodily organization. The soul can only be known from the
body. The senses, the best philosophers, teach us that matter is never
without form and motion; and whether all matter is sentient or not,
certainly all that is sentient is material, and every part of the organism
contains a vital principle (the heart of a frog beats for an hour after
its removal from the body; the parts of cut-up polyps grow into perfect
animals). All ideas come from without, from the senses; without
sense-impressions no ideas, without education, few ideas, the mind of a man
grown up in isolation remains entirely undeveloped; and since the soul is
entirely dependent on the bodily organs, along with which it originates,
grows, and declines, it is subject to mortality. Not only animals, as
Descartes has shown, but men, who differ from the brutes only in degree,
are mere machines; by the soul we mean that part of the body which thinks,
and the brain has fine muscles for thinking as the leg its coarse ones for

[Footnote 1: La Mettrie was born at St. Malo, and educated in Paris, and in
Leyden under Boerhave; he died in Berlin, whither Frederick the Great
had called him after he had been driven out of his native land and from
Holland. On La Mettrie cf. Lange, _History of Materialism_, vol. ii. pp.
49-91; and DuBois-Reymond's Address, 1875.]

If man is nothing but body, there is no other pleasure than that of the
body. There is a difference, however, between sensuous pleasure, which is
intense and brief, and intellectual pleasure, which is calm and lasting.
The educated man will prefer the latter, and find in it a higher and more
noble happiness; but nature has been just enough to grant the common
multitude, in the coarser pleasures, a more easily attainable happiness.
Enjoy the moment, till the farce of life is ended! Virtue exists only in
society, which restrains from evil by its laws, and incites to good by
rousing the love of honor. The good man, who subordinates his own welfare
to that of society, acts under the same necessity as the evil-doer; hence
repentance and pangs of conscience, which increase the amount of pain
in the world, but are incapable of effecting amendment, are useless and
reprehensible: the criminal is an ill man, and must not be more harshly
punished than the safety of society requires. Materialism humanizes and
exercises a tranquilizing influence on the mind, as the religious view of
the world, with its incitement to hatred, disturbs it; materialism frees
us from the sense of guilt and responsibility, and from the fear of future
suffering. A state composed of atheists, is not only possible, as Bayle
argued, but it would be the happiest of all states.

Among the editors of the _Encyclopedia_, the mathematician D'Alembert
_(Elements of Philosophy_, 1758) remained loyal to skeptical views. Neither
matter nor spirit is in its essence knowable; the world is probably quite
different from our sensuous conception of it. As Diderot (1713-84), and
the _Encyclopedia_ with him, advanced from skepticism to materialism,
D'Alembert retired from the editorial board (1757), after Rousseau, also,
had separated himself from the Encyclopedists. Diderot[1] was the leading
spirit in the second half of the eighteenth century, as Voltaire in the
first half. His lively and many-sided receptivity, active industry, clever
and combative eloquence, and enthusiastic disposition qualified him for
this rôle beyond all his contemporaries, who testify that they owe even
more to his stimulating conversation than to his writings. He commenced by
bringing Shaftesbury's _Inquiry into Virtue and Merit_ to the notice of
his countrymen; and then turned his sword, on the one hand, against the
atheists, to refute whom, he thought, a single glance into the microscope
was sufficient, and, on the other, against the traditional belief in a
God of anger and revenge, who takes pleasure in bathing in the tears of
mankind. Then followed a period of skepticism, which is well illustrated by
the prayer in the _Thoughts on the Interpretation of Nature_, 1754: O God!
I do not know whether thou art, but I will guide my thoughts and actions
as though thou didst see me think and act, etc. Under the influence
of Holbach's circle he finally reached (in the _Conversation between
D'Alembert and Diderot_, and _D'Alembert's Dream_, written in 1769, but not
published until 1830, in vol. iv. of the _Mémoires, Correspondance, et
Ouvrages Inédits de Diderot_) the position of naturalistic monism--there
exists but one great individual, the All. Though he had formerly
distinguished thinking substance from material substance, and had based the
immortality of the soul on the unity of sensation and the unity of the ego,
he now makes sensation a universal and essential property of matter
(_la pierre sent_), declares the talk about the simplicity of the
soul metaphysico-theological nonsense, calls the brain a self-playing
instrument, ridicules self-esteem, shame, and repentance as the absurd
folly of a being that imputes to itself merit or demerit for necessary
actions, and recognizes no other immortality than that of posthumous fame.
But even amid these extreme conclusions, his enthusiasm for virtue remains
too intense to allow him to assent to the audacious theories of La Mettrie
and Helvetius.

[Footnote 1: _Works_ in twenty-two vols., Paris, Brière, 1821; latest
edition, 1875 _seq_. Cf. on Diderot the fine work by Karl Rosenkranz,
_Diderots Leben und Werke_, 1866.]

French natural science also tended toward materialism. Buffon _(Natural
History_, 1749 _seq_) endeavors to facilitate the mechanical explanation
of the phenomena of life by the assumption of living molecules, from
which visible organisms are built up. Robinet (_On Nature_, 1761 _seq_.),
availing himself of Spinozistic and Leibnitzian conceptions, goes still
further, in that he endows every particle of matter with sensation, looks
on the whole world as a succession of living beings with increasing
mentality, and subjects the interaction of the material and psychical sides
of the individual, as well as the relation of pleasure and pain in the
universe, to a law of harmonious compensation.

The _System of Nature_, 1770, which bore on its title page the name of
Mirabaud, who had died 1760, proceeded from the company of freethinkers
accustomed to meet in the hospitable house of Baron von Holbach (died
1789), a native of the Palatinate. Its real author was Holbach himself,
although his friends Diderot, Naigeon, Lagrange, the mathematician, and the
clever Grimm (died 1807) seem to have co-operated in the preparation
of certain sections. The cumbrous seriousness and the dry tone of this
systematic combination of the radical ideas which the century had produced,
were no doubt the chief causes of its unsympathetic reception by the
public. Similarly unsuccessful was the popular account of materialism with
which Holbach followed it, in 1772, and Helvetius's excerpts from the
_System of Nature_, 1774.

Holbach applies himself to the despiritualization of nature and the
destruction of religious prejudices with sincere faith in the sacred
mission of unbelief--the happiness of humanity depends on atheism. "O
Nature, sovereign of all beings, and ye her daughters, Virtue, Reason, and
Truth, be forever our only divinities." What has made virtue so difficult
and so rare? Religion, which divides men instead of uniting them. What has
so long delayed the illumination of the reason, and the discovery of truth?
Religion with its mischievous errors, God, spirit, freedom, immortality.
Immortality exists only in the memory of later generations; man is the
creature of a day; nothing is permanent but the great whole of nature and
the eternal law of universal change. Can a clock broken into a thousand
pieces continue to mark the hours? The senseless doctrine of freedom was
invented only to solve the senseless problem of the justification of God in
view of the existence of evil. Man is at every moment of his life a passive
instrument in the hands of necessity; the universe is an immeasurable
and uninterrupted chain of actions and reactions, an eternal round of
interchanging motions, ruled by laws, a change in which would at once alter
the nature of all things. The most fatal error is the idea of human and
divine spirits, which has been advanced by philosophers and adopted with
applause by fools. The opinion that man is divided into two substances is
based on the fact that, of the changes in our body, we directly perceive
only the external molar movements, while, on the other hand, the inner
motions of the invisible molecules are known only by their effects. These
latter have been ascribed to the mind, which, moreover, we have adorned
with properties whose emptiness is manifested by the fact that they are all
mere negations of that which we know. Experience reveals to us only the
extended, the corporeal, the divisible--but the mind is to be the opposite
of all three, yet at the same time to possess the power (how, no man can
tell) of acting on that which is material and of being acted upon by it.
In thus dividing himself into body and soul, man has in reality only
distinguished between his brain and himself. Man is a purely physical
being. All so-called spiritual phenomena are functions of the brain,
special cases of the operation of the universal forces of nature. Thought
and volition are sensation, sensation is motion. The moving forces in the
moral world are the same as those in the physical world; in the latter they
are called attraction and repulsion, in the former, love and hate;
that which the moralist terms self-love is the same instinct of
self-preservation which is familiar in physics as the force of inertia.

As man has doubled himself, so also he has doubled nature. Evil gave the
first impulse to the formation of the idea of God, pain and ignorance have
been the parents of superstition; our sufferings were ascribed to unknown
powers, of which we were in fear, but which, at the same time, we hoped to
propitiate by prayer and sacrifice. The wise turned with their worship and
reverence toward a more worthy object, to the great All; and, in fact, if
we seek to give the word God a tenable meaning, it signifies active nature.
The error lay in the dualistic view, in the distinction between nature and
itself, _i.e._ its activity, and in the belief that the explanation of
motion required a separate immaterial Mover. This assumption is, in the
first place, false, for since the All is the complex of all that exists
there can be nothing outside it; motion follows from the existence of the
universe as necessarily as its other properties; the world does not receive
it from without, but imparts it to itself by its own power. In the second
place the assumption is useless; it explains nothing, but confuses the
problems of natural science to the point of insolubility. In the third
place it is self-contradictory, for after theology has removed the Deity
as far away from man as possible, by means of the negative metaphysical
predicates, it finds itself necessitated to bring the two together again
through the moral attributes--which are neither compatible with one another
nor with the meta-physical--and crowns the absurdity by the assurance that
we can please God by believing that which is incomprehensible. Finally, the
assumption is dangerous; it draws men away from the present, disturbs their
peace and enjoyment, stirs up hatred, and thus makes happiness and morality
impossible. If, then, utility is the criterion of truth, theism--even in
the mild form of deism--is proven erroneous by its disastrous consequences.
All error is bane.

Matter and motion are alike eternal. Nature is an active, self-moving,
living whole, an endless chain of causes and effects. All is in unceasing
motion, all is cause (nothing is dead, nothing rests), all is effect (there
is no spontaneous motion, none directed to an end). Order and disorder are
not in nature, but only in our understanding; they are abstract ideas to
denote that which is conformable to our nature and that which is contrary
to it. The end of the All is itself alone, is life, activity; the universal
goal of particular beings, like that of the universe, is the conservation
of being.

Anthropology is for Holbach essentially reduced to two problems, the
deduction of thought from motion, and of morality from the physical
tendency to self-preservation. The forces of the soul are no other than
those of the body. All mental faculties develop from sensation; sensations
are motions in the brain which reveal to us motions without the brain. All
the passions may be reduced to love and hate, desire and aversion, and
depend upon temperament, on the individual mixture of the fluid parts.
Virtue is the equilibrium of the fluids. All human actions proceed from
interest. Good and bad men are distinguished only by their organizations,
and by the ideas they form concerning happiness. With the same necessity
as that of the act itself, follow the love or contempt of fellow-men,
the pleasure of self-esteem and the pain of repentance (regret for evil
consequences, hence no evidence of freedom). Neither responsibility nor
punishment is done away with by this necessity--have we not the right to
protect ourselves against the stream which damages our fields, by building
dikes and altering its course? The end of endeavor is permanent happiness,
and this can be attained through virtue alone. The passions which are
useful to society compel the affection and approval of our fellows. In
order to interest others in our welfare we must interest ourselves in
theirs--nothing is more indispensable to man than man. The clever man acts
morally, interest binds us to the good; love for others means love for the
means to our own happiness. Virtue is the art of making ourselves happy
through the happiness of others. Nature itself chastises immorality, since
she makes the intemperate unhappy. Religion has hindered the recognition of
these rules, has misunderstood the diseases of the soul, and applied false
and ineffective remedies; the renunciation which she requires is opposed to
human nature. The true moralist recognizes in medicine the key to the human
heart; he will cure the mind through the body, control the passions and
hold them in check by other passions instead of by sermons, and will teach
men that the surest road to personal ends is to labor for the public good.
Illumination is the way to virtue and to happiness.

Volney (Chasseboeuf, died 1820; _Catechism of the French Citizen_, 1793,
later under the title _Natural Law or Physical Principles of Morals deduced
front the Organization of Man and of the Universe_; further, _The Ruins;
Complete Works_, 1821) belongs among the moralists of self-love, although,
besides the egoistic interests, he takes account of the natural sympathetic
impulses also. This is still more the case with Condorcet (_Sketch of
an Historical View of the Progress of the Human Mind_, 1794), who was
influenced alike by Condillac and by Turgot, and who defends a tendency
toward universal perfection both in the individual and in the race. Besides
the selfish affections, which are directed as much to the injury as to the
support of others, there lies in the organization of man a force which
steadily tends toward the good, in the form of underived feelings of
sympathy and benevolence, from which moral self-judgment is developed by
the aid of reflection. The aim of true ethics and social art is not to make
the "great" virtues universal, but to make them needless; the nearer the
nations approximate to mental and moral perfection, the less they stand in
need of these--happy the people in which good deeds are so customary that
scarcely an opportunity is left for heroism. The chief instrument for the
moral cultivation of the people is the development of the reason, the
conscience, and the benevolent affections. Habituation to deeds of kindness
is a source of pure and inexhaustible happiness. Sympathy with the good of
others must be so cultivated that the sacrifice of personal enjoyment will
be a sweeter joy than the pleasure itself. Let the child early learn to
enjoy the delight of loving and of being loved. We must, finally, strive
toward the gradual diminution of the inequalities of capacity, of property,
and between ruler and ruled, for to abolish them is impossible.

Of the remaining philosophers of the revolutionary period mention may be
made of the physician Cabanis _(Relations of the Physical and the Moral in
Man, 1799)_, and Destutt de Tracy _(Elements of Ideology, 1801 seq.)_. The
former is a materialist in psychology (the nerves are the man, ideas are
secretions of the brain), considers consciousness a property of organic
matter (the soul is not a being, but a faculty), and makes moral sympathy
develop out of the animal instincts of preservation and nourishment.
De Tracy, also, derives all psychical activity from organization and
sensation. His doctrine of the will, though but briefly sketched, is
interesting. The desires have a passive and an active side (corresponding
to the twofold action of the nerves, on themselves and on the muscles); on
the one hand, they are feelings of pleasure or pain, and on the other, they
lead us to action--will is need, and, at the same time, the source of
the means for satisfying this need. Both these feelings and the external
movements are probably based upon unconscious organic motions. The will is
rightly identified with the personality, it is the ego itself, the totality
of the physico-psychical life of man attaining to self-consciousness. The
inner or organic life consists in the self-preserving functions of the
individual, the outer or animal life, in the functions of relation (of
sense, of motion, of speech, of reproduction); individual interests are
rooted in the former, sympathy in the latter. The primal good is freedom,
or the power to do what we will; the highest thing in life is love. In
order to be happy we must avoid punishment, blame, and pangs of conscience.

%4. Rousseau's Conflict with the Illumination.%

The Genevese, Jean Jacques Rousseau[1] (1712-78), stands in a similar
relation of opposition to the French Illumination as the Scottish School to
the English, and Herder and Jacobi to the German. He points us away from
the cold sophistical inferences of the understanding to the immediate
conviction of feeling; from the imaginations of science to the unerring
voice of the heart and the conscience; from the artificial conditions of
culture to healthy nature. The vaunted Illumination is not the lever of
progress, but the source of all degeneration; morality does not rest on the
shrewd calculation of self-interest, but on original social and sympathetic
instincts (love for the good is just as natural to the human heart as
self-love; enthusiasm for virtue has nothing to do with our interest; what
would it mean to give up one's life for the sake of advantage?); the truths
of religion are not objects of thought, but of pious feeling.

[Footnote 1: Cf. Brockerhoff, Leipsic, 1863-74; L. Moreau, Paris, 1870.]

Rousseau commenced his career as an author with the _Discourse on the
Sciences and the Arts_, 1750 (the discussion of a prize question, crowned
by the Academy of Dijon), which he describes as entirely pernicious, and
the _Discourse on the Origin and the Bases of the Inequality among Men_,
1753. By nature man is innocent and good, becoming evil only in society.
Reflection, civilization, and egoism are unnatural. In the happy state of
nature pity and innocent self-love (_amour de soi_) ruled, and the
latter was first corrupted by the reason into the artificial feeling of
selfishness (_amour propre_) in the course of social development--thinking
man is a degenerate animal. Property has divided men into rich and poor;
the magistracy, into strong and weak; arbitrary power, into masters and
slaves. Wealth generated luxury with its artificial delights of science and
the theater, which make us more unhappy and evil than we otherwise are;
science, the child of vice, becomes in turn the mother of new vices. All
nature, all that is characteristic, all that is good, has disappeared with
advancing culture; the only relief from the universal degeneracy is to be
hoped for from a return to nature on the part of the individual and society
alike--from education and a state conformed to nature. The novel _Emile_ is
devoted to the pedagogical, and the _Social Contract, or the Principles of
Political Law_, to the political problem. Both appeared in 1762, followed
two years later by the _Letters from the Mountain_, a defense against the
attacks of the clergy. In these later writings Rousseau's naturalistic
hatred of reason appears essentially softened.

Social order is a sacred right, which forms the basis of all others. It
does not proceed, however, from nature--no man has natural power over his
fellows, and might confers no right--consequently it rests on a contract.
Not, however, on a contract between ruler and people. The act by which the
people chooses a king is preceded by the act in virtue of which it is a
people. In the social contract each devotes himself with his powers and his
goods to the community, in order to gain the protection of the latter.
With this act the spiritual body politic comes into being, and attains its
unity, its ego, its will. The sum of the members is called the people; each
member, as a participant in the sovereignty, citizen, and, as bound to
obedience to the law, subject. The individual loses his natural freedom,
receiving in exchange the liberty of a citizen, which is limited by the
general will, and, in addition, property rights in all that he possesses,
equality before the law, and moral freedom, which first really makes him
master of himself. The impulse of mere desire is slavery, obedience to
self-imposed law, freedom. The sovereign is the people, law the general
popular will directed to the common good, the supreme goods, "freedom and
equality," the chief objects of legislation. The lawgiving power is the
moral will of the body politic, the government (magistracy, prince) its
executive physical power; the former is its heart, the latter its brain.
Rousseau calls the government the middle term between the head of the state
and the individual, or between the citizen as lawgiver and as subject--the
sovereign (the people) commands, the government executes, the subject
obeys. The act by which the people submits itself to its head is not a
contract, but merely a mandate; whenever it chooses it can limit, alter, or
entirely recall the delegated power. In order to security against illegal
encroachments on the part of the government, Rousseau recommends regular
assemblies of the people, in which, under suspension of governmental
authority, the confirmation, abrogation, or alteration of the constitution
shall be determined upon. Even the establishment of the articles of social
belief falls to the sovereign people. The essential difference between
Rousseau's theory of the state and that of Locke and Montesquieu consists
in his rejection of the division of powers and of representation by
delegates, hence in its unlimited democratic character. A generation after
it was given to the world, the French Revolution made the attempt to
translate it into practice. "The masses carried out what Rousseau himself
had thought, it is true, but never willed" (Windelband).

Rousseau's theory of education is closely allied to Locke's (cf. above),
whose leading idea--the development of individuality--was entirely in
harmony with the subjectivism of the philosopher of feeling. Posterity has
not found it a difficult task to free the sound kernel therein from the
husks of exaggeration and idiosyncrasy which surrounded it. Among the
latter belong the preference of bodily over intellectual development, and
the unlimited faith in the goodness of human nature. Exercise the body, the
organs, the senses of the pupil, and keep his soul unemployed as long as
possible; for the first, take care only that his mind be kept free from
error and his heart from vice. In order to secure complete freedom from
disturbance in this development, it is advisable to isolate the child from
society, nay, even from the family, and to bring him up in retirement under
the guidance of a private tutor.

As the Swiss republican spoke in Rousseau's politics, so his religious
theories[1] betray the Genevan Calvinist. "The Savoyard Vicar's Profession
of Faith" (in _Emile_) proclaims deism as a religion of feeling. The
rational proofs brought forward for the existence of God--from the motion
of matter in itself at rest, and from the finality of the world--are only
designed, as he declares by letter, to confute the materialists, and derive
their impregnability entirely from the inner evidence of feeling, which
amid the vacillation of the reason _pro_ and _con_ gives the final

[Footnote 1: Cf. Ch. Borgeaud, _Rousseaus Religionsphilosophie_, Geneva and
Leipsic, 1883.]

If we limit our inquiry to that which is alone of importance for us, and
rely on the evidence of feeling, it cannot be doubted that I myself exist
and feel; that there exists an external world which affects me; that
thought, comparison or judgment concerning relations is different from
sensation or the perception of objects--for the latter is a passive,
but the former an active process; that I myself produce the activity of
attention or consideration; that, consequently, I am not merely a sensitive
or passive, but also an active or intelligent being. The freedom of my
thought and action guarantees to me the immateriality of my soul, and is
that which distinguishes me from the brute. The life of the soul after
the decay of the body is assured to me by the fact that in this world the
wicked triumphs, while the good are oppressed. The favored position which
man occupies in the scale of beings--he is able to look over the universe
and to reverence its author, to recognize order and beauty, to love the
good and to do it; and shall he, then, compare himself to the brute?--fills
me with emotion and gratitude to the benevolent Creator, who existed before
all things, and who will exist when they all shall have vanished away,
to whom all truths are one single idea, all places a point, all times a
moment. The _how_ of freedom, of eternity, of creation, of the action of
my will upon matter, etc., is, indeed, incomprehensible to me, but _that_
these are so, my feeling makes me certain. The worthiest employment of
my reason is to annihilate itself before God. "The more I strive to
contemplate his infinite essence the less do I conceive it. But it is, and
that suffices me. The less I conceive it, the more I adore."

In the depths of my heart I find the rules for my conduct engraved by
nature in ineffaceable characters. Everything is good that I feel to be so.
The conscience is the most enlightened of all philosophers, and as safe
a guide for the soul as instinct for the body. The infallibility of its
judgment is evidenced by the agreement of different peoples; amid the
surprising differences of manners you will everywhere find the same ideas
of justice, the same notions of good and evil. Show me a land where it is
a crime to keep one's word, to be merciful, benevolent, magnanimous, where
the upright man is despised and the faithless honored! Conscience enjoins
the limitation of our desires to the degree to which we are capable of
satisfying them, but not their complete suppression--all passions are good
when we control them, all evil when they control us.

In the second part of the "Profession du Foi du Vicaire Savoyard" Rousseau
turns from his attacks on sensationalism, materialism, atheism, and the
morality of interest, to the criticism of revelation. Why, in addition to
natural religion, with its three fundamental doctrines, God, freedom, and
immortality, should other special doctrines be necessary, which rather
confuse than clear up our ideas of the Great Being, which exact from us
the acceptance of absurdities, and make men proud, intolerant, and
cruel--whereas God requires from us no other service than that of the
heart? Every religion is good in which men serve God in a befitting manner.
If God had prescribed one single religion for us, he would have provided
it with infallible marks of its unique authenticity. The authority of the
fathers and the priesthood is not decisive, for every religion claims to be
revealed and alone true; the Mohammedan has the same right as the Christian
to adhere to the religion of his fathers. Since all revelation comes down
to us by human tradition, reason alone can be the judge of its divinity.
The careful examination of the documents, which are written in ancient
languages, would require an amount of learning which could not possibly be
a condition of salvation and acceptance with God. Miracles and prophecy are
not conclusive, for how are we to distinguish the true among them from
the false? If we turn from the external to the internal criteria of the
doctrines themselves, even here no decision can be reached between the
reasons _pro_ and _con_ (the author puts the former into the mouth of a
believer, and the latter into that of a rationalist); even if the former
outweighed the latter, the difficulty would still remain of reconciling it
with God's goodness and justice that the gospel has not reached so many of
mankind, and of explaining how those to whom the divinity of Christ is
now proclaimed can convince themselves of it, while his contemporaries
misjudged and crucified him. In my opinion, I am incapable of fathoming the
truth of the Christian religion and its value to those who confess it. The
investigation of the reason ends in "reverential doubt": I neither accept
revelation nor reject it, but I reject the obligation to accept it. My
heart, however, judges otherwise than the reflection of my intellect; for
this the sacred majesty and exalted simplicity of the Scriptures are a most
cogent proof that they are more than human, and that He whose history they
contain is more than man. The touching grace and profound wisdom of his
words, the gentleness of his conduct, the loftiness of his maxims, his
mastery over his passions, abundantly prove that he was neither an
enthusiast nor an ambitious sectary. Socrates lived and died like a
philosopher, Jesus like a God. The virtues of justice, patriotism, and
moderation taught by Socrates, had been exercised by the great men of
Greece before he inculcated them. But whence could Jesus derive in his time
and country that lofty morality which he alone taught and exemplified?
Things of this sort are not invented. The inventor of such deeds would
be more wonderful than the doer of them. Thus again, in the question of
revealed religion, the voice of the heart triumphs over the doubts of the
reason, as, in the question of natural religion, it had done over the
objections of opponents. It is true, however, that this enthusiasm is
paid not to the current Christianity of the priests, but to I the real
Christianity of the gospel.

Rousseau was the conscience of France, which rebelled against the negations
and the bald emptiness of the materialistic and atheistic doctrines. By
vindicating with fervid eloquence the participation of the whole man in
the highest questions, in opposition to the one-sided illumination of the
understanding, he became a pre-Kantian defender of the faith of practical
reason. His emphatic summons aroused a loud and lasting echo, especially in
Germany, in the hearts of Goethe, Kant, and Fichte.



In the contemporaries Spinoza and Locke, the two schools of modern
philosophy, the Continental, starting from Descartes, and the English,
which followed Bacon, had reached the extreme of divergence and opposition,
Spinoza was a rationalistic pantheist, Locke, an empirical individualist.
With Leibnitz a twofold approximation begins. As a rationalist he sides
with Spinoza against Locke, as an individualist with Locke against Spinoza.
But he not only separated rationalism from pantheism, but also qualified
it by the recognition (which his historical tendencies had of themselves
suggested to him) of a relative justification for empiricism, since he
distinguished the factual truths of experience from the necessary truths of
reason, gave to the former a noëtical principle of their own, the principle
of sufficient reason, and made sensation an indispensable step to thought.

To the tendencies thus manifested toward a just estimation and peaceful
reconciliation of opposing standpoints, Leibnitz remained true in all the
fields to which he devoted his activity. Thus, in the sphere of religion,
he took an active part in the negotiations looking toward the reunion of
the Protestant and Catholic Churches, as well as in those concerning the
union of the Lutheran and the Reformed. Himself a stimulating man, he yet
needed stimulation from without. He was an astonishingly wide reader, and
declared that he had never found a book that did not contain something
of value. With a ready adaptability to the ideas of others he combined a
remarkable power of transformative appropriation; he read into books more
than stood written in them. The versatility of his genius was unlimited:
jurist, historian, diplomat, mathematician, physical scientist, and
philosopher, and in addition almost a theologian and a philologist--he is
not only at home in all these departments, because versed in them, but
everywhere contributes to their advancement by original ideas and plans. In
such a combination of productive genius and wealth of knowledge Aristotle
and Leibnitz are unapproached.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz was born in 1646 at Leipsic, where his father
(Friederich Leibnitz, died 1652) was professor of moral philosophy; in his
fifteenth year he entered the university of his native city, with law as
his principal subject. Besides law, he devoted himself with quite as much
of ardor to philosophy under Jacob Thomasius (died 1684, the father of
Christian Thomasius), and to mathematics under E. Weigel in Jena. In 1663
(with a dissertation entitled _De Principio Individui_) he became Bachelor,
in 1664 Master of Philosophy, and in 1666, at Altdorf, Doctor of Laws, and
then declined the professorship extraordinary offered him in the latter
place. Having made the acquaintance of the former minister of the Elector
of Mayence, Freiherr von Boineburg, in Nuremberg, he went, after a short
stay at Frankfort-on-the-Main, to the court of the Elector at Mayence, at
whose request he devoted himself to the reform of legal procedure, besides
writing, while there, on the most diverse subjects. In 1672 he went to
Paris, where he remained during four years with the exception of a short
stay in London. The special purpose of the journey to Paris--to persuade
Louis XIV to undertake a campaign in Egypt, in order to divert him from his
designs upon Germany--was not successful; but Leibnitz was captivated
by the society of the Parisian scholars, among them the mathematician,
Huygens. From the end of 1676 until his death in 1716 Leibnitz lived
in Hanover, whither he had been called by Johann Friedrich, as court
councillor and librarian. The successor of this prince, Ernst August, who,
with his wife Sophie, and his daughter Sophie Charlotte, showed great
kindness to the philosopher, wished him to write a history of the princely
house of Brunswick; and a journey which he made in order to study for this
purpose was extended as far as Vienna and Rome. Upon his return he took
charge of the Wolfenbüttel library in addition to his other engagements.

The marriage of the Princess Sophie Charlotte with Frederick of
Brandenburg, the first king of Prussia, brought Leibnitz into close
relations with Berlin. At his suggestion the Academy (Society) of Sciences
was founded there in 1700, and he himself became its first president. In
Charlottenburg he worked on his principal work, the _New Essays concerning
the Human Understanding_, which was aimed at Locke, but the publication of
which was deferred on account of the death of the latter in the interim
(1704), and did not take place until 1765, in Raspe's collective edition.
The death of the Prussian queen in 1705 interrupted for several years the
_Theodicy_, which had been undertaken at her request, and which did not
appear until 1710. In Vienna, where he resided in 1713-14, Leibnitz
composed a short statement of his system for Prince Eugen; this, according
to Gerhardt, was not the sketch in ninety paragraphs, familiar under the
title _Monadology_, which was first published in the original by J.E.
Erdmann in his excellent _Complete Edition of the Philosophical Works
of Leibnitz_, 1840, but the _Principles of Nature and of Grace_, which
appeared two years after the author's death in _L'Europe Savante_.
While Ernst August, as well as the German emperor and Peter the Great,
distinguished the philosopher, who was not indifferent to such honors, by
the bestowal of titles and preferments, his relations with the Hanoverian
court, which until then had been so cordial, grew cold after the Elector
Georg Ludwig ascended the English throne as George I. The letters
which Leibnitz interchanged with his daughter-in-law, gave rise to the
correspondence, continued to his death, with Clarke, who defended the
theology of Newton against him. The contest for priority between Leibnitz
and Newton concerning the invention of the differential calculus was later
settled by the decision that Newton invented his method of fluxions first,
but that Leibnitz published his differential calculus earlier and in a more
perfect form. The variety of pursuits in which Leibnitz was engaged was
unfavorable to the development and influence of his philosophy, in that it
hindered him from working out his original ideas in systematic form, and
left him leisure only for the composition of shorter essays. Besides the
two larger works mentioned above, the _New Essays_ and the _Theodicy_, we
have of philosophical works by Leibnitz only a series of private letters,
and articles for the scientific journals (the _Journal des Savants_ in
Paris, and the _Acta Eruditorum_ in Leipsic, etc.), among which may be
mentioned as specially important the _New System of Nature, and of the
Interaction of Substances as well as of the Union which exists between the
Soul and the Body_, 1695, which was followed during the next year by three
explanations of it, and the paper _De Ipsa Natura_, 1698. Previous to
Erdmann (1840) the following had deserved credit for their editions of
Leibnitz: Feller, Kortholt, Gruber, Raspe, Dutens, Feder, Guhrauer (the
German works), and since Erdmann, Pertz, Foucher de Careil, Onno Klopp, and
especially J.C. Gerhardt. The last named published the mathematical
works in seven volumes in 1849-63, and recently, Berlin, 1875-90, the
philosophical treatises, also in seven volumes.[1] In our account of the
philosophy of Leibnitz we begin with the fundamental metaphysical concepts,
pass next to his theory of living beings and of man (theory of knowledge
and ethics), and close with his inquiries into the philosophy of religion.

[Footnote 1: We have a life of Leibnitz by G.E. Guhrauer, jubilee edition,
Breslau, 1846 [Mackie's _Life_, Boston, 1845 is based on Guhrauer]. Among
recent works on Leibnitz, we note the little work by Merz, Blackwood's
Philosophical Classics, 1884, and Ludwig Stein's _Leibniz und Spinoza_,
Berlin, 1890, in which with the aid of previously unedited material the
relations of Leibnitz to Spinoza (whom he visited at The Hague on his
return journey from Paris) are discussed, and the attempt is made to trace
the development of the theory of monads, down to 1697. The new exposition
of the Leibnitzian monadology by Ed. Dillman, which has just appeared,
we have not yet been able to examine [The English reader may be referred
further to Dewey's _Leibniz_ in Griggs's Philosophical Classics, 1888, and
Duncan's _Philosophical Works of Leibnitz_ (selections translated,
with notes), New Haven, 1890, as well as to the work of Merz already

%1. Metaphysics: the Monads, Representation, the Pre-established Harmony;
the Laws of Thought and of the World.%

Leibnitz develops his new concept of substance, the monad,[1] in
conjunction with, yet in opposition to, the Cartesian and the atomistic
conceptions. The Cartesians are right when they make the concept of
substance the cardinal point in metaphysics and explain it by the concept
of independence. But they are wrong in their further definition of this
second concept. If we take independence in the sense of unlimitedness and
aseity, we can speak, as the example of Spinoza shows, of only one, the
divine substance. If the Spinozistic result is to be avoided, we must
substitute independent action for independent existence, self-activity
for self-existence. Substance is not that which exists through itself
(otherwise there would be no finite substances), but that which acts
through itself, or that which contains in itself the ground of its changing
states. Substance is to be defined by active force,[2] by which we mean
something different from and better than the bare possibility or capacity
of the Scholastics. The _potentia sive facultas_, in order to issue into
action, requires positive stimulation from without, while the _vis activa_
(like an elastic body) sets itself in motion whenever no external hindrance
opposes. Substance is a being capable of action (_la substance est un être
capable d'action_). With the equation of activity and existence (_quod non
agit, non existit_) the substantiality which Spinoza had taken away from
individual things is restored to them: they are active, consequently, in
spite of their limitedness, substantial beings (_quod agit, est substantia
singularis_). Because of its inner activity every existing thing is a
determinate individual, and different from every other being. Substance is
an individual being endowed with force.

[Footnote 1: According to L. Stein's conjecture, Leibnitz took the
expression Monad, which he employs after 1696, from the younger (Franc.
Mercurius) van Helmont.]

[Footnote 2: Francis Glisson (1596-1677, professor of medicine in Cambridge
and London) had as early as 1671, conceived substances as forces in his
treatise _De Natura Substantiae Energetica_. That Glisson influenced
Leibnitz, as maintained by H. Marion (Paris, 1880), has not been proven;
cf. L. Stein, p. 184.]

The atomists are right when they postulate for the explanation of
phenomenal bodies simple, indivisible, eternal units, for every composite
consists of simple parts. But they are wrong when they regard these
invisible, minute corpuscles, which are intended to subserve this purpose
as indivisible: everything that is material, however small it be, is
divisible to infinity, nay, is in fact endlessly divided. If we are to find
indivisible units, we must pass over into the realm of the immaterial and
come to the conclusion that bodies are composed of immaterial constituents.
Physical points, the atoms, are physical, but not points; mathematical
points are indivisible, but not real; metaphysical or substantial
points, the incorporeal, soul-like units, alone combine in themselves
indivisibility and reality--the monads are the true atoms. Together with
indivisibility they possess immortality; as it is impossible for them to
arise and perish through the combination and separation of parts, they
cannot come into being or pass out of it in any natural way whatever, but
only by creation or annihilation. Their non-spatial or punctual character
implies the impossibility of all external influence, the monad develops its
states from its own inner nature, has need of no other thing, is sufficient
unto itself, and therefore deserves the Aristotelian name, entelechy.

Thus two lines of thought combine in the concept of the monad. Gratefully
recognizing the suggestions from both sides, Leibnitz called Cartesianism
the antechamber of the true philosophy, and atomism the preparation for
the theory of monads. From the first it followed that the substances were
self-acting forces; from the second, that they were immaterial units.
Through the combination of both determinations we gain information
concerning the kind of force or activity which constitutes the being of the
monad: the monads are representative forces. There is nothing truly real in
the world save the monads and their representations [ideas, perceptions].

In discussing the representation in which the being and activity of the
monads consist, we must not think directly of the conscious activity of
the human soul. Representation has in Leibnitz a wider meaning than that
usually associated with the word. The distinction, which has become of the
first importance for psychology, between mere representation and conscious
representation, or between perception and apperception, may be best
explained by the example of the sound of the waves. The roar which we
perceive in the vicinity of the sea-beach is composed of the numerous
sounds of the single waves. Each single sound is of itself too small to be
heard; nevertheless it must make an impression on us, if only a small one,
since otherwise their total--as a sum of mere nothings--could not be
heard. The sensation which the motion of the single wave causes is a weak,
confused, unconscious, infinitesimal perception (_petite, insensible
perception_), which must be combined with many similar minute sensations
in order to become strong and distinct, or to rise above the threshold of
consciousness. The sound of the single wave is felt, but not distinguished,
is perceived, but not apperceived. These obscure states of unconscious
representation, which are present in the mind of man along with states of
clear consciousness, make up, in the lowest grade of existence, the whole
life of the monad. There are beings which never rise above the condition of
deep sleep or stupor.

In conformity with this more inclusive meaning, perception is defined as
the representation of the external in the internal, of multiplicity in
unity _(representatio multitudinis in unitate_). The representing being,
without prejudice to its simplicity, bears in itself a multitude of
relations to external things. What now is the manifold, which is expressed,
perceived, or represented, in the unit, the monad? It is the whole world.
Every monad represents all others in itself, is a concentrated all, the
universe in miniature. Each individual contains an infinity in itself
_(substantia infinitas actiones simul exercet_) and a supreme intelligence,
for which every obscure idea would at once become distinct, would be able
to read in a single monad the whole universe and its history--all that is,
has been, or will be; for the past has left its traces behind it, and
the future will bring nothing not founded in the present: the monad is
freighted with the past and bears the future in its bosom. Every monad is
thus a mirror of the universe,[1] but a living mirror (_miror vivant de
l'univers_), which generates the images of things by its own activity
or develops them from inner germs, without experiencing influences from
without. The monad has no windows through which anything could pass in or
out, but in its action is dependent only on God and on itself.

[Footnote 1: The objection has been made against Leibnitz, and not without
reason, that strictly speaking there is no content for the representation
of the monads, although he appears to offer them the richest of all
contents, the whole world. The "All" which he makes them represent is
itself nothing but a sum of beings, also representative. The objects of
representation are merely representing subjects; the monad A represents the
monads from B to Z, while these in turn do nothing more than represent one
another. The monad mirrors mirrors--where is the thing that is mirrored?
The essence of substance consists in being related to others, which
themselves are only points of relation; amid mere relativities we never
reach a real. That which prevented Leibnitz himself from recognizing this
empty formalism was, no doubt, the fact that for him the mere form of
representation was at once filled with a manifold experiential content,
with the whole wealth of spiritual life, and that the quantitative
differences in representation, which for him meant also degrees of feeling,
desire, action, and progress, imperceptibly took on the qualitative
vividness of individual characteristics. Moreover, it must not be
overlooked that the spiritual beings represent not merely the universe but
the Deity as well, hence a very rich object.]

All monads represent the same universe, but each one represents it
differently, that is, from its particular point of view--represents that
which is near at hand distinctly, and that which is distant confusedly.
Since they all reflect the same content or object, their difference
consists only in the energy or degree of clearness in their
representations. So far then, as their action consists in representation,
distinct representation evidently coincides with complete, unhindered
activity, confused representation with arrested activity, or passivity.
The clearer the representations of a monad the more active it is. To have
clear and distinct perceptions only is the prerogative of God; to the
Omnipresent everything is alike near. He alone is pure activity; all
finite beings are passive as well, that is, so far as their perceptions are
not clear and distinct. Retaining the Aristotelian-Scholastic terminology,
Leibnitz calls the active principle form, the passive matter, and makes the
monad, since it is not, like God, _purus actus_ and pure form, consist of
form (entelechy, soul) and matter. This matter, as a constituent of the
monad, does not mean corporeality, but only the ground for the arrest of
its activity. The _materia prima_ (the principle of passivity in the monad)
is the ground, the _materia secunda_ (the phenomenon of corporeal mass) the
result of the indistinctness of the representations. For a group of monads
appears as a body when it is indistinctly perceived. Whoever deprives the
monad of activity falls into the error of Spinoza; whoever takes away
its passivity or matter falls into the opposite error, for he deifies
individual beings.

No monad represents the common universe and its individual parts just as
well as the others, but either better or worse. There are as many
different degrees of clearness and distinctness as there are monads.

Nevertheless certain classes may be distinguished. By distinguishing
between clear and obscure perceptions, and in the former class between
distinct and confused ones--a perception is clear when it is sufficiently
distinguished from others, distinct when its component parts are thus
distinguished--Leibnitz reaches three principal grades. Lowest stand the
simple or naked monads, which never rise above obscure and unconscious
perception and, so to speak, pass their lives in a swoon or sleep. If
perception rises into conscious feeling, accompanied by memory, then
the monad deserves the name of soul. And if the soul rises to
self-consciousness and to reason or the knowledge of universal truth, it
is called spirit. Each higher stage comprehends the lower, since even in
spirits many perceptions remain obscure and confused. Hence it was an error
when the Cartesians made thought or conscious activity--by which, it is
true, the spirit is differentiated from the lower beings--to such a degree
the essence of spirit that they believed it necessary to deny to it all
unconscious perceptions.

From perception arises appetition, not as independent activity, but as a
modification of perception; it is nothing but the tendency to pass from one
perception to another (_l'appetit est la tendance d'une perception à
une autre_); impulse is perception in process of becoming. Where the
perceptions are conscious and rational appetition rises into will. All
monads are self-active or act spontaneously, but only the thinking ones are
free. Freedom is the spontaneity of spirits. Freedom does not consist in
undetermined choice, but in action without external compulsion according to
the laws of one's own being. The monad develops its representations out of
itself, from the germs which form its nature. The correspondence of
the different pictures of the world, however, is grounded in a divine
arrangement, through which the natures of the monads have from the
beginning been so adapted to one another that the changes in their states,
although they take place in each according to immanent laws and without
external influence, follow an exactly parallel course, and the result is
the same as though there were a constant mutual interaction. This general
idea of a _pre-established harmony_ finds special application in the
problem of the interaction between body and soul. Body and soul are like
two clocks so excellently constructed that, without needing to be regulated
by each other, they show exactly the same time. Over the numberless lesser
miracles with which occasionalism burdened the Deity, the one great miracle
of the pre-established harmony has an undeniable advantage. As one great
miracle it is more worthy of the divine wisdom than the many lesser ones,
nay, it is really no miracle at all, since the harmony does not interfere
with natural laws, but yields them. This idea may even be freed from its
theological investiture and reduced to the purely metaphysical expression,
that the natures of the monads, by which the succession of their
representations is determined in conformity with law, consist in nothing
else than the sum of relations in which this individual thing stands to all
other parts of the world, wherein each member takes account of all others
and at the same time is considered by them, and thus exerts influence

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